Additional Updates


Fulbright Scholars

Congratulations to the two Valpo alumni who received the prestigious Fulbright U.S. Student Program awards for English Teaching Assistantships for the 2021–2022 academic year.

Anna Corner ’20 (right), finalist for an English teaching assistantship in France, received her bachelor’s in French and international economics and cultural affairs. At Valpo, she was a member of Chi Omega, dance ensemble, French club, a Study Abroad ambassador, a CAPS fellow, and studied abroad in Nantes, France.

Jacob Scarbrough ’21 (top), finalist for an English teaching assistantship in Germany, received his bachelor’s in German with a minor in English. At Valpo, he was a member of German club, Alliance, and Kinder Lernen Deutsch and was a resident assistant.

These talented young graduates will touch the lives of many around the world conducting research, studying, and teaching English.


Martin Luther King

During the 2021 MLK Celebration, Molefi Kete Asante, Ph.D., engaged students, faculty, and staff, along with members of the Northwest Indiana community, in purposeful dialogue about Martin Luther King Jr.’s legacy and how to further it today. Held virtually throughout the day on April 7, the event focused on the theme “Lessons from the Movement” featured a welcome message from President José Padilla.

The event also celebrated 10 years of the Welcome Project, which began as a campus story collection about belonging and has grown to include oral histories from the city and region.


Kyle Zobeck ’12

Kyle Zobeck ’12 made his Major League Soccer (MLS) regular season debut for FC Dallas in September 2020 against Sporting Kansas City, playing the final 48 minutes in goal. A two-time Horizon League Goalkeeper of the Year during his time at Valpo, Kyle became the first Valparaiso University alumnus to appear in a game in the MLS— the highest level of professional soccer in the United States.


Beacons Logo

In thy light we see light! On Aug. 10, Valparaiso University announced that it has adopted Beacons as our new nickname! #WeAreBeacons


The Indiana Space Grant Consortium, a subsidiary of NASA, awarded Valpo more than $100,000 to support student-faculty research projects.


Valpo men’s and women’s golf programs exceeded their goal of raising $5,000 to renovate the indoor putting surface inside the Elliott Center!


Day of Giving 2021 set a record for total giving by raising $1,008,057! Thank you to everyone who gave. You make us all Proud to be Valpo.


More than 90% of recent Valpo graduates have secured employment or enrolled in graduate school for the 28th straight year!


Valparaiso University has been named to the Phi Theta Kappa Honor Society Transfer Honor Roll for the second consecutive year.



In the 2022 U.S. News & World Report rankings, Valpo was ranked No. 172 among more than 380 of the nation’s most elite public and private doctoral granting institutions. In addition to notable overall University rankings, the College of Engineering is the No. 16 Best Undergraduate Engineering program nationally, and the College of Business is included as one of U.S. News’ Best Business Programs in the nation. 

In addition to these honors, Valparaiso University was also named No. 43 Best Value in the nation. 


Adam Amin ’09

A familiar voice is on the call when Valpo fans tune in to Chicago Bulls games, as Adam Amin ’09 was named the Bulls’ new primary TV play-by-play broadcaster in June 2020.

Adam, who got his start in broadcasting at WVUR during his time at Valpo, earned the position with the Bulls after filling in on play-by-play for select games. He succeeds legendary broadcaster Neil Funk, who retired following nearly three decades with the Bulls.

Adam also recently joined Fox Sports, where he will serve as one of the network’s primary play-by-play voices for the NFL and MLB. The move to Fox Sports comes after a nine-year run with ESPN, where Adam called a multitude of sports—most notably narrating Notre Dame’s back-to-back buzzer-beating victories at the 2018 Women’s Final Four as the Fighting Irish won the women’s college basketball national title.

