By Elizabeth South
It’s a new semester, a new year, and the library is continuing its mission to collect oral histories from IU East alumni and retired faculty for the IU Bicentennial and IU East archives! We are a few years away from celebrating 200 years of IU history, as well as IU East’s 50th anniversary, but it is never too early to start preserving and collecting all the unique and interesting stories from so many different members of the IU family. IU East has such an interesting beginning, starting off as a couple of rooms at Earlham College before evolving into the ever expanding campus we are today, with our students and faculty coming from all different backgrounds and experiences. We take pride in our campus and how it has evolved and changed, how it persevered through difficult transitions and celebrated its successes, and we at the library want to record it all.
By Elizabeth South
Last semester, our bicentennial intern, Cassidy Clouse, interviewed more than 20 of our own IU East staff and faculty who are alumni, including Nichole Mann, Sue McFadden, Todd Duke, Alyssa Tegeler, and Carla Bowen. Below is the highlights from each of these interviews:
Nichole Mann, Coordinator of Advising and Nursing Student Services, is originally from Arizona but has lived in Richmond since she was a teen. When she was graduating high school the only college she applied to was IU East because she knew it was where she wanted to be. Her first class with Dr. Paul Kriese was just to fill an elective requirement, and she loved his classes so much she ended up with a minor in political science. Queer Identities and Communities with Dr. Bullock is a course that sticks out in her mind because it made her think about things she hadn’t thought about before and ultimately has influenced her career path. When Nichole first came as a student, Tom Raper was Middlefork Hall, the quad we know today was nonexistent, the library was two floors, Springwood Hall was less developed, and of course there was no Student Activities Center. There were less traditional students and more evening classes than there are now. The Honors Program began in Nichole’s junior year, and she appreciates how she was able to become more involved in new ways through the program. One of her most dear memories from attending IU East is when she was a Supplemental Instructor and pregnant with her daughter; her students commandeered one of her sessions and held a baby shower for her, complete with cake and knitted blanket. While obtaining her degree she took first runner up at Student Research Day and was named the Outstanding Student of Sociology in 2009. After graduating, Nichole continued working in retail and also took on a weekend job at the Dunn group home. She added a part-time job at WorkOne, and also took on a part-time position at Ivy Tech as an advisor. It was this first exposure to advising that led her to take a full time position for four years and finally transfer to IU East as the Coordinator of Advising and Nursing Student Services in 2015. She enjoys working directly with students because “students here… their stories are incredible. And they are so warm, so open, and they want this so much. So working with them is energizing.” In this position Nichole works with pre-nursing students, is a resource for BSN students, manages clinical contracts with community partners, helps with PR, marketing, and outreach, and assists with any other tasks that will be beneficial to students and the Nursing program. “IU East is home, IU East is where my family is. It’s where my kids will probably go, it’s right up the road. It’s part of my story, it’s part of my family’s story; it’s my history, part of my future. It’s someplace that I’ll probably always feel comfortable just walking on to campus, and I’ll always care what happens to the campus.”
Carla Bowen, Advisor for the School of Education and Assistant to the Dean, chose IU East because she wanted to go to an accredited university that worked with the busy lifestyle of a mother of four children. Her first semester at IU East she had Professor Hurtzog for Intro to Psychology and Professor Walter Wagor for Intro to Public Speaking; it was really affirming and reassuring to Carla that she could maintain being a mom and go to school to learn new things all at the same time; she still has very warm feelings when she thinks back to how welcomed she felt in that first semester. Carla remembers Dean Marilyn Watkins always being very supportive and helpful when she was a student working at IU East. During Carla’s time as a student the advising was very different from what it is today and there were still only two buildings; she remembers going to campus for classes and classes only, and is amazed at how involved students can be and are today. After completing her Associate’s Degree she worked at Belden for seven years and continued to take classes on and off again; she then substitute taught before deciding to apply for a secretarial position in the IU East School of Education. Through that new position she was able to obtain her Bachelor’s in General Studies. When advising was shifted from a campus-wide unit to school-based roles Carla was a first choice because she already was doing many of the tasks the new advisor role would be responsible for. As Academic Advisor and Assistant to the Dean she works with faculty to create schedules for each semester, is a representative during new student orientations and other admissions events, and is the general go-to person in the School of Education if anyone needs direction. One of her favorite aspects of her job is the small victories she sees students make every day. To Carla, IU East “is my second home. The people that I work with are like family, ups and downs and challenges, and still it’s family, we’re there for each other… I want all these students to have what I had and have someone supporting [them] and someone cheering [them] on. It feels to me like a challenge to the students but a home, and I hope they feel comfortable being here.”
