One on one with Cassie Ge

Cassie Ge

Cassie Ge

As the University celebrates International Education Month throughout October, we’re highlighting the international students who bring rich cultural perspectives to the campus community.

This week we introduce you to Cassie Ge ’18, a nursing student from China.

Q: Describe your travel experience.

A: Before coming to UIndy, I had only traveled within China. Indiana was my first experience being out of the country. I have visited most big cities such as Chicago, New York City and Boston. Other than China and the U.S., I have only been to Haiti. I traveled there as part of the medical mission team in May 2017.

Q: Why did you decide to attend UIndy?

After struggling with my studies in pharmaceutical engineering for a year in China, my mom recommended the nursing program at UIndy. I talked to the advisor and other representatives; they were very friendly and were always there to help me throughout my application process. I liked the small campus at UIndy because I thought it would facilitate with building career connections and making real friends. In addition, I have always wanted to experience a different culture!

Q: What has your UIndy experience been like?

A: My UIndy experience has been fantastic so far. At the beginning of college, I attended a lot of extracurricular activities, made a lot of friends and improved my English speaking. My academic life has been successful as well since I maintained my GPA above 3.5. As I am preparing for graduation, I have received a lot of advice from Professional Edge Center for my resume building and career researching, which helps me relieve some stress about graduating.

Q: How would you describe the international culture at UIndy?

A: The campus promotes cultural diversity and emphasizes the importance of respecting every culture, which makes me feel welcomed at UIndy. The faculty understands the language barrier and they are willing to help international students.

Q: What is your advice for domestic students who might not have much experience with other cultures?

A: Don’t be scared and just talk to them. In my opinion, most people who have not been in contact with other cultures are simply afraid of the differences. I was homesick and scared to talk to people after I came to the U.S. After a while, I told myself that I couldn’t go back to China anyway, so why not just talk to some people and try to enjoy my life at UIndy? It turns out that I love UIndy! Based on my personal experience, I would strongly recommend studying abroad to experience other cultures. Everything is unknown but you never know if it is going to surprise you! It will broaden your view of the world, and you may have a different opinion about your own culture, too.

Q: What activities are you involved in outside the classroom?

A: I have been involved in campus organizations such as College Mentors for Kids and UIndy Dance Marathon. In College Mentors for Kids, my little buddy and I won “buddy pair of the year” at the end of the year. I have also served as an International Student Ambassador since sophomore year at the Admissions Office. I am always compassionate about helping people, so these activities allowed me to contribute my enthusiasm to the people who need my help. These activities taught me about teamwork as well as how to interact with people from various age groups.

Q: Are there any professors, staff or students who have helped you?

A: There are so many people who have made my UIndy experience special. For instance, my advisor Becca Cartledge not only helped me academically, she also offered me the opportunity to go to Haiti with her team, which was a life-changing experience. Also, all of my friends were very patient with me when we first met even though they could not understand me at all! They took me to local restaurants, explored Indy with me, invited me to their family occasions and supported me when I needed help.

University of Indianapolis capital project targets growth, benefits neighborhoods

Housing and green space project to enhance undeveloped University property

(INDIANAPOLIS) – Responding to the success of a strategic vision to grow student enrollment and expand campus life, the University of Indianapolis today announced a plan to develop an area adjacent to campus for additional student housing, green space and parking.

The institution’s Board of Trustees approved a plan to develop nearly 2 acres of University-owned property between National and Standish Avenues and two lots east of Boyd Avenue (a portion of Boyd near National would be closed to vehicular traffic). The project was unanimously supported at a recent meeting of the Indianapolis Department of Metropolitan Development.

The residential development will add 300 beds (singles, doubles and quads) via a high-quality apartment building, similar to the Greyhound Village Apartments, which opened in 2015 as a joint venture with Strategic Capital Partners. The project is expected to be completed as early as January 2019.

“One of the defining pieces of our educational experience is that we connect with each other,” said University President Robert Manuel. “The investment in this new housing project will ensure that we can continue to learn and engage each other and continue to strengthen our campus community.”

