Indiana University Kokomo

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KOKOMO, Ind. — Tyler McClure's dream job is to be a media specialist for the Indianapolis Colts or the Indiana Pacers.

2013 Graduate Assistants2013 Graduate Assistants

He's gaining valuable experience towards that goal this year, as Indiana University Kokomo's sports information director — and as Master of Business Administration (M.B.A.) student.

"I'm getting real world, hands on experience, not just reading about it in a book," McClure said. "You see how what you are learning in class applies to your job. I'm getting my feet wet, learning the responsibilities, and working independently."

McClure, 23, Carmel, is one of five graduate assistants, who are also coaching athletic teams, managing the Cole Fitness Center, and advising student organizations, while earning master's degrees to prepare them for their future careers. As sports information director, he updates the athletic department website, assists with game day operations, and is the media contact person for athletics. He has a bachelor's degree in sports communication from IU Bloomington.

Todd Gambill, vice chancellor for student services and enrollment management, said the graduate assistants program benefits both the students and campus.

"It would be nearly impossible to offer the level of service we currently provide to our students and student athletes without this group of rising stars," he said. "Adding graduate assistants to our workforce is a wonderful way to provide extra hands for the workload, but also to offer graduate students real world experience that can be parlayed into post graduation employment."

In addition to job experience, graduate assistants earn discounted tuition and a stipend.

Whitney Farris, an M.B.A. student from Kokomo, was one of the first two graduate assistants last year, serving as sports information director. This year, she is assistant coach for the men's basketball team.

"I enjoy my graduate assistant position, and all the experiences and learning that it affords me," she said. "It is a fantastic opportunity to be part of a new program. I am so thankful for the opportunity to work with people in the athletic department, around campus, and in the community, to support our student athletes."

Farris, 26, has a degree in business management from Valparaiso University, where she played basketball. She plans a career in athletics, preferably coaching.

McClure, Cody Dunham, Ryan Bowerman, and Priyanka Singh Deo are all new graduate assistants this school year.

Dunham, 22, Marion, Ky., is the graduate assistant for the new Cole Fitness Center. An M.B.A. student, he has bachelor's degree in communication from Georgetown College, Kentucky.

"It's really cool to get in on the ground level with opening a new facility," he said. "People have really enjoyed it and have needed something like this. It's not hard to make people happy in my job."

Ryan Bowerman, 25, is the assistant women's volleyball coach. He is from Crawfordsville, and enrolled in the Master of Arts in Liberal Studies (M.A.L.S.) program, focusing on global studies. He previously earned a degree in mathematics from Wabash College, and then spent a year teaching in the Amazon jungles of Ecuador.

He appreciates the chance to earn an advanced degree while gaining coaching experience.

"This is really good job experience, doing a lot of what a head coach does, like recruiting, checking on athletes' academic progress, and running practices," he said. "This has been an exciting season, and we've been really pleased with the volleyball team. They've really stepped up their game."

Bowerman plans either to be a coach or to work for a not-for-profit or non-government organization after completing his master's degree.

Singh Deo, 24, is the graduate assistant for student activities and campus diversity. She is from Khariar, Orissa, India, and is enrolled in the M.B.A. program. She previously earned a bachelor's degree in business management, with a minor in economics, from Purdue. She worked in contract management for Linde Engineering, Munich, Germany, before starting her graduate program.

"I experienced diversity at its finest," she said, "We worked with clients from all over the world, and had to be mindful of their culture and ways of doing business. Since I gained invaluable experiences by being a student leader and embracing diversity, I am striving to promote it on IU Kokomo's campus."

She plans to work in contract management after earning her M.B.A., and hopes to live on the west coast.

Indiana University Kokomo serves north central Indiana.

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KOKOMO, Ind. — Nicole Brubaker aspires to be a working artist when she graduates from Indiana University Kokomo.

Visiting artist Bryan TisdaleVisiting artist Bryan Tisdale. For more pictures, visit our Flickr account.

She feels more positive about her prospects after meeting visiting artist Bryan Tisdale, who spent two days working with students on campus.

"It's good to see someone who recently earned the same degree I am working on, who is a successful artist outside of school," Brubaker said. "He is able to continue producing art, even though he has another job, and that other job is art-related. That is inspiring to me."

Tisdale, 39, Greenwood, earned a Bachelor of Fine Arts degree from the IUPUI Herron School of Art and Design in May. He visited classes in the fine arts building talking about his inspiration, his print making process, and the equipment he uses. He also critiqued student work individually, providing encouragement and tips for improvement.

These kinds of interactions were important to him when he was a student, Tisdale said, and he wants to pay it forward with younger students.

"If I can inspire at least one person, that would be awesome," he said. "I want them to know there is life outside of art school. I spent so much time when visiting artists came to my school, trying to soak up as much information as I could.

"Print making is all about trouble shooting, and we have to learn from each other, and bounce ideas off each other, to grow as artists."

Tisdale left his job in medical billing to return to school in his 30s, describing himself as a "full time student and Mr. Mom," during that time. He is grateful to his "awesome wife" Aaren and their sons, ages 13 and 10, for supporting his dream.

"I always had a creative side," he said. "I wanted my children to know it's OK to pursue what you love."

The family garage serves as Tisdale’s studio, where he creates his own prints to place in galleries and sell. He also is a screen-printer for the Adidas group, and hopes that leads to a job in the company’s art department, creating original designs for clothing.

Brubaker, from Flora, said being able to meet and talk to an artist one-on-one is a rare opportunity, and one she appreciates.

