New community garden project at University of Indianapolis enhances healthy options for neighborhood

Community gardenWith gloves and shovels in hand, volunteers got to work on a community garden on the University of Indianapolis campus, with the goal of bringing access to fresh produce to the surrounding neighborhood. The UIndy and CHNw Community Garden (Serve360°) project is part of an ongoing partnership between the University of Indianapolis and Community Health Network to provide health- and wellness-related opportunities to the Indianapolis southside.

The garden is located on the west side of the United Methodist Church at 4002 Otterbein Ave. From 1 to 5 p.m. on Friday, April 20, volunteers from the University of Indianapolis, Community Hospital South, Purdue Extension and South Indy Quality of Life Plan cleaned nine raised garden beds, glued the bed’s cement blocks, shoveled and spread dirt, pulled weeds, and did some planting. 

“We know that social determinants, like a lack of access to nutritious food, can affect overall health and well-being,” said Priscilla Keith, Executive Director of Community Benefit for Community Health Network. “We are proud to work with our partners at UIndy to offer this pilot program which will not only provide access to fresh and affordable food; but educate students and those living in neighborhoods around the UIndy campus how to start and maintain their own gardens.  Our goal is to find ways to reach beyond our sites of care to impact the health and the quality of life of the communities we serve.”

Gurinder Hohl, who directs the partnership between the University of Indianapolis and Community Health Network, said the project is highly focused on meeting community needs, including a planning committee that involves local residents. Hohl said food grown in the community garden will be available to community members and gardeners at no cost. While University of Indianapolis students will manage the garden for the first year, Hohl said community members are encouraged to take on leadership roles as the garden becomes a focal point for the neighborhood.

“The location of this garden was chosen based on its proximity to the proposed Red Line station on Shelby Street. The more you decrease access-related issues, the more people will get involved,” Hohl said.

Project planners hope to expand activities to include a farmer’s market, cooking classes, health assessments, musical performances and art displays.

“It’s about placemaking where you try to create opportunities for neighbors to mingle and have access and options related to food and health that they would not otherwise have,” Hohl explained.

The University and Community Hospital South are working in collaboration with the South Indy Quality of Life (QOL) Plan on the garden project, which ties into the Plan’s Health & Wellness initiative (and is one of 173 action steps identified by the Plan to create thriving households and healthy communities in eight neighborhoods on the Indianapolis southside). Michelle Strahl Salinas with the South Indy Quality of Life Plan explained that the Health & Wellness action team aims to bring healthier food options to residents, and to make sure they are accessible, affordable and locally sourced.

“The University of Indianapolis has been very intentional about working with the neighborhoods around the University. We believe that having UIndy as a lead and collaborating partner on our action teams brings us a knowledge base and diversity that we would not have otherwise,” said Salinas, who added that the QOL plan depends on volunteer and partner-led projects like the community garden.

Alum fights for justice at University of Virginia School of Law

Maria Downham cap and gownUniversity of Indianapolis graduate Maria Downham ‘16 (political science and psychology) recently played an important role in securing justice for DeAndre Harris, who was attacked during the 2017 “Unite the Right” protests.

Read more about the trial here.

A first-year University of Virginia School of Law student, Downham talked to us about how her experiences on the UIndy campus helped her prepare for a career as a public servant.

How did the political science program help you prepare for the work you’re doing now?

“I was able to take elective courses that were law-related, such as Constitutional Law and Common Law. In these classes we read and briefed Supreme Court cases and that is the work I do to prepare for class each day now in law school. Also, part of the each class was doing a mock trial and that sparked my interest in litigation. I am now involved on the Mock Trial team at UVA.”

What skills did UIndy teach you and how are those skills helping you now?

