Indiana University Kokomo

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KOKOMO, Ind. — Wayne James takes his oath of office as Indiana University Kokomo's chief of police, in a ceremony Friday, November 22.

Swearing in of IU Kokomo Chief of Police Wayne JamesWayne James takes the oath of office. See more photos.James, 33, said the ceremony, in Kresge Auditorium, was a special occasion for him, because so many people who are important in his life and career attended.

"To be sworn in in front of so many people who have supported me throughout my career makes it even more special," he said. "I always wanted to be a police officer, and to be a chief is an added bonus."

Interim Chancellor Susan Sciame-Giesecke congratulated James, and said the campus benefits from his leadership.

"What has impressed me most about Wayne is his proactive approach to campus safety," she said. "He has met with faculty, staff, and students to make sure they see the campus police as resources. I am confident he will continue to guide us as we continue to grow, and meet the challenges that come with growth."

James was especially proud to have his long-time mentor, Lieutenant Jerry Williams, pin on his badge during the ceremony. Williams is district commander for the Indiana State Police Lowell Post.

Williams met the new chief nearly 20 years ago, when James worked at an Ace Hardware Store in Lake County, Indiana. Williams visited the store several times each week, and encouraged him to pursue a law enforcement career.

"This is a proud time, to see this young man sworn in," Williams said. "He has never missed an opportunity to learn and advance himself. He has worked in one of the most challenging environments in Indiana, and he will bring that experience to IU Kokomo. This campus has the right man for the job."

James began his job October 1. Prior to that, he was operations lieutenant for the IU Police Department Northwest, in Gary. He began as a patrol officer there in 2009. He received a medal of valor in 2011, for actions during an off-campus incident that helped save a man's life and secure a suspected shooter.

As police chief at IU Kokomo, he will provide leadership, direction, and oversight for all campus law enforcement functions.

Law enforcement officials from around the state attended Friday's ceremony. Those attending include Chief Laury Flint, IU Bloomington Police Department; Deputy Chief Bob True, IUPUI Police Department; Chief Patricia Nowak, IU Northwest Police Department; Chief Rob Baker and Major Brian Seldon, Kokomo Police Department; Sheriff Steven Rogers and Lieutenant Kurt Goerges, Howard County Sheriff Department; Kokomo-Howard County Consolidated Communications Director Nicholas Capozzoli, Deputy Chief Cliff Sessoms, Marion Police Department; Corporal Nina Evans, Gary Police Department; Officer Morris Smooth, Cedar Lake Police Department; Lieutenant Jeremy Kelly, Indiana State Police; and Lieutenant Jerry Williams, Indiana State Police Lowell District Commander.

Indiana University Kokomo serves north central Indiana.

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KOKOMO, Ind. — Cougars and Jaguars work together to double the amount of food donated to Kokomo Urban Outreach (KUO) from the annual Enactus Can-struction food drive.

Students donate food for tornado reliefStudents donate food for tornado relief.Enactus, a business student organization, collects nonperishable food items throughout the school year, and hosts a competition during Homecoming. Student groups use canned and boxed food items to build structures, and then all the food goes to the local nonprofit, which distributes it through its food pantries.

The need is greater than ever, because of a tornado that hit Kokomo on November 17. Naturally, Leann Cook, Enactus president, was thrilled when an Indiana University — Purdue University Indianapolis group offered to give items from its recent drive.

"I thought it was just awesome that they reached out to help another IU group when our community is in need," Cook said. "It reminds us that while we are IU Kokomo Cougars, and they are IUPUI Jaguars – we are all IU."

IUPUI students delivered three truckloads on Saturday (November 23), containing about 1,200 food items. Enactus volunteers took that donation, together with the 1,300 items they collected to Kokomo Urban Outreach.

Adam Smith, an Enactus co-sponsor, said the urban outreach workers who unloaded the first was truckload were stunned to hear there was yet another truckload, plus an SUV filled with food. It won't last long, as the neighborhood around KUO was among the hardest hit by the tornado.

"The food drive hit home a little more this year because of the devastation," Cook said. "We're not just stocking the pantries because it's not just going to sit there. There are people who need it right now, immediately."

Joe Spaulding is one of two student coordinators for Paw's Pantry, IUPUI's campus food pantry. He said their annual Jam the Jaguars Food Pantry event November 21 brought in 2.1 tons of nonperishable foods.

After filling the campus pantry, organizers planned to send the extra to other Indianapolis food banks.

