Indiana University Kokomo

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KOKOMO, Ind. — A long-desired dream comes true for Indiana University Kokomo students, with the opening of the Milt and Jean Cole Family Fitness and Wellness Center.

Milt and Jean Cole Family Wellness and Fitness Center Dedication and Naming CeremonyIU President Michael McRobbie, First Lady Laurie Burns McRobbie, Cole family - Milt, Jean, Carmella, Brittany, Keith, Candy, Tori, Randy - and Interim Chancellor Susan Sciame-Giesecke. See more pictures on Flickr.For years, students asked for a place to exercise on campus, to be with their friends, to build their community. They said a fitness center is an essential part of the college life experience, the key missing piece on campus.

Wednesday (September 18), IU President Michael A. McRobbie officially dedicated and named the Cole Fitness Center, celebrating its opening with the campus community and honoring the generosity of the Cole family.

Milt and Jean Cole and their family, owners of Cole Hardwood Inc., Logansport, gave $1.25 million for the fitness center, the largest cash gift in campus history.

Milt and Jean each spoke during the ceremony about their dedication to philanthropy, urging those attending to get involved.

"I do believe this center has created excitement here in Kokomo," Milt said. "It has elevated the positive energy. The iron is hot; it's time to strike. I encourage everyone to get behind the movement. It's a golden opportunity to get something done in Kokomo."

Jean thanked friends and family who came for the dedication, saying it touched her to see so many attending. She hoped students did not just see them as people who could give a donation, but would learn from and follow their example. She pointed out her sons and daughters-in-law, Randy and Candy Cole, and Keith and Carmella Cole, and their grandchildren, seated in the front row, saying they all learned to work and to be generous.

"What mother could dream of a better life lesson of giving, that Milt and I can pass on to our children, and they can pass on to their children," she said. "Life is nothing but choices, and saying yes, and walking through doors."

As an exercise science and nutrition student, Tara Lees is grateful for the chance not only to work out in the fitness center, but also to take classes in it and to have a job there.

"I thank the Cole family for being so generous and giving us this opportunity to expand our college experience," she said. "It's nice to have hands-on learning experiences, rather than just watching a video or reading a book. Having a fitness center here makes so much more possible for our program, and it gives students a chance to live a healthier lifestyle."

Kelley Baer, a radiography student from Kokomo, said it means a lot to students to have a high quality, attractive, convenient, place to exercise on campus.

"We are so grateful to the Coles," she said. "This is a gift that is going to keep on giving for many years."

Most excited about having a nice place to shower and change after running, Joanna Davis, Westfield, a student in the radiography program, looks forward to running on the fitness center track during the winter.

"I hope the Coles know how much this means to all of us," she said. "You feel better when you exercise before or after your classes. We're so happy to finally have this center."

Since the Cole Fitness Center opened in August, it has been a hub of activity. Students, along with faculty and staff, flocked to join and started walking on the track and treadmills, lifting weights in the strength training area, and performing reps on the machines. The athletes exercise there as well, doing yoga and participating in core training.

The Cole Fitness Center is in the lower level of the library, in space formerly used for storage. When architect Rick Dalhstrom Jr., from MSKTD & Associates, first saw what was called the "rock room," it was essentially concrete walls and a gravel floor, with no light.

"I had a hard time imagining it as a fitness center initially," he said. He worked with interior designer Amber Kolkman to choose the right lighting, colors, and ceilings to create a vibrant, inviting space.

Kolkman designed the Cole Fitness Center with an industrial feel, as a nod to Kokomo's long manufacturing history. Varying ceiling heights and bright blue and green walls provide an energetic vibe, achieving her goal of making you forget you are in a basement.

"It's inviting and energetic, and encourages people to come work out," Kolkman said.

Myles Hattabaugh, a junior computer information technology student from Kokomo, thinks the center will bring more students to IU Kokomo. He exercises there four or more times weekly.

"It's really nice," he said. "They have a lot of equipment for a lot of people. The quantity and quality of everything is really good. I like being able to work out around my class schedule."

