News Releases

MRL Presents Inspire. Create. Connect. A Community Art Show

Posted March 4, 2021

Supplied Graphic: MRL Community Art ShowMorrisson-Reeves Library is offering regional artisans the opportunity to participate in the library's first-ever community art show. Inspire, Create, Connect. A Community Art Show is a community-based, non-competitive show promoting inclusivity and creativity. Artisans are asked to showcase their creativity and the unique individuality through art.

The idea of a community art show to be held at the library came from a vision created by MRL staffer and artist Silus Massoff. "Amidst the negatives associated with this pandemic, quarantine also prompted a wave of revitalized and new creativity in those that may not have considered themselves creatives prior to COVID-19," Silus said. "This show seeks to showcase that new creativity as well as the creatives that have resided in our community since well before 2020. We want to celebrate creativity in the face of adversity and provide a positive outlet for reconnection amongst members of our community."

This all-inclusive art show welcomes all ages and levels of experience. MRL especially encourages first-timers to display art in the show. Artworks will be on display in the library during the month of May 2021. An online gallery will be produced for digital art submissions. There is no entry fee to submit art into the exhibit. More information on the art show and the submission process is available at MRLinfo.org/Art-Show

MRL is accepting works of art and digital submissions. All forms of digital art, 2-D art (up to 20" x 30") plus a limited number of 3-D works will be accepted into the art show. See the library's website for more details about 2-D framing requirements and the limited showcase space for 3-D artwork. This is an ALL-AGES art show so submissions must meet community-friendly guidelines to be accepted for public display in the library.

For more information, please contact Jenie Lahmann at 765-966-8291 or email at Lahmann@MRLinfo.org

Timeline for Art Show

April 1

Deadline for Application to display art in the show. There is no fee to submit artwork.

Click to Apply Online

Print the application.

April 12-15

Both shipped and hand-delivered artwork to arrive at Morrisson-Reeves Library

Virtual submissions accepted by emailing smassoff@mrlinfo.org

May 1 through June 5

The length of time the show will be open for viewing. Open during regular business hours of the library.

Adulting 101 Offers Three Virtual Sessions This Spring

Posted March 4, 2021

Graphic: Adulting 101Adulting 101 is back this spring with three virtual sessions to explore common themes during uncommon times, where staying healthy and staying home have become the new normal.

The monthly sessions are at 6 p.m. on Zoom. Registration for the event is required at iueadulting101.eventbrite.com.

Sessions for this spring will focus discussion on taxes, personal investments and the housing market.

Terry Wiesehan, director of Alumni Affairs at Indiana University East, said the series is available to alumni and community members.

"The presentations offer adults information they can use in their life," Wiesehan said. "We've covered topics ranging in finances to networking to work and life balance."

Guest speakers for the presentations will be announced at a later date.

Adulting 101 is a partnership with HYPE and the IU East School of Business and Economics. The series is presented by the IU Alumni Association East Region Chapter.

First Bank Richmond sponsors the Adulting 101 series.

HYPE (Helping Young Professionals Engage) is a committee of the Wayne County Area Chamber of Commerce. HYPE helps young professionals, ages 21 to 40, to engage in the community by offering social and professional development opportunities.

Adulting 101 was first launched in the fall of 2018 by Oi Lin Cheung, associate professor of finance and director of the Center for Business and Economic Research for the School of Business and Economics. Cheung secured a Sustaining Talent-Engaging Partners (STEP) grant through the "Building a Bright Future" project and partnered with the Office of External Affairs to organize monthly events to help young professionals build a bright financial future.

Upcoming Schedule for Adulting 101

  • Time: 6 p.m.
  • RSVP: iueadulting101.eventbrite.com
  • Crush your Taxes: Learn the ins and outs of your taxes - Thursday, March 25
  • How to (hopefully) be a Millionaire: Learn the details on personal investments - Thursday, April 29
  • Do I stay or do I go?: Buying and Selling homes in the current market - Thursday, May 27

IU East Regional Writers Series Presents Memoirist Angela Palm

Posted March 4, 2021

Supplied Photo: Angela  PalmIndiana University East presents "Regional Writers Series: A Reading with Memoirist Angela Palm," from 7-8 p.m. on Thursday, March 18, on IU East Facebook Live. The event is free and open to the public. Viewer discretion is advised.

The Regional Writers Series is presented by the IU East School of Humanities and Social Sciences to bring both established and emerging writers of significance to campus for workshops and public readings.

Raised in the rural Midwest, Palm earned a B.A. in English Literature and a B.S. in Criminal Justice at Saint Joseph's College. Palm is the author of Riverine: A Memoir from Anywhere but Here, recipient of the 2014 Graywolf Press Nonfiction Prize (Graywolf Press, August 2016). Riverine was short-listed for the Vermont Book Award and the Indiana Author Award/Emerging Author Award. It was an Indie Next selection, winner of the 2014 Graywolf Press Nonfiction Prize, a Kirkus Best Book of 2016, and a Powerful Memoir by Powerful Women selected by Oprah. Palm is the editor of a book featuring work by Vermont writers, called Please Do Not Remove (Wind Ridge Books, 2014).

Palm has taught creative writing workshops and classes at Bread Loaf Writers' Conference, Champlain College, New England Young Writers' Conference, The Kentucky Women Writers' Conference, The Writers' Barn, The Porch (Nashville), Writers for Recovery, and The Renegade Writers' Collective and is the recipient of a Bread Loaf Writers' Conference Fellowship in narrative nonfiction and a 2019 creation grant from the Vermont Arts Council.

Palm has worked as assistant manager at Parent University, an education program for New Americans and refugees. She is on the Board of Directors of the Vermont Young Writers Project, works as a writing and editorial consultant at Boston's Grub Street writing center, and volunteers with Amnesty International. She currently works as director of Strategic Communications at &Partners, a digital design agency dedicated to creating social impact through ethical civic technology.

Her writing has appeared in or is forthcoming in Creative Nonfiction, Tin House, Longreads, Ecotone, Passages North, At Length Magazine, Ep;phany, Brevity, DIAGRAM, Essay Daily, Paper Darts, Green Mountains Review, apt, SmokeLong Quarterly, Hippocampus Magazine, Midwestern Gothic, Little Fiction, Big Truths, Sundog Lit, and elsewhere. Her work has also been nominated for the Pushcart Prize in fiction and nonfiction, a Derringer Award, Best of the Net, and the Best Short Fictions anthology.

This event is sponsored by the IU East School of Humanities and Social Sciences and Mindful Explorations, courtesy of the William H. and Jean R. Reller Endowment.

For more information, contact Brian Brodeur, Ph.D., assistance professor of English, at bbrodeur@iue.edu.

