Lilly program opens eyes of nursing students to the pharma industry

From the first time she explored the vast grounds of the global pharmaceutical company, University of Indianapolis nursing student Danielle Sparling realized her career path is much wider than she originally envisioned.

She enrolled at UIndy with solid plans of earning her degree and going on to become a family nurse practitioner. That may still be the case, but today she understands it’s not her only option thanks to an intense learning experience piloted this summer at Eli Lilly and Company (Lilly). Nurses at Lilly play important roles as researchers, regulatory scientists, case managers, global health consultants and more—all critical to becoming one of the largest pharmaceutical corporations in the world.

“From day one, I gained insight into how many avenues there are within the field of nursing. This was exciting, because I was able to learn about these non-traditional roles,” said Sparling, a sophomore.lillycropped

Sparling was one of four nursing students to participate in the pilot program this summer along with Serena Cornelius, Paige Hendershot and Samantha Hunter (all juniors). The Lilly/University of Indianapolis Nurse Education Program rotates the students through various aspects of Lilly’s operations—from drug discovery and development to bioethics and patient safety. The program is designed to educate students about the drug development process, the role of nurses in the industry and professional competencies for success in a healthcare business environment.

The students participated for four weeks in a structured mentorship involving real-world projects, industry-led professional development workshops and opportunities to network with Lilly nurses, experts and leaders. By exposing undergraduate students to the drug-development process, nursing students gained valuable knowledge of how patient-centered treatment options are developed and assessed.

“Nurses today have to be competent decisions makers,” said Jennifer Workman, co-leader of the Lilly program. “They need to have high-learning agility, be able to multi-task and communicate clearly and accurately information about treatment options.”

“Our students understand this was a very unique opportunity to learn about an industry they know very little about in these early stages of their education,” said Denise Ferrell, an assistant professor and program director in the School of Nursing. “This makes the nursing program at UIndy a more holistic experience by bridging the gap between nursing in an academic setting and what is available in our community.”

“Nurses are playing expanded roles as the health care system evolves to meet new needs. Nurses not only have enhanced responsibility and accountability in traditional settings, such as hospitals and clinics, but increasingly have roles that enable them to move across a variety of health care settings,” said Norma Hall, dean of the School of Nursing.

The education program also helps Lilly to educate future health care professionals about how pharmaceuticals are manufactured, tested and regulated, Workman said.

“The students have a unique vantage point and opportunity to work alongside some of the most talented health care professionals in the industry and understand their important roles in our organization,” Workman said. The students also reviewed the drug-approval process, investigated regulations, conducted literature reviews, assessed environmental trends and marketing strategies, researched treatment plans and created patient education materials.

The School of Nursing at UIndy is one of the leading pipelines for nurses across Indiana. The program is ranked among the top nursing programs in the Midwest by U.S. News and World Report. The program prides itself on by meeting the rising need for nurses as the health care industry grows, regionally and nationally. By a global company like Lilly opening its doors and sharing its expertise, the School of Nursing can provide unique professional competencies and specialized knowledge to its students, Ferrell said.

“I have gained an appreciation for the drug development process and have found the nurses at Lilly all bring something special to the table because they actually know how a decision will affect the patient because of the connection they have,” Hunter said.

Hendershot added: “I never knew there were so many opportunities for nurses in the pharma industry. One of my biggest takeaways was how important pharma is to health care. Without it, new advancements in treatments would be rarely considered.”

“As a nurse in the future, I will be able to fall back on this key point and strive to be the best advocate possible for my patient,” Cornelius said.

For Sparling, Lilly reinforced her love for the profession and excitement about the next opportunity. On her last day in the Lilly internship, she learned she officially had been accepted in the UIndy nursing program.

“One of the Lilly doctors told us, ‘You’re best at what you love, and if you do just that, success will follow.’ I’ve never been happier for my chosen career path and can’t wait to see what the future holds,” Sparling said.

 

UIndy Educational Leadership grads lead innovative program to turn around struggling IPS school

When the Thomas Gregg Neighborhood School launches in July, University of Indianapolis Educational Leadership graduates will be at the helm of transformational change.

