The Committee to Enhance Learning and Teaching at Valparaiso University has selected Professor Jan Westrick, Assistant Professor Stacy Maugans, and Assistant Professor Shahin Nudehi as the recipients of the Valparaiso University Excellence in Teaching Award for 2014-2015. The awards recognize a number of outstanding undergraduate faculty members each year for general teaching excellence, with particular attention to course development, pedagogy, and mentoring/advising.

“At Valparaiso University, teaching is central. Though teaching is a daily task, finding time to consciously think about it is difficult,” Maugans said. “Part of the intriguing nature of teaching is that there is always more to learn. I have learned so much from Valpo faculty, and I know that I still have much to learn from others.”

Valparaiso University has named Professor Phillip Powell, Ed.D., as Special Assistant to the Provost for Inclusion, effective June 1, 2014. Powell currently serves on Valpo’s faculty in the communication department.

“Professor Powell is an accomplished leader on Valpo’s faculty and an excellent selection for this position,” said Mark R. Schwehn, ’67, provost and executive vice president for academic affairs. “He continually demonstrates a true commitment to fostering a campus environment where women and men of differing backgrounds, cultures, and faiths may come together in open dialogue built on mutual respect and understanding.”

In his role, Powell will work closely with students, faculty, staff, and community members to explore opportunities and develop a proactive and positive strategy to make Valparaiso a more inclusive and welcoming community.

As Valpo seeks to grow the total enrollment to 6,000 students as part of the Strategic Plan, University leadership continues to identify opportunities to promote cultural exchanges in a rich, diverse community. The University recently announced its participation in Generation Study Abroad, a national initiative that promotes global learning opportunities. Valpo also hosts multicultural activities on campus throughout the year. Powell will provide crucial oversight as the University further promotes efforts to build connections across campus that enrich the educational experience.

“I look forward to working with the leadership of the University to help shape a more holistic vision for diversity and inclusion,” Powell said.

Powell joined Valpo’s faculty in 1994 and has been actively involved on campus through the Diversity Concerns Committee, the Martin Luther King Jr. Day Committee, Faculty Senate, the Campus Community Policy Committee, and the Creative Work and Research Committee.

In addition to his role as an educator, Powell works closely with Valpo students outside of the classroom. He co-advises the Black Student Organization (BSO) and assists students in planning focus sessions for the annual Martin Luther King Jr. Day Celebration, Black History Month activities, and other cultural events, as well as facilitating seminars on interpersonal communication, race and ethnicity, and organizational leadership. This role also provides Powell with the opportunity to interact with other multicultural student organizations including Latinos in Valparaiso for Excellence (LIVE) and Alliance, the LGBTQ student organization.

In 2013, he traveled with a group of students on a spring break trip to Selma, Montgomery, and Birmingham, Alabama, where they visited historical sites, participated in the 48th anniversary march across the Edmund Pettus Bridge, and contributed to a civil rights symposium at Concordia College of Selma. Powell said the trip was an enlightening experience that he will cherish for years to come.

In 2009, Powell became a volunteer mentor for 100 Black Men of Chicago, a non-profit comprised of successful, professional African-American men who provide mentoring and enhance educational opportunities for young African-American males throughout the greater Chicago area.

Powell holds an Ed.D. in Instructional Technology from Northern Illinois University, a Master of Arts in Media Communications from Governors State University, and a Bachelor of Arts in Communication Studies from Northern Illinois University.

He is chair of the Multicultural Studies Division of the Broadcast Education Association, has authored many book reviews and scholarly publications, and is frequently invited to present at national conferences and seminars.

Construction has begun on Valparaiso University’s new track and field facility, as Valpo breaks ground on the eight-lane Warren G. Hoger Track at Brown Field.

The lead gift for the project was given in honor of Warren Hoger ’53, who was a member of Valpo’s track and field team as an undergraduate and enjoyed a long, distinguished career as the track coach at Walther Lutheran High School in Chicago. In 1983, Hoger was inducted into the Illinois Track and Cross Country Coaches Association Hall of Fame.

“The installation of the Warren Hoger Track is a significant step forward for the University and the Athletics department,” said Mark LaBarbera, director of Athletics. “We will have a first-class facility capable of hosting home track meets and championship events, and it will provide the entire campus community with additional fitness opportunities.”

