STATE Magazine Spring/Summer 2024

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Ahsan Khan delivered one of three student speeches at Spring Commencement. Khan graduated cum laude with a Bachelor of Science in Computer Science. <

is published by University Communication of Indiana State University. ©2024

President of Indiana State University

Mike Godard, Ph.D.

Chief of Staff, Office of the President Rex Kendall ’88, GR ’91

Director, University Communication & Editor-in-Chief, STATE Magazine

Martha Thomson

Associate Director, University Communication & Managing Editor, STATE Magazine Zeke Torres

Graphic Designer, University Communication Kelli Cheever


Andrea Angel, Advancement

Tony Campbell, Photography

Tracy Ford ’88, GR ’05, Photography

Angie Lansing ’98, Athletics

Seth Montgomery, Athletics

Allanee Quick ’18, Alumni

Amber Stinson ’19, GR ’21, Advancement Darcy Tayler, Arts & Sciences

Jeremiah Turner ’19, Advancement

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All photography in this magazine is provided by Indiana State University, including University Marketing, Martin’s Photo Shop/ISU Archives, Sycamore Athletics, unless otherwise noted.




























Dear Sycamore Friends and Family,

As our campus quiets with the academic year’s conclusion, I think about how different things will look in just a few short months with the beginning of classes. Beyond that, I think about how different our state and world will look, thanks to the hard work put forth by our Sycamore graduates. Indiana State University has the power to change lives and the communities in which our graduates live, which is why the theme for this State Magazine, ‘Investing in the Future,’ seemed so fitting.

We recently graduated 1,547 students from Indiana State. Our graduate class represented 22 states and nine countries; our undergraduate class came from 40 states and 11 countries. Commencement is one of the year's most memorable days because we see students walk across the stage and earn a diploma in front of their friends and family.

Our generous donors, through their unwavering support, have significantly shaped Indiana State’s future. The ‘Be So BOLD ’ campaign, led by ISU’s Division of University Advancement, has exceeded its goal of fundraising $100 million, a remarkable achievement accomplished 18 months ahead of schedule. This transformative educational experience made possible by you, our donors, will empower our Sycamores of today and tomorrow.

Sycamore Athletics continues to represent Indiana State nationally, and our student-athletes excel in and out of the classroom. This success is sending shock waves through the community as Terre Haute and Sycamore Nation is booming with pride. The best student section in mid-major sports, The Forest, continues to grow.

As my presidency at Indiana State concludes after six incredible years, I want to thank all of you for your unwavering support of our beloved institution and our exceptional students, staff, and faculty.

While you read this edition of STATE Magazine, I hope you are as excited about the upcoming opportunities ahead for Indiana State University, Terre Haute, and the Wabash Valley. Years of hard work and due diligence are paying off, and planning is underway for the next several years in West Central Indiana. It all begins here at Indiana State University.

March On,


When Indiana State University Senior Camden Harden lined up to attempt the “$10,000 EPIC Insurance Putt for Dough” at the Indiana State men’s basketball game, he had no idea he would go from everyday college student to a media sensation in just 24 hours.

His challenge: make a full-court putt. The kicker: be the first ever to do it. Yet even with a daunting task, his confidence was high.

“I have been playing golf consistently for about seven years. I go to every home game and watch away games on TV. I have seen the putt for quite some time. Everybody shoots it too fast. When it’s on hardwood, it’ll roll for days. I told myself I need to hit this soft and focus on hitting it straight,” said the Terre Haute native.

Like previous participants, he was selected at random. The only requirement was that he be part of the best fan base in mid-major college basketball, The Forest. After being chosen, Harden strategized. He opted not to use the Happy Gilmore approach but to be calm, cool, and collected.

After lining up, Harden looked at his target one last time. There were only 94 feet between him and history. As he recalls, the instant the ball left the putter, he knew it was money.

“When the ball got to half court, Corey (Clark) bent down next to me and said, ‘holy crap, this might go in.’ We stood there and went nuts when it went in. When I heard the crowd roar, I had to

give the crowd what they wanted. I ran around the court, wailing my arms. In shock, at this point, my body rushed with adrenaline, and the noise was completely blocked out. This is a once-in-a-lifetime shot. Most pros will never hit a 94-foot putt ever. I did it on the first try,” Harden said.

Inside the Hulman Center, chaos ensued unlike anything seen in recent memory. Fans jumped, the Spirit Squad yelled, and coaches and players paused in the middle of the timeout to see what the madness was about. Harden’s putt unintentionally kicked off a historic second half of ISU men’s basketball’s 2023-24 season.

His putt reached beyond Terre Haute on every central platform and outlet.

“The 2nd half of the basketball game, I did not watch a single minute. My phone was flooded with messages and DMs. My shot got Sports Center’s number 1 play of the day and reached National News on CBS Today. ESPN has about 10 million views on my video, which is unreal. This is a moment I will never forget, and neither will many of the people I know. One day, I’ll share this with my kids. The number 1 highlight of my whole 21 years of life,” he said.

As for how he plans to spend his fortune, he’s playing it smart and using it as a down payment for a house or car.

When asked if he could make that historic putt again, his answer is simple, “There is no way.”<




Indiana State alumna Kati Hirschy ’16 educates children about human equality and how they should be viewed. Her book, “My Autistic Mama,” discusses autistic traits from a positive and joyful perspective, providing representation that autistic children can be proud of.

In early 2024, Hirschy read her story to Indiana State’s Early Childhood Education Center students, met with multiple classes in the Bayh College of Education, and hosted a reading on campus.

Hirschy and her family live in Indianapolis, where she is a photographer. Her book, “My Autistic Mama,” is available on Amazon.<


Indiana State University’s 2023-24 Student Government Association (SGA) actively promoted mental health awareness throughout the year. The SGA advocated for mental health resources through student engagement activities and included information on mental health resources on student ID cards. During baseball season at Bob Warn Field, the SGA distributed shirts reading, “It is okay to talk about your mental health.”<


O’Leary graduated from Indiana State as a student-athlete with a degree in Physical Education from the Bayh College of Education. Additionally, he won the Outstanding Physical Education Major Award. At ISU, he is remembered as a model student with excellent athletics and a strong work ethic.

After his playing career, he began coaching at Georgia State University from 2015 to 2016, and then the following year, he went to Georgia Tech University. From 2018 to 2023, O’Leary was at Notre Dame University, first as a defensive analyst before being promoted to defensive backs coach/ safeties. Coach O’Leary produced top first-round draft picks and helped guide his safety, Xavier Watts, to winning the Bronko Nagurski Trophy, presented to the top defensive player in the country.

Congratulations, Coach O’Leary! Indiana State University is proud of you.<

Indiana State University congratulates Sycamore alum, Chris O’Leary ’14, GR ’16 on being named the Safeties Coach for the Los Angeles Chargers. O’Leary was hired by head coach Jim Harbaugh.

Since being named Indiana State University’s first female President in 2018, Dr. Deborah J. Curtis has diligently and proudly served her alma mater, furthering Indiana State University’s work as a community hub and academic leader in West Central Indiana. Her leadership has elevated the University and deeply impacted the community, fostering a sense of shared pride and accomplishment.

