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Today: Faculty Forum kicks off with Chemistry



The monthly Faculty Forum lunchtime presentation series begins its 2014-2015 season today with Dr. Brad Neal, assistant professor of Chemistry.

Neal’s talk, “Use of Google Drive in Chemistry Labs,” runs from 12:30 to 1:30 p.m. in the Trustees Dining Room at the east end of Schwitzer Student Center. He will discuss how the Google Drive app has helped in redesigning labs to collect data from student experiments and enrich the educational experience.

Faculty Forum is coordinated by the College of Arts & Sciences as an opportunity for all UIndy faculty to showcase their scholarly pursuits for students, staff and colleagues and to stimulate interdisciplinary collaboration. Drinks and snacks are provided, and attendees are encouraged to bring brown-bag lunches.

The series continues this fall with:

  • Dr. Michael Cartwright, noon to 1 p.m. Oct. 1, Schwitzer 012.
  • Associate Professor Tracy Marschall, 12:30 to 1:30 p.m. Nov. 6, Trustees Dining Room.
  • Dr. Stephen Nawrocki, noon to 1 p.m. Dec. 3, Trustees Dining Room.
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Innovative education MBA program to expand

Woodrow-Lilly-Ed MBA presserFrom left at today’s announcement are Margaret Hoernemann, superintendent of Avon Community Schools; Arthur Levine, president of the Woodrow Wilson National Fellowship Foundation; N. Clay Robbins, president and CEO of Lilly Endowment Inc.; and UIndy President Robert Manuel.

Chalkbeat Indiana
Indianapolis Business Journal
Inside Indiana Business
Philanthropy News Digest

Lilly Endowment pledges $14.48 million toward Woodrow Wilson fellowships

The Woodrow Wilson National Fellowship Foundation has announced that its initiative to improve the preparation of district, traditional public, and charter school leaders will expand from one Indiana higher education institution to three, thanks to a major new grant from Lilly Endowment Inc.

WW logoThe Woodrow Wilson National Fellowship Foundation will receive $14,482,405 from Lilly Endowment in support of its MBA Fellowship in Education Leadership program, first established in Indiana at the University of Indianapolis in November 2013. The news was announced today at UIndy, where 15 educators from throughout Indiana began the program this summer.

The funds will be used both to extend the program at the University of Indianapolis and to create similar programs at two more Indiana institutions. The overarching goal of the WW MBA Fellowship in Education Leadership program is to increase the quality and relevance of principal and superintendent education.

“We are deeply grateful for Lilly Endowment’s support of this Fellowship program,” said Arthur Levine, president of the Woodrow Wilson Foundation. “Our country has shifted from a national, analog, industrial economy to a global, digital, knowledge-based economy. This has profound implications for our education system and for the things leaders of schools, school districts, and charter organizations need to know and do. In this environment, a degree that applies the curriculum and content of an MBA to education promises to prepare a new generation of principals and superintendents to lead our schools and school districts in an era of dramatic change.”

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‘Challenge’ supports Greyhound athletics

Already known for athletic and academic excellence, the UIndy Greyhounds are seeking support to cement their status among the elite of NCAA Division II.

fundraiser_full_ChampionsChallenge_with_flying_ILaunched this summer, the one-year Champions Challenge campaign aims to generate funding for programs and capital improvements in the Department of Athletics.

An anonymous donor has pledged $250,000 toward a matching gift program, with all new unrestricted gifts of at least $25 to UIndy Athletics qualifying for a 2-to-1 match. For those who provided support last year, the 2-to-1 match also applies to any increase in unrestricted giving of at least $25. Renewed unrestricted gifts to the Greyhound Club booster organization will qualify for a 1-to-1 match. The funds will address a variety of needs.

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Thursday: Locally grown lunch, green info

The UIndy community will celebrate sustainability and enjoy a lunch of locally produced and organic foods Thursday during the second annual Homegrown UIndy, sponsored by UIndy Dining Services, the campus Sustainability Committee and the student Green Team.

