Andrew Armour ’12 creates app to monitor screentime

Andrew Armour ‘12 (Business Management & Administration, minor in Information Systems) is an incredible example of using his education for service. He always dreamed of owning a business, and four years ago, his dreams started becoming reality.  After spending a weekend with family, he noticed that the kids didn’t want to play outside and enjoy the weather, they were content to be sitting inside on their devices. 

Armour said “The idea for Activate Fitness didn’t strike me right then, but it was something later that night that popped into my head as I was attempting to sleep. I woke up instantly after coming up with the idea around 2-3 AM and started researching to see if anyone else offers this service and if not, how can I get it developed and out to the public for use.”

Once he had a solid framework of what he wanted, he outsourced to a company in Pakistan after meeting their CEO. He credits this company as the reason he has a product today. According to the product website, “Activate Fitness is a patented technology that regulates screen time based on daily activity levels. Activate Fitness grants or denies screen time depending on the amount of daily activity that was performed by the device owner. Daily activity levels are generated through the use of Apple Health, Google Fit or a wearable fitness tracker like a Fitbit. Through the use of wearable fitness trackers we can regulate the amount of time spent on our mobile device and push individuals & families towards a more healthy and active lifestyle.”

Since current events have caused a large number of Americans to be home much more than they are used to, it follows that many more kids are also spending more time on devices. Armour believes that his app is the perfect solution to this problem. Instead of parents working from home having to stop their work to monitor their child’s screen time, they can simply install his free app to do the monitoring for them.

Armour’s time spent at UIndy was spent playing baseball from 2009-2011, and basketball in 2012. He still keeps in touch with many of his old teammates and friends. His advice to students centers around connections like these.

“Create connections, work on your people skills and get to know others on a personal level. You never know when you will need to reconnect to that person for assistance in the future,” he said. “Connecting to people isn’t a course you get a grade on at UIndy and it doesn’t cost you a dime in tuition. It just takes a little courage and outgoingness to potentially positively impact your future.” 

2020 UIndy Engineering Business Pitch Competition goes virtual

The R.B. Annis School of Engineering (RBASOE) successfully held its 2020 Engineering Business Pitch Competition virtually on April 21, 2020. As part of the RBSAOE’s unique DesignSpine curriculum, students in the third year of the program work in interdisciplinary teams to design and pitch a product, process or service in collaboration with industry mentors.

This was the second year for the School to host the event, which was conducted via Zoom due to coronavirus (COVID-19) restrictions. Although it was an inconvenience, students took this opportunity to be innovative and entrepreneurial. Faculty responded by involving the student teams in the process of assessing each project’s progress and in determining what aspects of the project could be continued even though there will be no access to campus resources like labs and workshops. Based on the assessment and mutual agreement between the faculty and students, the projects were continued virtually.

There were over 60 participants who participated in the competition. Five multidisciplinary teams pitched their engineering projects and business models to eleven judges consisting of leaders from industry and UIndy.

“I enjoy working with the students and I am always impressed with their creativity and how polished their presentations are. I wish there was a program like the R.B. Annis School of Engineering when I was in engineering school,” said mentor Richard Calvert (Citizens Energy). The Indiana startup ecosystem was represented by judges from Elevate Ventures and Innopower.

The event showcased the strong collaboration between the RBASOE and other units in the University, including the Department of Art & Design.

Dr. David Olawale, assistant professor of engineering, said, “It has been great working with Prof. Rhonda Wolverton and her students from the Art & Design Department. The collaboration provided the engineering students the opportunity to work with students from a completely different discipline. They got to experience the value that other disciplines bring to the product development and commercialization process. They got to learn how to communicate effectively with other experts from a different discipline and they also developed an appreciation and respect for other disciplines. The contribution of the Art & Design teams in designing the logos, slide decks and websites brought the business aspects of the project to life for the technically-minded engineering students.”

Wolverton agreed, citing that “The engineering project has allowed my students to experience a portion of each of these steps.”

The top three winning teams pitched ideas for a food produce preservation system, a motorcycle head display system, and body cooling wear.

