Annual Report 2018 Lewis and Clark Community College, Lewis and Clark Community College Foundation and Mannie Jackson Center for the Humanities Foundation

Letter From The President

It has been a phenomenal year of success in fulfilling the strategic goals of Lewis and Clark in service to our 220,000+ district residents.

Lewis and Clark Community College’s Annual Report is a collection of highlights from the past year, which bring us all a tremendous sense of pride for what has been accomplished.

For example, thanks to the tremendous generosity and thoughtfulness of the late Ed Weber, of Hartford, and his gift of $3,275,000, 2018 saw the creation of the Weber Workforce Center, featuring the latest in welding and simulation technology in support of Lewis and Clark students entering the world of manufacturing and welding applications in MIG, TIG, Arc, etc. Please stop by the Godfrey campus and visit this amazing facility, which has become the flagship Midwest Center for Miller Electric—one of the two major manufacturers of welding equipment.

Also, 2018 was our most impressive year in student retention and a host of other measures of student and institutional success as measured against 28 benchmark institutions in 17 states, according to the U.S. Department of Education.

Lewis and Clark’s success has not gone unnoticed. This year, the college received numerous grants and contracts from such prestigious and diverse strategic partners as the Walton Family Foundation, McKnight Foundation, U.S. Army Corps of Engineers, Institute of Museum and Library Services, Swarovski, U.S. Department of Labor, U.S. Department of Energy and U.S. Department of Education, just to name of few.

Our faculty, staff, students and region have much to celebrate (as you can see from the highlights in this annual report) and our future continues to look bright. Have a wonderful and prosperous 2019!

President, Lewis and Clark Community College

Achieving Academic Excellence

Phi Theta Kappa and the women of the L&C Honors College had tea in The Evergreens with the L&C Foundation, President’s Circle, 1838 Society and the Monticello Foundation to honor Harriet Haskell for Women’s History Month in March.

L&C offered 13 courses during Winter Intersession 2017-2018. Participation was up in the program’s second year to a 142 total students and 474 credit hours.

A 2017 Integrated Postsecondary Education System (IPEDS) report showed L&C continuing to perform above and beyond its peer institutions across the country when it comes to enrollment and student success. The report compares L&C against 29 other colleges, including five in Illinois. Report highlights:

  • L&C tuition cost less than the average of the group, at $4,861 per year, compared to a $7,145 average.
  • L&C’s retention (67 percent vs. an average 60 percent), as well as graduation (38 percent for first-time, full-time students vs. 26 percent on average), and completion rates for associate degrees, Certificates of Proficiency and Certificates of Completion were also up.

The Dental Hygiene and Dental Assisting programs were granted full re-accreditation through 2023, without reporting requirements, by the Commission on Dental Accreditation, following a site visit April 11-13.

Automotive Technology earned a full, five-year reaccreditation by the National Institute for Automotive Service Excellence (ASE, formerly NATEF).

The L&C Nursing program received a full, 10-year re-accreditation from the Commission for Education Nursing (ACEN).

The college’s new mascot, Blazer, high-fives a nursing student in the Templin Nursing Building.

The Occupational Therapy Assistant program received a full re-accreditation from the Accreditation Council for Occupational Therapy Education (ACOTE).

The Medical Assisting program students maintained a 100-percent pass rate on the Registered Medical Assistant (RMA) credentialing exam. In addition, 91 percent of all graduates were placed to work in their field for employers in the community such as BJC, SIHF, OSF and Washington University.

L&C celebrated the achievements of 97 students during the 42nd Annual GED ceremony in June at the Hatheway Cultural Center.

Nearly 1,000 students graduated with a degree or certificate, with approximately 255 participating in the 47th annual Commencement Ceremony on May 16, 2018.

Southern Illinois University Edwardsville Chancellor Randy Pembrook, an L&C Music alumnus, delivered the Commencement address at the 47th Annual Commencement ceremony.

