UIndy Votes! Student registration drive engages community

As the 2018 midterm election heats up, University of Indianapolis students are getting involved with a hands-on voter registration project.

UIndy Votes! is a nonpartisan group that aims to register and educate voters on and off campus during election years. Organized by Laura Wilson, assistant professor of political science, activities include a workshop on how to register voters, voter registration tables, voter canvassing in nearby University Heights neighborhoods, guest speakers and a mini-lecture series during September and October, culminating with an election night watch party Nov. 6.

UIndy Votes! originated in 2016 as an extension of Wilson’s campaigns and elections class. She was looking at ways for students to get campaign experience as a class. A voter registration drive proved to be the perfect fit.

“I wanted them to have hands-on practice with what we were discussing in the classroom,” Wilson explained. “It’s about getting people excited to participate. Registration is the requirement, but we also want people to be educated about the voting process.”

To cover expenses for the 2018 UIndy Votes! drive, Wilson received a $1,500 election engagement grant from Indiana Campus Compact (ICC). The group also provided a grant for the 2016 voter registration drive.

UIndy Votes! has 32 student volunteers, plus six faculty and five staff volunteers, with Wilson acting as faculty project director.

Ally Nickerson ’21 (political science and communication, honors concentration) is the student project director, responsible for planning, organizing and recruiting. Nickerson handles communications, attends state-wide training sessions, leads many of the canvassing and registration events and reports on project outcomes.

“I’m grateful to Dr. Wilson for providing such an engaging opportunity to grow my skills and effect political change in the UIndy community,” Nickerson said. “Working with the student and faculty board has helped me develop a strong team spirit and enthusiasm for changing the political climate on campus. My work with ICC is providing a foundation in research and reporting skills that will be highly beneficial in conducting my honors and department projects as a senior.”

The twin goals of UIndy Votes! are to register student voters and to engage the local community by encouraging nearby residents to vote. By participating in the service-learning project, students are giving back and having an impact.

“We want to be actively involved in our surrounding community. What we’re doing really matters. I want my students to be proactive and to be out there,” Wilson said.

Education is a key component of UIndy Votes! UIndy students participating in the drive will conduct a fourth grade election activity at Jeremiah Gray Elementary. On Sept. 17, students are invited to attend a Constitution Crash Course co-sponsored by the Honors Student Association. On Oct. 22., Wilson and other faculty will offer a “know your candidates” panel discussion in the Trustees Dining Room.

Nickerson said voter registration drives can take the confusion out of a complicated process.

When faced with difficulties in determining when, where and how to vote, voter registration drives serve as a clear and competent source to guide voters through the process. Indiana specifically has historically low voter turnout rates, and UIndy Votes! aims to provide equal opportunity for political engagement to the community,” she said.

Full list of UIndy Votes! Activities:

Sept. 17: Constitution Crash Course, UIndy Hall C, 7 p.m., featuring Honors Student Association President Corey Nack and faculty. L/P credit.
Sept. 24-28: Voter registration table outside the Schwitzer dining hall, noon- 2 p.m.
Sept. 24-28: Voter registration table at Baxter YMCA, 5-7 p.m.
Oct. 22: Know Your Candidates panel discussion, Trustees Dining Room, 7 p.m. L/P credit.

Follow UIndy Votes! on Instagram, Twitter and Facebook.

University of Indianapolis students to hold voter registration drive

photo-23A group of students at the University of Indianapolis is focused on increasing voter registration for students and neighbors in the next two weeks through the political science class “Campaigns and Elections.” The voter registration campaign and service-learning project “UIndy Votes!” was created, organized and implemented by the students with a grant from Indiana Campus Compact.

About 20 students are visiting nearly 500 homes in the University Heights neighborhood, according to Assistant Professor of History & Political Science Laura Albright. The juniors and seniors want to reach out to college students and community members and help them register to vote, confirm their voter registration and provide information about the voting process. The students will also analyze the effectiveness of the voter registration campaign to inform future registration strategies.

“Political participation, like democracy, is a group effort,” says Albright, “and these projects connect the students to the community and both benefit as a result.”

