College of Arts and Sciences
Solar Car Team Launches July 12
image of Mike Rose

Solar Car Team Vice President Mike Rose talks about the Mercury V during construction in the workshop at Illinois State.

Illinois State’s Solar Car Team is taking to the road for the American Solar Challenge (ASC), a multi-day, 1,700-mile cross-country road race across North America

Open to teams from around the world, the ASC is an annual competition for college students to design, build and race solar-powered cars. This year’s event will stretch from Austin, Texas, to St. Paul, Minnesota. Faculty and staff can follow the progress of the team with daily posts on their Facebook page.



The ASC alternates annually between an open-road challenge and the closed-course Grand Prix. Illinois State University’s Solar Car Team has been building and racing solar-powered cars since 2005. The team placed second last year in the closed-course grand prix, and seventh in the 1,650-mile, open-road race in 2012. And that is without the million-dollar budgets some other teams have with support from car manufacturers.

As in years past, the Illinois State team of students designed and built the solar-powered vehicle, known as Mercury V, and will face eight punishing days on the road during the race.

“A race like this shows you how many things can go wrong,” said team Vice President Mike Rose, who helped design the car. Rose, a renewable energy major, has served on the team for the last three years. “It’s exciting to see a car brought to life from designs, and then see how successful it is on the road.”

The annual competition challenges college students to design, build and race solar-powered cars. The Illinois State Solar Car team takes a year to design and build the vehicle. “We have put a tremendous amount of time and effort into this car and we have high expectations for ourselves as a team and for Merc 5 as well,” said Sarah Noll, president of this year’s team.

This year’s Illinois State University car will feature a move from three tires to four, and the inclusion of two lighter “hub” motors, as opposed to the previous chain-drive motor. “We also have a new encapsulating process for the solar cells which means we’ll be able to gather more power from the sun,” said Rose.

Persons wishing to learn more about ways to support the solar car team may contact Dr. Dan Holland at or (309) 438-8756.


News from the College

Students Study Abroad in Italy

new1Assistant Professor of History Kathryn Jasper and Assistant Professor of Art History Lea Cline are currently leading a study abroad program this summer in Orvieto, Italy. Students from both the College of Arts and Sciences and the College of Fine Arts are spending four weeks in Italy learning about Italian language, culture, art, and history. (more…)

Redbirds Go to the Ends of the Earth to Represent ISU
Dr. Carl Wenning and Rebecca Wenning Vieyra

Dr. Carl Wenning and Rebecca Wenning Vieyra

A father-daughter team returned recently from nearly three weeks in Indonesia where they lectured, consulted, held seminars, and conducted workshops – all related to the teaching of high school physics. The goal of their work is the improvement of teacher preparation and science teaching at the secondary level. Representing the Redbirds were Dr. Carl Wenning and Rebecca Wenning Vieyra. (more…)

The Great War Marks 100 Years
image of Ross Kennedy

Ross Kennedy

Called The Great War or “the war to end all wars” – at least until World War II some 30 years later – the first World War redrew the globe’s maps, toppled empires and ushered in new technology that would be used for good and for ill during the next century.

This summer marks the 100th anniversary of World War I. Professor of History Ross Kennedy takes a look at the tinder of Europe that led to that fatal spark of war, and the newer theories about the coming of World War I. (No, it was not all Germany’s fault.) (more…)

Smart Grid Education Gets $450,000 Boost

image of a smart grid

Illinois State University received a $450,000 grant to train K-12 teachers through the University’s Smart Grid for Schools program, which offers schools an opportunity to learn about the smart grid technology being rolled out by investor-owned utilities throughout Illinois. (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

August 18 - Fall semester classes begin.

September 9 - Dean’s Fall Address. Old Main Room, Bone Student Center, 3:30 p.m.