Indiana University Kokomo

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KOKOMO, Ind. — As a child, Shanique Gilliam considered herself to be a pretty good artist.

Introduction to Creative Arts ClassShanique Gilliam (L) and Keeana Walton (R) draw during Introduction to Creative Arts.

As she grew older, though, she drifted away to other interests, putting aside her interest in drawing.

This summer, however, she's picked up her crayons — this time of the Conté variety, rather than Crayola — and rediscovered her inner artist, taking the Introduction to Creative Arts class at Indiana University Kokomo.

"Most kids love to color and draw, and to sing, and tell stories," she said. "Somewhere along the way, we lose that. This class brings that back, and you realize you can still be an artist."

The six-week class includes viewing video performance of the opera La Boheme, then its modern counterpart Rent, and singing selections from the movie. In addition, students study author Isak Dinesen and the art of storytelling, learn about painter Georges Seurat, and create artworks using pointillism – where the artist creates patterns of dots to form a picture.

JoAnn Kaiser, lecturer in humanities, teaches the class, and said her goal is to nurture an interest in exploring art, and to rekindle the love of art that most people have as children.

"We want to help them remember what it was like to be a kid, before someone told us we were not good enough at singing, drawing, or telling stories," Kaiser said. "We want to re-energize them, teach them to sing, to draw, and to tell a story. You also learn about culture and history by studying the arts."

The class includes a field trip to the Indianapolis Museum of Art, which Gilliam found to be inspiring.

She took her daughter, who is 7, to the museum, and said neither of them had been before the class.

"I knew it was there, but I never thought to go," said Gilliam, a health sciences major from Kokomo. "I had no idea admission was free, either. I look forward to going again."

Her classmate Angela Graff, Converse, most enjoyed the storytelling experience, with each student telling about an experience he or she had.

"You saw the lighter side of people," she said. "I felt like I really bonded with everyone."

She was apprehensive about drawing, but also looked forward to attempting to sketch with the Conté crayons, which are square drawing instruments made of powdered graphite in a wax or clay base.

"My stick figures are pretty lame, so this should be interesting," she said.

That's OK, Kaiser said — the point of the class is not to produce great artists, but for non-artists to find joy in art.

"It's fun to see that 'Aha!' moment, when a student succeeds at singing with the group, or drawing, or telling a good story," she said. "They realize they can do it, and it was fun."

Indiana University Kokomo serves north central Indiana.

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KOKOMO, Ind. — Emily Ross wields a red pen with the best of editors.

Emily RossEmily Ross

Her skills, demonstrated as editor-in-chief of Indiana University Kokomo's literary and arts magazine, and editing The Correspondent student newspaper, lead her to a prestigious assistantship, one that will pay for her to earn her graduate degree.

Ross, who graduated in May with a degree in English, was chosen through a competitive application process to edit the Journal of Teaching Writing, as she completes a Master of Arts in English at IUPUI.

"I'm excited to be out in the real world, working on my future," said Ross, who is from Forest. "I've looked at the classes available, and they're all classes that interest me. I'm also gaining publishing experience, which gives me even more career options."

In addition to editing, she also completed a teaching assistantship at IU Kokomo, an experience usually reserved for graduate students, said Paul Cook, assistant professor of English.

"I know her involvement here made her stand out among the candidates when she applied, and her application materials were perfectly edited," he said. "Her experiences were not just in the classroom, but in the real world, and that made a difference. The journal she will edit is one of the flagship journals in writing research, and is rather prestigious. This will be a valuable opportunity for her to advance her career."

The Journal of Teaching Writing is published by the Indiana Teachers of Writing, and sponsored by IUPUI. It includes articles for teachers of all levels of writing, from preschool through university.

It will be interesting reading for Ross, who wants to teach first-year college level writing classes after earning her master's degree.

"Learning to write well is vital to every part of a successful college experience," Ross said. "There are fun, creative ways to teach people to be good writers, and they need those skills, no matter what major they chose. I like that it is interesting, and not just for English majors."

Her teaching assistantship at IU Kokomo solidified her career choice. She began by observing, then graded some papers and helped develop a new tool to grade writing. Finally, she taught a class on literary analysis, and was pleased that a student said her lesson was helpful.

"The assistantship helped me learn there's a lot of behind the scenes that goes into teaching," she said. "Once I got up there, I felt like it came naturally."

Ross began her college career as an education major, planning to teach high school English. Early field experiences convinced her that high school was not for her, so she changed her major to English. She graduated as the outstanding student in that program.

"English is more a degree on how to think, rather than what to think," she said. It's a springboard for a lot of careers. English covered all of my bases as far as what I was interested in, and what I wanted to do."

Indiana University Kokomo serves north central Indiana.

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KOKOMO, Ind. — A partnership between health sciences students and a local health organization has created an opportunity for parents to become more educated on a virus that can cause cancer.

Indiana University Kokomo

Students in Jessica Henderson's Henderson's Promoting Health Behaviors class at Indiana University Kokomo researched the human papillomavirus (HPV), which causes the majority of cervical cancers. They developed educational brochures, posters, and other materials for the Howard County Health Department, and then tested their effectiveness to more than 200 people.

