UE Announces 2024 Outstanding Educator Winners

The University of Evansville (UE) proudly honored four outstanding educators in Vanderburgh County with prestigious awards during its 33rd annual ceremony on April 10. Each recipient received a surprise announcement within their school, celebrating their remarkable contributions to education.

Specific to Vanderburgh County, this competition recognizes exemplary classroom teachers and building principals in grades K-12, each possessing a minimum of three years of experience. These esteemed awards are made possible through the generous sponsorship of UE, Evansville Liberty Federal Credit Union, and the Evansville Courier & Press.

Outstanding Elementary Teacher of the Year: Lindsey Stine

With twelve years of teaching experience, Lindsey Stine has dedicated eight years to West Terrace School, where she currently serves as a fourth-grade classroom teacher. She imparts knowledge across various subjects including Math, Science, Social Studies, Reading, and Writing. Stine's commitment extends beyond traditional teaching, as she sponsors the Battle of the Books Team and the Student Leadership Committee, fostering student engagement and leadership development within the school community.

Stine's teaching philosophy focuses on empowering students to be active participants in their academic growth. She states, "My teaching philosophy is to empower students. In the classroom, give students the opportunity to explore a problem or topic before 'instructing' them. This helps them to be active in their academic growth/education as well as encourages them to be problem solvers and critical thinkers."

Her innovative teaching strategies reflect this philosophy, as she utilizes a "Teach Yourself" method to engage students in problem-solving and critical thinking. Stine explains, "Lessons have a certain pattern in my room (especially in Math). I like to teach using my 'Teach Yourself' method. We use funny voices and enjoy the wordplay. In more seriousness, I use this to introduce most lessons."\

Stine's dedication and impact are echoed in the nomination comments from colleagues and parents. One nomination reads, "Lindsey Stine is a phenomenal educator. I first met her six years ago when she was my daughter's fourth grade teacher. As a parent, she communicated well, encouraged my HA student to excel above her level, and was understanding in a couple of difficult social situations."

Outstanding Middle School Teacher of the Year: Lindsey O'Brian

With a decade of teaching experience, Lindsey O'Brian has spent seven years as a 6th-grade English/Language Arts teacher, dedicating herself to nurturing students' literacy skills and holistic development. Despite facing the challenges of a new curriculum this year, she has demonstrated resilience and adaptability, ensuring her students receive the best education possible.

O'Brian's teaching philosophy centers on creating a supportive and inclusive learning environment where every student feels valued and capable of growth. She emphasizes the importance of building strong relationships with her students, fostering a sense of belonging and confidence in their abilities.

Her strategies reflect this philosophy as she strategically groups students and maintains clear classroom procedures, empowering them to take ownership of their learning journey. Mrs. O'Brian prioritizes growth over achievement, aiming to instill resilience and perseverance in her students.

Recognized for her unwavering dedication, one of O'Brian's nominators stated, "Mrs. O'Brian runs her classroom with the students being her first priority. She always wants them to succeed to their fullest potential. Her diligence created a LOVE of reading for my now senior."

Outstanding High School Teacher of the Year: Sally Sternberg

With 23 years of teaching experience, Sally Sternberg has been instrumental in fostering academic excellence and college readiness among high school students for over a decade. As the AVID Elective Teacher and Site Coordinator at Harrison High School, she spearheads initiatives to bridge the opportunity gap and prepare all students for success in a global society.

Embodying the philosophy that "children are the only future we have; teach them well," Sally prioritizes students' holistic development, providing a supportive environment where they can thrive academically and personally. Her commitment to building strong relationships with students is evident in her roles as a mentor, advocate, and compassionate listener.

Within the AVID program, Sally implements strategies that promote peer collaboration, student advocacy, and academic rigor, fostering a sense of belonging and empowerment among her students. Through weekly tutorials and college visits, she equips students with the skills and confidence needed to navigate postsecondary education and beyond.

Sally's impact extends beyond academics, as evident in the heartfelt nominations from her students, highlighting her unwavering dedication and compassionate support. "I nominated Sally Sternburg because she does nothing but love her students. She never gives up on them and will do anything she can to help. She's a very loving and compassionate teacher and makes coming to school easier for numerous students. I've seen her help a numerous amount of students not fail, including students that aren't even in her class. you really can tell she cares, and it shows."

Outstanding Building Principal of the Year: Angie Oliver

With over three decades of experience in education, Angie Oliver has demonstrated exceptional leadership as the principal of Glenwood Leadership Academy. Under her guidance, Glenwood has evolved into a supportive learning environment dedicated to the holistic growth of its diverse student body.

Angie's philosophy of "Growing the WHOLE child through equitable support" underscores her commitment to student success and well-being. She prioritizes building positive relationships with students and staff, fostering a culture of collaboration and empowerment.

At Glenwood, Angie has implemented initiatives such as the REACH Academy and partnerships with community organizations to provide tailored support to students. Her dedication to teacher well-being and professional development has led to a positive working culture and improved student outcomes.

Oliver's leadership is characterized by her hands-on approach and unwavering dedication to her school community. She goes above and beyond to ensure every student feels valued and supported, creating a nurturing environment where students can thrive.

Oliver's leadership at Glenwood Leadership Academy exemplifies a commitment to student success, teacher empowerment, and fostering a positive school culture. "Angie is a light of positivity! She is welcoming to anyone who walks into her building and greets them with open arms. On mornings, she can often be found walking around the school with a speaker hanging from her pocket blasting music, dancing, and getting students and/or staff to dance along with her," one of Angie's nominators stated, "GLA and EVSC are lucky to have Angie Oliver working for our students!"

UE School of Education awarded $500,000 grant from Lilly Endowment for Advancing the Science of Reading in Indiana initiative

The University of Evansville (UE) has received a grant of approximately $500,000 from Lilly Endowment Inc. through its initiative, Advancing the Science of Reading (SoR) in Indiana. The grant will support UE's School of Education.

UE is one of 28 Indiana colleges and universities that received grants from Lilly Endowment to support efforts that integrate Science of Reading-aligned principles into teacher preparation programs.

Through the support of this funding, the School of Education's goal is to thoroughly prepare pre-service teachers to implement the SoR principles in their future classrooms. In doing so, this will ensure the increased literacy ability levels of Indiana's elementary-aged students. The grant includes professional development for literacy faculty and pre-service teachers, along with SoR resources that will allow the application of SoR throughout clinical experiences.

"Investing in education is an investment in the future. This grant not only empowers the institution but also signifies a collective commitment to advancing the science of reading in Indiana," said Dr. Sally Busby, Clinical Assistant Professor of Education. "By supporting our programs here in Evansville and across Southwest Indiana, we look forward to a brighter tomorrow through the transformative power of literacy."

"It is imperative that more of Indiana's elementary students learn to read proficiently, and it is essential that current teachers and the next generation of teachers are prepared to use proven principles to teach reading in their classrooms," said Ted Maple, Lilly Endowment's vice president for education. "We are pleased therefore to help Indiana colleges and universities strengthen the use of these research-based principles to teach reading in their teacher preparation programs."

Lilly Endowment launched the Advancing the Science of Reading in Indiana initiative in 2022. It complements a statewide effort undertaken in 2022 by the Indiana Department of Education (IDOE) to improve reading achievement in K-12 schools by helping current teachers implement Science of Reading-aligned principles in their classrooms. In 2022, the Endowment made a $60 million grant to the IDOE to support that work with school districts and teachers across Indiana.

Education student with elementary child

Hundreds of Tri-State Students to Attend "Exploring Teaching Day" on UE campus

The University of Evansville (UE) is thrilled to present "Exploring Teaching Day," an engaging and insightful event set to take place on November 13, 2023, in Eykamp Hall in the Ridgway University Center. This day is dedicated to celebrating the teaching profession and inspiring the educators of tomorrow.

Keynote speaker Tara Cocanower, the 2022-23 Indiana Teacher of the Year, will share her experiences, insights, and passion for education during the event. Attendees will have the opportunity to gain valuable knowledge from one of Indiana's outstanding educators.

The day will also feature a roundtable discussion with local educators, EVSC Superintendent Dr. David Smith, and other local educational leaders. This panel of experts will provide insights into the field of education, sharing their diverse perspectives and experiences.

Approximately 300 K-12 students are expected to attend, offering them a glimpse into the world of teaching and the opportunities it presents. Students will participate in exciting activities, including a services scavenger hunt and campus tour.

"Education is the key to unlocking a world of possibilities.," said Dr. Amy McBride, Associate Professor of Education. "At UE, we believe education extends beyond the classroom and we are honored to host this day to inspire and to shape the future of educators. We look forward to celebrating the art of teaching and the power of knowledge."

University Of Evansville Program Among Top in the U.S. For Preparing Future Teachers in the Science of Reading

The undergraduate teacher preparation program at the University of Evansville (UE) has been recognized by the National Council on Teacher Quality (NCTQ) for its rigorous preparation of future teachers in how to teach reading, earning an "A" grade in NCTQ's new report, Teacher Prep Review: Strengthening Elementary Reading Instruction.

The program is among just 23% nationwide to earn an "A" from NCTQ for meeting standards set by literacy experts for coverage of the most effective methods of reading instruction-often called the "science of reading."

National data shows that more than one-third of fourth grade students-over 1.3 million children-cannot read at a basic level. By preparing teachers in the methods that research has shown to work best, we can change these devastating results.

To evaluate the quality of preparation being provided, a team of experts at NCTQ analyzed syllabi, including lecture schedules and topics, background reading materials, class assessments, assignments, and opportunities to practice instruction in required literacy courses for undergraduate elementary teacher candidates at University of Evansville. To earn an "A," programs needed to meet NCTQ's targets for coverage of the five core components of scientifically based reading instruction-phonemic awareness, phonics, fluency, vocabulary, and comprehension-and not teach more than three instructional methods that are unsupported by the research on effective reading instruction.

While some portion of children will learn to read naturally, over five decades of research have established the components of explicit, scientifically based reading instruction that help most students become successful readers. Research suggests that over 90% of children could learn to read if their teachers used instructional methods grounded in the science of reading.

University of Evansville is proud to be recognized among the programs ensuring that future elementary teachers enter the classroom equipped with the knowledge and skills they need to help students become strong readers.

"The University of Evansville is dedicated to equipping future teachers with the knowledge and skills needed to make a lasting impact on students' reading abilities," said Sally Busby, Clinical Assistant Professor of Education. "We are honored to receive this recognition from the National Council on Teacher Quality, affirming our commitment to delivering rigorous teacher preparation in the science of reading. By adhering to evidence-based instructional methods, we aim to empower teachers to transform the lives of their students and address the critical issue of literacy in our society."

