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‘MAJOR’ DISCOVERIES Student Trevor Mace, faculty member Brian James, and one of ISU’s hidden academic gems — Package Engineering Technology

is published by University Communication of Indiana State University. ©2021 PRESIDENT OF INDIANA STATE UNIVERSITY Dr. Deborah J. Curtis, Ph.D. ’85 EXECUTIVE DIRECTOR OF GOVERNMENT RELATIONS AND UNIVERSITY COMMUNICATION Greg Goode, ’95, GR ’97 DIRECTOR OF UNIVERSITY COMMUNICATION Mark Alesia ASSOCIATE DIRECTOR OF UNIVERSITY COMMUNICATION AND STATE MAGAZINE EDITOR Dianne Frances D. Powell CONTRIBUTORS Tony Campbell, Photography Kelli Cheever, Communication Jonathan Garcia, Photography, ’17 Andrew Hile, Athletics Rex Kendall, Alumni, ’88, GR ’91 Kim Kunz, Advancement, GR ’10 Zac Moore, Marketing, ’16, GR ’19 Morgan Patterson, Alumni MAGAZINE CORRESPONDENCE STATE Magazine University Communication Indiana State University 200 North 7th Street Parsons Hall, Room 203 Terre Haute, IN 47809 812-237-8764 SEND ADDRESS CHANGES AND SUBSCRIPTION QUESTIONS TO: University Advancement Indiana State University 30 North Fifth Street Terre Haute, IN 47809 812-237-6100 800-242-1409 (toll-free) All photography in this magazine is provided by Indiana State University Services, unless otherwise noted.


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THE MCKEE FAMILY TREE One family’s connection to ISU spans three generations and nine decades

NEW HEAD BASKETBALL COACHES Josh Schertz (men) and Chad Killinger (women) take over programs

GIVE TO BLUE DAY 2021 Generous Sycamores set another record on day of giving

CYBERSLEUTHS ISU cybercriminology students sworn in as digital forensic investigators for Vigo County

TRANSFORMATIONAL GIVING Gifts to ISU make big impact on students

ALUMNI NEWS Class notes, a new ISU license plate will be offered by the Indiana BMV

Indiana State University College of Technology students assembled STEM (science, technology, engineering and math) kits for 3rd through 5th graders at Ouabache and Ben Franklin Elementary Schools in Terre Haute.






Noah Malone competes in NCAA track and is a medal favorite for the Paralympics in Tokyo

Sometimes students find their academic passion in places they knew little or nothing about

Alumna Brittany Danko is a TikTok star and role model for female pilots




WORD FROM THE PRESIDENT Dear Sycamore family and friends, Indiana State University is a unique place that transforms lives through education and inspires a lifetime of loyalty. One of the ways in which we are unique is our academic offerings, which always emphasize experiential learning and the workforce needs of the state of Indiana. The cover story for this issue of STATE magazine is “‘Major’ Discoveries.” In this issue of STATE magazine, we want to lift up some of the programs that might not be as well known as others on ISU’s rich list of academic majors. Many students in these majors knew little or nothing about it before word of mouth from friends or a presentation by a professor in a general 100-level class. It’s gratifying to see students find their passion at ISU and decide to pursue that passion as an academic major ultimately leading to a rewarding career path. We encourage high school guidance counselors to become familiar with these programs and introduce prospective students to them. Business and industry have noticed what is happening at ISU in fields burgeoning with job opportunities. They have a stake in preparing the next generation of professionals. Magnet, for example, has donated generously to ISU’s Cyber Criminology program in the form of cuttingedge software. Esko has done the same for Package Engineering Technology. ISU will continue to seek out these partnerships and make sure Sycamore students are well prepared to succeed after graduation. Sincerely,

Deborah J. Curtis, Ph.D. President



ISU AGAIN RANKS BEST IN STATE FOR SOCIAL MOBILITY Indiana State University ranked first in the state for the third year in a row in CollegeNet’s annual Social Mobility Index (SMI). It is also the sixth time in the past seven years that ISU ranked best among Indiana’s public institutions. “Our focus in developing the SMI is to comparatively assess the role of our higher education system in providing a conduit for economic and social advancement,” CollegeNet says.

Students (pictured above) working on the Sycamore Video show “Almost Live” posed with Dr. Deborah J. Curtis after the ISU President was interviewed.

The Social Mobility Index “measures the extent to which a college or university educates more economically disadvantaged students (with family incomes below the national median) at lower tuition and graduates them into good paying jobs. Competing around these factors, our higher education system can reverse the destabilizing trend towards growing economic immobility, advance the American Dream, and promote the public interest.” ISU President Deborah Curtis said she’s proud of the university’s success in educating first-generation and Pell Grant-eligible students. Among ISU’s freshman in Fall 2020, 47 percent were firstgeneration college students and 47 percent were Pell Granteligible. “We often talk about the transformative impact of an ISU education, and this survey shows, once again, that it’s real,” Curtis said. “This is just one of the ways we’re distinct — providing opportunities for affordable, high-quality education at a comprehensive university.” ISU has a placement rate of 99 percent for graduates, meaning they go into jobs, graduate school or the military. The average starting salary is $57,593.



Legally blind sprinter Noah Malone makes mark on ISU’s track team, aims for Tokyo Paralympics Noah Malone returned to sprinting after being diagnosed, at age 13, with a condition that left him legally blind. His comeback started bravely, but dubiously. As an eighth grader, Malone had races where he stopped short of the finish line. Sometimes he drifted out of his lane or didn’t do the sprinter’s end-of-race lean until after the finish line. Once, he fractured his ankle when stumbling on starting blocks carelessly left beyond the finish line.


ISU sprinter Noah Malone, who has some peripheral vision, does his classwork on an iPad with the letters magnified.



It did not deter him. Malone became an Indiana high school state champion in the 200 meters and is now a freshman on ISU’s track team. According to the Indianapolis Star, he is believed to be the first legally blind sprinter in NCAA Division I. Malone, who has some peripheral vision, is a two-

time world champion in para athletics relays and a twotime world champion in the junior para athletics 100 and 200 meters. He will spend his summer preparing for the U.S. Paralympic Trials in June in Minneapolis and is expected to be a strong medal contender at the Tokyo Paralympics in August. At the venerable Drake Relays in April, Malone competed for the Sycamores in regular events and in para athletic events. “We tell blind people, ‘You can do anything anybody else does, you just have to do it differently,’” said Arvetta Jideonwo, an ISU alumna and Executive Director of the Bosma Visionary Opportunities Foundation in Indianapolis, which serves blind or visually impaired people. Jideonwo, who has known Malone since before his visual (continued on page 8)

Photos courtesy of ISU Athletics.

Photo courtesy of Noah Malone.

Malone competing during the indoor season (left) and after consulting with a UCLA specialist on his condition during eighth grade (right).

impairment, added, “He has taken advantage of every opportunity afforded him. I see in Noah someone who has not let his visual impairment define who he is.” Doctors diagnosed Malone’s condition when he was in eighth grade. He couldn’t see what the teacher was writing on the board and was later told he had a rare condition called Leber Hereditary Optic Neuropathy. His uncle has the same condition. “The way I tend to explain it is my condition took most of my central vision away and it left me with some peripheral vision,” Malone said. “If I’m looking at something directly, it’ll be very, very blurry and I would not be able to make it out at all. But if I’m looking at an angle, then it would be a little more clear. If I’m reading a book or signing a paper or I’m reading words on a sign, that’s really, really challenging.” Malone does his academic work on an iPad with the font size increased and his face close to the screen. He takes his exams at the Accessibilty Resource Office in Normal Hall. In high school, he split time between Hamilton Southeastern in Fishers and the Indiana School for the Blind and Visually Impaired.



