News Releases

FAFSA Opens Today For 2021-2022 School Year

Posted October 1, 2020

(INDIANAPOLIS) – Hoosier students and families are encouraged to file the Free Application for Federal Student Aid (FAFSA), which is now open for the 2021-2022 school year.

With over $350 million in state financial aid available, as well as billions of dollars in federal aid, the Indiana Commission for Higher Education reminds Hoosiers that filing the FAFSA by April 15, 2021 is imperative for securing money for college.

Filing the FAFSA is required for many of Indiana's scholarship and grant opportunities, such as the 21st Century Scholarship and Frank O'Bannon Grant, and many colleges require a completed FAFSA to award merit and need-based scholarships. Students earning a variety of degree types – including short-term certificates, associate and bachelor's degrees and higher – should file the FAFSA to take advantage of available financial aid.

"We encourage all Hoosiers with an interest in pursuing education and training to file the FAFSA because we know that paying for college is one of the most common barriers to attending," said Indiana Commissioner for Higher Education Teresa Lubbers. "We also know that recent unemployment data show Hoosiers without education beyond high school are more likely to be unemployed, so the value of pursuing higher education has never been greater."

The Commission recently released the 2020 College Equity Report, which includes data on Indiana's college achievement gap progress and the workforce, shows that poverty has a direct impact on college-going rates, as only 38 percent of low-income high school graduates go to college – lower than the statewide average (61 percent), higher-income peers (68 percent) and low-income peers who are part of the state's 21st Century Scholars program (86 percent).

"Many Hoosiers fail to file the FAFSA by the deadline because they assume they don't qualify for any state or federal financial aid. The reality is that there is considerable funding available, especially for those that demonstrate financial need," said Lubbers. "Filing the FAFSA on time is a surefire way to be considered for both state and federal aid opportunities, but you'd be surprised at how much aid is left on the table each year."

How to file the FAFSA
  • Students can file the FAFSA online at The first step for students who have not previously filed the FAFSA is to create a Federal Student Aid (FSA) ID. Then, each student will need:
  • Social Security number
  • Alien Registration number (for non-U.S. citizens)
  • Federal income tax returns, W-2s and other records of money earned
  • Bank statements and records of investments (if applicable)
  • Records of untaxed income (if applicable)

The U.S. Department of Education provides email and live chat assistance for FAFSA filers as well as a helpline at 800-4FED-AID. Hoosier families can also find FAFSA help through INvestEd Indiana at

FAFSA Kickoff Event

Tonight, Thursday, October 1, 2020
6:15-7 p.m. (ET)
Online: Live on Learn More Indiana's Facebook page (; available on Instagram (@LearnMoreIndiana) and Twitter (@LearnMoreIN).
Students and families will receive tips and tricks to help them file the FAFSA correctly and on time!

Applications now open for various teaching scholarships and stipends

Scholarship and stipend opportunities for aspiring teachers and education majors are also open as of October 1. According to the Commission's Equity Report, less than 15 percent of students studying for a teaching career in Indiana are non-White.

"Students of color are more successful in their education journey when they have the opportunity to be in the classroom with a teacher who looks like them," said Lubbers. "We hope to increase the awareness of these programs in order to make real progress for educational equity in Indiana."

More information about the following scholarships and stipends is available on the Commission's website:

  • Next Generation Hoosier Educators Scholarship – Provides up to $7,500 per year of college (up to $30,000 total) for top performing Hoosier students who commit to teaching in Indiana for five years after earning their degrees. The deadline to apply is January 31, 2021.
  • Earline S. Rogers Student Teaching Stipend for Minorities – Open to minority students (defined as Black and Hispanic individuals) who will participate in student teaching or a school administration internship as part of their degree requirements.
  • Student Teaching Stipend for High-Need Fields – Available to students planning to teach Special Education or math at either the middle or high school level. Eligible students can receive up to $4,000 per stipend, or $8,000 if awarded both.

For questions about state financial aid, students can contact the Indiana Commission for Higher Education by phone at 888-528-4719 or via email at

Wayne County Holds First Jury Trial During Covid-19 Pandemic

Posted October 1, 2020

Trial Attorney Sarah Graziano, of Hensley Legal Group, PC and co-counsel Wayne Greeson of The Law Offices of Wayne Greeson successfully tried the first in-person trial in Wayne County, Indiana, since the county halted jury trials as a result of the pandemic.

After months of forced social isolation and uncertainty about the coronavirus, an in-person trial in a closed courtroom could be a daunting task for all involved. But the trial was successful, lasting just over two days. Key to the trial's success was Wayne County Circuit Court Judge Kolger. The Honorable Judge Kolger was very attentive to the jury's comfort and took to heart any concerns about safety procedures. Judge Kolger addressed the jury multiple times, gaging their opinions on comfort and safety.

Safety precautions began at the security entrance. Masks were mandatory for entry. Impressively, Wayne County had employed a new temperature screening device that allowed everyone to undergo a contactless temperature check before gaining access to the Courthouse.

The Court staff also employed safety precautions during the jury panel's check-in process. Jury members maintained six feet as they checked in, and were only allowed to sit in specially-marked areas of the Court's gallery. Two gallery rows were removed to ensure social distancing.

Within the courtroom, precautions were taken to enforce social distancing. The witness stand was protected by plexiglass and was wiped and disinfected thoroughly after each witness. The room itself was misted with a disinfectant either at the conclusion of the day or before any participants in the jury trial arrived in the morning.

During the trial, attorneys were allowed to remove their masks to communicate with witnesses, the jury, staff, or the Judge. After the jury was selected for the trial, all individuals were given the option to remove their masks during the trial provided social distance was maintained and all were comfortable with the removal. Ms. Graziano opted to wear the mask other than when she was communicating inside the courtroom. "If any juror kept their mask on, I kept mine on," she said to promote the safest possible environment. Furthermore, Judge Kolger gave the selected jury the option to use the entire courtroom for deliberations if upon examining the jury deliberations room, the jury did not believe there was enough space to deliberate safely. The jury collectively decided the jury room was sufficient.

Despite the disruptions caused by cleaning and inevitable adjustments of masks, there was very little interruption to the actual proceedings. The defendant, Jacqueline Myers (deceased) was represented by counsel retained by her insurance company. Liability for the event was admitted and the trial issue was the amount of compensation owed to Jennifer Morgan. Mrs. Morgan with the help of Sarah Graziano and local counsel Wayne Gresson, obtained a verdict in excess of the insurance policy in the total sum of $125,252.00.

Ms. Graziano is optimistic that civil jury trials can begin during these uncertain times. "We can do this safely," she said. "and people can feel safe while it's being done." Crucial to any trial's success is a considerate judge, who is mindful of the health risks inherent to the process and takes the concerns of every person in their court into account. Importantly, Ms. Graziano pointed out that cooperation by the litigants, attorneys and Court staff is just as important to conducting any jury trial during the different times we are faced with in our communities.

