National and state health leaders visit University of Indianapolis for Public Health Day event

INDIANAPOLIS—As the nation observes National Public Health Week during the first week of April, the University of Indianapolis will host the inaugural Public Health Day Expo and Celebration on Friday, April 5, 2019, featuring a public health fair and discussions with thought leaders from the public health sector.

Dr. Judith Monroe

Dr. Judith Monroe

Dr. Judith Monroe, president and CEO of the CDC Foundation, and Dr. Kristina Box, Indiana State Health Commissioner, will provide remarks and participate in question-and-answer sessions. The event will be held from 9:00 a.m. to noon in the main lobby and the R.B. Annis Theatre, Room 138, of the Health Pavilion at 1643 Hanna Ave., University of Indianapolis. The event is free of charge and registration is encouraged.

Organizing the event is Dr. Heidi Hancher-Rauch, associate professor and director of the Public Health Program. She said the theme of the discussions will focus on the collective impact of partnerships to reduce health inequities.

“One of the great things about public health, but also one of the biggest challenges is that public health specialists are working under so many different job titles and for so many different organizations. If we work in our silos as professionals, we miss out on the types of community collaborations that could help move us forward in addressing health equity and other health needs,” Hancher-Rauch said.

As leader of the CDC Foundation, Dr. Monroe works with philanthropic organizations, private entities and individuals to help CDC have greater impact protecting the health, safety and security of America and the world. Her lecture, “Improving health equity through public-private partnerships,” will explain the importance of those partnerships and how to achieve collective impact. Dr. Monroe, who served as Indiana State Health Commissioner from 2005 to 2010, will also discuss health equity and health disparities especially in Indiana and touch on the importance of workforce development.

“We must start any and all conversation around public health with the knowledge that progress does not occur in a silo or without collaboration, whether it be through conducting research, implementing education programs, recommending policies or administering public health services,” said Dr. Monroe. “Individuals, groups and organizations can have greater positive impact and can accomplish more collectively than individually.”

Another theme that speakers will explore is that health is not just an individual issue, but a community issue. Through programs such as the 500 Cities project, a first-of-its-kind health data analysis, the CDC Foundation works with the CDC and the Robert Wood Johnson Foundation to determine estimates for chronic disease risk factors. That type of data allows cities and health departments to understand the healthcare needs of the population.

Dr. Kristina Box

Dr. Kristina Box

Making the most out of collaborative initiatives is a key goal for Dr. Kristina Box, who has served in her role as Indiana State Health Commissioner since 2017. Her work includes building the first multi-disciplinary women’s center in the Community Health Network and developing critical partnerships with area children’s hospitals to improve care and decrease health care costs.

“Indiana faces a number of pressing health challenges, such as the opioid epidemic, infant mortality, tobacco use and obesity. No one entity can solve these problems alone, but by working together at the state, federal and local level, we can improve outcomes and achieve better physical, mental and financial health for our entire state,” said Dr. Box.

Learn more about the Public Health Day Expo and Celebration.

Robert Edsel shares story of Monuments Men in Penrod Lecture at University of Indianapolis

PRES_19_MonumentsMen_FacebookSharedImage_1200x630A small group of men and women were tasked with saving precious works of art from certain destruction in the waning months of the Second World War. By 1951, they had located and returned more than 4 million cultural objects stolen by Hitler and the Nazis. Their story had nearly been forgotten when it caught the attention of author and researcher Robert Edsel more than twenty years ago.

After the publication of four books and a Hollywood film adaptation starring George Clooney, Edsel continues to tell the story of “The Monuments Men,” and their painstaking and dangerous work to preserve thousands of years of culture. He will discuss their efforts, as well the work to document and recover lost works of art through the organization he founded in 2007, Monuments Men Foundation for the Preservation of Art, during a 7:30 p.m. lecture, Thursday, March 28, 2019, at the Ruth Lilly Performance Hall in the Christel DeHaan Fine Arts Center, University of Indianapolis. Admission is free of charge and registration is encouraged.

