PNC Athletic Hall of Fame Banquet Awards

Taylor Mullen

Taylor Mullen

Jacob Ramirez

Jacob Ramirez

Drew Johnson

Drew Johnson

Danielle Keller

Danielle Keller

Dan Snyder

Dan Snyder

Cody Jansen

Cody Jansen

Bethany Toyias Juchniewicz

Bethany Toyias Juchniewicz

Ashley Starcevich

Ashley Starcevich

Alex Ricica

Alex Ricica

Abbey Scowden

Abbey Scowden

Purdue University North Central Athletics recently hosted its 2014 Spring Hall-of-Fame Banquet and honored a number of student athletes for their athletic and academic achievements.

The Athletics Hall-of-Fame Class of 2014:

Dan Clark, of Portage – Basketball 1990 – 1992
Ryan Hawkins, of Shelbyville – Baseball 2004 – 2005
Bethany Toyias Juchniewicz, Cedar Lake – Softball 2007 – 2008
J.D. Coggins, LaPorte – Service 2003 – 2007

The honors presented included:

H.J. Patel Memorial Scholarship – awarded to golfer Jacob Ramirez for Academic and Athletic Excellence.

H.J. Patel Memorial Scholarship – awarded to volleyball outside hitter Taylor Mullen for Academic and Athletic Excellence.

Jack and Joan Weber Memorial Scholarship – awarded to baseball relief pitcher Cody Jansen for strong student involvement, commitment to academic success and high athletic achievement.

Athlete of the Year – awarded to baseball starting pitcher Dan Snyder. The award is presented to a top athlete for his or her leadership on the field or court as well as their overall success during the 2013-14 season.

Conference Awards:

Chicagoland Collegiate Athletic Conference (CCAC) All-Academic Team:

Cody Jansen – Baseball

Alex Ricica – Baseball

Ashley Starcevich – Softball

Danielle Keller – Softball

To earn this distinction a CCAC student-athlete must maintain a minimum cumulative GPA of a 3.25 or higher and have earned at least 30 semester or 45 trimester hours of credit. The nominated student-athlete(s) must be enrolled with the respected CCAC College/University for a minimum of one academic year.

Chicagoland Collegiate Athletics Conference (CCAC) All-Conference Awards:

Cody Jansen – relief pitcher – First Team All-Conference (Baseball)

Dan Snyder – starting pitcher – Second Team All-Conference (Baseball)

Drew Johnson – infielder – Gold Glove Team (Baseball)

PNC Softball – Conference Champions of Character Team Award:

Abbey Scowden – catcher – Second Team All-Conference (Softball).

Further information about PNC athletics can be obtained by visiting

PNC Student Named to Circle K Indiana Post

Kathryn OrrPurdue University North Central student Kathryn Orr has been named as the Circle K Indiana District Governor, a key leadership position within the organization.

The PNC Circle K is sponsored by the Valparaiso Noon Kiwanis Club and by the LaPorte Kiwanis Club. Circle K International is the premier collegiate and university community service, leadership development and friendship organization in the world.

“I’m very excited to take on the role as Governor this year,” said Orr as she began her year-long assignment. “It’s an amazing opportunity to work with strong leaders from across the state to create, strengthen, and maintain Circle K clubs on over 19 college campuses in Indiana.”

In this post, Orr will work with all Indiana District Officers to assist in strengthening the district by helping them reach their personal goals. In addition, Orr with work with the district board to help it define and set goals, strengthen club chapters, raise money for Eliminate and plan district events such as President’s Retreat, Club Officer Training, District Convention, Membership Development and Education Conference, Fall Service Kick-Off, Fall Rallies and District Large Scale Service Project.

She will also work with the International Board to help to strengthen the Indiana District. She will attend the International Convention and help host the 2015 International Convention in Indianapolis.

Her responsibilities also including leading all district board meetings; attending all Kiwanis and Key Club District Board Meetings and working with the District Treasurer to plan and implement a budget for the year

Orr, a Valparaiso resident, is a Business major with concentrations in Accounting and Management. She has been with Circle K since 2012 and has been involved with the Kiwanis Family since 2004. Kiwanis offers K-Kids for elementary, Builder’s Club for middle school, Key Club for high school, Circle K for college students. Aktion Club is open to adults with disabilities and Kiwanis Club for adults. Orr has been active with Builder’s Club, Key Club, and Circle K.

