They wanted a new website. Local college students created one.

This holiday season the St. Clair County Historical Society had a new website on its wish list. That wish has now come true thanks to the help of a group of students at Southwestern Illinois College.

The SWIC student organization — Association of Information Technology Professionals — created a new website, which can be found at, as a service project.

“My goal as club sponsor is to facilitate projects for students to gain real-world experience that will get them a well-paying career,” Assistant Professor of Computer Information Systems Lawrence Appelbaum said in a news release. “I thought it was a good opportunity to do a quality website for a real organization. It was something the students could put on their résumés. That’s a big deal for students coming right out of school.”

The redesign offers more ways for the community to interact with the historical society through its website. Individuals can purchase items, become members and learn more about the organization.

“These folks took it and ran with it and totally knocked it out of the park,” Curator William P. Shannon IV said in a news release. “Our board could not be more pleased with the results.”

Team members involved in the project included Brion Hopson of Maryville, Nathaniel Stripeik of Belleville, Zach Schaffer of Millstadt, Lia Baratti of Collinsville, Alex Rice and Dock Wells of O’Fallon, and Joshua Monroe of Belleville.

SIUE offers graduate test preparation

Southern Illinois University Edwardvsille is offering the Graduate Record Examination test preparation classes for the first time.

“Several majors require students to have taken the GRE test to get into graduate school,” Cathy McNeese, business administrative associate in the Office of Educational Outreach, said in a news release.

The following graduate and higher level programs require GRE testing:

▪  Art therapy counseling

▪  Biological sciences

▪  Biotechnology management

▪  Educational leadership

▪  Psychology

▪  Speech language pathology

▪  All engineering programs (required or recommended)

▪  Computer science

▪  All environmental science programs (if GPA is below 3.0)

▪  Geographical studies (if GPA is below 2.8)

▪  History (doctoral program only)

Educational Outreach is offering the six-week GRE test preparation class for $499. Classes will be from 6 to 9:50 p.m. Thursdays beginning Jan. 12.

For more information, contact Cathy McNeese at or 618-650-3208.

Lindenwood instructor honored by St. Clair County Bar Association

Lindenwood University-Belleville criminal justice instructor Judge (Ret.) Annette Eckert and 11 other attorneys were recently honored as senior counselors by the St. Clair County Bar Association.

Eckert was the first woman elected as a circuit judge in the 20th Judicial Circuit in St. Clair County. She has been an instructor at Loyola University School of Law and Southwestern Illinois College Police Academy, and currently teaches for the Criminal Justice Department at Lindenwood University-Belleville. She is also a commissioner with the Metro East Police District Commission and director of the St. Clair County Teen Court.

Before becoming a Judge, Eckert practiced law for 15 years, beginning in Chicago as a Cook County public defender and then in St. Clair County.

Jamie Forsythe: 618-239-2562, @BND_JForsythe