Starting with our neighbors, Baha’i community looks to build unity in Fort Wayne

An event this weekend is uniting the community with two steps: vision and action.

“Building Vibrant Communities” is all about the oneness of humanity. Together, those in attendance are discussing tangible ways to grow closer as a community.

Born and raised in Fort Wayne, Marisol Sharpe has watched the city grow and is stepping up as a leader to make sure growth continues. Thanks to an initiative organized by the Baha’i community Sharpe is part of, the Fort Wayne conference is one of many happening around the world. Saturday’s focus is on the vision, and Sunday the discussion is all about action.

And the event is far from a lecture. Discussion-based breakout sessions are designed to involve every voice in attendance. Adults, teens, and youth as young as five years old are all invited to join in.

Sharpe said everyone has a part to play in the betterment of the world, and everyone has the option to be a “protagonist” in the effort to make the world a better place.

You don’t have to wait for another conference to be part of the program. One way to practice “oneness of humanity”, Sharpe explained, is to get to know our neighbors. Forming relationships with the people that live around us fulfills the second part of the initiative– action.

“I don’t think we realize– the small acts of kindness, how far those things really go,” Sharpe said.

The two-day conference is Saturday and Sunday from 9 a.m. to 4 p.m. Breakfast and lunch are provided. Learn more about the efforts of the Baha’i and register for the free event online.

Spring into the biggest events of the semester

This news brief from the Summit City Observer breaks down some activities to look forward to on Purdue Fort Wayne’s campus as the semester wraps up.

If you like a challenge, free food, or hanging out with your friends, Spring Fling has it all this week. Get the scoop in the video, and check out details on the university’s website.

There’s a lot going on for PFW creatives through the month of April. We’re celebrating seniors in the interior design and fine arts programs with special exhibits.

Speaking of seniors, commencement is around the corner for the class of 2022. Where did the time go?

Enhance the document that can land you a career

Chyanne Davis

The Career Development Center at Purdue University Fort Wayne offers many services that can help better prepare students for the work force. Resume and cover letter workshops are just one of the many events held for PFW students.

The resume service is important because you can’t get a job without one, said Tracey Hanton, assistant director of PFW’s Career Development Center.

“I think it’s important [to attend resume and cover letter workshops] because it’s an opportunity for a student to hear the whole of how to put this resume together,” Hanton said. “It’s also an opportunity for them to look at what they might have… an opportunity for them to ask their own individualized questions and then they can go back, make any adjustments they need to, then they can send it back to me and clarify that the corrections were what we discussed in the workshop.”

Resume and cover letter workshops are held throughout the school year, on campus and at the Student Housing Clubhouse. Students in the Endorsed or Passport to Success programs are able to earn career readiness points by attending the workshops.

Workshops for resume and cover letters are only available to current PFW students. However, alumni are welcome to make an appointment with Career Development Center to build resumes and cover letters.

Appointments can be made online, by emailing the Career Development Center at, or by calling (260) 481-0689. You can even make an appointment in person at Kettler Hall, Room 109 on PFW’s campus. There is also an option to email your resume directly to the Career Development Center for revision to

When you attend a resume and/or cover letter appointment, it is recommended that you bring a hard copy of your resume and cover letter to be reviewed.

COVID-19 precautions when attending an appointment of workshop consist of wearing a mask and social distancing when possible. If you are not able to attend a resume and cover letter workshop in person, you can also arrange to have a Zoom meeting of the workshop by emailing Tracey Hanton at

The website also has tips on how to create a resume, cover letter, and a LinkedIn profile. There are examples of resumes and cover letters available there as well.

If you need help with writing a resume or cover letter and you are a current PFW student or an alumnus, you can attend a workshop or make an appointment at the Career Development Center.


Purdue University Fort Wayne and Indiana University Fort Wayne are closing campus doors until next week.

Wednesday, February 2, Thursday, February 3, and Friday, February 4 there will be no on-campus classes due to the expected inclement weather.

Enjoy the snow days, and be safe!

This campus resource has what you need to succeed

Abby Gehlhausen | 11.6.21

Purdue University Fort Wayne provides a Career Development Center that offers essential resources to students taking steps toward their careers.

According to the Career Development Center’s website, its mission is to “invest in the holistic development of our students by infusing career readiness into our programs and services while bridging the gap between students, campus partners, and employers to positively impact the region and beyond.”

