UIndy professor coaches rising star in classical guitar

At the age of 14, Ian Tubbs has claimed six first-place awards in guitar competitions that span the globe. For the last seven years, he’s been studying under classical guitarist Nemanja Ostojić, associate adjunct professor of music at the University of Indianapolis.  

Nemanja’s teaching is invaluable to us,” said Ian’s mom, Gia. “He teaches Ian in the most excellent way, helping him to be a musician of quality in every way – always concerned with the details as much as the bigger picture.”

Ian and Nem 1

Music is a passion that runs in the Tubbs family. Ian’s older sister plays classical piano and his dad took acoustic guitar lessons. When Ian was four years old, he decided he wanted to take piano lessons too and by age five, he asked for a toy acoustic guitar for Christmas.

“From that point, Ian took his toy guitar nearly everywhere he went,” his mom said.

By the time Ian was seven, his parents knew it was time to seek out classical guitar lessons for Ian, who exhibited a natural talent and enthusiasm for the art form. Ian began taking 30-minute private classical guitar lessons with his mentor once a week, which would eventually become 90-minute sessions as his skills and age advanced.

“Ian practices between 2.5–4 hours each day, except on Sundays, which we try to keep as a day of rest, unless a competition makes practicing necessary,” Gia explains.

Ian followed Ostojić to the University of Indianapolis Department of Music for a guitar pre-college program. (Hear Ian’s 2015 spring recital performance)

“Nemanja has been the greatest connection we could have ever hoped for Ian,” Gia said. “We feel very grateful and blessed to have Nemanja’s mentorship and also his kind friendship to our family.”

Ian and Nem 2

Related: Learn about a new classical guitar series at the University of Indianapolis started by Ostojić

Along with classical guitar, Ian is interested in physics, engineering and aviation. This summer, he will be attending an aviation camp to learn how to pilot small Cessna planes.

Ian’s classical guitar awards include:

  • 1st prize – 2018 Indianapolis Matinee Musicale Scholarship Competition (junior section)
  • 1st prize – 2018 Bloomington Classical Guitar Society Aspiring Artist Award
  • 1st prize – 2018 Jacobs School of Music International Classical Guitar Festival and Competition (junior division)
  • 1st prize – 2018 Texas A&M International Classical Guitar Festival and Competition (junior division)
  • 1st prize – 2017 Latino Arts Classical Guitar Competition in Milwaukee, WI (senior division)
  • 1st prize – 2017 Guitar Art International Festival and Competition in Belgrade, Serbia
  • 2nd prize – 2016 Jacobs School of Music International Classical Guitar Festival and Competition (junior division)
  • 3rd prize – 2018 Columbus State International Guitar Symposium (junior division)
  • 3rd prize – 2017 Jacobs School of Music International Classical Guitar Festival and Competition (junior division)
  • 3rd prize – 2016 Latino Arts Classical Guitar Competition in Milwaukee, WI (senior division)
  • 4th prize – 2019 Orange County Classical Guitar Festival and Competition – Chapman University, California (youth division, 18 and under)

 

Learn more about the Department of Music at the University of Indianapolis

Follow the UIndy guitar program on Facebook

Athletes to compete in Special Olympics Indiana’s 2019 Youth State Basketball Tournament March 23

Photo from the 2017 tournament: Indianapolis 500 princess and UIndy student Madi Kovacs presented podium medals to some of the teams after their competition ended.

Photo from the 2017 tournament: Indianapolis 500 princess Madi Kovacs ’18 (psychology & pre-occupational therapy) presented podium medals.

Special Olympics Indiana’s annual Youth State Basketball Tournament culminates during the weekend of March 23 at the University of Indianapolis.

The University will host the Youth Tournament, with all events to be held in Nicoson Hall and the Ruth Lilly Fitness Center Saturday from 9 a.m. to 5 p.m., March 23, 2019. This tournament is open to the public and free of charge. Free parking is available in the parking lots surrounding Nicoson Hall.

Tournament games and individual skills competitions will commence at 9:00 a.m., with additional activities for all athletes to be held throughout the day.  Opening Ceremonies will be held at 12:30 p.m. in Nicoson Hall.

This tournament is the only state basketball tournament offered to youth Special Olympic athletes in the entire world. This event is planned, organized and implemented by a class of dedicated University of Indianapolis students in conjunction with Special Olympics Indiana. Teams are coming from throughout the state to participate in this tournament. This event will be a great opportunity to watch some Hoosier basketball!  

