Promoting the culture of discovery and creativity among students, faculty, staff and community members
1. IU Kokomo will establish activities and programs that engage students and faculty in research and creative activity to enhance our research culture.
1) Increased representation of students at conferences, state & national: Thanks in part to the KEY, as well as Applied Learning Grants, we have sent numerous students in Psychology, Allied Health Sciences, Social Sciences, Nursing, and Sciences to national and state conferences. Overall KEY funding for experiential learning, which includes these trips, has increased each year, from $37,000 for 2016-2017 to $200,000 in 2019-2020.
2) Increased presence of art on campus, student art, and downtown art gallery: In 2016, we opened the IU Kokomo Union Street Gallery with funding from a private donor, which has featured numerous student and faculty exhibitions, as well as poetry readings and more. The gallery was moved to Main Street in April, 2018. The number of visitors to the gallery, now known as the IU Kokomo Downtown Gallery, has increased substantially. After the renovation of the Main Building, numerous pieces of art from the IU collection were hung in the hallways of this building. The campus has several new public sculptures on loan from artists. This past summer we added two student sculptures to the campus public art display.
4) Annual faculty recognition ceremony: This fall, for the fifth year in a row, Academic Affairs will sponsor this event, in which deans recognize faculty for their scholarship and creative work. Deans also submit lists of publications and exhibitions for a campus bibliography. This next year staff publications will also be recognized.
5) Grant writer: The campus has added a part-time grant writer to expand the grant opportunities for the campus, and in the sixth months she has been in her role, the university has secured several grants never obtained in the past.
6) Expanded honors program: The number of students in the Honors Program increased dramatically to more than 100, and Honors students have had numerous opportunities to travel to an art opening in Bloomington, see plays in Canada, participate in Table Talks, travel to Yellowstone National Park, and visit New Harmony and Shaker Village. Honors students have participated in academic bowls with students from other programs across the state and presented their research at the IU Kokomo Student Research Symposium and at regional and national conferences.
7) Expanded funding of undergraduate & faculty research; two new research awards: Faculty research funding has increased from $34,000 to $53,673 (including benefits). Summer Faculty Fellowship funding has increased from $41,695 to $51,288. We have also begun offering two additional annual research awards. The Applied and Community Research Center is now funded at $46,675. Additionally, IU Kokomo received its first summer research grant for business faculty from a private donor of $100,000 which will be matched as part of the Bicentennial Campaign.
8) Field: This undergraduate magazine, launched in 2016, features poetry, fiction, nonfiction (including research writing), art, and design by IU Kokomo students. The annual magazine has been in existence for three years. Advisor Rachel A. Blumenthal has planned several readings by contributors (at the IU Kokomo Downtown Gallery and the library)and has brought staff members to a conference at Butler University. The 2018 issue received a third-place award in the category of Best Single Issue in the literary magazine category from the Indiana Collegiate Press Association.
9) Applied & Community Research Center: The mission of the Applied and Community Research Center (ACRC) is to work with IU Kokomo faculty members to promote and coordinate research partnerships and/or collaborations among faculty, students, and local and regional organizations based on areas of faculty expertise and organizational needs or initiatives. The ACRC serves as an advocate of community engagement and scholarship, with the goals of building research capacity on this campus and in the community. The ACRC provides funding, community outreach, and networking and professional development opportunities to achieve these goals. The Project Support and Development Grants, along with course releases and summer stipends, provide faculty with funding for applied and community research and program development and implementation. In addition, the ACRC stages community engagement networking events, such as luncheons and wine and cheese gatherings. One such event connected faculty to community members for service-learning and Kokomo Experience and You (KEY) projects. Partnerships with schools and campus- and state-level organizations have been created to support faculty and student development. For instance, the co-directors and IU Kokomo students helped Western Schools with data collection at a back-to-school night. Furthermore, the Indiana Campus Compact has worked with the center to implement a grant-writing workshop for community-based projects for faculty in Spring 2018. Another partnership has been developed with the IU Kokomo Faculty Academy on Excellence in Teaching (FACET) Leadership team to support a service-learning certificate for faculty members. In short, the ACRC facilitates faculty research, teaching, and service goals with community by continuing to connect faculty to community members as well as relevant funding and professional development.
10) High school student writing & poetry competition: The High School Writing and Poetry Competition solicited creative writing submissions from every local high school, and we had almost 100 responses. The faculty then judged the top three in each category. At an on-campus event, the winning students were able to read their work and receive awards—a small scholarship and certificate. In the last half hour, any student could read his or her work to the audience during an open mic session. Our audience, including parents, was made up of 40 people from the community. The English and Language Studies department plans to make this a yearly event.
11) KEY Program: See description above.
12) Sustainability Task Force: The Office of Sustainability offers various opportunities for students, faculty, and staff to receive funding for various sustainability initiatives on campus and in the community. The office offers undergraduate research grants to encourage student creativity and engagement with sustainability research. It also has an annual Community Service Challenge awards, which are cash prizes to the campus student group, office, or department that demonstrates the largest impact on sustainability in surrounding communities. For the first time this year, the office is offering community partnership grants to help various student groups, offices, departments, etc. fund sustainability-related service projects on campus or in the community. The Office of Sustainability also regularly employs four to five interns annually to help with organizing various campus events and office operations. The office also holds a variety of campus-wide events to promote campus sustainability and community engagement. For two years, the office has staged week-long series of sustainability outreach activities, including an undergraduate research symposium, educational events, and the IU Kokomo C.A.R.E.S. event, which connected students to local sustainability-related organizations. Finally, the office has worked on a variety of events designed to help educate and engage students, faculty, and staff in the new campus-wide recycling program.
2. IU Kokomo will maintain a culture focused on student learning outcomes, assessment and continuous improvement.
14) Assessment Coordinators Workshop and adoption of Task Stream: All program assessment coordinators were invited to a workshop where keynote speaker Claudia Douglas shared the assessment story and culture from Central Michigan University and discussed how to utilize the assessment coach model to discuss the importance of assessment to our campus. We discussed the Faculty Senate Assessment Committee’s results and procedures from program assessments and general education assessments from the previous academic year. Our campus has adopted Taskstream as our online portal to submit assessment reports. All assessment coordinators in attendance participated in Taskstream training at this workshop. The HLC visiting team praised IU Kokomo’s assessment work when it came to campus in December 2018 for the 10-year review process.