Incoming freshmen pay it forward with service project

During the Threshold Retreat, incoming freshmen transformed old t-shirts into about 80 tote bags for the homeless.

tshirt bags

Throughout the month of September, the chapel is collecting toiletry and non-perishable food items to fill the bags with. An event is being planned to distribute the filled bags before fall break.

“Indianapolis has a large homeless population, and we are grateful for the opportunity to provide them with every day necessities to help them,” said student Raegan Cox, chapel steward of compassion. “I hope to continue to organize events and drives to serve the homeless around us, in our Chapel community and through other groups on campus.”

Suggested items for donation:

Bottled Water – Granola bars – Individually wrapped snacks – Juice pouches – Canned drinks – Peanut butter – Crackers – Cereal – Mixed nuts/trail mix – Dried fruit – Paper towel – Napkins – Wet wipes – Deodorant – Body wash – Shampoo/conditioner – Feminine products – toothpaste/toothbrush – Mouthwash

Monetary donations will be accepted to buy items at the end of the drive. The drive will run until September 27th at the end of the chapel service. The collection box is located in SC203, Ecumenical & Interfaith Programs Office.

Show your Greyhound pride with the new UIndy license plate

houndproudThe new University of Indianapolis license plate design is now available for Indiana residents through the Bureau of Motor Vehicles. The license plate may be used on cars, motorcycles, RVs or trucks.

The UIndy license plate costs $40, with $25 of the specialty fee going towards University of Indianapolis student scholarships for Indiana students. The UIndy community chose the new design via an online poll.

“As we launch our new design, this is a great time to thank the thousands of Greyhounds each year who support our student scholarship programs and share their UIndy pride through the Indiana license plate program,” said Andy Kocher, Associate Vice President of Alumni Engagement.

“We also want the thank the many Greyhounds who voted and helped us select the new design. We hope everyone enjoys the new look and will ‘Ride with Pride’ by selecting a Greyhound plate to support scholarships for UIndy students,” Kocher added.

Tips and FAQ

As you are signing up, please be sure to select the consent box on your registration form to allow the BMV to share your information with the University. This lets the University know that you are a UIndy license plate supporter.

The new design will print for all license plate transactions processed on or after July 1, 2018, that result in the issuance of a NEW metal license plate.

If your vehicle is currently registered with a University of Indianapolis license plate, you will not receive the newly designed license plate until a new metal license plate is scheduled to be issued. A new plate is issued by the BMV after seven years.

You may switch plate types during your current registration year by visiting any BMV license branch and paying a plate change fee of $9.50. If you don’t currently have a UIndy plate, you will also be asked to pay the special group fee of $40, $25 of which is given to the University to support Indiana student scholarships.

More information

Paul Washington-Lacey Emerging Leaders program urges students to pay it forward with newfound skills

Anita Thomas, dean of the College of Applied Behavioral Sciences (right), led one of the Emerging Leaders workshops in spring 2018.

Anita Thomas, dean of the College of Applied Behavioral Sciences (right), led one of the Emerging Leaders workshops in spring 2018.

A new program at the University of Indianapolis provides students with the opportunity to recognize and grow their leadership qualities as they develop professional skills. Through a series of workshops, students participating in the Paul Washington-Lacey Emerging Leaders Program focus on career readiness, academic excellence, personal growth and leadership development. Launched in Fall 2017 by the Office of Inclusion & Equity (OIE), the program continues the spirit of mentorship and community championed by the late UIndy employee Paul Washington-Lacey.

Larry Haynes ’18 (M.A., mental health counseling), OIE programming intern and coordinator for the OIE Ambassador Program, coordinated the skills workshops, which were conducted by faculty and staff. Students in the program, who are nominated by the campus community and invited to join by Sean Huddleston, vice president for inclusion & equity, were paired with faculty, staff and alumni mentors.

“Research has consistently shown how valuable mentoring relationships are for students’ development, so this is an integral part of the program,” Haynes explained.

Huddleston said it was encouraging to see so many faculty and staff stepping up to become mentors.

“They do it because of the legacy of Paul Washington-Lacey and to honor his memory. They also do it because they know what it represents. Their commitment to student success and willingness to give up their time to spend with students one on one to coach them, outside their job responsibilities – they’re doing it because they’re committed to these students. That makes UIndy a very special place,” Huddleston said.

Armanii Hartfield ’20 (human biology) said she’s developed communication and other useful skills through the program.

“I’ve discovered that I am very open to a lot of things,” Hartfield said. “This program has helped me tremendously in personal growth, mainly because it has made me wiser. It has helped me see things in a whole new light.”

