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On The Move News - May 2012

May 30, 2012

Dear Colleagues,

As we end another phenomenal academic year, we celebrate the many activities and accomplishments that have taken place on campus this month.  IU Kokomo has been “On the Move” in a big way.  Recently we all celebrated Commencement, the time of the year in which we take the most pride in the achievements of our students. It is the hard work of the entire IU Kokomo community that makes commencement day a success. For that I am immensely grateful and express deep appreciation to each and every one of you. It is truly a time of exhilaration and happiness.


The Class of 2012 began a new Indiana University Kokomo tradition Tuesday May 8, celebrating Commencement in the campus’ new pavilion. Family members, faculty, and staff cheered and took pictures as the graduates processed to the pavilion, smiling and ready to celebrate. IU President Michael A. McRobbie called the day a celebration of accomplishments, and congratulated the class on reaching the important milestone of graduation. The pavilion was just one of the many changes the 493-member graduating class embraced during their academic experiences at IU Kokomo. The Class of 2012 actively participated in our on-going transformation in becoming a world class regional campus, part of a world-class university. Some of the graduates began blowing bubbles, then burst into cheers as it concluded. Thank you to the many members of faculty and staff who attended the ceremony to support our graduates! Your presence was deeply appreciated.

The Pavilion will provide a permanent home for outdoor Commencement and a venue for community events. It is a wonderful place for our Commencement ceremony, and our campus and community will benefit from it for years to come. We are making history and building a new tradition.

We were thrilled to host again, our annual Commencement Luncheon. Members of the platform party, faculty senate leaders, legislators, and other IUK friends and donors were in attendance. We recognized Amber Cargile, our Distinguished Alumni Award winner, as well as gave a toast to President McRobbie for his gift of the Pavilion, and his remarkable leadership of IU. This was truly a first class event, and one we are proud to host annually.

Tali and I would like to thank faculty and staff who attended the Commencement after party at the Kelley house. It was wonderful to relax together after an exciting day. 

Many activities took place surrounding Commencement. Graduates in Indiana University Kokomo’s School of Nursing and Division of Allied Health Sciences marked both an ending and beginning Thursday May 3, with recognition and pinning ceremonies, celebrating entrance into the health professions. The School of Nursing honored 47 Bachelor of Science in Nursing and 50 R.N. to B.S.N. graduates during its recognition ceremony, in Havens Auditorium. The Division of Allied Health honored seven Bachelor of Science in Medical Imaging Technology and 11 Associate of Science in Radiography graduates at its first-ever recognition ceremony and pinning. Medical imaging technology students must perform community and campus service, in addition to completing their degrees, to earn pins.

We celebrated the academic achievement of our students at two events Monday May 7.  Master's degree students were honored at the annual hooding ceremony, while undergraduates received awards at theHonors Convocation. The hooding ceremony honored 34 master's degree recipients, in business, public management, and liberal studies. The hood marks them as receiving graduate degrees. Each student received his or her hood from a mentor faculty member. At Honors Convocation, Jeremy Gibson, student body president, presented the Amicus awards to Christina Downey, assistant professor of psychology, and to adjunct faculty members Michael Fiscel and Joseph Seaborn. Students choose these award winners through a vote.

Nearly a hundred students showed up for this year’s senior salute on May 7th. Students were able to enjoy refreshments, music and prizes. Congratulations seniors!

I would like to congratulate those employees who have taken the time to complete a degree while working hard to make IU Kokomo the best regional campus in the world. Good job graduates!

Purdue’s Commencement took place on Wednesday May 9, with 44 students participating in the graduation ceremony held in Havens auditorium. Congratulations!

Enrollment and Growth

Indiana University Kokomo continues its growth trend into the first summer session, with an increase of more than 12%. Overall enrollment on Monday May 14, the first day of the session, enrollment was up 12.5% from the first day of the 2011 session. The number of credit hours taken grew 14.4%. I believe the increase is due to the quality of degree programs, the wide variety of classes offered, and the Student Success Tuition Discount program, which saves a student a year's worth of tuition and helps to ensure degree completion. IU President Michael A. McRobbie announced earlier this year all IU campuses will offer a 25% summer school discount in an effort to provide financial relief to students, promote year-round college attendance, shorten the time it takes students to graduate, and make more effective use of campus facilities state wide.

