Blaudows’ gift supports additional scholarships

by Greg Scott

Blaudows’ gift supports additional SIU scholarships

CARBONDALE, Ill. — A common trait that successful executives share is the ability to recognize a solid investment. SIU Distinguished Alumnus Dick Blaudow, founder, chairman and CEO of Advanced Technology Services (ATS) Inc., in Peoria, is no different.

In 2006, Blaudow and his wife, Brigitte, donated $250,000 to SIU Carbondale’s College of Engineering to create an engineering leadership development program. Their gift funded 14 scholarships for community college graduates in the state of Illinois who planned on attending Southern. Just more than three years later, the Blaudows are contributing an additional $76,000 to fund five more scholarships. Recipients receive a two-year scholarship covering the cost of tuition, in addition to a paid summer internship at ATS offering hands-on manufacturing and leadership experience.

“I have great interest in the College of Engineering and SIU Carbondale. William Osborne (former engineering dean) motivated me to establish this program,” says Blaudow, a former member of the SIU Foundation Board of Directors. “It goes beyond ATS — I would like to see other corporations willing to support students through a leadership program like this one. Our University would be unique in this respect and stand for something.

“As our students continue to become leaders in supervision and management, it could urge parents to send their child to SIU. Leadership development is something our University could become known for.”

The 1970 electrical engineering graduate says ATS hired five SIU students who were recruited into the program. ATS provides managed services for production equipment maintenance, industrial parts repair and IT infrastructure support for manufacturers. The Peoria-based company employs more than 1,700 people, has five branch offices, and has more than 150 customer-site locations in the United States and Mexico.

“We were fortunate to have jobs for them when they graduated in May. These young people are doing well and we are very impressed,” he says. “I’ve had the privilege of spending time with them, meeting their families, and introducing them to other business and industry leaders. Brigitte and I call them ‘our kids.’

“We look forward to continuing the program.”

Bruce DeRuntz, an associate professor at Southern who directs the program, says Blaudow’s gift is a result of his strong desire to continue and expand the program. Recently, DeRuntz has also been awarded a $600,000 grant from the National Science Foundation to expand the program. The grant will allot the same basic funding for 29 students over the next four years.

“There is really no greater testament or validation of this program’s merit than to have the National Science Foundation exhibit this level of support,” DeRuntz says. “Our plan is for this program to mature into a leadership development institute with major corporate sponsors who have their own cohort of students participating. They will see the value of this early leadership development through high potential students.”

DeRuntz says the program is beneficial to all parties involved.

“Dick’s company is continuing to grow but a limiting factor is identifying and developing future technical leaders. This program provides ATS with an opportunity to develop their own leaders early on,” he says. “It presents Dick with an opportunity to give back to his alma mater which he has always maintained a strong relationship with. In addition, the leadership program provides financial support for students who are willing to work hard. This is what Dick and Brigitte set out to accomplish when they made the initial donation.”

Rickey N. McCurry, vice chancellor for institutional advancement and chief executive officer of the SIU Foundation, says the program supports multiple University objectives.

“This gift further exemplifies Dick and Brigitte Blaudow’s deep devotion to SIU Carbondale, the College of Engineering and its students. Their commitment accentuates the SIU Foundation’s motto of ‘Investing in Saluki Futures,’” he says. “The leadership program not only provides a significant recruitment vehicle for the College of Engineering, but it prepares our students to hit the ground running upon entering the workforce. The Blaudows have been extraordinarily supportive for several years and their vision continues to move this University forward.”

Blaudow’s vision is to develop leaders for the manufacturing industry, which he says has become a rare quality.

“There are fewer young people interested in manufacturing … which is disturbing and a challenge for those of us engaged in the industry,” he says. “In addition, the manufacturing environment is becoming more complex. As a result, we need a more educated, technology-savvy workforce and leadership skills are required.”

SIU’s engineering leadership program is designed to assist in developing and preparing students for leadership roles in manufacturing. DeRuntz says students are required to develop leadership skills via extra-curricular activities in the University and Carbondale communities.

“We meet weekly, invite military and industrial leaders in to speak and offer as much hands-on-experience as possible,” he says. “Our students are required to assume leadership roles in registered student organizations on campus, participate in the Beautify Southern Illinois clean-up project, and lead trail maintenance at Shawnee National Forest. Their leadership and ability to work as an effective team is beginning to gain national attention through their success the last two years in a national robotic competition.

“They nearly swept all of the awards at last year’s ATMAE competition. Other universities have begun to realize that SIU is always a contender for the championship.”

The expectations continue once they join ATS.

“We work these kids hard and have high expectations. They are introduced to industry and business leaders, and exposed to various large industry events,” Blaudow says. “They have to demonstrate leadership, be engaged in teamwork and resourcefulness. As a result, they spend a lot of time working on weekends as opposed to being out having fun.

