Points of Pride - College of Liberal Arts

  • The Complex for Forensic Anthropology is one of only six in the nation and seven in the world. We use it to study rates and patterns of human decomposition, and for anthropological and law enforcement training.
  • Students in the MFA program present The Little Grassy Literary Festival each spring. Undergraduate students publish ‘Grassroots,’ the English department’s undergraduate arts journal. The Grassroots staff also organizes and presents the annual Devil’s Kitchen Literary Festival in the fall.
  • Our debate team has a history of success in collegiate debate national championships. A team from SIU has advanced to the final round of a national championship six of the past nine years, winning a championship four of those times.
  • The Zooarchaeology Laboratory, maintained by our Center for Archaeological Investigation, includes more than 900 skeletons and skulls from 200 different species of animals native to the Midwest.
  • Musically inclined students, whether they are majors or not, have many opportunities to participate in university ensembles, from improvisational to orchestral. Students call SIU’s historic Shryock Auditorium home, but also perform at other venues throughout the region. Semi-annual concerts feature winners of soloist competitions and works by our own emerging composers.
  • Scott Blackwood, professor in English, was awarded the prestigious 2016 PEN USA Award for Fiction for his novel, "See How Small."
  • The Department of History publishes “Legacy,” a journal of undergraduate historical research that highlights the best of the year’s student research.
  • Geography and environmental resources students have access to the finest technology in environmental analysis with our Environmental Geographic Information Systems (EGIS) and Advanced Geospatial Analysis (AGA) labs.
  • SIU hosts several important music festivals throughout the year, including Outside the Box festival of new music, and the Southern Illinois Music Festival, both of which feature guest professional musicians. Other festivals, such as Music in Motion and the SIU Jazz Festival, bring hundreds of high school musicians to campus for competition and education.
  • The University Museum holds more than 5,000 objects in its fine and decorative arts collection, including major gifts from the Andy Warhol Foundation for the Visual Arts and the Dorothy and Herbert Vogel Collection. The museum also holds more than 26,000 geological specimens and more than 22,000 artifacts relating to history or archaeology.
  • Linguistics students in a field methods course are documenting and analyzing Nafaara linguistic structure. Nafaara, part of the Niger-Congo language family and spoken in the nation of Cote d’Ivoire, numbers approximately 61,000 speakers and has been very little studied.
  • The Department of Theater presents several fully staged productions every academic year, including musicals and opera in conjunction with the School of Music, as well as several smaller or experimental productions. Their home stage, the McLeod Theater, is also home to a professional summer theater company, the McLeod Summer Playhouse, which gives students an opportunity to work with and learn from professionals in all areas of theater. The summer production schedule includes a production from the All Southern High School Theater Project, a long-standing community, and community-supported, outreach.
  • SIU has the only ABA-approved Bachelor of Science degree Paralegal Studies program in Illinois.
  • The Department of Philosophy is home to the Phenomenology Research Center and the Dewey Center, both sites of international scholarship, including international guest scholars.
  • The Rickert-Ziebold Trust Award is a competitive scholarship for graduating seniors in the School of Art and Design. Finalists compete in an art exhibition and faculty members select a winner or winners for a substantial cash prize and the honor of this prestigious award.
  • Psychology students have multiple opportunities for mentored research in faculty labs, from the Southern Illinois Twins and Siblings Study to the Restorative Neuroscience Laboratory.
  • The college promotes interdisciplinary research, bringing different perspectives to find practical solutions to current problems. Faculty are teaming up to investigate and improve bullying intervention programs in Southern Illinois, to survey and analyze current advances in artificial intelligence, and to teach the time-honored art of puppetry as part of a way to examine our changing perspectives of endangered species.
  • Joseph Schaefer, chair of the criminology and criminal justice department, is a member of the board of commissioners for the Commission on Accreditation for Law Enforcement Agencies, a credentialing authority that develops standards and accredits law enforcement agencies. Other members of the department are Fulbright Scholars; past members of law enforcement or corrections including the Federal Bureau of Prisons; and affiliates of the Illinois Innocence Project.