Alumnus George Wu develops linguistics software

George Wu, a 1959 mechanical engineering graduate, has developed a new software program to help people learn Mandarin Chinese. Wu is a native of Shanghai and came to the United States when he was very young. He pursued a college education at Tri–State, after learning about the school in a Popular Mechanics magazine.

After graduation, Wu worked as a mechanical design engineer, specializing in HVAC. His career took him to Guam, Hawaii, Taiwan, Seoul, Bangkok, Jakarta, Hong Kong and Manila and California, where he resides today.

Wu couldn′t stay still for long in his retirement years, so he began teaching Spanish and Chinese to students as a part–time endeavor. In 2009, he started teaching at Southwestern Community College in Chula Vista.

He realized that "traditional" teaching was not helping students learn to speak fluent Mandarin Chinese. So, he developed a software program that emphasizes Mandarin′s authentic pronunciation instead of the ubiquitously outdated Romanized spellings for certain keywords. His software, RPC Mandarin, singles out unique sounds to facilitate the learning of authentic Mandarin.

"My ultimate intention is that from my software anyone who wants to learn to speak Mandarin will be clearly understood by those who speak it fluently," Wu said. "A language ceases to be an instrument of communication if it cannot be understood."

If you are interested in learning more about Wu′s software, contact him at or visit

Alumna cooks her way to France

Tri–State University alumna Liat (Caruso) Peters, a 1984 computer science graduate, and her sister, Lisa Aldrich, both of Caruso′s Italian Restaurant in Angola, were selected as part of a team to study culinary arts abroad in France in May after winning Ivy Tech Community College′s Northeast annual Mystery Basket Competition in January.

Peters is studying culinary and pastry and baking at Ivy Tech. As part of her educational requirements in the American Culinary Federation accredited culinary arts program, Peters said she was required to compete in at least one contest. She chose this one because of the prize.

The competition this year featured entries from 17 culinary students and 7 baking and pastry students. Standards for judging are set by the department′s accrediting body, the American Culinary Federation.

The students were tasked with writing a menu and cooking dishes using three mystery ingredients. A panel of judges were then served by each student and critiqued on sanitation, organization and other kitchen skills. Aldrich′s menu consisted of spinach and mushroom–stuffed Dover sole roulade with parmesan tuille and grilled tomato slices, roasted rack of coriander–crusted lamb with fresh mint sauce, domino potatoes with dauphinois sauce and chocolate cream pie with fresh raspberry sauce.

The May 15–27 trip will take Peters and Aldrich to the South of France to study with chef Michel Bouit.

If you want to sample some of the culinary masterpieces, stop into Caruso′s at 2435 N. 200 W., Angola.

Tri-State Love

In the name of Valentine′s Day, we′re recognizing one couple who found love at Tri–State. We know multiple couples caught cupid′s arrow on campus, and we’d love for you to share your story by e-mailing it to Now, onto the story of Noah and Kayla.

Noah Warren, a 2007 golf management graduate, loved Kayla Cheesman, a 2006 accounting graduate, from the start. Kayla, a Kappa Sigma Alpha basketball player, met Noah at his fraternity house, Kappa Sigma. They ran in the same circles and played basketball. (Even though Noah was a golfer, he played on the scrimmage squad for the women′s basketball team).

"Having a guy you liked playing against you was a little nerve–wracking," Kayla said with a laugh, her face turning a little red. "I thought he was handsome and funny. I didn′t even know what golf was."

Noah found Kayla fun to be around, easy going and not a drama queen.

Their first date took place a year before they officially started dating. It took a Greek formal at the American Legion in Angola to seal the deal for the lovebirds.

After four years of dating, he finally popped the question in the most appropriate place – Hershey Hall. The couple went to shoot hoops. He hid the ring in a pair of shorts he was wearing. When the moment was right, he proposed to Kayla on the free–throw line.

"He would always shoot around with me on game day," Kayla recalled. "It was really romantic. It was the same court, the same basket, the same place we′d always gone."

The two were married Nov. 24, 2010, at Disney World. They just bought their first home on Fox Lake, just outside of Angola. She is the financial operation associate at PayServ, and he is the assistant golf pro at Zollner Golf Course. When they′re not lounging on the couch or at work, they′re traveling around the country and watching University of Michigan sports.

Bonus love stories as told on Trine University's Facebook page:

Amber Hartleroad – "I was a freshman and my hubby was a senior, we were put in a group together for the Chem E car competition, we met for the first time behind Fawick, been together for 11 years and married for almost 7." :)

Lisa Russakoff Gilman "‎Fall of sophomore year; he lived on 2nd floor Alwood and I lived on first floor Platt. We met through mutual friends. Married in May 1988; 3 wonderful kids and almost 24 years later, we still are best friends!"

Take the stage

Play an ′instrumental′ role in Trine University′s thriving music program.

Our young and thriving music program invites you to play an instrumental part in the continued success of our growing bands, choirs, ensembles and orchestra. In just five short years, our talented musicians have performed at home football games and have staged numerous community concerts in northeast Indiana, an area yearning for artistic and music experiences. Now, they are looking to tour European countries and give concerts around the globe.

Our program has garnered attention and popularity, expanding from 25 students in 2006 to nearly 200 students this fall, and we are now in need of unique instruments to accommodate our talented musicians.

To better serve our percussionists, we are looking to acquire a marimba, xylophone and vibraphone. In addition, we would like sousaphones, euphoniums, French horns, a bass clarinet, a piccolo and a baritone saxophone to give our bands and orchestra a full and powerful sound unlike any this area has ever heard.

We need a little over $100,000 to purchase these instruments. Can you help? Do you have a quality instrument to donate or know someone who might? Your contribution – whether it′s a monetary gift, an instrument, or pointing us in the right direction – will help us showcase the exciting work of emerging musicians in our region, and possibly around the globe.

For more information or to donate, contact Sarah Brown, director of annual giving, at or 260.665.4316.

Thank you for taking the time to consider "playing" a lead part in our music program and working to create a tradition of beautiful music for generations to come.