Leadership Recognition Banquet honors dozens of UIndy students

The University of Indianapolis held the Annual Leadership Recognition Banquet on Sunday, April 22, 2018. The event recognizes the outstanding work of all Greyhounds over the past academic year and celebrates the accomplishments of student leaders, student organizations and athletic teams.

“The Student Leadership Recognition banquet is one of my favorite events of the year. It allows us to recognize the incredible accomplishments of our student leaders and celebrate the unbelievable ways that students make a difference across campus,” said Kory Vitangeli, Vice President for Student & Campus Affairs and Dean of Students.

“I am so proud of our student leaders both inside and outside of the classroom and those who are also a part of athletic teams. I especially want to thank those students who are graduating for all they have given to UIndy. They have left a legacy that will impact us for many years to come!” Vitangeli added.

Accomplishments and recognition of those students graduating were celebrated and this Senior tribute video was shown:

The following students, faculty and staff constitute this year’s honorees:

Advisors of the Year:
Jeffrey Barnes, advisor to UIndy PRIDE
David Styers-Barnett, advisor to Sigma Zeta and chair of the Department of Chemistry

The Advisor of the Year Award is given to a full-time faculty or staff member who has served a registered student organization for the entire academic year in a supportive and positive manner. Presented by the Office of Student Affairs.

Emerging Leader of the Year:
Brad Moon

The Emerging Leader of the Year Award is given to an individual in their freshman or sophomore year. The student selected for this honor will best exemplify student leadership through the impact they have made to campus life.  This individual must clearly display that they are a great role model, they impact the lives of others, and demonstrate a great deal of leadership potential. Presented by the Office of Student Affairs.

Outstanding Student Leader of the Year:
Stephen Cox

The Outstanding Student Leader Award recognizes a student in a leadership role (RSO, RA, OL, Chapel Steward, etc.) who has excelled in their position during the year and has made a significant contribution to campus life at UIndy during the year. Presented by the Office of Student Affairs.

Outstanding Student Volunteer:
Ellen Hodson

The outstanding student volunteer award is designed to recognize a UIndy student who has selflessly volunteered in the community. Nominees should not only have shown a dedication to service, but also demonstrated a commitment to leadership that inspires others to engage in service. Presented by Volunteer Services.

RA Programmer of the Year: 
Skyla Baird

Awarded annually to the Student Staff member, selected by residents, as the individual who has most successfully programmed for their assigned living area over the course of the academic year. Presented by Residence Life.

Registered Student Organization of the Year:
Crimsonettes Dance Team

The Registered Student Organization of the Year Award is presented to an organization that has exceeded the expectations inherent in their stated purpose and function through membership, philanthropy efforts, and/or event planning. Presented by the Office of Student Affairs.

Residential Community of the Year:
Central Hall

Awarded annually to the Residential Community that has the highest level of student engagement. Presented by Residence Life.

Student Employees of the Year:
Zoe Berg
Jessica Munoz-Sainz

Nominated by supervisors across campus, this award recognizes the student staff(ers) who contribute significantly towards the forward movement of their respective office/department. Presented by the Professional Edge Center.

Inclusion & Equity Trailblazer Award: 
Better Together
Black Student Association

Athletic Commitment to Service Award:
UIndy Softball Team

Bridge Scholar Award for Outstanding Academic Achievement:
Thy Kieu
Zachari Lynch
Meaghan Owens
Jazmine Rivera

Edge Award:
Ashlea Alley
Mikayla DeLay
Erin Webb
Peisen Zhang

Presidential Ambassadors:
Sulaiman Alsaif, Lauren Bryant, Davis Christy, Alexis Dobrynski, Jesshica Elfin, Lyndsy Elsinger, Nehal Gajjar, Vishakha Hiremath, Kirby Jones, Madi Kovacs, Shelby Lannan, Julie Larson, Ben Lawson, Kaushal Patil, Kiersten Reed, Kiara Richardson, LaWan Rollins, Emily Sands, Nicole Schath, Tosin Seu, Maria Villegas, Austin Wagner, Molly Wolfe

