Deeper Community Engagement

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Deeper Community Engagement

Deeper Community Engagement— putting our students, faculty and knowledge to work to make a difference

Committed and Connected

Each year for nearly four decades, filmmakers from around the world have vied to show their work in Southern Illinois, and the people of the university and the region have come to watch. The event is the Big Muddy Film Festival, showcasing dozens of innovative films each year. It’s a celebration of cinematic art, a monument to student initiative, and also evidence of an institution committed and connected to its region.

Of course, the film festival is just one highlight of community engagement among many. Neighbors from across the region help fill the stands at Saluki athletic events. They take in the Southern Illinois Music Festival and SIU Jazz Festival. They tune into WSIU for news and turn to SIU’s health system for world-class clinical care.

A Healthier Region

SIU’s School of Medicine is working to advance the health of the community in ways that go far beyond excellent clinical care. Through its Office of Population Science and Policy, the school is taking on challenges that disproportionately affect the people of central and southern Illinois. The goal: to work with communities to create innovative programs, measure their effectiveness, then advocate for improved policies based on the results. With added resources, our talented team is ready to tackle a whole range of new challenges.

Learning and Serving

For their part, SIU students complete internships with companies across the region and student-teach in area schools. They welcome local kids to science fairs on campus and volunteer through a range of community service projects. At the School of Law, they provide those in need with legal counsel, through clinics serving the elderly, juveniles and victims of domestic abuse. 

The university also reflects its regional roots in its research agenda, from agricultural scientists supporting the Illinois wine industry to doctors at the School of Medicine seeking the sources of regional problems such as increased rates of certain cancers or respiratory disorders in the rural counties they serve.

Years after their experiences here, our alumni tend to reminisce about community connections of other kinds—the Carbondale restaurants they once loved to haunt and the local businesses where they worked their way through school.

Strengthening Ties

SIU’s commitment to Southern Illinois grows from our identity as a public university, with a mission of public service. It also reflects an educational philosophy that prizes useful knowledge. We prepare our students to put their abilities to work in the real world and we seek, whenever possible, to apply the brainpower of the university to solve practical problems.

With increased financial support—for special events, outreach programs, student organizations and faculty research—we can expand the many partnerships that link SIU with our community for our mutual benefit.