Speaker Biographies

Adams, Mark

Professor of law

He earned his bachelor's degree at Williams College and his J.D. at the University of Chicago. He specializes in contracts, employment law, labor law, labor arbitration and legal writing and research. He taught at Indiana University School of Law, Bloomington, and practiced in the areas of labor and employment law with Davis Wright Tremaine in Seattle before coming to VU.
Topics:
  • Employment law topics
  • Labor law topics

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Albers, James

Baepler professor in the humanities

He returned to full-time instruction in the theology department in 1998 after having served as dean of graduate studies and continuing education since 1990. In 1999, he received the Faculty Member of the Year Award, presented by the Indiana Council for Continuing Education. In 2004, he won the Alumni Distinguished Teacher Award from VU's Alumni Association. He has a bachelor's degree from Concordia Senior College in Fort Wayne and master's and doctor's degrees from Concordia Seminary in St. Louis. He enjoys doing research on the history of Lutherans in North America.
Topics:
  • History of Lutherans in America
  • Religion in America topics
  • History of Valparaiso University

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Aljobeh, Zuhdi

Associate professor of civil engineering

He joined the VU faculty in 1991. He received his Ph.D. in civil and environmental engineering from the University of Toledo in 1994. He is a registered professional engineer in the State of Indiana. His research areas include uncertainty analyses of discharges from disposal facilities, remediation of contaminated soil and groundwater, and odor and volatile organic compounds emissions control and treatment. He is a member of the American Society of Civil Engineers and the Water Environment Federation. He is a member and past president of the Porter County Solid Waste Management District advisory board and vice president of the Indiana Northwest branch of the American Society of Civil Engineers.
Topics:
  • Waste management issues
  • Air pollution control technologies
  • Solid and hazardous waste management issues
  • Landfill site selection issues
  • Environmental site characterization
  • Other environmental engineering topics

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Alverson, Elise

Coordinator, Family Nurse Practitioner Program

A faculty member since 1984, she is a member of Sigma Theta Tau national nursing honor society. She received her bachelor's degree from St. Louis University and her master's from Ball State University. She is a certified Family Nurse Practitioner.
Topics:
  • Role of a family nurse practitioner
  • How to promote wellness

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Ames, Debra

Associate professor of foreign languages and literatures

A faculty member since 1987, she received her Ph.D. and master's from the University of Virginia. While at VU, she has been recipient of a Summer Research Grant, an Alumni Association Faculty Fellowship and the King Juan Carlos Fellowship, which subsidized a five-week study program in Spain. One of her areas of expertise is 17th Century Spanish theater.
Topics:
  • Latin American women and their search for justice: The Chilean arpilleristas and Mothers of the Plaza de Mayo

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Andrews, Penelope

Visiting professor of law

Andrews grew up in Cape Town, South Africa, and received her bachelor of law from the University of Natal and a master of laws at Columbia University. She joined the law faculty at Valparaiso University in 2007 after a decade as a faculty member at the City University of New York School of Law. Prior to joining the faculty at CUNY she taught anti-discrimination law and policy and aboriginal law in Australia. The recipient of several awards for her human rights work, she is active in a variety of international human rights and peace organizations. Andrews has written extensively on human rights issues in the South African and Australian contexts, and appears frequently on panels addressing issues of international human rights, women, and people of color. She is a contributing co-author of The Post-Apartheid Constitutions: Reflections on South Africa’s Basic Law and Comparative Constitutionalism and Rights: Global Perspectives. She is currently working on the manuscript From Cape Town to Kabul: Rethinking Women’s Human Rights.
Topics:
  • International human rights law and policy
  • Women’s rights
  • Truth and reconciliation commissions
  • African governance and politics

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Arredondo, Jose

Adjunct assistant professor of education

He was Lake County auditor in the early 1970s and Lake County sheriff in 1979, has served as assistant superintendent of the East Chicago School System and is the founder and director of Ballet Folklorico, a Mexican dance and music performing group of East Chicago. He has a bachelor's degree from San Diego State University,master's from DePaul University and doctorate in education from Indiana University. In 1994, he joined the VU education department.
Topics:
  • Development of cultural sensitivity and self-awareness
  • Mariachi Acero

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Austensen, Roy

Provost and vice president for academic affairs, and professor of history

Provost since 1992, his principal research interests are Austrian diplomacy, German unification, the German confederation and Austrian history and culture in the 19th century. He also has studied in Germany and Austria. He received his master's degree and doctorate from the University of Illinois, Urbana-Champaign and his bachelor's degree from Concordia College, River Forest, Ill. For fun, he enjoys bicycling.
Topics:
  • European international affairs
  • German and Austrian affairs in the 19th and 20th centuries
  • Topics related to higher education
  • Topics related to Valparaiso University

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Baas, Larry

Chair and professor of political science

He has been at VU for 30 years and is director of the Community Research and Service Center and the Community Outreach Partnership Center. The goals of those groups are to conduct research and provide service to government and not-for-profit organizations in Northwest Indiana and to involve students in the process. During the last eight years, these two organizations have completed more than 40 projects for various organizations and involved more than 200 students in these projects.
Topics:
  • Bias-motivated incidents in Northwest Indiana
  • Community Research and Service Center
  • Community Outreach Partnership Center
  • American politics, courts, law and the presidency
  • "The Clintons and Their Public Image"
  • VU Community Research and Service Center

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Bello-Brunson, Jane

Director, multicultural programs

Originally from San Antonio, she graduated from Western Washington University with a bachelor's degree in English and a master's degree in education. She joined the VU administration in 1997. She has taught classes on leadership development, women's studies and race relations. She is co-chair of the University's annual Peace and Justice Symposium. She also speaks on mentoring, student development and race/ethnic relations.
Topics:
  • Facilitating A Community: Study circles on race relations
  • Multicultural education in a pluralistic society
  • The ethnic American woman: Problems, protests and lifestyles
  • Making Waves: Experiences and history of Asian-American women through autobiographical writings

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Berner, Bruce

Associate dean for academic affairs, School of Law, and Seegers professor of law

A member of the faculty since 1971, he received his bachelor's and law degrees from VU and his LL.M. degree from Yale University. He has served as associate dean of the School of Law and vice chair of University Senate, and was special deputy prosecutor for the State of Indiana against Ford Motor Company in the famous Pinto case. He has published many articles concerning search and seizure, insanity defense, fourth amendment and criminal law procedure. Outside the classroom, he can be found on the golf course or on the stage of community theater productions.
Topics:
  • Criminal law and procedure
  • "The American Legal Culture:" The role of law in the United States and what it gives, takes and shares with our culture
  • The American Constitution
  • Evidence
  • Torts: Accidents and the laws concerning them
  • Contemporary legal culture

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Bernthal, John

Associate professor of music

A member of the VU faculty since 1984, he specializes in giving organ recitals as well as the analyses of classical organ music. He earned his bachelor's degree from VU in organ performance, a master's of music at Eastman School of Music and his doctor of musical arts at the University of Illinois, Urbana-Champaign. He is a member of Pi Kappa Lambda honor society.
Topics:
  • Chapel organ demonstrations
  • Topics on music theory, church music and organ

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Berrier, Karen

Visiting assistant professor of foreign languages and literatures

She has a Ph.D. from Indiana University and became a member of VU's faculty in 1998. She is certified in cross-cultural communication and supervises an elementary foreign language program in parochial schools in the area.
Topics:
  • Doing business with the French
  • Foreign language and the very young

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Bodensteiner, Ivan

Professor of law

He completed his undergraduate work at Loras College and received his juris doctorate from the University of Notre Dame. He joined the School of Law faculty in 1972 and served as dean for six years. A member of the American Bar Association, the Indiana State Bar Association and the American Civil Liberties Union, he has published several articles related to constitutional and civil rights law.
Topics:
  • Civil rights laws, including employment discrimination
  • Evidence and litigation
  • Constitutional law issues

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Boyt, Thomas

Dean, College of Business Administration

Dr. Boyt received his Ph.D. from the University of Oklahoma, his DVM from Colorado State University and his bachelor's degree from the U.S. Air Force Academy. Prior to coming to VU, he was dean of the College of Business Administration at the University of Central Oklahoma for three years. He previously served as chair of the Marketing Department at the University of Nevada, Las Vegas, where he was selected as teacher of the year in the department for four consecutive years and was selected as teacher of the year for the College of Business in 1998. He also was selected as a Board of Regent's Outstanding Faculty Member in 1998 and 2000. Dr. Boyt received the UNLV Distinguished Teaching Award in 1999. He practiced veterinary medicine for 10 years and maintains his license to practice veterinary medicine in Oklahoma and Colorado.
Topics:
  • VU's College of Business Administration

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Brown, Janet

Dean, College of Nursing

She was appointed dean of the College of Nursing in July 2000, and has been a member of the faculty since 1977. She has a bachelor's degree from Indiana University, a master's degree from St. Xavier College and her doctorate from the University of Wisconsin at Milwaukee. Her research expertise is in the area of health behavior and behavior change.
Topics:
  • Health behavior change
  • College of Nursing

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Bunge, Marcia

Professor of humanities and theology

She joined the faculty in 1997 and previously taught at Gustavus Adolphus College, Luther College and Luther Seminary. She holds a bachelor's degree in English and music from St. Olaf College, a master's in divinity from the University of Chicago Divinity School and a doctorate in religion and literature from the University of Chicago. From 1998 to 2000, she directed a project that explored the theological perspectives on children and childhood, and she edited the collection of essays The Child in Christian Thought. She currently is directing a $500,000 project on Childhood Studies, Religion and Ethics.
Topics:
  • Biblical perspectives on children
  • The Spiritual Life of Children: Perspectives from the history of Christian thought
  • The Vocation of Parenting: Perspectives from the history of Christian thought
  • The Vocation of Parenting: Perspectives from Martin Luther
  • Contemporary attitudes toward children and the church's response
  • Child advocacy and the church: Theological foundations

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Bushbaum, Michael

Associate law librarian for access services

He teaches first-year and advanced legal research at VU's School of Law in addition to courses on PowerPoint for attorneys and Internet legal research. He has been a speaker at the American Association of Law Libraries, the Indiana Library Federation and numerous county library systems. He is a member of the American Association of Law Libraries, the Chicago Association of Law Libraries and the Ohio Regional Association of Law Libraries. He earned his law degree at Northwestern School of Law of Lewis and Clark College, his master's in librarianship from the University of Washington-Seattle and his bachelor's in business from the University of Nevada-Reno.
Topics:
  • Effective Slide Shows: How to make presentations

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Calo, Zachary

Assistant professor of law

He earned a bachelor’s and master’s degree in history from The Johns Hopkins University, a Ph.D. in American history from the University of Pennsylvania, and a J.D. from the University of Virginia School of Law, where he was an editor of the Virginia Law Review. He is also a doctoral candidate in theological ethics at the University of Virginia. After practicing business law in Washington, D.C., he joined the VU faculty in 2007 and is teaching courses in commercial law and business ethics. He is currently writing books on John A. Ryan and the history of American Catholic social and economic thought, and on ethical issues in modern jurisprudence.
Topics:
  • Ethical issues in law and business
  • American religious history, especially the history of the Catholic Church
  • Human rights and religious freedom
  • Globalization and Christian social thought

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Caristi, James

Professor of mathematics and computer science

He has had research projects funded by NASA and USDA. One of his NASA projects was on increasing the sensitivity of instruments used to detect cosmic X-ray sources. Dr. Caristi’s current USDA project involves developing expert systems to assist members of agriculture boards. He received his bachelor’s degree from Florida State University and his doctorate from the University of Iowa, and was recently ordained as a deacon in the Catholic Church. Outside of his research interests, Dr. Caristi is an avid backgammon, bridge, chess and racquetball player.
Topics:
  • "Do Bacteria Make it Rain?"

