News Room

March 2016 Spotlights

News from the College of Arts and Sciences

Staff Award: Congratulations to Marietta Wolczaka Frye (B.A., English and linguistics, ’04; M.A., ’08), director of advising in the College of Arts and Sciences, on being selected as part of Fort Wayne Business Weekly’s 8th annual Forty under 40 Awards. The annual award honors 40 individuals under the age of 40 who are making a difference on the job and in the community. Frye will be honored at an awards dinner on March 24 at the Memorial Coliseum in the new Conference Center and will be profiled in a special publication in the March 25 issue of the Greater Fort Wayne Business Weekly.

Faculty Initiative: Carl Drummond, vice chancellor for academic affairs and professor of geology, was selected to join an oversight team with representatives from Purdue-West Lafayette, IU-Bloomington, and IPFW. This oversight committee will create task forces to address the recommendations made for changing the structure of IPFW. Drummond will work alongside Debasish 'Deba' Dutta, provost of Purdue University, and John Applegate, executive vice president for university academic affairs of Indiana University.

Faculty Initiative: For the first time, student musicians from the Symphonic Wind Ensemble will represent IPFW with a performance at the world famous Carnegie Hall in New York City as part of the 2016 New York Wind Band Festival. The ensemble’s concert will feature Billy Hunter, principal trumpet of the Metropolitan Opera orchestra; our own Hamilton Tescarollo, associate professor of music and director of keyboard studies; and a world premiere work by New York composer Michael Markowski. As part of the trip, the students also will visit the Museum of Modern Art and attend a performance of “Le nozze de Figaro” (The Marriage of Figaro) at the Metropolitan Opera. Special thanks for major funding to support this trip also goes to Carl Drummond, vice chancellor of academic affairs; Eric Carl Link, dean of the College of Arts and Sciences; the Indiana-Purdue Student Government Association (IPSGA); and Chuck and Lisa Surack of Sweetwater. For more information on how to help fund this opportunity for students, some of whom are completing COAS minors and certificates, see here.


Student Success: Kelsie Gillig (senior, double major in anthropology and English & linguistics) has received unofficial word that she is one of two students accepted into the Ph.D. anthropology program at University of Texas at Austin, where she will study linguistic anthropology.

Faculty Publication: In December 2015, Richard Sutter, professor of anthropology, coauthored a chapter with Kari Zobler entitled "Tale of Two Cities: Continuity and Change following the Moche Collapse in the Jequetepeque Valley, Perú" in the edited collection, Beyond Collapse: Archaeological Perspectives on Resilience, Revitalization, and Reorganization in Complex Societies. The chapter describes the varieties of ways in which the Moche communities of Peru responded to the demise of their civilization, such as forging political alliances, expanding economic production, or adopting new religious practices. This variety of responses indicates that the impacts of political collapse on prehistoric peoples were not uniform and often provided new social and political opportunities.


Student Success: Eric Stadig, graduate student in biology, won the 2015 Hydrolab Best Student Poster Presentation award for his poster presentation “Monitoring Long Term Trends in the St Joseph River Watershed.” Stadig’s project analyzed over 13 years of data from the St. Joseph River Watershed Initiative to find trends in the water’s chemical qualities.  

Faculty in the News: Bruce Kingsbury, professor of biology, was featured in a News Sentinel article about how restoring wetlands affects wildlife. In “Restoring Wetlands Has Helped Some Local Amphibian Populations,” Kingsbury discusses a decline in the populations of several amphibian and reptile species, but also points to a recovery within restored wetlands like the Eagle Marsh Nature Preserve. Betsy Yankowiak (B.S., geology, ’03), director of preserves and programs for the Little River Wetlands Project, adds that rebuilding the wetlands has greatly restored local frog populations.

Student Presentations: Several biology graduate students presented their research at the 76th Midwest Fish and Wildlife Conference in January 2016. Taylor Lehman, advised by Professor Bruce Kingsbury (biology), showcased her work on the accuracy of GIS (geographic information systems) data in predicting habitat type for massasauga rattlesnakes. Michael Ravesi, also from Kingsbury's lab, gave a talk on the impact of timber harvesting and burned habitat on massasauga rattlesnake habitat use. Sasha Tetzlaff, IPFW alumnus (M.S. '15) and research assistant at the ERC, gave a presentation on his thesis work focusing on the influence of supplemental feedings of massasaugas in the wild. Ryan Smith, also working with Kingsbury, presented his research on the presence of birds in and near woodlots around Fort Wayne, and how an urban environment impacts species richness. Eric Stadig, advised by Associate Professor Robert Gillespie (biology), presented his studies into optimal trap designs for capturing amphipods (a scientific order of small crustaceans, of which many species are invasive) in western Lake Erie.

