Indianapolis HR expert to lead Master of Professional Studies Degree Program

Program provides unique learning experiences, access to industry leaders, and a project-based graduate learning environment



The University of Indianapolis has appointed Candance Wells-Meyer as the program director for the University’s innovative Master of Professional Studies (MPS) degree program in Human Resources Development and Administration, which launched earlier this year. The degree, which focuses on mid-career professionals looking to advance, provides advanced learning through a unique formula utilizing a project-based curriculum and industry leaders as faculty.

Wells-Myers brings to the role a portfolio of human resource leadership and management including positions at St. Vincent’s Hospital and Indiana Farm Bureau. She holds professional designations as a Senior Professional in Human Resources (SPHR), a Senior Certified Professional (SHRM-SCP), and a Certified Compensation Professional (CCP). She is also an adjunct faculty in the University of Indianapolis’ Department of Communications and is widely recognized for her impact as a respected professional within Indiana’s human resource network. She earned a master of arts degree in Communication Studies (with an emphasis in Organizational Development) from Northern Illinois University, and a bachelor of science degree in Communications in Business from the University of Indianapolis.

UIndy’s MPS program features a group or “cohort” format with an applied program of study and collaborative projects founded in human resources management on such topics as ethics and workplace law, labor negotiation and budget, and employee compensation and benefits. To learn more information or to apply online, visit





VIDEO: UIndy marks Commencement 2016

Despite a few sprinkles, UIndy successfully conducted its 2016 Commencement exercises Saturday, May 7, at Key Stadium.

NPR Morning Edition host and Carmel native Steve Inskeep delivered an inspirational address and called up a student volunteer to present his honorary diploma to his mother in the audience. Singer-actress Jearlyn Steele sang a cappella tributes to her hero Aretha Franklin and her late friend and collaborator Prince. Local developer and philanthropist Gene Zink joined them in receiving an honorary Doctor of Humane Letters degree.

The Class of 2016 was represented by undergraduate speaker Zak Mitiche, a double major in sociology and philosophy, and graduate student speaker Maria Eller, who received her Doctor of Physical Therapy degree.

Nearly 1,400 graduates hailing from 30 states and 29 nations have completed or will complete degrees this year on UIndy’s home campus. Another 79 are receiving diplomas at UIndy’s international partnership sites.

Click above to see video highlights from Saturday’s ceremony. For more photos and video, visit this page and see UIndy’s Facebook, Twitter and Instagram accounts.

Student receives statewide award for service



Mohammed Almalak came to UIndy from Saudi Arabia for a business degree, and he will claim his diploma Saturday.

But Almalak, known to friends as “Mo,” got more out of his Greyhound experience, developing a taste for community service that has benefited several local organizations and earned him a statewide award last week.

The College Career Center Consortium of Indiana presented its annual Paul W. Gabonay Volunteer Service Award to Almalak at the Community Campus Forum and Service Expo. The honor, named for UIndy’s former career services director, recognizes an Indiana undergraduate who best exemplifies the qualities of integrity, commitment to serving those in need and dedication to fostering the growth and gifts of others.

For Almalak, the lesson boils down to this: “The more you give, the more you will get.”

His first community work took place through a service-learning course in the summer of 2014, when he spent more than 90 hours at the Burmese-American Community Institute, tutoring teens in English and math, helping them with college and scholarship applications and developing a business plan for immigrant women planning to start a home daycare center.

From there, it really took off: Read more

800-plus volunteers to join in day of service

Super SaturdayUIndy students move mulch at the Global Peace Initiatives community farm, near the Marion County Fairgrounds, during a previous Super Saturday of Service.

UIndy students, faculty and staff will work at 25 community sites

More than 800 University of Indianapolis students, faculty and staff members will donate their time and effort Saturday morning to benefit community groups, nonprofit organizations and public spaces throughout the city.

