University of Evansville

AceNotes Today

Tuesday, November 20, 2018

* No parking at Lutheran Church on Wednesday, November 21

The Lutheran Church of our Redeemer will be having a large funeral event on the morning of Wednesday, November 21. They ask that the University community please refrain from parking there for the day.

* UE launches new actuarial science degree program

The Department of Mathematics at the University of Evansville has launched a new bachelor’s degree in actuarial science.  The program prepares students for a career as an actuary, a top-ranked profession offering high salaries in a low-stress environment.  In addition to specialized courses focused on actuarial science, the program includes course work in mathematics, statistics and data science, computer science, economics, finance, and accounting. Students may enroll in the program beginning in Fall 2019.

“Actuaries are experts at modeling and managing risk,” said Mark Gruenwald, PhD, professor of mathematics and director of actuarial science. “They are highly trained professionals with strong analytical skills and specialized knowledge of math, statistics, and business. Their work provides financial security for insurance companies, multinational corporations, and the government. Not surprisingly, there is a growing demand for individuals with this rare combination of talent and expertise.”

Advancement as an actuary depends on progress in completing a series of challenging exams, the first one to three of which are typically taken before graduation. The new program provides preparation for five of the 10 actuarial exams required to achieve the highest status within the profession, Fellow of the Society of Actuaries

The new program was designed in consultation with graduates of the former program and replaces the existing actuarial track within the applied mathematics program.

“We are proud of the successes of our graduates,” said David Dwyer, PhD, chair of the mathematics department. “Our alumni can be found at the highest levels of the actuarial profession in insurance companies and consulting firms across the country and even abroad. Their input was instrumental in helping us to design a first-class program to prepare our students for the changing demands of the actuarial profession. The changes to our program were so significant that we created an entirely new degree dedicated to actuarial science.”

The new actuarial program adds an advanced course in long-term actuarial modeling along with three new required classes in data science.

“Our alumni tell us that actuaries are increasingly exploiting cutting-edge techniques from the field of data science. One example is machine learning, a form of artificial intelligence,” said Gruenwald. “A few years ago, we established one of the few undergraduate programs in data science. Now we can leverage our data science courses to better serve our actuarial students. In fact, we will encourage all actuarial science majors to complete a minor in statistics and data science, and we anticipate that some will choose to complete a double major in actuarial science and statistics and data science.”

The new program provides course work that exceeds the stated requirements of the Society of Actuaries (SOA) for achieving Advanced Curriculum status.

For more information, to enroll in the actuarial or statistics and data science programs at UE, or to arrange a personal visit with professors Dwyer or Gruenwald, contact the Office of Admission at 833-BeAnAce or email


What's Happening Today

* Nursing Students Research Poster Symposium today

The Junior Nursing Students Research Poster Symposium is planned for today - Tuesday, November 20 – from 1:30 to 2:30 p.m. in Eykamp Hall, Room 252, Ridgway University Center.

Submitted by Angie Wooten


Upcoming Events

* BSU presents: "From Now You See Me to Now What?"

The Black Student Union (BSU) will be continuing our discussion on inclusion on campus started by last year's "Now You See Me." We interviewed around 100 students and asked them when they felt included on campus in order to provide ways to help campus be inclusive from the student perspective. Please come out to the atrium in the Schroeder School of Business Building on Tuesday, November 27 from 6:00-8:00 p.m. to help BSU foster a more inclusive campus for all students through an interactive discussion.

Submitted by DaLisa McCallum

* 1st Annual UE Student Research and Honors Symposium

The 1st Annual UE Student Research and Honors Symposium is scheduled for April 3 from 10:00 a.m.-4:00 p.m. The event showcases the scholarly activities of students of diverse disciplines across UE’s campus, including the graduating seniors of UE’s Honors Program. Students are invited to apply to participate by submitting an abstract for their papers, posters, and other exhibits. Those students who graduate in December are also welcome to participate. More details and information on how to submit your abstract will follow soon.

Submitted by Johnna Denning-Smith

* Hacienda Giveback for PT Club all day on Monday, Nov. 26!

Get out and support UE's PT Club by going to the Hacienda on Green River Road on November 26! You must present a hard copy of this flyer so that your contribution can go towards the fundraiser.

Submitted by McKenzie Hayes

* Debbie Kassenbrock Retirement Party

Please join us in celebrating Debbie Kassenbrock's 25 years of service to UE and our students! The event is planned for November 30 from 3:00-5:00 p.m. in the Melvin Peterson Gallery.

