October 1, 2014


The first month of the fall semester is past us now and it is amazing how much has been accomplished in such a short amount of time. As I reviewed all of the successes of students, faculty, and programs thus far, I realized that I would need to pare down the list to make it more concise. The task before me was difficult because so many interesting activities and events have already occurred. What I have tried to do with this newsletter is keep it informative without being overwhelming. I hope that you enjoy the issue and take away a better understanding of just how productive we all are here at Trine University.

Best regards,

John Shannon, Ph.D. Vice President for Academic Affairs


Civil engineering students James Brock, Zach Hauersperger, Michael Lopienski, and Jennifer Semock competed in the national ASCE Steel Bridge competition in Akron, Ohio in May.Trine was the only Indiana University that qualified for this prestigious national competition. Professors Barry and Tyler attended the competition to cheer on the students.

Civil engineering student Megan Brazier (studied abroad in Ireland), psychology student Padraig Murphy (studied in Australia), and chemical engineering student Shelby Frailey (also studied in Australia) shared their overseas experiences at the Trine University Freshman Convocation. They also explained how students can study and intern abroad while earning academic credit.

Heather Darrah (EE) and Devin Gingerich (CPE) joined Sean Carroll, Ph.D., at the IEEE meeting in Fort Wayne in September to hear Dr. David Liu’s presentation on Introduction to the Internet of Things.

Doctor of Physical Therapy students joined students of other health care professions to participate in inter-professional education programs as part of the Fort Wayne Area Inter-professional Consortium of Health Care Education on September 9th and 16th.

At the Health Science Student Organization event in September, students Isabel DiFranco, Allison Broucek, Todd Watkins, Kurtis Cox, Josh Schillum, Jake Turner, Shane Hendrickson, and Austin Shoemaker presented summaries of their summer internship experiences, and Allison Everetts spoke about the exercise science global health trip.

Grace Garrett and Sydney Alley are teaching CSI for the school year to Angola Middle School students in an after school program at Cahoots’ Coffee Shop.

Mechanical engineering student Chris T. Hull is studying abroad at University of Limerick in Ireland during the Fall 2014 semester.

Neil Miller, a senior Marketing and Management major, received a $1,000 Delta Mu Delta Board Award Scholarship this fall as an outstanding business student.

Mechanical engineering seniors Eric Nixon and Clint Zorger accompanied Darryl Webber, Ph.D., to the Northern Indiana American Foundry Society meeting in Columbia City, IN.

Criminal justice students Andrew O’Connor, Marc Edwards, Brittney Hampton and John Daniel along with Craig Laker assisted the Auburn Police Department’s range fundraiser “Badges, Bullets and Bullseyes” on September 13th in Auburn, Indiana.

Science education major Kelsey Pierce completed an internship for Promedica Toledo Hospital. She was the coordinator of a youth program and was responsible for hiring and monitoring 74 youth at 14 health facilities in the Toledo area, giving students hands-on health care experience.

Senior elementary education major Ryenne Rice made a trip to Malawi, Africa where she taught at two different schools. Many of the students were from area rescue units.

Exercise science students Jena Robinson, Allison Everetts, Mike Smith, Clayton Whistler, Kelsea Pixley and Rob Hoffman visited the United Nations, World Health Organization, and the International Red Cross Headquarters in Geneva, Switzerland in May 2014 as part of the Global Health Course.

This past summer Stephen Shelton (biomedical engineering) completed a short-term international study tour at Hakuoh University, our partner institution in Japan.

Mechanical engineering students Brett Steineman, Mitchel Zorger, and Neal Lammers along with Pavan Karra, Ph.D., and Kiwon Park, Ph.D., submitted a peer reviewed paper Assessment of patellar tendon reflex responses using second-order system characteristics to the Journal of Biomechanics.

Science students took a field trip to the NASA Plum Brook Natural Areas, a 3000 acre restoration project at a NASA research facility near Sandusky, OH.