First Year Leadership Experience:
Claire Cantrell, Craig Chigadza, Brooke Green, Dario Huber, Catherine Jameson, Andrea Jimenez, Alexandra Nickerson, Karsyn Powell, Madison Schueler, Megan Standish, Caitlin Staples, Alysssa Tapy, Karlye Vonderwall

Resident Assistant of the Year:
Schuylar Casto

Mindy Owens Outstanding Junior Leaders:
Natalie Benson, Taylor Carpenter, Nikolaus Clark, Grace Kinsey, Erin Pool, Sydney Reynolds, Zechariah Saenz

Strain Outstanding Seniors:
Jabree Bond-Flournoy, Lauren Bryant, Schuylar Casto, Stephen Cox, Caleb Gabler, Nehal Gajjar, Emily Hiland-Freck, Juliana Rohrmoser, Emily Sands, Molly Wolfe

Rachel Gravens ’18: A heart for community

Rachel Gravens '18

Rachel Gravens ’18

Rachel Gravens ’18 is a double major in anthropology of health, and studio art with a concentration in ceramics. Her minor is environmental sustainability. She completed internships with Big Car Collaborative and Mad Farmers Collective, and traveled to Texas as part of the cultural anthropology team that accompanied the University of Indianapolis Forensics Team for the Beyond Borders project.

Q. What are your plans after graduation?

A. I plan to work in the nonprofit sector with organizations that promote the arts for community building and development. I am also interested in the food system and would love to be involved with organizations in that sphere as well. Eventually I plan to enroll in a graduate program. During this time I would like to continue to work and develop as a ceramics artist, and I hope to one day have my own studio and be able to teach classes.

Q. How did your work on the Beyond Borders project help prepare you for your future career?

A. My time in Texas and the subsequent research, analysis, and presentations had a number of positive effects on my academic development. This was my first experience “in the field” as an anthropology student. I got to experience traveling to another place, observing and participating with a number of groups and organizations, taking jottings, and writing up field notes at the end of each day. I loved the whole process and it has further established my love for anthropology and what we do. I also enjoyed coding the notes and forming a poster to present to different audiences. It was exciting to share my experience and what I learned, as well as demonstrate the value of anthropological work to other students, faculty, and UIndy donors.

In addition, the trip had very personal impact on me, as I saw firsthand the reality of mass migrant deaths at our border. I was convinced of the fact that this is a humanitarian crisis and that real change must take place. This requires raising awareness so that people are cognizant of this tragedy and inspired to take action. My experience in south Texas motivates me to share what I know and encourage others to educate themselves about the reality of the situation.

As a double major with a minor, I have been able to take a wide variety of classes that have each shaped my college experience and who I am. Art has pushed me to work hard, problem solve, think creatively, believe in my abilities, and take pride in my craftsmanship and accomplishments. In anthropology I have grown in my ability to think critically and to see and evaluate the world in new ways. Anthropology has also helped be to develop as a writer and speaker. Environmental sustainability has incorporated my love for nature in my studies, and helped me to draw connections between our human actions and our environment. All of these skills and lessons will be carried with me into my professional life and continue to help me grow and be successful.  

Slideshow: Meet the Class of 2018!

Q. Were you involved in any extracurricular activities as a student?

A. My freshman year I participated in intramural volleyball and it was a great way to make friends and take a break from school work. I was also very active in Circle K, which is a volunteer group on campus. I was also a member of the Art and Design Student Association (ADSA). I was very active in my junior year and helped to plan and run events. The art department is full of wonderful people with a lot of great ideas, and I loved being able to work with them to make exciting things happen on campus.

My junior year I was an intern at Big Car Collaborative, an art and place-making organization in the Garfield Park neighborhood. Working with such fun and creative people who use art as a tool for development and community building in their neighborhood is part of what has inspired me to work with similar nonprofits in my career. More recently, I was an intern for the Mad Farmers Collective. I helped with the day-to-day tasks on the farm and learned about the operations of an urban farm working to improve their community. Because of my love for the outdoors, gardening, and the food system I really enjoyed this opportunity and learned so much. In addition I have been a tutor in the Math Lab on campus, assisting students with introductory math courses and statistics.

