Stambush offers News and Info ‘extensive world view’

James Vaughn

When the factory Connie Stambush worked for relocated in 1992, something told her to quit, so she did.

“I flipped a coin, bought a backpack, a one-way ticket and landed in Germany,” she said. “I wanted to live overseas and see what it was like to be an outsider. I think that’s important for anyone in any profession. It makes you empathetic toward other cultures.”

The new senior writer for News and Information Services is no stranger to diverse environments.

Stambush spent six years abroad, working as reporter in Europe and Asia. She wrote an adventure book about the four years she spent riding a motorcycle through India.

“It’s interesting because I was a woman on a man’s machine in a country where women don’t travel alone,” she said.

She had publishing offers, but didn’t accept them, concerned that they weren’t the right fit for her writing.

The Evansville native holds a bachelor’s degree in journalism from Indiana University and a Master of Fine Arts degree in creative nonfiction from Sarah Lawrence College in New York.

“Everybody ought to go abroad – it makes you see things in a new light.” Stambush said. “We need to get out of believing what we think so we can think about what we believe.”

She has freelanced for a variety of publications and agencies since 1998.

“Making a living as a freelancer is challenging,” Stambush said. “I was always looking for work.”

She has worked with USI a couple of times – first as an adjunct instructor in the English department, then on the university’s identity initiative, which eventually became “Get the Edge.” She did research and conducted interviews for the brand.

She’s no longer freelancing. Instead, she’s getting into the groove of her new job at the university, she said.

“I like the people here a lot,” Stambush said. “It provides me with the diversity I’m used to.”

She said she was at a point in her life where she wanted to work with others. The job has changed her way of life.

“I have to leave the house every day now,” Stambush said with a laugh.

She’s been coming in and out of the tri-state for awhile, but she’s excited about her new position, she said.

“It’s an edgy position the university is at right now,” Stambush said. “It’s kind of big, but it’s offering new and exciting things that a lot of people may not know about and I’m here to help tell them about it.”

News and Information Services Director John Farless is responsible for hiring Stambush.

“She’s excellent,” Farless said. “She jumped right in and is proving that she is everything we thought she would be.”

He led the search committee that saw a number of candidates from a variety of backgrounds.

“We were looking for someone who had significant experience in writing for a lot of different criteria,” he said. “She has a journalistic background and we knew she’d bring new ideas to the table.”

Farless said Stambush appealed to the committee because she can handle a wide variety of tasks at one time and her background is non-traditional and unique.

“She has what I would call an extensive world view,” Farless said.