Jamie Johnson is a 2008 Goldwater Scholar
USI junior chemistry major and Honors Program member Jamie Johnson is among 321 college students nationwide and 11 Hoosier students to be named a 2008 Goldwater Scholar. The Barry M. Goldwater Scholarship and Excellence in Education Foundation selected the award winners on the basis of academic merit from a field of 1,035 mathematics, science, and engineering students nominated by the faculties of colleges and universities throughout the country.
Johnson maintains a 4.0 grade-point average. She plans to pursue a career as a physician.
Johnson has conducted undergraduate research with Dr. Cindy M. Basinski, an Evansville obstetrician/gynecologist, since summer 2007. Under Basinski’s supervision, she completed research related to the Essure method of female sterilization, a method that requires no incision and no general anesthesia. Johnson has prepared a paper on her findings for submission to a professional journal.
Johnson also served as a research assistant to Dr. Kenneth E. Walsh, assistant professor of chemistry. She presented findings of a study relating to carbohydrates at a local meeting of the American Chemical Society (ACS) and will make a presentation in August at the ACS National Meeting and Exposition in Philadelphia. She also is presenting the research at the RISC Showcase.
Dr. Mark D. Krahling, director of the University Core Curriculum and associate professor of chemistry, nominated Johnson for the Goldwater Scholarship. He said she has excelled in a rigorous technical curriculum.
“Jamie was one of the standouts in chemistry seminar,” he said. “She demonstrated superior writing ability, and particularly excelled at presenting technical seminars. Many students find these presentations unnerving, but Jamie demonstrated knowledge, poise, and self-confidence, even under a barrage of questions from faculty.”
The Goldwater Foundation was
established by Congress in 1986. The Goldwater
Scholarship was designed to foster and encourage
outstanding students to pursue careers in the
fields of mathematics, the natural sciences, and
Wilson ets Academic All-America honors
USI volleyball senior setter and Honors Program member Stephanie Wilson (Terre Haute, Indiana) was named to the ESPN The Magazine/CoSIDA Academic All-America second team.
Wilson has maintained a 4.00 grade point average in chemistry during her first three years of college. She is a three-time Academic All-District V performer as well as a three-time Academic All-GLVC honoree.
“This is a great honor for Stephanie as well as the USI volleyball program,” Head Coach Leah Mercer said. “Stephanie worked hard in the class room and on the court to become a model for what the phrase ‘student-athlete’ stands for.”
In 2007, Wilson averaged 10.96 assists per game before an injury ended her final collegiate season prematurely. She finished her career in second-place all-time at USI with 4,602 assists. She also recorded more than 950 career digs, 300 career kills, and 200 career blocks.
Wilson burst onto the scene as a freshman in 2004 when
she recorded 1,471 assists en route to earning All-GLVC
and All-Region honors. Her performance in 2004 helped
lead the Screaming Eagles to the GLVC regular-season and
tournament titles as well as their second NCAA II
Tournament appearance in three seasons. Wilson is a
three-time All-GLVC performer, having earned first-team
honors in 2005 and honorable mention honors in 2006.
Women’s golfers named All-American Scholars
Three members of the USI women’s golf team, including Honors Program freshman Renee DeCaro (psychology) – were named National Golf Coaches Association 2006-07 NCAA Division II All-American Scholars.
The criteria for selection to the Division II All-American Scholar team are some of the most stringent in college athletics. The minimum cumulative GPA is 3.50 and student athletes must have competed in at least 66 percent of the college’s regularly scheduled competitive rounds during the year.
DeCaro posted the fourth-best average on the team, finishing
the year with an 82.9 strokes per round average. She posted
her best round of the year at the GLVC Tournament with a
DeCaro was named to the Academic All-GLVC team in June.
And from previous years...
President’s Medal honors service and scholarship
Honors Program member Lindsey Anne McGowan of Plainfield, Indiana, is the President’s Medal recipient for the Class of 2006. The President’s Medal will be awarded to her during the Commencement ceremony at Roberts Stadium on Saturday, May 6, 2006.
McGowan is graduating magna cum laude from the Bower Suhrheinrich College of Education and Human Services with a major in elementary education. She is completing student teaching at Fairlawn Elementary School in Evansville.
