Students advise Citizens Energy on steam plant efficiencies

Seven University of Indianapolis students partnered with Citizens Energy this semester to gain real-world work experience through the Partnership for Excellence in Research and Learning (PERL) initiative.

citizens_perl__7102

The PERL project creates mutually beneficial connections in Indiana communities. Students gain professional development opportunities in a collaborative environment, while businesses receive fresh insight into industry challenges. The project helps foster critical-thinking and problem-solving skills, both key areas of focus to a University of Indianapolis education.

Kirk Bryans, assistant director of business, entrepreneurship, sports management and marketing, Professional Edge Center, said programs like PERL are important to the University on a couple different levels: Students get exposure to working with professionals in the community trying to solve real world problems and find ways of doing things better. Working within a cross functional team provides students real life team building scenarios which normally doesn’t happen until you are in the midst of your first job.  

Our employer partners are experiencing the power of a University of Indianapolis education,” Bryans said. “They recognize how incredible our students really are. Each interaction is a win-win as both parties exchange information.”

The University group includes students pursuing diverse areas of study: Carsen Alber (environmental sustainability/criminal justice), Liz Behrends (information systems), Grace Buck (human biology), Casey Brock (supply chain management), Xavier Ortiz (chemistry), Kyler Nichols (accounting) and Holly Cox (chemistry/biology).

The students were tasked with identifying ways to improve efficiencies at the Perry K Steam Plant in downtown Indianapolis. The goal was to find environmentally friendly solutions that also would minimize consumer costs moving forward.

The students toured the steam plant several times, analyzed data from Citizens Energy, met with employees from the steam plant and broke into smaller task groups to achieve their goals, spending about 45 hours on the project from September to November.

In December 2017, they presented findings and recommendations to about a dozen industry experts.

Highlights included streamlining a spreadsheet used for reporting water consumption at the plant, reducing time spent on the task from two hours to about two minutes. They also evaluated methods used in the water treatment process, investigated hydro-electric generation in plant systems to offset purchased power and identified technologies to measure the inlet flow into the plant water system.

“We were thrilled to have the UIndy students engaged with our steam business,” Ann McIver, director of environmental stewardship, said. “Their independent views of our plant water system allowed them to “Challenge the Process,” one of our core leadership practices. Their recommendations may allow us to offset our cost of electricity, and their advanced spreadsheet knowledge will bring time savings to steam personnel on a routine basis.”

The experience also provided valuable insight into how a cross-functional team operates and allowed the University students to directly impact their community.

“It’s not everyday that we get to work with people from different majors to help an organization so prevalent in central Indiana,” Nichols said. “This project really taught me how to work with people that think differently than I do and how to balance my time between classes and my other obligations.”

Levi Mielke, assistant chemistry professor, supported the PERL initiative with Bryans by generating the scope and description of the project, interviewing and selecting candidates and acting as liaisons between the University and Citizens Energy.

“We successfully brought together an interdisciplinary team of students to tackle a project bigger than themselves,” Mielke said. “We have the best students at UIndy. Not only have they become content experts, but can apply their knowledge and adapt to new learning situations while providing a valuable community service.”

Watch this short video to learn more about the Professional Edge Center.

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.”

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.

Rwandan Ambassador Mathilde Mukantabana brings hopeful message of peace

Reconciliation, justice and empowerment were common themes during a talk given by Her Excellency Mathilde Mukantabana, the Rwandan ambassador to the United States. The University of Indianapolis welcomed Ambassador Mukantabana on Oct. 27 for a group discussion with students and faculty.

“You can’t appreciate what Rwanda is today without going back,” said Mukantabana, who discussed the magnitude of the 1994 Rwandan genocide against the Tutsi people, which claimed more than 800,000 lives. Noting that the genocide left no family untouched, Mukantabana outlined how her country continues to recover from the tragedy and sets an example in its approach to development.

“It was an uphill battle because there was no road map,” said Mukantabana. She explained that Rwandans made the decision to focus on national unity and disavow the tribal politics that led to unimaginable violence 23 years ago.

Mukantabana, who was forced to flee her Rwandan home in 1973 to escape escalating violence, lost numerous family members in the genocide, including her parents and siblings. In response to that horror, Mukantabana launched a social work program at the National University of Rwanda to train students to work in local governments or non-governmental organizations and to help survivors deal with the trauma of genocide. She also co-founded and became president of the Friends of Rwanda Association and served as executive producer of “The Rwandan Night,” a documentary about the genocide.

