Indiana University Kokomo

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KOKOMO, Ind. — Arielle Castanon plans to get a little wild in her classroom as a student teacher.

Education activitiesEducation class poses with their project.She was among a dozen Indiana University Kokomo education students participating in a recent “Project Wild” workshop, learning ways she can incorporate wildlife, conservation, and environmentalism into her classroom.

“I learned a lot about Indiana’s wildlife, and learned ways to teach that allows kids to interact with the lesson, not just read or hear about it,” said Castanon, from Marion. “It was a great opportunity to learns hands-on ways of teaching children about the environment, and being responsible with our resources.”

Julie Saam, associate professor of education, leads the workshops each year, giving future teachers tools to incorporate wildlife topics not only into science classes, but math, language arts, reading, and others.

Each student who completes the six-hour training receives a curriculum guide with hundreds of experiments and activities, linked to state standards.

“This is a great tool for teachers, especially those just starting out in their careers,” said Saam. “It helps them understand the importance of learning about and protecting our environment, and how to share that with students. These are resources we all share and interact with on a daily basis.”

The workshop was all hands-on, with activities including building birds, planning a short lesson, and playing a game of Muskox Maneuvers, a game that allows students to simulate being predator and prey.

Callie Reecer, Frankfort, appreciated learning about resources available to her as a teacher from the Indiana Department of Natural Resources, and also liked that the materials are linked to state standards.

“I like that this is interdisciplinary, so it includes language arts, and physical activity,” she said. “I think students would enjoy this and learn from it.”

Heidi Goff knows that funding for field trips is not always there, and appreciates knowing how to teach these lessons without having to leave the school.

“It’s giving me a lot of ideas to include animals and the environment in my classroom,” said Heidi Goff, Kokomo. “It shows us ways we can do that in our own classrooms, without having to take a field trip.”

Project Wild is administered by the Council for Environmental Education and co-sponsored by the Western Association of Fish/Wildlife Agencies.

Indiana University Kokomo serves north central Indiana.

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KOKOMO, Ind. — Two Indiana University Kokomo seniors rank among the top IU undergraduates in research.

Pychology students win research awardAlexandra Glenn and Alexius Babb win research award.Senior psychology majors Alexius Babb and Alexandra Glenn were among those students honored for their research projects at the 19th annual Indiana University Undergraduate Research Conference, which included nearly 80 projects by students from all eight IU campuses.

Babb received the best oral presentation award in her competition group, while Glenn received the best poster presentation honor for her session. Both completed their projects in an experimental psychology class taught by Christina Downey, associate professor of psychology.

“These students’ honors are really a great endorsement of IU Kokomo’s commitment to research, and how we support students in research,” said Downey.

Babb, a native of Bessemer, Alabama, gave an oral presentation of her research on cross-cultural attitudes on illegal downloading of media versus physical theft. She published an online survey, which drew nearly 600 responses from people in South Asia and North America. She then analyzed the responses, comparing to see if respondents found illegal downloading to be a similar crime to physical theft.

Her final result supported her hypothesis, that people in South Asia would be more likely to view illegal downloading as a criminal act than those in North America.

She was one of 15 students who gave oral presentations at the conference, and found it to be a positive experience.

“I was well-prepared, and that really showed, especially with the question and answer period,” she said. “I was excited to win, but I think the other students from our campus were even more excited than I was.”

Babb said Downey gave her excellent guidance, and her experimental psychology classmates helped her write the survey.

Glenn, from Kokomo, did a poster presentation of her project, studying response of bystanders to cyber bullying versus traditional bullying. She presented bullying scenarios, some online and some in person, along with the victim’s response.

“I was surprised to see that people found both types of bullying to be equally impactful to the victim,” she said. “People tend to think we’re emotionally removed from online interactions, and we’re finding we are not.”

Both Glenn and Babb plan to attend graduate school to study psychology, and both said winning research awards would help them stand out from other candidates as they apply to their chosen programs.