The campaign makes it easier for students and others to register to vote through a strategy spanning multiple days at varying hours in popular places near the University campus. The voter registration drive will also incorporate a door-to-door canvassing effort in the extended campus community of University Heights from September 26 through October 7.

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Vote for UIndy facilities in Chamber contest

Two of UIndy’s freshest facilities – the Health Pavilion and the renovated Krannert Memorial Library – are nominated in multiple categories for the Indy Chamber’s annual Monumental Awards, which recognize great landscape architecture, interior design, neighborhood revitalization, architecture, design, engineering, construction and public art around the city.

For the first time, the chamber has added a People’s Choice Award category, which allows the public to vote via Facebook for the construction project they feel has had the greatest impact on the Indianapolis area. Voting continues through Friday, and the awards will be announced at the Monumental Awards Dinner on Oct. 20.

That means UIndy fans with Facebook accounts have just a few more days to secure a victory for the Greyhounds. All you have to do is visit each of the links below and “like” the photo that appears. And yes, you can vote in all six relevant categories.

pavilionUIndy Health Pavilion

Category: Architecture

Category: Real Estate Development

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Historian: Surprise ‘Brexit’ vote is perfect storm

UK voters’ discontent echoes unusual election year in the US, he says

WIBC-FM report
IndyPolitics.org interview (audio)

A specialist in modern British history, Dr. Chad Martin knew the so-called “Brexit” referendum would be close, and he understood why.



Still, he was surprised late Thursday night when the tally determined the U.K. was leaving the European Union.

“I was going back and forth as I was watching the coverage,” said Martin, associate professor in UIndy’s Department of History & Political Science. “There were some early results coming in that were closer than they should have been.”

The current political dynamic in Britain bears similarities to the U.S. presidential race, he said, with frustrated voters abandoning traditional sympathies for any promise of change. Concerned about immigration and economic uncertainty, stirred by talk of national greatness, Brexit supporters share something with the disaffected Americans who have brought Donald Trump to the brink of the Republican nomination.

“The parallels between the Leave vote and the Trump phenomenon are striking,” Martin said.

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Video: Homecoming Court sings for your votes

The voting is underway for this year’s Homecoming king and queen at UIndy, and the court features a strong list of contenders with a track record of academic success, campus involvement and community service — not to mention a sense of humor.

In what has become a Greyhound tradition, the candidates collaborated on an utterly charming music video to introduce themselves. “All About Them Votes” is set to pop diva Meghan Trainor’s “All About That Bass,” with scenes of the crew frolicking about campus.

So without further ado, roll the clip and meet junior Psychology major Lindsey Bryant, junior International Relations major Siglinde Ferguson, senior Global Leadership major Stephanie Kalili, senior Communication major Colin Bowles, senior Psychology major Anthony Jackson, and senior Exercise Science major Daniel Lee. The voting is taking place here, and the winners will be crowned at halftime of Saturday night’s football game in Key Stadium.

Learn more about the members of this year’s Homecoming Court on the UIndy Facebook page.

UIndy announces Teacher of the Year nominees and winner

KarleeTaytlor_LRC_114The University of Indianapolis is pleased to announce this year’s Teacher of the Year Recipient as Laura Merrifield Wilson PhD, Associate Professor of International Relations. She began her tenure at the University of Indianapolis in 2013. Known for her unbridled enthusiasm relating local, state, and national political science to her students, Dr. Wilson has extended this reach into our community with her leadership in the UIndy Votes project and the newly-created UIndy Gender Center.

Dr. Wilson’s passion, enthusiasm, and ability to translate her knowledge of political science was noted not only by the UIndy Teacher of the Year Selection Committee, but also by a former student who remarked:

As if the presence of Dr. Wilson in class is not enough, her ability to create educational content and understanding by connecting her students to the community is unrivaled. Dr. Wilson has taken her classes canvassing, to the State House, to voter registration events, to local community lectures, and helped set up meetings with local elected officials. Dr. Wilson is so intentional with relaying information happening in the community that she knows that her students will enjoy it in their free time. Her classes have taught me how valuable understanding state and local policies is and this has encouraged me to get involved in local politics and advocacy after my move to (graduate school) in Georgia.