“The purpose really is to help students and alumni develop their career readiness skills,” Assistant Director Tracey Hanton said.

Students can have their resume critiqued by a career counselor, ensuring that it is acceptable for use and follows professional standards. Online career assessments help students narrow in on their personal interests and career path.

The Endorsed Program is a career readiness program that requires students to complete a variety of professional development activities in order to help prepare for the future. An online platform called Handshake helps students find part-time work on and off campus and internships.

The office hosts job and internship fairs at least once a semester, inviting local employers to the PFW campus, which allows students to network and ask questions. Immersion Excursions are events that give students the opportunity to travel to different businesses and connect with current employees and HR representatives.

Diversity Dialogues helps students learn how to navigate a diverse workplace where there are often many cultures and styles of communication. The office also offers alumni panel events where past PFW students share valuable information on how to best prepare for careers while still in school.

“You came here, you spent this money. You want a job. And you want a job doing something that you’re going to enjoy,” Hanton said.

She advised that students begin using the office’s resources early and often in their college careers.

Hanton also said resume building is the most important thing the Career Development Center can offer students “because you can’t get a job without one.”

Antonio Menson, the Purdue Fort Wayne Student Body Vice President of Finance and current senior, said that during his freshman year he was very confident with his resume skills, but decided to have his resume reviewed by a member of the Career Development Center anyway.

“I cannot imagine how employers would look at my resume if I was still using the same old template. I am so grateful for all of the wonderful people that work in the office and all of the work that they do,” Menson said.

Pink Tax: The Hidden Cost of Being Female

Jordyn Bilger

We all know the saying “beauty hurts.” But it might be hurting more than just our feet, it may also be hurting the bank accounts of many women.

It’s no secret that women have experienced different forms of oppression since the beginning of time. From not being able to work outside of the home to not being able to vote, a lot of changes have been made in efforts to get equal rights and treatment for the female gender.

But there is something that women may not be aware of that is part of this ongoing struggle: the pink tax.

This is not something that is like the sales tax applied at a register, but rather it is included in price. This is something that has been around since the 1990’s and continues to be seen in comparing the cost of men’s and women’s products.

Males pay less than females for everyday products 42 % of the time, according to an investigation conducted by personal finance writer Candice Elliot.

This is especially seen in clothing items where women’s clothes are of lesser quality than men’s but are often significantly higher in price. With thinner materials and often less fabric used in women’s clothing, the prices even for the same brand are raised compared to pricing of men.

The reason this higher price is called pink tax is because the color pink is marketed towards females, and some products cost more just for being the color pink and sometimes purple.

This extra cost can give those who struggle with money even more trouble.

“As a full-time college student with not a lot of funds, having to pay extra on almost all of my everyday products just makes it that much harder to save and budget,” said college student Emma Yager.

Are there any brands working to stop the pink tax? In an interview with Glamour, Nitasha Mehta, the head of vendor marketing for Boxed, said that she spoke with the CEO of the company about the difference in pricing. Since then, the company has been working to make fair prices for both genders.

Billie is another company that works to charge women the same prices as men. Almost all women’s razors cost more than mens for a lower quality. Billie is an online razor company that allows women to pay low prices for a higher quality razor and can be purchased as a subscription.

Leah Bourne from Glamour said, “The pink tax is frequently hard for stores to avoid unless prices are lowered by the companies that make the products, and since so many people are unaware of these hidden fees, it doesn’t get talked about too often.

Leslie Owen, a financial advisor for Allen Superior Court, said that she has never really noticed the pink tax because it has just been there for as long as she can remember.

This is something that with more spread of information on the topic, could be changed.

These tests could help end your career search

Ireland Miller

The Career Development Center at Purdue University Fort Wayne provides assessments that concentrate on helping students and alumni match their interests, strengths and education with a satisfying career.

For students who are struggling to pick a major or have little idea of what career they may want to pursue, the online assessments that the Career Development Center offers focus on an individual’s personality, interests, skills and values to help guide them in the right direction.

“It also gives you another way of looking at what you value when it comes to work and how all of that goes into developing your actual career plan,” Assistant Director of the Career Development Center Tracey Hanton said.

Assessments such as the TypeFocus 7 Career Assessment offered through the PFW website are taken online. This assessment prepares participants with questions that help guide them to their desired outcome without making the final career decision for them.

