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.

Rhapsody in Blue: April 26

Rebecca SorleyProfessor of Music Rebecca Sorley will be featured along with the Symphonic Wind Ensemble, conducted by Vu Nguyen, in George Gershwin’s “Rhapsody in Blue” on Thursday, April 26th at 7:30 p.m. Also on the program is the UIndy Chamber Orchestra led by Ariel Rudikov.

Event details

Gershwin’s “Rhapsody,” originally composed for piano and jazz band, premiered in 1924 with the composer as the piano soloist.  The work blends classical elements in a jazz style and has become a standard in the piano repertoire with accompaniments arranged for orchestra, jazz band, wind quintet and even brass choir.

Dr. Sorley first performed the piece as a junior in high school with her school band.  She looks forward to the opportunity of presenting it this season not only with the Symphonic Wind Ensemble, but also on April 22nd at 4:00 p.m. with the Indianapolis Brass Choir at First Baptist Church of Mooresville.

Theatre department presents “I and You” by Lauren Gunderson

“I and this mystery, here we stand.”

The University of Indianapolis Department of Theatre presents “I and You,” written by Lauren Gunderson and inspired by Walt Whitman’s Leaves of Grass, April 20-28 in the Studio Theatre.

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While the play has been done at Phoenix Theatre in recent years, the UIndy production will have a new spin. Director James Leagre contacted the playwright to request a gender change for one of the two main characters. Gunderson granted the request, and as a result, the upcoming production is being billed as “two casts, two stories, too good to miss.”

Thirteen students are directly involved in the production process: four student cast members, a student assistant director, a student stage manager, a student lighting design, a student sound design and a student costume design, plus four backstage crew. Another 15-20 students are involved in preparing all the elements of the show.

“Expect to be taken on an interesting, powerful, and heartfelt journey of discovery on how we are all connected and compatible beyond our understanding,” Leagre said.

Purchase tickets.

Journalist Dawn Paley shines light on Mexico’s “disappeared” with April 12 lecture

Dawn Paley

Dawn Paley

An internationally-acclaimed journalist will speak at the University of Indianapolis in April about community-led efforts in Mexico to locate the bodies of disappeared citizens. Dawn Paley will present “Grassroots Searches for the Disappeared in Mexico” at 6:00 p.m., April 12, UIndy Hall B in the Schwitzer Student Center. The event is free and open to the public.

Since the disappearance of 43 students in Guerrero, Mexico, in September 2014, family and community-led groups have begun to carry out land searches for the bodies of disappeared people in areas throughout the country. In this talk, Paley explores the crisis of enforced disappearance in Mexico and takes a detailed look at how one group of family members of the disappeared in the northern state of Coahuila has organized to carry out searches.

Dawn Paley is the author of “Drug War Capitalism,” which traces the “Drug War” story from Latin America to U.S. boardrooms and political offices. Paley, who is based in Vancouver, Canada, has written for magazines and newspapers including the The Guardian, Vancouver Sun, The Globe and Mail, BC Business Magazine, The Nation, The Dominion, Ms. Magazine, The Tyee, the Georgia Straight, Briarpatch, NACLA Reports, This Magazine, Canadian Dimension, Counterpunch, The Vue Weekly, Watershed Sentinel and Upside Down World. She is currently a doctoral student at the Autonomous University of Puebla in Mexico.

This event is being organized by the student members of FOUND (Forensics at UIndy). Krista Latham, director of the University of Indianapolis Human Identification Center and associate professor of biology, is their faculty advisor. Paley contributed a chapter to Latham’s most recent book, The Sociopolitics of Migrant Death and Repatriation, co-edited with Alyson O’Daniel, assistant professor of anthropology. Latham said the talk will be a fascinating look into forensic science, social justice, Latin American issues, journalism and more.

“The topic is not only interesting and relevant, but Dawn is a young person, a woman and a student. It really shows how you can use your education to do amazing things,” Latham said.

Four years after 43 students from a teacher’s college were forcibly disappeared in the Mexican state of Guerrero, there are no clear answers as to why security forces attacked and detained the students or where their bodies may be located, Latham explained.

While Paley’s talk will focus on this particular instance of forced disappearance, Latham said it’s important to understand that such incidents are not rare in global populations.

“Forced disappearances are on the rise globally as governments try to avoid accountability for their actions,” Latham explained. “In the United States, this crisis unfolds along the southern border as thousands are disappeared as they try to make their way from Latin America to the U.S.”

