Indiana University Kokomo

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KOKOMO, Ind. — Robert "Bob" Hayes Sr. is the recipient of Indiana University Kokomo Alumni Association (IUKAA)'s Distinguished Service Award, honoring his dedication to his campus and community.

IU Kokomo Gymnasium Opening, Tailgate, and GameBob Hayes at the IU Kokomo Volleyball Tailgate, 2013.

"I am so very proud of IU Kokomo and where it is going, and I am grateful to have had some small part in its evolution," Hayes said. "I am positive IU Kokomo has more to offer, and is growing to meet the needs of central Indiana. I encourage anyone thinking of getting a degree, or who has a child ready for the next step after high school to make IU Kokomo their first choice."

When he learned he would receive the award, he asked to have the May 29 recognition dinner at the Carver Community Center, another organization that has impacted his life. Proceeds from the event will benefit the educational and recreational center.

"It's an easy decision to give back to the Carver Community Center when I have the opportunity," he said. "It has played a defining role in my life, since I first attended in kindergarten. Many of us came from single parent homes, with no male role models at home, so the leaders there filled the void. Without the center, I would not be the person I am today."

Judy Golikto, IUKAA president, said Hayes has been a role model of community leadership to herself and other IU Kokomo alumni.

"Bob has a wonderful way in which he provides service to the campus, that also enhances the city of Kokomo and this region," she said. "He is an excellent ambassador for us, and a most worthy recipient of the Distinguished Service Award."

He was a major supporter of the campus partnership with the city and Kokomo Center Schools to obtain the Cougar Gym located downtown.

Hayes earned a Bachelor of General Studies degree from IU Kokomo in 1995. He has been president of the IUKAA executive alumni board of directors, and a member of the Board of Managers of the IU Alumni Association, where he was involved in decisions that affect all the regional campuses. He also is an at-large member of the Kokomo Common Council, and is immediate past president of the Carver Community Center Board of Directors.

"He is a hard working IU Kokomo alumni, dedicated to advancing IU, IU Kokomo, and his community," Golitko said.

The Distinguished Service Award dinner will take place at 6 p.m. on Thursday, May 29, at the Carver Community Center, 1030 N. Purdum St., Kokomo. Tickets are $30 each, and may be purchased at

The IUKA also will recognize recipients of its $750 scholarships for 2014. Honorees include Ashley Lowe, Twelve Mile; Abigail Pinkston, Galveston; Hannah Randall, Kokomo; Julia Walters, Bunker Hill; and Ann Yebei, Kokomo.

Indiana University Kokomo serves north central Indiana.

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KOKOMO, Ind. — A record number of 599 graduates will be celebrated at Indiana University Kokomo's Commencement, as IU President Michael A. McRobbie will confer 606 degrees.

2013 Commencement2013 Commencement

The ceremony is set to begin at 10:30 a.m. on Tuesday, May 13, at the Pavilion, with Chancellor Susan Sciame-Giesecke presenting the graduating class.

"Commencement is the highlight of the year for all of us at Indiana University," Sciame-Giesecke said. "Our students have worked hard, and we look forward to celebrating their accomplishments."

Nearly 40 percent of the graduates are first-generation college students. They represent 31 Indiana counties, nine states, and nine countries. Fifty-nine students are earning master's degrees. Another 536 are earning bachelor's degrees, while 11 will receive associate degrees. Some students earned more than one degree.

The School of Nursing has the largest number of graduates, with 174 earning bachelor's degrees. It also will recognize the first graduates from its Master of Science in Nursing program. The second most frequent degree being awarded is the Bachelor of General Studies, with 77. This brings the total number of graduates from IU Kokomo to 12,450.

Shaina Shirar, a senior majoring in history and political science, will represent the graduates as class speaker. Shirar, of Frankfort, serves as student body vice president of programming.

During the ceremony, Sergio Marchionne, chairman and CEO of Chrysler Group LLC and CEO of Fiat S.p.A., will receive an honorary Doctor of Humane Letters, the highest academic recognition IU can bestow. He will address the graduating class.

If inclement weather is expected, an announcement will be made in the evening on Monday, May 12. Two ceremonies, then, will be conducted indoors at Havens Auditorium, beginning at 10:30 a.m., and will include graduates of the School of Nursing, Division of Allied Health, and School of Education. The second ceremony, at 1:30 p.m., will include graduates from the School of Sciences, School of Business, and School of Humanities and Social Sciences.

Outdoor ceremonies are open to the public, with seating in the Hunt Hall parking lot. Those attending ceremonies in Havens Auditorium must have a ticket. Graduates received tickets with their caps and gowns. Free parking is available on campus.

Commencement can be viewed via live streaming on the campus website at

For more information, go to and click on the Countdown to Commencement button.

Indiana University Kokomo serves north central Indiana.

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KOKOMO, Ind. — Shirley Aamidor's year teaching in South Korea isn't just about teaching, it's an international experience she plans to share with her students and enhance learning in the classroom.

Indiana University Kokomo

Aamidor, associate dean in the Indiana University Kokomo School of Education, took a one-year sabbatical to teach in Seoul, South Korea, working with both undergraduate and graduate students in early childhood education.