McGowan’s future goals are to earn a master’s degree and become a school superintendent.
Her service to USI is exemplary. She was elected attorney general for Student Government Association and has been a student ambassador and an AMIGO orientation leader.
As an ambassador, McGowan served as student coordinator of Southern Hospitality Days, the visit days when prospective students and parents tour the campus and meet with counselors and faculty.
She is a member and officer of Kappa Delta Pi education honorary, the Student Education Association, and the Evansville Area Reading Council.
She was a member of the women’s choir for two years, in the Madrigal Dinner production one year, and a member of the 2005 Homecoming Court. As McGowan recalled Homecoming, she said, “What girl doesn’t want a sash!”
She was an officer of the Student Housing Association and a member of the Resident Assistant Training and Selection Committee.
She lived on campus while at USI and credits housing as essential to her academic success and her social development.
McGowan said, “Friendships are built with others who are experiencing the same excitement, anxiety, and hopes you experience. I cannot imagine going through college without having had this opportunity.”
As a high school senior, McGowan visited USI during a Southern Hospitality Day and a friendship with a then-current student began. McGowan observed that this woman effused enthusiasm and pride for the University, and she wanted to model her college career after this admission ambassador. McGowan said, “I looked upon her with admiration and respect for her level of academic achievement, campus involvement, and unending USI enthusiasm. It has been incredible for me to hear that she is proud of my accomplishments.”
A housing supervisor noted McGowan’s integrity and initiative as a resident assistant. In a letter supporting her nomination, he wrote, “She served in a leadership role for 64 residents who lived in the building where she was resident assistant. She connected with the students on a professional and personal level. She developed programs focused on the needs of students to insure their success at USI.”
Her academic strengths also have been listed in support letters. An education faculty member wrote that Lindsey pours her heart and soul into assignments, and she brings a creative force to everything she does. When she demonstrated a book talk for elementary school children on the topic of “Books about the Ocean,” McGowan donned complete scuba gear from head to toe.
The faculty member ended the letter saying McGowan exemplifies the best that USI has to offer: “She has taken full advantage of the opportunities available on campus, and she has served the University with flair and panache. She has endless potential in her chosen profession and her loyalty to USI will serve the University well for years to come.”
Four of the finalists for the 2006 President's Medal are members of the USI Honors Program.
Jennifer L. Crowell will graduate summa cum laude with two Bachelor of Arts degrees in the College of Liberal Arts. One is in advertising and public relations with an emphasis in advertising and a minor in marketing and the other is in art with an emphasis in graphic design. She attended USI as a Presidential Scholar, and she has a 4.0 grade point average.
Crowell received the Academic Achievement Award in Graphic Design, Academic Achievement Award in Advertising and Public Relations, and the Mirabella Achievement Award, given to an outstanding student in Liberal Arts.
Crowell is an intern in product design and marketing for Berry Plastics, and she will become a full-time designer with the company after graduation. She also has completed a marketing internship for Evansville Dance Theatre.
She served as historian for the USI German Club and was a member of the USI Art Club and the USI Advertising Club. A consistent Honors List student, Crowell is a University Honors Scholar. She served as a member of the Liberal Arts Advisory Board, was a recipient of a Research, Innovation, Scholarship, Creativity (RISC) grant, and a two-time presenter at AAF Student Advertising Competition and the Kentucky Communication Association Conference. She is listed in Who’s Who Among Students.
She exhibited in the USI Student Art Show and the Senior Seminar Art Show. She was a singles and doubles champion in intramural tennis and coed doubles champion in intramural badminton.
Lora DeFries, a Presidential Scholar, counts travel as one of her priceless experiences as a student. She has traveled to China, Egypt, Malta, Turkey, Bulgaria, Italy, and Spain. Next year as Rotary Ambassadorial Scholar, she will represent Southern Indiana in Delhi, India, taking classes and volunteering with local nonprofit organizations.
She is a Baccalaureate/Doctor of Medicine (B/MD) scholarship recipient, but her academic interest changed to economics and international studies during her college career. She has been active in International Club, Model United Nations, Student Christian Fellowship, Delta Zeta sorority, USI Art Club, and Rock Climbing Club. She has helped with the International Club’s Food Expo and their orientation activities for first-year students. She was a principal organizer of “Rake Out Hunger in Niger” as part of an economics class to raise money to donate to Africare to address food shortages in West Africa.
