IPFW Color Stomp Postponed

The Color Stomp was to take place on Tuesday, but has been postponed to a later, unknown date.

IPFW Intramural Sports and Student Life will host the Color Stomp sometime this semester, taking place near the IPFW baseball and softball fields.

It costs participants five dollars to run in the event. Runners will also receive a free t-shirt at check-in, complimentary dinner, and a color stomp towel. All the money from the run goes to Erin’s House for Grieving Children in Fort Wayne.

The run’s route will take place throughout campus with multiple “color stations”, where volunteers will blast the runners with a color-dye as they run through.

Andrew Kreager senator for IPSGA, who has sponsored the event in the past, said with budget cuts affecting their sponsorship of the event, they could not co-fund it this year.

“Student Life didn’t necessarily need us to help fund it this year,” Kreager said. “I know there was a conversation between Student Life and Student Government asking if they really needed our funding this year, and they said they had leftovers from years past that they could fund it with.”

Kreager said IPSGA will still be showing their support because it is a special event with proceeds going to a good cause.

Andrew Meyers, graduate assistant for Intramural Sports, said their biggest goal is to increase participant numbers.

Meyers said that with participant numbers going down in the past couple years, they plan on increasing the numbers through promotions on social media prior to the run.

According to Meyers, last year’s color stomp had approximately 50 participants. Meyers said if they see any increase at all, they will be satisfied. But, to put on the event, they desperately need people’s help.

“So right now, we really need volunteers,” Meyers said. “We’ve only had a few people contact us, and we need about thirty to forty people to help.”

Meyers said it’s important for volunteers and participants to come out because the run is a great way to get students to come together and interact in a positive way.

“I think that’s the biggest draw for me to help make it a good event,” Meyers said. “It gets the university some exposure and it just helps students have a better experience here at IPFW.”

Cancer Services of Northeast Indiana Hosts Tribute Dinner

The 13th-annual Cancer Services Tribute Dinner started at 6 p.m. in the Mirro Center for Research and Innovation at Parkview Sept. 6.


Cancer Services of Northeast Indiana is a non-profit organization established in 1944. Its mission is to enhance the quality of life of those affected by cancer by providing resources, information and assistance.

Robin Hixson, a client at Cancer Services, said she attended the event with her family because she wanted to bring them all to celebrate with her.

Robin Hixson and Family at Cancer Services’ Tribute Dinner

“I was diagnosed in December of last year, right before the holidays, and I probably made my first trip there in February when I started chemo,” Hixson said. “When I started losing my hair, that’s when I made my first trip to Cancer Services.”

Hixson said she went to Cancer Services seeking as recommended by a friend, but she was nervous to go and didn’t know what to expect.

She said getting diagnosed with cancer is a roller coaster ride full of mixed emotions. Yet, through Cancer Services, she made many new friends going through the same things and found support to get her through.

Ed Souers, chairman of Cancer Services, said the concept of this event is to get people together to pay tribute to those affected by cancer. This includes not only cancer survivors, but also their families and doctors who have treated them.Screen Shot 2017-09-14 at 11.11.32 AM

Souers said his organization is completely supported by the community. They have about 600 volunteers, and do not charge their patients a dime.

Souers calls what they do “the softer side” of cancer. They provide things like emotional support, practical resources, wigs, transportation, information, and much more. He said this allows patients and their families to help deal with what they are going through.

Part of the show they put on for the night included keynote speaker Mayor Suzanne Handshoe.

Handshoe is a retired marine corps veteran, the first female mayor of Kendalville, and a cancer survivor.

To end the night, Handshoe spoke for approximately 23 minutes in a powerful speech discussing her life and her battle with cancer.

“I was notified a few years ago that in 1979 at my first duty station of Camp Lejeune, North Carolina, I drank contaminated water for over 14 months, and multiple myeloma is one of the presumed diseases from contamination,” Handshoe said. “I never dreamed the career that I loved so much serving this great country would make me so ill. However, I have absolutely no regrets.”


Mayor Handshoe and Family

Mayor Handshoe was recommended to Cancer Services by Dr. Chitneni of Parkview. Like Robin Hixson, Mayor Handshoe said the organization made her experience with cancer a little easier.

Hixson said she respects everything Cancer Services does because they have a really big heart.

“I just want to applaud everybody involved in Cancer Services. This is my first event here and I will be back for many more,” Hixson said. “They put on a great show and I am very happy to be a part of it.”

Contestants and Committees – An Inside Look of the 2017 Annual Student Research and Creative Endeavor Symposium


The 20th Annual Student Research and Creative Endeavor Symposium took place March 29 in the Walb Ballroom.

The symposium was open to all undergraduate and graduate students from different fields of study. Participants came from the social sciences, humanities, visual arts, business, nursing and more.

Cheryl Truesdell, who has judged the event for many years, said the top-three contestants were chosen based on points awarded by judges for their effort.

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Symposium Judging Rubric

“We’re trained to look at the discipline itself,” Cheryl said, “and to actually base it primarily on, not only the writing, but if they express the research so that anyone can understand it.”

