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SYCAMORES SHOW THEIR METTLE DURING COVID-19 Nursing graduate student Keiko McMillan, Lieutenant Junior Grade of the U.S. Navy Reserve, at a makeshift hospital in New York.

is published by University Communication of Indiana State University. ©2020

PRESIDENT OF INDIANA STATE UNIVERSITY Dr. Deborah J. Curtis, Ph.D. ’85 EXECUTIVE DIRECTOR OF GOVERNMENT RELATIONS AND UNIVERSITY COMMUNICATION Greg Goode, ’95, GR ’97 DIRECTOR OF UNIVERSITY COMMUNICATION Mark Alesia ASSOCIATE DIRECTOR OF UNIVERSITY COMMUNICATION AND STATE MAGAZINE EDITOR Dianne Frances D. Powell CONTRIBUTORS Mark Alesia, Communication Tony Campbell, Photography Kelli Cheever, Communication Teresa Exline, Chief of Staff Jonathan Garcia, Photography, ’17 Ace Hunt, Athletics Rex Kendall, Alumni Association, ’88, GR ’91 Kim Kunz, Foundation, GR ’10 Carrie Lutz, Marketing Morgan Patterson, Alumni Association Dianne Frances D. Powell, Communication Betsy Simon, Marketing Ashlee Shroyer, Marketing, GR ’14 MAGAZINE CORRESPONDENCE STATE Magazine Indiana State University University Communication Parsons Hall, Room 203 200 North 7th Street Terre Haute, IN 47809 ISU-Magazine@indstate.edu 812-237-8764


All photography in this magazine is provided by Indiana State University Services, unless otherwise noted.












In healthcare, education, technology, and more, Sycamores serve others and keep institution moving forward

Tiarra Taylor represents ISU with class, gives Sycamores a shout-out on national television

Dr. Terry Daugherty from the University of Akron starts at ISU on July 1

$50 million renovation will be substantially complete by November

Stories of Sycamore generosity amid COVID-19

ALUMNI NEWS Class notes, 1960s to 2010s

Photo by Joseph C. Garza, Reprinted with permission of the Terre Haute Tribune-Star.

Elonda Ervin, Executive Director of ISU’s Office of Multicultural Services and Programs, offers a social distancing hug while volunteering for Vigo County Mutual Aid, a group created by ISU graduate student Tina Simons. Ervin and others distributed essential household items to people in need.







ISU’s third Habitat for Humanity house

A modern brand while maintaining vintage logos

President Emeritus Benjamin’s new book



WORD FROM THE PRESIDENT Dear Sycamore family and friends, “Tomorrow will be a better day.” Parents have said that for generations. People who have overcome challenges have taught us that lesson. We’re in a pandemic that has turned lives and institutions upside down. Huge challenges lie ahead for everyone. And yet, when you look at Indiana State University’s record of resilience, it’s easy to understand why there’s only optimism about the future. In these pages, you’ll see a small sample of the character of ISU students, faculty, staff, and alumni. They are making an impact. They not only kept the institution moving forward but, as leaders and citizens, found ways to help others. That is the Sycamore spirit. ISU has remained open and fulfilling its mission due to the hard work of our extraordinary faculty and staff. They have not missed a beat during this crisis, acting quickly to move to online instruction, advising, counseling, tutoring, administrative work, and much more. The can-do resolve of our faculty and staff, including essential workers showing up each day on campus, inspired us all. Students overcame significant obstacles in adapting to change and finishing the semester strong. We graduated 2,050 students from the Class of 2020. We are so proud of all of our students, and deeply appreciate their monumental effort. We also thank our political leaders, including Govenor Eric Holcomb, Congressman Larry Buschon, and State Senator Jon Ford, for their support in a time of great need. The CARES Act provided more than $3 million in emergency relief for our students. Generous donors contributed to ISU’s Emergency Relief Fund. We’ve been through tough times before. On the opposite page, history professor Dan Clark describes some of those historical challenges. With your support, we will not only get through this but come out of it stronger. Sincerely,

Deborah J. Curtis, Ph.D. President



ISU has always been resilient in challenges throughout its history Dan Clark, Associate Professor of History, is writing a two-volume history of Indiana State University. The first volume is scheduled to be published in 2021. He talked about four challenges ISU faced in its history, two of which involved public health.

1888 Fire

Small Pox Epidemic, 1902

World War II, 1941-45

On April 9, 1888, fire destroyed the Indiana State Normal School’s only building.

The Normal School closed for two weeks because of a Small Pox epidemic, and administrators feared the bad publicity.

The Teachers College survived the Great Depression because of belt-tightening, including a faculty pay cut, and the New Deal.

“A lot of river towns in the U.S. had periodic epidemics, yellow fever, so you wouldn’t go to Terre Haute for a while,” Clark said. “Terre Haute had several of these scares. The biggest concern was trying to reassure parents that the epidemic was over and you can come back.”

“World War II threatened the Teachers College more than the Depression,” Clark said. “Not only did men leave to join the military, a lot of women left to work.”

Even before then, it was a “dubious proposition” whether the school would survive, Clark said. Higher education had a tenuous footing with Hoosier politicians who were ready to cut funding. President William Parsons acted immediately to quash any notion that the school wouldn’t survive. He sent telegrams to news organizations that the school was still open for business. He lined up space for classes to continue. “Even while the building was still burning,” Clark said, “he gathered several faculty members and dispersed them to the train station to catch students and basically make them stay.” Class went on the very next day. At chapel that morning, Parsons told students and faculty, “Our building is in ashes, our library, laboratory, and apparatus are gone, but the school and all essential to it are here this morning. This is a splendid opportunity to teach the world the school is not in its library and buildings. The Normal School is in existence this morning and we are ready to go to work.”

Spanish Flu Pandemic, 1918 The Board of Health in Terre Haute ordered all schools and entertainment canceled in early October 1918. The Normal School shut down for almost a month. Enrollment was already down because men were fighting in World War I. Clark said he didn’t find evidence that any students had died of the Spanish Flu, although several people in Terre Haute died. The war ended in November of that year. “The reopening of the campus just didn’t merit much news,” Clark said. “I didn’t find much about it. They had to scrap that semester and begin the winter term. The school revived pretty quickly after World War I and Spanish Influenza. It didn’t skip a beat.”

Even before the U.S. entered the war in 1941, students were leaving as the nation rebuilt its military and Indiana factories were filling federal defense orders. “That hits enrollment by 1942,” Clark said. “The war hits and enrollment plummets. From an income and enrollment standpoint, it’s bleaker than the Depression.” The Teachers College lived on in part because the federal government paid to have Navy officers trained on campus. “The Navy wanted quasiengineering curriculum,” Clark said. “Indiana State really had to change itself. We also started training nurses during that time. We made a deal with Union Hospital. That’s the beginning of the nursing program. Indiana State, whether a normal school or a teachers college, always trained more than teachers. But it was during the war years they got a sense they could do more in undergraduate education.”



Photo submitted by Keiko McMillan.



Online nurse practitioner student serves in joint military-civilian COVID-19 response Keiko McMillan didn’t consider herself a hero but simply a nurse in the military combating COVID-19. “I am very grateful for participating in this mission,” she said. And as she served her country and profession on the front lines of COVID-19, she drew inspiration from patients, one of whom told her, “Thank you for coming. You are saving the future of New York.”


The mission was Operation Gotham 2020, a joint military and civilian response against COVID-19 in hard hit New York. Armed with courage, government resources, trust in the medical community, and knowledge from Indiana State University, McMillan bravely did her part fighting the pandemic in the nation’s largest city. McMillan, a Lieutenant Junior Grade of the U.S. Navy Reserve and a nursing graduate student at ISU, arrived in New York City on April 6 as part of the medical response team by the U.S. Navy. She was assigned to the general ward of Javits Center, a convention center turned temporary COVID-19 field hospital at Hell’s Kitchen in Manhattan’s west side.

arrival. “So many minorities, too. A lot of patients don’t speak English, so we really need language service available.”

knowledge and confidence,” she said. “They also inspired me to advance [my] education and career [as a] civilian and [in the] military.”