The "Let's Talk" Returns This March for Its 10th Season

Posted March 4, 2021

This spring, the Let's Talk series will focus three episodes on topics surrounding COVID-19 and domestic violence and abuse.

Now in its 10th season, the series will be streamed from Indiana University East's Facebook Premiere and is available to watch on WCTV Channel 20. The series is hosted by the IU East School of Humanities and Social Sciences. Chera LaForge, associate professor of political science at IU East, is the moderator for the series.

Rosalie Aldrich, John and Corinne Graf Professor and chair for the Department of Communication Studies at IU East, organizes the Let's Talk series.

"The Let's Talk series started because I am passionate about community health," Aldrich said. "It is my hope that through the Let's Talk series we are bringing valuable information on a variety of health topics to Wayne County viewers. I am very proud to celebrate the 10th year of Let's Talk and would like to thank all of the past and present planning committee members, expert speakers, discussion moderators, and WCTV staff."

The goal of the series is to provide an interactive forum for students, faculty and staff and members of the community to discuss current health topics and concerns.

The first episode will air at 7 p.m. on Tuesday, March 9. The discussion, "COVID and Schools," includes speakers Karen Clark, Ed.D., R.N., dean of the School of Nursing and Health Sciences and director of the Center for Health Promotion at IU East; Matthew Hicks, Ph.D., superintendent of Northeastern Schools; and George Philhower, Ph.D., superintendent of Western Wayne Schools.

Beth Trammell, associate professor of psychology at IU East, is one of the speakers for the series on March 16 focused on the topic, "Parenting during COVID." This discussion will provide support for parents during the pandemic, Trammell said.

"As we are continuing to do our best as parents, sometimes it can feel overwhelming and lonely - like we can never do enough to support our kids," Trammell said. "Experts on the panel will share strategies for managing our emotions, as well as the emotions of our kids. In addition, practical tips for helping kids through the ups and downs of ever-changing school situations and managing expectations for increased screen time. Tune in to gather helpful information if you are a parent or caregiver of kids no matter their age!"

The series topic for April 6 is "Domestic Violence and Abuse." This episode will include Tracy Amyx, deputy Sexual Misconduct and Title IX coordinator and director of Affirmative Action/EEOC Officer at IU East, Scott E. Dunning, Chief of Police for the Indiana University Police Department-East; and Jennifer Claypoole, L.C.S.W., director of Behavioral Health at IU East.

Amyx said the episode will provide viewers with a diverse dicussion from resources available to how to support victims.

"Dating and domestic violence affects all communities and does not discriminate regardless of gender, race, age, socioeconomic status, sexual orientation, religion or nationality. The impact of interpersonal violence can cross generations and last a lifetime," Amyx said. "Being aware of resources, recognizing warning signs of a potentially vulnerable relationship, and understanding ways to support victims are crucial in helping break this devastating cycle of violence."

Upcoming Schedule for "Let's Talk"

  • Topic: COVID and Schools
  • 7 p.m., Tuesday, March 9
  • Speakers
    • Karen Clark, Ed.D, R.N., Dean for the School of Nursing and Health Sciences, director for the Center for Health Promotion, IU East
    • Matthew Hicks, Ph.D., Superintendent for Northeastern Schools
    • George Philhower, Ph.D., Superintendent for Western Wayne Schools
  • Topic: Parenting during COVID
  • 7 p.m., Tuesday, March 16
  • Speakers:
    • Beth Trammell, Ph.D., HSPP, Director, M.A. in Mental Health Counseling Program and associate professor of psychology, IU East
    • Debra Browning, parent educator, Birth to Five
    • Cindy Isaacs, parent educator, Birth to Five
  • Topic: Domestic Violence and Abuse
  • 7 p.m., Tuesday, April 6
  • Speakers:
    • Tracy Amyx, Deputy Sexual Misconduct and Title IX coordinator and director of Affirmative Action/EEOC Officer at IU East
    • Scott E. Dunning, Chief of Police for the Indiana University Police Department-East
    • Jennifer Claypoole, L.C.S.W., director of Behavioral Health at IU East

Free Throw-athon Connects Red Wolves with Community

Posted March 4, 2021

In a school year filled with obstacles, the Indiana University East women's basketball team found a way to make a difference by raising over $1,600 for Reid BRAvo!.

Supplied Photo: Freshman guard Caitlin McEldowney shoots a free throw. The women's basketball team raised over $1,600 with its inaugural Free Throw-athon on February 26 at Lingle Court.  McEldowney,  of Versailles, Ohio, made 95 of 100 free throws.
Freshman guard Caitlin McEldowney shoots a free throw. The women's basketball team raised over $1,600 with its inaugural Free Throw-athon on February 26 at Lingle Court. McEldowney, of Versailles, Ohio, made 95 of 100 free throws.
Supplied PHoto: Junior guard Aliyssa Neal of Morgantown, West Virginia, participates in the inaugural Red Wolves Free Throw-athon on February 26.
Junior guard Aliyssa Neal of Morgantown, West Virginia, participates in the inaugural Red Wolves Free Throw-athon on February 26.

The inaugural IU East Women's Basketball Free Throw-athon took place February 26 at Lingle Court. The Free Throw-athon supported Reid BRAvo! BRAvo! is a Reid Foundation initiative that brings joy to the serious matter of breast cancer. BRAvo! events raise funds to provide free digital mammograms for uninsured women and financial assistance for patients in need.

Official contributions to the Free Throw-athon totaled $1,626 as of March 1.

"We wanted to do something, because it is important for us to stay involved and because we have players who have been affected by this in some way or another," said IU East Coach Tiffani Selhorst. "This is something that is near and dear to my heart as well, so we wanted to do something and be sure we did something that had a direct benefit for the community."

Each IU East player shot 100 free throws, with sponsor donations based on free throws made. The event was streamed live on Stretch Internet. Student broadcaster Travis Lang, a communications major at IU East, provided commentary for the Free Throw-athon. Lang is from Liberty, Indiana.

The Free Throw-athon gave the Red Wolves a chance to take part in a difference-making basketball event despite COVID-related developments that made it unfeasible for the team to play games in the second half of the season.

"I'm glad we were able to to have something where we could raise money and still play basketball even without playing games," said IU East junior Addie Brown. "Having a relative and family friend who battled breast cancer, this event means a lot to me."

Brown helped to organize the free throw-athon. She a communications major from Oxford, Ohio. Brown works with the Office of External Affairs on the university's social media. Jeremy Dickenson of Centerville, Indiana, created the graphics for the Free Throw-athon. He is a fine arts major with a graphic design concentration, and he also works for External Affairs.

It's not too late to contribute to the cause.

