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They’re here! Largest freshman class arrives

Move-In - Warren Hall - webIn a sure sign the 2014-2015 academic year is upon us, green-shirted Movin’ Crew volunteers haul freshmen gear into Warren Hall this morning during UIndy’s annual Move-In Day. After a parade of Welcome Week events, classes will begin Monday.

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The largest freshman class in UIndy’s century-plus history got an introductory display of Greyhound hospitality this morning, as more than 400 faculty, staff, student and alumni Movin’ Crew volunteers greeted the incoming vehicles and helped the newcomers move into the residence halls.

After the traditional Move-In Day lunch, the new students and their families gathered in Nicoson Hall for an opening convocation that included words of wisdom from university leaders and noted alumni.

Board of Trustees Chair Tom Martin and UIndy President Rob Manuel talk with WXIN's   MIchael Henrich.

Board of Trustees Chair Tom Martin and President Rob Manuel talk with WXIN’s MIchael Henrich.

Board of Trustees Chair Tom Martin, president of Bloomington Ford, recalled his own UIndy days, as a member of a much smaller class.

“UIndy will prepare you for life and career in ways that you are perhaps not able to understand today,” he told the newbies.

The keynote speaker was Linda Dillman, chief information officer for QVC Inc. and previously for Wal-Mart, who traced her own remarkable career path from UIndy student to executive assistant to global corporate executive.

“You are entering what I think is probably the most exciting and impactful part of your life,” Dillman said.

At least 930 freshmen, a 16 percent increase from 2013, are beginning their UIndy educations this year, along with more than 200 students transferring from other institutions. Hailing from 17 states and many nations, most notably China and Saudi Arabia, the freshmen also are likely to set a new record with their combined GPA, currently projected at 3.47 on a 4.0 scale. The group includes 15 valedictorians and six salutatorians.

At the convocation, they received some valuable advice from upperclass student Alexis Fort, who urged them to take advantage of all the opportunities available.

“Say yes to campus life,” she told the crowd. “Jump in with both feet.”

Move-In - WZPL booth - webLocal radio personality and UIndy communication alum Nikki Reed (left) staffs the WZPL-99.5 FM table in Schwitzer Student Center.

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New digital media programs begin this fall

Both traditional and adult students can prepare for careers in emerging communications fields through new digital media programs starting this fall at UIndy.

Digital Media Studies is a bachelor of science program, unique in Indiana, that includes courses in writing and content, design, software development, marketing and public relations, communication law and analytics. Aimed at traditional college students, the curriculum prepares graduates for fields involving a range of digital skills and media knowledge, including web design, advertising, marketing, app development, game design, creative services, social media direction, interactive video editing and multimedia production. The program was designed collaboratively by faculty in UIndy’s departments of Art & Design, Communication, English and Math & Computer Science.

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Airport exhibition features longtime prof’s art



The whimsical ceramic figures of Professor Emeritus Dee Schaad are familiar to many folks within and beyond the UIndy community, and now they are on display for international travelers passing through town.

Recently retired after more than 30 years in the Department of Art & Design, Schaad is one of just two local artists selected for the current exhibition rotation at Indianapolis International Airport. Through Nov. 16, the Concourse B installation case will feature his pieces inspired by the characters of Chaucer’s The Canterbury Tales, but cast as present-day tourists.

Schaad’s stoneware and earthenware work is included in several books about clay art and held in many public and private collections. He is a 2007 recipient of a Creative Renewal Arts Fellowship from the Arts Council of Indianapolis.

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Advising center adds experienced staffers

Two experienced new advisors are joining UIndy’s Center for Advising and Student Achievement this fall.

Erica Pedroza and Megan Chaille, both with backgrounds in college advising, adjunct teaching and youth mentoring, are well-suited to the individualized, proactive, developmental approach practiced at UIndy, CASA Director Lela Mixon said.

Pedroza previously worked in advising at Ivy Tech Community College-East Chicago. A Notre Dame graduate, she interned with the National Coalition for the Homeless in Washington, D.C., and also has mentored high school students for the past three years.

Chaille’s advising experience was gained at Indiana University-Purdue University Columbus. She holds a master of social work degree from the University of Texas and a bachelor’s degree in psychology and law & society from Purdue University. She also has served as a consultant for the Indiana Youth Institute.

Both will begin work Sept. 2.

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MBA students excel in business competition

A student team from UIndy’s Saturday Executive MBA program has scored in the top 1 percent among more than 1,300 teams in a national business simulation competition.

Greg Crafts, Justin Libak, Brian McIntire and Adejare Windokun were students this summer in MBA 690, a capstone course intended to tie together the full range of business principles learned in the program. One-third of the course grade, instructor Dave Brokaw said, is based on the outcome of a Capsim online simulation, which sets up virtual companies in a specific industry and requires participating teams to interpret data and make decisions about product lines, production, pricing, marketing, facilities and other aspects of making a business profitable.