2021 TEDxValparaisoUniversity

Tiffany J. Bell, Ph.D

Students hoping to inspire change and innovation beyond campus participated in the TEDxValparaisoUniversity event under the theme “Reignite. Reimagine. Reform.” Drawing from the calendar year and the allusion to vision, the event was dedicated to looking to move forward and heal from a tumultuous 2020. The event symbolized the start to a new year and featured speakers from across campus. The locally organized TED-like event is led by a team of students and staff advisors, and this year they held nothing back in planning and facilitating the experience, which was held virtually for the first time.

Tiffany J. Bell, Ph.D., Assistant Professor of Communication at Valparaiso University


Lem Cartman

Seventeen Calling and Purpose in Society (CAPS) Fellows completed intensive internships that offer relevant, real-world opportunities, accompanied by significant reflection in community with other Fellows and alumni mentors. Placed in a broad range of regional and national organizations engaged in important forms of service and leadership, these promising Fellows deepened their learning and left the summer better prepared for meaningful work in whatever field they choose to pursue.

“CAPS has opened a lot of doors for me this summer. I had the opportunity to advocate for my community, write a blog about social and racial justice, and even began instilling positive changes within my internship organization,” says Lem Cartman ’22 (above).

In the past seven years, 133 students have been able to develop their sense of Calling and Purpose in Society through this program with the Institute for Leadership and Service.

Jim Daugherty Retires After 35 Seasons Leading Valpo Men’s Tennis

Jim Daugherty

As Jim Daugherty reflects on his 35-year career as the head men’s tennis coach at Valparaiso University, the championships, awards and well over 300 victories are all secondary.

The accomplishments are meaningful, but the relationships mean the most for the now retired Daugherty, who also served as the head coach of the Valpo women’s tennis program for 10 seasons and taught for three decades in the University’s physical education and kinesiology departments.

The accolades and achievements are numerous, but the most important number is one no statistician can tabulate — the number of lives impacted during his lengthy tenure on campus.

“In a word, I would say community,” Coach Daugherty says when asked what makes Valpo special to him. “My wife and I found Valparaiso University and the city of Valparaiso to be a great community setting. We met a lot of great friends through the years in the area and we’ve enjoyed our time here immensely. The relationships you build with your players and assistant coaches will always trump winning championships.”


In the summer of 1985, a young Daugherty approached Valparaiso Director of Athletics Bill Steinbrecher with a request to host a tennis camp at the University’s courts. The modest proposal for a few weeks of court usage turned into a relationship that would last 35 years between Coach Daugherty and Valparaiso University.

“Bill asked for my résumé to make sure I was legitimate before approving the camp,” Coach Daugherty says. “He called me back and said, ‘It looks very good. You can do your summer tennis camp, but I also wanted to ask you if you’d consider being our tennis coach.’”

Daugherty began as a part-time coach, leading both the men’s and women’s programs. A few years later, he had an offer for a full-time position at a different institution, but Valpo came back with the opportunity for him to move into a fulltime role teaching classes and continuing his coaching duties, an offer attractive enough for him to stay.


The program reached new heights late in Coach Daugherty’s tenure, setting university records for victories in four straight seasons from 2014 to 2017, a stretch that culminated with back-to-back Horizon League titles and NCAA Tournament appearances.

Doubles partners Jeffrey Schorsch ’17 and Charlie Emhardt ’17 garnered individual feats that were previously unprecedented for the program, advancing all the way to the national title match in the USTA/ITA National Indoor Championships in the fall of 2016. In the spring of 2017, they reached the NCAA Doubles Elite Eight, becoming the first All-Americans in program history.

Valpo clinched the first NCAA Tournament appearance in program history by beating Green Bay to win the Horizon League title on May 1, 2016.

“Winning the first championship stands out because of the jubilation that I saw with the players and the assistant coaches,” Coach Daugherty says. “It was the biggest hurdle that our program had overcome. It meant a lot to me, but most of all it was rewarding to see how much it meant to the players and my assistant coaches.”

The team repeated a year later, edging Cleveland State 4-3 to finalize another NCAA Tournament berth on April 30, 2017.

