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New Harmony Theatre summer season is hands-on learning for USI senior

Paul Mindrup
Paul Mindrup

Paul Mindrup is having a busy summer. The senior marketing major and theatre minor is a marketing intern for New Harmony Theatre, the University's professional Equity theatre, and is understudying two roles in "The Glass Menagerie," which runs July 9-25, 2010, at Murphy Auditorium in New Harmony, Indiana.

When Mindrup, an Evansville native and graduate of Mater Dei High School, is not answering phones, taking messages, ferrying actors between Evansville and New Harmony, penning press releases and ads, coordinating media interviews, or helping out in the box office, he's memorizing lines and blocking for the roles of Tom and Jim (the gentleman caller) in the Tennessee Williams drama.

With little acting experience beyond a couple of community theatre productions, Mindrup added the theatre minor to his degree program in spring 2010. Between roles with New Harmony Theatre and USI's prestigious Repertory Project, he's already earned more than a dozen valuable points toward qualifying for membership in the exclusive Actors Equity Association, the professional union of stage actors and managers.

The Repertory Project is a two-play season of joint productions by USI Theatre and New Harmony Theatre that offers USI students the opportunity to include professional Actors Equity Association 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.

Mindrup said, "It's a great opportunity to work with Equity actors. That's the greatest benefit of it, the ability to work with people who do this professionally and learn from them. I'm learning a lot about how seriously professional actors take their research."

Mindrup had roles in the spring 2010 Repertory Project performance of "Hamlet" and New Harmony Theatre's "The School for Scandal," which opened the summer 2010 season. As understudy for the male roles in "The Glass Menagerie," Mindrup attends most rehearsals.

"I thought I was prepared for a role, but it's showing me how much more I need to put into it. Also, professionals are more open to suggestions about their role. They'll do things differently until they get it right. I am learning how open you should be in taking on a role."

Simply driving the professional actors to the theatre in New Harmony has been a learning experience. "Toward the end of the run the actors are more relaxed and will talk about how they started out or how the acting economy is. You get an insight into that world. It's very interesting to hear their stories."

He's also learning a lot about the marketing world, taking his learning out of the classroom for the first time. "It's giving me a good idea of what I'm in for if I pursue marketing as a career. I get a bit of satisfaction listening to or reading something and knowing that I wrote it. It's fulfilling when you check in with the box office and you find out they sold more tickets as a result of your work."

As Mindrup enters his senior year, he welcomes the opportunity to play any role in the next USI Theatre season, on or off-stage. "I want to be part of every production, whether that means being an actor or behind the scenes, but I want to be on stage as much as I can. I think every actor does."

As an understudy, he probably won't perform on stage in "The Glass Menagerie," Williams' semi-autobiographical chronicle of a domineering mother's desperate attempt to find a husband for her painfully shy daughter. The play features Joy Franz as Amanda, Loren Dunn as Tom, Marnye Young as Laura, and Markus Potter as Jim. Scenery, costumes, and lighting are by New Harmony Theatre veterans Tijana Bjelajac, Shan Jensen, and Craig A. Young.

Tickets are $22 for adults, $20 for seniors (60 and over), and $10 for anyone 25 or younger. Show time is 7:30 p.m. on Thursday, Friday, and Saturday and 2 p.m. on Sunday beginning July 9 through July 25. For information or to purchase tickets, contact the box office at 812/682-3115 or toll free at 1-877-NHT-SHOW (648-7469), or go to

by Wendy Knipe Bredhold
Media Relations Specialist, News & Information Services

Tour Ireland with the USI Chamber Choir

Daniel Craig, assistant professor of music, traveled through Ireland with the USI Chamber Choir on a concert tour May 11-18, 2010. The tour included visits to Dublin, Cork, Cobh, Lisdoonvarna, Doolin, and Galway. Their performances raised money for local charities in Ireland.

Dan Craig is dedicated to creating such opportunities for his students, exposing them to a larger world and in a way that teaches them to be emissaries of goodwill wherever they travel by presenting the face of America that best reflects who we are at heart, generous, and open to the world.

Craig, also director of choral activities in the USI Department of Performing Arts, has created an online journal of the trip with photos and videos of the Chamber Choir′s performances.

See the USI Chamber Choir performing in Ireland and view photos of their trip here.

USI master's degree in communication approved

The University of Southern Indiana's Master of Arts in Communication degree program was approved by the Indiana Commission for Higher Education on March 12, 2010, and will be offered beginning in fall 2010. The Master of Arts in Communication will prepare students for careers or advancement in advertising, public relations, human resources, media management, and non-profit organization leadership, or serve as a springboard for a doctorate in communications. The degree can be completed in two years of full-time study.

After much research, the Master of Arts in Communication Planning Task Force discovered that few publicly funded universities in the country have a graduate program that incorporates communication studies, public relations and advertising, journalism, and radio and television into a cohesive graduate program. USI's Master of Arts in Communication program will incorporate both communication studies and mass communication courses in all areas.

Unlike other graduate programs that emphasize theory over application or vice versa, the program will instill rigorous theoretical and methodological training as well as practical applications of those skills to solve real world problems. Coursework will focus on both hands-on experience and research in subjects including conflict and negotiation, regional economic development, corporate responsibility, and organizational functioning.

The program is comprised of 36 semester hours: nine required hours in theory/methodology, 21 elective hours in content courses, and six hours of directed research with thesis and capstone project options. A variety of delivery methods for courses will be offered, including night and weekend classes, distance education, and hybrid offerings.

Image is of Dr. Wes Durham
Dr. Wes Durham

Dr. Wes Durham, assistant professor of communication studies, will serve as director of the program. He said, "We want to be flexible and serve as many of our potential clientele as we possibly can. This will be a popular program that will be key to organizational advancement."

