PNC Books and Coffee Series Continues

Purdue University North Central will continue its “Books & Coffee” discussion series during the spring semester. The programs are free and open to the public and meet from noon to about 1 p.m. in Library-Student-Faculty Building, Assembly Hall, Room 170A, located adjacent to the cafeteria. Directions to PNC and a campus map can be found at

Each session will feature a review of the book, followed by a discussion period. The books being reviewed are available in the PNC Bookstore. This semester’s selections include:

Feb.16 – Steve Tallackson, PNC limited term lecturer in History, will review “The New Jim Crow, Mass Incarceration in the Age of Color Blindness” by Michelle Alexander. The author is an associate professor of Law at Ohio State University and the Kirwin Institute for the Study of Race and Ethnicity, contends that “we have not ended racial caste in America: we have merely redesigned it.” She asserts that by targeting black men through the War on Drugs and decimating communities of color, the U.S. criminal justice system functions as a contemporary system of racial control — relegating millions to a permanent second class status — even as the country formally adheres to the principle of color blindness.

March 23 – Peggy Glennie will discuss “The Isle of Iona by Paula Evans. Glennie, who previously taught English Composition at PNC, wrote this book under a pen name. The book is set in Cadymoor, Scotland, a quaint coastal village the twentieth century has passed by. Residents live in fear of their selectman, Harry Nixon, with the exception of one school teacher, Heather MacIntosh. Harry uses fear and threats to exile any hapless resident to the Isle of Iona, a one-time religious retreat. The exiled person is never heard from again.

Heather is confident of her safety. Her brother is one of the sailors who has the duty to escort refugees to their new home, but that does not prevent her from standing trial on charges trumped up by Nixon. Her exile is all but guaranteed. Over the centuries, Iona has taken on the aura of a veritable hellhole. But there is a good reason no one on Iona tries to contact their families back in Cadymoor. With a self-governing population that thrives on freedom of thought, speech and creativity, who wants to ruin a good thing and chance Nixon finding out?

April 6 – Sunny Akhigbe will review “A Boy and His Dream” by Ambrose Okosun. Akhigbe, a graduate of the PNC MBA program, wrote this book under a pen name. Author Ambrose Okosun was beginning his life in March of 1973 in Lekki, Nigeria, as his parents’ marriage was ending. Left with his grandparents to eke out a living in a small village, Okosun was separated from his mother and was not allowed to see his birth father.

Okosun shares the struggles he endured and how he overcome those early challenges. From hunger to being ostracized by a polygamist family, he experienced severe poverty while growing up. At the same time, his elders imparted important lessons, including the message that he was in charge of his own destiny.

Learning by trial and error and with guidance from God, Okosun tells how he became educated, earned several degrees and immigrated to the United States. “A Boy and His Dream” narrates the story of a man who has come a long way from being an abused little boy in Nigeria.

Additional information about Books and Coffee may be obtained by contacting Dr. Jerry Holt, chair of English and Modern Language, at 219-785-5346 or To request a disability-related accommodation for this event, please contact the PNC Office of Institutional Equity, 219-785-5545.

PNC Construction Club Networking Luncheon a Success

PNC Construction Club 2016

Left to right – Purdue University North Central Construction Club President Robert Kennedy, PNC Chancellor Dr. James B. Dworkin, La Porte County Habitat for Humanity Executive Director Bob Long and PNC Construction Club Vice President Jeremy Booker present a signed wooden plank to Habitat for Humanity signed by attendees of a recent Construction Club networking luncheon at PNC.

The Purdue University North Central Construction Club recently hosted its second annual networking luncheon and successfully introduced some of the most successful general contractors, engineers, architects and builders in Northwest Indiana and Chicagoland to Purdue North Central and Calumet students majoring in Construction Engineering, Management Technology, Civil Engineering and other areas of engineering and technology.

The event included a career fair with several companies actively recruiting interns and employees. Students had the opportunity to present their resumes, speak to company representatives, ask questions and gather information.

“This is a great way for students to get together with potential employers in a more casual atmosphere than a traditional job interview,” said Construction Club President Robert Kennedy, a Construction Engineering and Management Technology major.

