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.

PNC Offers Introductory Grant Writing Course

The Purdue University North Central Office of Graduate and Extended Learning and the Office of Learning Technology, in partnership with Westville’s Independent Cat Society, will offer the four-session not-for-credit program, “Fund It: Introduction to Grant Writing” in November.

The program will meet on Tuesdays and Thursdays, Nov. 3, 5, 10 and 12 from 5 to 7:30 p.m. at the PNC campus. Registration is $249 and includes all materials. Special rates are available for PNC and Purdue Calumet students, alumni and employees. The registration deadline is Oct. 27 at 4 p.m.

“The world of grant writing can be a confusing one,” says Dr. Anastasia Trekles, clinical assistant professor of instructional technology and the director of Learning Technologies at Purdue University North Central, who is one of the program instructors. “This program will help individuals demystify the process and identify ways to get support for the programs and issues they are most passionate about.”

After participating in this four-session program, learners will be able to clearly identify and articulate their funding needs, locate agencies and foundations that may be able to fund those needs, develop a realistic, complete and focused grant proposal, and use storytelling techniques to  communicate their messages through social and digital media effectively.

“During this brief series, we will equip learners with a toolbox of strategies and techniques that will be useful in their workplaces and lives for years to come,” says Roberta Jocius, program instructor and grant coordinator for Westville’s Independent Cat Society, a non-profit organization dedicated to animal welfare, located in Westville, Indiana. Part of the proceeds from this program will benefit the Independent Cat Society.

To register or obtain further information about this program or to register, visit or contact the PNC Office of Graduate and Extended Learning, at (219) 785-5343, or Persons with disabilities requiring accommodations should contact (219) 785-5748.

PNC Hosts Indiana Section of the Mathematical Association of America

Purdue University North Central will host the fall meeting of the Indiana Section of the Mathematical Association of America (INMAA) on Saturday, Oct.17, from 8 a.m. to 4 p.m. The event will draw educators from throughout Indiana, Michigan and Illinois to share their research and to network with colleagues.

Dr. Alain Togbe, PNC professor of Mathematics, serves as the INMMAA section chair. The event organizers included Togbe, Dr. Gayla Domke, associate professor of Mathematics and Dr. Bir Kafle, assistant professor of Mathematics.

Invited speakers are Dr. Annalisa Crannell, of Franklin & Marshall College in Lancaster, Penn, who will present “In the Shadow of Desargues” and Dr. Kay Roebuck and Dr. Sheryl Stump, of Ball State University, who will discuss the common core and its fate in Indiana.

There will be an Indiana Project NExT Panel Session centering on “Effectively Incorporating Technology in the Classroom.”

Titles of the papers to be presented include, “Twenty-five years of the MAA student chapters,” “The convex hull of Markov distributions,” “Comparing sporting events,” “Why would anyone ever use portfolio assessment in a mathematics course?” “Examples for Green’s Theorem with discontinuous partial derivatives,” “A geometric interpretation of trigonometry,” “Jumping Cars: A game of discrete, dense, and continuous motions on a plane,” “Mathematics in a non-math course,” “Using Crazy Eights to teach programming and conjecture skills to math majors,” “Finding order in learning disorder: How to go the extra mile for the students that face learning challenges” and “A variational type method for solving nonlinear pseudo-differential equations.”

This year is the centennial anniversary of the MAA Indiana Section. The MMA strives to advance the mathematical sciences, especially at the collegiate level; helps to ensure that teachers are prepared to deliver mathematics instruction, particularly at the middle and high school levels and conducts outreach and programming to provide professional development opportunities and related efforts to strengthen mathematics instruction. It works at the federal level to increase funding for programs at the National Science Foundation (NSF) and the U.S. Department of Education (ED) that address these issues.

Further information about the conference can be obtained by contacting Togbe at

Purdue Trustees Approve Academic Structuring for Purdue University Northwest

A plan to unify academic organizations of the emerging Purdue University Northwest into six colleges was approved on Friday (Oct. 9) by the Purdue University Board of Trustees.

Pending approval by the Higher Learning Commission, Purdue University Northwest will be established via the unification of Purdue University Calumet in Hammond and Purdue University North Central in Westville prior to the start of the 2016-17 academic year.