“UIndy taught me how to read critically and reason through things. The curriculum prepared me well for law school because I took classes in a variety of areas. My psychology courses taught me about the processes of the brain, how individuals think about problems, and abnormal psychological conditions. In addition to these “hard skills,” UIndy prepared me well for law school by teaching me to have the confidence to get involved in things that I’m interested in. The Honors College at UIndy allowed me the opportunity to create my own mock trial as my honors project and this experience gave me a strong background, which helped me in UVA’s Mock Trial Tournament this year.”

Who were your mentors at UIndy and how did they help you?

Maria Downham Prez Rob“Dr. Maryam Stevenson was my pre-law advisor at UIndy, taught the law classes that I took, and was the faculty advisor for my honors project. What she taught me in the classroom, her guidance outside of the classroom, and her support were all crucial parts of my education, personal, and professional growth. In addition, I had the opportunity to work closely with President Manuel by serving as a Presidential Ambassador. The opportunity to work with him was also a large part of my professional growth. Finally, all of the professors in the History and Political Science Department were invaluable to my education and in preparing me for law school.”

What are your plans after law school?

“I’m not sure what I will pursue after law school, but I do know that I am interested in pursuing a career in criminal law. This summer I will be working at the United States Attorney’s Office for the Western District of Virginia as well as working as a Research Assistant for the Innocence Project at UVA.”

 

Learn about the political science program at UIndy.

Journalist Dawn Paley shines light on Mexico’s “disappeared” with April 12 lecture

Dawn Paley

Dawn Paley

An internationally-acclaimed journalist will speak at the University of Indianapolis in April about community-led efforts in Mexico to locate the bodies of disappeared citizens. Dawn Paley will present “Grassroots Searches for the Disappeared in Mexico” at 6:00 p.m., April 12, UIndy Hall B in the Schwitzer Student Center. The event is free and open to the public.

Since the disappearance of 43 students in Guerrero, Mexico, in September 2014, family and community-led groups have begun to carry out land searches for the bodies of disappeared people in areas throughout the country. In this talk, Paley explores the crisis of enforced disappearance in Mexico and takes a detailed look at how one group of family members of the disappeared in the northern state of Coahuila has organized to carry out searches.

Dawn Paley is the author of “Drug War Capitalism,” which traces the “Drug War” story from Latin America to U.S. boardrooms and political offices. Paley, who is based in Vancouver, Canada, has written for magazines and newspapers including the The Guardian, Vancouver Sun, The Globe and Mail, BC Business Magazine, The Nation, The Dominion, Ms. Magazine, The Tyee, the Georgia Straight, Briarpatch, NACLA Reports, This Magazine, Canadian Dimension, Counterpunch, The Vue Weekly, Watershed Sentinel and Upside Down World. She is currently a doctoral student at the Autonomous University of Puebla in Mexico.

This event is being organized by the student members of FOUND (Forensics at UIndy). Krista Latham, director of the University of Indianapolis Human Identification Center and associate professor of biology, is their faculty advisor. Paley contributed a chapter to Latham’s most recent book, The Sociopolitics of Migrant Death and Repatriation, co-edited with Alyson O’Daniel, assistant professor of anthropology. Latham said the talk will be a fascinating look into forensic science, social justice, Latin American issues, journalism and more.

“The topic is not only interesting and relevant, but Dawn is a young person, a woman and a student. It really shows how you can use your education to do amazing things,” Latham said.

Four years after 43 students from a teacher’s college were forcibly disappeared in the Mexican state of Guerrero, there are no clear answers as to why security forces attacked and detained the students or where their bodies may be located, Latham explained.

While Paley’s talk will focus on this particular instance of forced disappearance, Latham said it’s important to understand that such incidents are not rare in global populations.

“Forced disappearances are on the rise globally as governments try to avoid accountability for their actions,” Latham explained. “In the United States, this crisis unfolds along the southern border as thousands are disappeared as they try to make their way from Latin America to the U.S.”

Latham leads a team of graduate students to the Texas borderlands every year to identify the remains of people who died crossing the border so that their families can be notified. She sees many parallels between Paley’s work and her own – as citizens step into the role of investigators and activists when authorities won’t act.

