PNC Co-sponsors Program, “Working with Deaf People in Kyrgyzstan”

The Purdue University North Central ASL Club, Northwest Indiana Deaf & Hard of Hearing Community and Association of Late Deafened Adults, Northwest Indiana will present the program,

“Working with Deaf People in Kyrgyzstan and Learning Russian Sign Language,” on April 4, from 3 to 4:30 p.m., at the Lake County Public Library, Merrillville Branch at 1919 W 81st Ave., Merrillville.

The presenters will be Nina and Roger Coyer. Nina Coyer is a retired American Sign Language (ASL) professor at Eastern Kentucky University and Roger Coyer is a retired teacher and coach with the Kentucky School for the Deaf.

The Coyers have traveled to Bischeck, Kyrgyzstan several times to work with deaf and hard-of-hearing children at a church day camp. In addition, they held deaf Bible studies for deaf adults.

In addition, Nina Coyer was invited to host workshops for educators of the deaf at the State School for the Deaf and Hard of Hearing. There she taught current teaching methods used in U.S. deaf schools, including the Kentucky School for the Deaf, where she taught for 12 years. She encouraged the teachers to set high expectations for their students. In addition she was invited to the School for the Deaf and Hard of Hearing graduation ceremony where she encouraged graduates to be like the “Little Engine That Could”. “I think I can, I think I can…. I thought I could!”

The Coyers will share their unique experiences and offer their insights into the similarities and differences of the U.S. and Kyrgyzstan deaf education systems and cultures.

The presentation will be in American Sign Language and interpreted into spoken English. Real Time Captioning (CART) will also be available

Following this presentation, there will be a gathering at the Southlake Mall Food Court at 5:00 p.m. for dining, mingling and socializing.

PNC ASL Club Coffeehouse is April 17

The Purdue University North Central American Sign Language Club will host an ASL Coffeehouse on Friday, April 17, 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.

There will also be a coffeehouse on May 15. 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.

Information about the Purdue North Central ASL Club may be found at Information about other 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 limited term lecturer in American Sign Language, at

PNC College of Science Open House for Prospective Students

Chemistry Lab

PNC student Diane Rich in PNC’s chemistry lab.

Prospective students who have been admitted to Purdue University North Central and plan to major in Biology, Nursing or Health Studies during the upcoming fall semester and high school seniors who have taken a PNC concurrent enrollment class in biology or chemistry, are invited to learn more about the many opportunities that PNC has to offer at a College of Science Open House on Tuesday, April 21 from 5:30 to 7:30 p.m. in Library Student Faculty (LSF) Building, Room 144.

The prospective students are asked to bring their parents and together they will get a first-hand look at the PNC College of Science, its exciting academic programs and the career options that are open to students who earn these popular and marketable degrees.

The PNC College of Science areas of study include Biology/Chemistry, Mathematics/Statistics/Physics, Nursing and Health Studies. Its graduates have pursued productive, satisfying careers. Many have continued their studies in pharmacy, medical, dental, veterinary and graduate schools located throughout the country.

The reception will give prospective students and parents the opportunity to meet with PNC faculty and department chairs to learn more about the academic programs, curriculum and careers.

There will be tours so the prospective students will get a close-up look at the chemistry lab, training rooms, Nursing lab and the Nursing “Sim” lab where students have a variety of hands-on skills lab opportunities utilizing mannequins and models.

Prospective students and their parents are encouraged to bring their questions.

The athletic training offices and work area will be open so that students can learn more about careers in athletics and physical therapy.

In addition, there will be informational displays set up for prospective students and their parents so that they can meet representatives from PNC Admissions,  Athletics, Financial Aid, Graduate and Extended Learning, Honors Program, Modern Languages, Police Department and RAD, Student Success Center, Student Support Services and Supplemental Instruction.

Representatives of many campus student clubs will be available to discuss the opportunities their clubs present. They include: Astronomy Club, Circle K, Delta Sigma (science club), Math Club, Physics Club,  Pre-Vet Club, STAND (Nursing) and Tri-Beta (biology honor society). Getting involved early in clubs is encouraged not only for increasing learning opportunities and networking, but also for helping meet lifelong friends.

