UIndy Alumni Association Honors Alumni at Annual Honors and Recognition Dinner

The University of Indianapolis Alumni Association hosted their annual Alumni Honors and Recognition Dinner on Thursday, May 12. During the dinner, the University and Alumni Board of Directors honored UIndy graduates who have had exceptional success and service to their society. 

“Alumni are living the University’s motto, “Education for service,” across the globe,” said Andy Kocher ‘98 ‘15, vice president for corporate and community partnerships at the University. “From classrooms, to board rooms, to places of worship, to medical facilities and more, our alumni are leading the world through some of the most difficult times in recent memory. While we celebrate these eight amazing individuals, we take this moment to honor all of our alumni for their impact.”

The following alumni received awards:

Dr. Larry Swift ‘67 (Chemistry), professor of pathology, microbiology and immunology, emeritus, at Vanderbilt University School of Medicine received the Distinguished Alumni Award

Dr. Larry Swift joined the faculty at the Vanderbilt University School of Medicine in the 1970s. After 50 years of full-time service, he authored and co-authored over 100 peer-reviewed publications, numerous abstracts, and presented his work at numerous national conferences. Dr. Swift also distinguished himself through community service and has had a longstanding affiliation with the American Heart Association.

April Wolcott Shin ‘13 (Elementary Education), assistant principal of SENSE charter school, received the Distinguished Young Alumni Award

April Wolcott Shin has always loved being an educator. Her mission is to see that her students not only receive a good education but also have a safe place to go. She has coordinated a neighborhood project to restore homes; organized community events to collect food, hygiene items, and toys; led art and cultural First Friday events to benefit her school; served as the activities and social coordinator at her church; presented lectures on Trauma-Informed Care at universities; and served on young leadership panels to mentor upcoming graduates.

Nichole Wilson ‘02 ‘06 (Physical Therapy), vice president of community health operations at Indiana University Health, and Corey Wilson, vice president of community engagement at Indiana Pacers Sports and Entertainment, both received the Gene and Joanne Sease Award

Nichole Wilson serves the community through board and civic involvement with the Indy Public Safety Foundation, African American Legacy Fund of Indianapolis, Madam Walker Legacy Center and more. Even with her busy schedule, she finds time to continue to speak with current and prospective UIndy students, sharing the important role UIndy played in her success. 

While not an alumnus, Corey Wilson is a Greyhound at heart. He served six years at the University where he was the Vice President of the Sease Institute, Special Advisor to the President for External Affairs and led the creation of the Professional Edge Center 

Jerry Roush, chief executive officer of Roush Insurance Services, received the Honorary Alumni Award.

Jerry Roush has a strong affection for UIndy, our students, and music faculty. While he doesn’t have an alma mater, he considers himself to be a Greyhound. He has quietly supported international travel opportunities for music students and helped create the UIndy Guitar Concert Series, which brings international artists of the highest caliber to UIndy.

Brittany Dyer ‘09 (Elementary Education), associate director of the Stephen F. Fry Professional Edge Center, received the Distinguished Faculty and Staff Award.

Brittany Dyer worked as a teacher for seven years before returning to UIndy in 2016 in the Stephen F. Fry Professional Edge Center. Her skills as an educator aligned perfectly with UIndy students who were exploring or changing majors. While her calendar is full every day, she always has time to lend a hand to a student or colleague in need. She is the definition of someone committed to serving others.

Dr. Sam Young ‘64 (Pre-Theology), retired minister, received the Education for Service Award.

Dr. Sam Young has served in religious ministry for over 50 years. He has served as a pastor and minister to churches in Fort Wayne, Huntington, Anderson, Logansport, Bargersville, Lebanon, and in our University Heights community.

The University of Indianapolis Alumni Association would like to commend all alumni who have carried on the University’s dedication to education for service and stayed connected to the strong community the University has developed both on-campus and across the state. 

If you know an outstanding alumna/us that deserves to be honored, nominate them for next year’s awards here.

