COVID-19 crisis presents opportunity to serve community for UIndy student

Amy Rohr '20 (public health) '21 (master of public health)

Amy Rohr ’20 (public health) ’21 (master of public health)

Many University of Indianapolis faculty and students are contributing their time and expertise in the fight to stop coronavirus (COVID-19). Amy Rohr, who graduates in May 2020 with a degree in public health, is also working towards her master of public health, which she will receive in 2021. Rohr has gained hands-on experience during the program through various internships, including the Indiana State Department of Health’s (ISDH) COVID-19 Call Center, where she answers questions from the general public as well as healthcare providers.

“The general public is mostly calling in and requesting information or wondering if they can be tested. We also answer general public calls that are just needing assistance on resources, such as the Critical Industry Line, Unemployment, 2-1-1, and the OSHA Compliance Line. The healthcare providers call in for many different reasons such as guidance on protocols or authorization requests to give the COVID-19 test,” Rohr explained.

“It has been interesting to watch how the calls change each week. I have been working at the call center since the beginning of March and each day there is something new. We get updates nearly every day on protocols, testing, results and recommendations. It seems like a turbulent situation, but I knew what I was stepping into. The field of public health is always changing and that is what I love most about it,” she said.

One of the key components of the public health program at the University of Indianapolis is applied and experiential learning. Rohr’s work at the call center has sharpened her focus on the value of sharing accurate medical information with the public.

“My view on the importance of proper health communication has definitely heightened from this situation. I find it very interesting to see where the callers are getting their information. To me, the information has been pushed by the media, but unfortunately, that is not always appropriate or accurate. In order to be an effective health educator/communicator in the call center, I ensure that I am staying calm, giving evidence-based information, and listening to the individual’s concerns and questions,” she said.

For Rohr, it’s an opportunity to give back to the community and put the University motto, “Education for Service,” into action.

“I have genuinely loved helping the public during this time of crisis,” Rohr said. “Of course, I love all things public health, but helping others is very important to me. I always try to remember that these individuals are scared and worried during this time and some just need someone to talk to. If I can be that person for them, even for five minutes, I feel that I am doing my job.”

Rohr is grateful for the mentorship of faculty including Heidi Hancher-Rauch, director of the Public Health Program at the University of Indianapolis.

“Dr. Rauch has gone above and beyond as a mentor. She is a professional that I look up to as a role model. She has helped me develop my love for policy and advocacy, which is what I want to work in in the future,” Rohr said.

Rauch commended Rohr, who serves as president of the honorary society, Eta Sigma Gamma.

“Amy provides amazing leadership within the Public Health Program and for the ESG members, in particular. She consistently brings great ideas forward to share with others,” Rauch said.

Rohr has completed a number of volunteer internship experiences, including the Southside Quality of Life Initiative where she examined the eight SoIndy neighborhoods using GI mapping, using the information to create and analyze maps of recreational areas and how they relate to public health. She also interned with the Indiana Youth Services Association of Indiana in their Trafficked Victims Assistance Program where she created an onboarding tool for new volunteers, helped with advocacy and awareness events, and created documents used for administrative purposes.

Prior to the COVID-19 crisis, Rohr was interning with the ISDH’s Tobacco Prevention and Cessation department, where she compiled and analyzed data, helped with policy and advocacy efforts, organized datasheets, and created fact sheets. Rohr also serves as a Health and Wellness Educator for the YMCA of Greater Indianapolis and a Community Health Advocate for Community East Hospital.

After completing her MPH degree, Rohr plans to work in public health policy and advocacy, and hopes to pursue a law degree in the long-term.

I have nothing but great things to say about the Public Health program. Not only are we getting practical experience and quality instruction, but this program is also like another family to me,” Rohr said. “The hands-on experiences and courses are definitely prepared for the next steps in my career.”

Learn more about the Public Health Program at the University of Indianapolis.

