Valparaiso University director of athletics Mark LaBarbera announced Wednesday Dave Cecchini has been hired as the 17th head football coach in school history.

“We made up a list of all the attributes that would be important for our next head coach, and Dave met every one of them. Everyone we’ve talked to about Dave indicated that he was not only an outstanding football coach, but an outstanding leader of young men,” LaBarbera said.

Cecchini most recently served as offensive coordinator/quarterbacks coach at Lehigh University for four seasons. It was his second stint with the Mountain Hawks. Cecchini also worked in the same capacity at The Citadel and Harvard, having coached Tennessee Titans quarterback Ryan Fitzpatrick and Arizona Cardinals receiver Andre Roberts.

“I’m beyond excited about the opportunity that has been provided to me by Mark LaBarbera and President Heckler. It’s humbling to be brought in and shown the vision for this University, and to then be included in it,” Cecchini said.

Opening Reception is Jan. 10

The Brauer Museum of Art at Valparaiso University will premiere its winter exhibitions, which run from Jan. 7 through April 6, 2014, with an opening reception on Friday, Jan. 10, 2014, at 7 p.m. The new exhibitions are “Trucks: Recent Work by John Himmelfarb,” “Mr. Imagination: Chicago Self-Taught Artist,” and “Modern Vision: Japanese Prints from the Ruth A. Ruege Collection.” In addition, works from the Brauer Museum’s permanent collection will be on display in various galleries throughout the Museum.

WHO: Valparaiso University presents its annual Advent Christmas Vespers service, featuring the Kantorei Choir and the Handbell Choir of the Chapel of the Resurrection.

WHEN: Friday, Dec. 13, 7 p.m. and 10 p.m.

WHAT: A traditional evening of scriptural readings and inspiring music. This year’s theme is “A Visit” and will feature the art of John August Swanson and a newly composed choral work, “Home,” by acclaimed composer Libby Larsen.

For the 7 p.m. service, the choirs will be joined by the Jubilate Children’s Choir of Immanuel Lutheran Church of Valparaiso, Ind.

WHERE: Chapel of the Resurrection, Valparaiso University

CONTACT: There is no charge to attend the service, but advanced-seating tickets are required. Please contact the Chapel at 219.464.5093, ext. 6 to reserve your seat.

Performances on Dec. 6-7 at the Chapel of the Resurrection
and Dec. 8 at Orchestra Hall at Symphony Center, Chicago

Valparaiso University’s Christmas Concert returns the first weekend in December with three performances in two spectacular venues — Valpo’s historic Chapel of the Resurrection and the famed Orchestra Hall at Symphony Center in Chicago.

Continuing an 80-year tradition, the Valparaiso University Christmas Concert: A Carol Festival features more than 200 student performers in the Chorale, Men’s and Women’s choirs, Chamber Concert Band, and Symphony Orchestra. Featured soloists this year include Yuan-Qing Yu, Chicago Symphony assistant concertmaster, Gregory Maytan, violin instructor, and Lorraine Brugh, University organist.

Prestigious Recognition Awarded for Excellence in Undergraduate Education

Regarded as an expert on solar energy research, Robert Palumbo ’80, Ph.D., professor of mechanical engineering and Alfred W. Sieving Chair of Engineering at Valparaiso University, has achieved national recognition as the 2013 Indiana Professor of the Year. Palumbo is the third Valpo professor to receive this prestigious honor; Keith Schoppa, a former professor of hisory, was Indiana Professor of the Year in 1994 and Kristen Mauk, professor of nursing, received the award in 2007.

Sponsored by the Council for the Advancement and Support of Education (CASE) and The Carnegie Foundation, the United States Professor of the Year is the only national program to recognize excellence in undergraduate teaching and mentoring. Each year, the program honors the most outstanding undergraduate instructors in the country — those who excel as teachers and positive influences in the lives and careers of students.

“It is a fitting honor for Professor Palumbo to be recognized for his outstanding record as an educator,” said Mark R. Schwehn, Ph.D., provost and executive vice president for academic affairs. “He is among the most effective, imaginative, passionate and devoted teachers I have known during my 40 years in higher education.”

Nominated by faculty colleagues and University administrators, Palumbo is one of 36 nationwide to be selected for this recognition, from more than 350 top professors in the United States.

