Athletic training alum scores honor in Minor League Baseball

Nick Voelker, left, treating a patient.

Nick Voelker, left, treating a patient.

University of Indianapolis alum Nick Voelker made the record books in Minor League Baseball (MiLB) this summer without even picking up a bat.

Voelker, who graduated in 2014 with a degree in athletic training, was named the Athletic Trainer of the Year for the Dominican Summer League and is now eligible to be named Minor League Athletic Trainer of the Year. This is Voelker’s second year in the MiLB. In 2017, he was an intern with the Cincinnati Reds Dominican Republic (DR) team. This year, he is a full-time athletic trainer for the Oakland Athletics DR team.

“I perform all injury evaluations and oversee daily treatment and rehab of current players here at our complex in Santo Domingo Norte, DR,” Voelker said.

Players in the Dominican Summer League hail from Latin America and range in age from 16 to 22. Voelker said the summer league serves as a player development operation to prepare these players for “baseball at the next level; playing in the U.S.”

“My favorite part of the job is helping the players stay healthy, but more importantly teach and coach them on the importance of the work they do with me to prevent injury,” Voelker said. “It’s an interesting vibe here because the wins and losses aren’t as important as how a player develops to become stronger and more knowledgeable about injury prevention, nutrition, and overall health and wellness.”

Voelker credits the quality education he received while at UIndy for much of his success. In a note to Dr. Christine Lauber, director of the Athletic Training Program, he said, “Thanks again for helping me start my career. I hope to continue representing UIndy well from here forward!”

Phylis Lan Lin receives Meritorious Award upon her retirement

PhylisLanLinawardPhylis Lan Lin, associate vice president for international partnerships, was honored with the Meritorious Award by the Office of the Provost during the 2018 Faculty-Staff Institute luncheon for  her outstanding leadership during 45 years of service to the University. Dr. Lin retires Aug. 31 and will assume the title of professor emerita.

Dr. Lin has published or edited more than 30 books in Chinese and English on topics ranging from medical sociology, marriage and the family, stress management, service-learning and organizational behavior. Her servant leadership, passion for teaching and dedication to students have made her a beloved member of the UIndy family.

“Her accomplishments and contributions to the University of Indianapolis are too many to mention,” said Stephen Kolison, Jr., executive vice president and provost. “She is a prolific scholar and a great mentor to young faculty. For 45 years, she has dedicated her talent and knowledge to the advancement of this University.”

Dr. Lin was recognized at both the Zhejiang Yuexiu Foreign Languages University (ZYU) and Ningbo Institute of Technology (NIT) 2018 commencements for outstanding service.

As she closes the long and remarkable UIndy chapter of her career, Dr. Lin is starting several exciting new opportunities that reflect her commitment to building international relationships. At the Chinese American Museum in Washington, D.C., Dr. Lin serves as the chair of the Academic Advisory Board that is designing a scholarship program for students. The museum is slated to open in phases during 2019 and 2020, with a gala planned for November 2018.

“The Chinese American Museum is a mission-driven project that will become a reservoir for Chinese-American culture,” Dr. Lin explained. “We’re promoting the concept of how we can work with all races and nationalities and together build a good country. The more we include other people of different backgrounds, the richer we become. Diversification is a power in itself.”

Dr. Lin noted that while she hadn’t planned on these opportunities, she decided to embark on a new journey when the offers began pouring in after her retirement announcement. She will also serve as the honorary president of the Everbright Academy of Film Arts in Ningbo, China, and as Director of the Center for Research and Planning at Assumption University in Bangkok, Thailand. She will continue teaching an applied sociology course at the graduate level as a part-time adjunct professor at the University of Indianapolis.

“After retirement, my base remains in Indianapolis, albeit my international and national engagements, so I can be a frequent visitor to UIndy,” she said.

