Editorial: Shield welcomes new adviser Ben Luttrull


Photo By Josh Meredith

Ben Luttrull, faculty adviser of The Shield, sits in his new office in University Center East.

Editorial Staff

The Shield is happy to announce we have officially welcomed Ben Luttrull as the faculty adviser of The Shield. 

Luttrull was hired as the student publications adviser and instructor of journalism in January 2022. The Shield would like to thank Chad Tew and Greg Blair for being wonderful interim advisers in Fall 2021 and helping pave the transition from The Shield’s former adviser, Erin Gibson, to The Shield’s current adviser, Ben Luttrull. 

Luttrull has lived in Evansville his entire life and has been involved at the University of Southern Indiana prior to this position. He was the university relations specialist from October 2015 to December 2021 and performed duties as an adjunct professor during this time. Before working for the university, he was the digital marketing specialist at Lieberman Technologies and has been working in communication since 2011. Luttrull said he has “always had a respect for what journalism does and what it can accomplish.” 

Before working for the university, he was the digital marketing specialist at Lieberman Technologies and has been working in communication since 2011. Luttrull said he has “always had a respect for what journalism does and what it can accomplish.” 

Spring 2022 has already been an exciting semester for The Shield. With plenty of news to cover, a constantly growing staff and a new adviser, the future looks bright for our student publication. 

We are excited to welcome Ben Luttrull aboard and continue to advance The Shield with his advice. Get to know him more in the Q&A below. 


Q: What is your favorite thing about USI?

A: “My favorite thing about USI is this feeling of the ability to really accomplish something if the mind is set to it. I’ve had the pleasure of seeing up and down from students to faculty, new faculty to experienced faculty, to administrators, to staff, to senior leadership, people at all levels of the university if they want to do something, they are given the opportunity to really give it a go. I know it’s cliché  to say that the people are what make us special, but it is true. I think specific to us is the willingness we have to trust each other. That is powerful to me. It’s something that I really think is important, and it’s something that I appreciate very much. Both having had the chance to be part of something like that myself, but also in this position to be able to help others build that and help students, both Shieldsters and non-shieldsters, feel that opportunity themselves. See what they need to do in order to accomplish what they want to do, and do everything that I can to give them that help. Guide them as they work towards whatever it is they’re trying to accomplish.” 


Q: With all of your experience, what made you want to advise the Shield specifically?

A: “It’s one of those things where you don’t know you want to do something until you see the opportunity is available, and then you realize, that is exactly what you want to do. Part of the reason I was excited to have the chance to advise The Shield is because I had spent the past six years working directly with Shieldsters in a professional setting, and I saw how much The Shield could accomplish. I’ve seen the fruits of the labors of the students that put the work in, and that’s what was inspiring to me. Regardless of whether or not they made me sweat from a professional capacity, from a personal capacity and from an educational standpoint, I could see the work being done. The work was good, and the work was strong, the work was reliable and the work was effective. To me, the opportunity to equip and inspire and help train and teach these students that wanted to do the work and were here, not because they had to, but because they wanted to. That was incredibly, incredibly appealing to me and incredibly exciting.”


Q: What is your favorite thing about The Shield as a publication?

A: “It’s funny. When Dr. Bennett talked about USI, one of the things that she brought up was that USI was a young institution with little history, and that was a good thing There’s a lot of truth to that. However, I think one of the best things about The Shield is that it is aware of its own history and cherishes that, and holds that true to itself. I think it’s one of the few things at USI that does that right now. We have old papers hanging on the wall, whereas most places at USI, they’re not looking back. They’re looking forward. It’s times like last year when it feels like it’s not worth doing the work because there’s just so much work to do and so few people to do it.  I’m not sure it could have been done if you didn’t have the names on the wall that you have behind you. I don’t know if you could have done it if you didn’t have their work to stand on and their work to be inspired by, but also, quite frankly, their work to look back on and feel responsible for. I think that’s part of the reason why we’re still here. I think it’s part of the reason why we’ve come back as sharply as we have, and I think it’s one of the reasons why I’m grateful to be here in the seat now. Looking back, seeing all the work that was done by those that came before me, I don’t think I’ve ever been more appreciative of it, and I’m grateful that The Shield is as appreciative of its history as I am right now.” 


Q: Tell us a little about you. What are your hobbies? What do you like to do outside of the office?

A: “I sing with our Philharmonic chorus and with my church choir. Really, most of my hobbies and my time that isn’t spent on work or music aren’t that exciting. I’m being totally honest. You’re gonna come to the point in time where it’s not gonna be weird for people my age that are in positions like me to say that they spend most of their time playing video games outside of work. Most of my time is spent with friends playing video games. The first week of class was also Awesome Games Done Quick 2022, so, I was helping out with that, and I’ve done on-stream hosting for them during their marathon and helping set up mainly with the online events since the pandemic started. I got more involved with them as a charitable organization, helping by volunteering for their events. I met a good portion of my friends that way.”


Q: If you can interview anyone for a story past or present, who is it and why?

A: “Louis Ingelhart, who was basically one of the gods of college media. It’s a name that has been part of my education since I started in journalism school. I think if I could interview anyone, it would probably be him right now because more than anything in my life right now, I’m just trying to be a sponge for insight. I’m trying to learn as much as I can to be the best I can be at this job. I’ve got a lot of resources here that I have at my disposal, and I’m going to take advantage of as much of them as I can. There’s no substitute for lived experience. The questions that are probably most on my heart right now have to do with how I can be sure I’ll do a good job here.”