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LEAVING A LEGACY (continued)

Under her leadership, Dr. Curtis has prioritized philanthropy and consistently helped fundraise the most significant donations in Indiana State University’s history. She helped establish ‘Give To Blue Day,’ Indiana State University’s most important day of giving. For 24 hours, alums worldwide donate to various scholarships, academic programs, clubs, and organizations to transform the lives of Indiana State students. This event has, year after year, broken the school record for the most money raised on Give To Blue Day. The 2024 Give To Blue Day raised over $1.3 million for Indiana State University programs.

President Curtis’ leadership was also critical in establishing the ‘Be So BOLD ’ campaign, a $100 million fundraising campaign focusing on four priorities: Scholarships, Experiential Learning, Faculty Excellence, and Sycamore Athletics. At the heart of the campaign are President Curtis and Indiana State’s commitment to educating more students and ensuring they walk across the stage at commencement, experiencing life-

changing opportunities. The ‘Be So BOLD ’ campaign surpassed the $100 million milestone 18 months ahead of schedule.

President Curtis focused on aligning Indiana State University’s academic programs to meet Indiana’s workforce needs, preparing students for highdemand careers in a multitude of fields, including advanced manufacturing, aviation, construction management, cyber-criminology, engineering, education, and healthcare. Recently, ISU’s School of Nursing’s 2023 traditional track graduates earned a 100% pass rate on the National Council Licensure Examination for Registered Nurses (NCLEX-RN) on their first attempt. This has not been accomplished since 1997.

With over 3,000 full and part-time employees, Indiana State University plays a pivotal role in downtown Terre Haute and the Wabash Valley. Dr. Curtis has lobbied at the Statehouse to prioritize ISU’s initiatives that have changed the landscape of West Central Indiana, including a multimillion-dollar renovation

of Dreiser Hall and the largest statefunded capital improvement project in University history, a $66 million renovation of the Bailey College of Engineering and Technology. President Curtis’ efforts to connect with city and county leaders have been equally impactful. She helped secure over $10 million in funding to improve and expand Indiana State’s Early Childhood Education Center, including a $5.8 million grant from Lily Endowment, Inc. This initiative will establish a new state-of-the-art childcare facility to address the lack of high-quality early childhood education programs and care in West Central Indiana.

Her leadership and influence have been instrumental in maintaining Indiana State’s reputation for advancing social mobility locally and across Indiana. According to First Destination Surveys, Indiana State University graduates consistently have an over 90% placement rate of finding a career in their field, going to graduate school, or joining the military, with many choosing to work and live in Indiana.<

ISU Board of Trustees Chair, David Campbell, welcomed Dr. Deborah J. Curtis during her installation as Indiana State University's 12th president in 2018.

TOP: President Curtis’ family at her retirement celebration—(L-R) Jordan Curtis, son; Jaxon Lang, grandson; Lynn Curtis; Deborah Curtis; Sadie Lang, granddaughter; Lauren Lang, daughter; and Adam Lang, son-in-law.

MIDDLE: The Honorable Governor Eric J. Holcomb (not pictured) bestowed on President Curtis the highest honor in the State of Indiana, the Sagamore of the Wabash, with Terre Haute Mayor Brandon Sakbun assisting with the presentation. BOTTOM: Members of the ISU Board of Trustees present the President a gift at the dinner.


He never attended Indiana State University, but you'd be hard-pressed to find a bigger Sycamore supporter than Lynn Curtis. He is a lifelong educator, a first-generation college graduate, and a coach. But above all else, he is a proud father, a loving grandfather, and a supportive husband.

Lynn and Deborah met in Illinois at a coaches’ meeting and started dating a few weeks later.

He served the State of Illinois for 38 years in K-12 education, holding various positions at different schools, including teacher, coach, principal, and superintendent. Curtis, like his wife, was the first in his family to go to college. He earned his bachelor's degree from Illinois State University, followed by a master’s degree and Ed. S. from Eastern Illinois University.

In 2012, when President Curtis became the 12th and first female president of Indiana State University, he applauded his wife for her strong work ethic, saying, “I always knew she had what it takes to be a leader in higher education.” He added how important it was for her to be an example for young women to see her in this role. While she led the University, Mr. Curtis was able to make his impact.

He has participated in numerous golf outings and has been involved with organizations in the Terre Haute community. Curtis frequently attends games and has become a friendly face to many at the Hulman Center, Memorial Stadium, Bob Warn Field, Price Field, and several other venues on campus. He frequently took the men's basketball team to dinner. On Give To Blue Day, ISU’s largest fundraising day of the year, he generously donated to Sycamore Athletics teams throughout the day.

Congratulations to the Curtis family on this next chapter in their lives. Here’s to many more tee times in the future, Lynn. <


More than students, they’re miracle makers with hearts bigger than campus and a passion for giving back.

2024 got off to a historic start for Indiana State’s chapter of State Dance Marathon (DM). On February 24, the organization hosted a Blackout Childhood Cancer Game, the first in University history. All money raised was dedicated to childhood cancer research at Riley's Hospital for Children in Indianapolis.

Their mission was simple, but the result was massive. State DM rallied their classmates on campus about their

organization’s mission with various campus events known as “Miracle Week.”

However, the largest student-led organization at ISU didn't stop there. Once word got out about this initiative, several downtown Terre Haute businesses stepped up by offering specialty drinks and discounts the week of and on game day, with proceeds being donated to State DM.

Their efforts resulted in a staggering total of $15,720.60 raised, a sum that will make a significant difference in the lives of children battling cancer.


Remember this alum, Andrew Law ’11? A few STATE Magazines ago, we told you how he was nominated for an Emmy in the category of “Outstanding Lighting Design/Lighting Direction For A Variety Series” for his work on the lighting team on an episode from the past season of Dancing With The Stars.

We are excited to announce he won!

As a Lighting Programmer and Lighting Director, Law is responsible for executing and controlling the lighting design for a live event or performance. He closely works with the lighting and creative team to understand the artistic vision and make it a reality.

After graduation, the south-side Chicago native moved to Los Angeles and, for 13 years, worked his way up the industry. Law recently moved to London but occasionally returns to LA for work.

We are proud of you, Andrew!<

On game day, fans were treated to powerful testimonies from Riley’s families, donation opportunities, the chance to buy rally towels, partake in a silent auction, and a free t-shirt for the first 500 attendees.

In addition to their historic and successful hosting of the Blackout Childhood Cancer game, the student organization raised $154,779.24 at their separate and most anticipated event of the year, State Dance Marathon. Proceeds raised will go towards Riley Children’s Hospital.<


At the 2024 Faculty Recognition Banquet, 12 faculty members were recognized for their outstanding and significant contributions to Indiana State University.

Provost and Vice President of Academic Affairs Christopher Olsen: “I want to congratulate our outstanding faculty members on these welldeserved recognitions. Each award highlights how our world-class faculty members make such a positive impact on our students and across the Wabash Valley in a wide variety of ways. These faculty, like so many of our ISU faculty, continue to be at the forefront of advancing Indiana State academically and preparing our students to succeed in their chosen professions.”

Three Indiana State University educators with years of experience have been awarded the University’s

highest honor, the President’s Medal.

The President’s Medal recipients were:

Dr. Mike Chambers

Dr. Chambers is a Professor of Political Science focusing on International Relations, Comparative Politics, and Asian Politics in the College of Arts and Sciences. He is known as a specialist in his field, concentrating on China’s relations with its neighbors and regional security issues in Asia. Chambers’ work has been nationally recognized in publications, conference papers, and articles in Asia Policy, The Journal of Contemporary China, and the Journal of East Asian Studies. At Indiana State, he has held several positions, including Chair of the Department of Political Science and Interim Executive Director of the International Affairs Center. He has also served on the Faculty Senate and

its Executive Committee, as well as on numerous University committees and task forces. Chambers has received the Theodore Dreiser Distinguished Research and Creativity Award and a Promising Scholar Grant.