The master's degree has been in the Department of Communications' long-range plan since 1991. In the Report on the 2007 President's Task Force on Workforce and Economic Development, regional employers indicated that a master's degree in communication was the second highest need in terms of graduate education.

Dr. Wayne Rinks, chair of the department, said, "I am exceedingly happy that we now have approval for this program because I know it's going to serve a lot of people here in this area - both traditional students and persons in the workforce who need an advanced degree and better communication skills. I would like to commend Wes Durham on his leadership with the master's committee in getting this proposal completed and getting it done in an expeditious matter."

The addition of a master's degree in communication brings USI's graduate offerings to 11 programs. The program was approved by the USI Board of Trustees in May 2009.

For more information about the Master of Arts in Communication degree, contact Durham at or 812/464-1739.

EnGene CEO is 2010 Liberal Arts Alumni in Residence

Image is of Eric AdamsEric A. Adams '86 is the 2010 College of Liberal Arts Alumni in Residence and will present "Monolingualism - A Horrifying Yet Curable Disease" at 6:30 p.m. Thursday, April 8, 2010, in Kleymeyer Hall in the Liberal Arts Center.

Adams holds a bachelor's degree in chemistry with minors in German and business administration from USI and a Master of International Business Studies degree from the University of South Carolina. He received scholarships from the German Academic Exchange Service (DAAD) and from the Carl Duisberg Society for study abroad in Germany. His campus visit is sponsored by the Department of Modern and Classical Languages.

In 2004, Adams was appointed CEO, president and director of enGene, Inc., a Vancouver, British Columbia-based biotechnology company developing an innovative therapeutic platform, called GEMS (Gut Endocrine-cell Modification System), which is targeted to induce normal cells in the intestinal tract to produce a wide range of therapeutic proteins (drugs) to treat a broad spectrum of diseases, including diabetes and inflammatory bowel disease, and also can act as a novel approach to vaccinations. He has more than 20 years of management experience in international business development, marketing, mergers and acquisitions, and sales in the pharmaceutical and related healthcare industries.

In addition to his duties at enGene, Adams serves as a strategic advisor to Augurex Life Sciences Corp. and was recently elected chairman of the Emerging Company Advisory Board to BIOTECanada. He is a founder of Pracea Technologies Inc., a technology holding company, and is a member of USI's Pott College of Science and Engineering Board of Advisors. He is a frequent guest lecturer at the Simon Frasier University Management of Technology MBA program in Vancouver.

Prior to enGene, Adams was a director of oncology marketing with QLT Inc. in Vancouver, director of International Marketing for severe burns products at Advanced Tissue Sciences, Inc. in San Diego, and the senior business development manager for Anti-Infectives at the international division of Abbott Laboratories, Inc. in Chicago, where he managed all ex-U.S. commercial activities related to Abbott's first $1B product, clarithromycin (BIAXIN).

He also worked with Fresenius AG in Germany as a country manager for the U.S. and Italy, and as joint venture/acquisition team leader.

For more information, call Dr. Silvia Anna Rode, chair of the Department of Modern and Classical Languages, at 812/465-7026 or click here for the website.

Two College of Liberal Arts faculty are winners of the Outstanding Advisor Awards

Two College of Liberal Arts faculty members have been recognized for their outstanding advising of students: Dr. Mary Hallock Morris and Dr. Susanna Hoeness-Krupsaw. They are the winners of the 2009-10 USI Outstanding Advisor Award along with Dr. Jeanne Barnett, professor of biology; Dr. Glenna Bower, assistant professor of physical education; and Beth Otto, instructor in education and coordinator of recruitment and advising in the Department of Teacher Education.

Each year, the Faculty Awards for Service, Teaching, and Research Committee is charged with selecting winners of the USI Outstanding Advisor Award. Dr. Brian Posler, assistant provost for undergraduate affairs, said a record number of students nominated a faculty member for the honor this year. "We had very strong competition this year, with many nominees including a record number of student nominations for their advisors. There were 19 nominees this year and multiple nominations for some of them. It's very competitive."

Image is of MT Hallock Morris
Dr. MT Hallock Morris

Imge is of Susanna Hoeness-Krupshaw
Dr. Susanna

Winners were chosen because of their strong interpersonal skills availability to advisees, faculty, or staff, frequency of contact with advisees appropriate referral activity, use and dissemination of appropriate information sources, caring, helpful attitude toward advisees, faculty, and staff, monitoring of student progress toward academic and career goals, and mastery of institutional regulations, policies, and procedures.

Dr. Mary Hallock Morris
Morris is associate professor of political science, chair of the Department of Political Science and Public Administration, and acting director of the Master of Public Administration program. She joined USI in 2003. A student said, "Due to Dr. Morris's patience and caring in her role of advising, I, as well as other students, have continued on to achieve very ambitious goals." Morris was also the winner of the 2008-09 Outstanding Teaching by New Faculty Award.

Dr. Susanna Hoeness-Krupsaw
Hoeness-Krupsaw, associate professor of English, joined USI in 1989. She serves as a coordinator of the Presidential Scholars program, is a member of the University Core Council, and has served on the USI Honors Council. A colleague wrote in nominating Hoeness-Krupsaw, "She is certainly among the most dedicated advisors at USI, as well as one of the most serious and productive scholars. In both regards she is an outstanding role model for students and for faculty."

Posler said the awards grew out of then-Provost, now President Linda L. M. Bennett's desire to increase the rewards for academic advising on campus. The University Advising Council created the awards program.

The honor comes with a $1,000 award which may be taken by the winners as a stipend or as professional development funds. All full-time faculty and professional advising staff are eligible for the Outstanding Advisor Award. There is no length of service requirement.

