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Phi Beta Sigma Helps SIUE Students Look Business Ready
Illinois Ag Connection - 01/11/2019

More than 100 Southern Illinois University Edwardsville male students were dressed for success thanks to the Phi Beta Sigma Fraternity, Inc. Alumni Chapter Epsilon Lambda Sigma of East St. Louis.

Students from SIUE's Collegiate 100 Chapter and Goal-Oriented African American Men Excel (GAME) received a suit and/or dress shirt in the Morris University Center's University Club. The Teamsters National Black Caucus Chapter of St. Louis donated more than 300 business shirts and 31 suits to SIUE students, according to Dr. Freddie Wills, Phi Beta Sigma member.

Other members of the Phi Beta Sigma chapter who were part of the presentation and distribution of the business attire were James Brown, vice president, and Steve Roberts, chaplain, who attended SIUE from 1984-86.

"Our fraternity was discussing ways we could help young men on the SIUE campus. We thought of providing items for a career search, because we know how hard it can be to acquire business attire," said Wills. "Then we had a unique opportunity to partner with the Teamsters National Black Caucus Chapter of St. Louis, who provided us with the business attire."

"Our SIUE students are fortunate to have been chosen as the beneficiaries of this collaborative effort," said Earleen Patterson, PhD, director of Student Opportunities for Academic Results (SOAR). "The organizations involved heard about our initiatives that support the retention and graduation of African American males." The GAME program is coordinated by Patterson and Howard Rambsy, PhD, professor in the Department of English Language and Literature.

"The Phi Beta Sigma Fraternity contacted Dr. Patterson with the offer of providing suits and business attire to male students," said Darryl Cherry, SOAR coordinator of retention. "Distribution of the business clothes culminated our three-series workshop, the Art of the Professional."

The workshops were provided by the 100 Black Men of America, Inc. to increase student preparedness for internships and professional employment opportunities. The workshops discussed professional dress and etiquette, resume writing and interviewing, and a panel discussion with Wells Fargo, according to Cherry.

"Phi Beta Sigma Fraternity Inc. is committed to helping young African American males succeed in their efforts to attain a degree," added Wills. "Our chapter is delighted to support the efforts of the GAME program. We see this as an opportunity to provide mentorship to young men at SIUE, and we would like to have continued engagement with students participating in GAME."

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