University students earn prestigious music education award

Hard work is paying off for two music education students from the University of Indianapolis.

Samantha Burkey, choral/general music education ‘18 and Maddie Kintner, instrumental/general music education ‘19, received the Outstanding Future Music Educator Award at the Indiana Music Education Association’s annual professional development conference in Ft. Wayne in January.

Burkey (left) and Kintner (right)

Burkey (left) and Kintner (right)

Burkey and Kintner are among an elite group of 18 University students to receive this award in the past 10 years. Burkey, who received news about the award a day into student-teaching, said the news was reassuring, because it let her know she’s doing something great in the world of music education.

Through her classes, Kintner has logged at least 95 hours in immersive learning opportunities at regional band camps, in private lessons and in local middle school classrooms. She credits these experiences for helping her grow personally and professionally.

“It’s one thing to learn from a book, but it’s completely different to use methods in real-life settings,” she said. “My professors constantly encourage us to be out in the field learning.”

Burkey, who has shadowed and student-taught at four local schools and volunteered with College Mentors for Kids, echoed that sentiment.

“Starting freshman year, we go out in the field and observe elementary, middle school and high school classrooms,” she said. “Those placements gave me a lot of confidence and comfort. I’m learned many different teaching methods that I’m holding onto in my bag of tricks.”

To qualify for the award, students needed to demonstrate participation in their local NAfME chapter, academic rigor, and significant contributions to music education.

University student-teachers impact up to 700 Indianapolis Public Schools students every year by assisting teachers in classrooms. In 2017, the University chapter of the National Association for Music Education (NAfME) was recognized for its community outreach efforts to bring future music educators into classrooms.

Kinter said the University helped her discover one of her true passions: helping students who have disabilities. One of her favorite experiences has been giving private cello lessons to a seven-year-old boy who is deaf and blind. She’s spent about 20 hours with him so far, and will resume lessons this spring.

“He can’t hear music, but he can feel the vibrations,” she explained. “When I helped him start bowing on his own, everyone in the room started crying. I’ve changed his life quite a bit, but I think he’s changed my life even more.”

Learn more about UIndy’s music education program. 

Journalism students address community issue through Indy Star partnership

starinvestigative_story

A unique partnership between the University of Indianapolis and the Indianapolis Star provided journalism students with valuable hands-on experience in the field–and the opportunity for a byline in Indiana’s newspaper of record.

Students in the Investigative Reporting course published a story in the Indy Star that shed light on how the City of Indianapolis Mayor’s Action Center handles complaints. The months-long investigation, published in December 2017, examined data from the Mayor’s Action Center and found, for example, that poorer neighborhoods wait longer for pothole fixes.

Jeanne Criswell, associate professor and director of the Department of Communication’s journalism program, taught the course, which brought together 14 students to work with the Indianapolis Star’s Alvie Lindsay, news and investigations director, and Tim Evans, investigative reporter and consumer advocate. Criswell said the Indy Star journalists served as role models, mentors and editors as students applied their skills in information gathering, verification and analysis and publication.

“The Indianapolis Star partnership and the expectations of its dedicated journalists gave the students an invaluable, project-based professional experience and inspired them to produce some insightful investigative reporting,” Criswell said.

Read the investigative story here.

The students who contributed were Zoë Berg (Reflector editor-in-chief), Erik Cliburn (Reflector managing editor), Tyler Conrad, Laken Detweiler, Chelsea Faulk, Kaley Gatto, Tanner Gurin, Anthony Lain, Emily Mills (WICR operations manager), Elisha Sellars, Skylar Sigman, Kieffer Simpson, Dallas Thacker and Ryan Wright-Jordan.

The University’s Department of Communication has enjoyed a long history of experiential learning with the Indianapolis Star, including guest lectures and hosting students for on-site visits.

Publication wasn’t guaranteed, Criswell noted. The course was designed to allow students to collaborate with the Indy Star journalists on the project and only “if the resulting work merited, to publish that content both in print and online.”

Meeting the expectations for publication was a clear goal for the students, who praised the department for offering real-life experience and the opportunity to work with professional journalists.

“Working with the Indianapolis Star, I wanted to do my best in order to make my work worth being in the paper. Now, after looking at the printed and online version of our story, it makes me feel accomplished as a student and proud to have had this opportunity,” said Kaley Gatto, ’18 (communication major, experience design minor), who handled still photography for the project.

