Women’s History Month: Celebrating female pioneers

In honor of Women’s History Month, we asked University of Indianapolis faculty who their role models were.

Many thanks to our contributors! Take a look at the slide show to see who they chose to commemorate.

Communications faculty:
Stephanie Mahin joined the University as assistant professor in fall 2017 and teaches classes in strategic communication, public relations, public speaking and other aspects of communication.

Stephanie Wideman is director of the University’s Forensics Speech and Debate Program and an assistant professor.

Sciences faculty:
Kimberly Baker, an assistant professor of biology, specializes in molecular genetics, cell biology and cancer biology.

Ann Cutler, associate professor of chemistry, is a longtime editor of the Journal of College Science Teaching and has research interests in science text comprehension.

Sandy Davis, associate professor of biology, is an expert in botany, plant reproductive biology and evolutionary biology.

Krista Latham, associate professor of biology, is the director of the University of Indianapolis Human Identification Center. Her work in the Texas borderlands identifying the remains of migrants who died making the perilous journey across the border has been covered by national media. She has published several books on forensic techniques.

Arts faculty:
Rebecca Sorley, professor of music, is Director of Student Support and Coordinator of the Music Business Concentration. She teaches piano to all levels from pre-college through piano majors.

Pack the House tradition expands with student-composed spirit song

Grant Boyer ’21

The 2018 Pack the House event at Nicoson Hall featured fun for Greyhounds hoops fans, honors for senior athletes and recognition for a longtime state representative. Saturday also saw the debut of a spirit song that builds on the University’s athletic traditions.

The men’s basketball team capped off its regular season with an 82-73 senior day win over Wisconsin-Parkside (9-19, 7-11 GLVC), while the women’s team wrapped up the season with a hard-fought 79-73 loss versus Wisconsin-Parkside.

President Rob Manuel presented Rep. Bill Friend ’71 with a presidential proclamation recognizing his legacy of public service. Rep. Friend will retire in 2018 after 26 years as a member of the Indiana House of Representatives.

As an additional treat for fans, halftime of each game featured the UIndy Pep Band performing a spirit song written by Grant Boyer ’21 (creative writing). Boyer, a freshman, answered President Rob Manuel’s recent challenge to first-year students to come up with a memorable song for the Pep Band to perform during athletic events, in addition to the University’s traditional fight song.

Grant, who is considering a music minor, took on the project and has been working with Department of Music faculty since arriving on campus last semester.

“After orientation, I set my mind to work to try and come up with a song. Thankfully, I was a bit accustomed to the march style and eventually had the first iteration of the song in my head,” Grant said.

“We’re excited to see the results of all the hard work by Grant and the Music Department. One of the things that really inspired me about this project is how excited Grant was to be involved and how our campus community embraced the idea of exploring an additional Greyhound fight song,” said University President Rob Manuel.

The “Go Greyhounds” project was a little bit of a surprise to Grant’s musical family. His grandfather, Doug Finke, is a trombonist with years of experience playing Dixieland jazz in the Midwest and is Grant’s private music teacher. The idea was embraced by University leadership as a way to try something different and build new traditions among sports fans on campus.

“I’m surprised it’s a fight song and not jazz or classical, but we’ve always pushed him these last couple of years to do something different,” said Marsha Boyer, Grant’s mother, who explained that Grant was eager to take on the president’s challenge.

Self-confessed high school marching band geeks, Marsha and her husband, Brian, said Grant has become more interested in music in the past few years. Grant worked with several Department of Music faculty and his grandfather to create the new song, titled, “Go Greyhounds.” Grant created the melody and lyrics, while his grandfather arranged the score.

“The first thing I had was the melody. The lyrics were more of a struggle, since I had a melody already and had to find the most fitting words I could,” Grant said.

Vu Nguyen, assistant professor of music and director of bands, worked with Grant and his grandfather during rehearsals with the pep band.

“This project brought together a number of our students, both music and non-music majors, as well as faculty and community members in a unique collaboration. It’s terrific to see and hear Grant’s creativity shine through in his music,” Nguyen said.

