Additional Updates



With a mission focused on promoting women and underrepresented minorities’ involvement in computing and programming, Valparaiso University’s chapter of the Association for Computing Machinery-Women (ACM-W) has two central goals: nurturing a vibrant community for computing and programming enthusiasts and increasing interest in the community as a whole.



One of only 16 liberal arts colleges to participate in the Kemper Scholars Program, Christ College partners with the Kemper Foundation to select at least one first-year student as a Scholar each year. Selected students are offered a scholarship of up to $10,000 for their remaining three years of school, a summer internship placement with a nonprofit organization in Chicago between sophomore and junior year, a paid internship opportunity with companies around the country during the following summer, and invaluable mentoring from Kemper Foundation staff.

Claire Ehr ’19, a previous recipient of the scholarship, spent last summer in Chicago, working at the Metropolitan Planning Council in their communications department. She says of the experience: “I worked on a variety of projects, and learned so much — from water infrastructure to racial communications.” But the experience wasn’t all work and no fun! Claire reported that the Scholars took improv comedy lessons every week, an activity meant to improve their ability to think on their toes and relax when speaking in business situations.

Since 1948, the James S. Kemper Foundation of Chicago has sponsored the Kemper Scholars Program, which prepares students for leadership and service, particularly in the fields of organizational administration and business.



Lissa Yogan ’82 was chosen as the associate dean of the College of Arts and Sciences. A 2013–2014 recipient of the University’s Excellence in Teaching Award and former interim director of the Valpo Core, Associate Dean Yogan joined Valpo’s faculty in 1995, at that time in a visiting and adjunct capacity. She became a tenure-track professor in 2006 and in 2008 advanced to associate professor.

Allison Urbanczyk assumed the role of assistant dean of the College of Arts and Sciences on Sept. 24. Assistant Dean Urbanczyk joined the University in 2012 and most recently served as associate University registrar. Congratulations to Associate Dean Yogan and Assistant Dean Urbanczyk!



Valparaiso University hosted its third TEDxValparaisoUniversity event in January 2018. With a theme of “Why Not Today,” 13 speakers and presenters focused on the power of creation and innovation to bring people from all backgrounds, cultures, and perspectives together to create real, lasting change in the world.

Cody Cotton ’16 and Charles Carter ’15, two Valpo alumni and former football players, spoke about their organization, A Greater Good Foundation. Cody and Charles founded A Greater Good in order to nurture the minds and hearts of Chicago’s inner-city and disenfranchised youth, and their TEDx talk focused on how they founded their organization and the need for individuals to get involved in the development of today’s young people.



The building where Hilltop House currently resides, a well-known location near Valpo’s campus, has taken many forms. Originally a building used by the College of Engineering, it served the University as an annex for machinery left over from World War II. Later it was named “Moody Labs” and used as a laboratory and classroom space for the psychology department. Hearing that the building was to be vacated in 1994, Walt and Lois Reiner, both University faculty at the time, conceived the idea to turn it into a neighborhood clinic and childcare center. The couple had been working to serve and help low-income families in the neighborhood since the ’60s, and their Project Neighbors organization, established in the ’80s, became an official way for neighbors to help each other in times of need. Project Neighbors bought Moody Labs from the University and it transitioned into the busy and well-loved home-away-from-home for so many neighborhood children that it is today: Hilltop Neighborhood House.

But Hilltop is also a special place for Valpo students, as evidenced by the hundreds of students who get involved there each year. According to Jennifer Wright, CEO of Hilltop Neighborhood House, an average of 50 students are employed through a federal work-study program each semester. The work they do in the childcare center, food pantry, and after-school program makes a marked difference in the lives of the children who come to Hilltop. Not only that, but Valpo’s Greek Life and Christ College students provide service hours, service projects, and fundraising for Hilltop. Psychology and education student interns collaborate with Hilltop, and music majors offer music lessons weekly. Valpo’s College of Nursing and Health Professions participates by doing health screenings, BMI checks, and health and wellness lessons for the children.

