PNC Offers New Certificate in Economic Development

Purdue University North Central is accepting registration from members of the community interested in earning a graduate level certificate in Economic Development.

The program, designed in collaboration with economic development professionals, will equip leaders and practitioners with the knowledge and skills necessary to improve the performance of area economic development activities. This in-depth series is academically rigorous to meet graduate-level standards, yet emphasizes practical application of concepts to our region’s resources and capabilities.

Courses may be taken for credit as a stand-alone certificate or for non-credit for those working in the field, participating in economic development activities, or interested in learning more.

The three-course series will begin June 6 and meet on Saturdays from 1 to 5 p.m. at PNC – Porter County, 600 Vale Park Road, Valparaiso.

The courses are:

  • The Competitive Advantage of a Region, offered June 6 through Aug. 15.
  • Economic and Social Analysis, Sept. 12 to Nov. 21.
  • Introduction to Economic Development, Dec. 5 to- Feb. 20.

The curriculum will concentration on:

  • Northwest Indiana & Southwest Lower Michigan
  • Factors which measure the economic performance of a region
  • Analyzing the growth of a region and comparing this to peer counties/regions
  • Apply principles of economic development to understand differentials in growth performance

The instructors will be PNC faculty members Anthony Sindone, continuing lecturer Economics and Dr. Derek Bjonback, associate professor of Economics and Finance.

To obtain further information or to register, contact Jaclyn Barnhill, MBA Coordinator at 219-785-5557 or Persons with disabilities requiring accommodations should contact the program office.

PNC Day of Giving Generates $161,456

Olga Pecanac and Dr. James B. Dworkin

Olga Pecanac, PNC Alumni Board member and PNC Chancellor James B. Dworkin.

The Purdue University North Central participation in the second Annual Purdue Day of Giving generated $161,456 in donations, earning PNC 17th in money raised of the 42 Purdue University units participating in the fundraising event.

The Day of Giving provided a 24-hour opportunity for Purdue alumni, faculty, staff, parents and friends to come together for an online fundraising event to make donations that will transform the lives of Purdue students.  At Purdue North Central, a Day of Giving headquarters was created where live minute-by-minute standings were shown on a large screen. Donors stopped by for donuts in the morning and pizza in the afternoon as the headquarters celebrated the generosity of donors. Leaderboards displayed the results of social media challenges where students, alumni, employees and others participated by posting photos, videos and random statements on social media platforms using the handle @PNC_ALUMNI and hashtags #iampnc and #PurdueDayofGiving.

The donations received will go to benefit PNC academic colleges, student scholarships, PNC athletics, the Student Services Activity Complex and many other areas.

PNC Commencement to be May 18

The Purdue University North Central 2014-2015 commencement ceremony will be Monday, May 18 at 7 p.m. in the Valparaiso University Athletics – Recreation Center. No tickets are necessary to attend.

The Class of 2015 will earn an anticipated, 498 bachelor’s degrees, 56 associate degrees and 13 Master’s of Business Administration degrees.

The traditional commencement ceremony will feature the conferring of degrees by Purdue North Central Chancellor Dr. James B. Dworkin. Purdue University President Mitchell E. Daniels Jr., is expected to be in attendance.

The new graduates will be welcomed to the ranks of Purdue alumni by Michael Weaver, chair of the Purdue North Central Alumni Association Advisory Board. Weaver is director of Inpatient Services at Porter Starke Services Inc. in Valparaiso. He earned a degree in Organizational Leadership and Supervision from PNC in 2006 as well as his Master’s in Business Administration in 2012.

The response on behalf of the 2014-2015 graduating class will be presented by Therese R. Manta, who is earning her Bachelor’s degree in Elementary Education with a concentration in Reading.

Following the ceremony, graduates and their guests are invited to enjoy a reception in the Harre Student Union on the Valparaiso University campus.

Further information about commencement can be obtained by contacting the PNC Office of the Registrar at 219-785- 5299. Persons with disabilities requiring accommodations should contact ext. 5299.