About Hensley Legal Group, PC

Hensley Legal Group, PC has handled personal injury, Social Security disability, and mass tort cases in Indiana for 21 years. The law firm has offices in Indianapolis, Fishers, Evansville, Muncie, Merrillville and Lafayette. For questions, please email Ryan Kreicker at

Wayne County Foundation Recipient of Lilly Gift VII Community Leadership Grant

Posted September 30, 2020

The Wayne County Foundation has received a Community Leadership Grant of $150,000 as part of the seventh phase of Lilly Endowment Inc.'s Giving Indiana Funds for Tomorrow (GIFT VII) initiative. With the grant, the community foundation will support Neighborhood Development and Community Revitalization (NICE! Program) and Main Street/Downtown Initiatives.

The Wayne County Foundation is one of 84 foundations in Indiana receiving grants through this round of GIFT VII grantmaking. Lilly Endowment created GIFT in 1990 to help local communities in Indiana develop the philanthropic capacity to identify local needs and challenges. It launched GIFT VII in 2018 and made available a total of $125 million to help foundations strengthen their leadership capacities in the towns, cities and counties they serve. Lilly Endowment expects to make additional GIFT VII grants in the coming months.

"The Community Leadership Grant is a great opportunity to support Wayne County through the work of Forward Wayne County (FWC). This award will allow FWC to support neighborhood development activities, Mainstreet projects and workforce development programs through workshops and grantmaking," said Rebecca Gilliam, Executive Director of the Wayne County Foundation.

As part of GIFT VII, the Wayne County Foundation was awarded a planning grant of $75,000 in 2019 to convene local stakeholders to identify, prioritize and assess opportunities and challenges in and around Wayne County. In March 2020, the Wayne County Foundation was invited to apply for a GIFT VII Community Leadership Grant to implement strategies and activities identified during the planning period.

"With the Planning Grant, FWC launched a countywide survey to better understand residents' experiences and observations related to early childhood development, neighborhood environments, and quality of place. Overall, the community survey revealed a population that loves where they live, and are optimistic about the future, despite concerns about creeping blight and a lack of recreational activities. Projects that focus on Neighborhood Development and Community Revitalization and Workforce Development and will harness this energy and work towards addressing community needs."

The $150,000 investment from Lilly Endowment will allow FWC to respond in an informed way to the expressed priorities of Wayne County residents, and to monitor, evaluate, and report on current and future programs. We are planning work on the following:

  • Neighborhood Development and Community Revitalization: o Implement Neighborhood Involvement and Community Engagement (NICE!) Program
    • Neighborhood Involvement and Community Engagement (NICE!) Program Grant
    • Grants for funding Downtown Projects
  • Workforce Development:
    • Workforce Development Program Use Campaign Grants for funding Career Readiness Programming
  • Measuring Success:
    • Dashboard Implementation

"We appreciate Lilly Endowment's continued support of Wayne County and are excited about the work that we will be able to do with this generous grant," said Acacia St. John, Program Manager of Forward Wayne County.

Virtual Mindful Explorations Series: Noted scholar-writer will speak on equality for middle school youth on October 8

Posted September 30, 2020

Be prepared to expand your educational perspectives during the first Mindful Explorations Series event of this school year.

Boni Wozolek, Ph.D., is a nationally-honored scholar and writer on equality and oppression in education. She will give a virtual presentation at 7 p.m. Thursday, October 8, on IU East Facebook Live. The public is invited to watch the discussion for free.

The talk is sponsored by the School of Education and Mindful Explorations, courtesy of the William H. and Jean R. Reller Endowment. Presented by First Bank Richmond.

Boni Wozolek, Ph.D. Wozolek is an expert on discussing uncomfortable subjects and on shedding light on,

Supplied Photo:  Boni Wozolek, Ph.D., is an assistant professor at Penn State University-Abington. She will present on her recent book, Assemblages of Violence in Education: Everyday Trajectories of Oppression, as part of IU East's Mindful Explorations series. The virtual discussion will be presented on IU East's Facebook Live.
Boni Wozolek, Ph.D. is an assistant professor at Penn State University-Abington. She will present on her recent book, Assemblages of Violence in Education: Everyday Trajectories of Oppression, as part of IU East's Mindful Explorations series. The virtual discussion will be presented on IU East's Facebook Live.
possible pathways to change, says former colleague Jamie Buffington-Adams, associate dean of IU East's School of Education.

"Dr. Wozolek is a scholar that stretches you," Buffington-Adams said. "She routinely asks you to see things from new or different perspectives, and I have come to deeply value her thinking as something which challenges and enhances my own."

Wozolek works as an assistant professor at Penn State University-Abington.

Her biography lists an extensive record of research, writing and awards, on subjects that examine social justice, qualitative research methods, and teaching practices that focus on the race, sexual orientations, and gender identities in schools. Wozolek has three forthcoming publications: an edited book on Black Lives Matter in Education with SUNY Press and a co-edited book on emancipatory practices in education with Brill, and a solo-authored book titled Assemblages of Violence in Education: Everyday Trajectories of Oppression that will provide the basis for her Mindful Explorations talk.

Assemblages of Violence in Education is a groundbreaking text that brings together fields including new materialisms, anthropology, curriculum theory, and educational foundations to examine how violence is intertwined with everyday events and ideas.

While the book weaves participant narratives in two contexts that exist a literal world apart -- queer middle school youth of color in an urban context and Indian women who have survived domestic violence -- this talk will mainly focus on Wozolek's work with queer middle school youth to conceptualize how social justice functions in opposition to normalized aggressions.

Often overlooked, these deeply significant connections document how multiplicities of aggression operate as business-as-usual in a variety of spaces and places, including those that are often thought of as helpful. To these ends, this talk delves into how assemblages become entwined, focusing on how affects move in, through, and across such entanglements in order to more clearly perceive both where and how violence is embedded in and between socio-political and cultural ways of being, knowing, and doing.

In so doing, Assemblages of Violence argues that pathologizing trajectories of violence can provide theoretical and methodological tools for those seeking to engage in a pedagogy of equity, access, and care to help people and communities in ways they wish to be helped.

"This is a very timely topic and we are very much looking forward to Dr. Wozolek's presentation," says Jerry Wilde, dean of the School of Education. "(Her) work focuses on helping disenfranchised students in our schools and that is something that should be very near and dear to the hearts of every educator. Schools are part of a larger social system and Dr. Wozolek's work helps us understand how that system may not represent all populations equally."

Buffington-Adams said the discussion is important for educators, but it is a message of value across the community.

"Dr. Wozolek's work has always brought voice to those who we tend to hear least but perhaps need to hear most," Buffington-Adams said. "This new book is no different, and while it focuses on issues within education, it applies across the many systems in our society which still function in ways that leave people out and leave them without a voice. We are delighted to host her and to bring her insights to those in our communities who seek to create more just and equitable futures by understanding what is currently broken."