Student Sarah Brown said students worked hard on researching, because it is important to present fact-based information, to dispel myths about vaccinations. The HPV vaccine has met some resistance, because it is for a sexually transmitted disease.

"We wanted parents to understand, this is the most studied vaccine ever, and it's safe for your child," she said. "We have to change parents' beliefs, so they understand that vaccines protect, not harm."

Adriana Sanchez, whose group created materials in both Spanish and English, was surprised by how little information is widely available about the vaccine.

"We didn't know there were so many people out there unaware of it," she said. "We know at least one person who looked at our materials and then took her son for his first dose of the vaccine."

Henderson said their work is important, because Howard County's HPV vaccination rate is below the national average. It gave students a chance to be health educators, and to make a difference in their community, using knowledge and skills gained in their health sciences classes. The health department benefitted with high-quality educational materials.

"In the short term, higher HPV vaccination rates will lower the number of HPV infections in the community," she said. "Long term, it also will lower HPV-related cancer rates in the future."

Henderson said both the health department and the students benefit from the project.

"The students became more familiar with public health agencies, and had an opportunity to work on a real life project, which has the benefit to be used in the community," she said. "The Howard County Health Department and the Indiana Immunization Coalition benefitted from the student' specific range of knowledge, and creative skills, to create messages for health officials and parents of teens and young adults."

Each group focused on a target market — parents of boys, parents of girls, parents of teens, and Spanish speaking parents, for example — and developed materials for their audience. The 25 students test marketed the materials to more than 200 people, representing their targets, and made adjustments based on their responses.

Renee Canady was amazed by some of the reactions.

"I talked to one mother who is totally against this vaccine, because it is for a sexually transmitted disease," she said, adding that she hopes she influenced that mother to change her mind by reminding her that 50,000 girls today will develop cervical cancer in their lifetimes. This vaccine provides protection.

The groups focusing on boys used sports-related themes, with slogans like "Guard your Guy," with a football logo, and "Take the Shot," which used IU Kokomo basketball player Aaron Knupp as its face. They were surprised that so few people — including clinicians — knew that the HPV vaccine is recommended for boys.

While men cannot get cervical cancer if they contract HPV, they can pass the virus to a female partner, who could then get cervical cancer.

"When it comes to HPV, females are only half the equation," said student Don Davidson. "Protecting males also protects females."

After completing their projects, the students, who worked in groups, presented their materials to Jennifer Sexton and Karen Long, both from the Howard County Health Department, and Lori Lovett, from the Indiana Immunization Coalition.

Sexton appreciates having factual, well-researched materials available.

"We have to get past people thinking 'sexually transmitted disease,' and thinking of cancer prevention," she said. "We will definitely be able to use these materials."

Indiana University Kokomo serves north central Indiana.

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KOKOMO, Ind. — Jason VanAlstine earns recognition for outstanding work in the classroom, from the Faculty Colloquium on Excellence in Teaching (FACET).

Jason VanAlstineJason VanAlstine

VanAlstine, assistant professor of economics at Indiana University Kokomo, was recently inducted into the organization, which has the goal of promoting and sustaining excellence in teaching among IU faculty.

"FACET includes a lot of the faculty members I have looked up to as mentors since I came to IU Kokomo," said VanAlstine. "To be a part of that group is a big honor. They are very passionate about teaching. I am excited to be part of this group I can learn from, and hopefully others can learn from me as well."

Michael Tulley, acting dean of the School of Business, called VanAlstine "one of the School of Business' most engaged, student-centered, creative and effective instructors," and said he is the kind of faculty member the organization was created to recognize.

"His students leave IU Kokomo well-prepared for success in the world of business, which is by far the best evidence of his exceptional classroom skills," Tulley said. "He brings a high level of enthusiasm to all his involvements on this campus, whether as a coach, student organization advisor, or a rising star faculty member in this dynamic academic unit. The continued success of the business school and the campus depends on faculty such as Jason, who can touch and inspire students through his high-quality teaching, mentoring, and modeling of good academic habits and citizenship."

VanAlstine had planned to be an accountant, but discovered a talent for economics while he was an undergraduate. He accepted a teaching assistantship to pay for his graduate studies at IU, and was surprised by how much he enjoyed teaching.

"Once I taught a couple of classes, I realized that's what I wanted to do," he said. "I really like working with college level students. You have students who have lived with their parents their whole lives, and by the time they complete their degrees, they are expected to leave home and start their lives. I like my role in helping them transition though that stage in life."

In addition to teaching, VanAlstine coaches the IU Kokomo men's and women's cross country teams, and is co-sponsor of the Enactus student organization. He appreciated support from Chulkov and Dianne Roden, professor of finance, who led his peer review, and Julie Saam, associate professor of education, who guided him through the FACET selection process

FACET was established in 1989 as the service oriented teaching academy of IU. Members are chosen annually through a peer review process. Each year, members are involved in collaborative activities at the campus, university, and national level, promoting inquiry and engagement in teaching and learning.

Indiana University Kokomo serves north central Indiana.

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KOKOMO, Ind. — The Indiana University Kokomo Art Gallery features the work of talented high school artists in its newest show.

19th Annual High School Art ExhibitionAleaya Batchler of Peru High School and Ashley Nguyen of Taylor High School stand with their awards at the 19th Annual High School Art Exhibition. See more pictures on Flickr.

