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Alumni Ink

Books Published by Valpo Alumni

Fall 2023

Tenacious: Fifteen Adventures Alongside Disabled Athletes

By Patty Cisneros Prevo ’00

The author is a proud disabled Latina, diversity, equity, and inclusion professional, picture book writer — and Paralympian. You will meet fifteen remarkable athletes who use adaptive equipment in this beautiful and truth-telling picture book. A downhill skier whose blindness has sharpened her communication skills. An adaptive surfer who shreds waves while sitting down. A young man who excels at wheelchair motocross — but struggles with math. Tenacious tells their stories and more, revealing the daily joys and challenges of life as disabled athletes. These competitors have won gold medals, set world records, climbed mountain peaks, claimed national championships, and many more extraordinary achievements. 

The CEO and the Board: The Art of Nonprofit Governance as a Competitive Advantage

By Kurt Senske ’81, Ph.D.

Kurt Senske’s rich and provocative insights into non-profit governance best practices is a must-read for board chairs, members, and CEOs. This book moves at a fast, satisfying pace, and provides scores of questions and topics that help heighten the individual and collective self-awareness of board members. Good stewardship suggests that every board and CEO collaboratively read and explore Senske’s work as part of a self-evaluation and improvement initiative. Repeating this process every few years and using the book as a reference when governance issues and opportunities arise will help lead nonprofits to outcomes that best serve their communities and stakeholders. They deserve nothing less.

Working from the Inside Out

by Jeff Haanen ’05

Working from the Inside Out pulls back the veil on the deep emotional and vocational challenges faced by the majority of workers and shows how work can become a way to love God, serve our neighbors, and demonstrate the gospel to the world. Bringing together emotional, relational, vocational, intellectual, and civic health through the seamless thread of vocation, Jeff Haanen offers a way out of the disintegration of our culture and toward a reintegrated life lived in response to God’s voice. The inner work of transformation leads to external transformation of our relationships and our work, and that good work influences our cities and the culture around us. Living from the inside out can change our work and heal our world.

The Beauty of Motherhood: Grace-Filled Devotions for the Early Years

Co-Authored by Erin Dalpini ’08 Strybis

This book provides moms with spiritual refreshment, encouragement and the reminder that they are deeply known and loved by God. Spanning infancy to early childhood, this devotional encourages moms to take a deep breath and find the holy in those everyday moments that inspire laughter, frustration, and awe. Together, the authors explore an unflinching spectrum of parenting experiences including: growing pains, pregnancy, birth, weaning, body image, exhaustion, delight, comparison, vocation, friendship, and more. 

Christ-Filled Moments: 150 Devotions for Your Walk of Faith

By Mark Zimmermann ’92

Every day is filled with moments when we encounter Christ in interesting and unusual ways or in circumstances we might not expect. Keeping your eyes open to the presence of Christ in your everyday walk of faith is what these 150 devotions explore. Practical and Scripture-based, these thoughtful and uplifting words of wisdom draw you closer to understanding the central role Christ plays in your daily living.

Hernzebekana! Her Language of Love

Co-Authored by Rebecca Miller ’74 Lawton

Three months after the birth of her first daughter, Becki Lawton suffered a severe hemorrhagic stroke when an arteriovenous malformation (AVM) ruptured in her brain. Slowly, she learned to overcome her cognitive and physical changes and was eventually able to work as a special education paraprofessional. But then, a second stroke. This is Becki’s story of facing continuing challenges, with family and professional support. The authors explain what aphasia and apraxia look like from the inside, something uniquely valuable to those touched by stroke and those working with stroke survivors.

The Tech That Comes Next: How Changemakers, Philanthropists, and Technologists Can Build an Equitable World

By Amy Sample Ward ’05

Changing the way we use, develop, and fund technology for social change is possible, and it starts with you. This book outlines a vision of a more equitable and just world along with practical steps to creating it, appropriately leveraging technology along the way. Ideal for nonprofit leaders, social activists, policymakers, technologists, entrepreneurs, founders, managers, and other business leaders, The Tech That Comes Next belongs in the libraries of anyone who envisions a world in which technology helps advance, rather than hinders, positive social change.

The Gift of Empathy: Helping Others Feel Valued, Cared for, and Understood

Co-Authored by Joel Bretscher ’80

Empathy is something we all need—and it’s something we all can give. The authors present a fresh approach to a familiar concept, providing practical insights and real-life examples that equip readers to relate in empathetic ways that make a difference in the lives of all those they encounter. Empathy is a skill anyone can learn, and this book lays out principles and practices that empower you to better understand, connect with, and care for family, friends, coworkers, and others you may relate to. As you practice and strengthen your ability to empathize, you will experience more caring interactions and more meaningful connections in all areas of your life.

Death Strikes: The Emperor of Atlantis

Co-Authored by Patrick Lay ’09

Mixing dystopian sci-fi, mythic fantasy, and zombie horror, Death Strikes: The Emperor of Atlantis, is a graphic novel based on a suppressed opera written in 1943 by Peter Kien and Viktor Ullmann, two prisoners at the Terezín concentration camp in Czechoslovakia. 

Set in an alternative universe where Atlantis never sank but instead became a technologically advanced tyranny, the power-mad buffoonish Emperor declares all-out war—everyone against everyone. Death goes on a labor strike, creating a hellscape where everyone fights, but no one dies. 

Building Resilient Organizations through Change, Chance, and Complexity

By David Lindstedt ’92

Organizations that do not adapt and evolve die. To date, however, it has not been at all clear how to build a resilient organization. That puts us all in the unenviable position of trying to ready our organizations for an increasingly uncertain future without the proper guidance to do it. This book introduces 14 elements of resilience that consistently emerge in organizations that have thrived amid adversity and volatility.

Recovering an Undomesticated Apostle

Co-Edited by Christopher Zeichmann ’07

Paul the apostle is usually imagined as a man of prestige and power – comfortably conversing with philosophers, seeking an audience with the emperor, and composing compelling letters for Christians throughout the Mediterranean. Yet this portrait of a safe and conventional figure at the origins of Christianity airbrushes out many strange things about him. This book is published in honor of New Testament scholar Leif E. Vaage ’78.

More from the Fall 2023 Issue