All About...

John Shannon, Ph.D., President, Trine University
Aug 7, 2023
Tim Brumbeloe

1 - Meaningful Object: When John was around seven years old he lived in upstate New York near the Catskill Mountains. His home was surrounded by acres of woods, perfect for any child who had a knack for exploring. One day John spotted something half-buried in mud. He dug it up, cleaned it off and kept it. As it turned out, he had found an insulator for a telephone pole. He still has it to this day and now, for John, it represents the freedom and joy he felt throughout his childhood. 

2 - Army: At the age of 19, John joined the Army and served in West Germany. He loved and appreciated this experience, and believes that it helped instill behaviors in himself that he values to this day. 

3 - Peace Corps: After his time spent in the Army, John went to State University of New York (SUNY) Plattsburgh and received his bachelor’s degree. Upon graduating, he spent three years in the Peace Corps. He was sent to North Africa and worked as a special education teacher. After his time spent in the Peace Corps he received his Master’s from Southern Illinois University (SIU) and his Ph.D. at The Ohio State University.

4 - American University of Sharjah: The American University of Sharjah in Sharjah, United Arab Emirates, was founded in 1997. John was at the university when it opened, serving as a pioneering faculty member and academic leader. Not too many people can say they know what it’s like to see a camel walking through campus, but John can.

5 - Wedding Band: Grace, who is from the Philippines, met John in Dubai while he was teaching at the American University of Sharjah. They were married while in the United Arab Emirates and later moved to Monterey, California, when John accepted a position at the Defense Language Institute Foreign Language Center. After serving at the DLIFLC for three years, Grace and John moved to Indiana and have been here ever since. 

6 - Defense Language Institute Foreign Language Center (DLIFLC): Upon leaving the United Arab Emirates, John accepted a position at the DLIFLC as dean of the School of Arabic. The students were from all four branches of the military and spent 63 weeks intensively studying Modern Standard Arabic. John’s time at the DLIFLC was during the Iraq war, so the students were all being prepared to serve, using their knowledge of Arabic in military occupations such as translators, interrogators, interpreters and cryptologic specialists. 

7 - Family: John and Grace have two daughters and one son: Nora, Anya and Aidan. Anya and Aidan are 17-year-old twins entering their senior year of high school. John and Grace have three beautiful grandchildren through their daughter Nora.

8 - Dogs: John and his family have four dogs: Benny (dad), Ginger (mom) and Coco (daughter) are all Collies. Casper the Maltese (not pictured) is a little camera shy.

9 - Walking: One of John’s favorite hobbies. He loves to use his time during lunch to walk around Trine’s beautiful, scenic campus.

10 - RV: John has always loved the outdoors, and he and his family especially enjoy camping trips in their Class A, 30-foot RV. Living

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