University News – March 20

Ivy Tech college to host community-wide yard sale

The Ivy Tech Community College Student Government Association (SGA) is seeking to raise money for fellow students through a community-wide indoor yard sale this week.

The SGA indoor sale will be conducted from 8:30 a.m. to 3 p.m. Saturday at Poling Hall, 4475 Central Ave., Columbus. The public is invited to shop or sell items, such as gently used clothing, kitchen items, children’s toys and more. Vendors and artisans are also welcome. Spaces cost $10 for one table; additional tables cost $5 each.

All fees will benefit a Student Emergency Fund which will aid students who experience unexpected life challenges, such as loss of a job, broken-down car or utility shut-off. Sellers will keep the proceeds from their sales.

The SGA is the official voice of the students body and ensures a positive learning environment. The Student Emergency Fund is the SGA Legacy Project for this year.

Community Gateway of Practice gains support

Funds recently were awarded to the IUPUC Center for Teaching and Learning to manage the work of the Gateway Community of Practice.

All of the funding, awarded by the Community Education Coalition, is to be used in an initiative to increase student success in gateway courses.

Gateway courses are typically general education, first-year, high-enrollment, prerequisite courses for degrees and programs of study, such as math, English, history, psychology and beginning science courses. Success in these courses improves student retention and degree completion.

The initiative is a collaboration by IUPUC, Ivy Tech Community College Columbus/Southeast and the EcO Attainment Network. The network brings educators, employers and community partners to build a coordinated, aligned learning system to connect residents to economic opportunities through education.

The initiative will include three dimensions:

IUPUC and Ivy Tech faculty members to complete the Teaching and Learning Academy, where they will implement best-practice strategies in the gateway courses. Faculty will then document and share their experiences and results.

Promote Supplemental Instruction (SI) use to increase retention and student engagement.

Collect and analyze data on instructional strategies and SI practices to determine the approaches with the most impact and success within gateway courses.

For more information call 812-375-7576 or email

Columbus North senior candidate for scholars program

A Columbus North High School senior recently was selected as a candidate for the 2017 U.S. Presidential Scholars Program.

The program was established in 1964 to recognize and honor some of the most distinguished graduating high school seniors in the nation. It was established by executive order of the president. It has been extended twice, once in 1979 to recognize students with talent in visual, creative and performing arts; and again in 2015 to include students with accomplishments in career and technical education fields.

Ujwala Pamidimukkala was chosen based on academic and artistic achievements, leadership qualities, character and community and school involvement. Pamidimukkala joins more than 4,000 other candidates selected from nearly 3.5 million graduating high school seniors.

Submissions will be reviewed and 800 semifinalists will be selected in early April. The Commission of Presidential Scholars will select finalists. The 161 winning scholars will be announced by the U.S. Department of Education in May.

All scholars will be invited to Washington, D.C., in June for the National Recognition Program and will receive their Presidential Scholars Medallion during a White House-sponsored ceremony.

Milvert Takes on research project as Presidential Intern

A Columbus resident is among five Indiana University students to be appointed as this year’s IU presidential interns.

Kaitlynn Milvert is a sophomore majoring in Spanish and English. She began her internship earlier this month. She will work with two other students and IU President Michael McRobbie on a research project on the ancient origins of the modern university.

“I am incredibly excited about this opportunity to contribute to such a wide-ranging historical research project,” Milvert said. “It goes beyond researching ancient civilizations in its attempt to understand the tradition of the university in a new, more expansive context.”

Milvert is a Wells Scholar, an opinion columnist for the Indiana Daily Student and a member of the humanities editorial board for the IU Journal of Undergraduate Research. She also serves as treasurer for Grupo de Teatro VIDA, a Spanish- and Portuguese-language theater group, and a member of the Awareness, Advocacy and Accessibility on Campus group.

The presidential internship, established in 2009, is designed to provide high-achieving IU students the opportunity to gain valuable leadership skills and experience while working on important issues for IU.

Phi Kappa Phi initiation

Joni Montgomery, of Columbus, was recently initiated into The Honor Society of Phi Kappa Phi at the University of Findlay in Ohio.

Phi Kappa Phi is the nation’s oldest and most selective all-discipline collegiate honor society. Membership is by invitation only and requires nomination and approval by a chapter. Its mission is “to recognize and promote academic excellence in all fields of higher education and to engage the community of scholars in service to others.”

Montgomery is among 30,000 others to be initiated into Phi Kappa Phi this year.

East Graduate Takes on Rube Goldberg Contest

A former Columbus East student participated — and led his team to a first-place win — in the Rube Goldberg 2017 Machine Contest (RGMC) on Feb. 18 at Purdue University.

The RGMC is an international competition, named after cartoonist, sculptor and author Rube Goldberg, who was best known for his inventions. The competition challenges students from middle school to college age to build a hilarious and elaborate Rube Goldberg Machine, according to the RGMC website. A Rube Goldberg Machine is described as “an overly complex contraption, designed with humor and a narrative, to accomplish a simple task.”

This year’s simple task was how to apply a Band-Aid. The catch: Teams had to use 25 to 75 steps in two minutes.

Jacob Villiger, a junior at Purdue and member of the Purdue American Society of Mechanical Engineers, was co-captain of his team. The team explained 57 steps within the appointed amount of time with a set that included a small microwave, tea kettle, picture on a wall, rolling pin and other kitchen items. They earned first place in the college division.

The Purdue team will advance to the national competition in late March in Columbus, Ohio.

Villiger’s parents, Dan and Jennifer, of Columbus; brother, Aaron Villiger, of Columbus; and his grandparents, Don and Patsy Harris of Hope, attended the event.

Jennings County resident earns scholarship

Jackson Shepherd was among 18 Indiana students serving in public safety organizations who will receive a scholarship from the Indiana Homeland Security Foundation to supplement their 2016-17 college education.

Each student attends an Indiana college and has volunteer experience at a public safety organization. All students were required to have a grade point average of 2.8 or higher on a 4.0 scale.

Shepherd will receive a $2,000 award. He currently studies criminal justice and computer science at Franklin College. After finishing his degree, he hopes to work for the U.S. Department of Homeland Security or the U.S. Marshals Service.

The funding for these scholarships was provided through purchases of Secure Indiana license plates. The Indiana Homeland Security Foundation offers the Secure Indiana Scholarship to provide higher education financial assistance for Indiana students who wish to pursue a degree.

For information on the Indiana Homeland Security Foundation Scholarships, visit

Western Governors University graduates

The following Columbus residents received their degrees Feb. 11 from Western Governors University.

Malissa Retz, Master of Science in nursing _ leadership and management

Jill McCain, Bachelor of Science in nursing

Melissa Streeval, post-baccalaureate teacher preparation in elementary education (K-8)

University of Wyoming dean’s list

Samuel Darey Loescher, of Columbus, earned a spot on the fall dean’s list for the University of Wyoming.

To be eligible, students must have been enrolled for a minimum of 12 credit hours taken for letter grades. Undergraduates above freshman standing must earn a 3.4 or better grade-point average, and freshmen must earn a 3.25 or better grade-point average.

Olivet Nazarene University dean’s list

Two area residents were named to the fall semester dean’s list at Olivet Nazarene University.

Cody Hempstead and Shelby Stamper, both of Columbus, earned at least a 3.5 grade point average in order to make the list.