While the engineering student teams focused on customer discovery, design, prototyping, testing and business model development, they were ably supported by their colleagues from the Art & Design Department who worked on the branding and marketing aspects of the projects. This created a great experiential learning experience for all the students.

Alysa Epperson ’21 (industrial and systems engineering major, mathematics minor) discussed how “over the past nine months our team has been working on developing a personal cooling vest…We decided to focus on cooling athletes and outdoor workers. Students from the Department of Art & Design helped us create a name for our company, a logo, and other on-brand materials. The name we decided on was Arctic Lock. Arctic Lock was designed to be lightweight, fashionable, affordable, and to offer rapid and prolonged cooling.”

Marko Tasic ’21 (industrial and systems engineering major, mathematics minor) summed up his experience by crediting the competition with giving him the confidence to pursue his own ideas and identify and solve problems in the world. “My biggest takeaway from this project is that entrepreneurship is not some intimidating venture that you have to embark on alone. It’s a step-by-step process that you do with a team around you,” he said.

R.B. Annis School of Engineering donates PPE to Indianapolis healthcare workers

Healthcare workers at St. Vincent Hospital in Indianapolis model face shields manufactured by James Emery, lab manager at the R.B. Annis School of Engineering.

Healthcare workers at St. Vincent Hospital in Indianapolis model face shields manufactured by James Emery, laboratory manager at the R.B. Annis School of Engineering.

The R.B. Annis School of Engineering is putting expertise and resources towards the fight against COVID-19 (novel coronavirus). James Emery, laboratory manager for mechanical systems, is printing face shields for St. Vincent Indianapolis emergency room healthcare workers.

“I asked some friends who are nurses if their emergency room would be in need. They are parents that I met through Indiana FIRST while mentoring a team,” Emery said. He has also been approached by a local fire department.

The design was provided by a 3D printing machine manufacturer that is producing the shields for local hospitals in Europe. Emery researched the need for face shields during the COVID-19 crisis and notes that the design has been vetted. He has registered with national initiatives to assist in the manufacturing of personal protective equipment for first responders. 

“During this pandemic, there are so many nurses and doctors who are working tirelessly to help the population,” Emery said. “I found that the 3D printing community was stepping up in huge ways to try and help.”

Emery had enough materials to manufacture about 50 face shields. He delivered them to St. Vincent in April.

“As we are left at home while the first responders, doctors and nurses are out every day trying to help the individuals that have been infected with this virus,” Emery said, “I wanted to do my part to help them.”

Emery is continuing to produce face shields and is planning to donate more as he is able to manufacture them.

Paul Talaga, assistant professor of engineering, donated 3D-printed "ear savers."

Paul Talaga, assistant professor of engineering, donated 3D-printed “ear savers.”

Paul Talaga, assistant professor of engineering, used a 3D printer to manufacture “ear savers” for healthcare workers on the frontline. The device attaches to the elastic straps of the mask to alleviate discomfort. To reduce the danger of contracting the disease, healthcare workers must wear a mask at all times when working with patients.

Talaga has delivered 100 ear savers to four Indianapolis-area hospitals.

A nurse at an Indianapolis-area hospital wears one of the "ear-savers" produced by Paul Talaga.

A nurse at an Indianapolis-area hospital wears one of the “ear-savers” produced by Paul Talaga.

 

School of Education adapts to e-learning

Thanks to faculty support and innovation, students in the School of Education are gaining valuable technical skills that are sure to come in handy in the age of e-learning. Here are a few examples of adaptations during the COVID-19 pandemic:

Dr. John Somers and Dr. Nancy Steffel have been working with partner school districts (MSD Decatur Township and MSD Perry Township) to support their students and teachers as they transition to e-learning. In turn, they are showing elementary education students how to create lessons on their respective learning management systems.

School of Education is making use of online resources in times of pandemic.