In June of 2011, we began to monitor stats for our Flickr account. At the time, we had 88,464 views -- which included a two-year span from when the account was activated in July 2009 to June 2011. We worked hard to increase our Flickr posts and views, and it paid off on December 12, of 2011, when our views doubled to 178,408. As of May 10, 2012, we have reached an outstanding 348,861 total views. What is most exciting is the increase in views after Commencement. On May 9th, we set our single day record for the most views, with 48,176 total views! All of the photos viewed were Commencement photos or related to events leading up to Commencement. More than 260 photos, which were of commencement, were individually viewed approximately 185 times in a 24 hour period. While we use photos to communicate what is happening at IU Kokomo, the ultimate goal for our students is to graduate and cherish the memories made along the way.

The dean’s council approved a new summer schedule which will now have two week, four week, and six week classes. In addition, we will have a ‘Maymester’ program with innovative classes.

I am delighted to let you know for the fall 2012 semester, the week before finals and finals week will have extended hours for the library. The library will remain open until 11:30 p.m. to allow students additional to study and better prepare for finals. Despite the additional hours, there will be a library employee, a student worker, and an IT support person, until closing.  Dave Selby will also have a police officer stay until midnight to ensure students and workers leave safely.

Budget Construction for FY2012-13 has been completed. We were the first campus to have our budget construction completed. This is a result of the excellent work we all did together during budget hearings. There was excellent preparation for these hearings, and the presenters were very well prepared. We were transparent and allocated our resources, based on our three themes and strategic plan.  Budgets are about values, and that is our focus.


We sponsored our Inaugural Athletic Banquet on April 26, at the Elite Banquet and Conference Center.  Tom Buck, the key note speaker, discussed the positive role that athletics can have on students and their future. With approximately 140 in attendance, this event celebrated the accomplishments of our athletic teams in their first year of competition, as well as introduced the addition of cross country in the fall. I believe that this once again marks the beginning of a new tradition that will bring us together.

Indiana University Kokomo has selected Jason VanAlstine to lead the men’s and women’s cross country teams in their inaugural seasons. VanAlstine, who is also an assistant professor of economics, wants to field a team with men and women committed not only to being competitive athletes, but also to being outstanding students. VanAlstine, a first-time coach, was a four-year member of the varsity cross country team at St. Vincent College, Latrobe, Pennsylvania. He has started recruiting efforts, with plans to begin practices this summer.  Meets will be scheduled during the fall semester. Congratulations Jason!

We have begun to sign the first basketball recruits for the upcoming season. Go Cougars!

Campus Activities

Many successful activities have taken place, including the inaugural Women in Philanthropy Awards ceremony held on campus. This event was a tremendous success. We had so much positive feedback. Our campus made a lasting impression on those in attendance. It was said that we were the perfect venue for this inaugural event and the energy on campus was inspirational. Three Indiana University Kokomo students received the inaugural Women Helping Women: Honoring Student Volunteer Leadership awards. IU First Lady Laurie Burns McRobbie, founding co-chairwoman of the Women's Philanthropy Council at Indiana University, presented the awards to Hollie Boyles, Stacy James and Kristianna Upchurch, recognizing their outstanding volunteer service. Congratulations Hollie, Stacy and Kristianna!

The Nursing Faculty of Ivy Tech was invited to have tea with the IU Kokomo Nursing Faculty on Thursday, April 1. The purpose of the tea was to take some time away from work to talk, laugh and network with each other. This develops long-lasting relationships and helps our students who transition from Ivy Tech.

Money Smart Week ran from April 21-28. The SIFE students gave a presentation on Escape Debt, which included personal finance, money management, budgeting, credit cards and credit scores information. Tyana Lange gave a presentation on Paying for College and provided information about loans, scholarships, and grants. We appreciate these much needed information sessions to help our students be fiscally responsible.

Take Back the Night/Angel Walk was again a very successful event. The rally began at 5:30 p.m. on April 24, with the one-mile walk following the rally. Tali and I welcomed the opportunity to participate and interact with the community and walk for such an important cause. The IU Kokomo American Democracy Project and the Family Service Association of Howard County sponsor this annual event, which raises money for the FSA's domestic violence shelter. Participants raised more than $20,000 this year.