Babb added that she enjoyed seeing what kind of research students on all IU campuses are performing. Glenn found the conference to be a good networking experience, and she was excited to meet other students with similar research interests.

Students had to submit applications to participate in the conference. Downey was pleased that 14 IU Kokomo students earned selection, and said it is a valuable learning experience.

“Presenting your research gives an opportunity to think about its strengths and weaknesses, to learn how facts are collected and interpreted, and how they are applied,” she said. “People there can critique your work, and make you think about it in a way writing a paper doesn’t. You meet other people with similar interests who are asking important questions, and have some networking opportunities.”

In addition to Babb and Glenn, other IU Kokomo representatives at the conference included Carolina Anaya-Pico, Jayson Cloud, William Hall, Reggie Henderson, Kimberly Lane, Holly Manns, Mandee Motsenbocker, Heather Ramey, Christina Russell, Christopher Santucci, Antonia Sawyer, and Victoria Shone.

Indiana University Kokomo serves north central Indiana.

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KOKOMO, Ind. — Paul Paese contributes to international efforts to improve teacher education, as a founding member of the World Federation of Associations of Teacher Education (WFATE).

Paul PaesePaul Paese

Paese, dean of Indiana University Kokomo’s School of Education, recently attended the organization’s biennial conference in Beijing, China, where he visited university and high school classrooms, learning how that country’s educators are prepared for the classroom.

“Our mission is to build a global community of teacher educators, and to promote transnational collaboration, support, and research and development in teacher education,” he said. “We all work individually to address the challenges of teacher education, but can benefit from collaborating with people facing similar issues in other countries.”

While in Beijing, he visited Minzu University and local high schools, seeing firsthand how China’s future teachers are prepared, and how they teach.

“Sometimes these experiences open doors for your institution, for faculty or student exchanges,” he said. “You can also learn new ideas from how universities in other countries are preparing their future teachers.”

He finds it interesting to learn what challenges face teachers in other countries. In many developing countries, access to technology is an issue. Other countries face massive teacher shortages, unlike the United States.

One thing he’s found in common, though, is the challenge of educating children from a wide variety of backgrounds.

“We all have to learn to understand the conditions from which the children come to school, and how, in some cases, we can overcome those conditions to teach those children,” he said.

Paese was president of the Association of Teacher Educators when discussion began about forming a federation of national associations. That led to him being a founding member of the group, which held its first international conference in 2010 in Chicago.

He is especially proud of progress made in Africa during the 2012 conference in Nairobi, Kenya.

“We had teachers, university officials, and education ministers from that country all in one place for the first time ever, talking to each other about their concerns and issues,” he said. “We were able to bring people together, and hopefully that will mean better education for the children in that part of the world. Our federation has come a long way in the last 10 years, from discussion to a viable conference with a few hundred attending.”

Indiana University Kokomo serves north central Indiana.

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KOKOMO, Ind. — Anthony Willman creates the next generation of energy production, with what appears to be a pane of glass.

Solar energy- outdoor classKasem Kasem, professor of chemistry, instructs students on the use of a Fresnel lens. See more pictures on Flickr.

On a slightly overcast day, Willman and his classmates in an energy and green chemistry class set up a Fresnel lens in front of Hunt Hall on the Indiana University Kokomo campus, experimenting with the ability of the solar heat concentrator to produce energy.

Willman, a senior from Peru, is excited about the possibilities.

"This is the next generation of energy production," he said. "We're trying to figure out better ways to create energy with less pollution. This is a great class."

Their experiment demonstrates just one use for solar power, he said, and added that in one South American country, low-income people receive a similar solar cell to use to heat water and cook food.

His class demonstrates that use, using the Fresnel lens to heat some chicken strips for a student passing by their experiment.

Energy and green chemistry, taught by Kasem Kasem, professor of chemistry, introduces topics in existing and potential renewable energy sources, including hydroelectric, geothermal, tidal, wind, and solar energy.

