School of Education Alum receives Amazon Award

Mark Snodgrass

Mark Snodgrass ‘00 (elementary education) received one of 10 Amazon “Future Engineer Teacher of the Year” awards and was the only award recipient from Indiana.

“I am overwhelmed with joy and humbled that a company such as Amazon has recognized my love of teaching and my students need to access technology,” Snodgrass said.

Snodgrass was chosen among thousands of applicants and was among the first recipients to ever receive the award, which contained a prize package valued at more than $50,000. The grant will provide improved technology to his students at Southport High School.

A School of Education alum, Snodgrass continues to support the program as a guest speaker and by bringing his students to demonstrate their work. He says UIndy’s School of Education has been “the best decision I could have made.” 

“The real-life experiences in the classroom, the professors understanding that their students will grow from mistakes, as well as the friendships and support from professors even after graduation, helped to make me the teacher I am,” he added.

With relationships on campus that span decades, Snodgrass has also found support through the R.B. Annis School of Engineering at UIndy.

“The department has been a great support for my classroom, my engineering teams, and Southport High School Engineering,” he said. “I am so blessed to work with professors like Dr. Steffel, Dr. Pennell, and Dr. Talaga. I am forever grateful for their guidance and wisdom and for being awarded this honor by Amazon. Go Hounds!”

 

Learn more about the Amazon award recipients

Poetry collection by Kevin McKelvey selected for Indiana Authors Awards shortlist

A poetry collection written by Kevin McKelvey, professor of English at the University of Indianapolis, was shortlisted for top honors for The 2020 Eugene and Marilyn Glick Indiana Authors Awards. Thirty-seven books written by Indiana authors and published in 2018 and 2019 in seven categories of literature have been shortlisted foDream Wilderness Poems by Kevin McKelveyr the awards, which will be announced on Sept. 1, 2020.

McKelvey’s collection, Dream Wilderness Poems, draws from Indiana’s environmental history, particularly the Charles C. Deam Wilderness Area on Lake Monroe near Bloomington.

“I’m humbled and honored to be a finalist for the Indiana Author Awards in poetry. Finalists in all of the genres have inspired me and UIndy students, including those finalists who have visited for the Kellogg Writers Series,” McKelvey said. “Many thanks to Indiana Humanities for their stewardship of these awards and for their programs and work across the state.”

Book winners will be announced on Sept. 1 at 11 a.m. via a Facebook Live Premiere Event, and on Instagram and Twitter and via an email to subscribers at 11:10 a.m. Follow @INAuthorsAwards and sign up at www.IndianaAuthorsAwards.org to receive the announcement.

Each category winner will receive a $5,000 cash prize, a hand-crafted limestone award and the opportunity to make a $500 donation to an Indiana library of their choice.

For more information on the Indiana Authors Awards, visit indianaauthorsawards.org.

UIndy Department of English keeping united through creative solutions

By Savannah Harris

 

This winter semester, both poetry writing workshop (ENGL 370) and advanced poetry writing workshop (ENGL 470), taught by Associate Professor of English Dr. Liz Whiteacre, were tasked with creating poems that responded to various themes, prompts, and styles. After the class finished their construction, we arranged them together into chapbooks that reflected our work and represented our various sources of inspiration. Due to the Coronavirus pandemic, we could not finish out our final poem presentations in person, but UIndy Communications & Marketing came up with a creative solution that allowed us to share our hard work with the Greyhound community in an inventive way.

The “Poems from Home” project was presented to each student as an optional opportunity for practice in public poetry reading, an essential skill for any growing writer who is interested in sharing their work. We each chose a poem, either one we wrote or that of a well-known poet, to record ourselves reading. It was intended to be impactful and carry a positive message to encourage ourselves and our listeners during these uncertain times. My English major friends are extremely talented and I knew this project would turn out to be a wonderful expression of our individual and collective creativity.

The poem I chose to read, “The Seed of a Bonsai Tree”, is also the first poem in my own chapbook. It deals with the dichotomies between winter and warmth, fear and peace, and, most importantly, the idea that through every difficult situation is the universal certainty that we will persevere. It can be hard to keep this in mind with everything on pause, but a similar message of hope threads throughout each poem chosen by my fellow students. It shows that no matter what obstacle we are facing, creativity and unity are a constant—especially here at UIndy!

