Indiana University Kokomo

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KOKOMO, Ind. — Indiana University Kokomo will celebrate the achievements of 547 graduates at its annual Commencement ceremonies, at 10:30 a.m. Tuesday, May 7.

Commencement 2012Commencement 2012

IU President Michael A. McRobbie and Interim Chancellor Susan Sciame-Giesecke will award the degrees during what Sciame-Giesecke calls "one of the best days of the year."

"It is so gratifying to see so many students achieve their goals and dreams," she said. "These graduates will join more than 11,000 graduates who have earned their degrees on this campus. So many have gone on to enhance our region as teachers, doctors, nurses and in other professions. I look forward to the ceremony and the celebrations."

Graduates, of whom nearly 40 percent are first-generation college students, represent 27 Indiana counties, six states, and nine countries. Forty-four students are earning master's degrees. Another 482 are earning bachelor's degrees, while 24 will receive associate degrees.

The School of Nursing has the largest number of graduates, with 165 earning bachelor's degrees. The second most frequent degree being awarded is the Bachelor of Science in general studies, with 73.

Jeremy Gibson of Kokomo, student body president, will represent the graduates as the class speaker.

Peru attorney Brandon Rush will receive the Distinguished Alumni Award from the IU Kokomo Alumni Association during the ceremony. Rush is being honored for his community service.

In case of rain, there will be two ceremonies, in Havens Auditorium. A 10:30 a.m. ceremony will include graduates in the School of Nursing, Division of Allied Health, and School of Education. The second ceremony, at 1:30 p.m., will include graduates from the School of Sciences, School of Business, and School of Humanities and Social Sciences.

Outdoor ceremonies are open to the public, with seating in the Hunt Hall parking lot. Those attending ceremonies in Havens Auditorium must have a ticket. Graduates received tickets with their caps and gowns. Free parking is available on campus.

Radio and television stations in the area will be notified as early as possible May 7 if Commencement is moved indoors.

For more information go to and click on the Countdown to Commencement button.

Indiana University Kokomo serves north central Indiana.

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KOKOMO, Ind. — The Indiana University Board of Trustees approved promotions and tenure for faculty members on the Kokomo campus.

Professor Dmitriy ChulkovDmitriy ChulkovProfessor Michael FinklerMichael FinklerAssociate professor and tenure Mary BourkeMary BourkeAssociate professor and tenure Christina DowneyChristina DowneyAssociate professor and tenure Andrew McFarlandAndrew McFarlandSenior Lecturer Joshua GottemollerJoshua GottemollerSenior lecturer Linda KrauseLinda Krause

Interim Chancellor Susan Sciame-Giesecke congratulated all of those who earned promotions.

"Achieving tenure and promotion at Indiana University is a great accomplishment and demonstrates the high quality faculty at IU Kokomo," she said. "These faculty are being recognized as excellent teachers and scholars. We look forward to their leadership as IU Kokomo continues to grow and enhance the academic opportunities in this region."

Those promoted include:

The following faculty were promoted to full professor: Dmitriy Chulkov and Michael Finkler.

Promoted to associate professor and tenure include: Mary Bourke, Christina Downey, and Andrew McFarland.

Also promoted to senior lecturer are Joshua Gottemoller and Linda Krause.

Indiana University Kokomo serves north central Indiana.

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KOKOMO, Ind. — More than 300 Indiana University Kokomo students, faculty, staff, and community supporters braved Tuesday evening's rain to take a stand against domestic violence and to show support for its victims.

Take Back the Night/Angel Walk 2013Rain couldn't stop the "Take Back the Night/Angel Walk 2013" See more pictures.

Participants in the 8th annual Take Back the Night/Angel Walk walked a mile, north on Washington Street, wearing rain ponchos and carrying umbrellas, as part of a fund raiser for the Family Service Association of Howard County (FSA) domestic violence shelter.

Interim Chancellor Susan Sciame-Giesecke, who is vice president of the FSA board of directors, said every dollar raised helps keep the shelter open, to provide a safe place for victims and their children to get help.