Participating companies included” Berglund Construction Inc., Burling Builders Inc., Career Center at PNC, Construction Advancement Foundation, D.A Dodd Inc., Haas & Associates, Larson-Danielson Construction Company Inc., NIES Engineering Inc., Old Veteran Construction Inc., Powers and Sons Construction, Tonn and Blank Construction and Ziolkowski Construction Inc.

Students sat with the professionals during lunch, presenting a unique opportunity to chat and get to know one another. Conversations did not necessarily center on academics or work. The professionals were happy to share their insights into what employers look for when hiring and give some insight into the job market and the skills required for the jobs their companies offer.

“This is a nice opportunity for us to meet prospective employees,” said Amanda Roe of Burling Builders, who left with a number of quality resumes. “Many of our employees are Purdue alumni. We know that Purdue graduates are smart, talented individuals.”

Tony Oss, a Larson-Danielson project development manager, is a Purdue graduate. The company owners are Purdue alumni, as are most employees.

“I am here to support the program and to find new employees,” he said. “This is a great event.”

PNC student Justin Rhinefield, a Construction Engineering and Management Technology major, attended the event to network, hoping to get some leads on a job. “It’s much easier to connect with someone with a face-to-face conversation, rather than sending in a resume,” he said.

Jeremy Smith, also a Construction Engineering and Management Technology major, will graduate in May.
“I’m ready to get started with my career,” he said. “I made a few connections. This was really helpful.”

Students visiting the Powers and Sons table were greeted by PNC alumna Cassie Carlson. She earned her degree in Communication and serves as Powers and Sons marketing coordinator. During the luncheon, Carlson cheerfully welcomed PNC students, spoke about the opportunities offered by Powers and Sons and collected resumes. Construction Club President Kennedy currently works for Powers and Sons as well.

The Construction Club has a close relationship with the La Porte County Habitat for Humanity. The luncheon raised more than $3,500 that will help fund the cost of the next Habitat for Humanity home in La Porte County.
Bob Long, executive director of La Porte County Habitat for Humanity, was the keynote speaker. He discussed how Habitat helps to make home ownership possible for area families and the vital role that the community plays in the organization’s success.

The PNC Construction Club has been a campus fixture for more than 25 years. The club is dedicated to helping out in the community and connecting students to industry professionals. Club members participate in the Regional Construction Management Competition at the International Builders Show and the National Association of Home Builders Regional Construction Management Competition.

Members volunteer to help with Habitat for Humanity and other community projects that help those in need rebuild, repair and restore their homes and properties.

Kennedy noted that PNC students learn construction fundamentals, management, estimating, scheduling, materials, strengths, soils, concrete, structural calculations, surveying and do architecture design utilizing the latest architectural software.

“I am confident that the employers successfully connected with some well-rounded, educated individuals whom will become great assets to their organizations,” said Kennedy.

Information about the PNC Construction Club is available at

PNC Accounting Students Offer Free Tax Service

Students from Purdue University North Central tax and accounting classes are again offering free assistance to the public in preparing federal and state income tax returns. This program is designed to provide basic income tax return preparation to individuals with low to moderate incomes, individuals with disabilities, and the elderly.

This is the 27th year that PNC has participated in the Internal Revenue Service’s Volunteer Income Tax Assistance (VITA) program. Due to support from the La Porte County United Way, the program has been expanded this year to accommodate more clients. This program offers free filing help to individuals and families with Gross Incomes of $53,000 or less. Gross Income is defined as income from all sources. Tax Returns will be prepared for income from wages, salaries, tips, pensions, ordinary interest, dividends, unemployment compensation, or Social Security benefits.

Appointments are required. Appointments will be available from 9:15 a.m. to 12:30 p.m. on all Saturdays from February 13 through March 26 with the exception of March 12. The service will be offered in Room 109 of the Technology Building on the PNC campus. Due to a recent IRS changes, this year’s tax returns can now be prepared for taxpayers who need to file an Indiana Return, but are not required to file a federal tax return (state only returns).

