Meet SIU Scholarship Recipient – Abbie Spiwak

Abbie Spiwak (left) is pictured with her scholarship donor, Judith Rossiter (right).

Abbie Spiwak (left) is pictured with her scholarship donor, Judith Rossiter (right).

Abbie Spiwak is a sophomore from Crystal Lake, Illinois, studying human nutrition and dietetics. She is a James M. Rossiter Memorial Scholarship recipient.

Why did you choose SIU?
I chose SIU because of the kind and caring students and faculty, the campus, the surrounding areas, and much more. Everyone is always involved and wants to do something to help others, or to help the community. Professors are willing to give you their time and effort to help you succeed. SIU helps make well-rounded and highly-educated students.

What inspired you to choose your area of study?
I have always been interested in health and helping others. This field of study gives me a wide range of opportunities in the health field. Americans are in great need of health and food specialists, and the need is only growing. I like making a difference in others’ lives. Also, I enjoy learning about the foods we eat, our bodies, and the systems food takes to get to us.

What is your most memorable experience at SIU?
I have had many memorable experiences at SIU. I got to go on a trip with other Chancellor’s students to St. Louis to see a symphony, and visit the Blue’s museum. It was a great learning experience and a time to bond with others.

What do you brag about most when you tell your friends about SIU?
I love to brag about the Shawnee National Forest and all the amazing nature on and off campus. I love having access to water sports, hikes, bike rides, rock climbing, and more.

Could you tell us about the impact of the scholarship on your education at SIU and your life in general?
Scholarships have helped me to succeed in school without having the stress and worries involved with paying off loans or having to work full-time with studying. I know that this takes a burden off not just me, but my family as well. I have been able to devote my time to my studies, so that I can succeed in my future career. I am able to save money now that can be used towards my future and other expenses.

Why should people consider donating to SIU?
People should consider donating their money to SIU because it will always go towards good students who will benefit greatly, and whose lives will be changed for the better because of the money donated. You would be helping students to achieve their dreams and receive the best education they can. You can change someone’s future by donating to SIU.

If you had $1,000 to donate to SIU, what would you like to see that money benefit? Why?
I would like my money to help a student at SIU studying nutrition and dietetics who is doing well in his or her classes and who would greatly benefit from the extra money, whether it be paying for tuition or other school related expenses. I would want it to go to a student studying in the health field, specifically nutrition/dietetics. $1,000 would help a student in many ways. I want to know it is going to someone who will use the money to help them succeed in school and in their career.

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Meet SIU Scholarship Recipient – Simon Villegas

2018 Academic Scholarship Donor Luncheon

Simon Villegas is pictured with his scholarship donor, Debra Sarvela (left), and her daughter, Kristin Sarvela (right).

Simon Villegas is a sophomore from Morton Grove, Illinois, studying aviation technologies. He is a University Excellence Scholarship, David Rich Memorial Scholarship, and Jeremiah Eugene Price Aviation Technologies Scholarship recipient.

Why did you choose SIU?
I chose SIU because the aviation program is one of the best in the nation. Also, Carbondale is located in an area where there are a lot of activities.

What inspired you to choose your area of study?
My interest in planes is what inspired me to study aviation technologies. The whole aviation industry amazes me.

What is your most memorable experience at SIU?
It was my first day of class when I was arriving on the bus to the airport and seeing the airport for the first time. My most memorable experience was when I saw the planes flying and the facilities and hangar with all the aircraft. I still remember the excitement and how good I felt about studying in this place.

What do you brag about most when you tell your friends about SIU?
Since I am in aviation technologies, I brag about all the planes we have, about my classes being hands-on and about the facility and airport we have where I go to class every day.

Could you tell us about the impact of the scholarship on your education at SIU and your life in general?
Being an immigrant who has been in the United states for five years, and the first to go to college here, my family can’t afford to pay for my education. I also have another brother who just started college too, and a sister in high school, so it is a lot of money for my family. Thanks to these scholarships, I am able to stay in school and pay for my tuition and living costs without my parents having to worry about it.

Why should people consider donating to SIU?
Because there are a lot of talented students who struggle to pay the cost of education, and all these scholarships and money invested on students makes a huge impact on their education, like it did on me.

If you had $1,000 to donate to SIU, what would you like to see that money benefit? Why?
I would like to see a student benefit from it, because I see the difference it made this year on my finances.

