Pamela Guerrero ’19 chosen for 2021 Axis Leadership cohort

Pamela Alejandra Guerrero ’19 (political science major, international relations minor) was recently named as part of the Axis Leadership Program’s 2021 cohort.

Axis is an eight-month leadership program designed for Latino professionals between the ages of 21-28 to develop personally and professionally and to prepare them to engage with civic and community leadership activities. Upon completion, Axis participants will be equipped and prepared to unify, transform and serve the community.

The program is a partnership between the City of Indianapolis and Indiana Latino Expo. Class members are chosen through a competitive process based on their community involvement, personal vision and achievement.

Guerrero, who is from Ecuador, says it’s a great feeling to represent her country in the program.

“When I found out I was selected for the Axis 2021 cohort, I was very excited about the opportunity. I hope that Axis helps me develop deeper relationships with professional Latinos in the Indianapolis area and learn and meet more outstanding professionals through the State. I also hope to improve myself as a professional and learn how I can better serve the community,” said Guerrero.


Since graduating from UIndy in December 2019, Guerrero interned with the Indiana Institute for working families and assisted #TEAMINSTITUTE throughout the 2020 Indiana legislative session as their legislative and communications assistant. In her former position with the Institute, she met and interacted with many different non-for-profits and legislators. She had the opportunity to write blog posts for the Institute and learn more from the work that nonprofits do across the country as well as the influence nonprofits have in the public policy process.

After her internship, Guerrero was hired as a civil rights specialist with the Indiana Civil Rights Commission. In her current position, she concentrates on investigating complaints that fall within the jurisdiction of the Indiana Fair Housing law, the Fair Housing Act, and the Civil Rights law. The Civil Rights Commission provides relief to people that have been discriminated against in the areas of housing, education, public accommodation, credit and employment.

Reflecting on her time at UIndy, Guerrero said, “I learned a lot at UIndy. I think that UIndy prepared me to become an analytical person which is so crucial for my career. I valued all of my classmates’ diverse political views, and I think my professors allowed for a very open environment to learn from each other.”

She specifically expressed gratitude for the mentorship of Milind Thakar, professor of international relations, and Laura Wilson, assistant professor of political science.

“They have been my biggest cheerleaders. I feel confident that even after graduating, I can reach out to them and ask them questions about grad school. It is great to know that I am not on my own trying to figure out the next steps in my career and studies,” Guerrero said.

In the long-term, Guerrero would eventually like to work in environmental policy and management to help address climate change and its effects. She is interested in making clean environment access a right because she sees climate change creating a global humanitarian crisis.

“In Indiana alone, we feel the changes hotter summers, more days in the 90 degrees, and more rain, making it harder for agriculture. Indiana needs to adapt quickly, controlling the sources that are increasing greenhouse gases. Most of the pollution in the state affects minority communities creating lifelong health issues. A clean environment should not be reserved for those that can afford it. We all should have access to it,” said Guerrero.

About the program
The concept of the Axis Leadership Program began as part of Mayor Joe Hogsett’s Latino Advisory Council as a significant lack of Latino leadership was noted within the Indianapolis community. This program was a dream of many long-standing Latino leaders including Former Advisory Council member Carmen DeRusha, whose unrelenting leadership to see a leadership program come to fruition inspired the leadership team to develop the Axis Leadership Program.

Alex Algee ’20 and his UIndy journey

Alex Algee (Sport Management ‘20) has been making the most of every opportunity throughout his time at UIndy. His experiences and the connections he’s made in the sport management industry are a testament to ambitiously pursuing your goals. 

Dr. Jennifer Van Sickle, director of the UIndy Sport Management program, said, “We are always stressing the importance of volunteering and networking. These are key for getting started in the sport industry. Alex took this advice and ran with it and now has filled his resume with outstanding experiences with top notch sport organizations in Indianapolis.”