Remarkable legacy

FacStaff_Awards_Luncheon_05261Dr. Lin joined the University faculty in 1973 with a passion for enhancing diversity and internationalization on campus. Her many responsibilities have included serving as executive director of the University of Indianapolis Press, director of Asian Programs and associate vice president for International Partnerships. She played an integral role in forming accredited partnerships with Chinese institutions and establishing the Chinese Student Alumni Association, making frequent trips overseas to forge new relationships. She also spearheaded the establishment of the school’s social work program, which is now an academic department that bears her name.

From the archives: Letter from Gene Sease, former president of Indiana Central University

Phylis Lan Lin with her husband, Leon Lin

Phylis Lan Lin with her husband, Leon Lin

The Phylis Lan Lin Scholarship in Social Work, which supports social work students from traditionally underrepresented groups who have a commitment to social work and social justice, is another important facet of Dr. Lin’s legacy. Four scholarships of $5,000 each are awarded annually to students enrolled in either the bachelor’s or master’s of social work program at the University of Indianapolis.

“UIndy is thriving, and I want to be part of that growth. In that way, I don’t really want to retire!” Dr. Lin said. “But it’s good timing, because UIndy is entering a new phase in our international partnerships. We need the new leadership. I have built the foundation but there will be more challenges. It’s time to pass the torch.”

“We are incredibly proud of Dr. Lin’s achievements. She is one of the hardest working members of our department and an integral part of our team. We are grateful for her fantastic 45 years of service,” said Amanda Miller, chair of sociology.

Read an extended biography here.

Mary Moore, professor of sociology and associate vice president of accreditation, echoed those sentiments: “Over 30 years ago, I was hired as a new faculty member at the University of Indianapolis by Dr. Phylis Lan Lin, and since that time she has served as a mentor and colleague. Throughout her career, Phylis has looked for ways to engage junior colleagues in collaborative projects that have served to advance to her colleagues’ careers. Her vision, which is to imagine in grand ways, is the opposite of her personal philosophy where she always puts others before herself.”

Dr. Lin follows a dual leadership philosophy of being a “V.I.P.” – a person with vision, integrity and passion, and also embodies the 4 “H’s” – humanism, humility, holism and happiness. She appreciates the collegial atmosphere at the University of Indianapolis as well as the support it provides for international programs.

“It is so hard for me to leave my beloved institution after serving thousands of students and working closely with hundreds of faculty and staff in the last 45 years. Together, we make good things happen and we transform lives. I am gratified, humbled, and blessed. UIndy is thriving and the best is yet to come,” Dr. Lin said.

Click here to read a comprehensive biography written by Kristeen Ruddle ’97.

Click here to read a 2014 interview with Dr. Lin.


Blending academic, athletic skills to pursue higher degrees in medical fields

All-star athlete or top-notch student? University of Indianapolis students and alumni are proving you don’t have to choose one over the other.

University of Indianapolis student athletes – and their coaches – have long known that the multi-tasking, disciplined approach required for excellence in athletics and academics can prepare them for a variety of careers. Three student-athlete alumni who are pursuing higher degrees in the medical field say their experiences provided them with a distinct advantage over their peers.

Samantha Holmes '17

Samantha Holmes ’17

“Athletics really teaches discipline, dedication, teamwork and time management; all aspects that I believe will be essential for success in medical school and as a physician,” said Samantha Holmes  ’17 (molecular/cellular biology with concentration in pre-medicine). Holmes was a varsity member of the cross country and track and field teams throughout her University of Indianapolis career and chose the Indiana University School of Medicine after being accepted into three medical schools.

Holmes, who plans to specialize in dermatology, also credits her capstone project in preparing her for doctoral studies.

“I had many interviewers ask about my research, so I believe it definitely helped me stand out during the medical school interview process,” Holmes explained.

Sue Willey, vice president for intercollegiate athletics, said the priorities of the University of Indianapolis athletics program are for every student athlete to graduate; to always represent in a positive manner; and to win. She pointed out that the goal is for every team to maintain at least a 3.0 GPA, with last year’s overall GPA among all teams at 3.2. University of Indianapolis athletics GPAs are among the strongest in the Great Lakes Valley Conference.

