University of Evansville

AceNotes Today

Wednesday, August 18, 2021

Upcoming Events

* Fall Conference Concurrent Sessions 2021

Fall Conference Concurrent Sessions will be held Wednesday, August 18, in the Schroeder School of Business Building from 9:00 a.m. to 4:30 p.m. The campus community is encouraged to attend the informational sessions.

View the Fall Conference Schedule for a complete list of events and Concurrent Sessions. Please address questions to Tracey Folden at ext. 2509 or or Paula Heldt at ext. 2479 or

* Academic Convocation - August 24, 2021

The University of Evansville will hold its annual Academic Convocation on Tuesday, August 24. This special ceremony celebrates the entering class of 2021 and marks the beginning of the new academic year.

Academic Convocation will begin at 8:50 a.m. in the Meeks Family Fieldhouse. A prologue will be delivered at 8:30 a.m. by Rev. Andy Payton, university chaplain, also in Meeks Family Fieldhouse. The ceremony will include a welcome and opening message from President Pietruszkiewicz, alumni welcome, and convocation address. Purple Tams will also be presented to faculty members who have recently earned the rank of Professor during Convocation.

Following University policy, masks will be required for all individuals, regardless of vaccination status. The entering class of students is expected to attend.

Due to health and safety guidelines, this year’s Convocation is unfortunately by invitation only and cannot be extended to all members of the campus community. If you would like to attend virtually, please feel free to live stream the ceremony at


Info You Should Know

* Welcome New Faculty Members for the 2021-2022 Academic Year

Paige Baumann, Clinical Assistant Professor of Nursing. Professor Baumann holds a BSN degree (Summa Cum Laude) from the University of Louisville and is currently working on an MSN degree from Ball State University. She is licensed and certified as an RN and is a Certified Medical Surgical Registered Nurse.

Pallav Kumar Bera, Visiting Assistant Professor of Electrical and Computer Engineering. Professor Bera received a Bachelor of Science in Electrical Engineering in 2011 from West Bengal, India. From Syracuse University, he earned his M.S. in Electrical Engineering in 2018 and he completed his dissertation defense for his PhD in Electrical and Computer Engineering.

Erik Brown, Clinical Assistant Professor of Health Sciences. From DePauw University, Professor Brown completed his Bachelor of Arts in Athletic Training in 2006. He obtained a Master of Science in Kinesiology from Indiana University in 2008, and a Master of Science in Sport Management Studies with an emphasis in Intercollegiate Athletics from California University of Pennsylvania in 2016. He is continuing to work on his dissertation for his Doctor of Health Science degree from the University of Indianapolis.

Meghan Buchta, Assistant Professor of Nurse Anesthesia. Dr. Buchta earned a Bachelor of Science in Nursing degree in 2007 from Indiana University. She also received her Master of Science in Nursing-Nurse Anesthesia Program degree from the University of Cincinnati in 2012 along with a Doctor of Nursing Practice degree from Murray State University in 2021.

Melissa Heffner, Clinical Assistant Professor of Music. Professor Heffner received a Bachelor of Music (Summa Cum Laude) in Piano Performance minoring in Early Childhood Special Education in 2008 from Eastern Washington University. She also holds a Master of Music in Music Therapy specializing in Communication Sciences and Disorders from Ohio University.

Hyunjae Jeon, Assistant Professor of Health Science. Professor Jeon obtained a Bachelor of Science in Physical Education in 2012 from Yonsei University and a Master of Science in Sports Rehabilitation/Biomechanics in 2014 from Yonsei Graduate School. He also has a Master of Arts degree in Athletic Training earned in 2016 from the University of Nebraska at Omaha. He has received his Doctor of Biology degree from the University of North Carolina at Charlotte.

Alison Jones, Clinical Assistant Professor of Education. Professor Jones received an Associate of Arts degree in Liberal Arts from Diablo Valley College in 1997, and a Bachelor of Arts degree in History Education with a Special Education minor in 2000 from Whitworth University. Her Master of Education degree majoring in Technology in Education came from Lesley University in 2004.

