New Dietetics Internship Program at UIndy addresses nationwide shortage

Health Pavilion

UIndy’s Health Pavilion

The Kinesiology, Health, and Sport Sciences Department at the University of Indianapolis is launching a new Dietetics Internship Program (DIP) to address national shortages in the Supervised Practice placements required to become a Registered Dietitian.

The DIP program offers eligible students the opportunity to earn 1,200 hours of Supervised Professional Practice in the three required areas: food service management, community nutrition, and clinical nutrition. In addition, graduates will gain unparalleled training and experience in one-of-a-kind sports nutrition concentration. 

“There aren’t enough supervised practice opportunities to go around,” said Brian Reagan, PhD, RD, DIP Coordinator and Assistant Professor in the Kinesiology, Health, and Sport Sciences Department. “About 5,000 students graduate each year with the required Dietetics Curriculum, but approximately 2,000 people won’t get the required Supervised Practice hours because there simply aren’t enough programs. 

Students in the DIP program will benefit from local placements and an extensive network of preceptors that can be individually tailored from sports teams to hospitals, and state-of-the-art learning opportunities in the Health Pavilion’s Nursing Simulation Lab, Reagan said.

“UIndy’s College of Health Sciences has a long-standing tradition of offering nationally recognized, accredited, and award-winning programs,” said Stephanie Kelly, dean of the College of Health Sciences. “The experiences and skills students gain in the Dietetics Internship Program will further enhance their careers while meeting critical needs in the healthcare sector.” 

Applications are being accepted now for the first DIP cohort, which begins Fall 2021. Limited spots are available. 

“The DIP experience we’re offering is unlike anything else in the Midwest,” said Reagan. “We plan to partner with athletic teams here in the Amateur Sports Capital of the World and work on-campus with UIndy athletes as well.” 

Learn more about UIndy’s Kinesiology, Health, and Sport Sciences Department 

Announcing the Strain Honors College Faculty Fellows

UIndy Honors College crest 2019

Five University of Indianapolis faculty members have been named Ron & Laura Strain Honors College Faculty Fellows. The three-year terms begin during the 2021 academic year. 

The primary purpose of the fellowship is to support the students of the Strain Honors College through teaching and mentorship or service. Strain Honors Faculty Fellows are expected to teach at least three credit hours of Honors coursework per semester and produce additional contributions related to student scholarship, mentoring, advocacy, and more. 

“This new fellows program will create a stable cohort of faculty dedicated to teaching and thinking about Honors, as well as serving Honors students in other capacities. This helps to resolve a long-standing issue about how Honors functions on our campus,” said Jim Williams, executive director of the Ron and Laura Strain Honors College and associate professor of history. 

Get to know each Fellow and learn about their goals for the fellowship:

Miller,_Emily History PoliSci UIndyEmily G. Miller
Instructor of Practice
History and Political Science Department

  • Former UIndy Honors College student (‘Theory of multiple intelligences in relation to social studies’ was published in 2001)
  • Selected to write curriculum for the Fred T. Korematsu Institute in California to commemorate the 75th anniversary of the Supreme Court case Korematsu v. U.S.
  • Will be teaching an Honors class to explore stories related to World War II on the US homefront, especially making connections between minority participation in the war and the power movements of the 1960s.
  • Passionate about acting as a diversity, equity, and inclusion advocate for Honors students and faculty

“I am encouraged by the call for diversity, and I appreciate the commitment to a theme on inequity because the experiences of World War II have played a significant role in racial progress that has impacted my life and that of many others.”


Milne,_Marc Biology UIndyMarc A. Milne
Associate Professor
Department of Biology

  • Directs part of the General Biology program, teaches upper- and lower level biology and honors biology courses, and supervises a productive undergraduate lab
  • Will be teaching an Honors Introduction to the Diversity of Life course that will explore the origination, evolution, and diversification of life on earth
  • Has mentored Honors and non-honors students on research related to the ecology of arthropods in nearby forests, the identification of spiders to species from various parts of North America, the illustration of specimens for new species descriptions, and the extraction, amplification, and sequencing of spider DNA for phylogenetic analyses

“Through promoting and advancing the diversity and inclusionary policies of the Honors College, supporting Honors research, and serving on the Honors committee, I hope to enhance my support of the Strain Honors College through this position.”