The new NCTQ analysis of teacher preparation programs' coverage of the science of reading was developed over the course of two years, involving teams of literacy experts, researchers, teacher preparation leaders, and educators. NCTQ evaluated 693 traditional undergraduate and graduate programs across the country, including 18 in Indiana. Overall, just 112 programs earned an A and 48 earned an A+.

See the NCTQ report for more information about University of Evansville's coverage of the science of reading and to see how University of Evansville compares to other programs in Indiana or across the country.

UE School of Education receives approval to add an Elementary Transition to Teaching program

The University of Evansville's School of Education acknowledges the increased demand for qualified teachers. Recently, the School of Education obtained approval from the Indiana Department of Education (IDOE) to introduce an Elementary Transition to Teaching (T2T) program.

The elementary and secondary T2T programs target individuals with undergraduate degrees who are seeking their teaching license in Indiana. By offering both secondary and elementary programs, UE aims to create a strong pool of educators to fill teaching vacancies at local, state, and national levels.

UE's Elementary (grades K-6) Program includes 24 credit hours and can typically be completed within one calendar year. Similarly, the Secondary (grades 5-12) program requires 18 credit hours and can also be completed in just one calendar year. Students enrolled in these programs meet the coursework requirements for an initial Indiana educators license. Both programs include a minimum of 600 hours of clinical experience in area classrooms. Those who complete the programs build the set of competencies needed to be a successful teacher. It is possible for students to be hired by local school corporations and work through the program as hired teachers within a school corporation. This is a good option for those who are highly motivated to begin their career.

"The expansion of UE's Transition to Teaching Program reflects the recognition of the invaluable benefits it brings to both aspiring educators and the education system as a whole," said Dr. Alison Jones, Co-Department Chair and Assistant Professor of Education. "This initiative not only opens doors of opportunity for individuals seeking a fulfilling career in teaching but also supports Indiana K-12 schools in filling teaching vacancies."

For additional information about the Transition to Teaching program, please contact Laura Watkins, Transition to Teaching Coordinator, at or click here.

University of Evansville to Launch Master of Science in Education Program

The University of Evansville (UE) has launched an accelerated Master's of Science in Education: Educational Administration degree after receiving approval from the Indiana Department of Education (IDOE). The program is housed in UE's School of Education, and applications are now open for entry.

UE's School of Education looks to establish a pipeline of strong candidates for administrative positions. This degree program will provide students with the academic coursework, mentoring, and internship experiences necessary to become highly effective school administrators. The program is designed to meet all Indiana Department of Education requirements and prepare students for the state licensure exam.

The Master's of Science in Education program provides the path to obtaining a Building Level Administrative Licensure. Each course will incorporate a specific amount of observation/internship hours with principal mentors. This 12-month, 30-credit hour program supports candidates on their path to becoming highly effective school leaders. The program is 100 percent online and offers accelerated 5-week courses. This advanced degree program is designed for working professionals seeking to enhance their knowledge and skills in building level administration.

"Obtaining a Master of Science in Education degree can provide educators with a deeper understanding of educational theory and practice, enhanced leadership skills, and increased opportunities for career advancement," said Dr. Shari Millikan, Co-Department Chair / Assistant Professor of Education and Assessment Coordinator. "It can also lead to greater job satisfaction, as educators are better equipped to meet the diverse needs of their students and contribute to the overall improvement of the education system."

Applicants are required to have a Bachelor's degree, transcript, letter of recommendation, resume, and a personal statement. The program does not require any application fees or GRE scores.

For information about UE's Master's of Science in Education: Educational Administration degree, please visit this page to learn more and apply.

Education faculty Alison Jones

UE, Warrick County School Corp. Partner for Teaching and Learning Pathway

The University of Evansville (UE) in partnership with the Warrick County School Corporation (WCSC), is offering a new program open to high school students interested in pursuing careers in Exercise Science/Physical Therapy and Education.

Warrick County students enrolled in the Exercise Science/Physical Therapy Pathway and the Education Professions Graduation Pathway will have the opportunity to complete both high school and post-secondary courses simultaneously and earn credit. These courses are then eligible to be transferred as college credit to UE or other universities that would accept transfer credit from the University.

The programs will be taught at the newly developed Warrick Pathways Career Center (WPCC.) The facility is scheduled to open in Fall 2023, and students enrolled in the pathways program will have the opportunity to earn UE credits while taking courses.

"This is positive for both Warrick County students and the University of Evansville," said Dean of the College of Education and Health Sciences Mary Kessler. "Students benefit from access to higher education resources and coursework, which can help them better prepare for their future academic and career goals. Additionally, there is the potential for students to accelerate completion of their undergraduate degrees, gain valuable exposure to UE faculty and students, and in some cases enter the workforce earlier. This partnership helps to address concerns related to higher education cost and workforce shortages in our community."

Through the partnership, scholarship support will be offered to students who successfully complete one of these two Next Level Study Programs. Upon admission, students will be offered a minimum $25,000 annual scholarship at UE. This agreement also allows students the ability for direct entry eligibility to several UE health sciences programs.

"This program creates the perfect opportunity to increase access to higher education for students in the Warrick County area," said WCSC Director of Learning and Incoming Superintendent Abbie Redmon. "It will promote successful future careers for our local high schoolers by giving them an additional way to complete their education."

UE Presents Vanderburgh County Educators of the Year

On Wednesday, April 5, the University of Evansville (UE) presented four individuals in Vanderburgh County with Outstanding Educator Awards. Each educator received a surprise announcement within their school as part of UE’s 32nd annual presentation of awards.  

The competition, which is specific to Vanderburgh County, recognizes current classroom teachers and building principals in grades K-12 with at least three years of experience. The Outstanding Educator Awards for Vanderburgh County are sponsored by UE, Evansville Liberty Federal Credit Union, and the Evansville Courier & Press. 

The following awards were presented: 

Outstanding Elementary Teacher of the Year: Briana Campbell, first grade teacher at Lodge Community School 

Briana Campbell has been immersed in the education field for the last decade and spent the last two years working at Lodge Community School. She teaches reading, writing, math, and social emotional learning in a first-grade classroom.  

Along with her regular classroom duties, Campbell teaches students who require additional academic and behavioral support. Campell is there for her students in every way, even taking one in as a foster child. 

Campbell believes in Nelson Mandela’s saying, "Education is the most powerful weapon in which you can use to change the world." She said she wholeheartedly knows that she is “changing this world for the better one child at a time.” One of Campbell’s main focuses as a teacher is assuring that the children know they are safe, loved, and believed in. She greets each student with a hug or a fist bump and is a firm believer in mutual respect. 

Campbell’s teaching strategy includes holding all her students to high standards of achievement. She believes in their ability which inspires students to believe in themselves.  

Campbell’s work does not go unnoticed. She is admired by her fellow coworkers who say her amazing work extends beyond the classroom.  

In nominating Campbell for an Outstanding Educator Award, an individual said that “I cannot say enough wonderful things about Briana, nor can I think of a more deserving educator.” 

Outstanding Middle School Teacher of the Year: Jance Johnston, sixth grade teacher at Delaware Elementary School 

Jance Johnston has been a teacher for 9 years, which is exactly how long he has worked at Delaware Elementary. His primary disciplines are English language arts, math, and science. In addition to his many middle school subjects, he has an array of additional school-related contributions including being an afterschool teacher, 6th-grade boys' basketball coach, inclusion teacher, and summer schoolteacher. 

“I place a high value on ensuring that all of my students feel as though they belong to our school family and are seen as individuals,” Johnston said. “Intentional time is used throughout the day to connect with my students and allow them to connect with one another.” 

In his teaching philosophy, Johnston‘s emphasis is placed on building relationships with students. He believes that understanding each student as an individual is crucial for effective education. By getting to know his students better, he can better cater to their needs within the classroom. Johnston observes and interprets his students' verbal and nonverbal communication to assess their ability to absorb knowledge. 

Johnston’s involvement in a variety of additional school activities such as 3D printing, technology, gardening, cooking, and coaching provides him with an advantage in building relationships with students. He believes that these activities offer opportunities to find common ground with students, earn mutual respect and trust, and better understand their emotions. This approach helps maintain an efficient and focused classroom that is ready to learn. 

A nomination for Johnston noted his passion and drive for learning. “Jance continually goes above and beyond as an educator both during and after school hours. From making conscious and sincere efforts to connect with families and students as if they were his own, to ensuring that each child gets the academic support they need to learn to their highest potential.” 

Outstanding High School Teacher of the Year: Timothy Wilhelmus, an eleventh and twelfth grade teacher at Central High School 

Timothy Wilhelmus has been teaching for thirty-one years and has spent the last three years teaching at Central High School. Wilhelmus is also involved in numerous school-related responsibilities. In particular, he sponsors the creative writer's guild and the imagineering club. He also serves on several committees including the Equal Opportunity schools (EOS), Advancement Via Individual Determination (AVID), and the Medical Professions Academy (MPA). 

Wilhelmus teaches English Language arts, AP Literature, and the AVID elective. The AVID elective supports traditionally underrepresented students to develop skills needed to be successful in honors and college-level coursework.  

“We all have our own journeys, and I honor that, by being highly flexible and encouraging student voice and choice. I also focus heavily on creating a classroom environment that supports students as they learn in all respects: academically, materially, emotionally, and socially,” said Wilhelmus. “My lessons are designed to develop skills that allow students to own their own learning. Students are given every opportunity to try, fail, try again, and grow.” 

The nominations for Wilhelmus offer incredible words describing how he exceeds the expectations of his students. 

One nomination stated that “he goes above and beyond to influence a positive class culture while still being able to finish lessons and allow students to develop an overall understanding of the materials.”  

Outstanding Building Principal of the Year: Chris Gibson, New Tech Institute 

Chris Gibson has been an educator for twenty-four years, spending eight teaching science, six as a counselor, and ten in administration. He has been at New Tech Institute for the last ten years. 

In addition to his administrative work, Gibson has accomplished a great deal in the academic community. He played a crucial role in launching the Makerspace and Entrepreneurial Academy Advisory Council. He also served as the coach for the FIRST robotics League team. Gibson partnered with three seniors in 2020 to achieve STEM School re-certification through the Indiana Department of Education. With that, he also helps coordinate the annual STEM festival for the community. Additionally, Gibson was responsible for forming the Diversity and Equity Team at New Tech institute in 2021 to build competency around equity for all students. 

Gibson has also been asked to serve as a presenter and facilitator at the Central Indiana Educational Service Center (CIESC) STEM Boot Camp in June 2022. 

