A Message from the Dean

Welcome to the February edition of This Month in CAS (TMIC). While the weather has been as variable as I can ever remember, the outstanding quality of the faculty, staff, and students of CAS remains constant through it all!

One of the true highlights of the month is our inaugural Lincoln Memorial Lecture. The Department of Historical Studies is pleased to welcome Dr. Edward L. Ayers, President Emeritus and Tucker-Boatwright Professor of the Humanities at the University of Richmond.  A finalist for the Pulitzer Prize and the National Book award, Professor Ayers was the Carnegie Foundation’s National Professor of the Year in 2003, and was awarded a National Humanities Medal by President Barack Obama in 2013. The lecture will be held on Wednesday, Feb. 28, at 5:30 p.m. in the Abbott Auditorium of Lovejoy Library on the SIUE campus and is free and open to the public.

Both new and incoming faculty are highlighted in this issue of TMIC. Our  new faculty spotlight falls on Robert Aspholm, PhD, assistant professor in the Department of Social Work, who has been awarded a STEP grant to research street gangs and violence in the St. Louis Area. Robert is also co-PI on a federal grant with a community group to do violence prevention in East St. Louis beginning this spring.  Read more about this important work in TMIC.

In addition, we are so pleased that poet Tiana Clark will join our faculty next year, as we introduce our new Master’s of Fine Arts in creative writing beginning Fall 2018.  The winner of the 2017 Furious Flower’s Gwendolyn Brooks Centennial Poetry Prize, 2016 Academy of American Poets University Prize and 2015 Rattle Poetry Prize, Clark is currently the 2017-2018 Jay C. and Ruth Halls Poetry Fellow at the Wisconsin Institute of Creative Writing.

Our students continue to excel.  David Fournie, a performance student in the SIUE Department of Music, was the recipient of an Encouragement Award in the Metropolitan Opera National Council St. Louis District Auditions. The MET Opera National Council is the most prestigious competition in the United States for young singers, and this award puts David on the national map.  You can also read about senior mass communications major Marissa Williams. Williams, a Chicago native, has been at the center of campus activities this month. She is the chair of the SIUE Campus Activities Board’s Black Heritage Month tradition, with this year’s theme being it’s “A Different World.”

Our alumni continue to make us proud as well! SIUE Theater and Dance alum Alex C. Moore was recently awarded the 2018 Judith Rethwisch Outstanding Theater Educator Award.  Students nominated Moore with support from Mehlville High School and District Administration. The Committee considered all nominations from across the state, with Moore being the youngest in the state to receive the award.

Finally, you can read about the work of our Strategic Plan Committee.  Last Fall, I convened a committee to help CAS develop a new strategic plan.  Jen Rehg, our incoming associate dean, chairs the committee, and I hope everyone will provide input to this important process as together we envision our future.  TMIC will update this process as we move forward.

Looking forward to Spring!

Greg Budzban

Dean of CAS College of Arts and Sciences Gregory Budzban

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