Alumni Spotlight: Michelle White

August 6th, 2014

The Danielson Learning Center made a difference in Michelle White’s life.  The 2006 alumna enrolled at the New Castle campus six years after graduating high school. She had grown up in Henry County, 15 miles from the center. As a single mother of one, in addition to working two jobs, the local campus was the most conducive option for her to pursue a bachelor’s degree.MichelleWhite

“The Danielson Center offers small class sizes, and a closer atmosphere than a large campus.  The classes are small enough that the professors know their students by name, and easily recognize if there are areas where the student struggles.  The classes were small and engaging, and professors were able to spend more individual time with their students,” White said.

White was nervous to step back in the classroom as a non-traditional student. With the help of staff to enroll and register, returning to the classroom was seamless.

“The staff was extremely helpful, and walked me through each step.  Throughout my undergraduate degree, I was surprised at how easy it was to get my degree as long as I was willing to put in the work.  The staff and teachers at New Castle Danielson Center made my experience enjoyable,” White said.

During the time that White attended courses at the center, she changed her major from a Bachelor of Science in English to a Bachelor of Arts in Fine Arts with a focus on painting, mostly at the influence of her mentor and art instructor, Simon Clopper.

She had decided to enroll in an all-day art course at the center taught by Clopper.

“I remember crying all the way home on the first day, and even considered dropping the class.  He was very specific about what we were painting and what we were going to learn,” White said.

But White continued with the course despite feeling apprehensive the first few days. In fact, after that first semester with Clopper, she signed up for every course he taught at the Danielson Center. She added that one of the biggest lessons she learned about herself while in college, is that she had a passion for art.

“I truly found a love for painting in Simon’s class that I may have missed if it weren’t for his way of teaching. He was the reason I changed my focus from English to Art, and I have never regretted the change,” White said. “I was also lucky enough to meet one of my best friends in his class.  Her and I still paint today, and still meet with Simon on occasion to catch up over dinner.  He was a changing person in my life, and I will always be grateful to him.”

As a student, White helped establish an Art Club and served as co-president. She was also co-president of the Student Council. Both clubs worked to raise money each year through the Haunted Barn in Memorial Park.  The Art Club organized the first Festival of Artists and the first Battle of the Bands event at the Henry County Art Park, White said.

“Throughout the years, our clubs were able to raise money, collect canned foods for the local shelters, and collect coats for local children’s organizations,” White said.

In 2006, White received the IU East Outstanding Organizational Leader/President Award.

Once White graduated with her B.S. in Fine Arts and a Minor in Creative Writing, she went on to earn her M.B.A. from Indiana Wesleyan University. She taught business courses at the Danielson Center in the evenings, including a marketing class and a computer course which is a required class for all majors to learn the basics of Word, Excel, PowerPoint, File Management, and Access. She worked as a treasurer for Charles A. Beard Memorial School Corporation, at the high school and for the corporation, over 14 years. White was also elected to the district’s School Board of Trustees in 2012.

“All through high school, I was business oriented.  I always knew I would work in business, probably in an office somewhere.  Though I eventually went back for my M.B.A., I spent my undergrad years exploring a completely new side of myself that I didn’t even know existed,” White said. “I can’t imagine how different my life may have been had I not made that decision to go back to school at the Danielson Learning Center in New Castle.”

Alumni Spotlight: Kenneth A. Ritchie II

August 6th, 2014

Kenneth A. Ritchie II, ’09, was an undergraduate with a full-time schedule in and out of the classroom. During the day, he worked full-time at the Henry County Hospital as a radiology technologist. Following his shift, he would drive three miles across New Castle to the Danielson Learning Center for evening classes in order to complete a Bachelor of Science in Biology degree.KenRitchie

As a direct graduate from high school, the New Castle native completed a two-year program at Reid Hospital & Health Care Services to become a certified radiologic technologist. He went to work at the Henry County Hospital and has worked there for 12 years.

“The close proximity allowed me to get to classes in the evening after work. I was able to take a majority of my prerequisite and elective courses locally instead of having to travel to Richmond,” Ritchie said.

While at the center, Ritchie met and worked with Kim Greer, who at the time was an assistant professor of biology at IU East. He said with Greer as the instructor for most of his biology courses, it allowed him to maintain his work schedule while completing many of his required courses through independent study.

