IU East professor appointed Graf Professorship

August 30, 2017 |

Rosalie Aldrich, a faculty member in the School of Humanities and Social Sciences, has been appointed to the John and Corrine Graf Professorship at Indiana University East.

Michelle Malott, executive vice chancellor for Academic Affairs, said the three-year, renewable professorship recognizes Aldrich’s excellence in scholarly achievement and teaching.

Rosalie Aldrich

“The John and Corrine Graf Professorship allows IU East to recognize the professional excellence and scholarly accomplishments of our faculty, and we are grateful to Dorothy Thorman for establishing this honor,” Malott said. “Dr. Aldrich’s important and ongoing scholarly contributions to her discipline, along with her dedication to learning, truly embodies the spirit of academic excellence of this professorship. Her efforts inspire her students and faculty colleagues alike and help ensure the strength of our academic programs.”

Aldrich joined IU East as an assistant professor of communication studies in fall 2011.

“I am thrilled to hold the responsibility of the John and Corinne Graf Professorship in Communication Studies at Indiana University East,” Aldrich said. “I do not take this distinguished honor lightly. I will continue to strive to represent IU East and Graf family with a quality active research agenda in suicide prevention and intervention, interpersonal relationships and overall well-being linked to social media use and the 2016 election, as well as issues related to online and face-to-face teaching and learning.”

The professorship was established in remembrance of John and Corinne Graf by their daughter, Dorothy Thorman, in September 1998. John Graf was the president of IRC&D Motor Freight. Graf started his own business in the trucking industry as a pick-up and delivery service, and grew it into a company of over 300 employees and eight terminals. In 1979, John Graf received an American Truck Historical Society award, designating him as the “founder of the trucking industry.”

Thorman, who operated the business after her father’s death, recently passed away on August 24, 2017. The Grafs and Thorman were from Richmond, Indiana.

Thorman said she established this honorary position at IU East because of her parent’s active support of local youth and she felt that education was the best memorial.

In addition to the professorship, the Graf Recreation Center in Springwood Hall is named for John and Corinne Graf.

Aldrich’s research interests include Health communication, suicide prevention and intervention, willingness to intervene with a suicidal individual, message design, teaching and learning online and in-person. She has published her research in academic journals including the Journal of the Scholarship of Teaching and Learning, Crisis: The Journal of Crisis Intervention and Suicide Prevention and Communication Teacher.

Aldrich received her Ph.D. in Communication from the University of Kentucky. She received her Master of Art in Communication from Michigan State University and a Bachelor in Business Administration (B.B.A.) in Marketing and Management from Grand Valley State University in Allendale, Mich. Previously, Aldrich was an adjunct instructor at Indiana State University and Ivy Tech Community College in Terre Haute.

“I am grateful that IU East supports faculty in this way because I believe great faculty are the heart of any university and when faculty feel supported the students and surrounding communities feel the effects,” Aldrich said. “When faculty are supported and honored like this, it brings distinction to Indiana University East: which helps to attract superb students, and together we can create new knowledge. What an exciting time to be at IU East.”