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Language Bowl continues to grow

The 2007 Modern and Classical Languages Academic Bowl held April 19, was the largest to date, attracting 44 teams of high school students from the Evansville-Vanderburgh School Corporation, Evansville Catholic high schools, and the tri-state area.

The academic portions in each language included questions on history; contemporary politics and government; geography; social affairs; the European community; day-to-day life; and vocabulary, grammar, and syntax.

"There were many heart-stoppers as teams tied for first and second, and then battled it out in 'sudden death' rounds," said Dr. Susan Smith Wolfe, acting chair of the Foreign Languages Department, which will become the Department of Modern and Classical Languages in fall 2007.

Teams competing in the song contest were judged on pronunciation, genuine cultural content, and originality/creativity.  "Many of the 21 teams drew 'ah's' from the crowd in sweet ballads, engaged them in songs about injustice and friendship, or set the whole room clapping to a mariachi beat," Wolfe said.

The winners of the academic portion were:


  1. Memorial
  2. Castle
  3. Bosse


  1. Harrison
  2. Southridge (Huntingburg, Indiana
  3. Castle


  1. Boonville (Team 1)
  2. Mount Vernon (Team 3)
  3. Boonville (Team 2)


  1. Southridge
  2. Harrison
  3. North

The song contest winners

With the help of the USI Foundation, The Academic Bowl grows each year.

Liberal Arts students presented at the 2007 RISC Showcase

The Research, Innovation, Scholarship, Creativity (RISC) Program supports additional learning opportunities for undergraduate students.  Students from all disciplines across the university pursue innovative scholarly and creative endeavors through the RISC Research Grant Program and the RISC Showcase.

The RISC Research Grant Program is a competitive program that provides funding to initiate or continue qualifying student research projects.  All students are eligible to submit proposals for RISC Research Grants. 

The RISC Showcase is a symposium that provides an arena for undergraduates of all disciplines to present, demonstrate, or display their academic works to fellow students, faculty members, and the public.  The Showcase takes place each spring on the campus of USI.

Oral presentations of College of Liberal Arts students given on April 23, 2007, at the RISC Showcase were:

Chrles N. Aull, History, "The Temple of Zeus at Nemea: Its Architectural and Historical Contexts", sponsored by Dr. Michael Dixon.

Andrew F. Bolin, John Morris, Christy Clark, Mitchell Wolfe and Jessica Choquette, Communications--Radio/Television, "A Day at the Radio Station".

Rebecca M. Bradford, Psychology, "Gender Occupational Stereotypes", sponsored by Dr. Julie Evey-Johnson.

Jennifer L. Jochim, Vanessa Sprinkle and Nathan Jochum, Art Education, "Teaching Visual Art in the Real World", sponsored by Dr. Joseph Uduehi.

Jacob A. Koressel, Communications Studies, "Southern Baptist in African American Communities", sponsored by Dr. Leigh Anne Howard.

Amanda D. Parkhill and Scott A. Hayes, Journalism & Communications, "Is the Evansville Courier and Press biased?", sponsored by Dr. Patricia Ferrier.

Cole P. Perkins, Communications, "CineFLICK", sponsored by Dr. David Black.

Jessee D. Sandlin, Communication Studies, "Triangular Relationship", sponsored by Dr. Wesley Durham.

Jill M. Victor, International Studies, "The Final Stage", sponsored by Ms. Patricia Aakhus.

Elizabeth Waters, English Literature, "Avatar and Identity in Cyberculture: Examining Trust in Virtual Communities", sponsored by Dr. Dominik Micer.

Emily E. Weger, Psychology, "Autistic Mainstreaming", sponsored by Dr. Julie Evey.

Alexis M. Yattaw, English - Secondary Education, "The Effects of Peer Pressure on Adolescents' Academic Progress", sponsored by Dr. Paul Parkison.

Students win IASB awards

Several USI students placed in the top three in their categories in the recent Indiana Association of School Broadcasters (IASB) College Competition. College students from the 15 IASB schools competed in eight radio and 10 television categories. The 109 entries were judged by commercial radio and television stations, as well as a video production house, according to John M. Morris, instructor of radio/TV and general manager of WSWI. Morris also serves as executive director of IASB.