Learn more about Special Olympics Indiana and its State Basketball Tournament by visiting www.soindiana.org.

Tibetan Buddhist monks visit University of Indianapolis March 20–25, 2019

mandalaThe University of Indianapolis Office of Ecumenical & Interfaith Programs welcomes Tibetan Buddhist monks from the Labrang Tashikyil Monastery in Dehra Dun, India, for five days of cultural and religious engagement on campus.

From March 20–25, 2019, the monks will host a series of workshops including “A Course in Happiness” and classes in yoga, art and cooking. They will also build a sand mandala on the first floor of Krannert Memorial Library, devoting nine hours each day during their visit to this sacred ritual.

The group is touring the United States and the University of Indianapolis is their only stop in central Indiana.

“This is the perfect place to be able to exchange ideas, listen to and learn from people with different religious and cultural traditions,” said event organizer Rev. Arionne Williams, associate chaplain in the Office of Ecumenical & Interfaith Programs. “We hope to promote peace, education, cooperation and understanding through this unique opportunity.”

All events are free and open to the public with advance registration. Visit uindy.edu/buddhistmonksvisit for more details. 

UIndy Master of Science in Sport Management program hosts first Indy Sport Business Conference

Zachary Terry '20 (sport management) was a merchandise and facilities intern for the Indiana Pacers in spring 2018.

Zachary Terry ’20 (sport management) was a merchandise and facilities intern for the Indiana Pacers in spring 2018.

The business of sport is a hot field right now. From college athletics to minor league sports to the top of the professional ranks, well-educated and dedicated people are needed to make America’s pastimes happen.

The University of Indianapolis Master of Science in Sport Management (MSSM) program has created the first Indy Sport Business Conference (ISBC), an event that “will help attendees understand what it takes to successfully enter the field and how to prepare for that first job,” said Jennifer Van Sickle, University of Indianapolis director of sport management.

The first annual ISBC will be held on April 1, 2019, at Bankers Life Fieldhouse, from 9:30 a.m. to 3:00 p.m.

Van Sickle said the central purpose of the event is to connect current sport management majors with industry professionals to assist in career development and ready them for entrance into the industry.

“Our programming is built around that goal,” Van Sickle said.

Students in the UIndy MSSM program worked to outline the conference programming. Logistics are being handled by Van Sickle and MSSM graduate student Jacob Springer.

Conference panelists will include representatives from professional sports, collegiate athletics, and other sport industries. A line-up of speakers will be announced soon. Time for networking is built in after each panel session.

The day also provides an opportunity for students to showcase a project or research completed during the academic year. Those projects can be a starting point for discussion with the sport industry professionals participating in the conference.

The $40 registration fee includes all of the day’s educational sessions, a networking lunch, and a tour of Bankers Life Fieldhouse. In addition, the first 50 registrants will receive a free ticket to the Indiana Pacers versus Detroit Pistons game that night. Those who don’t register in time for the free tickets can purchase reduced-priced game tickets.

The conference is open to students from any university who are interested in sports business. Registration must be made in advance; no registrations will be taken at the door. The deadline to register is March 20. Register here.

“We are really excited about this opportunity and hope it’s the first of many conferences to come,” Van Sickle said.

For more information, contact Dr. Van Sickle at jvansickle@uindy.edu or Jacob Springer at jspringer@uindy.edu.

 

Southside Business Summit launches conversation to build economic capacity

Leaders from five south-central Indiana cities will discuss ways to forge the future through economic development at the inaugural Southside Business Summit on Wednesday, March 13, 2019, at the University of Indianapolis. The first-of-its-kind summit brings together municipal leaders and business owners to explore possibilities for economic growth within the geographical area from south of Washington St. in Indianapolis to Franklin, Ind.

University of Indianapolis President Robert L. Manuel and Independent Colleges of Indiana President and CEO David W. Wantz will provide remarks, followed by a panel discussion.

Indianapolis Mayor Joe Hogsett, Franklin Mayor Steve Barnett, Beech Grove Mayor Dennis Buckley, Southport Mayor Russell McClure and Kevin Steinmetz, capital projects manager for the Office of the Mayor of Greenwood, will participate in the discussion moderated by Angela Smith-Jones, deputy mayor for economic development for the City of Indianapolis. The event, hosted by the University of Indianapolis, is open to the public for a $5 registration fee, with proceeds donated to Gleaners Food Bank.