Hannah Gray, a junior computer information technology major, likes being able to exercise at school, rather than having to drive home to Noblesville.

"I like that the center has a lot for girls and guys both, not just a lot of weights," she said. "I like the variety of the equipment here, and that it is for all students, not just the athletes."

Nursing student Taylor Backes, Carmel, exercises in the fitness center every time she is on campus and understands the importance of maintaining good physical health.

"Health and healthy living is an integral part of nursing," she said. "Having the center here supports that. It is a great addition to our campus. It's a great way to relieve a little stress and take a break between classes."

Interim Chancellor Susan Sciame-Giesecke said the Coles are long-term benefactors to the campus, starting with a leadership gift for the library in 1992. They also provided the wood for the stage floor in Kresge Auditorium, where the dedication ceremony took place, and supported an endowment for science equipment.

"To know them is to know generosity, coupled with humility," she said.

Indiana University Kokomo serves north central Indiana.

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KOKOMO, Ind. – Come learn the traditional dance of Spain – flamenco dancing – this Thursday on the Indiana University Kokomo campus.

Students, faculty, and staff are invited to celebrate Spanish Heritage month by participating in the class at 2 p.m. in the Cole Fitness Center.

"Celebrating and recognizing different heritages, like Spanish Heritage month, is a gateway for students and the IU Kokomo community at large to begin learning, teaching, and having conversations about the particular identities," said Maria Ahmad, coordinator of student life and campus diversity.

Ahmad, advisor for Cougar Advocates for Diversity (CAD), strives to educate students about different people, diverse issues, and about themselves and how they relate to others.

"No way is having a couple events about a specific culture or group enough to understand and think about diversity, but it is a safe place to start," she added.

Spanish Heritage month spans September 15 to October 15. Throughout the month, CAD will host other events and seminars to teach and celebrate the Spanish culture.

"The end goal is that when students graduate from IU Kokomo and enter their professional field, they are equipped with skills on working with people who are different than them in terms of culture, race, religion, sexual orientation, gender, and any other identity," said Ahmad.

For more information, contact Ahmad at

Written by Sofia Stout, intern for Office of Media and Marketing.

Indiana University serves north central Indiana.

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KOKOMO, Ind. — Indiana University Kokomo announces the addition of 22 new faculty members.

New Faculty Workshop 2013IU Kokomo welcomes new faculty.

Kathy Parkison, vice chancellor for academic affairs, said of the new faculty hired, 12 are for newly created positions, needed because of student enrollment growth and addition of new programs.

"We have an extremely talented class of new faculty, from a variety of great institutions," she said. "This brings a lot of new ideas and new thoughts into every academic unit, and that's exciting. They will help lead this campus into the future."

The new additions bring total faculty count to 119.

New faculty members, listed by school, include:

Division of Allied Health

David Hancock, assistant professor, health sciences. He has a Bachelor of Arts degree in sports psychology and a Master of Arts in human development from Laurentian University, Ontario; and a Ph.D. in human kinetics from University of Ottawa. He previously was an adjunct assistant professor and postdoctoral fellow at Queen's University School of Kinesiology and Health Studies, Ontario.


Polly Boruff-Jones, dean. She has a bachelor's degree in political science and environmental science, a Master of Library Science, and a Master of Public Affairs in nonprofit management, all from IU. She previously was director of library and information services at F.W. Olin Library, Drury University.

School of Business

Olga Korne, visiting lecturer in accounting. She has a bachelor's degree in education from Kolomna University, and a Master's degree in accounting from the IU Kelley School of Business. She was on faculty at DeVry University, an accounting analyst for Chase Student Loans, and an investment accountant for Conseco Services.

Gloria Preece, Master of Business Administration director, lecturer in business. She has a bachelor's degree in marketing and an M.B.A., both from IU Kokomo. She previously was interim director, and was CEO of Prism Property Management.