In the radio category, USI student Kelly Orsby took second place in air personality; Ian Connor was third in news anchor, Ryan Nash took second in news package and third in copywriting; and Eric Marcum took third in spot. The University won first place in the imaging category. Two USI spots took second and third place in the video category.  (For a complete listing...)

Student public relations firm established at USI


Logo for Soaring Communications

Soaring Communications is a new public relations firm starting at the University of Southern Indiana this spring. The student-run firm is a project undertaken by Barret Barlow, senior public relations major and member of Public Relations Student Society of America (PRSSA) and other USI PRSSA members.

Barlow of North Aurora, Illinois, is the firm’s director. Next year the director will be Alicia Hendrickson of Alexandria, Indiana. She is a public relations major. Students in public relations, graphic design students, and student writers will participate in the firm.

Clients for the firm will be student organizations at USI, non profit agencies in the Tri-State area, and small businesses. The first client is the River City Food Co-op.

Soaring Communications is open to all varieties of public relations work including writing and designing flyers, writing news releases, planning publicity, and working with each client to meet communication needs. “Our specialty at the moment is designing flyers,” said Barlow. “We are especially good at that.”

Barlow said, “Clients who are looking for new ideas and publicity suggestions from fresh minds, should consider Soaring Communications. And the costs are low.”

USI student graphic designer Joey Castillo of Hammond, Indiana, designed the logo for the firm. He is majoring in graphic design.

Barlow learned of the student-run firm concept at a PRSSA national convention he attended in the fall. Since that time he and other students at USI have been involved in organization, writing bylaws and a constitution, and seeking writers and other firm staff. They have applied to become a separate student organization on campus.

Barlow can be reached at for details about the firm and the work the firm can do. The office is located in the lower level of the University Center at USI.

Hardgrave receives Scavone Award

2007 presentation of Scavone Award to Dr. Jason Hardgrave
From left to right, Dr. David Glassman, Dean of the College of Liberal Arts; Dr. Daniel Scavone, Professor Emeritus of History; Dr. Jason Hardgrave, Assistant Professor of History; and Mr. John Lawrence (’73), friend of the College who established the Scavone Awards in honor of Dr. Scavone.

Dr. Jason Hardgrave, assistant professor of history, received the 2007 Scavone Award in Medieval Manuscripts and Culture and presented his research on “Medieval Women’s Identities as formed by Medieval Manuscripts” on April 12, 2007.

The award was established in 2006 by John Lawrence ‘73 in the interest of honoring Dr. Daniel Scavone, professor emeritus of history, who initiated Lawrence’s love for medieval studies and inspired him to research and collect medieval manuscripts from throughout the world. Scavone retired from USI in 1999.

Hardgrave received his bachelor’s and master’s degrees from the University of Wyoming, where he wrote his master’s thesis, “Diverse by Necessity, Survivalist by Design: The Hospitaller Knights of St. John of Jerusalem 1080-1320.” His Ph.D. is from the University of Kansas.
As a doctoral candidate, he was the recipient of a number of awards, including a scholarship to attend the Ettore Majorana Foundation and Centre for Scientific Culture’s International School of Ius Commune’s 19th Course: The Constitutional Models of Medieval Europe, at Erice, Sicily in 1999; the University of Kansas History Department Distinguished Service Award in 2000; and a J. William Fulbright Foreign Scholarship to Venice, Italy for the 2001-2002 academic year.
He has produced numerous scholarly papers, presented at regional and national conferences, and was the recipient of the James Falls Prize for the best paper presented at the 27th annual meeting of the Mid-America Medieval Association in 2003.
His current work builds off of his dissertation, “Gendered Justice: Women’s Access to the Legal Systems of Fourteenth Century Venice.”

Humanities faculty always Learning

Thanks to our CTLE grant, nine of our Humanities faculty traveled to Memphis, Tennessee, 23-25 March 2007.  Professors von Fuhrmann, Plath, Helmstetter, Gries, Lucius, Nicholas, Stone, Smith, and Darrell went mainly to visit three sites: the National Civil Rights Museum downtown, at the motel where Martin Luther King was shot; the Brooks Art Museum; and the Pink Palace Museum.

The National Civil Rights Museum tells a detailed, moving story about men and women and teenagers and children who spent decades seeking equal rights in education, courts, public facilities, throughout the United States.  The exhibits we saw Friday afternoon include hundreds of photographs and quotations about this long struggle, some names and faces familiar to us all, but hundreds more, lacking fame, represent all those who simply worked on.