“[Assessment takers] get an opportunity to do what is very important, and that’s research,” Hanton said.

The Myers-Briggs Type Indicator (MBTI) and Strong Interest Inventory (SII) assessments are also available to both students and alumni to take with an additional cost of $25 each. These tests are more extensive, giving students an in-depth idea of career options while looking at both the costs and benefits.

No preparation is required to take an assessment, but Hanton said she suggests being in a quiet room paying full attention to the questions for the most accurate test results.

“It is not something you want to spend hours thinking over. You definitely want to make sure that you don’t answer the questions the way you think you should answer them. You just really want to answer them just as they are,” Hanton said.

Assessments do not have to be taken at a certain point in time. Although not required, career assessments can be taken multiple times throughout a student’s life in order to address the question, “Did I change?”

“I think a person should take an assessment when they’re in college, sometimes even before, and depending on what it is that they need, they might take another one in five years,” Hanton said.

Career assessments consider the individual’s answers and generate a list of possible outcomes for their career, keeping in mind their goals and interests. However, the individual’s options are not limited to the displayed results.

“[The assessment] does not eliminate all options. Statistics say we’re going to do about 14 careers in a lifetime anyway,” Hanton said.

When taking a career assessment, individuals can seek help navigating their results by scheduling an appointment with PFW’s Career Development staff.

The information can be found under the Career Development tab on the university’s home page.

Edited by Lydia Reuille

Make career moves with Handshake

Caitlin Laubsch | 10.8.21

Handshake may be just one of many available resources for students at Purdue Fort Wayne through the Career Development Center, but the program has become one of the most heavily endorsed programs by PFW’s Career Development Center.

Handshake is a website that is available to all PFW students and alumni. The platform is accessible online.

The website is a resource designed to help students find jobs and entry-level careers. The program allows a user to follow employers to see their job listings, see reviews of companies by past employees, see how many applicants an employer is looking to hire and more. The platform provides a way to have direct communication with potential employers and see information about career fairs and events.

When a user starts out on Handshake, they can create a profile to share with employers. They can upload a resume, share past job experience, share their skills and even narrow the job preferences suggested to them by industry, job interests and location.

Using the platform, students can set up job interviews, message employers, and create a profile that draws employers to message them first. Handshake suggests jobs based on the profile and the entire program is very customizable and individual. The job search can be narrowed down by location, full-time or part-time, on-campus or off-campus and can even be tailored to help you find internships.

Handshake also includes a “Discover More Students” tab, creating an opportunity for students of similar interests to connect and collaborate with each other.

Tracey Hanton, the assistant director for career development at Purdue Fort Wayne, works in the Career Development Center on campus. She said students are automatically registered for Handshake when they register for their first classes at PFW.

“You can make appointments with our office, you can find out about events that we’re hosting, or events that we are collaborating with,” Hanton said. “But more importantly, because it’s online, you can find events that are online that aren’t even in the area.”

Handshake is unlike any other job-search website, according to Hanton, who said that the employers are specifically looking for PFW students when they register their jobs on Handshake.

“The employers that are on our site, they actually have to register for each school that they want to be a part of to actually post their jobs,” Hanton said.

Hanton also said that Handshake is unique because “[the employers] do have a ranking and a trust score, so if there’s a company on there that somebody has found they are scamming students, we get an alert. Indeed is not going to give you an alert that this company has been scamming students.”

Details on Handshake can be found online.

Caitlin Laubsch | 10.8.21

COVID-19 impacts collegiate soccer recruitment of high school athletes

By Tianna Johnson


High school athletes are struggling to find their fit to play at the next level.


“As a coach, it has been a tough year to see how hard my athletes work while witnessing their struggles to get seen in hopes to continue their soccer careers due to the pandemic,” said Mike Friendt, head coach of North Metro Girls u18 team.


With the COVID-19 pandemic affecting the world, one thing that has drastically changed is the recruiting process for collegiate athletics, specifically soccer players.


The NCAA announced at the beginning of the pandemic they were implementing a ‘dead period.’ This is a time when there are no visits, scouting, camps, or evaluation of prospects.


As the pandemic continues to be an issue, the dead period continues to get extended, leaving future prospects working against the clock.


Traditionally, in the recruiting world of collegiate soccer, coaches are able to see future prospects at camps hosted by the school or at the prospect’s games. This would happen during the prospect’s junior and/or senior year of high school.


