PNC College of Science Open House for Prospective Students

Chemistry Lab

PNC student Diane Rich in PNC’s chemistry lab.

Prospective students who have been admitted to Purdue University North Central and plan to major in Biology, Nursing or Health Studies during the upcoming fall semester and high school seniors who have taken a PNC concurrent enrollment class in biology or chemistry, are invited to learn more about the many opportunities that PNC has to offer at a College of Science Open House on Tuesday, April 21 from 5:30 to 7:30 p.m. in Library Student Faculty (LSF) Building, Room 144.

The prospective students are asked to bring their parents and together they will get a first-hand look at the PNC College of Science, its exciting academic programs and the career options that are open to students who earn these popular and marketable degrees.

The PNC College of Science areas of study include Biology/Chemistry, Mathematics/Statistics/Physics, Nursing and Health Studies. Its graduates have pursued productive, satisfying careers. Many have continued their studies in pharmacy, medical, dental, veterinary and graduate schools located throughout the country.

The reception will give prospective students and parents the opportunity to meet with PNC faculty and department chairs to learn more about the academic programs, curriculum and careers.

There will be tours so the prospective students will get a close-up look at the chemistry lab, training rooms, Nursing lab and the Nursing “Sim” lab where students have a variety of hands-on skills lab opportunities utilizing mannequins and models.

Prospective students and their parents are encouraged to bring their questions.

The athletic training offices and work area will be open so that students can learn more about careers in athletics and physical therapy.

In addition, there will be informational displays set up for prospective students and their parents so that they can meet representatives from PNC Admissions,  Athletics, Financial Aid, Graduate and Extended Learning, Honors Program, Modern Languages, Police Department and RAD, Student Success Center, Student Support Services and Supplemental Instruction.

Representatives of many campus student clubs will be available to discuss the opportunities their clubs present. They include: Astronomy Club, Circle K, Delta Sigma (science club), Math Club, Physics Club,  Pre-Vet Club, STAND (Nursing) and Tri-Beta (biology honor society). Getting involved early in clubs is encouraged not only for increasing learning opportunities and networking, but also for helping meet lifelong friends.

Every student who completes the event will receive a PNC College of Science lab coat and safety glasses to keep. There will be a “bedazzle” station so that students can decorate their glasses.

Pre-registration is strongly encouraged and can be completed at:

PNC Honors Program Hosts Research Expo

The Purdue University North Central Honors Program is hosting a Research Expo to celebrate and showcase student and faculty research on Wednesday, April 22, from 11 a.m. to 1 p.m., in Library-Student-Faculty Building, Room 144. The event is free and open to the public.

Students, faculty, staff and the community are invited to stop by the expo to browse displays of books, articles, posters, websites, multimedia projects and more.

“We want to show the community the quality and diversity of research projects pursued by PNC students and faculty,” said Ashley Pezan, president of the PNC Honors Program and a graduating senior. “We hope the Research Expo will spur ideas for future collaborations and new research directions.”

All PNC students and faculty are invited to display their recent research in any form. To participate, registration must be completed at by April 15.

Further info information about the Research Expo or the PNC Honors Program can be obtained by emailing

PNC Offers OSHA Training Courses

The Purdue University North Central Center for Occupational Safety and Health (OSH) will offer an OSHA 511: Occupational Safety and Health Standards for General Industry course from April 27 through April 30 at PNC- Porter County, 600 Vale Park Road, Valparaiso.

These courses, which are open to all qualified individuals, will be taught by three qualified instructors who bring more than 86 years of OSHA experience to the classroom.

The class will meet from 8 a.m. to 4:30 p.m. on April 27, 28, and 29 and from 8 a.m. until noon on April 30. The cost of the course is $800 per person and includes all books and materials, and lunch on April 27, 28, and 29.

This course has no prerequisites. The registration deadline is Wednesday, April 10.