Nicholas Soltis, Physics and Earth Space Science UIndyNicholas Soltis
Assistant Professor
Physics & Earth Space Science

  • Interdisciplinary researcher whose work bridges the gap between geology, environmental science, and education
  • Works closely with the School of Education and contributes to the Elementary Education STEM program; has six years of experience as a middle school math and science teacher
  • Engages in research on how individuals conceptualize complex Earth systems as well as interdisciplinary biogeochemistry research working to understand the relationship between low-rank coal-hosting aquifers and kidney disease in the U.S. Gulf Coast Region
  • Partners with GeoFORCE to bring high school students from underrepresented and historically marginalized groups into summer field trips to broaden the participation of diverse groups in the geosciences

“One thing I love about my job at UIndy is that I get to teach a wide variety of students about how amazing our planet is through my introductory Earth Science classes that also fulfill the university’s natural science requirement.”


Jordan Sparks Waldron Psychology UIndyJordan Sparks Waldron
Assistant Professor
Department of Psychological Sciences

  • Facilitates internship and research opportunities as the practicum coordinator for the undergraduate and masters in psychology programs
  • Has mentored undergraduate and graduate students on research projects related to factors that impact mental health stigma
  • Received the Honors Mentor of the Year Award in 2019 for her work advising honors students on their projects
  • Excited to develop new honors offerings for students of psychology
  • Looks forward to intentionally supporting and mentoring students through connections made inside the classroom

“Being able to mentor students in research is a vital part of my scholarship and I loved the connection between my role as a teacher and my role as a research mentor that I experienced through teaching in honors.”


Ziff,_Elizabeth_(Liz) Sociology UIndyElizabeth Ziff
Assistant Professor
Department of Sociology

  • Teaches an Honors First-Year Seminar course on inequality and is mentoring two students on the development of their honors project proposals focused on medical malpractice and microaggressions against female athletes
  • Co-faculty advisor for UIndy Pride, faculty advisor for Sociology Club, and member of the Inclusive Excellence Strategic Leadership Coalition
  • Committed to interdisciplinary study and engagement; maintaining diversity in the curriculum and being a voice for underrepresented groups when crafting policies and initiatives at all levels
  • Excited for the opportunity to work closely with a community of young scholars who are eager to be challenged in their studies

“My approach to honors education is to emphasize the process of knowledge production and reproduction, generate intellectual curiosity, and craft ownership of one’s intellectual pursuits.”

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!

University of Indianapolis, Strategic Capital Partners announce opening of University Lofts

The University of Indianapolis continues to respond to students’ changing needs by developing cutting-edge apartments in partnership with Indianapolis-based Strategic Capital Partners, LLC (SCP). An Open House on Jan. 25, 2019 (noon-2 p.m.) celebrates the first phase of University Lofts, including guided tours of the West Building where students are currently living.

These upscale units, which add 300 beds to meet growing student demand for high-quality living options adjacent to campus, continues the trend started with the addition of Greyhound Village in 2016. Featuring innovative and adaptable common areas, universal wi-fi connectivity, and a variety of unit styles to address unique privacy and living arrangements, University Lofts more closely resembles a modern urban, mixed-use apartment complex than a traditional residence hall.

University Lofts is a 118-unit apartment complex offering furnished single, double and quad rooms with private baths, kitchens, living areas, and washers and dryers. The complex sits on nearly two acres of land developed by a joint venture between SCP and the University. University Lofts, located at 1340 National Avenue, is adjacent to campus and only a short walk from the city’s planned rapid transit bus Red Line which will connect the University to downtown Indianapolis, the north side and popular entertainment districts.

