UIndy spreads message of life-saving text-to-911 Lifeline Law

Advocates for the Indiana Lifeline Law and text-to-911 visited the University of Indianapolis campus Wednesday to make sure students know alcohol-related deaths are preventable. Help is available.

State Sen. Jim Merritt (R-Indianapolis) and State Treasurer Kelly Mitchell spoke, along with University Police Chief David Selby, Student Government President Jason Marshall and Make Good Decisions Advocate Stevan Stankovich.

“We’ve saved 43 lives to date (that we know of) because of the Lifeline Law,” said Merritt. “Everyone makes mistakes, but we’re here to encourage students to make good decisions when it really matters.”

Alcohol poisoning kills a college-aged person every 44 hours, according to Indiana Youth Services Association’s Make Good Decisions campaign. Indiana’s Lifeline Law provides legal protection for underage drinking and many alcohol-related offenses for minors, for a person who texts or calls 911, and for the person(s) assisting, to report a medical emergency.

Stankovich spoke about an incident that happened nine years ago when he was a college freshman at Wabash College. A fraternity brother, Johnny Smith, came home extremely intoxicated, and Stankovich was tasked with watching over him throughout the night. Although the brothers were concerned about him, they decided not to call 911 and instead rolled him on his side to sleep it off.

The next morning, Smith was unresponsive. The boys tried CPR, called for an ambulance, and watched as he left the house in a body bag.

“I didn’t realize people could die from drinking too much,” Stankovich recalled. “I felt responsible for his death and I fell into a depression fueled by guilt. I still feel terrible, because this was completely preventable.”

Selby reminded students of a University motto: “If you see something, say something. You never know when your actions could save a life.”

The most important things for students to know:

  • Know the signs of alcohol poisoning, which include unusual confusion, repeated vomiting, loss of bodily functions and pale or bluish skin. See a complete list of warning signs here.
  • If you’re concerned about someone who drank too much, you should call 911 or text 911 immediately for help. Make sure to include your location in the text message.

 

Lebanon student earns prestigious Richard G. Lugar Award

Julia Garrard

Julia Garrard

A senior from Lebanon High School earned the 2017 Sen. Richard G. Lugar Distinguished Student Leadership Award.

Julia N. Garrard will receive the $1,000 award from Lugar on Saturday, Dec. 9, during the 41st annual Lugar Symposium for Tomorrow’s Leaders at Ransburg Auditorium at the University of Indianapolis. The event gathers more than 400 of Indiana’s top high school juniors at the University for an expert discussion on pressing public issues and world events. Lugar will deliver a keynote address at 10 a.m.

“I am honored and humbled to receive the 2017 Richard G. Lugar Distinguished Student Leadership Award,” said Garrard, who will give a short acceptance speech at the symposium. “I understand, however, that this is not a reward for past achievements but rather an investment in my future contributions to the public good. I look forward to rising to this challenge.”

The highly competitive award honors students for academic success, leadership and a proven commitment to serving others. Each applicant must complete an application and draft an essay on one of three topics. Garrard chose to describe an example of how she showed courage while demonstrating leadership.

In her essay, Garrard discussed her experience as an exchange student in Germany, where she taught the German language to refugees who were fleeing violence in the Middle East and settling in Germany. She taught language lessons in a refugee camp, which she described as doing her “little part in the midst of this humanitarian catastrophe to build goodwill abroad for my country.”

Kevin O’Rourke, principal at Lebanon High School, wrote in the award application about Garrard: “Julia is very committed to being a servant leader. She is incredibly active in our school and community in the service she provides to others.”

The activities in which Garrard is involved include:

  • Student Council President
  • Exchange student to Germany
  • Thirst Project
  • Mayor’s Youth Council
  • United Way volunteer
  • Lebanon Mentors Club

About the Lugar Academy

More than 15,000 promising students have participated in the Lugar Symposium during the past 40 years, including nearly 500 students last year, gaining wisdom, insight and access to some of the finest minds available. Principals from every high school in Indiana are asked to select three outstanding student leaders from their junior class to attend the Symposium. Lugar is a Distinguished Trustee, a former professor of political science and holds an honorary degree from the University of Indianapolis. The symposium that bears his name was launched in 1977 as an opportunity to discuss with students topics of local and global importance.

