Spring semester is in full force, and we are not slowing down at Indiana University Kokomo!
We have been able to proudly publicize one record-breaking event after another during the past year. Our three themes – promoting student success, transforming the region, and building relationships and making friends – have become our foundation and have moved the campus forward in so many ways.
We implemented 12 new academic programs, plus 23 nurses from around the region enrolled in the inaugural Master of Science in Nursing program. We had a spring semester record-breaking enrollment with a nearly 10 percent increase. IU Kokomo has become the fastest-growing IU campus, with the largest concentration of students from Indiana at almost 99%. Many of our students (80%) stay in the region and 90% stay in Indiana, giving back and contributing to the wellbeing of the state.
We are proud and honored that the Milt and Jean Cole family of Logansport have donated $1.25 million to support the construction of the Wellness and Fitness Center. This remarkable gift, the largest in our history, is a result of the Cole family's belief in what we do at IU Kokomo, and their dedication to "helping elevate humanities as much as we can". This is also a testament to the work of each and every person on this campus.
Many of our students are rising to the challenge of academic excellence, with 441 of our full-time students on the fall 2011 dean's list.
Among those students is senior Rachel Marschand, who spent three weeks in the Middle East researching lizards with Lina Rifai, assistant professor of biology. Marschand said this experience has enriched her life and is helping to prepare her for graduate school. This is the kind of story we must share with the region about our outstanding international study and research opportunities.
Another amazing student is Alexis Martin, who was the first to arrive on the scene of a head-on collision on her way to nursing clinicals. Her education thus far allowed her to properly assess the victims' injuries and keep them calm until emergency responders arrived. Nothing less than top-notch faculty!
Tom Etter, who will graduate this May with a biology degree, demonstrates the kind of academic excellence we expect from our students. He has received an IU School of Medicine Recruitment Scholarship, worth $30,000 per year for four years. Only about 10 percent of IU School of Medicine applicants are accepted. This speaks volumes about Tom's determination, and the faculty's commitment to student success.
Professor Nancy Greenwood was recognized nationally for her achievements with the 2011 Hans O. Mauksch Award from the American Sociological Association's Section on Teaching and Learning in Sociology. Professor Karl Besel was selected to receive a December 2011 New Frontiers in the Arts and Humanities Exploratory Travel Fellowship. These accomplishments reflect the devotion our faculty have to education.
We recently hosted visitors from the admissions staff of Sungshin University, South Korea, to share knowledge. They requested the five-day meeting to learn our processes and innovative initiatives.
As we work to build relationships within the region, I was delighted and humbled to be named Kokomo Perspective's 2011 Person of the Year. This honor is a result of the hard work, enthusiasm, and dedication of every person on this campus.
I am also humbled to be selected as the "Honorary Wing Commander 2012" by Grissom Air Reserve Base officials. IU Kokomo is being noticed and we are building the kinds of relationships that will strengthen our campus and our region, and ensure continued success.
Many events have taken place including the Nursing Induction Ceremony; the Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. event; and Third House sessions, jointly hosted by the Greater Kokomo Chamber Legislative Policy Committee and the campus. Dr. Maryellen Weimer, the author of Learner-Centered Teaching, was the featured speaker for this year's professional development workshop for faculty. The Professional Development Series – Stress Management and Wellness with Martie Adler – was well attended
The Art Gallery opened its first exhibit of the year, "Nature & Nurture," featuring Indiana printmakers. Also, professional actors, Rob and Jen Johansen, were on campus as Artists in Residence. Rob and Jen are employed at the Indiana Repertory Theatre in Indianapolis.
Spring Convocation drew a wonderful group of faculty and staff, where we recognized many of our dedicated employees for their years of service.
Our men's basketball team has had a great year! As our first season comes to a close, please join us at one of the last home basketball games on Thursday, Feb. 9 –vs. Grace College, 7 p.m.; and Thursday, Feb. 16 –vs. St. Francis University, 7 p.m. All home games are at Western High School in the South Gym, Entrance #9.
Another recent success, and one I am personally very proud of, is that our campus won the first IU intercampus competition for physical activity and nutrition. More than 30 percent of the Kokomo campus participated, the highest percentage for any of the eight IU campuses. We will receive a traveling trophy as the winner of the first-ever challenge and will display it proudly.
As always, I appreciate all of your hard work, dedication, and commitment to the campus and students. Our accomplishments are many and are due to your tremendous efforts. I thank you and challenge us to continue to be On the Move in 2012.
Michael Harris, Ph.D.
Chancellor and Professor of Public and
Environmental Affairs, Business and Education