March 31, 2014

SCIAME-GIESECKE: An open invitation to visit campus

Susan Sciame-Giesecke
Guest columnist

---- — What do the cities of Kokomo, Logansport, Peru, Marion, Tipton, Rochester, Frankfort, Monticello, Delphi, Westfield and Flora have in common? They are all served by Indiana University Kokomo, a priceless resource enhancing the intellectual, cultural, and economic environment of north central Indiana.

When was the last time you visited IU Kokomo? Have you ever visited? I invite you to come see what is happening on our campus, which is in its fifth straight year of record-breaking enrollment. We are growing to meet the needs of our increasing student population, adding new programs, new facilities, and new faculty, so there is much to see and experience.

We are proud to be one of five IU regional campuses, and are a crucial component of the university’s mission to enhance degree completion, to support the current and long-term prosperity of the state of Indiana.

President Michael A. McRobbie recently shared his vision for the regional campuses, including IU Kokomo.

“The regional campuses collectively enroll about one-third of all IU students,” he said. “They provide an outstanding education to 40,000 students a year, most of them Hoosiers. Many of them are also first generation and non-traditional students. Our regional campuses, all of which have seen their enrollments increase to record levels in recent years, also serve as invaluable economic and community development catalysts in their regions and are playing a key role in helping the state achieve its goal of dramatically increasing the number of Indiana residents with college degrees.”

Our primary mission at IU Kokomo is creating educational opportunities for the students in north central Indiana. We are preparing the future leaders of our service region, as 80 percent of our alumni live and work in our region. With more than 11,000 alumni, IU Kokomo provides the nurses, teachers, business leaders, journalists, artists, and a wide variety of other professionals.

Let me share the success stories of just a few of our graduates, who are now serving the people of north central Indiana. Dr. Steven Miller recently returned to the area as a urologist at Community Howard Regional Hospital, having earned his bachelor’s degree from IU Kokomo. Deanna Crispen, who earned a degree in communication arts, now helps build her community, as director of the Cass County Community Foundation.

Each of these professionals was educated at Indiana University Kokomo and chose to live and work and to contribute to the well-being of the communities named above.

I hope you will take me up on my offer and come and visit the campus. We should all be proud of the valuable resource within our reach. I look forward to meeting you.

Susan Sciame-Giesecke is chancellor at Indiana University Kokomo.