Higher Education: SIUE student paper recognized nationally

Southern Illinois University Edwardsville’s student newspaper, The Alestle, was recognized as one of the top student newspapers in the country at the 94th annual Associated Collegiate Press College Media Advisers National College Media Convention in Austin, Texas.

The Alestle placed fourth in the ACP Best Of Show — Newspaper Special Edition category for its 2015 Back-to-School Survival Guide.

Criteria included the topic of the special issue, quality and quantity of coverage, overall design, photos and quantity of ads.

Editor-in-chief Mady O’Reilly accepted the award on behalf of the entire staff. Lifestyles editor Caitlin Lally, sports editor Dani Wilson, graphics manager Lauren Lowe and program director Tammy Merrett also attended.

“This year’s award in the ACP Best of Show competition for The Alestle is particularly sweet,” Merrett said. “We never expected to win and were very happy, especially since the staff we had at the conference all contributed to the work that was honored.

“We were competing against large and small schools, schools with daily newspapers and schools that only publish a couple of times a month, schools with full-fledged journalism programs and those with small mass communications programs. So, the fact that we stood out in such a wide field is a great honor and testament to the hard work that the staff puts into its newspaper.”

The Alestle has placed several times in recent years in national Best of Show competitions at the fall national college media convention in the four-year weekly tabloid, large school website and special edition categories.

McKendree holiday concert schedule released

McKendree University has announced its holiday season events schedule:

▪  Friday, Nov. 20, 7.30 p.m.: The Marching Bearcat Band: Live in Concert!, led by David Boggs, director, at the Hett.

▪  Dec. 3-17: An All Student Art Show showcases the creativity of those enrolled in art classes this semester at the McKendree Gallery of Art, 224 W. St. Louis St. in Lebanon. The exhibit opens with a reception on Dec. 3 from 5 to 8 p.m.For gallery hours and information, visit

▪  Friday, Dec. 4, 7:30 p.m.: “A Christmas on Broadway: A Holiday Charity Show” community variety show at the Hett, sponsored by the Show Choir. Admission is canned food for the local food bank, or gloves, mittens or scarves for a homeless shelter.

▪  Sunday, Dec. 6, 3 p.m.: The McKendree Christmas Choral Concert, presented by the Concert Choir and Chamber Choir featuring Pinkham’s “Christmas Cantata” with brass, Vivaldi’s “Gloria” and popular carols under the direction of Dr. Nancy Ypma, at the Hett.

▪  Monday, Dec. 7, 7:30 p.m.: Jazz Ensembles concert, directed by Dawn Weber, David Gonzalez and Maurice Egeston, at the Hett.

▪  Friday, Dec. 11, 7:30 p.m.: Concert Band and Wind Ensemble Christmas Concert, featuring special guest soloist Christine Brewer, directed by Dr. Jennifer Moder. General admission is $5 at the Hett.

▪  Sunday, Dec. 20, 7:30 p.m.: COCA’s Ballet Eclectica returns to the Hett with “The Little Dancer,” a tale of Degas’ famous statuette who comes to life and dances her way through various works of art. Admission is $15 adults, $12 seniors and $5 students (with ID) and children.

The public is invited to all shows and admission is free except where otherwise specified.

SWIC to offer digital marketing courses

Southwestern Illinois College will offer two e-marketing courses which can help people learn how to promote their business online.

One course will focus on search engine optimization and website analytics while the other will explore promotion and marketing through social media.

The search engine analytics course features a simulation where you’ll compete against other students in a game of digital marketing for the best return on investment. You’ll have an advertising budget, a Web page, landing page, email campaigns and tools to research keywords and analytics to measure your efforts.

Beyond the simulation, you will learn how to avoid common pitfalls that hurt businesses in search results and find out what search engine optimization tactics will help ensure potential customers see your business. Also, discover the optimization tactics that you can control and those you can only influence.

“Search engines are like last century’s yellow pages,” said instructor Laurie Almodovar, a communications and web coordinator at SWIC. “If you aren’t coming up on the first page of search results for your products or services, it’s unlikely customers will find you.”

It’s important to understand analytics, Almodovar said, because it shows a business operator what marketing techniquest work.

“Website analytics can tell you how people use your website and how they find it, and act as a guide for refining messages, which in turn can increase your visibility and profitability,” Almodovar said.

In the Social Media Tools class you will create accounts on numerous social networking sites and develop basic skills in their use from a personal and/or business perspective.

You will discuss the ways social media is used to market products and services. Also, you will learn best practices in the use of social media, trends in social media, and ethical issues.

“Digital marketing and social media marketing continue to prove their importance in a successful business plan. Students in these classes will learn and gain real world experience in areas that are truly valuable to what small- and medium-sized businesses need today,” instructor Bill Jackson, a project operations manager for Maritz, said. “The digital world cannot be ignored. That is why SWIC continues to focus on building a curriculum that helps create candidates for many of the most needed and exciting careers in business.”

The two courses will run consecutively. Both are offered on Thursdays from 6-8:50 p.m. at the Belleville Campus. The first will run from Jan. 21 through March 10, and the second from March 24 to May 12.

Students should have some experience with website usage and social media before taking either class.

For information about these courses, call SWIC toll free at 866-942-SWIC (7942), ext. 5343 or email Marketing/Management Program Coordinator Sue Taylor at