“This is a good thing for our students who are ready to get a job when they graduate. It’s also good for companies who are making this investment in young people attending SIU. We’ve been very pleased and as a result, decided to step up again and bring in more students. It’s a really good thing for SIU.”

Brown’s $100,000 gift supports minority students

by Greg Scott

Ken Brown’s $100,000 gift supports minority students

CARBONDALE, Ill. — SIU Carbondale alumnus Ken Brown, an entrepreneur, motivational speaker and success coach, proudly subscribes to Winston Churchill’s motto: “We make a living by what we got, but we make a life by what we give.” The 1988 food and nutrition graduate’s actions support his beliefs in a big way.

Brown, a Chicago native, is donating $100,000 to fund scholarships for minority students in various majors at Southern. His gift was made in cooperation with the University’s Hope and Opportunity initiative, which seeks to raise $1 million to provide equal opportunities and financial assistance to minority students and other traditionally underrepresented populations.

“My parents taught me that education was the way out of poverty. I took a leap of faith by attending SIU,” he says. “I’ve been afforded tremendous opportunities. According to the word of God, of whom much is given… much is required.

“I want to leave a legacy for students who have a desire to attend college, but may not necessarily have the means to do so. It is important for me to be a messenger of hope.”

Rickey N. McCurry, vice chancellor for institutional advancement and chief executive officer of the SIU Foundation, says: “Ken Brown is a gentleman who has conquered challenges to acquire a great deal of success. He is clearly thankful for the skills and knowledge he acquired as a student at SIU Carbondale and aspires to return the favor by supporting the educational goals of ambitious students who follow him. This represents an outstanding display of philanthropy and generosity on his part.”

The University and Carbondale communities can hear Brown’s story firsthand during his visit to campus on Monday, Jan. 25, and Tuesday, Jan. 26. Brown will be speaking and visiting with various student organizations and leaders, the University’s student affairs division and campus administrators.

Presentations are open to the public at 7 p.m. both days. On Monday, attendees are invited to gather at the Student Center Auditorium, while Tuesday’s presentation will be held in the lower level of Grinnell Hall on campus. Book signing sessions are scheduled to take place after each event. In addition, Brown will also speak at a Brown Bag Luncheon at noon on Tuesday, in the Kaskaskia/Missouri Rooms of the Student Center.

The Division of Student Affairs is sponsoring Brown’s campus visit in conjunction with the SIU Foundation.

The owner and operator of two McDonald’s restaurants in the Detroit area by the age of 35, Brown says he relishes the opportunity to share his message with students at his alma mater.

“Life and success are about choices, challenges and change. Life is 10 percent of what happens to you, and 90 percent of how you respond to it,” he says. “Any student can be successful. Once you make your mind up to be successful, all that can stop this from happening is yourself. There is no other competition.”

Larry H. Dietz, vice chancellor for student affairs, says Brown’s message should resonate with the University community.

“I think he’s got a great message to share with people. It’s always good to have an alumnus come back and have a strong message to deliver to our students,” Dietz says. “This is a great opportunity for people to see a real success story and hear how he got from point A to point B. He came from very modest means and worked as a busboy and waiter when he came to SIUC as a student. He readily admits he could not have made it to where he is now if not for the support and assistance he received along the way.”

Brown, 43, was born to unmarried, teenage parents. He experienced a humble beginning to his life, including 10 home evictions. Despite financial challenges his family encountered, Brown’s parents stressed perseverance and insisted that each of their children attain a college education. He subsequently applied for Pell Grants, guaranteed loans and financial assistance. Brown entered SIUC in the fall of 1984. However, Brown had a modest C average in high school. Southern accepted him through its Center for Basic Skills (now Center for Academic Success), a special admissions program for students who display promise. He received probationary acceptance to SIUC, and had to earn at least a B average during his freshman year to be processed through general admissions. Brown wasn’t going to be denied; he accumulated a 3.15 grade point average and was accepted into full admission.

“I had a burning desire to be successful. I wasn’t the best student academically on campus, but there wasn’t anyone on campus with more desire. Desire is crucial to being successful as a student or employee,” he says. “My mother and father taught us that all things are possible if you believe. SIU presented me with an opportunity to be the author, director and star of my own destiny. “

Brown joined the Alpha Phi Alpha fraternity his sophomore year. Additionally, he learned various facets of the restaurant business as a student worker at Saluki Grill, a small café on campus, which spurred his interest and passion for food service and management. After graduating from Southern, he was hired as an assistant director for ARA Services, a food management company. He spent the next 12 years progressing to various roles within the industry, including general manager for Wendy’s, sales manager for Kraft Foods, and sales consultant for The Assmussen Waxler Group and McDonald’s Corp., prior to becoming a McDonald’s owner.

