Health sciences professor runs ultra marathons for hope

“What did you do over the weekend?”

It’s a common Monday morning question. Ask Dr. Laura Santurri, chair of the Interprofessional Health and Aging Studies department and director of the Doctor of Health Science program, and she is likely to say “I ran 50 miles.”

At least that will be her answer next month after she completes her third ultra-marathon. An ultra-marathon is a race of any distance longer than 26.2 miles. Santurri’s first “ultra” was a 50K (31 miles) in October 2017. She followed that with a 40-mile ultra in April 2018.

The motivation behind Santurri’s long-distance running is chronic disease. She started running in 2006 in an effort to feel healthier. It turns out that running helped relieve her symptoms of interstitial cystitis, a painful, chronic bladder disease. That, coupled with the feeling of accomplishment she got when crossing the finish line of her first 5K, kept her running.

“Running has been a way for me to manage my pain, but also build confidence and self-efficacy as a person,” Santurri said. “I decided to run my first ultra in a somewhat last-minute way, and after completing it, I was hooked.”


Next month, she will take on the 50-mile option of the Indiana Trail 100 run at Chain O’Lakes State Park in Albion, Ind. to raise money for the Leukemia and Lymphoma Society (LLS) for a cause that’s close to her heart.

Here’s an excerpt from her LLS fundraising page:

On Friday, October 11, 2013, my husband, Harlan, was diagnosed with chronic myelogenous leukemia. We watched our world shatter, and over time, put ourselves back together, piece by piece. This re-crafting of ourselves made us different – some pieces are flipped, some have shifted, some are missing. But somehow, this process has made us stronger, better. Part of this rebuilding was a result of connecting with the Leukemia and Lymphoma Society (LLS) and Team In Training, and these amazing people became a part of our family.”

To train for the Chain O’Lakes race, Santurri works with a coach who creates weekly training schedules for her, incorporating a mix of strength training, stretching, and running.

“At the peak of my training, I’ll be running seven to 10 hours per week,” she said. “My weekends are mostly running and then recovering.”

Santurri’s ultra marathon efforts were recently featured in the ICA Update, a publication of the Interstitial Cystitis Association (ICA). In that feature, she said “Physical activity is one very effective mechanism for giving yourself a little bit of hope.”

It’s that hope, for relief from her own chronic pain and for a cure for her husband’s chronic leukemia, that keeps Santurri running.

To contribute to Santurri’s Leukemia and Lymphoma Society fundraising effort, visit her CrowdRise page here:


Center for Aging & Community awarded emergency disaster management training contract

Natural Disaster photoThe University of Indianapolis Center for Aging & Community (CAC) has been awarded a contract by the Indiana State Department of Health to develop and implement a training program to help long-term care facilities create detailed emergency disaster management plans that meet new Center Medicare and Medicaid Services (CMS) regulations on emergency planning and provide the highest quality of care for older adults in an emergency situation.

CAC partnered with the university’s Department of Criminal Justice to secure the contract for the training, which will be offered regionally throughout the state as a combination of online modules and face-to-face instruction. Topics to be covered include emergency and disaster management (EDM) planning best practices, special needs of vulnerable adults in long term care facilities, CMS regulations, and collaborative exercises to simulate emergency operations.

“We’ve seen in the national media how emergencies and natural disasters can catch nursing facilities off guard if they are not adequately prepared,” said Ellen Burton, CAC senior project director.

In addition to the CAC project team, two University of Indianapolis faculty members will provide expertise in the development and presentation of the training. They are Kara Cecil, MPH, assistant professor in the Masters of Public Health Program, and Bill Reckert, instructor in the UIndy Emergency and Disaster Management Program.

Cecil has an extensive research background in mitigating risk to vulnerable populations in many environments, including the workplace, care facilities, and during and after emergency situations. Reckert served 30 years as a member of the Indiana State Police (ISP) Emergency Response Team (SWAT) and Explosive Ordinance Disposal team, where he worked on state and national full-scale exercises, developed an anthrax program for ISP, and created a suspicious package program for the Governor’s Office, Indiana House and Senate.

“The field of criminal justice is centered on bringing order in emergency situations,” said Kevin Whiteacre, chair of the department of criminal justice. “I’m excited about this partnership with CAC and the State of Indiana where we can share our expertise in this area.”

The first of the EDM in Long Term Care trainings is scheduled for March 2019. Click here for more information about this and other CAC consulting projects, or contact Ellen Burton, senior project director.

Written by Amy Magan, communications manager for the Center for Aging & Community and the College of Health Sciences.

University of Indianapolis celebrates International Education Month in October

celebration_flag_3876The second annual International Education Month gets underway in October, with a variety of performing arts, film, lectures and interactive events designed to showcase international cultures at the University of Indianapolis and the rich benefits of intercultural exchange.

