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UIndy News

Precautions in place to guard against disease

With Ebola and other infectious diseases still in the news as the holiday travel season begins, UIndy is assuring students, faculty and staff that all recommended measures and precautions are in place to guard against possible outbreaks and respond to any such concerns arising in the campus community.

The university follows guidelines set forth by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention and the Indiana Department of Health in regard to evaluating and treating patients, as well as the use and disposal of protective equipment. We also are monitoring CDC guidelines for student health centers, which are posted  here.

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‘Christmas Celebration’ concerts Dec. 5 and 7

UIndy-holiday-concert-webA rich tradition of holiday song will be explored Dec. 5 and 7 when the University of Indianapolis Department of Music stages its popular annual Christmas Celebration concerts.

Performances will take place at 7:30 p.m. Friday, Dec. 5, and 4 p.m. Sunday, Dec. 7, in Ruth Lilly Performance Hall of UIndy’s Christel DeHaan Fine Arts Center, 1400 E. Hanna Ave.

The program will feature a range of seasonal religious and secular music, from medieval and Renaissance-era selections to classic European carols and American standards, including “The First Noel,” “Hark! The Herald Angels Sing,” “Sleigh Ride” and “O Holy Night.”

Appearing will be:

  • Concert Choir, conducted by Professor Paul Krasnovsky and accompanied by faculty organist Marko Petricic, with student soloists Abigail House, Natalie Covert and Elisabeth Kleinsmith;
  • Schola chamber vocal ensemble;
  • Women’s Chorus, accompanied by faculty pianist Gregory Martin;
  • Symphonic Wind Ensemble, under the direction of Assistant Professor Vu Nguyen;
  • Chamber Orchestra, under the direction of Assistant Professor Austin Hartman and featuring faculty mezzo-soprano Mitzi Westra;
  • and Handbell Choir, under the direction of instructor Peter Nichols, performing as a 30-minute prelude to the concert.

Admission is free for UIndy students, faculty and staff, $10 for the general public and $6 for seniors and non-UIndy students with ID. Reservations and more information are available at or (317) 788-3251.

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Lawrence teen earns Lugar leadership award



Lawrence North High School student Edric Zeng has been chosen to receive the 2014 Richard G. Lugar Distinguished Student Leadership Award, presented annually to an Indiana high school senior by the Lugar Academy at the University of Indianapolis.

Former Senator Lugar, a distinguished professor of political science and international relations at UIndy, will present the award to Zeng on Dec. 6 during the 38th annual Lugar Symposium for Tomorrow’s Leaders at the university. Founded in 1977, the event gives top high school juniors from around the state – as many as three per school – an opportunity to hear a keynote address on world events from Lugar and explore pressing public issues through expert-led small-group discussions.

Zeng, the son of Hyeonsook Lee of Indianapolis and William Zeng of China, was among the hundreds of Indiana students who attended last year’s symposium and were invited to apply for the leadership award, which includes a $1,000 cash prize. The recipient must have a minimum 3.0 cumulative GPA and demonstrate leadership skill and a commitment to serving others.

This year’s recipient far exceeds those requirements. One of the top students in his class, Zeng is student body president and has been president of his class since freshman year. He is a varsity swimmer and a member of the speech team, National Honor Society, Hispanic Honor Society and National Technical Honor Society. He also volunteers at Community North Hospital and serves as president of Lawrence North’s Key Club, distinguishing himself through his leadership of service projects including blood drives and the stocking of the school’s food pantry.

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Student pianist wins statewide competition



UIndy senior Kevin Ellenberger came away with one of the top honors at the Music Teachers National Association State Performance Competitions, held Saturday at Ball State University.

Ellenberger’s 30-minute performance of selections by C.P.E. Bach, Kodaly, Messiaen and Shostakovich won the piano category in the Collegiate/Young Artist division for ages 19-26. The piano performance and finance major from New Palestine will proceed to MTNA’s East-Central Division competition in January at Lawrence University in Wisconsin, on his way (hopefully) to the national finals in March in Las Vegas.