Dr. Somers is teaching ELED 202: Universal Design for Learning: STEM to sophomore students. He is working with four fourth-grade teachers at West Newton Elementary in Decatur Townships who are now using Zoom to connect with the class. Collaboratively, they are building a kid-friendly lesson and a teacher lesson (“How to Build a Mars Land Rover”) with tiers for students with low, medium and high readiness. These lessons will be posted and returned on Canvas, Decatur’s Learning Management System.

Zoom Chat with the School of Education

Dr. Steffel is teaching EDUC 336: Teaching Literacy in the Intermediate Grades to juniors. She is leading an exercise that involves having the students create mini-video lessons and post them for fourth graders at Blue Academy in Decatur Township. She is using Zoom in her class daily and the students are posting their lesson on Canvas, Decatur’s Learning Management System. Greyhounds are being asked to consider the production value of their videos in addition to the content of the lesson.

 

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Dr. Angie Ridgway and her son Nate Ridgway ’14 (history and special education), co-authors of Don’t Ditch That Tech, have been offering support for K-12 teachers from across the country related to their need to transition to remote learning and remote teaching. They are offering virtual office hours and additional conference presentations, in addition to resource materials on their blog (teachingfromtheridge.com).

Ditch That Text hard cover book.

School of Occupational Therapy employs creativity in time of pandemic

160 Over 90 photo not yet fully cropped or toned! Please check before using, especially in print. Health Pavilion

As UIndy moves through this challenging time of uncertainty amid the COVID-19 pandemic, our faculty and staff are working to ensure our students can continue their academic work. This is especially difficult for students who need to complete clinical experiences required for graduation. The School of Occupational Therapy has developed a creative solution for Master of Occupational Therapy (MOT) students to complete their required fieldwork.

In cooperation with BeWell, UIndy’s employee wellness program, UIndy MOT students will be offering UIndy employees and their families free telehealth OT sessions focusing on wellness and daily occupations. Please note that participants must reside in the state of Indiana to adhere to licensure laws. The 30-45 minute sessions will be conducted by MOT students with supervision of licensed occupational therapy clinicians and faculty.  

“We have a commitment to our students to continue to provide meaningful fieldwork experiences,” said Jayson Zeigler, Master of Occupational Therapy (MOT) academic fieldwork coordinator. “This experience will not only provide a needed service to our UIndy community, but will also introduce our students to the growing applications of telehealth.”

Third-year MOT student Hannah Masemore is grateful for the opportunity. Before the COVID-19 pandemic caused the suspension of all student clinical experiences, Masemore was working on an inpatient rehabilitation unit at the Carle Foundation Hospital in Urbana, Illinois. 

I think it’s pretty amazing that we are able to provide OT services via telehealth during this difficult time,” Masemore said. “This is a service that many people still need and this allows them to receive the services while staying safe.”

Masemore suggested that people who could benefit from the free OT telehealth service include:

  • older adults who need a home safety evaluation or aging in place modifications; 
  • people who are working from home and want guidance on ergonomic adaptations to their workstations; 
  • people who were receiving outpatient OT to provide exercise education; 
  • children who were receiving school OT for things such as handwriting; \
  • people receiving OT services for mental health. 

All sessions are confidential and HIPPA compliant. The service is available to any UIndy employee and their family members who live in the state of Indiana. The program will launch on March 30. Anyone interested in signing up should look for an email from BeWell and access the sign-in link on the BeWell website. Questions can be directed to  Jayson Zeigler at zeiglerjw@uindy.edu or Katherine Matutes at matutesk@uindy.edu.

The Art Song Project: February 28-29

art song agendaThis weekend is the culmination of “The Art Song Project.” University of Indianapolis student and alumni poets, composers and visual artists have been collaborating since the fall to make songs and music videos, to be premiered by student performers Friday, February 28th. This kicks off a weekend of song & poetry activities, including guest appearances by beloved UIndy poet and Professor Emerita, Alice Friman. Please join members of the UIndy Art, Music and English departments, as well as students, for the new songs and art, and Alice’s poetry reading Saturday! Event descriptions below:

Friday, February 28, 2020, 2:00-4:00pm, Ruth Lilly Performance Hall, Christel DeHaan Fine Arts Center: UIndy Student Art Song Recital/Workshop

UIndy students in Music, English, Photography, and Visual Communication and Design have been working since fall term on The Art Song Project. Composers have been turning poets’ poems into songs. Art students have created photographic video responses to the poems and music, and VCD students have designed this special recital’s program and marketing. Join us for a recital-workshop-discussion featuring live premieres of the new songs and videos.