Presentations and Publications

Jamie Canino, Ph.D, coauthored a paper, Best Practices Guide to CFD Education in the Undergraduate Curriculum, which has been accepted for publication in the International Journal of Aerodynamics.

Maria Gerschutz, Ph.D., Jamie Canino, Ph.D., and Pavan Karra, Ph.D., submitted an IRB proposal analyzing the Spatial Visualization Skills of Freshman ME Students. The study’s intent is to increase retention and classroom performance for students with lower spatial visualization skill sets by implementing a spatial visualization course.

Gary Greene, Ph.D., traveled to the AASHTO Subcommittee on Bridges meeting in Washington, D.C. in September to give a presentation to the T-10 committee on potential changes to the AASHTO LRFD Bridge Specification in regards to lightweight concrete.

Karen Hamilton, Ph.D., had the privilege of giving the graduation address at the Edon (OH) High School Graduation Ceremony in May.

Haseeb Kazi, Ph.D., presented Various Efficient Modes of Fostering Undergraduate Mathematics and Math Education Research at the 2014 National Conference of the Council on Undergraduate Research (CUR) in Washington D.C. in June.

Marek Kolar, Ph.D., and Jennifer Toomey, Senior Product Marketing Director from Oracle Corporation, spoke on Big Data Action Plans for Finance Professionals at a Financial Executives International meeting in Fort Wayne in September.

Kiwon Park, Ph.D., coauthored a journal article Design, Motion Planning and Control of Frozen Shoulder Rehabilitation Robot in the International Journal of Precision Engineering and Manufacturing, 15 (9), 1875-1881.

Bill Sluis, Ph.D., presented Measuring Restoration Success: Issues of Time, Sale and Metrics of Diversity at the Chicago Wilderness, Aquatic Task Force Monitoring Natural Areas Workshop sponsored by the US Army Corps of Engineers in June.

Conferences and Meetings Attended

Bill Barry, Ph.D., co-chaired two sessions at the Norwich University Residency Conference held in Northfield, Vermont in June.

Mike Blaz, Ph.D., attended a First Friday Lecture Series entitled Some Reflections on Thucydides’ The Peloponnesian War by Joseph Alulis of the University of Chicago Graham School of Continuing and Liberal and Professional Studies in August.

Kristina Brewer, MLS, and Sarah Wagner, MLS, attended the 1st Annual Great Lakes Resource Sharing Conference in Perrysburg, Ohio in June. Kristina also attended the Annual ALI Information Literacy Unconference, and Sarah also attended the 42nd Annual LOEX Conference Creative Visualization: The Art of Information Literacy held in Grand Rapids, Michigan in May.

Dr. Canino, Carroll, Gerschutz, Hersel, Karra, Rentz, Wagner, and Sharma, and Mr. Thompson attended the 2014 ASEE Annual Conference in Indianapolis in June. Trine University was widely recognized as one of the four Indiana Universities co-sponsoring the event.

Gary Greene, Ph.D., traveled to the NCAT Professor Training on hot mix asphalt and asphalt technology in Auburn, Indiana in June.

Drs. Hersel, Canino, and Mitofsky accompanied Dean Fergusson, Dean Laker and Terry Johnson to Naval Surface Warfare Center in Crane, Indiana. The Center is interested in establishing a partnership including sponsoring senior design projects at Trine.

Haseeb Kazi, Ph.D. served as a Mathematics and Computer Science division Councilor of the Council on Undergraduate Research (CUR) and attended the annual business meeting in June in Washington D.C. He also served on the CUR central Taskforce for Internationalization. Additionally, he served on the executive board of the Indiana Section of the Mathematical Association of America and attended their summer meeting at Franklin College, IN.

Ryan Overton, Ph.D., attended the Excellence in Civil Engineering Education (ExCEEd) Teaching Workshop at the United States Military Academy West Point, New York in July.

