UIndy CMFK Wins “Biggest Heart Award”

The University of Indianapolis chapter of College Mentors for Kids has succeeded and surpassed their goals this year. They currently serve fourteen youth, “little buddies” who attend either IPS 114 or IPS 65. Weekly activities are either conducted through a pen pal program, Mentor Mail or through our virtual mentoring program, College Mentors Connect.  Chapter President, Nathan Tuft and the executive leadership team have been resilient, hardworking, and passionate despite a challenging year.

Tuft said, “My three years with UIndy College Mentors for Kids has been a very enriching experience. From my start as a mentor, it was very wholesome to see how the kids learned and enjoyed being on campus. I believe it gives them an opportunity to understand college life and to not be afraid of it, while also giving them someone to look up to. I enjoyed every minute of the program, but mostly watching how the students and mentors changed each other throughout the year. The connections I made are invaluable and will always be cherished.”

To honor and celebrate their wonderful work, College Mentors has awarded them with the “Biggest heart award”.  This is fitting for the UIndy chapter because it highlights how much love they have for their partners and the “little buddies” that they serve. All of the mentors and exec leaders are incredibly caring, passionate leaders who always have sight of what is most important, the “little buddies”! We are so lucky that these leaders participate in College Mentors for Kids and give their many skills and talents to the organization. Thank you, UIndy mentors, staff, and partners.  Special shoutout to our beloved site manager, Marianna Foulkrod for all of her support, time, and dedication! We appreciate you!

 

Special thanks to those who participated in College Mentors this year:

Bryonna Bell

Claire Anderson

Grace’Lyn Preshon

Hannah Hardin

Jocelyn Alvarez

Joseph Gonsiorowski

Kariden Jones

Kathryn Leigh

Kelsie Vogleman

LaHarren Saulsberry

Maya Howard

Nathan Tuft

Nichole Reatherford

Paul Ellery

Shelby Sipes

R.B. Annis School of Engineering expands impact with global project

Students at the R.B. Annis School of Engineering at the University of Indianapolis had the chance to apply their skills to solve a real-world problem with a far-reaching impact. The Annis School partnered with the Indianapolis-based Institute for Affordable Transport (IAT), which connects communities in developing countries with basic transportation and vehicles that feature robust and simple designs.

The idea got off the ground when David Olawale, assistant professor of engineering, contacted IAT to explore an industry-based project for the Manufacturing Processes course taken by senior mechanical engineering (ME) students. The goal was to give students the opportunity to apply the knowledge and skills from the course on a real-life project. In addition, the project had a service component in which the UIndy engineering students were able to apply their knowledge to help in making a product more affordable and accessible to many in developing nations. 

“The challenges [the students] faced in working with their team, clients and different stakeholders are critical experiences they get to share during job and internship interviews, thereby setting them apart from other graduates,” Olawale said.

The project was a perfect fit with the Annis School’s mission to use interdisciplinary education to develop modern engineering leaders who create outstanding solutions, he added. The Annis School focuses on providing unique experiential learning opportunities for students through real world open-ended, industry-based projects.

“The complexity of such problems and the exposure of students to such problems help them in developing effective problem-solving, teamwork, and communication capacity that are not readily possible with textbook-based problem-solving. Such exposure helps students to understand the needs of the industry and how to solve problems for the industry,” Olawale explained.

Working alongside David Olawale and Mechanical Systems Laboratory Manager James Emery, three mechanical engineering students—TJ LeSeure ’20, Payton Staman ’20, and Jake Braumbaugh ’20—were tasked with designing a power platform fixture for the IAT’s Basic Utility Vehicle (BUV). The BUVs are used in some developing nations as a multifunctional vehicle for transporting people, animals, water, food and construction materials. It can be a game changer for many communities in developing nations in terms of economic growth, access to clean water, food security and medical supply transportation.

In order to simplify the assembly process of the vehicles, IAT asked that UIndy’s team design a fixture for the assembly of the motor deck. The motor deck holds two components, the motor and the transmission. The student team was asked to design the fixture for the motor deck by incorporating their knowledge of jig and fixtures, design for manufacturing and additive manufacturing. Working with lab manager James Emery, the students learned how to work with production experts to successfully translate a design into a manufacturable product.

LeSeure said, “My favorite part of the project was being able to apply the things I learned in the classroom to a project that would help improve people’s lives. It was truly a rewarding experience that helped me tap into the passionate side of engineering.”

Students learned to work in a team environment as they communicated effectively with the client through site visits, video conferencing and emails to gain a good understanding of the client’s requirements and needs. New knowledge from the manufacturing processes course was applied in the design of the fixture for the automotive component. Students also developed their resilience and resourcefulness in creating a viable solution for an industry-client even in the midst of the COVID-19 pandemic and its challenges.

