UIndy 500 – IMS Camaro spotted on campus

CamaroA taste of the 500 Festival arrived on the University of Indianapolis campus this week in the form of a Chevrolet Camaro. The bright orange harbinger of the Indianapolis 500 is no ordinary sports car, though.

President Rob Manuel was driving one of 50 Festival Event cars to help celebrate the Month of May. Faculty, staff and students flocked to see the Camaro Hot Wheels® 50th Anniversary Edition convertible. (And no worries if anyone spotted University of Indianapolis Police Chief David Selby’s flashing lights – he was in on the stunt!)

Since the 1960s, the fleet of Camaros has been turning heads around central Indiana during the Month of May as the Indianapolis Motor Speedway gears up for the Indy 500 at the end of the month and other exciting events throughout May. The 102nd Indianapolis 500 presented by PennGrade Motor Oil is scheduled for Sunday, May 27.

“The University of Indianapolis is thrilled to be part of this long-standing tradition at the Indianapolis Motor Speedway,” said President Manuel. “We’re proud of our IMS connections and the opportunities they provide for UIndy students.”

Lauren Bryant ’18 (biology & psychology) is one of 33 women representing the 500 Festival Princess Program for 2018, a group that set a 60-year program record for the highest cumulative GPA. The Honors College graduate and Greenfield native will attend Indiana University School of Medicine in the fall.

Another Greyhound alumna, Madi Kovacs ‘18 (psychology & pre-occupational therapy) represented the 500 Festival Princess Program in 2017. Her role, which involved conducting outreach programs with children, connected to Kovacs’ long-term career goal of becoming a pediatric occupational therapist.

In May 2017, as downtown Indianapolis welcomed thousands of race fans, the talent of Katherine Fries, art faculty at the University, was showcased on the Indianapolis ArtsGarden. Fries was one of five local artists commissioned to create signs for the Month of May, connecting the city’s thriving arts culture with the historic racing event.

 

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Related: Greyhound alum Adam Henze, official poet of the 100th Running of the Indianapolis 500, recites his winning entry

Volunteerism lays groundwork for teaching career

Erika Hoffman leads tripYou never know when saying ‘yes’ to a volunteer opportunity on a whim can help determine what you’ll do with the rest of your life.

Erika Hoffmann ‘21 (elementary education, with concentrations in mild intervention and reading) started volunteering at Creekside Elementary School in 2016, when she was a senior at Franklin Community High School.

At the time, she had no intention of becoming a teacher, but after a few months working with the kids, she discovered how much she enjoyed helping them learn and grow.

I was at Creekside every single day for a few hours,” she said. “One of my main goals in life is to help others, and I realized that the classroom is where I am most comfortable and where I feel like I am changing lives.”

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“It’s those little moments when a kid has been struggling with something and then you explain it in a different way and their face just lights up because they finally understand it – that’s when I know I’m doing something right.”

When Hoffman transitioned to the University of Indianapolis, her previous volunteer experience and strong relationships at Creekside continued to pay off: she was invited by Sarah Records, a first grade teacher at Creekside, to come back and see how the beginning of the year works from a teacher’s standpoint.

“Student teachers usually come into a classroom that is already running, rules are in place, and expectations are set,” Records said. “You don’t get to see how all of that is created or built, so for her to be with me on day one and see how those routines are established was really good for her.”

Hoffman is in the classroom with Records about three days each week, leading small group instructions, pulling kids for remedial help, aiding in testing sessions, and building relationships with the kids.

“I’m only a freshman and have taken just a few elementary education classes,” she said. “I truly feel that I have gained most of my knowledge and experience from being in Creekside on a regular basis. The hands-on experience is giving me the best opportunity to learn.”

Hoffman’s networking skills are also creating new opportunities for partnerships between the University’s School of Education and local schools. At Hoffman’s suggestion, Records brought a group of 105 first-graders to campus for a tour in April 2018.

Hoffman tripKids from Records’ class leapt off the school bus and threw themselves into Hoffman’s arms, vying for her attention and shouting excitedly while she tried to instill order on the squirming mass of students.

The kids were divided into three groups, each led by education students, including Hoffman. They visited the Krannert Memorial Library, the Schwitzer Student Center, and an elementary education class, where they participated in an activity with future educators and gave their opinions of what makes a good teacher.

“Getting children acquainted with the idea of attending college gives them a goal and something to look forward to after high school. It gives them a ‘when I go to college’ not ‘if I go to college’ mentality,” Hoffman said.

