Indiana University Kokomo

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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.

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KOKOMO, Ind. — Get a look at the economic forecast for the local, state, and national economy, as the Indiana University Kelley School of Business brings its annual Business Outlook Tour to IU Kokomo on Thursday, November 13.

Alan KrabbenhoftAlan KrabbenhoftKathy Parkison, interim vice chancellor for academic affairs and professor of economics, joins economists from IU Bloomington to offer perspective on what lies ahead in 2015 for north central Indiana, the state, and nation. The tour includes stops in nine other Indiana cities.

“This event should not be missed,” said Alan Krabbenhoft, dean of the IU Kokomo School of Business. “The speakers will offer a wealth of information regarding many aspects of the national, state, and local economy that are relevant to the well-being of their businesses and their communities, as well as their own personal financial well-being.”

The event is from 7:30 to 9 a.m. in the Kelley Student Center, Room 130. Cost is $20 per person, and sponsorships are available. To register, go to For information about being a sponsor, contact Terri Butler, 765-455-9275 or

Jerry Conover, director of the Indiana Business Research Center at the Kelley School of Business, said that although both the state and national economies have recouped much of the loss sustained during the Great Recession, “we’re still not on reliably firm footing.”

“The slow economic recovery continues with respectable job growth tempered by slow growth in wages,” Conover said. “Recent volatility in financial markets underscores investor uncertainty. Though the U.S. economy has made notable progress, nervousness about foreign economies could easily rock our boat.”

Since 1972, the Kelley School of Business has presented its national, state and local forecasts through a series of presentations in cities throughout Indiana.

The starting point for the forecast is an econometric model of the United States, developed by IU's Center for Econometric Model Research, involving hundreds of statistical equations to develop a national forecast for the coming year. A similar econometric model of Indiana provides a corresponding forecast for the state and metro-area economies, based on the national forecast and data specific to Indiana. The Business Outlook panel then adjusts the forecasts to reflect additional insights the panelists have on the economic situation.

At each presentation, the panel features faculty members from the Kelley School and IU, plus local panelists from other IU campuses and other universities, offering perspectives on the global, national, state and local economies and financial markets.

The tour is sponsored by IU's Kelley School of Business, the IU Alumni Association, IU campuses, and numerous community organizations.

Indiana University Kokomo serves north central Indiana.

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KOKOMO, Ind. — Three volleyball players put aside their high school rivalry to join forces as Cougars on the Indiana University Kokomo volleyball team.

teammatesKaley Harness, Lindi Thomas, and Alexis Brickner.“It wasn’t as weird as I thought it would be, we clicked instantly,” said Lindi Thomas, a freshman outside hitter from Parker City, Indiana.

Earlier this year, the IU Kokomo volleyball team played their first match of the season – and the first time Thomas, Kaley Harness and Alexis Brickner worked together as teammates toward a common goal.

Winning together, however, has not always been the case.

Good friends Harness and Brickner attended Southwood High School and participated in the volleyball program. Thomas attended Wapahani High School, making the transition from oppositions to teammates a little getting use to.

The rivalry between the players stemmed from the two volleyball teams facing one another on an annual basis.

“It was always a rivalry because when we went to the tournament, semi-state, we always played each other,” Harness said, an outside hitter and defensive specialist.

“It was basically every year,” added Thomas.

Harness, a sophomore, was the first to commit to the team, followed by Thomas. Brickner, a freshman middle hitter, was the last of the three to join the Cougars.

“I knew where Kaley came from, and that the Southwood program was intense, so I knew that it must be a good program. If it is good enough for Kaley, then it must be good,” said Thomas.

“I didn’t decide until late, but Kaley was one of the main reasons I came here,” added Brickner.

The three former rivals not only bonded on the court, but also took their friendships a step further and became roommates, for which Harness takes the credit.

“I guess this is my doing, since I’m a sophomore and they’re freshmen,” Harness said. “We all decided to live together, so I think it was easier for Lindi to come here and not have to worry about that.”

The chemistry between the girls can be seen on the court with the team currently on a nine-game win streak, and having a record of 16-7 this season. It can be seen off the court whenever they are together.

With busy class schedules, frequent practices, and a hectic volleyball schedule, that includes travel to other states, as far away as Pennsylvania. The roommates don’t have a lot of free time, but when they do, they normally spend it at home.

“We like to cook and watch movies,’’ said Thomas.

“And eat!” Harness added.

Another thing they enjoy in their free time is watching T.V. shows; they list their current favorite as, The Vampire Diaries.

Indiana University Kokomo serves north central Indiana.

Story written by student writer Calani Hitchell. Calani is an intern in the Office of Media & Marketing.

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KOKOMO, Ind. — Indiana University Kokomo students will be on fall break Monday, October 20, and Tuesday, October 21.

First Day 2014Students in the QuadThere will be no classes either of those days, but all campus offices and the Library will be open from 8 a.m. to 5 p.m. The bookstore will be open regular hours, from 9 a.m. to 5 p.m., both days.

The Cole Fitness Center will be open from 10 a.m. to 2 p.m. Saturday, October 18, noon to 4 p.m. Sunday, October 19, and 6:30 a.m. to 6:30 p.m. Monday, October 20, and Tuesday, October 21.

The Cougar Country Café will be open with grab and go items from 8 a.m. to 2 p.m. Monday and Tuesday. The grill will be closed.

Classes resume at 8 a.m. Wednesday, October 22. The fitness center will open at 6 a.m., and the café will open at 7 a.m. 

Indiana University Kokomo serves north central Indiana.