“Not only does it focus on disappearing and silencing voices, but it also focuses on ways in which science can be considered an act of rebellion,” Latham said.

Read more about Dawn Paley.

University of Indianapolis honors legacy of Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr.

kennedykingstoryThe University of Indianapolis is a proud partner of the Kennedy-King Memorial Initiative, which is organizing events commemorating the 50th anniversary of Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr.’s death, and his lasting legacy.

The Initiative was established to elevate and preserve the values and legacy of Robert F. Kennedy and Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. by raising awareness, provoking thought and inspiring action to eliminate division and injustice. April 4, 2018 will mark 50 years since the loss of Dr. King, and Robert F. Kennedy’s historic Indianapolis speech.

The University’s Office of Equity & Inclusion has been working closely with the Initiative with the goal of becoming a catalyst to move conversations and action forward in Indianapolis.

“As a higher education institution, the University of Indianapolis serves as a model for social justice, a think tank for social consciousness and a space for intellectual discourse and debate. As such, we are uniquely positioned to help convene conversations that extend the work of Dr. King and others who have fought tirelessly for the inclusion, equity, and equality of all people,” said Sean Huddleston, vice president for the Office of Equity and Inclusion.

University of Indianapolis students will be volunteering at events throughout the city this week.

See all events here.

On April 3rd, for National Service Recognition Day, the University will join communities across the country to host the annual AmeriCorps and SeniorCorps National Service Day Recognition Luncheon, sponsored by the Kennedy-King Memorial Initiative and the Mayor’s Office. The Deputy Mayor will attend on behalf of the office, and President Robert L. Manuel will provide remarks. The luncheon will be held in UIndy Halls B & C in the Schwitzer Student Center at the University of Indianapolis.

Off-campus events:

April 3: A Ripple of Hope
5:30 p.m.: Reception, 7 p.m.: Screening, 8 p.m.: Panel

Eugene And Marilyn Glick Indiana History Center, 450 West Ohio Street

This acclaimed documentary by filmmaker Don Boggs sheds light on the fateful night of April 4, 1968 in Indianapolis. If you’ve seen this definitive take on this historic moment, now is the perfect time to revisit the powerful true story. If you’ve never seen it, now you can. Enjoy a pre-film reception and the film,  A Ripple of Hope (2008, 55 mins.) — followed by a panel discussion.

April 4: Still We Reach: Community Reflection & Conversation
10:30 a.m.
Landmark For Peace Memorial, 1702 N Broadway Street

Congressman, author and civil rights pioneer John Lewis joins with Kerry Kennedy, president of Robert F. Kennedy Human Rights and daughter of RFK, and other national and local dignitaries, for reflections on the lasting influence of these two men.

April 4: Still We Reach: KKMI 50th Commemoration Ceremony
5:00 p.m.
Landmark For Peace Memorial, 1702 N Broadway Street                    

Join national and local dignitaries for the official commemoration event, featuring songs, remarks and remembrances by civic leaders, religious leaders, artists, and more.

*Tickets to both 50th anniversary commemoration events on April 4 are sold out. You can live stream the 10:30 a.m. event from any computer or mobile device using this link: http://ow.ly/FTqa30jgrY0

UIndy Artist-in-Residence Drew Petersen receives prestigious grant

University of Indianapolis Artist-in-Residence Drew Petersen is one of four recipients of the Avery Fisher Career Grant worth $25,000. Petersen is also the 2017 American Pianists Awards winner and a Christel DeHaan fellow.

The grants give professional assistance and recognition to talented musicians who have been identified as having great potential for solo careers, according to the Lincoln Center website. Recipients of 149 Career Grants awarded include pianists Jonathan Biss and Yuja Wang, clarinettist Anthony McGill, violinists James Ehnes and Hilary Hahn, and the Dover Quartet.