Alyssa Tegeler, Gift Development Coordinator, began at Ball State before transferring to IUE and falling in love with the Communications program. One of her most favorite classes is a telecommunications class she took with John Dalton in her first semester here. When Alyssa first attended IU East in 2009 the smaller campus size and number of nontraditional students was a bit of a shock to her, but as she became acclimated she realized it was one of the big characteristics of campus. Today there’s a different feel- it’s more traditional, there are less students who commute, and it’s more students’ first choice for college. Though the Talent Show is now a tradition, it was started from nothing in Alyssa’s time in the Communications Club. She definitely credits where she is today to all of the activities she was involved in and the people she connected to as an undergraduate. Alyssa spoke highly of WCTV- she was able to hold an internship and eventually work for the TV studio, and notes that it’s a program many colleges don’t have access to. Alyssa made several friendships through the communication program she maintains today and has formed new ones from her involvement with the IUEAA. She began at IU East as a Transfer Coordinator in the Office of Admissions and worked extensively with online students, and now works a lot with the community and donors to advance the university and different ongoing projects. One of her favorite memories from working at IU East is helping plan the annual Guidance Counselor Breakfast and working with events for incoming students. “IU East means so much to me, I never even imagined that I would come here, I never even imagined that I would graduate from here. I remember when I came here my first semester after I’d been here for a couple of weeks I thought to myself, ‘this is what it means to be in college.’ I’ve made so many lasting friendships, I know everybody here, and to be able to say that is amazing. I’m so proud to be a Red Wolf, I’m so proud to be a Hoosier. It means everything to me, I’m so passionate about IU East. We’re all family here.”
Todd Duke, Executive Director of Information Technology, had plans to attend Purdue University but decided to attend IU East for the first year of college to save some money. Once he started classes he found that he really enjoyed his program cohort and had developed some strong connections on campus, so he made the decision to stay. While a student he worked a full time job at a local heating and cooling business while maintaining a full time student status, so little time was left over in his day to develop memories of campus activities. In 2001 he began his path with the campus IT Department with a new job as a lab consultant on campus before transitioning to a technician. After graduation he began as a network technician before becoming a network administrator, which was then in 2007 reclassified as his current role today. Todd pointed out that many of his position and title changes were due to the rapidly changing demands of the department, as is the nature of technology. One of the biggest challenges of his position is that most people don’t understand or want to understand how technology works, they just want it to work, and accepting that you can’t please everyone all the time has been an obstacle he’s learned to overcome. His greatest memory and accomplishment from working at IU East is his involvement in the planning and construction of the new Student Activities and Events Center. He reflects on the past 15 years by saying he sees how much he’s grown as an individual and professional and attributes that to his time at IU East since that’s been such a big part of his adult life. “It’s like a second home to me, I love working here, I love the people here, I love seeing the students here, it’s been really awesome to see how the campus has transformed over the years… I wouldn’t trade the experiences that I’ve had here for anything.”
Sue McFadden, Associate Librarian for Emerging Technologies, began her college career at Ohio State as an anthropology major. During her sophomore year she began having doubts about her path and long-term goals and decided to attend IU East. One big difference between the two schools Sue noticed was that rather than try to whittle out students, IU East professors went the extra mile to try to ensure everyone could succeed. While taking courses in history and human services, funding for human services was unfortunately dropped. During her break from school she worked full-time at Cigna and got married. When she returned to pursue her B.S. in Education in 1984 she recalls Jan, an admissions employee, remembered her from her first time through. Dr. Bill Brown was well versed in computers, and after taking his first class Sue developed an interest in technology and programming and decided to take the rest of his classes. Dr. Blakey made American history come alive and Dr. Eleanor Turk was a “world historian” who related history directly to students. It was Dr. Ron Carter who informed Sue about a study abroad trip to China, a place she had always been interested in. Sue traveled to Hong Jo University and was able to spend an entire semester overseas; she very well may have been the first IUE student to go on a full semester study abroad program. From her experience she says, “the world is not just yes and no, black and white… after I came home I was very tolerant, very open, not as opinionated about how other people should do things.” From this she became involved in the History Club and Student Senate. One of her greatest and most affirming achievements is being honored as the outstanding history student in 1986. After returning to the US she resumed classes and began working in the campus library and she fondly remembers that her first night working alone given the full responsibility of running and closing the library. Through her work here she began pondering a career in library science; after graduation in 1989 she transitioned through several hourly positions where she helped with AV, clerical work, keeping the campus up to date with the latest technology, and after achieving her MLS from IUB in 1995 she was hired to be a faculty librarian. Sue became tenured in 2000 and is very active in the faculty senate. Looking back, she sees how being a first generation college student posed challenges other students didn’t have to face; regardless of intelligence, successful college students have to understand how the system works. “IU East put me on a path to my current profession. As I told Chancellor Fulton in a meeting, it saved my intellectual soul, it gave me an opportunity to use my mind and create products that I’m proud of.”
You can get involved too!
As you can see, our wonderful intern, Cassidy Clouse, did an excellent job last semester interviewing our participants and she impressed her peers at the IU Bicentennial open house in Bloomington this past December when discussing her internship experience. She really enjoyed learning about the history of IU East through our participants stories, and luckily for us, Cassidy is back this semester to interview you! We’ve been hard at work as Cassidy has already interviewed former IU East student and instructor, David Markley, and we have a few more interviews lined up with retired faculty members, Paul Kriese and Marilyn Watkins. We continue to reach out to others far and wide, both recent graduates and others who were here at IU East’s beginning, like David Markley, who spent his first semester at the Earlham campus and his second at the “new” IU East campus. If you are a graduate of IU East or a former faculty member and are interested in being interviewed, please fill out the form at this web address, https://200.iu.edu/signature-projects/oral-history/form.html, and either Cassidy or the IU East archivist, Beth South, will get in touch with you to set up an interview. We can’t wait to hear from you!