Latham leads a team of graduate students to the Texas borderlands every year to identify the remains of people who died crossing the border so that their families can be notified. She sees many parallels between Paley’s work and her own – as citizens step into the role of investigators and activists when authorities won’t act.

“Not only does it focus on disappearing and silencing voices, but it also focuses on ways in which science can be considered an act of rebellion,” Latham said.

Read more about Dawn Paley.

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 Artist-in-Residence Drew Petersen receives prestigious grant

University of Indianapolis Artist-in-Residence Drew Petersen is one of four recipients of the Avery Fisher Career Grant worth $25,000. Petersen is also the 2017 American Pianists Awards winner and a Christel DeHaan fellow.

The grants give professional assistance and recognition to talented musicians who have been identified as having great potential for solo careers, according to the Lincoln Center website. Recipients of 149 Career Grants awarded include pianists Jonathan Biss and Yuja Wang, clarinettist Anthony McGill, violinists James Ehnes and Hilary Hahn, and the Dover Quartet.

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A cum laude graduate of Harvard University in social sciences, Petersen pursued undergraduate and graduate studies in music at the Juilliard School. He also has been a prizewinner in major international competitions and has been profiled in the New York Times, New York Magazine and the documentary Just Normal.

He was last on campus in February 2018, where he hosted a masterclass with University of Indianapolis students and performed a solo repertoire and concerto collaboration with the University of Indianapolis Chamber Orchestra.

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Petersen said interacting with the talented music students on campus has been one of the biggest rewards of his new connection to the University.

“Whenever I interact with the students and faculty, I am reminded that each day at UIndy is an opportunity to explore great music together and examine and innovate the best ways we can share it with the community. I’ve been having a great time, and I look forward to all that lies ahead,” Petersen said.

Read more about Petersen’s partnership with the University.

Wanderlust: Spring Break style

Students embarked on educational & service-learning trips during Spring Break. Here’s a look at some of their adventures and lessons learned along the way:

Savannah, Georgia

Six students from the Student Business Leadership Academy (SBLA) made the 12-hour drive to help Coastal Empire Habitat For Humanity for the second consecutive year. They gained muscle mass and so much more during the service-learning experience.

“This year’s trip was special because we helped build a house for a woman and her son. She was a veteran who served in Iraq, and it meant a lot to give back to someone who sacrificed everything so we can live in this wonderful country,” said Alyssa Goen ‘20 (sports marketing), who planned and participated in the 2017 and 2018 trips.

Activities included nailing sheaths to the frame of the house, adding trusses to the roof and working in the ReStore, where they unloaded truckloads of donated furniture and household items and prepared them for resale.

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“This trip was such a humbling experience. It was so rewarding to see how our hard work moved the house further along in the construction process. Meeting the homeowner really opened our eyes to how just a week’s worth of work made such an impact in her life,” said Olivia Vormohr ‘19 (finance), who was an integral part of making the trip a reality.

 

India

Students from the Politics in South Asia class visited India for a closer look at Indian economy and society. Led by Milind Thakar, associate professor of international relations, and Paul Levesque, assistant professor of German, a dozen students traveled to the capital city of Delhi, the southern state of Kerala and other cities and towns to experience the contrasts between India’s wealth and poverty, as well as the country’s ethnic, religious and linguistic diversity.

India spring break trip

Melissa Kapsalis ’18 (political science and psychology with pre-law concentration) said she was impressed with how the trip managed to encompass so many aspects of Indian culture and life in a short time span.

“India is a little bit of everything. It has wealth, poverty, religion, beauty, destruction, and it could change each time you cross the street,” Kapsalis said.

Hong Kong and Vietnam

A group of 19 students, faculty, staff and alumni involved in the MBA program visited Hong Kong and Vietnam to explore business relations in those countries. Many of the students who participated in the trip were members of the MBA 652 Global Business Seminar class taught by Kathy Bohley, Professor of International Business & Marketing.

Students had a business meeting in Hong Kong with Fidelity Investments, then traveled to Ho Chi Minh in Vietnam for a cultural tour, including a day trip to the Cu Chi tunnels, the Reunification Palace, the War Remnants Museum and the Mekong Delta, where they learned about the rice paper industry and other manufacturing in Vietnam. They also met with Intel Products leadership and toured Intel’s manufacturing facility, and met with the U.S. Commercial Services to discuss American business in Vietnam with a commercial officer. 

Jamaica

A small group of students teamed up with Intercollegiate YMCA and four other schools for a service trip to Mandeville, Jamaica where they volunteered at the Hanbury Home for Children. It was the first time Isabel Tintera ‘20 (criminal justice) had been out of the country, but that didn’t interfere with her excitement.