Q. Were there any faculty, staff or fellow students who helped you during your time as a student at UIndy? 

A. The Art and Design department is a very supportive network of faculty and students. The students are a great encouragement to each other and the professors pour a lot into the development and well-being of their students.

Katherine Fries has been a wonderful force in the department and I am thankful for her enthusiasm and direction during my foundational art classes at UIndy. She has also pushed to make the students more involved in the department and has helped to facilitate some great events.

Barry Barnes has been my advisor and professor in ceramics and his belief in me has been amazing. He encouraged me from the very beginning to stick with ceramics and has admired my hard work, creativity, and dedication to ceramics.

Additionally, Dr. Alyson O’Daniel has been a big influence on my college career. She’s always been willing to talk things over with me, including my options and next steps after college. Her dynamic courses have challenged me and her support has been extremely helpful. Through her courses I have come to have a much better understanding of and love for anthropology. She also invited me to be her research assistant for the migrant death project and I am so thankful for that opportunity.

One on one with senior Karli LaGrotte

Karlie LaGrotte '18 presented research during the 2017 Scholars' Day event.

Karlie LaGrotte ’18 presented research during the 2017 Scholars’ Day event.

Karli LaGrotte ’18 (psychology major, sociology minor) had her choice of where to pursue her doctorate in psychology – she was accepted into three different programs! She reflects on her time at the University of Indianapolis as she prepares to graduate.

Q. What are your plans after graduation?

A. In the fall, I will be pursuing a doctorate degree in Clinical Psychology at the Chicago School of Professional Psychology in Chicago, Illinois.

Q. How did your academic program help you develop your professional skills?

A. Undergraduate research helped me develop skills such as critical thinking, interpersonal skills, and presentation skills.  Through undergraduate research, I learned how to talk to any type of person, whether it is a student or faculty member. I became extremely comfortable in talking with faculty which definitely helped when it was time for me to interview for graduate school.

Q. Were you involved in any extracurricular activities as a student?

A. I was a member of the women’s golf team. That experience taught me valuable skills such as hard work, discipline, selflessness, time management and excellence.

Q. Were there any faculty, staff or fellow students who helped you during your time as a student at UIndy?

Dr. Kendra Thomas: I participated in undergraduate research with her and she helped me develop important skills such as critical thinking, interpersonal skills and presentation skills.

Dr. Amanda Miller: I took two sociology courses with her and through her classes, I developed a love for sociology.  She is a role model for me and someone I respect greatly.

Dr. Mixalis Poulakis: I took my first ever course at UIndy with him, so he has helped me since day one.  He is a great mentor, always offering advice and being there for me.

Q. Would you recommend UIndy to prospective high school students?  

A. Yes, I would because of the excellent faculty.  I will miss them once I graduate. My advice to incoming freshmen would be to take advantage of opportunities and focus on developing relationships with faculty.  The faculty are so welcoming and helpful. University of Indianapolis is lucky to have such great faculty!

Q. Any other big takeaways or observations as you approach graduation?

A. I very much enjoyed my academic experience at this school.  It has been so rewarding and I have met wonderful students and faculty!

A University first: Kalia Daily ’18

Kalia DailyIn May 2018, Kalia Daily will be the first student to graduate with a concentration in printmaking from the studio art program. (She also has a concentration in painting and a minor in art history.)

“When I first came to UIndy, I must admit I was not confident in my abilities as an artist. Through the instruction of many of my professors, specifically Jim Viewegh and Katherine Fries, I was able to see my work grow and mature in ways that I never imagined,” she said.

The studio art program is designed so that all art students start at the beginning, learning the basics.

“I was introduced to artistic ideas that helped me see my work more critically, thus making it easier to pinpoint areas I needed to work in most,” Daily explained. “I was able to build upon those technical lessons to then enter into a realm where you can achieve certain conceptual ideals.”

