PNC Construction Club, Powers & Sons Contribute to Habitat for Humanity ReStore

construction club members

Jeremy Booker (left) and Robert Kennedy, Purdue University North Central Construction Engineering Management Technology majors and members of the Powers & Sons Construction Company team, unload windows that Powers & Sons recently donated to the Habitat for Humanity ReStores. (Photo by Cassie Carlson, Powers & Sons)

Contributed by: Cassie Carlson, Marketing Coordinator, Powers & Son

Members of the Purdue University North Central Construction Club and Powers & Sons Construction Company, of Northwest Indiana, recently 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.

PNC Construction Club members Robert Kennedy and Jeremy Booker, are both PNC Construction Engineering Management Technology majors who recently joined the Powers & Sons team. Kennedy approached Powers & Sons to suggest the donation.

As president of the PNC Construction Club, Kennedy has worked behind the scenes to solidify a relationship between the Construction Club and Habitat for Humanity. Construction Club members have volunteered with Habit for Humanity projects throughout Northwest Indiana through the years and Kennedy knew that club members would welcome the opportunity to work with Powers & Sons to facilitate this donation.

Therefore, he asked if Powers & Sons would be willing to donate some surplus materials to the Habitat for Humanity ReStore so that the new and unused materials could be put to use to benefit Habitat for Humanity and the communities it serves. Powers & Sons agreed to donate 30 large windows, 20 small windows and eight cabinets that were divided for use between the Gary and Michigan City Habitat for Humanity Restores.

“This was a tremendous combined effort,” said Kennedy, who was hired in January at Powers & Sons as a project engineer and is currently assigned as field project manager for a $4.8 million addition at an elementary school in Chicago. “This was a very generous donation from Powers & Sons and the Construction Club members were happy to help get the materials to Habitat for Humanity.”

Powers & Sons brought the materials from a job site in Chicago to its offices in Gary. The Construction Club rented a truck that it used to make the deliveries to the Habitat for Humanity sites. Kennedy, Booker and Derrick Cotten, a Construction Engineering Management Technology at Purdue University Calumet and Powers & Sons project engineer, all volunteered to help. PNC Construction Club faculty advisor Martha Garcia-Saenz, associate professor of Construction Engineering and Management Technology, and her husband Ivan Saenz, drove the rental truck and helped load and unload the truck as well.

The Habitat for Humanity ReStores are non-profit home improvement stores and donation centers that sell new and gently used furniture, home goods, building materials and appliances at a fraction of the retail price. This greatly helps local Habitat for Humanity affiliates fund the construction, rehabilitation or repair of affordable homes within the communities they serve.

The materials donated from Powers & Sons will be used to further Habitat for Humanity’s mission of building homes, communities and hope.

“Powers & Sons Construction Company is honored to continue support for Habitat for Humanity and the ReStore facilities, “ said Mamon Powers Jr., CEO and chairman of the board. “Powers & Sons and Purdue North Central Construction Club are eager to continue serving this distinguished non-profit organization.”

PNC Volleyball Team Fundraiser at Portage Longhorn Steakhouse

The Purdue University North Central volleyball team will have a fundraising breakfast at the Longhorn Steakhouse, in Portage, on Saturday, Aug. 8 from 8 to 10 a.m. All the proceeds will go to support the PNC volleyball athletes through the 2015-16 season.

While Longhorn Steakhouse does not serve breakfast, the idea was generated when PNC volleyball player Caylyn Bellar, of Hobart, a sophomore middle hitter and a Longhorn employee, approached managing partner Donnie Gilbert about doing an advertisement in the PNC volleyball media guide. Instead of doing an ad, he proposed this giveback that will be provided by Longhorns, complete with pancakes, sausage, coffee, milk and juice.

Tickets are $5 each and can be purchased from a member of the volleyball team or through the PNC athletic department.

For more information or to obtain a ticket, contact Director of Athletics Tom Albano at or 219-785-5273. Limited tickets may be available at the door. Pre-purchase tickets are available prior to Aug. 8.

The PNC Volleyball team begins its season on the road on Saturday, Aug. 22 in Cedar Rapids, at the Mount Mercy Triangular.

