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.

 

Campus collaborations: Power of Education conference

The University of Indianapolis Student Education Association will host the fourth annual Power of Education conference on campus Saturday, February 3.

The event is open to education students throughout the state. Topics of discussion are designed to motivate and inspire future K-12 teachers and provide professional development opportunities for attendees.

lyndsy_eslinger_education_16157

Eslinger teaches second graders at Reagan Elementary.

Conner McNeeley, a Southport High School Spanish teacher and recipient of the 2017 Teach Like A Champion Award, will deliver the keynote speech. During three sets of breakout sessions, University faculty and industry experts will share strategies for increasing student engagement and producing positive results in the classroom.

“This conference was designed for students, by students,” said Lyndsy Eslinger ‘18 (elementary education), co-chair of the Power of Education planning committee. “As we were planning the event, we thought about what topics we enjoy hearing about.”

Sessions will include:

  • “Engagement through Coding” with John Somers, associate professor of teacher education
  • “Creating Your Own Success” with Brittany Dyer, career navigator at the Professional Edge Center
  • “Dreams and Dreamers” with Donna Stephenson, University instructor of teacher education
  • “Encouraging Student Thinking And Engagement through Effective Questioning” with Deb Sachs, director of the Woodrow Wilson Teaching Fellowship Program

The event is geared toward both elementary and secondary education majors.

“This conference is full of amazing professional development opportunities,” said Shelby Johnson, ‘18 (elementary education), Vice President of the University Student Education Association. “I feel confident that I will be ready for the real world after graduation because of the professional development, interview preparation, and networking that UIndy has given me.”

Power of Education
8:30 am – 12 pm
Saturday, February 3
Schwitzer Student Center

Registration is open until the day of the event, and cost ranges from $5 – $15. Learn more and register here.

Conference proceeds will be used to support the UIndy Student Education Association and Outreach to Teach. Outreach to Teach is an annual project that focuses on transforming a local K-12 school through painting, cleaning, landscaping, decorating, and light carpentry.

University students earn prestigious music education award

Hard work is paying off for two music education students from the University of Indianapolis.

Samantha Burkey, choral/general music education ‘18 and Maddie Kintner, instrumental/general music education ‘19, received the Outstanding Future Music Educator Award at the Indiana Music Education Association’s annual professional development conference in Ft. Wayne in January.

Burkey (left) and Kintner (right)

Burkey (left) and Kintner (right)

Burkey and Kintner are among an elite group of 18 University students to receive this award in the past 10 years. Burkey, who received news about the award a day into student-teaching, said the news was reassuring, because it let her know she’s doing something great in the world of music education.

Through her classes, Kintner has logged at least 95 hours in immersive learning opportunities at regional band camps, in private lessons and in local middle school classrooms. She credits these experiences for helping her grow personally and professionally.

“It’s one thing to learn from a book, but it’s completely different to use methods in real-life settings,” she said. “My professors constantly encourage us to be out in the field learning.”

Burkey, who has shadowed and student-taught at four local schools and volunteered with College Mentors for Kids, echoed that sentiment.

“Starting freshman year, we go out in the field and observe elementary, middle school and high school classrooms,” she said. “Those placements gave me a lot of confidence and comfort. I’m learned many different teaching methods that I’m holding onto in my bag of tricks.”

To qualify for the award, students needed to demonstrate participation in their local NAfME chapter, academic rigor, and significant contributions to music education.

University student-teachers impact up to 700 Indianapolis Public Schools students every year by assisting teachers in classrooms. In 2017, the University chapter of the National Association for Music Education (NAfME) was recognized for its community outreach efforts to bring future music educators into classrooms.

Kinter said the University helped her discover one of her true passions: helping students who have disabilities. One of her favorite experiences has been giving private cello lessons to a seven-year-old boy who is deaf and blind. She’s spent about 20 hours with him so far, and will resume lessons this spring.

“He can’t hear music, but he can feel the vibrations,” she explained. “When I helped him start bowing on his own, everyone in the room started crying. I’ve changed his life quite a bit, but I think he’s changed my life even more.”

Learn more about UIndy’s music education program. 

UIndy sweeps state level education awards

L to R: Molly Beal, recognized as an Outstanding Senior Leader, Molly Wolfe, recognized as ISEA scholar, current ISEA President Mikaela Gerba from Trine University, and Lyndsy Eslinger, newly elected ISEA President and J.D Miller Outstanding Local Student Leader Award winner

L to R: Molly Beal, Molly Wolfe, current ISEA President Mikaela Gerba, and Lyndsy Eslinger, newly elected ISEA President

The University of Indianapolis Education program enjoyed a stellar weekend at the Indiana State Education Association.

Junior elementary education major Lyndsy Eslinger was elected state president of the association at the annual representative assembly. Molly Wolfe, also a junior elementary education major, was re-elected to a second term as the state’s Region 3 Representative.

