Sharing the nice stuff

During these unprecedented times, it's easy to feel overwhelmed with the ongoing coronavirus updates. We thought we'd save this space for some good news, creative distractions and feel good stories that show Screagles Fly Together.

Do you have something creative to share with the USI community during social distancing? How about a snapshot of your home workspace that the cat has claimed as her own? We'd love to share the fun and the positives as we get through this together!

Contact University Communications to share!

Screagles Fly Together text with animated eagle wings

Screagle Pride Shout Out: Andrea Wright

With limited access to campus during the COVID-19 pandemic, Andrea Wright, Assistant Director of Library Services, began coordinating laptop deliveries around the Evansville area to make sure USI students and employees had the equipment they needed to continue learning and working remotely.


Read more

Andrea Wright

International students honored

during virtual ceremony

The Center for International Programs honored graduates and presented awards to outstanding international students during a virtual ceremony, with participants attending around the world.

Read about the honorees

Isaac Hopf

USI joins the world

of Minecraft

Most USI students have been away from campus since March.
Despite their physical absence, however, some
are becoming increasingly familiar with the University as they
create it virtually... in Minecraft.

Why they're doing it


Baby bluebirds in their nest on USI's campus


Dr. Jim Bandoli, Professor Emeritus of Biology, and Dr. Alex Champagne, Assistant Professor of Biology, have been monitoring birds along USI's "bluebird trail" this spring.


Another look at baby bluebirds in their nest on USI's campus

Tracking new life on campus

Since 1973, USI has monitored nest boxes around campus to record
the habits of Eastern Bluebirds, Carolina Chickadees and other birds.

Without student volunteers, Dr. Jim Bandoli
and Dr. Alex Champagne have been tracking the new life on campus. 

Read more

Elaine Beliles and Emily Dawkins

Cartoon connection

Before most USI employees began working from home and students transitioned to online learning, University Communications met Elaine and Emily. The custodian and freshman share a love of art and prove how special even small interactions can sometimes be.

Their story 

Long journey to degree leads to

“sweeter reward” for Hollinger


Erin Hollinger and her daughter, a sophomore at USI, study at their kitchen table


Erin Hollinger and her family pose in front of their Christmas tree


Mother and daughter pose at USI on the first day of the Fall 2019 semester

The first two times she enrolled at USI, Erin Hollinger wasn't ready.

But when she joined the University as an employee, she decided it was time to try again.

Seven years later she's showing her four kids it's never too late to learn. 

Her #USIGrad story

USI graduation cap with tassel moving left to right

Animated blue and red pennant that says #ScreaglePride

Animated Archibald Eagle face with graduation cap

Animated USI fountain with water spraying out and tulips and grass in front

Animated USI Class of 2020 text

Screagles Fly Together animation with eagle wings

USI GIFs now available 

Search "USI" on GIPHY to use these

new animations on social media!

Mackenzie Eickhoff's sculpture design titled "Breath"

Pandemic  memorials 

Katie Lewis' sculpture design titled "Weight of the World"

For their final project, Rob Millard-Mendez asked his ART 104 Design in Materials students to create plans for a memorial sculpture representing the doctors, nurses, EMTs and custodians working during the COVID-19 pandemic.

See their designs

image of coronavirus provided by the CDC

You vs. fake news

A lesson in verifying information

in the age of COVID-19

Misinformation and disinformation are spreading at an alarming rate during the COVID-19 pandemic.

Erin Gibson, Instructor in Communications, offers some steps to help you evaluate what is true and what is not. 

How to spot fake news

Celebrate USI's Class of 2020

USI alumni, employees and friends are invited to write messages of encouragement

(in 20 words or more) to the Class of 2020.

The messages will be posted on the USI Alumni website and Facebook page.

Submit a message

Family affair

Dr. Khalilah Doss, Vice President for Student Affairs, experienced 9/11 as an international undergraduate student 1,600 miles from home. As the world deals with the impact of COVID-19, she and her mother are doing what they can to keep USI students protected.

How they're helping

Dr. Khalilah Doss, right, and her mother show masks they made for students

Julia and Mayur Gangala pose with a giant inflatable baby

Audrey won’t have to search for an inspirational figure or a hero—she will already have one, her mother.

While working from home, Julia Gangala, Administrative Associate for the Multicultural Center, is also completing her MBA and preparing for the arrival of her daughter. 