The story of Jim Daugherty simply can’t be told without the story of Michael Woodson ’12, the former Valpo student- athlete perhaps most closely tied with Coach Daugherty’s Valpo legacy. Michael, whose father Tracy was the head baseball coach at Valpo at the time, transferred in from North Carolina State in January 2010 to play for Coach Daugherty. When his college days ended, Michael began his coaching career on Coach Daugherty’s staff and played a key role in assembling the championship core.

“Coach Daugherty is a father figure to me,” says Michael, now the head coach at Baylor University. “He is a man who I call when I have questions about anything in life. When something good happens, I want to share it with him. He was somebody who was always there for you. Anybody who has ever played for him or coached under him would say the same. He’s on the short list of people you know you can call and he’ll be there for you.”

Jim Daugherty

Coach Daugherty’s ability to connect with others and the relationships he built with his student-athletes and colleagues will forever be at the forefront of his Valpo legacy. The consensus among the alumni base is clear: Coach Daugherty’s unmatched authenticity made him special.

“I can’t stress enough Coach’s connection with his players,” Jon Coles ’99 says. “Coach got the best out of every player because he cared. Coach wasn’t one of those recruiters who ‘talked the talk’ about caring and being a family. He lived it. We played hard for him because we genuinely loved the guy.”

Nate Buckert ’02 was among the many on-court success stories under Coach Daugherty’s tutelage. He started his career as a walk-on and finished it as an elite player and the 2002 Mid-Continent Conference Player of the Year.

Athletic Huddle

“Honestly, I think Coach Daugherty was the program,” Buckert says. “He built it from square one. Nothing happened overnight, and the work that he put in paid off at the end of his coaching career. He was a fatherly figure. He was not only the coach, but he was a leader on and off the court.”

Coach Daugherty, who won five conference Coach of the Year awards spread over four different decades, provided unyielding compassion and never expected recognition. He impacted not only 35 seasons worth of men’s tennis players at Valpo, but also 10 years of women’s tennis players, three decades of kinesiology students and numerous coaching colleagues, administrators, faculty members and staff members.

“Jim Daugherty’s accomplishments at Valpo are easily seen in the quality of the student-athletes that have made up the tennis program over the years,” Director of Athletics Mark LaBarbera says. “He is a true educator. He and his teams have represented the University with class and determination. He has for the past 35 years, and always will, personify the Valpo Experience.”




A group of Valpo alumni came together to create an innovative product to help combat COVID-19.

The graduates, including former Valpo football quarterback Ben Lehman ’15, work together at Task Force Tips, which develops innovative products that help firefighters save lives and protect property as safely and effectively as possible.

The Valparaiso based company’s newest product, the KLEAN/pak, was developed as a means of disinfecting playgrounds, parks, bleachers, outdoor stadium seating, shopping carts, bay doors, trash bins, and many other surfaces using an EPA-approved dilatable liquid and garden hose.

The group of Valpo graduates who work at Task Force Tips include Ben, Bob Steingass ’80, Martin Sonnenberg ’91, Laura Walker ’88, Erin Roark ’06, Doug Burge ’03, former track and field athlete Alex Watson ’18, Will Foy ’16, and Julie Behnke ’82. Bob, the company’s director of research and development, had the initial idea for the KLEAN/pak. The first prototype started in the driveway at Bob’s house. Julie’s father Clyde McMillan started the company based on the idea of a constant pressure fire nozzle.




Although the COVID-19 pandemic caused the postponement of Valpo’s traditional fall athletic seasons in 2020, student-athletes across campus found ways to bond as a team and stay in shape while following appropriate COVID-19 protocols.

The football team received a visit from former NFL player Chris Borland, who provided some words of wisdom to the student-athletes.

The Valpo swim program made a visit to the Indiana Dunes National Park during the first weekend of the Fall 2020 semester, using the opportunity to participate in dryland workouts and open-water swimming. In addition, the team bonded while competing in a friendly match of beach volleyball.

The Valpo softball team found a way to build bonds among returning players and newcomers during this unprecedented time. The program put together an outdoor area near the Valpo softball offices, providing lawn chairs and tables to allow team members to interact with one another in a physically-distanced manner.



