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Christ College London Encounter

Christ College London Encounter

More than 8 million people live in London, with some 20 million tourists visiting each year. What are the chances of meeting someone you know? And yet just such a surprise encounter occurred during Spring Break between Christ College students and their dean. Dean VanZanten, in London to visit her son and his fiancée, was amazed when three Christ College students greeted her in the lobby following a performance of "Alys, Always" at the Bridge Theatre. They were then joined by the entire London Theatre Study Abroad group, along with Professor Lee Orchard. Christ College finds community everywhere!

Unmatched Opportunity: The Valpo Experience Draws Students from Around the World

Unmatched Opportunity: The Valpo Experience Draws Students from Around the World

The irony was not lost on Claire Ehr ’19. The day she made her official visit to the Valparaiso University campus it was raining, which meant she was not able to do a full walking tour. But maybe that was a sign. Claire grew up in London, known as much for its foggy and overcast skies as landmarks like Big Ben and Buckingham Palace. “I remember running from building to building because of the rain,” Claire says of that day in the spring of 2015. But that visit made an impact on Claire and stands out in her mind for many other reasons. “The people were very nice and friendly,” she says. “I was able to sit in on a class, and I remember it was such great conversation academically. I was excited to participate in that kind of environment.” A Valpo legacy Born in Spain and having lived her…

Valparaiso University Students Named Kemper Scholars

Valparaiso University Students Named Kemper Scholars

Alina Virnelson ’20 and Mark Young ’20 have been selected from a group of national finalists to become two of the 16 students in this year’s incoming class of the prestigious Kemper Scholars Program. The James S. Kemper Foundation of Chicago has been supporting Kemper Scholars since the program’s inception in 1948. Alina Virnelson, a Christ College — The Honors College student and business and marketing major, is the daughter of Michelle and Wesley Virnelson from Parma, Ohio. Alina is a news broadcaster on WVUR, a library services assistant and member of Gamma Phi Beta. Mark Young, a Christ College — The Honors College student and management major with a minor in computer science, is the son of Diane and Joel Young from St. Louis, Missouri. Mark is a member of the Student Senate and a photographer and videographer with the integrated marketing and communications department at Valparaiso University. The…

Driven to Succeed: Ashita Bhatnagar ’18 Finds Inspiration at Valpo

Driven to Succeed: Ashita Bhatnagar ’18 Finds Inspiration at Valpo

Traveling more than 8,000 miles, Ashita Bhatnagar ’18 arrived at Valparaiso University two years ago sight unseen to embark on what has proven to be a journey full of challenges and growth both academically and personally. Not one to sit idle, Ashita has immersed herself in the community both inside and outside the classroom, combining a rigorous academic schedule with active extracurricular engagement. “From the moment I arrived on campus, I have been inspired,” says Ashita. “I have never felt more engaged or active. My brain is constantly at work, and I have discovered I have purpose.” With more than 700 international students, Valpo draws students from diverse backgrounds who flourish here for a multitude of reasons. Ashita attended an International Baccalaureate high school in India, and her only knowledge of Valpo was shared by her brother, Eshaan Bhatnagar ’17, who started his Valpo journey just one year prior as…

Transforming Lives: Valpo Alumna Pursues Unique Calling

Transforming Lives: Valpo Alumna Pursues Unique Calling

Dawn Trautman ’94 is a woman of impact among her friends, within her community of faith, and throughout her professional world. Equipped with a keen understanding of her purpose, Dawn leads a life of intention. Focusing her time and energy on the areas in which she excels and can be of influence, she never strays from her path. Dawn thrives in numerous arenas — managing auditions, rehearsals, dance classes, voice lessons, coaching calls, online business developments, and special projects for the Evangelical Lutheran Church in America (ELCA). “I don’t believe we live in a compartmentalized world. Valpo helped me see the wide landscape, pushing me to explore new ideas and opening me to possibility,” Dawn says. As a child, Dawn developed a natural passion for dance and performance, which evolved into a serious love for musical theatre as she gained more exposure to that scene. At Valpo, she had multiple…

