Purdue University Calumet 2014 Year in Review

Purdue-Cal-Commencement-2014 2Several unprecedented national achievements, the awarding of its 50,000th degree and preliminary planning to unify with Purdue University North Central highlighted a momentous 2014 for Purdue University Calumet.

National achievements
Student retention
By increasing its freshman-to-sophomore year student retention rate to 73.5 percent from 68.8 percent the previous year, Purdue Calumet received one of three 2014 Student Success Collaborative Awards from the Education Advisory Board. The national honor recognizes outstanding achievement of improving student outcomes and proactively intervening with students at risk.

College of Nursing
Purdue Calumet’s College of Nursing received one of nursing education’s elite recognitions as a Center of Excellence by the National League for Nursing. The designation is reserved for programs that model excellence, while nurturing environments that enrich student learning and professional development.

National Student Advertising Competition champions
A team of 31 marketing and advertising students topped a field of 140 college and university squads to win the National Student Advertising Competition last May at Boca Raton, Fla. The competition, sponsored by the American Advertising Federation, challenged the student teams to develop a $10 million, fully integrated advertising campaign for corporate sponsor and cosmetic direct sales company Mary Kay.

50,000th degree awarded
Commencement Exercises last spring included awarding of the 50,000th Purdue degree to a Purdue Calumet graduate. Computer science scholar Raymond S. Smith, 23, of Schererville, received the degree. Also present for the milestone was Purdue Calumet’s first baccalaureate degree graduate in 1967, Dr. John S. Brown III, a Valparaiso resident, physician and CEO of Four Seasons Medical Center.

Unification process underway
Purdue Calumet and Purdue North Central began a planning process to unify into a single university of two distinct campuses. Plans call for the new name of the unified institution—Purdue University Northwest—to be adopted in time for the start of the 2016-17 academic year, pending accreditation approval by the Higher Learning Commission. The unification is intended to create a stronger Purdue presence in Northwest Indiana and generate administrative cost savings that will be reinvested into student success and faculty.

Degrees awarded
On the heels of recent December Commencement Exercises, Purdue Calumet graduates earned some 2,000 degrees during 2014.

More first time, full time freshmen contributed to a 1 percent overall enrollment increase this fall to 9,501. Likewise, the 97,625 enrollment hours carried by fall students represent a 2.3 percent gain from last year. Fall enrollment included 906 first time, full time freshmen enrollees, up 14.3 percent from a year ago.

The Indiana Commission for Higher Education (ICHE) approved Purdue Calumet to become a doctoral-granting university as a participant in an innovative collaboration to offer a Doctor of Nursing Practice program in Northwest Indiana. Pending approval by the Higher Learning Commission, Purdue Calumet will partner with Purdue West Lafayette and other Purdue campuses in offering the DNP program.
ICHE also authorized implementation of Master of Science degree programs in Mechanical Engineering and Electrical & Computer Engineering.
Following Purdue Board of Trustees approval, Purdue Calumet initiated transition last summer of its former honors program into an Honors College.

Student achievements
Marketing students Joseph Crisan of Lowell; Reem Alijar of Khoubar, Saudi Arabia; I-Chun Lee of Hemei, Changhua, Taiwan; and Weizhi Chen of Harbin, Hei Longjiang, China collaborated to place first in the Next Generation (NexGen) national undergraduate market research competition, sponsored by GfK market research firm.
Engineering students Hannah Amor of Plymouth, Stephen Builta of Munster and Michael Garcia of St. John earned first place in the AISTech (Association for Iron & Steel Technology) Conference Undergraduate Student Project Presentation Contest.
A team of five communications students claimed a share of first place in the TV Spec (Speculation) category of the annual Broadcast Education Association Festival in Media Arts Student Scriptwriting competition. Student team members were Sharon Bearss-Talley of Portage, Ashley Calarie of Highland, Jeff Scott of Schererville, Jazsmin Kuhner and Bre’Shaunda Patikas of Merrillville.
Marriage and family therapy alumni Jonathan Kimmes of Winona, Minn. and Jennie Sawyer Murphy of Simpsonville, SC earned two American Association for Marriage and Family Therapy research thesis awards.

Faculty & Staff achievements
Purdue’s Board of Trustees ratified faculty members Kuan-Chou Chen of Munster as the Thomas M. McDermott, Sr. Professor in Economic Development and Pat Obi of Munster as the White Lodging Professor of Finance in Hospitality and Tourism Management.
Professor Obi also authored the book, “We Must Change the Way We Live,” a reflective perspective of the value of financial prudence and advanced education.
Associate Professor of History Tanya Stabler Miller of Chicago wrote the book, “The Beguines of Medieval Paris: Gender, Patronage, Spiritual Authority”, which focuses on the 13th century French religious movement that connects female spirituality and labor.
Recipients of 2013-14 Purdue Calumet Outstanding Faculty Awards were: Associate Professor of Organizational Leadership and Supervision Shoji Nakayama of Schererville (Teaching), Professor of Sociology Alan Spector of Hammond (Scholar) and Clinical Associate Professor of Nursing Joan Dorman of Dyer (Service).

Economic Outreach
Supported by a $2.7 million U.S. Department of Labor grant, Purdue Calumet’s College of Technology implemented the training program, Project AWAKE (Assisting Workforce by Advancing Knowledge for Employment). The program is preparing up to 300 qualified individuals for advanced manufacturing jobs as mechatronics technicians and industrial machinery mechanics.
With a $480,000 federal grant, the university’s Center for Innovation through Visualization and Simulation launched a consortium to develop long term technical solutions for improving efficiency, lowering production costs, advancing manufacturing quality and improving workforce training within the U.S. steel industry.

For the second consecutive year, Purdue Calumet’s women’s basketball Peregrines qualified for the NAIA II national tournament. Coach Tom Megyesi’s 2013-14 squad compiled a 25-7 record, advanced to the tournament’s Sweet 16 round, and won Chicagoland Collegiate Athletic Conference regular season and tournament titles.
Rachel Shmagranoff of Munster was named to the College Division Capital One Academic All-America Women’s Soccer First Team.
Student athletes representing nine of Purdue Calumet’s 12 teams achieved cumulative grade-point averages of 3.0 or better during the 2014 spring semester. Collectively, student athletes compiled an overall 3.07 gpa, second highest in university history.