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On The Move News - April 2012

April 17, 2012
Dear Colleagues,

As we head into the final weeks of another successful semester our recognition grows and our accomplishments continue.

We were recognized in Indiana Alumni Magazine for our spring credit hours being up 8.4 percent. The Library was featured in the large flash rotation at www.indiana.edu . We have also been noticed by CASE for our use of video in much of our marketing efforts. An article about this innovative effort is expected in the July/August issue of CASE Currents.

The Department of Education has issued a Request for Information (RFI) to receive Promising and Practical Strategies to Increase Postsecondary Success. The Department is particularly interested in collecting and sharing practical and replicable strategies, practices, programs and activities that have improved rates of postsecondary success. Our Student Success Tuition Discount Program submitted to the AASCU Innovations Exchange has been identified for prospective forwarding to the Department.

In response to this RFI, AASCU has identified prospective submissions in which to forward to the Department. The template used for the Innovations Exchange submissions closely aligns with the information sought by the Department of Education.

AASCU also featured us on their homepage the week of March 19. They highlighted our story regarding students going to Guatemala for spring break.

For those of you not familiar, AASCU is a Washington-based higher education association of nearly 420 public colleges, universities and systems whose members share a learning- and teaching-centered culture, an historic commitment to underserved student populations and a dedication to research and creativity that advances their regions' economic progress and cultural development.

We were also recognized for our Student Success Tuition Discount initiative in Indiana Chamber's BizVoice magazine. The article touts our initiative and how rewarding it is to our students.

We are certainly proud of the recognition IU Kokomo continues to garner from all ends of the country and throughout the world. We are definitely "An Engaged Campus — On the Move!"

More recognition is to come as we will now offer students an opportunity to earn bachelor's degrees in elementary education or business in just three years, starting with the fall semester.

The campus received a $30,000 grant from Complete College America, a national nonprofit organization that works with states to increase college completion. The grant will be used for student advising resources, course mapping software and development of accelerated degree programs. Students will enroll in 18 credit hours each semester and six credit hours during the summer session to graduate in three years.

IU Kokomo's grant also will fund degree-mapping programs to help students and their advisors develop a detailed plan of classes to take each semester to graduate in four years.

Indiana was one of 10 states that received $1 million grants for innovative, high-impact college completion initiatives designed to enhance student success and close attainment gaps for traditionally underrepresented populations. Funding was provided by the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation.

It's official! We have been approved for membership in the NAIA and will compete as full members effective August 1, 2012. We have made the impossible possible and I can't thank enough all those involved in this most rigorous process. This was the first year of a new more demanding process for membership in the NAIA and we were able to prove our worth and become a part of this prestigious, well-respected association.

The success of our first year for women's volleyball and men's basketball is undeniable. We thank Northwestern and Western High School for contributing to that success and allowing the use of their gyms during our teams' first year. Our teams will be closer to home this coming season with the women's volleyball playing at Maple Crest Middle School and the men's basketball team playing just down the road at Kokomo High School. As we continue to grow and be on the move, we will now add men's and women's cross-country to competitive sports at Indiana University Kokomo. We were recognized for this on Inside Indiana Business recently.

Students who join cross-country will quickly become the campus's most visible athletes, training not only on campus, but also on roads and trails and in parks throughout the city. A search is underway for a cross-country coach, and students are actively being recruited for the teams.

We have received approval from the Board of Trustees for construction of our Wellness and Fitness Center. The renovation of the unused space under the library will begin soon with an estimated completion date of July or August, 2013. I am also delighted to let you know that we have received another significant gift for the Wellness and Fitness Center from Kathleen Ligocki. Kathleen is a graduate of IU Kokomo and is one of the top automotive executives in the country. Her commitment to IU Kokomo is unwavering and we are forever grateful to her for that commitment.

We participated in a statewide tornado drill on March 21 as part of Severe Weather Awareness Week. A tornado warning test drill using IU-Notify, the campus' emergency notification system, took place twice that day with much success.