Dallas Thacker, ’17 (communication), created a graphic that accompanied the story. He came to appreciate how much effort goes into an investigative reporting project.

“The idea to have this type of class where you work directly with professionals in the career paths that we’re looking to pursue is absolutely outstanding,” Thacker said.

Criswell said the department consistently collaborates with a wide variety of news organizations for internships, guest lectures, consultations and judging. Faculty also work with the news media on a regular basis in their roles with various journalism organizations such as the Indiana Collegiate Press Association, Indiana Association of School Broadcasters, Society of Professional Journalists and others.

 

From engineer to STEM teacher: Program sparks career transformation

Jas'Minique Potter

Jas’Minique Potter ’18

Jas’Minique Potter ’18, a student in the University of Indianapolis Teach (STEM)³ Program, discusses the built-in mentorship, preparation and support that foster an exciting career change from engineering to teaching.

Jas’Minique (Jazz) Potter ’18 (MAT) is always amazed when she asks students what they think engineers do.

“A lot of people think I get my hands dirty or I’m working with a train – things they learned from watching television shows. But it’s so much more than that,” Potter said. “There’s engineering in everything – even in the chair you’re sitting in.”

As an engineer for Rolls-Royce Corp. in Indianapolis, Potter designed structural components for aircraft engines. Now she is translating that knowledge and field experience to her dream career of teaching STEM to high school students through the University of Indianapolis Teach (STEM)³ Program.

Her goal is to prepare students for the workforce of the future.

“It’s about getting students to think about how technology impacts the world and the jobs they’ll have when they’re older,” Potter said.

The Teach (STEM)³ Program, funded through the National Science Foundation Robert Noyce Teacher Scholarship Program, focuses on preparing secondary-level (middle/high school) STEM educators. The program meets a growing local and national need by bringing professionals from STEM-related fields to pursue a teaching career.

Potter joined the program in 2017 after working for several years as a design engineer at Rolls-Royce, a leading industry supplier for aircraft engines and other industries. She will graduate in 2018 with a Master of Arts in Teaching (MAT). The Robert Noyce Teacher Scholarship Program includes a stipend which allows candidates to complete the intensive, one-year program without undue financial hardship. Candidates must commit to serve as middle or high school STEM teachers after graduation.

“I felt like this program was a perfect combination of things to help me get to my dream to become an educator. I was trying to find the time to transition into the education field and really pursue my passion,” Potter said.

The University’s Teach (STEM)³ program is designed for career changers who have a STEM-related degree coupled with a passion for pursuing a teaching career. The program includes a clinical residency, a unique graduate experience that offers candidates the opportunity to partner with a master teacher in a classroom throughout an entire school year while simultaneously completing their coursework to obtain the MAT and teaching license. Potter is teaching a geometry course to sophomores at Ben Davis High School in Indianapolis for her residency.

“One of the things that stuck out to me about the program was that it was a one-year program that would get me the experience in the field prior to graduating and offered a stipend to fund my tuition,” Potter said.

With a bachelor’s degree in mechanical engineering and professional experience at Rolls-Royce, Potter is excited to apply her skills and knowledge in the classroom. Teach (STEM)³ allows her to do that immediately.

“The residency portion of this program has further reinforced my decision in choosing this program because I’m technically doing my first year of teaching with the support and feedback of mentors, professors, fellow teachers at Ben Davis and even fellow Scholars who are in the program with me,” Potter said. “I literally get to take things I learn in class and directly apply them in the classroom and get feedback on the application.”

That experience is a key component of the program.

As a career changer entering the teaching profession, Jazz brings a wealth of practical knowledge she will be able to use to engage students in real-world math experiences as she designs engaging lessons,” added Deb Sachs, Teach (STEM)³ Program director and assistant professor.

“I’ve learned so much in the program about how to get my students engaged and involved,” Potter said, noting that her coursework and the clinical residency focus on addressing the needs of students from different backgrounds who have a variety of learning preferences. “Through the clinical residency, this program allows me to learn how to be an effective educator.”

