Indiana University Kokomo

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KOKOMO, Ind. —Behind the scenes for the IU Kokomo commercialStudents on campus.  Five hundred thirty-eight full-time Indiana University Kokomo students earned dean's list honors for the fall 2013 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.

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KOKOMO, Ind. — Angelina Gurney and Josh Williams signed up for physics; instead, they found chemistry.

Angelina Gurney and Josh WilliamsAngelina Gurney and Josh WilliamsThe two Indiana University Kokomo students met two years ago, on the first day of class in the Hunt Hall physics lab. During finals week, Williams proposed forming a bond — getting married — in the lab where it all began.

She said yes, and they plan a May 10, 2014 wedding — just three days after she graduates with a degree in psychology.

"It's probably the most special place he could have proposed," Gurney said. "We spent a lot of time there after classes, and standing outside in the cold, almost freezing our feet off."

When they went to the lab, Gurney thought Williams was just going to look over his physics final. They wandered through the lab, checking out the perpetual motion devices and other items, until they came to a Lord of the Rings mirage box. It uses two curved mirrors to make an image of an object in a mirror at the bottom of the box. Usually, there is a Lord of the Rings ring in it.

This time, Gurney found a diamond ring instead.

Williams, Galveston, remembered looking at the mirage the first time they talked to each other, which is why he put the ring there.

The proposal is the first in Hunt Hall, as far as anyone knows.

They are truly a case of opposites attracting, according to Gurney.

"He's emotionally calm, which I am not, so that's a good thing," she said, adding with a smile, "He's very handsome, too."

Williams is equally smitten, calling his fiancée both "beautiful," and "the nicest person I've ever met.

"I feel comfortable being myself around her."

They've kept many mementos of their IU Kokomo romance, including an origami box she made in a speech class, and then gave to him, and the origami box he gave her in return, filled with poetry.

Both look forward to their lives together. Williams, 24, has another year left to finish his math degree, and then would like to earn a Ph.D., to teach at the college level. Gurney, 20, from Kokomo, plans to enroll in an online Christian college, to become a counselor.

Both agree IU Kokomo has played an important part in their relationship.

"We spent more time here together than anywhere else," Williams said. "It gives us a common denominator as we start our lives together."

Indiana University Kokomo serves north central Indiana.

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KOKOMO, Ind. — As Indiana University Kokomo students helped their neighbors recover from tornado damage locally, sociology professor Ligaya McGovern showed them the need for global compassion as well.

Ligaya McGovernLigaya McGovernMore than 6,000 people in the Philippines, McGovern's homeland, died as a result of the November 2 Typhoon Haiyan, the deadliest typhoon on record.

"This gives us a connection, a global display of our common humanity," McGovern said. "Students saw the need to help, even though these people were far away."

McGovern, together with J.R. Pico, lecturer in Spanish, and Rain Robinson, a student who is also involved with the Filipino American Association of Central Indiana, organized a donation drive and an ethnic food festival in order to send supplies to the Philippines.

They brought in two standard shipping boxes full of supplies, which McGovern sent to colleagues at St. Scholastica's College, where she earned her bachelor's degree. The Benedictine nuns who manage the college also have a hospital, and can make sure the supplies go to the victims as needed.

"I hope this can be the beginning of a relationship between our campus and theirs," McGovern said.

As a sociologist, she compares the outcome of the tornado, where there was a warning system in place, to that of the typhoon, with no warning system. McGovern had planned to go to campus the day of the tornado, but stayed home after seeing the warnings.

"The government in the Philippines needs to plan immediate disaster response, and a warning system for people who live close to the coast," she said, adding that human factors, including illegal logging, also contributed to the magnitude of the disaster.

"We have good warning systems here, and they save lives," she said. "In the Philippines, there was no storm surge warning system, which would have allowed people to evacuate to safety. There was no natural barrier to stop the water, because of the deforestation. There are a lot of lessons to be learned from this disaster, to lessen the impact in the future."

