PNC Faculty Member Earns Order of Merit of Poland Award

Dr. James Pula

Dr. James Pula

The Purdue University North Central faculty member Dr. James Pula, professor of History, was recently honored with the Officer’s Cross of the Order of Merit of the Republic of Poland, presented by the Ministry of Foreign Affairs of the Republic of Poland.

The Order of Merit, signed by the president of Poland, Bronislaw Komorowski, is awarded to those who have rendered great service to the Polish nation in the areas of research on the history of Poland, the promotion of the Polish culture and service for the Polish diaspora and Poles abroad. The Order of Merit was created in 1974 and is Poland’s highest civilian award.

The Order of Merit is awarded in the classes of: 1st Class Grand Cross of the Order of Merit; 2nd Class Commander’s Cross with Star of the Order of Merit; 3rd Class Commander’s Cross of the Order of Merit; 4th Class

Officer’s Cross of the Order of Merit and 5th class – Knight’s Cross of the Order of Merit of the Republic of Poland.

“Dr. Pula’s dedication to high-quality scholarship is evident. Only seven laureates received awards, the others from the University of Wisconsin, the University of Colorado, the University of Minnesota, Penn State, Central Connecticut State University and also the Honorary Consul in Pittsburgh,” said Karen Schmid, PNC vice chancellor for Academic Affairs.

Officer’s Cross of the Order of Merit earned by Pula recognized his research, primarily on the Polish immigration to the U.S., and his activities as an international conference organizer, officer and member of the boards of directors of various professional organizations, including the Polish Institute of Arts and Sciences and the Polish American Historical Association. Pula was conference vice chair and program chair for the recent two-day conference in Warsaw in June that drew 208 scholars from 16 nations to some 48 academic sessions.

Dr. Michael Lynn, PNC interim associate vice chancellor of Academic Affairs, lauded Pula’s accomplishment, “This is a prestigious and important award which demonstrates the importance and international scope of Dr. Pula’s research.”

Pula has authored a number of books including, “For Liberty and Justice: A Biography of Brig. Gen. Włodzimierz B. Krzyżanowski;” “Thaddeus Kościuszko The Purest Son of Liberty;” “Polish Americans: An Ethnic Community” and “United We Stand: The Role of Polish Workers in the New York Mills Textile Strikes, 1912 and 1916.”

In addition, Pula has edited several books and published dozens of articles.

Pula noted that he enjoys researching his various subjects of interest, “What I find most interesting about history is that it is about people; about how and why they behave the way they do, why they make the decisions they do, and how the cause and effect relationship shapes the world we live in.”

“In large part the history of the United States has been the successive waves of immigration from all over the world that have shaped our history and culture,” he continued. “During the largest period of immigration at the beginning of the 20th century the three largest groups arriving in the U.S. were Italians, Jews and Poles, with most of the Jews also migrating from Poland. Since I am interested in people and the immigration experience, and since I grew up in a largely Polish-American community, I suppose it was somewhat natural that I focused on this group and its European antecedents.”

Pula considers one his most thought-provoking realization from studying immigration to be “what people in any generation view as ‘new’ is simply a recurring theme.”

He explained, “Every major group goes through the same stages of immigration, ethnic community building, reaction from the dominant group and eventual assimilation. We see the same thing happening today, with the same arguments pro and con that appeared in the early nineteenth century and have recurred with each new major wave of immigration. The only reason we think the experience and issues today are “new” is that people are not familiar with their history and do not realize these phenomena are far from ‘new.’ ”

PNC Tuition Discount Program Tallies $100,000 in Student Savings

Purdue University North Central students have already saved a collective $100,000 in tuition costs thanks to the PNC tuition discount plan. The discount is offered for the first time this fall semester, giving PNC students a 10 percent tuition reduction for each credit hour taken beyond 12 hours per semester.

Thus far, more than 1,600 of 3,170 students registered for fall semester – close to 54 percent – are taking advantage of the tuition discount option. These students are taking a total of 4,523 additional credit hours.

