Campus collaborations: Power of Education conference

The University of Indianapolis Student Education Association will host the fourth annual Power of Education conference on campus Saturday, February 3.

The event is open to education students throughout the state. Topics of discussion are designed to motivate and inspire future K-12 teachers and provide professional development opportunities for attendees.


Eslinger teaches second graders at Reagan Elementary.

Conner McNeeley, a Southport High School Spanish teacher and recipient of the 2017 Teach Like A Champion Award, will deliver the keynote speech. During three sets of breakout sessions, University faculty and industry experts will share strategies for increasing student engagement and producing positive results in the classroom.

“This conference was designed for students, by students,” said Lyndsy Eslinger ‘18 (elementary education), co-chair of the Power of Education planning committee. “As we were planning the event, we thought about what topics we enjoy hearing about.”

Sessions will include:

  • “Engagement through Coding” with John Somers, associate professor of teacher education
  • “Creating Your Own Success” with Brittany Dyer, career navigator at the Professional Edge Center
  • “Dreams and Dreamers” with Donna Stephenson, University instructor of teacher education
  • “Encouraging Student Thinking And Engagement through Effective Questioning” with Deb Sachs, director of the Woodrow Wilson Teaching Fellowship Program

The event is geared toward both elementary and secondary education majors.

“This conference is full of amazing professional development opportunities,” said Shelby Johnson, ‘18 (elementary education), Vice President of the University Student Education Association. “I feel confident that I will be ready for the real world after graduation because of the professional development, interview preparation, and networking that UIndy has given me.”

Power of Education
8:30 am – 12 pm
Saturday, February 3
Schwitzer Student Center

Registration is open until the day of the event, and cost ranges from $5 – $15. Learn more and register here.

Conference proceeds will be used to support the UIndy Student Education Association and Outreach to Teach. Outreach to Teach is an annual project that focuses on transforming a local K-12 school through painting, cleaning, landscaping, decorating, and light carpentry.

University students earn prestigious music education award

Hard work is paying off for two music education students from the University of Indianapolis.

Samantha Burkey, choral/general music education ‘18 and Maddie Kintner, instrumental/general music education ‘19, received the Outstanding Future Music Educator Award at the Indiana Music Education Association’s annual professional development conference in Ft. Wayne in January.

Burkey (left) and Kintner (right)

Burkey (left) and Kintner (right)

Burkey and Kintner are among an elite group of 18 University students to receive this award in the past 10 years. Burkey, who received news about the award a day into student-teaching, said the news was reassuring, because it let her know she’s doing something great in the world of music education.

Through her classes, Kintner has logged at least 95 hours in immersive learning opportunities at regional band camps, in private lessons and in local middle school classrooms. She credits these experiences for helping her grow personally and professionally.

“It’s one thing to learn from a book, but it’s completely different to use methods in real-life settings,” she said. “My professors constantly encourage us to be out in the field learning.”

Burkey, who has shadowed and student-taught at four local schools and volunteered with College Mentors for Kids, echoed that sentiment.

“Starting freshman year, we go out in the field and observe elementary, middle school and high school classrooms,” she said. “Those placements gave me a lot of confidence and comfort. I’m learned many different teaching methods that I’m holding onto in my bag of tricks.”

To qualify for the award, students needed to demonstrate participation in their local NAfME chapter, academic rigor, and significant contributions to music education.

University student-teachers impact up to 700 Indianapolis Public Schools students every year by assisting teachers in classrooms. In 2017, the University chapter of the National Association for Music Education (NAfME) was recognized for its community outreach efforts to bring future music educators into classrooms.

Kinter said the University helped her discover one of her true passions: helping students who have disabilities. One of her favorite experiences has been giving private cello lessons to a seven-year-old boy who is deaf and blind. She’s spent about 20 hours with him so far, and will resume lessons this spring.

“He can’t hear music, but he can feel the vibrations,” she explained. “When I helped him start bowing on his own, everyone in the room started crying. I’ve changed his life quite a bit, but I think he’s changed my life even more.”

Learn more about UIndy’s music education program. 

Students win awards at 2017 Model United Nations Summit

A team of 15 students from the University of Indianapolis won several awards recently during the Model United Nations Summit competition.

The Model UN is a simulation exercise organized by the Indiana Consortium for International Programs. Several universities from Indiana and Kentucky participated this year at the summit, which was hosted Nov. 9-11 at Indiana University Southeast in New Albany, Ind.

Summit participants competed in two separate groups. Topics discussed included North Korea, nuclear weapons and missile delivery systems, Syrian and Yemen conflicts and climate change as a global security issue. The participating UIndy students major in international relations and/or political science.

Results of the first group competition included:

  • Dan Miller (political science): Third-Best Delegate
  • Brittany Motley (criminal justice and political science) and Dan Miller (political science): Third-Best Delegation, representing the United States

Results of the second group competition included:

  • Dominic Peretin (history): Second-Best Delegation, representing the United Kingdom and Northern Ireland and Third-Best Delegate
  • Tosin Salau (international relations and political science) and Mary Anne Schneider (history education): Fourth-Best Delegation, representing France

Jyotika Saksena, associate professor with the department of history and political science, helped the students prepare for the event.

“This is a very important learning tool for the students,” she explained. “They not only study important topics facing the world today but learn to see these different issues from specific perspectives. The simulation teaches students to negotiate with those of a different point of view without antagonizing them, the art of diplomacy and public speaking skills.”