Leadership, Community, and Faith

Leadership, Community, and Faith

Service. Leadership. Vocation. For Caleb Rollins ’15, these words defined his experience at Valpo and created his path to philanthropic work as development manager for Lutheran Services in America. Caleb was initially drawn to Valpo for its “home away from home” community, but he says the financial support and the promises of the Christ College — The Honors College experience led him to stay. “I wouldn’t have been able to go to Valpo if it weren’t for the financial awards I received. The opportunity to participate in Christ College was also a big draw for me because of the academic rigor and community they offered,” Caleb says. “I felt Valpo was a place that could be my home for four years. I attended three high schools, lived in about five cities before college, and was really looking for a place to call home. I felt like Valpo could be that…


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Baepler Professorship Explores Interdisciplinary Development

Slavica Jakelić, Ph.D., associate professor of humanities and social thought, has been named to the Richard P. Baepler Distinguished Professorship in the Humanities at Valparaiso University. The four-year professorship is a rotating appointment honoring exceptional teachers focused on advancing interdisciplinary and integrative study of the humanities in accord with Valparaiso University’s mission. Through this appointment, Jakelić will lead the Wente Faculty Seminar using her research to promote interdisciplinary teaching, course development and scholarship to a small group of faculty. “Professor Jakelić will effectively and powerfully carry out the activities of the Baepler Distinguished Professorship,” said Mark L. Biermann, Ph.D., provost and executive vice president for academic affairs. “Professor Jakelić will bring an impressive background to bear in her role in the Baepler Professorship, and her wisdom and perspective will benefit the students, faculty and staff with whom she will interact over the next four years. I look forward to seeing…

Valpo Student’s Stories for the Soul: Documentary Filmmaking

As Carmen Vincent ’20 approaches her final semester at Valpo, she knows she is well prepared for life after graduation and to live to her full potential. Carmen has become an experienced storyteller in a variety of contexts and mediums. The digital media major and Kemper Scholar is also one of 10 nationwide winners of the 2019 Nikon Storytellers Scholarship, a program “developed to empower and support content creators as they seek to push creative boundaries and become the next generation of world-class visual storytellers,” according to Jay Vannatter, executive vice president of Nikon Inc. in the press release announcing the winners. Carmen says she was honored to win the scholarship, but it wasn’t an easy task. She applied previously at the recommendation of Jon Hendricks ’01, director of University photography and videography, one of her internship mentors. She made it to the semi-finalist round, but was not awarded the…

CC Student-Athletes Recognized at Presidential Academic Honors Banquet

Christ College congratulates four CC women's cross country/track & field athletes who received awards at the recent Presidential Academic Honors Banquet! "Finishing at the Top" was Emma Chelsvig, a senior Geography/Statistics major who earned a GPA of 3.9 or above. Three CC juniors were named Outstanding Student-Athletes, earning a cumulative GPA of 3.9 or above:  Katherine Germann (Biology/Spanish), Taylor Justison (Psychology/Humanities), and Katherine Mitchell (Chinese and Japanese Studies).

Christ College London Encounter

More than 8 million people live in London, with some 20 million tourists visiting each year. What are the chances of meeting someone you know? And yet just such a surprise encounter occurred during Spring Break between Christ College students and their dean. Dean VanZanten, in London to visit her son and his fiancée, was amazed when three Christ College students greeted her in the lobby following a performance of "Alys, Always" at the Bridge Theatre. They were then joined by the entire London Theatre Study Abroad group, along with Professor Lee Orchard. Christ College finds community everywhere!

Two Valparaiso University Seniors Named Orr Fellows

Nathaniel Bouman ’19 and Jake Landgraf ’19 have been named to the prestigious Orr Fellowship, recognizing them as future business leaders of Indianapolis. Orr Fellowship is a prominent, two-year, post-graduate program combining a full-time position at an innovative, Indianapolis-based company with a curriculum focused on community involvement, professional development, and leadership. With an annual acceptance rate of 5 percent, it is not an easy achievement. Bouman, a native of Valparaiso, Indiana, will receive his bachelor’s in computer science, physics and humanities with a minor in mathematics and is in Christ College — The Honors College. He is heavily involved in extracurricular activities such as: former president of Mortar Board Honor Society ΠΣΑ (Gown and Gavel chapter), member of Sacristy Staff at the Chapel of the Resurrection, Peer Minister, public relations chair of the Social Action Leadership Team (SALT) and undergraduate research in both the computer science and physics departments, including…