With more than 25,000 vehicles traveling on Madison Ave. and nearly 15,000 using Shelby St. through South Indy each weekday, Michelle Strahl Salinas, director for South Indy Quality of Life Plan, said the time is right to advocate for improvements in business corridors.

“Through the Southside Business Summit, we hope to network with other like-minded communities and have a stronger voice in bringing infrastructure and business opportunities to the Southside. By bringing together business and property owners, SoIndy has begun the process of sharing resources for small business development and improvements,” Salinas said.

“It’s an exciting time. As construction of the IndyGo Red Line creates opportunities for economic development and connectivity, the Southside Business Summit provides a forum for thoughtful discussion,” said Corey Wilson, special advisor to the president for external affairs at the University of Indianapolis.

Robin Heldman, president of Direct Connect Printing, said the discussion is critical to addressing issues facing Southside businesses.

One of the struggles for this business sector is the decision to continue operations as they are or expand the goods and services to build more capacity.  My hope is this event will lend insight to business owners as to the direction the city leaders are taking in this area,” Heldman said.

The Southside Business Summit is presented by the University of Indianapolis, South Indy Quality of Life, Direct Connect Printing & Digital Services, the Greater Southside Business Alliance, the Greater Beech Grove Chamber of Commerce, the Greater Greenwood Chamber, the Fountain Square Cultural District and the West Side Chamber of Commerce of Indianapolis.

Register here for the Southside Business Summit.

 

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Tom Keesee combines ancient and modern in “Drawings from Rome”

"Distant St. Peter's Basilica" by Tom Keesee

“Distant St. Peter’s Basilica” by Tom Keesee

Rome was once the capital of the art world, and the Italian city is behind the inspiration for a new exhibition, “Drawings from Rome,” by Fort Wayne-based artist Tom Keesee. An opening reception is scheduled from 4 to 6 p.m. on Monday, Feb. 18, 2019, at the Christel DeHaan Fine Arts Center Gallery, and the exhibition, which is free and open to the public, will be on display through March 15.

Tom Keesee is a plein-air artist specializing in landscapes and travel. His fascination with Rome ties in closely with the city’s beauty as well as its place in art history. Hundreds of years ago, “Rome was where all artists had to go if they wanted to be successful,” Keesee explained.

Keesee’s work has always drawn him to what he calls sublime or awesome subject matter. 

“I’ve always been interested in the idea of grandeur, and you just can’t get much more grand than Rome,” he said.

The drawings from Rome combine ancient monuments, 16th-century baroque and the modern, which Keesee says is intentional. “No matter where you go, even the ancient sites, modern life is all around. That’s the subject matter I tried to put in those drawings,” he said.

Keesee works on location to create pencil sketches, then later applies ink and watercolor to complete his compositions—a practice borrowed from 19th-century painters. The exhibition features a variety of architectural landmarks and everyday street scenes, providing a rare glimpse into the artist’s working process.

"Piazza del Colosseo" by Tom Keesee

“Piazza del Colosseo” by Tom Keesee

Keesee borrows the procedure of beginning his sketches on location partly as an homage to art history, and partly out of convenience.

“Artists always had to carry everything. That’s a long tradition. The more you carry with you, the harder it is to get around. That’s a big part of it, being able to produce a lot of work and then coming back to finish it over time,” he said.

The exhibition also includes five of Keesee’s landscape paintings in oil. He said the process for creating his artwork varies from the quiet nature preserves that inspire the landscapes to the bustling city streets of Rome. He appreciates the opportunity to chat with people from all over the world when he works in public.

“It’s taken me a long time to become comfortable with working in front of the public, but a lot of people come by,” he said. “It’s amazing how many people you meet from all corners of the world.”

Keesee encourages his audience to interact with the art by filling in some of the details as they view his images. While his goal is to draw accurately with regards to proportion and perspective, he deliberately leaves some of the architectural details less defined.

“I’m wanting the audience to become an active participant in the piece, and, either through memory or imagination, to complete the drawing. That’s a big part of it,” he said.

Greg Ballard makes case for energy independence in new book

Disruptive technologies like autonomous or electric vehicles enjoy plenty of media attention. In a new book, University of Indianapolis Visiting Fellow, former Indianapolis Mayor and Marine Lt. Col (ret.) Greg Ballard links those oft-cited buzzwords to unexpected topics: protecting the lives of American troops now serving in the Middle East, and shifting toward an energy-independent economy.

