Indiana University Kokomo

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KOKOMO, Ind. — Indiana University Kokomo nursing faculty and students practice their basic care skills as volunteers moving nearly 150 patients into the newly newly-opened Sidney & Lois Eskenazi Hospital.

Nursing students help open new hospitalNursing students help open new hospital.Teams of two students, with one faculty member for support, accompanied neonatal intensive care (NICU) patients and noncritical care patients from the ambulance that transported them from the former Wishard Hospital, to rooms in the new Indianapolis hospital.

"This was really a once-in-a-lifetime opportunity, to be part of opening a brand new hospital," said Lesley Connolly, clinical liaison. "It was a very awesome experience, which allowed our students to see how they can use their skills not just at work, but to help their community."

Connolly noted that while IU Kokomo was one of many nursing schools participating, Dean Linda Wallace was the only nursing dean who volunteered.

Seeing faculty members volunteering was an inspiring experience for nursing student Bridget College.

"The most influential part, for me, was seeing some of our professors and Dean Wallace outside the classroom, doing what they love, which is helping others," she said. "I loved being able to give back to our extended community, and also networking with nursing students from other programs."

Wallace felt privileged to help.

"It doesn't happen very often that we have an opportunity to actually move a hospital," she said. "I am very proud of our students for understanding the significance of this opportunity to serve."

The service project also gave students the chance to see Indiana's newest hospital on its opening day, and get a behind-the-scenes look.

Assistant Dean Bridget Whitmore supported two students as they helped move a premature infant to the new NICU, and said she got to know the students in a more personal way by serving.

She and several students also helped the new hospital's infection control director deliver hand-washing containers to the emergency room, and toured the emergency trauma rooms, the neonatal unit, and the labor and delivery rooms.

"This was an incredible experience for our students to be part of this move," she said. "They saw something accomplished that took a lot of detailed planning, and it was completed with success."

Indiana University Kokomo serves north central Indiana.

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KOKOMO, Ind. — A local after school tutoring program gives Indiana University Kokomo students experience and a chance to make a difference with area elementary children.

Student tutorsStudent tutorsThe federally funded program, "Kokomomentum", has allowed this community partnership to be formed between IU Kokomo and Kokomo School Corporation.

Mary Katheryn Dudley, an elementary education major, tutors children at Elwood Haynes Elementary and the Carver Community Center three to four times a week.

"This is an awesome opportunity to be a teacher, and to be part of a program that provides a safe place for children after school," Dudley said. "The students are getting individual attention that isn't available during the school day, and I am practicing what I've learned in my education classes. We are all benefitting from it."

The 120 children in the program participate in academic enrichment activities. The tutors, who are paid through a work-study program, assist with homework and help teachers lead science activities.

This program is part of the campus' regional mission to promote academic success for students of all ages, according to Interim Chancellor Susan Sciame-Giesecke.

"This is an excellent partnership, in which our students get an applied learning experience, and the elementary students get the tutoring help they need," she said.

Pennye Siefert, Kokomo Schools assistant superintendent, appreciates the tutors' efforts.

"These students came to the program with a passion for helping children," she said. "This work study partnership not only gives our young learners extra help with their school work, but also provides them with personal connections with college students, who demonstrate success in achieving academic and career goals."

Psychology major Karen Bowlin is considering graduate school, and appreciates the opportunity to work with the children and build her résumé at the same time.

"More than anything, this gets me involved in something rewarding that is community based," she said. "Some of the kids may not get homework help at home, so I'm glad I can work with them and help them learn."

Indiana University Kokomo serves north central Indiana.

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KOKOMO, Ind. — Renovations to Indiana University Kokomo's curriculum lab puts the latest educational technology in the hands of its students — and also puts books in the hands of Kokomo-area children.

School of Education donates books for area children

The School of Education donated thousands of volumes, from board books for babies to high school literature, to Kokomo Urban Outreach, the Family Service Association domestic violence shelter, and other organizations that can give them to children who otherwise are not likely to have books in their homes.