Digital technology for USI radio station

USI radio station goes digital
President Linda L. M. Bennett pushes the button and brings high definition digital radio to USI. John Morris, general manager of The Edge, watches.

The University of Southern Indiana's radio station The Edge is broadcasting on a high definition frequency through a strengthened partnership with the Evansville Vanderburgh School Corporation. Starting today, February 22, 2010, programming is available on the 820 AM frequency and the EVSC station WPSR HD2 FM.

Mike Reininga, general manager of WPSR, and the Evansville Vanderburgh School Corporation have made the collaboration possible. With the co-operation of the EVSC, the USI station has been broadcasting play-by-play of USI athletic events.

"The technology, fairly new in this radio market, will offer a clearer signal and raise the enjoyment level of our listeners," said John Morris, the general manager of the station. "This gives our students an opportunity to study and train on the newest technology," he added. It will allow the USI station to expand the hours of broadcast also.

The radio station began in 1981 as WSWI on a frequency donated by South Central Communications. Since then, the station has been student-run under the guidance of a faculty advisor.

WSWI began as a classical and jazz station, but for the past several years has featured modern rock and alternative music. The station also broadcasts news and sports. Last year the station was named the College Radio Station of the Year by the Indiana Association of School Broadcasters.

Social Science student to show off skills at 'Really Big Show'

by Roger McBain, Staff Writer
Evansville Courier & Press, February 11, 2010

The "Really Big Show" is a community variety show that benefits Evansville ARC. It takes place 7 p.m. Saturday, February 13, 2010, at The Centre .

Zach Watson
 (picture by Erin McGracken, Courier & Press)
Zach Watson   

Zach Watson, [a junior majoring in Social Science Education,] called too late to register for last year's community competition for a spot in the "Really Big Show," the annual talent show benefit for Evansville ARC. But that didn't stop him.

The Evansville native came to the final audition anyway, armed with his devil sticks, his music and his inextinguishable self-confidence.

He gave a brief demonstration of his act, in which he keeps a 2-foot-long tasseled stick in constant motion, bouncing off and flipping around a pair of hand sticks, his arms, his legs, the neck and his feet. That landed the University of Southern Indiana student on stage, playing to applause from the audience and high marks from the judges.

But the single ticket to the "Really Big Show" went to another audience favorite who'd entered before the registration deadline. After the contest, judges and representatives for ARC came to Watson with a promise.

"They told me they loved my routine and that (in 2010) they were going to put me in the show and I wouldn't have to try out. And I've been looking forward to it all year."


Advertising senior named intern for fraternal leadership conference

Bob WolfleyUniversity of Southern Indiana senior Bob Wolfley, Brownsburg, IN, has been chosen as an intern at the annual conference of the Association of Fraternal Leadership and Values to be held in St. Louis February 11 to 14, 2010. He′ll arrive in St. Louis February 9 for training before the conference begins. He is one of only eight undergraduates from across the country to serve in this capacity. A member of Phil Delta Theta, Wolfley is also past president of the USI Interfraternity Council.

His duties at the conference will include helping with the registration, introducing presenters at some of the sessions, and assisting as needed. Over 300 schools and universities are represented at the conference with more than 3,000 students attending. The focus of the conference is on leadership for chapters and councils in the fraternal systems. Sororities and fraternities will be represented.

Wolfley will complete an undergraduate degree in advertising this spring. A student leader, he serves as president of the Student Government Association at USI. He also has served as a student representative on several university committees including the search committee for the provost and vice president of Academic Affairs. He works as a student assistant for Greek Life and Leadership and serves on the 2010 Springfest Steering Committee.

Wolfley′s community involvement includes the Walk to Defeat ALS, Adopt-A-Highway, and volunteering at the Mesker Zoo. He is the son of Karen and Mike Wolfley of Brownsburg, Indiana.

by Kathy Funke
Director, News & Information Services

USI freshman dances to his own beat

Jade PerryJade Perry knows what it's like to stand out from the crowd. As the first male dancer to be a member of the University of Southern Indiana dance team, Perry has drawn some attention. "At first, people seemed surprised, and it was kind of an eye-opener for some," Perry said, "but overall the reception has been positive."

Perry is attending USI on an academic scholarship, and while he has not yet chosen a major, he is currently working on a theater minor. His experience on USI's dance team has helped him realize that he wants to keep dancing and performing in a professional environment. "Having a career in the arts might mean that I don't always make a lot of money, and I might not be able to have a normal lifestyle," Perry said, "but dance is my passion. I wouldn't be happy doing anything else."


Robert Millard-Mendez develops young artists

Robert Millard-MendezFaculty member Robert Millard-Mendez described by colleagues and students as knowledgeable, enthusiastic, and energetic is the 2009-10 recipient of the Outstanding Teaching Award by New Faculty. Millard-Mendez is assistant professor of art.  The teaching award was announced at the faculty and administrative staff meeting on January 4, 2010.

"His dedication and passion for teaching are obvious to anyone who enters the woodshop," a member of the art faculty said.

Sponsored by the USI Foundation, the award recognizes excellence in teaching by full-time faculty who have been associated with the University for six years or less. The recognition includes a $1,000 one-time stipend and a $1,000 professional development grant.

Millard-Mendez teaches a course called Design in Materials (an introduction to developing three-dimensional concepts in visual art), woodworking, and an introductory course to the visual arts.

In support of his nomination for the teaching award, one student wrote: "I had very little experience with creating 3-D art and even less with using large tools like those located in the woodshop. His ability to explain the purpose and techniques regarding the equipment made the class so enjoyable that I absolutely had to come back for Woodworking II and III."

Millard-Mendez involves students in providing constructive feedback to fellow students. He employs several methods, including an innovative response technique designed to encourage students to participate more fully.