Every student who completes the event will receive a PNC College of Science lab coat and safety glasses to keep. There will be a “bedazzle” station so that students can decorate their glasses.

Pre-registration is strongly encouraged and can be completed at:

PNC Honors Program Hosts Research Expo

The Purdue University North Central Honors Program is hosting a Research Expo to celebrate and showcase student and faculty research on Wednesday, April 22, from 11 a.m. to 1 p.m., in Library-Student-Faculty Building, Room 144. The event is free and open to the public.

Students, faculty, staff and the community are invited to stop by the expo to browse displays of books, articles, posters, websites, multimedia projects and more.

“We want to show the community the quality and diversity of research projects pursued by PNC students and faculty,” said Ashley Pezan, president of the PNC Honors Program and a graduating senior. “We hope the Research Expo will spur ideas for future collaborations and new research directions.”

All PNC students and faculty are invited to display their recent research in any form. To participate, registration must be completed at by April 15.

Further info information about the Research Expo or the PNC Honors Program can be obtained by emailing

PNC Lecture on Writer Virginia Woolf and Air Power Between the Wars

Purdue University North Central will welcome Dr. Elizabeth Evans for a lecture entitled “Virginia Woolf’s Airplanes: Air Power and Aerial Views Between the World Wars,” on April 16 at 6 p.m. in the Technology Building, Room 301. The lecture is free and open to the public.

Evans, assistant teaching professor at the University of Notre Dame, will examine how the growing importance of military air power affected art and literature in Britain during the years between World War One and Two. Evans’s research focuses specifically on the work of the feminist writer Virginia Woolf, who experiments with the airplane as model for novelistic point of view in her novels “Mrs. Dalloway” and “The Years.”

In a recent essay that appeared in the journal “Modern Fiction Studies in 2013,” Evans argues that Woolf is both attracted to and troubled by the aerial point of view – she admired its aesthetic possibilities but was disturbed by its seemingly necessary links to warfare.

This lecture, sponsored by the Chancellor’s Diversity Fund, will appeal to students and community members interested in subjects as diverse as British and European literature, women writers and the history of the world wars.

Evans is an active member of the community of Woolf scholars and recently edited a volume of essays from the annual international conference on Woolf. She is currently working on a book about aerial views in British and Anglophone writing from the early twentieth century to the present.

Further information can be obtained by contacting Dr. Heather Fielding, PNC Assistant Professor of English, at or 219-785-5327.


PNC Hosts Performance by “Secret Keeper”

Secret Keeper

Stephan Crump and Mary Halvorson of Secret Keeper

Purdue University North Central will welcome the band “Secret Keeper” for a performance on Monday, April 6, at noon in Library-Student-Faculty Building Assembly Hall, Room 02. The performance will last approximately one hour and is free and open to the public

Secret Keeper has released the CD, “Super Eight,” and has another, “Emerge,” due out at the end of April. Acoustic bassist Stephan Crump and guitarist Mary Halvorson have been performing together as Secret Keeper since 2011.

“Each is fluent in the grammar of modern improv and adept at concocting music from feel,” said noted music writer Jim Macnie. “What you hear on ‘Super Eight’ are the improvisations the pair created on the way to organizing the formal stuff. Luminous, hushed, reflective, whimsical, dramatic, gripping.”

Crump is the bass player of the Vijay Iyer Trio and Halvorson plays guitar with Anthony Braxton, Ingrid Laubrock and Marc Ribot.

An article featured on the All About Jazz website described Secret Keeper as “an incomparable engagement that soars above similar settings or frameworks set forth by others.”

Further information may be obtained by contacting Paul Hecht, PNC associate professor of English, at or 219-785-5296.

PNC Offers OSHA Training Courses

The Purdue University North Central Center for Occupational Safety and Health (OSH) will offer an OSHA 511: Occupational Safety and Health Standards for General Industry course from April 27 through April 30 at PNC- Porter County, 600 Vale Park Road, Valparaiso.

