First WeatherSTEM unit in Indiana installed at UIndy

When it comes to weather, the forecast in Indianapolis can be pretty unpredictable from one day to the next. A new weather station installed at the University of Indianapolis this week will help meteorologists and the community try to make more sense of incoming weather data. weatherstem_2

A solar-powered WeatherSTEM unit providing up-to-the-minute weather data on temperature, wind speed, humidity, rainfall, barometric pressure and many other statistics was installed atop the roof of the Schwitzer Student Center in mid-July. The system also has a sensor in the ground to report soil moisture and ground temperature.

The data from the unit is available now on an interactive website, an app, Facebook and Twitter – allowing the UIndy community and general public to monitor the weather near campus and receive alert notifications. The information is available 24 hours a day and will be used by different groups across campus for safety and research purposes.

The WeatherSTEM station is the result of UIndy faculty and student collaborations to bring new technology to monitor and research weather patterns and atmospheric conditions. Recent Earth-Space Science grad Carly Nicholson ’17 began discussing the idea of a weather station with associate professor Tim Duman nearly three years ago.

As a student, Nicholson branded her campus weather updates with the phrase “Stay Weather Safe.” But it was more than just a tagline. She said, “it’s a lifelong devotion to environmental awareness.”

This spring, she authored a grant to help find financial support for a WeatherSTEM unit. It didn’t take long for UIndy alumnus Bob Green ’70 to take action.

From left: Carly Nicholson '17, Dr. Tim Duman and Luke Hunnewell of WeatherSTEM.

From left: Carly Nicholson ’17, Dr. Tim Duman and Luke Hunnewell of WeatherSTEM.

“UIndy is now a hub of meteorological data. The campus and surrounding community have the opportunity to become more intimate with the weather they experience day to day with use of the WeatherSTEM website, app and social media,” says Nicholson who is currently pursuing her master’s in public affairs and environmental science at IU Bloomington.

Green’s gift to support the WeatherSTEM station is in honor and memory of Dr. William Gommel, a professor of Mathematics & Earth-Space Science at the University from 1965 to 1992.

“I have a hunch that Professor Gommel would be pleased to know that one of his favorite topics – meteorology – has an ongoing presence on the UIndy campus in the form of a live weather data system,” said UIndy alumnus Bob Green ’70.

Members of the community are invited to attend a special dedication ceremony of the WeatherSTEM weather station during Homecoming Weekend on Friday, September 29. Register now.

UIndy sends largest faculty delegation to service learning symposium

Transforming communities through service learning was the focus of this year’s 7th International Symposium on Service Learning, held at the National University of Ireland in Galway. The University of Indianapolis co-hosted the event with NUI Galway and Stellenbosch University (South Africa). screen-shot-2017-07-11-at-1-00-36-pm

UIndy had the largest faculty delegation attending the symposium, and several faculty members presented research on the impact of service learning and community engagement. Marianna Foulkrod, director of Service Learning & Community Engagement, served as co-chair.
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Renovations underway on Good Hall main entrance

The oldest and most iconic building on the University of Indianapolis campus is getting a facelift. 

The front entrance to Good Hall, which has been cordoned off for the past term, is undergoing a restoration process that began in June and will continue through 2018. Renovation plans include refurbishing the building’s two-story portico and six columns at the main entrance. The campus landmark will also receive structural renovations to transform Good Hall into a learning environment that is more aligned with the needs of today’s students.

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UIndy hosts Nitro Circus Live on July 28 at Key Stadium

Nitro Circus Live brings breath-taking stunts and choreographed action to the University of Indianapolis on Friday, July 28. Hot from the 2017 Nitro World Games in Salt Lake City in June, athletes will perform tricks in freestyle motocross, BMX and skate, plus all manner of crazy contraptions off the one-of-a-kind 40-foot Nitro Gigant-A-Ramp.

The two-and-a-half-hour sports-performance show offers a fun family night, with a blend of daredevil action and athletic camaraderie. Nitro Circus will bring in additional seating, staging and ramps to transform Key Stadium for one night only.

Rachelle Merkel-Diaz, director of summer programs at the University, said Nitro Circus is just the beginning as UIndy expands event offerings that appeal to the broader community. Events like Nitro Circus tie in with the University’s strategy to make the Indianapolis south side a destination point that enriches local neighborhoods, with UIndy as an important anchor.