Steve Schonefeld, Ph.D., attended the Technology and its Integration in Mathematics Education (TIME 2014) International Conference this summer in Krems, Austria.

VK Sharma, Ph.D., participated in the Indiana Automotive Council meeting in July in Indianapolis. The council brought their Annual Automotive Road Show to our campus on September 30 to interview students for internships, co-ops and full time positions. He also attended the Noble County Manufacturing Meeting in August and toured Tenneco Corporation Heavy Duty Suspensions plant located in Kendallville. The plant is run by Trine ME alumnus Scott Aselage. 

Darryl Webber, Ph.D., participated in the North American Magnasoft (solidification modeling) Users Group meeting in Chicago in September.

Mathematics professor Christina Zumbrun was a part of the “Special Forces” group at the Calculus AP Reading in June in Kansas City, MO. Members of the “Special Forces” are experienced, fast, accurate readers who read alternate or overseas exams.

Special Recognition

Amy Alexander, Ed.D., Andrea Mitoksky, Ph.D., and Nanden Garg,  Ph.D., have received word that they have passed through the first round of STEM Teach grant approval process.

Bill Barge completed an invited review of five papers for the Association of Computing Machinery 15th Annual Conference on IT Education and the 3rd Annual Conference on Research in IT to be held this October in Atlanta, GA.

Mark Kays worked at Angola High School Marching Band camp the week of August 4 and at North Putnam High School Band camp the week of July 28, and He directed the Hoosier Girls State Band the week of June 23.

Bill Maddock received an award for 35 years of service from the USPTA.; He was also asked to be a member of the board for the Steuben County YMCA and accepted the invitation.

DET Professor Brian Thomas took seven students from CCH to Detroit on Sept. 6 to work with Samaritan’s Purse to clean basements that had been flooded in August. 

Joe Thompson, Professor John Eiler and Pavan Karra, Ph.D., took fourteen students from the SAE student chapter to an event in Joliet, IL.

Tim Tyler, Ph.D., worked with Patriot Engineering during the summer, and was the geotechnical engineer of record for a new building addition at IU-Bloomington, for the pavement design reconstruction of SR 44 through Franklin, Indiana, and for road improvements in Delphi, Indiana.

Mathematics professor Christina Zumbrun defended her dissertation proposal Secondary Mathematics Teachers’ Attitudes and Beliefs toward Statistics: Developing an Initial Profile on August 22, 2014, at Western Michigan University in Kalamazoo.


An ABET team of six individuals came to Trine in September for three days of on-site accreditation review of five majors in the Allen School of Engineering and Technology (ASOET). The overall outcome was excellent. The few shortcoming identified are being addressed to further improve our programs.

ASOET Annual Program Advisory Board Meeting was held in September. The information provided in the joint session was very well received. After the joint secession each department met with their advisory board separately.

To better serve our students we transitioned Biomedical Engineering from the Mechanical Engineering Department into a separate department. The Biomedical Engineering Department is now housed in the Bock Building.

Professor Conley submitted the ACBSP Quality Assurance Report. The Ketner School of Business would also like to thank Jean Deller, Ph.D., for her tireless efforts.

In July the Doctor of Physical Therapy Program was granted Candidate for Accreditation status by the Commission on Accreditation in Physical Therapy Education, and in August the first class of 32 students began classes at the new Health Sciences Education Center in Fort Wayne. In September a ribbon cutting was held to formally announce the opening of the DPT program. Honored guests included Mayor Tom Henry, Parkview CEO Mike Packnett, and several members of Trine’s Board of Trustees. Following the ribbon cutting, a white coat ceremony welcomed our DPT students into the profession of physical therapy.

Jean Deller, Ph.D., facilitated the HLC accreditation request for the MBA and the MSEM graduate programs, which were approved not only for main campus but for all campus locations and online. She also coordinated successful Higher Learning Commission (HLC) assessment visits to Columbus, Avon, and Peoria Educational Centers, and she provided an all day faculty training session for MSL, MSCJ, and DPT faculty.

