SIU in the News - January, 2021

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Why America is ‘flying blind’ to the coronavirus mutations racing across the globe

Washington Post – Jan. 29, 2021

The work of Keith Gagnon, chemistry and biochemistry, and his research team in finding a new variant of the COVID-19 virus is noted in a section on “Homegrown variants.”

General Motors to eliminate gas powered production

WSIL-TV – Jan. 29, 2021

Michael Behrmann, automotive technology, discusses General Motors’ announcement of plans for the automaker to eliminate tail pipe emissions by 2035.

Artifacts puts Fuller Dome restoration close to complete

WSIL-TV – Jan. 29, 2021

Jon Davey, School of Architecture, discusses the return of furniture and artifacts to former SIU Professor R. Buckminster Fuller’s restored Carbondale home. More than 3,000 of the 3,500 books in the home will go to Morris Library archives for further research by students and scholars.

Biden signs record number of executive orders first week in office

WSIL-TV – Jan. 28, 2021

John Jackson, Paul Simon Public Policy Institute, discusses the number of executive orders signed by President Joe Biden during his first week in office.

Man wanted in U.S. Capitol riot arrested in Marion

WSIL-TV – Jan. 28, 2021

Steve Macias, SIU School of Law, discusses the impact social media is having on police investigations, particularly in identifying suspects in the Jan. 6 riot at the U.S. Capitol in Washington, D.C.

Biden’s immigration agenda faces early legal setback as more battles loom

WRGB-TV – Jan. 27, 2021

Cindy Buys, School of Law, discusses the impact of a temporary restraining order suspending President Biden’s immigration policy halting a 100-day moratorium on most deportations.

Minimum wage increase: will it help workers or eliminate jobs?

WSIL-TV – Jan. 27, 2021

Kevin Sylwester, School of Analytics, Finance and Economics, discusses the impact of President Biden's executive order to increase the federal minimum wage to $15 per hour.

SIU researcher discusses new COVID variant

WSIU InFocus – Jan. 26, 2021

Keith Gagnon, chemistry and biochemistry, discusses the new variant of COVID-19 virus that his research team found.

SIU's President on IBHE budget, COVID impact, and inclusivity in 2021

WSIU InFocus – Jan. 25, 2021

SIU President Dan Mahony discusses the Illinois Board of Higher Education budget, the impact of COVID-19, and inclusivity initiatives for 2021.

A Generation of Legislative Leaders Passes from the Scene – Jan. 25, 2021

John Jackson, Paul Simon Public Policy Institute, discusses the legacy of former Illinois House Speaker Michael Madigan.

SIU law expert breaks down President Biden's immigration reform proposal

KSDK-TV – Jan. 23, 2021

Cindy Buys, SIU School of Law, discusses President Joe Biden’s immigration reform proposal.

Executive Orders roll back immigration restrictions

WSIL-TV – Jan. 21, 2021

Cindy Buys, School of Law, discusses the impact of President Joe Biden’s executive orders dealing with immigration.

Experts: Durbin's role in U.S. Senate good for Illinois, may promote harmony in Congress

Southern Illinoisan/State Journal-Register – Jan. 21, 2021

John Shaw, Paul Simon Public Policy Institute, discusses the role that Dick Durbin, D-Illinois, will have as majority whip in the U.S. Senate and the impact on Illinois in the Biden administration.

SIU students return to campus for the spring semester

KFVS-TV – Jan. 20, 2021

The university welcomed students back to campus on Jan. 19.

New vice president’s Heartland sorority sisters react to the inauguration

KFVS-TV – Jan. 20, 2021

Jacari Henderson, Saluki Athletics compliance coordinator, and Kyara Rogers, president of the Alpha Kappa Alpha sorority, discuss the inauguration of Vice President Kamala Harris.

Alpha Kappa Alphas watch Kamala Harris make history

WSIL-TV – Jan. 20, 2021

Jacari Henderson, Saluki Athletics compliance coordinator and president of the Gamma Kappa Omega chapter, discusses the inauguration of Vice President Kamala Harris.

Newsradio WJPF interview with Austin Lane

WJPF Morning Newswatch – Jan. 19, 2021

Chancellor Austin Lane discusses several topics including the return of students to campus and launching the university’s strategic plan.

New COVID-19 variant dominant in the upper midwest

WISH-TV, Indianapolis – Jan. 19, 2021

News 8 spoke with Dr. Keith Gagnon, researcher at Southern Illinois University, about this discovery who says we need to monitor the mutation closely.

New COVID-19 strain spreads faster in US than previous variants

Jerusalem Post – Jan. 16, 2021

In the first study, scientists from Southern Illinois University identified a third US variant of COVID-19, that may be the most contagious strain in the US yet, researchers said Thursday, adding it is believed to be responsible for up to 50% of all US cases. The spreading speed referred specifically to the cases throughout the US.

Britain faces even MORE super-Covid variants: Global surge of cases is fueling more chances for the virus to mutate to beat immune system and vaccines, scientists warn

Daily Mail, United Kingdom – Jan. 15, 2021

A team from Southern Illinois University Carbondale traced the earliest appearance of new variant, called 20C-US, to Texas in May 2020.

2 US COVID variants have been identified. What does that mean for vaccines?

ABC News – Jan. 15, 2021

Researchers at Southern Illinois University are calling this U.S. variant 20C-US. The variant isn't new, just newly identified. Its origin was traced back to a patient sample in Texas from May 2020. Since then, the variant seems to have swept across the country. According to Dr. Keith T. Gagnon, one of the lead researchers of the study released by Southern Illinois, 20C-US now compromises about 50% of samples in the country. It is currently widespread in the Upper Midwest, which could be why researchers at Ohio State detected a strikingly similar variant.