School of Education

Lance Mason, assistant professor of social studies education. He has a Ph.D. in curriculum and instruction, with a minor in social thought, from Penn State University. He was a graduate assistant at Penn State.

Kelli Servizzi, assistant professor of special education. She has a bachelor's degree in journalism from Butler University, master's degrees in education from Butler and Ball State, and a Ph.D. in elementary education from Ball State. She was previously an instructor at Ball State and a developmental therapist at First Steps Network.

School of Humanities and Social Sciences

Jeffery Batis, assistant professor of psychology. He received a Bachelor of Arts degree in psychology from Utah State University, and a Master of Arts and Ph.D. in psychology from Wayne State University. He previously was a visiting assistant professor at Wesleyan University, and associate director of image processing for Molecular NeuroImaging.

Scott Blackwell, visiting lecturer in humanities. He earned his bachelor's, master's, and Ph.D. in English and philosophy from Purdue University. He has been an adjunct instructor at IU Kokomo, and a lecturer at Butler University.

Rosalyn Davis, clinical assistant professor of psychology. She received a Ph.D. in counseling psychology from Ball State University. She previously was an instructor at University of Phoenix.

Meredith Neville-Shepard, visiting assistant professor of communication arts. She earned a Ph.D. from University of Kansas. She previously was an adjunct lecturer at IUPUI.

Peter Sposato, acting assistant professor of history. He earned a Bachelor of Science degree from the State University of New York at Stony Brook. He has been an adjunct instructor at Hobart & William Smith Colleges and Rochester Institute of Technology.

Kathy Steinberg, visiting lecturer of psychology. She earned her bachelor's, master's and Ph.D. in educational psychology from Purdue University. She previously was director of student assessment at ITT Technical Institute and an academic assessment specialist and assistant director of research at IUPUI.

Guin Thompson, visiting assistant professor of new media. She has a Bachelor of General Studies degree from IUPUI and a Master of Fine Arts from University of Hartford. She was an adjunct professor at Emily Carr University, Canada.

Michelle Westervelt, visiting assistant professor in English. She has a Bachelor of Arts degree in English from Illinois College and a Master of Arts degree in English from Indiana State University. She previously taught English as a second language in Japan and was an adjunct English instructor at IU Kokomo.

School of Nursing

Sylvia Jones, visiting lecturer in nursing. She has a master's degree from IUPUI. She has been a staff nurse at Community Howard Regional Health and an adjunct faculty member at Ivy Tech Community College.

Amanda Leffler, visiting lecturer in nursing. She has a Bachelor of Science in Nursing degree from IU Kokomo, and a Master of Science in Nursing from Indiana Wesleyan University. She previously was an adjunct clinical instructor at Indiana Wesleyan University.

Carolyn Townsend, visiting lecturer of nursing. She has a Bachelor of Science in Nursing from IU Kokomo, a Master of Science in Nursing from IUPUI and a Doctor of Nursing Practice from University of Southern Indiana. She has been a registered nurse at Clarian Health, chief quality coordinator at IU Health, and a lecturer in the IU School of Nursing.

School of Sciences

Mohammad Almalag, assistant professor of informatics. He received a bachelor's degree in computer science from King Saud University, a Master of Science in computer science from Ball State University, and a Ph.D. in computer science from Old Dominion University. He was an instructor, course developer and lab instructor at Old Dominion University.

Megan Dailey, lecturer in math. She has a Master of Arts degree from University of Kentucky. She was an instructor at Centre College, and a teaching assistant at University of Kentucky.

Ashley Duffitt, lecturer in biology. She has a bachelor's degree in biological and physical science from IU Kokomo, and a master's degree in environmental science from Taylor University. She previously was a visiting lecturer at IU Kokomo, and was a research lab tech at IUPUI and a teaching assistant at Taylor University.

Diane Hampshire, lecturer in math. She has a bachelor's degree in biological and physical sciences from IU, and a master's in mathematics from Oakland University. She previously had been a visiting lecturer at IU Kokomo, and also was an instructor at University of Dayton, a special lecturer at Oakland University, and an adjunct faculty member at Oakland Community College.

