Indiana University Kokomo

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KOKOMO, Ind. — Being a member of Indiana University Kokomo's Phi Sigma Sigma sorority empowers Jessica Hatt, pushing her to achieve far more than she ever expected when she joined.

Phi Sigma Sigma sororityPhi Sigma Sigma"Phi Sigma Sigma's goal is to empower women, and build them into leaders," she said. "I've had opportunities to attend leadership events in Washington, D.C., and in New York City, which have enhanced my college experience immensely."

Phi Sigma Sigma's Iota Epsilon chapter celebrates its 10th anniversary at IU Kokomo in 2013. In November, its national organization, which has 108 chapters in the United States and Canada, will commemorate 100 years since its founding.

Sarah Sarber, dean of students, called the anniversary "a significant milestone in student life," because it created a more collegiate feel to the campus.

"The women who are part of this organization should be very proud of what they have accomplished," she said. "They have made substantial contributions to philanthropies and community service, and have been active participants in campus life."

As a charter member of the IU Kokomo chapter, Reeta Piirala-Skoglund is excited to see the chapter reach this milestone. She has fond memories of the work that went into founding the chapter, and the excitement of being part of the campus' first Greek organization.

"We had to figure out a lot of things, with support from our national organization," she said. "It was exciting to be part of creating new traditions, and starting something new."

In addition to being part of something new, Piirala-Skoglund found a support system as part of the sorority. A native of Finland, she had neither family nor friends in Kokomo.

"That group of women and advisors became a substitute family for me," she said. "Being part of the founding class gave me an experience where I could get to know people and create friendships."

Those were the kinds of connections Hatt, the chapter's current archon, or president, sought as a member. She joined shortly after her mother had passed away, and she had moved from Michigan.

"I have so many amazing friends I would not have met if I was not in the sorority," she said. "These are friendships that will last a lifetime. Once you are a sister, you are always a sister."

The sorority's service projects have included raising funds for the Family Service Association of Howard County's domestic violence shelter, through the annual Take Back the Night Angel Walk, and collecting canned food for the Enactus canned food drive each year.

The service aspect led senior Laura Kasey to Phi Sigma Sigma.

"It's a good way to give back to the community," she said. "I can make more of a difference working with my sisters than I can on my own. I've built myself into a support network, and been able to help others."

Sorority membership gave alumna Barb Hall a stronger connection to IU Kokomo.. She is proud to see the chapter continue to flourish and contribute to campus life.

"It added sisterhood, friendship, and better leadership skills to my college experience," she said. "I was here when women were just starting to build interest in bringing a sorority to campus. It's amazing now to see how it has grown. Having Greek life is a huge advantage for IU Kokomo, especially with more traditional aged students enrolling."

Phi Sigma Sigma was one of the factors that drew sophomore Josselin Shafer to campus.

"I always wanted to be in a sorority, and I was so excited when I heard IU Kokomo had one," she said. "I'm getting a big college experience, without the big college. It's also a great way to get involved on campus and meet people."

Indiana University Kokomo serves north central Indiana.

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KOKOMO, Ind. – The Student Union Board (S.U.B.) would like to invite children, ages 10 and under, from the surrounding area to come and enjoy the Halloween Open House at Indiana University Kokomo this Friday in the Kelley Student Center and Alumni Hall.

Halloween Open HouseHalloween Open HouseEach organization volunteering in the event will set up tables where children can participate in activities and trick-or-treating. Trick-or-treating will be from 6 to 8 p.m. There will also be a children's movie shown in Kresge Auditorium, with one at 5:30 p.m. and 7:30 p.m.

Carly Wimmer, a sophomore secondary education major, attended Halloween Open House as a child and is looking forward to being able to help out.

"It's fun being on the other side of the table and being able see the joy on the faces of the kids getting candy in a safe environment," Wimmer said. "I'm excited because I get to give kids some the same great memories of the Halloween Open House that I have.

"Here at IU Kokomo, we make sure this is a safe, family-oriented event that kids and parents can enjoy together," Wimmer added.

Taylor Boike, the student director of the Halloween Open House, said she enjoys this event.

"This event is a way for IU Kokomo to give back to the community while showing all what our campus has to offer. It is a great way for to bring Kokomo together with a fun tradition," said Boike.

Cost of entry is $1 per child. An adult must accompany each child.

S.U.B. will also be accepting prepackaged candy donations. Donations can be brought the Student Activities during regular school hours till Friday.