In addition to intellectual challenges, DeFries has met physical challenges because of a fall while rock climbing in 2003 that resulted in two surgeries to repair her spinal column. Faculty members have noted her academic success through diligent effort in the presence of significant pain.
She is receiving a Bachelor of Arts degree, cum laude, in the College of Business with majors in economics and international studies. She is graduating with a 3.7 grade point average.
Janice Esker is a resident of Steeleville, Illinois, and attended USI as a Deans Scholar and as a Nonresident Top Scholar. She also received the Judy Benedict Hightower Memorial Scholarship. She will graduate with a Bachelor of Arts degree in biophysics, magna cum laude, in the Pott College of Science and Engineering. She has a 3.9 grade point average.
Esker is a member of Sigma Zeta Honorary Science and Math Fraternity, an Impact Ministries student volunteer, and a volunteer for Orientation, National Down’s Syndrome Buddy Walk, the annual Alumni Picnic, the Evansville Half Marathon, Deaconess Hospital, and she served as a judge for the Tri-State Regional Science and Engineering Fair.
Esker enjoys competing for the USI DiscJockeys Ultimate Frisbee team, and she is active in volleyball and softball intramurals.
She is a member of the Biology Club, Indiana Academy of Science, and American Society for Pharmacology and Experimental Therapeutics. She served as a supplemental instruction leader and a student member of a search committee for a faculty position. She was consistently on the Honors List and made Who’s Who Among Students.
She did independent molecular biology research for USI RISC Showcase, Indiana Academy of Science, and the American Society of Biochemistry and Molecular Biology. Last summer she assisted a Vanderbilt University professor with research, and next year she will complete a research laboratory fellowship at the National Institutes of Health on topics related to virus and infectious diseases. She plans to apply to a Medical Scientist Training Program (MSTP) at an accredited U.S. medical school after that year. Her career goal is to be a physician and a public health laboratory scientist. At some point in her career, she hopes to extend her practice and research efforts to underdeveloped countries.
Amanda Kleiman will graduate with a 3.9 grade point average earning a Bachelor of Arts degree, magna cum laude, in the Pott College of Science and Engineering.
Kleiman is a Presidential Scholar, holds a B/MD scholarship, and has been on the Honors List every semester. She presented at the Indiana Academy of Science and the Rose-Hulman Interdisciplinary Research Collaborative in biology and chemistry. She is a member of Sigma Zeta Honorary Science and Math Fraternity, a student ambassador for USI Admission Office, and an Evansville Vanderburgh School Corporation volunteer science and math tutor.
Last year she completed summer undergraduate research as a fellow with the IU School of Medicine Evansville Center in molecular biology research.
She was active in intramurals and a volunteer for the Freshman Move In Day. She is a past officer in the Biology Club, and an active member of the USI Red Zone, the student cheering section at USI. She is a member of College Democrats and the Exercise Science and Physical Education Club. She plans to enroll in the IU School of Medicine next year.
Student trustee appointed at USI
Honors Program member Lauren Fultz, a junior chemistry/pre-medicine major, has been appointed to the USI Board of Trustees by Governor Mitch Daniels. She is a resident of Seymour, Indiana, and will serve a two-year term on the board as student trustee.
Dr. Mark Krahling, assistant professor of chemistry, describes Fultz as outstanding academically. He said, “She does what it takes to complete a task with distinction, and she has good writing and communication skills.” He added, “Her appointment will be good for Lauren, and it will be good for USI.”
Fultz is a student ambassador, chosen by the Admission Office to represent USI to new and prospective students. During Welcome Week last year, she helped freshmen, who were planning to study chemistry and engineering, adjust to the college environment.
This year she will serve as vice president of the American Chemical Society Student Affiliate and vice president of Sigma Zeta Science and Mathematics Honor Society.
Fultz is the Pott College of Science and Engineering’s representative on the Student Government Association and she is working with Dr. Jeanne Barnett, professor of biology, to start a pre-med club at USI.