Dr. Lindsey Eberman

Dr. Eberman is a Professor and Program Director for the Post-Professional Doctorate in Athletic Training, Degree Completion Leadership & Professional Development, and Doctor of Philosophy in Instructional Leadership programs at Indiana State University. She continues her research with over 200 published manuscripts and over 200 published abstracts associated with hundreds of peer-reviewed and invited presentations. Dr. Eberman’s research agenda focuses on athletic training education and inclusive excellence in healthcare. Indiana State has recognized Eberman for her scholarly contributions

with the Theodore Dreiser Distinguished Research and Creativity Award. The National Athletic Trainers’ Association has recognized her contributions to athletic training with the Emerging Educator Award, the Professional Development Excellence Award, and the LGBTQ+ Award for Inclusive Excellence.

Dr. Linda Maule

Dr. Maule is an Associate Professor of Political Science, a co-coordinator of the Gender Studies Program, and an affiliated member of the Honors College. Dr. Maule's former roles at ISU include the Director of the Legal Studies Program, Coordinator of General Education, the Acting Chairperson of Sociology, the Acting Director of Women's Studies, and the Dean of University College. She has played a collaborative role in highlighting the importance

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of community engagement, service learning, and other high-impact practices to student learning and success. Her Ethics and Social Responsibility, Legal Studies, and Honors courses are among the University's most wellregarded and sought-after classes. Dr. Maule's awards from Indiana State include the Outstanding Service Award, the Outstanding Dedication to First Year Student Award, ISU's Faculty Distinguished Service Award, the Caleb Mills Distinguished Teaching Award, and the University Honors Faculty of the Year Award.

The other 2024 faculty awards and recipients include:

2024 Caleb Mills Distinguished Teaching Award

The Caleb Mills Distinguished Teaching Award is named after a 19th century scholar who was instrumental in the founding of the State of Indiana’s public school system. This award is given to Indiana State’s best educators who meet the criterion of demonstrating excellence in teaching.

• Dr. Christopher Drew, Department of English

• Dr. Kenneth Games, Department of Applied Medicine and Rehabilitation

2024 Theodore Dreiser Distinguished Research/ Creativity Award

The Theodore Dreiser Distinguished Research/ Creativity Award recognizes educators who have made outstanding contributions to the advancement of knowledge.

• Dr. Kyu Hong Cho, Department of Biology

• Dr. Brendan Corcoran, Department of English

• Dr. Rusty Gonser, Department of Biology

• Dr. Amos Winter, Department of Earth and Environmental Systems

2024 Faculty Distinguished Service Award

Recipients are chosen for their contributions in and out of the classroom.

• Dr. Szufang Chuang, Department of Management, Information Systems, and Business Education

• Dr. Kandace Hinton, Department of Educational Leadership

2024 Community-Based Learning and Scholarship

The award was founded in 2007 to recognize outstanding faculty who have made community service an integral part of their academic goals and activities.

• Dr. Jim Speer, Department of Earth and Environmental Systems

Each recipient received an award and stipend. <


Terre Haute and ISU Unite for Sycamore Basketball

A wave of excitement swept through the community as the city, Indiana State University, and various local organizations teamed up to Rally the Valley. This series of community-wide pregame rallies and tailgates, held before various Missouri Valley Conference and National Invitation Tournament games, invigorated the city and its residents.

This collaborative effort was enhanced by The Terminal Public House, the Terre Haute Children's Museum, and other local businesses, ensuring there was entertainment for fans of all ages. The initiative was not just about supporting the Indiana State men’s basketball team; it was about bringing the community together to show their Sycamore pride.

Indiana State’s basketball team turned heads with their dominant performance this season, earning national attention as a powerhouse in the Missouri Valley Conference. This success on the court reignited the Sycamore nation’s passion. The synergy between the University and the local community created a vibrant atmosphere that extended far beyond the game days.

Angie Lansing, Interim Athletic Director of Sycamore Athletics, echoed this sentiment. “We were excited to partner with our community to celebrate the success of our basketball team. We thank all our fans, season ticket holders, and the community for their part in creating an incredible home atmosphere inside the Hulman Center!”

Mayor Brandon Sakbun also shared his enthusiasm for the positive impact on the city. “Indiana State University is a valued community partner. These events allowed us to showcase the athletic department, alumni association, and the city. Each sporting event was an opportunity to highlight our downtown restaurants, the Children’s Museum, Indiana State, and ‘Terredise’ at large. Let's keep rallying around our Sycamores and the community!”

The surge in community support turned the Hulman Center into an unforgettable experience for fans and provided a significant economic boost to downtown businesses. Local business owners saw a ripple effect as fans flocked to the Hulman Center on game days, bringing increased foot traffic and revenue.

“Rally the Valley was a great opportunity to support local businesses vital to the success of downtown Terre Haute,” said Josh Alsip, Terre Haute Chamber of Commerce Director of Community Engagement. “This collaboration fostered a sense of community you can only find in the Wabash Valley. Something special is happening at Indiana State University, and the Terre Haute community is fully embracing the momentum.”

Rally the Valley events, sponsored by the Indiana State University Alumni Association, Sycamore Athletics, Downtown Terre Haute, and the City of Terre Haute, proved to be a winning combination. They not only celebrated the athletic success of the Sycamores but also strengthened the bonds of community pride in Terre Haute.<

Glance at a Sycamore


Jillian TURNER


Insurance & Risk Management

HOMETOWN: Terre Haute, IN

Tell me about your time at ISU. How are you involved on campus?

I love to stay very involved on campus and step into leadership roles at any chance. I have been awarded the Gongaware Scholarship, a $39,000, 4-year scholarship for students planning to major in insurance and risk management. Out of the three scholarship recipients in my class, I was chosen as the recruitment head to assist in leading the scholarship recruitment process over the next four years. I serve as the Vice President of the Indiana State University Chapter of Gamma Iota Sigma, an international professional fraternity organized to promote, encourage, and sustain student interest in insurance, risk management, and actuarial science. I am a member of the Networks Professional Development Program, a 4-year program preparing students to enter the workforce with the essential elements of knowledge, skills, and experience for success. I previously served as the Freshman Liaison on the Student Advisory Council, held membership in our Industry Relations Team, and took charge of planning and organizing industry professionals to visit and speak to our program. I now serve as the co-chair of our upcoming executive forum. As a 3-year member of our Student Philanthropy Organization, we strive to promote the importance of philanthropy and active engagement within the University. Allowing myself to take a broader look into the University, I took on the Director of External Relations role within the executive cabinet of our Student Government Association. Looking into the 62nd Administration of SGA, I am excited to take on the position of Chief of Staff.

What made you want to apply to be a 500 Festival Princess?

As a college student in today’s world, there are so many activities and programs I can choose to participate in or support. While those are important and create fulfilling experiences for me, having the honor of representing Indiana State and Terre Haute in the 500 Festival Princess Program is an opportunity of a lifetime. Growing up in Indiana, I have always been fascinated by the 500 Festival Princess Program, and I have seen first-hand how it has positively impacted young girls like me across the state. The 500 Princesses have such a

unique opportunity to support their local communities while representing a special part in our state's great history.