Petersen_master_class_piano_19318

A cum laude graduate of Harvard University in social sciences, Petersen pursued undergraduate and graduate studies in music at the Juilliard School. He also has been a prizewinner in major international competitions and has been profiled in the New York Times, New York Magazine and the documentary Just Normal.

He was last on campus in February 2018, where he hosted a masterclass with University of Indianapolis students and performed a solo repertoire and concerto collaboration with the University of Indianapolis Chamber Orchestra.

Petersen_master_class_piano_19505 (1)

Petersen said interacting with the talented music students on campus has been one of the biggest rewards of his new connection to the University.

“Whenever I interact with the students and faculty, I am reminded that each day at UIndy is an opportunity to explore great music together and examine and innovate the best ways we can share it with the community. I’ve been having a great time, and I look forward to all that lies ahead,” Petersen said.

Read more about Petersen’s partnership with the University.

Audrey Cunningham reflects on 24 years leading UIndy Speech & Debate Team

Audrey Cunningham, front row, second from left, with the Speech & Debate Team in 2011.

Audrey Cunningham, front row, second from left, with the Speech & Debate Team in 2011.

The University of Indianapolis Speech & Debate team has been winning regional and national accolades for more than 30 years, thanks in large part to Audrey Cunningham, the former team director. For 24 years, Cunningham, who serves as Basic Course Director in the Department of Communication, has been coaching students to success behind the podium and beyond.

Cunningham has enjoyed helping students develop lifelong speaking and debate skills that are easily transferable to a variety of careers. The speech team is open to all majors, and the students Cunningham has coached over the years have pursued successful careers in a variety of disciplines, including public relations, broadcasting, law, school counseling and secondary education.

“We encourage different majors because it’s one of those skill sets that transcends everything,” she explained.

Cunningham noted that the most dramatic improvements tend to happen during a student’s first year.

“That freshman year, they are learning all the basics. A lot of times they can be more successful that year because there are tournaments they can compete in with other novices of the first year. They’re competing more on par,” Cunningham said.

By senior year, Cunningham said that students have acquired a broad range of speaking skills. The competitions stretch students’ skills by challenging them to compete in extemporaneous, informative and persuasive speaking, as well as prose, poetry, duo and impromptu formats. There’s even a category for after-dinner speaking. Students are required to discuss topics ranging from voter disenfranchisement to gun control.

“The more people participate, the more confident they become in their abilities,” Cunningham said.

Audrey Cunningham

Audrey Cunningham

Under Cunningham’s guidance, the team earned the University’s first team title in 1990 from the National Forensic Association (NFA). Over the years, UIndy’s team has placed several times among the top ten in the Team Sweepstakes in the NFA competition, as well as making frequent team and individual appearances in the top ten in state, regional and other national competitions. Students from UIndy’s team have also competed in an international tournament in London.

In 2013-14, Cunningham co-directed the team with Rebekah Gaidis ’03, assistant professor (and a three-year team veteran herself) who went on to serve as sole team director until 2017. Stephanie Wideman is an assistant professor and the current team director. Both Gaidis and Wideman have led the team to stellar state and regional performances.

Professor Cunningham’s dedication to the art of public speaking is an inspirational force in the Department of Communication. She ran the Speech & Debate team for over twenty years, and in that time she was able to build the team into a cornerstone of speech education at UIndy,” said Wideman.

A longtime southsider, Cunningham’s UIndy connections run deep. Her two children, Kathleen Cunningham ’11 (English) and Chris Cunningham ’09 (communication) are alumni. She also has plenty of Emerald Isle connections. Her husband, Brian, is from Ireland, and is a singer and guitarist for the Irish Airs. Audrey has served as president of the Irish Dancers of Indianapolis and emcees Indianapolis’ Irish Festival.

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.

Enhanced summer class offerings accelerate student growth

canalsummer500The University of Indianapolis has a variety of summer classes on offer for 2018, and it’s not just UIndy students who can benefit. Students can choose from more than 200 classes in a variety of subjects, including general education courses eligible for transferable credit.