Another UIndy student, junior James Loughery, earned honorable mention in the same category of Saturday’s competition with his performance of J.S. Bach, Liszt, Debussy, Poulenc and Michael Schelle.

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Pastors, author to discuss same-sex marriage

What does the Bible really say about same-sex marriage? Eighty United Methodist Church pastors have registered for a Dec. 3 conference at UIndy to discuss that very question, and the morning keynote presentation is open to the campus community and the public.

The topic is undoubtedly controversial, says event organizer Michael Cartwright, dean of Ecumenical & Interfaith Programs at UIndy and himself an ordained UMC elder. That’s why he titled the conference Can We Talk? The Bible and Same-Sex Marriage, hoping to spark a positive dialogue that looks beyond easy answers.

“You don’t have to agree with one another, but you can learn from the conversation,” Cartwright says.



The open session from 10 to 11:20 a.m. in McCleary Chapel will feature Mark Achtemeier, a Presbyterian minister and author of The Bible’s Yes to Same-Sex Marriage: An Evangelical’s Change of Heart. Achtemeier’s presentation will be followed by brief responses from Cartwright and colleague Perry Kea, both associate professors in UIndy’s Department of Philosophy & Religion, reflecting their scholarly perspectives. Attendees who are not registered for the overall conference will be welcome to remain in the chapel afterward for further discussion.

The conference will continue with lunch, an afternoon panel discussion and other activities for registered participants. The conference is at capacity, and registration is closed.

More information is available from Dr. Cartwright at

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5 questions: Obama’s immigration action

President Barack Obama’s new executive action on immigration, announced Thursday night, is neither the overreach his opponents have criticized nor the sweeping move some supporters have hailed, says a political science professor at the University of Indianapolis.



As a practical matter, the significance of the new, temporary protections for certain undocumented immigrants is more political than tangible and probably will attract far fewer participants than estimated, says Assistant Professor Maryam Stevenson, who has more than nine years’ experience as an immigration attorney.

The president’s announcement was not surprising, she says, given that immigration is emerging as a key issue among the American public, one on which Congress has been unable to make progress.

“The president was making more of a political statement than anything else,” Stevenson says. “It gave him an opportunity to go in front of the American people and kind of look like a hero (to his political base). He looks like the good guy, and Congress looks like the bad guy.”

We asked Stevenson to explain further.

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Pro Edge event explores business of sports

Reinbold eventAuto dealer, racing team owner and UIndy alum and trustee Dennis Reinbold addresses students, faculty and alumni Wednesday during a Professional Edge Center networking event at the Dreyer & Reinbold Racing Shop.

Students and young alumni interested in “The Business of Sports” enjoyed some firsthand perspective Wednesday from key local leaders in the field.

The dinner, discussion and networking event, sponsored by UIndy’s Professional Edge Center, took place at the Dreyer & Reinbold Racing Shop and featured Anucha Browne, vice president of the NCAA Women’s Basketball Championships; Kelly Krauskopf, president and general manager of the Indiana Fever; Ersal Ozdemir, president/CEO of Keystone Construction, owner/founder of the Indy Eleven soccer team and member of the UIndy Board of Trustees; Dennis Reinbold, president/CEO of Dreyer & Reinbold, as well as a UIndy alumnus and trustee; and Joel Zawacki, also a UIndy alum and director of Corporate Sales & Marketing for the Indianapolis Indians.

Wednesday’s event followed a similar Professional Edge networking opportunity Nov. 13 at the Columbia Club, this one aimed at student leaders and those interested in public service careers. The panelists included former Senator Richard Lugar, now a distinguished professor of Political Science and International Relations at UIndy; Jeff Mitchell, lead sales professional for Airwatch and a former Greyhound quarterback; Ryan Vaughn, president of the Indiana Sports Corp.; and Indiana State Rep. Justin Moed.

