Indiana Tech Magazine – Spring 2022

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One of the most active student organizations on campus, Indiana Tech's National Society of Black Engineers chapter is guided by the national organization's mission statement: “to increase the number of culturally-responsible black engineers who excel academically, succeed professionally, and positively impact the community.”



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Indiana Tech’s first Engineering Innovation Challenge competition successfully encouraged students to transform their ideas into viable business opportunities.

The fun and eye-opening programming delivered yearly by our STEM summer camps has inspired students to pursue science, engineering and technology education at Indiana Tech.

INSIDE TECH 04 Letter from Our President

When a university has technology in its name, innovation has to be a part of its DNA. Across the University 06 By the Numbers

In this issue, we explore the number of ways Indiana Tech helps students let loose outside the classroom and connect with the campus community. 08 Tech’s Top Picks

In this issue, we ask faculty and staff, “What is your hobby and why does it resonate with you?” 09 Tech Happenings

Indiana Tech is proud to have Dr. Maurice Stinnett, Warner Music Group’s global head of equity, diversity and inclusion, as its 2022 commencement speaker. 12 A Few Words with…

In developing his passion for electrical engineering, Dr. Zakariya Al-Hamouz had to experience failure. Motor failure, that is. 20 College of Arts and

Sciences Roundup

Family Stories, Family History class pairs student with renowned genealogy department for an enlightening experience. 22 College of Business

24 Talwar College of

Engineering and Computer Sciences Roundup

After 16 years, Indiana Tech’s National Society of Black Engineers remains one of the strongest student organizations at the university. 26 Athletics Roundup

Indiana Tech athletes added more national championship hardware to the trophy case after a March full of big wins.


Path of a Warrior 30 From the Desk of Kristi Jarmus

Are you ready to share? Indiana Tech hopes you are as its Oral History Project gets underway. 32 Alumni Spotlight: Ron Ballman

Current and future electrical engineering students benefit from 2009 graduate’s instrumental experience at Tech.


34 Making a Difference:

Ron Kantorak

The pulse of Indiana Tech’s Theta Xi chapter—which disbanded in 1978— remains strong thanks to one of its biggest cheerleaders. 38 In Memoriam


Sport management students take the ant by the antennae to gain real-world work experience.

32 Being a part of Indiana Tech’s National Society of Black Engineers chapter has been an enriching experience for students Victor Njemanze, John Iluno, Cherokee Bodell and Darrell Martin.


Indiana Tech Magazine


Letter from Our President When a university has technology in its name, innovation has to be an essential part of its DNA. From its founding day to the current day, Indiana Tech has fostered innovation in its students. We’re also continually working to innovate and improve upon the opportunities we provide all students, in and out of the classroom. In this issue of Indiana Tech Magazine, you’ll read about just a few of the many ways our commitment to innovation is put into action every day. The regular development of new academic programs, and the continual refinement of existing programs, is a key part of our university’s strategy to prepare students of all ages for the careers of today and tomorrow. Just one recent example: the introduction of our new bachelor’s of science degree in mechatronics and robotics engineering. With classes starting this coming fall, the new mechatronics and robotics program will prepare our students for rapidly growing career opportunities in a field that integrates mechanical, electrical and computer engineering in the design of products and manufacturing processes. Read more about this compelling program in our Talwar College of Engineering and Computer Sciences roundup on page 24. Indiana Tech is also a strong supporter of lifelong learning. We work with thousands of adult professionals each year to help them complete a college degree, earn a degree in a new field, pursue a graduate degree, obtain non-degree credentials that allow them to advance in their chosen fields. In support of this, we’ve developed innovative corporate partnerships to help organizations develop and retain their best and brightest minds. We’ve also continued to develop new programs in this area. Read about just one example on page 10 in our Tech Happenings section, where you can learn about our new L.E.A.D. Executive Certificate program for organizational leaders.


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Our innovative work to encourage and educate students extends to younger generations as well. On page 16, you can learn about our middle school STEM camp and our high school engineering camp—popular offerings that have become summertime staples on our main campus. Not only do these camps help students learn more about these specific topics, they also help introduce young people to the many benefits of a college education. One group of students making the most of their college experience is Indiana Tech’s Cyber Warriors cyber defense team. For the eighth straight year, the Cyber Warriors won the Indiana state Collegiate Cyber Defense Championship, besting schools such as Purdue and Vincennes to continue a near-decade of dominance at the top of this intense competition. Read more about this year’s team on page 10. With warmer weather returning to Indiana in recent weeks, our entire Warrior community has begun looking forward to our most special day of the year—commencement day. I hope you all will take the time to join us on Friday, May 13, in the Schaefer Center on campus for our graduate program commencement honoring master’s and Ph.D. graduates, and on Saturday, May 14 at Allen County War Memorial for our undergraduate commencement honoring associate and bachelor’s degree graduates. More information about this year’s commencement ceremonies, including our featured speaker, Dr. Maurice Stinnett of Warner Music Group, can be found on page 9.

Karl W. Einolf, Ph.D. President

Volume 19, Issue 2 Karl W. Einolf, Ph.D. President

Institutional Advancement Dan Grigg Vice President for Institutional Advancement Dave Stevens Senior Director of Institutional Advancement Mary Lasits Senior Director of Institutional Advancement Jennifer Ross Director of Advancement and Executive Operations Kristi Jarmus Director of Alumni Relations Kayla Paz Director of Advancement Services Erin Johnson Assistant Director of Institutional Advancement and Grants Administration

Marketing Brian Engelhart Vice President for Marketing and Communication Matt Bair Director of Marketing and Communication Jennifer Murphy Director of Marketing, College of Professional Studies Julie Farison Creative Director Sarah Suraci Graphic Designer Elle Helm Graphic Designer Joel Kuhn, BS ’12 Web Developer Randy Smith Director of Photo and Video Amber Owens, MBA ’21 Social Media Manager

Indiana Tech online:

Please send comments, news and feature story ideas to: Indiana Tech attn: Marketing 1600 E. Washington Blvd. Fort Wayne, IN 46803 phone: 260.422.5561 or 800.937.2448, ext. 2250 email: The editors reserve the right to edit articles for length and clarity. Articles may be reproduced with permission and proper attribution. Our Mission: Indiana Tech provides learners a professional education; prepares them for active participation, career advancement and leadership in the global 21st century society; and motivates them toward a life of significance and worth.

Indiana Tech Magazine



CREATING COMMUNITY ON CAMPUS Indiana Tech students experience a full of range emotions—excitement, frustration, pride, satisfaction, anxiety, loneliness—regardless how old they are or where they are in the world. For our traditional students, especially those living on campus, the emotional rollercoaster can be affected by being away from loved ones and the comfort and familiarity of home.

That’s why Indiana Tech works hard to create opportunities to stimulate students outside the classroom and keep them engaged with the campus community. This issue’s By the Numbers feature will give you a closer look at how we keep our students engaged (based on 2021-22 academic year data through Feb. 28).

THE OFFICE OF STUDENT ENGAGEMENT (OSE) Most of the extracurricular opportunities our students have each year are available thanks to the efforts of this hard-working department.









5v5 Basketball League

Spikeball Tournament

4v4 Volleyball Madden 22 Tournament March Madness Bracket Challenge Ping Pong League Pool League Dodgeball 1-Day Tournament Smash Bros 1-Day Tournament


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Pickleball Tournament Intramural Fowling (yes, with an “F”) Cornhole Tournament Badminton Lawn Games Mario Kart Tournament Wii Bowling Bowling Tournament Poker Night Tournament

RESIDENCE LIFE Not only do students have great living situations inside our modern, comfortable and convenient residence halls, but life inside is always fun.



Association for Computing Machinery

IEEE (Institute of Electrical and Electronics Engineers)

Alpha Chi Honor Society

Math Club

American Red Cross

National Society for Black Engineers

Art of Expression Black Excellence Association

Sigma Phi Epsilon

Black Student Alliance

Society of Manufacturing Engineers

Biomedical Engineering Society

Society of Future Accountants

Catholic Warriors Chi Alpha Student Ministry Criminal Justice Society Cybersecurity Club Fellowship of Christian Athletes

Psychology Club

Sport Management Society Women in Computer Science and Engineering











ATHLETICS All Warriors, past and present, are proud of the quality performances of Indiana Tech’s 26 athletic teams. Simply put, Warriors bring it on the field of play.



Warriors for Kids Zollner Motorsports




you don’t have to be on campus to watch Warriors compete. Visit coverage to learn how to watch live-streamed events.

HEALTHY STUDENTS The health and wellness of our students is a priority. That’s why our Wellness Clinic is equipped with a health clinic nurse practitioner and qualified counseling professionals to help our student body maintain optimum physical and emotional health. These services are available on campus during specified hours; after-hours emotional support is available 24/7 through a crisis line or the TAO Self-Help online service.