Students collaborate with expert on Shakespeare comedy

screen-shot-2018-02-13-at-10-07-26-amINDIANAPOLIS – Condensing 37 Shakespeare plays into 97 minutes is no easy task, but Bill Kincaid has done it with help from University of Indianapolis students and faculty along the way.

A dinner theatre production of “The Complete Works of William Shakespeare (Abridged)[Revised]” will be performed Feb. 23 – March 2 at the Schwitzer Student Center Dining Hall.  

Kincaid, guest director and a professor at Western Illinois University, specializes in Shakespeare, having worked on about 30 productions of Shakespeare’s plays. He recently finished writing a book about unrehearsed Shakespeare, which will be published in April 2018.

“The play is written in a broad comedic style, requiring quick costume changes, sudden character transformations and high energy,” he said. “The audience can expect lots of silliness, plenty of ridiculous jokes and a bit of audience participation.”

Learn more about Department of Theatre programs.

UIndy students are heavily involved several areas of the project: as actors, designers, stage managers and even as assistant director. Kincaid says he helped bring the production to life by incorporating students’ creative ideas and organizational skills into the project.

“When I thought about directing this play, I knew I wanted to expose the students to some mind-blowing ideas about Shakespeare, so they would have a better understanding of the material that the show makes fun of,” Kincaid said.

In many rehearsals, Kincaid sat down with students to read closely through a speech or two from Shakespeare, pulling them apart and looking at them in detail. The experience gave students a more complete appreciation of Shakespeare’s writing and influenced choices made in the production, he said.

Get tickets for the show.

Olympic connections abound at the University of Indianapolis

The University of Indianapolis celebrates Olympic connections as the 2018 Games get underway in Pyeongchang, South Korea. Here’s a look at UIndy Olympians past and present.

Sotia Neophytou

Sotia Neophytou

Sotia Neophytou ’20 (business management) is a member of the women’s swim team and an Olympian who competed in the 2016 Rio Summer Games. She was the only female Cypriot to represent her country, swimming 1:02.83 in her heat for the 100 butterfly.

Dalton Herendeen ’15 competed for Team USA Paralympics men’s swimming in the London Games in 2012 and in Rio 2016 (achieving fourth overall in Rio).

Photo shows Olympian Dick Nalley, who competed in the 1980 Lake Placid Games.

Photo shows Olympian Dick Nalley, who competed in the 1980 Lake Placid Games.

Dick Nalley ’77, a football and track standout for the Greyhounds in the 1970s, competed in the 1980 Winter Games in Lake Placid, finishing fifth overall in the two-man bobsled. Nalley, who became a firefighter with the Indianapolis Fire Department, won the bench press gold medal at the Calgary World Police and Fire Games and the silver medal at the Sweden World Police and Fire Games. He was also eight-time Indiana State Bench Press champion. He passed away in 2002.

Randy Heisler 86, finished 17th in the discus in the 1988 Summer Games in Seoul, South Korea. Heisler was a track and field letter winner from 1981 through 1984, a three-time NCAA Division II National Champion and All-American from 1982 to 1984 and an NCAA Division II record holder. He was honored as University of Indianapolis Outstanding Male Athlete in 1984 and represented the United States 13 times in international competitions. He was one of the top throwers in the country for many years in the 1980s and 1990s, including the U.S. World Championship team in 1987.

Orel Oral

Orel Oral

Orel Oral ’04 represented his native Turkey in the 2000 and 2004 Summer Games, swimming in the 200-meter individual medley. Oral was a seven-time national champion for the Greyhounds in the early aughts. He is a seven-time NCAA Division II national champion and was named Swimmer of the Year in Turkey in 2003 and 2004.

Matt Royer ‘11, Greyhound throws coach, qualified for the 2012 U.S. Olympics Trials in the hammer throw, but did not make it to the Olympics. He was a three-time All-American for the Greyhounds.