Slideshow: Meet the Class of 2018!

She also said it was useful to learn how to operate the University’s new Vandercook Press because of its popularity in the printmaking world.

“It can produce quality work in little time, so it was important for me to learn how to operate a press that is so common in other print shops.”

Learn how UIndy art students, including Kalia Daily, received real-life client experience by collaborating with the Department of Theatre

"Happy Place" by Kalia Daily

“Happy Place” by Kalia Daily

Daily is a student employee in the print studio, an Art & Design Student Academy Club Leader, and a leader and mentor to upper and underclassmen alike.

“I am tremendously proud of what we call the ‘founding printers’ of the department,” said Katherine Fries, art & design professor. “Kalia and her peers have really brought this program to life. Their hard work, spirit, and dedication have seen the program through the first years of growth and for that they will always be part of the print program and Hullabaloo Press.”

Graduation can be a bittersweet moment, marking the end of one chapter and the start of another, but Fries sees it differently.  

“This is one of the many reasons I love UIndy: because students like Kalia come here and make wonderful things happen on our campus! Commencement is a magnificent time to look back at what was achieved and look forward to what still can be,” she said.

After graduating, Daily plans to enroll in the University’s Masters of Arts program, continue building her portfolio and pursue a Masters in Fine Arts Degree later in her career.

"Senses" by Kalia Daily

“Senses” by Kalia Daily

“Without the introduction and attention from the art & design faculty and staff, I would not be the artist I am today and I am forever grateful for their guidance and expertise.”

See Daily’s senior exhibition April 16 – 20 in the Student Gallery, Schwitzer 011.


Next stop: Yale for Mara Hofstetter ’18

Mara400Before Mara Hofstetter ’18 heads to Yale University in the fall, she’ll be working at Eli Lilly during the summer for an internship. A double major in chemistry and mathematics, Hofstetter will pursue a Ph.D. in chemistry with a focus in chemical biology at Yale. Hailing from Ascona, Switzerland, Hofstetter was also a student-athlete on the Greyhounds women’s tennis team. In this interview, she spoke about the factors that contributed to her success at the University of Indianapolis.

How did your extracurricular activities enhance your UIndy experience?

“My time on the tennis team helped me stay organized, since my day would be pretty full with a double major and practice. It especially helped me to grow as a person. [Women’s Tennis Head] Coach [Malik] Tabet and my teammates always supported me and challenged me to improve in all what I do. This helped and will help to manage difficult situations that I will encounter in the future.”

Who were some of your mentors?

“Dr. [Krysi] Leganza, my mathematics professor, Dr. [Levi] Mielke, and Dr. [Kathy] Stickney, both chemistry teachers, have contributed the most to my time at the University of Indianapolis. Dr. Leganza always had an open door, not only for mathematical difficulties but also for personal issues. She helped me to make the right decision to what university I should go to for my graduate studies and what factors are important to take into consideration when choosing your future graduate school.”

“Dr. Mielke and Dr. Stickney enabled me to build my knowledge to be a well-rounded person. Dr. Mielke is a great teacher who supports you in everything. He is currently my supervisor in my research in chemistry about glyphosate. Dr. Stickney helped in organizing my great time here at the University of Indianapolis and most important, she helped me finding an internship position last summer, which allowed me to get experience outside the classroom.”

“Coach Tabet and my teammates, especially Chloe Weihs, helped me to grow as a person and embrace challenges in life. To never give up and fight for what you want. They pushed me when I could not anymore, they supported me, this helped me to never give up when facing a problem.”

“Lastly, Nils Hoffacker, a student here at UIndy and my boyfriend, had the greatest impact on my life and success. He helped me all my four years in college, he supported me, he believed in me, and he enabled me to reach my dreams to go to an Ivy League graduate school. His influence and positivism were very crucial. I think everyone needs someone who supports you no matter what.”

Slideshow: Meet the Class of 2018!

Why would you recommend UIndy?