Wozolek was a guest on the Jabbedu Education Podcast on September 14. She addressed a variety of topics, including bringing equity and access to classrooms, acknowledging and checking biases, and learning to listen deeply, especially as an authority figure.

She is the recipient of the 2012 James T. Sears Award for her paper The Nested Nature of M/othering: Complicating Curriculum Conversations, a 2016 Outstanding Dissertation Recognition Award from Division B (Curriculum Studies) of the American Educational Research Association, and is a 2018 inductee into Kent State University's Hall of Fame for her work with marginalized populations.

In addition to her numerous articles, book chapters, and encyclopedia entries, Wozolek has a special forum with GLQ: A Journal of Lesbian and Gay Studies, and a forthcoming special issue with the International Journal of Qualitative Studies in Education with David Lee Carlson at Arizona State University.

"When I think across the arc of Dr. Wozolek's contributions, I am reminded that difficult knowledge is also necessary knowledge," Buffington-Adams said. "It is not easy, nor should it be, to pull back the cover from and begin to understand the injustices which exist in our communities and which we risk perpetuating unknowingly. However, identifying those dangers is the first step in a better direction, and in the years I've known Dr. Wozolek, her work has routinely shed light on the paths we might choose. I am excited to see where her latest project has led her and consequently us."

New Billionaire Project to Provide Handwashing Units, Education for Regional Schools

Posted September 30, 2020

What started as a health and wellness project in 2017 is now a major educational opportunity in 2020 - mainly because of the COVID-19 pandemic.

Newly named the "Billionaire" project, the program aims to teach and reinforce the importance of proper handwashing in regional schools, says Tim Scales, director for the Center for Entrepreneurship and director for the Center for Economic Education at Indiana University East.

Scales, who is also senior lecturer in the School of Business and Economics, says no one realized just how important the project would become when a grant funded "Glitter Bugs" three years ago as a health and wellness project. The two units were used to teach and illustrate proper handwashing.

"In 2017, we received funds from Enactus and the Robert Wood Johnson Foundation to create a health and wellness project," Scales recalls.

Supplied Photo:  Carter Cook prepares to deliver handwashing simulators to Hagerstown Elementary School. Through the Billionaire project, students across the region will learn the how-to and importance of proper handwashing. The project is funded by a grant from the Indiana University Council for Regional Engagement and Economic Development (CREED).
Carter Cook prepares to deliver handwashing simulators to Hagerstown Elementary School. Through the Billionaire project, students across the region will learn the how-to and importance of proper handwashing. The project is funded by a grant from the Indiana University Council for Regional Engagement and Economic Development (CREED).
At the time, they bought two of the units, called Glitter Bugs, and used them to teach proper handwashing at the Boys & Girls Club of Wayne County. The units help illustrate how handwashing isn't effective if not done properly. When it is, it can keep hands from spreading infectious agents such as cold, flu, or COVID-19.

IU East's School of Nursing and Health Sciences provided health and wellness information and the guidelines for effective handwashing.

"This project has the potential to positively impact the prevention of COVID-19, influenza and other communicable diseases, It is so important for children to learn from an early age how to properly wash their hands," said Karen Clark, dean of the School of Nursing and Health Sciences. "It has been our pleasure to work with Tim Scales in the early development and implementation of the program. As the program expands, the School of Nursing and Health Sciences looks forward to continue collaboration."

The units involve placing a lotion on the hands to simulate germs, then examining the hands under a black light. The person then washes their hands as normal and the unit is used to check them again - often the first time still showing many "germs" still on the hands. The teaching opportunity then explains how important it is to wash the hands long enough to clean between the fingers and generally to scrub them well with soap and water.

The COVID-19 pandemic, which hit the region in mid-March, suddenly put the importance of handwashing at the forefront in a way it hadn't been in years. Though every infection control practitioner emphasizes the importance of handwashing each flu season, the reality of a pandemic from a virus with no cure or vaccine made many more people pay attention to the message.

Scales said the two units purchased three years ago were offered to the Boys & Girls Club again in March 2020, who readily accepted them.

"Using the devices makes us feel more confident about our youth's ability to wash their hands and do it properly," said Alicia Painter, director of operations for the Boys & Girls Club of Wayne County. "This was a great learning experience for members to understand the need to take their time washing their hands - and to wash all areas of their hands."

Scales says he realized the message of proper handwashing during a pandemic meant the message needed to reach more people. So he applied and was approved for a grant from the Indiana University Council for Regional Engagement and Economic Development (CREED). With the grant, he was able to purchase 12 more units, which just arrived the first week of September.

His goal is to get a unit in all 11 Wayne County elementary schools, along with training on how to use them. The districts include Richmond Community Schools, Centerville Abington Schools, Western Wayne Schools, Seton Schools, Hagerstown Schools and Northeastern Schools.

Dawn Sonsini, director of Elementary Education for Richmond Community Schools,

Supplied Photo: The Boys and Girls Club of Wayne County has used the Glitter Bug units to educate and improve children's understanding of handwashing. The unit is provided by the IU East School of Business and Economics.
The Boys and Girls Club of Wayne County has used the Glitter Bug units to educate and improve children's understanding of handwashing. The unit is provided by the IU East School of Business and Economics.
said units were delivered to school principals who will use them to "teach a valuable lesson in the importance of handwashing and limiting the spread of germs - especially during a pandemic."

She says the schools are always looking for ways to engage students in meaningful ways.

"Project Billionaire provides a hands-on opportunity for students to learn how washing their hands can keep them safe and prevent the spread of COVID. Students in grades PK-4 will receive the training," Sonsini said. "Our elementary staff is committed to keeping students and each other safe. We always welcome the opportunity to teach life lessons, such as handwashing, to our students. We want students to be responsible and do what they can individually to keep germs from spreading."

With the aid of freshman economics major Carter Cook, he has begun the process to expand "Billionaire" into the schools, hopefully reduce the spread of COVID-19 and provide some economic education at the same time.

Cook and Scales decided to call the project "Billionaire" because of the economic impact that reducing the spread of COVID-19, or any infection, can have on the national economy.

"The name is a fun way to start a conversation about the economic impact handwashing can have," Scales says, noting that the impact of the common cold is $40 billion a year in the United States alone. And clearly COVID-19 is having a far greater impact yet to be tallied.

Cook says he chose IU East after graduation from Homestead High School in Fort Wayne because of his interest in cross country and track. Beyond athletics, he explored the school of business during his campus visit and felt he would be a good fit. He felt he could become a good leader at a smaller school. As a business administration major, the handwashing project and its connection to economics was something else to get excited about.

"We found the perfect name. The reason is we believe that if people learn better hygiene and handwashing, then the United States could save a lot of money," Cook says. "This project will help many. It has taught me already how to take some simple actions to keep myself healthier. I think the Billionaire project will have the same effect on others and keep everyone healthier, and in turn, save money."

