PNC Students Present 25th Annual Potpourri Of Literature

Purdue University North Central Communication 240 students will celebrate the 25th anniversary of the Potpourri of Literature Readers’ Theatre on Tuesday, April 22 at 11 a.m. and Sunday, April 27 at 2 p.m. in the Library-Student-Faculty Building Assembly Hall, Room 02. The program is free and open to the public. It will last about one hour.

The Potpourri of Literature Readers’ Theatre program has been an annual feature on the PNC campus since its 1989 debut as a showcase for students in Communication 240, Introduction to Oral Interpretation. While the theme of the program changes annually and reflects various moods, trends and social issues of the day, the program is built around literature and music of varying genres that illustrate the program theme from different perspectives.

This year’s edition of “Potpourri of Literature 2014” is aptly named “Memories:  Journey Through 25 Years (1989-2014)” with an original script written and edited by Dr. Daniel Padberg, associate professor of Communication, who teaches the Communication 240 class.

This year’s program will feature three sections: “Times and Struggles of Life,” “Love: Romantic, Family, Country” and “Life’s Decisions, Actions and Meaning.”

Students in the Communication 240 Introduction to Oral Interpretation class are Cassie M. Carlson, LaPorte; Sharon C. Coleman, Michigan City; Cynthia DeSantiago, LaPorte; Latasha S. Dixon, LaPorte; Darren G. Fisher, Jr., South Bend; Raven M. Jackson, Michigan City; Jonathan W. Levendoski, LaPorte; Alex M. May, Westville; Michael S. Piet, Valparaiso; Tiffany M. Sydow, Michigan City; Kasey N. Tanksley, Michigan City; Brittany T. Tobey-Elston, LaCrosse and Meagan N. Ziller, Portage Township.

To obtain further information, contact Padberg at 785-5200, ext. 5384. Persons with disabilities requiring accommodations should contact Padberg.

Programs presented during the past 25 years are:

April 5, 1989 – Spoon River Anthology by Edgar Lee Masters

March 27 and April 7, 1991 – Agony and Ecstasy: Winners and Losers.

April 1 and 4, 1992 – The Eternal Struggle: Male Versus Female

March 24 and 29, 1993- Seasonings

April 6 and 10, 1994 – Cutting of Spoon River Anthology by Edgar Lee Masters

March 29 and April 2, 1995 – Relationships

April 17 and 21 1996 – Agony and Ecstasy: Winners and Losers

April 9 and 13, 1997 – The Eternal Struggle: Male Versus Female

April 20 and 26, 1998 – Seasonings

April 14 and 18, 1999:- A Journey in Time

April 5 and 9, 2000 – Cutting of Spoon River Anthology by Edgar Lee Masters

March 26 and April 1, 2001 – An Odyssey: Wanderings Through Life

April 3 and 7, 2002 – Let Freedom Ring!

March 31 and April 6, 2003 – Mars—Venus; Venus—Mars: The Eternal Struggle

April 19 and 25, 2004 – Calendar of Love

April 6 and 10, 2005 – When the World Is Free

March 29 and April 2 – 2006 – Agony and Ecstasy: Winners and Losers

Sept. 18, 2006 – Let Freedom Ring. Communication 491 “Oral Interpretation II” was offered for the first time.  The course was unique in the Purdue system; no other campus offered a second level of Oral Interpretation.  This Readers’ Theatre program was designed to celebrate the Constitution of the United States of America and was presented as part of the campus Constitution Day activities.  Through a collage of literature and music the history of this document and the amazingly unique country which it founded was celebrated.

March 29 and April 2, 2007 – Spoon River Anthology

March 31 and April 6, 2008 – Journey in Time

(Oct. 27 and Nov. 2, 2008 – Of Thee I Sing and More. . . Another Readers’ Theatre program presented by the students enrolled in “Oral Interpretation II.”

April 20 and April 26, 2009 – It’s All About Time

April 13 and April 18, 2010 – Courage, A Way of Life, From Youth to Age

Oct. 26 and Oct. 1, 2010 – Back Home Again in Indiana. Presented by “Oral Interpretation II

March 31 and April 3, 2011 – The Turning Points of Life

April 24 and April 29, 2012 – Spoon River Anthology

April 17 and April 21, 2013 – Agony and Ecstasy: Winners and Losers

April 22 and April 27, 2014 – Memories:  Journey Through 25 Years.