“The focus of my educational journey has been to ensure that all students have access to high-quality, rigorous instruction – and that they have the equivalent support to help them reach the expectations inherent in that challenging environment,” said Gibson.  

For over 20 years, Gibson has prioritized the concept of relevance in his educational philosophy. He understands that students need to see the practical relevance of what they are learning in order to become engaged, and that they are more likely to retain knowledge and skills when the content is relatable.  

Gibson currently serves as the principal of New Tech, which is a close-knit small school with about 275 students featuring a family-like atmosphere. As the leader of an innovative project-based learning school, he continues to place a strong emphasis on connecting learning to the real world, highlighting how students can apply what they have learned in practical ways. 

Gibson’s peers acknowledge his outstanding efforts. In his nomination they mentioned his diverse range of responsibilities and his incredible support for fellow staff and students.  

“He knows every student's name and takes time to develop relationships with them.” 

UE Named a 2022-2023 College of Distinction

The University of Evansville has been recognized for its commitment to helping undergraduate students learn, grow, and succeed by Colleges of Distinction, a unique guide for college-bound students. UE has been named a 2022-2023 College of Distinction and an Indiana College of Distinction, and it also received recognition for a multitude of academic programs and campus departments. 

Colleges of Distinction uses a selection process not only of in-depth research but also detailed interviews with the schools, accepting only those that adhere to the “Four Distinctions.” This includes criteria of engaged students, great teaching, vibrant community, and successful outcomes. Combined, these principles ensure that students have a fulfilling and individualized college experience both inside and outside the classroom. 

“At our university, we are deeply committed to providing a well-rounded, transformative education that has a lasting impact on our students for years to come,” said Christopher M. Pietruszkiewicz, president of UE. “This recognition from Colleges of Distinction speaks to our mission and the individual experiences of each of our students.” 

Aside from overall undergraduate recognitions, Colleges of Distinction also awards recognition in individual areas. UE earned recognition in the academic areas of business, education, engineering, and nursing. Colleges of Distinction also recognized the University’s career development, equity and inclusion, and military support

“The success of our academic programs and campus departments speaks to the endless efforts of our staff, faculty, and administration,” said Michael Austin, PhD, provost and executive vice president of academic affairs. “We are proud to deliver high-quality courses for our students while also providing academic quality, personal support, and career counseling  throughout their journey at this university.” 

About Colleges of Distinction 

Since 2000, Colleges of Distinction has been committed to honoring schools throughout the U.S. for true excellence in higher education. The member schools within the Colleges of Distinction consortium distinguish themselves through their dedicated focus on the undergraduate experience. Its website provides dynamic college profiles, customized tools, and resources for students, parents, and high school counselors. For more information, and to learn how to become a College of Distinction, visit

UE Presents Vanderburgh County Educators of the Year

On Wednesday, April 6, the University of Evansville (UE) presented four individuals in Vanderburgh County with Outstanding Educator Awards. Each educator received a surprise announcement within their school as part of UE’s 31st annual presentation of awards. 

The competition, which is specific to Vanderburgh County, recognizes current classroom teachers and building principals in grades K-12 with at least three years of experience. The Outstanding Educator Awards for Vanderburgh County are sponsored by UE, Evansville Teachers Federal Credit Union, and the Evansville Courier & Press. 

The following awards were presented on Wednesday: 

Outstanding Elementary Teacher of the Year: Kenneth “Kennan” Barnett, sixth grade teacher at Vogel Elementary                                     

Kennan has been teaching for five years, all of which have been spent at Vogel Elementary. This year, he began teaching English and language arts, math, science, and social studies at the fifth-grade level. 

As a teacher, his goal is to ensure each student leaves his classroom having grown academically, emotionally, and socially. By creating a safe learning environment where students respect one another and value hard work and positivity, he hopes students will thrive outside of the school walls.   

“On a daily basis, I remind my students that they have control over very few things in their life, but they will always have full control over their work ethic and attitude,” said Kennan. “Anything they may lack in skill, they will always make up for with these two traits.” 

The pandemic has taught Kennan a lot about adaptability. He was a physical education teacher before COVID-19 arrived. While he planned to continue this path, a large influx of students returning from Virtual Academy required additional teachers in the classroom. Kennan saw this as an opportunity to grow and expand upon his experience. “I went from locomotor movements and manipulative skills in PE to explaining the area of parallelograms and how to write a first-person narrative essay,” he said. “I never saw myself outside of the gym, but now I have built strong relationships with my team and my amazing students, and I can’t imagine leaving the classroom.” 

Last year, Kennan had the opportunity to pilot a program, titled “Gentleman’s Academy,” for sixth grade boys at Vogel. Being the only male teacher in the school, he wanted to ensure the boys had a positive male mentor in life that they could always rely on. The program specifically helps those with a low sense of belonging or high frequency of behavior issues. The boys are paired with a staff member that they trust and meet with daily. The staff members build trust with the students as they support them academically, socially, and behaviorally. Bi-monthly meetings also incorporate helpful lessons, such as budgeting, tipping at restaurants, and spending quality time with family members. 

Outstanding Middle School Teacher of the Year: Lori Kassel-Reed, special education teacher for grades 6-8 at Washington Middle School 

Lori Kassel-Reed teaches English and language arts, social studies, social skills, and resource skills for students in grades 6-8 with emotional disabilities. Some of her additional roles at Washington include being a spelling bee sponsor, coach for girls’ track, and an enrichment teacher for summer school. 

With 16 years of teaching experience, Lori believes that every child can learn and reach their potential when teachers tailor their approaches to student strengths and weaknesses.  

Of those years, she has spent the last eight working with students who have experienced and are working through some type of trauma. This can include abuse, homelessness, incarceration, or self-harm.  

“In this classroom, you will see some amazingly strong and resilient children who are doing their best to better themselves so they can move to general education classrooms,” Lori said. “There is a lot of love, laughter, and healing in this room.”  

Because the goal is to move students out of the room, Lori runs a tightly scheduled class with clearly defined expectations and a focus on behavior. She teaches self-regulation and coping skills; she encourages them to face challenges in life and overcome them. 

“I let my students see my mistakes and share with them my own personal challenges,” she said. “I have a very strong track record of getting my students back into the general education classrooms, and I feel that’s due to building that trust and honesty with them.” 

In nominating Lori for an Outstanding Educator Award, an individual said that “she is the most selfless person [they] have ever met. She deserves the award because she is a genuinely good, caring person and teacher.”  

Outstanding High School Teacher of the Year: Brian Bobbitt, Master Teacher for Project Lead the Way at North High School 

At North High School, Brian Bobbitt teaches engineering and robotics. It’s part of Project Lead the Way (PLTW), which develops STEM curricula for K-12 teachers. For the 2019-2020 school year, he was named the National Project Lead the Way Outstanding Teacher. 

As the Master Teacher of this program, Brian has had the opportunity to train other teachers across the nation to use PLTW curricula for engineering classes. It has proven to be beneficial to him, too, as he is always learning from those he is fortunate enough to teach. 

“Simply put, I love what I do,” he said. “My dad always said, ‘pick something you love to do, and you’ll never have to work a day in your life.’” Brian has always enjoyed teaching, and he especially likes the subject area of engineering. However, his favorite part of the job is watching students develop ideas and come up with their own solutions. In his career, he has seen students grow a love for learning and stretch their expectations to do even better.  

“For all students who make their way to the engineering labs, my goal is to ensure they leave with the ability to solve problems as well as a lifelong passion for learning more,” he said. 

Brian implemented a robotics team at North just a few years ago, and now the students compete at district, regional, and state events. Students not only get a chance to grow beyond the normal scope of the curriculum, but they always have a chance to meet and work with engineers from Toyota, Berry Global, Mead-Johnson, and Sabic. Brian is thrilled to see these students make career connections before graduating high school, several of which have led to summer internships. 

A nomination for Brian noted his enthusiasm for engineering, as well as the confidence he instills in his students. “His passion for STEM projects is contagious, and he helps students see how they can use their skills to give back to their community,” the form said. 

Outstanding Building Principal of the Year: Aaron Huff, Principal of Bosse High School 

Aaron Huff has been in the education field for 19 years, and this is his fourth year as the principal for Bosse High School. He is a member of the National Association of Secondary School Principals, in which he serves as the advocacy chair, governance chair, and executive director of the search committee. He is also part of the steering committee and board of directors. In December, Aaron expects to earn his doctoral degree. 

Since becoming the principal of Bosse, Aaron has been focused on leading the instructional leadership team to improve employee performance and student outcomes. The school has also been working to improve chronic absenteeism among students. He noted that COVID-19 has created additional challenges in navigating this, but he and the teachers have created an environment of seeking continual improvement. 

Aaron firmly believes kids must learn no matter what, and some students will need very little support while others may need coaching or encouragement. “Our ability to create change in students’ lives depends on developing a meaningful relationship with them,” he said. “We are responsible for creating conditions that promote academic and personal success for all students.” 

To unlock students’ success and realization of their own gifts, Aaron says the same must be done with teachers. As an administrator, he is focused on removing barriers to improvement and dismantling systems that maintain the status quo. He thinks it is important to “find ways to get to yes and then get out of the way.” 

Most recently, Aaron struck a collaborative partnership with Toyota Indiana. Course offerings and instruction will align with Toyota’s qualities in entry-level employees, and students will be offered a position with the manufacturer immediately after graduation. The “Toyota 4T” program will launch this fall, and Aaron is confident it will significantly impact the landscape of education and student outcomes at Bosse. 

UE School of Education Reaches $1 Million in Grants Since 2017

The University of Evansville (UE) School of Education was recently awarded a $110,000 STEM (Science, Technology, Engineering, and Math) grant from the Indiana Commission for Higher Education (CHE). This is the third STEM grant the School of Education has received from the CHE. With these funds, UE has now received over $1 million in grants for the School of Education since 2017.

The recent $110,000 grant will be used to fund full-tuition scholarships for students in the Transition to Teaching program who are entering STEM fields, such as math, science, and computer science. Transition to Teaching is an accelerated, 17-credit education program that prepares students to pursue licensure in teaching. During their time in the program, students will receive teaching placements in local schools and are paired with a mentor teacher and University supervisor for constant support. 

The grant will also provide STEM professional development opportunities for current students in elementary and secondary education majors, as well as UE alums and teachers within the region. Additionally, a mentoring program for graduates teaching in STEM fields will be continued and funded.  

The School of Education will continue to implement a Project Lead the Way program for undergraduate elementary education majors. Project Lead the Way is an American organization that develops and provides STEM curricula to create engaging classroom environments. Through this program, students will be equipped with the knowledge, training, and support to incorporate these in-demand skills into their future classrooms. 