Learn more about UIndy’s international relations program here.

Since the genocide, Rwanda has taken significant steps towards healing and reconciliation, including the creation of the National Unity & Reconciliation Commission in 1999. The country also has made use of traditional courts as part of the peacebuilding process.

You can’t talk about forgiveness or reconciliation when there is no sense of justice. How do you judge 3 million people?” the ambassador said.

The visit to the UIndy campus was coordinated by Jyotika Saksena, who directs the International Relations Graduate Program on campus. Provost Stephen H. Kolison, Jr., said the perspective and insight provided by Mukantabana aligns with the University’s vision of expanding its intellectual life by teaching students of the interconnectedness of the world around them.

Governance and sustainable development, including programs to improve the lives of Rwandans living in poverty, have played a significant role in Rwanda’s growth. The country’s system of inclusive ownership builds a sense of community through homegrown solutions and gives people agency, Mukantabana said.

Other notable developments include a larger role for women in positions of power. “The empowerment of the people is for all people,” she said, noting that 64 percent of Rwandan’s parliament is female.

 

Greyhounds second in initial regional rankings, #6 in DII coaches poll

The UIndy football team (8-0, 5-0 GLVC) debuted at No. 2 in the season’s first set of NCAA Super Region Three regional rankings, released Monday. One of three unbeaten teams in the region, the Greyhounds trail only defending-national-champ Northwest Missouri State. The Hounds remained at No. 6 in this week’s AFCA Division II Coaches Poll. 

The top seven teams from the country’s four regions will earn berths in the NCAA Division II Playoffs. The No. 1 seed in each region will earn a bye, while seeds 2-4 will host seeds 5-7 in first-round action Nov. 18. The bracket plays out on consecutive Saturdays until a champion is crowned Dec. 16.

Undefeated Fort Hays State, who plays NMSU Nov. 4, comes in at No. 3, followed by GLIAC-schools Ashland and Ferris State at four and five, respectively. Central Missouri and Grand Valley State round out the top seven.

The NCAA shuffled the regions this year, with the Greyhounds moving out of Super Region Four and into Super Region Three. A total of 42 schools from the GLVC, GLIAC, MIAA and GAC comprise the third region.

UIndy is looking to earn its fourth-ever trip to the Division II playoffs. The Hounds qualified in 2012, ’13 and ’15, earning the program’s only postseason victory in 2012. UIndy also qualified for the postseason as a Division III institution in 1975.

SUPER REGION THREE RANKINGS

IN-REGION DII
RK TEAM RECORD RECORD
1. Northwest Missouri St. 8-0 8-0
2. UIndy 8-0 8-0
3. Fort Hays St. 8-0 8-0
4. Ashland 7-1 7-1
5. Ferris St. 6-1 6-1
6. Central Mo. 6-2 6-2
7. Grand Valley St. 6-2 6-2
8. Ouachita Baptist 6-2 6-2
9. Arkansas Tech 6-2 6-2
10. Tiffin 5-3 5-3

Story by Ryan Thorpe, associate athletic director for communications, University of Indianapolis.

First WeatherSTEM unit in Indiana installed at UIndy

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

UIndy hosts Nitro Circus Live on July 28 at Key Stadium

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Fast facts:

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

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

Summer activities double on campus as UIndy expands outreach

The University of Indianapolis is buzzing with activity as summer camps, classes and conferences are in full swing this June. It’s part of the University’s broader goal to engage with the local community year-round by offering valuable campus resources for families, businesses and professional organizations.

Campers in the Radical Robotics Summer Camp made aerodynamic airplanes and rockets and heard from UIndy Director of Engineering Programs Jose Sanchez . The camp was offered in conjunction with the robotics team at Center Grove High School. (Photo: D. Todd Moore)

(Photo: D. Todd Moore)

Between June and August, the University will host dozens of events on campus. Conferences include Teach for America’s annual academy, Indiana Choral Directors Association Summer Conference, 4-H Leadership, National Association of Black Accountants Accounting Career Awareness Program (NABA ACAP), Melody Makers of Indiana and Nitro Circus. Summer camps focus on a variety of sports, including football, swimming, basketball and volleyball and subjects like math, writing workshops, robotics, art and multimedia game development. UIndy summer camps offer opportunities for second graders to grandparents.
Read more

Poverty Simulation provides eye-opening perspective for students

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

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

Photo: D. Todd Moore, University of Indianapolis

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

Read more

1 2 3