Indiana State University Newsroom

Speakers announced for spring commencement

April 14, 2014

Terre Haute native and Indiana State University graduate Sally Neville will serve as alumni speaker for Indiana State's spring commencement.

Neville is vice president of clinical specialty services at Kansas City Care Clinic. She has devoted the past 20-plus years of her career to treatment of HIV patients and has become nationally recognized as a leader in HIV care, prevention and program management. She is responsible for HIV primary care, peer to peer treatment adherence, clinical trials and MATEC-MO, a federally supported health professional continuing education program serving the state of Missouri.

She manages several federal grants which support HIV care at the clinic and regionally. She has served on numerous federal, state and regional HIV advisory boards, conducted clinical site visits at other federally supported programs and chaired the Kansas City Transitional Grant Area Comprehensive HIV Prevention and Planning Council.

"I am proud to be an ISU graduate and to call Terre Haute my hometown," Neville said. "Who I am and what I have been able to accomplish started here and it's an honor to have been chosen to be the alumni speaker, especially on the 50th anniversary of the School of Nursing."

Neville said her message to graduates will be about three simple rules to follow to make a difference - in community, work and personal life.

Neville moved to Missouri following her graduation from Indiana State in 1974 with a bachelor's degree in nursing. She began her nursing career in Columbia and completed a Master of Science in nursing from the University of Missouri in 1987. She moved to Kansas City in 1990 and began work on an in-patient unit dedicated to AIDS patients. Her practice has been exclusive to those infected and affected by HIV since that time.

In 1992, she became the first full time provider at Kansas City CARE Clinic and has served in numerous roles as the clinic grew to become the largest provider of HIV prevention and care services in the region. In 2011, Bank of America recognized Neville with its Local Heroes Award for her outstanding work in the community. She lives in Kansas City with her partner, Kathy Nesbitt.

Tanika Lyles of Indianapolis has been selected to deliver the student address for spring commencement.

Lyles came to Indiana State as a walk-on for the Sycamore track and field team. She will graduate with a bachelor's degree in sport management. Following graduation, she plans to serve an internship with You First Sports, an athlete representation and sports marketing firm in Madrid, Spain, and then attend law school with a goal of working as a sports agent.

Though born in Indianapolis, Lyles spent much of her childhood in Saskatoon, Saskatchewan before her family returned to Indiana when she was in the sixth grade. She is a graduate of Decatur Central High School and is the daughter of Jasenka and Thomas Lyles.

Lyles said she plans to use her commencement address to urge her fellow graduates to continue to pursue their passions and remain active in community service.

"I am extremely humbled," she said of being selected in a competitive process to serve as student commencement speaker. "It is definitely an honor to have this experience."

To prepare for her time at the podium before hundreds of fellow graduates, Lyles is working with Mary Kahl, professor and chair of the department of communication, to fine tune her remarks and delivery.

"Working with Dr. Kahl on the speech is another growth process for my future career. I'm excited," she said.

While at Indiana State, Lyles has been active in Martin Luther King Jr. Day of Service, Donaghy Day and the Kinesiology, Recreation and Sport Club. For the past three years, she has served as a student staff member in the Office of Residential Life. Her community service has also included volunteering with Special Olympics-Indiana, the Indiana Sports Corp and the 2013 Adidas Invitational.

Her achievements at Indiana State have included induction into Alpha Lambda Delta Honor Society, African-American Cultural Center High Academic Award and Outstanding Sports Management Junior Award. She studied abroad in Florence, Italy her junior year, is a member of the National Society of Leadership and Success and has appeared in a television commercial for Indiana State.

Indiana State's spring commencement is scheduled for May 3 at noon in Hulman Center. For the first time this year, admission is by ticket and will be limited to graduates' families and friends. However, the ceremony will be shown via closed-circuit TV in University Hall Theatre and the Sycamore Banquet Center at Hulman Memorial Student Union and will continue to be streamed live at

Photo: - Sally Neville

Photo: - Tanika Lyles

Media contact: Dave Taylor, media relations director, Office of Communications and Marketing, Indiana State University, 812-237-3743 or