Savannah Hassler recognized at annual awards reception
HUNTINGTON, Ind. — Huntington University is pleased to announce that the Art Education Association of Indiana (AEAI) has awarded Savannah Hassler the 2023 Outstanding Art Education College Student award. The awards reception took place in Mooresville, Indiana, on November 3. Hassler is a senior art education major.
Other collegiate accomplishments for Hassler include serving in numerous leadership roles for HU’s National Art Education Association chapter and Kappa Pi International Art Society chapter, working as HU’s student assistant gallery director and having her college art exhibited in multiple art shows in the area.
“A call for nominations for the 2023 Outstanding College Art Education Student for the state of Indiana stated candidates for the award needed to demonstrate a commitment to excellence in art education and support the art education community. I thought of Savannah as soon as I read the criteria because she exemplifies both,” said Barb Michel, EdD, professor of art and chair of the Department of Art and Design at Huntington University.
According to its constitution, the purpose of the AEAI is “the promotion, advancement, and improvement of art education in Indiana through professional development, service, advancement of knowledge, and leadership.” More information about the AEAI is available at AEAI.org.
Music, Games, Crafts, and Fun for All Ages
HUNTINGTON, Ind. — Forester Radio and the Huntington University Department of Music are bringing the holiday cheer by hosting a Christmas carnival and concert in the Merillat Centre for the Arts on Thursday, December 7. Both events are free and open to the public.
The carnival, sponsored by Forester Radio and geared towards kids ages three and up, runs from 6:00-7:15 p.m. in the lower level of the Merillat Centre for the Arts. It features games such as a snowman ring toss and pin the nose on Rudolph. There will also be Christmas-themed crafts, winter treats and special appearances by beloved holiday characters. For more information about the carnival, visit facebook.com/ForesterRadio.
A Christmas concert by the Huntington University Symphonic Band, composed of HU students and Huntington community members, will immediately follow the carnival. The concert begins at 7:30 p.m. in Zurcher Auditorium and features a variety of holiday favorites to inspire the Christmas spirit.
Carnival and concert attendees should also leave time to check out the ongoing Forester Festival of Trees inside the upper lobby of the Merillat Centre for the Arts. The festival, which runs through December 11, features a display of over 20 lavishly decorated Christmas trees. This event is also free and open to the public and can be viewed during the hours of 9:00 a.m. to 9:00 p.m. daily. Visitors are encouraged to vote for their favorite tree.
About Forester Radio:
With over 20 years of broadcast history, Forester Radio is a community-focused station that serves as a live classroom for students at Huntington University. The station plays Christian rock and alternative hits from the 1980s through today, featuring artists like DC Talk, Switchfoot, Disciple, Anberlin and Superchick. Forester Radio broadcasts on 105.5 FM in the Huntington, Indiana, area and worldwide at ForesterRadio.com or via the TuneIn Radio app.
Dr. Tim Smith examines mid-20th-century British military officers’ diplomacy and business interests in “Vacation Diplomacy and Business Fracas.”
HUNTINGTON, Ind. — Dr. Tim Smith, professor of history at Huntington University, has published a new article about retired British military officers’ diplomacy and business interests related to Vietnam, Cambodia and Pakistan.
Smith’s new peer-reviewed article considers the advantages and disadvantages of using retired British military officers to enact “unofficial” soft-power diplomacy in areas of Cold War international turmoil — in particular General Sir Douglas Gracey’s 1951 tours of Vietnam, Cambodia and Pakistan.
Gracey’s visits to the battlegrounds in Cambodia and Vietnam were highly profitable and provided the British military with valuable insights concerning the French management of the First Vietnam War (1945-54). However, Gracey’s business interests, and a proposed visit to Pakistan, were more contentious, as the legacy of the First Kashmir War (1947-9), and Gracey’s role therein, was still a source of acute tension in Anglo-Indian-Pakistan relations.
“General Gracey used various approaches to Allied peacekeeping and peace enforcement as the general responsible for managing the power vacuum in Cambodia and the south of Vietnam at the end of the Second World War,” said Smith. “He was also controversially responsible for the Pakistan Armed forces during the First Kashmir War. Despite several historians taking an interest in Gracey’s role in these conflicts none appear to have spotted his later efforts at ‘unofficial’ retirement diplomacy. This piqued my interest, and it revealed not just the benefits of using a retired general in a conflict zone for British diplomacy but also the inherent weaknesses of doing so depending upon the circumstances.”
Dr. Tim Smith, FRHistS, joined the University faculty in 2007. He previously taught history at the University of East Anglia in the UK. He has produced four books concerning imperial and diplomatic history in Asia.