Free Throw-athon donations can be made directly to ReidBRAvo! at reidbravo.org/donate. Please make your donation on behalf of the IU East Women's Basketball Free Throw-athon. Click the "Other" tab to donate a specific amount.

Donate a dollar amount based a Red Wolf player's free throws made. For example, if your Red Wolf player made 90 free throws and you have pledged 10 cents per made free throw, you would make a donation of $9 to ReidBRAvo! Or, consider a donation of $3.41 in recognition of the IU East women's basketball program's team GPA from the 2020 fall semester. Any donation makes a difference.

Results from the Free Throw-athon are below.

  • Tia Tolbert - 89 for 100
  • Caitlin McEldowney - 95 for 100
  • Paige Gregory - 85 for 100
  • Megan Harlow - 79 for 100
  • Addie Brown - 93 for 100
  • Kennedy Griffin - 94 for 100
  • Bree Bransford - 84 for 100
  • Tori Campbell - 88 for 100
  • Kami McEldowney - 90 for 100
  • Aliyssa Neal - 92 for 100

20,000th COVID-19 Vaccine Dose Given; Capacity Remains for Much More

Posted March 3, 2021

Reid Health officials are celebrating a new milestone for their COVID-19 vaccination efforts, but they would like to be doing much more.

The health system administered its 20,000th vaccine dose Tuesday, reaching the milestone some two and a half months after vaccinations began in mid-December.

But Reid has the supplies and capacity at its public vaccination clinic to give many more shots a day than it has been.

"While we're happy to have given as many vaccinations as we have so far, we'd love to be much busier," said Thomas Huth, M.D., Vice President of Medical Affairs for

Reid Health. "We have the resources in place. We just need more people to sign up to be vaccinated."

Reid's public vaccination clinic at the Kuhlman Center on the Wayne County Fairgrounds in Richmond is open 7 a.m.-5 p.m. Monday through Friday and 9 a.m.-1 p.m. Saturday.

One must schedule an appointment through the state website, ourshot.in.gov, using either the Firefox or Chrome web browser. After an appointment has been made, a link will be sent to complete the registration. That information doesn't have to be filled out before arriving for the scheduled vaccination but doing so ahead of time will speed up the process.

You also can register directly with the Kuhlman Center Vaccine Clinic by calling (765) 935-8484 Monday through Friday from 7 a.m. to 5 p.m. and 9 a.m. to 1 p.m. Saturday and Reid staff will assist you.

"While we're happy to have given as many vaccinations as we have so far, we'd love to be much busier. We have the resources in place. We just need more people to sign up to be vaccinated." -- Thomas Huth, M.D., Vice President of Medical Affairs

The Indiana Department of Health also has designated 211 as a call line for assistance, but Reid has been made aware at least some local sites aren't showing for 211 staff as having available appointments. Patients should specifically ask for the Kuhlman Center if 211 staff don't initially offer it as an option.

The Wayne County Health Department is operating its own COVID-19 vaccination clinic, but its schedule usually is full for days, if not weeks, at a time while same-day appointments often are available at the Kuhlman Center. Callers to the Kuhlman Center clinic also can register for appointments at the Wayne County Health Department's site if they are available and it's more convenient for them.

Reid has been designated a host site by the IDOH with responsibility for helping to vaccinate Wayne, Randolph, Union, and Fayette counties.

County health departments in those areas also are offering vaccinations through their own clinics. Those are located at:

  • Wayne County: 601 E. Main St., Richmond
  • Randolph County: 1885 U.S. 27, Winchester
  • Union County: 6 W. South St., Liberty
  • Fayette County: 401 Central Ave., Connersville

According to the IDOH, those now eligible to receive the vaccine include:

  • Any Hoosier age 55 and older;
  • Healthcare workers who live in Indiana and who have face-to-face interactions with patients or contact with infectious materials in a healthcare setting; and
  • First responders who are firefighters, police officers or sheriff's deputies, Emergency Medical Services, reservists or correctional officers who live in Indiana and who are regularly called to the scene of an emergency to give medical aid.

Only those who live in Indiana are eligible to be vaccinated in the state. Ohio residents should visit coronavirus.ohio.gov to learn more about how to get vaccinated in their home counties.

The Wayne County Health Department is operating its own COVID-19 vaccination clinic, but its schedule usually is full for days, if not weeks, at a time while same-day appointments often are available at the Kuhlman Center.

For those individuals who might need help getting to the Kuhlman Center, family members should assist with scheduling to ensure transportation will be available at the time of the appointment.

The City of Richmond is providing no-charge bus service to the Kuhlman Center. To schedule a ride, patients will need to call (765) 983-7227 or (765) 983-7301. Bus operation hours are 6:15 a.m. to 5:15 p.m. Monday through Saturday. Paratransit also will provide rides to the clinic Monday through Friday from 10:30 a.m. to 2 p.m.

Once on site, patients will find directional signs and a phone number to call upon their arrival, (765) 935-8484.

Standby list now available
Reid Health also is now accepting signups for a standby list for vaccinations.

Each vial of the vaccine holds multiple doses. Once a vial is thawed, it must be used within a certain period or the unused portion has to be discarded.

Each day, Reid pharmacy staff match scheduled appointments with the vaccine allotment and thaw the appropriate number of vials. Cancellations or no-shows can result in leftover doses.

Near the end of each clinic, staff will evaluate the number of vaccine doses left. If it appears there are "extra" doses that otherwise would be wasted, staff will refer to the standby waitlist.

To be added to the list, you must sign up on the Reid Health website. Calls will begin 1-2 hours before the clinic closes. To receive the vaccine, you must be an Indiana resident and must be able to get to the Kuhlman Center within 30 minutes of receiving the call.

Those who meet current state guidelines to receive the vaccine should schedule an appointment rather than sign up for Reid's standby list.

The list will be used in a manner consistent with guidance from the Indiana Department of Health. Signing up for this standby list does NOT guarantee you will receive a call or the COVID-19 vaccine.

Those with questions about the COVID-19 vaccine can call Reid Health's hotline at (765) 965-4200, and they can visit the FAQ section of the Reid website.

IU East Students Join International Teams to Create Solutions for Business Challenges

Posted March 3, 2021

"Despite different cultures and time zones, we were all able to work perfectly in sync and positively every step of the way." -- Adrian Calderon, IU East

That reflection is about the X-Culture Global Collaboration Project that annually includes a dozen or more students from Indiana University East.

Calderon was one of those participants for two months during the fall semester.

But, first, a little about the X-Culture Project: Think cohorts of students who must work virtually to solve a business challenge, a real one faced by a real company around the world.

Each IU East student was randomly connected with five to seven others to form a

team of international students. Their first mission was to figure out ways to meet virtually and when.

