STATE magazine Fall 2021

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is published by University Communication of Indiana State University. ©2021


Dr. Deborah J. Curtis, Ph.D. ’85






Tony Campbell, Photography Andrew Hile, Athletics Rex Kendall, Alumni, ’88, GR ’91 Kim Kunz, Advancement, GR ’10 Tim McCaughan, Athletics Seth Montgomery, Athletics Zac Moore, Marketing, ’16, GR ’19


STATE Magazine University Communication Indiana State University 200 North 7th Street Parsons Hall, Room 203 Terre Haute, IN 47809 812-237-8764

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TRIED & TRUE GALA Max & Jackie Gibson honored

KATHY CABELLO New chair of ISU Board of Trustees welcomes three new members of board

GREAT IMMIGRANTS, GREAT AMERICANS ISU alumnus included on prestigious list

DISTINGUISHED ALUMNI AWARDS Four Sycamores will be honored

HOMECOMING 2021 Annual celebration of ISU is back

ALUMNI NEWS Class notes, Sycamore Expressions

ISU Director of Public Safety and Chief of Police Michele Barrett leads the Law Enforcement Torch Run for Special Olympics Indiana. The event took place at Indiana State University on June 4, 2021.

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The Indiana State Advantage is a bold offer to incoming freshmen on campus

Sycamores brought home seven medals from the Tokyo Paralympics

Part of Fifth Street will carry the honorary name ‘Ambassador Cynthia Shepard Perry Way’



WORD FROM THE PRESIDENT What a joy it was to see ISU sophomore Noah Malone and alumni Evan Austin and Rob Griswold win medals at the Tokyo Paralympics. We are so proud of them and we’re grateful for the attention their achievements bring to Indiana State University. Most people reading STATE magazine know all about what makes ISU unique and beloved. We have a beautiful campus; world-class faculty; a focus on teaching and experiential learning; the state’s top rating for lifting graduates to new heights; an atmosphere akin to a private school but with a public school’s breadth of academic and extracurricular opportunities ... The list of attributes goes on and on. We need to share our success more broadly. Sycamores, it’s time to reintroduce ourselves, to urge people to take a new look at Indiana State University, to promote The Indiana State Advantage. The Indiana State Advantage is more than a bold, three-pronged guarantee for entering freshmen in Fall 2022 (see page 6). It is what ISU is all about. Everything is here for every student to succeed — honors, online, oncampus, first-generation college, Pell-eligible, international. And, Olympic athletes and Paralympic athletes. A lot of great things are happening at ISU. We ask that you brag a little to family and friends. Alumni and students are our best ambassadors. Thanks and Go Sycamores!

Deborah J. Curtis, Ph.D. President President Curtis and her husband, Lynn



ISU’s First Destination Survey shows solid results during pandemic Despite the pandemic, Indiana State University posted a 92 percent placement rate in the Class of 2020 First Destination Survey. The 92 percent placement rate reflects those graduates who were employed, went to graduate school, or entered the military. The survey is compiled by ISU’s Career Center using standards established by the National Association of Colleges and Employers. ISU collected data from more than 67 percent of the 2,634 graduates in August 2019, December 2019, and May 2020. Those graduates had an average starting salary of $50,330, according to the survey. “These are very strong results considering how the pandemic changed people’s lives,” ISU President Dr. Deborah J. Curtis said. “This underscores the remarkable resilience of the Class of 2020 and the impact of an ISU education. We deliver value to our students and focus on the workforce needs of the state of Indiana.” The survey showed that 64 percent of graduates stayed in Indiana. Nancy Rogers, Vice President for University Engagement, said ISU’s Career Center works hard to match students with jobs. “ISU’s academic programs, with their strong focus on experiential learning, and our co-curricular engagement opportunities do an excellent job of preparing students for their careers in whatever field they choose to pursue,” Rogers said. “In addition, we have an outstanding Career Center team that works tirelessly to provide opportunities for students to build their career readiness skills and interact with employers.” FALL/WINTER 2021


ISU President Dr. Deborah J. Curtis talks about the Indiana State Advantage on Inside Indiana Business with alumnus Gerry Dick.

Indiana State University has announced a bold recruitment initiative, the Indiana State Advantage, a three-pronged guarantee to entering freshmen, beginning in Fall 2022, that is unusual if not unique for a public university. The three prongs: • Experiential Guarantee: Every first-time, full-time student on campus can apply for up to $3,000 for an educational experience outside the classroom — an internship, study abroad, research, or service. • Tuition-free Guarantee: After aid is calculated, ISU will make up any difference in tuition costs for Pell Granteligible students from the state of Indiana who had a high school gpa of at least 3.0 and are in good academic standing. • Four-year Guarantee: Eligible students will be able to finish a bachelor’s degree in four years or the rest is tuition free.



The Indiana Commission for Higher Education said it “warmly welcomed and supported” the plan. The Indiana Chamber called it a “strong initiative.” An editorial in the Terre Haute Tribune-Star said it’s “important and necessary.”

small class sizes, caring professors and a culture of inclusion and support. We also offer a wide breadth of academic and extracurricular options, with world-class faculty who work with undergraduates in state-of-the-art facilities.

The Indiana State Advantage emphasizes ISU’s quality, breadth of opportunity, and affordability while supporting the state of Indiana’s goals around degree completion, equity, and talent.

“Opportunity, quality, and affordability — this is our value proposition to citizens of the great state of Indiana and beyond.”

It is designed to attract students to ISU’s beautiful campus, where a private college learning approach complements the benefits of a public institution. A website ( has more detail and a major advertising campaign launched in September. ISU President Dr. Deborah J. Curtis said the Indiana State Advantage is not just a unique, compelling offer to incoming students but a description of the overall student experience of Sycamores. “The Indiana State Advantage is what we do together every day to educate and graduate our wonderful students,” Curtis said. “We offer high-quality education,

The Indiana State Advantage involves realignment of existing resources, distributing them in a way that benefits all first-time, full-time students on campus. Another distinctive aspect of ISU — individual support for students — will be bolstered even further by a $6.5 million grant from Lilly Endowment Inc. The grant will be used for “Sycamores Achieve,” a new program to improve retention and graduation rates of firstgeneration college students and students who qualify for federal Pell Grants. ISU’s Strategic Plan for 2021-25 was designed to impact enrollment, retention, and graduation through measurable performance indicators connected with the plan’s five main goals.