“We are honored to partner again with UIndy on another student housing project. We are excited to be part of the many great things happening at the University, ”said Will Zink, vice president of construction and development for Strategic Capital Partners.

The University continues to work with Carson Heights and University Heights neighborhood groups to align the plan for campus growth with the goals of these neighborhoods. Several open houses are planned in the coming months to allow nearby residents and business owners to learn more about ongoing capital improvements in the area. Scheduled dates include noon to 1 p.m. on Tuesday, Oct. 24, and Monday, Dec. 4, in UIndy Hall A in the Schwitzer Student Center on campus.

University of Indianapolis Vision 2030 Plan

The development is the latest effort as part of the Vision 2030 plan, which maps a path for university and community growth through four strategic focus areas: innovation, University relevance and placemaking, institutional competitiveness and continuing as a sustainable community anchor. Vision 2030 also sets a course for the future to strengthen facilities and programs for students and faculty while increasing community engagement both socially and academically.


UIndy celebrates record-breaking Homecoming Weekend

Thousands of University of Indianapolis alumni and friends joined students, faculty and staff for 2017 Homecoming Weekend. The University capped off a busy week of reunions, honors and events with a new GUINNESS WORLD RECORDSTM title and the extension of UIndy football’s winning streak.

The University’s new WeatherSTEM station was dedicated to the memory of William Gommel, professor of mathematics & earth-space science (1965-1992). The WeatherSTEM station is the result of faculty and student collaborations to bring new technology to monitor and research weather patterns and atmospheric conditions. Carly Nicholson ’17 (earth-space science) hatched the idea of a weather station with associate professor Tim Duman nearly three years ago and authored a grant to secure financial support for the unit. Alumnus Bob Green ’70 made a donation to bring the project to fruition.

Hundreds gathered to recognize the 2017 Alumni Award recipients during the Honors & Recognition Dinner, including Larry Miller ’62 (Distinguished Alumni Award), Tamara Wolske ’05 (Distinguished Faculty/Staff Alumni Award), Daniel Del Real ’05 (Distinguished Young Alumni Award), Tom ’64 and Mary Kay ’65 Anthony (Gene and JoAnne Sease Award) and former Indianapolis Mayor and Visiting Fellow Greg Ballard (Honorary Alumni Award). Watch interviews with the honorees.

Homecoming Day started off with the 4th annual Hound Hustle 5K Run/Walk, with proceeds supporting student scholarships and programs. Alumni, faculty and students attended the President’s Lunch & Founders Day Celebration, hosted on the lawn of Good Hall, to hear the importance of this landmark building in the educational experience for more than 110 years. Get an update here.

The Department of Criminal Justice celebrated its 45th anniversary with the announcement of the Criminal Justice Education Lab, a University-owned training facility that will be opening soon near campus. The Marion County Forensics Services Agency hosted a mock crime scene for visitors in the president’s home as part of the celebration.

Building on the traditions of Homecoming, the University unveiled a new float during the Homecoming Parade. Dozens of students, faculty, staff and friends built the float, designed by Department of Art & Design faculty, in the weeks leading up to Homecoming Day, marking a new legacy of collaboration.

After the parade and Tailgate Town, the biggest excitement was yet to come. The University set a new GUINNESS WORLD RECORDSTM title for the most high-fives with a university mascot in one minute during halftime at the Homecoming Game. Ace the Greyhound recorded 128 high-fives with students, faculty and staff to win the title for UIndy. Watch the video here.

Jasmine Coe ’19 (nursing) and Braylen Morgan ’18 (communication) were crowned Homecoming queen and king, with President Rob Manuel presiding.

UIndy football ended the night by recording the team’s best start since 1997 to go 5-0 with a 34-19 win over Truman State.

