University of Southern Indiana

Connect with Southern Indiana selects eighteen to participate in 10th annual program

Connect with Southern Indiana selects eighteen to participate in 10th annual program

1/6/2016 | University Communications
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Eighteen individuals have been selected to participate in the University of Southern Indiana’s 2016 Connect with Southern Indiana program. In its 10th year, Connect with Southern Indiana was established through a Lilly Endowment grant and is managed by USI Community Engagement. The annual program is focused on promoting active citizenship for individuals across a nine-county region in southwest Indiana.

The program is in its fourth year of using the Romain College of Business Entrepreneurship Initiative model for course content. Participants will attend 10 full-day sessions focusing on divergent and analytical thinking, idea generation, communication and strategic entrepreneurship from a community development perspective. The program will culminate with a class collaborative project in May 2016.

The class will meet on-site in a new county each Friday:

January 15 – Warrick County

January 29 – Spencer County

February 12 – Gibson County

February 25 - 26 – Posey County (New Harmony overnight stay)

March 4 – Knox County

March 18 – Perry County

April 8 – Dubois County

April 22 – Pike County

May 6 – Vanderburgh County

The Connect with Southern Indiana program is open to current USI students, faculty and staff, and Indiana residents living in Dubois, Gibson, Knox, Perry, Pike, Posey, Spencer, Vanderburgh or Warrick counties who would like to improve the quality of life in their communities.

The 2016 class includes:

Dubois County

Lauren Haase, program assistant, Purdue Extension Dubois County

Benjamin Leinenbach, program manager, Kimball Office

Elizabeth Wertman, executive director, Huntingburg Chamber of Commerce

Gibson County

Kyla Krieg, site manager, Princeton Instructional Center, Ivy Tech Community College

Knox County

James Rall, owner/manager, Foxhound Automotive Sales-N-Service

Pike County

Leslie Tegmeyer, director, Pike County Chamber of Commerce

Posey County

Samuel Hoehn, GIS systems specialist, Vectren and My Map Guy, LLC

Monica Spencer, director, Posey County Community Foundation

MeLissa Williams, visitor services coordinator, Historic New Harmony, USI

Vanderburgh County

Alejandro Alessio, technical sales representative, Vidal Plastics

Sally Gries, director of university and community relations, USI

Leda Johnson, talent acquisitions specialist, NIMBUS, Inc.

Ashley McReynolds, director of marketing and outreach, Children’s Museum of Evansville

Stephanie Norrick, project director, AARP Foundation

Ryan Vaal, senior creative services specialist, Vectren

Warrick County

Jeff France, human resource specialist, Alcoa

Joel Matherly, manager, Veteran, Military and Family Resource Center, USI

Helen Zimmerman, administrative assistant/event coordinator, Historic Newburgh, Inc.

For additional information on the 2016 Connect with Southern Indiana program visit or contact Leslie Townsend, director, at

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Contact John Farless


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