PNC fall semester classes begin the week of Aug. 25.

The discount plan is designed to provide financial incentives for students to increase the number of credit hours taken each semester and encourage them to graduate in four years.

“This tuition discount program is intended to keep our PNC students on their path to success,” said PNC Chancellor Dr. James B. Dworkin. “I am encouraged to see that our PNC students are taking advantage of this tremendous opportunity. Our students realize that by completing just one additional three-hour class each semester, they will not only save a significant sum of money, but they will graduate earlier and start earning the income that comes with earning a Purdue University degree.”

A key to the success of the tuition discount program is the fact that students who earn 12 credit hours each semester will need 10 semesters, or five years, to complete a typical 120 credit hour bachelor’s degree. By comparison, students who earn 15 credit hours each semester will be able to earn their degrees in four years, save more than $500 under the new discount plan and enter their chosen profession sooner.

A recent report issued by the Indiana Commission for Higher Education noted that students who delay completing their degrees pay more tuition dollars and lose potential wages and career opportunities.

“Earning an on-time degree will always be the best and most affordable path to college completion, said Indiana Commissioner for Higher Education Teresa Lubbers. “We commend PNC for removing a financial obstacle that previously stood in the way of students graduating on time.”

Further information about the tuition discount program can be obtained by contacting 219-785-5505, or visiting

PNC Presents Joel DeGrand’s “Italy: new/perspectives”

Joel DeGrand

Photographer Joel DeGrand

The Purdue University North Central Odyssey Arts and Cultural Events Series will feature an exhibit of immersive photographs by Joel DeGrand titled, “Italy: new/perspectives.” The exhibit runs from Aug. 11 through Dec. 13 in the PNC Library-Student-Faculty Building, Room 02 in the building’s lower level. It is free and is open to the public and may be viewed by appointment only.

DeGrand explained that he started making immersive photographs in 1995 when he was asked by a budding dot com company to travel to Asia and make interactive panoramic photographs of whatever he thought was interesting subject matter. “It was a photographer’s dream,” he said.

Two years later the company went out of business, but he continued to make 360-degree panoramic photographs. Immersive photographs give the viewer a feeling of standing in one spot and turning around 360 degrees.

“I am challenged by this new way of seeing recognizable subject matter,” he admits. “In essence it forced me to consider a more subjective and less objective approach to photography. I was entering into unknown visual territory and I began to search for what I ultimately called closure.”

DeGrand described his definition of closure, “In the language of photography, there is a tendency to want to visualize, understand and comprehend the entire subject, even when one can only see a portion of it, the subject is skewed and out of proportion, or it doesn’t fit into a preconceived idea of what it should look like. I realized everything I saw and everything I was able to comprehend, was based in part, on my past visual experiences. I realized there was a measure of visual prejudice involved. In a final attempt to reconcile the idea, I took a subjective stand rather than an objective view. I ‘caved’ in to the beauty of just ’feeling’ the ability to accept what was in front of me and not try to change it. Doing this I managed to close the door between objective and subjective and was able to perceive and understand the photographs for what they are and not what I wanted them to be.”

DeGrand holds an MFA in photography from the University of Oregon and a BS in Art Education from Indiana University of Pennsylvania. He has been a photographer since his early childhood and has taught art and photography since 1968. He has participated in numerous one-person, group exhibitions and workshops in the U.S. and abroad. His work is featured in museums, corporations, private collections and publications. He has published 16 books of his photography and won many awards for his work, including a National Endowment for the Arts grant.

To schedule an appointment to view this exhibit or to obtain further information, contact Judy Jacobi, PNC assistant vice chancellor of Marketing and Campus Relations, at 785-5200, ext. 5593. Persons with disabilities requiring accommodations should contact Jacobi.

PNC Communication Students Have New PR Concentration

Purdue University North Central Communication majors have a new academic option and may choose a concentration in Public Relations.

