KOKOMO, Ind. — While Brayan Pizano started college at a different school, he made the right decision by transferring to Indiana University Kokomo.
“I’m blessed to be at this school, with everything it has to offer,” he said. “The faculty and staff have been a welcoming, warm community. Even with a mask on, there are professors I see who don’t even know me, but they say hello when they see me. It’s made me feel very comfortable here.”
The campus celebrates Pizano, and other students like him, with National Transfer Student Appreciation Week, continuing through Friday. All transfer students may pick up Cougar swag at the Welcome Center in Alumni Hall, throughout the week.
The gift includes an “I’m a transfer” pin, and Cheryl Schlemmer, assistant director of advising, intends to wear one herself, as a former transfer student. Other faculty and staff will don “I love transfers” pins, in recognition of the week.
“I like to wear my button so when I run into a transfer student, I can tell them my story about how I transferred here, and how it was the best choice for me to complete my degree,” she said. “I want to hear their stories, too. I want them to know they are welcome here, and we will work to make sure this is their final college destination.”
Josh Colvin, transfer counselor in the Office of Admissions, said a transfer student is one who applies with at least 12 credit hours earned at another accredited institution. About 225 to 250 students transfer to IU Kokomo each year, with many having completed two-year degrees elsewhere. Others start at another four-year school, and find it’s not the right fit. In both cases, he can facilitate a smooth transfer process.
Pizano, from Fort Wayne, began somewhere else, but heard about IU Kokomo from a former high school teammate who was part of the Cougar cross country team.
He contacted Colvin — who is also assistant coach for cross country — and set up a meeting. In addition to a campus tour, Colvin introduced him to team members and a faculty member in the School of Education, since he wants to be an elementary teacher. He also met with a financial aid counselor, to discuss his options as a 21st Century Scholar.
“I liked the way I was able to see every part of the school, and how they all took time to interact with me, and answer all of my questions. It made me feel like I would be welcome here,” he said. “All of the professors were asking me in-depth questions about my goals. I’d never had that much attention from professors before.”
He enrolled for the fall semester, and earned a place on the cross country team. He enjoys going to classes and practicing with his team, and said he spends a lot of time studying in the library.
“I’m really enjoying it here,” Pizano said. “I made the right decision to transfer.”