PNC Earns 2015 “Military Friendly” Distinction

Purdue University North Central has been named to the 2015 Military Friendly Schools® list for the third consecutive year, as compiled by Victory Media Inc. The 2015 Military Friendly Schools® list honors the nation’s top colleges, universities and trade schools that welcome America’s military service members, veterans and spouses as students and ensure their success on campus.

Victory Media notes that up to 400,000 service members leave military service each year and more than a third attend college after separation.

“At Purdue North Central, we welcome all active military members, veterans, their spouses and families,” said PNC Chancellor Dr. James B. Dworkin. “Purdue North Central traces its history back to the days following World War II. Its mission was to serve the educational needs of the returning soldiers. We continue to work hard to maintain that commitment. We pride ourselves as being a veteran-friendly campus.”

PNC has implemented a number of initiatives to help aid military members and veterans to become successful PNC students. They include:

  • Priority Registration.
  • Fee Deferment for registered students certified as eligible for GI Bill educational benefits.
  • Campus activities include an annual Veterans Day ceremony and Veterans Awareness Month activities in April.
  • The Leonard J. Brown Veterans Center in Library Student Faculty Building, Room 67, offers PNC student-veterans a place to study, socialize and hold group and individual meetings. The family of Leonard J. Brown, who served as a Tec 4 in the 474th Infantry Regiment from July 28, 1944 to April 15, 1946, has generously supported the PNC Veterans Center.
  • PNC offers a Veterans Coordinator to serve as a resource to all students who are veterans or active military members. The Coordinator provides veteran-to-veteran support during the transition from military life to university life.
  • PNC offers free CLEP testing to military vets. PNC accepts CLEP credit and provides eight hours of military credit that can be applied toward a degree. Additionally, veterans have the opportunity to apply for department credit based upon their individual transcript.
  • PNC offers trained support staff to assist veterans and military members through the registration process.

Information about all services available to service members, veterans and their families can be found at

The Military Friendly Schools® media and website can be accessed at It features the complete Military Friendly Schools® list and other interactive tools.

Further information about the educational opportunities at Purdue North Central is available at or by calling 219-785-5505.

PNC, Library Present Screening of “Mr. Holmes”

The movie “Mr. Holmes” will be shown on Sunday, Nov. 15 at 2 p.m. at the Michigan City Public Library, 100 E. Fourth St. in Michigan City, 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 movie is rated PG.

“Mr. Holmes” is an adaptation of the Mitch Cullin 2005 novel “A Slight Trick of the Mind.” It stars Ian McKellen as Sherlock Holmes; Laura Linney as Mrs. Munro and Milo Parker as her son Roger. The film is a look at the genius detective in his old age as he spends his days in his country home, living quietly with his cook, Mrs. Monro and her son, Roger. At age 93, Holmes is working hard to restore his slipping mind. He desperately wants to solve one case that has been perplexing him for years.

The films weaves between decades and continents as it follows Holmes and threads stories within stories.

“Variety” magazines describes McKellen as “predictably superb as Holmes” and Linney as “beautifully understated.” It terms “the filmmaking itself as among director Bill Condon’s most elegant.”

The Purdue University North Central Odyssey Arts and Cultural Events Series features various events throughout the year. A complete schedule of university 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 219-785-5593. Persons with disabilities requiring accommodations should contact Jacobi.

PNC Hosts Chemistry Week Activities

The Purdue University North Central College of Science recently welcomed students from Barker Middle School in Michigan City, to participate in a variety of activities to mark National Chemistry Week.

Dr. Jessica Thomas, PNC assistant professor of Chemistry, coordinated a number of experiments, demonstrations and experiences to expose the seventh graders to many aspects of chemistry and show how chemistry is a part of everyday life.

The concepts that Barker students learned included:

Chromatography: The students learned that black ink isn’t always just black ink. By separating the dyes that make it up.

Flame tests: revealed the various metals that are used in fireworks to give them their colors.

How do we know what elements are in the stars?  Students viewed and analyzed the spectra from different gases and light sources.

Cabbage Juice Indicator: Showed how to tell if something is acidic or basic without tasting it.

Precipitation reactions: How two clear colorless liquids mix together to make a colorful solid.

They also learned the concepts behind disappearing ink, how to “electrocute a pickle and telling time using the PNC sundial.