Industry client Will Austin was impressed with the results. “We have completed over 50 engineering projects with 20 different universities during the last 20 years. Sometimes we learn a more simple or more cost-effective solution. Sometimes we merely learn what not to do. In the case of UIndy, we are using their fixtures in BUV production, and we are very pleased with the performance of the fixtures,” Austin said.

Austin placed an order for four more fixtures to be fabricated by the Annis School’s technical staff to be delivered to the client’s customers in Africa, the first of which are in northern Benin, West Africa.

“I really enjoyed working with the UIndy students. They were very prepared for the calls and kept me updated on developments. The engineers made good progress on the project despite COVID setbacks,” Austin added. “The end result was an excellent fixture that will be used with our next factory partners.”

The R.B. Annis School of Engineering will continue to work with IAT through the DesignSpine curriculum.

UIndy community gardens help neighbors stay food-secure during pandemic

A partnership between the University of Indianapolis, Community Health Network and the South Indy Quality of Life Plan (SoIndy) is bringing fresh produce to our southside neighbors at a time when it is needed most.

See media coverage from WRTV and WISH-TV.

Fresh produce from the University of Indianapolis community gardens

Fresh produce from the University of Indianapolis community gardens

Organic produce grown in UIndy’s community gardens will be distributed to residents every week during the month of June at the La Luz del Mundo Church. Planning is underway to continue the produce distribution throughout the summer in collaboration with local pantries. University of Indianapolis students are working in the gardens as they learn about important health concepts such as food insecurity and community organizing. The gardens will also serve as a learning site for public health nursing students in the fall.

The community gardens were launched in 2017 with the goal of bringing access to fresh produce to the surrounding neighborhood. The project is part of an ongoing partnership between the University of Indianapolis and Community Health Network to provide health- and wellness-related opportunities to the Indianapolis southside. SoIndy has played an important role in the partnership, along with Community Hospital South and Purdue Extension.

Interdisciplinary collaborations are a key part of the project’s success. Last August, UIndy Social Practice Art students activated the gardens for a class project. During the past two years, garden interns have represented majors from across campus, including public health, environmental science, psychology and music. Gurinder Hohl, University of Indianapolis and Community Health Network partnership director, and Kevin McKelvey, professor of English and director of the Social Practice Art Program, are advisors for the community gardens.

SoIndy is collaborating with La Luz del Mundo (Light of the World) Church at 2842 Shelby St. to distribute fresh, organic produce from the gardens throughout the month of June. Distribution takes place every Wednesday from 1:30 to 2:15 p.m. The no-contact distribution includes a hot meal and a week’s supply of non-perishable food items, in addition to produce from the community gardens.

File photo of the University Heights community garden (2018)

File photo of the University Heights community garden (2018)

Hohl said the coronavirus pandemic has exacerbated the problem of food insecurity.

“With the SoIndy community already being a food desert, the need to provide safe access to food is critical,” she said. “That is one of the reasons that the planners of the community gardens have gone ahead with the planting of spring and summer vegetables—to provide access to fresh, organic produce.”

Any produce that is not distributed during the drive will be donated to local pantries.

Learn more about UIndy’s community gardens.

Wanderlust: Spring Break style

Students embarked on educational & service-learning trips during Spring Break. Here’s a look at some of their adventures and lessons learned along the way:

Savannah, Georgia

Six students from the Student Business Leadership Academy (SBLA) made the 12-hour drive to help Coastal Empire Habitat For Humanity for the second consecutive year. They gained muscle mass and so much more during the service-learning experience.

“This year’s trip was special because we helped build a house for a woman and her son. She was a veteran who served in Iraq, and it meant a lot to give back to someone who sacrificed everything so we can live in this wonderful country,” said Alyssa Goen ‘20 (sports marketing), who planned and participated in the 2017 and 2018 trips.

Activities included nailing sheaths to the frame of the house, adding trusses to the roof and working in the ReStore, where they unloaded truckloads of donated furniture and household items and prepared them for resale.

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“This trip was such a humbling experience. It was so rewarding to see how our hard work moved the house further along in the construction process. Meeting the homeowner really opened our eyes to how just a week’s worth of work made such an impact in her life,” said Olivia Vormohr ‘19 (finance), who was an integral part of making the trip a reality.

 

India

Students from the Politics in South Asia class visited India for a closer look at Indian economy and society. Led by Milind Thakar, associate professor of international relations, and Paul Levesque, assistant professor of German, a dozen students traveled to the capital city of Delhi, the southern state of Kerala and other cities and towns to experience the contrasts between India’s wealth and poverty, as well as the country’s ethnic, religious and linguistic diversity.