As a freshman, Alex attended a Women in Leadership panel at UIndy where the general manager of the Indiana Fever at the time, Kelly Krauskopf, was a guest speaker. He reconnected with Krauskopf as a sophomore to interview her at Bankers Life Fieldhouse for a sports management class and was able to shadow her his junior year after she had taken over the Indiana Pacers’ NBA 2K League eSports team. His connection with Krauskopf, who is now an assistant general manager for the Indiana Pacers, led him to an events internship with the Pacers. 


As an events intern, Alex worked with the facilities department to plan and coordinate events held at Bankers Life Fieldhouse, including Pacers games, concerts, shows, and more. If you’ve ever wondered how massive stages are built and torn down in a matter of hours, Alex can tell you from personal experience how that happens. 

My time at Bankers Life Fieldhouse was absolutely incredible. The people I encountered and the experiences I was a part of were extremely memorable. I was lucky enough to grow both personally and professionally throughout my time with the Pacers organization and I hope to find my way back there in the near future,” said Alex.

He was able to step into the role of lead event coordinator for youth and high school basketball games held at the fieldhouse and also took care of some VIP guests, which led to his most memorable moment: meeting country singer Luke Combs! 

Alex’s second and current internship is with USA Football, where he is a part of the events department for their national team. One of his primary responsibilities is to help coordinate and plan regional camps for high school athletes hoping to try out for the national team. It’s Alex’s job to recruit athletic trainers, book hotels, organize lunches and many other tasks. He recently returned from USA Football’s national conference in Louisville, KY where he served as a liaison to coaches and youth league management and even got the honor of being a tackle dummy for a coaching demonstration.

When asked about what advice he would give to other students looking for internships or career-related opportunities, Alex said, “People will say it is about who you know, but it is really about who knows you.”

“It’s about getting your foot in the door, and once your foot is in there, knocking the door down and being able to show others who you are and build yourself up.” 

VanSickle is confident Alex has created a formula for success.

“He has the work ethic needed for success,” VanSickle said. “He is not afraid to step out of his comfort zone. I’m excited for Alex because I think the future holds great things for him.”

Tylyn Johnson ’22 applies adoption advocacy skills

Greyhound connections and a strong work ethic are paying dividends for Tylyn Johnson ’22 (social work), who has developed a passion for adoption advocacy. While Johnson didn’t set out to become a student adoption advocate, the pandemic changed everything when the time came to pursue an internship.

“I had originally planned on doing some community center-type work,” he said. Instead, “I found myself working with the Indiana Adoption‘s Rosie Butler to develop an understanding of how foster care and adoption work, and from there, trying to raise awareness.”

Butler, a University of Indianapolis alumna, was immediately impressed with Johnson’s work and dedication.

“Tylyn has immersed himself in this internship, one that is outside the ordinary internship for social work students because of the pandemic, and has gone above and beyond my expectations. He has an exceptional ability to grasp concepts, interpret data, explore his ideas and run with them,” said Butler ’84 (social work).

As Johnson was learning more about the needs, practices, and history within foster care and adoption, he saw not only an opportunity to develop knowledge but an opportunity to try to help spark more conversations around this subject. 

“The way I think about adoption, it’s about providing an important resource to youth, that resource being a “forever family,” which can improve their outcomes in ways that are massively important, and which can create more love in homes in a world that I want to see overflow with love,” said Johnson.

Tylyn Johnson

Tylyn Johnson

When Johnson started at UIndy, he was an undecided major. He knew that he wanted to help people in meaningful and effective ways, so he took a social work course with a service-learning element during his freshman year and was hooked.

‘The social work program has helped prepare me for my future career by articulating more specifically how I can actively engage communities in my work,” said Johnson. “[Extra-curriculars also] helped spur my development as a writer, as a resource professional, and as a human being.”