This year’s Panthers will see eight student-athletes returning from the 2014 roster in addition to eight new recruits/transfers for the 2015 season under second-year Head Coach John Presnell. With added depth and backed by his first full recruiting class the talented Panthers will look to be very competitive in the highly successful Chicagoland Collegiate Athletic Conference (CCAC) this fall.

The Panthers play their home games at the historic La Porte Civic Auditorium. Their first home match is on Tuesday, Sept. 1 at 6 p.m. against IU Kokomo.

Information about the volleyball team and PNC athletics can be found at

PNC American Sign Language Club Coffeehouse

The Purdue University North Central American Sign Language Club will host an ASL Coffeehouse on Friday, Aug. 21, from 5 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.

Coffeehouses may feature a guest speaker who will begin at about 6 p.m. If there is not a presenter, guests may bring their own decks of cards and games to play together. Everyone is welcome to participate.

The PNC ASL Club and Northwest Indiana Deaf Community are on Facebook.

Further information about the coffeehouses may be obtained by contacting Karen Donah, continuing lecturer and coordinator of American Sign Language

STEAM Summer Camp @ PNC, 2015

steam summer camp class

Charles A. Steele, PNC and Purdue Calumet limited term lecturer in Physics and president of Aneval Inc., shows youngsters attending the PNC STEAM Summer Camp how to weigh and measure materials gathered from their “crime scene.” The young people encountered a staged crime scene and learned how to gather evidence, analyze it and use that information to help them solve the crime.

Purdue University North Central has wrapped up its six-week STEAM Summer Camp @ PNC, 2015. The camp was intended to introduce youngsters ages six to 12 to activities in Science, Technology, Engineering, Art and Mathematics (STEAM) and introduce them to the university campus.

Participants were enrolled in one of the La Porte County Coalition of Youth Serving Agencies (YSA) of Michigan City including Imagination Station, Barker Woods, Boys and Girls Club, Michigan City Parks and Recreation, Safe Harbor and North Central Community Action Agencies (NCCAA). The camp was made possible through the sponsorship of the 21st Century Community Learning Centers grant and the NIPSCO Community Investment Grant.

PNC faculty, staff and local professionals offered in age-appropriate learning that included Indoor and outdoor activities that kept the youth mentally and physically engaged for their time on campus.

About 40 students came to camp each day and up to 200 children spent one morning a week at PNC during the six-week camp.

The camp learning activities included:

“The Concept of Matter” led by Debra Pratt, PNC continuing lecturer of education.

“Art and Math” with noted artist Michelle Wiser.

“Pollination and Pollinators” presented by the Potawatomi Audubon Society.

“Science is Everywhere!” with Dr. Aaron Warren, PNC associate professor of Physics.

“Geology Rocks: Dig into our ever-changing Earth!” presented by Stephanie Irk.

“Who Done It? A Crime Lab” with Charles A. Steele, PNC and Purdue Calumet Limited Term Lecturer in Physics and president of Aneval Inc.

PNC Alumni Organizing United Way Day of Caring Teams

The Purdue North Central Alumni Association is seeking volunteers to participate in an alumni team taking part in the United Way Day of Caring on Friday, Aug. 21.

The Day of Caring will bring together teams of individuals representing businesses, municipalities, churches and civic groups to volunteer to work on a variety of projects that will benefit a number of local nonprofit agencies.

A PNC alumni team has registered to work on the “All Hands on Deck” project at the Valparaiso Family YMCA. Volunteers there will work on cleaning the pool area, pool deck, walls, stainless steel accessories. Volunteers should wear shoes, socks and clothes they do not mind ruining. Volunteers should note that it is warm on the pool deck. This is a morning event from 9 a.m. to noon.

“The Valparaiso Family Y is so appreciative of the commitment from the PNC Alumni to help us with the Day of Caring,” said Robert Wanek, Valparaiso YMCA CEO. “This is a big week for us where we shut down the Y for deep cleaning and repairs, and the pool area is always a major focus where additional hands are a blessing!!”

