IU East students express appreciation for support during Spirit of Philanthropy

Spirit of Philanthropy speakers left to right: Eric Mejia, Kristen Miller, Cassidy Clouse, Katelyn Groff, Sarah Hornak, Zachary Cornett, Seth Winstead and Nate Rose.

Indiana University East students welcomed community supporters to campus in appreciation of their contributions toward internships, leadership experiences and community service opportunities. Guests were invited to the Spirit of Philanthropy Luncheon held September 22 at the Student Events and Activities Center on campus.

The student-led event featured speakers for the Showcase of Student Success. Students shared their experiences and accomplishments during the luncheon. This year’s student speakers included:

Cassidy Clouse, of Richmond, Indiana, is a senior majoring in psychology and human life science and minoring in chemistry and neuroscience. She is an Honors Program student and serves as the president of the Student Government Association. She has been a Student Instructor for physics, an Admissions Ambassador for the Office of Admissions and a student coordinator for the Summer Math Tutoring Program for the Center for Service-Learning. She also has worked in the Campus Library as the IU East Bicentennial Intern.

Clouse shared about her experience as a Summer Research Scholar, how she has learned to program and refine statistics using an open source data analysis program called R, and about presenting at the national American Psychological Association conference. She will soon submit her first academic paper to a professional peer-reviewed journal. Clouse has traveled to Florence, Italy, through a fine arts course and was immersed in the culture. She completed an internship at the Richmond State Hospital that led her to discover she could thrive in the area of patient interaction and has found a path toward her future career. She plans to attend graduate school in the future.

Zachary Cornett, of Connersville, Indiana, performed two songs for the program, “Bright is the Rings of Words” and “The Roadside Fire” from the song cycle Songs of the Travel by Ralph Vaughan Williams. He is a humanities major with a music concentration.

Katelyn Groff, of Richmond, Indiana, is a junior majoring in elementary education and minoring in mild intervention (special education). She is an Honors Program student and works in the Campus Library. She shared about her experience on campus and the welcoming environment among the students, faculty and staff. She is challenged by the faculty and Honors Program to be a better student, to research, to think more critically and to experience new opportunities such as traveling to Canada for the Stratford Shakespeare Festival.

Groff is currently working on her honors thesis on children’s literature dealing with historical and modern instances of wars and violence. As a student worker in the Campus Library, she has helped with the Third Grade Reading Academy by leading literacy programs, and the library’s Herstory Camp, in which local girls between the ages of 11-17 learned about women who have made great contributions to the times in which they lived.

Sarah Hornak, of Richmond, Indiana, is a junior nursing major. She is a member of the IU East cross country and track and field teams. Hornak is an Admissions Ambassador. She shared about her passion for helping others, and her goal to work with children as a pediatric nurse practitioner. She aspires to attend graduate school to get her master’s degree and a doctorate in nursing.

Hornak shared about the challenges of being a student-athlete – such as early morning practices before a full course load throughout the day – but she continues to strive to do her best in her studies. In fall 2016, Hornak traveled to Washington, D.C. through a history course to learn about the history of the district and to visit museums and monuments.

Eric Mejia, of Richmond, Indiana, is a freshman business administration major with a concentration in economics. He is a first-generation college student. He graduated from Richmond High School with honors. He shared that he wants to break the stereotypes that he feels are placed on the Hispanic community. Raised in a single-parent household, he shared the hard work and dedication of his working mother to provide for him and his three siblings. He is inspired by her to achieve a college education and to open new doors of discovery. As an incoming freshman getting familiar with college life, Mejia is taking every opportunity to be involved in campus activities and to enjoy his courses, which challenge him to think critically and reasonably.

Kristen Miller, of Ottawa, Ohio, is senior majoring in psychology and she is completing a double-minor in criminal justice and financial forensic accounting. She is a member of the women’s basketball and track and field teams, IUPD-East police officer, Honors Program student, and an Admissions Ambassador. Miller shared about her experience as a police cadet, and now as a part-time officer, as well as being a student-athlete. She spoke of the Red Wolves success in a new basketball program, including being undefeated since playing in the Student Events Center and winning the conference championship versus IU Kokomo this past season. She is currently researching for her senior thesis project on criminal profiling. Miller plans to go on to graduate school for a doctorate in psychology or forensic psychology.

Nate Rose, of Bradford, Ohio, is a business administration and psychology major. He is a barista at the campus coffee shop, Brewfus, and he returns to his hometown to deliver pizza on the weekends. He shared that he was fearful of coming to a college campus that was much larger than his high school graduating class of 43. He wanted to impact others so he became a Peer Mentor. A first-generation college student, Rose wants to help other students who might need help adjusting to college life and to overcome the obstacles they may face. He is also currently working on a research paper to have published in an academic journal.

Seth Winstead, of Connersville, Indiana, is a senior sociology major with a concentration in anthropology and a minor in psychology.  A first-generation college student, Winstead shared about finding his niche on campus as a researcher in social sciences. He is a recipient of a Summer Research Scholarship, which provided him with the opportunity to travel abroad for the first time and immerse himself in an entirely different part of the world, while simultaneously doing research and learning essential bioarchaeological field methods in the jungles of Belize. This past spring, he presented those findings in Vancouver, Canada, at the Society for American Archaeology conference. As an Honors Program student, he is now using his experience to write his senior project.