 

Changing lives through occupational therapy advocacy

Kelsey LeMond '20 (OTD)

Kelsey LeMond ’20 (OTD)

Kelsey LeMond will graduate in May 2020 with a doctorate in occupational therapy. Her doctoral capstone work at Public Advocates in Community Re-Entry (PACE) truly represents the University of Indianapolis motto, “Education for Service.” The nonprofit organization provides a variety of services to incarcerated and previously incarcerated individuals and their families to lead productive and responsible lives in their community. LeMond created life skills group sessions for participants and has been featured twice in regional newscasts to discuss her work.

PACE does not offer occupational therapy (OT) services, therefore my focus was to advocate the role of OT in a community mental health setting and create and lead a life skills group called Making Meaningful Meals,” LeMond explained. “The goals and outcomes for this life skills group focused on facilitating a healthy social environment through meal preparation, opportunities for learning and application of knowledge, and increasing overall health and wellness.”

Through her consultation services for PACE, LeMond gained valuable skills in communicating effectively as part of a team as she educated staff on the role of occupational therapy. 

“Facilitating the Making Meaningful Meals life skills group has enhanced my ability to provide verbal feedback and cues for social participation, engaging clients in meaningful activities, and assisting individuals with positive peer connection and recovery,” LeMond said.

To continue her work with PACE, LeMond is working on applying for local grants in order to provide part-time OT services. “Our community has impacted me greatly. I only want to give back what I can and remain a member of the PACE family.”

She learned two important lessons in the process: “There is no recovery if there is no community to support the individual’s recovery journey and second, OT has the ability to provide individuals with guidance, hope and empowerment through advocating for the individual’s occupational justice.”

LeMond credits her success in the program in part due to mentors such as Beth Ann Walker, associate professor of occupational therapy and Taylor McGann, assistant professor of occupational therapy.

Professor Walker is one of the most dedicated, enthusiastic, supportive and passionate professors I have had the pleasure of learning from. I consider her a role model and hope to embody her passion, ethicality and spirit with my own occupational therapy clients,” LeMond said.

“Professor McGann has challenged me intellectually, professionally and personally. No question is ever considered inconsequential, and she takes the time to check in on her students. Her genuine attitude and positivity have influenced my capacity for developing a growth mindset. I would consider both Dr. Walker and Dr. McGann ethical colleagues and close friends.”

“The School of Occupational Therapy prides itself on creating a strong foundation for students through integrated hands-on experience with faculty,” LeMond added. “Many of our faculty have an open-door policy allowing students to feel comfortable and supported during the challenges of graduate school.”

LeMond appreciates the opportunities the program has created for her to collaborate with various community partners.

I love how passionate UIndy is about serving their beloved community. It truly takes a community to grow a person both in body, mind, and spirit and I am thankful for the UIndy community for  supporting me.”

LeMond completed her level II fieldwork at Community Rehabilitation Hospital North in the brain injury unit. She wants to thank her fieldwork educator, Judy Trout, for being an amazing mentor, facilitator, role model and friend. LeMond also completed her second level II fieldwork at Cape Fear Valley Health in the adult neurological outpatient center under Sara Warren. She would also like to thank Sara for her directive leadership, support, and encouragement through fieldwork and will remain a mentor and friend for life.

After taking the boards to become a registered occupational therapy (OTR), she plans to apply for a job with Community Health Network. She will continue to participate in the American and Indiana Occupational Therapy Associations, where she advocates for the benefits of occupational therapy.

Learn more about the occupational therapy program at the University of Indianapolis.

 

R.B. Annis School of Engineering donates PPE to Indianapolis healthcare workers

Healthcare workers at St. Vincent Hospital in Indianapolis model face shields manufactured by James Emery, lab manager at the R.B. Annis School of Engineering.

Healthcare workers at St. Vincent Hospital in Indianapolis model face shields manufactured by James Emery, laboratory manager at the R.B. Annis School of Engineering.

The R.B. Annis School of Engineering is putting expertise and resources towards the fight against COVID-19 (novel coronavirus). James Emery, laboratory manager for mechanical systems, is printing face shields for St. Vincent Indianapolis emergency room healthcare workers.