The SIUC graduate’s book entitled, “From Welfare to Faring Well,” depicts his journey from welfare to millionaire. Brown has subsequently retired from McDonald’s, and currently serves as a life and success coach, and speaks to Fortune 400 companies, schools, churches and various organizations worldwide. In addition, he has authored and sold 20,000 copies of two life-changing books, “A Leap of Faith” and “L.I.F.E. – Living In Freedom Everyday.”

“As a life and success coach, my primary focus is to help people enhance their vision, find their passion and understand their actions,” Brown says. “The word of God is that to be truly great, you must first serve others. Once you find a need and fill it, you never want for money again. That is what SIU did for me. It provided solutions for me. I want our current students to have that sense of empowerment.”

Brown and his wife of 18 years, Deidre, live in West Bloomfield, Mich., with their three children – Austin, 14, Bradley, 11, and Drake, 8.

Nelson Family Honors Great Aunt with Scholarship

By Greg Scott

CARBONDALE, Ill. — Sandra Nelson Brown wanted to memorialize her great aunt for serving as an advocate for children in the school system, church, and community. The former Tamms resident and her family figured the most appropriate way to accomplish this was to provide financial aid for a young student who has aspirations of attending college.

The Nelson family established the Helen Nelson Davis Scholarship Fund through the Southern Illinois University Foundation. Eligible applicants must be graduates of a high school in the southern Illinois counties of Alexander or Pulaski, with a grade point average of 3.0 or above (on a 4.0 scale). Applicants must also major in education at SIUC with plans of pursuing a teaching career, much like Helen Davis.

The College of Education and Human Services Scholarship Committee will determine the recipient and amount of the award on an annual basis.

Brown, an employee of the Illinois State Police in Springfield, says: “My great aunt was a firm believer in education. She spent her entire life supporting young people in the school system, the church and community. I just thought this was an appropriate way to honor her memory.”

Helen M. Davis was a lifelong elementary school educator who earned two degrees from Southern. She completed a two-year teaching certificate program at the University in 1930. Davis subsequently received her bachelor’s and master’s degrees in education in 1944 and 1954, respectively.

“Aunt Helen was helpful in getting kids interested in reading and learning our history,” Brown says. “One of my favorite memories was Aunt Helen organizing programs during Black History Month. She wanted us as young adults to be educated about Black History and those who made contributions to our society before us. We were also asked to conduct presentations as part of her programs.”

While Davis didn’t have children of her own, she instilled the importance of education to Brown and her siblings. Five of the nine children in the Nelson family graduated from Southern. Cindy Nelson is a 1987 SIUC radio-television graduate and works for CNN in Atlanta; Marva Nelson received bachelor’s and master’s degrees in English in 1996 and 1999, respectively, and is an instructor at Parkland Community College in Champaign; Gloria Wilkins is a 2001 administration of justice graduate and serves as a juvenile detention counselor in St. Louis; and Karen Warren, a 1991 political science graduate, subsequently attended law school at Saint Louis University and stayed in the metropolitan area to practice law. Brown’s brother, Harold “Skip” Nelson, a retired Illinois State Police officer, received an associate degree in law enforcement in 1978 from Southern. He subsequently received bachelor’s and master’s degrees from Eastern Illinois University.

Brown herself is a 1984 graduate of Southeast Missouri State University, where she studied interdisciplinary studies with a primary focus on chemistry and biology. She later received a master’s degree in public administration from the University of Illinois-Springfield.

When asked why she didn’t attend Southern, Brown laughs: “I visited SIU, but received a full scholarship to Shawnee Community College, and later, to SEMO. But obviously, I have connections to the University through my great aunt and siblings. It has meant a great deal to my family.”

Brown’s parents, Harold and Claudia Nelson, live in Tamms, and it was important for the scholarship to support students in her family’s home counties. “Alexander and Pulaski Counties are two of the most economically-challenged counties in the state. We figured a deserving kid from one of those counties could at least receive some financial aid.”

Rickey N. McCurry, vice chancellor for institutional advancement and chief executive officer of the SIU Foundation, says Brown’s family is providing a fitting tribute to Davis.

“Countless young people clearly benefitted from Helen Davis’ positive influence. Mentors and teachers in our respective communities are invaluable,” McCurry says. “I can’t think of a better honor for a lifelong educator than to establish a scholarship in her name to benefit someone seeking an opportunity. The University is certainly appreciative of Sandra Brown and her family for helping a young student pursue their educational endeavors.”

Lawrence Scholarship Drive Raises Nearly $50,000

Courtesy of University Communications

CARBONDALE, Ill. — Nearly $50,000 was brought in as part of a special fundraising event on Tuesday, Oct. 27, to endow a scholarship fund for deserving students associated with the Paul Simon Public Policy Institute at Southern Illinois University Carbondale.

The event honored Mike Lawrence, a veteran newsman, former press secretary to Gov. Jim Edgar and a noted political analyst who joined the institute in 1997 as associate director, and became director in 2004 following the death of founder and former U.S. Sen. Paul Simon.