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Carter, Derrick

Associate professor of law

He has served on the faculty of VU's School of Law for 13 years, and won the Distinguished Law Review Article on Physician Assisted Suicide award for a 1996 article published in the Villanova Law Review. Prior to joining VU's law faculty, he worked for 17 years as an appellate defender for the Michigan Supreme Court. During that time, he won a Distinguished Brief Award for the most scholarly brief submitted to the Michigan Supreme Court, in a case concerning government wiretapping.
Topics:
  • Crime and criminal justice
  • Criminal law topics
  • U.S. Supreme Court
  • General law topics
  • Courtroom cases
  • Legal analysis

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Cichowski, Curt

Associate dean, School of Law

His administrative responsibilities include leadership of an integrated marketing program for the law school. He teaches intellectual property courses, specifically a seminar on copyright law and emerging technologies, and a course on trademark law. He has spoken at conferences on graduate school marketing, presenting on the topics of branding and higher education as well as transforming traditional paper-based higher education marketing systems into web-based systems. He holds a bachelor's degree from Carroll College and a law degree from VU.
Topics:
  • Copyright law

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Cole, Doris

Associate professor of education

She earned her bachelor's degree in speech pathology and her master's in learning disabilities at Saint Xavier University. After receiving her doctorate from the University of Illinois at Chicago, she joined VU's faculty in 1997. She was named a Young and Albion Fellow at Illinois-Chicago as the student most likely to impact the field of special education. She has had articles published and presented on topics dealing with children with special needs and behavior links to communication disorders.
Topics:
  • Behavior disorders/communication
  • Indiana's new teacher license structure
  • "Collaboration: Facilitating Working Groups in Becoming a Team"

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Conison, Jay

Dean, School of Law

A graduate of Yale University, he joined VU as dean in 1998. He earned master's and law degrees at the University of Minnesota, where he was Notes and Comments editor of the Minnesota Law School law review. From 1981 until 1990, he practiced law with the Chicago firm of Sonnenschein Nath and Rosenthal. He was a faculty member and interim dean at Oklahoma City University Law School before coming to VU.
Topics:
  • Employee benefit law
  • Legal education
  • School of Law

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Cooper, Stewart

Director, Counseling Services, and professor of psychology

He received his bachelor’s, master’s and doctor’s degrees from Indiana University. A licensed psychologist in Indiana and Missouri, his research focuses on counseling university students. He has co-authored four books: Counseling and Mental Health Services on Campus, Case Studies in Psychotherapy with College Students, Evidence-Based Psychotherapy Practice in College Mental Health, and most recently, Combining Medication with Psychotherapy in College Mental Health Contexts, published in 2007.
Topics:
  • Mental health in college
  • Addictions
  • Psychotherapy
  • Positive Relationships

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DeMaris, Richard

Professor of theology

A 1999 and 2004 Faculty Fellowship Award winner, he enjoys doing archaeological work, which helps him gain a cultural perspective that is important to the study of the New Testament. He earned his bachelor’s degree in philosophy and religion from the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign and his master’s in biblical studies at Princeton Theological Seminary. He earned a master’s and Ph.D. in New Testament from the Columbia University-Union Seminary.
Topics:
  • Ancient Corinth in the Days of the Apostle Paul

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Doering, Mel

University archivist

After serving in the Navy during World War II, he enrolled at VU in 1947 and served as editor of The Torch, the student newspaper. He graduated from VU in 1953 and served as the University's publicity director from 1950 to 1955. He also has worked as an assistant sales promotion manager for Aid Association for Lutherans, publicity director for the Lutheran Layman's League and editor of Advance, a national magazine of the Lutheran Church-Missouri Synod. In 1970, he returned to VU as director of publications and news. In 1993, he was named University Archivist. He is an authority on VU history.
Topics:
  • History of VU and the Ku Klux Klan
  • Overall look at VU history
  • History of Valparaiso University

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Dooley, Laura

Professor of law

A recently elected member of the American Law Institute, she has a particular interest in the civil justice system. She earned a bachelor's degree in music and English at the University of Arkansas and her juris doctorate at Washington University School of Law. She joined the VU faculty in 1990 following employment at the University of Chicago Law School.
Topics:
  • Civil justice system: Procedure, failings and civil jury issues

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Dranger, Paula

Coordinator, Sexual Assault Awareness and Facilitative Education office

She is a member of the National Association of Social Workers with national certification and is a licensed clinical social work in Indiana. She serves as a member of the Committee on Inquiry for the ethics board of the NASW Indiana chapter. She earned her master's degree in social work from Loyola University and is a member of Alpha Sigma Nu. She is a certified mediator.
Topics:
  • Sexual assault: crisis intervention and prevention

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Drew, Homer

Head coach, men's basketball

He has led the University's basketball team to the NCAA Tournament seven times, including its 1998 run to the Sweet Sixteen. Colleagues and reporters frequently name him as the nicest coach in America due to his open, friendly and optimistic personality. He is a winner of the Naismith Good Sportsmanship Award, Indiana's Sagamore of the Wabash Award and the Lumen Christi Medal, VU's highest award. He earned a bachelor's degree in physical education and social studies at William Jewell, a master's degree in education from Washington University in St. Louis and a doctorate in educational administration from Andrews University.
Topics:
  • Leadership
  • Team building
  • Motivation

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Driver, Lisa

Assistant professor of theology

She has taught early church history in VU's Department of Theology since 2000. Originally from central Indiana, she earned her doctorate and master's in medieval studies at the University of Toronto. Her Lutheran faith has been enriched by several years of experience in Roman Catholic education as a student at the Pontifical Institute of Medieval Studies and an instructor at Loyola College in Maryland and the Ecumenical Institute of Theology at St. Mary's Seminary and University.
Topics:
  • Topics in ancient and medieval Christianity
  • Social concerns and spirituality in ancient and medieval Christianity and their relationship to Christians today

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Dudzinski, Maryann

Associate professor of education

She joined VU's Department of Education following a stint at Eastern Illinois University. She received her bachelor's, master's and doctoral degrees in special education from Northern Illinois University. She holds a bachelor's degree in elementary education as well. She has authored many articles on strategies for teaching learning disabled children.
Topics:
  • ADD/ADHD interventions
  • Reading disabilities
  • Behavior intervention/discipline issues in schools
  • Recent changes in federal legislation governing special education and what they mean for schools

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Duvick, Randa

Chair and associate professor of foreign languages and literatures

She joined the VU faculty in 1986 and received her doctorate in French literature from the University of Chicago where she had also earned her master's degree in French. She has a bachelor's in French linguistics from Luther College. She was a finalist for VU's Caterpillar Award for Teaching Excellence in 1996 and has spent time overseas studying different dialects of the French language. She is chair of VU's International Economics and Cultural Affairs program.
Topics:
  • The business ledger of Joseph Bailly, the first white settler of Porter County and how it paints a portrait of the fur trade in Michigan and northern Indiana in the early 19th Century
  • "How" and "why" Americans should learn a foreign language
  • The business ledger of Joseph Bailly, the first white settler of Porter County and how it paints a portrait of the fur trade in Michigan and northern Indiana in the early 19th French culture and history

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Farmer, Mark

Associate professor of foreign languages and literatures

He joined the VU faculty in 2000 after earning his Ph.D. in classical studies from Loyola University in Chicago. He has published research on Greek epics and tragedies, Roman rhetoric and philosophy and classical mythology.
Topics:
  • Ancient Roman and Greek culture, history and literature
  • Classical mythology (Lecture and/or slide presentations)
  • Epics and the Trojan War: The Iliad, Odyssey and Aeneid

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Feaster, John

Friedrich professor of American literature

He earned his bachelor's degree in government from VU, a master's in English from Northern Illinois University and his doctorate in English from Purdue University. He joined VU's faculty in 1970. His special area of interest in research is American literary realism. He has held the Friedrich professorship since 1992.
Topics:
  • Restoration of Model A Fords
  • Murder mysteries/detective fiction

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Freeman, Keith

Head coach, women's basketball

One of the winningest active coaches in Division I, he has been a head basketball coach for 20 years. He is a three-time Mid-Continent Conference Coach of the Year and was a finalist for the NCAA National Coach of Year in 2002. He earned his bachelor's degree form Huntington College and a master's of business administration from Ball State University.
Topics:
  • The psychology of coaching
  • Parenting your athletic child: How parents can use athletics as a means of fostering growth in their child
  • "Team Play"
  • Basketball fundamentals
  • Basketball individual workouts
  • Basketball coaching
  • Leadership: Building a team

