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Staffer tapped to review DOD cancer research



Jeanie Neal, grants coordinator for UIndy’s Office of Grants & Sponsored Programs, spent Spring Break putting her professional skills to use – for the Department of Defense.

The DOD, as it turns out, sponsors a Breast Cancer Research Program that received $120 million in funding from Congress last year, and someone has to decide where that money goes. Neal, who has taken an advocacy role since receiving her own diagnosis in 2001, was nominated to serve as a consumer reviewer, working alongside scientists to evaluate funding applications for innovative cancer research projects.

Consumer reviewers represent the interests of breast cancer survivors and their loved ones in weighing the pros and cons of proposed research. Neal’s day job gives her a unique perspective on the task.

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‘Cosmos’ host Tyson to speak Oct. 22 at UIndy



Internationally known astrophysicist Neil deGrasse Tyson, host of the updated Cosmos science television series, will deliver a public presentation Oct. 22 at the University of Indianapolis.

Tyson, director of the Hayden Planetarium at the American Museum of Natural History in New York City, will speak at 7 p.m. in Ruth Lilly Performance Hall of the Christel DeHaan Fine Arts Center. The appearance is part of UIndy’s Blanche E. Penrod Lecture Series. Details on seating will be released as available.

Cosmos: A Spacetime Odyssey, which premiered March 9 as a weekly feature on the Fox and National Geographic networks, is a high-tech reboot of the groundbreaking 1980 PBS series that demystified deep science for general audiences and made host Carl Sagan a pop icon. Sagan’s widow and collaborator Ann Druyan and writer-director-actor Seth McFarlane are executive producers of the new series.

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Hounds down conference rivals in first round

UPDATE: The men’s basketball season ended Sunday night with an 82-76 loss to Michigan Tech in the second round of the NCAA D-II Midwest Regional. More details here.

Photo: UIndy Athletics/Kyle Piercy

UIndy senior Reece Cheatham hit five three-pointers in Saturday’s victory over conference rivals Bellarmine. Photo: Kyle Piercy for UIndy Athletics

UIndy sent Bellarmine packing Saturday with an 80-75 win in the first round of the NCAA Division II Men’s Basketball Midwest Regional.

The showdown against the archrivals from Louisville was a big win for the Greyhounds, who defeated the Knights in January but lost to them twice in the past month. The tournament meeting was their third in four years.

“They’ve been a thorn in my side the past few years, and it’s time for us to do what we’ve been trying to do these past few years and knock these guys off,” Head Coach Stan Gouard said in a pregame interview with WIBC radio.

And so they did. Senior Reece Cheatham led the Hounds with 18 points, 15 of them coming in the second half.

Second-seeded UIndy now advances to the second round Sunday, facing sixth-seeded Michigan Tech (23-7) at 7 p.m.

Read the Indianapolis Star’s pregame story

Hear WIBC’s seven-minute interview with Coach Stan Gouard

See a photo gallery from Saturday’s game

Learn more about the team and the win

The UIndy women’s basketball team enjoyed a 23-9 season but lost Friday to Detroit’s Wayne State in the first round of the Midwest Regional. Read more on the team here.

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‘Demon Camp’ author Percy to speak April 3



Author Jennifer Percy, whose new book Demon Camp: A Soldier’s Exorcism is drawing rave reviews and film proposals, will read and discuss her work April 3 at the University of Indianapolis.

Presented by UIndy’s Kellogg Writers Series, the appearance begins at 7:30 p.m. in UIndy Hall C of the university’s Schwitzer Student Center, 1400 E. Hanna Ave. Admission is free.

Published in January by Scribner, Demon Camp is a first-person account of Percy’s extensive interviews with a traumatized veteran of the Afghanistan conflict and the three years she spent in a rural Georgia faith community that performs exorcisms on veterans with PTSD, attributing their symptoms to demonic possession.

Demon Camp coverThe book has been called “visceral, seductive” by the New York Times Book Review, “a powerful debut” by Esquire and “beautiful, lucid … often harrowing” by the Los Angeles Times. Paramount Pictures has acquired the film rights.

Percy’s previous work has been published in the New York Times, the Atlantic and the Oxford American, among other outlets, and she has been featured on National Public Radio and BBC World News. She is a graduate of the Iowa Writers’ Workshop and winner of the Pushcart Prize, a National Endowment for the Arts grant and a Truman Capote Fellowship.

Coordinated by UIndy’s Department of English, the Allen & Helen Kellogg Writers Series brings writers of distinction to campus for classroom discussions and public readings. All events are free of charge and open to the public. More information is available at

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High school broadcasters compete at UIndy

Carmel High School claimed both the Television School of the Year and Radio School of the Year honors Monday at the 2014 Indiana Association of School Broadcasters High School Conference and Competition at the University of Indianapolis.

Nearly 800 students and instructors from 28 high schools throughout the state participated in the 11th annual event, presented by UIndy’s student-staffed broadcast operations, UIndy TV and public radio station WICR-FM/HD. The day on the university campus included more than 30 educational sessions, workshops and roundtable discussions led by broadcast journalists from such outlets as WTHR, WRTV and WFYI, as well as other electronic media professionals from around the state.

The competition drew 389 entries in 25 categories, most judged in advance from mailed submissions but some decided during live final rounds in the UIndy Department of Communication’s radio and TV studios. Students from 21 high schools received awards. The School of the Year titles are based on total points from the individual categories, and Carmel’s double win is a first for the competition.