Cheryl, also the retired dean of Helmke Library, said in 2013 the symposium committee changed the symposium format, to draw more interest from students and faculty.

Cheryl said a group of people involved with the symposium decided to make it poster-oriented, because they felt like it was more interactive and visually appealing.


Along with Cheryl, Stephen Buttes is a returning judge. He said IPFW is a comprehensive university and the symposium gives people the chance to see that. The Spanish professor feels the event gives students the opportunity to show what they are learning here at IPFW.

“It’s exciting to learn about the projects that they’ve produced,” Stephan said. “And it’s an opportunity to celebrate students’ success.”

But they don’t work alone.

Each participant was given the opportunity to research with an IPFW faculty member, and many others chose to work with peers as well. Gabriella Romo, a senior IPFW student majoring in biology,  did just that, collaborating with others on her project.

“We needed a big group because we had to collect 99 samples,” Gabriella said. “And that’s why on my poster I have them recognized, and I put all their names, because I couldn’t just say it was all me.”

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For Gabriella’s project she researched cyanobacteria. She became interested because other students were researching it as well. Gabriella said there’s so much research to do on this specific bacteria because it does a lot for humankind.

“Fun fact, they are the reason why we’re here,” Gabriella said. “And what I mean by that is that they’re the ones who allow the Earth to have oxygen. So if it weren’t for them, we wouldn’t be here.”

Cyanobacteria was a popular at the symposium. To gather what they needed, Gabriella and five others traveled to the Indiana Dunes this past summer to collect everything for their research.

They spent countless hours digging up soil, covering over a quarter-mile of land, to make their projects possible.

Gabriella said even though they all used the same samples,  people did different studies, and found different outcomes.

Gabriella gives credit to everyone on her team. She said without them, she wouldn’t have been able to finish her research and compete in the symposium.

“Just imagine one person trying to do all of that. There’s no way!” Gabriella said. “I can’t imagine doing it all alone. You need people.”

Winners Courtesy of Jim Whitcraft
2017 Winners- Courtesy of Jim Whitcraft

Fort Wayne Men’s Volleyball Team Continues Its Winning Streak

The Fort Wayne Men’s Volleyball team played No. 11 in the country George Mason at 7 p.m. Friday night.

Going into the game, Fort Wayne had a record of 1-8 to George Mason’s 4-2.

J.W. Kieckhefer, the Mastodons’ assistant coach, said their first win from the week prior will help with confidence issues and give them a good attitude for this game.

“I think it’s hard not to be more confident once we’ve had a win under our belt,” Kieckhefer said. “At the end of the day, I think we’re doing some really good things, and we just need to continue what we’re doing to get another win.”

Coach Kieckhefer said he did a scouting report on George Mason’s team to see what they were up against.

According to the report, Kieckhefer found George Mason’s go-to player is their right-side hitter #20 Jack Wilson. Going into Friday’s game, Wilson had attacked 50 more balls than anyone else on his team this season. Wilson is also an All-American candidate with a hitting percentage of .296.

Kieckhefer said the key to defending him would be to slow down their left and right side attackers, since they don’t set their middles in close-game situations.

Gabriel Quinones, a senior computer science major for the Mastodons from Dallas, said through their past losses and mistakes, they have prepared mentally and physically for this team.

“We don’t have to play amazing every time,” Gabriel said. “As long as we play consistently then wins will come and I really think that’s what we need to do.”

Gabriel said to succeed against a good team like George Mason they would need to start out early with confidence.

“I think the key is going to be the first set,” Gabriel said. “It’s an emotional kind of mental rollercoaster when a game starts, but once that first set is over and you win, you can go into the second set with confidence, which will ultimately be a big part in helping us win the game.”

That they did, as Fort Wayne won in three straight sets, shocking George Mason in a sweep.

“It was really just a combination of everything. Not one specific part sticks out, we just really played unbelievable volleyball tonight,” Coach Kieckhefer said following the win. “I really think that’s the best volleyball we’ve played in probably two years.”

Coach Kieckhefer said the saying “winning is contagious” definitely applied to the Mastodons this weekend, as they continued their 3-game win streak into Saturday night’s game against NJIT, resulting in another 3-0 sweep.

Fort Wayne now holds a record of 3-8 for the season as they go into conference play at home this weekend against McKendree and Ball State.

John Kaufeld – Expecting the Unexpected

John Kaufeld’s entire demeanor is joyful.

He welcomes a complete stranger with a big smile and a friendly handshake, and within minutes he begins talking in funny accents.

John is a published writer and like many of his stories, when asked about his life, he is an open book.

But he never planned to be a writer. That aspect of him, like the majority of his life, was unexpected.

John went to Ball State University to become a professor. He said he had it all planned out: get his undergrad, his master’s degree, and finish with his Ph.D.

But that never happened.

He overslept the graduate management admissions test his senior year, and that one misstep changed his life-long plans.

So, instead he graduated with a business management degree and got a job.

Right out of college, John’s first job was working with PC tech support in Indianapolis.

“I’ve always been a people person,” John said. “But, I had a passion for computers. With this job, I got the opportunity to work with both.”