Dean Paul Paese said in place of the books, the lab will be a "classroom of the future," containing iPads, interactive smart boards, and other technology tools future teachers must be prepared to use in their classrooms.

"Leaders from area schools have told us they need teachers who know how to teach with technology," Paese said. "With this lab, we can expose them to as wide a variety of technology as possible. This is going to make a huge difference for our students."

Last week, Paese and Marilyn Skinner, director of the Early Childhood Education Center, delivered a pick up truck and van full of books to Kokomo Urban Outreach, where Director Jeff Newton and volunteers gladly accepted them.

They will come in handy during Christmas break when the local organization, which serves people living in low-income neighborhoods, hosts free meals for children.

"We have a library where kids can take books, and trade books with each other," Newton said. "We encourage reading. Having good books in the hands of children is important."

The organization hosts an Easter basket program in the spring, allowing parents to create gifts for their children with donated supplies, and Newton plans to provide a book for each basket as well.

"These will be well used, and we will have them all given away by spring," he added.

Skinner is working with the United Way to give books to children whose families lost their belongings in the November tornado as well.

Paese is pleased the ongoing renovations are having an immediate impact in the community.

"We expect a longer-term benefit, when our students graduate and are ready to use the latest tools to provide excellent education in local classrooms," he said. "By giving away these books we are not using, we can also have an immediate benefit, giving them to the children who need them most."

He expects the renovated lab to open during the spring 2014 semester.

Indiana University Kokomo serves north central Indiana.

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KOKOMO, Ind. — The Indiana University Kokomo School of Nursing reaches a significant historic milestone in December, graduating its first Master of Science in Nursing (M.S.N.) class.

nursingmastersInaugural MSN graduates.

The inaugural class of fourteen – nurses working in areas that include surgery, oncology, labor and delivery, cardiac intensive care, and maternal and child health – graduate from the two-year program prepared to be leaders in the health care industry and in nurse education.

"This is one of our proudest moments," said Assistant Dean Mary Bourke, calling the graduates "a very, very impressive first class," graduating with a mean grade point average of 3.954.

The program is just one way IU Kokomo meets the needs of its region, Interim Chancellor Susan Sciame-Giesecke said.

"As a regional campus, we continue to add new degrees that enhance the communities we serve," she said. "Hospital administrators continue to call for more advanced nursing professionals, and we are pleased to provide that opportunity to nurses in our region."

The graduates include nurses from Kokomo and nearby communities, but also several who commuted long distances to earn the degree, including Evelyn Kamoto, who drove from Elkhart.

Stacy Fackler has already benefitted from enrolling in the nursing administrator track. A year after she began the program, she was promoted to her current job, as director of maternal and child health at Community Howard Regional Health.

"Administration knew I was earning this degree, and they trusted me with this promotion," she said. "The M.S.N. program allowed me to be with other managers, to pick their brains and learn from their life experiences. The actual assignments were so applicable to my job, it went well for me."

A desire for change in her career led Leigh Swartzendruber to the M.S.N. program, for the nurse educator track.

"Through my M.S.N. degree in nursing education, I can affect change in nursing students for years to come," she said. "There are so many changes in health care and nursing education. My advanced degree will allow me to make a positive contribution to both health care and nursing education."

Swartzendruber, a pre-admission nurse at St. Joseph Hospital, also participated in a School of Nursing trip to South Korea, and found the program has given her more confidence.

"I traveled around the world and experienced culturally diverse health care and education," she said. "That experience alone was a life changing experience, and one I will never forget. Also, I have shown my children that if you are determined and set your mind to something, you can accomplish anything."

Lynn Lacluyse wanted to earn the M.S.N. "to have more flexibility with my nursing degree, and to be able to grow in my current role," as manager of an intensive care unit, cardiovascular intensive care unit, and cardiac care progressive unit at Community Howard Regional Health. She chose the nurse administrator track.

While it was an intense learning process, the knowledge and skills she gained were invaluable, Lacluyse said.

