12 August 2013
KOKOMO, Ind. — When Joseph Logan applies to graduate programs, not only will he know what a high resolution melt analysis is, he will be among the few who have actually performed one.
Logan, a Master of Arts in Liberal Studies (M.A.L.S.) student at Indiana University Kokomo, gained the experience as a research assistant to T.J. Sullivan, assistant professor of molecular ecology. Sullivan is studying certain grasses and the fungi that grow in them, potentially impacting cattle production, with a four-year National Science Foundation grant.
Hands-on research is a key element of earning a degree from the School of Sciences, both for graduate and undergraduate students. Those in the Bachelor of Science programs in biology, chemistry, and biochemistry, must earn at least three credits in research.
Dean Christian Chauret said both students and faculty benefit from working together.
"This kind of out-of-classroom learning looks good on a resumé for future jobs, graduate work, and professional schools," he said, "Students gain tremendous experience through this one-on-one collaboration with a faculty member. If the data is solid, the student can present at a conference, and many of them have also published in research journals with their faculty mentors."
Chauret added that students who participate in research are better prepared and are highly likely to graduate. Faculty can expand their research potential and scope by working with students.
Logan, who earned his bachelor's degree in biology from IU Kokomo in 2012, has worked with Sullivan for more than a year. His role is genotyping the variations of fungus living in the grasses, using the high resolution melt analysis, a relatively new technology. Sullivan said it is quicker and more cost-effective than previous technology, allowing him to study more samples.
"This puts us ahead of the curve in research," he said. "As Joe continues his education, his use of a newer technology will make him stand out. This is something a lot of people don't know about yet. Not only does he know what this technology is, he has experience using it."
Logan, from Logansport, appreciates the chance to gain this experience.
"I enjoy knowing I've contributed to something," he said. "It has helped me develop my ability to analyze what is happening, and to figure out a solution."
Three undergraduate students have joined Sullivan's research team, and he anticipates more interest as students work to meet their research requirements.
"You have a better chance of having these opportunities at a smaller school like IU Kokomo, where you aren't competing with as many students for research assistantships," he said.
Sullivan is studying the relationship between particular toxic and non-toxic grasses, trying to determine why fungus that lives in some grasses can be toxic to livestock, but not in others. This is an issue that impacts cattle in the United States, and sheep in New Zealand.
"There is a lot of interest in this," Logan said. "If we can come up with a solution for this problem, people can save hundreds of millions of dollars."
The losses are incurred in treating sick animals, or when livestock eats just enough to survive, and don't gain weight as they should. They sometimes must bring in other feed to replace the grass, which also results in lost revenue.
Logan plans to either attend dental school or begin a Ph.D. program in genetics after completing his master's degree.
Indiana University Kokomo serves north central Indiana.
05 August 2013
KOKOMO, Ind. — Excellence in soccer is an Indiana University tradition.
IU Kokomo student Kyle Galloway is adding to that winning tradition, as part of a national championship power soccer team.
"We made it our goal to win the Champions Cup at the beginning of the season," Galloway, 25, said. "I am so happy we reached our goal. We worked hard all season, and our work paid off."
His team, RHI Sudden Impact, defeated DASA Dynamites, from Missouri, 1-0 to win the National Power Soccer Association championship in July.
Power soccer is an international team competitive sport for power wheelchair users. Any person who has a physical disability that requires them to use a power wheelchair may play. There are more than 60 teams in the United States.
Galloway, a general studies major from Kokomo, started playing a year ago, after his brother heard there was an open place on a team. He had played soccer and baseball growing up, before he suffered a spinal cord injury in a four-wheeler accident shortly after graduating from high school in 2006.
"This is something I can do independently, on my own," he said "I don't have many opportunities to do that. I was excited to get to play a sport again. It's been a while since I'd been able to play. Most wheelchair sports are played in a manual wheelchair, and I can't manipulate one."
Power soccer is played on a basketball court, with three offensive players and a goalie for each team. During the two 20-minute halves, players maneuver the 13-inch diameter soccer ball with a guard on the front of the wheelchair, attacking, defending, and spin kicking the ball in an attempt to score goals.
"The only motion skills are what you can do with the joystick on your wheelchair," Galloway said, adding that he purchased a special wheelchair built specifically for the sport.