The lecture, titled, “The Monuments Men: Anthropological Heroes, Nazi Thieves, and the Greatest Treasure Hunt in History,” describes the race against time as a special force of museum curators, art historians and architects from fourteen countries scoured Europe looking for works of art that Nazi forces had confiscated from private citizens and museums.

One of Edsel’s goals is to expand awareness of “who the Monuments men and women were and what their roles were during World War II, and the truly epic achievements they had during the most destructive conflict in history,” he explained.

From questions about who we are as Americans to the role of art and culture in defining civilization, Edsel said, “there are so many lessons in what took place 70 years ago that have an opportunity to be reminded of who we are today.”

Robert Edsel's research has resulted in four book publications and a Hollywood film adaptation.

Robert Edsel’s research has resulted in four book publications and a Hollywood film adaptation.

Questions from the audience are welcome. “I’m always extremely interested in hearing questions and observations from those in the audience about the story historically, but also about what’s going on today and what their thoughts and concerns are about the future,” Edsel said.

Initially driven by curiosity, Edsel spent 15 years tracking down the surviving Monuments men and women. While some of them had been interviewed before, Edsel said up until that point, the focus tended to be on the crimes of the Nazis and not the good work of the Monuments group.

“The fullness of what they’d accomplished had not been shared,” Edsel said. “My focus was talking about what the good guys did. They were willing to put on military uniforms and go into harm’s way to do something they thought was a noble endeavor and important to the future of civilization.”

Edsel interviewed 20 Monuments men and women and went on to develop friendships with them. He also interviewed their family members as part of his research.

Those interviews, he said, “were beyond insightful. They were really the epiphany that got me further engaged because I realized their story hadn’t been told to a broad audience. It’s resulted in relationships that continue to this day.”

The final part of the story has yet to be written, Edsel noted, with hundreds of thousands of objects still missing. The Monuments Men Foundation for the Preservation of Art, which received the National Humanities Medal from President George W. Bush in 2007, has led the effort to locate items and return them to their rightful owners. Edsel’s presentations, books and television programs have resulted in more than 100 leads now being pursued by Foundation staff.

The Foundation’s high-profile discoveries include the “Hitler Albums,” four brown leather albums that the Nazis used to catalog stolen works of art, adding to the 39 albums that were already known to researchers.

“Research is at the core of what we do and it’s a critical part of the success we’ve had,” Edsel said, adding, “We know that these issues of protecting cultural property are not just stories of the past. They’re very real issues we face today and we’ll continue to face them in the future.”

This University Series event is presented with support from the Blanche E. Penrod Lecture Series.

Learn more about the Monuments Men Foundation here.

The Indianapolis Quartet performs with guest artist Soyeon Kate Lee April 1

The Indianapolis Quartet

The Indianapolis Quartet

INDIANAPOLIS—The Indianapolis Quartet marks its third season in residence at the University of Indianapolis with an April 1 concert featuring the music of Joseph Haydn, César Franck and Edvard Grieg. The Quartet welcomes acclaimed guest pianist Soyeon Kate Lee for a performance of Franck’s explosive 1879 masterpiece, the Quintet for piano and strings in F minor. The program opens with Haydn’s witty “Joke” Quartet, Op. 33, No. 2, and concludes with the soaring intensity of Grieg’s String Quartet No. 1 in G minor, Op. 27. The performance is open to the public and free of charge.