What goes into being a 500 Festival Princess?

While serving as a 500 Festival Princess, 33 Indiana women are given countless opportunities to grow professionally, gain mentorship and leadership from the 500 Festival Board of Directors, and develop community leadership skills. Each year, Princesses conduct more than 1,500 hours of community outreach impacting more than 50,000 people, meaningfully expanding the celebration and impact of the Indianapolis 500.

You not only represent Indiana State University, but Terre Haute. How proud does it make you feel knowing that? I’ve grown up in Terre Haute my whole life, so having the opportunity to give back to a community that has given me so much means the world. I have spent lots of time in my life and my academic career volunteering throughout the community and on campus, but I have never had the opportunity to participate in something on this level and bring it back to Terre Haute. As a Hoosier, the great Hoosier love of racing is strong, and this program provides a once-in-a-lifetime experience surrounding that.

Aside from the mandatory tasks, I know you’re scheduling your outreach events. What are those, and how did you pick them?

Yes! Each Princess is responsible for outreaches within their community. I started by contacting local nonprofits I already have connections with to see if they are open to a Princess joining any events. I have also reached out to local elementary schools, including mine, to plan fun events with the kiddos. Indiana’s 4th-grade social studies curriculum includes Indiana History, which aligns perfectly!

Another big part of the 500 Princess program is a networking opportunity in your field of study. Who is your mentor, and how excited are you about the chance to make further connections in your field?

I was fortunate to receive a mentor within my field of study. I have been paired with


Philanthropists, difference makers, and now, forever engraved into Indiana State University’s campus. On Friday April 19, the Sycamore community honored Bailey’s transformational gift to the Bailey College of Engineering and Technology. In December 2022, the couple made the largest donation in Indiana State University history of $8 million to help create scholarships, faculty fellowships, and a Dean’s fund to attract more great students and faculty.<

board member John Gause, President and CEO of Apex Benefits Group in Indianapolis. We have already created a small connection through the insurance program at ISU, but with this mentorship opportunity, I am thrilled to see that grow. I think John is just as excited as I am, as he is already planning 500 festival days with the company and his clients!

What are your initial thoughts and key takeaways from this experience so far?

There is nothing like this program. It has opened so many opportunities to participate in things you might never see or even think of. It is truly once in a lifetime, and I will be forever grateful for that.

After race day and once this all ends, what do you hope you take away from the 500 Festival Princess Program experience?

I hope to have gained lasting friendships with the other Princesses. Throughout this process, it becomes a shared sisterhood, and I look forward to sharing life with these girls when our Princess days are over.<


The largest state-funded capital improvement project in University history, the Bailey College of Engineering and Technology will transform the look of the Indiana State University campus and downtown Terre Haute. The $66 million renovation will include several modernized upgrades, including state-of-the-art instructional and laboratory space for the college. Shown is an artist’s rendering of the west view of the building. Groundbreaking is scheduled for this summer.<



the $100 Million Milestone in the Be So BOLD Campaign

Indiana State University has had major philanthropic success with the Be So BOLD Campaign; in December 2023, the University exceeded the $100 million milestone. This achievement is a testament to the unwavering commitment of the Sycamore community, alumni, and supporters who have rallied behind the transformative campaign.

The Be So BOLD Campaign, publicly launched in September 2022, prioritizes four key initiatives: student scholarships, experiential learning, faculty excellence, and Sycamore Athletics. 1967 Sycamore alumnus and philanthropic visionary Don Dudine initially catapulted the Be So BOLD Campaign with the first $1 million gift. In December 2023, Dudine made his second $1 million gift to push ISU over the $100 million mark.

“Indiana State University has always been a place of innovation, education, and community,” said Dudine. “I am honored to be a part of this momentous occasion and witness the collective impact of joyful giving for the University’s future.”

The Student Philanthropy Organization was created in 2018 thanks to Dudine’s vision. Since then, students in the organization have worked to spread a culture of philanthropy across campus by educating students through alumni networking events, the Rich and Robin Porter Cancer Research Run, and activities surrounding Give to Blue Day.

Vice President of University Advancement and CEO of the ISU Foundation, Andrea Angel, shared her gratitude for Dudine’s visionary leadership and support, “Don Dudine’s deep ties to Indiana State have helped us alter the trajectory of philanthropy on our campus through the Student Philanthropy Organization and inspiring a wave of generosity from other alumni and friends of ISU.” Angel continued, “Donor dedication to Indiana State University’s mission set the stage for an extraordinary journey that has now surpassed our $100 million fundraising milestone.”

Larry and Buffy Boulet and Paul and Susan Chaney proudly serve as Be So BOLD Campaign co-chairs, setting a bold example for philanthropic leadership. Sycamore supporters and the campaign cabinet have continued to champion the importance of fundraising, assisting the University in recruiting nearly 7,000 new donors and nearly 16,000 donors worldwide during the campaign.

As the Be So BOLD campaign continues its momentum, support at any level is instrumental in shaping the future of Indiana State University. Indiana State University is celebrating this historic achievement and looking forward to continuing to positively impact the lives of current and future Sycamores as the Be So BOLD Campaign continues through June 30, 2025.<


During the 2023-2024 academic year, two student groups demonstrated exceptional support for their fellow Sycamores on the court and field while serving the campus and Wabash Valley.

Spirit Squad

The Spirit Squad has actively supported ISU Football, Men's, and Women's Basketball. This year, the Squad collaborated with ISU Baseball for a memorable performance at a basketball game and volunteered at several baseball games in the spring. The Squad celebrated the success of the Men's Basketball team, which provided numerous opportunities to engage with the Wabash Valley community.

The Spirit Squad takes pride in its commitment to community service and focused on various initiatives this season. Community service activities included participating in the Special Olympics, the Komen More Than Pink Walk, the Rockville Elementary School Convocation, and mentoring middle school and high school cheer and dance teams.

At the annual 2024 SAMYS Awards, the Spirit Squad was honored with the Sycamore Cup. This recognition is a testament to the Squad's dedication to excellence in community service, school spirit, academic achievement, and leadership on campus.

The Forest

Finishing the 2023-2024 season with over 1,350 members, The Forest is the official student support organization for ISU Athletics. Because of their high energy and support of fellow students and student-athletes, The Forest was named the 2024 Indiana State University Program of the Year at the Sycamore Leadership Awards.

To broaden its reach this season, The Forest introduced a secondary group, FAF (Faculty/Staff, Alums, Families). Leadership is exploring ways to expand and actively seeking members' input to support ISU Athletics and student-athletes better.

Looking ahead, The Forest is eager to partner with other student groups to collaborate and offer more community service opportunities and activities beyond athletics, continuing their support for ISU Athletics and the broader community.<


On February 19, five Indiana State University students made history as the first Esports team in University history as a part of the Missouri Valley Conference.

From February 19 through April 8, Indiana State played Super Smash Bros. Ultimate for the Nintendo Switch against other MVC schools. Games were held at the WZIS radio station area, giving students interested in media the exciting opportunity of a hands-on experience to enhance their broadcasting skills as matches were live-streamed on Twitch. (

The participating students were Luke Kanter, JT Lee, Nevaeh Franklin, Dayne Waugh, and Zach Gurchiek.

This inaugural season benchmarks years of work to bring Esports, a growing trend among other colleges and universities across the country, to Indiana State.