These experiences will make her a better teacher when she returns to campus, she said.

"The more international experience one has, the more you can understand the people of the world," she said. "It helps with learning and engaging with students. While I am broadening my experience, I am also gathering ideas I can bring back to share with my students."

Aamidor lives in an apartment close to Sungshin University, where she teaches two classes in the Department of Early Childhood Education. She leads undergraduates in an introductory class, and works with graduate students on trends in research.

She teaches in English, and admires her students' ability to grasp what she is teaching.

"To take a course in content that is new, in a language that is not your first language, takes a sense of challenge. I admire that," she said. "They are a remarkably patient and understanding group of students."

In addition to teaching at the university, she spends two days weekly observing at two local elementary schools, to understand how education works in South Korea.

She likes that Korea's early childhood education relies on play and center-based learning, using best practices.

"Korea is a very modern society in terms of its educational focus and educational philosophy," she said. "There is an emphasis on play, and doing what is developmentally appropriate for children, and teachers are very calm and gentle. In the United States, we've moved away from play-based instruction, and the expectation is such that if you get to kindergarten and are not ready, you are deficient."

Aamidor hopes to coordinate a visit to IU Kokomo by her Korean graduate students, and also wants more IU Kokomo students to visit South Korea.

"South Korea is a wonderful opportunity for our business students to experience some of the business opportunities that exist here," she said. "Sungshin Elementary is interested in a partnership with the School of Education to bring our students there to teach enrichment classes. International experiences are something that should be part of every student's education."

Dean Paul Paese expects Aamidor's experiences will create more opportunities for students, both in South Korea and Kokomo.

"I hope it opens the door for South Korean teachers to come to IU Kokomo for a master's degree in education during the summers," he said. "Shirley will bring back a different perspective on teaching and education to share with our students."

Aamidor finds Korean people to be friendly, as well as hard working and ambitious.

"I think what is interesting to me is the work ethic of the people," she said. "Everyone works, and they work very hard. They've become a modern, industrial society in a very short span of time, with the second or third largest economy in Asia. It's very safe to walk there, and public transportation is very efficient. It's very easy to get around, even for someone who doesn't know Korean."

The children work as hard as the adults, often going to hagwons, or enrichment programs, after school.

"It's no surprise to me that South Korea ranks first or second on international comparisons of academic achievement," Aamidor said. "Parents are always looking for 'that thing,' that will give their child an edge. It's a very ambitious society."

Her experience is part of a continuing partnership between IU Kokomo, Sungshin University, and Jesus University, also in South Korea. Linda Wallace, dean of the School of Nursing, pioneered the first faculty exchange nearly 15 years ago. Korean nursing students visit the campus each winter, and IU Kokomo students travel to South Korea in May.

Michael Tully, assistant vice chancellor for academic affairs and professor of education, previously taught at Sungshin University, and Sung Ja Whang, a retired nursing professor from Jesus University, is currently a visiting lecturer in the School of Nursing.

Indiana University Kokomo serves north central Indiana.

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KOKOMO, Ind. — The Indiana University Kokomo Art Gallery features its first-ever show created by senior fine arts students.

Senior Thesis Art ShowChancellor Susan Sciame-Giesecke stands with Nicole Brubaker and Minda Douglas. See more pictures on Flickr.

Eight students are showcased in the Fine Arts Thesis Exhibition, which continues through Saturday, May 17, in the Art Gallery.

Susan Skoczen, art gallery director, said five of the students are receiving the Bachelor of Fine Arts (B.F.A.) degree, with two earning the Bachelor of Arts degree. An additional senior, who minored in creative arts, also will have work in the gallery.

In previous years, thesis work was featured in the annual student exhibit, but this year, with the largest number of seniors ever to participate, all the gallery space was needed for their exhibit.

"This is the chance for seniors to put together their first body of work, and to gain experience of what it is like to be a professional artist," Skoczen said. "From the start of deciding upon a concept for their thesis, to the research, to the physical making, and then even how to frame and install the work in the gallery, these students are doing it all."

Nicole Brubaker, a B.F.A. student from Flora, enjoyed the experience of creating a themed exhibition, something she hopes she will get to do as a working artist after she graduates.

"I've always had a passion for art," she said. "I've grown as an artist while I've been at IU Kokomo, and learned how to use art as a communication tool."

Her theme is "Isolation," and she admitted it was difficult to decide which pieces of her work complemented the theme, and which should not be included in the show.

"That's part of the learning process, because including those pieces would have thrown off my theme," she said. "I've learned to make those hard decisions, even though it's hard to see something you worked hard to create sitting at home."

The exhibition includes sculpture, painting, printmaking, mixed media, drawing and digital art.

Seniors in addition to Brubaker include William Black, Logansport; Wendy Brown, Russiaville; Daniel Speight, Kokomo; Dusti Speight, Kokomo; Theresa Stewart, Bunker Hill; and Sarah Willis, Russiaville. Bryan Crow, Kokomo, is a creative arts minor.

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.