Purdue Library Working Group to Propose New Plan to Provost

The Dean of Helmke Library will introduce to Purdue University’s provost a three-year plan-of-action of how IPFWs library will stand alone with its own catalog, policies and contract amid separating from Indiana University.

Helmke’s Dean Alexis Macklin said the split creates an opportunity for Purdue to construct a library system that is more personal for each campus’ needs, while also focusing on sharing among their individual library collections.

“We’re putting our efforts on other ways we could be working together to provide more resources, more efficiently,” Macklin said.

The meeting takes place on Oct. 17 in Macklin’s office, who is also head to the Purdue System Library Working Group. It comprises representatives from the Office of the Treasurer, the provost’s office, and from each Purdue campus: West Lafayette, Northwest, and soon to be Fort Wayne.

Macklin said the meeting will deliver a proposal of library systems and vendor contracts, how the campuses will share collections, and suggest working groups that look to improve the library system throughout the future.

According to the provost’s website, the new system will be running by July 1, 2018, which is also when IPFW will officially be Purdue Fort Wayne.

Macklin said IPFW could not sign the same contract as the West Lafayette and Northwest campuses because it is not solely affiliated with Purdue yet. Therefore, IPFW had to produce their own strategy for which library management system to commit to.

Also, Macklin said with West Lafayette’s interim library administration, it causes some difficulties because they may not want to make huge, system-wide decisions without a permanent team on board.

Macklin said these challenges give IPFW a chance to show how it can be independent so no student or faculty member on campus will feel pain from actions on the administration’s part

Overall, Macklin said the only differences in the library’s system will be how its pages look because it will not be from IUs vendors, but resources will remain the same.

“I’m confident that it’s going to be less hairy than what people were afraid it was going to be,” Macklin said.

West Central Neighborhood Holds 35th Tour and ArtsFest

The West Central Neighborhood Association presented its 35th Home and Garden Tour and ArtsFest on Sept. 9 and 10 in downtown Fort Wayne, where people could visit historical homes while consuming music, art and food.

Event Chairwoman Charlotte Weybright said the tour consists of 10 stops to architecturally significant homes and buildings in West Central, the city’s oldest historic neighborhood.

“I think the history is critical,” said Weybright, who also owns a home in the neighborhood.DSC_0158

According to the WCNA website, West Central was put on the National Register of Historic Places in 1984 and was later recognized as a local historic district.

Through such action, Weybright said the neighborhood is protected from deterioration and subject to guidelines, but residents become devoted to the history and architecture.

Suzy Giant, a 29-year West Central resident and artist, said she appreciates old things because of their craftsmanship.

Her husband, Kevin Giant, said he moved into his West Central home 38 years ago and still finds himself appreciating the close community and eclectic atmosphere today.

Since moving in with Kevin, Suzy said she decorates their house with antiques and projects that match her bohemian style.

She also painted it pink.

“You got to be secure in your manhood to live in a pink house,” Kevin said.



So, Suzy said they travel the Midwest to find pretty collectibles and furniture for their home through Craigslist.

“I just like old things that are made right,” Suzy said. “I don’t see that a lot.”


Both Kevin and Suzy said they love going to the home and garden tour each year to experience how people are changing and fixing their homes’ exteriors to remain historic.

From the event, Weybright said the proceeds fund WCNA projects, such as their tree program, or with financial support and expert knowledge to help West Central residents restore their homes. Other programs assistance may be added as the WNCA sees fit.

All three West Central residents said they are excited for the change in their neighborhood because it continues to be unique.

“An old house has character,” Suzy said “and we’re characters.”

Student Research and Creative Endeavor Symposium Continues to Evolve


On a Wednesday, March 29, 125 IPFW students prepared for a presentation they had one chance at.

The mixture of undergraduate and graduate scholars lined the Walb Classic Ballroom, standing next to various poster boards.

Judges assessed the work of each student’s presentation and their poster’s content and appeal, as the 2017 Student Research and Creative Endeavor symposium got underway.

This year, student and faculty participants have noticed how the educational conference continues to change.

Biology student Patrick Selig entered the competition for his third year in a row. He said he noticed an increasing number of the undergraduate students had entered, especially seniors.