Jas'Minique Potter with Dr. Frankie Cooper

Jas’Minique Potter with Dr. Frankie Cooper

Potter was one of four students from across the state to receive a scholarship by the Indianapolis Alliance of Black School Educators at the 10th Annual IABSE Education Forum. Her scholarship was named in honor of Dr. Frankie Cooper, former IABSE president, whom she had the honor of meeting at the forum.

Before discovering the Teach (STEM)³ Program, Potter said she was “honestly scared to just take that leap of faith and go after my dreams and my passion.” Now that she is running at full steam through the program? “It was just amazing to see doors open when you take that leap of faith.”

Written by Sara Galer, Senior Communications Specialist, University of Indianapolis. Contact newsdesk@uindy.edu with your campus news.

Professor explores 3D printing in occupational therapy

img_4918In April 2016, the University of Indianapolis launched its first #UIndyDay effort with the identification of several projects alumni and friends could contribute to. One of those projects, and the one that garnered the highest amount of contributions, was a 3D printer for the School of Occupational Therapy.

Now, two years later, Erin Peterson, assistant professor of occupational therapy, is leading the school’s efforts to determine how to best use the technology to enhance OT education for both master’s and doctoral students. At Peterson’s recommendation, the school purchased a Maker Gear M3 printer in the summer of 2017.

“We wanted something that isn’t noisy, because it’s used in a classroom and prints can sometimes take a few hours to complete,” Peterson said. “We also were looking for the newest technology and good user reviews.”

img_4910Since the arrival of the 3D printer, Peterson has been partnering with the School of Engineering to collaborate on designs for assistive devices and anatomical models that can be 3D printed. Along with the 3D printer, SOT purchased a 3D scanner that takes multiple pictures of a 3D object. The user can then edit and manipulate the 3D model of the object using special software. In OT, this could allow a therapist to scan a person’s hand, arm, or other body part, upload the file to the software, and then design a custom orthosis around that body part.

Peterson admits that the technology has raised some concerns among the OT community. In particular, many hand therapists have expressed concern that 3D printing splints or assistive devices takes the OT out of the equation.

An OT student research group recently conducted a survey of occupational therapists’ perceptions about the use of 3D technology in the practice of occupational therapy. Those survey findings, based on approximately 300 responses from members of the American Society of Hand Therapists, will be presented at the American Occupational Therapy Association’s Annual Conference in Salt Lake City, Utah in April 2018.

There are other uses for 3D technology besides orthoses and assistive devices. For instance, Peterson noted that one study suggests that 3D-printed pillboxes may improve adherence to medication because they can be customized to the patient’s needs (adequate size, security, slots per day, etc.) Peterson is currently exploring the idea of offering a 3D printing in occupational therapy elective in the occupational therapy curriculum. She is also involved in networking discussions with faculty from other occupational therapy schools to understand how the technology can enhance both OT education and OT
practice.

Honors College students present research at national conference

Back row: Kaity Sullivan ’18, Lauren Bryant ’18, Casey Wendorff ’18, Dierra Barlow ’20, Zoe Cunningham ’20 & Jim Williams, associate professor of history and director of the Honors College. Front row: Sierra Corbin '18 and Delmar Oropeza '18.

Back row: Kaity Sullivan ’18, Lauren Bryant ’18, Casey Wendorff ’18, Dierra Barlow ’20, Zoe Cunningham ’20 & Jim Williams, associate professor of history and director of the Honors College. Front row: Sierra Corbin ’18 and Delmar Oropeza ’18.

Students in the Ron & Laura Strain Honors College recently participated in the National Collegiate Honors Council (NCHC) Conference in Atlanta, a national event to showcase the benefits of honors education and research.

Casey Wendorff ’18 (biology, chemistry minor), Kaity Sullivan ’18 (accounting and mathematics) Sierra Corbin ’17 (biology, chemistry minor) and Delmar Oropeza ’17 (biology, chemistry minor, pre-pharmacy concentration) presented research posters. Dierra Barlow ’20 (theatre, psychology) and Zoe Cunningham ’20 (theatre) performed in a drama master class. Lauren Bryant ’18 (biology and psychology) acted as a moderator during the conference.

Jim Williams, director of the Honors College and associate professor of history, led several sessions on Honors advising. He highlighted the unique experience for students to travel to a national conference and represent the University of Indianapolis.

