Trine emphasizing differentiation, positive restlessness, reinvention in new school year

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ANGOLA (08/20/2018) Trine University has not only had a good year, but a great decade, and is moving forward with a "state of differentiation, positive restlessness and continual reinvention," President Earl D. Brooks II, Ph.D., told faculty and staff at the university's annual kick-off celebration for employees.

"Healthy retention and incoming class numbers will continue to make for a robust main campus enrollment and residential community, and an environment focused on student engagement, retention and degree completion," Brooks said in State of the University remarks shared Aug. 14 in the T. Furth Center for Performing Arts.

Brooks praised Trine employees for demonstrating the values of the institution by contributing more than 95,000 hours of community service and more than $1.2 million to charity each year.

"Beyond the brick and mortar, students are surrounded by values rooted in this 134-year-old institution," he said. "Values are important to us. Generosity, gratitude, service and support of one another, among many other traits, are cherished here. But more importantly, they are modeled here."

He also credited the university's fundraising with much of the Trine's institutional transformation and success, noting that the current Invest in Excellence in Campaign is nearing $100 million raised, 80 percent of its $125 million goal.

"We still have work to do to get to the finish line, but fundraising has been key to our success to support our expansion without passing the burden of costs along to students through tuition," he said, noting that Trine tuition increases have been 2 percent or less each of the past five years.

In addition, he highlighted that 96 percent of Trine employees contributed to the campaign this past year, far above the national average for colleges and universities.

"It is not about how much you give, but that you feel comfortable supporting within your means and participating in the mission and vision of Trine University," he said.

The university's fundraising will shift in the upcoming years, as Trine has an increasing proportion of young alumni, with 30 percent of the alumni base graduating over the last 15 years.

"We must invest more heavily in young alumni programming and leadership development, because we have confidence that the accomplishments of this outstanding generation of alumni are crucial to furthering Trine's reputation and future leadership," he said.

The university also will continue to develop its estate planning to build the university endowment, which will provide more scholarship opportunities for low- to middle-income students and fund faculty chairs and professorships.

Institutional priorities as a whole include continuing to offer quality education programs while controlling costs, retiring the university's endowment debt within the next year or two, maximizing facility usage and efficiency, and enhancing the university's online program offerings.

"As good as we have become, we still have tremendous and unlimited opportunities," Brooks said. "We must continue to work together to see what this place really can become. I am firm in my belief that we have not yet arrived, and have truly only begun on this mission of creating one of the most special and unique environments in all of higher education."

During the kickoff program, the university also recognized employees for their years of service and welcomed new employees.

Debra Helmsing, registrar, Ira Jones, Ph.D., professor, science, and Dan Matthews, associate professor, informatics, were recognized for 35 years of service.

Michael Ferrell, ice arena manager and director of conferences and events, was recognized for 30 years of service.

Bill Maddock, associate professor in the Ketner School of Business, and Cindy Neyer, Ph.D., assistant professor, physics, were recognized for 20 years of service.

Employees recognized for 15 years of service were: Cindy Ax, director of first impressions and visit coordinator assistant; Stephen Carr, Ph.D., associate professor, electrical and computer engineering; Don Danklefsen II, head coach, women's softball; Allen Hersel, Ph.D., dean, Allen School of Engineering and Technology; Timothy Hopp, Ph.D., professor, humanities and communication; and Nicholas Wentworth, assistant director, campus operations.

Employees recognized for 10 years of service were: William Barry, Ph.D., associate professor, civil and environmental engineering; Andrea Mitofsky, Ph.D., associate professor, electrical and computer engineering; Timothy Murphy, instructor, civil and environmental engineering; Steven Nichols, campus operations/housekeeping; Rod Olson, assistant vice president, campus operations; and Sameer Sharma, Ph.D., associate professor, electrical and computer engineering.