The track, featuring a state-of-the-art Rekortan all-weather surface, will be located around Brown Field, which currently hosts football and soccer games. It will include high jump, long jump, triple jump, pole vault, and steeplechase areas. The facility will give Valpo the capability to host NCAA Division I track meets, including the Horizon League outdoor championships.

The design-builder for the project is The Hagerman Group of Fort Wayne, Ind., which previously led the development of the University’s Duesenberg Welcome Center.

The track is expected to be completed in August, and there will be a formal dedication during October’s Homecoming and Reunion Weekend.

National Initiative Aims to Double Number of Students Studying Abroad by 2020

Continuing its commitment to present students with global opportunities, Valparaiso University has joined the Institute of International Education’s (IIE) Generation Study Abroad initiative.

Valpo is already a member of the IIE network, and this initiative aligns closely with key University priorities.

“Generation Study Abroad is a wonderful opportunity for Valpo as we seek to increase the number of students who study abroad,” Julie Maddox, director of Study Abroad programs, said. “What’s really interesting about the initiative is that it’s a commitment by all these different universities to come together to make a difference in the lives of students and in education.”

According to a press release from IIE, Generation Study Abroad is a five-year initiative that brings leaders in education, business, and governments together to double the number of United States college students studying abroad. Each university that commits itself to the program must make a pledge to increase the number of their students who study abroad as well as take actions to develop new and expanded activities that will enable more students to study abroad.

Another primary goal of the initiative is to share what is working among higher education institutions such as Valparaiso University. Each university that joins the initiative will have the opportunity to collaborate with peers and share the strategies and practices that have improved Generation Study Abroad on their own campus.

“Our commitment is to increase our total undergraduate and graduate participation from 28 to 50 percent by 2020. We’re already in the top 40 Masters-level universities in the country that send a high percentage of undergraduate students abroad, but there’s more that we can do,” Maddox said.

By joining the initiative, Valpo doesn’t have to do it alone. The IIE will provide participating universities with the following: five to 10 grants per year for study-abroad scholarships to institutions who have made outstanding progress, recognition for members on IIE’s website, annual meetings to share successful strategies, and study-abroad resources and tools for office use as well as for incoming freshmen.

At Valpo, the University will develop a curriculum integration plan that intentionally incorporates long-term study abroad into learning objectives and graduation plans across the disciplines. It also aims to secure financial resources for students to undertake study abroad with sustainable funding.

“Studying abroad often transforms the student on many levels. It offers an intensive learning experience that helps students acquire the strong cross-cultural skills and global awareness needed to lead and serve in a global society,” Maddox said.

To learn more Valparaiso University’s commitment to Study Abroad, contact Julie Maddox at or 219.464.5333.

WHO: Valpo’s Department of Computer and Information Sciences and Office of Information Technology present a panel discussion on “Current Trends in Internet Security.”

Panelists include:

Jim Caristi: Chair, Department of Mathematics and Computer Science (Moderator)
Martin Ignatovski: Instructor of Information Technology
Ryan Freeman-Jones: Instructor of Information Technology
Robert Johnson, CIMCOR Inc.

About the Moderator: Jim Caristi, professor of math and computer science at Valparaiso University, presented a highly successful tutorial on Extreme Programming at SIGCSE 2002. He co-authored a paper, “Extreme Programming and the Software Design Course,” presented at XP Universe 2001, and is co-chair of the educator’s symposium for XP Universe 2001 and XP Agile Universe 2002.

WHAT: Recent high profile news items related to internet security problems, and supposedly secure communication pipelines, have heightened awareness of issues related to computer and internet security. Local experts in the area of internet and cyber security are coming together to offer an information session to any campus or community citizen interested in these topics, and will discuss them with a variety of perspectives, from technical to commercial.

Panelists will address questions such as:

  • What was “Heartbleed” all about?
  • What is OpenSSL and why was it vulnerable?
  • What is a zero day threat?
  • Is there a reason for this sudden cluster of severe security problems?
  • In general, what are our best practices we can take as internet citizens to protect ourselves?

WHEN: Wednesday May 7, 7 – 8:30 p.m.

