Six region professionals to be named NWI innovators

2011-10-20T07:00:00Z Six region professionals to be named NWI innovatorsBy Times Staff
October 20, 2011 7:00 am  • 

GARY | The Society of Innovators at Ivy Tech Community College Northwest plans to  announce its 2011-12 inductees today during a celebration at Horseshoe Casino.

Fellows to be inducted are:

  • Jon Costas, mayor of Valparaiso, who transformed the city's downtown;
  • Julie Rizzo, a granite recycler from St. John and president of US Greenworks LLC, who launched a successful granite-recycling movement nationwide;
  • Janet Brown, dean of Valparaiso University's College of Nursing, who launched myriad new innovative programs on campus and overseas;
  • Angela Hambling, principal of Rolling Prairie Elementary School in LaPorte County, who innovated programs for underserved minority students and helped raise her school to "exemplary" status;
  • Robert Johnson III, president and CEO of Simcor Inc., who has developed cutting-edge information technology software used by the U.S. Army; and
  • U.S. Rep. Pete Visclosky, D-Merrillville, who launched the Marquette Project in 1985 with the goal of reclaiming at least 75 percent of Indiana's Lake Michigan shoreline for public use. He is a 2006 member of the Society of Innovators.

The fellows each will receive a plaque and are offered a $500 cash award from ArcelorMittal, sponsor of the awards.

IVDiagnostics, of Valparaiso, will be awarded the Chanute Prize for Team Innovation. IVDiagnostics launched a new diagnostic tool to fight cancer that identifies rare circulating tumor cells, focusing on the metastatic cancers of the breast, lung, colon and rectum, ovaries, pancreas, prostate, and leukemia and melanoma. This nontoxic method eliminates the problem of high false positives and negatives in current methods. Preclinical studies have been conducted at two medical centers.

The team will receive a traveling trophy, a plaque and a $500 gift for charity from the sponsor, Krieg DeVault law firm.

In all, 23 new individual and 16 new team members will receive a lifetime honorary membership into the Society of Innovators of Northwest Indiana.

A call for nominations for the 2011-12 inductees was announced May 12 at the Purdue Technology Center of Northwest Indiana. Nominations came from the region's seven counties of Jasper, Lake, LaPorte, Newton, Porter, Pulaski and Starke.

Ivy Tech is the state's largest post-secondary institution and the nation's largest singly accredited statewide community college system. It serves nearly 200,000 students annually.

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