PNC Communications Camp Lowered Registration Fee

Purdue University North Central will offer its Communications Camp for high school students at a reduced rate thanks to sponsorship and underwriting provided by the PNC Communication Department and Office of Advancement have lowered the registration fees from $299 to $99 per participant.

The camp will take place at the PNC Westville campus Monday, June 22 through Thursday, June 25 from 10 a.m. to 4:30 p.m. each day. A screening party for the students, as well as their invited friends and family members, will be offered in the evening on Friday, June 26. Camp registration includes lunches and snacks for each day of the camp as well as all supplies and materials, in-program transportation, an official camp tee shirt and drawstring backpack. The registration deadline is June 15 at 4 p.m. CT. Seating is limited.

Participants will develop video projects from pre-to post-production and will learn how to script, storyboard, shoot and edit. Participants will work through the process of planning and directing video, including finding the best camera angles, determining the best way to light a scene, which digital editing effects to include and more.

They will learn basic video shooting techniques including the types of shots, effective camera movement and angles. By the end of camp student will, have the ability to create short videos that can be shared with through various mediums, such as Facebook and YouTube.

Participants will also travel as a group to Lakeshore Public Media in Merrillville and WSBT-TV in South Bend to witness how programs are created, both in the studio and in the field. They will interact with practitioners in such areas as public relations and web production.

The camp will be led by Dr. Jeff Shires, PNC associate professor of Communication. He has designed the experience to give students a range of experiences in video communication.

Shires explained, “Our program is designed to be a hands-on experience with video production where students will learn how to produce their own short stories.”

PNC will provide participants with the video equipment and software needed to engage in this hands-on program.

Shires recommends that students also bring the devices they intend to use to capture video footage after the program ends so that he and the counselors can help them with applying the techniques they will learn during the camp. These devices may include personal video equipment such as camcorders, smartphones, camera phones, flip cameras and similar devices.

To obtain further information or to register, visit or contact the PNC Office of Graduate and Extended Learning at (219) 785-5343. For information about sponsorship opportunities, contact Marie Foster at (219) 785-5698. Persons with disabilities requiring accommodations should contact Cassandra Boehlke at (219) 785-5748.

American Sign Language Club Coffeehouse is June 19

The Purdue University North Central American Sign Language Club will host an ASL Coffeehouse on Friday, June 19, 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.

Future coffeehouses will be on July 17 and Aug. 21. 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 Karen Donah, continuing lecturer and coordinator of American Sign Language

PNC Students Honored for High Academic Achievement

The Purdue University North Central Alpha Mu Pi chapter of Sigma Tau Delta, the International English Honor Society, recently honored six English majors for their high academic achievement. In a ceremony held at PNC, students were recognized for their personal accomplishments and awarded lifetime membership certificates and pins.

The new members are Meghan Davis, of Lake Station; Phillip Guildner, of La Porte; Angela Hall, of Hebron; Eileen Long, of Michigan City; Ashley Pezan, of Portage and Mitchell Wiesjahn, of Wanatah. The Sigma Tau Delta faculty sponsor is Dr. Jane E. Rose, PNC associate professor of English.

In addition to conferring distinction on outstanding students, Sigma Tau Delta promotes interest in literacy and literature on local campuses and in the surrounding community and fosters the discipline of English in all its aspects, including creative and critical writing. Participation in campus and community service is expected of the members.

MBA Program Presents 2015 Faculty and Student Awards

MBA award winners

Outstanding Faculty Award recipient Dr. Wei He; Outstanding Student Leader Award recipient Marie Claire Foster

The Purdue University North Central graduates of the MBA class of 2015 recently presented their Outstanding Faculty Award to Dr. Wei He, assistant professor of Management and Strategy, for his teaching of the Quantitative Methods courses as well as the Strategic Management capstone course.

“We are delighted that Dr. He was recognized,” said Dr. Cynthia Roberts, dean of the PNC College of Business. “This series of coursework is among the most challenging for our students. Dr. He was able to facilitate mastery through his enthusiastic style and passion for learning. He is able to take complex statistical concepts and demonstrate how useful they can be in making effective managerial decisions. His strategy course requires the students to work through a computer simulation that is run at the same time in programs across the world. Student teams must set up a company, then compete in a global market to achieve the best outcomes. It is not only challenging but fun.”

He began teaching at PNC in 2012. He earned his bachelor’s degree in International Business from Soochow University, China. He received his first master’s degree in Hospitality Management from Leeds Metropolitan University and completed his second master’s degree in Information Systems at University of Leeds, UK. After coming to the United States, He completed an Executive Master of Hospitality Management, and earned his Ph.D. in Business Administration at Florida International University.