Just nine months after the groundbreaking celebration, student residents are settled in and eager to show others their new home during a campus open house. The $20.5 million investment in University Lofts is a testament to the University’s commitment to the campus and neighboring communities.  

University of Indianapolis President Robert L. Manuel said the University Lofts partnership is the latest example of the connection between the University’s vision for the next 30 years defined in 2012 through Vision 2030. In addition to meeting the student demand for high-quality, affordable living options near campus, Manuel said, “University Lofts continues the University’s focus on creating community-gathering places where learning happens so that we can do our best work together. As the University grows, these amenities set the stage for vibrant student life and intellectual development.”

Will Zink, SCP’s senior vice president of construction and development, shares President Manuel’s passion for community improvement.  “We’re honored to partner with the University on developments that expand student housing options while enhancing the campus community and excited to see students fill the Lofts’ west building so soon after completion.”

Creating a quality complex like University Lofts requires talent and experience.  SCP was proud to partner with CSO Architects and Compass Commercial Construction Group to design and build the project, and has hired Peak Campus to manage University Lofts.

University Lofts is the second housing collaboration for SCP and the University.  Greyhound Village, which opened in 2016, is a 4-story building with 196-units housing up to 480 students.  Greyhound Village features a mix of furnished one, two, three and four-bedroom units with private baths, kitchens, living areas, and washers and dryers, and is also managed by Peak Campus. 

About Strategic Capital Partners, LLC
Strategic Capital Partners, LLC (SCP) is a commercial real estate developer who invests in, develops, owns and operates properties in top tier submarkets in Charlotte, Cincinnati, Indianapolis, Nashville, Northern Virginia and Raleigh/Durham. SCP is the general partner in more than $700 million of office, industrial, multi-family and student housing properties which total nearly six million square feet.  The SCP team includes real estate professionals with many years of industry experience in private equity, development, banking, property management and brokerage including Gene Zink and Richard Horn who were both long-serving senior executives at Duke Realty (NYSE:DRE). For more information, please visit

About the University of Indianapolis
The University of Indianapolis, founded in 1902, is a private, liberal arts university located just a few minutes from downtown Indianapolis. UIndy is ranked among the top Midwest Universities by the U.S. News and World Report, with a diverse enrollment of more than 5,500 undergraduates, 1,300 graduate students and 400 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. With strong programs in the health sciences, engineering, business and education, UIndy impacts its community by living its motto, “Education for Service.”

Artist-in-Residence Drew Petersen creates unique learning opportunities for piano students

Drew Petersen master piano class - February 14, 2018. (Photo: D. Todd Moore, University of Indianapolis)

Drew Petersen master piano class – February 14, 2018. (Photo: D. Todd Moore, University of Indianapolis)

INDIANAPOLIS – Music students at the University of Indianapolis are reaping the benefits of an artist-in-residence program that connects them with unique learning experiences and a global professional network.

Drew Petersen, 2017 American Pianists Awards winner, Christel DeHaan fellow and University of Indianapolis artist-in-residence, has held masterclasses, private coachings, lectures and performances as part of the partnership between the American Pianists Association and the University.

Petersen returns in October for a performance at the Christel DeHaan Fine Arts Center Oct. 29, followed by master classes throughout the week that serve as a catalyst for students in the University’s music program.

Learn more about the University of Indianapolis Department of Music programs.

Drew Petersen master piano class with UIndy students at CDFAC on the Ruth Lilly Perfomance Hall stage on Wednesday, February 14, 2018. (Photo: D. Todd Moore, University of Indianapolis)

A cum laude graduate of Harvard University in social sciences, Petersen pursued undergraduate and graduate studies in music at the Juilliard School. He also has been a prizewinner in major international competitions and has been profiled in the New York Times, New York Magazine and the documentary Just Normal.

Petersen said interacting with the talented music students on campus has been one of the biggest rewards of his new connection to the University.

“Whenever I interact with the students and faculty, I am reminded that each day at UIndy is an opportunity to explore great music together and examine and innovate the best ways we can share it with the community. I’ve been having a great time, and I look forward to all that lies ahead,” Petersen said.