Indiana Tech Magazine


Tech’s Top Picks For this issue of Indiana Tech Magazine, we asked our faculty and staff: What is your hobby and why does it resonate with you? Here are some of their replies: Sports! I love being part of a team and competing in any way possible. I don’t enjoy working out in the general sense, but make it a competition, and I’m all for it. They’re also a great stress reliever, and rec leagues are an excellent way to meet new people. Kristin Conley, Director of Ph.D. Admissions One hobby I picked up in the last year is printmaking. This involves carving a design into pieces of wood or linoleum that is then inked and impressed onto paper in layers. The main reason I like printmaking is that it forces you to really consider the subject of the print. I often take pictures with my phone that I never look at again, but if I’m making a print by hand—I will sit with that image for several hours. It reminds me to appreciate the things I see around me, particularly nature. Brett Williams, Technical Services Librarian A

I combine several of my hobbies — World of Warcraft, cooking/baking, gardening and food photography — to create and photograph video-game-inspired foods garnished with edible flowers. I jump between hobbies frequently (thanks ADHD) and it’s nice to do something like this that brings in many different aspects of things I enjoy. In the photo is a Smoky Hazelnut Romesco Sauce, enjoyed by the Night Elves of Azeroth. Jessica Pena, Alumna, MBA 2018, Financial Analyst, Risk Manager B


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I am an international hedgehog breeder and I have babies in more than half of the lower 48 states and in five foreign countries. Breeding hedgehogs is a hobby and passion of mine because they are the international mascots for anxiety. Just like us, when they are scared or threatened, they go into a ball to get away from the danger or fear. They can be overstimulated easily just like those of us with anxiety. But in reality, they just want to be loved and given a hug. I take them to schools, hospitals and events in the community, and have them on standby to help with therapy sessions for facilities that do therapy with children with autism, veterans and domestic violence victims that have PTSD, as well as those who have trouble overcoming anxiety. Holly Young, Admissions Representative



I live on a llama farm. We breed, raise, train and show a purebred type of llama—Argentine llamas. They are known for their dense fiber, large bone structure, intelligence and sweet dispositions. After a long day, I like to come home, sit in the pasture and spend a relaxing time with these beautiful creatures. Their wonderfully soft and hypoallergenic fiber helps to feed my knitting addiction also! Dr. Dawn E. Anderson, Professor of Exercise Science D

I love to golf. When I am on the golf course, I am able to forget all my woes. Chasing a little white ball, along with the fresh air, is food for the soul! Judy Roy, Executive Vice President for Finance and Administration





Dr. Maurice Stinnett to be 2022 commencement speaker Dr. Maurice A. Stinnett will be Indiana Tech’s featured speaker for both of the university's 2022 commencement ceremonies. Dr. Stinnett is an experienced leader and expert in the areas of diversity, inclusion and equity across the nonprofit, education, and corporate sectors. He serves as global head of equity, diversity and inclusion at Warner Music Group, a leader in global music entertainment. In his role at WMG, Dr. Stinnett spearheads the company’s equity SAVE THE DATE: initiatives and implements tailored strategies and programs designed to cultivate a diverse Graduate and inclusive company culture. Commencement Dr. Stinnett previously made history as inaugural Ceremony vice president of diversity and inclusion for BSE Global, owner of Barclays Center and the NBA’s (master's, doctoral degrees) Brooklyn Nets, where he provided leadership and Friday, May 13 • 7 p.m. support across BSE’s brands. Dr. Stinnett was the Schaefer Center, Indiana Tech's first Black man appointed vice president of diversity main campus and inclusion for an NBA team. His earlier career experience includes roles in Undergraduate higher education and nonprofit leadership. He Commencement held positions as vice President of engagement Ceremony and chief diversity officer at Cleveland State University and as dean of students at Central (associate, bachelor's degrees) State University. In the nonprofit sector, he acted Saturday, May 14 • 12:30 p.m. as senior director of community engagement and Allen County War Memorial education at CentroNia, a multicultural, bilingual Coliseum, Fort Wayne education nonprofit located in Washington, D.C., and chairman for the World Leadership Program, a White House initiative under the Obama administration that sought to spark learning and dialogue between graduate students and universities in the Middle East and the United States. Dr. Stinnett is an energetic presenter who is a fierce advocate for equity and inclusion. He has been recognized for his work by various organizations, including receiving the Jackie Robinson Trailblazer Award from Rev. Jesse Jackson’s Rainbow PUSH Coalition and being named to the The Responsible 100 corporate leaders list by City & State New York. He is proud to serve as a member of the advisory board of the Warner Music Group/Blavatnik Family Foundation Social Justice Fund, and as a Social Justice Ambassador for the Congressional Black Caucus Foundation’s National Racial Equity Initiative. He holds a Bachelor of Arts in Business from Central State University, a Master of Divinity from Princeton Theological

Seminary and a Master of Education and Doctor of Education and Organizational Leadership from Columbia University. “All of us in the Indiana Tech community are proud to welcome Dr. Stinnett as our 2022 commencement speaker,” Indiana Tech president Karl Einolf said. “He is a renowned leader whose work, experiences and impact on others are a clear demonstration to all of our students of what it means to live a life of significance and worth. His story and commitment to community will be an inspiration to each of our graduates.” Dr. Stinnett has previously spoken on Indiana Tech’s campus, serving as the keynote speaker for the university’s Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. Community Celebration in January 2020. He also addressed the Warrior community during Indiana Tech’s online celebration of graduates in May 2020. Indiana Tech's graduate commencement ceremony for master’s and Ph.D. graduates is on Friday, May 13, at 7 p.m., in the Schaefer Center on the university's main campus. It is free and open to all Indiana Tech students, families, alumni and the public—no tickets are required. The university's undergraduate commencement ceremony for associate and bachelor's graduates is on Saturday, May 14, at 12:30 p.m., at Allen County War Memorial Coliseum in Fort Wayne. It is also free and open to families, friends and community members. For more information, please visit Indiana Tech Magazine


ACROSS THE UNIVERSITY Tech Happenings Cyber Warriors continue reign as top team in state The Cyber Warriors, Indiana Tech’s cybersecurity team, have continued their long run of competitive dominance this year. The team won their eighth straight and 15th overall Indiana Collegiate Cyber Defense Competition (CCDC) title on Saturday, Feb. 5, and continued on to a second-place finish during the Midwest Regional CCDC on March 19. During this year’s state tournament, Indiana Tech beat out tough competition from skilled collegiate teams across Indiana. The Cyber Warriors held off second-place Vincennes University and third-place Purdue University to earn their record eighth straight state title. Each year, competing cybersecurity teams work to combat attempted network security breaches and related challenges that test their problemsolving, technical abilities and teamwork at every turn. The team then moved on to the Midwest CCDC, competing against fellow state champions from Illinois, Iowa, Kentucky, Michigan, Ohio, Minnesota, Missouri, Wisconsin and the winner of the wildcard round in an attempt to qualify for the national competition. The squad finished second during the Midwest competition, earning them a spot in the national wildcard round on April 6. There they also took second, just missing out on a trip to the national finals. With the second place finish, the Cyber Warriors wrapped up their season as the #11 team in the country, out of more than 230 schools competing. Members of this year’s Cyber Warriors team include Zach King, Marek Grzelak, Osman Yusof, John Rudolph, Bryce Murphy, Nia Iott, Hunter Clements, Myles Nieman and Jeremy MacRoberts. The team is coached by Matt Hansen, an Indiana Tech alum and instructor of computer science who was a championship-winning Cyber Warrior himself during his time as a Tech student. To learn more about the Cyber Warriors, visit

New L.E.A.D. certificate program launched to empower leaders Indiana Tech has created a new program for organizational leaders—the Leveraging Engagement and Action in Diversity (L.E.A.D.) Executive Certificate. The new program is a collaboration between the university’s Ph.D. in Global Leadership program, part of the College of Business, and its Office of Diversity, Equity and Inclusion. The certificate equips professionals with the critical skills required to lead and transform an organization’s culture, helping managers and executives become more effective in understanding, leading and implementing inclusive organizational practices. The L.E.A.D. Executive Certificate program consists of a series of immersive courses created by diversity practitioners and educational leaders. Courses within the program are centered on three main focus areas: Dimensions of Diversity,


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which examines the subtle ways that a wide range of stereotypes can surface in a multicultural workplace; Creating an Inclusive Environment, which shares best practices related to the evolving role of leaders as agents of change; and Developing a Culture of Equity, which explores approaches to linking organizational strategy, culture and human resources with an emphasis on inclusive excellence. The L.E.A.D. program has already generated a high level of interest from regional corporate partners, with Parkview Health Systems completely booking the entire first program session, which began April 20, for its management team. There are still spots available for the second session, which will begin Sept. 15. The university is also planning to expand the program to offer it online in the near future. For more information, please visit

Six recognized by Tech Talks symposium for improving their communities Each year, Indiana Tech hosts Tech Talks, a co-curricular series created to promote active dialogue and awareness about important issues of social justice across the globe. The series centers on a different theme each year and is supported by relevant programming. This year’s series examines the concept of “living a life of significance and worth,” which is a compelling and thought-provoking component of the university’s mission statement. The objective is to get students to define what living a life of significance and worth looks like to them. What does it look like? How does one achieve it? To kick off the spring semester of Tech Talks programming, the university recognized six individuals who are doing incredible work in the community and living their vision of what a life of significance and worth looks like. They were welcomed to campus for a late-January reception to celebrate Living a Life of Significance and Worth, an exhibit in the D’Agostino Art Gallery on the lower level of the Snyder Academic Center. Visit to meet these individuals and learn about their work in the community.