Purdue Northwest students will attend Calumet and North Central campuses, located 35 miles apart in northwest Indiana, and pursue baccalaureate and master’s degrees via programs offered within the following colleges:

* Business

* Engineering and Sciences

* Humanities, Education and Social Sciences

* Nursing

* Technology

There also will be an Honors College.

“We appreciate the board’s approval and commend the very hard work and thoughtfulness by the faculty of our two campuses in furthering this plan,” said Karen Schmid, North Central vice chancellor for academic affairs and Calumet interim vice chancellor for academic affairs and provost.

The new academic organization represents a reduction from 11 in the total number of colleges currently at Purdue Calumet and Purdue North Central. Similarly, academic departments will be reduced from 29 to 16, with three schools.

The new structure of colleges includes the following departments and schools:

Business – Departments of Quantitative Business Studies and Managerial Studies and the White Lodging School of Hospitality and Tourism Management.

Engineering and Sciences – Departments of Biological Sciences; Chemistry and Physics; and Mathematics, Statistics and Computer Science, as well as Departments of Mechanical & Civil Engineering and Electrical & Computer Engineering organized within the School of Engineering.

Humanities, Education and Social Sciences – Departments of History and Philosophy; English; Political Science, Economics, and World Languages and Cultures; Behavioral Sciences; Communication and Creative Arts; and Psychology, as well as the School of Education and Counseling.

Nursing – no departments.

Technology – Departments of Construction Science and Organizational Leadership; Computer Information Technology & Graphics; and Engineering Technology.

As unified Calumet and North Central campuses, Purdue Northwest would become a university of some 15,000 students, fifth largest in Indiana. The emerging Purdue Northwest also is intended to provide enhanced opportunities for students in programs of study, a wider variety of shared online courses and more options for community engagement and professional development.


Media contacts:

Wes Lukoshus, Purdue Calumet assistant vice chancellor for marketing and communications, 219-989-2217,

Carol Connelly, Purdue North Central director of media and communication services, 219-785-5267,

PNC Staff Members Named as Award Finalists

Two Purdue University North Central staff members, Marie-Claire Foster, director of Advancement and Susan Brychell, special events manager, have been named as finalists for the 2015 Influential Women of Northwest Indiana award

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.

Awards will be announced Oct. 15.

“I extend my heartfelt congratulations to Marie and Susan for achieving the distinction of being named as finalists for the Influential Women of Northwest Indiana award,” said Dr. James B. Dworkin, Purdue North Central chancellor. “Both are valued members of the PNC campus community and have proven themselves to be true campus and community leaders. Purdue University and Northwest Indiana benefit from the many contributions of these talented and dedicated professionals.”

Erica Dombey, president and executive director of the Regional Development Company and a 2012 Influential Women Alumni, said, “Each of these finalists have made incredible contributions to their industries. They’re bold individuals who have made their mark on businesses and communities across Northwest Indiana. We’re very proud to celebrate their achievements.”

Additionally, Foster was recently named to the “20 Under 40” list compiled by BusINess magazine, published by The Times Media Company.

PNC Students Earn Chancellor’s Leadership Awards

Purdue University North Central Chancellor Dr. James B. Dworkin has announced the winners of the 2015-2016 Chancellor’s Leadership Award.

The students selected for the honor join a distinguished group of students who have a record of academic achievement and demonstrated leadership through involvement in school and community activities.

Award criteria include school and community involvement and leadership, scholastic achievement and potential for participation and leadership in PNC extracurricular activities. Students earning the 2015-2016 leadership awards represent high schools throughout Northwest Indiana and into lower Michigan. They were involved in a variety of clubs, activities, community and church organizations and sports.

The Chancellor’s Leadership Award is a renewable scholarship program that requires participation in an on-campus leadership seminar and volunteer service, among other requirements. Several of the scholarships are sponsored through endowment funds created by local businesses and individuals.

Chancellor's Leadership Group 2015

Seated left to right: Shawna DeGraff, Austin Krieter, Kyleigh Werner, Kurt Urbanski, Jamilyn Goodwin, Riley Owens. Standing left to right: John Weber, PNC dean of Students, Amanda Schacht, Director of Student Activities, Shelby Clindaniel, Brook King, Kayla Patrick, Alexandra Jodzis, Brianna Jodzis, Monica Renteria, Paul McGuinness, vice chancellor for Enrollment Management and Student Affairs.

