Valparaiso University has selected John Palmucci as the Senior Vice President for Finance and Administration. Most recently Palmucci served as the Vice President for Finance and Treasurer at Loyola University Maryland. He begins employment at the University on April 14.

In his new role, Palmucci will provide prudent oversight of the University’s strategic financial goals, and he joins University leadership in advancing the work of its Strategic Plan toward a vibrant and sustainable future.

“I am delighted John is joining our leadership team at Valparaiso University. His extensive experience in strategic planning and financial management in higher education and his passion for responsible stewardship will be essential as Valpo continues the work of preparing women and men sought after for their knowledge, character, and wisdom,” said Mark A. Heckler, Ph.D., president of Valparaiso University. “I look forward to working closely with John, and I believe his skills and talents will make a valuable contribution to the Valpo community.”

Series of Events Held March 18-22

Christ College, the Honors College of Valparaiso University, presents the inaugural Shakespeare Week at Valpo, featuring a week-long residency by Actors From The London Stage.

One of the most admired Shakespearean troupes in the world, Actors From The London Stage is composed of classically-trained actors from prestigious companies, including the Royal Shakespeare Company, the Royal National Theatre, and Shakespeare’s Globe Theatre.

Shakespeare Week at Valpo will showcase a series of events, performances, and workshops, sponsored by Christ College, in collaboration with the Department of English and the Department of Theatre. All performances are in the Valparaiso University Center for the Arts.

Valparaiso University graduate Cheryl Schrader ’84 E.E., Ph.D., has been recognized as an IEEE Fellow for her leadership and contributions in engineering education. Schrader is a past president of the IEEE Control Systems Society and the current chancellor of the Missouri University of Science and Technology.

“It is a great honor to be included in this prestigious group of renowned engineers,” Schrader said. “I joined IEEE while an undergraduate at Valparaiso University, where I not only developed a strong technical and professional foundation complemented by a Christ College education, but also a sense of personal vocation.”

The IEEE, formally known as the Institute of Electrical and Electronics Engineers, confers the grade of fellow upon a person with an outstanding record of accomplishments in any of the IEEE fields of interest. It is the highest grade of membership and is recognized by the technical community as a prestigious honor and an important career achievement.

“This is truly a fitting accomplishment for Cheryl, whose career as an engineer and an educator exemplifies the outstanding nature of Valpo’s College of Engineering alumni,” said Eric Johnson, Ph.D., dean of the College of Engineering.

WHO: Valparaiso University welcomes historian and former Lilly Fellow Darren Dochuk for the 2014 Willis Boyd History Lecture, part of the annual Christ College Symposium and presented in partnership with the Department of History. The lecture honors former Valpo history professor Will Boyd.

Dochuk is associate professor in the humanities at the John C. Danforth Center on Religion and Politics at Washington University in St. Louis. His research focuses on the connections between religion, politics, and culture in modern United States history.

WHAT: Dochuk’s lecture will discuss “Crude Awakenings: A Religious History of Oil and Oil-Patch Politics in America’s Century.” Tapping the story of the Sun Oil Company for illustration, Dochuk will explore the fascinating institutional, ideological, and imaginative connections that drew the business of oil and the church together in the 20th century.

WHEN: Thursday, Feb. 20, 6:30-7:30 p.m.

WHERE: Mueller Hall Refectory, Valparaiso University

WHO: Valparaiso University welcomes entrepreneur Mike Del Ponte, CEO of Soma, a manufacturer of innovative water filters and glass carafes.

Previously, Del Ponte led marketing at BranchOut, the largest professional network on Facebook. He served as a Christian Peacemaker in the West Bank, an orphanage volunteer in Jamaica, a microfinance consultant in Nepal, and as part of the team that created a healthcare program for 355,000 children in Kutch, India.

WHAT: Del Ponte will lead a discussion on the “Journey of a Social Entrepreneur: How to Find and Live Your Calling.” The event is part of the Christ College Symposium and the Institute for Leadership and Service’s exemplary practitioners speaker series and is presented in partnership with the Career Center.

WHEN: Thursday, Feb. 13, 6:30 p.m.

WHERE: Christopher Center Community Room, Valparaiso University

WHO: The Valparaiso International Student Association (VISA) at Valparaiso University presents the 34th annual World Banquet – “Passport to the World” to expose students, faculty, staff, and the community to different cultures.

WHAT: The World Banquet offers the opportunity to experience new and different cultures through cuisine and performances representing countries around the world.

Tickets are $10 for students and $15 for faculty, staff, and the general public. Call 219.464.5007 or visit the Harre Union Welcome Desk to purchase tickets.

