A Message from the Dean

Welcome to the May 2019 issue of This Month in CAS!  Finals are here and commencement is right around the corner.  It’s a time for celebrations of accomplishment, and the faculty, staff, and students of CAS have much to celebrate, indeed.

Congratulations to Dr. Alicia Alexander, professor in the Department of Applied Communication Studies.  Governor JB Pritzker recently hosted a Women’s History Month celebration at the Capitol honoring the work of women leaders across the state. Among the state’s important leaders, Dr. Alexander was recognized for her work as a professor and for her non-profit work, Support the Girls.  Congratulations also goes to Dr. Erik Alexander, associate professor in the Department of Historical Studies, being awarded the Teaching Distinction Award. The award recognizes faculty for their excellence in teaching throughout the year and recipients are chosen based on nominations by the department and students.

You can also read about the work of University Museum Executive Curator, Erin Vigneau-Dimick, who has been busy “stitching together” a curated exhibit spanning a century of American handwork. The exhibit entitled Pieced, included an assemblage of quilts from 1860-1960 and was recently on display at the Edwardsville Arts Center.

Our students continue to be a wonderful source of pride.  Read about Alex Bailey, a graduate student in the Department of Art and Design who will complete her Master of Fine Arts in ceramics this May. Before completion of her degree, she was offered a two-month residency at the Caetani Cultural Centre in Vernon, British Columbia. Scaling up in size and significance, she was also recently commissioned by the University of Southern Indiana (USI) for $25,000 to create a large-scale installation which she will begin production of this summer.

Our “Day in the Life of a Student” spotlight falls on Dylynn Otte, a junior at SIUE, who is a student-athlete on our NCAA Division I Women’s volleyball team. Originally from Grand Rapids, Michigan, Otte chose SIUE in part because of the University’s overall size remarking, “SIUE is not too small or too big, it is just right. I know I am not just a number here and that is important to me.”

We are always on the lookout for possibilities to provide novel academic experiences for our students and a recent development provides a new venue. This Spring, a farmstead located near Hettick, Illinois became available for students of SIUE. The area, known as Solomon Creek Farm, has been preserved since 1999 by landowners Trish and Rip, making it a unique place to experience an array of habitat types from wetlands to old growth forests. Professors in the Department of Biological Sciences–Dr. Kelly Barry, Dr. Rick Essner, and Dr. Kurt Schulz–took their classes there recently, each class studying different aspects of the farmstead, and reported back about the rich educational possibilities of the property.

If I don’t see you, have a great summer!  We’ll be back with one summer edition of news and notes. Until then, here’s This Month in CAS!


Best wishes,


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