Cook and Scales are including a competition in the project this school year. The three schools who get the most creative with students to use the handwashing training will receive a prize. Scales and Cook plan to expand the program to next year's Third Grade Academy, and hope to also expand into high schools.

Scales and Cook plan to expand the program to next year's Third Grade Academy, and hope to also expand into high schools.

"This project will be around for a long time," says Scales. "By fall 2021, we want to have them in the high schools with an advanced learning curriculum. When we started a few years ago, it was a quick project. Now, it is a sustainable project."

11th Annual Haunted Museum

Posted September 30, 2020

YOUR Wayne County Historical Museum would like to announce our 11th Annual Haunted Museum.

11th Annual Haunted Museum

Tag Line: A not-too-scary Halloween experience by appointment

When: October 16, 17, 23 and 24 from 6-9pm

Where: Wayne County Historical Museum, 1150 N. A St. Richmond, IN

Admission: $7 adults, $5 for kids 6-17, Age 5 and under FREE, Members FREE

Description: It's time for our 11th Annual Haunted Museum

Background: Haunted Museum will work two ways this year!

  1. From October 1st-October 31st 9:30-4pm Monday-Friday and 12-4 Saturday, visitors can enjoy the museum decorated for Halloween and children will receive a prepackaged bag of treats and take-along activities at the end of their visit! Masks are required for entry!
  2. October 16th, 17th, 23rd and 24th from 6-9pm will be our traditional Haunted Museum evenings. Costumes are encouraged! Visitors must make an appointment prior to arrival. Call us to reserve your time at 765-962-5756! We will have appointment times every 30 minutes. Due to Health Department directives, we can only accommodate 15 visitors per appointment time. Visitors will receive a prepackaged bag of treats and take-along activities at the end of their visit! Masks are required for entry!
  3. Please call the museum or visit our Eventbrite to schedule your appointment.

2020 Rhoads Winner Known for Excellent Care, Leadership

Posted September 28, 2020

The 2020 Paul S. Rhoads Humanity in Medicine Award winner played critical leadership roles during unprecedented times for the Reid Health system.

Supplied Photo: Jennifer Bales, M.D. 2020 Rhoads HonoreeJennifer Bales, M.D., emergency department (ED) board-certified physician and the 2019-2020 Chief of Staff, "was the right person in the right place at the right time," said Craig Kinyon, Reid Health President/CEO. Dr. Bales was announced as the 2020 Rhoads winner in a mostly virtual celebration Friday evening. Kinyon noted Dr. Bales' ability to continue to provide excellent bedside care while handling a leadership role at an unprecedented time for the health system.

Because of the pandemic, the annual event to honor the winner and welcome new physicians was limited for in-person attendance to the winner, a few of her guests and new physicians. Other attendees watched virtually as she was presented the award by Reid Health Governing Board Chair Tom Hilkert.

"On behalf of the Governing Board, I enthusiastically congratulate Dr. Bales for receiving this high honor. She is an exceptionally competent and compassionate physician, and the perfect choice for the 2020 Rhoads Humanity in Medicine Award," he said. "Dr. Bales is an energetic, inspirational and results-focused leader. She excels in providing and communicating her valuable insight for the Governing Board's decision making. Dr. Jennifer Bales is unquestionably a vital asset, not only for the board, but also for the entire Reid Health team and the communities we are privileged to serve."

Erica Kretchman, D.O., a peer and friend, cited Dr. Bales' ability to handle whatever may come her way. "As an ED physician, you have to be able to handle stress and take on any situation. You have to keep your cool, figure the situation out in the moment. She has the ability to be ready for whatever situation presents."

Others who work with her echoed the sentiment. "She leads by the motto that leaders go first," said Anna Osborn-Brown, Director of Emergency Services. Samuel Iden, M.D., Medical Director for Emergency Services, said he frequently gets compliments on Dr. Bales, "how she took time to sit down and go over results." William Black, M.D., said it simply: "She's an excellent physician. She gives really good care."

Kinyon said that aside from a "compelling set of nominations," Dr. Bales illustrated clear and strong leadership through two major events in the past year - the transition/opening of a new Reid Health emergency department in Connersville and the COVID-19 pandemic that hit the region in March and is expected to continue indefinitely. "And yet she still maintained her role as a full-time emergency physician who never let the stress of leading during a pandemic affect her ability to continue to provide excellent, compassionate bedside care."

"Dr. Bales really stands out for her leadership and her willingness to dive into big issues, like her work to improve physician resilience and develop activities and programs to reduce stress and retain caregivers," Kinyon said. ""She also took ownership of our response to the pandemic, working long hours, working with others to quickly develop policies and processes for handling patients, and still continued to provide excellent bedside emergency care."

Dr. Bales, a native of Lexington, KY, came to the area 15 years ago when she was recruited to the emergency department from the Indiana University Emergency Medicine Residency Program. She obtained her bachelor's degree in biology from Johns Hopkins University in 1998, and her Medical Degree from the University of Kentucky College of Medicine in 2002.

Rohit Bawa, M.D., Reid ENT and also chair of the Reid Health Physician Associates Network Operating Council, works directly with Dr. Bales in her various roles at Reid. "She is a very engaged contributor to the NOC, and has been an active Chief of Staff very often handling difficult issues. Her emergency medicine background and leadership skills have been critical to our successful response to the pandemic at Reid Health."

"I've wanted to be a doctor for as long as I can remember." -- Dr. Jennifer Bales

"I've wanted to be a doctor for as long as I can remember," Dr. Bales said. She chose emergency care to allow her to see a range of patients and ages, while at the same time making it possible to better balance her home life. She and her husband, Dwayne Phillips, have two children Jackson Bales and Mary "Katie" Phillips.

"I am honored and humbled to be added to what I consider to be a very distinguished list of physicians," she said of the award. "I can only pray that I can continue to display the attributes for which I was given the award. My passion is physician well-being, and I hope in the future I can help other physicians embrace the humanity in the practice of medicine and love it the way I do."

Besides leading as Reid Health's first female Chief of Staff, Dr. Bales has also been involved in extensive efforts to mentor, encourage and increase resilience for physicians. Helping them deal with the high stress of healthcare reduces burnout and increases the likelihood that caregiver will remain with the health system long-term.

Nominations for the award are solicited each year from patients, physicians and health care workers in honor of the late Paul S. Rhoads, M.D., who received the first award in 1983.

The Humanity in Medicine award and celebration, authorized as an annual event by Reid's governing board in 1983, honors the memory of Dr. Rhoads for his service to patients and medicine. He was the founding director of Reid's Medical Education Department, helped organize the hospice program and the Wayne County adult clinic for the indigent.

LifeStream Advocates for Older Adults on Voting

Posted September 28, 2020

With the November 3 elections around the corner, LifeStream Services is educating older adults on absentee voting. As East Central Indiana's Aging and Disability Resource Center and the Area Agency on Aging, one of LifeStream's roles under the Older Americans Act is to advocate for older adults. Right now that means making sure people at risk have the information and resources they need to exercise their right to vote.