"It helped with all aspects, financial knowledge, relationship knowledge, communication, being able to strategize, and research," she said.

Combining online and face-to-face classroom instruction sets IU Kokomo's M.S.N. program apart from others, along with its commitment to excellent student service. Faculty knows personal touch is a key part of student success.

"The bond the students have formed with one another through these two years has made the program more powerful," Bourke said.

Enrollment in the program has doubled since the first class began in January 2012. It has been reviewed and recommended for accreditation by the Commission for Education in Nursing.

Having earned her Bachelor of Science in Nursing at IU Kokomo, Fackler knew the M.S.N. program would be high quality. She is already recommending friends enroll as well.

"If your end goal is to have your M.S.N., do it here and do it now," she said. "This is the most accessible and workable program you will have. The faculty understand you have a job in addition to this, and they are so creative about being flexible and turning every experience into a learning opportunity."

Members of IU Kokomo's first M.S.N. class are: Jessica Marie Beaupre, Winamac; Teresa Katherine Criswell, Noblesville; Kimberly M. Easter, Marion; Stacy Michelle Fackler, Russiaville; April R. Fugle, Kokomo; Crystal Elaine Jones, Marion; Evelyn Chiwalasile Kamoto, Elkhart; Lynn Ann Lacluyse, Kokomo; Barbara Jane Miller, Kokomo; Beth A. Robbins, Greentown; Clara Jo Sessoms, Gas City; Kathy L. Shumpert, Peru; Dea Jo Stanley, Gas City; and Leigh Erin Swartzendruber, Greentown.

Indiana University Kokomo serves north central Indiana.

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KOKOMO, Ind. — There aren't too many undergraduate students who can call themselves published authors.

Heather RameyHeather RameyHeather Ramey is one of those who can.

Ramey, a chemistry major at Indiana University Kokomo, recently co-authored an article with Kasem Kasem, professor of chemistry, in The Journal of Material Sciences and Applications, detailing their research in harvesting solar energy.

She is grateful for the opportunity to research with a professor as an undergraduate.

"Research makes me feel like I'm exploring uncharted territory," she said. "I like the feel of, you put two and two together, and see how it reacts, rather than reading about it in a book or hearing about it in a classroom lecture. I get to see it for myself. I might not have had this opportunity at a bigger university."

Kasem has involved students in his research for more than 20 years, calling it a valuable teaching and learning tool.

"Research is part of education," he said. "Students who get trained as undergraduates gain experience in research and understand the expectations in the lab. It sets them up for success, both in research labs and in graduate school."

He noted that undergraduates in his lab do the same kinds of work graduate students perform.

"I don't call it 'undergraduate research,' Kasem said. "I call it 'bringing undergraduates to research.'"

Unsure if research was her career interest, Ramey asked Kasem to allow her to work in his lab more than a year ago. She has enjoyed using the state-of-the-art equipment in the lab, and said her professor trained her well to use it.

"This has given me confidence in myself, and it gives me something to look forward to each week," she said. "Dr. Kasem really invests time into his students, so we can get good results and contribute."

In addition to co-authoring the paper, she presented their research at the IUPUI Undergraduate Research Conference, and at the IU Kokomo Spring Research Symposium.

Eventually, Ramey plans to earn a Ph.D. in chemistry, but first will work for a while, preferably in a lab.

"I want to do some kind of research," she said. "I like forensics, so that is a possibility."

Ramey, from Noblesville, is proud not only of her research, but of the example she sets for her nine-year-old son. She returned to IU Kokomo in 2011, after an eight year hiatus when she married and started her family.

"I knew I would regret not finishing my degree," she said. "When I become a chemist, I am showing my son that you don't have to keep your life on hold, you can work hard, grab opportunities, and achieve your goals."

Indiana University Kokomo serves north central Indiana.

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KOKOMO, Ind. — Bridget College huddled in her basement, holding tight to her boxer puppy and her dachshund, as a tornado shifted her home off its foundation, peeled off the back wall, and tore off the roof.