Valparaiso University’s Christ College Symposium Welcomes Ada Palmer

WHO: The Christ College Symposium is one of the long-standing traditions of Valpo’s Honors College. The series features exemplary scholars, artists, and public intellectuals addressing a common theme in a formal lecture. These public lectures are intended for audiences from the campus and civic community, as well as Christ College. WHAT: Ada Palmer’s first science fiction novels, “Too Like the Lightning” and “Seven Surrenders” (volumes one and two of Terra Ignota, from Tor Books), explore how humanity’s cultural and historical legacies might evolve in a future of borderless nations and globally commixing populations. She teaches in the University of Chicago’s history department, studying the Renaissance; Enlightenment; classical reception; the history of books, publication, and reading; and the history of philosophy, heresy, science, and atheism, and she is the author of “Reading Lucretius in the Renaissance” (Harvard University Press). WHEN: Wednesday, Feb.13, 6:30–7:30 p.m. WHERE: Mueller Hall Refectory CONTACT: christ.college@valpo.edu or 219.464.5022

Christ College Students Participate in NCUR

Each year, Christ College sends a group of students to the National Undergraduate Research Conference (NCUR), the leading academic undergraduate research conference in the United States. Students initially submit an abstract to NCUR and those who are selected then present their scholarship in an academic conference session. Following the conference, NCUR encourages presenters to submit a full manuscript for review for potential publication by a board of academic scholars. Last year, thanks to contributions to our Dean's Annual Fund, CC sent seven students, accompanied by Professor Jennifer Prough, to the NCUR conference. We are proud to announce that sophomore Noelle Canty's essay was selected for publication in the 2018 NCUR Proceedings and is available to read online. The essay is called "Women's Rights in the Civil War Era: Interpretation of E.D.E.N. Southworth's Britomarte through Frances B. Cogan's Model of Real Womanhood." Noelle, an English and writing major, now has her…

Unmatched Opportunity: The Valpo Experience Draws Students from Around the World

The irony was not lost on Claire Ehr ’19. The day she made her official visit to the Valparaiso University campus it was raining, which meant she was not able to do a full walking tour. But maybe that was a sign. Claire grew up in London, known as much for its foggy and overcast skies as landmarks like Big Ben and Buckingham Palace. “I remember running from building to building because of the rain,” Claire says of that day in the spring of 2015. But that visit made an impact on Claire and stands out in her mind for many other reasons. “The people were very nice and friendly,” she says. “I was able to sit in on a class, and I remember it was such great conversation academically. I was excited to participate in that kind of environment.” A Valpo legacy Born in Spain and having lived her…

Eight Valparaiso University Seniors, Alumnae Receive Fulbright Awards

A record eight Valparaiso University graduating seniors and recent alumnae have received Fulbright U.S. Student Program awards for English Teaching Assistantships for the 2018–2019 academic year from the United States Department of State and the William Fulbright Foreign Scholarship Board. “These young women are a credit to Valpo and to our faculty, and our success this year with the Fulbright program is simply outstanding,” said Mark L. Biermann, Ph.D., provost and executive vice president for academic affairs. “This achievement is a confirmation of the exceptional education students receive at Valparaiso University, and I am confident that these bright young women will continue to represent us well in their future endeavors.” In all, Valpo had 11 applicants, nine semi-finalists, and eight finalists for Fulbright grants this year. In the past 15 years, 43 Valpo students and alumni have been named Fulbright finalists. “Having this many Fulbright finalists makes this a record-breaking…

Deeply Committed: Eric Smith ’17 Transforms Community Through Education

Just months after graduation, Eric finds himself back in the classroom, but this time at the front, teaching seventh grade English at Tinley Prep, an all-boys school in Indianapolis. Valpo’s culture of service inspired Eric to take a step back and work in the community as part of the Teach for America program. It is his passion for educational equity that drives him as he pours himself into his mentorship role, working tirelessly to be the difference needed in these kids’ lives. “Eric has exceptional initiative and work ethic, and this is evident in the work he completed during his time at Valparaiso University,” says Carrie Whittier, Ph.D., assistant dean of students for Greek life, leadership, and volunteer programs. “He focused on his academics while also balancing a wide variety of co-curricular opportunities. He has a strong commitment to family and friends, and works hard to ensure that he is…