UIndy’s annual Super Saturday of Service introduces students, especially freshmen, to a key element of the university culture, as reflected in its longtime motto: “Education for Service.” Each year, UIndy students devote more than 100,000 hours to volunteerism, service-learning and other community engagement opportunities.

This year’s event involves 25 partnership sites. Student coordinator Steven Freck, a senior social work major from Huntington, worked with the community partners to identify worthy projects and assign the necessary volunteers to each site.



“We have students from every class, and faculty are serving alongside their students,” said Freck, who will join about 100 other volunteers weeding, mulching and planting at University Heights Park, just south of campus at Mathews and Edwards avenues. “It’s a really great way to make UIndy a present force in our community.”

Other partners and worksites will include the Indianapolis Cultural Trail at various locations; Friends of the White River in the Broad Ripple area; the Center of Wellness for Urban Women on the near-Westside; Indianapolis Christian Fellowship on Madison Avenue; and Tails and Trails Rescue in Greenwood.

UIndy archives fuel WFYI Hudnut special

BBall and Hudnut 92 -webFormer Indianapolis Mayor Bill Hudnut chats with UIndy President Robert Manuel and Mayoral Archives Director Edward Frantz at a Greyhound basketball game.

The University of Indianapolis’ Mayoral Archives play a key role in a new TV special about former Indianapolis Mayor Bill Hudnut, premiering at 7:30 tonight on WFYI-TV 20.

Twilight Reflections, Evening Meditations features a recent interview with the city’s longest-serving mayor (1976-1992) by John Krull, host of the WFYI-FM public affairs talk show No Limits. Hudnut, praised for his efforts to revitalize the city, is among the former mayors who have donated their papers and assisted in the establishment of the Mayoral Archives, which are accessible online at

To supplement the interview footage, the WFYI producers selected photos and materials from the archives with the assistance of Associate Professor Ted Frantz, director of the Institute for Civic Leadership & Mayoral Archives; head archivist and curator Mark Vopelak; university archivist Christine Guyonneau; and Krannert Memorial Library Director Matthew Shaw.

Trailers for the special can be seen here and here. After tonight, the program will air again at 5 a.m. Friday on WFYI and 10:30 p.m. Monday on WFYI digital channel 20.3.

New VP to lead communications and marketing

Jeanette DeDiemar was 2014 Higher Education Marketer of the Year



A strategic marketing and communications leader with extensive experience in and outside of higher education has been selected vice president of communications and marketing at the University of Indianapolis.

Honored in 2014 as the American Marketing Association’s Higher Education Marketer of the Year, Jeanette Marie DeDiemar served most recently as associate vice president of university communications at Florida State University. Previous positions have included executive director of integrated marketing and communications at the University of Wisconsin Oshkosh and business marketing director for @Wales, a high-tech digital media business accelerator in the United Kingdom.

At UIndy, DeDiemar will lead the institution’s expanding communications efforts, as well as the integrated marketing and communications team responsible for media and public relations, print and digital marketing, design and production, publications, internal communications and social media. Chosen from hundreds of candidates after a national search, she will report directly to university President Robert Manuel, effective Aug. 1.

Manuel described DeDiemar as the clear choice for the position amid an ongoing campus and neighborhood development plan that includes new programs and multiple capital and construction projects, all designed to transform the student experience and elevate quality of life in the surrounding community.

Read more

Campus co-chaplain earns statewide honor

Jeremiah Gibbs - Asbury award - web

Dr. Jeremiah Gibbs joined UIndy in 2009.

UIndy co-chaplain the Rev. Jeremiah Gibbs has received this year’s Francis Asbury Award from the Indiana Conference of the United Methodist Church.

The award from the UMC’s General Board of Higher Education recognizes individuals who have made significant contributions to higher education and campus ministries. It was presented during the church’s recent 2015 Indiana Annual Conference in Indianapolis by Dr. Aleze M. Fulbright, the conference’s director of leadership development.