 

Friday, February 28, 2020, 7:30-8:30pm, Ruth Lilly Performance Hall, Christel DeHaan Fine Arts Center: New Music Series: Contemporary American Art Song with Jennifer Goltz and John Boonenberg, including a premiere of Bloom to Bloom, a song cycle by UIndy Professor Emerita Alice Friman and UIndy Professor of Music John Berners

Soprano Jennifer Goltz is hailed by Gramophone magazine as “captivating” and “brilliant…a voice full of subtle allure and sprightly energy.” Dr. Goltz of the University of Michigan and Dr. Boonenberg of Concordia University, Ann Arbor, appear at UIndy featuring colorful and moving new art songs by American poets and composers, including a premiere of Bloom to Bloom, a song cycle by UIndy Professor Emerita Alice Friman and Professor of Music John Berners. L/P Credit.

 

Saturday, February 29, 2020, 7:30-8:30pm, Ruth Lilly Performance Hall, Christel DeHaan Fine Arts Center: UIndy Professor Emerita Alice Friman, Poetry Reading 

Alice Friman reads from her new book, Blood Weather: Poems. Louisiana State University Press, 2019. Alice Friman taught English and creative writing at the University of Indianapolis from 1971 to 1993 and was named Teacher of the Year there in 1993. A highly awarded and celebrated poet, in 2003 Alice moved to Milledgeville, Georgia, to become poet-in-residence in the MFA program at Georgia College & State University. She has also taught at Randolph College, Ball State University, IUPUI, and Curtin University in Perth, Australia. Her new poetry podcast series is Ask Alice.

Hullabaloo 2020 celebrates four years of on-campus letterpress printing

Hullabaloo 2020 logo

Hullabaloo 2020 logo

Reception for invitational exhibit features studio open house, gallery reception, guest artist lecture

The Hullabaloo Press at the University of Indianapolis is celebrating its four-year anniversary with an exhibition of contemporary letterpress printers and bookmakers, January 21 through February 7 at the Christel DeHaan Fine Arts Center Gallery. An opening reception on Monday, January 27 will feature:

  • Print Shop Open House, 3-5 pm. Make your own print and see presses running.
  • Gallery Reception, 4-6 pm. Featuring “New Impressions,” an international juried exhibition, letterpress prints with Indiana connections and UIndy originals
  • Artist Lecture, 6:15 pm with Stephanie Carpenter from the Hamilton Wood Type & Printing Museum, the world’s largest collection of wood type

Printers from around the United States were invited to display a collection of their letterpress work. Exhibitors were selected for their Indiana connections, preservation of historical practices, contemporary innovations, or unique practices we wish to showcase on campus, explained event organizer Katherine Fries, assistant professor in the Department of Art & Design.

Fries said she hopes the exhibit and reception will build awareness about the printmaking studio at the University of Indianapolis and that “letterpress is for everyone.” Any enrolled student can take a letterpress class to satisfy fine arts applied credits, she added.

This free, non-ticketed event is open to the public. Learn more about Hullabaloo 2020.

 

UIndy announces new Logistics Learning Lab

The University of Indianapolis and Vincennes University are announcing a partnership between the University of Indianapolis School of Business, Department of Operations and Supply Chain Management and the Vincennes University Logistics Training & Education Center (VU LTEC). This partnership aims to provide educational training experiences with VU LTEC’s cutting-edge technology and industry-tested equipment through warehousing simulation exercises conducted by VU LTEC staff at VU LTEC’s 30,000 square foot warehouse facility located in Plainfield, Indiana. 