Thomas Holets, continuing lecturer of Accounting and coordinator of the PNC program, said the student VITA volunteers are prepared to help with basic returns, including the 1040, 1040A, 1040 EZ, and the Indiana IT-40. Returns which include interest and dividend income, Itemized Deductions, Earned Income Credit (EIC), and basic stock and bond transactions will also be prepared. Taxpayers are expected to participate in the IRS e-file program, unless there is a technical reason which prevents e-filing.

The volunteer tax preparers have completed 12 credit hours in accounting, including at least one tax course at Purdue North Central, and passed a rigorous IRS examination on tax rules and filing procedures.

The tax preparation services offered include:
Form 1040 with Schedules A, B, EIC, D, & R
Form 2441 (Child and Dependent Care Credit)
Form 8863 (Educational Credits)
Form 8812 (Additional Child Tax Credit)

Forms that will NOT be prepared are:
Schedule C (Profit & Loss from Business) (Example Cosmetic Sales or Other Self-Employment)
Complicated & Advanced Schedule D (i.e. Capital Gains & Losses on portfolio Stock Sales)
Schedule E (Rents & Losses)
Schedule F (Farm Income or Income from Rental of Farm Property)
Form 2106 (Employee Business Expenses)
Form 3909 (Moving)
Form 8606 (Non-deductible IRA)
Form 8615 (Minor’s Investment Income)
Form SS-5 (Request for Social Security Number)
Returns for taxpayers that are on active Military Duty
Injured or Innocent Spouse Returns
Cancellation of Debt

Assistance with Health or Medical Savings Accounts (W-2 Box 12 Code W or W-2 Box 12 Code R) is not currently available. It may become available early in March. Call to check on availability later in the season.

Students do not prepare self-employment returns (no Schedule C, Schedule SE) this type of income is often reported to on FORM 1099-MISC.

To request an appointment, please call the United Way toll-free at 1-877-502-0700.

PNC Presents “Intimate Illinois Landscapes” Art Exhibit

Rollman Landscapes

The Purdue University North Central Odyssey Arts and Cultural Events Series will present the exhibit “Intimate Illinois Landscapes” featuring the work of artist Charlotte Rollman in the first floor, north study area of the PNC Technology Building. It is free and open to the public. The will continue through May.

Building hours are Monday through Friday, 7 a.m. to 11 p.m.; Saturday, 7 a.m. to 5 p.m. and Sunday, 7 a.m. to 5 p.m. during the school semester; otherwise the building is closed on Sunday.

These four watercolor landscape paintings were donated to Purdue North Central from the Estate of Lawrence Schlam, professor emeritus of Northern Illinois University School of Law. The paintings are part of a larger collection owned by Schlam, who was a collector of Rollman’s work.

Rollman is primarily known as a regional landscape watercolorist. Her landscape watercolor paintings are painted in three layers. The lighter hues are painted first with a lot of energy and emotion. Darker hues are applied in the second layer creating more substantial forms. Lastly, lines are applied with a wet tip of the brush.

Rollman LandscapeRollman is a Professor of Art emeritus at Northern Illinois University. Her work has been exhibited across the Midwest and in New York City and is featured in public collections throughout the country. She has provided art for book illustrations and CD covers.

Some of the artist’s past gallery affiliations include New Harmony Contemporary Art Gallery, Roy Boyd Art Gallery, Suzanne Brown Gallery, Nancy Lurie Gallery and Northern Illinois University Gallery and the Bowry Gallery in New York City.

For information about this exhibit or the Odyssey Arts and Cultural Events Series, contact Judy Jacobi, PNC assistant vice chancellor of Marketing and Campus Relations, at 219-785-5593To request a disability-related accommodation, contact the Office of Institutional Equity, 219-785-5545.

PNC Hosts Martin Luther King Jr. Celebration Activities

Purdue University North Central will be the site of the 21st annual Martin Luther King Jr. Community Celebration Breakfast on Monday, Jan. 18 in the PNC Library-Student-Faculty Building cafeteria. The day’s theme is “Speak and Live the Dream.”

The event, sponsored by the Martin Luther King Jr. Community Celebration Committee and hosted by Purdue North Central, is free and open to the public. The doors open at 7:15 a.m. Breakfast will be served at 7:30 a.m., with the program to begin at 8 a.m. Reservations are not required.