12-year-old Anya Alexis Wilke became the youngest graduate in L&C history when she graduated with the Class of 2018.

L&C and the University of Illinois-Chicago announced a new RN-BSN collaboration to give students more opportunities to seek their Bachelor of Science in Nursing (BSN) degrees.

Community college students in Illinois lead the nation in Bachelor’s degree completion with a rate of 53.8 percent, which is 27.5 percent higher than the national average, according to the National Student Clearinghouse Research Center.

L&C’s Student Loan Default rates continued to decrease from 15.3 percent the previous year to 13 percent for the 2015 cohort (latest numbers available). That’s lower than the national default rate for community colleges, which is 16.7 percent.

L&C and SIUE partnered to offer a new 2+2 program in communications.

L&C added five new articulation agreements to total 65. They included a 2+2 agreement with Eastern Illinois University for Criminal Justice AAS students, and articulation agreements in Fire Science, Paramedicine, Computer Network Security and Administration and Web Design and Development with Southern Illinois University Carbondale.

The Criminal Justice department held its first open house event Wednesday, March 21, in Haskell Hall. Local officers from every career track were in attendance and spent three hours with potential students and their families as well as some of our existing students. Many started at L&C and talked about their journeys.

L&C implemented new Trailblazer Tracks to Early College, which blend dual credit and on-campus courses to help district high school students earn as much as an entire year’s worth of college credit while still in high school.

Women’s basketball player and Phi Theta Kappa member Lynah Bontiff checks in prior to Commencement in the Hatheway Cultural Center Gallery.

L&C welcomed approximately 60 colleges and universities, proprietary schools and various branches of the armed forces during the annual Illinois Regional College Fair (IRCF).

Students with previous dual credit made up about 48 percent of the college’s total headcount and accounted for 54 percent of the total credit hour count, illustrating the growing impact of the High School Partnership program.

In 2017-18, L&C students performed better academically at numerous universities throughout the state than grads from other community colleges and native four-year students. About 84 percent of L&C grads were in good academic standing after one semester at Southern Illinois University Edwardsville, where they averaged a GPA of 3.25.

Despite declining enrollment trends in the state and nationwide, L&C reported a growing freshman class and higher than average conversion rates. There were 1,860 freshmen at L&C in the 2017-2018 academic year, 63 more than SIUE’s freshman class, and significantly larger than the freshman class sizes at SIU Carbondale (1,319), WIU (1,206) and EIU (634). The college’s conversion rate from application to enrolled student was 62.5 percent, higher than the national average of 42 percent.

The inaugural cohort of the new L&C Honors College held its first Honors College Exposition May 3 in the Hatheway Gallery to showcase honors scholars’ and fellows’ independent projects.

Honors College fellow Morapeli Lesoetsa presents his research project at the inaugural Honors College Expo.

L&C announced the return of year-round federal Pell Grants to help students stay on track toward degree completion.

Celebrating Awards and Accolades

L&C Nursing Professor Kevin Wellhausen was L&C’s 2018 Illinois Community College Trustees Association Award nominee for teaching excellence.

Professor of English Dr. Kamau Njoroge was named L&C’s 2018 Emerson Excellence in Teaching Award recipient.

Nurse Educator Denise Caldwell was a recipient of her second Nurse Educator Fellowship, which included a stipend of $10,000 from the Illinois Board of Higher Education (IBHE) and the Illinois Nursing Workforce Center (INWC) Advisory Board in September. Her first was in 2014.

In April, Professor of History Kelly Oberneufemann was given the Women in American History award by the Ninian Edwards Chapter of the Daughters of the American Revolution in Alton.

Assistant Professor of Sociology and Honors College Program Coordinator Jen Cline was appointed to a three-year term on the Two-Year College Committee of the National Collegiate Honors Council (NCHC), giving L&C a seat at the table of the nation’s premier honors college organizations. Cline was also among 17 selected from 73 nominees to be honored at SIUE’s Fourth Annual Phenomenal Women’s Luncheon March 21.

