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.

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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.

 

 

 

Students win awards at 2017 Model United Nations Summit

A team of 15 students from the University of Indianapolis won several awards recently during the Model United Nations Summit competition.

The Model UN is a simulation exercise organized by the Indiana Consortium for International Programs. Several universities from Indiana and Kentucky participated this year at the summit, which was hosted Nov. 9-11 at Indiana University Southeast in New Albany, Ind.

Summit participants competed in two separate groups. Topics discussed included North Korea, nuclear weapons and missile delivery systems, Syrian and Yemen conflicts and climate change as a global security issue. The participating UIndy students major in international relations and/or political science.

Results of the first group competition included:

  • Dan Miller (political science): Third-Best Delegate
  • Brittany Motley (criminal justice and political science) and Dan Miller (political science): Third-Best Delegation, representing the United States

Results of the second group competition included:

  • Dominic Peretin (history): Second-Best Delegation, representing the United Kingdom and Northern Ireland and Third-Best Delegate
  • Tosin Salau (international relations and political science) and Mary Anne Schneider (history education): Fourth-Best Delegation, representing France

Jyotika Saksena, associate professor with the department of history and political science, helped the students prepare for the event.

“This is a very important learning tool for the students,” she explained. “They not only study important topics facing the world today but learn to see these different issues from specific perspectives. The simulation teaches students to negotiate with those of a different point of view without antagonizing them, the art of diplomacy and public speaking skills.”

Congratulations to each UIndy participant: Katie McDonald (political science and international relations), Zion Lutz (political science), Tosin Salau (international relations and political science), Mary Anne Schneider (history education), Nkechi Nnachetta (political science), Erin O’Riley (international relations and political science), Kiley Harmon (international relations and political science), Melissa Kapsalis (psychology and political science), Dominic Peretin (history), Brittany Motley (criminal justice and political science), Dan Miller (political science), Heather Reid (history and international relations), Ben Osborn (political science), Aml Alkhatib (political science), Tobiloba Olakunle (international relations and political science)

 

Access to women in leadership of sport is boon to UIndy sport management students

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From left: Audrey Becker, Stephanie Young, Linda Paul, Joni Comstock, Kathy Sparks

As the saying goes in the real estate industry, “location, location, location” is the key to a good property investment. That same message can be applied to selecting a college for its proximity to key players in a specific field or industry. 

Students in the undergraduate and graduate Sport Management programs at the University of Indianapolis benefit from the school’s proximity to and working relationships with powerhouses in the world of athletics. Recently, the sport management programs leveraged this advantage when it hosted a Women in Leadership event in the Health Pavilion.

The second annual event brought key women leaders from the sports world to UIndy to share professional insights and offer networking opportunities for undergraduate and graduate students. The speakers included:

  •   Joni Comstock, senior vice president of championships and alliances, NCAA
  •   Audrey Becker, event and program manager, NFL Combine
  •   Stephanie Young, certified strength and conditioning coach, St. Vincent Sports Performance
  •   Linda Paul, former president and CEO, USA Diving
  •   Kathy Sparks, LAC, ATC, team leader – Sports Medicine Outreach, IU Health

“These women have made – and continue to make – an impact on the world of collegiate and professional athletics,” said Jennifer VanSickle, director of the UIndy sports management programs and associate professor of kinesiology. “Bringing them to the University of Indianapolis to share their experience is a win for our students.”

Some of the messages students heard from women on the panel included “Don’t let the barrier to success be you,” (Stephanie Young); “Let your failures be your greatest learning experiences,” (Linda Paul); and “Surround yourself with all different types of people. People with a variety of backgrounds, gender, age, and race,” (Joni Comstock).


“This event was not just another lecture,” said senior sport management major Carolyn Holt, who attended Women in Leadership last year as well. “This is a way to build connections and opportunities in the field of sport management.”

Holt has completed an internship as a team logistics intern with Indiana Swimming and will serve as an Indianapolis 500 Festival intern in Spring 2018.