The Valparaiso University Department of Athletics has unveiled its reimagined #oneVALPO promise, the product of the department’s “I Still Promise” initiative. The Athletics Department reimagined the promise to reflect the thoughts, needs, and priorities of the current student-athletes, administrators, coaches, and staff members. 

The #oneVALPO initiative was created by former Valpo men’s soccer head coach Mike Avery and his program in 2013. The Valpo Athletics family engaged in meaningful, productive, and respectful discussions to develop a reinvigorated message that provides clarity, comfort, and a purposeful move to combine action with celebration and education.

The process included input from student-athletes, coaches, administrators, and other staff members and was facilitated by Avery, the current head coach of Fort Wayne FC (USL2) and founder of Center Circle Influencers.



Volleyball libero Rylee Cookerly ’21 earned major accolades from the Missouri Valley Conference for her work both on the court during the spring 2021 season and in the classroom.

Rylee was named the MVC Libero of the Year for a second straight season as she led the conference in digs and moved into the top-15 in NCAA history in career digs. Rylee was also honored as the MVC Scholar-Athlete of the Year, recognizing her work academically as she carried a 3.97 cumulative GPA as an undergraduate nursing student.

Victoria Bulmahn ’24 joined Rylee as a major award recipient. Victoria was tabbed the MVC Freshman of the Year as she led the Valley and ranked in the top-25 nationally in assists.



Valpo Athletics sustained its tradition of academic success and fulfilled the department’s goal of being “Champions in the Classroom” during the 2020–2021 academic and athletic year.

The NCAA’s most recent Graduation Success Rate (GSR) release has Valpo with an 89 percent GSR, its best rate since also posting a GSR of 89 in 2013–2014. Seven Valpo programs achieved perfect scores for the current cohort:baseball, men’s golf, men’s swimming, women’s golf, softball, women’s tennis, and women’s cross country/track & field.

In addition, Valpo student-athletes combined for a 3.17 grade point average during the spring 2021 term. A total of 31 student-athletes earned perfect 4.0 GPAs during the spring semester, 150 boasted GPAs of 3.5 or above, and 243 finished at 3.0 or better. Numerous teams thrived in the classroom during the spring semester, with 13 posting a team GPA for the semester of 3.0 or better.



Six former Valparaiso University student-athletes were inducted into the Valpo Athletics Hall of Fame as the Class of 2021—the 24th class in Hall of Fame history.

The 2021 class consisted of Frank “Moose” Goheen (ice hockey, football, baseball), Kenneth Olson ’33 (football, basketball, baseball), Al Holmes ’55 (golf ), Mike Urio ’65 (cross country, track & field), Curt Peil ’73 (wrestling, football, track & field), and Marlous Nieuwveen ’02 (basketball).

A two-sport athlete during his time at Valpo, Frank won a silver medal at the 1920 Summer Olympics as a member of the United States ice hockey team and went on to be the second American inducted into the Hockey Hall of Fame. Kenneth was a three-year quarterback for the football program, leading the team to 20 wins in his final 21 starts—including a perfect 7–0 record in 1932.

Al and Curt both dominated the Indiana Collegiate Conference in their respective sports. Al was a threetime individual medalist at the ICC Championships and led the men’s golf team to a pair of ICC team titles. Curt was a three-time ICC champion in the heavyweight division and qualified for the NCAA national meet as a sophomore, winning his first-round match.

Mike was a key member of Valpo’s cross country squads during the mid1960s, as the two-time team MVP earned a pair of top-50 finishes at the NCAA national meet and posted two top-six finishes at the ICC Championships.

Marlous finished her time at Valpo among the top-10 in program history in scoring, rebounding, and blocked shots; helped lead Valpo to a pair of MidContinent Conference regular season titles; and became the first Valpo alumna to play in the WNBA when she appeared for the Los Angeles Sparks.