“Our ability to raise this amount of money for scholarships for our students is a tribute to how people feel about Mike Lawrence and his lifetime commitment to excellence, good public policy, and to making a positive difference in the lives of others, especially young people,” said institute Director David Yepsen.

“Thanks to the generosity of so many friends and admirers of Mike, this fund will allow us to award at least one scholarship each year to a deserving student who shows promise as an engaged citizen.”

Yepsen announced at the event another way donors and admirers could be a part of the scholarship — by writing to the institute a note of how Lawrence influenced their lives that can be shared with the scholarship recipients each year.

“Some donors wrote personal notes sharing their feelings about Mike and his influence in their lives,” said Yepsen. “Because that has made such an impact on me and others at the institute, I’m asking for all donors and friends to contribute their story of how Mike influenced them, whether they are a former student, a co-worker or an admirer of his work at the institute, in journalism or in government. Each year when we award the scholarship to a student, we will also hand them a copy of those stories so they can better know Mike Lawrence.”

Lead gifts of $5,000 each were received from former Illinois Gov. Jim Edgar and his wife Brenda; SIU alumnus and institute board member Jerome Mileur; interim SIUC Provost Don Rice and his wife Pru, who is associate vice chancellor for research and administration at the University; and Lawrence and his wife Marianne.

Lawrence is pleased the beneficiaries are students involved with the institute and its Student Ambassadors program, which helps host speakers and publicize events. In return for their volunteer service, the institute tries to provide students with direct access to the guest speakers, and events that offer insight into internships and how public policy is made.

“I’m proud of the commitment to diversity, equal opportunity and helping young people of all races realize their potential — that is the core of our institute’s mission,” said Lawrence.

Donations to the scholarship fund are still being sought and received, according to institute associate director Matt Baughman.

“Our initial goal was to raise $50,000 for the scholarship fund,” said Baughman. “Although that figure is within reach, we will continue to seek donations to build the scholarship fund in order to assist as many students as we can in Mike’s name.”

Scholarship guidelines state that the recipients can be either graduate or undergraduate students who are involved in a substantial number of institute programs, initiatives and other institute-related volunteer opportunities and who have demonstrated positive leadership qualities. Other factors, such as service to other parts of campus or community, special challenges overcome by the students or financial need may be considered. There is a preference that the students are active in the institute’s Student Ambassador Program and that at least one scholarship is awarded each year to an African American student.

Walter Wills’ gift benefits agriculture students

by Greg Scott

Chair of Agricultural Industries Walter Wills

Dr. Walter Wills joined SIU Carbondale’s College of Agricultural Sciences in 1956. Download Photo Here

CARBONDALE, Ill. — A man remembered for his deep commitment to SIU Carbondale students will continue to have an influence on the lives of young people in the College of Agricultural Sciences.

Walter J. Wills, professor emeritus of agricultural economics, bequeathed more than $1 million to the University’s College of Agricultural Sciences. This gift will support various areas within the College of Agricultural Sciences and endow scholarships according to the specifications and wishes of the estate. Students who major in Animal Science, Plant & Soil Science, Ag Mechanization, and Agribusiness Economics will benefit from these scholarships.

Wills was hired in 1956, just a year after the University established its College of Agriculture. He chaired the agricultural industries department for 15 years and served the University for 27 years until his retirement in 1983.

Wills was also a veteran, having served as an Army lieutenant during World War II. He served in the 3rd Army under General Patton.

The Beecher City, Ill., native was a member of the First Christian Church and Carbondale Rotary. He died in 2000 at the age of 84.

“Dr. Wills was highly respected by his students,” says Rickey N. McCurry, vice chancellor for institutional advancement and chief executive officer of the SIU Foundation. “This gift further exemplifies his devotion to students and his philanthropic spirit which will impact the lives of Agriculture students in perpetuity.”

Gary Minish, dean of the College of Agricultural Sciences, says Wills’ gift is significant and will provide educational opportunities for students who might not have been able to attend or afford college.

“Dr. Wills certainly had a major impact during the early years of our College. He was revered by his students and fellow faculty,” Minish says. “His gift allows us to provide major scholarship support for our students — who are always a priority. The College of Agricultural Sciences will benefit from Dr. Wills’ passion for students and production agriculture for years to come. We are truly grateful for his commitment and generosity to our students and for his strong loyalty and support for the College of Agricultural Sciences at Southern Illinois University Carbondale.”

Stephen Scates, who serves on the College of Agricultural Science Leadership Board, says Wills was one of his favorite instructors. “I thought a great deal of Dr. Wills — he was an inspiration to his students,” says the 1959 animal science graduate. “Dr. Wills was an individual who took great pride in the institution.”

Scates, who was a student during the early years of the agricultural college, says he also admired Wills for his continued interest in students once they graduated. Dr. William Herr, who Wills hired onto Southern’s College of Agriculture faculty in 1957, concurs with Scates’ assessment.