The annual High School Art Show includes artwork created by juniors and seniors from Kokomo High School, Mississenewa High School, Peru High School, Tri-Central High School, and Western High School.

The exhibition, which opened with an awards ceremony Wednesday, May 28, continues through June 14 in the gallery, in Upper Alumni Hall. Gallery Director Susan Skoczen encouraged people to visit and see the drawings, paintings, photography, ceramics, mixed media, and sculptures included in the show.

"The level of work being created at the high school level is quite impressive, and we are honored to showcase this work," she said. "People should see this show to know how important art is in the curriculum, not just in high schools, but at all levels of education."

Award winners included Ashley Nguyen, Taylor High School, best of 2D; Kaylee Anderson, Peru, best of mixed media and an honorable mention; Aleaya Batchler, Peru, best of 3D; and Cortney Zickmund, Tri-Central, juror's choice. Additional honorable mention winners were Karissa Bates, Peru; and Hadley DeWeese, Tri-Central.

"The students in this show dedicated hours upon hours of time and effort into making these pieces," Skoczen said. "They do this because it is their passion and primary interest. It is evident in the high level of work in this show."

Admission and parking are free. Gallery hours are 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. Tuesdays and Thursdays, 10 a.m. to 8 p.m. Wednesdays, and noon to 4 p.m. Saturdays.

For more information, call the IU Kokomo Art Gallery at 765-455-9523 or go to

Indiana University Kokomo serves north central Indiana.

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KOKOMO, Ind. — Bethann Duly discovers a passion for overseas travel, teaching, and languages, while earning her degree at Indiana University Kokomo.

Bethann DulyBethann Duly

After starting college planning to go to dental school, she now dreams of teaching English as a second language, preferably in a Spanish speaking country, after graduating in May. Her travel experiences, along with her classes in English and Spanish, opened her eyes to that possibility.

"Before college, I had never put my feet in and taken that kind of risk," she said. "Then Karla Stouse told me I needed to apply for the Innovation Symposium, and next thing I knew, I was on my way to England. After that, I wanted to go everywhere. It was Karla's push, and giving me those experiences, and telling me I would benefit from going, that made the difference."

Stouse, senior lecturer in English, offered her other travel opportunities too, including attending the lifetime achievement ceremony for Pulitzer Prize-winning author Toni Morrison at Virginia Tech, and meeting Japanese veterans of World War II in Hawaii. Duly's previous travel experience was a mission trip to Mexico, as well as a few fishing and camping trips in Canada, but she was a brave, adventurous traveler.

"She respects and embraces the culture everywhere she goes, willing to try local foods and participate in local customs, rather than remaining a tourist, unaffected by a new place," Stouse said. "These experiences took her far outside her comfort zone, eating Scotch bonnets at Jamie Oliver's, interviewing and developing friendships with World War II veterans, and translating in Spanish. In all of these experiences, she remains a wise and kind soul, with a heart of service."

Duly found her calling in Mexico.

"I felt like I was at home," she said. "I felt comfortable. I realized, though, that if I wanted to get around, I'd have to speak Spanish. Teaching English as a second language gave me the platform I'd always wanted in the Latin community. It gives me a way to go wherever I want, and is a springboard into humanitarian work. That's what I want to do. I want to affect a lot of people in my life."

Her work-study job gives her hands-on experience teaching, working with children in an after school program at F.D. Reese Christian Academy, in Kokomo. She's continuing the work there for the school's summer program since graduating in May.

"I've learned so much about teaching, and about myself," she said. "I had never wanted to teach children. I just wasn't interested, and I didn't think I would like working with children. This really opened my heart to something new. This job has been a blessing."

She's developed her Spanish language fluency in classes with J.R. Pico, lecturer in Spanish, and credits him for teaching her that language is more than memorizing vocabulary.

"When you learn a language, it's not just the words, it's learning about the culture of the people," she said. "You can't learn a language without diving into the culture, and trying to live how they live. Language is a window into someone else's perspective."

Her experiences at IU Kokomo have been about more than just going to classes and studying. They've been about making connections, and learning about herself.

"I'm graduating with an experience I never could pay for," she said. "We have teachers here who really love what they do, and they want you to leave here a better person. That's what I love about this campus."

Indiana University Kokomo serves north central Indiana.

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KOKOMO, Ind. — Talal Al-Hammad graduates from Indiana University Kokomo not only with a degree, but with new understanding of American culture, and a desire to be a bridge between the United States and his home country.

Talal Al-HammadTalal Al-Hammad

Al-Hammad, 37, was the first of the current group of students from Saudi Arabia to enroll in the Master of Business Administration (M.B.A.) program, two years ago. He is taking his final class during the summer session.

"This has been a great investment in my future, to go to graduate school in the United States," he said. "I'm ready now to go home, and to be a link between Saudi and American countries. I leave here with good memories, and good friends."

His wife, Reem, also is finishing her graduate studies, in Indianapolis, and they plan to return home after the birth of their first child this fall.

His experience has been positive at IU Kokomo, as he has built relationships with faculty and his classmates. He believes both sides have benefitted from knowing one another.

