Journalism students win scholarships, awards

By Pete Rosenbery

CARBONDALE, Ill. — Southern Illinois University Carbondale presented scholarships and awards to 38 outstanding journalism students in the School of Journalism at a recent awards ceremony.

Fifty-one scholarships worth $46,0185, along with several recognition awards, were presented at the annual awards banquet April 15, in the University’s Communications Building. The School of Journalism is within the College of Mass Communication and Media Arts.

Here is a list of scholarship winners, by hometown. Where available, the listing contains the winner’s name, year in school, major, scholarship name, and the amount.


Arcola: Sarah Schneider, sophomore, news/editorial. Harry and Helen Stonecipher Scholarship, $300.

Bonfield: Tiffany Blanchette, junior, photojournalism. Harry and Helen Stonecipher Scholarship, $750; Marcia Bullard Scholarship, $750.

Buffalo Grove: Kyle McCarthy, junior, advertising. James Murphy Memorial Scholarship, $400.

Calumet City: Calvin Dixon, junior, advertising. Anne West Lindsey Scholarship, $500; Journalism Alumnus Scholarship, $300.

Calumet City: Morgan-Symone Hopkins, sophomore, advertising. Journalism Faculty Scholarship, $430.

Calumet City: Brandon Willingham, junior, news-editorial. Harry and Helen Stonecipher Scholarship, $300.

Carbondale: Matthew McGuire, junior, new media news production. Michael Porcaro Scholarship, $1,845; Harry and Helen Stonecipher Scholarship, $750.

Carbondale: Syed Khalid Nafis, sophomore, news/editorial. Jim Bitterman Scholarship, $1,050; Harry and Helen Stonecipher Scholarship, $750.

Carbondale: Ai Saito, sophomore, photojournalism. Jim Bittermann Scholarship, $1,050; Harry and Helen Stonecipher Scholarship, $750.

Centralia: Jordan Vandeveer, sophomore, news/editorial. Charles C. Clayton Scholarship, $200.

Champaign: Samuel Knepler, freshman, new media news production. Anne West-Lindsey Scholarship, $800.

Chicago: Christine Emmons, freshman, advertising. Donald Hileman Memorial Scholarship, $370.

Chicago: Tatyana Hills, sophomore, news/editorial. Harry and Helen Stonecipher Scholarship, $500.

Chicago: Willie Porter, sophomore, advertising. Anne West-Lindsey Scholarship, $200.

Chicago Heights: Whitney Way, junior, news editorial. Southern Illinois Editorial Association Scholarship, $600; Harry and Helen Stonecipher Scholarship, $400.

Chester: Jennifer Gonzalez, senior, photojournalism. Steven B. Hahn Memorial Scholarship, $1,725; Harry and Helen Stonecipher Scholarship, $750.

Danville: Lauren Groppi, junior, advertising. Southern Illinois Editorial Association Scholarship, $600.

Decatur: Jacoby Duckworth, sophomore, advertising. Anne West-Lindsey Scholarship, $2,000.

Dix: Lauren Duncan, junior, news/editorial. Polly Robinson Memorial Scholarship, $1,875.

Edwardsville: Steve Matzker, senior, photojournalism. Ryan Rendleman Photojournalism Scholarship, $3,190; Harry and Helen Stonecipher Scholarship, $750.

Effingham: Alyssa Long, sophomore, photojournalism. Small-Seright Scholarship, $800.

Elmhurst: Sarah Mitchell, freshman, news/editorial. Charles C. Clayton Scholarship, $400.

Fairfield: Samantha Vaughan, junior, photojournalism, Linda Henson Photojournalism Scholarship, $1,300; Harry and Helen Stonecipher Scholarship, $750.

Flora: Danielle McGrew, junior, photojournalism. Harry and Helen Stonecipher Scholarship, $1,500.

Glen Carbon: Tara Kulash, senior, news/editorial. Ray Serati-Ben Kiningham Illinois Legislative Correspondents Association Scholarship, $500.

Godfrey: Nathan Hoefort, freshman, photojournalism. Bill Harmon Scholarship, $480.

Lombard: John Wilson, junior, advertising. Anne West-Lindsey Scholarship, $2,000.

Marion: Phillip Riley Swinford, sophomore, news/editorial. Harry and Helen Stonecipher Scholarship, $750; Karl Monroe Scholarship, $600.

Morrison: Marta Bender, Harry and Helen Stonecipher Scholarship, sophomore, new media news production. Harry and Helen Stonecipher Scholarship, $1,500.

North Chicago: Maurice Hatch, sophomore, advertising. Paisley Family Scholarship, $600.

Ottawa: Nathan Green, sophomore, photojournalism. Harry and Helen Stonecipher Scholarship, $300.

Pecatonica: Haley Shaw, sophomore, advertising. Charles Feirich Memorial Scholarship, $1,000.

Peoria: Eric Eagan, junior, advertising. William Lyons Scholarship, $800.

Ridott: Ariel Hitchcock, sophomore, advertising. Steven B. Hahn Memorial Scholarship, $1,725.