This summer she is serving an internship with the Indiana University
Medical School at the Evansville Center for Medication Education,
located at the University of Southern Indiana.
Fultz is the daughter of Wesley and Linda Fultz of Seymour, and she graduated as valedictorian at Brownstown Central High School in 2003. A community volunteer, Fultz has worked with physically and mentally handicapped children and volunteers at the Hoosier Christian Village Nursing Home. She also assisted with a Girl Scout program related to chemistry last year at USI.
The student trustee serves as a full voting member of the board who is expected to bring both the interests of students to Board discussions and relate her perspective to issues dealing with the University community.
Presidential scholar enjoyed “giving back” to USI
Honors Program member Andrea Miller, '05 arrived at USI in fall
2001 as the recipient of the Arthur and Elsie Kanzler Endowed
Presidential Scholarship, a four-year scholarship available only to high
school students at the top of their class, and she will graduate in May
as a finalist for the President’s Medal, the highest honor given to a
graduating senior. She will receive a Bachelor of Arts degree in
management with an emphasis in human resources.
The daughter of Garry and Cathy Miller of Laconia, Indiana, Andrea was raised with a commitment to service that has stayed with her through her collegiate career. “Both of my parents are hard workers,” she said. “I’ve never seen them think of themselves; they always spend their time thinking about my brother and me, and anyone else who needs help.”
Andrea attended South Central High School in Elizabeth, Indiana. “All through high school I was in student council and Teens in Action, a service group that did community projects like angel tree, Toys for Tots, food drives – anything to give back to the community. It was something I enjoyed, and I want to continue to do that for the rest of my life.”
After she applied to USI, she was told that she was eligible for a Presidential Scholarship. “When I visited USI, I fell in love with the beautiful campus. Everybody was so nice, and seemed to care about the students. I felt so at home. I decided that day that USI was where I wanted to go. It didn’t take me very long to make up my mind.”
An active member of Delta Zeta sorority since 2002, Andrea said, “Delta Zeta is a great organization that helps me continue doing community service and meeting other people who want to do that, too. I wanted the Presidential Scholarship committee to feel that their selection of me was worthwhile, because the scholarship was given to someone who is giving back to USI and to the community.”
Her community service projects through the sorority and the USI Human Resources Club community involvement and fundraising committee have included Habitat of Evansville, Christmas Angels, Alzheimer’s Memory Walk, Relay for Life, Multiple Sclerosis Walk, Great North American Canned Food Drive, Galludet College Speech and Hearing Impaired fund raiser, Ear Institute fund raiser, Sound Beginnings fund raiser, Race for the Cure, American Red Cross blood drives, Lambda Chi Alpha Teeter-totter-athon, Phi Delta Theta Albion Fellows Bacon Center fund raiser, and the Take Back the Night rally.
She helped make IV bags for Riley’s Children’s Hospital, was a College Mentor for Kids, and volunteered at the Harrison County Hospital.
Within Delta Zeta, she was awarded Best New Member and Highest GPA. She also won All Greek New Member of the Year and All Greek Woman of the Year. She was elected Homecoming Queen in 2004, was an active member of the Student Government Association, served on the Presidential Scholars interview panel, and was a member of the student ambassadors, serving as executive board membership chair.
Her extracurricular activities haven’t gotten in the way of her studies. She is a member of three honor societies: Alpha Chi, Beta Gamma Sigma, and Order of Omega.
Andrea has secured a position as a management trainee with Cintas Corporation’s Evansville location, where she has worked since January. “It’s a two-year program and you rotate through the four functional areas of the company,” she said. “It gives you an idea of the entire operation so you’ll know every side of it.” The company is headquartered in Cincinnati. “It’s a good opportunity for me. I’ll definitely have a job that relates to my major upon graduation, and that’s one of the things I like about it.”
She said leaving the student organizations behind her will not end her commitment to community service. “I think it can be an individual effort,” she said. “I’ve always been interested in the Big Brothers Big Sisters organization. Now I’m going to have the resources and the time to pursue something like that.
“You can help a lot of people.”
Rachel Byerley is devoted to her
Honors Program member Rachel Byerley, '05 decided that she wanted to be a doctor when she was a little girl. At the age of 21, she is well on her way.
