MU Today News and views especially for the MU Community


Student Research Symposium is April 26 on NM campus

Posted April 3 - Mark your calendars for the 21st Annual Student Research Symposium from 3 to 6:30 p.m. Friday, April 26 on the North Manchester campus. Started by then Dean Jo Young Switzer in 1999, the symposium is a showcase for undergraduate and graduate research across disciplines and an opportunity for students and faculty to collaborate.

Oral presentations are set for 3:30 to 4:45 p.m. in the Academic Center, with poster presentations and refreshments in the Jo Young Switzer Center from 4:45 to 5:30 p.m. The keynote presentation begins at 5:40 p.m.

2019 Giving Day sets a record

Updated April 18 - What a day! Giving Day 2019 at Manchester University included a flash mob, two giant gift box reveals, a marriage proposal -- she said YES -- so much support we were trending on Twitter – and more than 315 gifts that added up to more than $93,000 from generous members of the MU community to help support our students! Thank you! If you haven't seen the proposal, get your tissues handy.

Commencement is May 18

Posted April 10 - Manchester University Commencement ceremonies are Saturday, May 18 on the North Manchester campus, with Graduate and Professional Commencement Exercises at 10 a.m. in Cordier Auditorium and Undergraduate Commencement at 2 p.m. in the Physical Education and Recreation Center. Learn more.


Humphries leads Whitko H.S. musicians in workshop

Posted April 10 - Members of the Whitko High School band visited Manchester on April 9 and worked on their contest program with Scott Humphries, director of instrumental studies and music education. John VanPatten, Whitko band director, thanked Humphries and the MU Music Department for the workshop and the chance to establish a relationship “with this outstanding collegiate program.”


MU offers public forum about DNA and Your Medicine

Posted April 10 - Health care professionals and members of the public are invited to a forum to learn about how an individual’s genetics, their DNA, influences their response to medications. The forum is 4 p.m. Thursday, April 25, at the Fort Wayne campus. Following the forum, at 5:30 p.m., Megan Arwood, Pharm.D., from the  Pharmacotherapy and Translational Research program at the University of Florida, will present more information on individual responses to medication based on genetics. She is a leader in the field of pharmacogenomics. Learn more.

Do you #ListenFirst?

Posted April 10 - Students in Mary Lahman’s Language and Thought course are working on action plans this week – the National Week of Conversation – to develop genuine humility “because it is impossible to know everything about anything.” They are practicing language and listening behaviors to increase their ability to engage in civil discourse when contentious topics, such as race, religion, politics, gender, sexuality, and ability arise. Learn more about the #ListenFirst initiative.


MU design students create posters for “I Ask” campaign

Posted April 9 - Students in Jeff Diesburg’s Graphic Design course recently created posters for the “I Ask” campaign for Sexual Assault Awareness Month in April. Linda Wilk, director of Hands of Hope, a family services agency, asked Emily Hahn, director of MU’s CARE Initiative, if any Manchester students would help with window displays.

Diesburg, associate professor of art, turned the request into an opportunity for his students to build their graphic design skills, help a nonprofit and gain experience working with a real client – all in one project.

April VIAs feature Manchester students

Updated April 12 - The Values, Ideas and the Arts series schedule in April is packed with student speakers and includes an interactive, student-led al a carte alcohol education program. Learn about Kenny Doss and Bridging the Gap Globally, what happens when Spartans go abroad, how drinking affects you, and one graduating senior’s research about mental health. Learn more.

Dave Hicks, on faculty since 1986, retiring this spring

Posted April 1 - Dave Hicks, associate professor in the Niswander Department of Biology, is retiring after 32 years at Manchester University.

Mark Huntington, dean for natural and health sciences, said Hicks’ retirement is effective at the end of the academic year.

Hicks joined MU’s faculty in 1986 and has distinguished himself in teaching, scholarship and service. His research interests in forest community structure, the physiology and ecology of vascular plants, and the ecological significance of leaf life span, among others, have led to 17 published articles in peer-reviewed journals in addition to many other articles, abstracts, reviews and papers.

