Sabrina Camargo ’21 (psychology / criminal justice / sociology)

Congratulations to the University of Indianapolis Class of 2021! Meet Sabrina, one of our outstanding seniors:


Sabrina CamargoGraduation: May 2021

Major: Psychology and Criminal Justice with concentrations in clinical counseling studies (PSY) and law enforcement (CJ) 

Minor: Sociology 

Extracurriculars: During my second year at UIndy, a new instructor started the Sociology Club, where I became the co-social media coordinator, the secretary my 3rd year, and president during my senior year. I have been able to see the club grow from the beginning. 

Future plans: I am on a 4+1 track to graduate with a MA in Applied Sociology in May 2022. I am passionate about working with the Hispanic/Latinx community and hope to find a career helping that community after graduating with my MA. 

How you’ve grown at UIndy: Each program has taught me to never settle and to continue searching for answers for what may be unknown. I started out my freshman year with no interest in research, but slowly learned the power of research and its importance. It has taught me to always stay curious about the world around us. 

UIndy mentors: I have been fortunate enough to have several faculty members who have guided me and helped shape me into the student and person that I am. From the Psychology Dept. Dr. Loria always went above and beyond to help me apply my interests in my work. In the Criminal Justice Dept. Dr. Biggs was always a fantastic instructor who also helped me see how my degree in criminal justice could be applied in other areas the law enforcement. However, the Sociology Dept. is really where I felt at home. Dr. Wynn, Dr. Ziff, Professor Mouser, and Dr. Miller have all helped me truly grasp my passions and how I can apply them outside of the classroom. 

Favorite thing about UIndy: It has always felt like home. Carrying the Mexican Flag during the Celebration of the Flags my junior year will forever be my favorite memory of UIndy. UIndy appreciates diversity, which is why I felt at home. 

Advice to incoming freshmen: Never to be afraid to nerd out. College is the time and place where you are meant to learn and pursue your passions!

Get to know more Greyhounds from the Class of 2021

Announcing the Strain Honors College Faculty Fellows

UIndy Honors College crest 2019

Five University of Indianapolis faculty members have been named Ron & Laura Strain Honors College Faculty Fellows. The three-year terms begin during the 2021 academic year. 

The primary purpose of the fellowship is to support the students of the Strain Honors College through teaching and mentorship or service. Strain Honors Faculty Fellows are expected to teach at least three credit hours of Honors coursework per semester and produce additional contributions related to student scholarship, mentoring, advocacy, and more. 

“This new fellows program will create a stable cohort of faculty dedicated to teaching and thinking about Honors, as well as serving Honors students in other capacities. This helps to resolve a long-standing issue about how Honors functions on our campus,” said Jim Williams, executive director of the Ron and Laura Strain Honors College and associate professor of history. 

Get to know each Fellow and learn about their goals for the fellowship:

Miller,_Emily History PoliSci UIndyEmily G. Miller
Instructor of Practice
History and Political Science Department

  • Former UIndy Honors College student (‘Theory of multiple intelligences in relation to social studies’ was published in 2001)
  • Selected to write curriculum for the Fred T. Korematsu Institute in California to commemorate the 75th anniversary of the Supreme Court case Korematsu v. U.S.
  • Will be teaching an Honors class to explore stories related to World War II on the US homefront, especially making connections between minority participation in the war and the power movements of the 1960s.
  • Passionate about acting as a diversity, equity, and inclusion advocate for Honors students and faculty

“I am encouraged by the call for diversity, and I appreciate the commitment to a theme on inequity because the experiences of World War II have played a significant role in racial progress that has impacted my life and that of many others.”


Milne,_Marc Biology UIndyMarc A. Milne
Associate Professor
Department of Biology

  • Directs part of the General Biology program, teaches upper- and lower level biology and honors biology courses, and supervises a productive undergraduate lab
  • Will be teaching an Honors Introduction to the Diversity of Life course that will explore the origination, evolution, and diversification of life on earth
  • Has mentored Honors and non-honors students on research related to the ecology of arthropods in nearby forests, the identification of spiders to species from various parts of North America, the illustration of specimens for new species descriptions, and the extraction, amplification, and sequencing of spider DNA for phylogenetic analyses

“Through promoting and advancing the diversity and inclusionary policies of the Honors College, supporting Honors research, and serving on the Honors committee, I hope to enhance my support of the Strain Honors College through this position.”