Valparaiso University Students Named Kemper Scholars

Alina Virnelson ’20 and Mark Young ’20 have been selected from a group of national finalists to become two of the 16 students in this year’s incoming class of the prestigious Kemper Scholars Program. The James S. Kemper Foundation of Chicago has been supporting Kemper Scholars since the program’s inception in 1948. Alina Virnelson, a Christ College — The Honors College student and business and marketing major, is the daughter of Michelle and Wesley Virnelson from Parma, Ohio. Alina is a news broadcaster on WVUR, a library services assistant and member of Gamma Phi Beta. Mark Young, a Christ College — The Honors College student and management major with a minor in computer science, is the son of Diane and Joel Young from St. Louis, Missouri. Mark is a member of the Student Senate and a photographer and videographer with the integrated marketing and communications department at Valparaiso University. The…

A Global Perspective With A German Twist

When Nathaniel Greiwe ’18 began his college search, he knew exactly what he was looking for. After falling in love with German in middle school, he wasn’t just looking for a school with stellar German and education programs. He hoped to find one that would allow him to graduate in four years with a degree and a teaching certification while also allowing him to study abroad in Germany for a full year. “Several universities offered to fulfill different parts of my goals, but only one fit all of the criteria: Valpo,” Nathaniel explains. “Valpo fits me like a glove, and I could not have chosen a more ideal place to study.” While Nathaniel has certainly had a clear idea of what his future would look like for several years now, the way he understands that future has changed over the course of his studies. At first, he viewed his German,…

Valparaiso University Graduate Named James Madison Fellow

Alexander Uryga ’15 has been selected as Indiana's 2016 James Madison Fellow. Alexander, of La Porte, Ind., graduated from Christ College, Valparaiso University’s honor college, summa cum laude with majors in political science and history. A first-generation student, he served as student body president as a junior and completed an internship for U.S. Senator Joe Donnelly through the Lutheran College Washington Semester program. “It's clear Alex’s hard work, both in his classes and in his internship, has paid off,” said Amy Atchison, assistant professor of political science and international relations. “We have no doubt Alex will bring the same enthusiasm to his students that he brought to all of his political science classes here at Valpo.” Alexander participated in the 25th annual fellowship competition, sponsored by The James Madison Memorial Fellowship Foundation of Alexandria, Va., and is the only Indiana recipient among a total of 53 James Madison Fellows to…

Driven to Succeed: Ashita Bhatnagar ’18 Finds Inspiration at Valpo

Traveling more than 8,000 miles, Ashita Bhatnagar ’18 arrived at Valparaiso University two years ago sight unseen to embark on what has proven to be a journey full of challenges and growth both academically and personally. Not one to sit idle, Ashita has immersed herself in the community both inside and outside the classroom, combining a rigorous academic schedule with active extracurricular engagement. “From the moment I arrived on campus, I have been inspired,” says Ashita. “I have never felt more engaged or active. My brain is constantly at work, and I have discovered I have purpose.” With more than 700 international students, Valpo draws students from diverse backgrounds who flourish here for a multitude of reasons. Ashita attended an International Baccalaureate high school in India, and her only knowledge of Valpo was shared by her brother, Eshaan Bhatnagar ’17, who started his Valpo journey just one year prior as…

Transforming Lives: Valpo Alumna Pursues Unique Calling

Dawn Trautman ’94 is a woman of impact among her friends, within her community of faith, and throughout her professional world. Equipped with a keen understanding of her purpose, Dawn leads a life of intention. Focusing her time and energy on the areas in which she excels and can be of influence, she never strays from her path. Dawn thrives in numerous arenas — managing auditions, rehearsals, dance classes, voice lessons, coaching calls, online business developments, and special projects for the Evangelical Lutheran Church in America (ELCA). “I don’t believe we live in a compartmentalized world. Valpo helped me see the wide landscape, pushing me to explore new ideas and opening me to possibility,” Dawn says. As a child, Dawn developed a natural passion for dance and performance, which evolved into a serious love for musical theatre as she gained more exposure to that scene. At Valpo, she had multiple…