Monique Nunes

The keynote speaker will be Monique Nunes, associate director for the Valparaiso University Office of Multicultural Programs.

Nunes is a joy-filled educator and spirit-filled vocalist. She speaks and sings across the country and abroad on topics related to women, children and faith. She has a master’s degree in Human Resource Development and is a member of Alpha Kappa Alpha Sorority. Her best friend and life coach is also her husband, Dr. John Nunes, who was the keynote speaker at the 2015 Martin Luther King Jr. Community Celebration. Dr. Nunes is president-elect of Concordia College-New York and Monique Nunes will be the director of International Programs at Martin Luther School in New York, effective July 1, 2016.

The emcee for the morning’s event will be Wendel McCollum, principal of Michigan City High School.  Musical entertainment will be provided by the Michigan City Youth Choir, directed by Cornell Burton.

Alpha Kappa Alpha Sorority Family Strengthening Programs is sponsoring a family seasonal wrap drive. Guests are encouraged to donate new or gently used hats, gloves, socks, scarves, coats, sweaters and other seasonal wraps that will be given to local families in need.

Following the breakfast, guests are invited to take part in the PNC début of the sculpture “Rosa Parks Bench” by sculptor Jim Gallucci. This is the most recent addition to the PNC Odyssey Arts and Cultural Events Series. The bench commemorates Parks’ historic bus ride and serves as a daily reminder of her place in history. It is an interactive piece and visitors are invited to sit on the bench to rest and reflect.

Students in the PNC Department of Education will welcome area children ages 3 to 12 at the Michigan City Public Library from 10:30 a.m. to noon to enjoy age-appropriate, hands-on activities that focus on the life of Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr.

The 2016 Martin Luther King Jr. Community Celebration sponsors include: Premier donors: Purdue University North Central Chancellor’s Diversity Fund, LaPorte Herald Argus and Michigan City News-Dispatch, Harbour Trust & Investment Management Company and NIPSCO. Gold sponsors: Sinai Temple of Michigan City and the Michigan City Human Rights Commission. Silver sponsors: LaPorte Savings Bank, Unity Foundation of La Porte County, 1st Source Bank, Dr. and Mrs. David Pratt, Michigan City Women’s Commission and Visit Michigan City La Porte Convention and Visitors Bureau. Bronze donors: Alpha Kappa Alpha Sorority, Inc., Sigma Phi Omega Chapter and National Association for the Advancement of Colored People. Other donor: League of Women Voters of LaPorte County.

To obtain more information about the Martin Luther King Jr. Community Celebration Breakfast, contact Laura Odom, associate director of the PNC Office of Institutional Equity at (219) 785-5545 or  To request a disability-related accommodation for this event, please contact the PNC Office of Institutional Equity, 219-785-5545.

PNC Workshop for Digital Photography & Photoshop Intermediate Users

The Purdue University North Central Office of Graduate and Extended Learning will offer a non-credit workshop for those who want to advance their skills in Digital Photography and Adobe Photoshop.

The program will take place at the PNC Westville campus on Thursdays from Jan. 28 to March 3 from 5:15 to 7:15 p.m. each week. The registration fee for community members is $189 and special rates are available for PNC students, alumni and employees. The deadline to register is Jan. 21.

The class will be taught by PNC limited term lecturer, George Kassal. There are no prerequisites. The photography portion of this class will concentrate on how to get sharp and properly exposed photos in a variety of situations. The course will combine a mixture of lecture, discussion and guided shooting exercises that concentrate on how to use the manual controls in your digital camera. Subject matter will include close-ups, portraits, night time/blue-hour and off-camera flash.

During the Adobe Photoshop portion of the workshop, participants will import images, then use a variety of techniques involving layers, filters, color adjustments, sharpening, image modes and other adjustments to edit the images. There will also be a focus on using keyboard shortcuts the benefits of using various file formats, and file cataloging/naming techniques.

To register or obtain further information about this program, visit or contact Cassandra Boehlke, coordinator of Graduate and Extended Learning, at (219) 785-5200 ext. 5343 or Persons with disabilities requiring accommodations should contact (219) 785-5748.

