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DISTINGUISH A J O U R N A L F R O M T H E O F F I C E O F G R A D UAT E S T U D I E S

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contents Dear Friends, Colleagues, and Community Members, We had a very busy year! The Office of Graduate Studies sponsored the inaugural Three Minute Thesis (3MT™) in March. We have a feature on the contest and the winners in this issue, but you will have to wait until fall when we learn how our campus winner finished at the regional contest in Chicago, Illinois. Kumud Joshi will be competing against 23 other winners from universities such as Purdue University, Indiana University, and Notre Dame. Of course to get to the contest, we had seven different workshops that were really fun and challenging, including an improv workshop with a Second City trained comedian from Columbus, Ohio and the Dean of Visual and Performing Arts. We had 15 different faculty who planned and participated in the workshops. The Graduate Student Organization (GSO) partners with the Office of Graduate Studies to sponsor events such as going to a TinCaps game and the spotlight night at a men’s basketball game. The GSO provided snacks and beverages for each of the 3MT™ events. Next year, we hope to bring back the Chili Cook-off and challenge the Graduate Directors to stir up some of their best competition. There are exciting plans for new graduate programs at IPFW. Some plans are still in the discussion phase and others are in the approval process awaiting action by the Boards of Trustees. Our new programs are being designed to respond to the educational needs of northern Indiana and beyond. So where do we get the ideas for new graduate programs? Those ideas come from our students, alumni, faculty, and the community. IPFW maintains close ties with the businesses and industries in our region so that we can update our curricula in our programs as well as design completely new programs. You will need to stay tuned to hear about the new programs as they are approved by the Indiana Commission for Higher Education.

From the Director..................................................... 2 3MT. . ............................................................................ 4 Study Abroad............................................................ 8 Alumni Features. . .................................................... 10 Faculty Spotlight.................................................... 15 IPFW Family Project................................................16 Graduate Student Perspective. . ........................... 18

To help IPFW continue to grow and achieve, we need our students and our alumni to stay involved with our campus. I just came from an alumni meeting where I talked with an alum who is very active on an advisory board for the Doermer School of Business. Do you know that each college and many individual departments have advisory boards? Let your department know that you are interested in volunteering. Maybe you can be a mentor for a graduate student or serve on a valuable committee. You can make a difference in a graduate student’s life. Hope you enjoy seeing what our featured fellow graduate students and faculty are doing in this issue of Distinguish.

Carol Sternberger 2

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IPFW Hosts Inaugural 3MT™ Contest

The Office of Graduate Studies is thrilled that IPFW now offers the Three Minute Thesis (3MT™) competition, a fast-paced research competition developed by The University of Queensland. 3MT™ allows senior undergraduate students and graduate students at IPFW to talk about their exciting research and scholarly projects in 180 seconds. 3MT™ provides a unique opportunity to profile and celebrate the innovative research and scholarly capstone projects of our students. The Office of Graduate studies offers multiple workshops throughout the year designed to prepare students for the competition. The 3MT™ event itself provides students with the opportunity to enhance communication and presentation skills. The inaugural IPFW 3MT™ competition was successfully held on March 2. Four judges, Vicky Carwein (IPFW’s 9th Chancellor), Brian Dumford (Talent Development and Training Manager for Fort Wayne Metals), Kevin Kilbane (Journalist at The News-Sentinel), and Tom Wyss (Former Indiana State Senator) volunteered their time for the event. We’re pleased to announce the winners of the First Place Thesis Award, Second Place Thesis Award, First Place Non-Thesis Award, and People’s Choice Award in this issue of Distinguish!