During his time at UIndy, Johnson has been involved in the Interfaith Scholars Program, the Black Student Association, UIndy Pride, and Healing Hounds. Additionally, he considers himself a “part-time writer,” writing and sharing poetry and stories where he can offer a bit of artistic empowerment to people who need it.

“As a social work student, Tylyn’s work ethic, creativity, scholarship, and passion for social justice are just a few of the unique qualities he brings to the classroom and his practicum,” said Christie Jansing, assistant professor and director of field education for the University of Indianapolis Bachelor of Social Work Program. “While his practicum will be wrapping up at the end of the semester, I know that great things are still to come for Tylyn.”

Johnson appreciates the support he’s received from student resources including the Professional Edge Center and the Center for Advising & Student Achievement. He has received support from many faculty members as well.

“Dr. Eduard Arriaga (Global Languages) really helped me engage more not only with writing multilingually but also in engaging with various areas of Afro-centric scholarship. And then seeing the likes of Rev. Arionne Williams (Chapel & Interfaith) and Andre Givens (Business) keeping really high standards but then also having a sense of joy that permeates the people around them has also influenced me,” said Johnson. 

Johnson hopes to see more people investing in adoption in the future and is passionate about sharing ways to engage with adoption issues, whether that be reading about and listening to the perspectives of adoptive families and former foster youth, volunteering with foster youth through various organizations, or simply raising awareness by talking about adoption with the people around you. 

He believes that steps should be taken to make adulthood an easier transition for foster kids/adoptees, from college preparation or vocational training to developing life skills or connecting them with community resources. 

“Just because a kid is without a family foundation doesn’t mean they should be stuck with higher risks of homelessness or under/unemployment, and there are so many resources in our communities that can help them if the connections are made,” Johnson said.

Rosie Butler stated that “[Johnson] is on a mission. He really does want to get the word out that there is a need for Forever Families. He truly reflects the “Education for Service” UIndy motto.” 


SLIDESHOW: Nursing alumni reflect on UIndy effect

From the NICU at Riley Hospital for Children to the surgery ward at IU Health Bloomington, University of Indianapolis nursing alumni are making an impact. Many of them keep in touch with UIndy School of Nursing faculty to talk about where their careers are taking them. Thanks to those wonderful connections, our UIndy family continues to grow.

  • Mandy Hardin-Morton is a certified birth doula, international board-certified lactation consultant and working on her RNC-OB. She works at Major Health Partners in Shelbyville in labor and delivery. “I love my nursing career and I owe it all to UIndy School of Nursing!”

Two University of Indianapolis Students Selected for the Class of 2022 Indiana AHEC Scholars Program

The Indiana AHEC Scholars program is a part of a national initiative to prepare tomorrow’s health professionals to become leaders in interprofessional, transformative practice who serve those who need it the most.

The competitive program is designed specifically for individuals who possess a strong drive to provide care to those living in rural and medically underserved communities across Indiana.

Over the two-year program, AHEC Scholars complete didactic and experiential training opportunities with a focus on rural and urban health care and caring for underserved populations with emphasis on the integration of five core issues – behavioral health integration, cultural competency, interprofessional education, practice transformation, and social determinants of health into practice.

Congratulations to the new class of Indiana AHEC Scholars.


Aviya Hawkins ’22 – Public Health

Abigail Wagner ’22 – Physical Therapy

IMG_9900 image1

For more information about the AHEC Scholars Program contact us at

UIndy Center for Aging & Community tapped for role in $1.3M grant

The University of Indianapolis Center for Aging & Community has been selected by the Indiana University School of Medicine as a partner in a 36-month venture to enhance, strengthen and expand supports for people with Alzheimer’s Disease and related dementias (ADRD) and their caregivers in 34 Indiana counties. This venture, called the Alzheimer’s Disease Programs Initiative (ADPI), is supported by a $1.3 million grant from the U.S. Administration for Community Living, Department of Health and Human Services

CAC’s role in ADPI is to evaluate the effectiveness and impact of the project, which builds upon existing home and community-based social supports to maximize the ability of people with ADRD to remain independent in their communities.