Click the video below to watch:

 

UIndy alumni making waves with Silver Screen film podcast

Katie Gainey ’11 (English, theatre minor) and Jared Boomer ’15 (communication, electronic media concentration) are two University of Indianapolis alumni and friends of nearly seven years who have recently started collaborating on a podcast all about movies and the media. 

Realizing how much fun they had bantering about movies, they launched the Silver Screen Podcast in 2019. The weekly podcast focuses on movies and series ranging from upcoming releases to classic films. The pair dedicate each episode to a specific movie and discuss the synopsis, ratings, reviews and their own personal commentary alongside these professional opinions. You can also expect to hear them discuss relevant social issues, news about movies and actors and plenty of lighthearted laughs. Among other episodes, Gainey and Boomer have covered Netflix’s “Tiger King,” “Toy Story,” “The Big Lebowski,” and “Contagion.” The “Contagion” episode discussed the Coronavirus weeks before social distancing started and remains their most popular with over 500 downloads. 

Recording Equipment (1)

We asked the Silver Screen Podcast hosts a few questions:

Q: Who are your favorite actors and directors? 

Gainey: “I could go on for days about this question but I’ll try to keep it to a minimum. It should be mentioned that we cannot seem to record an episode of the podcast where I fail to mention Tom Hanks. I adore him. He is a phenomenal actor and human being and the highlight of 2019 was when I got to attend some of the Indy 500 festivities and he came to Indianapolis to film a segment on the ‘Today Show.’ I got to be in the same room as him and hear his voice. I was elated!”

“As far as the classic actors that I can’t get enough of I would say Audrey Hepburn is my number 1 of all time, others include Vivien Leigh, (I was named after the actress and a character she played) Katharine Hepburn, Angela Lansbury, Debbie Reynolds, Gene Kelly, Cary Grant, Jimmy Stewart, Gregory Peck and Fred Astaire. Actors of today that I could watch forever would include Meryl Streep, Emily Blunt, Rachel McAdams, Kate Winslet, Octavia Spencer, Reese Witherspoon, Tom Hanks, Anthony Hopkins, Morgan Freeman, Brad Pitt, Ryan Gosling, Eddie Redmayne, Leonardo DiCaprio, Timothee Chalamet. Favorite directors would be Stanley Donen, Vincente Minnelli, Steven Spielberg, Martin Scorsese, Damien Chazelle, Greta Gerwig and Olivia Wilde.”

Boomer: “One of my favorite actors is Tom Hanks. I am also a big fan of Leonardo DiCaprio, Ryan Gosling, Saoirse Ronan and Emma Stone. For favorite directors, Christopher Nolan is my favorite director, and I also really like the Coen Brothers, Damien Chazelle, Wes Anderson and Steven Spielberg.”

Q: Did you have any mentors at UIndy?

Gainey: “I loved the English Department staff and had a great experience with the Theatre Department as well. The professors that had the biggest impression on me were Dr. Jennifer Camden, Dr. Bill Dynes, Dr. Kyoko Amano, and Jim Ream [retired associate professor of theatre]. Jen Camden and I still get together a few times a year and I regularly communicate with Dr. Dynes through social media. Dr. Amano is now at another university but we keep in touch through social media. And one of the best memories this past summer was visiting Jim and his wife, Paula, with a few of my theatre friends for a birthday party. I had the most classes with Dr. Camden and she is fully the reason I was able to complete my portfolio and graduate. She set a strong example both personally and professionally.”

Boomer: “One of my biggest mentors was Professor Scott Uecker. Scott is in charge of the radio station on campus, 88.7 WICR, and also teaches a variety of communication classes. We are still close even five years after graduation and since I work for a radio station, he helps me out with career advice from time to time. Another mentor would be Dr. Robert Gobetz (or Doc. G. as he is affectionately called) who is no longer at the university but taught a variety of communication classes that I had a lot of interest in. One more would be Dr. Jonathan Evans in the Philosophy and Religion department. Although I only had one class with him, he was my instructor for a Spring Term trip to London and Paris that was one of my best experiences in college.”

Q: How do you stay connected with UIndy?

Gainey: “I’m extremely proud that I attended UIndy. I won Homecoming Queen in college so I always get excited to hear updates about Homecoming festivities and stop by if I’m in town. I was a member of the Student Alumni Association so any time I get a call from students I like to talk to them about their experience. My cousin is currently a professor there, (Dr. Kara Cecil. She is super involved with the COVID-19 crisis right now since her degree is in Public Health) and every fall I take the online Communiversity class with Dr. Camden.” 