Students will have a broad selection of courses that will expose them to various aspects of the field, including Introduction to Public Relations, Problems in Public Relations, Writing for Mass Media and Introduction to New Media/Social Media Production.

Students will learn about writing news releases, research and campaign planning, event planning and promotion, crisis management, interviewing, public presentation skills, networking, interpersonal and team communication and social and mass medias.

In addition, students will be eligible to complete internships as part of the concentration while earning college credit and building their portfolios.

The Bureau of Labor Statistics projects public relations specialists employment growth of 12 percent through 2022, with an additional 27,400 jobs expected to be filled.

Further information on the Public Relations concentration at PNC can be obtained by contacting Dr. Scott Smithson, chair of the Department of Communication at (219) 785-5356 or email or visit

PNC Accepting MBA Registrations Through Aug. 6

Purdue University North Central is accepting registrations from students interested in earning a Master of Business Administration (MBA) degree. Classes will begin Sept. 6. Prospective students still have time to begin the admissions process. Deadline for admission is Aug. 6.

Students, regardless of their baccalaureate field will be able to complete a degree in less than two years. The Master of Business Administration degree has become the recognized credential for leaders throughout business and industry. The MBA program prepares students from all backgrounds with the knowledge and skills they will need to assume leadership positions in a variety of organizational settings.

The PNC MBA class schedule is designed to meet the needs of working adults, with classes conveniently offered on Saturdays. Classes will meet on Saturdays at PNC – Porter County, at 600 Vale Park Road, Valparaiso, where students will utilize state-of-the-art educational and business technology and have full access to the Purdue libraries, online resources, computer systems and other forms of academic support.

All faculty members are certified by the Graduate School in West Lafayette and are supported by the full teaching resources of Purdue University.

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

PNC Chancellor Authors Children’s Book “The Dog and the Dolphin”

James Dworkin

Purdue University North Central Chancellor Dr. James B. Dworkin with his newly published book, “The Dog and the Dolphin.” This is Dworkin’s first children’s book.

James Dworkin, Allison and Abby

Purdue University North Central Chancellor Dr. James B. Dworkin, with granddaughters Allison (left) and Abby, display copies of his new children’s book, “The Dog and the Dolphin” at the Michigan City Public Library where he recently read the book to a group of youngsters.

Purdue University North Central Chancellor Dr. James B. Dworkin has published the children’s book, “The Dog and The Dolphin,” the delightful story of two unlikely friends who meet on a beach in Florida.

“The Dog and The Dolphin,” is available for purchase at ; through and at the PNC and Purdue University Calumet bookstores.

The children’s story was inspired by an interaction Dworkin observed several years ago while vacationing with his family on Sanibel Island, Fla. During a visit to the beach, Dworkin watched a dog, depicted in the book as an Irish setter named Red, wander the beach. The dog strolled around, sniffed here and there and seemed to be bored, said Dworkin. But as the dog gazed into the water, it caught a glimpse of something that interested him. A dolphin was frolicking a short distance away.

The dog was clearly interested in the dolphin. Dworkin observed that it seemed like the dolphin noticed the dog on the beach. The dolphin seems so interested in the dog that it would swim in the same direction that the dog ran. When the dog ran to the left, the dolphin followed. Then the dog ran to the right, the dolphin would change direction too. The dog seemed to be so enamored with his new friend, he tried to swim out to it with a Frisbee so they could play together.

Dworkin found the interaction to be so charming, he wrote down what he’d observed and did a few rough drawings, thinking that it was a heartwarming story to relate. He asked an esteemed portrait artist, Michael Chelich, of Munster, to illustrate the story. As a first-time book illustrator, Chelich created amazingly detailed, life-like art work to help to tell the story of what took place on the beach that sunny day.