Former Mathematics Professor Kathy Kopelousos, who retired in May 2018 after 22 years of service, was named Professor Emerita.

Associate Professor of Art Jeffrey Vaughn was among a group of landscape artists featured at a show called “Into the Woods Revisited” at Duane Reed Gallery in St. Louis in April. His work was displayed at numerous other exhibitions in 2018, including:

  • “Pop Up Gallery,” courtesy of Arcadia Contemporary, Waldorf Astoria Hotel, Beverly Hills, CA
  • “Texas Contemporary,” Art Fair, Houston, TX, courtesy of Arcadia Contemporary, Pasadena, CA
  • “Trees,” National invitational group exhibition, Edwardsville Arts Center, Edwardsville, IL
  • “Summer Group Show,” George Billis Gallery, New York, NY
  • “This Land is...,” Arcadia Contemporary, Pasadena, CA
  • 13th Annual ARC Salon, Port Reading, NJ

L&C’s 14th Annual Student Art Exhibition ran April 4-17 in the Hatheway Cultural Center Gallery, showcasing the best of L&C student art.

L&C showcased the best of the Art and Graphic Design faculty’s artwork during the annual Art Faculty Exhibition in October in the Hatheway Cultural Center Gallery.

The Media Services Department won five Medallion Awards at the National Council for Marketing and Public Relations (NCMPR) district level - gold for Bicentennial Blooms garden show fans, silver for the 2017 printed Annual Report and L&C Employee Brand Ambassador Program, and bronze for the 2018 Bike MS jersey and digital version of the 2018 Annual Report.

The Media Services Department won a Silver Paragon Award at the NCMPR National Conference for L&C’s 2017 Digital Annual Report.

The college’s float, “Blazer’s Garden of Horrors,” won first place in its category at the Alton Halloween Parade in 2018. The float took inspiration from the college’s Monticello Sculpture Gardens and the 1986 rock musical comedy horror film, “Little Shop of Horrors,” and introduced the new Trailblazers mascot, Blazer, to the public for the first time.

Works by L&C Art students Jeanne Meyer, Katherine Schoeberle, Rachael Rea and Nathan Paiva were showcased at major spring exhibitions across the state and region. Original artworks by Meyer, of Godfrey, and Paiva, of Alton, were featured in Art St. Louis’ Varsity Art XXII exhibit at the Art St. Louis Gallery. Meyer, along with Schoeberle, of Edwardsville, and Rea, of Wood River, were featured in Northern Illinois University’s statewide community college art exhibition. Meyer’s piece “Postcard and Feather,” placed second, with Schoeberle’s “Drapery Study #5” earning Honorable Mention.

Adjunct Art Instructor Gene Ursprung was featured in a solo exhibit featuring 21 of his works – pen-and-ink drawings, photography, watercolor and oil paintings, and impressionist and abstract styles – at Jacoby Arts Center in March.

The Board inducted new Student Trustee Robyn Scott in 2018.

Blazing New Trails

L&C’s Co-requisite Remediation model, fast tracking developmental students into college coursework by concurrently enrolling them into math and English credit courses along with paired support courses, proved so successful that the L&C team was tasked with teaching other Illinois community colleges to take on the program themselves.

L&C was named as a partner on two separate grants from the Institute of Museum and Library Services concerning library data analytics. The first grant will allow the Consortium of Academic and Research Libraries in Illinois (CARLI), in partnership with the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign Library and Lewis and Clark Community College, to develop a continuing education immersion program that prepares librarians to make effective use of research findings on the impact of academic libraries on student success. The second, awarded to lead institution Syracuse University, names L&C as the only community college partner.

In spring 2018, the Illinois Community College Board (ICCB) asked L&C to provide ICCB-funded community college academic programs and services to the East St. Louis district. L&C hired Director Dobbie Herrion and Assistant Director LaVeasey Carter to work from the East St. Louis Higher Education Center. Since the inception of this relationship, L&C has offered Information Technology and Early Childhood classes. The newest program is a non-credit training program developed by WESST for the Connections for Success project.

