Indiana University Kokomo

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KOKOMO, Ind. — What is the best part of Tyler Keck's upcoming student teaching assignment? He'll be teaching at an elementary school on the beach, where surfing is part of the physical education curriculum.

Student Teachers travel to New ZealandStudent teachers to travel to New Zealand. Standing from left to right, Tyler Keck, John Williams, and Ashley Spraker.

Keck, along with fellow seniors Ashley Spraker and John Williams, are the first Indiana University Kokomo students in a program started by Dean Paul Paese, and offered in collaboration in IU’s Global Gateway for Teachers. They leave for Auckland, New Zealand, this month and will return in early May.

Keck, from Kokomo, noted that it is summer in New Zealand, and they will be there for the start of the school year.

"Usually you student teach in winter, leading up to the end of the school year," he said. "We get to experience what it is like to start a school year as a teacher. I want to learn just as much from my students and they want to learn from me. It's an exchange of culture."

They had a choice of student teaching in Costa Rica, Ecuador, or New Zealand. They selected New Zealand because the people speak English, and the fact that it would be the most difficult country of the three to get to when not part of a program.

"We also thought of the awesomeness level of New Zealand," Williams, who is from Fairmount, said. "It's the action sports capital of the world. They have snorkeling, lots of caves and mountains, and great places to visit."

They are among 20 American student teachers going to New Zealand, and as the first from IU Kokomo, they want to perform well so others can have the same experience, Spraker said.

"We are well aware of how lucky we are," she said. "We are grateful to Dean Paese and the faculty for organizing this and giving us the opportunity to have this experience."

Paese wants them to be the first of many IU Kokomo's future teachers who student teach overseas.

He will accompany them to New Zealand, and stay for the first several days, to visit them at school and perform their first classroom visits.

"I think this will be a good experience for them, and will be beneficial to them as they begin their teaching careers," he said. "A school administrator is going to see this on their resume, and think, 'That is the kind of teacher I want, who is going to take a leap and step out of the box.'"

All three also had student teaching experiences in north central Indiana. Keck taught sixth graders at Northwestern Elementary School. Spraker, from Cutler, was a special education student teacher at Blue Ridge Elementary in Frankfort. Williams was a student teacher in English at Western High School.

They will student teach in areas around Auckland, and live with faculty or staff from their schools.

All three hope this experience will make them stand out in the competitive job search.

Keck said the experience could be an advantage finding a job in one of the local international schools.

"If nothing else, you show that you are willing to go out of your comfort zone," said Williams. "You're on the other side of the world. The flexibility you learn is going to be huge. Everything you will experience will be new. I'm interested to see what they're reading in English classes, what they focus on in grammar. It gives you a broader experience."

Spraker said it also demonstrates an ability to adapt and learn. She is excited to be in New Zealand, which is a leader in children's literacy.

"They focus more on whole language, while we focus more on phonics," she said. "I am curious to see how they teach beginning readers, so I can gain new ideas for my own classroom."

Indiana University Kokomo serves north central Indiana.

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KOKOMO, Ind. — Cody Dunham takes great pride in winning an intramural basketball championship during his undergraduate college days.

Intramural basketballIntramural basketball. See more pictures on Flickr.

Those are the kinds of memories he wants to build for Indiana University Kokomo, as he plans the campus' new intramural basketball program. Games begin Tuesday, February 25, in the Cougar Gym.

"An intramural program is an important part of many students' collegiate experience," said Dunham, who will manage the league as the graduate assistant for the Cole Fitness Center. "It is one of the more unifying and friendship building experiences on campus. It is a great way to add to the IU Kokomo experience, and get students more involved. I am glad to be part of building that identity."

Intramurals give more students a chance to participate in sports while in college than the intercollegiate athletic program can allow, and provide a social and fitness experience, according to Todd Gambill, vice chancellor for student affairs and enrollment management.

