Aug 26, 2016

 

News from Old Main

GRAD STUDENT NUMBERS ON THE RISE AT EIU
Eastern Illinois University officials are pleased with recent growth in graduate enrollment as EIU’s graduate programs continue to attract new students.

While exact numbers won't be official until the university releases 10th day enrollment figures in early September, Ryan Hendrickson, interim dean of EIU’s Graduate School, expects an increase of 10 percent or more in the number of graduate students.

In Fall 2015, 1,318 graduate students made up 15.5 percent of the university’s total enrollment. With that number continuing to increase, Hendrickson anticipates “a significant and positive impact on EIU’s identity.”

“Graduate education always boosts a university’s reputation,” the dean continued. “In addition to providing advanced professional training to its students, it enhances the research component of the university."

According to Hendrickson, the growth in graduate students is being experienced by all four of Eastern’s academic colleges: the College of Arts and Humanities, the College of Education and Professional Studies, the Lumpkin College of Business and Applied Sciences, and the College of Sciences. The departments seeing the largest gains are technology, educational leadership, nutrition and dietetics, biological sciences, educational administration, political science and music education.

Please see here for more on the story.

VICKI SHAW WOODARD, Media Relations
Posted: Aug 25, 2016


NEWLY DISCOVERED PLANT SPECIES NAMES AFTER EIU BOTANY PROFESSOR
Gordon Tucker doesn't remember doing so, but he's been told that as a toddler, he could not keep his hands off the nearby vegetation.

"My mother told me that I would reach over the edge of my stroller or through the bars of my play pen, reaching out for any plant that I could get my hands on," he said. "And that I was transplanting garden seedlings before I could walk."

Decades later, Tucker -- now a skilled botanist and long-time faculty member at Eastern Illinois University -- continues to "reach out" in his study of plants. His area for study, however, now stretches a lot further than a toddler's arm.

Known primarily as a vascular plant systematist, Tucker specializes in what is known as the sedge family, flowering plants which outwardly resemble grasses and rushes. The family is large with some 5,500 known species, many of which can be found in Asia and South America.

Since entering the field of botany professionally in the late 1970s, Tucker has published dozens of papers and monographs on the sedges of North America, Venezuela and Brazil. Working in collaboration with the Missouri Botanical Garden and the Chinese National Academy of Sciences, he conducts research for the Flora of China, a scientific publication aimed at describing plants native to China. He has also extensively studied the native plants of Illinois in collaboration with EIU students.

Additionally, along with fellow Eastern professor Zhiwei Liu, he co-teaches a study abroad course, Plant Usage and Culture in China.

It's no wonder, then, that Tucker was excited to learn earlier this year that not only had another new species in the sedge family been discovered, but that the botanists who made the discovery had decided to name the plant -- Fimbristylis tuckeri -- after him. The official announcement was made in the September 2016 issue of the Kew Bulletin, a leading international journal for the botanical community and published by the Royal Botanic Garden near London.

See here for more on the story.

VICKI SHAW WOODARD, Media Relations
Posted: Aug 22, 2016


FACULTY LAUREATE RICHARD JONES: 'GENERAL EDUCATION KEY TO BECOMING WELL-ROUNDED PERSON'
As an incoming college freshman in the late 1990s, Richard Jones already knew he wanted to someday teach.

"I'd known I wanted to teach since I was 7," he recalled. "And I expected to teach music. But, then I fell in love with communication."

All it took, he continued, were a couple of courses he completed shortly after enrolling in the University of North Carolina Greensboro -- courses he may not have taken had they not been required under the school's general education policy.

"I think it's wonderful what general education courses can do," Jones said, "and how they contribute to a student's college experience."

Now an associate professor of communication studies at Eastern, Jones plans to share his enthusiasm for general education and attempt to persuade first-time students to take full advantage of related opportunities available to them as they begin their own academic careers. He will do so as EIU's 2016 Faculty Laureate, an honor presented to him by the institution's Council on Academic Affairs. The role means that, in addition to his duties as a full-time faculty member, Jones will spend the coming academic year as the university's official spokesperson on the importance of a general/liberal education.

His first formal opportunity will take place at 9:15 a.m. Friday, Aug. 19, in Lantz Arena when he delivers the keynote address at this year's convocation, a welcoming ceremony for incoming students.

See here for more on the story. See here for the text of Jones' address.

VICKI SHAW WOODARD, Media Relations
Posted: Aug 16, 2016


ETHICS TIPS -- POLITICAL CAMPAIGNING
As the political campaign season begins in earnest, please remember to avoid using EIU property (including email accounts) if you participate in political activities. Participation in these activities must also be done during your personal time and not during your scheduled work hours. Click here to learn more about the ethics act and prohibited political activities.

ROBERT L. MILLER, General Counsel/Ethics Officer
Posted: Aug 15, 2016





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