Orr’s activities include serving as the PNC Dean’s Leadership Group president in 2013-14; PNC Student Government vice president in 2013-14; Indiana District Circle K governor in 2014-15 and Indiana District Circle K Immediate Past Lake-Region lieutenant governor in 2013-14.

Information about Indiana Circle K can be found through its website at and the international website is

PNC English 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 11 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 Karen Bjonback and Mary K. Harris, both of LaPorte; Jennifer Eubanks and Kelsey Tabbert, both of Chesterton; Jeremy Fabbri and Paul Scott, both of Porter; Myria Martin and Hayley Morris, both of Valparaiso; Kelsey Padezan of Lowell; Aaron Ratigan of Portage and Ryan Stinchcomb of Michigan City. 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.

PNC Microsoft Excel 2013 Workshops

The Purdue University North Central Office of Graduate and Extended Learning and Department of Computer and Information Technology will offer a non-credit workshop series for beginner and intermediate users of Microsoft Office’s Excel 2013 software.

The workshops will meet on Tuesday and Thursday from June 10 through June 19 from 5:30 to 7:30 p.m. Registration $160 and includes all books and materials. Special rates are available for PNC students, alumni and employees. The deadline to register is Wednesday, May 21 at 4 p.m.

This program will be taught by an instructor with 11 years of experience at PNC, as well as 20 years of management experience in an office environment. Instruction will include an introduction to basic concepts and techniques for using the software in personal and business applications. Participants will learn about settings and properties of workbooks and worksheets, cell formatting and data entry, merging and highlighting cells, basic formulas and charts, as well as about a plethora of tools, functions and software abilities.

To register or obtain further information about this program, including details about what participants will learn, visit or contact Cassandra Boehlke, coordinator of Graduate and Extended Learning, at (219) 785- 5748, or Persons with disabilities requiring accommodations should contact Boehlke.

Photos of Graduates at the Running Arch Now Available

Photos of the graduates at the Running Arch from April 23, 2014 are now available:

PNC Circle K Members Volunteer at Mullen Center

Purdue University North Central student members of the campus Circle K Club, along with members of the University of Notre Dame Circle K chapter, recently volunteered to help give the Mullen Center in Michigan City a “Spa Day.” The volunteers helped to plant flowers, rake leaves and beautify the area.

Mullen Center, part of the Michigan City Area Schools, houses some of the programs associated with the Safe Harbor programs.

PNC Circle K member Amy Miller, of Westville, was a part of the group volunteering at the Mullen Center. “It was a great collaboration of both PNC and Notre Dame to help out Safe Harbor. We had a lot of fun and I hope we can continue to work with our Circle K neighbors in future projects,” she said.

Other PNC Circle K volunteers included Cody Grzelak, of South Haven and Amanda Schacht, the club advisor. The Notre Dame Circle K members were Ivana Surjancev, of Chicago; Diego Valenzuela, from Arizona; Tom Peach, from England and Joseph Celeste, of Chicago.

The PNC Circle K is sponsored by the Valparaiso Noon Kiwanis Club and by the LaPorte Kiwanis Club. Circle K International is the premier collegiate and university community service, leadership development and friendship organization in the world.

The Circle K club donated donuts to get the day started and were provided with a chicken and salad lunch. During lunch the students talked about their activities and their volunteer work on campus and in the community and forged new friendships.

PNC Students Participate in ASME Competition


PNC ASME team: Obadiah Lachmann, Tom Delisio, Ruben Serrano and Edward Vavrek, PNC associate professor of Mechanical Engineering Technology

A team of Purdue University North Central students recently had the experience of a lifetime when they participated in the American Society of Mechanical Engineers (ASME) Student Design Competition.

Students Ruben Serrano, of Michigan City; Obadiah Lachmann, of Valparaiso and Tom Delisio, of Valparaiso, all Mechanical Engineering Technology majors, traveled to Madison, Wisc. to join teams of college and university students from the 13-state Midwest ASME District for the student design competition and ASME Student Professional Development Conference. The conference brings together hundreds of students for the opportunity to learn more about the engineering field, to network with peers and to take part in competition that tests their knowledge and abilities.

