A Message from the Dean

Welcome to the April edition of This Month in CAS!  The end of the academic year becomes hectic for so many of us, and this is certainly true for the dean’s office, so my apologies for this tardy publication of April’s TMIC.

Our faculty have, once again, received recognition of their excellence with some of SIUE’s top honors.  Dr. Sandra Weissinger from Sociology has been named the SIUE Teaching Excellence Award winner.  The Teaching Excellence award is the top teaching prize within the university and recognizes faculty who provide truly transformative and inspirational educational experiences for our students.   This well-deserved honor highlights Dr.Weissinger work  concerning critical inquiry into our society’s continuing conversations into  race, class, gender and sexual orientation, and her skill as an educator bringing these important topics into the classroom.

CAS faculty, of course, excel in research, as well. Dr. Gregory Fields from Philosophy is our newest Distinguished Research Professor within the College, achieving the university’s highest academic rank.  This prestigious designation honors significant contributions in scholarship and creative activity, and focuses the spotlight on Dr. Field’s work in Native American Studies and the digital Humanities.  In addition, Dr. Mark Hildebrandt from Geography has been selected as a candidate to the prestigious Fulbright Specialist Roster of the U.S Department of State’s Bureau of Educational and Cultural Affairs, and has received an invitation for a Fulbright Specialist appointment in Pakistan for this summer.

Providing our students exceptional educational opportunities is at heart of our College’s mission.  One of the richest pedagogical experiences we provide is access to some of the nation’s top working artists.  The last theater production of the academic year was a perfect example of this. Guest artist and award-winning playwright,  E.M. Lewis, collaborated with both the faculty and students in Theater  on The Great Divide: A Workshop Production.  I had the chance to discuss her work during a fascinating Segue episode that can be heard here.  Interestingly, Ms. Lewis came in with the sketch of a script, and with the help and input of our students and faculty, transformed and revised her initial ideas during a very dynamic process.  Talk about working without a net!  I had the opportunity to see the result on stage, and it was absolutely outstanding.

Not to be undone, our students were at the center of a recent extremely successful fundraising event for the Gardens of SIUE.  Four SIUE Applied Communication Studies (ACS) undergraduates helped coordinate the event as part of their senior assignment in the Public Relations track in ACS. The event was an outstanding success and I’m sure only the start of these student’s distinguished careers.

Until next (this?) month, here’s This Month in CAS!

Best wishes,

Greg Budzban

Dean of CAS College of Arts and Sciences Gregory Budzban

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