Vandalia: Brooke Pippins, junior, advertising. Charlotte Thompson Suhler Advertising Award, $1,550.

West Chicago: Lynette Oostmeyer, junior, photojournalism. Judith Roales Scholarship, $2,000; Harry and Helen Stonecipher Scholarship, $750.

Wheaton: Sally Specht, junior, advertising. Anne West-Lindsey Scholarship, $300; Golden Quill Award, $100.


St. Louis: Anthony Pickens, junior, news/editorial. Michael Porcaro Scholarship, $1,845; Harry and Helen Stonecipher Scholarship, $750.

Annual golf outing key for scholarship support

By Pete Rosenbery

CARBONDALE, Ill. — For Alexis Bergman, Brock Kabat and Southern Illinois University Carbondale’s other top scholars, the opportunity to excel in the classroom is due in part to a little white ball.

The annual SIU Carbondale Chancellor Academic Scholarship Golf Outing later this month is a critical component in attracting the best students to the University and helping them achieve their highest potential. Hosted by Chancellor Rita Cheng, the golf outing is Friday, May 18, at Hickory Ridge Public Golf Center in Carbondale.

“These scholarship recipients are outstanding role models in the classroom and in the community,” Cheng said. “Other institutions extend similar scholarship offers, and the support of our golfers and sponsors is critical to attracting these high-caliber students.”

Registration for the golf outing and event sponsorship are still available. The recommended registration deadline is May 9. Sponsorship information or tournament registration is available by contacting Barb Bogard with the SIU Foundation at 618/453-4914.

Bergman and Kabat are two of the current SIU Carbondale Chancellor Academic Scholarship recipients, and for both, the scholarships play an integral role in their current success and in what each hopes to accomplish. Bergman, a junior from Quincy, is a 2009 recipient. She is majoring in zoology with a minor in chemistry; her field of interest is marine biology with an emphasis on public outreach.

The scholarship enables her to “submerse myself in a passion that stretches far to the coast,” Bergman said.

The scholarship “has allowed me to pursue my true interest in marine biology,” she said. “Without the financial burdens of college, I was able to use my funds to travel to Gloucester, Mass., and intern for The Whale Center of New England, where I collected behavioral data on humpback whales and educated the public on the species and its conservation.

“This opportunity allowed me to learn about my field outside of the classroom and showed me that my true passion lies in educating the public about the creatures I love,” she said.

The University’s most prestigious scholarship covers in-state tuition, mandatory fees and double-occupancy room and board for four years. The competitive scholarship is worth approximately $80,000, and is renewable for all four years as long as students maintain at least a 3.0 cumulative grade point average.

Kabat, also a 2009 recipient from Scheller, is a junior majoring in physiology with a minor in chemistry. He is interested in medical research, particularly oncology or cardiac care, and hopes to attend medical school to earn a Doctor of Medicine degree. Kabat is considering applying for National Institutes of Health-accredited Medical Scientist Training Programs to earn both an M.D. and doctorate to pursue clinical research.

Earning the scholarship “has been and continues to be critical to my success,” he said. “Being recognized and rewarded for being a scholar has motivated me to give my best effort in the classroom as a student and a model citizen for the community.”

Success in the classroom and in the community is a common theme among chancellor scholarship recipients. Three previous recipients — Lee Stewart, Jessica Stout and Jordan Kabat — earned national honors last week with their selection to the annual USA Today All-USA College Academic Team. Only 60 students nationwide earn the honor each year.

Many scholarship recipients also regularly earn the University’s “25 Most Distinguished Seniors” honor.

Approximately 100 scholarship semifinalists participated in interviews in February. The graduating high school seniors who comprise the 2012-2013 Chancellor Scholarship class will be at the golf outing to meet participants.

“This tournament is about the students,” said Bryan C. Vagner, assistant vice chancellor with the SIU Foundation. “This money is used to recruit the best and the brightest students to SIU Carbondale. Participants tell me this tournament is one of the best that they attend.”

710 Bookstore and Attitude Designs is an event sponsor. Randy Johnson, the general manager, said the scholarship highlights the University’s success. The business looked to provide something with a positive campus impact and the tournament sponsorship is a good fit, he said.

“There is nothing that affects us more than enrollment,” he said. “This event fits what we were looking for in two ways — providing financial support for students and providing a way to bring quality students to campus.”

Brock Kabat, the son of Mark and Lori Kabat of Scheller, chose SIU Carbondale over St. Louis University due to the scholarship’s financial aid, more research opportunities, and family tradition. He is the third generation to attend SIU Carbondale.

He is president of Scholars United in Making Major Impacts a Tradition (SUMMIT), a registered student organization for all presidential-chancellor scholars. He is also vice president of Kappa Alpha Order, a Greek social fraternity, and entertainment chair of “Up ‘til Dawn,” a collegiate fund-raising arm of St. Jude Children’s Research Hospital.

Kabat notes the University offers many great research opportunities to students interested in pursuing them. He has worked in the School of Medicine’s physiology department for three years researching the role of forkhead transcription factors in pituitary development. His research looks to “uncover the role of proteins responsible for cell death in pituitary organogenesis.”