Leading entries in the various categories were: Read more »

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UIndy team makes finals in promotion contest

Top Dog Communication, UIndy’s student-run PR agency, is among three finalists in the state’s “Promoting the Good Works of Indiana Agriculture” competition.

topdog_logoTop Dog was among 38 teams representing more than 200 students and 19 institutions that responded to a proposal from the office of Lt. Governor Sue Ellspermann to develop a creative, innovative communications campaign promoting Indiana agriculture.

“I want to thank all the teams for their creativity and hard work to prepare very impressive and professional proposals. Selecting the three finalists was challenging for our panel of judges,” Ellspermann said in a prepared statement. The other finalists are teams from Huntington University and University of Southern Indiana.

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CELL honored for teacher quality program

National Institute for Excellence in Teaching

National Institute for Excellence in Teaching photo

NIET Chairman and TAP Founder Lowell Milken (left) presents a TAP Award of Distinction to CELL Executive Director David Dresslar (far right) and Indiana TAP Director Jennifer Oliver on Friday in Los Angeles.

Indiana TAP system now touches 1,500 teachers, 25,000 students

The Center of Excellence in Leadership of Learning at the University of Indianapolis is among just three recipients nationwide of this year’s TAP Award of Distinction, which honors organizations for their dedication and commitment to advancing the effectiveness of educators.

CELL Executive Director David Dresslar and TAP Director Jennifer Oliver accepted the award Friday before more than 1,200 educators and policy leaders at the 14th National TAP Conference in Los Angeles.

TAP: The System for Teacher and Student Advancement is America’s leading comprehensive educator effectiveness model that aligns career advancement, professional development, educator evaluation and performance-based compensation. For more than a decade, TAP has worked to improve teacher effectiveness and student achievement in high-need urban, rural and suburban schools and districts across the country. It is managed and supported by the National Institute for Excellence in Teaching (NIET).

TAP in Indiana is administered by CELL as a partnership among NIET, CELL and the Indiana Department of Education. Launched in the 2011-2012 school year, it now impacts 1,500 teachers and 25,000 students.

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NIH grant supports innovative stroke research

A grant from the National Institutes of Health is helping a UIndy physical therapy professor use the latest wireless technology to study how stroke patients walk, in an effort to develop more effective rehabilitation techniques.



Dr. Stephanie Combs-Miller, associate professor in the Krannert School of Physical Therapy, is collaborating with Dr. Eric Dugan, a kinesiology professor and director at Boise State University’s Center for Orthopaedic and Biomechanics Research. The two have worked together for several years, examining similar issues from their distinct academic perspectives.

“We come from two different worlds,” says Combs-Miller, who recently traveled to Idaho to train Dugan’s biomechanics graduate students on testing procedures for the study. “This is an ongoing piece of our work.”

An IMU can track body motion.

An IMU can track body motion.

The research hinges on small electronic sensors called inertial measurement units, or IMUs, which are placed at various points on a patient’s body to measure movement in time and space, including joint angles and speed of motion. Bluetooth-enabled IMUs can transmit data directly into software for analysis and are convenient enough to be used in a clinical setting, eliminating the need for patients to be evaluated in a dedicated motion analysis laboratory with specialized video and computer equipment.

“The best thing about these IMUs is that you don’t need a traditional lab,” Combs-Miller said. “The patients can walk all around the lab, and the technology will show us how they are moving.”

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UIndy to help launch new city services effort

NSA announcement - webUniversity President Robert Manuel greets neighbors Thursday at a meeting to establish Indianapolis’ first Neighborhood Services Area, a new initiative in which residents and city agencies will work together to address quality-of-life issues.

Department of Public Safety hopes to replicate model throughout Indianapolis

The University of Indianapolis and its neighbors are collaborating with the Indianapolis Department of Public Safety to pilot a new approach to government services and community involvement that could become a model for the city and the nation.

In a public meeting Thursday night, Indianapolis and UIndy officials announced the establishment of the city’s first Neighborhood Service Area, in which a Community Action Team of local volunteers will channel residents’ concerns and help the city coordinate its efforts on a range of quality-of-life issues, from abandoned properties and street repair to animal complaints and law enforcement. Director of Public Safety Troy Riggs said the city is investing $15 million in a data system that will help officials and residents alike to monitor and exchange information on complaints and responses.

“It’s really going to evolve into a new philosophy about how we do government, day in and day out,” Riggs said during the meeting at University Heights Methodist Church. “I’m already getting calls nationally about what we’re doing here.”

UIndy will serve as the designated “anchor institution” for the initial NSA, which is bounded by Keystone Avenue on the east, I-465 on the south, East Street on the west and Sumner Avenue on the north. A statement from the Department of Public Safety cited the university as “the natural choice” to support the local effort, in light of its ongoing investments to enhance the neighborhood.

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‘Apprentice’ winner Rancic to speak March 18

He was Donald Trump’s first apprentice, and now he’s coming to UIndy.


Bill Rancic

Businessman, reality TV star and motivational speaker Bill Rancic will offer tips on personal branding and career development March 18 in an exclusive appearance for the campus community, presented by the UIndy chapter of the Public Relations Student Society of America.

Seating is limited to 300 for the free event, which begins at 7 p.m. in Schwitzer Student Center’s UIndy Hall B and C. L/P credit is available.

Rancic first rose to national fame in 2004 as the winner of the first season of NBC’s The Apprentice, and he and his wife confront career and family issues in the E! Entertainment reality series Giuliana and Bill, now entering its sixth season. He speaks to organizations around the world and appears frequently on TV talk and news shows to discuss business and entrepreneurship.

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