For the first time, the Indiana University Kokomo Crescendos and Diminuendos show choirs performed one of the most popular shows in musical history, “The Music of Les Miserables.” The performances took place in the newly renovated Havens Auditorium. The show was set during the 1832 June Rebellion in France, and was presented in the 10th anniversary format, often seen on PBS. It was a first-class performance and I encourage you to attend future performances. Now with 80 vocalists, the Crescendos recently formed an a cappella group of 16 singers, called the Diminuendos. Many of those singers held the 15 lead roles in “The Music of Les Miserables,” which was a full costume show with narration.

On the annual beautification dayThursday May 3, many pitched in – helping plant lantanas, dahlias, and marigolds in flowerbeds throughout campus. More than 40 volunteers donned work gloves to plant flower containers in front of the Main Building, and to fill the flowerbeds in the quad. Campus beautification has been a top priority since my arrival at IU Kokomo. Thank you to all the volunteers and the physical plant staff. This is an on-going transformation, from a project we started two years ago, and we are going to make it the most beautiful regional campus in the world. A beautiful campus enhances a sense of community, is a source of pride, and will inspire our students and community to achieve even more.

We were delighted to host Doug Esamann, the President of Duke Energy, as he toured our campus on a visit to Kokomo May 16th.

Academic excellence and student success is what it's all about, and new incoming students to Indiana University Kokomo learned how to make the most of their college experience at a New Student Orientation session on Saturday, May 19. The day began at 8 a.m. with registration and breakfast, followed by sessions about student activities, athletics, financial aid, parking, career services, advising, and technology, among other topics.

In honor of National EMS Week, the Indiana University Police Department – Kokomo Division, PCAT, Indiana State Police, and IU Health presented a free informational session on Monday, May 21. The session “Bath Salts and Spice: What you need to know about these dangerous synthetic drugs” was held in Havens Auditorium. Guest speakers included Toxicologist Dr. Furbee from IU Health, Trooper Josh Maller from Indiana State Police, and Indiana State Representative Mike Karickhoff.

2012 marks the 16th consecutive year for the IU Kokomo School of Nursing facilitating Camp Eeze-the-Wheeze, KIDDS Camp and Fit Camp. This year’s camp is scheduled for June 11-15,       9 a.m. – 3 p.m. at Jackson Morrow Park.  Registration is a nominal fee of $20 for the week, and scholarships are available.  For additional information regarding the camps and registration information, please contact Lynda Narwold at lnarwold@iuk.edu or 765-455-9308.

Indiana University Kokomo’s $52 million impact on the region was the center of discussion and direction for future growth in north central Indiana during a regional town hall meeting Wednesday, May 23. Continuing our focus as a catalyst for change and regional transformation, we hosted the event to determine best practices for collaboration to move the region forward. The goal is to use the results of a recent study, which revealed a $52.1 million impact by IU Kokomo on the state’s economy, to encourage leaders to work together. This work reflects the campus themes embraced two years ago, building relationships and making friends, as well as transforming the region. William Stephan, vice president for engagement, reviewed the study, while representatives of Tripp Umbach, presented results. The study measured direct economic impact through salaries, benefits, and spending by faculty, staff and students. It also studied indirect impact, as those who sell goods and services to the university re-spend that revenue. In addition, the study measured the value of volunteer service and charitable donations of our campus’ faculty, staff, and students, which totaled more than $3.4 million. The campus also generates $2.7 million per year in state and local tax revenue. David Gard, a featured IU blogger posted to Innovate Indiana regarding the regional town hall meeting.

Stargazers got a closer look at three planets on Sunday, May 13, when the IU Kokomo Observatory hosted its monthly open house, from 8 to 11 p.m. The evening began with Patrick Motl, assistant professor of physics, speaking briefly on the transit of Venus, which has been used in the past by explorers in an attempt to measure the size of the solar system and objects beyond. Motl plans to have the observatory open in the afternoon on Tuesday, June 5, for people to see the transit, which is an once-in-a-lifetime event. For more information about the transit of Venus, go to www.transitofvenus.org. 

A partial solar eclipse could be seen Sunday, May 20. The Observatory at IU Kokomo provided a bird's eye view to the public. The eclipse began shortly before sunset, around 8:20 p.m. The Observatory, allowed stargazers to view Saturn once the sky was darker. Those watching from the southwest saw a rare annular eclipse, in which the moon appeared entirely within the sun's disk, also described as a "ring of fire".