IU East has taken part in the project for several years under the leadership of Arkadiusz Mironko, assistant professor of management. "Depending on the semester, between 12 to 20 take part," he said. "The entire International Business Environment course participates."

Every participant from IU East has successfully completed the course, he notes.

Both undergraduates and graduates (master's or MBAs) can take part, but are paired with their peers, Mironko said.

The teams choose from among five to seven challenges in which they are expected to present a plan on how businesses can find new markets or attractions.

"One of the first team tasks is to select the challenge they want to work on," Mironko said.

The project also serves as a worldwide competition in which IU East students have finished well through the years, he said. Winning teams receive a $1,000 cash prize and the possibilities of earning after-market commissions.

X-Culture participants have tackled projects in recent years for a range of companies, including one that makes educational toys in Lithuania and one that produces chocolates in Colombia.

Other groups worked to help develop a business expansion for a U.S. company into the African nations of Egypt, Somalia, Sudan and South Sudan.

"X-Culture is designed to be an exercise, not a test," notes promotional material found online. "This is how you learn through experience, not how we test your knowledge. This means that our primary concern is your participation and effort."

Large numbers of past participants stay in touch, something that is encouraged by X-Culture -- a partnership of business professors from around the world.

The program boasts that about 6,000 students from more than 70 countries participate every semester.

Mironko said IU East students meet their teammates via email at first and decide how and when to communicate. The participants in Ashton Werling's group communicated on Facebook's WhatsApp Messenger and also met for video conferences on Zoom at 4 p.m. Thursdays and 6 a.m. Sundays.

"X-Culture was a very good experience for me overall," says Werling of Richmond. "I feel like I got a quick look at what it is like to work for a multinational corporation. One thing that slightly surprised me was how helpful and hardworking all of my teammates were."

Fellow IU East student Kaitlyn Howe of Rushville said, "My experience with X-Culture was all in all a good one."

And Calderon from Richmond, adds: "The X-Culture Program was not only memorable, but as practical as it was enjoyable."

Werling, Howe and Calderon are all majoring in business administration at IU East.

The program turned out positively for the three, but it wasn't always easy. "At first, it was very difficult to find a time and day to meet with everyone. But, this didn't stop us from trying," Howe said. "Even though we had people from all over and all different types of time zones, it made it a good challenge. This has taught me a lot with life in general. Patience is key."

Calderon agrees about the challenges in getting everyone together: "We were able to compromise and work together. We continued to surprise each other with our efforts and ideas, and ended up being a great team of international students. I enjoyed this program very much, and would not mind doing it again if given the opportunity."

For more comments from the students, see the following:

Kaitlyn Howe: "I like to generally work ahead on things and with not being able to do this a whole lot without others' insight on what we were doing on each section, it helped me to understand that some days you may have to wake up early or stay up later to get what needs done. I really enjoyed the project and learning about the company we did as well."

Adrian Calderon: "Prior to starting it and meeting my teammates, my main feelings were a mix of intimidation and uncertainty, given there were so many parts to it that I never had experience in before as well as a whole team of global students that I did not know whatsoever. ... After our first meeting and delegation of roles and assignments for each section of the case, all of those previous worries subsided and the true meaning of X-Culture took effect."

Ashton Werling: "I am usually not a huge fan of group projects because we all know those people who don't pull their weights in projects or just simply do not do anything at all. With us being on a seven-person team and everyone living in different parts of the world, I thought for sure that there would be slackers. However, all of my teammates were very helpful and friendly and everyone did their part with no confrontation at all. ... for the most part. our team handled time-zone differences pretty well and we were able to communicate, coordinate, and work well together."

IU East Plans for Face-to-Face Fall 2021

Posted March 1, 2021

Indiana University East is planning to see more students in the classroom for face-to-face instruction, and on campus, for the fall 2021 semester.

Supplied Photo: Students wearing masks at Springwood Hall, IU East.
IU East plans for face-to-face fall 2021.

IU East Chancellor Kathy Girten said that returning to more normal operations in the fall semester will provide more opportunities for students, faculty and staff. "We are planning for fall semester that will be similar to the fall 2019 semester. It will be exciting to see a busy campus with engaging programs and activities happening on a daily basis."

The IU East fall semester will begin on August 23, 2021.

Michelle Malottt, executive vice chancellor for Academic Affairs, said many faculty and students are looking forward to returning to campus. "For nearly a year we have looked forward to a time when we could come back together. We anticipate this being a real possibility by August. It will be nice to see more students on campus, in classrooms and participating in activities and programs. We're here to serve students and we've missed seeing them on campus."

While many students haven't been on campus during the pandemic, Malott said that IU East found innovative and creative ways to keep students connected. At the onset of the pandemic, faculty worked tirelessly to move in-person courses to an online format while also providing outstanding virtual experiences for all IU East students. "I am continually impressed by our faculty. They are dedicated to quality teaching and learning but also care about our students' well-being. I believe this is one of the reasons we are so successful," said Mallot.

According to Malott, the past year also brought about innovation in virtual instruction and inspired new ways to engage with students in online platforms. IU East recognized that students needed a sense of normalcy, including the opportunity to celebrate accomplishments and achievements. IU East kept many of its milestone celebrations for students by offering virtual celebrations, and recognition ceremonies. Support for academics, technology, mental health and food insecurity were maintained during the pandemic.

While moving forward with plans for the fall, IU East will continue to implement some of these new practices, which help strengthen connections to its distance education students and further integrate the online and face-to-face student populations.

The campus is also preparing to welcome more people for events. In doing so, however, IU East will remain dedicated to its efforts to make the campus a safe and healthy environment for students, faculty, staff and visitors. "Maintaining the health and safety of campus community will remain the number one priority. While we are excited to return to campus - we will do so in manner that keeps us safe," said Girten.

Part of the fall planning includes introducing incoming freshmen students to the IU East campus, registering those students for classes and completing New Student Orientation.

Molly Vanderpool, executive director for Recruitment and Transitions, Admissions at IU East, said the plan for more students to be on-campus in the fall is appealing to potential high school students who are considering IU East.

"Many of our incoming freshmen and new students want to be on campus and have what they consider to be a traditional college experience," Vanderpool said. "We want them to have that too. We look forward to welcoming our new students to the Pack this year, and can't wait to see them in person."

Now as IU East plans for a fall that will look very different compared to the previous year, the campus is dedicated to continuing its efforts to help make the campus a safe and healthy environment for students, faculty, staff and visitors.

"Before the pandemic, IU East was a leader in online education, and though the past year has brought challenges, it has also made us even stronger," Girten said. "IU East, like so many others in our communities near and far, has been waiting a year to be together again. We can't wait!"