Instruction will include an overview of OSHA policies, procedures and standards as well as general industry safety and health principles. Using OSHA standards as a guide, topics include scope and application of the OSHA general industry standards with special emphasis placed on the most hazardous areas. Participants will receive a certificate upon successful completion of the course.

For further information about this program or to register, contact the Purdue University North Central Office of Graduate and Extended Learning (GEL) at (219) 785-5343 or Persons with disabilities requiring accommodations should contact Cassandra Boehlke, Coordinator of Graduate and Extended Learning, at (219) 785-5748.

PNC Receives Poster Commemorating Sandra Kowalski

Photo of nursing students with Kowalski poster

PNC nursing students MaCahlia Reyes and Trey Padlo with Stanley Kowalksi

The Purdue University North Central Department of Nursing recently received a gift from long-time benefactor Stanley Kowalski that will serve to inspire nursing students as it honors a pioneer in local community health care.

Kowalski presented an original painting by Neil Kienitz in the style of the South Shore Line posters to the PNC Nursing Department that depicts his late wife Professor of Nursing Sandra Calkins Kowalski, Ph.D., and bears the notation, “Community Nursing – A PNC Legacy.”

The image of Sandra Calkins Kowalski was derived from a photo of her that was taken when she was a young nurse working with the Visiting Nurse Association of LaPorte County. The poster shows her tenderly caring for an elderly man and exemplifies the caring relationship and trust that takes places between a nursing professional and patient.

Stanley Kowalski visited the PNC Nursing lab to present his gift in front of a group of students in a Foundation of Nursing Practice class. He took time to visit with each student, talking to them about his wife, her dedication to her profession, how she was part of the PNC Nursing program and her role in helping to establish and grow the practice of community nursing in the area.

Looking at the poster, he noted that the artist accurately captured his wife’s physical appearance and pointed out that her compassion and concern for her patient was obvious.

“She dedicated her life to her profession and her community,” he said. “She would be so proud of all of you and what you are doing to carry on her legacy of nursing.”

PNC student Trey Padlo said that he was moved by Kowalski’s recollections of his wife’s accomplishments and her commitment to nursing and educating future nurses. “It’s impressive to see how she impacted our curriculum today,” he said. “This is a great start for us as we look to the future.”

Student MaCahlia Reyes was happy that Kowalski took time to visit with the Nursing students. “He has an amazing passion for his wife’s work. We’re happy that he shared that to us at PNC.”

Kowalski presented each student in the Foundation of Nursing Practice class with a postcard-sized depiction of the poster he presented to PNC.

Posters made from the original painting will be displayed among the collection of similar works at The Framing Station in Michigan City and will be available for purchase. Proceeds will go to the Sandra Calkins Kowalski Community Nursing Fund to benefit PNC nursing students.

There will be a poster signing event at the Framing Station on April 3 from 5 to 8 p.m. as part of the Michigan City First Friday event.

Sandra Kowalski was born in Pennsylvania and earned her RN in 1960 from the University of Buffalo Edward J. Meyer Memorial Hospital School of Nursing. On Jan. 30, 1960 she married Stanley Kowalski, her high school sweetheart.

After the couple settled in LaPorte County, she dedicated her career to community health. She was the second nurse hired by the Visiting Nurses Association of LaPorte County and she worked to launch Michigan City’s Open Door Health Center.

Always continuing her education, she earned a degree from Purdue University Calumet in 1973 and a master’s degree in nursing from St. Xavier University in Chicago in 1977. She earned her Ph.D. in medical sociology from the University of Notre Dame in 1989.

In 1973, she was hired in as one of the first PNC Nursing faculty members. While still teaching at PNC, she pursued her master’s degree, traveling to Chicago for class. Much of her master’s lab experience was completed at the Mile Square Clinic located at the Cabrini Green and Robert Taylor housing communities. Sandy taught at Valparaiso University for 23 years.

As an educator, she created a number of community nursing courses and involved them in countless community nursing experiences.

