Homecoming week was extra special for several College of Arts and Sciences alumni. On February 10, 2017, the IPFW Alumni Association bestowed four of six alumni awards on Arts & Sciences alumni: Karson Putt, Shubitha Kever, Sharon Wight, and Janet Iden Kamdar.
Karson Putt (B.S., biology, ‘02) received the Bob Jesse Medal for his commitment to scientific research. After Putt graduated from IPFW in 2002, he was accepted into medical school but decided his passion was for research. He then went back to school at the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign and received a Ph.D. in biochemistry. According to his IPFW mentor, Associate Professor Elliott Blumenthal (biology), Putt has had an exemplary research career. He published 22 peer-reviewed articles, 40 US patents, founded his first company at 16 years old, and most importantly, discovered a molecule (PAC-1) that contributed to cancer research. Putt is now the managing director of the Purdue University Institute for Drug Discovery.
Shubitha Kever (B.A., political science, ‘02; M.P.A., ‘09) was awarded the Alumni Citation Award for enhancing the image of IPFW by serving on boards for the Indiana Educational Opportunity Association (Indiana TRIO) and the Midwest Regional Educational Opportunity Association. “Kever has had so many accomplishments during her almost eleven years here at IPFW and continues to strive to better the TRIO Student Support Services program,” said colleague Cynthia Firestine, “(She) has a very special gift to encourage, advise, support, and advance her students.”
Sharon Wight (B.A., communication, ‘09; M.A., professional communication, ‘12) was awarded the Alumni Top Volunteer Award for her work with the Blue and White Committee, an IPFW faculty and staff affinity group. Described by Assistant Director of Alumni Relations Victoria Sarjeant as always striving to make the university a better place, Wight has worked on everything from IPFW license plates to a program that would give international students a place or person to celebrate holiday breaks with. “She bleeds IPFW blue,” said Sarjeant.
Janet Iden Kamdar (B.A., French, ’76; B.S., business, ‘78; M.S., business administration, ‘84) was named an Honorary Lifetime Board Member for her service to the IPFW Alumni Association. A three-time degree holder, Kamdar is “the definition of IPFW proud” says Sarjeant, “she is a very passionate person who puts her heart and soul into everything she is working on.” Kamdar also worked at IPFW as executive director of the MBA program and as director of alumni relations.