"I know we must give back, to help the most vulnerable in this community," Sciame-Giesecke said. "We are passionate and committed to this particular issue on our campus."

The event, sponsored by the IU Kokomo American Democracy Project and FSA, began with a rally in Alumni Hall. Students in allied health, humanities and social sciences, business, education, and nursing provided educational presentations about recognizing the signs of abuse, workplace bullying, effects of domestic abuse on young children, and elder abuse, among other topics. They also accepted clothing donations for women at the shelter.

Education student Erica Bennett said as a future elementary school teacher, it is important for her to know the signs of potential abuse, so she can take action to protect her students if necessary.

She did not mind walking in the rain, saying she was inspired by the story shared by domestic violence survivor Christine Smith.

"It was emotional to hear her story," she said. "She is so strong to be able to stand up and tell what happened to her. It makes it more real to hear a personal story, rather than just someone telling you facts."

Smith, from Kokomo, told a harrowing story of physical and verbal abuse by her parents that began when she was a young child.

"I found out in kindergarten that my home life was different," she said. "My home was not a place of security and love. I became an expert at pushing people away, even though I wanted to be loved."

That abuse robbed her of her self-esteem, and made her hesitant to have her own family as an adult.

"I was afraid to be a parent," Smith said. "I made a choice not to be like my parents. I did not carry on that cycle. It stopped with me. You must protect your children. You have the power to step up and break the cycle of violence."

Business students Stephanie Scott, Sarah Parr, Jarron Warner, and Catrina Pearson were among those displaying projects during the rally. They researched gun violence in America's schools for their employment law class.

Scott said it is important for students to learn about all kinds of domestic violence, including about the signs, how to help someone, and how to get help if needed.

"We need to raise awareness, and let people know this problem exists," she said. The more education that is available, the better chance we have to break the cycle of violence."

Barbara Hall, FSA director of development, said the organization would accept donations for the event through May 1. Teams that did not come because of the rain may still turn in their money. Donations may be made at the FSA office, 618 S. Main St., Kokomo.

Indiana University Kokomo serves north central Indiana.

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KOKOMO, Ind. — Andrew Boehner combined his Android programming skills with his concern for his grandmother's safety to create a fall detection application for smart phones.

Andrew BoehnerAndrew BoehnerBoehner, 24, an informatics student at Indiana University Kokomo, developed his project to improve on current technology. Most fall detection devices require the user to wear a device wrapped around the chest or torso, and do not take advantage of smart phones.

Users of his app wear a watch programmed to send data to the smart phone if he or she falls. The phone then calls emergency responders for help.

"My grandmother's phone has an SOS button on it, but if the phone is on the charger, it's no help to her if she falls," he said. "With my app, it doesn't matter where the phone is, or if she has it in her hands. Her generation of senior citizens is pretty tech savvy, and have smart phones. Most of them are also used to wearing a watch, so this technology will be easy for them to use."

The fall detection app is Boehner's latest creation. He has published a few Android games on Google Play, but said the fall detection app is still in development, not ready for market.

He developed the idea while researching with Gongjun Yan, assistant professor of informatics. Yan encouraged him to apply to present at the 27th National Conference on Undergraduate Research, at University of Wisconsin-LaCrosse. He recently participated in the conference, and his research also was published in the conference journal.

"I was really excited for the opportunity to share my work with other students, and to meet people who are researching in this area," he said. "I am grateful for the chance to research with my professors, and to show what I've learned."

Yan teaches up to date Android programming in his class, and is proud of Boehner's success in this area.

"Overall, Andrew is one of my best students," Yan said. "He is self-motivated and capable. His intensive research has paid off in this prestigious opportunity to present and publish his work."

Boehner, from Tipton, enjoys the programming process, and said working with his professors on these hands-on opportunities has helped him learn more about his potential career field. He plans to study bioinformatics in graduate school after earning his degree from IU Kokomo.

"I hear something in class discussion, and I think about how I can apply it to one of my projects," he said. "I remember more of it when I've actually used what I learned to make something."

Indiana University Kokomo serves north central Indiana.