The Professional Edge Center works with local employers and professionals to develop internship, mentorship, entrepreneurship and employment opportunities for students and recent graduates. The center also seeks to create career pipelines in entrepreneurship and in business sectors that are important to the Indiana economy and tied to UIndy’s academic programs and expertise. More information on the Professional Edge Center is available at

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Student-Directed Productions open tonight

It’s that time of year again, when students in the Department of Theatre get to call the shots and bring their classroom learning to the stage.

The annual Student-Directed Productions will debut with a free sneak preview tonight before officially opening for public performances Friday through Sunday and again Dec. 4-6 in Studio Theatre on the lower level of Esch Hall. All performances begin at 8 p.m.

This year’s offerings, generally single-act plays or portions of longer plays, include:

  • A Kind of Alaska by Harold Pinter, directed by senior Elise Campagna
  • Happy Birthday, Wanda June by Kurt Vonnegut Jr., directed by senior Anna Wieseman
  • The Maids by Jean Genet, directed by senior India Van Camp
  • Dog Sees God by Bert V. Royal, directed by senior Daryl Hollonquest Jr.

Each features a student cast and an army of students and faculty working behind the scenes. Involved in all four productions are sophomore Michelle Trayweek, sound designer; senior Cassie Cutshaw, scenic designer; junior Connor Avery, production technical director; and sophomore Kayla Carroll, production stage manager.

As always, admission is free to UIndy students, faculty and staff with campus ID. For others, tickets are $12 general; $10 for alumni, seniors, groups and non-UIndy students with ID. The Dec. 4 performance is a Half-Price Second Thursday, with regular tickets at just $6.

More information on this year’s Department of Theatre season is available here.

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Health care advocacy program is state’s first

Degree will prepare professionals to guide patients through system

Watch WXIN-Fox59 story

A new bachelor’s degree at the University of Indianapolis is designed to fill an urgent need in the health care industry: helping patients to navigate it.

The Health Care Consumer Advocacy program is the first in the state designed to prepare graduates for careers supporting and promoting the rights and needs of patients and their families in a changing and often confusing marketplace.

Health care consumer advocates work in settings that include hospitals, medical practices, insurance companies, long-term care facilities and public and nonprofit agencies, often under such titles as “patient care coordinator,” “patient case manager” or “client services manager.” Traditionally, these roles have been filled by nurses and social workers who have to learn on the job about the complexities of financial management, information technology and industry policy and terminology.

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OK, so they didn’t catch a comet, but …

space image 2014 - webThis still image from an on-board video camera shows the latest UIndy science balloon at the peak of its flight, nearly 18 miles above Earth’s surface.

Watch flight video

The world has been abuzz this week over the amazing images captured by the European Space Agency’s Rosetta mission, which traveled for 10 years through space and landed a probe on the bizarre, duck-shaped Comet 67P/Churyumov–Gerasimenko.

Less widely known, but still pretty cool, are the latest images captured by UIndy’s own space agency — the Department of Physics & Earth-Space Science — during its high-altitude balloon launch on Homecoming Day, Oct. 25.

This was the 13th such launch by the department, which has been sending up two or three balloons a year since 2009, department chair Steve Spicklemire says. The latest was for a course in astronomy and laboratory instrumentation, and it carried seven self-contained experiment pods prepared by students for the flight. According to an on-board GPS tracker, the payload reached a height of 93,360 feet — nearly 18 miles — before the balloon popped as planned and the assembly spiraled wildly back to earth, landing in a tree in Kentucky’s Big Bone Lick State Park.

You can follow the entire two-hour, 20-minute flight on this video, which shows the balloon lifting off from campus and rising to the very edge of space before beginning its descent. (CAUTION: The camera motion may cause discomfort in viewers prone to wooziness.)

The next UIndy balloon launch will be this spring, for a meteorology class.

balloon flight pathThis map shows the ground path of the latest UIndy balloon flight, which began on campus and ended two hours later in Kentucky’s Big Bone Lick State Park.

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