Drew Petersen master piano class with UIndy students at CDFAC on the Ruth Lilly Perfomance Hall stage on Wednesday, February 14, 2018. (Photo: D. Todd Moore, University of Indianapolis)

Students also have enjoyed Petersen’s mentorship. During her masterclass with Petersen, Carrie Atkinson ’18 (music – piano) was inspired by his remarkable playing technique and personable approach.

“Drew brought an excitement to the music that was inspiring to see as well as some wonderful insights to the music that reinforced what my teachers had already been instructing me in,” Atkinson said.

Richard Ratliff, professor of music, said Petersen’s fall 2017 performance on campus demonstrated the kind of grace under pressure that he encourages in his students.

“After our week with Drew, students approached the remainder of the semester with energy and enthusiasm. Students now realize that such mastery is a step-by-step process,” Ratliff explained.

Cole Snapp ’18 (music – piano, composition concentration) had a private lesson and a masterclass with Petersen and found both experiences to be motivational.

“Having an amazingly proficient pianist like Drew coach me was extremely valuable. He was able to bring things to my attention that I would not have otherwise thought. In a Zoltan Kodàly piece I was working on, he asked me to play the climactic section louder and louder until I was literally throwing my whole weight into the keys,” Snapp said.

“Since Drew is not much older than our students, his command in public presentation really made an impact. His expertise in a wide variety of repertoire — from the 18th century to the present — was apparent to everyone as he worked with students and spoke insightfully about the music he performs and is planning to record,” Ratliff said.

Atkinson said she’s grateful for the partnership between the APA and the University.

“I think that it is so enriching to get to work with musicians of his calibre. Drew is one of the top pianists on the scene right now, and getting to work with him was a very valuable and fresh experience. The best part, for me, was seeing how excited he got about the music,” she said.

Written by Sara Galer, Senior Communications Specialist, University of Indianapolis. Contact with your campus news.

University of Indianapolis celebrates International Education Month in October

celebration_flag_3876The second annual International Education Month gets underway in October, with a variety of performing arts, film, lectures and interactive events designed to showcase international cultures at the University of Indianapolis and the rich benefits of intercultural exchange.

Highlights include the 30th Annual Celebration of the Flags on Oct. 11. Modeled after the Olympic-style opening ceremony, the event is held on Smith Mall, with international students carrying the flags that represent the many nations of the University of Indianapolis community.

Immediately following the Celebration of the Flags, students, faculty and staff are encouraged to visit the International Exposition in the Atrium of Schwitzer Student Center. The Expo will feature interactive displays hosted by campus offices, departments and student groups, including Study Abroad; Global Languages and Cross-Cultural Studies; English; International Relations; Community Engagement; and Chinese, African, Saudi, Burmese, South Asian, and the Student Organization of Latinos, among others.  The Expo also features interactive activities such as henna tattoos, Chinese calligraphy, traditional artifacts, and clothing displays. Food will be catered by TBaby’s Authentic Caribbean Cuisine. Participants receive a “passport” to be stamped by interacting with cultural presenters and table hosts.

International Education Month Events

Oct. 4, 7:30 – 9:30 p.m.  Symphonic Wind Ensemble and Chamber Orchestra – A Concert Featuring UIndy International Faculty and Works. Christel DeHaan Fine Arts Center/Ruth Lilly Performance Hall, L/P Credit

Oct. 8, 6 p.m. Breaking Down Barriers, UIndy Hall C (Presented by Student Organization of Latinos for Hispanic Heritage Month)

Oct. 9, 4-5 p.m.:  “Conviver: Using Education to Design a Better Life Together, A Brazilian Initiative,” featuring guest speaker Dr. Josefa Cuhna, Chair of Education, Federal University of Parana, Brazil. HEAL 138, L/P Credit

Dr. Josafa Cunha is the chair of Education at the Federal University of Parana, in Brazil. This is one of the oldest and most prestigious Brazilian universities. He will present on his research on school climate and how to craft school interventions to promote positive peer development. “Conviver” means living together in harmony, implying solidarity and respect. Through a combination of online resources and in person mentoring, this project fosters innovation in schools to address the particular issues related to improving life in schools and communities. This program is unique in Brazil for its emphasis on positive development and collaborative community action.