Nicholas Soltis, Physics and Earth Space Science UIndyNicholas Soltis
Assistant Professor
Physics & Earth Space Science

  • Interdisciplinary researcher whose work bridges the gap between geology, environmental science, and education
  • Works closely with the School of Education and contributes to the Elementary Education STEM program; has six years of experience as a middle school math and science teacher
  • Engages in research on how individuals conceptualize complex Earth systems as well as interdisciplinary biogeochemistry research working to understand the relationship between low-rank coal-hosting aquifers and kidney disease in the U.S. Gulf Coast Region
  • Partners with GeoFORCE to bring high school students from underrepresented and historically marginalized groups into summer field trips to broaden the participation of diverse groups in the geosciences

“One thing I love about my job at UIndy is that I get to teach a wide variety of students about how amazing our planet is through my introductory Earth Science classes that also fulfill the university’s natural science requirement.”


Jordan Sparks Waldron Psychology UIndyJordan Sparks Waldron
Assistant Professor
Department of Psychological Sciences

  • Facilitates internship and research opportunities as the practicum coordinator for the undergraduate and masters in psychology programs
  • Has mentored undergraduate and graduate students on research projects related to factors that impact mental health stigma
  • Received the Honors Mentor of the Year Award in 2019 for her work advising honors students on their projects
  • Excited to develop new honors offerings for students of psychology
  • Looks forward to intentionally supporting and mentoring students through connections made inside the classroom

“Being able to mentor students in research is a vital part of my scholarship and I loved the connection between my role as a teacher and my role as a research mentor that I experienced through teaching in honors.”


Ziff,_Elizabeth_(Liz) Sociology UIndyElizabeth Ziff
Assistant Professor
Department of Sociology

  • Teaches an Honors First-Year Seminar course on inequality and is mentoring two students on the development of their honors project proposals focused on medical malpractice and microaggressions against female athletes
  • Co-faculty advisor for UIndy Pride, faculty advisor for Sociology Club, and member of the Inclusive Excellence Strategic Leadership Coalition
  • Committed to interdisciplinary study and engagement; maintaining diversity in the curriculum and being a voice for underrepresented groups when crafting policies and initiatives at all levels
  • Excited for the opportunity to work closely with a community of young scholars who are eager to be challenged in their studies

“My approach to honors education is to emphasize the process of knowledge production and reproduction, generate intellectual curiosity, and craft ownership of one’s intellectual pursuits.”

Music Therapy students providing telehealth services

This summer, the University of Indianapolis Music Therapy Program students provided music therapy sessions under the supervision of board-certified music therapists via teletherapy platforms.  Music therapy students are required to obtain a minimum of 180 pre-clinical hours at the undergraduate level before moving onto their 6-month internship. 

Here’s what music therapy majors Moira John ‘21 and Paulina Beleckaite ‘21 had to say about their experience this summer.

moira IMG-7995

Q: Why is music therapy so important?

John: Music therapy is important because it aids with healing people emotionally, physically, and spiritually. Many people already have a strong relationship with music so it is easier to be connected with therapy when music is involved. Oftentimes, the client does not even feel like they are in therapy, just sharing music!

Beleckaite: Music therapy is important for a variety of reasons. It helps our clients/patients work on and potentially reach whatever goals they are working towards through the use of music. These goals can include social, emotional, motor skills, cognitive, educational, communication, and anything that is beneficial for the client to improve their quality of life.

Q: What was the hardest part of conducting music therapy virtually?

John: It is hard to keep clients engaged when you are not in front of them and in person. It’s easier to track data and gain someone’s attention when you are there in front of them, but when we are just on a screen it is easier for the client to lose focus.

Beleckaite: The hardest part of virtual music therapy was not being able to be with the client in person and having that face-to-face interaction. Another difficulty was the lag that was present during the sessions, especially when playing/singing music together with the client. However, my client was in a different state, so a positive of teletherapy was being able to connect and still have successful sessions no matter our locations.

Q: Anything else you’d like to add?

Beleckaite:  I am currently an intern at Peyton Manning Children’s Hospital! For the music therapy degree, students have to complete a six-month internship after their four years of undergrad, in order to be eligible to sit for the board certification exam and become a board-certified music therapist (MT-BC). The internship can be done at any approved music therapy internship site, and I’ve always loved kids and been interested in the hospital setting, so I am super grateful to be interning at my dream place!

Senior Spotlight: Delanie Kent ’20 (criminal justice)

Delanie Kent

While the spring semester has been impacted greatly by the coronavirus pandemic, many Greyhound seniors are putting a ‘cap’ on their UIndy careers before the conferral of their diplomas this summer. Please enjoy the entries in this year’s “Senior Spotlight” series, as we celebrate these soon-to-be Greyhound graduates.


