Evansville-area teen receives Lugar Center honor

Eugene Mumford of Griffin, Ind., is the recipient of the 2010 Richard G. Lugar Distinguished Student Leadership Award, presented annually to an Indiana high school senior by the Lugar Center for Tomorrow’s Leaders at the University of Indianapolis.

Senator Lugar is scheduled to present the award Saturday, Dec. 11, during his annual Lugar Symposium for Tomorrow’s Leaders at UIndy.

Mumford, an International Baccalaureate candidate at Signature School in Evansville, was among the approximately 400 top high school juniors statewide who attended last year’s symposium and were invited to apply for the award, which comes with a $500 cash prize. The recipient must have a minimum 3.0 cumulative GPA and demonstrate leadership skill and a commitment to serving others.

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History students separate pirate fact from fiction

Though UIndy does not officially endorse piracy as a career, students can explore the reality and the mythology of that lifestyle tonight during a program organized by Dr. Samantha Meigs’ Experiential Studies students.

A Pirate’s Life for Me will be an interactive open house in the conference rooms of Schwitzer Student Center’s lower level. From 7 to 9 p.m., visitors can enjoy first-person historical interpretation, stories about the lives of real pirates, film clips, displays of antique and reproduced artifacts, historically accurate games, food and other fun.

Be sure to stop by the “Become a Pirate” orientation station, by the way, to sign the ship’s register and choose your pirate name.

UIndy stage production lands rave review

The latest offering from the University of Indianapolis Department of Theatre,  Rosencrantz and Guildenstern Are Dead, received high praise this week from Nuvo Newsweekly.

Reviewer Josefa Beyer awarded 4.5 out of 5 stars to the production, citing “perfect performances” by lead actresses Chelsea Wood and Stephanie Kuscera, as well as worthy contributions from the rest of the cast.

Tom Stoppard’s Tony-winning existentialist tragicomedy upends Shakespeare’s Hamlet by imagining the same fateful events through the eyes of two minor characters. The UIndy production continues with performances at 8 p.m. Thursday, Friday and Saturday in Esch Hall’s Studio Theatre. Details are here.

Read the review

New scholarships build on Lugar Center mission

In conjunction with annual symposium, UIndy will award $10,000 annually to each of 10 incoming student-leaders

The University of Indianapolis has established a new scholarship program for Indiana high school students who attend the annual Richard G. Lugar Symposium for Tomorrow’s Leaders.

The Lugar symposium, which this year takes place on Saturday, Dec. 11, brings some 400 high school juniors from throughout the state to UIndy for a day of expert-led discussions on public issues, as well as a comprehensive keynote speech on world events from Indiana’s senior senator. Every high school in Indiana is invited to send two students to the event, which was founded in 1977 by Lugar, a former UIndy trustee and instructor, to cultivate future generations of civic leaders.

Students at this year’s symposium will learn that they are the first group eligible to apply for the new scholarship program, which will award $10,000 per year, for up to four consecutive years of undergraduate education, to each of 10 selected incoming students.

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Prof opens window on obscure academic world

Every few years, the world’s leading scholars of medieval Arabic mathematics gather on Africa’s northern coast to discuss their passion. As one might imagine, it’s a small and somewhat eccentric club.

Nonetheless, Professor Jeffrey Oaks, chairman of UIndy’s Department of Mathematics & Computer Science, is among those select few, and he amused an audience of colleagues and students today with tales of academic obscurity from the 10th Maghrebian Colloquium on the History of Arabic Mathematics. In May, he joined two dozen other math historians from various nations who presented at the three-day event in Tunis, Tunisia.

These are folks who pore over centuries-old manuscripts, written in Arabic and sometimes translated into Latin or Italian, to better understand the origins of modern math principles. They all know each other by reputation, if not personally. And because they often review each other’s published findings, interesting friendships — and rivalries — can result.

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UIndy alum, once an intern, now a partner

In the late ’90s, when Stephanie Willison was a University of Indianapolis student, she interned at the Greenwood financial services firm Sherman & Armbruster PC.

Now, having employed her UIndy accounting degree through more than a decade of work as a certified accountant and financial planner, she has returned to the firm as a principal, according to a news release. Sherman & Armbruster’s Investment Management Services wing provides personal financial planning and also designs and implements company retirement plans.

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Tony Award-winning play opens Friday at UIndy

Chelsey Wood, left, and Stephanie Kuscera play the title roles in the classic Rosencrantz & Guildenstern Are Dead, the season’s second production for the University of Indianapolis Department of Theatre.

Update: Read 4.5-star Nuvo review

The University of Indianapolis Department of Theatre continues its season this weekend with the classic Tom Stoppard play Rosencrantz & Guildenstern Are Dead, with performances at 8 p.m. Friday through Sunday and Dec. 9-11.

The Tony Award-winning tragicomedy retells Hamlet, perhaps Shakespeare’s greatest drama, from the perspective of his schoolmates Rosencrantz and Guildenstern. The dim-witted pair, portrayed in a gender-reversed twist by students Chelsey Wood and Stephanie Kuscera, ponder their existence through a script that is equal parts Laurel and Hardy, Waiting for Godot and classic Shakespeare, with periodic appearances by other Hamlet characters.

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UIndy teacher-prep program ‘ahead of the curve’

Dr. Jennifer Drake, director of UIndy’s Woodrow Wilson Indiana Teaching Fellowship Program, is co-author of an opinion column that appeared in Sunday’s Indianapolis Star.

The Woodrow Wilson teaching fellowships, launched at four Indiana universities and now spreading to other states, offer a $30,000 stipend for a rigorous one-year master’s degree program designed to draw career-changers and recent graduates into teaching math and science in high-need schools.

Drake and her counterparts at the other universities note that the program already addresses key issues cited in national calls for improvements in teacher education. Most notably, the column explains, the program involves intensive fieldwork and mentoring from the very start, in a manner analogous to the residencies required in the medical profession.

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UIndy education experts discuss New Tech

UIndy’s Center of Excellence in Leadership of Learning was a key source for a story appearing in several Indiana newspapers about the rise of the New Technology High School model in Indiana.

CELL introduced the New Tech model to the state through its annual conference and now supports a statewide network of schools implementing the concept as a fresh approach to secondary education.

Indiana now has 16 New Tech high schools — more than any other state — with more scheduled to open next year.

CELL Executive Director David Dresslar and Fellow for High School Networks Trish Wlodarczyk were interviewed for the story, which may be read here.

Faculty-staff chili contest feeds worthy cause

The UIndy community enjoyed a tasty lunch for a good cause last week when the Krannert School of Physical Therapy staged its third annual Chili/Stew/Soup Cook-Off. The Nov. 17 event in Martin Hall raised more than $400 for the Arthritis Foundation.

Diners paid a $5 donation to enjoy a bottomless trip through an array of hot dish entries. After the voting,  first prize went to Assistant Professor Bill Staples (right), followed by procurement director Stacie Neuhaus and Associate Professor Jim Bellew.

What does it take to win? Staples offered a few hints about his chili entry: “Some of the ingredients are secret, but I will say that all the tomatoes and peppers are fresh or fresh dried, not canned; six different kinds of peppers; four kinds of meat; three types of beans; two types of alcohol; many herbs and spices.”

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