Indiana University Kokomo

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KOKOMO, Ind. — Three Indiana University Kokomo School of Nursing assistant deans will be honored for service to the university and community.

Lynda Narwold and Bridget WhitmoreLynda Narwold and Bridget WhitmoreThe IU School of Nursing chose Lynda Narwold and Bridget Whitmore as recipients of the Lillian Yeager Distinguished Public Service Award, in honor of their work with Camp Eeze-the-Wheeze/KIDDs Camp. The annual camp for children with asthma or diabetes has positively impacted the lives of nearly 400 Kokomo-area children during the last 17 years.

Mary Bourke will receive the Elizabeth Lion University Service Award, given for making significant contributions to the university. Bourke, led curriculum development for the Master of Science in Nursing program at IU Kokomo. She also was recently selected for the American Association of Colleges of Nursing's Leadership for Academic Nursing fellowship.

All three will receive their awards at the IU Schools of Nursing Culbertson awards luncheon. They were chosen from nominees from all eight campuses.

Dean Linda Wallace said the recognition is well deserved.

Associate professor and tenure Mary BourkeMary Bourke

"Lynda Narwold and Bridget Whitmore have provided a wonderful service to the children of our community, as well as a valuable educational experience for our students. I cannot think of two individuals more worthy of this award," she said. "Mary Bourke has served as a mentor to other faculty, particularly in curriculum development, evaluation and research. She has benefitted students by improving learning and outcomes, helping with grant writing, and providing services by students to the community.

She also noted that Sylvia Mason, assistant to the dean, was re-elected secretary of Business Officers of Schools of Nursing, which is part of the American Association of Colleges of Nursing.

Bourke called the nomination "an honor and a privilege," because a committee of her peers made the selections.

"We have an incredible team in the School of Nursing, and I am so fortunate to be part of our culture of excellence."

Narwold, assistant dean for the R.N. to B.S.N. program, said her award is "a tremendous honor," because of her connection with the late Lillian Yeager, a former colleague who served as dean at IU Southeast.

"I was privileged to know Lillian when I first started teaching in the School of Nursing," she said. "Her commitment to the university and her community was inspiring. I can only hope to have half the impact she had in her lifetime."

Indiana University Kokomo serves north central Indiana.

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KOKOMO, Ind. — Vanetta Hatcher has read about caring for young children in her Indiana University Kokomo nursing classes.

Head Start enrollment screening fairNursing senior Maria Pineda focuses while she checks a young girl's blood pressure during the Head Start enrollment screening fair. See more photos.Recently, she put what she's learned into practice, as a volunteer for the Kokomo-Center Head Start enrollment screenings.

"I don't always know what to expect from children, because I don't have any," Hatcher, 54, said. "You learn about it in class, and you can read about it in a book, but it's better to experience it in person. You learn more about it from doing it, rather than just reading about it."

The health screenings are just one of the many ways IU Kokomo's nursing students not only practice their skills, but give back to the community. Students in the community health nursing class also have taught food preparation safety at the Open Arms shelter, provided health education at the Kokomo Rescue Mission, and taught first aid to Sts. Joan of Arc and Patrick School teachers.

"These activities open their eyes to they way they can serve their communities as nurses," said Joyce Hollingsworth, lecturer in nursing. "We hope that after they graduate, they will join the many professional nurses who volunteer."

Twenty seniors worked with 3, 4, and 5-year-old children, measuring their height and weight, taking their blood pressure, and checking their vision, as part of the process to enroll in the free preschool program.

Hollingsworth said this is the first time the campus has been invited to send nursing students, and they were happy to participate.

"It gives our students the opportunity to apply the skills they have learned, while also benefitting our community," she said. "Today, they are learning skills they will need to work with children, as well as their parents."