UIndy Family Weekend: Catching up with the Brunnemers

Brunnemer / Legacy Family (Jim '66, Lu '76, Kyle '92, Julia-current student). (Photo: D. Todd Moore, University of Indianapolis)

The Brunnemer Family: Jim ’66, Lu ’76, Kyle ’92, Julia ’19). (Photo: D. Todd Moore, University of Indianapolis)

UIndy Family Weekend is a time to celebrate the connections that the University of Indianapolis brings to life. Jim ’66 and Lou Brunnemer ’69 recently celebrated their 50th wedding anniversary, and the couple reflected on the role of the University in their lives.

“She was a freshman and I was a senior. I saw her walking across the stage in this little skit, and I thought that was a girl I wanted to date!” Jim said.

Jim and Lou’s son Kyle Brunnemer ’92 was a two-year All-American in golf at UIndy before becoming a golf professional. His daughter, Julia Brunnemer ’19, is majoring in public health.

Jim served the University for 21 years with positions as director of alumni relations and vice president for development before retiring in 2000. As part of the fundraising team during a significant period of growth for the University, Jim noted the changes he helped to facilitate, along with University leadership.

“We took the parking lot out of the middle of campus, built the Christel DeHaan Fine Arts Center, and Martin Hall. It was satisfying to see that happen. It’s been amazing to see the changes on campus. I’m very proud of the staff here and the presidents who have led the way,” he said.

Both Kyle and his daughter were drawn to UIndy not just because of Jim’s involvement with the University, but for the culture.

“I knew I wanted something small and personal. I knew I wasn’t a big school kind of girl when I was looking,” Julia said.

“I think we have that in common,” Kyle added. “That’s one of the things that stood out to me along with knowing the university so well. We just felt like it was more of a big family here.”

Lou noted how the University motto of “education for service” came to define her 25-year career as a first grade teacher. “Service is a very important part of the UIndy legacy,” she said.

The Brunnemers also credit UIndy in playing a central role in the relationships they’ve developed over the years. Lou said her family still gets together monthly with friends they made at UIndy years ago – and she shared another UIndy connection.

“I was a Cincy girl and my pastor, Herman Emmert, graduated from here. I was in his youth group and he was the instrument that brought me here. My life has changed because of him,” said Lou.

Jim acknowledged the university presidents he worked for over the years: I. Lynd Esch, Gene Sease, Benjamin Lantz, Jr. and Jerry Israel.

“All of them made tremendous contributions. I’ve gotten to know [University President] Rob [Manuel] and he’s another in the fine line of leaders. I’d have to turn to the motto “education for service.” It was that way when I was here. It is still that way today.”

The Bickel family: Following in the footsteps of UIndy tradition

From left: Tyler, Cindy and Joe Bickel

From left: Tyler, Cindy and Joe Bickel

As UIndy Family Weekend approaches, the Bickel family of Carmel is sharing memories and looking forward to the future. Married for 22 years, Joe ’93 and Cindy Bickel ’93 first met as undergraduates at the University – and the family ties to UIndy go even further.

Joe and Cindy are all smiles when asked about how they met. Joe was working as an RA helping freshmen (including his brother Scott) move into the residence halls.

“I was helping my brother move into what was called North Hall at the time. I see this cute blonde walk by, and I’m thinking I’d like to get to know her, maybe,” he grinned. “Later on in the day, we happened to meet and I just said ‘hi’ to her. That evening, all the freshmen came over for the freshman dance. I thought if I happen to see her come into the Schwitzer Center, I’ll ask her to dance with me.”

He didn’t have to wait long.

“That evening, she came walking in with a bunch of friends and I asked her to dance. That went on and we dated through college,” said Joe.

The University’s criminal justice program, which recently celebrated its 45th anniversary, has played a major role in the lives of Joe and his brother Scott Bickel ’94, both of whom went on to pursue law enforcement careers after graduating from UIndy with degrees in criminal justice. Now Joe’s son Tyler ’21 is following in the family footsteps in a place that feels like home.

“UIndy gives you a very welcoming feeling in a friendly environment,” said Tyler.