A finalist for the President’s Medal, the highest honor given to a graduating senior, Rachel will graduate in May with a Bachelor of Science degree in biophysics and a Bachelor of Arts degree in Spanish. She plans to attend Vanderbilt University’s Medical Science Training Program (MSTP); successful completion leads to both M.D. and Ph.D. degrees.
“I have been interested in diabetes for a long time,” she said. “My grandmother took care of me when I was little, and she had diabetes. It’s in memory of her that I would like to work on diabetes and find out how it starts and what we can do to help people.” Vanderbilt has a Center for Diabetes Research.
Rachel is the daughter of Gary and Judy Byerley of New Albany, Indiana, and attended New Albany High School. During her senior year, she received a brochure from USI. When she came to campus, she said, “Everybody was nice and really excited that I was interested in the school.” On a second visit, Dr. Jeanne Barnett, professor of biology (who later became Rachel’s advisor), remembered her specifically, including the outfit she had been wearing. “That made me realize that they really care about their students here,” Rachel said.
Rachel received USI’s Homer L. and Olive Carruthers Clift Endowed Presidential Scholarship, a four-year scholarship available to qualified Indiana valedictorians and salutatorians. It covers full tuition and housing and includes a stipend for books and food. She also received the USI Biology Department Scholarship for all four years.
Since the seventh grade, Rachel has volunteered at Floyd Memorial Hospital in New Albany almost every summer. She helped file paperwork, escorted patients, and made Emergency Room patients more comfortable.
“My mother has worked at the hospital for about 30 years, so she knew of the volunteer program they had for junior high and high school students,” Rachel said. “Even back then, I knew I wanted to go into medicine, and my mother thought it was a good opportunity for me to get exposed to a little bit of what it’s really like.”
When Rachel came to USI, she knew she wanted to go to medical school, but after the University offered her the opportunity to work in a lab, she realized that she wanted to do research and go to graduate school as well. “My ideal job would be at an academic medical school where I would have my own lab for research and also go to the hospital and treat patients,” she said.
At Dr. Barnett’s recommendation, Rachel began working in a research lab at the Indiana University School of Medicine, which is located on USI’s campus. She was the first person hired to work under Dr. Tracy Anthony in her lab. Rachel worked in the lab for three years and also assisted with a summer project in the summer of 2003 researching a drug called asparaginase, which is used to treat acute lymphoblastic leukemia.
“It’s been used for a long time to treat this kind of leukemia, and it’s very good at treating tumor cells, but also has side effects such as liver toxicity, pancreatitis, and immunosuppression. We wanted to see if we could decrease the side effects that occur with treatment.” Rachel presented her research on the asparaginase project at the Vectren RISC Showcase in spring 2004.
“We found that asparaginase does affect certain signaling pathways inside the cell within different tissues,” she said. “We are still trying to investigate how the side effects might be alleviated with dietary supplements or dose adjustment.”
Joey V. Barnett ‘81, associate professor of pharmacology and medicine at Vanderbilt, found Rachel lab work there in the summer of 2004. “I worked with Dr. Kathy Murray, a cardiologist who studies atrial fibrillation. She is one of my mentors because she’s actually a physician, so one of her main focuses is running a lab, but she goes to the Vanderbilt University hospital and sees patients there.”
Rachel decided to add the Spanish major because of her professor, Oscar Ozete, who has since retired. “He had such a passion for teaching and I loved taking his classes. He inspired me to get the second degree. It was something that I really enjoyed, so it wasn’t difficult to continue with it.”
She’s sure the Bachelor of Arts degree will apply to her medical career. “I’ve heard the Hispanic population has higher incidents of diabetes, and there are Hispanic people who have a hard time communicating with doctors, so knowledge of the Spanish language will definitely be helpful.”
Rachel was in the Honors Program and took on special projects. During her freshman year, she managed to work a medical angle into her English composition class project.
“We were studying how to do research on writing skills in the workplace, and my classmate and I chose to do a project at St. Mary’s Medical Center. We interviewed nurses and other hospital employees about writing skills and how their college classes affected their writing abilities in the workforce. That was interesting to me because as a pre-med student, you don’t think of writing skills as being important, but then you see people in the medical field using writing skills every day. Adding my interested in medicine to the assignment was a way to keep my interest in a class that was not in my major.”