Hatcher, from Kokomo, and classmate Careena Smithly used a stadiometer to measure children's height during the screenings. Hatcher patiently helped a squirmy little boy stand in just the right place so she could measure him. She coaxed him to stand up straight, and gently scooted him back against the stadiometer. She slowly adjusted the arm on the measuring device down to the top of his head, and then read his height to Smithly, who wrote it down on his enrollment card.

Smithly, from Marion, said she's learned about the resources available to people in the community.

"As a nurse, this will help me guide people to where they can get help if they need it," she said. "By volunteering, we are becoming better nurses."

Amy Hudson, Peru, guided children and parents through the screenings, and helped convince some reluctant little ones to participate in vision screenings. She was glad the services were available to the children, so they can get a healthy start in school.

"I was also happy to finally put our skills to use out in the community, rather than just practicing on dummies in the simulation lab," she said.

Maria Pineda, Logansport, checked children's blood pressure, and said all of her small patients had been very good.

"Some of them were scared at first, but we worked through that," she said. "This is a great chance for their parents to have all of these services in one place, rather than making multiple appointments. I am happy we can be part of making that available to them."

Indiana University Kokomo serves north central Indiana.

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KOKOMO, Ind.  — When Ashley Spraker was a little girl, she played school with her Barbie dolls, dreaming of the day she would be a teacher in her own classroom.

Tyler Keck teaching at Pettit Park ElementaryJunior Tyler Keck gets real life experience through the School of Education.She confirmed that decision her first semester as an elementary education student at Indiana University Kokomo, thanks to the program's focus on early field experiences.

"I worked in elementary classrooms my very first semester I was here," Spraker said. "That experience let me know I had made the right career choice, and gave me experience working with kids right away."

Tara Kingsley, assistant professor of education, said future teachers will have at least 200 hours in classrooms before student teaching.

"It's one of the unique aspects of our School of Education," she said. "We place our students in the field, and we place them in the field a lot. They learn to be outstanding teachers by teaching. Our program allows our students to experience the profession before they become teachers."

Kingsley teaches her reading methods class at Pettit Park Elementary School, a one-to-one technology elementary school in the Kokomo-Center Schools. Her class meets in the art room to discuss techniques of teaching reading, then immediately puts what they've learned into practice, working with children in their classrooms. They end the day with Kingsley, sharing their experiences and talking about what went well, and what they might need to study more.

Other School of Education classes partner with Kokomo's Elwood Haynes and Sycamore elementary schools.

"It's so helpful to be able to practice what we've just learned, so we can see what works for us, and what we need to study some more," said Spraker, a junior. "The Pettit Park teachers can also give us tips to help us improve our techniques."

Kingsley said the classroom experience helps the students grow as teachers.

"Teachers learn by doing," she said. "A technique can look good on paper, but until you take that plan and implement it with students, it's not real. They are able to try their ideas in a risk-free environment, so it's authentic. I'm able to serve as a mentor to them. I watch them in the classrooms, and get feedback from their host teachers, which I can use to improve their teaching. It's great to see the progress they make in skills and confidence through the year."

Allyson Jewell, a junior, said in addition to learning in her own class, she's benefited from working with the Pettit Park teachers.

"They teach you all of the new teaching strategies," she said. "It's really important for us to be in the field, starting early in college, so we can practice what our professors are teaching us, so we can grow in our skills. IU Kokomo does a good job getting us into schools right away."

Junior Tyler Keck recently helped fifth-graders improve their reading fluency using strategies he learned in his class.

"Having our class at the school helps us learn the book strategies, and then give them a real world context," he said. "It's a good balance of scholarship and the real world. Reading about teaching students is totally different from actually teaching them, and this gives us valuable experience."

The school and children also benefit from their efforts.

"We're helping the school, too, by being able to work one-on-one and in small groups, so the kids learn to be better readers," he said.

Pettit Park teacher Paul Dorisse, an IU Kokomo graduate, appreciates the extra assistance in his classroom, and said his students look forward to their weekly visits.