ASL Coffeehouse Friday, April 18

The Purdue University North Central American Sign Language Club will host an ASL Coffeehouse on Friday, April 18, from 5:30 to 8 p.m. at the Uptown Café, 1400 E. Lincolnway, Valparaiso.

The event will feature a fun, interactive activity.

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

Further information about the coffeehouses may be obtained by contacting Joanna Witulski, limited term lecturer in American Sign Language, at

PNC English Club Poetry Competition with Prizes

The Purdue University North Central English Club will present its PoetryPalooza 2014 Competition and Open Mic event on April 17 in the Library-Student-Faculty Building Assembly Hall, Room 02 from 7 to 9 p.m. This event is held in conjunction with the Michigan City Public Library and Lubeznik Center as part of a week of events celebrating April, National Poetry Month.

All area poets are welcome to enter a maximum of three original works of poetry, three minutes or less in length, in the competition. There will be an entry fee of $5 at the door for each poem entered into the competition. Spectators and open mic participants may attend for $1.

Prizes will be awarded, with $75 for first place, $50 for second place, and $25 for third place. There is also a prize for “fan favorite.”

During the competition, poets will read their poems for a panel of three judges. If time permits, there will be an open mic for anyone who would like to come show their talents with poetry, music, or other original works.

To pre-register for the competition, send an email including name, a couple of sentences about the poet, and an attachment of the poem to English Club President Alyssa Moskwa at with POETRY RSVP in the subject line of the email.

Pre-registration is not required; additional entries will be accepted at the event.

Coffeehouse-style refreshments will be available.

Further information may be obtained by contacting Persons with disabilities requiring accommodations should also contact

PNC, Library Present Screening of “Philomena”

The movie “Philomena” will be shown on Sunday, April 27 at 2 p.m. at the Michigan City Public Library, 100 E. Fourth St. in Michigan City. It’s offered through a collaboration between Purdue University North Central’s Odyssey Arts and Cultural Events Series and Michigan City Public Library. The showing is free and open to the public. The film is rated PG-13 for profanity, thematic elements and sexual references.

“Philomena” earned 43 award nominations, including an Academy Award Best Picture nomination, Best Actress nomination for Judi Dench and Best Writing, Adaptive Screenplay. It was nominated for Golden Globes for Best Motion Picture, Best Actress and Best Screenplay.

Based on the Marth Sixsmith book “The Lost Child of Philomena Lee” the film gathered wide acclaim for telling the true story of Philomena who in 1952 Ireland was pregnant and unmarried when she was sent to live with the nuns at the Sacred Heart Content, in Roscrea, Ireland. She and other girls were doomed to work in the prison-like convent laundries that were the subject of the 2002 film, “The Magdalene Sisters.”

Philomena, who only saw her young son for an hour a day, was powerless when the nuns handed the three year old to an American couple. Philomena was forced to sign a document promising to never inquire about her son and when she did search for him 50 years later, she was told all records were lost in a fire.

Dench portrays Philomena who was in her 70s when she and Sixsmith began the quest to find her son Anthony. They eventually traveled to Washington D.C. where Anthony worked in the Reagan administration.

“The Los Angeles Times” described Dench’s performances as “genius work” underscoring the tenacity of faith in the face of “unfathomable cruelty.”

The Odyssey Arts and Cultural Events Series features various events throughout the year. A complete schedule of events can be found at For more information about this film, or any event in the Odyssey series, contact Judy Jacobi, PNC assistant vice chancellor of Marketing and Campus Relations, at 785-5200, ext.  5593. Persons with disabilities requiring accommodations should contact Jacobi.

PNC Class Features Ronny Cox as Guest Speaker

Purdue University North Central students enrolled in the English 286 class “The Movies” will welcome guest speaker actor, singer and songwriter Ronny Cox to class on April 8.

Cox, who performed in the famous dueling banjo scene in the movie “Deliverance,” has turned his focus to music. He will appear at the Lubeznik Center for the Arts in Michigan City on Wednesday, April 9 at 7 p.m.

During his visit to PNC, Cox will discuss the making of 1972 movie “Deliverance.” The film’s stars Burt Reynolds, Jon Voight, Ned Beatty and Cox really went down the roaring North Georgia river that provides the film’s backdrop. Performing their own stunts and without computer graphics, Reynolds was thrown from a canoe and nearly broke his back in one sequence that is clearly seen in the film. In another scene, Voight nearly fell to his death trying to scale a sheer cliff, which is also shown in the film.  Director John Boorman was determined to make this movie so real that the audience could taste it.  He shot with a skeleton crew and the actors used no doubles.  There was, however, friction of another kind: author James Dickey, who appears at the end of the movie as the suspicious sheriff, was kicked off the movie set for his behavior. There are many stories to tell. All four stars are deeply proud of their work on “Deliverance” a film they risked their lives to make.