McGovern's academic work focuses on the impact of globalization on the people of third world countries. Recently, she was honored by the National Women's Studies Association for two of her books, Globalization and Third World Women: Exploitation, Coping and Resistance, and Globalization, Labor Exports, and Resistance.

Currently, she is seeking grant funding for her next project, studying the migration of doctors and nurses from Third World countries to developed countries. India and the Philippines are the top exporters of medical professionals, while the United States is the greatest receiver.

"I am finding that doctors and nurses are migrating from the countries with the greatest need, to the countries with the least need," McGovern said. "That leaves the Third World depleted of its medical professionals. This is an important issue to study."

Indiana University Kokomo serves north central Indiana.

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KOKOMO, Ind. — Indiana University Kokomo and Alpha Kappa Alpha Sorority will host a community wide celebration of Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. at 4 p.m. Sunday, January 12, in Kresge Auditorium.

Hunt HallU.S. Rep. André Carson will be keynote speaker at the celebration, which is free and open to the public. Information also will be presented on efforts to build a monument to honor King in Kokomo.

"The event is designed to pay tribute to Dr. King's lifetime commitment to serving others, so we adopted the theme 'Timeless Service'," said Juanita Martin-Davis, event chairwoman. "We want to honor the man (King) as well as educate and raise awareness of this pivotal time period in our nation's history."

Efforts to build a monument in honor of Dr. King in Kokomo were announced in August 2013 by the Kokomo Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. Commission. The City of Kokomo donated property at Apperson Way and LaFountain Street for the monument, which will include a granite wall as a backdrop to a statue of Dr. King carved from Indiana limestone.

"The Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. monument for Kokomo will serve as a symbol of inspiration for human rights and civil rights history for generations to come," said Nanette Bowling, Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. Commission general chairwoman. "Our goal is to raise $150,000 using a fast track campaign that will end on April 4, the day he was assassinated."

A native of Indianapolis, Carson, 39, is the grandson of the late and former Rep. Julia Carson. After her death in December 2007, Carson was elected to complete her term in a special election in March 2008, and then was elected to his first full term in the November 2008 election. He is now serving his third full term in the U.S. House of Representatives.

Carson earned a bachelor's degree in criminal justice from Concordia University in Wisconsin and a master of business management from Indiana Wesleyan University.

The Omicron Phi Omega Chapter of Alpha Kappa Alpha Sorority, Inc. organizes a celebration of Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. annually as part of its community service outreach initiatives.

IU Kokomo is a regional campus of Indiana University, serving approximately 4,200 students.

Indiana University Kokomo serves north central Indiana.

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KOKOMO, Ind. — An internship at Ronald McDonald House leads Kelli Martin to choose a career in non-profit event planning.

Students create InternshipStudents create Internship Now, she and two of her classmates help provide the same kind of opportunity for future Indiana University Kokomo students, developing an internship opportunity with Exodus Refugee Immigration.

Martin, from Carmel, worked with fellow communication arts students Carol Freeman, Kokomo, and Hannah Brewster, Burlington, to plan the internship, for their senior seminar capstone project.

"Through my internship, I discovered a passion for non profits, and for event planning," Martin said. "Hopefully with this internship, someone else will have that same opportunity."

They chose Exodus Refugee Immigration, based in Indianapolis, after helping collect donations for the group with their cross-cultural communications class. The non-profit welcomes refugees to Indiana, working with them to arrange housing, food and clothing, as well as education and employment opportunities.

"Once we saw what they do, we wanted to help," Freeman said. "They help so many people who are escaping their countries because they fear for their lives."

The organization has offered internships for students interested in refugee resettlement in the past, but a communications internship is something new, according to Jessica Kroymann, volunteer coordinator.

"It is a great opportunity, not only for Exodus, but for those who are passionate about human rights and non-profits," she said. "The opportunity offers hands on experience of being an advocate for refugees and human rights in central Indiana."

IU Kokomo interns will assist with event planning and fund raising, among other jobs, Freeman said, adding that she and her co-planners will not benefit from the internship they developed.

"This was never intended for us," she said. "We want to do something for other students, to gain the experience we have had."