First Place Thesis Winner: Kumud Joshi, Biology Rag5 Mediated Resistance to Soybean Aphids

First Place Thesis Winner: Kumud Joshi IPFW’s First Place Thesis Winner, Kumud Joshi, will travel to Chicago in April to represent IPFW and compete at The Midwestern Association of Graduate Schools (MAGS) 3MT™ Competition. Getting up and talking to a big crowd was tough for Joshi because she is a shy person in general, so competing in the 3MT and winning was a big deal for her. The growth she experienced and the joy in her mentors’ and family’s faces during her presentation were the most meaningful parts of the process for her. Because Joshi’s topic, “Rag5 Mediated Resistance to Soybean Aphids,” is her thesis, she says she spends nearly every hour of her day thinking about it and working on it. She believes soybeans are such an important crop, and understanding Rag5 and the mechanism of its function will allow us to come up with better aphid management strategies. Soybeans are a big part of our diet and aphids are a major threat to soybean crops. What Joshi is trying to do in her research has a vast practical application that extends beyond her laboratory walls. Very little is understood about the rag genes and there is much to be understood yet. So planning and performing the experiments can be challenging at times. Joshi has always had a desire to help others. She believes her work has a practical application in the real world so it is very rewarding for her. She’s fascinated by science and greatly enjoys doing her research.

Tie for Second Place Thesis Winner: Shannon Kuznar, Biology Oceanic Foodies: Scalloped Hammerhead Diet Shifts - and Jinlong Han, Biology Soybean Vein Necrosis Virus: A New Face to Soybean Diseases First Place Non-Thesis Winner and People’s Choice Winner: Julie Stills, Counselor Education Impacting Academic Success with Peer Mentors

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First Place Non-Thesis Winner and People’s Choice Winner: Julie Stills Julie is passionate about helping at-risk students succeed. Through her work as a counselor, she hopes to empower students to take control of their education. She believes a student’ s positive relationships with peers and others within the school building have a great impact on their personal achievement. As a school counseling intern, one of Julie’s major initiatives has been intervening with students who are off-track to graduate. To assist these students, Julie helped design and implement a peer mentoring program in fall 2015. In Julie’s 3MT™ presentation, she discussed the program’s structure and outcomes. Her presentation, “Impacting Academic Success with Peer Mentors,” won not only first Place Non-Thesis but People’s Choice Award as well. Julie’s 3MT™ highlighted a positive outcome for a student in her mentoring program. She discussed a student improving so much during the first semester of the program that he was able to act as a mentor during the second semester of the program. Triumphs like this are what is most rewarding for Julie. She hopes to continue her work with students in a high school after graduation.

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Jinlong’s research topic, “Biology Soybean Vein Necrosis Virus: A New Face to Soybean Diseases,” is important to him because it opens a door to better understand how plant viruses transmit. He enjoys studying the interaction between viruses, insect vectors, and plants because he’s able to find out effective strategies to control both plant and insect viruses. Unlike viruses that cause human diseases, most plant viruses have been largely ignored. However, plant viruses are responsible for losses in crop quality and yield in all parts of the world. Modern human diets are heavily dependent on only commercial crops such as soybeans. Because of this, there is a need to protect these plants from various plant pathogens in order to maintain a high level of food production. It is vital that people understand the impact of these plant viruses and how to control them so that people can obtain better and safer food products. Jinlong finds it exciting to learn something new from his research every day. Because of his research, he’s noticed that he sees the world differently when he goes outside and sees living things. He’s begun to view them in a different light, a miraculous and lovely one.

Shannon Kuznar discussed diet shifts as influenced by cephalofoil morphology and related ontogenetic allometry of scalloped hammerhead sharks in her 3MT. She’s always been fascinated by sharks and is constantly amazed by the fact that the basic “blueprint” of their design has remained unchanged over hundreds of millions of years, which indicates this design has been beautifully effective in promoting the survival of these fish. With evolution being the crazy force it is, some very interesting variations of this blueprint have been produced in extant sharks, particularly evident in the unique head design of Shannon’s study species. There are a lot of questions as to why their unique head structure is advantageous for hammerhead sharks, but few answers, so she’s proud to help investigate. While Shannon’s research will require a large field component, meaning she must travel to Costa Rica where conditions could be unpredictable, she’s happy to work directly with and learn more about these animals. 7


Travel! It’s Not Too Late and It’s Not Too Expensive. The number one thing the Office of International Education wants grad students to know about study abroad: It’s not too late for an international experience! While trying to build the study abroad program as a part of IPFW’s 2020 goals, the biggest problem the Assistant Director for International Programs, Meg Underwood, encounters is the lack of knowledge about program possibilities. While IPFW students have access to more than 900 programs from IPFW, IU, Purdue, and third-party providers, fewer than 100 students study abroad each year. And among those few, only 1-2 of those students are graduate students each year. If IPFW graduates are trying to compete in a global market, their experiences must go beyond their diploma. Currently, IPFW graduates are far behind national and international trends.

