Purdue Northwest Boosts Biological Sciences

Posted: Updated:
The Bioscience Innovation Building will be the first new construction on the campus in the last 25 years. The Bioscience Innovation Building will be the first new construction on the campus in the last 25 years.

Purdue University Northwest (PNW) says it’s passionate about training students to pursue careers in the biological sciences and healthcare; PNW Chancellor Thomas Keon notes healthcare is the second-biggest economic driver in the region, but it’s been challenging to overcome the university’s dated facilities to train these future workers. PNW believes a new Bioscience Innovation Building at the Hammond campus will be the perfect antidote for antiquated facilities, and it’s backed by $35 million from the state.

“For any campus—particularly one of our size—[the funding] means we are a campus that the state believes is worth investing in,” says Keon. “It provides a stimulus for everybody to see we have a strong future, and that we’re an important institution for Indiana.”

The building is also a critical addition for the region, says Keon. It will house the university’s nursing program—a profession in high demand locally.

“There’s an enormous need for nurses in northwest Indiana,” says Keon. “The nursing students are almost 100 percent placed every semester when they graduate. The only reason it isn’t 100 percent is because some might want to go out-of-state or want a specialty area that would send them to Chicago, as opposed to northwest Indiana.”

The university’s nursing program is full each year, admitting the maximum number of students allowed by accreditation standards. Keon expects the new facility to grow enrollment in the biology program, which is already one of the largest majors on campus.

The current building that houses the nursing program, the Gyte Annex, was built in the 1950s; university leaders say it’s an inadequate 21st century instructional facility and faces additional challenges, such as mold in the basement.

The new building will be state-of-the-art and include high-tech laboratories for the nursing and biological sciences programs. The nursing lab, for example, will include high-tech patient simulators, or mannequins, that can simulate a wide range of medical scenarios, such as births, heart attacks and strokes.

“The new labs will give us a tremendous opportunity to boost quality in both areas,” says Keon. “There’s going to be a tremendous amount of excitement among the faculty and students about having a new facility for learning experiences.”

Biology students will have another new space for learning; in late 2017, local residents donated the Taltree Arboretum & Gardens in nearby Valparaiso to the university. Keon says the 300-acre living classroom will be a valuable tool for applied research and the study of plant science.

University leaders expect the projects to breathe new life into the Hammond campus, which hasn’t had any new construction in 25 years. The school began pushing for the Bioscience Innovation Building in 2008, but the recession and the state’s subsequent restriction of funds for higher education construction projects delayed PNW’s efforts.

The university will break ground this summer and expects to complete the building in 2020. Keon says it will be a modern training tool and testament to the school’s role in training workers for the region’s economy.

Keon says “vital legislative support” made the project possible.
Keon says PNW graduates are an important part of the economic landscape in northwest Indiana.
  • Perspectives

    • Ahh…Yes! Turning a Hot Mess into a Cool Breeze

      "Problems cannot be solved by the level of thinking that created them," is attributed to Einstein over 75 years ago. This still holds true, particularly in challenging communications. Many people address conflict at the level it was created by rehashing and building more evidence for their ‘side’ of an argument. Repeating a position tends to intensify the separation of people.

    More

Subscribe

Name:
Company Name:
Email:
Confirm Email:
HTML
INside Edge
Morning Briefing
BigWigs & New Gigs
Life Sciences Indiana
Indiana Connections
INPower
Subscribe
Unsubscribe

Events



  • Most Popular Stories

    • Bob Stutz

      New Role For Salesforce Exec

      After three years on the job, Salesforce Marketing Cloud Chief Executive Officer Bob Stutz is moving into a new role. Stutz, who will remain in Indianapolis, is now executive vice president of strategic partners at Salesforce (NYSE: CRM).  Since arriving in Indianapolis, Stutz has overseen the establishment of the company’s regional headquarters in downtown Indianapolis, which included the Salesforce name being placed atop the state’s tallest building.

    • Purdue Global Now Offers Analytics Degree

      The U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics reports that jobs in the field of data analysis are projected to grow 26 percent over the next ten years. Acting upon that data, Indianapolis-based Purdue University Global has launched a new Bachelor of Science degree program in analytics. 

    • Aasif Bade (pictured left) is president and Patrick Chittenden (pictured right) is executive vice president of Ambrose Property Group.

      Waterside Developer: City Has 'Violated Our Rights'

      The chief executive officer of Indianapolis-based Ambrose Property Group says the firm is preparing for litigation regarding the future of the former GM Stamping Plant site. In a response to a letter from the city of Indianapolis this week, Aasif Bade says the city's continued threat of acquiring the site of the $1.4 billion Waterside redevelopment project through eminent domain "has violated our rights and is harming the community by putting Waterside in a state...

    • (photo courtesy of the Center for the Performing Arts)

      Center for the Performing Arts Launches Naming Campaign

      The Center for the Performing Arts in Carmel is looking for its first-ever corporate naming partner. The nonprofit, which is approaching its 10th anniversary, says it hopes to find a partner with a “shared vision of advancing the arts and educational programming, unifying the community and extending the center’s impact.” The campaign to find a partner follows a strategic planning process, which involved an independent analysis from Chicago-based sponsorship...

    • Red Star announced plans to expand and add 18 jobs.

      Larwill Medical Device Maker to Expand, Add Jobs

      A Whitley County-based medical device maker has announced plans to expand its facility in Larwill which should mean new jobs. Red Star Contract Manufacturing Inc. says it will invest $1.6 million in real estate improvements and additional equipment and will create 18 new jobs by 2022.