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.

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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 of Indianapolis announces 2018 Black History Month events

blackhistory17The University of Indianapolis celebrates Black History Month with a full calendar of events during February 2018, including a trivia night, an Open Mic Dialog and a formal dinner. Organized by the Black Student Association, events throughout the month are designed to increase awareness of the  achievements of African-Americans and their pivotal role in United States history.

A new addition this year to the robust line-up is the collaboration between BSA and the Office of Equity & Inclusion (OEI) for Feb. 15th’s Open Mic Dialog on healthy relationships. Plans are in the works to involve several student organizations in programming for that event, said Darin Sills ’19 (visual communication design), president of the Black Student Association.

“This is a great opportunity to partner with the Black Student Association and other student groups to spark conversation about what it means to be in a healthy relationship,” said Sean Huddleston, vice president of equity and inclusion. He noted the growing interest in OEI’s Open Mic Dialog sessions, which were launched in the fall of 2017.

Recording artist, TEDx and motivational speaker Shaun Boothe will be guest speaker at the Black History Month Dinner: “A Legacy of Excellence” on Feb. 28th. Boothe is the creator of the critically acclaimed “The Unauthorized Biography Series” which celebrates historical figures through biographical rap songs.

Sills encouraged the campus community to participate in Black History Month events regardless of ethnic background or identity.

“Events that we organize aren’t just for a strictly African-American audience. We want everyone to come to all events,” Sills said.

Schedule of events:

Jan. 31/Feb. 1: Stop by the BSA table in the Schwitzer Student Center to answer Black History Month trivia questions and pick up a sweet treat!

Feb. 2: Celebrating Black History Month: Heroes
6:00 – 8:00 p.m., Garfield Park Arts Center

Feb. 5: David Otunga (Diversity Lecture Series)
9:00 p.m., UIndy Hall

Feb. 7: BSA general body meeting
9:00 p.m., UIndy Hall A

Feb. 8: Praise and worship
9:00 p.m., The Chapel

Feb. 14: Anti-Valentine’s Day
9:00 p.m., Trustees Room

Feb. 15: Love and Hip Hop UIndy (open mic dialog with Office of Equity & Inclusion)
9:00 p.m., UIndy Hall A

Feb. 21: Black History trivia
9:00 p.m. Shreve Atrium, Student Engagement Center

Feb. 24: Black Panther film screening
Location to be announced

Feb. 27: Neil Holborn – Spoken word artist
9:00 p.m., UIndy Hall A

Feb. 28: Black History Month Dinner: “A Legacy of Excellence” with speaker Shaun Boothe
7:00 p.m., UIndy Hall A

 

Indiana legislature honors undefeated Greyhounds Football team

The University of Indianapolis Greyhounds Football team was honored on the floor of the Indiana Statehouse on Thursday, celebrating an undefeated and record-breaking regular season.

Fans across the city and region got behind the Greyhounds in 2017 as they pursued a perfect 11-0 regular season. Despite a loss in the first round of the playoffs to Harding University, the program’s success — as well as that of other sports in 2017– helped to solidify University of Indianapolis athletics as one of the elite programs in Division II.

“Our athletics programs continue to succeed because our coaches, staff and the families of our student athletes create an exceptional environment for students to excel, both on and off the field. This undefeated season is another chapter in the growth of our athletic programs and the excitement they add to the UIndy campus experience,” said University President Robert Manuel.

Student athletes at the University earned a cumulative GPA of 3.26 last semester–a testament to how hard they work to achieve athletic and academic goals, Manuel added.

Indiana Rep. Jack Sandlin (R-Indianapolis) ‘78, ‘94 facilitated the recognition Thursday by the Indiana Legislature. Representing the football team were captains Jake Purichia, Andrew Walker, Aeneas White and Ruben Holcomb, along with coaches and athletics administrators.

“Coming downtown and being in this building to get recognized was special,” Purichia said. “I’m proud of our coaches, staff and players for what we’ve accomplished.”

“It was a huge honor getting recognized for the great season we had,” Holcomb added. “It was my last season so going out in such a successful way means a lot.”

The 2017 season was the first undefeated regular season since 1953. The team also set new records for the most wins in a season (11), consecutive wins (15) and scoring offense (38.2 ppg). The Greyhounds matched team and Great Lakes Valley Conference marks for fewest interceptions thrown (4) and garnered a conference record 14 GLVC Player of the Week awards, while leading the nation in the fewest sacks allowed (0.5 per game).