Martin has kept in touch with mentors from her internship at Ronald McDonald House, and can use them as references when she applies for jobs after graduating. It was a valuable part of her IU Kokomo experience, she said.

"When you apply for a job, employers will likely choose the person with experience over the person with a degree, but no experience," she said. "Internships give us the experience that can lead to jobs later."

For more information, contact Martin at km80@iuk.edu.

Indiana University Kokomo serves north central Indiana.

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KOKOMO, Ind. — Indiana University Kokomo will close for the holidays at 5 p.m. Tuesday, December 24.

Snow on campusSnow on campus All offices will remain closed until 8 a.m. Thursday, January 2, 2014.

First semester classes ended Friday, December 13. Second semester classes begin at 8 a.m. Monday, January 13.

The IU Kokomo Library will be closed beginning Wednesday, December 25. It will reopen from 8 a.m. to 5 p.m. on Thursday, January 2, through Friday, January 3, and will be closed on January 4 and 5.

Online and electronic resources are available when the library is closed, at www.iuk.edu/library.

The Cole Fitness Center will be open from 10 a.m. to 1 p.m. December 21, and 11 a.m. to 1 p.m. December 23-24. It will be closed December 25 to January 1. The fitness center will be open 8 a.m. to 5 p.m. January 2-3, and from 10 a.m. to 1 p.m. January 4. It will be open 8 a.m. to 5 p.m. January 6-10, and 10 a.m. to 1 p.m. January 11.

The campus bookstore will be open from 9 a.m. to 6:30 p.m. Monday, December 23, and 9 a.m. to 1 p.m. Tuesday, December 24. It will be closed from December 25 until 9 a.m. Thursday, January 2.

Students may order books from the bookstore's website, www.iukbookstore.com, at any time. Books can be shipped to the student's home or picked up at store on the first day of classes.

The Cougar Country Café is closed until Monday, January 13.

Indiana University Kokomo serves north central Indiana.

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KOKOMO, Ind. — Marilyn Skinner receives the highest honor given by the state of Indiana, the Sagamore of the Wabash, recognizing her decades of service to children.

Marilyn Skinner receives the Sagamore of the WabashMarilyn Skinner receives the Sagamore of the Wabash.

Skinner, director of Indiana University Kokomo's Center for Early Childhood Education, was "humbled" to receive the award.

"I don't feel like I've done anything extraordinary, I just do what I do," Skinner said. "I love to help people. I've been so fortunate in terms of my own life, having doors opened for me, and having a good education. I really have appreciated that.

"That's why when I see someone who needs help or encouragement, or a little bit of hope, I provide it so they can be successful in their lives."

Interim Chancellor Susan Sciame-Giesecke was one of several community leaders who nominated Skinner for the award, which was given by Gov. Mike Pence and presented by State Rep. Mike Karickhoff.

"Marilyn is most deserving of this award, as a long-time advocate for children," Sciame-Giesekce said. "She has tireless energy as a servant leader, who continues to make our community a better place."

As director of the early childhood education center, Skinner leads efforts to ensure all Howard County children begin kindergarten prepared to succeed. She's been an advocate for young children since beginning her career as a teacher at Kokomo's Bon Air Elementary School, nearly 50 years ago.

She moved from the classroom to administration, where she had the distinction of being the first woman to serve as assistant principal, principal, and assistant superintendent in the Kokomo school system.

Skinner, 75, jokes about how she has "failed retirement" several times. After she retired from Kokomo schools, she worked part-time for Head Start, and then supervised student teachers for three universities, before deciding it was time to "really retire."

She came out of retirement again nearly nine years ago, to serve as director of the early childhood center when it first opened, funded with a $1.5 million Lilly Endowment grant. Her careful planning has allowed the center to continue its work, still using the original grant money.

The Kokomo community also benefits from her efforts. She led the 2013 United Way of Howard County campaign as chairperson, and surpassed the $1.8 million fundraising goal. Skinner also volunteers extensively, and has held leadership positions in Altrusa, Rotary Club, and Partners in Education.