“I asked some friends who are nurses if their emergency room would be in need. They are parents that I met through Indiana FIRST while mentoring a team,” Emery said. He has also been approached by a local fire department.

The design was provided by a 3D printing machine manufacturer that is producing the shields for local hospitals in Europe. Emery researched the need for face shields during the COVID-19 crisis and notes that the design has been vetted. He has registered with national initiatives to assist in the manufacturing of personal protective equipment for first responders. 

“During this pandemic, there are so many nurses and doctors who are working tirelessly to help the population,” Emery said. “I found that the 3D printing community was stepping up in huge ways to try and help.”

Emery had enough materials to manufacture about 50 face shields. He delivered them to St. Vincent in April.

“As we are left at home while the first responders, doctors and nurses are out every day trying to help the individuals that have been infected with this virus,” Emery said, “I wanted to do my part to help them.”

Emery is continuing to produce face shields and is planning to donate more as he is able to manufacture them.

Paul Talaga, assistant professor of engineering, donated 3D-printed "ear savers."

Paul Talaga, assistant professor of engineering, donated 3D-printed “ear savers.”

Paul Talaga, assistant professor of engineering, used a 3D printer to manufacture “ear savers” for healthcare workers on the frontline. The device attaches to the elastic straps of the mask to alleviate discomfort. To reduce the danger of contracting the disease, healthcare workers must wear a mask at all times when working with patients.

Talaga has delivered 100 ear savers to four Indianapolis-area hospitals.

A nurse at an Indianapolis-area hospital wears one of the "ear-savers" produced by Paul Talaga.

A nurse at an Indianapolis-area hospital wears one of the “ear-savers” produced by Paul Talaga.

 

School of Education adapts to e-learning

Thanks to faculty support and innovation, students in the School of Education are gaining valuable technical skills that are sure to come in handy in the age of e-learning. Here are a few examples of adaptations during the COVID-19 pandemic:

Dr. John Somers and Dr. Nancy Steffel have been working with partner school districts (MSD Decatur Township and MSD Perry Township) to support their students and teachers as they transition to e-learning. In turn, they are showing elementary education students how to create lessons on their respective learning management systems.

School of Education is making use of online resources in times of pandemic.

Dr. Somers is teaching ELED 202: Universal Design for Learning: STEM to sophomore students. He is working with four fourth-grade teachers at West Newton Elementary in Decatur Townships who are now using Zoom to connect with the class. Collaboratively, they are building a kid-friendly lesson and a teacher lesson (“How to Build a Mars Land Rover”) with tiers for students with low, medium and high readiness. These lessons will be posted and returned on Canvas, Decatur’s Learning Management System.

Zoom Chat with the School of Education

Dr. Steffel is teaching EDUC 336: Teaching Literacy in the Intermediate Grades to juniors. She is leading an exercise that involves having the students create mini-video lessons and post them for fourth graders at Blue Academy in Decatur Township. She is using Zoom in her class daily and the students are posting their lesson on Canvas, Decatur’s Learning Management System. Greyhounds are being asked to consider the production value of their videos in addition to the content of the lesson.

 

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Dr. Angie Ridgway and her son Nate Ridgway ’14 (history and special education), co-authors of Don’t Ditch That Tech, have been offering support for K-12 teachers from across the country related to their need to transition to remote learning and remote teaching. They are offering virtual office hours and additional conference presentations, in addition to resource materials on their blog (teachingfromtheridge.com).

Ditch That Text hard cover book.

Art & Design faculty adapt amidst COVID-19 challenges

Art and Design mini supply kit - COVID 19

You can do a lot with a little. That was the perspective Katherine Fries had as she migrated printmaking classes to an online format during the COVID-19 pandemic. The circumstances were less than ideal, but, she decided, it was a perfect opportunity to instill in her students adaptability, improvisation, problem-solving, and creativity – valuable skills that will translate beyond their education at the University of Indianapolis. Afterall, Fries pointed out, what student leaves their undergraduate career able to afford a fully stocked art studio? 