“It’s a lot of people coming in all night long,” she said.

While on duty, McMillan found strength in her commitment to patient-focused care and support from fellow medical professionals. McMillan said the hospital was well-equipped. For this reason, responders were able to provide decent care, she said.

McMillan gave general nursing care to novel coronavirus patients coming in from area hospitals. Working a 12-hour night shift, she administered medication, monitored patient condition, and notified doctors of changes. The center had 2,500 beds, a small intensive care unit, and at the time of McMillan’s interview had 400 patients, she said. McMillan, who is pursuing a master’s degree in nursing with concentration in family nurse practice (MSN-FNP), found the knowledge and skills she has gained so far as an ISU student useful on the front lines of COVID-19.

She was initially “overwhelmed” by the situation.

For example, McMillan said she applied what she learned about health assessments, physical examination, and history-taking from APN 624 Health Assessment and Health Promotion for Advanced Practice Nursing, an online course she took in the spring. She had nothing but praise for the ISU nursing faculty.

“So many people are sick,” she said in a phone interview with STATE magazine barely two weeks after her

“I work with many health professionals and ISU prepared me to collaborate with them with

The availability of these resources, including personal protective equipment (PPE), also quelled her fears for her own safety during the first few days of arrival. She said officials provided good training on the proper use of PPE. “I feel I’m protected,” she said. “I just listen to my body, make sure I hydrate, eat, [and] get some sleep.” Aside from the health risk, McMillan also sacrificed time with family. Her thoughts were on the health and well-being of her family in Houston, Texas, particularly a daughter who may be considered high risk if infected by the virus. Her sincere wish was to see them again sooner rather than later. “Hopefully, by summer, I can go home.”



Alumnus donates thousands of face shields to frontliners, credits ISU for community service spirit

When Indiana State University alumnus Rich Mickel, ’94, saw that the supply chain for personal protective equipment (PPE) was struggling to meet demand for the COVID-19 response, he made a series of decisions. First, he decided to look around his Indianapolis-based warehouse for materials to repurpose. Then, he created an efficient production plan. Within 48 hours, his manufacturing operation was producing face shields; three weeks later, his face shield donations to medical and social services facilities around the city were in the thousands. Mickel, second-generation owner of DM Sales & Engineering Co., Inc., a plastic packaging company, said the operation could have produced more face shields. But when he learned that the healthcare system needed elastic—a raw material used in face shields—to enable volunteers to make face masks, he donated a mile of it. The decisions to dedicate a portion of his operations for a charitable cause and to donate some of the company’s raw materials seemed easy for him for a simple reason: “We’re supporting the front lines,” he said. On the front lines, Mickel’s generosity and creativity came at a crucial time because the supply chain was locking up and procurement became increasingly difficult.

Rich Mickel, Indiana State University alumnus and owner of DM Sales & Engineering Co., Inc.

Wendy Horn, Vice President of Business Development and executive in charge of the PPE Donation Center at Community Health Network, said providers had started chasing all kinds of sources for traditional PPE procurement, but those channels were drying up.


“There was a time lag for when you can actually get equipment and deploy it into the field,” she said.



Then Community Health Network received a call from Mickel. The network, an integrated healthcare system with more than 200 sites in central Indiana, was the first recipient of face shield donations from Mickel’s company. It also received elastic for the face masks. Distributed to the network’s hospitals dealing with the surge of COVID-19, Mickel’s contributions added much-needed PPE to the front lines to keep workers safe and contain the spread of COVID 19, Horn said. A face shield is really important, Horn said, because it is necessary when performing intubations on COVID-19 patients. Because it is a plastic barrier that comes around the side of the face, it provides better protection during these procedures than just having a surgical mask, which only covers the nose and mouth.

Photo courtesy of Community Health Network.


OR HEROES All photos courtesy of Rich Mickel/DM Sales & Engineering, except where noted.

L-R: Two Community Health Network nurses accept Rich Mickel’s face shield donation at the network’s PPE donation center on April 3, 2020.; Mickel’s wife, Kate, models the face shield created by the company for donation to COVID-19 frontliners; A volunteer picks up boxes of face shields for Johnson Memorial Health and poses for a photo with Mickel at DM Sales & Engineering plant. “At the point of life and death, when intubating somebody who has been COVID [coronavirus] positive, face shields give caregivers peace of mind,” she said. “In preparing for the number of intubations that have to occur, we really did need face shields and those are largely deployed at the hospital level. He got us those in less than a week.” Mickel’s example reaffirms that innovation healthcare is local, Horn said, which meant “we could look to creative folks to help us solve the bigger problem.” Horn applauds Mickel for using his talents, resources, curiosity, and persistence in approaching healthcare providers, to do his part in keeping caregivers and patients protected from the spread of COVID-19. The pandemic affected many businesses; some

even shuttered. But Mickel’s business not only gave donations but also kept employees on its payroll. “It’s the right thing to do,” he said. “Here’s the fact: In this day and age, it’s hard to get really good, dedicated employees,” Mickel said. “If you have good, dedicated employees, I always felt that if you take care of them, and you treat them fairly, they’re going to be there for you as an employer.” Leading his employees to manufacture face shields had a positive effect on both the business and the employees. “When we started focusing some of our resources doing some charitable things, good things, I’ll be honest, it helped morale around here tremendously,” Mickel said. Raised in Greenwood, Indiana, Mickel received a bachelor’s degree in political science from ISU in 1994. During his time at ISU, he was part of Sigma Alpha Epsilon, student

government, and other campus activities. He credits ISU and his fraternity for instilling in him the importance of giving back to his community. This Sycamore legacy binds Mickel and his eldest daughter, Victoria, an elementary education major at the university. Indiana State has long maintained a commitment to community and public service, and the university imparts this commitment to its students. ISU taught Mickel the necessary skills to succeed in business and in life. “Indiana State prepared me quite well,” he said. “It was a great time in my life.” “It continues to be an important aspect of our lives,” he said referring to his wife and three daughters. “It made me who I am today, but also it’s influencing my daughter so it’s still in the family.”




ISU professor ‘prints’ ear savers for surgical masks in his garage Dr. Alex Elvis Badillo, Assistant Professor of Earth and Environmental Systems, spent the spring semester teaching courses online during the day and, at night in his garage, 3D printing ear savers for surgical masks. The ear savers are meant to reduce tension behind the ear that is caused by typical facemasks. Badillo made them for Vigo County’s frontline workers against COVID-19 after a former student of his, Madeline Riley, ’19, suggested the project. “She saw on social media that the online 3D printing community had begun to print out the surgical mask ear saver devices in an effort to contribute to healthcare and essential worker relief during the pandemic,” Badillo said. “Last year, she was involved in my lab, the Geospatial and Virtual Archeology Laboratory and Studio, where she knew that we used 3D printing methods for public outreach and educational purposes. So she brought (the idea) to my attention at first by tagging me on a Facebook post.” The request piqued Badillo’s interest. He downloaded the National Institutes of Health facemask ear saver files and used free software that translates the information into something the 3D printer can understand. The ear savers are printed using plastic material. Badillo donated ear savers to the Vigo County Health Department, but his efforts didn’t stop there. He teaches a course called Archeological Methods: 3D documentation for science within his department at ISU. During a Zoom lecture on 3D printing as a tool for visualization, Badillo showed his students how to print 3D masks and other devices using the National Institutes of Health website. Matt Deady, a student in the class and an intern at Clabber Girl, brought the concept of 3D masks to his boss and president of the company. “As an intern, I couldn’t help but notice how many production workers were having issues with the masks we provided, particularly it hurting their ears and face,” Deady said. “When the issue emerged among the production workers, I recalled the live class session with Dr. Badillo about the ear savers, and reached out to him.” Clabber Girl purchased 300 masks for its staff. The money will be used for ISU’s new visualization classroom and makerspace in the Science Building, where the 3D printers will be stationed when classes resume on campus.


“I was simply showing my students in my class how we could use the printers, so I’m glad we could help in this way,” he said. “Our department prepares students for careers in both academia and the industry, teaching valued skills in state of the art visualization techniques and 3D technologies. Innovative visualization technologies are advancing rapidly and are already beginning to be used in most industries, so the new visualization classroom and makerspace gives our students hands-on training with these technologies.”


