Indiana University Kokomo

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KOKOMO, Ind. — Not every college class lets you get your hands dirty – literally.

Geology fieldworkStudents participating in geology fieldwork.

Indiana University Kokomo students are playing urban geologists, digging soil sample pits, testing water quality, and participating in ecosystem restoration. They're also learning how people have impacted the environment, and what they can do to help.

Ashley Douglass, Kokomo, admits she was hesitant to take a class with required fieldwork. As it turns out, she likes it.

"I'm not an outdoors person, so it kind of freaks me out to play in the soil," she said. "I have been surprised by how much I enjoy this class, and how much I've learned. I didn't realized how much of an impact people have had on the world, and on our environment."

She also appreciates this class is part of IU Kokomo's new Maymester program, allowing her to earn the last three credits she needed to earn her sociology degree in only four weeks.

Leda Casey, lecturer in geology, said it is the same kind of work she did as a geologist for the Indiana Department of Enviromental Managment.

"They are seeing a real-world application for what they are learning," she said. "I think the students like getting out of the classroom and getting their hands dirty. Kokomo has a perfect environment to study urbanization and geology."

The class studied local geology and the value of green space in an urban environment by visiting Foster Park. By the end of the class, each student will participate in an individual project at a local ecosystem restoration site. They will also complete a mock groundwater contamination investigation and assess the quality of one of the campus streams.

On this particular day, the 10 students are studying the soil in the southeastern part of the campus, between the creek and the parking garage.

Casey instructs each group of five as they dig pits, one in the tall grass a few feet from the creek, the other about 130 feet further west, to examine the differences between the two areas.

"As urban geologists, we're looking for good places to see the variation in soil types," Casey said. "We have lots of great places for fieldwork on our campus."

Each group marks off a two-foot square in their zone with stakes, before using shovels to cut around the square, going deep enough to remove whole sections of sod with the root base intact. This allows them to put it back in place when they are done, as good stewards of the environment. Then, they shovel out a pit deep enough to see layering in the soil.

Near the creek, Kyle Galloway, Kokomo, says the fieldwork is his favorite part of the class.

"I like to learn hands on, rather than sitting in a classroom," he said. "I've been interested in learning about the effects of run off on the floodplains near streams."

Kelly McKinney, Kokomo, said he could apply what he is learning to his current job working on a farm, and can teach it when he is a high school science teacher. It also helps him with his gardening.

"This class fills a natural interest of mine," he said. "This is all stuff I put into practice in everyday life."

He appreciates the Maymester program, which made it possible for him to earn three credits in only four weeks.

"It's nice to get it done, and then have the rest of the summer for farming," he said.

Once they've finished digging, the students lean into the pit, examining the exposed dirt to complete a soil profile, examine layers, and mark any organisms they find. The group near the creek finds river deposits in their soil.

The second group dug their pit closer to the parking garage, and had a tough time shoveling through a layer of gravel and clay tile. Casey said that layer was likely fill material placed there when the parking garage was built. They dig down about 90 centimeters to find clean soil to examine.

"It's amazing how much you can learn about our campus' natural history, all from a pile of dirt," Casey said.

IU Kokomo's new Maymester program offers students a chance to earn three credits in a short time period, in an immersive class. A few other offerings include a summer blockbuster class, in which students study cinematography and editing through viewing and discussing current movies; an art class that will culminate in building a class sculpture, and a creative performance class that includes creating and producing a play. Maymester continues through Thursday, June 6.

Indiana University Kokomo serves north central Indiana.

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KOKOMO, Ind. — Dr. Victor Bogle changed the lives of thousands of Indiana residents.

Bogle Bench CeremonyFern Bogle, Heather Bogle, and April Bogle dedicated a tribute bench to Dr. Victor M. Bogle.This week, Bogle's family, friends, and colleagues gathered at Indiana University Kokomo to remember the campus's first chancellor, dedicating a granite tribute bench in his honor.

Daughter April Bogle sees his legacy as the regional campus he built, and his gifts of kindness, wisdom and inspiration.

"He created IU Kokomo with his heart and soul, and because he did so, thousands of people in north central Indiana have been able to expand their minds, aspire to be and do more, and to make a better life for themselves, their families, and their communities," she said.

Interim Chancellor Susan Sciame-Giesecke said Bogle is her example of servant leadership, as she follows in his footsteps. He was chancellor from 1959 to 1979, and retired from the faculty in 1992.

"There was nothing here, and he built this campus, and made it what it is today," she said.

Bogle's leadership guided the campus from an IU Extension Center into a degree-granting institution, bringing greater educational opportunity to north central Indiana.

He oversaw construction of the campus in 1965, and added beauty to it, commissioning Bob Hamilton to create "The Phoenix" sculpture that still sits in front of the Main Building. He led its first Commencement ceremonies in 1970, helping bestow its first four-year degrees.

Bogle was a champion of educational innovation, implementing Project Outreach to provide classes in Logansport, Tipton, Peru, and other communities. He and his wife established the Chancellor and Mrs. Victor Bogle Scholarship for students studying history or political science.

Victor M. BogleDr. Victor M. BogleIn 2000, Bogle received Indiana's highest service citation, the Sagamore of the Wabash, from Gov. Frank O'Bannon.