The home page of the web site is now completely updated. The feature buttons always include up-to-date stories and information for the campus. Keep an eye on those buttons for the latest updates.

Indiana University Kokomo's middle school summer science camp has received grant funding from the IU Women's Philanthropy Council (WPC) – allowing the program to continue for the fourth consecutive summer. "Science Rocks!" was among the eight inaugural grant recipients honored by the Council. The camp received approximately $8,500 in funding. "Science Rocks!" is a free two-week summer science camp for middle school students from underrepresented populations. Christian Chauret, associate dean of the school of arts and sciences, leads the effort and has so far served about 45 students.

Marilyn Skinner received the Torchbearer Award from the Indiana Commission for Women. This award is a reflection of her hard work and dedication. She has spent the last 50 years making an impact on children; first as a teacher in the Kokomo-Center School Corporation, then working her way to assistant principal, principal and assistant superintendent to the corporation. Now in retirement she continues that impact by directing the Early Childhood Education Center. Her compassion has created a lasting legacy and we congratulate Marilyn on this much-deserved award. Congratulations Marilyn!

Associate Professor Michael Finkler took office as the president of the Indiana Academy of Science on March 10 at the academy's annual meeting in Indianapolis. As president he will set the agenda and serve as a spokesman for the academy, which is based out of the Indiana State Museum. The Indiana Academy of Science, founded in 1885, has a mission of promoting scientific research, encouraging communication and cooperation among scientists and improving education in science. It publishes a journal and books, and supports scientific research through grants. The academy gave $65,000 in grants in 2011. Several IU Kokomo faculty members belong to the academy, and have received research grants from it. Congratulation Michael!

Academic Advisor Catherine Barnes will soon take the post of president of the Indiana Academic Advising Network (IAAN), representing Indiana University Kokomo and the rest of the state. As president, she will work with other officers to make resources available to college advisors, to help them be more effective in their jobs. They also provide opportunities for academic advisors to collaborate among themselves and share best practices. Congratulations Catherine!

The Indianapolis Star has awarded Alexis Martin its annual $3,500 "Salute to Nurses Student of the Year" scholarship for her quick thinking when she came upon a car accident on January 26. She will be honored at the "Salute to Nurses" awards luncheon Wednesday, April 25, at the Indiana Roof Ballroom in Indianapolis. Nursing faculty nominated her for the scholarship. Congratulations Alexis!

Education student Tiffani Bonifant has been selected for a fellowship for a summer seminar with the Gilder Lehrman Institute of American History. She will have the opportunity to attend the "World of Lincoln" seminar in Gettysburg this July. Congratulations Tiffani!

Ryan Mix, a criminal justice major, is the youngest Galveston Town Council member. He chose IU Kokomo as his college at a young age after going to class with his mother and was inspired to study criminal justice because he often went to work with her at the Howard County Courthouse. He will not only learn skills in his classes that he can bring to the council, but also bring a unique perspective to discussion in his criminal justice classes. Congratulations Ryan!

Clinical Assistant Professor Heidi Sebastian and radiography student Hollie Boyles attended the 2012 R.T. in D.C. This was a networking event for radiologic technologists held in Washington DC from March 24 – 27. They were able to talk to legislatures about the CARE bill.

Eight students had the opportunity to spend their spring break in Guatemala. They learned about the Spanish culture, saw sights and participated in a service project.

Students were able to experience two Shakespeare plays as they would have been performed in his time, on a class trip to the American Shakespeare Center in Staunton, Va.

The group saw "Richard III" and "Much Ado About Nothing" at the center's Blackfriars Playhouse, designed to match its namesake in London. The playhouse was Shakespeare's second theater after The Globe. Joe Keener, assistant professor of English, teamed with Joann Kaiser, who teaches drama, to offer the trip as a one credit hour course, with 12 students and eight faculty and staff.

Many events took place on campus. We held a seminar for Women in Business featuring Assistant Professor Christina Downey on April 10. She discussed interpersonal communication and professional networking along with goal setting and professional interaction.