With so much shared history, Hilltop and Valpo are family, and the support, time, and love that flow from one organization to the other keep this special relationship going strong now and for years to come.



Matthew Becker, Ph.D., professor of theology, and Alex Capaldi, Ph.D., associate professor of mathematics and statistics, are the recipients of the 2018-2019 We Raise Ministries, formerly Wheat Ridge Ministries-O.P. Kretzmann Fund, grants for Research in the Healing Arts and Sciences. Proposals for this grant are eligible for consideration if they concentrate on answering questions related to the analysis, diagnosis, and/or cure of mental, spiritual, and physical health problems.

Professor Becker will be editing, translating, and annotating the second volume of a six-volume critical edition of Edmund Schlink’s writings. These writings, written from a Lutheran theological perspective, create a connection between the Christian gospel and matters of spiritual and mental health and healing as well as discussion about healing divisions between main Christian groups. By translating this volume into English, it will give English-speaking theology students a chance to conduct more thorough research on Schlink’s theology and ideas, and Professor Becker is “convinced that his edition of this important work will bring spiritual healing and insights to those who study it.”

Professor Capaldi will be building and analyzing an agent-based model of an endangered plant and its invasive predator. The aim of this model is to conserve this plant, the giant air plant of Florida, and reduce the presence of an invasive disease vector that increases vector-borne illnesses in the U.S. Professor Capaldi believes that his research has important implications for public health and conservation biology and will support interdisciplinary collaboration.


St Baldricks Fundraiser

Through their annual St. Baldrick’s philanthropy event, the men of Lambda Chi helped raise $19,558 to fund pediatric cancer research.



Thanks to the generosity of Linnea Conrad ’84 Roberts and the Roberts Foundation, Valparaiso University has established the Conrad Scholars program. The total gift will exceed $1.4 million, with $710,000 provided to sponsor a cohort of 20 students for four years and an additional $710,000 offered as a one-to-one match for additional funds raised in support of the program.

The inaugural cohort of Conrad Scholars began with the fall 2018 semester. This program is geared toward incoming high-need, high-ability students, who will receive a $5,000 annual scholarship as well as mentoring, academic success assistance, and peer coaching. Students who may not have had the opportunity to attend Valpo and be enriched by the unique Valpo experience will now be able to do so.



This spring, Valparaiso University proudly announced that the ARC-PA has granted Accreditation–Provisional status to Valpo’s Physician Assistant (PA) program. This paved the way for enrollment of the first cohort of master’s students this fall, who graduated with their bachelor’s degrees in health science in August.

After nearly five years of preparation, the program was primed and eager to begin its first year of master’s studies — as was the entering class of nearly 25 students.

“The PA program has been an incredible experience,” Kayleigh Corn ’18 says. “I’ve made great friendships and connections with the people in my program, I’ve been pushed to excel in the classroom and to find field experience, and I felt prepared to move to the graduate portion of the program.”



Susan VanZanten, Ph.D., joined the Valpo faculty as dean of Christ College — The Honors College, effective July 1, 2018. She joined the college during its 50th year as an honors college, marking another milestone in the college’s rich history.

Prior to Valpo, Dean VanZanten served at Seattle Pacific University since 1993, most recently as professor of English and interim co-chair of the languages, cultures, and
linguistics department. In her role as dean, she is responsible for the strategic leadership, coordination, and guidance of Christ College. She will establish a vision for the college’s future, centered around curricular innovation and ongoing development of the dedicated, accomplished faculty.

Dean VanZanten will work closely with faculty to propel the college into the future, remaining dedicated to the cultivation of intellectual, moral, and spiritual virtues and fulfilling the University’s mission of preparing students to lead and serve in both church and society. “I’m thrilled to be joining the Valparaiso community,” Dean VanZanten says. “Christ College’s focus on the liberal arts; close faculty-student relationships; extensive reading, writing, and discussion; and good hard thinking about life and faith
are practices that I highly prize. It’s an honor to enter into this work.”