The Brooks Art Museum, located in Memphis’s Overton Park, offers a broad collection of paintings, porcelains, and textiles. Saturday morning, our excellent docent, Julie Falvey, led us through the collection’s high points, chronologically, from Middle Ages to the present.  Afterward, we ate a delicious lunch in the Brooks’s Brushmark Cafe.

On Saturday afternoon, the Humanities faculty drove to the Pink Palace Museum to see the IMAX film on ancient Greece, a film which highlights the importance of the volcanic explosion at Thira for all of the Mediterranean world.  The IMAX medium is beautifully suited to Greece and the islands: we felt as if the sea would rush right into our laps.  After the IMAX film, we saw the exhibits on Memphis’s history and King Cotton.

Saturday night about half our group saw a new German film—Lives of Others—which they offered rave reviews about.  Others watched NCAA basketball, and others graded student papers.

On Sunday morning, just before leaving Memphis, we visited Graceland Mansion to see if we can better understand an important American phenomenon, both historical and musical:  Elvis the King.  Our tour enhance our appreciation of Elvis Presley’s music taught us about an entertainer many of us grew up listening to.

Our next trip, again funded by the CTLE grant, comes this October when we return to Chicago for opera, the Art Institute, and the Newberry Library.

Dr. Betty Hart honored as a Phenomenal Woman of USI

Phenomenal Women left to right first row: Mattie Miller, Ruth Waller, Sandy Hatfield, and Patty Avery. Left to right second row: Gina Moore Catherine “Katy” Simutis, Shalonda Newcomb, and Dr. Betty Hart.

The Sixth Annual Phenomenal Women of USI and the Community program held at USI on March 15 recognized women who honor and advance diversity at the University and in the community. Each year, women are honored in six categories: undergraduate, graduate student, faculty member, support staff member, administrative staff member, and three members of the community-at-large.

Dr. Betty Hart, a professor of English, was named Phenomenal Woman Faculty Member.  She was nominated by Roneshia Clark, one of her students. In her nomination, Dr. Hart is called a “champion for diversity” who teaches ethnic literature and racism classes. In her classes, she demands respect for students’ points of view, no matter how controversial the subject matter becomes. Dr. Hart is not only respected by the campus community, but also by the larger community and the media. Her research and public presentations on Zora Neal Hurston are in demand at professional conferences. She is called an advocate for change and is cited for her role in urging the USI Theatre Department to produce “A Raisin in the Sun” this year.

The additional Phenomenal Women of 2007 are:  Shalonda Newcomb, Phenomenal Woman Undergraduate Student; Catherine “Katy” Simutis, Phenomenal Woman Graduate Student; Sandy Hatfield, Phenomenal Woman Support Staff Member; Ruth Waller, Phenomenal Woman Administrative Staff Member; Patty Avery, Phenomenal Woman of the Community; Mattie Miller, Phenomenal Woman of the Community; and Gina Moore, Phenomenal Woman of the Community.

Dain Garrett Scholarship awarded to nontraditional student

Anthony King of Evansville, Indiana, is the 2007 recipient of the Dain Garrett Scholarship, a $1,000 scholarship presented during the College of Liberal Arts Honors program at the University of Southern Indiana.

The scholarship is named for Dain Garrett, an outstanding USI honor graduate from Carmi, Illinois, who died in 2003.

It is awarded annually to a current student who excels academically and has overcome a hardship to continue his/her college education. As a student, Garrett earned many of the significant scholarship awards from the USI History Department and combined the monetary portion of the honors to fund this scholarship. In addition to the money received for his academic work, Garrett also added graduation gift money to the award fund. Donations from individuals who supported Garrett’s efforts continue to increase the fund.

King, 41, is a graduate of Reitz High School who has returned to school as an adult when health problems forced him to reconsider his career in the construction industry. A natural love of history and a desire to share his knowledge in the classroom led him to choose social science secondary education as his major. While continuing to work, King has carried a 12-hour class schedule each semester for the past five years. He also has taken classes during the summer, during the height of construction season. And he and his wife Julie have a son in college, a daughter at Reitz High School, and a son at Helfrich Park School.

