Indiana University Kokomo

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KOKOMO, Ind. – Troy Brooks appreciates student organizations making an effort to support diversity on campus.

A series of speakers and events are taking place this month at Indiana University Kokomo in honor of Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual, and Transgender (LGBT) History Month.

Brooks, an openly gay senior, believes that students should learn to accept people who are different than them.

"A person should never have to be afraid to be themselves," Brooks said. "They shouldn't be fearful of how others might treat them, or be forced to feel like they have to tiptoe around, limit their lives and experiences, because of other people's reactions."

Student organizations like the Student Union Board (SUB) and Cougar Advocates for Diversity (CAD) are hosting events to bring awareness and celebration of LGBT History Month.

"I think it is extremely important to promote diversity on campus, not just for LGBT purposes, but also of all religions, ethnicities, faiths, and backgrounds," said Brooks.

Allison Percival, alumna, said although she had a positive experience as a gay student, it is important to educate others about all kinds of people.

"It is always positive to expose more people to a better understanding of gay students," she said.

Gay and lesbian celebrities are featured on signs and flyers around campus highlighting upcoming LGBT events, including poet and lecturer Katie Wirsing, October 17, at 2:30 p.m., and comedian Chris Doucette, October 23, at 12 p.m. Both events will take place in the Kelley Student Center, Room 130, and are free and open to the public. In addition, CAD hosted a speaker from the Indiana Youth Group, who answered questions related to the LGBT community and shared tips on how to be an ally.

For more information about campus events, visit the homepage of the IU Kokomo website at iuk.edu.

Story written by Sofia Stout. Sofia is an intern for the Office of Media and Marketing.

Indiana University Kokomo serves north central Indiana.

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KOKOMO, Ind. — Ribbon Warriors are ready for the fight.

The 60-member strong, newly formed student organization, at Indiana University Kokomo wants to "educate, advocate, and eradicate" regarding all types of cancer – with this year's focus on breast cancer.

Ribbon WarriorsStudents Ashley VanSkyock and Jaina Hattabaugh use chalk to bring awareness to breast cancer on the campus sidewalks."We want to provide education, not just do the pink fad," said Ribbon Warrior Jaina Hattabaugh, 21. "It's important for all young women to know it can happen to them. You don't get mammograms at our age, so it is crucial to know how to do self-exams, and to actually do them.

"That's how you learn what is normal for you, and when you need to have something checked by your doctor. It could save your life."

Inspired by an internship at the Susan G. Komen for the Cure Tissue Bank in Indianapolis, senior health sciences major Pam Plain founded the organization this semester. Her admiration for their faculty advisor, Jessica Henderson, also was a reason, as Henderson is a breast cancer survivor.

As an older student, Plain also is passionate about teaching her younger classmates, both men and women, about the importance of taking care of themselves.

"You have to know your body, and know your breasts," Plain, 50, said. "We have to reach out to the men, too, because they can also get breast cancer. A lot of people don't know that."

Her plan is that each year, the organization's president will chose a type of cancer or health issue, and focus on providing education about it for the entire school year, fulfilling the motto, "Educate. Advocate. Eradicate."

The Ribbon Warriors will sponsor several activities to commemorate Breast Cancer Awareness month through October. They will hand out educational materials on self-breast exams at IU Kokomo's women's volleyball "Pink Out" game on Tuesday, October 22. In addition, they are encouraging the campus community to support another "Pink Out" day on October 31.

The group has two fundraisers slated for spring semester, including "Cupcakes for a Cure" on February 1 at A Summer Place near Sharpsville; and a "Truffle Shuffle Walk" on March 30 in the Cole Fitness Center.

Next April, the Ribbon Warriors will take to the streets in downtown Indianapolis to support the Susan G. Komen Race for the Cure to raise money for breast cancer research.

All students are welcome to join Ribbon Warriors. The group has a Facebook page, Ribbon Warriors at Indiana University Kokomo, with more information.

"We need to learn how to be advocates, to be a voice for those who don't have a voice," Plain said. "I want the young people at IU Kokomo to know what it means to be an advocate, and what it means to help others."

Indiana University Kokomo serves north central Indiana.

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KOKOMO, Ind. — Indiana University Kokomo students will be on fall break Monday, October 14, and Tuesday, October 15.

Hunt HallHunt HallThere will be no classes either of those days, but all campus offices and the Library will be open from 8 a.m. to 5 p.m. The bookstore will be open from 9 a.m. to 1 p.m. both days.

The Cole Fitness Center and the Cougar Country Café will be closed from Saturday, October 12, until Wednesday, October 16.

Classes resume at 8 a.m. Wednesday, October 16. The fitness center will open at 6 a.m., and the café will open at 7 a.m.

Indiana University Kokomo serves north central Indiana.

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KOKOMO, Ind. — Yusuf Nur demonstrates what his Indiana University Kokomo students can do with a business degree, using his expertise to rebuild his homeland.

Yusuf NurYusuf Nur

Nur, assistant professor of international business, travels home to Somalia during his summer and winter breaks to teach business management principles to its leaders. Recently, Somali President Hassan Sheikh Mohamud invited him to lead a session on resource sharing at a five-day conference about issues that country faces as it rebuilds from years of civil war.

Nur said in the past, this kind of conference would have been held outside of Somalia, and likely sponsored by a non-government agency, so just being able to host it was a big step forward.

"This is the first time the Somali government has had the initiative and the money to put something like this together in Mogadishu," he said. "This is something most countries take for granted, but it is a sign of progress for Somalia."

At IU Kokomo, Nur said when many of his students hear about Somalia, they think only of pirates. He educates them to read further, to see what else is happening.

"There has been huge progress since 2006," he said. "There are a lot of positive things happening."

Erv Boschmann, interim dean of the School of Business, said Nur shares his insights and research on international business, especially about Somalia, with his fellow faculty and with students.

"The students benefit enormously from his experience, especially when he talks about international business," Boschmann said. "I am amazed by his knowledge. Not only is he widely read, but he has accumulated a good dose of wisdom."

Nur left Somalia, which is in the Horn of Africa, 28 years ago, to earn a Master of Business Administration (M.B.A.) degree, using a World Bank scholarship. He then earned a Ph.D. from IU. Civil war broke out shortly after he left, and it was more than 20 years before he could safely return home.

The first trip back was shocking.

"Civil war destroyed the country," he said. "When I left, it was so peaceful. Mogadishu was a beautiful coastal town. We used to play soccer on the beach. It's horrible what happened to the country. I convinced myself I could make a difference with the knowledge I gained in the United States."

He said it is critical for people like himself, who were educated outside Somalia, to come back and help their homeland recover from the war.

"The civil war caused a huge brain drain," Nur said. "Anyone with experience and education left the country. They don't have the education to do anything. Their business leaders don't have the theoretical background we have here."

During his visits each year, Nur consults with businesses, educating executives on how to run a business strategically — which is also what he teaches at IU Kokomo. He has also consulted with the United Nations on developing policy for the country, and sometimes teaches classes at a college founded by the president.

His brother, Mohamoud Ahmed Nur, also was educated outside of Somalia, and is now mayor of Mogadishu, the capitol.

Nur said despite everything that has happened in his country since he left it, he still feels at home there.

"I lived in Somalia for 20 years, and I've lived in the United States 28 years, but when I get there, I feel at peace," he said. "Even though the country was destroyed, I feel tranquil there."

Indiana University Kokomo serves north central Indiana.