Summer term runs from May 15 to August 18, with options for face-to-face, online or hybrid classes. Most classes run for seven weeks over the Summer I and II sessions and cover a wide variety of disciplines, including English, history, biology, mathematical sciences and many more. The cost is $325 per credit hour.

Browse summer course offerings here.

Summer classes are an excellent opportunity for University of Indianapolis students who are looking to balance out their schedule or get caught up, or for visiting students home for the summer, said Mary Beth Bagg, Associate Provost for Academic Systems.

Bagg pointed out the advantages for student-athletes with tight in-season schedules or students who are anticipating a particularly challenging semester. Students participating in crossover programs, which combine the first year of graduate coursework with the student’s final year as an undergraduate, can accelerate their time frame by enrolling in summer classes.

“Students can budget time and credit hours in a way that considers the ebb and flow of their studies,” Bagg said.

Ellen Miller, Associate Provost for Research & Graduate Programs, explained that more students are taking advantage of summer classes to create the opportunity for double majors or an extra minor. She said academic departments examine summer enrollment data to make informed decisions about which classes to offer, including upper level as well as introductory courses.

“We’ve been looking at our constellation of offerings to identify key courses we should add. If a department knows there’s always a course with a waitlist, we might offer a section of that in the summer,” Miller said.

Miller noted that an increasing number of external students are enrolling in University of Indianapolis summer classes, providing UIndy students with the chance to gain perspective from new classmates. With a streamlined process for external students to apply for admission, those students should also check with their university’s registrar to determine which credits are transferable. (See details here.) Current UIndy students do not need to apply for admission and may register for classes via MyUIndy.

With more course sections available in an online format, there is even more flexibility. Whether a student is from Indiana or out of state, online classes are an option that can be accessed from any location. Miller observed that students from all over the country are participating in UIndy’s online programs during the summer.

“For UIndy students who are going home for the summer, wherever home may be, they can live at home and work, and still take an online class,” Miller said. She noted that online classes tend to fill up quickly, as do on-the-ground science labs.

Miller urged students to start thinking about their summer coursework and apply now before classes fill up.

“It’s a great way to catch up or get ahead,” she said.

Schedule and deadlines (for most classes):

Summer I start date:  Monday, 5/14
Summer I end date:  Friday, 6/29
Deadline to add a 7-week Summer I course:  Friday, 5/18
Deadline to withdraw from a 7-week Summer I with a grade of W: Friday, 6/8

Summer II start date:  Monday, 7/2
Summer II end date:  Friday, 8/17
Deadline to add a 7-week Summer II course:  Friday, 7/6
Deadline to withdraw from a 7-week Summer II with a grade of W:  Friday, 7/27

Browse summer course offerings here.

R. B. Annis School of Engineering Scholarship Competition sparks big ideas

ENG_scholarship600The Ideation Room was buzzing with innovation as high school students participated in the R.B. Annis School of Engineering Scholarship Competition – a process that required teamwork, presentation skills, and some old-fashioned creativity.

David Olawale, an assistant professor of engineering who hails from Florida and dislikes Indianapolis winters, recently challenged students to come up with a device to melt the ice and snow off his car in ten minutes or less. The students were given a few hours to come up with plans for a prototype device to accomplish the task.

With names like the “Ice-A-Peel-Inator,” “wobbler” and “chemical scraper,” the teams were not short on ideas. One group came up with plans for a device similar to an iPhone that could be plugged in to charge lithium-ion batteries.

The Ice-A-Peel-Innator has wires similar to a toaster. They heat up as soon you unplug it because it’s constantly storing energy,” explained Isaac Johnson, Martinsville High School.

Johnson’s teammates, Hruday Achanti of Neuqua Valley High School (Naperville, IL) and Chris Laymon, Batesville High School, relied a lot on trial and error. They presented their ideas in a 15-page PowerPoint, during which all candidates had a speaking role.