The event takes place from 11 a.m. to 2 p.m. Thursday on the east lawn of Schwitzer Student Center. Attractions will include local vendors, music, information tables, composting and beekeeping demonstrations, and a buffet spread that includes Indiana beef, chicken, pork, duck and bison; fresh and local vegetarian dishes; and a dessert bar.

Lunch is free with student ID, or $6.50 for non-students. In case of rain, the event will move to the Schwitzer dining room.

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Arts center hosts Big Car anniversary show

Sept. 10 reception to feature live performances, interactive fun

UPDATE: See Indy Star photo gallery

AUDIO: Hear UIndy gallery director Mark Ruschman and Big Car founder Jim Walker on WFYI’s The Art of the Matter. (Interview begins around 36:30.)
PRINT: Read Indianapolis Star story

UIndy Arts - Big Car anniversary

Big Car, the local arts and community-building collective, is celebrating its 10th anniversary with a multimedia exhibition and an evening of performances at the University of Indianapolis.

Big Car, No Brakes: 10 Years of Creating Vibrant Collisions runs through Sept. 26 in UIndy’s Christel DeHaan Fine Arts Center Gallery. A Sept. 10 reception will include a free retrospective revue of live music, readings and theatrics in the adjacent Ruth Lilly Performance Hall.

Founded in 2004 as a loose affiliation of artists, musicians and writers, Big Car is known for collaborative projects ranging from the avant-garde to the family-friendly, often with an eye toward urban revitalization. While evolving into an established nonprofit organization with a full-time staff and a national reputation, the group helped to transform the Fountain Square neighborhood into a cultural destination. After three years of similar work from a base near Lafayette Square mall, Big Car is now developing sites around the city to engage residents in various creative endeavors.

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How they spent summer: NSF-funded research

Having never used fast-scan cyclic voltammetry to quantify serotonin release in mice with Huntington’s Disease, we had to ask Sarah Fantin to explain how she spent her summer break.


Sarah Fantin, presenting her work at KU.

The senior Chemistry and Psychology major patiently described her research project at the University of Kansas, which involved applying electric potential to thin slices of mouse brain to generate a current, which can be measured to determine the levels of neurotransmitters present.

“Brain chemistry is kind of a weird thing to be interested in,” she admitted. “But it’s not as hard as it sounds, especially when you think it’s interesting.”

Fantin, who plans to pursue a Ph.D. and a career in the pharmaceutical industry, was one of several Greyhounds who conducted some serious lab work over the summer through the National Science Foundation’s prestigious Research Experiences for Undergraduates program, which allows students to participate in cutting-edge research around the country. UIndy faculty members encouraged them to apply for the competitive program and in some cases employed their professional connections to help the students find projects in their fields of interest.

Other NSF-REU participants included:

  • Senior Biology/Chemistry/Pre-dentistry major Harleen Athwal, who studied the elaborate courting behaviors of male Habronattus clypeatus jumping spiders at the University of California, Berkeley.
  • Senior Biology and Chemistry major Clinton Knapp, who joined a study at the Georgia Institute of Technology on how cholera bacteria absorb DNA from their environment.
  • And junior Biology/Chemistry/Pre-med major Hannah Vormohr, whose work at the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill involved using ultrasonic waves and a high-speed camera to study the elastic properties of various materials.
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Business school sees jump in enrollment

As UIndy welcomes its largest-ever freshman class this fall, the School of Business is seeing an increase of its own.

Enrollment in the introductory course for business majors, BADM 100, has risen to 126 from last year’s 99, a jump of 26 percent.



Business Dean Karl Knapp attributes the growth to several factors, including social media accounts aimed at prospective students and a UIndy Biz Hounds team of upperclassmen who reach out to younger students and coordinate involvement in campus organizations and professional societies. The more students and their families learn about the business program and other opportunities on campus, he says, the more they see an advantage in choosing UIndy.

Especially appealing to parents, he says, is learning how the business faculty draw on their industry connections, enabling students to partner with local businesses and tackle real-life problems in their UIndy classes.

“The biggest differentiation is that our professors have business experience,” Knapp says. “We’re doing things in this market that only we can do.”

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Season looks bright for football Greyhounds

Football season starts next week, and it’s shaping up to be another great one for UIndy.



