Indiana University Kokomo

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KOKOMO, Ind. — Artists from Indiana University Kokomo contribute to the city’s growing cultural scene, featured in the first-ever Artist Alley exhibition.

Artist's AlleyRachelle LaMonde, Lori Brubaker, and Minda Douglas display art in a local alley.Artist Alley, located behind the Howard County Administration Building on North Main Street, debuts during First Friday activities, at 5:30 p.m. October 3.

Students Cat Bolinger, Greentown; Lori Brubaker, Flora; and Rachelle LaMonde, Kokomo; and Minda Douglas, associate professor of fine arts, are among the dozen artists whose work was selected. IU Kokomo alumnae Nicole Ingalls, Flora, and Biz Bates, Kokomo, also are included, as well as Theresa Stewart, whose artwork is featured in the window of the nearby Artworks Gallery.

“This is a good way for us to contribute to our community, and to bring attention to the fine arts program at IU Kokomo,” said LaMonde, a native of Ventura, Calif. “It feels really nice that people will actually see my artwork, and it’s adding to the culture of our city as a whole.”

She created a sculpture from objects she found at a local scrapyard, and was excited to invite people from the scrapyard to come see the final result.

“This is the first time I’ve had something displayed publicly, other than in the campus art gallery,” she said. “That’s what art is for, for people to enjoy and appreciate, not just to sit at my house.”

As Bolinger prepares to graduate in 2015, she is happy there is more appreciation of art in the community, with local schools adding integrated fine arts programs, and the opportunity to earn a Bachelor of Fine Arts at IU Kokomo.

“We are growing a creative culture here in Kokomo,” she said. “It’s exciting to be a part of it, and to have people see and appreciate what you’ve created.”

Brubaker appreciates the opportunity to have her work out where it can be seen, so she can build a following as an artist before she graduates. She’s also glad to be part of a movement to create culture.

“This reminds people we have an art program at IU Kokomo, and it brings more awareness of art to the city,” she said.

The fine arts program began a partnership with the Kokomo Art Association earlier in 2014, when the Artworks Gallery displayed the large prints IU Kokomo students created using an industrial steamroller in April. That led to an invitation to submit work for consideration for the Artist Alley.

Douglas said both the students and community benefit from this partnership.

“It’s exciting for the students, and for our recent graduates, to work on a project that will be seen by a lot of people,” she said. “At the same time, they’re providing something that enhances the culture in our community, and bringing positive attention to our campus.”

Artwork will remain displayed in Artist Alley for 90 days to six months, and is available to purchase. Douglas expects more students to submit their projects to be included in the future.

Indiana University Kokomo serves north central Indiana.

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KOKOMO, Ind. — Making the adjustment from high school to college can be daunting — especially if you don’t know anyone to show you the ropes.

Jump StartJump Start kick-off meetingIndiana University Kokomo gives a helping hand to students most likely to face barriers to college success — first generation college students, students of color, and 21st Century Scholars — increasing their odds of graduating.

“We want them to be successful from the first day of their freshman year until they walk across the stage at Commencement,” said Kim Evans, academic advisor and program leader. “We will support them through their four years here, and make sure their needs are met. We’re removing barriers to academic success for these students.”

Evans and co-leader Robert Gregonis invited participating students to campus before classes started, to introduce them to the program, offer study skills programming, and, most importantly, allow them to meet one another so they know someone on campus the first day.

Yarita Lopez felt more prepared for her classes, because she wouldn’t be searching for them on the first day. She’s also excited to use the study rooms set aside for Jump Start students.

“It’s a nice environment, and we can study together and ask questions,” the Logansport resident said. “Our advisors are truly going to help us when we need it.”

Eric Allen, from Frankfort, appreciated the campus tour, and the chance to make friends before classes started.

“I feel better knowing where to ask for help, and having a built in community to support me,” he said. “It’s a big jump from high school to college, and I’ll take all the help I can get.”

In addition to study rooms just for them, Jump Start students learn from speakers each month, and can attend social activities and field trips. They also plan a community service project, possibly at Riley Hospital for Children at IU Health.

The support lasts beyond freshman year, Gregonis said.

“We plan to be there for these students through their time at IU Kokomo,” he said. “Our goal is to build relationships with these students, to engage them with the campus, and to increase the likelihood they will overcome whatever barriers they face, so they can earn their degrees.”

Frankfort resident Ana Hernandez called the program “empowering,” and appreciates the opportunity.