Bergman, the daughter of David and Susan Bergman of Quincy, plans to go to graduate school and study marine biology. Becoming a scholarship recipient was a goal of hers since she was a high school freshman, and the impetus for working hard for her grades and active involvement in high school, Bergman said.

“It shaped me to be a leader and make a difference through the talents I have been given,” she said. “Seeing my actions and hard work pay off gave me such satisfaction and taught me that I can accomplish incredible things.”

She is involved in the Habitat for Humanity Collegiate Challenge Program and has spent time during spring break building homes for low-income families. She is vice president of the Wildlife Society-Zoology Club, which participates in the annual Crab Orchard National Wildlife Refuge clean-up day, as well as Green Earth Inc., which helps to rebuild and manage trails. She is also the SUMMIT secretary and volunteers for “Up ‘til Dawn” each year.

Bergman said she chose SIU Carbondale because of the zoology program and the opportunity to “learn first-hand from the outdoor classroom that this campus is a part of,” adding the important opportunity to learn from “esteemed faculty who have supported and guided my undergraduate career.”

“I knew that I was not only going to learn about zoology from books, but also from Thompson Woods and Campus Lake,” Bergman said. “It was everything I hoped for in an institution, a school that cared as much about its environment and the ecosystems it supported as I did.”

Awards honor 25 Distinguished Seniors, 2 juniors

CARBONDALE, Ill. — The SIU Alumni Association, the Student Alumni Council (SAC), and Southern Illinois University Carbondale Chancellor Rita Cheng will honor 25 seniors as part of the “25 Most Distinguished Seniors” program on April 14 at the Student Center.

In addition to presenting Distinguished Senior Awards to 25 standout SIU Carbondale students, two juniors will receive recognition for their contributions to the University through SAC’s Super Student Scholarship.

The program is at 6 p.m. in Student Center Ballroom D.

Initiated by the SIU Alumni Association and SAC — a registered student organization — the 25 Most Distinguished Seniors (MDS) program and the Super Student scholarship program recognize students who enrich the University community with their active involvement in all facets of campus life. Some of these activities include academic achievement, athletics, residential life, military service, Greek life, and registered student organizations. The group will be honored at the ceremony, with each distinguished senior receiving a complimentary one-year membership to the SIU Alumni Association from the Division of Institutional Advancement, and a plaque of recognition.

“Like our 25 Most Distinguished Seniors program, the Super Student Scholarship is one of SIU’s most prominent student recognitions and illustrates high standards of accomplishment,” said Tuesday Ashner, the Association’s director of student, college, and constituent relations. “The recipients are considered to be some of SIU’s brightest juniors and seniors, so competition each year is certainly intense. That makes it an arduous task for the selection committee.”

Graduating seniors applying for the MDS award must have a minimum grade point average of 3.0 and submit their transcript along with a detailed application. Applicants must also submit letters of recommendation supporting their candidacy as well as any other supporting documents. A committee of various representatives from the University selects the 25 students.

Eligibility requirements for the Super Student Scholarship include three criteria that applicants must meet. All applicants must be a full-time student with at least 70 completed credit hours, be actively involved in two registered student organizations, and hold a minimum 3.5 grade point average.

For more information, contact the SIU Alumni Association at 618/453-2408 or go to and

The recipients, their hometowns, their majors and minors, where listed, follow:

Super Student Scholarships Recipients


Scheller: Brock Kabat, psychology major in the College of Science; minor in chemistry.

Taylorville: Caitlin Moliske, physiology major in the College of Science; minors in chemistry and psychology.

25 Most Distinguished Senior Award Recipients


Alhambra: Kistalynn Raymond, agriculture education major in the College of Agricultural Sciences; minor in plant and soil sciences.

Arlington Heights: John Schumacher, speech communication — public relations major in the College of Liberal Arts; minors in marketing and journalism.

Belleville: Darlyshia Cherry, speech communications-public relations major in the College of Liberal Arts.

Bensenville: David Loska, aviation technologies major in the College of Applied Sciences and Arts; minors in economics and aerospace studies.

Brighton: Travis Healey, biomedical sciences major in the College of Science; minor in chemistry.

Chicago: Ari Weiss, double major in economics and political science in the College of Liberal Arts.

Crystal Lake: Jordan DiGrazia, double major in aviation management and aviation flight in the College of Applied Sciences and Arts; minor in Spanish.

Effingham: Nicole Haarmann, animal science, pre-veterinary medicine major in the College of Agricultural Sciences.

Hoyleton: Michael Small, biological science-pre-medicine major in the College of Science; minors in chemistry and psychology.

Kingston: Kimberly Elsenbroek, plant biology major in the College of Science.

Macomb: Makayla Trotter, geography and environmental resources major in the College of Liberal Arts; minor in French.

Marion: Caroline Ebelhar, management major in the College of Business.

Mattoon: Cameron James, management-entrepreneurship major in the College of Business.

Mount Vernon: Anthony Graham, anthropology major in the College of Liberal Arts; minor in sociology.

