VU in the News

Thomas W. Wathen Technology Fund grants awarded

December 20, 2016 - Thomas W. Wathen Technology Fund grants awarded

VINCENNES, Ind. - Recipients of the 2016-17 Thomas W. Wathen Technology Fund grants have been announced by the Vincennes University Foundation.

The Wathen Fund was created by Thomas W. Wathen, a Vincennes native and 1949 VU graduate, during the University’s Third Century of Excellence capital campaign.  The fund was established with a $1 million gift to assist VU in advancing its educational mission by addressing technology challenges of the future.  Wathen endowed the fund with the VU Foundation and the annual income from the gift is used to award the grants.

For 2016-17 the Wathen Technology Grant Committee review resulted in grants being awarded that total a record $61,847.  Over the ten years of the grant program, the Foundation has awarded 48 grants to VU campus technology projects totaling $535,146.  During this time the endowed Foundation fund has grown to over $1,285,000 through positive investment results.  This has allowed the Grant Committee to increase the annual funds available to award each year.

The Wathen Fund encourages faculty and staff to research, analyze, and then propose cutting-edge technology for their classrooms.  The goal is keep VU at the forefront of higher education as it grows and changes to meet the developing needs of businesses and employers.  “The committee receives many outstanding proposals each year and the review of these proposals is always a probing exercise into what will have a significant impact on VU students and programs,” stated Bumper Hostetler, president of the VU Foundation.

Proposals selected for implementation in 2016-17 include the following six projects:  Sterile IV Compounding Simulation Lab, $8,647.20, submitted by Karen Daugherty, Pharmacy Technology Department; SMART Board/Sim School, $8,575.00, submitted by the Education Group, Education Department; Simulation Stethoscope, $11,900.00, submitted by Pam Gardner, Nursing Department; Fire Dynamics, $5,524.75, submitted by Adam Vaal and Don Heim, Fire Sciences Department; Master 3D Gage Technology, $20,000.00, submitted by Jonathan Vennard, Precision Manufacturing Department; and High Performance CPR, $7,200.00, submitted by Tim Benningfield, Emergency Medical Services Department.


Pharmacy Technology majors will be provided with actual working hoods, rather than mock hoods, during the new sterile IV compounding simulation lab allowing them to be fully prepared in the use of technology similar to what they will see within their clinical experience following the lab work.  Students will gain a hands on experience training them to physically manipulate the equipment from start to finish, including general maintenance and cleaning during simulation.  This critical training is considered “best practice” in preparing students for ACPE-accredited certification.

Education Technology students will benefit from the acquisition of technology for a SMART Board interactive display and SimSchool training program.  SMART Board and its suite of learning software will allow faculty to demonstrate innovative instructional techniques and help students transform into extraordinary and effective teachers.  SimSchool is a web-based training platform approved by the CAEP (Council for the Accreditation of Educator Preparation) as an acceptable method for teacher candidates to experience teaching a diverse population of students.  These advanced teaching and learning technologies will enhance the instructional and classroom management skills of the teacher candidates enrolled in the VU Bachelor of Education program.

Nursing majors will benefit from the purchase of 4 MT Stethoscopes along with the advanced customization programming application.   The devices can be used to teach different patient sounds like heart, lung and bowel.  The S-Scopes as they are known will allow further development of simulations for nursing students that will increase the reality of the student nurse learning experience.  The advanced applications will provide for specific sounds that nursing faculty may want the students to experience that may be beyond what is on the basic application.  The benefits of this technology are increased reality of simulation, increased flexibility by utilizing live “patients”, increased student engagement and learning, and the ability to have multiple patients during a single experience. 

Fire Science and Safety majors will be gaining experience in their field of study through a fire dynamics simulator known as the Max Fire Box.  This prop will better prepare students to recognize possible life threatening environments and understand the importance of fire behavior as well as smoke reading without putting them directly in a live fire situation.  This training prop will allow current and future VU students the opportunity to witness rapid fire and smoke behavior events in a controlled environment and allow instructors to define forty key fire station definitions while using it.

Precision Machining students and faculty will experience their program enhancement through the acquisition of the Master3DGage technology.  This system will precisely pinpoint and resolve quality issues in real time, reduce scrap, improve efficiency, and boost the productivity of every CNC machining center.  The new system will interface seamlessly and directly with the programs existing MasterCam software.  Master3DGage updates current program technology to meet industry standards that students will encounter upon graduation providing them experience in and the mobility to do machine inspections with up to 6 axis of articulation (currently limited to 3 axis).This technology will give VU students the ability to practice these processes first hand and improve their skills as a machinist prior to entering the industry and the highly competitive marketplace.

Emergency Medical Services students will benefit by the acquisition of equipment and software to implement a philosophy of High-Performance CPR.  This equipment and accompanying software will provide students with an opportunity to not only be measured in their skills, but also they will measure and compete with each other to improve their CPR abilities and skills in order to provide “letter perfect CPR”.  Mantra #1 of the Resuscitation Academy is “Measure and Improve” and this same mantra is applicable to VU students learning the correct CPR skills.  The addition of these high fidelity manikins and recording software gives users feedback associated with all elements of providing high quality CPR training.

Specific questions about the awards or grant program should be directed to Hostetler at or 812-888-4510.


In advancing the University’s missions of higher education and community service, the VU Foundation, through the generosity of its donors, administers endorsements and contributions established by corporate and individual gifts as designated. During the 2016-17 school year, the Foundation will have available in excess of $1.4 million dollars to award in scholarships. Additional information regarding this and other scholarships is available by contacting the VU Foundation at 812.888.4510, or by visiting


VU is state-supported with campuses in Vincennes and Jasper and additional sites such as Indianapolis and the Gibson County Center for Advanced Manufacturing and Logistics.  VU also offers instruction at military sites throughout the nation.

In addition to offering 200 associate degree and certificate programs, VU also offers bachelor’s degree programs in technology, homeland security, nursing, secondary education programs in mathematics and, science, and special education/elementary education.

VU enrolls students from throughout Indiana, 28 other states, and 30 countries.  Tuition and fees are the lowest among Indiana campuses with residence halls.  VU is accredited by the Higher Learning Commission of the North Central Association of Colleges and Schools.

Founded in 1801, VU is Indiana’s first college and is the only college in the nation founded by an individual who would later become President of the United States.  William Henry Harrison, the ninth U.S. President, founded VU while serving as governor of the Indiana Territory.  More information is available at


More Blog Entries

Pumphrey Foundation Scholarship awarded to VU Gibson County Center students

December 9, 2016 - Pumphrey Foundation Scholarship awarded to VU Gibson County Center students ...

VU Dean’s List for Fall Semester 2016

January 3, 2017 - VU Dean’s List for Fall Semester 2016 VINCENNES, Ind. - The...