Dr. Tamara L. Hunt, the chair of the Department of History at USI, explained that King was one of the students affected by a change in state licensure requirements that went into effect in July 2006; not only did some of the courses he’d taken no longer count towards the major, but the new requirements meant he had to take several additional classes that had been added. Despite this and other personal setbacks, King persevered, and he is now scheduled to do his student teaching in fall 2007.

Contributions to the Dain Garrett Scholarship are accepted by the USI Foundation in Evansville, Indiana.

USI’s Theatre Program Turns Professional with the Fall Repertory Project

--Students on a Professional Stage--

Graphic for Repertory Project for StudentsThe University of Southern Indiana’s Theatre Program and The New Harmony Theatre, USI’s professional summer company have announced a joint project that will create a fall season for New Harmony as well as unparalleled opportunities for students within USI’s new Department of Performing Arts (DPA)

Each fall season, the USI and New Harmony Theatres will co-produce two plays in rotating repertory that blend professional actors with junior and senior performance students.  These productions are also supported artistically and technically by DPA students under the direction of NHT Artistic Director Lenny Leibowitz and Department Chair Elliot Wasserman and with the artistic participation of professional artist/educators Shan Jensen, Craig A. Young, and Thomas N. Thompson

Moreover, this two-play season—now called “The Fall Repertory Project”--will bring members of the Actors Equity Association—the professional union of stage actors and stage managers—to the USI stage in Evansville at 3001 Igleheart.  There, in their own theatre, not only will USI students of acting and stage management be able to work with accomplished professionals in their chosen field of study, they will also gain valuable points toward qualifying to join this exclusive and prestigious union. Many USI students will be able, therefore, to include professional Equity productions on their resumes even before graduating from USI—a distinction which puts the USI Department of Performing Arts in league with some of the country’s elite theatre programs.

There has never been a better time to pursue a theatre education at USI!

Harmony through Order

Larry Gries caring for the plants

Maintaining a pleasant and inviting environment remains an important charge of the Liberal Arts (LA) Building Committee.  Shortly after the LA building opened, the committee took on the task of humanizing the interior, creating invitational and conducive surroundings for our students, staff, and guests. Pearl Buck’s statement that, “Order is the shape upon which beauty depends.” underscored our two immediate goals.  One would be to introduce plants, and the other to begin installing a permanent collection of art. We intended objective solid design that encourages subjective creative thinking—in the Liberal Arts Building.

The plants have all been donated and specifically located. Seven ferns, ranging now from five to six feet wide came from Mr. and Mrs. Thomas Elfreich, owners of I Sold It on e-Bay(TM), and Mr. Richard Cumbee, retired CEO of Vanguard Sales of Evansville, and Mrs. Cumbee, made the gift of a nine-foot schefflera. Between then and now, two Norfolk Island pines have come to us from Joan Scheller, OSB, Associate Prioress of the Benedictine Monastery, and a third by way of Mr. Nino Cocchiarella, owner of Cocchiarella Design.  The pine resided in the Old Evansville Courthouse.  Ms. Jenny Medcraft, LA Computer Systems Analyst, cared for the plant for 28 years, raising it from a seedling before donating it to Mr. Cocchiarella  and, in fact, is responsible for  the donation to us.  Dr. Wayne Rinks, chair of the Department of Communications, donated another schefflera, and Dr. Thomas Wilhelmus, professor of English, put us in charge of his schefflera by the second floor hallway window.  Ms. Terri Redmon, employed at Talbots, donated the tropical plant by the elevator on the Lower Level.  Dr. Walter Everett, retired professor of English, and Mrs. Everett, retired from EVSC, contributed the ficus on the Lower Level, and most recently, Cheril Griswold, LA Administrative Assistant, donated the Peace Lily by the second floor elevators. 

The plants are presently being cared for by the students in the Administrative Office, under the watchful eyes of Ms. Pam Moore, LA Administrative Assistant, and Mr. Larry F. Gries, LA Building Committee Chairman and Instructor in English.

Stephen Pace, internationally recognized New York artist, who at one time lived in New Harmony, Indiana, has donated to the University a number of his paintings created over a lifetime of discovery; they hang in the Liberal Arts Building and Conference Room, as well as in other prime locations on campus. Mr. Michael Aakhus, Associate Dean, College of Liberal Arts, and Ms. Pat Aakhus have donated and procured impressive pieces that can be found on the second and third floors of the building, the main office, and in Kleymeyer Auditorium. A number of works have been produced by Mr. Aakhus.  The International Studies Program, directed by Ms. Pat Aakhus, produces each year a collection of photographs that coincide with the colloquium for that year.  These change yearly depending on the colloquium focus and can be found on the second floor south office wing.