The UIndy ties are strong in this family. Cindy graduated with a major in business and a minor in accounting in 1993. His brother Scott ’94 (criminal justice) and sister-in-law Steph (education) are UIndy alumni, and Cindy’s brother is also a graduate.

Tyler appreciates those family connections.

“Having both my parents as UIndy graduates, they’ve given me personal tips on UIndy – how to survive the first year. ‘You’re on your own now but we’re still looking out for you,’” he said.

Joe, a lieutenant with the Carmel Police Department, grew up in a law enforcement family and knew from a young age he wanted to be a police officer. He took a position with Carmel PD a year after graduating from UIndy. He’s served in several different roles at Carmel PD, including field training officer, community outreach, public information, hiring and recruiting and crime scene investigators supervisor.

Along with personal connections, Joe created important professional relationships through UIndy’s criminal justice program. Dennis Williams, assistant professor of criminal justice, was Joe’s law enforcement advisor who helped him obtain internships with Indiana State Police and the U.S. Customs Service.

“He was an awesome mentor and professor,” said Joe.

The Bickels have another son, Josh, who is a junior at Carmel High School.

One on one with Juliana Rohrmoser Pacheco

julianaThroughout October, we’ll be introducing you to UIndy international students in honor of International Education Month. Our international students bring rich cultural perspectives to the campus community, and they form an integral part of the UIndy family. International Education Month celebrates their contributions while highlighting the diverse, multicultural resources on the campus and in the community. Lectures, films, musical performances and panelist discussions offer multiple opportunities to engage with international and diverse perspectives. See a full schedule here.

This week, we profile Juliana Rohrmoser Pacheco ’18 (visual communication design), who is a familiar face at the Department of Integrated Marketing & Communications (IMC), where she is a student worker assisting in graphics creation, social media management and digital content. You can hear Juliana speak at the annual Celebration of Flags on Oct. 12 at Smith Mall, where she will be honored as international student speaker for the event.

Q: What’s your hometown? What kind of travel experience did you have before coming to UIndy?

I am an international student from San Jose, Costa Rica. Before coming to UIndy I had visited the U.S several times. I’ve been to Florida, New York, and I played soccer at a tournament in Minnesota during high school and participated in a dance competition in Chicago as well. I’ve also traveled to South Africa, Zambia, Brazil, Panama, Mexico, France and Italy.

Q. Why did you decide to attend UIndy?

I decided to apply to UIndy because my dad had previously been to Indianapolis and loved the city. I found UIndy and really liked that the campus wasn’t too big or too small. When I looked into my major I was drawn to the way the curriculum was set up. I would have the opportunity to take drawing, painting and communication classes while working on graphic design as well.

Q. What has your UIndy experience been like so far? How would you describe the international culture at UIndy?

My experience at UIndy has been nothing short of amazing. I have met some fellow students, faculty and staff that have been very welcoming and who have helped me succeed in every project I take on. The UIndy community really appreciates international culture, not just because it’s “cool” that we’re from a different country but everyone really understands the value of having different cultures present on campus. It’s great to have events like the Celebration of the Flags, cultural presentations and even foreign language classes that bring the community together.

Q. What is your advice for domestic students who might not have much experience with other cultures?

I think in order for every UIndy student to make the most out of their educational experience, they have to engage with an international student. Even if it’s by being in the same group in a class, you’d be amazed to see the different perspective an international student can give you. From giving examples of how something is done in their home country to adding points of interest with facts about a different demographic, I know students and professors appreciate seeing cultural diversity.

Q. What do you think students on campus can do to understand the international perspective?

I think domestic students should try and understand what an international student goes through. They are away from their families and their homes. Basically everything that they were used to growing up is different when they’re here. What would you do if you couldn’t reach your parents in a situation where you really needed their help? Doing your insurance paperwork, paying bills without guidance and – oh my goodness – tax season!

Q. Will you be attending any events for International Education Month?

I will be attending the Celebration of the Flags on October 12. I will actually be the speaker on behalf of the international student population at UIndy this year. This is my favorite event because it literally brings all of the international students together to showcase their flags. I always feel very proud to wave my flag and show the UIndy community where I come from.