These students will also take part in the semester-long Chancellor’s Leadership Seminar. The seminar, led by Dworkin, covers various topics involving leadership, civic engagement and community service.

Students earning the awards are:

Brianna  Jodzis, of Macomb, Mich., is a freshman and a Mechanical Engineering major. She is a member of the PNC softball team.

Alexandra Jodzis, of Macomb Mich., is an Elementary Education major. A freshman, she is a member of the PNC softball team.

Kayla Patrick, of Michigan City, is a Nursing major. The freshman was a member of the PNC College Bound program in high school.

Brook King, of Michigan City, is a freshman Nursing major. She took part in the Concurrent Enrollment Program while in high school.

Jamilyn Goodwin, of Wanatah is a freshman Elementary Education major.

Shawna DeGraff, of LaPorte is a continuing PNC student. The Business major is a member of Student Government, the Business Leadership Society and the Honors Program.

Kurt Urbanski, of LaPorte, is a continuing PNC student and an Accounting major. He is a member of Circle K, Student Government and the Accounting Club.

Austin Krieter, of Chesterton, is a continuing student and a Business major. He is a military veteran.

Monica Renteria, of Plymouth, is a Nursing major and a continuing PNC student.

Riley Owens, of Valparaiso, is a freshman Business major. He is a member of the campus Panther News Network and a member of the Video Team.

Shelby Clindaniel, of Kouts is a continuing PNC student. The Communication major is the Panther News Network editor.

Kyleigh Werner, of Westville, is a freshman Pre-Nursing major and a member of the Cross Country team.

PNC Faculty Member Earns CFE Credential

David HayThe Purdue University North Central faculty member Dr. David L. Hay, continuing lecturer in Accounting, has earned the Certified Fraud Examiner (CFE) credential from the Association of Certified Fraud Examiners (ACFE), the world’s largest anti-fraud organization and leading provider of anti-fraud training and education.

To become a CFE, Hay met a stringent set of criteria and passed a rigorous exam administered by the ACFE. He met all ACFE character, experience and education requirements for the CFE and demonstrated knowledge in four areas critical to the fight against fraud: fraudulent financial transactions, fraud prevention and deterrence, legal elements of fraud, and fraud investigation.

“Dr. Hay is one of our most popular instructors within our college. We are pleased that he has attained this distinguished credential as it signifies his commitment to professional integrity, academic quality and program currency. We foresee this as an area of accounting that will continue to grow in the future,” said Dr. Cynthia Roberts, dean of the PNC College of Business.

Hay joined the PNC College of Business in 2010.  He is a Certified Public Accountant, and holds an MBA in Accounting and a Ph.D. in U.S. History. He teaches courses in accounting and developed a course in fraud for undergraduate and graduate students.

About 30,000 business and government professionals worldwide have earned the CFE certification. CFEs examine data and records to detect and trace fraudulent transactions; interview suspects to obtain information and confessions; write investigation reports; advise clients on their findings; testify at trial; understand the law as it relates to fraud and fraud investigations and identify the underlying factors that motivate individuals to commit fraud. CFEs on six continents have investigated more than 1 million suspected cases of civil and criminal fraud.

ACFE is in its 27th year.  With nearly 75,000 members, it is the world’s largest anti-fraud organization and premier provider of anti-fraud training and education.

PNC, Library Present Screening of “Ex Machina”

The movie “Ex Machina” will be shown on Sunday, Oct. 18 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 R.

Screenwriter Alex Garland makes his directing debut with “Ex Machina,” a science-fiction thriller. The story centers on the character Caleb Smith, played by Domhnall Gleeson, who is a coder working for Nathan Bateman, actor Oscar Isaac, who is portrayed as a twisted internet genius. The boss has plans for Caleb to travel to a remote lab in Alaska to participate in his twisted artificial intelligence experiment that includes an advanced species of robot in female form.

Actress Alicia Vikander stars as Ava the female robot. “Time” magazine lauded her performance, “Vikander lends Ava a grace and precision of movement that could be human or mechanical, earthly or ethereal. We can almost watch Ava’s mind work.”

While many films have depicted merciless men entrapping people for science or sport, this film takes a number of unanticipated twists and turns.

As “Rolling Stone” describes, “The less you know going into this mesmerizing mind-bender, the better. Ex Machina springs surprises that will haunt you for a good long time.”