The front yard of the Liberal Arts Building will soon have a developed quadrangle, including a labyrinth modeled on New Harmony’s Cathedral Labyrinth.  Looking out the stories-high lobby windows on the back side, we find the lake and woods.  Not only have our internal goals been reached, we also will have the benefit of outside order and beauty.

Quadrangle landscaping project to complement view from College of Liberal Arts building

Click on graphic for enlargement

Work has begun on a major landscaping project that will create a new focal point for the USI campus – a quadrangle between the University Center, Rice Library, Technology Center, the proposed new College of Business and General Classroom Building, and Liberal Arts Center.

The quadrangle will include many new areas of landscaping and seating, while leaving open a lawn area for games of Frisbee and lounging in the sun.

“There will be many trees and extensive vegetation carefully calculated to be blooming at all times of year,” said Mark Rozewski, vice president for Business Affairs. “It’s an extensive, and very intentional, design with a deep knowledge of horticulture.”

A fountain will replace the circular landscaped area between the University Center and Rice Library and will overflow into a stream, which will pool in front of the Liberal Arts Center.

An inverted natural amphitheatre will provide seating in front of Rice Library, with stairs leading up to the terrace. Trees planted on either side of the seating area will frame the entrance to the library.

A paved labyrinth modeled after New Harmony’s Cathedral Labyrinth will be constructed in front of the Liberal Arts Center. “The concept was that we wanted a living reference on campus to our relationship with New Harmony,” Rozewski said.

Rozewski said the quadrangle project is part of the University’s overall goal of building community. “We want to create a campus that is much more than a place you take a class, but a place you love to be, and this is another part of that effort.”

Dr. Shannon Wooden presented USI Foundation Outstanding Teaching Award

Dr. Shannon WoodenThe new USI Foundation Outstanding Teaching Awards were presented Monday, January 2, 2007, at the Spring Faculty and Administrative Staff Meeting.

David Bower, director of Development, presented the Outstanding Teaching by Adjunct Faculty Award to Christine Payne, lecturer in Physical Education, and the Outstanding Teaching by New Faculty Award to Dr. Shannon Wooden, assistant professor of English.

Wooden came to USI in 2003. In nominating her for the award, a student wrote, “Dr. Wooden brings to the classroom an exceptional enthusiasm for and sound understanding of the subject at hand. [Her] classes are not routine or predictable.” A faculty member wrote, “Shannon Wooden exemplifies the best qualities of the scholarly teacher. At all levels her teaching draws on a deep knowledge of best practices, especially in the teaching of writing and critical thinking. She both broadens and deepens the students’ sense of the complexity of each literary period and its repercussions in contemporary critical and primary literature.”

Lilly Endowment Summer 2007 Research Fellowships

The recipients of the Lilly Endowment Summer 2007 Research Fellowships were announced at the Spring 2007 Faculty and Administrative Staff Meeting.

Those recipients from the College of Liberal Arts are Patricia Aakhus, director of International Studies and assistant professor of English; Dr. Kenneth Carter, assistant professor of psychology; and Dr. Jason Hardgrave, assistant professor of history.

Hoeness-Krupsaw is Indiana College English Association Educator of the Year

Dr. Susanna Hoeness-KrupshawDr. Susanna Hoeness-Krupsaw, associate professor of English, is the 2006 Indiana College English Association Educator of the Year.  Hoeness-Krupsaw earned her B.A. in English and French from the University of Heidelberg, Germany, and her M.A. and Ph.D. in English from Southern Illinois University-Carbondale.  She joined USI in 1989. Leisa Belleau, instructor in English, nominated Hoeness-Krupsaw for the award.  She said, "Susanna is being honored as 2006 Teacher of the Year by ICEA because she represents and demonstrates excellence.  As her colleague and friend, I consider no one more deserving of such recognition."

Journalism students honored at Hoosier State Press  Association

Julia Hunter

Jondi Schmitt

Two editors of the Shield took home three awards from the Hoosier State Press Association Foundation’s Better Newspaper Contest on December 2, 2006. Jondi Schmitt, who graduates this month with a Bachelor of Science degree in journalism, and Julia Hunter, a senior print journalism major, each served as editor-in-chief of the Shield this semester, and each was honored at the conference.