Director Dobbie Herrion stands with L&C’s new transit van on the East St. Louis Higher Education Center Campus. The van will enable East St. Louis students to take courses on L&C’s Godfrey and Edwardsville campuses if they choose.
Assistant Director LaVeasey Carter collaborates with Director Dobbie Herrion to recruit students and provide enrollment and support services on the East St. Louis Higher Education Center campus.

Building World Class Learning Environments

The new Weber Workforce Center, designed for LEED silver certification, was completed and opened for classes in the fall, doubling the capacity of the college’s Welding Technology program. L&C’s new 16,000-square-foot Weber Workforce Center officially opened to students at the start of fall classes Aug. 20.

The Erickson Hall Renovation was completed and the building opened in the fall with a brand new elevator, improved HVAC systems and interior renovations.

The college completed a Waterline Extension project from Stamper Lane, providing additional water service to the campus for improved water functions and fire safety measures.

New carpet and fresh paint were added to the Enrollment Center in the main complex in order to refresh the facility and create a more welcoming environment for L&C students and guests.

A student services hub was created on the 4th floor of Baldwin in order to group student services such as the Student Success Center’s Psychology Study Center, Perkins Student Support, Veterans Resource Center and Career Resource Center to better serve students.

Modeling Sustainable Practices

The college won its third Illinois Sustainability Award for “significant achievements in protecting the environment, helping sustain the future, and improving the economy in 2018.”

The Office of Sustainability expanded its Solarize Madison County/Glen Carbon program to 21 public information sessions and 500 people. Around 36 people solarized as a result – totaling 293 kWh and surpassing the program’s 250 kWh goal.

L&C received a $12,000 grant from the U.S. Forest Service to conduct an inventory of trees on campus, with the goal of adding energy savings from the trees (CO2 tonnage, water filtration, air quality improvement, etc.) to campus dashboards for faculty/staff, students and visitors to access.

The college received a phased Ameren Strategic Energy Management grant, totaling $30,000 over the course of two years for green energy projects.

L&C’s Office of Sustainability and CJD e-Cycling hosted multiple eWaste drives for the campus and community.

L&C hosted an information-packed, half-day native landscaping workshop with expert presenters who will explore the relationships between woody plants and pollinators, songbirds and other important wildlife in the spring.

Jennifer Schamber, of Greenscape Gardens in St. Louis, was one of the keynote speakers at the Grow Native! workshop entitled “Woody Plants and Pollinators” held March 16 at L&C’s Hatheway Cultural Center.

L&C became the fiscal agent for the Illinois Green Economy Network (IGEN). IGEN was awarded a $2 million grant from the Illinois Secretary of State.

Developing the Region’s Workforce

First Daughter and White House adviser Ivanka Trump visited L&C in August with Rep. Rodney Davis to talk about Workforce Training and tour the new Weber Workforce Center.

L&C approved a public-private partnership with Miller Electric Mfg. LLC and Cee Kay Supply Inc. The college’s new Weber Workforce Center is an all-Miller facility. The agreement will give the college special pricing and access to the latest welding technology and equipment, as well as the opportunity to cascade older equipment into district high schools to be utilized by dual credit programs.

L&C and the Alton Fire Department teamed up to earn an Assistance for Firefighters Grant from the Federal Emergency Management Agency to purchase a mobile firefighter trainer.

L&C Corporate and Community Learning reorganized, and the corporate division rebranded itself as Workforce Education Solutions and Safety Training (WESST). WESST focuses on a wide variety of workshops and seminars designed for the professional sector, including an enormous curriculum of supervisory, managerial, leadership, communication, teamwork and other soft-skills courses, while Community Learning handles personal enrichment courses and College for Kids.

Nearly 300 job seekers and 115 employers attended the 2018 Job Fair, April 4, in the George C. Terry River Bend Arena.