“CAC has established expertise in project evaluation over the course of nearly 20 years,” said Dr. Ellen Miller, CAC executive director. “We are proud to be selected as a partner in the ADPI project and look forward to determining its impact on Indiana citizens living with dementia.” 

Other ADPI partners include Eskenazi Health; Central Indiana’s Area Agency on Aging (AAA) CICOA Aging and In-Home Solutions and four additional Indiana AAAs (Aging & In-Home Services of Northeast Indiana, LifeStream Services, REAL Services, and Thrive Alliance); Indiana Association of Area Agencies on Aging; Indiana Professional Management Group; Greater Indiana Chapter of the Alzheimer’s Association; Dementia Friends Indiana; and the Divisions of Aging and Disability & Rehabilitative Services of Indiana Family and Social Services Administration.

To achieve their goal, ADPI partners will deploy a collaborative dementia care model and training interventions, which have been proven to reduce caregiver stress and improve quality of life. People with ADRD and their caregivers will receive coaching from community health workers serving as dementia care coordinator assistants, and in-home personal care workers will receive specialized training in dementia care.

ADPI will serve 1,000 individuals who are eligible for nursing home care, yet are living in the community aided by Medicaid in-home services and support. In particular, people with ADRD who live alone or are aging with intellectual and developmental disabilities, such as Down’s syndrome, will receive support. In addition, the ADPI will provide training in dementia care to 500 personal care workers.  

The U.S. Administration for Community Living, Department of Health and Human Services contributed one million dollars in federal funds to the total grant, or 75 percent of the project’s total costs. The remaining 25 percent of the total—$333,333 in nongovernmental matching funds—was financed by the five partner Area Agencies on Aging. 

Get to Know: Selena Jackson-King ’22 (education)

Selena Jackson-King

During her sophomore year, Selena Jackson-King ’22 found herself in a situation many college students can relate to: deciding to switch her major. Jackson-King transferred into the School of Education and has had nothing but positive experiences since. “The professors and other students in the major are super easy to talk to and make the major even more fun than it already is,” she said. “It has already prepared me very well for my career’s next steps.”

A hallmark of the School of Education curriculum, Jackson-King immediately found herself in the field at a variety of different schools. This experience was beneficial “because it showed the different demographics of the area around me,” she said.

This field experience so early in her career has helped Jackson-King prepare for the day she has a classroom of her own. “The classes in the major really help build up your resources and knowledge for your own classroom,” she said. “They also really emphasize creating relationships with those around you, which I think is an important next step for my career.”

Jackson-King credits several professors within the School of Education for positively impacting her time within the School in a relatively short period. “I ask a lot of questions and I like to talk about the harder topics,” she said. “Professors like Dr. Crystal Thorpe and Dr. Jennifer Grace let those harder topics about the education system come to light. Both of these women have given me honest advice about my next moves in career choice due to their own experiences in the field.”

“Dr. [John] Somers pushed me to think outside of the box with projects and let the class really get to know one another since some of us were new to the major,” she added.

Jackson-King maintains an active presence on campus in addition to her academics. She is a member of the Black Student Association, participating in their events on campus and served as a resident assistant last year. “Being an RA was one of my favorite things that I’ve done on campus,” she said.

She focused on forming relationships with staff and students who lived in her dorm. The job helped teach her time management because she knew others were relying on her to do her job, and also allowed her to put her creativity and personality into practice, creating bulletin boards, flyers and programs based on the needs of the students who lived on her floor. “Even though last year ended abruptly, it’s one of the years that had the most impact on me,” she said.

Jackson-King hopes to “never work a day in my life” because she’s a firm believer that when you love what you do, you’re not working—and after switching her major to education, she believes she’s well on her way.