"The object under discussion is in the middle of the room," he said. "Everybody takes 10 seconds to write a word, phrase, or sentence that is their gut reaction to the piece. Then I collect them all in a bucket and pull them out at random.

"The person whose tag is pulled out of the bucket expands upon his reaction to the piece. Students come out of their shells. No one can hide."

Millard-Mendez believes critiques are important to help student artists understand the perception others have of their art. "If the artist meant the piece to be 'sad,' and the others say it's 'funny,' the artist gets to ask why. If you want to work in a public forum, you should be curious about what other people get out of your work," he said.

A colleague on the art faculty wrote, "I have noticed the art majors getting better at articulating their visual observations, and I strongly suspect his emphasis on coherent oral and written critiques is benefiting the students in that regard."

Millard-Mendez joined USI in 2006. The first person in his family to attend college, he received a full scholarship at the University of Massachusetts in his hometown of Lowell. He earned a bachelor's degree in fine arts and sculpture in 1994. He credits outstanding teachers there with influencing his desire to be a teacher as well as an experience helping a fellow student, a 72-year-old woman. "She was afraid to weld," he said.

She asked for his help and by the end of a week was welding all kinds of projects.

In 1999, Millard-Mendez earned a master's degree in fine arts - sculpture at the University of Massachusetts in Dartmouth, where he was a teaching assistant. He also has prior teaching experience at Stonehill College in North Easton, Massachusetts Northeastern University in Boston and University of Massachusetts in Lowell.

At the beginning of each semester Millard-Mendez has students fill out a questionnaire about their learning styles - whether they learn best by reading, seeing, or listening. He adapts his teaching strategies to use demonstrations, handouts, posts on the Blackboard online course management system, or oral presentations.

"I try to tell, do, and ask questions," he said. "I think that demonstrations and one-on-one instruction are important. I try to hit on all the different learning styles in the things I do in class."

Millard-Mendez expressed appreciation to USI volunteers Chuck Heath and Heather DeLonga for their assistance in his courses.

In addition to helping students improve their creative work, Millard-Mendez emphasizes other issues that affect the artist. He explains how to search for and enter exhibitions and helps students learn about proper processes for crating and shipping their work.

"I had to learn about these kinds of things on my own," he said. "As a teacher, I thought I could catapult my students forward and help them be more successful with this kind of information."

During fall 2009, two of his students - Christopher Wilke and Aaron Rodenberg - had work accepted for a juried exhibition called Small Spaces, Big Creations at the Sixth Street Gallery in Vancouver, Washington. A piece by Millard-Mendez also was accepted for the show. In 2008, he was faculty co-sponsor for a creative project by art major Daryl Booth, who now works as an artist at the John David Mooney Foundation in Chicago.

Millard-Mendez developed and taught the first online course for the Department of Art last fall. Eighteen students completed the course in art appreciation. He will teach it again during the second summer session.

He also is active in the community. Most recently, he and students in advanced art classes created ceramic and wooden bowls for Four C of Southern Indiana, a community child-care program. The organization will use the 10 bowls in a fundraising activity. Last summer Millard-Mendez helped young people in the inner-city Patchwork Central program construct a bicycle rack out of recycled bicycle parts.

Millard-Mendez is an accomplished artist whose work was shown in more than 30 exhibitions in 17 states during 2009. Images of his work are available on his web site at He works primarily in wood and describes his sculptures as "large toys." Many have interactive elements.

by Betty Vawter
Senior Editor, News & Information Services

Gregg McManus: Putting a human face on history

Gregg McManusThe study of history is more than an academic discussion for students of Gregg M. McManus. His teaching helps students understand the real-life drama of events in history and provokes them to make linkages with their own experiences and current events.

McManus is the recipient of the 2009-10 Award for Outstanding Teaching by Adjunct Faculty. Sponsored by the USI Foundation, the recognition includes a $500 one-time stipend and a $500 professional development grant. The teaching award was announced at the faculty and administrative staff meeting on January 4, 2010.

An adjunct faculty member since 2005, McManus draws upon his extensive experience in government and business in his teaching. He spent 28 years with Vectren and its predecessor companies, retiring in 2004 as vice president of government and public affairs.

His experience at USI is not his first turn at teaching. McManus earned an undergraduate degree in history and government with a minor in teaching at Butler University. He taught at the high-school level for two years before enrolling at Georgetown University, where he earned a master's degree in foreign service. He worked in the Washington, D.C., office of U.S. Senator Birch Bayh during the Watergate period. McManus also holds a master's degree in business administration from Indiana University.

"I got the itch to go out and make history," he said of his transition to a career in government and business, "but I always loved teaching. Now I'm able to take my experiences in the real world and share them in the framework of an academic setting."

McManus teaches History 102, a course in the University Core Curriculum.

"Because it's U.S. History Since 1865, we're going right up to the present period," he said. "I don't wait until the last week to talk about what's happening today."

He shares articles relating to course topics from the Wall Street Journal, The Economist, and other sources.

McManus assigns students to interview their oldest living relative or acquaintance about that person's experience growing up. Many recount their experiences during the depression, World War II, the Korean Conflict, the Vietnam era, or the civil rights movement. Some students have discovered fascinating stories about their families. One learned about a grandparent who swam to freedom from East Berlin to West Berlin. Another related the story of a World War II soldier marrying a Japanese woman who had family members and girlhood friends killed by American bombs.

"History comes alive for the students," McManus said. "Many are having a kind of dialogue that they've never had with that person. I can tell by student comments that it is often a 'eureka' moment for them."

He finds that students often are astounded at the deprivation or lack of affluence that people have experienced. Students come away with a greater sense of appreciation for what they have.

"The times themselves help to shape us," McManus said. "When I talk about how some people did not trust banks after the Great Depression, I've had students say that "when my grandmother died, we found money hidden all over the house." They make the connection," he said.