First daughter and White House Advisor Ivanka Trump participated in a panel on Workforce Training on the college’s Godfrey Campus in August. L&C alumna Bobbie McCormick, right, spoke about her experience in the Process Operations Technology program. Photo by Krystie Morrison, The Bridge, student newspaper.

L&C hosted the American Welding Society – St. Louis Section’s annual Student Night April 19 in the new Weber Workforce Center, the first event to be held in the new building.

The Career and Veteran Services Department participated in Workforce Innovation and Opportunity Act (WIOA) orientations weekly in 2018. WIOA is a national program designed to strengthen the nation’s workforce system and help remove barriers that stop Americans from getting high-quality jobs and careers. L&C has 11 programs that are currently eligible for WIOA funding, and L&C is working to increase that number.

Building Futures YouthBuild students and staff members attended the Greenbuild International Conference and Expo in Chicago in 2018 to staff the Youthbuild USA table for a service project. The group also had the opportunity to explore the city while on the trip, an eye-opening experience for many.

L&C hosted its first Future Agents in Training (FAIT) Academy for high school students in partnership with the Springfield Division of the Federal Bureau of Investigation (FBI). A total of 22 high school juniors and seniors in L&C’s district applied and participated in the academy, which blended classroom and hands-on activities to help the students become more aware of the issues their communities face and to better understand the role the FBI serves in their region.

Engaging Our Communities

L&C revealed the new mascot for Trailblazers Athletics, a Newfoundland dog named Blazer, pictured here with L&C Vice President of Academic Affairs Linda Chapman.

L&C ranked fifth in the state for market penetration, including urban and suburban colleges in Illinois. The Illinois Community College Board reported 5.8 percent of the college district’s age 16 and up population enrolled in credit classes in FY 2017.

The RiverBend Growth Association named L&C a 2018 Captain of the Riverbend in September for the opening of the Weber Workforce Center.

Prospective students were invited to learn more about becoming a Trailblazer and experience campus during L&C’s largest ever fall Discover Day, Monday, Oct. 8. The event drew 125 students and their guests, for a total of 250-300 people.

L&C Dental programs participated in the SIUE Dental School’s 13th Annual Give Kids a Smile Day Oct. 8.

L&C revealed the new mascot for Trailblazers Athletics, a Newfoundland dog named Blazer. Learn more about Blazer at www.lc.edu/mascot.

L&C experts and instructors participated in a live taping of “Illinois Turns 200,” a statewide bicentennial podcast series Aug. 25.

L&C NGRREC Environmental Educator Allison Rhanor and her husband Tom, a Monsanto employee and Senior Services Plus volunteer, teamed up with Restoration Ecology Program Coordinator Scott Moss and SSP Executive Director Jonathan Becker to secure an Illinois American Water grant to create a system of urban stormwater controls at SSP, including a native plant rain garden to help mitigate the surface water runoff and erosion issues in an effort to reduce the negative impact to the on-site stream that feeds into the west fork of Wood River Creek.

President Dale Chapman served as the 2018 fundraising chair for the Southwest Illinois Division of United Way.

Students from 10 area high schools gathered at L&C’s George C. Terry River Bend Arena for the 2018 Trebuchet Contest. Since the program began in 2008, it has increased the number of female and minority participants significantly, to 39 percent female and 14 percent minority students. This year, 150 of the top math and physics students from 10 high schools competed in the contest.

This year, 19 of 20 in-district high schools, along with students from Mount Olive (out of district) attended Early Bird Registration in the spring. A total of 440 early bird students enrolled in around 5,300 credit hours.

The Monticello Sculpture Gardens’ 2018 Curated Summer Garden show, Bicentennial Blooms, highlighted Illinois’ 200th birthday.

Promoting Health and Wellness

L&C Counselor Renee Bauer and Drafting and Design Coordinator Joel Hall pose with a stack of donations for the Trailblazer Snack Pantry. The college opened the Trailblazer Snack Pantry to address the hunger needs of students.