"It's good when you are in a diverse environment, to learn about many points of view," he said. "You can look at things from different angles. Sometimes during class discussions, we can bring in examples from our experiences in our country, and add something new to the class."

Gloria Preece, M.B.A. program director, called Al-Hammad "an exceptional student," and noted that he added an international aspect to the program. He didn't just concentrate on his classes, though, but became part of the campus community.

"I am always inspired and humbled by Talal's thoughtfulness towards our community and towards his fellow students," she said. "During the last two years, he has dedicated much of his personal time to mentoring new students, as well as current students who needed help. I believe Talal is destined for great success, and I wish him all the best."

Al-Hammad helped start a Saudi Student Club, which hosted a Saudi cultural celebration for the campus. They served traditional foods and had educational presentations about their culture. Club members also cleaned up damage from the November tornadoes in Kokomo, anxious to be of service in their adopted community.

He has found American students are interested in learning about Saudi Arabia, and a few want to come visit their Saudi classmates after they've returned home.

"American students like to ask about our culture and religion," he said. "They show so much respect of that. We have had discussions of what we share, and what we don't."

He learned about IU Kokomo's M.B.A. program while researching online. He contacted Preece through Facebook with some questions, and was impressed when she responded within an hour. She then worked with the Saudi Arabian Cultural Mission to gain approval of IU Kokomo's programs as one Saudi students may attend on its scholarships.

The campus has earned good word-of-mouth from its current students, who like the quality of the classes and the friendly atmosphere.

"More and more Saudi students are coming here," Al-Hammad said. "Everybody is bringing everyone else. At first, it was just M.B.A. students, but now more are coming for undergraduate study too."

He recommends it to other students, based on his own experiences.

"I appreciate that when you have a question, you can contact your professors directly, and they will answer your questions quickly," he said. "Everybody at IU Kokomo knows everybody by their first names. It makes you feel like you are at home."

While in the program, he's run his business back in Saudi Arabia, via e-mail and telephone. It hasn't been easy, but the time was well spent.

"You can do great things with experience and education," he said. "The M.B.A. focuses on 10 areas of business. Now it's like I speak 10 new languages. Now I know the accounting language, the finance language, the legal language. It puts me ahead of people who don't have this education."

Indiana University Kokomo serves north central Indiana.

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KOKOMO, Ind. — Laura Brown has been mother to her daughter, Wendy, in all but name since she was 4 years old.

The BrownsThe Browns.

In July 2013, they made it official.

Wendy asked Laura and her husband, Brian, to adopt her — at age 26 — so that when she and her mother graduate from Indiana University Kokomo, they have the same last name.

"I wanted the last name of the people who were there for me and supported me," said Wendy, who will earn her degree in December. "It makes me feel more like part of the family."

For Laura Brown, who graduated in May, the adoption was more about putting on paper what was in their hearts for Wendy.

"When you're there for all the growing up stuff, you are the mother," she said. "This didn't change anything for us. It's a change of her name more than it's a change of situation."

Wendy and her sister, Melissa, were only supposed to stay with the Browns for a short time, while their biological mother served in the military. However, she did not return for the girls after completing her service, so they grew up as members of the family. The Browns adopted two other children, who are now in junior high, but Wendy never felt the need to accept their standing offer to adopt her — at least until 2013, as she neared graduation.

One of Laura Brown's rules was that college was a requirement, not an option. She regretted not going to college herself, discouraged by her guidance counselor, who told her she was "not college material." Her own children would know better, she decided.

"I drilled it into her that you need to go to college," Laura Brown said. "I never told her what to study. I said that I didn't care if she went to Hamburger University, but she had to do something. She had to have a job, a driver's license, and be enrolled in college before she graduated from high school."

Wendy Brown recalls signing up for fall classes at IU Kokomo during spring break her senior year from high school, mostly to get Laura to leave her alone, but now she's glad she did.

Just a year later, her mother decided it was time for her to go to college, and enrolled in a math class.

"I faced my biggest fear, and I walked out with a B," she said. "Once I got past that, I knew this was possible for me. I've had a 3.0 GPA, while working, raising kids, and taking care of my family. It's been so much better than I ever thought it would be. I wish I had done this 20 years earlier."

Laura and Wendy took several classes together, and learned to work off each other's strengths to succeed in those classes. Laura takes detailed notes, while Wendy's gift is being able to recall precisely what was said in class.

"When we're studying at home, if you don't understand something, you can yell across the room for help," Wendy said. "We had some healthy competition with our grades. I probably earned better grades than I would have otherwise, because we had that competition going."

They never told people they were mother and daughter, which led to some funny moments. Both of them laugh remembering a young man flirting with Wendy in a class, only to be embarrassed when he realized her mother was right there. Another time, a professor joked that when the class paired up for projects, there were not to be any mother and daughter pairs.

Both agree they've learned about each other, and strengthened their relationship by going to school together.

Indiana University Kokomo serves north central Indiana.

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KOKOMO, Ind. — Five hundred seventy-four full-time Indiana University Kokomo students earned dean's list honors for the spring 2014 semester. Dean's list students earned a minimum 3.5 grade point average (GPA) on a scale of 4.0, while carrying at least 12 credit hours throughout the grading period. Students are listed by hometown.