Student Activities 

Our SIFE team made it to nationals after an exceptional display at regionals. The quality of the team was so remarkable; a student even received a written offer for a paid internship while at regionals. SIFE's volunteer services include preparing women who currently live at the Family Service Association's domestic violence shelter to enter the workforce. They have also sponsored a canned food drive for Kokomo Urban Outreach and have presented a financial literacy program to IU Kokomo freshmen.

The IU Kokomo Student Research Symposium held on April 16-17 was truly focused on academic excellence and student success. Faculty nominate students to participate, based on the quality of their research. Thirty-six students presented papers, while 50 showcased their research with posters displayed in Alumni Hall. This symposium allows our students to demonstrate and share their success.

Indiana University Kokomo is celebrating publication of the fifth anniversary edition of "From the Well House."Andrew Turley is the editor of the student-run publication. In the five years since the first issue, its mission has expanded from publishing local work to including artists and writers from around the world. In addition to the print magazine, it also publishes an online edition each fall, and features a story of the month on its website. It also has a "live issue" each fall in the IU Kokomo Art Gallery, with an art exhibit and author readings. Copies of "From the Well House" are available in the Office of Student Activities.  The quality of the publication is exceptional and I greatly encourage you to read it.

Our students in the School of Nursing and School of Business were recently inducted into honour societies, rewarding their academic excellence. The School of Nursing inducted 11 senior nursing students into Sigma Theta Tau Alpha Chapter in recognition of their academic achievement, leadership, and demonstrated professional ability. The honour society was founded by IU nursing students in 1922 and has a long history of providing leaders in the nursing profession, supporting student nurses and funding research to advance the career field.  The School of Business inducted seven students into Beta Gamma Sigma business honour society. Undergraduates must be in the top 10% of their class to be inducted, while graduate students must be in the top 20%. Many of the students chosen have 4.0 or 3.9 GPAs. Beta Gamma Sigma has a mission of encouraging and rewarding academic achievement in business, and promoting high standards for business leaders.  Congratulations!

Indiana University Kokomo student Alexis Martin received more than double the scholarship she expected at the Indianapolis Star's Salute to Nurses awards luncheon on April 25. Not only did she receive the $3,500 scholarship from the paper, but one of the event’s donors, USA Funds, gave an additional $4,500. Congratulations Alexis!

Mary Olk and Justin Clark each received $1,000 from the first-ever Selzer Student Scholarships for International Study, which both will use on the IU Kokomo Innovation Symposium trip to England this summer. It will be the first overseas experience for both students, who are juniors. Erwin Boschmann, interim dean of the School of Business, established the scholarship with his wife, Priscilla, and named the scholarship for her parents, Truman and Lahla Selzer. When presenting the scholarships, he encouraged the recipients to be lifelong learners and to help someone else in the future. Congratulations Mary and Justin!  

The School of Nursing is pleased to share that over 90% of the December graduates passed the NCLEX licensing exam.

Faculty and Staff News

The greatness of any university is measured by the quality and productivity of its faculty.  Therefore I am delighted to congratulate Angela Heckman, JR Pico, Christina Taff, and Nancy Greenwood on their recent promotions. I also congratulate Linda Ficht and Christopher Darr on their recent promotion and tenure.

The Faculty Senate recently voted in new officers. Congratulations to Chris Darr President, Gregory Steel Vice President, Joe Keener secretary, Joshua Gottemoller Parliamentarian, and Yusuf Nur UFC representative.  I believe we will work very closely to assure IUK success. 

Dr. Christian Chauret traveled to Dublin attending the World Congress on Water, Climate, and Energy and Dr. Lina Rifai will travel to Jordan to continue her study of desert ecology. SMI is offering for the first time an Ornithology course, the study of birds.  We will also host our annual science summer camp “Science Rocks!” for underrepresented middle school students. We are delighted that Dr. Chauret was able to secure external funding support for the camp.

Chris Darr’s class held a debate for drug testing for IUK athletes. Many members of the community attended, included members of the legislature!

Julie Saam was awarded a Scholarship of Engagement Grant: Indiana Campus Compact (ICC) in the amount of $2,250.00.  Congratulations Julie!

Catherine Barnes and Carlos Zapata attended the Region 5 National Academic Advising Association (NACADA) Convention in Akron Ohio. Below is the website that details the names of all of the conference sessions for the conference: http://www.nacada.ksu.edu/Regional_Divisions/region5/sessions.htm

Dr. Ligaya Lindio McGovern, Professor of Sociology, shared 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.

