Business briefs

Financial services agent attends workshop

Greenwood-based financial services representative Greg Allen of Modern Woodmen of America recently completed a five-day educational program at Modern Woodmen’s home office in Rock Island, Illinois.

The program covered comprehensive financial services for families and small businesses. Topics included the impact of Social Security benefits and inflation on financial plans. In addition, attendees learned the benefits of incorporating mutual funds and variable products when evaluating financial needs and goals.

Modern Woodmen of America, a fraternal financial services organization, offers financial products and fraternal member benefits to individuals and families throughout the United States.

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Senior assistance firm opens Greenwood office

Seniors Helping Seniors, a home-based care program connecting senior caregivers with seniors who want support services in their own homes, has opened an office in Greenwood.

The location is at 3209 W. Smith Valley Road, Greenwood.

Seniors Helping Seniors was established in October 2013 at 6063 E. County Road 600N in Shelby County, and the service covers Shelby, Johnson and southeast Marion counties.

The company employs caregivers older than 50 and offers home-based companionship, light housekeeping, meal preparation, transportation, personal grooming, mobility assistance and respite care to people older than 50.

College faculty honored at commencement

Franklin College honored four faculty members during the 2015 commencement ceremonies May 23 with several awards.

Kristin Flora was recipient of the Clifford and Paula Dietz Award for Faculty Excellence. The award recognizes a faculty member who exhibits competence in the field of expertise and enthusiastically communicates its concepts to students.

Flora is an associate professor of psychology. She occupies the Roscoe W. Payne Chair in Philosophy and Psychology and serves as the division head for social sciences at Franklin College. Flora earned her bachelor’s degree in chemistry and psychology from Valparaiso University and her master’s and doctoral degrees in experimental psychology from the University of Wisconsin-Milwaukee.

She has taught psychology at Franklin since 2007, becoming the department head in 2009. Before coming to Franklin, she was a clinical outcomes analyst and research coordinator at a regional hospital in Wisconsin.

There she was part of a team that performed extensive research on sports-related concussions, particularly in high school athletes.

Flora currently serves on the Psi Chi External Affairs Task Force. On campus, she dedicates time as a co-adviser for the college chapter of Psi Chi and has served as a team member of the college’s Intercultural Honors Experience since 2009. She has also been part of two study-abroad programs at the college. She was named Academic Adviser of the Year in 2011.

Flora is a resident of Franklin.

Emily Stauffer received the Faculty Steering Committee Distinguished Service Award. The award is given to a faculty member who shows outstanding service to the college. She also received the award in 1997.

Stauffer, a professor of English, began teaching at Franklin College in 1983. She is a past recipient of the Clifford and Paula Dietz Award for Faculty Excellence and the Faculty Excellence in Teaching Award. She is a former chairwoman of the department of English, Speech and Theatre, and served as the division head for Fine Arts and Humanities.

She earned her bachelor of arts degree magna cum laude in English from Gettysburg College. She earned her master’s degree in English from Pennsylvania State University and her doctorate in English from the University of Connecticut. Before joining the faculty at Franklin College, she taught high school English and worked at the University of Connecticut.

While at Franklin College, Stauffer has advocated on behalf of women’s rights issues and people of color. She helped establish two student organizations on campus: the Student Association for the Support of Minorities, which she advised for 12 years, and Sigma Tau Delta, the English honorary society, of which she is a member.

Stauffer, a resident of Franklin, retired at the conclusion of the 2014-15 academic year.

Alice Heikens received the Faculty Excellence in Teaching Award. The award is given to a faculty member who exhibits excellence in mastery of subject and effective communication. She also received the award in 1999.

She is a professor of biology. She earned a bachelor’s and master’s degree in biology from the University of Central Arkansas and earned her doctoral degree in botany from Southern Illinois University.

Heikens serves on the Council of the Indiana Academy of Science. She also serves as the chairwoman of the junior grant subcommittee. Her contributions to the academy have earned her the highest honor, IAS Fellow. Heikens reviews manuscripts for publication by organizations such as the Natural Areas Association and the Southeastern Naturalist, as well as IAS.

During her 24 years with Franklin College she has dedicated extensive time to conducting individual research projects with students, exposing them to professional opportunities.

Research conducted with a current student has recently been chosen for publication and print in the Proceedings of the Indiana Academy of Science.

Heikens also has led student trips to the Smoky Mountains. She is involved with the campus Green Team. One of her greatest achievements at Franklin College has been the planning and cultivation of the Urban Forest at Grizzly Park. This three-acre forest, planted in 2012, hosts representatives of more than 20 different native tree species. The project has twice earned the college a Tree Campus USA recognition as well as a Gold Leaf Award.

A resident of Franklin, Heikens is a past recipient of the Faculty Excellence in Scholarship award, the Clifford and Paula Dietz Award for Faculty Excellence and the Academic Adviser of the Year award.

Ben O’Neal, assistant professor of biology, is the recipient of the Faculty Excellence in Scholarship Award. The award recognizes a faculty member’s scholarly achievement at the college, as well as work outside the college.

O’Neal began teaching at Franklin College in 2010. He earned his bachelor’s degree in biology from Anderson University. He continued his education at the University of Illinois Urbana-Champaign, earning a master’s degree in natural resources and environmental sciences and a doctoral degree in wildlife ecology. He has published six scientific articles in peer-reviewed journals and, in the past year, presented at six conferences and workshops.

O’Neal has received grants from the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service to support avian ecology research involving Franklin College field biology students. He and his colleagues recently received a grant from the U.S. Department of Agriculture to fund conservation practices on agricultural lands in the Midwest.

This year, O’Neal and his students initiated a long-term wetland monitoring project funded by the Hants Lake Conservancy. He was also recently chosen to serve on the Science Team of the Upper Mississippi River and Great Lakes Region Joint Venture for the United States Department of the Interior.

In this role, he helps guide and translate research for the planning and execution of regional conservation programs.

O’Neal and his wife, Andrea, and their children are residents of Franklin.

Rehabilitation center earns industry award

Homeview Health and Rehab was recently recognized as a 2015 recipient of the Bronze–Commitment to Quality Award for its dedication to improving the lives of residents through quality care.

The award is the first of three distinctions possible through the National Quality Award Program, presented by the American Health Care Association and National Center for Assisted Living. The program honors centers across the nation that have demonstrated their commitment to improving quality care for seniors and individuals with disabilities.

The program has three levels: Bronze, Silver and Gold. Centers begin the quality improvement process at the Bronze level, where they develop an organizational profile with essential performance elements such as vision and mission statements and an assessment of customers’ expectations. Bronze applicants must also demonstrate their ability to implement a performance improvement system. Trained examiners review each Bronze application to determine if the center has met the demands of the criteria.

As a recipient of the award, Homeview Health and Rehab can continue developing approaches and achieving performance levels that meet the criteria required for the silver level.

The award will be presented to Homeview Health and Rehab during AHCA/NCAL’s 66th annual convention and exposition Oct. 4 to 7 in San Antonio.