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Gaebel-Morgan, Barbara

Lecturer in social work

She received a bachelor's degree from VU and her master's of social work from George Williams College. She did additional graduate work at the Adler Institute from 1977 to 1981. She worked for many years with the Youth Service Bureau of Porter County where she served in several capacities, including program director.
Topics:
  • Post-elective abortion emotional outcomes
  • Sexual abuse recovery
  • Divorce recovery
  • Family systems theory in counseling
  • Parenting issues
  • Addictions
  • Mental health in college
  • Stress reduction
  • Psychotherapy
  • Positive Relationships
  • Communication skills

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Garber, Chuck

Sergeant, University police

He graduated with honors from the Northwest Indiana Law Enforcement Academy and is a training instructor for the Indiana Law Enforcement Academy and the Northwest Indiana Law Enforcement Academy. He is a specialist in emergency vehicle operations and has a certification from Louisiana State University as a field instructor for Law Enforcement Response to Weapons of Mass Destruction. He joined VU's police department in 1996 after previously serving as a Lake Station Police Reserve Sergeant, coordinator of plant protection services at Inland Steel and heavy equipment department manager as USX. He has taught eighth grade religious education for 14 years and enjoys playing drums with the VU Pep Band and St. Paul's Life Teen Band.
Topics:
  • Party drugs: How to protect yourself and others from becoming a victim. The use of alcohol and drugs in date rape. (Videos used in presentation)
  • OWI: Moral and legal aspects of operating a vehicle while intoxicated. (PowerPoint and videos used)
  • The Best Years of Your Life: Adult and minor liquor laws, binge drinking and their effects. (Videos used in presentation)
  • Emergency vehicle maintenance: Safely changing a flat tire, jump-starting a vehicle, vehicle checks
  • Defensive driving techniques

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Gienapp, Marcia

Professor of law

She has bachelor's and law degrees from VU. She has been a supervising attorney in the clinic of the School of Law for more than 15 years. The clinic handles family law and consumer issues for clients of need in Porter County. Apart from law, she enjoys participation in the Community Theatre Guild, First United Methodist Church and scuba diving.
Topics:
  • Family law issues including divorce, child support, adoption, visitation, child abuse and neglect
  • Clinical program of the VU School of Law

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Gillispie, Delphina

Instructor in biology and education

She received her bachelor's degree in biology from Berea College and a master's degree in pathology/microbiology from Eastern Kentucky University/University of Kentucky. Before coming to VU in 1999, she did medical research in prenatal-neonatal medicine and obstetrics/gynecology at the University of Kentucky Medical Center. She coauthored several papers on pulmonary function dealing with high-risk patients. She has done microbiological research with the U.S. Department of Agriculture-Forest Service and served as an instructor on the college and high school levels. She has participated in study circles on race relations and is a facilitator on race relations.
Topics:
  • Live Text: Web-based electronic portfolios
  • Study circles
  • Respiratory Distress Syndrome (RDS)
  • Pulmonary Function-Lecithin Sphinomyelin Ratios
  • International and global education in the classroom
  • Things I learned after traveling to Central America
  • Constructivism: Inquiry-based learning in science
  • Adolescent/Young Adult/College Mentoring
  • Culturally responsive teaching
  • Cadet involvement in a teacher education program
  • How to tackle the issue of Cyber-bullying & No Child Left Behind
  • Peace & social justice

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Gioia, Daniel

Adjunct professor of law

Gioia is managing partner of Spangler, Jennings & Dougherty. He earned his bachelor's degree at Georgetown University and his law degree at American University Law School. He is a past president of the Indiana Supreme Court Commission for Continuing Legal Education and the Lake County Bar Association. He is a certified family and civil mediator. He is a certified U.S. Soccer Federation soccer referee and licensed coach. He is a former regional representative of the Indiana Youth Soccer Association and served as the 1996 director of the IYSA state tournament.
Topics:
  • Medical malpractice law
  • Mediation and alternative dispute resolution
  • Soccer: Everything you always wanted to know (but were afraid to ask)

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Gleason, Susan

Program coordinator, Tobacco Education and Prevention Coalition

Prior to coming to VU, she was the President and CEO of GMW Consultants, Inc., and was involved with planning and coalition building as the director of the Porter County Step Ahead Planning Council. She has been involved in many local, county, and regional planning efforts. She has experience in education, private business, community service and is a licensed social worker. She completed her bachelor's degree from West Virginia University, and her master's degree from the University of Phoenix.
Topics:
  • Tobacco education, prevention and cessation efforts
  • Building coalitions (PowerPoint presentation)

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Grundmann, Christoffer

Eckrich professor in religion and the healing arts

He has been on VU's faculty since 2001 and has taught at several universities around Germany. An ordained Lutheran pastor, he has earned a master's degree and doctoral degrees in theology and history of religions at Hermannsburg and the University of Hamburg, Germany.
Topics:
  • The challenge of genetics
  • Healing in the religions of the world
  • Christianity and healing
  • Interreligious dialogue in theological perspective

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Hanson, Carter

Associate professor of English

He received his Ph.D. and master’s degree from the University of Iowa and a bachelor’s degree from Luther College. His scholarly interests, besides nineteenth-century British literature, include science fiction and Canadian studies. He joined the VU faculty in fall 1999 and served as director of Valparaiso’s Cambridge Study Center from 2005 to 2007.
Topics:
  • 19th century British literature

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Heider, George C.

Associate professor of theology

Now in his fourth year at VU, he has served as a parish pastor in Cheshire, Conn., professor and academic vice president at Concordia College in Seward, Neb., and president of Concordia University in River Forest, Ill. He holds degrees from Concordia College in Bronxville, N.Y. (A.A.), Concordia Senior College in Fort Wayne (B.A.), Concordia Seminary in St. Louis (M.Div.), and Yale University (Ph.D.). His teaching areas include Bible, Old Testament, Hebrew, and the VU Freshman Core. His research interests lie in Old Testament history, literature and theology; intertestamental interconnections; and in preaching and teaching from the Old Testament. He is a member of the Society of Biblical Literature and the Catholic Biblical Association.
Topics:
  • Leadership in the church and in church-related higher education
  • Preaching from the Old Testament (for pastors)
  • Teaching from the Old Testament (for pastors or teachers in adult Bible classes, Sunday Schools or parochial schools)

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Hertzlieb, Gregg

Director, Brauer Museum of Art

He received his bachelor's and master's degree from the School of the Art Institute of Chicago and received a master's degree in education from the University of Illinois-Chicago. He is a practicing artist and a native of Northwest Indiana. He enjoys drawing, writing essays and poems and collecting art.
Topics:
  • An overview of the Brauer Museum of Art
  • Current exhibitions at the Brauer Museum of Art

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Hicks, Joyce

Director, Writing Center

Effective writing in the workplace is one of her major interests. She teaches professional writing on campus and has worked with business and corporate groups. Writing across the curriculum is a second interest she has pursued with local schools. At VU's Writing Center she meets with students and writes publications devoted to campus technology. She completed a master's degree at Michigan State University and her undergraduate education at St. Lawrence University. She has been at VU since 1974.
Topics:
  • Effective writing in the workplace

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Hoffman, Kevin

Lecturer in humanities

Dr. Hoffman was reared in the Midwest, severely bitten on the mouth by a large dog at age 12, educated at VU, can’t stand television, prefers the Lutheran table to the Calvinist pulpit, obtained a Ph.D. in philosophy at Fordham University, designs and builds mid-century modern style furniture, and thinks humorlessness is a crime punishable by tar and feathering. His scholarly interests focus on religion, ethics, and social thought, including the work of Soren Kierkegaard, Karl Marx, Sigmund Freud, John Rawls and Paul Ricoeur.
Topics:
  • The life and work of Søren Kierkegaard
  • Aristotle’s Nicomachean Ethics
  • The perplexities of human sexuality and personal love

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Holterhoff, Sally

Government information/reference librarian, law school

She received her bachelor's degree from The Ohio State University and her master's in library science from University of Wisconsin-Milwaukee. She began her career at the VU Law Library in 1981. Besides her work in the law library, she also participates in teaching legal research courses. Among her many professional activities, she is serving as Vice-President/President-Elect of the American Association of Law Libraries and will become President in July 2006.
Topics:
  • Wealth of free information available to the public from the U.S. government, in print and online
  • Legislative history: Figuring out the intent behind federal and state laws
  • Administrative regulations, how federal and state agencies impact our daily lives
  • Law-related fiction

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Hora, Jennifer

Assistant professor of political science

Originally from Wisconsin, Dr. Hora completed her undergraduate work at the University of Wisconsin-Eau Claire and her master’s and Ph. D. at the University of North Carolina in Chapel Hill. She joined the VU faculty in 2006. She currently does research on relations between executive and legislative branches of government, in particular the presidency and Congress as well as between governors and state legislatures.
Topics:
  • American politics: Congress, the presidency, presidential persuasion, state government and public policy
  • Alternative voting systems: Borda counts, proportional representation and cumulative voting
  • Redistricting: Drawing Lines Matters

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Hoult, Stacy

Assistant professor of foreign languages and literatures

Dr. Hoult joined the VU faculty in 2001 after earning a Ph.D. in Spanish from the University of Chicago. She holds a bachelor's degree in foreign languages from Millikin University and a master's degree in Spanish from the University of Missouri-Columbia. She has taught Latin American literature and culture at Chicago State University, Columbia College and the School of the Art Institute of Chicago. Her conference presentations have included papers on female subjectivity, images of women in avant-garde poetry and animals in literature.
Topics:
  • Animals in literature
  • Latin American poetry
  • Women's writing in Latin America

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Hrivnak, Bruce

Professor of physics and astronomy

His research projects on dying stars have been accepted for use in the Hubble Space Telescope program. He has presented papers about his research in various locations including China and India. He makes observations from telescopes in Arizona, Hawaii, Chile and, remotely, from space. Before coming to VU in 1984, he taught at the University of Calgary. He completed his undergraduate work in physics at the University of Pennsylvania and received his doctorate in astronomy from there as well.
Topics:
  • Death of stars
  • Astronomy with the Hubble Space Telescope
  • "Astronomy, Cosmology and the Bible"
  • General astronomy topics

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Huss, Rebecca

Professor of law

A member of VU's law faculty since 1999, she received her bachelor's degree from the University of Northern Iowa, J.D. from the University of Richmond and LL.M. from the University of Iowa. She teaches various business law courses and animal law at VU. She practiced corporate law at two large law firms and in house at the animal health division of a large pharmaceutical company before coming to VU.
Topics:
  • Trends in the valuation of companion animals
  • Trends in separation, custody and estate planning issues and companion animals
  • Housing issues and companion animals
  • Legal issues relating to veterinary malpractice cases