Photo courtesy of Ben Obaseki.


Badillo said it takes about 80 minutes to produce five ear saver devices on a single printer. Using two 3D printers, he was able to print about 100 devices per day. He produced 300 in three days.

Former ISU football star battled COVID-19 in hard-hit New York Dr. Ben Obaseki, a former ISU football star who once had 22 tackles in a game, battled a different and deadly opponent this year as a second-year medical resident in Brooklyn, New York. Obaseki’s hometown newspaper, the Washington (Indiana) Times Herald, reported that Obaseki was working in the COVID-19 hotspot of Brookdale University Hospital & Medical Center. “Trauma bays designed for two or three people are now holding five to seven,” Obaseki told the Times Herald in early April. “We were considered an under-served hospital before the outbreak, meaning we had fewer resources available to serve this community, so this has really stretched us. It has really had us scrambling. Whenever we go outside, the ambulances are just lined up.” Obaseki, who graduated from ISU in 2014, was elected by his peers and faculty to be the Chief Resident of the class of 2021. His mother Linda said his days consisted mostly of working, sleeping, and walking the dog. “I made him some masks and sent him some cookies,” Linda said. “He hopes to get home by August so we can see him for his birthday.”



Kaela Harris

Sheri Hughes

Kaela Harris has served as a Hall Coordinator for the Office of Residential Life at Indiana State University almost a year. The job involves overseeing Reeve and Lincoln Quad residence halls. Although students weren’t on campus for the last part of the spring semester, Residential Life’s professional staff have been steadily developing an online presence to support students from a distance.

You can add “global pandemic” to the list of things that won’t stop Postal Service workers, including those in Indiana State’s Mail Services. Sheri Hughes, the Manager, and two mail Service Assistants, Lisa Harrison and Deb Turner, continued to sort the mail from USPS, UPS, and FedEx for students, staff, and faculty members.

In addition to hosting Zoom calls and emailing students to check in with them, Harris has helped with committees that support the goals of the department. She helps deliver content for the SAHE 31U course for prospective student staff members and students with an interest in building leadership skills.



They help unload the UPS and FedEx trucks every day and sort the packages by departments. Then Hughes e-mails or calls each department to notify them of items they can pick up. Hughes and Harrison have been with State for 15 years and Turner has been on staff for nearly seven years.

Karen Smith

Harley Smithson

Karen Smith provides a clean and safe environment for essential employees still on campus during the COVID-19 pandemic. She oversees custodial services to ensure a clean, orderly, and attractive environment for students, staff, and faculty in academic buildings and sports facilities.

Harley Smithson, Assistant Central Heating Plant Manager, has been employed at ISU for 36 years. He and his Supervisor, Jim Gregg, along with four steam plant operators and three steam plant mechanics are responsible for Indiana State’s Central Heating Plant.

Smith disinfects areas of concern with an electrostatic sprayer. She has worked at ISU for 16 years, including half as a custodian and half as a supervisor. In October, Smith was promoted to her position as Senior Custodial Supervisor.

The plant operates continuously throughout the year, supplying high pressure steam to the campus for heat, domestic hot water, kitchens, and other essential functions. The Central Heating Plant also supplies compressed air to the campus for HVAC controls, including thermostats and pneumatic valve operators. The compressed air is also used for classes at the technology and science buildings. Four people in plant operations work 12-hour shifts to ensure the safe operation of the plant. Three employees take care of the plant maintenance and steam distribution system, which consist of 2.25 miles of distribution piping around the campus.



Photo by Antoinette Zaino/DuPage Care Center.


Senior center choir show went on for families, thanks to Indiana State University intern


COVID-19 forced Indiana State University student Ashley Helmi to rethink her internship project at a senior care center. The result brought the joy of performing music to senior singers and delighted their online audience of family and friends. It also earned kudos from the senior center’s management, and it reached 20,000 accounts on Facebook by midApril. “This has become such a beautiful project that we are so happy to share with all of you!” it said on the center’s Facebook page.


Bi-weekly rehearsals were in full swing for an 18-member choir started by Helmi when the pandemic shut down all in-house activities. The choir was Helmi’s special project for a 14-week internship with the DuPage Care Center Recreation Department at her suburban Chicago hometown of Wheaton, Illinois. Instead of being discouraged when social distancing precautions for COVID-19 forced cancelation of rehearsals and a planned concert, Helmi came up with a creative solution to ensure the show went on.

With the help of colleagues at the care center, Helmi went around each unit to gather audio and video clips from members. She brought in her own recording devices and spent hours editing. She also used clips from rehearsals before they were canceled. The result was a video of the members performing “Stand By Me,” which was posted on DuPage Care Center’s Facebook page. Helmi’s intentions were to provide residents with the feeling of accomplishment and, for their families, an assurance that their loved ones were doing fine.

“This pandemic has been difficult for everyone, but I wanted the residents to know we are always standing by them through this,” Helmi said. “I hope that anyone who watches this sees that we are all dealing with this differently and that there is light at the end of the tunnel. We will get through this as a country as long as we work to keep positive and provide support for one another.” With every musical beat, unique voice, and arm wave, kindness emanated from the video. “It was very important to me to make sure this project was completed because they worked so hard up until our last in-person rehearsal,” Helmi said. “It is so important that the residents feel proud of what they accomplished. They deserve all the credit for this video because they continued with me on this adventure to finish what they started.”

Family members of residents, who couldn’t be with their loved ones because of the virus, expressed appreciation. “Thank you Ashley,” said one Facebook comment. “We had a scare with our mother Eleanor and it was tough not to be with her. This brings smiles to me.” Another said, “So awesome! Congrats Ashley and residents on a great job getting this done. Made me cry happy tears!!” The internship was required for the recreation therapy concentration of Helmi’s recreation and sport management major at ISU. The choir project allowed Helmi, a music minor and member of choral ensembles, to combine her passions for music and healing.

Ashley Helmi

success. Aside from gaining handson experience and confidence in a career she intends to pursue, she learned about resident assessment, how to follow through with goals and objectives, and implementation of her own activities.

“Music has really been my rock for everything,” she said.

Although being an intern during COVID-19 may have been stressful at times, Helmi said she is grateful to have been able to see how safety procedures are activated and to learn ways to respond to a health crisis.

The internship also gave Helmi valuable experiences for future

“I could not have asked for a better learning experience,” she said.



Jennifer McCormick, GR ’08, Ph.D. ’11, leans on her education and experiences to lead Indiana schools’ response to pandemic Jennifer McCormick became an educator to honor excellent teachers who influenced her growing up by serving students and her community well. In the last year of her four-year term as Indiana’s Superintendent of Public Instruction, that sense of purpose resonated as she was thrust into leading Indiana’s education system through the COVID-19 pandemic. Circumstances also placed her in charge of helping school districts implement, for the first time, extended remote learning.


McCormick earned two degrees from Indiana State University: educational specialist in school administration (Ed.S.) in 2008 and a Ph.D. in education administration in 2011. She leaned on her ISU education and years of experience at every level of local K-12 education to make decisions and lead the Indiana Department of Education.


“Clearly, in times of crises, leadership matters,” McCormick said. “My experience at ISU, the classes that I took … the people I surrounded myself with, [and] that ISU surrounded us with, all played into developing who I am today.” “I know I have a lot of room to grow but ISU did a great job at providing those experiences, situations, and the academic support to lend itself to what I’m up against today.” Throughout her career, McCormick has cherished the relationships she has built through the university. She often keeps in


touch with ISU mentors and classmates, some of whom work with her in the Department of Education. “Indiana State is special to me,” she said. “I loved the experience. I felt like they really got to know students as a person. I had great professors. They know you by name. They’re very concerned about your family. … They respected you as a professional.” COVID-19 brought changes to many professional lives, including McCormick’s. Meetings with the state’s emergency operations center became routine during the pandemic response. It also brought a closer partnership with the Governor’s office. “A lot has changed but some of it is just taking what we were doing and intensifying or morphing it a bit to fit the situation,” McCormick said. Under her leadership, the department continued its work in curriculum, instruction, assessment, and professional development, but a greater emphasis was given to continuous learning in a remote environment. In crisis or not, McCormick said “the safety, security, and well-being of our students is priority number one.” Before the pandemic, schools had permission to utilize e-learning or remote learning for inclement weather or teachers’ professional development. It was designed to be taken one to two days at a time, not for an extended period, she said.

