Indiana University Kokomo

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KOKOMO, Ind. — The student University Theatre group at Indiana University Kokomo presents the dark comedy Arsenic and Old Lace.

Performances are at 7:30 p.m. Friday, October 31, and Saturday, November 1; and 2 p.m. Sunday, November 2, in Havens Auditorium.

Director Joann Kaiser said the show is a much-loved classic, first produced in the 1940s. It focuses on two elderly maiden aunts, who poison lonely gentlemen as a charity, and their nephew’s reaction when he learns what they are doing.

“The story is still funny, after all this time,” she said. “The students are having a great deal of fun with it.”

The cast includes 12 students onstage, with five more working backstage. Kaiser noted that student director Aubree Binney, Peru; Marlea Duncan of Kokomo, costumes; and Joe Nierzwick of Kirklin, props; are completing their theater minor capstone projects with the production. Christopher Johnson, Greentown, is working with the show as part of his senior project, she added.

Joe Keener, associate professor of English, makes his acting debut in the show, after many years of teaching Shakespearean drama.

Tickets are $7 for general admission and $5 for students and seniors, and may be purchased at the door.

Indiana University Kokomo serves north central Indiana.

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KOKOMO, Ind. — Need to teach your fifth graders vocabulary words?

There’s an app for that.

Education curriculum labStudents use iPads in the education curriculum lab.Future teachers in the Indiana University Kokomo School of Education prepare to use the latest educational websites, apps, and devices in their classrooms, in the school’s new high tech classroom, which opened this semester.

“So many local school districts are using one-to-one technology now, and having this available to our students mean they will be prepared to teach using technology from their first day in the classroom,” said Tara Kingsley, assistant professor of education, who teaches her methods of teaching reading in elementary school class in the lab.

“Most college students are well-versed in using technology for social media, but we are showing them how to use it as a tool, to promote higher level thinking,” she said. “When our students interview for teaching jobs, they will have a good answer, and experience to discuss, when asked how they will use technology in their classrooms.”

The first tool included in the classroom is a cart of iPads, loaded with educational applications. On this day, Kingsley demonstrates how to use the Aurusma app, which uses the tablets camera to recognize real world images, and overlays media on top of them to add hidden digital content.

One way teachers can use this is to take pictures of pages in books used in the classroom. When a child scans the page with a tablet, it can give him or her questions about that particular page, or provide extra information.

Students in her class use the app to create interactive flashcards for vocabulary words. Emily Watkins’ group takes a picture of the flashcard for “opposite,” and then they film two classmates — one saying she is sad because she earned a bad grade, the other saying she is happy because it’s her birthday — and upload the video to the app.

Moments later, Kingsley uses the app to scan the flashcard, and the video plays on her screen, demonstrating the meaning of the word.

“I am amazed by all the tools children can learn in our classrooms,” said Watkins, from Galveston. “I’m doing an early teaching experience in a fourth grade class, and they are using iPads to teach in a lot of their subjects. At IU Kokomo, I am learning tools to use as a teacher.”

She thinks having hands-on experience with educational technology will help her when she looks for her first teaching job.

“A lot of superintendents are looking for people who can integrate technology into their classrooms,” she said. “What I am learning here will put me ahead of the game.”

Abby Zipperian, Bunker Hill, is glad to learn to try the technology she sees teachers using when she is in their classrooms.

“Technology is a big influence in education right now, and it’s important that we know how to use it,” she said. “The kids love it, and they are more engaged in learning because of it.”

The high tech classroom replaces the curriculum lab, which Dean Paul Paese said was being used as a student lounge, with curriculum resources and “books that were totally outdated and not used much at all.” It meets a need for local school districts, for educators ready to teach using technology.

“Teachers and administrators from our Center for Educational Partnerships suggested that we give our students as much experience as possible with different kinds of technology during their preparation,” he said. “With all the one-to-one technology schools in north central Indiana, we will provide teachers experienced and ready to teach in those schools.”

Indiana University Kokomo serves north central Indiana.

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KOKOMO, Ind. — Holiday shoppers can choose from the finest offerings of Kokomo-area artisans and crafters, at the 23rd annual Indiana University Kokomo Arts and Crafts Show. The event will take place from 9 a.m. to 3 p.m. Saturday, November 1, in the Kelley Student Center.

Staff Council Craft Show 11/2/13Crafts on display at the annual event.More than 90 vendors will showcase their products. Popular returning booths include Lori Shreve's Boyd's Fudge and Carol Schwarzkof's Christmas decorations.

This year the Craft Show will expand into the IU Kokomo Art Gallery.

“This is the first time that the Art Gallery was free during the Craft Show. The art professors were gracious enough to let us use their space,” said Susan Wilson, Staff Council treasurer.

With this extra space, there is room for more vendors, which means a larger variety of products.