The Indiana Commission for Women honored her a trailblazer for women with its Torchbearer Award, and she also received the Indiana Women of Achievement Award for Distinction in Early Childhood Education from the College of Sciences and Humanities at Ball State University.

Skinner said, though, her greatest sense of achievement is not from these kinds of awards and honors.

"My success is seeing the students I had in school succeed," she said. "I see a lot of them in the community who have gone on to have successful lives. They have good jobs, and are active and give back in the community. I see the young children who have participated in programs at the early childhood education center, and are now successful in school. That makes me proud."

Indiana University Kokomo serves north central Indiana.

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KOKOMO, Ind. — Persistence pays off for Indiana University Kokomo senior Samantha Thieke, who recently began her first broadcast journalism job, as a reporter for WLFI-TV, the CBS affiliate in West Lafayette.

Samantha ThiekeSamantha Thieke"Now I have a career I'm proud of, and it makes me grateful I came to IU Kokomo, to get a college degree in my home town," she said. "I'm able to do what I want to do with my life, on my own terms. It's pretty neat to have a job, even before I graduate."

Her official title is multiplatform journalist, which she describes as "kind of a one-man band thing." Thieke shoots and edits her own video, writes her stories, and posts them on the station's website, along with reporting on the air.

"Most of the time, it's just me working by myself," she said. "That's the way the industry is shifting."

She is grateful for the opportunities she had on campus, including participating in Cougar News and leadership courses.

"I had thought because there wasn't a broadcast degree here, that I wouldn't be able to have a career in that field, but that's not necessarily true," she said. "It is more than possible to achieve your career goals with a general studies degree, and I am a walking example of that. IU Kokomo allowed me to earn a college degree in my hometown, where I had family to help me. I owe a lot to this school."

Thieke, 25, caught the news bug in high school, taking broadcasting classes at the Kokomo Area Career School, along with dual credit classes at IU Kokomo. She planned to take prerequisite classes on campus, and then transfer to a college with a broadcast journalism program, after she graduated from Eastern High School.

Her plans changed drastically, though, when she became a mother at age 20.

"Life happened," she said. "I put what I wanted to do on the back burner. I needed to stay in Kokomo, where I had family to help me take care of my son while I worked and went to school. I do feel like people who thought I had potential wrote me off as a statistic at that point, That's what kept me motivated to keep going towards my degree."

Setting an example for her son, Gabe, who is now 5, also motivates her.

"I want him to see that no matter what obstacles you face in your life, you can overcome them," she said. "When you have a child, your life is not about you anymore, but you do have to keep improving yourself, to make a better life for your child. I want him to be proud of me."

She took a few classes at a time, as they fit around her schedule with work and family obligations. Her journalism dreams seemed out of reach, though, with no broadcasting program.

A confidence boost from a significant weight loss pushed her to see how she could use her general studies degree to become a television reporter.

"I decided it was time to enroll full time, finish my degree, and get on with my career," she said."

She pursued internship opportunities, and beat out candidates from broadcast degree programs to earn one at WRTV 6, the ABC affiliate in Indianapolis. That experience confirmed her career choice, so she looked for another internship. This time, she garnered an opportunity at WLFI.

With graduation approaching, she started to worry about having to move far away to get a job. Her husband, Brandon, was willing to move, but she hoped to stay close to family.

"I just prayed God would open a door for us," she said.

Her opportunity came five weeks into her internship, when Thieke's supervisor encouraged her to apply for a full time opening at the station. She was both surprised and thrilled when she was offered the job. One of the requirements is that she lives in Tippecanoe County, so her family will move after she graduates.

Thieke is glad to see the finish line is sight for her college education, and has no regrets about the path she took to achieve her goal.

"Because of the way things happened, I feel I was able to grow and mature," she said. "I'm really proud of what I've done. It's taken me a little longer, but I'm going to have my degree, and I've started my dream career."

Indiana University Kokomo serves north central Indiana.

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KOKOMO, Ind. — The new fitness center at Indiana University Kokomo is much more than an exercise gym — it's also a place to build mental muscle and career skills.