Bruce Mabis, Visiting Assistant Professor of Computer Science. Dr. Mabis earned his B.S. in Physics in 1971 from Capital University, and his M.S. in Electrical Engineering degree from UE in 1990. In 1992, he received his PhD from Vanderbilt University.

Jill Mason-Nguyen, Associate Professor of Nurse Anesthesia. Professor Mason-Nguyen obtained a BSN in Nursing from the University of Illinois in 1997, and her MSN in Nurse Anesthesia in 2002 from Northwestern School of Anesthesia and DePaul University. From Texas Wesleyan University, she earned a DNAP in Nurse Anesthesia Practice and has successfully defended her dissertation for a Doctor of Education and Leadership in Healthcare degree from Nebraska Methodist College.

Evan McCracken, Visiting Assistant Professor of Psychology. Professor McCracken is a UE graduate earning a BS in Psychology in 2014. He also earned an MLS in 2019 and an MA in Social Psychology in 2020 from the University of Nebraska-Lincoln where he is currently working on a PhD degree.

Shari Millikan, Assistant Professor of Education and Assessment Coordinator. Dr. Millikan received a Bachelor of Science in Mathematics Education in 1988 from Indiana State University, and a M.Ed. in 1997 from Indiana Wesleyan University. She earned her Ed.D. with specialization in Higher Education and Adult Learning in 2012 from Walden University-Online.

Charlene Nolen, Clinical Assistant Professor of Physical Therapy. From UE, Professor Nolen received a Bachelor of Physical Therapy Science and Master of Physical Therapy degrees both in 2004. With both degrees, she graduated Cum Laude. She also holds a Certified Wound Specialist Certification from the American Board of Wound Management.

Maxwell Omwenga, Visiting Assistant Professor of Computer Science. Dr. Omwenga obtained his BS degree in Computer Science in 2006 and his MS in Data Communication and Software Engineering in 2012 from Makerere University in Uganda. He also holds a PhD in Computer Science from the University of Tennessee at Chattanooga.

Hyunsoung Park, Visiting Assistant Professor of Civil Engineering. Dr. Park earned a BS in Architectural Engineering in 2010 from Hongik University in Korea and an MS in Construction Science in 2014 from Texas A & M University. He received his PhD in Construction Management from the University of Florida.

Sasanthi Peiris, Clinical Assistant Professor of Electrical Engineering. Dr. Sasanthi Peiris received a BS in Engineering Physics in 2006 from the University of Colombo in Sri Lanka. She earned her ME in 2009 and PhD in 2014 in Electrical Engineering from City College of City University of New York.

Bailey Rankin, Clinical Assistant Professor of Nursing. Professor Rankin is a 2019 UE graduate who earned his BS in Nursing. He is currently working towards his master’s degree from Purdue University.

Sherrill Rayford, Part-time Lecturer for Education. Dr. Rayford received a Bachelor of Science degree in Education from the University of Arkansas at Little Rock, and she holds a Master of Arts in English from the University of Central Arkansas. Her EdD in Instructional Leadership was obtained from Lindenwood University.

Rebecca Salo, Consortium Instructor of Horn. Professor Salo earned a Bachelor of Science in Electrical Engineering degree with Distinction from Fryderyk Chopin University of Music while minoring in Music Theory and Mathematics. Her Master of Music in Horn Performance was earned from Purdue University in 2018. From Indiana University, she received a Master of Music in Horn Performance in 2020. She is currently working towards a Doctor of Musical Arts in Horn Performance and Literature from Eastman School of Music.

Aaron Schibik, Assistant Professor of Marketing. From USI, Professor Schibik has a BS in Economics (with Honors) which he earned in 2015 and an MBA in 2017. He successfully defended his dissertation in June 2021, at the University of North Texas for a PhD in Marketing.

Megan Taylor, Lecturer in Accounting and Career Success Coach. Professor Taylor graduated Cum Laude from USI with a BS in Accounting and Professional Services. She has been a Certified Public Accountant since 2007.