“UIndy gives you everything you need to have to succeed. The small classes allow you to have instructors who follow you closely and allow you to build a relationship with them because they care for you to succeed. The atmosphere on campus is just great. It allows you to find a new home with a lot of friends and faculty who will influence your life in a great way.”

One on one with Juliana Rohrmoser

A visual communication design major, Juliana Rohrmoser ’18 recently took home three Indiana Collegiate Press Association state-level journalism awards for her work at The Reflector and The Reflector Online, including:

  • Best Sports Photo, First Place, “Football Keeps Breaking Records”
  • Best Sports Photo, Second Place, “Football Ends Historic Season with Playoff Loss”
  • Best Informational Graphic, Second Place, “Travel Ban Impacts UIndy Community”

JulianaawardsRohrmoser, who is an international student from Costa Rica, is a familiar face at the Department of Integrated Marketing & Communications (IMC), where she is a student worker assisting in graphics creation, social media management and digital content. She was honored as international student speaker at the annual Celebration of Flags in October 2017. Rohrmoser will pursue an internship with Cook Medical for the summer and has applied for graduate school. 

Q: What’s your hometown? What kind of travel experience did you have before coming to UIndy?

I am an international student from San Jose, Costa Rica. Before coming to UIndy I had visited the U.S several times. I’ve been to Florida, New York, and I played soccer at a tournament in Minnesota during high school and participated in a dance competition in Chicago as well. I’ve also traveled to South Africa, Zambia, Brazil, Panama, Mexico, France and Italy.

Q. Why did you decide to attend UIndy?

I decided to apply to UIndy because my dad had previously been to Indianapolis and loved the city. I found UIndy and really liked that the campus wasn’t too big or too small. When I looked into my major I was drawn to the way the curriculum was set up. I would have the opportunity to take drawing, painting and communication classes while working on graphic design as well.

Q. What has your UIndy experience been like so far? How would you describe the international culture at UIndy?

My experience at UIndy has been nothing short of amazing. I have met some fellow students, faculty and staff that have been very welcoming and who have helped me succeed in every project I take on. The UIndy community really appreciates international culture, not just because it’s “cool” that we’re from a different country but everyone really understands the value of having different cultures present on campus. It’s great to have events like the Celebration of the Flags, cultural presentations and even foreign language classes that bring the community together.

Slideshow: Meet the Class of 2018!

Q. What is your advice for domestic students who might not have much experience with other cultures?

I think in order for every UIndy student to make the most out of their educational experience, they have to engage with an international student. Even if it’s by being in the same group in a class, you’d be amazed to see the different perspective an international student can give you. From giving examples of how something is done in their home country to adding points of interest with facts about a different demographic, I know students and professors appreciate seeing cultural diversity.

Q. What do you think students on campus can do to understand the international perspective?

I think domestic students should try and understand what an international student goes through. They are away from their families and their homes. Basically everything that they were used to growing up is different when they’re here. What would you do if you couldn’t reach your parents in a situation where you really needed their help? Doing your insurance paperwork, paying bills without guidance and – oh my goodness – tax season!

Q. What activities are you involved in outside the classroom?

Outside of the classroom, I currently hold two on-campus jobs and one internship. I have been a student worker for IMC (UIndy Integrated Marketing & Communications) for almost two years and this opportunity has given me outside of the classroom experience in the field that I would like to go into after graduation. I also am the art director for The Reflector, our student newspaper at UIndy. I have also worked for the football team, the Writing Lab and the Professional Edge Center. I also have an internship at Raybourn Group International, an association management company located in the north side of Indianapolis. I have worked there since May of this year. I also participate in the UIndy Connectors program, regularly attend sports events and community service opportunities on- and off-campus. All of these experiences have contributed to making me a well-rounded student. I have made some great connections that have helped me during these past three years and will definitely be an important part of finding a job in the U.S. after graduation, which is my goal.

Q. Are there any professors, staff or students who have made your UIndy experience special?

Everyone I’ve met has made an impact on my experience, to be honest!

The Department of Art & Design has played a huge role in preparing me for jobs and internships, especially Julia Taugner. With every communications or design position I’ve held, they’ve all been impressed by my skill set.