Previously, a committee was formed to discuss the idea and feasibility across several departments, including the Office of Student Engagement, Leadership, Fraternity and Sorority Life, WZIS Radio, Athletics, Residential Life, Campus

Recreation, Student Health Promotion, and OIT.

The committee transformed the Jones Hall Lounge as a permanent home for esports and casual gaming.

“Bringing Esports to Indiana State University is something a few of us have dreamed about for a while, and seeing it become a reality is one of the coolest moments of our careers. Being able to collaborate with other departments and people from across campus to provide our students with another option to be involved has been the most rewarding part of this adventure,” said Ben Kappes, Interim Director, Office of Student Engagement, Leadership, and Fraternity & Sorority Life at Indiana State.

This is the first time in Missouri Valley Conference’s history that an esports league is a part of the conference’s competitive offerings.

The Sycamores finished the season with a record of 1-6 and fifth in MVC-NECC Championships, but Kappes said the team improved week after week.<

Indiana State University recently organized a transformative study abroad trip to Ghana led by Dr. Andrea Arrington-Sioris, Associate Professor of History, African and African American Studies, and Dr. Tiffany Reed, Assistant Vice President for Student Affairs and Inclusion. Their guidance offered students an immersive cultural experience that broadened their global perspectives, allowing them to explore the vibrant culture, rich history, and dynamic present-day Ghana.

The trip comes after a course students started in October, which focused on a historical and holistic community experience. In addition to classroom instruction focused on Ghana’s rich history, identity building, and group relationships, students met with former trip participants and Ghanaian students at Indiana State. Before the trip, Dr. Arrington-Sioris and Dr. Reed also helped students know what to expect when traveling abroad and assembled care packages of travel essentials.

This study abroad trip to Ghana exemplifies Indiana State University's dedication to offering diverse, inclusive, and impactful global learning experiences, preparing students to navigate and contribute to an increasingly interconnected world. Check back in the Fall edition of STATE Magazine for a full retrospective of the Summer 2024 Ghana trip.<



The connection between Indiana State University and Latin America goes back to 1983, when Dr. Donald Richards, a Professor of Economics at ISU’s College of Arts and Sciences, took part in a Junior Fellowship in Paraguay and Argentina. Since then, Dr. Richards has helped strengthen the connection with Paraguay and the institution.

Dr. Richards has brought other perspectives to the University through his lessons in Latin American Political Economy and his support for students by working as an advisor for International Studies. He has also successfully hosted two Fulbright Visiting Scholars from Paraguay.

As Dr. Richards retires from the University this year, his legacy of internationalizing the Department of Economics is certainly expected to continue.

Part of this legacy will be strengthened through Marcelo Echague Pastore, former Director of Institutional Relations at Paraguay’s Securities and Exchange Commission. Prof. Pastore is the current Fulbright Scholarin-Residence at Indiana State University, where he has spent the academic year co-teaching Latin American Political Economy with Dr. Richards, as well as Economic

Development with Dr. Bassam Yousif.

Talking about his time in Terre Haute, Pastore said, “when we submitted the application for the Fulbright Scholar-inResidence program, there was only one place on my mind: Indiana State University. I was already aware of the University’s historical ties to my home country Paraguay, and working alongside the Department of Economics has allowed me to teach and research at the highest level while gaining a deeper understanding of the differences of the economies in our countries.”

He added: “Through collaboration with other organizations in the city and state, I have also been able to further explore the connections between Terre Haute and Paraguayan institutions. My favorite thing about this opportunity has been meeting so many fantastic people and the connections I have made. While I am certainly sad that my time here is soon coming to an end, I am confident that this is not a farewell and that the relationship between Paraguayan organizations and Indiana State University will continue to strengthen.”

In addition to teaching, Prof. Pastore has been involved in over 130 events and activities since his arrival at

Indiana State in Fall 2023. These include workshops on financial literacy, collaborating with universities based in Paraguay, and working with local organizations such as Ivy Tech Community College, Indiana Council for the Social Studies, United Campus Ministries, St. Mary of the Woods College, and Rose-Hulman Institute of Technology, among many other institutions.

Prof. Pastore earned a bachelor’s degree in economics from the National University of Asuncion –Paraguay and a master’s in public policy from the National Graduate Institute

for Policy Studies in Tokyo, Japan. He is a former World Bank Junior economist for several Latin American countries, including Paraguay, Argentina, and Uruguay.

The Fulbright Program is the U.S. government’s flagship international academic exchange program, supported by the people of the United States and partner countries around the world. Participating governments, home and host institutions, corporations, and foundations worldwide also provide direct and indirect support to the Program, which operates in over 160 countries across the globe.<

Prof. Marcelo Echague Pastore teaching a “Global Macro Indicators with a Focus on Paraguay” class at Terre Haute South Vigo High School.

Glance at a Sycamore


DEGREE: B.S. in Marketing, ’85


Executive Vice President, Aflac

HOMETOWN: White Sulphur Springs, WV

Tell me about your time at Indiana State University. How did you come here and how your education helped you in your professional career.

I grew up outside Chicago, Illinois, and was a track and field athlete. I got to Indiana State University in 1981 when one of the prominent Chicago High School coaches, Skip Stolley, got his first collegiate opportunity at ISU and returned to Chicago to recruit a large class of Track & Field athletes from that area. So, I came to Indiana State as an athlete in track and field and cross country. At Indiana State, my experiences as a student-athlete were critical in shaping me as a leader and a professional.

I was a business-marketing major, which set course for me career wise and gave me a broad base of business education and gave me an appreciation of the balance of marketing and growth with finance as I eventually made a career as a public company CFO.

I made great friends on the team as a 1500-meter and 5000-meter runner; I was also part of a fraternity (ATO) which allowed me to enjoy the social aspects of campus life.

In addition, during my time at ISU I fell in love with the state of Indiana which ended up influencing my career. I covered the territory of Indiana as a young banker, eventually joined Lincoln Financial Group founded in Ft. Wayne Indiana, and then CNO Financial headquartered in Carmel outside of Indianapolis. I ended up very involved in the Indianapolis community on the Board of the United Way and Indianapolis Symphony. Finally, both my children ended up attending Indiana University.

How did it feel being back on campus?

It was a tremendous experience. I spent two days here, meeting undergraduate and graduate business students, honor students, and network scholars. I also got to spend time with the faculty and the track-and-field team, which was great. I got a lot of exposure to Indiana State in two days. I hadn’t spent quality time on campus in nearly forty years. It was a great time to reconnect with Indiana State, and my goal is to stay connected upon my retirement in September of this year.

The look and feel of the campus, the Scott College of Business, and Sycamore Athletics is “night and day” as compared to what I experienced as a studentathlete 40 years ago. It is a significant step forward for ISU. You can see the University, the City of Terre Haute and many supporters of the University have made year-in-and-year-out incremental and calculated investments that have cumulated into a dynamic campus, an impressive business school, and overall campus life.

I am proud to see the progress and very proud to be an alum. The warmth and friendliness of people here hasn’t changed. The culture of the Midwest and humble hard-working attitude of the students are exactly the type of individuals you want working for your company and in the community. I was happy to see the Bally-Hoo hasn’t changed either. I met with some friends there, and it remains a part of campus as a natural collecting point for everyone.

You have had a very impressive career. In your eyes, what are some of the most important qualities a leader or successful person needs in today’s world.

