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UIndy News

Ecumenical and Interfaith Programs welcomes new staff, receives grant

The Office of Ecumenical and Interfaith Programs welcomed two new staff members this fall: Rev. Arionne Williams and Rev. Corey Howard. These new personnel will enable the work of the chaplaincy at UIndy to focus on campus ministry and interfaith programming.

Rev. Williams

Rev. Williams

Rev. Arionne Williams serves as the new Associate Chaplain and will direct Interfaith Programming as well as serve in Christian ministry with students. She has a long ministry with youth and in women’s empowerment. She has already begun to develop meaningful relationships with UIndy students. A commissioning service for Rev. Williams will be held on November 4 at noon.

Rev. Howard

Rev. Howard

The EIP office also received a $580,000 grant to expand and develop programs in the theological vocation exploration for high school students. The grant will give UIndy students opportunities in leadership development in the programs as well as introduce high school students to the ministry at UIndy. As a result of the grant, Rev. Corey Howard joined the University to serve as Assistant Director of the Lantz Center. His primary responsibilities are with these grant-funded programs and he will also have time committed to ministry with UIndy students.

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Celebration of Flags salutes 78 nations

celebration_flag_3876UIndy highlighted the global diversity of its campus community today with the 28th annual Celebration of the Flags, that colorful and moving fall tradition recognizing the many home countries of current students, faculty and staff.

The centerpiece, as always, was an Olympic-style procession in which flag bearers, many dressed in traditional garb, paraded with their national colors as the countries were announced. This year’s event featured 78 nations.

The program this afternoon included a string trio performance by Anastazi Vithova on the violin, Emma Bryant on the viola and Brynn Stebbe on cello. Remarks were given by UIndy President Robert Manuel, International Student Representative Sultan Salam, and Indianapolis Student Government President Jason Marshall.

After the program, attendees enjoyed international snacks and learned more about the various cultures at tables manned by students from China, Canada, Africa, Saudi Arabia, India, and Ireland.

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UIndy Theatre presents musical comedy

Emery Lade as Olive Ostrovsky stars as an eager speller

Emery Lade as Olive Ostrovsky stars as an eager speller

A heartwarming comedy is this season’s opening production from the Department of Theatre at the University of Indianapolis. The 25th Annual Putnam County Spelling Bee is a long one-act musical comedy conceived by Rebecca Feldman with music and lyrics by William Finn, a book by Rachel Sheinkin and additional material by Jay Reiss.

The 2005 Broadway production earned good reviews and box-office success and was nominated for six Tony Awards, winning two, including Best Book. It opens October 21 in UIndy’s Ransburg Auditorium, 1400 E. Hanna Ave.

Featuring a fast-paced, wildly funny, and touching book, and a truly fresh and vibrant score, The 25th Annual Putnam County Spelling Bee has charmed audiences across the country with its effortless wit and humor. An eclectic group of six mid-pubescents vie for the spelling championship of a lifetime. Six spellers enter; one speller leaves! At least the losers get a juice box. A riotous ride complete with audience participation, The 25th Annual Putnam County Spelling Bee is a delightful den of comedic genius.

The run continues Oct. 21-22 & 27-29, with performances at 8 p.m., and on Oct. 23 with a 2 p.m. performance. Admission is $12 for the public, $10 for UIndy alumni, senior citizens, groups of eight or more, and non-UIndy students with ID. Tickets and more information are available at or 317- 788-3251

The 25th Annual Putnam County Spelling Bee is presented through special arrangement with Music Theatre International (MTI).

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Using arts to improve the quality of life of older adults

The University of Indianapolis Center for Aging & Community (CAC) has received a $600,000 contract from the Indiana State Department of Health to design, implement, and coordinate a project that will improve the quality of life of older adults living in long-term care facilities through the use of the arts.

The Expressive Arts in Long Term Care project will educate long term care professionals in best practices for using visual art, dance, drama, music, writing/memoir in individual and group settings for residents living in long-term care facilities.