In another Honors Program project, she tutored a Hispanic child at a local elementary school for an entire school year.
Rachel carried 14 to 18 credit hours per semester, played on the volleyball team for one year, and also participated in intramural euchre and volleyball. She was a member of Sigma Delta Pi Spanish honor society and treasurer of Sigma Zeta science and mathematics honors society. In 2004, she was a national finalist for the David S. Bruce Award for Excellence in Undergraduate Research. She won the Academic Award for Pre-Medicine Studies at the School of Science and Engineering Honors Convocation in March 2005.
Her drive to succeed is not altered by the prospect of another seven years of school at Vanderbilt. “It’s what I want to do,” she said.
Senior English major maximizes benefits of college life
She was homeschooled from kindergarten through high school, and enrolled at USI as a part-time student at the age of 14. Her interests are broad, and include creative and nonfiction writing, the violin, photography, volunteerism, Spanish, geology, and competitive running.
This accomplished 21-year old is Emily Rose Divine, '05, a USI senior and Honors Program member from Newburgh who will graduate this spring, and who was chosen as a finalist for the President’s Medal, the highest honor granted to a graduating senior.
Emily is the daughter of Jim and Judy Divine, both employed at USI. Jim is associate professor of education and Judy is a lecturer in Academic Skills and in education classes. Both participated in homeschooling their daughter.
As a part-time student, Emily had time to pursue her interest in the violin. She made weekly trips to St. Louis with her mother to study with David Halen, concert master with the St. Louis Symphony Orchestra. She took lessons, prepared for competitions, and played with the city orchestra. In 2000, she received the grand prize in the Evansville Philharmonic Orchestra Young Artist competition and was a finalist in the Indianapolis Symphony Young Artist competition.
Violin was the center of Emily’s world until a car accident made it difficult for her to continue to practice and play. A realist, she considered other options and decided to pursue a degree in English.
When she was 17 she enrolled as a full-time student.
Matthew Graham, associate professor of English, offered extra credit to Emily and other students in a creative writing class for attending a RopeWalk Reading Series program. Emily found the session intriguing, and enjoyed going to other readings in the series.
RopeWalk helped fuel her interest in poetry and creative writing, in the same way her father’s family history stories sparked her interest in nonfiction writing. “My father is a huge storyteller, so I have enjoyed getting his accounts on paper. Each Christmas I give him another written story as a present.”
She serves as the nonfiction editor of the Aerie, a literary journal published annually by writing students. In this capacity, Emily reads the nonfiction submissions, offers suggestions and edits to the writers, and selects works for her section. “It gives students a chance to be published,” she said.
She also is a member of the Student Writers Union and the Honors Program, a student activity she favors because it is similar to homeschooling. Moving through material more quickly because of time constraints in a semester is how she describes the difference in traditional classroom learning to home school education. “With the honors requirements, it has been nice to focus on topics for a longer period of time and then prepare presentations,” she said. During an Honors Conference, she gave a presentation on the Landing Ship Tank (LST) and the Evansville shipyards. The presentation, which covered how the shipyards changed Evansville, included the history of the LST, its construction in Evansville, and interviews with people who were shipyard employees.
Emily is on a three-member team that will present at the Vectren RISC Showcase on April 23. Their topic is African culture, and Emily will discuss the political structure of African tribes, while other team members talk about African art, music, and religion.
Geology was one of the first classes for which Emily registered. She wanted to do well on the first test, so she introduced herself to the professor, Paul Doss, and asked about the material to be covered. She said she was impressed with how approachable he was, and how he offered help with the material. She later gained camping experience on a geology field trip, met Dr. Doss’s family, and sometimes babysits for his young son.
As an international student, Emily improved her Spanish language skills and interacted with native people. Her study abroad program took her to Queretaro, a city located north of Mexico City that is characterized by its colonial architecture and beauty. Her host family included four children — three sons and a daughter about Emily’s age. She said it was the perfect placement. The father was a lawyer and the whole family enjoyed running, a sport in which Emily competes. Emily’s plans after graduation include continuing to study Spanish and applying for law school.
