A Message from the Dean

Welcome to the Summer 2019 issue of This Month in CAS!  It took awhile for the hot, summer weather to arrive, but arrive it did, and with a vengeance.  As someone who grew up in Florida, I actually don’t mind the heat.  The third floor of Peck gets too cold for my taste, and the warmth of the sun is invigorating to me, instead of enervating.

Speaking of Peck Hall, have you stopped in the CAS Dean’s Suite recently? Navigate your way to the 3409 hallway and you will find Art and Design student Anne Morgan’s recent body of artwork hanging there.  Inspired by the fossilized specimens that normally populate the walls, the work evokes wonder and discovery and is a beautifully creative addition to the suite.

Summer can be a great time for creativity.  Once again, Southern Illinois University Edwardsville’s Summer Writing Day Camp has helped to nurture the creativity of students from our region. Now in its 37th year, the camp has provided an opportunity for youth to develop basic writing skills and participate in a full and vigorous recreational program.

Our faculty and students continue to be active over the summer!  Geospatial technology is increasingly being incorporated in our daily lives. Associate Professor and Chair of the Department of Geography, Dr. Susan Hume, co-organized the St. Louis Regional Women in Geospatial Technology Summit with Mollie Webb, GIS Programmer and Instructor at Washington University and President of the Society of Woman Geographers.

In an era of sharing news on social media platforms and with the credibility of news being questioned all around the world, how do we sort through and determine what is credible news and what is disinformation? Associate Professor in the Department of Mass Communications, Undrah Baasanjav, has been in Mongolia for research on her project, “News Resources and Information Credibility for Educational, Media, and Not-for-Profit Organizations in Mongolia.”

Assistant professor in the Department of Biological Sciences, Dr. Suzanne DiSalvo has been studying host-microbe interactions for over 6 years. Now undergraduate student, Colleen Wagner has stepped into the lab to initiate her own study. Wagner was recently awarded a fellowship for $4,000 through the American Society for Microbiology (ASM). The fellowship provides students an opportunity to conduct research for 10 weeks during the summer and attend ASM Microbe to present their research results.

Fall will be here before we know it, and as we prepare to usher in a new semester at Southern Illinois University Edwardsville, professors like Dr. Brittany F. Peterson in Biological Sciences will be carrying their summertime work over into the academic year. Peterson’s research interests lie in understanding the symbiotic interactions and adaptive traits in host organisms like termites have with bacteria in their guts but recently, she has also been working on a new study to characterize the microbiome of locusts.

It’s always great to hear about our graduates who go on to great success, and it’s even better when they bring that success back home! Look no further than Hannah Lukowski and Ali Rauch, two alumnae of Applied Communication Studies (then Speech Communications) of SIUE who recently celebrated the grand opening of the restaurant chain, Chicken Salad Chick, in Edwardsville, Illinois.  If you are looking for a summer lunch possibility, give it a try! If I don’t see you, have a great rest of the summer!

We’ll be back in the Fall on our regular monthly schedule. Until then, here’s a summertime This Month in CAS!

Best wishes,


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