Equipped with an accomplished history in private, liberal arts educational settings; leadership experiences; and passion for fostering faculty scholarship and supporting
educational excellence, Dean VanZanten will shape the college and reinforce the University’s mission, preparing Valpo graduates with the knowledge, character, integrity, and
wisdom required to improve our world.

Dean VanZanten holds a Ph.D. and master of arts from Emory University and a bachelor of arts from Westmont College.

Valparaiso University is delighted to welcome Susan to the University as dean of Christ College!



Anna Stewart, Ph.D., has been appointed as the new assistant dean of Christ College. Assistant Dean Stewart previously served as assistant dean in the College of Arts and Sciences and is a former Lilly Fellow. She will be serving as the academic advisor for all Christ College students, complementing their disciplinary advisors. Congratulations
to Assistant Dean Stewart!


The generous support from alumni and friends has moved Forever Valpo past $199 million, toward the goal of raising $250 million for student scholarships, faculty development, and programs that prepare students for lives of leadership and service.



Mary Evans was formally introduced as head coach of the Valpo women’s basketball team in April at a welcoming reception in the Athletics-Recreation Center media room. The campus community gave her a warm welcome, exemplifying the unique, family atmosphere that is Valpo. As Coach Evans proceeded to talk a great deal about her own family, including
her husband; children, Keegan Thomas and Zoe Mae; and parents, it became clear she would fit right in as part of the Valpo family. “I want to make a promise to my new team that I will always work hard for them,” Coach Evans stated during the reception. “When I left campus on the drive to the airport after the interview process, I knew that Valparaiso is a special place. I’m excited to become part of the Valparaiso experience, and my family and I are looking forward to not only joining, but giving back to this community for
many years.”

Coach Evans, who spent the previous five seasons as an assistant coach at Ohio University, became the eighth head coach in program history. She brings 15 years of Division I experience with her to Valpo. Her extensive experience, positive energy, and strong passion will fuel the future of women’s basketball at Valpo for years to come.



Dedicated to the pursuit of educational innovation, the University continually seeks to improve upon the quality and array of academic programs offered in order to prepare students for in-demand fields. Recently, the University announced the launch of programs in environmental engineering, music therapy, occupational therapy, and supply chain and logistics.

The College of Nursing and Health Professions continues its trajectory of growth and expansion with the addition of the post-professional occupational therapy doctorate (PP-OTD), representing the second doctoral degree at Valpo. Available to students in summer 2019, Valpo’s PP-OTD is predominately an online program designed to empower professionals currently working in the field seeking to advance their leadership, practice, and research skills in order to enhance their careers and profession.
With the launch of environmental engineering, slated for fall 2019, the College of Engineering is home to six cutting-edge degree programs. The environmental engineering program is designed to develop graduates who will lead and serve in uncovering solutions to environmental challenges in the region and around the world.
The music department announced the development of a bachelor of music in music therapy, with student enrollment to begin fall 2019. An interdisciplinary program that integrates the art of music with the science of health, students will gain the knowledge and skills necessary to address physical, emotional, cognitive, sociocultural, and spiritual needs of individuals and groups.

The College of Business has developed both a major and a minor in the growing field of supply chain and logistics management. The degree will prepare business leaders to manage complex operations across myriad industries, from technology and manufacturing to consultancy and retail.
University leadership strategically develops programming in cutting-edge academic areas well aligned with student career opportunities that will exist for the foreseeable future.



After more than two decades of dedicated service to Valparaiso University, Bonnie Hunter, Ph.D., the vice president of student affairs, will retire at the conclusion of the spring 2019 semester. During her long tenure at Valpo, Vice President Hunter’s invaluable leadership has impacted thousands of students throughout their time on campus. Together with a team of talented individuals, she has grown and strengthened student programming to enhance the Valpo experience, one that stays with our alumni long after their time on campus comes to a close.