About the University of Indianapolis
The University of Indianapolis, founded in 1902, is a private, liberal arts university located just a few minutes from downtown Indianapolis. The University is ranked among the top Midwest Universities by the U.S. News and World Report, with a diverse enrollment of more than 5,500 undergraduate, graduate and continuing education students. The University offers a wide variety of study areas, including 109 undergraduate degrees, more than 37 master’s degree programs and six doctoral programs. More occupational therapists, physical therapists and clinical psychologists graduate from the University each year than any other state institution. With strong programs also in engineering, business, and education, the University of Indianapolis impacts its community by living its motto, “Education for Service.”

Faculty mentors inspire history grad to pursue Stanford doctorate

Lauren Judd, UIndy undergraduate and master's degree holder, is headed to Stanford to pursue her PhD in History. She poses for photos in the Krannert Memorial Library on Wednesday, May 24, 2017. (Photo: D. Todd Moore, University of Indianapolis)

Lauren Judd ’17 (Photo: D. Todd Moore, University of Indianapolis)

Lauren Judd ‘17 (M.A., history) was delighted to find one-on-one mentorship at the University of Indianapolis that allowed her to customize her field of study and pursue unique, hands-on work opportunities.

Lauren Judd first came to the University of Indianapolis knowing she’d have to get used to the academic spotlight. At Arizona State University, she had blended in with hundreds of students in larger classes.

“I’m not someone who likes to raise my hand and talk in class. I didn’t feel like I needed a lot of one-on-one attention,” she explained, adding that her UIndy instructors quickly put her at ease in the classroom.

“The professors wanted to challenge you, so it wasn’t easy, but they also wanted to create a comfortable enough environment that you felt safe stretching and growing. It was never intimidating. They’re just committed to helping you succeed,” she added.

Looking back to May 2017, Judd now credits that personal attention to her success in landing a full-ride scholarship as a doctoral student at Stanford University, ranked among the top five in the U.S. News & Report’s Best Colleges. Today, she’s excited to explore her future because of the encouragement of mentors such as UIndy faculty members Jim Williams and Ted Frantz. Rather than discouraging her from pursuing her interest in medieval history, Frantz and Williams fueled her passions and supported her interests with new opportunities.

“They were aware that my focus was a little bit different. They didn’t want to force me to research the same things the other students were interested in,” Judd said.

Judd’s thesis, “Crossing Boundaries: Female Saints, Heretics and Ecclesiastical Authority in Late Medieval Europe,” focuses on women’s spirituality in the Late Middle Ages and the factors that led to some women being labeled as heretics as the church sought to reinforce its authority.

“Dr. Williams [executive director of the Ron and Laura Strain Honors College] was very invested in helping me do what I wanted to do. When it came time to do my thesis, he coached me through the whole thing,” Judd said. “I had a lot of one-on-one attention from him that I wouldn’t have had if I had gone to a larger school.”

Williams, associate professor of history, added: “Like all our master’s students, Lauren was exposed to a broad curriculum that grew her appreciation of different periods of history, but she also had a particular interest for medieval history.” said Williams.  

Judd had the opportunity to attend the Midwest Medieval History Conference, which sparked her passion for the subject as she saw the diversity of interesting work available to medieval scholars.

“Several months later, after she completed her master’s thesis, she realized she could contribute to that work, too,” Williams said.

Frantz, professor of history and director of the Institute for Civic Leadership & Mayoral Archives, suggested Judd take a position working with the University archivist, Mark Vopelak. She also helped to organize the Richard M. Fairbanks Symposium on Civic Leadership at the University of Indianapolis, hosted by the Institute. Her work included curating an online exhibit on public art and producing podcasts.

The goal, Frantz said, is to provide students with a wide variety of experiences to help them discover their natural aptitudes. In the end, it was those transformative experiences that led her to continue her education at Stanford University.

“I’m simply thrilled that UIndy helped nurture this remarkable talent,” Frantz said. “Teaching and working with Lauren was a joy. She is a gifted writer, a tireless worker and someone who is willing to go the extra mile. Getting to work with her, and see her develop throughout her time here, was a treasure.”