Dr. Wilson recognizes the challenges of teaching political science in today’s deeply partisan society. She notes that students often come to class with strong opinions, some with substantial political knowledge and others with a lack of background experience. Her goal, however, is to create an environment where students can share diverse perspectives, develop critical thinking, and express their knowledge in thoughtful and caring ways. She cues students to fact check, to gain the tools for thinking deeply about how institutions work within society.

The Teacher of the Year Committee noted that Dr. Wilson models practices for encouraging students to openly share diverse perspectives, and to see view points from multiple lenses. She finds heart-to-heart conversations assist in discussing what could be divisive issues.

Although learning to teach in a hybrid style during in a pandemic has been challenging, Dr. Wilson has risen to the challenge via her integration of varied technology tools like Zoom, breakout spaces and Google Jamboards.

Congratulations, Dr. Merrifield-Wilson, for inspiring so many UIndy students to be caring, critical thinkers! Your reach extends throughout our entire community!

There were many deserving nominees for Teacher of the Year this year, please see those nominees below and help recognize their positive contributions to the University and its students:

Eduard Arriaga

Portraits Fall 2016Dr. Eduard Arriaga is an enthusiastic learner, bringing experiences of teaching in different cultures and a passion for sharing knowledge to the classroom. He continues to use reflection to ensure the needs of students are met, with humor, compassion and a joy in learning together. He is patient with the students and gently corrects challenges to create meaningful and successful learning experiences.


Katie Boucher

Boucher,_KatieDr. Katie Boucher does an outstanding job in making statistics understandable for students in psychology.  She is well prepared and is clear in her written and verbal instruction. She loves helping students develop skills in statistics while also considering their own passions.  Dr. Boucher loves when students are able to make connections between data and things they have learned in class.


Christie Flint 

Portraits Fall 2016Professor Flint has a very clear passion for the profession of nursing and educating students. She states that students are her purpose in her teaching. Professor Flint uses real life and interesting examples in her teaching and employs multiple formative assessment and feedback opportunities. Professor Flint says “My worst day teaching is my best day in other jobs.”


Stacey Gaven

Gaven,_StaceyDr. Gaven is incredibly passionate about the field of athletic training and that passion shows in her hopes for student learning, for facilities to better prepare them for the future, and her hope that learning is fun and deep and creates life-long relationships. She makes the best of every situation with compassion and enthusiastic engagement. In her classroom,  she makes sure to use active engagement, demonstration, and practice techniques to reinforce content.  She makes it a point to create a positive learning environment while still having high student expectations.


Michelle Itczak

Itczak,_MichelleProfessor Itczak very clearly mirrors for students the kind of approach expected of them as mental health professionals, identifying their needs and providing one-on-one support as needed to encourage academic success and identify burnout. Committed to creative approaches to engage students, she argues that expression is an integral part of Art Therapy and ensures that her classes are conducted in a manner that engages, restores, and rejuvenates the students.


Jean Lee

Jean Lee 037Dr. Lee  shows remarkable depth beyond just identifying common barriers to math learning. This is evidenced by her insistence that  incorporating values in teaching, mentoring, and course planning that directly support equity in many aspects of that term is a crucial part of her job. Jean shows amazing flexibility and creativity in creating learning experiences that excite and engage, and creates a cadre of “student leader” colleagues to improve STEM and math education. She also demonstrates a remarkable ability to relate content to theory and the development of the mathematical identity of her students.

Kathy Martin 

Dr. Kathy Martin is an exceptional practitioner who enhances material with real-life examples that help students to consider and apply content.  She clearly has a passion for the profession of physical therapy and growing her students as professionals.  She is professional yet genuine, calm, and personable.  She engages her students throughout class and invites them to apply and critically consider content.  In her reflective approach, she truly models what she teaches.

Alli Snyder

Maurer,_AlliDr. Alli Snyder has a great mastery of the content of data analytics, exemplified by her content articulation and the use of relevant and current examples to stimulate students and support content application.  She takes time to provide individualized help and guidance to her students as they meet course goals and face real-word challenges.  While developing and implementing this new program, she has maintained her focus on student success into the future and sustained program growth.