As a parent and grandparent Dworkin knows the importance of reading with children and sparking their active imaginations. This story of an unusual friendship between a dog and a dolphin not only captures the interest of youngsters, but also teaches valuable lessons of friendship and diversity as the story’s two characters form an unlikely, yet unmistakable bond.

The book also serves as a lasting legacy to Dworkin’s grandchildren as three of their names are featured in the illustrations. A likeness of Chelich’s daughter is seen as a young swimmer.

Dworkin intends for the book to have another lasting effect as he will donate part of the proceeds to endow a scholarship for students in the PNC Early Childhood Education program.

An accomplished author, Dworkin has written the books, “Owners Versus Players: Baseball and Collective Bargaining” (Boston: Auburn House Publishing Company, 1981), and “Reflections on the Transformation in Industrial Relations” (Scarecrow Press, 1989). He has also written and edited numerous articles and chapters for a variety of professional publications.

“The Dog and the Dolphin” is his first children’s book. He already has an inspiration for his second children’s book.

In the coming months, Dworkin and Chelich look forward to sharing the book with children, their parents and grandparents at readings and book signings. One of his first stops will be to read the book to the kindergarten class of his grandson Jimmy.

Information on readings and book signings will be available at

Purdue Northwest chosen as name for unified regional campus

WEST LAFAYETTE, Ind. – The Purdue Board of Trustees on Friday (July 18) approved Purdue University Northwest as the name of the unified Calumet and North Central campuses.

James B. Dworkin, chancellor of Purdue North Central, and Thomas L. Keon, chancellor of Purdue Calumet, praised the campus naming as a key step forward in their unification efforts. Combining the campuses reflects Purdue’s continuing emphasis on administrative cost savings and promoting student affordability and accessibility, they said.

“I am very happy that our naming process is complete,” Dworkin said.

“This is a major step forward in our campus unification. Our unification effort reflects our commitment to ensuring the academic and administrative excellence of Purdue North Central and Purdue Calumet. Both campuses have established themselves as valued members of the Northwest Indiana community, and we’re pleased that the trustees kept this goal in mind with the selection of Purdue University Northwest.”

Keon added that the name selection underscores a sense of cohesiveness that will serve both of the campus locations going forward.

“Northwest Indiana is ready for a more enriched Purdue University with excellent academic programs, experienced faculty and quality students,” he said. “Coming together as Purdue University Northwest reflects our commitment to working closely together to create an even stronger presence in the many communities we serve.”

The name’s adoption will be phased in over the next two years as work continues to unify administrative oversight functions into one central office and provide opportunities for students to seamlessly pursue degree programs at either campus location. For now, Purdue University Northwest will be used in activities connected with the continued unification plan. Purdue Calumet and Purdue North Central will begin to market academic programs as one regional campus after gaining accreditation to do so by the Higher Learning Commission.

The target date for completion of unification is July 1, 2016. Announced Feb. 26, the unification will include a formal plan that will be presented to trustees at a later meeting.

Once unification is complete, the two campus locations will be respectively identified as the Purdue University Northwest-Calumet campus and the Purdue University Northwest-North Central campus.

Current students will not see their curriculum, coursework or graduation requirements change. Incoming students will still apply and enroll at the campus location of their choice.

In addition to approving the name, trustees authorized the two chancellors to develop a new logo and to create new nomenclature to distinguish the existing regional campus references.

Area Youth Participate in STEAM Summer Camp @ PNC, 2014


PNC STEAM Camp members with their completed sculptures during PNC STEAM Camp. Art activities sponsored by NIPSCO.

Two campers psoing with their works in progress

Two proud sculptors posing with their work in progress during PNC STEAM Camp. Art activities sponsored by NIPSCO.

Barker Woods campers pose with their finished artwork.

Barker Woods campers pose with their finished artwork during PNC STEAM Camp. Art activities sponsored by NIPSCO.

Purdue University North Central is hosting a six-week STEAM Summer Camp @ PNC, 2014 for area young people at its Westville campus through July 25. The camp emphasizes activities in Science, Technology, Engineering, Art and Mathematics (STEAM) disciplines and introduces students to the university campus as they take part in age-appropriate learning with PNC faculty, staff and local professionals as their instructors.