From left: Principal Ross Pippin, Assistant Principal Anuja Petrinuw and Director of Academics Dana Stockton

From left: Executive Director Ross Pippin, Director of Operations Anuja Petruniw and Director of Academics Dana Stockton

The near east side school – also known as IPS School 15 – will become an Innovation Network School, a model that puts the school administrators in direct control of the school’s structure, staffing and performance, with input from parents.

Innovation Network Schools are permitted to make choices about all aspects of their school and are held accountable by IPS for agreed-upon student outcomes. US Secretary of Education Betsy DeVos singled out Indiana’s Innovation Network Schools initiative in a speech earlier this year to the Council of the Great City Schools. 

“This type of proposal gives everyone in the community a greater say—and greater responsibility—in the education of their children. It’s this kind of local control that we want to empower, because when parents are in charge, students benefit,” DeVos said.

Thomas D. Gregg Elementary (IPS School 15). Photo courtesy IPS

Thomas D. Gregg Elementary (IPS School 15). Photo courtesy IPS

Three of the key players behind Thomas Gregg’s story honed their leadership skills at the University of Indianapolis. Executive Director Ross Pippin ’13 and Director of Operations Anuja Petruniw ’14 are graduates of the University of Indianapolis’ iLEAD program, which prepares future school leaders with crucial field experience, decision-making skills and mentorship from leaders in education. Director of Academics Dana Stockton is a graduate of the MBA in Education Leadership program, an interdisciplinary program which combines best practices in business and education leadership.

The decision to adopt the Innovation Network School model follows years of low test scores and an “F” rating from the state in 2016.  Pippin said School 15’s transformation has been in the works for nearly two years, with IPS and Near East Side neighborhood organizations playing important roles.

“We truly believe the implementation of our community-led efforts here at Thomas Gregg will provide students and families with a truly personalized experience. Seeing that Ms. DeVos believes this model is as innovative as we do is exciting,” Pippin said.

Innovation Network Schools: A short history

The Indiana legislature passed a bill in 2014 allowing the creation of Innovation Network Schools, which are fully autonomous and operate within school districts across the state. The goal is to turn around chronically low-performing schools before they require a takeover by the State of Indiana (required by law after four years of an “F” grade). IPS now features ten Innovation Network Schools, which offer different types of learning opportunities and models to students, Pippin said.

We are just extremely thrilled,” Petruniw said. “The idea of being able to impact kids in an innovative, different way is amazing to me.”

While Innovation Network Schools are managed by an outside source, such as charter schools or non-profit organizations, they are considered part of their designated school district. Pippin said that structure allows for increased educational experimentation and creativity to solve fundamental issues currently facing school systems, including low test scores.

Petruniw said what sets School 15 apart is the focus on personalized learning, as well as resources and support for the social and emotional well-being of students and their families. “We really are borne out of the neighborhood,” she said, adding that more than 400 community members got involved in the discussion.

UIndy’s Educational Leadership programs in action

As they prepare for the July launch, Pippin, Petruniw and Stockton credit their field experience as students in the University of Indianapolis’ Educational Leadership programs in providing them a valuable growth opportunity.

“Any skills that you can imagine we developed at UIndy have been put to the test in recent months: budgeting, curriculum planning, hiring, marketing. Our time at UIndy also provided the three of us with long lists of colleagues and mentors who have been more than willing to help us out along the way as we navigate this project,” Pippin said.

“Being able to think outside the box about different educational models – we’re putting that into practice now,”Petruniw added. “We researched and developed a whole new school model with the collaboration of our neighborhood.”

John Somers, associate professor of teacher education, said it’s no surprise to see these Educational Leadership graduates effecting change in local schools, “given their standout scholarship in the principal preparation program and their successful execution of numerous field experiences. We are thrilled to see these experiences translate into real benefit for children and families within IPS.”  

Learn more about UIndy’s Educational leadership programs here.

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

UIndy master’s program builds community leadership through public art

It’s early on a Friday evening in May – before the crowds arrive at the Tube Factory in the Garfield Park neighborhood – and Big Car CEO and co-founder Jim Walker is talking about the powerful role the arts have in transforming and building communities.

Art is not just something you see in a gallery or museum, said Walker, whose expertise lies in social practice and placemaking, a type of art that leverages community assets to create public spaces that promote health, happiness and well-being.

“Instead of making a piece of art that’s an object, we’re making things happen,” explained Walker, who brings that vision to a new, one-year intensive program at the University of Indianapolis. The new master’s program in Social Practice Art, which is unique for Indiana, prepares students to become community leaders by leveraging the power of the arts. 