Campus Safety offered free self-defense courses in honor of National Campus Safety Awareness Month in September.

Madison County Housing Authority (MCHA) and Chestnut Health Systems joined forces with L&C’s Career and Veteran Services Department to bring financial education to L&C students, MCHA tenants and the community.

The college opened the Trailblazer Snack Pantry to address the hunger needs of students.

L&C and Rep. Monica Bristow teamed up to provide free health screenings through the college’s Mobile Health Unit Friday, April 6, in East Alton.

In April, Phi Theta Kappa Honor Society and L&C’s Administration welcomed Chestnut Health Systems for a summit discussion on the current opioid crisis.

The Veterans Club’s KSHE/Vets Club Summer Blood Drive exceeded its goal of 290 units of blood, with 405 collected.

L&C rolled out “LC Ready,” a new, enhanced Emergency Operations Plan. It was created in collaboration with L&C staff, first responders and local agencies to ensure the college is operating within the National Incident Management System (NIMS) framework, which standardizes emergency operations across organizational borders.

L&C partnered with Alton Memorial Hospital and OSF St. Anthony’s to provide physicals for Special Olympics Athletes during the 2018 MedFest event on campus. This year was the 20th anniversary for MedFest in Illinois. L&C has participated since 2009.

The L&C Nursing and Nurse Assisting program held an annual open house Nov. 7 to provide information about the programs, provide tours and allow prospective students the opportunity to see L&C’s facilities and meet faculty and students.

Raising Cultural Awareness

L&C Honors College students participated in an alternative spring break trip to St. Louis, which included a cultural and socioeconomic tour of the city, city hall, history museum and more.

L&C and Jerseyville Walmart co-hosted a Diversity and Inclusion Workshop, Monday, Oct. 29, in the Trimpe ATC on L&C’s Godfrey campus.

Assistant Professor of Sociology Jen Cline’s Race and Ethnic Relations class hosted a panel discussion on race on college campuses, entitled “Be Bold. Be Heard. Race Matters on Campus: A Panel Discussion” with more than 100 people in attendance.

L&C began a new partnership between L&C and English as a Second Language International (ESLI), making the college ESLI’s first community college partner. The company offers English instruction to non-native speakers of English who wish to attend a college or university in the U.S. Students’ ESLI coursework replaces a college or university’s traditional language requirement.

Minority enrollment increased in Fall 2018 by 3.3 percent. The number of new students also grew 6.6 percent (100 students) and the number of freshmen increased by 6.5 percent (121 students).

Professor of Music Susan Parton Stanard and Professor of History Kelly Obernuefemann hosted a WWI commemoration event in 2018 while Oberneufemann gave a slide presentation on the end of WWII, the L&C Concert Choir provided the soundtrack from that era.

Lewis and Clark held a candlelight vigil March 29 to honor victims of violence throughout the LGBTQ community. Photo by Krystie Morrison, The Bridge, student newspaper.

The L&C Art department hosted Kathryn Nahorski, Executive Director of the St. Louis Artists’ Guild, and Ryan Horvath, Printmaker, SIUE Instructor and former L&C Instructor, for Visiting Artists Lecture Series, which returned in the fall after a short hiatus. The Visiting Artists Lecture Series is sponsored by 1st MidAmerica Credit Union.

An African dance performance was one of the many events highlighting Black History Month in February 2018.

Trailblazer Athletics

The No. 6-ranked Trailblazers Women’s Soccer team won their Region 24 and District championships and went on to compete at Nationals in 2018, losing only one game all season to the eventual national champion, the Monroe Mustangs. The college held watch parties back home to allow students to keep up with the games.

The college dedicated the soccer field as Tim Rooney Stadium in honor of the National Junior College Athletic Association’s (NJCAA) winningest women’s soccer coach, Tim Rooney, between men’s and women’s soccer alumni exhibition games Aug. 11.