Boomer: “I still come back to campus from time to time to help mentor Communication department students. I also usually try to make it back on campus for at least one football and basketball game a season and I rock a UIndy license plate!” 

The Silver Screen Podcast recording session

The Silver Screen Podcast is available on Spotify, Apple, Stitcher, and more. If you’re interested in the Silver Screen Podcast, want more information, or feel like voting what movie they should cover next, be sure to check out their social media:

Twitter – @PodcastSilver

Facebook – https://bit.ly/36XxIym

Instagram – podcastsilver

Lilly partnership leads to exciting opportunities for University of Indianapolis student

Rebecca Williams Headshot

An ongoing partnership between the University of Indianapolis and Eli Lilly and Company (Lilly) is expanding career directions for registered nurses. Rebecca Williams RN ’20, who is pursuing a Master of Science in Nursing (MSN) degree in the education track, recently collaborated with the International Children’s Advisory Network (iCAN) in the development of the iCAN’s first original educational curriculum. 

Williams said the opportunity, which was made possible through the University’s partnership with Lilly, “really opened my eyes to the enormity of possibilities a registered nurse like myself is capable of in her efforts to improve healthcare outcomes.”

The curriculum Williams developed is focused on helping youth ages 8-18 learn how to advocate for themselves in their own healthcare needs, to tell their stories and to not be afraid to ask questions. In constructing this education plan, Williams said she was able to pull from her own experience in pediatric nursing and as a clinical instructor to come up with creative and fun learning activities for children based upon developmental stages.

The value of this partnership “gives students opportunities to make an impact in some of the most unique ways imaginable,” she said, adding that it “leads to many innovative creativities that are quite simply making the world a better place.

Williams had mentors both at UIndy and Lilly to guide her along the way. Dr. Tia Bell, assistant dean of nursing, and Dr. Karen Hirsch, assistant professor of nursing, have been supportive of her journey. Both Williams’s primary preceptor, Mary Short, RN, MSN and secondary preceptor, Jill Vaughn, RN, worked “to ensure fulfillment of all aspects of the Lilly Experience and success of my own goals.” Lori Wise, RN and health literacy specialist at Lilly, impacted the experience Williams had during the partnership by assisting her in understanding how patient advocacy impacts health literacy.

Jennifer Workman, RN, MSN, clinical research scientist at Lilly and cofounder of the student program, explained that UIndy students contribute a fresh, unique perspective to the work being done to improve the lives of people around the world. Working with Lilly presents the opportunity for students to learn valuable skills, such as how medicines are made, the role of the nurse in the pharmaceutical industry, and application of clinical and professional skills in a non-traditional setting. 

As a company founded on making life better for patients around the world, nurses are uniquely positioned to represent the voice of the patient in the delivery of new medicines and innovative solutions that meet their needs,” Workman said. 

“Lilly has had the privilege of hosting a number of UIndy nursing students who have contributed to or delivered tremendous value-added solutions over the past four years,” she added. “We are excited about the success of our partnership to date and we look forward to what the future may bring.”

For Williams, the future is bright. Her career goals include continuing in the role of educator. She is open-minded to all opportunities that fit her strengths and passion towards self-advocacy for patients, and is thankful for the opportunity presented in this partnership.

 “I can do more than to help just the patients I care for directly when connected to such opportunities in teamwork and collaboration as what have been provided to me here.”

School of Education adapts to e-learning

Thanks to faculty support and innovation, students in the School of Education are gaining valuable technical skills that are sure to come in handy in the age of e-learning. Here are a few examples of adaptations during the COVID-19 pandemic:

Dr. John Somers and Dr. Nancy Steffel have been working with partner school districts (MSD Decatur Township and MSD Perry Township) to support their students and teachers as they transition to e-learning. In turn, they are showing elementary education students how to create lessons on their respective learning management systems.

School of Education is making use of online resources in times of pandemic.

Dr. Somers is teaching ELED 202: Universal Design for Learning: STEM to sophomore students. He is working with four fourth-grade teachers at West Newton Elementary in Decatur Townships who are now using Zoom to connect with the class. Collaboratively, they are building a kid-friendly lesson and a teacher lesson (“How to Build a Mars Land Rover”) with tiers for students with low, medium and high readiness. These lessons will be posted and returned on Canvas, Decatur’s Learning Management System.