“Dr. Wills was respected as a great instructor and kept up with agriculture alums after they graduated,” Herr says. “He enjoyed sharing stories about alumni he encountered during his travels. Dr. Wills kept in touch with students more than anyone I can remember.”

Herr also complimented Wills for serving as an ambassador during the early years of the College.

“He always enjoyed any opportunity to promote the University,” Herr says. “SIU was trying to make its presence known around the state during those early years. Dr. Wills did everything he could to help.

“No group was too small for him to visit and talk to. Community service was important to him. He was an ambitious man.”

Automotive students benefit from truck donation

by Pete Rosenbery

siu automotive receives truck donation

A really big truck — Dan Corey, sitting in cab, a technical service manager with Hino Trucks, presents keys to Jack S. Greer, chair of Southern Illinois University Carbondale’s Department of Automotive Technology on Tuesday, Sept. 15. Hino Motor Sales, USA, a Toyota Group Company, delivered a 2005 electronic diesel fuel injection cab and chassis to the nationally recognized program. The Class 7 series truck will provide students in the senior-level alternative fuels class a first-hand look at the latest technology available, and is another example of support by program graduates. Corey is a two-degree SIUC graduate. (Photo by Russell Bailey) Download Photo Here

CARBONDALE, Ill. — Hino Motor Sales, USA, a Toyota Group Company, is helping students in Southern Illinois University Carbondale’s Department of Automotive Technology continue their career preparations with advanced technology. Hino, Toyota’s medium duty diesel truck division, today (Sept. 15) delivered a 2005 electronic diesel fuel injection cab and chassis to the nationally recognized program.

The 2005 MY 338 T Class 7 series truck will provide students in the senior-level alternative fuels class a first-hand look at some of the newest technology available, said Jack S. Greer, who chairs the automotive technology department.

“This means our students are current in the industry’s technology when they graduate. They don’t have to play catch-up. They have to hit the ground running because things are changing every day, but when they graduate they are current.”

Dan Corey, a technical service manager with Hino Trucks and a two-degree graduate of SIUC, coordinated the donation. He earned a bachelor’s degree in automotive technology in 2000, and a master’s of education in the Workforce Education and Development program in 2002.

The six-cylinder diesel engine with computer-controlled technology will enable expansion of the diesel fuels portion of the alternative fuels class, and offer students a chance to see things they would not have normally seen, said Blaine M. Heisner, an assistant instructor in automotive technology.

“This truck allows us to step into that new technology and show students what they will see in two or three years,” Heisner said. “Once they graduate, they are going to see these types of vehicles in the field.”

Utilizing the equipment in the classroom reduces the need for later on-the-job training, Heisner said.

Terry A. Owens, interim dean of the College of Applied Sciences and Arts, is pleased with the donation.

“These are exciting times for the Automotive Technology program,” Owens said. “Obviously, we are very excited about the approval of the capital bill and eagerly await the release of funds by the governor for construction of the Transportation Education Center. In advance of the opportunity to move into a new facility befitting the Automotive Technology program’s national recognition and reputation, enrollment is at an all-time high.

“We greatly appreciate the efforts of our alum, Mr. Dan Corey, and the generosity of Hino Trucks. This is another example of the importance of the Automotive Technology program to the industry,” Owens said.

“Dan Corey is another example of an SIU graduate moving us forward. He clearly realizes the importance of providing our students with cutting-edge technology as they prepare for the workforce,” says Rickey N. McCurry, vice chancellor for institutional advancement and chief executive officer of the SIU Foundation. “SIU Carbondale has one of the nation’s premier automotive technology programs and our alumni have helped make that happen. We greatly appreciate the generosity exhibited by Dan Corey and Hino Motor Sales.”

The estimated 249,016-square-foot Transportation Education Center, or TEC, will house the aviation and automotive technology programs at the Southern Illinois Airport. Gov. Pat Quinn signed a statewide capital construction plan this summer, but the $62,830,800 project awaits funding release. The construction project should take two years to complete.

Facilities on the University’s campus in Carterville have housed the automotive technology program since its inception in 1952. The vehicle is the company’s largest truck, and features a 3000 series Allison transmission, full air ABS brake system and axles by Arvin Meritor, and Hendrickson full air suspension, Corey said. Manufactured in the company’s West Virginia assembly plant, the trucks use about 95 percent American-made components; only the cab and diesel engine come from Japan, Corey said.

Greer emphasized the same technology found in the truck filters down to many other diesel cars and medium-duty trucks. “It’s as technically advanced as today’s cars are with the electronics that are on board,” he said. “That’s a big switch in the diesel. The technology is current.”

The donation is valued at about $70,000, Greer said. Such a purchase would be cost-prohibitive for the department, Heisner noted.

“Having donations like this and the alumni supporting our program as they do keeps our program where we are,” Greer said.