The workshops focused on developing students’ self-awareness about their own leadership qualities as well as how others perceive them, and how to implement specific professional skills. During one workshop, Anita Thomas, dean of the College of Applied Behavioral Sciences, advised the group, “I want you to figure out what your passions are, because your personal growth is really all about understanding your passion areas, and keeping those aligned with your professional development.”

“I really liked our workshop with Dr. Thomas because it showed the significance of being able to say no to a person when you don’t have time to do something. That’s something that’s really helped me a lot because I’m starting to say no to things that are not on my priority list,” said Jaskirat Kaur ’21 (biology and psychology, pre-med concentration).

In another workshop, Huddleston asked students to identify someone in their lives they would define as a leader.

“Everybody pointed to someone in their family who didn’t necessarily hold a title as a leader, but they talked about the attributes these people demonstrated,” Huddleston said.

Recognizing leadership qualities in themselves and others is an important part of the program. For Kaur, the idea of paying it forward – starting with her own family – is already part of her philosophy. She mentors her younger cousins and is eager to impart the knowledge she gained through the program.

“Being a role model, I feel like I should share my experiences,” she explained.

Haynes said the program is a testament to Paul Washington-Lacey’s legacy of going above and beyond the call of duty to mentor students.

“As a community, we have to support each other’s development. Students need mentors and this program seeks to deliver that while teaching students skills that will serve them long after they leave this university,” Haynes said.

Written by Sara Galer, Senior Communications Specialist, University of Indianapolis. Contact with your campus news.

Sociology video project highlights alumni network, career opportunities

A sociology capstone project is reinforcing alumni connections and helping students envision future careers as they put valuable professional skills into action. Under the guidance of Jim Pennell, professor of sociology, the SOC 440 class produced a video to provide information about career options for prospective students, current sociology majors and students with an undeclared major.

Working with faculty, the Office of Alumni Engagement and the Communications & Marketing Department, students contacted more than two dozen University of Indianapolis sociology graduates, conducted interviews and compiled data to create the video, which explored the various career paths young alumni are pursuing with their sociology degrees.

The project connected students with UIndy sociology alumni like Mercedes Stephens ’16 (sociology and Spanish), a program manager at Teen Works, a summer employment and college readiness program for Indianapolis-area teenagers. As a UIndy student, Stephens took sociology as an elective and quickly realized she had found her calling.

Mercedes Stephens ’16

Mercedes Stephens ’16

“I just fell in love with the class. I ended up asking faculty, ‘Where can I go with a sociology degree?’ Then I learned how versatile it was and how it could help me join a master’s program and further my career,” Stephens said.

Also featured in the video is Hannah Johnson ’16 (sociology and criminal justice double major, with minors in corrections, psychology and communication), who is now a student at Indiana University McKinney School of Law.

“Being able to talk to the faculty and bounce ideas off of them and hear their input – given that all of them have gone to grad school – ended up really helping me figure out what I wanted to do,” Johnson explained.

Coran Sigman '14

Coran Sigman ’14

Coran Sigman ’14 (sociology), another alumna featured in the video, said the basics she learned in sociology formed the foundation for her career. She serves as assistant director of alumni engagement for the University.

“Culture and society are concepts I deal with on a daily basis,” said Sigman. “I can’t talk to a 1954 alum the same way I talk to an alum from my class of 2014. There’s a big cultural difference there.”

Role models
Making connections and getting to the heart of alumni stories was an integral part of the video project. Naeemah White ’18 (sociology) contacted alumni and made content recommendations for the video.

“It was really helpful hearing all the different perspectives from alumni, especially with regards to graduate school,” said White, who is considering a master’s degree. She mentioned the examples of Derek Zhao ‘17, an international alumnus from China, and Zak Mitchie ’16, both of whom pursued graduate studies in sociology.

Derek Zhao '17

Derek Zhao ’17

Zhao, who is pursuing a doctorate in sociology at the University of Illinois (Chicago), is grateful for the help of faculty members Amanda Miller, sociology chair, and professors Jim Pennell and Tim Maher.

“Dr. Miller and Dr. Pennell both read my senior thesis which I used to apply for graduate school,” Zhao explained. “They not only helped me figure out a plan of study and where I wanted to pursue that, but also they helped shape my sociological thinking.”

Project management
Allison Beechboard ’18 (sociology) said she learned some valuable time management lessons.

“Everybody’s schedules are busy. One of the biggest challenges was to accommodate their schedules and ours,” Beechboard said.

Beechboard noted that geographical location was another hurdle. Some of the interviews had to be conducted via Skype, while other out-of-state alumni who couldn’t be interviewed on campus sent in video clips.