On Jan. 26, 2019, the Valparaiso University Athletics Hall of Fame inducted five new members. Jackie Thomas ’09 Goebel, Wally Hanas ’84, Jeff Horton ’08, Taylor Root ’14 Lopez, and posthumous inductee Wally Gilbert ’22 comprise the 22nd class in Hall of Fame history. Jackie was a mainstay on defense for the women’s soccer team. Wally (Hanas) was a stand- out for the men’s golf program. Jeff was a running back for Valpo football. Taylor holds Valpo’s all-time digs record and ranks fifth in NCAA Division I history in volleyball. Wally (Gilbert) was a three- sport standout during his time at Valpo, serving as football, basketball, and base- ball team captain during his senior year of 1921–1922. Congratulations to all Hall of Fame inductees!



The Misouri Valley Conference will celebrate its 30th year of Arch Madness in St. Louis, March 7–10, 2019, at the Enterprise Center, 1401 Clark Ave., St. Louis. Join Coach Matt Lottich in his third year as head coach and Valpo’s second MVC tournament appearance.The Valparaiso University Alumni Association is sponsoring an event at the team hotel, the Marriott St. Louis Grand, on either Friday, March 8, or Saturday, March 9, depending upon the tournament seeding. Stay tuned to for updated information.
The University also has a Valpo fan block of rooms at the Marriott St. Louis Grand. Make your reservations as soon as possible by calling 314.621.9600 and reference the Missouri Valley Conference/ MVC for a reduced rate. Also, for a list of additional hotels and tourist information, visit the MVC site,
Faced with a challenging slate of conference opponents in the Missouri Valley Conference, this years Valpo mens basketball team prepared for conference play and Arch Madness with a strong showing in non-conference play. Valpo earned road wins in the non-conference schedule at UNLV, out of the Mountain West Conference, and at George Washington, out of the Atlantic 10.



Join Valpo Women’s Basketball, led by first-year head coach Mary Evans, for Hoops in the Heartland at the TaxSlayer Center, 1201 River Drive, Moline, Ill. All Valpo fans are encouraged to cheer the Valpo women on to victory in their second appearance in this tournament.
A November victory over St. Francis (Brooklyn) was among the most memorable games during Valpos early season schedule as Coach Evans notched her first win as a collegiate head coach. In that same game, Meredith Hamlet ’19 became the 15th player in program history to reach 1,000 career points.
The Valparaiso University Alumni Association is sponsoring pre- and/ or post-game events at our MVC Fan Hangout — the Bent River Brewing Co., 1413 5th Ave., Moline, Ill. — which is within walking distance of the TaxSlayer Center. Alumni and friends are invited to congregate both before and after the game for a brew, food, and fun.
For more information on accommodations in the Quad City area, visit


In October, the Valpo women’s soccer program welcomed a very special member into the team, as 16-year-old Lauren Moody officially joined
the program. Lauren, a native of Chesterton, was diagnosed with epilepsy in 2016. She was paired with the women’s soccer team thanks to the work of Team IMPACT, a nonprofit that connects youths facing serious or chronic illnesses with college athletic teams, forming life-long bonds and life-changing outcomes.


To purchase the most economical.
All Session tickets, allowing you to follow all of the MVC action, visit the Valpo Ticket Office, Athletics-Recreation Center, 1009 Union St., Valparaiso, IN 46383 or call 219.464.5233.



Men’s Basketball
Tevonn Walker 18 was one of four representatives from the Missouri Valley Conference at the inaugural 3X3U National Championship, a three-on-three basketball tournament held in conjunction with the NCAA Final Four.
The Valpo men’s basketball team participated in the inaugural Myrtle Beach Invitational in November 2018 with Cal State Fullerton, Saint Joseph’s, UCF, Wake Forest, West Virginia, Western Kentucky, and Monmouth.
Men’s basketball’s Markus Golder 20 was a member of the USA Team at the inaugural FISU America Games in Sao Paulo, Brazil, helping to lead the USA to the gold medal.
Four men’s basketball players earned MVC postseason honors our first year in The Valley. Tevonn Walker 18 was named to the All-Defensive Team and Bakari-Evelyn 20 was named to the All-Newcomer Team. Markus Golder 20 was selected to the All-Bench Team, while John Kiser 20 was an Honorable Mention Scholar-Athlete. Bakari, Markus, and John are back for the 2018–2019 season.

