Indiana University Kokomo

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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.

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

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KOKOMO, Ind. – Four hundred ninety-four full-time Indiana University Kokomo students earned dean's list honors for the fall 2012 semester. 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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KOKOMO, Ind. — Indiana University Kokomo's School of Nursing recently inducted 44 new students into the rigorous nursing program, which is the third largest nursing school in the state of Indiana.

Nursing Induction Spring 2013Newly inducted nursing students for Spring 2013.In years past, nursing schools marked acceptance into their programs with capping ceremonies, demonstrating students' readiness for clinical training.

Nursing students may have replaced the traditional white caps with a uniform of scrubs, but the honor of acceptance to the Bachelor of Science in Nursing program is still a great one, and deserves to be commemorated, according to Linda Wallace, dean of the School of Nursing.

"Admission to the nursing program is more arduous than admission to the university," she said. "These students have worked hard to be selected, and we acknowledge this accomplishment with our induction ceremony."

Each student received a certificate, and the class recited the Nightingale Pledge, a statement of the ethics and principles of the nursing profession, named for Florence Nightingale.

"Years ago, there was a tradition to cap nurses at the start of their first clinical experience," Wallace said. "Our induction ceremony is reminiscent of that tradition."

Students inducted included Dustin Allen, Amber Christine Ancil, Krista Genevieve Armstrong, Taylor Ashley Backes, Danielle Renee Batchelder, Trisha Lynn Booth, Sherry Lea Brainard, PrinceKristian Dionisio Bravo, Jordan Briede, Bridget JoAnn College, Stevie Lorene Conley, Amanda Brianne Corder, Pat S. Creighton, Angela Noel Duggins, Matthew J. Etter, Coral Lee Everhart, Taylor Renee Flora, Amanda Joanne Geiger, Lyndsay Nicole Gipson, Jessica Dawn Graber, Kelsey Lynn Grimme, Sarah Lynne Jackman, Patricia Ann Johnson, Tami Dianne Karban, Patricia Rose Kilcrece, Kasey Jae Lewis, Erica S. Melcher, Adam Dalton Moore, Jose Jerardo Morales, Leigha Marie Murphy, Florence A. Olabowale, Sheryl Kristina Ottinger, Chelsea L. Peach, Cody Victor Phelps, Amanda Jean Pisano, Christa Marie Reynolds, Stacey L. Ropp, Summer Ann Ross, Jim Smith, Johnna Morgan Tucker, Cassandra Marie Wagner, Brook Nicole Widener, Kyle Austin Wyant, and Alexandria Dawn Wylie.

Indiana University Kokomo serves north central Indiana.

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KOKOMO, Ind. — Indiana University Kokomo education students will offer free, fun activities to children and their parents Saturday, while gaining valuable hands-on lesson planning experience.

Members of Educational Student Advisory Committee (EdSAC), an organization for education majors, developed Education Express, a train-themed educational carnival geared to children in kindergarten through sixth grade. Activities include story writing, modeling clay, puppet play, and worm races. Students also will talk to parents about how to replicate those activities to continue the learning process at home.

Jessica Beck, EdSAC president, said the group's goal is "to showcase a variety of interesting things parents can do to focus on literacy, and supplement what their child is learning at school."

Kokomo Mayor Greg Goodnight will kick off the event at 10 a.m. in Alumni Hall, with a proclamation honoring the day. Each child will receive a passport, and has until 2 p.m. to complete at least 10 stations, to earn a free book.

Refreshments, including Noble Roman's pizza and Coca-Cola products, will be available. Campus mascot Kingston Cougar will be available to meet his young fans as well.

Beck said planners wanted to give students a chance not only to develop and implement a lesson plan, but also to interact with children and their parents.

"It's one thing to be great with kids, but you have to be able to talk to parents, too, in order to be successful as a teacher," she said. "This also gives us a chance to give back to all the schools who allow us to learn in their classrooms as we develop our teaching skills."

Event sponsors include the IU Kokomo School of Education, the IU Kokomo Early Childhood Education Center, and Partners in Education.

Indiana University Kokomo serves north central Indiana.

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KOKOMO, Ind. — In a time of fierce competition for teaching jobs, nearly 80 percent of Indiana University Kokomo's School of Education 2012 graduates are employed at schools this school year.

Dean Paul Paese said this demonstrates the quality of teachers graduating from the program, and is encouraging news to those considering careers in education.

"This is a tribute to the performance and quality of our students, program and faculty," he said. "The public school corporations in our region had more openings than in the previous two years, and the expectation is there will be more openings in the next several years, because of retirements and need in math, science and special education. This is a great time to major in education at IU Kokomo."

Those who found jobs included the three graduates honored as Outstanding Future Educators by the Indiana Association of Colleges for Teacher Education.

Vincente LorenzVincente Lorenz

Tiffani Bonifant is teaching social studies at Taylor High School, Kourtney (Cox) Hainlen is teaching second-graders at Tri-Central Elementary, and Vincente Lorenz is teaching science at Kokomo High School. Hainlen and Lorenz both accepted jobs in the schools where they did their student teaching. All three believe their IU degrees, along with the awards, made them stand out from the other applicants.

Andy Robertson, director of student teaching, said the awards are the most prestigious recognition given to student teachers.

"We encourage our best and brightest future educators to apply for these awards. We have excellent education majors, and it is hard to choose just three. Tiffani, Kourtney and Vincente are outstanding representatives of our School of Education."

Bonifant enjoyed student teaching social studies at Western High School. She was pleased to receive the award.

"It certainly is gratifying to know I have been recognized for my hard work. To be recognized by IU Kokomo as one of the three most promising teachers isn't something I expected."

Hainlen dreamed of becoming a teacher since she was very young, playing school with her dolls, rather than house. She hopes having the award on her resumé helps her achieve her longtime dream of having her own classroom.

"I always admired my teachers and wanted to be like them when I grew up," she said. "I wanted to be the creative teacher who makes learning fun. It makes me feel really good, to know people think I am a good teacher."

She said her classes prepared her to succeed in the classroom, especially in teaching reading.

Lorenz previously earned an associate's degree in landscaping horticulture, then decided he wanted to teach. He especially enjoys working with special needs students, and may return to IU Kokomo to become a special education teacher.

Lorenz said he was happy, but surprised, to be one of the three IU Kokomo students chosen for the award.

"There are a lot of really good future teachers in our cohort, so I know it was competitive."

Indiana University Kokomo serves north central Indiana.