That to me is just phenomenal,” Willey said. “We believe the university provides the support for us to be successful. The academics are very important. Our coaches understand that and support it by having study tables or setting up tutoring.”

With about 700 student athletes enrolled for the 2018-19 academic year, Willey said they receive as many academic as athletic accolades – and that’s something that makes a candidate stand out when applying for medical school or for a job.

“A lot of times businesses will come and want to recruit student athletes because of their abilities gleaned from being on a team. That’s what they want in their corporation. Businesses understand the value of an athletic experience because it does bring a lot of qualities to the table,” she said.

Luke Hubert ‘16

Luke Hubert ‘16

Luke Hubert ‘16 (biology major, chemistry minor) is entering his third year at Indiana University School of Optometry. A tennis standout, he garnered numerous accolades and titles during his time at UIndy, including Academic All-GLVC three times, ITA Scholar Athlete, Capitol One Academic All-America® Second Team and All-District First Team and a UIndy record-breaking 81 career victories. Hubert said his challenging tennis routine gave him a strong sense of time management.

“It’s tough to balance that and school, and once you are able to balance it, it’s much easier to transition to a graduate level program where school is more demanding,” he explained.

Molly Ward ’16

Molly Ward ’16

Molly Ward ’16 (biology) is a third-year student at Indiana University School of Dentistry, and will graduate in 2020 as a doctor of dental surgery. Ward, a three-time Academic All-GLVC honoree, was a member of the 2015 University of Indianapolis women’s golf national championship team. She credits the time management she learned as a member of the golf team, which required significant travel, and faculty who challenged her with rigorous coursework as good preparation for dental school.

“With golf, I knew I had to get homework done,” Ward said, noting that all team members had to work around numerous missed school days due to travel. “The science program at UIndy is very strong. That helped me get to where I am. Dr. [Joe] Burnell (associate professor of chemistry) was tough, but I was glad he was tough because it helped me become a better dentist.”

Mentors played an important role for each student athlete. Hubert credits Kathy Stickney, associate professor of chemistry, and President Rob Manuel for supporting his academic and professional goals.

“Dr. Stickney is amazing – she helped me through the process of applying for optometry school. Dr. Manuel has also been a great resource for me. I’ve asked him questions about running my own business. He always has well thought-out answers,” Hubert said.

Dr. [Douglas] Stemke (associate professor of biology) helped me in so many ways throughout my entire career at UIndy. From being a great professor, letting me be his teaching assistant for lab, getting me in touch with a doctor to shadow, and even helping me with mock interviews, Dr. Stemke was so helpful and I can’t thank him enough,” Samantha Holmes said.

Learn more about UIndy Athletics.

Written by Sara Galer, University of Indianapolis senior communications specialist. Send your story ideas to

Largest student body ushers in new academic year

About 1,200 freshmen moved into residence halls (Warrens, Craven and Cory Bretz) Wednesday, Aug. 22 with help from volunteers including faculty, staff and upperclassmen.

Hundreds of volunteers helped more than a THOUSAND New Hounds during their first official day on campus.

Posted by University of Indianapolis on Wednesday, August 22, 2018

The Class of 2022 represents 24 states and nearly two-dozen countries and boasts an average freshman GPA of 3.5 with a record number of students admitted with distinction.

Nearly 6,000 undergraduate, graduate and doctoral students are enrolled at UIndy for the fall semester, including more than 200 international students from 30 countries.

As enrollment grows, so has the need for faculty who are dedicated to creating experiential learning opportunities for students both inside and outside the classroom. This fall, the University welcomes 44 new faculty members.