Zoom Chat with the School of Education

Dr. Steffel is teaching EDUC 336: Teaching Literacy in the Intermediate Grades to juniors. She is leading an exercise that involves having the students create mini-video lessons and post them for fourth graders at Blue Academy in Decatur Township. She is using Zoom in her class daily and the students are posting their lesson on Canvas, Decatur’s Learning Management System. Greyhounds are being asked to consider the production value of their videos in addition to the content of the lesson.

 

pencilnecklace

Dr. Angie Ridgway and her son Nate Ridgway ’14 (history and special education), co-authors of Don’t Ditch That Tech, have been offering support for K-12 teachers from across the country related to their need to transition to remote learning and remote teaching. They are offering virtual office hours and additional conference presentations, in addition to resource materials on their blog (teachingfromtheridge.com).

Ditch That Text hard cover book.

School of Education adapts to e-learning

pencilnecklace

Thanks to faculty support and innovation, students in the School of Education are gaining valuable technical skills that are sure to come in handy in the age of e-learning. Here are a few examples of adaptations during the COVID-19 pandemic:

John Somers and Nancy Steffel have been working with partner school districts (MSD Decatur Township and MSD Perry Township) to support their students and teachers as they transition to e-learning. In turn, they are showing elementary education students how to create lessons on their respective learning management systems.

School of Education is making use of online resources in times of pandemic.

Somers is teaching ELED 202: Universal Design for Learning: STEM to sophomore students. He is working with four fourth-grade teachers at West Newton Elementary in Decatur Townships who are now using Zoom to connect with the class. Collaboratively, they are building a kid-friendly lesson and a teacher lesson (“How to Build a Mars Land Rover”) with tiers for students with low, medium and high readiness. These lessons will be posted and returned on Canvas, Decatur’s Learning Management System.

Zoom Chat with the School of Education

Steffel is teaching EDUC 336: Teaching Literacy in the Intermediate Grades to juniors. She is leading an exercise that involves having the students create mini-video lessons and post them for fourth graders at Blue Academy in Decatur Township. She is using Zoom in her class daily and the students are posting their lesson on Canvas, Decatur’s Learning Management System. Greyhounds are being asked to consider the production value of their videos in addition to the content of the lesson.

Angie Ridgway and her son Nate Ridgway ’14 (history and special education), co-authors of Don’t Ditch That Tech, have been offering support for K-12 teachers from across the country related to their need to transition to remote learning and remote teaching. They are offering virtual office hours and additional conference presentations, in addition to resource materials on their blog (teachingfromtheridge.com).

book

 

 

UIndy Gender Center: a welcome wave of support

Launch of the Gender Center in room 208C and the adjacent hallways in Schwitzer Center

The University of Indianapolis Gender Center held a grand opening Thursday, February 20, full of music, food, confetti, and a letterpress station run by Assistant Professor of Art & Design Katherine Fries.

Students, faculty, and staff came in support of the new office, located on the second floor of the Schwitzer Student Center in room 208C , and stayed for a ribbon-cutting prefaced with remarks made by Gender Center Committee member and Assistant Professor of History & Political Science Laura Merrifield Wilson and President Robert Manuel.

Wilson spoke about her goals for the center, stating that she would start with “getting people aware and building our partnerships, as well as finding ways to help the thriving LGBT community that is already on campus. Whatever they need, whether it’s resources, support, or funding, we are here for them.”

According to the center’s website, “The Center empowers, advocates, and promotes gender equity by supporting research and education, serving as a connector for resources; and nurturing and cultivating intentional partnerships and relationships.”

When asked what she thought of the Gender Center, student Carrie Long ’23 replied, “I think it will impact the lives of the LGBT community on campus in a very positive way.”

In addition to supporting individual students with questions and concerns, the Gender Center is looking to expand its reach into the community of UIndy through partnerships with fellow organizations that align with their values.

One upcoming event the Gender Center will be partnering with is the Kellogg Writers Series poetry reading Wednesday, March 25th, featuring Midwest poet Emily Skaja. Her debut collection, BRUTE, “confronts the dark questions and menacing silences around gender, sexuality, and violence,” according to Goodreads. Some proposed concepts of this cross-collaboration include promotional materials, a giveaway of Emily Skaja’s books that have been purchased by the center and can be signed by the author when she visits, and redeemable Gender Center pins to encourage event attendance.

