Senior spotlight: Cassie Kury ’21 (exercise science)

Cassie Kury will be graduating this May 2021. She is majoring in exercise science with a concentration in pre-athletic training, and a minor in psychology. Throughout her time in the exercise science program, Kury has enjoyed increasing her knowledge to greater heights of how the body moves, how it responds to exercise and how exercise is medicine.

“Not only does the flow of the program’s content build upon itself well from course to course, it has prepared me to apply my knowledge to the real world post-grad, as well as creating opportunities for me while still in the program,” she said.

About mid-way through the program, exercise science students must take the American College of Sports Medicine (ACSM) Certified Personal Trainer (CPT) exam. This turned out to be an important turning point for Kury.

“This exam not only put my application of classroom knowledge to the test, but opened up an entirely new doorway I never saw myself stepping through; being a personal trainer! The quickly evolving world of exercise already excited me, but having this credential has given me the confidence to share my knowledge and apply it in order to help others reach their goals, which has been an incredibly rewarding process thus far,” she said.

Kury’s end goal as an athletic trainer is to be a part of the training staff for either a gymnastics or swimming and diving team, whether at a collegiate or professional level. Connecting classroom knowledge to athletic training has come with ease, and Kury had an abundance of opportunities to gain experience working with athletes from the program faculty, including an internship for her capstone.

“During the last semester of the program, students must complete an internship for their capstone. At first I was a little intimidated by the requirement, but cannot express how grateful I was for the experience,” she reflected. “I had already gained so much knowledge and hands-on experience from being able to work under a collegiate athletic trainer. I truly didn’t think there’d be a better use of my time right now to prepare me for my Masters of Athletic Training program here at Uindy in the summer!”

Upon exiting the program, students must take either the Certified Strength and Conditioning Specialist (CSCS) exam, or the Exercise Physiologist Certification (EPC) exam. Kury chose to take the CSCS, not only to fulfill her graduation requirements, but it has now led her to some amazing opportunities post-grad that she cannot elaborate on too much yet.

“The program guarantees that when you graduate, you not only have a diploma from an accredited and respected program, but you have these extra credentials that not only increase your appeal to employers, but also increase your confidence and potential professional pathways,” said Kury.

A lifelong athlete in gymnastics, Kury started her UIndy career on the women’s swimming and diving team. Although she decided to step away from her athletic pursuits on the team, she continues to provide for her teammates. Classes such as ‘Exercise Science Programming and Management,’ and ‘Strength and Conditioning’ combined with her diving knowledge have given Kury the tools to properly analyze the sport, critically think about the athletes’ needs, and weigh all their other stressors as she creates their programming.

“Our head dive coach has been incredibly grateful to still have around and be complimenting his depthful diving knowledge well with my exercise science background,” she said.

Kury is grateful for the scholarships and grants that made her UIndy education possible.

“I have graciously received both academic and athletic scholarships every year at UIndy. They have not only made college possible for me, but provided peace of mind throughout. They allowed me to focus just on academics and athletics my first two years of the program, not feeling like I needed to start working during the school year until after my sophomore year,” she said.

Kury reflected on her years as an athlete, which helped her build discipline and time management.

“Once you leave home and enter college though, your freedom is nearly endless. Diving not only forced me to continue with wise time management, but held me accountable because I had gained the sense of succeeding for something bigger than myself,” she said “The camaraderie of going through years of early mornings, long hours, exhaustion, cries, laughs, wins, losses, and every up and down in between by each others’ sides gives you such a strong connection with your teammates, and a strong conviction to succeed as one rather than just one part. The human connections that I have made within this team will last me far past college years.”

Spotlight: Seth Ward ’23

SethWardSeth Ward ’23 is a software engineering major at the R.B. Annis School of Engineering. A New Zealand citizen, he also is a Strain Honors College student with minors in mathematics and computer science.


What has your experience in the engineering program been like so far?

“So far I think I’ve set a good basis of knowledge from my courses. Having a lot of contact with my professors has helped me learn more than I think I would have in huge classes based upon how I learn. The DesignSpine is great for incorporating knowledge from multiple different disciplines and bringing it together on one project. This is great because it gives you a lot of experience on what jobs will be like after college.”