Student Spotlight: Jan Venderly, graduate student in Linguistics and TENL Beyond trying to compete with other institutions or countries, the personal and professional benefits of international experience is clear when talking to past travelers and future students. Jan Venderly, Linguistics and TENL graduate student and former teacher, cited professional development and personal growth as the reasons she will be studying abroad this summer. Jan will be participating in Professor Mieko Yamada’s Sociological Research and Field Experience in Japan where she will conduct research and get to work with Japanese university students, faculty, staff, and community members for two weeks in June. The program in Japan is one of six available programs through the IPFW Division of Continuing Studies that offers IPFW students and community members a chance to travel and earn credit on short-term faculty-led programs. Other programs available for grad students and community members that run frequently include VPA’s Art of Italy, CFC’s Culinary Tour of Tuscany, Anthropology’s Field School in Scotland, and Archeological Field School in Peru. To find out more, please visit www.ipfw.edu/educationaltravel. Venderly first gained international experience as an undergraduate student when she took a break in her studies and spent a year in Dublin. She said that she is hoping this break from a normal term in Japan will help her feel refreshed and refocused to start writing her thesis. She is also looking forward to getting some real experience working with Japanese students learning English and a chance to do research. When asked if she thought the program was worth the expense, she replied: Yes! “The Division of Continuing Studies, the entity that coordinates the trip, takes care of all of the logistics of traveling with the university. That’s priceless. As Professor Yamada knows the places we’re going well, she will serve as a special, indispensable guide. And, of course, since this is a study abroad endeavor, we’re earning academic credit toward our degree.”

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Photo courtesy of Jan Venderly from a recent trip to Peru. Where and how can other students study abroad? IPFW graduate students can take advantage of gaining credit overseas through IU, Purdue, IPFW, and many third-party providers. There are also many scholarships and travel grants available to graduate students such as a Fulbright Grant that funds up to a year abroad for research or teaching or a Boren Fellowship that provides up to $30,000 for U.S. graduate students to specialize in language study or increase language proficiency in a critical need language. Please visit www. ipfw.edu/offices/iss/ for more information. - Reported by Meg Underwood

Photo courtesy of Lynn Kiess 9


IPFW Graduate Studies Alumni: Where Are They Now? Kody Tinnel, Masters of Public Affairs

Ivana Donevska, M.S., Applied Computer Science

Q: What is your new position?

A: Human Resources Recruiter, Fort Wayne Community Schools Q: What are your job duties and responsibilities? A: As the Human Resources Recruiter, I work to find talented individuals to fill a wide variety of roles within the school system, including teachers, support staff, cafeteria assistants, and administrators, among many others. Depending on the week, I may be posting openings to job boards, attending recruitment events, corresponding with prospective applicants, reviewing applications, managing social media accounts, and assisting with the hiring process. I am also working on various long-term projects intended to guide future recruitment strategies.

Q: What is your new position? A: Manager of Analytics at the AML Analytics, Risk and Operational Excellence department Q: What are your job duties and responsibilities? A: I help the BMO AML department identify suspicious activity by using technology. On a regular day, I work on big data analyses on various software platforms and utilizing programming languages like SAS, python and SQL. I also use visualization tools for presentation of my analyses, as well as develop applications in C#/JAVA/Visual Basic for various project initiatives. Another big component of my day is teamwork and designing the architecture for our technical solutions.

Q: Is your first job after graduation what you expected it to be, how so?

Q: Is your first job after graduation what you expected it to be, how so?

A: This position has exceeded my expectations. I was concerned that my first job after graduation would not require the skills and knowledge I gained in the graduate program. I have been pleasantly surprised each week by how much I use what I learned in the classroom.