Ned Shannon, the Greyhounds’ head athletic trainer, works with the University’s 23 sports and as an instructor in the athletic training curriculum. He is an approved clinical instructor in the Athletic Training Education Department and the main athletic trainer for football and wrestling. Shannon has participated as a volunteer athletic trainer for the 2005 and 2006 USA Outdoor Track and Field Championships, 2001 World Fire and Police Games, 1998 USOC athletic trainer for the Goodwill Games in New York City, volunteer athletic trainer at the U.S. Olympic Training Center in Colorado Springs, Colorado, and in that same year participated as a staff athletic trainer at Games of the XXVI Olympiad in Atlanta, Georgia.

UIndy expands summer camp options

Camps like “Drone Mission Mania,” “Ultimate Obstacle Courses,” and “Superhero Missions” are just a few examples of the exciting new summer camps that will be available at the University of Indianapolis in Summer 2018.

Rachelle Merkel Diaz, director of summer programs, said the camps offered by the University stand out from other options across Indianapolis because they are devoted to specific activities, allowing kids to explore an interest at a deeper level.

“When I started working here a few years ago, I heard comments like ‘Oh, I had no idea there were summer camps here,’” Merkel Diaz said. “Now we’re changing the conversation to ‘what camps do you have this year?’”

The University will offer about 50 summer camp options in 2018, and registration is now available. Programs are geared toward kids ages six to eighteen and usually last four to five days.

More than 1,000 kids attended a summer camp at the University in 2017, and that number is expected to continue to grow.

“We’re also seeing students return for multiple sessions. It’s nice to see them come back, because it tells us they’re really enjoying the experiences,” she added.

Merkel Diaz said summer programs are important for the University because they help the community become more familiar and more engaged with the campus. Additionally, a busy campus all year long helps to support retail businesses in the neighborhood.

“By expanding what we’re doing in the summer, we’re building relationships with students early on,” she said. “Hopefully they want to come back again, not just in the summer, but as future students.”

Beyond 2018, the vision is to continue growing University offerings to include more science and arts camps and to expand the interest areas to draw in a wider range of participants, Merkel Diaz said.

“We would like to continue broadening partnerships with community schools and organizations to re-engage the south side and promote the University as a resource hub for unique and interesting events all year long,” she added.

 

New opportunities in 2018 include:

  • An engineering camp will introduce campers to hands-on experience with designing, building and racing their own radio-controlled cars. Students in grades 9 – 12 will work on the project using computer-aided designs, 3D printing and laser cutting technology. 
  • A variety of drone-themed camps. The University is partnering with Drobots instructors, who will lead a variety of day camps for kids in grades 3 – 5 and grades 6 – 8 who are interested in learning to fly drones. Find details about drone camps here.
  • Overnight team camps for high school soccer, women’s basketball and men’s basketball players. Teams will have the opportunity to stay overnight in the residence halls for several days, be mentored by college athletes and get feedback from University coaches.
  • A camp for high school students interested in learning about the field of physical therapy. The program will be hosted by MICI-AHEC on the University’s campus and include several field trips. See camp details.

 

Returning favorites in 2018 include:

  • Grand Camp, a camp with cross-generational activities for grandparents and grandkids to enjoy together. Learn more.
  • Theatre camp “From Story to Stage,” which allows campers to get hands-on experience with playwriting, acting, costume design and more.
  • The 24th annual Piano Camp, designed for beginners and intermediate students age 7 – 12. The weeklong day camp ends with a recital in Ruth Lilly Performance Hall for family and friends to enjoy.
  • STEM camps like Math Beyond Numbers (for grades 6 – 8) and Radical Robotics, a partnership with Center Grove High School that allows their robotics club to host on-campus activities that are open to the general public. 

 

See a complete list of 2018 summer camp options.

IndyGo to Host Red Line Transit Discussion on Campus

IndyGo will host a Transit Talk open house at 6 p.m. Tuesday, Jan. 30 on the University of Indianapolis campus to answer questions and give updates about the Red Line rapid transit project and other upcoming improvements.

A Red Line station is expected to open in 2019 near the University campus along Shelby Street, just north of Hanna Avenue.It will be one of 28 stops along the initial 13-mile route. Electric-powered, wifi-equipped buses will pick up passengers every 10 minutes, from 5 a.m. to 1 a.m., every day of the year.