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Eleven students chosen from the various teams earned full-ride scholarships. Engineering faculty were impressed with all of the candidates.

“They worked well in teams, were articulate, and they have tremendous leadership qualities. In addition, they all were creative and were thinking critically. These are all qualities desired of all students that enter the R.B. Annis School of Engineering,” said Jose Sanchez, engineering program director.

David Olawale, who issued the challenge to students, noted that the R. B. Annis School of Engineering is increasingly attracting high-quality students.

“Within a few hours, teams of three to four students successfully collaborated on a design project. Given the short project duration and the fact that the team members were meeting one another for the first time, the applicants demonstrated very good ability to work with others in a team,” Olawale said.

Learn more about the R. B. Annis School of Engineering

The synergy noted in the competition reflects the interdisciplinary teams at the R. B. Annis School of Engineering that solve real-life problems for external clients. University of Indianapolis engineering students are trained on Design for Six Sigma methodology, project management, research, entrepreneurship, leadership, and communication.

“The DesignSpine curriculum of the R.B. Annis School of Engineering trains students to become modern engineering leaders who create and deploy outstanding solutions to make our world a safer and better place,” Olawale added.

Starting as early as sophomore year, engineering students collaborate with central Indiana businesses to apply these skills and grow their network. Students have partnered with regional companies such as Easterseals Crossroads Industrial Services and Citizens Energy Group to create and present prototypes of new products.

Nurse practitioner programs earn 100-percent pass rate from AANP Certification Board

For the third consecutive year, the School of Nursing achieved a 100-percent pass rate from the American Academy of Nurse Practitioners Certification Board for the Family Nurse Practitioner & Adult/Gerontological Nurse Practitioner programs.

Students must pass the certification exam after completing their coursework in order to work as a nurse practitioner. Norma Hall, School of Nursing dean, noted that University of Indianapolis nurse practitioner students far exceeded the 2017 national pass rate of 81.6 percent. She credited several unique aspects of the University of Indianapolis School of Nursing programs that contribute to outstanding student performance.

“It’s very much a hands-on program. Very little of the didactic content is done online, unlike many of our competitive programs. Students get a lot of interaction with faculty and there’s plenty of opportunity to learn and grow from faculty, who are all currently practicing nurse practitioners,” Hall said.

Karen Iseminger, professor of nursing, explained that students routinely observe faculty during their clinical rounds.

“It’s a nice balance between the scholarship of practice as well as pragmatic experiences,” Iseminger said.

Karalyn Jacobs ’14 (MSN) is currently enrolled in the nurse practitioner doctoral program, and has recommended it to several co-workers. She specializes in treating high-risk ob-gyn patients. She praised the benefits of the in-class setting.

“The ability to learn and grow with other students, bounce ideas off of other students, and build relationships with students and instructors is a more ideal learning method than online courses. Instructors are always accessible to help at any time during the program, which is why I chose to go back to UIndy for my DNP,” Jacobs said.

Nearly 160 students were enrolled in University of Indianapolis nurse practitioner programs for the 2017-18 academic year. Hall said the popularity of the profession is reflected in job rankings like the 2018 U.S. News and World Report, which placed nurse practitioner fourth in its list of 100 best jobs.

Nurse practitioner students participate in simulation experiences involving actors who play the role of patients. Students can assess, diagnose and prescribe treatment for a real person, the same way they would in clinical practice, Hall said.

“The program is not only steeped in clinical practice with real people, but we also have an educational strategy to provide simulation experiences for our students,” said Iseminger, who noted that School of Nursing programs follow an interdisciplinary approach featuring collaboration with students in the College of Applied Behavioral Sciences.

Current students in the nurse practitioner programs graduate with a master’s degree. Hall said by 2020, all nurse practitioner students at the University of Indianapolis will graduate with a doctorate as the School of Nursing aligns its programs with national guidelines for practice.

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