Indiana University KokomoIndiana University Kokomo


Kimberly Lorraine Allen

Natalee E. Beeman

Stephanie M. Goodpaster

Loraine Ann Huffman

Jada Nicole Smith


Colten Scott Lorenz

Marissa Ann Spohn


Tracie Lee Davis

Calani Rae Hitchell

Marka Lee Maxwell

Mary Jo Woolums


Jordyn Anna Logan

Jacob Tucker Million

Lindsy Megan Richards


Peyton Bristol

Siarra Singer


Simegn Kebere Bitew


Cynthia Mae Hillenburg


Carrie Ann Thomas

Bunker Hill

Megan Mercedes Myers

Julia Mae Walters


Duana Paige McAninch

Kyle T. McAninch

Kendra Michele Wheeldon


Joshua David Flora


Kathy Ann Bitar

Jennifer Anne Conley

Vi Thi Nguyen

Tressia Marie Puller

Sandra Lee Shipley

Austin Matthew Stark

Jordan Vallieres

Kimberly Ann Ware

Adrienne Gail Wilhelm


Jennifer Marie Slown


Tyler Jordan Elmore

Erin Elise Heaver

Heather Rae Hickok

Cayley Jo Higginbotham

Madison Moses

Jessica Rene Nordhoff

Danika Shae Smith


Jennifer Lynn Gale


Hayley M. Bunker

Mellanee Jean Neeley

Sheryl Kristina Ottinger


Dee Anne Arnone


Teresa Louise Fraser

Kaitlyn G. Hall

Paola Marissa Zaldivar


Sabrina Marie Briggs

Melinda Sue Burns

Tristan Michelle Hippensteel

Sara J. Musselman

Justin Paul Thiry


Alison Jean Ashbaugh

Christopher James Capps

Meagan Sue Davis

Jake Hobbs

Leeza Sabrina Price

Korsen Ray Stiner

Leah Danell Tranbarger

Jennifer Marie Vandiver


Meagan Ashley Hall

Sharon D. Hoheimer

Joshua Lee Mahoney

Christine Kay Myers

Kimberly Kay Willman

Alanna Marie Winters


Andrea Nicole Stevenson


Kasey Bergman

David Michael Brown

Heather Lee Hayes

Kristy Ann Johnson

Tabitha Marie Kennedy

Emily Robin White


Steven Alexander Amos

Fort Wayne

Sonia Marie Bassett

Heather Nicole Brisentine

Kaleigh Ensley


Lori Ann Brubaker

Nicole Lynn Brubaker

Amanda C. Green

Alexander James Luzadder

Emma Madelyn Packard

Elizabeth Pearl Rowen


Judith Alanis Guijosa

Ricardo Alanis

Troy Brooks

Stephanie Ann Cole

Caryn Shari Erickson

Amanda Faye Keafer

Shelley Nicole Martin

Allison Wren Ostler

Jordan Perkins

Leslie Michele Phillips

Karen L. Ponder

Callie Elizabeth Reecer

Kayla Michelle Scott

Alin Sotelo

Daisy Valdez

Chelsea Ann West

Mitchell David Young


Stephen Todd Back


Emily Janell Barnard

Allyson Dannielle Boyd

Hollie Charlene Boyles

Noah James Cicalo

Josh Hansen

Kara Marie Keppel

Jessica Elizabeth Roller

Kelsey Jo Thieke

April Lynn Walker

Douglas Todd Walker

Emily Anne Watkins

Joshua David Williams

Steven Eli Wright

Gas City

Amber Christine Ancil

Meagan Rose Cunningham

Madison R. Elkins

Christopher Adam Osborne

Allison Poulson


Jack H. Mattingly


Amanda Lynn Alexander

Karen Lynette Bowlin

PrinceKristian Dionisio Bravo

Nicholas Salvatore Carley

Morgan Dunkle

Eric Len Hainlen

Christopher Wayne Johnson

Amy Rebecca McCauley

Lisa Rae Millspaugh

Vincent Michael Molino

Mitch Padfield

Molly Roberts

Shannon R. Stockdale

Brendan White


Aaron Jon Lipp


Adebisi Rashidat Adeyeri

Linda Louise Collins

Maura Murphy Fredwell

Sarah Lynn Jacobs

Alton James Knight Jr.