There are several reasons an Indiana resident may vote absentee including:

  • Age 65 or older
  • Confined to your home by illness for the 12 hours the polls are open on Election Day.
  • Caring for someone at home for the 12 hours the polls are open on Election Day.

Absentee-by-mail and absentee-in-person are two safe options for older adults. Those interested in voting absentee-by-mail must submit an application to their county office by October 22.This application can be found at Absentee-in-person allows an individual to vote early at a designated location.

LifeStream provides or coordinates transportation in the Blackford, Delaware, Fayette, Franklin, Grant, Henry, Jay, Madison, Randolph, Rush, Union, and Wayne counties. Those who need assistance with transportation to get a photo ID (required for voting), to participate in early voting, or to vote on Election Day can call LifeStream Services at 888-589-1121 to schedule a ride. Trips must be scheduled at least 24 hours in advance.

For more information on the types of absentee voting, absentee application, and county specific information please visit or call 800-589-1121.

LifeStream is an Area Agency on Aging that works to improve the quality of life for people at risk of losing their independence. LifeStream serves over 19,000 seniors and people with disabilities throughout 12 counties in Indiana including Blackford, Delaware, Fayette, Franklin, Grant, Henry, Jay, Madison, Randolph, Rush, Union, and Wayne. Programs and services include care management, transportation, in-home care, Senior Cafes, home-delivered meals, guardianships, caregiver support, home modifications, information and assistance, volunteer opportunities and more. For more about the organization call (800) 589-1121 or visit online at and follow on Facebook at

Duo Sequenza to Perform at the Levi and Catharine Coffin State Historic Site

Posted September 22, 2020

Duo Sequenza, award-winning flute and classical guitar ensemble, will present its "Journey Beyond the Notes" based on the music of "South Shore Suite" by Jorge (Hoar-hey) Muñiz (Moon-yez).

This Audience-Interactive Concert Experience will take place at the Levi and Catharine Coffin State Historic Site in Fountain City on Thursday, October 15. There will be two performances at 6 pm and 7:30 pm to allow for social distancing. Masks will be required. This acclaimed musical adventure is suitable for all ages.

Supported by an Arts in the Parks and Historic Sites grant from the Indiana Arts Commission, general admission is just $8 with a 25% discount for ISMHS members. Reservations are strongly recommended and may be made by calling (765) 847-1691.

Al-Anon Meetings (Virtual)

Posted September 22, 2020

Al-Anon offers help and hope for families and friends of problem drinkers. It is an anonymous fellowship and there are no dues or fees. Meetings are held Mondays from 7:30 to 8:30 pm virtually. New members are always welcome.

For further information, contact us at or call 765-966-4151 and leave a message.

Indiana Participates in National College Application Week, Sept. 21-25

Posted September 22, 2020

High school seniors can apply to some Hoosier colleges for free

(INDIANAPOLIS) – Sixteen Indiana colleges will waive college application fees during Indiana's College Application Week, September 21-25, according to the Indiana Commission for Higher Education. Another 24 colleges have reported free applications year-round.

College Application Week is part of Indiana's annual College GO! initiative that takes place each August through November with information and resources designed to help Hoosiers plan for education beyond high school. The official "College GO!" kick-off is the last full week of September (September 21-25, 2020).

Over 20 Indiana colleges and 85 K-12 schools across the state will host College GO! and College Application Week events to help students navigate the admissions process, including new virtual opportunities for college visits and college exploration activities.

"We are pleased with the number of Hoosier colleges and K-12 schools that are participating in College Application Week to help high schoolers with the college application and admissions process," said Indiana Commissioner for Higher Education Teresa Lubbers. "We hope that students will take advantage of the opportunity to not only apply to several of Indiana's quality colleges for free, but also learn more about which colleges are the right fit."

Indiana high school seniors can apply to the following Hoosier colleges for free between September 21 and 25:

Supplied Table: List of Colleges

Colleges not indicated above may offer financial assistance for students who demonstrate financial need. Talk to your college for more information about application fee waivers.

You can view the list of participating colleges online.

College Application Week is sponsored in partnership by the Indiana Commission for Higher Education and the American College Application Campaign (ACAC) to increase the number of first-generation and low-income students who pursue education beyond high school.

Upcoming College GO! Events

College Application FAQ
Wednesday, September 23, 2020
6-7 p.m. (ET)
Online: Live on Learn More Indiana's Facebook page (; available on Instagram (@LearnMoreIndiana) and Twitter (@LearnMoreIN). #CAW20

Students and families who are getting ready to apply to college can learn about the college application process including what kind of information is needed, how to make your application stand out and other tips and frequently asked questions.

For more information, visit

Loop Phase II Public Information Meeting

Posted September 22, 2020

Supplied Graphic:  Loop Phase II Informational Meeting

The Loop Phase II public information meeting will provide the public with a project status update on the Loop Phase II. It will offer both in-person and remote/digital participation options, see below. It will start at 6:30pm on Thursday, October 8th.

4th Floor Blues Club, 923 North E Street, Richmond, Indiana

Register in advance for this webinar:

After registering, you will receive a confirmation email containing information about joining the webinar.

23rd Annual Seton Catholic Cardinal Classic Golf Outing

Posted September 22, 2020

The 23rd Annual Seton Catholic Cardinal Classic Golf Outing is looking a little bit different this year thanks to COVID-19! The event is raising money for the Seton Catholic Athletic Boosters, but will be done virtually this year. How is that you ask?

Participants will enjoy a day of golf at the course and time of their choice from September 21 -October 31.

All registered golfers will be eligible for prizes.

Show your support of Cardinal athletics by tweeting a photo from the course using #CardinalClassicVirtualGolf and tagging @Seton_Athletics.

Pictures can also be sent to

When you sponsor or participate in the event, you know that you are supporting a program that teaches values and challenges students to continually grow in spirit, mind, and body! Learn more by visiting

Supplied Flyer: Cardinal Classic

COVID-19 Vaccine Development: Fast Doesn't Mean Unsafe

Posted September 22, 2020

As the possibility of a COVID-19 vaccine dominates political discussions, a physician who has been tracking pandemic information for months believes the biggest challenge lies ahead - persuading people to take the vaccine when one is ready.

"There is a lot of vaccine shyness in the United States," says Thomas Huth, M.D., Vice President of Medical Affairs for Reid Health. He notes that vaccines alone can be controversial with some, pointing out that in a normal flu season only about half the high-risk people get a flu shot. "so it's understandable that people have concerns about a brand new vaccine that will have been developed very quickly."

A recent national poll by CBS News indicated only 21 percent of those asked said they would get a vaccine.

"As health leaders, we have a lot of work to do to reassure people that a vaccine for COVID-19 was properly tested and is safe," Dr. Huth said.