Transition to Police Department More Than Halfway Complete

Posted March 1, 2021

Supplied Photo: Reid Health Officers GraduationWith Friday's graduation of four more officers from the Indiana Law Enforcement Academy, the Reid Health Police Department has crossed the halfway point in its transition from a security team.

Officers Jeremy Hicks, David Jones, Jeramiah Lawson, and Dillon Pitcher this week completed their eight weeks of training at the academy, bringing Reid's total number of certified police officers to 13.

The quartet is the second group of Reid security staff to go through the academy and become certified officers. Reid's Chief of Police, Randy Kolentus, hopes to send another three to four team members to training in May.

"At this point, our transition is moving along very well," he said. "We are getting officers from the Richmond and Connersville's campuses into and through the academy, and they are all doing very well.

"We are sending officers from each shift to help balance our police officer/security officer mix until all have completed the academy."

Supplied Photo:  Reid Health newest graduates of the Indiana Law Enforcement Academy, Officers Jeramiah Lawson, Jeremy Hicks, Dillon Pitcher, and David Jones, were sworn in on Dec. 28.
Reid Health newest graduates of the Indiana Law Enforcement Academy, Officers Jeramiah Lawson, Jeremy Hicks, Dillon Pitcher, and David Jones, were sworn in on Dec. 28.

Another nine team members will need to undergo training at the academy before the transition to a police department is complete.

"As we move forward, all officers will be required to complete additional annual training as police officers," Kolentus said.

"Hospital/healthcare police departments are very different from traditional police departments, and all the officers here at Reid Health understand that. Our officers work with all Reid staff, patients, visitors, and customers to support them and keep them safe."

Early last year, Reid began to transform its security team to a police department, joining other health systems around the state. The move is intended to enhance the security and safety of those who use Reid services.

"At this point, our transition is moving along very well. We are getting officers from the Richmond and Connersville's campuses into and through the academy, and they are all doing very well." -- Randy Kolentus, Reid Health Chief of Police

The change reflects the growth of the health system and the accompanying increase in the need for police assistance. When the move to establish the department first was announced, Kolentus noted the Richmond Police Department responded to Reid calls almost 900 times in 2019.

The former Security Department has grown from nine officers in 2016 to 23 team members today as Reid's geographic footprint has increased and its number of staff has risen to some 3,400 people.

"I've very proud of our entire Police Department team," said Jennifer Ehlers, Reid Health Vice President/Chief Quality Officer. "We have outstanding officers who provide exceptional service to our patients, their families, and our staff."

Boys & Girls Clubs of Wayne County Name Mika Parks as 2021 Youth of the Year

Posted February 25, 2021

Supplied Photo:  BGCWC-2021-Youth-of-the-Year-Mika-Parks
BGCWC 2021 Youth of the Year, Mika Parks

The Boys & Girls Clubs of Wayne County named Mika Parks as their 2021 Youth of the Year. Parks is a sophomore at Richmond High School and has been a member of BGCWC for 10 years.

"I am grateful for each Club program that I have participated in and the staff the have pushed me to be the person I am today," Parks said of her experience as a Club member. "Without the Club, I would be an entirely different person."

Parks hopes to serve as a role model an example for younger members as Youth of the Year. She also looks forward to having a platform where she can serve as an advocate and collaborator. In addition to the award, Parks will receive a $1,000 scholarship and advance to compete for Indiana State Youth of the Year.

"Her persevering nature, kind disposition, and overall love for the Boys & Girls Clubs serve our mission well," Boys & Girls Clubs of Wayne County Education Coordinator Amanda Williams said of Parks.

"[Parks] is involved with her church and a mentor to her peers," Test Intermediate School Teacher Jill Roberts wrote recommending Parks for Youth of the Year. "Whenever someone is struggling, she is the first to offer them support and encouragement."

Being named Youth of the Year is the highest honor a Boys & Girls Club Member can receive. It is the Boys & Girls Club's signature effort to foster a new generation of leaders, fully prepared to live and lead in a diverse, global, and integrated world economy.

Supplied Photo:  YOY-Candidates-Mika-Parks,-Carly-Phillips,-Hanna-Reynolds,-JJ-Henry,-and-Gavin-Brown-(Madlynn-McDaniel-not-pictured)
YOY-Candidates: Mika-Parks,-Carly-Phillips,-Hanna-Reynolds,-JJ-Henry,-and-Gavin-Brown-(Madlynn-McDaniel-not-pictured)

Parks was selected from a group of six competitors by a panel of judges after a rigorous review process. Competition consisted of an application with a personal essay and résumé, a panel interview, and a speech made via Zoom due to Coronavirus restrictions.

"The Youth of the Year competition solidifies our confidence in the immeasurable impact the Boys & Girls Clubs have on the lives of the youth of Wayne County," Board Member and Panel Judge Monica Koechlein noted. "It's such a pleasure to spend time with each candidate."

The mission of the Boys & Girls Clubs of Wayne County is to enable all young people, especially those who need us most, to reach their full potential as productive, caring, and responsible citizens. Members of the Club, ages 6-18, have access to dedicated, trained professionals who provide guidance in adopting healthy lifestyles and pursuing educational objectives. Currently, the Club serves over 3,000 youth at four locations: the Jeffers, McDaniel, Central, and Hagerstown units and during the summer at our 168-acre Camp Guy located on the Whitewater River. Since 1957, the Club has been striving to equip young people with the skills they need to succeed in life. For more information, visit www.bgcrichmond.org.

IU East Welcomes Graduates to In-Person Commencement Ceremony

Posted February 23, 2021

Indiana University East plans to host an in-person Commencement Ceremony on Friday, May 14. The event will be held outdoor on the IU East campus and in accordance with COVID-19 protocols. Although Commencement attendance will be limited to graduates only, family and friends may join the celebration via live stream.

Indiana University President Michael A. McRobbie informed graduates of the plans for the Commencement Ceremony in an email today.

IU East Chancellor Kathy Girten said the campus is working with Indiana University, the IU Medical Response Team and Wayne County Health Department to plan for the Commencement Ceremony.

"Our 2020 and 2021 graduates have faced unprecedented obstacles during the COVID-10 pandemic, and IU East is committed to working diligently with IU and the health department to provide a safe and healthy event to recognize the hard work and perseverance of our graduates to earn their degrees," Girten said.

IU East and IU is continually monitoring the COVID-19 pandemic, and all plans are subject to change based on the public health outlook in each community. The university is committed to keeping its campuses safe, and will communicate directly with graduates if plans change.

Graduates who completed their degree in December 2019, 2020, and during the spring and summer 2021 semesters are invited to attend the Commencement Ceremony.

"The Commencement Ceremony is a special event steeped in tradition to celebrate our graduates and their accomplishments," said Terry Wiesehan, director of Alumni Affairs at IU East. "We are excited to recognize our graduates and welcome the Class of 2021 to the alumni family."

