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Student speakers chosen for Commencement

Nearly 1,400 graduates eligible to walk in May 7 ceremony at Key Stadium

Two students – a Fulbright scholar and a soon-to-be physical therapist – will join NPR host Steve Inskeep as speakers for the May 7 commencement ceremony at the University of Indianapolis.



Representing the undergraduate Class of 2016 will be Ahmed “Zak” Mitiche, a double major in Sociology and Philosophy. The Pike High School graduate has been awarded a grant from the Fulbright U.S. Student Program to spend the coming year in Morocco studying its pro-democracy movement.

The son of Farid and Fouzia Mitiche of Indianapolis, he has been active in student organizations and service projects as well as a standout on the Greyhound soccer team.



Representing graduate students earning master’s and doctoral degrees this year will be Maria Eller, who will receive her Doctor of Physical Therapy degree. During her time at UIndy, Eller has undertaken clinical experiences in Indianapolis, Greenfield, Urbana, Ill., and Palmer, Alaska. She also taught communication courses as an adjunct faculty member, taught Sunday school at neighboring University Heights United Methodist Church and served as class representative for her peers in the DPT program. She is the daughter of Dean and Melanie Eller of Lowell, Ind.

Nearly 1,400 graduates from 30 states and 29 nations are eligible to walk before an audience of thousands during the 11 a.m. outdoor ceremony at UIndy’s Key Stadium. The event also will include the awarding of honorary degrees to Inskeep, local real estate developer Gene Zink and internationally known singer-actress Jearlyn Steele, who will perform a song. The proceedings will be webcast live at More information on the honorary Doctor of Humane Letters recipients is available at this link.

By the numbers: UIndy’s Class of 2016

  • 907 undergraduates
  • 393 master’s degree recipients
  • 78 doctoral degree recipients
  • 1,378 graduates from home campus
  • 30 states and 29 nations represented
  • 79 additional graduates at international partner sites
  • Total: 1,457 graduates
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Foreign journalists receive UIndy education

Foreign press tour - Albright and FrantzHistory & Political Science faculty members Laura Albright and Edward Frantz speak this morning to foreign journalists on a State Department press tour.

A group of 24 foreign journalists came to UIndy today for a crash course in U.S. politics and next week’s Indiana primary.

Hosted by the State Department, the reporters are on a week-long U.S. tour to cover the presidential campaigns. They represent print, broadcast and online news outlets across Asia, Europe, Africa and South America.

History Professor Edward Frantz and Assistant Professor of Political Science Laura Albright delivered a 90-minute morning presentation to the group, which also heard remarks from UIndy adjunct instructor and local political pundit Abdul-Hakim Shabazz.

During lunch in Esch Hall with faculty, staff and students, the journalists also got a firsthand lesson in municipal government from former Indianapolis Mayor Greg Ballard, now a Visiting Fellow at UIndy’s Institute for Civic Leadership & Mayoral Archives.

Foreign press tour - BallardUIndy Visiting Fellow Greg Ballard shares some stories with foreign journalists as well as faculty and students over lunch in the Esch Hall atrium.

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Special activities ease end-of-semester stress

Dog Days 4-2016Students picked up mental health tips and enjoyed the company of friendly canines during Wednesday’s “Dog Days of Summer” Wellness & Relaxation Fair, presented by the Counseling Center.

Final exams are looming on the UIndy campus, but students are getting plenty of support.

A series of Healthy Hounds Week events are under way this week to promote general mind, body and spirit wellness for the entire UIndy community. Organized by the Student Affairs office, the schedule includes daily workout opportunities at the Fitness Center and on Smith Mall, weather permitting, as well as worship and prayer services and championships for the various intramural sports.

Wednesday brought the Counseling Center’s “Dog Days of Summer” Wellness & Relaxation Fair, during which university employees and friends brought their dogs to UIndy Hall over the lunch hour to provide some furry comfort to students. The Dining Hall offered a special Healthy Dinner menu Wednesday evening.

Upcoming events include the Stress Less mini-carnival from 5 to 7 p.m. today in the Schwitzer Student Center atrium, featuring a miniature pony and other fun; and a “Red for Riley” Charity Ball from 8 to 11 p.m. Friday in UIndy Hall, benefiting Riley Hospital for Children. Saturday’s events include a “Dude Perfect” All Sport Golf Battle from noon to 6 p.m., in which all students are invited to join in a wacky golf competition using equipment from other sports.

Next week’s run of Final Exams, as always, will be tempered by the popular Midnight Breakfast at 11:59 p.m. Monday in the Dining Hall, as well as a full schedule of Senior Week festivities for those soon to graduate.

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History prof named Teacher of the Year

Amid accolades from students and colleagues, Dr. James Williams has been named UIndy’s 2016 Teacher of Year.



“I was very surprised and humbled,” said Williams, assistant professor of History and interim executive director of the Ron and Laura Strain Honors College.

The award was presented at a Tuesday faculty meeting by Executive VP and Provost Deborah Balogh.

“This is the highest honor we present to our faculty,” Balogh said. “Simply being nominated is a big deal, and the winner is chosen only after an extensive evaluation process.”