Photos courtesy of Indiana Department of Education.

Number one priority: Indiana Superintendent of Public Instruction Jennifer McCormick interacts with fourth graders from Southern Wells Elementary School during a May 2018 visit to the Indiana Statehouse.

The pandemic caused the department and school districts to survey technological capacity and tools to adapt to extended remote learning. This was the first step for Indiana schools to successfully utilize remote learning through mid-May. “We had to find that balance to serve families from various levels of capacity,” McCormick said. Listening to parents’ and families’ reactions about remote learning was important to her. She said she heard the gamut of stories from parents, “the good, the bad, and the ugly.” “All of it is real,” she said. “We’re dismissing nothing. But the parent lens is extremely important. We’ve heard from people who love it, people who hate it, and people who are tolerating it because of the situation.” McCormick said the department provided increased support to schools and came up with solutions to unprecedented problems. For

instance, questions on instructional days and teacher evaluation. “We would be the first one to say it’s not perfect; nothing is going to be perfect in a pandemic, but … it’s been pretty darn good,” she said. While the department’s communication has always been extremely important, she said COVID-19 made honest and clear communication critical. McCormick gives credit to her team at the Department of Education and to local partners who stepped in to find solutions. “This isn’t about my success,” McCormick said. “It’s about the success of the team at the Department of Education. It’s about the success of the individual district leaders, educators, and community. We’re all in this together.” “I hope when people look back at it, that they’re proud of the work that the department accomplished to support schools,” she said. “I also hope they look back at this time to use a tragedy as a time to learn and get better.”



STUDENT PERSPECTIVES ON COVID-19 Kimmie Collins Marketing major, Entrepreneurship minor, Class of 2022 Spring is normally my favorite time to be on campus. The world awakens from its winter slumber, trees shower the students with blossoms as they walk to class, and Sycamores young and old eagerly await the first time the fountain gurgles to life. This year, spring felt different. We left campus for the year before the first buds appeared on the trees and before the fountain had begun its cheerful dance. During spring, we tried our hands at online learning. We discovered how to host meetings of student organizations virtually. Most importantly, we showed our love for others by staying as far away from each other as possible. Every aspect of our lives has been touched by the coronavirus, and several of my classes incorporated discussions about the virus’s lasting effects on business. As a marketing major, I’ve been especially fascinated by the shift in advertising and promotional techniques. Television advertisements focus on heartwarming stories of families adjusting to the new normal. Companies are designing creative new products to keep up with the rapidly shifting environments. We learned firsthand how businesses adapt to change, and my professors encouraged me to apply these concepts to class projects, making even bleak times a positive learning experience. Although I missed the energy of campus and laughing with my fellow Sycamores, I used the social distancing period to spend more time with family. I also discovered that I love studying in my backyard when weather allows. The sunshine helps me be more productive and reminds me that even this storm shall pass. The wonders of social media and video calls kept me connected to my friends and to my student organizations, shrinking the distance between us. Watching my fellow Sycamores come together to stay apart showed me how supportive our Indiana State family continued to be, making me even more eager to return to our beloved campus in the fall.

Michael Smith Marketing major, Sales and Negotiation minor, Class of 2021 It wasn’t easy. It was tough to do schoolwork, attend class, and plan next semester without being on campus. Being home all day, staring at a screen, was a tough and sudden change. But I learned a lot. While classes were different online, I found myself becoming better organized. My ability to get work done early improved and I found my habit of procrastination dying off. I found myself valuing friends and loved ones more. People say you don’t know what you’ve got until it’s gone, and I personally found that to be true. While doing homework, I wished friends were there, laughing, joking, and disturbing my focus. I missed the hilariously foolish moments we would have, and I found myself constantly in anticipation of the next chance we’ll have to make them. COVID-19 taught me patience. There is an end to this and it will come. We simply have to wait, have faith in those who are working endlessly, and listen to experts. COVID-19 taught me that I have a lot of room to improve in my daily life. I often have little time to myself in my busy life, and less time for reflection. That has changed. Finally, COVID-19 taught me a new way to value the love that I’m given. Every day, the people that I love make sacrifices for me and show me how much they love me in ways large and small. I’ve come to value, respect, and cherish those acts more than ever. Upon returning to that ‘normalcy’ we all crave, my first act is going to be thanking those that I love for all they do for me, and for putting up with me through all of this. Remember, we can and will get through this.



INCOMING FRESHMEN EXPLORE COVID-19 IN FREE ONE-CREDIT COURSE Incoming Indiana State University freshmen this spring had the chance to better understand issues around the COVID-19 pandemic.

from Columbus, Indiana, said she enrolled in the course to gain college credit and to discuss COVID-19 with professors and peers.

The university offered a free fourweek, one-credit online course called “Into the Unknown: A unified exploration of COVID-19.” The first start date was April 17 and the second was May 4.

“This class has given me a wider knowledge of the pandemic we are currently in and how everyone plays a key role—from the media, government, medical workers, and every citizen,” she said.

The interdisciplinary course blended topics from disciplines including political science, economics, communication, biology, and computer science.

All students admitted to the class of 2024 were invited to enroll in the course. Jason Trainer, Vice Provost for Enrollment Management, said the credit earned can only be applied to an ISU degree.

Nathan Myers, Associate Professor of Political Science, taught one of the modules. He said COVID-19 was not only a health crisis but also a political and economic one, and the course showed students that what they can study at ISU offers the tools to combat the crises. The course included the history of pandemics, nature of viruses, America’s health system, the capacity of the U.S. government to manage pandemic response, the role of international organizations, and health communication. “It’s been a really good collaboration,” Myers said of the faculty. “All the different disciplines have brought their own unique perspectives to the table, but at the same time we had a lot of consensus as far as how we wanted to engage the students.” Student Ashleigh Johnson, an incoming exercise science major

In addition to academic credit, the course also gave the students an opportunity to meet faculty, gain experience with the learning management system, and get a glimpse of high-quality instruction offered by Indiana State. Students needed to confirm their fall enrollment by paying a $100 deposit or obtaining a waiver due to financial hardship in order to take the course. “Though this is an online course, I have enjoyed connecting and meeting the professors teaching this course,” Johnson said. “Each professor is so knowledgeable in the modules they are teaching and eager to help me learn and grow. This course has made my excitement to be on campus at ISU in the fall grow even more.” The university also offered a free, one-credit course on climate change. That four-week course started on May 4.



Tiarra Taylor represents ISU with class at Miss America competition “A proud Sycamore from Indiana State University and a soon-tobe first-generation graduate, I am Tiarra Taylor, Miss Indiana.” With those words, during primetime on NBC, ISU senior Tiarra Taylor introduced herself to 3.6 million viewers of the Miss America competition. Taylor, from New Albany, Indiana, remained a full-time student on campus during the fall 2019 semester as she prepared for Miss America competition in December and fulfilled obligations for Miss Indiana. She graduated in May 2020 with a degree in Communications. “I wouldn’t be half the woman I am if not for Indiana State University,” she said in an interview on campus. Taylor was ISU’s second Miss America contestant. Kathleen Burke Rice was Miss Indiana in 1961. Taylor and Rice met for the first time at a good luck sendoff for Taylor on campus. In the days leading up to the national telecast of Miss America, contestants had preliminary competition in Talent, On Stage Question, and Social Impact Pitch. For Talent, Taylor gave an emotional performance of the song “You Will Be Found.”


Pictured above are Kathleen Burke Rice, Miss Indiana in 1961, and Tiarra Taylor

“She thought her voice sounded a little raspy, but I said it brought tears to everyone’s eyes, especially those of us who know how hard she’s practiced,” said Freda Luers, ISU’s Director of Campus Life, who was at the event. “You could feel the emotion building in the audience as she was singing. I think they were moved.” (continued on page 24)



Competition photos courtesy of NBC.

