January 30, 2015

Alumni Association helps 41 students with books

CARBONDALE, Ill. -- The SIU Alumni Association has awarded approximately $20,000 worth of textbooks and supplies for the 2015 spring semester to 41 Southern Illinois University Carbondale students. The Association hosted a ceremony Jan. 20 to gather students, family, friends, and college deans for the distribution of the materials. 

Textbook scholarships have become an annual tradition the SIU Alumni Association proudly sponsors. Its national board of directors first allocated money for this purpose in 2008. 

“With the financial challenges many talented students face in obtaining a college degree, we hope receiving this assistance helps keep them on their path of success,” Association Board President Mike Kasser said. “We also feel that helping fill these funding gaps plays a role in supporting the university’s goal of retaining students. 

To receive the award, students must demonstrate a financial need and have a GPA of at least 3.0. The Association works with many units on campus to help determine which students best fit the profile of eligibility. 

“This program would not be possible without the support of the colleges and our colleagues at SIU,” Association Executive Director Michelle Suarez said. “The financial aid office, Saluki Cares, Extern coordinators, academic advisers, and the Center for International Education all are sources which identify students in need.” 

A list of students who received the scholarships, along with their hometown and major, are:


  • Beach Park: Symone Woolridge, radio, television, and digital media.
  • Belleville: Ian Neighbors, law.
  • Belleville: Daniel Renner, law and Master of Business Administration.
  • Bensenville: Alejandra Gutierrez, dental hygiene.
  • Carbondale: Doug Bigler, agribusiness economics.
  • Carterville: Shelby Pearson, elementary education.
  • Charleston: Jessica Huddleston, early childhood education.
  • Chatham: Caelan Parker, forestry.
  • Chester: Caleb Ingram, English literature.
  • Chicago: Omar Banna, law.
  • Chicago: Jasmine Birl, journalism.
  • Chicago: Kelly Meloy, management.
  • Chicago: Anthony Reed, finance.
  • Chicago: Deon Taylor, accounting.
  • De Soto: Misty Clerk, elementary education.
  • Flora: Kaitlin Glassford, agribusiness.
  • Flossmoor: Maria Napolez, law.
  • Greenville: Nick Roberts, political science.
  • Herrin: George Mabley, computer science.
  • Johnston City: Lee Rich, accounting.
  • Lake Villa: Valerie Herzog, wildlife biology and conservation.
  • Mokena: Adam Wassel, sports administration.
  • Newton: Hannah Dhom, civil engineering.
  • Orland Park: Ashley Ozark, anthropology.
  • Palmyra: Elizabeth Fraley, horticulture.
  • Petersburg: Brittany Heyen, dental hygiene.
  • Pleasant Hill: Molly Surman, video production.
  • St. Anne: Rashaad Addison, psychology and criminal justice.
  • Sterling: Sophia Aponte, dental hygiene.
  • Ullin: Jailel Barr, advertising.
  • Waukegan: Azarra Lee, fashion business and merchandising.


  • Elizabethtown: Jonathan Swartz, aviation technology.
  • Owensboro: Evan Ehrenheim, computer engineering.


  • Arnold: Stephen Lopez, accounting.


  • Bozeman: Jessica Hays, photography and forest recreation.


  • Kinshasa: Gra Matenda, economics.


  • Hyderabad: Sai Kiran Modini, electrical engineering.
  • Kovvur: Ravindhra Kotla, computer science.
  • Telangana: Rahul Gingampally, electrical and computer engineering.


  • Lagos: Saheed Obitayo, geology.


  • Kyoto: Mako Kosugi, speech communication.