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UIndy News

Softball team starts World Series action today

softball 2015The Greyhound softball team celebrates Saturday after sweeping a doubleheader to win the D-II Midwest Super Regional and a trip to the national championships.

The action begins this afternoon in Oklahoma City as the UIndy softball team enters the Division II Women’s College World Series for the first time since 2009.

The 10th-ranked Hounds (47-13) will face the sixth-ranked North Georgia Nighthawks (49-7) at 3:30 p.m. The UIndy Greyhound Club will host a viewing party with free soft drinks and appetizers at Buffalo Wild Wings, 8020 U.S. 31 South. Click here for more details on the game and links to live video, audio and stats.

“You have to have a little luck,” head coach Melissa Frost told the Indianapolis Star for a game preview. “You have to play well at the right time. That’s the most important thing. But we tell every girl we bring in here that our goal is to win a national championship.”

In related news, junior Morgan Foley and seniors Taylor Russell and Casey Williamson were named to the National Fastpitch Coaches Association All-America team Wednesday night at the NFCA’s annual awards banquet in Oklahoma City. Read more about that honor here.

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‘Wallbreaking’ kicks off library renovation

KML walkbreaking hammer pose

Speaking and testing their sledgehammer skills at Tuesday’s ceremony were (from left) Krannert Memorial Library Director Matthew Shaw, Executive Vice President and Provost Deborah Balogh, UIndy President Emeritus Gene Sease, President Robert Manuel and F.A. Wilhelm Construction Co. President Philip Kenney.

Click here for video

It takes a unique event to launch a unique renovation project, and that’s what happened at Tuesday morning’s “wallbreaking” ceremony to kick off the extensive overhaul of UIndy’s Krannert Memorial Library.

KML wallbreaking hammer table

A table set for destruction

An unfortunate wall took a sledgehammer beating at the hands of UIndy President Robert Manuel; President Emeritus Gene Sease, who led the construction of the library in 1977; Executive Vice President and Provost Deborah Balogh; library Director Matthew Shaw; and Philip Kenney, president of F.A. Wilhelm Construction Co., which is managing the $5.5 million project.

Designed by RATIO Architects, the new and improved Krannert Memorial Library will reopen this fall with a radically reconfigured interior geared toward maximum flexibility and digital connectivity to suit all learning styles. New features will include a café with food service, an outdoor plaza, a 24-hour study lab, and a glass-curtain exterior wall to provide all three upper stories of the building with natural light and views across UIndy’s central Smith Mall. More details about the renovation are here.

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Women’s golf claims first NCAA team title

women's golf champsThe UIndy women’s golf team led all four rounds of last week’s 2015 NCAA Division II Championships and came home with a national title — a first for the program and also the first team national championship in Greyhound athletics history.

Senior Chanice Young of Evansville tied for fifth individually and led the Hounds to a five-stroke victory in the tournament, which took place Wednesday through Saturday at The Meadows Golf Course in Allendale, Mich.

“I am so lucky to coach this group,” head coach Brent Nicoson said.  “They have been relentless in their pursuit to get better, and that has now paid off with four consecutive conference titles, four consecutive NCAA regionals, and now a national championship.”

NCAA coverage
Indianapolis Star
UIndy Athletics

For the men’s golf team, the D-II Championships run today through Friday at Rock Barn Golf and Spa in Conover, N.C.

The Greyhound softball team won the D-II Midwest Super Regional on Saturday in St. Louis and moves on to the National Championships, starting with North Georgia on Thursday in Oklahoma City.


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Q&A: UIndy grad prepares for literary spotlight

Francesca Zappia

Wanamaker resident Francesca Zappia, who earned her UIndy bachelor’s degree earlier this month, will read and sign copies of her debut novel, Made You Up, on Tuesday evening at Barnes & Noble in Greenwood.

“Could young Indy author be the next John Green?” reads the headline on an Indianapolis Star interview with Francesca Zappia, a fresh UIndy grad who on Tuesday will see the nationwide release of her first novel, Made You Up.