UIndy, Butler live mascots reunite for Top Dog Challenge

The competition between the Truman State University Bulldogs and UIndy Greyhounds has been a GLVC throwdown for years, and now it’s time to determine who is the Top Dog!

Join the UIndy community as we compete against Truman State University to see which school has the largest impact in our communities. Now through Saturday, October 24 we will be raising funds for three organizations: Make-A-Wish Foundation, Gleaners Food Bank of Indiana, and Indianapolis Animal Care Services.

The Top Dog Challenge also inspired a local mascot reunion:

Butler Blue IV stopped by campus today to visit Grady and to show his support.

UIndy Mascot Grady and Butler University's Blue

“This bulldog stands with Grady.” – Butler Blue IV, probably

Help us help our community and show Truman that Greyhounds are the Top Dog!

Click here to make a donation now. Learn more at


Alli Nelson ’20 begins career with Indiana State Department of Health

WIN_20200917_13_45_23_ProIn the age of COVID-19, the UIndy Public Health program is committed to making a difference. UIndy graduates promote health and prevent disease within local and global communities, as well as reduce health inequities through conscientious application of evidence-based public health strategies including programming and policy development.

One of those graduates, Alli Nelson ’20, now works for the Indiana State Department of Health as a COVID-19 Health Educator Epidemiologist. Below is a Q&A about her experience in the Public Health Education and Promotion program at UIndy and what it has been like to start her career in the midst of a pandemic.


What was your year of graduation, major and any minors or concentrations?


I graduated with a B.S. in Public Health Education and Promotion from UIndy in August of 2020. I am part of UIndy’s 4+1 public health program, so I am currently finishing up my last year of my Master of Public Health program at UIndy and will graduate with my MPH in August of 2021. I was very lucky to be able to complete an extra accelerated program so I will graduate with my Bachelors and Masters in four years.


What was your experience in the public health program? How did it prepare you for your current career?


I cannot say enough good things about UIndy’s public health program. It prepares students so well to step out into the workforce either with an undergraduate degree or a graduate degree. The program gives you plenty of opportunities to network with professionals in the field and build relationships that prove to be beneficial upon graduation.


Additionally, the public health program focuses heavily on hands on experience. You are actively working with the community to design health education and promotion programs/interventions, conduct evaluations, compose grant proposals, and so many other hands on activities. This is so beneficial for students as it gives them the experiences that prepare them and allow them to standout when they are looking for a career.


The program pushes you to grow as a professional and develop important skills such as team building, communication, networking, problem solving, critical thinking, cultural competency, and so many other skills. The program also connects you with professionals and organizations that could be your future employer. That was the case for me. Our program director sent out an email of job openings at the Indiana Department of Health that was sent to her by a former UIndy graduate and I interviewed for a position and landed a job.


Can you give us a little more information on your current role?


I am currently contracted by the Indiana Department of Health as a COVID-19 Health Educator Epidemiologist. Within this role, I am working on an infection prevention and control program that the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention is rolling out called Project Firstline.


The aim of Project Firstline is to provide basic infection prevention and control trainings to all frontline healthcare workers, so this could be nurses, physicians, environmental service workers, dialysis facility workers, outpatient facilities, etc. Basically, we want everyone to know basic infection prevention and control like the back of their hand.


To reach this goal, I and another health educator will be providing 10 regional Project Firstline trainings within the next two years. The trainings will be based on the needs of the regions that will be identified through a Learning Needs Assessment that will be distributed throughout the state. This will assess what infection prevention and control trainings frontline workers currently receive and what are the gaps in the training that need to be addressed.


On the logistical side of things, I work on providing the grant deliverables for the grant that is funding this project as well as developing distribution lists of all dialysis centers, local health departments, homeless shelters, outpatient clinics, ambulatory surgical centers, primary care centers, and others to use to disseminate the needs assessment and the trainings.


How’s your transition to the workforce been? Especially with regards to starting during the pandemic.