IUKL0523Dave Hancock instructs his exercise science class.

Rachel Pace, a senior exercise and sports science major, said using the center's resources will make her more marketable.

"Having class in the fitness center lets us go out and apply what we're learning in the classroom, with real experiences," Pace said. "I'm going to be a better coach and trainer because of this opportunity."

David Hancock, assistant professor of health sciences, teaches class in the Cole Fitness Center, using a classroom tailor-made to enhance the campus's allied health programs. Students use the center itself as their laboratory, where they experience what they learn from books, lectures, and other activities.

"We can teach these classes in a regular classroom, but when we try some of the exercises, we would have to move outside," he said. "Now, we can just go into the fitness center, or use one of the group instruction rooms."

John Hughey, chairperson of the Division of Allied Health Sciences, said in addition to providing health and wellness benefits, the fitness center will impact students academically.

"Our idea is to conduct all of our health, exercise, nutrition, and sports-related courses in a place that provides students with a continual reminder of these themes," he said. "We were able to expand our course offerings, and our faculty can demonstrate different aspects of a subject immediately after classroom discussion. It also gives our student holistic connections with their subject material."

On a particular day, Hancock's introduction to exercise science students learn about how high intensity interval training can enhance mood, as part of a study of what a sports psychologist might do.

In the group fitness instruction room, he leads them through an exercise program designed for elementary school children. The students, dressed in fitness clothes, stretch up and then down, run in place, jump and squat, and do scissors jumps. Then, they return to their classroom to fill out a mood assessment questionnaire.

"This could be done in a regular classroom with children, but for bigger bodies, it's not as effective in that kind of space," Hancock said. "We're out in the fitness center all the time."

Matthew Sturgch, a freshman health sciences major, plans to be a physical education teacher, and maybe a strength and conditioning coach for college and professional athletes.

"It's a big plus to have this fitness center, and to have our classes in it," he said. "It helps us study and gets us more involved with our learning."

Warren Sims, a freshman sports and exercise science major from Kokomo, said having class in the fitness center will help him learn better.

"You can actually have hands-on experience, rather than reading about it in a book," he said. "It gives you a chance to try things, to be sure that sports and exercise is really what you want to do."

Hancock noted that the classroom also is a good place for group activities, with tables and chairs on wheels that can be moved around, and tables that easily tilt up to go in the storage area. His sports psychology class has already moved the tables out to try progressive relaxation techniques, when they needed room to be on the floor.

"They've pretty much thought of everything when designing this room," Hancock said.

Indiana University Kokomo serves north central Indiana.

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KOKOMO, Ind. — Indiana University Kokomo celebrated the end of the second annual Homecoming festivities with a men's basketball victory and a trailer full of tornado relief supplies.

Men's Basketball vs Point Park UniversityKingston pumps the crowd up during the game. See more photos.Donations were overflowing to help victims of the November 17 tornadoes that devastated parts of Kokomo. Cheerleaders accepted monetary donations as well, bringing in $1,200 for the United Way of Howard County, which is organizing relief efforts.

The campus appreciates a $500 donation from Community First Bank, given after the student who attempted the half court shot for a scholarship missed.

Interim Chancellor Susan Sciame-Giesecke thanked students, alumni, faculty, staff, and fans for helping the campus give to people affected by the tornadoes.

"I am so proud of the tremendous participation in this effort," she said. "Thank you to everyone for supporting this project. This is a wonderful opportunity to give directly back to our community."

United Way President Abbie Smith was thankful for the donations.

"It's amazing the support and love everyone has shown for Kokomo," she said. "We've been touched by the student support in our community, led by the IU Kokomo students."

A T-shirt exchange during Homecoming week benefitted typhoon relief efforts in the Philippines. Students received a free IU Kokomo shirt by turning in a shirt from another college or university. J.R. Pico, lecturer in Spanish, and Ligaya McGovern, professor of sociology, collected the shirts to send to the Philippines.