Corey said there are two primary reasons behind the donation.

“The automotive program at SIUC has given my career along with so many others a boost that I, on behalf of Hino, wanted to give back to the program a tool that will help students achieve their academic and career goals,” Corey said.

A second reason is the dramatic change in federal emissions regulations on diesel truck engines over the past five to 10 years. Experts predict technological advancements mean that air going into diesel engines will be cleaner as it exits the tail pipe than before entering the engine.

“This industry understands the value of well-qualified, highly skilled employees and demands the very best students from program like SIUC,” he said. “I hope the Hino truck donation will help students in the Automotive Technology program develop the skills needed to give them the upper hand when the workplace comes calling along with long-term success and growth. This truck represents what is out there on the streets right now, the technology of today, and where it is headed tomorrow.”

Greer is pleased with the program’s continuing success. Enrollment for the fall 2009 semester is 210 students on the SIUC campus, an all-time high in the program’s 57-year history. The program is offering night sections to accommodate its students and is “busting at the seams,” Greer said.

Reductions in the automotive industry are primarily on the manufacturing side and not the service side, Greer said, noting that aftermarket parts manufacturers and retail automotive service centers also provide important job opportunities.

The program also operates an off-campus program at Harry S. Truman College in Chicago that began in fall 2007, with 19 more students enrolled. The off-campus program provides Chicago-area students the opportunity to obtain a bachelor’s degree in automotive technology. Students complete an associate of applied science degree from Kennedy-King or Truman College, and then transfer into the automotive technology program, where SIUC faculty teach upper-level automotive technical and automotive management courses at Truman College.

In 2005, the program earned the Automotive Industry Planning Council’s Award of Excellence — marking a third time as the nation’s top automotive program. The program also earned top honors in 1991 and 1999.

Two receive prestigious Cook Professorships

by Pete Rosenbery

CARBONDALE, Ill. — A professor in Library Affairs and an associate professor in the School of Art and Design are recipients of a prestigious professorship at Southern Illinois University Carbondale.

Professor Philip C. Howze and Associate Professor Najjar Abdul-Musawwir recently received Judge William Holmes Cook Endowed Professorships. Cook Professorships are three-year appointments that also provide $7,500 annually to the recipients to fund scholarly work, graduate assistantships, travel, summer stipends or other related uses.

Cook, a former SIUC student who had a long and distinguished legal career, donated $500,000 to the University through his estate. The purpose of the professorships is to increase and maintain diversity at the University, said Linda McCabe Smith, interim associate chancellor for diversity.

A committee reviewed nine applications submitted from across campus.

“It was not an easy decision. There were a lot of great candidates,” said McCabe Smith, who chaired the committee.

As a part of the professorships, recipients must submit annual reports to Don S. Rice, interim provost and vice chancellor, detailing their scholarly work relating to the professorship and plans for the upcoming year, McCabe Smith said. A final report is required at the end of the third year, she said.

Professor Philip C. HowzeHowze is a research/reference librarian whose specialties include anthropology, Black American studies, economics, psychology, social work and sociology. He earned a 2009 “Excellence Through Commitment” outstanding faculty award in Library Affairs. Howze is a two-degree graduate of the University of Nebraska at Omaha, earning his undergraduate degree in 1986 and a master’s degree in 1989. He earned his library degree in 1990 from the University of Iowa.

Howze came to SIUC in 2000. A full professor since 2005, he teaches one course every year in the Black American Studies Program as well as sections of the library’s information literacy course. Library Affairs Dean David H. Carlson nominated Howze for the Cook Professorship.

“I am very grateful to be a recipient of this prestigious award,” Howze said. “I plan to use the Cook Professorship to further my studies in African American librarianship through research and travel, and to continue my research on shaping ethnic collections. It is rare for an academic librarian to receive a named professorship, and I appreciate this distinct honor.”

Associate Professor Najjar Abdul-MusawwirAbdul-Musawwir plans on a sabbatical starting this fall at the prestigious G. R. N’Namdi Gallery in Detroit, where his work will focus on abstract paintings emphasizing unity and goodwill, and spiritual aesthetics. Abdul-Musawwir said his work, highly influenced by Islamic principles, will pull from what is happening in America and create abstract paintings from those ideals.

Peter Chametzky, the interim director and associate professor in the Art History program, nominated Abdul-Musawwir, with the support of Alan Vaux, dean of the College of Liberal Arts.

“It’s an extreme honor to be recognized for your hard work, and have someone who is willing to make that type of investment in one’s life,” Abdul-Musawwir said. “It’s not just my job, but a way of life. To have such a prestigious award presented upon me reinforces the things I believe in, such as, hard work pays off.

“I’m somewhat surprised because there are many other of my colleagues who could have received it,” he said.

Abdul-Musawwir is a two-degree graduate of SIUC; he earned his bachelor’s degree in general studio/painting/drawing in 1992, and a master’s degree in painting in 1997.