PNC One-Night Introductory Digital Photography & Photoshop Seminar

The Purdue University North Central Office of Graduate and Extended Learning will offer a one-night seminar that is open to anyone who wants to learn or refresh their knowledge about basic digital photography and Adobe Photoshop skills.

The program will take place at the PNC Westville campus on Tuesday, Jan. 26, from 5:15 to 8:45 p.m., and will be taught by PNC limited term lecturer George Kassal. Registration for community members is $89 and includes all materials. Special rates are available for PNC and PUC students, alumni and employees. The deadline to register is Jan. 19.

This seminar will also bring learners up to speed if they want to join the upcoming PNC Intermediate Digital Photography and Adobe Photoshop Workshop that will be offered on Thursdays beginning Jan. 28 and ending on March 3.

In the refresher seminar, participants will review basic camera controls for adjusting exposure, white balance, flash and shooting modes. They will get hands-on experience with Adobe Photoshop and review how to navigate menus, use tools and layers, and manage image files in Photoshop and Windows.

To register or obtain further information about this program, visit or contact Cassandra Boehlke, coordinator of Graduate and Extended Learning, at (219) 785-5200 ext. 5343 or Persons with disabilities requiring accommodations should contact (219) 785-5748.

PNC Construction Club Connects Students with Professionals

Left to Right - Dwight Graham, treasurer of Board of Directors, LaPorte County Habitat for Humanity; Robert Kennedy, PNC Construction Club vice president; Bob Long, executive director LaPorte County Habitat for Humanity

Left to Right – Dwight Graham, treasurer of Board of Directors, LaPorte County Habitat for Humanity; Robert Kennedy, PNC Construction Club vice president; Bob Long, executive director LaPorte County Habitat for Humanity

Members of the Purdue University North Central Construction Club will host a networking luncheon on Thursday, Jan. 14 at 11 a.m. in the Library-Student-Faculty Building.

The luncheon will bring the most successful general contractors, engineers, architects and builders in Northwest Indiana and Chicagoland to the PNC campus to network with students earning degrees in Construction Engineering Management, Civil Engineering and Business Management.

This year the Construction Club is partnering with the La Porte County Habitat for Humanity to help raise funds for the Building Homes and Strengthening Families challenge which will help fund the cost to build the next Habitat for Humanity home in La Porte County.

The keynote speaker will be Bob Long, executive director of La Porte County Habitat for Humanity. A 2014 Construction Club networking event raised more than $2,000 in tax-deductible donations for the Club and for Habitat for Humanity. The event brought many professionals to PNC for the first time and provided an ideal opportunity for students and professionals to get together in an informal setting.

By speaking with the professionals, students are able to explore the many career options available to get a better idea of how they may apply their talents. Students learn what employers look for when hiring and the guests are able to answer questions and give their insight into the job market and the skills required for the jobs their companies offer.

Advance registration is required and can be completed at Admission is free for Construction Club members, who must show a student ID at the door. PNC student admission is $10, with a student ID. Individual admission is $30 and business sponsors are $200, which includes a presentation table if requested.

Companies that have confirmed to attend are: Berglund Construction, Inc., Chesterton; DA Dodd, Inc., Rolling Prairie; Burling Builders, Chicago; NIES Engineering, Hammond; Powers and Sons Construction, Gary and Ziolkowski Construction, Inc., South Bend.

Companies may participate in the event by contacting Construction Club president Robert Kennedy at or 219-878-3249.

“This luncheon will provide a unique opportunity for PNC students to meet with representatives from a number of established, well-known companies,” said Kennedy. “Some of the companies are interested in hiring students for internships and full-time positions. It is a great time to establish relationships.”

Kennedy himself has more than 10 years of experience in the field and has worked on a number of large projects. He is earning a PNC degree in Construction Engineering Management Technology to enhance his credentials and to further establish his career. He currently works for Powers and Sons Construction in Gary.

The Construction Club has a successful association with Habitat for Humanity. Earlier this year, Construction Club members and Powers & Sons worked together to collect and transport unused, spare materials from a completed Powers & Sons project to the Gary and Michigan City Habitat for Humanity ReStores.

Last year the club connected Habitat for Humanity with Continental Carpentry Components, a local roof and floor truss manufacturer, to provide roof and floor trusses for two recent habitat houses. Club members volunteer at recent house builds throughout the area.