Bridget and Brian CollegeBridget and Brian College.College, a nursing student at Indiana University Kokomo, crawled out the window of what was left of her home, with only the clothes she was wearing. As she left her neighborhood, she couldn't help but wonder how she was going to complete the semester.

"I have no clothes, no books and no uniforms, and finals are coming up," she said. "I had to pull it together and just get through the rest of the semester. I knew if I didn't, I wasn't going to be able to make it through."

Classmates and faculty banded together, emailing her notes for the week of classes she missed, as she salvaged what she could from her house. Bridget Whitmore, assistant dean for the School of Nursing, offered uniforms. Several classmates helped pack her remaining belongings before the house was condemned.

When she returned to school, her fellow nursing students gave her money and supplies they collected, along with a case of her beloved Diet Mountain Dew.

"That about made me cry," she said. "It's made me proud to be an IU Kokomo student, and a nursing student. They've been phenomenal, from the dean on down. I knew some of the students by name, but others I just recognize from seeing them on campus.

"I was so thankful they came to help. It reminded me that this is why you go to school to be a nurse, to help people."

She was most surprised when Interim Chancellor Susan Sciame-Giesecke texted to be sure she was OK, and to ask how she could help.

"I was just amazed that the chancellor took time to check on us, and to see if we needed anything," she said. "I haven't wanted for anything throughout this whole situation. Everyone has been so generous in helping us. It doesn't matter than we're not from here. I felt extremely blessed."

As an Oklahoma native, College, 41, knows it could have been much worse. She was home with the dogs, and only went to the basement because her husband called from his car and told her there was a tornado coming toward their home, on South LaFountain Street.

"In Oklahoma, a tornado warning means you go out on the front porch to take a look," she said. But because Brian was worried, and the dogs were scared, she and her pets went downstairs.

"Within five minutes of getting to the basement, our house took a direct hit," she said. "It was loud and extremely fast. I heard the roof rip off the house and I could see sunlight upstairs."

Help arrived shortly after the storm, as two of her IU Kokomo nursing friends called to see if she needed to stay with them. When her husband arrived, emergency personnel urged them to leave the neighborhood immediately because of a gas leak.

The couple returned to their home the next day only to find out they had just a short time to remove as many of their belongings as possible due to safety reasons. They contacted friends from their church and IU Kokomo, asking for help. They are grateful for the response, not only from her campus friends, but also from their church family and military colleagues.

Bridget and Brian, a navy recruiter, are settling into another rental home, and she hopes to take stock of what they have and what they need during Christmas break. Their personal belongings are scattered in seven places, from dry cleaners to friends' homes.

"We don't really even know what we have yet," she said, adding they lost most all their furniture. She is very happy her laptop was right next to that recliner, and also was saved.

Despite their losses, the Colleges continued their holiday tradition of delivering Thanksgiving meals with their church. They have volunteered for three years now, and they enjoyed the chance to return to normal routine for the day.

"It was a few hours away from the chaos," she said. "It also reminded me that whatever my situation is, there are people who have it worse than I do. It put things in perspective for me."

Indiana University Kokomo serves north central Indiana.

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KOKOMO, Ind. — Indiana University Kokomo education students teach area children literacy skills, while gaining valuable job experience, at the annual Education Express.

Activities SaturdayEducation ExpressMembers of the Education Student Advising Committee (EDSAC) will host the free event from 10 a.m. to 1 p.m. Saturday, October 5, at Sycamore Elementary School, 1600 E. Sycamore St., Kokomo.

In addition to gaining experience writing and teaching lessons, EDSAC President Tiffany Herrera said education students also are learning about the importance of giving back to the community through this activity.

"You want the community to see that you value their children, not only those in your classroom, but all of them," she said. "People want to trust and respect the people who are teaching their children."

Future teachers will lead activities at more than 20 educational booths.

"We developed and will teach activities the children can do at home, with resources they likely already have, to grow their reading skills," Herrera said. "We want to use the teaching skills we've learned at IU Kokomo to help with literacy, which is a big issue in education right now."