In order to attend the ceremony, graduates must indicate their interest in attending commencement at http://go.iu.edu/grad2021 and reserve a spot to attend ahead of time. IU East will determine the best outdoor space to provide ample space for graduates to physically distance, and a time for the event, based on the number of reservations. Participating graduates will be required to undergo specific COVID-19 testing.

Graduates who cannot attend the Commencement Ceremony will be recognized and can join the celebrations virtually through IU East's social media @iueast or by using the hashtags #iueast, #iuegrad20 and #IUEgrad21.

Graduates planning to attend the Commencement Ceremony should be aware of the following:

  • The Commencement Ceremony will celebrate the accomplishments of December 2019, May 2020, August 2020, and all May and August 2021 graduates.
  • Graduates planning to attend the ceremony must reserve a spot to attend ahead of time, and indicate their interest in attending. Visit http://go.iu.edu/grad2021.
  • Graduates will be required to undergo COVID-19 testing in order to attend.
  • All IU public safety protocols, including wearing a mask and physically distancing, must be followed during commencement
  • Commencement Ceremony details for time, location, and live stream will be announced at a later time.
  • Information for cap and gown rental is available for the Class of 2020 and the Class of 2021 at iue.edu/commencement.

For updates and information, visit iue.edu/commencement.

Ivy Tech Community College Names Dr. Lori Handy as Interim Chancellor at its Richmond Campus

Posted February 23, 2021

Ivy Tech Community College has named Dr. Lori Handy as interim chancellor for the Richmond campus, effective March 1. Dr. Handy currently serves as vice chancellor and campus operating officer at Ivy Tech's Indianapolis Campus and has been with Ivy Tech for 14 years.

"I am thrilled to serve as Interim Chancellor for the Richmond service area during this time of transition." said Dr. Handy. "I look forward to working with the amazing faculty, staff, students, and community to continue the great work of the campus."

In her current position, Dr. Handy provides operational leadership for the Indianapolis campus's service area, which covers nine counties and includes eight locations. She also leads the Workforce and Careers team through partnership development, ensuring area business and industry training needs are met. During her more than ten years with the Indianapolis campus, Dr. Handy served in a variety of previous roles including dean of the School of Business and director of Financial Aid.

She began her career in higher education 17 years ago with Indiana State University, serving as distance learning coordinator. Dr. Handy joined Ivy Tech's Bloomington campus in 2006, serving in several positions within student affairs. Before working in higher education, she spent 9 years in the manufacturing industry, as both a supervisor and quality engineer for Cummins Inc.

"Dr. Handy's extensive experience and leadership at both our Bloomington and Indianapolis campuses will ensure a strong continuity of operations and support for the Richmond campus as we search for the next chancellor" said President Sue Ellspermann.

The college will perform a national search for the Richmond chancellor position after Dr. Stacy Atkinson left the role to assume the same position at the college's newly named Hamilton County campus.

Dr. Handy is active in the Indianapolis community, serving on numerous community committees, including Town of Plainfield Educational Partnership, Indy Achieves Promise Program, Shelby Advantage Advisory Board, and the Board for Fathers and Families Center. She has chaired and served on several regional and statewide Ivy Tech initiative committees.

A lifelong resident of Indiana, Dr. Handy holds a Ph.D. from Indiana State University in Educational Leadership, a Masters of Business Administration from Indiana University, and a Bachelor of Science in Operations Management, Marketing, and Distribution from Indiana University.

Help Feed Homebound Seniors in Wayne County

Posted February 22, 2021

LifeStream Services is in need of volunteers to assist in bagging food to be delivered to homebound senior citizens in the Wayne County area. LifeStream Services currently partners with Gateway Hunger Relief Center and Gleaners Food Bank of Indiana to deliver fresh produce and pantry items to homebound seniors in Centerville and Cambridge City. The program will soon expand to the Richmond area.

Volunteers are needed twice per month to help bag the food items to be delivered. The Cambridge City and Centerville bagging is stationed at Gateway Hunger Relief Center located at 715 Sheridan St. Richmond, IN 47374. The Richmond bagging location and details will be announced soon.

Those who are interested in volunteering should contact Micole Leverette, LifeStream's Community Services Assistant, by calling 765-759-1121 or email mleverette@lifestreaminc.org. Learn more and apply to be a volunteer at lifestreaminc.org/support/volunteer.

Red Wolves Women's Basketball Raising Donations for Reid Bravo! for This Year's Breast Cancer Awareness Campaign

Posted February 22, 2021

Help the Indiana University East women's basketball program make a "nothing but net" difference in the fight against women's cancers in the inaugural Free Throw-athon!

The inaugural IU East Women's Basketball Free Throw-athon will be held at 2 p.m. on Friday, February 26. The event will be broadcast live.

The Free Throw-athon will support Reid BRAvo! BRAvo! is a Reid Foundation initiative that brings joy to the serious matter of breast cancer. BRAvo! events raise funds to provide free digital mammograms for uninsured women and financial assistance for patients in need.

Red Wolf fans can sponsor a player or multiple players in the Free Throw-athon. Each player will shoot 100 free throws. Pledge to donate a dollar amount based on free throws made. For example, if your Red Wolf player makes 90 free throws and you have pledged 10 cents per made free throw, you would make a donation of $9 to Reid BRAvo!

Donations can be made directly to Reid BRAvo! at reidbravo.org/donate. Please make your donation on behalf of the IU East Women's Basketball Free Throw-athon. Click the "Other" tab to donate a specific amount.

Any donation makes a difference. Consider an early donation of $3.41 in recognition of the IU East women's basketball program's team GPA from the 2020 fall semester.

Watch the Free Throw-athon live at 2 p.m. on Friday, February 26, at https://portal.stretchinternet.com/iue/.

Keep up on the Free Throw-athon on social media @iueast, @iueredwolves and @redwolveswbb.

Girls Inc. Receives Donation, Despite ATHENA Event Cancellations

Posted February 19, 2021

Despite the pandemic-forced cancellation of the Wayne County ATHENA Leadership Awards for the second year in a row, a $3,000 donation was recently presented to Girls Inc. of Wayne County on behalf of sponsors Indiana University East and Wayne Bank.

Supplied Photo: 3 women with oversize check in front of Girls, Inc. sign.
Wayne County ATHENA Leadership Awards present a donation to Girls, Inc. on behalf of sponsors Indiana University East and Wayne Bank. Girls Inc. of Wayne County Executive Director Marcy Crull received the donation from (left) JoAnn Spurlock, vice president and director of operations at Wayne Bank, and (right) Paula Kay King, director of Gift Development at IU East.