An Important Update from the University of Indianapolis Board of Trustees

Dear Members of the University of Indianapolis Community:

After ten years as President of the University of Indianapolis, Robert L. Manuel, Ph.D., today will be named the next president of DePaul University in Chicago, Illinois. Dr. Manuel and the Board are working on a leadership transition that will occur before the start of the next academic year.

The Board of Trustees has formed a Presidential Search Committee and additional details related to that process and the Committee’s composition will be forthcoming. The Trustees are committed to broad representation and engagement with the full University of Indianapolis community in this important process in the coming months.

Dr. Manuel has created a significant record of service and stewardship of the University of Indianapolis since his arrival in 2012. Driven by the Vision 2030 strategic plan, Dr. Manuel ushered in a modern era at the University, overseeing unprecedented academic, financial, and physical growth. 

During his tenure, President Manuel launched the Campaign for the University of Indianapolis, the largest fundraising campaign in University history, which raised more than $100 million over the life of the campaign. From the construction of the Health Pavilion to the creation of the R.B. Annis School of Engineering and the opening of R.B. Annis Hall, and enhancing community partnerships, President Manuel has grown the University’s impact exponentially within the central Indiana region and throughout the Midwest. We are committed and excited to continue that growth into the future. 

Thanks in part to the hard work, dedication, and generational impact of Dr. Manuel in finding ways to elevate the stature of the University as an institution and in our community—through the growth of academic programs, sustainability, and the University’s role as a community anchor—we are excited about the depth and breadth of candidates the search process will attract. 

While a comprehensive national search is conducted to select the next President of the University of Indianapolis, and to continue the efforts of the previous administration, the Board has appointed Phillip Terry, immediate past Chair of the University’s Board of Trustees, as interim President beginning July 2, 2022 and continuing until a new University President is appointed by the Board. 

The University remains in the hands of a talented senior leadership team with the full support of the Board of Trustees. Innovation, adaptation, and a commitment to shared governance have been hallmark qualities of the campus community throughout our history and those bedrock principles will continue to guide the University’s path forward.

We offer our heartfelt thanks to Dr. Manuel for his considerable achievements at the University of Indianapolis and congratulate him on his new opportunity at DePaul University. As we look ahead, the Board of Trustees thanks you for your continued support and invites you to engage with us in this process as we embark on the next chapter in the University’s history.


David Resnick

University of Indianapolis Board of Trustees


Department of Theatre’s Drowning Ophelia Wins Seven National Awards

The University of Indianapolis Department of Theatre’s production of Drowning Ophelia has won seven national awards from the Kennedy Center American College Theater Festival. Drowning Ophelia was also selected as one of the Region III featured productions.

Drowning Ophelia, which ran in April 2021, was a dark comedy performed in one act about the long-term consequences of childhood abuse, and a love letter to those who have suffered.

“This was such a wonderful production to be a part of,” said Dr. Grant Williams, associate adjunct professor of theatre and director of Drowning Ophelia. “The challenges of COVID forced us into some pretty creative spaces and I think we really came together to make theatre that was both innovative in its delivery and impactful in its story. I was very proud to be a part of this production and all the creativity and ingenuity that went into its execution. I’m honored that it got the recognition that it did.”

The production won the following awards:

The Citizen Artist Award, which recognizes programs in higher education using theatrical production to promote long-term societal impact through an artistic lens, to encourage empathetic exploration of the complex cultural and physical world, and to advocate for justice on campus and throughout the world.

Special Achievement in the Production of a Play

Special Achievement in Scenic Design, for Kenton Jones’s work on Drowning Ophelia

Special Achievement in Lighting Design, for Christian McKinney’s work on Drowning Ophelia

Special Achievement in Projection Design, for James Leagre’s work with Kyle Jeanor on Drowning Ophelia

Special Achievement in Production and Performance Ensemble Unity

Special Achievement in Movement Direction, for Grant Williams’s work on Drowning Ophelia

UIndy Students Recognized for Their Service-Learning Experience at 2022 Community Campus Forum and Service Expo

On April 26, 2022, the University of Indianapolis Center for Service-Learning and Community Engagement recognized three students for their dedication to changing lives through curricular service.