The No. 6-ranked Trailblazers Women’s Soccer team won their Region 24 and Central District championships and went on to compete at Nationals in 2018, losing only one game all season to the eventual national champion, the Monroe Mustangs. The college held watch parties back home to allow students to keep up with the games.

The Women’s Soccer team outscored opponents 119-4 during their 2018 season. In addition to going to Nationals, Coach Tim Rooney was named Region 24 Coach of the Year, and both captains, Megan Pierce and Audrey Andrzejewski, were named All Americans.

Men’s Basketball Coach Doug Stotler earned his 400th career win in November with a 101-39 Trailblazers victory over Lindenwood-Belleville at home.

Three women’s basketball players received Mid-West Athletic Conference (WMAC) honors in 2018, with Danielle Conley, a sophomore from Memphis, Tenn., earning a spot on the first team. Teara Walker, a sophomore from St. Louis, was named to the second team, and Destinique Williams, a sophomore from Memphis, Tenn., who ranked 6th in free throw percentage among all Division II players, received honorable mention.

Out of 130 Division II teams, L&C’s baseball team ranked 16th in total strikeouts with 209 during its 2018 season.

Out of 410 Division II players, Trailblazers softball player Megan Pfeiffer ranked 48th in stolen bases with 21.

Trailblazer golfer Alec Hilliard, a sophomore from Bethalto, qualified for the NJCAA Division II Men’s Golf Championships in 2018.

The 2018 women’s volleyball team finished with a (winning record, 19-14,) under new coach Bron Wilkinson.

The Trailblazers men’s soccer team spent most of its 2018 season ranked among the top 20 NJCAA Division I soccer teams. The team finished the season with a record of 12-3-1.

The 2018 women’s tennis team earned its sixth consecutive trip to Nationals in the spring.

National Great Rivers Research and Education Center

NGRREC’s Illinois Recreational Access Program (IRAP), funded by the Farm Bill and Illinois Department of Natural Resources, helped landowners throughout the district by offering them land management services in exchange for allowing private lands to be leased for public use. A strike team led by Habitat Project Coordinator Nicole Gray, who is an L&C Restoration Ecology alumna, works to improve habitat on these lands.

Approximately 500 fifth grade students from six different schools and 20 classes gathered at L&C for the 16th annual Water Festival, Friday, Sept. 28.

The 2018 NGRREC internship program, in its 16th year, was composed of 22 students from 17 schools across 13 states. They were chosen from a pool of 147 applicants.

NGRREC Ecologist Anthony Dell was awarded a National Science Foundation (NSF) grant to advance a research framework that will more effectively predict how plant and animal communities respond to environmental changes.

NGRREC’s Great Lakes to Gulf (GLTG) team continues to make progress on greatlakestogulf.org and has launched a site dedicated to helping track progress toward Illinois’ Nutrient Loss Reduction Strategy. The team was awarded a National Science Foundation Big Data Hub program grant, in cooperation with the University of Iowa, to study environmental data interoperability issues across various agencies and databases. GLTG is currently tracking nearly 1,500 reporting stations and 25 million measurements.

NGRREC renewed its membership in the Great Rivers Cooperative Ecosystem Studies Unit (CESU), a national consortium of partners and organizations working together to support informed public trust resource stewardship. This afforded NGRREC the opportunity to renew an existing multi-year CESU cooperative agreement with the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers that provides support for Lyle Guyon’s floodplain forest research and monitoring program, and initiate a new multi-year CESU agreement with the Natural Resources Conservation Service (NRCS) that provides support for NGRREC’s conservation program, overseen by Justin Shew.

NGRREC launched the Alliance for Freshwater Life, a global collective whose mission is to halt and reverse the global decline of freshwater biodiversity through research, data synthesis, conservation, education, outreach and policy-making.