Could you talk about your experience as an international student and how the pandemic affected you?

“During the Fall semester of 2020 I stayed at home in New Zealand due to the nature of the pandemic in the United States. All of my professors were very understanding and many went out of their way to help me throughout the semester. Most of the time they would record their Zoom lectures to the rest of the class and upload the footage to the Google Drive where I would be able to view them at a time which better suited me; this is because due to the 16-hour time difference the live classes were between midnight and 7 a.m. for me, which wouldn’t have been possible to complete my studies. I also worked with my professors to organize times to take tests which were different than the class times so that it would work for me.”

Have any faculty members mentored you?

“I work a lot with Dr. [Steve] Spicklemire over a wide range of my courses. He’s my point faculty on our Engineering Design spine project. Also has taken me for SWEN and Physics classes, I have regular contact with him and he helps and advises on anything I need.”

Seth Ward

Seth Ward (UIndy Athletics file photo)

Are you involved in any extracurricular activities?

“I’m part of the men’s soccer team here for the university. It’s the reason I’m here at the university; as an international student I was scouted to come play for the school. I think getting to play at the collegiate level is a great experience. Mainly just getting to be around the boys on the team is great.”

What advice would you give to incoming freshmen at UIndy?

“Don’t specialise too early; explore what’s on offer to find what you enjoy.”

What’s your favorite thing about UIndy?

“The small class sizes. You’re able to specialize and get a lot more one on one time with your professors. You also are able to create better working relationships with them which in turn helps out throughout your courses.”

Etchings Press announces 2020 Whirling Prize recipients

University of Indianapolis students enrolled in the ENGL 479 course explored the genre of horror for the 2020 Whirling Prize. The students reviewed submissions and selected winners in the categories of prose and poetry in the annual competition organized by Etchings Press, the University of Indianapolis student-run publisher. Liz Whiteacre, assistant professor of English, serves as the Whirling Prize faculty advisor.

Laurel Radzieski received an award for the 2020 Whirling Prize in Poetry for her collection “Red Mother” (NYQ Books).  Joseph P. Laycock received an award for the 2020 Whirling Prize in Prose for his book, “The Penguin Book of Exorcisms” (Penguin Classics).

"Red Mother" by Laurel Radzieski

“Red Mother” by Laurel Radzieski

In “Red Mother,” Laurel Radzieski weaves a love story told from the perspective of a parasite. This series of short poems explores the intimacy, desire and devotion we all experience by following the sometimes tender, often distressing relationship that emerges between a parasite and its host. Radzieski’s poetry is playful, though often with sinister undertones. Far from romanticizing either role, “Red Mother” takes readers on a tour of their own innards, exposing the hooks and claws of all involved.

“Red Mother had amazing elements beautifully incorporated into it, making it very engaging. I might go searching for more horror-themed poetry just because of Radzieski’s book.” said Cassandra Dillon ‘22 (Professional Writing)

"The Penguin Book of Exorcisms" by Joseph Laycock

“The Penguin Book of Exorcisms” by Joseph Laycock

“The Penguin Book of Exorcisms,” edited by religious studies scholar Joseph P. Laycock, showcases a range of stories, beliefs, and practices surrounding exorcism from across time, cultures, and religions. Laycock’s exhaustive research incorporates scientific papers, letters and diary entries by the clergy, treatises by physicians and theologians, reports from missionaries and colonial officers, legal proceedings, and poetry and popular legends. The result is informative and entertaining, and proves that truth can indeed be scarier than fiction.

“Not only do these stories entertain and educate, but they maintain a sense of horrific reality within themselves that rings eerily true even today,” said Hope Coleman ’21 (Creative Writing).

“The student judges explored and engaged with Horror this fall and ended the competition with a greater appreciation of the nuances of the genre, after having the opportunity to read the contest entries. It was an excellent learning experience,”  said Liz Whiteacre, advisor of the 2020 Whirling Prize.