“UIndy has shown me what I’m capable of,” says Delanie Kent ’20 (criminal justice). Kent has kept herself busy during her four years at UIndy, being an active participant in the criminal justice program while also participating in extra-curricular activities and volunteering her time coaching volleyball and working multiple jobs.

A lesson she learned early on was to leave no opportunity unexplored. “Freshmen should go all in. Utilize the resources given to you: tutoring labs, RAs, faculty and staff, ProEdge, and so much more. Show up to events. Go to hall meetings,” she said. “You’ll make new friends that will last you a lifetime.”

Kent, who has a case management job lined up after graduation, hopes to put her degree, which has a concentration in corrections, to work at a police department as a K-9 officer, or potentially get into administration at a prison or jail. Her experience in the criminal justice department at UIndy opened her eyes to the career possibilities.

“The program has been incredible,” she said. “We have a crime scene lab that gives all criminal justice students a hands-on experience with solving crimes.” 

Like many UIndy students, one of the standout qualities about her time at UIndy is her experience working with faculty. “Our professors are always willing to talk with us, tell us their opinion, and help us in any way we may need, as well as give us resources to help ourselves,” she said. “The program has helped connect me with professionals and opened my eyes to the different career paths I am capable of pursuing.”

Kent was an active member of Alpha Phi Sigma, the criminal justice national honor society. She served as both secretary and president during her time at UIndy. “We put on successful events, such as ‘K-9s on Campus,’ which helped connect me with professionals and community leaders and helped us all find ways how we can try to impact the community,” she said.

Kent also took on a challenging internship with the Marion County Juvenile Detention Center (MCJDC). “I learned about the procedures and how to deal with residents of the juvenile detention center, but also how to understand them from an emotional and psychological side,” said Kent, who will also graduate with a minor in psychology.

Her time at the MCJDC helped her discover a passion for helping juveniles and also taught her valuable life lessons. “Everyone can flourish depending on the resources and support that they have,” she said. “This also strengthened my patience and understanding of the issues we have in our own neighborhood”

Kent leaves UIndy as a person with a purpose. Her education during her time at UIndy, both inside the classroom and out, helped her discover her passions and set her off on a path to use that education to serve her community.

“I have found the woman I want to be in this lifetime because of how I was pushed, and shown by the faculty and staff what I can accomplish,” she said. “UIndy is full of opportunities, and people with the desire to push you to success.

Learn more about the criminal justice program at the University of Indianapolis.



University of Indianapolis professor explores Midwestern winery boom in new book

If you’ve ever dreamed of quitting your job to start a winery, you’ll first want to read Jim Pennell’s Local Vino: The Winery Boom in the Heartland.

Local Vino: The Winery Boom in the Heartland by Prof. James Pennell will be available in stores March 6, 2017.

Local Vino: The Winery Boom in the Heartland by Prof. James Pennell will be available in stores March 6, 2017.

Pennell, a professor of sociology at the University of Indianapolis and Co-Director of the Community Research Center, explores the challenges and rewards of operating a winery in his new book published by the University of Illinois Press. Now in his 19th year teaching at the University of Indianapolis, Pennell specializes in social and institutional change, organizations and work, social theory and qualitative research methods.

“I wanted to honor the winery owners. They’ve done an amazing thing,” said Pennell, who spent five years chronicling the success of Midwestern wineries in Indiana, Illinois, Iowa and Ohio. He visited 64 wineries in the course of his research.
Read more

Sociology professor weighs in on sin across America



Indianapolis doesn’t break the list of the top 50 most sinful cities in America, but defining bad behavior can vary greatly across the country, according to a recent study posted to

UIndy’s Dr. Amanda Miller, associate professor of sociology, was one of several experts polled in the study as it looked at people behaving badly in the 150 most populated U.S. cities. The study ranked cities in categories ranging from “excessive drinking” to “violent crimes per capita” and asked several academics to help explain why some behavior is viewed more negatively based on local culture.

As the results indicate, not all American vices are created equally. Read the full article.

Using arts to improve the quality of life of older adults

The University of Indianapolis Center for Aging & Community (CAC) has received a $600,000 contract from the Indiana State Department of Health to design, implement, and coordinate a project that will improve the quality of life of older adults living in long-term care facilities through the use of the arts.

The Expressive Arts in Long Term Care project will educate long term care professionals in best practices for using visual art, dance, drama, music, writing/memoir in individual and group settings for residents living in long-term care facilities.