Cane Walk

The final cohort of Valparaiso University Law School graduates was welcomed into the legal profession through the traditional, but physically distanced, Cane Walk in May 2020. A Valpo Law tradition since 1923, the walk symbolizes the end of the journey from law student to lawyer and affirms the practice of law as a calling to justice and leadership.

College of Nursing and Health Professions



Each year, graduating students in Valpo’s Doctor of Nursing Practice (DNP) program present evidence-based practice projects as a part of their studies. Students research literature to find evidence then design and implement plans to change practices based on the evidence they found. Patient outcomes are measured before and after the change to see if the applied changes made a difference.

Twelve advanced practice nurses from Valpo’s post-master’s DNP program and 10 students completing preparation as family nurse practitioners in the BSN-toDNP program came together to present scholarly projects focused on addressing clinical problems for patients of all ages. Topics ranged from decreasing pain from immunizations in young children to reducing falls in older adults in skilled nursing facilities.

Valparaiso University’s post-master’s students continue to work in their health care settings, medical offices, and hospital-based practices across the nation. Some are making hospital rounds and treating patients infected with COVID19. The majority of Valpo’s BSN-to-DNP students continued to work as bedside nurses during the COVID-19 pandemic, serving the community that desperately needed their services.

Covid-19 Vaccinations Required this Semester

All students, faculty, and staff were required to be vaccinated prior to the start of the Fall 2021 semester. Valpo’s Student Health Center administers vaccines at no cost.




The College of Engineering welcomed students to a new minor in mechatronics—a versatile field with a wide variety of career paths that supports the University’s commitment to provide innovative programs that continually prepare graduates for success.

Building on student passions and existing programs in robotics, programmable logic controllers, automation, and more, the mechatronics minor will move the College of Engineering forward. Influenced by mechanical and electrical systems, mechatronics will open new doors to students, with new career opportunities appearing every day.

With hands-on projects, creative thinking, and limitless applications, mechatronics is a strong addition to the College of Engineering curriculum.



In their quest for ways to include new members, the Valpo Robotics team expanded programming into the VEX Robotics Competition in 2019. VEX Robotics holds competitions for middle school, high school, and college students to develop an interest in STEM fields by designing, building, programming, and driving a robot to accomplish objectives that change yearly. As most current Valpo Robotics members had particular roles preparing for the Midwest Robotics Design Competition and Collegiate Robotics Football Conference at the time, a majority of the inaugural Valpo VEX U team was composed of underclass students new to the organization.

In its first contest, Valpo VEX U placed second in the skills competition, and was presented with the Robot Skills Champion Award. This award qualified Valpo’s team for the Robotics World Championship in its first-ever competition. Although the Robotics World Championship event was canceled due to the COVID-19 pandemic, VEX conducted a virtual simulation of the tournament as a way to honor the teams who had qualified. Valpo went 7–4 in the simulation and ranked 18 out of 46 total teams.




Valpo’s Committee to Enhance Learning and Teaching (CELT) introduced the Excellence in Campus Citizenship Award. The award recognizes an outstanding faculty member each year for their commitment to and excellence in campus citizenship.

In its inaugural year, the award was bestowed upon Stacy Hoult-Saros, Ph.D., professor of world languages and cultures, for the breadth, depth, and significance of her campus involvement. Her commitment to the well-being of the University and its students, faculty, and staff as both a participant and a leader stood out in demonstration of how deserving she is to be named the first recipient of the Campus Citizenship Award.



After serving as associate provost for faculty affairs and professor of mathematics, Richard Alan Gillman, D.A., served as interim provost beginning in August 2020 until his retirement in February 2021 after more than 30 years of service to Valparaiso University. He authored four books and more than 20 referred papers, in addition to serving as principal investigator or co-author of more than $2.7 million in externally funded grants.