Maddie Abramson ‘22 (Social Work) received the Outstanding Undergraduate Student Service-Learning Award. Maddie was nominated for the award by Christine Jansing, MSW, LCSW, assistant professor with the Phylis Lan Department of Social Work. Maddie’s dedication to service is evident in her dedication and involvement to many great causes. 

As Professor Jansing explained in her nomination: “During her Junior Practicum, Maddie served at Cancer Support Community for one semester assisting with programs and ensuring the needs of the clients were met virtually. This was especially challenging through the pandemic given the vulnerability of cancer patients. In addition, during her Senior Practicum, Maddie served in a leadership capacity at Right Fit, overseeing after school programming at local schools that would not have otherwise provided those services at no-cost to its participants. Maddie was responsible for ensuring the children served had a safe and enriching experience, and that their basic needs were met. On top of this, Maddie has served as President of the Social Work Association, which engaged in service learning projects throughout the academic year including collecting clothing for a community center at Christmas, sponsoring the “Out of the Darkness” walk to support suicide prevention, and the Social Work Celebration in March. It is clear that Maddie embodies the heart of a social worker and the UIndy motto ‘Education for Service.’”

Daphne Joslyn ‘25 (Health Science, Aging Studies) received the Outstanding Graduate Student Service-Learning Award. Daphne was nominated for the award by Dr. Lisa Borrero, associate professor of interprofessional health and aging studies. Daphne has demonstrated an unwavering determination and dedication to not only her academic career, but to using that career in service of others.

As Dr. Borrero highlighted in her nomination: “Daphne’s work is consistently top-notch —  incorporating a level of thoughtfulness, attention to detail, and rigor that frequently sets her apart from other students. True to form, her work on these service-learning assignments in GERO 505 was exceptional and demonstrated a clear commitment to providing Joy’s House with a valuable set of tools for their caregivers and staff that included key educational information and resources to aid in meeting the needs of their older adult clients. Not only was the information she provided accurate and relevant, but it was presented in a tailored and well-organized manner, and with appropriate use of language, to suit the specific needs of the target audience. Daphne demonstrated a level of dedication to the projects in this course that was undeniable throughout. She is a student deserving of recognition for her hard work on many levels.”

Niki Mihovilovic ‘23 (Physical Therapy) also received the Outstanding Graduate Student Service-Learning Award. Niki was nominated for this award by Lindsey Kojich, PT, DPT, assistant professor of physical therapy, and Catherine Dearing, PT. Niki has proven his commitment to helping others and well as helping himself, as he learns and grows through his service projects.

As Kojich and Dearing explained in their nomination: “Niki performed his service project with Camp Possibilities, an adaptive camp for individuals with spinal cord injuries. Niki was paired with a camper who had a recent spinal cord injury and was a first-time camper. Niki’s role at camp was to assist his camper with fun activities during camp as well as transfers, toileting, and other daily activities. Niki’s experience at Camp Possibilities pushed him out of his comfort zone and allowed him to positively impact his camper’s life and also expand his horizons.”

The Center for Service-Learning and Community Engagement would like to commend all students who engaged in incredibly meaningful and efficient ways throughout the school year and dedicated their coursework to serve and learn! Special thanks to all of UIndy’s community partners who are engaging with our faculty in the development and delivery of such impactful service-learning experiences. 

UIndy Senior Awarded Fulbright English Teaching Assistantship to Kosovo

University of Indianapolis senior Alexandra Feldhusen ‘22 (International Relations, Political Science) has been awarded a Fulbright English Teaching Assistantship to Kosovo for the 2022-23 academic year.

The U.S. Fulbright English Teaching Assistantship Program places Fulbright scholars in classrooms abroad to assist local English teachers while also serving as cultural ambassadors. 