“Whatever you can imagine in the manufacturing world, it’s there,” said Brokaw, who is director of technology operations for Indiana Farm Bureau Insurance and has taught part-time at UIndy for about 10 years.

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Public Health prof: Don’t lose sleep over Ebola



See WIBC news report

The Ebola outbreak in West Africa is rightfully a concern for the international community, but it’s not a health threat for the vast majority of Americans, says UIndy’s Dr. Shannon McMorrow.

Despite rumors on social media and confused comments by public officials, the horrible hemorrhagic fever virus is not spread through air, water or food. It can be contracted only through direct contact with the blood or bodily fluids of an infected person who is showing the symptoms, says McMorrow, assistant professor of Kinesiology and interim director of UIndy’s new Master of Public Health program.

She has seen Facebook posts suggesting, for example, that the virus could easily spread among airline passengers.

“It’s generating a lot of fear,” she says.

Still, the outbreak is an interesting case study for professionals and students in the field, says McMorrow, who taught public health at a Ugandan university from 2005 to 2008, when Ebola was reported in that eastern African nation. Current efforts to combat the spread of the virus reportedly are being hampered by rural Africans’ fears and suspicions about the foreign health workers who are coming into their communities, often wearing protective gear that looks like “alien space suits,” McMorrow says.

“It makes sense for their own protection, but the local folks are scared,” she says. “You miss the mark when you don’t take those things into account.”

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Record-setting freshman class expected

This year’s incoming Greyhounds are highest ever in GPA, sheer numbers

This year's Move-In Day is Aug. 20.

Move-In Day 2014 is scheduled for Aug. 20.

With the fall semester starting Aug. 25, the University of Indianapolis expects the largest incoming class – and one of the most academically successful – in its century-plus history.

At least 930 freshmen, a 16 percent increase from 2013, will join the Greyhound ranks this year, along with more than 200 students transferring from other institutions.

Hailing from 17 states and many nations, most notably China and Saudi Arabia, the freshmen also are likely to set a new record with their combined GPA, currently projected at 3.47 on a 4.0 scale. The group includes 15 valedictorians and six salutatorians.

Read more »

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Biology graduate featured on national podcast

Morrison - Chronicle podcast - web

Cheneta Morrison, right, at work in Texas

UIndy alumna Cheneta Morrison is the latest subject of The Chronicle of Higher Education‘s Say Something podcast, which focuses on interesting activities among the nation’s college students.

Morrison was a member of the team from UIndy’s Archeology & Forensics Laboratory, led by Associate Professor Krista Latham, that traveled to southern Texas this summer to exhume and begin the process of identifying the remains of migrants who succumbed to the elements after crossing the U.S. border. The Fort Wayne native graduated in May with a bachelor’s degree in Human Biology and also holds a UIndy degree in Criminal Justice.

The two-minute podcast can be heard here.

Previous stories about the team’s Beyond Borders project are here, and the team’s website — with compelling video, photos and blog entries — is

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Student Affairs names new staff members

Two new staff members have joined UIndy’s Department of Student Affairs.



Kristin (Bright) Weeden is associate dean of students, with responsibilities that include residence life and student conduct.

Joe Thomas is assistant dean of students, overseeing student activities, orientation and parent and commuter programs.

Weeden served most recently as a student mentor with Western Governors University and previously as residence life coordinator and systems administrator at UIndy. She holds a bachelor’s degree in political science from Chicago State University and a master’s degree in sports management from Indiana State University.



Thomas has served in a number of staff positions at Indiana State University, most recently as director of new student transition programs and university testing. He holds a bachelor’s degree in geography, a master’s degree in student affairs administration and a certificate in college and university teaching from Ball State University.

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University bonds available for alumni purchase

UIndy logo (with dog)-201&blkUIndy alumni have an upcoming opportunity to invest in the university’s future.

Prudent financial management is crucial as UIndy undertakes its ambitious five-year development plan, investing $50 million in projects that include constructing the multidisciplinary Health Pavilion, renovating Krannert Memorial Library, upgrading science labs and launching new academic programs such as the Master of Public Health degree.

Administrators have determined that the university can save more than half a million dollars by refinancing its remaining 2004 Series Bonds through the issuance of new tax-exempt bonds with a lower interest rate.

Alumni will be able to purchase one or more of these tax-exempt bonds through their personal brokers or the university’s agent, Fifth Third Securities. The preliminary official statement is available for viewing here. The bonds are scheduled to go to market at 10 a.m. EDT on August 13.

As a benefit to the Greyhound alumni community and friends, purchases by individuals will receive first priority over institutional sales. If you are interested in purchasing bonds, contact your broker or Darrick Hutchens, CFP, with Fifth Third Securities at (317) 587-7067.

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