Lori Collins presented at the IUPUI JACADA (Jaguars Academic Advising Association, an affiliated association of NACADA). Cathy Barnes and Lori Collins will be presenting at the Regional Advisors meeting May 31 – June 1 on “Developing Training Programs for Advising.”

Several of the IU Kokomo advisors attended IVYT 101 and 120 New Student classes at Region 5 IVY Tech campuses (Peru, Wabash, Logansport, and Kokomo) to help increase student awareness of their transfer options to IU Kokomo and the importance of knowing what will transfer to their intended degree, credit hour maximums that can transfer, encourage them to complete their associates degree and to let them know they can meet with an IUK advisor while they are taking classes at IVY Tech, so they are on track to transfer.

Advisors received a grant for $2,400 for staff development from the steering committee from the IU FLAGS project.  The money will be used to send advisors to a conference regarding retention and student success.

The Strategic Planning Committee had its first meeting. The Co-Chairs of the committee are Sarah Sarber and Diane Bever. The other committee members are:  Erv Boschmann, Business; Lina Rifai, Science; Kevin Clark, Psychology; Diane Roden, Business; Cathy Barnes, Advisor; Paul Paese, Education; Tyana Lange, Enrollment Management; Christopher Wolfe, Education; Marie Radel, Media and Marketing; Donna McLean, Communications; David Rink, Business; Candy Thompson, Academic Affairs; Cathy Valcke, Human Resources; Lesley Connolly, Nursing. In teams, they will monitor each of the Strategic Priorities and send out Quarterly Updates and Quarterly Reports. The first report will be shared at the beginning of October.

In Classroom Technologies, Manager Michael Spaulding has developed a fully functional prototype of the next iteration of classroom podium equipment. Built using completely digital infrastructure, the new podiums will position us to support the devices faculty and staff will adopt in the coming years. As VHS technology is made obsolete by the marketplace, the digital infrastructure will support Blu-ray devices, digital document cameras, HDMI capable laptops and tablet devices. Currently, we are the only IU Regional campus experimenting with this technology.

In web services, we have also taken the lead among regional campus units with our digital signage platform. Built in the University’s Web Content Management System (WCMS), the UITS-Kokomo web team has delivered a stable and cost effective signage delivery system that meets Safety and Security requirements for immediate notifications. By leveraging the existing campus knowledge of WCMS, we have reduced training costs and provided a tool for digital communications. This month, members of the web team travelled to IU South Bend to provide training to UITS and Marketing personnel at their campus so they can begin to leverage our work.

A few changes in personnel have taken place this month. Cathy Clearwaters began her new position as assistant director of development. She will be working with Kelly Goad building relationships with our alumni and students, and increasing fund-raising efforts.

Kelly Goad, who began her duties Monday, May 14, as director of development, is charged with building relationships with alumni, students, and friends of the campus, as she leads fund-raising efforts for scholarships and capital campaigns, and making friends. Welcome Kelly!

On May 9th, our long-time UITS-KO colleague Chris Rivers accepted a position with the IU Southeast campus. We wish him well as he joins the IUS team.

Chancellor’s News

I was fortunate enough to be featured as part of a panel discussion on a recent broadcast of Inside Indiana Business, the state-wide business news television program. Click here to watch the video.

The number of trees at Grissom increased by eight thanks to a special Arbor Day tree planting ceremony that included participation by six of the base's honorary commanders. Col. William "Tim" Cahoon, 434th Air Refueling Wing commander, held the program for honorary commanders, of which I am delighted to be counted. The program is a special community outreach activity designed to provide selected civic leaders with a behind the scenes look at Grissom and its many diverse missions. Grissom ARB, which has more than 3,700 trees, has been named as a "tree city" by the National Arbor Day Foundation for 12 straight years. For more information, click on the link below: http://www.grissom.afrc.af.mil/news/story.asp?id=123300045 

It is with extreme honor, and much humility that I share with you that I have been recognized in Israel’s Maariv as one of the seven most successful Israelis in seven different fields in the world.  I have been nominated for “work as both a scholar and a high ranking administrator.” The Maariv is the second largest Israeli daily newspaper, and is distributed across the state.


Thank you

As we try to summarize the many accomplishments and activities that have taken place in May, I would like to again thank each and every one of you for all you do to make a difference in the lives of our students and most especially our graduates.


Michael Harris, Ph.D.
Chancellor and Professor of Public and
Environmental Affairs, Business and Education


Last updated: 08/19/2014