Welcome from the Dean | COAS | SIU

Southern Illinois University



Welcome from the Dean

Welcome to a new academic year and to the first edition of an e-newsletter we will send periodically to keep you informed about the College of Agricultural Sciences at Southern Illinois University Carbondale.

An overall goal in this college is sustainability. A recent initiative is our joint effort with the Sustainability Counsel and the campus community to expand our “green” efforts through a new compost facility.  The new facility is designed to augment academic excellence through research experiences for our students and faculty, and at the same time, present entrepreneurial efforts to expand our footprint in signature programs.

Leadership Team:

As a college, we aspire to grow enrollment and research efforts by 20 per cent over the next five years. A top resource is our people. I am pleased to announce we have our Agriculture Leadership Team in place.

  • Karen Midden, associate dean
  • Karen Jones, chair of the Department of Plants, Soils and Agricultural Systems
  • Ira Altman, chair of Department of Agribusiness Economics
  • William Banz, chair of the Department of Animal Science, Foods and Nutrition
  • James Zaczek, chair of the Department of Forestry  

Over the past year, we also hired three tenure track faculty members, a new recruiter, two academic advisers and three University Farms employees. We have active searches for tenure-track positions for: weed scientist, fermentation science, and agriculture economics. We expect to fill these positions this academic year.

New Faces

  • Erin Venable, equine specialist, Department of Animal Science, Foods and Nutrition
  • Srimathi Kannan, foods and nutrition specialist, Department of Science, Foods and Nutrition
  • Kofi Akamani, Department of Forestry
  • Peter Dirks, recruiter
  • Kim Taylor, academic adviser
  • Katy Elson, academic adviser
  • Ted Ballard, University Farms
  • Jimmy Pucket, University Farms
  • Colton Collier, University Farms

Achievements and Promotions:

Alan Walters, professor in the Department of Plant, Soil and Agricultural Systems, received a Fulbright Senior Research Scholar award. He will spend two months a year for three years in Morocco working with the Institut National de la Recherché Agronomique at the Agadir Center in Morocco. He will research selections for improved vegetable varieties for use by low income farmers.

Faculty tenure promotions

  • Amer Abughazaleh, professor
  • Jason Bond, professor
  • Eduardo Gastal, associate professor
  • Clay Nielsen, professor
  • Silvia Sechhi, associate professor

62nd All Agriculture Banquet

  • 2014 College of Agricultural Sciences Outstanding Young Alumnus Award: Fahran Robb
  • 2014 College of Agricultural Sciences Outstanding Alumnus Award: Bill Raben
  • Donald M. Elkins Excellence in Education Award: Peter Dirks
  • Gary L. Minish Outstanding Adviser Award: Nicole Davis
  • Outstanding senior: Lauren Arteman (Bellflower), plant and soil science. Runner-up: Kara Cox (Plainfield), agricultural systems
  • Herb Oetjen Outstanding Junior Award: Cecily Haase (Staunton), human nutrition and dietetics. Runner-up: Morgan Schulte (Breese), forestry.
  • Outstanding club: Student Nutrition Academic Counsel (SNAC) and Collegiate FFA. Runner-up: SIU Equestrian Team.