Q. What activities are you involved in outside the classroom?

Outside of the classroom, I currently hold two on-campus jobs and one internship. I have been a student worker for IMC (UIndy Integrated Marketing & Communications) for almost two years and this opportunity has given me outside of the classroom experience in the field that I would like to go into after graduation. I also am the art director for The Reflector, our student newspaper at UIndy. I have also worked for the football team, the Writing Lab and the Professional Edge Center. I also have an internship at Raybourn Group International, an association management company located in the north side of Indianapolis. I have worked there since May of this year. I also participate in the UIndy Connectors program, regularly attend sports events and community service opportunities on- and off-campus. All of these experiences have contributed to making me a well-rounded student. I have made some great connections that have helped me during these past three years and will definitely be an important part of finding a job in the U.S. after graduation, which is my goal.

Q. Are there any professors, staff or students who have made your UIndy experience special?

Everyone I’ve met has made an impact on my experience, to be honest!

      • The Department of Art & Design has played a huge role in preparing me for jobs and internships, especially Julia Taugner. With every communications or design position I’ve held, they’ve all been impressed by my skill set.
      • I also have to credit IMC. I started as a student worker and now I’ve grown to become an active member of the team. This has given me opportunities to work on graphic design, learn about social media communications, event photography and even some content development for UIndy!
      • The Professional Edge Center has also helped me by guiding me through creating my resume, applying for internships and starting to apply for jobs after graduation. The team there is very welcoming and ready to help any student succeed and make the best of their experience.

Q. Why is an international perspective valuable in the workplace?   

International students are important to have as members of your community. They provide a different perspective, new knowledge, maybe solutions you wouldn’t think about because they’ve experienced different things. They also are a valuable member of the team because they expand people’s viewpoints. It’s so important to open your school or company to diversity. Different cultures add so much value to a community because they make people come together and learn from each other.



The University of Indianapolis mascot Ace and students set a new GUINNESS WORLD RECORDS (TM) title for the Most High Fives Given by a Mascot in One Minute.

Ace the mascot hit 128 high fives during halftime at the UIndy Homecoming game at Key Stadium Saturday night, breaking the previous record of 121. A GUINNESS WORLD RECORDS adjudicator was on site to certify the results of the record-breaking attempt.

The No. 10 Greyhounds notched another victory to go 5-0, beating Truman State University 34-19.

Media coverage:
WTHR: UIndy sets new Guinness world record for high fives

University of Indianapolis Department of Criminal Justice celebrates 45th anniversary

UIndy hosted the Indianapolis-Marion County Forensics Services Agency for a training exercise on Thursday, August 17, 2017. (Photo: D. Todd Moore, University of Indianapolis)

UIndy hosted the Indianapolis-Marion County Forensics Services Agency for a training exercise on Thursday, August 17, 2017. (Photo: D. Todd Moore, University of Indianapolis)

The University of Indianapolis Department of Criminal Justice marks an important milestone during Homecoming Weekend. The University is celebrating the department’s 45th anniversary, making it one of the longest-running criminal justice programs in the state.

An anniversary celebration will be held from 1:30 to 2:30 p.m. on Saturday, Sept. 30, 2017, at the President’s Home (4051 Otterbein Ave., Indianapolis, Ind. 46227). Register here for this event.

Guests will learn about the future Criminal Justice Education Lab, which will provide a space for training simulations for UIndy students as well as city police departments and investigators. Students, faculty and alumni are invited to enjoy special crime lab activities with long-time faculty member Dennis Williams, new faculty member Bruce Biggs and University of Indianapolis President Emeritus Gene Sease.

Demand is growing for criminal justice graduates, and the University of Indianapolis has responded with exciting new opportunities available within the major, said Kevin Whiteacre, associate professor and chair of the criminal justice program. The program has expanded to include the loss prevention and cyber security tracks, added in 2015. A crime scene investigation (CSI) track will be offered in fall 2018.