Women’s Basketball
Women’s basketballs Meredith Hamlet 19 became the 15th player in program history to reach the 1,000-point milestone for her career, doing so at Morehead State Nov. 17.
Dani Franklin 18 was Valpos recipient of the State Farm MVC Good Neighbor Award for the winter season. The award recognizes student-athletes who are in good academic standing and demonstrate good citizenship through sportsmanship and significant community service. Dani became the second player in program history to surpass 1,500 career points in a Jan. 12, 2018 win against Loyola. She was also named to the first- team all-conference.

Track & Field
The men’s track and field team saw three program records, including two longtime marks, broken at Notre Dames Meyo Invitational in January 2018. Ben Sekuloski 20 broke a 43-year-old record in the 400-meter dash. Alexander Bruno ’18 received All-MVC recognition after setting school records in the 8K (24:23) and 10K (31:54.4) this season. Those two then joined with Jack Mader 19 and Ben Zibricky 18 to break the program record in the distance medley relay.

Cross Country
The women’s and mens cross country programs were both honored with Team All-Academic Awards from the U.S. Track & Field and Cross Country Coaches Association for maintaining team GPAs of at least 3.0. The women’s program had a cumulative team GPA of 3.80, tied for the sixth-best team GPA in the nation among Division I programs.

Blake Billinger 20 was named a First Team All-MVC selection, leading the way as five Valpo players in all earned postseason recognition from The Valley.

Softball pitcher Kelsie Packard 20 became the first Valpo student-athlete to earn a major postseason honor in The Valley, as she was named the MVC Newcomer of the Year. She was also a Second Team All-Conference honoree, while Carly Trepanier 19 was named to the MVC All-Defensive Team.

Men’s Golf
The Valpo mens golf program was recognized by the Golf Coaches Association of America for its sustained success in the classroom, receiving Presidents Special Recognition, an honor given to teams that achieve a grade point average of 3.5 or better, for the seventh straight year. Valpo is one of 24 Division I programs in the nation to earn the distinction for the 2017–2018 academic year.

Women’s Golf
The women’s golf team competed in its first Missouri Valley Conference Championship April 15–17, 2018 in Newton, Kansas. Kayla Krueger 20 was tied for the lead through 18 holes, while as a team, Valpo posted a 54-hole score that ranks among the best in program history.

Men’s Soccer

Five mens soccer players earned MVC post- season awards, led by the First Team All- MVC selections of Rafael Mentzingen 19 and Demar Rose 20. Dylan Waugaman 20 was named a second-team Google Cloud Academic All-American by CoSIDA for his 4.0 grade point average in accounting.

Women’s Soccer
Valpo women’s soccer player Cory Griffith 19 set a program record by scoring four goals in a single match in Valpos Senior Day victory against Robert Morris (Pa.). Cory was named MVC Offensive Player of the Week and to Top Drawer Soccer’s National Team of the Week following her record-breaking performance.

Women’s Swimming
Women’s swimmer Isabel Jenny 22 broke Valpos program record in the 100-meter backstroke on the first day of the Phoenix Fall Classic, then improved her own record on the final day of the meet.

Women’s Tennis
Women’s tennis player Jelena Vujanic 21 brought home Valpo’s first Missouri Valley Conference title in any sport, as she won the Flight 1 Singles title at the MVC Women’s Tennis Individual Championship in October 2018.

Academic Success
Across the board, Valpo student athletes continued to earn recognition for their work in the classroom. Eight Valpo student-athletes received the MVC’s highest award — the President’s Council Academic Excellence honor. Valpo had 65 student-athletes achieve the MVC Commissioners Academic Excellence Award, while 234 Valpo student athletes were named to the Missouri Valley Conference honor roll. Meanwhile, between men’s swimming and men’s tennis, four student-athletes were named to the Summit League’s Commissioner’s List of Academic Excellence and 11 earned a spot on the leagues honor roll. And finally, kudos to the football team, which had a program-record 52 players earn spots on the Pioneer Football League Academic Honor Roll.