Hicks served two stints as the director of the Environmental Studies Program and chaired the department from 2011 to 2016. He has modeled a life of service, given numerous public presentations and led field trips for public school students. He also is a Fellow in the Indiana Academy of Science.

Life Sciences INdiana showcases Mundra’s cancer research

Posted April 1 - Vaibhav Mundra’s research on drug delivery for multiple myeloma is featured in the statewide Life Sciences INdiana publication. The assistant professor of pharmaceutical sciences used the $10,000 New Investigator Award from the American Association of Colleges of Pharmacy to support his research.

It is the second consecutive year that an MU faculty member has received the AACP award. Last year, Diane Calinski, assistant professor of pharmaceutical sciences and director of Manchester’s Pharmacogenomics Program, won the award for her research that focuses on the metabolism of synthetic drugs commonly referred to as “bath salts.” Learn more.

Maxcey returns to MU to talk about book

Posted March 6 - Ashleigh Maxcey, who taught psychology at Manchester for five years, is returning April 23 to offer an interactive talk based on her career advice book, From Start to Finish: A practical guide to becoming a scientist in psychology and neuroscience. Learn more.


New MU Faculty & Staff

  • Routte-Josh
  • Abby Van-Vlerah
  • Amanda Fretz
  • Emily Hahn


Manchester hosts Youth Triathlon on May 5

Posted April 12 - The Department of Exercise Science and Athletic Training, along with the College of Business, invites local children to participate in the Manchester University Youth Triathlon. Learn more.

Independence Day fireworks, celebration are set

Updated March 26 - The 18th annual Independence Day Celebration and Fireworks Display hosted by Manchester University is the evening of June 29, a Saturday. The rain date is July 4.

The North Manchester Fire Department, which transports the fireworks materials and spends hours setting up the displays, set the dates.

The University event coordinator is Cici Vanderwall. If you want to volunteer or be part of the planning process, please contact her at Planning sessions are 2 p.m. Wednesdays.

MU offers coding, LEGO®, robotics day camps

Posted April 17 - Manchester is adding Coding Day Camp to its Science Center summer camp offerings at the North Manchester campus. The popular LEGO®, robotics day camps are also returning. Learn more.

Plan ahead to reserve facilities for 2019-20

Posted March 27 - North Manchester faculty and staff are asked to plan ahead and submit their facilities reservations for the 2019-20 academic year. Reservations will be confirmed on a first-come, first-served basis and may be submitted by filling out a VEMS request form, accessible on ChetNet, or by sending an email request to Paula Finton or Alexis Young.

  • Reservations can be made at any time for future events through Conference Services.
  • Classroom and computer labs are reserved through Conference Services (after class schedules are entered into EMS prior to the start of each semester).
  • MU employees must also submit personal reservation requests through Conference Services.  All employees receive a 50 percent discount on the facility rental for personal events.

ALL events/meetings (internal and external) must be confirmed through Conference Services.

Are classes delayed or canceled?

In case of inclement weather, each campus has procedures in place:

Be safe out there!

Share your news on MU Today

Do have news to share? Send your information to When you do, you’ll tell every member of our core communications team: Dan Chudzynski, Anne Gregory, Lauren Mills, Melinda Lantz, Will Patch, Ben Smith and Loyal Vandenburg. We’ll coordinate with each other to disseminate your news in the most effective ways we can, including MU Today, social media, press releases, newsletters and Manchester magazine.

Submit your event to MU’s online calendar

If you have an event to add to the Manchester University online calendar, please click here, look for the blue SUBMIT AN EVENT button on the bottom left and fill in your information. An email then goes to a member of the communications team, who will complete the update. It’s easy! Because details for an event might change between the time it is submitted and the actual event, please send any changes to and put Calendar Change in the subject line. 


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  • Abdelmageed, Hetrick speak at IPA convention

    by Melinda Lantz | Apr 18, 2019

    Posted April 18 - Greg Hetrick, director of admissions and enrollment management for Pharmacy Programs, presented on “Enrolling and Graduating the Right Students: Challenges and Strategies in an Ever-Changing Pharmacy Landscape” at the Indiana Pharmacists Association (IPA) annual convention in Indianapolis April 12 and 13. Ahmed Abdelmageed, assistant dean of student, alumni and community engagement, also presented at the convention on “Caring for Diverse Patient Populations.” 