Call for 2021 entries

Student judges welcome recently published books of prose and poetry in response to the theme of nature published since January 2019. Students are employing a broad interpretation of these criteria in their reading and judging. The deadline for submissions is September 3, 2021. Details may be found on the Etchings website

MSDA students receive first place in data challenge

Three graduate students in the data analytics program, along with Alli Snyder, assistant professor of data analytics, received first place in a virtual data challenge conference. The students are Claudia Alocer, Angie Zhang, and Lawrence Bukenya, who will be graduating in May 2021.

The group focused on a county-level program to combat health disparities and presented the results to major stakeholders of Indiana last month. The students also received $1,000.

Indiana Gov. Eric Holcomb has set an ambitious goal to greatly reduce the state’s infant mortality rate and achieve the lowest rate among Midwestern states by 2024. To support these eAlli Snyder, PhDfforts, the HIMSS Indiana Chapter in coordination with Indiana FSSA, the Indiana Department of Health, Indiana Management Performance Hub, the Regenstrief Institute, KSM Consulting, Parkview Health, and BioCrossroads conducted a virtual data challenge. By convening students, researchers, policymakers, health care professionals, and entrepreneurs from across the state, the challenge will propel the exploration and analysis of Indiana’s data to deliver powerful insights and innovative solutions that result in better health outcomes for Hoosier moms and babies.

University of Indianapolis partners with the Financial Planning Association to present virtual Financial Planning Day Jan. 30th

INDIANAPOLIS—The University of Indianapolis’ School of Business and the Financial Planning Association will partner to present Financial Planning Day on January 30, 2021, from 10 a.m. to 2 p.m.

The event is open to members of the community for free financial planning services from certified financial advisors. Interview opportunities are available both virtually and in person with the University of Indianapolis’ Student Business Leadership Academy (SBLA) President Emily Muckerheide and Pro Bono Co-Director of FPA Chad Reed.

Financial Planning Day, hosted by the University of Indianapolis’ School of Business in partnership with the Financial Planning Association, helps bring the knowledge and expertise of certified financial planners (CFPs) to the Indianapolis community. Receive FREE advice, via Zoom, from Indy’s best CFPs to assist in an array of financial situations. Among the offered services include: credit/debt management, estate planning, government benefits, and personal budgeting. The Financial Planning Association is eager to help members of the community during these unprecedented times and UIndy is proud to live out its “Education for Service” motto through this event.

Learn more and register here.

The Financial Planning Association® (FPA®) is the primary membership organization for financial planning practitioners who want to master the practice of financial planning, and who are committed to shaping the future of the profession.

Applied Learning is the key to the UIndy School of Business. From managing a portfolio of real money in the UIndy Student Fund to working directly with clients on project management, UIndy students “learn by doing.” Both undergraduate and graduate courses are taught by dedicated faculty, many of whom have many years of real-world experience they bring to the classroom. In addition to the classroom, students gain valuable internship experiences at nearly 100 different businesses each year and are well-prepared to enter the job market or advance in their careers upon graduation.

Department of Biology adapts to pandemic with biology kits for students

A student dissects a worm using a biology kit.

A student dissects a worm using a biology kit.

When the COVID-19 pandemic struck, all University of Indianapolis academic departments were forced to rethink their course delivery approach to accommodate face-to-face restrictions. For the Department of Biology, that meant determining that students still had access to hands-on learning experiences in the laboratory.

With CARES Act funds, the department adopted the use of lab kits which were supplied to students at no expense to them. The kits contain all the materials that students need to complete lab activities at home.

A Biology 165 kit.

A Biology 165 kit

“We also wanted to make sure that even though the students were technically taking online classes, they could still come for help, use our facilities and feel part of the campus,” explained Sandy Davis, chair and professor of biology. “It has worked out really well.”

To give maximum flexibility, students taking classes that are using kits can take their kits home and do everything there. If students feel uncomfortable coming to campus, are in a high-risk health group or are under quarantine, they can still complete the activities and not fall behind. Residential students may store their kits in the lab.