“We are thrilled that this grant will bring even more STEM training and opportunities to our students,” said Sharon Gieselmann, PhD, who serves as chair for the UE School of Education. “The teaching shortage in these fields continues to rise as the demand for these skills continues to grow. This grant is going to have a dual purpose. It will equip our students for teaching STEM in the classroom, but it will also give K-12 students a greater understanding of these areas as they think about their own future aspirations.” 

In addition to the three STEM grants from the CHE, the School of Education also received a $735,000 grant in 2020 from the Governor’s Emergency Education Relief (GEER) fund. The initiative of this grant was to improve distance learning techniques in the classroom. Since receiving the funds, the School of Education has been offering a free community tutoring program as well as professional development opportunities for current students and local teachers to improve student outcomes.

UE Education student with child

UE Presents 2021 Outstanding Educator Awards 

On Wednesday, April 7, the University of Evansville presented four individuals in Vanderburgh County with Outstanding Educator Awards. Each educator received a surprise announcement within their school as part of UE’s 30th annual presentation of awards. 

The competition, which is specific to Vanderburgh County, recognizes current classroom teachers and building principals in grades K-12 with at least three years of experience. The Outstanding Educator Awards are sponsored by UE, Evansville Teachers Federal Credit Union, and the Evansville Courier & Press. 

The following awards were presented on Wednesday:

Cathy Hoffman

Outstanding Elementary Educator of the Year: Cathy Hoffman, fifth grade teacher at Delaware Elementary School

Cathy has been an educator for 16 years, nine of which have been in her current role.

As a teacher, Cathy believes building relationships with students and their families is essential to the profession. She always strives to make her students feel “safe and secure” in the knowledge that she is there to support them in every situation.

“My motto in the classroom is, ‘We don’t do easy. We make easy happen through hard work,’” says Cathy. “Many students want to give up if something is hard. But the relationships I have built with them allow me to show them they can achieve these things.”

When schools suddenly closed in March 2020 due to the COVID-19 pandemic, Evansville Vanderburgh School Corporation (EVSC) asked many teachers to create lessons that could be aired on WNIN for local students without cable or internet access. Cathy carried out this strategy the rest of the semester for her fifth graders so they could feel like they were still part of the classroom.

When summer arrived, she created new lessons for third grade summer school sessions. Cathy knew that her work created a lasting impact when students throughout the community would approach her in public, sharing that they recognized her from the educational lessons on WNIN. “During a time when there were many unknowns about the upcoming school year, this experience gave me the extra push I needed to mentally prepare for my classes,” she said.

Cathy says one of her main goals is to be in tune with her students each day, which allows her to build trust and encourage them.

“In my classroom, I make it a priority to have a conversation with each student, each day,” she said. “Whether it’s about their family, sports, or even favorite foods, I listen to anything they want to share. In return, I tell them about my own life outside of teaching. This reminds students that I’m not just their teacher, but I am also someone who is in their corner and cheering them on.”

Gayle Mooney

Outstanding Middle School Educator of the Year: Gayle Mooney, sixth grade teacher at Scott School

Gayle Mooney has been a teacher for 28 years, and for the last nine, she has taught sixth grade math and science.

Over the last two decades, Gayle has served as a sponsor and coordinator for several organizations, including student council, cheerleading, technology, and book fairs.

Gayle’s teaching philosophy is based upon building relationships with each of her students. “I want my students to know that I care about them, respect them, and want the best for them,” she said. “Students want to feel respected and valued, and I believe my success depends on the success of my students.”

On top of their personal success, Gayle also strives to make learning enjoyable for her classes. She encourages her students to always ask for help when it is needed so they will learn to enjoy coming to school each day.

“I feel like I am fortunate to be in the classroom and learn with my students as they learn from me,” Gayle said.

Peter Barringer

Outstanding High School Educator of the Year: Peter Barringer, English teacher at Harrison High School

Peter Barringer has been a teacher for seven years, and he has been teaching English at Harrison High School for the last five years.

Teaching the full spectrum of English classes, Peter says that each class demands a different skill set and unique approach. He also teaches in the Shepard Leadership and Law Academy, a rigorous four-year program that combine social studies and English. “This program has stretched my abilities as a teacher, and it has provided an additional opportunity for growth in my skill set,” he said.

Peter says his educational philosophy is very simple: “I believe all students are capable of learning and succeeding.” This principle guides his daily instruction, although he says that is just one aspect of his job. “I relish the opportunity to talk with my students on a personal level, because students often apply themselves in class more regularly when I engage with them about hobbies or extracurricular activities,” Peter said.

To put his philosophy into practice, Peter uses three strategies: 1) build both academic and personal relationships with students, especially those who have not experienced much academic success in the past; 2) respond quickly to student struggles through constant feedback and conversations; and 3) provide quality instruction that reaches the needs of all students.

In addition to teaching English, Peter serves as a coach for the speech team and recorder for the Harrison Social-Emotional Learning Team. He also established the Harrison Board Game Club to further engage with students.

Susie Masterson

Outstanding Building Principal of the Year: Susie Masterson, Principal of Evansville Christian School

Susie Masterson has been an educator for 44 years. This is her 34th year as principal for Evansville Christian School, where she oversees pre-kindergarten through sixth grade.

Throughout her career, Susie has been an elementary school teacher, principal, adjunct faculty member at the graduate level, and a professional development trainer. She has also served overseas in Afghanistan and Uganda, training teachers and planting schools.

“In every situation, I have been challenged and equipped for the next opportunity,” said Susie, “And that’s what it means to be a lifelong learner.”

Since 1988, Susie has served in various roles with ECS. This year is a bittersweet one for her, as the elementary school campus prepares to say goodbye to its Bethel Church location and move to a new, freestanding location in Warrick County (near Crossroads Christian Church). “I have loved working on the design and building of this new space as well as planning for new procedures and programming,” said Susie. “This will create a positive school culture for our K-6 students, where our school’s mission will thrive.”

Susie wrote a life mission statement to guide her both professionally and personally. It reads, “Commit to serving God by continuing a spiritual legacy to my children and grandchildren; using my God-gifts of teaching and leading; and pursuing connections that serve as an outreach for the Gospel.” Susie has always aspired to be the leader that she needed at various seasons in her life. Today, she invests in teachers so they can invest in their students.

In nominating Susie for an Outstanding Educator Award, an individual said that she is “the epitome of a selfless leader who is teacher-focused and believes in partnering with parents to positively impact each student’s learning.”

Award winner Peter Barringer

School of Education Receives $735,000 Grant

The School of Education at the University of Evansville (UE) recently received a grant totaling $735,247 from the Governor's Emergency Education Relief (GEER) Fund, which was created by the Coronavirus Aid, Relief, and Economic Security Act (CARES Act). GEER Funds were created to provide support to local educational agencies and higher education institutions to develop and improve distance learning techniques and technologies throughout the state of Indiana.

With the grant funds, the UE School of Education will focus on implementing two main initiatives: 1) a free community tutoring program for students, and 2) professional development for teachers and UE students to improve student outcomes. While working toward these goals, UE will be partnering with seven school corporations throughout Southern Indiana, including the Diocese of Evansville, Warrick County Schools, Loogootee Community Schools, North Lawrence Community Schools, Orleans Community Schools, Shoals Community Schools, and Tell City Schools. While first preference will be given to partner schools, the grant activities will also be open to in-service teachers and students in K-12 corporations throughout Southern Indiana.

The COVID-19 pandemic caused major disruption to schools across the nation, and education systems are working diligently and creatively to meet the needs of students and families during unprecedented times. Many educators fear that the extended delay in classroom instruction could impact learning outcomes and student achievement. Using the grant, the UE School of Education will offer a free tutoring program geared toward community K-12 students. UE students and current educators will be connected with students in partner schools and other K-12 school corporations, and they will provide targeted interventions to assist in closing learning gaps. Tutoring sessions will take place via Zoom or in-person using social distancing guidelines.

Monies from the grant will also be utilized to boost in-service and UE pre-service teachers' capacity to efficiently and effectively provide remote and virtual instruction. The UE School of Education will utilize Zoom sessions to introduce participants to the G Suite for Education, which is a suite of tools designed by Google to empower educators and students and promote innovative learning. Training sessions will focus on teaching in a Google-infused classroom, as well as instructional best practices for online and hybrid learning. After completion, participants will receive Google for Education Fundamentals Training certification.

"We are so honored to provide this support to our students and teachers, which is heavily needed after the last several months," said Lisa Hale, assistant professor of education at UE. "The training this grant provides will not only enhance the technology-based remote learning, but also improve in-person methodology once schools return to full-time classroom instruction."

Hale commented that the grant will enhance the learning experience for students in the School of Education. Additionally, the Google for Education certification will further prepare students for the classroom and provide a competitive edge when entering the workforce.

The grant-writing team was composed of several staff and faculty at the University of Evansville, including Sylvia DeVault, Sharon Gieselmann, Lisa Hale, Alison Jones, Mary Kessler, Shari Millikan, and Leanne Nayden. UE also worked with alumni Rick Roll and Joe Lannon for a united team effort.

Across the state, over $61 million in GEER funding was distributed to educational agencies and institutions. The needs-based, competitive grant program was a collaborative effort among the Indiana Department of Education, the Commission for Higher Education, the Indiana State Board of Education, and the Governor's office. Through their efforts, the grant was created to support the unique challenges associated with distance and remote learning, including device access, internet connectivity, and educator training/development.

School of Education student in classroom.

UE Education Students Recognized by IACTE

Each year the Indiana Association of Colleges for Teacher Education (IACTE) recognizes outstanding future teachers from universities across the state.

This year, recipients from the University of Evansville are Louis Kersh, special education major from Indianapolis, IN, Brett Weinzapfel, biology education major from Mt. Vernon, IN, and Megan Hawkins, elementary education major from Shoals, IN. These individuals were selected by the School of Education faculty for their accomplishments throughout their education programs and for their exceptional promise as future classroom teachers.

Photo: Megan Hawkins, Louis Kersh, Brett Weinzapfel


Sharon Gieselmann Receives UE Exemplary Teacher Award

Sharon Gieselmann, PhD, associate professor and department chair of the School of Education, received the University of Evansville’s Exemplary Teacher Award during UE’s winter commencement exercise on Thursday, December 12, 2019.

The Exemplary Teacher Award is given by the University to an exceptional member of the faculty in acknowledgment of his or her teaching excellence.