The Fulbright Program has been on Alex’s radar since her freshman year. Dr. Milind Thakar, professor of international relations, encouraged Alex to explore the program and apply. 

“Dr. Thakar and the History and Political Science Department are very big on getting you to think about opportunities early on,” said Alexandra. “So I found out about it then, but I was not going to apply because I thought, ‘it’s the Fulbright, how in the world would I get a Fulbright?’”

But as Alexandra’s studies continued, she realized that she wanted to travel abroad and teach English as a second language. She turned to Dr. Karen Newman, associate professor of English and assistant director for fellowships within the Ron and Laura Strain Honors College, for help. Once again, the Fulbright program came up in the conversation.

“Dr. Newman gave me a couple of different options and one of them was a Fulbright,” said Alexandra. “She said, ‘You’re a smart person, you have a strong background, apply for the Fulbright.’ And I guess the rest is history.”

Dr. Newman coached Alexandra throughout the application process, which included various essays, references, and interviews. 

“It’s always exciting for me to work with UIndy students to help them plan for what’s next after graduation and shape their applications for major national awards,” said Dr. Newman. “I’m thrilled for Alex and for all the learning experiences she’ll be having this coming year in Kosovo. She’ll be a superb ambassador of American culture and I know she’ll connect so well with the faculty members and students she’ll be working with.”

As part of the application process, scholars must select one country they are interested in teaching in and explain their choice. Alexandra’s decision to apply for Kosovo was originally inspired by a class project. The more she learned about Kosovo, the more interested in visiting it she became.

“I became interested in Kosovo because of its history,” Alexandra explained. “Just ethnically it’s very interesting. It’s where everybody and everything kind of meets, in that area. Because they’re close to Turkey, so you have the western Asia influence coming up. Then you have the Russian influence coming down and then you have western Europe coming in and that entire area including Kosovo is like a meeting point for all of these cultures.”

Alexandra is still awaiting the details of her assignment, but will most likely be teaching in a university or non-governmental organization (NGO) setting. Thanks to UIndy’s focus on community service, Alexandra feels prepared and comfortable in working in either setting.

In addition to the gold star that the Fulbright adds to Alexandra’s resume, she will also gain invaluable experience and insight into new cultures that will serve her well in her journey to become a diplomat or other sort of foreign ambassador. 

“I want to get into diplomacy and actually work with individual groups, and, specifically, different cultural groups that have cultural conflict,” said Alexandra. “I do want to work hopefully with the State Department or the CIA.”

As Alexandra prepares to graduate this week and move halfway across the globe this summer, she carries with her a renewed sense of confidence and the knowledge that no matter where she ends up, her UIndy community will be there to support her.

Two Greyhounds Selected to Serve as 500 Festival Princesses

It’s officially May, the time of year where Hoosiers show their pride and celebrate the greatest spectacle in racing: the Indy 500! 

Leading up to the big race, the 500 Festival hosts a variety of events to excite Hoosiers, including running events, parades, and community breakfasts. While at these events, you may see some lovely racing royalty, the 500 Festival Princesses.

The 500 Festival Princess Program, presented by the National Bank of Indianapolis, celebrates Indiana’s most civic-minded, academically driven young women. Each year, 33 college-aged women are selected as 500 Festival Princesses and serve as ambassadors of the 500 Festival, their hometowns, and their colleges/universities. 

This year, two greyhounds, Blanca Osorio Ortega ‘23 (International Relations, Political Science) and Maddy Phipps ‘22 ‘23 (Marketing, MBA), were selected to serve as 500 Festival Princesses. 

Maddy first learned about the program in middle school from an upperclassman in Danville who had served as a princess. After that seed was planted, the idea of being a princess grew on Madelynn.

“It’s just always kind of been in the back of my mind as something I should do,” said Maddy. “Then, one of the UIndy princesses from last year was in the School of Business as well. She shared a lot of her experience on social media and I was following along. Then I followed the 500 Festival page. So hearing about it a long time ago, keeping my eye on the program, then seeing the other princess’s experience, like how you were able to get connected and give back to your community, I thought, ‘this is definitely something I want to do.’”