Activities are geared to children pre-kindergarten through fifth grade, and siblings of children in that age range are also welcome. Each child who completes at least 12 stations will receive a prize.

"Our goal is that every child who attends will leave with a book," Herrera said.

Each child must be accompanied by an adult. In addition to the educational activities, there will be police and fire trucks for the children to see, face painting, science experiments, and free pizza.

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.

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KOKOMO, Ind. — Once a lab chemist, now a student teacher. Stacie O'Flaherty is trading in her lab coat for a chalkboard instead.

IUKL9813Stacie O'Flaherty is student teaching as part of the Change to Education program.

O'Flaherty, 52, is taking advantage of the Change to Education program at Indiana University Kokomo that allows her to earn a teaching license in a short period of time.

"I did not want to go four years and earn another bachelor's degree," said O'Flaherty, a Sheridan resident. "Change to Education gets rid of all the fluff. It's all meat. It's all substance. I appreciate that we are treated like professionals, and they assume we can do the work."

Change to Education provides a way for people who have bachelor's degrees in math, science, English, or social studies, or a related field, to earn a teaching certification in fewer than two years. Students take two full semesters of classes and a summer session, followed by a semester of student teaching.

O'Flaherty has a bachelor's degree in environmental studies from University of Tennessee, Chattanooga, and appreciates being able to add teaching skills to what she already knew about chemistry for students at Northwestern High School.

"Teaching something is different than doing something," she said. "As long as I can remember, I've understood these things. As a teacher, I have to reconnect with not knowing any of it. That's the challenge for people coming from an industry background. You're a doer, not a teacher. You've built a foundation of knowledge, and you don't have to think about it. Your students don't have that foundation, and you have to learn how to help them build it.

"As a mother of teenagers, I didn't like to hear my kids' friends says that science was hard," she said. "I don't want kids to feel like they can't do science. I want to be part of touching lives for the future, and helping someone realize they can do science, and understand things, and maybe even find a fulfilling career in science."

Randy Teachout, another Change to Education student, speaks French fluently, and has a passion for teaching the language and culture to his high school students.

"This program allowed me to earn the credential I needed to continue a job I love, in a short time period," said Teachout, 47, a Kokomo resident. "You have no idea how huge this opportunity was."

Teachout began teaching the language at Kokomo's Northwestern High School in 2010 on an emergency teaching license, which permits him to stay in the classroom as long as he is making progress to earn a license.

Having earned a bachelor's degree in theology from Northland International University, in Wisconsin, he found that other programs required him to earn a second bachelor's degree in education. He already had some experience, from teaching at private Christian schools and a Bible institute in West Africa. He lived in France when he was young, and speaks the language fluently.

"It was just the formal teaching methods classes I needed, not the language classes and other prerequisites," he said. "IU Kokomo gave me the information I need. These classes are very interesting and appropriate for people going into teaching. The French language itself did not represent any kind of mystery to me.

Dean Paul Paese said Change to Education is one way the School of Education fulfills its mission of recruiting and preparing talented, responsible, effective teachers for north central Indiana schools.

"Our region has a critical shortage of teachers in areas including science, math and special education," he said. "Change to Education helps us fill that void more quickly, because it combines online and classroom experiences. The fast pace is important to potential teachers who have degrees and want to make a career change. We help them combine their knowledge with the best education practices, to prepare them to be excellent teachers."

The School of Education enrolls new students in the program each semester. For more information, contact Paese at pcpaese@iuk.edu or call 765-455-9441.

Indiana University Kokomo serves north central Indiana.

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20130819-Welcome_week-AWJL4393.jpgStudents in the QuadKOKOMO, Ind. — Thirty full-time Indiana University Kokomo students earned dean's list honors for the 2013 summer session. Dean's list students earned a minimum 3.5 grade point average (GPA) on a scale of 4.0, while carrying at least 12 credit hours throughout the grading period. Students are listed by hometown.

 

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