The final session in our 2011-2012 development series for staff and faculty took place on Friday, April 13, and was entitled "Relationship Building." I would like to thank all of you that participated in this development series. The topics included Accountability and Initiative, Dancing with Change, Effective Communication, Every Day Leadership, Stress Management and Wellness, Conflict Resolution and Time Management and were informative and helpful as we continue to be On the Move. I would especially like to thank Cathy Valcke for all of her work as she coordinated this series for the campus.

Admissions completed six campus visit days geared towards our different majors. Last year we did one visit day and had 45 students attend. This year we did six different days and had 87 prospective students attend. Each day was designed specifically for the major and was able to capitalize on what makes that major special. For example, we had our IU Kokomo Police department coordinate various police cars, SWAT vehicles and command vehicles available for our prospective criminal justice students to tour; our nursing and allied health prospective students were able to participate in the on-campus health career fair; humanities, SHPS and psychology students were able to watch the on-campus hypnotist; the SMI prospective students were able to participate in hands-on lab activities; prospective education students spent the day with current education majors and were able to explore becoming a teacher; and business, which include 30 prospective students, the biggest of all the events, participated in great discussions and activities plus were the first to receive the great new business T-shirts. A special thanks to the departments, faculty, advisors and current students who helped make these events so wonderful!

Admissions was able to hold admitted student lunches at 10 key feeder high schools and distribute customized T-shirts to students. The shirts were made in the color of the high schools with our Cougar shield on the front and the back lists the high school mascot with Cougar tomorrow underneath. These seem to be popular with incoming students and we think it will help increase our numbers at these key local high schools.

It was possible to see the planet Mars up close and personal on Sunday, March 11, when the Observatory hosted its monthly open house, from 8 to 11 p.m. Stargazers saw Mars, as well as Jupiter and Venus, in the sky that night. The open house on April 8 allowed those in attendance to take a closer look at Saturn, Mars, Jupiter and Venus. The Observatory is open to the public the second Sunday of each month. I would like to thank Patrick Motl for his coordination of these events for our campus and community.

Dr. Allen Safianow discussed the challenges of coordinating a local oral history project on a controversial subject on April 9. The decision of the Western School Corporation in Howard County to exclude Ryan White, a young hemophiliac who had contracted the AIDS virus through taking a blood clotting agent during the 1980s, still polarizes Kokomo and Howard County residents. Despite this, the Oral History Committee of the Howard County Historical Society decided to undertake the project, recognizing its historical importance. Dr. Safianow is Professor Emeritus of History and continues to be actively engaged in research.

Indiana University Kokomo and Ivy Tech Community College teamed up to host the annual Kokomo Area Spring Job Fair from 11 a.m. to 3 p.m. Thursday, April 12, at the Kokomo Event & Conference Center. It provided an opportunity for graduating students to seek out many job opportunities in north central Indiana. More than 40 employers registered including American Red Cross of Central Indiana, Bona Vista Programs, Chrysler Group LLC, Edward Jones, Guardian Angel Hospice, Howard Regional Health System, Key Bank, Kokomo Police Department and Logansport Memorial Hospital.

The Annual Student Exhibition opened in the art gallery on April 11 and will run until May 12, International Day was on April 13, and the Research Symposium took place on April 16 and 17. Students that participated in the IU Kokomo Student Research Symposium print posters for display. IT Training is provided to train students and faculty for printing symposium posters. It is conducted by group training or one-on-one training. There is also a tutorial for printing posters available on the IU Kokomo IT Training Web site at http://www.iuk.edu/it-training. This is just one more way we are serving our students.

Indiana University first lady Laurie Burns McRobbie and other IU leaders will be on campus April 18 to acknowledge the volunteer work of women students at IU Kokomo at a celebration luncheon.

This is Green Week with many activities available to attend, including a film festival, a talk on solar energy, and environmental student presentations.

Basketball fans can catch an Indiana Pacers game and benefit Indiana University Kokomo's camps for children by attending a game against the Philadelphia 76ers on Saturday, April 21.