Indiana Tech Magazine



Dr. Zakariya Al-Hamouz In developing his passion for electrical engineering, Dr. Zakariya Al-Hamouz had to experience failure. Motor failure, that is. Encounters with failed motors were common when Dr. Al-Hamouz was immersed in his family’s metal fabrication company as a youngster in Nablus, Palestine. Those encounters sparked a curiosity that led him into this field and, ultimately, to Indiana Tech as the lead of its electrical engineering program. “Getting those motors repaired was never easy and it cost a lot of money,” professor Al-Hamouz said. “It made me wonder why these motors fail, how do I repair them and how can they be made to work more efficiently. I used to dismantle motors all the time just to see their details.” Fast forward to now: By fostering that same curiosity in his classroom, Dr. Al-Hamouz has created a popular learning environment that is preparing outstanding electrical engineers.

ITM: So, you developed a passion for electrical engineering by analyzing motors that failed during operation at your family’s business. Were you successful in repairing some of them and getting them back into operation? PROFESSOR AL-HAMOUZ: After few trials and under the supervision of a certified electrician, I was able to make some repairs. During and after my undergraduate studies in electrical engineering, I got to have much more hands-on experience and become my family’s go-to for any electrical issues, including motors. I did a lot of repairs and made many recommendations when it came to buying new equipment. My father was so proud of me and my family would always talk about my accomplishments. It made me feel like I owned the whole world! ITM: What is it about electrical engineering that excites you? PROFESSOR AL-HAMOUZ: What excites me in electrical engineering is seeing it as the backbone of industry and advancement. Nothing works without electricity. Although electrical engineering has a wide spectrum of topics such as power, communications, electronics, electromagnetics, digital systems and automation, I enjoy working with electric machine diagnostics, automation and control. ITM: Why did you decide to go into teaching? PROFESSOR AL-HAMOUZ: My passion for teaching started when I was in my university sophomore year. I used to arrange for study groups to help low-performing students. What sparked me most was when I was asked to solve a problem in front of my classmates and my professor commended me by saying, “You are a teacher by nature.” I am always proud when I get positive feedback from students, saying “thank you for taking the time to help me understand this concept,” or “your insight is going to help me in my career.” That is when I know I chose the right career path. ITM: With Indiana Tech committing $21.5 million to expand and renovate the Zollner Engineering Center, the future of the Talwar College of Engineering and Computer Sciences looks bright, yes? PROFESSOR AL-HAMOUZ: Without question—adding a mechatronics and robotics program, investing in new equipment and recruiting more Ph.D. faculty members, among other enhancements, puts the college in a great position for the future. I also see our electrical and computer engineering programs, as well as electrical engineering technology program, growing and competing with the best programs in the Midwest. Over the last two years, we have


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“Electrical engineers will contribute immensely to society; I expect most, if not all, heavy equipment will be fueled by clean energy and electric car batteries will charge within minutes.”

developed partnerships with AdvenTech, a leading manufacturer of efficient electric motors in Alabama, and Powerserve Technologies (Florida), a provider of engineering, construction and testing services for utility and industrial clients. We are currently working on forming additional partnerships with other leading manufacturers and companies because the relationships help us provide more learning resources and opportunities for our students. ITM: How do you see electrical engineers helping society over the next couple of decades? PROFESSOR AL-HAMOUZ: Electrical engineers will contribute immensely to society; I expect most, if not all, heavy equipment will be fueled by clean energy and electric car batteries will charge within minutes.

that emulate real practical life and mastered outstanding communication skills. Those engineers will reinforce the industry workforce. ITM: What do you enjoy doing when you are away from the university? PROFESSOR AL-HAMOUZ: I enjoy playing basketball, traveling and cooking. In general, I cook Mediterranean food. My specialty is lamb kabab and kofta. When I travel, I don’t travel just to see mountains, lakes or beaches. I travel to experience different cultures, taste new cuisines and meet different people, who mostly speak an unfamiliar language. I have already visited more than 30 countries in Europe, Far Asia and South America, in addition to visiting more than 25 U.S. states.

Indiana Tech will help by graduating engineers who have trained on the latest technologies and software, gained hands-on experience on systems Indiana Tech Magazine


Engineering Innovation Challenge Fosters Student Entrepreneurs Student competition made possible through grant from Elevate Ventures


ndiana Tech recently held the university’s first-ever Engineering Innovation Challenge competition, designed to encourage and support students in turning innovative ideas into viable business opportunities. The competition and the grants awarded to the winning student entrepreneurs were made possible through grant funding provided by the Elevate Nexus program of Elevate Ventures.

Earning second place was electrical engineering and computer science student Alex Forsythe. Ms. Forsythe presented her business plan to develop, license and sell fully functional Star Wars Mouse Droids to Star Wars collectors and robotics enthusiasts. She received a $1,000 grant to support her work in launching the business.

Chosen by the board as the first-place winner was Zollner Motorsports. Indiana Tech engineering student David Roach presented to the board on behalf of a team of students from a variety of academic programs, pitching their idea to start an Indiana Tech student motorsports team, to be named Zollner Motorsports. The motorsports team received a $2,000 grant for being selected first.

Dr. Ying Shang, dean of Indiana Tech’s Talwar College of Engineering and Computer Sciences, noted, “The entries for this first year of the Engineering Innovation Challenge were all impressive. I’m proud of the students who entered, and appreciate the support of the Elevate Nexus Higher Education Grant program in making this new opportunity a reality for them. David and Alex did an excellent job presenting their business plans to our board of trustees. I know it was a difficult decision for the board to pick the first-place winner between the two entries.”

Currently, there are no life-size, fully functional Mouse Droids on the market to serve the large number of U.S. households— A total of seven teams of Indiana Tech students submitted one in every four—that projects as part of the inaugural competition. collect Star Wars While this first competition focused on innovation memorabilia. Forsythe, in engineering, the competition is open to Indiana “The entries for this first year who designed and Tech's three colleges—engineering and computer of the Engineering Innovation built her own R2-D2 sciences, business, and arts and sciences.. During droid, and has been a the first round of competition, students presented Challenge were all impressive. designer, builder and their business plans to a panel of faculty and I’m proud of the students who seller of electronic staff members from across the university. Two entered, and appreciate the control boards for finalists were then chosen to present their similar droid-building business concepts to Indiana Tech’s Board of support of the Elevate Nexus projects, sees an Trustees during their quarterly meeting on Dec. program in making this new opportunity to further 3, 2021. Board members heard each business pitch enter the Star Wars and took part in Q&A sessions with each student opportunity a reality for them.” hobbyist and collector entrepreneur, and then convened to vote on the —DR. YING SHANG markets. first-place and second-place winners.

Zollner Motorsports grew out of a senior project group formed by six students in the spring of 2021. The group was formed to start the design and engineering for an FSAE (Formula Society of Automotive Engineers) car. FSAE is an SAE-sanctioned student competition. Teams from schools around the world test their engineering, logistics and teamwork to produce a functional motor vehicle. In total, the team now has 22 student members from various degree programs around Indiana Tech.


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The university plans to continue expanding the Innovation Challenge to encourage even greater participation from students in the years ahead. Ultimately, the goal of the Elevate Nexus program at Tech is to build the culture of innovation and entrepreneurship at the university. In the long run, Indiana

From left to right: President Einolf, David Roach, Dr. Shang, Alex Forsythe and Gregg C. Sengstack, chairperson of Indiana Tech's Board of Trustees.

Tech seeks to become a go-to place for inventors and for technology-centered entrepreneurship throughout the region. The aim will be to help student entrepreneurs and others convert their ideas and projects into real-world value around which businesses can be built.