During high school, he showed remarkable poise and maturity for his age as the subject of a TEDx talk in Indianapolis that’s posted on YouTube. Last year, Malone appeared on NBC’s Today Show for a feature on the Paralympics. He considered bigger schools, but said he chose ISU because of the coaches and the environment. “It was always on my mind to come here because I’ve had different trainers and different teammates come here that I knew in high school, and they’ve always had great experiences,” Malone said. “Then once I came on a visit and met coach (Anthony) Bertoli and coach Angie (Martin), I just knew it was where I should be.” Malone is a communications major who wants to work in sports, perhaps sports management, after graduation. “Noah has accomplished some pretty incredible things despite the obstacles he faces,” ISU sprinting coach Anthony Bertoli said. “He was one of the top 60-meter dash performers in the (Missouri Valley Conference) all season long, which is difficult to do for any freshman.” Malone walks the track before every meet to get a feel for where the finish line is at. He can see it from about 10 meters away and said it’s

instinctive by now to know when to lean. The transition to NCAA Division I, however, hasn’t been seamless. The tighter turns on an indoor track slowed him down in his best event, 200 meters. As the anchor on ISU’s 4x100-meter relay, Malone receives audible cues. “I position myself nearby to let him know when our third leg is coming and when to come to the set position,” Bertoli said. “From that point it falls on his teammate (Jhivon Wilson) to give him an audible signal on when to begin sprinting.” It’s a long way from eighth grade track meets in Fishers, Indiana. Malone went to UCLA that year to consult with a specialist on his rare condition. His eyesight is not expected to improve or worsen. There is a photo of Malone from after that appointment. He is looking at the Pacific Ocean during sunset, an eighth grader knowing things would never be the same. “If you have an obstacle, there’s always a way around a challenge like that,” Malone said. “I wouldn’t stop doing anything you love just because there’s an obstacle.”

OLSEN AND YOUSIF TAKE OVER INTERIM LEADERSHIP POSITIONS Dr. Christopher Olsen, Dean of the College of Arts and Sciences since 2016, is now Interim Provost and Vice President for Academic Affairs and Dr. Bassam Yousif is Interim Dean of the college. Olsen replaced Dr. Mike Licari, who became President of Austin Peay State University in Clarksville, Tennessee. A national search for the new Provost will be undertaken in academic year 2021-22. Olsen has been an ISU professor since 1999. He was Chair of the Department of History from 2002 to 2016, when he became Interim Dean of the College of Arts and Sciences. “Dr. Olsen is an accomplished scholar and administrator who is dedicated to ISU’s mission,” ISU President Dr. Deborah J. Curtis said. “I will work with Dr. Olsen to build upon the future-focused initiatives that Provost Licari shaped in Academic Affairs here.” Olsen said he’s “very grateful” for the opportunity. “After more than twenty years at ISU, coming here as an assistant professor, I never imagined that I would have this chance,” he said. “It’s a special place to me, and now with two of my children enrolled here, I’m also an ISU parent.

Dr. Christopher Olsen

“I want to thank President Curtis for the opportunity, and for her confidence in my ability to do the job effectively. I also want to thank Mike Licari for setting such an excellent example as Provost the past few years.” Olsen earned his Ph.D. in United States History, with minors in Colonial Latin American History and Political Culture Theory, from the University of Florida. He earned his master’s from the University of Nebraska and his bachelor’s degree from North Dakota State University. Yousif has been at ISU since 2004 in the Department of Economics. As an associate dean, he has been involved in budgets, curriculum, and personnel. He is a member of the Associate Dean Council and previously was a member of the Faculty Senate, among many other roles at the university. “Working with the wonderful faculty and staff at CAS, I am looking forward to continuing the great work that has been done at CAS and hope to creatively meet present and future challenges,” Yousif said. Olsen said he’s grateful Yousif agreed to serve as interim dean for 16 months.

Dr. Bassam Yousif

“His experience with college and university curriculum, governance and administration, budgets, and faculty development make him a great choice,” Olsen said. “He and I have worked so closely together for the past four and a half years — and with the help of our Associate Deans and the whole Dean’s office staff — that I am confident of a smooth transition and continuity within the College’s priorities and strategic direction.”



The McKee family, whose connection to Indiana State University spans three generations and nine decades, has donated $250,000 in support of the President’s Scholars program. In recognition of the gift, ISU’s Board of Trustees approved the naming of the McKee Family Heritage Lounge in Tirey Hall. Portraits of every past president since ISU’s founding hang on the walls of the lounge. ISU President Deborah J. Curtis said the McKee family’s connection to ISU is special.



The McKee family at the dedication of the McKee Nursing Center in 2010. Left to right: Craig McKee, Nancy McKee, Dale McKee, Elizabeth McKee, Christopher McKee, and Diann McKee.

“This family has made an impressive mark at ISU, and the naming of the McKee Family Heritage Lounge is a fitting tribute recognizing their generous commitment to grow opportunities for students in the President’s Scholars program,” Curtis said.

will have a lasting impact on generations of students,” Bierly said.

Said Dale McKee: “Our gifts are intended to recognize longstanding connection and loyalty to ISU. Each of us has his or her own list of ISU memories, but all of us can trace whatever achievements we have had in our lives to the education that we received at Indiana State. That we can encourage and support some of ISU’s best students with this gift and recognize a connection that dates back nearly 90 years means a great deal to all of us.”

The family’s connection to the university began with Clyde Morris McKee, who attended Indiana State Teachers College, becoming an elementary school teacher and administrator in Indiana public schools for more than 40 years.

Seven members of the McKee family have earned eight degrees at ISU and have served as faculty, staff, and administrators.

The President’s Scholars program is the university’s most prestigious merit scholarship. It includes full in-state tuition, room, and board.

His son, Dale F. McKee, earned two degrees at Indiana State, later serving as Indiana State’s alumni director and as executive vice president of the ISU Foundation during a career from 1965 to 1998. Dale’s late wife, Nancy, taught in the university’s School of Nursing for more than 30 years, serving in a number of teaching and administrative positions, including acting dean.

The gift will create the McKee Family President’s Scholars Academic Experience Fund, supporting fellowships for exceptional students. McKee Fellows will receive support in areas including undergraduate research, creative activity such as artistic exhibitions, internships, residencies, and professional opportunities.

All of Dale and Nancy’s children earned degrees at ISU: Elizabeth McKee, Christopher McKee, and Craig McKee. Craig’s wife, Diann McKee, earned her bachelor’s and master’s degrees at ISU. She has spent her career at ISU and currently serves as Senior Vice President for Finance and Administration and University Treasurer.

“Even for our top academic students, access to research, study abroad, and other creative activities important to their success are limited because of personal financial situations,” said Greg Bierly, Dean of the Honors College. “We are extremely grateful to the McKee family for their support of our President’s Scholars program and vision for establishing the McKee Fellows fund.

“The McKee family is synonymous with our university,” said Andrea Angel, Vice President of University Advancement and CEO of the ISU Foundation. “They have been ardent supporters of our students in a variety of important university initiatives. This gift from the family will help us expand experiential learning opportunities for students and establish a permanent family legacy on campus for the McKees.”

“The addition of the McKee Fellows program will ensure that more students will reach for the kinds of experiences that will expand their academic experience at ISU and advance their professional development. This support

The first student recipients of the McKee Fellows will be selected in the Spring 2021 semester through a competitive application process within the Honors College.



ISU WELCOMES NEW STUDENT AFFAIRS VP Michele Soliz, Ph.D., from the University of Toledo has been selected to serve as Vice President for Student Affairs at Indiana State University, President Deborah J. Curtis announced on March 1. She starts June 1. “We are happy to welcome Dr. Soliz to Indiana State University after a thorough search process,” President Curtis said. “As a student-centered leader with a record of accomplishments in student success and inclusion, I am confident that she will be an effective contributor to our mission and a champion of positive Sycamore student experiences.”


Soliz brings 20 years of higher education experience to ISU. She was the Associate Vice President for Student Success and Inclusion at the University of Toledo, a comprehensive research institution with over 20,000 students. She provided strategic oversight to key offices within UT’s Division of Student Affairs, including the Office of Multicultural Student Success, Upward Bound, Career Services, and Assessment. She also oversaw the coordination of retention and inclusion efforts across the division.