Pennell provided guidance as students navigated project and timeline management. “I try not to have a heavy hand on this. It’s an opportunity for them to collect the information and figure out how to produce it themselves,” said Pennell.

Destiny Trevino ’18 (sociology) edited the video using iMovie, exercising a skill that proved essential to the project. “I learned about how we worked as a group, and people’s strengths and weaknesses,” Trevino said.

Beechboard said she was encouraged by the success of UIndy’s sociology graduates.

“It was nice to know that there is a takeaway from the classes. There are so many different avenues that we can take with sociology,” Beechboard said.

2018 UIndy Day breaks University record

UIndyDayGreyhounds alumni, friends, faculty, staff and students joined together to break a record for the most UIndy gifts in 24 hours for the 2018 UIndy Day! We surpassed our goal of 500 donors with 566 gifts, $36,523 raised for 36 programs and more than 1,100 social media posts.

The third annual 24-hour fundraising event is a celebration of the University of Indianapolis that encourages everyone in the Greyhounds family to show your UIndy spirit and support our students.

The projects include the restoration of Good Hall, student scholarships, the funding of Athletic Training Board of Certification fees for students, the creation of the School of Business Finance Lab, and enhancements for the new Criminal Justice Education Lab. Some projects have a matching gift opportunity. Supporters of the University can become advocates on the UIndy Day Giving Page and earn prizes for generating gifts on UIndy Day.

Several events celebrated UIndy Day. Andy Kocher, Associate Vice President of Alumni Engagement, said the goal is to generate 500 gifts to benefit University of Indianapolis students.

“Our entire University community is proud of what is being accomplished on our campus and UIndy Day is our annual opportunity to show that Greyhound pride to the world,” Kocher said.

Alum fights for justice at University of Virginia School of Law

Maria Downham cap and gownUniversity of Indianapolis graduate Maria Downham ‘16 (political science and psychology) recently played an important role in securing justice for DeAndre Harris, who was attacked during the 2017 “Unite the Right” protests.

Read more about the trial here.

A first-year University of Virginia School of Law student, Downham talked to us about how her experiences on the UIndy campus helped her prepare for a career as a public servant.

How did the political science program help you prepare for the work you’re doing now?

“I was able to take elective courses that were law-related, such as Constitutional Law and Common Law. In these classes we read and briefed Supreme Court cases and that is the work I do to prepare for class each day now in law school. Also, part of the each class was doing a mock trial and that sparked my interest in litigation. I am now involved on the Mock Trial team at UVA.”

What skills did UIndy teach you and how are those skills helping you now?

“UIndy taught me how to read critically and reason through things. The curriculum prepared me well for law school because I took classes in a variety of areas. My psychology courses taught me about the processes of the brain, how individuals think about problems, and abnormal psychological conditions. In addition to these “hard skills,” UIndy prepared me well for law school by teaching me to have the confidence to get involved in things that I’m interested in. The Honors College at UIndy allowed me the opportunity to create my own mock trial as my honors project and this experience gave me a strong background, which helped me in UVA’s Mock Trial Tournament this year.”

Who were your mentors at UIndy and how did they help you?

Maria Downham Prez Rob“Dr. Maryam Stevenson was my pre-law advisor at UIndy, taught the law classes that I took, and was the faculty advisor for my honors project. What she taught me in the classroom, her guidance outside of the classroom, and her support were all crucial parts of my education, personal, and professional growth. In addition, I had the opportunity to work closely with President Manuel by serving as a Presidential Ambassador. The opportunity to work with him was also a large part of my professional growth. Finally, all of the professors in the History and Political Science Department were invaluable to my education and in preparing me for law school.”

What are your plans after law school?

“I’m not sure what I will pursue after law school, but I do know that I am interested in pursuing a career in criminal law. This summer I will be working at the United States Attorney’s Office for the Western District of Virginia as well as working as a Research Assistant for the Innocence Project at UVA.”


Learn about the political science program at UIndy.

Qualls Video Walls in Health Pavilion enhance on-campus communication

President Rob L. Manuel, left, with Pamela '84 and Edwin Qualls '84.

President Rob L. Manuel, left, with Pamela ’84 and Edwin Qualls ’84.

New video walls, made possible by a generous donation from Edwin ’84 and Pamela Qualls ’84, bring new technology to the University of Indianapolis Health Pavilion to showcase student and faculty achievements.

The state-of-the-art monitors on display in the Health Pavilion atrium contribute to the dynamic ways the University is sharing information across campus. The video walls, which are powered through technology offered by Just Add Power, will be used to highlight student artwork, videos, notifications and emergency messages. Ed Qualls is president of Just Add Power, which specializes in video technology for distributing HDMI® over IP networks.

