Students seen studying while having a pancake breakfast

December 08, 2023

SIU students to get math tutoring and pancakes on Sunday before finals

by Tim Crosby

CARBONDALE, Ill. – When finals loom, Southern Illinois University Carbondale faculty and staff go all the way to provide support for students facing this stressful time of year. This weekend, students will be able to avail themselves of a studious – and delicious – tradition.

The seventh annual Dr. Spector’s Pancake Study Jam, sponsored by SIU’s Leadership Development Program, is set for 3-6 p.m. Sunday, Dec. 10, in Engineering Building Room A-111. Open to all majors, the event organizers will provide free pancakes and math tutoring to all who attend.

Kathy Pericak-Spector, a now-retired professor of mathematics, began the event more than 30 years ago. Following her retirement, SIU’s Leadership Development Program picked up the torch. The LDP is aimed at molding students into future executive leaders in a STEM field (science, technology, engineering and mathematics) by providing leadership training, mentoring and community service opportunities.

Bruce DeRuntz, professor of applied engineering and technology, who leads the LDP, said the annual event has become an important ritual aimed at supporting students across all areas of study.

“It has become a very special event when you have 60-plus students show up for math tutoring the day before finals, and you have a dozen faculty and tutors there to help them succeed,” DeRuntz said.

Reporters, photographers and news crews are welcome to cover the event. For more information, contact DeRuntz at or 618-453-7829.