As a start, Dr. Shang sees the Innovation Challenge growing over the next few years. She notes, “Ideally, we’ll see more participation among multidisciplinary teams. We plan to expand this to students from our other two colleges as well, most likely partnering with our College of Business first.”


The Elevate Nexus Higher Education Grant also provides support for a range of activity related to innovation and entrepreneurship beyond the Innovation Challenge. Included in the grant are funds for a guest speaker series, travel and entry costs for pitch competitions, and commercialization and other professional services for projects that show business promise.

Star Wars Mouse Droid Alex Forsythe

Dr. Shang concludes by noting, “Our first year of the Innovation Challenge was a success, but there is even more room to grow in the future. Through our three colleges and our Center for Creative Collaboration—the C3—we hope to continue inspiring and collaborating with students to turn their ideas into the successful entrepreneurial ventures of tomorrow. I look forward to seeing the next group of entries in 2022.”

Zollner Motorsports David Roach, Alvaro Gomez and team SECOND PLACE:

Foam Dart Blaster Brice Loop Fridge Retrofit Jared Maxfield

Neural Network-Based Tool for Detection of Broken Bars in an Induction Motor Gicell Aleman and Dalton Hancher Racing Ripe Jameson Baker Ultimate Jeep Off-Road Bumper Luke Smith

Indiana Tech Magazine


SUMMER CAMP For most Indiana Tech faculty members, the end of commencement day festivities marks the beginning of a much-needed recharge before the start of the fall semester. When the celebrating is over for engineering professors Crysta Burke and Dr. Anna Nagle, however, it means crunch time has arrived.


urke, an assistant professor of mathematics, and Nagle, an assistant professor of biomedical engineering, are the directors of Indiana Tech’s middle school and high school STEM camps, respectively. After graduation day, Burke and Nagle have roughly four weeks to make sure these summertime staples of the Talwar College of Engineering and Computer Sciences are ready to wow students for another year. It’s a role they look forward to every year. “It is beyond exciting to be a part of this camp every summer. Seeing the interest of our campers escalate throughout the week is so rewarding,” said Burke, who has been with the middle school camp since 2015.


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“I love seeing the students get excited about how their experiments turn out,” said Nagle, who has been with the high school camp since 2019. “It is especially interesting when the experiment gives unexpected results—then, we can talk about why they might have gotten those results.” This year’s Middle School Build + Learn STEM Camp runs daily from 8:15 a.m. to 12:45 p.m. from June 15 through June 19. The hands-on experience gives students a chance to explore science, engineering, math and technology through conducting experiments; designing, constructing and testing structures; using computer-aided drawing software; and exploring campus labs. The cost is $100 per student, which includes all project materials, snacks, lunch and a t-shirt.

“It is beyond exciting to be a part of this camp every summer. Seeing the interest of our campers escalate throughout the week is so rewarding.” —PROFESSOR CRYSTA BURKE

Indiana Tech Magazine


Every summer, Indiana Tech's Build + Learn STEM Camp for middle schoolers and the high school engineering camp introduce participants to programming in biomedical engineering (A), mechanical engineering (B), biology (C), electrical engineering, construction and building (D), chemistry and more.

“Every project is introduced with not only what is being done, but why and how it is being done, which is critical to their learning and understanding,” Burke said. “After a project is completed, a discussion surrounds its real-world implications, which allows the campers to see the importance of STEM activities and careers, as well as introduce them to the skills needed to become leaders in the global 21st century society.” The high school camp runs daily from 8:15 a.m. to 5 p.m., June 20 through June 24. Activities and programming will introduce campers to biomedical, electrical and mechanical engineering, chemistry, biology and other realms of technology. The cost is $400 per student, which includes all project materials, breakfast, snacks, lunch and a t-shirt. “Students get to choose a track that interests them, and within that, do a variety of ongoing as well as short-term activities,” Nagle said. “We often use the same or similar lab activities that we do in

“The Indiana Tech STEM camps literally changed my life. They helped me discover my career path and they led me to choose Indiana Tech over the other universities.” —ALEXANDRA FORSYTHE, CLASS OF 2021, ELECTRICAL ENGINEERING


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FROM CAMPERS TO STEM MAJORS! Hear from students and graduates who got their STEM start at an Indiana Tech summer camp.



Engineering, Class of 2023


four high school camps

The camps had a huge impact on my decision to pursue electrical engineering. I had always had an interest in the field of engineering as a concept, but it was not until I spent the week here for my first camp that my passion was really ignited. Being able to choose different tracks that highlighted key elements and featured engaging projects in different types of engineering gave me the chance to see how I felt about them. In addition to all of that, living on campus with people of similar interests truly helped me to believe, heart and soul, that this field is a space I can operate and thrive in. I am honestly not sure if I could have had that absolute confidence in my belonging if I had not had those experiences.

ADAM SWANSON MAJOR: Software Engineering, Class of 2020; current software developer at Core BTS CAMP EXPERIENCE: Attended


college classes but modified for the educational level of the campers. We talk about the STEM concepts and put them into action with hands-on activities and experiments.” For several Indiana Tech students, summer camp experiences have been life-changing as they have started them on a path toward STEM education. See some of their stories to the right. “It’s rewarding when you see campers excited about coming back every day but then start talking about coming back the next year,” Burke said. “In addition, they start talking about careers in STEM fields and this is the motivation that will keep them active in their learning until they reach their goals.”

one high school camp

The camp was very influential in my desire to pursue software engineering. I was uncertain whether to pursue a computer science or software engineering degree. Through the camp activities, I learned that a software engineering major provides more hands-on opportunities for building software projects, rather than exploring theory—and being hands-on is what I wanted to do. Getting to work with code on Raspberry Pis was a ton of fun, and by the end of the camp I was ready to commit to Indiana Tech. For any prospective students, I would highly suggest they attend at least one STEM camp to get a feel for which area they want to pursue.


Engineering, Class of 2021


two high school camps

The Indiana Tech STEM camps literally changed my life. They helped me discover my career path and they led me to choose Indiana Tech over the other universities. Through the STEM camps, I found that I had a talent and a passion for electrical engineering, and the professors encouraged me to learn more and to expand my skill set. After attending camp, I was able to secure an internship with NASA, and in February, I was invited as a VIP guest to watch the GOES-T weather satellite launch. Without the STEM camps acting as a springboard, magical experiences like watching a launch with some of my former NASA co-workers wouldn’t be possible.

Indiana Tech Magazine



Getting lost in history Dr. McGrade’s Family Stories, Family History class is an enlightening experience for students In 2019, professor of English Dr. Susan McGrade developed her HUM 3410-Family Stories, Family Histories course after an immersive experience at the Allen County Public Library’s world-renowned Fred J. Reynolds Historical Genealogy Department. “I was researching my own family history when I realized that I had been working for several hours without even realizing how much time had gone by,” Dr. McGrade said. “I suddenly wished that my students could have a similar experience—to so thoroughly enjoy their research that they get lost in it.” Three years later, the results of this course have exceeded her expectation—so much so that she presented on the course in March at the Society for the Study of the Multi-Ethnic Literature of the United States’ national conference. “Every semester, I have students who spend hours at the genealogy center, invested in solving a mystery within their family. I am always impressed when they become ‘hedgehogs’ in a dogged pursuit, accessing rare records and combing through data. Once they make their discoveries, they become producers of knowledge, and they take on some new ownership of what it means to be a researcher and a scholar,” Dr. McGrade said. The interdisciplinary course introduces students to the literature of family stories and the science of genealogical research. Students study a variety of 20

Spring 2022

literary works that examine the significance of family heritage, migration and immigration narratives, ethnic identity and citizenship status narratives, and then conduct their own genealogical research about their families. Dr. McGrade said the course would not be possible without Fort Wayne’s gem of a genealogy center and its staff. “Director Curt Witcher and senior librarian Allison Singleton have been instrumental in providing expertise and helping me design appropriate research assignments,” she said. “They answer late-night questions from students and have become invested and involved in their stories, as well.” SOME GRADUATES OF DR. MCGRADE’S COURSE SHARED THEIR FINDINGS:

JEFF DOBHRISTE, electrical engineering major: My journey in Dr. McGrade’s class began as a small inconsistency. I found a census record from 1860 which contained information about members of my father’s side of the family in Missouri; one name was conspicuously missing from the subsequent 1870 census. It was the name of my fourth great-grandfather, Robert Emmett Montgomery, born 1823. After countless hours, I found his Civil War records and began constructing a narrative of his last year of life. In this process, I learned about what life was like in the 19th century in America, the history of the United States around this period and the legislative actions that led to the war. I learned about how the story of my ancestors intertwines with the stories


Business major Jeff Dobhriste’s experience in Dr. McGrade’s class led him to find important information about his fourth great-grandfather (A), which led to him making a trip to the Missouri Civil War Museum (B) for additional research.

of people from different backgrounds, how we all influence and shape each other in this vast, intermingling melting pot of a country we live in. But most importantly, I learned how human and fragile the people of the past were. Not the stoic, unfeeling monoliths that get quoted in history books; they were real people, with fears and doubts, making decisions about their lives in the exact same way I do.

because of having a high status, but my greatgrandfather was still put into the Soviet Army. My great-grandfather and his father received many gifts for the amazing skill of playing violin, but they lost it all to get on the ship to Ellis Island. The amount I was able to learn about my family in a single semester—information that I’d been seeking my whole life—was astonishing.