“It allows them to showcase the hard work they’ve done on their original scholarship, which is great for their professionalization, and they see the kind of work honors students and colleges are doing across the country,” Williams said.

Sierra Corbin, left, and Delmar Oropeza

Sierra Corbin, left, and Delmar Oropeza

Corbin and Oropeza received a research grant from the Sigma Zeta National Honor Society and presented their results at the conference. The grant funded materials critical to their project, which set out to determine a procedure to test for a genetic marker for the taste preference of cilantro.

“The experience at the conference was beneficial. We received feedback from judges so that we could improve our skills presenting scientific research. It also was quite interesting to see what other students around the United States study,” Corbin said.

The students worked with Sandra Davis, associate professor of biology, who suggested the idea.

“I really enjoy watching students go from doing simple lab activities as part of a class to taking ownership of their own project.  This is one of the opportunities that UIndy is able to offer that students might not get at a larger school. I hope to use their project in my classes and I have already had faculty from other universities express interest in using it as well,” Davis said.

Learn more about the Ron & Laura Strain Honors College at UIndy.

Corbin said the Honors College’s focus on presentations helped her develop skills in explaining complex topics to an audience that may not have specific knowledge of that subject. Her career goal is to become a physician assistant.

“I am sure I will need to explain to patients what an illness may be, what caused it and how to treat it,” she said.

The research component of Honors College also was integral to their skills development, the students said.

“The research experience and the Honors College in general allowed me to expand my learning and communicative capabilities, especially in public speaking. There was a lot of reading and interpretation of papers that took place, which allowed me to expand my analytical intake,” said Oropeza, who plans to attend pharmacy school following graduation in December.

“At UIndy, the teachers genuinely care about our academic success. Some of our courses definitely are harder than they would be at other schools, but that makes us more prepared,” Corbin said.



New book by University of Indianapolis professor explores legacy of Oliver P. Morton

mortonJames Fuller, professor of history at the University of Indianapolis, offers a bold reinterpretation of Indiana’s Civil War governor, Oliver P. Morton, in a new book.

“Oliver P. Morton and the Politics of the Civil War and Reconstruction,” the first full biography of Morton to be published in over a century, provides new insight into Indiana’s most important political leader of the 19th century.

About a dozen people gathered at the Morton Monument on the east steps of the Indiana Statehouse in mid-November to launch the book. Stephen E. Towne of IUPUI introduced Fuller, who spoke briefly, then read a section from the book. Fuller then presented a copy of the biography to the office of current Indiana governor, Eric Holcomb. Daniel Miller, a University of Indianapolis student who worked on Governor’s campaign in 2016, accepted the book on behalf of the governor.

On Sunday, Nov. 19, 2017, 1:30-3:00 p.m., Fuller will be at the Morton House in Centerville, Indiana, for a reading and book signing

“At a time when the Civil War is once again a political issue amid calls to remove Confederate monuments across the country, this book serves as a reminder of Indiana’s role in that pivotal era in the nation’s history and explains why Oliver P. Morton still stands as a fitting symbol of the part that the Hoosier state played in saving the nation from rebellion,” Fuller said.

Most readers know Morton as the state’s Civil War governor and for his efforts to recruit and supply the soldiers and help the Union win the war. “But not all of them are familiar with the high drama that his leadership involved,” Fuller said.

some-of-those-who-came-for-book-launchFuller explained that Morton virtually ran the state as a dictator for 22 months in the middle of the war after the Democrats tried to thwart the Union war effort in Indiana. Morton was the target of assassins and helped the military investigate traitors on the home front.

Following the Civil War, Morton became the U.S. senator from Indiana and a national leader of the Radical Republicans during Reconstruction. Fuller notes Morton came close to winning the Republican nomination for the presidency in 1876, then helped settle that disputed election in favor of his friend Rutherford B. Hayes.

Readers will find parallels and connections to modern politics in Fuller’s book, ranging from issues including the use of government power, economic policy, terrorism, the surveillance state and the violation of civil liberties.

Morton also called for abolishing or reforming the Electoral College.

“He was a political leader in a time of extreme polarization, when Americans were deeply divided and feared that the other side in politics was out to destroy the country. This led to fierce partisanship and dirty politics,” Fuller said.

Learn more.