For the On Stage Question, the judges asked what superpower Taylor would want and why. During earlier private interviews, Taylor said she was a fan of superheroes in Marvel and DC comics. She told the judges she would be Flash, who has supernatural speed. “It would be really nice to wake up in the morning and not worry about being late for class,” Taylor said. Taylor’s Social Impact Pitch was titled, “What disadvantaged youth need most.” She described a heartbreaking scene while volunteering at a youth center in her hometown. “At the end of the day, the director spoke to me, revealing that many of the children I had spent the day with did not know where they would be going home that night,” Taylor told the crowd.



She talked about disadvantaged youths lacking quality education and after school care, and the guidance needed to become successful. “As a minority youth who grew up in a lowincome home, I am so proud to say I defied the odds,” Taylor said. “As Miss America, I will use my voice while visiting schools, hospitals, and community organizations to share my story of perseverance and success.” There were 51 contestants at Miss America, including the District of Columbia. Taylor was not chosen among the 15 finalists. “Tiarra is a special person to have been chosen to compete at Miss America,” ISU President Deborah J. Curtis said. “I know how hard she worked for this. Tiarra has represented ISU with class and grace. We are so proud of her.”

New dean chosen for Scott College of Business Dr. Terry Daugherty from University of Akron (UA) has been selected as the new Dean of Indiana State University’s Scott College of Business, Dr. Michael Licari, ISU Provost, announced. Daugherty is currently the Interim Associate Dean and Director of Graduate Programs at UA’s College of Business Administration. He succeeds Dr. Jack Maynard, a former ISU Provost who took over as Interim Dean last June. Daugherty starts at ISU on July 1. “I am excited to have Terry as a member of my leadership team, and am certain his energy and creativity will help move the Scott College of Business forward,” Licari said. “Terry keenly appreciates the mission of Indiana State University, and he is committed to providing rich academic experiences for our students, developing partnerships with industry, and ensuring the Scott College of Business will remain strong into the future. I am very much looking forward to his arrival.” At UA, Daugherty helped lead a college with five departments—Accounting, Economics, Finance, Management, and Marketing—and 87 faculty and administrative staff serving more than 2,000 students. “I am excited for the opportunity to serve as Dean of the Scott College of Business and feel honored to join ISU,” Daugherty said. “The faculty and staff are dedicated to student success and there is obviously strong support from the business community. I see an outstanding future for the college and look forward to making a positive impact.” Daugherty earned his B.A. at Western Kentucky University, his M.A. at the University of Alabama, and his Ph.D. at Michigan State University. He was a postdoctoral fellow at Vanderbilt University’s Owen Graduate School of Management. After that, he went to the

University of Texas at Austin as an Assistant Professor in the Department of Advertising. He started at the University of Akron in 2009 where he served on the faculty and in various administrative capacities, including department chair and assistant dean. Daugherty’s scholarship is focused on examining consumer psychology and persuasion within digital marketing and advertising. He theorizes and empirically tests how individual characteristics and media properties influence cognitive processing and consumer behavior. ISU’s Donald W. Scott College of Business provides an internationally-accredited professional education to qualified students at the undergraduate and master’s levels. The primary focus is providing an experiential learning environment that prepares students to take leadership roles in public and private organizations. The college also supports, encourages, and produces applied and educational research, development of relationships with the business community, and service to the region and professions.



What started last August with a groundbreaking ended in March when Dahlia Manalaysay and her daughters received the keys to their home, a Habitat for Humanity build sponsored by Indiana State University. “A big dream came true,” Dahlia Manalaysay said. Volunteers from ISU and the Wabash Valley built the region’s 71st Habitat for Humanity Home— and the third sponsored by the university. “Community service is ingrained in our institution’s culture and curriculum,” said Dr. Deborah J. Curtis, ISU’s President. “It’s just another way we are distinct. Our graduates take that ethic of service to others and make an impact on communities all over the state of Indiana.” The project provided valuable hands-on experiences for ISU students in construction management and other fields. “It was ISU’s third build, but it certainly will not be our last,” Curtis said. Said Nicole Beyer, Habitat’s Neighborhood Revitalization Director: “ISU has been an incredible community partner throughout our history from sponsoring homes to providing thousands of volunteer hours over the years.” Dahlia Manalaysay and her two daughters, AJ and Ainsley, worked on building their home with the volunteers. The family put 250 hours of “sweat equity” into the house. The girls now have their own bedrooms and don’t have to share space. Dahlia was looking forward to having a larger kitchen for cooking and a backyard for her dogs. AJ plans on entering ISU in the fall to study biology and Spanish.



“It is such a blessing,” she said of the home. “With Indiana State being the one to build my house, it helped my decision to come to Indiana State. ISU cares for the community.” The university has a long history of community service, dating back to the first Donaghy Day in 1976. Servicelearning opportunities are built into hundreds of courses at ISU, and students and employees average more than a million hours of volunteering each year. ISU reached its goal of raising $60,000 for the project after a luncheon with Governor Eric Holcomb at the Hulman Memorial Student Union. Holcomb and Curtis had a “fireside chat” on issues affecting higher education. Among the people attending the luncheon were State Sen. Jon Ford; State Rep. Alan Morrison, GR ’05; State Rep. Tonya Pfaff; Terre Haute Mayor Duke Bennett; former ISU President Daniel J. Bradley; Saint Mary-of-the-Woods College President Dottie King, ’82, GR ’85, Ph.D. ’05; Rose-Hulman Institute of Technology President Rob Coons, ’85, GR ’00; and Lea Anne Crooks, ’89, GR ’04, Chancellor of Ivy Tech Community College’s Terre Haute campus. Near the end of the luncheon, Curtis invited her co-chair for the event, Bernice Helman, Vice President of the Coldwell Banker Helman Agency, to the stage with Nancy Rogers, ISU’s Vice President for University Engagement, and Heidi Mitchell, Executive Director of Wabash Valley Habitat for Humanity. They had a gift to present to Gov. Holcomb. But it wasn’t for him. It was for his mother, Marcia, a 1963 graduate of Indiana State University. “Please take this special Sycamore leaf to her to remind her of her days at Indiana State,” Curtis said, “and let her know that we would be happy to host her on our campus any time.”

NEW LOGO FOR ISU ATHLETICS Indiana State University unveiled a refreshed athletics branding package in the spring, including logo, updated wordmark, font package, and branding platform. A program with a storied past will bring forth a modern brand to help write the story for a new generation of Sycamores. Beaming with pride for the state it calls home, the Indiana state outline remains the cornerstone of the athletic brand. The typeface projects power and tradition, arced to honor the emblem that represented this fabled program for more than three decades. The two elements are united against an “I” so there’s no mistaking where the Sycamores call home. “This is an exciting time for Indiana State University and the fans of our teams,” said Dr. Deborah J. Curtis, ISU’s President. “We have a modern logo for Athletics that projects power, respects tradition, and honors our great state. The updated logo will engage a new generation and energize the Athletic Department brand. But the current logo isn’t going away. After several months of careful planning and input, we’re truly getting the best of all worlds.” The previous logo that has been in place since 1988 will remain as a vintage mark. The interlocking “I-S” mark will continue to be utilized for baseball only. The “Indiana State” script will continue to be used on the Sycamore Track & Field uniforms only in tribute to the legacy of longtime program coordinator John McNichols. “This is an exciting time for Sycamore Athletics as we position ourselves for the future while also paying respect to the rich tradition at Indiana State,” Director of Athletics Sherard Clinkscales said. “It is vital that we continue to move our brand forward in a more consistent manner and these refreshed logos will help accomplish that. More importantly, this rebrand pays homage to all of those who laid it all on the line for Sycamore Athletics.” For many reasons, Indiana State University felt it was time to refresh and update its athletics brand. The previous logo had become outdated and in order to move forward and appeal to a new generation of Sycamore fans, ISU Athletics decided a modernization of the mark was in order. From a technical standpoint, the previous primary athletics mark created problems for reproduction. The dominance of white in the mark created issues when placing the mark on certain backgrounds and the high level of detail in the state outline caused problems with (continued on page 30)



