Indiana University Kokomo

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KOKOMO, Ind. — Angelina Gurney and Josh Williams signed up for physics; instead, they found chemistry.

Angelina Gurney and Josh WilliamsAngelina Gurney and Josh WilliamsThe two Indiana University Kokomo students met two years ago, on the first day of class in the Hunt Hall physics lab. During finals week, Williams proposed forming a bond — getting married — in the lab where it all began.

She said yes, and they plan a May 10, 2014 wedding — just three days after she graduates with a degree in psychology.

"It's probably the most special place he could have proposed," Gurney said. "We spent a lot of time there after classes, and standing outside in the cold, almost freezing our feet off."

When they went to the lab, Gurney thought Williams was just going to look over his physics final. They wandered through the lab, checking out the perpetual motion devices and other items, until they came to a Lord of the Rings mirage box. It uses two curved mirrors to make an image of an object in a mirror at the bottom of the box. Usually, there is a Lord of the Rings ring in it.

This time, Gurney found a diamond ring instead.

Williams, Galveston, remembered looking at the mirage the first time they talked to each other, which is why he put the ring there.

The proposal is the first in Hunt Hall, as far as anyone knows.

They are truly a case of opposites attracting, according to Gurney.

"He's emotionally calm, which I am not, so that's a good thing," she said, adding with a smile, "He's very handsome, too."

Williams is equally smitten, calling his fiancée both "beautiful," and "the nicest person I've ever met.

"I feel comfortable being myself around her."

They've kept many mementos of their IU Kokomo romance, including an origami box she made in a speech class, and then gave to him, and the origami box he gave her in return, filled with poetry.

Both look forward to their lives together. Williams, 24, has another year left to finish his math degree, and then would like to earn a Ph.D., to teach at the college level. Gurney, 20, from Kokomo, plans to enroll in an online Christian college, to become a counselor.

Both agree IU Kokomo has played an important part in their relationship.

"We spent more time here together than anywhere else," Williams said. "It gives us a common denominator as we start our lives together."

Indiana University Kokomo serves north central Indiana.

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KOKOMO, Ind. – Jake Howdeshell has been part of a team his whole life.

Men's Basketball vs. IU Northwest January 2, 2014The Men's Basketball team with veterans.This week his two most important teams — Indiana University Kokomo men's basketball and the Army National Guard – came together, as the basketball team hosted Military Appreciation Night.

Howdeshell, a freshman from Fulton, was excited to share his military experience with his basketball teammates.

"The U.S. military is one of the biggest teams I'll ever be on," he said. "It allows our basketball team to express our gratitude to the members of the military, who make it possible for us to do things like play basketball. We have our freedoms because of the men and women who serve our country."

The team played its game against IU Northwest wearing camouflage uniforms, to mark to occasion, and offered free admission to all veterans and active duty military. It was the least they could do to show their appreciation and respect, Coach Jace Thompson said.

"IU Kokomo's region is home to many veterans and people currently serving our country," he said. "This is a way we can give back to them, and thank them for all they do for us. Many of our fans are veterans, and we appreciate their service."

Howdeshell is the first athlete Thompson has coached who is doing double duty, playing on a team and serving in the National Guard.

"We look forward to having Jake become a leader of our team during the next four years," he said. "As a freshman, he already shows many qualities of a great leader, and his work with the National Guard will only help him continue to develop those skills."

Howshedell grew up planning to serve, following in the footsteps of his father and other relatives, but he also wanted to earn a college degree. The National Guard allows him to do both.

"The guard helps me pay for school, so I don't have to use my mom and dad's money," he said. "I get paid to be a full time student, a basketball player, and I get to be a soldier. It's a win-win for me."

It can be challenging balancing those three responsibilities, but his coach and his military supervisors have worked with him to make it possible.

"The National Guard wants me to have the college experience, and the sports life," he said. "They understand that I have obligations to this team and theirs, and they help me balance it. I'm dedicated to basketball and putting myself through school with the National Guard. Both teams want me to graduate, and that helps. I don't have a lot of free time outside of those, but it's definitely worth it."

He plans a career in the Army after earning a degree in criminal justice.

"I'm already starting to love it," he said. "This is something I want to do with my life."

The Cougars beat the RedHawks in overtime, 97-92.