"We're excited about this plan to allow our students to play in our beautiful new Cougar Gym," Gambill said. "We're hoping to springboard from this program into a full blown intramural program, with several sports available to our students, faculty, and staff."

Teams will play once per week, with minimal practices, and in a less structured environment than a collegiate team. Students will serve as paid officials for the approximately one-hour games. Regular season play continues through March 14, which is the week before spring break. There will be a single elimination tournament the week of March 24.

The intramural program is open to both men and women, and Gambill hopes for good participation from both. Teams representing the campus fraternity colony, faculty and staff, and other student organizations signed up for the first season. Students not on a team can sign up individually, and Dunham will place them on teams.

"It's neat for students to see their professors in a completely different environment, and be able to build those relationships," Gambill said. "It's also a great way for them to meet and socialize with students outside of their major, or from other student activities groups."

If the basketball program is successful, Gambill hopes to add other intramural sports, possibly including flag football, indoor soccer, softball, or ultimate Frisbee.

For more information about the IU Kokomo intramural basketball program, contact Dunham at cldunham@iuk.edu.

Indiana University Kokomo serves north central Indiana.

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KOKOMO, Ind. — Dmitriy Chulkov's experiences during the breakup of the Soviet Union drive his interest in economics.

Dmitriy ChulkovDmitriy Chulkov

Chulkov, professor of economics at Indiana University Kokomo, remembers food shortages and waiting in long lines for basic necessities as a teenager in Moscow.

"I remember very vividly what it was like," said Chulkov, who was 15 when the Soviet Union fell in 1991. "Soviet money was abolished, and all the money people had disappeared overnight. You could maybe exchange $200 of it for the new money. I saw one economic system fall apart, and I saw another system being built, as I was going through my studies. It made me want to learn more, so this never happens again."

He continues to research in economics, and also macroeconomics and information systems, while teaching at IU Kokomo. He recently received the annual faculty research award, honoring his prolific work during the last five years.

"I strive to be a good teacher and a good researcher," Chulkov said. "Both aspects are important to me. Research helps me stay current in my field, and allows me to bring current topics into my classroom. My students find it interesting, and they appreciate being exposed to cutting edge research."

Erv Boschmann, interim dean of the School of Business, said Chulkov's work in research is excellent, and far exceeds the school's standards.

"What particularly pleases me is the breadth of Dmitriy's research interests," he said, adding that Chulkov has had numerous publications in both economics and management information systems.

"He had a great year in research, with a paper and four proceedings published," Boschmann said. "The European Academic Conference judged one of his papers to the best paper. He has also been successful in getting internal and external funding."

Chulkov received a nearly $17,000 grant from the Department of Homeland Security in 2011 for an economic analysis of investment in enhancing port and waterway security from underwater threats, and was part of a team awarded a nearly $800,000 grant from the National Institute for Hometown Security for development and commercialization of a compact neutron interrogation system for underwater threat detection and identification.

His interest in research led him to Purdue University, after he earned his bachelor's degree in Russia. He began teaching at IU Kokomo in 2002, after completing his Ph.D. in economics. He also teaches classes in management information systems and computers in business.

"We are different than the big research campuses," he said. "We are more free to pursue different interests. I've challenged myself to incorporate all the areas of my teaching in my research."

He uses the same scientific approach he takes in research to his teaching, and also applies economic principles to the topic of education. For example, his research in how students select new, used, or electronic textbooks led him to choose books available in all of those formats for his classes.

"Having a choice in and of itself is valuable for the students," he said. "I try to choose options to support both."

Chulkov became a U.S. citizen in 2013, after living in the country for 15 years.

"I wanted to be part of the nation, and have the rights citizens have," he said, adding that he travels to Russia to visit his parents. Advances in technology make it much easier than when he first emigrated, and phone calls to Moscow were $2 per minute. Now he can Skype for free.

Conditions in Russia have vastly improved since he left the country, he said.