Jim Walker, co-founder of Big Car, will teach courses in Social Practice Art at UIndy starting in the fall of 2017.

Jim Walker, co-founder of Big Car, will teach courses in Social Practice Art at UIndy starting in the fall of 2017.

Developed by Jim Walker and Kevin McKelvey, associate professor of English, the program connects students with degrees in art & design, theatre, dance, music or creative writing with community stakeholders to engage in social practice and creative placemaking. The result is a participatory art form that empowers and transforms communities, and one which has been gaining in popularity in recent years. Walker and McKelvey will oversee the program, which is still accepting applications for the fall of 2017.

The vibrant atmosphere of the Tube Factory provides the perfect backdrop to talk about the University’s MA in Social Practice Art program, as it represents an example of social practice art in action. The formerly vacant 12,000-square-foot building on Cruft St. has been renovated into a welcoming space where the Big Car arts collective, founded by Walker in 2004, hosts cultural events and partnership-based community meetings.

Related: Big Car launches affordable home ownership program for artists

Walker pointed out the value of bringing art to underserved neighborhoods and giving residents an outlet to voice their opinions. The program will also focus on grant writing, social entrepreneurship and community sociology.

The Tube Factory on Cruft St. Photo courtesy Big Car.

The Tube Factory. Photo courtesy Big Car.

“Art and culture are important elements of everybody’s lives, so the kind of art that we’re working on here actually seeks out input from community members. When they’re invited to participate, it’s a way to show people that art isn’t some kind of exclusive thing. In that way it can help make a difference for the community,” Walker said.

In many ways, Walker’s new role at the University is a logical extension of Big Car’s south side success story. Walker, who lives in the Garfield Park neighborhood, is a well-known community builder on the Indianapolis arts scene. He has taught art history at the University of Indianapolis and art and writing at other area universities. Big Car held its ten-year anniversary exhibition at the Christel DeHaan Fine Arts Center in 2014.

The Social Practice Arts program builds on several of the University’s community-partnership initiatives, including the Quality of Life plan for the Indianapolis south side, and the Gene and Mary Ann Zink Poverty Institute, a University initiative to end poverty driven by an evidence-based and outcome-oriented strategy.

Making a difference in local neighborhoods will be a key focus of the program. Students will have the opportunity to work at Big Car’s Tube Factory, where they can learn to manage arts-related events and encourage community involvement. “This is a really good laboratory for students to learn in, get off campus and get involved. The connection between UIndy and our space is a pretty important one,” Walker added.

McKelvey explained that the multidisciplinary approach of the program combines with the University’s service-learning focus to attract artists who want to give back to the community. The program will embrace community involvement and prepare students to effectively lead and engage community leaders in projects that have a broad impact on the quality of life.

“From cities to smaller communities, these ideas around placemaking and social practice are really starting to take hold,” McKelvey said.

Learn more about UIndy’s Social Practice Arts Program here.

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

Gerburg Garmann, Paul Levesque elected to HERA Board

Gerburg Garmann, assistant dean of Interdisciplinary Studies & Service Learning, and Paul Levesque, assistant professor of Global Languages & Cross-Cultural Studies, were elected to the Humanities Education and Research Association (HERA) Board in March 2017. 

Paul Levesque

Paul Levesque

Gerburg Garmann

Gerburg Garmann

HERA, which holds an annual conference in the United States and publishes a refereed scholarly journal three times per year, promotes the worldwide study, teaching and understanding of the humanities across a range of disciplines. Its mission includes supporting the application of the humanities to the human environment in a way that reflects the country’s diverse heritage, traditions, history and current conditions.
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UIndy students present award-winning vision for Circle Centre Mall

A group of University of Indianapolis students earned a regional award for its innovative redevelopment plan for the circle Centre Mall.

The group represents the first cohort of the University’s new Master’s in Professional Studies in Real Estate Development Program. Their presentation, which outlined a plan for the future use of the downtown mall, won first place in the 6th Annual NAIOP/ULI University Challenge Award.