Among her notable achievements at the University of Toledo were securing a $420,000 emergency aid grant for socio-economically challenged students; the creation of LGBTQA+ Initiatives and LGBT advisory council; and expansion of anti-hazing programming and training for Greek Life and student organizations. She is proud of her work that resulted in increased retention and graduation rates for African American and Latino students. Soliz has served in almost every aspect of student affairs organization. Before becoming


AVP, she served as Executive Director of Academic Support Services and Dean of Students at the University of Toledo. “I am thrilled for the opportunity to serve the students at Indiana State University,” Soliz said.”I am excited about the institution’s momentum and I look forward to working with the student affairs team, President Curtis, and others across campus to increase student success and transform the student experience.” Soliz received a bachelor’s degree in ethnic studies from Bowling Green State University and earned master’s and doctoral degrees in higher education from the University of Toledo. Her doctoral dissertation was focused on Latino student baccalaureate completion rates and student engagement. President Curtis thanked Dr. Andy Morgan for his service as Interim Vice President for Student Affairs. Morgan will return to his role as Dean of Students. The VP search was led by a 12-person committee of faculty, staff, and students headed by Vice President for University Engagement Nancy Brattain Rogers, Ph.D. The Division of Student Affairs supports academic success, student retention, and graduation by promoting educational programs, social activities, services, resources, and advocacy. The departments in the division include Campus Life, Campus Recreation, Charles E. Brown African American Cultural Center, Dean of Students, Dining Services through Sodexo, Fraternity and Sorority Life, Hulman Memorial Student Union, Multicultural Services and Programs, Ombudsperson, Residential Life, Student Conduct and Integrity, Student Counseling Center, Student Health Promotion, and the ISU Student Health Center. The Vice President for Student Affairs serves on the President’s Cabinet and supervises the Dean of Students, Associate Vice President for Student Affairs, Executive Director of Residential Life, the District Manager of Dining Services through Sodexo, Assistant to the Vice President for Student Affairs, and an Executive Assistant.

The Daniel J. Bradley Medal for Leadership, Scholarship, and Service Jocelyn Fluker, a psychology major from Decatur, Illinois, was the Spring 2021 semester recipient of ISU’s Daniel J. Bradley Medal for Leadership, Scholarship, and Service. The medal, one of the highest honors given at the university, is presented to a graduating student with a GPA of 3.0 or higher and achievement in leadership, scholarship and service as an undergraduate. Fluker was the Vice President of the Student Government Association at ISU and President of the Zeta Phi Beta Sorority. She was also named the 2020 National Pan-Hellenic Council President of the Year by the Office of Fraternity and Sorority Life. She is a two-time recipient of the Academic Achievement Award from ISU’s Charles E. Brown African American Cultural Center. During her sophomore year, she received the Her Color Shines: Savvy Award. “I would say that my experience at Indiana State has been fulfilling and was developed through my involvement,” Fluker said. “Coming to Indiana State, I wanted to make myself known to students, faculty, and staff and to leave a lifelong mark on our campus to let everyone know that Jocelyn Fluker was here.” After graduation, she plans on attending graduate school to earn a master’s degree in school counseling. She hopes to become a school counselor and work with elementary-aged children. The medal is named after Dan Bradley, the university’s 11th president who served from 2009 to 2018.

“I wanted to make myself known to students, faculty, and staff and to leave a lifelong mark on our campus to let everyone know Jocelyn Fluker was here.”

Everyone knows about some academic majors, popular programs such as Nursing and Elementary Education.

I hope students always take the time to investigate, consider, and try something; starting college is one of the most exciting moments in life.

Other majors, though, tend to be off-the-radar — at least until a passionate professor talks it up to an introductory-level class or a student’s friend suggests it or a parent learns about the high placement rate into jobs. It’s a familiar story to several ISU instructors and professors. Take it from Brian James, whose desk is made entirely out of corrugated cardboard. He runs the Package Engineering Technology program. Or Dr. Kuntal Bhattacharyya, known as “Dr. B,” who turns students into Operations and Supply Chain Management majors with his passion for teaching the subject.

—Dr. Christopher Olsen, Interim Provost

Or Dr. Jin Park, who said he’s used to explaining that Insurance and Risk Management is a world of opportunities beyond selling insurance.

Faculty member Brian James and his all-cardboard desk.




“It’s really hard to break their perception that insurance equals sales,” Park said. “One of the myths is that an insurance career is boring, either sales or working at a desk and typing numbers.” Emerging risks will challenge the industry. Everyone knows about cyber risks and hacking. But what about autonomous vehicles? Or 3D printers? New technology creates new risk to organizations and consumers. Managing those risks will require fresh approaches. But Ellei Kay and Grace Hicks said it was ISU’s Gongaware Scholarship that initially attracted them to the Insurance and Risk Management major. “I applied, knowing nothing about insurance,” Kay said. “After learning more about the insurance industry, the first thing that appealed to me was the job security that it provided. Everyone needs insurance all the time, so the insurance industry rarely experiences recessions in the way other industries do.”

Photo by Tami Rees.

Med Lab Science student Isabella Finch completing a gram stain, used in pathogen identification, in the clinical microbiology lab of Good Samaritan Hospital in Vincennes, Indiana.

In April, Kay was the student speaker at an influential national insurance summit organized by ISU’s Networks Financial Institute. Other speakers included a congressman and the state of Florida’s insurance commissioner. Hicks said job security was a big selling point for her as well. “ISU has a long history of partnerships with many insurance companies,” she said, “so I knew I would be able to make connections.” ISU has several majors that fit the general theme of discovery of something students knew little or nothing about a short time earlier. That’s understandable. Often, high school counselors don’t know about them, either.

“It’s true that many students discover exciting, new possible majors when they get to ISU, and often in fields that they haven’t experienced in high school,” said Dr. Christopher Olsen, ISU’s Interim Provost and Vice President for Academic Affairs. “I think many of those are interdisciplinary as well — digital art, sport management, international studies, graphic design, and even multidisciplinary studies itself, in which a student can design his or her own major. I hope students always take the time to investigate, consider, and try something; starting college is one of the most exciting moments in life.” Casey Phillips began at ISU as an Accounting major. It’s a great major, he said, but it just (continued on page 16)



Grace Hicks (above), an Insurance and Risk Management student, was attracted to the job security of the insurance industry.

wasn’t for him. He wanted more interaction with people in addition to the numbers and analytics.

shipped by companies such as Amazon and FedEx, securely, economically, attractively, and in an environmentally sound manner.

Then he heard Dr. B’s pitch about Supply Chain Management.

The Indianapolis Business Journal said ISU is “at the forefront of the increasingly complicated and important world of packaging.”

“You could count on one hand the number of students looking for a major who didn’t walk out of his office as a Supply Chain major,” said Phillips, now a senior and the student member of ISU’s Board of Trustees. At the outset, Dr. B said, “If you tell them ‘Supply Chain Management,’ they think you’re from Mars.” Then he explains that every business service or product has a supply chain, requiring management of production, shipping and delivery. Businesses need people to figure out how to make that happen efficiently and in a cost-effective manner. “There is a tremendous need in the marketplace” for supply chain managers, Dr. B said. Trevor Mace said his mom convinced him to take an introductory class in Package Engineering Technology because she heard about the 100 percent placement rate for graduates into jobs. Soon, he became energized by the work of figuring out how items large and small can be



“I’ve always enjoyed design, being able to do something you can call your own,” Mace said. “When I started out in (Mechanical Engineering Technology), I didn’t really get the enjoyment out of it because it was kind of just designing screws and random parts. With packaging, you design the whole package yourself. It’s not just one part of it, generally. It’s like, ‘This is mine. I did it.’ It’s a little more fulfilling that way, I guess.” Now Mace works in the Package Engineering Lab doing testing of products in addition to his classwork. Businesses have taken notice of the program, which is one of six in the nation to offer a fouryear degree in package engineering technology. It’s the only one in Indiana. Esko has made a multi-million-dollar gift of software to the program, including Store Visualizer, which creates a virtual store environment so users can see how their creations would look in a commercial environment.