Dan Vice

Portraits Fall 2016Professor Vice is instrumental in welcoming students to the classroom as first year college students, making required courses relevant and revealing.  He has a clear passion for literature and thinks deeply on the subject. He encourages students to critically think about pieces of writing and to share diverse perspectives.



Colleen Wynn

Wynn,_ColleenProfessor Wynn is a thoughtful educator who is aware of her classroom and its needs at all times. She conducts her lessons in a dynamic and systematic manner that addresses the core aim of the class and has skillfully adapted to teaching during a pandemic. Professor Wynn focuses on engaging students in the learning process of managing data through a variety of active learning strategies. It is clear that she loves sharing  knowledge and getting students excited about sociology.  She focuses on encouraging students to think in a new way.

Mathieu Billings publishes book on Irish immigration to Illinois

MWBillingsMathieu Billings ’96 ’09, associate adjunct professor in the history & political science department at the University of Indianapolis, recently co-authored a book that brings together familiar and unheralded stories of the Irish in Illinois.

The Irish in Illinois is the first statewide account of Irish immigration to the Prairie State.

“With more than a million Illinoisans claiming Irish ancestry today, and Cook County boasting the largest Irish population of any county in the nation, we reasoned that this was a topic worth pursuing. Fortunately, Southern Illinois University Press agreed,” he said.

Billings believes in making history accessible and says the book is written to appeal to everyone from general readers to scholars.

The book provides dozens of inserts (biographies, images, maps, etc.) that help bring stories of Irish Illinoisans to life. Some, such as Mayor Richard J. Daley, are well known. Others such as Jennie Hodgers, a 19th-century Irish woman who disguised herself as a man and fought in the American Civil War, are lesser-known.

The book also emphasizes the multifaceted experiences of Irish immigrants throughout the Prairie State. For example, many immigrants were Protestant. Others voted Republican. Many of the most famous Irish Illinoisans were women (Mother Jones, Margaret A. Haley, and Sister Mary William Sullivan). Much of this story is centered in Chicago, but much is not. Perhaps most importantly, the Irish quest for success and respectability was distinct but not unique. The legacy of Irish immigration to Illinois, like their legacy throughout much of the rest of the United States, is that they paved the way for other immigrant groups to follow.

“History should challenge us to think about the human condition–how individuals and groups in the past identified problems and then responded to them,” said Billings. “Sometimes they acted with courage and wisdom. Sometimes they did not.”

Joseph Gonsiorowski ’21 (Biology)

Balancing a full education, professional opportunities, and a plethora of extracurriculars sounds like an impossible task, but Joseph Gonsiorowski ’21 (biology major, chemistry minor,) makes it look easy. Gonsiorowski expressed appreciation for the UIndy biology program in preparing him for a professional career. 

“In terms of preparing students for the next steps in their lives, I like to believe the biology faculty teach students lessons that are unique to each individual. Every student is different, with some having very specific ambitions, some having no particular goals for after graduation, and everything in between,” he said.

Over the course of his college career, he noticed just how much UIndy faculty care about their students. Gonsiorowski noted, “The faculty often go out of their way to get to know their students and the reasons why they chose their particular major. While this surely establishes a professional relationship between professor and student, the faculty often go the extra mile, playing a mentoring role in their students’ lives. They are always willing to sit down and discuss potential careers with any of their students, as well as specifics about their disciplines.”

Gonsiorowski’s personal mentors include Associate Professor of Biology Dr. Marc Milne, Associate Professor of Biology Dr. Douglas Stemke, and Associate Professor of Biology Dr. Kimberly Baker. Gonsiorowski has worked with Dr. Milne since his sophomore year at the university, researching spider resilience to habitat disturbance via wildfire. During this time, Dr. Milne has not only served as a research advisor, but as a mentor. “I can’t tell you how many times I have gone to him to ask questions about manuscripts, biology classes, or even general life advice,” said Gonsiorowski. Dr. Stemke is credited by Gonsiorowski as igniting his interest in medicine, as well as Dr. Baker who has assisted in helping him to develop proper time management and studying techniques.