The UIndy Logistics Learning Lab, located inside VU LTEC, will allow University students to participate in lab simulations which have been developed by VU LTEC staff and Dr. Craig Seidelson, assistant professor of operations and supply chain management. Simulations in the Lab will encompass activities like unloadingsoftware assisted fulfillment, and operating packaging automation, transportation management and working with other warehouse equipment. 

Undergraduate students will spend between three and six hours in the Lab per term, with graduate students potentially exceeding that.

The genesis of this partnership occurred in 2017 when Seidelson approached VU LTEC about his students utilizing the VU LTEC space to supplement their classroom learning. “I wanted a place where students could learn about logistics outside of a classroom,” Seidelson says. “The easiest way to teach it is actually in a warehouse.”

UIndy supply chain management students were previously getting their first hands-on experience during their applied business projects, which they conducted completing in actual warehouses for companies around Indianapolis. But Seidelson found that there was too large of a jump from the classroom to the warehouse.

“What I found was the gap between the classroom and the real world was wide when it comes to logistics,” Seidelson says. “And the new UIndy Logistics Learning Lab will bridge that gap.”

“We’re going to put students in lab, put their education into practice, and once they understand things in that lab, that will make them much more capable when doing their applied business projects with actual clients.”

Larry Belcher, dean of the School of Business, added, “The UIndy School of Business curriculum is built around applied learning using industry tools.  This is another way in which we are preparing our students to make a seamless transition into their chosen careers.” 

The Lab makes the UIndy supply chain curriculum unique among schools in Indiana. Seidelson says that there are no other four-year supply chain programs where the university is offering a laboratory for the study of logistics.

Each simulation in the Lab is a competition amongst teams. Students are graded on specific objectives, completion time, pick/pack accuracy and more. In the lab exercises, there is intentionally very little instruction in hopes that the students will learn by doing with a debriefing period at the conclusion of the exercise. 

“The point is to be creative. Learn from your mistakes, through the mistakes of others,” Seidelson says. “The key is putting the education into practice. It’s messy, it’s dirty and things rarely work exactly as expected. We want to prepare the students for real-world experiences.”

About Vincennes University Logistics Training & Education Center

Vincennes University Logistics Training and Education Center (VU LTEC) located in Plainfield, Indiana, has a mission devoted to developing and delivering industry-approved education and training programs that meet the ever-increasing demands of employers in the logistics industry. VU LTEC is dedicated to providing high-quality training through a blended learning environment, encompassing classroom, online and hands-on instruction that will enable VU LTEC students to graduate with certifications, degrees and real-world experience.

About the School of Business

Applied learning is the key to the University of Indianapolis School of Business supply chain management curriculum. From managing “back-office” tasks, to meeting objectives in the warehouse setting, University of Indianapolis School of Business students “learn by doing.” Both undergraduate and graduate courses are taught by dedicated faculty, many of whom bring years of real-world experience to the classroom. Outside the classroom, students gain valuable internship experiences at nearly 100 different businesses each year and are well-prepared to enter the job market or advance in their careers upon graduation.

UIndy engineering students earn top awards at ASEE conference

Screenshot 2019-04-04 22.04.35Twenty engineering students and ten engineering faculty attended the American Society for Engineering Education (ASEE) Illinois-Indiana Section Conference for 2019 hosted by the University of Evansville in March.

From a field that included students from universities from around the region including Purdue University, students from the R.B. Annis School of Engineering at the University of Indianapolis took home both first- and second-place poster presentation awards. (See a complete list of the winning teams below.)

“It was a great experience to be able to share our project with other engineering professionals and experts,” said Marko Tasic ’21 (industrial and systems engineering).

Students participating in the conference are from the sophomore level ENGR 298 – Engineering Design Lab IV and junior level ENGR 398 – Engineering Design Lab IV, both core classes of the DesignSpine curriculum that emphasizes project-oriented courses with practical, hands-on experience and collaboration on real-world projects.

Joseph B. Herzog is the lead instructor and course coordinator for ENGR 298 and David Olawale is the lead instructor and course coordinator for ENGR 398. Teaching both of these courses is a team effort from all of faculty in the R.B. Annis School of Engineering. Student teams meet with engineering faculty members each week to discuss project status and also consult with faculty outside of class time for technical assistance.

