Indiana University Kokomo

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KOKOMO, Ind. — An Indiana University Kokomo Alumni Association (IUKAA) Scholarship gives Brittany Royer a chance to focus on academics and student activities.

Old Ben 5K Run/WalkOld Ben 5K Run/Walk"I truly value the opportunities this scholarship gives me," she said. "Studying to earn good grades takes a lot of time. This scholarship is a blessing, because it provides time to study, rather than work, and to be involved on campus. I truly value the opportunities this scholarship makes possible."

Local runners can help provide those scholarships, by participating in the annual Old Ben 5K Run/Walk, which steps off at 9 a.m. Saturday, March 8, at Highland Park. Online registration is open through Friday, February 28, at

Greater participation in the last few years means increased scholarships for students like Royer, a senior from Rossville.

"We used to give one $500 scholarship annually," said Ryan Bowman, director of alumni relations and campus ceremonies. "Now we can give five $750 scholarships each year. We appreciate our sponsors and our participants, who make that possible."

Royer maintains a 3.8 GPA and serves as vice president of the Student Alumni Association, and said the scholarship makes those possible.

Student body President Brian Arwood, Peru, also appreciates the support from an IUKAA scholarship.

"The IU Kokomo Alumni Association relieved a tremendous burden, and allowed me to focus on my classes, rather than how I was going to pay for college," he said. "I'm able to devote more time and attention to school, student organizations, and my family."

New to the event this year is Kingston's Kid Run, a one-fifth mile run for children 10 and younger, which starts at 8:30 a.m. Mascot Kingston Cougar plans to be there to encourage the kids in this run, Bowman said.

"The kids' run makes this a fun family event, and also promotes healthy lifestyles," Bowman said. "This starts a great tradition for many local running families to get their children involved while they are young."

The Old Ben 5K Walk/Run is the primary fundraiser for the IUKAA scholarships. Entry is $10 for the kids' run, and $15 for the 5K walk or run. Race day registration begins at 7:30 a.m., and is $20.

First Farmers Bank & Trust is presenting sponsor for the Old Ben 5K Run/Walk. Community Howard Regional Health sponsors Kingston's Kids Run. Additional sponsors are Golitko & Daly, the City of Kokomo, Kokomo Tribune, Hoosier AM/FM Radio Kokomo, and Regions Insurance.

Indiana University Kokomo serves north central Indiana.

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KOKOMO, Ind. — Indiana University Kokomo took on an international flavor Friday (February 21), hosting an annual educational festival for local sixth graders.

International DayInternational Day. See more pictures on Flickr.

Nearly 170 sixth graders from the International School at Central Middle School, Kokomo, set up displays representing 41 countries, for the annual International Festival. Faculty, staff, and students provided enrichment experiences for the students, including a piñata building workshop.

The festival exposes students to international culture, which is important as technology makes the world smaller, said Donna McLean, assistant professor of communication arts.

"We are pleased to partner with the Kokomo Schools to offer the International Festival," she said. "It is crucial to make students aware of global issues, diversity, geography, and culture, to prepare them to live and work as citizens of the world."

Andralise Blackshear watched the Winter Olympics with more interest than usual this year, as she and her group completed their project on host country Russia.

"Now that I've learned about Russia, I think it would be an interesting place to visit," she said. "I've been enjoying learning more about it on TV during the Olympics."

Her team's exhibit included several collections of matroyska dolls, also known as nesting dolls, in their exhibit featuring Russia. Her teammate David Anderson-Penn especially liked a set representing Russian leaders, from Lenin to Gorbachev.

Alex Bolinger's team chose Tanzania as their country, because his father went there to climb Mount Kilimanjaro. They had several souvenirs brought back from that trip, including several wooden giraffes.

He was amazed to find out that nearly half the population of Tanzania, which is in southeastern Africa, is 15 years or younger.

Ivory Bess, one of his teammates, said it is important to learn other cultures, so you are prepared to travel and interact with people from around the world. She was surprised to learn that in Tanzania, she should never give a thumbs up, because rather than being a sign of approval, it is considered to be an obscene gesture.

"You have to know and understand the culture, so you know how to behave appropriately and get along with people," she said.

She was saddened to read about people rolling poisoned pumpkins into the roads to kill Tanzania's elephants, to take their tusks to sell for the ivory.