A student field testing in Environmental Geoscience (middle photo) and Amy Van de Velde (right), a Package Engineering Student, using Esko’s Store Visualizer software, which creates a virtual store environment.

“Esko is what we use for pretty much all of our stuff,” Mace said. “Design software is everything. You have to have it.” Environmentally aware students find the Environmental Geoscience major at ISU, which is more focused on the physical, human and spatial aspects of Earth and its environment, unlike the broader Environmental Science major offered at other institutions. Dr. Jennifer Latimer, professor of geology and chairperson of the Department of Earth and Environmental Systems, said the program attracts students who are interested in solving environmental problems. “Today’s students seem to be much more aware of environmental issues,” she said. Classes such as environmental ethics and environmental justice give students the opportunity to think about critical issues and how they relate to their own experiences. Whatever the major they discover at ISU, students are given many opportunities for hands-on learning. Environmental Geoscience, for example, requires examination of soil, water, and other parts of the physical earth, through field experiences.

Field experience is essential for another lesser known major — Medical Laboratory Science (MLS), which requires a one-year clinical experience on top of three years of coursework. This is what’s known at ISU as the 3-plus-1 program. Hands-on learning experiences are important to prepare future medical technologists, personnel who work in medical laboratories processing patient specimens. They are trained to work in all areas of the hospital laboratory including blood chemistry, urinalysis, blood cross-matching and typing, hematology and microbiology. This is why ISU has formed partnerships with hospital and medlab clinical programs around Indiana. Because it is fairly specialized, there are only a few MLS programs around the state and the job outlook is excellent, said Dr. Tami Rees, Coordinator of the Med Lab Science and Rural Health Programs. She serves as an academic advisor and she facilitates ISU’s partnerships with clinical programs. “There’s a lot of different areas you can work in other than human health,” she said of MLS. There are job opportunities in the veterinary health field and the food industry, for example. “There are definitely more positions available than there are people in the field right now.”



Schertz takes over as men’s basketball coach

New men’s basketball coach Josh Schertz (left) was introduced by Athletics Director Sherard Clinkscales (right) in March.

Josh Schertz, ISU’s new men’s basketball coach, is a highly respected four-time national coach of the year who won 83 percent of his games at Lincoln Memorial University in Tennessee. In 13 years at the NCAA Division II school, Schertz won 92 percent of his home games. He led the Railsplitters to 10 NCAA tournaments, three Southeast Regional titles and three Final Fours. But what ISU Athletics Director Sherard Clinkscles emphasized is something else. “I’m not going to talk about his record because it speaks for itself,” Clinkscales said at the news conference to introduce Schertz. “In the short time that I’ve known him, I can tell you he’s a fit for us. ... He has an authenticity that everyone is drawn to. ... He has maintained a level of success and has not fallen back. He’s fundraised, on his own, for a basketball practice facility. He is able to adapt to different leaderships and different styles. Plus, he flat-out lives for his players and for coaching. He’s a proven winner. His family ran to this opportunity not to be comfortable, but to be uncomfortable.” The announcement came in the middle of Lincoln University’s run in the NCAA Tournament. The Railsplitters made it to the semifinals before losing by one point on a buzzer-beating three-pointer. Before the Elite Eight, Schertz’s introductory news conference was at the atrium of the renovated Hulman Center. “I have been fortunate beyond what I deserve in life — not so much genetically. Hair. Height. Metabolism,” Schertz joked. “But other ways, in the important ways, I’ve really been blessed.” (continued on page 20)



Killinger named ISU women’s basketball coach

Chad Killinger said at his introductory news conference that he wants a program “that expects to be playing postseason basketball.”

Indiana native Chad Killinger is returning home. The coaching veteran, formerly assistant coach at Nicholls State University, was named in April as the ninth women’s basketball coach in Indiana State history. Killinger, a former national coach of the year for two-year colleges, had a 9-2 record as interim head coach at East Carolina University in 2018. He served as recruiting coordinator at Nicholls State and helped the Colonels rank in the top-50 nationally in six statistical categories. Throughout his 25-year coaching career, which started at his alma mater, Franklin College, Killinger has held nearly every position possible in a collegiate basketball program, from student-assistant coach, to assistant coach, to junior college head coach and now Division I head coach. “I am pleased that Chad has decided to lead the Indiana State women’s basketball program,” Athletics Director Sherard Clinkscales said. “He views this job as a destination based on the history of success and the strong affinity that he and his family have for the community. Chad is a seasoned leader who loves teaching the game and he understands and embraces the challenge of building a championship program in our highly competitive conference. I am confident that our program will be in good hands for years to come.” Killinger said he “couldn’t be more excited” to become ISU’s head coach. “The history of basketball in Indiana is rich and includes conference championships and postseason appearances by the Sycamore women’s basketball program,” Killinger said. “My family and I look forward to returning to my home (continued on page 20)



SCHERTZ (continued) Schertz was a high-level junior tennis player until age 12. His success in the sport ended when he didn’t grow as tall as other players. The book “Born to Coach: Josh Schertz and the Remarkable Rise of the LMU Railsplitters” says he decided on his profession, at age 22, after reading John Feinstein’s book “A March to Madness.”

“We’ll certainly try to play with great pace. We’ll certainly try to play unselfishly. We’ll be position-less if we can. We’ll have a lot of guys that can handle the ball and pass. ... We’ll have non-negotiables. We’ll make sure we move the ball and play together and we’re disciplined in our shot selection, and we take care of the ball.”

Schertz’s teams play a fast-paced, entertaining style. But he emphasized defense at the news conference.

Schertz said he had opportunities to become a Division I head coach before, but they weren’t the right fit.

“The best ‘team-builder’ you can do is to get good at something hard,” Schertz said. “Getting good at defense is the best team-builder out there, because of the amount of communication and trust it requires to become elite.

“I’m here to build a program,” Schertz said. “We’re certainly going to try to build something special here in Terre Haute and put together a program that’s built to last.”

Schertz (left) at Lincoln Memorial University and Killinger (right) at Nicholls State University. Photos provided by respective universities.

KILLINGER (continued) state after a 22-year journey that has given us countless memories and experiences to prepare us for this moment. “I want to thank (ISU President) Dr. Curtis, Sherard Clinkscales and (Senior Associate Athletic Director) Angie Lansing for embracing the vision we have for the women’s basketball program and the importance of the total student-athlete experience. There are several great things happening around Indiana State University and we look forward to contributing to the future of the university and the community of Terre Haute.” Before joining the staff at Nicholls State, Killinger spent one season at East Carolina University as an assistant coach. Prior to East Carolina, Killinger spent seven seasons as the head women’s basketball coach at Moberly Area



Community College in Missouri. Killinger had a 147-71 record at Moberly — the most wins and the highest winning percentage in NJCAA Region 16 during that time. In 2017-2018, Killinger guided Moberly to one of the best seasons in program history, with a 32-1 record and No. 4 ranking nationally. Killinger was named the U.S. Marine Corps/ Women’s Basketball Coaches Association Two-Year College National Coach of the Year; MCCAC Coach of the Year; and NJCAA Region 16 and District K Coach of the Year. At Mobley, Killinger coached one WBCA All-American; one second-team NJCAA AllAmerican; one third-team NJCAA All-American; four WBCA honorable mention All-Americans; and one NJCAA honorable mention AllAmerican.