"Energy is one of the most important subject nowadays," said Kasem, who conducts extensive research in green energy. "There are a lot of jobs available in the field of energy production and distribution. Students from many majors can benefit from having working knowledge in this area."

With his dual major in chemistry and earth and sustainability sciences, Nick Daanen has enjoyed learning about alternative energy sources.

"We're so focused on fossil fuels, so it's interesting to learn about the alternatives," he said. "Some of these are very powerful energy sources. It helps you understand the current and future possibilities of energy sources."

Daanen, from Kokomo, encourages more students to take this class and others in the earth and sustainability sciences program.

"Energy and the environment are issues that impact everyone," he said. "Information like this is going to be important. We don't think about where the energy comes from when we turn on an appliance. As we become more knowledgeable, we can be qualified to make policy changes in the future."

As chemistry major, with the interest in green energy sources, Jayesh Lalla, Kokomo, said the class provides viable career options.

"We're identifying the emerging technology of the contemporary world, learning about different forms of energy."

Indiana University Kokomo serves north central Indiana.

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KOKOMO, Ind. — Indiana University Kokomo nursing students serve those who have served their country, providing free health screenings to veterans.

Students provide health screens to veteransStudents provide health screens to veteransFifteen seniors in the community nursing class participated in the Veterans of Foreign Wars Post #1152 Stand Down, an event that links veterans with resources they need, including food, housing, medical or employment assistance.

The student nurses helped the veterans complete detailed health histories, checked blood pressure and vision, and checked body mass index. They could then provide referrals for medical services if they identified potential health problems.

It was more than just a chance to practice nursing skills, however.

“We can serve them, in appreciation for their service to our country,” said Ashleigh Ledford, from Kokomo. “Because we are here at the post, rather than in a hospital, we can help the veterans in a setting comfortable and familiar to them.”

Nursing student Kara Fike, Bunker Hill, said because Howard County has a large number of homeless veterans, these services are of critical importance.

“Veterans, especially in Howard County, are a vulnerable population,” she said. “This is care many of them are not getting, and we are making it accessible.”

That is exactly what Joyce Hollingsworth, clinical assistant professor of nursing, wants the students to gain from their experience in her class.

“This is the community nursing class in action, applying what we teach in the classroom to real-world circumstances,” Hollingsworth said. “We are teaching our future nurses how they can use their skills to make the world a better place, and help those in need.”

Ken Fisher, Post #1152 commander, contacted Hollingsworth to invite her class to participate. He anticipated more than 130 veterans would participate, and appreciated IU Kokomo’s assistance.

“The nursing students give our veterans access to basic medical care, without having to schedule an appointment, or spend a day at a VA medical center,” he said. “If they identify potential health issues, the veterans can then seek help at a medical center, or with their own doctor.”

In addition to volunteering at Stand Down, students also assisted at Jackson Street Commons, an apartment complex opened by the Family Service Association of Howard County to provide housing for chronically homeless veterans.

With an IU Applied Learning Grant, they purchased first aid kids for each resident, and taught them how to use the supplies. They also provided instruction about health directives, which allow patients to make their health care wishes known, and about disaster preparedness.

Indiana University Kokomo serves north central Indiana.

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KOKOMO, Ind. — Need to teach your fifth graders vocabulary words?

There’s an app for that.

Education curriculum labStudents use iPads in the education curriculum lab.Future teachers in the Indiana University Kokomo School of Education prepare to use the latest educational websites, apps, and devices in their classrooms, in the school’s new high tech classroom, which opened this semester.

“So many local school districts are using one-to-one technology now, and having this available to our students mean they will be prepared to teach using technology from their first day in the classroom,” said Tara Kingsley, assistant professor of education, who teaches her methods of teaching reading in elementary school class in the lab.

