FORT WAYNE, Ind.—Indiana University–Purdue University Fort Wayne (IPFW) made history tonight (Saturday, Dec. 1, 2012) when for the first time a wheelchair-bound male student was elected as homecoming king. Tim Leonard, a junior, with a double major in English literature and writing was crowned king and Mary Montes, a junior majoring in political science, was crowned as homecoming queen during halftime ceremonies.
The halftime ceremonies included the introduction of the 2012 Alumni Award recipients:
Lynn Ramer, A.S., Dental Hygiene (1982): Alumni Citation Award
While studying dental hygiene at IPFW in the early 1980s, Lynn Ramer never imagined how much dental hygiene would impact her life, or how much impact she would have on the dental hygiene field.
Ramer is a director for the American Dental Hygienists’ Association (ADHA) and chair of the ADHA Leadership Development Committee. As an IPFW student, Ramer was an active member and officer of the Junior American Dental Hygienists’ Association—which is now the Student American Dental Hygienists’ Association. Later, she served as the president of the Indiana Dental Hygienists’ Association; chair of the Institute for Oral Health (IOH); president of the ADHA from 2009-2010; ADHA representative on the Dental Quality Alliance in 2010; and fundraising and staffing consultant to the ADHA-IOH from 2011-2012.
Ramer has received numerous awards and accolades for her commitment to the dental hygiene profession. Ramer said, “The education I received at IPFW has been invaluable. It prepared me for a lifelong career in dental hygiene that I enjoy to this day. It gave me a great foundation for the oral health care I deliver to patients on a daily basis. I also believe it laid the groundwork for the leadership and advocacy roles I have taken within my professional association in Indiana and at the national level.”
Tina Funkhouser, B.G.S., General Studies (2008): Alumni Top Volunteer Award
Tina Funkhouser has been an e-Mentor volunteer through the General Studies program since 2009 and takes pride in giving back a piece of the knowledge she gained from her mentors while a general studies student herself. In addition to her involvement with the e-Mentoring program, she has volunteered at the General Studies Commencement celebration for the past several years, assisting university staff in honoring IPFW graduates.
Professionally, Funkhouser has spent many years in the social services. During her time at IPFW, she volunteered at a local homeless shelter for families; served as a companion/peer to a person with serious mental illness through Park Center; organized several study groups to help her fellow students be successful; and demonstrated her personal success by overcoming obstacles of the non-traditional student.
Shortly after graduating from IPFW, Funkhouser accepted a position at Park Center where she worked as an Employment Specialist. She has also worked with children with emotional disabilities for Fort Wayne Community Schools. As the mother of a brain injury survivor, she enjoys encouraging and supporting families who have been touched by brain injury.
In April 2010, Funkhouser was named Resource Facilitator for Fort Wayne and Northern Indiana by the Rehabilitation Hospital of Indiana. Working in conjunction with Vocational Rehabilitation, she assists people with brain injury connect to local resources that will enable them to return to work or school. She also attends four support groups for brain injury survivors and caregivers around northern Indiana.
Andrew Welch, B.A., Communication (2000) and B.S., Business (2003): Outstanding Young Alumni Award
Andrew Welch is a native of Fort Wayne, Indiana, and while a student at IPFW, he began working as a sports clerk for The Journal Gazette to help pay college tuition. That exposure later opened doors to a graphic design internship at The Journal Gazette, which eventually led to his first full-time job in the Design Department at the newspaper. As a student, Welch developed the IPFW Journalism program’s first website and was a two-time Fort Wayne Press Club Scholar. During his time at The Journal Gazette, he was the recipient of four design awards with the Indiana Society of Professional Journalists and the Hoosier State Press Association Foundation.
In 2004, Welch accepted a graphic design position in IPFW’s University Relations and Communications publications office, where he was later promoted to operations supervisor. During that time, Welch designed IPFW Athletics’ award-winning season ticket sales campaign, as recognized by the National Association of Collegiate Marketing Administrators.
In 2008, he was named one of Upstate Indiana Fort Wayne’s Future 40 and later accepted the position of assistant director of marketing and communications at Ivy Tech Community College–Northeast in Fort Wayne. He is now executive director of marketing and communications for the college.
Welch was part of the IPFW Alumni Association’s marketing committee in 2007 and 2008, and he later served on its Board of Directors from 2008 to 2011. Currently, he is active on marketing and communications committees for The Greater Fort Wayne Chamber of Commerce and the Ronald McDonald House of Northeast Indiana.
For more information on the alumni awards, contact Kimberly Wagner, director of alumni relations, at 260-481-6807 or firstname.lastname@example.org. For more information on the Homecoming king and queen, contact Kristine Creager, interim director of Student Life, at 260-481-6283 or email@example.com.