Highlights include the 30th Annual Celebration of the Flags on Oct. 11. Modeled after the Olympic-style opening ceremony, the event is held on Smith Mall, with international students carrying the flags that represent the many nations of the University of Indianapolis community.

Immediately following the Celebration of the Flags, students, faculty and staff are encouraged to visit the International Exposition in the Atrium of Schwitzer Student Center. The Expo will feature interactive displays hosted by campus offices, departments and student groups, including Study Abroad; Global Languages and Cross-Cultural Studies; English; International Relations; Community Engagement; and Chinese, African, Saudi, Burmese, South Asian, and the Student Organization of Latinos, among others.  The Expo also features interactive activities such as henna tattoos, Chinese calligraphy, traditional artifacts, and clothing displays. Food will be catered by TBaby’s Authentic Caribbean Cuisine. Participants receive a “passport” to be stamped by interacting with cultural presenters and table hosts.

International Education Month Events

Oct. 4, 7:30 – 9:30 p.m.  Symphonic Wind Ensemble and Chamber Orchestra – A Concert Featuring UIndy International Faculty and Works. Christel DeHaan Fine Arts Center/Ruth Lilly Performance Hall, L/P Credit

Oct. 8, 6 p.m. Breaking Down Barriers, UIndy Hall C (Presented by Student Organization of Latinos for Hispanic Heritage Month)

Oct. 9, 4-5 p.m.:  “Conviver: Using Education to Design a Better Life Together, A Brazilian Initiative,” featuring guest speaker Dr. Josefa Cuhna, Chair of Education, Federal University of Parana, Brazil. HEAL 138, L/P Credit

Dr. Josafa Cunha is the chair of Education at the Federal University of Parana, in Brazil. This is one of the oldest and most prestigious Brazilian universities. He will present on his research on school climate and how to craft school interventions to promote positive peer development. “Conviver” means living together in harmony, implying solidarity and respect. Through a combination of online resources and in person mentoring, this project fosters innovation in schools to address the particular issues related to improving life in schools and communities. This program is unique in Brazil for its emphasis on positive development and collaborative community action.

Oct. 11, 2-3 p.m.:  Celebration of the Flags, Smith Mall, 2-3 p.m., L/P Credit

Featuring UIndy’s international students carrying the colorful flags of their countries in a procession around Smith Mall. Speakers include President Robert L. Manuel, Indianapolis Student Government President Jamarcus Walker and Craig Anesu Chigadza, an international student from Zimbabwe. Performers include Adam Fernandes ’22 (graphic design) on guitar and Caroline Kavanaugh ’22 (exercise science) on violin.

Oct. 11, 3-5 p.m.:  International Expo, Schwitzer Center Atrium, 3-5 p.m., L/P Credit

Oct. 11, 7 p.m. Dancing with SOL (Student Organization of Latinos) UIndy Hall

Oct. 17, 6:30-8:30 p.m.:  Global Languages and Cultural Studies International Film Night:  “Code Unknown” (in French with English Subtitles).  HEAL 138, L/P Credit

One of the world’s most influential and provocative filmmakers, the Oscar-winning Austrian director Michael Haneke diagnoses the social maladies of contemporary Europe with devastating precision and artistry. His drama Code Unknown, the first of his many films made in France, may be his most inspired work. Composed almost entirely of brilliantly shot, single-take vignettes focusing on characters connected to one seemingly minor incident on a Paris street, Haneke’s film–with an outstanding international cast headlined by Juliette Binoche–is a revelatory examination of racial inequality and the failure of communication in an increasingly diverse modern landscape.

Oct. 18, 3-4 p.m.:  “Expanding Your Global Horizons through Study Abroad.”  Schwitzer Engagement Area, L/P Credit pending

A panel of UIndy students will offer information about their experiences participating in a variety of international education opportunities and settings.  Attendees will have the opportunity to ask candid questions of the students and find out if study abroad is right for them.

Oct. 18, 7 p.m. Leadership dinner with the president, Nelson House  (Student Organization of Latinos)

Oct. 26, 9-11:30 a.m.:  “West Meets East: Health & Culture,” RB Annis Theater, Health Pavilion L/P Credit

This 2018 West Meets East Forum panel discussion will help participants conceptualize both scientific research and clinical practices. Therapists, doctors and students will discuss the benefits of inter-professional and multicultural health care. Participants explore the importance of moving beyond embracing cultural competence to promoting true cultural equity; the belief that all people in all settings have a right to have, embrace and fulfill their intellectual, psychological, material and spiritual traditions. This forum will enhance participants’ global cultural understanding for effective communication and practice in their respective fields.