embroidery and when the logo was printed small. Additionally, the location of the star in the current mark, which is intended to indicate the location of Terre Haute, does not accurately represent the placement of the city within the state outline. Finally, the use of the curved “Sycamore” script made it difficult to utilize that typeface separate from the primary mark making any use of the individual elements from that mark impossible. Indiana State’s athletic brand has a long history of being defined by the next generation of fans. It was the student body that voted to change from the Fighting Teachers to the Sycamores, ushering in a new era for Indiana State Athletics. And it is today’s students and young alumni that we must engage with an updated brand as they will be the ones carrying the flag of support for many years to come. Surveys were conducted to establish what was and wasn’t working about the existing family of marks, and what was and wasn’t important to retain with the new family of marks. Feedback was gathered from fans, key members of the athletic department as well as the university president and senior staff. This feedback served as the basis upon which all creative was built. After all opinions were submitted and considered and final revisions were made, the final family of marks were approved and a style guide was created. After the primary mark was finalized and approved by the university, a family of marks was created to amplify the brand further. An updated version of the “Indiana State” mark utilizing the new state outline containing the “I” was developed to create brand consistency among the entire family of logos. The Spring press conference signified a local launch of the branding and refreshed logos. Certain digital platforms including University and athletic websites and social media will adopt the new logos immediately. Signage and publications on the ISU campus will utilize the updated logo over the coming months. Athletic uniforms and apparel will reflect the updates as teams enter the next purchase cycle. Fully rebranding the campus and athletic facilities is a time-consuming and expensive endeavor. This process will be completed giving priority to highly visible locations and only as funding is identified. A limited amount of apparel with the new marks is available on GoSycamores.com and at Pacesetter Sports in Terre Haute. A full national launch of updated apparel will be unveiled at the end of the summer.



Work on the $50 million Hulman Center renovation continued during COVID-19— with some changes for the construction workers. “They put in all the safeguards, including masks,” said Bryan Duncan, ISU’s Executive Director of Capital Planning and Construction. “We allowed them to use one of the interior restrooms so there would be better handwashing.” Before the renovation, most of the Hulman Center’s building systems and exterior facade were original to when the building opened in 1973. The building’s exterior will be totally renovated. New openings and vision into the event space will improve aesthetics. Areas such as concessions, restrooms, and kitchen will be all new. The project will improve building utility systems, functionality, access and experience for all types of events. A new freight elevator will improve efficiency. “We’re pleased with the progress, especially from the outside,” Duncan said. “You can see the exterior skin is almost wrapped around the building. “I think the new south entrance will be a nice surprise for everyone to see. You can see the framework going up now (in May) and get a feel for it. It’s going to be a major element aesthetically and inside the building, adding square footage.” COVID-19 made planning during the Spring a day-by-day proposition. But the Hulman Center renovation continues as if there will be basketball in November. “We’re not going to say it’ll be 100 percent complete by November, but it’ll be occupiable,” Duncan said. “That’s the way it goes for most construction projects. There will still be some touch-up work to do.”



BUILDING A LEGACY: Book by President Emeritus Benjamin explores history of ISU’s buildings

Construction and architecture have always fascinated former Indiana State President Lloyd W. Benjamin III. “I grew up with construction,” Benjamin said. “One of my first memories was at the age of 4, being carried by my mother to a house my father was building. The construction and smell of wood formed a lasting memory.” As a teen, Benjamin helped dig footers, frame walls and put up drywall for the family’s home. His interest in construction and architecture grew during his undergraduate program in art history at Emory University and continued to develop throughout his academic career. During his presidency at Indiana State from 2000-08, Benjamin realized the significance of facilities-related decisions made by his predecessors, particularly President Richard Landini, who led a transformation of ISU’s urban campus.

“I find it interesting to find Paris and Chicago connected to Terre Haute in the nineteenth century.”



“What we see today on the campus owes significantly to him and earlier presidents who managed to acquire properties, introduced the idea of a quad, struggled getting streets closed, and greatly expanded campus building during the baby-boom and Vietnam War,” Benjamin explained. “In brief, what we see is a built legacy that testifies to the work of those who went before us.” A few years after retiring from the presidency in 2008, Benjamin marshalled his interest in history and architecture to begin researching ISU’s presidencies in relation to the buildings constructed or renovated during their tenure. The result of 10 years of work is “Indiana State University—Building a Legacy: 1865-2019,” a nearly 300-page history of Indiana State’s buildings organized by chapters corresponding to the institution’s presidents. The book was published in March as part of the university’s five-year Sesquicentennial Celebration which concludes later this year.

“This volume is a great addition to our Sesquicentennial Celebration,” said current Indiana State President Deborah J. Curtis. “It provides a wealth of information on our facilities throughout our 150-year history and includes notable issues, challenges, and opportunities faced by each of the first 11 presidents.” Former Associate Vice President for Facilities Management Kevin Runion, whom Benjamin gives much of the credit for the park-like atmosphere of today’s campus, assisted Benjamin with research for the project. The book starts with the Indiana State Normal School’s original structure, which welcomed the first class of 21 students in January 1870, despite being not quite finished. It works up to the 72 buildings comprising today’s campus. A highlight of the research, Benjamin noted, was the opportunity to collaborate with Ewing Miller, who was the principal architect for the majority of buildings constructed during the Holmstedt and Rankin presidencies. When asked what his favorite building is, Benjamin said it is hard to narrow the field. “One perspective I used is to visualize taking a tour of the campus with prospective students and experienced architects,” Benjamin said. “What would I show them?” His list includes the Federal Building, University Hall (pictured below), Normal Hall (the old Normal Library), Cunningham Memorial Library, and the Student Recreation Center. “The first two are magnificent renovations providing fitting environments for two of our most important professional disciplines, Business and Education,” Benjamin said. “Normal Hall, also carefully renovated, preserves our past for the present and future.” He added: “Libraries are the heart of the academic enterprise, and ours is well-equipped. Secondly, it was an important modernist statement by Ewing Miller and that will appeal to architects. I think it was Ewing’s best statement.”

In the book, Benjamin explains that Ewing Miller’s design for the Cunningham Memorial Library included a built-in flexibility that would allow the structure to evolve as library services grew and changed. The Student Recreation Center is a newer building that was the result of a referendum the students took to impose a fee upon themselves to build and maintain the structure. Benjamin noted that the Center has played a role in enhancing and maintaining enrollment and has become a highlight of many students’ campus experience. Benjamin also admitted to being partial to the recent renovation of the Fine Arts Building given that he is still teaching in his field of art history and that his office is located there. Benjamin said he came across a few surprises while researching Indiana State’s buildings. “There are several in the book but one that has stood out for me was to find that Old Main, the building that replaced the original Normal School, was designed by William Le Baron Jenney,” he said, adding that Jenney was a noted Chicago architect and one of the creators of the “high-rise” building. “Jenney had studied engineering with Gustav Eiffel in Paris,” Benjamin said. “I find it interesting to find Paris and Chicago connected to Terre Haute in the nineteenth century.” Benjamin’s book is a limited-edition published for the Sesquicentennial. It is not for sale. It is being utilized as a stewardship gift for members of the 1865 Society (donors who have included Indiana State in their estate planning). Individuals interested in more information about the 1865 Society may contact Ken Menefee, Executive Director of Planned and Principal Giving, at Kenneth.Menefee@indstate.edu or 812-237-6149. Copies will also be placed in Cunningham Memorial Library, the Vigo County Public Library, and the Vigo County History Center Archives so that they may be accessed by the public.



Online giving days have changed how we support causes that matter to us. Indiana State University’s Give to Blue Day is changing the culture of philanthropy for the institution. On March 11, alumni, students, faculty, staff, and friends came together for Give to Blue Day. More than 2,400 donors gave a total of $679,247 in 24 hours to support the university.