FORMER ISU ATHLETE REPRESENTS UNIVERSITY AT MEN’S FINAL FOUR AS ANTHEM SINGER Former Sycamore pole vaulter Emily Brady represented Indiana State as a national anthem singer at the men’s Final Four in April at Lucas Oil Stadium in Indianapolis. Brady joined representatives from the other official host institutions — Ball State, Butler, Indiana, IUPUI and Purdue. “During her time as a student-athlete for our track and field team, she sang multiple times, including at the NCAA Cross Country Championships,” track and field program director Angela Martin said. “She is incredibly talented and Indiana State is lucky to have her as a representative.” Brady earned all-Missouri Valley Conference honors in the pole vault at the 2018 conference indoor meet. Brady was also honored as an MVC scholar-athlete during the 2017 and 2018 seasons.


by Dav e




Photos courtesy of Brittany Danko.



Pilot and ISU alumna is role model for women in aviation At the outset of the Covid-19 pandemic a year ago, airline pilot Brittany Danko found herself with extra time due to cancelled flights. So, she thought, “What productive thing can I do with my time right now?” She started a TikTok account. Her first video was about how she packs for work trips. She was “blown away” when it got 30,000 views.


But it was another video featuring fellow female pilots, several of them ISU alumnae, that brought her the first million views. “That’s when my page took off,” she said. “I didn’t expect it to blow up like that.” Ironically, Danko used to make fun of TikTok. Now, she’s gaining popularity for her videos on the platform, which show the behind-thescenes fun of flying and promote the profession to girls and women. The account has more than 400,000 followers and more than 60 million views. But Danko’s favorite feedback is from younger people who share with her that they have been inspired to get into flying because of her. That is the main purpose of the TikTok account, she said, “Let’s show people that females fly.” “It meant a lot to me to be able to bring the STEM fields to TikTok and find a fun way to show girls that they can do it,” Danko said. “This is a really cool way to show younger people, especially younger females, the STEM fields.”

Airline pilot Brittany Danko ’17 started sharing videos on TikTok a year ago to show the world the behind-the-scenes fun of flying.

According to 2019 data from the FAA’s Aeronautical Center, women are 7.9 percent of all pilots and 4.5 percent of airline pilots. (continued on page 26)



be successful. “Indiana State really helped me grow up. I learned a lot about responsibility. … I love the Indiana State University Flight Academy. “I owe them everything. I had the most fun years of my life at ISU.” She has been flying since age 16 and growing up in a small southern Indiana town. In high school, a program allowed her to attend classes part-time and also a vocational school. “I started taking those aviation classes...and the second I took off in a plane, I was mind blown imagining that somebody would ever pay me to do this for a job,” she said. “I fell in love very quickly and it came together perfectly for me.” Danko had another exciting experience: She was a contestant on the CBS game show “The Price is Right.” Danko said she and a few friends traveled to Los Angeles in November 2019 and decided to get tickets for the live show. She was selected from the audience to be a contestant and walked away with $1,000 and a TV. The episode aired in February 2020.

Danko was a contestant on the CBS game show “The Price is Right.” The episode aired in February 2020.

Danko is a pilot at Indianapolis-based Republic Airways, with high hopes of becoming captain next year. She graduated from ISU in 2017. Her majors were Professional Aviation Flight Technology and Aviation Management. She was third runner-up for Miss ISU in 2017. “If you love your job, it makes all the difference,” she said. “Even on my worst days, even



when I’m tired, even when I don’t feel great, I am still so thankful to sit up front and be able to watch that sunset. It’s unreal. I’m grateful for that.” Thanks to ISU’s partnership with Republic Airways, she was able to connect with the company during college. She was also a flight instructor at ISU for a couple of years. She said that ISU gave her all the tools she needs to

“Life is very unexpected,” Danko said of ‘The Price is Right’ experience. “When you have the opportunity to do something fun, do it. … Put yourself out there because you might look silly but you might have a really good time.” Regarding TikTok, she said, “I didn’t know it was going to be what it is, but I’m really happy I took that leap. … You can really do some great things if you get out of your comfort zone and build a following and find ways to share your passion with others.” Follow her on TikTok @pilot_brit.

Photo courtesy of Taylor Schaffer.

Taylor Schaffer begins new roles in Indy local government For Taylor Schaffer, the newly-appointed Indianapolis Chief Deputy Mayor and Chief of Staff, working in local government means being able to make an impact on the community. “The foundation of local government is direct service to people,” she said.


Schaffer is a 2011 communications graduate of Indiana State University and former Miss ISU. Her minor was in political science. The proud Sycamore is using her ISU education and the diverse experiences she has gained since graduating to serve the people of Indianapolis in Mayor Joe Hogsett’s administration.


The accomplishments she is most proud of from about five years in local government may seem small but have tangible impact on people who live in the city, she said. For example, she felt satisfaction the first time she spotted the updated streetlights while driving or walking down the street and seeing “everyone” wearing the blue Indy face masks, which her team successfully distributed a couple of months into the pandemic. Schaffer, a Terre Haute native, began in her new leadership roles Jan. 1, and she believes her leadership skills can be directly attributed to her time


at ISU. During Give to Blue Day on March 3, Schaffer tweeted that ISU, particularly her involvement with the dance team, “showed me how to be a leader, the importance of teamwork, and what could be accomplished through dedication and perseverance.” In addition to serving as a Sparkette Dance Team officer and co-captain, she was involved in a variety of groups including the Student Government Association and the Statesman campus newspaper. She was a 2011 Indianapolis 500 Festival princess. “My favorite thing about Indiana State is that I had the opportunity to try so many different things and to do so many different things,” she said. “I truly believe that having so many opportunities where people were investing in me helped to create the adult that I am now.” Professors and mentors who encouraged her to take advantage of opportunities helped her understand her true passion, she said.

“Being able to really learn who you are and stretching yourself during your time at ISU is one of the biggest gifts that the university offers,” she said. Before her new appointments, she was deputy chief of staff and a senior policy advisor managing all messaging and communications efforts for the mayor’s office and executive branch departments. She previously served as communications director at the mayor’s office. Prior to joining the administration in 2016, Schaffer worked in the private sector for clients ranging from non-profit organizations to Fortune 500 companies, developing communications, branding, and marketing strategies. She serves as board president for the Indianapolis City Market and Mary Rigg Neighborhood Center, and is a board member for the IndyHub Foundation. Her mother, Tammy Shike, also an alumna, works as Spirit Squad and Community Service Coordinator for ISU Athletics.

GRAMMY NOMINATED ARTIST WEARS SWEATSHIRT WITH ISU SEAL When Indiana State University’s seal was spotted in a sweatshirt worn by Korean pop celebrity Kim Namjoon, popularly known as RM, it touched off a storm on social media. RM is the lead singer of the internationally-known, GRAMMY nominated South Korean boy band BTS. He wore the sweatshirt in a photo tweeted by the musical band’s official account to its 28 million followers to celebrate big wins at the 2021 Korean Music Awards. BTS won Song of the Year and Best Pop Song for “Dynamite.” Even though Indiana was misspelled “Indianana” on the sweatshirt, the shoutout from the rapper, songwriter, and record producer gained ISU considerable attention on social media. That same tweet and photo were also embedded in news sites and blogs covering K-pop, which generated comments from fans. One of them tweeted, “I’m moving to Indiana State University.” It’s uncertain why RM wore the shirt and where he found it. ISU’s tweets in response to the BTS tweet thanked RM for sporting the gear and encouraged followers to get official Indiana State apparel. The university Twitter account’s initial tweet on March 1 received more than 69,000 likes, 14,000 retweets, and 183 comments. The top-performing tweet, which shared a “big THANK YOU to RM” and congratulated the band and its fans on the awards, gained 1.54 million total impressions. A related Facebook post reached 36,188 accounts and the Instagram post received 1,753 likes and 59 comments. Between Feb. 28 and March 2, the university account received thousands of social media mentions in the United States and abroad, including Mexico, Brazil, Peru, India, Indonesia, Japan, and South Korea. Mentions also came from other parts of Asia, Europe, and Africa. BTS was nominated for Best Pop Duo/Group Performance at the 2021 GRAMMY Awards.