“Kids have always had a soft spot in my heart, so I was eager to hang out with them and hopefully impact their lives in a positive way. The experience was remarkable,” she said.

Jamaica spring break trip

Danielle Hendricks ‘18 (social work) hadn’t been involved in a service trip before, but said she was excited for the chance to get outside her comfort zone.

“I hope I impacted the children in the orphanage and made their day brighter than usual,” she said.

 

Scotland

Students from the Scottish Literature class spent the week across the pond, visiting sites related to this semester’s readings, including the home of Sir Walter Scott (after having read his novel Waverley) and the Isles of Mull and Iona, which are referenced in Robert Louis Stevenson’s novel Kidnapped.

“Having the opportunity to visit and explore the landscapes that inspired these authors really helped me and my classmates connect with the readings and heighten the level of our in-class discussions,” said Kara Wagoner ’19 (finance, professional writing). “In addition to all of the beautiful places we visited, I also enjoyed drinking delicious tea every morning and getting to know our bus driver, David, who had a wealth of knowledge to share with us.”

Scotland trip

Talk about a hands-on approach to learning!

 

Interested in service-learning opportunities? Learn more.

Interested in study abroad opportunities? Learn more.

University faculty present ‘A Holocaust Remembrance’

A Holocaust Remembrance: Christel DeHaan Fine Arts Center, April 16th at 7:30 p.m. at the University of Indianapolis.
The stories of Holocaust survivors Krystyna Zywulska and Manfred Lewin are brought to life through music, as they share the haunting experiences they endured. Jake Heggie and Gene Scheer have created a triptych of pieces that deftly describe only a few of the horrific atrocities to come out of this tragic period in human history.

The evening begins with Words on Music at 6:45, as second generation Holocaust survivor Susan Stiasney shares the experiences of her parents and her aunt and uncle. The 90-minute concert will begin at 7:30, followed by a dessert reception to allow for discussion to round out this evening of remembrance.

Performers include: Kathleen Hacker, soprano; Daniel Narducci, baritone; Mitzi Westra, mezzo; Mark Gilgallon, actor; Eli Eban, clarinet; Tamara Thweatt, flute; Shoshana Kay, violin; Kurt Fowler, cello; Emmet Hanick, bass; and Sylvia Patterson-Scott, piano.

Fairbanks Symposium brings former HUD Secretary Julian Castro to “City of Homes” event at the University of Indianapolis

INDIANAPOLIS – The 2018 Richard M. Fairbanks Symposium on Civic Leadership: “A City of Homes” highlights the critical role housing has played in shaping the development of Indianapolis and the important housing challenges facing cities as they prepare for the future.



Julian Castro, former Secretary of Housing and Urban Development and former mayor of San Antonio, will lead a conversation about the impact of housing on urban growth with Carolyn Coleman, executive director of the League of California Cities and former deputy mayor of Indianapolis. Coleman also serves on the University of Indianapolis Board of Trustees. Castro served as Secretary of Housing and Urban Development from 2014 to 2017 and as mayor of San Antonio from 2009 to 2014.

“We’re absolutely thrilled to have two national experts here to help us make sense of this profound problem facing communities everywhere. Both Julian Castro and Carolyn Coleman bring a wealth of experience in leadership at the municipal and national levels,” said Ted Frantz, professor of history and director of the University’s Institute for Civic Leadership & Mayoral Archives.

The symposium will be held 8 a.m., Friday, March 2, in the Schwitzer Student Center at the University of Indianapolis. Registration is required for this free event, presented by the University of Indianapolis, Indiana Humanities and Indianapolis Neighborhood Housing Partnership (INHP), and generously supported by the Richard M. Fairbanks Foundation.

See event photos.

The symposium tackles the major housing issues facing Indianapolis, such as improving access to affordable housing, its relationship to employment and the role of transportation when calculating the cost of living. In this context, the symposium explores Indianapolis’ reputation as a “city of homes” and how that presents unique challenges to the city’s growth.

“More than 28 percent of Marion County households are housing-cost burdened, a contributing factor to the sustainability of our neighborhoods,” said Moira Carlstedt, president and CEO of INHP. “We are eager to participate in this important dialogue alongside Mr. Castro and former Indianapolis Deputy Mayor Carolyn Coleman to share how INHP, in partnership with the community, is addressing this issue, both in the creation of more affordable housing opportunities in Indianapolis and preparing homebuyers for a long-term, successful investment.”