Northlake: Karla Avelar, criminology and criminal justice major in the College of Liberal Arts; minor in history.

O’Fallon: Daniel Dunbar, management major in the College of Business.

Raymond: Thomas Marten, general agriculture major in the college of Agricultural Sciences; minor in environmental studies.

Rolling Meadows: Lisa Dohn, computer engineering major in the College of Engineering; minor in mathematics.

St. Charles: Monica Bertrand, music education major in the College of Liberal Arts.

Staunton: Sarah Claytor, animal science, pre-veterinary major in the College of Agricultural Sciences; minor in chemistry.

Steeleville: Loran Luehr, human nutrition and dietetics major in the College of Agricultural Sciences.

Taylorville: Jessica Stout, physiology-pre-medicine major in the College of Science; minors in chemistry and psychology.


Windsor: Mallory Duran-Sellers, English — middle school education major in the College of Education and Human Services.


Ada: Mike McElroy, health education major in the College of Education and Human Services.


Dolyna: Yuri Fedorovich, physiology-pre-medicine major in the College of Science; minor in chemistry.

Association awards $15,000 in textbooks, supplies

CARBONDALE, Ill. — Thirty-five Southern Illinois University Carbondale students received more than $15,000 in textbooks and supplies from the SIU Alumni Association earlier this week.

The awards came during ceremonies Tuesday, Jan. 17, in the Student Center Ballrooms.

“The generosity of our alumni makes these awards possible,” Chancellor Rita Cheng said. “Many of them benefitted from much-needed assistance during their time as students. We hope that when these recipients have the opportunity, they too will support the students who follow in their footsteps.”

Ray Serati, president of the SIU Alumni Association, said, “Support of this kind is invaluable to many of our students, and we take great pride in providing such assistance again this year. Such financial support would not be possible without our members, who continue to help sponsor initiatives like this at our alma mater.”

In April 2008, the SIU Alumni Association’s national board allocated funds for investment, with the earnings earmarked to support the financial needs of current and future SIU Carbondale students. The Board’s scholarship committee, with the assistance of the University’s financial aid office, identified the need for textbooks and supplies as an area of extreme importance for student success, concluding the money could best be used to fill this type of gap that often occurs in student funding.

The SIU Carbondale financial aid office identified students using criteria that include a minimum 3.0 grade point average and a demonstration of financial need. The University’s International Programs and Services office assisted in identifying international students to receive the award. Students are chosen based upon their academic success and demonstrated SIU Carbondale alumni family legacy.

The allocation of funds helps demonstrate the alumni association’s continued commitment to students, and serves to also assist the University in its ongoing retention efforts, said Michelle Suarez, alumni association executive director.

“I know that supporting current and future SIU students is something that gives many of our Association members great satisfaction,” Suarez said. “Such textbook awards serve as a great example of how fellow Salukis help others follow in their footsteps.”

Scholarship will benefit pre-veterinary students

By Greg Scott

CARBONDALE, Ill. — A scholarship endowment has been created to honor a man who practiced veterinary medicine for 40 years.

Students at Southern Illinois University Carbondale pursuing a degree in pre-veterinary medicine can apply for the Dr. and Mrs. Carl McDowell Case and Mr. and Mrs. Victor Le Gout Scholarship. Preference will be given to students who graduated from a high school in the Illinois counties of Lawrence, Richland, Crawford and Wabash. If no student qualifies from these counties, the award will be open to all applicants.

Recipients must attain at least junior status in the pre-veterinary track program, offered through the SIU Carbondale College of Science. They must have at least a 3.5 grade point average. Two $3,000 scholarships will be presented annually.

Catherine LeGout, a former beautician and resident of Sumner, initially decided to establish the endowment in honor of her late father, Carl Case. The award also includes the name of her late husband, Victor, who worked as a steam welder; and pays homage to the wives of both men.

“I became familiar with SIU Carbondale and its academic programs through WSIU-TV. It is a good school with a quality pre-veterinary program,” she says. “My father devoted his career to this field. It just seemed appropriate to have something at SIU in his name.”

Chancellor Rita Cheng expressed appreciation for the endowment on behalf of the University.

“We are honored that Mrs. LeGout selected our University for this very meaningful and very generous endowment,” Cheng said. “We are grateful for her confidence in our program and for her commitment to helping our students achieve their dreams.”

Jay C. Means, dean of the College of Science, says LeGout’s support will assist the University in recruiting quality students to its program.

“By establishing this scholarship fund, Mrs. LeGout is not only fostering support of deserving students in our pre-veterinary medicine program, she is honoring her parents and husband, which serves as a wonderful tribute to her loved ones. Veterinary school admissions are extremely competitive and scholarship support options are essential in attracting and keeping high-caliber students. Individuals like Mrs. LeGout make this possible. SIU Carbondale’s pre-veterinary medicine program will benefit greatly from her generosity.”

Jeff Lorber, associate vice chancellor for institutional advancement and executive director of development for the SIU Foundation, says: “This scholarship endowment is a wonderful gesture on behalf of Catherine LeGout. It serves as a fitting tribute to her family as these funds will support the educational endeavors of students who aspire to follow in Mr. Case’s footsteps. We are greatly appreciative of Mrs. LeGout’s desire to support pre-veterinary students at Southern Illinois University Carbondale.”