Hunter won a third-place award for “Wrestler defies disability,” a sports feature about USI freshman Mohammed Stahly, a member of the Eagles Wrestling Club who lost a leg in a bombing as a child in Somalia. He wrestles for the club without his prosthetic leg.

Schmitt won an honorable mention for an interview with Ryan Lenz, an Associated Press reporter who was embedded with the 101st Airborne Division in Iraq. Lenz is the Evansville Bureau reporter for the AP and broke the story of the rape and murder of an Iraqi girl and the murder of her parents and siblings by American soldiers.

Schmitt also won first place in the HSPA’s professional division for news reporting under deadline pressure for a story she wrote as an intern at the Ferdinand News. She is the first intern ever to have won first place in the professional division.

“When the award was announced, the audience was reminded that it was an intern – not a former intern – but an intern who beat out all of the professional entries in that category,” said Patricia Ferrier, Shield advisor, in an email to colleagues.

The story was about a car accident that killed three teenage girls, and Schmitt conducted multiple interviews in a short period of time.

Philosophy students compete in the Ethics Bowl

The Philosophy Department’s Ethics Bowl team finished 8th out of 15 teams in a statewide competition at Marian College in Indianapolis ( on November 11, 2006. Team members Diann Garret, Kali Schetzscle, Jessica Jones, David Brown (captain), and Megan Wallace achieved USI’s highest final rank yet in the Ethics Bowl. The team’s advisor is Dr. Mary Lyn Stoll, assistant professor of philosophy.

Departmental changes in College of Liberal Arts in fall 2007

In fall 2007, the Department of Art, Music, and Theatre will split into two independent departments: the Department of Art and the Department of Performing Arts. “The reorganization from eight departments to nine reflects the growth, maturity, and complexity of our college,” said Dr. David Glassman, dean of the College of Liberal Arts. At the same time, the name of the Department of Foreign Languages will be changed to the Department of Modern and Classical Languages.

Humanities' Trips

This fall, 29 September-1 October, the Humanities faculty traveled to Chicago. We saw the latest King Tutankhamen exhibit at the Field Museum, an exhibit which stretches back several hundred years before Tut. Then we ate lunch at the University of Chicago's faculty club, the Quadrangle, before walking around to the Oriental Institute, a first-class archaeological museum on the U of Chicago campus. There we enjoyed seeing hundreds of ancient Sumerian, Akkadian, Babylonian, and Egyptian artifacts dating from the Paleolithic period forward to about 400 BCE. Over dinners at Carmine's (Italian) and Rodytis (Greek), we discussed our courses and the artifacts we had just seen. These persons came on the trip: Richard Mussard, Patty Aakhus, Michael Aakhus, Bill Graves, Paul Plath, Allen Helmstetter, Leisa Belleau, James W. Stone, Lisa Nicholas, Eric von Fuhrmann, Paula von Loewenfeldt, and Sherry B. Darrell.

On 11 November, another group of Humanities faculty visited Nashville to see the Parthenon along with replicas of the 40-foot-tall Athene in the naos and of the other Elgin Marbles around the perimeter. We also visited President Andrew Jackson's plantation, The Hermitage. Those traveling to Nashville included Eric von Fuhrmann, Bill Graves, Allen Helmstetter, Gregory Leach, Seth Davidson, LaNell Lucius, Lisa Nicholas, Emily Wilson, and Sherry B. Darrell.

In the last week of March, our Humanities group will visit Memphis, Tennessee, to see Mud Island, the National Civil Rights Museum, the Brooks Art Museum, the Pink Palace, and the Peabody Museum.

Zoar Manuscripts donated to Center for Communal Studies

John M. Lawrence ’73 studied communal societies with Dr. Donald Pitzer in the 1970s. “I had only a dim idea of how deeply he might be drinking at the fountain of utopian dreams,” Pitzer said.

As the Center for Communal Studies celebrated its 30th anniversary in 2006, Lawrence donated 28 manuscripts from The Separatist Society of Zoar, a communal society of German religious dissenters formed in Tuscarawas County, Ohio, in 1817. Named for Lot’s Biblical town of refuge, Zoar struggled economically before shifting to a communal arrangement that allowed it to become self-sustaining. Zoarites grew their own food and sold their products to other towns. By 1852, the community’s assets were valued at more than $1 million.