Emily Thimling, Clinical Assistant Professor of Physician Assistant Science. Professor Thimling graduated Cum Laude from DePauw University in 2013 with a Bachelor of Arts degree majoring in Biology while minoring in Psychology, and she obtained a Master of Science in Physician Assistant Studies in 2015 from Indiana State University.

Sally VanWinkle, Clinical Assistant Professor of Physician Assistant Science. Professor VanWinkle earned her Bachelor of Science in Health Sciences in 2013 and her Master of Physician Assistant Studies in 2014 both from Butler University.

Laura Watkins, Lecturer/Transition to Teaching Coordinator/Education. Dr. Watkins graduated with a BS in Elementary Education in 1996, an MA in English and American Literature in 2010, and a PhD in Curriculum and Instruction in 2018 all from Indiana State University.

Jamey Williams, Clinical Assistant Professor of Nursing. Professor Williams received an Associate degree in Nursing from USI. She also received a Bachelor of Science in Nursing and her master’s degree in Nursing education both from Western Governors University.

* Join the UE Orchestras

ue orchestra.

Students, staff, faculty, and administrators are invited to play in the University Symphony Orchestra and String Chamber Ensemble (No Audition Required!). The University Symphony Orchestra meets on Monday at 5:30 p.m. and Wednesday at 6:30 p.m. The String Chamber Ensemble meets on Thursday at 4 p.m. in the Krannert Hall of Fine Arts. Join us!

Please E-mail Chun-Ming Chen, director of orchestral activities, at for more information.

* Welcome to the Bookstore, Freshmen

We know that moving away from home can be a stressful situation, and getting your textbooks should not be part of that stress!

For that reason, the Bookstore will be open for extended hours, 8am-4:30pm, on Saturday, August 21st for freshman move-in, and Sunday, August 22nd, from 9am-1pm. On Saturday, we will have giveaways and refreshments.

If you've already ordered textbooks online and have received the second email confirming your books are ready, all you'll need to show us is your student ID for pick-up. We highly recommend you order your textbooks in advance, in order to receive the condition you prefer and alleviate long wait-times, but it is not necessary. If you haven't placed an order online, simply bring a copy of your schedule and a member of our helpful staff will pull books for you.

This is also great time for you and your parents to shop our collection of UE clothing and gifts.

We look forward to seeing you!

* Special Bookstore Hours

Special Bookstore hours for the next few weeks:

Monday, August 16th-Friday, August 20th: 9a-4p
Saturday, August 21st: 8a-4:30p (Welcome Freshmen event)
Sunday, August 22nd: 9a-1p
Monday, August 23rd-Thursday, August 26th: 9a-6p
Friday, August 27th: 9a-5p
Saturday, August 28th: 10a-2p

The Bookstore will then return to its regular operating hours beginning the week of August 30th:
Monday-Thursday: 9a-5p
Friday: 9a-4p
Saturday: 10a-2p
Sunday: CLOSED

* Order Textbooks Online and Skip the Lines

Did you know you can order your textbooks online ahead of time and skip the long in-store lines? Simply visit the bookstore online at, click on the "Textbook" header, select your courses from the dropdown menus, and the website will pull a personalized list of Required and Recommended titles!

Now if you plan on renting any books, you will need to put in a credit card to secure the rental BUT you can pay a different way! Are you an Athlete? On VA benefits? Or just need to use your Book Loan before your Financial Aid is distributed? You can do that AND rent! When it comes time to check out, make sure you follow the directions, putting in your credit card AND selecting the secondary form of payment as "Student Account". When the order comes through, the appropriate account will be charged (nothing will be charged to the credit card unless you don't bring them back at the end of the semester).

Not interested in renting? Then you don't need to put in a credit card at all if you're using a different form of payment! Have a Barnes and Noble giftcard? You can use that with us too! The only form of payment we do not accept are checks.

Please allow up to 72 hours for web order processing during the first 2 weeks of class. You will receive 2 emails: one confirming the order, the other to let you know what it is ready to pickup/has been shipped. Please wait for that second email before coming in to pick up your order. If you have decided to have your books shipped, the tracking number will be on that email.