About the scholarship:
Mrs. Debra A. Sarvela wanted to establish a fund to provide financial support to students enrolled in the Aviation Technologies Program, in memory of her father, J. Eugene Price. Mr. Price established a career as an electrical engineer, specializing in flight simulation. His career began when Mr. Price was serving in the U.S. Army and continued for 40 years until his retirement from Hughes Aircraft.

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New Student Programs benefits from SIU Credit Union corporate gift

SIU Credit Union gives $20,000 on SIU Day of Giving

In March, SIU Credit Union kicked off the 2018 SIU Day of Giving with a $20,000 donation to New Student Programs.

“We are thrilled to receive the donation and are appreciative of the great corporate partnership the university has with SIU Credit Union,” said Cordy Love, director of New Student Programs.

The money will support the annual Saluki Start Up and Weeks of Welcome programs, which help new students as they begin their Saluki journey.

This year, representatives from the credit union will speak to new students and their families about financial planning and banking. During these sessions, New Student Programs will give away 3,000 USBs containing a pre-made budget and other financial information.

Meet SIU Scholarship Recipient – Chelesea Lewellen

Meet SIU Scholarship Recipient – Chelsea Lewellen

Chelesea Lewellen is a Ph.D. student from Chicago studying education. She is a Marita A. Weaver Scholarship and Wayne S. Ramp Vocational Education Endowed Scholarship recipient.

Why did you choose SIU?
SIU has the benefit of close proximity to major metropolitan areas (Chicago and St. Louis) with a distinctive small-town feel. I appreciate the history SIU has to offer of being both an educational institution with a significant diverse student body alongside a feel-good approach to school-life balance. As a former SIU student, I enjoyed the far-reaching spirit of being a Saluki and encountered alumni both locally and nationally during my travels. SIU encourages the potential and challenges you to rethink authority, information, personal beliefs and trends. This institution inspires individual pontificate and creates thinkers. I returned to SIU to further embrace that spirit of education and atmosphere of positive change.

What inspired you to choose your area of study?
I chose to pursue a degree in education because education is the cornerstone of life. Whether one is seeking personal enhancement or professional development, education is the key component needed to realize one’s goal. Education is not terminal but a journey wherein the student acquires new knowledge, discards long-held assumptions and/or improves upon their knowledge base. Education is not terminal and continues long after a degree is earned or retirement reached. I find it thrilling to participate in such a vibrant area of study and continue my own never-ending path of knowledge and hope to inspire others to continue in an unending pursuit of knowledge.

What is your most memorable experience at SIU?
My most memorable experience at SIU occurred during my return to pursue my current degree. During graduate student orientation, Dr. Lee, then dean of the Graduate School, told us about the awesome responsibility and the exciting future graduate school held for each of us. His passion was not only evident, it was also infectious. I walked away from that orientation with an increased sense of the support that was available to me and eager to start my program of study. Each and every time I encountered Dean Lee, I felt a renewed sense of motivation. His warmth and sincerity is sorely missed.

Could you tell us about the impact of the scholarship on your education at SIU and your life in general?
Both scholarships are extremely generous and helped to offset the cost of pursuing my degree. As a graduate student, books, supplies and the cost of living is exceptional. The addition of these two scholarships reduced the out-of-pocket financial contribution and allowed me to refocus my finances and time towards other areas. I was able to relax and study without the distraction of an upcoming bursar payment. It helped both with my time and peace of mind; I am immensely grateful.

Why should people consider donating to SIU?
People should consider donating to SIU to contribute to the continued efforts to educate our society and help financially challenged students pursue their degrees. Financial burdens prevent far too many from pursuing advanced degrees. Additionally, the confidence boost a recipient feels is tangible. Donations are the gift that keeps on giving, and an investment in another person who otherwise may not be able to pursue a long-held dream of higher education.

If you had $1,000 to donate to SIU, what would you like to see that money benefit? Why?
If I had $1,000 to contribute to SIU, I would like to see the money awarded to an underserved and deserving student. Oftentimes, money is the one determining factor that prevents students from seeking advanced degrees. Investing in a student could ease the burden of fiscal concern and enable the distraction of making ends meet to be directed toward self-improvement. Small investments have the benefit of a huge return and the result is often invaluable.

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