His friends remembered him not only for his outstanding achievements, but because he was a scholar-teacher, kind, compassionate, modest, and inquisitive.

Sciame-Giesecke shared her own personal memories of Bogle, from her days as a young assistant professor. During the 1977-1978 blizzard, she was snowed in for a week in her one-bedroom apartment.

"Every day I received a phone call from Chancellor Bogle, asking if I was OK, and if I had enough food," she said. "It meant a lot to me that he cared."

April Bogle said when her father passed away on October 16, 2011, he left no instructions for how he wanted to be memorialized.

"We had to make some decisions without him, and one was to find a respectful way to memorialize him and to honor the contributions he made to this university, this community, this life on earth," she said.

She and her mother, Fern Bogle, and sister, Heather Bogle, chose the bench, placed outside the Main Building.

"Victor Bogle's name won't be found in any cemetery or mausoleum, but it will be right here, where it should be, at IU Kokomo. We're pretty sure he's happy about that," she said.

Indiana University Kokomo serves north central Indiana.

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KOKOMO, Ind. — The best artwork created by Kokomo area high school seniors will be featured in the Indiana University Kokomo Art Gallery.

The 18th annual High School Art Show opens with a reception and awards ceremony from 4 to 7 p.m. Wednesday, May 29, in the Art Gallery, in Upper Alumni Hall. Awards will be presented at 5 p.m.

Susan Skoczen, gallery director, said student artists from north central Indiana are invited to submit their work for display during the show. It includes artwork from seniors at Taylor, Peru, Kokomo, and Tri-Central high schools.

"This show gives area high schools the opportunity to come together and showcase their students' work," Skoczen said, "It's more of a public venue for the work to be seen by many, not just other students at their own schools. It is also a chance for the student artists to see what their peers are creating at other schools."

The show continues through June 15. The Art Gallery is open 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. Tuesday and Thursday, 10 a.m. to 8 p.m. Wednesday, and noon to 4 p.m. Saturday. It is closed Sunday, Monday, and Friday. Free parking is available on campus.

For more information, call 765-455-9523, e-mail, or go to

Indiana University Kokomo serves north central Indiana.

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KOKOMO, Ind. — In the shade of three tall trees, the students sit at picnic tables, backpacks on the benches or the ground next to them, books or e-readers open.

Maymester class in Foster ParkMaymester class in Foster Park.As they talk about their reading, a gaggle of geese land in the nearby grass, briefly interrupting the discussion with their honking. A light breeze carries dandelion fluff and the scent of nearby honeysuckle past them, along with the splashing noise of a fountain in the Wildcat Creek behind them.

For these eight students, Foster Park is their classroom, as part of Indiana University Kokomo's first-ever Maymester program.

Andrea Bard appreciates the chance to see more of Kokomo than what she sees on the drive from her home in Logansport.

"I'm getting to experience and do something, not just read about it," she said. "This is a breath of fresh air, and very different from any class I've taken before."

Eva White, associate professor of English, developed her creative nonfiction writing class, "Writing the Land: My Foster Park," to build on the connection between physical activity, nature, and creativity.

"We're always indoors," she said. "Being able to just be, and watch yourself be, and writing about it, is useful. I walk here all the time. It helps me recharge my batteries and get rid of stress."

Class begins with discussion of Haruki Murakami's book, "What I Talk About When I Talk About Running," a memoir of the author's training for the New York Marathon, and how it impacted his writing. Then, White leads them on the Wildcat Creek Walk of Excellence, taking about an hour to walk from Foster Park through UCT Park, up the hill, around through the nearby neighborhood, and back, where they talk about their observations and write in their journals.

Along the way, each student takes notes, writing down who they see, descriptions of any animals they find, and changes in the environment.

They've followed a family of ducks, and on this particular day are delighted to find a new mother duck urging five tiny, fluffy, new ducklings into Wildcat Creek. Sofia Stout exclaims in dismay when a snake approaches the waterfowl, and sighs with relief when the reptile swims around the babies.

Stout, a communications art major from Lafayette, likes the break from more traditional academic writing, along with being in the outdoors.

"You're more focused on your thoughts, and on being descriptive," she said. "I've probably done more thinking in this class than any other I've taken. It's refreshing to get out of the academic style."

White said, though, that while they are having fun, they are also learning to be better writers. Each student produces a long essay inspired by his or her experiences each week, and will turn in a portfolio, a final polished essay, and a written reflection on his or her growth during the three-week class.

Kayla Scott, an elementary education major from Mulberry, didn't realize she had signed up for an outdoor class when she enrolled, but is enjoying the experience.

"I get tired of sitting in the classroom," she said. "This class lets me use all my senses, every time. You walk the same trail, but everyone comes back with different ideas and thoughts from what we see. I like that."

Brock Richardson, Bringhurst, who also plans to be an elementary teacher, said in addition to improving his writing, he's learning how taking students out of the classroom benefits them.

"There is a different learning environment than inside," he said. "You don't have to be sitting at a desk to learn."

IU Kokomo's new Maymester program offers student a chance to earn three credits in a short time period, in an immersive class. A few other offerings include a creative performance class, in which students will write, act in, and direct a play; urban geology, complete with fieldwork; and a public relations campaign class that involves working with a local business or nonprofit organization. Maymester continues through Thursday, June 6.

Indiana University Kokomo serves north central Indiana.