For questions, contact Stacey Shanks at ext. 2606.

Submitted by Stacey Shanks

* Holiday Arts and Craft Sale!

The University of Evansville Department of Art and the University of Evansville Friends of Art are pleased to announce their Holiday Art and Craft Sale. The sale will be held in the Melvin Peterson Gallery on Thursday, November 29 from 9:00 a.m.-7:00 p.m. This a perfect opportunity to find unusual holiday gifts made by local artists, crafts people and our very own UE Family! Friends of Art volunteers and gallery staff will be on site to handle the sales.

Department of Art Holiday Art and Craft Sale

Submitted by Brooksie Smith


Info You Should Know

* CANCELLED: Tuesday Night Recharge Mass

The Catholic Mass planned for today - Tuesday, November 20 - has been CANCELLED!

Submitted by Michaela Kunkler

* Yoga still on in Fitness Center today

Yoga is on today as we head into Thanksgiving break! If your busy schedule typically keeps you from yoga class, join today to kick off your break with some hard-earned self-care. Class is at 5:00 p.m. in the Student Fitness Center.

Submitted by Megan Sicard 

* Last call for official transcripts!

Any current student needing their official transcript must submit an order no later than 5:00 p.m. on Thursday, December 6. Orders placed after 5:00 p.m. will not be processed until after grades are “official.”

Orders must be placed through

If you have questions, please contact the registrar’s office for assistance.

Submitted by Teresa Haller

* Graves Hall Tree Decorations for Children

Please consider donating new gloves, mittens, socks, hats, or scarves for community children grades K-12 this season. These items can be placed on the tree in the Graves Hall lobby from now until December 14. The Center for Family, School and Community Partnerships will then distribute them to EVSC schools. Thank you.

Submitted by Karen Doss 

* Attention employees: Payroll for Thanksgiving Holiday - pay date is Nov. 30

With the Thanksgiving holiday just around the corner, it is important to enter your work hours into Web Advisor by Saturday night at midnight, November 24. Supervisors will have until noon on Monday, November 26 to approve all time cards. If you have any questions, please contact Gloria Spencer at ext. 2159 or email

* Times Higher Education Survey of US College Students

Each year the Wall Street Journal and the Times Higher Education of London (THE) conduct a survey of student engagement at colleges and universities around the world. Results from the survey are trusted by governments and universities to help identify areas of success and areas that need improvement in teaching and learning.

Undergraduate students over 18 years old at UE are invited to complete the Times Higher Education U.S. Student Survey and enter to win one of four $5,000 cash prizes, courtesy of THE. The answers students give on this survey are anonymous, and participation is completely voluntary. The University of Evansville will not have access to your identity but we will get a summary of student responses which will be helpful as we examine ways to make the student experience even better.

Thanks in advance for taking ten minutes to complete this short survey. The survey is now open. Click on the link to begin the survey:

* Fitness Center Thanksgiving Week Hours

The Fitness Center will be open on Thanksgiving week:

  • Monday and Tuesday, November 19 and 20: 6:30 a.m.-10:00 p.m.
  • Wednesday, November 22: 8:00 a.m.-noon
  • Thursday through Sunday, November 22-25: Closed

Submitted by Lori Adams

* Participate in Adopt-a-Family!

UE has partnered with Aurora to give back to families in need with the Adopt-a-Family event. You can sign up as a group or as an individual. There are individuals and families still left to be sponsored. Families consist anywhere between 2-5 people. Each individual asks for 3 items with prices generally ranging from $20-$60 dollars total. Some items may cost over $60 and others may be well under $20. The deadline to sign up is November 26. There are only a small number of families who still need to be adopted, so if you want to participate you need to sign up fast! To sign up or for more information, you can email Karyssa Vasquez at This is a great cause and a good way to help give back to the community!

* Honorary Degree Committee welcomes your suggestions

The Honorary Degree Committee looks forward to receiving your recommendations for honorary degrees to be conferred at the May 2019 Commencement. We need your help in selecting accomplished individuals to receive one of our university’s highest honors. Nominations may be made on the basis of individual service to the University or individual achievement that exemplifies the University’s mission. Recently selected persons have excelled in a variety of areas - law, medicine, education, business, literature, politics, and entertainment. The committee will forward nominations to President Pietruszkiewicz so he can make his recommendations to the faculty for their approval. Please email the following information to Robert Dion, committee chairperson, at, by Monday, November 26: Your name, the name of your nominee, the rationale for your nomination, biographical information on the nominee, and contact information for the nominee. Thank you in advance for your ideas.