A: It was an adventure where I learned a lot about working in the real world. I was an Algorithmic Trader for Simplex Investments and had to quickly acquire knowledge about how to make smart trades with my code. The biggest change was in my responsibilities, I had to transition from being a researcher and student to a full time software developer for applications where speed and performance were critical.

Q: What is the most challenging thing about your new position? How about the most rewarding? A: The most challenging element in my position is the volume of open positions with Fort Wayne Community Schools. We are one of the largest employers in the city so we are always seeking talented individuals interested in working in education. The most rewarding aspect of my job is knowing that my efforts help to support public education in my community. The job of educating all students naturally requires a great deal of manpower, both in and out of the classroom. I am happy that I have the opportunity to find great people to do the important work of educating young people in Fort Wayne. Q: What experiences in graduate school helped prepare you for your first position post-graduation? A: My role requires a great deal of planning, analysis, research, and reporting. All of these tasks were developed and refined in the MPA program at IPFW. Much of the information I learned about public organizations has also come into play working for a public school system. I would not be able to have the same impact in this position without the education and experience gained during my time at IPFW. -Reported by Julie Stills 10

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Q: What is the most challenging thing about your new position? How about the most rewarding? A: The biggest challenge comes from the vast amounts of data with which I have to work. Figuring out which programming language, platform, algorithm, and visualization tool works best for the needs of a project is the most difficult phase of the analysis. Also, an additional challenge comes from the confidentiality of the data and ensuring all the phases of implementation are secure and safe based on the highest corporate standards. The reward is high when a project is successfully complete and I have helped our teams achieve important AML goals. Q: What experiences in graduate school helped prepare you for your first position post-graduation? A: Definitely the ‘Artificial Intelligence’ course, my master’s thesis, teaching Visual Basic and taking ‘Computer Graphics’ and ‘Algorithm Design and Optimization’. I was lucky to have professors who are smart and inspiring, believed in me, and helped me tremendously. -Reported by Julie Stills 11


IPFW Graduate Studies Alumni: Where Are They Now? Hanan Alyami, M.S., Mathematical Sciences Q: What is your new position? A: Math Instructor, Ivy Tech Community College Q: What are your job duties and responsibilities? A: I mainly teach mathematics (specifically trigonometry and quantitative reasoning). I prep my lesson plan, lecture, conduct office hours, advise students, offer math workshops, among other responsibilities. Q: Is your first job after graduation what you expected it to be, how so? A: Yes, I pursued a master’s in math because I wanted to teach post-secondary level. That is exactly what I do now! Q: What is the most challenging thing about your new position? A: Adjusting to the responsibility of a full time instructor, because we have to do more than just teaching! Q: What experiences in graduate school helped prepare you for your first position post-graduation? A: Back at IPFW, I was a Graduate Teaching Assistant. That experience gave me an insight on how to teach post-secondary, which is something I was interested in doing, but I never had any prior experience. - Reported by Julie Stills

Tyson Weister, M.A., Professional Communications Q: What is your new position? A: Survey Statistician, U.S. Census Bureau’s American Community Survey Office Q: What are your job duties and responsibilities? A: Our branch provides education and outreach to data users of the American Community Survey (ACS), the Census Bureau’s largest ongoing survey. The ACS replaced the long form of the decennial census to provide over 11 billion estimates of new data every year on social, economic, housing, and demographic characteristics of the U.S. population. Day-to-day activities include: Providing data user support, conducting webinars and presentations, exhibiting at conferences, and managing website content. Q: Is your first job after graduation what you expected it to be, how so? A: My first job after graduation is well-aligned with my academic background in communication, economics, and public affairs. The Census Bureau did a great job describing the position ahead of time. I knew I would be communicating about ACS statistics, and after some time on the job I’ve grown to love the meaningful work that we do even more. Q: What is the most challenging thing about your new position? How about the most rewarding? A: The most challenging part of being a Survey Statistician has been trying to learn the vast amount of information needed for the job. We provide service and outreach to all kinds of data users, from novice to advanced users. I have always enjoyed customer service. The most rewarding feeling is knowing that I helped a data user with their research. Q: What experiences in graduate school helped prepare you for your first position post-graduation? A: The Department of Communication graduate program well-prepared me for my new position. Team-based projects, research methods courses, and presenting at the National Communication Association (NCA) conference were particularly helpful experiences. My advice to other students is to take advantage of every opportunity given to you, especially those beyond the classroom. These will often be the most helpful and marketable in your new career. - Reported by Julie Stills

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IPFW Graduate Studies Alumni: The Importance of Internships Courtney Trout, M.P.A., Public Policy

Faculty Spotlight: Kim O’Conner,

OLS Graduate Director and Assistant Professor

Kim talks about her research, publications, and integrating her research into teaching. Q: Describe your research and the relevance it may have for graduate students.

