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.

PNC Nursing Students Present Community Health Assessment

Purdue University North Central Community Health Nursing students will be present a public open house on Tuesday, Dec. 1 from 8 a.m. to 1 p.m. in the Library-Student-Faculty Building Assembly Hall, Room 02, to present the findings of their recently completed Community Health Needs Assessment for LaPorte County. This event is free and open to the public. Students will be present to answer questions and discuss their findings.

The students, under the direction of Peggy Rose, assistant professor of Nursing, spent the past semester working together to gather data from a variety of sources to examine the health needs and resources in the county.

The community health assessments will provide information useful in determining strategies, formulating plans and establishing healthcare priorities to meet the needs of the populations throughout the county.

Further information can be obtained by contacting Rose at 219-785-5706 or

2015 PNC Sinai Forum Presents a Performance of “Ernie”

The 62nd season of the Purdue University North Central Sinai Forum will conclude its 2015 season with the powerful one-person show “Ernie,” on Dec. 6 at 4 p.m. (CT) at the Blue Chip Casino Stardust Event Center, 777 Blue Chip Drive, in Michigan City. All veterans and their families will be admitted free. Reservations are not required. The evening is sponsored by the Leonard J. & Irene Brown Foundation.

“Ernie” is a one-hour play written by Dr. Jerry Holt, chair of the PNC Department of English & Modern Languages, and stars actor Steven Becker. “Ernie” celebrates the life of Indiana native and one-time LaPorte “Herald-Argus” reporter Ernie Pyle. The drama depicts the life of a man whose hallmark was bravery under fire. Pyle was a war correspondent for the Scripps-Howard newspaper chain from 1935 to his death in April, 1945.

Wherever the military was, Ernie Pyle went.  He stormed beachheads and endured foxholes.  With his reporter’s eye and his great empathy, he brought the war home to the United States. The Pulitzer Prize winner was never his own subject – that honor went to the soldiers whose lives he detailed. While he revered soldiers, he despised war, a paradox that made his work as timely today as it ever was. His columns were read by millions, made into best- selling books and turned into the film, “The Story of G.I. Joe. “

This play, in celebrating Pyle, celebrates everyone who ever put on a United States uniform.

The play’s author has written several successful one-person shows, including “Rickey,” the story of baseball guru Branch Rickey. “Rickey” has played across the United States, including the Baseball Hall of Fame. “An Evening with Julia Marlowe,” which deals with the actress who became the most famous Shakespearian of her time.

Tickets for the PNC Sinai forum season are $75 for regular subscription passes and $200 for patron subscription passes, which include reserved section seating and exclusive receptions with the speakers. Students who show a valid school I.D. are always free. Tickets can be purchased by credit card online at or by cash or check at: The PNC Chancellor’s Office, Schwarz Hall, Room 137, 1401 S. U.S. Hwy. 421, Westville; Undergraduate Building at PNC-Porter County, 600 Vale Park Road, Valparaiso.

The Sinai Forum season sponsors are IU Health La Porte Hospital and Times Media Company. The sustaining sponsors are “La Porte Herald Argus” and “The News Dispatch.” The John W. Anderson Foundation is a program sponsor, and individual program sponsors are Duneland Health Council, IU Health La Porte Hospital, Horizon Bank, Times Media Company and the Leonard J. and Irene Brown Foundation.

Patron-level ticket holders will be welcome to attend a reception hosted by Wendy J. Levenfeld & Associates, NIPSCO, Ideas in Motion Media, Valparaiso Chamber of Commerce and the South Shore Leadership Center.

The Forum has continued its commitment to presenting speakers who explore compelling contemporary issues, providing audience members with the unique opportunity to hear from experts in their fields speak to topics in the news and to pose face-to-face questions in a town-hall style forum. Wendy Levenfeld, Forum executive director, will host the series. Additional information about the Purdue University North Central Sinai Forum is available at





Keon chosen as chancellor-designate of Purdue University Northwest

Chancellor Keon


WEST LAFAYETTE, Ind. — Thomas Keon will be the chancellor when Purdue University Northwest officially comes into existence on July 1, 2016, the result of the unification of Purdue University Calumet and Purdue University North Central.

The announcement was made Friday (Nov. 20) by Purdue President Mitch Daniels and search committee chair Gary Lehman, a Purdue trustee.

