Hammond partnership with Purdue Cal will include internships
By Jane Bokun Post-Tribune correspondent May 16, 2013 12:32PM
Updated: May 19, 2013 9:47PM
With big plans for the city of Hammond, Purdue University Calumet announced a marketing strategy Thursday night at the Center For Innovation Visualization & Simulation called Teamwork 2013.
“We decided to tackle the project and take small steps to help the Towle Theater and that corner of Hammond,” said Dushan Nikolovski, director of the Center for Entrepreneurship Success at Purdue University Calumet .
The partnership will include a student internship initiative which will be part of the PATCH (Purdue Calumet and the City of Hammond) program. Internships that could be created by the university can include the Towle Theater, art, banks, legal, retail, hospitality, tourism and medical. Purdue students at Teamwork 2013 included Brian Colby, Nathan Donovan, Kenny Pannell, and Alex Kazmierczak.
The partnership is enthusiastically endorsed by Hammond Mayor Tom McDermott.
“I graduated from Purdue Calumet and then went on to law school at Notre Dame,” McDermott said. “If it wasn’t for Purdue Calumet, I wouldn’t be the mayor.”
The meeting, he said, introduced new aspects of a partnership vital to Hammond’s future.
“We want to partner with Purdue, just like we do with other major employees,” McDermott said. In fact, he said Hammond is now within days of inking a deal on a major brewery.
“We’re moving in the right direction,” McDermott said.
One of the principals in the program, Nikolovski said the collaboration is part of an effort undertaken by his Purdue University Calumet students to successfully help the downtown Hammond area.
His students did surveys, and got suggestions for getting more action to the corner strip.
“We’re trying to get more activity into downtown,” he said. “We’re trying to do marketing work with social media and hopefully in the fall we’ll put three internships into place,” Nikolovski said.
He said the Towle Theater is putting on quality productions which students may not know about.
“We’re thinking of providing busing to the Towle Theater for Purdue students or partnering with our liberal arts to put on our own productions,” Nikolovski said. “We are part of Hammond and we want to get our students more involved — they’re tightly bound.”