"If a vaccine is available as soon as it looks like it might be, I will be first in line for a shot, if they'll let me. Having carefully watched this process with a knowledgeable eye, I'm confident it will result in a properly tested vaccine that will be better than risking a serious COVID-19 illness." - Thomas Huth, M.D.

He noted that the pausing of an AstraZeneca vaccine trial on 30,000 subjects because of a possible reaction in one of the people is not alarming. "This is actually a common occurrence in pharmaceutical research." The trial was restarted this week in England after a review panel found that the illness in one subject was not related to the vaccine.

Pausing such a study is a normal part of the process, he said. "I think some people's concern about safety is fueled by the fact that Russia cut an important corner in the development of their vaccine by skipping the very important Phase 3 trial, in which a large number of people are tested for safety and effectiveness, including people with a variety of underlying health conditions."

In fact, for the U.S. work, early safety data from Phase 3 trials "is apparently so good they are adding subjects with certain immune system disorders. You would think that if there were significant concerns about safety, they would not include people whose immune systems are especially frail."

Addressing concerns about the speed of the work, Dr. Huth says the process has been expedited not by cutting corners but by:

  • Pausing research on other less urgent topics and concentrating scientific, technological and regulatory resources onto this effort
  • Building on past research into coronavirus vaccines, rather than starting from scratch
  • Overlapping, rather than skipping, development phases.
  • Streamlining the regulatory bureaucracy so that review and approval can happen in days or weeks rather than months or years.
  • Pre-investing in production capability so that vaccine can be rapidly shipped once approved
  • Developing multiple vaccines so that if one or two have to be stopped, others will continue

"If a vaccine is available as soon as it looks like it might be, I will be first in line for a shot, if they'll let me. Having carefully watched this process with a knowledgeable eye, I'm confident it will result in a properly tested vaccine that will be better than risking a serious COVID-19 illness," Dr. Huth said.

Reid Health Wound Healing Center Marks 15 Years of Caring

Posted September 22, 2020

Fifteen years after it opened, the Reid Health Wound Healing Center has increased staff and services to meet the needs of the nearly 9,000 patients receiving treatment each year.

Misha Mattingly, Clinical Operations Manager for the center, said the facility at 1380 Chester Boulevard has a staff of more than 30 caregivers, including the recent addition of a full-time on-site physician, Dr. Kim Weber.

Supplied Photo: Reid Health Wound Healing Center

Though the most obvious aspect of the center is its two hyperbaric chambers that provide pressurized oxygen therapy, Mattingly notes the center offers much more than this therapy to treat wounds. "We see a range of wound healing needs, including burns, diabetic foot ulcers, arterial and venous ulcers, pressure ulcers and more."

Dr. Weber says when the center was first established, it was because of the need for comprehensive wound care in the community. "Reid's Wound Healing Center has combined state-of-the-art wound care treatment and hyperbaric oxygen therapy with very individualized personal care. Using a combination of treatments, the center has been able to help many patients avoid amputation of a limb due to diabetes complications, poor blood flow or traumatic injuries."

Cassey Crowell, DPM, says the Wound Healing Center is vital for practicing podiatric medicine. "The center is instrumental to our podiatric practice in providing excellent staff and a wonderful facility to allow us to offer the highest standard of care and advanced treatment for all types of foot wounds. I am grateful to have the Wound Healing Center as a resource to help serve our community and improve outcomes for patients affected by acute and chronic wounds."

Besides hyperbaric therapy, services include bio-engineered tissue substitutes or skin grafting, advanced wound dressings and wraps, casting, ostomy care and podiatric wound care.

When the center opened in 2005, it was staffed by just under 20 caregivers. The center has maintained a panel of part-time physicians since then. Dr. Weber is its first full-time on-site doctor.

"Having a physician on site has decreased wait times and provides more consistency for our patients," Mattingly said.

The current physician/caregiver panel besides Dr. Weber includes:

Our team treats:

  • Burns
  • Diabetic foot ulcers
  • Arterial and venous ulcers
  • Pressure ulcers
  • Traumatic ulcers
  • Non-healing surgical wounds
  • Infected wounds
  • Other wounds that will not heal
  • Lower leg edema
  • Lymphedema

For more information about Reid Health Wound Healing Center, talk to your primary care provider or call the center at (765) 983-3300.

Singles Interaction, Inc.

Posted September 22, 2020

Supplied Newsletter: Singles Interaction, Inc. October 2020

If you are 21 years of age or better and single, divorced, widow or widower, Singles' Interaction invites you to join them on Friday nights. Come to the Eagles Lodge, 75 South 12th Street, Richmond (membership not required) and meet other single people in the Richmond area.

Come, socialize, dance, and enjoy yourself!

Wayne County Foundation Set to Award $265,000 in 2020 Challenge Match Program

Posted September 21, 2020

Forty-Nine Organizations Selected to Participate

The Wayne County Foundation announced today the organizations selected to participate in its 2020 Challenge Match Initiative. This year's award will be the largest in the program's nine year history.

Last year the Challenge Match generated over $1.8 million for 47 local non-profits, including $257,500 of match dollars made available by the Foundation and its Match Partners. This year, $265,000 matching dollars are available for the initiative. "Our generous Match Partners enable us to support more organizations and are critical to the initiative's success", said Wayne County Foundation's Executive Director, Rebecca Gilliam. Participating Match Partners include: Doxpop Charitable Giving Fund, First Bank Community Fund, Fund for Tomorrow, Reinke Donor Advised Fund, and Carla and Dave Stidham.

The 49 participating organizations will have the opportunity to receive funding from the Foundation up to their Match Goal, based on the gifts they receive from the community during the November 2 – 10, 2020, match period.

"The Challenge Match is critical this year. Our nonprofit organizations have continued to address the needs of our community through the COVID-19 pandemic while seeing loss of revenues due to canceled events and fundraisers. We hope all participating organizations are able to raise significant operating funds during with this initiative.

The following organizations were selected to participate in the Wayne County Foundation 2020 Challenge Match with their match goals:

Table: Organizations and Amounts Table: Organizations and Amounts

More information about specific details of qualifying gifts is available on the Foundation's website. Additional information may also be obtained by contacting Lisa Bates at or by calling 765-962-1638.

2020 East-Central Indiana Business Survey Is Open through September 25

Posted September 21, 2020

Thanks to the tremendous support from the local business communities, economic development corporations and chambers of commerce, we continued to have great success last year for our East-Central Indiana Business Survey. Based on the valuable responses we collected, we had successfully calculated the 2019 value of our IU East Regional Business Confidence Index. Our report had been released on the IU East Business and Economic Research Center (the BERC) website at

The BERC of the School of Business and Economics at Indiana University East is again working together with the local economic development corporations/groups or the like and chambers of commerce in conducting the 2020 annual business survey for the East-Central Indiana region.

The survey will be open to businesses/companies in the Fayette, Franklin, Henry, Randolph, Rush, Union, and Wayne counties from September 14, 2020 to September 25, 2020.