As her time at UIndy neared its end, Judd said her mentors gently nudged her toward pursuing graduate school. She learned later those relationships (and letters of recommendation) played a significant role in her being accepted to Stanford, along with her academic success.

As she embarks on this next chapter in her journey, Judd says she always will appreciate those people and programs at UIndy that helped shape her future. The next generation of students should embrace similar opportunities, she said.

“My mentors will be building on things I love about this program. They are invested in your success,” she said.

 

 

 

Students win awards at 2017 Model United Nations Summit

A team of 15 students from the University of Indianapolis won several awards recently during the Model United Nations Summit competition.

The Model UN is a simulation exercise organized by the Indiana Consortium for International Programs. Several universities from Indiana and Kentucky participated this year at the summit, which was hosted Nov. 9-11 at Indiana University Southeast in New Albany, Ind.

Summit participants competed in two separate groups. Topics discussed included North Korea, nuclear weapons and missile delivery systems, Syrian and Yemen conflicts and climate change as a global security issue. The participating UIndy students major in international relations and/or political science.

Results of the first group competition included:

  • Dan Miller (political science): Third-Best Delegate
  • Brittany Motley (criminal justice and political science) and Dan Miller (political science): Third-Best Delegation, representing the United States

Results of the second group competition included:

  • Dominic Peretin (history): Second-Best Delegation, representing the United Kingdom and Northern Ireland and Third-Best Delegate
  • Tosin Salau (international relations and political science) and Mary Anne Schneider (history education): Fourth-Best Delegation, representing France

Jyotika Saksena, associate professor with the department of history and political science, helped the students prepare for the event.

“This is a very important learning tool for the students,” she explained. “They not only study important topics facing the world today but learn to see these different issues from specific perspectives. The simulation teaches students to negotiate with those of a different point of view without antagonizing them, the art of diplomacy and public speaking skills.”

Congratulations to each UIndy participant: Katie McDonald (political science and international relations), Zion Lutz (political science), Tosin Salau (international relations and political science), Mary Anne Schneider (history education), Nkechi Nnachetta (political science), Erin O’Riley (international relations and political science), Kiley Harmon (international relations and political science), Melissa Kapsalis (psychology and political science), Dominic Peretin (history), Brittany Motley (criminal justice and political science), Dan Miller (political science), Heather Reid (history and international relations), Ben Osborn (political science), Aml Alkhatib (political science), Tobiloba Olakunle (international relations and political science)

 

Greyhounds honored with GLVC year-end awards as Division II playoffs approach

The UIndy football team recently collected a host of postseason hardware from the Great Lakes Valley Conference. The GLVC-champion Greyhounds garnered four of the five major honors, as well as 26 all-conference nods.

The UIndy football team was one of 28 teams to qualify for the 2017 NCAA Division II Football Championship, marking its fourth postseason bid in the last six years. UIndy will host seventh-seeded Harding University Saturday, Nov. 18, with the kickoff set for 1 p.m. ET at Key Stadium. Ticket info here.

2017 GLVC MAJOR AWARDS

Offensive Player of the Year Freshman of the Year
Jake Purichia, QB, UIndy# Al McKeller, RB, UIndy
Defensive Player of the Year Coach of the Year
Austin Weltha, LB, McKendree Bob Bartolomeo, UIndy
Special Teams Player of the Year
Brad Schickel, K/P, UIndy

See a slideshow here.

Junior quarterback Jake Purichia had a breakout season for the Greyhounds on the way to being voted the 2017 GLVC Offensive Player of the Year. The Indianapolis native and Cardinal Ritter High School grad racked up more than 2,500 passing yards while leading the league in touchdown passes (28) and fewest interceptions (2). He heads into the postseason as the Division II leader in passing efficiency (191.7) and ranks third in the country in yards per attempt (10.3) and fourth in completion percentage (.701).

One of four team captains for the Hounds, Purichia also has six rushing TDs to his credit, tops among GLVC quarterbacks. He is the fourth Greyhound to be named the conference’s top offensive player since the league first began sponsoring football in 2012. He is also the only major award winner to be a unanimous selection.

Additionally, Purichia was named the team’s James R. Spalding Sportsmanship Award recipient, and is now eligible to become one of UIndy’s two overall Spalding Sportsmanship Award winners, which will be announced later this school year.