Assisting with the day’s events were the PNC College of Science Student Ambassadors; Dr. Aaron Warren, associate professor of Physics; Dr. Laura Unger, associate professor of Chemistry and Dr. Barreto, associate professor of Chemistry.

PNC Staff Members Earn Influential Women Honors

Susan Brychell, Purdue University North Central special events manager, has earned the 2015 Influential Women of Northwest Indiana award in the Marketing/Media category.

In addition, Marie-Claire Foster, director of Advancement, was a finalist in the area of Education – Up and Coming.

The awards are presented in 11 categories to recognize the region’s female professionals for their influence in business, industries and the communities. More than 150 women from six different Indiana counties were nominated for recognition, with the field narrowed to 79 finalists. Nomination categories are Business, Construction, Economic Development, Education, Finance, Government, Healthcare, Law, Marketing/Media, Non-Profit and Service/Tourism.

Brychell has been with PNC for 10 years, serving most of that time as director of Porter County. She became manager of Special Events in September.

Susan Brychell

“I am honored beyond words to have won this special award,” said Brychell. “There were so many impressive, intelligent women nominated who inspire every day. I give credit to Purdue North Central for allowing me to have the creativity and freedom to be so involved in the community and in my job.”

Brychell is a member of the board of directors of Valparaiso Events; Inspired Living Magazine and the

Kiwanis Foundation. She is president of the Valparaiso Noon Kiwanis Club. She is a member of Tri Kappa and the Portage Chamber Business Opportunity Night committee, is a 10-year co-chair for the Mayor’s Charity Event, and teaches etiquette to PNC students and to the business community. She was a Valparaiso YMCA Volunteer of the Year nominee and earned Kiwanis Club Volunteer of the Year Award Honorable Mention.

Her pageant honors include Miss Indiana Teen, Purdue Grand Prix Queen, Miss Indiana USA and Indiana Rose Queen. She worked for Donald Trump and the Miss Universe Organization and continues to help young women prepare for the pageant experience.

Marie FosterFoster is a member of Tri Kappa and Valparaiso Rotary and serves on boards for the Memorial Opera House, Lubeznik Center for the Arts and the PNC Sinai Forum Advisory Board. She previously was a member of St. Mary’s Pastoral Council.

“It was an honor to have been chosen as a finalist,.” Said Foster. “Northwest Indiana benefits from the involvement of so many influential women and I am proud to be part of this group. The character and strength of these finalists and winners show the potential we have in continuing to enhance our region.”

She earned her MBA from Purdue University and was awarded the 2015 MBA Student of the Year and served on the MBA Leadership Board. She was recently named to the “20 Under 40” list compiled by “BusINess” magazine. She has experience in business and higher education focusing on marketing, graphic design, business strategy, communication, social media, fundraising and agile project management. She has been involved in education at the secondary and college levels implementing innovative curricula involving community relationships to drive student success.

PNC Students Plan Disaster Preparedness Fair

Purdue University North Central Community Health Nursing students, in partnership with Franciscan St. Anthony Health, will present a Disaster Preparedness Fair on Tuesday Oct. 27, from 9 a.m. to 2 p.m. in Franciscan St. Anthony Health St. Francis Hall, 301 W. Homer St., Michigan City. The event is free and open to the public. No RSVP is required.

The fair is intended to generate awareness for all age groups for community preparedness in disaster situations that may occur in our area. Guests will have the opportunity to learn more about how to best prepare for disasters and what resources are available. Free disaster preparedness booklets will be available.

Participants will also have the opportunity to enjoy games, snacks, raffles and pick up free gifts.

Event sponsors include the LaPorte County Emergency Management, LaPorte County Health Department; LaPorte County Haz Mat and Purdue University North Central Department of Nursing.

Further information can be obtained by contacting Peggy Rose, PNC associate professor of Nursing, at (219)785-5706 or

PNC Alumni Association – McDonald’s Give Back Day

The Purdue University North Central Alumni Association will benefit from a Give Back Day hosted by the Westville McDonald’s, located at 800 North Flynn Road, on Nov. 4 from 5 a.m. to 11 p.m. The PNC Alumni Association will receive 50 percent of the purchase price of every latte or lemonade sold. If there are more than 500 purchases, McDonald’s will donate $1,000 to the PNC Alumni Association.McDonalds Event Final

“Pounce,” the PNC Mascot, will make an appearance from 8 to 9:30 a.m. in the McDonald’s lobby.