“We’re excited to host Nitro Circus at the University of Indianapolis for the first time. This is a fun, unique event for the whole family, and everyone is invited to come and check it out,” she said.

Merkel-Diaz said residents can expect to see more events happening as the UIndy footprint grows and enhances community partnerships.

Jeremy Rawle, Gregg Godfrey and action sports superstar Travis Pastrana launched the Nitro Circus concept from their garage in Utah in 2003. Since then it’s grown into a worldwide phenomenon, with a series on MTV that aired in more than 60 countries. The show has toured five continents, with sold-out shows in Australia, New Zealand, China, the United States, Canada, South Africa, and all across Europe.

Bob Brubeck, assistant athletic director for facilities & operations, was instrumental in bringing Nitro Circus to the UIndy campus. He became familiar with Nitro Circus through the television program on MTV.

“I thought it would be cool to do it here,” Brubeck said. When Nitro Circus organizers got in touch with him seeking a venue in Indianapolis, he seized the opportunity.

The event could attract as many as 10,000 spectators to campus, making Nitro Circus an ideal way to showcase UIndy’s amenities.

“Many people from the area will be able to see the University and what we have to offer,” Brubeck said.

Fast facts:

When: 7:00 p.m., July 28, 2017
Where: Key Stadium, University of Indianapolis
Cost: From $19 for standing general admission to $124 for a family pack (two adults, two children)

Buy tickets here. Use promo code “HOUNDS” to get 20 percent off.

Power tools and professional development: TeenWorks at UIndy

A group of teenagers dressed in blue T-shirts were gathered around workbenches in front of the University’s Physical Plant on a recent warm summer’s day, learning the finer points of wood-cutting with power tools.

The summer program last six weeks, with professional development support provided year-round.

The summer program last six weeks, with professional development support provided year-round.

But these aren’t your average teens working a summer job. Hailing from high schools throughout the Indianapolis metro area, the students are participating in TeenWorks, a summer employment and college readiness program that provides opportunities for hundreds of teenagers. Indiana philanthropist Gene B. Glick started the initiative in 1981 with the goal of providing teens with a summer job to teach them the principles of self-discipline, a hard day’s work and giving back to the community.

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​School of Education programs request third party comments for CAEP review

The UIndy School of Education is hosting an accreditation visit by the Council for the Accreditation of Educator Preparation (CAEP) on November 5-7, 2017.

Interested parties are invited to submit third-party comments to the visiting team. Please note that comments must address substantive matters related to the quality of professional education programs offered, and should specify the party’s relationship to the EPP – Education Program Provider (i.e., graduate, present or former faculty member, employer of graduates). No anonymous testimony will be considered.

We invite you to submit written testimony by October 15, 2017:
Site Visitors
CAEP
1140 19th Street NW, Suite 400
Washington, DC 20036
Or by e-mail to: callforcomments@caepnet.org

Poverty Simulation provides eye-opening perspective for students

Students from a variety of health disciplines learned firsthand recently the challenges faced by low-income families in a Poverty Simulation held on the University of Indianapolis campus.

Public Health students, in conjunction with the physical therapy program, participate in a Poverty Simulation on May 23, 2017. (Photo: D. Todd Moore, University of Indianapolis)

Photo: D. Todd Moore, University of Indianapolis

The Poverty Simulation, organized by Anne Mejia-Downs, associate professor, and Julie Gahimer, professor, Krannert School of Physical Therapy, serves as an introductory activity to the Doctorate of Physical Therapy (DPT) Service Learning Course. DPT students were joined by PT assistant, nursing and public health graduate and undergraduate students for the event. 

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UIndy master’s program builds community leadership through public art

It’s early on a Friday evening in May – before the crowds arrive at the Tube Factory in the Garfield Park neighborhood – and Big Car CEO and co-founder Jim Walker is talking about the powerful role the arts have in transforming and building communities.

Art is not just something you see in a gallery or museum, said Walker, whose expertise lies in social practice and placemaking, a type of art that leverages community assets to create public spaces that promote health, happiness and well-being.

“Instead of making a piece of art that’s an object, we’re making things happen,” explained Walker, who brings that vision to a new, one-year intensive program at the University of Indianapolis. The new master’s program in Social Practice Art, which is unique for Indiana, prepares students to become community leaders by leveraging the power of the arts. 