“Vacation Diplomacy and Business Fracas: General Sir Douglas Gracey’s Tours of Vietnam, Cambodia, and Pakistan, in 1951” was published in volume 20 of the Historical Yearbook and is available through the Central and Eastern European Online Library at https://www.ceeol.com/search/journal-detail?id=1073.
Broadway musical brings the novel to life
HUNTINGTON, Ind. — The Huntington University Theatre Company and Department of Music are proud to present “Tuck Everlasting,” a musical based on the novel of the same name by Natalie Babbitt.
“Tuck Everlasting” introduces audiences to eleven-year-old Winnie Foster, who yearns for a life of adventure beyond her white picket fence. After she becomes unexpectedly entwined with the Tuck family, however, she gets more than she could have imagined. When Winnie learns of the magic behind the Tucks’ unending youth, she must fight to protect their secret from those who would do anything for a chance at eternal life.
As her adventure unfolds, Winnie faces an extraordinary choice: return to her life, or continue with the Tucks on their infinite journey.
The novel was originally written for children, but those involved with the Huntington University production are quick to point out that the story offers something for all ages.
“I think everyone is going to love this show, but I think those who appreciate family and have lived life with someone special will be drawn to this story,” said Director Mary Beth Frank.
Originally produced on Broadway, the musical has plenty of spectacular music and choreography and action-packed adventure, but it also raises deeper questions about life, family and forgiveness.
“The story is full of fun adventures, humor and life lessons and is brought to life by an amazing cast of singers and dancers,” said Music Director Melanie Carter. “This show will make people think about and appreciate the different phases of life and be grateful for our memories.”
“A surprising number of people have only seen the movie, which is often described as being serious or heavy,” said Choreographer Amya Floor. “The musical focuses more on the happiness found in life and is much more exciting and upbeat throughout.”
“Tuck Everlasting” opens in Zurcher Auditorium in the Merillat Centre for the Arts on November 16 and runs through November 18. Show times and tickets are available at huntington.edu/Tuck.
About the Production:
TUCK EVERLASTING is presented by arrangement with Concord Theatricals. www.concordtheatricals.com
Book by Claudia Shear and Tim Federle
Music by Chris Miller
Lyrics by Nathan Tysen
Based on the novel Tuck Everlasting by Natalie Babbitt
HUNTINGTON, Ind. — On October 20-21, Huntington University hosted its third Spirit of a
Forester Scholarship Competition. The competition included an onsite extemporaneous essay and an
interview with faculty and staff.
As a result of the competition, Huntington University awarded scholarships ranging from full tuition
to $16,000. The recipient of the full tuition scholarship is Elijah Ingle from Bluffton, Indiana.
Additional scholarship recipients include the following:
● Claire Benton; Lowell, Indiana
● Gabrielle Brown; Detroit, Michigan
● Addie Conner; Greentown, Indiana
● Elizabeth Feiock; Brownsburg, Indiana
● Elnora Flores; Bremen, Indiana
● Gracie Gilbert; Garrett, Indiana
● Grace Hammond; Columbia City, Indiana
● Hailey Hardesty; Valparaiso, Indiana
● Cole Hively; Middlebury, Indiana
● Dakota Hudson; Fort Wayne, Indiana
● Annabelle Johnson; Bluffton, Indiana
● Emily Karcher; Van Wert, Ohio
● Lynlee Malkey; Winchester, Indiana
● Lorin Miller; Columbia City, Indiana
● Lillian Norris; Ossian, Indiana
● Ali Riley; Markle, Indiana
● Theoren Twitchell; Elkhart, Indiana
● Kierra Wilson; Wabash, Indiana
For more information about upcoming Spirit of a Forester Scholarship Competition events, visit
huntington.edu/Admissions or email firstname.lastname@example.org.
Bridge Program Launches for Occupational, Physical Therapy Assistants
PEORIA, Ariz. — Occupational therapy assistants (OTA) and physical therapy assistants (PTA) now
have the opportunity to continue their education at Huntington University Arizona through the
Doctoral Program in Occupational Therapy (OTD) – OTA/PTA to OTD Bridge, a program designed
for busy professionals seeking career advancement.
“The OTD faculty and I are excited to be able to offer this opportunity for practicing OTAs and
PTAs,” said Dr. Evelyn Andersson, program director for OTD Arizona. “Since the start of our OTD
program, we have received many inquiries about offering a bridge program. We believe our program
will be a great opportunity for OTAs and PTAs who want to build on their extensive clinical experience
to pursue a doctorate in occupational therapy.”