Watch a recap video from move-in day and browse a photo album

Two UIndy students earn Gold Badges in coding at Smart Launch Tech

Alexis Meier

Alexis Meier

Two students from the University of Indianapolis recently earned Gold Badges in coding through a partnership between the Independent Colleges of Indiana and Fishers-based Eleven Fifty Academy. Cheri Walker-Owens ’18 (criminal justice major with concentration in cyber security, theater minor) and Alexis Meier ‘20 (business administration and management) participated in Smart Launch Tech, a coding program designed for liberal arts students. They joined students from 14 private colleges around the state who completed the month-long program in June, each earning the industry- and state-recognized Gold Badge Certification from Eleven Fifty.

The students learned the basics of HTML, CSS and JavaScript in a four-week boot camp. They completed assignments to demonstrate badge competencies and compiled e-portfolios that were presented at the end of the program.

Walker-Owens said the course was a good fit with her interest in cyber security.

Cheri Walker-Owens

Cheri Walker-Owens

“It is beneficial to know as much as I can about how computers and networks function, so I can be better prepared to figure out how people might try to exploit them,” explained Walker-Owens, who participated in the Ron & Laura Strain Honors College during her undergraduate career and presented research on Scholars Day in April 2018.

Meier, who works at the IT Help Desk on campus, was alerted to the program by her supervisor, Gail Cooper, director of the Help Desk.

“I was intrigued by coding and all it entailed so I jumped on the opportunity,” Meier said.

Walker-Owens, who also worked at the IT Help Desk as a student, graduated in May 2018 and is now interning as a junior security engineer with the Indiana Office of Technology. She plans to use her newfound skills on future projects – and if her employer requires those skills, she points out that she’ll already be qualified.

“Coding is a very valuable skill for anyone regardless of what field they are in. All jobs are involved with technology in some way and knowing how to code just gives you even more qualifications. It can also be a starting point to get into the tech field,” she said.

In addition to coding, students in the program learned about the wide range of career possibilities within the tech field, including project and marketing management, data analysis, compliance, security and design. Students visited Indianapolis tech businesses including High Alpha, Pattern89, Kinney Group and One Click to speak with company leaders and employees, and to gain exposure to tech working environments and protocols.

“Being that Indianapolis is becoming a large tech hub, coding knowledge provides opportunities for students to be recruited into the market. It gives an understanding of what goes into different businesses and the amount of programming that is required,” Meier said.

Smart Tech Launch was created to marry the technical skills of coding with the problem-solving approach of a liberal arts education – a goal that many students appreciate. Meier said she learned that businesses need interpreters, in addition to employees who can code.

“While I may not want to be the one to code the products themselves, I could definitely see myself acting as a liaison between the developers and the market. I am a business major and so I benefitted the most from being able to see another avenue to use the education I’m getting at UIndy,” Meier said.

“I would encourage anyone who is interested in coding – and has the opportunity to learn – to do it,” Walker-Owens added.

About the program

The 2018 Smart Launch Tech summer program was provided free of charge to students and funded by ICI, Eleven Fifty Academy and the Council of Independent Colleges through a venture fund grant. Sustainability planning is now underway.

Five Reasons to Register for Communiversity 2018

ADV_18_Communiversity_CoverVerticalThis year marks the 150th anniversary of The Moonstone by Wilkie Collins, a book T.S. Eliot described as “the first, the longest, and the best of modern English detective novels, in a genre invented by Collins and not by Poe.”

To celebrate this milestone, the University of Indianapolis is hosting a free, online class during the fall semester. Students, faculty, staff, alumni and the broader community are invited to explore this classic detective novel.

Here are five reasons to register for the class:

1. Return to the (virtual) classroom to read and discuss a classic novel! The course brings together community members, UIndy alumni and current UIndy students in an online discussion moderated by UIndy Professor of English Jennifer Camden.

2. The course has a “book club” feel. The weekly reading averages 50 pages, and the course is “credit/no credit” so you can spend as much or as little time on the class as you would like.