PNC Student Honors Convocations

Purdue University North Central students have earned a number of honors in recent weeks. Awards were presented to:

Alpha Mu Pi – Officer Leadership Award: Chrystal Ziegler, Kayla Singleton, Hayley Morris; Active Participation Award: Karen Bjonback and Aaron Ratigan

American Sign Language ClubExcellence Award: Madeline Conner

Business Leadership SocietyLeadership Award: Kimberly Franklin; Club Officer Awards: Holly Harris, Amber Young and Susan Bolger

Circle K – 2016 Club President Award: Tiffany Woloszyn; 2016 Club Vice President Award: Kurt Urbanski; 2016 Club Secretary: Rebecca Ordway; 2016 Club Treasurer: Virginia Ramos-Romero; Outstanding Club Member: Matt Migliorini

Dean’s Leadership Group – Outgoing Officer Award: Paige Mellen, Emily Marovich, Ashley Starcevich, and Ellyn Johansen; Incoming Officer Award: Jason Wray, Ellyn Johansen, Samantha Lincoln and Danielle Szymkowski

Panther News Network (PNN) – Writer and Broadcaster Recognition: Aaron Ratigan, Angela Hall, Ashley Taber, Erin Cruce, Jacey Coppage, Kristen Wozniak, Maria Elena Miller, Ryan Schwingendorf, Shelby Clindaniel, Trent Laughlin, Dave Sokolowski, Joseph Ryan, Haleigh Vander Vinne, Paul Scott, Shane Hill, Samantha Lincoln and Ashley Starcevich

Ranting Llamas Improv Troupe – Time and Effort Award: Haley Jackson

Club Member of the Year – Matthew Migliorini

Club Advisor of the Year – Jane Rose

Club of the Year – Circle K
Department Awards

Career CenterStudent Employee of the Year: Lindsey Gear

Diversity Scholarship Recipient: American Sign Language Club

Education Department – Outstanding Future Educator Awards: Kenny Evans, Abby Vittatoe, Joni Galbreath

Student Activities – Event/Activity Engagement Grant Recipient: Construction Club

TRiO Student SupportServices TRiO Student of the Year Award: Fawn Hartz

Student Government Association Scholarship Recipient – Jason Wray
2014-2015 Student Government Representative Recognition

President: Matthew Migliorini

Vice President: Grace Houser

Secretary: Anneliese Kieper

Treasurer: Tyler Feece

Representatives: Travis Ziegler, Halle Charlebois, Emily Marovich, Shane Hill, Timothy Clemons

2015-2016 Student Government Officers

President: Travis Ziegler

Vice President: Shane Hill

Treasurer: Matthew Migliorini

Secretary: Danielle Szymkowski

2015-2016 Representatives – Shawna DeGraff, Tyler Feece, Shane Hill, Matthew Migliorini, Ashley Starcevich, Danielle Szymkowski, Kurt Urbanski, Jason Wray, Travis Ziegler

Part-Time Faculty Awards

College of Business – Todd DeVries

College of Engineering – Josh Ward and Peter Teso

College of Liberal Arts – Kristy Virgo

College of Science – Sharron Jenkins

Photos of Graduates at the Running Arch Now Available

Photos of the graduates at the Running Arch from April 27, 2015 are now available.


PNC Faculty Member Receives Fulbright Senior Specialists Award

Tantatape Brahmasrene

Dr. Tantatape Brahmasrene

Dr. Tantatape Brahmasrene, professor of finance and international business at Purdue University North Central, has been selected for a Fulbright Senior Specialists project in Turkmenistan at International

University for the Humanities and Development (IUHD), announced to the United States Department of State and the J. William Fulbright Foreign Scholarship Board.

He is one of more than 400 U.S. faculty and professionals who will travel abroad this year through the Fulbright Senior Specialists Program. The Fulbright Senior Specialists Program, created in 2000 to complement the traditional Fulbright Scholar Program, provides short-term academic opportunities to prominent U.S. faculty and professionals to support curricular and faculty development and institutional planning at post-secondary, academic institutions around the world. Brahmasrene is a 2001 J. William Fulbright Senior Scholar, a 2003 Fulbright Senior Specialist in Thailand and a 2007 Fulbright Senior Specialist in Kazakshstan.