Project benefits engineering students, Caterpillar

by Tim Crosby

CARBONDALE, Ill. — A group of engineering students from Southern Illinois University Carbondale is helping a major heavy equipment manufacturer improve its factory floor layout.

The students, who are members of the Leadership Development Program at SIU Carbondale, worked with Caterpillar Inc. on its factory in Corinth, Miss. Advance Technology Services, the company that is responsible for maintenance and operations at the plant, sponsored the project. Dick Blaudow, an SIU Carbondale engineering alumnus who, along with his wife, Brigitte, founded the Leadership Development Program at the University, heads ATS.

Last semester, a group of 16 aspiring engineers participated in the project, which tested not only what they learned in their engineering majors, but also how quickly they could learn and grow as a new team, said Bruce DeRuntz, professor of technology and director of the Leadership Development Program in SIU Carbondale’s College of Engineering.

“If they could learn to work as a highly efficient team and apply leadership skills that have taught in the Leadership Development Program, they could succeed in accomplishing the challenging project objective,” DeRuntz said.

The project involved reorganizing two manufacturing “cells,” or specialized areas of the factory floor where the company reconditions old engines into engines that are like-new again.

The team also was tasked with documenting a process that had no current operating procedures and improving customer relations.

The team worked long days — 13 to 14 hours each — to complete the project within a week’s time. DeRuntz said the Leadership Development Program exceeded the expectations of those involved.

The team successfully improved the company’s manufacturing efficiency and eliminated operational waste, DeRuntz said. Team members did so by employing lean manufacturing techniques studied in engineering classes at SIU Carbondale. Lean manufacturing refers to techniques that improve an organization’s efficiency.

“We have all said to ourselves, ‘If I could just reorganize my workspace, kitchen or garage, I could be much more productive,’” DeRuntz said. “This same idea has been applied to manufacturing to the tenth power. If there is something on the floor that is not part of the process, it will be thrown away that day.”

Kaleb Schwartz, a senior in industrial technology from Winnebago, and a project manager for the Leadership Development Project, said the experience was invaluable.

“This experience was one that I’ll never forget,” he said. “I got to see a team evolve and perform at levels that were unimaginable.”

A side benefit of the project involved Advanced Technology Services making a cash donation to the Leadership Development Program that will in turn be divided among the Registered Student Organizations in the College of Engineering represented by the team members.

“During these tough budgetary times, the Leadership Development Program has shown that they will elevate the College of Engineering’s RSOs by using their own hard work and technical knowledge,” DeRuntz said.

Alex Watson, a senior in electrical engineering from Eldorado, said he was proud of the way the team came together on the project.

“I would have never believed that a group of new students could come together in such a short amount of time and accomplish so much,” he said. “We really learned how to work together as a team and the fundamentals of good leadership. I’m very excited to be part of a program that is going to teach me not only how to be a student leader, but also a technical leader in my career.”

Additional team members included:

  • Tyler Budde, a senior in engineering technology from Mason
  • Nicholas Culbreth, a senior in mining engineering from Benton
  • Dylan Noble, a senior in computer engineering from Anna
  • Jared Pfeiffer, a senior in industrial technology from Findlay
  • Brett Probst, a senior in mechanical engineering from Effingham
  • Jerrod Turner, a senior in music from Anna
  • Michael Uphoff, a junior in industrial technology from Bloomington
  • Lauren Adams, a senior in computer engineering from Hazel Crest
  • Maxwell Burke, a senior in industrial technology from Du Quoin
  • Jaycen Herndon, a senior in civil engineering from Potomac
  • Branden Littlejohn, a senior in engineering technology from Stoy
  • Eric Shackmann, a senior in mechanical engineering from Newton
  • Coraviece Terry, a graduated senior in electrical engineering from Mounds
  • Reynolds scholarship will benefit music students

    by Emily Hunsaker

    CARBONDALE, Ill. –The Larry Reynolds Memorial Scholarship is open to new and returning students studying music at SIU Carbondale. Preference will be given to graduates of Herrin High School who are incoming freshmen or current students. If no Herrin High School graduates are available, preference will be given to transfer students from John A. Logan College. The scholarship will be awarded annually.

    “Mr. Reynolds was a very important part of the School of Music’s staff. The impact he made during his many years of service is immeasurable,” Jeanine Wagner, director of the School of Music, said. “He touched the lives of many students through his work and his involvement in extracurricular activities.”

    Reynolds was a beloved employee who was held in high regard in the School of Music. An avid musician himself, he sponsored music fraternities and made regular appearances in student jam sessions. His wife, Judy, and children, Paul and Julie, hope that through this scholarship he will be remembered for his commitment to music and education.

    “We wanted to establish this scholarship so Larry could live on in the School of Music,” Judy Reynolds said. “He was very involved with the students in the school, and was also very talented. He could play a little on any instrument. But he loved to play the banjo.”