Last year, Blanca heard about a Zoom panel being hosted by a former princess who was also a UIndy political science student. When Blanca learned that the panel would discuss a scholarship, she decided to attend. 

“I was really interested when she mentioned that it’s not a beauty pageant. It’s about being academically-driven and being involved in your community,” said Blanca. “From a young age, I’ve been involved in my community. I was a part of so many things in high school like the Mayor’s Youth Council, planning things out for the city, as well as just volunteering for fun. Once I heard that it was just a program to help college students gain leadership skills and gain better insight into serving your community, I was like, ‘I want to do that.’”’

As 500 Festival Princesses, Blanca and Maddy also participate in the 500 Festival Leadership Development Program, presented by BKD, which provides various opportunities for personal and professional development experiences. As part of the Leadership Development Program, each princess is paired with a mentor, who is a representative of a local corporation. 

Maddy was paired with President of the Indianapolis Motor Speedway, Doug Boles, and Blanca was paired with President and CEO of Citizens Energy Group, Jeff Harrison. 

In addition to their mentors, the Leadership Development Program holds events that allow the princesses to speak with influential community leaders, including local women in business. 

“One of the really cool experiences we had was getting to go in-person to Ann Taylor up at the Keystone Mall,” said Maddy. “We had a Women in Business brunch and were able to come into the store before business hours and we listened to these amazing women speak about their careers and their experiences, which was so amazing.”

The community outreach events aim to educate young Hoosiers on the Indy 500 and 500 Festival, as well as inspire the next generation of community leaders.

“I appeared at a kindergarten girl scouts group,” said Blanca. “I took part in the activities, kind of helping them earn their badge of courage. I got to read them a book about courage and an activity on what some examples of being courageous  and not being courageous are. My mentor, Jeff Harrison, got to be there and we got to take pictures with an official Indy 500 pace car.”

While the majority of the 500 Festival events take place throughout May, both Blanca and Maddy agree that they have already learned so much and enjoyed their experience enough to recommend it to other interested students.

“I would recommend the princess program to other students especially if they, first, want to be more involved in their community, and, secondly, if they want to learn a bit more about Indiana and about the 500,” said Blanca. “I didn’t know anything about the Indy 500 but being a part of this program, when I went to the first orientation where we met all the princesses, we got to learn more about the history and who is behind it.”

“I would recommend it to anyone and everyone,” said Maddy. “It’s such an amazing way to just give back to the community. I also think it’s a unique platform and experience. It’s a once-in-a-lifetime opportunity and experience. To be a part of a group of 33 women who are like-minded and have this desire to give back to their community and to just connect with them has been amazing. It’s been such an incredible opportunity to meet all these people that I wouldn’t have otherwise.”

Blanca and Maddy are shining examples of what it means to use your education for service. Today, they are out in the community, inspiring everyone to make a difference. Tomorrow, other young college students will point to both Blanca and Maddy as the inspiration behind their own journeys to becoming 500 Festival Princesses.

UIndy Announces 2022 Teacher of the Year Nominees and Winner

The University of Indianapolis is pleased to announce this year’s Teacher of the Year recipient as Lucinda Dale, EdD, Professor in the School of Occupational Therapy, College of Health Sciences. 

During her courses, Dr. Dale is a bright light in her teaching. She illuminates complicated and sometimes unsettling concepts and instances in an informative and positive manner. She engages students by integrating their lived experiences into her teaching. She creates various activities to open learning for all students, moving well beyond discussions and visuals. Dr. Dale shows superior expertise in content while encouraging students to engage with the material through a real-world and evidence-based approach. 

In addition, during much of her career at UIndy, Dr. Dale has remained a clinical therapist. This dual practice enables her to stay relevant as she prepares her students for their professional roles. In that spirit, one of the key skills her students develop during their study is to become practitioners who function independently in the evaluation and modification of their own orthoses to match their clients’ conditions, while adhering to design principles, and achieving safe fabrication and fit. Dr. Dale has been a leader in this aspect of UIndy’s OT programming.

