University of Evansville

AceNotes Today

Wednesday, May 11, 2016

* Kevin Gray named Outstanding Teacher of the Year at UE Commencement

Kevin Gray, associate professor of sociology in the Department of Law, Politics, and Society at the University of Evansville, was named the 2016 Outstanding Teacher at the University during UE’s 158th Commencement Exercises.

UE alumni value the exceptional education they received here. To encourage continued excellence, the Alumni Association sponsors this award honoring distinguished service in teaching.

Gray came to UE in 2005. He earned his undergraduate degree from Spring Hill College in sociology, his MS in criminal justice from the University of Alabama, and his PhD in criminal justice from Michigan State University.

He maintains academically rigorous classes and continually updates his courses. Gray serves as advisor to all criminal justice majors and supervises internships for criminal justice and sociology majors. As a member of the campus community, Gray serves as chair of the University’s admissions and standards committee. 

Gray was nominated for the Outstanding Teacher of the Year award not only by students but also alumni, faculty members and administrators. Those nominating him described him as a brilliant and witty teacher who has a genuine interest in his students. His teaching style was described as both entertaining and challenging.

Gray is a dedicated professor and a collegial department member,” said Robert Dion, chair of UE’s Department of Law, Politics, and Society. “He is a strong representative to the broader Evansville community.”

* UE announces Outstanding Senior Awards at Commencement

Emily R. Denne, a psychology major from Zionsville, Indiana, and Alex Schmidt, a physics and Spanish major from Jasper, Indiana, were named the University of Evansville’s Outstanding Seniors during UE's Commencement at the Ford Center.

The Mabel Dillingham Nenneker and Guthrie May Outstanding Senior Service Awards are the highest honors the University presents to one female and one male senior. They are named for two of the University’s most respected alumni, Mabel Dillingham Nenneker and Guthrie May.

Denne was the recipient of the Mabel Dillingham Nenneker Outstanding Senior Service Award. She graduated with a Bachelor of Science degree in psychology with a minor in studio art.

Denne is a member of the American Psychology-Law Society, the Association for Psychological Science, the Society for Personality and Social Psychology, and the Indiana Academy of Social Sciences. She was president of her sorority during her senior year and received the Chi Omega Senior Academic Excellence Award for the highest GPA and the Ethel Switzer Howard Award for high character. In addition she was the first place presenter at the UE Humanities Night Internship Showcase.

Denne received grants from UE to support her undergraduate research, including the UExplore Undergraduate Fall Research; Arts, Research and Teaching Grant; the Alumni Research and Scholarly Activity Fellowship Grant; and an Undergraduate Spring Research Grant. 

While a student at UE, she has attended many professional conferences and presented research, and has published articles and contributed to chapters in psychology books. Denne has been involved with volunteering at Morning Dove Therapeutic Horse Riding Barn and College Mentors for Kids. 

Next year, Denne plans to attend Trinity College in Dublin, Ireland, and earn a doctorate in child development and social policy. 

The Guthrie May Award was presented to Schmidt. He graduated with a Bachelor of Science degrees in Spanish and physics with a minor in mathematics.

While at UE, Schmidt has been involved in the UE Community Garden and served as vice president of outreach and community service for the Honors Activities Board. He was a co-founder of Honors Ace Mentors, vice president of the Spanish Club, president of the Venturing Crew, and academic committee chair of the Student Government Association. Schmidt was president of the Powell Hall Council when it was recognized as the Hall Council of the Year, and was recognized as Hall Council President of the Year. 

In addition to his UE academic aid, Schmidt received financial support from the Indiana Space Grant Consortium, the National Society for Collegiate Scholars, and the Society of Physics Students.

After graduation, he hopes to work with alternative energy programs in Southwestern Indiana before pursuing graduate school.


Upcoming Events

* Summer health screenings

Employee health screenings will be held June 7-9 from 7:00–11:00 a.m. in UE Medical Clinic. Employees who are enrolled in the HRA Insurance Plan are eligible to attend and receive HRA credits.

Employees can only schedule their appointments for the health screenings on AceLink. An employee can schedule up to two appointments (employee and spouse) when they sign in to AceLink.

An 8-hour fast is required, and a 12-hour fast is recommended because triglycerides are included with the blood fat/cholesterol testing. Hydration is important when fasting. Water and black coffee are allowed prior to testing.


Info You Should Know

* Sign up for Dragon Boat Race

The eleventh annual Midwest Dragon Boat Race will be held on Saturday, June 4, at Deaconess Sports Park Lake. Join the UE team! No skills necessary and anyone can participate. Lunch and a team shirt will be provided. Contact for more information or to sign up. 

* Copies of the 2015 LinC still available

Extra copies of the 2015 LinC are still available to those who would like a copy. Just stop by Student Publications on the second floor of Ridgway University Center and pick up a copy from the box located outside the door. 

* Thursday afternoon golf outings

The employees of the University of Evansville are again invited to play golf with other UE employees on Thursday afternoons during the summer months. The UE golf outings will start on Thursday, May 12 at 3:00 p.m. The first two weeks will be played at Thunderbolt Pass, and the following weeks will be played at Fendrich and McDonald's golf courses. You can reserve your tee time by contacting Debbie Kassenbrock in the Center for Academic Advising at by noon on the Wednesday prior to the outing.



* ARSAF Grant recipients

The Alumni Research and Scholarly Activity Fellowship awards, sponsored by the UE Alumni Association, have been determined for the upcoming fiscal year. Over $12,000 was awarded. Congratulations to the following faculty members and all best with their projects:

Mari Plikuhn, assistant professor of sociology – Alpha Scholars Abroad: First-generation College Students and Access to Study Abroad
Mark Valenzuela, associate professor of civil engineering – The Iconography of the Long Gallery at Harlaxton Manor
Todd Matteson, assistant professor of art – Reduction Firing Results in an Oxidation Kiln
Lesley Pleasant, associate professor of German – Road Films
Margaret Stevenson, associate professor of psychology, and Sveta Greer – Implications for Civil Court Judgments in Accident Cases
Richard Maass, assistant professor of political science - Annexation: Domestic Constraints on International Ambition and the U.S. Rise to Power, Book Conferences
Davies Bellamy, association professor of education – Cultural Immersion Project Cuba
Michael Slade, assistant professor of chemistry – Improving the Lightboard Enhance its IMPACT and Optimize its Flexibility

The deadline to submit ARSAF proposals in April 1 of each year for funding for the following fiscal year.

Questions? Contact


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