Of course, if you don't feel comfortable ordering online, you're more than welcome to bring your schedule into the store and we will pull your books at our back counter and you can pay at the register. Remember, if you're renting, you need to have a credit card to secure the rentals, even if you're using a different form of payment.



* University of Evansville Twenty-Five and Fifty-Year Awards


Clark Kimberling – Professor of Mathematics

Congratulations to Dr. Kimberling for receiving a Fifty-Year Award for his dedicated service to UE and our students. During his tenure, he has had the advantage of witnessing countless events and associating with many who are integral to our UE history and family. Read Dr. Kimberling’s full account of his 50 years at UE.

Clark Kimberling.


Congratulations to those who were recognized at Fall Conference for their twenty-five years of service to UE.

Becky Hamilton – Director, Student Financial Services

Becky Hamilton joined UE in 1996 as the Receivable Clerk in the Office of Student Accounts, and she was promoted to several different positions within that office. In 2019, Becky successfully led the merger of the offices of Student Accounts and Financial Aid to form a consolidated and extremely high performing Student Financial Services department in which she currently serves as the director. She is also the Institutional Data Security Officer for the University.

As the Director of Student Financial Services, Becky has established a strong culture of performance and accountability along with care and concern for the welfare of each team member. She always strives to provide exceptional student service as she works with families to find ways to make the transformative UE education financially attainable. Becky has led her team through unprecedented times during COVID, with refunds, calendar adjustments, multiple rounds of HEERF grants, and much more. This work has demanded so much from Becky and her team, and the university and our students are very grateful for all the sacrifices they have made.

Over the years, Becky has served on numerous campus committees and has played a key role in major technology transitions for our student financial system. She is recognized by many across campus for her experience, insights, candor, and commitment.

Becky Hamilton.

Arlen Kaufman – Professor of Chemistry

Arlen Kaufman earned a BS degree in Chemistry from the University of Kansas and a PhD in Analytical Chemistry from Purdue University. Since arriving at UE, he has demonstrated his commitment to engaging undergraduate students in novel research. His current research students are exploring the use of ambient ionization techniques coupled with tandem mass spectrometry to increase the speed and reliability of analysis of biologically relevant molecules. His student’s efforts have been funded through internal and external sources, and their results have been presented at international conferences and published in peer reviewed journals.

Professor Kaufman has taught a variety of courses in Chemistry, Environmental Studies, and General Education. His current teaching responsibilities include Principles of Chemistry, Quantitative Analysis, Instrumental Analysis, and Chemistry Senior Seminar. Throughout his career here he has worked to get students to actively engage in learning by using research-based projects in his courses. Kaufman has received the College of Liberal Arts and Science Dean’s Teaching Award and in 2010 was voted “Best College Professor” in Evansville by the readers of Evansville Living Magazine.

Professor Kaufman is currently the G. Richard and Rita Eykamp Endowed Chair in Chemistry and the Director of the Environmental Studies Progam.

Arlen Kaufman.

Deborah Riggs – Dispatcher, Office of Public Safety

Deborah Riggs started with the Office of Safety and Security in 1983 during her freshman year as a work study student. She worked for twelve hours a week writing parking tickets. Then, her sophomore year she worked in Dispatch. She graduated from UE in 1987 and spent nine years working in Day Care which was her field of study. When she learned there was a position open at UE, she applied. Deborah was hired by Mr. Harold Matthews, whom she had worked for when she was a student.

When she first started, they didn’t have internet access in the office. All their records were kept on word documents, and they still use some of those fiche files for license plates that are not on file today.

Deborah has worked every shift in the front office of what is now the Office of Public Safety. She prefers second shift as she is not a morning person but covers when someone is sick or on vacation. With her years of experience, she does most of the training for the new Dispatchers. Deborah is always willing to do what is needed and says that she is working a job that she loves.

Deborah Riggs.