“March Madness has a different meaning for our senior students in Mechanical Engineering Technology,” said Edward Vavrek, PNC associate professor of Mechanical Engineering Technology and faculty advisor for the PNC team. “It’s crunch time as our students get ready for the annual ASME Design Competition. Our students learn project management, engineering and team building skills. We also have the opportunity to enjoy a full weekend of activities.”

The competition is intended to provide students with a platform to present their solutions to a range of design challenges presented by ASME. The tasks present real-world challenges similar who what some engineers encounter on the job – from everyday household tasks to groundbreaking space exploration.

According to the ASME web site, “The competition showcases the extraordinary talents of mechanical engineering students while encouraging them to develop innovative ideas towards an improved quality of life.”

This year the students were asked to design an unmanned air vehicle (drone) capable of carrying cargo through two gates, dropping the payload and returning. The aircraft had to meet exacting specifications using specified materials. It also needed to perform around and through obstacles, change height and go thru a hoop.

Delisio decided he wanted to take part in the competition after hearing about it from students who competed last year. After doing some research, he knew this would become his PNC Senior Design project. He asked other students if they wanted to join him and Serrano and Lachmann quickly agreed. They’ve known each other for several years and felt up to the challenge.

Each brought a different skill set to the competition. For example, Serrano, an Air Force veteran, found his knowledge of aircraft useful.

Delisio noted that the team spent hours doing research on how to best create a durable object that was lighter than air yet capable of lifting considerable weight and able to perform complex functions.

“We learned how to apply our problem-solving skills and trouble-shooting skills,” said Lachmann. “We had to meet a strict deadline, which added to the challenge.”

None of the team members were fluent in programming and ultimately they were helped out by PNC student Jon Wilhelm, an Electrical & Computer Engineering Technology major.

Even though the PNC students put many hours into the aircraft and designed and built it to specifications, once they got to the competition, they found they needed to change a switch. With little time to waste, they started talking to other teams to gather spare parts. Luckily, another team offered valuable advice on how to improvise a working switch that met the design standards, said Lachmann.

“It was great to see how everyone’s skills came together for the competition,” he continued. “It was a great experience.”

While all of the students and their faculty advisors were there for the competition, the team members found that meeting and networking with other students and professionals was as valuable to them as the competition.

“It was a tremendous opportunity to speak to other engineers, ask questions and learn,” said Serrano. ”It was really rewarding to take part in the competition and it was a thrill to see it fly.”

“I’m happy we were part of the competition,” said Delisio.”I’ve learned a lot in all of my engineering classes at PNC, but I think this is the most that I’ve taken away from a class. These skills will help all of us in our careers.”


PNC Faculty Member Earns Outstanding Online Teaching Award

Dr. Christabel Rogalin

Dr. Christabel Rogalin

The Purdue University North Central faculty member Dr. Christabel Rogalin, associate professor of Sociology, has been selected to receive the Purdue University Outstanding Online Teaching Award for her course “Social Psychology of Marriage.”

The award recognizes Purdue faculty and instructional staff members who demonstrate excellence in their distance or online projects and show a well-designed approach to instruction, effective application of distance/online learning methods and best practices to facilitate student learning and have a positive impact on the learners served, as reflected by program evaluations or other documentation of appropriate measures.

She was honored recently at a recent awards reception on the Purdue University West Lafayette campus

Dr. Karen Schmid, PNC vice chancellor for Academics, noted this recognition reflects Rogalin’s commitment to providing quality online instruction to provide learning options to students.

“Online courses are important to help our students make progress on their degrees and to graduate, given their complicated schedules,” said Schmid. “We live in a technological world and online courses prepare students for this world. At PNC, we have focused on developing high-quality online courses and this award demonstrates our commitment to quality.”

Dr. Rex Morrow, dean of the PNC College of Liberal Arts, noted the importance of significance of this award, “As a university responsive to the 21st century needs of students in diverse and distant settings, online instruction is a valuable mode of teaching designed to provide opportunities to provide higher education across the state of Indiana and beyond.  Dr. Rogalin’s online course, ‘Social Psychology of Marriage,’ is a component of study in the PNC Behavioral Science-Sociology, Psychology and Social Work degree programs. The Department of Social Science and I are delighted with Purdue’s Award and the recognition that Dr. Rogalin has received for her online course.”