Environmental Geoscience professor is prime example of the Indiana State Advantage Professor Jeffery Stone of ISU’s Department of Earth and Environmental Systems has produced more than 20 journal publications in the last two years. He is also an example of the Indiana State Advantage and its emphasis on experiential learning and undergraduate research opportunities with ISU’s world-class faculty. “In our department, we have a culture of having undergraduate students join the labs relatively early and engage in research from the time they first start,” Stone said. “For me, that’s unique about Indiana State.” Stone also mentors undergraduate and graduate students in his department and outside his department every summer as

Dr. Jeffery Stone, professor of Environmental Geoscience at Indiana State University, and his students, frequently use the scanning electron microscope (SEM) to examine samples. The SEM is in a laboratory in the Science Building.

(continued on page 8)



PRIME EXAMPLE (CONTINUED) part of ISU’s Summer Undergraduate Research Experiences (SURE), a 10-week intensive research experience for students, mentored by ISU faculty. Over the last nine years of involvement with SURE, Stone has guided 20 students in research which has taken them to various sites in the U.S. and abroad.

“I think experiential learning is critical for students to have,” Stone said. “Having real-world experience actually makes a huge difference for them in the job market. … Experiential learning provides them with an advantage.” Stone is co-author of a new study with doctoral student Hung H. Quang that reveals the impact of climate change in Sierra Nevada and calls for action to protect water resources. The research article, “Anthropogenic climate change has altered lake state in the Sierra Nevada,” was published Sept. 8 in Global Change Biology.

Photo by John Walton/PA Wire.

Stone’s classes are filled with hands-on learning opportunities for students — from miniature science experiments and real-world laboratory experiences to weekend field trips to collect samples and independent research in various parts of the world.

Stone and Quang joined other researchers in the study led by Michael McGlue of the University of Kentucky. The team conducted the study at June Lake, a small glacial lake in Mono County, California, on the eastern side of the Sierras. The team obtained sediment core samples from the bottom of the lake and were able to learn about the aquatic ecosystem’s response to climate change in the Sierra Nevada. “June Lake is a clear example of how sensitive lakes in the Sierras can be to changing climate,” Stone said. “Sediment archives like these are one of the few tools we have for recording long-term natural variability and without them, we would not be able to clearly observe the profound nature of changes in the lake ecosystem in response to a warming climate.” Said McGlue: “Climate change is disrupting the water cycle in the Sierra Nevada in ways that are challenging to predict, which lowers society’s resilience by limiting water resources. As a consequence, major hazards like droughts, floods, and wildfires threaten California more than ever before.”



Four gold medals at Paralympics for Malone and alumni Austin, Griswold

Noah Malone (second from right), Brittni Mason, Nick Mayhugh and Tatyana McFadden won gold for the United States in the Paralympic universal relay.


On Labor Day evening, Noah Malone returned home from the Tokyo Paralympics. When he emerged from the concourse at Indianapolis International Airport, family and friends greeted him with applause while news media captured the scene. Malone, an ISU sophomore, smiled when the crowd burst into a chant of “USA! USA!” Soon, he casually dug into his bag as if he were trying to find some mundane item among other things stuffed inside. Instead, Malone pulled out his

gold medal. Then his silver medal. Then another silver medal.

Seven medals for the Sycamores, including four golds.

The crowd applauded more.

Malone was among many compelling stories of courage and perseverance. At age 12, he was diagnosed with a rare disease that left him legally blind with some peripheral vision. Still, he is a scholarship athlete competing in ISU’s NCAA track and field events. He was part of the Sycamores’ 4 x 100-meter relay team that went to the NCAA East Regionals.

Malone was just 19 years old when he won gold in the 4 x 100-meter universal relay and silvers in the 100 meters and 400 meters. It was a huge two weeks for Indiana State University at the Paralympics. Alumnus and swimmer Rob Griswold won two gold medals. Alumnus swimmer Evan Austin won a gold and a bronze.

(continued on page 10)



Photo courtesty of NBC.

Photo courtesty of NBC.



Alumnus Robert Griswold (top left) after winning the 100-meter butterfly, alumnus Evan Austin (bottom left) after winning bronze in the 400-meter freestyle, and Noah Malone (upper right) winning his heat in the 100 meters. Malone went on to win silver in the event.

PARALYMPICS (CONTINUED) “When I lost my vision, I wish I had somebody to look up to,” Malone said during an NBC interview. “My biggest goal is to inspire people. This is a great platform to do so.” Malone started the Paralympics by winning his heat in the 100 meters, his strongest event. In the final, he went up against world record holder Salum Kashafali of Norway, and finished second for the silver medal. Before the race, Kashafali screamed several times, something Malone said was an attempt at intimidation. Malone looked unfazed and won his first medal.

In the 400 meters, Malone won his heat in an American record time. In the final, he went out strong but Morocco’s Abdeslam Hili passed him in the stretch. Malone had his second silver medal. His final event was the 4 x 100-meter universal relay, an event with men and women with different disability classifications. Malone started the race for Team USA, giving the Americans a lead. Wheelchair athlete Tatyana McFadden crossed the finish line for a world record and decisive victory. Meanwhile, other Sycamores were also starring on the international stage. Griswold, who was born with cerebral palsy, won a gold medal in the 100-meter backstroke, setting a world record time in the process. “I worked for five years for this moment,” Griswold said. “When I touched the wall I just screamed with joy because I was so happy to do the best I could for my country.” Griswold’s second gold came in the 100-meter butterfly. Austin was born with familial spastic paraparesis, an inherited condition that causes progressive stiffness and contraction in the lower limbs. He was competing in his third Paralympics but hadn’t won a medal until he

Photo by Joe Kusumoto/USOPC.