India spring break trip

Melissa Kapsalis ’18 (political science and psychology with pre-law concentration) said she was impressed with how the trip managed to encompass so many aspects of Indian culture and life in a short time span.

“India is a little bit of everything. It has wealth, poverty, religion, beauty, destruction, and it could change each time you cross the street,” Kapsalis said.

Hong Kong and Vietnam

A group of 19 students, faculty, staff and alumni involved in the MBA program visited Hong Kong and Vietnam to explore business relations in those countries. Many of the students who participated in the trip were members of the MBA 652 Global Business Seminar class taught by Kathy Bohley, Professor of International Business & Marketing.

Students had a business meeting in Hong Kong with Fidelity Investments, then traveled to Ho Chi Minh in Vietnam for a cultural tour, including a day trip to the Cu Chi tunnels, the Reunification Palace, the War Remnants Museum and the Mekong Delta, where they learned about the rice paper industry and other manufacturing in Vietnam. They also met with Intel Products leadership and toured Intel’s manufacturing facility, and met with the U.S. Commercial Services to discuss American business in Vietnam with a commercial officer. 

Jamaica

A small group of students teamed up with Intercollegiate YMCA and four other schools for a service trip to Mandeville, Jamaica where they volunteered at the Hanbury Home for Children. It was the first time Isabel Tintera ‘20 (criminal justice) had been out of the country, but that didn’t interfere with her excitement.

“Kids have always had a soft spot in my heart, so I was eager to hang out with them and hopefully impact their lives in a positive way. The experience was remarkable,” she said.

Jamaica spring break trip

Danielle Hendricks ‘18 (social work) hadn’t been involved in a service trip before, but said she was excited for the chance to get outside her comfort zone.

“I hope I impacted the children in the orphanage and made their day brighter than usual,” she said.

 

Scotland

Students from the Scottish Literature class spent the week across the pond, visiting sites related to this semester’s readings, including the home of Sir Walter Scott (after having read his novel Waverley) and the Isles of Mull and Iona, which are referenced in Robert Louis Stevenson’s novel Kidnapped.

“Having the opportunity to visit and explore the landscapes that inspired these authors really helped me and my classmates connect with the readings and heighten the level of our in-class discussions,” said Kara Wagoner ’19 (finance, professional writing). “In addition to all of the beautiful places we visited, I also enjoyed drinking delicious tea every morning and getting to know our bus driver, David, who had a wealth of knowledge to share with us.”

Scotland trip

Talk about a hands-on approach to learning!

 

Interested in service-learning opportunities? Learn more.

Interested in study abroad opportunities? Learn more.

UIndy Music Education program kicks off 2017 with national honors

The University of Indianapolis chapter of the National Association for Music Education (NAfME) recently was named the Outstanding Collegiate Chapter of the Year for Indiana. The honor is the fourth time the local chapter has received the award.

The NAfME award recognizes the University’s community outreach efforts to bring future music educators into classrooms, along with the program’s achievements throughout the year. University student-teachers impact up to 700 Indianapolis Public Schools students every year by assisting teachers in classrooms. The local chapter received the award at the Indiana Music Education Association/NAfME conference this month in Fort Wayne.

Michael Richardson at IMEA/NAfME conference

UIndy alum Michael Richardson (’10) presents a session at the Indiana Music Education Association/NAfME conference this month in Fort Wayne. (Photo courtesy Michael Richardson)

The recognition “validates everything that we as a faculty do and helps put UIndy on the map. It sets us apart from other universities,” said Brenda Clark, chair of the University of Indianapolis Music Education Department.

In addition to the chapter awards, juniors Charissa Catlin and Shaina Liv Lescano, both  instrumental music education majors, were two of five undergraduates from Indiana to receive the Outstanding Future Music Educator Award. With these awards, the University now boasts a total of 16 music education students who have been honored in the past decade.
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University forensics team identifying migrant remains, addressing humanitarian crisis

A University of Indianapolis research team in January continued the painstaking work to identify the remains of dozens of migrants who perished during the rough trek in to the United States.

Beyond Borders TeamSince 2013, Dr. Krista Latham, an associate professor of biology and anthropology, has led a team of University volunteers to Texas with hopes of identifying the remains of people who were buried in unmarked plots. The dead are migrants from Latin America discovered by landowners along the border between Mexico and the United States.   Read more

Quality of Life Plan poised to enhance South Indy

The University of Indianapolis will play a key role in implementing a recently completed Quality of Life plan impacting south Indianapolis, the result of a collaboration between campus, community and nearby businesses that began in February 2015. The plan was revealed during a Dec. 13 campus celebration.

