SIU Alumni Association President-Elect Mike Kasser talks to the textbook recipients at the ceremony.

 The SIU Alumni Association has awarded 49 students with more than $20,000 worth of textbooks for the spring semester. The Association hosted a brief ceremony Jan.14 to gather students and college deans for the presentation of these books. The textbook scholarships have become an annual tradition the Association proudly continues. It’s National Board of Directors first allocated money for such a purpose in 2008. From there, the awards and impact on students’ lives have grown.

“We hope receiving these textbook awards will help each of you continue on your path of success,” Association Board President-Elect Mike Kasser ’78 told the group.

To receive the award, students must demonstrate a financial need and have a GPA of at least 3.0. The Association worked with Saluki Cares this year to help determine which students best fit the profile of eligibility. The textbook scholarships are just one example of how the Association engages with the campus community, connecting alumni and current students.

“Often we are asked what the Association does,” Executive Director Michelle Suarez says. “We facilitate relationships. The programs and service we offer each year provides opportunities for students to engage with alumni, while at the same time engaging alumni and Association members with SIU.”

The following is a list of the students who received the scholarships, along with their majors and hometowns:


  • Dalton Michels, Chemistry, Albion, IL
  • Sarah Demkovich, Aviation Flight/Aviation Management, Algonquin, IL
  • Brock Ohl, Physical Therapy, Assumption, IL
  • Robert Thies, Electronic Journalism, Ava, IL
  • Alexandrea Damery, Forestry, Blue Mound, IL
  • Devin Helm, Accountancy, Bluford, IL
  • Jalon Hatley, Business Management, Chicago, IL
  • Sydney Grover, Criminology and Criminal Justice, Chicago, IL
  • Bianca Alaniz, Psychology, Chicago, IL
  • Kyanna Haywood, Radiology, Chicago, IL
  • Jovan Gathings, Speech Communications, Chicago, IL
  • Taylor Shufford, Undecided, Chicago, IL
  • Kerriane Waters, Juris Doctor, Dunlap, IL
  • Ronald Madlock, Law, East St. Louis, IL
  • Charly Lowery, Chemistry, Eldorado, IL
  • Alex Glasnovich, Information System Technology, Galesburg, IL
  • Taylor Medernach, Psychology, Geneva, IL
  • Alexandra Mistak, Sociology, Geneva, IL
  • Jessi Funkhouser, Animal Sciences, Grayville, IL
  • Aundrae Burrowes, Information Systems Technology, Gurnee, IL
  • Heather Pierce, Spanish/Foreign Language and Int. Public Service, Herrin, IL
  • Kenny Grundy, Music Business, Hodges Park, IL
  • Seyla Balcazar, Radiation Therapy, Joliet, IL
  • Jaclyn Wittenborn, Workforce Education and Development, Mascoutah, IL
  • Jennifer Koob, Elementary Education, Morton Grove, IL
  • Eduardo Sanchez, Civil and Environmental Engineering, Normal, IL
  • Scott Shackmann, Foreign Language/Int. Trade, Odin, IL
  • Danny Duerdoth, Business and Administration, Oswego, IL
  • Brittany Johnson, Mech. Engineering, Palatine, IL
  • Abigail Englund, Art History, Pecatonica, IL
  • Stephanie Cessna, Accounting, Potomac, IL
  • Christopher Watson, Information Systems Technology, South Holland, IL
  • Amanda Erd, Journalism, St. Charles, IL
  • Brian Hankey, Civil Engineering, Steger, IL
  • Lateesha Baquet, Psychology, Tamms, IL
  • Michele South, Anthropology, West Frankfort, IL
  • Michael Dinn, Juris Doctor, West Frankfort, IL
  • Natasha Hammonds, Radiological Sciences, West Frankfort, IL


  • Rosa Covarrubias, Accounting, Los Angeles, CA
  • Daniel Denge, Workforce Education, San Diego, CA


  • Elizabeth Biever, Agribusiness Economics, Evansville, IN
  • Joshua Nygren, Juris Doctor, Indianapolis, IN


  • Delila Brandon, Zoology, Owensville, MO


  • Isaac Onoh, Computer Engineering, Arochukwu, Abia State
  • Dominique Crespo, Zoology, Ecuador
  • Fatoumata Saidou Hangadoumbo, Biological Sciences, Niamey, Niger
  • Mirko Tadinac, Biochemistry, Split, Croatia

Military Off-Campus

  • Nicolas Nixon, Radio-Television, Ramstein AFB