2012 Year in review

For Purdue University Calumet, 2012 has been a year of acquisition, recognition and realization.

Late this year, the university acquired the nearby Kaplan Commons building as the future home of the Purdue Calumet Commercialization Center. Additionally, Professor of Nursing Lisa Hopp was nationally recognized this fall. Scientists of the university’s Water Institute and Energy Efficiency & Reliability Center also realized their desire of moving into cutting edge research laboratories.

Commercialization Center

The $1 million purchase of the 18,000 square feet Kaplan building on Indianapolis Boulevard, one-half mile west of campus provides a desirable location for faculty, students and community members to develop and bring new product ideas to market. Pending another $1 million from private donors in renovation and furnishing costs, university officials envision the Purdue Calumet Commercialization Center becoming a catalyst for regional economic development and technological transfer.

Inducted into the American Academy of Nursing

Recognized for her record of scholarship and leadership relating to evidence based nursing practice, Professor of Nursing Lisa Hopp of Valparaiso was inducted into the prestigious American Academy of Nursing. As a Fellow of the Academy, she joins some 1,800 individuals who are considered among the most accomplished leaders in nursing-related education, management, practice and research.

Applied research labs

The university’s Water Institute and Energy Efficiency & Reliability Center now have their own modern laboratories from which to advance research that benefits northwest Indiana and its economic development. U.S. Representative Pete Visclosky helped the university obtain U.S. Department of energy grants that supported most of the cost of the $2.7 million labs.


The Indiana Commission for Higher Education approved new degree programs that will debut during the spring 2013 semester:

  • A Master of Science in Modeling, Simulation and Visualization and
  • An online Master of Science in Technology with a concentration in Technology Leadership and Management.

Additionally, a 2+2 articulation degree program between Purdue Calumet and College of DuPage in Glen Ellyn, Ill. was introduced this fall. The program provides graduates of the College of DuPage’s Associate of Applied Science in Construction Management admission transfer into Purdue Calumet’s Bachelor of Science in Construction Management and Engineering Technologies program.

Student Achievements

  • Honors program student worker Brandon Rukes, a junior accounting and finance major from Griffith, was selected Indiana Student Employee of the Year.
  • Engineering graduate student Md Taifur Rahman of Dhaka, Bangladesh placed first in the Graduate Student Poster Contest at last spring’s Association for Iron and Steel Technology Conference at Atlanta, Ga.
  • Department of Information Systems seniors Joe Kelley and Tim Richardson of Hobart and Josh McFadden of Griffith earned Overall Champion and Best Case Solution Awards in the Information Systems Project and Case Competition last spring at Ball State University.
  • Joann Holmen of Elk Grove Village, Ill. received the annual American Association of Teachers of French Outstanding Senior in French Award.
  • Engineering students Benjamin Moul of Hart, Mich. and Maria Frebis of Murfreesboro, Tenn. teamed up to place third in last spring’s international NASA Great Moonbuggy Race (College Division) at NASA’s Huntsville, Ala. Marshall Space Flight Center.
  • Hospitality and tourism management major Rebecca Galinis of Merrillville became the first recipient of the National Association of Black Hotel Owners, Operators and Developers/White Lodging Services Corp. Future Leaders Scholarship, a $3,000 renewable merit award.
  • Tyler Billingsley of Hobart was among seven students selected nationally to receive a $3,000 Trjitzinsky Scholarship from the American Mathematical Society.

Faculty Recognitions

  • Faculty members authored/edited these books…

–Associate Professor of Latin American Studies Kathleen Tobin’s Brush with Haiti offers a pre and post-2010 earthquake perspective of the impoverished nation’s rich history, complex politics, fascinating religions and multihued culture.

–Professor of English Jane Campbell and Professor of Communication Theresa Carilli co-edited Challenging Images of Women in the Media: Reinventing Women’s Lives, a compilation of 15 articles that examine the status of women as depicted by the media.

