Indiana University Kokomo

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KOKOMO, Ind. — Kelly Brown leads efforts to train people who work with crime victims, while demonstrating to her students what they can do with a degree in criminal justice.

Kelly BrownKelly BrownBrown, associate professor of criminal justice at Indiana University Kokomo, studies people who work in victim advocacy, to find out who they are, what attracts them to that work, what they do, how the stress of the job impacts them personally, and what can be done to help them handle that stress.

"We want to see if we can identify ways to make their jobs easier, so we can help them do this work at a more effective level," she said.

She involves students in her research, connecting them with law enforcement officials, victim's advocates, and people who have been victims of sexual assault, giving them an inside look at potential careers in criminal justice.

"They meet the people working in the trenches, and see first hand how criminal justice works in the real world," she said. "These people do amazing things. They help people who have been victims of horrific crimes cope with what happened to them. This allows students to see how we in the academic world can use our research and our knowledge to make the world a better place."

Participating in research with Brown prepared recent criminal justice graduate Michelle Lynch for the emotional toll her new job, as a case manager for the Indiana Department of Child Services, may take on her.

Before her first day, Lynch, from Upland, called a meeting with her husband, children, and some friends, to tell them how they could support her in her new career.

"I knew because of the opportunity to research with Dr. Brown that I was going to need a few shoulders to cry on at home," she said. "I don't think I would have been in tune with those needs without that experience. She is just awesome."

Lynch and Brown presented their research at a criminology conference in Atlanta in November 2013, and having that on her resumé made her stand out from other candidates in her job search, Lynch said.

"When I had my interview with the Department of Child Services, that was one thing they wanted more information about," she said. "I seriously believe this experience made me more marketable."

Brown also works with the Indiana Coalition Against Sexual Assault to train agency leaders statewide to evaluate their programs for effectiveness. They must demonstrate having positive impact as a condition of receiving funding from the Centers for Disease Control (CDC).

"It's one thing to raise awareness of sexual assault," Brown said. "It's another to change behavior. I give them tools to demonstrate their value to people outside their programs, to show they are making inroads in reducing incidents of sexual assault."

She said many people think criminal justice majors all want to be police officers, but that is not the case.

"Most of them want to help in some way," she said. "This is one way I can show them how to do that in the real world. This helps them understand how what they can do can make a difference in the world."

Indiana University Kokomo serves north central Indiana.

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KOKOMO, Ind. — Learn more about a mission to catch a comet at a free Indiana University Kokomo Observatory Open House Sunday, March 9.

Campus in snowThe Observatory

Patrick Motl, assistant professor of physics, will begin the open house at 8 p.m. with a talk about the European Space Agency's Rosetta mission, which will land a robot on the surface of comet 67P/Churyumov-Gerasimenko later this year.

NASA contributed instruments and science investigators for the 10-year mission, to learn more about comets. Rosetta will be the first spacecraft to land a robot on a spacecraft, and the first to accompany a comet as it enters our inner solar system.

After the talk, participants may view winter skies through the Observatory's telescopes, weather permitting, until 10 p.m.

"Jupiter will be near a first quarter moon, high in the evening sky for viewing," Motl said. "We continue to enjoy winter skies for this month, including the prominent constellations or Orion and Taurus in the winter hexagon."

The Observatory's telescopes include a six-inch Takahashi refracting telescope and a 16-inch Meade reflecting telescope mounted together. The Takahashi provides exceptionally sharp images of planets, while the Meade allows viewers to see fainter objects in the sky, due to its larger light collecting area.

The open house is free and open to the public in the Observatory, 105 E. Rebecca Lane. Free parking is available on campus.

Indiana University Kokomo serves north central Indiana.

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KOKOMO, Ind. — Indiana University Kokomo selects Moake Park Group Inc. as the architects to renovate its oldest building into 21st century learning space.

CC0A0318The Main Building

Laura Lucas, assistant architect for research in the University Architect's Office, said the Fort Wayne-based firm was chosen from among five finalists for the job to upgrade the Main Building.

"They showed us what we could do for us, to transform underutilized spaces to the way higher education works today, and to prepare it for how it will work in the future," she said. "The classrooms will fit better for how we are teaching, and how we are going to teach, as opposed to how we used to teach."

Planners expect the project to be completed by fall 2015. Work should start this summer, Lucas said, adding that the biggest challenge is "keeping the building operational while transforming it."

While much of the $14 million project is upgrading infrastructure, such as the heating and cooling system, there will be visible changes to the Main Building, according to Interim Chancellor Susan Sciame-Giesecke.

"From the outside, we want it to represent the new direction of IU Kokomo, becoming a 21st century campus," she said. "This project ensures that the Main Building will support our continued growth, and prepare us to meet the needs of our students well into the future. We are excited to move forward."

Students will benefit from new, modern classrooms, suitable for the technology being used, and for collaborative learning and teaching. They also will enjoy new places to study and meet with classmates.

The Indiana General Assembly approved $14 million for the project in 2013. "We are appreciative of the efforts of our local legislators who supported this project and who continue to be strong advocates of our campus," said Sciame-Giesecke.

The work will be the first major renovations in nearly two decades for the building, which was built in 1965. It was the first building on the South Washington Street campus when IU Kokomo moved from the Seiberling Mansion.

Indiana University Kokomo serves north central Indiana.

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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.