Lawrence, who holds an accounting degree from USI, went on to become an international expert on ancient manuscripts. He donated the Zoar Manuscripts in honor of Pitzer, professor of history and director of the Center for Communal Studies.

At a ceremony, Pitzer said, “I am honored to have this gift come to USI in my name. Thank you, John, not just for myself, but for all who will benefit in future years.”

The text of the manuscripts is thought to be sermons or religious discourses of the founder and spiritual leader of Zoar, Joseph Baumler, who later anglicized his name to Bimeler. In a letter documenting the authenticity of the manuscripts, Lawrence wrote that they once were part of a bound book that was divided in 1890, as the society began to decline in the wake of Bimeler’s death. In 1898, common property was divided among members, with each receiving about 50 acres and $200. Lawrence consulted with two experts on Zoar who agreed the manuscripts, written in German, are most likely missing original transcriptions of Bimeler’s sermons.

“It’s possible that the texts were personally scribed by Joseph Bimeler, but this has not been forensically proven,” Lawrence said. He acquired the manuscripts from a retiring Lutheran pastor in Cleveland, Ohio, who was given the manuscripts by a descendent of the Zoar community who said, “Take care of them, as they are important.”

“The value of these documents to scholars is priceless for reasons that are clearly evident,” Lawrence said.

Over the past 30 years, the Center for Communal Studies has served as a worldwide hub for information. It is a unique resource for USI students and faculty as well as scholars, communitarians, and site directors around the globe. The invaluable research materials it has gathered are available in the Center office (Liberal Arts Center, Room 2009) and in the Special Collections Department of the David L. Rice Library.

AM 820 takes Alternative Rock to The Edge

By Adrian Stoica
Taken from The Shield, November 9, 2006

820 The Edge logoUSI's campus radio has changed its name from "the College Rock Alternative" to "820 The Edge."

"We are trying to make it sound like a commercial radio station," said Program Director Travis Tornatore. "We did not feel it [The College Rock Alternative] was a true commercial name." He also said the former name was a description of music played, not a radio station identity.

Along with the new name, the radio station hopes to become more involved with events on-campus and working with organizations such as APB and Residence Life. The radio station is in the basement so by the end of the year, one goal for them is to have more campus-wide involvement. They also hope to have tailgating parties before sporting events, especially with basketball season in full swing.

"We are still trying to get involved with the community," said Tornatore. He would also like to see more involvement between media outlets on campus.

"We would like to be the station to announce USI basketball," he said. According to Tornatore, the radio station has sports announcements in the morning every half hour, with coverage ranging from the Indianapolis Colts to high school sports scores. "We are trying to be as local as possible since ESPN is leaving."

Day of the Dead Colloquium

The Day of the Dead Colloquium drew thousands of students, faculty, staff and community members to Carter Hall on October 31, 2006, to hear lectures about ceremonies of passage in world cultures.  Mexican Day of the Dead memorials, constructed by Michael Aakhus, were covered with flowers, mementos and photographs of departed family, friends and pets, brought by those in attendance.

In writing about the Colloquium, USI students said:

“I liked the idea expressed in the Day of the Dead celebration.  The ability to treat the lost loved one as though he or she is still alive and well is a peaceful thought.”

“I was overwhelmed by the many colors and unusual offerings presented for the souls of the dead.  It felt as though I was entering another dimension.”

“It made me see death from a different perspective, and gave me a new appreciation for poetry.”

“My eyes were opened to the culture of other peoples, both past and present, when celebrating the Day of the Dead.  Seeing photographs of lost loved one, including pets, really made the experience more personal.  To be remembered after death…is the greatest honor.  Death does not have to be something that is feared.  Through the cultural experience of this Colloquium, I now have a renewed view of Halloween, and of how we approach the topic of death.  I would much rather approach it with flowers and festivity, with memories and love, than with fear.”

Next years Liberal Arts International Colloquium, The Gothic Imagination, is scheduled for Friday, October 5, 2007, with presentations including “Light and the Genesis of Gothic Cathedrals,” “Werewolves, Mermaids and Harpies: Grotesques from Arles to the Vatican,” “The Ghastly Girlish Gothic of Emily Dickinson” and “Things That Go Bump in the Brain: Gothic Horror and the Study of Fear.”