Prior to coming to the University of Evansville, Gieselmann served as an elementary school principal, elementary school teacher, and staff developer. She also provided professional development to schools in the south and midwest as a literacy coach and area manager for The McGraw-Hill Companies. Her research interests include social justice issues in public schools. Her work has been shared at conferences in Moscow, Russia, Paris, France; and Brighton, United Kingdom. Dr. Gieselmann’s most recent work is included in two books for aspiring administrators in university preparation programs, Quandaries of the Small-District Superintendency and Snapshots of School Leadership in the 21st Century; Perils and Promises of Leading for Social Justice, School Improvement, and Democratic Community.

She earned a bachelor's degree in political science from the University of Southern Indiana, a master's degree in education with an emphasis in elementary education from the University of Illinois at Chicago, and a PhD in educational leadership from the University of Louisville. Dr. Gieselmann also has a teaching endorsement in gifted education and school administrative credentials from Western Kentucky University.

Dr. Gieselmann was the recipient of the Dean’s Award for Excellence in Teaching and is listed on the School of Education’s Honor Wall for exemplary contributions to the field of education.

President Pietruszkiewicz and Sharon Gieselmann holding award

UE Launches Early Start Education Program for High School Juniors and Seniors

The University of Evansville has launched an Early Start Education Program that will enable high school juniors and seniors to earn college credit. Prior to their graduation from high school, students in the program will be able to complete up to five required courses for an education degree at UE and receive the Early Start Education Program Certificate.

Coursework will include classes in education, psychology, and the health sciences. Students who decide not to pursue an education degree after enrolling at UE can choose another major while still retaining the credits. Several of these courses are required for other majors at UE.

"The program has many benefits to participating students," said Sharon Gieselmann, chair of UE's School of Education. "It will reduce heavy class loads, allow students in the program to potentially complete their education degree at UE in just three and a half years, and enable study abroad."

Beginning in the Spring of 2020, classes will be available at $125 per credit hour. All classes are offered in a convenient online format, making it easy for high school students to get an early start on their college education.

"This is a smart investment for students and their families," said Gieselman.

UE also has a number of other programs in place to address the need for well-prepared, motivated professional teachers. These programs include the Teaching Fellows Scholarship, Transition to Teaching licensure program, Accelerated Elementary Education Degree program, Ivy Tech articulation agreement, and reduced tuition for transfer students in education.

For more information, contact the School of Education at or by phone at 812-488-2368.

School of Education Receives $110,000 Grant from the Indiana Commission for Higher Education

The School of Education has received a $110,000 grant from the Indiana Commission for Higher Education (CHE) to support programs that recruit, train, and mentor teachers in the STEM fields.

This STEM grant will allow the School of Education to provide full tuition scholarships for Transition to Teaching students enrolled in STEM content areas. The grant will also enable the School of Education to train licensed teachers as well as undergraduate education majors at the University of Evansville to enhance their knowledge of STEM education.

The School of Education will also continue a formal orientation program for new Transition to Teaching students in the math and science fields as well as a mentoring program for math and science graduates with grant funds. The School of Education is proud to positively impact STEM education in our region by increasing the quantity and preparedness of our teachers.

Learn more about the UE Transition to Teaching program.

Faculty Honored at Celebration of Teaching Excellence

The First Annual Celebration of Teaching Excellence was held on Monday, May 6, and honored faculty teaching accomplishments and activities in pedagogical development during the academic year. This was the first year that the Eykamp Center for Teaching Excellence offered two certificates for faculty members who met requirements of engagement and participation in ECTE sponsored events.

Faculty members earning the 2018-2019 New Faculty Engagement Certificate were:
Alison Jones, Lecturer/Transition to Teaching Coordinator, School of Education
Julie Merkle, Assistant Professor of Biology, Department of Biology
Sara Petrosillo, Assistant Professor of English, Department of English

Faculty members earning the 2018-2019 Teaching Development Certificate were:
Heather Fenton, Assistant Professor of Management, Schroeder School of Business Administration
Lisa Marie Hale, Assistant Professor of Education, School of Education
Jessie Lofton, Assistant Professor of Mechanical Engineering, Department of Mechanical and Civil Engineering
Mary Lombardo-Graves, Assistant Professor of Special Education, School of Education
Diana Rodríguez Quevedo, Associate Professor of Spanish, Department of Foreign Languages and Cultures

Finally, the inaugural Leadership in Teaching Excellence Award was presented to Diana Rodríguez Quevedo, Associate Professor of Spanish, for her commitment to her personal teaching development, supporting the growth of others, and strengthening teaching excellence across the campus community.

Congratulations and thank you to all of our faculty colleagues for their commitment to teaching excellence at the University of Evansville!

The Celebration of Teaching Excellence was hosted by the Eykamp Center for Teaching Excellence and made possible with the generous support of Rita and Richard Eykamp.

UE education students recognized at IACTE recognition ceremony

Three School of Education students at the University of Evansville were recognized recently at the Indiana Association of Colleges for Teacher Education (IACTE) luncheon. They were Sara Cannaday, special education, Leesa Jing, math education, and Shelby Preston, elementary education.

The three received awards during the organization’s Outstanding Future Educators banquet at the Ritz Charles in Carmel, Indiana.

UE presents Outstanding Educator of the Year awards for 2019

On Wednesday, April 10, four educators in Vanderburgh County were recognized by surprise announcements as Outstanding Educators of the Year during the University of Evansville’s 28th annual presentation in the Vanderburgh County schools. The competition recognizes current classroom teachers and building principals in grades K-12 with at least three years of experience.

The winners will be formally recognized during the University’s annual banquet on May 3. This recognition program is sponsored by UE and the Evansville Courier & Press.

Presented with awards at their schools were:

Outstanding Elementary Educator of the Year: Jane Elgin, first grade teacher at McCutchanville Elementary

Jane Elgin has been an educator for 21 years. For the past four years, she has served as a first grade teacher at McCutchanville Elementary.

Throughout her academic career, Elgin has participated in countless hours of professional development and education. In 2018, she received National Board Teacher Certification/Early Childhood. Elgin is a response to intervention (RTI) committee representative. She was invited to join the governing board at Wesselman Woods Nature Society as an education representative.

Elgin’s teaching philosophy is based on a belief that each child deserves respect and empowerment. She acts on that philosophy in her classroom through planning, conversing, facilitating, and sharing learning.

“As a teacher, I try to keep education authentic and purposeful for children to bloom into proud and active citizens,” said Elgin. “My classroom offers students learning activities that align with required Indiana standards, but exceed standards and delve deeper into community possibilities.”

One of Elgin’s classes studied dog breeds and canine needs. That led to the topic of canine rescue, and her class partnered with academic intervention services students to make and donate dog treats to a canine rescue group. Another class studied migratory birds, and then partnered with Wesselman Woods Nature Center to build and plant pollinator/migratory beds on the school’s campus.

Outstanding Middle School Educator of the Year: Jennifer L. Stoll, special education teacher at Washington Middle School

Jennifer L. Stoll has taught for a total of 30 years, and has also served as a school counselor. Currently she is a special education teacher at Washington Middle School.

Stoll is a member of her school’s leadership team, a Social Studies Academic Team coach, and she is a tutor for Penny Lane, her school’s afterschool tutoring program. Stoll is also an RTI teacher for students who have fallen below testing guidelines in reading, and is a homebound teacher for several students. She has been nominated by the Washington Middle School PTSA as an educator of the year, and has been recognized as a school trainer for the school’s staff.

“All students learn differently,” Stoll explained when describing her teaching philosophy. “Every child has a story and a background, and that’s something teachers should keep in mind. I've always believed you can get more from your students if you have a relationship with them.”

Stoll said that her main goal as a teacher is to make sure her students have what they need to be successful in life. Some need clothes, while others need attention from an adult, and still others need structure.

“Whatever that need is,” said Stoll, “I will do my best to provide it.”

Outstanding High School Educator of the Year: Andrea Gordon, life skills teacher at North High School

Andrea Gordon has been a teacher for 19 years, and is currently a life skills teacher at North High School. She teaches grade levels 9-12, and beyond. Students can stay in her class until they are 22.

Gordon has worked with a group of teachers across Indiana and attended training sessions for the new I AM test. This test is the summative accountability assessment for students with significant cognitive disabilities in grades 3-8 and 10.

Gordon believes that the classroom should be a safe, loving environment where all are welcome and included, and successes, no matter how big or small, are celebrated.

“My job as a teacher is to create an individual lesson for each student that enhances their specific learning style,” said Gordon. “This gives them the opportunity to be successful and more independent.”

Her overall goal is to get her students ready for life after high school and the working world.

In order to do that, her lessons that are geared toward functional skills that they will need in order to be successful and more independent adults.

Gordon’s classroom is set up so that her students can practice practical skills such as doing laundry, making beds, and cooking, along with academic work.

Outstanding Building Principal of the Year: John D. Skinner, principal at North High School

John D. Skinner has been an educator for 25 years, and is currently in his tenth year as principal of North High School.

Skinner has been named Indiana State Principal of the Year twice, and was named the Indiana Association of School Principals District 11 Principal of the Year in 2013.

Skinner said that he is just the lead learner as principal and that he and his staff are a team. Their common goal is to help all students reach their fullest potential.

“Not every student may earn a four-year college degree,” said Skinner, “but each of them should be ready for the next step, be it the workplace, a 2-year program, apprenticeship training, or a traditional four-year program.”

Skinner talks to students about the importance of getting their academic credits. He goes to summer school to cheer students on as they finish their classes.

“Showing up for kids is important. It's how you earn their respect and prove you care,” Skinner explained.

Skinner tries to be supportive of the teachers on his staff as well. As the school’s leader he encourages them to find success as a group and as individuals.

“My number one job is to make North High School and its students the greatest success story of our community.”

School of Education promotes education profession at Indiana Statehouse

University of Evansville School of Education Ambassadors Megan Hawkins and Heather Dougan, along with department chair Sharon Gieselmann, recently advocated for the education profession at the Indiana Statehouse.

There they spoke with local and state officials including State School Superintendent, Jennifer McCormick, Senator Vanita Becker, and Representative Shane Lindauer. Board of Trustees member Sally Rideout also participated in the event. This annual event is sponsored by the Indiana Association of Colleges for Teacher Education.

McBride and Lombardo-Graves present at ATE

University of Evansville assistant professors of education Amy McBride and Mary Lombardo-Graves presented at the 2019 Association of Teacher Educators Annual Meeting in Atlanta, Georgia on February 18. Their presentation was titled, "From Trinidad with Love: Two educators' journey for cultural competence."

In their presentation, McBride and Lombardo-Graves discussed the need for educators to participate in professional development to examine their own intercultural sensitivity in order to increase inclusivity for diverse students in the schools.

Cultural immersion provides a powerful method of developing the appreciation of cultural differences necessary to teach and model cultural competency for pre-service teachers.