Results of the survey will not only help the BERC maintain the IU East Regional Business Confidence Index to monitor the business sentiment and economic trend in our region, but also assist further the local and regional economic studies conducted by the BERC. In addition, the survey results might aid the aforementioned economic development corporations/groups or the like and chambers of commerce for consideration as part of any future strategic planning and economic development efforts to facilitate a healthy business climate in the region.

Responses to the 10-minute survey will be confidential. Business owners/managers will be asked to provide some general information on their business/company's demography, their opinion of various aspects related to business performance for this year, and their business and economic expectations for next year in their county. While the individual responses to the survey will not be shared, results of the research survey will be made public by the end of 2020.

For more information, contact the Director of the Business and Economic Research Center and Associate Professor of Finance Dr. Oi Lin (Irene) Cheung at (765) 973-8497 or

About the IU East Business and Economic Research Center

The BERC is sponsored by the School of Business and Economics at IU East. The center is designed to assist in capturing and creating economic data that will be useful in supporting the economic vitality of the Eastern Indiana and Western Ohio regions.

Reid Community Benefit Provides 20,000 Masks for Distribution

Posted September 21, 2020

Thanks to Reid Health Community Benefit, food pantries and a few other organizations are in the process of distributing 20,000 masks to help in the continued fight against the spread of COVID-19 infections.

"We know that 'masking up' is crucial to minimizing community spread of the COVID-19 virus," said Angela Cline, Director, Reid Health Community Benefit. "We are grateful to see so many in the community doing their part to protect others. However, we know for some it may be difficult to obtain masks that will hold up with continued wear. So we teamed up with food pantries to provide reusable, washable cloth makes to distribute."

More than 35 pantries responded and are in the process of distributing them across eight regional counties, she said. Masks were also provided to regional chambers, Lifestream, the Wayne County Highway Department and the NAACP.

Masks are required to be worn in public spaces and inside businesses in Indiana and Ohio. Reid Health also requires anyone entering any of its facilities to wear a mask.

Help Is On the Way for K-12 Teachers Needing Training and Certification in Virtual Instruction

Posted September 21, 2020

IU East's School of Education to offer certificate program for 62 teachers across East Central Indiana for free with funding from GEER grant

Indiana University East's School of Education will soon provide certification and training for virtual instruction to 62 elementary and secondary school teachers from 42 districts across East Central Indiana, and brings with it the potential to positively impact over 60,000 students.

Teachers will be selected by their districts for the training and to earn a Graduate Certificate in Online Learning and Assessment offered by the School of Education. Districts have a number of seats based on size.

Tuition will be free for teachers to earn their graduate certificate because of a partnership between the School of Education (SoE) and the East Central Education Service Center (ECESC).

The SOE and ECESC worked together to apply for a grant from the Governor's Emergency Education Relief (GEER). The SoE received a $304,000 grant on August 19 from the GEER.

Jerry Wilde, dean of the SoE, said it is perfect timing for the grant as teachers are continuing to adapt to teaching virtually during COVID-19.

"The need for instruction on the best practices for online teaching is serious as educators across the region adjust to teaching online," Wilde said. "We need this training now, like yesterday. Our teachers need help. This is designed to increase teachers' skills integrating technology in a more meaningful and authentic way that will produce better results for students."

Jamie Buffington-Adams, associate dean and associate professor of education, said the grant addresses the need for teachers to use the tools and technology available to them.

"One of the things that has been a frequent critique of schools is that we purchase hardware before we train teachers how to implement the use of it or how to integrate it into instruction effectively," Buffington-Adams said. "This grant is a 'train the trainer' model that focuses on getting the training to 62 area teachers so that they have a better idea of how to teach in this virtual context, but hopefully - once we survive this pandemic - to integrate those technological tools that have been brought into the classroom in more sophisticated and complex ways that really benefit students."

Wilde and Buffington-Adams wrote the grant in partnership with Katie Lash, the executive director/instructional program coordinator for the ECESC. She began the role July 1.

Lash contacted Wilde when the GEER grant was announced. She is familiar with the SoE as an alumna, completing her Master of Science in Education at IU East, and she serves on the SoE's Board of Advisors. She has also been an adjunct lecturer for the SoE.

As a former teacher and principal, Lash understands the needs teachers have in this new virtual teaching environment.

"When the GEER grant was announced, I already knew schools were asking for support in online instruction," Lash said. "In my role we often provide professional development on a variety of topics but when I reached out to Jerry I was envisioning something that was not only professional development but could be very practically useful for our schools. He was absolutely on board with figuring out how we might make this work in a short time as the grant application was due quickly. The faculty at IU East have always impressed me with their willingness to innovate."

Certification is about more than apps

Teachers in the certification program will go beyond learning about the different technologies, applications and hardware to move beyond replicating a face-to-face lesson plan to one catered to the virtual learning environment.

IU East faculty as a whole have taught online for more than a decade.

"It's a way of thinking about using technology in a more effective and engaging way," Wilde said. "Virtual teaching isn't just putting up an overhead or showing a YouTube video. There's nothing wrong with that, but if we don't get past that we're missing an incredible opportunity."

Buffington-Adams said the certification focuses on designing solid assessment processes and cycles for a virtual environment and how to integrate technology into the process. The program will not focus specifically on devices or applications because between the districts, and within school districts, there are many different tools in use ranging from iPads to Chromebooks to Netbooks as well as a variety of software integrations.

The idea is to push past a substitution model of technology - for example, taking students to a computer lab to type a handwritten paper - to a model of leveraging technology that creates learning opportunities that wouldn't otherwise exist.

"Students can get an authentic experience using technology in the ways that we do in a digitally connected world," Buffington-Adams said.

Since March when districts moved class all-online due to COVID-19 there has been an adjustment and learning curve to virtual lessons. Teachers are transiting lesson plans made for a traditional classroom to a virtual space. For families, the hybrid and online options mean balancing work and school. Other obstacles include access to internet services, connection issues, and learning the software or applications to complete assignments. It also means adjusting to each individual teachers approach to virtual learning and keeping track of assignments, Zoom meetings and announcements daily.

"Teachers are really being asked to do something entirely different than even what university faculty have been called to do since March," Buffington-Adams said." The teachers I have spoken with aren't just taking a face-to-face teaching model and now reimaging it for online, they're still teaching face-to-face and they're teaching online simultaneously."

Teaching virtually is not the same as teaching in class. Before teachers developed one plan for in-class instruction, now they need at least two in order to include virtual learning. They also spend more time emailing with students and parents to respond to questions and communicate.

"Districts have come up with schedules that are understandably trying to serve the communities that they're embedded in, but they are schedules that are really reliant on teachers doing two to three times the amount of work they would normally do," Buffington-Adams said. "Preparing for the virtual environment is radically different than preparing for the face-to-face environment, and when you're doing both simultaneously, of course your workload becomes heftier. I think that's one of the major obstacles is that we don't have a good model."