President Robert L. Manuel said the Health Pavilion was the perfect representation of how learning experiences and spaces have evolved since the University’s inception in 1902.

“Throughout the past nearly 120 years, spaces and modes of teaching and sharing information have changed and never with such speed as in the past 25 years,” Manuel said.

University Board of Trustees members Ed and Pamela Qualls, who met on campus as undergraduates in the 1980s, shared their story of how their experiences at the University of Indianapolis shaped their lives. Pam Qualls explained that she developed a lifelong commitment to education for service at the University.

“We began to realize how formative this university had been for all of us and now with all of our experience in life, we see that’s not something that happens by accident. It’s something that is created. A culture where you learn how to use your gifts to enrich other people’s lives is rare and amazing,” she said.

Qualls2_600Ed Qualls said he hoped the installation of the video walls marked not the completion of a project, but instead “the beginning of an intentional effort to connect every screen on the whole campus together to enhance campus-wide communications.”

The work of students from the arts and engineering disciplines was on display during a recent dedication ceremony. The display also celebrated the heritage of Indiana Central College and the University of Indianapolis with vector-based images of the campus community at different points during the 20th century.

Those maps, created by art & design students working with Randi Frye, assistant professor, will soon be on display in the Sease Wing and during heritage tours on campus.

President Manuel presented the Qualls with the inaugural map representing 1986.

“We hope it reminds you of this very special place that started your journey together and how you both have now impacted the University and our journey,” Manuel said.

Speech and Debate team wins big at State Championship

The University of Indianapolis Speech and Debate Team won big at the Indiana Forensics Association (IFA) State Championship in February 2018 at Ball State University.  Three members of the team earned the honor of being named a state champion, and the team as a whole earned top honors throughout the tournament. The Greyhounds finished third in the overall team award sweepstakes category.

The UIndy Speech and Debate Team is a nationally ranked community that competes in events to enhance student’s communication, research and public speaking skills. Stephanie Wideman, assistant professor of communication, is the team director.


From left to right: Sierra Roberts, Vanessa Hickman, Ryan Jordan-Wright, Craig Chigadza, Melanie Moore, Taylor Woods, India Graves, Shayla Cabalan, Roci Contreras, Kaylee Blum, Hilary Bauer

“Our success at the state competition is reflective of the student’s hard work and dedication to honing their personal skills as well as representing the university well,” Wideman said.

Taylor Woods ’22 (communication) earned the title of State Champion in Novice Poetry Interpretation. “I joined the Speech and Debate Team as a freshman without any prior experience in the field,” Woods said. “I’ve grown so much since being on the team, which has helped me in a variety of areas in my life.”

Craig Chigadza ’22 (psychology) earned the title of State Champion in Novice Extemporaneous Speaking. “Being part of the speech and debate team here at UIndy has been life changing,” he said. “Not only am I developing an important skill in public speaking and critical thinking, but I am gifted a family away from home and a group of young men and women who are seeking to make an impact by addressing vital global issues.”

Hilary Bauer ’22 (studio art and political science) earned the title of State Champion in Novice Impromptu Speaking. “I was beyond thrilled to represent UIndy at the state championship,” she said. “The university provides us with the materials and opportunity to succeed at this level. I’m grateful for the support we receive as a team.”

See a full list of team results below.

Congratulations to all Greyhounds who competed: Sierra Roberts, Vanessa Hickman, Ryan Jordan-Wright, Craig Chigadza, Melanie Moore, Taylor Woods, India Graves, Shayla Cabalan, Roci Contreras, Kaylee Blum and Hilary Bauer

The team will travel to two national tournaments in March to finish out the competitive season.

IFA State Championship results:

  • Novice Impromptu– State Champion Hilary Bauer, 6th place Craig Chigadza
  • Novice Extemporaneous– State Champion- Craig Anesu Chigadza, 3rd Place Hilary Bauer
  • Novice Poetry– State Champion Taylor Woods
  • Varsity Persuasion– 2nd Place Shayla Cabalan, 6th place Vanessa Hickman, 7th place Melanie Moore
  • Novice Persuasion– 6th place Craig Chigadza
  • Varsity Poetry– 2nd place Roci Contreras, 6th place India Graves
  • Varsity After Dinner Speaking– 3rd place Vanessa Hickman, 5th place Shayla Cabalan, 6th place India Graves
  • Varsity Prose– 5th place India Graves, 6th place Kaylee Blum
  • Novice Prose– 3rd place Taylor Woods
  • Varsity Extemporaneous– 7th place Melanie Moore
  • Varsity Informative– 5th place Kaylee Blum
  • Program Oral Interpretation– 5th place Kaylee Blum
  • Duo Interpretation– 6th place Taylor Woods and Craig Chigadza