“It means a lot,” Malone said while draped with the American flag. “It’s a great experience to be out here. Even though there are no fans (because of the pandemic), there’s still a buzz.”

took the bronze in the 400-meter freestyle. “My family has been truly indescribable throughout this whole process, especially during the pandemic by never losing belief in me,” Austin said. “They’ve given me the ability to train and pursue this dream. That all just culminated a few minutes ago with this first medal for me.” Austin followed that with a gold in the 50-meter butterfly. Malone, who turned 20 in October, has his sights set on even bigger things, including the 2024 Paralympics in Paris. “It’s just the beginning,” Malone said on NBC. “I’m going back to school at Indiana State. That’s what’s next for me — and the (World Championships) next year. Just the beginning.”



Inaugural Tried & True Gala

honors Max and Jackie Gibson The inaugural Tried & True Gala, which honored Max and Jackie Gibson for their decades of support for Indiana State University, grossed over $115,000. A crowd of 330 turned out Aug. 6 at Hulman Center for the event, which included video tributes to the Gibsons from Gov. Eric Holcomb and basketball legend Larry Bird. “Max and Jackie, they made my life better,” Bird said. “They supported me from day one. I can’t thank them enough. By them getting this award, it makes me feel good because I went to Indiana State and they’ve done so much for Indiana State.” Said Gov. Holcomb: “Max and Jackie, thank you for your dedication to improving the lives of those around you and for your generous ... contributions throughout the years to Sycamore athletics. Your incredible community impact is of course felt here at ISU but also far beyond the Wabash Valley.”

Athletics Director Sherard Clinkscales; Greg Gibson, son of Max and Jackie Gibson; and President Dr. Deborah J. Curtis

ISU Athletics Director Sherard Clinkscales said numerous people made the event a success. “I am grateful for the strong turnout to honor Max and Jackie Gibson and to kick off the athletic season,” Clinkscales said. “I want to thank our title sponsor, First Financial, and all other sponsors and attendees for their support. Our athletics staff, along with our campus partners Sodexo and Hulman Center, put on a tremendous event.”



Gov. Eric Holcomb and basketball legend Larry Bird appeared in videos honoring Max and Jackie Gibson.

Indianapolis businesswoman and philanthropist Kathy Cabello began her tenure as chair of the Indiana State University Board of Trustees in July, becoming the first Hispanic woman to serve in the role. Cabello, a board member since 2014, said one of her passions paved the way for her connection to ISU: sparking the interest and building the confidence of underrepresented youth toward college success.


Cabello first visited campus 13 years ago while mentoring students involved with Project Stepping Stone of Indiana (PSS), a precollege program that emphasizes the value of higher education and supports Latino high school students to gain college access and success. Cabello leads this organization. It didn’t take long for her to realize the similarities between ISU and PSS, not least of which is serving first-generation college students. When she got to know the mission and people of ISU, she found the perfect fit for her interests and passion. “Higher education changes people’s lives,” Cabello said. “Only in America can a college degree change where a person is in their lives and how they advance and progress. And this affects generations afterward. And now you’ve changed generations. And to me, that’s impactful.” Cabello said she believes wholeheartedly in ISU’s mission

and as chair of the board, she aims to continue supporting that mission. As a first-generation college student herself, Cabello has seen how one student’s success can improve an entire family’s social mobility. She feels blessed to have been able to attain higher education with the help of scholarships, and that has made a difference in her life. Cabello holds a B.S. in Computer Science from Eastern Michigan University and an MBA from the University of Notre Dame. She is also a graduate of the Minority Business Executive Program at Dartmouth’s Tuck School of Business. A first-generation American born in Chicago and raised in Bridgeport, Michigan, Cabello started her career as a computer engineer. Her love for marketing strategy and customer relationship management eventually led her to start Cabello Associates, a full-service marketing consultancy that works to develop corporate strategic plans for Fortune 500 companies and other clients. She founded the firm with her husband 18 years ago and takes pride in helping companies uplift people and communicate complex ideas with the potential to improve quality of life.

Growing up, Cabello’s mom and dad emphasized the importance of helping people. This, and hard work, perseverance, and confidence, guide her decisions for her company and volunteer leadership of Project Stepping Stone. “Our parents taught us that no matter how little or how much you have, we need to help people, serve, and share,” she said. (continued on page 14)



CABELLO (continued) Her mom is of Mexican American heritage and her dad is from Mexico. “They have been my biggest influences,” Cabello said. “I’ve seen them work very hard and encourage us — my sister and my brother — to be the best we can, to keep striving. They gave me the confidence to just keep pushing. “Even as a young girl, my mom would ask me to tutor young people. ...They were instilling in me that even as a young girl, I can still serve. And that taught me to give back.” In 2019, Cabello and her husband pledged $25,000 to create ISU’s first private scholarship to support students of Latino/Hispanic descent, The Eddy and Kathy G. Cabello Annual Scholarship. They wanted to do their part in helping students overcome financial barriers to higher education. Cabello also serves as a consultant and speaker on talent and leadership development, executive coaching, business startups, and the importance of diversity in the workforce. She has served on the board of several organizations, including Fifth Third Bank, the Indianapolis chapters of the National Association of Women Business Owners, and the National Society of Hispanic MBAs. She has earned several recognitions, including the 2021 Courage Award presented by the ​​Girl Scouts of Central Indiana and Indiana Lieutenant Governor Suzanne Crouch; 2010 Indiana Fortune’s Most Powerful Women nominee; the 2010 Indianapolis Business Journal Women of Influence for Indiana; and the 2012 Mayor’s Latino Woman-Owned Business of the Year. But for all her accomplishments, she’s most proud of her daughters and her partnership with her husband of 35 years. “I’m proud of how we’ve built our life together to give back to our community,” she said.