Senior Elementary Education majors Molly Beal and Andria Shook won scholarships, as did Molly Wolfe. Eslinger was awarded the J.D. Miller Student Leadership Award, and Beal was named the Outstanding Senior of the Year. Also at the event, UIndy was named the Outstanding Chapter of the Year.

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UIndy Educational Leadership program now nationally recognized

The University of Indianapolis School of Education’s iLEAD program recently received national recognition through its specialized professional accrediting body, the ELCC (Educational Leadership Constituent Council).

University of Indianapolis iLEAD program

University of Indianapolis iLEAD program

iLEAD is a School of Education graduate program offering a Master’s of Arts in Educational Leadership, leading to a principal’s license. The goal is to prepare transformative instructional leaders with 21st century skills. 

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Indiana schools chief shares message with future teachers at University of Indianapolis

The University of Indianapolis Student Education Association hosted Indiana Superintendent of Public Instruction Dr. Jennifer McCormick at the 3rd Annual Power of Education Conference on Jan. 28.

From left: Hannah Mangus, Jennifer McCormick, Shelby Hale

From left: Hannah Mangus, Jennifer McCormick, Shelby Hale

McCormick’s talk focused on the future of education in Indiana. SEA organizers were thrilled to hear from McCormick at the annual conference, which celebrates the field of education by hosting sessions designed to motivate and inspire future teachers. She shared with students some of her most powerful experiences as a lifelong educator.

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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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Goodwill Industries and UIndy establish new partnership

Research Fellowship to advance community efforts to support local schools

The University of Indianapolis and Goodwill Industries of Central Indiana are pleased to announce a new partnership to facilitate community-based educational initiatives that can have a positive and direct impact on local K-12 students and teachers.

With generous support from the Walton Family Foundation, these two organizations have established the Goodwill Research Fellowship to support graduate students who wish to pursue community-based research. The partnership will leverage Goodwill’s existing connections and programs in local public schools aimed at helping educators and staff in their work with students with disabilities and those receiving special education services.

“Goodwill and the University of Indianapolis are two organizations that share a mission and vision focused on supporting education as a way to break cycles of poverty,” said Dr. David Wantz, executive vice president and provost at the University.

This new fellowship will be responsible for supporting community-based research efforts focused on breaking the cycle of poverty at Goodwill Education Initiatives beginning in 2017. This graduate-level fellowship will focus efforts on implementation, management, execution and evaluation of various educational, research and clinical projects conducted under the auspices of the partnership between Goodwill Education Initiatives and the University of Indianapolis.

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CELL to serve in technical support role to K-12 Schools in Lilly Endowment statewide counseling initiative

The Center of Excellence in Leadership of Learning (CELL) at the University of Indianapolis is one of three organizations selected by the Lilly Endowment Inc. to provide technical support to public school corporations and charter schools as they apply for planning and implementation grants to strengthen their counseling programs.

“I am pleased that CELL is being recognized once again for bringing innovation to K-12 Indiana schools,” said University of Indianapolis President Robert Manuel. “CELL’s expertise in networking schools, delivering support and providing research-based guidance will help districts and schools transform their counseling services.”

Lilly Endowment Inc. has launched a five-year Comprehensive Counseling Initiative to expand innovative counseling services and incorporate strategies that better prepare K-12 Indiana students for academic, career and personal success. The Endowment expects to allocate up to $30 million for this initiative depending on the number, types and quality of proposals submitted. To read the Request for Proposals, go to http://www.lillyendowment.org/ed_ci.html

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Former U.S. Surgeon General Dr. Joycelyn Elders to speak Sept. 29

Joycelyn_Elders_official_photo_portraitThe first University Series event this semester will feature former U.S. Surgeon General Dr. Joycelyn Elders as part of UIndy’s 2016 Katherine Ratliff Symposium.

“Dr. Joycelyn Elders: Healthcare Issues in the Minority Community” is scheduled for 7 p.m. Thursday, September 29, in Christel DeHaan Fine Arts Center’s Ruth Lilly Performance Hall. This free event is open to the public and L/P credit is available to UIndy students. Online registration is requested. Symposium Workshops will take place on Friday, September 30, from 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. Panelists from multiple disciplines will discuss current health care disparities and what can be done to address these issues. Visit this page to register for the Friday workshop. For questions about the symposium, please contact Heini Seo at seohh@uindy.edu.

Dr. Elders was the first African American woman to hold the position of U.S. Surgeon General. She was known for her outspoken views and she served only 15 months before being forced to resign in 1994 as a result of her controversial remark about sex education. She is currently a professor emerita of pediatrics at the University of Arkansas for Medical Sciences.

The Katherine Ratliff Memorial Conference on Ethics, Values and Human Responsibility was established in memory of Dr. Katharine G. “Kate” Ratliff. Dr. Ratliff was a University of Indianapolis faculty member from 1985 through 1990. She was a licensed clinical psychologist and taught psychology courses in the Department of Behavioral Sciences.  She was a tireless advocate for her students and clients and embodied a commitment to social justice and social responsibility.

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