September News Briefs

U.S. News ranks PNW among top Midwestern universities

The university was ranked third among public Midwestern regional universities for campus ethnic diversity – and in the top 20 among all Midwest regional universities. The magazine also recognized PNW’s academic programs. It ranked the School of Engineering 42nd nationally, moving up 11 spots since last year’s ratings. The Bachelor of Science in Nursing was listed among the nation’s best undergraduate nursing programs. The university was also listed among the nation’s best undergraduate computer science programs. U.S. News also included the College of Business in its list of top undergraduate business programs.


DSAC’s Great Hall open to private, corporate events

The university is transforming the Great Hall at the James B. Dworkin Student Services and Activities Complex in Westville into a private event and conference venue. The underutilized facility is being opened for non-campus events to increase its use and produce rental revenues for PNW. As part of its transformation, PNW is getting a liquor license for the facility. The DSAC Great Hall will still be available for the use by the PNW community. All events will be managed by the university’s Office of Events Management. 



PNW gets nearly $600,000 to grow summer camps for K-12 students

The Lilly Endowment awarded $583,000 to PNW to expand existing summer academic camps for pre-college students. Last summer, PNW offered more than 20 camps to elementary, middle school and high school students. Programs focused on STEM fields, such as robotics, engineering, construction and cybersecurity, and the development of leadership and innovation. The Athletics Department also offered a variety of sports camps. The Endowment launched Indiana Youth Programs on Campus in 2021 to help Indiana colleges and universities offer on-campus programs for Hoosier youth. It has approved $22.6 million in grants.


Former Math Education professor dies

Erna B. Yackel, professor emerita of Mathematics Education and wife of Chancellor Emeritus James Yackel, died on Sept. 1 in her Dyer home. She was 83. Yackel retired from PNW in 2004, after 20 years with the university. She authored many research articles and her groundbreaking work in mathematics education has been cited more than 3,000 times. She was recognized for her research with several awards, including the National Science Foundation’s Young Investigator Award. In 2005, she was presented a Distinguished Education Alumni Award from Purdue University in West Lafayette, where she had earned her doctorate degree. Yackel is survived by her husband, James; three children, five grandchildren, and her sister Clara Seecamp Klatkee.


University Police relocate on Westville Campus 

The PNW Police Department at Westville has moved to the Dworkin Student Services and Activities Complex (DSAC), just northwest from the main entrance. Lost and found, parking permits and keys for the Westville campus will still be available at the Facilities Maintenance Building.  The phone number for the PNW Westville campus police is (219) 363-9116.


Chemistry professor wins Fulbright award

Meden F. Isaac-Lam, associate professor of Chemistry, has received a Fulbright award to promote and exchange chemistry research in three different Southeast Asian countries next summer. Isaac-Lam, who has taught at PNW for 10 years, specializes in research about drug therapeutics and neurodegenerative disease. Her research abroad is linked to two patents she developed at PNW involving therapeutics to treat triple negative breast cancer. She will work with institutions in Singapore, Vietnam and the Philippines.