Study finds living in a state with weak gun laws could increase risk of being shot by police

A new study from the University of Indianapolis published in the American Journal of Public Health finds that citizens living in states with the weakest gun laws are more than twice as likely to be fatally shot by law enforcement. 

Aaron Kivisto

Aaron Kivisto

Aaron Kivisto, assistant professor in the College of Applied Behavioral Sciences at the University of Indianapolis, conducted the research along with doctoral student Peter Phalen, in collaboration with Brad Ray, assistant professor in the School of Public and Environmental Affairs at IUPUI. The American Journal of Public Health published the study, “Firearm legislation and fatal police shootings in the United States,” on May 18, 2017.

Kivisto, lead author of the study, said the research utilized data on fatal police shootings in the United States from “The Counted,” a database developed by U.K.-based newspaper The Guardian. That data, compared with the state gun law rankings from the The Brady Center to Prevent Gun Violence, showed citizens from states with weaker gun laws are significantly more likely to be killed by law enforcement, according to the study.

Researchers examined more than 2,000 fatal police shootings that occurred between January 2015 and October 2016. The study considered differences across states in rates of gun ownership, violent crime and other socio-demographic characteristics.

The study found that, while laws strengthening background checks appeared to support this effect by reducing the overall number of guns in the community, laws aimed at promoting safe storage and reducing gun trafficking helped to prevent guns already in the community from falling into the wrong hands.

“What’s really striking is that the laws that seem to be driving this effect – closing background check loopholes, requiring that parents protect their kids from finding their guns in the home – are the types of laws that large majorities of Americans support. These aren’t particularly controversial laws, and this study, along with many before it, suggests that they can save a lot of lives,” Kivisto said. “These findings also seem to highlight the challenges created for law enforcement by states that have neglected to enact common-sense gun laws supported by most citizens.”

The research group emphasized the need for a comprehensive system to track fatal police shootings nationwide.

“Currently, the only serious monitoring system for police violence in our country is the media itself, rather than the government or police,” Phalen said.

While policy efforts targeting police practices represent one strategy, these findings show strengthening state-level gun laws as a potential tool for reducing rates of fatal police shootings in the United States, Kivisto said.

*Kivisto, A.J., Ray, B., & Phalen, P. (2017). Firearm legislation and fatal police shootings in the United States. American Journal of Public Health. DOI: 10.2105/AJPH.2017.303770

 

NSF grant to help fulfill nationwide STEM education need

grant

The University of Indianapolis will impact the growing local and national need for STEM educators through a $1.2 million grant from the National Science Foundation’s Robert Noyce Teacher Scholarship Program.

Through the University’s Teach (STEM)³ program, the Noyce grant will enhance collaboration between high-need, local schools to prepare and mentor 36 teacher candidates, who commit to serve as high school STEM teachers after graduation. The grant—the first of its kind for the Teach (STEM)³ program—will help these candidates complete the intensive, one-year program without undue financial hardship. Graduates will emerge with a Master of Arts in Teaching (MAT) degree and fill a critical need to support STEM education.

“This grant is another successful example of the collaborative and strategic efforts of the University of Indianapolis with area schools to respond to the workforce development needs of our state,” said University President Robert Manuel. “Through innovation and creativity, we train future teachers to inspire students in STEM fields and best prepare them for the many future career opportunities while addressing the growing need of employers.”

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$5 million gift launches the R.B. Annis School of Engineering

Robert B. Annis (1907-1999)

Robert B. Annis (1907-1999)

The University of Indianapolis announced today the launch of the R.B. Annis School of Engineering in the Shaheen College of Arts and Sciences through a transformational, $5 million gift honoring one of Indianapolis’ most revered scientists and innovators. The gift, given in honor of the late Robert B. Annis, an inventor and scientist, will advance the University’s strategy to address Indiana’s increasing demand for skilled engineers and STEM-related professions. The Indiana Department of Workforce Development consistently ranks STEM careers among its Hoosier Hot 50 listing of the top in-demand careers for the state.

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Martinsville, Homestead claim top spots in 2017 IASB High School Broadcasting Competition Awards

Martinsville High School was named Television School of the Year and Homestead High School won Radio School of the Year at the 2017 Indiana Association of School Broadcasters (IASB) awards Monday at the University of Indianapolis. Crown Point High School was the Television School of the Year runner-up, while Carmel High School was the runner-up in the Radio School of the Year category.

Jackson Ammons of Carmel High School (photo courtesy IASB)

Jackson Ammons of Carmel High School (photo courtesy IASB)

More than 800 students and instructors from 30 Indiana high schools and career centers attended the IASB 14th annual conference on UIndy’s campus. Students participated in the IASB High School Broadcasting Competition and attended over two-dozen workshops that addressed topics ranging from promotions, video production and storytelling to social media, radio and sports broadcasting.

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University of Indianapolis study to examine epidemic of teen substance addiction

College of Applied Behavioral Sciences study to address obstacles to overcoming addiction

Assistant Professor Katherine Kivisto

Assistant Professor Katherine Kivisto

A study conducted by University of Indianapolis researchers examining the epidemic of teenage substance abuse will be supported through a grant from the National Institute of Health/National Institute of Drug Abuse.

The $300,000 NIH/NIDA grant will support the study by the College of Applied Behavioral Sciences to address an ongoing issue impacting communities across the nation, including Indiana. The grant will fund The Teen Resilience Project, which focuses on understanding the obstacles of addiction and long-term recovery for 13- to 18-year-olds. Assistant Professor Katherine Kivisto at the University of Indianapolis will lead the study.

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Experienced diversity officer, higher education administrator joins University of Indianapolis

The University of Indianapolis has named Sean L. Huddleston as Vice President for Equity and Inclusion, a top-leadership position dedicated to leading and enhancing a university-wide culture of diversity and inclusion.

Sean Huddleston

Sean Huddleston

Huddleston, who currently serves as chief officer of Diversity, Inclusion and Community Engagement at Framingham State University in Massachusetts, will develop and implement the strategic vision to continue the University’s commitment to inclusivity, equity and community partnership. The role aligns well with Huddleston’s extensive higher education leadership experience and cultural change management to promote inclusive excellence, diversity and social justice.
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Stephen Kolison, Jr. named as University of Indianapolis Executive Vice President and Provost

(INDIANAPOLIS) – Stephen Kolison, Jr., Ph.D., a distinguished higher education executive, scholar and researcher, has been appointed Executive Vice President and Provost for the University of Indianapolis. Kolison’s appointment follows an extensive national search and comes at a time during a strong trajectory of growth and expansion for the University.

Stephen Kolison will formally assume the duties of executive vice president and provost at the University of Indianapolis on July 1, 2017

Stephen Kolison will formally assume the duties of executive vice president and provost at the University of Indianapolis on July 1, 2017

Kolison, who since 2008 has served as the associate vice president for Academic Programs, Educational Innovation, and Governance for the University of Wisconsin System Administration, will lead more than 550 faculty for the University, which boasts an enrollment of more than 6,500 undergraduate and graduate students and is ranked among the top Midwest Universities by U.S. News and World Report.

He brings to the role a strong record of research and success in implementing system-wide policies to increase degree productivity, expand learning opportunities for non-traditional students and foster innovative and effective teaching methods to increase student learning and educational success. He also has a proven record of securing research funding as principal investigator and co-principal investigator, including more than $25 million in grants from various sources while at Tennessee State University and at Tuskegee University.
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