This doctoral program, which has received accreditation from the Accreditation Council for
Occupational Therapy Education and the Higher Learning Commission and licensure from the
Arizona State Board for Private Postsecondary Education, builds on HU Arizona’s current strengths in
healthcare education, opening doors for OTAs and PTAs to pursue a doctoral degree in occupational
The OTA/PTA to OTD Bridge program follows the same rigorous curriculum as the existing
Doctoral Program in Occupational Therapy. This ensures all students receive a comprehensive and
high-quality education, whether in the traditional or bridge cohort, while meeting the unique needs of
individuals with prior experience as OTAs or PTAs.
Key features of the new program include:
1. Nine-Semester Duration: Unlike the traditional program, which is completed in eight
semesters, the bridge program spans nine semesters to help students balance their academic
and professional responsibilities.
2. Online Learning: Didactic content is delivered through the user-friendly Moodle teaching
platform, allowing students to access course materials conveniently.
3. In-Person Labs: To enhance practical skills and ensure a well-rounded education, students in
the bridge program will gather in person for three weekends per didactic semester. These
weekends will include laboratory sessions, practical exams, and presentation skills training, all
delivered by experienced HU Arizona OTD faculty.
Admission criteria for the Doctoral Program in Occupational Therapy – OTA/PTA to OTD Bridge
are as follows:
● Graduate with an associate degree as an occupational or physical therapy assistant
● Initial certification as an occupational therapy assistant or successful completion of the
National Physical Therapy Examination or a state-specific exam for physical therapy assistants
● One year of experience as an occupational therapy assistant or physical therapy assistant
● Completion of 90 undergraduate credits or a bachelor’s degree with a minimum of a 3.0
cumulative undergraduate GPA
● Attainment of a grade of B- or higher in all prerequisite courses, which may be met from the
OTA or PTA associates degree programs
● Prerequisite courses, including Anatomy and Physiology I with Lab, Anatomy and Physiology
II with Lab, Lab Science (Biology, Physics, or Chemistry), Introduction to Psychology,
Abnormal Psychology, Social Science, Statistics or Research, and Medical Terminology
Expanding educational offerings underscores Huntington University’s commitment to advancing
healthcare education and ensuring students from diverse backgrounds and experiences access
high-quality learning opportunities.
The inaugural cohort of the Doctoral Program in Occupational Therapy – OTA/PTA to OTD Bridge
begins in January 2024.
To learn more about the Doctoral Program in Occupational Therapy – OTA/PTA to OTD Bridge,
visit huntington.edu/OTDBridge or request information here.
HUNTINGTON, Ind. — Huntington University has received a $100,000 gift toward the transformation of the Merillat Complex & Fieldhouse (PLEX) from Bippus State Bank.
“A strong and vibrant University is key to our local economy,” said Eric Fawcett, president and chief executive officer of Bippus State Bank. “Huntington University and Bippus State Bank have partnered together numerous times over the years. Both of our institutions know the importance of collaboration, and that collaboration is vital to both of our successes going forward.”
He continued, “This gift shows our commitment to not only the University but to our community. The bank is grateful for the opportunity to financially assist with this project. The newly renovated PLEX will certainly be something our entire community can be proud of.”
Work began on the PLEX transformation in 2022. The $18.7 million project will upgrade the 90,000-plus-square-foot facility to a best-in-class venue. Once complete, the PLEX will feature three large arena and gym spaces, substantially expanded weight and cardio areas, a large entry lobby, hospitality suites, a pro shop, a hall of fame and larger classrooms, serving not just Huntington University student-athletes but all HU students and the greater Huntington community.
“We are grateful for the significant support of Bippus State Bank,” said Stephen Weingart, vice president for university advancement. “The community aspect of the PLEX project makes support from community partners all the more significant for Huntington University.”
To learn more about the PLEX project or to be a part of the PLEX campaign, visit www.huntington.edu/PLEX.
About Huntington University
Huntington University is a comprehensive Christian college of the liberal arts offering award-winning graduate and undergraduate programs in more than 70 academic concentrations. Founded in Huntington, Indiana, in 1897 by the Church of the United Brethren in Christ, Huntington University has over a century of experience educating graduates who are ready to impact the world for Christ through scholarship and service. The nonprofit university operates at three academic locations, including the original home campus in Huntington, a doctoral program in occupational therapy location in Fort Wayne, Indiana, and an undergraduate and doctoral program location in Peoria, Arizona. Online programs are also available. Huntington University’s home campus offers 17 men’s and women’s athletic programs, and the university is a member of the Council for Christian Colleges and Universities (CCCU). For more information, visit the website www.huntington.edu.
About Bippus State Bank
Bippus State Bank is a community bank that creates meaningful customer relationships, fosters employee development and maintains shareholder confidence by providing premium financial products and services. For more information, visit the website www.bippusbank.com.