Last fall McManus taught a new course, The Rise of American Business, which he developed for the University Core Curriculum.

He compared the course to a medical school's gross anatomy course. Students dissect how and why things happened the way they did as American business developed. The course offered opportunities to study the economics that drove the founding of the 13 colonies, the emergence of industrialists such as John D. Rockefeller and Andrew Carnegie, and the current economic crisis. Students also researched and wrote papers about Evansville-area entrepreneurs.

McManus also teaches students in the liberal arts Living Learning Community. The LLC is a community of freshmen with similar interests who live on the same floor of a residence hall and take certain courses together.

A special experience for the LLC students that McManus developed is an evening showing of the movie "The Grapes of Wrath' along with a buffet dinner. The film set in the depression era relates to classroom study.

"Once again, I want to show students the human face of history, and this time was a period that challenged our beliefs in our economic system, our government, and ourselves. I think this has touched a number of students," he said.

by Betty Vawter
Senior Editor, News & Information Services

Strezewski receives Bigham Award for New Harmony excavation project

Dr. Michael StrezewskiDr. Michael Strezewski, assistant professor of anthropology, is the recipient of the 2010 Darrel Bigham Historic Southern Indiana Faculty Engagement Fellowship award.

The $4,000 award will be used to complete Strezewski's project called "Taking Care of (Old) Business: The 1970's Excavations at New Harmony." The project will provide funding for USI students to process and catalog 70 boxes of artifacts excavated from 1975 to 1978 in four Harmonist-era sites in New Harmony, Indiana by John Elliot, a former USI archaeology professor.

"Research conducted by Elliot focused on many sites that represented domestic, industrial, and commercial activities at New Harmony," Strezewski said. "Though funds were provided for these excavations, little or no money was made available for washing, processing, and/or analyzing the artifacts."

In the spring of 2008, Strezewski began working with USI students to process some of the artifacts from Elliot's excavation. The progression was slow due to the lack of funds. The Bigham Award will provide funding for two USI students to process and catalog the remaining materials from Elliot's excavations.

For nearly two years, Strezewski has been active in the archaeological and archival research in New Harmony. In 2008 and 2009, Strezewski conducted USI archaeological field schools at Community House No. 2 and the Harmonist redware kiln site. He has collected archival data on redware ceramic production from the Harmonist records and has written and presented several papers based on his work.

Little is known about the day-to-day existence of the Harmonists. Records from this time period are mainly financial in nature, such as production ledgers and records of goods that were bought and sold. According to Strezewski, items from Elliot's excavation hold the greatest potential in understanding a wide range of activities that took place in the area.

"When the Harmonists left New Harmony in 1824, they took their possessions with them, leaving behind very little that can be called 'Harmonist,' said Strezewski. "Once these materials are cataloged and analyzed, it will be easier to point to specific materials that date to the Harmonist occupation."

The excavation project will begin in July with completion in February of 2011. After the project is completed, a museum exhibit on the Harmonist production of redware ceramics is planned.

Strezewski joined USI in 2006. He holds a PhD in anthropology from Indiana University Bloomington and a Master of Arts degree from Southern Illinois University Carbondale.

The Bigham Award provides financial support for scholarly work in the areas of consulting, research, service learning, or creation of workshops/institutes by USI faculty. Dr. Darrel Bigham, director emeritus of Historic Southern Indiana and professor emeritus of history, was a USI pioneer in regional engagement.

Historic Southern Indiana was created in 1986 to serve the southernmost 26 counties of Indiana. Its goals are to identify, preserve, protect, enhance, and promote the historical, natural, and recreational resources of the region. It seeks to implement those goals through programs in historic preservation, history education, heritage tourism, community development, and scenic byways. Its office is a part of Extended Services.

by Brandi Schwartz
Marketing Coordinator, Extended Services

Erin Gibson selected for the 2010 Connect with Southern Indiana class

Erin GibsonTwenty-four people from eight counties have been selected for the 2010 Connect with Southern Indiana program. Included is Erin Gibson, instructor in journalism.

Residents from Dubois, Gibson, Knox, Pike, Posey, Spencer, Vanderburgh, and Warrick counties are eligible to participate in the annual program, which begins in January and ends in June.

This year's class will participate in 10 full-day program sessions and will develop a collaborative project. Program modules will include team building and identification, networking, critical thinking processes and integration, collaborating with others, regional issues, member roles and responsibilities, project management, problem solving, and board member roles and responsibilities. USI faculty and staff and community leaders will facilitate each program.

Funded by a grant from the Lilly Endowment and sponsored by USI, the program is intended to boost Indiana′s retention of intellectual capital by helping participants strengthen their skills and opportunities for involvement in community and regional projects, meet business and civic leaders, and gain greater awareness of community and regional needs.

"This program targets emerging leaders and those wanting to increase their citizenship skills and knowledge of the region," said Charmaine McDowell, director of the USI Center for Human Resource Development, USI Extended Services. "Participants sharpen critical thinking skills and become engaged citizens while working on projects that improve the quality of life in southern Indiana."

Applications for the 2011 Connect with Southern Indiana class will be available in the fall.

For more information, call McDowell at 812/465-1629.

Spring 2010 film series free, open to public

You can see free films in their original formats at USI, twice on Tuesdays in the class ENG 285: Introduction to Film, and on Fridays in the Friday Night in the Forum series, which begins in March.

All screenings are held in Forum I in the Wright Administration Building. Films are free and open to the public.