WHERE: Christopher Center Community Room, Valparaiso University

CONTACT: Ken Luther at 219.464.5181

The College of Business at Valparaiso University introduces a new MBA curriculum with eight concentrations and graduate certificates beginning fall 2014.

“Our new MBA program, with the added daytime, one-year accelerated format, meets the market demand for rigorous, flexible and global management education,” said Jim Brodzinski, Ph.D., dean of the College of Business.

The MBA program features a global emphasis including one term with select universities from around the world. Flexible schedules with daytime and evening classes are available, and the program may be completed in one calendar year. Students who take courses during the day will spend four days each week in the classroom and one day in the field, gaining valuable on-the-job experience.

Valparaiso University has named Jennifer A. Ziegler, Ph.D., as dean of the Graduate School and Continuing Education, effective June 30, 2014. Ziegler currently serves on Valpo’s faculty as graduate program director and associate professor of communication.

In her role as dean, Ziegler will report to the provost and be responsible for the strategic leadership, coordination, and guidance of the Graduate School. She will also oversee recruitment, admission, and advising of graduate and continuing education students, working in close cooperation with the registrar and the vice president for Enrollment Management.

“Professor Ziegler is an outstanding selection as dean of the Graduate School and Continuing Education,” said Mark R. Schwehn ’67, Ph.D., provost and executive vice president for academic affairs. “Her commitment to Valparaiso University is evident through her active involvement on campus, dedication to students, and leadership as an educator.”

Valparaiso University Theatre Presents “Arcadia,” Opening April 30

WHO: The Valparaiso University theatre department presents the final main stage production of the 2013-2014 season, “Arcadia” by Tom Stoppard.

WHAT: Many believe that Arcadia is Tom Stoppard’s greatest work. Winner of the 1994 Olivier Award and the 1995 New York Drama Critics Circle Award for Best Play, it has been described by the New York Times as “a play of intellect, language, and emotion,” by Time Out as “full of complex ideas and pleasures one expects from a master of dramatic composition,” and by the Daily Express as “a dazzling exposition of epigrammatic wit.”

Tickets are $15 for adults and $10 for senior citizens and non-Valpo students. Admission is free for Valpo students, faculty and staff.

WHEN: Wednesday, April 30 through Friday, May 2, at 8 p.m., and Saturday, May 3 and Sunday, May 4, at 2 p.m.

WHERE: Studio Theatre, Center for the Arts, Valparaiso University

CONTACT: Call the Box Office at 219.464.5162 or visit the Center for the Arts website for tickets.

Performance Held May 3 in Chapel of the Resurrection

 Valparaiso University presents the 16th annual Sousa Tribute Concert, in honor of the legendary composer John Philip Sousa, in the Chapel of the Resurrection on Saturday, May 3, at 1 p.m.

The concert features guest narrator John Philip Sousa IV, great-grandson and last living namesake of Sousa, who will provide historical commentary during the performance.

“We have focused on John Philip Sousa each year because he was an exemplary musician and educator and because of his ties to Valparaiso,” said Jeffrey Doebler ’87 M.M., conductor and professor of music. “He was a pioneer in musical performance, composition and music education.”

Generous Alumna Pledges to Add $50 to First 600 Gifts

Valparaiso University is celebrating its first-ever day of giving, encouraging alumni, students, faculty, staff, parents and friends to contribute to the University. The day’s theme is “Proud to be Valpo.”

Inspired by a challenge from alumna Barbara Schwarz ’76, “Proud to be Valpo” is an ambitious, University-wide, one-day effort to engage the entire University community across the country and around the world. The event aims to increase alumni participation and raise awareness about Valpo. Schwarz’s challenge gift will add a match of $50 for each of the first 600 donors making a gift of any size for a total of $30,000.

Those who give to Valpo during the day of giving may direct their gifts to the fund of their choice, allowing the event to benefit a variety of initiatives from scholarships and innovative classroom experiences to athletics programs and essential strategic priorities.

On campus, students, faculty and staff are observing “Proud to be Valpo” day by wearing their Valpo gear and posting to social media with the hashtag #valpoday. Throughout the day, the University will share photos and videos from around campus of community members showing their Valpo pride.

Those who want to participate have several options:

  • Visit
  • Call 219.464.6188

More information about the “Proud to be Valpo” day of giving is available at

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