Full story

Musical connections

Microphone on a stand courtesy

With face-to-face meetings on hold, Susan Todd, Academic Advisor in the College of Liberal Arts, is connecting with students through song.

How it helped

Take a moment to relax and listen to a socially distanced duet featuring Alice Shen, Instructor of English, and USI alumnus Jon Isaac Lutz ’08.

Watch their video

Getting to know 

Coach Gouard

10 facts about USI's 10th Men's Basketball Head Coach

You may know he helped the Screaming Eagles win a national championship in 1995, or that after being named two-time National Player of the Year he competed professionally in Sweden, Mexico and Columbia. Perhaps you’ve heard about his 12 years of head coaching experience at GLVC rival University of Indianapolis, or his excitement about returning to his alma mater.

But there’s a lot more to learn about USI Men’s Basketball Head Coach Stan Gouard ʼ99.

Read more

Shelby and Joshua Jackson and Isabel Barba

Two countries, one home

When they were paired through USI's Host Friendship Program in November, Shelby Jackson and Isabel Barba had no idea they'd be living together through a pandemic a few months later.


How it happened and why it's working

Fashionable PPE

USI alumna Emily Gartner ’84 is fighting the COVID-19 battle by stitching personal protective equipment (PPE) for frontline healthcare workers.

Her story

Emily Gartner

three people stand in blue gowns made by Emily Gartner while wearing face masks

Screagle Home Workspaces

From furry co-workers to outdoor setups, USI employees show how they're making it work, from home.


Photo slideshow


Kristina Arwood's cat Doughie Bowie (wearing a tie) keeps her company in her home office


Rustin Howard's outdoor office features a painting station for her son

Here & Now Fund

Looking for a way to help USI students who may be struggling? The USI Foundation's Here & Now Fund supports students when it matters most. 

Read the story or donate now

Student perspectives

Danielle Walker

"Continue to put in your best effort for all of your classes. I know in these uncertain times it’s easy to put online learning, and education in general, on the back burner. But staying educated is essential."

-Danielle Walker ʼ20, Communication Studies, Special Events and Scheduling Services Administrative Associate 

Gage Collins

"Difficult times can bring out either the best or worst in people. It's important to remain calm and embrace your humanity. Selfishness and irrationality will not aid in the recovery from these hard times. Don't lose hope. This won't last forever."

-Gage Collins ʼ20, Economics, Shift Manager at Ruler Foods in Evansville working more than 30 hours/week while finishing his senior year online

Leah Flake

“The past few weeks have been challenging not seeing my friends, going to work or getting to be on campus. I have been able to explore old hobbies I had to stop because of how busy I was before the quarantine though! Getting to pick up on these interests—dancing, sewing, painting and animating—has kept me occupied.”

-Leah Flake ʼ22, Public Relations, Vice President of Public Relations Student Society of America at USI

Dr. Denise Lynn demonstrates a Downward Facing Dog yoga pose

Take a break

While she waits for her classes at the Recreation, Fitness and Wellness Center to resume, Dr. Denise Lynn, Associate Professor of History and veteran yoga instructor, is virtually guiding USI faculty and staff through poses every Monday afternoon.

Find out more


Tulips bloom in front of David L. Rice Library


The spring tulips are a favorite among USI students, faculty, staff and alumni


Brightly colored tulips on display in front of the Joseph E. O'Daniel Apartments on USI's campus

"As a USI alumna, I remember always loving when the tulips were in bloom. The orange and yellow were my favorite! I always felt that they made campus seem so happy and peaceful. They too were a reminder that the school year was almost over." 

-Courtney Lee Horning '08

"Tulips are ceremonial to me. It’s why they are the perfect flower for Commencement and end-of-the-year banquets."

-Dr. Jennifer Hammat, Dean of Students

"To me, the tulips symbolize finishing the academic year and a celebration of accomplishment.

The tulips decorate campus and bring smiles to all its inhabitants. I really believe the tulips put everyone in a better mood too."

-Jennifer Garrison, Assistant Director of Student Development 

"Tulips are always my favorite part of spring on the USI campus."

-Dr. Molly Brost, Contract Assistant Professor of English

"I’m by far more of a fall/winter person, but the flowers and foliage on campus nearing the end of the spring semesters were definitely a needed perk during crunch time.” 

-Courtney Wathen '15

"Seeing the tulips on campus always makes me feel so happy! I do look forward to them every year. It’s finally spring! And, yes, we did it – we survived the academic year and now it’s time to take a breath!"