Dr. Diane Spoljoric, chair of the PNC Department of Nursing and associate professor of Nursing, said that Sandra Kowalski was one of her professors when she was a nursing student. “I know that community nursing was a passion of hers. She was a remarkable person. I remember one of her catch phrases was ‘it’ll be o.k.’ She left an impression on all of us. This painting will remind us of why we do the work we do.”

Kowalski’s heart always remained with community nursing. She served on the boards of the Visiting Nurses Association, Concerned Citizens for the Homeless, Minority Health Coalition and the Stepping Stone Shelter for Abused Women in Michigan City. She was a member of the Porter County Task Force on HIV/AIDS. She was a key to the development of the Pastoral Care Council of Notre Dame Church in Long Beach.

Her career was honored with the 1992 JC Penney Golden Rule Award in partnership with the United Way; the 1999 Exchange Club of Michigan City’s Book of Golden Deeds Award and was recognized by Valparaiso University, Notre Dame University Alumni and the state of Indiana for her community service and contribution to learning.

While still in her 50s, she was diagnosed with Alzheimer’s Disease. To honor her life’s work, the Sandra Calkins Kowalski Community Nursing Fund was started in 2003 to provide support to PNC students who are pursuing an undergraduate nursing degree with emphasis on community nursing or public health. She passed away in May 2012 at the age of 72.

About a decade ago, Stanley Kowalski established The Sandra Calkins Kowalski Community Nursing Fund with the Unity Foundation of LaPorte County that is awarded to PNC students pursuing an undergraduate degree in Nursing.

“Perhaps Sandy’s ultimate contribution will be to inspire future health care professionals,” said Judy Jacobi, PNC assistant vice chancellor of Marketing and Campus Relations, a long-time friend of Sandra and Stanley Kowalski. “She was the ultimate nurse.”

PNC Delta Sigma Club Science Fair Results

Science Fair Winners

Left to right: Mackenzie Major, Kaleigh Ciesielski, Hannah Rigg

Students in grades 3 through 8 recently gathered at Purdue University North Central to participate in the PNC Delta Sigma science club science fair.

The Science Fair was intended to encourage scientific creativity, to engage young students in enlightening projects and to give them an opportunity to interact with students of similar interests to one another and with faculty from the PNC College of Science.

Many of the PNC students who are Delta Sigma members believe that participating in science fairs was instrumental in fostering an interest in science and ultimately choosing to embark on a path to a science degree.

The Science Fair results are:

Third and fourth grade winners: Lilith Rengstorf, Northview Elementary, Valparaiso; Violet Lukich, Eads Elementary, Munster;  Hannah Rigg, Kaleigh Ciesielski, & Mackenzie Major, Central Elementary, Valparaiso.

Fifth & sixth grade winners: Aidan Kraemer, Westville Elementary, Westville; Mason Kraemer, Westville Elementary, Westville; Hailey Rigg, Ben Franklin Middle School, Valparaiso.

Seventh & eighth grade winners: Mya Methner and classmates from the Renaissance Academy, La Porte.

The event sponsors were: PNC Chancellor Dr. James B. Dworkin; PNC Department of Biology/Chemistry; PNC Department of Physics/Math/Statistics; PNC College of Science;; Barnes and Noble; Albanese Candy; Sweet Lou, That’s Who, PNC Campus Shop and Horizon Gymnastics and Cheer.

PNC Porter County Academic Super Bowl Winners

A team of students from Valparaiso High School placed first overall in the Academic Super Bowl Invitational competition for Porter County students at Purdue University North Central.

The March 4 competition included teams from all nine Porter County High Schools: Boone Grove High School, Chesterton High School, Hebron High School, Kouts High School, Morgan Township High School, Portage High School, Valparaiso High School, Washington Township High School and Wheeler High School.

The team from Chesterton High School took second place and Washington Township took third.