Nationally Renowned Capital Defense Expert to Join Faculty in June 2014

Valparaiso University announces Andrea D. Lyon, J.D., will join its faculty as dean of the Law School, effective June 2, 2014. Most recently, Lyon has served as the associate dean for clinical programs at DePaul University College of Law in Chicago.

In her role as dean, Lyon will be responsible for the strategic leadership, coordination and guidance of the Law School. Lyon brings an accomplished record of both teaching and practicing law, and she is a national expert in criminal defense.

“Andrea Lyon has been affiliated with outstanding law schools and is well known in the state of Illinois for her exemplary work on the death penalty,” said Mark R. Schwehn, Ph.D., provost and executive vice president for academic affairs. “She brings to the Valparaiso University Law School an excellent record of achievement in clinical education.”

WHO: Sponsored by the Department of Theatre at Valparaiso University, the performance features students from across disciplines at Valpo. The show is directed by Lee Orchard, theatre department chair, with music directed by Dennis Friesen-Carper, Frederick A. and Mazie N. Reddel Professor of Music.

WHAT: “Sweeney Todd” is a musical thriller that tells the chilling, suspenseful tale of murderous barbarism and culinary crime. With music and lyrics by Stephen Sondheim and a book by Hugh Wheeler, this heart-pounding masterpiece centers around an unjustly exiled barber who returns to 19th-century London to seek revenge against those who ruined him.

Tickets are $15 for adults and $10 for senior citizens and non-Valpo students.

WHEN: Wednesday, Nov. 13, and Thursday, Nov. 14 at 8 p.m.; Saturday, Nov. 16, and Sunday, Nov. 17, at 2 p.m.

WHERE: University Theatre, Valparaiso University Center for the Arts

CONTACT: For tickets, call 219.464.5162. For more information, contact Nicole Niemi at or 219.464.6010.

In Past 10 Years, 26 Valpo Students and Alumni Have Received
Prestigious Fulbright Awards

Valparaiso University has achieved recognition from the United States Department of State as one of the colleges and universities that produced the most 2013-2014 Fulbright United States students. The Fulbright Program is the United States government’s flagship international educational exchange program.

“It is an honor for Valpo students to be continually recognized by the prestigious Fulbright Program,” Valparaiso University Provost Mark R. Schwehn, Ph.D., said. “This distinction is a testament to the outstanding value of a Valpo education, as well as to the hard work, dedication and leadership demonstrated by our students.”

In May, Valpo announced three 2013 graduates had received Fulbright English Teaching Assistantships for 2013-2014. Valpo is the only Indiana master’s institution included on the list of top producers, which was published in this week’s edition of The Chronicle of Higher Education. Elizabeth Burow-Flak, associate professor and chair in the Department of English and Fulbright Program Advisor, attributed this to Valpo’s focus on internationalization.

Each of the Valpo alumni who received grants for 2013-2014 had studied abroad as undergraduates. Halina Hopkins ’13 majored in biology, environmental science and humanities at Valpo and was also in Christ College — The Honors College. Currently, she is teaching in Taiwan. Hannah Scupham ’13, an English and German major, returned to Germany to teach after spending the 2011-2012 academic year studying in Tuebingen, Germany. Sterling Summerville ’13, an international service major, is teaching in Poland, and he previously studied abroad in Namibia.

WHO: Eric Mazur, Balkanski Professor of Physics and Applied Physics and area dean of applied physics at Harvard University. Mazur is an internationally recognized scientist and researcher who leads a vigorous research program in optical physics and supervises one of the largest research groups in the physics department at Harvard University.

WHAT: Mazur will speak on “Subcellular Surgery and Nanosurgery” at the Valparaiso University Colloquium for Innovative Science, a lecture series that features accomplished speakers from around the country who speak on topics within the sciences.

The Symposium on Innovative Pedagogy, presented by Valpo’s Institute for Teaching and Learning, will feature Mazur as its keynote speaker. During his address, Mazur will speak on the topic “Confessions of a Converted Lecturer.” He will also lead a workshop on peer instruction.

All events are free and open to the public.

WHEN: The Colloquium for Innovative Science is Friday, Nov. 1, 3:30 p.m.

The Symposium on Innovative Pedagogy is Saturday, Nov. 2, with the keynote address at 9 a.m., and the workshop following at 10:10 a.m.

WHERE: The Colloquium for Innovative Science is in Neils Science Center, room 234; the Symposium on Innovative Pedagogy is in Harre Union, Brown and Gold Room; both are on Valparaiso University’s campus.

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