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Coming soon to The Perk: Starbucks coffee

we-proudly-serve-starbucks-coffeeIt’s the news many caffeine-craving Greyhounds have been waiting for: In January, The Perk will begin serving Starbucks products.

UIndy Dining Services has joined the coffee behemoth’s “We Proudly Serve …” program, which will bring Starbucks equipment, coffees, Frappuccinos, Tazo Teas and flavor syrups to the coffee shop in Schwitzer Student Center, said Kory Vitangeli, Dean of Students and Vice President for Student and Campus Affairs.

The Perk will retain its friendly service and convenient location, as well as its current selection of pastries. And it will continue to accept cash, credit, meal plan swipes and Crimson Cash.

There is no truth to the rumor, however, that the mysterious Starbucks siren (pictured above) will become UIndy’s new athletic mascot.

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Alumna receives statewide teaching award



UIndy alumna Kara Heichelbech, a teacher at Clark-Pleasant Middle School in Greenwood, has been named this year’s Outstanding Middle Level Teacher by the Indiana Business Education Association. The statewide award was presented at the organization’s recent annual conference in Indianapolis.

A 2012 graduate, Heichelbach spent more than a decade in the corporate world before entering the Master of Arts in Teaching program in UIndy’s School of Education. The MAT program, designed for career-changers who already hold bachelor’s degrees in specific content areas, can prepare graduates for teaching careers in less than two calendar years.

Heichelbech has taught digital communications at CPMS for the past four years and serves as Related Arts department chair and yearbook advisor. She also leads the school’s Warrior Strong team in the Relay for Life cancer awareness event, raising $4,500 to date.

She is not UIndy’s first MAT grad to win an IBEA service award, however. Other recent recipients have included Becky Sondgeroth, who was the Outstanding Secondary Level Teacher for 2012; Todd Kunz, who earned the Emerging Professional Award for 2010; and Anna Stumpf, Emerging Professional for 2007.

More information on the MAT program is here.


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At UIndy, Finals Week comes with perks

Leave it to UIndy to make Finals Week fun.

Winter Break begins next week for students, but first they must survive this week’s gauntlet of semester-ending exams and project deadlines.

Never fear, however. Tonight brings the cherished Greyhound tradition of  Midnight Breakfast, with faculty, staff and even top administrators volunteering in the Schwitzer Student Center dining room to serve hearty meals to bleary-eyed scholars starting at 11:59 p.m. The meal follows a full evening of Campus Program Board-sponsored activities in the Schwitzer atrium that include:

  • The Residence Hall Association Prize Giveaway, 8-11:30 p.m., with raffle prizes including a North Face jacket, a Nutribullet, a Fitbit, a Samsung Galaxy Tablet 4 and Perfect North Slopes ski passes. Proceeds support the nonprofit Exodus Refugee organization.
  • Novelty Photo Wreathes, 7:30-11:30 p.m.
  • Singer Matt Beilis, 8-9 p.m.
  • Karaoke, 9-11 p.m.
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Lugar shares perspective with students, press

2014 Lugar SymposiumSen. Richard Lugar presents UIndy’s $1,000 Lugar Student Leadership Award, as well as a copy of his own book, to Lawrence North High School senior Edric Zeng during Saturday’s 38th annual Lugar Symposium for Tomorrow’s Leaders.

The Indianapolis Star
Fox59 (audio)

What was on longtime Senator Richard Lugar’s mind when he spoke to 450 Hoosier high school students, as well as several journalists, Saturday at UIndy?

Let’s see: nuclear weapons, Ebola, Iraq, Syria, Ukraine, NATO, terrorism, oil production, climate change, the European recession and America’s “pivot to Asia,” among other topics.

The setting was the 38th annual Lugar Symposium for Tomorrow’s Leaders, presented by UIndy’s Lugar Academy for about 450 select high school juniors representing more than 70 Indiana counties. Lugar apologized in advance for the “heavy” content, but his goal, as always, was to inform bright young people about the issues facing the world and encourage them to take an active role.

“You are the most important people I will have the opportunity to talk to” this year, he told the crowd in Ransburg Auditorium. “You have so much ahead of you that is possible.”

Read more »

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Friday showcase features UIndy student writers

Folks enjoying the city’s First Friday gallery tour tomorrow should spend some time at the UIndy-affiliated Wheeler Arts Community in Fountain Square, where the Department of English will host another of its periodic “Electrostatic Showcase” literary events.

Highlights will include readings by creative writing students from 6 to 8 p.m. and the launch of the latest edition of Etchings, UIndy’s student-run literary magazine, from 8 to 9 p.m.

From 9 to 10 p.m., three professional writers will read their work, courtesy of UIndy and Vouched Books. Chicago-based James Tadd Adcox has a new novel, Does Not Love, which is set in an alternative Indianapolis. Adam Fleming Petty’s work has appeared in the Millions, the Los Angeles Review of Books, the Christian Courier and Cultural Society. Sarah Suksiri’s work has appeared in Sonora Review, The Mackinac, Necessary Fiction and elsewhere.