"They get so excited every week, and they all want one of the IU Kokomo students to work with them," he said. "I think we all benefit. I can help them learn some of the behind-the-scenes aspects of teaching, and they give me additional people who can work with my students. There is so much sitting in a college classroom can't teach you, you have to get out in a school, and get your feet wet."

Teacher Casey Hendricks is also an IU Kokomo graduates— in fact, seven of the 11 teachers at Pettit Park are alumni. Hendricks said all of her early experience was in Kokomo schools, starting with her first year.

"That helped me grow, from the beginning of my college career to graduation," she said. "I learned about how diverse students can be, and techniques to better teach them. It was great real world experience, and it made me a better teacher."

Indiana University Kokomo serves north central Indiana.

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KOKOMO, Ind. — The first day Shane Martin played the stock market, he chose his stocks quickly, and lost $30,000.

Stock Market SimulationSenior Kayla Ashmore checks on the stocks using her tablet.It's not a mistake he's likely to repeat.

"I learned to do my research before I invest," Martin, a senior at Indiana University Kokomo, said. "If it's on a 52-week low or high, the odds are good it's going to go down."

Lucky for Martin, he didn't lose any real money — his purchase was part of a simulation for his investments class in the IU Kokomo School of Business.

Dianne Roden, professor of finance, includes the Stock Trak simulation in her class because it allows students to experiment with what they are learning in class without risking real money.

"It's about as realistic as you can imagine," she said. "It's real time, real prices, buying stocks, bonds, options, and futures. They can experience first-hand what we talk about in class."

Each team of students starts with a $500,000 account, to buy and sell throughout the semester. Roden awards a bonus to the team that ends with the most money, but encourages them to take risks.

"I tell them to have fun with it, " she said. "The more they do it, the more fun they have. Then I see them checking on it on their phones or iPads during class. They really get into it."

Senior Brandon Rose said he enjoys trying what he's learned in class, knowing he won't lose real money if his strategy doesn't work.

"You can be a little more courageous because it isn't real," he said. "It gives you a chance to apply what you've learned in class to a real-world situation. It's a lot different than reading about it in a book."

He appreciates that mistakes aren't hitting his real pocketbook, after one of his strategies backfired. He bought stock in Budweiser shortly before the Super Bowl, planning to sell quickly when it peaked. However, he forgot until the day after the game, when the value had dropped, so he lost money.

"That was a big mistake, and I won't forget and do that again," he said.

Kayla Ashmore, also a senior, said even though they aren't spending real money, it is still nerve-wracking to make choices and buy.

"I cringe spending that much money, even if it's fictitious money," she said. "I bought Apple when it was down, and then learned to be patient and wait for it to go up before I sold it, so I made money."

Martin said the losses feel real too.

"You have to learn to be patient and wait for a stock to go back up, and not panic and sell right away to get rid of it," he said. "It makes you furious to see a loss."

Contessa Lawson, a Master of Business Administration (M.B.A.) student, said she's built confidence in her ability to manage her own retirement portfolio from the simulation.

"When I opened my account, I didn't know what I was doing, so I just trusted my financial advisor," she said. "Now I can make a more informed decision."

Roden said that is why students benefit from the simulation, even if they don't become financial advisors.

"Someday they will have retirement accounts, and they will be informed consumers when they chose how to invest," she said. "I can talk about all these principals over and over, but it's a whole different level of learning when you experience it for yourself."

Indiana University Kokomo serves north central Indiana.

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KOKOMO, Ind. — In just a few years, Miguel Tovar will have his own classroom as a secondary English teacher.

Sts. Joan of Arc & Patrick School Science FairIU Kokomo education student Miguel Tovar takes a closer look at a project while judging the Sts. Joan of Arc & Patrick School science fair. See more photos here.Even before he graduates from the Indiana University Kokomo School of Education, he will have valuable experience working with children, not only from student teaching, but also from community volunteer opportunities in area schools.

