Indiana University Kokomo

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KOKOMO, Ind. — There's a new set of red and blue lights on campus.

Campus Police VehicleCampus Police VehicleThe Indiana University Kokomo police department proudly patrols campus in its new 2013 Ford Interceptor, complete with the latest technology to access criminal justice data.

"It is awesome," said Jerry Williams, interim police chief. "I've driven police vehicles for years, and usually one is about the same as another. This one is the best I've ever driven. It looks really cool, too."

The new vehicle also has the latest in LED light bars, strobe lights, and showcases the new IUPD logo. It replaces the 2009 Impala that was the department's first vehicle when it was created five years ago. Before that, the campus had a safety and security office, mainly staffed by off-duty officers from area police departments.

Williams is especially happy to have computer access to the Indiana Data and Communication System (IDACS), the criminal justice communications system that allows officers to look up license plate numbers and warrants.

"All modern police departments have this system," he said. "This allows our officers to check license plates when we have an unfamiliar car without a permit on campus. It increases safety for our officers, too, because it may let us know if the person in the car is someone we need to be cautious approaching. It will help us do our job of keeping people safe here. We have wanted and needed this for a long time.

In addition, the new vehicle's equipment allows officers to enforce traffic laws in its jurisdiction around the campus, and gives the department mobility to assist city police officers and county deputies if their help is needed.

"If there is an emergency in our area, we are now more prepared to respond and assist," Williams said.

Williams said having the new vehicle also familiarizes the police department cadets, who are criminal justice students, for what they will drive when they graduate and accept jobs with other departments.

Indiana University Kokomo serves north central Indiana.

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KOKOMO, Ind. — Jupiter and Saturn will be the stars of the show at the Indiana University Kokomo Observatory Open House, Sunday, May 12.

Observatory open house for the "ring of fire"Observatory open house is Sunday, May 12.

Patrick Motl, assistant professor of physics, will begin the open house at 8 p.m. with a talk about astronomical studies of dark matter and direct detection experiments. Visitors may then view the stars and planets until 10 p.m.; weather permitting, through the observatory's telescopes.

"At sunset, we will have Venus, a crescent moon, and Jupiter in the western sky, with Saturn rising in the east," Motl said. "Galaxies including the whirlpool, sombrero and Virgo cluster of galaxies are deep sky highlights for spring skies."

The Observatory's telescopes are 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 lets stargazers 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 began a new Commencement tradition of honoring service to the campus, community, or state, awarding its inaugural Chancellor's Medallions Tuesday, May 7.

Chancellor's Medallion LuncheonFrom left: John Applegate, Greg Goodnight, and Susan Sciame-Giesecke. See more photos here.Interim Chancellor Susan Sciame-Giesecke presented the medallions to Kokomo Mayor Greg Goodnight and Kokomo-Center Schools Superintendent Jeff Hauswald, recognizing their partnership with the campus and their innovations that have improved the community.

"Both of these leaders have provided transformational service to their communities," she said. "Their impact is far-reaching, and will be seen for many years to come."

IU has a long tradition of awarding Chancellor's Medallions to those who provide exemplary service, but the Kokomo campus had never given one. Sciame-Giesecke decided the time was right, and worked with John O'Donnell, CEO of Kokomo Opalescent Glass, to design the award. It is created from crimson-colored glass, made in Kokomo and etched with an image of the campus Well House.

The first recipients worked with Sciame-Giesecke to provide IU Kokomo with a crucial missing piece — its own gymnasium. The gym will be in the former Kokomo-Center middle school swimming pool, which is currently being filled in for renovation. By August, it will be a college regulation-sized court, branded for IU Kokomo, where Cougar athletes can practice and play their games.

Chancellor's Medallion LuncheonFrom left: John Applegate, Jeff Hauswald, and Susan Sciame-Giesecke. See more photos here.Sciame-Giesecke also commended Goodnight for establishing a trolley system, which provides free transportation through the city, and for aggressively adding walking and biking trails. She noted that Hauswald has transformed Kokomo-Center Schools from a good corporation into one that regularly has waiting lists of students who want to attend, for the international school curriculum, overseas travel opportunities, and integrated arts programs, among others.

Hauswald said the school and campus have also worked together to provide training for teachers, and to develop college-readiness math curriculum.

"I don't think people realize how blessed we are to have an Indiana University campus in Kokomo," he said. "We have a great partnership in this community, and as an IU graduate, I greatly appreciate and value it."

Goodnight was honored to receive the Chancellor's Medallion, and thanked his city council for making it possible for him to accept partnership opportunities.

"We are always ready to do what we can to help provide higher education in our community," he said.

John Applegate, IU Executive Vice President for University Regional Affairs, Planning, and Policy, praised the relationship built between the campus, city, and school.

"This is exactly what IU regional campuses are supposed to be about," he said "This is an example of what our campuses can do in the regions they serve."

Indiana University Kokomo serves north central Indiana.

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KOKOMO, Ind. — Indiana University Kokomo celebrated the accomplishments of its 547 graduates at Commencement ceremonies Tuesday, May 7.

2013 Commencement2013 Commencement. See more Commencement photos here.The Class of 2013 enjoyed sunny skies and temperatures in the 70s for the outdoor event, in the campus Pavilion. Sunlight glinted off the rhinestones and other decorations on many of the graduates' mortarboards.

The ceremony included the first graduates from two new schools — the School of Sciences, and the School of Humanities and Social Sciences — and first student athlete to graduate. This year was the third for team sports, and basketball player Jacob Faust earned his degree in business.

John Applegate, IU Executive Vice President for University Regional Affairs, Planning, and Policy, congratulated the class, saying their education has prepared them to succeed in the world.

"As we celebrate the time-honored tradition of Commencement, you are poised to take your places among the next generation of business leaders, journalists, judges, artists, scientists, public health professionals, teachers, social workers, and government leaders," he said. "No matter what degree you have earned, you and your fellow graduates are now the torchbearers, poised to respond to and help shape our future."

Interim Chancellor Susan Sciame-Giesecke highlighted the achievements of several graduates, including Shane Simmons and Lisa Ortega, who are the first in their families to graduate from college; Nick Sears, who graduated cancer-free after surgery and treatment in January 2013; and Shawn Owings, who was the first female medic to serve on the front line in Iraq. She asked all student veterans to stand for applause, and also honored international students and those who studied overseas during their college careers.

"Our students have come to us from very different backgrounds," she said. "They saw our campus as a place of opportunity. We know they are prepared to make a difference in this region. We couldn't be more proud of all of you."

Student body President Jeremy Gibson, from Kokomo, said the most important lesson he learned during his years on campus was how to think critically, and to apply what he learned outside the classroom.

"I encourage you to continue to seek knowledge that contradicts your beliefs, and to persist in the face of failure, because failure is also a learning opportunity," he said, "The world is changing, on our campus and in our state, country, and the world. We are the vanguard of change. We can make our mark on the world and make it a better place."

Registrar Stacey Thomas read the graduates' names as they crossed the stage to accept diplomas and handshakes from Applegate and Sciame-Giesecke. Each one also received applause, celebrating their accomplishment, and proud family members held up phones to take pictures.

The graduates burst into loud cheers as Applegate invited them to turn their tassels to the left, designating them as IU graduates, with the rights and responsibilities that go with that honor.

"The reputation of IU will depend upon your commitment to the values, knowledge, and skills you have learned here," he said.

Indiana University Kokomo serves north central Indiana.