In addition to working with his mentors, Gonsiorowski has also had the opportunity to conduct statistical research involving the progress of physical therapy patients. He has utilized skills gained through these experiences to tutor Organic and General Chemistry students, as well as to volunteer in different healthcare organizations at nursing homes and long-term care facilities.

Further demonstrating his heart for community service, Gonsiorowski describes his two years working with College Mentors For Kids (CMFK). “Over the last two years, CMFK has worked with over 50 student mentors and provided mentorship for close to 100 students from surrounding elementary schools. I began as a mentor in the program, meeting with my little buddy on a weekly basis. I quickly became devoted to the mission of College Mentors for Kids and, during my second year of involvement, was given the responsibility of vice president of engagement,” he said.

Another unique program that Gonsiorowski is involved in, is the UIndy Pokémon Go community, which has included100 different students and faculty over the past five years as well as dozens of individuals from the surrounding community“As an inclusive community, we like to ensure that not only the students are able to be involved, but that the residents near the university are able to be as well. Oftentimes, community days include dozens of students and surrounding residents alike!”

With such a full resume evenbefore graduating college, it follows that Gonsiorowski has big plans after graduation. He has already been accepted to a selective pathway at Lake Erie College of Osteopathic Medicine. Gonsiorowski said, “I will be completing medical school in three years instead of four and will be continuing on to work as a family physician or an internist (Internal medicine physician). I am still undecided if I will specialize in geriatric care or not as I have a lot of experiences coming my way over the next few years.” 

Even though many choices lie ahead, Gonsiorowski does know one thing for sure, “I know that I will be returning to Indianapolis to find a position in a medically underserved area as a primary care physician. My goal is to give back to the community that I grew up in or another community with a shortage of medical professionals.”

Discussing his education, Gonsiorowski mentioned some of his favorite things about UIndy. He put a focus on both the quality of the biology faculty as well as the general student culture of the biology department. “The biology faculty really are devoted to student education and ensuring they succeed… While most pre-med student cultures at other universities commonly report a very competitive and independent student nature, most of the biology pre-med students of my class were very supportive of each other and truly wanted to see one another succeed,” he said.

Clearly, Gonsiorowski has demonstrated how to succeed both academically and socially at UIndy, and he has some advice as to how incoming students can do the same. Some of these tips include knowing that it’s okay to change your mind about what you want to do/study, getting to know your professors off the bat, and to get involved with clubs and organizations on campus. His final advice to incoming freshmen? “Lastly and arguably, the most important part of college. CHECK YOUR EMAIL REGULARLY.

Internationally acclaimed jazz artist Emmet Cohen returns for spring residency at the University of Indianapolis

Emmet Cohen, University of Indianapolis artist-in-residence

Emmet Cohen, University of Indianapolis artist-in-residence

UPDATE: Per recommended guidelines from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) and World Health Organization (WHO) to prevent the spread of coronavirus (COVID-19), these events have been canceled. Visit events.uindy.edu for updates.

Emmet Cohen, the 2019 American Pianists Awards winner and recipient of the Cole Porter Fellowship in Jazz, returns to the University of Indianapolis for a masterclass and performance in March following a stunning fall debut. Cohen serves as the University of Indianapolis artist-in-residence in partnership with the Indianapolis-based American Pianists Association. Cohen’s residency through spring 2021 includes providing lessons to students, engaging with faculty, presenting masterclasses and hosting performances.

Cohen will perform with the UIndy Jazz Ensemble at 7:30 p.m., Friday, March 20, at the Ruth Lilly Performance Hall in the Christel DeHaan Fine Arts Center. The first half of the evening is devoted to Cohen as solo pianist. He teams with the UIndy Jazz Ensemble to conclude the concert. Admission is free.

On March 19, Cohen will work with University of Indianapolis Department of Music students for a jazz improvisation masterclass. The public is invited to this exciting exchange of musical ideas and unique behind-the-scenes look at the rehearsal process. The masterclass will be held from 4:30 to 6:00 p.m. in the Ruth Lilly Performance Hall in the Christel DeHaan Fine Arts Center.

