Belleville woman in running for Eisenhower Fellowship program

News-DemocratAugust 20, 2013 

Belleville resident Crystal Herron was selected as a finalist for the prestigious Eisenhower Fellowship program. Herron, the dean of academic affairs at Ranken Technical College in St. Louis, recently participated in the fellowship's interview process with 10 business leaders from the St. Louis area.

The program's mission is to identify, empower and connect individuals from around the world for the sole purpose of creating peaceful relationships, giving up-and-coming leaders the chance to network with influential corporate and government leaders.

"This opportunity would provide me with the chance of a lifetime to travel outside the country and meet important people known for their contributions and work in a specific area," Herron said. "It would give me a chance to engage leaders in conversations about their successes and failures, and hopefully I can share in and glean knowledge from the lessons they have learned."

Herron will find out next month if she receives the fellowship.

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The Steelworkers Organization of Active Retirees Chapter, based in Granite City, recently awarded a $2,000 scholarship to Rebekah A. Grooms, granddaughter of Larry and Cookie Grooms of Granite City, and daughter of Patty and Larry Wayne Grooms. One scholarship is awarded each year to a grandchild of a member based on an essay contest.

Several essay topics are chosen by a committee, and one of them is chosen at random on the day of the contest. Each candidate must be prepared to write on any of the possible topics. Rebekah's essay focused on the Taft-Hartley Act of 1947. The essays are submitted to neutral judges, not members of SOAR, and a winner is selected.

Rebekah plans to study Southern Illinois University Edwardsville and major in criminal justice. She has aspirations to work for the FBI.

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Belleville East High School's band rolled out the welcome Friday for the incoming freshmen on their first day of school. The freshmen were met at the base of the walkway to enter the high school by members of the marching band.

As each bus of freshmen arrived, the band played a verse of the school song followed by a drum interlude and another verse of the song. The band color guard raised parade flags as a salute to the freshmen.

Freshmen band members were excused from this performance so they could be welcomed to the school.

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About 700 Southern Illinois University Edwardsville students participated in four community service projects on Saturday as part of the SIUE Experience.

The four projects included: Greenwood Cemetery, a historical African-American cemetery in North St. Louis; Watershed Nature Center in Edwardsville; Granite City Community Garden; and Sunshine Cultural Arts Center in East St. Louis.

The SIUE Experience allows freshmen to make connections with the university and each other. Activities began with move-in on Thursday and continued throughout the weekend. Some of the events included the chancellor's welcome and playfair, the class of 2017 photo by the Cougar statue and the Cougar kickoff at Korte Stadium.

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SIUE Chancellor Julie Furst-Bowe appointed Bill Retzlaff as NCAA Faculty Athletics Representative for the Department of Intercollegiate Athletics.

Retzlaff succeeds John Meisel who served as the University's Faculty Athletics Representative since 1979. The representative serves as a faculty voice, ensuring balance between academics and athletics for the benefit of the student-athlete, and plays a key role in administering NCAA policies at local and national levels.

Retzlaff is a tenured professor of biological sciences and serves as one of the three associate deans in the College of Arts and Sciences.

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