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Notes of Distinction: News from around IU Northwest

Recent awards, accolades and more from Indiana University Northwest faculty and staff

Apr 29, 2024

A graphic with a red trident that says Notes of Distinction. Marketing and Advertising Awards

The Office of Marketing and Communications won three awards from Collegiate Advertising, an elite national program honoring excellence in higher education marketing and advertising. The team’s awards were for the following projects: IU Day 2023 t-shirt design (bronze award); 2023 Juneteenth Banner (silver award); and a feature story on CURE’s involvement with Senate Bill 157 (silver award).

2023-24 Faculty and Academic Awards

  • Distinguished Research/Creative Activity Award: Jonathyne Briggs, Professor of History
  • Distinguished Service Award: Monica Solinas-Saunders, Associate Professor of Criminal Justice
  • Founder’s Day Teaching Award: Eunjoo Kim, Assistant Professor of Education
  • Academic Advisor Award: Candace Clark, Academic Advisor, Student Advising Center
  • Trustees’ Teaching Awards: Nicole Anslover, Associate Professor of History; Vesna Balac, Assistant Professor of Radiologic Sciences; Natasha Brown, Associate Professor of Communication; Jokima Hiller, Assistant Professor of Business; Margaret Pollak, Assistant Professor of Anthropology; Sharon Pratt, Associate Professor of Education; and Cecilia Villarruel, Assistant Professor of English

2023-24 Outstanding Staff Excellence Awards

  • Outstanding Staff Customer Service Excellence Award: Patty Woosley, Human Resources Payroll
  • Outstanding Staff Pride Excellence Award: Pam King, Facilities Services
  • Distinguished Employee of the Year Excellence Award: TerryAnn Defenser, University Advancement and External Affairs and Juan Casas, Student Support Services

2024-25 Sabbatical Leaves

Congratulations to the following faculty who will be on sabbatical during the upcoming academic year. Their plans are as follows:

Olatunde Abiona, Associate Professor of Computer Information Systems

  • Learn the development and teaching of high-performance computing deployment using Linux Clusters.
  • Spend time at the International Center for Theoretical Physics in Trieste, Italy, to attend workshops and participate in activities related to high-performance computing, wireless communication security, microprocessor systems and other related activities.
  • Participate in the development and design of high-performance data centers using a supercomputer to process data.

Natasha Brown, Associate Professor of Communication Arts

  • Work on a research project tentatively titled “Black women, social support and body image.” Black women are identified as a group at risk for poorer health outcomes when compared to other women. Collect data from at least 2,500 self-identified Black women regarding their experiences regarding social support and feelings regarding their body and body image.
  • Learn how perceived levels of social support are related to how a woman accepts (or rejects) her body, as well as how often the individual engages in health-promoting activities.

Chae Young Chang, Associate Professor in the School of Public and Environmental Affairs

  • Investigate the evolving perceptions of political efficacy and their subsequent effects on various modes and levels of political engagement through “Shifting Tide: Exploring the Political Polarization, Graphic Transformations and Their Impact in South Korea.”
  • Establish a clear distinction between two key dimensions of political efficacy: internal and external efficacy in South Korea.

Jeremiah Hulsebos-Spofford, Associate Professor of Fine Arts

  • Continue the body of work and research titled “Floating Monuments” by building new frameworks for public art, challenging conventional formats of production, representation and presentation.
  • Work on two new collaborative works in the Floating Monument series that relate to underrepresented historical figures, lost architectures and content. Curate continued “pop-up” events that align with work already happening in communities currently engaged.

Jie Wang, Associate Professor of Computer Information Systems

  • Develop innovative learning techniques to overcome a longstanding obstacle in machine learning, the vital importance of annotated data in predictive model training.
  • Work on a software development project for improving teaching effectiveness and enhancing student performance on an individual basis.

Publishing Accolades

Congrats to Erin Argyilan, Kris Huysken and Robert Votaw for their work that was published in the March issue of the Journal of Scholarship of Teaching and Learning. Their work is entitled, “Deconstructing a Geology Field Trip to Reconstruct Around a Pedagogical Framework: A Case Study on the Integration of Cognitive Learning Theories and Learning Progressions.”

Read case study here

Iztok Hozo, Professor of Mathematics, published a book with Springer during the last academic year, Threshold Decision-making in Clinical Medicine With Practical Application to Hematology and Oncology. He also published seven peer-reviewed articles in 2023-24.

View here

Keynote Speaker

Anja Matwijkiw, Professor of Professional Ethics and Human Rights, was welcomed as a keynote speaker at the Jean Monnet EU-GLOBACT inaugural conference held in Italy. Her presentation was entitled, “Value Test of ‘Global Europe’ in the Context of United Nations Law.”

We celebrate the accomplishments of our colleagues. If you have good news to share, please let us know. Contact the Office of Marketing and Communications at

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