Since its inception in 2013, the Fairbanks symposium has facilitated conversation about important civic issues, including the role of sports strategies to provide growth and civic engagement, the role of green space in urban development as well as the politics of civility. The event pairs local and national experts to explore and define important issues affecting cities today and in the future.

“Each year, the Fairbanks Symposium is an opportunity to discuss the importance of visionary civic leadership in driving Indianapolis forward,” said Keira Amstutz, president and CEO of Indiana Humanities. “We look forward to Secretary Castro’s observations on the role of affordable housing in creating a great quality of life in the Circle City.”

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. UIndy is ranked among the top Midwest Universities by the U.S. News and World Report, with a diverse enrollment of more than 5,500 undergraduates, 1,300 graduate students and 400 continuing education students. The University offers a wide variety of study areas, including 100 undergraduate degrees, more than 35 master’s degree programs and five doctoral programs. With strong programs in the health sciences, engineering, business and education, UIndy impacts its community by living its motto, “Education for Service.” www.uindy.edu.

About Indiana Humanities
Indiana Humanities connects people, opens minds and enriches lives by creating and facilitating programs that encourage Hoosiers to think, read and talk. Learn more at www.indianahumanities.org.

About Indianapolis Neighborhood Housing Partnership
The Indianapolis Neighborhood Housing Partnership (INHP) increases affordable and sustainable housing opportunities for individuals and families in Marion County, and serves as a catalyst for neighborhood revitalization. INHP enables families to become and remain long-term, successful homeowners through homebuyer education, mortgage and credit advising and lending services. INHP also provides thought leadership, technical assistance, financial support and programming to community partners dedicated to neighborhood revitalization. For more information, visit INHP.org.

Indiana Chief Justice Loretta Rush to deliver inaugural PLSA Lecture at the University of Indianapolis

Indiana Supreme Court Chief Justice Loretta Rush

Indiana Supreme Court Chief Justice Loretta Rush

INDIANAPOLIS – Indiana Supreme Court Chief Justice Loretta Rush will be the featured speaker on Tuesday, March 6, 2018, for the inaugural lecture in the Pre-Law Student Association (PLSA) Judicial Lecture Series.

The event is scheduled from 6:00 to 8:00 p.m. in Ruth Lilly Performance Hall, Christel DeHaan Fine Arts Center.

Chief Justice Rush is the first guest featured in the PLSA Judicial Lecture Series, established by the Pre-Law Student Association, which benefits students interested in law and government and offers the University community a venue to learn more about Indiana state government.  Chief Justice Rush’s lecture will focus on the importance that University of Indianapolis students will play in shaping Indiana’s future in the coming years, in particular those looking to enter the legal field.

“There were 1.3 million cases filed in Indiana trial courts last year. The cases range from foreclosure to family violence to the drug crisis and much more,” Chief Justice Rush said. “UIndy pre-law students should consider their role as future leaders to help meet challenges facing our communities. We need thoughtful and compassionate lawyers to ensure we continue to deliver justice in every courthouse across the state.”

Dr. David Root, assistant professor of political science and PLSA and pre-law advisor, worked with PLSA Executive Board Members to coordinate the event.

“We are very excited about Chief Justice Rush’s talk,” Dr. Root said, “and look forward to hearing the state’s top judicial officer share her thoughts on how UIndy pre-law students, and students in general, can work to impress their footprints on the future.”

Jason Marshall ‘17 (political science with pre-law minor) is the first and previous president of the Pre-Law Student Association, which prepares future leaders in the legal field. He will begin his studies at Indiana University McKinney School of Law in Fall 2018 and said the lecture series is the start of a new tradition on campus.

“The PLSA Judicial Lecture Series, beginning with the Chief Justice of the Indiana Supreme Court, is another step in ensuring students are being offered the best knowledge in the field and the most up-to-date information on what is happening in our legal environment,” Marshall said.

Calleigh Smith ‘19 (political science with minors in pre-law and Spanish) is the current president of the Pre-Law Student Association and appreciates what it means to the University of Indianapolis and the PLSA to have the most important figure of Indiana law visit and speak on campus.

“We are thrilled to have Chief Justice Rush come and speak at UIndy,” Smith said. “It signals to us as UIndy students and pre-law students the critical leadership positions we will fulfill in the future, both as lawyers and community leaders around the state and everywhere Greyhounds go.”

The PLSA Lecture is open to all University of Indianapolis students, faculty, and staff.  Contact Dr. Root at rootd@uindy.edu for details.

Mark this event on your calendar.

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