Eric W. Johnson ’87, Ph.D., stepped into the interim provost role beginning Feb. 15, 2021, and was named provost and executive vice president for academic affairs on May 11, 2021, after a national search concluded that the very best candidate for the job was right here at Valpo. Provost Johnson joined Valpo’s faculty in 1997 and served as dean of the College of Engineering since January 2013, after serving as its acting dean for the previous six months. He has been instrumental in implementing innovative plans for the college, particularly related to international programs and targeted recruitment strategies. He was honored with the Valparaiso University Alumni Association Outstanding Teaching Award in 2003, the same year he was selected for the Paul and Cleo Brandt Professorship of Engineering. As provost, he is responsible for upholding the high quality of Valpo’s academics and provides vision and guidance in all aspects of education programs, research endeavors, and community and international outreach and service programs. He will play an integral role in the University’s leadership team in establishing Valpo’s goals and aspirations in the form of a new strategic plan and ensure a robust and compelling academic program by continuing to create, analyze, and support multiple delivery modalities that address the needs of various student populations, specific program goals, and market demand.

Doug Tougaw, Ph.D., chair of electrical and computer engineering, is serving as interim dean of the College of Engineering.

Niclas L. Erhardt, Ph.D., joined the Valpo family as dean of the College of Business in August 2020. Dean Erhardt brings more than 18 years of higher education experience and is excited to make meaningful and innovative changes to sustain Valpo’s tradition of excellence and transformative educational experience for students. He looks forward to supporting and expanding the College of Business’ internship and experiential learning opportunities and partnerships.

After serving as associate dean of the College of Arts and Sciences since 2018, Lissa Yogan ’82, Ph.D., was appointed assistant provost for faculty affairs in August 2020. At Valpo, Assistant Provost Yogan has also taught sociology at different levels. She leads faculty workshops and serves as Faculty Athletics Representative. In 2013–2014 she received the Excellence in Teaching Award. Assistant Provost Yogan holds a master’s in counseling psychology from The Ohio State University and a doctorate in sociology from the University of Notre Dame.

J. Michael “Mike” Tyler, Ph.D., joined Valparaiso University as the associate provost of graduate and online education in May 2021.He most recently served as dean of graduate and professional studies and professor of counseling at McDaniel College. In his new role, Associate Provost Tyler will be responsible for leading, developing, and coordinating the University’s online and on-campus graduate programs. He brings more than 20 years of experience in higher education administration and an accomplished record of developing and maintaining online and graduate programs.

Thank you to these exceptional leaders for your service to Valpo!



Slavica Jakelić, Ph.D., associate professor of humanities and social thought, was named to the Richard P. Baepler Distinguished Professorship in the Humanities. Through this appointment, Professor Jakelić will lead the Wente Faculty Seminar using her research to promote interdisciplinary teaching, course development, and scholarship to a small group of faculty members.

Professor Jakelić teaches in Valpo’s Christ College—The Honors College. She brings an impressive background and vision to the Baepler Professorship. Professor Jakelić joined the Christ College faculty in 2013, and she served as the Luce Visiting Professor of Religion, Conflict, and Peacebuilding for the Kroc Institute for International Peace Studies at the University of Notre Dame in the spring of 2016.

Her first book, “Collectivistic Religions: Religion, Choice, and Identity in Late Modernity,” reflects her research into the complex relationship between religion and nationalism. Professor Jakelić’s students inspired her to propose her research for the Baepler Professorship as she realized the tensions between religious and national identities needed to be addressed anew with each generation.




In February 2021, Steven Janowiak, M.Ed., was appointed vice president for student life after serving in the position in an interim capacity since October 2020. Vice President Janowiak joined Valpo’s student life division in July 2013 and has more than 25 years of full-time experience in higher education. He will continue to improve the dynamic Valpo student life experience with ideas to enhance student development, engage students, and enrich co-curricular education.

Thank you for your continued leadership, Vice President Janowiak.


Colette Irwin-Knott ’81

Colette Irwin-Knott ’81, a member of the Valparaiso University Board of Directors since 2009, stepped into the role of interim president-elect at Valpo in September of 2020 and became interim president in November, serving in the role until President José Padilla’s first day on March 1, 2021.

During her time as interim president she was a bridge between presidents of Valparaiso University and was eager to serve her alma mater.