To volunteer to be a part of the PNC alumni team contact Erika Jones, PNC alumni coordinator, at 219-785-5274 or

PNC alumni are welcome to get together additional teams to help out at other Day of Caring events. A full list of volunteer opportunities is available at

“Volunteering to be a part of the United Way of Caring is a tremendous way for PNC alumni to give back to the local communities where they work and live,” said PNC Chancellor Dr. James B. Dworkin. “The vast majority of our alumni grew up in this area and have deep roots in Northwest Indiana. This is a wonderful opportunity for all of us to get together to do what we can to benefit our friends, neighbors and co-workers. I encourage our alumni to sign up for a project that suits their interests. You will be glad you did.”

When registering through be sure to include all teammate names, emails and preferred shirt sizes. Free Day of Caring t-shirts will be given to volunteers, but sizes cannot be guaranteed.

Full details on the Day of Caring can be obtained at

For more information about the PNC Alumni Association Day of Caring activities contact Jones at 219-785-5274 or

Purdue North Central Accepting MBA Registrations

Purdue University North Central is accepting registrations from students interested in earning a Master of Business Administration degree. Classes will begin Sept. 12. Deadline for admission is Aug. 14.

Students, regardless of their baccalaureate field, will be able to complete their degrees in less than two years. Prospective students still have time to begin the admissions process. A limited number of class spaces remain.

The Master of Business Administration degree has become the recognized credential for leaders throughout business and industry. The MBA program prepares students from all backgrounds with the knowledge and skills they will need to assume leadership positions in a variety of organizational settings.

The PNC MBA class schedule is designed to meet the needs of working adults, with classes conveniently offered on Saturdays at PNC – Porter County, at 600 Vale Park Road in Valparaiso. MBA students will utilize state-of-the-art educational and business technology and have full access to the University libraries, online resources, computer systems and other forms of academic support. All faculty members are certified by the Graduate School in West Lafayette and are supported by the full teaching resources of Purdue University.

To obtain further information, contact Jaclyn Barnhill, MBA Coordinator at 219-785-5557 or Persons with disabilities requiring accommodations should contact the program office.

PNC SHRM Student Chapter Receives Merit Award

The Purdue University North Central student chapter of the Society for Human Resource Management (SHRM) has been awarded a 2014-2015 Student Chapter Merit Award designation from the Society for Human Resource Management for providing exceptional growth and development opportunities to its student chapter members.

SHRM is the world’s largest association devoted to human resource management. Representing more than 275,000 professional and 20,000 student members in over 160 countries, the association serves the needs of HR professionals and advances the interests of the HR profession.

Through its monthly meetings, activities and presentations, the PNC SHRM chapter has provided skills and professional development opportunities for its members.  Recent activities have included a professional resume writing skills workshop, business etiquette and networking session, and the do’s and don’ts of academic presentations. The PNC SHRM Chapter Advisor is Dr. Anne Christo-Baker, PNC associate professor of Organizational Behavior and Leadership.

Chapter members also participate in Northwest Indiana SHRM and National SHRM programs, which keep them informed of new human resource regulations, trends, issues and challenges. The group’s volunteering and community activities promote character development. Membership in the chapter grew from six to eighteen members during the award year and continues to grow.

“SHRM is pleased that the Purdue North Central student chapter is among our 2014-2015 Merit Award winners. Our student chapters, led by an inspiring and dedicated group of student volunteers and chapter advisors, truly represent the future of the HR profession,” said Susan Post, divisional director, East and the lead for SHRM’s Student Programs. “Their achievements, which go above and beyond their everyday academic and work commitments, are commendable. We applaud the positive impact their efforts have on their schools, the community and beyond. The future of HR shines bright knowing these students are among those leading the way.”

Chapters have the opportunity to earn an award based on the number of activities they complete during the merit award cycle, which ran from April 1, 2014, to March 31, 2015.

The SHRM student chapter merit award program, which began in 1972, exists to encourage development of more effective student chapters and to promote outstanding activities and projects by student chapters in the following areas: student chapter requirements, chapter operations, chapter programming and professional development of members, support of the human resource profession and SHRM engagement.

For more information, contact Christo-Baker at 219-785-5643 or

PNC Enrollment Day for Prospective Students

Purdue University North Central invites prospective students to an Enrollment Day on Wednesday, Aug. 12 from 10 a.m. to 6 p.m. This event welcomes all prospective PNC students who want to register for the fall 2015 and spring 2016 semesters.