Indiana State University’s third annual day of giving on March 3 resulted in more than $1 million for the university — a 51 percent increase over the total funds raised by 2020 Give to Blue Day. A total of 2,620 donors from 48 U.S. states and five countries demonstrated strong Sycamore spirit by collectively contributing $1,022,945 during the 24-hour fundraising event. The donor count, just shy of the 2,700 goal, was still 202 donors more than last year’s number. The average size of the gifts was $295. The $1 million mark was reached just after 11 p.m. on Give to Blue Day. “Every gift to ISU supports the education and experiences of our remarkable students,” said President Deborah Curtis. “I am happy to see that Sycamores and friends expressed their full support during Give to Blue Day. We are very grateful.” Said Andrea Angel, Vice President of University Advancement and CEO of the ISU Foundation: “Give to Blue Day was an extraordinary day for Indiana State University. We are extremely grateful to donors who supported the day, and those who made challenge and matching gifts inspiring others to give.” “The more than $1 million raised in 24 hours makes Give to Blue Day the single largest fundraiser in ISU history. These results will have a bold impact on our students and show the positive momentum in donors making joyful gifts to ISU.” The event was digitally driven by 617 social media ambassadors and many employees and alumni. Because of the pandemic, there was no major in-person event this year but in addition to donating, many members of the campus community celebrated by visiting the Give to Blue Day headquarters in the Hulman Memorial Student Union, decorating their offices, and wearing ISU gear.


Fifteen local businesses, many owned by alumni, participated in Give to Blue Day by contributing a portion of their sales to ISU. That effort raised nearly $10,000.



Indiana State alumni accounted for 70 percent of total giving. Sycamore Athletics topped the leaderboard with $242,255 in gifts, followed by the Scott College of Business with a total of $122,595. Nearly 300 ISU students made donations on Give to Blue Day. “It was amazing how the Sycamore family came together and gave in unprecedented levels on Give to Blue Day,” said Hilary Duncan, Director of Annual Giving. “The overwhelming support we received throughout the day impacted the website user experience, but that did not stop 2,620 donors from giving in support of our University, students and programs. We are excited to continue building on the momentum from Give to Blue Day this year.” To make a gift in support of Indiana State University, contact the Division of University Advancement at 812-237-6100 or



Indiana Principal Leadership Institute

has unique blueprint for training The Indiana Principal Leadership Institute (IPLI) was born at ISU in 2013, funded with bipartisan support in the state legislature to strengthen K-12 education in Indiana. Since then, 464 principals, 20,611 teachers, and 300,079 students have been directly impacted by IPLI’s programs, according to the institute. IPLI’s model is unique among states, said director Dr. Kelly Andrews, who took over last August. Even before Andrews arrived at ISU, IPLI had its sights set beyond Indiana’s borders. Late in 2019, former IPLI director Linda Marrs-Morford; Dr. Steve Gruenert, IPLI’s liaison with ISU’s Department of Educational Leadership; and other IPLI leaders went to Washington, D.C., and spoke about IPLI at the National Summit on School Leadership.



“I think Linda and Steve were the ones who said, ‘It’s time to start thinking about taking this on the road,’” Andrews said. “My conversation with (ISU President Dr. Deborah J. Curtis) was very encouraging because that was the direction she’d like this go.” IPLI is a two-year institute designed to address the professional needs of active Indiana principals with an emphasis on student success. The institute works with principals to increase their leadership capacity and to address the needs of their school such as teacher evaluation models, student performance, community involvement, and shaping strong school culture. About 50 to 60 principals comprise each annual institute cohort. Focus cohorts of four to five participants from the larger group are guided by mentors who have demonstrated successful school leadership and have previously participated in IPLI. Each mentor is selected with the assistance of the Indiana Association of School Principals. Near the middle of the first year, discussions move from personal leadership to building-level dynamics. While the focus is never completely away from the individual principal, the interaction of personal and organizational

capacities and goals are addressed. A Personal Improvement Action Research project and a School Improvement Action Research project is developed and continually revised throughout the two-year institute. Participants have the opportunity to apply for graduate-level credits through the institute. Andrews brims similarly with enthusiasm about the potential for IPLI. Growing the institute is always in the back of her mind. “Our vision statement talks about becoming a nationally recognized professional development opportunity for Indiana principals, indicating that we could even go regional or national at some point,” she said. “We don’t want to keep this a secret just for Indiana. We’d like to share this with other state universities in Michigan, Kentucky, Illinois and Ohio.” And in the process, increase the notoriety of ISU. “For me, that’s kind of sitting out there, drawing me,” Andrews said. “But right now, our focus is to get beyond the pandemic, making sure we are connecting leaders as they increase their leadership capacity through in-person seminars.”

ISU students take oath as digital forensic investigators


Vigo County Prosecutor Terry Modesitt swears in ISU Cybercriminology and Security Studies students (from left) Carla Morales, Courtney Hughes, and Christinea Winesberry as digital forensic investigators in a ceremony on April 16 at the Vigo Superior Court Division 1 Courtroom.

Family members and friends proudly watched as Cybercriminology and Security Studies majors Courtney Hughes, Carla Morales, and Christinea Winesberry swore an oath to “faithfully, honestly, and impartially discharge the duties of investigator” with the Vigo County Prosecutor’s Office. The swearing-in ceremony for the digital forensic investigators, chosen to be the first group of interns in a new partnership, took place in April at the Vigo County Courthouse. The partnership is between Indiana State University’s School of Criminology and Security Studies; the Vigo County Prosecutor’s Office; the Terre Haute Police Department; and the Vigo County Sheriff’s Office. In addition to the students’ family members, faculty from the School of Criminology and Security Studies, law enforcement officers, and media were also present at the oath-taking. (continued on page 34)



CYBERSLEUTHS (continued) “We are excited about the opportunity to partner with the ISU cybersecurity program,” Prosecutor Terry Modesitt said. “This program will allow students to gain real-world experience in a growing field while assisting law enforcement and prosecutors in discovering and sorting through the growing mounds of digital evidence. “Surveillance video, including body cams, cell phone data, and cell tower data can provide a wealth of information that helps create a more just result in our cases. This partnership will allow us to better serve and protect the community.” The interns will have law enforcement powers while on duty, under the supervision of a law enforcement officer. They may be called to testify on evidence in court. “This internship intrigued me because while I get to do the things that I am passionate about, I will also be challenged and brought out of my comfort zone, which will encourage a great amount of personal and professional growth,” Hughes said. “I am excited to gain new skills and be able to apply them to doing good. This internship gives me an opportunity to have a positive impact and I am really looking forward to making that a reality.” After training this summer, the interns will begin assisting law enforcement in recovering and reviewing digital evidence. The work will be done in a lab inside ISU’s Holmstedt Hall. “I am looking forward to utilizing the new cyber lab that was created for the purposes of this internship,” Morales said. “I plan on spending a lot of my free time working on cases and other related tasks there. I am also looking forward to continuing to expand my knowledge of digital forensics and being able to use tools that professionals are currently using in the field.” Like her fellow interns, Winesberry is excited to apply the skills she learned in the classroom to real cases. “It is a unique experience that allows me to help the community while enhancing my skills and knowledge,” she said. Winesberry is from San Francisco, California; Morales is from Downers Grove, Illinois; and Hughes is from New Middletown, Ohio. The students have a GPA of at least 3.75 and have completed computer forensics courses at ISU. They were interviewed by the police department and sheriff’s office for the internship. DeVere Woods, Ph D., Director of the School of Criminology and Security Studies, said the project required the cooperation of several people at ISU and Vigo County law enforcement agencies led by Chief Deputy Prosecutor Rob Roberts. “This is an exciting opportunity for ISU,” Woods said. “This will change the lives of students who successfully participate in this project. They will develop and hone their skills into great job opportunities. “This is a classic example of ISU’s dedication to experiential learning and community involvement that benefits all involved. “While this partnership is an important development, it is only a first step. We are already discussing other initiatives that will involve more students, assist area agencies, and benefit the community.”