The competition theme was The Grandeur That Was Rome” with students competing in six subject areas – math, English, science, fine arts, social studies and interdisciplinary.

The Porter County winners in each round were:

Math – first – Chesterton; second – Valparaiso; third – Boone Grove.

English – first – Washington Township; second – Boone Grove; third (tie) – Hebron and Portage.

Science – first – Washington Township; second – Boone Grove; third – Kouts.

Fine Arts – first – Valparaiso; second – Portage; third – Chesterton.

Social Studies – first – Chesterton; second – Valparaiso; third – Portage.

Interdisciplinary – first – Valparaiso; second – Chesterton; third – Portage.

Super Bowl competition in Indiana is a part of the Indiana Association of School Principals, Department of Student Programs. This unique inter-scholastic academic competition program allows Indiana’s senior high, junior, middle and elementary school students an opportunity to compete in academics similar to an athletic contest. The academic competitions encourage academic achievement by offering participants recognition and reward by honoring intellectual achievement, academic competition celebrating scholarship.

PNC LaPorte County Academic Super Bowl Winners

First Place Team Home Scholars

Home Scholars First row (seated): Aidan Maloney, McKenzie Kammann , Elizabeth Chesak , Audrey Ott , Miriam Trujillo; Second row (standing): Zac Felty, Sarah Fickel, Joseph Stewart, Adam Chesak, Josh Felty, Stephen Mathew, Bryn Warner, Hunter Olson, Richelle Szafasz

Purdue University North Central recently hosted the seventh annual LaPorte County and Beyond Senior Academic Super Bowl Open Invitational that drew teams from throughout Northwest Indiana.

The competition concluded with the Home Scholars team of home schooled students from Lake, Porter and LaPorte counties taking first place overall. Second place overall went the team from LaPorte High School and third place was earned by the Elkhart Christian Academy.

Participating schools were from LaPorte High School, Michigan City High School and Marquette High School of Michigan City; LaCrosse High School; Oregon-Davis High School of Hamlet; Elkhart Christian Academy; North White High School of Monon and the Home Scholars.

The 2015 competition theme was “The Grandeur That is Rome” and covered the six subject areas of English, science, fine arts, social studies, math and interdisciplinary. The winners in each round were:

Math – first – Home Scholars; second (tie) – Elkhart Christian Academy and LaPorte; third– North White.

English – first – Home Scholars; second – North White; third – LaPorte.

Science – first – Home Scholars; second – LaPorte; third – Elkhart Christian.

Fine Arts – first – Home Scholars; second – North White; third – Elkhart Christian.

Social Studies – first – Home Scholars; second – LaPorte; third – Elkhart Christian.

Interdisciplinary – first – Home Scholars; second – Elkhart Christian; third place –LaCrosse.

Super Bowl competition in Indiana is a part of the Indiana Association of School Principals, Department of Student Programs. This unique inter-scholastic academic competition program allows Indiana’s senior high, junior, middle and elementary school students an opportunity to compete in academics similar to an athletic contest. The academic competitions encourage academic achievement by offering participants recognition and reward by honoring intellectual achievement, academic competition celebrating scholarship.

PNC Students Earn Strosacker Professional Development Grants

Purdue University North Central Early Childhood Education students have earned Strosacker Professional Development Mini-Grants to be used for a variety of projects.

The Strosacker Foundation was established in 1957 by the late Charles J. Strosacker, one of the pioneers of the Dow Chemical Company. Strosacker was known for his philanthropy and throughout his life, gave to those in need. The foundation awarded more than $2.5 million in grants in 2013, according to its most recent annual report. Since 2010, more than $5,000 has been awarded to PNC for 30 mini-grants to support a variety of projects that have had an impact on children, ages birth to grade 3. Any PNC student is eligible to apply for this award.