Tovar, along with classmates Megan Baer, Todd Clark, and Liz White, spent a morning judging the Sts. Joan of Arc and Patrick School science fair. They walked among exhibits, clipboards in hand, asking questions, examining display boards, and evaluating written reports, helping to determine the best projects.

Tovar said even though he's not going to teach science, the volunteer service will benefit him as a teacher.

"You can't just read a book about teaching and then teach kids," he said. "You have to learn to work with them. This gave me more experience working with kids. Even though it's not my specific area, I learned from it."

The four students are taking a scientific inquiry class, and Julie Saam, associate professor, said the hands-on experience would allow them to apply what they are learning.

"Judging a science fair is a valuable experience, because our education students can witness the results of a scientific inquiry project, and talk to students who have conducted the projects," she said. "This insight should help in their development of an understanding of how to conduct scientific inquiry, and how to teach it."

Baer said while she was helping the school, she also was gaining experiences that will make her a better teacher.

"It's a chance to work with kids and be in a school atmosphere," she said. "It's important for us because we're going to need this kind of volunteer help when we're teaching."

Liz White, who plans to be an elementary teacher, said she gained some ideas for inquiry projects she could do with her own students.

"It's interesting to see what the kids have done," she said. "It gives us a lot of ideas for experiments we never would have thought of, that we can teach later."

Todd Clark, a future English or special education teacher, said he also saw some good ideas for how to present a project.

The four IU Kokomo students were among 16 community volunteers judging the fair. Marcia Gillette, lecturer in chemistry, also was a science fair judge.

Sts. Joan of Arc and Patrick science teacher Stacey Hatfield said having a large panel of judges gives students the chance to have their projects evaluated multiple times. She was glad to have the students there to help, and said they will benefit from it as well, especially if they lead science fairs at their own schools later.

"They're seeing how the kids communicate at this age," she said. "As an education student, you're always looking for a chance to work with children."

Judging was also a chance to give back to the community, Saam said.

"We appreciate when the community asks for our students to serve," she said. "Our students are considered pre-service teachers, and they have skills in curriculum development, assessment, and instruction. They enjoy sharing their schools to enhance student learning in our community."

Indiana University Kokomo serves north central Indiana.

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KOKOMO, Ind. – Shawn Owings was one of the first women to be immersed in the front lines in Iraq.

Shawn OwingsShawn OwingsShe worked beside a platoon of men who were leery of her assistance. Her commander chose her to be a medic with his security detail to care for injured women. Iraqi's would rather their wounded women suffer injuries, or even death, than to break a cultural belief that women should not be touched by men other than their father. Therefore, Owings participated in raids and was present for battles that aren't always acceptable for women in the military.

"Most of the men had only trained with other men as combat arms," Owings said. "It was a struggle, but eventually, I became one of them and earned their trust and respect. Doing the work I did still remains a controversial issue for women in the military."

Owings, a senior majoring in nursing at Indiana University Kokomo, worked as an Army medic for seven years. In addition to working with the security team, she worked side-by-side other doctors and nurses. This experience helped guide her to pursue a career in nursing.

"My experience and what I learned in the military carried over into my education and helped me to better understand the concepts that I learned in nursing school," Owings said.

It taught her important life lessons and not to take things for granted. Owings has a different level of acceptance than before going to Iraq.

"Being in Iraq opened my eyes to seeing other's struggles firsthand," she said. "I am more compassionate, understanding, and accepting toward people now."

She also spent time working in Germany for a few years. At first, she experienced culture shock, but without a doubt, she would travel back to Germany.

"Learning about a different culture and their values was extremely interesting," Owings said. "Even going out to eat was a task at first, but you learn to love it. I greatly enjoyed the public transportation system."

Owings would enjoy traveling back to Europe to visit parts of England.