ANDREA SCHRIVER, accounting major: The class I found that my civil war ancestor deserted gave me the opportunity to interview my greathis unit to care for his sick grandparents about their children, and upon his experiences when they “Every semester, I have return to camp agreed to immigrated to America students who spend hours make up the time lost at from the Netherlands the end of his tour of duty. at the genealogy center, in 1957. Due to the exposure to the invested in solving a mystery The main idea I learned harsh winter journey and within their family. I am from speaking with my the conditions of the field always impressed when they great-grandparents is hospital, however, he also the importance of fell ill and died on the day he become ‘hedgehogs’ in a knowing the main would have been discharged dogged pursuit, accessing language spoken if he hadn’t left. rare records and combing in the region. Not After the semester was through data. Once they knowing a language over, my wife and I can create difficulties make their discoveries, traveled to St. Louis to in communication they become producers of see for ourselves where while simultaneously Robert and his family knowledge, and they take on cultivating isolation and lived and died. I found his some new ownership of what loneliness. Additionally, modest grave marker at I learned about my other it means to be a researcher Jefferson Barracks National great-grandmother’s and a scholar.” Cemetery, visited the site service to the United of the battle he participated DR. SUSAN MCGRADE States as a Women in at Pilot Knob and spent Airforce Service Pilot more time than my wife (WASP) in 1943 and 1944 would have liked at the Missouri Civil War during World War II. Museum talking to a historian and recreating DEREON MINTER, business administration Robert’s life. major: I feel like Dr. McGrade’s class is a needed CATHERINE MCNULTY, biomedical engineering class in college. To know where you come from major: My grandmother was born in Poland and what your family tree has been through when World War II began. She was only a few can greatly help you better understand where months old when she was taken from what to go in life. The class gave me the ambition and was Naliboki, Poland, to Germany where my opportunity to find myself. That’s an opportunity great-grandmother, great-great-grandmother, you should always take. my grandmother and her siblings were put into DESMOND PATTERSON, business a labor camp. My grandmother grew up only administration major: Dr. McGrade’s course knowing of the world that was their labor camp— has helped me find a lot of information about my where her childhood was formed without toys family history. Parents didn’t know a lot about and fun trips but by her imagination along with their grandparents, and has helped the company of other children in the labor camp. me recover interesting information about them. Eventually, the camp was liberated where they I was able to go back six generations to find that were freed and were able to then get on a ship to my sixth great-grandfather on my dad’s side was Ellis Island, New York. born a slave in Georgia. I was the first person My great-grandfather was also from Poland, but in my family to recover a variety of unknown he was taken to Soviet Russia where his father information about our past, and my family was was the lead composer of the Russian Orchestra very fascinated about all that I was able to find. as an amazing violinist. They received protection

Biology major Bodell presents research at Duke University In April, senior biology major Cherokee Bodell presented research at the National Human Genome Research Institution Career Improvement Convention at Duke University. Her findings were based on work she did during a 2021 summer internship at the University of Utah where she was invited to work in the lab of the principal investigator, Joseph Yost, Ph.D. “At Utah, I worked to optimize nuclei isolation protocol for downstream ATAC sequencing. We utilized the zebrafish model to extract heart samples for the isolation. After isolating the nuclei, I would perform bio analytics on the sample results to identify specific gene clusters,” Cherokee said about her research. “The internship in Utah was a very significant opportunity for Cherokee,” said Indiana Tech professor of biology Dr. Julie Good. “Her work has staggered my understanding of what an undergraduate research project could be. The millions of lines of code that she has written— individually, self-directed and fully aimed at the Yost lab’s initiatives— is unparalleled. Her presentation at Duke is icing on the very large cake, evidence of her phenomenal work last summer in Utah.”

Indiana Tech Magazine



Business administration major Nower is on the rise In January, Grace Nower of Decatur, Indiana, passed the Society for Human Resource Management Certified Professional (SHRM-CP) examination, a competency-based certification exam administered by SHRM. SHRM is considered the industry leader in HR professional development and is the world’s largest HR membership organization. “I am so proud of myself for passing the exam,” Grace said. “I studied really hard for about six months, so it was so exciting to finally take and pass the exam.” Grace, a business administration major concentrating in human resources, is currently completing an internship in the HR department at Fort Wayne’s Alconex Magnet Wire. She will graduate this summer, finishing her degree in just three years.

Grace Nower

“In my time at Indiana Tech, I have had internship experience working for global corporations and family-run businesses, as well as working in unionized and non-unionized facilities,” Grace said. “These internships have provided me with experience that will help me further my career.”


Spring 2022

PHOTOS: Indiana Tech sport management majors, P. Tyler Sinclair

(seen with headset) and CJ Hallam, perform Colony Crew duties during a 2022 Fort Wayne Mad Ants basketball game.

Sport management students take the ant by the antennae to gain real-work experience Fort Wayne is 1,811 miles away from Calgary, Alberta, the hometown of Indiana Tech student P. Tyler Sinclair, so how is it that the Fort Wayne Mad Ants, the G League developmental team for the National Basketball Association’s Indiana Pacers, has become one of his favorite teams? Let’s connect the dots, shall we? ↘ Tyler is a pursuing a business administration degree concentrating in sport management with a goal of one day working in the NBA. ↘ In October 2021, Indiana Tech entered into a sponsorship agreement with the Mad Ants that created the Colony Crew—a team comprised of sport management students that supports the Mad Ants’ game day operations while gaining relevant, hands-on learning experience in the sports industry. ↘ When these positions became available, Tyler—along with fellow Warriors CJ Hallam, Daunte O’Banion, Javon Sanders and Michael Warner—jumped at the chance to reinforce their sport management coursework. Members of the Colony Crew have a few assignments during each home game, like helping with in-game promotions and sponsored activities, finding fans to participate as contestants, greeting fans at the information tent and handing out group items. “This experience with the Mad Ants has been simply incredible. I have learned so much about how game day operations work for professional sporting events,” said Tyler, who will graduate in May 2023. “Getting an opportunity to make connections

with so many great people that have affiliation with the NBA through the G League has been my dream ever since I was a freshman at Indiana Tech and was also a big reason why I chose to become a Warrior.” One could say Tyler has taken the ant by the antennae, if you will, in making the most of this opportunity. Allie Lane, director of business operations for the Mad Ants and an Indiana Tech alum, said that Tyler has become a key player on game nights. He comes in early to help set up all operations equipment, and he even wears a headset to listen in to all the chatter that goes on between the operations manager, the scorer’s table and the camera operators. “If there were an instance where our game operations manager was out for a game, we’re confident that Tyler has the skills and know-how to fill in for us,” she said. “Overall, this partnership with Indiana Tech, and having the Colony Crew in place, makes a big difference in the overall game experience we’re able to provide for fans attending our games.”

“This partnership with Indiana Tech and having the Colony Crew in place makes a big difference in the overall game experience...” ALLIE LANE, MAD ANTS DIRECTOR OF BUSINESS OPERATIONS AND 2014 INDIANA TECH GRADUATE

“I couldn’t be more pleased with these sport management students who rose to the challenge to be a part of the Colony Crew this season,” said professor Craig Dyer, sport management program lead. “We look forward to continuing a partnership with the Mad Ants to give our students valuable opportunities that will jump-start their career in sports.”

Assistant professor of sport management Shane Fudge added, “This was a great opportunity for our students to see a successful graduate of the sport management program navigate the sports industry and learn how to network with them. Having an alum associated with this partnership makes us all extremely proud.”

Indiana Tech Magazine


Academic Roundup

within six years, compared to only 7.7 percent of Black engineering students who were not NSBE members.


NSBE still strong after 16 years Indiana Tech’s chapter of the National Society of Black Engineers (NSBE) was founded in 2006 to provide a supportive community for Black engineering students so that they stay in school and graduate. Sixteen years later, Indiana Tech’s NSBE chapter is still successfully fulfilling its mission. In February, the chapter held its annual banquet; this event is a fundraiser, but it has also become a celebratory comingtogether for the members of this tight-knit student organization. “Within NSBE, students are able to provide the support to one another that is needed when you are part of a minoritized population, as there are additional pressures and stressors when one is not part of the majority population,” said chapter faculty advisor and professor of English, Dr. Susan McGrade. “Because of that, NSBE members form strong


Spring 2022

bonds, like family members. They always support and lift up one another.”