“Printmaking at its core is paper, pressure, and some kind of ink. We can create stencils and stamps from pretty much anything,” said Fries. 

Fries collaborated with colleagues from around the country to identify ways students could continue engaging the creative process using affordable supplies they’d likely have at home. The content of each class remains the same, but the projects were adapted for functionality. Plans for a complicated carving now involve scissors and foam material, for example. And instead of touring the National Library Bindery Company of Indiana, she’s created online tutorials for a bookbinding project using a needle and thread. 

Because many students left their personal supplies on campus during spring break, she also shipped about 25 miniature art kits to students for projects during the last four weeks of the semester. 

“This is not the ideal situation, but we’re doing our best to make these classes meaningful for students even though we can’t be together,” Fries said.

Related: School of Occupational Therapy employs creativity in time of pandemic

School of Occupational Therapy employs creativity in time of pandemic

160 Over 90 photo not yet fully cropped or toned! Please check before using, especially in print. Health Pavilion

As UIndy moves through this challenging time of uncertainty amid the COVID-19 pandemic, our faculty and staff are working to ensure our students can continue their academic work. This is especially difficult for students who need to complete clinical experiences required for graduation. The School of Occupational Therapy has developed a creative solution for Master of Occupational Therapy (MOT) students to complete their required fieldwork.

In cooperation with BeWell, UIndy’s employee wellness program, UIndy MOT students will be offering UIndy employees and their families free telehealth OT sessions focusing on wellness and daily occupations. Please note that participants must reside in the state of Indiana to adhere to licensure laws. The 30-45 minute sessions will be conducted by MOT students with supervision of licensed occupational therapy clinicians and faculty.  

“We have a commitment to our students to continue to provide meaningful fieldwork experiences,” said Jayson Zeigler, Master of Occupational Therapy (MOT) academic fieldwork coordinator. “This experience will not only provide a needed service to our UIndy community, but will also introduce our students to the growing applications of telehealth.”

Third-year MOT student Hannah Masemore is grateful for the opportunity. Before the COVID-19 pandemic caused the suspension of all student clinical experiences, Masemore was working on an inpatient rehabilitation unit at the Carle Foundation Hospital in Urbana, Illinois. 

I think it’s pretty amazing that we are able to provide OT services via telehealth during this difficult time,” Masemore said. “This is a service that many people still need and this allows them to receive the services while staying safe.”

Masemore suggested that people who could benefit from the free OT telehealth service include:

  • older adults who need a home safety evaluation or aging in place modifications; 
  • people who are working from home and want guidance on ergonomic adaptations to their workstations; 
  • people who were receiving outpatient OT to provide exercise education; 
  • children who were receiving school OT for things such as handwriting; \
  • people receiving OT services for mental health. 

All sessions are confidential and HIPPA compliant. The service is available to any UIndy employee and their family members who live in the state of Indiana. The program will launch on March 30. Anyone interested in signing up should look for an email from BeWell and access the sign-in link on the BeWell website. Questions can be directed to  Jayson Zeigler at zeiglerjw@uindy.edu or Katherine Matutes at matutesk@uindy.edu.

The Art Song Project: February 28-29

art song agendaThis weekend is the culmination of “The Art Song Project.” University of Indianapolis student and alumni poets, composers and visual artists have been collaborating since the fall to make songs and music videos, to be premiered by student performers Friday, February 28th. This kicks off a weekend of song & poetry activities, including guest appearances by beloved UIndy poet and Professor Emerita, Alice Friman. Please join members of the UIndy Art, Music and English departments, as well as students, for the new songs and art, and Alice’s poetry reading Saturday! Event descriptions below:

Friday, February 28, 2020, 2:00-4:00pm, Ruth Lilly Performance Hall, Christel DeHaan Fine Arts Center: UIndy Student Art Song Recital/Workshop

UIndy students in Music, English, Photography, and Visual Communication and Design have been working since fall term on The Art Song Project. Composers have been turning poets’ poems into songs. Art students have created photographic video responses to the poems and music, and VCD students have designed this special recital’s program and marketing. Join us for a recital-workshop-discussion featuring live premieres of the new songs and videos.