Prospective students will have the opportunity to fill out an application, get admitted, take an assessment test (if needed) and receive financial aid information.

Official transcripts must be submitted in order to be evaluated for admission.  Once admitted, students will meet with an academic advisor to discuss their plan of study and register for courses.

There will be a sign-in table located at the north entrance of the Technology Building, near the lounge that is adjacent to Room 157.

No registration is required and students will be helped on a first come, first served basis. Family members are welcome to attend.

Further information may be obtained by contacting Janice Whisler at, or 219-785-5415. Persons with disabilities requiring accommodations should contact Whisler.

Visclosky Announces Grant to Purdue University North Central

Congressman Pete Visclosky announced that the United States Department of Education has awarded a $289,901 grant to Purdue University North Central.

“I congratulate Chancellor Dworkin and the entire Purdue University faculty and staff for ensuring that students have access to the resources they need in order to succeed,” said Congressman Pete Visclosky.

The grant was awarded under the Department of Education’s Student Support Services Program. The Student Support Services Program (SSS) provides academic and other support services to low-income students, first generation students, or students with disabilities.  The purpose of the program is to increase student retention and graduation rates, facilitate their transfer from two-year to four-year colleges, and foster an institutional climate supportive of their success.

“PNC has been a part of the TRIO program since the 1980s and has served thousands of students,” said Purdue University North Central Chancellor Dr. James B. Dworkin.  “With TRIO, age, gender, race, income and capabilities are not an issue.  Rather, the focus is on learning, sharing ideas, opening doors and broadening interests.  Thanks to TRIO, PNC students have received vital services that have helped them flourish academically and socially and provided them with skills to ensure success beyond their days at PNC.  TRIO has had an immeasurable impact on their lives.  These talented, accomplished students have gone on to have successful careers in our communities.”

For more information on Purdue University North Central, please visit:

PNC Nancy Dworkin Born Learning Trail Open to The Community to Enjoy

The Purdue University North Central Nancy Dworkin Born Learning Trail is open to the public and parents, teachers, grandparents and caregivers are invited to bring children out to enjoy the trail.

The Born Learning Trail, located on the southeast side of the PNC Library-Student-Faculty Building, bears the name of the First Lady of Purdue North Central, who suggested having a Born Learning Trail at PNC and played an instrumental role in its creation. This was the first Born Learning Trail on a university campus in Indiana.

The Born Learning Trail presents a fun, casual way to engage children in learning. It features 10 interactive, playful outdoor games that will help adults create learning opportunities for a young child. As adults walk through the trail with a youngster, they will encounter various signs that will ask questions, suggest activities and encourage interaction between the adult, the child and their natural surroundings. It will also give adults tips and ideas for follow-up learning to take place at home or school.

PNC Chancellor Dr. James B. Dworkin and Nancy Dworkin are parents and grandparents who share a strong commitment to early childhood education.

The Nancy Dworkin Born Learning Trail is part of the Northwest Indiana United Way Success By 6 initiative, which is intended to help parents, caregivers and communities support early learning. The trail was supported by a donation by the Purdue North Central Women’s Association, Success By 6 and the PNC student organization Purdue Learning About Young Children in Education (PLAYCE).

PNC Early Childhood Education students will utilize the trail in their own learning activities as they undertake a range of projects with area schools to create learning activities for students, parents and teachers. The trail presents countless opportunities for activities and lessons.

In addition to the Born Learning Trail, the campus has a variety of walking trails, with picnic tables located in the “quad” area between the campus buildings and a picnic shelter near Bards’ Pond. Shakespeare’s Garden is adjacent to Bards’ Pond. Large-scale sculptures are located throughout campus and guests may take self-guided walking tours. The entire campus is WI-FI enabled.

The PNC campus is easily accessible to visitors traveling from LaPorte and Michigan City thanks to the Transit Triangle commuter bus service. Two buses operate weekdays on fixed routes between LaPorte and PNC, Michigan City and PNC and Michigan City and LaPorte. Each route offers three morning runs and three afternoon runs between 6 a.m. and 5:57 p.m. A one-way adult fare is $1.50 (exact change is required). Children age five and younger ride for free. The bus schedule and fare information can be found on the Transit Triangle website,

A map of the campus is available at