Learn more about the luncheon and the PNC Construction Club at

Unifying Purdue Northwest campuses select future nickname and mascot

Purdue University Calumet and Purdue University North Central announced today the nickname and athletics mascot for the emerging Purdue University Northwest (PNW).

Purdue Northwest athletic teams will be known as the Pride. The mascot will be a bold image of a lion.

Pending approval by the Higher Learning Commission, which accredits Purdue North Central and Purdue Calumet, Purdue University Northwest will be established through the unification of both existing campuses prior to the start of the 2016-17 academic year. Following unification, the athletic programs of Purdue Calumet and Purdue North Central will consolidate into one PNW program of 13 teams effective fall 2016.

Pending Higher Learning Commission review processes, the lion mascot image is expected to be unveiled during events on both campuses to present the new mascot to students, faculty, staff and the greater community sometime in the first quarter of 2016.

“We are excited that as our two great campuses come together into Purdue Northwest, our teams will compete as the PNW Pride,” said Rick Costello, director of Athletics for the emerging Purdue Northwest and current director of Athletics for Purdue Calumet. “This name reflects everything people affiliated with our campuses told us Purdue Northwest means to them: strength, respect, toughness, determination.

“I think these are characteristics not just of our teams, but of our student body and the Northwest Indiana region,” Costello stated. “Furthermore, our students and student-athletes said they wanted a unique mascot that is dignified, empowered and, last but certainly not least, conveys a winning image.”

Tom Albano, associate athletics director of Compliance for PNW and current athletics director of Purdue North Central, added, “Once we are officially PNW, we will have a special celebration to share the lion mascot with everyone on both campuses and in the community at large. We know our students, coaches and many others are eager to see and wear the Pride logo, but we need to respect the unification application review process.

We appreciate the valuable input of the many people who engaged in the development of the Pride nickname and the future mascot. We look forward to creating a genuine sense of PNW spirit.”

Through an extensive process that began in February 2015, thousands of students, faculty, staff, alumni and community members from the Calumet and North Central campuses participated in the nickname selection. A task force comprised largely of students guided the process, which included a widely distributed survey to which nearly 3,000 people responded.

The lion mascot emerged through extensive brand research that included discussions and focus groups with hundreds of students, faculty, staff, and alumni.

As a university of unified North Central and Calumet campuses, Purdue Northwest would become an institution of some 15,000 students, fifth largest in Indiana. The evolving Purdue Northwest also is intended to provide enhanced opportunities for students in programs of study, a wider variety of shared online courses and more options for community engagement and professional development.



Wes Lukoshus
Asst. Vice Chancellor
Marketing & Communications
Campus: 219-989-2217
Other: 219-746-0440

Carol Connelly
Media & Communication Services
Campus: 219-785-5267


Kris Falzone
Associate Vice Chancellor
Marketing & Communications
Campus: 219-989-2217

PNC student, American Cancer Society Tree Decorating Contest

Westville – Purdue University North Central students, along with the American Cancer Society, will host a tree decorating contest and a Luminaria ceremony on Dec. 1 at 7 p.m. in the PNC Library-Student-Faculty Building, Room 144. It is free and open to the public.

PNC students in this semester’s Introduction to Public Relations course, Cody Haver, Sarah Maddox, Vanessa Bruce, Heather Hollenberger, Brian Gonzalez, and T.J. Stephens, are coordinating this event as part of a service-learning project.

The students all have had family members or friends affected by this disease. Their goal is to spread the message that everyone in the battle against cancer is never alone. They hope to shed some light on this topic and will use Christmas lights to do so.

This event is intended to give individuals a way to remember loved-ones who have been taken by cancer, as well as to celebrate those who have won the battle and inspire those who are still fighting.

Further information can be obtained by contacting Juliana Newbill at (574) 257-9787 and choosing option #3, or by email at

The American Cancer Society is a nationwide, community-based voluntary health organization dedicated to eliminating cancer as a major health problem. Headquartered in Atlanta, the ACS has regional and local offices throughout the country that support 11 geographical divisions and ensure a presence in every community.