The Introduction to Film class, taught by Eric Braysmith, instructor in English, meets at 1:30 p.m. and 6 p.m. on Tuesdays. The schedule is:

"Snatch" - January 19
"Sunshine Cleaning" - January 26
"The 5th Element" - February 2
"Lyrical Nitrate" - February 9
"Young Mr. Lincoln" - February 23
"Kiss of Death" - March 2
"The Searchers" - March 16
"Lola Montes" - March 30
"8 1/2" - April 6
"Lars and the Real Girl" - April 13
"Nine" - April 20
"Slipstream" - April 27

There will be no film on March 23, when students will take an exam, or during the week of spring recess, March 8-12.

Friday Night in the Forum films start at 7:30 p.m. The schedule includes:

"Lola Montes" - March 26
"8 1/2" - April 2
"Manufactured Landscapes" - April 9
"In the Loop" - April 16
"Girl on a Bridge" - April 23
"Slipstream" - April 30

Braysmith will lead discussion immediately following each film. For more information, call 812/464-1740.

Winners announced in the 2009 Write Away Hunger Poem & Short-Short Fiction Contests

The Student Writers Union and English Department wish to congratulate the prize winners in the 2009 Write Away Hunger Contests, chosen by award-winning short story author and editor Josh Woods.

In the poetry category, Josh Pietrowski won first place for his poem “Progress.”  Second place went to Pyllis King for “Summer Vacation on Spud Run Road.”  And third place was won by Jennifer Moss for her poem “Tears of Pearls.”

In the prose category, Nicole Wessley’s short-short story “[There is a room  . . . ]” won first place.  Cassie Poormokhtar won both second and third place for her short-short stories “One, Two, Three” and “Chalk,” respectively. 

These winning entries as well as the best of all the submissions will appear in the 2010 issue of FishHook to be published next fall.

Contest entries and donations raised one barrel of food for the Tri-State Food Bank’s Back-Pack—Food for Kids Program.

USI selected for River Bend National Writing Project at USI

The University of Southern Indiana has been selected as a National Writing Project site and is organizing the River Bend Writing Project to serve the Tri-state area. A federally funded network of over 200 sites, the National Writing Project brings together exemplary teachers of reading and writing at all grade levels, from kindergarten through college, in regular workshops and an annual five-week summer institute.

As host for the River Bend Writing Project, USI will provide faculty leadership for the site. Dr. Evon Hawkins, assistant professor of English, will serve as site director. Dr. Susan Gooden, associate professor of teacher education, and Paula Harmon, instructor of English at F.J. Reitz High School, will act as co-directors.

The River Bend Writing Project, open to all Tri-state teachers and professors, will hold its inaugural invitational summer institute for 20 teachers from May 31-July 1, 2010. A reception for all Tri-state teachers and administrators interested in becoming involved with the River Bend Writing Project will be held from 5 to 6 p.m. Saturday, January 9, in the Kenneth P. McCutchan Art Center/Palmina F. and Stephen S. Pace Galleries located on the USI campus, with a brief address by Hawkins to follow immediately in Kleymeyer Auditorium. Both the art center and the auditorium are located in the lower level of the Liberal Arts Center.

Selection as a National Writing Project site is a highly competitive process that requires commitment of significant resources from the host university and a formal partnership with an area K-12 school. Catholic Diocese schools are USI's official partner. USI's College of Liberal Arts and Bower-Suhrheinrich College of Education and Human Services have provided nearly $40,000 in matching funds to support the new site.

For more information:

English graduate teaches at Georgetown

Nathaniel Rivers and family
Jodi, William, and Nathaniel Rivers

A 2003 graduate from the University of Southern Indiana’s English Department, Nathaniel Rivers completed his MA in English and PhD in Rhetoric and Composition at Purdue University. While at Purdue, Nathaniel served as a Graduate Instructor in the First-Year Composition Program and in the Professional Writing Program. Additionally, he served as the Assistant Director of Professional Writing for two years. The Kenneth Burke Society named Nathaniel an Emerging Kenneth Burke Scholar for his work as an editor of a collection of all of Burke’s previously uncollected literary reviews.

Following the completion of his doctorate, Nathaniel accepted a position as an Assistant Professor of English at Georgetown University. He teaches writing courses at the undergraduate level and rhetorical theory courses at the graduate level. He is currently working on an article length study of Kenneth Burke’s notion of “attitude” and its place at the boundary of nature and culture and an article on fostering student engagement with local publics through rhetorical action. Additionally, he is at work on a book length project expanding the realm of rhetorical action to include bodily and environmental activity.

In 2005 Nathaniel married Jodi Rasche, also a 2003 graduate from USI’s English Department. Both were active in Sigma Tau Delta and it is through this involvement that they met. Jodi currently teaches language arts at Holy Redeemer Catholic School in Washington, DC. Working with sixth, seventh, and eighth grade students, Jodi serves an at-risk population. She finds the work both challenging and rewarding.

In 2008, Jodi and Nathaniel welcomed the birth of their first child, William James. The child of two English majors, William, it is safe to say, doesn’t stand a chance.

Nathaniel’s professional website is located at:

2007 English graduate succeeds at Yale

Craig FehrmanCraig Fehrman, a 2007 graduate from USI’s English program, recently passed his qualifying PhD. Exams at Yale "with distinction."  He was the only person in his group (third-year students) to achieve this level.

While at USI Craig started Amalgam and produced the first two issues, among many other accomplishments.

Originally intending to concentrate on medieval literature in graduate school, he has decided to become an Americanist; his dissertation is about books by presidents.

Craig is also a freelance writer and lives in Connecticut with his wife Candice, who works at Rizzoli, one of the top publishing houses in NYC.

Learn more about Craig at his blog,

USI Theatre invited to perform at theatre festival

USI Theatre has been invited to present its production of True West, directed by Elliot Wasserman, chair of the Department of Performing Arts, on January 8 at the Region III Kennedy Center American College Theatre Festival (KCACTF) at Saginaw State University in Michigan. The Sam Shepard drama launched USI Theatre's 2009-10 season in October.