Oct. 11, 2-3 p.m.:  Celebration of the Flags, Smith Mall, 2-3 p.m., L/P Credit

Featuring UIndy’s international students carrying the colorful flags of their countries in a procession around Smith Mall. Speakers include President Robert L. Manuel, Indianapolis Student Government President Jamarcus Walker and Craig Anesu Chigadza, an international student from Zimbabwe. Performers include Adam Fernandes ’22 (graphic design) on guitar and Caroline Kavanaugh ’22 (exercise science) on violin.

Oct. 11, 3-5 p.m.:  International Expo, Schwitzer Center Atrium, 3-5 p.m., L/P Credit

Oct. 11, 7 p.m. Dancing with SOL (Student Organization of Latinos) UIndy Hall

Oct. 17, 6:30-8:30 p.m.:  Global Languages and Cultural Studies International Film Night:  “Code Unknown” (in French with English Subtitles).  HEAL 138, L/P Credit

One of the world’s most influential and provocative filmmakers, the Oscar-winning Austrian director Michael Haneke diagnoses the social maladies of contemporary Europe with devastating precision and artistry. His drama Code Unknown, the first of his many films made in France, may be his most inspired work. Composed almost entirely of brilliantly shot, single-take vignettes focusing on characters connected to one seemingly minor incident on a Paris street, Haneke’s film–with an outstanding international cast headlined by Juliette Binoche–is a revelatory examination of racial inequality and the failure of communication in an increasingly diverse modern landscape.

Oct. 18, 3-4 p.m.:  “Expanding Your Global Horizons through Study Abroad.”  Schwitzer Engagement Area, L/P Credit pending

A panel of UIndy students will offer information about their experiences participating in a variety of international education opportunities and settings.  Attendees will have the opportunity to ask candid questions of the students and find out if study abroad is right for them.

Oct. 18, 7 p.m. Leadership dinner with the president, Nelson House  (Student Organization of Latinos)

Oct. 26, 9-11:30 a.m.:  “West Meets East: Health & Culture,” RB Annis Theater, Health Pavilion L/P Credit

This 2018 West Meets East Forum panel discussion will help participants conceptualize both scientific research and clinical practices. Therapists, doctors and students will discuss the benefits of inter-professional and multicultural health care. Participants explore the importance of moving beyond embracing cultural competence to promoting true cultural equity; the belief that all people in all settings have a right to have, embrace and fulfill their intellectual, psychological, material and spiritual traditions. This forum will enhance participants’ global cultural understanding for effective communication and practice in their respective fields.

Oct. 26, 1-3:30 p.m.:  “West Meets East: Health & Culture Panel Discussions,” Healthplex, L/P Credit

Oct. 28, 3-4:30 p.m.:  “East Meets West Concert IV,” Christel DeHaan Fine Arts Center/Ruth Lilly Performance Hall, Free admission, L/P Credit

Hosted by the Office of Asian Programs at the University of Indianapolis, the fourth “West Meets East” concert features music that transcends borders and brings cultures closer together. Distinguished UIndy music faculty and guests celebrate the second annual International Education Month, highlighting the diverse multicultural resources on the campus and in the community. More information: 317-788-3255

Phylis Lan Lin receives Meritorious Award upon her retirement

PhylisLanLinawardPhylis Lan Lin, associate vice president for international partnerships, was honored with the Meritorious Award by the Office of the Provost during the 2018 Faculty-Staff Institute luncheon for  her outstanding leadership during 45 years of service to the University. Dr. Lin retires Aug. 31 and will assume the title of professor emerita.