“We have assembled an outstanding team of faculty for this project,” said CAC Senior Projects Director Ellen Burton, MPH. “The arts are a key way to enhance the quality of life for older adults, especially those living in nursing facilities. By focusing on the wide spectrum of the expressive arts, we can help Indiana’s long-term care facilities offer meaningful experiences to their residents.”

CAC will host a total of six training workshops around the state, each four days in length. Faculty for the Expressive Arts in Long-Term Care project include:

  • Visual Art: Sarah Tirey, BFA, Associate Adjunct Faculty of Art & Design, University of Indianapolis
  • Dance: Heidi Fledderjohn, MA, BC-DMT, RYT, Dance/Movement Therapist, Facilitator and Teacher, Know Wonder, St. Vincent Health, Still Waters Adult Day Center
  • Drama: Sally Bailey, MFA, MSW, RDT/BCT, Professor of Theater and Gerontology and Director of the Drama Therapy, Kansas State University
  • Music: Rebecca Sorley, DA, Professor of Music, Director of Student Support, and Coordinator of the Music Business Concentration, University of Indianapolis
  • Writing and Memoir: Katharine Houpt, MAAT, ATR, LCPC, director of an expressive arts therapy program at a nursing facility in Illinois

The first workshop is scheduled to take place in Indianapolis November 14-16 and November 29, 2016. The cost is $100 for the four days. Long-term care professionals interested in registering may do so here.

Five additional workshops will be scheduled and held throughout the state. Each workshop is limited to 50 participants. There will also be two “train-the-trainer” workshops, two-day sessions developed to ensure sustainability for the teaching of expressive arts beyond the scope of this project.

Former U.S. Surgeon General Dr. Joycelyn Elders to speak Sept. 29

Joycelyn_Elders_official_photo_portraitThe first University Series event this semester will feature former U.S. Surgeon General Dr. Joycelyn Elders as part of UIndy’s 2016 Katherine Ratliff Symposium.

“Dr. Joycelyn Elders: Healthcare Issues in the Minority Community” is scheduled for 7 p.m. Thursday, September 29, in Christel DeHaan Fine Arts Center’s Ruth Lilly Performance Hall. This free event is open to the public and L/P credit is available to UIndy students. Online registration is requested. Symposium Workshops will take place on Friday, September 30, from 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. Panelists from multiple disciplines will discuss current health care disparities and what can be done to address these issues. Visit this page to register for the Friday workshop. For questions about the symposium, please contact Heini Seo at

Dr. Elders was the first African American woman to hold the position of U.S. Surgeon General. She was known for her outspoken views and she served only 15 months before being forced to resign in 1994 as a result of her controversial remark about sex education. She is currently a professor emerita of pediatrics at the University of Arkansas for Medical Sciences.

The Katherine Ratliff Memorial Conference on Ethics, Values and Human Responsibility was established in memory of Dr. Katharine G. “Kate” Ratliff. Dr. Ratliff was a University of Indianapolis faculty member from 1985 through 1990. She was a licensed clinical psychologist and taught psychology courses in the Department of Behavioral Sciences.  She was a tireless advocate for her students and clients and embodied a commitment to social justice and social responsibility.

In the news: Sociology, Education, Poli Sci

Miller on Aussie TVDr. Amanda Miller‘s research on relationships continues to gain attention — even “down under.”

Miller, associate professor of Sociology, was interviewed via satellite recently for The Morning Show, which is, not suprisingly, a morning show on Australian TV’s Seven Network. She and the perky hosts discussed how sharing household chores can help heat up the romance between domestic partners. Watch the clip



Dr. Nancy Steffel, professor in the School of Education, penned an opinion column for the latest issue of The Costco Connection, the nation’s largest-circulation monthly print publication, with 8.5 million subscribers in the U.S. and 13 million readers worldwide.

For a regular point-counterpoint feature in the magazine, Steffel took the “no” side of the question “Should homework be eliminated in elementary school?” She stressed, however, that homework for young kids is most effective as a family activity that demonstrates the relevance of the schoolwork. Her nuanced response can be read at this link.



Dr. Laura Albright, assistant professor of Political Science, has become one of central Indiana’s most sought-after political analysts, averaging multiple TV and radio interviews each day during the recent Republican and Democratic national conventions. Outside the local media, she spoke recently with The Atlantic magazine for a story headlined “America’s Next Chief Executive?”

And today, Albright was featured again nationally through “The Academic Minute,” a daily audio essay that airs throughout New England via the WAMC public radio network and also appears in the popular Inside Higher Ed e-newsletter. She spoke about one of her favorite research subjects, former Alabama Gov. Lurleen Wallace, and her niche in the history of women in American politics. Listen here

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