Associate Professor of English Barney Haney, co-instructor of the Kellogg Writers Series course, shared his opinion on the importance of the Gender Center and what this collaboration will mean for both parties involved. “We are excited about what the Gender Center could mean for our campus community and for the communities that our students serve. By collaborating with the center on the Emily Skaja poetry reading, the Kellogg Writers Series is hopeful that we can further spread the word about the Gender Center while also providing a valuable and relevant experience to the entire student body. Skaja’s debut collection, BRUTE, deeply examines intimate partner violence committed against women and shows us a path to recovery and reclamation of the self. Her poems are fantastic, brutal, and honest. They are what our students need to hear.”

Fellow co-instructor of the Kellogg Writers Series course, Associate Professor of English Rebecca McKanna, expressed that “In Emily Skaja’s BRUTE, the speaker reckons with her experiences of intimate partner violence, often talking to her past self, offering her the language to name what is happening to her. We hope the reading will open up conversations on campus about these issues, allowing students and the wider campus community to engage with this ferocious debut poetry collection.”

This collaboration marks the beginning of a promising legacy for the Gender Center as they provide a long-lasting safe space for those in need of resources and/or support.

University of Indianapolis holds dedication for Jordan Loyd Film & Study Suite

Jordan Loyd UIndy basketball

The University of Indianapolis will celebrate its newest athletic space with a dedication at 1:15 p.m., Friday, February 21 at Nicoson Hall.


The Jordan Loyd Film & Study Suite, funded by Board of Trustees member Kenny Loyd and son Jordan Loyd ’16, along with gifts from other generous alumni and friends, provides the men’s basketball team with a top-notch film study and academic study space.

With theater seating for twenty, this space will enhance the recruiting and retention of talented student-athletes. The suite includes a recognition space to celebrate the team’s athletic and academic achievements. The addition of the Jordan Loyd Film & Study Suite will help men’s basketball continue its long history of successes on the court and in the classroom.

“This milestone event is another example of how alumni and Greyhound families can help further the capabilities of the programs that shaped them. This great testimony to giving back serves as confirmation that we are impactful in the lives of our students,” said Robert L. Manuel, University of Indianapolis president.

Kenny Loyd, president and co-founder of South Coast Paper from Atlanta, Georgia, whose early enthusiasm and advocacy for the project helped see it to fruition. 

Jordan Loyd is a 2016 graduate and 1,200-point scorer who helped the Greyhounds men’s basketball team reach three NCAA tournament appearances including a Sweet 16 berth. During his senior season, Loyd was named to the All-GLVC First Team and GLVC All-Defensive team. In 2019 Loyd became the first Greyhound to play in the NBA with the Toronto Raptors. When the Raptors won the NBA Finals, Jordan became the first Greyhound alumnus to be a member of a National Basketball Association professional championship team. Loyd is currently playing in the Euroleague in Valencia, Spain. His team is also concurrently a member of the top tier Spanish basketball league.

The Jordan Loyd Film & Study Suite pays homage to Dai-Jon Parker, Jordan Loyd’s close friend and fellow Greyhound basketball student-athlete who passed away in 2015.

Pack the House amped up the celebration in 2020

Greyhounds filled Nicoson Hall in support of the UIndy Women’s and Men’s basketball teams as they competed against the Truman State University Bulldogs for a conference matchup on Saturday, February 15.

Women’s tip-off was at 1 p.m. and the men’s team tip-off was at 3 p.m. for a back-to-back showdown. In addition to cheering on the basketball teams, UIndy celebrated all fall athletes for their record-breaking 2019 seasons.

The fun began with a pre-game block party at 11:30 a.m. in Ruth Lilly Health & Fitness Center with tasty snacks, inflatables, life-size Jenga, face painting, and a guest appearance by UIndy’s Live Mascot, Grady.

Back this year was the chance for one lucky student to take a half-court shot for a chance at free tuition for one semester. Students could also enter to win Billie Eilish concert tickets, which were given away during the men’s basketball game.

A post-game celebration at UIndy’s neighbor, Books & Brews at 3308 Shelby St., followed, featuring live band Shift Bit Duo. 

Go Hounds!

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