"You can spin it really fast to kick the ball," he said. "It really makes the game move more quickly, and it's more exciting for the players and fans. It's revolutionized the game."
RHI Sudden Impact is based in central Indiana, with men and women from Carmel, Fishers, Indianapolis, Pendleton, and Kokomo on the team. Practices begin in October, and culminate in the national championships during the summer.
Teams must play at least 12 games during the year, with two in their conference, to qualify for the nationals. Galloway's team played a record-breaking 47 games during the season, to qualify for the Champions Cup, played at Indiana University—Purdue University Fort Wayne.
Teams play in conferences based on ability. At the end of each season, the top two teams in each conference move up, while the bottom two move down. Galloway's team will move into the top-level Premier Conference for the 2013-2014 season, after winning their championship.
He looks forward to the new challenge, and plans to play for several more years. There is no age limit in power soccer.
"This is a lifetime thing for me," he said. "I've fallen in love with this game, and I don't want to stop."
Indiana University Kokomo serves north central Indiana.
02 August 2013
The basketball players, both juniors at Indiana University Kokomo, reunited on the court after four years at Blue River Valley High School, in New Castle, Ind.
The pair started their careers on the club team two years ago, and has since seen the Cougars join the NAIA and then become members of the KIAC (Kentucky Intercollegiate Athletic Conference.) Together, they have helped IU Kokomo reach many firsts, including its first NAIA win against Judson University.
This season, they will lead the team in competition against conference members and vie for a conference championship.
"This year we have the one goal we have all been waiting for the chance to win a conference and make it to the NAIA tournament," said Lawrence. "We have been talking about being a part of a conference and working to win a championship since day one and now have that opportunity."
Off the court, Lawrence and Knupp are models of student athletes for IU Kokomo athletics. Both have set a high standard for what it means to be a Cougar student-athlete with their work on campus, attending campus and athletic events, participating in community events, and working hard in the classroom.
The impact of the character of these two students have on the team, school, and community since the beginning of the basketball program has Jace Thompson, head basketball coach, wondering how he will fill the void once they graduate.
"It's two years away and I've already started worrying about how I could replace these two leaders," said Thompson. "For a coach, these two make the job look easy and make me look good. Our program couldn't be any more proud to have two high school teammates come to us and lead this program.
"I'm looking forward to them finally being upper classmen but worry about the day they are gone."
Lawrence, a business marketing major, and Knupp, a health science major, are not only committed to being champions on the court, but also in the classroom.
"IUK has been great for me academically, and I am looking forward to a degree that says Indiana University," said Knupp. "Wanting to be in the health field, I could not have chosen a better campus known for its great health programs. It has been challenging, but with all the great professors, I have succeeded."
"They have been with us from the beginning of the sports programs, and that says a lot. They believed in the program and in their coach," said Dean of Students Sarah Sarber. "They saw the opportunity to be part of building a program and establishing a tradition and committed to it."
Now upperclassmen, Lawrence and Knupp still have two seasons to continue to impact and build a legacy for IU Kokomo and its athletic program.
"We are really excited about this season and looking forward to practicing and playing in our new gym," said Lawrence. "These last two years have been a great experience as part of the team and university, and we are looking forward to the next two years."
Indiana University Kokomo serves north central Indiana
29 July 2013
His outstanding work as an Indiana University Kokomo nursing student gained him admission to IU's prestigious School of Medicine, where he begins classes in August.
He said IU Kokomo has more than prepared him for medical school.
"My professors taught me how to study," he said. "That's something I didn't learn in high school. They did a great job preparing me to succeed on the MCAT (Medical College Admission Test), too. Knowing how to study and what to look for was hugely helpful. Each of my instructors contributed something."
Holley, from Wabash, previously earned an associate degree in nursing, and worked full time as a nurse while continuing school to earn his bachelor's. He appreciates the outstanding faculty at IU Kokomo.
"Everyone is more than willing to help you with anything, even professors you don't have in class," he said. "They actually know you and are invested in your success."
Holley is just one of IU Kokomo's recent success stories, with many graduates gaining admission to medical, dental, physical therapy, and pharmacy schools after earning their undergraduate degrees.
The campus is making it easier for these students to prepare for graduate success, offering pre-professional scholarships to top applicants, and is now expanding to offer direct-admit scholarships in nursing, education, and business. Each scholarship is worth $2,500, and includes a stipend for overseas study, a laptop computer, and research and mentoring opportunities with faculty, among other benefits.