-Britney Orth '03, Assistant Director of Student Conduct and Outreach

We want to help our neighbors in our community. That’s what’s important.

A small company led by USI alumnus Jay Pearison '91 is making face masks for those on the frontline of a global pandemic.

Their story

We're in this together

Words of encouragement from USI faculty and staff

Dr. Trent Engbers
Associate Professor of Political Science

Dr. Crystal Steltenpohl
Associate Professor of Psychology

Dr. Jason Fertig
Associate Professor of Management

Dr. Cathy Carey
Dean of the Romain College of Business

Dr. Nick LaRowe
Associate Professor of Political Science

Dr. Denise Lynn
Associate Professor of History

Teaching your child at home

Tips, ideas and resources from USI Teacher Education Department faculty Dr. Jill M. Raisor, Dr. Joy Howard and Dr. Kelly Sparks

Education has taken a drastic turn as a result of COVID-19. Many parents are facing the real challenge of juggling the tasks of working remotely while also serving as a “substitute” teacher for their own children.

Several years ago, many of us laughed at Professor Robert Kelly’s interview on CNN when he tried to maintain focus on a live broadcast while his toddler and wife crept into his international workspace. Now, we suddenly have great empathy for Dr. Kelly because our living rooms, bedrooms and kitchens have become our offices too.

For a variety of reasons, schools and teachers across the nation are taking different approaches to e-learning, such as Google Classroom, SeeSaw or even worksheet packets. Regardless of your child’s social distancing educational format, parents everywhere are in a new role, even parents who have historically been homeschooling, since the schedules and activities have necessarily changed. Below we offer a few tips, ideas and resources that may help ease the transition for both you and your child(ren).

E-Learning Tips
  • Set a consistent schedule; remember children need regular breaks just like adults (Video resource)
  • Establish daily and weekly goals for e-learning while considering your children’s emotional and individual needs (Video resource)
  • Stay in communication with your child’s school and watch for updates (When are teachers available to answer questions? When are due dates?)
Ideas to Conquer Boredom at Home
  • Spend time outdoors: go on walks, ride bikes, rollerblade
  • Play board games
  • Play games (Examples: toddlers and older children)
  • Complete a puzzle
  • Try a new recipe and cook or bake as a family
  • FaceTime, Zoom, write a letter, email or call friends and family
  • Try some fun, hands-on science activities at home
  • Work with available mediums for art activities: sidewalk chalk, paint, clay
  • Seek virtual field trips to zoos, museums, National Geographic, national parks
  • Exercise (Example: YMCA virtual workouts)
  • Join in or start a neighborhood “Bear Hunt” initiative
Suggestions for Talking with Children about Coronavirus

Answering the call

When Deaconess Health System asked the community to sew masks for its healthcare workers facing the possibility of a limited supply, a USI employee and an alumna stepped up to the challenge.

How they're helping

Colorful handmade face masks

Christopher Norrick wears a 3D printed face shield he created

Being prepared

Christopher Norrick, assistant director of operations for USI's Creative and Print Services, bought his first 3D printer five years ago. Now he's using it to produce face shields.

Read more

Critical donations

USI's College of Nursing and Health Professions, along with the Biology Department and Geology and Physics Department, donated more than 1,500 masks, 400 isolation gowns and gloves to Deaconess, Ascension St. Vincent and USI Housing and Residence Life. 

blue medical masks

Time lapse art

While at home, Sara Christensen Blair, professor of art and chair of the Art and Design Department, created a time lapse video of a new traditional still life painting. 


Yellow daffodils in a vase

All the small things

USI role model Evan Stieler '17 and his classmates at Harvard Medical School want to make sure that your COVID-19 prevention covers "all the small things."

Play on

It may not be the USI Performance Center, but for now, Tom Drury, instructor in music, is entertaining friends virtually with performances from his living room.

"I put the first [video] clip up because it was St. Patrick's Day, and I've played Irish tunes on St. Patrick's Day for years, that music being a particular interest of mine. It got such a strong response that I decided to put up the 'Maple Leaf Rag' [on piano] the following week," Drury says. 

Be on the lookout for more musical content posted on Drury's Facebook page

It's OK

With so many changes to our everyday routines, it's easy to feel overwhelmed. And, as Heather Odom, senior administrative associate in the College of Nursing and Health Professions Advising Center, reminds us, it's OK to feel this way.

Read her words of
encouragement to students

Spring photo