Indiana University Kokomo serves north central Indiana.

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KOKOMO, Ind. — As Indiana University Kokomo students helped their neighbors recover from tornado damage locally, sociology professor Ligaya McGovern showed them the need for global compassion as well.

Ligaya McGovernLigaya McGovernMore than 6,000 people in the Philippines, McGovern's homeland, died as a result of the November 2 Typhoon Haiyan, the deadliest typhoon on record.

"This gives us a connection, a global display of our common humanity," McGovern said. "Students saw the need to help, even though these people were far away."

McGovern, together with J.R. Pico, lecturer in Spanish, and Rain Robinson, a student who is also involved with the Filipino American Association of Central Indiana, organized a donation drive and an ethnic food festival in order to send supplies to the Philippines.

They brought in two standard shipping boxes full of supplies, which McGovern sent to colleagues at St. Scholastica's College, where she earned her bachelor's degree. The Benedictine nuns who manage the college also have a hospital, and can make sure the supplies go to the victims as needed.

"I hope this can be the beginning of a relationship between our campus and theirs," McGovern said.

As a sociologist, she compares the outcome of the tornado, where there was a warning system in place, to that of the typhoon, with no warning system. McGovern had planned to go to campus the day of the tornado, but stayed home after seeing the warnings.

"The government in the Philippines needs to plan immediate disaster response, and a warning system for people who live close to the coast," she said, adding that human factors, including illegal logging, also contributed to the magnitude of the disaster.

"We have good warning systems here, and they save lives," she said. "In the Philippines, there was no storm surge warning system, which would have allowed people to evacuate to safety. There was no natural barrier to stop the water, because of the deforestation. There are a lot of lessons to be learned from this disaster, to lessen the impact in the future."

McGovern's academic work focuses on the impact of globalization on the people of third world countries. Recently, she was honored by the National Women's Studies Association for two of her books, Globalization and Third World Women: Exploitation, Coping and Resistance, and Globalization, Labor Exports, and Resistance.

Currently, she is seeking grant funding for her next project, studying the migration of doctors and nurses from Third World countries to developed countries. India and the Philippines are the top exporters of medical professionals, while the United States is the greatest receiver.

"I am finding that doctors and nurses are migrating from the countries with the greatest need, to the countries with the least need," McGovern said. "That leaves the Third World depleted of its medical professionals. This is an important issue to study."

Indiana University Kokomo serves north central Indiana.

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KOKOMO, Ind. — Indiana University Kokomo and Alpha Kappa Alpha Sorority will host a community wide celebration of Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. at 4 p.m. Sunday, January 12, in Kresge Auditorium.

Hunt HallU.S. Rep. André Carson will be keynote speaker at the celebration, which is free and open to the public. Information also will be presented on efforts to build a monument to honor King in Kokomo.

"The event is designed to pay tribute to Dr. King's lifetime commitment to serving others, so we adopted the theme 'Timeless Service'," said Juanita Martin-Davis, event chairwoman. "We want to honor the man (King) as well as educate and raise awareness of this pivotal time period in our nation's history."

Efforts to build a monument in honor of Dr. King in Kokomo were announced in August 2013 by the Kokomo Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. Commission. The City of Kokomo donated property at Apperson Way and LaFountain Street for the monument, which will include a granite wall as a backdrop to a statue of Dr. King carved from Indiana limestone.

"The Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. monument for Kokomo will serve as a symbol of inspiration for human rights and civil rights history for generations to come," said Nanette Bowling, Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. Commission general chairwoman. "Our goal is to raise $150,000 using a fast track campaign that will end on April 4, the day he was assassinated."

A native of Indianapolis, Carson, 39, is the grandson of the late and former Rep. Julia Carson. After her death in December 2007, Carson was elected to complete her term in a special election in March 2008, and then was elected to his first full term in the November 2008 election. He is now serving his third full term in the U.S. House of Representatives.

Carson earned a bachelor's degree in criminal justice from Concordia University in Wisconsin and a master of business management from Indiana Wesleyan University.

The Omicron Phi Omega Chapter of Alpha Kappa Alpha Sorority, Inc. organizes a celebration of Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. annually as part of its community service outreach initiatives.

IU Kokomo is a regional campus of Indiana University, serving approximately 4,200 students.

Indiana University Kokomo serves north central Indiana.