The class is taught by Dr. Jerry Holt, PNC assistant professor of English and interim department chair. Last fall, Holt asked Cox to speak to his “Narrative Fiction” class.  Holt explained that the class read the James Dickey novel “Deliverance,” which Dickey wrote the screenplay for that as well. Holt decided to reach out to Cox to see if he would speak to the class. Holt’s classes have enjoyed visits by a number of authors through Skype, the telephone or in person.

After contacting Cox through Facebook, Holt asked if he would speak to the class via Skype or telephone to the class. “He chose telephone,”  said Holt. “He proceeded to absolutely mesmerize a packed class for an hour and a half. I have met many film personalities in my life: I was on Film Commissions in both Oklahoma and Ohio. I have never met anyone in the business who is as gracious and warmly human as Ronny Cox.”

Others who have visited Holt’s classes include John Hancock, director of the film “Prancer”; Kristen Iversen, author of “Full Body Burden”; Susan Orlean, author of “Rin Tin Rin–A Biography”; Candice Millard, author of “Destiny of the Republic and Sean Aiken, author of “The One-Week Job.”

Holt noted that he offers an honorarium to the speakers and while most do not accept it, those who did gave it to charity. Iversen, Orlean and Millard had books on the best-seller list when they visited his class and Holt said, “They have all been incredibly generous. Iversen still communicates with members of the class. I am very proud of this enterprise — my classes were prepared and engaged and presently themselves wonderfully.  Because of them, these artists are in turn very impressed with the name Purdue.”

When Holt learned that Cox also toured with a band, he contacted the Lubeznik Center to see if there was any interest in booking him as a performer. The result was that PNC and the Center for the Arts are co-sponsoring his April 9 performance at the Lubeznik Center and visiting Holt’s class the day before.

Cox has been featured in more than125 films and television shows that include films such as “Beverly Hills,” “Total Recall” and “RoboCop.” His television career includes appearances in “Stargate” and two episodes as the captain of the ship on “Star Trek: The Next Generation.” Although he is best known for his acting career, Cox has been playing music and writing stories for more than four decades.

His first album self-titled, “Ronny Cox” with Mercury Records in Nashville debuted in 1993. He released several albums since then. His most recent album, “Songs…with Repercussions” was influenced by the death of his wife, Mary, whom he had met at age 14. He confesses on his website that he dealt with the loss of his wife through music. The album hit the number 1 spot of the Folk DJ list in the summer of 2009. Cox explained, “I have found that if I open up to my audience, they not only accept that, they also help me get through it. It is that sharing . . . of silliness, or sadness . . . or mutual understanding that I find to be very compelling.”

PNC Students Present “An Ideal Husband” by Oscar Wilde

Purdue University North Central students will present “An Ideal Husband” by Oscar Wilde at the Mainstreet Theatre, 807 Franklin St., in Michigan City.  The public is invited to the performances on opening night Saturday, April 5, at 8 p.m.; Sunday, April 6, at 3 p.m.; Friday, April 11 at 8 p.m. and Saturday, April 12 at 8 p.m. Tickets are $10 for general admission and $5 for students presenting a valid student ID.

“An Ideal Husband,” by Oscar Wilde, marries comedy, drama, and political corruption in an on-stage performance. Throughout the four act play, Wilde uses sophisticated language that delivers the seamless groundwork so the audience can explore the relationships of the upper-class and consequences of their decisions. The plot focuses on a blackmail plan that forces a married couple to reassess their ethical principles. A supporting cast of society matriarchs, young paramours and a formidable female character exchange clever banter, keeping the momentum of the play energetic and lively.