“Most college students are well-versed in using technology for social media, but we are showing them how to use it as a tool, to promote higher level thinking,” she said. “When our students interview for teaching jobs, they will have a good answer, and experience to discuss, when asked how they will use technology in their classrooms.”

The first tool included in the classroom is a cart of iPads, loaded with educational applications. On this day, Kingsley demonstrates how to use the Aurusma app, which uses the tablets camera to recognize real world images, and overlays media on top of them to add hidden digital content.

One way teachers can use this is to take pictures of pages in books used in the classroom. When a child scans the page with a tablet, it can give him or her questions about that particular page, or provide extra information.

Students in her class use the app to create interactive flashcards for vocabulary words. Emily Watkins’ group takes a picture of the flashcard for “opposite,” and then they film two classmates — one saying she is sad because she earned a bad grade, the other saying she is happy because it’s her birthday — and upload the video to the app.

Moments later, Kingsley uses the app to scan the flashcard, and the video plays on her screen, demonstrating the meaning of the word.

“I am amazed by all the tools children can learn in our classrooms,” said Watkins, from Galveston. “I’m doing an early teaching experience in a fourth grade class, and they are using iPads to teach in a lot of their subjects. At IU Kokomo, I am learning tools to use as a teacher.”

She thinks having hands-on experience with educational technology will help her when she looks for her first teaching job.

“A lot of superintendents are looking for people who can integrate technology into their classrooms,” she said. “What I am learning here will put me ahead of the game.”

Abby Zipperian, Bunker Hill, is glad to learn to try the technology she sees teachers using when she is in their classrooms.

“Technology is a big influence in education right now, and it’s important that we know how to use it,” she said. “The kids love it, and they are more engaged in learning because of it.”

The high tech classroom replaces the curriculum lab, which Dean Paul Paese said was being used as a student lounge, with curriculum resources and “books that were totally outdated and not used much at all.” It meets a need for local school districts, for educators ready to teach using technology.

“Teachers and administrators from our Center for Educational Partnerships suggested that we give our students as much experience as possible with different kinds of technology during their preparation,” he said. “With all the one-to-one technology schools in north central Indiana, we will provide teachers experienced and ready to teach in those schools.”

Indiana University Kokomo serves north central Indiana.

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KOKOMO, Ind. — Get a look at the economic forecast for the local, state, and national economy, as the Indiana University Kelley School of Business brings its annual Business Outlook Tour to IU Kokomo on Thursday, November 13.

Alan KrabbenhoftAlan KrabbenhoftKathy Parkison, interim vice chancellor for academic affairs and professor of economics, joins economists from IU Bloomington to offer perspective on what lies ahead in 2015 for north central Indiana, the state, and nation. The tour includes stops in nine other Indiana cities.

“This event should not be missed,” said Alan Krabbenhoft, dean of the IU Kokomo School of Business. “The speakers will offer a wealth of information regarding many aspects of the national, state, and local economy that are relevant to the well-being of their businesses and their communities, as well as their own personal financial well-being.”

The event is from 7:30 to 9 a.m. in the Kelley Student Center, Room 130. Cost is $20 per person, and sponsorships are available. To register, go to For information about being a sponsor, contact Terri Butler, 765-455-9275 or

Jerry Conover, director of the Indiana Business Research Center at the Kelley School of Business, said that although both the state and national economies have recouped much of the loss sustained during the Great Recession, “we’re still not on reliably firm footing.”

“The slow economic recovery continues with respectable job growth tempered by slow growth in wages,” Conover said. “Recent volatility in financial markets underscores investor uncertainty. Though the U.S. economy has made notable progress, nervousness about foreign economies could easily rock our boat.”

Since 1972, the Kelley School of Business has presented its national, state and local forecasts through a series of presentations in cities throughout Indiana.

The starting point for the forecast is an econometric model of the United States, developed by IU's Center for Econometric Model Research, involving hundreds of statistical equations to develop a national forecast for the coming year. A similar econometric model of Indiana provides a corresponding forecast for the state and metro-area economies, based on the national forecast and data specific to Indiana. The Business Outlook panel then adjusts the forecasts to reflect additional insights the panelists have on the economic situation.

