Wanderlust: Spring Break style

Students embarked on educational & service-learning trips during Spring Break. Here’s a look at some of their adventures and lessons learned along the way:

Savannah, Georgia

Six students from the Student Business Leadership Academy (SBLA) made the 12-hour drive to help Coastal Empire Habitat For Humanity for the second consecutive year. They gained muscle mass and so much more during the service-learning experience.

“This year’s trip was special because we helped build a house for a woman and her son. She was a veteran who served in Iraq, and it meant a lot to give back to someone who sacrificed everything so we can live in this wonderful country,” said Alyssa Goen ‘20 (sports marketing), who planned and participated in the 2017 and 2018 trips.

Activities included nailing sheaths to the frame of the house, adding trusses to the roof and working in the ReStore, where they unloaded truckloads of donated furniture and household items and prepared them for resale.

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“This trip was such a humbling experience. It was so rewarding to see how our hard work moved the house further along in the construction process. Meeting the homeowner really opened our eyes to how just a week’s worth of work made such an impact in her life,” said Olivia Vormohr ‘19 (finance), who was an integral part of making the trip a reality.

 

India

Students from the Politics in South Asia class visited India for a closer look at Indian economy and society. Led by Milind Thakar, associate professor of international relations, and Paul Levesque, assistant professor of German, a dozen students traveled to the capital city of Delhi, the southern state of Kerala and other cities and towns to experience the contrasts between India’s wealth and poverty, as well as the country’s ethnic, religious and linguistic diversity.

India spring break trip

Melissa Kapsalis ’18 (political science and psychology with pre-law concentration) said she was impressed with how the trip managed to encompass so many aspects of Indian culture and life in a short time span.

“India is a little bit of everything. It has wealth, poverty, religion, beauty, destruction, and it could change each time you cross the street,” Kapsalis said.

Hong Kong and Vietnam

A group of 19 students, faculty, staff and alumni involved in the MBA program visited Hong Kong and Vietnam to explore business relations in those countries. Many of the students who participated in the trip were members of the MBA 652 Global Business Seminar class taught by Kathy Bohley, Professor of International Business & Marketing.

Students had a business meeting in Hong Kong with Fidelity Investments, then traveled to Ho Chi Minh in Vietnam for a cultural tour, including a day trip to the Cu Chi tunnels, the Reunification Palace, the War Remnants Museum and the Mekong Delta, where they learned about the rice paper industry and other manufacturing in Vietnam. They also met with Intel Products leadership and toured Intel’s manufacturing facility, and met with the U.S. Commercial Services to discuss American business in Vietnam with a commercial officer. 

Jamaica

A small group of students teamed up with Intercollegiate YMCA and four other schools for a service trip to Mandeville, Jamaica where they volunteered at the Hanbury Home for Children. It was the first time Isabel Tintera ‘20 (criminal justice) had been out of the country, but that didn’t interfere with her excitement.

“Kids have always had a soft spot in my heart, so I was eager to hang out with them and hopefully impact their lives in a positive way. The experience was remarkable,” she said.

Jamaica spring break trip

Danielle Hendricks ‘18 (social work) hadn’t been involved in a service trip before, but said she was excited for the chance to get outside her comfort zone.

“I hope I impacted the children in the orphanage and made their day brighter than usual,” she said.

 

Scotland

Students from the Scottish Literature class spent the week across the pond, visiting sites related to this semester’s readings, including the home of Sir Walter Scott (after having read his novel Waverley) and the Isles of Mull and Iona, which are referenced in Robert Louis Stevenson’s novel Kidnapped.

“Having the opportunity to visit and explore the landscapes that inspired these authors really helped me and my classmates connect with the readings and heighten the level of our in-class discussions,” said Kara Wagoner ’19 (finance, professional writing). “In addition to all of the beautiful places we visited, I also enjoyed drinking delicious tea every morning and getting to know our bus driver, David, who had a wealth of knowledge to share with us.”