    With the family’s strong ties to SIU Carbondale and southern Illinois, Reynolds wanted the scholarship to benefit local students.

    “Our children graduated from Herrin High School, John A. Logan and SIU Carbondale,” Reynolds said. “We decided on the scholarship stipulations based on these connections.”

    Paul Reynolds is a 1997 engineering graduate. Julie (Reynolds) Patrick earned her degree from the College of Education and Human Services in 2001.

    “Mr. Reynolds and his family clearly treasured their time at SIU Carbondale. Through this endowment, his family strengthens his legacy,” Jeff Lorber, associate vice chancellor for institutional advancement and executive director of development for the SIU Foundation, said. “By establishing this scholarship fund, the Reynolds family is investing in the future of our area students.”

    Ashley endowed professorships announced

    by Christi Mathis

    CARBONDALE, Ill. — Southern Illinois University Carbondale’s Rehabilitation Institute recently named the recipients of the inaugural Dr. Mark and Susan Ashley Endowed Professorship of Audiology and Dr. Mark and Susan Ashley Endowed Professorship of Speech Pathology.

    The professorships bear the names of alumni Mark and Sue Ashley and the recipients are Sandie M. Bass-Ringdahl and Kenneth O. Simpson. The Ashleys recently provided funding to endow the professorships.

    “Mark and Susan Ashley have expressed a great deal of appreciation for the education they received at SIU Carbondale. Their support demonstrates a desire to afford students who follow them with that same opportunity. It also provides the University with resources to recognize outstanding professors who are mentoring our young people. We are honored by the generosity exhibited by Mark and Susan Ashley,” said Jeff Lorber, associate vice chancellor for institutional advancement and executive director of development for the SIU Foundation.

    Bass-Ringdahl and Simpson recently received $5,000 with the funds earmarked for research, professional development and travel. Bass-Ringdahl is an assistant professor of audiology while Simpson is an associate professor of speech pathology.

    “We are very pleased to provide this important support to the University and the Rehabilitation Institute. SIU has a proud and rich tradition in both education and clinical interventions for people with disabilities. Our career success derives from our experiences at SIU and it is only fitting that we enable these professorships,” Mark Ashley said.

    Ashley earned his master’s degree in speech pathology at SIU Carbondale and while a graduate student, worked at the Center for Comprehensive Services. After graduation, he founded the Centre for Neuro Skills (CNS) in 1980 in Bakersfield, Calif., continuing his work providing services to people with brain injuries. He is currently president. Susan Ashley, vice president of the Centre for Neuro Skills, also earned her master’s degree in communication disorders and sciences at SIU Carbondale.

    According to John J. Benshoff, interim dean of the College of Education and Human Services, the endowment allowed the college to attract Bass-Ringdahl to the faculty, opening a new dimension at the Center for Communication Disorders, as well as to provide a stipend to Simpson for his leadership and work.

    Carl Flowers, acting director of the Rehabilitation Institute, said Bass-Ringdahl and Simpson are the first endowed professorships for the College of Education and Human Services.

    “Mark and Susan’s support of the Rehabilitation Institute, in the form of the endowed professorships, is very much appreciated by the college as well as by the Rehabilitation Institute faculty, staff and students,” Flowers said.

    Bass-Ringdahl earned her doctorate in speech and hearing science in 2002 at the University of Iowa. She earned a master’s degree in audiology from Louisiana State University and a bachelor’s degree in speech pathology and audiology from the University of Florida. Before joining the SIU Carbondale faculty, she held a number of teaching and research positions at the University of Iowa between 1998 and 2011, most recently as an assistant professor in communication sciences and disorders.

    She previously held positions in audiology as well and is a licensed audiologist in Iowa. Her research interests include early speech development in young children with hearing loss, cochlear implants and early identification and intervention for those with hearing impairment.

    Simpson holds a doctorate in speech/language pathology from the University of Nebraska in 1995. He earned his master’s degree in communication disorders and sciences and his bachelor’s degree in psychology education at the University of South Dakota. He joined the faculty at SIU Carbondale in 1994.

    Simpson was the Rehabilitation Institute’s Teacher of the Year in 1998 and is program director for both the undergraduate and graduate communication disorders and sciences programs. Prior to joining the SIU Carbondale faculty, Simpson was a public school speech/language pathologist for 12 years in Iowa. He is a certified speech-language pathologist and his primary research interests include augmentative and alternative communication, interaction analysis and the social use of language by those with severe expressive communication impairment.

    The Ashleys now have three CNS facilities in California and Texas, employing hundreds of people with clientele from a wide area. A few years ago, the CNS clinical research and education foundation began its efforts toward the furtherance of brain injury research efforts. The Ashley professorships are but the latest example of the commitment the couple has to its alma mater. Each year an outstanding Communication Disorders and Sciences graduate student in the College of Education and Human Services receives the Mark and Sue Ashley Scholarship during the Guy A. Renzaglia Lecture and Rehabilitation Awards Ceremony in late spring.

    In addition, Mark Ashley has published jointly with a number of University faculty members while CNS has also offered internships and post-doctoral fellowships to SIU Carbondale students. In addition, there have been joint research efforts between CNS and University faculty and students.