Dr. Dale’s thoughtful mentorship and inspirational instruction was noted not only by the UIndy Teacher of the Year Selection Committee, but also by a former student who remarked: 

“Looking back, it is more apparent to me now just how much she excelled in maintaining the delicate balance between holding students to high academic standards, yet remaining graceful and kind to both the high achievers and those who struggled. I believe this led to our cohort selecting her as our honored faculty speaker during our celebratory Hooding and Pinning ceremony at the conclusion of our program. I also credit Dr. Dale for my decision to pursue Hand Therapy as my specialty in occupational therapy practice. Her ability to combine humor, grace, and kindness while navigating challenging medical concepts remains an inspiration.”

There were many deserving nominees for Teacher of the Year this year. You can see those additional nominees below and help us recognize their positive contributions to the University and its students:

James Bellew, EdD

Professor, Krannert School of Physical Therapy  

Dr. Bellew’s intentional teaching style requires significant preparation, and this work is evident in the classroom. He centralizes the student experience and never forgets what it is like to be a student. He uses interactive active experience and real-world situations to make topics more meaningful.

Bruce Biggs, PhD

Assistant Professor of Practice, Department of Criminal Justice

Dr. Biggs is able to use his vast experience in criminal justice in the classroom in training the next generation of law enforcement. His style of teaching is warm and thoughtful, encouraging students to engage with the material in a hands-on way and providing various examples and detailed explanations to help them connect concepts.

Ana Maria Ferreira, PhD

Assistant Professor, Department of Global Languages and Cross-Cultural Studies 

Dr. Ferreira brings her passion for foreign languages and immersive cultures to her classroom, challenging her students to expand beyond what they already know and reconsider alternative perspectives. She is a positive and energetic teacher who uses a variety of teaching methods to engage students and foster an atmosphere of collaboration, shared learning, and language exploration.

Samantha Gray, PhD

Assistant Professor, Graduate Department of Clinical Psychology

Dr. Gray emphasizes risk-taking and flexibility for her students. She values their ability to tolerate ambiguity in challenging situations in the field and loves challenging her students to think in different ways. She is an enthusiastic and engaging teacher who encourages students to think through complex problems in a creative and enjoyable classroom environment.

Christina Jansing, MSW

Assistant Professor, Graduate Department of Clinical Psychology

Christina Jansing sees teaching as a beautiful and unique opportunity to model social work values to her students. She is a knowledgeable and caring educator who encourages students to critically think about the challenges faced in the field and how they might be effectively resolved.

Rebecca McKanna, MFA

Assistant Professor, Department of English

Dr. McKanna creates an exciting class experience which is well-organized, productive, and engaging. She finds a way to connect with each student and to make the material personal and thus meaningful to her students, an impact that likely lives on long after they have completed her course. She strives to teach students that they can learn to write, that it doesn’t have to be something you are born with.

Sarah Reynolds, PhD

Assistant Professor, Department of Physics and Earth Space Science

Dr. Reynolds makes a point to demonstrate the importance of the course content to the students, infusing activities and examples within her class to help students forge connections.  She utilizes a variety of teaching methods to help her students learn and apply the content and makes it fun and fascinating to learn. This teaching strategy is consistent with her value of teaching her students skills for them to use throughout their life, even beyond the topic she is teaching.

Craig Seidelson, PhD

Assistant Professor, School of Business

One of Dr. Seidelson’s strengths is using his real-world business experiences to create authentic learning opportunities for his students. He encourages students to engage through team-based simulations as a regular part of his practice. Another one of his talents is supporting students through clear instruction and on-going coaching. He has developed a community-based program wherein UIndy business students create solutions for area logistics and operations management firms.