According to IPFW symposium participation data, 71 students participated in 2014 which increased to 127 in 2016.

Before participation could thrive, former Dean of the Helmke Library said the format needed adjustment.


Cheryl Truesdell said the event’s structure evolved because it drew less interest.

In 2013, she said the Symposium Planning Committee decided to go from paper to poster presentation, in order to regain attendance and spark curiosity.

Truesdell said the committee focused their attention on drawing more majors beyond the usual suspects of psychology, biology and physics.


According to IPFW statistics, students from those departments participate most often, compared to other majors.

Data shows that biology has increased in number of student presenters each year, while consistently placing in both the graduate and undergraduate levels since 2013.

This time around, the reports show that more arts and humanities departments joined the symposium than in past years.

BreAnne Briskey also participated, her third year in a row, and represented the history department.

She said during her first year, she could tell they were pushing for arts and humanities to get more involved in the symposium. Now, she is glad they did.

“It’s important to acknowledge the creative aspect of human nature, and to just embrace the humanities,” Briskey said.

Now that posters are required, Truesdell said the score given to the students is also based on their visual display, not just their research and presenting it.

John Nicklin, head of the Studio M computer lab, said he assisted with posters helping those familiar with the process of crafting one, and those who are not.

He said majors outside of the arts are less likely to be experienced with the graphic design programs needed to create appealing posters.  But students in visual arts tend to know those applications.

Nicklin said he thinks the students’ presentations are the most important part of their research projects today.

Briskey said since posters are visual and condensed, people unfamiliar with the research can understand it easily.

Now she said she can’t see the symposium being held any other way, and plans on attending next year.

“At the end of the day it’s great,” Briskey said. “You get to meet people, you get to talk about something you’re passionate about, you get a great experience.”

More Americans Turn to Social Media as a News Source

Forrest Voss rarely found himself on social media until he moved over 500 miles away.

The 23-year-old from Fort Wayne moved to Syracuse, New York, with his boyfriend and their dog. Consequently, he uses Facebook more often to communicate with people from his hometown.

“Facebook becomes more important as a catalog for what you’re doing and for staying in touch with people,” Voss said. “I can’t walk up to a friend and say, ‘Look what we did today.’ So instead, I have to put it on Facebook.”

While social media continues to keep people like Voss easily connected, now it is also used as Americans’ primary news source.

According to Pew Research, 62 percent of U.S. adults get their news on social media. The study was conducted in 2016 and shows Reddit, Facebook and Twitter have the most members who consume news.

Pew Research also reported 64 percent of social media users are more likely to get their news from one site which is most commonly Facebook.

Voss said he sometimes gets news from Facebook, but only if it is posted directly from a news organization he trusts.

IPFW graduate student Samuel Wiesenberg said he consumes news from the radio and Facebook. He spends roughly two hours every day reading articles from news organizations that he follows.

According to Pew, Wiesenberg is among the 67 percent of users who regularly spend at least one hour per day reading news on Facebook.

Voss and Wiesenberg both said they are unlikely to read any article seen in their news feed because they recognize fake news circulates, especially during this past election season.

“It was very obvious that a lot of the statistics people were posting in support of one candidate or the other were just blatantly false and not credible at all,” Wiesenberg said.

Since the presidential election occurred, Mark Zuckerberg, the CEO of Facebook, was called to action to prevent the spread of fake news on the social media platform.

Through a Facebook status, he said his network is not to blame for the election results because over 99 percent of Facebook’s content is authentic. But it will do more to prevent fake news from spreading.

According to the Facebook for Developers website, its Network Audience Policy was recently updated to prohibit advertisers from displaying fake news.

Wiesenberg said he agrees with Zuckerberg’s decision to eliminate false articles, because Facebook has a powerful voice across the U.S.

Andrew Casey, a 21-year-old from Fort Wayne, counters this argument.

He said deciphering real and fake news should be based on the viewer’s discretion, not a national incentive.

“My answer is almost always keeping the rights of individuals and corporations as open as possible and making individual responsibility a greater importance,” Casey said, glancing at his phone to see a Facebook notification.

Although, from his experience with the latest election, Casey said, he does want people to keep their political conversations private by discussing the topic in person or in direct messaging.