Submitted by Robert Dion

* No Catholic Mass this week

There will be no Catholic Mass on Campus this Sunday due to Thanksgiving Break. 

Submitted by Sam Wallisch

* Winter Intersession financial aid

If you are seeking financial aid to help pay for Winter Intersession courses at UE, please submit the Winter Intersession Application to the Office of Financial Aid by November 21. Our office will help you examine your options for aid, which in most cases is limited to loans.

Submitted by Amy Sowders



* Ebeling presents at conferences

Associate professor of archaeology Jennie Ebeling presented at the annual meetings of the American Schools of Oriental Research and the Society of Biblical Literature and for the Biblical Archaeology Society's Bible and Archaeology Fest in Denver the past week. For ASOR, she co-authored a paper on the basalt artifact industry at Jezreel with Jezreel field director Ian Cipin, presented "Circles on Plans: New Insights into Iron Age Ovens" in a session honoring a colleague at Emory University, and presented a poster on her analysis of stone artifacts from Hazor with colleagues from the University of Haifa, Israel. For SBL, she was invited to present in the session "Women's Economic Roles in the Biblical World" and for BAS she gave a popular lecture on the history of women in biblical archaeology.

* Maass presents research at ISA-Midwest

Richard Maass, assistant professor of political science, presented research from his forthcoming book, Annexation: How Democracy and Xenophobia Limited U.S. Territorial Expansion, at the annual conference of the International Studies Association-Midwest this past Friday in St. Louis. 



* Marcus Henderson signs with UE men's basketball

University of Evansville head men’s basketball coach Walter McCarty has announced the signing of Marcus Henderson to a National Letter of Intent to play for the Purple Aces starting in 2019.

Henderson is a 6-2 guard from Charlotte, N.C., who attends United Faith Christian Academy.

“Marcus is a natural leader who will shoot the ball very well for us.  Every shot he takes looks like it is going in,” McCarty said. “He really knows how to play the game; he can process it and really has a good understanding of how to play basketball the right way. He can play point guard, pass it, play off the ball, he is just a good all-around basketball player with a high IQ.”

Last season, Henderson played for Statesville Christian High where he averaged 12.5 points, 4.3 rebounds, 6.1 assists and 2.2 steals per contest. He helped his team to a 27-6 record.

“We are looking forward to getting him here with our guys, he fits in very well with what we do. I think he is a college-ready player right now.  He can step in and play both guard positions,” McCarty explained. “He has an understanding of how to use his skills to take advantage of defenders. Marcus is incredible for a kid so young. He will fit right in and fight for minutes.”

Henderson will be a true freshman for the Aces next season.

* Alondra Vazquez named MVC Freshman of the Week

Fresh off of her best weekend of the season, University of Evansville volleyball player Alondra Vazquez was named the Missouri Valley Conference Freshman of the Week in an announcement by the league on Monday.

Vazquez had an excellent weekend as the Purple Aces made history with their second-ever win over UNI. In Friday’s win over the Panthers, Vazquez recorded 25 kills and 25 digs, both career highs. She added two aces, two block assists and an assists. In the efficient effort, she hit .279 in the 5-set win. 

Evansville took Drake to five sets on Saturday and Vazquez added 14 more kills and 19 assists. She notched two block assists and one solo block. For the weekend, Vazquez led UE in kills and digs with 3.90 and 4.40, respectively.

In her first season at UE, Vazquez completed the year with 3.08 digs per set, which ranked second on the team. On the offensive side, she ranked third for the Aces with 2.56 kills per game. She had a total of 21 service aces, 18 blocks and 19 assists in 2018.

* Aces Volleyball announces signing class

University of Evansville head volleyball coach Manolo Concepcion has announced the signing of four student-athletes to National Letters of Intent to play for the Purple Aces next season.

“I am extremely excited about this class. This level of talent would have not been possible to bring to our program, if it wasn’t for the program culture that the current seniors have left behind, which we are perennially grateful for,” Concepcion said.  “It is probably one of the best classes that we have ever brought to UE. They are not just good players that will impact the program right away, but they also share traits of dynamism, speed, and power.”