NEW TRUSTEES John Pratt, Rockville Pratt is a descendant of multiple generations of Parke County citizen leaders. He currently serves as President of the Parke County Council and has been greatly involved with economic development initiatives to position the county as an important place of destination in West-Central Indiana. Pratt was instrumental in helping guide Parke County to join the Wabash River Regional Development Authority and has been supportive of county efforts to attract investment in qualityof-place enhancements for Rockville and surrounding communities. He has demonstrated strong support for education, including K-12 and higher education, recognizing the high percentage of Parke County children who attend and graduate from Indiana State University. Pratt is a leader in agri-business and rural-based issues, including the importance of reversing the cycle of rural poverty through higher education. He is the treasurer of the Parke County Republican Party.

Troy Woodruff, Fishers Woodruff is a 1998 graduate of Indiana State University with a degree in Communication Studies and a Minor in Marketing. He served in the Indiana House of Representative (District 64 in Southwest Indiana) from 2004-06 during which time he was a member of the House Ways and Means Committee. With his ISU background, he became a strong ally when the university was looking at what to do with the outdated and costly twin towers on campus. Following his service in the House, Woodruff was a leader at the Indiana Department of Transportation. After leaving INDOT in 2014, he started his own consulting business and went on to purchase RQAW in August 2015. At RQAW, he currently serves as President/CEO. In 2017, Woodruff started another successful company, BW Construction, which supplies construction management services across Indiana. In his spare time, he serves on the board of the Youth Mentoring Initiative, which is affiliated with Fishers High School. He also serves as a varsity basketball assistant coach for Pendleton Heights High School.

Kimberly Collins, Terre Haute Collins, the new student trustee, is a junior majoring in Marketing with a concentration in Sales Management and a minor in Entrepreneurship. She is a President’s Scholar and a Networks Scholar and is part of the Honors College where she serves as a peer mentor. Collins has served as president and vice president of Indiana State’s Student Philanthropy Organization, which assists with the annual Give to Blue Day. She is also involved in the Indiana State Dance Marathon, which annually raises money for Riley Children’s Hospital. As a freshman, she was a member of the Sycamore Leadership Coalition, a branch of student government designed for first-year students. She also holds on-campus jobs in the University Marketing Office and in the ISU Foundation.

It is the third straight year fundraising has increased. More than 7,500 donors made contributions — up almost 10 percent from the previous year — supporting 620 funds and initiatives.

for setting an all-time record of over $29 million this past fiscal year,” said Don Dudine, chair of the ISU Foundation Board of Directors. “It is heartwarming to witness the ISU administration, deans, faculty, staff, students, alumni, and friends of ISU embrace philanthropy with this genuine level of excitement. As a board, we are proud to be associated with the culture of philanthropy now established at ISU.”

“We are so grateful to our alumni, friends, and corporate partners who generously supported the university in a record-breaking year,” ISU President Dr. Deborah J. Curtis said. “Indiana State University serves an important mission, and donor support is critical to expanding access to higher education.”

Said Andrea Angel, Vice President for University Advancement and CEO of the ISU Foundation: “It has been an amazing year, and I am humbled by the generosity of our donors. Every gift is making a difference and it is exciting to see the bold advancement of the philanthropic culture at Indiana State.”

Gifts to the university’s endowment totaled more than $4.3 million, double the amount from the previous year. Forty-one new endowed funds were created, largely helping to build scholarship support and increase opportunities for ISU students.

Angel credited initiatives such as the third annual Give to Blue Day for building momentum for philanthropy. The day resulted in more than $1 million in donations during a 24-hour period from 2,620 donors, including nearly 300 students.

Over 1,200 donors were recognized as members of the President’s Society for contributing at least $1,000 in the fiscal year.

“The energy among our ISU Foundation Board, Advancement team and campus partners is unparalleled,” Angel said. “It is inspiring to see how philanthropy is helping our students achieve their dreams of earning a college degree.”

Indiana State University had the largest fundraising year in its history in 2020-21, nearly tripling donations from the previous year with more than $29 million.

“The ISU Foundation Board of Directors wishes to congratulate the ISU Foundation



Indiana State University’s Board of Trustees approved the honorary naming of a campus street as “Ambassador Cynthia Shepard Perry Way,” recognizing the long and distinguished career of a Terre Haute native and ISU graduate. Dr. Perry, 92, was selected by three U.S. Presidents to represent the nation internationally. In 1986, President Ronald Reagan appointed her as Ambassador to Sierra Leone. In 1990, President George H.W. Bush appointed her as Ambassador to Burundi. In 2001, President George W. Bush appointed her to be U.S. Executive Director of the African Development Bank in Tunisia.


and around the world, and represented our country with distinction in numerous capacities.” The street naming, Curtis said, “allows us to lift up the visibility of who comes and learns at Indiana State. We serve a population from all walks of life and Ambassador Perry is the embodiment of successful Sycamores who have gotten their start here and gone out and literally changed the world.” In an interview with the Terre Haute Tribune-Star, Perry said, “I’m really, really truly honored that my hometown has thought to do this for me. I’m sure this doesn’t happen to many people.”

The honorary naming covers Fifth Street from Tippecanoe Street to Cherry Street. It is owned by ISU as part of an agreement with the City of Terre Haute in 2011. Appropriate signage will mark the honorary naming, but street addresses will not be changed because of public safety.

Perry grew up in the segregated community called the Lost Creek Settlement just outside Terre Haute. After graduating from high school in 1946, she married and started a family while also working in banking and for IBM, the computer hardware company. She later earned a scholarship to Indiana State, where she earned her bachelor’s degree in political science in 1968.