However, Pew Research Center reported 40 percent of social media users believe online platforms are places they can discuss political issues and current events that they would never say in person.

Kimberly O’Connor, an assistant professor at IPFW, researches the relationship between employers’ social media policies and their employees. Her findings are similar to Pew Research.

A survey conducted for her fieldwork reported undergraduate students are generally unaware or choose to disregard university and employer’s social media policies.

“It’s one of the ways we communicate that’s probably here to stay,” O’Connor said, referencing social media, “and so, because of the widespread major of its use, it undoubtedly impacts peoples’ employment.”

Overall, the way people use Facebook has changed over time.  Pew Research reported between 2013 and 2016, 19 percent more people got their news from Facebook. Another study shows 44 percent of U.S. adults said they learned about the recent election from social media.

“Facebook and its purpose have been pretty clear, people share the things they are going to share,” Casey said. “It’s a platform for people to, within reason, share ideas and stay connected to their friends.”



Social Media Users Participation with News in 2014:

  • 50 percent shared news stories, videos or images.
  • 46 percent discussed a news issue or current event.
  • 14 percent posted photos they took of a news-related event.
  • 12 percent posted videos they took of a news-related event.



The Power of Peace – People for the Common Good Hosts Peace Rally

People for the Common Good coalition hosted an Our Promise Peace Rally and March on Jan. 21 at the Allen County Courthouse Green, followed by an informational fair at the downtown Allen County Public Library.

“We wanted people to be able to leave that day knowing that they can volunteer or donate,” said Sarah Hyndman, founder of the event and coalition.

The rally began at 3 p.m. under sunny conditions. It featured five community leaders speaking outside the courthouse. As people listened and held signs or flags, cars drove by honking in support of the protesters, although some seemed in opposition.


Fort Wayne resident Marsha Wallace said she thinks it is important that the world hears people want equality and justice for everyone.

“We have to stand up to make sure people know we’re not going to shut up about it,” Wallace said, smiling.

Another rally attendee, Ron Tutwiler of Fort Wayne, said he showed for various reasons, but felt more empowered surrounded by others who had similar opinions about past and current events.

Hyndman said over a 1,000 people attended the rally, and she was extremely pleased with the turnout. But the main goal of the day was to give people opportunities to make their community a better place, something she hopes she accomplished.


After the rally, protesters marched to the library to attend an informational fair where they could learn how to participate and volunteer with local organizations.

Hyndman said approximately 35 organizations were set up in the library. People had various groups they could connect with, everything from advocating for the environment to supporting refugees in the community.

James Cary, a representative at the fair from a local business, Friends of the Third World, said he felt excited about the interest and diversity on display that day, especially in the younger people who attended.

Hyndman said she titled the event Our Promise because she wanted to send a message that showed people are going to do more than just talk about critical issues. Instead, they are promising to do something about them.


“We’re all here to put our actions where our hearts are, Hyndman said, “and we promise to do more.”

Megan Dues – One Woman’s Mission to Reach Happiness

Megan Dues hunched over the bathtub and cried out in pain as Piper, her 2-year-old daughter, sat in the water.

Dues quickly removed Piper from the bathtub in fear of something worse happening, but Piper did not leave her mother’s side.

“Piper held my hand and patted my back and said, ‘It’s going to be okay, mom,’” Dues said.

It was the only time she experienced a ruptured cyst alone with Piper, but Dues said she specifically remembers the situation as the first time she realized Piper was there for her.

Dues unexpectedly became pregnant with Piper when she was 18 years old. She said this changed her plans in life and more struggles arose accordingly, but she thrived during adverse times.

For instance, Dues said she struggled with diet restrictions from her endometriosis — what causes cysts to grow and rupture — and having 32 food allergies. But she adjusted to her limitations and saw the silver lining — she has to be healthy.

“Dieting has definitely changed my life for the better,” Dues said. “Even though I have all my restrictions, it makes me feel healthier.”

When Piper was almost three, Dues’ boyfriend broke up with her after he spent the first years of Piper’s life as her father figure, even though he is not a biological parent. Consequently, the family they created split apart as Dues and her daughter moved into her parents’ house.

