Higher Education Matters: SIUE students celebrate black history in song and verse

Scott Wuerz
Scott Wuerz

Southern Illinois University Edwardsville students celebrated Black History Month on Monday with poetry and song.

Racism and privilege were addressed in Kenneth Coleman’s poem, “Elephants in the Room.” The junior theater performance major said he hopes his work will challenge and inspire others.

“Black poets, writers and artists were at the forefront of the Civil Rights Movement,” Coleman said. “A lot of people take the arts for granted and don’t realize the power of it.”

Coleman also performed another one of his original works: “Black on Black Crime in a Modern Day Minstrel Show,” which criticized black artists and leaders for not using their power and influence to help with problems in the African-American community.

Another poetic appeal came from Naja Gbala. The freshman veterinary medicine major performed the piece, “No More,” which cries out against gun violence.

Musical selections were also part of the program.

“It’s important for people to know that a lot of music is rooted in African-American music,” Cinnamon Stewart, event coordinator and senior mass communications major, said after her performance of Ella Fitzgerald’s Summertime.

Stephanie Redfield, a freshman mass communications major, performed “I Look to You” by Whitney Houston.

Other participants included Patrice Conner, a sophomore exercise science major, and Michele Robinson, a junior psychology major, and the SIUE Jazz Band.

SWIC to offer adult literacy classes

Southwestern Illinois College’s Adult Education and Literacy department will offer several free high school equivalency preparation classes at St. Clair and Madison county locations in March.

Daytime classes will be offered from 9 a.m. to 12:50 p.m. Monday through Thursday, March 21 to April 14, at the following locations:

▪  SWIC Belleville Campus – 2500 Carlyle Ave.

▪  SWIC Sam Wolf Granite City Campus – 4950 Maryville Road

▪  East St. Louis Community College Center – 601 James R. Thompson Blvd.

A second round of daytime classes will run March 28 to May 3. Classes will meet Mondays, Tuesdays and Thursdays at the following locations and times:

▪  Cahokia Library, 140 Cahokia Park Drive – 10 a.m. to 12:50 p.m.

▪  Christian Activity Center, 540 N. Sixth St., East St. Louis – 9-11:50 a.m.

▪  SWIC Red Bud Campus, 500 W. South Fourth St. – 9-11:50 a.m.

Evening classes will be offered Tuesday and Thursday, March 22 to May 10, from 5:30-8:45 p.m. at the following locations:

▪  SWIC Belleville Campus – 2500 Carlyle Ave.

▪  SWIC Sam Wolf Granite City Campus – 4950 Maryville Road

▪  East St. Louis Community College Center – 601 James R. Thompson Blvd.

▪  Collinsville High School – 2201 S. Morrison Ave.

Additionally, a Spanish-language High School Equivalency class will be held Mondays and Wednesdays from 5:30-8:45 p.m. beginning Monday, March 21 and concluding Monday, May 9.

Class times and locations are assigned based on individuals’ availability and reading and placement scores resulting from a mandatory preregistration and orientation session for classes offered at the SWIC Belleville and Sam Wolf Granite City campuses and the East St. Louis Community College Center.

For more information, call 618-235-2700, ext. 5525, or toll free in Illinois at 866-942-SWIC (7942), ext. 5525.

Massie nominated as outstanding faculty member

DeAnna Massie is Lewis and Clark Community College’s nominee for the 2016 Illinois Community College Trustees Association Outstanding Faculty Member Award.

Massie, assistant professor of communications, joined Lewis and Clark as an adjunct faculty member in 2010 and became a full-time instructor in 2011. She teaches developmental reading, developmental English, and reading and English requisites for sociology and psychology. She co-chairs the Center for Excellence in Teaching and Learning and is a member of the Developmental and Adult Education Task Force, the English Professional Learning Community and the Learner Centered Community.

“I am honored to be nominated for this award,” Massie said. “This is my first education award, so it is really special to me.”

Massie was nominated by a committee of her peers at Lewis and Clark, who credited her with excelling at teaching and mentoring her students.

Jill Lane, Lewis & Clark dean of transfer programs, said Massie is well deserving of the award.

“DeAnna is a great teacher and mentor,” Lane said. “She cares a lot about her students and has a passion for teaching. Her students greatly benefit from her dedication and variety of teaching styles, including improvisation.”

Massie said she has worked hard to develop learner-centered instruction, which assists adult learners in becoming successful students. She even teaches other teachers.

“Serving on and teaching for the continuing education committee for the last two years has been a wonderful opportunity for me to work with other educators so we can support each other in connecting the material to our students,” Massie said. “I enjoy teaching so much and have the best colleagues and students. My hope is that I can always help my students stay engaged and interested in learning and improving.”

Massie currently is pursuing her doctorate in education from Missouri Baptist University. She earned her bachelor’s degree in electronic journalism and theater, a master of arts degree in theater, and a master of fine arts in dramatic writing from Lindenwood University.

The ICCTA selects one faculty member from each community college in the state each year as a nominee for the Outstanding Faculty Member Award. As a nominee, Massie is invited to attend the ICCTA Awards Banquet in June, where the statewide winner will be announced.