I also have to credit IMC. I started as a student worker and now I’ve grown to become an active member of the team. This has given me opportunities to work on graphic design, learn about social media communications, event photography and even some content development for UIndy!

The Professional Edge Center has also helped me by guiding me through creating my resume, applying for internships and starting to apply for jobs after graduation. The team there is very welcoming and ready to help any student succeed and make the best of their experience.

Q. Why is an international perspective valuable in the workplace?   

International students are important to have as members of your community. They provide a different perspective, new knowledge, maybe solutions you wouldn’t think about because they’ve experienced different things. They also are a valuable member of the team because they expand people’s viewpoints. It’s so important to open your school or company to diversity. Different cultures add so much value to a community because they make people come together and learn from each other.


Audrey Cunningham reflects on 24 years leading UIndy Speech & Debate Team

Audrey Cunningham, front row, second from left, with the Speech & Debate Team in 2011.

Audrey Cunningham, front row, second from left, with the Speech & Debate Team in 2011.

The University of Indianapolis Speech & Debate team has been winning regional and national accolades for more than 30 years, thanks in large part to Audrey Cunningham, the former team director. For 24 years, Cunningham, who serves as Basic Course Director in the Department of Communication, has been coaching students to success behind the podium and beyond.

Cunningham has enjoyed helping students develop lifelong speaking and debate skills that are easily transferable to a variety of careers. The speech team is open to all majors, and the students Cunningham has coached over the years have pursued successful careers in a variety of disciplines, including public relations, broadcasting, law, school counseling and secondary education.

“We encourage different majors because it’s one of those skill sets that transcends everything,” she explained.

Cunningham noted that the most dramatic improvements tend to happen during a student’s first year.

“That freshman year, they are learning all the basics. A lot of times they can be more successful that year because there are tournaments they can compete in with other novices of the first year. They’re competing more on par,” Cunningham said.

By senior year, Cunningham said that students have acquired a broad range of speaking skills. The competitions stretch students’ skills by challenging them to compete in extemporaneous, informative and persuasive speaking, as well as prose, poetry, duo and impromptu formats. There’s even a category for after-dinner speaking. Students are required to discuss topics ranging from voter disenfranchisement to gun control.

“The more people participate, the more confident they become in their abilities,” Cunningham said.

Audrey Cunningham

Audrey Cunningham

Under Cunningham’s guidance, the team earned the University’s first team title in 1990 from the National Forensic Association (NFA). Over the years, UIndy’s team has placed several times among the top ten in the Team Sweepstakes in the NFA competition, as well as making frequent team and individual appearances in the top ten in state, regional and other national competitions. Students from UIndy’s team have also competed in an international tournament in London.

In 2013-14, Cunningham co-directed the team with Rebekah Gaidis ’03, assistant professor (and a three-year team veteran herself) who went on to serve as sole team director until 2017. Stephanie Wideman is an assistant professor and the current team director. Both Gaidis and Wideman have led the team to stellar state and regional performances.

Professor Cunningham’s dedication to the art of public speaking is an inspirational force in the Department of Communication. She ran the Speech & Debate team for over twenty years, and in that time she was able to build the team into a cornerstone of speech education at UIndy,” said Wideman.

A longtime southsider, Cunningham’s UIndy connections run deep. Her two children, Kathleen Cunningham ’11 (English) and Chris Cunningham ’09 (communication) are alumni. She also has plenty of Emerald Isle connections. Her husband, Brian, is from Ireland, and is a singer and guitarist for the Irish Airs. Audrey has served as president of the Irish Dancers of Indianapolis and emcees Indianapolis’ Irish Festival.

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.


Stand for the Greyhound nation,
of UIndy, our center, of pride,
Vying for domination,
as we lead our team to victory tonight!
Fight! Fight! Fight!
Hail, to our hallowed taditions
and our spirit ever strong
Onward Uindy, onward UIndy,
to you we’re always true!
[shout at end] Go Greyhounds!

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.

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