Oct. 26, 1-3:30 p.m.:  “West Meets East: Health & Culture Panel Discussions,” Healthplex, L/P Credit

Oct. 28, 3-4:30 p.m.:  “East Meets West Concert IV,” Christel DeHaan Fine Arts Center/Ruth Lilly Performance Hall, Free admission, L/P Credit

Hosted by the Office of Asian Programs at the University of Indianapolis, the fourth “West Meets East” concert features music that transcends borders and brings cultures closer together. Distinguished UIndy music faculty and guests celebrate the second annual International Education Month, highlighting the diverse multicultural resources on the campus and in the community. More information: 317-788-3255

University of Indianapolis announces 2018 Alumni Award recipients

The University of Indianapolis announced Friday the recipients of the 2018 Alumni Awards, which recognize outstanding alumni whose positive contributions make a local, regional and national impact. The 2018 nominees represent the community leadership, integrity and commitment to giving back that embodies the University’s founding principles.

Michael ShurnEducation for Service Award: Michael Shurn ’71

The Education for Service Award recognizes an alumnus or alumna whose life work has exemplified a fulfillment of the philosophy underlying the University’s motto “Education for Service.”

Michael Shurn graduated in 1971 with a degree in English and later earned his J.D. from Indiana University. He is the judge for the Pulaski County Circuit Court in Winamac, Ind.  An avid community volunteer, Judge Shurn has worked extensively with the Pulaski County Historical Society, Boy Scouts, 4-H, Winamac Kiwanis Club and his church, which earned him the 2011 H.J. Halleck Award for community service. He also served six years on the University’s Alumni Board of Directors and remains active in UIndy events. Michael and his wife, Mary, have two children. Their daughter, Megan, is a 2003 UIndy graduate.

Foulkrod,_MariannaDistinguished Faculty/Staff Alumni Award: Marianna Foulkrod ’01 ’04

The Distinguished Faculty/Staff Alumni Award recognizes current faculty or staff members who are alumni and have demonstrated consistent dedication and superior service to the University.

Marianna Foulkrod ’01 ’04 came to the University of Indianapolis from Cyprus and earned a degree in French in 2001, followed by a master’s degree in Applied Sociology in 2004. She serves as the Director of Service Learning & Community Engagement at the University. She is committed to providing students with a quality education through service which has earned UIndy the 2010 Community Engagement Classification through the Carnegie Foundation for the Advancement of Teaching, as well as recognition from the President’s Higher Education Community Service Honor Roll. Foulkrod and her husband Kevin, Class of 2000, have two children.

Wittenberg-Derik-2016-150x150Distinguished Young Alumni Award: Derik Wittenberg ’14

The Distinguished Young Alumni Award recognizes and honors an alumnus and/or alumna of the University who, while still relatively young, has made outstanding contributions to his or her community.

Derik Wittenberg earned an MBA from the University in 2014 and currently serves as a financial consultant at Elanco. Prior to graduate school, he was a chemist with the Lilly Research Labs and Lilly Manufacturing. Since graduating from Ulndy’s MBA program he has been promoted three times in the last three years and was the youngest member elected to the Board of Directors of the Heritage Place of Indianapolis. Serving as Treasurer, Wittenberg oversees the financial vitality of this organization that serves 1200 senior citizens across central Indiana while also chairing multiple fundraising events that helped support outreach initiatives.

Edwin "Ed" O. QuallsGene And Joanne Sease Award: Ed ’84 and Pam ’84 Qualls
Named in honor of former UIndy President Gene E. Sease and his wife, JoAnne, this award recognizes couples who contribute their time, talent and treasure to the University.

Pamela S. QuallsEd Qualls earned degrees in business administration and business data processing in 1984 and Pam Qualls received a degree in music performance also in 1984. Both currently serve on the University’s Board of Trustees. Ed is the owner and president of Just Add Power Cardware Co., Inc. Pam is the chief executive officer of UMCM Suncoast, a leading social services not-for-profit agency. The Qualls met on campus as undergraduates in the 1980s and credit experiences at the University for shaping their lives, including a lifelong commitment to “Education for Service.” The Qualls have two children and reside in Largo, Florida.

WolcottDistinguished Alumni Award: Vickie Wolcott ’77 ’79

This award recognizes outstanding professional accomplishments or longtime service in a chosen occupation or profession.

Vickie Wolcott earned degrees in Economics & Finance in 1977 and Business Administration in 1979. She has been with M.J. Schuetz Insurance Services for 40 years serving in every role in the company, starting as the receptionist, certificate of insurance typist, bond typist, claim processor, bookkeeper, account executive, and, today, president and owner. Well known throughout the industry, Vickie has served in leadership positions on multiple boards and was awarded the Harry P. Cooper Public Image Award in 2014. Vickie has two children, including a daughter, April, who graduated in 2013.

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. 

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