Students work on the biology kits in a lab room at Lilly Science Hall.

Students work on the biology kits in a lab room at Lilly Science Hall.

Accompanying this approach is a system of open labs in which students from any class (whether they are using a kit or not) can check in at Lilly Science Hall. Students may pick up their kit, if they have one, and are then directed to an open lab where they can work on their own or collaborate with other students in the class.

UIndy Speech and Debate Team has Success Going Virtual

UIndy Speech & Debate team goes virtualThe University of Indianapolis Speech and Debate Team competed in their first tournament of the year and first virtual tournament ever in the 2020 T-Town Swing Tournament hosted by Tulsa Community College and Northeastern State University.

The team earned widespread accolades throughout the tournament, culminating in a second-place finish in individual events sweepstakes.

The UIndy Speech and Debate Team is a nationally ranked learning-centered community that competes in speaking events to enhance student’s communication, research, and public speaking skills. Stephanie Wideman, assistant professor of communication, is the team director.

“Learning during a pandemic presents challenges to all educators. However, this team’s resilience and dedication to the craft of public speaking means we can adapt and keep excelling during difficult times. It is essential we offer some sense of normalcy for our students, and competing, even virtually, offers that opportunity,” Wideman said.

Elise Paz ’23 (finance & Spanish) earned the title of tournament champion in communication analysis for her work exploring how obituaries have the rhetorical potential to shape public memory of these historic times. “Hispanics in the United States have been disproportionately affected by the pandemic due to their marginalized status and inability to access good healthcare and protective measures against COVID-19. In writing this speech, I was given the opportunity to shed light on this issue and give voice to those in need,” she said.

Team president, Craig Chigadza ’21 (psychology and international relations) speaks to his feelings about competing virtually: “As a collegiate competitor in speech and debate, the opportunity to be back on the circuit, competing even virtually, serves as reassurance that where there is a will there is a way. The feeling of being back with my university family is amazing,” Chigadza explained.

See a full list of team results below:

I.E. Sweeps: 2nd Place
Combined Sweeps: 3rd Place
Elize Paz ’23 (finance & spanish)-Tournament Champion (1st Place) in Communication Analysis
Landon Owens ’22 (sports management)-3rd in Programmed Oral Interpretation
Kathryn Leigh ’21 (biology)-3rd in Prose
Bhumibol Shakya ’23 (communication & psychology)-3rd in Impromptu Speaking & 5th in Informative Speaking
Collin Fausnaugh ’22 (supply chain management)-4th in Impromptu Speaking & 5th in Extemp Speaking

Family Weekend brings special reunion for UIndy mascot Grady and sister

UIndy’s Family Weekend kicked off with a special reunion between Grady the Greyhound and his sister, Misty.

Before arriving at the University of Indianapolis in November 2019, Grady was a racing Greyhound in Daytona, Florida. Misty, also a retired racer, was with him every step of the way until their retirement. Both were raised together and had the same trainer.

Paul Nance, who adopted Misty, soon learned of Grady’s new role at UIndy. After some detective work, he confirmed that Misty and Grady were indeed littermates and knew that the pups had to have a reunion.

“It’s such an amazing experience to see them actually play together,” Nance said. “Greyhounds often get separated when they are retired because they retire at different times. To have two Greyhounds from the same litter end up in the same city through different adoption agencies is absolutely amazing.”

Grady’s handler, Coran Sigman, was excited for this to be Grady’s first Family Weekend, which the happy reunion made even more memorable.

“When you first introduce them right at the beginning, you want to do it in a safe manner, make sure everything is all good. Tails were wagging immediately! It’s nice for this to be Grady’s first Family Weekend. He’s still finishing up his first rookie year.”

With many Family Weekend events moving online due to pandemic restrictions, Sigman reflected on the Greyhound commitment to supporting each other.

“Obviously this year has thrown everyone for a loop. Family is what matters most and at UIndy family means something a little bit more and it’s a little more special. My husband and I are both alums, we both work here, Grady’s now a part of this. Keep your family close and that’s what matters most right now.”