Marie Foster, director of advancement said that “This generous partnership with McDonald’s of La Porte County not only benefits the PNC Alumni Association, it allows us to build awareness for the services we provide to our 13,000 active alumni.”

“McDonald’s of La Porte County does give back events because when people actively participate in community events they find themselves becoming a part of that community,” said Sam Lubeznik one of the McDonald’s owners. “It helps to change Westville from a dot on a map to a place that you consider home. Communities, like homes, need maintenance from time to time. As a member of the La Porte County community, some of that maintenance is my responsibility. The goal is to find ways to give so that years from now we can all look to see how the community has grown and know that all of us were a part of that.”

The PNC Alumni Association is dedicated to keeping alumni and current students of PNC involved and connected with the university. Its mission is to promote the growth of Purdue University North Central and to encourage the interest of the alumni and local citizens.

Further information can be obtained by contacting Erika Jones, PNC alumni coordinator, at 219-785-5274 or

PNC Announces Recipients of New Scholarship Funded by Local McDonald’s Restaurant Operators

  • Scholarships awarded to students who demonstrate academic excellence, leadership ability and dedication to community service initiatives

Seventeen Purdue University North Central students have been selected as recipients of a new scholarship program funded by the Northwest Indiana McDonald’s Operators (NIMO).

Purdue University North Central students who received the scholarships funded by the Northwest Indiana McDonald’s Operators are: Back row, from left: Nolin Bruns, Jacob Moore, Aaron Ciesielski, Sam Swanson, Kurt Urbanski. Front Row, from left: Ellyn Johansen, Ashley Starcevich, Kristin Wesse, Lindsey Zajac

Purdue University North Central students who received the scholarships funded by the Northwest Indiana McDonald’s Operators are: Back row, from left: Nolin Bruns, Jacob Moore, Aaron Ciesielski, Sam Swanson, Kurt Urbanski. Front Row, from left: Ellyn Johansen, Ashley Starcevich, Kristin Wesse, Lindsey Zajac

A financial gift was made to PNC to provide scholarships to students of all levels – freshman through master’s candidates – in all fields of study. The partnership with Purdue North Central was established in 2015 as part of NIMO’s commitment to supporting education in Northwest Indiana.

“Thank you to the Northwest Indiana McDonald’s Operators for awarding these generous scholarships to deserving Purdue North Central students,” said PNC Chancellor Dr. James B. Dworkin. “College affordability is a concern for most students and these scholarships will definitely help to ease some of the financial concerns that students face as they pursue their degrees. About 85 percent of all PNC graduates continue to live and work in Northwest Indiana following their graduation and we all look forward to seeing these talented individuals become our business and community leaders in the years ahead.”

“The Northwest Indiana McDonald’s Operators believe that education is a true game-changer,” said Bob Mazzaro, president of NIMO and a McDonald’s restaurant owner/operator. “We founded this scholarship to help provide access to higher education for local students in Northwest Indiana. It is a privilege to celebrate their academic success and help support them as they continue along their educational journey.”

Scholarships were awarded in three categories:

McDonald’s Future Leaders – Ten scholarships of $1,000 each were awarded to freshman-level students pursuing a degree in any area of study.

Shy-Anne Bolde                 Jonathon Dickens
Taylor Briel                         Abigail Halaschak
Nolin Bruns                        Jacob Moore
Maria Cervantes                Jessica Wallen
Gustavo Cisneros              Madeline Wojasinski

McDonald’s Students of the Year –Seven scholarships of $1,000 each were awarded one student from each department: College of Business; College of Engineering & Technology; College of Liberal Arts; College of Science; Graduate Studies; Athletics; PNC Student Organizations.

Aaron Ciesielski – Graduate Studies
Kurt Urbanski – Student Organizations
Ellyn Johansen – College of Liberal Arts
Kristin Wesse – College of Science
Ashley Starcevich – Athletics
Lindsey Carol Zajac – College of Business
Sam Swanson – College of Engineering & Technology

McDonald’s Scholar of the Year – Aaron Ciesielski, a Student of the Year scholarship recipient, was chosen as the Scholar of the Year and awarded an additional $3,000 scholarship.