For recent graduate Jacob Faust, Homecoming offered a chance to see the new Cougar gym. The former basketball player was the first student athlete to graduate, earning his degree in business in May. He now works for an accounting firm in Indianapolis, and is preparing for his CPA exam.

"It's neat to see the new gym," he said. "I'm glad the team has a place of their own to practice and play. I've been following them, and it's fun to see the progress the program has made in the last few months."

Homecoming Dance on the Red Carpet 2013Homecoming Dance on the Red Carpet. See more photos.Alumni Donna Walden and Stephen Daily, who were both inducted into the IU Kokomo Alumni Association Hall of Fame Saturday, remembered the campus's early days. Both were students when the Main Building was brand new, and was the only campus building. Daily recalled that the parking lot was gravel at the time.

Daily earned a bachelor's degree in education in 1971. He was mayor of Kokomo from 1980 to 1987, and now serves as chancellor of Ivy Tech Community College Region 5.

"For those of us who were there when IU Kokomo first started, today has a good feeling to it," he said. "I'm really proud of what this campus has been able to do."

Walden, who retired as assistant superintendent of Western School Corporation, earned her bachelor's and master's degrees in education at IU Kokomo.

"It's like coming home again," she said. "When I was there, the campus was just one building. I've been so excited about all the changes, especially the sports program. It really brings a lot of culture to the campus. I enjoy the excitement, and seeing everyone enthused about IU Kokomo."

Mary Olk returned for her first Homecoming, after graduating in August. She is currently a graduate student at Ball State.

"IU Kokomo was my home for four years. It's amazing how everything has grown and changed, even just in the last few months," she said. "I was so excited to tour the new Cole Fitness Center, and to see my friends, faculty, and colleagues. I am glad to see the traditions that started while I was here are continuing."

Those traditions include school spirit competitions held during Homecoming week. Student Union Board (SUB) emerged as grand champion, winning the sheet banner competition, tying for second in the flag football tournament, and winning second place in the cell phone video contest. SUB had 100 percent participation in the fast-a-thon, which raised nearly $300 for Kokomo Urban Outreach.

"We're so excited to win," said Sofia Stout, SUB public relations coordinator. "We're all about student life, and building traditions. Hopefully, when we come back as alumni, these traditions will still be part of our campus.

The Enactus business student organizations placed second, followed by Phi Kappa Tau fraternity colony.

Allison Morgan and Charlotte Lowe received the Cougar Spirit Award, based on academic excellence and campus involvement.

Indiana University Kokomo serves north central Indiana.

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KOKOMO, Ind. – The IU Kokomo Crescendos are ready to rock this Christmas with their annual holiday production of, "Rockin' Around the Christmas Tree."

Naughty and Nice by Crescendos and Diminuendos"Our show gets everyone into the spirit of Christmas. We usually have a themed Act 1; this year will be rock, and a stand and sing sacred music for Act 2.  This year will be no different," said Alexander.

"Rockin' Around the Christmas Tree" show dates and times are Friday, December 6, at 7 p.m. in IU Kokomo's Havens Auditorium, and Friday, December 13, at 7 p.m. at Peru High School. Doors will open at 6:30 p.m. and seating will be first come first serve.

All shows performed by the Crescendos are free and are open to the community

The Crescendos are a non-auditioned seasoned show choir of 84 students, alumni and community members. Within the Crescendos is a smaller group called the Diminuendos that are a hand selected a-cappella group.

"This choir shows the community and region that IU Kokomo is always growing and doing great things. It gives students and community members a place to perform and have a great time while building a family," said Alexander.  "Several community members have re-enrolled in school and some high school students have chosen IU Kokomo all due to their involvement in this group.  Also, it keeps alumni connected and proud of their university."

The Crescendos will hold open auditions for their spring musical, "The Producers." Auditions will be January 13 and 14 in the Main Building, Room 148. You do not have to be a member of the Crescendos to audition. Show dates are the first two weekends in May.

For more information, contact Rick Alexander at (765) 210-4000.

Story written by Sofia Stout. Sofia is an intern for the Office of Media and Marketing.

