July 23, 2009

Devenport, Shih take on new roles in CASA

by Christi Mathis

CARBONDALE, Ill. -- William R. Devenport, who has spent more than 25 years as an educator at Southern Illinois University Carbondale, is now the acting associate dean for the College of Applied Sciences and Arts.

Devenport fills the vacancy created when Terry A. Owens became interim dean of the college after former dean, Paul D. Sarvela, became vice president of academic affairs. The transitions this summer also bring Stephen C. Shih to Devenport’s former post. Shih, an associate professor, is the new interim director of the School of Information Systems and Applied Technologies.

Most of Devenport’s career has been at SIUC, within the College of Applied Sciences and Arts (CASA). After six years in secondary education and time in the private sector, he began his career at the University as an instructor in 1982. Devenport said he has enjoyed his work at SIUC and hopes his many years of experience can help the college and assist Owens in the search for new permanent administrative leadership.

CASA is comprised of the schools of architecture, allied health, information systems and applied technologies and transportation (which includes the departments of automotive technology, aviation technologies and aviation management and flight.

An alumnus of SIUC, Devenport earned his master of science in vocational educational studies at the University in 1985. He completed his bachelor of science in industrial education at Illinois State University at Normal in August 1975. He holds a certification as an electronics technician as well.

Deveport’s career began with stints as an independent building contractor, electrician/service technician, a consultant, and as a vocational electronics instructor at East Richland High School in Olney. Upon arrival at SIUC, he was an instructor for three years and became an assistant professor in 1985. By March 2002 he was an associate professor. Devenport’s leadership roles in the School of Information Systems and Applied Technologies date to early 2003, initially as interim chair and then as chair. Since October 2004, he has been director of the School of Information Systems and Applied Technologies.

During his years at the University, Devenport has received a number of grants, had his work published in a variety of forums, been a co-copywriter of software, and conducted research involving embedded control systems, industrial education and more. Some of his work has been in conjunction with other faculty at SIUC. He’s currently working with wireless embedded data acquisition and embedded control networks. In addition, Devenport has served as a consultant for industry, presented at various forums and been active within the University, professional associations and community service in a variety of capacities.

Shih arrived at SIUC as an assistant professor in the School of Information Systems and Applied Technologies in August 2001. He became an associate professor in 2007 and in June 2008 became associate director before moving to his current post as interim director this summer. Previously, he was a visiting associate professor at the National Taiwan University of Science and Technology in Taiwan, a senior researcher and project leader at United Technologies Research Center in East Hartford, Conn., and systems engineer for Lucent Technologies Inc./Bell Labs in Naperville.

His experience also includes time as an assistant professor at Auburn University in Montgomery, Ala., assistant professor at St. Cloud State University in Minnesota, industrial engineer at SAMPO Electronics Corporation in Taiwan and as graduate research assistant at Pennsylvania State University in University Park, Pa., and at the University of Missouri at Columbia.

Shih earned his bachelor’s degree in industrial engineering and enterprise information at Tunghai University in Taiwan in 1981 and his master’s in industrial and manufacturing systems engineering in 1987 at the University of Missouri at Columbia. He completed his doctorate in industrial and systems management engineering in 1992 at Pennsylvania State University.

Shih is the recipient of a number of awards, grants and honors for his work. He’s developed instructional materials and authored numerous works for publication, some in print and some currently pending review. In addition, he’s held a variety of campus and professional leadership roles.