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 SSAC Receives Porter County Community Foundation Donation

Purdue University North Central has received a donation from the Porter County Community Foundation to underwrite the naming rights to an Information Kiosk to be located in the main entrance in the PNC Student Services and Activities Complex.

Bill Higbie, Porter County Community Foundation Vice President of Development (left) and Barb Young, Foundation President present a check to Purdue University North Central Chancellor, Dr. James Dworkin to underwrite the naming rights to an Information Kiosk in the main entrance in the PNC Student Services and Activities Complex.

The Student Services and Activities Complex is currently under construction and is expected to open in spring, 2016. The kiosk will be a prominent feature in the entrance area and will be a valuable resource for building and campus visitors.

The Porter County Community Foundation’s mission is to inspire giving and philanthropy among all members of the community and to improve the lives of all Porter County residents by helping to create a community where everyone has the opportunity to achieve their full potential.

There is a strong Porter County presence on the PNC campus. This fall semester, of the 6,158 students enrolled at PNC, 2,184 of them are Porter County residents. In addition, there are 3,746 PNC alumni living in Porter County.

The generosity of more than 130 donors provided financial support for the $34 million Student Services and Activities Complex that is expected to be the hub of student activity on campus. It will measure 102,239 gross square feet and will feature the H.D. Kesling Gymnasium, locker rooms, a walking track, fitness rooms, wellness center and fitness area will be open to students, faculty and staff. There will be a game room, student study lounge and ample space for student club offices and activities. A variety of athletic, wellness and recreation programs will be available to help students, faculty and staff set personal health goals for themselves and their families to achieve their personal best for weight control and healthy lifestyles.

Intramural sports programs that currently meet off-campus will have a home in the Student Services and Activities Complex, giving more student athletes the opportunity to enjoy their favorite sports and activities. The Great Hall will host campus and community events.

Purdue North Central 2015 Fall Enrollment

Purdue University North Central undergraduate students continue to enroll as full-time students as the fall 2015 semester opened with PNC students taking an average of 12.16 credit hours, with 75 percent of all PNC undergraduate students taking 12 or more credit hours. Students taking 12 or more credit hours are considered to be full-time students.

The PNC 2015 – 2016 academic year opened Monday, Aug. 24 with a 6,158 students enrolled. This is a slight drop from the 6,177 students enrolled in the fall semester of 2014.

Included in the 2015 fall enrollment are 3,059 core undergraduate students, 142 graduate students and 2,937 Dual Credit/Concurrent Enrollment students. The graduate student population includes 39 students in the Master’s of Business Administration program and 103 non-degree-seeking graduate students.

PNC has retained 76.71 percent of its students who were enrolled in spring semester classes.

This fall, PNC has 531 first-time, full-time students enrolled in its freshman class. These freshmen include 196 students, or 37 percent of the group, who earned Dual Credit/Concurrent Enrollment credits in high school. They entered PNC with an average of 11 credit hours and savings of nearly $3,000 in tuition by taking college courses in high school.

“The PNC students, faculty and staff all look forward to a productive academic year ahead. Students who attend PNC know they will receive a quality Purdue education and earn a Purdue degree that will play a key role in ensuring their future success,” said PNC Chancellor Dr. James B. Dworkin. “It is important to note that close to 34 percent of our students are enrolled in 15 or more credit hours per semester. If these students continue to earn 15 or more credit hours each semester, they will be on track to graduate in eight semesters, or four years. Students earning 12 credit hours each semester will graduate in 10 semesters, or five years.”

The average PNC undergraduate degree-seeking student is 24 years old. There are 2,404 males and 3,754 females enrolled. PNC has 2,233 students from Porter County and 1,616 students from LaPorte County.

This semester, there are a record 2,937 students taking 16,704 credit hours through the Dual Credit/Concurrent Enrollment program. This program allows high school students to earn both high school and Purdue University credits while they take classes in their high school during the regular school day. PNC offers Dual Credit/Concurrent Enrollment classes in 44 Northwest Indiana high schools.

“We work closely with our partner high schools to ensure the academic rigor of the dual credit courses and monitor the students’ learning outcomes,” said Dworkin. “We see that many of these highly motivated students commit themselves to earning a bachelor’s degree in three years so that they have a competitive edge as they enter the job market earlier than they may have otherwise, while saving a considerable amount of money on tuition, books and expenses.”