Senior Brad Schickel was dubbed the GLVC Special Teams Player of the Year after showing proficiency as both place kicker and punter. The Louisville, Ky., product connected on 11 of 14 field goal attempts, including a career-long-matching 45 yarder versus Missouri S&T and a game-winning 30-yard try at Wayne State. His season field goal percentage of .786 leads the league, while his career mark of .830 is good for a UIndy record.

Schickel has arguably been an even more dangerous weapon as a punter. He regularly pins opposing offenses deep in their own territory, dropping more than half his punts inside the 20-yard line (19 of 37). UIndy has won Special Teams Player of the Year honors five times in the last six years.

Rookie running back Al McKeller is in the midst of one of the greatest freshman campaigns in program history. A graduate of local Lawrence North High School, McKeller burst on the scene with a 206-yard performance versus then-second-ranked Grand Valley State in the season opener. He has gone on to amass a total of 990 rushing yards and 11 touchdowns on the year, while his average of 6.7 yards per carry leads all GLVC players with at least 75 rushing attempts. McKeller is the first Greyhound to be tabbed GLVC Freshman of the Year since Derrick Bryant in 2013.

Head Coach Bob Bartolomeo picked up his fourth GLVC Coach of the Year nod. The eighth-year head man led the Hounds to their first undefeated regular season since 1953, while also setting new program marks for wins in a season (11), consecutive wins (15) and highest-ever national ranking (No. 5). The Hounds, who were picked fourth in the GLVC Preseason Poll, also captured their fifth GLVC crown in six years and will be making their fourth NCAA playoff appearance since 2012.

The 2017 All-GLVC list included a grand total of 26 UIndy honorees. The Hounds stockpiled 15 first-team nods, including five of the six unanimous selections in Jake Purichia (QB), Al McKeller (RB), Garrett Willis (WR), Alex Kimack (TE) and Ruben Holcomb (OL). Other All-GLVC First Team honorees included Jordan Bedan (OL), Clay Hadley (OL), Tuwan Payton(O-UT), Jacob Schmatz (DL), Lucas Rice (DL), Cole Sigmund (LB), Aeneas White (DB), Aaron Bruning (D-UT) and Brad Schickel (K & P).

Bedan garnered his fourth all-conference honor, becoming just the sixth-ever Greyhound to be an all-league performer all four years. Meanwhile, Schickel collected first-team honors as both a place kicker and a punter, and Payton was included on the first team at offensive utility while also garnering honorable mention as a kick returner. See below for the complete list of All-GLVC honorees.

New book by University of Indianapolis professor explores legacy of Oliver P. Morton

mortonJames Fuller, professor of history at the University of Indianapolis, offers a bold reinterpretation of Indiana’s Civil War governor, Oliver P. Morton, in a new book.

“Oliver P. Morton and the Politics of the Civil War and Reconstruction,” the first full biography of Morton to be published in over a century, provides new insight into Indiana’s most important political leader of the 19th century.

About a dozen people gathered at the Morton Monument on the east steps of the Indiana Statehouse in mid-November to launch the book. Stephen E. Towne of IUPUI introduced Fuller, who spoke briefly, then read a section from the book. Fuller then presented a copy of the biography to the office of current Indiana governor, Eric Holcomb. Daniel Miller, a University of Indianapolis student who worked on Governor’s campaign in 2016, accepted the book on behalf of the governor.

On Sunday, Nov. 19, 2017, 1:30-3:00 p.m., Fuller will be at the Morton House in Centerville, Indiana, for a reading and book signing

“At a time when the Civil War is once again a political issue amid calls to remove Confederate monuments across the country, this book serves as a reminder of Indiana’s role in that pivotal era in the nation’s history and explains why Oliver P. Morton still stands as a fitting symbol of the part that the Hoosier state played in saving the nation from rebellion,” Fuller said.

Most readers know Morton as the state’s Civil War governor and for his efforts to recruit and supply the soldiers and help the Union win the war. “But not all of them are familiar with the high drama that his leadership involved,” Fuller said.

some-of-those-who-came-for-book-launchFuller explained that Morton virtually ran the state as a dictator for 22 months in the middle of the war after the Democrats tried to thwart the Union war effort in Indiana. Morton was the target of assassins and helped the military investigate traitors on the home front.

