UIndy Music Education program kicks off 2017 with national honors

The University of Indianapolis chapter of the National Association for Music Education (NAfME) recently was named the Outstanding Collegiate Chapter of the Year for Indiana. The honor is the fourth time the local chapter has received the award.

The NAfME award recognizes the University’s community outreach efforts to bring future music educators into classrooms, along with the program’s achievements throughout the year. University student-teachers impact up to 700 Indianapolis Public Schools students every year by assisting teachers in classrooms. The local chapter received the award at the Indiana Music Education Association/NAfME conference this month in Fort Wayne.

Michael Richardson at IMEA/NAfME conference

UIndy alum Michael Richardson (’10) presents a session at the Indiana Music Education Association/NAfME conference this month in Fort Wayne. (Photo courtesy Michael Richardson)

The recognition “validates everything that we as a faculty do and helps put UIndy on the map. It sets us apart from other universities,” said Brenda Clark, chair of the University of Indianapolis Music Education Department.

In addition to the chapter awards, juniors Charissa Catlin and Shaina Liv Lescano, both  instrumental music education majors, were two of five undergraduates from Indiana to receive the Outstanding Future Music Educator Award. With these awards, the University now boasts a total of 16 music education students who have been honored in the past decade.
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University forensics team identifying migrant remains, addressing humanitarian crisis

A University of Indianapolis research team in January continued the painstaking work to identify the remains of dozens of migrants who perished during the rough trek in to the United States.

Beyond Borders TeamSince 2013, Dr. Krista Latham, an associate professor of biology and anthropology, has led a team of University volunteers to Texas with hopes of identifying the remains of people who were buried in unmarked plots. The dead are migrants from Latin America discovered by landowners along the border between Mexico and the United States.   Read more

Sociology professor weighs in on sin across America

Miller

Miller

Indianapolis doesn’t break the list of the top 50 most sinful cities in America, but defining bad behavior can vary greatly across the country, according to a recent study posted to WalletHub.com.

UIndy’s Dr. Amanda Miller, associate professor of sociology, was one of several experts polled in the study as it looked at people behaving badly in the 150 most populated U.S. cities. The study ranked cities in categories ranging from “excessive drinking” to “violent crimes per capita” and asked several academics to help explain why some behavior is viewed more negatively based on local culture.

As the results indicate, not all American vices are created equally. Read the full article.

University of Indianapolis students to hold voter registration drive

photo-23A group of students at the University of Indianapolis is focused on increasing voter registration for students and neighbors in the next two weeks through the political science class “Campaigns and Elections.” The voter registration campaign and service-learning project “UIndy Votes!” was created, organized and implemented by the students with a grant from Indiana Campus Compact.

About 20 students are visiting nearly 500 homes in the University Heights neighborhood, according to Assistant Professor of History & Political Science Laura Albright. The juniors and seniors want to reach out to college students and community members and help them register to vote, confirm their voter registration and provide information about the voting process. The students will also analyze the effectiveness of the voter registration campaign to inform future registration strategies.

“Political participation, like democracy, is a group effort,” says Albright, “and these projects connect the students to the community and both benefit as a result.”

The campaign makes it easier for students and others to register to vote through a strategy spanning multiple days at varying hours in popular places near the University campus. The voter registration drive will also incorporate a door-to-door canvassing effort in the extended campus community of University Heights from September 26 through October 7.

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UIndy hosts national geriatric PT conference

More than 150 health and gerontology professionals from the U.S., the U.K., Canada and Australia are on the UIndy campus today through Saturday for ExPAAC II, a conference on exercise, physical activity and aging presented by the national Academy of Geriatric Physical Therapy.

Staples

Staples

The event gives physical therapy practitioners the knowledge and tools they need to help the growing population of older adults achieve maximum function and independence.

UIndy, home to the College of Health Sciences and the Center for Aging & Community, makes a logical host site. Dr. William Staples, associate professor in UIndy’s Krannert School of Physical Therapy, is president of the Academy of Geriatric Physical Therapy, a division of the American Physical Therapy Association. Dr. Stephanie Kelly, dean of the College of Health Sciences, welcomed the attendees this morning. Dr. Stephanie Combs-Miller, director of research for the Krannert School of Physical Therapy, is among the presenters.

“It is an exciting time for the academy to educate our members about the importance of physical activity for older adults and the direction that our profession is progressing,” Staples said. “Geriatric practice is growing, and we hope to bring inspiring people together to ensure we keep practitioners on the cutting edge.”

Keynote speakers include Kathleen Cameron, senior director of the National Council on Aging’s National Falls Prevention Resource Center, and Howard Friedman, author of The Longevity Project.

Trump-Pence news keeps UIndy experts busy

Albright WTHR

Dr. Laura Albright with WTHR’s John Stehr

Indiana found itself in the national spotlight this week as Republican presidential candidate Donald Trump selected Gov. Mike Pence as his running mate. Fortunately, UIndy faculty were available to provide perspective on an unusual election year that keeps getting more unusual.