"We believe it is even more important to give back in support of such non-profit organizations during these challenging times," said Paula Kay King, director of Gift Development at IU East. She and JoAnn Spurlock, vice president and director of operations with Wayne Bank, presented the funds to the organization on Friday.

IU East and Wayne Bank have partnered to bring the event to the community since 2014, recognizing a diverse group of community leaders. The 2020 event, scheduled in early summer, was also cancelled because of COVID-19 restrictions.

Marcy Crull, Girls Inc. executive director, said her organization's work continues through the pandemic.

"Girls Inc. appreciates our partnership with ATHENA and the support they have given to Girls Inc. over the years," Crull said. "2020 brought new challenges to the girls and families we serve. Our work could not pause. We had to adapt, shift how we could provide our services, and continue to focus on our mission. Partners like ATHENA help make our work possible - to inspire ALL Girls to be strong, smart, and bold."

The ATHENA Leadership Award® is presented to exemplary leaders who have achieved excellence in their business or profession, served the community in a meaningful way, and -- most importantly - actively assisted women achieve their full leadership potential. These leaders motivate, inspire and create positive change in the community. Previous recipients include Mary Jo Clark, Jackie Carberry, Kim Poinsett, Angie Dickman, Janis Buhl-Macy, and Melissa Vance.

The ATHENA Young Professional Leadership Award actively supports and celebrates the ATHENA mission of supporting, developing and honoring women leaders, inspiring women to achieve their full potential. Nominees are 18-35, and are emerging women leaders who demonstrate excellence, creativity and initiative in their business or profession. Previous recipients include Jessie Pilewski and Ashley Sieb.

This was to be the first year for the ATHENA Organizational Leadership Award. Nominees will be businesses or organizations who create an organizational culture that encourages women employees to achieve their full leadership potential or gives back to the larger community of women and girls by providing and-or supporting leadership development opportunities and initiatives.

"Although we are not able to host the ATHENA Awards this year, we encourage our community to take note of all the amazing people and organizations who continue to support, develop and honor women leaders. We hope to see a record-breaking number of nominations in 2022," Spurlock said.

Proceeds from the event have equally benefitted the Women's Fund of Wayne County and Girls, Inc., and the Boys & Girls Club.

For more information on Wayne County ATHENA Leadership Awards, visit waynecoathena.com.

Reid Health Now at 15,000 COVID-19 Vaccine Doses and Counting

Posted February 18, 2021

The milestones are coming faster than ever before as Reid Health administered its 15,000th COVID-19 vaccination dose Monday.

Reid began administering the vaccine for a four-county area on Dec. 17. It took five weeks to reach the 5,000-dose mark, but since then, the pace at which milestones have been met has accelerated.

It took only 15 days to go from 5,000 to 10,000 doses given out. This latest plateau was gained in just 12 days.

"Obviously, this is wonderful news," said Thomas Huth, M.D., Vice President of Medical Affairs for Reid Health. "The faster we can get everyone vaccinated, the faster we can return to our normal lives."

Over the past week, Reid has averaged administering some 539 doses a day at its public vaccination clinic at the Kuhlman Center on the Wayne County Fairgrounds in Richmond.

Reid has been designated a host site by the Indiana State Department of Health with responsibility for helping to vaccinate Wayne, Randolph, Union, and Fayette counties.

County health departments in those areas also are offering vaccinations through their own clinics. Those are located at:

  • Wayne County: 601 E. Main St., Richmond
  • Randolph County: 1885 U.S. 27, Winchester
  • Union County: 6 W. South St., Liberty
  • Fayette County: 401 Central Ave., Connersville

According to the ISDH, those now eligible to receive the vaccine include:

  • Any Hoosier age 65 and older;
  • Healthcare workers who live or work in Indiana and have face-to-face interactions with patients or contact with infectious materials in a healthcare setting; and
  • First responders who are firefighters, police officers or sheriff's deputies, Emergency Medical Services, reservists or correctional officers who live or work in Indiana and who are regularly called to the scene of an emergency to give medical aid.

Patients must schedule a visit through the state website, ourshot.in.gov, using either the Firefox or Chrome web browser.

"Obviously, this is wonderful news. The faster we can get everyone vaccinated, the faster we can return to our normal lives." -- Thomas Huth, M.D., Vice President of Medical Affairs

Reid's clinic at the Kuhlman Center is open 7 a.m.-5 p.m. Monday through Friday and 9 a.m.-1 p.m. Saturday.

The state has designated 211 as a call line for assistance, but Reid has been made aware at least some local sites aren't showing for 211 staff as having available appointments. Patients should specifically ask for the Kuhlman Center if 211 staff don't initially offer it as an option.

If you still can't schedule an appointment at the Kuhlman Center through 211, please call (765) 935-8484 Monday through Friday from 7 a.m. to 5 p.m.

For those individuals who might need help getting to the Kuhlman Center, family members should assist with scheduling to ensure transportation will be available at the time of the appointment.

The City of Richmond now is providing no-charge bus service to the Kuhlman Center. To schedule a ride, patients will need to call (765) 983-7227 or (765) 983-7301. The service will run every hour at 25 minutes after with the first stop being at 7:25 a.m. and the last pickup at 5:25 p.m. Paratransit also will provide rides to the clinic daily from 10 a.m. to 2 p.m.

Once on site, patients will find directional signs and a phone number to call upon their arrival, (765) 935-8484.

After a visit has been scheduled, patients will be sent a link to complete their registration. That information doesn't have to be filled out before arriving for their scheduled vaccination but doing so ahead of time will speed up the process.

Only those who live or work in Indiana are eligible to be vaccinated in the state. Ohio residents who don't work in Indiana should visit coronavirus.ohio.gov to learn more about how to get vaccinated in their home counties.

Those with questions about the COVID-19 vaccine can call Reid Health's hotline at (765) 965-4200, and they can visit the FAQ section of the Reid website.

IU East Students Take Lead in Ongoing Mitigation Testing

Posted February 16, 2021

Indiana University East students are playing a vital role in the ongoing COVID-19 mitigation testing, staffing the program and gaining helpful and even positive experience in the process.

While everyone is eager for the unprecedented pandemic to take its place in history, the students are making the best of the situation with hands-on work to further prepare them for future careers.

Supplied Image: Students in front of tables.
IU East student Nolan Blair welcomes faculty, staff and students to the campus' COVID-19 Mitigation Testing each week in the Whitewater Hall lobby. Blair assists each person as they sign in for testing.

"I see this as an opportunity to gain experience in healthcare before actually starting my career," said Regan Blinn, a freshman majoring in nursing with a minor in women's and gender studies. "I am learning the significant amount of effort it takes from everyone to keep a group of people safe, like the students and faculty on campus."