Following the Civil War, Morton became the U.S. senator from Indiana and a national leader of the Radical Republicans during Reconstruction. Fuller notes Morton came close to winning the Republican nomination for the presidency in 1876, then helped settle that disputed election in favor of his friend Rutherford B. Hayes.

Readers will find parallels and connections to modern politics in Fuller’s book, ranging from issues including the use of government power, economic policy, terrorism, the surveillance state and the violation of civil liberties.

Morton also called for abolishing or reforming the Electoral College.

“He was a political leader in a time of extreme polarization, when Americans were deeply divided and feared that the other side in politics was out to destroy the country. This led to fierce partisanship and dirty politics,” Fuller said.

Learn more.

Access to women in leadership of sport is boon to UIndy sport management students

sportsleaders500

From left: Audrey Becker, Stephanie Young, Linda Paul, Joni Comstock, Kathy Sparks

As the saying goes in the real estate industry, “location, location, location” is the key to a good property investment. That same message can be applied to selecting a college for its proximity to key players in a specific field or industry. 

Students in the undergraduate and graduate Sport Management programs at the University of Indianapolis benefit from the school’s proximity to and working relationships with powerhouses in the world of athletics. Recently, the sport management programs leveraged this advantage when it hosted a Women in Leadership event in the Health Pavilion.

The second annual event brought key women leaders from the sports world to UIndy to share professional insights and offer networking opportunities for undergraduate and graduate students. The speakers included:

  •   Joni Comstock, senior vice president of championships and alliances, NCAA
  •   Audrey Becker, event and program manager, NFL Combine
  •   Stephanie Young, certified strength and conditioning coach, St. Vincent Sports Performance
  •   Linda Paul, former president and CEO, USA Diving
  •   Kathy Sparks, LAC, ATC, team leader – Sports Medicine Outreach, IU Health

“These women have made – and continue to make – an impact on the world of collegiate and professional athletics,” said Jennifer VanSickle, director of the UIndy sports management programs and associate professor of kinesiology. “Bringing them to the University of Indianapolis to share their experience is a win for our students.”

Some of the messages students heard from women on the panel included “Don’t let the barrier to success be you,” (Stephanie Young); “Let your failures be your greatest learning experiences,” (Linda Paul); and “Surround yourself with all different types of people. People with a variety of backgrounds, gender, age, and race,” (Joni Comstock).


“This event was not just another lecture,” said senior sport management major Carolyn Holt, who attended Women in Leadership last year as well. “This is a way to build connections and opportunities in the field of sport management.”

Holt has completed an internship as a team logistics intern with Indiana Swimming and will serve as an Indianapolis 500 Festival intern in Spring 2018.

The networking opportunities provided by the panel discussions helped Jessie Benner, a graduate sport management student, arrange a job shadow at the NCAA headquarters in downtown Indianapolis.

“I attended because I wanted to hear from strong women in management positions in sports,” Benner said.


“(One speaker) talked about how she used to be timid and not confident. Throughout her career, she has been able to break out of her shell. I identified with that and felt good knowing that it’s okay to start small.”


Senior sport management major Brianna Harrison encouraged students to take advantage of the networking opportunities.


“I am very interested in the empowerment of women in both the sports and the non-profit spheres,” she said. “This event is a great chance to empower yourself by networking with women who are working in the field.”

Harrison, who has completed internships with the Indianapolis Alley Cats ultimate Frisbee team and Special Olympics of Indiana, will graduate with degrees in both sport management and business management.


The next Women in Leadership event is scheduled for October 2018.

University of Indianapolis announces Paul Washington-Lacey Emerging Leader Program

A new leadership program in the Office of Equity and Inclusion will continue the spirit of mentorship and community championed by the late UIndy employee Paul Washington-Lacey.

Alumni, donors, and members of the Washington-Lacey family joined together to fund the initiative as part of the successful Campaign for the University of Indianapolis, with the first student cohort in the program planned for spring 2018. Gifts to support this important work are encouraged today through November 18 by way of a new crowdfunding site, uindy.edu/emergingleader.