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Lugar to discuss conflict in world, Washington

Lugar Symposium 2013 - web

Richard Lugar speaks at the 2013 Lugar Symposium for Tomorrow’s Leaders.

Statewide symposium will bring 450 select high school juniors to campus

In what he has often described as his most important annual public speech, former U.S. Sen. Richard Lugar is expected to discuss the threat posed by ISIS and the need for post-election bipartisanship during a public address Saturday at the University of Indianapolis.

The occasion is the 38th annual Lugar Symposium for Tomorrow’s Leaders, which will bring 450 select Indiana high school juniors and 150 accompanying adults to the UIndy campus for a morning program featuring Lugar’s keynote speech, a chance to meet and take photos with the Nobel Prize nominee, and an afternoon of expert-led small group discussions on national and global issues.

New this year will be a reunion and lunch for alumni and current students in UIndy’s History, Political Science and International Relations programs.

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In the news: Archeology & Forensics Team

Dr. Krista Latham and the student team from UIndy’s Archeology & Forensics Laboratory are subjects of the cover story in the latest NUVO Newsweekly.

nuvo coverIn an extensive piece headlined “Immigration: A journey of death,” NUVO News Editor Amber Stearns (a UIndy alum) wrote about the team’s humanitarian work over the past two years: Two trips to southern Texas to exhume remains, and further work in the campus lab, in hopes of identifying undocumented migrants who died after crossing the border, typically of thirst or exposure.

“Not only do people deserve dignity in death, but someone out there is missing them,” Latham says in the interview. The story also features fellow anthropologist Wendy Vogt of IUPUI, a colleague who has traced the difficult path of refugees from Central America to the United States.

This week’s NUVO is available at locations throughout the city, and the story can be read online here.

In related news, The Weather Channel and Telemundo recently collaborated on a one-hour investigative report, “The Real Death Valley,” which mentions the Texas project and includes comments from Dr. Latham. The program can be seen here, and the UIndy material appears around the 21:00 mark.

The UIndy team’s blog documenting this summer’s work is still viewable at

The UIndy Archeology & Forensics Team at work in Texas, June 2014 (UIndy/Guy Housewright photo)

The UIndy forensics team in Texas, June 2014 — photo by Guy Housewright

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Men’s basketball starts season with streak

After opening the season with a 6-0 winning streak, the UIndy men’s basketball team debuted at No. 16 this week in the NABC/Division II coaches poll.



Senior forward/center Joe Lawson averaged 25 points and 8 rebounds in last weekend’s victories over Tiffin and Central State, earning Player of the Week honors from the Great Lakes Valley Conference.

The Greyhounds begin conference play Saturday night, traveling to Rensselaer to face Saint Joseph’s College. Find more info on the team at the  Athletics website.

The women’s basketball team (1-3) faces a busy week on the road, with its first GLVC game tonight at Saint Joseph’s, followed by Cedarville on Saturday and an exhibition game against D-I Indiana State on Sunday. Learn more about them here.

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New service course teaches culture and more

Vakunta course 1UIndy students Hannah Hornsby, center, and Hannah Gayhart, right, work with children at Laurelwood Apartments through a new service-learning course.

“Is this obtuse?” asks 11-year-old Angel, pointing to her math homework from IPS School 65.

UIndy junior Hunter Hamm patiently explains the various types of angles to Angel and her classmate DeLawrence. It’s one of many small, unexpected lessons he’s been teaching this year to kids at Laurelwood Apartments.

“How can I present this information in a way that they can understand?” he muses later. “It’s a different culture.”

Indeed, this low-income public housing complex in Indianapolis is a world away from Hamm’s small-town upbringing in Franklin, and that creates ample opportunity for learning and personal growth – on both sides.

“When a child is having a bad day, you recognize it,” he says. “You give them the option, if they want to talk about it.”



A biology major with a minor in French, Hamm is among a dozen UIndy students taking part in a unique service-learning lab course that debuted this fall. LANG 300, or Languages Without Borders, is the brainchild of  Dr. Peter Vakunta, assistant professor of French and chair of the Department of Modern Languages.

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Faculty Forum explores TB and Christmas Seals



Professor Stephen Nawrocki is perhaps best known for his work in forensic anthropology, but he’ll reveal a different interest during this month’s Faculty Forum.

“The Scourge of Tuberculosis and the Christmas Seal Campaign” is the topic of Nawrocki’s presentation at noon Wednesday in the Trustees Dining Room of Schwitzer Student Center. Refreshments will be served, and bag lunches are welcome.

The talk will explore the National Tuberculosis Association’s innovative fundraising venture, Christmas Seals, which supported public education and mobile X-ray testing that helped nearly eradicate the deadly disease by the 1970s.

“My presentation will trace the design, distribution, associated publicity, and cultural significance of these humble little pieces of colorful paper,” he says.

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