Indiana University Kokomo

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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.

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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

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.