“I believe the work that Dr. Gibbs provides at the University of Indianapolis will yield the United Methodist Church with greater leaders, young and diverse, that will accomplish the mission of making disciples and transforming the world,” she said.

Gibbs joined UIndy in 2009 and serves as co-chaplain and as director of the Lantz Center for Christian Vocations & Formation, which provides classes, retreats, spiritual mentoring and other opportunities for students to explore their potential as faith leaders. He is a U.S. Marine Corps Reserve veteran and holds a Ph.D. in Theology and Ethics from Garrett Evangelical Theological Seminary.

In May, Gibbs led a UIndy student and staff group on a 21-day, 165-mile walk along Spain’s renowned Camino de Santiago pilgrimage route. Notes and photos from the adventure are posted on the group’s Facebook page.

UIndy releases statement on RFRA

In response to the Indiana Religious Freedom Restoration Act, UIndy President Robert Manuel released the following statement:

“The University of Indianapolis is a community of individuals committed to educating our students to live productive lives of service. We are dedicated to the principle that all people should be treated with fairness and compassion as they seek to understand their full capabilities. UIndy works diligently to construct learning opportunities that allow our students to engage in respectful critical debate about the issues that animate our society. These beliefs have formed the core of our University’s values since our founding, and are deeply held convictions of our community members.

“Because of our mission and core values, the University of Indianapolis stands with many corporate, educational and nonprofit groups in Indiana in opposition to the recently passed Religious Freedom Restoration Act. I have consulted with the officers of our Board of Trustees, and want to be clear that we cannot offer support for this law that may impinge upon the rights of certain groups in our community. The University of Indianapolis does not discriminate on the basis of race, color, gender, age, religion, ethnic or national origin, marital status, sexual orientation, or gender identity and expression.

“As we continue to build an environment of inclusion at UIndy, I join many other leaders in our state in calling for our Governor and our legislators to do the same for our community of Hoosiers.”


High-flying quintet to release debut album

The Icarus Ensemble

From left, Dean Franke, Jon Crabiel, Mark Ortwein, Peter Hansen and Gary Walters are the Icarus Ensemble. Ortwein and Hansen are UIndy music instructors.

Eight years after its founding at the University of Indianapolis, the Icarus Ensemble has produced an album.

Featuring current and former UIndy Department of Music faculty, the innovative classical-jazz-pop quintet will play the Jazz Kitchen on Sunday evening to launch its self-titled debut CD, a nearly all-original collection of challenging and engaging instrumental music.

“I think we as composers and players have figured out what makes a cool sound with these particular instruments,” says bassist Peter Hansen, who is in his 32nd season with the Indianapolis Symphony Orchestra and has taught at UIndy since 1995.

In Icarus, Hansen is joined by fellow UIndy instructor and ISO regular Mark Ortwein on soprano sax, bass clarinet and bassoon; ISO violinist and former UIndy instructor Dean Franke; and pianist Gary Walters and drummer/percussionist Jon Crabiel, both of whom teach at Butler University and also perform at times with ISO. Hansen, Ortwein and Walters are the ensemble’s chief composers.

Read more

Public Safety director on successes, challenges

Riggs - public safety address - 1-20-2015Community leaders and news media came to the UIndy campus in force today to catch a public address by Troy Riggs, director of the Indianapolis Department of Public Safety. Looking back on 2014 and ahead to 2015, Riggs said the implementation of business principles and data-driven decision making — “being a little geeky” — is helping to put more police on the street and improve the effectiveness of all the city’s safety-related agencies.

“This is a fundamental shift in the way we do business,” he said, noting that the city is drawing national attention for its efforts.

Riggs also noted the challenges the city faces, including a disturbing homicide rate and a rise in heroin use. He called for a holistic approach in which police and city officials work together with churches, mental health agencies and community groups to tackle problems in key neighborhoods.

“We’ve got to do better,” he told the assembled audience in Schwitzer Student Center’s UIndy Hall.

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