Jim Walker, co-founder of Big Car, will teach courses in Social Practice Art at UIndy starting in the fall of 2017.

Jim Walker, co-founder of Big Car, will teach courses in Social Practice Art at UIndy starting in the fall of 2017.

Developed by Jim Walker and Kevin McKelvey, associate professor of English, the program connects students with degrees in art & design, theatre, dance, music or creative writing with community stakeholders to engage in social practice and creative placemaking. The result is a participatory art form that empowers and transforms communities, and one which has been gaining in popularity in recent years. Walker and McKelvey will oversee the program, which is still accepting applications for the fall of 2017.

The vibrant atmosphere of the Tube Factory provides the perfect backdrop to talk about the University’s MA in Social Practice Art program, as it represents an example of social practice art in action. The formerly vacant 12,000-square-foot building on Cruft St. has been renovated into a welcoming space where the Big Car arts collective, founded by Walker in 2004, hosts cultural events and partnership-based community meetings.

Related: Big Car launches affordable home ownership program for artists

Walker pointed out the value of bringing art to underserved neighborhoods and giving residents an outlet to voice their opinions. The program will also focus on grant writing, social entrepreneurship and community sociology.

The Tube Factory on Cruft St. Photo courtesy Big Car.

The Tube Factory. Photo courtesy Big Car.

“Art and culture are important elements of everybody’s lives, so the kind of art that we’re working on here actually seeks out input from community members. When they’re invited to participate, it’s a way to show people that art isn’t some kind of exclusive thing. In that way it can help make a difference for the community,” Walker said.

In many ways, Walker’s new role at the University is a logical extension of Big Car’s south side success story. Walker, who lives in the Garfield Park neighborhood, is a well-known community builder on the Indianapolis arts scene. He has taught art history at the University of Indianapolis and art and writing at other area universities. Big Car held its ten-year anniversary exhibition at the Christel DeHaan Fine Arts Center in 2014.

The Social Practice Arts program builds on several of the University’s community-partnership initiatives, including the Quality of Life plan for the Indianapolis south side, and the Gene and Mary Ann Zink Poverty Institute, a University initiative to end poverty driven by an evidence-based and outcome-oriented strategy.

Making a difference in local neighborhoods will be a key focus of the program. Students will have the opportunity to work at Big Car’s Tube Factory, where they can learn to manage arts-related events and encourage community involvement. “This is a really good laboratory for students to learn in, get off campus and get involved. The connection between UIndy and our space is a pretty important one,” Walker added.

McKelvey explained that the multidisciplinary approach of the program combines with the University’s service-learning focus to attract artists who want to give back to the community. The program will embrace community involvement and prepare students to effectively lead and engage community leaders in projects that have a broad impact on the quality of life.

“From cities to smaller communities, these ideas around placemaking and social practice are really starting to take hold,” McKelvey said.

Learn more about UIndy’s Social Practice Arts Program here.

Written by Sara Galer, Senior Communications Specialist, University of Indianapolis. Contact newsdesk@UIndy.edu with your campus news.

Research events highlight UIndy-Community Health Network partnership

The University of Indianapolis held the first annual Health Pavilion Scholarship Day in May to showcase research conducted by students and faculty in the health sciences disciplines. Held in tandem with the Community Health Network Research Symposium on campus, the events highlighted the growing partnership between the University of Indianapolis and Community Health Network.

UIndy students show research posters in the atrium of the Health Pavilion as part of the first annual Health Pavilion Scholarship Day hosted by the Health Science Colleges on Friday, May 19, 2017. The event was followed by the Second Annual Multidisciplinary Scholarly Activity Symposium held by Community Health Network with UIndy partnership support. Chad Priest, RN, JD, Chief Executive Officer of he American Red Cross of Indiana Region, is the speaker delivering a keynote on "The Healthcare Professionals of the Future" in Schwitzer following the luncheon. (Photo: D. Todd Moore, University of Indianapolis)

More than 20 faculty and students showcased their research experiences  at the Scholarship Day event held in the morning, which was hosted by all of the disciplines within the Health Pavilion. In the afternoon, keynote speakers Chad Priest and Ileana Ponce-Gonzalez of Community Health Network addressed issues surrounding the health care professions at the Community Health Network Research Symposium.

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