According to his resume, Abdul-Musawwir’s current research projects involve “mixed-media abstract paintings and drawings incorporating contemporary Islamic and African-American history and Islamic forms into two dimensional paintings and installations.” The professorship will allow Abdul-Musawwir to broaden his research, he said.

Students benefit from Bridgestone donation

CARBONDALE, Ill. — Bloomingdale-based Bridgestone Retail Operations, LLC, recently presented Southern Illinois University Carbondale’s Department of Automotive Technology a financial gift to assist the nationally recognized program. The department received a $6,000 grant from the Bridgestone Americas Trust Fund, the philanthropic arm of Bridgestone Americas, Inc. The gift will go toward equipment purchases and establishing a $2,000 scholarship this fall, said Jack S. Greer, who chairs the automotive technology department.

“A donation of this kind, especially in today’s economy, shows the company’s support for our program and the interest it has in hiring our graduates,” Greer said. He noted the company is continuing to expand its retail establishments.

The company has been recruiting managers to open and operate retail stores through SIUC’s program for the last five or six years, he said.

“Bridgestone’s donation demonstrates a clear commitment to our students and their futures in the industry,” said Rickey N. McCurry, vice chancellor for institutional advancement and CEO of the SIU Foundation. “Our automotive technology program has been a source of pride for the University and has garnered nationwide respect. We greatly appreciate Bridgestone’s continued support of our young people pursuing careers in this field.”

According to the company, Bridgestone Retail Operations presented the donation on behalf of the Bridgestone Americas Trust Fund. Bridgestone Retail Operations runs the largest network of company-owned automotive service centers in the world — more than 2,000 tire and vehicle service centers across the United States — including “Firestone Complete Auto Care,” “Tires Plus,” “ExpertTire” and “Wheel Works” stores. Credit First National Association and “Firestone Complete Fleet Care” are also part of Bridgestone Retail Operations, which is a member of the Bridgestone Americas family of companies.

In late January, the company opened its 1,500th Firestone Complete Auto Care location, and there are plans to continue to open more. Forty-two new automotive service locations opened in 2008; each new store creates about 12 jobs. Twelve SIUC automotive technology and automotive service management graduates now work for Bridgestone Retail Operations.

“It’s important for Bridgestone Retail Operations to contribute to schools and universities that educate tomorrow’s leaders, today,” said Matt Metzelaars, Midwest zone recruiting and retention manager with Bridgestone Retail Operations. “We look to schools with programs like Southern Illinois University Carbondale to prepare students to easily transition into their future careers. We currently have SIUC graduates working for our company in various roles ranging from store manager to intern.”

In 2005, the automotive technology program earned the Automotive Industry Planning Council’s Award of Excellence — its third time as the nation’s top program. The program also earned top honors in 1991 and 1999; national winners cannot compete again for the award for five years.

The program also operates an off-campus program at Harry S. Truman College in Chicago that began in fall 2007. The off-campus program provides Chicago-area students the opportunity to obtain a bachelor’s degree in automotive technology. Students complete an associate of applied science degree from Kennedy-King or Truman College, and then transfer into the automotive technology program, where SIUC faculty teach upper-level automotive technical and automotive management courses at Truman College.

Annual Fund Student Caller Wins Scholarship

by Emily Britton

Annual Fund Student Caller, Philip Sanders, Wins Scholarship

CARBONDALE, Ill. — For the second time in Southern Illinois University Carbondale’s history, a student supervisor is the recipient of a scholarship to attend the RuffaloCody Users Group Conference.

Philip Sanders, a junior from Kankakee majoring in economics, was one of two students nationwide to receive the scholarship. According to AJ Pennington, senior manager of recruiting and training operations at RuffaloCody, the recipients were chosen based on their dedication to a call center and their interest in pursuing a career in fundraising.

The funding provided by RuffaloCody will help Sanders take a step toward his career goal. RuffaloCody is a consulting firm that offers strategic fundraising and enrollment management services. The conference, scheduled for July 26-28 in Minneapolis, will allow Sanders to make connections with others in the field of institutional advancement. During the three-day event, Sanders will attend roundtable discussions and lectures focusing on issues facing fundraising institutions today.

Sanders is one of 80 students who solicit support for the SIU Foundation’s Annual Fund. As a student caller, he has raised $26,000 for the fund, which is designed to generate revenue to support various scholarship opportunities, academic departments, programs, and facility upgrades at the University. Students are assigned records based on specific segments of the alumni database. They perform their duties year-round with the exception of the University’s public holiday breaks.

“Our telefunders are vital to the Foundation’s success. It is important to have high-caliber students reaching out to our alums in order to advance our institution,” said Jeff Lorber, associate vice chancellor for institutional advancement. “This award demonstrates how dedicated Philip and his fellow student callers are to improving their University.”