During lunch, an international buffet provided by the Cougar Country Café by Rozzi's Catering, IU Kokomo students answered questions about campus life and international study opportunities.

Teacher Mary Page was pleased the students tried and enjoyed international cuisine; including egg drop soup, Rolla vacca, Cuban picadilla with rice, and Moroccan rice pudding.

This is the fifth year IU Kokomo and Central Middle School have partnered to host the event, and every year gets better, she said.

"The cooperation between our schools is great," she said. "Our kids are excited to learn about their countries, and they work hard to create an excellent display to bring to campus. They come here and meet the college students, and learn about all the opportunities available to them, including international travel. This is something we look forward to every year."

Indiana University Kokomo serves north central Indiana.

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KOKOMO, Ind. — Indiana University Kokomo was host to the 50th annual Howard County Science fair, with faculty members volunteering as judges, and also teaching enrichment workshops for more than 80 young scientists.

Howard County Science FairHoward County Science Fair, see more pictures on Flickr.

The fair has been an annual event on campus for more than 10 years. Marcia Gillette, senior lecturer in chemistry, recognized the benefits students gain from completing science fair project, and brought it to IU Kokomo, in partnership with Haynes International.

Interim Chancellor Susan Sciame-Giesecke, a long-time supporter of the science fair, welcomed students and their parents to the event.

In addition to exhibiting projects, students attended sessions with School of Sciences faculty. Leda Casey, lecturer in geology, presented a geology workshop. Patrick Motl, assistant professor of physics, taught about astronomy, and Ashley Duffitt, biology lab supervisor, led a workshop on pond microbiology. All three also were judges.

Faculty judges included Denise Chauret, adjunct faculty; Sara Deyo, chemistry lab supervisor; Michael Finkler, professor of physiology; Marcia Gillette, senior lecturer in chemistry; Joshua Gottemoller, senior lecturer of mathematics; Diane Hampshire, lecturer of mathematics; Kasem Kasem, professor of chemistry; Carrie Kinsey, biology lab supervisor; Linda Krause, senior lecturer in mathematics; Diana Mishler, clinical assistant professor and coordinator of medical imaging technology; and T.J. Sullivan, assistant professor of biology and molecular energy.

Megan Hedges, from Eastern High School, earned the top senior division prize of $1,000 for her exhibit, "Manipulating flames with alternating current." Her teacher, Ben Cox, received the traveling trophy awarded to the teacher of the first place senior division exhibitor.

Twenty-nine high school students participated in the senior division. Other award winners were: Rachel Johns, Northwestern High School, second place, $700; Lauren Ward, Northwestern High School, third place, $500; Elizabeth Bolyard, Northwestern High School, fourth place, $400; Heather Wright, Eastern High School, fifth place, $300; Teng Lee, Kokomo High School, sixth place, $250; Sharlene Lossing, Northwestern High School, seventh place, $200; Aaron Stanley, Northwestern High School, eighth place, $150; Alexander Jones, Northwestern High School, ninth place, $100; and Michael Embry, Kokomo Area Schools at Home, 10th place, $50.

Fifty-five elementary and middle school students participated in the junior division competition. The top five, in alphabetical order, are Kayla Bevington, Northwestern; Delaney Poer, Eastern; Addison Ream, Eastern; Amanda Wilson, Northwestern, and Tyler Wilson, Northwestern. Each received $100.

The rest of the top 10 in the junior division, in alphabetical order, were Allison Fenske, Kokomo Area Schools at Home; David Hoshaw, Acacia Academy; Megan Johnson, Eastern; Lauren Longshore, Northwestern, and Erin Matheney, Eastern. Each received $50.

Additional science fair contributors include Mark and Janet Comerford, Bucheri McCarty & Metz LLP, Erik's Chevrolet, Newlon Metals Inc., Rotary Club of Kokomo, Stan and Jody Ortman, The Windmill Grill, The Wyman Group, Charles and Sandy Sponaugle, Emily Bargerhuff, Marcia and Bob Gillette, Interim Chancellor Susan Sciame-Giesecke, the IU Kokomo School of Sciences faculty, staff, and students, and IU Kokomo Physical Plant staff.

Indiana University Kokomo serves north central Indiana.

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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.