New Online MBA program reflects effort to serve students in flexible manner ISU’s new Online MBA program, which launches this fall, is an evolution for the university, said Dr. Tim London, ISU’s Executive Director of Extended Learning. It will build on the university’s successful existing portfolio of online programs and on the on-campus MBA program, which has been named among the “nation’s best” for 15 straight years by the Princeton Review. The design, including eight-week classes, “enables greater speed to completion for those who need their degree quickly and greater flexibility to students who need to build their studies around a busy work and/or home life,” London said. He added, “As people expect more dynamic learning offerings, the Online MBA will clearly show that ISU is changing to meet those needs.” Dr. Kuntal Bhattacharyya — known on campus as “Dr. B” — created the program as Executive Director of Graduate Programs at the Scott College of Business. He said it was an intense process that started in January.

Dr. Kuntal Bhattacharyya

The program comprises 11 courses that can be completed in a year, 18 months or two years. “You can do it in a year,” Dr. B. said. “It would be rough, but some students will be up for it. It is an accelerated path to earning a degree of distinction that is built on a practitioner-focused curriculum.” The Scott College of Business is an attraction for students in part because of its accreditation from the Association to Advance Collegiate Schools of Business. According to the AACSB, less than 5 percent of business schools worldwide and less than 25 percent in the U.S. have the accreditation. London said the flexibility will be a hallmark of the program. “Our commitment to working with students and partners in the business, non-profit, and government spaces will also ensure the program continues to grow and adapt as required, whether that be in the courses offered, new specializations, or in how we support student success,” he said. “Because the program is designed collaboratively with faculty and a team of expert instructional designers, it will be online learning at its best.”

Dr. Tim London



The impact of donor giving at Indiana State University is helping establish and advance university programs and initiatives. The philanthropic passions of our donors improve the lives of our students through scholarships, experiential learning, program and facility development, and much more. A $250,000 gift from alumni Mike and Amy Alley created the Linda Eldred Student Leadership Center and the Michael and Amy Alley Student Professional Development Fellows Program. The Leadership Center, housed in the Hulman Memorial Student Union within the Office of Campus Life, will support programs for students on leadership development, inclusion, personal and professional growth, and community service. The Professional Development Fellows Program creates an endowment for professional development opportunities for students in the Scott College of Business.

Mike and Amy Alley

The John W. Anderson Foundation committed $100,000 aimed at helping the greatest needs of the university and students through Bridge the Gap Scholarships and the Fund for Indiana State. The Anderson Foundation’s support of ISU has spanned more than five decades. Mike and Mary Blackwell have made a $100,000 philanthropic commitment for Sycamore Athletics. Their gift will provide annual support of the Sycamore Athletics General Fund, helping the greatest needs and priorities of the Athletic Department. This fund provides flexibility to allocate resources to the most crucial program needs. Troy and Pam Biddle, owner of Terre Hautebased Hannig Construction, pledged $100,000 to create a Construction Management scholarship in honor of his parents, Bill



and Toni Biddle, who led Hannig for two decades. Additionally, the Bill and Toni Biddle Construction Management Lab in the Technology Annex Building was named through this gift. The estate of Carol Brush contributed $140,000 to establish the Karl E. and Carol A. Brush Special Education Scholarship. This endowed scholarship supports Bayh College of Education students pursuing degrees in special education. Sandy Senior-Dauer and Keith Dauer shared their eagerness for exploration with a $250,000 gift commitment to create the Sandy SeniorDauer and Keith Dauer Department of History Study-Abroad Scholarship. The scholarship endowment will support students and faculty in the Department of History, providing support for academic and cultural learning experiences through travel. Don Dudine provided a philanthropic gift that created the second Joyful Giving display in the ISU Foundation office. The Joyful Giving project came from Don’s passion for growing the culture of philanthropy at ISU. The displays are designed to generate meaningful discussion and showcase the importance of philanthropy for programs and students. The first Joyful Giving display is housed in the Hulman Memorial Student Union.

Troy and Pam Biddle

Esko, global developer of integrated software and hardware solutions for the packaging, label and wide format sectors, made a multimillion-dollar in-kind gift of software for the Packaging Engineering Technology program. For the next three years, Esko will provide 50 software licenses to industry-leading programs to keep ISU students on the cutting edge of the profession and promote a skilled workforce for Esko customers. FedEx made a $100,000 gift to the FedEx Purple Runway Scholarship program at ISU. The gift supports the third cohort of student scholarship recipients who are majoring in Professional Flight Aviation Technology. The scholarship is an initiative of the FedEx Purple Runway program, which helps students earn their CFI, CFII and MEI ratings, creating a (continued on page 38)



pipeline of highly trained and qualified pilots for the aviation industry. Richard and Carla Hay created the Dick Hay Memorial Fund endowment. Their philanthropic gift was recognized by the naming of the Dick Hay Art Annex. The gift provides support for the ceramics program and to inspire innovation and creativity. Dick Hay began his 40-year career at ISU in 1966 and was internationally known for his work in ceramics. A significant portion of his personal collection will be preserved as part of the university’s Permanent Art Collection. The Hulman-George family made a six-figure contribution supporting campus facility improvements. The family’s decades of philanthropic support have funded numerous initiatives and projects that have impacted generations of Sycamores. The Institute for Citizens and Scholars provided $160,000 in support of the MBA in Educational Leadership program. This Indiana State program was established in 2015 from a grant for the Institute as a partnership with the Scott College of Business and the Bayh College of Education’s Department of Education Leadership. This unique program is designed exclusively for working professional educators and prepares a new generation of educational leaders. Bob and Lisa Jerry created two endowed scholarship funds through a $580,000 philanthropic commitment to ISU in their estate. The Jerry Family Scholarship will support ISU full- and part-time students whose parents have not earned a bachelor’s degree. The Roy M. and Dorothy R. Jerry Scholarship fund, established in memory of the donor’s uncle and aunt, will support students who are from Brazil, Ind.

Dick Hay

Dr. Joseph Koval made a six-figure commitment through his estate to establish scholarships supporting the Sycamore football program. Joe grew up in Pennsylvania and came to ISU to play football. He earned three degrees from ISU. Linda Larson committed $100,000 through her estate plans to support Indiana State. Her gift will ensure the University continues to transform the lives of students through a highquality education infused with experiential learning, community engagement and career-readiness. The Lilly Endowment has named Indiana State as a recipient of its Charting the Futures Grant. It provides $6.5 million for “Sycamores Achieve,” a new program to improve retention and graduation rates of first-generation students, students of color, and students who qualify for federal Pell Grants. ISU will collaborate with Ivy Tech Community College-Terre Haute to support students with more intensive, developmental and holistic advising to improve retention and four-year graduation rates. Magnet Forensics provided a gift of its AXIOM Cyber software in support of the School of Criminology and Security Studies. Magnet Forensics is a global leader in development of digital investigation software that acquires, analyzes and shares evidence from computers, mobile devices, the cloud, and more. The in-kind software donation provides experiential learning for students studying cyber criminology. Christopher McFail joined the 1865 Society with a gift commitment through his estate. His six-figure commitment will support the greatest needs of the university.



The McKee family, whose connection to Indiana State University spans three generations and nine decades, has donated $250,000 in support of the President’s Scholars program. In recognition of their commitment the McKee Family Heritage Lounge in Tirey Hall was named. The gift will create the McKee Family President’s Scholars Academic Experience Fund, supporting fellowships for exceptional students. McKee Fellows will receive support in areas including undergraduate research, creative activity such as artistic exhibitions, internships, residencies, and professional opportunities. A multi-year commitment from Paris, Illinois-based North American Lighting is recognized with the naming of the North American Lighting Student Success Center in the College of Technology. NAL’s philanthropic commitment supports a variety of ISU initiatives. For the College of Technology, NAL’s gift will enhance the Mechanical Engineering Technology Lab; support scholarships for the Mechanical Engineering Technology program and STEM education experiential learning programs; and grow networking opportunities and other student success initiatives. NAL will also provide scholarship support for the Scott College of Business and Sycamore Athletics sponsorships. Tim and Bobbie O’Neill gave more than $100,000 to the O’Neill Unrestricted Endowment. The O’Neills established the endowed fund in 2007. It has supported a variety of Indiana State programs and initiatives. The estate of Brian Phillips established a $500,000 endowment for the School of Music. Brian’s wife of 50-years, Bettie Neckar Phillips, grew up in Terre Haute and attended ISU. The Dr. Brian R. Phillips and Bettie Neckar Phillips Endowed Music Scholarship honors the couple’s love of music and long connection to Indiana State University and Terre Haute.