–Professor of Spanish Jose Castro-Urioste edited the anthology, America Nuestra, consisting of 18 short stories written by Spanish-speaking writers living in the United States.

–Technical Writing Instructor Bill Leavitt wrote Retirement: Life’s Greatest Adventure, which guides readers through the process of developing a plan for an active, happy, healthy, engaged and fulfilled retirement.

  • Professor of Physics Neeti Parashar served among the group of international physicist researchers who announced last summer the discovery of a new subatomic particle—the “God-like particle”, as termed by the news media—that enhances understanding about the natural universe.
  • Professor of Accounting Dolores Rinke received a Fulbright Specialist Program Award to teach classes about International Financial Reporting Standards last spring to graduate students at Hacettepe University in Turkey.
  • Associate Professor of History Wendy St. Jean was selected a 2012-13 Indiana Campus Compact Senior Faculty Fellow for her efforts demonstrating that service learning and community engagement effectively can integrate faculty teaching, research and professional service.
  • Professor of Economics Amlan Mitra was re-appointed to the Transportation Research Board Executive Committee of the National Academy of Sciences.
  • Professor of Communication Yahya Kamalipour delivered the keynote address at last summer’s international Global Communication Association conference held in Zambia.
  • Selected Purdue Calumet’s Outstanding Faculty for 2011-12 were: Associate Professor of Nursing Maureen Marthaler (Teacher), Assistant Professor of Management Rachel Clapp Smith (Scholar) and Associate Professor of Education Lynn Zimmerman (Service).


  • The university’s Center for Innovation through Visualization and Simulation was a co-recipient of The Society of Innovators of Northwest Indiana’s 2012-13 Chanute Prize for Team Innovation—the top award the Society presents to recognize innovation.
  • The Purdue University Calumet Leadership Center was established to advance successful leadership and related practices among experienced and emerging leaders.
  • The Purdue University Calumet Water Institute, in partnership with the U.S. Department of Energy’s Argonne National Laboratory completed a five-year, BP-funded study expressing optimism that satisfying the Great Lakes Initiative’s mercury discharge criteria is doable.
  • Purdue Calumet researchers, headed by Energy Efficiency & Reliability Center Director and Professor of Physics Robert Kramer, produced a patent for developing a new, less costly process for producing coke fuel necessary in steel production.

Other Honors, Achievements & Distinctions

  • Purdue Calumet graduates earned nearly 1,800 degrees during 2012.
  • Fall enrollment of 10,133 marked the second time in university history the number of students enrolled at Purdue Calumet surpassed 10,000.
  • Installed last March as the seventh campus leader of Purdue Calumet, Chancellor Thomas L. Keon expressed during his installation remarks his vision for a Purdue Calumet that prepares students for innovative jobs and careers that have yet to emerge.
  • The effectiveness of its Residence Hall Association earned Purdue Calumet School of the Year recognition by the Great Lakes Affiliate of College and University Residence Halls and the Indiana Residence Hall Organization.
  • Purdue Calumet’s Upward Bound program was refunded for five years, thanks to a $2.73 million grant received from the U.S. Department of Education.


  • Veteran athletics administrator Rick Costello, who formerly headed the NCAA Division I program at the University of Wisconsin-Milwaukee, was appointed athletics director.
  • Men’s and women’s soccer squads debuted last fall, increasing Purdue Calumet’s intercollegiate sports program to 10 teams. James Drzewiecki and Leslie Ferguson were appointed the teams’ head coaches.
  • Student athletes completed the spring semester with a cumulative grade point average of 3.08 (4.0 scale), the highest in the history of the university’s athletic department.
  • Former men’s basketball player Tony Verdean (1982-86) and women’s basketball player Lynn Hevesy (1985-89) were inducted into the Purdue Calumet Athletic Hall of Fame.


  • Engineering Technology Professor and former Department Head Essaid Bouktache.