Hisako Masuda, assistant professor of biochemistry. She has bachelor's degrees in chemistry and biochemistry from Hiram College, and a Ph.D. in molecular genetics and biochemistry from Rutgers University. She was a postdoctoral fellow at Robert Wood Johnson Medical School and an instructor at Middlesex County College.

The campus has two IU Future Faculty Teaching Fellows. This program gives doctoral students an opportunity to spend one or two semesters as half-time faculty members at an IU campus. The fellows experience what it is like to teach and be a faculty member, preparing them for successful academic careers.

IU Kokomo's Future Faculty Teaching Fellows are Joo Hyung Kim, history and political science; and Cecil Sayre, humanities.

Indiana University Kokomo serves north central Indiana.

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KOKOMO, Ind. — Once a lab chemist, now a student teacher. Stacie O'Flaherty is trading in her lab coat for a chalkboard instead.

IUKL9813Stacie O'Flaherty is student teaching as part of the Change to Education program.

O'Flaherty, 52, is taking advantage of the Change to Education program at Indiana University Kokomo that allows her to earn a teaching license in a short period of time.

"I did not want to go four years and earn another bachelor's degree," said O'Flaherty, a Sheridan resident. "Change to Education gets rid of all the fluff. It's all meat. It's all substance. I appreciate that we are treated like professionals, and they assume we can do the work."

Change to Education provides a way for people who have bachelor's degrees in math, science, English, or social studies, or a related field, to earn a teaching certification in fewer than two years. Students take two full semesters of classes and a summer session, followed by a semester of student teaching.

O'Flaherty has a bachelor's degree in environmental studies from University of Tennessee, Chattanooga, and appreciates being able to add teaching skills to what she already knew about chemistry for students at Northwestern High School.

"Teaching something is different than doing something," she said. "As long as I can remember, I've understood these things. As a teacher, I have to reconnect with not knowing any of it. That's the challenge for people coming from an industry background. You're a doer, not a teacher. You've built a foundation of knowledge, and you don't have to think about it. Your students don't have that foundation, and you have to learn how to help them build it.

"As a mother of teenagers, I didn't like to hear my kids' friends says that science was hard," she said. "I don't want kids to feel like they can't do science. I want to be part of touching lives for the future, and helping someone realize they can do science, and understand things, and maybe even find a fulfilling career in science."

Randy Teachout, another Change to Education student, speaks French fluently, and has a passion for teaching the language and culture to his high school students.

"This program allowed me to earn the credential I needed to continue a job I love, in a short time period," said Teachout, 47, a Kokomo resident. "You have no idea how huge this opportunity was."

Teachout began teaching the language at Kokomo's Northwestern High School in 2010 on an emergency teaching license, which permits him to stay in the classroom as long as he is making progress to earn a license.

Having earned a bachelor's degree in theology from Northland International University, in Wisconsin, he found that other programs required him to earn a second bachelor's degree in education. He already had some experience, from teaching at private Christian schools and a Bible institute in West Africa. He lived in France when he was young, and speaks the language fluently.

"It was just the formal teaching methods classes I needed, not the language classes and other prerequisites," he said. "IU Kokomo gave me the information I need. These classes are very interesting and appropriate for people going into teaching. The French language itself did not represent any kind of mystery to me.

Dean Paul Paese said Change to Education is one way the School of Education fulfills its mission of recruiting and preparing talented, responsible, effective teachers for north central Indiana schools.

"Our region has a critical shortage of teachers in areas including science, math and special education," he said. "Change to Education helps us fill that void more quickly, because it combines online and classroom experiences. The fast pace is important to potential teachers who have degrees and want to make a career change. We help them combine their knowledge with the best education practices, to prepare them to be excellent teachers."

The School of Education enrolls new students in the program each semester. For more information, contact Paese at or call 765-455-9441.

Indiana University Kokomo serves north central Indiana.