Student Success: Hallel Paraiso (B.S., '15) is pursuing a master’s degree in biology at IPFW, and is currently employed in a lab at the IU School of Medicine in Fort Wayne. He plans to apply for medical school in 2016.


Student Success: Graduating communication major and public policy minor Staci Kirks (B.A., ’16), who was mentored by Sarah LeBlanc, visiting instructor of communication, had a paper accepted to the Undergraduate Honors Research Conference, which is part of the Central States Communication Association annual conference. The paper, entitled “Literature Review: The Symbolic Convergence Theory,” is an in-depth examination of the symbolic convergence theory (SCT), which analyzes a group's cohesiveness and connections through different meanings that are given to systems through social interactions. Kirks wrote the paper for COM 203, Communication Theory, and it will be presented as a poster during the conference in April 2016.

Alumnus Update: Ball State Daily featured IPFW Chief Communications Officer John Kaufeld (M.A., professional communication, ’13) in the article “Ball State Alumnus, Best-Selling Author Talks Leadership.” Kaufeld spoke at Ball State University as part of their Excellence in Leadership workshop series. He encouraged students to take leadership roles and not let the fear of failure deter them.

Campus Event: On April 7th from 9 a.m. to 6 p.m., the 3rd annual Department of Communication Showcase will be held in Walb Student Union. The conference will include student presentations highlighting work in multimedia news gathering and reporting, rhetoric and public advocacy, media and culture, and interpersonal and organizational communication.  Food, give-aways, and information about majors and minors will be available.  All students, faculty, and staff are welcome!


Alumna Update: Muyun Yin (M.A., ’15) currently works as an events manager for a California-based magazine, EB5 Investors Magazine, and is responsible for communications with China.


Student Success: Sara Jackson, undergraduate English and French double major, won first prize in the 2015 Essay Contest of the American Association of Teachers of French (AATF) with her essay “French Heritage in America.” This title was also the theme for the contest itself, which drew 200 entries.


Alumnus update: Chris Zollinger (B.S., ’04) was recently named to the position of account manager for Coldwater Machine Co., covering western Ohio, northern Indiana and Illinois. Zollinger is responsible for maintaining existing customer accounts and working to develop new ones within these regions.

Faculty Presentation: Benjamin Dattilo, associate professor of geology, and Winfried Peters, associate professor of biology, will present the project “Where Have All the Young Rafinesquina Gone? Gone to Taphonomic Processes Every One (Mostly)” with two other collaborators at the 2016 Geological Society of America. The research suggests that certain depositional systems are less likely to preserve these younger organisms, and thus are likely also failing to preserve many other small organisms. Fossil records of certain shelled creatures are often largely dominated by young organisms due to their high mortality rate. Because smaller life forms often play an important ecological role, a lack of fossils from these smaller organisms can distort portrayals of the development of life on Earth.

Student Presentations: Several students will be giving presentations at the 2016 meeting of the Geological Society of America in Champaign, Illinois: Paul O'Malley, undergraduate geology major, will present “All in a Day’s Hydrogeology Field Work”; Dan Deifenbaugh, undergraduate geology major, will present “Hydrogeological Data From a Streambank Seep along the Upper Wabash River”; Ross Yeater, undergraduate geology major,  will present “Monitoring Groundwater Properties within a Wetland on the IPFW Campus”; Shelby Johnston, undergraduate Earth Space Science Education major and Geology minor, will present “As the Grains Move Down the Creek: The IPFW Case”; and Heath Hurst, undergraduate geology major, will present “Best Management Practices and Soil Water Quality: Adams County, Indiana.” Solomon Isiorho, professor of geology, mentored the students on their projects.


Faculty Presentation: Richard Weiner, professor of history, was selected to give the spring 2016 lecture in the College of Arts and Sciences's Distinguished Lecturer series. His presentation, “Scrambled Pictures: Mexico in the American Imagination,” examined US relations with and perceptions of Mexico over the last two centuries. Weiner explained that the United States has been fixated on Mexico as far back as the age of independence. While the image of Mexico has changed numerous times in the U.S. perception, the United States has consistently assumed its superiority and dominance over its southern neighbor. 

Campus Event: The IPFW History Department hosted its 8th annual Undergraduate History Conference at the Alumni Center on February 6th. Seventeen students presented their research in one of the five featured panel discussions: “CIA and the Cold War,” “Heresy and War,” “Explorations in American Culture,” “Mexico: Domestic Transformations and International Relations,” and “United States as Works in Progress.” Moderators for the event included history faculty Assistant Professor Deborah Bauer, Associate Professor Suzanne LaVere, Assistant Professor Jeffrey Malanson, Professor Richard Weiner, and Associate Professor David Schuster. Weiner worked with Ann Livschiz, associate professor of history and Honors Program director, to host the event. To learn more about the conference, visit their website.