McBride and Lombardo-Graves shared how their attempts to build their own cultural competence through immersion in Trinidad and Tobago, affected the teaching of the pre-service teachers with which they work. 

McBride and Gieselmann Publish Article

Amy McBride, University of Evansville assistant professor of education, and Sharon Gieselmann, chair of UE's School of Education, published their article "The Ron Clark Academy's Impact on Preservice and First-year Teachers" in the 2018 Volume 85-2 issue of The Delta Kappa Gamma Bulletin.

The Delta Kappa Gamma Society International is a professional honorary society of women educators. 

Mary Kessler Named as a 2019 ATHENA Award Finalist

Mary Kessler, dean of the College of Education and Health Sciences at UE, has been named one of the 2019 ATHENA Award® finalists. 

Recipients of the ATHENA Award® are exceptional leaders in the Evansville-area community that have actively and generously assisted others in the attainment of professional excellence and leadership skills.

Those who nominated Kessler for the award cited many personal traits and professional accomplishments:  

"From assisting in career decisions, to helping advance careers, Mary encourages women to pursue their full potential and continually helps them along the way."

"While achieving a high level in her own career, Mary serves as a role model to many women, both young and mature. Regardless of her professional demands, Mary is devoted to guiding women in their pursuits through many fields including engineering, law, health and other professions, is an advocate for women in our community, and inspires women to attain the highest level within their careers. Most importantly, Mary promotes work-life balance and the importance of professional women finding time to care for themselves in order to be their personal best at home and work."

"Mary has been the recipient of UE’s Global Scholar Award, as well as the Dean’s Outstanding Professor Award for her work with students, and the Student’s Award for Advisor of the Year. She has mentored physical therapy students in the research process and has had several studies presented at national professional conferences. Mary has also been recognized for her leadership role in bringing the [Stone Family Center for Health Sciences] to completion."

The ATHENA Awards® have been hosted by the Southwest Indiana Chamber annual since the 1990s. The 2019 recipient will be announced at the annual ATHENA Award® Luncheon on February 22, 2019. 

Other finalists include: Gina Gibson, executive director at Evansville Christian Life Center; Deena Laska Lewis, founder and choreographer at Children's Center for Dance Education; Millie Marshall, president of Toyota Motor Manufacturing Indiana; Susan Parsons, CFO at Koch Enterprises; and Carrie Roelle, partner at Kahn, Dees, Donovan, & Kahn, LLP. 

Chicago-based ATHENA International is a nonprofit organization founded in 1982 by Martha Mertz. In addition to supporting, developing, and honoring women leaders, the organization seeks to create balance in leadership worldwide and inspire women to achieve their full potential. Since the program’s inception in 1982, nearly 6,000 leaders in more than 500 communities have received the ATHENA Award®.

UE School of Education welcomes the Indiana Teacher of the Year

The University of Evansville's School of Education welcomed the Indiana Teacher of the Year, Jerome “Flew” Flewelling, to the University of Evansville on October 17 and 18.

Flewelling teaches AP physics, mechanics and chemistry at Crown Point High School and has been teaching for more than 20 years. He also serves as their science department chair and as assistant theatre director. 

While at UE, his presentations to both student and faculty as well as high school students interested in education or STEM fields included: Courage, Creativity, and Innovation: Crafting the Profession, Finding Your True North, and Stepping into Your Courage.

His messages inspired participants to engage P-12 students in meaningful ways in the classroom and to positively impact the lives of the children in our classrooms.

UE education students recognized at IACTE recognition ceremony

Three School of Education students at the University of Evansville were recognized recently at the Indiana Association of Colleges for Teacher Education (IACTE) luncheon. They were Mackenzie McClarney, special education, Jennifer Riedford, Spanish education, and Bailey Smith, elementary education

These individuals received awards during the organization’s Outstanding Future Educators banquet at the Ritz Charles in Carmel, Indiana.

UE Offers Adult Learners Access to Education with Competitive Pricing and Expanded Program Offerings

The University of Evansville offers competitive pricing for adult learners looking to complete their undergraduate and graduate degrees in a variety of areas. The following programs are available at the listed rates, which represent a significant reduction from traditional program pricing:

Undergraduate Degrees: $315 per credit hour
Organizational Leadership
Registered Nurse to Bachelor of Science in Nursing (RN to BSN)
Transition to Teaching
University Studies

Graduate Degrees: $525 per credit hour
Master of Science in Athletic Training
Master of Public Health
Master of Science in Public Service Administration

Students interested in the University Studies degree program can register now for a May 14 start date. Applications are also open for a May start in the Master of Science in Athletic Training. All other programs listed above will begin in fall 2018.

“At UE, we’re committed to providing an affordable, accessible education to directly fill needs in our community” said Sharon Gieselman, chair of UE’s department of education. “The transition to teaching program in particular is designed to address the teacher shortage, especially in high need areas.”

Jerrilee LaMar, chair of UE’s nursing department, says the same of the RN to BSN program. “The program focuses on meeting the needs of the adult learner and the working nurse while opening doors for career advancement opportunities that will positively impact the community,” says LaMar.

For the adult learner looking to further their education at the graduate level, UE offers programs in several different subject areas. Some of the programs are available in the evening and in accelerated formats. In addition to those listed above, UE offers a Master of Science in Health Services Administration designed for those who want to assume management positions in public and private health service organizations.

“To successfully serve the adult learners with professional and educational growth, it is important to provide flexible options” said Lindsay Roberts, director of UE’s adult education. “To provide the student with the opportunity to directly apply what he or she learns in the classroom to the workplace the next day is extremely valuable.”

Learn more about adult education opportunities online here.

Iber presenting at ASEAN-ELT on March 17

Associate professor of education George Iber will presenting a paper about "Translanguaging" at ASEAN-ELT, in Malaka, Malaysia, on March 17. 

UE Education Students Meet Legislators during IACTE Day at Indiana Statehouse

UE education students Sara Cannaday, Megan Hawkins, and Heather Dougan attended IACTE Day at the Indiana Statehouse, today.

They got to speak with Senators Vaneta Becker and Jack Sandlin as well as Representative Ryan Hatfield.

Others from UE along for the trip are UE education chair Sharon Gieselman, faculty member Lisa Hale, and Merrill Harper from UE Admission.

Students at IACTE Day

Students at IACTE Day

UE education students Sara Cannaday, Megan Hawkins, and Heather Dougan standing with others at the Indiana Statehouse podium.

Lombardo-Graves and McBride presenting at annual meeting of ATE

Mary Lombardo-Graves and Amy McBride, both assistant professors in the school of education, will be presenting at the Annual Meeting of the Association of Teacher Educators (ATE) to be held in Las Vegas, Nevada, today.

Their presentation, “Teaching Fellows: Addressing teacher shortage areas through a mentoring continuum” introduces participants to the innovative ways the school of education at UE is responding to the growing need for quality educators particularly in underserved areas.

Milken Award winner visits school of education

Traci Druschke, Milken Award winner, visited the University of Evansville's School of Education recently to speak with Amy McBride’s sophomores and juniors in Education 418 and 320. Druschke, a third grade teacher at Oak Hill Elementary School, presented Whole Brain Learning and Memory Models.

Students will incorporate some of her techniques in their internships.

The Milken Award is a prestigious honor for early-to-mid-career educators and is based on educational talent and contributions to the profession.

Award winners strive to take learning beyond the classroom, provide models of excellence within the profession, and motivate novices to achieve excellence.

UE School of Education grad receives Indiana Special Educator of Year Award

Amber Turner Wolf, a graduate of the University of Evansville's School of Education, recently received the Indiana Special Educator Award. This honor is given to a teacher who demonstrates exceptional skill in working with special needs individuals, who goes above and beyond in every aspect of teaching, and helps to motivate colleagues.

Wolf is the autism coordinator in the Bartholomew Consolidated School Corporation. She graduated from UE in 2001 with a special education degree.

Riedford selected for student panel at Be a Teacher, Change the World

University of Evansville student Jennifer Riedford recently served on a student panel at the Be a Teacher, Change the World event in Indianapolis. Riedford, who is majoring in Spanish education, was one of four education majors representing universities from across the state who shared thoughts on the education profession and college life.

Nearly 400 high school juniors and seniors from across Indiana participated in the event.

The University’s School of Education was proud of and honored by Jennifer’s words of high esteem for the education profession.

Bailey Schnur wins $1000 scholarship essay contest

University of Evansville student Bailey Schnur was recently named the recipient of the Gary E. May Peace Scholarship. Applicants were invited to write about a variety of topics. She chose to address "How do we assess the true cost of war?" This is the second time Schnur has won the award. She is majoring in secondary social studies education at UE.

Lombardo-Graves publishes in issues of Educational Research

Mary Lombardo-Graves, assistant professor of education, has had an article published in Issues of Educational Research. The article outlines the development of a scale, Initial Special Educator Efficacy Scale (SEES-I), to measure the special education teaching self-efficacy of pre-service teachers.

The 2017 Indiana Teacher of Year to Visit UE on October 11-12

Jitka Nelson, 2017 Indiana Teacher of the Year, will visit the University of Evansville campus on Wednesday and Thursday, October 11-12. She will be speaking to students and professors on such topics as strategies and tips for working successfully with ESL students and their families. There will also be an informal Q&A session.

Nelson has been a teacher at Logansport Community High School since 2006. During her career as an educator, she has been an instructional assistant and classroom teacher in the Czech Republic, Canada, and the United States. A graduate of the University of Southern Bohemia, she has a BA in Pedagogy and dual MA in Russian as a Foreign Language and Music.

She has received numerous awards including the 2016 Crystal Berry Award - Logansport District Teacher of the Year Award, the 2015 Woman of Distinction Award - Alpha Epsilon Chapter of Delta Kappa Gamma Society International, and the 2014 Pillar of the Logansport Community School Corporation Award.

The mission of the Indiana Teacher of the Year program, which began in 1957, is to “inspire, rejuvenate and celebrate” the profession, according to the Indiana Department of Education website. Those who earn the designation continue to support the education community. As Indiana’s 2017 Teacher of the Year, Nelson will represent Indiana in the National Teacher of the Year competition.

UE receives $113,000 Grant for Recruitment and Retention of Teachers

The University of Evansville has received a $113,551 grant from the Indiana Commission for Higher Education to support programs that recruit teachers in high-need subjects and schools.

“These grants are enhancing our efforts to prepare the next generation of Hoosiers for the jobs of tomorrow,” said Indiana Commissioner for Higher Education Teresa Lubbers. “Rewarding and scaling effective programs throughout the state will help attract and retain STEM teachers who will make a difference in high-need areas.”

