University of Evansville

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Tuesday, August 25, 2015

* University of Evansville 2015 Academic Convocation, Today, August 25

UE SealPresident Thomas A. Kazee will preside over the 2015 Academic Convocation this Tuesday, August 25 at 8:50a.m. in Carson Center. The Convocation will celebrate the University’s 158th opening and the 2015-16 academic year.

Associate professor of psychology Margaret Stevenson, recipient of the 2014 United Methodist Exemplary Teacher Award given by the General Board of Higher Education and Ministry of the United Methodist Church, will address incoming students during the Convocation.

The Academic Convocation is an annual fall tradition at UE and welcomes new students to campus, awards honor to high achieving faculty, and brings the entire campus community together to celebrate the start of a new academic year.

The importance of welcoming domestic and international students to our campus is woven into the fabric of our institution in many ways. First, moving from Moores Hill, the University was received by the city of Evansville and embraced by a community that understood the value of welcoming the stranger. Second, we are a United Methodist-related institution and that church affiliation reminds us to extend a warm hand of fellowship to the other. Third, in an age where technology necessarily permeates our day-to-day operations and the online degree is touted as good enough the University of Evansville holds sacred the human connection and believes it is our social responsibility to foster distinctive, personal attention in our rituals and ceremonies.

On Tuesday, new students will be invited to stand during Convocation, shoulder-to-shoulder, while reciting the University Honor Code, representing what the University values: integrity, community, and a public hospitality that invites all students to stand together on the eve of the first day of classes. The communal reciting of the Honor Code transcends differences and unites an entire freshmen class as they stand in front of their Faculty and the University President promising to be responsible citizens of the University. Moreover, those few seconds of intentional silence just before the SVPAA leads students in their Honor Code recitation speak to the profound importance of pledging one's honor to a global community of your peers. This ritualized scene is a dramatic shift from the geopolitical shambles we view each night on cable news and should cause our students and the entire campus community to take seriously our call to live as responsible citizens in the world.

Margaret Stevenson. PhD
Stevenson has been a professor at UE since 2008, teaching courses in such areas as social psychology, research methods in psychology, and psychology and the law. She serves as advisor to many psychology majors, advising and directing some in their research projects. Stevenson is a senior thesis mentor for many students, and co-faculty advisor for two UE student groups, Psi Chi and the Psychology Club.

Stevenson was named 2015 Outstanding Teacher at the University’s 157th Commencement ceremony last May. She was honored with the Sydney and Sadelle Berger Award for Research in 2012, and the Association for Psychological Science RISE Research Award in 2011. Stevenson is a past recipient of the American Psychological Association Division 37’s Section on Child Maltreatment Early Career Award. She is a member of such professional organizations as the American Psychological Association, Society for the Psychological Study of Social Issues, and Society for Personality and Social Psychology. She serves on the editorial board for the Journal of Forensic Psychology and the International Journal of Psychological Studies.

At UE, Stevenson has been Honors Faculty Scholar in Residence, and has served on the Institutional Diversity Council, Honors Program committee, and General Education Subcommittee She has been the social sciences representative for UE Faculty Senate, as well as corresponding secretary and parliamentarian.

Stevenson earned her Ph.D. and Master of Arts in social psychology from the University of Illinois at Chicago. She received her Bachelor Science degree in psychology and her Bachelor of Science in French from Ohio State University.

For those unable to attend, the event can be watched live at:

* Prologue Scheduled Prior to Academic Convocation in Neu Chapel

For the first time this fall, new students will gather in Neu Chapel on Tuesday, August 25 at 8:10 a.m. for Prologue, which will serve as an introduction to the University's Academic Convocation. In a brief 15-minute session, students will be offered an introduction to their first University ceremony. Instead of simply wandering over to Carson Center as individuals the Class of 2019 will be led by Dr. Mark Valenzuela and escorted by the campus community in a bagpipe processional, signaling the importance of community, integration, and transitions.

During Prologue, the entering class will rehearse both University hymns in preparation for Convocation; they will be introduced to the meaning of pledging one's honor in an academic culture in the presence of their faculty; and they will learn more about the rich tradition of excellence at UE.

The campus community is invited to attend Prologue, which will begin promptly at 8:10 a.m. The procession will commence at 8:25 a.m., leaving from Neu Chapel, moving through Memorial Plaza and in front of the Ridgway University Center and finally arriving at Carson Center. Faculty, staff, and administrators are invited to sit in the Neu Chapel Gallery (upstairs in the loft) during Prologue or feel free to stand outside on campus and wave, clap, and welcome new students as they process through campus. 


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