“I learned a lot patience, as my four-year degree plan began to morph into a eight-year degree plan. I also learned how to balance family, work, and classes being a non-traditional student,” Ritchie said.
The hard work paid off.

He was the recipient of the 2010 Naomi Osborne Award, an honor given to the graduate with the highest grade point average, and led the graduating class during the alumni induction ceremony. (As a December 2009 graduate, he is part of the 2010 graduating class.) He was also named as a 2010 Chancellor’s Scholar Award recipient for the School of Natural Sciences and Mathematics. The award is presented to the highest achieving senior, by academic school.

Ritchie also met and proposed to his wife, Elizabeth (Bales) Ritchie, at the Danielson Learning Center.

Today, Ritchie is in his third year of the Master of Physician Assistant Studies program at Butler University. He will graduate with his master’s degree in May 2015. As a physician assistant, Ritchie will be able to provide medical services, care and treatment to patients.

“I worked as a radiology technologist specializing in CT and MRI for many different years and decided that I wanted to be more involved in the patient’s care and treatment,” Ritchie said.

Through the program, he has completed six-week rotations with doctors located in Henry County including in general surgery, orthopedics, emergency medicine, family medicine and internal medicine.
Once Ritchie completes his master’s degree, he plans to work in New Castle.

Alumni Spotlight: Brock Davis

August 6th, 2014

BrockDavisAs a non-traditional student taking courses at Indiana University East’s Danielson Learning Center, Brock Davis of New Castle, Ind., learned patience and perseverance.

At the time, the father of two was working full time at Ameriana Bank, located just next door to the Danielson Center. He said the classes and the material he studied made an immediate impact and he could use it in his day-to-day work.

“IU East offered many courses either at the Danielson Center or online to accommodate my work schedule,” Davis said. “I learned from professionals working in the area they were teaching. It made learning closer to real life experience, and as a working student I wanted to learn from experienced professionals and not just a textbook.”

There were many lessons Davis learned as a student, but most importantly, by completing his degree he fulfilled a promise he made to his family and late mother to earn his degree.

Now the vice president of Retail Operations at Ameriana Bank, Davis implements procedures for accuracy and efficiency. He is responsible for developing analytical reporting representing trends or abnormalities in consumer behavior. Additionally, he manages the training and development department regarding procedures and Ameriana culture, he said. Davis started his career at Ameriana Bank in 2002.

Davis also volunteers as a board member for Kids R Golden, and organization that helps Henry County families facing pediatric cancer diagnosis by providing urgent relief funds and other support while raising awareness in the community for children and families battling cancer.

“It’s a great opportunity to work for a community bank located in New Castle, Indiana and gain the experience and skills many only develop through the ‘big banks’,” Davis said. “I have been given opportunities to advance my career over the years with Ameriana and feel very blessed.”

In the future, Davis plans to enroll in the Master of Science in Management program at IU East.

Richmond receives National Endowment for the Arts funding for cultural trail

July 29th, 2014

The city of Richmond, Richmond Art Museum and Indiana University East have received an Our Town grant from the National Endowment for the Arts (NEA). Richmond is one of two cities in the state of Indiana to receive an Our Town grant this year; Indianapolis also received a grant. NEAgrant

The $50,000 grant will help fund the $211,000 two-year project that will be used to strengthen the community through the arts by establishing a cultural trail throughout Wayne County, home to some of the oldest cultural institutions in Indiana. The cultural trail, a creative asset mapping project, will focus on the county’s deep arts and cultural heritage. Additional cash and in-kind support for the grant has been provided by program partners and collaborators including Reid Hospital & Health Care Services, Wayne County Foundation, Wayne County Convention and Tourism Bureau and the Economic Development Corporation.

The cultural trail will include opportunities for the public to provide its input and ideas. The finalized plan will be presented to the Richmond Common Council.

Richmond Mayor Sally Hutton said, “It’s exciting and quite an honor to be selected for an Our Town grant award. This opportunity will allow us to make significant progress in our efforts to strengthen our community through the arts. Our vision is that these cultural planning efforts will result in a stronger sense of place, pride in the community and improved economic vitality.”