The book, a quirky and touching mystery in which a teen heroine battles mental illness as she probes strange happenings at her high school, has been touted among the most anticipated young adult novels of 2015 by critics for Teen VogueThe Huffington Post, Barnes & Noble and Pop Crush.

The attention “is both extremely humbling and kind of terrifying,” Zappia tells the newspaper. “I’m so grateful for these articles. Sure, there’s pressure in it, but I’d rather someone read the book with high expectations than never read the book at all.” Read the full interview here.

Made You Up is the first in a two-book deal Zappia signed with Greenwillow Books, an imprint of HarperCollins Publishers. The 22-year-old author, who grew up in Wanamaker and graduated from Franklin Central High School before earning her Computer Science degree at UIndy earlier this month, will celebrate the publication date with a reading and book signing at 7 p.m. Tuesday at the Greenwood Park Mall location of Barnes & Noble.

Zappia also was featured last week in the Daily Journal of Johnson County. For subscribers, that story is here.

Read earlier UIndy News story

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Greyhounds rule GLVC — fair and square

For the fourth consecutive year and the seventh time overall, the University of Indianapolis has claimed the Great Lakes Valley Conference All-Sports Trophy, presented to the member institution that demonstrates the best all-around performance in the league’s 20 sponsored sports.



The award is the conference’s first “four-peat” since 1990. UIndy won five league titles over the course of the 2014-2015 year, including football, men’s soccer, women’s tennis, women’s golf and women’s outdoor track and field. The Greyhounds also placed second in softball, men’s tennis and women’s indoor track and field, as well as third in points for men’s golf, baseball, men’s indoor track and field and men’s and women’s swimming and diving. Read more about the award here.

Coincidentally, Vice President for Intercollegiate Athletics Sue Willey was sought out by journalists Tuesday to discuss the New England Patriots’ “Deflategate” scandal and the significance of cheating in athletic competition. Dr. Willey, a 19-time letterwinner during her UIndy student days, has taught courses in sports ethics and has received professional honors including the 2012-13 Under Armour Division II Athletic Director of the Year, 2010 Under Armour Division II Central Region Athletic Director of the Year and 2005 NACWAA Division II Administrator of the Year.

“Society wants to win at all costs and will make excuses for people to be successful,” Willey told WRTV-6. “The thing is, you can be successful and do it within the rules, but it’s harder.”

Watch the interview segments here, here and here.

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UIndy, Decatur Twp. mark 20th anniversary

School of Education Dean Kathryn Moran presents a commemorative plaque Tuesday to Decatur Township Schools Superintendent Matt Prusiecki.

A fruitful education partnership between the University of Indianapolis and the MSD of Decatur Township was celebrated Tuesday at a district board meeting, where School of Education Dean Kathryn Moran presented a plaque to mark its 20th anniversary.

Established in 1995, this collaborative venture between the school district and the university continues to benefit Decatur Township students and teachers while providing important feedback to UIndy’s teacher preparation programs and vital hands-on experience for its pre-service teachers, who often proceed to careers in Decatur Township and other local districts.

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Work to begin on new student apartments

Microsoft PowerPoint - 04072015Renderings and Plans

The new student apartment building at Shelby Street and National Avenue will create courtyards and recreational areas for residents and their guests.

Indianapolis Business Journal

Joint venture with developer will enhance neighborhood and streetscape
while providing a range of residential options for nearly 500 occupants

The University of Indianapolis will break ground this month on a four-story apartment building that will create new housing options for up to 480 students while beautifying and promoting new development along the city’s increasingly vital Shelby Street corridor.

The joint venture between the university and local developer Strategic Capital Partners will feature 196 furnished units with kitchens, living areas, washers and dryers, in a variety of floor plans from one to four bedrooms, each bedroom with a private bath.

The new structure will replace a 60-unit campus apartment complex at Shelby Street and National Avenue that dates to the 1950s, as well as an adjacent row of aging duplexes, all of which now house 175 students. Construction, overseen by general contractor CRG Residential, should be complete by July 2016, in time for students to move in for the fall semester. The total project cost is estimated at approximately $25 million.

