December 05, 2018

Media Advisory – Mortuary Science and Funeral Service program hosts colloquium on Dec. 7

Southern Illinois University Carbondale’s Mortuary Science and Funeral Service program will host about 100 funeral directors and embalmers on Friday at the 21st annual Embalming Colloquium

The colloquium topics focus on embalming techniques for different types of death. In addition, 19 seniors in the program make posters and will present as part of their coursework. The colloquium is from 7:30 a.m. to 5 p.m. at the university’s Transportation Education Center at Southern Illinois Airport. 

Reporters, photographers and news crews are welcome to cover the program and talk with faculty, students and local funeral directors. Some of the discussions and photographs during the conference will be graphic. 

The bachelor’s degree program is the only mortuary science and funeral service program of its kind offered at a public university in Illinois. The program is accredited by the American Board of Funeral Service Education and students who graduate meet the state’s Department of Professional Regulation licensing requirements. 

The Mortuary Science and Funeral Service program and the Illinois Funeral Directors Association sponsor the event. There will also be a feature presentation by Mid-America Transplant. 

The colloquium gives students an opportunity to illustrate what they have done up to this point in terms of courses, including embalming, embalming chemistry, and advanced embalming, Cydney Griffith, associate professor, said. Students also have the opportunity to network with funeral directors and meet with preceptors for their courses next semester at different funeral homes. These students will graduate in May and take the national board exam. 

The program has about 85 students on campus and another 15 students are taking online courses, Abel G. Salazar, a clinical instructor in the program, said. The conference also allows students to be on the cutting-edge of the field and is a way to share knowledge within the field. 

As a part of the conference, funeral directors who attend receive 8.5 embalming continuing education credits toward their licensure. 

For more information or to arrange for interviews at the colloquium, contact Salazar at 618/453-8873, 713-6825 or, or Griffith at 618/453-7214 or 713-4488 or