These courses, which are open to all qualified individuals, will be taught by three qualified instructors who bring more than 86 years of OSHA experience to the classroom.

The class will meet from 8 a.m. to 4:30 p.m. on April 27, 28, and 29 and from 8 a.m. until noon on April 30. The cost of the course is $800 per person and includes all books and materials, and lunch on April 27, 28, and 29.

This course has no prerequisites. The registration deadline is Wednesday, April 10.

Instruction will include an overview of OSHA policies, procedures and standards as well as general industry safety and health principles. Using OSHA standards as a guide, topics include scope and application of the OSHA general industry standards with special emphasis placed on the most hazardous areas. Participants will receive a certificate upon successful completion of the course.

For further information about this program or to register, contact the Purdue University North Central Office of Graduate and Extended Learning (GEL) at (219) 785-5343 or Persons with disabilities requiring accommodations should contact Cassandra Boehlke, Coordinator of Graduate and Extended Learning, at (219) 785-5748.

PNC Theatre and Festival Players Guild Present Two Plays

Jeremy Harris (foreground, left) as Tamburlaine and Colin Janiszewski as Techelles

Jeremy Harris (foreground, left) as Tamburlaine and Colin Janiszewski as Techelles

The Purdue University North Central Theatre and Festival Players Guild will present an Elizabethan double-header of two seldom-staged plays, “Tamburlaine” and “Galatea,” on Saturday April 11 at 7:30 p.m., Sunday, April 12 at 3 p.m., Friday April 17 at 7:30 p.m., and Saturday April 18 at 7:30 p.m., at Mainstreet Theater, 807 Franklin St., Michigan City.

Tickets are $10 for adults, $5 for students with a valid ID. Tickets may be reserved by calling (219) 874-4269 or e-mailing

This show combines two entertaining and completely different plays, “Tamburlaine” by Christopher Marlowe and “Galatea” by John Lyly. Both are compressed into a two-hour whirlwind of the extremes of Elizabethan theater.

Director Paul Hecht, PNC associate professor of English, explained why two plays will be presented in one performance, “I found ‘Galatea’ as I was working on a book about Shakespeare’s Rosalind and reading around in the history of Elizabethan theatre. I thought it was a tremendously subversive play and so funny, I knew I wanted to try to stage it.

“But I also thought that if I’m going to ask students and audiences to deal with a play from Shakespeare’s time that’s not by Shakespeare, I might as well do two as one. If you’re skeptical that any 400-year-old English playwrights are worth reading or seeing other than Shakespeare, I might as well make two arguments at the same time. Here we have it, Marlowe’s thundering line, the poetic and linguistic grandeur of ‘Tamburlaine’ and more cross-dressing, gender-bending antics than you could believe would fit in one play with ‘Galatea’ (along with some very funny bit roles by an Alchemist and Astronomer and a Puck-like Cupid). If you start getting sick of one, don’t worry, it’s just an hour long and then you’ll see something completely different!”

“Tamburlaine” depicts the world-conquering adventures of a real historical figure who was famous among Europeans for having defeated Turkish forces and delaying the conquest of southern Europe. The production emphasizes the affinities of Tamburlaine’s story with the American Dream.

Tamburlaine begins as a shepherd, who believes he is destined to become the king of Persia and conquer the surrounding lands. Through bold and poetic speeches and grand battles, Tamburlaine gains power over those kings and emperors who had earlier brushed him off as unthreatening. As he becomes more powerful he finds his limits tested. Soon Tamburlaine finds that he must go to any length in order to achieve his victory.

“Galatea” is a comedy of mistaken identities and love found in unexpected places. The characters are faced with a deadly custom: every five years, the fairest and chastest maiden in the land must be bound to a tree and sacrificed to a sea monster as a peace offering to the sea god Neptune.