A portion of tickets sold using the IU Kokomo passcode will go directly to the School of Nursing's funds for summer camps, which include programs for children with asthma and with diabetes, as well as one for children interested in fitness. Each ticket is $18.78, which includes the game, a voucher for a hot dog, bag of chips and a drink, a T-shirt and a 10 percent discount at the Home Court Gift Shop. Tickets may be ordered at www.pacersgroups.com/tickets/796, using the passcode IUKN to get the group rate and to be seated with the IU Kokomo group.

Dr. Ligaya Lindio McGovern, Professor of Sociology and recipient of the 2011 Indiana University Kokomo Research Award, will share relevant insights from her recently published book on the globalization of reproductive care work and from her new research project on migration of nurses and doctors in the global health care economy. The Migration of Nannies, Nurses and Doctors in the Global Care Economy: Insights from Fieldwork in Global Cities will be shared April 30, 2012, Monday, 2:30 pm – 3:30 pm in KC 221.

The National Survey of Student Engagement (NSSE) administration is now in the field with 577 colleges and universities participating. All IU campuses are now sending the survey to students. A report at the last NSSE meeting showed the Kokomo campus to be in the lead with 33.6% of students participating. We currently have the highest response of all campuses.

The campus community come together to launch several key events on April 11, 2012 at 4:00 p.m. in KC130. We presented the Strategic Plan. A copy of the plan was distributed and the members of the committee who will monitor the plan and send quarterly updates to the campus were announced. We also kicked off the annual internal fund raising campaign. The "Make Your Move" campaign provides opportunities for all faculty and staff to support the campus effort of their choice, including scholarships, athletics, the Wellness and Fitness Center, and general operating needs. Achieving our future strategic goals is dependent on everyone's support. This past year, it has been extremely valuable when speaking with potential donors to share that 76% of our campus participated in the internal campaign, and our goal this year is to have 100% participation. The Welcome Center ribbon cutting ceremony was a momentous occasion. I am honored to be a part of the transformation of this center, which will become a great gathering place, a source of information and a center of campus pride.

Commencement is quickly approaching. As in the past, this very special day provides lots of opportunity for faculty and staff to volunteer and impact the success of this event. Volunteer opportunities are still available, so please check with Tara Scott or Ryan Bowman if you are available to assist. Ryan is our new alumni relations director and began his duties on April 9. He has an extensive background in building relationships and planning events and will work to keep graduates involved and engaged in the campus. Welcome Ryan!

As I also work to engage the community and promote transformation of the region, I have had several opportunities to tell our story.

Superintendent John Bevan of the Southeastern School Corporation invited me to speak at the Logansport rotary at Boondockers restaurant. I spoke to about 50 people and showed a DVD that included the Wellness and Fitness Center walk-thru, Fall and Spring Convocation, and several Why IU Kokomo. As we promote the campus in our surrounding area we foster a sense of community pride which will lead to further regional engagement for our campus.

On April 2 I met at a "round table discussion" with Senator Dan Coats at The Greater Kokomo Chamber of Commerce Council to discuss the region and its future.

I am excited to let you know that I have been invited to participate in the Oxford Round Table Higher Education discussion to take place in Oxford, England, July 29 thru August 2. This is a "by invitation only" to selected persons throughout the world. The letter of invitation states, "The foundation of the Round Table's success is the assurance that this academic forum will be composed of outstanding leaders." More information can be found here:


I am also extremely proud that my latest book, "The Learner-Centered Curriculum: Design and Implementation" was released on March 20, 2012.


I would also like to welcome my new executive assistant Krista Stamps. She began her position on April 2. Krista is a graduate of IU Kokomo, receiving her MBA in 2010. Her leadership skills and visibility on campus will be a true asset to our office. Welcome Krista!

As you can see, the campus is moving and changing at a rapid pace. We are more engaged than ever and are a valuable contributor to the region and the state. I very much appreciate and value your tireless work and dedication to IU Kokomo. We are an Engaged Campus On the Move because of you!


Michael Harris, Ph.D.
Chancellor and Professor of Public and
Environmental Affairs, Business and Education​​​
Last updated: 08/19/2014