"There are still a lot of challenges, but at least people have access to all the basic services and things they need," he said. "Overall, the market economy has been better for Russia."

Indiana University Kokomo serves north central Indiana.

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KOKOMO, Ind. — Nurses take a patient's blood pressure the same way, no matter what country they call home.

South Korean Exchange Student Closing CeremonySouth Korean exchange student closing ceremony.

Nursing students from two South Korean universities, and from Indiana University Kokomo, learn from each other during exchanges between the two countries. Ten students and two faculty members from Sungshin Women's University and Jesus University arrived Sunday, February 4, for a two-week visit.

In the spring, a group of IU Kokomo students and faculty will return the visit, to learn about the culture and health care systems in South Korea.

During their time here, the South Korean students participated in nursing lab exercises with IU Kokomo students, sharing techniques they've learned for patient care.

Morgan McCall, Logansport, said it was interesting to see how many things they've learned the same way, and the small differences as well. The Korean students take temperatures with a thermometer that goes in the ear, rather than one used on the temples, which she uses.

"Medicine is universal, but there are some interesting differences," she said. "There are some cultural differences in medicine as well, and visiting with these students reminds us that not all of our patients will share our culture. It's a necessity to bring culture into the nursing field, so you can be sensitive to your patients' needs."

Students from both countries bonded over their shared experience of nursing school, Amanda Roberts, from Tipton, said.

"I asked if nursing school is stressful for them, and they said yes," she said. "We talked about what kind of nurses we want to be, and we have the same kind of goals. We found out we have a lot in common."

In addition to visiting nursing classes, the South Korean students joined Spanish and fine arts classes. They also toured Kokomo Opalescent Glass, visited the Logansport carousel, participated in nursing clinical rotations at area hospitals, attended a concert at The Palladium in Carmel, cheered at a Cougar basketball game, and exercised in the campus' Cole Fitness Center.

Woo Hee Sim, a student at Seoul's Sungshin University, encouraged the IU Kokomo students to take part in the upcoming trip to South Korea, to have the same kind of cultural experience she and her classmates have had in the United States.

"You really have to open your mind, and experience the differences in another country," Sim said. "This prepares you to meet people from other cultures, and to learn that despite our differences, we are the same in our hearts. So many people have been so welcoming to us, and I'm sure it will be the same when IU Kokomo students visit us."

Sim will return home with renewed commitment to her desire to be a nurse.

"I'm more engaged and inspired to be a nurse," she said. "I feel deeply its something you can do to help people, no matter where you are. I'm learning to do something not a lot of people can do."

It's a learning experience for both the Hoosier and Korean students, according to Linda Wallace, who initiated the program in 2000 with a faculty exchange.

"It is humbling and empowering to travel where you don't know the language well, or at all, and have to presume on the kindness of others," she said. "You come home with a better appreciation of the people from another country, and an understanding that not all of your patients share your background. When you treat people who are not of your culture, you need to be aware they may have cultural needs in addition to medical needs, and should know how to provide complete care for them."

Sohye Kim, visiting from Jesus University, in Jeonju, wanted to see how the U.S. health care system compares to that in her home country. She was impressed with many aspects of the hospitals she toured, and surprised by how much work goes into handling patient health insurance needs.

She did not find one country's health care system better than the other — just different. She looks forward to showing IU Kokomo students her country's system.

"It was interesting to get a different perspective on health care," she said.

IU Kokomo has a long relationship with the two universities, hosting about a dozen students and faculty each winter, and taking students to visit most summers. More than 30 students have traveled to South Korea since 2003.

Shirley Aamidor, associate dean of the School of Education, is teaching at Sungshin University this school year, and Sung Ja Whang, a retired professor from Jesus University, is a visiting lecturer in the School of Nursing.

Dr. Se-Ung Lee, a South Korean businessman and philanthropist, has supported the program for 14 years with grant funding.

Indiana University Kokomo serves north central Indiana.