Students earning awards and their projects are:

Victoria DeMan – “Groovin’ to the Beat” to purchase musical instruments for use in her future classroom. She also earned a grant to fund her attendance at the upcoming Indiana Campus Compact Service Engagement Summit in Indianapolis, where she will lead a session detailing how the PNC Early Childhood Education students developed the Library Sprouts reading program at the Westville and Wanatah libraries.

Angela Krueger – “Army of Readers” to be used for picture books.

Millette Noble – “Will You Read Me a Story” for materials to enhance the Listening Center for the Little School in Westville.

Erin Provenzano – “Music Library” for the purchase of musical instruments. She also earned a grant for her project, “One for Everyone” that will support the establishment of a grassroots organization that builds inclusive playgrounds that are accessible for children with disabilities.

Kelly Salyer – “Hands on Manipulatives” that will buy materials with a focus on math learning.

PNC Offers Great Smoky Mountains Travel Study Program

The Purdue University North Central Office of Graduate and Extended Learning and the College of Science will offer a travel study program to the Great Smoky Mountains Aug. 9 – 15. Students have the option to earn credit for this course. Community members may also take this as a non-credit experience. Participants will spend a week at the Tremont Institute learning about the natural history and ecology of the Great Smoky Mountains.

Everyone planning to take part in this trip must participate in a mandatory pre-trip meeting on July 22, from 6 to 9 p.m. on the PNC campus. There will also be a mandatory post-trip meeting on Aug. 19, from 6 to 9 p.m. The program fee for non-credit participants is $525. A deposit fee of $100 must be paid to the Office of Graduate and Extended Learning by May 1 at 4 p.m., and must be accompanied by the required travel study application. Full payment must be made by June 15 at 4p.m. Credit-seeking students must pay tuition fees to the Bursar’s Office.

The program fee will cover lodging and activities at the Tremont Institute, meals (not including meals during the trip to and from the Tremont Institute), student travel insurance and administrative and instructional expenses of the program. The program fee does not cover transportation costs (carpools are usually discussed in the pre-trip meeting), meals on the way to and from the Tremont Institute, lodging on the way to and from the Tremont Institute, textbooks, clothing, supplies, equipment and personal items.

To register or obtain further information, visit or contact Cassandra Boehlke, coordinator of Graduate and Extended Learning, at (219) 785-5200, ext. 5343, or

Transit Triangle Multi-Ride Passes Available Now

The Transit Triangle commuter bus service that connects LaPorte, Michigan City and Purdue University North Central now offers its riders the convenience of being able to purchase multi-ride passes.

“We are happy to offer our regular riders the opportunity to use the multi-ride passes,” said Robin Tillman, Michigan City transit director. “It is convenient and it is an economical option allowing riders to save money as well.”

The Transit Triangle fares are:

– One-way single: $1.50 (exact change is required)

– One-way single fare with MC Transit Pass or La Porte TransPorte Pass: $1.00 (exact change is required)

– 10-Ride pass: $12.50

– Children five and under ride for free

– Monthly Commuter pass: $30 (Based on the calendar month. The pass is non-transferable.)

Passengers may transfer for free between buses within the Transit Triangle route.

Several options are available to purchase a pass. To pay by credit card, call the Michigan City Controller’s

Office at 219-873-1404 and passes will be sent via the U.S. Postal Service or passes can be picked up at the Controller’s Office at Michigan City City Hall, 100 East Michigan Boulevard, the TransPorte Office, 102 L St., La Porte or at the PNC Bursar’s Office in Schwarz Hall Room 127. Non-credit card passes can be purchased in person at any one of these locations by cash or check.

“Interest and support from the community is very strong, and we expect that our ridership will go up with the temperature,” added Tom MacLennan, director of TransPorte.

The Transit Triangle buses run on weekdays on three routes: between La Porte and PNC, Michigan City and PNC and Michigan City and LaPorte. On each route, there will be three morning runs and three afternoon runs.

The full schedule and most current information are available on the Transit Triangle website, The website can also be accessed through the MC Transit website at and the La Porte TransPorte website at