Colette graduated from Valpo with a bachelor of science in 1981 and spent her career in the field of public finance with HJ Umbaugh & Associates in Indianapolis. She worked closely with educators throughout Indiana on hundreds of school and library projects involving the issuance of municipal bonds. While at Umbaugh she began a women’s initiative for career development, and she has mentored numerous young women and men in their respective professions. She has been active in ministries assisting inner-city teenage youth in Indianapolis. Her interests have also included the arts and serving on the Board of the Indianapolis Public Library Foundation. Among her many professional and charitable activities, the Indianapolis Business Journal recognized her as a “Woman in the Lead for Financial Services.”

She has also served on the Executive Committee of the Board, chaired its Finance and Administration Committee, and served on the Campus Life and Presidential Search Committees. She and her husband, Gary Knott, are the parents of two adult sons, Aaron and Stefan. Thank you for your leadership, Colette. We loved having you on campus.



Brian O’Rourke, M.Ed., joined the University June 1, 2021, to oversee Undergraduate Admission, Financial Aid, and Integrated Marketing and Communications. He brings more than 20 years of experience in higher education enrollment and marketing and an accomplished history of success realizing and maintaining record undergraduate student enrollment and retention. Vice President O’Rourke exemplifies Valparaiso University’s commitment to diversity, inclusion and equity at every level of the enrollment process, from the initial recruitment of prospective students, to admission to the University and retention of enrolled students. Most recently, he served as vice president for enrollment management at Mount Saint Mary’s University in Los Angeles.

Welcome to Valpo, Vice President O’Rourke!




After serving as a visiting assistant professor of music for the past three years, Sunghee Kim, D.M., was named University organist and director of Chapel music, as well as assistant professor of church music and organ. Professor Kim is an accomplished organist and former first-prize winner in the Fort Wayne National Organ Competition. Prior to coming to Valpo, she served in a faculty appointment at Pennsylvania State University at Abington and as director of music at Concordia Lutheran Church in Wilmington, Delaware, and Pleasant View Lutheran Church in Indianapolis.

Running Away With Recognition

Cross country student-athlete Eric Carothers ’22 became Valpo’s first recipient of the prestigious Elite 17 Award from the Missouri Valley Conference following his performance at the spring 2021 MVC Cross Country Championships.

The Elite 17 Award program was established by the MVC in the fall of 2010 to honor the highest achievement in academics and athletics by a student-athlete in each MVC-sponsored sport. Modeled after the NCAA Elite 90 Academic Recognition Award Program, the MVC Elite 17 Award is presented to the student-athlete with the highest cumulative grade-point average competing at the finals site at each of the MVC’s 17 team championships.

Eric owns a 3.97 cumulative GPA as a meteorology major. He posted a 10th-place finish at the MVC Championships to earn First Team All-Conference honors, making him eligible for the Elite 17 Award.




Michael C. Chikeleze, Ph.D., joined Valpo’s faculty as the first Richard C. and Francelia A. Gozon University Chair in Values-Based Leadership. Thanks to the generous endowment created by Richard and Francelia Gozon, Professor Chikeleze will align and integrate current and future activities related to leadership into curricular and co-curricular programs. With his teaching, mentorship, and coordination of opportunities, the campus community will better understand leadership education and how it contributes to Valpo’s mission and vision.



David Henreckson, Ph.D., joined the Valpo family as the Bonnie and Peter Raquet Endowed Director’s Chair for the Institute for Leadership and Service. In his role, he is responsible for the strategic leadership, coordination, and guidance of the Institute for Leadership and Service and will work with the Institute’s team to expand and enhance opportunities for experiential learning, service, and vocational reflection throughout curriculum and in our community.

Valpo Launches FitLab

With the cooperation of the exercise science program and the Department of Kinesiology, the Valpo FitLab is open for business! Open to members of the University community and the greater Valparaiso area, the Valpo FitLab offers a variety of physical fitness tests, helps participants learn to improve and sustain their health, and hosts fitness classes and activities through the Human Performance Lab.