Brahmasrene will help IUHD develop a curriculum for international business, finance and economics through workshops or informal consultations as well as in the development and assessment of academic curricula.

The Fulbright Program, America’s flagship international educational exchange activity, is sponsored by the U.S. Department of State, Bureau of Educational and Cultural Affairs. During its 60 years of existence, thousands of U.S. faculty and professionals have taught, studied or conducted research abroad and thousands of their counterparts from other countries have engaged in similar activities in the United States. Over 285,000 emerging leaders in their professional fields have received Fulbright awards, including individuals who later became heads of government, Nobel Prize winners, and leaders in education, business, journalism, the arts and other fields.

Fulbright Scholar award recipients are selected on the basis of academic or professional achievement.

Among thousands of prominent Fulbright Scholar alumni are Milton Friedman, Nobel Prize-winning economist; Alan Leshner, CEO of the American Association for the Advancement of Science (AAAS); Rita Dove, Pulitzer Prize-winning poet; and Craig Barrett, Chairman of the Board of Intel Corporation.

Distinguished Fulbright Senior Specialist participants include Mahmoud Ayoub, professor of Religion at Temple University; Heidi Hartmann, president and CEO, Institute for Women’s Policy Research; Percy R. Luney, Jr., dean and professor, College of Law, Florida A&M University and Emily Vargas-Barone, founder and executive director of the RISE Institute.

Purdue Calumet & Purdue North Central Collaborating on Forensic Science Study

Purdue University Calumet and Purdue University North Central are collaborating on forensic science-related study on both campuses and eventually, the emerging Purdue University Northwest.

Both universities offer physical science and other STEM programs (science, technology, engineering and mathematics) that provide strong preparation for students interested in careers in forensic science, according to Purdue Calumet Dean of the College of Engineering, Mathematics and Science William Law.

Forensic scientists need science degree

“Forensic professionals tell us that individuals who aspire to be forensic scientists need a good science degree that provides a solid foundation in biology, chemistry, physics, engineering, computer and other sciences,” Law said. “Both of our campuses offer strong science programs comprised of challenging, core courses in those disciplines.”

Charles Steele, a science instructor at Purdue Calumet and North Central, agrees. “So many high quality, mainstream science components exist on both campuses that we can prepare students to pursue any of the standard forensic disciplines,” he said.

Forensic scientists apply scientific principles and techniques to legal matters and the judicial system through crime scene review, laboratory analysis and research. Forensic scientists work in wide-ranging capacities, including as information technology specialists, DNA technicians, forensic chemists, toxicologists and molecular biologists.

Expose students to fundamental science courses

“Our approach to forensic science is to expose students to several applicable disciplines, including laboratory analyses, social aspects of crime and a deep background in scientific concepts,” Law said. “Each science degree plan of study is complemented by fundamental science courses, major-specific courses relevant to the forensic sciences and a strong grounding in criminal justice.”

Though television tends to glamorize much of the work conducted by forensic scientists, Law said many tasks that actors simulate on TV programs require knowledge obtainable at Purdue Calumet and North Central.

He also indicated that science instruction provided on both campuses will prepare students for related opportunities in forensic science. For instance, biology, he said, is good prep for careers in environmental regulation and reclamation. So is microbiology for jobs in homeland security.

Responding to a need

“Since the OJ (Simpson) case, forensic science has gained greater public attention, but it is about 15 years behind mainstream science,” Steele said “The forensic science-related learning opportunities available at Purdue Calumet, Purdue North Central and, ultimately, Purdue Northwest, are sorely needed in Northwest Indiana.”

More information about preparation for careers in forensic science is available on line at, or by phoning Purdue Calumet’s College of Engineering, Mathematics and Science at 219/989-2468, or the visit the Purdue North Central College of Science at or call 219/785-5736.

PNC Releases Summer Continuing Education Catalog

Purdue University North Central summer 2015 catalog of continuing education classes of all professional development and personal enrichment programs is now available and can be downloaded at Those who do not have access to the online catalog are encouraged to contact the PNC Office of Graduate and Extended Learning to obtain a printed copy.