3. It’s free! 

4. This year’s novel is a page-turner!  A few teasers: a priceless, cursed diamond is stolen…twice!  Indian Brahmins, in disguise as jugglers, haunt an English country estate, using hypnotism to divine the whereabouts of the diamond.  A maidservant with a criminal past is behaving strangely…an opium addict with a mysterious past may be able to solve the mystery….Sergeant Cuff, aided by the steward, Betteredge, and the intrepid Franklin Blake are on the case!

5. If you’re near campus, you can join us for several in-person lectures. Taking place September – November, these discussions will present different disciplinary perspectives on the novel: Dr Chad Martin (UIndy-History); Dr Amy Allen Sekhar (independent scholar and disability rights activist); Dr Jonathan Evans (UIndy -Philosophy); Prof. Heather Williams (U Cincinnati-English).

*Register by mid-August to guarantee your spot in the class, which will begin the week of August 27. 

Construction begins on Red Line project

Red line mock upUpdate, June 18: Construction continues with roadway and sidewalk improvements.

Click here for more project details and a live construction map.

Sign up to receive weekly updates by scrolling to the bottom of the page at  


Indy Go announced that construction on the $96 million first phase of the Red Line bus project will begin Monday, June 4.

Construction will begin with roadway and sidewalk improvements along Shelby Street — drivers will notice advance construction signage and some traffic pattern adjustments. No lane restrictions are anticipated, but some lane shifts will occur along Shelby Street at Campus Drive North, Southern Avenue, and Pleasant Run Parkway South Drive.

For more information visit:

Oh, the places they went!

Greyhound students, faculty and staff went on a variety of service learning trips in May to destinations including Brazil, Haiti, Guatemala, Austria, Barcelona, Rome, Costa Rica, Scotland and more.

Here are some highlights from their adventures abroad:


Led by University of Indianapolis Associate Provost Jodie Ferise and Assistant Director of Student Activities Steven Freck, the Precious Words Africa project made its seventh trip to Ghana in May 2018. A group of 15 students and alumni spent 12 days in Ghana distributing materials and educating children eager to learn.



Thirteen students from the public health program traveled to Belize for some hands-on learning. The group covered topics related to nutrition, hygiene and much more – plus they found time for a little sightseeing along the way.



A team of eight students & two trip leaders flew to Ecuador for a healthcare service-learning experience. The group participated in two healthcare clinics, health education, and a community service project in the town of Yantzaza.


More than 30 Greyhounds trekked through Switzerland, Liechtenstein, Austria, and Germany for a 10-day study abroad adventure.

Students recruiting students

School of Business gets creative to affect positive change on enrollment numbers

NLC 2018A small group of student workers, known as the BizHounds Team, has helped the University of Indianapolis School of Business increase deposits by 20 percent in the last year, while the national enrollment average is decreasing.

Associate finance professor Matt Will, who founded and leads the BizHounds Team, credits creative, peer-to-peer recruitment strategies for the program’s success.

IMG_4261“After five years of declining enrollment, I developed the idea of having students help recruit new students,” he said. “My thought was that students are more in touch with high school prospects than the rest of us, and they would trust and relate better to someone their own age.”

BizHounds officially launched in the winter of 2013 with two student workers. Within the first year, Will says, enrollment trends reversed and the School of Business saw a 10 percent increase, a pattern that has continued since.

Four students – Emily Sands ‘18 (finance), Claire Gilbert ‘18 (marketing), Olivia Vormohr ‘20 (finance) and Jenna Whitmore ‘21 (business administration) – are staffed on the BizHounds team, where they focus on recruitment and engagement activities. Goals center around getting students to apply, convincing them to make deposits, converting deposits to on-campus attendance and engaging new freshman in activities to get involved.

“Looking for the right college is a scary time in life,” Gilbert said. “There are a lot of things you don’t know and high schoolers are looking for help. We make a real effort to relate to them and to make personal connections.”