“It’s my sense that the stats have remained pretty consistent since our study,” Dr. McGrade said. “For the study, we interviewed alumni from the chapter and analyzed the transcripts to find the characteristics of NSBE that helped sustain them through their studies. The interviews always returned to themes of family, confidence and pride—themes that resonate with current members.” “Being a part of NSBE means being a part of a community that symbolizes growth, belonging and family,” said John Iluno, programs chair of Tech’s NSBE chapter. “My career as a mechanical engineer has been positively impacted by my experience with NSBE.”

One of the most active student organizations on campus, NSBE’s activities are guided by its mission statement: “To increase the number of culturally-responsible black engineers who excel academically, succeed professionally “Being a part of and positively impact the NSBE means being community.” Its members meet weekly to engage in a part of a community professional development that symbolizes growth, programming, organize fundraising activities and belonging and family.” plan community service JOHN ILUNO, activities such as events NSBE PROGRAMS CHAIR with the Boys and Girls Clubs of Fort Wayne. “NSBE provides networks and opportunities to students who otherwise aren’t a part of existing networks,” Dr. McGrade said. “Members provide space for study groups, share helpful information about classes and create a network of alumni and current students who are aware of opportunities for internships, scholarships and jobs.” Most importantly, NSBE affiliation is helping Indiana Tech’s Black engineering students stay in school and graduate. In 2016, Dr. McGrade and Dr. Monique (Anderson) Ross, the academic advisor for Indiana Tech’s first NSBE chapter, did a research study on the chapter for a presentation at the American Society of Engineering Education conference. Their study showed that 82 percent of Black engineering students who were NSBE members graduated

Chapter president, Cherokee Bodell, has been positively impacted, as well. “I’ve been able to develop bonds with members of my chapter and see people who look like me experiencing success and being leaders in their fields,” she said.

While the themes that draw members toward NSBE remain constant, every class adds something new to the chapter’s legacy. “It is incredible to watch every chapter find an area of improvement and then make its mark,” Dr. McGrade said. “Sometimes it’s through fundraising. Sometimes it’s through recruitment. Sometimes it’s through achievements like having back-to-back debate champions (2017, 2018), or being the National Retention Chapter of the Year (2020). "Every year I am a part of this, I am fortunate enough to learn from students,” she added. “It is a different world when you begin to put yourself in a capacity to learn from those around you, especially those whose experiences, perspectives and positionalities are different from your own.”


It has contributed to my professional growth by allowing me to interact with different companies and colleges that are present at our regional and national conventions. I’ve been able to develop bonds with members of my chapter and see people who look like me experiencing success and being leaders in their fields.

NSBE has given me a place to express my creativity and ideas outside of the classroom, while also giving me multiple tools to excel academically and succeed professionally.


Being a part of NSBE means being a part of a community that symbolizes growth, belonging and family. My career as a mechanical engineer has been positively impacted by my experience with NSBE.

I have been part of long-term family that has put me in the right direction professionally, socially and academically. The things that I’ve learned in NSBE, the connections I’ve made and positions I have held have prepared me for the future.

John Iluno

Victor Njemanze




Mechatronics and robotics engineering program starts this fall Indiana Tech announced in February it will begin offering a Bachelor of Science in Mechatronics and Robotics Engineering. Coursework for the new degree program will begin in August. Visit mechatronics-bs to learn more about the program.

The field of mechatronics and robotics engineering integrates mechanical, electrical and computer engineering in the design of products and manufacturing processes. Mechatronics and robotics engineering revolves around the design, construction and operation of automated and robotics systems, which result from the integration of software and hardware. As automation and autonomous machines become increasingly important in society, so does the need for professionals who are proficient in this discipline. As such, mechatronic and robotics engineers are needed in a wide range of fields including manufacturing, construction, aerospace and telecommunications. “The availability of well-trained professionals is paramount to fulfilling

the hiring needs of area manufacturing and automotive companies—many of which significantly impact the region’s economy. That was the impetus for the creation of this program,” said Dr. Ying Shang, dean of Indiana Tech’s Talwar College of Engineering and Computer Sciences. “University research forecasts a notable regional demand for mechatronics professionals over the next five years due to the rapid growth of automation, additive manufacturing, artificial intelligence and robotics leading the digital transformation during Industry 4.0.” In 2021, Indiana Tech surveyed 19 regional employers; of them, 84 percent anticipate hiring between one and 15 mechatronics professionals over the next five years, while 11 percent will hire between 15 and 50.


WINTER 21/22

WARRIOR WOMEN EARN TRACK PROGRAM’S 15TH NATIONAL TITLE Indiana Tech’s track and field program continued to flex its collective muscle on a national landscape at the 2022 NAIA Indoor National Championships in March.

than fourth in the national meet during that span. The impressive run has earned Edgar NAIA Coach of the Year honors 12 times.

Indiana Tech’s women’s team won its second straight, and third overall, indoor title, racking up 127 points. The men’s team, who also entered the contest as the defending national champion, finished second in the national meet, three points behind champion Oklahoma City University.

↘ Men’s NAIA indoor championships: 2021, 2019, 2017, 2016, 2015, 2014

The performance continues a remarkable run of success for Doug Edgar-coached teams at Indiana Tech. Since 2013, Edgar, who coaches both the men’s and women’s indoor and outdoor teams, has guided the Warriors to 15 national championships. No Indiana Tech team has finished lower

↘ Men’s NAIA outdoor championships: 2016, 2014, 2013 ↘ Women’s NAIA indoor championships: 2022, 2021, 2017 ↘ Women’s NAIA outdoor championships: 2021, 2014, 2013

MEN'S BOWLING TEAM EARNS ITS FIRST NAIA NATIONAL CROWN On March 26, Indiana Tech's men’s bowling team captured its first NAIA national championship in school history in Sterling Heights, Michigan. The Warriors battled back from the loser’s bracket to reach the final day of action. Once there, they downed top-seeded Cumberlands and Savannah College of Art & Design to advance to the final over St. Francis (Illinois).

Pushed to the limit, the Orange and Black downed the Fighting Saints in two five-set matches to earn the title. Computer science major, Marcus McClain, was named the most valuable player of the championships while business administration major, James Bennett, garnered a spot on the all-tournament team.


“Coach Edgar continues to attract student- Indiana Tech president Dr. Karl W. Einolf. athletes who excel—both in the competitive “Congratulations to Coach and his athletes arena and in the classroom—while repre- for another outstanding showing on the senting Indiana Tech in the best way,” said national level.”


























GIMSON, VERMILLION REPEAT AS NATIONAL CHAMPS Conner Gimson (133-pound class) and Eric Vermillion (184-pound class) repeated as national champions to help Indiana Tech finish fourth at the 2022 NAIA National Championships in March. It’s the second straight season, and third overall, in which Tech has finished fourth at the national tournament.





Indiana Tech Magazine


MEN’S CROSS COUNTRY WHAC Championships: 4th/11. Jake Willison and Braxton Lamey finish sixth and 13th to garner All-Conference honors.


NAIA National Championships: Jake Willison finishes in 168th with a time of 27:18..7

WOMEN’S CROSS COUNTRY WHAC Championships: 3rd/11. Lisa Voyles and Krista Boese garner All-Conference honors with fifth and 11th-place finishes. NAIA National Championships: 20th/36, fourth-best finish for the program. Lisa Voyles becomes the fourth All-American in program history with a time of 18:47 to finish in 23rd.


MEN’S SOCCER Record: 18-1-4, 8-0-2 WHAC (1st/11). Third straight regular season conference title and third straight conference tournament title, first time that’s happened in WHAC history. ↘ Advanced to the NAIA National Championship final site (last 10 teams) for the first time since 2009 after winning the Fort Wayne Bracket of the NAIA National Championship Opening Round, falling in the quarterfinal on penalty kicks to the University of Mobile. ↘ David Bokhart, Maxwell Amoako and Will Harris named WHAC Coach, Offensive Player and Defensive Player of the Year. Nine other Warriors (Jaume Salvado, Lucca Motta, Pep Casas, Jaxon Simerman, Luke Jones, Angel de Jorge, Antonio Marra, Marc Junca and Scott McCarthy) garner All-Conference honors. Bokhart named interim head coach in August. ↘ Marc Junca, Antonio Marra and Juan Zugaza named to WHAC All-Newcomer Team. ↘ Warrior coaching staff (David Bokhart, Francisco Neto, Scott Brown and Facundo Rondan) garner United Soccer Coaches North Region Staff of the Year honors. ↘ Maxwell Amoako repeats as CoSIDA Academic AllAmerica® Team selection and named United Soccer Coaches NAIA Scholar-Player of the Year. ↘ Jaume Salvado named to NAIA National Championship All-Tournament Team. ↘ Maxwell Amoako, Will Harris, Jaume Salvado and Pep Casas garner NAIA All-America Team accolades.



