The Journal Gazette
Monday, September 21, 2020 1:00 am

Therapy dog helps at Leesburg

ASHLEY SLOBODA | The Journal Gazette

A Kosciusko County school has added a different sort of employee to its roster – a 6-year-old sheepadoodle, a cross between Old English sheepdog and poodle.

Named Hazel Grace Huffer, the pup joined Leesburg Elementary School last month as a therapy dog certified and insured through Alliance of Therapy Dogs, according to a Warsaw Community Schools news release.

Her owner, Stacy Huffer, teaches fourth grade at Leesburg.

Students aren't required to interact with Hazel, but educators expect the dog's presence will help children struggling with problems including school anxiety and friendship and home issues, the release said.

“Hazel creates an atmosphere of joy just by being present,” the release said. “She is excited to greet everyone and is nonjudgmental, kind to all and a great listener.”

At least two students benefited from Hazel on her first day. The students were upset and successfully transitioned back to class after spending a few minutes with her, the release said.

Hazel practices her therapy skills at a funeral home on evenings and weekends, the release added. 


• Steuben County public high schools and Trine University are partnering to host a virtual FAFSA and financial aid night at 6 p.m. Tuesday. FAFSA stands for Free Application for Federal Student Aid. Those wanting to participate can contact their school guidance counselor for the Zoom link. The presentation will be recorded and distributed to the high schools for future use. Contact the guidance counselors or Kelly McGuire, Trine's executive director of enrollment, at for more information.

• A virtual 5K will kick off Manchester University's homecoming celebrations at 7 a.m. today. A coffee hour with President Dave McFadden is planned for 8:30 a.m. on the university's Facebook page, Reunions will be offered on Zoom this week, and mornings beginning Tuesday will offer a live coffee hour at 8 a.m. on Facebook with various representatives. The traditional Peace Studies Plaque dedication is set for 10 a.m. Saturday on Facebook, and a special homecoming pre-game program will follow at noon. The football game was canceled.

• Ivy Tech Community College will host a virtual Express Enrollment Week today through Friday. Hours are 9 a.m. to 6 p.m. Interested participants must RSVP. Go to for information.

• More than a dozen Indiana colleges including Purdue University Fort Wayne will waive application fees during Indiana's College Application Week, which begins today. About 24 colleges have free applications year-round. For more information, go to


• A team of Trine University biomedical engineering faculty and students received a $15,000 grant from the Indiana Space Grant Consortium for a research project involving a potential treatment for blood clotting disorders.

• Indiana Humanities awarded Study Elementary School a $1,000 Advancing Racial Equity Collection Development grant to purchase highly sought-after books and other media addressing racial injustice. Other recipients included Berne Public Library, $1,000; Churubusco Public Library, $1,000; and Eckhart Public Library, $354.

Ivy Tech

• Ivy Tech Community College Fort Wayne and Warsaw are addressing northeast Indiana's high unemployment rates and need for skilled workers by focusing on short-term certificates. This quick training is designed to get people back into the workforce faster. For more information, go to


Candace Inghram has joined the Office of Development and Alumni Relations at Purdue University Fort Wayne as director of development for the College of Engineering, Technology, and Computer Science and the Doermer School of Business. She most recently served in a similar capacity for the Ball State University Foundation.


• The University of Notre Dame tops Niche's list of Best Colleges in Indiana. Rounding out the top five are Purdue University, Rose-Hulman Institute of Technology, Indiana University-Bloomington and Wabash College. Go to for the full list of 2021 Best Colleges rankings.

• At No. 23, Purdue University ranked the highest among Indiana institutions in this year's “Best Colleges in America for Your Money” list by Money. Other rankings include Trine University, 194; Huntington University, 490; and University of Saint Francis, 553. For the full list, go to

Scholarship, recognition

• Trine University student Kyra Warren of Kendallville is the 2020 winner of the Leatrice Gregory Pendray Scholarship awarded by the American institute of Aeronautics & Astronautics. The $1,250 scholarship is one of 11 national scholarships awarded to undergraduates by the AIAA.

• The following students received a Fort Wayne Central High School scholarship for the 2020-21 academic year: Natalie Asher, Lindsay Bennett, Victoria Fisher, Patrick Fontaine, Samuel Horine, Thomas Santiago and Tyler Sierks. Everyone received $500 except Fisher, who received $1,000.

• John Patton, assistant professor in Trine University's biomedical engineering department, was honored with the Distinguished Faculty Award presented annually by the university's Christian Campus House.

• The Lutheran Schools Partnership named Chris Murphy of Concordia Lutheran High School as its first Teacher of the Year recipient.


• The Warsaw Police Department assigned Officer Wayne Wilkie as a school resource officer in Warsaw Community Schools and Sgt. Lewis Fuller to the SRO D.A.R.E. position. They join returning student resource officers Cpl. Brandon Zartman and Cpl. Rogelio “Roy” Navarro III, who oversees the D.A.R.E. program.

Students and parents who have a favorite teacher can nominate the individual for Teacher Honor Roll. Send nominations to The Journal Gazette, 600 W. Main St., Fort Wayne, IN 46802; fax 461-8893 or email

To submit an item, send a typed release from the school or organization to Education Notebook, The Journal Gazette, 600 W. Main St., Fort Wayne, IN 46802; fax 461-8893 or email at least two weeks before the desired publication date.

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