Plan developers engaged more than 400 surrounding residents and business owners. From new walkways and urban gardens to additional healthcare facilities, housing options and job initiatives, the plan cites several critical needs defined by area residents. History, tradition and community development were common themes during the public meetings and outreach by neighborhood associations and community groups to formulate a “shared vision” of life in South Indianapolis, which since has been branded as SoIndy (www.soindy.org).

UIndy hosted a celebration recently to unveil a Quality of Life plan for improvements in South Indy. Campus, community and businesses all contributed to the effort.

UIndy hosted a celebration recently to unveil a Quality of Life plan for improvements in South Indy. Campus, community and businesses all contributed to the effort.

“Ultimately, this is Our plan together, and we will carry it out together,” Tedd Grain, deputy director of LISC, told a large group of stakeholders at the UIndy Health Pavilion. “We are so excited about celebrating the unique vibrancy of South Indy, and the Quality of Life plan will foster that.”

The University of Indianapolis is considered an anchor for the region, defined by the Quality of Life plan as eight-square blocks mostly north of I-465, west to Bluff Road, east to I-65 and south of Raymond Street. Target initiatives include Thriving Households, Healthy Communities and Talent and Trades.

“Along with many of our neighbors and the surrounding business community, UIndy is committed to being a catalyst for positive change in south Indianapolis,” said UIndy President Rob Manuel. “This Quality of Life plan showcases the wonderful people and amenities that make up this unique area and provides a foundation for what see as our future.”

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Thank you! #GivingTuesday goal exceeded

Over 250 pairs of socks were delivered to Laurelwood children as part of UIndy's Giving Tuesday support.  President Rob Manuel and mascot ACE were on hand to also greet the kids on November 29, 2016.

Over 250 pairs of socks were delivered to Laurelwood children as part of UIndy’s Giving Tuesday support. President Rob Manuel and mascot ACE were on hand to also greet the kids on November 29, 2016.

More than 290 alumni, students, parents, friends, faculty and staff came together to support the University’s motto—Education for Service—on #GivingTuesday with gifts totaling $19,231!

A Perfect Match…Starts with You was a campaign to recognize the strong connection University of Indianapolis students, faculty, staff and alumni have to service and to provide a chance for UIndy to give to the children at the Laurelwood housing community near the campus. When a $25 gift was made to UIndy on Tuesday, UIndy donated a pair of socks to the children at Laurelwood. Over 250 pairs of socks were delivered at the end of the day.

Gifts were received from 16 states and the number of donors who participated on Tuesday was a 50 percent increase from the previous year.

Visit the #GivingTuesday page to see more photos from Laurelwood and the final results.

UIndy joins global #GivingTuesday movement

givingtuesday-image

University of Indianapolis has joined #GivingTuesday, a global day of giving that harnesses the collective power of individuals, communities and organizations to encourage philanthropy and to celebrate generosity worldwide. A Perfect Match…Starts with You is a campaign that recognizes the strong connection University of Indianapolis students and alumni have to service and aims to give back to the kids at the Laurelwood housing community.

Occurring this year on November 29, #GivingTuesday is held annually on the Tuesday after Thanksgiving (in the U.S.) and the widely recognized shopping events Black Friday and Cyber Monday to kick-off the holiday giving season and inspire people to collaborate in improving their local communities and to give back in impactful ways to the charities and causes they support.

The University of Indianapolis has partnered with the Laurelwood Community, a low-income Indianapolis community in the University’s neighborhood that is home to a unique after-school program operated in partnership with University of Indianapolis students and the YMCA. One of the most essential but often overlooked needs children may have is a good pair of socks. When a $25 gift is made to the University of Indianapolis on #GivingTuesday, the donor will receive custom UIndy socks and the University will donate a pair to the children at Laurelwood.

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UIndy to celebrate the 241st Marine Corps birthday

marinebday

Join former Indianapolis Mayor and UIndy Visiting Fellow Greg Ballard for the 2016 Celebration of the 241st birthday of the Marine Corps on Thursday, November 10, at the University of Indianapolis. The celebration will be held at the Stierwalt Alumni House at 4 p.m.

On November 10, 1775, the Continental Congress resolved that two battalions of Marines be raised. Formal observance of the birthday of the Marine Corps began on November 10, 1921.

One of the greatest traditions is the passing of the first piece of cake to the oldest Marine present, who then passes the cake to the youngest Marine present. This gesture symbolizes the passing of knowledge from the experienced Marines to the new generation of Marines.

We hope you can join us for this special event to celebrate the 241st birthday of the Marine Corps and to honor those in our community who have served.

This free event is open to the public and you don’t need to be a Marine to attend. Online registration is requested. 

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