Indiana University Kokomo serves north central Indiana.

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KOKOMO, Ind. — Indiana University Kokomo will observe the Thanksgiving holiday this Wednesday, November 27,  Thursday, November 28, and Friday, November 29. Classes will not be in session Wednesday, Thursday, and Friday, and all campus offices will be closed Thursday and Friday.

Regular class schedules and office hours resume at 8 a.m. Monday, December 2.

The bookstore and the Cougar Country Café will be closed starting Wednesday, November 27. The Cole Fitness Center will be open 8 a.m. to 5 p.m. November 27, and then will be closed Thursday and Friday. The IU Kokomo Library also will be closed Thursday and Friday.

Online and electronic resources are available when the library is closed, at iuk.edu/library.

Indiana University Kokomo serves north central Indiana.

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KOKOMO, Ind. — Advisor. Mentor. Friend. Teacher. Leader.

IMG_7114Cathy Barnes (R) speaks with student, Ashlee Douglass (L).

Catherine Barnes earns all of those titles, in her career at Indiana University Kokomo. However, as she prepares to retire this December, she knows which word she wants to be used when people remember her.

Servant.

"I am a servant leader," Barnes said. "When I came to this institution, it was to serve the population of this community, students, faculty, staff, and the people of Kokomo. I come from a long line of servants."

For 17 years, Barnes has been an integral part of the campus community, first leading diversity programs, and then becoming a trailblazer in academic advising. She believes in the power of higher education to change lives, and works tirelessly to make sure IU Kokomo students achieve their dreams.

She has been a devoted champion of students during her career, according to Interim Chancellor Susan Sciame-Giesecke.

"Whenever I am out in the community, parents and students stop me and thank me for Cathy Barnes," Sciame-Giesecke said. "They talk about how supportive she is of each and every student she serves. Her energy and enthusiasm for IU Kokomo and our students is contagious. We will miss her and wish her the best in her retirement."

A Kokomo native, Barnes married and moved to Los Angeles, where she and her husband owned and operated four pharmacies after graduating from Purdue. The family returned to Kokomo when her father passed away, "to be a blessing to the grandparents" by bringing their four young children to live closer.

Shortly after the move, Barnes struck up a conversation with Herbert Miller, an IU Kokomo faculty member, at the Carver Community Center's summer celebration. He urged her to apply for an open job on campus as director of campus climate.

"That was my point of entry at IU Kokomo," she said. She dealt with equity and diversity issues, and provided programming on diversity.

Later, Sciame-Giesecke, who was dean of the School of Arts and Sciences at the time, asked her to be the academic advisor for the school. Barnes found her calling in that job.

"Advising is teaching," she said. "All my life I have taught. Behind the prescription counter, I taught patients how to use their medicines effectively, and how to eat to get the most from their medicines. As an advisor, I teach students how to change their behaviors and study skills, so they can be successful. Advisors help them understand their path, to understand IU Kokomo, and what is necessary for them to get a degree."

Her proudest accomplishment at IU Kokomo is developing the Office of Student Success and Advising.

"We have an organized advising team, whose sole purpose is to teach students how to navigate IU, and if they choose to complete a degree in four years, we can assist them in that process," she said. "We provide an advising scaffolding. They come to us as new students, and we have to support them a lot. As they get more experienced and comfortable, we can gradually let go of that support. Our team is committed to student success."

Barnes said the campus is a completely different place than it was when she started.

"This is a cool place to be," she said. "It's a good-looking campus. It's a fun campus. There are sports. There have always been student activities, but they've changed. We have all these new, wonderful degree programs. This campus has changed, and changed for the better."

She is especially excited about a private developer offering student housing across Washington Street, and looks forward to the day the campus will have its own residence halls.

"All of these things are making IU Kokomo a first choice college," she said. "When I started, we were a second or third choice. More students want to be here, not just for a semester or two to get a taste of college before going somewhere else, but because they want to get an IU degree in Kokomo."

Although she will not be on campus after January 1, Barnes will continue to help students through the creation of the Barnes Family Scholarship, to be given annually to an IU Kokomo student. She, her husband, and their four adult children will endow the scholarship.

