Post courtesy of IU Newsroom intern Laura Ellsworth:
In his farewell address last Tuesday, President Obama said, “change only happens when ordinary people get involved and they get engaged.”
Breana Owens and her team are far from ordinary, but they’re certainly getting involved.
The team of four freshman women – Breana Owens, Nailah Owens-Johnson, Dorothy Vincent and Simone Watts – beat other Kelley School of Business students for the chance to represent Indiana University at the National Diversity Case Competition Jan. 13-14, before the Martin Luther King holiday.
Owens, a Louisville, Ky. native majoring in business analytics, finance and management, came across the Kelley School of Business in much the same way many students find their college choices – a thorough Google search.
“I Googled summer camps for business and came across the ‘MEET Kelley’ program. I applied and got in, and that was that,” said Owens.
The “MEET Kelley” summer program focuses on introducing students from historically underrepresented groups to business programs at IU Bloomington. Attendees participate in classes taught by Kelley faculty and collaborate in a case competition. It was at “MEET Kelley” that Breana Owens met her teammate and roommate, Nailah Owens-Johnson.
“Being able to have a group of friends already was really important my first semester,” said Owens.
The holiday season has come and gone, but the aftermath of gift giving and social gatherings may leave a major dent in some people’s wallets.
“If people don’t follow a budget then they do tend to feel the effects of the holidays on their financial lives,” said Phil Schuman, IU director of financial literacy. “The holidays tend to be a tough time to maintain discipline with finances because there are so many added social and emotional pressures that could cause people to dig themselves into a financial hole.”
That can be especially true for college students whose budgets might be tight to begin with. The good news is the new year can be a time to take a hard look at your financial choices and make significant changes to get on the path to financial success.
Schuman has provided a few tips for getting on the right financial track:
- It’s never too early. Finances play a huge role in our lives, whether student or professional. The decisions you make today could affect the rest of your life. “The number one source of stress is finances,” he said. “If students engage in positive financial decisions while they’re in school, not only will they be less stressed during school, but they increase the likelihood that they will be less stressed after they graduate.”
- What role does money play in your life? No matter your level of income, Schuman said, everyone should think about what role money plays in your overall life goals. Then develop habits that can help you accomplish those goals.
- Create a budget and be specific. Budget your fixed/necessary expenses first and set an amount to spend on entertainment, clothes, etc. Try to set aside money for savings, and be specific. Don’t just say “I will save more money this year.” Set specific yet realistic goals and outline ways you will achieve those goals.
- Be yourself. One of the biggest pitfalls people fall into, especially young people, is trying to keep up with the Joneses. While it can be tempting to rack up credit card debt to keep up with the latest trends, in the end it can lead to financial ruin. “What you need to do to be financially responsible is know what you’re trying to do in your life, understand how finances are going to play a role helping you accomplish it and then make financial decisions that put you in the best decision to help you get there.”
- Ask for help. Setting up a realistic budget and navigating through retirement plans and the best savings options can be overwhelming. Schuman suggest turning to experts for help. IU’s MoneySmarts team offers financial services to IU students, faculty/staff and alumni.
More information, including ways to schedule an appointment with a MoneySmarts team member, is available on the MoneySmarts website.
Post courtesy of IU Newsroom intern Sheila Raghavendran:
In 1970, IU Bloomington was very different from IU Bloomington today – its population was only 30,368, the building of Assembly Hall wasn’t yet completed and SPEA had yet to be established. But there is one aspect that has remained for some students and families: struggling to pay for college.
IU alumnus Scott MacDonald, who studied political science and graduated in 1970, reached his degree with the help of a small scholarship and student loan. Now, after a long and successful career as CEO of various companies, he said he is dedicated to helping students who are in similar financial situations and who want to better the community.
He founded the MacDonald Scholarship, administered by the Office of Student Life and Learning within the Division of Student Affairs, to help students cover the cost of college while promoting their participation in civic service. Emily Arth, Senior Associate Director of the Office of Scholarships, said she, her team and the SLL staff choose the scholars each year. She said it’s a personalized process in which they comb through students’ application materials, interview top candidates over Skype and then notify the winners.
From an early age, a college education was always in Elijah Secrest’s sights.
“My parents always set high academic standards for us,” said Secrest, a sophomore studying media advertising at The Media School. “They didn’t have a college degree but they always expected us to do better.”
But with five children at home — Secrest has an older brother and is a quadruplet — Secrest’s parents knew that college would be financially difficult. So they encouraged Secrest to become a 21st Century Scholar.
Simply put, Secrest said, the program gave him a chance to make his academic dreams come true.
“If it wasn’t for this scholarship, I don’t know that I would be able to go to college,” he said. “21st Century Scholars gives students who otherwise would not be able to afford college, but who have the grades, a chance.”
Created by the state of Indiana in 1990, 21st Century Scholars helps low- and middle-income families meet the cost of college. Income-eligible seventh- and eighth-graders who enroll and fulfill a pledge of good citizenship are guaranteed to receive up to four years of undergraduate tuition at any participating public college or university in Indiana.
IU Bloomington has more than 3,000 21st Century Scholars on campus. In 2007, the university created the 21st Century Scholarship Covenant program, which provides additional funding for eligible 21st Century Scholars to pay for books, room and board, and other expenses.
Post courtesy of IU Newsroom Intern Sheila Raghavendran:
One hundred ninety-six.
That’s how many years since IU was founded in 1820, and today’s campus is greatly transformed from that first version. In anticipation of the 200-year anniversary of the university’s founding, interns for the Office of the Bicentennial have been researching IU’s history for projects that will be featured on the IU Bicentennial website. Their projects will be featured at an open house from 2 to 4 p.m. Friday, Dec. 9, in the Indiana Memorial Union Dogwood Room.