Shaun Dingwerth, executive director of the Richmond Art Museum, said, “The Richmond Art Museum is pleased to be a part of this prestigious grant opportunity. Wayne County has a rich artistic legacy recognized nationally as the art center of the West. Our community can once again be a cultural destination as we continue to partner to bring quality arts to Wayne County. We are grateful to the NEA for recognizing our community efforts and their confidence in our ability to enhance the quality of life of for all Wayne  County citizens.”

IU East Chancellor Kathryn Cruz-Uribe recognizes the university’s tie to the community and its deep commitment to the economic and cultural development of the region, in particular serving as a “Steward of Place.”

“IU East is delighted to partner with the city of Richmond and the Richmond Art Museum to help plan and develop a Wayne County cultural trail, connecting the community through discussion, activity and involvement,” Cruz-Uribe said.

Fredricka Joyner, associate professor of business administration and organization behavior, will help to coordinate the grant and serve as the project director.

“This project will expand on several years of collaborative work undertaken by many organizations in the community. We are particularly excited about the opportunity this project presents for IU East to be actively involved in strengthening residents’ feeling of attachment to the community,” Joyner said. “Funding from the National Endowment for the Arts is difficult to obtain and represents a huge vote of confidence for the work that is taking place in Richmond.”

The cultural trail grew from four years of the community’s work through the city, the Mayor’s Council on Economic Vitality and the Positive Place Initiative (PPI).  Additionally, Richmond was designated by the state of Indiana as a “Stellar Community,” providing the city with eligibility for federal and state funding to complete projects in excess of $20 million that will help to continue and accelerate the revitalization and redevelopment of the downtown area, one of the potential key intersections for the cultural trail.

The NEA announced July 16 that it had awarded 66 grants to communities across 38 states. The NEA is funding $5.073 million in projects through the grant program. This year, there were 275 applications submitted to the funding program.

According to the NEA, this year’s Our Town projects demonstrate again that excellent art is as fundamental to a community’s success as land-use, transportation, education, housing, infrastructure, and public safety, helping build stronger communities that are diverse in geography and character. Our Town funds arts-based community development projects in a way that is authentic, equitable, and augments existing local assets.

#IUIBE Summer Celebration visit ‘a great thing’ for Red Wolves women’s basketball

July 24th, 2014

INDIANAPOLIS – The new Indiana University East women’s basketball team contributed to Indiana University’s presence at the 2014 Indiana Black Expo Summer Celebration on July 18.IBEwomensbball

Red Wolves women’s basketball players and coaches led basketball activities in the “Family Fun Zone” in the Indiana Convention Center.

IU East’s players offered pointers to visitors showing off their jump shots on a full-size basketball goal in the heart of the Family Fun Zone. The Red Wolves also coordinated a “basket toss” game for younger visitors.

The Red Wolves later joined the IUPUI men’s basketball team to sign autographs for Family Fun Zone visitors.

“We were more than happy to bring the new IU East women’s basketball to be at the Indiana Black Expo Summer Celebration and represent IU East,” said IU East head coach Tiffani Selhorst.

“It was a great thing for our players. They enjoyed it because they had a lot of fun working with the kids who visited the Family Fun Zone.”

Indiana University’s partnership with the Indiana Black Expo includes year-round initiatives aimed at helping more young African American students attend college, programs that offer information and incentives to prospective college students, and participation in IBE’s Summer Celebration. All eight IU campuses were represented at the 2014 Indiana Black Expo.

IU East’s women’s basketball program will play its first season of NAIA competition during the 2014-15 school year. The Red Wolves’ first game is scheduled for Nov. 1 at Taylor University. The first home game will be Nov. 11 against Wilberforce University.

IU East, IU EMC to conduct active shooter training exercise

July 14th, 2014

Indiana University East and Indiana University Office of Emergency Management and Continuity will conduct an active shooter training exercise on Friday, July 18, on the Richmond campus.

The full-scale training exercise will include participation from Richmond Police Department, Wayne County Sheriff’s Department, Indiana State Police, Richmond Fire Department, Wayne County Emergency Management and Reid Hospital & Health Care Services. There will be over 60 volunteers including the agencies, students, faculty and staff conducting the planned scenario throughout the day.

Chancellor Kathy Cruz-Uribe said the training exercise will provide the campus an opportunity to validate its emergency management response plan.