"The Barnes family knows what a scholarship means to the ease of your completion, and how much more fun college can be when you don't have to worry about the debt and the expense," she said. "There's something special about doing something for an institution that has been so good to you. To be able to leave this campus with some money specifically for students, it's a plus for me."

She knows from personal experience how meaningful a scholarship is, having received one for winning a science fair when she was a junior at Kokomo High School. She used it to earn a degree in pharmacology and pharmacy science at Purdue University.

Later, each of her four children earned scholarships to pay for their college educations. Her youngest, Aaron, received a full scholarship to IU Bloomington.

"That changed our family life, and meant my husband could retire early, because we weren't paying to send another child to college," she said. "My scholarship helped me earn my degree, which gave me the opportunity to make money, and to live in Los Angeles, and own and run a business. I would never have had those opportunities without my degree."

Indiana University Kokomo serves north central Indiana.

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KOKOMO, Ind. — Faryal Sharif sets a daunting task for herself this month. She adds one more activity to her already busy schedule of college classes and a job, by writing a novel in 30 days.

Faryal Sharif writes her novelFreshman Faryal Sharif writes her novel with a laptop or a note pad using colored pencils.Sharif, an Indiana University Kokomo freshman, participates in National Novel Writing Month, for the fifth year in a row. She's successfully completed the program, also known as NaNoWriMo, twice.

"The idea is that everyone is always saying 'I'm going to write a novel someday,' but very few people actually sit down and do it,' she said. "It forces you to make the time to just do it."

To accomplish the task, she tries to write approximately 1,700 words daily, though she admits she's a little behind this year.

"Now I'm balancing being a college freshman, working at the AMC theater in Marion, and writing my novel," she said. "If I can get this done, and keep up with my school work, and possibly sleep a little, I will feel like I can do anything. It will really boost my confidence that I can handle college."

National Novel Writing Month is coordinated by a not-for-profit organization of the same name, which has the mission of encouraging people to write. In 2012, nearly 350,000 people worldwide participated. More than 250 novels written during the event have been published, including Sara Gruen's Water for Elephants. That book was which was made into a movie starring Reese Witherspoon and Robert Pattinson in 2011.

Writers may choose any genre, and Sharif, 18, usually writes a young adult mainstream book, "because I relate to that." Her current work in progress is mainstream fiction, telling the story of a teenage boy who is displaced from his home to live with a mysterious man who has links to his family's past.

To participate, Sharif created an account on the organization's website, nanowrimo.org, and then updates her word count regularly, working towards a goal of writing a first draft of at least 50,000 words by midnight November 30.

She's happy to have made some friends on campus because of NaNoWriMo, connecting with other participants, including Maria Ahmad, coordinator of student life and campus diversity; and Brian Arwood, student body president. Sharif, who is from Marion, hopes to recruit others to participate next year, so there is a writing community to support each other.

Ahmad is proud IU Kokomo is represented in the program.

"How cool would it be to hear an author say that he or she began a novel as a student on our campus?" Ahmad said. "It is a good experience for students to participate in something happening nationwide, because you feel like you are part of something bigger. Faryal's participation may inspire others to commit some time to writing their own novel, or beginning to explore that skill. This could also be a great start to forming a writing club or network."

Sharif said the greatest reward for finishing is personal satisfaction.

"There is no huge reward, other than knowing you set a big goal and achieved it," she said. "It's more of a personal reward. Other than that, you get a certificate and an authorization to buy the official T-shirt."

This year, she may take advantage of another perk — an access code to get a free proof copy of her completed novel from Amazon Create Space.

Sharif, who has not decided her major, hopes to be a published novelist in the future. She sees improvement in her writing each year she's participated in NaNoWriMo.

"It's fun to keep what I've written, and to see how much better I write compared to my first attempt, from when I was 13," she said. "It's also helping me keep up with my work at school. I'm motivated to finish, so I can get some more work done on my novel."

Indiana University Kokomo serves north central Indiana.