The University of Evansville School of Education has identified recruitment and retention of teachers as a priority and has already implemented new initiatives addressing these areas through the Teaching Aces Program. This STEM grant will allow the School of Education to expand the Teaching Aces program and license additional teachers in the math and science fields for public schools in Indiana.  This grant will also offset the costs of teacher preparation for Transition to Teaching students through full tuition scholarships.

Additionally, the grant will enable UE to train current, licensed elementary education teachers and undergraduate elementary education majors at the University of Evansville and enhance their knowledge of STEM education areas leading to more effective instruction in the elementary school classroom. 

Finally, this grant will provide funds to develop a formal orientation program for new Transition to Teaching students in the math and science fields as well as a mentoring program for math and science Transition to Teaching students and recent graduates.

“These funds will allow us to positively impact our entire region,” said Sharon Gieselmann, associate professor and chair of UE’s School of Education. “By increasing the quantity and preparedness of our teachers, we’re able to directly impact the quality of education offered in our schools.”

UE grad named teacher of the week

Central High School teacher Sasha Huff Hudson, a 2009 graduate of UE’s School of Education, was recently named the teacher of the week in the Evansville Courier and Press. Hudson, who teaches both English and Spanish at Central High School, says her favorite part of teaching is helping students learn new information.

In an interview with the Courier and Press, Hudson said, “In Spanish, I love teaching a student something for the first time. It's a great feeling to know that I can take a student who, at the beginning of the year, knows almost no Spanish and by the end of the year, he or she can have a conversation, write paragraphs, and read pages.”

This honor exemplifies the collaborative work among the English, creative writing, foreign language, and education departments at the University of Evansville. Working in partnership, faculty members cultivate students’ passions and build upon their knowledge to prepare them for successful classroom teaching.

University of Evansville’s School of Education Achieved Seven Year Accreditation from the Council for the Accreditation of Education Preparation

The School of Education at the University of Evansville has been granted seven year accreditation by the Council for the Accreditation of Education Preparation (CAEP) with the next site visit in Spring 2023.

After an intense period of self-study which began in 2013, UE hosted a site visit with a CAEP review team in April of 2016.  The site visit team reviewed extensive reports and interviewed members of the School of Education team to evaluate and verify the institution’s ongoing ability to meet the council’s standards for accreditation.

The CAEP standards are as follows:

  • Content and Pedagogical Knowledge
  • Clinical Partnerships and Practice
  • Candidate Quality, Recruitment, and Selectivity
  • Program Impact
  • Provider Quality Assurance and Continuous Improvement

“The accrediting team noted that we had strong, sincere relationships with our school partners,” said Sharon Gieselmann, chair of the department of education at UE. “We are fortunate to have excellent school partners who mentor UE students during school placements beginning their freshman year.  This experience allows students to apply what they are learning in university coursework in a real world classroom setting. This partnership helps us provide quality candidates who are prepared to teach in K-12 schools."   

CAEP’s mission is to advance excellent educator preparation through evidence-based accreditation that assures quality and supports continuous improvement to strengthen P-12 learning.

“The most important aspect of the accreditation process is continuous improvement,” said Tom Kazee, the president of the University of Evansville. “By choosing this higher level of accreditation, we’ve shown that we’re willing to use new measures to enhance the quality of the program which will, in turn, strengthen our schools and our community.”

The School of Education at the University of Evansville has been preparing quality teachers for over 160 years with a challenging curriculum in a supportive environment. UE students thrive in small classes with dedicated faculty advisors. 100 percent of the 2015-15 class is working in the field of education or enrolled in graduate school.

UE Meets Teacher Shortage with Reduced Tuition

The University of Evansville has revamped their teacher certification program for returning adults and cut tuition costs by 60 percent for adults with bachelor’s degrees who return to college to certify as teachers. 

The program, called Transition to Teaching, was developed by the UE School of Education. It was designed to respond to a dramatic increase in the need for teachers, especially in high need areas such as the sciences, foreign languages, and mathematics across the tristate area, reports Sharon Gieselmann, the chair of the department.

“School corporations in the tristate area report a reduction in applications for teaching positions,” said Gieselmann. “The University of Evansville desires to produce more quality teacher candidates for schools in the region so corporations can continue to offer excellent educational opportunities for their P-12 students.”

The Transition to Teaching program requires 17 credit hours at a steeply discounted rate of $385 per credit hour. It is available for secondary certification in math, life science/biology, chemistry, physics, history, English, visual art, and music.

According to Mary Kessler, dean of the College of Education and Health Sciences, the school is currently pursuing state certification of an elementary education Transition to Teaching Program and hopes to be able to offer it in the spring of 2017. Much of the instruction in the Transition to Teaching Program occurs in the schools through a series of internships and student teaching experiences. 

“We recognize the value of classroom experience and mentoring from an effective teacher to help a candidate better develop the skills necessary to provide quality instructional strategies and classroom management.”

One of the most attractive features in the UE program, according to Gieselmann, is that it can work with individuals currently teaching with provisional certifications to build internships and student teaching experiences around their existing classroom activities. Additionally, those with a bachelor’s degree and the passion to teach or the desire for a career change can enroll in the program and meet requirements to obtain a teaching license.

“This is something that is at the heart of UE’s mission of civic engagement,” says Michael Austin, executive vice president for academic affairs. “We have local school districts who need teachers desperately, and we have a community full of people with the skills and knowledge to become teachers who lack only the certification. Our goal is to provide a way for people in our community to prepare themselves to meet this need quickly and affordably.”

Questions about the University of Evansville Transition to Teaching Program should be directed to Tammy Flanagan, student services specialist in the Center for Adult Education, at

School of Education graduate named to 20 Under 40

Caze Elementary School teacher Jeremy Buente, a 2008 graduate of UE’s School of Education, has been named to the Evansville Business Journal's 2016 list of 20 Under 40. The magazine stated that all of the professionals in the list "excel at their careers while donating time, effort and talent to the betterment of the Tri-State."

Buente was awarded the 2016 Elementary School Teacher of the Year for Vanderburgh County, sponsored by the Courier and Press and the University of Evansville. In addition, he was named the 2016 Indiana PTA Outstanding Teacher of the Year.

School of Education chair Sharon Gieselmann said that, "Jeremy is a wonderful example of the type of professional educators we develop in the School of Education. He is an outstanding teacher who lives a life which encompasses all aspects of his school and community, while maintaining his focus on his students."

Knoester presents at conference in Beijing

Associate professor of education Matthew Knoester will be presenting a paper on a panel entitled "Global Struggles for Critical Democratic Education" at the XVI World Congress of Comparative Education Societies in Beijing, China, on August 26. 

Iber Receives Global Scholars Award

George Iber, associate professor of education, received a UE Global Scholars Award. This summer he spent three weeks in the Merida, Mexico area connecting with the University of Yucatan faculty of English and Spanish at their Center for languages. There, he toured their facilities and learned about their English as a foreign language program (EFL). He will return later in the year to observe their classes and participate more actively.

Knoester and Plikuhn Publish Article in Journal of Literacy Research

Matthew Knoester, assistant professor of education, and Mari Plikuhn, assistant professor of sociology, have had an article published in the Journal of Literary Research. The article, titled "Inquiry into the Independent Reading Development of First-Generation College Graduates with Advanced Degrees," can be found here.

Global Scholars for 2016-17 Announced

The Institute for Global Enterprise has announced the Global Scholars for the 2016-17 academic year. They are: Jeffrey Braun, department chair and professor of physics; George Iber, professor of education; Richard Maass, assistant professor of political science; Valerie Milholland, adjust professor of art; and Gail Vignola, academic director of the writing center.

Each Global Scholar will receive a stipend and travel allowance.

Visit this website to read a brief description of each project.

As Global Scholars, the recipients of this award will engage in scholarship, curriculum development, and activities related to preparing our students and community for global leadership, citizenry, and success.

The Global Scholars program is supported by the John H. Schroeder Global Scholar Endowed Fund and the Lilly Endowment.

Elementary Education Major receives Center for Career Development Award

Elementary Education Major, Maisie Lee, was one of four student recognized university wide by the Center for Career Development for outstanding work during the 2015-16 academic year as an advocate.  The advocates were recommended by their academic dean and provided fundamental career development services for students. In this first year of the program, over 200 students were assisted by this outstanding cadre of young professionals.

Spanish Education Major Receives Outstanding Spanish Student Award

Congratulations to Jennifer Riedford, Spanish Education major, for winning the outstanding Spanish Student Award!

Nayden Recognized on Education Honor Wall

Congratulations to Leanne Nayden, who was named to UE’s School of Education Honor Wall to recognize her outstanding service and accomplishments in the field of education!

Knoester Presents Papers at American Educational Research Association

University of Evansville assistant professor of Education Matthew Knoester presented two papers on April 11 in Washington, D.C. at the annual meeting of the American Educational Research Association (AERA).

The first paper was titled "Astronomical Inquiries" and was part of a panel entitled "Interdisciplinary School-wide Learning: Practitioner Inquiries into the Impacts of Multiage Themes on Student Learning and School Culture."

The second paper took the form of a poster and was titled "Standardized Testing and School Segregation: Like Tinder for Fire?" It contributed to a session entitled "The Complexity and Multiple Spaces of Social Justice in Action."

Knoester presents two papers at American Educational Research Association

Assistant professor of Education Matthew Knoester presented two papers in Washington, D.C. at the annual meeting of the American Educational Research Association (AERA) on April 11.

The first paper was entitled "Astronomical Inquiries" and was part of a panel entitled "Interdisciplinary School-wide Learning: Practitioner Inquiries into the Impacts of Multiage Themes on Student Learning and School Culture." The second paper took the form of a poster and was entitled "Standardized Testing and School Segregation: Like Tinder for Fire?" It contributed to a session entitled "The Complexity and Multiple Spaces of Social Justice in Action." 

Dr. McBride Received Chi Omega Professor of the Year

Amy McBride, assistant professor of education, received the Chi Omega Professor of the Year Award for her outstanding work in the classroom and at UE.

School of Education Recognizes Outstanding Future Educators

The School of Education recognized four seniors, class of 2015-2016, with the Indiana Association of Colleges for Teacher Education Outstanding Future Educators Award.  These students were recognized at a ceremony in Indianapolis with others from across Indiana.  Congratulations to Alexa Rasche, Madison Rasche (special education majors), Tabitha Zimmerman (secondary education major-German), and Jill Caldemeyer Hagman (elementary education).

Lisa Kretz to deliver research findings of study done with Matthew Knoester

Assistant professor of philosophy Lisa Kretz will attend the International Association of Professional and Practical Ethics Annual Conference this week. She will be sharing research findings from a collaborative research study that she completed with UE assistant professor of education Matthew Knoester.