“The safety and well-being of our students, faculty, staff and visitors at IU East is a top priority. Our campus is a safe place, but this scenario will give IU East an opportunity to take a proactive approach to test the planning we have in place and to evaluate and review the response process so that we are prepared for any potential emergency situation on campus,” Cruz-Uribe said. “This is also a good opportunity for the university to develop communication and partnerships with local law enforcement and emergency management agencies.”

Visitors to campus the day of the training exercise may see tactical activity and should follow directions as provided by law enforcement or campus officials.

IU East’s Academy for Cultivating Talent calls for 2014-2015 applications

July 10th, 2014

The Academy for Cultivating Talent is seeking applications for the 2014-2015 program year. The focus for the year is on next generation leaders – individuals who are poised to have greater influence in their organizations, institutions, or communities. This program, limited to 30 participants, will emphasize the unique qualities of and opportunities for next generation leaders. Participants will expand knowledge and skills in order to:

•    develop a stronger connection to their own sense of purpose.
•    employ a variety of approaches to leadership and influence.
•    use their emotional and social intelligence to navigate differences and enhance collaborations.
•    become a more effective agent of change in their communities and organizations.
•    lead their organizations more effectively.

Applicants to the Academy for Cultivating Talent must have:

•    a deep desire to engage in an intensive personal development experience.
•    an interest in finding ways to influence issues about which they are personally passionate.
•    the ability to attend all sessions.
•    support of their organization.

Program Year Schedule:
One session per month from September 2014 through April 2015.

Program Fees:
This program year is being partially underwritten by the Indiana University East School of Business and Economics. Cost to participants is $300. Some partial scholarships are available.

The purpose of the Academy for Cultivating Talent (ACT) is to build the social capacity and economic strength of the region served by IU East. This will be accomplished through systematically cultivating the talents of specific populations that represent dimensions of diversity not yet fully engaged in the economic and community development of the region.

Applications are currently being accepted and will be reviewed through August 15. Visit to download the application form.

Return applications by email to Fredricka F. Joyner, Ph.D., director of the IU East Center for Leadership Development, at, or mail to:

IU East School of Business and Economics
2325 Chester Blvd.
Richmond, IN 47374

IU East welcomes new director of Human Resources

July 8th, 2014

Andrew Lenhardt is the new Indiana University East director of Human Resources. He began July 7.AndrewLenhardt

Lenhardt will oversee the planning, implementing, directing and administering of all aspects of human resources and payroll. IU East’s director of Human Resources is responsible for providing campus leadership, strategic direction and vision in all areas of human resources and payroll including overseeing staff, employee relations, policies, procedures, practices and programs.

“The position at Indiana University East was a golden opportunity to join a highly successful institution whose continued growth in online programming is envied by professionals throughout higher education. I am extremely excited to be a part of its continued excellence. The values expressed during my campus visit assured me that I would be joining a great team, and I am happy to call Indiana University East my new home,” Lenhardt said.

Chancellor Kathryn Cruz-Uribe said, “Andrew brings with him a diverse background and experience in dealing with human resource issues and the ability to provide outstanding customer service as well as to recruit top faculty and staff professionals to the university. We are delighted to welcome Andrew to IU East,” Cruz-Uribe said.

Previously, Lenhardt was the associate director of Human Resources at Southern Illinois University Edwardsville, located in Edwardsville, Ill. He was also an adjunct lecturer within the Department of Public Administration and Policy Analysis where he taught graduate level courses. He worked for the university since 2006 and served as an assistant and as a specialist in the Human Resources office.

Lenhardt received his Master of Science in Public Administration and Policy Analysis and his Bachelor of Science in Business Administration with a Specialization in Management from Southern Illinois University Edwardsville. He also has an Associate in Arts Degree from Southwestern Illinois College, located in Belleville, Ill., and he earned his U.S. Department of Homeland Security Safety Certified For National Incident Command Certification for Crisis Management, Response Plans and Incident Management.

IU East’s Run with the Wolves 5K is July 26

June 23rd, 2014

Indiana University East’s Run with the Wolves 5K Run/Walk is Saturday, July 26. Registration is now open.5krun

Runners and walkers will join more than 400 other participants for this year’s event on the IU East campus and run the Red Wolves’ cross country course, located behind Hayes Hall. The event includes a free “Run with Rufus” 1K family run/walk.