In his latest book, “Less Oil or More Caskets: The National Security Argument for Moving Away from Oil” (Indiana University Press), Ballard explores the impact of moving the United States’ transportation technology to a “post-oil” model. With 70 percent of the oil in the world being used for transportation, the book makes the case for alternative transportation fuels with the goal of saving U.S. troops’ lives, defunding terrorism and reducing the federal budget.

“It should be obvious to everyone that we continue to suffer enormous losses in lives and dollars just to protect the flow of oil for the world. But what if the world did not need that oil? Could we then bring our troops home from the Middle East and defund terrorism at the same time?” Ballard asked. “The current scenario has already cost us thousands of lives and trillions of dollars, but now there’s new technology in how we fuel transportation.”

By changing the fuel in our vehicles and embracing new technologies in transportation, Ballard argues that within two decades our nation and the world could be on the path to freedom from the current dependence on oil-rich nations.

“Most people don’t know that our troops are over there to protect oil,” he continued. “As a veteran of the Persian Gulf War in 1990-1991, a war that was clearly about the availability of oil in order to maintain the global economy, I thought there might be a way for the United States and the world to lessen its need for oil.”

Ballard believes advances in technology that make electric vehicles possible can help change the dynamic in the Middle East so that oil is no longer a critical strategic commodity.

“If we can get oil to that point, then the world changes,” he said. “We have a technology staring us in the face to change that dynamic peacefully and we should be doing it.”

Changing consumer mindsets will be key to making the transition, and as the technology becomes more convenient, Ballard believes broader consumer adaptation will follow. The book also urges state and municipal governments to convert their fleets to electric vehicles.

“With autonomous vehicles and transportation fuel changing, people will have to get comfortable with this. It’ll be disruptive, but ultimately it will change people’s lives for the better,” Ballard said.

Ballard will host a discussion about the book at 6:30 p.m., Monday, Feb. 11, 2019, in the Schwitzer Student Center (UIndy Halls B & C) at the University of Indianapolis. Ted Frantz, professor of history and director of the Institute for Civic Leadership & Mayoral Archives, and Laura Wilson, assistant professor of political science, will join him for the discussion. A question-and-answer session and book signing will follow, with books available for purchase. Register here for this free event.

International relations students partner with refugees from Burma

Integrating into a new society is no small task. A new collaboration between the University of Indianapolis Department of International Relations and the Burmese American Community Institute (BACI) seeks to make that transition a little easier.

Service_learning_expo_1153 (1)More than 19,000 refugees from Burma have migrated to Indianapolis in recent years, according to the BACI website. The University’s partnership with BACI began six years ago with a vision to create a welcoming, vibrant environment for refugees and the community as a whole.

This semester, seven graduate students and 14 undergraduate students majoring in international relations will provide more than 400 hours of social services to BACI community members, including advocacy, teaching English, tutoring kids for SAT exams and preparing for citizenship exams. Each student chose an area of focus that was meaningful to them.

The opportunity to help the Burmese immigrant community is not only a humbling experience but an avenue to discover the need for continued collaboration within the community,” said Craig-Anesu Chigadza ‘21 (international relations, psychology).

More than 200 people will be impacted by this partnership, said Jyotika Saksena, associate professor and graduate director of the international relations program.

“The majority of the older Burmese community that migrated to the U.S. are not fluent in English and those who do manage to acquire the skills do not understand the American education system or aspects of American society,” Saksena explained. “This leaves a learning gap among the young people in this community, many of whom have aspirations for higher education. Our students will be able to provide much-needed assistance to this community.”

The project will immerse students with BACI, helping them understand how non-profits work and make connections between the role played by international agencies and local refugee resettlement agencies.

It feels very rewarding to help Burmese immigrants. I really admire BACI’s staff and their commitment to assisting the immigrants and refugees and establishing institutional and cultural ties between Myanmar and the United States for the betterment of both places,” said Reagan Kurtz ‘19 (history, political science, international relations), who will be assisting with SAT test preparation this semester.

Discover other service-learning projects at UIndy

“No Belles: Legends of Women in Science” coming to UIndy Feb. 6

Amid the ongoing conversation about inclusivity in academics, a theatrical performance raises timely questions about the disparity of women pursuing careers in STEM (science, technology, engineering and mathematics). The Portland, Oregon-based Portal Theatre brings “No Belles: Legends of Women in Science” to the Ruth Lilly Performance Hall, Christel DeHaan Fine Arts Center, Feb. 6, 2019, to explore the stories of female scientists who have and have not received the Nobel Prize.