“We have assembled an outstanding team of faculty for this project,” said CAC Senior Projects Director Ellen Burton, MPH. “The arts are a key way to enhance the quality of life for older adults, especially those living in nursing facilities. By focusing on the wide spectrum of the expressive arts, we can help Indiana’s long-term care facilities offer meaningful experiences to their residents.”

CAC will host a total of six training workshops around the state, each four days in length. Faculty for the Expressive Arts in Long-Term Care project include:

  • Visual Art: Sarah Tirey, BFA, Associate Adjunct Faculty of Art & Design, University of Indianapolis
  • Dance: Heidi Fledderjohn, MA, BC-DMT, RYT, Dance/Movement Therapist, Facilitator and Teacher, Know Wonder, St. Vincent Health, Still Waters Adult Day Center
  • Drama: Sally Bailey, MFA, MSW, RDT/BCT, Professor of Theater and Gerontology and Director of the Drama Therapy, Kansas State University
  • Music: Rebecca Sorley, DA, Professor of Music, Director of Student Support, and Coordinator of the Music Business Concentration, University of Indianapolis
  • Writing and Memoir: Katharine Houpt, MAAT, ATR, LCPC, director of an expressive arts therapy program at a nursing facility in Illinois

The first workshop is scheduled to take place in Indianapolis November 14-16 and November 29, 2016. The cost is $100 for the four days. Long-term care professionals interested in registering may do so here.

Five additional workshops will be scheduled and held throughout the state. Each workshop is limited to 50 participants. There will also be two “train-the-trainer” workshops, two-day sessions developed to ensure sustainability for the teaching of expressive arts beyond the scope of this project.

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Rethinking aging: Dr. Bill Thomas brings “Age of Disruption Tour” to UIndy


Renowned aging expert presents Disrupt Dementia and Aging: Life’s Most Dangerous Game

On October 19, 2016, the University of Indianapolis will host Age of Disruption, a national tour that brings a radical new approach to growth and aging. The brainchild of Dr. Bill Thomas, one of the most innovative and creative thinkers working in medicine today, the Age of Disruption Tour will roll into Indianapolis in a rock n’ roll tour bus ready to engage the community with new and vastly more rewarding visions of aging.

The 2016 tour features two nonfiction theatre performances: the paradigm shifting Disrupt Dementia and Dr. Thomas’ signature show, Aging: Life’s Most Dangerous Game, featuring the unconventional pairing of a physician (Dr. Thomas) and a musician, Nate Silas Richardson.

Disrupt Dementia is a first-of-its kind event inviting people living with dementia and their allies to experience a new vision for living with cognitive change. This immersive and transformational experience turns convention on its head by focusing on what we can all learn from people living with dementia, rather than from experts and includes music, storytelling, and exclusive outtakes from a new film by Alive Inside director Michael Rossato-Bennett.

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Indianapolis HR expert to lead Master of Professional Studies Degree Program

Program provides unique learning experiences, access to industry leaders, and a project-based graduate learning environment



The University of Indianapolis has appointed Candance Wells-Meyer as the program director for the University’s innovative Master of Professional Studies (MPS) degree program in Human Resources Development and Administration, which launched earlier this year. The degree, which focuses on mid-career professionals looking to advance, provides advanced learning through a unique formula utilizing a project-based curriculum and industry leaders as faculty.

Wells-Myers brings to the role a portfolio of human resource leadership and management including positions at St. Vincent’s Hospital and Indiana Farm Bureau. She holds professional designations as a Senior Professional in Human Resources (SPHR), a Senior Certified Professional (SHRM-SCP), and a Certified Compensation Professional (CCP). She is also an adjunct faculty in the University of Indianapolis’ Department of Communications and is widely recognized for her impact as a respected professional within Indiana’s human resource network. She earned a master of arts degree in Communication Studies (with an emphasis in Organizational Development) from Northern Illinois University, and a bachelor of science degree in Communications in Business from the University of Indianapolis.

UIndy’s MPS program features a group or “cohort” format with an applied program of study and collaborative projects founded in human resources management on such topics as ethics and workplace law, labor negotiation and budget, and employee compensation and benefits. To learn more information or to apply online, visit





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Goodwill Industries and UIndy establish new partnership

Research Fellowship to advance community efforts to support local schools

The University of Indianapolis and Goodwill Industries of Central Indiana are pleased to announce a new partnership to facilitate community-based educational initiatives that can have a positive and direct impact on local K-12 students and teachers.