Indiana makes significant investment in UIndy STEM teacher programs

stem_teaching-28The Indiana Commission for Higher Education (ICHE) has awarded the University of Indianapolis nearly $2.4 million in grants to support the University’s continued leadership as a major incubator for STEM teachers across the state.

The grants are part of a $9.6 million investment by the Commission to the STEM Teacher Recruitment Fund, created by the General Assembly in 2013 to put more STEM teachers in high-need classrooms across Indiana. Of those funds, UIndy’s Teach Today: Transform Tomorrow Elementary Education STEM program was awarded $262,801. In addition, Independent Colleges of Indiana (ICI) received $2.1 million, support which is administered by the University’s Center of Excellence in Leadership of Learning (CELL) to provide dual-credit credentials for current STEM teachers.

“The University is committed to leading the charge to fill these important STEM teaching positions that are critical to the long-term success of students across Indiana,” said University Provost Stephen H. Kolison, Jr. “With the success of our programs–plus the continued funding support from regional and national education agencies–UIndy continues to positively impact high-need classrooms dedicated to STEM education.”

$2.1M awarded to CELL/ICI

The $2.1 million was awarded to the STEM Teach program, a continuing education program for current teachers,designed by CELL in partnership with ICI. CELL will collaborate to organize outreach activities and meetings, a higher education course proposal process and organization of a leadership team to select courses or course sequences. ICI serves as the fiscal agent and leads communication with higher education leadership while also managing teacher participation and completion data.

CELL will manage day-to-day operations, including communication with K-12 teachers and schools, sharing process details with higher education institutions, development and operation of teacher application and registration processes, surveying participants, analyzing data, and generating reports to participating institutions and Commission.

“Rather than putting a financial burden on teachers to meet dual-credit credentialing, STEM Teach will provide free and easily accessible graduate courses in the STEM areas. While increasing teacher STEM knowledge, the initiative also helps teachers meet Higher Learning Commission requirements and ensures that Early College High Schools continue to support increased college degree attainment in Indiana,” said Janet Boyle, CELL executive director.

School of Education

The STEM Teacher Recruitment Fund also awarded more than $262,000 to the University’s Teach Today: Transform Tomorrow program. Nancy Steffel, director of the University’s elementary education program and professor of teacher education, and Libby Turner, instructor, wrote the grant for the program, which promotes 21st century skills with a STEM focus. The program is delivered through the collaboration of the School of Education, Shaheen College of Arts & Sciences and the College of Applied Behavioral Sciences.

“Teacher candidates will learn what they need to teach, how to teach it and why they need to teach it all at the same time instead of the traditional sequenced order of content, methods and field experiences,” Steffel said.

The Teach Today grant focuses on the recruitment of talented high school students who show an interest in STEM and teaching to work with them as early as the 10th grade to develop the mindset around becoming a teacher. Candidates will graduate in three and a half years with more training in STEM, along with concentrations in reading and special education.

Through the grant, inaugural candidates will receive a $1,000 stipend towards tuition and living expenses for their first year on the conditions that candidates complete the Elementary Education STEM program’s first year with a 2.75 overall GPA, remain in the University’s School of Education to earn their degree with a STEM teaching focus and teach in an Indiana elementary school for at least one year upon graduation.

The program also will network with CELL and the STEM Teach program to reach out to teachers who can recommend potential teacher candidates. The program will join CELL’s Early College High School network meetings to help reach first-generation, socioeconomically disadvantaged and/or underrepresented population high school students.

The Teach Today program uses a cross-curricular model suggested by the National Science Teachers Association and the New Generation Science Standards. Courses will be taught as STEM or education blocks with corresponding labs and field work that support the candidates’ learning.

That interdisciplinary approach has been crucial to the success of recent STEM initiatives at the University of Indianapolis, including the University’s Teach (STEM)³ program funded through the National Science Foundation Robert Noyce Teacher Scholarship Program, which focuses on preparing secondary-level STEM educators. Although funded through separate grants, the two programs together represent the School of Education’s commitment to meeting the need for STEM professionals and teachers at every level of K-12 through interdepartmental collaboration. Formerly the Woodrow Wilson Teaching Scholarship Program, Teach (STEM)³ has graduated more than 70 STEM teachers since 2008, many of whom stay and work in Indiana schools.