The Hounds spent a total of eight consecutive weeks in the Top 10, peaking at a program high No. 5 as they went on to capture their fifth GLVC title in six years.

The football success was just one of many accolades enjoyed by UIndy sports teams in 2017. Greyhounds earned the sixth consecutive GLVC All-Sports Trophy, presented annually to the university demonstrating the best all around performance in the league’s 20 sponsored sports. Other team achievements in 2017 include:

  • Men’s soccer were named GLVC Conference Champions.
  • Women’s Golf broke individual, team and conference records on the way to earning the fourth-consecutive top-five finish in the NCAA tournament.
  • Women’s tennis student-athletes Hanna Volikova and Alina Kislitskaya won the first ITA national doubles championship in program history.
  • Men’s and Women’s Diving currently are ranked in the Top 10 in Division II programs.
  • 253 Greyhound student-athletes were named to the GLVC All-Academic team.

“Our athletics success continues to produce benefits in recruitment and retention of students,” said Sue Willey, vice president for Intercollegiate Athletics at the University. “Being honored at the statehouse raises the profile of the team and the University as a whole. It’s a great honor and another positive development for the program that will motivate our student athletes and teams to continue their success.

Football Coach Bob Bartolomeo, who brought back 17 seniors this year, said the undefeated season was special because it has happened only twice since the program began.

“When you look at all the divisions and schools playing college football, it’s extremely difficult and takes a lot of work and effort to accomplish an undefeated season. That’s something we’re quite proud of,” said Bartolomeo, who also was named GLVC Coach of the Year.

Willey said she is excited about the future of the programs and their impact on the growth of the University.

University hosts 50th annual regional theatre festival

About 1,400 theatre enthusiasts from Michigan, Illinois, Indiana, Ohio and Wisconsin gathered at the University of Indianapolis recently for the 50th annual Kennedy Center American College Theater Festival (KCACTF).

The Department of Theatre hosted the week-long festival for Region III in January 2018. It was one of eight regional events across the country.

The festival included theatrical performances, workshops, scholarship competitions for acting, design and stage management students, along with professional networking opportunities.

“It’s a lot of fun to be immersed in theatre for a week,” said Penny Sornberger, associate professor of costume design. “It opens up opportunities for our students to meet fellow students from other schools, form new bonds, network with professionals in the field and get feedback on their work.”

About 30 University theatre students volunteered for and competed in the festival. *See a complete list of student competitors below.

Notable achievements included:

  • Carly Wagers ‘20 was a semifinalist in the Regional Design Projects Competition, ranking in the top 10 percent of 200 entries.
  • Zech Saenz ’19 won the Design Storm Competition for directing “The Most Wretched Deathbed Fever Dreams of Edgar Allan Poe.”
  • Daisy Grey ‘19 (director) and Jade Lynch ‘19 (sound design) were runners-up for their work on “La Boheme.”

Six theatre faculty members were instrumental in organizing activities: Penny Sornberger, Brad Wright, James Leagre, Casey Kearns, Christian McKinney and Jodi Bush.

During the festival, University Production Manager Christian McKinney received the Region III Faculty Service Award. Peers throughout Region III voted, selecting McKinney as the winner for her expertise in planning the event.

“It’s great to be recognized for all the hard work that went into this festival,” McKinney said. “The reason we do this is for the students. The experiences they gain and the contacts they make at this festival will help them far beyond their time here at UIndy.”  

Festival organizers persevered despite severe winter weather that threatened to interrupt scheduled events.

“We feel the festival was very successful, even with all the weather issues,” Sornberger said. “The show must go on. We’re theatre folks; that’s what we do!”

 

Congratulations to all University theatre students who competed:

 

Irene Ryan Scholarship Auditions:  

     Stephen Cox ‘18 & partner Carly Wagers ’20

     Mary Schreier ‘19 & partner Thomas Tutsie ’20

     Katie Carter ’20 & partner Clayton Rardon ’21

     Zech Saenz ’19 & partner Kelly Casey ’19

 

National KCACTF Awards for Theatrical Design Excellence Competition   

    Jade Lynch ‘19;  Sound Design for “Frankenstein”

 

National KCACTF Allied Design and Technology Award Competition

     Liesel Schmitz ‘20;  Creature Arm design for “Frankenstein”

     Pat Kizer ‘19;  Special Effects Makeup for “Frankenstein”