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Jones-Hall, Jennifer

Assistant dean of students for Greek life and new student orientation

The 1999 president of the National Association of Fraternity Advisors, she has been with VU since 1996. She received her bachelor's degree in communication at Central Michigan University and her master's degree in guidance and counseling at Eastern Illinois University. She was recipient of the National Panhellenic Conference Outstanding Greek Advisor Award for the 1997-99 biennium.
Topics:
  • Greek life
  • Sorority/fraternity life on the college campus

 

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Kessler, Ann

Associate professor of theatre

She has a bachelor’s degree in theatre and master of fine arts degree in costume design from the University of Michigan. She has designed costumes for more than 125 theatre, opera and dance productions. Kessler also is the director of the Valparaiso University Dance Ensemble.
Topics:
  • Designing costumes for the stage

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Kessler, Theresa

Associate professor of nursing

She was named Volunteer of the Year for the Northwest Indiana region of the American Cancer Society. She was instrumental in bringing the Tell-a-Friend Tuesday program to the Porter County area, a program in which volunteers discuss the need for mammograms. She also has provided programs on the prevention and screening of other chronic conditions such as heart disease and osteoporosis. She has a bachelor's degree from Purdue University, a master's from Indiana University and a doctorate from the University of Kentucky.
Topics:
  • Prevention and screening for heart disease
  • Prevention of osteoporosis
  • Healthcare in China
  • Breast and/or cervical health

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Kilpinen, Jon

Dean, College of Arts and Sciences, and associate professor of geography and meteorology

A member of VU’s faculty since 1992, Dr. Kilpinen was named dean of the College of Arts and Sciences in 2006. He previously served as chair of the Department of Geography and Meteorology for six years and played a significant role in planning Kallay-Christopher Hall, the new home for the department which opened in 2005. He earned his bachelor’s degree from Valparaiso with honors in geography and history, and earned master's and doctor of philosophy degrees in geography from the University of Texas at Austin. He is co-author of The Mountain West, which was honored by the Pioneer America Society in 1997 as the best book published in the field of American material culture studies.
Topics:
  • College of Arts and Sciences

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Koch, Julie

Adjunct assistant professor of nursing

Koch (MSN, APRN, BC, FNP) received her master’s desgree in nursing with a focus of Adult Health Clinical Nurse Specialist from Valparaiso in 1998. Her research and clinical practice issues focus on optimizing positive outcomes for patients living with chronic disease(s). A certified Family Nurse Practitioner since 1989, she has worked in office and clinic settings that have encouraged her work with chronically ill clients. Koch has published articles that focus on the diagnosis and management of acute and chronic conditions (i.e. back pain, heart failure, cat scratch disease) in peer-reviewed advanced practice nursing journals and has been an invited poster presenter to the American Academy of Nurse Practitioner’s National Conference on multiple occasions.
Topics:
  • Osteoporosis: Optimizing management outcomes
  • Heart failure: A case study identifying disease procedures and therapeutic options
  • Alzheimer’s disease: Multifaceted treatments for a complex disease
  • Lyme Disease: Current treatment strategies

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Kosman, Warren

Professor of chemistry

He received his bachelor's degree from VU and master's and doctorate degrees in chemical physics from the University of Chicago. In 1979, he returned to VU where he has been chair of the chemistry department since 1993. He is a member of the American Chemical Society. A Chicago native, he enjoys recalling his experience as a batboy for the White Sox.
Topics:
  • Experience as a batboy

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Kraft, Alan

Professor of electrical and computer engineering

A licensed professional engineer, he earned his bachelor's, master's and doctorate in electrical engineering from Purdue University. He worked at Commonwealth Edison in Chicago for 11 years before coming to VU. In his spare time, he is a high school football and basketball referee and enjoys amateur radio and model railroading.
Topics:
  • Electric power
  • Electric utility issues

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Leitch, Kenneth

Assistant professor of civil engineering

Dr. Leitch has been a faculty member in VU's College of Engineering since 2002. Previously, he was an engineering instructor at New Mexico State University, where he earned his Ph.D. in civil engineering. His research interests include structural analysis, materials testing, photogrammetric analysis and 3-D visualization. He has presented conference papers on engineering instruction, photogrammetric analysis and 3-D visualization.
Topics:
  • Materials testing: Demonstrations of tests on concrete or steel in the materials testing lab at VU's College of Engineering
  • VU Student Bridge: Tours or presentation on the historic bridge, with VU engineering students available to talk about their experiences working to return the bridge to campus.
  • 3-D Visualization for Civil Engineering: Tour or presentation on 3-D terrain models developed for the virtual reality laboratory at VU's College of Engineering.

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Levinson, Rosalie

Duesenberg professor of law

A member of the VU faculty since 1973, she graduated from Indiana University with a bachelor's degree in French and was a member of Phi Beta Kappa. She received her master's degree from Indiana University and her law degree from the VU School of Law. A member of the American Bar Association, she specializes in civil rights law. In 1994, she received the Outstanding Teaching Award at the VU law school. She has been admitted to Indiana and federal courts and the United States Supreme Court. She has taught courses with Supreme Court justices Antonin Scalia, Ruth Bader Ginsburg and Clarence Thomas.
Topics:
  • Protection of religious liberty under the constitution
  • Constitutional law and civil rights
  • Sexual harassment law
  • Recent publications on sexual harassment

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Lewis, Marcia

Associate professor of music

She joined VU's faculty in 1978 after earning her doctorate in vocal performance from Northwestern University and her bachelor's and master's degrees in music from the University of Wisconsin. She has taught voice at Augustana College, Northeastern Illinois University and Triton College. A mezzo-sporano, she has been a soloist with numerous musical organizations in the Chicago and greater Midwest area and sung professionally with the Chicago Lyric Opera Chorus and Chicago Symphony Chorus.
Topics:
  • The healthy voice
  • "Femme Fatal:" Fatal woman motif in literature and music

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Lin, Zhimin

Associate professor of political science

He received a bachelor's from Fudan University in Shanghai, China, a master's from Princeton University and a doctorate from the University of Washington. He has taught at VU since 1990 and is chair of the Chinese and Japanese Studies Program. His research focuses primarily on politics in China and on international relations in East Asia.
Topics:
  • Changing politics and society in China
  • U.S.-China relations
  • The Taiwan issue
  • The Hong Kong issue
  • Recent politics in Japan

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Lind, JoEllen

Professor of law

Her career with the VU School of Law began in 1991. She completed her undergraduate studies at Stanford University and received her law degree from the University of California-Los Angeles in 1975. Currently she is a doctoral candidate in philosophy at the University of Utah. She is a Tanner Research Fellow and a University Research Fellow. She has published various law review articles specializing in political theory. She is a member of the Indiana State Board of Law Examiners, appointed by the Indiana Supreme Court.
Topics:
  • Women's history including the suffrage movement
  • Legal system
  • Death penalty
  • Affirmative action
  • Independent counsel statute

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Ludwig, Ted

Professor of theology, emeritus

He received his B.A., B.D., S.T.M. and Th.D. degrees from Concordia Seminary in St. Louis. He also received master's and doctorate degrees from the University of Chicago Divinity School. He has served as a missionary in Japan, and has been a VU faculty member since 1968. In 1998, he was named to the Surjit Patheja Chair in World Religions and Ethics.
Topics:
  • Religions of the world, especially Buddhism, Hinduism, Islam and religions of China and Japan

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Luther, Kenneth

Associate professor of mathematics and computer science

He earned a bachelor's degree in mathematics from Mount Union College, a master's degree in mathematics from the University of Delaware and a Ph.D. in environmental science from Indiana University. He was a research assistant from 1993 through 1998 at the IU Groundwater Modeling Laboratory. He has been with the VU mathematics and computer science department since 1998. Dr. Luther is chair of the VU Environmental Science program and is a member of the Board of Directors of the Valparaiso Department of Water Works.
Topics:
  • Groundwater and drinking water issues

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Lynn, Elizabeth

Director, Valparaiso Project on Civic Reflection

She directs VU's Project on Civic Reflection, an experimental program funded by Lilly Endowment and designed to help citizens reflect more deeply on their civic activities and commitments through reading and discussion. She received her Ph.D. in religion and literature with distinction from the University of Chicago. Her areas of specialization include philanthropy, service, the humanities in public life and evaluation.
Topics:
  • The place of reflection in civic life
  • American traditions of philanthropic giving
  • An education for philanthropy

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Mainstone, Larry

Meier professor of management

He holds a B.S.E.E. from Western Michigan University and an M.B.A. in production management and Ph.D. in organizational behavior and human resource management from Michigan State University. His papers have appeared in the proceedings of many international professional societies.
Topics:
  • Performance evaluation/appraisals

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Marion, William

Professor of mathematics and computer science

He received a bachelor's degree from St. Peter's College, a master's from the University of Delaware and a D.A. from the University of Northern Colorado. He also has done extensive postdoctoral work in computer science during the past 25 years. His areas of research include discrete mathematics, the theory of computation in computer science and software design. Teaching in Valpo's Core program has opened up new avenues of exploring the humanities to him. Dr. Marion was awarded the Martin Luther King Jr. Award in 2003 for his commitment to promoting racial and gender equity on campus. Outside of academia, he enjoys walking, reading and flower gardening.
Topics:
  • Academic freedom and tenure: What does it mean? Why is it important?
  • Valpo Core program for freshmen
  • Women in math and computer science
  • Mathematical preparation of U.S. students
  • Study circles

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Mauk, Kristen

Kreft professor for the advancement of nursing science

She received her bachelor's degree in nursing from VU in 1981 and her master's in adult health from Purdue University in 1991. She has been teaching at VU since 1992 and earned her Ph.D from Wayne State University. She has more than 22 years of nursing experience and is certified as an advanced practice nurse in both rehabilitation and gerontology. She serves as an educational consultant for the Rehabilitation Institute of Chicago. She is the author of numerous book chapters and articles as well as four books.
Topics:
  • Aging and health
  • Congregational health
  • Rehabilitation
  • Gerontology
  • Spirituality and health