Left to right: Scott Nally, Logan Brougher, Ken Martin, Justin Williams, Anne McKinley

Left to right: Scott Nally, Logan Brougher, Ken Martin, Justin Williams, Anne McKinley

The students competed against teams from Butler, IUPUI, ISU and Ball State. UIndy’s redevelopment concept won out over IUPUI in a head-to-head final round to take home $5,000 in scholarship money from the OPUS Foundation, one of the competition’s sponsors, along with Holladay Properties.

The group noted the challenges of traditional “bricks and mortar” retail competing against the rise of online shopping. They proposed a revitalization plan for the mall, which serves as an anchor for downtown Indianapolis, including targeting the space to a high-end tech company, an urban Target store as well as other updates.
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MBA students dedicate semester to analyzing Trump’s first 100 days

For only the second time in the past decade, a group of MBA students from the University of Indianapolis spent nearly an entire semester analyzing the transition of power to a new U.S. president. terryschindlerbackground

Terry Schindler, assistant professor of management in the School of Business, first launched the project in 2008 as former President Barack Obama campaigned heavily under the idea of fundamentally changing the role of the federal government. The Leading Organizational Change course allowed MBA students to critically analyze the success and tactics of the Obama administration in its first 100 days. The final analysis was even sent to the White House for review.

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UIndy students present research for Scholars Day

From biology to media studies, undergraduate students from disciplines across campus shared their research projects for Scholars Day, presented by the Shaheen College of Arts & Sciences and the Ron & Laura Strain Honors College. Activities included a Shakespeare marathon reading session in honor of Bill Dynes, professor of English, and Shakespeare’s birthday.

Junior Karli LaGrotte, psychology, was one of several students who presented posters for Scholars Day.

Junior Karli LaGrotte, psychology, was one of several students who presented posters for Scholars Day.

Brad Neal, assistant professor of chemistry, and Jim Williams, assistant professor and interim executive director of the Honors College, organized the event. Students moderated conference sessions on topics ranging from the sciences to arts performance, while others held poster presentations of their academic research.

Neal said Scholars Day highlights the University of Indianapolis’ emphasis on student-focused learning as well as student-faculty collaboration.

“It’s great to see how many projects were started based off a lecture in class, where a student got excited and their instructor then helped the student grow and foster the project into what we have today. This kind of individual support for our student projects helps make the lessons in the classroom connect to the world at large in a practical way,” Neal said.

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UIndy students present bold vision for Indiana’s energy future

After a year of research, a group of 11 students from the University of Indianapolis and IUPUI have drafted a strategic plan for the future of energy in Indiana.

The group, led by former Indianapolis Mayor and Visiting Fellow Greg Ballard, held a series of forums in early 2017 to gather public feedback to incorporate into their proposal. The Indiana Advanced Energy Plan creates  an energy policy for Indiana that “strives for a safe, sustainable and economically secure future.”

Students from the University of Indianapolis and Indiana University-Purdue University are working to answer the question of how Indiana's economy compares in the way of sustainable energy production. (Photo by D. Todd Moore)

Students from the University of Indianapolis and Indiana University-Purdue University are working to answer the question of how Indiana’s economy compares in the way of sustainable energy production. (Photo by D. Todd Moore)

The students were hired as interns on the project and brought a diverse mix of backgrounds to the discussion, with majors ranging from accounting to biology to art education. Ballard said the group bonded quickly as the students dedicated themselves to the project and understood its importance.

“I told them from the very beginning, this is not my plan. I wanted the state and government officials to understand this was the students’ plan,” Ballard said.

The Indiana Advanced Energy Plan will be shared with Indiana lawmakers to raise  awareness of how the state can continue its tradition of self-sufficiency by moving toward a more economically and environmentally sustainable energy model.

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International guitar festival provides music students with world-class experience

Two University of Indianapolis guitar students embarked on a life-changing trip in March to the XVIII Guitar Art Festival in Belgrade, Serbia. Their instructor, Nemanja Ostojić, University of Indianapolis professor of guitar and world-renowned classical guitarist, was a featured artist at the festival. 

guitarart420

Evan Hawk (second row, second from left) and Jamie Johnson (third from left) performed in the World Guitar Orchestra with 100 guitarists.

A grant from the U.S. Embassy funded travel and accommodations for sophomores Jamie Johnson (music and psychology) and Evan Hawk (jazz studies), who also received lessons with some of the world’s leading guitarists. They also attended concerts and performed in an international guitar orchestra.
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