“The University of Indianapolis community has welcomed me with open arms, and it has been a true joy to integrate into their music program. The students are all hard-working, beautiful human beings, and continue to inspire me musically and otherwise. I look forward to returning to Indianapolis and can’t wait to continue the work we began last semester,” Cohen said.

Learn more at events.uindy.edu.

About Emmet Cohen
Multifaceted American jazz pianist and composer Emmet Cohen is one of his generation’s pivotal figures in music and the related arts. Downbeat praised the “nimble touch, measured stride and warm harmonic vocabulary” he employs to communicate with other musicians and audiences at what he terms “the deepest level of humanity and individuality.” Leader of the Emmet Cohen Trio and creator of the Masters Legacy Series, Cohen is an internationally acclaimed jazz artist and dedicated music educator.

Emmet Cohen is the winner of the 2019 American Pianists Awards and the Cole Porter Fellow of the American Pianists Association, and Artist-in-Residence at the University of Indianapolis. Cohen was a finalist in the 2011 Thelonious Monk International Piano Competition. He has appeared in the Newport, Monterey, Jerusalem and North Sea jazz festivals, among others, and at Lincoln Center’s Rose Hall and Washington’s Kennedy Center. Cohen has headlined at the Village Vanguard, the Blue Note, Dizzy’s Club Coca-Cola, Birdland, Jazz Standard and Jazzhaus Montmartre. He is Hammond B-3 organist-in-residence at Harlem’s SMOKE jazz club.

A Suzuki piano student at age three, Cohen holds jazz piano degrees from the Manhattan School of Music (M.M.) and the University of Miami (B.M.). Emmet Cohen has performed, recorded or collaborated with Ron Carter, Benny Golson, Jimmy Cobb, George Coleman, Jimmy Heath, Tootie Heath, Houston Person, Christian McBride, Kurt Elling, Billy Hart, Herlin Riley, Lea DeLaria and Bill T. Jones.

About the American Pianists Association
The American Pianists Association has been supporting aspiring young artists for over 40 years and has been based in Indianapolis since 1982. It has a professional staff of seven, headed by Dr. Joel M. Harrison. The American Pianists Awards, held for both classical and jazz artists, offer significant opportunities for American pianists, ages 18-30, to advance their careers. Each winner receives a two-year fellowship, valued at over $100,000 including cash awards, fees, publicity and recording opportunities. All American Pianists Awards events are produced as public recitals and feature the finalists in a variety of settings. The organization greatly values the individual artistic sensibilities of each pianist, nurtures such individuality and does not impose any repertoire requirements during the competitions other than those necessary for the different genres. American Pianists Association strives to be the bridge between professional training and a full-fledged professional career. www.americanpianists.org.

About the University of Indianapolis
The University of Indianapolis, founded in 1902, is a private university located just a few minutes from downtown Indianapolis. The University is ranked among the top National Universities by U.S. News and World Report, with a diverse enrollment of nearly 6,000 undergraduate, graduate and continuing education students. The University offers a wide variety of study areas, including 100+ undergraduate degrees, more than 40 master’s degree programs and five doctoral programs. More occupational therapists, physical therapists and clinical psychologists graduate from the University each year than any other state institution. With strong programs in engineering, business, and education, the University of Indianapolis impacts its community by living its motto, “Education for Service.” uindy.edu.

Seventh Annual Fairbanks Symposium at the University of Indianapolis explores women in civic leadership 


Fairbanks Symposium 2020 graphic

As the nation marks the centennial of women’s suffrage, the Seventh Annual Richard M. Fairbanks Symposium on Civic Leadership, hosted by the University of Indianapolis on March 6, will explore the impact of women in civic leadership both regionally and across the country.

