Indiana University Kokomo

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KOKOMO, Ind. — An Indiana University Kokomo scholarship gives Amy McNew a second chance to fulfill her dream of working in health care.

Amy McNewAmy McNewMcNew, 36, received a $500 "Complete IU Kokomo" scholarship; available to students like her who left college a few credit hours short of graduation. She had been accepted into the Bachelor of Science in Nursing program three years ago, but back surgery left her with physical restrictions that made a career in nursing impossible.

By August 2014, she plans to have earned a Bachelor of General Studies degree, with a focus on science, which will prepare her for her chosen career as a patient case manager for a hospital or health care organization.

"The scholarship was the push I needed to get started in another direction," she said. "I earned my licensed practical nursing degree in my late 20s, and discovered a passion for taking care of people. Then, all of a sudden, it was gone. Now, I have a chance to use my desire to help patients, but in another way."

This is the second year IU Kokomo has offered the $500 scholarships. Andrea Vaughn, from Anderson, was the first to complete her degree with the scholarship in December 2012. She only needed one class to graduate.

The scholarships are available to people who have been out of college at least two semesters, live in north central Indiana, attended any IU campus within the last five years, and earned at least 90 credits with a 2.5 GPA.

Many of those eligible need just one or two classes to graduate, said Candy Thompson, director of general studies and distance education.

"Life just gets in the way of college for some people," Thompson said. "If they've already earned 90 credits, they've put substantial effort into their college education. We just want to offer a little push to get them back to finish it."

McNew, who lives in Kokomo, looks forward to working as a case manager, helping patients navigate the health care system, coordinating their care, and connecting them with community resources, as a support system.

"This will allow me to have patient contact, without being on the floor as a nurse," she said. "I can still help people, and be sure their needs are being met, which is what it's all about for me."

She is taking classes in philosophy, literature, psychology, and math during the fall 2013 semester, and is involved on campus as a writer for the student newspaper. She plans to take spring semester and summer school classes to finish her degree.

McNew finds she enjoys being a college student.

"I was more ready this time than I was when I was younger," she said, adding that she has more quiet study time with her stepchildren grown and on their own. Her son, a Kokomo High School freshman, shares her study time.

"He likes when we do homework together," she said. "He likes to ask me, 'How was your day, do you have any homework?' like I do with him."

The program is funded with a $30,000 grant from Complete College America, a national nonprofit organization that works with states to increase college completion. According to the Lumina Foundation, Indiana ranks 40th in the country in college degree attainment. The campus is also using the grant funding for degree mapping programs and three-year degree programs in education and business.

For more information about the scholarships, contact Thompson at 765-455-9406, or

Indiana University Kokomo serves north central Indiana.

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KOKOMO, Ind. — Indiana University Kokomo senior Tony Wood enhances his future employment prospects, with a job gained attending the campus' annual Job, Internship, Volunteer Extravaganza (JIVE).


"I went there last year looking for an internship, and left with a job," Wood, a business major, said. "I was pretty much hired on the spot. Now I have experience in selling situations, which will help me when I look for a marketing job after I graduate in May."

Wood has worked for Elite Marketing Interactions for the last year, sampling products ranging from food to fitness equipment.

He advises those attending the 2013 JIVE, set for 10:30 a.m. to 1:30 p.m. Tuesday, November 5, to dress in professional attire and bring up-to-date resumés, in order to be prepared for a similar opportunity.

"Some of these employers really are there to hire someone, so be prepared to be the best candidate," he said.

Juniors and seniors are encouraged to attend the event, in the Kelley Student Center Room 130 and Alumni Hall. Freshmen and sophomores are also welcome to get some job-seeking experience and to look for internship opportunities, according to Tracy Springer, manager of the Career and Accessibility Center.

"JIVE is an excellent opportunity for students to meet with prospective employers," she said. "Many of the 47 employers attending are looking for employees, as well as prospective interns or volunteers."

Some of the employers attending include the Kokomo Police Department, Community Howard Regional Health, Target Corporation, Regions Bank, and Chrysler LLC.

All booths will be marked with color-coded balloons, to let students know if that organization is hiring, seeking interns, or needs volunteers.

For more information about JIVE, including a complete list of organizations attending and tips for success at job fairs, go to the Career Services page at

Indiana University Kokomo serves north central Indiana.

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KOKOMO, Ind. — They call her "The Cannon."

Women's Volleyball vs Asbury UniversityMicayla Speidel sets up for a kill. See more pictures on Flickr.

Indiana University Kokomo freshman volleyball player Micayla Speidel earned that nickname for her powerful arm, as she leads the Kentucky Intercollegiate Athletic Conference (KIAC) in kills per set and kills, and is ranked third in the NAIA in kills.

Speidel is just one of IU Kokomo's volleyball players putting up impressive statistics, in what she and others expected would be a building season.