After two consecutive Great Lakes Valley Conference championships and subsequent trips to the NCAA Division II tournament, the Greyhounds have 15 starters returning, including quarterback Conner Barthel, last year’s top four receivers and the entire offensive line.

UIndy topped the GLVC Preseason Coaches Poll for the third-straight year and is ranked 18th in D-II in the American Football Coaches Association preseason poll. (Note: UIndy volleyball and men’s soccer also are picked to win conference titles.)



The Indianapolis Star today touted the Greyhounds as “kings of the GLVC” and one of the top programs in the area, profiling junior defensive tackle and preseason first-team All American Lee Campbell in a story you can read here.

The season opens Sept. 6 at Saginaw Valley State, and the home opener is Sept. 27 against Hillsdale. A bit of national TV exposure comes Oct. 30, when a home game against Saint Joseph airs on CBS Sports Network.



As always, more about the team can be found at the UIndy Athletics website, including video previews with fifth-year head coach Bob Bartolomeo. Hardcore fans can satisfy their info fix on the team’s media page.

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CAC, CHS co-sponsor walkability summit

UIndy’s Center for Aging & Community and College of Health Sciences are sponsors of the first Indiana Walk Summit, a conference this week in Indianapolis on creating walkable communities.

The event takes place Wednesday and Thursday at the Marten House Hotel and Lilly Conference Center, 1801 W. 86th St. Attendees will include community leaders, health professionals, transportation advocates, and city and town planners from throughout the state who are interested in how walkability affects a community’s quality of life and economic vitality.

The Wednesday agenda from 1 to 4 p.m. includes workshops on best practices, model policies and tools and resources for communities that want to provide safe and convenient pedestrian experiences for people of all ages and abilities. Thursday’s all-day conference from 8 a.m. to 5 p.m. features keynote presenters Scott Bricker, director of America Walks; Suzanne Carlson, pedestrian program manager with the Chicago Department of Transportation; and Phillip Tuso, national clinical lead for total health with Kaiser Permanente Care Management Institute.

The event is organized by the Health by Design coalition, an initiative of the Alliance for Health Promotion. More detail on the program and registration is available at

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Tickets announced for Oct. 22 Tyson talk

Seating is limited for appearance by science star, ‘Cosmos’ host


Neil deGrasse Tyson (photo Dan Deitch)

Read Indianapolis Star interview

UPDATE: The event has been moved to UIndy’s Nicoson Hall arena.

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

“This Just In: Latest Discoveries in the Universe” is the theme of Tyson’s presentation, which will begin at 7 p.m. in Nicoson Hall, 1400 E. Hanna Ave. A question-and-answer session will follow.

Admission is free, but seating is limited. Tickets for the general public will be available starting at 11 a.m. Sept. 9 through the Event Ticketing Center at the auditorium. Tickets may be obtained in person, by phone at (317) 788-3251 or online at (recommended).

For the UIndy community, tickets will be available Sept. 2 for students (one per order), Sept. 3 for faculty and staff (one per order) and Sept. 4 for alumni (two per order). Visit for details.

On Oct. 22, doors will open at 6 p.m., and any seats unclaimed by 6:45 p.m. will be available on a first-come, first-served basis. Visitors unable to obtain seating are invited to view a live video feed in Schwitzer Student Center’s UIndy Hall.

Tyson is director of the Hayden Planetarium at the American Museum of Natural History in New York City. Cosmos: A Spacetime Odyssey 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. It aired from March to June on the Fox and National Geographic networks and is now available on Blu-ray and DVD. Sagan’s widow and collaborator Ann Druyan and writer-director-actor Seth McFarlane were executive producers of the series, which earned 12 Emmy Award nominations and won in four categories.

Stargazing at UIndy — Oct. 21
The Tyson appearance is part of the university’s Blanche E. Penrod Lecture Series and a highlight of Homecoming Week festivities on the UIndy campus. On the previous night, Oct. 21, faculty from the Department of Physics & Earth-Space Sciences will guide visitors in stargazing from the university’s central Smith Mall and from its Noblitt Observatory in Lilly Science Hall, which features 8-inch reflector and 8-inch refractor telescopes.

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