UIndy students engage with past through hands-on fieldwork

From the Texas borderlands to ancient Rome to back home in Indiana, University of Indianapolis students continue to unearth history, gain valuable field experience and make a global impact. baumslanding

Students participating in the University’s archaeological field school spent the summer excavating the Baum’s Landing site near Delphi in Carroll County, Ind. The group, working under the guidance of Dr. Christopher Moore, associate professor and chair of anthropology, studied early pioneer life in Indiana.

The field school immerses students in archaeology 40+ hours a week with a focus on excavation techniques as well as teamwork, critical thinking, community outreach and project design. The initiative also connects the community with Indiana history by opening the dig to residents, including local middle school students.

“We hope to develop a better understanding of how the Baums (who lived on the site from approximately 1820 to 1850) and their contemporaries established a new community identity as Hoosiers,” Moore said.

A Carroll County native, Moore founded the Wildcat Archaeological Research Project (WARP) in 2009 to investigate archaeology in Carroll County and surrounding areas, including Baum’s Landing. Among the goals for the excavation, Moore said, is learning details about the daily life, status and wealth of the pioneer family.

For the students, the experience provides intellectual and professional growth opportunities, including the development of leadership and supervision skills on everything from paperwork to excavation.

“This year’s field crew is exceptional. Over the last eight weeks, all of them have grown considerably, both in their knowledge and skills of archaeology and in their confidence,” Moore said.

Kaylee Blum

Kaylee Blum ’19

“The experience that I have gained from this project has helped me with my personal growth and my development as an archaeologist,” said archaeology student Kaylee Blum ’19, who has participated in several student digs. “There’s so much more to archaeology than I anticipated, but my time at UIndy has definitely been worth it. The hands-on experience that I have gained just as an undergraduate has been amazing beyond words.”

UIndy students can take part in numerous volunteer archaeological lab and field experiences starting in their freshman year, and applied, hands-on training is integrated into many archeology and anthropology courses. A public field archaeology event will be held at Skiles Test park in Indianapolis Sept. 16-17 and an archaeological field school is planned for next summer on Sapelo Island, Georgia.

“Students can get exposed to the challenges of real-world situations alongside the ideal scenarios that they read about in textbooks. This means that most students have some basic understanding of and practical skills in archaeological fieldwork before they start field school,” Moore added.

 

Global impact
Beyond Borders Team
Along with that real-life experience comes the opportunity to witness the community impact. Krista Latham, associate professor of biology and anthropology, leads a student forensic team comprised of biology majors on projects including the identification of individuals who died in the Texas borderlands, as well as assisting law enforcement during local crime scene investigations.

Latham’s work has gained national attention to the humanitarian crisis happening on the U.S. southern border. (Read more about the project here.) Latham and her team work to uncover remains from unmarked grave sites and identify the bodies of those who have died while making the journey to the United States. This year, four graduate students traveled to Texas with Latham to participate in the project, marking the sixth trip.

Graduate student Leann Rizor ’18 (human biology with focus in forensic anthropology) said the fieldwork has helped her to gain an appreciation of the magnitude of the crisis.

“I learned so much regarding the intricacies of the politics surrounding the crisis, and I have used this knowledge to talk about the crisis in a very informed way and to spread awareness,” said Rizor, who earned her bachelor’s degree in anthropology from the University in 2014.

International research opportunities

Jessica Gregory (center) and Jessica Chevrolet (left) in Chieti, Italy at the University Museum (Photo: Chris Schmidt)

Jessica Gregory (center) and Jessica Chevrolet (left) in Chieti, Italy at the University Museum (Photo: Chris Schmidt)

Research opportunities for UIndy students extend to the international arena. Chris Schmidt, professor of anthropology, worked with two UIndy graduate students in Italy this summer on his study of Herculaneum, an ancient Roman city destroyed when Mt. Vesuvius erupted in the year A.D. 79. Schmidt has been conducting research for several years at the site, focusing on what inhabitants ate, their ancestry and the way they died.

Schmidt was honored earlier this year with the 2017 Indiana Archaeology Award, along with Johnson County Commissioner Brian Baird and Johnson County attorney Kathleen Hash, for leading the Middle of the Road Grave project, which involved several UIndy students – including some graduate alumni who returned to participate. The goal of the project was to record, recover and reinter the seven individuals who were buried in the median of County Road 400 South.