Dr. Lin has published or edited more than 30 books in Chinese and English on topics ranging from medical sociology, marriage and the family, stress management, service-learning and organizational behavior. Her servant leadership, passion for teaching and dedication to students have made her a beloved member of the UIndy family.

“Her accomplishments and contributions to the University of Indianapolis are too many to mention,” said Stephen Kolison, Jr., executive vice president and provost. “She is a prolific scholar and a great mentor to young faculty. For 45 years, she has dedicated her talent and knowledge to the advancement of this University.”

Dr. Lin was recognized at both the Zhejiang Yuexiu Foreign Languages University (ZYU) and Ningbo Institute of Technology (NIT) 2018 commencements for outstanding service.

As she closes the long and remarkable UIndy chapter of her career, Dr. Lin is starting several exciting new opportunities that reflect her commitment to building international relationships. At the Chinese American Museum in Washington, D.C., Dr. Lin serves as the chair of the Academic Advisory Board that is designing a scholarship program for students. The museum is slated to open in phases during 2019 and 2020, with a gala planned for November 2018.

“The Chinese American Museum is a mission-driven project that will become a reservoir for Chinese-American culture,” Dr. Lin explained. “We’re promoting the concept of how we can work with all races and nationalities and together build a good country. The more we include other people of different backgrounds, the richer we become. Diversification is a power in itself.”

Dr. Lin noted that while she hadn’t planned on these opportunities, she decided to embark on a new journey when the offers began pouring in after her retirement announcement. She will also serve as the honorary president of the Everbright Academy of Film Arts in Ningbo, China, and as Director of the Center for Research and Planning at Assumption University in Bangkok, Thailand. She will continue teaching an applied sociology course at the graduate level as a part-time adjunct professor at the University of Indianapolis.

“After retirement, my base remains in Indianapolis, albeit my international and national engagements, so I can be a frequent visitor to UIndy,” she said.

Remarkable legacy

FacStaff_Awards_Luncheon_05261Dr. Lin joined the University faculty in 1973 with a passion for enhancing diversity and internationalization on campus. Her many responsibilities have included serving as executive director of the University of Indianapolis Press, director of Asian Programs and associate vice president for International Partnerships. She played an integral role in forming accredited partnerships with Chinese institutions and establishing the Chinese Student Alumni Association, making frequent trips overseas to forge new relationships. She also spearheaded the establishment of the school’s social work program, which is now an academic department that bears her name.

From the archives: Letter from Gene Sease, former president of Indiana Central University

Phylis Lan Lin with her husband, Leon Lin

Phylis Lan Lin with her husband, Leon Lin

The Phylis Lan Lin Scholarship in Social Work, which supports social work students from traditionally underrepresented groups who have a commitment to social work and social justice, is another important facet of Dr. Lin’s legacy. Four scholarships of $5,000 each are awarded annually to students enrolled in either the bachelor’s or master’s of social work program at the University of Indianapolis.

“UIndy is thriving, and I want to be part of that growth. In that way, I don’t really want to retire!” Dr. Lin said. “But it’s good timing, because UIndy is entering a new phase in our international partnerships. We need the new leadership. I have built the foundation but there will be more challenges. It’s time to pass the torch.”

“We are incredibly proud of Dr. Lin’s achievements. She is one of the hardest working members of our department and an integral part of our team. We are grateful for her fantastic 45 years of service,” said Amanda Miller, chair of sociology.

Read an extended biography here.

Mary Moore, professor of sociology and associate vice president of accreditation, echoed those sentiments: “Over 30 years ago, I was hired as a new faculty member at the University of Indianapolis by Dr. Phylis Lan Lin, and since that time she has served as a mentor and colleague. Throughout her career, Phylis has looked for ways to engage junior colleagues in collaborative projects that have served to advance to her colleagues’ careers. Her vision, which is to imagine in grand ways, is the opposite of her personal philosophy where she always puts others before herself.”