“We’re proud to honor Ambassador Cynthia Shepard Perry, one of the most prominent people to come from Terre Haute and graduate from Indiana State University,” ISU President Dr. Deborah J. Curtis said. “She spent her career bringing people together in our nation

She went on to earn a doctorate in international education from the University of Massachusetts in 1972. As part of her doctoral program, she worked with former Peace Corps volunteers who had served in Africa to develop and test African Studies curricula for public schools to


help improve race relations. Perry had a distinguished career in education, consulting, and diplomacy. She held prominent positions at the University of Massachusetts Amherst, the University of Nairobi in Kenya, Texas Southern University, and Texas Woman’s University. Dr. Perry was recognized with Indiana State University’s Distinguished Alumni Award in 1987, the same year she received the NAACP President’s Award. She also holds an honorary Doctorate for Public Service and a Distinguished Alumni Award from the University of Massachusetts. In the Tribune-Star interview, Perry gave advice to college students at ISU and elsewhere. “I’ve been teaching now for a long, long time, and my message always to young people is to set a long-term goal, one that you can’t reach tomorrow, one that’s going to take you years to reach,” she said. Perry said students should have short-term goals as well “for good measure and to make you feel you are succeeding. Most people, young people especially, don’t try to think through to when they are going to be 70 years old and retiring. What do you want to be retiring from? And how do you get there?”

Cynthia Shepard Perry speaking at ISU’s Martin Luther King, Jr. Dinner in 2015.



ISU alum Dr. Kamlesh Lulla named to Carnegie’s 2021 list Photo courtesy of Kamlesh Lulla/ Carnegie Corporation of NY


Indiana State University alumnus Dr. Kamlesh Lulla — a NASA chief scientist and an expert in space and geospatial technology — was named to Carnegie Corporation of New York’s 2021 list of Great Immigrants, Great Americans.


Lulla, 72, is honored for his exemplary service to the United States and the field of space through his career at NASA which spans more than three decades. He is a senior advisor for university research and technology collaboration at NASA’s Johnson Space Center and the former chief scientist for earth observations and remote sensing in the space shuttle and international space station programs. “I am deeply honored and humbled by this award and


recognition,” Lulla said. “This is the highest honor one can receive as an immigrant. I was born in India but I became an American by choice! I am thrilled to be recognized as ‘Great Immigrant, Great American.’” Lulla holds two Ph.D. degrees with expertise in environmental science and geoscience remote sensing. He began developing his expertise in the latter at ISU, where he earned a Ph.D. in geography in 1983. “ISU opened many doors for me both personally and professionally,” he said. “I had great mentors at ISU, both formal and informal. I fondly remember Professor Bill Brett who invited me to ISU and Professor Paul Mausel under whose tutelage I acquired remote sensing and geospatial science expertise that propelled me to my career at NASA.” Lulla has trained astronauts, helped develop the International Space Station’s observational science capabilities, and published vital research on topics such as climate change science, according to the Carnegie Corporation of New York. Lulla moved to the U.S. in 1978 and served as visiting professor at ISU after completing a Ph.D. in India. Then he became a Ph.D. student in ISU’s Department of Earth and Environmental Systems and proudly recalled the excellent program and

important remote sensing problems faculty and students tackled in the early 1980s. He served as a full-time faculty member in the program from 1983-1988 after earning his second Ph.D. When asked what today’s students can learn from his example, he said, “Learning is an unfinished journey. Keep on learning and reskilling yourself.” Lulla is the recipient of three NASA Exceptional Achievement Medals and the Pravasi Bharatiya Samman Award, one of the highest awards given by the government of India. The Carnegie Corporation of New York celebrates the contributions of immigrants to American life every Fourth of July, and this year honored Lulla along with 33 other naturalized citizens representing more than 30 countries of origin “for helping others as medical providers and researchers; as advocates for the disadvantaged, disabled, and disenfranchised; and as changemakers in politics, voting rights, climate change, and teaching.” Other honorees included the chairman and CEO of Pfizer; the head of Google’s interactive design; the creator of language-learning software Duolingo; winners of the Pulitzer, Nobel, Vilcek, and Beard prizes; and celebrities such as actress Helen Mirren and comedian John Oliver.

Between the first and second quarters of ISU’s season-opening football game, a video of former Sycamore player Tunch Ilkin played on the video screen. “I wish I could be there with you,” Ilkin said. “I appreciate this honor and all your support, thoughts, and prayers. I love you and Go Sycamores.” Less than a week later, Ilkin, 63, died of ALS, also known as Lou Gehrig’s Disease. Ilkin and another former Sycamore player, Ron Carpenter, who also has a neurodegenerative disease, have been honored by teammates, family and friends with an endowment to benefit ISU Football. The Carpenter/Ilkin Football Endowment has raised more than $40,000 from more than 50 donors.

Ilkin, who played 14 seasons in the NFL, announced his retirement in June 2021 as an NFL television and radio analyst for the Pittsburgh Steelers. Last October, he announced that he had ALS. Carpenter, a former co-captain for the Sycamores football team, served as president of the ISU Board of Trustees and the ISU Alumni Association Board. “We are truly excited for the Carpenter/Ilkin Football Endowment that will not only help support our football program but also honor two Sycamore greats,” ISU Director of Athletics Sherard Clinkscales said. “We are thankful to the former teammates, friends and family members who came together to create this endowment and properly recognize Ron and Tunch.” (continued on page 22)



“One of my fondest memories was living in Lincoln Quad. It was a pleasant place to live and had a very good sense of community. I want to support this initiative, because we will be benefiting the next generation of students.” —John Crouch, ’84, Foundation Board Member and Founder of the Lincoln Quad project.

You can own a piece of historic


Lincoln Quad, opened in 1969, was a popular living community on campus for decades before it became obsolete. It was razed last spring to create even more green space on campus. A limited number of commemorative Lincoln Quad bricks are available for purchase on a first-come, first-served basis. Proceeds will provide support for students’ emergency housing needs through the Residential Life fund. Reserve your piece of history today!