When a college coach becomes impressed by a player’s abilities on the field, they will then continue their interest over phone calls, emails, and texts. The communication and interest lead to the coach having the player come to campus so they can show the player what the school has to offer and have them meet the team.


Schools around the country have faced major budget cuts due to the lack of competition and other COVID-19 related changes.


Due to the “COVID year” collegiate institutions have been left with less scholarship money available to give to the athletes currently in the NCAA, which results in an additional year of competition available to the collegiate athletes that had one of their eligibility seasons canceled or drastically altered due to the pandemic.


In cases where the athlete is on a scholarship and chooses to accept the extra fifth year, the athletic program will sponsor the athlete with money that would traditionally go to an incoming freshman. This impacts the incoming recruiting prospects because it leaves less money and scholarships available than in a traditional year.


The head coach of the Purdue University Fort Wayne soccer team, Jason Burr, mentioned that typically coaches only anticipate a player staying for four years and allocate money as if that’s the case.


High-school senior and soccer player Bella Grandbois was planning to attend California Baptist University, but she said that due to the “COVID year” the program offered one of their seniors money for the extra year that would have potentially gone to her.


“I had always known the recruiting process would be challenging but never expected it to be the way it is now,” she said.


Bella’s teammate, Sydney Johnson, is also facing challenges in the recruitment process this year.


“It has definitely been hard, especially because most of the scholarship money depended on how much was left due to the pandemic and not how much we deserved based on our play like it would be in a more traditional situation.”

Online Learning Challenges

By Natalie Konow


Schools in Allen County have been conducting many classes online since March 2020. This has been the safest way to allow schools to continue teaching students, but this does not mean it was the easiest for everyone.


During the pandemic, staying motivated to complete online assignments was considered a major issue for 42% of students in America.


Amelia Adams, a sophomore student at Northrop High School who has ADHD, is one of them. She says that she finds herself getting distracted frequently by thinking about previous or upcoming situations or by objects in her household.


“My hyperactivity disorder has made it difficult for me to focus online. The teachers don’t have the ability to keep me on track, which has caused my grades to decrease since March of 2020,” Adams says. “The school seems to have no effective additional assistance for those with learning disabilities.”


Adams says that Northrop High School is not requiring its teachers to hold Zooms for every class. Some are conducted by the students signing in on a Google form and finishing the work required for that day, which is provided via Powerschool.


The lack of direct communication and instructions has left students like Adams frustrated and disorganized. The process of holding classes online makes it difficult to accommodate lessons, tasks, or assignments for those with learning disabilities.


The Center for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) says that those with ADHD learn best when assignments are clear and structured, when students are able to pick how learning comprehensions are assessed either through essays, oral reports, hands on projects, etc., and by minimizing distractions.


These CDC recommendations are challenging to administer over the Internet, which may be a cause of the 25% increase in students falling behind the baseline ability needed to continue in future learning or functioning in society.


Elementary schools are experiencing similar situations with their students with disabilities and issues of focusing on schoolwork throughout the day.


Courtney Bailey, principal of Cedar Canyon Elementary, says that parents have expressed concerns on how hard it is to keep them focused and on track. “By the time that they finish they should be done, but because they can’t focus during the day, they are spending more time at night doing additional work,” Bailey says.


Bailey says her school is tackling these issues by tailoring and structuring lessons so that a child will have certain expectations and requirements that they must complete in a certain amount of time.


Cedar Canyon teachers are helping students with disabilities by marking whether or not a student has a learning disability and are obligated to specify the particular disability they have, so that all instructors are aware and can make adjustments for that individual if needed.


The school is keeping track so that each student is meeting their required number of minutes for special education assistance. The school is also trying to continue academic success for students– not just during school hours, but even after the computers are off.


Despite focus being a major issue for many students, Bailey says that the academic success of the student does not solely rely on whether or not they can focus. It is highly dependent on their homelife and the supports they have at home.


Students tend to do better when they have a parent there guiding them through online courses and encouraging them to stay engaged, compared to students who have to do distant learning independently.


Although online learning has been a challenge for many with learning disabilities, some have had the chance to turn these challenges into opportunities.


Adams says that online learning has allowed her to think of creative ways to stay attentive to her classes that she will continue to use even once in-person classes start.