In Memoriam: Tiff Adkins

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It is with deep sadness that we share news of the passing of our beloved colleague, Tiff Adkins, who died suddenly on Saturday, December 16, 2017.  Calling hours will be held on Saturday, December 23, 2017 from 11:00 until 1:00 at Stegall-Berheide-Orr Funeral Home in Richmond, Indiana. A funeral service will follow at 1:00 PM. More details and an obituary are available here.

Tiff will be remembered for his passionate commitment to student success.  Tiff received a Bachelor of Science and Master’s degree in Technology Education from Ball State and then spent 6 years teaching at Salem Middle School in Salem, Indiana.  After earning his Master’s in Library Science at Indiana University, Tiff served as a librarian at Ball State and IU East. Tiff joined the Helmke Library faculty in 2001 and earned promotion to Associate Librarian and tenure in 2007.

Tiff’s personal goal was to identify ways to improve the IPFW community’s experience of the people, services, and resources at Helmke Library. He immersed himself in campus life, promoting the library to students and representing the library in faculty governance and leadership. Tiff was an active, thoughtful, and respected Faculty Senator for the library (2012-2017), Chair of ACITAS, and a member of the inaugural IPFW Leadership Academy.  He continually sought ways to help students develop a sense of belonging and pioneered the library’s involvement in STARS, SOAR, Summer Bridge, First Year Experience, and Collegiate Connection. He also led many of Helmke Library’s other outreach initiatives for students, including our welcome tent in the fall and coffee table during finals.  From making personal connections with high school teachers to enhance IPFW’s dual credit program to developing orientation programs for new students and graduate teaching assistants, Tiff’s work impacted every member of the IPFW community.

Because of Tiff’s commitment to IPFW students and to student success, he encouraged new teaching initiatives in the library and fostered a high quality of teaching among his fellow librarians. His expertise in technology and education kept Helmke Library on the forefront of educational technology. He led the development of the library’s Electronic Information Training Center and the campus-wide use of NetOP School software in computer teaching labs.  He wrote and directed an innovative nine-minute television program called “Making the Grade” that aired on local cable television to help students feel comfortable about asking for assistance in the library.  Tiff served as a liaison to the faculty members and students in the College of Education and Public Policy, where his expertise and engaging teaching supported the success of thousands of students. Tiff’s passion of excellence in teaching impacted the entire library team, from encouraging development of peer-reviews of teaching, chairing the Library Faculty Council, and mentoring junior librarians and staff.

Tiff was frequently recognized for his stellar contributions.  He was selected for the highly-competitive Association of College and Research Libraries Information Literacy Immersion program in 2002 and was inducted into Indiana University’s Faculty Academy on Excellence in Teaching (FACET) in 2006.  He was often commended in letters and Ripples Awards for his willingness to give of his time even in difficult circumstances.  As noted by one of his library colleagues, “We can always count on you to step up and help out.  You are always the first one to pitch in when there is a need.” Another faculty member’s praise of Tiff’s above-and-beyond effort during a student orientation program, saying “I appreciate your presentation – and your willingness to do so on a Saturday during a snow storm!”  This dedication and generosity of spirit characterized all of Tiff’s work.

The staff and faculty of Helmke Library will remember Tiff as a mentor, a listener, a team leader, an encourager (“Come on team, we’re almost there.”), and someone with a sense of humor who was always ready to be delighted.  Having Tiff as a colleague has been a blessing and privilege.  He will be missed.

If you would like to share memories of Tiff, please send them to Amy Harrison ( by January 17, 2018.



Staff News

It’s been a busy summer so far at Helmke Library! Here are a few items we’d like to share about our outstanding faculty and staff:

Deb Haley Reaches 38 Years of Service

Deb Haley, Service Desk Assistant Manager, celebrated 38 years at Helmke Library this June. Thousands of IPFW students, faculty members, and staff have benefited from her capable, knowledgeable assistance. Congratulations, Deb!

Helmke Library Welcomes Nathan Rupp

Nathan Rupp is the new Director of Technical Services and Information Technology at Helmke Library. Most recently the Head of Collection Development and Management at Yale’s Cushing/Whitney Medical Library, Nathan brings more than twenty years of technical services experience to this position. In addition to providing administrative leadership to our technical services and IT staff, Nathan will also play a significant role in managing the transition of Helmke Library’s databases from IU to Purdue. Nathan began his appointment on July 17.

Head of Public Services to Retire

Susan Anderson, Helmke Library’s Head of Public Services, will retire from IPFW on August 4th. In her leadership of Helmke’s Information Services and Instruction team, Susan has overseen significant expansion of open access, outreach, web services, and curriculum development efforts. She has been a tireless champion of the library’s role in fostering student success, and a driving force behind the growth of IPFW’s annual Student Research and Creative Endeavor Poster Symposium. We appreciate Susan’s excellent service to the IPFW community, and we wish her all the best.

Librarians Present at LOEX

Librarians Sarah Wagner and Ann Marshall collaborated with IPFW Writing Center coordinator Kristine Frye to present at the 45th Annual LOEX (Library Orientation Exchange) 2017 National Conference in Lexington Kentucky in May. Their interactive session was called “Listening and Learning from Students: Interviewing Students about the Intersections of Research, Writing and Technology.” Congratulations!

Sarah Wagner Presents at ASEE Annual Conference

The 2017 American Society for Engineering Education Annual Conference featured Sarah Wagner as a Lightning Round speaker on June 26. Sarah shared recommendations and lessons learned based on her work with undergraduate engineering students. Congratulations!

Digital Initiatives Welcomes New Team Members

Helmke Library’s Digital Initiatives staff are pleased to have two great students as part of the DI team!

Hannah Bentz is a freshman Accounting major from Fort Wayne, Indiana.  Hannah has been with Digital Initiatives since the fall of 2016.

David Rhoades is a freshman Biology major from Columbia City, Indiana.  David has also been with Digital Initiatives since the fall of 2016.

David and Hannah worked with Digital Initiatives in the Dolnick Center during the library renovation, and they have been a big help in our unit’s transition back to the library.  They assist with digitizing and preserving materials for the library’s mDON collections and digital university archive.