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Women of the Well House award more than $16,000 in grants

November 20, 2019

KOKOMO, Ind. –  A robotics tournament, technology for residents of a domestic violence shelter, travel to Europe and New York City, and service projects to kick off a composition class are among the initiatives receiving grant funding from Indiana University Kokomo women’s giving circle.

Women of the Well House awarded more than $16,000 during its third grant cycle Tuesday (November 19), which provides funding for eight programs led by faculty, staff, and students.

Women of the Well House representative Cathy Clearwaters, who is also director of development, said members enjoyed presentations by grant finalists and announcing of funding in person.

“It was heart-warming to see their excitement and support of one another,” she said. “It is so rewarding to know we have empowered the recipients to lead initiatives that will transform our community.”

Sarah Heath, associate professor of history, was thrilled to receive funding for a World War II class she co-leads with Kristen Snoddy, senior lecturer of English. Their class will visit sites significant to the war in Germany, France, the Netherlands, and England, and their request was to cover train transportation between Berlin and Amsterdam and admission to the Anne Frank Museum.

Students are excited to go, but “the number one comment students make before this trip is that they’re not sure they can fund it,” so they appreciate the grant.

“This takes an enormous burden off our students and allows them this opportunity,” she said.

Angela Coppola, assistant professor of health sciences, said her award allows student interns to receive pay while participating in a start-up project to lead physical activities at an early-learning center, as well as create curriculum for teachers to implement programs themselves.

“We appreciate having financial support for these students,” she said. “It’s a neat opportunity for them to be rewarded for the hard work they do.”

Additional projects receiving funding include:

  • FIRST Tech Challenge qualifying tournament: The grant will provide funding for the School of Sciences, led by Associate Dean Patrick Motl, to host a FIRST robotics competition in January 2020. FIRST Tech Challenge is the intermediate robotics league for students in grades 7 to 12. Motl anticipates hosting up to 32 area teams.


  • Obtaining technologies for the Family Service Association of Howard County (FSA) domestic violence shelter: Alan Krabbenhoft, dean of the School of Business, and Christina Romero-Ivanova, assistant professor of education, applied for funding to replace outdated technology for the FSA domestic violence shelter. The new laptops, with software and printers, will facilitate mentoring by students and faculty in the School of Business and School of Education, and also help residents seek services outside the shelter as they work toward self-sufficiency.


  • Travel expenses for Women in Accounting and Finance trip to New York: Funding will help cover travel expenses for 10 students and two faculty members to travel to New York City on a trip led by Olga Korne, lecturer in accounting, and Xiaoqiong Wang, assistant director of finance, to develop financial knowledge, professional confidence, financial independence, and leadership skills.


  • Persimmon Sustainability camp: The Office of Sustainability, led by Leda Casey, senior lecturer of geology, will host a community outreach for children served by Kokomo’s Carver Community Center. The goal is to instill an understanding of the importance of sustainability through education related to nutrition and organic farming, the value of native plants, the definition of a carbon footprint, the adventure of outdoor activity, and other ways to practice sustainability in daily life.


  • English W-131 student service projects: Funding will make it possible for students in five composition classes to complete small service projects in the community at the beginning of the semester. Projects will reinforce the same steps that developing a writing process requires, including awareness of audience, clarity of purpose, main point, organization, and strong conclusion. Kristen Snoddy, senior lecturer in English; Karla Stouse, senior lecturer in English and humanities; Michelle Westervelt, lecturer in English, Lori Bruns, visiting lecturer in English, and Felicia Williams, senior lecturer in English, will lead the classes, with themes including societal issues, preparation for education, education issues, self-esteem and individual value, and community partnerships.


  • Certification for faculty to be health navigators for Pathways to Health: Johnathan Grant, associate director of web services, received funding to train faculty, staff, or other campus community members to be Indiana Pathways to Health insurance navigators. They would be able to assist students in applying for Medicaid or Affordable Care Act Exchange health insurance coverage. The initiative focuses on improving student health.

Women of the Well House has awarded more than $49,000 in grants since its inception in 2017. Membership is open to women who make a $1,000 per year commitment, and each member has a voice in selecting projects to fund.

For more information, or to join, contact Clearwaters at cclearwa@iuk.edu or 765-455-9410.

Indiana University Kokomo celebrates 75 years as north central Indiana’s choice for higher education.

Last updated: 11/20/2019