Honors and Awards

Recent Professional Honors to A&S Faculty
  • Ronald Rittgers Ph.D., the Erich Markel Chair in German Reformation Studies and professor of history and theology, was elected president of the American Society of Church History in 2015.
  • The work of Professor Emeritus of Theology Gilbert C. Meilaender Ph.D., was the subject of a conference titled “Politics, Theology, and the Limits of Ethics” at Princeton University in 2015. Professor Meilaender delivered Princeton’s Charles E. Test, M.D., Distinguished Lecture as a prelude to the gathering.
  • In 2013, ASIANetwork awarded history professors Yun Xia Ph.D., and Kevin Ostoyich Ph.D., a grant that funded research into the history of a community of about 20,000 Jewish refugees in Shanghai during World War II. Six Valpo undergraduates — Kaley Buck, Angela Elliot, Aura Lee Harper-Smith, Trace Ostergren and Peter Keim, — served as research assistants.

Since 1971, the Valparaiso University Alumni Association has annually honored a faculty member with its Distinguished Teaching Award. Recipients receive $1,000; an additional $1,000 is awarded to the recipient’s department. The principal selection criteria are excellence in teaching; effectiveness in academic counseling; and extent of service to and positive influence on students in extra-curricular settings.

Arts & Sciences Faculty VUAA Distinguished Teaching Award Winners:

2013 James Nelson
2012 John Ruff
2011 Beth Scaglione Sewell
2010 Thomas Goyne
2008 Frederick Niedner
2005 Jeffrey S. Doebler
2004 Jim Albers
2001 Stanislaus Zygmunt
2000 John Steven Paul, Jerry Wagenblast
1999 Judith A. Peters
1998 Thomas D. Kennedy
1996 Simone Baepler
1995 Edgar Senne
1994 A. Gilbert Cook
1993 Ronald A. Janke
1992 Richard H. W. Brauer
1991 R. Keith Schoppa
1990 Albert R. Trost
1989 Ferencz P. Kallay
1987 Thomas A. Droege
1984 Theodore C. Schwan
1982 Paul E. Phipps
1980 Theodore M. Ludwig
1977 Leslie W. Zoss
1972 Allen E. Tuttle
1971 Willis D. Boyd


Funded by the Caterpillar Foundation, the Caterpillar Award recognized an outstanding teacher at Valparaiso University for commitment to and excellence in teaching annually from 1996 to 2013, when it was replaced by the Valparaiso University Excellence in Teaching Award. In addition to the $1,000 award, an additional $1,000 was made available to the recipient for campus activities intended to promote excellence in teaching on the Valparaiso University campus.

Arts & Sciences Faculty Caterpillar Award Winners

2012-13 Linda Ferguson, Music
2009-10 Jaishankar Raman, Economics
2006-07 Mark Farmer, Classics/Foreign Languages and Literatures
2003-04 Shirvel Stanislaus, Physics & Astronomy
1996-97 Fred Niedner, Theology
2000-01 Bart Wolf, Meteorology
1996-96 Kenneth Klein, Philosophy

Since the 2013-14 academic year, the Valparaiso University Excellence in Teaching Award has been given annually to individual faculty members or teaching units to recognize excellence in teaching, with particular emphasis on course development, pedagogy, or mentoring and advising. Each award winner receives an award of $1,500 plus $1,500 to spend on a pedagogical project intended to promote excellence in teaching on the Valparaiso University campus. Funded by the Office of the Provost, the award is given to as many as three recipients each year.

Arts & Sciences Faculty VUETA Award Winners

2015-16 Robert Clark, Chemistry
2014-15 Stacy Maugans, Music; Jan Westrick, Education
2013-14 Lissa Yogan, Sociology and Criminology; Kevin Jantzi, Chemistry

To support the teacher-scholar faculty model, the College of Arts and Sciences established this award in 2014 to recognize excellence in teaching among junior faculty members. It is awarded annually to one assistant professor who is in the third, fourth or fifth year of progress toward tenure. The $1,000 award, presented at the Lumina Award Ceremony during Family, Friends and Sibs Weekend, may be taken as taxable salary or used for reimbursement of professional expenses like travel, books, or equipment.

Emerging Teacher Award Winners:

2015 Sara Gundersen, Economics
2014 Amanda Zelechoski, Psychology

The following CAS faculty members have received teaching and mentorship awards from professional associations, foundations, and other universities:
  • Debra Ames, World Languages: 2016 Indiana Spanish Teacher of the Year – University category, American Association of Teachers of Spanish and Portuguese
  • Jim Albers, Theology: 1999 Faculty Member of the Year, Indiana Council for Continuing Education
  • Jim Caristi, Computing and Information Sciences: 1990 Sears-Roebuck Foundation Award for Teaching Excellence and Campus Leadership; 1999 Distinguished Teaching Award of the Mathematical Association of America, Indiana Section
  • Thomas Goyne, Chemistry: 1987-88 Outstanding Chemistry Lecturer  at California State University, Long Beach
  • Don Koetke, Physics: 2008 Crystal Apple Award from the Department of Education at Michigan State University
  • Ken Luther, Mathematics: 2008 Award for Distinguished College or University Teaching of Mathematics, Mathematical Association of America, Indiana Section
  • Daniel Maxin, Mathematics: 2014 Council on Undergraduate Research Math Faculty Mentor Award
  • Lara Pudwell, Mathematics: 2013 Council on Undergraduate Research Math Faculty Mentor Award; 2014 Henry L. Alder Award for Distinguished Teaching by a Beginning College or University Mathematics Faculty Member, Mathematical Association of America
  • Jaishankar Raman, Economics: 1995 Alumni Association Award for Excellence in Teaching, University of Notre Dame
  • John Schoer, Chemistry: University of Northern Iowa Teaching Award