IMG_1681 (1)Records says she’s already started thinking about how to make the trip even better next year.

“Given what I saw from the students selected to lead us, and with the interaction and communication I have had with [UIndy faculty], I would love to continue working with UIndy and its education department.”

She’s also excited to continue mentoring Hoffman toward a career as a teacher.

“Erika has such a big heart and really cares about the kids both in and out of the classroom.  These skills are the basis of being a good teacher – investing in kids, building relationships, and nurturing them to be better versions of themselves.  I have no doubt that Erika will make a great teacher one day!”

Learn more about School of Education programs at the University of Indianapolis.

 

New community garden project at University of Indianapolis enhances healthy options for neighborhood

Community gardenWith gloves and shovels in hand, volunteers got to work on a community garden on the University of Indianapolis campus, with the goal of bringing access to fresh produce to the surrounding neighborhood. The UIndy and CHNw Community Garden (Serve360°) project is part of an ongoing partnership between the University of Indianapolis and Community Health Network to provide health- and wellness-related opportunities to the Indianapolis southside.

The garden is located on the west side of the United Methodist Church at 4002 Otterbein Ave. From 1 to 5 p.m. on Friday, April 20, volunteers from the University of Indianapolis, Community Hospital South, Purdue Extension and South Indy Quality of Life Plan cleaned nine raised garden beds, glued the bed’s cement blocks, shoveled and spread dirt, pulled weeds, and did some planting. 

“We know that social determinants, like a lack of access to nutritious food, can affect overall health and well-being,” said Priscilla Keith, Executive Director of Community Benefit for Community Health Network. “We are proud to work with our partners at UIndy to offer this pilot program which will not only provide access to fresh and affordable food; but educate students and those living in neighborhoods around the UIndy campus how to start and maintain their own gardens.  Our goal is to find ways to reach beyond our sites of care to impact the health and the quality of life of the communities we serve.”

Gurinder Hohl, who directs the partnership between the University of Indianapolis and Community Health Network, said the project is highly focused on meeting community needs, including a planning committee that involves local residents. Hohl said food grown in the community garden will be available to community members and gardeners at no cost. While University of Indianapolis students will manage the garden for the first year, Hohl said community members are encouraged to take on leadership roles as the garden becomes a focal point for the neighborhood.

“The location of this garden was chosen based on its proximity to the proposed Red Line station on Shelby Street. The more you decrease access-related issues, the more people will get involved,” Hohl said.

Project planners hope to expand activities to include a farmer’s market, cooking classes, health assessments, musical performances and art displays.

“It’s about placemaking where you try to create opportunities for neighbors to mingle and have access and options related to food and health that they would not otherwise have,” Hohl explained.

The University and Community Hospital South are working in collaboration with the South Indy Quality of Life (QOL) Plan on the garden project, which ties into the Plan’s Health & Wellness initiative (and is one of 173 action steps identified by the Plan to create thriving households and healthy communities in eight neighborhoods on the Indianapolis southside). Michelle Strahl Salinas with the South Indy Quality of Life Plan explained that the Health & Wellness action team aims to bring healthier food options to residents, and to make sure they are accessible, affordable and locally sourced.

“The University of Indianapolis has been very intentional about working with the neighborhoods around the University. We believe that having UIndy as a lead and collaborating partner on our action teams brings us a knowledge base and diversity that we would not have otherwise,” said Salinas, who added that the QOL plan depends on volunteer and partner-led projects like the community garden.

University of Indianapolis honors legacy of Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr.

kennedykingstoryThe University of Indianapolis is a proud partner of the Kennedy-King Memorial Initiative, which is organizing events commemorating the 50th anniversary of Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr.’s death, and his lasting legacy.

The Initiative was established to elevate and preserve the values and legacy of Robert F. Kennedy and Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. by raising awareness, provoking thought and inspiring action to eliminate division and injustice. April 4, 2018 will mark 50 years since the loss of Dr. King, and Robert F. Kennedy’s historic Indianapolis speech.

The University’s Office of Equity & Inclusion has been working closely with the Initiative with the goal of becoming a catalyst to move conversations and action forward in Indianapolis.

“As a higher education institution, the University of Indianapolis serves as a model for social justice, a think tank for social consciousness and a space for intellectual discourse and debate. As such, we are uniquely positioned to help convene conversations that extend the work of Dr. King and others who have fought tirelessly for the inclusion, equity, and equality of all people,” said Sean Huddleston, vice president for the Office of Equity and Inclusion.