“A hard working group of future student-athletes that fit our immediate and long term needs tremendously, because of their ability to learn, adapt, and progress on and off the court. And for us, that is probably the skill that we are considering the most, when recruiting future Purple Aces. It is also thrilling to also know that we are not done with the incoming class yet, as we project more additions soon.”

Melanie Feliciano – Ponce, Puerto Rico – Outside Hitter

A volleyball and track/field star at Colegio Sagrado Corazon in her native Puerto Rico, Melanie Feliciano has received numerous accolades in both sports. She was named the MVP in 14 volleyball tournaments in her high school career, which lasted from 2014 through 2018. She was also a 4-time champion in track and field.

Feliciano was her varsity team captain as a senior and added to her honors by being named a Jeep Volleyball Championship All-Star, Power League Volleyball Tournament All-Star, High School Tournament All-Star and National Honor Society Volleyball Tournament MVP. On a national level, she took part in the U20 Women’s Pan-American Cup.

Coach Concepcion on Feliciano: “Incredibly athletic, dynamic player that will have an immediate impact in our offensive numbers. One of those athletes that plays a lot higher than her height, because of her explosiveness, speed, and power A hard worker on and off the court, and just like Mildrelis, a quiet leader that is capable of impacting her teammates immensely with her consistency and reliability. We project her as someone that can become one of the top scorers in the conference.”

Chloe Bontrager – Syracuse, Ind. – Outside Hitter/Right Side

Chloe Bontrager was a 3-year varsity volleyball player at Fairfield High School and performed exceptionally well, being named a Second Team All-State player in 2017 and 2018.  She was also a 2-time All-Conference NECC athlete. The 2018 Most Valuable Player on her squad was named the Best Offensive Player in 2017 while garnering a spot on the 2017 Shondell Family Invite All-Tournament Team.

Bontrager was a 2-sport athlete who was a 3-time All-Conference track athlete. Her other track honors include being a 3-time Regional Qualifier and 3-time Indoor All-State honoree. She was a State Qualifier in 2017 while winning the Freshman Award in 2016. Bontrager holds her high school’s long jump record.

Coach Concepcion on Bontrager: “When we first saw and evaluated Chloe a couple of years ago, we saw raw potential with the ability to become something special, and that is what she is today. Chloe is also a sensational athlete in the sport of Track and Field, recognized as one of the best in the state for her events. So she brings a background of advanced motor skills and physical stability. I am excited about her capability of playing all three offensive positions.”

Laura Ruiz – Cayey, Puerto Rico - DS/Libero

Laura Ruiz brings a long volleyball pedigree to the Aces program. Ruiz has been her varsity starter for multiple seasons at Colegio Radians and served as the team captain in 2018. The MVP award winner in her school’s tournament has competed at the national level.

She helped her team win the Junior National Volleyball Championship in 2015. Off the court, Ruiz was a 4-time Honor Roll student while being a member of the National Honor Society for the last three seasons.

Coach Concepcion on Ruiz: “It is not a secret that serving is one of the main aspects that we emphasize in our program, and she will be an incredible asset in this area, with her ability to top spin and jump float at a high speed. Laura is someone that we are looking into developing as a Defensive Specialist and Libero positions, where because of her height (she has played Outside Hitter all throughout her career), will add a different dimension in terms of range, which will combine with her advanced reading skills and mental toughness.”

Hannah Watkins – Henderson, Ky. – Middle

A native of nearby Henderson, Kentucky, Hannah Watkins is one of the top players in the region. A 2018 Second Team All-State player, Watkins was the Region 2 Player of the Year. In 2017, she was an All-State Honorable Mention while being named the Best Defensive Player on her squad. Watkins is a 5-year varsity starter and has been named an Academic All-State performer in each of those seasons. 

The 3-time All-District Team member has been named to the All-Region Team and the All-Region Tournament Team in each of the last two seasons. In track and field, she finished 7th in the state pole vault in 2016 along with earning top five finishes in the 4x100 relay, the 100M dash and 4x200 relay. Watkins also earned a varsity letter in tennis in 2017.

Coach Concepcion on Watkins: “She is a local sensation. A multifaceted person that impacted not just her high school and club, but also the community in general. She understands and already plays under the same principles and systems that we use here at UE, so her transition will probably be the easiest one from all the incomers. She is an offensive middle that compensates her size with her reading skills, lower body power, and incredible dynamic movements.”


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