It was a single-day fundraising record for ISU, eclipsing the total raised in the previous year by 56 percent. “We are so thankful for the support received on Give to Blue Day,” said Andrea Angel, Vice President for University Advancement and CEO of the ISU Foundation. “In only a 24-hour period, we were blown away by the generosity of the entire Sycamore community. We are creating a culture of philanthropy at ISU; our 2,418 donors and $679,247 in gifts shows we are well on our way.”

Alumni giving represented 64 percent of all gifts made on Give to Blue Day. “Give to Blue is significant because it connects Indiana State with its student population and alumni all over the country,” said Don Dudine, 1967 graduate and chair of the ISU Foundation Board of Directors. “It happens the same time every year and gives everybody an opportunity to give back to support students at ISU who desperately need financial help to finish their degree. I particularly like setting up a donation to match gifts that other donors make so their gift is effectively doubled.” From scholarships to campus life, Give to Blue Day provides a platform to make a difference throughout campus. Sycamore Athletics topped the leaderboard during the 2020 giving day, garnering nearly $180,000 in gifts from 430 donors. ISU alumni John and Marilyn Thyen provided a $40,000 (continued on page 36)



SAVE THE DATE: Next year’s GIVE TO BLUE DAY will be March 3, 2021. challenge gift in support of ISU’s football program. Their commitment helped inspire 118 donors to make donations to the team. “Give to Blue Day is important in that it serves as a rallying point or call to action for those who normally give, but compels those who have not to do so as well,” said Sherard Clinkscales, Indiana State’s Director of Athletics. “It also provides an opportunity for the department to share our needs. Donors want their money to benefit a specific need that leads to a positive result.” Gifts from 800 donors supported ISU’s five colleges. Nearly $125,000 was raised in support of the university’s Bridge the Gap Scholarship to help academically motivated students stay in school. This initiative was highlighted by the establishment of the Tom and Dotty Bilyeu Bridge the Gap Scholarship supporting Scott College of Business students from Terre Haute. “Through Give to Blue Day we are enhancing the culture of philanthropy at Indiana State,” said Hilary Duncan, ’10, GR ’18, Director of Annual Giving for the Division of University Advancement. “Seeing the synergy among Sycamores, especially our students, motivating each other to give is truly inspiring.” More than 500 students helped support the day through online donations and participation in several events on campus. The student philanthropy organization was instrumental in promoting the impact of donor giving by placing bows on donor supported projects on campus. Social media propelled the success of Give to Blue Day. Sycamores shared testimonials on the impact of philanthropy and reasons for personal giving on Facebook, Twitter, LinkedIn, and other social media outlets. “I was particularly supportive of the students that chose to be ambassadors this year,” said Greg Bierly, Dean of the ISU Honors College. “I shared their personal links for all donations because their passion and excitement about the institution is inspiring. Hearing students describe and promote the things they love about their experience here is what propels me personally to give and to work harder on their behalf.” It was the second annual giving day at Indiana State. In two years, generous donors have contributed more than $1 million for the university. For more information about Give to Blue Day or to make a gift, go to indstate.edu/give.



RELIEF FUNDING HELPS STUDENTS DURING COVID-19 PANDEMIC As lives were disrupted around the world, Sycamores united as one to support students who were economically impacted by the effects of the COVID-19 pandemic. “For many of our students and families, COVID-19 has brought uncertainty and hardship,” said Jason Trainer, Vice Provost for Enrollment Management. “The dream of completing their fouryear degree may be in question, and they need our help.” Indiana State University’s generous donors provided emergency funding as well as Bridge the Gap Scholarships to help ensure students could stay on track toward degree completion. ISU students also received federal funds through the CARES Act.

Private Support As students transitioned through online-only instruction for the Spring 2020 semester, ISU joined the world on May 5 for #GivingTuesdayNow—a global day of giving and unity to help those impacted by COVID-19. As of mid-May, nearly $100,000 in donor funding has supported students’ needs during this unprecedented time. More than 800 students applied for assistance through the ISU Disaster Relief Fund. Administered by the Division of Student Affairs, all private donations to this fund were expended, helping about 20 percent of students who applied for the funding. “The ISU Disaster Relief Fund is available for students seeking disaster relief in the midst of the COVID-19 pandemic,” said Andy Morgan, interim Vice President for Student Affairs. “It is a grant to assist students with a variety of needs such as money for food, utilities, gas, child care, and medical prescriptions.” Bridge the Gap Scholarships supported students who needed financial assistance to ensure they could register for the Fall 2020 semester and continue progression toward a degree.

CARES Act Grants


ISU began distributing $3.12 million in federal CARES Act grants to eligible students in May. Under federal requirements, students receiving the grant must be enrolled in an undergraduate or graduate degree program and be eligible to receive funds through Title IV, Section 484, of the Higher Education Act. Eligible students received up to $750 if they are enrolled greater than half-time and $375 if enrolled half-time or less. This funding aided students with expenses related to the disruption of campus operations because of COVID-19.

Gratitude Beyond Measure Several ISU students who received funding from the university’s COVID-19 relief efforts shared, in their own words, the impact it had on their lives: “I am greatly appreciative as this comes at a particularly difficult time for my family and myself. I am majoring in Nursing and hope to achieve my Bachelor of Nursing in Summer 2021. I thank you very much for your generosity and for helping me fund my educational goals!” —Andrianna from Kalaheo, HI “I greatly appreciate being the recipient of the ‘Spring 2020 Disaster Relief Fund’ during this unanticipated COVID-19 pandemic disaster. As an international student, this relief fund has undoubtedly made me feel secured during this time of crisis. With this financial assistance, I can cover expenses for my food supplies, medicines, and internet connectivity, which are very essential for me to stay healthy and continue toward my academic goals at Indiana State University.” —Ichchha from Nepal “Thank you so much for your help during this incredibly stressful and challenging time. As a doctorate of physical therapy student in my last year of school, this fund is helping me tremendously to complete my academic studies at Indiana State University and fulfill my lifelong goal of becoming a physical therapist this May.” —Chrystal from Terre Haute, IN “Words cannot explain how thankful I am for being the recipient of the Disaster Relief Fund for this spring. As a senior, this relief fund has given me the resource that I need during this time of uncertainty and has inspired me for opportunities that are available for my remaining time at Indiana State University.“ —Christopher from Indianapolis, IN “I am truly grateful for your support. Your generosity has allowed me to continue my education online and have a roof over my head.” —Belen from Goshen, IN “Thank you so much for helping me find some peace of mind in these trying times. It means the world to me at a time where some glimpse of hope goes a long way. I cannot thank you enough for this right now.” —Jessica from Chicago, IL


1960s Wayne McHargue, ’61, of Fishers, received the Albert Nelson Marquis Lifetime Achievement Award, which is presented by Marquis Who’s Who. The award recognizes individuals nationwide who have demonstrated leadership, excellence, and longevity in their profession. He served as President of the Indiana State University Insurance Advisory Council during its first year, endowed a scholarship, and received the Scott College of Business Outstanding Alumni Award.

1970s George Pillow, ’71, of Indianapolis, was reappointed in February 2020 by Governor Eric Holcomb to the Indiana Horse Racing Commission (IHRC) until Dec. 31, 2023. George founded Pillow Logistics, Inc., and is a member of the ISU Athletics Hall of Fame and Indiana Basketball Hall of Fame.

Jim Rumpf, ’76, of Greenwood, retired in January after 45 years in the insurance industry, handling multiple level claims and providing service to those with claims in their time of need. Kimberly O. Smith, ’77, of Indianapolis, announced her retirement as President and CEO of Indiana Farmers Insurance, effective January 2022. Lawrence Williams, ’76, of Orlando, FL, started a new position as the Director of Strategic Operations for Wyndham Destinations. Wyndham Destinations is the world’s largest vacation ownership, exchange, and rental company.