Melissa Marie Kocsis

Brenda Ann Lehman

Deidre Lyn McDaniel

Susan Michel

Roshanna Minton

Marzieh Tavassoli Naderi

Steven Lee Stinchcomb

Kathryn Jean Thomas

Nancy Ann Todd

Norma C. Wasson

Carol A. Williams

Karri J. Woodard

Margaret Rose Yeisley


Kimberly Kaye Altman

Lyndsay Ann Christensen


Lindsay Breanne Timm

Zachery Dalton Timm


Kelly Cunningham


Kaylea Eli

Caroline E. Landis

Maddox Tristen Macy

Joseph A. Nierzwick


Teresa Ann Metsker


Lindsey Nicole Abell

Kara Beth Abresch

Carolina Anaya Pico

Delaney K. Alexander

Lyna Alkhayat

Amanda M. Bagwell

Kortany Maree Baker

Alexandria Rae Beechy

Yalanunda D. Benitez

Erica Jane Bennett

Courtney Rose Boike

Scott Bolinger

David Alan Brinkley

Brittany Lee Brooks

Kala Christine Brown

Ian Nathaniel Buchanan

Tabetha Lea Bumbleburg

Jacob George Byers

Sarah Nichole Byrd

Katharine T. Calabro

Lydia Anne Capps

Kimberly A. Catt

Megan Catt

Michelle Lee Cline

Rebecca Lynn Coath

Nia Marie Cobb

Cari A. Cochran

Victoria Ann Colaizzi

Bridget JoAnn College

Ben Y. Constable

Austen Michael Conwell

Jenna Kay Conyers

Zachary Cox

Haylee Marie Cullison

Nicholas Norman Daanen

Kenzie Lynn Daniel

Nicholas Andrew Davis

Brad Deaton

Jennifer Lynn Dessing

Jordan Elizabeth Douglas

Justine Nicole Eads

Morgan E. Engerski

Keaton Alexander Evans-Black

Joseph William Farkas

Suzan Jean Ferguson

Derek Lawrence Fields

Owen Leo Fishback

Lori Ann Fitzgerald

Matthew Floyd

Samson Duane Frazier

Felicia Christine Freeman

Andrea Marie Funk

Daisy Michelle Gangloff

Lexi Chantal Geiger

Gage Michael Gilbert

Courtney Elizabeth Gilman

Melissa Anne Glaze

Alexandra Marie Glenn

Brandon Kyle Goodman

Kristina Marie Goodman

Amber Graves

Brooke Alise Grider

Brielle Nicole Griffith

Stephanie Lee Griggs

Brittany Alexis Groover

April Renee Gunnell

Angelina Chantelle Gurney

Liana Janelle Gurney

Miranda Marlene Hammons

Angela Michele Harmon

Mindy Elizabeth Harper

Morgan Lea Harrison

Teresa R. Hart

Andrew John Hartman

Jaina Leigh Hattabaugh

Jennifer Diane Hecht

Madison R. Heflin

Stephanie Marie Helmer

Daniel J. Henning

Kasey Sierra High

Challen Michael Hodson

Gina Marie Holguin

Amanda Hosier

Elizabeth Ann Hubenthal

Heather R. Huey

Tausha Marie Imlay

Bradley Scott Jakes

Lauren Christine James

Alexandria Rae Jewell

Tania Maria Jocius

Charlene Elizabeth Johnson

Christopher Taylor Johnson

Amanda Christine Kailey

Michael Robert Kinsey

Cameron Paul Kuntz

Dakota Kohl LaMott

Kelsey Lanning

Bradley E. Lawson

Ashleigh Raelle Ledford

Emily Michaele Lytle

Jennifer Lytle

Rachel LeAnne Lytle

Susan Kathleen Maack

Jessica Manchester

Joelynn Nicole Marconi

Rebekah Joy Martin

Tanner M. Martin

Trevor Martin

Jessica Lyn May

April Nicole Mayer

Daniel L. McKinney

Krista Leigh Melcher

Christopher Adam Miller

Jennifer Miller

Justin Miller

Kyle Joseph Miller

Ronald Miller-Norris

Benjamin Morgan Mooney

Amber Monette Moore

Carly Renee Moore

Jacob Aaron Morris

Allison Nicole Mose

Amy Katherine Moser

Stephen M. Mullett

Kelly Christine Nagy

April Rena Name

Cody Joseph Nelson

Jessica Marie Norfleet

Colin F. Overman

Valerie Mae Pearce

Derek Lee Pearson

Marcus J. Pemberton

Courtney Kaye Perez

Eva Larissa Pier

Jenna Ann Powell

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Aaron West

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Timothy Curtis Nutt


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Indiana University Kokomo serves north central Indiana.

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KOKOMO, Ind. — Put on your most festive Indiana University colors— and support scholarships for IU Kokomo students — at the inaugural Cream & Crimson Scholarship Gala.

Cream and Crimson Scholarship GalaCream and Crimson Scholarship Gala.

Reservations are now available for the event, set for 6 p.m. Thursday, June 12, at the Continental Ballroom, 920 Millbrook Lane, Kokomo, by contacting the Office of University Advancement, 765-455-9485 or

Planners have set a lofty goal for the Gala.

"Our goal is to have participation from each of the 14 counties that we serve," said Chancellor Susan Sciame-Giesecke. "With the support of our friends and donors, the opportunity to make an IU education more affordable for the students in north central Indiana is within our reach. I challenge leaders in each county to come to the gala to announce a scholarship for students in their community. We know that college graduates will contribute to the future growth of the cities where they work, live, and raise their families. It is a gift that will keep on giving."

Groups of donors, individuals and business owners, may provide an endowed scholarship by giving or pledging a minimum of $10,000, which can be given over a five-year period.

Reservations are $100 per person, and table partnership opportunities are also available. A portion of the cost is tax deductible.

Dress for the evening, which includes dinner and dancing, is festive cream and crimson.

Indiana University Kokomo serves north central Indiana.

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KOKOMO, Ind. — Indiana University Kokomo will be closed Monday, May 26, in observance of Memorial Day.

Meet at the Rock, 9/11 RememberanceA moment of silence at the veterans memorial rock, IU Kokomo.

