Indiana University Kokomo

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KOKOMO, Ind. — Indiana University Kokomo nursing faculty and students practice their basic care skills as volunteers moving nearly 150 patients into the newly newly-opened Sidney & Lois Eskenazi Hospital.

Nursing students help open new hospitalNursing students help open new hospital.Teams of two students, with one faculty member for support, accompanied neonatal intensive care (NICU) patients and noncritical care patients from the ambulance that transported them from the former Wishard Hospital, to rooms in the new Indianapolis hospital.

"This was really a once-in-a-lifetime opportunity, to be part of opening a brand new hospital," said Lesley Connolly, clinical liaison. "It was a very awesome experience, which allowed our students to see how they can use their skills not just at work, but to help their community."

Connolly noted that while IU Kokomo was one of many nursing schools participating, Dean Linda Wallace was the only nursing dean who volunteered.

Seeing faculty members volunteering was an inspiring experience for nursing student Bridget College.

"The most influential part, for me, was seeing some of our professors and Dean Wallace outside the classroom, doing what they love, which is helping others," she said. "I loved being able to give back to our extended community, and also networking with nursing students from other programs."

Wallace felt privileged to help.

"It doesn't happen very often that we have an opportunity to actually move a hospital," she said. "I am very proud of our students for understanding the significance of this opportunity to serve."

The service project also gave students the chance to see Indiana's newest hospital on its opening day, and get a behind-the-scenes look.

Assistant Dean Bridget Whitmore supported two students as they helped move a premature infant to the new NICU, and said she got to know the students in a more personal way by serving.

She and several students also helped the new hospital's infection control director deliver hand-washing containers to the emergency room, and toured the emergency trauma rooms, the neonatal unit, and the labor and delivery rooms.

"This was an incredible experience for our students to be part of this move," she said. "They saw something accomplished that took a lot of detailed planning, and it was completed with success."

Indiana University Kokomo serves north central Indiana.

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KOKOMO, Ind. — A local after school tutoring program gives Indiana University Kokomo students experience and a chance to make a difference with area elementary children.

Student tutorsStudent tutorsThe federally funded program, "Kokomomentum", has allowed this community partnership to be formed between IU Kokomo and Kokomo School Corporation.

Mary Katheryn Dudley, an elementary education major, tutors children at Elwood Haynes Elementary and the Carver Community Center three to four times a week.

"This is an awesome opportunity to be a teacher, and to be part of a program that provides a safe place for children after school," Dudley said. "The students are getting individual attention that isn't available during the school day, and I am practicing what I've learned in my education classes. We are all benefitting from it."

The 120 children in the program participate in academic enrichment activities. The tutors, who are paid through a work-study program, assist with homework and help teachers lead science activities.

This program is part of the campus' regional mission to promote academic success for students of all ages, according to Interim Chancellor Susan Sciame-Giesecke.

"This is an excellent partnership, in which our students get an applied learning experience, and the elementary students get the tutoring help they need," she said.

Pennye Siefert, Kokomo Schools assistant superintendent, appreciates the tutors' efforts.

"These students came to the program with a passion for helping children," she said. "This work study partnership not only gives our young learners extra help with their school work, but also provides them with personal connections with college students, who demonstrate success in achieving academic and career goals."

Psychology major Karen Bowlin is considering graduate school, and appreciates the opportunity to work with the children and build her résumé at the same time.

"More than anything, this gets me involved in something rewarding that is community based," she said. "Some of the kids may not get homework help at home, so I'm glad I can work with them and help them learn."

Indiana University Kokomo serves north central Indiana.

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KOKOMO, Ind. — Renovations to Indiana University Kokomo's curriculum lab puts the latest educational technology in the hands of its students — and also puts books in the hands of Kokomo-area children.

School of Education donates books for area children

The School of Education donated thousands of volumes, from board books for babies to high school literature, to Kokomo Urban Outreach, the Family Service Association domestic violence shelter, and other organizations that can give them to children who otherwise are not likely to have books in their homes.

Dean Paul Paese said in place of the books, the lab will be a "classroom of the future," containing iPads, interactive smart boards, and other technology tools future teachers must be prepared to use in their classrooms.

"Leaders from area schools have told us they need teachers who know how to teach with technology," Paese said. "With this lab, we can expose them to as wide a variety of technology as possible. This is going to make a huge difference for our students."

Last week, Paese and Marilyn Skinner, director of the Early Childhood Education Center, delivered a pick up truck and van full of books to Kokomo Urban Outreach, where Director Jeff Newton and volunteers gladly accepted them.

They will come in handy during Christmas break when the local organization, which serves people living in low-income neighborhoods, hosts free meals for children.

"We have a library where kids can take books, and trade books with each other," Newton said. "We encourage reading. Having good books in the hands of children is important."

The organization hosts an Easter basket program in the spring, allowing parents to create gifts for their children with donated supplies, and Newton plans to provide a book for each basket as well.

"These will be well used, and we will have them all given away by spring," he added.

Skinner is working with the United Way to give books to children whose families lost their belongings in the November tornado as well.

Paese is pleased the ongoing renovations are having an immediate impact in the community.

"We expect a longer-term benefit, when our students graduate and are ready to use the latest tools to provide excellent education in local classrooms," he said. "By giving away these books we are not using, we can also have an immediate benefit, giving them to the children who need them most."

He expects the renovated lab to open during the spring 2014 semester.

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.