Registration is in progress for a number of classes. Community members of all ages are welcome to enroll and discounted rates are available for alumni, employees and students of PNC and Purdue University Calumet.

The catalog includes information about the PNC Customized Training Solutions for organizations, travel study programs, pre-licensing programs, summer camps and  online  continuing education classes, as well as information about a wide array of PNC certificate and degree programs.

Affordable and convenient transportation between PNC, Michigan City and LaPorte is available through the Triangle Transit Bus Service. For more information, visit

Contact the PNC Office of Graduate and Extended Learning at (219) 785-5343 or to register for or inquire about a program. Persons with disabilities requiring accommodations should contact Cassandra Boehlke, coordinator of Graduate and Extended Learning, at (219) 785-5748.

PNC Announces Hyde Park Forum and Speak-Off Winners

Hyde Park Forum Speak-Off winners: Warren Ziegler, Tiffany Sydow, Kristen Wozniak, Amanda Rodriguez, Tom Hebert, and Dan Wilbur, PNC associate professor of Communication

Hyde Park Forum Speak-Off winners: Warren Ziegler, Tiffany Sydow, Kristen Wozniak, Amanda Rodriguez, Tom Hebert, and Dan Wilbur, PNC associate professor of Communication

The 32nd Purdue University North Central Hyde Park Forum Public Speaking Contest concluded with Warren Ziegler, of Michigan City, being named winner of the “Speak-Off” competition.

The Hyde Park Forum brings together PNC students who present short speeches on various topics of current interest. Many participants are students in PNC’s Communication 114 class.

Second place went to Kristen Wozniak of LaPorte; in third place was Amanda Rodriguez, of Chesterton; in fourth places was Tiffany Sydow, Michigan City and in fifth places was Tom Hebert, LaPorte.

The Speak-Off competitors earned individual first-place finishes in the Hyde Park Forum competition, which earned them the opportunity to compete in the Speak-Off.

Overall second place Hyde Park Forum winners were – Alexis Fontaine, LaPorte; Matthew LaBelle, Valparaiso; Val Melton, Valparaiso; Maria Elena Miller, Michigan City and Michael Wilson, LaPorte.

Overall third place Hyde Park Forum winners were – Nicole Dziadosz, Hebron; Zachary Jakubowski, Chesterton; JP Pietrowski, Mill Creek; Melissa Rieckmann, New Carlisle and Vicki Sizemore, LaPorte.

The Hyde Park Forum and Speak-Off are loosely based on London’s Hyde Park, a public gathering place for speakers who wish to state their minds. Hyde Park has gained prominence as a reference to freedom of speech and intriguing speaking.


Former Hammond Police Chief Named Public Safety Director at Purdue North Central, Calumet

Brian Miller

Brian Miller, director of Public Safety

Brian Miller, former Hammond Chief of Police, has assumed responsibilities as director of Public Safety at Purdue University North Central and Purdue University Calumet.

His duties in this newly-established position include oversight of law enforcement, emergency preparedness, regulatory compliance and transportation at both regional campuses. Purdue Calumet and Purdue North Central are engaging in a unification process to become Purdue University Northwest effective with the start of the 2016-17 academic year.

Safety is a top priority on both campuses

Miller, who retired from the Hammond Police Department in 2014 after 23 years, 10 as chief, reports to Stephen Turner, vice chancellor of Finance and Administrative Services for both campuses.

“Campus safety is a top priority on our two campuses and others across the country,” Turner said. “During discussions about our emerging unification, we felt it was important to establish this position under the direction of someone who is a respected professional with exceptional experience, education and skills. For those reasons and his ability to further our goals of a safe and positive campus experience, I am excited Brian has joined our management team and Purdue family. ”

Partnerships and collaboration

Overall, Miller offers 26 years of law enforcement experience.

“I’m very proud to serve Purdue Calumet and Purdue North Central,” Miller said. “My goal is to create partnerships with the university community. With assistance from the faculty, staff and students, I am eager to work together to make each of our campuses and the future Purdue University Northwest as safe a place to live, study and work as possible.”