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Fall 2022

This issue of USI's illume magazine features insightful essays by alumni on the subjects of the war in Ukraine and homelessness, the role Student Trustees play in shaping campus policy and USI's reasoning and readiness for transitioning its athletic teams from Division II to Division I. 

illume fall 2022

Plumes of Smoke: Ukraine

Alumnus Hans Schneider ’01 pens a thoughtful-piece on his year living in Ukraine on a Fulbright grant researching wooden churches and his family living through today’s Russian-Ukraine war.

Rising Phoenix

Katelyn Vinci '21 M'23 never imagined she would one day be a college graduate. This provocative, heartfelt essay reveals what it was like for her to be homeless as a child.

State of the U

Once a competitive swimmer in high school, President Rochon reflects on what he learned from having that opportunity and on USI today being part of Division I athletics in the Ohio Valley Conference.

Ukraine Matters

Dr. Andrew Buck, Associate Professor and Chair of Sociology, talks with alumnus Hans Schneider ‘01 about Fulbright grants, advocacy and why the Russian-Ukraine war should matter to the world.

Piece of the Pie

The University's decision to advance to Division I athletics as part of the Ohio Valley Conference didn’t spring up overnight. This move was a long time in the making and positions USI to be showcased on a national scale.

A Seat at the Table

Every two years, one student is selected by the Governor of Indiana to sit on the Board of Trustees. Learn what they do and what it was like for the first Student Trustee Eric Williams ’89 and the current Student Trustee Liam Collins ’23 to be part of USI going independent and Division I.

Scoreboard Q&A

Student-athlete Addisyn Backwell ’22 brings her game to the basketball court and accounting classroom. Get to know her thoughts in this Q&A.

Student POV

First-year student Tegan Ruhl ’24 was not prepared for the emotional upheaval she’d experience during her first semester. Fortunately, she found her way out of depression and put herself on a new path forward in life.


Professor Xavia Harrington Burton’s path to becoming an educator started with a superhero teacher who inspired students in Burton’s rural South Carolina community to dream bigger than what their small town offered. She did!

From the Desk of

Janet Johnson M'05, Director of Alumni Relations and Volunteer USI, writes about the mentors she’s had in life and the value alumni mentors bring to students through the Screagles Mentoring Program.