University of Southern Indiana
Focus | LA Newsletter

Spring 2020

Find more Liberal Arts highlights in our other issues.

Dean's Remarks

On behalf of the College of Liberal Arts, I would like to personally welcome you to the latest edition of Focus. We live in unprecedented times and the COVID-19 pandemic has impacted all of us. USI made the difficult but correct decision to move all classes to a remote learning environment for the rest of the spring semester and for the summer. Although this was a major challenge for students and for faculty and staff, I knew that we would rise to the challenge. And we did. As did our students.... It has not been easy but I can assure you that every decision we have made has been student-centered and focused on maintaining the academic integrity and transformative excellence that are the hallmarks of our College.

Many of our seniors are disappointed to miss out on their final few months of college life but many remarked that their college education has helped them navigate these uncertain times and to remain resilient in the face of challenges. Dozens of students have spoken with me and every single student has had nothing but praise for their professors and for the University of Southern Indiana. We cannot do what we do without effective teamwork. So, every day I am thankful for the dedication, professionalism, flexibility, and creative ingenuity of our colleagues and the wonderful group in the Dean’s Office. We are truly a student-centered college. We miss our students and we miss one another.

For our friends and Alums, if you are wondering what you can do to help us, please know that anything you can do, will be most appreciated. We are always glad to hear from you. Please contact me directly if you have questions or comments. If you would like to contribute to scholarships that will help our students or advance our mission, please do so with a donation to the College of Liberal Arts. Please stay connected. But most importantly, stay safe and keep well.

In this issue, we will continue to showcase the wonderful work and creativity of our talented students, our excellent faculty, and our wonderful alumni. Liberal Arts remains the heart and soul of the university, transforming lives and our community. Please take a moment to peruse our e-newsletter and read about the transformative stories of academic excellence and dedicated service. Take good care.

We look forward to hearing from you. Thank you.

Dr. James M. Beeby, Ph.D., F.R.Hist.S.
Dean of the College

Spring 2020 Highlights

Spring 2020 Review

Chuck Armstrong amongst his packages and supplies

Chuck Armstrong, assistant professor of graphic design (pictured above), is recognized by the news for his care packages for students and others affected by COVID-19. If you would like to donate to help his cause, visit

  • Professor emeritus of English, Matthew Graham, was named the 2020 Indiana Poet Laureate by the Indiana Arts Commission.

  • The College of Liberal Arts hosted their annual Spring Meeting in January 2020, continuing our new tradition of presenting awards of recognition to our incredible faculty and staff.
    • Dr. Tamara Hunt, professor of history | Outstanding Service to the College of Liberal Arts Award
    • Ms. Christy Baker, associate professor of social work | Distinguished Faculty Award
    • Dr. Stephanie Young, associate professor of communication studies | Outstanding Teaching Award
    • Mr. Rob Millard-Mendez, professor of art | Outstanding Research and Creativity Award
  • We are also happy to announce that the USI Board of Trustees approved the tenure and promotion of the following faculty members:

    • Promoted to Full Professor
      • Dr. Dan Bauer, Department of World Languages and Cultures
      • Dr. David Hitchcock, Department of World Languages and Cultures
      • Dr. Melinda Roberts, Department of Criminal Justice
      • Dr. Wendy Turner, Department of Social Work

    • Tenured and Promoted to Associate Professor
      • Dr. Chad Gonnerman, Department of Political Science, Public Administration, and Philosophy
  • Stephanie Draper-Moore discovered her own path at USI with the Bachelor of Professional Studies program. Read about how she blended Anthropology, Gender Studies and Geography into her Individual Studies track.

  • The USI Global Studies program has re-established their student-based organization, Global Awareness Project (GAP). This group is dedicated to promoting awareness of international issues, cultural diversity and involvement in international philanthropic activities. Find out more on their website.

  • The 2020 Indiana Collegiate Press Association (ICPA) Awards were announced in late April and USI took home multiple awards.

    • Student-run art and literary journal, FishHook, received Second Place for Best Hand-Drawn Illustration to “Portrait of a Gene” by Donald MacLean-Kennedy and Second Place for Best Overall Design to Editor-in-Chief, Samuel Herdegen, and the FishHook staff

    • USI's student newspaper, The Shield, took home over 40 awards including First Place in Division 2, Newspaper of the Year.

  • Professor emeritus of sociology, Anne Statham, and her late mother, Bettye Statham, generously donated to the university to endow the Anne and Bettye Statham Student Community Engagement Award for USI students.

USI Social Activism FairStudents, faculty and members of the community join us for the Social Justice Activism Fair as a part of the Mandela Social Justice Day programming.

Attendees peruse art at the 2020 Toast to the ArtsIn early March, guests enjoyed the 1920s-themed Toast to the Arts, an annual event hosted by the USI Society for Arts and Humanities

Coming Up​

  • Spring 2020 Commencement has been tentatively rescheduled for Friday, August 14 for master and doctoral degree candidates and Saturday, August 15 for undergraduate students. Find up-to-date information on the University's COVID-19 Updates and Information page.

  • The USI Gender Studies program plans to host a student conference in October 2020 commemorating the 100th anniversary of the women’s suffrage amendment.

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