"With six freshmen, I knew it was going to be like a new team," she said. "I think we surprised a lot of people, and ourselves, this season."

The Lady Cougars apparently never got the memo that they were supposed to finish eighth of the 12 teams in their conference, but instead are tied for the No. 3 spot. The team's current record of 27-9, 8-3, earns the Cougars the fourth seed in the KIAC tournament, set to take place Nov. 15-16 at Midway College in Kentucky.

The team also tied with Asbury University for first in the KIAC for service aces per set. They also are second in hitting percentage, and third in kills per set and assists per set.

Speidel (Columbus) is sixth in the conference in hitting percentage.

"She puts the ball up with authority," her teammate Lael Burrus (Denver), said.

Freshmen Kaley Harness (LaFontaine) and Kaleigh Ensley (Fort Wayne) also earned national rankings, placing 9th and 11th respectively in service aces. In the conference, Harness is second in service aces and seventh in service aces per set, followed by Ensley, third in service aces and 9th in service aces per set.

Harness arrived at IU Kokomo with a similar mindset to Speidel, prepared to build a fairly new team.

"I came in with an open mind," Harness said. "I wanted to start working up to a successful program. We achieved that, way beyond what I could have imagined."

In the conference, sophomore Cortney Hanson (Logansport) is first in assists per set and third in assists. Sophomore Megan Riley (New Palestine) leads the way in blocks, placing fifth in the conference in blocks and blocks per set, while Burrus, a junior, ranks fifth in digs and eighth in digs per set.

Other players earning top 20 rankings include sophomore Rachel Allen (Lizton), 14th in hitting percentage, 18th in kills, and 14th in blocks, Harness, 20th in hitting percentage, 16th in kills per set, 12th in kills, and 18th in digs; freshman Kaitlyn Emery (Frankfort), 14th in assists, Hanson, 11th in service aces and 13th in service aces per set; freshman Teylor Rains (Martinsville), 16th in service aces per set and 19th in service aces; and Ensley, 17th in digs.

Veteran player Burrus, who has been with the team since its first season, said all of these individual recognitions have added up to success for the entire team.

"Each individual is doing her part," she said. "It's great to have a lot of our players ranked, and carries over to how strong we are as a team. This makes the struggles in our first two years worth it."

None of that success has come by accident, according to first-year coach Heather Hayes.

"I have a group that really desires to be successful, and to work hard," said Hayes. "I don't feel like I could have a better group to build this program. They've been very dedicated. You have to have a team willing to work hard and to buy into your system, and these players have done that."

Hayes knew after the first few practices that it was possible the team could have its first winning season ever. After winning their first several games, she began to think bigger.

"After the start we had, I began to realize we had a really good chance to get 20 wins," she said. "I knew it wouldn't be easy. We took a lot of teams by surprise at the beginning of the season. By mid-season, people were starting to prepare more for us, because of our strong start."

"To even think we have the opportunity to compete for the title is amazing," Hayes said. "We definitely have the talent to give it a go. It won't be easy, but we have all the pieces in place to be competitive."

Ensley looks forward to enhancing the team's reputation.

"We want to get our name out there as one of the teams it is hard to beat," she said. "We're proud to bring this kind of attention to IU Kokomo and the athletic program."

Hayes noted that potential recruits are already starting to take notice.

"Our success has put IU Kokomo volleyball on the map," she said. "We are getting contacts from some people who in the past might have overlooked us."

Athletic Director Brandon Podgorski anticipates more interest from recruits in all sports because of the season.

"This is something we can point to with all the programs, and show that you can have success here at IU Kokomo," he said. "We might be a small school, and our athletic programs might be new, but you can win here. We're looking for athletes who are going to be committed, who want to be here four years, who have good character and integrity. If you take care of those, the wins and the stats take care of themselves."

Indiana University Kokomo serves north central Indiana.

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KOKOMO, Ind. — Stargazers can view the moon and the planet Venus at the Indiana University Kokomo Observatory Open House on Sunday, November 10.

The ObservatoryThe Observatory

Patrick Motl, assistant professor of physics, will begin the open house at 7 p.m., with a talk about Comet ISON, and prospects for seeing it.

"The comet is now visible with a telescope in the sky before the sun rises, and is on track to be seen with the naked eye in about a month's time, after it swings past the sun," Motl said.

NASA's website,, has a recent photo of the comet as seen by the Hubble Space Telescope, as well as an animation of the comet's projected path.

The open house continues through 10 p.m., weather permitting.

As the evening sky darkens during November, Venus will be near its peak of brightness low in the southwest. Because the ecliptic, or imaginary line in the sky that marks the annual path of the sun, makes a shallow angle with the western horizon at this time of year for observers at mid-northern latitudes, Venus will be only 11 degrees high an hour after sunset at the beginning of the month. It will also be at its greatest elongation from the sun, but its distance from the sun will be along the horizon rather than above the horizon.

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 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.