Indiana University Kokomo

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KOKOMO, Ind. – Elizabeth "Biz" Bates enrolled at Indiana University Kokomo without a clear idea of what she wanted to be when she grew up.

Biz BatesBiz Bates prepares for the art show.Now, as she prepares to graduate with a degree in humanities, she says the program has allowed her experiences that guided her to be a theater director.

"I had the opportunity to look around and see everything I could possibly do," she said. "My professors encouraged me to explore and find out what was best for me, for my life, and for my future."

One of those opportunities is working as the IU Kokomo Art Gallery intern, and curating the newest exhibit "Heartbeat of the Heartland."

"If I had gone to a larger school, I would have never had this kind of opportunity," Bates said. "It has shown me a different way to view the arts world."

The art show, which opens Wednesday, January 16, features paintings, photography, graphics, woodworking, metalsmithing, multimedia, and sculpture created by Indiana artists. Bates chose the theme after hearing a comment that Indiana is not an art state.

"I really wanted to highlight the artistic ability that exists all throughout the state," she added. "I wanted to show that we are an art state. People just don't realize that, and I want to make them aware of it."

Her yearlong gallery internship teaches her the business side of art, which will help in her intended career as a theater director and producer.

"I am learning how to manage a show, from concept through opening," she said. "I've developed professional skills from working with the artists, how to select the right work, and even how to reject some work. I'm also learning about publicity and raising money, which are all things I will need to know."

Gallery Director Susan Skoczen said curating the show builds real-world skills, applicable in many career fields.

"Biz is in charge of all aspects of planning and making contacts for the show, and reaching out to people and organizations outside of campus," she said. "It is a huge undertaking to organize all of the art, and artists' schedules, once the show has been planned. She also did the promotional postcard design, planned the gallery layout, and scheduled staff to help with installation of the show."

The internship will also make her stand out among applicants for highly competitive graduate school admissions in directing.

Her years as a humanities student helped her learn about herself, and find her interests. She originally planned to earn a degree in history, but changed her focus to art after taking a class from Minda Douglas, assistant professor of fine arts, who encouraged her to pursue her artistic talents.

Bates then planned to become an art teacher, but after working with several Kokomo Civic Theatre productions, she decided theater was her life's passion.

"I just fell in love with it, because it used all my strengths," she said. "I really think you should do something that will make you happy and fulfill you."

The exhibit opens with a reception from 4 to 7 p.m. January 16 in the Art Gallery, 2300 S. Washington St. The exhibition continues through February 16. 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.

Indiana University Kokomo serves north central Indiana.

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Kokomo, Ind. - Indiana University Kokomo has selected Heather Hayes to lead the women's volleyball team in the upcoming 2013-2014 season. Hayes, a social studies teacher at Frankfort High School, wants to further expand on the success from previous inaugural NAIA season.

Heather HayesHeather Hayes"I am thankful to be chosen as the next leader of the volleyball program," said Hayes. "Former Coach Kristen Snoddy did a remarkable job laying the foundation of the program, and I would like to continue to elevate what she started."

Hayes, a first-time college coach, played collegiate volleyball for the University of Montevallo and finished her career at the University of Indianapolis. She has coached at the club volleyball level for 12 years, most recently with the Indy Junior Volleyball Club, which will be advantageous in the recruiting process for IU Kokomo.

"We are excited to have coach Hayes come on board. She will help continue the momentum of the athletic program and get us to a new level," said men's basketball coach Jace Thompson. "She brings with her a wealth of knowledge and experiences that will be assets to our program."

Hayes also spent 11 years as the varsity head coach at Frankfort High School, amassing 262 wins and a .69 win percentage. She lead her alma mater to eight conference championships, five sectional championships, a trip to the elite eight, and a trip to the state finals.

"I look forward to getting to know the team, enhancing the level of play, and pushing the level of competition to new heights," said Hayes. "Off the court, I hope to further build the positive image of the volleyball program in both the classroom and the community."

The IUK volleyball team will not only have a new coach for the 2013-2014 seasons, but a place to call home. The Cougars have partnered with the City of Kokomo and the Kokomo-Center Township School Corp. to renovate the former Memorial Gym swimming pool into a college regulation sized basketball court that will also function as a volleyball court.

"This is the next step for our athletics programs," said Interim Chancellor Susan Sciame-Giesecke. "We're excited to have a place our student athletes and their fans can call home, with IU Kokomo Cougars branding and colors. We appreciate this great opportunity to move our athletics forward."

Indiana University Kokomo serves north central Indiana.

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KOKOMO, Ind. — Jupiter and the Orion nebula will be the highlights of the first Indiana University Kokomo Observatory open house of the New Year, from 7 to 10 p.m. Sunday.

The ObservatoryThe ObservatoryPatrick Motl, assistant professor of physics, said with the moon a waxing crescent, the skies should be "nice and dark," for good views if the skies are clear.

Motl will begin the open house with an overview of the 221st meeting of the American Astronomical Society, which he is attending this week in Long Beach, Calif.

Jupiter will dominate the night sky in January, appearing high in the east within a half hour after sunset. A number of bright starts will be in Jupiter's part of the sky, and the giant planet will be much brighter than any of them. There will be excellent view of the planet this month with a telescope at mid-northern latitudes, since the planet will be unusually high above the horizon from dusk until after midnight

Visitors will get the closest view possible of Jupiter and its moons through the Observatory's telescopes, which are a six-inch Takahashi refracting telescope and a 16-inch Meade reflecting telescope mounted together. The Takahashi provides exceptionally sharp images of planets, while the Meade lets stargazers see fainter objects in the sky, due to its larger light collecting area.

The open house is free and open to the public in the Observatory, 105 E. Rebecca Lane. Free parking is available on campus.

Indiana University Kokomo serves north central Indiana.

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KOKOMO, Ind. - Indiana University Kokomo honors part-time students who have earned a place on the Dean's List for 2012. To qualify for the Dean's List, each student must maintain a minimum 3.5 grade point average (GPA) on a 4.0 scale.