The University of Indianapolis was the first university in the state to develop a partnership with the Indiana Law Enforcement Agency (ILEA), which led to UIndy’s badge and bachelor’s program in 1996. UIndy criminal justice graduates are qualified to be hired as police officers, provided they complete training at the Indiana Law Enforcement Academy. Since 1997, the University in partnership with ILEA has graduated 70 students.

UIndy criminal justice majors who are pursuing a concentration in law enforcement can attend the ILEA their senior year. Whiteacre points out the distinct advantage this opportunity provides for graduates.

“Law enforcement agencies don’t have to pay for candidates who graduate from UIndy’s criminal justice program to attend the Academy, because they have already completed their training – so they’re more likely to get the job,” Whiteacre said.

New tracks including loss prevention offer numerous career choices for graduates. Logan Britton ’17, was one of the University’s first criminal justice graduates with a concentration in loss prevention. Britton credits the University’s Professional Edge Center and Whiteacre’s networking efforts in assisting his job search, which led to his current position at an Indiana-area Macy’s store as a loss prevention detective.

“I’ve talked to many other criminal justice students from different schools and no other school will help you get the experience and know-how you need to get a good job in your career path,” Britton said.

The criminal justice program takes an interdisciplinary perspective to offer students a broad range of skills. Students enrolled in the loss prevention track also take a business analytics class. The cyber security track includes coding classes taught by computer science faculty.

Partnerships and collaboration with accrediting agencies are an important aspect of the program, Whiteacre said. The loss prevention track, developed in partnership with the National Loss Prevention Foundation,  includes Loss Prevention Qualified accreditation (LPQ) as part of the curriculum. The new CSI track, developed in consultation with IMCFSA, ensures graduates will meet Indianapolis-Marion County Forensic Services Agency’s accreditation requirements for hiring crime scene techs.

“Our course offerings provide our students with the credentials for their accreditation needs. We are always reaching out and collaborating with external partners in the field to develop the program,” Whiteacre said.

Internship brings engineering career into focus

Jake Smith '20 (industrial engineering)

Jake Smith ’20 (industrial engineering)

Jake Smith ’20 (industrial engineering) knew he was making an impression at his internship last summer when his colleagues admiringly compared him to a “Swiss Army knife.” Learning every aspect of the operation turned out to be the key to his success.

“It was everything from, ‘Hey, Jake, there’s some excess scrap metal on the floor to ‘We have a new client, so we need this design and all of our engineers are working on it but we need extra help,’” Smith explained.

The Brownsburg, Ind., native transferred to the University of Indianapolis in fall 2017 to study industrial engineering at the R. B. Annis School of Engineering. UIndy’s student-faculty ratio (12:1) appealed to him after he spent his freshman year at the University of Iowa, where there were up to 400 students in each engineering class. After taking a summer design class with Jose Sanchez, director of engineering programs, Smith knew UIndy was the right move.

“Everybody has the same goal – they want you to succeed just as much as you do,” he said.

For Sanchez, that goal is for engineering students to emerge as problem solvers and critical thinkers, not just graduates trained out of a textbook. The hands-on learning in the R.B. Annis School of Engineering helps students to have an immediate impact in internships and future career opportunities.

Smith said his paid internship with Eagle Oxide Services, a subsidiary of Shelbyville-based Capital Industries, provided a valuable perspective. He played tennis and baseball year-round growing up and never had the opportunity for a part-time job. His internship was an eye-opening experience.

“It gives you a broad idea of the business field and the work life. It really just shows you what you’re about to get into. The work ethic builds on you,” he said.

The internship also gave Smith the opportunity to develop his communication skills, especially when consulting more experienced colleagues before making decisions about ordering or researching expensive parts.

“If it doesn’t match up, your company just lost $500,000 and it’s not on anybody but yourself. You’ve got to talk to higher-up powers and people who have been there to learn the way,” he said.

