University Of Evansville Programs Recognized During Annual Leadership Everyone Awards

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ue building

University of Evansville Programs Recognized during Annual Leadership Everyone Awards

March 25, 2023

EVANSVILLE, IND.  Several University of Evansville (UE) ChangeLabs won awards during the 28th annual Celebration of Leadership program hosted by Leadership Everyone.

Celebration of Leadership is an annual event during which Leadership Everyone honors individuals, projects, programs, businesses, and organizations that make[LP1] significant, collaborative contributions that improve and transform the community in the Tri-State region.

“We are very proud of what our students and faculty accomplish through their work in ChangeLabs,” said Erin Lewis, executive director of the Center for Innovation & Change, which facilitates ChangeLab at UE. “Every day we are inspired by the passion, talent, and ingenuity of our students and the UE community and truly honored to empower them as they serve.”

ChangeLab is a multi- and inter-disciplinary academic offering at the University of Evansville. Through this program, students and faculty can propose projects that make a positive difference in the community and around the world and then get to work on these transformative initiatives while earning academic credit. ChangeLab courses are made up of individuals from nearly all areas of study and explore topics ranging from data analytics to housing and food insecurity to healthcare and educational topics.

“We feel a great sense of pride for our community members in their accomplishments by being recognized with Leadership Everyone Awards,” said UE President Christopher M. Pietruszkiewicz. “As a Changemaker Campus, UE is dedicated to empowering students and faculty as they work to make the world more equitable, sustainable, and inclusive. We are honored to see their efforts recognized in our community.”

Below is a list of the students and programs recognized with the 28th Annual Celebration of Leadership Awards.

Annie Kim

UE United Sound

2023 Sam Featherstone Youth Award

Annie Kim is a sophomore biology major and concertmaster for the UE Symphony Orchestra. Over the past two semesters, she has established and championed UE United Sound, a student club and ChangeLab course at UE based on the national group aimed at removing barriers and fostering social change through music. UE United Sound trains UE music students to teach younger students with disabilities how to play instruments, and gives them exciting opportunities to perform, such as at the Victory Theatre for the Holiday Pops concert.

Jack Deig

Hydration Station

2023 Sam Featherstone Youth Award

As a high school student, Jack Deig identified a problem in our community-not everyone has access to filtered drinking water. He entered UE’s High School Changemaker Challenge with his idea to provide clean drinking water to all through Hydration Stations. Continuing his work at UE ChangeLab, he has now installed a free drinking water machine at Patchwork Central, and more are being installed around Evansville’s downtown, specifically targeting those experiencing homelessness.

Joshua Academy Music Instruction ChangeLab

Coach Fran Vile, UE Clinical Instructor of Music

2023 Arts Award for a Project or Program

Through this course led by Fran Vile of UE’s Music Conservatory, music education students Will McDonner and Luke Robertson have established and cultivated an instrumental music program at Joshua Academy. Beginning with a closet full of forgotten, dusty, and broken instruments, they repaired or replaced the instruments and taught students to read and play music, finishing the year with a popular performance and partnering with the Academy’s choir.

Data Analytics ChangeLab

Coach Omid Khormali, UE Assistant Professor of Mathematics

2023 Leader in Technology Award

UE’s Data Analytics ChangeLab, led by Assistant Professor of Mathematics Omid Khormali, puts its students’ talents to use for the community. They have served Deaconess, Justice Sandra Day O’Connor’s iCivics, and COVID Between the Coasts, a partnership with WNIN. Last semester, their project took data received from the United States Forestry Service and created a tool for them to identify trends in invasive species and forest fires. The Data Analytics ChangeLab students have also been asked to testify before Congress about the project.

Children’s Mental Health ChangeLab

Coach Jennie Braun

2023 Project and Program Division Award

When children need mental health testing, it is often a year-long wait. The students at UE’s Children’s Mental Health ChangeLab collaborated with parents and doctors in our community to identify the root causes of this issue, and then developed a well-designed, multi-tiered solution. They make it easy to view eligible doctors and wait times and use UE’s Doctor of Psychology program to help with the backlog of doctors and paperwork, increasing affordability and speed of testing for kids.

FOOTNOTE:  The University of Evansville is a private, comprehensive university located in the southwestern region of Indiana. Established in 1854, UE is recognized across the globe for its rich tradition of innovative, academic excellence and vibrant campus community of changemakers.

Home of the Purple Aces, UE offers over 75 majors, 17 Division I sports, and a unique study abroad experience at Harlaxton College, a Victorian manor located in the countryside of the United Kingdom. For more information, please visit