Designed by architects Schmidt Associates, the E-shaped structure will have three wings pointing east into campus, creating a courtyard and recreation area for residents. Some units will have balconies, and the building’s common areas will include an outdoor observation deck overlooking a pond. The brick exterior will match the existing campus aesthetic while conveying a modern urban feel.



UIndy President Robert Manuel noted that the project has significance beyond the university community in part because of its location on Shelby Street, which connects the campus to the nearby Garfield Park and Fountain Square neighborhoods and is the preferred route for a proposed rapid transit line through Marion County.

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Students launch group to save food, feed needy

Food Recovery NetworkThey deliver: Sophomores Brittany Finigan, left, and Moira McKinney are president and vice president of the new Food Recovery Network chapter on campus.

This spring at UIndy, several hundred pounds of leftover dining room food went to hungry men, women and children throughout Indianapolis, thanks to the leadership of one student – a freshman, no less.

Now a sophomore, Psychology/Pre-OT major Brittany Finigan has founded a UIndy chapter of the national Food Recovery Network, one of only three such chapters in the state.

Each Thursday night beginning March 26, she and a few friends gathered in the Schwitzer kitchens to package, weigh and label big trays of food that otherwise was headed for the garbage. Tracking the figures on their spreadsheets, they prepared the bounty for pickup or delivery to Wheeler Mission, the Salvation Army Women and Children’s Center and other organizations that help the needy or homeless.

The demand is great, says Finigan, who hails from Lowell, Ind.

“We have 13 shelters in Indianapolis alone,” she says.

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Season rolls on for Greyhound student-athletes

Mens' tennis team celebrates

The men’s tennis team celebrates Sunday.

The spring semester is over for UIndy students, but competition continues for our student-athletes, who just seem to keep winning.

Among the developments, both the men’s and women’s tennis teams won their regionals Sunday (a first for the women) and made the Division II Sweet 16 for the first time in program history. They will head to Surprise, Ariz., next week for the 2015 NCAA D-II National Championships. Click here for more on the men’s team and here for more on the women.

In other news:

  • The conference-champion women’s golf team won its fourth-straight East Super Regional crown Tuesday and will compete in the NCAA D-II Championships May 13-16 in Michigan.
  • The men’s golf team won a sudden-death regional playoff Wednesday to win a spot in its respective D-II National Championships, which begin May 18 in North Carolina.
  • Greyhound softball (42-12) has earned the No. 2 seed in the region and will host the second of two Midwest Regionals this Friday, Saturday and Sunday.
  • The baseball Hounds (33-17) earned their 11th-straight win Monday and will face Drury when the GLVC Tournament opens today.

As always, more information is available at the UIndy Athletics website.

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Older grads: Never too late to earn a degree


Beech Grove resident Paul Severance, 75, chats with classmates Saturday while awaiting the start of Commencement 2015.

If you were watching closely during Saturday’s Commencement exercises, you probably saw some diplomas going to folks who looked a few years older than the typical undergrad.

“My beloved Mom hoped that I would graduate earlier,” says Paul Severance of Beech Grove, who earned his Bachelor of Liberal Studies degree this year at the seasoned age of 75.

Originally from Watertown, N.Y., Severance was inspired by the activism of the 1960s and embarked on a life as a community organizer and issues advocate. He came to Indianapolis in 1976 to work for the Near Eastside Community Organization. A couple years later, he led the formation of United Senior Action, a statewide network for older adults to advocate on public policy issues. He served 27 years as its executive director.

Upon his retirement a decade ago, Severance started looking for what to do next and decided to take some electives in UIndy’s School for Adult Learning, or SAL. Though he attended college in younger days, he had never earned a diploma, unlike many peers he worked with over the years.

“Someone would ask me, ‘Where is your degree from?’” he recalls. “It was always kind of embarrassing to me.”

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