FSOE Spring 2014 graduates had education positions in six states plus Indiana. Several graduates reported they were hired immediately following school interviews because of how impressed search committees were with their proof of competencies.

Dean Fergusson and Professor Linda Conley, and Marek Kolar, Ph.D., developed a new freshman survey to assess writing skills and retention issues.

Dean Fergusson and Professor Toby Swick coordinated the launch of the new MBA and MSEM programs for the Ketner School of Business.

Marek Kolar, Ph.D., and Dean Fergusson developed a new International Business undergraduate major.

The ESL Program is offering three new special topics classes to the advanced-level students: English Communication for Business Majors; English Communication for Engineering Majors; and Math Brush-up in English, which will better prepare students for success in their majors.

In September the Department of Humanities and Communication (HAC) hosted 50 students from Fremont, Hamilton and Camden-Frontier high schools for the first Trine HAC cup event. The students competed for $500 Trine scholarships in Film and Literary Studies, Current Events, The Art of Video Games, and Grammar and Vocabulary. Fremont High School was awarded the Trine HAC cup honors for the most overall points earned. Students also participated in interactive sessions to introduce them to the fields of Humanities and Communication. The event was planned and staffed by department faculty and thirteen current COM and PWES majors.


Exercise Science alumni Sean Collins and Peter Gorka spoke at the Health Science student organization event on September 10, 2014.

Jason Dafnis (COM 2014) now attending graduate school, secured an internship with Game Informer magazine (the largest gaming publication in the U.S.).

Peter Gorka (EXS, 2013) is currently working at the Olympic Training Center, Chula Vista, California as the Head Strength Coach for the USA Men’s Field Hockey program. He received the National Strength and Conditioning Association Certification and USA Olympic Lifting Certification.

Lauren Hood (EXS, 2014) was awarded a doctoral fellowship at the University of Houston for the Fall of 2014.

Matthew Smith (EXS, 2014) was awarded a full graduate assistantship to Bowling Green State University to complete his graduate education in Kinesiology.


The Ketner School of Business has three visiting Chinese Professors: Xiaoyi “Crystal” Xiong, Cong “Summer” Zhao and Weijing “Kelly” Yang from Hebei HFU. The professors are here for the fall semester, and each is teaching a bilingual Chinese/English course to Chinese students under the majors of management, marketing and finance.

Service Corp Of Retired Executives (SCORE), in conjunction with Innovation One and Julie Howenstine, Ph.D., hosted a marketing & sales workshop for students, staff, and the Steuben County community.

Jay Smitley from the Asphalt Paving Association of Indiana was an invited speaker to CE 3203, Civil Engineering Materials. 


10/4: Homecoming

10/4: 2nd Storm’s Challenge (Jimmy V Foundation 5K run)

10/4: Charlie Daniels Band will be at 7:00 p.m. in the T. Furth Center for Performing Arts

10/7: Humanities Symposia, 3:30 p.m. in Wells Theatre, Taylor Hall, Professor Dan Matthews presenting Big Stuff with Big Data: Data Mining & Visualization in the Humanities

10/7: Study Abroad Scholarship with the U.S. Department of State’s International Scholarship Program application due, contact Professor Kazi.

10/08: 4G Speed Interviewing, Witmer Clubhouse, 4:00 p.m. – 7:00 p.m. (RSVP http://tinyurl.com/4Ginterview)

10/9: Walk Into My Future– Over 2300 area students  (ages 5-9) on campus

10/13-14: Fall Break

10/15: Study Abroad Scholarship with Go Overseas application deadline, contact Professor Kazi

10/22: Mid-term grades due

10/23: Academic Advising begins

10/27: AMA Fall Speaker Event

10/27: Spring and Summer advance registration begins