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UIndy News

Archives fellow honored for work as mayor

UIndy Visiting Fellow Greg Ballard finished his tenure as Indianapolis mayor in January, but he is still receiving kudos for his actions while in office.



This spring, the international Robotics Education & Competition Foundation inducted Ballard into its STEM Hall of Fame under the Heroes category, which honors contributions in guiding young people toward studies and careers in science, technology, engineering and mathematics.

The foundation coordinates the annual VEX Robotics Competition, which is active in 40 countries and culminates in the three-day VEX Worlds gathering. This year’s finals in Louisville drew 1,000 teams from over 30 nations and included an awards ceremony honoring the former mayor, whose efforts in the field have included establishing and promoting the City of Indianapolis VEX Robotics Championship.

“I’ve seen so many students’ lives changed as a result of these competitions,” Ballard says. “It is humbling to have been a part of it all.”

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Health tech camp lets teens sample careers

As information technology becomes increasingly important in the world of health care, an upcoming three-day camp at the University of Indianapolis offers central Indiana high school students an opportunity to learn about careers in the field.

The Health Information Technology Camp runs from 9 a.m. to 4 p.m. June 27-29. The cost is $150, but scholarships are available.

Developed in consultation with health care and business professionals, the camp will include fun science activities and programs to help students understand and explore college and career possibilities.

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Profs’ project shows issues facing refugees

UIndy researchers spent nine months working with local Congolese women



UPDATE: Read NUVO Newsweekly story

Today has been declared World Refugee Day by the United Nations, and two UIndy professors will share their research on local refugees at a downtown event marking the occasion.

Dr. Shannon McMorrow, interim director of UIndy’s Master of Public Health program, and Dr. Jyotika Saksena, graduate director of the International Relations program, have spent the past nine months working with refugee women who fled political and gender-based violence in their home country, the Democratic Republic of the Congo.



In a research technique known as photovoice, the participants were given cameras and asked to take photos of objects and scenes in their lives that relate to their integration into U.S. society and, more specifically, their access to and experiences with health care and other services since arriving. The researchers interviewed the women to develop captions explaining the significance of the photos.

“The idea behind this project was to hear the perspective of refugees by giving them a voice and empowering them to tell their own stories,” Saksena says.

McMorrow and Saksena will share some of the results today at the Indianapolis observance of World Refugee Day, taking place from 11 a.m. to 2 p.m. at the City Market. Organized by Exodus Refugee Inc., the free event will include the photo exhibition, a cooking demonstration, international music and other cultural activities.

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Greyhound standout lands Pacers workout

Loyd WTHRRecent UIndy graduate Jordan Loyd has been all over the news this week after being invited to join in the Indiana Pacers’ pre-draft workout Wednesday at Bankers Life Fieldhouse.

The Environmental Sustainability major from Atlanta enjoyed a strong senior season with the Greyhounds, shooting over 50 percent from the field and averaging 20.9 points, 6.3 rebounds and 2.5 assists.

Though he doesn’t necessarily expect to be called in the June 23 draft, Loyd is laying the groundwork for a pro hoops career.

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Student archaeology projects draw attention

Famous ‘grave in the road’ had seven occupants, researchers find

grave workAs noted in UIndy News last month, Dr. Christopher Schmidt of the Department of Anthropology has been working with students and colleagues on a job for Johnson County officials: In conjunction with a road improvement project, they were asked to exhume, examine and re-inter the remains of Nancy Kerlin Barnett, presumed occupant of the legendary 1831 “grave in the middle of the road” south of Franklin.

What they found, however, has caused quite a stir. The gravesite contained not one, but seven sets of human remains — three adults and four children — adding more intrigue to a story that has captivated local residents and travelers for decades.

To learn all the details and unanswered questions, check out this week’s coverage in the Indianapolis Star, WISH-TV, WTHRWXINWRTV, Indiana Public MediaUSA The CBS Radio News network and scores of news outlets throughout the Midwest carried the story after it was picked up by the Associated Press.

Schmidt will be interviewed Saturday on Hoosier History Live! with host Nelson Price, which airs from noon to 1 p.m. on UIndy’s WICR-88.7 FM/HD. Read a preview here.

Carroll County project featured in WISH-TV’s Bicentennial series

Moore WISH webAs noted in UIndy News last year, Dr. Christopher Moore of the departments of Anthropology and Earth-Space Science has been directing students and educating the public through an extended exploration of a historical site in Carroll County, Ind. The Baum’s Landing site offers a unique window into 19th century life in rural Indiana, and the effort has been declared an official Bicentennial Legacy Project by the 2016 Indiana Bicentennial Commission.

It’s not surprising, then, that WISH-TV would feature Moore and his students in its series of Bicentennial Minute reports. The piece is actually about three minutes long, and you can watch it here.

Moore, himself a UIndy alumnus, also has been involved in the Barnett grave project, by the way.

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UIndy, American Pianists announce partnership

Winner of 2017 American Pianists Awards will serve as artist-in-residence

DeHaan Center will host 2017 American Pianists Awards new music recital

APA logoThe American Pianists Association and the University of Indianapolis announced today a partnership to launch an artist-in-residence program and create opportunities for college students and the broader community to experience world-class musical talent.

