November 23, 2010

Reception will honor Sheila Simon for service

by Pete Rosenbery

CARBONDALE, Ill. -- A reception recognizing Sheila Simon’s service to the Southern Illinois University School of law and the campus community is set for next week.

The reception is from 3 to 5 p.m., Monday, Nov. 29, in the Hiram H. Lesar Law Building’s formal lounge. The reception is open to the public.

The SIU School of Law and Paul Simon Public Policy Institute are reception sponsors.

Media Advisory

Reporters, photographers and camera crews are welcome to cover the reception. For more information on the event, contact Alicia Ruiz, the law school’s director of communication and outreach, at 618/453-8700.

Simon, an assistant clinical professor at the law school, is Illinois’ lieutenant governor-elect after she and running mate Gov. Pat Quinn won the state’s gubernatorial election earlier this month. Simon began her work at the law school in November 1998 as a staff attorney in the clinical law program, directing the domestic violence clinic. She has taught in the law school’s lawyering skills program since 2000.

“I am delighted that Sheila has this opportunity to serve the citizens of Illinois, but I am also sorry that we are losing such a talented and enthusiastic educator,” Dean Cynthia L. Fountaine said.

“We wish her the very best as she begins her new role as lieutenant governor, and we look forward to exchanging ideas with her as she begins work as the governor’s point person on education.”

Simon, the daughter of the late U.S. Sen. Paul Simon and the late Jeanne Simon, is chair of the public policy institute’s board of counselors. David Yepsen, Institute director, said Sheila Simon is a “wonderful friend and counselor” to both him and to “her father’s Institute.”

“We’re happy to share her with the entire state,” he said.

“While she’s taking on a new job, the good news is she’s not leaving town,” Yepsen said. “She will still be living in Carbondale and plans to have an office here. People in Southern Illinois who have concerns won’t have to travel far to have them heard.”

Simon has also been a “perfect chair of the Institute’s board of counselors,” Yepsen said.

“She’s been a strong advocate and protector for the Institute, offers good advice, helps whenever asked and doesn’t micromanage,” he said.

Law School Associate Dean Frank G. Houdek also points to Simon’s time on the Carbondale City Council and the Illinois Reform Commission, in addition to her work at the law school.

“I’m confident that the energy, intelligence and enthusiasm she has brought to her teaching and scholarship will serve her well in her new responsibilities as lieutenant governor,” he said.

“Sheila Simon is the model of what a public servant should be,” Houdek said. “She’s not just active in the life of her community, she genuinely enjoys people and wants to be a problem-solver, not just someone who identifies problems.”