SWIC gets $400K grant for AmeriCorps

News-DemocratMay 14, 2014 

U.S. Rep. Bill Enyart, D-Belleville, has announced that Southwestern Illinois College will receive a $401,089 grant from the Corporation for National and Community Service to benefit the Belleville AmeriCorps program.

"This funding will allow for 73 AmeriCorps members to specifically address and promote academic achievement for K through 8th grade students in Southern Illinois," Enyart said. "I'm proud to say that the Belleville program was awarded the third highest number of member grants in the entire state."

AmeriCorps members will serve in schools and neighborhood associations during the day, after school, and during the summer in Belleville, according to Enyart.

The 2014 competition prioritized investments in economic opportunity, education, veterans and military families, disaster services, and continued a new initiative for governors and mayors.

CNCS will provide $183,271 in education awards for the AmeriCorps members funded by this grant. After completing a full term of service, members receive an award of $5,645 that they can use to pay for college or to pay off student loans.

2014 marks the 20th anniversary of the AmeriCorps program. Since 1994, more than 830,000 Americans have provided more than 1 billion hours of service addressing critical challenges from poverty and hunger to disasters and the dropout crisis.

A McKendree University professor whose innovative teaching style helps students develop the knowledge and skills they need to become successful in business has won the top faculty award for 2014.

Jean Sampson, associate professor of management and marketing, received the William Norman Grandy Faculty Award at the May 10 undergraduate commencement ceremony. The Alumni Association has honored one full-time faculty member each year since 1981 at the Lebanon campus for outstanding commitment to the university and its students.

"Dr. Sampson demonstrates an unwavering commitment to incorporating active student learning and real-world activities in all of her classes. She requires her students to conduct research, analyze data and communicate the relevance of their findings to professional audiences," Valerie Thaxton, a university trustee and alumna, said.

Outside of the classroom, Sampson coordinates the Paris Exchange Program; works with the Phi Beta Lambda student business organization; chairs the Student Affairs Committee and the Athletic Oversight Committee; serves as a first-year information advisor and a transfer advisor for the School of Business; and takes students to professional conferences and competitions.

"In addition to her excellent teaching skills, Dr. Sampson is widely known among students for the care and concern that she demonstrates for each individual whom she encounters," Thaxton said. "Many students seek her out to serve as their academic advisor or internship supervisor because they know that she will treat them fairly and help them grow academically, socially and professionally."

Sampson, a Maryville resident, became a full-time faculty member at McKendree in 2005 after teaching part-time for several years. She currently teaches management and marketing courses, with an emphasis on sport marketing. She earned bachelor's degrees in business administration and psychology from McKendree in 1983, a master's degree in human resource development and management and a doctoral degree in management from Webster University.

Prior to teaching, Sampson coached the Bearcats' volleyball team, which recently gave her an award for inspiring the team throughout its collegiate career. She also worked in various management positions with several for-profit and not-for-profit agencies and has done considerable advocacy work on behalf of persons with disabilities throughout her professional life.

Lindenwood University-Belleville will host its second graduation at the Gateway Center in Collinsville. The ceremonies will start at 2 p.m., Sunday.

Southern Illinois University Edwardsville School of Nursing students offered triage services to those in need during a community health clinic held May 2-4 at the Jackie Joyner-Kersee Center in East St. Louis.

Seven senior nursing students, Whitney Smith, Seth Gregory, Kelcie King, Michelle Piro, Teresa Tucker, Cara Holzaepfel and Lamat Omar who are members of the Remote Area Medical program Volunteer Corps provided the services, along with Caitlin Phelan, instructor of nursing.

RAM is a nonprofit, volunteer organization that offers free health, dental and eye care; veterinary services; and technical and educational assistance to people in underserved areas of the world. Founded in 1985, this volunteer program is designed to address health care issues in communities and to see those communities transformed into healthier places to live.

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