With generous support from the Walton Family Foundation, these two organizations have established the Goodwill Research Fellowship to support graduate students who wish to pursue community-based research. The partnership will leverage Goodwill’s existing connections and programs in local public schools aimed at helping educators and staff in their work with students with disabilities and those receiving special education services.

“Goodwill and the University of Indianapolis are two organizations that share a mission and vision focused on supporting education as a way to break cycles of poverty,” said Dr. David Wantz, executive vice president and provost at the University.

This new fellowship will be responsible for supporting community-based research efforts focused on breaking the cycle of poverty at Goodwill Education Initiatives beginning in 2017. This graduate-level fellowship will focus efforts on implementation, management, execution and evaluation of various educational, research and clinical projects conducted under the auspices of the partnership between Goodwill Education Initiatives and the University of Indianapolis.

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Author Alexander McCall Smith to speak on Oct. 10


Alexander McCall Smith

Author of acclaimed No. 1 Ladies’ Detective Agency to speak in downtown Indy

Alexander McCall Smith, British best-selling author and Emeritus Professor of Medical Law at the University of Edinburgh, will speak at the Indianapolis Public Library – Central Library on Monday, October 10, at 7:30 p.m., as part of UIndy’s University Series and Sutphin Lectureship.

McCall Smith has written more than 100 books, including specialist academic titles, short story collections, and a number of immensely popular children’s books. But he is best known for his internationally acclaimed No. 1 Ladies’ Detective Agency series, which rapidly rose to the top of bestseller lists throughout the world.

This event is free and open to the public. Online registration is requested.

Alexander McCall Smith’s appearance, included in the University Series and in partnership with the Indianapolis Public Library, is underwritten by the Sutphin Lectures in the Humanities, endowed in memory of Samuel B. Sutphin by his sons Dudley V. and Samuel Reid Sutphin. The Sutphin Lectures bring scholars of distinction to our campus community for the benefit of students and the broader community.
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CELL to serve in technical support role to K-12 Schools in Lilly Endowment statewide counseling initiative

The Center of Excellence in Leadership of Learning (CELL) at the University of Indianapolis is one of three organizations selected by the Lilly Endowment Inc. to provide technical support to public school corporations and charter schools as they apply for planning and implementation grants to strengthen their counseling programs.

“I am pleased that CELL is being recognized once again for bringing innovation to K-12 Indiana schools,” said University of Indianapolis President Robert Manuel. “CELL’s expertise in networking schools, delivering support and providing research-based guidance will help districts and schools transform their counseling services.”

Lilly Endowment Inc. has launched a five-year Comprehensive Counseling Initiative to expand innovative counseling services and incorporate strategies that better prepare K-12 Indiana students for academic, career and personal success. The Endowment expects to allocate up to $30 million for this initiative depending on the number, types and quality of proposals submitted. To read the Request for Proposals, go to

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University of Indianapolis students to hold voter registration drive

photo-23A group of students at the University of Indianapolis is focused on increasing voter registration for students and neighbors in the next two weeks through the political science class “Campaigns and Elections.” The voter registration campaign and service-learning project “UIndy Votes!” was created, organized and implemented by the students with a grant from Indiana Campus Compact.

About 20 students are visiting nearly 500 homes in the University Heights neighborhood, according to Assistant Professor of History & Political Science Laura Albright. The juniors and seniors want to reach out to college students and community members and help them register to vote, confirm their voter registration and provide information about the voting process. The students will also analyze the effectiveness of the voter registration campaign to inform future registration strategies.

“Political participation, like democracy, is a group effort,” says Albright, “and these projects connect the students to the community and both benefit as a result.”

The campaign makes it easier for students and others to register to vote through a strategy spanning multiple days at varying hours in popular places near the University campus. The voter registration drive will also incorporate a door-to-door canvassing effort in the extended campus community of University Heights from September 26 through October 7.

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