Prior to coming to the U.S., He worked in two international hotel chains of Hilton International and Peel Hotel Group. His research interests include inter-firm collaboration and competitive strategies of international service firms. Several of his studies and co-authored works have been presented in top tier conferences such as the Academy of Management annual meeting and the Academy of International Business annual conference.

The Outstanding Student Leader Award was presented to Marie Claire Foster who received her MBA degree during the May 18 PNC commencement ceremony. Foster was chosen for her leadership as part of the MBA Student Leadership group. This group was responsible for organizing the ongoing Lunch with a Leader series as well as several community service activities.

“Throughout the entire program, Marie was a positive force for learning as well as service,” said Roberts. “Based on her academic achievement, she was inducted into our business honor society Delta Mu Delta in the Fall of 2014. She has been as asset to our program as well as her peers.”

Foster received her bachelor’s degree in secondary education from Purdue University and is the PNC director of Development. She joined PNC in 2012 as a development officer and advanced to alumni coordinator before being named to her current position. Prior to coming to PNC, she served in a variety of marketing positions with Porter County Parks and Quality Oil Company. She is a member of Tri Kappa and several not-for-profit-agency boards.

The Saturday MBA program is currently accepting applications for its fall cohort. Further information about the PNC MBA program may be obtained at or by contacting the program office at (219) 785-5557 or

PNC Offers Summer Science Courses Online

The Purdue University North Central Purdue Department of Biology and Chemistry and the College of Science are offering innovative and unique science courses this summer that are available entirely online. One does not have to be a PNC student to enroll.

The courses are:

CHM 10300: Chemistry & Society

This course is for students who think they hate chemistry. The course offers a new approach to chemistry, using decision-making activities related to real-world societal issues that have important chemistry components – such as the hole in the ozone layer, nutrition, consumer products, energy and pollution. A main goal is the development of critical thinking, problem solving and writing skills. The laboratory portion is performed in small groups using common household chemicals. This course should be of the greatest interest to students in the area of Education, Humanities and Liberal Arts. It may be used for 3 hours of lab science credit for students outside of the Schools of Science, Engineering, Heath Science, Technology, Agriculture and Nursing.

The course dates are June 8 through July 31. Students will earn three credit hours and will be taught by, Dr. Sharron Jenkins, PNC limited-term lecturer.

BIOL 22200: AIDS Online International

This is a general education course that uses a multidisciplinary approach to provide students with a basic, yet comprehensive overview of HIV/AIDS, along with the impact of this disease on community and global health. The course integrates the biology of HIV/AIDS, 40% of course content, with its origin, spread, history, transmission, prevention, and treatment, 60% of course content.

The course dates are June 8 through July 31. Students will earn three credit hours and will be taught by, Dr. Sharron Jenkins, PNC limited-term lecturer.

CHM 29000: Organic Chemistry Primer

This course is designed for students who will take Organic Chemistry in the fall at any institution. Students will be given the opportunity to get a strong foundation in the concepts that they will study in the fall. Organic Chemistry is a traditionally difficult course that is required for students intending to go to medical school, veterinary school, pharmacy school and other professional health studies programs. Learning the subject well requires a thorough understanding of organic molecules and reactivities.

Because this six-week summer course is delivered online, any student at any location can take it and set a powerful foundation for success in Organic Chemistry. This course will begin with a review of the concepts in General Chemistry, transition into the terminologies and language of organic chemistry and provide exposure to the rigor of the subject and will prepare students for success during their first semester of studying Organic Chemistry in college. Students will study from the same textbook to be used in the PNC fall semester Organic Chemistry course.

The course dates are June 22 through July 31. The course is taught by Dr. Meden Issac-Lam, assistant professor of Chemistry.

Information about tuition and fees can be found at

To enroll or to obtain further information contact Cassandra Boehlke, coordinator of Graduate and Extended Learning at (219) 785-5748 or


PNC American Sign Language Club Lunch Social

The Purdue University North Central American Sign Language Club will host an ASL Lunch Social on Thursday, June 11 from 11 a.m. to 1 p.m. in the Library-Student-Faculty Building, Room 144. The event is free and open to the public. Guests are welcome to bring a lunch or purchase one in the nearby PNC cafeteria.

The ASL Lunch Social will present a relaxed atmosphere and the playing of games such as Skip-bo, Uno, Bingo, Checkers, Spot-It, Yahtzee and card games such Rummy and others. Participants are asked to use American Sign Language to communicate, providing an ideal opportunity to practice ASL to better communicate with friends, co-workers or family members.

Information about the Purdue North Central ASL Club may be found at Information about other events in the community is posted at:

Further information about this event may be obtained by contacting Karen Donah, PNC continuing lecturer and coordinator of American Sign Language at 785-5200, ext. 5432, (219) 785-8892 (video phone) or Persons with disabilities requiring accommodations should contact Donah.