Carpenter and Ilkin (continued)

The event at the season-opening football game also honored Carpenter, who was present in person. There was a reception outside the stadium before the game. Former Sycamore quarterback David Pearre, a 1976 ISU graduate and teammate of Ilkin and Carpenter, is leading the fundraising effort. He said the endowment’s goal is to permanently name the ISU offensive line coach in their honor. Both players were offensive linemen. Carpenter played for ISU from 1974-77 and Ilkin 1975-79. “Ron and Tunch are special teammates who have accomplished a great deal in their lives and been generous and giving along the way,” Pearre said. Said ISU head football coach Curt Mallory: “Our alumni have a tremendous passion for our program, and their leadership to honor Tunch Ilkin and Ron Carpenter is admirable. The vision for the endowment will forever ensure that these two Sycamores are connected to ISU Football and create critical resources to enhance our program. I am extremely grateful to the alumni, friends and family who have supported this initiative.” Ilkin graduated from ISU in 1980 with a degree in broadcast journalism. He was a sixth-round draft choice of the Pittsburgh Steelers. Ilkin was named to the ISU Athletics Hall of Fame in 1998. On the day Ilkin died, Mallory tweeted, “He was beloved by everyone who had the pleasure of knowing him. His legacy will never be forgotten at Indiana State. Rest In Peace, Tunch.” Carpenter earned his bachelor’s degree in 1977 and master’s degree in 1982 from ISU. He spent his career in non-profit management and served several roles at ISU, including President of the ISU Foundation from 2012-17. He received the Distinguished Alumni Award from ISU in 1998.



ISU RECEIVES $1.48 MILLION GRANT FOR A PROJECT ADDRESSING RURAL HEALTH DISPARITIES Indiana State University has received a grant of more than $1.48 million from the federal Health Resources and Services Administration (HRSA) to support primary care physician assistant training for rural and medically underserved areas of Indiana. The grant will fund a five-year project called Preparing Physician Assistants for Rural Practice: Sycamore Physician Assistant Rural Care Program (SPARC). The grant project is the result of collaboration among ISU’s Office of Sponsored Programs; the Physician Assistant Studies program; and health professional programs, including physical therapy, nursing, social work. Liz Metzger of Sponsored Programs and Nicole Heck of Physician Assistant Studies were instrumental in securing the highly competitive federal grant. “The SPARC grant will leverage an interprofessional faculty team of physician assistants, physical therapists, social workers, and nurses to prepare students to practice medicine in rural and underserved areas of Indiana,” said Dr. Caroline Mallory, Dean of the College of Health and Human Services. “This is a fine example of our commitment to improving the health of Indiana residents.” The primary goal of SPARC is to increase the number of physician assistant graduates who work in these communities. It has been designed to bolster and sustain mental health and pain management services, said Dr. John Pommier, Professor and Chair of the Department of Applied Medicine and Rehabilitation.


Pommier, along with Doug Stevens, Assistant Professor and Director of the Physician Assistant Program, will lead the project. “Through this project, we are sharing expertise with rural health care providers and at the same time providing our students with deeper curricular and experiential exposure in primary care,” Pommier said. Efforts will focus on 14 counties in west-central Indiana. They are predominantly rural and low-income and have higher-than-average incidences of mental illness, addiction, substance abuse, smoking, and obesity. In addition to providing services to the clinics in rural areas, the project also aims to raise community awareness of opioid abuse and other mental health issues. ISU created the physician assistant program in 2011. Its mission is to “create a student-centered educational environment that engages individuals to become compassionate, competent physician assistants who possess the clinical skills to contribute positively to the dynamic health care needs of rural and underserved populations.” Students (left) shown practicing different skills at the simulation center in Union Hospital.



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. Paul and Susan Chaney of Madison, Alabama, made a commitment of $225,000 through their estate. Their gift will enhance the Paul and Susan Chaney Family Legacy Endowed Scholarship and will also support the Kappa Alpha Psi Endowment. The Chaney Family Legacy Scholarship, originally established in 2018, aims to support students from Marion County, Indiana, who are incoming freshman at Indiana State. The Kappa Alpha Psi Endowment supports scholarships for members of the fraternity. Ron and Sandra Culp of St. Charles, Illinois, made a commitment through their estate to support the Ron and Sandra Culp Student Leadership Scholarship. Their planned gift will

Bob and Susan Guell



increase the endowed scholarship originally established in 2012 and support junior or senior students majoring in communication with a concentration in public relations or journalism who have demonstrated leadership in Public Relations Student Society of America (PRSSA), The Indiana Statesman, or the Student Government Association. Don Dudine of Magnet, Indiana, provided philanthropic support to establish The Don Dudine Marching Sycamores Incentive Scholarship at the ISU School of Music. This scholarship will encourage non-music majors to continue to develop their musical skills and participate in Marching Band.

Tom and Linda Huser

The estate of Marion Eller provided a $625,000 planned gift to support Indiana State University programs and initiatives. Marion graduated from ISU in 1954 with an education degree. She was a high school educator for more than 40 years, retiring from Northwestern High School in Kokomo, Indiana, in 1996. Bob and Susan Guell committed $100,000 to support need-based student scholarships and the Economics program. Their support will permanently endow the ISU Faculty and Staff Bridge the Gap Scholarship. In addition, their commitment will create the Department of Economics Student Travel Fund and to provide Economics majors experiential learning opportunities requiring travel of more than 120 miles from campus. Tom and Linda Huser of Noblesville, Indiana, made a $500,000 commitment through their estate to establish the Thomas J. and Linda S. Huser Endowed Scholarship. Their planned gift will support scholarships for students in the College of Health and Human Services.

services for the 2020-21 athletics season. The independent, regionally-acclaimed, orthopedic specialty practice focused on individualized treatments has been a longstanding partner for Sycamore Athletics. Jack and Joyce Rentschler of Sioux Falls, South Dakota, gave $100,000 in support of a variety of ISU athletic programs as well as the Bayh College of Education. The couple also made an additional $100,000 gift supporting the University’s 2021 Give to Blue Day in March. Dr. Kenneth Smith of McKinney, Texas, gave $1 million to honor his late wife, Theresa Kathryn (Klein) Smith, and create four endowed scholarships in Accounting, Economics, Finance, and History. In recognition of the gift, ISU’s Board of Trustees approved in June the naming of the Kenneth L. Smith and Theresa Kathryn (Klein) Smith Magna Carta Courtroom on the second floor of the Federal Building, home of the Scott College of Business.