Carla Griffin, administrative assistant in the Office of External Affairs, was tasked with setting up and overseeing the program because of previous experience in infectious disease research. She spent four years as a research specialist in the Pediatric Infectious Disease Department at Emory University in Atlanta.

"Setting up testing, hiring and attending meetings took additional hours but the goal was to hire quality people who would run the testing without much direct oversight," Griffin said, noting that she rarely goes on site now during the ongoing testing being handled almost exclusively by students.

She said the program is giving the student workers valuable experience in a variety of areas, including how to deal with people in high-stress situations.

"Learning how to assist others, especially stressed individuals, is a skill for life," Griffin said.

Supplied Image: Female student, wearing a mask, holds medical tubes.
Taylor Reiber is the second stop for faculty, staff and students at Mitigation Testing. Reiber directs participants to choose a pair of gloves and how to open the test tube used for the mitigation test.

Mitigation testing began in late August, with more than 200 staff and students being tested each week since. The number of tests are expected to increase to over 500 per week in February as Indiana University increases its testing capacity. The tests are specific to those who are asymptomatic to capture and quarantine those who may have the virus but not be experiencing symptoms. Griffin said approximately 50 tests have been found to be positive, with an average of two to three each week. Those individuals experiencing symptoms are directed to schedule a symptomatic test through a site also conducted on campus.

When a test is positive, the person hears from a contact tracer on next steps.

Besides getting to be on campus and involved during a time when most things are done remotely, Blinn cites a direct benefit of doing something that directly connects with her career plans. She also appreciates how kind most of the people doing the mandatory testing are "even though they may be frustrated at the same time." The hands-on work has increased her motivation for a healthcare career.

"I'm more excited to do my part in the future because of this experience," Blinn said.

Being in school to become a nurse during a pandemic could bring second thoughts to some because of the impact of COVID on direct caregivers.

"Studying to be a nurse during a pandemic is pretty intimidating. But I'm more than happy I am able to work and do what I can to help during this," Blinn said. She hopes to work as a nurse immediately after graduating and eventually return to graduate school to become a nurse practitioner specializing in women's health.

Supplied Image: Zachery Honeycutt provides direction on the last steps of mitigation testing at IU East.
Zachery Honeycutt provides direction on the last steps of mitigation testing at IU East.

Zachery Honeycutt, a senior majoring in biochemistry, has worked with the program since it started. He recently learned that he was accepted into Indiana University's School of Dentistry. The work is excellent experience for his field.

"It is extremely helpful since I have been practicing proper protocol and safety precautions working with biohazard material. It has been similar to working in the labs in classes," Honeycutt said.

The experience of practicing proper safety protocols is invaluable for his future plans.

"The most significant thing I am learning is how to handle COVID restrictions and follow safety measures," Honeycutt said.

One very hands-on post Honeycutt often works involves the people being tested getting their saliva into a tube. He makes sure the person has enough saliva in their tube, helps with getting it capped when needed and ensures everything is prepared for shipping to a lab.

"I try to make the testing experience as positive as possible for everyone," Honeycutt said.

Nolan Dean Blair, a sophomore who is switching his major from sociology to a communications major as he is wishing to pursue a career in journalism, began working mitigation when the program launched. He said the job has helped polish skills in communication and customer support. He sees his growth as a communicator as perhaps the most significant part of the learning experience. Blair is responsible for registering each participate and is the first person they encounter each visit.

"Interacting with so many people gives me an opportunity to understand a wide range of people," Blair said. "And this will help with my degree because I will gain better communicative skills."

He appreciates the fact that while people doing the testing are not thrilled to have to do it, they understand the importance of the program and are nice to the student staff. "I gain inspiration from everyone who comes here."

Taylor Reiber is a senior majoring in biochemistry. She began working the program in September. She appreciates being able to interact with many people at a time when there isn't much opportunity to do so because of the dangers of COVID.

"With this job, I was still able to interact with many of the staff and student body. And I am super thankful for that opportunity," Reiber said.

The experience further prepares her for a plan to pursue a career in medicine. "The most significant thing I am learning from this experience is the majority of people want to do the right thing and be tested to help and protect the population." She's also learned a lot about faculty and students in the process. "Many of these people not only help the students during the school year, but they also help many more with some of them being foster parents or providing homes for foreign exchange students."

The experience has verified her choice of a future in medicine.

"I was already planning to go into the medical field. This experience has helped solidify that dream," Reiber said.

Abigail Davis, a freshman elementary education major, began working with the mitigation project soon after it began. She serves as a backup worker in case another student worker is off. It's been an "eye-opening experience. It is a weirdly intimate process," she said, describing the testing that involves collecting saliva in a tube. "But it is also extremely humbling to see people from all walks of life participating in the tests," Davis said. She is gaining valuable experience in the process, including "the importance of teamwork in disasters."

Though her future isn't in medicine, the testing experience during a pandemic "is something that I will keep with me forever." It has also underscored with her the importance of doing the right thing to protect yourself and others. "Everyone needs to be doing their part to get us through this pandemic. I highly encourage everyone to wear their masks and to practice social distancing," Davis said.

Griffin said the student team has truly stepped up to play important roles in the mitigation program.

"IU has chosen a smart path to protect the campus community by shining a light on one of the more elusive aspects of this virus - the people who have it, don't know it and are spreading it. When we know who has it, we can limit or slow the spread. Using mitigation metrics, IU campuses are some of the safest places in the State of Indiana."

Behind the Mask: Meet the students who greet you at Mitigation Testing IU East students work more than 20 hours a week to oversee the COVID-19 Mitigation Testing. Meet the students who the campus community interacts with while completing a mitigation test in Whitewater Hall.

Supplied Photo: Nolan Blair Supplied Photo: Regan Blinn Supplied Photo: Zachery Honeycutt
Nolan Blair is from Richmond, Indiana. He is a sophomore at IU East. He is currently a sociology major but will soon change his major to communication studies. Regan Blinn is from Arcanum, Ohio. She is a freshman and plans to major in nursing. Zachery Honeycutt is from Richmond, Indiana. He is a senior biochemistry major.
Supplied Photo:  Taylor Reiber Supplied Photo:  Abigail Davis Supplied Photo:  Terei Norman
Taylor Reiber is from Winchester, Indiana. She is a senior majoring in biochemistry. Abby Davis is a freshman from Centerville, Indiana. Davis is an elementary education major. She is a backup student worker for mitigation testing at IU East. Terei Norman is a junior nursing major at IU East. Norman lives in Fountain City, Indiana. She is also a backup student worker for mitigation testing on campus.

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The Levi Coffin House in Fountain City is recognized as the "Grand Central Station" of the Underground Railroad. Levi and Catharine Coffin were legendary, helping more than 2,000 former slaves escape to freedom in the North.