Spring 2022

A. Jake Willison (No. 119) B. Lisa Voyles (No. 2025) C. Lucca Motta



WOMEN’S SOCCER Record: 9-10, 5-6 WHAC (8th/11)

Paul Gilbert became head coach of the Indiana Tech men’s soccer program in February, replacing John Dunn, who stepped down in August 2021. Gilbert is the eighth head coach in program history.

↘ AnnaBella Kowalczyk garners All-Conference honors. ↘ Alina Garcia named to the WHAC All-Newcomer Team.


“We are excited to welcome Coach Gilbert and his family to Indiana Tech. His knowledge of soccer and focus on developing student-athletes into great people is something that will take our men’s soccer program to the next level,” said Indiana Tech director of athletics Jessie Biggs.

Record: 24-13, 15-5 WHAC (3rd/11) ↘ Kourtney Wilson named WHAC Coach of the Year. ↘ Madelyn Omo, Jacey Blust, Emma Westra and Taylor Paul named to the All-Conference Teams. ↘ Noelle VanOort named to the WHAC All-Newcomer Team. ↘ Madelyn Omo named to the AVCA All-Region Team. ↘ Jacey Blust repeats as CoSIDA Academic All-America® Team selection.

ESPORTS – ROCKET LEAGUE Record: 13-3, 9-3 WHAC (2nd/7) ↘ Won the inaugural WHAC Rocket League Tournament title by going 4-0.


D. Alyssa Williams E. Emma Westra F. Left to right: AJ Shinn, Nathanael Wertz, Brendan Miller


Gilbert spent the previous six seasons at Lubbock Christian University, an NCAA Division II program and a member of the Lone Star Conference. He left Lubbock Christian as the program’s all-time leader in wins and posted a 42-4711 record while at the helm. He saw 13 players garner All-Conference honors under his tutelage while Ivan Muanze-Benngono was named the LSC Defensive Player of the Year in 2019 and 2021.

↘ Brendan Miller and Nathanael Wertz named to the All-Conference Teams.

Indiana Tech Magazine


PATH OF A WARRIOR From the Desk of Kristi Jarmus

HELPING TO SHAPE THE FUTURE Today, I sat in on a meeting between an alumnus and faculty member. These meetings are not unusual—alumni often meet with faculty and staff to connect and discuss the possibility of participating in the classroom, giving a presentation or assisting with Career Center events such as mock interviews or panel discussions. As I listened to these individuals get to know each other, I was struck by the impact of what we choose to tell each other when we share stories. It goes beyond dry facts and details; the magic happens when we share our unique perspectives and experiences. In a short time, these individuals connected on shared interests and learned from each other’s unique experiences. This spring, Indiana Tech is partnering with a company called Publishing Concepts Inc. (PCI) to kick off its first alumni Oral History Project. For weeks I have been thinking about how to share the excitement our alumni relations team has about this vital project. Today’s meeting helped me sum it up: YOU are interesting and unique. YOU are Indiana Tech’s legacy. And, only YOU can share the essence of your Tech story. In March, PCI started sending out postcards and emails inviting alumni to confirm contact information and participate in the Oral History Project by sharing memories. The PCI team will collect your story and compile a summary for you to review in their client-only portal. You will have an option to submit a picture of your choosing. This project will continue through the summer


Spring 2022

with PCI making reminder calls. In the fall PCI will compile all stories in a digital archive that will help document the storied history of this great university. Digital and hardcopy books will be available for purchase; PCI will review these options with you. You do not have to purchase anything to contribute to this project. When you are contacted by PCI, we hope you choose to participate. Learn more about this project at As always at this time of year, planning is underway for the TWIST golf outing—TWIST XXXIII will be Sept. 18. Also, mark your calendars for Homecoming 2022 weekend, Sept. 30 through Oct. 2. The Athletic Hall of Fame ceremony will also be that weekend and we will celebrate reunion classes of 1962, 1972 and 1997. Finally, we have two volunteer opportunities. ↘ Would you like to share your years of career expertise with current students? We are looking for alumni who would be willing to participate online or in-person in small group mentorship activities. ↘ The Alumni Board is looking to fill several committee positions related to outreach, homecoming and student relations. Please email if you are interested in either of these opportunities. Have a great remainder to your spring!

ALUMNI NOTES Do you have an update you’d like to share with your Warrior Nation? Perhaps you have a new position or found yourself a promotion, maybe you tied the knot or your family is growing, or even built something that’s changed the world in some small (or not-so-small) ways. We’d like to hear about it! Send your stories or questions to Kristi Jarmus at We love to brag about our alumni!




Debra, the cofounder of D&S Professional Coaching, was named by Forbes as one of the next 1000 entrepreneurs to watch. Her company provides executives with job search coaching and branding services, including writing resumes, cover letters and bios, and assisting with board member applications.

Carly was promoted to director of human resources at Brooks Construction, where she has worked since 2018. Since graduating in 2015 with a Bachelor of Science in Business Administration, concentrating in human resources, Carly has achieved two human resource certifications: SHRM-SCP and aPHR. She also serves the regional HR community as the director of workforce readiness on the Northeast Indiana Human Resources Association Board of Directors.

Adam was named first vice president of audit, compliance and risk management in January by the First Federal Savings Bank of Angola. He earned a Master of Business Administration from Indiana Tech in 2007 and has been with the bank since 2017.

Debra graduated with a Master of Science in Management in 2015.

Keep us connected! Your stories are what make Indiana Tech proud—and we want to hear from you! Share your successes, update your information, learn about the Alumni Association and find ways to connect with your peers, friends and faculty members on our website at You can also email your updates to Indiana Tech Alumni Group


Indiana Institute of Technology Indiana Tech Magazine


PATH OF A WARRIOR Alumni Spotlight


Destined for a Partnership R

on Ballman is the CEO of Adventech, a Florence, Alabama-based company committed to developing innovative technologies and devices for 21st century industry. Adventech’s hallmark product is its MaxEff electric motor, a high-performance inductive motor that is appealing to companies because of its cost-saving efficiency. Ron is also an Indiana Tech graduate, having earned a business administration degree in 2009. Back in late 2020 while reading the fall issue of Indiana Tech Magazine, Ron was riveted by a story about the then-new, state-of-the-art motors laboratory in Dr. Zak Al-Hamouz’s electrical engineering department. From there, it didn’t take long for a relationship to form.


Spring 2022

“I reached out to Dr. Al-Hamouz, introduced myself and my company, and asked if he would like to have some of the Adventech motors for students to use in his lab,” Ron said. “When I delivered the motors, we discussed the Zollner Engineering Center expansion and renovation project, and I suggested we find a way to implement Adventech technology so that the university could be on the cutting edge as well as save utility costs.” What resulted was Adventech donating eight brand new motors to the university—four for use in the lab and four to move hot and cold running water to the students in Pierson Hall. In January, members from Ron’s Adventech team traveled to Fort Wayne to collaborate with Indiana Tech’s Department of Buildings and Grounds on the Pierson installation. The new motors are expected to be 25 to 30 percent more efficient than the motors they replaced. Ron and his team will be back this spring to capture some performance data, compare it to historic readings and share the results with Dr. Al-Hamouz and his students. “How fortuitous was it that one year after Adventech partners with MaxEff, the world’s most disruptive motor technology, Indiana Tech opens a state-ofthe-art motor lab? I feel we were destined for a partnership,” Ron said. “Dr. Al-Hamouz is a remarkable professor and has been a fantastic partner. Adventech engineers have enjoyed working with him and all the students that participated in the testing process.”

“Indiana Tech was instrumental in my professional development, and I simply want to show my appreciation through sharing—sharing in a way that may influence future alumni to seek their own purpose or path through life.”

So, what makes MaxEff the world’s most disruptive motor technology? It’s all about efficiency. When combined with the Adventech Soft Start, a MaxEff motor can start and stop without experiencing a high inrush current and operate at a cooler temperature. They feature an induction motor circuit, but unlike traditional electric motors, MaxEff motors have a built-in, all-in-one induction generator circuit. This twocircuit design uses the same magnetic field, rotor and stator to produce more shaft power than similar induction electric motors. It also allows the motor to compensate the grid that feeds it,

MaxEff motors, made by Adventech, have been installed to move hot and cold water through Pierson Hall. These motors are 25 to 30 percent more efficient than the motors they replaced.

eliminating any waste of energy. “The journey from proof of concept to global disruptor is arduous but equally as rewarding,” Ron said. “And we want Indiana Tech to be intertwined with us on our journey.”