Screenshot 2019-04-04 22.06.19“What I love about this class is that when I walk into the machine shop during the class period, I see a diverse group of students working on multiple different projects. Some students are welding, others are cutting steel, and others are working on the mill. This is a great experience that connects students with external customers, enables students to use their technical engineering skills to design the project, but also give students the opportunities for hands-on work, that will make them better engineers,” Herzog said.

Olawale said the focus during the junior year of the DesignSpine sequence is “entrepreneurial mindset development in our engineering students. Our students are not only developing critical technical skills like engineering design, they are also developing the capacity to identify and exploit needs as opportunities to create value for different stakeholders. Such is the case for our student team that took first position. They are developing a software product that will help universities in assessing the value of the education they are providing.”

List of 2019 ASEE IL-IN Section Award Winners:

Outstanding Poster Awards

1st Place:

“Return on Investment On A University Education: Development of An Analytical Software Tool”

Student Team Members:

  • Joshua Love ’20 (software engineering) 
  • Kristians Kanders ’20 (software engineering) 
  • Kinsey West ’20 (industrial & systems engineering)
  • Ante Lucev ’20 (software engineering) 

2nd Place:

“Design and Fabrication of a Custom Wrist Orthosis for Enhanced Patient Comfort”

Student Team Members:

  • Marko Tasic ’21 (industrial & systems engineering)
  • Matthew Hansen ’21 (mechanical engineering and engineering)
  • Mang Lian ’21 (mechanical engineering)
  • Demetre Mitchell ’21 (mechanical engineering)

South Indy benefits from fruits of UIndy faculty and student labors

The South Indy Quality of Life Plan (SoIndy) is a volunteer organization made up of community residents in eight neighborhoods, including University Heights surrounding the University of Indianapolis, working to bring better quality living to the area. Amie Wojtyna, assistant professor in public health and a University Heights resident, chairs the SoIndy Health and Wellness Action Team, which focuses largely on food insecurity.

“I got involved because I live in this community,” Wojtyna said. “Food insecurity is one of my areas of interest. Most of the SoIndy community is in a food desert.”

Wojtyna’s action team has been integral in bringing to life the community gardens at Bethany Lutheran Church. In addition to providing plots for neighbors to grow their own produce, much of the harvest from the gardens is donated to two local food pantries.

Sean Yeh ’18 (public health education and promotion), worked with SoIndy to help identify what kind of produce patrons of the food pantries were most interested in receiving. Yeh, who was a student of Wojtyna’s, collected input from 139 patrons of Servant’s Heart and Hunger, Inc. food pantries, as well as from Bethany Lutheran’s Learning Ministry. The top three vote-getters in Yeh’s survey were tomatoes, potatoes and strawberries. Participants also asked for cucumbers, onions, peppers, carrots, raspberries, greens, squash, eggplant and chiles.

Related: Free gardening classes begin March 12, 2019, at Bethany Community Garden

“This experience was really eye-opening for me,” Yeh said. “I was able to gain ‘real-life’ experience. Although I learned a lot in class, textbooks don’t teach you about the possible mistakes you could make or how to prepare for obstacles. There were many mistakes I made in this process and things I could have done better, but ultimately, I learned from them.”

Yeh points to some data collection difficulties that prevented the reporting of demographic information.

“Experiencing failure, especially when you are working for a good and real cause, really provides insight and experience that I will never forget,” Yeh said. “It will allow me to prepare and perform at a higher level the next time I do something like this.”

Other SoIndy action teams include Community Building, Connectivity, Education and Workforce Development, Housing, Madison Avenue Corridor, and Shelby Street Corridor.  

Both Wojtyna and Yeh encourage others to get involved in the SoIndy efforts. Several of Wojtyna’s students – both undergrad and graduate – have done projects with the organization, ranging from a one-time afternoon to a semester-long commitment.

“All in all, SoIndy is there to make Indianapolis a better place,” Yeh said. “There’s nothing more rewarding than knowing you helped make a positive change and actually witness it.”

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

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