Volunteering in the community is also on the list of Emily’s activities. She has worked as a painter for Habitat for Humanity in Warrick County and offers music therapy and violin performances in nursing homes. During one visit, she performed songs from the 1940s and observed a resident who seemed uninterested in the program tapping her fingers on her walker. Another elderly resident said when Emily played “Stardust” it made her so happy. Her volunteer efforts also extend to the Newburgh Public Library, her church, Historic Newburgh, and the Newburgh Women’s Club, among others.
After she registered for a photography class with Eric Braysmith, Emily had a photograph entitled “A Curve in Nature” accepted in the spring Student Art Show. A curve is a line deviating from straightness in a smooth, continuous way. Expectations are that Emily will follow the curve she creates through a continuous path of excellence and productivity.
Eagle Spirit: Amanda Diehl is enthusiastic about USI
There are few things that Honors Program member Amanda Diehl, '05 hasn’t accomplished in her four years at USI. She is graduating in spring with a degree in business administration with an emphasis in management and a minor in marketing. She has been on the dean’s list every semester, is vice president of Alpha Kappa Psi business fraternity, and a member of Beta Gamma Sigma honorary business society, and Alpha Chi honor society, for which membership is limited to the top 10 percent of juniors and seniors. She also has been involved with the Student Government Association since her freshman year, serving as attorney general her junior year and associate justice her senior year. She has received multiple scholarships and is a finalist for the President’s Medal, the highest honor given to a graduating senior.
Amanda’s academic success is matched by her enthusiasm for the University. She’s been an active member of the student ambassadors since her freshman year, and was elected president of that organization her senior year. She has rooted for the Screaming Eagles as part of the Red Zone in her role as mascot Archibald the Eagle. She was crowned “craziest fan” at the 2003 Basketball Fan Jam. She met Barry Schonberger, dean of students, through her involvement in student government, and he said to her, “I need an Archie. You’re so enthusiastic; I need somebody like you.” Amanda attended mascot “boot camp” at the University of Louisville, and is one of three alternating students who don the Archibald costume for games and events.
During Amanda’s senior year at Merrillville High School, in Merrillville, Indiana (about 30 minutes from Chicago), she considered other Midwestern universities, but didn’t like the fact that their campuses were in the middle of the city. “I was just blown away,” she said, when she visited USI on Southern Hospitality Day. “The campus is beautiful and that impressed me. And Evansville is close, but USI is its own community.”
She knew she wanted to pursue a career in business, and appreciated the welcome given her by Dr. Phillip Fisher, who was then dean of the School of Business. “He shook my hand and introduced himself to me right away,” she said.
“All of my professors know my name, and I’m impressed by that. I don’t like being a number. I’m totally comfortable going into their offices, and when I pass one of them on campus they always say hello,” she said.
“I also like that the classes are interactive, with power point presentations and group work. I get to know the professors, and I get to know the other students in my classes.”
She said her classes in business and her extracurricular activities have gone hand in hand. “The business courses have helped me to organize myself: I live by my daily planner, and I have to-do lists. And because of all my activities, I’ve had to learn how to speak to people professionally. As president of the student ambassadors, I have learned how to delegate responsibility, and that’s going to help me in the business world, as well.”
Amanda also gained experience by serving on several University committees, including the Student Trustee Search, Student Affairs, Student Development Advisory Board, USI Foundation Student Travel Grant Allocations, and University Living Learning Community committees, but she said her involvement with the student ambassadors has been the most rewarding.
“I get to interact with families, and I understand their concerns because I was the first in my family to go to college, and I wanted to know everything. I relate my personal experience to them, put them at ease, and show them that, yes, choosing a college is a big decision.”
She’s gone back to Merrillville High School with applications and viewbooks and set up shop in her former counselor’s office, talking to high school students about USI. “There are a number of people at USI from my area of the state,” she said. “More and more each year. I tell students at my high school, ‘You’ve got to come see USI. It’s such a great school,’ and they come down and love it.”
Her enthusiasm and support for the University have had concrete results. “During my sophomore year, a prospective student came down and stayed with me, and I took her and her parents on a campus and housing tour. She ended up coming here and is now a Presidential Scholar and a student ambassador, too.”
