WSIU InFocus

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WSIU takes a closer look at issues around the region. From arts and entertainment, to science and nature, the environment, politics, and other topics people are talking about.

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Scientists are conducting more and more studies on how nature affects the brain and how it can improve some health issues. WSIU's Brad Palmer has this report.

WSIU's Jennifer Fuller talks with Jane Adams and Lee Fronabarger of Friends of Carbondale Dog Parks about their fundraising project for new facilities in the community.

WSIU's Jennifer Fuller talks with SIUC Student Trustee Brione Lockett about his Campus Conversations series.

WSIU's Jennifer Fuller talks with Live 2 Lead Facilitator Russ Williams about the 2019 event in Marion:

Local Teacher Leads Backpack Initiative

Oct 10, 2019

A campaign to provide Carbondale students, who otherwise could not afford them, with backpacks is going on now through October 31st, 2019.

WSIU's Jennifer Fuller talks with Kurt Przybilla, the 2019 SIU University Honors Program Glassman Lecturer, about drawing inspiration from R. Buckminster Fuller, and how he inspires others.


Interim SIUC Chancellor John Dunn talks with WSIU's Jennifer Fuller about the search for his successor, along with other leadership priorities for the SIU Carbondale campus.

WSIU's Jennifer Fuller talks with SIUC College of Business Dean Terry Clark about the upcoming 2019 Technology and Innovation Expo.

WSIU's Jennifer Fuller talks with Animal Scientist Temple Grandin, ahead of her lecture with the Paul Simon Public Policy Institute at SIU Carbondale.

WSIU's Jennifer Fuller talks with The Women's Center Development Specialist John Pfeiffer and Prevention Educator Rachel Brenningmeyer about events and information tied to Domestic Violence Awareness Month.

Links to more information:

The Women's Center on Facebook

The Women's Center Website

On a hot September day, five Japanese men arrived at Rod Pierce’s central Iowa farm. They represented feed mills and livestock cooperatives, and were there to see the corn they may eventually buy. 

Pierce invited them to walk among his rows of corn, climb into the cab of an 8-head combine and poke their heads into one his empty grain storage bins. 

WSIU InFocus: A Monarch's Journey With Mike Baltz.

Sep 30, 2019
WSIU Kevin Boucher

Each year, Monarch butterflies make an amazing journey from the United States and Canada to a secluded, mountain sanctuary in Mexico.

Isabel Campbell was standing in a long line of freshmen waiting to move into the new dorms on the University of Illinois at Chicago campus last month when she was approached by a man wearing a blue polo and sneakers.

As part of our statewide “Enrollment Exodus” collaboration, WNIJ’s Peter Medlin spoke with Tri States Public Radio News Director Rich Egger. They talked about Egger’s reporting on Western Illinois University and how enrollment decline affects every part of their community.

A four-year degree is not the only option for students when they finish high school. But many choose community college in an effort to join the workforce sooner and save on tuition costs.

When Francisco Gamino arrived at Parkland College four years ago, he didn’t know how to balance work and find the time he needed to study.

Illinois State University had another great recruiting year, with a 1.2% increase in total enrollment and the largest freshman class in 33 years. It's another stable year. Several other schools throughout the state continued years of enrollment drops.

International students, especially those from China, play a crucial role in funding the University of Illinois Urbana-Champaign.

WSIU's Jennifer Fuller talks with Nathan Bonner and Mona Miller about SIU's SalukiCon 2019.

In addition to the weekend schedule, preview events are scheduled ahead of SalukiCon - a "sword experience" with Highlander's Adrian Paul, and a screening of "Army of Darkness." Schedule and full information are at

Illinois colleges and universities have been under pressure for years from smaller graduating classes, out-of-state competition and changing demographics. Private higher education institutions in the state face the same challenges public schools do and a couple extra.

African American Heritage Project Retells Local History

Sep 23, 2019
Amelia Blakely

As time goes on, stories about who people are, where they came from and why make up a region's collective history. When new information is revealed, truths change.

Across southern Illinois, small and rural communities are archiving oral history for historians to have a more complete picture of the past. 

Paul Simon Public Policy Institute

WSIU's Jennifer Fuller talks with Pulitzer Prize-winning author and historian David Kennedy ahead of his Morton-Kenney Distinguished Lecture at SIU Carbondale:

What happens when universities see enrollment plunge year after year? For many Illinois schools, they focus on how to hold on to the students already walking their halls. Students often leave between their first and second year.

Tammy Yates was excited to come to Macomb seven years ago. Yates and her partner Chad Hunziker opened Chubby's, a restaurant on West Adams Street, just a few blocks from the Western Illinois University campus.

WSIU's Jennifer Fuller talks with Carbondale Public Library Director Diana Brawley-Sussman about the upcoming More Speech Conversation via the School of the Art Institute of Chicago, the ACLU, and others.

WSIU's Jennifer Fuller talks with SIU Debate Director Todd Graham, along with SIU Interim Communication Studies Chair Sandy Pensoneau-Conway about the 2019 Constitution Day Debate: "Impeach Trump?"

Cairo Terminal Conceptual Layout
CDG Engineers / CDG Engineers

The city of Cairo has seen its ups and downs since it was established in the mid 1800’s.

The confluence of two major rivers made this river port town a hub for rail and river shipping to Chicago and New Orleans.

The city has seen a steady decline since the 1940’s, but there’s a project in development that some say could change Cairo for the better.


WSIU's Jennifer Fuller talked with Interim SIUC Chancellor John Dunn about Fall 2019 priorities, including enrollment and budget.

Betty Koed is the Historian of the United States Senate.  It’s a post she’s held since 2015 following nearly two decades of service as a staff member of that office.  

Koed is a guest of the Paul Simon Public Policy Institute and is visiting the Southern Illinois University campus Monday.  WSIU's Jeff Williams spoke with Koed about her role in the US Senate.

Koed he will give a talk Monday night at the SIU Law School beginning at 6:00pm.  The event is free and open to the public. 

Brad Palmer, WSIU Radio

For one afternoon recently, residents in Cairo were able to relive some of the glory days from the Pilots' storied high school basketball program. WSIU's Brad Palmer was there and has this report.