May 05, 2010

Commencement ceremonies set for May 14-15

by Pete Rosenbery

CARBONDALE, Ill. -- Southern Illinois University Carbondale’s commencement ceremonies are set for May 14-15.

There are 3,455 candidates for degrees as of April 30, including: 2,807 candidates for bachelor’s degrees, 466 candidates for master’s degrees, 45 candidates for doctoral degrees, 114 law degree candidates, 22 candidates for associate degrees, and one candidate for a graduate school certificate.

Commencement ceremonies are open the public, and tickets are not required.

Commencement speakers include the acting deputy attorney general for the U.S. Department of Justice; the National Institutes of Health acting director of the Division of International Relations at the Fogarty International Center; a longtime educator and trustee on the Illinois Community College Board; a longtime area family practice physician; and a vice president with one of the nation’s largest engineering and architectural consulting firms. In most instances the commencement speakers provided their own biographies.

Seven alumni will receive Alumni Achievement Awards as part of individual college and school ceremonies. The award is the highest honor presented by the SIU Alumni Association.

The ceremonies will be at Shryock Auditorium and the Student Recreation Center.

Friday, May 14

Graduate School, 5 p.m., Student Recreation Center

Traditionally, there is no guest speaker for the program. Doctoral and master’s degree candidates from the various colleges will receive their degrees.

College of Agricultural Sciences, 7:30 p.m., Shryock Auditorium

Jacob “Jake” Rendleman, a longtime educator and a trustee on the Illinois Community College Board, will give the address and receive the Alumni Achievement Award.

A two-degree SIUC graduate, Rendleman earned his bachelor’s degree in animal science in 1965 and his master’s degree in health education in 1976. While at SIUC, Rendleman was a charter member of the Alpha Gamma Rho fraternity. He also currently serves on the College of Agricultural Sciences advisory board.

Rendleman started his teaching career in 1967 teaching eighth-grade science at Herrin Junior High; he retired in 1994. Rendleman is serving his third six-year term on the John A. Logan College Board of Trustees. The Illinois Community College Board represents all community college trustees in the state.

Rendleman, who lives in Carterville, served on the Prairie State 2000 Authority Board of Directors from 1987 to 1994. He is on the Illinois Taxpayers Action Board after a gubernatorial appointment in 2009, and is in his 25th year on the Carterville City Council.

College of Business, 7:30 p.m., Student Recreation Center

Rick E. Winningham, chief executive officer of Theravance, Inc., in South San Francisco, will give the address and receive the Alumni Achievement Award. Winningham was to give last year’s commencement speech, but the May 8 wind storm disrupted the college’s ceremony, and he was invited back.

Winningham earned a bachelor’s degree in finance from SIUC in 1981 and a master’s of business administration from Texas Christian University. Theravance Inc. is a public biopharmaceutical company. He joined the company in 2001 after a 15-year career with Bristol-Myers Squibb, where he held various U.S. and global management positions, including president, Bristol-Myers Squibb Oncology/Immunology/Oncology Therapeutics Network and Global Marketing.

Winningham graduated from Arthur High School. He is a 2006 inductee into the College of Business Hall of Fame, and a member of the college’s external advisory board.

Saturday, May 15

College of Education and Human Services, 8 a.m., Shryock Auditorium

Ceremonies for majors in health education, recreation, athletic training, exercise science and physical fitness, sport administration, physical education teacher education, communication disorders and sciences, rehabilitation services, social work, and workforce education and development.

Robert L. “Rob” Lyerla, who works for the National Institutes of Health as acting director of the Division of International Relations at the Fogarty International Center, will give the address at both ceremonies and receive the Alumni Achievement Award.

Lyerla earned a master’s degree in educational psychology in 1984 and a doctorate in educational measurements and statistics in 1994 from the University’s then-College of Education.

Prior to his work with the National Institutes of Health, Lyerla spent five years in the epidemiology and analysis division with the United Nations Joint Programme on HIV/AIDS in Geneva, Switzerland. He was responsible for estimating the HIV infections in most at-risk populations, along with focusing on HIV epidemics in Southeast Asia, China, Russia, and other countries in the former Soviet Union.

Lyerla’s background includes eight years as an epidemiologist in the Division of Viral Hepatitis at the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention in Atlanta. He received the Outstanding Young Scientist Award from the U.S. Public Health Service Commissioned Corps in 1998, and is a captain in the USPHS Commissioned Corps.

Lyerla earned undergraduate degrees in biology and chemistry from Bradley University.

College of Liberal Arts, 8 a.m., Student Recreation Center

Ceremonies for majors in anthropology, art and design, criminology and criminal justice, economics, English, foreign languages and literatures, geography and environmental resources, history, linguistics, mathematics and music.

College of Education and Human Services, 10:30 a.m., Shryock Auditorium

Ceremonies for majors in art education, biological sciences education, early childhood education, elementary education, English education, French education, German studies education, history education, mathematics education, Spanish education, social science education, and special education.

College of Liberal Arts, 10:30 a.m., Student Recreation Center

Ceremonies for majors in paralegal studies, philosophy, political science, psychology, sociology, speech communication, theater and University studies.

College of Mass Communication and Media Arts, 1 p.m., Shryock Auditorium

John Downing, retiring director of SlUC’s Global Media Research Center, will give the address.

Downing is a professor of media studies in the Department of Radio-Television and has been at SIUC since 2004. Established in 2004, the Global Media Research Center's mission includes assembling a core group of faculty, graduate and undergraduate students to research global media issues, establish national and international partnerships to promote research and play host to visiting scholars and artists as it seeks to develop new courses addressing global media issues.