This past summer, she completed an internship through the VA Learning Opportunities Residency (VALOR) Program. This program gives students who have completed their junior year in a clinical program an opportunity to work at a VA-approved health care facility. The internship lasted 10 weeks at Minneapolis Veterans Hospital. Upon completion, they offered Owings a job once she graduates this May.

"I am excited to pursue an opportunity in the VA health system and be able to give back to veterans in that capacity," Owings said.

The internship focused on critical care nursing. The patients needed intense care and close monitoring. She enjoyed tending to her patients and giving them the support they needed.

Owings always knew she wanted to help people in the medical field. She grew up with a goal of going to medical school and being a doctor.

"There is something different about working as a nurse and really connecting with your patients," Owings said. "The one-on-one interaction is truly awesome."

Once she receives her Bachelor of Science in Nursing, she plans to move to Minnesota to work at Minneapolis Veterans Hospital. She hopes to begin a B.S.N. to Doctor of Nursing Practice program, and eventually work as a nurse practitioner.

She is thrilled to begin working, but will miss IU Kokomo's campus and community.

"I feel like I fit in at IU Kokomo, and I've always been treated with respect," Owings said. "I was treated like an equal among nursing faculty, and it was a humbling experience."

She tutors for the nursing program, and has done some minor work in the Student Nurses Association. Owings enjoys studying the heart, as "it is a fascinating organ." Owings loves to go fishing and relax in her cabin in Minnesota. One day, she would like to go skydiving if she can overcome her fear of heights.

Indiana University Kokomo serves north central Indiana.

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KOKOMO, Ind. — Dane Miller sold $17,000 worth of orthopedic implants during his company's first year of business. Twenty-five years later, Biomet had grown into an international corporation, with sales of $2.8 million and locations in 90 countries.

Dane Miller founder of Biomet.Dane Miller founder of Biomet.Miller will share his insights on entrepreneurship and business success at 5:30 p.m. Tuesday, February 12, at Indiana University Kokomo. His presentation, "The Life and Times of Biomet," will take place in Kresge Auditorium. It is free and open to the public, and free parking is available on campus.

Erv Boschmann, interim dean of the School of Business, wants those attending to be inspired by Miller's story.

"Whether or not you are in business, to hear from someone who has had huge success in life is always worthwhile," Boschmann said. "But there is also the notion of being an entrepreneur, starting something from an idea and developing that idea into something useful, that is very satisfying to most people."

He said students would also hear about the importance of giving back, as Miller has also given to many good causes through his philanthropic organization.

"They will see that he started with nothing, and built a company that is always mindful of needy people in the world," Boschmann said. "We are honored to host him at IU Kokomo."

Miller, who has a Ph.D. in materials science — biomedical engineering, co-founded Biomet in Warsaw, Indiana, in 1977. The company started with money pooled by Miller and his business partners, along with a Small Business Administration loan. The company specializes in medical products and technology. Miller served as president and CEO until retiring in 2006.

For more information, or to RSVP, contact Terri Butler at 765-455-9275 or e-mail tbutler@iuk.edu.

Indiana University Kokomo serves north central Indiana.

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KOKOMO, Ind. — Jessie Cunningham knows when she is a nurse, she will have to treat patients who don't share her culture or language.

Korean Student Closing CeremonyKorean Student closing ceremony. See more photos here.She's not worried about it, though, because the Indiana University Kokomo School of Nursing is preparing her for the challenge. For the last two weeks, Cunningham and her classmates have experienced Korean culture, hosting seven nursing students from Jesus University, in Jeonju, South Korea.

Meeting people from another country gives Cunningham an insight into that country. It has also made her realize if she has an international patient, she may need to ask him or her questions to meet expectations.

"When you're working in a hospital, you can get patients from anywhere," she said. "You need to know about other cultures to give the best care possible, and you must be respectful of their culture."