So much so that the roughly 540 miles that separate Adventech and Indiana Tech doesn’t seem to be a big deal to Ron. He likes the idea of having the university as a direct pipeline for engineering talent. “Indiana Tech and Adventech are partners in many ways,” Ron said. “Indiana Tech tests our technology in a controlled environment. Indiana Tech teaches engineers about our technology. Our technology is part of the Indiana Tech infrastructure, providing savings for the university and creating awareness for students of what is possible. Adventech needs

top quality candidates to grow effectively and there is no better resource for that talent than Indiana Tech.” Ron also indicated that the Ballman Family Foundation is establishing an endowed scholarship for Indiana Tech students and is looking forward to doing more philanthropic projects with the university in the future. “Having the opportunity to find professional success has blessed me with the financial freedom that affords philanthropic endeavors,” Ron said. “Indiana Tech was instrumental in my professional development, and I simply want to show my appreciation through sharing—sharing in a way that may influence future alumni to seek their own purpose or path through life. Sometimes all it takes for a student to believe in themselves is to know that someone else believes in them and is willing to invest in their future.”

Indiana Tech Magazine


PATH OF A WARRIOR Making a Difference

Ron Kantorak Although the Kappa Delta Chapter of the Theta Xi fraternity disbanded at Indiana Tech in 1978, the pulse of this brotherhood is stronger than ever. Ron Kantorak (BSME, 1970), one of Theta Xi’s biggest cheerleaders and a huge supporter of the university, wouldn’t have it any other way.


hen looking back on his time at Tech, Ron does so with reverence. Through Theta Xi, he joined a strong network of friends that prepared one another for the rigors of the classroom, and then helped each other blow off steam outside the classroom. In fact, it was during a frat party in 1968 that he met his wife, Cathy; they’ve been married since 1970. “At the time, there were 11 fraternities at Tech, and there was much competition between them,” Ron said. “We had Greek week, which consisted of many competitions such as the chariot race, the fat man trike race, a three-legged race, a pie-eating contest, a Greek week queen competition and the float competition. We also had intramural competition through the year with softball, basketball, track, bowling, volleyball and football. Through all of these things, a strong team spirit and very tight ties developed among the brothers.”


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Ron also looks back with gratitude to several professors who “with tough love and bending over backwards” made sure he graduated on time. “As I became financially stable, I thought about how the professors really helped me get my engineering degree and I started contributing to Tech at the President’s Club level every year as my way of saying ‘thank you.’ I was also a guest lecturer for five years” he said. In addition, Ron and his wife fund the Corporal Jonathan F. Blair memorial scholarship at Tech in honor of their great nephew who was killed in November 2005 during combat operations in Iraq. It was in 2009 that Theta Xi regained its heartbeat. Mike Hayzer, who Ron had remained close to after graduation, met up with Blaise Alexander and Jack Rosenthal, and the trio decided a reunion was in order. From there, Ron, Jim Frazer and Ron Minto were recruited to track down as many brothers as they could. The result was an epic reunion in July 2010, hosted by Blaise in Williamsport, Pennsylvania. “Forty-seven brothers of Theta Xi and 30 wives showed up. Many of the brothers had not seen one another for 40 years, but we picked up right where we left off. It was a grand party,” Ron said. It was so successful that the brothers met again in 2015, 2017 and 2019. Another reunion is scheduled for this year. At the 2010 event, there was discussion about how the Theta Xi fraternity could be commemorated on campus. “I suggested that we fund a scholarship in the name of Theta Xi Fraternity Kappa Delta Chapter and went about soliciting

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“As I became financially stable, I thought about how the professors really helped me get my engineering degree and I started contributing to Tech at the President’s Club level as my way of saying ‘thank you.’ ”

the brothers to fund the scholarship,” Ron said. “This perpetual scholarship has a balance of $169,636, with two engineering students currently on scholarships.”

Included in the scholarship are funds that resulted from the sale of the property the Theta Xi frat houses were on. After months of chasing and supplying a significant amount of documentation, Ron received the funds from the State of Indiana’s unclaimed funds. He immediately allocated them toward the scholarship. Recently, Ron and a group of his fraternity brothers pledged to the current Zollner Engineering Center Expansion and Renovation project. Their donation will go toward having a room in Zollner named after Theta Xi. “Within this group, there are a lot of guys who are very proud and grateful—for the engineering education they received from Indiana Tech and for their experiences being a part of Theta Xi,” Ron said. “Indiana Tech was our launching pad, and those times helped mold and shape who we became. I can say I am very proud to have been a part of it all.”

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Help us capture Indiana Tech’s history! Indiana Tech is partnering with Publishing Concepts Incorporated (PCI) on the Indiana Tech Oral History Project. This project will capture and preserve alumni memories in digital and print format. Here is how it works: ↘ On March 14, 2022, PCI began reaching out to alumni via postcard, email and phone call to invite them to participate in the project. ↘ Alumni will call PCI to share their stories with professional interviewers. You can submit a photo of your choice. ↘ Stories are recorded, transcribed and edited, and printed in both digital and hard copy books. You are vital to the success of this project as your memories add context and depth to the Indiana Tech story. Whether you graduated last year or decades past, we want to hear from you. Indiana Tech will keep copies of the project in our archive; the book will also be published and stored in the Library of Congress as an official record. Learn more at

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IN MEMORIAM We have learned of the deaths of the following alumni and friends. If you would like to send a memorial gift to honor someone, please contact Dan Grigg, vice president for institutional advancement, at 800.937.2448, ext. 2440.

Garl D. McHenry New Carlisle, Ohio 1949 Radio Engineering

Ronald L. Gould Prescott, Arizona 1959 Electronic Engineering

James A. Whitt Columbia, Missouri 1969 Chemistry

David R. Dayton Bellgrade, Maine 1950 Mechanical Engineering

Charles M. Monroe Marietta, Georgia 1959 Aeronautical Engineering

Rhoda A. Heindselman

Louis E. Palomeque Syracuse, New York 1950 Chemical Engineering

Donald J. McBurney Okeechobee, Florida 1960 Electronic Engineering

Cathy K. French Indianapolis, Indiana 1997 Business Administration

Oliver E. Thorpe Bellingham, Washington 1950 Mechanical Engineering

Frank Germano East Hartford, Connecticut 1962 Mechanical Engineering

Gregory J. Runge Fort Wayne, Indiana 2009 Accounting

Ralph L. McCarty Hillsboro, Ohio 1951 Civil Engineering

Reynold Giannattasio Strasburg, Pennsylvania 1963 Electronic Engineering

William Villane Scotch Plains, New Jersey 1953 Civil Engineering

Vaughn E. Roberts Ocala, Florida 1963 Electronic Engineering

Susan J. Sipes Spencerville, Indiana 2013 Business Administration, 2013 Organizational Leadership

Lloyd G. Sellers Kingston, New York 1954 Radio Engineering

Marcus E. Whitman Pensacola, Florida 1964 Mechanical Engineering

Petro Pryshepa Massillon, Ohio 1956 Mechanical Engineering

Joseph A. D'Italia Fort Wayne, Indiana 1965 Civil Engineering

James J. Smith Newtown, Connecticut 1958 Electrical Engineering

Bruce A. Holter Las Vegas, Nevada 1968 Electrical Engineering


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Bluffton, Indiana 1970 Physics

Brogan M. Curtis Selma, Indiana 2016 Criminal Justice-Crime Analysis

Remember this? One of the most iconic buildings in the history of Indiana Tech is Schick Hall. Built in 1905 when the property was owned by Concordia College, Schick served as one of the primary academic buildings on the campus. The building fell into disrepair and was razed in 1980, but how wonderful would it be to have this beautiful structure still gracing the Indiana Tech campus? What are your memories of Schick Hall? Please share them with us at Send photos, too! It’s possible we’ll share them with everyone in a future issue of Indiana Tech Magazine.

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SAVE THESE DATES Graduate Commencement (master's and doctoral degrees) Friday, May 13; 7-8:30 p.m. Schaefer Center Gymnasium 1600 E. Washington Blvd., Fort Wayne, IN 46803 Undergraduate Commencement (associate and bachelor's degrees) Saturday, May 14; 12:30-2:45 p.m. Allen County War Memorial Coliseum 4000 Parnell Ave., Fort Wayne, IN 46805

TWIST XXXIII Golf Outing Sunday, Sept. 18 Homecoming 2022 Friday, Sept. 30 through Sunday, Oct. 2

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