 

Friday, February 28, 2020, 7:30-8:30pm, Ruth Lilly Performance Hall, Christel DeHaan Fine Arts Center: New Music Series: Contemporary American Art Song with Jennifer Goltz and John Boonenberg, including a premiere of Bloom to Bloom, a song cycle by UIndy Professor Emerita Alice Friman and UIndy Professor of Music John Berners

Soprano Jennifer Goltz is hailed by Gramophone magazine as “captivating” and “brilliant…a voice full of subtle allure and sprightly energy.” Dr. Goltz of the University of Michigan and Dr. Boonenberg of Concordia University, Ann Arbor, appear at UIndy featuring colorful and moving new art songs by American poets and composers, including a premiere of Bloom to Bloom, a song cycle by UIndy Professor Emerita Alice Friman and Professor of Music John Berners. L/P Credit.

 

Saturday, February 29, 2020, 7:30-8:30pm, Ruth Lilly Performance Hall, Christel DeHaan Fine Arts Center: UIndy Professor Emerita Alice Friman, Poetry Reading 

Alice Friman reads from her new book, Blood Weather: Poems. Louisiana State University Press, 2019. Alice Friman taught English and creative writing at the University of Indianapolis from 1971 to 1993 and was named Teacher of the Year there in 1993. A highly awarded and celebrated poet, in 2003 Alice moved to Milledgeville, Georgia, to become poet-in-residence in the MFA program at Georgia College & State University. She has also taught at Randolph College, Ball State University, IUPUI, and Curtin University in Perth, Australia. Her new poetry podcast series is Ask Alice.

Making the most of makerspaces

professors use makerspace

When John Kuykendall began his tenure as the dean of the University of Indianapolis School of Education, the idea of housing a makerspace on campus had been in development for several years. Launching the School of Education makerspace would become one of Kuykendall’s priorities during his first year. 

The School of Education makerspace was inspired by the notion that today’s teachers must have the knowledge and skills necessary to prepare PK-12 students for an innovation-driven economy. Makerspaces compel teachers to deliver content through “learning by doing,” immersing students in real-world projects that foster deep learning and understanding. A makerspace is a space where students can gather to create, invent and learn. Education makerspaces are housed on campus and allow people to share resources and collaborate and allow teachers to provide a “lab” where they can apply the lessons that are already occurring within the classroom. They combine education with a “do it yourself” strategy.

Last fall, the School of Education’s makerspace began operation, with programming that largely focuses on STEM fields, but is available to use in any way that professors and students can find to fit the curriculum. Ultimately the makerspace will help equip teachers with new skill sets that enable complex thinking, problem-solving, designing, collaborating, communicating and creating for today’s 21st-century student. 

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“It was a connected effort within the University to get all this done,” Kuykendall said. He noted the efforts of Deb Sachs, assistant professor of education, who helped coordinate funding from a STEM education grant.

The University’s makerspace was aided in design by Indianapolis-based 1stMakerSpace, which builds and sustains in-school makerspaces. They partner with school districts to provide students with standards-based hands-on learning experiences to complement classroom learning strategies. The goal of these makerspaces is to inspire an authentic, rigorous and motivational environment by fostering creativity, collaboration and critical thinking.

“1stMakerSpace challenged us to come up with ideas how the makerspace could be used in all of the courses that we teach,” Kuykendall said. “We don’t want to pigeonhole the faculty and think that the pedagogy has to be centered around the sciences. As more faculty learn how to use it, they can begin to use it more and more often for a variety of lessons.” 

The makerspace provides an added educational layer where students can actually manipulate a problem with their hands and eyes rather than only trying to visualize a solution. 