“It is definitely a case where one person is being acknowledged for the others,” Schmidt said of the award. “It’s an award for the process and UIndy should be proud of that high level of professionalism.”

The site’s role in local folklore and regional history generated strong media interest, creating additional pressure on the excavation team. Nancy Kerlin Barnett and six others were buried at the site, which bears a historic marker commemorating their lives. While the topic of dealing with human remains is a sensitive one, Schmidt said by the end of the project, researchers had gained the respect of local residents.

“It was the best excavation experience I’ve ever had as a professional and working with the students, the state, the county and the museum,” he said.  “People know they can count on us to do it right.”

Written by Sara Galer, Senior Communications Specialist, University of Indianapolis. Contact newsdesk@UIndy.edu with your campus news.

Simulation exercise helps students focus on interprofessional teamwork

A man suddenly slips and falls in the stands at a basketball game at Nicoson Hall. He groans in pain as concerned onlookers jump to action. Athletic trainers quickly take their places around the patient and begin calling out instructions to protect his spine and head.

The sequence of events that follows–from the ambulance ride to the emergency room to post-trauma care and communication between medical professionals–plays out in a tightly choreographed event as trained health sciences students at the University of Indianapolis participate in a simulated emergency response scenario. The exercise allows the students a “real-life” opportunity to implement the interprofessional and collaborative training that is integral to today’s trending model of healthcare.

There’s a big push in all of our professions to work more interprofessionally. By giving students the opportunity to do that, that helps them to be more prepared for fieldwork, clinicals or internships,” said Alison Nichols, assistant professor of occupational therapy, one of several faculty members who helped to organize the simulation.

The carefully designed simulation provided students of several disciplines–nursing, physical therapy, occupational therapy, athletic training, psychology and social work–a chance to collaborate at all levels of an emergency scenario. In this case, the patient simulated a serious injury at a campus event and was transported from Nicoson Hall to the UIndy Health Pavilion before being treated in the UIndy Simulation Center. Students coordinated the entire emergency response and treatment plan.

“I was amazed at how important it was for us to speak with each other and to know what each other was doing at all times. By communicating with each other, we could avoid repetition and streamline things for the patient,” said Mimi Chase ’19, a graduate student in social work.

That collaboration is an integral part of the unique and innovative partnership between Community Health Network and the University. Through an interprofessional and team-based approach to learning, students enter the workforce with beneficial experience of collaborating with a variety of healthcare specialities to best meet the patient’s needs amid an increasingly complex healthcare system.

“You are teaching students to look outside the boxes of their professions and look at the other members of the team so that they understand each other’s roles,” said Gurinder Hohl, director, UIndy-Community Health Network partnership.

Hohl explained how that philosophy can impact patient outcomes in a medical setting. Both from the patient and provider perspectives, it’s in everyone’s best interest to reduce hospital readmissions, she said. Effective communication across disciplines helps to improve that workflow.

“When a team is patient-centered, the added impact is that the patients manage their health better because they have resources that have been arranged for them,” Hohl said. If you don’t have that team-based handover, there are lost opportunities for patient care.”

Paige Buddenhagen ’19 and Jamal Edwards ’19, athletic training, worked on the patient in Nicoson before the ambulance arrived. Edwards was responsible for the patient’s head, which involved calling out instructions to his colleagues as they loaded the patient onto a spine board to avoid further injury, while Buddenhagen coordinated an ambulance.

“I definitely liked seeing the transition from EMS to nursing and how that all works,” Buddenhagen said. “Recognizing and responding in an efficient manner is critical to the patient’s health.”

Once the patient was admitted to the hospital, occupational and physical therapy students had the opportunity to collaborate and evaluate the patient’s abilities and needs.  Social work and psychology students had new roles to play when alcohol turned up as a factor in the case. Carrie Dettmer ’18, a student in the accelerated nursing program, explained that the team setting gave her confidence.

“When I came upon a situation with substance abuse with this particular simulation patient, I knew that I had the backup of social work and psych coming in behind me,” Dettmer said.

Nurses collaborated with psychologists and social workers to determine the resources available to help the patient with addiction issues.

Michael Craven ’20, clinical psychology doctoral candidate, played the role of staff psychologist at the hospital during the simulation.