Reflector recognized with 29 awards

The Reflector (print and online publications) won 29 state-level journalism awards in April/May from the Indiana Collegiate Press Association and the Society of Professional Journalists Best in Indiana Journalism competitions. Congratulations to these students!
*Best Continuous Coverage of a Single Story, Second Place, “IndyGo Red Line,” Madison Gomez, Justus O’Neil, and Hallie Gallinat
*Best Editorial Cartoon, Third Place, “Trump’s Wall: Brick-by-Brick, Shayla Cabalan
*Best Entertainment Column or Review, Second Place, “Indiana Fear Farm,” Tony Reeves
*Best Entertainment Column or Review, Third Place, “Game Grumps: The Final Party Tour,” Ethan Gerling
*Best Photo Feature, First Place, “Students Create On-Campus Barber Shops,” Tony Reeves
*Best Front Page, First Place, April 3 Front Page, Zoë Berg
*Best Informational Graphic, First Place, “2019 Indianapolis City-County Council District 16 Election,” Ethan Gerling, Justus O’Neil
*Best News Photo, First Place, “UIndy Drag Show 2019: Ty Johnson as Fruit Tea,” Jayden Kennett
*Best News Photo, Third Place, “Youth Climate Strike,” Tony Reeves
*Best Non-Deadline News Story, Second Place, “Marion County Marijuana Possession Cases Receive Policy Changes,” Noah Crenshaw
*Best Opinion Column, First Place, “Conservatism’s Core Values Still Have Impact,” Tate Jones
*Best Overall Design, First Place, October 30 Issue, Staff of The Reflector
*Best Review, Second Place, “Hozier: ‘Wasteland, Baby!’ Review, Abby Land
*Best Single Issue, Second Place, December 11 Issue, Staff of The Reflector
*Best Sports Feature Story, First Place, “Sue Willey, VP of Intercollegiate Athletics, Reflects on Time at UIndy before Retirement,” Jayden Kennett and Emily Del Campo
*Best Sports News Story, Third Place, “Baseball and Softball Teams Set Pre-Season Goals,” Jacob Walton
*Best Sports Page, Second Place, April 17 Sports Page, Cassandra Lombardo
*Best Sports Page, Third Place, September 25 Sports Page, Jacob Walton
*Best Themed Issue, Second Place, August 21, 2019, Issue, Staff of The Reflector
*Division II Newspaper of the Year, Third Place, The Reflector
*Best Full Color Display Ad, Second Place, College Crossing Spring Ad, Tate Jones
*Advertising Publication of the Year, Third Place, The Reflector
SPJ Best in Indiana Journalism
*Breaking News Reporting, Second Place, “Jewish-Israeli Students Find Swastika in Residence Hall,” Jayden Kennett
*Sports Reporting, Third Place, Sports Reporting, Abby Land, Jayden Kennett, Emily Del Campo
*Editorial Writing, First Place, “Gentrification Hurts Low-Income Hoosiers, But It Doesn’t Have To,” Ally Nickerson
*News Photography, Second Place, “Youth Climate Strike,” Kiara Conley and Tony Reeves
*Page One or Cover Design, Third Place, Front Page Design, Zoë Berg and Noah Crenshaw
*Best Design Other Than Page One or Cover, Second Place, February and April Issues, Zoë Berg
*Graphics or Illustration, Third Place, “Sue Willey Announces Retirement,” Ethan Gerling

All clear after bomb threat, evacuation

In the wake of a bomb threat received today at the University of Indianapolis, the following statement was issued by Jeanette DeDiemar, vice president for communications and marketing:

The University of Indianapolis campus was evacuated this afternoon in response to an anonymous bomb threat.

Police conducted a complete search and found no evidence of a bomb or suspicious materials around campus. An all-clear message was issued within an hour, and students, faculty and staff were permitted to re-enter buildings. All evening classes remain canceled.

Campus police received the threat at approximately 4 p.m., and university leadership determined the concern was credible enough to merit ordering a complete evacuation. The safety of students, faculty, staff and visitors is the university’s top priority. The evacuation was executed quickly and smoothly.

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