 

10-minute Play Festival

     Stephen Cox ‘18 Director; “Little Debbie”

 

Regional Design Projects Competition

     Emily Hart ‘19;  Costume Designs; “Eurydice”

     Carly Wagers ‘20; Costume Designs; “La Boheme”

 

Design Storm Competition

     Pat Kizer ’19; Make up Designer; “Eurydice”

     Kristine Storms ‘18; Costume Designs; “His Dark Materials”

     Daisy Grey ‘19; Director; “La Boheme”

     Jade Lynch ‘19; Sound Design; “La Boheme”

     Elizabeth Hollbrook ’18; Director; “Henry V”

     Emma Rund ‘20 ; Dramaturgy; “Henry V”

     Emily Hart ’19; Costume Designs; “Henry V”

     Zech Saenz ’19; Director; “The Most Wretched Deathbed Fever Dreams of Edgar Allan Poe”

University of Indianapolis launches leadership program for high school sophomores

INDIANAPOLIS – The University of Indianapolis is launching a leadership development program for Indiana high school sophomores next month with a statewide discussion that will bring together more than 275 high school sophomores from around the region with interests in technology, business, environment and sports.

The event, “Embracing the Future,” hosted by University of Indianapolis Visiting Fellow and former Indianapolis Mayor Greg Ballard, will promote leadership skills by encouraging students to embrace change in a positive way; and is one of series of initiatives throughout the year designed to prepare the next generation of Indiana’s leaders. Students who attend will have been nominated by their high schools.

“Learning to deal with change and not being afraid of failure are essential leadership qualities that are crucial to successful careers and lives,” Ballard said. “This event is designed to raise awareness of these issues as students consider potential careers and the impact they want to have on the world.”

The sessions focus on influential leaders from a variety of local industries. Topics include the “Future of Sports,” “Innovation,” “Fail Fest: Celebrating Failure’s Role in Innovation” and “Oil and National Security.”

In addition to “Embracing the Future,” University initiatives such as the Lugar Academy encourage high school students to pursue skills in leadership and service. Retired Sen. Richard Lugar, who has hosted the Richard G. Lugar Symposium for Tomorrow’s Leaders on campus for more than 40 years, works with students to identify the most pressing current events and political issues of our time.

Ballard, the former two-term Republican mayor of Indianapolis,  now serves as a Visiting Fellow for the Institute for Civic Leadership and Mayoral Archives at the University of Indianapolis. He mentors students and creates programming to help them develop leadership and civic management skills.

The goal of the Institute is to connect the community with Indianapolis’ civic history by working closely with previous mayors and their staffs to collect and preserve photos, documents and other resources that were critical in establishing Indianapolis as a world-class city. The Mayoral Archives are available digitally at uindy.historyit.com. The Institute hosts the annual Richard M. Fairbanks Symposium on Civic Leadership each year at the University, at which civic leaders and community builders examine a topic important to the future growth of the city.

Nomination details

Teachers and administrators are encouraged to nominate three outstanding sophomore students from their respective high schools who have an interest in technology, business, sports or the environment. Click here to submit nominations. All successful nominees will be contacted in February.

Ballard will deliver a keynote address, and students may choose to attend two afternoon sessions that touch on topics important to their personal and professional futures. The “Embracing the Future” event will be held from 10 a.m. to 3 p.m. , Saturday, March 3, in the Ransburg Auditorium of Esch Hall, 1400 E. Hanna Ave.

Learn more about the event.

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School of Nursing to host statewide convention

The University of Indianapolis School of Nursing will host the Indiana Association of Nursing Students (IANS) 2018 Convention on campus January 26 – 27, 2018.

About 400 nursing students from across the state are expected to attend. The theme for the event will be “Nursing School Survival Guide.” Workshops will prepare students for a successful career and provide valuable networking opportunities with peers and with representatives from various community partners in the healthcare field.

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Jane Toon, associate professor of nursing, helped organize the event. She said it’s exciting to host this conference because it’s the first time the University will host an event of this type and magnitude.

“We are honored to be asked to host this event since it means that UIndy is well-respected in the community at large, as well is within the healthcare field,” Toon said. “UIndy has had its own Student Nurse Association for many years, but this brings the University’s involvement in a student-led nursing association to a whole new level.”

