KOKOMO, Ind. — Chancellor Susan Sciame-Giesecke received the Patriot Award from the Employer Support of the Guard and Reserves (ESGR), for support provided to a service member.
“I’m very proud of this honor,” said Sciame-Giesecke. “IU Kokomo and Grissom Air Reserve base have a long history together, going back to when it was an active military base. We are proud of our employees and students who serve, and we believe it is our responsibility to support them in their work.”
She added that while her name is on the certificate, many faculty and staff members work to assist military staff members. “The honor belongs to the campus community,” she noted.
Master Sgt. Doug Preece, who is an adjunct faculty member in the School of Business and the Department of Criminal Justice and Homeland Security, nominated Sciame-Giesecke. He was able to continue teaching his on-line classes while deployed to Turkey in late 2018, to support missions in Iraq, Iran, and Afghanistan.
“I was literally getting off the plane and logging into my Canvas site (IU’s online portal system) to interact with students,” he said. “They had no idea I was halfway around the world. Because of that scheduling flexibility, I was able to continue teaching.”
Chancellor Sciame-Giesecke praised Doug’s work, stating, “He is amazing. He served both our country and our students at the same time. Our students benefit so much from his real-world experience.”
Preece, M.P.M. ’14, said many of his military colleagues have also earned degrees on campus, and faculty have worked with them when they are deployed.
Doug Schwartz, ESGR area chairperson for Indiana, said only a small number of Patriot Awards are presented each year. A reserve military and guard fulfills the vision of the Founding Fathers, of the frontiersman with the plow and musket, who will serve honorably when called, and then go back to their civilian careers when the mission is complete.
“In today’s world, we can’t do this without your support,” he said. “Our country can’t afford a large standing military. This is the model our Founding Fathers envisioned, but we’re doing it in a different capacity.”
ESGR is a Department of Defense program established to promote cooperation and understanding between reserve service members and their civilian employers. For more than 45 years, it has fostered a culture in which all employers support and value the employment and military service of members of the National Guard and Reserves in the U.S.
Indiana University Kokomo serves north central Indiana.