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VIDEO: Seniors reflect and look ahead

A cross-section of UIndy’s undergraduate Class of 2016 is featured in this year’s “Senior Salute” video, now viewable online.

Click the image above to watch the almost-graduates as they look back on their college years and explain how the Greyhound experience has prepared them for the next step in their lives. Commencement is May 7.

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Director tapped for new Engineering programs

An expert in electrical and computer engineering has been chosen to lead the new programs in Engineering at the University of Indianapolis.



José R. Sánchez brings substantial research and teaching experience from his work at Bradley University in Peoria, Ill., where he began teaching in 2002. He has served most recently as associate professor of electrical and computer engineering at Bradley. He starts at UIndy on May 16 as director and associate professor of Engineering.

Sanchez’ specialties and research interests are biomedical imaging and devices, discrete-time signal processing, embedded systems, engineering education, robotics, real-time implementation of digital signal processing and image, multidimensional, multirate and adaptive signal processing.

“The needs of engineering have changed over the last few decades,” Sánchez said. “Most problems that society faces today require complex multidisciplinary and transdisciplinary solutions. My goal is to collaborate with the industry to create real-world problems for our students to solve. UIndy’s strong core, along with the emphasis on communication, problem-solving, design, testing and teamwork, will uniquely position our engineering students as strong contributors to society.”

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Expo, luncheon recognize community service

The University of Indianapolis will celebrate its “Education for Service” motto Thursday with an awards luncheon and expo honoring UIndy students and the many community organizations they serve through volunteerism and service-leaRning courses.



The Community Campus Forum and Service Expo in Schwitzer Student Center’s UIndy Hall also will include the presentation of the Indiana College Career Center Consortium’s Paul W. Gabonay Volunteer Service Award, recognizing 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. This prize, named for UIndy’s former career services director, includes a $500 monetary award.

Lessons Learned: A Community Partner Perspective is the theme of the event, organized by UIndy’s Center for Service-Learning and Community Engagement.

“So many inspiring stories come out of our community service work, and this is an opportunity to share those stories,” said Marianna Foulkrod, the center’s director.

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Students gearing up for weekend of service

cleanupFinal exams are barely a week away, but many UIndy students are devoting a big chunk of their weekend to community service.

The annual Great UIndy Cleanup starts at 8 a.m. Saturday. More than 70 volunteers have signed up with Campus Program Board to take on planting, mulching, outdoor maintenance and other tasks at University Heights United Methodist Church and throughout the University Heights neighborhood adjacent to campus.

Volunteers can still join in by registering at 8 a.m. Saturday in UIndy Hall. Breakfast is provided.

Also on Saturday, the Active Minds student organization is hosting its annual Stomp Out Stigma 5K Run/Walk around campus to raise money for mental health awareness and advocacy efforts. The event culminates a year of fundraising activities for the group, which strives to reduce the stigma surrounding mental health issues.

Check-in begins at 9 a.m. Saturday on Smith Mall, and race time is 9:30 a.m. Registration is $20 and includes a commemorative T-shirt. Prizes will be awarded in various age categories. More info is on the Active Minds Facebook page.

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Marine Corps Band to perform Friday night

marine bandIn a surprise addition to the UIndy arts calendar, the Marine Corps Band New Orleans will perform Friday night at the Christel DeHaan Fine Arts Center.

Free and open to the public, the concert will begin at 7:30 p.m. in Ruth Lilly Performance Hall. The program will include a variety of contemporary and traditional orchestral music.

This is the only Indianapolis stop on the band’s spring tour, and these are not ringers — all the musicians are active-duty Marines and trained riflemen, according to their publicity materials.

L/P credit is available for students. For more information, contact the Department of Music at 788-3255.

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Former Mayor Ballard takes post at UIndy

Archives fellowship will support work on issues facing U.S. cities

WATCH: Inside Indiana Business interview with former Mayor Ballard and UIndy President Robert Manuel


State of the City address, 2014

Mayor Ballard’s State of the City address, 2014

The University of Indianapolis announced today former Indianapolis Mayor Greg Ballard will join the institution as a Visiting Fellow of the Institute for Civic Leadership & Mayoral Archives. Ballard’s role will bring a new dimension to the Mayoral Archives, which are overseen by Professor of History Edward Frantz and maintained by UIndy’s Krannert Memorial Library.

Ballard also will advance thought leadership strategies to convene conversations with local and national leaders on issues facing U.S. cities as well as advance the City of Indianapolis’ Mayoral Archives as a resource for officeholders, community leaders, researchers and students. His work will focus on themes that marked his years in office to impact quality of life in urban areas, including clean-energy solutions to public needs, new approaches to urban transportation and the value of global perspective and international collaboration.



“Former Mayor Ballard’s role continues a University of Indianapolis tradition of working closely with city leaders,” said University of Indianapolis President Robert L. Manuel. “He’s been a vital partner in UIndy’s efforts to enhance the quality of life in our own neighborhood and throughout Indianapolis. I’m looking forward to seeing firsthand his contributions to UIndy’s intellectual life and student learning opportunities, and I believe our partnership can make a national impact.”

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