Rea Jane Linville of Terre Haute gave $100,000 to support the William J. and Rea Jane Linville Scholarship in Elementary Education. The scholarship will help Elementary Education majors who are student teaching.

Ohio-based - Trayak LLC - provided a software gift supporting the Packaging Engineering Technology Lab in the College of Technology. The company’s application platform for research and design, engineering and sustainability assess and report the environmental impacts of products and packaging.

Methodist Sports Medicine provided the ISU Athletic Department an in-kind gift for medical

*Donor gifts are reflective of giving from April through August 2021.

Rea Jane Linville

Kenneth and Theresa Smith





Four people have been selected for ISU’s Distinguished Alumni Award. Presented annually since 1957, the Distinguished Alumni Award recognizes alumni who have made significant achievements professionally and within their communities, locally and globally. The honorees will receive their awards November 5 at the inaugural President’s Dinner.

Michael “Mike” Alkire, ’85 Alkire grew up in Akron, Ohio, and was a two-time All-American swimmer before attending Indiana State. He graduated magna cum laude with a degree in computer science. Alkire now serves as President & CEO of Premier Inc., a technology-driven healthcare improvement company uniting an alliance of more than 4,400 hospitals and health systems and approximately 225,000 other providers and organizations. Since joining Premier, he has taken the company public and created more than $4 billion in value for member health systems across the country. Alkire is a thought leader in the healthcare industry, and led Premier’s efforts to address a nationwide drug shortage, testifying before the U.S. House of Representatives regarding Premier research on shortages and gray market price gouging. More recently, during the COVID-19 pandemic, he led his company to use domestic suppliers and global sourcing to bring 226 million masks and respirators, 106 million gowns, and 750 million exam gloves to U.S. providers in a time of need. Alkire currently serves on Premier Inc.’s Board of Directors as well as the board of the Alliance for Healthcare Policy, and participates on the Healthcare Leadership Council. He is also host of the InsideOut podcast, sharing compelling stories of innovation across America’s healthcare system. He was named one of the Top 25 chief operating officers in healthcare for 2018 by Modern Healthcare. Mike and his family reside in Dallas, Texas.

(continued on page 28)



Distinguished Alumni Award (continued)

Paul Chaney, ’88, and Susan Chaney, ’92 The Chaneys are both first-generation college graduates. Both were active in Greek life at ISU — Paul as a member of Kappa Alpha Psi and Susan as a member of Alpha Kappa Alpha. Paul Chaney attended ISU because it has an excellent ROTC program. After serving in the military from 1983 to 2009, he retired as a lieutenant colonel with two Bronze Star medals. After retiring from active duty in the Army, he became district business manager for AstraZeneca Pharmaceuticals, overseeing a team of nine sales professionals. Susan Chaney, originally from Indianapolis, attended ISU “because it was a smaller university that offered my major” and “was close to home so I could go back home frequently to visit my family.” She graduated with a bachelor’s in fashion merchandising. She is owner of Pinky’s Classy Creations LLC, an online retail store specializing in personalized custom gifts for special occasions. The couple is active in community service. Paul mentors youth through the Guide Right Program, coaches AAU track, and served as a Big Brother for more than five years. In Alabama, the Chaneys are members of the Union Chapel Missionary Baptist Church and are involved in the American Diabetes Association Walk. The couple resides in Madison, Alabama.

Richard “Rich” Porter, ’77 Porter, from Hammond, Indiana, graduated with a degree in business management while also competing for ISU’s track and field team as a hurdler. Porter’s 40-year career includes positions at Kimball International, Rockwell International, and Ingersoll International. For the past 15 years, he has been a partner in a private equity group, building a platform of manufacturing companies in Ohio and New Hampshire. The Porters have a history of giving to ISU. In 2015, Rich played an instrumental role in the donation of $500,000 in software to the College of Technology from Hurco Companies, where he serves on the board of directors. Rich and his wife, Robin, recently donated $250,000 to create the Rich & Robin Porter Cancer Research Center. The donation will support five research fellows. Porter currently serves on the ISU Foundation Board as Chair. He also serves the James Cancer Hospital Foundation at Ohio State University as well as Hurco Companies Incorporated and The French Oil Company. The Porters reside in Troy, Ohio, and Hilton Head, South Carolina.





Indiana State University will have an expanded Homecoming celebration October 23, building on the traditional parade and football game. The day begins with the Blue and White Parade at 9 a.m. The main part of the parade route is west on Wabash Avenue between Ninth and Fifth Streets. From 9-11 a.m., ISU’s colleges will have open houses on campus for people to meet deans and faculty and tour facilities. The Homecoming football game is at 1 p.m. against Youngstown State. Tailgating is available as usual on the west side of the stadium. Tailgating guidelines are on the Athletic Department’s website, East of Memorial Stadium, in an area now named Sycamore Village, there will be more Homecoming tents reserved by registered student organizations. Alumni and others are encouraged to visit Sycamore Village. Admission is free and not dependent on having a ticket to the football game. Tents at Sycamore Village will surround vendors where food (including hamburgers, hot dogs, brisket, and wings) and beverages (soft drinks and beer) will be for sale. Sycamore Village will be open from 11 a.m. to 1 p.m. “It’s an opportunity for student organizations to promote themselves and for alumni to reconnect with their student organizations, meet current students, and socialize with fellow alumni,” said Rex Kendall, Executive Director of the ISU Alumni Association. “We’re moving the Alumni Association tent just outside Sycamore Village to create more space for tents inside.” A Homecoming gift for alumni will be available at the tent while supplies last. The same Clear Bag Policy for entrance into the football game will be used for Sycamore Village. More information on the Clear Bag Policy is available at

More Homecoming information on page 32.





MONDAY, OCTOBER 18 11 a.m.-5 p.m.

Blood Drive


11 a.m.-1 p.m.

Homecoming Kickoff

Dede Plaza Lawn

TUESDAY, OCTOBER 19 11 a.m.-5 p.m.

Blood Drive

7-9 p.m.