Prior to coming to SIUC, Downing was a professor in the Radio-TV-Film Department at the University of Texas at Austin. He has also taught at Hunter College, City University of New York, University of Massachusetts-Amherst, Greenwich University in London, and Kings College in London. He is the author, co-author, editor or co-editor of several books on the media, and is one of four founding editors executive editors of the journal, “Global Media and Communication.”

Born and raised in England, Downing earned master’s and doctoral degrees, both in sociology, from the London School of Economics and Political Science. He also has a master’s degree in theology from Oxford University.

College of Applied Sciences and Arts, 1 p.m., Student Recreation Center

Ceremonies for majors in architectural studies, fashion design and merchandising, interior design, automotive technology, aviation flight, aviation management, and aviation technologies.

Gregory R. Wellman, national director of aviation planning and vice president for Chicago-based HNTB Corp., one of the world’s largest engineering/architectural consulting firms, will give the address at both ceremonies and receive the Alumni Achievement Award.

Wellman earned his bachelor’s degree in aviation management from SIUC in 1983. His work focuses on large complex airport planning and development efforts, including projects at Boston Logan International Airport, Los Angeles International Airport and Ontario International Airport, Miami International Airport, San Diego International Airport, Dallas-Ft. Worth International Airport, and Phoenix Sky Harbor International Airport. He works with a variety of groups including airport managers, boards, technical teams, and public policy and citizen groups.

Prior to working for HNTB Corp., Wellman was president of GRW Consulting in Elk Grove Village. He has also worked for firms including Chicago-based Landrum & Brown and Ricondo & Associates. He earned a master’s of business administration degree from the University of Chicago in 2002.

College of Science, 3:30 p.m., Shryock Auditorium

Dr. Larry R. Jones, president of Harrisburg-based Primary Care Group, will give the address and receive the Alumni Achievement Award.

Jones earned his bachelor’s degree in chemistry from SIUC in 1973, and his doctor of medicine degree from the SIU School of Medicine in 1976. He completed his residency at Union Hospital in Terre Haute, Ind., and has been a board certified family physician since 1979. He received the Distinguished Alumnus Award from the SIU School of Medicine in 2002.

Primary Care Group formed in 1997 after a group of physicians combined their medical practices into what is now the largest medical practice in southeastern Illinois, according to the organization’s website. Jones is also medical director and founder of the Bridge Free Medical Clinic in Harrisburg.

College of Applied Sciences and Arts, 3:30 p.m., Student Recreation Center

Ceremonies for majors in dental hygiene, health care management, mortuary science and funeral service, radiologic sciences, physical therapist assistant, electronic systems technologies, fire service management, information systems technologies, and technical resource management.

School of Law, 6 p.m., Shryock Auditorium

Gary Grindler, acting deputy attorney general for the U.S. Department of Justice, will give the address, and William E. Holdridge,presiding justice of the Third District Illinois Appellate Court, will receive the Alumni Achievement Award.

Grindler rejoined the Department of Justice in 2009 as deputy assistant attorney general in the criminal division before his appointment earlier this year by Attorney General Eric Holder to his current position.

Grindler, who received both his law and undergraduate degrees from Northwestern University, is a former assistant U.S. attorney for the Southern District of New York and the Northern District of Georgia. Included in his numerous roles within the U.S. Department of Justice, Grindler also was principal associate deputy attorney general and counselor to the attorney general, and assistant attorney general in the civil division. He also represented then-President Bill Clinton in his official capacity during depositions in two independent counsel prosecutions arising out of the Whitewater investigation.

Prior to his latest return to the U.S. Department of Justice, Grindler was a partner at King & Spalding, LLP, focusing on issues including white-collar criminal defense, internal corporate investigations, money laundering and search warrant compliance, and the Foreign Corrupt Practices Act.

Holdridge earned his law degree from the School of Law in 1984, and is the law school’s 1998 alumnus of the year. He earned his bachelor’s degree from Illinois State University, and his master’s and doctoral degrees from the University of Illinois.

Holdridge serves as one of five judges who preside over statewide appeals of Illinois Workers Compensation and Occupational Disease Act cases for the Illinois Supreme Court.

In addition to teaching at the university level for 14 years, Holdridge practiced civil and criminal law in Peoria and Fulton counties. He also was general counsel to Mass Mutual, a financial service and insurance agency, and a partner in Mass Financial Group of Illinois, Inc., an investment and financial advisory firm.

Holdridge served as circuit judge in the Ninth Judicial Circuit prior to his election as appellate judge in 1994.

College of Engineering, 6 p.m., Student Recreation Center

Suneel Kodambaka, an assistant professor of materials science and engineering at the University of California Los Angeles (UCLA), will give the address and receive the Alumni Achievement Award.

Kodambaka earned his master’s degree in mechanical engineering from SIUC in 1997. Prior to joining UCLA, Kodambaka was a post-doctoral researcher at the IBM T.J. Watson Research Center in Yorktown Heights, N.Y., and at the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign.

Kodambaka published more than 40 peer-reviewed scientific journal articles, reviews, and book chapters in the general areas of nanoscience, crystal growth, thin-film physics, and surface science. He has also presented more than 70 invited talks and seminars.

Kodambaka earned a bachelor’s degree in metallurgical engineering from the Indian Institute of Technology-Madras, and a doctorate from the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign in materials science and engineering.


Jake Rendleman Rick Winningham Robert Lyerla
Jacob "Jake" RendlemanDownload Photo Here
Rick E. Winningham Download Photo Here
Robert L. "Rob" LyerlaDownload Photo Here


John Downing Gregory Wellman Dr. Larry Jones
John Downing Download Photo Here
Gregory R. Wellman Download Photo Here
Dr. Larry R. Jones Download Photo Here


Gary Grindler William Holdridge Saneel Kodambaka
Gary Grindler Download Photo Here
William E. Holdridge Download Photo Here
Suneel Kodambaka Download Photo Here