Congratulations to each UIndy participant: Katie McDonald (political science and international relations), Zion Lutz (political science), Tosin Salau (international relations and political science), Mary Anne Schneider (history education), Nkechi Nnachetta (political science), Erin O’Riley (international relations and political science), Kiley Harmon (international relations and political science), Melissa Kapsalis (psychology and political science), Dominic Peretin (history), Brittany Motley (criminal justice and political science), Dan Miller (political science), Heather Reid (history and international relations), Ben Osborn (political science), Aml Alkhatib (political science), Tobiloba Olakunle (international relations and political science)


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 sweeps state level education awards

L to R: Molly Beal, recognized as an Outstanding Senior Leader, Molly Wolfe, recognized as ISEA scholar, current ISEA President Mikaela Gerba from Trine University, and Lyndsy Eslinger, newly elected ISEA President and J.D Miller Outstanding Local Student Leader Award winner

L to R: Molly Beal, Molly Wolfe, current ISEA President Mikaela Gerba, and Lyndsy Eslinger, newly elected ISEA President

The University of Indianapolis Education program enjoyed a stellar weekend at the Indiana State Education Association.

Junior elementary education major Lyndsy Eslinger was elected state president of the association at the annual representative assembly. Molly Wolfe, also a junior elementary education major, was re-elected to a second term as the state’s Region 3 Representative.

Senior Elementary Education majors Molly Beal and Andria Shook won scholarships, as did Molly Wolfe. Eslinger was awarded the J.D. Miller Student Leadership Award, and Beal was named the Outstanding Senior of the Year. Also at the event, UIndy was named the Outstanding Chapter of the Year.

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University of Indianapolis students win national competition for WICR-FM election night coverage

The election night efforts of the University of Indianapolis WICR-FM Radio staff have brought them national honors.

Chris Shoulders, WICR Director of Interactive & Social Media, interviews former Indianapolis Mayor and UIndy Visiting Fellow Greg Ballard on election night.

Chris Shoulders, WICR Director of Interactive & Social Media, interviews former Indianapolis Mayor and UIndy Visiting Fellow Greg Ballard on election night.

The group won first place in the Broadcast Education Association’s Festival of Media Arts competition in the radio newscast category. Three schools tied for second place in the category: Hofstra University, the University of North Texas and the University of Southern California.
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Conversation Circles become cultural exchange opportunity

It’s Monday evening at the Writing Lab at Krannert Memorial Library, and somehow the conversation has wandered into the topic of raw baby octopus and pickled crickets. Whether the talk is about food, travel or culture, it’s all part of the Conversation Circles program designed to bring international and American students together to chat in English and make connections.

From left: Gary Bates, Lisa Kim and Derek Zhao

From left: Gary Bates, Lisa Kim and Derek Zhao

All students are welcome to join the Conversation Circles scheduled for the 2017 spring semester on the University of Indianapolis campus. Derek Zhao, a senior sociology major from China, and Lisa Kim, a sophomore music performance major, are the Conversation Circle facilitators on Monday nights.
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Indiana schools chief shares message with future teachers at University of Indianapolis

The University of Indianapolis Student Education Association hosted Indiana Superintendent of Public Instruction Dr. Jennifer McCormick at the 3rd Annual Power of Education Conference on Jan. 28.

From left: Hannah Mangus, Jennifer McCormick, Shelby Hale

From left: Hannah Mangus, Jennifer McCormick, Shelby Hale

McCormick’s talk focused on the future of education in Indiana. SEA organizers were thrilled to hear from McCormick at the annual conference, which celebrates the field of education by hosting sessions designed to motivate and inspire future teachers. She shared with students some of her most powerful experiences as a lifelong educator.

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University of Indianapolis Etchings Press announces 2016 Whirling Prize winners

Etchings Press at the University of Indianapolis has announced the winners of the 2016 Whirling Prize.

Students enrolled in ENG 479 reviewed the 83 submissions and selected winners in the categories of prose and poetry.

Students enrolled in
ENG 479 reviewed the 83 submissions and selected
winners in the categories of prose and poetry.

Helen Klein Ross won the 2016 Whirling Prize in Prose for her work “What Was Mine.” Ross’ work has appeared in The New Yorker, The New York Times and in literary journals and anthologies.

Amy Ash, an assistant professor at Indiana State University, won the Poetry prize for her work “The Open Mouth of the Vase,” which is her first full-length collection.

Both Ross and Ash will read excerpts from their work at the 2017 Kellogg Writers Series event later this month, with a book signing to follow. The event, scheduled for 7:30 pm on Monday, Feb. 27, in Schwitzer’s UIndy Hall C, is free and open to the public.

University of Indianapolis students reviewed 83 submissions to select the winners. This year’s prize welcomed submissions of published books written by women or books that feature leading female characters.

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Local students create energy plan for Indiana

What would a sustainable energy plan for Indiana look like?

An ambitious project involving a diverse group of University of Indianapolis and IUPUI students is actively working to answer that question. The students, led by former Indianapolis Mayor and Visiting Fellow Greg Ballard, held the first in a series of meetings to obtain public feedback on their proposed energy plan for the state.

Senior Carly Nicholson, left, speaks with Visiting Fellow Greg Ballard. (Photo by D. Todd Moore, University of Indianapolis)

Senior Carly Nicholson, left, speaks with Visiting Fellow Greg Ballard. (Photo by D. Todd Moore, University of Indianapolis)

During a recent community conversation on the UIndy campus, the students presented their ideas and took questions from concerned citizens, who encouraged the group to consider issues like consumer education, bike lanes or the unique challenges faced by cash-strapped non-profits wishing to pursue sustainable energy practices.

The project includes ten students from the University of Indianapolis and two from Indiana University – Purdue University at Indianapolis (IUPUI).  The students began studying Indiana’s energy needs last year as part of a project supported by the Central Indiana Community Foundation and the Simon Family Foundation.

“We want to tell people what this generation thinks about energy in the state of Indiana. How do we want to position that going into the future?” Ballard said.
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