Campus Event: The IPFW Department of Mathematical Sciences hosted the local chapter MATHCOUNTS® Competition Series on Saturday, February 13th in the Walb Classic Ballroom. Five schools brought about forty middle school Mathletes® to compete against each other to advance to the next round of the competition. For more information, see the event's press release.


Faculty Publication: Abraham Schwab, associate professor of philosophy, wrote two articles for WBOI. In the first article, “Who Should Decide When the Patient Can’t? A Few Suggestions for the Indiana Legislature,” Schwab discusses the proposed Consent to Health Care bill, which will revise the current committee-like structure of medical decision-makers for patients unable to make choices for themselves into a clearer hierarchy. However, Schwab believes this bill is too vague and does not allow for the same flexibility for naming medical decision-makers as other states. In “The Moral Conundrum about Medicare for All,” Schwab discusses Democratic presidential candidate Bernie Sanders’s plan to provide Medicare for everyone. Schwab favors universal healthcare as an idea, but recognizes the transition and ensuing system might not benefit him personally. He poses to readers the question of whether he should support his own interests or go against them to provide opportunity to others.


Faculty in the News: Andrew Downs, associate professor of political science, was quoted in two articles in the Indystar. “In Aftermath of Gay Rights Debate, Senate Leader David Long Faces Primary Challenger” discussed John Kessler’s dissatisfaction with Senator Long and his intention to challenge Long in the May primaries. Downs warns that Long should take Kessler seriously as a threat, and answered Kessler’s criticisms about Long giving in to Democrats on certain issues by remarking that leadership often involves compromise to get things done. The second article, “Road Funding Debate Creates Odd Political Alliances,” describes conflict between multiple proposed plans to fund the Department of Transportation. Republicans have put forward a plan that raises taxes to fund the program, while Democrats chose a plan that maintains current levels. These moves have drawn criticism from groups that usually support the parties, and Downs is impressed by the courage of proposing tax hikes in an election year (or at all).

Downs was also quoted in a number of articles regarding the proposed split between Indiana and Purdue Universities at IPFW. Shortly after the initial proposal, 21Alive published the article “IPFW Campus Battle: Faculty Senate Sends Rejection Report to Presidents, Board Members” about the IPFW Faculty Senate’s recommendation to reject the division. Downs said “Folks who did the report for LSA occasionally failed to look at the rest of the data even in what they presented, and we think that this [recommendation] provides the more complete picture of what's going on here on the campus.” The News Sentinel article “What's in a Name? For IPFW . . . Plenty” explains the consequences of splitting and renaming the college, including large costs for removing IPFW’s brand from the campus. Downs pointed out that everything with “IPFW” on it would need to be changed to match the new name. A second News Sentinel article, “IPFW Faculty Senate to Consider Alternatives to Dividing University,” details proposed alternatives to the division, some of which would increase IPFW’s autonomy. Downs revealed that many of the recommendations for greater autonomy were drafted last year and submitted to the working group that later voted to split IPFW. Downs spoke in the article “IPFW Faculty Board Votes to Keep Status Quo” on the resolutions passed by the IPFW Faculty Senate. The board voted to recommend maintaining the current management by Purdue and IU, and that the parent universities work to enhance IPFW as an independent university. Downs commented the Faculty Senate believes IPFW can better serve the community with its current structure.

Faculty in the News: Michael Wolf, associate professor of political science, was mentioned along with Downs in the Journal Gazette article “Direction of IPFW Changed Quickly.” The article lays out the events leading up to the proposed division of the IPFW campus. Local interests were looking for reform and dissatisfied with how little current plans would change the administration, seeing it as a stagnation of development. Downs explained that he’d still been expecting a shared governance when he received the notification in December, and Wolf offered statistics that disagreed with those used by proposers of the split.

Faculty in the News: Wolf was also quoted in articles about the 2016 primary elections. The Journal Gazette article, “6th District Sets Straw Poll in Senate Race,” focuses on how Indiana’s 6th district may predict how Indiana voters will vote in the primaries. Wolf claimed that the 6th district straw poll will be “a good indicator… of what the primary-election audience would be thinking.”  WANE NewsChannel 15 posted an article and video featuring Wolf, both of which focused on what the Iowa primary results might mean for Indiana. Wolf discussed that Indiana rarely gets the amount of attention Iowa receives because the primary elections are often decided by the time Indiana’s primaries occur. However, the state could get heavy media coverage if the elections continue to stay close.


Faculty Presentation: Augusto De Venanzi, professor of sociology, was invited by the School of Global and International Studies at Indiana University–Bloomington to participate in a panel discussion on populism in Argentina and Venezuela entitled “Turning Away from Populism? The Elections in Argentina and Venezuela.” De Venanzi believes the fall of crude oil prices in international markets has limited populist practices within these countries.