Q: How did your internship experience prepare you for your current job position? A: My internship experience helped prepare me for my current position because it helped me understand the patient flow at the hospital. I did my internship hours with Lutheran while I was employed there so I was able to learn functions outside my position as a registrar that looked at the full picture of the patient experience for outpatient procedures. I was able to follow the patient from point of scheduling to the point where they received a bill. This has helped me greatly in my position as a Patient Access Supervisor. Knowing the process helps me better problem solve and create new processes because I understand how each step affects another. Q: What should current graduate students consider when looking for an internship? A: When graduate students are looking for an internship, they need to look for internships that will help them gain the knowledge that they need to reach their goals. They need to look at their longterm goal, and find an internship that will help set them on the right track for what they want to do. If they do not have an end goal, then pick an internship in a field that they are interested in pursuing and use that as a guide to see if they want to work further towards that goal. Do not choose an internship just because it is offered to you or because it is paid. If it does not help you reach your ultimate goal, then the convenience and money are not worth the time that you could have spent working gaining knowledge for the future. Q: What are the biggest challenges you face in your job position and what are some of the greatest rewards? A: The biggest challenge that I face in my position is the ever-changing environment of health care and finance. Since the implementation of the Affordable Care Act, the insurance market is everchanging. We deal with frequent changes in contracts and there are more health insurance plans than ever. We have to make sure that we are staying compliant with these contract changes and billing for the patients’ services under the correct plans. The most rewarding part of being a patient access supervisor is being an active part of strategic planning. I am able to help mold the way that we operate on a daily basis and continually make improvements to the patient’s experience. - Reported by Carly Thompson 14

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A: My research area involves social media and the law. Specifically, I study when applicants or employees’ personal social media use impacts their jobs. For example, companies might select or deselect candidates based upon what they see about that candidate online (more than 90% of companies report that they look). Also, companies may terminate an employee for a status update or a particular picture that they post, even if it might not be about their job. There are legal issues involved in each of these situations such as potential discrimination or wrongful termination. The language of company policies also plays a big role, and the language varies tremendously from company to company. There are also some laws in place (though not many) that protect employees. Q: Are you currently working on any publications? A: In the last year, I have published five journal articles, and I have a book chapter in press. All involve the legal issues surrounding social media use by employees or job candidates. All are co-authored with Professor Gordon Schmidt (OLS), and some are co-authored with Psychology Professors Michelle Drouin and Dan Miller. The information is so important because social media is so prevalent in today’s society. For example, Facebook alone has over 1 billion subscribers world-wide. Because of this, personal social media usage inevitably becomes intertwined with the workplace. I am interested in it from an employment law perspective. Laws that exist to provide some protection to employees include the First Amendment, the National Labor Relations Act, as well as some state law protections. Q: How do you incorporate your research into your graduate classes? A: I incorporate my research into graduate classes by educating students about the law, as well as what online behaviors to likely avoid. My students also learn about organizational policy and the importance of understanding the language of any social media policy, as well as the potential impact that violations of policy might have on their careers. It is very easy to incorporate my research into my graduate classes, specifically with regard to our OLS masters students who choose the Human Resource track. In their future careers, these students will be on the front lines of this issue. HR professionals often handle recruiting, hiring, terminations of employment, and they often write the company policies on social media and the like. It is very important that our students leave the program with a solid understanding of social media and the law. - Reported by Carly Thompson

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IPFW Family Project: IPFW Counseling Interns Give Back to the Community Tyler Borsa, 2015 Graduate of the IPFW Counselor Education Program, holds a key role in maintaining a program funded by The Lutheran Foundation.