PNC Non-Credit Memoir and Creative Nonfiction Writing Class

The Purdue University North Central’s Office of Graduate and Extended Learning and Department of English and Modern Languages will offer a non-credit program for anyone who wants to explore methods of writing about true events, including autobiography and historical narrative. It is open to writers of all ages and skill levels.

The class will take place at PNC on Thursdays from June 25 through August 6 from 5 to 7 p.m. The registration fee is $219 and includes all required materials. Discounted rates are available for PNC and Purdue Calumet students, alumni and employees. The deadline to register is June 9 by 4 p.m. Seating is limited.

This class will delve into ways that students can access memories and research historical and cultural information in order to craft memoirs, personal and observational essays, and literary nonfiction. Students will complete a wide variety of writing exercises designed to generate ideas and develop unique, engaging nonfiction pieces. The class will also use a workshop format to review and improve individual essays and memoirs.

“Everyone has stories they’d like to share, but people often don’t know where to begin. There may seem to be too many obstacles to writing. How do you make bare facts interesting? How can you convey your ideas and emotions to a reader? How do you find a narrative arc in the middle of your own life? There are a surprising number of ways to answer those questions and begin creating amazing pieces.” explained Dr. Bethany T. Lee, continuing lecturer of English, who will be teaching the class.

Lee’s work has appeared in “Gulf Stream,” “Cream City Review,” “32 Poems,” “Literary Mama,” “Crab Orchard Review” and other journals. A memoir piece published in “Hayden’s Ferry Review” was listed as a “Notable Essay” by the editors of the “Best American Essays series.” At PNC, she teaches creative writing, composition, professional writing and theatre.

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

PNC Honors Students Present at Butler Research Conference

photo of group at Butler University

Sam Irzyk, History; Kelsey Tabbert , English; Eileen Long, English; Stephanie Perry, Biology; Tasia Williams, Computer and Information Technology; Matt Variot, Biology; Dr. Heather Fielding, assistant professor of English; Ashley Pezan, Behavioral Sciences; Stefanie Nanney, Psychology; Tiffany Briesacher, Psychology; Courtney Armacost, Psychology; Cali Young, Psychology; Dr. Hui Chu, assistant professor of Psychology and Assen Kokalov, assistant professor of Spanish.

Purdue University North Central students who are part of the Honors Program presented their research at the recent Butler University Undergraduate Research Conference in Indianapolis.

Fourteen PNC students presented projects in psychology, biology, chemistry, gender studies and English. They were among 590 presentations and 950 participants from colleges and universities across the country.

Courtney Armacost, a Psychology major, presented her research on how the sense of belonging to one’s institution impacts students’ motivation to excel in school. She is a research assistant in the Behavioral Sciences Lab and her project came from her work there.

Armacost was grateful to have been able to have the opportunity to present at the conference, “I was really nervous presenting for the first time, not knowing what to expect. Once I presented I was so thankful for the experience. I think I may even do it next year if I get the chance to again. I feel blessed to have been able to have this experience, especially because I am considering graduate school. I feel like my confidence boosted as soon as I finished the presentation, because most students are afraid to make such a big step.”

Eileen Long, an English major, presented research on Salman Rushdie’s novel “Shame” and whether it can be considered a feminist narrative. Her paper argued that Rushdie successfully writes a feminist narrative that portrays four women who subvert the rules of their patriarchal society.

She said, “It was great being able to present at an academic conference, since many of these opportunities are only open to graduate students or faculty. Another great aspect of the conference was to be able to listen to so many varied presentations. Probably the most nerve-racking, yet rewarding part was the question and answer portion of the presentation when the moderator and audience would ask specifics regarding our research. It was so much fun taking part, asking questions, and flexing our scholarly brains.”

Three freshmen who exhibited research. Stephanie Perry, a Biology major, presented a literature review about innovations in genetic engineering, and looks forward to presenting the results of her own original experiments in the future. Tasia Williams, a Computer and Information Technology Major, and Matt Variot, a Biology major, presented their original analyses of the television show “The Walking Dead.” For Variot and Williams, the conference connected their personal interests to the world of scholarly research and encouraged them to pursue research outside of their home disciplines.

PNC presenters included Tiffany Briesacher, Sam Irzyk, Nate Kennedy, Jasmine Moore, Stefanie Nanney, Ashley Pezan, Stefanie Rigg, Melanie Shebel, Mary Steele, Kelsey Tabbert, Alexis Ulrich, and Cali Young.

Students in the PNC Honors Program pursue extra research projects with their faculty mentors to earn honors credit in their courses. A number of PNC presenters developed their research projects in honors courses.

The Honors Program also supports student research through its research assistant program, which hires students to work with faculty mentors on advanced research for publication.