University of Indianapolis students will be volunteering at events throughout the city this week.

See all events here.

On April 3rd, for National Service Recognition Day, the University will join communities across the country to host the annual AmeriCorps and SeniorCorps National Service Day Recognition Luncheon, sponsored by the Kennedy-King Memorial Initiative and the Mayor’s Office. The Deputy Mayor will attend on behalf of the office, and President Robert L. Manuel will provide remarks. The luncheon will be held in UIndy Halls B & C in the Schwitzer Student Center at the University of Indianapolis.

Off-campus events:

April 3: A Ripple of Hope
5:30 p.m.: Reception, 7 p.m.: Screening, 8 p.m.: Panel

Eugene And Marilyn Glick Indiana History Center, 450 West Ohio Street

This acclaimed documentary by filmmaker Don Boggs sheds light on the fateful night of April 4, 1968 in Indianapolis. If you’ve seen this definitive take on this historic moment, now is the perfect time to revisit the powerful true story. If you’ve never seen it, now you can. Enjoy a pre-film reception and the film,  A Ripple of Hope (2008, 55 mins.) — followed by a panel discussion.

April 4: Still We Reach: Community Reflection & Conversation
10:30 a.m.
Landmark For Peace Memorial, 1702 N Broadway Street

Congressman, author and civil rights pioneer John Lewis joins with Kerry Kennedy, president of Robert F. Kennedy Human Rights and daughter of RFK, and other national and local dignitaries, for reflections on the lasting influence of these two men.

April 4: Still We Reach: KKMI 50th Commemoration Ceremony
5:00 p.m.
Landmark For Peace Memorial, 1702 N Broadway Street                    

Join national and local dignitaries for the official commemoration event, featuring songs, remarks and remembrances by civic leaders, religious leaders, artists, and more.

*Tickets to both 50th anniversary commemoration events on April 4 are sold out. You can live stream the 10:30 a.m. event from any computer or mobile device using this link: http://ow.ly/FTqa30jgrY0

UIndy Launches Full-Tuition Scholarship Program for Christel House Academy Students

The University of Indianapolis has launched a new full-scholarship program for graduates of Christel House Academy South, further strengthening a longtime partnership between the two learning centers.

Christel DeHaan Academy students enjoy a meal and ballgame during Pack the House night, and were recognized on the floor during a time out in the men's game on Thursday, Feb 16, 2017. The students have the opportunity to get fully paid tuition scholarships to UIndy. (Photo by D. Todd Moore/University of Indianapolis)

Christel DeHaan Academy students were recognized on the floor during a time out in the men’s game on Thursday, Feb 16, 2017. (Photo by D. Todd Moore/University of Indianapolis)

The program, launching in the Fall of 2017, includes two components: one covering full-tuition costs to attend the University of Indianapolis and another providing a room-and-board scholarship for up to 10 students. Eligible students must have successfully completed dual credit courses taught by University professors at Christel House.
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Local students create energy plan for Indiana

What would a sustainable energy plan for Indiana look like?

An ambitious project involving a diverse group of University of Indianapolis and IUPUI students is actively working to answer that question. The students, led by former Indianapolis Mayor and Visiting Fellow Greg Ballard, held the first in a series of meetings to obtain public feedback on their proposed energy plan for the state.

Senior Carly Nicholson, left, speaks with Visiting Fellow Greg Ballard. (Photo by D. Todd Moore, University of Indianapolis)

Senior Carly Nicholson, left, speaks with Visiting Fellow Greg Ballard. (Photo by D. Todd Moore, University of Indianapolis)

During a recent community conversation on the UIndy campus, the students presented their ideas and took questions from concerned citizens, who encouraged the group to consider issues like consumer education, bike lanes or the unique challenges faced by cash-strapped non-profits wishing to pursue sustainable energy practices.

The project includes ten students from the University of Indianapolis and two from Indiana University – Purdue University at Indianapolis (IUPUI).  The students began studying Indiana’s energy needs last year as part of a project supported by the Central Indiana Community Foundation and the Simon Family Foundation.

“We want to tell people what this generation thinks about energy in the state of Indiana. How do we want to position that going into the future?” Ballard said.
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Center of Excellence in Leadership of Learning announces new Early College High School director

The Center of Excellence in Leadership of Learning (CELL) at the University of Indianapolis has named Emily Burke as Director of its Early College High School initiative.