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McGuigan, Hugh

Director, International Studies

He has been with VU since 1983. He has a bachelor's degree in psychology and German, and a master's and Ph.D. in German literature from the University of Minnesota. He oversees the University's 14 study abroad programs as well as serving the needs of more than 100 international students from around the world who are studying on campus. He has taken a number of international student recruiting trips, most recently to India.
Topics:
  • VU's international student population
  • Benefits of an international education
  • Valpo's study abroad programs

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McKoon, Katie

Assistant director of admission

She is a graduate of Valparaiso University with a bachelor’s degree in public relations. For the past eight years, McKoon has been very involved with Hugh O’Brian Youth Leadership (HOBY) - an international non-profit youth leadership organization. During her time with the organization, she has served as a Leadership Seminar Chair as well as a Lead Facilitator with the HOBY World Leadership Congress.
Topics:
  • The College Search and Decision Process (for high school audience)
  • Youth Leadership & Empowerment (for high school/college audience)
  • Staff and Team Building (for high school/college audience)

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Min, Ki-Hong

Assistant professor of geography and meteorology

Dr. Min received his Ph.D. at the Purdue University Department of Earth and Atmospheric Sciences, a master's degree in atmospheric sciences from Seoul National University and a bachelor's degree in meteorology from Kyungpook National University in Korea. His dissertation is "Coupled Cryosphere Model Development for Regional Climate Studies and the Initialization of Purdue Regional Model with the Land Data Assimilation System." Dr. Min served as a Republic of Korea Air-Force weather officer for three years. He also participated in a summer internship at the NASA Goddard Space Flight Center and received numerous scholarships from both university and professional societies.
Topics:
  • Regional climate modeling
  • Atmosphere-land interactions
  • Numerical weather prediction

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Moore, James

Associate professor of theology

A member of the Department of Theology since 1980, he served as director of the VU Cambridge Study Center for two years. He received his bachelor's degree in philosophy from Park College; his master's from Luther Theological Seminary and his doctorate from the University of Chicago. His current research concentrates on Holocaust theology and the dialogue between Christians and Jews. He also served as a pastor for eight years.
Topics:
  • Jews and Christians and development of mutual understanding
  • Christian response to the Holocaust

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Morgan, David

Duesenberg professor of Christianity and the arts

He received a bachelor's degree from Concordia College in Seward, Neb., master's from the University of Arizona and doctorate from the University of Chicago. He received a grant from the International Study Commission on Religion, Media and Culture for his project, co-written with Charles Schaefer of the history department, on "Visual Media and the Protestant Church in Ethiopia: A Case Study of the Mekane Yesus." He received a grant from a Dutch foundation to begin a study of the role of images in the history of Christian missions around the world.
Topics:
  • Art and religion
  • Popular imagery
  • Visual culture

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Morris, Gary

Associate professor of physics and astronomy

He earned his bachelor's degree in physics and mathematics from Washington University in St. Louis in 1989 and his Ph.D. in space physics and astronomy from Rice University in 1995. He received an appointment as a National Research Council Post-Doctoral Fellow during which he worked at NASA's Goddard Space Flight Center from 1994 to 1997. Before coming to VU, he was appointed as a research assistant professor at the University of Maryland Baltimore County and as the Wiess Instructor of Physics at Rice University. His research focuses on air quality and involves the launching of weather balloons with instruments to measure ozone pollution in Houston. He has received grants from the Texas Commission for Environmental Quality and NASA.
Topics:
  • Air quality and its influence on health

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Mullen, Kathleen

Associate professor of English, emerita

A VU faculty member since 1977, she completed her undergraduate work at Notre Dame College, and received a master's and doctorate from the University of Texas. She taught for two years in Malaysia. Outside of academia, she enjoys cooking, gardening, traveling and reading.
Topics:
  • "Travels with Kate: Snapshots of Cultures"
  • 40 Years of Teaching: Relections and Lessons
  • Poetry reading of original works
  • Poetry workshop (two hours)
  • Why reading poetry matters and how to do it

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Neff, Bonita

Associate professor of communication

She received her Ph.D. from the University of Michigan and was a Fellow with the Institute for Educational Leadership. She is active in the International Communication Association, Interdisciplinary Association of Business Associations, Association for Women in Communications, National Communication Association and Public Relations Society of America. She was named outstanding faculty adviser of the AWC, representing the VU out of 120 chapters nationwide. She serves on the board for WYIN-Channel 56 and as president and chair of the board of directors for the Northwest Indiana Youth Chorus.
Topics:
  • Communication and the arts
  • Public relations
  • International public relations
  • Public television
  • Technology and communication
  • Commission on Undergraduate and Graduate Public Relations
  • Research and public relations
  • Croatian public television and media
  • Korean public relations: education and agencies

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Nelson, James

Associate professor of psychology

A member of the American Psychological Association and the American Counseling Association, he completed his bachelor’s degree at Eastern Washington University, a master of divinity degree from Fuller Theological Seminary and a doctorate in clinical psychology from Washington State University. He has been a member of the VU psychology faculty since 1987, and has served as director of psychology graduate programs and chair of the department. He also is a member of the Chinese-Japanese studies faculty, and during the fall of 2007 will serve for the third time as director of Valparaiso’s Hangzhou Study Center. He has been a visiting faculty member at Fuller Theological Seminary and University of California, Los Angeles.
Topics:
  • Issues connected with aging and older adulthood
  • Psychological aspects of neurological disorders such as dementia, epilepsy, etc.
  • Spiritual formation and development in children, adolescents and adults
  • Spiritual and religious issues in counseling; spiritual direction and mentorship

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Niedner, Fred

Professor of theology

A pastor and professor, he joined the faculty in 1973. He is a member of the Society of Biblical Literature, the National Association of Professors of Hebrew and the American Association of Higher Education. His most recent research is a study of the way some biblical passages are used to promote prejudice. Hobbies include playing the banjo and cooking. He has a bachelor's degree from Concordia Senior College in Fort Wayne, M.Div and S.T.M. degrees from Concordia Seminary in St. Louis and a Th.D. from Christ Seminary-Seminex.
Topics:
  • Current biblical studies
  • "Jesus Seminar"
  • The role of the Bible in current conversations about forgiveness: from Washington, D.C., to the work of South Africa's Truth and Reconciliation Commission
  • The study of hatred and prejudice that is related to religion, particularly to the way the Bible gets used in promoting bigotry

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Nuechterlein, Dot

Lecturer in sociology

In addition to teaching at the University, she is scorekeeper for the VU men's basketball team. She is the only woman in the United States who has been a Division I basketball scorekeeper for men's basketball for more than 20 years. She is a former Valparaiso City Council member and presently serves as a consultant for the Indiana Department of Health. She graduated from VU, has a master's from Queen's University of Ontario and is a doctoral candidate in sociology at the University of Chicago.
Topics:
  • "How Humor Can Make You Healthy, Wealthy and Wise"
  • "Why Growing Older is More Fun Than It Used To Be"
  • Experiences as woman scorekeeper for men's basketball
  • "I'll Take Manhattan:" Tips for visitors to New York City

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Olejniczak, Kraig

Dean, College of Engineering

Dr. Olejniczak has served as dean of VU's College of Engineering since 2002. Previously, he was a professor of electrical engineering at the University of Arkansas, where he led the High Density Electronics Center's work in power electronic miniaturization and packaging thrust. Dr. Olejniczak has been honored several times for excellence as an educator and researcher, and was awarded a Power Electronics Devices and Components Committee Prize Paper Award for his work on the use of diamond in multichip power module based induction motor drives and a Power Engineering Education Committee Prize Paper Award for his work in collaborative distance learning in power engineering. He earned his bachelor's degree in electrical engineering from VU, and his master's and doctor of philosophy degrees in electrical engineering from Purdue University. Dr. Olejniczak also is founder and chairman of the board for Arkansas Power Electronics International, Inc.
Topics:
  • Federal government Small Business Innovative Research grants for small business
  • Starting a small technology/engineering-based business
  • Electric power quality
  • VU's College of Engineering
  • Undergraduate engineering education in general
  • Power engineering in general
  • Power electronics miniaturization and packaging
  • High-temperature electronics

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Ozgur, Ceyhun

Professor of information and decision sciences

He has bachelor's and master's degrees from the University of Akron and a doctorate from Kent State University. Originally from Turkey, he works with groups to promote Turkish interests in the United States. He is formerly the women's soccer coach at VU and has played competitive soccer for more than 30 years. He teaches courses in statistics, operations management and operations research.
Topics:
  • Operations management
  • Operations research
  • Statistics
  • Quality management
  • An introduction to Turkey, its culture and its politics
  • Soccer: offensive and defensive tactics

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Pati, George

Assistant professor of theology

Dr. Pati teaches courses on South Asian religions and specializes on Hinduism of Kerala and Malayalam literature. In particular, his research focuses on the Bhakti (devotional) traditions of India and their ramifications in arts, performance and literature. He earned his Ph.D. in religious studies and South Asian languages and cultures at Boston University, a master’s in theological studies at Southern Methodist University and a master’s degree in English from Garhwal University, and bachelor’s degrees from United Theological College and Sambalpur University in India. Dr. Pati’s hobbies include painting and writing poetry.
Topics:
  • Hinduism
  • South Asian religions and cultures
  • Indian Christianity
  • Devotional traditions of Hinduism
  • Arts and cultures of India

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Pepa, Carole

Professor of nursing

She has bachelor's and master's degrees in nursing from Indiana University and a Ph.D. from the University of Illinois at Chicago. Her clinical specialty is community health nursing, with emphasis on health services delivery, health promotion/illness prevention and gerontology. Her research interests include exploring ways to prevent hospital readmissions after an illness and critical thinking in nursing education. She has published in the areas of alternative/complementary medicine and critical thinking.
Topics:
  • Community resources for older adults
  • Caring for a loved one at home
  • Alternative/complementary medicine: What is it?