“Today, we take another important step in building a great new economic and educational asset in northwest Indiana,” Daniels said. “No one, starting with Tom, underestimates the difficulty of bringing together two campuses, their faculty and staff, but we are confident in the tremendous potential for cultural and commercial enrichment in the region. Chancellor Keon has an extraordinary opportunity to lead what will be the fifth largest public university in Indiana and one that will have positive impact on students and businesses for years to come.”

Keon has been chancellor of Purdue Calumet since 2011. James Dworkin, who has served as chancellor of Purdue North Central since 2000, will remain in his position through June 30, 2016. Dworkin will continue working with Keon on a smooth transition as they have since 2014. After a sabbatical year, Dworkin will return to Purdue’s West Lafayette campus in fall 2017 as a full professor in Krannert School of Management, where he began his Purdue career in 1976.

“I am extremely humbled and extremely excited to take on this enormous responsibility,” Keon said. “I am mindful of the very difficult work that is ahead and completely committed to the task of building and cementing relationships that will ultimately lead to the success of our campuses and community. I also want to offer my sincere thanks to Jim Dworkin for his always wise counsel and to the campuses and northwest Indiana community for the collaborative efforts that will lead to the success of this new institution.”

Once unification is complete, Purdue Northwest will be a comprehensive university enrolling approximately 16,000 students, employing more than 1,500 faculty and staff, and offering more than 45 graduate and undergraduate programs of study on two campuses. The two campus locations will be respectively identified as Purdue University Northwest-Calumet and Purdue University Northwest-North Central. The unification is pending approval by the Higher Learning Commission.

The chancellor-designate will be responsible for working with stakeholders from the two existing campuses to advance academic quality, student success and affordability. He also will be charged with meeting with local employers and community leaders to ensure that the new institution is meeting the needs of the regional economy.

Purdue trustees approved the creation of Purdue University Northwest in July 2014, reflecting the university’s commitment to finding administrative cost savings and promoting student affordability and accessibility. A website with updates on the integration process is available at

Learn more about Chancellor-Designate Thomas Keon

Media contacts:

Wes Lukoshus, 219-989-2217,

Carol Connelly, 219-785-5267,




PNC American Sign Language Club Coffeehouse

The Purdue University North Central American Sign Language Club will host an ASL Coffeehouse on Friday, Dec. 11, from 5:30 to 7:30 p.m. at the Uptown Café, 1400 E. Lincolnway, Valparaiso.

The coffeehouse is open to ASL students as well as community members and children are welcome to attend with a parent or adult. This is a pleasant, casual event for all to enjoy either through participation or as an observer.

Participants are asked to use ASL for conversation. This provides an ideal opportunity to practice ASL to better communicate with friends, co-workers or family members. Coffee, food and drink may be ordered throughout the evening.

Information about other ASL-related events in the community is posted at: The PNC ASL Club and Northwest Indiana Deaf Community are on Facebook.

Further information about the coffeehouses may be obtained by contacting Karen Donah, PNC continuing lecturer and Coordinator of American Sign Language, at 219-785-5432 or Persons with disabilities requiring accommodations should contact Donah.

PNC and Calumet Students Attend Honors Conference

A group of honors students from Purdue University North Central and Purdue University Calumet recently attended the National Collegiate Honors Council (NCHC) conference in Chicago.

PNC students Eileen Long and Alexis Ulrich, both English majors, and Stefanie Nanney, a psychology major, presented their research at this conference

PNC Honors Program president Rachel Kunnen, vice president Matt Variot and Honors Program members Zach Zromkoski, attended sessions that gave them ideas for developing the Purdue University Northwest Honors College. Sessions covered topics that included drama, poetry, music and film.

The conference presented the ideal opportunity for the PNC and Calumet students to meet their peers from across the globe to present research, discuss their interests and to gather ideas that they could use for their Honors Program and the future PNW Honors College. They also attended a roundtable discussion on the Purdue Calumet Peer Mentoring program and an idea exchange on the use of the Team App.

“Attending the NCHC was eye opening,” said Kunnen. “This was my first time attending and after being a part of the various seminars, I realized that other schools were facing the same problems our own program has been dealing with. After hearing other students talk about their new ideas, I was inspired to try as many new things with our program as was possible and make the program better than it already is.”