“We’re very excited about it. It will allow students to see, apply and practice what they’re learning,” Kuykendall said. “There’s often more than one way to solve a problem. Makerspaces allow the open creativity to do that. They allow for more communication and can become collaborative pieces of learning.”

professors use makerspace

Kuykendall said housing a makerspace within the School of Education puts UIndy “ahead of the game” in offering students more resources to be successful should they end up in a school system that utilizes makerspaces.

Even though the makerspace on campus is still in its beginning stages, Kuykendall is already focused on ways in which the program will grow. “We want to continue to develop it year after year and keep growing the tools inside the space,” he said, “As more students and faculty use it that will help us envision how it will grow.” Kuykendall also envisions hosting workshops and professional development opportunities for local schools.

“Ultimately, we want programming that will help our students to interact with their future students,” he said.

Inquiries about the availability of the makerspace can be directed to School of Education Graduate Programs Administrative Assistant Rhonda Helterbrand (helterbrandr@uindy.edu) who is in charge of the scheduling and organization and management of the makerspace.

Hullabaloo 2020 celebrates four years of on-campus letterpress printing

Hullabaloo 2020 logo

Hullabaloo 2020 logo

Reception for invitational exhibit features studio open house, gallery reception, guest artist lecture

The Hullabaloo Press at the University of Indianapolis is celebrating its four-year anniversary with an exhibition of contemporary letterpress printers and bookmakers, January 21 through February 7 at the Christel DeHaan Fine Arts Center Gallery. An opening reception on Monday, January 27 will feature:

  • Print Shop Open House, 3-5 pm. Make your own print and see presses running.
  • Gallery Reception, 4-6 pm. Featuring “New Impressions,” an international juried exhibition, letterpress prints with Indiana connections and UIndy originals
  • Artist Lecture, 6:15 pm with Stephanie Carpenter from the Hamilton Wood Type & Printing Museum, the world’s largest collection of wood type

Printers from around the United States were invited to display a collection of their letterpress work. Exhibitors were selected for their Indiana connections, preservation of historical practices, contemporary innovations, or unique practices we wish to showcase on campus, explained event organizer Katherine Fries, assistant professor in the Department of Art & Design.

Fries said she hopes the exhibit and reception will build awareness about the printmaking studio at the University of Indianapolis and that “letterpress is for everyone.” Any enrolled student can take a letterpress class to satisfy fine arts applied credits, she added.

This free, non-ticketed event is open to the public. Learn more about Hullabaloo 2020.

 

UIndy faculty member treats “So You Think You Can Dance” performers

Salamh_SYTYCD2019

When the stars of So You Think You Can Dance Live rolled into Indianapolis last week, UIndy’s Dr. Paul Salamh, assistant professor in the Krannert School of Physical Therapy, was waiting for them. No, he’s not a SYTYCD super-fan. Salamh was onsite as a healthcare professional, available to treat any injuries the dancers came in with.

“The performers do multiple shows a week, so they often come in with injuries or even just “maintenance” needs,” said Salamh, who has been the go-to physical therapist for the tour stop in Indianapolis for three years. “But its show business and the show must go on.”

He was recruited for the role by the show’s manager who learned about Salamh’s previous work with athletes. At the Old National Center where the show was held, each year Salamh is given a large dressing room so he has space to treat the dancers. He brings along any supplies he thinks he might need. In order to prepare, the show’s manager gives him a heads up of what to expect a few days before the cast and crew arrive in Indianapolis.

“The day of the show, the lead dancer usually briefs me about what’s going on with everyone,” Salamh said. “Sometimes they are reluctant to come in for treatment, but usually the lead dancer encourages them.”

He spends up to five hours treating members of the 10-person cast. This year’s cast included Season 16’s Top 10 including Anna Linstruth, Benjamin Castro, Bailey Munoz, Eddie Hoyt, Ezra Sosa, Gino Cosculluela, Madison Jordan, Mariah Russell, Sophie Pittman and Stephanie Sosa plus All-Stars Cyrus Spencer and Lauren Froderman.

Before being contacted by the SYTYCD team, Salamh had never actually seen the show. However, since then he does admit to following the show a little more closely, “but don’t tell anyone,” he laughed.

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