Higher Education: Lindenwood Belleville to host regional educators conference

Scott Wuerz
Scott Wuerz

Lindenwood University-Belleville will host educators from across the region Saturday.

EdCamp of Southern Illinois will hold a conference at the school to promote professional development among teachers.

“Over 100 teachers and teacher candidates from surrounding schools have registered to attend,” according to Lindenwood associate professor of education Stephanie Yearian.

The conference will include three sessions of ‘meaningful and authentic conversation’ addressing today’s trends in education, she said, and will earn attendees professional development hours required for renewal of IL teaching licensure.

The event is sponsored by the newly-formed Lindenwood-Belleville Future Teachers Association and the Lewis & Clark Reading Council.

The event is free to participants. For more information or to register go to

McKendree student named Lincoln Laureate

McKendree University senior Kenny O’Dell Jr., of Carlyle, has been named the school’s Lincoln Laureate.

O’Dell is majoring in pre-professional chemistry and minoring in three subjects — creative writing, biology and sociology.

“I took all these minors as a way of learning how to learn, of being able to integrate very different concepts,” O’Dell said. He plans to study orthopedic surgery in medical school after he graduates from McKendree.

Typical of many Student Laureates, O’Dell has shown a commitment to service and civic engagement on and off campus. He has tutored numerous McKendree students in chemistry, offering expertise and encouragement. He has volunteered at the Lebanon Care Center, with Catholic Urban Programs, at East St. Louis’ Griffin Center, and spent a spring break in Detroit on a week-long mission trip. In his hometown of Carlyle, he serves on the board of Case-Halstead Public Library and plays piano at the First Baptist Church.

In addition to his classes, O’Dell participates on McKendree’s fencing team and is vice president of its Phi Kappa Phi chapter of the National Honor Society.

Alan Alewine, associate dean for curriculum and professor of mathematics at McKendree, said O’Dell’s appetite for learning seems to be endless.

“He possesses a natural aptitude for abstract thinking as well as self-discipline and an intense work ethic,” Alewine said. “He is eager to discuss with faculty scholars a wide variety of topics including pharmacology, literature and theology. He clearly understands the power of lifelong learning.”

SIUE, Lewis & Clark partner to educate nurses

Southern Illinois University Edwardsville and Lewis & Clark Community College have joined forces to help educate new nurses.

The schools have formed a partnership, which will allow students to start their education at the community college and finish it at the Edwardsville-based four-year school.

“Not only is this agreement ensuring our students a clear path to their (bachelor’s degree of science in nursing), but it will also help them arrive there with very little debt,” Lewis & Clark President Dale Chapman said.

Roberta Harrison, dean of SIUE’s School of Nursing said the effort will allow students who never imagined they could get a four-year degree to successfully navigate the path to a solid career.

“They can complete the coursework for an associate degree at the community college level,” Harrison said. “When they transition into our online program, they can already see the light at the end of the tunnel.”

A student who successfully completes the first two semesters of the outlined BSN Partnership curriculum at Lewis & Clark can enroll in the first two SIUE School of Nursing courses during their third and fourth semesters. Once a student has successfully completed the associate’s degree in nursing at Lewis & Clark and licensure as a registered nurse is obtained, that student may progress through the remaining four courses through the School of Nursing’s online program.

“In the future, SIUE School of Nursing hopes to serve as the hub for a number of community colleges that seek university partnerships in offering students a progressive track in achieving a baccalaureate degree in nursing,” Harrison said. “This type of partnership will have a positive effect on the workforce by increasing the number of baccalaureate-prepared nurses at the bedside."

SWIC Red Bud campus to host young artists

Southwestern Illinois College’s Red Bud campus will host more than 100 aspiring artists Friday for a regional art competition, Art du Jour.

High school students from Monroe and Randolph counties will participate in workshops on things ranging from metalworking to T-shirt design run by local high school art teachers.

After the workshops, students will use what they’ve learned to make art projects which will be presented and judged in the afternoon.

SWIC’s Red Bud campus is located at 500 W. South Fourth St. For more information, call 618-282-6682, ext. 8101.