University of Indianapolis names Dean of the Shaheen College of Arts and Sciences

Feakes-LargeThe University of Indianapolis announced today the appointment of Dr. Debra A. Feakes as Dean of the Shaheen College of Arts and Sciences. Her appointment follows an extensive national search.  Feakes, a tenured full professor, is the associate chair of the Department of Chemistry and Biochemistry at Texas State University (San Marcos) and interim associate director of the LBJ Institute for STEM Education and Research. She begins her role July 1, 2018.

“Dr. Feakes brings to this role a reputation as a strategic and collaborative leader and an extensive record as a scholar, researcher, mentor and stellar teacher,” said Dr. Stephen Kolison, executive vice president and Provost at the University of Indianapolis. “These are the attributes and leadership experiences that will influence the momentum of the Shaheen College of Arts and Sciences, inspiring our students and supporting our faculty.”

In her role as Dean, Dr.  Feakes will oversee nearly 150 faculty from undergraduate and graduate programs in 16 departments, as well as the R.B. Annis School of Engineering. She has authored and co-authored numerous publications in peer-reviewed journals and received more than $3 million in grants/funding for several research projects and protocols including from the National Science Foundation. Dr. Feakes has served on regional and national boards for professional organizations in her field and presented at numerous scientific conferences.

The Shaheen College of Arts and Sciences encompasses bachelor’s and master’s degree programs in disciplines including Anthropology, Art & Design, Biology, Chemistry, Communication, English, Engineering, History & Political Science, Mathematics, Global Languages, Multidisciplinary Programs, Music, Philosophy & Religion, Physics & Earth-Space Science, Sociology, Criminal Justice, and Theatre. Nearly half of University of Indianapolis undergraduates will choose majors in those departments, which also provide important core courses and a liberal arts foundation — and enriching electives to students majoring in professional fields such as Health Sciences, Education and Business.

Dr. Feakes completed her undergraduate degree in Mineral Engineering Chemistry at the Colorado School of Mines (1986) and a Doctor of Philosophy in Chemistry from Utah State University (1991). Before entering the academic ranks, she served as a postdoctoral research associate at the University of California at Los Angeles. She is a recipient of numerous honors and awards for her commitment to undergraduate teaching and was named a 2016 Piper Professor and a 2017 Regents Teacher; and was named the 2015-2016 Presidential Fellow at Texas State University (San Marcos).

“I am thrilled to be given the opportunity to serve as the Dean of the Shaheen College of Arts and Sciences and look forward to joining the dedicated faculty and staff as we provide core knowledge to our students and advance the mission and goals of the university,” said Feakes.

Indianapolis Quartet presents “Secrets from the Masters”

The Indianapolis Quartet will present its second concert of the season featuring some of western music’s most important works of art.

Debut performance of the faculty artist series String Quartet in the Ruth Lilly Performance Hall on November 7, 2016. Quartet is composed of Zachary DePue, violin; Austin Hrtman, violin; Austin Huntington, cello; and Michael Strauss, viola. (Photo by D. Todd Moore, University of Indianapolis)

Debut performance of the faculty artist series String Quartet in the Ruth Lilly Performance Hall on November 7, 2016. (Photo by D. Todd Moore, University of Indianapolis)

The concert will be held at 7:30 p.m. on Monday, March 6, 2017, at the Ruth Lilly Performance Hall in the Christel DeHaan Fine Arts Center on the University of Indianapolis campus. Concert admission is free, although registration is required.
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Creativity expert brings life lessons to UIndy students

When students start thinking about careers, creativity may not be a word that comes to mind. But that’s exactly what Tanner Christensen, Facebook product designer and author of “The Creative Challenge,” wants them to consider.