According to Kelly Kish, Director of the Office of the Bicentennial, 2020 will be not only a celebratory year for IU but a moment for reflection.
“This is not meant to only be a celebration,” Kish said. “There are historical aspects that need to be criticized, there are difficult questions about how we’ve gotten to where we are, that this is an opportunity for us as a community to investigate these things, reflect on these moments in our heritage and ask ourselves some hard questions.”
Senior Scott Jauch, through his research on the history of IU buildings, is breaking down how the university has physically gotten where it is.
“IU was originally where Kroger and Wendy’s and Chase Bank are now, off First and Second and College and Morton, and that was called Seminary Square,” said Jauch, whose majoring in international studies. “At the time it was a seminary, but it wasn’t religious in nature; that’s just what most institutions of higher learning were called. It built slowly from 1822 to about the 1880s, when there was a massive fire. That prompted IU to purchase the Dunn family’s property, which is at the location of the current campus.”
Post courtesy of IU newsroom intern Amanda N. Marino:
Over Thanksgiving break, while many people were eating turkey and watching IU secure an Old Oaken Bucket victory, I headed south determined to collect stories while also adding to my own.
I was one of 14 Media School students who traveled to Costa Rica as part of a partnership between The Media School at IU Bloomington and the Rich Coast Project to collect stories and add them to an ever-growing archive.
The Rich Coast Project, founded by IU alumna Katie Beck, works to create a living, public archive of the community of Puerto Viejo in Limón, Costa Rica. It looks at the community’s past through those who lived it and heard about it from older relatives, with a goal of protecting the land rights and cultural heritage of the people of Costa Rica.
Our main mission was to work in pairs collecting stories and compiling a podcast about the subject we were focusing on. I worked with a fellow student and local who acted as our story facilitator, covering a fungus called monilia that infected cacao and effectively changed the face of Puerto Viejo’s economy and community. What had been a thriving cacao industry in the 1980s was replaced, with the help of other developments such as a major road leading to Puerto Viejo, by a major tourism industry.
Post courtesy of IU newsroom intern Bailey Briscoe:
At 6 years old, Sneha Dave was diagnosed with ulcerative colitis.
The chronic inflammatory bowel disease that causes ulcers on the large intestine is also an autoimmune disease, which means that in addition to her body shutting down from the disease, her immune system was attacking itself. She spent the majority of her childhood in and out of the hospital as her body deteriorated. As a high school freshman, Dave weighed just 60 pounds.
Then she underwent a life-changing surgery. Dave opted to have her large intestine removed. Four years and several major surgeries later, the now IU freshman is in remission and using her personal experience to champion for others just like her.
While she was struggling during the worst years of her sickness, Dave felt alone in the fight. She saw a need for a support system for those battling inflammatory bowel diseases, so she started her own nonprofit, The Crohn’s and Colitis Teen Times.
“I believe that the chronic illness community is often forgotten about,” Dave said. “It’s really important to me to use my voice for the millions of sufferers of all chronic diseases. If you see a problem, you have to take it into your own hands, because if you don’t do something about it, no one will.”
When Ted Britton came to IU Bloomington in summer 2016, he had six years of military service under his belt.
But the Lafayette native and father of two had never attended a university. After rising to sergeant in the Marine Corps, working in Hawaii, Japan and Korea, Britton found himself starting over.
Not quite sure where to begin, he turned to IU’s Peer Advisors for Veteran Education Program, a peer support program connecting incoming student veterans with student veterans on campus.
“It was a new area for me, and I didn’t know anybody,” he said. “I turned to the Veterans Service Office, which connected me with PAVE, and said ‘I’m an adult, but I’ve never been to a university before and I don’t know how this works. Can you help me?’ And they did. They were fantastic.”
On the IU Bloomington campus since 2015, PAVE began as a collaboration between the University of Michigan Depression Center and Department of Psychiatry and Student Veterans of America. Currently 42 universities host the program.
“Research has shown that the problems facing a student veteran aren’t too different from those of a non-veteran,” said Sgt. Nick Marsh, a combat medic in the Indiana Army National Guard and co-team leader of IU’s PAVE program. “What is interesting about being a student veteran though is the shared military culture. Having a fellow veteran who can understand where you come from and what problems or frustrations you may have helps make that transition from service member to civilian a little easier.”
Post courtesy of IU newsroom intern Amanda N. Marino:
When the emergency room nurse poked his head into my room and asked me if I was diabetic, I of course told him no. Type 1 diabetes didn’t run in my family, and I was already 20 years old, almost completely outside the window of a common Type 1 diagnosis.
When he told me I was wrong, everything changed.
On Oct. 2, 2015, after being hospitalized with a variety of systems I couldn’t explain and could no longer shrug off, I was diagnosed with Type 1 diabetes. In honor of National Diabetes Month, I wanted to share my story in the hopes that people will learn to see diabetes as more than just that disease you think you’re getting from eating too much chocolate cake. It’s a life-changing diagnosis. It’s me.
For me, the journey to a diagnosis was a long one. For more than a month, I experienced constant dehydration, exhaustion and headaches. I lost over 15 pounds in under two weeks, and my hands eventually swelled up and started bleeding.
Friends came to my house trying to help as best as they could, often sleeping on my couch because, though they didn’t know what was wrong, they figured they were better prepared to help me if they were closer.
Post courtesy of IU newsroom intern Sheila Raghavendran:
On Friday, Oct. 28, Culture of Care held its Diversity & Inclusion Leadership Summit to promote awareness and change in the way issues of discrimination are handled at IU. Culture of Care Director of Outreach Will Hughes, sophomore Viviana Ramirez and junior Anushree Kedia discuss their experiences with discrimination and what can be done to better curb these problem.