1980s Alan Clayton, ’86, of Campbellsville, KY, was selected to lead the newest 400-person call center for Frost-Arnett Company. Clayton is responsible for offices

in Nashville, Houston, and Campbellsville as COO. Bart Colwell, ’87, of Terre Haute, received the Rotary Club of Terre Haute’s 2019 Vocational Service Award. Bart was selected for the honor because of his leadership in the banking profession and his numerous volunteer activities. He currently serves as the President and CEO at Terre Haute Savings Bank. Robert McLin, ’86, of Bruceville, was named the Indiana Hospital Association Board Chairman in January 2020. He serves as President and CEO of Good Samaritan in Vincennes. Dr. Jeffery (Tim) Query, ’80, GR ’89, of Las Cruces, NM, Professor and Mountain States Insurance Group Endowed Chair at New Mexico State University, completed his term as President of the AsiaPacific Risk and Insurance Association at the end of their annual conference. (continued on page 40)

RICHARD “DICK” ATHA, ’57 Dick Atha (pictured far right), of Oxford, passed away in February 2020. Atha played at ISU from 1950-53. He went on to play in the NBA for the Knicks and Pistons. He was inducted into the ISU Athletics Hall of Fame in 1984 and the Indiana Basketball Hall of Fame in 1988. In 1999, Atha was chosen to be on ISU’s All-Century basketball team. Courtesy of Indiana State University Archives.



Dr. Peter Takes, ’85, of Clayton, MO, has been appointed Director of the Master of Science (MS) Program in Science Management and Leadership [SCML] at Webster University. Takes has served as an Adjunct Full Professor of Biological Sciences, and has been teaching at Webster since 1993.

1990s Dee Ann Adam, ’95, of Greenfield, launched DAA Communications, a communications consulting and content creation agency. Adam is an award-winning, global communications expert with more than 25 years of experience spanning internal communications, media relations, and marketing. Jim Enicks, ’90, of Tarpon Springs, FL, was named the CEO of Corvus Consulting in January 2020. Corvus Consulting provides scientific, engineering, technical, operational support, and training services to Federal government and commercial clients. Bryan Harper, ’95, ’12, GR ’15, of West Lafayette, was promoted to the rank of Captain by the Superintendent of Indiana State Police in January 2020. He will serve as the Office of Intelligence and Investigative Technology Commander overseeing Indiana Crimes Against Children (ICAC) Task Force, Indiana Intelligence Fusion Center, ISP Cybercrime Unit, ISP Digital Forensic Examiners, ISP Crime Analysis Section, and ISP Technical Support Services. Marganna Stanley, ’94, of Corydon, KY, announced her plan to retire in June 2020 after a thirty year career in the Henderson County school district, serving the past six years as the Superintendent. She earned her Master’s degree from Indiana State.


2000s Andrew “A.J.” Gentry, ’03, of Grand Blanc, MI, was named Head of Global Creative Services and Senior Level Graphic Designer of Tenneco Inc. near Detroit, Michigan. Doug Huntsinger, ’04, of Indianapolis, was named the Executive Director for Drug Prevention, Treatment and Enforcement and Chairman of the Indiana Commission to Combat Drug Abuse. In this role, he advises Governor Eric J. Holcomb regarding substance use policy and is charged with coordinating the governor’s Next Level Recovery initiative, aligning, and focusing the State of Indiana’s response to the drug crisis. Kara Kish, ’05, of Cincinnati, OH, was named as the Cincinnati Parks Director in January 2020. Kish was previously the Cincinnati Parks Interim Director and Deputy Director. She had served as Superintendent of Vigo County Parks and Recreation prior to moving to Cincinnati. Jarrod Lents, ’04, of Loogootee, was promoted to Detective by Indiana State Police. Lents will be responsible for investigating criminal incidents throughout the Jasper district, primarily in Martin and Daviess counties. Larry Reynolds, ’05, of Memphis, TN, was awarded the Tennessee Athletic Trainers’ Society Backbone Award in January 2020. He currently serves as the University of Memphis Athletics Senior Athletic Trainer. Carrie Roever, ’02, of St. Louis, MO, started a new position in February as the Data Manager for the Soil Health Partnership. Her primary responsibility will be to assist in organizing and finding efficiencies in the SHP data.

Brandon Skates, ’08, of Indianapolis, was promoted to the Deputy Attorney General for the Office of the Indiana Attorney General. Michael Spears, ’07, of Indianapolis, has been appointed as an Old National Bank Commercial Relationship Manager II. Rachel Steckler, ’07, of Huntingburg, was appointed to the Huntingburg Planning Commission as the Director of Community Development. Amber Striegel, ’01, of Indianapolis, started a new position as the Consumer Marketing Brand Manager— Oncology at Eli Lilly and Company. Paul White, ’07, of Worthington, was promoted to the Senior Quality Assurance Engineer with Viral Launch. Viral Launch is a software and services platform helping brands source, launch, and dominate on the Amazon marketplace. Matt Zaleski, ’06, of Winston Salem, NC, was named Pitching Coach for the Chicago White Sox minor league Triple-A affiliate Charlotte Knights. Zalenski played baseball at Indiana State and pitched in the minors from 2004-2014, all in the White Sox organization.

2010s Kaleigh All, ’14, of Terre Haute, was announced as the Operations Manager for RJL Solutions. She most recently worked at Indiana State’s Career Center as an employer relations coordinator. Kyle Barrentine, Ph.D ’17, of Hagerstown, was selected as the Nettle Creek School Corporation’s Superintendent in January 2020.

Photo co urtesy of Ryan Nie miller.

Photo courtesy of NBC.

RYAN NIEMILLER, ’06 Alumnus and comedian Ryan Niemiller made the semifinals of “America’s Got Talent: The Champions.” Niemiller calls himself “unarmed and dangerous” and uses the Twitter handle @cripplethreat8.

Elizabeth Bushnell, ’18, of Fort Wayne, became the Executive Director of the Questa Education Foundation in April 2020. She earned a Ph.D. at Indiana State. Jacob Byers, ’15, GR ’20, of Colorado Springs, CO, was promoted to Crew Commander for Global Strategic Warning/ Space Surveillance Systems Center with the United States Air Force. Derek Losh, ’10, of Rensselaer, won the Modified division of the Gateway Dirt Nationals on December 21 in St. Louis. The event was at the dome stadium that was once home to the NFL’s St. Louis Rams.

Brittany Meeker, ’11, of Matoon, IL, was promoted to a member of the law firm of Craig & Craig, LLC in Mattoon, Illinois. Patrick Mendenhall, ’10, of Nashville, TN, was named the Young Professional of the Year by the Tennessee Trucking Association. Patrick helped to start the organization’s Young Professional Council to promote education, mentorship, and leadership opportunities for young leaders in the trucking industry. Lylia Piatt, ’19, of Terre Haute, started a new position at Hamilton Center as a therapist in Child and Adolescent Services. Piatt completed a master of social work degree at Indiana State.

Jade Rakes, ’15, GR ’19, of Colorado Springs, CO, started a new position as the Graphic Designer with USA Volleyball. In her new role she will assist in providing creative support to the USA Volleyball organization and all departments. Erin Reese, ’19, of Wonder Lake, IL, was scheduled compete in the Olympic Trials in June for the 2020 Summer Olympic in Tokyo, Japan for the hammer and weight event. When Reese isn’t training for the trials, she works as a care manager at the Hamilton Center and is a volunteer coach for the ISU Track and Field team as a proud former student-athlete of the program.

Benjamin Riggs, ’16, of Cicero, was promoted to the Transportation Underwriter with Arlington/Roe. Olivia Weir, ’17, of Terre Haute, opened a boutique in downtown Terre Haute called Affirmation. The boutique’s name came from Weir’s belief in staying positive as well as her work with autistic children at Unlocking the Spectrum. Jenna Wertman, ’12, of Fishers, was promoted to the Senior Planning Associate for the city of Greenfield, Indiana.





Photo courtesy of Martin’s Photo Shop/Indiana State University Archives.



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All students who applied for spring 2020 graduation received a commencement package in the mail prior to the ceremony. The package included a diploma cover, tassel, honors stole and/or hood (where appropriate), a Sycamore leaf lapel pin from the Alumni Association, and a commencement program. More than 2,000 boxes were packed by staff and faculty for the graduates.

Profile for Indiana State University

STATE Magazine - Spring/Summer 2020  

Indiana State University Magazine - spring/summer 2020 edition.

STATE Magazine - Spring/Summer 2020  

Indiana State University Magazine - spring/summer 2020 edition.