Indiana University Kokomo

AddThis Social Bookmark Button

KOKOMO, Ind. — Physical exercise is a traditional part of the summer camp experience. Hooking the camper up for an electrocardiogram test immediately afterwards is a bit more unusual.

Science Rocks camp 2013See more Science Rocks camp photos.But at Indiana University Kokomo's Science Rocks! summer camp, it's all part of the learning experience.

The camp, which includes 15 Kokomo-area middle school students, offers seven days of hands-on learning experiences, in geology, chemistry, microbiology, physiology, and health sciences.

During the physiology session, the students write down their heart rates in their lab manuals, and then do more than a dozen jumping jacks – measuring their heart rates again.

Michael Finkler, associate professor of physiology, talks about the human circulatory system, and what happens during exercise that makes the heart rate increase.

"I like working with this age group, and explaining the 'whys' behind what they see," he said. "We go beyond the simple answer of 'my heart rate increased because I exercised,' and explain in more detail why that happens."

Finkler said these students are just the right age to teach that science is fun, "so we can spark the interest now, and sow the seeds for careers in sciences."

Lucy Baker, a sixth-grader from Sts. Joan of Arc and Patrick School, already has the interest in science, and plans to be an engineer.

She enjoyed taking water samples during the geology and chemistry session, and testing the water quality.

"I was surprised at how many different chemicals were in the water," she said. "I like that this is hands-on. I don't have someone telling me how something works, I'm trying it myself."

Her classmate, Renee Creppy, liked looking at bacteria under the microscopes, and was amazed to learn how much bacteria is in the human body.

"This is a really fun way to learn about science," she said.

Cooper Reed, a sixth-grader from Central Middle School, hopes to learn more so he can use his science kits.

"I have tons of science kits, and I don't know how to use them," he said. "I want to learn more about science."

He liked testing water quality, and learning about pollution, and he's excited about the health sciences sessions later in the camp.

"I may be interested in working in health sciences, so I want to learn more," he said.

Ian Retz, also a Central Middle School sixth-grader, was interested in learning how the parts of a heart function.

Christian Chauret, Dean of the School of Sciences, said the camp's goal is to pique the interest of young people, especially women and minorities, in science-related fields.

"We have to nurture that interest when they are young, so they can take the appropriate classes in high school, and then hopefully return to us as students," he said.

This is the fifth year IU Kokomo has hosted the Science Rocks! summer camp. It is funded with grants from North Central Indiana Areas Health Education Center and Community Howard Regional Health.

Indiana University Kokomo serves north central Indiana.

AddThis Social Bookmark Button

KOKOMO, Ind. — Indiana University Kokomo Interim Chancellor Susan Sciame-Giesecke announces the appointment of Brandon R. Podgorski as the athletic and fitness center director. He began his position Monday, June 3.

Brandon PodgorskiBrandon Podgorski"This is another important step in our journey to build a quality athletic program on campus," stated Sciame-Giesecke.

Podgorski, 33, was fitness center director and assistant women's basketball coach at Darton State College, Albany, Ga.

Todd Gambill, vice chancellor for student affairs and enrollment management, said the campus is "fortunate to land someone of Brandon's talent and background.

"He brings us a wealth of experience in both intercollegiate athletics and fitness center management," he said. "I am excited about working with him to develop the first-class programs that are the hallmark of Indiana University."

He will manage the new Milt and Jean Cole Family Wellness and Fitness Center, slated to open in late summer, as well as overseeing the athletics programs. This is the third year for team sports on campus, and the second year in the NAIA. IU Kokomo joined the Kentucky Intercollegiate Athletic Conference in May.

Podgorski is excited for the opportunity to open a brand-new fitness center, and to develop the athletic programs.

"We're establishing a culture of excellence with our athletic programs," he said. "We are going to expand them and build them to succeed at the conference and national levels. I am happy to open the fitness center, and to see all the excitement about having this facility available for our campus community."

Podgorski has a bachelor's degree in general studies, with a minor in sports marketing and management, from Indiana University; and a master's degree in recreation and sports sciences, with an emphasis on coaching education, from Ohio University.

Indiana University Kokomo serves north central Indiana.

AddThis Social Bookmark Button

KOKOMO, Ind. — Whether in a hospital room or courtroom, Marlene Greskamp's students will be prepared.

Nursing forensics classStudents discuss ways to handle potential situations.This summer, nursing students at Indiana University Kokomo are not learning about taking vitals, but rather how to collect and preserve body fluid samples as evidence in a crime, testify in court on a victim's behalf, and assist a coroner in looking for signs of foul play during an autopsy.

Assistant Professor Greskamp developed the only nursing forensics class offered through IU, based on her own background caring for child abuse victims.

Her goal? For nurses to be ready and able to help victims when they are needed.