NoBelles

The University of Indianapolis is co-hosting the event with the Indiana local section of the American Chemical Society. The evening includes a reception in the lobby from 5:30 to 6:15 p.m., followed by the performance at 6:30 p.m. and a chance to meet the cast from 7:30 to 8 p.m. Admission is free for this public event and registration is required.

With just 19 women represented among more than 600 Nobel Prize recipients in physics, chemistry or medicine over the years, “No Belles” focuses attention on female scientists’ work – and how to create more opportunities for women in STEM fields. The Portal Theatre, which created the original work, describes the performance: “‘No Belles’ makes visible the significant contributions of women in science and serves as a powerful catalyst for increased interactions between the sciences and the community.”

Michael Phillips, Portal Theatre artistic director, explained the show is aimed at anyone with an interest in science.

“We want the audience to know who these scientists were. The reason we chose storytelling as the primary mode for the show was so that we could, simply and directly, explore the lives of the women, and understand all they had to overcome to reach their goals,” Phillips explained.

“We wanted to bring this performance to the University of Indianapolis to highlight the contributions of women in science and the value of inclusivity,” said Debra Feakes, dean of the Shaheen College of Arts & Sciences.

“No Belles” explores the careers of Rosalyn Yalow, Rita Levi-Montalcini and Rosalind Franklin, merging science, storytelling and broader discussions of equal treatment in academics and the workplace. Creating opportunities for women in science to become role models and act as mentors to those who follow them is a big part of the story.

“The UIndy Chemistry Department is pleased to be able to offer this play, ‘No Belles,’ to the University and general community. It brings to the forefront the particular struggles of female scientists who may not benefit from the same level of support and mentorship as their peers.  The commitment and dedication of these women is an inspiration to all, and I would encourage everyone to go share this experience,” said Kathy Stickney, associate professor of chemistry and executive committee member for the Indiana Section of the American Chemical Society.

The American Chemical Society hosted a performance of “No Belles” in 2017 at the Fall National Meeting as an adjunct to a symposium on the under-representation of women in chemistry. The Portal Theatre debuted the performance at the Edinburgh Fringe Festival in August 2014 and the Canadian Fringe Festival in 2015 to rave reviews.

Register here for free tickets.

 

The Indianapolis Quartet brings unique musical language to Indiana Landmarks Center Feb. 2

The Indianapolis Quartet, the ensemble-in-residence at the University of Indianapolis, brings their unique musical style to the Indiana Landmarks Center at 3 p.m. on Saturday, Feb. 2, 2019. The Center’s Grand Hall provides an ideal setting for the Quartet’s program, which includes works by Beethoven, Frank Felice and Debussy.

Founded in 2016, The Indianapolis Quartet (Zachary DePue and Joana Genova, violins; Michael Isaac Strauss, viola and Austin Huntington, cello) is the ensemble-in-residence at the University of Indianapolis, reaching audiences through its unique musical language and emotional performance style. In addition to concerts, masterclasses and open rehearsals at the Christel DeHaan Fine Arts Center, The Indianapolis Quartet performs frequently throughout central Indiana, the Midwest and Vermont, exercising its mission to gradually expand its reach not only regionally, but also nationally and internationally, as it continues to build its repertoire of world-class music.

Beethoven’s String Quartet in B flat major opens the concert with an energetic first movement, followed by a beautiful adagio and a playful scherzo, ending with “La Malinconia” – the famous dark introduction of the otherwise joyful finale.

Frank Felice’s “Five Whimsies for Non-Grownups,” composed in 2010, is based on five of his favorite children’s books by Maurice Sendak, Dr. Seuss, Chris Van Allsburg and J.R.R. Tolkien. The music is fresh and fun, witty and whimsical.

Debussy’s only string quartet filled with stunning melodies, exotic harmonies, drama and vigor will be featured after intermission.

In Debussy words, “I am more and more convinced that music, by its very nature, is something that cannot be cast into a traditional and fixed form. It is made up of colors and rhythms. The rest is a lot of humbug invented by frigid imbeciles riding on the backs of the Masters – who, for the most part, wrote almost nothing but period music. Bach alone had an idea of the truth.”

Suggested donation is $10, students are free. For more information, please contact Grace Labens at labensg@uindy.edu or 317-788-3255. Click here to learn more about The Indianapolis Quartet.

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