"With such an abundance of food, it just made sense to reach out a helping hand to IU Kokomo and the surrounding community, to help with tornado relief efforts," he said. "On behalf of Paw's Pantry, the IUPUI Division of Student Affairs, and IUPUI as a whole, I want to say that positive thoughts and prayers are with IU Kokomo and its community."

The donation brings Enactus halfway to its goal of collecting 5,000 food items during the school year. The group received a Campbell's "Let's Can Hunger" award to assist its efforts.

The student group's next canned food drive, "Can Your Professor," is Monday, December 2, through Thursday, December 4. Students vote with nonperishable food items to determine which of three business faculty members will go to "jail," choosing among Dmitry Chulkov, Linda Ficht, and David Rink.

Cook said the need for food is ongoing. She wants to be sure students don't forget about this need as the community recovers from the tornado.

"Hunger was a persistent problem before, and is heightened by the disaster," she said. "We're amazed at how deep the need is on our community. We want students to know they can contribute and make a difference."

Indiana University Kokomo serves north central Indiana.

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KOKOMO, Ind. — Indiana University Kokomo announces today (November 25) that women's basketball has been added to its team sports program, and hires a local basketball standout as its coach.

Whitney FarrisWhitney FarrisWhitney Farris, 26, currently an assistant coach for the men's team, plans to begin recruiting almost immediately for the 2014-2015 season.

"It's a dream come true to coach in the town where I grew up, where I played basketball for so many years, starting with Little Dribblers at the YMCA," Farris said. "I look forward to the opportunity to build new traditions, starting this team at IU Kokomo."

Farris is well known among Kokomo area basketball fans. She led Kokomo High School to a 4A state championship in the 2002-2003 season, and was a four-year letter winner in women's basketball at Valparaiso University. She was IU Kokomo's sports information director before becoming assistant coach.

Todd Gambill, vice chancellor for student services and enrollment management, is happy to start the team with local talent.

"We are so fortunate to have someone of Whitney's character and ability right here, to grow a program with us," he said. "Her genuine commitment to the academic success of our athletes makes her the right person for the job. The fact she is a local product is a bonus. This is a tremendous day for IU Kokomo."

North Central Indiana's deep pool of women's basketball talent makes the sport a perfect fit for the campus, Athletic Director Brandon Podgorski said.

"There are a lot of talented players in the area," he said. "It's also a good fit because we have a men's basketball team, so they can travel together and play double headers. Whitney is the right person to take us into the future."

When Farris interviewed for the sports information director job in 2012, someone joked that maybe the campus would start a women's team, and she could be the coach.

"I didn't think it would ever happen," she said. "I still wanted to be in sports in some way. This is a dream come true."

She looks forward to recruiting in the region, and has already started attending high school games.

"I love watching basketball, so that's not a hard part of the job," she said. "This is a great area to recruit from, with some of the best pickings out there. I want to get kids who will be good students, and who want to graduate in four years. Definitely I want players who are coachable, who want to play a defensive game, who have fundamental skills, and ball handling skills."

Farris expects to sell players on the value of an IU degree. She can speak from experience, as she will complete her Master of Business Administration degree in May.

"The IU degree is a huge selling point," she said. "A lot of kids in this area want to stay close to home, and earn an IU degree. This is also an opportunity to start a program from scratch. That opportunity doesn't come along often."

She's had excellent examples of coaching to learn from, including her high school coach, Charlie Hall, and her college coach, Keith Freeman. She admires Duke men's coach Mike Krzyzewski and Notre Dame women's coach Muffet McGraw, and is gaining valuable experience working with the Cougar men's coach, Jace Thompson, this season.

Fundamentally, she doesn't expect a huge transition from coaching a men's team to coaching a women's team.

"They're all people at the end of the day," she said.

Indiana University Kokomo serves north central Indiana.

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KOKOMO, Ind. — Indiana University Kokomo will observe the Thanksgiving holiday this Wednesday, November 27,  Thursday, November 28, and Friday, November 29. Classes will not be in session Wednesday, Thursday, and Friday, and all campus offices will be closed Thursday and Friday.

Regular class schedules and office hours resume at 8 a.m. Monday, December 2.

The bookstore and the Cougar Country Café will be closed starting Wednesday, November 27. The Cole Fitness Center will be open 8 a.m. to 5 p.m. November 27, and then will be closed Thursday and Friday. The IU Kokomo Library also will be closed Thursday and Friday.

Online and electronic resources are available when the library is closed, at iuk.edu/library.

Indiana University Kokomo serves north central Indiana.