“The transition from high school to college is scary,” she said. “Any door that is opened to an opportunity for you, you have to take it.”

Indiana University Kokomo serves north central Indiana.

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KOKOMO, Ind. — If you are prepared, you don’t have to live in fear.

Self Defense ClassSelf Defense ClassIndiana University Kokomo prepares its students to prevent themselves and others from becoming victims, during Sexual Assault Awareness Week.

Red flags line the sidewalks in the campus quad, reminding students to look for warning signs, or “red flags,” of sexual violence, so they can step up and help.

“Bystander intervention is one of the most effective interventions,” said Dean of Students Sarah Sarber. “Most people want to help, but don’t know how. We can teach you how to take action safely.”

The programming is part of IU’s Student Welfare Initiative, ramping up efforts on all campuses for sexual violence prevention and response. National statistics show that approximately one in every five women will be sexually assaulted while in college, while as many as 5 percent of college men will be victims.

The week’s events include a self-defense workshop, discussions of issues related to sex, drugs, and alcohol, two Step Up intervention training workshops, and a resource table.

“This is an important topic for all college students, on campuses small and large,” Sarber said. “We want our students to know how to defend themselves, and what resources are available to help them if needed.”

The weeks’ activities began with a self-defense workshop, taught by Jeff Riley and Gill Journey, police officers from Indiana University — Purdue University Indianapolis. The officers demonstrated techniques the women attending may use to defend themselves if they are attacked.

“The more prepared you are, the less you need to live in fear,” Riley said. “Predators look for the easy victim. Be aware of your surroundings, and make eye contact. Don’t be the easy victim.”

The Step Up training workshops are from 2:30 to 4 p.m. Tuesday, September 23, and 11:30 to 1 p.m. Thursday, September 24, in the Cole Room. Reservations are not required, and participants will receive a free T-shirt.  The workshops train students how to intervene as bystanders.

“We want everyone to be aware of what is happening around them, and if you see something, say something,” said Maria Ahmad, coordinator of student life and campus diversity. “It may be as simple as picking up your cell phone and calling the police, or creating a distraction so the victim can get away. This can happen to anyone.”

Other events for the week include “Sex Signals,” an improv show that provides a provocative, in-your-face look at issues surrounding dating, sex, and date rape on college campuses, at noon Wednesday; and the “Red Out” home volleyball game vs. Purdue University Calumet, at 7 p.m. Wednesday in the Cougar Gym. Cougar fans are asked to wear red for Sexual Assault Awareness Week.

Indiana University Kokomo serves north central Indiana.

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KOKOMO, Ind. — Indiana University Kokomo selects David Hancock to lead its men’s and women’s golf teams in their inaugural season.

Dave Hancock named golf coachDave Hancock named golf coachHancock, 33, is also an assistant professor of allied health sciences and researcher in sports psychology, talent development, and skill acquisition.

“Golf is one of the most mentally challenging sports, and I bring some unique skills that can help build a solid golf team,” Hancock said. “This is an opportunity for student athletes to continue playing in college, but from an approach that engages and embraces the mental aspect of the sport. I think these principles of sports psychology and talent development will set our program apart from our competitors.”

Athletic Director Brandon Podgorski said he and Todd Gambill, vice chancellor for student affairs and enrollment management, were both impressed by Hancock’s experience, and his academic goals for the golf teams, which will begin play during the 2015-2016 school year.

“His experience in sports psychology brings a unique skill set that I feel will give our golfers a mental edge over their opponents,” he said. “It’s exciting to have someone with his background leading our teams. I’m very happy to have Dr. Hancock join the Cougar athletic family.”

With golf, IU Kokomo will add its first spring sport. Cougar athletics currently includes men’s and women’s cross country and women’s volleyball during the fall season, and men’s and women’s basketball during the winter. Golf teams play in the fall and spring.

Hancock anticipates beginning to recruit athletes in the near future, with the hope of having the nucleus of a team by summer. Its home course will be the Wildcat Creek Golf Course, and the Kokomo Country Club and American Legion courses have also agreed to partner with the teams, to give them experience on a variety of courses. The Cougars are part of the Kentucky Intercollegiate Athletic Conference.

“This is a great time to join IU Kokomo,” Hancock said. “It is a small, yet energetic and growing campus, with new degree programs, athletic teams, intramural sports, and student clubs.”

Athletes interested in playing for the Cougar golf teams may contact Podgorski at 765-455-9463 or, or go to to fill out a recruiting form.

Indiana University Kokomo serves north central Indiana.