PNC Students Volunteer for VITA Program

Vita Students

Front row: Kristin Spoelhof, Gina Bentivenga, Ashley Savin, Kari Ricard, Erin Musgrave
Back row: Brent Jarnecke, Kathryn Holmgren, Craig Marcum, Jennifer Gabrysiak, Andrea Kingery, Sean Wildfang, Tom Holets

Eleven Purdue University North Central Accounting students recently completed another successful year serving in the Internal Revenue Service’s Volunteer Income Tax Assistance (VITA) program Voluntary Income Tax Assistance (VITA) program.

This is the 25nd year that PNC junior and senior accounting students volunteered their services. Working under the direction of Thomas Holets, PNC continuing lecturer of Accounting who has administered the program for the past 10 years, the students devoted their Saturdays from Feb. 22 until April 5 to provide this free service to the community. Three VITA alumni also assisted with the program. Client numbers have steadily increased through the years and the program now e-files all tax returns. This year Holets and his group served more than 100 clients from the community. The total only indicates those tax returns actually completed.

According to Holets, each year some taxpayers do not meet the VITA criteria set forth by the IRS and  are counseled and referred to other agencies.

“I am proud of my students,” said Holets, “This was an extremely challenging season because of all of the weather issues. They pulled together as a team with flawless results.”

Some comments offered by satisfied clients include: “Awesome people;” “ very friendly and get my returns done in an orderly fashion;” “will be back again next year;” “it was friendly and everyone was professional;” “we really appreciate the fast and careful service we received;” “this is a wonderful service for the community.”

On the final day of the course, Holets holds a dialogue session with the group to reflect upon the impact that their service had on their own learning as future professionals and members of the community.

Kristin Spoehlhof, one of the members of the team remarked, “I enjoyed the VITA program. It offered hands-on experience while earning college credit. My favorite part was getting to know my classmates and helping the community prepare their taxes for free.”

Gina Bentivenga, added, “We learned theory in the classroom, then got to apply it through the VITA program.”

Brent Jarnecke, said, “I felt that the VITA program was a very rewarding experience due to not only the knowledge we gained that will be applied to our future careers, but more importantly I appreciated the interaction with the public. Let’s be honest, tax season is generally not a very happy time for most people, but I was amazed at how friendly and kind most of the clients were. The fact that it is a free service and that we are able to help lower income individuals, makes it even better. The people truly appreciated what we did for them. I believe that many of the VITA programs around the country are independent of a college or educational institution, and to be able to link PNC to a positive outreach is an honor.”

New this year was the added support of the United Way. “We were fortunate this year to have the support of the LaPorte County United Way,” said Cynthia Roberts, dean of the PNC College of Business.

“David Sisk (manager of Community Investment for the LaPorte County United Way) and his team were able to help improve our scheduling so we could more efficiently help clients, with a goal of increasing the capacity of the site to serve a greater number of taxpayers.”

Two Americorps students currently serving with the United Way, Mark Keen, Michigan City and Alex Buchanan, Rolling Prairie, played a key role in coordinating the project. Planning has already begun to increase services next year by soliciting help from volunteers in the accounting profession as well as others from the community in more supportive roles.

According to Sisk, “With help from AmeriCorps and the PNC students and faculty, the VITA program helps put money in people’s pockets. It does not charge fees for those who have earned less than $52,000. That savings, plus the savings of not having to pay to cash their tax refund thanks of our collaborations with local banks and credit unions, helps improve the financial stability of these families. We hope to grow the VITA program and serve more people in need as we expand our collaboration with Purdue North Central.”

PNC Social Media Marketing Workshop Series

The Purdue University North Central Office of Graduate and Extended Learning will offer a non-credit Social Media Marketing Workshop Series each Thursday from May 22 through June 26 from 3 to 5 p.m.

The series will cover the use of social media platforms and strategies to meet professional business needs. Topics will include the use of Facebook, LinkedIn, Google+, Twitter, creating an editorial calendar, social media trends and strategies and more.

The program, which will be led by Darlene McCarty Cohn, owner of D. Cohn Communications and former limited term lecturer at Purdue North Central. Participants will receive a certificate of achievement upon successful completion of the workshop series.

The registration fee is $165, which includes all books and materials. The registration deadline is Friday, May 16, at 4 p.m.  Special rates are available for PNC students, alumni and employees.

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