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IU Kokomo student serves as town councilman

March 22, 2012
KOKOMO, Ind. – At age 21, Ryan Mix is the youngest Galveston Town Council member by nearly two decades.IUK student serves as town councilman Ryan Mix continues his family's tradition of studying at IU Kokomo and public service. He is serving as a Galveston town councilman.

A criminal justice major at Indiana University Kokomo, he says the skills he has learned and resources available to him on campus give him an advantage.

"I had to make a campaign speech in front of 250 people, and I was able to do it well because of my speech class at IU Kokomo," Mix said, a junior. "I have used the campus library to do research for my council job, too. I definitely have more resources available to me than the other guys."

He chose IU Kokomo as his college at a young age, after going to class with his mother, Kathy Phipps, as she earned her bachelor's degree.

"I grew up around the campus, so I knew everything I needed was here," he said. "I didn't need to go away to earn a well-respected degree."

His mother also inspired his decision to study criminal justice. During his summer vacations from school, he often went to work with her at the Howard County Courthouse, where she worked as a court reporter.

"Our family has a tradition of going to IU and of giving back to our community," Mix said.

Faculty member Kelly Brown said she is proud of Mix's focus on public service.

"Our goal is for our students and graduates to serve their communities," said Brown, associate professor of criminal justice. "We are as pleased and proud of him as we can be. He's made a huge commitment to the town of Galveston and will do a great job."

Brown said as a town council member, Mix will bring a unique perspective to discussions in his criminal justice classes.

"So much of what we learn and experience gives us a different viewpoint of the world, which he can add to class discussion. This kind of hands-on governing experience will be a tremendous asset to him," she said.

She said Mix also will learn skills in his classes that he can bring to the council.

"A criminal justice education will give him multiple perspectives on the issues that may come before the town council, and teach him problem-solving skills that will make him a valuable council member," she added.

Mix isn't sure if he will run for another term on council, or another political office in four years.

"At my age, four years feels like an eternity," he said.

Indiana University Kokomo serves north central Indiana.

Last updated: 08/14/2014