Under the agreement, the winner of the 2017 American Pianists Awards in classical music – one of the world’s most prestigious music competitions – will serve as artist-in-residence at UIndy during the 2017-2018 and 2018-2019 academic years. Residencies each semester will include guest lectures, master classes, public performances, private lessons for students and other activities. The artist also will rehearse and perform a concert with the UIndy Chamber Orchestra.



“Our collaboration with the University of Indianapolis is one of the most exciting developments to have come forth at American Pianists Association in recent years,” said APA President/CEO and Artistic Director Joel Harrison. “I have worked with UIndy in numerous ways since my earliest years at APA, and I am especially delighted to have this entrepreneurial program come to life in such a creative way, thanks to the support and vision of the UIndy administration and faculty at all levels.” He noted that the partnership complements APA’s ongoing Concerto Curriculum program, through which its competition winners and finalists work with high school students.

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Orlando: UIndy faculty offer analysis, advice

Journalists have called upon UIndy faculty this week for insights on the tragic mass shooting in Orlando.

AThomasDr. Anita Thomas, dean of the School of Psychological Sciences, was interviewed Monday at RTV6’s Monument Circle studio, discussing the murderer’s possible motivations and how to ease children’s fears about violent events.

“I would certainly encourage parents to have an open dialogue with their children, to ask them how they’re feeling, how they’re responding, to talk to them about any anxiety or stress they might be having in terms of, ‘Could this happen to us?'” Thomas told anchor Jason Fechner. Watch the clip.

KThomasOffering her own take on that advice was Dr. Kendra Thomas, also of Psychological Sciences, who spoke in the WTTV/CBS4 studios with anchors Bob Donaldson and Debby Knox. She cautioned against media overexposure and offered tips for talking with kids of various ages.

“Children often catch a lot more than we give them credit for,” she said. “Something that kids often don’t pick up on is the where and when … . If it’s always being covered in the news, that child might get a sense that it’s always happening.” Watch the clip.



On the incident’s possible connections to terrorist groups, WRTV’s Chris Proffitt spoke with Dr. Douglas Woodwell, Associate Professor of International Relations. That clip was not immediately available.

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Departing chaplain honored for service



The Rev. Dr. Lang Brownlee is stepping away from his role as a chaplain at UIndy, but not without some recognition for his 15 years of service.

Brownlee, who will continue to teach courses in the Department of Philosophy & Religion, received UIndy’s Jerry Israel Interfaith Service Award last week at a reception to mark his change in roles. The award recognizes faculty and staff who have helped develop an interfaith community at the university in which people of diverse backgrounds can share their respective faith traditions. Brownlee has been a key leader of initiatives including UIndy’s annual Interfaith Peace Service and an annual service trip to improve housing for impoverished residents of Appalachia.

But that’s not all: On Friday, at the 2016 Indiana Annual Conference of the United Methodist Church, Brownlee received the statewide Francis Asbury Award, which recognizes contributions to the church’s higher education and campus ministries.

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Comedies rule upcoming Theatre season

theater masksQuirky humor prevails in the 2016-2017 season just announced by the UIndy Department of Theatre.

The four productions include a musical, The 25th Annual Putnam County Spelling Bee; a ripped-from-the-headlines political satire, The Totalitarians; a risqué British farce, Move Over, Mrs. Markham (as the annual Dinner Theatre production); and the Student-Directed Productions, which put undergraduates in charge of the onstage and backstage aspects of selected shorts.

Admission is free for UIndy students, faculty and staff with ID ($14 for Dinner Theatre), and L/P credit is available for students. Each run begins with a free preview on the Thursday before opening, and all non-musical productions include a Half-Price Second Thursday performance, with $6 tickets for the general public.

Tickets may be reserved at the Event Ticketing Center in Ransburg Auditorium and through (317) 788-3251 or

In more detail, the season comprises: Read more »

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Olympian Joyner-Kersee meets track camp kids

Joyner-Kersee USATFTrack and field legend Jackie Joyner-Kersee speaks to young athletes earlier today at Key Stadium during USA Track & Field’s first youth camp.

Not every day does one receive life coaching from Sports Illustrated’s “Greatest Female Athlete of the 20th Century,” but that’s what happened for a group of budding athletes today at UIndy.

The legendary Jackie Joyner-Kersee, joined by fellow four-time Olympian Aretha Thurmond, spoke with scores of local kids ages 9-18 at the inaugural USA Track & Field Development Camp, one of many summer camps and conferences hosted by the University of Indianapolis.

The winner of three gold medals noted that she was pleased to be back in the Circle City, where she set a world record in the long jump in 1987.

“But it’s really not about that,” Joyner-Kersee told the young people gathered at UIndy’s Key Stadium. “It’s really about each and every one of you being here today and tomorrow, learning as much as you can. While learning, make it fun, enjoy what you do, but also listen to what they’re asking you to do. … Work hard in everything that you are trying to accomplish. If it’s in the classroom, work hard. You got homework? You have to prepare. It’s the same way on the athletic field.”

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