Sarah McIlrath, from Rossville, said close interaction with faculty and small classes have been a key to her success. She graduated with a degree in biological and physical sciences in May, and earned admission to the physical therapy program at Andrews University, Berrien Springs, Mich.
"You feel like you are part of a family, not just a student ID number," she said. "My physical therapy school application included a recommendation from Dr. Christian Chauret, dean of the School of Sciences. At a larger school, the dean would not have known me well enough to write a letter for me, and I would not have known him well enough to ask."
Like Holley, she feels ready for the rigors of a graduate program.
"My science classes have prepared me for the workload ahead of me," she said. "I studied tough subjects, and I learned to knuckle down and put forth the effort to get the grades I needed to accomplish my goals."
Allen Barton, Rochester, found IU Kokomo from the other side of the world, where he was serving as a missionary. He'd previously earned a degree in youth ministry, but decided, while working in an African orphanage, that he was being called into the medical field.
He hadn't taken science classes while earning his undergraduate degree, so he started looking for a campus near his wife's hometown of Rochester where he could take the classes he needed to get into medical school. He corresponded with Academic Advisor Cathy Barnes, who outlined how he could take the needed classes in two years.
"She made it easy to see what I needed to do," he said.
He was impressed with the individual attention students receive in the small classes at IU Kokomo. Sara Deyo, his chemistry lab supervisor, wrote him a letter of recommendation for medical school, and Marcia Gillette, senior lecturer in chemistry, helped him several times, even though he did not take her class.
"The professors are just as interested in you as a person as they are with you as a student," he said. "They are willing to take that extra step to invest in their students, and want us to succeed."
He finished the classes in May 2012. He had a 4.0 GPA and scored in the top 7 percent on the MCAT, earning admission to the IU School of Medicine in South Bend. He said that was a great accomplishment, as the medical school accepts less than 10 percent of applicants.
"It wasn't easy, but if a 33-year-old guy with three kids, coming out of a ministry background, can accomplish this, so can other IU Kokomo students, if they are willing to make the effort," he said. "The courses offered here, and the professors who invested in me, have prepared me for the rigors of medical school. I'm getting one step closer to the dream I've had for several years."
Students now in professional programs said their IU Kokomo degrees prepared them to succeed.
Christopher Hayes, Marion, is a student in the doctor of dental surgery (D.D.S.) program at the IU School of Dentistry, Indianapolis. He graduated from IU Kokomo in 2011with a degree in business management, while also taking pre-medical classes at IU Kokomo.
"A lot of the information I've learned in dental school I've already had a good background in, especially when we hit anatomy. There were many terms I'd already been exposed to."
The small classes at IU Kokomo meant his professors had plenty of time to be sure he understood concepts.
"If you are in an organic chemistry class with only nine students, you're not competing for information, you're not competing to learn," he said. "If there is a problem, if you don't understand a concept, you can go to a professor and get help. They aren't too busy to help you, and they care that you learn and are prepared."
Amy Wooten, Peru, gained admission to all four physical therapy programs she applied to, including her first choice, at IUPUI. She graduated from IU Kokomo in 2012, with a degree in psychology.
That major made her stand out from other physical therapy candidates, as most studied exercise science or athletic training as undergraduates.
"Psychology is also relevant to rehabilitation, because of all the mental barriers in that area," Wooten said. "I wanted to stand out among all the candidates, and I definitely did."
In addition to her academic transcript, her campus involvement at IU Kokomo helped her distinguish herself from other candidates. Wooten was in the psychology club, the pre-professional club, was a lab assistant, and participated in undergraduate research.
"Academically, you have to work really hard, but you can't just go to school and study," she said. "The PT programs like to see lots of extracurricular activities on your resume, and there were lots of options at IU Kokomo. They like to see an effort in everything you do as an undergraduate, not just in class."
She has successfully completed her first year of physical therapy school, and feels she was well prepared for the program's rigors.
"My first semester was really hard, but I was ready for it," she said. "Now I love it. It's just amazing."
For more information about pre-professional and direct admit scholarship opportunities, contact the Office of Admissions, 765-455-9217, or go to www.iuk.edu/directadmit.
Indiana University Kokomo serves north central Indiana.
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