John Somers, EdD

Associate Professor, School of Education

Dr. Somers describes his teaching as a mission to help the next generation make the world a better place. He likens good teaching to a constant struggle wherein he not only assesses the students, but also himself. He is very proud of UIndy School of Education’s alumni successes. He is an energetic and enthusiastic educator who promotes the successes of his students and constantly guides future teachers through hands-on learning experiences. His enthusiasm and care always permeates his teaching.

Paul Talaga, PhD

Associate Professor, R.B. Annis School of Engineering

Dr. Talaga is very knowledgeable and passionate about his content area. He continually creates and enacts projects that challenge the students’ thinking with an aim of preparing graduates to be tremendous thinkers as they enter the ever-changing world of utilizing technology and programming. One of his priorities is to give students the tools to learn so they can quickly adapt to changes in their career fields. Graduates mention that his strength is in sparking their curiosity such that they become strong, real-world problem solvers.

Aksana Waskosky, DNP

Assistant Professor, School of Nursing

Dr. Waskosky is passionate about nursing and makes sure to remind students of  the true importance of their content beyond the classroom. She is an excellent and enthusiastic communicator who guides her students to learn all aspects of neonatal care. She sees her students as her future colleagues and wants to be able to rely on them as such – this is a big motivation in her teaching at UIndy.

Greyhounds Unleash Their Spirit for UIndy Day 2022

Greyhounds from all across the country came together on April 21, 2022 to celebrate the 7th Annual UIndy Day! Students, parents, faculty, staff, alumni and friends of the University of Indianapolis shared hundreds of photos and memories to show their Pack Pride and supported current and future Greyhounds with a record-breaking $209,065 gifted to 75 UIndy programs! 

“I’m so impressed with our Greyhounds for coming together to make UIndy Day a success,” said Philip Thornton, Vice President of Development. “With this being my first UIndy Day, I had no preconceived notions of how the day would go. But from the beginning of the day, everyone was excited. There was a great buzz around what could be accomplished. Thanks to our faculty and staff, alumni, and students for sharing their UIndy Day messages on social media, we were able to reach so many more people. We had 150 more donors this year than UIndy Day 2021. I think that can be attributed to our faculty and staff empowering their alumni to help spread the word.”

The UIndy community certainly did spread the word about UIndy Day. In fact, #UIndyDay was the #1 trending topic for Indianapolis that day and was used over 1,000 times across Instagram and Twitter. 

“UIndy Day has always been about showing the world our Greyhound pride as well as giving back to UIndy to support current and future students,” said Lora Teliha, Director of Annual Giving and Development Writer. “This UIndy Day once again proved the strength of our UIndy community, their collective Greyhound spirit, and their eagerness to invest in the future of the University of Indianapolis.”

Additional highlights from UIndy Day 2022 include:

Thank you to all those who shared their favorite UIndy stories and memories and made gifts to support our Greyhounds! 

Engineering Students Win National Robotics Battle

For the second year in a row, a team of students from the R.B. Annis School of Engineering won at the National Robotic Challenge World Championship. This year, the team won multiple awards. The team won the Ultimate Combat Robot Battle Royale, where all battle robots from universities across the nation battled it out in a free-for-all melee. The UIndy Greyhound robot was the only robot left standing at the end of the competition which was hosted in Marion, OH.

The team was made up of Mechanical Engineering seniors from the R.B. Annis School of Engineering. The Class of 2022 students includes (pictured from left to right):

  • Samuel Schoonveld
  • Anthony Williamson
  • Nathaniel Comley
  • Dalton Lowry
  • Shaelyn Starks

The design and fabrication of the robot occurred during a year-long sequence of courses that are part of UIndy Engineering’s unique DesignSpine curriculum. The senior-level design course is also the students’ “culminating major design experience”, often referred to as the “capstone,” which as, outlined by the Accreditation Board for Engineering and Technology (ABET), needs to “incorporate appropriate engineering standards and multiple constraints, and is based on the knowledge and skills acquired in earlier course work.”