Communication skills are essential. Not just the ability to communicate in the sense of writing or presentation skills, but more so the ability to communicate in a way that builds trust with a multitude of audiences. For example, If you’re the Chief Financial Officer of a publicly traded company, it isn’t unusual to communicate with shareholders, employees, officers, regulators, rating agencies, and the Board of Directors each quarter. While the story and the facts are the same regardless of the audience, there are subtle differences in meeting the needs of each constituency and doing so in an open, transparent, candid way that builds trust. This is becoming more important to understand as we move towards the use of technology to facilitate communication – while remote working, Zoom, AI and other advances are welcomed and can drive work efficiency … they are not effective in building relationships and trust. As President of a $48 billion market cap company … I will never hand over responsibility for a large investment of capital, a large risk to manage, a strategically important project to someone I have never met and worked

with in person and developed a trusted working relationship – that includes international leaders.

A second learning in my years of leadership is the ability to “go wide and dive deep.” It’s important to see the big picture and understand strategic environmental issues, while also delving into the nitty-gritty of business operations and analytics. A successful leader is one who can balance a long-term vision with short-term execution. As a business leader, you have primary responsibility for seeing the entire “chessboard”, however, the movement of each chess

piece effectively matters. I feel like leaders of large organizations are in the “dot-connecting” business, we can see all the dots moving and can make the connection to drive value … but we need to surround ourselves with high quality experts on each dot … so building a strong team and then listening to them is critical to being successful as a leader.

Is there any moment or memory from Indiana State University that you still remember vividly?

To me, the memories were building strong relationships, primarily through

track and cross country. For example, one of my close friends, Dan Riley, who was also a distance runner and friend from home in Chicago, remains one of my close friends to this day and is on the ISU Foundation Board. It’s a reminder to me that, no matter how busy you are, you need to stay connected to the relationships you developed 40 years ago, that is the most valuable part of the experience and defines a rich life more so than money and power.

As a student-athlete, I learned competitive and team lessons. I always tell folks that I learned how to compete and work as a team through my Track and CrossCountry experience, I learned business and economic fundamentals from the business school, and I learned life lessons from my time with the fraternity and at the Bally-Hoo.

Closing thoughts: I want to commend ISU, Dean Terry Daugherty, and what he has brought to the table in leading the Scott Business School in such a dynamic way. I want to thank Darwin McCallian for having the vision to develop the leadership forum which is another “chess piece” in a first-class business school curriculum. Thank you for the hospitality and generosity of the University and the hard work of the Network Scholars in setting the agenda and taking such great care of me and my wife as we explored campus. It is a great sign of the level of professionalism on campus and I look forward to supporting the school in the future.<


The Indiana State University Alumni Association held a fantastic Qualification Day event for Lifetime Members at the Indianapolis Motor Speedway.

Become a Lifetime Member of the ISU Alumni Association today and don’t miss out on any upcoming signature events.

Scan the QR code to join today.<

Pioneering Excellence:


Indiana State University’s Board of Trustees Chair, Robert Casey ’80, is dedicated to enriching the experience of Sycamore students. In October 2023, the Board of Trustees unanimously approved the naming of the Robert Casey Cybercriminology and Intelligence Analysis Laboratory. The space in Holmstedt Hall embodies the fusion of education and dedication to public service.

Casey’s $100,000 gift establishes the Robert Casey Securing Our Future Scholarship. This endowment stands as a beacon of support, guiding students within the School of Criminology and Security Studies towards futures filled with purpose and possibility. Recipients of the scholarship will pursue careers in law enforcement, intelligence, national security, or private sector security.

This named space and scholarship immortalize the generous contribution of Robert Casey, a distinguished alumnus from the College of Arts and Sciences whose commitment to excellence and service will be recognized for generations to come.

“Students are able to access critical educational tools in the lab, and it helps us prepare them to fill so many critical positions in the twenty-first century economy. Trustee Casey has longsupported our School of Criminology and Security Studies, coming to campus and meeting with students, helping them find

internship and research opportunities, and mentoring them as they start and progress through their careers,” said Provost and Vice President of Academic Affairs Christopher Olsen. “It’s hard to think of a more engaged, dedicated alumnus, and we are so grateful to Trustee Casey for all of his work on behalf of ISU and particularly our students.”

Trustee Casey himself stands as a testament to the power of education and service. A proud graduate of Indiana State University and 2004 recipient of the ISU Distinguished Alumni Award, Casey’s illustrious career spans decades, from his tenure as a police officer in Houston, Texas, to his esteemed service as an FBI agent across the United States. His unwavering dedication to safeguarding communities earned him accolades and recognition, including the Police Officer of the Year Award by Houston PD and the prestigious Presidential Rank Award of Meritorious Executive for his work with the FBI.

Through his philanthropy and mentorship, Casey continues to inspire a new generation of leaders, instilling the values of integrity, excellence, and service. As the Chair of the Board of Trustees, his influence extends far beyond the confines of academia, shaping the landscape of security and justice for years to come.<


Indiana State University is proud to announce an exchange agreement signed between Indiana State and Chungnam National University (CNU), South Korea that will implement various education and experiential learning opportunities for students.

The programs will include student teaching, language training and collaborative-degree programs, and cultural exchanges.

“As demand for exchange programs like study-abroad opportunities in English speaking countries increases among Chungnam National University, Indiana State University is proud to be a thought-leader in providing experiential opportunities for international students. An Indiana State education continues to be recognized across the country and around the world. Our goal is to continue to build more global partnerships with higher educational institutions across the world to further expand our blueprint and give students more experiential learning

opportunities,” said Dr. Christopher Olsen, Provost and Vice President for Academic Affairs for ISU.

CNU is one of the largest and most comprehensive universities in the middle of the Korean Peninsula and houses one of the most prestigious teacher education programs focusing on Secondary Education in Daejeon, South Korea.

This year from February 14 through the 21, three representatives with CNU’s College of Teacher Education and Graduate School of Education, Dean Dr. Byung Wook Lee, Associate Dean Dr. Nak Hyun Song, and Chief of Staff Mr. Woo Young Park, visited educational facilities and toured sites for CNU students in Terre Haute and Indianapolis, Ind. and Chicago, Ill.

Dr. Yong Joon Park, Professor, “This is a historic day for Indiana State University and Chungnam National University as we continue what has been an outstanding partnership between both Universities.

Our goal is to continue advancing the field of education and pushing boundaries. We look forward to taking our Sycamores to CNU in the future,”

Since 2018, ISU faculty and staff members, including Drs. Janet Coleman, Ryan Donlan, and Kelly Andrews, have been invited by the CNU as special speakers or presenters in various formats such as in-person or Zoom meetings. Dr. Yong Joon Park and the CNU designed and produced the Global Teacher Education Program i.e., the short-term one-credit bearing hybrid program. So far, many students from the CNU in South Korea have participated in the Global Teacher Education Programs at ISU. As a short-term/course-based study abroad program in South Korea. Dr. Yong Joon Park is planning to visit the CNU with ISU students in May 2025.

CNU’s main campus is in Yousung, Daejeon, South Korea with 22,000 students.<


Indiana State track and field made program history in the 2023-24 season, sweeping the MVC Men’s and Women’s Indoor and Outdoor Championships for the first time. The Sycamores became the first program since 2017 to sweep all four MVC championship titles and just the third school in the last 30 years to accomplish the feat. Led by a strong core of senior leadership and a highly talented group of underclassmen, the Sycamores set numerous team and individual program records to remain the gold standard for MVC track and field programs.