Teacher Recruitment and Retention focus of new UE program

The University of Evansville School of Education has announced plans for new Teacher Recruitment and Retention Programs, beginning in Fall 2016. The new programs are aimed at increasing the number of students earning a teaching certificates and licenses and increasing retention among new teachers in the schools to help supply the ever-increasing need for effective teachers in K-12 schools.

According to Paul Parkison, chair of UE’s School of Education, studies from the American Association of Colleges for Teacher Education and the US Bureau of Labor Statistics report a national trend indicating a dramatic decline in enrollments in teacher preparation programs. This when combined with the projected 17% increase in demand for teachers shows a picture of an emerging crisis in K-12 education.

“The School of Education is committed to its ongoing mission of preparing tomorrow’s teachers to be successful in their own classrooms,” said Parkison, “and this program identifies several important ways to ensure we continue to do just that.”

The program includes plans to recruit high-quality candidates from diverse backgrounds and in high-need academic areas to meet current and future employment and civic needs. The program will employ a multi-strategy approach:

  1. The UE Teaching Fellows Program will identify candidates who want to teach in underrepresented areas. These individuals will be eligible for scholarships and loan forgiveness programs their junior and senior years in order to support tuition costs. The program will provide mentoring and academic support for these individuals to ensure program completion and teacher certification.
  2. The UE Transition to Teaching Program will help individuals who hold degrees in high need content areas (such as STEM) to become classroom teachers. This will be a remarkably affordable way for local professionals interested in pursuing a teaching credential to do so.
  3. Degree Pathway Collaboration with Ivy Tech will allow students with an associate’s degree to enroll at UE in order to complete their bachelor’s degree and Indiana state teacher licensing in elementary and secondary education.
  4. Novice Teacher Induction and Mentoring Program will improve the performance and retention of new hires to enhance their skills and prevent the loss of new teachers.

“This program will be a great benefit to the community as well as to the University of Evansville,” said UE president Thomas A. Kazee. “The fruits of this program will be realized when schools in the region are able to satisfy the increasing demand for high-quality educators.”

“The University of Evansville is committed to meeting the needs of K-12 education and meeting the need for placing an effective teacher in every classroom,” said Parkison. “Our continued collaboration with our K-12 partners is critical to the success of this effort.”

The UE Teacher Recruitment and Retention program is being implemented with recruitment under way for the summer and fall 2016 terms.

University of Evansville Announces Outstanding Senior Awards at 157th Commencement Ceremony

Hlawn K. Zathang, an accounting major from Indianapolis, Indiana, and Nathan Graves, an education major from Renssalaer, Indiana, were named the University of Evansville’s Outstanding Seniors during today’s Commencement Ceremony at the Ford Center. 

The Mabel Dillingham Nenneker and Guthrie May Outstanding Senior Service Awards are the highest honors the University presents to one female and one male senior. They are named for two of the University’s most respected alumni, Mabel Dillingham Nenneker and Guthrie May.

Zathang was the recipient of the Mabel Dillingham Nenneker Outstanding Senior Service Award. She graduated with an accounting degree and has earned sufficient credit hours to sit for the Certified Public Accountant exam following graduation.

In 2008, Zathang moved with her family to America from Burma (now Myanmar). Nobody in her family spoke English, so she committed to learn English fast in order to assist her family with the transition. Zathang has also volunteered to assist other refugee families relocate to America. She is one of approximately 10,000 Burmese people now living in south Indianapolis. Through these experiences, Zathang became inspired to give back by helping others.  Since her arrival in Evansville, she has volunteered at the Evansville ARC Industries, Little Sisters of the Poor, and Pine Haven Nursing Home. 

Zathang is involved with the Burmese American Institute, a not-for-profit organization that helps students and people in the community focusing on college research, tutoring, and childcare development. Zathang helps students with research, tracks cash flow for the Institute’s program, calculates staff payroll, organizes participant, staff, and organization partner files, and assists with fiscal reporting.

Overall, Zathang says, “It is obvious that through my four years at the University of Evansville, I have not only grown in an education aspect, but I also discovered what it means to be a good citizen. I also realize the size of my responsibility starting with my family, to the community, and to the world.”

The Guthrie May Award was presented to Graves, who was also the ceremony’s senior keynote speaker. He graduated with a bachelor of science in special education and elementary education, and will attend Vanderbilt University in the fall to pursue a master’s degree for a future in higher education.

Graves helped incoming and potential students as an admission ambassador and orientation leader, and was involved with local schools through practicums and internships. He served as event coordinator for an after school program that finds homes for those whose situations leave them without a place to live.

Graves was inspired to enroll in a social responsibility class to become more culturally competent, and participated in training provided by the Anti-Defamation League. He went on to lead small group discussions on campus in an effort to educate others in diversity and acceptance.

His list of involvements is long, but he says it’s not titles, the clubs, or the committees that matter - his participation was always with the goal to understand people better and to help in situations where there was opportunity to make a positive impact on others and help people.

“As I look forward to a career in higher education,” Graves says, “I know that each day will provide me with an opportunity to do something meaningful for the rest of my life. It will not be easy, and I may not get a lot of rest at night, but I can be a part - even if it is a small part - of a crucial time in a person’s life that can transform the way they choose to see and engage in the world.”

Special Presentation on Autism Planned at the University of Evansville

A special presentation on autism, “Rethinking Autism: Wretches & Jabberers,” is planned for Wednesday, April 15, at the University of Evansville. The event is scheduled from 4:30-6:00 p.m., in Room 170 (Smythe Lecture Hall) in the Schroeder School of Business Building. The presentation is being hosted by Optimal Rhythms, Inc., and is free and open to the public.

This autism awareness event will feature Tracy Thresher and Larry Bissonnette, stars of the highly acclaimed autism documentary, Wretches & Jabberers, along with their support team Harvey and Pascal. Clips from the documentary will be shown, followed by a question and answer session.

For more information, please call 812-488-2663 or 812-488-2500.

Professor Emeritus Earl M. Tapley Has Died

University of Evansville professor emeritus Earl M. Tapley, psychologist and educator, died on December 23. He was 101. He is survived by his son, Dwight, (Barbara Martin), a physician in South Bend, Indiana, daughters Sharon Goodson of Haymarket, Virginia (Roger Goodson), and Annette Pace of Evansville, Indiana, 11 grandchildren, and 15 great grandchildren. He was preceded in death by his wife of 68 years, Ruby, his son-in-law Elbert Pace, and four brothers and three sisters.

Born in Georgia, the son of a tenant farmer, Dr. Tapley graduated from Vanderbilt University, received his Master of Arts degree at Peabody-Vanderbilt with studies in the Vanderbilt Divinity School, and earned his Ph.D. at the University of Chicago. He was an ordained Methodist minister having served churches in the South and Midwest before becoming a college professor and administrator.

Dr. Tapley was dean, vice president, and interim president of Lee University, and assistant to the president in public relations and head of psychology and the Testing and Counseling Center at the University of Chattanooga. He then accepted a position at the University of Evansville, where he was professor, director of research, dean of the School of Education, and dean of the Graduate School. He served as consultant and accreditation examiner of colleges for a national and the regional accreditation associations. Though he retired in 1979, he remained at UE for seven years as Director of International Studies and Travel.

He and Ruby established a UE scholarship for ministerial students in 1986. Recently, because of the Tapley’s generosity to the University, the School of Education Multimedia Center was renamed The Earl M. and Ruby J. Tapley Education Resource and Multimedia Center.  
Dr. Tapley was a world traveler, having traveled extensively on every continent except Antarctica, visiting more than a hundred countries.

He moved to Dunedin, Florida in 1986.

His funeral was Friday, January 2 at Palm Harbor United Methodist Church in Palm Harbor, Florida. He was inducted into the School of Education Honor Roll in 2013.

Dr. Tapley was a good friend to the University of Evansville School of Education, and he will be missed.

Article by Drs. Knoester and Parkison to Appear in Journal

An article co-authored by Dr. Matthew Knoester, assistant professor of education, and Dr. Paul Parkison, associate professor of education and School of Education department chair, entitled "Where is Citizenship Education in the Age of Common Core State Standards?" will appear in an upcoming edition of the journal Critical Education. The article shows that educational reforms in recent decades have focused on jobs and the economy to the detriment of serious citizenship education and suggests that political discourse and engagement have suffered as a result.


Dr. Matthew Knoester and Dr. Paul Parkison

Mary Lombardo-Graves Completes Requirements for EdD in Curriculum and Instruction

Mary Lombardo-Graves, assistant professor of special education, has successfully defended her dissertation, "The Effect of Mentoring Intervention on the Teaching Self-Efficacy of Pre-service Special Education Teacher Candidates”. She has completed the requirements for her doctor of education degree in curriculum and instruction specializing in curriculum leadership at Northern Illinois University.


UE Announces 2012-13 Andiron Lectures

The University of Evansville’s College of Arts and Sciences is pleased to announce the 2012-13 schedule of Andiron Lectures in the liberal arts and sciences.

Established in 1982, the Andiron Lectures offer stimulating research, commentary, and reflection from many fields of study. Presenters are primarily drawn from the faculty of UE’s College of Arts and Sciences but also include faculty members and administrators from across the University campus and contributions from the regional community.

The Andiron Lectures are free and open to the public. Each of the following lectures will begin at 4 p.m. in Eykamp Hall (Room 252) in the Ridgway University Center.

  • September 5, 2012: “Skipping Beats: The Impact of the Illegal Drug Trade on Colombian Music,” presented by Diana Rodríguez Quevedo, assistant professor of Spanish
  • October 3, 2012: “Communication: It Seems So Easy, So Second Nature…Think Again!,” presented by Jack Schriber, supervisor of fine arts with the Evansville Vanderburgh School Corporation, who holds bachelor’s and master’s degrees from UE
  • November 7, 2012: “To the Greater Glory of God: Religion and Memorialization in 1920s Scotland,” presented by James MacLeod, professor of history
  • February 6, 2013: “International Struggles for Democratic Education,” presented by Matthew Knoester, assistant professor of education
  • March 13, 2013: “Architectural Styles of Evansville’s Riverside Historic District,” presented by Matt Rowe, executive director of the Reitz Home Museum
  • April 3, 2013: “Is Music the Universal Language?,” presented by Alfred Savia, music director and conductor of the Evansville Philharmonic Orchestra

The Andiron Lectures are sponsored by the University of Evansville College of Arts and Sciences and supported by a generous gift from Donald B. and Jean Korb.

For additional information, please contact program coordinator M. Christine Mohn at 812-488-2585 or the College of Arts and Sciences at 812-488-2589.