Construction of the IndyGo’s Red Line also was a key improvement recommended from an intense neighborhood study conducted as part  of the South Indy Quality of Life Plan. The University has been one of the anchor organizations supporting these efforts.

scavenger-46

Having the Red Line on campus will support neighborhood growth and better connect students to downtown activities and additional networking opportunities. The University is a major employer on the south side and hosts more than 200 cultural attractions and events each year. In addition to providing more access to campus, the Red Line also will help students and residents in the area connect to downtown and other destination points across the city.

Traffic impacts on the south side are expected to be minimal, according to the IndyGo website.

IndyGo Transit Talk
6 p.m. Tuesday, Jan. 30
Schwitzer Student Center, University of Indianapolis
1400 E. Hanna Ave.

The Jan. 30 event is one of nine upcoming Transit Talks that will be hosted around the city of Indianapolis in early 2018, around the same time that Red Line construction will begin.

See the full list of upcoming Transit Talks.

 

Exhibition of women illustrators reveals limitless possibilities in a growing field

From digital animation to traditional illustrated media, a new exhibition at the University of Indianapolis celebrates the work of female artists from around the globe who make their living as illustrators.

“Illustration: Women Making A Mark” is an invitational exhibition of contemporary, award-winning illustrators that examines the practice of traditional and digital illustration across various genres, including editorial, publishing, advertising and merchandising. The exhibition, which is co-sponsored by Talbot Street Art Fair, runs from Jan. 16 through Feb. 9 in the Christel DeHaan Fine Arts Center gallery, with an opening reception from 4:00 to 6:00 p.m. on Jan. 22, followed by an Artist Talk with animator/filmmaker Jordan Bruner.

Randi Frye, assistant professor of art & design, curated the exhibition with the goal of creating an eye-opening experience for viewers. The featured artists boast an extensive client list, including news outlets such as The New York Times, Vanity Fair, and The Washington Post and book publishers like Harper Collins, Random House and Houghton Mifflin.

“The field of illustration has historically been a predominantly male-dominated field. However, many of these women included in the exhibition have decades of experience as prominent illustrators and have forged the way as leaders and mentors for the emerging artists who are part of the exhibition,” Frye said.

The exhibition also highlights the Department of Art & Design’s newest concentration within the studio art degree, animation/illustration, as it demonstrates the exciting possibilities for students who wish to blend their love for figurative art and storytelling.

“Animation and illustration are used to visually enhance narratives, which can range from advertising campaigns to graphic novels to animated films. With these possibilities in mind, the newest concentration offers our students the opportunity to leverage traditional and/or digital media and apply it to a broad range of genres and career possibilities,” Frye said.

The exhibition will feature animation reels, hand-painted art and mixed media from more than a dozen international artists from the United States, Italy and Canada, who range from emerging illustrators to women with decades of experience.

A discussion with artist Jordan Bruner will follow the reception, beginning at approximately 6:30 p.m. on Jan. 22 (Room 115, Christel DeHaan Fine Art Center). Bruner, an Emmy Award nominee based in New York, is a filmmaker and animator who has created music videos, commercials for Paul McCartney and Google, and animation for the documentary Waiting for Superman.

Prints will be available for purchase at the Jan. 22 reception.

See the full artist listing here.

 

University connects with international alumni in China

China Nov 2017The University of Indianapolis has connections in China, Brazil, Turkey and beyond that allow for the exchange of faculty members and students and other collaborative activities.

Through accredited partnerships with Chinese institutions, more than 1,200 Chinese students have achieved a University degree and about 200 students are pursuing degrees now, spending at least one year in Indianapolis. The program offers students from both countries the opportunity to pair their education with a cultural experience that will last a lifetime.

In November 2017, the University strengthened its connections in China by establishing the Chinese Student Alumni Association and hosting several student engagement events in China.