“At the Crossroads: Women in Civic Leadership” features top female leaders from Indianapolis and also includes keynote speaker Jennifer Lawless, Commonwealth Professor of Politics at the University of Virginia and author of “It Still Takes a Candidate: Why Women Don’t Run for Office” and “Women on the Run: Gender, Media, and Political Campaigns in a Polarized Era.” The symposium is open to the public and registration is required. The $10 event fee includes a buffet lunch. Students may register at no charge and must produce a current university ID card upon entry. Register here.

Moderators for the symposium’s panel discussions include Laura Wilson, University of Indianapolis assistant professor of political science, and Anne Hathaway, President of Hathaway Strategies and Director of the Richard G. Lugar Excellence in Public Service Series. Wilson is a frequent contributor to regional and national news media on political matters. Hathaway is a 2013 Indiana Commission for Women Torchbearer Award recipient who has devoted her career to advocating for women seeking or serving in office.

The annual symposium, organized by the University of Indianapolis Institute for Civic Leadership & Mayoral Archives in partnership with Indiana Humanities, is made possible through the generous support of the Richard M. Fairbanks Foundation. This year’s event brings together women from the corporate, political and nonprofit worlds to delve into achievements made and the milestones yet to be reached.

“The 100th anniversary of women winning the right to vote seems an appropriate time to take stock of the current state of women in civic leadership in Indiana and across the nation,” said Keira Amstutz, president and CEO of Indiana Humanities. “It gives us an opportunity to reflect on the courage, perseverance and organized activism it took to bring change, and we are pleased to play a role in providing an opportunity for assessment and reflection.”

“While Hoosier women have provided strong and often unacknowledged leadership in a number of sectors, the political realm is ripe with ample opportunities for improvement. Drawing on lessons from the past to inform the present and better the future, we hope the symposium will empower current and future generations of women to seek civic leadership roles,” said Edward Frantz, professor of history and symposium organizer.

The program includes morning and afternoon panel discussions and an INconversation with Jennifer Lawless. The schedule is as follows:

9:30 a.m.: Registration

10:15 a.m.: Panel Discussion: Women and Civic Leadership in Indianapolis Today
Moderator: Laura Wilson, University of Indianapolis assistant professor of political science
Panelists: Mel Raines, Indiana Pacers Senior VP of Facilities Operations, Pacers Sports & Entertainment; former Chief of Staff for Congresswoman Susan Brooks
Angela Smith Jones, Deputy Mayor Deputy Mayor of Economic Development at City of Indianapolis
Deborah Daniels, former U.S. Attorney and U.S. Assistant Attorney General, University of Indianapolis Board of Trustees member
Kathy Cabello, Cabello Associates, Indiana State University Board Trustee, Indy 500 Festival Board Director, Indiana Women’s Suffrage Centennial Commissioner and is past President of the National Association of Women Business Owners and the National Society of Hispanic MBAs – Indianapolis Chapter (now Prospanica).

11:30 a.m.: Buffet lunch (included with registration)

Noon: Keynote INconversation with Jennifer Lawless and Rima Shahid

Jennifer L. Lawless is the Commonwealth Professor of Politics at the University of Virginia. Prior to joining the UVA faculty, she was a Professor of Government at American University and the Director of the Women & Politics Institute. Before that, she was an assistant and then associate professor at Brown. She is author of “It Still Takes a Candidate: Why Women Don’t Run for Office” and “Women on the Run: Gender, Media, and Political Campaigns in a Polarized Era.”

Rima Shahid has served as the first Executive Director of Women4Change since 2017. Shahid is mandated to lead the implementation of Women4Change’s mission to equip and mobilize women to engage effectively in political and civic affairs in order to strengthen our democracy and to advocate for the leadership, health, safety and dignity of all women in Indiana. Before her service at Women4Change, she served as the Executive Director of the Muslim Alliance of Indiana for two years.

1:15 p.m.: Panel Discussion: Building a Pipeline for the Future
Moderator: Anne Hathaway, President, Hathaway Strategies; Director of Lugar Series
Panelists: Kristin Jones, Indianapolis City Council District 16
Adrianne Slash, Senior Instructional Designer, Community Health Network; Exchange for Urban League; Forefront Columnist, IBJ.
Amy Levander, Executive Director, Hoosier Women Forward


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