KOKOMO, Ind. – At age 50, Judy Golitko fell in love with learning. So much so, that she spent the next nine years dedicated to higher education.
She began her journey by earning an associate degree at Indiana University Kokomo in nursing in 2001, which gave her the confidence she needed to continue. After pursuing a bachelor of science in nursing and graduating in 2003, she went on obtain her law degree from IU Maurer School of Law in Bloomington.
“Education is important for people at any age,” Golitko said. “Now I won’t be saying ‘I wish I had done this.’”
Her dedication to education and to the Kokomo campus has earned her the IU Alumni Association’s 2010 President’s Award. She will be honored at the annual meeting in Indianapolis on Friday, December 3. The President's Awards are the highest honor the Alumni Association bestows upon alumni volunteers.
Now, Golitko practices law with her son, Matthew, at Golitko Legal Group in Kokomo.
“I love what I do. I get to use every bit of the education I received,” she said, adding that her nursing background helps her as a lawyer in stating disability cases for her clients. “I consider this award a great honor. I’m glad to be a part of IU Kokomo. I want others to go through the experience of higher education.”
A member of the IU Kokomo Alumni Association (IUKAA) Board of Directors since2006, Golitko currently serves as vice president. In addition, she has co-chaired fund raising efforts for nursing alumni naming opportunities for the St.Joseph Hospital Clinical Simulation Center. She also is committed to her profession and is a member of several professional groups including The American Association for Justice and the American Association of Nurse Attorneys.
“I am delighted Judy was selected for this great honor by the Alumni Association,” said IU Kokomo Chancellor Michael Harris. “Judy represents how earning an IU degree close to home can make a difference in the lives of so many, and the contributions that can be made to this region.”
Golitko says it’s important for her to stay involved, and is excited about the direction in which Chancellor Harris is moving the campus.
“I see a lot of good things happening here. I want to see students in this area grow,” she said. “Education empowers you, and through Chancellor Harris, we can empower this area.
“The whole reason I stay connected is because education is life changing and opens so many doors,” Golitko said. “Everyone has a story to tell and a dream of who they want to be. Education allows you to play that out.”
Indiana University Kokomo serves north central Indiana.