Handmade items include jewelry, glass beads, silver cutlery, woodcrafts, stained glass, teddy bears, American Girl doll clothing, felted wood and cloth purses, tutus, headbands, handmade soaps, candles, birdhouses, kettle corn, baskets, holiday decorations, and many, many other items.

"I think we have just about anything you could want," said Linda Bielewicz, event chairperson.

All vendors complete an application process, and then a committee of the IU Kokomo Staff Council, which sponsors the event, juries the submissions. Proceeds from booth rentals benefit the council's scholarship fund.

The IU Kokomo Staff Council members will also sell cookbooks in memory of their friend and coworker Cathy Archer, who passed away two years ago. Archer served as coordinator of the craft show and was Staff Council president, she was known for her culinary skills. All proceeds from the cookbook sells will go to a scholarship in Archer’s name.

“Scholarships help our students have the opportunity to better their futures,” said Wilson. “This is a chance for us to give them that chance.”

The arts and crafts show is free and open to the public. Each attendee will receive a raffle ticket, to win a door prize donated by a vendor. The Cougar Country Café will be open from 8 a.m. to 2 p.m.

Indiana University Kokomo serves north central Indiana.

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KOKOMO, Ind. — “Sweat with your team.”

Whitney FarrisCoach Whitney FarrisThose are the words Indiana University Kokomo women’s basketball coach, Whitney Farris, remembers hearing during her playing days, and it’s a phrase upon which she bases her coaching style.

“If they can see that you can do it, they’re more likely to respond to that,” said Farris. “We don’t play with them, but we do kind of show them what we expect.”

Farris leads a group of new athletes into their first inaugural season of women’s basketball, with the first home game set for Tuesday, Nov. 4, at the Cougar Gym. The team joins men’s basketball, men and women’s cross country, men’s basketball, and women’s volleyball as the newest sport in IU Kokomo’s vastly growing athletics program in the NAIA.

What to expect is exactly the type of question that surrounds the new addition to Cougar athletics this season. Those are questions that Farris and her fellow assistant coach, Jasmine McGhee, plan to address. Both coaches are former Division I athletes. Farris played four years at Valparaiso University and McGhee played for the Hoosiers of IU Bloomington for two seasons. Having that playing experience is something that Farris considers a positive for the coaching staff and the team.

“We both understand the grind that comes with being an athlete in college. We can kind of explain to them that ‘Hey, we’ve been there, we’ve done that,’ and we can really tell them and show them how things are going to go.”

With only one upperclassman, the Cougars are looking to start the women’s basketball program fresh. With 10 freshmen on the roster, Farris asserts they can start a tradition and get the program headed in the right direction.

During recruiting visits, Farris stresses the importance of starting a new program to prospective athletes.

“Yes, it is the first team. But guess what? You get to be a part of something that is brand new,” Farris adds. “Here, you get to start something that is yours and something that you can be proud of for years to come.”

Having a young team does have its own inherent challenges, but it is also a positive, too. Farris believes that having a lot of freshmen on the team is more beneficial to them, meaning that the coaching staff can really teach them how to be a college student and get them on the right path to graduation.

“With freshmen, you have to really focus on teaching them how to be a college student,” she said.

Academics are a key emphasis in Farris’s coaching philosophy. The utilization of both resources and time to improve the players’ academic awareness is of importance. To ease the transition of adapting to a new curriculum and to maximize success, Farris said that the coaches hold “study tables” four days a week in order to help the players stay on top of homework and studying.

“We’ve been trying to get our kids to understand how important studying is,” said Farris.

One challenge that could plague a young team is leadership. It’s hard to have a leader or a veteran with playing experience on a brand new team, and Farris wants to help all the players become leaders, ultimately to develop team chemistry.

“Every day, we have a practice captain and we try to put them in roles where they have to be leaders,” Farris said. “You have to do that in order to develop leadership, put them in situations and teach along the way. We’ve had quite a few kids step up and now it’s a process of getting them to step up on a daily basis.”

Overall, Farris gets the impression that students, as well as the community, are excited for the upcoming season.

“That just makes me feel so loved by the community and by the people on campus. The support has been great, and I really hope they continue to support us along our process.”

The coach believes the team just needs to focus on what they have to do in order to be successful and really develop an identity leading up to the season. She thinks a lot of their progression and season preparation is all about the players learning the system and learning to play cohesively as a team since the majority of them have never played together, let alone in college athletics.

As far as future expectations are concerned, Farris hopes the players stay committed to the program. “It’s a once in a lifetime experience, it’s not easy. There’s going to be a lot of growing pains, but in the end, it’s going to be worth it. And that’s what I keep telling my kids.”

No matter what challenges or growing pains they face, the Cougars plan to sweat it out together, and Farris will be right there to sweat it out with them.

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Indiana University Kokomo serves north central Indiana.

Story written by Korsen Stiner. Korsen is an intern in the Office of Media & Marketing.