IU Kokomo promotes global learning through overseas study, with trips planned this year to South Korea, Italy, Turkey, and Guatemala, among others. Linda Wallace, dean of the School of Nursing, is a leader in this effort, starting a faculty exchange with South Korea in 2000, then expanding to add students in 2003. About 25 IU Kokomo students have traveled there since, with seven more scheduled to go in May.

Hosting the Korean students gives students who may not have the resources to travel a chance to have a cultural experience close to home.

Wallace said these programs enhance the top quality nursing skills the students learn, better equipping them to serve after graduation.

"These experiences create greater cultural understanding for our students and the Korean students," she said. "You learn not to see people from another country as strangers to be afraid of, but as potential friends. It also helps you as a nurse to think about how you can consider cultural needs in the care you are giving."

IU Kokomo student Jessica Graber talked to some of the visiting students in her class, and was interested in the differences and similarities between nursing school in Korea and in the United States.

Patti Johnson was surprised by the similarities.

"You get to know the language a little when you talk to them, and you see that we are different, but we are the same," she said. "They're nervous about school and want to do well, just like we do."

The IU Kokomo students also learn from Sung Ja Whang, a retired professor from Jesus University who is now a visiting lecturer on campus. She said their Korean visitors are selected from among the top students, and several have continued their nursing studies in the United States since visiting.

She said all the students involved gain a global perspective, from visiting another country and from hosting international visitors, and she hopes it will inspire them to consider working in another country, perhaps even in missionary work.

"You need to get as much education as you can, so when you are needed somewhere, you can say, 'Here I am, I can go,'" Whang said.

The visitors have been busy during their two weeks in Kokomo, with clinical experiences at IU North, IU Health Tipton and St. Joseph Hospital, a campus tour, and visiting classes. They've also had fun, with an afternoon making ceramics, a trip to the Logansport carousel, cheering for the Cougar men's basketball team, attending a Valentine-making party, and eating a Thanksgiving-style dinner.

Korean student Su Jie Lee's favorite part of the trip was the clinical practices at IU Health Tipton Hospital and St. Joseph Hospital. She was surprised by how much student nurses are allowed to do as part of their clinicals.

"The student nurses can use the electronic medical support systems and can enter information for the patients," she said. "In Korea, we can't do that. Student nurses here have more responsibility."

Kyung Min Kim liked being part of the introductory nursing class, and said the classroom atmosphere is friendly between professors and students.

Young Eun Hwang liked touring the IU Kokomo campus.

"It's very big here, bigger than our university," she said, adding that Jesus University students either study nursing or social work.

The exchange program is made possible by a grant from Dr. Se-Ung Lee, a South Korean businessman and philanthropist. The original grant, given in the year 2000, was for nursing students. Lee gave scholarship money in 2011 and 2012 for IU Kokomo students and faculty go to South Korea.

Indiana University Kokomo serves north central Indiana.

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KOKOMO, Ind. — Basketball fans can help Indiana University Kokomo students study overseas, while watching the Indiana Pacers take on the Detroit Pistons.

Indiana PacersIndiana PacersThe IU Kokomo Alumni Association and the School of Nursing are co-sponsoring a Night at the Pacers on Friday, February 22, at Bankers Life Fieldhouse, Indianapolis. Tickets are $25.14, and a portion of each ticket sold using the IU Kokomo passcode will be used for international program scholarships.

Assistant Dean Lynda Narwold said international study is becoming more and more important, but can be hard for students to fund.

"This event helps us build up our international scholarship fund, to make it possible for more students to travel overseas," she said. "We believe students in all majors benefit from international travel experiences. In nursing, we really try to focus on how cultural differences impact health care, so our students are prepared to treat patients from all over the world."

Tickets must be purchased by Friday, February 8, at www.pacersgroups.com/tickets/1089, using the passcode IUK. Each ticket includes a lower balcony seat, a voucher for a hot dog, chips, and a drink, a T-shirt, and a 10 percent discount in the Home Court Gift Shop. Twenty lucky fans will also be chosen to high five the Detroit Pistons players during the game.