In partnership with leaders across campus, the program will continue Washington-Lacey’s work by helping students develop their personal and professional skills and encouraging them to embrace the idea of paying it forward.


The Paul Washington-Lacey Emerging Leader Program will inspire student growth in four key areas: academic excellence, career readiness, leadership development and personal growth. The future success of students will preserve his memory and influence for many years ahead.

“Paul cared deeply and worked intentionally, and upon his retirement, he was convinced that he had made an enhanced difference upon the University. The naming of this program serves as evidence of Paul’s commitment going forward,” said Bonita Washington-Lacey, Paul’s widow.

Sean Huddleston, vice president for the Office of Equity and Inclusion, will administer the program.

“Paul dedicated the majority of his career to ensuring that students succeed in and out of the classroom. He represented the values of true leadership, and it is a fitting tribute to his impact that we will establish the Paul Washington-Lacey Emerging Leader Program to continue his legacy,” said Huddleston.

A dedicated leader and friend to many, Washington-Lacey worked as an admissions counselor and senior associate for career development and employee relations. In 1999, he received special recognition when he was named as an Honorary Alumnus by the UIndy Alumni Association. Washington-Lacey retired after 35 dedicated years of service to the students at the University of Indianapolis.

“This honor recognizes years of commitment and sacrifice to his calling to serve, care, inform and improve the lives of students.  We are again heartened by the outpouring of respect and love shared by so many friends, alumni and colleagues at the University,” added Bonita Washington-Lacey.

Since his passing in 2015, his legacy has been one of respect, admiration and gratitude from the many people who were fortunate enough to know him.

“Because of Paul, generations of students were able to graduate and use his example to advocate in similar ways. Paul’s influence on my life is great and I am honored to be among a group of alumni who have come together to support this effort,” said Jeffrey Barnes ’00, alumnus and UIndy director of events.

242nd Marine birthday celebration honors 94-year-old veteran

marine5As the nation celebrates Veterans Day, a 94-year-old U.S. Marine Corps veteran is reminding Americans that they can honor veterans every day – just by saying thank-you.

Fred Wood is a former captain and fighter pilot who served in World War II and Korea. He was the guest of honor at the recent 242nd Marine Birthday celebration at the University of Indianapolis.

Wood, who first joined the Navy before becoming a U.S. Marine,  was stationed in the Pacific and fought at Okinawa. He flew F4U Corsairs airplanes in World War II and Medivac helicopters in Korea.

“I think the people today really respect veterans. They come up, and I get congratulations and thanks from just about anybody and everybody of all ages,” he said, adding that he appreciates the respect he receives from strangers who notice when he’s wearing his Marine Corps or World War II hat.

“It makes people remember and think,” he said.

242nd Birthday United States Marine Corps was celebrated with former Indianapolis Mayor and UIndy Visiting Fellow Greg Ballard in the Stierwalt multipurpose room  on Thursday, November 9, 2017. (Photo:  D. Todd Moore, University of Indianapolis)

(Photo: D. Todd Moore, University of Indianapolis)

The Marine Birthday ceremony at the Stierwalt Alumni House paid tribute to Wood and to all men and women who have served in the U.S. Marine Corps. Former Indianapolis Mayor and University of Indianapolis Visiting Fellow Greg Ballard, a 23-year Marine Corps veteran, conducted the ceremony every year as mayor and brought the tradition to the University of Indianapolis in 2016.

“The University has been tremendous in all of this,” Ballard said. He thanked University of Indianapolis President Rob Manuel, who attended the event as a guest of honor.

As the oldest Marine present at the ceremony, Wood participated in the passing of the first piece of cake to the youngest Marine in attendance. The gesture symbolizes the passing of knowledge from the experienced Marines to the new generation of Marines.

“I wish them well,” Wood said of the younger generation who are carrying on the tradition. “These young people sacrifice every day and not everybody even knows about it, nor do they give it a thought.”

Events such as the UIndy Marine birthday celebration and the Honor Flight, a national cause to escort veterans to Washington, D.C., to visit war memorials, help to remind veterans of the support they have from across the country.

“I stopped at the Arlington Cemetery, and that’s the most impressive place. To see all of those graves and just think of those people who made a sacrifice for other people. That’s special,” Wood said.