NGRREC initiated an international consortium to understand the plastic cycle in the Mississippi basin and its ecological effects, and undertook the first set of pilot experiments in the Field Station’s state-of-the-art mesocosms. The project will be ramped up into full effect in 2019.

John Crawford’s Wetland Ecology program secured funding from the Illinois Department of Natural Resources (via the U.S. Fish & Wildlife Service) to develop a long-term conservation plan for the federally threatened Eastern Massasauga Rattlesnake in Illinois. The program also continued a funded post-wildfire assessment of salamanders in Great Smoky Mountains National Park in cooperation with the National Park Service.

A total of 18 local teachers and approximately 200 local fifth graders were reached this fall through NGRREC’s newly developed GIS workshop, where teachers gained skills to use mapping technology and spatial thinking to teach students to visualize, analyze and interpret data.

The Neighbor Nights open house series saw an increase in attendance of 45 percent over 2017’s events. A record crowd, more than 100, attended a free Eat, Drink and Grow Native!-themed Neighbor Nights @NGRREC open house in 2018. Visitors toured the Jerry F. Costello Confluence Field Station and heard presentations from NGRREC and L&C faculty and scientists.

As of Sept. 30, NGRREC’s Habitat Strike Team had actively managed more than 1,617 acres of forest and grassland habitat to improve wildlife habitat, which has direct links to improved water quality and watershed health.

As of Sept. 30, NGRREC’s Land Conservation Specialist and Ecology Team had cumulatively affected over 47,438 acres of habitat, across more than 27 Illinois counties, enrolled in the federal Conservation Reserve Program (CRP) and Wetland Reserve Easement (WRE) program.

NGRREC’s conservation program manager Justin Shew published research titled “Finer-scale habitat predicts nest survival in grassland birds more than management and landscape: a multi-scale perspective” in the Journal of Applied Ecology.

Swarovski Waterschool USA: Mississippi River

Swarovski Waterschool USA held its inaugural World Water Day in March, drawing 268 people to campus to learn about freshwater resources. Seventy-two fifth grade and 13 high school students educated attendees who stopped by their tables throughout the event. An additional 82 middle school students and 93 college students and adults rotated through the activity booths.

Swarovski Waterschool USA: Mississippi River held public showings of the UCLA Film School documentary, “WATERSCHOOL,” which brings to life the importance of empowering youth around the globe to become water ambassadors. More than 725 people, including around 500 students, attended the screenings.

Swarovski Waterschool USA held a free, one-week global education program about water, sanitation, hygiene and the environment for children ages 10-13 this summer.

Mannie Jackson Center for the Humanities Foundation

The MJCHF hosted humanitarian Naomi Tutu as the featured speaker at the 2018 Mannie Jackson Center for the Humanities Foundation Annual Speaker Series and Fundraiser in March at Southern Illinois University Edwardsville.

L&C’s Mannie Jackson Center for the Humanities was a 2018 recipient of Landmarks Illinois’ prestigious Project of the Year Award for Leadership from the Richard H. Driehaus Foundation.

Conversation Toward a Brighter Future (CTABF) brought together students from 17 area schools who identified humanities issues in their communities and created positive solutions to address them using one $5,000 scholarship per school.

Chestnut Health Systems and L&C MJCH hosted an ex-offender job fair at the college’s N.O. Nelson Campus.

Principal Investigators Dr. Shawn Dalton and Dr. Michael Pasquier completed work on a cultural mapping project that combines quantitative and qualitative data sources to improve human understanding of the relationships between people and places, and helps inform policy, planning and management of regional development and placemaking. The Mannie Jackson Humanities Index (MJHI®) begins with a community characterization based on a series of maps, the relative distribution of goods, benefits, services and other datasets. Users of a community characterization can then determine the potential for economic development, capacity building, infrastructure investment, community vulnerability and resiliency, and other indicators that are important to the residents, planners and 21st century decision makers of an area. A primary goal of this research is to develop a research methodology that can be adopted worldwide for assessing workforce preparedness, vulnerability and resiliency


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