Valparaiso University Alumni Association Distinguished Student Award:

Christopher Barnes
Cogan Blackmon
Madalyn Harvey
Bethany Wiersma

Christina Crawley
Carolyn Hamblen
Kelsey Larson
Thomas Serratore

Kelsey Loden
Megan Marimen
James Repp
Katelyn Stermer

Claire Mueller
Anna Wiersma
Natalie Zibolski

Laura Ehlen
Katie Genereuy
Ashley Gilbert
Holly Peterson

Katie Davis
Emily German
Timothy Olson
Emily Von Qualen

Randol Alexander
Zachary King
Jonathan Rudy
Kathryn Schmidt

Elizabeth Coyne
Sally Forsythe
Jenna Johnson
Rebecca Lohrmann

Angelese Velasco Carmona
Kendre Israel
Jessica Recchia
Noah Schroeder

Katie Benjamin
Jennifer Butz
Joel Dreessen
Benjamin Krause

Peter Brock
Helen Huggins
Adam King
Katherine Peters

Julie Arnold
Jeffery Biebighauser
Kelly Parrish
Elizabeth Schroeder

Elizabeth Baden
Elizabeth (Wade) Galik
Sage Miodov
Michael Sjoding

Michael Goede
Christina Heisser
Jessica kerber
Benjamin Leese

Ryan Wolf
Maryn Olson
Anita Patel
Matthew Landmeier

Joseph Wurzburger
Vanessa Burrows
Russ Schumacher
Lorie Kolak

Erica Kaufman
Mark Kerins
Matthew J. Provenzano
Andrew J. Swiston

Alison Eicher
Tara Friederich
Andrew Makowski
Kerri Morgan

David Adams
Lisa Boehm
Matthew Duffus
Bradley Jessen

Kathy Dueringer
Jennifer Sachtleben
Joel Scheiwe
Elizabeth Tatro

Tiffany Oelschlaeger
Steve Gjerde
Albert Poinke
Lisa Miller

Nathan Gilbertson
Maria Pallick
Pamela Seeber
Patricia Stoddard
Charis Wuerffel
Karen Zima

Paul Cook
Alycia Erickson
Julie Norton
Kristin Schwain

Randal Kaltenmark
Kevin Landdeck
Jennifer Meyer
Allison Schuette

Sarah Daubendiek
Christine Drager
Victoria Flood
Martin Park Hunter
Julie Potts
Jeanne Zuhn

Stephanie Kapfer
Karen Leonard
Anna-Lisa Erickson
Kimberly Carlton
Gail Kanning

Carol B. Jud
Jewel M. Market
Kari L. Rankin
Jeanette M. Rueter

Kari M. Hanson
Paul C. Kapfer
Jeanine D. Notar
Deanine M. Paulson

Michelle M. Kovac
Anne C. Press
William J. Rohde
Judith M. Swanson

Sandra J. Rosenthal
Andrea Wagonblast
Richard F. Wolf, Jr.

Steven J. Charvat
Paul B. Haecker
Brian L. Piazza
Joseph A. Prahlow
Kimberly A. Walesh

Kathleen Prahlow, Outstanding College Student of Spanish
American Association of Teachers of Spanish and Portuguese (Indiana chapter), 2016

Alex Uryga ’15, 2016 James Madison Fellow

Board of Directors Award Winners:

Michelle Sopetti & Lauren Hargrave
Oral Presentation – Endurance of SYBR Safe in Agarose Gel Electrophoresis
Department Affiliation: Biology
Faculty Sponsor: Beth Scaglione-Sewell

McKenzie Cobban
Oral Presentation – Beauty and the Beast in Cinema: A Challenge to Gender Role
Department Affiliation: Foreign Languages
Faculty Sponsor: Tim Tomasik

Haylee Westendorf
Poster Presentation – 107 Seconds
Department Affiliation: Communication
Faculty Sponsor: Yeohyun Ahn

Taegyun Kim & Christopher Morrissey
Poster Presentation – Computational Modeling of Bromide and Chloride Catalyzed Formation of Sulfilimine Crosslinks
Department Affiliation: Physics and Astronomy
Faculty Sponsor: Stan Zygmunt, Haiying He

Megan Mariani
Poster Presentation – The Impact of a 5-Week Shoulder Strengthening Program on Division I Swimmers
Department Affiliation: Kinesiology
Faculty Sponsor: Kelly Helm

Holly Griskell
Poster Presentation – The Effects of Individualism and Collectivism on Memory
Department Affiliation: Psychology
Faculty Sponsor: Jim Nelson