The group meets weekly with faculty advisors (Will and Andre Givens, Director of Undergraduate Enterprise and Engagement for the School of Business) to brainstorm new ideas and collaborate on existing projects.

IMG_7061“This wouldn’t work if we weren’t a team,” Gilbert said. “I’m lucky to be part of this program. A lot of people don’t realize we have the perks of a large school, but also the opportunities and personal relationships of a small school. It’s a perfect combination.”

The BizHounds Team travels to events in the region and across the country to promote the University. In 2017, the group visited Orlando for their first national conference. In March 2018, they spoke locally at a Business Professionals of America (BPA) conference to an audience of about 300 and in May 2018, they traveled to Dallas for the 52nd Annual BPA National Leadership Conference to continue expanding recruitment efforts beyond the Midwest.

“We’ve learned that high schoolers respond best to stories, so we used our own experiences to cater to the needs of potential future UIndy students and to better connect with them,” Gilbert explained.

As Will points out, these experiences have benefits beyond recruitment.

“If we’ve taught them well in how to be business professionals, these opportunities are an avenue for them to practice what they have learned.”

Learn more about UIndy’s School of Business

University of Indianapolis student selected for 500 Festival Princess Program

“You have to be a leader somewhere first before you can be a leader in your field. UIndy was an important step for me to learn how to take control of situations, in a way that’s conducive to progress. UIndy gave me my first big crack at organizing large groups.” - Lauren Bryant '18 (biology and psychology)

Lauren Bryant ’18 (biology and psychology)

Lauren Bryant ’18 (biology and psychology) will be among 33 women representing the 500 Festival Princess Program for 2018. Bryant is an Honors College student and Greenfield native who will attend Indiana University School of Medicine in fall 2018.

“I am so thrilled and honored to be selected with 32 other amazing young women to help the 500 Festival accomplish their yearly mission – to celebrate the spirit and legacy of the Indianapolis 500 and to enrich lives,” Bryant said.

The 500 Festival Princess Program, presented by Reis-Nichols, has a long history of celebrating Indiana’s most civic-minded, academically driven young women. Serving as a 500 Festival Princess provides participants with countless opportunities for leadership and professional development. Bryant said she’s eager to spread her passion for her hometown and state through service on a wider scale than ever before.

“From teaching students the basics of physics with toy race cars, to volunteering at charity events with my 32 new sisters, to spending time reminiscing on the long history of the Indy 500 with nursing home residents, the 500 Festival Princess Program has connected me to Hoosiers from all walks of life,” Bryant added.

Bryant’s ultimate career goal is to start her own child and adolescent psychiatry practice. She enjoys working in the hospital environment and volunteers at Franciscan Health Indianapolis in her spare time.

As part of the program, Bryant will receive a $1,000 scholarship, made possible by Marlyne Sexton, an Indianapolis philanthropist and president of The Sexton Companies, and the 500 Festival Foundation. Bryant is already noting the benefits of the 500 Festival Leadership Development Program, presented by BKD.

Related: 2018 Princesses Set 60-year Program Record For Highest GPA

“I’ve met professionals in all sectors who have taught the princesses skills in Leadership Development sessions and offered themselves as contacts for our future careers. Most of all, I am thankful to the program for introducing me to the other princesses, all of whom are generous, intelligent, vibrant women I now have the pleasure of calling my friends,” Bryant said.

The 2018 500 Festival Princesses represent 14 Indiana colleges and universities and 21 cities and towns across the state. With a cumulative GPA of 3.72, this year’s 500 Festival princesses were selected from hundreds of applicants based on communication skills, academic performance and community involvement.

The 2018 500 Festival Queen Scholar will be announced on May 19 during the 500 Festival Breakfast at the Brickyard, presented by Midwestern Engineers, Inc. The Queen Scholar will receive an additional $1,500 scholarship.

Learn more about how Honors College prepared Lauren for IU School of Medicine


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