“We are passionate about initiatives that support ongoing education and community collaboration,” said Sam Lubeznik, a McDonald’s owner/operator in LaPorte County. “The 2015 NIMO Scholarship recipients are an exceptional group of students who live these core values everyday – both in the classroom and in their personal lives.”

The NIMO Scholarship was established to recognize individuals who have demonstrated a strong commitment toward achieving their academic goals while exhibiting leadership through service of others. The scholarship program is open to full-time students who are residents of Northwest Indiana, have achieved academic excellence (minimum 2.75 GPA), support their community through volunteer activities, serve in a leadership role in a campus club or organization and are currently employed while pursuing a degree.

About NIMO:
The Northwest Indiana McDonald’s Operators (NIMO) are a group of 15 individual owner/operators with more than 50 restaurants throughout Northwest Indiana, including stores as far north as Whiting, west as Munster, south as Rensselaer, and east as LaPorte. NIMO manages and facilitates all marketing, community relations, educational and philanthropic programs throughout the region, and is responsible for implementing and maintaining consistency at every McDonald’s restaurant in Northwest Indiana.

Visit NIMO’s social media outlets: Twitter – @McD_NWIndiana; Instagram – @McD_Chicago


Contacts for the media:
Nikki Lopez
(312) 552-6315

Carol Connelly
(219) 785-5267


PNC Campus Bookstore Hosts Ray Gleason Book Signing

Purdue University North Central Limited-term Lecturer and best-selling author Ray Gleason will be signing copies of his latest novel, “The Gabinian Affair” and answering questions about his writing on Friday, Oct. 30 from 10 a.m. to 1 p.m. in the PNC campus bookstore, located on the lower level of the Library-Student-Faculty-Building. The event is open to the public.

Gleason, who is teaching English Composition II at PNC this semester, is a well-published fiction writer. “The Gabinian Affair” is the first installment of the Gaius Marius Chronicle, the memoir of a retired Roman soldier, who served with Caesar during his Gallic campaigns and throughout the Roman civil wars. The Gaius Marius Chronicle, an exciting new saga, is shrouded with mystery and intense drama, all the while retaining its historical accuracy.

In “The Gabinian Affair,” young Gaius Marius Insubrecus is torn between fantasy and reality. His grandfather told him fanciful tales of his heroic people, the Gah’el, while his mother, Valeria, desperately wants him to focus on becoming a practical Roman gentleman. Meanwhile, Insubrecus becomes infatuated with Gabinia, the beautiful daughter of a Roman Senator, who has vowed to kill him.

Insubrecus tries to escape the assassins sent after him from Rome by hiding in the Roman army, right at the time that the new governor, Gaius Iulius Caesar, decides to go to war with a fierce and ruthless tribe called the Helvetii. Insubrecus is plunged into a world of violence, intrigue and betrayal, as he tries to save his own life all while serving his new patron, Caesar.

Gleason will also be signing copies of his other books, “A Grunt Speaks: A Devil’s Dictionary of Vietnam Infantry Terms” and his first novel, “The Violent Season.” In addition, he teaches Medieval Literature at Northwestern University. Gleason became an advocate for the “lost generation” of the Vietnam-era in his best-selling novel, “The Violent Season.”

The Gabinian Affair has 240 pages and is being sold as a trade paperback for $16.95. For further information or to schedule an interview with Gleason, contact Nickcole Watkins at 516.900.5674.

PNC Staff Member Earns Professional Scholarship

A Purdue University North Central staff member recently earned a scholarship presented by the Midwest Association of Higher Education Facilities Officers.

Scott Parsons, maintenance crew leader, will use his scholarship to attend the Institute for Facilities Management, a key professional development institute designed to give its attendees the skills needed to manage the operations and personnel of a facilities department.

The Midwest Association of Higher Education Facilities Officers, is known as the MAPPA thanks to its original name, Midwest Association of Physical Plant Administrators. The organization is dedicated to serving the needs of the facilities professionals who are responsible for maintaining, protecting and promoting the quality of educational facilities and libraries in the seven-state Midwest area. It is part of the international association, the Association of Physical Plant Administrators (APPA).

The organization offers its members the professional development program, APPA U, which includes two programs – the Institute for Facilities Management and the Leadership Academy. Parsons will take part in the Institute for Facilities Management. The Institute for Facilities Management offers four different week-long professional education segments: General Administration & Management; Maintenance & Operations; Energy & Utilities; and Planning, Design & Construction. Institute students select one core area that will be the focus of their classes for that week. Presenters included professionals from universities located throughout the country. Parsons has completed two sessions and this scholarship will help fund his attendance at his third session.