The cast includes USI students Brandon Eck of Jasper and Jeff Dumond of Evansville as brothers Austin and Lee, Joshua Smith of Indianapolis as Saul, and Emily Kirk of Evansville as Mom. In addition to Wasserman, the artistic team for True West includes USI Department of Performing Arts faculty members Robert Broadfoot as scenic designer and Craig Young as lighting designer and USI students Anna Kysar of Indianapolis as costume designer and Michael Frohbeiter of Haubstadt as sound designer.

"This was our first time entering our work as a participating production, and we are thrilled by the resulting recognition, and the chance that we might be invited to take the play to the national festival held at the Kennedy Center in Washington, D.C.," Wasserman said. "Any play selected is considered first and foremost an example of the finest university theatre produced that year in its region."

KCACTF is a national theater program involving 18,000 students and a network of more than 600 academic institutions throughout the country. Region III includes Wisconsin, Indiana, Illinois, Michigan and parts of Ohio.

The Shield brings home awards from Hoosier State Press Association

The Hoosier State Press Association (HSPA) honored The Shield with three college division awards at a luncheon on December 5, 2009, at Indiana University-Purdue University Indianapolis.

The Shield won first place in Editorial/Opinion Writing for the piece Staff Editorial: Our assessment of the USI Board of Trustees and Linda Bennett. An HSPA judge commented, The editorial clearly and powerfully critiqued the university′s leadership and the selection of a new president. I was impressed by the simple, concise writing on a complicated matter.

Senior journalism student Lindsey Ziliak received the third place award in Sports Writing for her story Tyson inspires USI student. The piece was praised by judges for its strong, captivating anecdotal lead. Ziliak interned at the Evansville Courier & Press for three semesters and served as a Scripps Howard intern at the Knoxville News Sentinel this summer. She is a former news editor and sports editor at The Shield.

The Shield also received four awards in March from the Indiana Collegiate Press Association, and opinion editor Lana Kunz took third place in the 2009 Thomas R. Keating Feature Writing competition.

Fulbright recipient Leah McGinnis is 'Goldilocks' to her Spanish students

Leah McGinnis A 2009 USI graduate is bringing the sounds of a native English speaker to the ears of first- and third-graders at a school in Spain.

Leah McGinnis, the recipient of an English Teaching Assistantship from the Fulbright Program, is spending the 2009-10 academic year at a school that serves children from age 3 through sixth grade in metropolitan Madrid.

"Basically, my job is to speak to the students in English so they can hear a native speaker as well as help the teacher with anything she needs during class," McGinnis said.

Students at the bilingual school have science, art, and English classes in English. Music, gym, Spanish, and math are taught in Spanish. In first-grade classes, McGinnis helps with all three subjects taught in English. In third grade, she works with students in science and English.

"One of the biggest challenges I have encountered is speaking to the students only in English," said McGinnis, who completed a double major in elementary education and Spanish. "Technically, the students are not supposed to know that I speak even a word of Spanish (much less that I'm bilingual). My third-graders are a little suspicious, because they have heard some of the teachers speaking to me in Spanish."

"My first graders still don't realize I speak Spanish even though I talk to them in Spanish all the time. There are times when I need them to understand me. Their English is still extremely elementary, so I have to speak to them in Spanish. I try to speak in Spanish only when absolutely necessary, but it happens quite frequently, especially when trying to resolve conflicts. When it is not imperative that they understand, I use an array of entertaining gestures and facial expressions."


Thomas Wilhelmus Award Winner2009 Thomas Wilhelmus Award Winner

RopeWalk Press is pleased to announce Marianne Boruch has selected Casa Marina by Candace Black of Mankato, Minnesota, as the winner of the 2009 Thomas Wilhelmus Award. Boruch praised "the range of the work and its containment, its wry edge, its earnestness, its discovery. The poems create and richly draw on a world both imagined and real, past and present." Casa Marina will be published by RopeWalk Press in December 2009.

Contest finalists were Millicent Borges Accardi, Gene Auprey, E. Louise Beach, Andrea Carter Brown, Jason Lee Brown, Cathleen Calbert, Carol Carpenter, Richard Carr, Helen Marie Casey, Greg McBride, and Jon E. Seaman.

Journalism major wins feature writing award

Lana KunzUSI senior journalism major Lana Kunz won third place in the 23rd Annual Thomas R. Keating Feature Writing Program held November 14, 2009, in Indianapolis. Kunz was one of three winners selected from 10 finalists representing Indiana's best college journalism students and received $850 in total prize money - $100 as a finalist and $750 as third-place winner.

First- and second-place winners were Margaret Sutherlin of DePauw University and Sarah Hutchins of Indiana University. Sponsored by the Indianapolis Press Club Foundation, the program is named in honor of the late Tom Keating, a popular and prolific columnist for the Indianapolis Star, who died in 1985.

Kunz is opinion editor for The Shield and an intern with the Evansville Courier & Press. Though she has written features for both publications, she prefers straight news stories. "My mentor in the program noted that even my features have a news feel to them," she said.

She prefers to tell stories through quotes, rather than adding her own observations. "My observations are based on my biases, and I prefer to let the people I'm interviewing tell their own stories. They may not realize it, but they're telling great stories. I just have to put it in the right order - with the beginning, the rise of the story arc, and the conclusion."

The daughter of Vickie and Richard Donaldson and Paul and Karen Kunz of Newburgh, Indiana, she is a Castle High School graduate. After graduating from USI in December, she hopes to find a job in journalism.

by Wendy Knipe Bredhold
Writer, News & Information Services

Radio series on local WWII veterans will debut December 5, 2009

The World War II radio series Heroes of the Tri-State: Stories of Area Men That Served In the War will debut at noon on Saturday, December 5 on WSWI and The first episode can be heard again at 6 p.m. on Monday, December 7, on WPSR 90.7 FM.