At each presentation, the panel features faculty members from the Kelley School and IU, plus local panelists from other IU campuses and other universities, offering perspectives on the global, national, state and local economies and financial markets.

The tour is sponsored by IU's Kelley School of Business, the IU Alumni Association, IU campuses, and numerous community organizations.

Indiana University Kokomo serves north central Indiana.

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KOKOMO, Ind. — Indiana University Kokomo nursing students provide free preventative health care services, and gain practical job experience, as volunteers at the annual Howard County Health Fair.

Nursing students at Howard Co. health fairChinese nursing student with IU Kokomo faculty member at health fairSixty-five students and seven faculty members gave flu shots, performed vision screenings, took blood pressure, and checked body mass index for hundreds of people attending the fair, at the Ivy Tech Event Center.

For sophomores like Katie Hislope, who performed blood pressure screenings, it was a first opportunity to check vitals on people other than classmates.

“This is my first hands-on experience as a nurse,” said Hislope, from Tipton. “It’s nice to use the skills I am learning in my nursing classes to help people. It’s completely different from practicing on another student.”

While the 49 sophomores performed basic health screenings, 16 seniors in the community health nursing class gave flu shots. They stayed busy most of the day, each giving dozens of vaccinations. Taylor Balog, Kokomo, was happy to participate, and to get a flu shot from one of his classmates, too.

“This is a great opportunity for us to help people avoid a preventable disease, get some practice as nurses, and be active in the community,” he said.

At the next table over, Shelby Markins donned purple gloves, opened an alcohol wipe and rubbed it on her patient’s arm. She gently pinched the skin on her upper arm together, and inserted the needle, performing the vaccination efficiently. She learned to give immunizations several semesters ago, but said it was good to have the chance to practice.

“I’m glad to see so many people come out to get immunized,” Markins, from Tipton, said. “It’s good to be able to do something to benefit others while we learn.” She said in addition to giving the shots, each nursing student had to review the patient questionnaire; to be sure the shot was appropriate for each person receiving it.

“I enjoyed getting to interact with real patients,” she said.

IU Kokomo has partnered with the Howard County Health Department to provide volunteers for the health fair for at least 15 years, according to Assistant Dean Bridget Whitmore, who serves on the planning committee.

“We are glad to provide these services to our community, while our students apply what they are learning in their classes to real life patients,” she said. The community health nursing students have learned about mass vaccinations, and how to help prevent influenza. At the health fair, they get hands-on experience providing immunizations, and see how to organize an event of this magnitude.”

Joyce Hollingsworth, who teaches the community nursing class, said her students were excited to participate in a health outreach project.

“We study how to make your community healthy, and how to teach people to be healthy, and this puts what we’ve learned into action,” she said. “I told them today is their chance to shine, and use the skills they’ve learned.”

Indiana University Kokomo serves north central Indiana.

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KOKOMO, Ind. — In the competitive job market for teachers, Tyler Keck stands out from the crowd.

Student Teachers in New ZealandJohn Williams navigates through a cave while in New Zealand.

The recent Indiana University Kokomo graduate will teach fifth graders at Kokomo's Lafayette Park Elementary International School this fall, and said his experience student teaching in New Zealand gave him something unique to add to his résumé.

"This experience in New Zealand helped me immensely when I started applying for teaching jobs," he said. "I want to educate on a global level in my classroom, so to have the opportunity to travel around the world and bring back my experiences to the international school is something I find very exciting."

Keck, from Kokomo, is one of the first three School of Education students in an overseas student teaching program started by Dean Paul Paese, and offered in collaboration with IU's Global Gateway for Teachers. Ashley Spraker and John Williams also completed their student teaching in Auckland, New Zealand.