Dr. Lin follows a dual leadership philosophy of being a “V.I.P.” – a person with vision, integrity and passion, and also embodies the 4 “H’s” – humanism, humility, holism and happiness. She appreciates the collegial atmosphere at the University of Indianapolis as well as the support it provides for international programs.

“It is so hard for me to leave my beloved institution after serving thousands of students and working closely with hundreds of faculty and staff in the last 45 years. Together, we make good things happen and we transform lives. I am gratified, humbled, and blessed. UIndy is thriving and the best is yet to come,” Dr. Lin said.

Click here to read a comprehensive biography written by Kristeen Ruddle ’97.

Click here to read a 2014 interview with Dr. Lin.


Largest student body ushers in new academic year

About 1,200 freshmen moved into residence halls (Warrens, Craven and Cory Bretz) Wednesday, Aug. 22 with help from volunteers including faculty, staff and upperclassmen.

Hundreds of volunteers helped more than a THOUSAND New Hounds during their first official day on campus.

Posted by University of Indianapolis on Wednesday, August 22, 2018

The Class of 2022 represents 24 states and nearly two-dozen countries and boasts an average freshman GPA of 3.5 with a record number of students admitted with distinction.

Nearly 6,000 undergraduate, graduate and doctoral students are enrolled at UIndy for the fall semester, including more than 200 international students from 30 countries.

As enrollment grows, so has the need for faculty who are dedicated to creating experiential learning opportunities for students both inside and outside the classroom. This fall, the University welcomes 44 new faculty members.

Watch a recap video from move-in day and browse a photo album

Two UIndy students earn Gold Badges in coding at Smart Launch Tech

Alexis Meier

Alexis Meier

Two students from the University of Indianapolis recently earned Gold Badges in coding through a partnership between the Independent Colleges of Indiana and Fishers-based Eleven Fifty Academy. Cheri Walker-Owens ’18 (criminal justice major with concentration in cyber security, theater minor) and Alexis Meier ‘20 (business administration and management) participated in Smart Launch Tech, a coding program designed for liberal arts students. They joined students from 14 private colleges around the state who completed the month-long program in June, each earning the industry- and state-recognized Gold Badge Certification from Eleven Fifty.

The students learned the basics of HTML, CSS and JavaScript in a four-week boot camp. They completed assignments to demonstrate badge competencies and compiled e-portfolios that were presented at the end of the program.

Walker-Owens said the course was a good fit with her interest in cyber security.

Cheri Walker-Owens

Cheri Walker-Owens

“It is beneficial to know as much as I can about how computers and networks function, so I can be better prepared to figure out how people might try to exploit them,” explained Walker-Owens, who participated in the Ron & Laura Strain Honors College during her undergraduate career and presented research on Scholars Day in April 2018.

Meier, who works at the IT Help Desk on campus, was alerted to the program by her supervisor, Gail Cooper, director of the Help Desk.

“I was intrigued by coding and all it entailed so I jumped on the opportunity,” Meier said.

Walker-Owens, who also worked at the IT Help Desk as a student, graduated in May 2018 and is now interning as a junior security engineer with the Indiana Office of Technology. She plans to use her newfound skills on future projects – and if her employer requires those skills, she points out that she’ll already be qualified.

“Coding is a very valuable skill for anyone regardless of what field they are in. All jobs are involved with technology in some way and knowing how to code just gives you even more qualifications. It can also be a starting point to get into the tech field,” she said.

In addition to coding, students in the program learned about the wide range of career possibilities within the tech field, including project and marketing management, data analysis, compliance, security and design. Students visited Indianapolis tech businesses including High Alpha, Pattern89, Kinney Group and One Click to speak with company leaders and employees, and to gain exposure to tech working environments and protocols.

“Being that Indianapolis is becoming a large tech hub, coding knowledge provides opportunities for students to be recruited into the market. It gives an understanding of what goes into different businesses and the amount of programming that is required,” Meier said.

Smart Tech Launch was created to marry the technical skills of coding with the problem-solving approach of a liberal arts education – a goal that many students appreciate. Meier said she learned that businesses need interpreters, in addition to employees who can code.