Scotland trip

Talk about a hands-on approach to learning!

 

Interested in service-learning opportunities? Learn more.

Interested in study abroad opportunities? Learn more.

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

Quality of Life Plan poised to enhance South Indy

The University of Indianapolis will play a key role in implementing a recently completed Quality of Life plan impacting south Indianapolis, the result of a collaboration between campus, community and nearby businesses that began in February 2015. The plan was revealed during a Dec. 13 campus celebration.

Plan developers engaged more than 400 surrounding residents and business owners. From new walkways and urban gardens to additional healthcare facilities, housing options and job initiatives, the plan cites several critical needs defined by area residents. History, tradition and community development were common themes during the public meetings and outreach by neighborhood associations and community groups to formulate a “shared vision” of life in South Indianapolis, which since has been branded as SoIndy (www.soindy.org).

UIndy hosted a celebration recently to unveil a Quality of Life plan for improvements in South Indy. Campus, community and businesses all contributed to the effort.

UIndy hosted a celebration recently to unveil a Quality of Life plan for improvements in South Indy. Campus, community and businesses all contributed to the effort.

“Ultimately, this is Our plan together, and we will carry it out together,” Tedd Grain, deputy director of LISC, told a large group of stakeholders at the UIndy Health Pavilion. “We are so excited about celebrating the unique vibrancy of South Indy, and the Quality of Life plan will foster that.”

The University of Indianapolis is considered an anchor for the region, defined by the Quality of Life plan as eight-square blocks mostly north of I-465, west to Bluff Road, east to I-65 and south of Raymond Street. Target initiatives include Thriving Households, Healthy Communities and Talent and Trades.

“Along with many of our neighbors and the surrounding business community, UIndy is committed to being a catalyst for positive change in south Indianapolis,” said UIndy President Rob Manuel. “This Quality of Life plan showcases the wonderful people and amenities that make up this unique area and provides a foundation for what see as our future.”

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Thank you! #GivingTuesday goal exceeded

Over 250 pairs of socks were delivered to Laurelwood children as part of UIndy's Giving Tuesday support.  President Rob Manuel and mascot ACE were on hand to also greet the kids on November 29, 2016.

Over 250 pairs of socks were delivered to Laurelwood children as part of UIndy’s Giving Tuesday support. President Rob Manuel and mascot ACE were on hand to also greet the kids on November 29, 2016.

More than 290 alumni, students, parents, friends, faculty and staff came together to support the University’s motto—Education for Service—on #GivingTuesday with gifts totaling $19,231!

A Perfect Match…Starts with You was a campaign to recognize the strong connection University of Indianapolis students, faculty, staff and alumni have to service and to provide a chance for UIndy to give to the children at the Laurelwood housing community near the campus. When a $25 gift was made to UIndy on Tuesday, UIndy donated a pair of socks to the children at Laurelwood. Over 250 pairs of socks were delivered at the end of the day.

Gifts were received from 16 states and the number of donors who participated on Tuesday was a 50 percent increase from the previous year.

Visit the #GivingTuesday page to see more photos from Laurelwood and the final results.

UIndy joins global #GivingTuesday movement

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University of Indianapolis has joined #GivingTuesday, a global day of giving that harnesses the collective power of individuals, communities and organizations to encourage philanthropy and to celebrate generosity worldwide. A Perfect Match…Starts with You is a campaign that recognizes the strong connection University of Indianapolis students and alumni have to service and aims to give back to the kids at the Laurelwood housing community.

Occurring this year on November 29, #GivingTuesday is held annually on the Tuesday after Thanksgiving (in the U.S.) and the widely recognized shopping events Black Friday and Cyber Monday to kick-off the holiday giving season and inspire people to collaborate in improving their local communities and to give back in impactful ways to the charities and causes they support.