Spraker, from Cutler, also has a job for the fall, teaching fifth graders in Brownsburg. She said school officials were very interested in her overseas experience.

"It definitely piqued my interviewer's interest, and I was asked questions about it during my interview," she said. "It was certainly a good conversation point in this process, and showed my willingness to go the extra mile for my profession."

Fairmount resident Williams has just started his job search, and said he grew as a teacher from his experience in New Zealand.

"I had four wonderful cooperating teachers, who taught me a ton about what to do and, more importantly, what not to do in the classroom," he said. "They were extremely informative, and even more supportive."

Paese said the three gained more than just classroom teaching experience.

"Not only did they come home with new ideas for their classrooms, but they have a better understanding of the world and themselves," he said. "When you step out of things you are familiar with and learn new things, you get a better understanding and appreciation of what you are used to."

He anticipates placing three or four more IU Kokomo student teachers overseas next spring, possibly near Dublin, Ireland.

Spraker had a multicultural experience at an elementary school, with a supervising teacher who is Maori, the first settlers in New Zealand, and a student body that represented 39 countries.

"Going there allowed me to see how other cultures view education," she said. "I gathered ideas I hadn't seen in the U.S. that I believe will be beneficial. It also helped me see many wonderful aspects of America's education system that I hadn't previously noticed."

Williams enjoyed the relaxed environment at his placement, teaching secondary English.

"I loved the way the school day was set up, with classes rotating from day to day, and two tea breaks instead of a lunch," he said. "Many students walked around campus between classes playing a ukulele, a guitar, or some other form of instrument. Everything was much more laid back and relaxed, which created a great learning environment."

All three student teachers lived with host families, building personal connections, Keck said. He also enjoyed visiting several public and private schools.

He noted that New Zealand is the outdoor sports capitol of the world, and they enjoyed visiting the beach, attending rugby matches, and two weeks of backpacking the country's south island.

Williams said the scenery was awe-inspiring.

"We went from town to town, staying at hostels, and meeting people from all over the world," he said. "We saw the most amazing landscaping in the world. I have no idea how many times we were driving around, and I caught myself saying, 'Wow.'"

He recommends the overseas teaching experience to other future teachers.

"There are not many things you can do that will give you the chance to grow as a person than living for an extended period of time in a foreign country," he said. "Studying overseas is such a valuable experience, and not just for the credits you earn, or what you learn. It's much more about what you get from the trip on a personal level. It can truly be a life-changing experience."

Indiana University Kokomo serves north central Indiana.

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KOKOMO, Ind. — Alan Krabbenhoft joins Indiana University Kokomo as Dean of the School of Business, leading undergraduate and graduate programs in business, hospitality and tourism, and public administration and health management.

Alan KrabbenhoftAlan Krabbenhoft

Krabbenhoft, 50, most recently was professor of finance and economics at Purdue University North Central, in Westville, where he was the founding dean.

"Alan brings a wealth of administrative experience, a strong teaching and research record, and great enthusiasm for the job of dean. He is well acquainted with public higher education in Indiana and the Midwest," said Kathy Parkison, interim vice chancellor for academic affairs. "His specialization areas are economics, finance and international education. He has led numerous graduate level student-consulting trips overseas."

Krabbenhoft sees great opportunity for growth in the School of Business, with the addition of the major in hospitality and tourism, and the move of the public administration and health management program into the school.

"I look forward to working with the great faculty, in an excellent School of Business at an Indiana University campus, which has a great reputation," he said. "I was especially attracted to this job because of the strong desire expressed by the leadership to expand international opportunities for students. I have a passion for these programs, and built international programs at all my previous campuses."

Krabbenhoft earned a Bachelor of Science in economics from Moorhead State University, Minnesota; and a Master of Arts and Ph.D. in economics from Wayne State University, Detroit.

He and his wife, Kathleen, look forward to moving to the Kokomo area.

Indiana University Kokomo serves north central Indiana.