In addition to winning first place in the Ultimate Combat Robot battle, the UIndy team also took home the silver award (second place) in the post-secondary division round of fights in the combat robot competition. In the post-secondary division rounds, UIndy only lost to one team, and that team was the second-to-last team left in the Battle Royale. You can view the battle here. Between rounds, UIndy engineering students used their hands-on technical skills to improve the robot even more and were able to get redemption against their opponents in the final bout.

Samuel Schoonveld was the driver at the competition, and Anthony Williamson was the team captain. In addition to all the faculty and staff at the R.B. Annis School of Engineering that have helped support this team throughout the year, the following faculty, staff, and advisors provided special support:

  • James Emery, manager of mechanical systems and laboratories
  • Najmus Saqib, assistant professor of engineering and faculty team advisor
  • Joseph B. Herzog, assistant professor of engineering and faculty team advisor
  • Cameron Wright, engineer and external advisor
  • Ryan Kallenberger, mechanical engineering student employee

Watch the Ultimate combat robot fight below:

UIndy Engineering Students Compete Shark Tank-style in 4th Annual Business Pitch Competition

On Tuesday, April 19, the R.B. Annis School of Engineering held its fourth annual Business Pitch Competition. Four teams, composed of UIndy engineering students, designed, produced, and presented products to a collection of judges in an attempt to earn investments, similar to the popular competition show, Shark Tank. The competition was powered by support from Elevate Nexus.

“We at the R. B. Annis School of Engineering took the DesignSpine program, and introduced an opportunity for student teams to develop and design a product of their own, to really develop something they are passionate about,” said Dr. Kenneth Reid, associate dean and director for the School of Engineering. ” They develop both the engineering and the entrepreneurial components. This gives them a taste of the possibility of being entrepreneurial, perhaps starting a business of their own, or it makes them a much more valuable employee for their future firm.”

Over the past nine months, each team carefully designed and developed prototypes of the products, thanks to a generous grant from Elevate Nexus. The team then created a marketing strategy that included analyzing industry competitors, determining manufacturing costs and product pricing, and investigating potential sales channels. 

“One of the things that we at the School of Engineering try to focus on is distinguishing our engineering students from all other engineering students. You can go to any school and get a technical competency, but for the 21st century, technical skills alone are not enough,” said emcee Dr. David Olawale, assistant professor of engineering. “The Business Pitch Competition is a culmination of a nine-month period in which we try to develop the entrepreneurial mindset and competency in our engineering students. I think we’ve really grown in the past four years and I’m proud of the students.”

In order to develop that entrepreneurial mindset, the engineering teams collaborated with students from UIndy’s Art and Design program as well as the Master of Business Administration (MBA) program. The art and design students created logos and presentation materials for the engineering teams, while the MBA students assisted with the marketing strategy on the team’s products. This collaboration helped to elevate the products and to emphasize the importance of working with professionals from other fields. 

Four teams presented their final products during the competition:

Team #6: Barbute Delivery Defense developed an anti-theft package delivery system that could be concealed in patio furniture. 

Team #7: Tetra Electronics developed a modular power strip that could be customized to suit the user’s outlet needs.

Team #8: Rise ‘n Stride developed an electronic walker whose height could be adjusted with the simple flick of a switch. 

Team #9: Attax developed a modular car roof rack that could be easily installed or removed. 

As part of the competition, the School of Engineering invited faculty and staff from a variety of UIndy departments as well as engineering industry experts to participate as judges. The judges had the opportunity to question teams about their products and marketing strategies to determine which product was the best investment.

After careful consideration, the judges awarded first place to Attax. Tetra Electronics placed second; Rise ‘n Stride placed third; and Barbute Delivery Defense placed fourth. 

“All the work that went into this project for the last nine months with my teammates was rewarded but we’re not done yet,” said Sulman Tariq ‘23 (Mechanical Engineering), who served as Project Manager for Attax. “ We already have a plan in the works to present our idea to various investors to continue pursuing our venture so wish us luck!”

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