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. — The sounds of a beeping monitor and hissing respirator fill the room as nursing students assess their patient to determine what is causing breathing difficulties.

Joint simulation with nursing and radiographyNursing and radiography student work together in the joint simulation.A radiography student then knocks on the door, with doctor's orders in hand to conduct an X-ray.

They adjust the hospital bed, move the patient into the right position, and then slide a metal plate behind her back, apologizing for the cold. They all step out of the room for the radiography student to take the X-ray, and then return to their assessment.

Behind a one-way glass window, Bridget Whitmore, assistant dean of the School of Nursing, stops the students to review their exercise in the St.Joseph Hospital Clinical Simulation Center located at Indiana University Kokomo.

The nursing school uses the simulation center regularly to develop its students' patient care skills, but this week's exercise was the first including radiography students. It included second-year students in both programs.

The simulation gives radiography student Justin Miller a better appreciation for how nurses and medical imaging professionals work together.

"Our professional responsibility is the same, to care for the patient, but in different ways," he said. "Our end goal is always the same. We want what is best for the patient."

Both nurses and medical imaging professionals have a role in patient care, said nursing student Kyle Wyant said, adding that the simulation reminded him of that.

"With a patient who is experiencing difficulty breathing, it's hard to make a nursing diagnosis without the X-ray," he said.

Center Director April Mouser said the joint simulation is part of an effort to teach better communication skills for medical professionals, to prevent errors and provide better patient care.

"That's what it's all about, our patients," she said. "The majority of medical errors come from lack of communication. Prevention starts at the undergraduate level, with all of us knowing what our role is, and what role other health providers play. We all need to have an appreciation for what our colleagues do, and not just focus on our own jobs, to give the best care possible to our patients."

Treating a virtual patient allows students to practice their skills safely, Heidi Sebastian, assistant clinical professor of radiographic sciences, said.

"You learn from your mistakes, and nobody gets hurt," she said. "We hope to have more opportunities for our students to learn together. As health care workers, we are here to educate each other. We have to be able to work together."

Nursing student Krista Armstrong gained insight about how other professionals may help her care for her patients in the future.

"Nurses aren't the only people helping our patients," she said. "We all need to learn more about each other's roles, for the best outcome for our patients."

Indiana University Kokomo serves north central Indiana.

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KOKOMO, Ind. — Don Price uses the skills developed as an informatics student at Indiana University Kokomo to help local economic development efforts.

GKEDA InternsDon Price and Shanea HeadrickPrice, 31, is one of two interns at the Greater Kokomo Economic Development Alliance, an opportunity gained through the campus' Career and Accessibility Center. He adds local commercial properties for sale to a state database, which is available to business owners looking for new locations.

"This has been a great opportunity to apply what I'm learning in class to a real product, that will be used by real people," he said. "I'm so happy to have this opportunity.

For English major Shanea Headrick, the internship is a chance to write for an audience other than her professors. She produces a newsletter for the alliance, and writes content for its website.

"I've learned to evaluate my writing, to be sure it is appropriate for the audience we want to reach," she said. "I would enjoy doing this as a full time job. It allows me to be creative and professional at the same time."

Internships are a crucial part of the college experience, according to Tracy Springer, manager of career and accessibility services.

"Students who complete internships have a competitive edge in the job market," she said. "Experiential learning is the best way to gain the experience employers are looking for when hiring. Internships also allow students to build relationships with people who can be professional references for them as they seek jobs after graduation, and sometimes lead to jobs within the companies where they were interns."

While the students gain work experience, the economic development alliance also benefits from having them, said Chris Hamm, president and CEO.

"We enjoy hosting the talented students from IU Kokomo as interns, to accomplish many creative economic and community development projects with our multi-dimensional organization," he said. "Their fresh approach, positive attitudes, and critical thinking skills add up to successful projects for their resumés, our organization, and the community."

Headrick, 26, from Peru, appreciates the work experience and contacts she's made as an intern.

"That's key for me, because I'm preparing to graduate and look for a job," she said, adding that for some students, an internship would be a way to see if they like the career they are considering.

"You can learn early if you don't like it, so you can make other plans if necessary," she said.

For Price, the internship confirmed he's chosen the right career path. He wants to work in web design, computer programming, and with databases after earning his degree. His ultimate goal is to start a company that develops applications and websites.

"I have really enjoyed this opportunity to try out my future career," he said. "I was intimidated to work on a government database at first, but it hasn't been a big deal. This internship will enhance my resumé when I'm ready to look for a job, too."

Indiana University Kokomo serves north central Indiana.