The Dean's Golden Apple Award of Excellence 2006 Recipients

Recipients of the Dean's Golden Apple Award of Excellence for 2006
The Dean's Golden Apple Award of Excellence recipients from left are Joan Kempf, Maurice Hamington, Albert David Hitchcock, and Darvin Stilwell with Dean David Glassman on the right.

In the spirit of celebrating faculty accomplishment, Dean David Glassman began the tradition of annually honoring three full-time faculty at the Fall College meeting with a Dean’s Golden Apple Award of Excellence. The 2006 recipients for the three areas are, for excellence in teaching, Albert David Hitchcock, Ph.D., assistant professor of Spanish; for excellence in scholarship, Maurice Hamington, Ph.D., assistant professor of philosophy; and for excellence in service, Joan Kempf, M.F.A., associate professor of graphic design.

An additional fourth Golden Apple Award is presented to a part-time faculty member for excellence in teaching. The recipient this year is Darvin Stilwell, M.A. instructor in English.

Eligibility for recognition is not limited by rank, years of service, or type of appointment. The award signifies outstanding accomplishment in one of the three areas of academia and also acknowledges the unselfishness, positive attitude, and inspiration of the recipient to their work and our academic community. The award is commemorated by a golden apple and a stipend toward professional travel for that academic year.

History Welcomes New Faculty

In fall 2006, the History Department is pleased to welcome Dr. Russell Lohse, a specialist in Latin American History. Dr. Lohse comes to USI after teaching at St. Louis University, having received his PhD from the University of Texas (Austin) in 2005. During his graduate studies, he conducted research in Costa Rica with the assistance of several prestigious grants, including a J. William Fulbright Foundation Dissertation Fellowship award and a Tinker Foundation Field Research Grant. In addition to presenting a number of scholarly papers, Dr. Lohse has published articles and book chapters, including most recently “Africans in a Colony of Creoles: The Yoruba in Colonial Costa Rica,” in The Yoruba Diaspora in the Atlantic World, ed. Toyin Falola and Matt D. Childs, (Indiana University Press, 2005), pp. 130- 156.

College Promotions

Effective August 2006, Dr. Tamara L. Hunt, chair of the Department of History, and Dr. Stephen Zehr, chair of the Department of Sociology, were promoted to the rank of full professor.  Dr. Michael Dixon was awarded tenure and was promoted to the rank of Associate Professor.

David Glassman has a bone to pick

David Glassman, forensic anthropologist and dean of liberal arts, was featured in an article in the Evansville Courier & Press, August 22, 2006.  Read the article...

Class placed 4th in National Student Advertising Competition

The Advanced Advertising Campaigns class (ADV 440), taught by Bob Jeffers, placed fourth in the 2006 National Student Advertising competition for Region 6 sponsored by the American Advertising Federation. They beat out Indiana University, University of Southern Illinois, University of Michigan, and Michigan State university, among others.

The course is designed to refine the students' campaign skills to be used specifically as a competition class for the American Advertising Federation.

Dixon is Indiana Classical Conference Outstanding University Teacher for 2006

Dr. Michael DixonDr. Michael Dixon, associate professor of history, has been awarded the Indiana Classical Conference’s Outstanding University Teaching Award for 2006.

With the award the ICC, which consists of university, college, and secondary school teachers of Latin and the Classics throughout the state of Indiana, recognizes Dixon’s “remarkable efforts to promote the study of Classics at USI as well as at the state and national levels.”

“Dixon has taught a staggering array of courses in Greek and Roman history and Latin at USI, and has helped to solidify the place of Classics in the curriculum of the University. A master teacher, a scholar of international reputation, and a devoted member of the Classics community of the state of Indiana, Professor Dixon is well deserving of our recognition as Outstanding University Teacher for 2006,” said Dr. Nicholas K Rauh, vice president of the ICC.

Dixon has been with the University since fall 2000. He introduced Latin to the curriculum during the 2001-02 academic year and developed a classical studies minor at USI. “In essence I’ve tried to build a classical studies program here with an emphasis in Latin, Greek, and Roman history, art history, literature and philosophy,” he said.

Dixon holds a Ph.D. and Master of Arts degree in ancient history from the Ohio State University and a Bachelor of Arts degree in Classics from University of Massachusetts.