“It’s the direction healthcare is going. Being able to have practice, learning what it’s like to work side by side with physical therapists, occupational therapists, social workers, prepares us incredibly to be able to function in that environment,” Craven said.

Written by Sara Galer, Senior Communications Specialist, University of Indianapolis. Contact newsdesk@UIndy.edu with your campus news.

Lilly program opens eyes of nursing students to the pharma industry

From the first time she explored the vast grounds of the global pharmaceutical company, University of Indianapolis nursing student Danielle Sparling realized her career path is much wider than she originally envisioned.

She enrolled at UIndy with solid plans of earning her degree and going on to become a family nurse practitioner. That may still be the case, but today she understands it’s not her only option thanks to an intense learning experience piloted this summer at Eli Lilly and Company (Lilly). Nurses at Lilly play important roles as researchers, regulatory scientists, case managers, global health consultants and more—all critical to becoming one of the largest pharmaceutical corporations in the world.

“From day one, I gained insight into how many avenues there are within the field of nursing. This was exciting, because I was able to learn about these non-traditional roles,” said Sparling, a sophomore.lillycropped

Sparling was one of four nursing students to participate in the pilot program this summer along with Serena Cornelius, Paige Hendershot and Samantha Hunter (all juniors). The Lilly/University of Indianapolis Nurse Education Program rotates the students through various aspects of Lilly’s operations—from drug discovery and development to bioethics and patient safety. The program is designed to educate students about the drug development process, the role of nurses in the industry and professional competencies for success in a healthcare business environment.

The students participated for four weeks in a structured mentorship involving real-world projects, industry-led professional development workshops and opportunities to network with Lilly nurses, experts and leaders. By exposing undergraduate students to the drug-development process, nursing students gained valuable knowledge of how patient-centered treatment options are developed and assessed.

“Nurses today have to be competent decisions makers,” said Jennifer Workman, co-leader of the Lilly program. “They need to have high-learning agility, be able to multi-task and communicate clearly and accurately information about treatment options.”

“Our students understand this was a very unique opportunity to learn about an industry they know very little about in these early stages of their education,” said Denise Ferrell, an assistant professor and program director in the School of Nursing. “This makes the nursing program at UIndy a more holistic experience by bridging the gap between nursing in an academic setting and what is available in our community.”

“Nurses are playing expanded roles as the health care system evolves to meet new needs. Nurses not only have enhanced responsibility and accountability in traditional settings, such as hospitals and clinics, but increasingly have roles that enable them to move across a variety of health care settings,” said Norma Hall, dean of the School of Nursing.

The education program also helps Lilly to educate future health care professionals about how pharmaceuticals are manufactured, tested and regulated, Workman said.

“The students have a unique vantage point and opportunity to work alongside some of the most talented health care professionals in the industry and understand their important roles in our organization,” Workman said. The students also reviewed the drug-approval process, investigated regulations, conducted literature reviews, assessed environmental trends and marketing strategies, researched treatment plans and created patient education materials.

The School of Nursing at UIndy is one of the leading pipelines for nurses across Indiana. The program is ranked among the top nursing programs in the Midwest by U.S. News and World Report. The program prides itself on meeting the rising need for nurses as the health care industry grows, regionally and nationally. By a global company like Lilly opening its doors and sharing its expertise, the School of Nursing can provide unique professional competencies and specialized knowledge to its students, Ferrell said.

“I have gained an appreciation for the drug development process and have found the nurses at Lilly all bring something special to the table because they actually know how a decision will affect the patient because of the connection they have,” Hunter said.

Hendershot added: “I never knew there were so many opportunities for nurses in the pharma industry. One of my biggest takeaways was how important pharma is to health care. Without it, new advancements in treatments would be rarely considered.”

“As a nurse in the future, I will be able to fall back on this key point and strive to be the best advocate possible for my patient,” Cornelius said.

For Sparling, Lilly reinforced her love for the profession and excitement about the next opportunity. On her last day in the Lilly internship, she learned she officially had been accepted in the UIndy nursing program.

“One of the Lilly doctors told us, ‘You’re best at what you love, and if you do just that, success will follow.’ I’ve never been happier for my chosen career path and can’t wait to see what the future holds,” Sparling said.

 

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