All pre-registrants receive a Run with the Wolves tech shirt.

Day-of-race registration opens at 7 a.m. on July 26 on the Hayes Hall patio, located on the lower level of the building. The 5K run/walk starts at 8 a.m. followed by the “Run with Rufus” at 9:05 a.m. Awards will be presented at 9:25 a.m. at the Hayes Hall patio.

Run with the Wolves is part of the Wayne County Challenge series.

Register online at The pre-registration cost is $20, and day-of registration is $25. Students in grades K-12 and college can pre-register for $15 or register on race day for $20. Proceeds from the event will benefit student scholarship programs of the IU East Alumni Association and the IU East Red Wolves Athletic Department.

For more information, contact Terry Wiesehan, director of Alumni Relations and Campus Events, at (765) 973-8221 or email

IU East announces 2014 Summer Research Scholars

June 10th, 2014

Indiana University East awarded six scholarships for the 2014 Summer Research Scholar Program. Undergraduate students receive $2,000 to conduct a research project under the supervision of a faculty mentor.

Funding for the competitive program is provided by the Indiana University Office of the Vice Provost for Research and is matched by funds from IU East.  All recipients will present their research findings during the seventh annual Student Research Day in spring 2015.

Christopher Halberstadt, Cambridge City, Ind. “A Comparison Study for Wayne County and Peer-Counties: 2005-2013.” Business Administration/Accounting major working with Litao Zhong, assistant professor of economics and finance.

Halberstadt said the goal of his project is to compare Wayne County to 10 peer counties (five from Indiana, five nationwide) on different indicators involving employment, education, industries and other areas. He hopes that the research will help to show what areas Wayne County excels in or where it may lack in comparison to the other counties.

“I chose this project because we often hear about negative or positive trends for our county but really don’t know how good, or bad, we are until compared to similar counties. The comparison of data has always fascinated me, especially when it pertains to me,” Halberstadt said.

To complete the project, Halberstadt will collect the relevant data for the counties and analyze it to find trends and to find possible explanations for those trends. After the data is collected and analyzed, he plans to create a report explaining the data. He believes that working on this project will improve his research abilities while creating a report that will be useful to the IU East School of Business and Economics and the IU East Center for Business and Economic Research.

Emily O’Brien, of Richmond, Ind. “Thinking Back Through Our Mothers: Virginia Woolf as a Feminist Literary Icon.” English and history major working with Eleni Siatra, coordinator of the IU East Writing Center.

O’Brien said she chose this project after working as a research assistant with Joanne Passet, professor emerita of history, throughout her sophomore year at IU East, and since then, she has wanted to pursue her own research interests. Additionally, O’Brien’s research will be used to complete her Honors Senior Thesis Project, a requirement for students enrolled in IU East’s Honors Program.

She plans to travel to The Henry W. and Albert A. Berg Collection of English and American Literature located at the New York Public Library and to the and the Woolf Archival Collections at the British Library to conduct archival research on the life and works of Virginia Woolf and to research the author’s personal correspondence. O’Brien is originally from Rochester, Kent, England and now lives in Richmond.

“This project allows me to take my initial idea a step further to go research in archival collections dedicated to Virginia Woolf’s life and work,” O’Brien said. “My project focuses on the role Virginia Woolf played as a female writer in the early 1900s; Woolf openly rejected and challenged her society’s gender expectations to produce a vast array of work that addressed gender issues in her time, and presented innovative ideas on the struggle of female writers that is still relevant today. Woolf argued that the best writers are androgynous, yet, paradoxically her work is revered by feminist scholars throughout the world. Woolf’s works blur the lines between genders yet also advocate for female autonomy, which serves as a testament to her feminist beliefs.”

Christina Coryell, New Castle, Ind. “The Effect of Cytoskeletal Protein in Gravity Responses in Arabidopsis Thaliana.” Biology/Biochemistry major working with Parul Khurana, assistant professor of biology.

Coryell said she is very interested in biology at the molecular level and this is the best option of observing molecules at the cellular level.

“We are attempting to connect the actin cytoskeleton in root cells to the gravity sensing organelles called amyloplasts, in Arabidopsis thaliana roots. If we are successful, we can shed more light on the gravity sensing mechanisms of plant roots.  This is the overall goal,” Coryell said.