“A Marine is one of the greatest things you can be,” said Wood. “It’s great because you get your discipline. You can get an education. You have great friendships that you have forever. I have another pilot friend who’s also 94. We have memories that you can’t replace.”

UIndy Speech and Debate Team racks up honors at Owensboro tournament

speechteam750

(L-R) India Graves, Craig Chigadza, Taylor Woods, Vanessa Hickman, Kaylee Blum, Ryan Wright-Jordan, Melanie Moore, Roci Contreras

The University of Indianapolis Speech and Debate Team turned in a strong performance recently at the 2017 24th Annual BBQ Capital of the World Speech and Debate Tournament hosted by Owensboro Community and Technical College. UIndy’s team placed fourth in the overall team award sweepstakes category, with individual students earning top three status in several categories.

The UIndy Speech and Debate Team is a nationally ranked community that competes in speech and debate events to enhance students’ communication, research and public speaking skills. Stephanie Wideman, assistant professor of communication, serves as team director.

“My primary goal is for students to cultivate their own voice through engagement in competition. The undergraduate experience is such an important time as students are not only learning about the world, but also about themselves,” Wideman said.

Shayla Cabalan ’20 (communication and English) earned top spots in After Dinner Speaking and Radio Broadcasting and second place in Persuasive Speaking.

“Public speaking remains one of America’s top fears to this day, so it’s pretty amazing that the speech team willingly faces that fear on a daily basis,” Cabalan noted.

Melanie Moore ’20 (computer engineering/computer science) won first place in Persuasive Speaking, fifth in Extemporaneous Speaking and seventh in Pentathlon. She is considering a career in web or app development.

owensboro750

Top left to right: Ryan Wright-Jordan, Vanessa Hickman, India Graves, Shayla Cabalan, Roci Contreras, Kaylee Blum, Craig Chigadza, Melanie Moore, Sierra Roberts, Taylor Woods, Hilary Bauer

“I think these experiences will help me in my career because engineers are always working in groups to complete a project. Communication is key in this situation because everybody has a key piece of the puzzle to complete and they all have to fit together perfectly,” Moore said. 

Students said they gain confidence as they develop their skills in all types of public speaking, including how to speak with limited preparation time. Wideman said other goals include developing written and oral performance skills, critical thinking and leadership abilities. All build confidence and enhance the team dynamic, she said.

“I believe that involvement in the speech and debate community is a rich and exciting place for students to explore themselves through their communication practices. At the end of the day, I want to see students graduate with the knowledge they need and the voice to represent that knowledge to the communities they encounter after graduation,” Wideman said.


Results:

Overall Team Award:  4th Team Speech and Debate Sweepstakes

Name:  Craig Chigadza ’21 (psychology and pre-law)
Awards:  6th place Extemporaneous Speaking

Name:  Hilary Bauer ’21 (graphic design and political science)
Awards:  5th place Radio Broadcasting

Name:  India Graves ’18 (communication)
Awards: 3rd Prose, 5th After Dinner Speaking

Name:  Kaylee Blum ’20 (archaeology)
Awards:  2nd Informative Speaking, 3rd Impromptu Speaking

Name:  Melanie Moore ’20 (computer engineering/computer science)
Awards:  1st Persuasive Speaking, 5th Extemporaneous Speaking, 7th Pentathlon

Name:  Roci Contreras ’20 (academic & career exploration)
Awards:  6th Persuasive Speaking

Name:  Ryan Wright-Jordan ’18 (psychology  and communication)
Awards:  5th Informative Speaking, Top Novice Impromptu Counseling

Name:  Shayla Cabalan ’20 (communication and English)
Awards:  1st After Dinner Speaking, 2nd Persuasive Speaking, 1st Radio Broadcasting

Name:  Sierra Roberts ’21 (history)
Awards:  3rd Persuasive Speaking

Name:  Taylor Woods ’21 (communication)
Awards:  5th Impromptu Weathercasting

Name:  Vanessa Hickman ’19 (business administration & management)
Awards:  3rd Extemporaneous Speaking, 2nd Impromptu Counseling, 2nd After Dinner Speaking, 5th Pentathlon

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