Amanda was the student recipient of the Spirit of the Eagle award at the Student Leadership Awards and Recognition Ceremony during her junior year. The award, presented by the Student Government Association, honors excellence and those who bring recognition to USI. Amanda was honored for her dedication and involvement as attorney general of the Student Government Association, president of the student ambassadors, and vice president of Alpha Kappa Psi. She also won the All-Campus Student Award that year.
What hasn’t Amanda accomplished while at USI? She decided there were two things she wanted to do before she graduates. One was to serve as USI mascot Archibald the Eagle (check), and the other was to ride around campus in one of the University’s golf carts.
Even with her busy schedule, she’s still got time.
Honors Program Senior is 500 Festival Princess
April Dawn Williams, '05, a USI senior from Lyons, Indiana, has been selected as one of the 500 Festival Princesses who in May will help celebrate the 2005 500 Festival and the 89th running of the Indianapolis 500, the Greatest Spectacle in Racing. She was one of 33 princesses chosen among 193 applicants.
The young women are selected based on communication skills, poise, academic performance, and community and volunteer involvement. This year, the princesses are from 11 Indiana colleges and universities and 24 Hoosier cities and towns.
Williams is the daughter of Mike and Dee Williams, also of Lyons. She is a graduate of White River Valley High School.
She will graduate summa cum laude in May from USI. She is earning a Bachelor of Arts degree with majors in accounting and professional services. She attends USI as a Presidential Scholar and has been on the dean’s list every semester. She is president of Beta Alpa Psi honorary, a member of the Beta Gamma Sigma honorary, a member of the Honors Program, and a member of the Dean’s Student Advisory Council for the School of Business. She was an accounting intern for Harding, Shymanski & Company.
Williams was a student athlete for the women’s basketball team in 2001 to 2004. She was on the Academic All-Great Lakes Valley Conference Team for 2002 and 2003.
One of the 33 princesses will be selected as the 2004 500 Festival Queen and receive a $2,500 scholarship. The queen will be crowned May 21 during the Indianapolis Life 500 Festival Mayors Breakfast at the Indianapolis Motor Speedway.
Senior Rachel Miller, '04 received the President’s Medal at USI’s Commencement from President Hoops. The President’s Medal is the highest honor given to a student at graduation.
Miller, who is from Delphi, Ind., was recognized for her commitment to
academic excellence and service to the University and the community.
She will graduate summa cum laude with majors in mathematics, math teaching, and French.
Her career goals include teaching secondary mathematics and pursuing master’s and doctoral degrees in mathematics in preparation for a professorship teaching math methods courses and all levels of calculus in addition to a variety of other topics.
“Rachel is very strong academically. She accepts responsibility for her own learning. She has the natural ability and the self-discipline to be very successful in life,” said Dr. Kathy Rodgers, chair of the USI Mathematics Department. “She approaches each new task with the energy and dedication to be successful.”
The recipient of the USI Trustees Distinguished Merit Award and Liberal Arts Mirabella Award, Miller also won the Student Academic Excellence Award for Calculus, the Academic Excellence Award for French, the USI History Club Award, and the Ford Motor Co./Golden Key International Undergraduate Scholarship during her tenure at the University. A Presidential Scholar, she was named the Ambassador of the Year and to Who’s Who Among Students in American Universities and Colleges as well as the USI 2002 Homecoming Court.
She also was selected to win a Fulbright Award for a French Government Teaching Assistantship but declined in order to pursue her passion for teaching mathematics in England, where her fiancÚ resides.
An active student leader, she is a member of Mu Gamma Pi, the Math Club, which she served as president, vice president, and secretary; the French Club, which she served as vice president; the Honors Program, which she served as historian; and the Student Ambassador Organization, which she served as Southern Hospitality Day coordinator.
Miller also is a member of the Student Education Association, the Mathematical Association of America, Golden Key Honor Society, and Sigma Zeta Math and Science Honorary.
In addition to grading papers in the Mathematics Department and working in the Office of Admission, Miller has served as a residence hall mentor and a math tutor for Evansville and Newburgh students. In 2003, she studied abroad in Sunderland, England, and she has participated in the Susan G. Komen Race for the Cure, the Foreign Language Winter Celebration, the AMIGOS, and in intramural softball, bowling, and caving.