The Journal Gazette
Monday, February 25, 2019 1:00 am

Education Notebook

Concordia student raises $19,000

Competes to bring in most for cancer fight

ASHLEY SLOBODA | The Journal Gazette

Maxwell Cohen, a Concordia Lutheran High School freshman, is asking his classmates – and the community – to help the fight to stop blood cancer.

Since Jan. 17, the 15-year-old has sought donations benefiting the Leukemia & Lymphoma Society as part of the organization's Students of the Year program.

He had raised $19,000 by mid-February.

“I think it's my job as a Christian,” Cohen said of his participation. “It's our job to help those in need.”

Cohen has until March 8 to work toward the Student of the Year title, which is awarded to the participant in each community who raises the most money during the seven-week competition. He is one of three individuals or groups vying for title locally, according to the Leukemia & Lymphoma Society.

They are fundraising in honor of a young blood cancer patient, a student at Saint Peter's Lutheran School who was diagnosed with T-cell Acute Lymphoblastic Leukemia in December 2017.

“This fundraising initiative is particularly impactful because these kids prove that students can make an impact in the lives of people who are fighting blood cancers,” Lydia Foster, campaign assistant for the local chapter, said in a statement.

Cohen, who is being helped by some peers, has dotted Concordia's hallways with posters about his effort. His fundraising has involved more than that, including phone calls and other behind-the-scenes work while balancing school and sports, said his parents, Ronald and April Cohen.

It's natural to experience ups and downs during volunteer efforts, April Cohen said, adding her son is taking that in stride. She should know – she was the local Woman of the Year winner in 2016.

“We're very proud of him,” April Cohen said.

Go to to contribute to a local Student of the Year campaign. 


• The University of Saint Francis Physical Therapist Assistant program will host a free, informative and interactive health fair from 12:30 to 2:15 p.m. Thursday in the main hall of the Doermer Family Center for Health Science Education on campus, 2701 Spring St.

• Homestead High School, 4310 Homestead Road, will host its annual College and Career Fair from 6 to 7:30 p.m. March 4. More than 80 four-year universities, two-year colleges and vocational schools from throughout the country are expected to participate as are representatives from various careers, the armed services and financial institutions. The free fair is open to the public. One junior or senior student in attendance will win a $200 scholarship.

• Applications for the annual Edible Book Festival at Ivy Tech Community College Fort Wayne are due by March 22. Participants create a dish based on a book, book title or pun of a book title. It is open to northeast Indiana residents as well as Ivy Tech students and staff. The event is April 1. For more information, go to


• Fort Wayne resident Vaibhav Mundra, a Manchester University pharmacy faculty member, was awarded a grant to research a method of delivering anticancer drugs for treating multiple myeloma. Sponsored by the American Association of Colleges of Pharmacy, the New Investigator Award provides funding up to $10,000 for independent research by early-career pharmacy faculty. Mundra also will receive a $1,000 travel award to present his research findings at the association's 2020 national meeting.

• The University of Saint Francis was awarded a $25,000 grant from the National Endowment for the Arts. The funding will support its Jesters program, a performing arts group of people ages 8 and older with intellectual or developmental disabilities. The Jesters will present their spring performance at 6 p.m. March 9 and 3 p.m. March 10 at the North Campus auditorium, 2702 Spring St.


Abby Van Vlerah has been named vice president for student affairs at Manchester University. She is originally from Angola, but most recently worked at Long Island University in New York.

Recognitions, scholarships

Jonathan Bolt of Central Lutheran School in New Haven was named the 2019 Distinguished Lutheran Middle School Teacher by the Lutheran Education Association. Bolt teaches science and serves as the technology lead teacher.

Emily Short of Fort Wayne was among 47 students recently inducted into Indiana Connections Academy's National Honor Society. The academy is a full-time, online school.

• Indiana Tech has established a new Ph.D. scholarship that helps first responders earn their Ph.D., reducing tuition costs for eligible students by 20 percent. Firefighters, law enforcement professionals and EMTs who meet the entry requirements are eligible to receive the scholarship. Contact Kristin Conley, director of Ph.D. admissions, at 260-422-5561 ext. 3417 or for more information or go to

• The Purdue Alumni Club of Fort Wayne has announced an academic scholarship program for current or incoming Purdue students living in Allen, Adams, DeKalb, Noble, Steuben, Wells and Whitley counties and a portion of Huntington County. Applications are due Friday. Scholarships will be awarded on or before May 1 for the 2019-20 academic year. Go to to apply.


• A record crowd of 515 attended Trine University's 16th annual Scholarship Gala, helping raise $975,000 for student scholarships. Trine awarded more than $31 million in institutional aid in 2017-18.

• The 19th annual Big Man on Campus, sponsored by Trine University's Theta Phi Alpha sorority, raised $5,932.37 for the Vera Bradley Foundation for Breast Cancer. Caleb Herber, a junior from Fort Wayne, was named Mr. Pink Ribbon, which recognizes the contestant chosen by the other competitors for showing the most enthusiasm and sportsmanship. Other contestants included Andrew Barrett, a junior from Huntertown, Zachary McKee, a senior from Syracuse, and Scott Beckmann, a senior from Auburn.

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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