Indiana State broke its record for points scored at an MVC Men’s Indoor Championship, with the Sycamores tallying 183.5 points, the second-highest point total ever scored by a single team at the MVC Men’s Indoor Championships. This achievement not only marked a significant milestone for the team but also showcased their dominance in the conference. Will Staggs, who earned Second Team All-America honors at the NCAA Indoor National Championships, was named the MVC Most Outstanding Men’s Field Athlete after breaking the program record in the pole vault by clearing 5.52m (18-01.25). The Sycamores also continued their conference dominance in the 60m dash, as Casey Hood, the 2024 MVC Men’s Track and

Field Freshman of the Year, and Terrance O’Bannon ran times of 6.65 and 6.66 to stand atop the podium. Shomari Rogers- Walton was named the MVC Most Valuable Athlete of the Championships after becoming the first Sycamore to sweep the long jump (7.67m/25-02.00) and triple jump (14.75m/48-04.75) titles in 25 years, while Kevin Krutsch won his second indoor high jump conference title by clearing 2.09m (6-10.25).

The Sycamore women’s track and field team found their way back to the top of the conference charts at The MVC Indoor Championships, taking the team title with 121 points despite entering the championships as underdogs. Niesha Anderson was tabbed the MVC Most Outstanding Women’s Field Athlete with her conferenceleading weight throw mark of 21.40m (70-02.50), while newcomers Rachel Mehringer (8.42) and Shanisa Stinson (8.51) claimed the top two spots on the women’s 60m hurdles podium. Huge performances in the jumps events from Claire Pittman (long jump, 5.87m/19-03.25) and Dominique Wood (triple jump, 11.84m/38-10.25) bolstered the Sycamores in the field, while Iyanla Hunter earned silver in the 400m dash (54.94) to highlight the weekend for the sprinters.


Indiana State went wire-to-wire as the MVC Men’s Outdoor Championship leader, finishing with a program-record 221.5 points to win the title. Elias Foor was named the MVC Most Valuable Athlete of the Championships after winning the discus (58.10m/190-07) and earning all-conference in the shot put (17.74m/58-02.50) and hammer throw (62.00m/203-05), while Will Staggs set the pole vault facility record of 5.42m (17-09.25) on his way to another title. Jake Ottersbach was tabbed the MVC Freshman of the Year after winning the decathlon with 6471 points and becoming Indiana State’s first winner in the event since 2001, while Kevin Krutsch cleared 2.05m (6-08.75) to retain his high jump title. The Trees had a pair of 1-2 finishes in the 100m dash with Terrance O’Bannon (10.38) and Daunte Majors (10.41) and the long jump with Ali Ilupeju (7.64m/25-00.75) and Shomari Rogers-Walton (7.51m/24-07.75). Indiana State also picked up wins from its record-setting 4x100m relay team of O’Bannon, Majors, Isiah Thomas, and Casey Hood Jr. (39.88) and Collin Forrest in the 110m hurdles (14.05).

The Sycamores captured their first MVC Women’s Outdoor Championship since 2013, thanks in large part to its depth. Indiana State scored in nearly every event contested in the tournament, headlined by wins from Iyanla Hunter in the 400m dash (54.41), Rachel Mehringer in the 100m hurdles (13.47), Kyrsten Fehribach in the high jump (1.76m/509.25) and Claire Pittman in the long jump (6.07m/1911.00). Fehribach and Grace Quinlan both soared to new heights with their career-best marks of 1.76m (5-09.25) in the high jump, while Brooklyn Giertz-Pfaff cleared 3.98m (13-00.75) on her way to another podium finish in the pole vault. Runner-up finishes in the triple jump from Dominique Wood (12.16m/39-10.75) and the javelin from Lillian Gibbs (43.36m/142-03) added vital points for the Sycamores to help secure the title.

Indiana State will look to showcase its talents nationally, with Sycamore student-athletes Elias Foor (discus) and Grace Quinlan (high jump) competing June 7 and 8 in the 2024 NCAA Outdoor National Championships. For updates on Foor and Quinlan’s performances, check<

ISU Celebrates 20-Year Partnership with American Democracy Project

Indiana State University celebrated the 20th anniversary of the American Democracy Project (ADP).

Co-sponsored by the American Association of State Colleges and Universities and the New York Times, the American Democracy Project has collaborated with thousands of campus leaders, faculty, and students across the country through various methods to prepare and educate students on participating in a thriving democracy.

ADP is on the campus of hundreds of higher education institutions, including Indiana State University.

“The American Democracy Project plays a fundamental role at Indiana State University, helping connect our students to the greater Terre Haute community. It is important that our students learn the importance of being engaged citizens and active leaders in the places in which they live. We look forward to continuing this transformation work with Indiana State’s ADP chapter,” said Nancy Rogers, Vice President for University Engagement at Indiana State University.


Miss Indiana State University 2024 is Piper Watkins, a communication major from Mooresville, Indiana, with a double concentration in public relations and digital and interactive media. Watkins is a member of the Honors College, ISU Spirit Squad, Student Media, a President’s Scholar, and a Student Philanthropy member. She will represent Indiana State University at the Miss Indiana Scholarship Competition from June 26-29 in Zionsville.

Her community service initiative is Amplifying Little Voices: The Importance of Being Heard. Watkins is using her role at Miss ISU to promote physical and mental health awareness for children in family court and to raise funds to increase resources for GALs and CASAs who represent children in the court system.<

Indiana State University’s chapter of ADP was founded in 2003, under then Campus Director, Professor of Communication Dr. Darlene Hantzis, and has actively promoted the importance of democracy and student engagement with their communities and classmates.

At Indiana State, students are engaged in several ways, including targeted political engagement programs, local candidate forums, election and debate watches, field trips, and more.

Alex Whitmore, the Assistant Director of the Center for Community Engagement is the current campus director after filling the role from the previous leader, Dr. Carly Schmitt, Associate Professor of Political Science.

The organization’s hard work has been recognized by the Washington Monthly, naming ISU one of the ‘Best Campuses for Voting.’

Indiana State University’s American Democracy Project will continue its mission of advocating and educating on democracy as it prepares for the primary and general elections.<


According to research published on February 5 in Nature Climate Change, a leading global peer-reviewed scientific journal, surface temperatures may have already passed 1.5°C of warming and could exceed 2°C by the end of the decade. The projections are based on new research of 300 years of ocean temperature records preserved in sea sponges from the Caribbean.

The authors include Dr. Amos Winter, Earth and Environmental Systems Professor at Indiana State University’s College of Arts and Sciences, and researchers from The University of Western Australia and the University of Puerto Rico Global.

In addition to the new findings on surface temperatures, the paper also suggests that industrial-era warming began in the mid-1860s, over 80 years earlier than previously suggested.

“We must do all we can to preserve our planet so that future generations can continue to enjoy it for longer. Simple everyday changes to reduce your carbon footprint, such as ridesharing, reducing waste, and recycling where possible, really can help to make a difference in the longevity of our world. By doing more to look after our world, we hope to limit extreme weather events becoming ‘the new normal,” said Dr. Winter.

Provost and Vice President of Academic Affairs for Indiana State University Dr. Christopher Olsen shared, “I applaud Dr. Winter and his fellow researchers for their commitment to a subject of such global importance. Indiana State University is filled with faculty, like Amos, who are committed to continuing their research on important topics and who

are internationally recognized for their transformational work.”