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Persyn, Mary

Associate professor of law

Shortly after receiving her juris doctorate from the University of Notre Dame's Law School she began her career at VU. She received her undergraduate education from Creighton University and her master's degree from the University of Oregon. She is a former president of the Indiana Cooperative Library Services Authority. An avid quilter, she is a past president of the Indiana State Quilt Guild.
Topics:
  • The basics of quilting
  • "A Really Short Course in Legal Research"

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Piehl, Mel

Dean of Christ College

He was appointed dean of Christ College, VU's honors college, in 2004 and is a professor of humanities and history. His scholarship has emphasized 20th century American history, especially American religious and intellectual history and American Catholicism. A VU alumnus, he has been a member of the faculty since 1973. He has a master's and a doctorate from Stanford University and has worked on issues of Christianity and higher education.
Topics:
  • American Catholicism
  • Trends in Global Catholicism
  • VU's honors college
  • American social thought since World War II
  • Christ College

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Polito, Carmine

Associate professor of civil engineering

Dr. Polito earned his doctorate and master’s degree in civil engineering from Virginia Polytechnic Institute and State University, a second master’s degree in civil engineering from Purdue University and a bachelor’s degree from California Polytechnic State University. Since March 2004, he has traveled with approximately 40 VU students on four trips to the northern reaches of Kenya where they installed wells, windmills and a drip irrigation system for a drought-stricken village of 2,300 Turkana tribesmen. The project was coordinated through the University’s chapter of Engineers Without Borders. In March 2006, Dr. Polito traveled to Istanbul to perform research related to the behavior of soils during the 1999 Kocaeli earthquake.
Topics:
  • VU's Engineers Without Borders chapter
  • Kenya village well and irrigation project
  • Soil laboratory and testing

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Powell, Phillip

Lecturer in communication

He completed his undergraduate work in communication studies at Northern Illinois University. He worked as a television news director and technical director at WREX-TV in Rockford, Ill., and at WMTV-TV in Madison, Wis. He earned his master's degree from Governors State University. Before coming to VU in 1994, he taught at Chicago State University.
Topics:
  • Televising basketball games
  • Taking great videos of the family vacation
  • The filming of Crusader basketball

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Probst, Steven

Educational services librarian

He earned his bachelor's and law degrees at Valparaiso University and a master's degree from Dominican University. He teaches first-year legal research and serves as a liaison to the law school's Law Review. Outside of legal research, his interests include racquetball, kayaking and water skiing.
Topics:
  • Regulation of the telemarketing industry by federal and state governments
  • Using the "free" Web to conduct legal research

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Prough, Jennifer

Assistant professor of humanities and East Asian studies

Prough is an expert in Japanese comics, known as manga, and conducted research in Japan on the subject from 2000 to 2002. She received a bachelor’s degree in East Asian studies and psychology from Valparaiso University, a master’s degree in the social sciences from the University of Chicago, a master’s degree in gender studies and feminist theory from the New School for Social Research, and her Ph.D. at Duke University. Her dissertation is entitled “Mediating Ningen Kankei: Gender, Intimacy and Community in the Production of Shojo Manga.” Her research interests include cultural anthropology, anthropology of Japan, theorizing popular culture, gender studies and issues of globalization.
Topics:
  • Gender in Japanese comics

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Raman, Jaishankar

Assistant professor of economics

He received his bachelor's degree in economics from Ramnarain Ruia College and his master's degree from Fordham University. While gaining teaching experience at the University of Notre Dame, he completed his doctorate in economics and received Notre Dame's Alumni Association Award for Excellence in Teaching. He was a visiting professor at VU in 1995 and returned in 1997.
Topics:
  • International economics

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Reichardt, Paige

Associate administrator, law school dean's office

As a victim of Acanthamoeba Keratitis, Reichardt has become active in Prevent Blindness America and Prevent Blindness lndiana. She participated in Eyes on Capital Hill in Washington, D.C. in 2007, meeting with staff from legislative offices to tell her story and seek funding and proper warning on solutions and lens boxes. She was interviewed by ABCNews.com regarding Acanthamoeba Keratitis and contact lens solutions, has spoken to People of Vision in Indianapolis, is an active contributor to the Acanthamoeba Forum, and has been invited to write a patient’s perspective on Acanthamoeba for The Optometry Blog in the United Kingdom.
Topics:
  • If you wear contacts  . . .  What you need to know about water related risks.

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Ridgway, Benjamin

Assistant professor of foreign languages and literatures

He joined the VU faculty in 2007 after earning a Ph.D. in Chinese literature from the University of Michigan. He holds a bachelor’s degree in Chinese from Grinnell College and a master’s degree in Chinese literature from the University of Minnesota. After teaching two years at Middlebury College’s Chinese Department as a visiting assistant professor, Dr. Ridgway joined the faculty in Valparaiso’s Chinese studies master’s program and Department of Foreign Languages and Literatures. His research focuses on the displacement of travel and exile in Chinese poetry, as well as the cultural history of the city of Hangzhou from the 9th to the 13th century. He is also interested in the place of the city in contemporary Chinese cinema.
Topics:
  • Classical Chinese Poetry
  • Landscape Images in Chinese Poetry and Painting
  • Contemporary Chinese Cinema

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Ringenberg, Matthew

Assistant professor of social work

He has worked as a child therapist, case manager, school liaison and research project manager prior to joining VU's faculty in 2000. He recently completed his Ph.D. from Washington University in St. Louis, where he was a National Institute of Mental Health Fellow. His dissertation is focused on social capital theory as applied to a longitudinal study of mentoring in Duluth, Minn.
Topics:
  • Adult-child mentoring
  • Mentoring: What works, what doesn't? Program planning and screening mentors for personality qualities

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Rivich, Natalie

Regional director, Smokefree Indiana

She earned a bachelor of arts degree in communications from Purdue University. Before working with Smokefree Indiana, she worked with the National Cancer Society's ASSIST Project, American Cancer Society and the March of Dimes Birth Defects Foundation. She has worked on tobacco control issues including prevention, cessation and policy for 11 years in local, regional and state initiatives. She also assisted national non-profit agencies in developing marketing campaigns. She has served on coalitions and boards including the Lake County Tobacco Prevention and Cessation Coalition, Wellness Councils of America, Lake County Medical Society Alliance, American Heart Association, Tobacco Prevention and Education Coalition of Porter County and St. Catherine Hospital Foundation.
Topics:
  • Tobacco prevention efforts

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Rowland, David

Dean of Graduate Studies and Continuing Education, professor of psychology

Starting with postdoctoral fellowships at Standford University and the State University of New York at Stony Brook, he has had many articles published in psychological and medical journals, reporting his research on sexual dysfunction. His research includes identifying risk factors for dysfunction and recovery. A member of the VU faculty since 1981, he completed his undergraduate work in psychology at Southern Illinois University. He received his master's and doctorate from the University of Chicago. Dr. Rowland serves on several national advisory boards of pharmaceutical companies and is editor-in-chief and consulting editor for a number of scientific journals.
Topics:
  • The value of a graduate degree
  • Risk factors in sexual problems
  • Problems of sexually-abused children
  • Sexuality and health in men and women
  • Treatment of sexual problems
  • Continuing Education and Graduate Division

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Ruff, John

Associate professor of English

He has a bachelor's degree in English from St. John's University and a M.A.T. from the College of St. Thomas. He holds a master's degree in English/creative writing and a doctorate from the University of Washington. He joined the faculty at VU in 1989 and was a prime organizer of the new Valpo Core interdisciplinary education program for freshmen.
Topics:
  • "The Dustbowl, A Manmade Ecological Disaster"
  • American literature and landscape
  • Fairy tales
  • Valpo Core
  • Valpo Core literature

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Samble, Jennifer

Assistant director of athletics

She is pursuing a doctorate in history with a concentration in women's and gender studies at Loyola University in Chicago. She earned a master's degree in history from VU in 1999, was a Presidential Scholar and earned her law degree from VU's School of Law in 1997. She earned her bachelor's degree in history/government from Muh-lenberg College.
Topics:
  • Title IX's impact on intercollegiate athletics
  • Compliance, gender and minority issues in intercollegiate athletics
  • Sports law
  • NCAA rules and regulations

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Sandock, Mollie

Associate professor of English

She received her bachelor's degree from Brown University and master's and doctorate degrees from the University of Chicago. She has a particular interest in women writers and is somewhat of an amateur naturalist, with a particular interest in the Indiana Dunes region.
Topics:
  • Women's writing
  • Rediscovery of women and minority writers
  • Literature worth teaching and studying
  • Changing canon for what is considered "great literature"
  • History of feminism
  • Women's movement

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Sanford, Verne

Professor emeritus of mathematics

A leader of two low vision support groups in Valparaiso, Sanford has been legally blind for approximately 60 years. He has done extensive reading on macular degeneration and is a frequent speaker on visual impairments and how to live successfully with such disabilities. He earned a doctorate at the University of Michigan, and his master's and bachelor's degrees at the University of North Dakota.
Topics:
  • Macular degeneration
  • How to live successfully with low vision

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Saros, Daniel

Assistant professor of economics

Dr. Saros has been an assistant professor at Valparaiso since 2004. He graduated from Bowling Green State University in Ohio in 1999 and received his Ph.D. in economics from the University of Notre Dame in 2004. He has contributed articles to the Review of Radical Political Economics, is a member of the Northwest Indiana Coalition Against the War in Iraq, and has been actively involved with the VU Partners for Peace. He has made several campus presentations related to the U.S. occupation of Iraq and the plight of the Biharis in Bangladesh.
Topics:
  • History of Political Economic Theories
  • U.S Economic Interest in the Middle East
  • Stateless Biharis in Bangladesh

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Scaglione-Sewell, Beth

Associate professor of biology and Premedical Arts Fellow

She earned her bachelor's degree in biology from Simpson College in Indianola, Iowa, in 1985 and her Ph.D. in biology from Kansas State University in 1992. She received an appointment as a National Institutes of Health Post-Doctoral Fellow at the University of Chicago's Pritzker School of Medicine where she researched regulation of cell growth as it relates to cancer. She teaches anatomy and physiology, principles of physiology and cancer biology at Valparaiso University, and currently is the University's Premedical Arts Fellow. Her research on the regulation of cell growth has continued at VU in collaboration with colleagues at the University of Chicago.
Topics:
  • Air quality and its influence on health

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Schmidt, Barbara

Professor of law

She is a professor in the VU Law Clinic, which provides pro bono work to clients of need in Northwest Indiana. Each year she presents a continuing legal education seminar on some aspect of family law. She has B.A. and J.D. degrees from VU. She is active with the Porter County Counseling Center, the Community Development Commission and Christ Lutheran Church.
Topics:
  • Dispute resolution
  • VU law clinic
  • Landlord/tenant relationships

