College of Arts and Sciences
STEM Fair for Underrepresented Students

STEM posterThe first-ever Charles Morris Science, Technology, Engineering and Mathematics (STEM) Fair will be from 7 to 8:30 p.m. on Tuesday, Nov. 18, in the Old Main Room of the Bone Student Center.

This inaugural fair aims to educate students about majors in the STEM fields. “We have a lot of complex problems in science right now – from medicines to clean water to renewable energy – and we need diverse opinions and ideas to solve them,” said Professor of Chemistry Lisa Szczepura, who is helping to organize the fair along with Associate Dean of Students Rick Lewis and Christa Platt of University College. “Think of it as you would an investment portfolio. You don’t want all of the same investments.”

“It’s the same in science. If you do not have a variety of people from different backgrounds bringing new ideas, then you are doing the same science that was done 50 years ago. No one moves forward.”

The event will include networking with faculty and advisors from STEM departments and meeting with successful students from underrepresented backgrounds. “If you see someone you can relate to, who is successful in a STEM major, then you believe it can be done,” said Szczepura. “And talking with those students provides the opportunity to ask, ‘What was helpful to your success?’”

The evening will include a roundtable discussion allowing students the chance to explore a discipline. “This is not just for students already majoring in STEM fields,” said Szczepura. “It is for any underrepresented student who might have an interest in the STEM area, whether they have declared a major or not.”

Szczepura proposed the fair as an outreach project through her recently funded grant from the National Science Foundation. Named after Associate Professor of Math and Vice President Emeritus of Administrative Services Charles Morris, the fair is sponsored by My Brotha’s Keeper, My Sister’s Keeper, University College and the Department of Chemistry.

For additional information on the fair, contact Szczepura at 438-2359.

News from the College

New Solar Car Unveiled
photo of solar car and team

Solar Car Team

The Illinois State University Solar Car Team held an unveiling of the Mercury IV solar car on Sunday, Nov. 16, at noon in the foyer of the Science Laboratory Building. Members of the crew were available to answer questions about the car.

The car will be shipped Nov. 17 to Abu Dhabi, to prepare for the first-ever Abu Dhabi Solar Challenge. The team will be competing with “Merc IV” from Jan. 15 to 19, 2015, with 20 other solar car teams from around the world in a 1,200-kilometer race that will start and end in Abu Dhabi, United Arab Emirates. Illinois State students will be traveling to Abu Dhabi for the race, driving the student-designed vehicle that has seen more than a thousand miles in solar car races in the U.S. Learn more about the solar car and the race in Abu Dhabi.

For more information, contact Illinois State Solar Car Team President Sarah Noll at Sarah Noll

Colloquium to Explore “The Physics of Football”

51mlJ9R6MiL._SY344_BO1,204,203,200_The Department of Physics will host Professor Timothy Gay, University of Nebraska—Lincoln, for a colloquium exploring “The Physics of Football,” on Tuesday, November 18 at 4 p.m. in Room 214, Moulton Hall. His talk will discuss a series of one-minute physics lectures given to the ῀ 8 x 104 fans that attend the University of Nebraska home football games. The lecture topics range from gyroscopic motion to ionizing collisions between linebackers and I-backs. The problem of simultaneous edification and amusement of the fan in the stands is considered. Refreshments will be served 15 minutes prior to each colloquium in the adjoining hallway or in the room. Moulton Hall is located on School Street in Normal, south of the College Avenue intersection. For more information, contact the Department of Physics at 309-438-8756 or


What’s So Great about the Family?

photo of bookDr. Harry Brighouse, Department of Philosophy at the University of Wisconsin—Madison, will present “What’s So Great about the Family Anyway?” at a colloquium on Thursday, November 20 at 4 p.m. in Room 401A, Stevenson Hall. This event is sponsored by the Department of Philosophy and is free and open to the public. Brighouse is the co-author of Family Values: The Ethics of Parent Child Relationships.


Wenning Consults in Brazil
photo of Carl Wenning

Carl Wenning

Dr. Carl J. Wenning, a semi-retired instructional assistant professor and former director of the Physics Department’s teacher education program (1994-2008), has just returned from a two-week stint in Brazil. While there, he spent time giving six invited presentations and consulting at Universidade Estadual Paulina (UNESP) branch campus in Bauru, Universidade Federal de São Carlos (UFSCar) in São Carlos, and the branch campus of Universidade de São Paulo (USP) also in São Carlos. Though he retired in 2008, Wenning remains active in the physics teacher education movement both nationally and internationally. (more…)

More News from the College

Greetings from the Dean!

Dean Gregory SimpsonWelcome to the College of Arts and Sciences at Illinois State University. I invite you to explore on this site the many programs, majors, and minors that we have to offer you.

New way of recognizing faculty accomplishments!

The College recognizes that the receipt of individual fellowships and awards is an honor and we would like to be able to acknowledge the accomplishment of those faculty who receive this type of external funding.

Please help us recognize these accomplishments by completing the short form found here. (DOC)

Events and Deadlines

November 18 - Department of Physics Seminar, Prof. Timothy Gay, University of Nebraska-Lincoln, “Why Isn’t God Ambidextrous?” Room 309, Moulton Hall, 10 a.m.  Free and open to the public.

November 18 – Department of Physics Colloquium, Prof. Timothy Gay, University of Nebraska-Lincoln, “The Physics of Football,” Room 214, Moulton Hall, 4 p.m.  Free and open to the public.

November 19 – International Studies Seminar, Dr. Barbara Ribbens, ISU College of Business, “Global Business Cities,” Noon to 1 p.m., First Floor West Lounge, Bone Student Center.

November 21 – Department of Physics Informal Seminar, Prof. David Sanson, ISU Department of Philosophy, “Passage of Time,”   Room 309, Moulton Hall, Noon to 1 p.m.  Free and open to the public.

November 24 – 28 – ISU Thanksgiving Break. There will be no CASNews on Nov. 24.