Sycamore Sync

HMSU, Dede II & III Hulman Center

WEDNESDAY, OCTOBER 20 11 a.m.-1 p.m.

Tye Dye/Campus Games

7-9 p.m.

Blue Light Pep Rally

Dede Plaza Lawn Fifth & Chestnut Pay Lot

THURSDAY, OCTOBER 21 7-10 p.m.

Thursday Night Entertainment

HMSU, Dede I & II


Trike Races

Simmons Student Activity Center & Rec East

6-8 p.m.

Friday at the Fountain

9 p.m.

Stroll Off—Do It For The Culture ($10 admission)

Fountain Tirey Hall, Tilson Auditorium

SATURDAY, OCTOBER 23 9-11 a.m.

Blue & White Homecoming Parade

Downtown Terre Haute

9-11 a.m.

College Open Houses

11 a.m.-1 p.m.

Sycamore Village—Tailgate (free & open to all)

Memorial Stadium

1 p.m.

ISU Football Game

Memorial Stadium

Campus Sites

SUNDAY, OCTOBER 24 1-3 p.m.



Home-cleaning (Parade Route Cleanup)

Wabash Avenue from campus to the stadium



1960s Frank Jozsa ‘63, GR ‘72, of Tega Cay, South Carolina, authored “The Making of Modern Baseball” (Meyer & Meyer Sport, 2020) and “The Making of Modern Football” (Kindle Amazon e-book, 2021). Michael Phillips ’69, was

honored posthumously in September 2021. The Lost Creek Grove Community dedicated its basketball court as the “Michael L. Phillips Memorial Basketball Court.”

Acel McDonald ’89, GR ’15, of Indianapolis,

Jennifer Wright ’05, of Alamogordo, New Mexico, published her first novel, “If It Rains.” Brian Lewis ’06, of Jasper, became an Assistant Commissioner of the IHSAA. He will administer the sports of boys and girls cross country, boys basketball, boys and girls track and field, and unified track and field.




Richard Pearson ’73, of Valparaiso, was inducted into the Michigan City Area Schools Wall of Fame for 2021.

Gerry Dick ’90, of Indianapolis, will serve as President of Inside INdiana Business as a new division of IBJ Media. IBJ Media acquired Grow INdiana Media Ventures LLC and the INside Indiana Business platform in August after Gerry built the platform over the last 20 years.

Vevay, was named Executive Director for the Community Foundation of Switzerland County.

P. Gordon Sroufe ’76, of

Omaha, Nebraska, released his first novel, “It Started On a Tuesday.”

1980s Fred Bonewell ’80, of San Antonio, Texas, was promoted in June to the Chief Operating Officer of CPS Energy. William “Bill” Neiderer ’85, GR ’88, of South

Bend, retired from Elkhart Community Schools after


Amy Ahlfeld ’87, of Pinehurst, North Carolina, retired in November 2020 from Stanley Black & Decker as Director of Global Sourcing. During her 21-year career, she was awarded the SBD “Eagle Award” her significant work.


started in March 2021 as a Procurement Analyst, Principal at BAE Systems in Fort Wayne.

Dennis Faulkenberg ’75, of Indianapolis, retired from APPIAN, Inc. after a 45-year career in government affairs and lobbying. He was owner and president for the past 14 years.


35 years of public school teaching in Indiana and Iowa.

David Meyer ’92, of Arlington,

Virginia, retired from the U.S. Border Patrol main headquarters in Washington, D.C.

Leslie Bailey ’93, of Terre

Haute, is the CEO for Slone Partners. In June 2021, the firm was named among the nation’s Top Workplaces for 2021 by the Washington Post. US Navy Commander David Clark ’99, of Virginia

Beach, Virginia, was named Commanding Officer of the Naval Information Warfare Training Group Norfolk.

Robert Tye Sullivan ’10, of

Dr. Jenalee Cooksey ’11, of Gary, is a general surgeon at IU Health West Hospital. She was honored in July 2021 with the hospital’s Physician Sanctuary Award. Taylor Schaffer ’11, of Indianapolis, serves as the Chief of Staff and Chief Deputy Mayor of Indianapolis. She was named to the Indianapolis Business Journal 40 under 40 for the Class of 2021. Trent Fox ’12, of Danville, was promoted to Vice President of Government Relations for the Indianapolis Hospital Association. He previously served as the association’s senior director of public policy and legislative relations and as chief of staff for Indiana Department of Health Commissioner Dr. Kris Box.

Robert DeFrance ’72, GR ’73, GR ’74, of Terre Haute and retired Indiana State assistant professor, has been a wood carver for many years. Most recently, he has been carving Sycamore leaves. ISU purchases the artwork for official gifts from the university to dignitaries.

Jeff Papa PhD ’16, of

Sheridan, was appointed Editor-in-Chief of the Mensa Research Journal. The subscription-based Mensa Research Journal highlights scholarly articles and research related to intelligence from a diverse selection of nationally and internationally esteemed authors.

Brennan Hadley ’17, of

Coatesville, was admitted to Tufts University Medical School in Boston for its accelerated Doctor of Physical Therapy Program.

Katie Jenner GR ’17, of

Indianapolis, was named the Indiana Secretary of Education in January 2021. She was recognized by the Indianapolis Business Journal to this year’s 40 under 40.

Roland Wilson ’19, of

Indianapolis, was named to the inaugural class of “Conexus Rising 30.” He serves as an Assistant Operations Manager— Variable Labor at GEODIS.

2020s Dr. Aaron Baute PhD ’20,

of Lafayette, was named Lafayette Campus Chancellor for Ivy Tech Community College.

Tiarra Taylor ’20, of

Jeffersonville, was featured on an episode of HGTV’s House Hunters in June for the search for her first home.

Michelle White ’20, of

Indianapolis, was named to the inaugural class of “Conexus Rising 30.” White serves as a Forecast Planner for Rolls-Royce. The new program by Conexus Indiana recognizes 30 advanced manufacturing and logistics professionals under the age of 30 who are distinguishing themselves as future stars of the industry.

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






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




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