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Schneider, Randy

Head softball coach

Schneider earned his bachelor's degree in physical education at Wartburg College and has done graduate work in physical education at the University of Northern Iowa. He is a two-time Northwest Iowa District Coach of the Year in Class 3A while at Waverly-Shell Rock High School. He served as head coach of Wartburg's softball team for four years, leading the school to its first Iowa Intercollegiate Athletic Conference championship in 2001. That same year, he earned IIAC Coach of the Year and Regional Coach of the Year accolades.
Topics:
  • The future of VU softball
  • Developing an organized softball practice plan (both indoor and outdoor)
  • Strength and conditioning for female softball players
  • Developing effective communication with your team

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Schoer, Jonathan

Assistant professor of chemistry

He received his Ph.D. from Texas A&M University and joined the Department of Chemistry at Valparaiso in 2003. Dr. Schoer is a member of Indiana’s governor-appointed Clean Manufacturing Technology Board and is a member of the Board of Directors of Taltree Arboretum and Gardens. His research interests include water quality and interfacial phenomena. Since the summer of 2005 he has been actively engaged in research to monitor and improve the water quality in the Valparaiso Chain of Lakes watershed. During the summer of 2007, three VU students joined him in China to conduct water quality research.
Topics:
  • Water quality in the Valparaiso Chain of Lakes Watershed
  • Water quality in China's Zhejiang province and comparison to Northwest Indiana's water quality issues
  • Travel in Western China

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Scupham, David

Associate professor of biology

He joined the faculty in 1986 after earning his Ph.D. in biological chemistry at Indiana University. His bachelor's degree is from the University of Chicago. He has served as chair of VU's Department of Biology since 1994. He teaches molecular biology and enjoys sailing in his spare time.
Topics:
  • Sailing 101: The theory of sailing, shore school for beginners
  • What is genetic engineering, anyway? (Visual aids used)

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Seibert, Rin

Director, intramural and campus recreation

She graduated from VU with a bachelor's degree in physical education and returned to VU after completing her master's degree at Indiana University. She is a former state director of the National Intramural-Recreational Sports Association and under her leadership the association saw increased membership in all categories. She is the past president of the Indiana University Health, Physical Education and Recreation Alumni Advisory Board.
Topics:
  • Aquatics topics
  • Fitness in relation to general health and wellness
  • First aid, CPR and AED (Automated External Defibrillators)

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Shingleton, Virginia

Associate professor of economics

She is past second vice president of the Midwest Economics Association and a current director for the Indiana Academy of Social Sciences. She received her undergraduate degree at the University of Connecticut. She has master's degrees from Connecticut and the University of Notre Dame and also a Ph.D. from Notre Dame.
Topics:
  • Labor economics issues
  • Interpretation of general economic issues

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Sponberg, Arvid

Professor of English

He graduated from Augustana (Ill.) College with a bachelor’s degree in English, the University of Chicago with a master’s and the University of Michigan with a Ph.D. He joined the VU faculty in 1972. He is the author of Broadway Talks, a collection of interviews with theater professionals, and A.R. Gurney: A Casebook, about one of America’s leading humorous playwrights. He has written and presented many papers on theatrical comedy, and currently is director and managing editor of the VU-based Chicago Theatre History Projects, supported by the University’s Philip and Miriam Kapfer Endowed Faculty Research Award.
Topics:
  • "Laughing to Keep from Crying: America's Senses of Humor from Ben Franklin to Bill Cosby"

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Stalmah, Alan

Instructor in theatre

He has a bachelor's degree from VU and has done advanced course work at the University of Wisconsin-Madison. He has been teaching at VU since 1996. Prior to that he was technical director of theatre at Ohio Northern University. He is an avid golf enthusiast.
Topics:
  • Theatre design and technology

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Stanislaus, T.D. Shirvel

Associate professor in physics and astronomy

He holds a bachelor's degree from the University of Sri Lanka and master's and doctoral degrees from the University of British Columbia. He has done postdoctoral research at the University of British Columbia and the Los Alamos National Laboratory. Some of his current research at Brookhaven National Laboratory involves nuclear/particle physics.
Topics:
  • Sri Lanka, the Paradise Island

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Startt, James

Senior Research Professor, history

A past president of the American Journalism Historian Association, he holds bachelor's, master's and doctoral degrees from the University of Maryland. He joined the VU faculty in 1966. His most recent book, published in 2004, is Woodrow Wilson and the Press: Prelude to the Presidency. He is presently working on a sequel to that volume.
Topics:
  • 20th Century presidents and the press
  • H.L. Mencken: Newspaper Columnist
  • President Woodrow Wilson

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Stieger, Jerry

Associate professor of physical education

He has a bachelor's, master's and doctorate from Florida State University. Throughout much of his career, he has enjoyed giving public presentations on a variety of topics including exercise, fitness, physical education, basketball and running.
Topics:
  • Stress management
  • Health and fitness

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Stith, Richard

Professor of law

A member of the VU faculty since 1973, he has taught law in India, Spain, Chile, China, Ukraine and Mexico. He is a member of the Board of Editors of the American Journal of Comparative Law and has received six Fulbright grants. He has published many articles on legal and ethical issues involved in abortion and euthanasia. After completing his undergraduate work at Harvard University, he continued his studies at the University of California-Berkeley where he received his master's. In 1973, he received his J.D. and Ph.D. from Yale University.
Topics:
  • The Supreme Court on abortion
  • "Deconstructing the Birth Wall: Changes in the Law on Abortion"
  • "Practice vs. Theory: Legal Education in America and Europe"
  • "The Constitution: No Right to Die and No Right to Live." The United States Supreme Court on abortion and euthanasia
  • "The Image of God and Man in the Least of our Sisters and Brothers"
  • Pilgrimage in Spain (Slide presentation)
  • Holy places of India (Slide presentation)
  • Puebla, Cholula and the University of the Americas

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Straubel, Michael

Associate professor of law

He is a graduate of Western Michigan University with a bachelor's degree and Marquette University of Law School where he earned his J.D. He received his LL.M. from the McGill University Institute of Air and Space Law. He joined the VU School of Law faculty in 1985 and is director of the University's Sports Law Clinic. He also is head coach of VU's cross country team.
Topics:
  • Space law
  • International trade law
  • Running
  • International law
  • International sports law
  • Domestic and international sports law
  • International law topics

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Telman, Jeremy

Assistant professor of law

He earned a bachelor’s degree in history from Columbia University and a master’s degree and Ph.D. in modern European intellectual affairs from Cornell University. After teaching history at the college of Charleston in South Carolina, he returned to New York and completed his law degree at New York University. While a law student, he was named editor of the International Human Rights Law Update, published by the Justice and Society Program of the Aspen Institute. After practicing commercial law at a large Manhattan law firm, he returned to teaching. He joined the faculty of VU’s law school in 2004 and currently teaches commercial law and public international law. He helped launch The Conversations Project at VU, which facilitates discussions of current social, cultural and political issues.
Topics:
  • The United Nations and the use of force
  • United Nations reform
  • The International Court of Justice
  • International law
  • Executive power over foreign affairs
  • Government secrecy and the war on terror
  • Corporate governance and executive compensation

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Tomasek, Aimee

Assistant professor of art

She holds a bachelor's degree in art from the University of Wisconsin and a master's degree in fine art from the University of Kentucky. She has created special photography exhibits of her work including one chronicling the Czech Festival in Clarkson, Neb. Her photographs have been exhibited in numerous museums and galleries.
Topics:
  • "Meet the Family," slides and lecture about the influence of the traditional snapshot
  • "Hot Idle: LTV Steel"

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Tomasik, Timothy

Assistant professor of foreign languages and literatures

Dr. Tomasik joined the VU faculty in 2005 after holding a visiting professor position at Arizona State University. He did his undergraduate work in French at DePaul University and then continued with a master’s degree in French at the University of Minnesota. After teaching English literature for two years in France at the Université de Montpellier, Dr. Tomasik attended Harvard University where he earned his Ph.D in romance languages in 2003. His speciality is the language, literature and culture of medieval and early modern France, particularly the intersections between literary and culinary works. An active translator, Dr. Tomasik has translated Les Contenances de la table (The Book of Table Manners), a late fifteenth-century text on table manners for young children. He is currently working on a translation of the early Renaissance morality play, La Condamnation de Banquet.
Topics:
  • Medieval and Renaissance Food and Cuisine
  • Medieval and Renaissance Literature and Culture
  • French Culture and Civilization
  • French Cinema
  • The Importance of Foreign Language Study

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Tougaw, Doug

Richardson professor of engineering

A former National Science Foundation Fellow, he joined VU in 1996 after receiving his master's degree and Ph.D. from the University of Notre Dame. He received his bachelor's in electrical engineering at Rose-Hulman Institute of Technology. He is currently researching novel quantum mechanical devices used to make computers smaller and thousands of times faster.
Topics:
  • Quantum mechanics and its applications
  • Computers and technology
  • Nanotechnology

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Tougaw, Paul

Assistant professor of education

A teacher and administrator in Illinois public schools for 35 years, he is known for his passion for teaching. He began his career as a teacher in mathematics, science and computer science and later served as an assistant superintendent in charge of special education, grant writer, transportation director, special programs director and personnel director before serving five years as a superintendent of schools. He earned his Ph.D. in curriculum and instruction from Southern Illinois University. He joined VU's faculty in 2003 and is currently performing research in teaching problem solving, encouraging higher-order thinking skills, the open approach to teaching in the classroom and developing successful teachers.
Topics:
  • Open-approach to teaching mathematics in K-12 classrooms to achieve higher-order thinking in students (Projector/PowerPoint presentation)
  • Using the "Inquiry Method" to teach and increase interest in mathematics and science (Projector/PowerPoint presentation)
  • "The Good, the Bad and the Ugly of No Child Left Behind:" A study of the intentions of, effects on teaching and improvements needed in recent legislation to meet the scholastic needs of all children (Projector/PowerPoint presentation)
  • Good classroom management: The secret to success in motivating students and maintaining a safe learning environment. (Projector/PowerPoint presentation)