Three University employees: Executive Vice President & Provost Stephen Kolison, Associate Provost for International Engagement Jodie Ferise and Associate Vice President for International Partnerships Phylis Lin traveled to China, visiting four cities and hosting three events during their time abroad. Students and alumni from Ningbo Institute of Technology and Zhejiang Yuexiu University of Foreign Languages in Shaoxing attended.

“Our two joint programs in China (NIT & ZYU) have enhanced the University’s internationalization since 2004,” Lin said. “These two programs have also enhanced diversity on campus.”

“It’s important to remind someone half a world away that they’re still part of our UIndy community,” Ferise said. “These trips make sure there are touchpoints for students and graduates and allow us to continue building relationships.”

The group hosted the first-ever Alumni Day in Hangzhou, along with two UIndy Days for current students in Ningbo and Shaoxing. At each event, students shared their experiences, participated in social activities like tea ceremonies and music recitals and learned about news from the University. It was a chance to celebrate and network with current and former students and to make personal connections that wouldn’t be possible otherwise.

“It was very moving to hear the alumni stories,” Ferise said. “Every single one of them harkened back to their time and credited the University for where they are now. As professors, we want to think the things we put out in the universe matter, and this was proof they do.”

The exchange programs in China have been a pivotal part of the University’s international engagement portfolio for more than a decade, with plans in place for continued growth in the years ahead. Seven University of Indianapolis professors are now teaching at Chinese institutions.

As the faculty advisor for the program, Lin has been working hard to increase the University’s visibility in China, sending marketing materials for display and making five to six trips to China each year.

“The most vibrant universities are those that have living, breathing communities of people who remain connected to them,” Ferise said. “Opportunities for networking, student internships, future student employment and enhanced campus diversity – that’s what we want.”

The next trip to China is slated for March 2018.

University of Indianapolis Class of 2017 encouraged to pursue passions

The University of Indianapolis held the inaugural December Commencement Ceremony on Saturday before a capacity crowd in Ransburg Auditorium.

Nearly 260 students graduated from the University in December, including 203 undergraduates, 50 graduate and 4 doctoral students. The total number of University of Indianapolis graduates for 2017 (May and December combined) stands at nearly 1,700 students from 24 countries, with 1,235 undergraduates, nearly 500 graduate and doctoral students, and 136 graduates at international partner sites.

President Rob L. Manuel encouraged graduates to seek balance, truth and engagement in their lives through creativity and passion. He also emphasized the importance of humor, humility and community when facing new challenges.

“I’ve seen the growth in your world views and your ability to engage with the most pressing questions of our time and to care for others in the process. I hope that in your time here, you learned not only what you want to be, but who you want to be,” Manuel said.

The ceremony included a full academic procession, musical performances by University faculty and the National Anthem performed by Kyleigh (Randolph) Hernandez ’17, (music education).

Congressman Andre Carson (D-IN) delivered the keynote address. He noted that it was a day of new beginnings and opportunities.

“The degree you’ll receive today is physical proof of the skills you’ve developed at the University of Indianapolis. It truly is an American commitment to better yourselves that will set the course for the rest of your lives. All of you had the determination and hope that you would succeed and that’s what’s central to making this country great,” Carson said.

Rep. Andre Carson (D-IN)

Rep. Andre Carson (D-IN)

Carson urged graduates to follow their passion. “Don’t ask what the world needs. Ask what makes you come alive,” he said. “It’s important that you continue to carry your mantels of success not only for yourselves but for your loved ones. By doing so you remain true to yourself and to those who love you the most.”

Jason Marshall, Indianapolis Student Government president, also served as a featured speaker. President Manuel credited Marshall and other student government leaders for their work in organizing the December Commencement Ceremony, which marks a new University tradition.

“We all have the capabilities and power to pursue our goals, to be successes in each of our individual endeavors – and how lucky we are to have obtained not only a degree, but a degree from the University of Indianapolis,” Marshall said.

President Manuel urged graduates to be confident in their professional pursuits.

2017_dec_grad__11331“Believe that you belong at the table where the most critical decisions are being made about our collective realities. You have a unique world perspective and a unique set of skills to employ in solving those issues,” he said.

He also encouraged new alumni to stay connected with the UIndy family.

