Ceremonies celebrate IU Kokomo honors students, master’s degrees

KOKOMO, Ind. – Indiana University Kokomo celebrated the academic achievements of its students with its annual master’s hooding ceremony and honors convocation Monday, May 6.

Chancellor Susan Sciame-Giesecke commended students for their personal commitment to excellence, and challenged them to become leaders in their professions and communities. 

“Hard work, dedication, and commitment have played a role in your success,” she said. “Now with that success comes responsibility. We will look to you for leadership. Society will look to you to make a difference in all the challenges we’re going to face in this country and in the world.”

Graduate students marked their success by receiving the hoods that recognize them as having earned advanced degrees. Each one chose a significant faculty or staff member who had impacted him or her, to drape the hood before exchanging a handshake or hug.

Stella Taber, Kokomo, was one of 13 members of the first class of the Master of Science in Nursing Family Nurse Practitioner track. She looks forward to beginning her career as a primary health care provider in the area.

“I’ve always wanted to be a family nurse practitioner, and when IU Kokomo started this program, it was a dream come true,” she said. “It’s been a long road, and I am thrilled to achieve this.”

Jerome Humphrey plans to move to Japan, where his wife, Priscilla, is on assignment with the U.S. Navy, now that he has completed his Master of Public Management. Priscilla Humphrey watched the ceremony from Tokyo via Facetime. 

“She was excited for me, from 8,000 miles away,” Jerome Humphrey said. He hopes to set an example for his four children, by returning to school after his career in the U.S. Air Force.

“Education will get you anywhere,” he said. “No matter how old you are, you’re never too old for an education. If my kids see that I can do this later in life, they’ll know they can do it too.”

The honors convocation celebrates undergraduate achievement, highlighting those who have made the dean’s list during the year, and also those who won outstanding student awards in the academic majors. Awards also were given for student leadership, honors program completion, and outstanding faculty.

Noah Darr, Catlin, Illinois, received the outstanding student award in one of the campus’s newest majors, sport and recreation management. He was honored to receive the recognition.

“It’s a lot of hard work,” he said. “It felt good to have it pay off.”

A member of IU Kokomo’s baseball team, he graduates in December, and hopes to manage a sports complex and coach.

Mehreen Tahir, from Pakistan, was excited to be among the students recognized for achieving the dean’s list. 

“It is a great academic achievement, and it was one of my goals,” she said. “I’m pleased to be recognized for reaching this goal.”

Outstanding undergraduate student award winners by program included:

Radiography: Samuel Rhymer, Rochester

Medical Imaging Technology: Chelsea Fields, Michigantown

Health Sciences: Allison Voils, Jamestown

Bachelor of Applied Science: Matt Nelson, Logansport

Sport and Recreation Management: Noah Darr, Catlin, Illinois

Business: Shelby Beltz, Alexandria

Hospitality and Tourism: Emily Harsh, Kokomo

Public Administration and Management: Carson Ray, Peru

Elementary Education: Hannah Moody, Eaton

Secondary Education: Kathryn Kaster, Kokomo

Communication Arts: Diana Deyoe, Greentown

English: Amanda Weida, Lafayette

Humanities: Elaina Hardebeck, Frankfort

New Media, Art, and Technology: Alyson Davis, Kokomo

Psychology: Andrew Fields, Kokomo

Criminal Justice: Dallas Snell, Frankfort

Sociology: Marisha Rigle, Logansport

History and Political Science: Douglas Carter, Kokomo

Bachelor of Science in Nursing: Alessandra Smith, Kokomo

R.N. to B.S.N. Tim Williams, Hartford City

Biochemistry and Chemistry: Monica Schultz, Kokomo

Biology: Michael Miiler, Marion

Biological and Physical Sciences: Esmerelda Santos Valdez, Frankfort

Informatics: Joshua Bertrand, Gas City

Mathematics: Joshua Jansen, Kokomo

General Studies: Joshua Welch, Noblesville

Outstanding graduate student award winners included:

Master of Arts in Mental Health Counseling: Flor Valdes, Kokomo

Master of Business Administration: Ashley Miller, Kokomo

Master of Public Management: Sanya Hatimi, Kokomo

Master of Science in Nursing: Emily Newlin, Lafayette

Students graduating in the honors program include:

Crawfordsville: Conner Norman

Delphi: Stefanie Fuller

Eaton: Hannah Moody

Kokomo: Ethan Dubbels, Andrew Fields, Brook Karle, Michaela Norwich, Tabitha Pelgen, Danielle Schultz

Tipton: Allison Hopkins

Westfield: Timothy Foster

Graduating veterans were:

Atlanta:  Timothy Reed

Elwood: John Pine

Greenfield: Joseph Saxon

Kokomo: James Bauder, Kelaerin Bax, Anthony Fowler, Cameren Hinton, Joshua Lawson, Perry Michael

Lafayette: Chad Newsome

Logansport: Heather Bonzack

Marion: Jerome Humphrey

Peru: Andrew Amersbach, Kyle Chapman, Michelle Clegg, Jeffrey Grismore, Dale Truax

Russiaville: Jonathan Brittain

Sheridan: John Breen

Other award winners included

Outstanding Student Leader Award: Hannah Bourne, Bunker Hill

Student Community Service Award: Sydney Wick, Kokomo

Chancellor’s Student Diversity Award: Andrew Fields, Kokomo, and Danté Butler, Indianapolis

Resident Faculty Amicus Award: Ashley Duffitt

Adjunct Faculty Amicus Award: Timothy Fulk

SOURCE: News release from Indiana University Kokomo which serves north central Indiana.