Unsurprisingly the fathers of Galatea and Phillida, the two girls deemed to be the fairest, are not happy about this. To protect their daughters, the men decide separately to disguise their daughters as boys and send them into the woods in attempt to trick the gods. Meanwhile, the gods are playing tricks of their own that lead further to confusion and dispute, all of which leads to a strange and surprising resolution.

The plays feature a large cast of PNC students, including some who have appeared in such performances as Shakespeare’s “The Taming of the Shrew” in April 2013, and “Henry IV, Part 1” in 2012. Senior Jeremy Harris, of Michigan City, stars as Tamburlaine. In all other cases cast members play at least two parts, some as many as five. Elizabethan playwrights enjoyed writing for large casts, so playing more than one role was the norm. This provides novice actors the opportunity to work on more than one part and more advanced actors have room to show off their skills.

Cast members are: Aram Arden, La Porte; Angela Barreto, New Carlisle; Aaron Collings, La Porte; Cameron Fehland, La Porte; Jeremy Harris, Michigan City; Lamesha Harris, Chesterton; Jacob Hibbard, Chesterton; Kristen Hixon, Michigan City; Colin Janiszewski, Valparaiso; Eileen Long, Michigan City; Katelyn Mosher, Michigan City; Lillianna Pollnow, Michigan City; Kaitlin Richter, Valparaiso; Charles Trott, La Porte; Holly Trott, La Porte; Alexis Ulrich, Chesterton; Nathan Upchurch, Knox; Alice Wasick, Michigan City

PNC Receives Poster Commemorating Sandra Kowalski

Photo of nursing students with Kowalski poster

PNC nursing students MaCahlia Reyes and Trey Padlo with Stanley Kowalksi

The Purdue University North Central Department of Nursing recently received a gift from long-time benefactor Stanley Kowalski that will serve to inspire nursing students as it honors a pioneer in local community health care.

Kowalski presented an original painting by Neil Kienitz in the style of the South Shore Line posters to the PNC Nursing Department that depicts his late wife Professor of Nursing Sandra Calkins Kowalski, Ph.D., and bears the notation, “Community Nursing – A PNC Legacy.”

The image of Sandra Calkins Kowalski was derived from a photo of her that was taken when she was a young nurse working with the Visiting Nurse Association of LaPorte County. The poster shows her tenderly caring for an elderly man and exemplifies the caring relationship and trust that takes places between a nursing professional and patient.

Stanley Kowalski visited the PNC Nursing lab to present his gift in front of a group of students in a Foundation of Nursing Practice class. He took time to visit with each student, talking to them about his wife, her dedication to her profession, how she was part of the PNC Nursing program and her role in helping to establish and grow the practice of community nursing in the area.

Looking at the poster, he noted that the artist accurately captured his wife’s physical appearance and pointed out that her compassion and concern for her patient was obvious.

“She dedicated her life to her profession and her community,” he said. “She would be so proud of all of you and what you are doing to carry on her legacy of nursing.”

PNC student Trey Padlo said that he was moved by Kowalski’s recollections of his wife’s accomplishments and her commitment to nursing and educating future nurses. “It’s impressive to see how she impacted our curriculum today,” he said. “This is a great start for us as we look to the future.”

Student MaCahlia Reyes was happy that Kowalski took time to visit with the Nursing students. “He has an amazing passion for his wife’s work. We’re happy that he shared that to us at PNC.”

Kowalski presented each student in the Foundation of Nursing Practice class with a postcard-sized depiction of the poster he presented to PNC.

Posters made from the original painting will be displayed among the collection of similar works at The Framing Station in Michigan City and will be available for purchase. Proceeds will go to the Sandra Calkins Kowalski Community Nursing Fund to benefit PNC nursing students.

There will be a poster signing event at the Framing Station on April 3 from 5 to 8 p.m. as part of the Michigan City First Friday event.

Sandra Kowalski was born in Pennsylvania and earned her RN in 1960 from the University of Buffalo Edward J. Meyer Memorial Hospital School of Nursing. On Jan. 30, 1960 she married Stanley Kowalski, her high school sweetheart.