“We are excited to have Emily Burke join our CELL team as she brings extensive higher education experience along with solid knowledge of the Early College model,” said CELL Executive Director Janet Boyle. “While at Butler University, she guided the establishment of an Early College partnership with Shortridge High School. Plus, as a first generation college graduate, Emily is passionate and committed to growing CELL’s Early College initiative.”

Emily Burke, Director for Early College, CELL

Emily Burke, Director for Early College, CELL

Burke brings a wealth of experience to CELL from her numerous roles in higher education at Butler and Jacksonville universities. Most recently at Butler, she was a foundation officer in University Advancement and previously was associate director in the Learning Resource Center and student advisor in the Office of Post-Graduate Studies.

Burke said her experience working with high school students enrolled in Butler’s program demonstrated the crucial opportunities that Early College can provide.
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UIndy Music Education program kicks off 2017 with national honors

The University of Indianapolis chapter of the National Association for Music Education (NAfME) recently was named the Outstanding Collegiate Chapter of the Year for Indiana. The honor is the fourth time the local chapter has received the award.

The NAfME award recognizes the University’s community outreach efforts to bring future music educators into classrooms, along with the program’s achievements throughout the year. University student-teachers impact up to 700 Indianapolis Public Schools students every year by assisting teachers in classrooms. The local chapter received the award at the Indiana Music Education Association/NAfME conference this month in Fort Wayne.

Michael Richardson at IMEA/NAfME conference

UIndy alum Michael Richardson (’10) presents a session at the Indiana Music Education Association/NAfME conference this month in Fort Wayne. (Photo courtesy Michael Richardson)

The recognition “validates everything that we as a faculty do and helps put UIndy on the map. It sets us apart from other universities,” said Brenda Clark, chair of the University of Indianapolis Music Education Department.

In addition to the chapter awards, juniors Charissa Catlin and Shaina Liv Lescano, both  instrumental music education majors, were two of five undergraduates from Indiana to receive the Outstanding Future Music Educator Award. With these awards, the University now boasts a total of 16 music education students who have been honored in the past decade.
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Campus robotics competition highlights STEM education efforts across Indiana

VEX robotics teamWhile the rest of their competitors were frantically tweaking their machines to just the right specifications before matches began, the robotics team from Covenant Christian High School huddled away from the crowds to take their robot for a test drive.

“It’s nerve-wracking when the robot doesn’t exactly do what you want it to do in the tournament. But, that’s part of fun of this competition,” said team member Isaac Lapley, 16.

Covenant Christian of Indianapolis was one of more than 100 local teams competing in at the VEX Robotics Competition, held in January at the University of Indianapolis. Top finishers at the campus event advanced to the state competition held later this year. All participants are now eligible to be considered for a $10,000 scholarship to the University of Indianapolis.
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Quality of Life Plan poised to enhance South Indy

The University of Indianapolis will play a key role in implementing a recently completed Quality of Life plan impacting south Indianapolis, the result of a collaboration between campus, community and nearby businesses that began in February 2015. The plan was revealed during a Dec. 13 campus celebration.

Plan developers engaged more than 400 surrounding residents and business owners. From new walkways and urban gardens to additional healthcare facilities, housing options and job initiatives, the plan cites several critical needs defined by area residents. History, tradition and community development were common themes during the public meetings and outreach by neighborhood associations and community groups to formulate a “shared vision” of life in South Indianapolis, which since has been branded as SoIndy (www.soindy.org).

UIndy hosted a celebration recently to unveil a Quality of Life plan for improvements in South Indy. Campus, community and businesses all contributed to the effort.

UIndy hosted a celebration recently to unveil a Quality of Life plan for improvements in South Indy. Campus, community and businesses all contributed to the effort.

“Ultimately, this is Our plan together, and we will carry it out together,” Tedd Grain, deputy director of LISC, told a large group of stakeholders at the UIndy Health Pavilion. “We are so excited about celebrating the unique vibrancy of South Indy, and the Quality of Life plan will foster that.”

The University of Indianapolis is considered an anchor for the region, defined by the Quality of Life plan as eight-square blocks mostly north of I-465, west to Bluff Road, east to I-65 and south of Raymond Street. Target initiatives include Thriving Households, Healthy Communities and Talent and Trades.

“Along with many of our neighbors and the surrounding business community, UIndy is committed to being a catalyst for positive change in south Indianapolis,” said UIndy President Rob Manuel. “This Quality of Life plan showcases the wonderful people and amenities that make up this unique area and provides a foundation for what see as our future.”

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