Jeff Tilly – Assistant Professor of Athletic Training

Jeff Tilly began his career at the University of Evansville as an assistant athletic trainer in the fall of 1996. He oversaw the care of the men’s and women’s soccer programs as well as the men’s basketball team from 1996 to 2002. Jeff served as an adjunct instructor in what is now the School of Health Sciences and also instructed Athletic Training classes during that time.

In 2003, Jeff was named the undergraduate athletic training education program director and now oversees the Master of Science in Athletic Training (MSAT) program. His responsibilities include the day-to-day management of the program standards set by the Commission on Accreditation of Athletic Training Education (CAATE) and has guided both programs through five self-studies and site visits over the last eighteen years. Over the last twenty years, both the undergraduate and graduate programs have produced over 150 Athletic Trainers.

Jeff now holds the rank of Assistant Professor of Athletic Training and from 2018 he has served as the department chair of the School of Health Sciences. He holds a Master of Exercise and Sport Science from the University of Florida and Bachelor of Science in Kinesiology from Indiana University.

Jeff Tilly.

* University of Evansville Announces Berger Awards for 2021

Congratulations to the newest recipients of The Sadelle and Sydney Berger Awards for Scholarly Activity and Service which were presented at the Fall Conference. The Service Award went to Drs. Alanna Keenan and Robert Baines. The Scholarship Award was presented to Dr. Noah Gordon.

It was with great pleasure that the University of Evansville Berger Award Committee bestowed the 2021 Berger Service Award to Drs. Alanna Keenan and Robert Baines. During the unprecedented academic year of 2020-2021, Drs. Keenan and Baines served as the voices and faces of the University of Evansville faculty and represented the UE faculty with dignity, respect, and courage. With the initiation of the UE realignment process, various programs, departments, majors, and individual faculty members were faced with the possibility of termination. As a result, many UE employees, including faculty members, felt voiceless. Through their exhaustive work in the UE Faculty Senate and UE AAUP, Drs. Keenan and Baines did their utmost to ensure all individuals were treated fairly and that all UE constituents were able to voice their concerns. Drs. Keenan and Baines exhibited the courage to express the opinions of the UE faculty with the administrative audience. While many other individuals were involved in the Faculty Senate and UE AAUP, Drs. Keenan and Baines were the prominent representatives of the UE Faculty. In the past, it has not been typical to select Berger Award recipients for singular achievements but rather based on an accumulation of accomplishments over a more extended period of time. However, this past year was exceptional, and the service of Drs. Keenan and Baines reflect the values of Sadelle and Sydney Berger as shared by Charlie Berger each year as he presents the awards. Therefore, it was decided to honor Sadelle and Sydney Berger by presenting the award based on actions that more directly reflect their values.

Robert Baines.

The University of Evansville Berger Award Committee awarded the Berger Award for Scholarship to Dr. Noah Gordon. Dr. Gordon has a strong publication record and has published articles across a range of journals. His work has centered on acoustic calling in treefrogs, but he has expanded his publication research to compliment scholarly work within UE’s biology department, working on evolution and parasitism questions with Dr. Dale Edwards and other colleagues on the potential influence of parasites on range expansion in treefrogs.

During his time at UE, Dr. Gordon has integrated students into his research. He has developed a project with students in collaboration with the Gobabeb Research and Training Center in Gobabeb, Namibia to determine environmental cues that trigger male breeding activity in geckos (Ptenopus and Stenodactylylus). This work can help to better understand the roles that communication plays in the evolution of new species. Part of this work was done using a gecko robot designed and built with assistance from Newburgh, Indiana based CIHOLAS Engineering Company. The work in Namibia has allowed multiple students to develop research projects and at least six student presentations have resulted from this work.

Dr. Gordon has developed a research project associated with a course he teaches in Costa Rica. This project provides students with the opportunity to take leadership roles in tropical research. In addition, the tropical experience allows other students to participate in that type of research and engages them in ways that tie into restoration ecology questions. His work in these fields along with his research, publications, presentations, and influential research guidance with students has been exemplary.

Noah Gordon.


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