Rich and Robin Porter


A $250,000 gift from Rich and Robin Porter established the Rich and Robin Porter Cancer Research Center in the College of Arts and Sciences. The donation supports five Rich and Robin Porter Research Fellows — internationally competitive graduate students — allowing them to focus their time and attention on cancer research. Jack and Joyce Rentschler gave $100,000 in support of a variety of ISU athletic, academic and alumni programs. Their support helped inspire donations as a part of the university’s annual Give to Blue Day. The estate of James Smith enhanced the Earl Cooper Smith Chemistry Award endowment through a contribution of $128,000. The scholarship supporting sophomore Chemistry majors was established in 1974 by James’ parents, Dr. Earl and Mrs. Marion Smith. Carolyn Steinbaugh made a $1 million commitment to establish an endowment recognizing her late husband Dr. Robert P. Steinbaugh. Dr. Steinbaugh was an Indiana State University faculty member from 1957 until his retirement in 1991. During his 34-year career at ISU, Dr. Steinbaugh taught business courses in management and finance. He served as departmental chair from 1957 to 1984 and was active in faculty government. Her generosity will support faculty development in the Scott College of Business.

Jack and Joyce Rentschler




1970s Steven Balash ’72, GR ’76, of Hobart, retired in June 2020 after 48 years of teaching and coaching football, wrestling and track. Ronald Anderson ’73, of Gary, was promoted to District Partnership at Healthcare Solutions Team in Lombard, Illinois. His career in insurance spans over 28 years. Terry Sargent ’75, of North Vernon, was promoted to Vice President of Lancer + Beebe, LCC Architecture & Design. Becky Boling GR ’76, of Northfield, MN, published several poems in Willows Wept Review in the summer and fall issues of 2020, as well as the forthcoming winter issue (2021).

1980s Jorge Olaves-Hernandez ’80, GR ’86, of Tallahassee, FL, was selected as the Advanced Teacher of the Year for 2019-2020 at Florida A&M University. John Nelson ’83, of White Pigeon, MI, was hired as the Project Site Manager and Inspector at Nelson Engineering Services, LLC. Cathy Harbin ’85, of Paris, TX, joined the PGA Board of Directors in January 2021. Harbin will co-chair committees designed to help grow the game, including Adult Player Development and A Place to Play.



Dr. Jon McKamey ’85, GR ’87, of Brookville, serves on the Provost’s Academic Response Team at Cincinnati State Technical & Community College. McKamey was named one of the college’s recipients of the Celebration of Teaching award from the Greater Cincinnati Collegiate Connection and was one of the 2021 Excellence Award recipients from the Southwestern Ohio Council of Higher Education.

Jordan Hollingsworth ’07, GR ’11, of Indianapolis, was given the Award of Excellence for Construction Health and Safety Technicians (CHSTs).


Kelly Courtney ’10, GR ’17, of Westfield, was promoted to Head of the Project Management Organization (PMO) at TopBloc.

Sherry Kidwell ’91, of Brazil, earned the 2020 Excellence in Education award from the Vigo County Education Foundation. Steve Winbun ’93, of Indianapolis, was hired as VP of Sales at Apex Benefits, a benefits advisory firm based in Indianapolis. Louie Morphew ’98, of Centennial, CO, started a new position in December 2020 as Director of Regional Community Outreach at Morgan Community College in Limon, Colorado.

2000s Denise Bennett ’01, of Silver Spring, MD, was recently named Vice President of Brand Strategy at iHeart Media in New York City. Terrence Mason GR ’05, of Cincinnati, OH, was hired at Janssen Pharmaceutical Companies of Johnson & Johnson as an Executive Sales Specialist.

Kara Schilli ’09, GR ’12, of Valley Park, MO, was promoted in January 2021 to Associate Vice President of Enrollment Management at Lindenwood University.


Jessica Arbai ’11, of Charlotte, NC, began a new position with Atlantic Health System as the Nurse Auditor for Quality Improvement. Taylor Schaffer ’11, of Indianapolis, was promoted in January 2021 to Chief Deputy Mayor of Indianapolis. Andrew Skaggs ’12, of Noblesville, Ind., was named the 2020-21 Young Insurance Professional of the Year by the Professional Insurance Agents of Indiana. Justin Randall ’13, of St. Louis, MO, was promoted in November to Community Development Director for the City of O’Fallon, Illinois. Chris O’Leary ’15, of South Bend, has been promoted to the Pat and Jana Eilers Defensive Backs/Safeties Coach at the University of Notre Dame.

New ISU license plate available from BMV on July 1 A newly designed Indiana State University license plate will be available July 1 from the Indiana Bureau of Motor Vehicles. The ISU license plate is an opportunity for alumni and friends who are residents of Indiana to proudly display their Sycamore pride and show their support for ISU. The new license plate design uses the Sycamore leaf logo and the university’s updated logo font. A survey of current ISU license plate holders preferred the Sycamore leaf by a large margin. “We’re delighted that a license plate with the Sycamore leaf logo will be available for alumni and friends who want to support Indiana State University,” ISU President Deborah J. Curtis said. “When you see this plate, you’ll know it belongs to a fellow member of the Sycamore Family.” The $40 fee includes $25 that will help support Indiana State Alumni Association initiatives and programming to keep Sycamores connected to their roots. The cost is in addition to regular vehicle registration fees and taxes. “Purchasing or renewing an ISU license plate is a convenient way for alumni and friends to support Indiana State,” said Rex Kendall, Executive Director of the ISU Alumni Association. “The new ISU plate design features a bold blue and white Sycamore leaf. Now is the time to ride with STATE pride!”

University license plate holders. After seven registration years have passed since the last issuance of a metal plate, a new metal plate is issued. Current Sycamores who have an Indiana State University plate and would like to request the new design can do so for a fee of $9.50 through the BMV. Alumni and friends receiving an Indiana State University license plate for the first time may request an Indiana State University license plate online through the BMV website. More information regarding the policies and procedures of the Indiana BMV can be found on its website.

The Indiana Bureau of Motor Vehicles issues a new metal plate every seven registration years to Indiana State

Sycamore Alumni and friends residing in Indiana can ride with STATE pride when purchasing and/or renewing the ISU license plate!

Isaiah Ernst ’16, of Indianapolis, was promoted to Sergeant with the Greenfield Police Department in January 2021.

Alexis Mele ’18, of Plainfield, IL, was promoted in February 2021 to a Board Certified Behavior Analyst with Chicago ABA Therapy.

Anne Phillips GR ’16, of New Albany, was promoted in September 2020 to System Director of Clinical Nutrition and Patient Services for Baptist Health (KY & IN).

2020s Molly Morgan ’20, of Cary, IL, accepted a position as a Marketing Associate for Stryker Sage.

Our alumni achieve remarkable successes every day. Learning about your significant life events, such as marriages, promotions, awards, community involvement, and even the addition of new Sycamores into your family, inspires us. Do you have some good news to share? We love highlighting our Sycamores — whether it be on social media, in STATE Magazine or on our website — but we can’t do it without your help! Let us know what’s happening in your life. Share your personal and professional accomplishments by filling out the online form at

Questions? Contact the ISU Alumni Office at 812-237-6100 or






Photo courtesy of Martin’s Photo Shop/ISU Archives.




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Profile for Indiana State University

STATE magazine Spring 2021  

STATE magazine Spring 2021  


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