New COVID variant discovered by SIU lab

WSIU – Jan. 15, 2021

An SIU research project has identified a new variant of the novel coronavirus.

Opinion | John T. Shaw: A reflection on Illinois’ new speaker of the House, Chris Welch

Southern Illinoisan – Jan. 15, 2021

John T. Shaw, Paul Simon Public Policy Institute, provides thoughts on Chris Welch, the new speaker in the Illinois House.

SIU students to observe MLK Day with community service

KFVS-TV -- Jan. 15, 2021

Sarah Marbes, coordinator of SIU Carbondale’s Center for Service-Learning and Volunteerism, discusses the upcoming community service project.

As pro teams nix Native American mascots, will Southern Illinois schools consider change?

Southern Illinoisan – Jan. 15, 2021

Gray Whaley, History, discusses the use of Native American mascots for sports teams and high schools.

Newly identified US variant may have emerged in May, study indicates 

ABC News – Jan. 14, 2021

A newly identified variant of the virus that causes COVID-19 may have emerged in the U.S. in May and could be one of the predominant versions circulating now, researchers at Southern Illinois University found.

WCBS News Headline 2 p.m.

WCBS Radio, New York – Jan. 14, 2021

Scientists at Southern Illinois University Carbondale have discovered a new variant of the COVID-19 virus that is specific to the United States. Researchers say the variant accounts for about half the cases in this country and adds to the growing list of mutations. The news comes as people nationwide still trying get a vaccine with no luck.

New COVID-19 variant discovered by SIU researchers believed to be dominant in US

KMOV-TV – St. Louis – Jan. 14, 2021

Keith Gagnon, chemistry and biochemistry, discusses the new variant of COVID-19 virus that his research team has found.

“Maybe one of the worst-case scenarios:” Aviation professor explains dangers of emergency plane landings

WSIL-TV – Jan. 14, 2021

Mike Robertson, Aviation, discusses a plane’s emergency landing on Interstate 57 near Marion on Jan. 13 and the training that student pilots at SIU receive for similar scenarios.

New variant of COVID-19 ‘Dominant in US' reportedly discovered by Ill. researchers

NBC Channel 5 Chicago – Jan. 14, 2021

In a study currently awaiting peer review, a team led by Southern Illinois University Carbondale researcher Keith Gagnon reported a new variant "specific to and dominant in the United States," which would mark the latest mutation discovery following those reported in the United Kingdom and South Africa. The discovery was submitted Monday to BioRxiv, a preprint server aimed at disseminating research while it undergoes peer review.

SIU students discover new variant of COVID-19 in the U.S.

KFVS-TV – Jan. 14, 2021

Southern Illinois University researchers discovered a new variant of COVID-19 in the United States and said it could be more contagious than other variants.

'She couldn't get out of bed': Why watching Capitol riot was 'triggering' for some women

USA Today – Jan. 12, 2021

Kristen Barber, sociology, discusses the impact the Jan. 6 riots at the U.S. Capitol had on many women.

SIU professor gives take on impeachment proceedings

WSIL-TV – Jan. 12, 2021

Steve Macias, School of Law, discusses impeachment proceedings against President Trump.

Educational COVID video sparks interest for preschoolers

KFVS-TV – Jan. 11, 2021

Lisabeth DiLalla. family and community medicine and psychology, discusses a video that she and a Canadian filmmaker made that teachers children how to be “superheroes” against COVID-19.

SIU requiring students living on campus to take COVID-19 test upon moving in this weekend

Southern Illinoisan – Jan. 11, 2021

Lori Stettler, vice chancellor for student affairs, discusses COVID-19 testing for on-campus students prior to the start of the spring 2021 semester.

Southern Illinois lawmakers, experts weigh in on how GOP moves beyond violence at Capitol

Southern Illinoisan – Jan. 8, 2021

John Shaw, Paul Simon Public Policy Institute, discusses the aftermath of the Jan. 6 riot in the U.S. Capitol that killed five people and how the Republican Party moves beyond it.

Local law enforcement say justice reform bill does more harm than good

WSIL-TV – Jan. 8, 2020

Jennifer Brobst, School of Law, discusses a criminal justice reform bill under consideration by the Illinois General Assembly.

Former Heartland politicians react to Wednesday riots on Capitol Hill

KFVS-TV – Jan. 8, 2020

Sheila Simon, School of Law, discusses the Jan. 6 protest on Capitol Hill and if the 25th Amendment could apply to remove President Trump from office.

How police responses can shape the public’s opinion

WSIL-TV – Jan. 8, 2020

Tammy Kochel, Criminology and Criminal Justice, discusses how terminology can impact public opinion when describing police response and how police can maintain a good relationship with the public.

How the Georgia Senate runoff impacts the Heartland

KFVS-TV – Jan. 5, 2021

John Shaw, the director of the Paul Simon Public Policy Institute, said the outcome will impact President-elect Joe Biden’s first 24 months in office.

SIU shares FFA horse judging coast to coast

FarmWeekNow – Jan. 5, 2021

Consider the Southern Illinois University (SIU) College of Agricultural, Life and Physical Sciences and its virtual FFA horse judging contest that reached students across the country as far as Alaska.

SIU Alumni Association partners with Admissions to ‘Recruit a Saluki’

WSIU InFocus – Jan. 4, 2020

John Frost, SIU Carbondale Admissions director and Jeff Gleim, SIU Alumni Association executive director, discuss the new "Recruit A Saluki" program.

SIU in the News highlights selected media coverage featuring the work and contributions of the university and members of the SIU community. Contact Andrea Steen, University Communications and Marketing,, 618-453-2518, to add or remove faculty and staff from the internal distribution list.

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