7:30 p.m., Monday, April 1, Ruth Lilly Performance Hall, Christel DeHaan Fine Arts Center
Faculty Artist Concert Series presented by Katz, Sapper & Miller
Featuring Zachary DePue and Joana Genova, violins; Michael Isaac Strauss, viola; Austin Huntington, cello; with guest artist Soyeon Kate Lee, piano

Guest artist Soyeon Kate Lee has been hailed by The New York Times as a pianist with “a huge, richly varied sound, a lively imagination and a firm sense of style.” Winner of the 2010 Naumburg International Competition and the 2004 Concert Artist Guild Competition, she has appeared as soloist with the Cleveland Orchestra, London Symphony Orchestra, Louisiana Philharmonic Orchestra and San Diego Symphony, among others. Recent solo recitals have taken her to Alice Tully Hall, the Kennedy Center and the Ravinia Festival. A Naxos recording artist, Ms. Lee will record a double CD of Scriabin piano works this season following the Scarlatti and Liszt albums released earlier. Lee is an assistant professor of piano at the Cincinnati-College Conservatory of Music.

Regular collaborations with premier chamber music artists and composers, including University of Indianapolis artist-in-residence, Christel DeHaan fellow and 2017 American Pianists Awards winner Drew Petersen, pianist Orli Shaham, cellist Mark Kosower and clarinetist Todd Palmer, have afforded The Indianapolis Quartet a creative expansion of the group’s repertoire and reach to new audiences. After its Chicago debut in March 2018, the Quartet made summer festival appearances and performed live on Vermont Public Radio, broadening its scope beyond the Midwest. The current season has seen the ensemble on stages in Cincinnati, Indiana Landmarks Center, Butler University and Illinois Wesleyan University.

About The Indianapolis Quartet
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 their 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. The Indianapolis Quartet is grateful for support from the Christel DeHaan Family Foundation.

Download a high-resolution image of The Indianapolis Quartet.

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

Elizabeth Weber to read at University of Indianapolis Kellogg Writers Series

ElizabethWeberPoet and essayist Elizabeth Weber will read from her work as part of the University of Indianapolis’s Kellogg Writers Series. The free event is open to the public and will be held at the University of Indianapolis campus at 7:30 p.m. on Wednesday, March 20, in Schwitzer Student Center’s Trustees Dining Room.

Weber taught English at the University of Indianapolis for 23 years, retiring in May 2017. Her contributions to the University include co-founding the Kellogg Writers Series in the winter of 1995 with fellow English professor Bruce Gentry. Her poetry collections include Small Mercies, The Burning House and Porthole Views: Watercolors and Poems, a collaboration with artist Hazel Stoeckeler. Her poem “City Generations” is part of the Indianapolis Cultural Trail and her essays appear in CutBank, Prairie Schooner, The Human Tradition and The Vietnam War, Montana Magazine and Consequence.

Kellogg Writers Series Co-Chair Barney Haney said the event is a celebration of Weber’s writing and her dedication to UIndy students and the Indianapolis arts community.

“Her poetry and essays hit a truth that hums,” Haney said. “Weber brought her vigor to the classroom and the broader Indianapolis community. Our University and city have come a long way in the arts scene and Weber has made significant contributions to that development.”   

“Seeing the successes and growth of students I taught were the main highlights of my time at UIndy,” Weber said. “For instance, some creative writing students went on for graduate degrees and studied with friends of mine who gave glowing reports of them.”     

Weber looks forward to reconnecting with former UIndy colleagues.

“I’ve been mostly living in St. Paul, Minnesota, since I retired and haven’t spoken to many UIndy comrades,” Weber said. “I’ve been working on a series of poems about my father’s decline into dementia and about death. I’ve also been taking chapters from a manuscript about my brother’s death in the Vietnam War and rewriting them to stand alone as essays.”

The night will be a symbolic torch-passing for the Kellogg Writers Series.

“What I’m really looking forward to is discovering how those who have taken over the Kellogg Writers Series have developed it since my retirement,” Weber said. “From what [KWS Co-Chair] Barney Haney has written to me, I think he has developed it beyond what I was able to do and it fills me with joy to see not only what I started is still continuing, but it is growing and flourishing.”

For more information, contact Barney Haney at

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

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 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 or Jacob Springer at


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.




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.

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