Student Leadership Academy wins major support from Lilly Endowment
A $580,000 grant from Lilly Endowment Inc. to the University of Indianapolis will enable the major expansion of a partnership with the Indiana Conference of The United Methodist Church to help high school students explore potential careers and volunteer opportunities in church ministry and other faith-based settings.
The grant is part of the Endowment’s High School Youth Theology Institutes initiative, which encourages young people to explore theological traditions, ask questions about the moral dimensions of contemporary issues and examine how their faith calls them to lives of service.
“This is an opportunity to increase our investment in the youth and help them from an early age to consider ministry and service as a calling in their lives,” said the Rev. Jeremiah Gibbs, chaplain and assistant professor at UIndy and director of its Lantz Center for Christian Vocations. “We show them how their skills and interests can be applied to the real issues people face in the world.”
The Lantz Center’s Student Leadership Academy offers two programs that will benefit from the new funding:
An annual fall retreat for United Methodist youth, now in its sixth year, will grow from 90 to 250 students and add second- and third-year programming for returning participants, including certification as lay servants in the church. Participants are nominated by UMC pastors throughout the state for an intensive weekend of discussion on theology, vocation and leadership.
A new two-week summer institute, to be launched in 2017, is open to all Christian denominations and aimed at students specifically considering full-time careers as ordained clergy, lay ministers, lay professional staff or missionaries. Approximately 40 participants will be selected through a competitive application process for an experience that includes lectures, discussions, practical applications and service opportunities.
Cutting the ribbon at Greyhound Village on Thursday morning are (from left) Strategic Capital Partners CEO Gene Zink, UIndy student Erin Jackson, UIndy President Robert Manuel, Indianapolis Mayor Joe Hogsett, UIndy Board of Trustees Chair Yvonne Shaheen and University Chaplain Jeremiah Gibbs.
UIndy’s new Greyhound Village represents not just the cutting edge of student housing, but also the new potential of Indianapolis’ Shelby Street corridor, speakers agreed Thursday at the dedication ceremony for the four-story, 486-resident campus apartment building.
“Projects like this one have the power to be transformational, not just for this university — although I know it will be — it is transformational for our entire city,” said Mayor Joe Hogsett. “This expansion of UIndy housing can build on the momentum we’ve seen throughout Indianapolis by attracting new residents to the surrounding area, by encouraging small business to expand and to embolden future development.”
More than 150 health and gerontology professionals from the U.S., the U.K., Canada and Australia are on the UIndy campus today through Saturday for ExPAAC II, a conference on exercise, physical activity and aging presented by the national Academy of Geriatric Physical Therapy.
The event gives physical therapy practitioners the knowledge and tools they need to help the growing population of older adults achieve maximum function and independence.
UIndy, home to the College of Health Sciences and the Center for Aging & Community, makes a logical host site. Dr. William Staples, associate professor in UIndy’s Krannert School of Physical Therapy, is president of the Academy of Geriatric Physical Therapy, a division of the American Physical Therapy Association. Dr. Stephanie Kelly, dean of the College of Health Sciences, welcomed the attendees this morning. Dr. Stephanie Combs-Miller, director of research for the Krannert School of Physical Therapy, is among the presenters.
“It is an exciting time for the academy to educate our members about the importance of physical activity for older adults and the direction that our profession is progressing,” Staples said. “Geriatric practice is growing, and we hope to bring inspiring people together to ensure we keep practitioners on the cutting edge.”
Keynote speakers include Kathleen Cameron, senior director of the National Council on Aging’s National Falls Prevention Resource Center, and Howard Friedman, author of The Longevity Project.
Supervisors at the National Collegiate Athletic Association headquarters in Indianapolis are honing their management and leadership skills through a customized certificate program developed in partnership with the University of Indianapolis.
NCAA Leadership Essentials, delivered on-site by UIndy’s School for Adult Learning, is an eight-week program to enhance employee management abilities in the areas of critical thinking, conflict resolution, employee engagement, change management, human resources and legal affairs as well as enhancing organizational cultures of teamwork and trust.
“The NCAA national office believes learning is an ongoing process. We entered into a strategic partnership with the University of Indianapolis to provide our supervisors with enhanced leadership and skill building tools necessary to be effective leaders,” said Bob Fiala, NCAA managing director of human resources. “Through participating in the Leadership Essentials certificate program, we think our supervisors will grow and develop into more effective leaders and ultimately provide a higher level of support to their staff, member schools and the Association.”
UIndy student Brendan Dudas (IndyStar video still)
Indianapolis Star sports columnist Gregg Doyel is known for his ability to find compelling tales where others don’t think to look, but even he was daunted by the story of UIndy business major and baseball player Brendan Dudas.
It begins with the elaborate wiffle ball facility Dudas and friends built in his parents’ Southside backyard, home to an organized eight-team league that helps young men from the area stay in touch with their high school pals. It ends with Dudas and his girlfriend — both full-time college students — assuming guardianship of two disadvantaged young nephews who have found love and support through their families and the Indy Southside Wiffle Ball league.
There’s much more, but you have to read the story to take it all in. Doyel initially wasn’t sure how to put the pieces together.
Dr. Amanda Miller of the Department of Sociology & Criminal Justice continues to draw national attention with her research on marriage, cohabitation and household dynamics. Most recently, she is coauthor of a study suggesting that couples who share household chores equitably are also busier in the bedroom. Read about it in the New York Post (“Wanna have more sex? Do the dishes”) and Glamour.
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Dr. Timothy Zimmer of the School of Business likes to apply his economics acumen to the world of sport. One of his number-crunching finds is that a Major League Baseball team that goes for an extended time without winning a World Series (a la the Chicago Cubs), and has a fan base built around that “lovable loser” image, can actually lose fans in the long run after a winning season. Read about it in The Atlantic.
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The world is still discovering the research performed by Dr. Stephanie Combs-Miller and her Physical Therapy students and colleagues to show the positive impact of Rock Steady Boxing therapy in improving life for clients with Parkinson’s disease.
The foundation coordinates the annual VEX Robotics Competition, which is active in 40 countries and culminates in the three-day VEX Worlds gathering. This year’s finals in Louisville drew 1,000 teams from over 30 nations and included an awards ceremony honoring the former mayor, whose efforts in the field have included establishing and promoting the City of Indianapolis VEX Robotics Championship.
“I’ve seen so many students’ lives changed as a result of these competitions,” Ballard says. “It is humbling to have been a part of it all.”