Creative Millions: A Dinner and Discussion for Creatives, featured Tanner Christensen, Facebook Product Designer and Creativity Expert, at the Fountain Square Theatre on February 28, 2017. (Photo by D. Todd Moore, University of Indianapolis)

Creative Millions: A Dinner and Discussion for Creatives, featured Tanner Christensen, Facebook Product Designer and Creativity Expert, at the Fountain Square Theatre on February 28, 2017. (Photo by D. Todd Moore, University of Indianapolis)

Christensen visited the University of Indianapolis campus Tuesday as part of “Creative Millions,” a Professional Edge Center initiative to encourage students to pursue creativity in their careers. He spoke to more than 60 students at Fountain Square Theatre and was joined by local creative professionals.

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UIndy Theatre students bring hilarious farce “Move Over, Mrs. Markham” to Dinner Theatre

Dinner Theatre is back at the University of Indianapolis with the debut this weekend of “Move Over, Mrs. Markham.” 

Pix of the dress rehearsal performance of "Move Over, Mrs. Markham" for the annual dinner theater show in Schwitzer on February 21, 2017. From the promo: "Hilarity ensues when three couples arrange secret rendezvous in the same London apartment. Playwright Ray Cooney is known for his many farces staged in Londonís West End, including last year's Dinner Theatre hit Out of Order. " (Photo by D. Todd Moore, University of Indianapolis)

Pix of the dress rehearsal performance of “Move Over, Mrs. Markham” for the annual dinner theater show in Schwitzer on February 21, 2017. (Photo by D. Todd Moore, University of Indianapolis)

The University of Indianapolis Department of Theatre will perform the free-wheeling 1960’s farce by Ray Cooney and John Chapman on Feb. 24-26 and March 2-4, 2017 at the Schwitzer Student Center Dining Hall. Dinner is scheduled for 6:45 p.m. each night with the performance to follow at 8 p.m. A free preview will be held at 8 p.m. on Thursday, Feb. 23, 2017 (no dinner included).

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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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Bill of Rights display is timely reminder of American freedoms

Visitors to the Krannert Memorial Library may have noticed a new display in the second-floor study area. It’s called “The Bill of Rights and You!” The display is part of “Amending America,” a national initiative that explores the power of the Bill of Rights and the American system of government. 

Tanner Alexander, left, and Daniel Miller

Tanner Alexander, left, and Daniel Miller

Political science students at the University of Indianapolis say the Bill of Rights is worth some thought – and appreciation.
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Provost’s Lecture: What is the biggest problem in the world?

What is the biggest problem in the world? That depends on who you ask.

University of Indianapolis Professor Dr. Peter Murphy, who teaches philosophy and religion, will address the question at the Provost’s Lecture on Wednesday, Feb. 8, 2017. Register to attend here.

University of Indianapolis Associate Professor of Philosophy Dr. Peter Murphy

University of Indianapolis Associate Professor of Philosophy Dr. Peter Murphy

Murphy said identifying the world’s greatest dilemma could vary widely depending on who you ask and how they have been affected. The answers could range from poverty and cancer to issues like abortion, climate change or nuclear weapons.
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University of Indianapolis professor explores Midwestern winery boom in new book

If you’ve ever dreamed of quitting your job to start a winery, you’ll first want to read Jim Pennell’s Local Vino: The Winery Boom in the Heartland.

Local Vino: The Winery Boom in the Heartland by Prof. James Pennell will be available in stores March 6, 2017.

Local Vino: The Winery Boom in the Heartland by Prof. James Pennell will be available in stores March 6, 2017.

Pennell, a professor of sociology at the University of Indianapolis and Co-Director of the Community Research Center, explores the challenges and rewards of operating a winery in his new book published by the University of Illinois Press. Now in his 19th year teaching at the University of Indianapolis, Pennell specializes in social and institutional change, organizations and work, social theory and qualitative research methods.

“I wanted to honor the winery owners. They’ve done an amazing thing,” said Pennell, who spent five years chronicling the success of Midwestern wineries in Indiana, Illinois, Iowa and Ohio. He visited 64 wineries in the course of his research.
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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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