The series was produced by John Morris, communications instructor and general manager of WSWI. Each episode will feature a World War II radio drama intertwined with a recorded interview of a local World War II veteran.

The interviews were conducted by WNIN-TV for their program on local veterans, and the radio dramas were made by faculty and students in USI's communications and theatre departments. Morris decided to merge the two in an effort to educate others about the "greatest generation," and share their stories. As an instructor of college students," Morris said, "I just can't separate how many of the soldiers were the age my students are now. That somehow makes it more personal. World War II soldiers were put in unbelievable circumstances. They saw things that no one should have to see. I want their stories told. They really are heroes to me."

The first episode will feature Evansville native and Bosse High School graduate Benjamin "Eddie" Newman, who fought in the Battle of Saipan, where 3,000 American soldiers lost their lives. Other local veterans in the series will be Guy Stephens, who was involved in the Battle of the Bulge and became a POW Frank Moll, who served as a tailgunner on a B-17 P.G. Williams, who was part of a group that helped liberate Jewish slave laborers and Chris Nix, who was in Japan at the end of the war and served as a guard outside of General McArthur's home.

Heroes of the Tri-State: Stories of Area Men That Served In the War will air at 6 p.m. the first Monday of each month, December 2009 through April 2010 on WPSR 90.7 FM.

For additional information, contact Morris at 812/461-5201 or

Ideation Project offers cash awards to students

Evansville ARC Industries logoStudents at the University of Southern Indiana (USI) have the opportunity to develop creative business ideas and earn cash through the ARC Ideation Project during the 2009 fall semester. Students in all academic disciplines can compete by developing ideas for new products, new distribution methods, manufacturing upgrades, or other innovative suggestions for Evansville ARC Industries.  Awards of $500, $300, and $200 will be given to students with the top ideas, and the first 100 entrants will receive a free flash drive.

ARC Industries employs over 300 workers every year, and over 200 of the employees have developmental disabilities. Deidra R. Conner, president of Evansville ARC and a 1987 USI graduate, said, "ARC Industries offers one-source solutions utilizing flexible, innovative, cost-effective manufacturing processes. We provide 'quick-to-market' alternatives for both low and high-volume operations."

She continued, “We are delighted to work with the USI faculty and students on the 2009 Ideation Project.  This project is a great opportunity for Evansville ARC to benefit from the creativity and knowledge of the USI students, and an excellent opportunity for the students and faculty at USI to learn more about Evansville ARC and the many contributions individuals with developmental disabilities make to our community.”

Elissa Bakke, project coordinator for the Center for Applied Research at USI said, “It has been a privilege for the Center for Applied Research to collaborate with ARC and the College o f Business in developing this Ideation Competition.  This social entrepreneurship competition gives our students an opportunity to truly make a positive impact on the lives of others.  Rarely will students have the chance to directly create employment opportunities for others.  With this competition, a successful product idea has the potential to allow ARC to stabilize its workforce, and add new job opportunities for their clients.  Now that’s a pretty good resume builder!”

A tour of the company and consulting hours will be offered to students who want to learn more about the company before submitting their ideas. ARC Industries is sponsoring a tour of the facilities on Saturday, October 3, at noon at the Kotter Avenue plant. Consulting will be available from 1 to 3 p.m. on Tuesday, September 29, in the University Center's Carter Hall D. Two ARC representatives will talk with students and provide answers to students' questions about the project.

The College of Business and the Center for Applied Research at USI are hosting the project, and Bryan Bourdeau, instructor in business, is the faculty sponsor. Bourdeau said, "The College of Business is excited to offer the fall ideation competition as a crowd sourcing model to help resolve sustainable workforce growth, a long-standing concern for Evansville ARC Industries. By tapping into the collective intelligence of the USI student populous, we hope to expedite and manage solutions for Evansville ARC Industries' concerns.  If successful, the College of Business hopes this model also will serve as a catalyst for front-end innovation management for other businesses within our region."

He added, "Working in conjunction with Evansville ARC Industries will help students focus their ideas on specific products for ARC." 

Bourdeau is accepting ideas through Monday, October 19, 2009. A web site at  will give more information about the 2009 Ideation Project, including directions to the ARC Industries plant and a video about the business. Students are required to submit a one-page description about each idea. Students can reach Bourdeau at

Nicole Reid’s Novel Wins Prize

Nicole ReidAn excerpt from Nicole Reid’s second novel, This One Last Thing, was awarded 2nd prize by Pagan Kennedy in the Santa Fe Writers Project Literary Awards.  Ms. Reid received $1,000 along with the prize.

Writing to Ms. Reid about the novel, the judge said:  “As soon as I read your first few paragraphs, I knew your story would end up in the winners’ circle.  First, and most important, you know how to tell a suspenseful story—which is a very rare talent. . . .  You brilliantly side-stepped the errors that even many experienced writers make.  This story is clean and mean.”

Follow these links to read excerpts from Ms. Reid’s novel:
Part 1:
Part 2:

English major learns through internship

Kara Waggoner

Kara Waggoner

Kara Waggoner is an intern with the Center for Applied Research (CAR) at USI. Kara, an English major and a Marketing minor, talks about the valuable experience the internship is providing: "The knowledge I have gained from my English background has enabled me to be successful in my internship in numerous ways.  With the internship, I write press releases and articles concerning the events and projects we work on at CAR.  Through my internship I have learned many valuable lessons and processes.  I have also been given the opportunity to do all of the marketing for one of our projects, and I have been doing consulting work on another project.  The people I work with daily guide me when I have problems and are sure to give me meaningful work.  Previously, I had not considered a career in communications, but through my experience at the Center for Applied Research, I believe communications is a very possible career path for me."