The young people, ages six to 12, are enrolled in one of the La Porte County Coalition of Youth Serving Agencies (YSA) including Imagination Station, Barker Woods, Boys and Girls Club, Michigan City Parks and Recreation, Safe Harbor and North Central Community Action Agencies (NCCAA). The camp’s primary underwriter is the 21st Century Community Learning Centers grant.

Indoor and outdoor activities keep these youth mentally and physically engaged for their time on campus with about 40 students coming to camp each day and up to 160 children spending one morning a week at PNC for six weeks. During the remaining hours, they will participate in activities offered by their youth programs.

The camp learning activities include:

“Kids Gone Wild – Camp Audubon” presented by the Potawatomi Audubon Society. Campers developed their observation skills as they looked at the natural world. After being introduced to what they may see in the natural world, they set out on a scavenger hunt to find pre-placed items along the trail in the woods at PNC. They worked together to find things such as bird nests, deer antlers and bones, turtle shells and snake skin. Along the way, there were stations set up to observe and identify animal tracks and listen to a related story.

The youngsters made a lanyard, decorated it with gourds and beads and then drew pictures of what they observed on the gourd.

“Forensics” with Charles A. Steele, PNC Limited Term Lecturer in Physics and president of Aneval Inc. Participants heard the story of a break-in. They collected and analyzed evidence to determine which of three suspects (if any) is the thief.

To solve the crime, the campers evaluated the crime scene, recorded it and decided what to collect and process. Tools which may have been used in the crime, were evaluated and the campers made clay impressions to see which could have made a mark left at the scene. They also studied and compared fingerprints. Based on this evidence, each group presented a theory of the case.

“Creating Sculpture” led by Marie Foster, PNC interim director of Development. A former secondary art teacher, Foster used her 3-dimensional art skills and expertise in art history to give students the opportunity to create a sculpture from objects found in Northwest Indiana manufacturing. Campers learned about sculptor Louise Nevelson, known for her monumental monochromatic sculptures.

The children will work in small groups to create a sculpture with boxes they brought in and these individual pieces will be joined together to make one large sculpture. Foster will spray paint the final products and return it to each participating agency for the youngsters to enjoy.

This week is partly sponsored by NIPSCO.

Dr. David Pratt, PNC associate professor of Education, with “Fun Physics in the Park!” Students will work with computers as they learn about the physics that go in to experiences they enjoy at the skate park, amusement park or water park. They will be introduced to the physics behind these park activities as they create models of their own roller coasters. They will experiment with a computer simulation to help them understand the physics necessary for creating the best possible design.

Dr. Aaron Warren, PNC associate professor of Physics, with “The Science of Everything!” Using virtual physics simulations, participants will observe fun, real-life demonstrations that illustrate some of the basic properties of the universe. Energy, momentum, angular momentum, mechanical waves and electromagnetism will all be highlighted. Younger participants will focus on the descriptive aspects of each activity, while older participants engage in varying levels of mathematical modeling.

Jerry DeGroot, PNC continuing lecturer in Mathematics, with “Math, Games and Puzzles” presents math concepts in a fun, entertaining format to help campers understand math concepts that they can use every day.

Enrollment for this camp session is closed. Further information can be obtained by contacting Liz Bernel, PNC coordinator of Special Events and Marketing at 785-5200,

ext. 5719 or Persons with disabilities requiring accommodations should contact Bernel.

PNC Faculty Member Named Campus Compact Fellow

Mary Jane Eisenhauer

Mary Jane Eisenhauer

Purdue University North Central faculty member Dr. Mary Jane Eisenhauer, associate professor of Early Childhood Education, has been selected by Indiana Campus Compact as a Senior Faculty Fellow for its 2014-2015 Faculty Fellows. In this position, she will lead the 19th class of Faculty Fellows for the state of Indiana, who are proving that service-learning and community engagement can effectively integrate faculty teaching, research, and professional service.

