Mark Maassel of Indiana Energy Association to Deliver Keynote Address

Valparaiso University will host the 2014 Innovators Café on Thursday, June 19, featuring keynote speaker Mark Maassel, vice president of the Indiana Energy Association and former president of NIPSCO.

The event’s theme is “Developing the Engineering Leaders of Tomorrow Through Innovation” and is a collaboration between Valparaiso University’s College of Engineering and Ivy Tech Community College Northwest’s Gerald I. Lamkin Innovation and Entrepreneurship Center and Society of Innovators.

“We’re honored to partner with Ivy Tech Northwest to host the 21st Innovators Café, which offers an invaluable opportunity for our community to explore innovations in the sciences and how they connect to our everyday lives and professions,” said Eric Johnson ’87, Ph.D., dean of the College of Engineering.

Two 2014 Valparaiso University graduates join an accomplished group of Fulbright grant recipients, bringing the total to 30 Valpo grantees in the past 15 years. Noah Finegan ’14 and Ryan Huffman ’13, ’14 M.A. accepted Fulbright grants to study and teach abroad in Austria and Taiwan during the 2014-2015 academic year.

In November 2013, Valpo was recognized by the United States Department of State as one of the colleges and universities that has graduated the most 2013-2014 Fulbright United States students. The Fulbright Program annually awards grants to approximately 1,500 students to study, teach English, and conduct research in more than 110 countries throughout the world. The grants allow students to bridge the gap between their studies and the workforce as they enhance their knowledge of both other cultures and their own skills and ambitions.

“It is an honor for the hard work and dedication of Valpo students and alumni to continue to be recognized by the Fulbright Program,” said Mark R. Schwehn ’67, Valparaiso University provost. “This distinction reflects the high academic standards we hold for all Valparaiso University students, and I am confident that Noah and Ryan will continue to succeed in their future endeavors.”

Valparaiso University will offer an academic camp for elementary and middle school students June 16 through June 27.

The camp, “Summer Smart, Summer Fun,” continues the legacy of the late Valpo professor Alan Bloom, who led its development in 2013. The purpose of the program is to help children to learn about the world in an environment full of fun and exploration. Participants will create special projects, science experiments, and original stories to take home and share with parents and friends.

Faculty from Valparaiso University and teachers from the local area will lead topics that are sure to make this camp a memorable one. Interactive courses include robotics, Spanish, creative writing, geography, history, physics, chemistry, and astronomy.

Christ College freshmen Victoria Bruick and Eric Smith have been selected from a group of finalists for the incoming class of the prestigious Kemper Scholars Program.

Victoria Bruick, an English and music performance major from Bakersfield, Calif., is a member of the Valparaiso University Symphony Orchestra and the Social Action Leadership Team (SALT). She co-led SALT’s 2014 World Relief Campaign, which totaled $30,137 in funds to provide workshops, childcare, and educational support to Kibera, Kenya.

Eric Smith, an international relations and international economics and cultural affairs major from Dearborn, Mich., is a violinist in the Valparaiso University Symphony Orchestra and a member of the Valparaiso Mock Trial Team, which develops students’ oral advocacy skills, case preparation and presentation, and understanding of the ethical issues involved in trial advocacy.

More than 850 undergraduate, graduate, and law students will participate in commencement ceremonies Friday, May 16, Saturday, May 17, and Sunday, May 18. The 2013-2014 academic year concludes yet another chapter of the University’s proven excellence in education, leadership, faith, and service.

“During Opening Convocation in August, I challenged each member of our student body to have the courage to live a life that defies expectations,” said Mark A. Heckler, Ph.D., Valparaiso University President. “As the academic year comes to a close and we prepare to send our 2014 graduates out into the world, I have every confidence that these young women and men will continue to raise the bar as they come to understand what it means to be Valpo alumni.”

Here’s a look back at highlights for Valparaiso University’s 2013-2014 academic year:

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.

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.

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.”

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

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