WHEN: Saturday, Feb. 15, 6:30 p.m. Doors open at 6 p.m.

WHERE: Harre Union Ballrooms, Valparaiso University

WHO: Valparaiso University and the Special Olympics of Indiana are coming together to raise support and funds to sponsor athletes throughout the state. This is the fourth year that Valparaiso University will host the event on its campus. 

WHAT: The Polar Plunge invites participants who have raised 75 dollars or more to jump into a pool of water. Those who do choose to jump are encouraged to dress up in costumes. All funds raised through the Polar Plunge go toward training and athletic competition for more than 11,000 Special Olympics Indiana athletes. The event is open to the public and free to watch.

WHEN: Saturday, Feb. 15, 1:30 p.m.

WHERE: Athletics-Recreation Center

Valparaiso University celebrated the life and teachings of Martin Luther King Jr. with a weeklong celebration in January.

In commemoration of the 50th anniversary of King’s “I Have a Dream” speech and the March on Washington for Jobs and Freedom, Valpo honored “The Beloved Community” through speakers, presenters, and activities that promoted the respect and value of racial diversity on campus, as well as within the broader community, through dialogue and discourse, art and music, and food and faith.

Highlights included:

  • Student artistic works representing more than 50 Northwest Indiana schools were displayed in the Harre Union.
  • Community conversations focused on King’s “Letters from Birmingham Jail” throughout Porter County.
  • The documentary “Half the Sky” based on the book by Pulitzer Prize-winning co-authors Sheryl WuDunn and Nicholas D. Kristof was screened.
  • A Martin Luther King Jr. Day Convocation Service was celebrated at the Chapel of the Resurrection. Readers and musicians from the community participated in the service, which was capped by a keynote speech by the Rev. John Nunes, Jochum Chair and Professor at Valpo. The service featured the presentation of the Martin Luther King Jr. Award to Professor Stacy Hoult-Saros, for her work to further King’s vision of multicultural accord and celebration.
  • More than 30 focus sessions highlighting “The Beloved Community” throughout campus.
  • A closing program featuring a presentation by Chicago-based theater company Silk Road Rising.

The College of Business at Valparaiso University has developed a new major in business analytics, joining an emerging trend in higher education seeking to address a growing marketplace need. The program will build on the College’s history of developing ethical professionals who are leaders in their fields.

“There is a shortage of employees who have the knowledge and skills to take advantage of ‘big data’,” said James Brodzinski, dean of the College of Business. “Business schools — including Valparaiso University’s College of Business — have a responsibility to educate data-savvy managers who have the conceptual knowledge and quantitative skills to be able to frame and interpret analyses in an effective manner.”

A report from the McKinsey Global Institute states that by 2018 there will be a shortage of up to 190,000 analytical professionals, in addition to a deficit of 1.5 million data-savvy managers with effective decision-making skills — in the United States alone. With 90 percent of the world’s data created in the past two years, according to IBM, companies are looking for employees who can harness this data, analyze it, and provide executives with the information needed to excel.

Students in Valpo’s business analytics program will be equipped to meet this need through a rigorous curriculum that focuses on spreadsheet modeling, database management, statistics for decision making, visual effects, and data mining.

The Valparaiso University College of Business is accredited by the Association to Advance Collegiate Schools of Business, placing it among the top 5 percent of business schools internationally. The College’s new business analytics program is part of the Bachelor of Science in Business Administration degree, which also offers majors in accounting, finance, international business, management, and marketing.

WHO: Valparaiso University alumnus and award-winning novelist and essayist Fredrick Barton ’70 will speak as part of Valpo’s Christ College Symposium series.

Fredrick Barton is an award-winning fiction writer and critic. He holds a B.A. and Honorary Doctorate of Humane Letters from Valparaiso University and did graduate work under a Danforth Fellowship, earning degrees from the University of California, Los Angeles and the Writers’ Workshop at the University of Iowa. He is the author of seven books, including the volume of essays “Rowing to Sweden” and the novels “The El Cholo Feeling Passes,” “Courting Pandemonium,” “Black and White on the Rocks,” and “A House Divided,” which won the William Faulkner Prize. Other awards include the Award of Excellence from the Association of Religious Journals for his feature essay “Breaches of Faith” about recovery efforts in New Orleans after Hurricane Katrina. His fifth novel, “In the Wake of the Flagship,” will be published in 2014.

WHAT: In a lecture titled “A Writer and His Work,” Barton will read excerpts from two of his novels and discuss his life and work as a writer. There is no cost to attend.

WHEN: Thursday, Jan. 30, 6:30-7:30 p.m.

WHERE: Mueller Hall Refectory, Valparaiso University

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