Employees recognized for five years of service were: Judi Abney, campus safety officer; Thomas Barkimer, assistant professor, design engineering technology; Max Baumgartner, Ph.D., dean, Rinker-Ross School of Health Sciences and director of the physical therapy program; Sarah Belote, director of alumni relations; Jason Cable, director of information technology; John Cilla, help desk manager; David Colbert, executive director, international services; Beverly Coolman, senior financial aid counselor; Steven Dulaney, Ph.D., assistant professor, chemistry; Keirsten Eberts, senior director, Angola Education Center and senior director, global partnerships; Maria Gerschutz, Ph.D., chair and associate professor, biomedical engineering; Gary Greene Jr., Ph.D., associate professor, civil and environmental engineering; Kevin Hamman, information security officer; Anthony Kline, Ph.D., dean and associate professor, Franks School of Education; Lori Lange, regional academic director, Logansport Education Center; Michael O'Beirne, assistant director of campus safety; Zachary Raber, head coach, cross country and track; and Suzann Zimmerman, campus operations/housekeeping.

The university welcomed these new employees, hired within the last year: Sarah Arinsmier, campus operations/housekeeping; Matthew Austin, assistant professor, physical therapy; Lori Bailer, housekeeping/training manager; Bruce Beard, campus safety officer; Angela Berger, assistant professor, science; Maureen Bernath, director of donor relations and stewardship; Jonathan Busscher, director of golf operations/head golf professional; Gurudutt Chandrashekar, Ph.D., assistant professor, mechanical engineering; Geoffrey Chiles, director of sports broadcasting and social media; Amanda Cline, campus operations/housekeeping; Brook Creager, help desk student supervisor; Amanda Dancer, programmer analyst; Teresa Davidson, administrative assistant; Lisa Eisinger, campus operations/housekeeping; Stephanie Eldringhof, campus operations/housekeeping; Tenille Fenstermaker, lecturer, humanities and communication; Joshua Fletcher, head coach, track and field; Marissa Ford, assistant professor, mathematics and physics; Rachel Franchock, head coach, synchronized skating; Roberta Gagnon, assistant professor, design engineering technology; James Gentry, grounds; Tyler Graham, regional director of admission, Fort Wayne Education Center; Leslie Grundman, associate professor, design engineering technology; Keith Hefner, director of campus safety; Alexander Kaluzny, assistant coach, ACHA D2 men's hockey; William Knapp, campus operations/housekeeping; Crystal Knights, College of Graduate and Professional Studies regional director of admission, Angola Education Center; Brendan Ledwith, head coach, men's volleyball; Kierstyn Lhamon, campus operations/housekeeping; Lisa Maxwell-Frieden, vice president for alumni and development; Christine Mohamedali, campus operations/housekeeping; Karen Morthorst, operations assistant, Innovation One/biomedical engineering; Starr Newman, instructor, Master of Physician Assistant Studies; Steven Nicolet, director of annual giving; Christine Olding, assistant professor, humanities and communication; Denis Oster, campus safety officer; Michael Parnell, assistant coach, men's hockey; William Ralston, ice arena housekeeper/ice technician; Jennifer Royston, assistant professor, humanities and communication; Danielle Ruchgy, staff accountant; Kaleigh Schrock, youth hockey program director/assistant ice arena manager; Teena Selzer, College of Graduate and Professional Studies admission coordinator, Angola Education Center; Amanda Shafer, campus operations/housekeeping; Dusti Shaffer, campus operations/housekeeping; Sterling Smith, campus operations/housekeeping; Robert Spears, associate professor, Master of Physician Assistant Studies; Michael Staude, assistant professor, science; Daniel Thomas, grounds; Cynthia Tolson, campus operations/housekeeping; Audrey Trout, College of Graduate and Professional Studies academic service administrator, Fort Wayne Education Center; Grace Waterstradt, director of residential and commuter services; and Chantelle Wolpert, assistant professor, Master of Physician Assistant Studies.