“While I may not want to be the one to code the products themselves, I could definitely see myself acting as a liaison between the developers and the market. I am a business major and so I benefitted the most from being able to see another avenue to use the education I’m getting at UIndy,” Meier said.

“I would encourage anyone who is interested in coding – and has the opportunity to learn – to do it,” Walker-Owens added.

About the program

The 2018 Smart Launch Tech summer program was provided free of charge to students and funded by ICI, Eleven Fifty Academy and the Council of Independent Colleges through a venture fund grant. Sustainability planning is now underway.

Marc Milne discovers new species of spider in Indiana cave

Marc Milne, assistant professor of biology at the University of Indianapolis, outside the Stygeon River Cave in southern Indiana.

Marc Milne, assistant professor of biology at the University of Indianapolis, outside the Stygeon River Cave in southern Indiana.

Marc Milne, assistant professor of biology, has a knack for discovering new spider species. His latest publication, “A new species of spider (Araneae, Linyphiidae, Islandiana) from a southern Indiana cave” appeared in Subterranean Biology 26: 19-26. His work was covered by Fox News, MSN Australia and New Zealand, the CBC in Canada and highlighted in the Pensoft blog.

While it’s hard to put a number on the species Milne has discovered (some of these creatures belong to groups that haven’t been examined in 80 years), he said the most common group in which he finds new species is “Linyphiidae – sheet-web weaving spiders – the ones that build the webs that you can see early in the morning in your yard when the dew covers their webs,” Milne explained.

Milne’s work takes him from the sand dunes of Indiana Dunes National Lakeshore to the dark caves of southern Indiana, and many nature preserves in between. New species he’s focusing on now are Ceraticelus sp. from the Indiana Dunes National Lakeshore – found in the sand in the leaves near the dunes of Porter County, Lophomma sp. from leaf litter at Glacier’s End Nature Preserve  in Johnson County and Agyneta sp. from leaf litter in Yellowwood State Forest in Brown County.

Although Milne’s spiders are just a few centimeters long, he said there’s much to learn from these tiny creatures, which tend to be understudied because they’re harder to identify.

“These small organisms often play critical roles in our environment such as decomposition and the consumption of dangerous vectors of disease – like how spiders consume tons of mosquitoes each year,” he said.

 Islandiana lewisi

Islandiana lewisi

Milne’s latest cave-dwelling discovery, Islandiana lewisi, occurred in a matter of hours exploring the Stygeon River Cave, thanks to his colleague, Dr. Julian Lewis, an independent isopod taxonomist who was familiar with the cave. The new species, named for Dr. Lewis, may be the only species of spider living inside the cave.

“Cave-dwelling spiders are poorly known because not many scientists are also cavers,” Milne said. “Also, many caves are rarely visited and therefore underexamined. Conducting research on cave organisms can oftentimes yield interesting findings.”

Milne’s work involves frequent collaboration with undergraduate students. One group is currently working on research to add more records of known spider species living in Indiana. (Officially, Indiana has 454 spider species. After the publication of the upcoming research, there will be over 550.)

“I enjoy working with engaged students, because they make the work fun for me. It’s also great that they learn new techniques, get the opportunity to present their research, and have a leg-up on competition when it comes to applying for grad school or professional school,” Milne said.

Lucas Frandsen ‘19 (human biology, physical therapy concentration) is one of the students collaborating on the spider records project.

“The hope is we can take this data and use it to conserve habitats,” Frandsen said, noting that the research is important to anyone working within environmentalism and conservation. He also said he’s gaining useful professional skills in the process.

“I’ve written manuscripts before, but the standard we’re pushing this manuscript to is much higher so we can get it published. Dr. Milne asked me to do a lot of the writing and he’s been providing feedback. It’s definitely been a new and exciting experience.”

Read more about Milne’s research projects with undergraduate students.

Written by Sara Galer, University of Indianapolis senior communications specialist. Send your story ideas to



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