Eisenhauer has previously been recognized as a Campus Compact Faculty Fellow and has earned a number of distinctions from Campus Compact for her service learning initiatives.

“I am honored to serve as Senior Fellow and look forward to working with this class of faculty fellows from around the state to advance service engagement,” said Eisenhauer. “It is especially rewarding since service is part of the Purdue University mission.”

As Senior Fellow, Eisenhauer will not only lead a group of faculty fellows in their service engagement initiatives, but at the same time she will continue working with the PNC Early Childhood students on their service-learning projects, such as those included in her Child, Family, School & Community course and the Library Sprouts program that her students developed. She will also develop a sustainable strategic plan for the PNC Center for Early Learning to strengthen it as a resource for community engagement, specifically as it relates to early education.

The goals of the Faculty Fellows program include supporting faculty in the scholarship of engagement; providing faculty with opportunities to collaborate with a community organization in a way that advances teaching and scholarship while addressing a significant social, economic, or environmental issue; and building a strong and productive social and intellectual community of scholars.

In turn, the Faculty Fellows will each teach a service learning course; provide direct service to a nonprofit organization to address a particular community issue and develop a research or creative project to enhance and advance the field of service engagement.

Indiana Campus Compact is an association of 45 campuses located throughout the state and is part of the national Campus Compact organization. Campus Compact is the only national higher education association dedicated solely to campus-based civic engagement. Campus Compact promotes public and community service that develops student citizenship skills, helps campuses forge effective community partnerships and provides resources and training for faculty members who want to integrate civic and community-based learning into the classroom.

Purdue University Opens Northwest Indiana Engagement Office

Timothy Sanders

Timothy Sanders

Timothy Sanders to direct office, support regional campus efforts  

As a point of contact for connecting Purdue University expertise with priorities of Northwest Indiana business, industry and government, university administrator Timothy Sanders has assumed a new role as Director of Purdue’s newly-established Northwest Indiana Engagement Office.

Sanders, who began his new duties Tuesday (7/1), served since 2009 in Purdue’s Office of Governmental Relations, where he acted as a liaison between the university and governmental officials. In his new position, he reports to Associate Vice President of Engagement Steve Abel at Purdue’s West Lafayette campus.

Advancing economic development

Sanders’ Northwest Indiana responsibilities include building contacts with business, industry, governmental agencies and community leaders to promote workforce, business and economic development, while enhancing greater awareness of Purdue-provided technical assistance and research capabilities. He also supports related efforts and activities of Purdue University Calumet and Purdue University North Central.

“We welcome what this commitment means to the joint efforts of our two Northwest Indiana Purdue campuses in building a stronger Purdue presence in this region,” Purdue Calumet Chancellor Thomas L. Keon said. “With respect to Purdue’s land grant university status, this university appointment is a viable step for strengthening the path of economic development between Purdue campuses and Northwest Indiana.”

Helping build partnerships

Purdue North Central Chancellor James B. Dworkin added, “This is a tremendous opportunity for Purdue University and Northwest Indiana. Purdue University has long been a champion for strengthening our local communities, and Tim will work to enhance our existing relationships, while reaching out to build new partnerships. Tim is very familiar with Northwest Indiana and is committed to helping us move forward.”

Calling engagement “a hallmark of Purdue University,” Abel said, “The opportunity to have someone of Tim Sanders’ talent and standing in Northwest Indiana will help significantly advance our engagement mission and broaden our reach across Indiana. Our regional campuses play an integral role in Purdue’s success, and I am delighted to be partnering with them in this new and important endeavor.”

The opening of the Northwest Indiana Engagement Office follows similar Purdue initiatives established in Indianapolis and Fort Wayne areas. The Northwest Indiana Office has locations at Purdue North Central and Purdue Calumet.