Upon completing each week-long session, students will receive a certificate of completion designating their core area of study and 3.0 continuing education units (CEUs).  To receive maximum benefit, APPA recommends that students work towards graduation from the full Institute program by completing all four core areas.

PNC Again Earns NAIA Champions of Character Status

Purdue University North Central has been named a National Association of Intercollegiate Athletics (NAIA) Champions of Character institution for the 2014-15 academic year. PNC has earned the award every year since the award’s inception in 2002.

This year PNC was among 169 institutions named as Five-Star Award winners. Schools earning this distinction share the NAIA commitment to high standards and the principle that participation in athletics serves as an integral part of the total education process.

The mission of Champions of Character is to restore character values and raise a generation of students who understand and demonstrate in everyday decisions respect, responsibility, integrity, servant leadership and sportsmanship. The program is dedicated to the principle that character is a choice and that being a champion is not just about winning, but making good decisions in daily life.

The NAIA and member institutions use the Champions of Character program to instill an understanding of character values in sports, and provide student-athletes, coaches and parents the training to help them know and do the right things, inside and outside the sports setting.

“We are proud of our student athletes and all that they accomplish on the field, in the classroom and in the community. For PNC to consistently earn Champions of Character status confirms our focus on ensuring that our student-athletes succeed in sports, in their academic endeavors and in the world,” said PNC Chancellor Dr. James B. Dworkin.

To be considered a Champions of Character institution, schools must demonstrate how the Champions of Character program is incorporated in athletic contests, public service projects, established policies related to behavior in practice and game situations, athletic and academic environment and character education.

“We are honored once again to achieve designation as a Champions of Character Five Star institution,” said Tom Albano, PNC director of Athletics. “Being one of the very few schools to maintain this award since its inception shows the commitment our student-athletes and coaches have made to the five points on the star: integrity, respect, responsibility, sportsmanship and servant leadership.”

Student-athletes have volunteered at athletic clinics, they’ve worked with children at the Michigan City Boys and Girls Club, they’ve helped the ValPLAYso volunteer effort, they keep a stretch of Indiana 421 clean, they’ve aided the Salvation Army, they were part of the Taste of Valparaiso and they lend a hand to many PNC projects.

A natural fit for many of PNC’s hardworking athletes is to participate and assist in hosting camps and clinics for youngsters around the many community high schools, parks and recreational youth leagues.

“Put us with a bunch of kids and we’ll stay all day long,” said freshman baseball player Christian Bland, an Electrical Engineering major. “I grew up volunteering, so I’m always ready to help.”

The PNC baseball team in particular took a leading role in this year’s efforts and helped with Portage High School and Valparaiso Parks baseball camps and hosted a camp on campus through the State Park Little League. The student athletes went to the Michigan City Boys and Girls club to talk about baseball, inspire the
youngsters to work out and maintain healthy lifestyles and led a game of Whiffle Ball.

Whether it’s helping to prepare a holiday dinner or maintain the stretch of highway in front of PNC, the athletes have a good time.

“We make everything fun,” explained junior outfielder Kyle Hernandez, an Elementary Education major. “We look forward to helping out.”

The team also participated in the “Play for Bryce” CCAC baseball benefit game while various Panther athletes helped out at the Sinai Forum speaking series, Red Cross blood drives, the PNC Barker Mansion holiday party, Chancellor’s Invitational Golf Outing, the Panther Pounce 5K/10K, created their very own Haunted Trail and have assisted with various Veteran’s activities.

On campus many athletes are called upon routinely to pick up the slack and are asked to volunteer where needed. These activities range from and include Career Fairs, or greeters at open houses for prospective students, they serve as team leaders at New Student Orientation and transport elderly and disabled family members at PNC commencement.

The student athletes agree that in the end, they truly enjoy giving their time and talents.

“People are always so welcoming to us. When we work with younger kids, they listen to us and are happy we’re there. We are fortunate to be in a position to help,” said senior catcher Alex May. “I am happy to give back when I have been given so much.”

“The Panther Pack realize that the individuals they help appreciate what they do,” said Albano.