The University of Indianapolis has partnered with the Laurelwood Community, a low-income Indianapolis community in the University’s neighborhood that is home to a unique after-school program operated in partnership with University of Indianapolis students and the YMCA. One of the most essential but often overlooked needs children may have is a good pair of socks. When a $25 gift is made to the University of Indianapolis on #GivingTuesday, the donor will receive custom UIndy socks and the University will donate a pair to the children at Laurelwood.

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UIndy to celebrate the 241st Marine Corps birthday

marinebday

Join former Indianapolis Mayor and UIndy Visiting Fellow Greg Ballard for the 2016 Celebration of the 241st birthday of the Marine Corps on Thursday, November 10, at the University of Indianapolis. The celebration will be held at the Stierwalt Alumni House at 4 p.m.

On November 10, 1775, the Continental Congress resolved that two battalions of Marines be raised. Formal observance of the birthday of the Marine Corps began on November 10, 1921.

One of the greatest traditions is the passing of the first piece of cake to the oldest Marine present, who then passes the cake to the youngest Marine present. This gesture symbolizes the passing of knowledge from the experienced Marines to the new generation of Marines.

We hope you can join us for this special event to celebrate the 241st birthday of the Marine Corps and to honor those in our community who have served.

This free event is open to the public and you don’t need to be a Marine to attend. Online registration is requested. 

Goodwill Industries and UIndy establish new partnership

Research Fellowship to advance community efforts to support local schools

The University of Indianapolis and Goodwill Industries of Central Indiana are pleased to announce a new partnership to facilitate community-based educational initiatives that can have a positive and direct impact on local K-12 students and teachers.

With generous support from the Walton Family Foundation, these two organizations have established the Goodwill Research Fellowship to support graduate students who wish to pursue community-based research. The partnership will leverage Goodwill’s existing connections and programs in local public schools aimed at helping educators and staff in their work with students with disabilities and those receiving special education services.

“Goodwill and the University of Indianapolis are two organizations that share a mission and vision focused on supporting education as a way to break cycles of poverty,” said Dr. David Wantz, executive vice president and provost at the University.

This new fellowship will be responsible for supporting community-based research efforts focused on breaking the cycle of poverty at Goodwill Education Initiatives beginning in 2017. This graduate-level fellowship will focus efforts on implementation, management, execution and evaluation of various educational, research and clinical projects conducted under the auspices of the partnership between Goodwill Education Initiatives and the University of Indianapolis.

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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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Grant to grow high school theology programs

Student Leadership Academy wins major support from Lilly Endowment

A $580,000 grant from Lilly Endowment Inc. to the University of Indianapolis will enable the major expansion of a partnership with the Indiana Conference of The United Methodist Church to help high school students explore potential careers and volunteer opportunities in church ministry and other faith-based settings.

The grant is part of the Endowment’s High School Youth Theology Institutes initiative, which encourages young people to explore theological traditions, ask questions about the moral dimensions of contemporary issues and examine how their faith calls them to lives of service.

Gibbs

Gibbs

“This is an opportunity to increase our investment in the youth and help them from an early age to consider ministry and service as a calling in their lives,” said the Rev. Jeremiah Gibbs, chaplain and assistant professor at UIndy and director of its Lantz Center for Christian Vocations. “We show them how their skills and interests can be applied to the real issues people face in the world.”

The Lantz Center’s Student Leadership Academy offers two programs that will benefit from the new funding:

  • An annual fall retreat for United Methodist youth, now in its sixth year, will grow from 90 to 250 students and add second- and third-year programming for returning participants, including certification as lay servants in the church. Participants are nominated by UMC pastors throughout the state for an intensive weekend of discussion on theology, vocation and leadership.
  • A new two-week summer institute, to be launched in 2017, is open to all Christian denominations and aimed at students specifically considering full-time careers as ordained clergy, lay ministers, lay professional staff or missionaries. Approximately 40 participants will be selected through a competitive application process for an experience that includes lectures, discussions, practical applications and service opportunities.

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