Message from the VPAA

Faculty members at any university have three main responsibilities: teaching, service, and scholarship. At Trine University we value all three but the priority of our faculty is clearly on providing students with the best instruction possible. To that end, they are interactive in the classroom, highly accessible outside it, and caring about students’ learning at all times.  At the same time, our faculty members are motivated to develop professionally. In this issue of the Academic Affairs Newsletter, we look back at a sample of the professional accomplishments of our faculty in 2013-14.

John Shannon, Ph.D.

Vice President for Academic Affairs

Trine University



Trine faculty gave presentations at a wide variety of national conferences. For example, Amy Alexander and Karen Hamilton presented at the National Conference of the Association of Teacher Educators in St. Louis, Tim Carver at the National Security Agency Symposium on Crytologic History in Washington DC, Erica Hutton at the American Society of Criminology Conference in Atlanta, Dan Matthews at the Cengage Computing Conference in Nashville, and Kiwon Park at the American Society of Biomechanics in Omaha. Furthermore, the following faculty participated in panel discussions at national meetings: Cheryl Skiba-Jones at the Central States Communication Association Meeting in Minneapolis, Scott Fergusson at the Open Governance and Privacy Conference in the Twin Cities Minnesota area, and David Colbert and John Shannon at the TESOL Convention in Portland, OR.

Trine faculty also gave numerous presentations regionally. For example, the following faculty members presented at conferences in Indianapolis: Steve Dulaney at the American Chemical Society Meeting, Anthony Kline  at the Indiana Association Conference for the Education of Young Children, Bill Maddock at the IAHPERD Conference, and Alison Witte at the Conference on College Composition and Communication. In addition, Sarah Young and Amy Nicholls, among others, presented at the Fort Wayne Teaching Conference. Also, Feng Tian presented a paper and Haseeb Kazi served on a plenary discussion panel at the Indiana section meeting of the Mathematical Association of America in Evansville.

In addition to the national and regional presentations cited above, two of our faculty members gave an international presentation. Ana Boman and Gail Lugo (via Skype) presented at the Colloquium on Research in Foreign Languages in Vera Cruz, Mexico. Thus, our faculty were actively involved in professional conferences through presentations given regionally, nationally, and internationally.

Trine University also encourages professors to attend professional events, meetings, and conferences in order to continue their own professional development. A sampling of their professional attendance this past year includes the following: AJ Alnaser, Steven Schonefeld, and Feng Tian attended the MAA Indiana Section Meeting in Fort Wayne; Bill Barge, Jean Deller, Tony Layson, Karen Hamilton, and Nandan Garg the Independent Colleges of Indiana STEM Teach meeting in Mishawaka; and Catherine Benson, Linda Conley, and Julie Howenstine the Indiana Governor’s Conference for Women in Indianapolis. Also, Mark Kays and Ashlee Bickley McRory attended the Indiana Music Education Professional Development Conference in Fort Wayne, Ryan Overton the 100th Annual Purdue Road School in West Lafayette, Hope Sheets the ACS Division of Chemical Health & Safety workshop in Indianapolis, and Tom Trusty the Illinois/Indiana ASEE section board meeting in Terre Haute.

On the national level, Bill Barry attended the ASCE National Department Heads Conference in Norman, OK; Linda Conley and Jean Deller the ACBSP Region 4 Conference in Canton, OH; and Jean Deller, Barbara Molargik Fitch, John Shannon, and Sarah Young the Higher Learning Commission Annual Conference in Chicago. Gary Greene attended the American Concrete Institute Convention in Reno, Nevada; Marek Kolar the Council of Independent Colleges Department and Division Chair Workshop in Charlotte, NC; and Gail Lugo and Graham Reeves the TESOL Convention in Portland, OR. John Wagner attended the Development of the Fundamentals of Engineering Examination Meeting in Clemson, SC, Don Jones the Central States Communication Association meeting in Minneapolis, and Tony Layson the American Chemical Society meeting in New Orleans. Finally, Barbara Molargik-Fitch attended the American Society of Criminology Conference in Atlanta, VK Sharma the ABET Annual Symposium in Pittsburgh, and Tim Tyler the annual Ohio River Valley Soils Seminar in Louisville.

We also had faculty participating in conferences on the international level. To that end, Eric Tompos attended the ASTM meeting in Quebec City, Quebec and John Shannon attended the Iraq University Fair sponsored by Education USA in Baghdad, Iraq.

Other significant accomplishments of our faculty this past year include the following: Darryl Webber was recognized by the American Foundry Society and Foundry Educational Foundation as a Distinguished Professor and Outstanding Foundry Education Foundation Professor, Amy Alexander successfully completed her doctoral program at the University of West Georgia, and Catherine Benson received an additional PGA certification in player development.

In addition, Kevin Molyet reviewed a paper for the Journal of Intelligent Material Systems and Structures, Mark Helmke published an article in The Journal Gazette, and Pavan Karra and Andrea Mitofsky judged the State First Lego League competition in Fort Wayne. Craig Laker and the American Criminal Justice Association hosted the Region 2 Skills USA Crime Scene Investigation and Criminal Justice competition for area high school students, Christina Zumbrun graded calculus exams at the AP Reading in Kansas City, MO, and Haseeb Kazi visited select educational institutions in Pakistan to explore their interest in possible exchange and collaboration.

Furthermore, Jamie Canino participated in research at Purdue University on a modeling effort for the Missile Defense Agency, and Tim Carver worked with the Madison, Wisconsin police department and the Cape Cod, Massachusetts Computer Crime Unit on investigations involving Bitcoin, TOR, and The Silk Road. Erica Hutton conducted a national research study on child dismemberment patterns to establish profiling typologies for investigative purposes, and Tim Jenkins participated an American Society of Engineering Education program funded by the National Science Foundation.

Lastly, Scott Fergusson received a United States patent for Homeland Security Database Lookup, Lucy Matthews successfully defended her dissertation proposal for a doctoral degree in marketing at Kennesaw State University, Sameer Sharma received a grant of a DE0 Nano Board from Altera Inc. for student design projects, and Tom Trusty was named the 2014 Outstanding Campus Representative for the Illinois/Indiana section of ASEE.

The Trine University faculty were extremely productive this past year and we look forward to their continued development as expert educators going forward.