Sanders says his time as a telefunder has also prepared him for a career in fundraising.

“This position has taught me how to work under someone with expectations and certain goals for me, and I think that will be important in my chosen career field,” Sanders says. “I am also given enough freedom to be able to make mistakes and learn from them. When I see the same situations in the future, I will know how to handle them.”

Nanditha Balasubramanian, director of annual giving for the SIU Foundation, said that Sanders’ award speaks highly of the Foundation’s recruiting and training.

“The mentoring he received both as a caller and student supervisor, especially the training with the CampusCall system, helped him tremendously in gaining an edge over candidates from other institutions,” Balasubramanian says. “Last fall, Philip assisted me with supervision of student callers during the calling sessions. This gave him the confidence not only to learn the calling system better, but it also provided a chance for him to demonstrate his skills supervising students,motivating the student callers, responding to questions from the students and ensuring that they do their best in communicating with our alumni and friends. Since the annual giving program is the foundation of our development operations, it is vital that we uphold the highest standards inrecruiting, training and evaluation of our student callers.”

Balasubramanian said she recognized Sanders’ exceptional work as a student caller and supervisor and encouraged him to apply for the scholarship. For that, Sanders is grateful.

“Throughout the last few semesters I have learned about responsibility and leadership from the mentoring I’ve received as a student caller. Nanditha Balasubramanian and (Assistant Director) Amber Kinkelaar have helped me become a better caller and supervisor as well as a better student through the principles of fundraising that they have taught me,” Sanders says. “Above all, this position has given me a sense of purpose, in that I am helping SIU become the best university it can be.”

Students learn while assisting SIU Foundation

by Emily Britton

student callers

Student callers — Helping the SIU Foundation solicit support for its Annual Fund are, from left, Patrick Conway, Blake Frank and Joshua Fielder. (Photo provided)

CARBONDALE, Ill. — According to several student callers for the Southern Illinois University Foundation, the lessons learned at this part-time job have been nearly as valuable as those learned in the classroom.

“This position requires persistence and patience, both of which will help me tremendously when I start full-time employment,” Blake Frank, who raised $35,000 for the Foundation, said. “The training that was provided to me has helped me gain valuable skills that will serve me well in my professional career.”

Frank, a senior from Rockwell City, Iowa, majoring in aviation management, is one of 80 SIUC students who solicit support for the Foundation’s Annual Fund. The fund is designed to generate revenue to support various scholarship opportunities, academic departments, programs, and facility upgrades at the University. Students are assigned records based on specific segments of the alumni database. They perform their duties year-round with the exception of the University’s Thanksgiving and Christmas holiday breaks and all other public holidays.

“As a radio-television major, this job has helped me improve my communication skills,” says Jonathan Iaccino, a junior from DeKalb. “I realize that my communication and interaction with alums has a tremendous impact on the advancement of Southern.”

Joshua Fielder, a senior from Carbondale majoring in music, also knows his success as a student caller will help him in future endeavors. Iaccino raised $28,000 during his time as a student caller. Fielder, who raised $25,000, supervised calling sessions during the summer.

“The life skills that I have gained from my work at the Foundation will surely carry through and stay with me,” Fielder says. “Supervising the calling sessions was a great learning experience for me because it allowed me to realize my strengths and recognize the skills I need in order to be successful.”

According to Philip Sanders, a junior from Kankakee majoring in economics, the job also strengthens the student callers’ connections with Southern’s alumni.

“As a student caller, I reach out to our alumni,” says Sanders, who raised $26,000. “Not only do I keep them abreast of all the current issues on campus, but I also tell them why their support is critical to individual colleges and scholarship programs.”

Establishing a connection with alumni is important to the program’s success, says Nanditha Balasubramanian, director of annual giving, who, along with Amber Kinkelaar, the assistant director, trains and mentors the student callers.

“The Annual Fund allows students to make a personal connection with our alumni,” Balasubramanian said. “These conversations help the students become educated about the University’s history, and give the alumni an opportunity to learn more about current activities at Southern.”

The student callers are essential to SIUC’s fundraising efforts, says Rickey N. McCurry, vice chancellor for institutional advancement and chief executive officer of the SIU Foundation.

“The Annual Fund is crucial in moving Southern forward, and the efforts of the student telefunders are vital to our success,” McCurry said. “Not only do the students assist in obtaining support for their University, but they also learn the importance of giving back once they have graduated.”

Patrick Conway, a senior from Normal majoring in information systems technologies, said his experience as a student caller has helped him see how important private support is to Southern’s future. Conway collected $81,000 during his time as a telefunder.

“I truly understand the impact that donor support can have in making a difference in the lives of current students,” Conway says. “When I graduate, I hope to give back to this institution and would encourage others to do the same.”

Pictured are Jonathan Iaccino (left) and Philip Sanders (right)

Photo caption: Pictured are Jonathan Iaccino (left) and Philip Sanders (right)

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