After the couple settled in LaPorte County, she dedicated her career to community health. She was the second nurse hired by the Visiting Nurses Association of LaPorte County and she worked to launch Michigan City’s Open Door Health Center.

Always continuing her education, she earned a degree from Purdue University Calumet in 1973 and a master’s degree in nursing from St. Xavier University in Chicago in 1977. She earned her Ph.D. in medical sociology from the University of Notre Dame in 1989.

In 1973, she was hired in as one of the first PNC Nursing faculty members. While still teaching at PNC, she pursued her master’s degree, traveling to Chicago for class. Much of her master’s lab experience was completed at the Mile Square Clinic located at the Cabrini Green and Robert Taylor housing communities. Sandy taught at Valparaiso University for 23 years.

As an educator, she created a number of community nursing courses and involved them in countless community nursing experiences.

Dr. Diane Spoljoric, chair of the PNC Department of Nursing and associate professor of Nursing, said that Sandra Kowalski was one of her professors when she was a nursing student. “I know that community nursing was a passion of hers. She was a remarkable person. I remember one of her catch phrases was ‘it’ll be o.k.’ She left an impression on all of us. This painting will remind us of why we do the work we do.”

Kowalski’s heart always remained with community nursing. She served on the boards of the Visiting Nurses Association, Concerned Citizens for the Homeless, Minority Health Coalition and the Stepping Stone Shelter for Abused Women in Michigan City. She was a member of the Porter County Task Force on HIV/AIDS. She was a key to the development of the Pastoral Care Council of Notre Dame Church in Long Beach.

Her career was honored with the 1992 JC Penney Golden Rule Award in partnership with the United Way; the 1999 Exchange Club of Michigan City’s Book of Golden Deeds Award and was recognized by Valparaiso University, Notre Dame University Alumni and the state of Indiana for her community service and contribution to learning.

While still in her 50s, she was diagnosed with Alzheimer’s Disease. To honor her life’s work, the Sandra Calkins Kowalski Community Nursing Fund was started in 2003 to provide support to PNC students who are pursuing an undergraduate nursing degree with emphasis on community nursing or public health. She passed away in May 2012 at the age of 72.

About a decade ago, Stanley Kowalski established The Sandra Calkins Kowalski Community Nursing Fund with the Unity Foundation of LaPorte County that is awarded to PNC students pursuing an undergraduate degree in Nursing.

“Perhaps Sandy’s ultimate contribution will be to inspire future health care professionals,” said Judy Jacobi, PNC assistant vice chancellor of Marketing and Campus Relations, a long-time friend of Sandra and Stanley Kowalski. “She was the ultimate nurse.”

PNC Invites Prospective Students to April 16 Open House

Purdue University North Central will host a campus open house on Thursday, April 16 in the Library-Student-Faculty Building for all prospective students and their families.

The general open house for all prospective students will begin at 5:30 p.m. Campus tours will be offered at 5:30 and 6 p.m. An Academic, Student Service and Activity Fair will continue throughout the evening where students can explore majors, clubs and activities and discover the various types of assistance that PNC offers to support student success.

Two breakout sessions will be offered at 6:15 p.m. One session for students featuring a student panel will look at campus life through the eyes of PNC students. This session will also cover the basics of financial aid. A second breakout session will explain the transfer process and academic opportunities at PNC.

This event is appropriate for high school students, students with previous college credit, community college graduates, veterans and adults thinking about attending college. The PNC Open House presents an ideal opportunity to explore academic programs with faculty and advisors. Guests will learn more about student support programs, veteran services, campus activities and athletics in a casual, fun atmosphere. Families are welcome to attend. The event is free and light refreshments will be served.

Pre-registration for the general open house is encouraged – but not required – by April 14 and can be completed by email at

Further information may be obtained by email at, by phone at 219-785-5200, ext.5505 or by IM through AOL. Persons with disabilities requiring accommodations should contact Janice Whisler at 785-5200, ext. 5411 by April 6.