"Even if you go to a museum or an art show, you can look at the art, but you can't talk to the artist and ask questions. This allows us to touch the work and really find out in-depth how it was created."

Tisdale uses his own photographs in his work, which new media communications major Mark Thompson finds exciting.

"I like how he works from Photoshop to screen, which is what I do," he said. "I'm excited to watch him create a print while he is here, and to get my hands dirty and help."

Tisdale is IU Kokomo's third visiting artist, and Minda Douglas, assistant professor of fine arts, said faculty want to host artists in various mediums each year.

"We hope meeting working artists will provide inspiration to our students," she said. "It is a good experience for them to meet artists other than our faculty, who may have expertise in areas we do not, and can provide new ideas."

Indiana University Kokomo serves north central Indiana.

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KOKOMO, Ind. — Indiana University Kokomo's cross country team expects great achievements in their second season.

IU Kokomo Cross Country at Grace Lancer Invitational 2013Javier Vasquez set a school record at the Grace Lancer Invitational. See more photos. Photos Indiana University Kokomo | Andrew W. JonesThey've already gained one milestone, with the men's team winning its first meet championship, at IU East. The women finished a close second in their competition.

Jon Flory, one of the veterans returning from last year's first team, said they know greater things are possible.

"Last year, we were building a program, and we were just excited to have a team," he said. "This year, we want more, and we can do more. To win our first meet, that gave us a huge burst of confidence, and we can set bigger goals than last year, when we just didn't want to finish last."

Their finish gave them an idea of what they could achieve, and served as notice that the Cougars are ready to compete this season, Coach Jason VanAlstine said.

"We beat two teams that beat us last year. I don't think anyone saw that coming," VanAlstine said. "That is a great way to start the season. Our guys are as tough as anyone out there."

As seasoned competitors, the teams is setting goals for their first-ever appearance in the Kentucky Intercollegiate Athletic Conference championship meet, set for Saturday, November 9, at Midway College, Midway, Ky.

"We are proud to be the first team with IU Kokomo on our chests in the conference in this sport," said Cody Phelps, a second-year runner from Anchorage, Alaska. "We are making history for our school."

Flory, 19, a junior criminal major from Logansport, said one of their strengths is that they don't rely on one star runner, but have several who can contribute to their team score.

"We have several solid runners who can give us good, solid times," he said. "Even more important, we are a true team. I love our camaraderie. I love being around the guys. You have a nice support group."

In addition to the veterans, they have new runners, some who have high school cross country experience, like Bradley Jakes and Breanne Robertson, and others, like Tyler Lucas and Emilie Hubbard, who have never run cross country before this season.

The rookies appreciate support from their more experienced teammates, Lucas, a marketing major from Kokomo, said.

"This is my first year running at all," he said. "You have to take it one day at a time. I like to challenge myself. I had never run a competitive race, and they let me know I had to pace myself."

Flory noted that their new teammates have worked hard to get up to speed.

"They've done a good job pacing themselves during these first few meets," he said. "These races can get physical, especially at the start and finish, and they've handled that well."

They are all thrilled to use the newly opened Milt and Jean Cole Family Fitness and Wellness Center for training, and for showers after practices. Veteran Amy McCauley, 19, a sophomore physical therapy major from Greentown, said last year, they drove to the YMCA in downtown Kokomo to shower.

"We're happy to have our own place on campus, to be part of the community," she said. "The women's team has been doing core training in the Cole Fitness Center, and we expect to use it even more for weight lifting during the off season. I think you will see us make even more progress for next year because we have the fitness center.

VanAlstine added it would be a key tool as he recruits team members for next season.

"This is the kind of facility a potential student likes to see," he said. "That, on top of our outstanding faculty, and wide variety of academic programs, is going to be attractive to potential team members. It's already making a difference for us."

Whatever the team's record is for the season, he is proud to be their coach.

"My philosophy is, we measure our success based on how the athletes improve this season, and how we do at conference," he said. "These athletes are high quality individuals, high character individuals. I'm proud to have this team represent IU Kokomo. They work hard, and they take care of each other."

Indiana University Kokomo serves north central Indiana.

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KOKOMO, Ind. — Indiana University Kokomo supports science education in area schools, providing opportunities for area teachers to exchange ideas with scientists and to network with one another.

Bite of ScienceBite of ScienceThe School of Sciences and School of Education co-hosted "A Bite of Science," in conjunction with the Center for Excellence in Education, for 18 north central Indiana high school science teachers.

"It's important for IU Kokomo to be a presence in the community, and to support and nurture science teachers," said Christian Chauret, dean of the School of Sciences. "This event brought the teachers and scientists together to exchange ideas and talk about education and careers in the sciences. It was an excellent opportunity to network with the teachers and to talk about IU Kokomo's programs."

Teachers attended from Kokomo, Logansport, Maconaquah, Mississenewa, Noblesville, Northwestern, Rochester, Taylor, Tipton, and Western school corporations.

The evening included presentations by T.J. Sullivan, assistant professor of molecular ecology, and Pat Carter, engineering manager, prismatic machining, Chrysler Kokomo Transmission Plant.

Sullivan discussed his research in molecular ecology, emphasizing the role undergraduate students play in research on campus. Carter talked about manufacturing challenges, and the need that industry has for people with excellent math and computer skills.

The Center for Excellence in Education, based in Virginia, provides its Teacher Enrichment Programs, including "A Bite of Science," to assure a future talented and diverse U.S. workforce in sciences, technology, engineering, and math. It challenges students to become the creators, inventors, scientists, and leaders of the 21st century.

Indiana University Kokomo serves north central Indiana.