She said this transition was the lowest point of her life, but she was tired of letting adversities consume her.

“I just decided one day that things weren’t going to get better unless I focused on myself,” Dues said, “like getting out of my parents’ house, getting back on my feet, getting back to having my own things. I just couldn’t sit there.”

To get out of her depression, Dues said she set new goals and began working as a baker in a hotel resort. She enjoyed her job, and it helped her discover a passion for cooking. It also lead her to meeting her soulmate, Bill Dues, another chef at the resort.

“I was thinking how ridiculous she looked with her tall chef hat on and her retro-framed glasses on,” her husband said, as he smiled talking about the first time they met. “She asked me to make her a salad, and I thought, ‘Who is this girl?’”

Since meeting Bill, Dues said her life has improved tremendously. He is the piece she had been missing, and today, they have a daughter together, Willow, who Dues said takes the highest priority in her life along with Piper.

She hopes her daughters will grow into strong, ambitious women.

“If you aren’t passionate about something then where are you going to go in life?” Dues said, while holding Willow’s hands to help her stand. “I just want them to be happy with where they end up in the future.”

One passion in Dues’ life is horses. When she was in seventh grade, her parents gifted her Sophie. She said her life began to improve by having an outlet to help release her stress and anxiety. To this day, she still has Sophie.

For her future, Dues said she hopes to own a horse farm in Michigan, and bake for people who have numerous allergies like her.

But, today, Dues said she is content with her life, and proud of herself for overcoming the obstacles she has faced.

“I’m glad that everything happened, because even though I am not where I want to be yet, I am happy with who I am, who I am with, and what I now know,” Dues said. “This is just the happiest I have been in my entire life.”

Gap Years Create New Opportunities for IPFW Students

Marlie Reed traveled the Pacific United States for 10 months, and in return, she received an education award for nearly $6,000.

The IPFW alumna was a part of a program called AmeriCorps, where she volunteered to aid communities and organizations in Alaska, California and Oregon while she secretly struggled with what direction to take in life.

“I was unsure of what I should do next,” Reed said, as she combed her fingers through her hair. “I had a friend who did the program and told me he gained a new perspective on himself, so I wanted to try it.”

According to the American Gap Association, interest in gap years has increased substantially. High school and college graduates are electing to take a gap year by traveling nationally or internationally.  Graduates are also volunteering or working at home before enrolling into an institution or beginning their career.

Amanda Grace, a student from North Webster majoring in office administration at International Business College, said she decided to work before continuing her education to save money and figure out what she should major in.

Through her experience, Grace said, she learned how to be more responsible, and never lost her work ethic because she finally felt like she wanted to go to school, not that she was supposed to.

Deidre Hoffman, another IBC student majoring in office administration from Norwell, said she was unsure of her plan after high school. She joined the U.S. Army, and while serving, she gained skills similar to Grace’s, such as time-management, maturity, and life-experience.

According to the AGA website, Grace and Hoffman are among the students who have shown that taking a break between high school and college renews interest and increases motivation. Another AGA study shows 90 percent of students are enrolled in a four-year institution within one year of time off from academia.

The AGA also surveyed students and found they can gain useful, job-related skills from their personal experiences during their time off.

“Employers are looking for students who have communication skills, interpersonal skills, and leadership skills,” said Ashley Calderon, IPFWs director of career services.

According to the AGA, the University of Colorado Denver, and the AmeriCorps website each of these options — volunteering, enlisting in the military, traveling, and working — will teach students some of the skills to prepare them for their future careers.

Students could highlight their skills on their résumés and during their job interviews, Calderon said. She also believes getting involved with these organizations are exceptional ways to network.

“It made me more self-aware and more appreciative of what I have and the family I have, even the material things,” Reed said about her AmeriCorps experience. “I am just alive and well, doing something different made me more adventurous.”


Service Journalism:

AmeriCorps NCCC Program:

  • Available for 18- to 24-year-olds
  • Must complete 10 months of service to be awarded education award
  • Government pays for housing, food and stipend.
  • Volunteers can choose from five different regions in the U.S. and can apply for their fall or winter cycle.

Source: http://www.nationalservice.gov/programs/americorps/americorps-programs/americorps-nccc/americorps-nccc-faqs