"I want them to leave knowing a crime can occur anywhere, even in a hospital," she said. "I want them to know what to do, and to know the provisions to collect evidence to get the perpetrator arrested and convicted. I also want them to care for the victims with empathy."

Joshua Holley, from Wabash, was intrigued by how nurses can use their knowledge and skills to assist crime victims.

"As medical professionals, we think past the physical, we also think about the psychological impact on our patient," he said. "It is critical that we are prepared to care for crime victims in an empathetic way. We are the first people they talk to, and we can help make the best of a bad situation, or we can make it even worse, depending on the care we provide."

This is the third year Greskamp has offered the elective, which includes viewing an autopsy, and visits with prosecutors, coroners, and domestic abuse experts. Each class also includes discussion of a cold case, and a role-playing scenario, allowing the students to put themselves in a situation that might require forensics skills.

"I've always liked trying to look at a situation, and thinking outside the box about what might have happened," she said. "Nurses have to have that sixth sense to know when things aren't quite right, so they can follow up and check until they get the answers."

Greskamp said they learn about proper collection of evidence, so it will be admissible in court, and how to testify in court as an expert.

Barb Hedrick, Kokomo, chose the class because she enjoys watching true crime shows on television.

"This class has given me a lot of insight into the role I can play as a nurse," she said.

Kimberly Byrum, Peru, said the class opened up career possibilities for her. One of the guest speakers was a sexual assault nursing examiner, a job Byrum did not know existed.

"When you first choose nursing, you know there are opportunities out there, but there are a lot more than you realize," she said. "This gave me another idea of what I could do as a nurse."

IU Kokomo's new Maymester program offers students a chance to earn three credits in a short time period, in an immersive class. A few other offerings include a creative nonfiction writing class in Foster Park, a summer blockbuster class, in which students study cinematography and editing through viewing and discussing current movies; and a public relations class that includes developing campaigns for local nonprofit organizations. Maymester continues through Thursday, June 6.

Indiana University Kokomo serves north central Indiana.

AddThis Social Bookmark Button
KOKOMO, Ind. — Not all of life's lessons are learned in a classroom.

Physical Plant staff member, Dave Hawkins.Physical Plant staff member, Dave Hawkins.

At Indiana University Kokomo, David Hawkins teaches perseverance, work ethic, community service, and determination to overcome obstacles by example, as he goes about his work as coordinator of special projects for physical plant.

For many years, he was the singing voice of IU Kokomo, performing at Commencement and other campus events. But in 2010, he lost his singing voice during cancer treatment, and did not know if it would return, even after he was cancer free.

"I couldn't sing through my radiation, and then after treatment, I didn't have my singing voice, which worried me," he said. "It took a while, but it finally came back, just a little lower than it used to be. It was definitely something I was glad to get back. Singing is my comfort zone. I could never imagine my life without it."

Hawkins continued to work during treatment for Hodgkin's lymphoma, demonstrating courage and perseverance to those around him. He was grateful for understanding supervisors and colleagues, who let him rest when he needed to, and supported him through treatment. He plans to give back by starting an IU Kokomo Relay for Life team for the 2014 event.

"Sometimes things are hard, and you don't like what's ahead of you, but you do what you have to do, and do it the best you can," he said. "With the student workers, I try to teach them to take responsibility for their jobs, do them to the best of their ability, and take initiative to solve problems."

Jacob Faust, a student employee who graduated in May, appreciates the opportunity to have worked with Hawkins.

"Dave may not be a professor who taught me important concepts in accounting, but he showed me a work ethic I plan to take with me to future jobs," he said.

John Sarber, director of physical facilities, said Hawkins is a hard worker with a long history on campus.

"Dave is very conscientious about his work," he said. "He communicates with the departments he is working with well, and helps find solutions to any issues and problems. He knows and remembers so much about the campus, the people, and its history. He has also been a great inspiration to our student workers and athletes."

Hawkins began his career at IU Kokomo in August 1989, when the Kelley Student Center was built.

"If you like a job, you end up sticking with it," he said. "This has been a good fit for me and for my skills. My supervisors know they can depend on me, and they trust me to do my job right. I appreciate that trust."

He continues to improve his vocal abilities by singing at church and training with the Kokomo Men of Note barbershop harmony organization. One of his favorite activities is performing singing Valentines each year with his quartet.

"When you get to share that with someone, it's almost like you got the gift too," he said. "It's rewarding to do that kind of singing and touch people in that way."

Family also keeps him busy, with four children at home. He coaches softball, provides care for his mother, and volunteers to help others in his community with home repairs.

"I enjoy home maintenance and fixing things, and I'm glad to give a hand to someone else," he said. "It's one way I can return the gifts God gave me."

Indiana University Kokomo serves north central Indiana.