UIndy Swimming & Diving honors longtime southside barber/benefactor Thomas Bryant

Recognition ceremony following a swimming and diving meet to honor donor Thomas Bryant  on Saturday, Jan. 20, 2018.  (Photo:  D. Todd Moore, University of Indianapolis)

Recognition ceremony following a swimming and diving meet to honor donor Thomas Bryant on Saturday, Jan. 20, 2018. (Photo: D. Todd Moore, University of Indianapolis)

The University of Indianapolis Swimming & Diving office suite in the Ruth Lilly Center now has a new name: the Bryant Office Suite.

The Bryant Office Suite was dedicated in honor of Thomas and Judy Bryant and their generous philanthropic support of the UIndy Swimming & Diving teams. The dedication took place after the Greyhounds wrapped up their regular season with victories—providing even more reasons to celebrate.

Remarking on the impact of their generous gift, Vice President of Intercollegiate Athletics Sue Willey described it as an investment in a great product—the Swimming & Diving teams.

“These student-athletes get it done in the classroom, off the diving board, in the pool and in our community. Our student-athletes continue to strive for excellence in everything they do,” Willey said.

Tom Bryant has been a barber for 57 years, where he has cut hair for hundreds of faculty, staff and students over the years. Upon retiring, he sold his barbershop and adjoining property along Shelby Street to the University. This fall, he generously donated $100,000 to the University, dedicated specifically for the Swimming & Diving program.

University President Robert Manuel described this moment as a time to commemorate the pipeline of generosity that has existed since the beginning of the University. It also illustrates the strong connections between the University in its surrounding community, which continues to embrace its mission and impact.

“Celebrating this today is truly one of the greatest honors a University president can have. And I’m grateful to Tom for your generosity and your engagement with us in the long term,” Manuel added.  

For more than 35 years, Tom has been using the University’s pool to swim in the Master’s program. He credits the activity with enhancing and extending his life.

Swimming & Diving Head Coach Jason Hite also thanked Tom for his continued partnership with the University and for being a great example to the University’s student-athletes.

Shreve Atrium honors longtime south side supporters Jefferson and Mary Shreve

Mary and Jefferson Shreve (Photo: D. Todd Moore, University of Indianapolis)

Mary and Jefferson Shreve (Photo: D. Todd Moore, University of Indianapolis)

INDIANAPOLIS — The hub of the University of Indianapolis campus now has a new name: the Shreve Atrium in the Schwitzer Student Center.

The naming of the atrium recognizes Jefferson and Mary Shreve for their generous gift to the University of Indianapolis. The Shreve Atrium provides space for students, as well as community members and community partners, to engage, interact and gather. Thousands of people pass through the gathering space daily.

University President Robert Manuel called the new name a fitting tribute to a south side family that has made a commitment to giving back.

“(The naming) is a wonderful opportunity to be able to connect to the Shreves as they think about their philanthropy, engaging the community and facilitating the conversation as the University Heights neighborhood develops,” Manuel said.

Jefferson and Mary Shreve are residents of the south side of Indianapolis, where Jefferson was born. He’s the founder of Storage Express, which has grown to include 93 self-storage facilities in five states, with dozens of locations in Indiana. Jefferson Shreve formerly represented the district that encompasses the University of Indianapolis on the Indianapolis City-County Council.  

shreve_atrium_dedication_500_Remarking on his family’s deep ties with the south side, Jefferson Shreve explained that he lives in the family home first purchased by his grandparents in 1960. He called the University of Indianapolis the anchor of the University Heights neighborhood.

“I’ve been so proud to be associated with UIndy and through the time of Rob’s leadership and focusing on making this the anchor and not the island on the south side. It makes such a difference,” Shreve said.

“I am so thankful and grateful to have our name associated with this campus and with this space, which is particularly meaningful to us, because this space is that connecting point not just for the student and faculty life but also for the community that reaches its fingers through the south side,” Shreve added.

Former Indianapolis Mayor and Visiting Fellow Greg Ballard thanked Jefferson Shreve for his continued service to the city  and to the University and dubbed him one of the city’s unsung heroes.

“Now we’re able to celebrate what he’s been doing. That doesn’t mean his compassion, generosity and his charitable nature has not been going on for decades already,” said Ballard, visiting fellow with the University’s Institute for Civic Leadership and Mayoral Archives.


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