    SIU Carbondale awarded Ashley an honorary doctorate of science in 2002 and he earned recognition as the Distinguished Alumnus of the Year in 1995 from the Rehabilitation Institute’s Communication Disorders and Sciences Program. He serves on the Brain Injury Association of America’s board of directors were he is immediate past chair and part of the Chairman’s Circle. He is also chair of the California Brain Injury Association’s board of directors.

    Simon Institute unveils Alexander Lane Internship

    by Pete Rosenbery

    CARBONDALE, Ill. — As the first African American male student at what would become Southern Illinois University Carbondale, Alexander Lane was definitely a trailblazer and a change agent.

    Lane rose from meager beginnings in pre-Civil War Mississippi to become a school principal, physician, and an Illinois state legislator, in addition to attending Southern Illinois Normal University.

    To honor Lane’s legacy, the Paul Simon Public Policy Institute today (Nov. 16) announced the Alexander Lane Internship Program. The paid internship will allow at least one student each spring to work with a minority member of the Illinois General Assembly toward a goal of carrying on Lane’s legacy of high achievement and public service.

    “Not only is Alexander Lane an important, and overlooked, part of SIU history, but he serves as a role model for our students today,” said David Yepsen, Institute director. “To come from his humble beginnings in the post-Civil War south to then graduate college and become a medical and political leader in Illinois is an impressive story that needs to be told. An internship in his honor will be a living legacy for him that can inspire and help our students — and provide a service to the community and policy makers today.”

    The Institute is more than halfway to raising the $150,000 for the endowed internship. The first internship award will likely be in spring 2013, said Matt Baughman, Institute associate director.

    Baughman directed the Institute’s research into Lane’s life earlier this year after he visited a presentation during Black History Month at Morris Library and learned there was still much to discover about Lane.

    “I was immediately drawn to the Alexander Lane story and moved by the idea our University could have such an impressive and compelling account of its first black male student that was just waiting to be widely shared,” Baughman said.

    The celebration of the history of diversity at SIU Carbondale included information on Lane, who lived in Tamaroa when he enrolled in the teachers college in 1876, just two years after instruction at Southern Illinois Normal University began. Historian Pamela A. Smoot, a clinical assistant professor at SIU Carbondale, along with students Michara T. Canty, and Andrew S. Barbero as research assistants, spent several months looking into Lane’s life and legacy. The Institute will release Smoot’s paper on Lane’s life in the coming weeks.

    During her research, Smoot found varying dates for when Lane was born. Lane died Nov. 11, 1911, in Chicago. He is buried in Oakland Cemetery in Carbondale with his wife, Isabelle Holland, whom Lane met while a University student.

    “He is one of SIU’s success stories whose story has not been told,” Smoot said. “He deserves his rightful place in SIU’s history, the history of the state of Illinois, and the medical profession.”

    Lane’s history also is important for the University, she said.

    “It speaks to the fact that Southern Illinois Normal University engaged in diversity almost at its inception. From the mid-19th century through today, diversity is still a part of SIU Carbondale.”

    Lane was the third African American student to enroll at the University; two females enrolled earlier, although their names are unknown.

    Smoot’s research included Morris Library’s Special Collections Research Center, in addition to trips to Lane’s hometown in Durant, Miss., and Chicago, where Lane’s granddaughter and great-grandson now live. They also went to Springfield and worked with the Abraham Lincoln Presidential Library and Museum, Illinois State Library, and the Legislative Research Unit, in addition to the Chicago Public Library’s Woodson Regional Library, and historical societies in Chicago and Perry County.

    Records indicate there were only 10 free blacks in Holmes County, Miss., while Lane was a child, and Smoot believes Lane was born into slavery. As a youngster, Lane spent time around a nearby Union Army camp, where he befriended a Union Army colonel, she said. The colonel, whose last name is Lyons, stayed in Mississippi during the early years of Reconstruction and asked Lane’s mother if he could take her young son when he returned to Illinois. Lane’s mother agreed to the proposal on the promise her son would receive an education, Smoot said.

    The mother’s decision to allow her child to leave is poignant, Smoot said. Lane’s mother didn’t know whether she would see or hear from her son again, or whether the colonel would keep his promise of providing her son an education. During that time many former slaves would apprentice their children to others, and included education as part of the agreement, Smoot said.

    “In her heart she really believed it would be better for him than being in Mississippi,” Smoot said.

    The colonel returned to Southern Illinois, and met Joseph B. Curlee, a “substantial landowner” in Tamaroa, Smoot said. The colonel allowed Curlee and his wife, Margaret, to raise Lane as part of their own family, and Lane worked as a servant and farm laborer. Lane’s obituary notes he had two brothers, and Smoot believes that was a reference to the Curlees’ two sons. Curlee was also a Civil War veteran.

    “In one document I have it clearly says they were raised as brothers,” she said.