Q: Tyler, what is the Family Project and what is your role in the program? At the start of the fall semester, I accepted a position as Clinical Supervisor of the IPFW Family Project. The IPFW Family Project is funded by The Lutheran Foundation under a grant that was received this fall by Professor Amy Nitza, Associate Professor and Chair of the Department of Professional 16

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Studies at IPFW. The Family Project gives interns in their third year in the Counselor Education program the opportunity to practice family counseling while utilizing a specific approach called Functional Family Therapy (FFT). The FFT model is for families with adolescents who exhibit such problems as oppositional defiant disorder, conduct disorder, truancy, family conflict, depression, anxiety, and more. FFT is family focused and emphasizes existing strengths of families while building upon these qualities. My role as Clinical Supervisor involves engagement in FFT training, supervision of interns, and carrying a small caseload to gain experience using the model. Additionally, this position includes community outreach for family referrals. I, along with Professor Nitza and Lidija Hurni, our Clinical Director, educate and communicate with school counselors in order to inform them of our services. Schools in Allen County have been our major sources of referrals and outreach. -Reported by Julie Stills

IPFW Family Project FAQS What services does the Family Project offer?

How does our family schedule an appointment to begin counseling?

The Family Project offers counseling services to families with youth ages 11 to 18 who have problems related to delinquency, substance abuse, violence, problems at school, anxiety, depression, and more.

Families or referrals can contact the IPFW Family Project at the IPFW Community Counseling Center by phone at 260-481-5479. Counselors are available in the evenings to work around family, school, and work commitments. Sessions are scheduled by appointment only.

How much does it cost? Counseling services at the IPFW Community Counseling Center are FREE.

Where can I find the IPFW Community Counseling Center?

Who can attend counseling sessions?

Dolnick Learning Center 100 Baker Drive North Fort Wayne, Indiana 46835

It is preferred that the youth, his/ her family, and anyone else living in the youth’s home attend therapy. Attendees do not have to be affiliated with IPFW in any capacity.

260-481-5479 www.ipfw.edu/counseling-center

What are services like? Counselors and counseling interns at the Family Project utilize an approach called Functional Family Therapy (FFT), which places emphasis on family strengths and is considered short-term counseling (12 to14 or more sessions).

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Graduate Assistant Perspective Istiaque Maruf Ahmad, Graduate Student in the Department of Electrical and Computer Engineering shares his experience of being a Teaching Assistant. Teaching Assistant (TA) involvement in day-to-day work is very challenging and there are common responsibilities and duties which generally a TA has to perform: prepare lectures, overseeing student activities, to give support to students in particular actions or to finish particular tasks; it can differ from class to class. As a full-time student, it is necessary to maintain good grades in all classes in which he or she is enrolled. This is the biggest challenge for every TA, but it’s doable because all TAs must learn how to manage their time properly. Balancing this job alongside classes and my other responsibilities on campus proved to be a huge challenge when I started the job. My drive to succeed forced me to learn how to have really good time management skills. Also, the class I am a TA for is a major lab class. Being an electrical engineering student, this class is really important for any future electrical engineer. I have to give lectures for the lab which encouraged me to study the subject again and again. I have mastered the subject so well that it’s like the lyrics to a song that just keep repeating every semester. I remember I used to shake with nervousness when stepping up in front of a crowd to speak. The public speaking class I took during my freshman year helped me with this fear a lot, but it was being a TA that gave me the large amount of practice I needed. Lecturing felt incredibly natural as the semesters went on and I got used to speaking in front of a crowd. Professors complain all the time about students not doing their work or not putting effort into their work. Being a TA has allowed me to experience the professor’s perspective for myself. When students aren’t trying, I can now sense it just like a professor can. This whole experience has made me realize what it means to be a good student and what it means to put effort and time into assignments rather than waiting until the last minute.

DISTINGUISH

- Reported by Carly Thompson

IPFW is an Equal Opportunity/Equal Access University. 18

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Distinguish issue 3 spring2016  

The IPFW Office of Graduate Studies' online magazine.