Using samples of sclerosponges, a type of sea sponge collected in the eastern Caribbean, the researchers explored temperatures in the ocean mixed layer (the region in the water that interacts with the atmosphere) over the past 300 years. This long-lived species records chemical changes in its calcium carbonate skeleton, serving as a natural archive of ocean temperatures.

The data was compared to observational records of sea surface temperatures. The authors found stable temperatures from 1700 to 1790 and 1840 to 1860, with a gap defined by cooling related to volcanic activity. They suggest that warming related to human activity commenced in the mid-1860s.

“These findings have implications on the current projections for global warming and calls for immediate action to address the climate crisis. The Paris

Agreement aimed to limit temperature increases to below 2°C, which we are fast approaching,” Dr. Winter added.

The authors show that for the reference period (1961 to 1990) used to calculate anomalies, the ocean mixed layer and land surface temperatures increased by around 0.9°C relative to the newly defined pre-industrial period. This is compared to current estimates from the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC) 1850-1900 pre-industrial period of 0.4°C. Using their temperature record, the authors estimate that 1.5°C of warming has been reached and that a mean surface warming of 1.7°C occurred between 2018 and 2022.<

Above: Dr. Amos Winter. Left: An example of the kind of sponges examined for this research.


As the country recognized the impact and importance of Martin Luther King Jr. Day, students at Indiana State University celebrated Dr. King’s legacy while serving the Wabash Valley. On January 15 and January 18, our Sycamores graciously volunteered their time at several community service events at different organizations.<

The impact of donor giving at Indiana State University is helping establish and advance University programs and initiatives. The philanthropic passions of our donors are improving the lives of our students through scholarships, hands-on learning, program and facility development, and much more.

The Estate of Joseph F. Haro donated $106,940 to the College of Arts and Sciences, providing scholarships for students studying journalism or communication.

EAC Product Development Solutions gave a giftin-kind to support the Bailey College of Engineering and Technology.

The Estate of Charles Beckwith gave the University $600,000 in scholarship support to create the Beckwith Family Scholarship.

Don Dudine made an additional planned gift of $1 million to support the ISU Marching Band, School of Music, and Student Philanthropy Organization. This is the second gift of over $1 million that Don made during the Be So BOLD Campaign.

The John W. Anderson Foundation donated $150,000 to support the Fund for Indiana State and

the Project Success Initiative, which provides firstgeneration students and students with financial need additional support and experiential learning opportunities during their time at ISU.

Dr. James A. Crone made a planned gift of $100,000 to create the Dr. James A. Crone Scholarship in Education.

Susan Scott gave $100,000 to support the Federal Building Fund, home to the Scott College of Business.

Steve and Lois Zink gave $311,500 to create the Zink Department of History Faculty Endowment Development Fund, which funds the history department faculty. The gift enhances the research enterprise of the history department faculty, recognizing their essential role in educating wellrounded students.

(continued on page 36)



Magnet Forensics gave a gift-in-kind of the Cybercriminology and Security Studies program to allow students to gain experience with the technology they will use in the field upon graduation. This gift will set students apart when applying for roles after graduation.

Dr. Jayne Sowers made a planned gift of $250,000 to honor three generations of her family graduating as educators from ISU to create the Sowers/ Patton Scholarship for Education. The scholarship supports students from westcentral Indiana who earn a degree in the Bayh College of Education.


Sycamore Insurance Associates made a $125,000 pledge to support men’s basketball at Indiana State University.

Jeff and Penny Taylor made a $100,000 gift to the Fund for Indiana State University on Give to Blue Day to inspire others to give on the University’s annual day of giving.

The Estate of Richard L. Sumption provided a $118,000 gift in support of the Fund for ISU.


The Estate of Marga Lee Backes provided a $142,000 gift to create the James Glenn and Marga Lee Backes Scholarship, which supports students majoring in communication, public relations, digital media, journalism, media, or film production.

Denny and Cathy Sponsel made a pledge and estate commitment totaling $150,000 to support multiple initiatives in the Scott College of Business, including the Executive Dining Experience and other student experiential learning opportunities.<


Donor gifts are reflective of giving from September 2023 through April 2024.



Linda (Sparks) Larson ’72, GR ’73, of Mesa, AZ, highlights the benefits of visiting public gardens in her blog, A Traveling Gardener. Larson has visited more than 1,000 gardens throughout all 50 states, as well as 42 countries.

Christopher Hicks ’76, of Wildwood, MO, has been appointed to the St. Louis County’s Health and Hospital Advisory Board.

Ken Cofield ’77, of Yulee, FL, has retired from Lockheed Martin Missiles and Space Systems - Kingsbay Naval Submarine Base (KBNSB) as their Senior Environmental Engineer after 34 years of service.


Mark Eutsler ’ 80, of Linden, IN, has received the Jefferson Award for outstanding servant leadership in community activism, effectiveness, and impact during ceremonies held recently in Speedway, Indiana.

L. David Snow ’ 81, of West Lafayette, IN, has received the 2023 Lifetime Achievement Award presented by the Indiana Manufacturers Association.

Barbara (Freidly) Keesey ’82 , of Indianapolis, IN, has been the Manager of the Circulation Department of the AvonWashington Township Public Library for six years.


Brian Beatty ’92 , of Carmel, IN, has moved back to Indiana after 25 years in the Twin Cities of Minnesota. He is an Associate Creative Director at the advertising agency Curious Plot.

Craig Maschino ’92 , of Terre Haute, IN, has been appointed as the Executive Director of the Terre Haute Regional Airport Authority.

John Potter ’ 91, MS ’ 93, of Rensselaer, IN, was selected as an American Bar Foundation Fellow, which is a national honorary society of lawyers, judges, legal faculty and legal scholars whose careers have demonstrated outstanding dedication to the highest principles of the legal profession. Potter is a judge of the Jasper Circuit Court.

Stephanie (Soncrant) Collins ’ 98, of Avon, IN, was awarded the Insurance Professional of the Year by Big I Indiana. Collins is the Director of Strategic Partnerships and Manager of Sales & Marketing for Arlington/Roe.


Adam Fledderman ’ 03, of Indianapolis, IN, completed his Doctorate of Business Administration from Liberty University in December 2023. Fledderman also completed and published his final doctoral project, titled Risk Identification and Mitigation Within Geographically Dense Supply Chains Involving Silicon-Wafers and Semiconductors

Kyle Prewitt ’ 03, of Plainfield, IN, was appointed as the Chief of Police at the Plainfield Police Department in June of 2022. Prewitt also serves as the chairman of the Government Relations Committee for the Indiana Association of Chiefs of Police and was recently appointed to the Board of Trustees of the Indiana Criminal Justice Institute by Governor Eric Holcomb.

Kourtney (Mennen) Hester ’ 04, of Zionsville, IN, was inducted to the 2024 Indiana Basketball Hall of Fame Silver Anniversary Team.

Lori Curless ’ 07, of Greenwood, IN, was nominated and selected as one of the 2023 National Business Aviation Association’s (NBAA) Top 40 Under 40 recipients.


Charles Lepper GR ’10, of Grand Rapids, MI, has been appointed as Grand Rapids Community College’s 11th president.

Nicole Allee ’10, Ph.D. ’14, of Rockville, IN, has been named the Superintendent of Schools in Covington, Indiana. Allee has worked in education for more than 26 years and has worked as a district leader for more than 8 years.

Thea (Warren) Simpson ’16, of Apple Valley, MN, has started a new company, Equipped to Flourish. Equipped to Flourish is a fully virtual lactation support company. <

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