    After attending Southern Illinois Normal University, Lane became the first principal of the black Carbondale primary school, later known as Attucks School. He moved to Chicago and graduated in 1895 from Rush Medical College, and then established his medical practice, becoming a prominent physician on the city’s south side, Smoot said. In 1906, Lane became the ninth African American elected to the Illinois General Assembly, and was re-elected in 1908.

    A preference is that internship recipients are minority students. Internship recipients can major in any discipline. According to the Institute, interns will work with a member of the General Assembly’s black caucus on a variety of topics and assignments, which include reviewing and analyzing legislation, researching issues for proposed legislation, attending policy briefings and committee hearings, and establishing contacts with state agencies and other legislative offices “to develop a full understanding of how state government works to meet the needs of the public.”

    The internship will provide students opportunities that embody Lane’s legacy, said Smoot, who speaks of Lane as a “change agent.”

    “The internship program will be a wonderful tribute to Alexander Lane,” she said. “I’m hoping students will appreciate having such an opportunity to represent this icon that at some point, they will be interested enough to pursue a political career.”

    Baughman said it was particularly fitting, given Paul Simon’s dedication to civil rights and diversity issues, that the Simon Institute hosts the Alexander Lane Internship.

    “Paul Simon would have loved the Alexander Lane story,” Baughman said. “A major factor of his decision to create the institute at SIU Carbondale was to work with students who were first generation, disadvantaged or minorities.”

    Donors can join the Alexander Lane Internship Founding Members Club by making a major gift or pledge by Dec. 31, 2011. Contributions of any amount are welcome and those making gifts by the end of the year will be considered a special part of the Alexander Lane Internship Endowment. More information on the internship endowment drive and the program is available at

    Endowment to benefit microbiology grad students

    by Greg Scott

    CARBONDALE, Ill. — A retired microbiology professor who received initial inspiration for his research work from mentors at Southern Illinois University Carbondale has decided to return the favor at his alma mater.

    Jnanendra Kumar Bhattacharjee, a graduate student in SIU Carbondale’s Department of Microbiology, 1961-1965, studied yeast genetics under the guidance of the late Carl Lindegren, a professor and department chair at the University. Bhattacharjee credits Lindegren for laying the groundwork for a distinguished career in which he conducted yeast genetics research for 45 years.

    In appreciation for his experience at SIU Carbondale, Bhattacharjee, and his wife, Tripti, have established the Dr. Jnanendra K. and Tripti Bhattacharjee Endowment to support various endeavors of SIU Carbondale’s microbiology graduate students.

    “The educational and research opportunities I received at SIU Carbondale were invaluable. And consequently, the professional success and accomplishments I’ve enjoyed occurred as a result of that experience,” Bhattacharjee says. “Additionally, my wife and I were quite impressed with the wonderful hospitality and the advances in the microbiology department during our visit to campus.

    “Therefore, establishing this endowment presented me with an opportunity to give back to the department so that other graduate students can receive the same opportunities and encouragement that benefited me.”

    Doug Fix, chair of the SIU Carbondale biology and microbiology department, says the endowment will provide funds for professional development activities. It will support graduate students interested in attending major conferences, which enables them to present their research and meet fellow researchers in the field to discuss future employment possibilities.

    “Dr. Bhattacharjee has always been a contributor to the microbiology program. We are particularly grateful to him for providing this support for our graduate students,” Fix says. “And most recently, we are honored by his incredibly generous donation that has created a new endowment. The proceeds from this endowment will allow us to provide our graduate students with opportunities that have become increasingly difficult in these uncertain financial times when state and federal funding seem limited or dwindling. This is one of the most important ways we can help our students succeed and we thank Dr. Bhattacharjee for making this possible.”

    Jeff Lorber, associate vice chancellor for institutional advancement and executive director of development for the SIU Foundation, says: “Dr. Bhattacharjee clearly treasures his experience at this institution and is pleased with the advances in its microbiology department. He values the mentors who guided him along the way, and aspires to support the educational and professional endeavors of young people who follow him.”

    Bhattacharjee, a professor emeritus of microbiology at Miami University in Oxford, Ohio, and a fellow of the American Academy of Microbiology, received his doctorate in microbiology from SIU Carbondale in 1965. He subsequently conducted postdoctoral research under the late Murray Strassman at the Albert Einstein Medical Center in Philadelphia, and ascended to assistant member, 1966-1968. Bhattacharjee joined Miami’s faculty in 1968, where he mentored a large number of undergraduate, M.S., Ph.D. students, and postdoctoral fellows until his retirement in 2005.

    Bhattacharjee’s career is highlighted by numerous published research articles, several U.S. patents, grants, awards, honors, and memberships in professional organizations. A life member of the SIU Alumni Association, Bhattacharjee is grateful for his experience at SIU Carbondale.

    “The University presented me with outstanding opportunities. I’m forever grateful to Dr. and Mrs. Lindegren, who were both scientists; other SIU Carbondale microbiology professors, and President and Mrs. Delyte Morris, as well as foreign students advisor Ms. Mary Wakeland who provided a welcoming environment for international students,” he says. “My successful family and professional life really goes back to the education and experiences I received at SIU.

    “I relish that period in my life. I have a great deal of gratitude and I’m humble for the experience.”

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