  • Mohan appointed to LEARN Resource Center board

    by Melinda Lantz | Apr 18, 2019

    Posted April 18 - Shekher Mohan, assistant professor of pharmaceutical sciences, has joined the board of the LEARN Resource Center. LEARN Resource Center provides before school, after school and summer programs for students in grades K-6 in underserved areas.



  • Cogley-Pifko, Grubb Selected For YLNI Planning Committee

    by Melinda Lantz | Apr 18, 2019

    Posted April 18 - Julie Cogley-Pifko, assistant director of admissions and enrollment management for Pharmacy Programs, and McKenzie Grubb, admissions counselor for Pharmacy Programs, have been selected to serve on the College Leadership Institute Planning Committee for 2019-2020 with the Young Leaders of Northeast Indiana (YLNI). Julie and McKenzie were selected in December for the 2019 YLNI Leadership Institute Class which graduated April 17. 


  • MU students participate in peace conference at ND

    by Melinda Lantz | Apr 17, 2019

    Posted April 17 - A group of Manchester University students presented a panel on migration research at the Notre Dame Student Peace Conference on March 30. The theme of this year’s conference was “Expanding Circles” and focused on inclusive peace-building. Manchester’s panel was comprised of Chris François, Kendall Brown, Kelleen Cullison and Susu Lassa. They discussed Syrian refugees in the United States versus Jordan and IDPs in Nigeria, among other topics.

  • Smithson presents at two conferences, chairs panel

    by Melinda Lantz | Apr 17, 2019

    Posted April 17 - Tara Smithson recently attended the Kentucky Foreign Languages Conference in April 11-14 in Lexington.  She chaired a panel on “Gender, Sex and Sexuality” and she presented a paper titled, “Elle se prend pour Jeanne d'Arc: Gender and Innocence in the Cases of Joan of Arc and Djamila Boupacha.”

    On May 9-12, Smithson will attend the International Medieval Congress in Kalamazoo, Mich., to present a paper titled “The Redhead and the Widow: Gender Models and Modifications in Joan of Arc's Two Trials.”


  • Mayer presents at Philosophical Association workshop

    by Melinda Lantz | Apr 17, 2019

    Posted April 17 - Seth Mayer, assistant professor of philosophy, presented research at the Indiana Philosophical Association Spring Workshop on the Philosophy of Oppression on April 13 at Ball State University.


  • There is no future that looks like the past

    by Melinda Lantz | Apr 08, 2019

    Posted April 8 - We live in a “both/and” world. We have opportunities and face challenges. We uncover possibilities and respond to problems. We anticipate and cope with rapid change. Both/and. Promise and peril.

    This is certainly true for Manchester in a time of rapid change in higher education. Some describe it as white water and most believe that it will be the new reality for us. Perpetual white water.

    For Manchester, the both/and is to find new expressions of our unchanging mission. Stay true to who we are while finding new ways to express our foundational values. While the words used to articulate our mission have changed over the years, it is, at its core, to graduate persons equipped to live transformative lives and improve the human condition.

    Manchester has always found ways to breathe life into our mission with new programs. Peace Studies after World War II, Environmental Studies in 1971 on the heels of the first Earth Day and, just a few years ago, pharmacogenomics on the forefront of precision medicine are a few examples. We’ve also stopped doing some things over the years. We no longer teach home economics and bookkeeping, for example, and while we teach German, we no longer offer a German major.

    There is no future that looks like the past. But we wouldn’t want to stay fixed in one place even if we could. If we had locked in 20 years ago, we would still be treating our LGBTQ students and colleagues as second-class members of our campus community (I was here when Manchester students held their first Gay Prom and when we began offering benefits to same sex partners).

     If we had locked in 50 years ago, we would still be encouraging our female students to enroll in a limited set of “appropriate” majors like education, bookkeeping and home economics. And, despite our progress on these issues, we still have work to do. We can’t afford to stand pat. We continue to lead, to change, to adapt.

    The future for Manchester is both/and. Both exciting and anxiety-producing. Both opportunity-filled and perilous. And we are up to the challenges – we always have been.

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