An effective educator is much more than just a lecturer in a classroom, a fact Department of Biology professor Andy Methven has proven through his research relationship with Stephani Pescitelli.

Pescitelli, an environmental biology honors student who has already worked to implement an on-campus composting program among many other instances of social activism, intends to spend the summer experimenting with the inoculation of shredded paper with mushrooms spores, a process she believes will accelerate the paper's decomposition, quicken the recycling process, and ultimately result in the cutting down of fewer trees.

While Pescitelli is obviously a student driven to succeed in the classroom and make a difference outside it, one must believe faculty involvement has been a key to her success thus far. That's where Methven comes in, providing the personal attention a small liberal arts college like Eastern Illinois University can provide without sacrificing the quality education and first-rate expertise generally expected only at a much larger school. Methven has allowed Pescitelli to determine her research interests on her own, but has thrown his own support into that effort and has helped provide her an opportunity for excellence.