Indiana State University Newsroom

Networks students’ service project takes aim at sexual assault

May 14, 2019

Indiana State University students worked to raise awareness of sexual assault recently as part of their yearlong community service efforts.

Scott College of Business students participating in the Networks Professional Development Program observed Sexual Assault Awareness Month and Child Abuse Awareness Month in April by hosting events throughout the month themed "Service. Safety. Sanctuary." Networks scholars participated in a self-defense class taught by ISU police Sgt. Jacquelyn Smith and Alberto Friedmann, assistant professor in the College of Health and Human Services and a martial arts instructor. Kelly Klingerman, executive director of Launch Terre Haute and recent author of the book "Vigilance," also presented a seminar about travel safety.

Their efforts to raise money for the Council on Domestic Abuse Inc. (CODA) emergency shelter in Terre Haute had the biggest impact on students.

"The CODA competition made the biggest impression on me, because it was amazing to see our scholars come together and donate so many goods to our CODA shelter," said Makayla Irish, a sophomore from Terre Haute majoring in operations and supply chain management. "I am so proud of my team and all the hard work they put into the events this year. We reached our goals and impacted many lives in the process."

The students also invited some of the college's corporate partners to help raise resources for domestic abuse shelters in their respective areas. Partners included ONI Risk Partners and Cintas in Terre Haute, Dauby O'Connor & Zaleski LLC and Market Street Wealth Management in Indianapolis and Gibson Insurance in South Bend. Networks alumni are employed by these companies.

"No matter how busy you are, there is always time to give back to local shelters. They can't make a difference alone," said Michelle Chew, a freshman from Noblesville. She is a double major in accounting and finance.

The experience made Allison Crick, a senior accounting and marketing major from Terre Haute, realize how much she takes for granted.

"I will make certain to donate more often to organizations such as CODA and encourage other students to do likewise," Crick said. "I may not be able to make a huge impact with donations by myself at this time, but if I can inspire others to donate and raise awareness, then several people will benefit."

Scholars also participated in the Scott College's Donaghy Day stop-and-serve event in which they made "plarn" out of plastic bags. The plarn was donated to local organizations to be crocheted into portable sleeping surfaces for the homeless. 

"This experience, along with many other community service efforts, has shown me the importance of volunteering in the community," Irish said. "It is so beneficial to see how you can make an impact in someone's life, no matter how big or small the effort is. I think I will always be involved in community service, and I will work to incorporate it into whatever future company I end up at."

Networks is a four-year career and professional development leadership program founded in 2003, through support from the Lilly Endowment. It focuses on developing leaders in financial and business industries by providing opportunities for corporate mentorship, career preparation and internships and professional coaching. Students are selected through an application and interview process in the fall of their senior year of high school.


Photos: -- Indiana State University students Makayla Irish, Casey Phillips, Sarah Acklin and Colton Angel are Networks scholars who participated in a community service campaign in April. Not pictured are Michelle Chew and Hunter Stallings. -- Networks students sort donations to benefit the Council on Domestic Abuse Inc. (CODA) emergency shelter in Terre Haute. -- Back row from left, Indiana State University alumnae Sammi Lindauer, '15, Emily Virostko, '18, pose with their Dauby O'Connor & Zaleski LLC coworkers and the donations they collected as part of the Networks Program's community service challenge.

Media contact: Libby Roerig, University Marketing, Indiana State University, 812-237-3790 or