Smith’s successful internship got him invited back for future summers. He’s also looking into the possibility of other internships, including the Lilly summer replacement program, which is available to relatives of Lilly employees. Smith’s father worked at Lilly for 37 years as a chemical and industrial engineer.

Smith said he was excited that “there are so many options” in his chosen career field of industrial engineering.

UIndy alum James Hurrell keeps an eye on the storms

James Hurrell '84, director of the National Center for Atmospheric Research (NCAR)

James Hurrell ’84, director of the National Center for Atmospheric Research (NCAR)

The recent string of powerful and deadly hurricanes is unusual but not unprecedented, according to James Hurrell ’84 (mathematics and earth-space science), director of the National Center for Atmospheric Research (NCAR).

Hurrell, who received his doctorate from Purdue University in 1990 after graduating from the University of Indianapolis, joined NCAR as a postdoc that same year. After growing his career as a research scientist for the agency, he assumed a leadership role 15 years ago and has served as director since September 2013.

As Hurricanes Harvey, Irma and most recently Maria churned up a trail of devastation in the southern United States and the Caribbean, Hurrell discussed the role of climate change in the formation of such powerful storms. The hurricanes caused nearly 150 deaths and billions of dollars in damage to property, crops and infrastructure.

“Climate change plays a role by increasing ocean heat content and higher sea surface temperatures, and more moisture in the atmosphere. This make for more intense, bigger and longer-lasting storms,” he said.

Those storms can occur in clusters, Hurrell explained, because a set of conditions tends to persist through a season or at least several weeks.

Predicting these powerful storms is crucial to public safety, and Hurrell called the forecasters’ predictions excellent for both Harvey and Irma. NCAR works to provide all the latest scientific data and research to ensure forecasting models are as accurate as possible.

Perhaps the biggest challenge for prediction is communicating uncertainty. People tend to focus on the center of the cone. For preparation, the hardest thing is to understand how to weigh uncertain information versus the hassle of evacuation and the difficulties this may pose,” he said.

Rising sea levels – due to thermal expansion of the oceans and melting land ice – also exacerbate storm surges, which he said are often the most deadly and destructive aspects of hurricanes. He cited a recent Washington Post article by Kerry Emanuel of the Massachusetts Institute of Technology that explains that Hurricane Sandy would not have flooded Lower Manhattan if it had occurred a century ago when sea levels were lower.

The size and duration of Harvey and Irma led to both storms having a significant impact on residents in their respective paths.

The biggest devastation was in the Islands with Irma. Both became very large and long­-lived storms, as we expect with climate change. Harvey was big enough that after it made landfall, it kept going by reaching out to the Gulf and bringing moisture into Houston, causing major flooding,” Hurrell said.

Harvey brought up to 50 inches of rain over several days in some areas. “It lasted 70 hours before going back over the Gulf. The normal lifetime of a hurricane over land is about a day,” Hurrell said, noting the tremendous damage the storm caused.

“Irma also was huge and was able to straddle Florida as it moved north, causing significant damage, but not the major devastation that would have occurred with a slightly different track and associated major storm surges,” he added.

As far as recovery, Hurrell said it will take years, particularly for Houston.

“It will never be the way it was – ditto for many of the Caribbean island, now with Maria. It is possible that in the future, some properties will be declared uninsurable risks,” he said.

Hurrell said he is fortunate to work at NCAR with other leading scientists and engineers, which he calls a world-class research center.

“Atmospheric science is a subject that impacts people’s lives each day. People care about our work, and the research we do helps to protect lives and safeguard property: research in service to society,” he said.

Reflecting on UIndy

He also reflected on his time at the University of Indianapolis, praising the close-knit community of faculty, administrators and students.

“UIndy was the foundation for all I have achieved professionally. The university then, as today, was absolutely invested in the success of its students from the moment they walk onto campus. I personally benefited from UIndy’s strong commitment to individualized formation and teaching and a well-rounded liberal arts education,” he said.

“These are not just words. If they were, my daughter would not be there now!” he added.

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