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Trost, Albert

Professor of political science

He graduated with honors from VU in 1962 with a bachelor’s degree in government. He obtained his master’s and his Ph.D. from Washington University in St. Louis. He joined the VU faculty in 1968, served as chair of the political science department for more than 20 years and served as dean of the College of Arts and Sciences from 1996 to 2006.
Topics:
  • International conflicts
  • Issues in Europe or Latin America
  • Politics and film
  • Religion and film
  • Church-related higher education
  • Northern Ireland
  • Britain
  • Ireland
  • International conflicts, particularly in Europe or Latin America
  • Religion and politics

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Uehling, Ed

Professor of English

He joined the VU faculty in 1977. In 1998, the Indiana College English Teachers Association named him Scholar Teacher of the Year and in 2002 was awarded the Outstanding Faculty Award. A member of the Modern Language Association and the National Council of English Teachers, he has published several articles on medieval literature. He also has examined the literature of the Vietnam War. After completing his undergraduate work at Hastings College in 1968, he received both his master's and doctorate from Pennsylvania State University.
Topics:
  • Teaching philanthropic values to youth
  • Writing an autobiography
  • Sports, especially baseball, in literature and society
  • Literature of the Vietnam War
  • Fiction by American women
  • Literature of the Vietnam War

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Vance, Ruth

Professor of law

She received her bachelor's degree from Olivet College and a juris doctorate from the VU School of Law before joining its faculty in 1985. She coaches the law school negotiation team, which has won several regional competitions and finished fourth in the nation one year. She is trained as a mediator in family cases and in other civil cases. She has an appointment from the Indiana Department of Education, Special Education Division, as a mediator in disputes between parents of special education children and the school corporation.
Topics:
  • Alternative dispute resolution
  • Peer mediation in the schools
  • Arbitration
  • Other methods to resolve disputes outside of court

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Vandercoy, David

Professor of law

He received his bachelor's degree from Pennsylvania State University, J.D. from Dickinson School of Law in Carlisle, Pa., and LL.M. from New York University. Joining the VU faculty in 1980, his areas of expertise are litigation and ethics. Outside work, he enjoys history, outdoor activities and dogs.
Topics:
  • Criminal law/justice
  • Legal ethics
  • Product liability
  • Litigation

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Van Doorn-Harder, Nelly

Patheja professor of world religions and ethics

Originally from the Netherlands, she has a bachelor's degree from the University of Utrecht, bachelor's and master's degrees from the University of Amsterdam and a doctorate from Free University of Amsterdam. She taught at a seminary in Indonesia for five years and has been at VU since January 1999. She also taught at Leiden University in the Netherlands and was the director of a refugee agency in Cairo, Egypt. She was named Patheja professor of world religions and ethics in 2005 and is a member of the Lutheran World Federation's Committee on Interfaith.
Topics:
  • Political and social conditions in the Middle East and Indonesia
  • Christians in the Middle East
  • Christians in Southeast Asia
  • Women and Islam
  • Women in the Abrahamic Religions
  • Islam
  • Muslim-Christian dialogue in Indonesia>

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Vega, Rob

Reference services librarian

He is in charge of the Reference Services Department and also teaches Library Instruction courses in a variety of fields at both the undergraduate and graduate levels. In addition, he is the library liaison to the Departments of Sociology, Social Work, and Communication. He earned a bachelor’s degree in history from Wabash College, a master’s degree in medieval history from the University of Notre Dame and a master’s degree in library and information science from Dominican University.
Topics:
  • The history of manuscripts and early books
  • European history (300 A.D. to 1500 A.D.)
  • Information policy
  • Reading studies

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Venturelli, Peter

Associate professor of sociology

He has a B.A. from Illinois State University and an M.A. and Ph.D. in sociology from the University of Chicago. He has written two texts-Drug Use in America: Social, Cultural, and Political Perspectives and Drugs and Society. In addition he has published numerous research articles in journals on ethnicity and drug use in schools, teens and college students. Currently he is revising Drugs and Society for the 9th edition. He is chair of VU's Department of Sociology and Criminology. His particular fields of interest and research include: substance abuse, race and ethnicity, deviance and juvenile delinquency.
Topics:
  • Italian-Americans across generations
  • Ethnic identity
  • Generation X
  • The millennium generation
  • Current statistics and trends in drug use and abuse

  • By teenagers
    By college students
    By adults
    By women
    By athletes

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Walton, LouJeanne

Associate professor emerita of social work

A VU faculty member since 1970, she is a member of the National Association of Social Workers, the Council on Social Work Education and the Association for the Advancement of Social Work with Groups. In 1987, she produced Teen Raps, a video which followed a study of teen pregnancy. Previously she was a board member of the Lutheran Human Relations Association. In 1994, she was presented with VU's first annual Martin Luther King Jr. Award. She is committed to developing cross-cultural communication and breaking down the barriers of fear and discrimination. She received emerita status in 2005.
Topics:
  • "Living Together in Each Other's Worlds"
  • "How to Appreciate and Grow with Other Persons of Color"
  • "Getting Rid of Fears We See and Feel in Northwest Indiana"
  • "Cross-Cultural Issues/Living Together in Each Other's World"

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Weiss, Peter

Associate professor of civil engineering

A member of the American Society of Civil Engineers and American Society for Engineering Education, he came to VU in 1998 after two years of teaching at the University of Hartford. He received his B.S. and his M.S. degrees from Michigan Technological University and his Ph.D. from The University of Minnesota. Research interests include mass-transfer and diffusion along with the practice of using wetland plants to naturally treat contaminated storm water.
Topics:
  • Topics in hydrology
  • Environmental issues associated with hydroelectric facilities and corresponding treatment alternatives
  • The dangers of low head dams
  • The use of hollow fiber membranes to oxygenate water
  • The use of wetland plants to treat storm water

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Westrick, Jan

Associate professor of education

She earned her doctorate from the University of Minnesota in educational policy and administration and currently serves as chair of Valparaiso’s Department of Education. She has written extensively and led numerous workshops on international education, accreditation, leading educational change, the school as a learning organization, principals as leaders of learning, professional development, intercultural sensitivity and service-learning. Her consultation work has included principal training in Oman for the U.S. State Department’s Middle East Partnership Initiative, projects for UNICEF and UNESCO, and accreditation with numerous K-12 schools in Asia on Western Association of Schools and Colleges (WASC) accreditation. Her 17 years of international administrative experience span elementary and secondary levels of education as well as schoolwide leadership, including roles as high school assistant principal for academics, coordinator of curriculum and staff development, special assistant to the superintendent for strategic planning, upper primary principal, and associate superintendent at Hong Kong International School.
Topics:
  • Intercultural Sensitivity: Theory, Research, and Implications for Educational Institutions 
  • Making meaning from difference: Service-learning and intercultural sensitivity
  • Phenomenology and meaning-making: Student voices and understandings of cultural difference
  • Pluralism and Particularity: Stories and Learnings about Religious Education in a Church-Related International School
  • Developing Principals as Leaders in Oman
  • Leading Change in K-12 Schools through Effective Strategic Planning and Implementation
  • International Teaching: Taking Your Career Overseas

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Wetzstein, James

Associate University pastor

Rev. Wetzstein served as pastor at Our Saviour Lutheran Church in Gary for 12 years before coming to VU in 2003. He is the creator of Agnus Day, a weekly comic for church bulletins related to the weekly Gospel reading. The strip, now in its 10th year, is distributed worldwide to more than 2,000 church congreations. He earned a bachelor’s degree from Concordia (Mich.) College and graduated from Concordia Seminary in St. Louis. He consults with numerous churches on matters of liturgical art and holds certification as a liturgical design consultant with the Institute of Liturgical Consultants at Catholic Theological Union in Chicago.
Topics:
  • The Christian calling to act for social justice
  • The interconnection between a theology of worship and the design of churches
  • The art of "Agnus Day" - the lectionary comic strip

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Whitton, Linda

Professor of law

She earned a bachelor's degree and J.D. from VU. She practiced law with firms in Indianapolis and Merrillville before joining the VU faculty. She is particularly interested in ageism and elder law, and often speaks to groups on advance directives, i.e. living wills and durable powers of attorney. She lives each summer on Prince Edward Island, the smallest Canadian province, where she is an avid sailor and gardener.
Topics:
  • Elder law
  • Living wills and durable powers of attorney
  • Prince Edward Island: Smallest of Canada's provinces

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Williams, Louise

Executive director, Lutheran Deaconess Association

She graduated from VU with a bachelor's degree in theology and has been associated with VU for 30 years. She received her master's degree in religious studies from Mundelein College with a concentration in Christian spirituality. Williams is president of DIAKONIA World Federation of Diaconal Associations and Communities. She has experience in planning and leading a variety of workshops and retreats for youth groups, women's groups, counselors, Sunday School workers and deaconesses.
Topics:
  • Leading a Bible study
  • Spirituality
  • Women in the church
  • The church's global and ecumenical connections
  • Deaconess ministry

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Wolf, Bart

Associate professor of geography and meteorology

A member of the American Meteorological Society and the National Weather Association, he joined the VU faculty in 1993. With 15 years of storm chase experience, he founded the VU Storm Intercept Team. Each summer he leads a group of VU students on two extended storm chases, usually in the Plains states. He received his bachelor's, master's and doctorate degrees from the University of Wisconsin-Madison.
Topics:
  • Severe thunderstorms and tornadoes
  • Tours of the VU Weather Center
  • Severe weather preparedness
  • Field study of severe storms

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Wunderlich, Dustin

Director of media relations

A former reporter for the Post-Tribune, Kokomo Tribune and Washington Times, he joined Valparaiso’s staff in 2003. He currently is pursuing his master of business administration at Valparaiso, where he also earned a bachelor’s degree in journalism and political science. He serves on the boards of Rebuilding Together-Valparaiso and the Valparaiso Jaycees. His hobbies include photography, hiking, collecting wine, music and watching the Green Bay Packers.
Topics:
  • How to write a news release
  • Talking to reporters
  • Changes in the media landscape

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Yogan, Lissa

Assistant professor of sociology

She is a member of Alpha Kappa Delta, the national sociological honor society. She has a bachelor's degree from VU, master's from Ohio State University and doctorate from the University of Notre Dame. Outside of academia, her interests lie in cooking, golf, aerobics, running and reading fiction.
Topics:
  • Development of self
  • Race relations/diversity training
  • Schools and society
  • Gender relations/gender sensitivity training
  • Stress management/time management

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