“(Often) you have the ‘October surprise’ right before the general election,” Assistant Professor of Political Science Laura Albright told WIBC host and IndyPolitics.org editor Abdul-Hakim Shabazz. “I think in Indiana we’re coining a ‘July surprise,’ the fact that in between the primaries — which were pretty crazy in themselves — and the national conventions, you would think this would be quite a lull, and in fact, everything’s going on in the Hoosier state right now.” Listen to the full 15-minute interview here.

Dr. Albright granted over a dozen interviews this week with such outlets as WTHR, WISH, WTTV and WXIN. Perhaps most notable were an Indiana Public Broadcasting report that aired nationally this morning on NPR’s Weekend Edition Saturday, as well as a story earlier in the week by Bloomberg News that also was shared by Yahoo! News.

Frantz WXIN

Dr. Edward Frantz on WXIN/Fox59

Also providing analysis was Professor of History Edward Frantz, who gave a three-minute interview in the WXIN studios and also joined colleague Albright in an hour-long panel discussion Friday on Bloomington public radio station WFIU-FM.

In the news: Sociology, Business, PT

Miller

Miller

Dr. Amanda Miller of the Department of Sociology & Criminal Justice continues to draw national attention with her research on marriage, cohabitation and household dynamics. Most recently, she is coauthor of a study suggesting that couples who share household chores equitably are also busier in the bedroom. Read about it in the New York Post (“Wanna have more sex? Do the dishes”) and Glamour.

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Zimmer

Zimmer

Dr. Timothy Zimmer of the School of Business likes to apply his economics acumen to the world of sport. One of his number-crunching finds is that a Major League Baseball team that goes for an extended time without winning a World Series (a la the Chicago Cubs), and has a fan base built around that “lovable loser” image, can actually lose fans in the long run after a winning season. Read about it in The Atlantic.

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Combs-Miller

Combs-Miller

The world is still discovering the research performed by Dr. Stephanie Combs-Miller and her Physical Therapy students and colleagues to show the positive impact of Rock Steady Boxing therapy in improving life for clients with Parkinson’s disease.

Their work most recently grabbed the attention of U.S. News and the Canadian Broadcasting Corp. (for the second time this year). Also appearing in recent weeks were stories by Missouri’s Kansas City Star and Springfield News-Leader, each of which was picked up by the Associated Press and shared by news outlets nationwide.

Archives fellow honored for work as mayor

UIndy Visiting Fellow Greg Ballard finished his tenure as Indianapolis mayor in January, but he is still receiving kudos for his actions while in office.

Ballard

Ballard

This spring, the international Robotics Education & Competition Foundation inducted Ballard into its STEM Hall of Fame under the Heroes category, which honors contributions in guiding young people toward studies and careers in science, technology, engineering and mathematics.

The foundation coordinates the annual VEX Robotics Competition, which is active in 40 countries and culminates in the three-day VEX Worlds gathering. This year’s finals in Louisville drew 1,000 teams from over 30 nations and included an awards ceremony honoring the former mayor, whose efforts in the field have included establishing and promoting the City of Indianapolis VEX Robotics Championship.

“I’ve seen so many students’ lives changed as a result of these competitions,” Ballard says. “It is humbling to have been a part of it all.”

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Orlando: UIndy faculty offer analysis, advice

Journalists have called upon UIndy faculty this week for insights on the tragic mass shooting in Orlando.

AThomasDr. Anita Thomas, dean of the School of Psychological Sciences, was interviewed Monday at RTV6’s Monument Circle studio, discussing the murderer’s possible motivations and how to ease children’s fears about violent events.

“I would certainly encourage parents to have an open dialogue with their children, to ask them how they’re feeling, how they’re responding, to talk to them about any anxiety or stress they might be having in terms of, ‘Could this happen to us?'” Thomas told anchor Jason Fechner. Watch the clip.

KThomasOffering her own take on that advice was Dr. Kendra Thomas, also of Psychological Sciences, who spoke in the WTTV/CBS4 studios with anchors Bob Donaldson and Debby Knox. She cautioned against media overexposure and offered tips for talking with kids of various ages.

“Children often catch a lot more than we give them credit for,” she said. “Something that kids often don’t pick up on is the where and when … . If it’s always being covered in the news, that child might get a sense that it’s always happening.” Watch the clip.

Woodwell

Woodwell

On the incident’s possible connections to terrorist groups, WRTV’s Chris Proffitt spoke with Dr. Douglas Woodwell, Associate Professor of International Relations. That clip was not immediately available.

VIDEO: Commencement among May highlights

May 2016 at UIndy meant high-profile student research, national NCAA action and a little thing called Commencement, featuring NPR’s Steve Inskeep and singer-actress Jearlyn Steele. Click the image to watch.

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