“You’re not just a graduate from UIndy. You’re now and forever a part of our story,” Manuel said.

 

 

 

Faculty mentors inspire history grad to pursue Stanford doctorate

Lauren Judd, UIndy undergraduate and master's degree holder, is headed to Stanford to pursue her PhD in History. She poses for photos in the Krannert Memorial Library on Wednesday, May 24, 2017. (Photo: D. Todd Moore, University of Indianapolis)

Lauren Judd ’17 (Photo: D. Todd Moore, University of Indianapolis)

Lauren Judd ‘17 (M.A., history) was delighted to find one-on-one mentorship at the University of Indianapolis that allowed her to customize her field of study and pursue unique, hands-on work opportunities.

Lauren Judd first came to the University of Indianapolis knowing she’d have to get used to the academic spotlight. At Arizona State University, she had blended in with hundreds of students in larger classes.

“I’m not someone who likes to raise my hand and talk in class. I didn’t feel like I needed a lot of one-on-one attention,” she explained, adding that her UIndy instructors quickly put her at ease in the classroom.

“The professors wanted to challenge you, so it wasn’t easy, but they also wanted to create a comfortable enough environment that you felt safe stretching and growing. It was never intimidating. They’re just committed to helping you succeed,” she added.

Looking back to May 2017, Judd now credits that personal attention to her success in landing a full-ride scholarship as a doctoral student at Stanford University, ranked among the top five in the U.S. News & Report’s Best Colleges. Today, she’s excited to explore her future because of the encouragement of mentors such as UIndy faculty members Jim Williams and Ted Frantz. Rather than discouraging her from pursuing her interest in medieval history, Frantz and Williams fueled her passions and supported her interests with new opportunities.

“They were aware that my focus was a little bit different. They didn’t want to force me to research the same things the other students were interested in,” Judd said.

Judd’s thesis, “Crossing Boundaries: Female Saints, Heretics and Ecclesiastical Authority in Late Medieval Europe,” focuses on women’s spirituality in the Late Middle Ages and the factors that led to some women being labeled as heretics as the church sought to reinforce its authority.

“Dr. Williams [executive director of the Ron and Laura Strain Honors College] was very invested in helping me do what I wanted to do. When it came time to do my thesis, he coached me through the whole thing,” Judd said. “I had a lot of one-on-one attention from him that I wouldn’t have had if I had gone to a larger school.”

Williams, associate professor of history, added: “Like all our master’s students, Lauren was exposed to a broad curriculum that grew her appreciation of different periods of history, but she also had a particular interest for medieval history.” said Williams.  

Judd had the opportunity to attend the Midwest Medieval History Conference, which sparked her passion for the subject as she saw the diversity of interesting work available to medieval scholars.

“Several months later, after she completed her master’s thesis, she realized she could contribute to that work, too,” Williams said.

Frantz, professor of history and director of the Institute for Civic Leadership & Mayoral Archives, suggested Judd take a position working with the University archivist, Mark Vopelak. She also helped to organize the Richard M. Fairbanks Symposium on Civic Leadership at the University of Indianapolis, hosted by the Institute. Her work included curating an online exhibit on public art and producing podcasts.

The goal, Frantz said, is to provide students with a wide variety of experiences to help them discover their natural aptitudes. In the end, it was those transformative experiences that led her to continue her education at Stanford University.

“I’m simply thrilled that UIndy helped nurture this remarkable talent,” Frantz said. “Teaching and working with Lauren was a joy. She is a gifted writer, a tireless worker and someone who is willing to go the extra mile. Getting to work with her, and see her develop throughout her time here, was a treasure.”

As her time at UIndy neared its end, Judd said her mentors gently nudged her toward pursuing graduate school. She learned later those relationships (and letters of recommendation) played a significant role in her being accepted to Stanford, along with her academic success.

As she embarks on this next chapter in her journey, Judd says she always will appreciate those people and programs at UIndy that helped shape her future. The next generation of students should embrace similar opportunities, she said.

“My mentors will be building on things I love about this program. They are invested in your success,” she said.

 

 

 

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