Classes will resume and offices will open at 8 a.m. on Tuesday, May 27.

The Cole Fitness Center, the bookstore, the Cougar Country Café, and the IU Kokomo Library also will be closed Monday.

Online and electronic resources are available when the library is closed, at

Indiana University Kokomo serves north central Indiana.

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KOKOMO, Ind. — Maria Pineda fulfills the hopes and dreams of her entire family, graduating from Indiana University Kokomo.

Commencement 2014Maria Pineda

The daughter of immigrants from El Salvador, and the third of four children, she is first to earn a college degree, inspiring her siblings to also seek higher education.

"For our family, this is huge," Pineda, 22, said. "My younger brother now wants to go to college, because he saw that I did it, and I graduated. That really puts a smile on my face."

Older sister Marta Mendez, 26, is an education major at Indiana University — Purdue University Indianapolis, while another sister, Cecilia Pineda, 25, plans to return to IU Kokomo in 2015 to complete a degree in criminal justice. Their brother is 10.

They've come a long way since moving to Logansport, when Maria was a second grader. The move brought their family together — Cecilia and Marta had been living with family in El Salvador, while Maria was with her parents in Los Angeles. The girls spoke little or no English when they moved, and they experienced culture shock moving to the Midwest.

"Los Angeles is so diverse," Maria said. "When we moved to Logansport, if we saw five other Hispanics, it was once in a blue moon. I'd lived in the United States, but mostly spoke Spanish."

There was another cultural difference — more opportunities for education available to them.

"Women are more independent here, and have careers, and can choose to be something besides a housewife," she said. "We've really embraced that. We can better our lives, and have a better quality of life than we would have had in El Salvador."

She knew from an early age that her career would be in the medical field. At age 15, her optometrist hired her as a translator and file clerk, giving her an early chance to experience her chosen field.

She enrolled at IU Kokomo for its School of Nursing, and also because her sisters were students there at the time, providing a support system.

"We were the first in our family to go to college, so we were relying on each other," she said. Marta transferred when she moved to Indianapolis, while Cecilia took some time off to work.

Maria found it hard to transition to college life at first, but guidance from J.R. Pico, lecturer in Spanish, helped her. Pico is a native of Colombia, and provided an example of someone who had succeeded in academics.

"As a Latino, he empowers Latino students," she said. "Our culture is about family, and he treated us like family. It was major for us to have that special guidance."

Pico said Maria's educational success should inspire other Hispanic students to go to college, and breaks down stereotypes of Latinos not speaking English, and working in low paying, low skilled jobs.

"She and her sisters are good examples for their own family, their community, and the region," he said. "Maria has a bright future as a nurse, and shows others that they can aspire to these kinds of professional jobs. Because she is bilingual, she will be in demand when she passes her certification and is ready to work."

He knows the kinds of barriers students like Maria face in getting to college and succeeding — many lack money or transportation, and as first generation college students, their families often don't know how to apply and how to access financial resources. Others work one or two jobs to pay their own way, and have to make time for college around their work schedules.

When one of them succeeds, Pico said, "I celebrate their achievement and their graduation as if I were graduating again. It is difficulty, but important. It's something that pays off in the end."

Maria earned her degree in December 2013, and participated in Commencement in May. Her whole family attended, and it was an emotional day, for her parents in particular.

Her mother attended school through third grade, while her father has a seventh grade education.

"It was a great day for all of us," she said. "My family was overwhelmed."

Maria is preparing to take her nursing certification exams, and then wants to work in Indianapolis, either in an emergency room or an intensive care unit. She also wants to earn a Master's of Science in Nursing degree.

"My degree has opened tons of doors for me," she said. "I think I picked the perfect degree for me, that fits what I want to do. I can't wait to see what I do with it. I know I'll have a better and brighter future."

Indiana University Kokomo serves north central Indiana.

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KOKOMO, Ind. — The threat of rain may have moved Indiana University Kokomo's Commencement inside Tuesday (May 13), but it did not dampen the celebratory atmosphere, as 599 students received their degrees.

Commencement 2014Graduates are recognized during Commencement. See more pictures on Flickr.

The two ceremonies included the first graduates from the Master of Science in Nursing program, and the awarding of an honorary Doctor of Humane Letters to Sergio Marchionne, Chairman and CEO of Chrysler Group LLC.

IU President Michael A. McRobbie presided over the morning ceremony, which included graduates from the School of Nursing, Division of Allied Health Sciences, and the School of Education. John Applegate, executive vice president for university academic affairs, presided over the afternoon ceremony, which included graduates from the School of Sciences, School of Business, and School of Humanities and Social Sciences.

McRobbie congratulated the Class of 2014, and reminded them of their responsibilities as graduates.

He shared the words of Robert F. Kennedy, who told students in 1966 they were among the most privileged citizens of the world, because of their opportunity to study and learn, and that history would judge them based on how they used their gifts to enlighten and enrich the lives of their fellow man.

"Those choices, and that future, are now in your hands," McRobbie said. "In the face of vast and sobering challenges, you have the power to shape your world, and to fulfill the best qualities of your own spirits.

"As you take your place among the next generation of business leaders, journalists, judges, artists, scientists, public health professionals, teachers, social workers, and government leaders, may you remember that learning is a process rather than a product, and may you be audacious enough to imagine the possibilities of your own present and future."