The graduate program in the School of Nursing at the University of Indianapolis is ranked among the best graduate nursing programs in the country, according to U.S. News and World Report. Nursing graduates work at many of the regional hospitals and contribute to Indiana’s role as a national leader in healthcare and medicine. The School of Nursing also partners closely with Community Health Network for learning opportunities and community treatment options, some available at the UIndy Health Pavilion.

UIndy Student Nurse Association board members put in many hours outside of the classroom to help with planning and facilitation of this conference. One board member, Kasandra Strunk, was elected to the Indiana Association of Student Nurses board and has been instrumental in planning the conference and promoting it among her peers.

“Opportunities like this help our students develop into future nursing leaders,” Toon said.

The conference will have large and small group opportunities for learning. Some sessions will relate directly to nursing school, such as a review for the national nursing licensure exam, general test taking tips, and stress management techniques. Other sessions will assist students in planning their future nursing careers, such as panel discussions with nurses in a variety of specialties and how to plan for graduate school.  

Learn more about the convention.

UIndy honors Martin Luther King Jr. Day with Pack Away Hunger project

Hundreds of University of Indianapolis faculty, staff, students and community members braved snowy streets to spend a morning packing thousands of meals for the hungry.

The third annual “Pack Away Hunger” service project in the Schwitzer Student Center honored Martin Luther King Jr. Day. Around 250 volunteers scooped, measured, weighed and packed 56,000 meals in just more than  two hours for Pack Away Hunger.

“We volunteered as a group. We wanted to do something together to help the community and we thought this would be a good opportunity,” said Ariel Callis ‘19 (nursing).said.

Hannah Amberger ’19 (nursing) said she appreciates the University’s focus on service learning.

“I’ve been involved in service projects since freshman year, when we did Super Saturday of Service. That opened me up to realizing the different ways I can give back to the community,” she said.



Pack Away Hunger works to battle hunger in Indianapolis and across the world by providing nutritious meals for families. Each Nutri-Plenty™ meal provides vitamins and minerals and contains a healthy mixture of rice, soy, vegetables and flavorings. The meals packed on Monday will be distributed to central Indiana food banks to feed families in the community.

After the service project, volunteers gathered for a time of conversation and reflection and enjoyed a lunch featuring King’s favorite foods.

President Rob Manuel thanked volunteers for venturing out in snowy weather to spend their day off giving back. He noted that the University completes more than 120,000 service hours in the community each year.

Several student groups volunteered for the 2018 Pack Away Hunger project, including the women’s basketball team and the Student Nurses Association.

 

Tomorrow’s leaders explore international affairs with former Senator Lugar

More than 400 high school students from across Indiana soaked in valuable insight on the most pressing issues of our time during a special presentation by former Sen. Richard G. Lugar, who hosted an annual leadership symposium at the University of Indianapolis.

More than 60 Hoosier counties were represented at the 41st annual Richard G. Lugar Symposium for Tomorrow’s Leaders, hosted in December 2017 by the Lugar Academy at the University. The tradition allows select high school students to hear from one of the most distinguished minds on policy and domestic and global affairs.

“I look forward to this event each year because I am able to interact with students interested in leadership and making a difference,” said Lugar, a Distinguished Trustee at the University. “These are some of the next great leaders in Indiana and perhaps the country.”

“I hope to help spark the thought that would lead to them running for office or taking some public office for service one day,” Lugar added.

Julia Garrard, a senior from Lebanon High School, was honored by Lugar as this year’s recipient of the Richard G. Lugar Distinguished Student Leadership Award. The $1,000 award recognizes one Indiana high school senior each year for leadership and community service activities.

From partisan politics and climate change to trade agreements and immigration, Lugar provided insight on many of the hot-button issues facing society today. He agreed partisanship continues to be a major stumbling block to the legislative progress, but he said this is not a new phenomenon: The difference today is the power of special interests overshadowing the constituencies of elected officials.

Lugar often mentioned the work of the Lugar Center, a think tank group that issues the Bipartisan Index each year to rank Congress members on how often they work across party lines.

The 85-year-old Lugar, who served for 36 years in the U.S. Senate (including as a leader on the Committee on Foreign Affairs), led a spirited Q and A session, touching on many topics important to young people. Among his messages: Manmade climate change is real. International trade is critical for international relations. DACA children should be protected. North Korea is an extreme danger to the world.

President Robert L. Manuel praised Lugar for his continued commitment to the next generation of leaders and to the University. Lugar is a former professor of political science and holds a honorary degree from the University of Indianapolis.

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.

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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.

 

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