Coryell will start her project by reviewing all research in the last five years published on actin and gravity in Arabidopsis roots.

“Once we have all relevant material we will begin growing Arabidopsis, and using the microscope observe amyloplasts in the roots in control and cytoskeleton-altered conditions,” Coryell said.

Coryell hopes to gain valuable research experience which will eventually help her in her goal to go to graduate school.

Anthony Breitenbach, Connersville, Ind. “Determination of Alteration in Gene Expression Patterns in Drosophilla Melanogaster Larvae upon Exposure to Environmental Toxins.” Biology major working with Hitesh Kathuria, assistant professor of chemistry.

Breitenbach said the critical lab experience with Kathuria will help to boost his status in the scientific community. As part of the research project, they will test the effects on gene expression levels on fly larvae exposed to environmental toxins.

“We will expose the larvae to the toxins and immediately freeze them in liquid Nitrogen to fend off RNA degradation. We will then centrifuge the RNA and perform gene chip analysis to compare to a control,” Breitenbach said. “This will reveal the alterations of gene expression brought forth by exposure to environmental toxins. We hope to learn the effects of toxins that have little known about them. The human genome is similar enough to the fly genome that the effects could shed light on the effects on humans.”

Chase Eversole, Connersville, Ind. “Genesis of the System: Tracing the Development of David Foster Wallace’s First Novel.” English major working with Steven Petersheim, assistant professor of English.

Eversole said he chose the project because it is the culmination of the skills he has honed as a student at IU East as well as encompassing his English major with a focus in American literature.

“My previous experience with being a research assistant for Jean Harper, associate professor of English, has aided me in developing my research skills, which will serve as a crux for this project. This project also ties with my professional goals of attending graduate school to earn a master’s degree and Ph.D. in English, as this sort of work is what is expected at this level,” Eversole said.

Eversole said the goal of his project is to better understand the relationship between 19th and 20th century literature, specifically the work of Frank Norris and David Foster Wallace, through analyzing the genesis of Wallace’s first novel, The Broom of the System, and the connections that exist between it and Norris’ novel, McTeague, from the 19th century. In a number of ways Wallace’s text mirrors Norris’, which is a topic that has yet to be explored in academia. He added, “given the fact that Norris’ McTeague is a naturalist text and Wallace’s Broom is a postmodern text, I’m also interested in better understanding the relationship between these two schools of writing, which is also a fairly unexplored area of literary study.”

For this project, Eversole will analyze the original manuscripts, typescripts, and notes pertaining to Wallace’s first novel, which are housed at the Harry Ransom Center at the University of Texas in Austin. Eversole said the correspondence between Wallace and his agent, editors, and publishers are also housed at the HRC and these documents will be useful in the creation of his genetic sketch of the novel. “I will also be in contact with Viking Penguin, the original publisher of Wallace’s first novel, to request more notes and correspondence pertaining to the text which are housed in their archives in New York City,” Eversole said.

Neils Rikhof, La Junta, Colorado, and Adam Obringer, Lewisburg, Ohio. “Is Simpler Better?” Mathematics majors working with Young You, assistant professor of mathematics.

Obringer said by the end of the project, he and Rikhof hope to have an in depth comparative analysis of all forecasting techniques they will have tried on a data set to then build a model that draws from all attempted forecasters strengths to build their own model.

Rikhof is completing his mathematics degree through IU East’s online degree completion program. He said they will use application of various data fitting techniques to a given time series, with analysis of their predictive efficiency.

“I would hope to gain a more fundamental understanding of time series analysis,” Rikhof said.

To complete the research project, Obringer and Rikhof will study the futures market, forecasting techniques, modeling fundamentals, R programming language, statistics, and probability to fully comprehend what each forecasting model is best used for and then how they may apply it.

“I have wanted to begin a study outside of the normal classroom setting in order to see math from a different direction and in order to further my own educator goals I decided to study a field which would really challenge my usual mode of thought,” Obringer said. “As an education and mathematics major I hope to both push myself to understand a student’s mindset when they are placed in a field of study outside of their comfort zone and gain real insight into the way our current futures market system is fueled by mathematics.”