To learn more about the PNC Honors Program, visit

PNC students, American Cancer Society Raise Cancer Awareness

A group of Purdue University North Central students, along with the American Cancer Society, will present a Lunch and Learn on Wednesday, Nov. 18, in the PNC Library-Student-Faculty Building from 144 from 11 a.m. to 1 p.m. to help promote cancer awareness as well as to discuss the options one has while battling cancer.

This free event will create a fun, comfortable environment for people to gather to learn more about cancer. It will feature American Cancer Society volunteers as well as individuals who have been personally affected by cancer, who will share their stories and speak about loved ones who have battled this disease. Guests will learn about treatment options for themselves or a loved one battling cancer.

A complimentary lunch of pizza and salad will be provided by Westville donors Olga’s Place and Sweet Lou, That’s Who to the first 75 attendees. Donations for the American Cancer Society will be accepted.

The Lunch & Learn will be hosted by PNC students as part of a service learning class project 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 the event.

There will be an overview of the Relay for Life event the ACS hosts every year and information will be available for anyone interested in putting a Relay for Life team together or supporting local Relay for Life efforts.

Further information about the event, the Relay for Life or the American Cancer Society 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.

For media information contact:
Juliana Newbill, American Cancer Society Community Representative
Phone: (574)257-9789, Option 3

PNC Marketing Students Impact the Community

Members of the PNC Principles of Marketing class visit Family Express as part of their learning experience.

Members of the PNC Principles of Marketing class visit Family Express as part of their learning experience.

The Purdue University North Central undergraduate marketing students are partnering with the local community to learn effective marketing strategies.

Throughout the fall semester, students in the Principles of Marketing class are learning about marketing techniques including advertising, public relations, social media marketing and strategies. This learning experience has included presentations by organizations and businesses in the Valparaiso area.

Rex Richards, president of the Valparaiso Chamber of Commerce and Economic Development presented the chamber’s successful marketing campaigns and explained how market research fueled these programs. “I found the students extremely engaged,” said Richards. “The questions the class members asked were quite advanced. I was very impressed with their technical knowledge of the subject matter. ”

John Seibert and Barbie Johnson, of the Valparaiso Parks and Recreation Department, met the class at the Urschel Pavilion to explain how the department’s strategies and relationship-building create strong partnerships with the Valparaiso community.

“It was a privilege to meet with the class to discuss Valpo Park’s marketing strategies,” said John Seibert, director of Parks and Recreation. “We shared our team’s efforts to best serve our unique and diverse customers, and in turn, learned student insights, questions and comments.”

The class also visited with Joe Battistoni, digital advertising director and Jim Pellegrini, marketing manager at The Times Media Company, to talk about advertising and integrated marketing communications.

“At The Times, we see the tremendous benefits of collaborating together and we look forward to expanding on this type of opportunity in the future,” said Debbie Anselm, general manager and vice president of sales and marketing.

“This hands-on learning matters,” said PNC student Adrian Aguirre. “The best way for us to learn marketing is to network with marketers.”

The group also met with the marketing team at Family Express and Chris Mahlmann from Ideas in Motion, who presented real-world lessons to complement the marketing lessons learned in the traditional classroom.

The knowledge that the students gather in class and from these community leaders will ultimately be put to work as the students build a marketing plan for the Boys and Girls Club of Michigan City.

“These PNC students are a conduit for transferring effective marketing strategies from these successful organizations to aiding a nonprofit agency that is building its brand presence,” says Marie Foster, PNC director of Advancement, who teaches the class. “By creating marketing plans from information learned in the classroom, in the community and through market research, these students will be able to make a positive change in Northwest Indiana.”

Student Mark Jozaitis echoed that sentiment. “We have been given a unique experience to meet with some of the best business minds in our area. They gave us guidance for creating a marketing strategy for the Boys and Girls Club of Michigan City. It has been a phenomenal experience to enhance our marketing skills and create positive change for the club, I am grateful for the opportunity.”

Brandi Lewis, executive director of the Boys and Girls Club of Michigan City expressed her appreciation.  “We are fortunate to work with a Purdue North Central marketing class to develop the perfect marketing plan for Boys & Girls Club of Michigan City. As the new executive director, I am constantly looking for innovative ways to tell our club’s story and make sure everyone knows who we are, what we do and just why it’s important to our community. Working with a well-respected educational institution and with students who are knowledgeable about marketing strategies and our community, makes this collaboration even more exciting. I’m confident the students will develop strategies we can implement for years to come. I’m looking forward to seeing their vision for taking Boys & Girls Club of Michigan City into the future.”