The networking opportunities provided by the panel discussions helped Jessie Benner, a graduate sport management student, arrange a job shadow at the NCAA headquarters in downtown Indianapolis.

“I attended because I wanted to hear from strong women in management positions in sports,” Benner said.


“(One speaker) talked about how she used to be timid and not confident. Throughout her career, she has been able to break out of her shell. I identified with that and felt good knowing that it’s okay to start small.”


Senior sport management major Brianna Harrison encouraged students to take advantage of the networking opportunities.


“I am very interested in the empowerment of women in both the sports and the non-profit spheres,” she said. “This event is a great chance to empower yourself by networking with women who are working in the field.”

Harrison, who has completed internships with the Indianapolis Alley Cats ultimate Frisbee team and Special Olympics of Indiana, will graduate with degrees in both sport management and business management.


The next Women in Leadership event is scheduled for October 2018.

One on one with Tosin Salau

For this final day of October in International Education Month, we’re introducing you to several international students at UIndy. Tosin Salau ’18 (international relations and political science) is from Nigeria and shares her perspective. 

Tosin Salau

Tosin Salau

Q. Where are you from? Describe your travel experience.

A. “I’m from Nigeria but before coming to UIndy I had never been to the U.S. I have been to Benin, the U.K. and the United Arab Emirates.”

Q. Why did you decide to attend UIndy?

A. “The teacher-to-student ratio appealed the most to me as I’m more comfortable in a small class setting, valuing the importance of a student- teacher relationship. UIndy also offered me a scholarship which further influenced my decision to come here.”

Q. What is your advice for domestic students who might not have much experience with other cultures? For example, would you recommend study abroad?

A. Education is important and it begins by listening to people that come from different places. We get a sense of trying to learn from other cultures – thereby making them feel more welcome and inclusive on campus.

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

A. By being ready to come out of their bubble or comfort zone. A simple conversation is all it takes even though most may feel shy to ask questions for fear of mentioning stereotypical things. But it’s better to ask than to assume.

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

A. I’ve had some internships mostly relating to political science, which gave me an insight to the American political system. I’m part of the interfaith scholar program as well as the Muslim student union. I’m also part of the Presidential ambassador program as well. These groups have given me a platform to advocate for inclusiveness of others on campus, which I think is very important.

Q. Why do you think an international outlook is important to employers?

A. An international outlook is important because now everyone is talking about diversity. With different and also like-minded minds together, employers benefit more in a heterogeneous environment than in a homogenous one.

Original play Mary’s Monster to debut at UIndy

The University of Indianapolis ushers in Halloween with Mary’s Monster, a new work by playwright K. T. Peterson. A staged reading will be held at 8 p.m., Oct. 31, at Ransburg Auditorium on campus, with a discussion with the playwright immediately following. Additional performance date: Nov. 7. Admission is free. 
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Lauren Raker designed the promotional poster on letterpress.

The Department of Theatre commissioned the original play as part of UIndy’s Communiversity: Frankenstein program, and the project was generously funded through a Shaheen Grant from the Shaheen College of Arts & Sciences.

While the 200th anniversary of Mary Shelley’s famous novel focuses on the story of Frankenstein, director James Leagre, assistant professor of theatre, explained that Mary’s Monster (originally referred to as The Mary Shelley Project) explores the woman behind the story – “and what we might perceive as the contributing elements of her life and how they inform and influence the Frankenstein story.”

“K.T. has written a piece that melds together the biographical world of Mary with the fictional world of the Frankenstein story. Over the summer we discussed a variety of approaches, and one consistent theme was a female-driven piece that explores issues of feminism today,” Leagre explained.

Related: Art students get real-life client experience by supporting UIndy events

Leagre said the student actors identified several themes in Peterson’s work, including how love can be a great strength or a great weakness. The piece also explores other “monsters” besides Shelley’s creature that must be tamed in order to be successful. Other themes include mental health and the idea that money alone cannot bring happiness – all ideas that still resonate today.

Learn more.

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