Marchionne thanked McRobbie and Chancellor Susan Sciame-Giesecke for the honorary degree, saying he accepted it not on his own behalf, but in recognition of the 300,000 colleagues and collaborators in the Fiat Chrysler Automobiles world, who work together to generate growth and value not only for the company, but also for the communities where the company operates.

He congratulated the graduates, and urged them to think about what each of them wants to be remembered for after they are gone.

"Making a difference is the best answer I have ever heard," he said. "Your outlook on life changes completely if you point your efforts to this very simple objective. Making a difference to the organization you work for, to the community that you live in, to the families that sustain you, and the ones you will support as you go through life. Doing things for no purpose is a denial of our humanity.

"This is a crucial moment in history, and the world needs your talent, and it needs your energies, your passion, and your commitment," Marchionne said. "My wish for you is that you find your passion, that you pursue your dream, and that you make that difference."

Chancellor Susan Sciame-Giesecke commended Marchionne for his revitalization of Chrysler, which has had a profound impact on Kokomo. Since 2009, he has invested more than $1.5 billion in the region, and opened the new Tipton Transmission Plant Tuesday.

She is especially thankful for an active partnership between Chrysler and IU Kokomo, which has led to internship opportunities for students.

Shaina Shirar, vice president of Student Union Board, represented the Class of 2014 as student speaker. The Frankfort resident said she learned many important life lessons, from college, including that when things don't go your way, don't dwell on it, but find the good and move on to the next thing.

"Don't dwell on the bad moments, but cherish the good," she said. "We have to remember not to sweat the small stuff in life. We've accomplished our biggest milestone yet today."

Each student had his or her moment to shine, crossing the Havens Auditorium stage to shake hands with Sciame-Giesecke and accept his or her degree, as Todd Gambill, vice chancellor for student services and enrollment management, read names.

Proud family members burst into applause when they heard their graduate's name, and held up smart phones to take pictures. One also received a "Way to go, Mom!" as she walked onto the stage.

Sciame-Giesecke recognized achievements of several graduates, including Maria Pineda, the daughter of immigrants, who is the first in her family to graduate from college. She honored Lashanda Thomas, a mother of eight who completed her degree in general studies, despite losing her family's home in a flood; Aaron Bird, who served in the Army National Guard and the Reserve Officers' Training Corps while earning his degree; David Lapan, a veteran who graduated with a degree in English; and Pam Plain, who earned honors as the 2012 Indiana Intern of the Year. She also recognized Arwa Albawardi and Talal Al Hammad, the campus' first Saudi graduates.

"IU Kokomo is a stepping-stone to many more hopes and dreams for these graduates," she said. "We could not be more proud of them."

Indiana University Kokomo serves north central Indiana.

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KOKOMO, Ind. — Indiana University Kokomo Chancellor Susan Sciame-Giesecke honors two Chrysler Group LLC executives for their partnership with the campus, awarding them the Chancellor's Medallion.

Commencement LuncheonChancellor Susan Sciame-Giesecke, Chrysler Group CEO Sergio Marchionne, and IU President Michael McRobbie chat during the Commencement Luncheon. See more pictures on Flickr.

Brian Harlow, vice president and head of NAFTA powertrain operations, and global head of powertrain manufacturing engineering; and Brad Clark, general manager transmissions, received the awards Tuesday, May 13, at the Chancellor's Medallion luncheon, following Commencement.

IU President Michael A. McRobbie and honorary degree recipient Sergio Marchionne, Chairman and CEO of Chrysler Group LLC., also were honored guests at the lunch, at the Casa Bella Ballroom. Other guests included John Applegate, executive vice president for university academic affairs, Kokomo Mayor Greg Goodnight, and many other local and state elected officials.

Joanna Gonzalez, who began her current job with the Chrysler Group as an IU Kokomo intern, shared her story as an example of why Clark and Harlow received the awards.

She earned a degree in health administration, and then enrolled in the Master of Business Administration program, planning a career in hospital administration. When she heard about the Chrysler internship program, which started in 2013, she saw it as an opportunity to grow her skills in a different way.

"At first I thought, 'What could I possibly be doing in the manufacturing industry?'" Gonzalez said. "Then I realized I could still help people."

As an intern, she helped start a professional development program, and translated documents from Spanish to English. The internship led to her current job as a full-time people development specialist.

"I am thankful to IU Kokomo and Chrysler for making this possible for me," she said. "In the words of one of my wonderful colleagues, 'Take time to build someone else up, you all will soar.'"

Sciame-Giesecke appreciates the open door Harlow and Clark have offered her, and the chances for both the Chrysler Group and IU Kokomo to benefit one another. Just recently, she said, company officials called her with a specific personnel need, and the campus referred several students who could potentially fill that job.

"I look forward to continuing to partner and learn from one another in the future," she said. "Today is an excellent example of the kind of regional partnership President McRobbie envisions for IU's regional campuses."

The Chancellor's Medallion is awarded to those who have provided exemplary service to IU Kokomo. It is created by Kokomo Opalescent Glass, from crimson-colored glass, etched with the image of the campus Well House.

Indiana University Kokomo serves north central Indiana.