After that, John’s career started its rollercoaster ride of unexpected twists.

He worked for a network installation company, a computer graphics firm, did system analysis work for a few companies, PC programing, and analysis report writing.

During that time he got married and had two children, a boy and a girl.

“And then the story takes a very weird turn,” John said. “A past coworker of mine asked me if I would be a tech editor for a ‘For Dummies’ book.”

This book was supposed to be a “do it yourself” troubleshooting guide.

John said that when he went to edit it, the book was awful and the original author didn’t have the expertise on computers that he did.

So, they asked him to help write it.

Little did he know that this would lead to him writing “For Dummies” books for 10 years.

“I have 36 books published for the company,” John said. “With just under 3 million books in print, and a total of 15 languages around the world.”

He said he loved this time in his life, but it was very stressful. Each book was about 385 pages and they had to be written on an 8-week schedule. John said that’s about 5 pages per day.

After a decade of writing “For Dummies” books, and homeschooling his two children with his wife, John felt like it was time for a change.

So, on a whim, he decided to open a retail store in 1997.

His store, “More than Games,” sold American and well-known European board games.

John said he loved having the store open because it gave him the opportunity to work with people after being behind closed doors writing for so long.

In 2000, John and his family decided to move away from Indianapolis. John closed the store in Indy, but opened a new one here in Fort Wayne.

He kept the store open for a few years in Fort Wayne but eventually ended up closing in 2005. After that, John worked for a trade association. For that company, he helped buy and sell different types of games.

During that time John, unsurprisingly, had yet another twist in his life. In 2003 John and his wife welcomed another baby girl to the family.

John said after all of that, and much more, he ended up at a university. Since 2009, John has worked as the chief communications officer at IPFW.

He said that his favorite part about this job is the social media aspect and getting a chance to work with students.

“There are times that I feel like I live in your back pocket,” John said. “I hear the thoughts that are posted out there that have IPFW in them, and I get to help them even when they don’t ask. They have no expectation that I’ll actually respond to them.”

John said he never would have imagined that he would be working with social media the way it is today.

“When I got out of college I remember the first time that one of my friends explained to me, ‘Dude there’s this crazy thing called the internet and computers connect,’” John said laughing, mimicking his friend’s voice. “And I remember being like, ‘No way! That’s the most ridiculous thing I’ve ever heard!’”

A lot has changed since then in John’s life, and in the technological world. Now-a-days, John likes to call himself “the secret voice of IPFW.”

When people complain about a problem they’ve had with the school or the school itself, John now has the ability to reach out and help students.

He said, even though it is through social media, John loves his job because he gets to work with people and help them solve any issues they might have.


Gabriela Romo: The Journey of a First-Generation College Student

Growing up in her household, there was no talk of going to college for Gabriela Romo.

She was told once high school was over, she would work at the factory to provide for her family.

In a family that had never gone to college, with a father who never made it past the third grade, Gaby was never allowed to think about going herself.

That was until her junior year of high school, when soccer changed everything.

“The coach came and saw me play and she told me I was going full ride,” Gaby said,  laughing at the thought. “I had absolutely no idea what that meant, but I said yes and here I am.”

Gaby said she never thought she would get to play the sport she loved at such a high level while getting an education at the same time.

When Gaby told her parents she wanted to go to college, she said they didn’t know what that was, but agreed as long as they didn’t have to pay.

“I grew up with a very family oriented perspective,” Gaby said. “I know that if I invest this time and get a good job, then however much time God gives me, I can provide for them for the rest of my life.”

A few years ago, her cousin in Mexico got a bacterial infection. Gaby said that in Mexico people have to pay before treatment, but her cousin couldn’t afford it.

Her health became worse, and she was eventually put on a ventilator.

Gaby said she saved $2000 that summer to send down to her cousin, but it couldn’t save her.

She ended up passing away because no one could afford her treatment.

“That’s what made me want to be a doctor. If you’re a doctor the money shouldn’t matter,” Gaby said. “They should have run more tests. They should have saved her.”

Due to that traumatic experience, and realizing that soccer wouldn’t last forever, she said her new plan is to go to medical school and become a family physician.

Gaby said she has always wanted to help people, which was passed down to her from her mother’s ways. She said her mother is the glue that holds her family together.

Her mother always encouraged her and her siblings to look out for one another and to achieve their dreams.

“But my father, he is the one who divides us. He belittles me and my five siblings,” Gaby said. “He would always say things like, ‘You guys are useless,’ and when I would be doing homework he’d say, ‘School’s not important get your butt up and clean.’”

Gaby said her father never approved of her pursuits of education, her desire to learn, or her love for soccer. He would tell her since she was a girl she was supposed to do the chores, and that soccer was for guys.

She said he would even hit her and her siblings, which led to her having a low self-esteem at a young age.

But soccer was her escape.

Gaby would have to wait until he left for work to go outside and practice. She started at just 6 years old.

“God gave me that man as my father,” Gaby said. “No matter what, this is how my life was supposed to be. That is why I am here today.”