Other factors are figuring into the challenges of virtual learning as well, some of which districts and families cannot control.

"The grant has multiple components to it and one of those was targeting the fact that communities don't have the infrastructure to even get students connected for virtual learning. Locally, the numbers are about 25 percent of our kids who do not have Wi-Fi at home and that's an issue," Buffington-Adams said.

Emotional labor is another impact on teachers, Buffington-Adams added. Teachers are invested in their students and want the best for them at school and at home.

"I don't know any teachers who don't care about their students, so when they see their students can't connect to the class or connect online, they worry," she said. "This is a concern for teachers and whether this is a problem for them to solve or not, they care about their kids. They want them connected, they worry where they are at and that kind of emotional labor is taxing too."

However, there is good coming from this unprecedented time though it may be too early to tell yet just what impact virtual learning may be having right now.

"I believe virtual learning is providing us with an opportunity, a productive space to start reimagining how we do education," Buffington-Adams said. "I think for the kids that can get connected and have the support system to do it, it's providing them with the technology to use in ways that they wouldn't have been asked to do this early in their school career.

The payoff is for educators to think differently about the work that they do, she added, but this is an opportunity to develop an enriched understanding and practices of what we do in schools.

Collaboration and Community Impact

The SoE and ECESC had 11 days to prepare the grant application and address any obstacles to providing the necessary training. Wilde said the school decided to go for the grant because there is a need for teachers to receive the quality training, and the benefit to area school districts and communities is too valuable.

"This initiative will allow the opportunity for 42 school districts in East Central Indiana to have teachers pursue this graduate certificate and perform leadership roles in their schools," Lash said. "When these leaders return to their home districts and share this learning with others, this grant has the potential to offer support to over 4,500 educators with the train the trainer model and improve learning outcomes for over 67,000 students in our area."

Wilde said teachers participating in the program will return to their districts with the knowledge and proficiency to instruct their peers and share best practices for virtual learning.

"There's a lot of research that shows what teachers really need is the training and how to use the tools effectively. That's where this grant comes in," Wilde said. "We provide the training for area teachers, they take it back to their individual districts and buildings, and train their teachers."

Teachers can also start implementing what they learn through the program into their virtual lessons right away.

The SoE, ECESC, and districts are working together to find the teachers who best fit the certification program and can return to their schools to share what they've learned.

"Another powerful piece of this format is that we are truly promoting collaboration with current K-12 practitioners and the higher education space," Lash said. "The cohort as a whole will become a network of support to troubleshoot various challenges that COVID-19 has presented but also to create sustainability plans for long after the pandemic has ended."

Collaboration is also occurring at the instructor level.

The courses will be co-taught by IU East SoE faculty and K-12 faculty.

"This is a really wonderful feature to have not just IU East faculty, but also K-12 teachers who are invested in this type of learning," Wilde said. "We know the more we partner with our K-12 partners, the better we understand their needs and the better we are able to serve area schools."

Partnership and collaboration were an emphasis when preparing the grant proposal to plan courses, participants and instructors, all of which required communication.

"There was a lot of time in the development of the grant were we talked about how this was going to be a true partnership so the teaching model is bringing the expertise generated in the K-12 and marrying it with the faculty expertise to present something to teachers that will be immediately applicable," Buffington-Adams said. "Some coursework, discussion on assignments, and looking at everything they will do, teachers can take all of that straight back to their classrooms or to teach their colleagues. It offers new techniques, new ways to integrate online. Learn it and it helps you tomorrow, that's the time and context of COVID."

IU East's School of Education has offered the Graduate Certificate in Online Learning and Assessment since 2013. Wilde said the certificate provides quality training for teachers, and the need for training is a growing demand.

The grant is an opportunity to provide the quality training to teachers for free while benefiting communities.

IU East is a regional campus serving over 3,500 students through 50 academic options for bachelor's and master's degrees. The campus is invested in the community and the region. As part of IU East's mission, the campus is dedicated to being a strong partner in enhancing the educational, cultural, and economic development of the region it serves through community and civic engagement.

Wilde said the SoE is following the campus mission to invest in the region.

"That is the fundamental of every regional campus is to give back to our community. And for the School of Education to be able to provide this kind of training to help hundreds of teachers is a wonderful opportunity for all of us," Wilde said.

For more information about the School of Education, visit

3rd Annual Townsend Community Center, Inc. Golf Outing

Posted September 3, 2020

Supplied Flyer: 3rd Annual Townsend Center Golf Outing

Townsend Community Center, Inc. will hold its 3rd annual golf outing on Saturday, October 3, 2020 at Winding Branch Golf Course in Cambridge City, Indiana. All proceeds benefit the Townsend Community Center, Inc. in Wayne County. Register by faxing the entry form to 765.962.1143, Dr. Lucinda M. Wright or 765.478.4542 Rancer Huntington.

Wayne County Lit the Spark Igniting Bold Campaign for Women's Vote

Posted August 24, 2020

The 69-year campaign to win Indiana women the right to vote launched in tiny Dublin in October 1851 with the first Women's Rights Convention. The 100th anniversary of the Constitutional Amendment making that right possible will be celebrated Wednesday, Aug. 26 throughout the country.

That bold meeting in Western Wayne County is widely recognized as the spark that lit the women's suffrage fire throughout Indiana and it will be featured in a virtual celebration now under production by a local organization.

The Wayne County Women's Suffrage Centennial Task Force's two-part virtual series -- to premier Oct. 27 at 7 p.m. -- will present the important role local women and men played in winning ratification of the 19th Amendment in Indiana and across the nation.

Part 1, "The Women's Suffrage Movement in Wayne County, IN – Lighting the Spark" will showcase the early leaders of the women's rights movement through the 19th Century. Part 2, "Raising a Ruckus" will follow the brave tactics of 20th Century strategists through ratification in 1920. Part 2 will premier Nov. 10 at 7 p.m.

The task force, led by Sue King of Morrisson-Reeves Library, Mary Walker and Nancy Sartain of the Wayne County Convention and Tourism Bureau, Joanna Hahn of the Levi and Catharine Coffin Historic Site, Karen Shank-Chapman of the Wayne County Historical Museum, and Mary Anne Butters, county commissioner, welcome personal stories from descendants of suffragists. Please submit them to: or

Reservations for the free Oct. 27 premier may be made online at:

Mobile Census Support Coming to Local Area Events - You Count!

Posted August 20, 2020

The results of the 2020 Census will help determine how hundreds of billions of dollars in federal funding flow into communities every year for the next decade. That funding shapes many different aspects of every community, no matter the size, no matter the location. It's important to our community that YOU are counted! If you have not yet completed the 2020 Census, you can do so online, by phone, or by mail when your invitation to respond arrives. Visit to begin or get assistance at any of the following upcoming local events:

Flyer:  Dates for Upcoming Local Census Events

Flyer: Mobile Census Questionaire Information

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