IU East brings internationally acclaimed philanthropist for First-Year Seminar celebration

August 17th, 2011

Indiana University East will welcome the Class of 2015 on Tuesday, August 23, to celebrate the start of the academic year.

New students to IU East are enrolled in First-Year Seminar, a University College course for first-year students to help them succeed in college.

First-Year Seminar is bringing all the new students together the week before classes begin on Monday, August 29, to meet their instructors, peer mentors, and fellow classmates, and also to celebrate the beginning of their college career.

The kickoff celebration will feature internationally acclaimed motivational speaker Ethan Zohn. Zohn won “Survivor: Africa” in 2002 and is known world-wide for his charitable work and fight against cancer.

Zohn will deliver the keynote address to incoming students. His speech “Character – the Ultimate Survival Tool” will inspire students to persist and succeed during the next four years. The event will begin at 12:30 in Whitewater Hall.

Markus Pomper, the faculty coordinator for First-Year Seminar and an associate professor of mathematics, is excited about having a high-profile speaker welcome new students.

“This is a great opportunity for our students to not only hear about his remarkable experiences in life but to also be motivated by his message of the importance of hard work, character and values,” Pomper said.

Zohn is a co-founder of the non-profit organization Grassroot Soccer, an organization that trains professional soccer players to teach African children about HIV/AIDS prevention. He established the youth-led, international Grassroot Soccer UNITED in 2008 to help raise awareness and funds for the organization.

According to Zohn’s biography, his charitable work continued in 2009 after he was diagnosed with a rare form of Hodgkin’s Lymphoma. He became the national ambassador for Katie Couric’s organization, Stand Up 2 Cancer, and Lance Armstrong’s LIVESTRONG Foundation. He shared his experience through a weekly video blog published on People Magazine’s website.

Zohn has been honored for his work within the United States and abroad and has received several awards recognizing his efforts. Before his appearance on “Survivor,” he was a professional soccer player in the United States and Zimbabwe after serving as the assistant coach for the Fairleigh Dickinson University Men and Women’s soccer teams from 1998 to 2002. He continued coaching in 2003 as the head coach of the U.S. National Maccabiah team at the Pan-American Maccabiah Games, in Santiago, Chile.

For more information, contact University College at (765) 973-8235 or go online to iue.edu/ucollege.

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