Those attending are invited to a social hour from 5:30 to 6:30 p.m. in Pacers Square, inside the field house. There will be snacks and a cash bar available during this time. Tipoff is at 7 p.m.

Indiana University Kokomo serves north central Indiana.

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KOKOMO, Ind. — Talal Al Hammad expected Kokomo, Indiana, would be a lot like New York City, because of what he had seen in movies.

Saudi Arabian studentsSaudi Arabian studentsHe left his home in Saudi Arabia to earn a Master of Business Administration (M.B.A.) at Indiana University Kokomo, and has been pleasantly surprised by life on a small campus. He especially enjoys the relationships between students and faculty, who are on a first-name basis, and have provided support every step of the way.

"The faculty are really friendly and helpful, and so are my classmates," he said. "I feel like I've become part of the community. I'm really happy to be here."

Al Hammad is one of 15 Saudi students enrolled in the program. He wants to learn more about American culture while earning his master's degree, and also hopes to teach his classmates more about his country.

"Many Americans think of the Middle East and believe we still have camels and tents," he said. "I hope we are building a bridge between us now, and we can make stereotypes vanish, hopefully forever."

Gloria Preece, M.B.A. program director, is excited to have so many international students, and for the chance for the American students to learn from them as well.

"Diversity plays an important role in education," she said. "Having students here from other parts of the world brings many new perspectives into the classroom and campus. I've really enjoyed meeting all of our new students from overseas. We look forward to helping them achieve their dreams of succeeding in a global business economy."

Al Hammad found the M.B.A. program while searching online. He contacted Preece through Facebook for more information, and said she had replied with answers to all his questions within an hour. She then worked with the Saudi Arabian Cultural Mission to gain approval of IU Kokomo's program as one Saudi students may attend on its scholarships.

"It would not be possible for us to be here without Gloria's help," he said. "We are all very thankful to her."

He was the first to enroll, starting classes in August 2012. After he was accepted, he immediately posted information about IU Kokomo on a Facebook page for Saudi students considering business schools in the United States.

"I had more than 100 replies asking me about it, which is how all the other 14 Saudi students knew about it," he said. They are all enrolled full-time, and will be on campus about two years to complete the M.B.A. program.

Mohammed Basurah looks forward to being involved with student activities, and was pleased by the variety offered on campus.

"I've been to two universities and didn't get the opportunity to be in activities," he said. "There are lots of interesting student activities here, which I have found to be an advantage. The students have been really friendly, too. We feel welcome here."

Al Hammad lives with his family in Indianapolis, where his wife is studying. Several of the other new students also commute from Indianapolis, but most have found apartments in Kokomo.

They're learning how to live like Americans, including eating the food. Saudi Arabia has many American chain restaurants, but the food doesn't taste exactly the same, Al Hammad said. Like most college students, their favorites are pizza and burgers. They've also learned that Americans prefer using debit cards, rather than carrying cash, and that many businesses, including gas stations, offer automated payment options.

Mohammed Alhargan came with some previous knowledge of the campus because his uncle graduated from the same program several years ago.

Abdul Aloqail is impressed with the business faculty, and the strength of the graduate business degree. Both of his parents studied in the United States, and told him not to be afraid to ask for help because Americans would treat him with kindness.

Basurah said they all have scholarships from their government, which sends its best and brightest students to earn advanced degrees, so they can come back and be their country's business leaders. Students may first spend 18 months at language schools, to improve their conversational English.

"We can gain the knowledge and experience to implement the best business practices when we go back, and use our knowledge to help the country," he said.

Al Hammad anticipates more Saudi students will come to IU Kokomo for graduate and undergraduate programs, now than an initial group has enrolled.

The scholarship program has been in place since 2006, and there are approximately 70,000 Saudi students and their families in the United States.

Indiana University Kokomo serves north central Indiana.