To learn more about the PNC Honors Program, please visit


PNC Offers Non-Credit “Drawing by Observation” Class

The Purdue University North Central Office of Graduate and Extended Learning will offer a non-credit program for people who want to discover or improve upon their artistic and drawing skills this summer.

The program welcomes artists of all skill levels. Classes will meet at PNC – Porter County, 600 Vale Park Road, Valparaiso on Wednesdays from June 10 through July 15 from 3:30 to 6 p.m. Registration is $179 and includes all art materials. Special rates are available for Purdue Calumet and PNC students, alumni and employees. The deadline to register is June 3 at 4 p.m. Seating is limited.

The course will be taught by Connie Kassal, a PNC limited-term lecturer of Art and artist with a history of exhibits in Northwest Indiana, Chicago and Austria.

Students will learn something new in each session of the six-week program, learning through hands-on practice and exercises, lecture and note-taking. The instructor will provide an overview of the purpose of creating color wheels with a focus on complimentary color mixing, and students will learn how to shut off one’s “logical brain,” instead drawing what the eyes truly see.

They will learn techniques in line and shading to create three-dimensional images on flat paper and tips for successfully drawing realistic portraits. Students will learn about drawing figures in action and will become equipped with tools for creating visual perspective through their drawing or painting.

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. 5748, or Persons with disabilities requiring accommodations should contact (219) 785-5748.

Karen Schmid, Purdue University North Central Vice Chancellor for Academic Affairs, Adds Interim Provost Responsibilities for Purdue University Calumet

Peggy Gerard

Peggy Gerard, Purdue Calumet

Karen Schmid

Karen Schmid, Purdue North Central

Succeeds Peggy Gerard at Purdue Calumet, who is resigning the position for family reasons July 1

Karen Schmid, vice chancellor for Academic Affairs for Purdue University North Central, also will assume responsibilities as interim vice chancellor for Academic Affairs and Provost for Purdue University Calumet, following the recent resignation of Purdue Calumet Provost Peggy Gerard for family reasons. Thus, Schmid will serve both campuses in anticipation of the unification into Purdue University Northwest.

The Purdue Calumet and North Central campuses are working through a process of unification from which Purdue University Northwest will emerge, pending approval of the Higher Learning Commission, which accredits both universities. The unification is expected to be completed in time for the start of the 2016-17 academic year.

Schmid will assume her responsibilities for Purdue Calumet on July 1, 2015.

5th largest Indiana public university

Purdue University Northwest would become the fifth largest public university in Indiana, enrolling approximately 16,000 students, employing more than 1,500 faculty and staff, and offering more than 45 undergraduate and graduate programs of study on two vibrant campuses.

“Dr. Schmid is an experienced educator and administrator with a long record of accomplishments,” Purdue North Central Chancellor James D. Dworkin said. “She is committed to higher education and academic excellence. Dr. Schmid joined PNC at a time of unprecedented academic growth. Under her leadership PNC enhanced its academic programming and strengthened its commitment to service learning and community engagement. I am confident that she will continue to be an outstanding academic leader for both of our Purdue campuses.”

Gerard announced her resignation as vice chancellor for Academic Affairs and provost to Purdue Calumet Friday (5/8), citing increasing family concerns. Gerard, who has served Purdue Calumet since 1982 as a faculty member, dean of the College of Nursing, vice chancellor and provost, will return to the College of Nursing faculty.

Gerard is accomplished leader

“Dr. Gerard is a highly accomplished leader, educator and innovator in both academic and health care fields,” Purdue Calumet Chancellor Thomas L. Keon said. “Throughout her tenure she has, first and foremost, been focused on the success of our students. She has built a dedicated and collaborative team of academic leaders who I am confident will continue to work with Dr. Schmid to move forward the shared vision of excellence for the academic programs.”

Among her numerous accomplishments, Gerard has led teams that established the Purdue University Calumet College of Nursing as a national Center of Excellence and advanced the university’s first doctoral degree in nursing practice. In 2013 she received the Indiana Hospital Association’s Award of Merit for her contributions to health care statewide.

Her leadership also has contributed to establishment of the Indiana Center for Evidence Based Nursing Practice at Purdue Calumet and escalation of the university’s Honors Program to Honors College.

Schmid’s achievements numerous

Additionally, Gerard and Schmid collaborated to establish a joint Office of Research and Graduate Studies between Purdue Calumet and Purdue North Central.

Schmid came to PNC in 2008 after six years as associate vice president for Academic Affairs at Indiana State University. Since then, PNC has added seven bachelor’s degree programs; various student success initiatives, including supplemental instruction; more online courses; and expanded the first-year experience course.

Under her leadership, an Honors Program also was developed; the concurrent enrollment program was enhanced; and PNC became one of 92 colleges and universities accredited by the National Association of Concurrent Enrollment Partnerships.