The transition has not been too difficult. UIndy’s MPH program was online prior to COVID-19, so I was used to being productive and working from home. My current job is also fully online, so it wasn’t too different of a transition.


I attend a lot of Microsoft Teams meetings which is helpful to answer my questions and collaborate on different projects. I would love to work in person with my supervisor and other health educator, but it is not essential at this moment and it is safer for us to work from home. I was very fortunate to find employment during the pandemic, which I know was not the case for many. I am very thankful for my public health education that has prepared me to step in a role where I can help when a strong public health workforce is needed now more than ever.


Did any faculty or staff mentor you when you were a UIndy student? If so, who are they and how did they help?


I feel like all of the public health faculty and staff have mentored me throughout my time at UIndy. When we were on campus, I was definitely the student that went to professors office hours very regularly. Dr. Heidi Hancher-Rauch, Dr. Angelitta Britt-Spells, and Dr. Kara Cecil have played a very important and impactful role in my development as a public health professional.


I have sat down with all of them and received very valuable advice and talked through how to set myself up to be a successful/impactful public health professional. I never doubted that the public health faculty did not want the best for me and took time out of their busy schedules to meet with me and many other students. They are all great role models for all the public health students in the program.


I cannot say enough good things or thank them enough. I did not originally start as a public health major and I was originally on track to go into the Occupational Therapy program at UIndy, but they helped me discover my passion for public health and decide that I wanted to spend my life using my passions for the greater good of the public’s health.


What would you say to high school students who are considering UIndy?


I would definitely recommend UIndy to high school students. If you are wanting an institution that you know has your best interest in mind, UIndy is for you. If you want professors that care for you and success and are available to you, UIndy is for you. If you want to build community and have a close cohort to walk through college with, UIndy is for you. If you want to make a difference in your community during school and after graduation, UIndy is for you. If you want to gain professional experiences and skills that will set you apart upon graduation, UIndy is for you. If you want to take pride in your education, UIndy is for you.


Do you have any advice for UIndy graduates? 


My advice for UIndy graduates would be to have confidence in your skills and the education you received. You are capable and qualified for a position. I know being a graduate in 2020 can make it difficult to find a career due to the current circumstances, but this season will also build skills, character, and qualities that will be very attractive to employers. 2020 graduates are flexible, adaptable, determined, and will be valuable assets to a company. Have patience and trust that your hard work, dedication, and education will pay off.


Family Weekend brings special reunion for UIndy mascot Grady and sister

UIndy’s Family Weekend kicked off with a special reunion between Grady the Greyhound and his sister, Misty.

Before arriving at the University of Indianapolis in November 2019, Grady was a racing Greyhound in Daytona, Florida. Misty, also a retired racer, was with him every step of the way until their retirement. Both were raised together and had the same trainer.

Paul Nance, who adopted Misty, soon learned of Grady’s new role at UIndy. After some detective work, he confirmed that Misty and Grady were indeed littermates and knew that the pups had to have a reunion.

“It’s such an amazing experience to see them actually play together,” Nance said. “Greyhounds often get separated when they are retired because they retire at different times. To have two Greyhounds from the same litter end up in the same city through different adoption agencies is absolutely amazing.”

Grady’s handler, Coran Sigman, was excited for this to be Grady’s first Family Weekend, which the happy reunion made even more memorable.

“When you first introduce them right at the beginning, you want to do it in a safe manner, make sure everything is all good. Tails were wagging immediately! It’s nice for this to be Grady’s first Family Weekend. He’s still finishing up his first rookie year.”

With many Family Weekend events moving online due to pandemic restrictions, Sigman reflected on the Greyhound commitment to supporting each other.

“Obviously this year has thrown everyone for a loop. Family is what matters most and at UIndy family means something a little bit more and it’s a little more special. My husband and I are both alums, we both work here, Grady’s now a part of this. Keep your family close and that’s what matters most right now.”

1 2 3 16