The cast and crew include PNC students  Aram Arden, of LaPorte, Lisa Babigian, of LaPorte, Angela Barreto, of New Carlisle, Kevin Biertzer, of La Porte, Brenda Brown, of Michigan City,  Kelsey Brumley, of Valparaiso, Elton Dean, of Michigan City, Sarah Dwight, of LaPorte, Kristen Fuller, of Valparaiso,  Andrew Gilles, of Walkerton, Shameka Harris, of LaPorte, Ashley  Naillieux, of Valparaiso,  Michael Piet, of Valparaiso, Kayla Singleton, of New Carlisle,  Brett Worthington, of Valparaiso, Travis Ziegler, of Hebron, and Jeff Zimmerman, of Valparaiso. PNC Continuing Lecturer of English Dr. Bethany Lee, of Chesterton, will direct the play.

Further information may be obtained by contacting Lee at (219) 785-5229 or email

PNC Early Childhood Education Program Recognized

The Purdue University North Central Bachelor’s degree in Early Childhood Education recently earned national recognition from the National Council of Accreditation of Teacher Education (NCATE) and the National Association for the Education of Young Children (NAEYC).

This judgment comes from a panel of peer reviewers who have confirmed that the program meets NAEYC Standards for Professional Preparation. National recognition is the highest award and is a well-known indicator for high quality programs.

To achieve this status, the PNC early childhood education program submitted a comprehensive report including candidate performance data, assessment tools, and self-study results. The program, with initial teacher licensure for birth through grade 3, will now be listed as “nationally recognized” on the NCATE and NAEYC websites and is valid until the next accreditation visit in 2019. There are more than 450 NAEYC-recognized baccalaureate and graduate programs in 38 states. In Indiana, PNC is one of only six nationally recognized programs.

The reviewers’ report declared “The program is making progress in establishing a new, quality early childhood program. Assessments are being strengthened and candidates are getting more opportunities to apply their knowledge of early childhood education to the field.”

The Education Department secured this distinction through the collaborative efforts of the faculty and staff.

PNC ASL and Social Work Clubs Present Guest Speaker

The Purdue University North Central American Sign Language Club and the PNC Social Work Club together will host the program “Experiences as a Deaf Social Worker ” presented by Jason Maloney on April 1 at 5:30 p.m. in Library-Student-Faculty Building, Room 144. The event is free and open to the public. Refreshments will be served.

The presentation will be in American Sign Language with a spoken English interpretation. The evening would begin with about 30 minutes of refreshment and conversation.

Maloney’s presentation will center on his experiences as a deaf social worker for deaf people with mental health or addiction problems. His presentation will be followed with a 20 minute question and answer segment.

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 or The PNC ASL Club is featured on Facebook, search for PNC ASL Club.

Persons with disabilities requiring accommodations should contact Donah.

PNC Invites Prospective Students to April 10 Open House

Purdue University North Central will host a campus open house on Thursday, April 10 in the Library-Student-Faculty Building for prospective students of all ages 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. This 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 8 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 pncadmissions4 through AOL. Persons with disabilities requiring accommodations should contact Janice Whisler at 785-5200, ext. 5415 by April 3.

PNC Places First Among “Best Colleges For Students With Children”

Purdue University North Central earned first-place recognition on a national list of “Best Colleges For Students With Children” compiled by the web resource

In ranking Purdue North Central first on its national list of “Best Colleges For Students With Children,” made special mention of the PNC affordable tuition rate, the on-campus Panther Cubs Child Care service open to all enrolled students and faculty members, the Saturday MBA program offered at PNC – Porter County in Valparaiso and the University Park Apartments located directly across from the PNC campus on U.S. 421.

The site notes “more than 1,500 colleges, universities, and vocational schools offer child care for not only students, but also faculty members with children. Some schools have gone to even greater lengths than the rest to further support their student parent population.”

“To be recognized as first in the nation on the “Best Colleges For Students With Children” list is a tremendous accomplishment that highlights the type of campus culture that we’ve built at Purdue North Central,” said PNC Chancellor Dr.  James B. Dworkin. “We work very hard to make PNC and a Purdue University degree accessible for all students. Our tuition rates, financial aid, class schedule, campus child care, tutoring services, even our PNC – Porter County location, are all factors that help our students succeed.

Second on the list is the University of Michigan – Ann Arbor. Other Indiana universities making the list are Indiana University-Southeast – New Albany listed at 14 and Ball State University at 28. makes information available to prospective college students and their families so that they may make an educated choice about their future. The web site notes, “Through the use of student surveys, faculty surveys, independent research, ranking systems and the input of highly credible and authoritative sources, we have created a database of schools to help students and their families learn more about their best options for higher education.” The survey methodology and a list of the nations’ most child-friendly college campuses can be found at

Information about Purdue North Central and all that it offers is available at