UIndy honors Martin Luther King Jr. Day with Pack Away Hunger project

Hundreds of University of Indianapolis faculty, staff, students and community members braved snowy streets to spend a morning packing thousands of meals for the hungry.

The third annual “Pack Away Hunger” service project in the Schwitzer Student Center honored Martin Luther King Jr. Day. Around 250 volunteers scooped, measured, weighed and packed 56,000 meals in just more than  two hours for Pack Away Hunger.

“We volunteered as a group. We wanted to do something together to help the community and we thought this would be a good opportunity,” said Ariel Callis ‘19 (nursing).said.

Hannah Amberger ’19 (nursing) said she appreciates the University’s focus on service learning.

“I’ve been involved in service projects since freshman year, when we did Super Saturday of Service. That opened me up to realizing the different ways I can give back to the community,” she said.



Pack Away Hunger works to battle hunger in Indianapolis and across the world by providing nutritious meals for families. Each Nutri-Plenty™ meal provides vitamins and minerals and contains a healthy mixture of rice, soy, vegetables and flavorings. The meals packed on Monday will be distributed to central Indiana food banks to feed families in the community.

After the service project, volunteers gathered for a time of conversation and reflection and enjoyed a lunch featuring King’s favorite foods.

President Rob Manuel thanked volunteers for venturing out in snowy weather to spend their day off giving back. He noted that the University completes more than 120,000 service hours in the community each year.

Several student groups volunteered for the 2018 Pack Away Hunger project, including the women’s basketball team and the Student Nurses Association.

 

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.

 

IndyGo to Host Red Line Transit Discussion on Campus

IndyGo will host a Transit Talk open house at 6 p.m. Tuesday, Jan. 30 on the University of Indianapolis campus to answer questions and give updates about the Red Line rapid transit project and other upcoming improvements.

A Red Line station is expected to open in 2019 near the University campus along Shelby Street, just north of Hanna Avenue.It will be one of 28 stops along the initial 13-mile route. Electric-powered, wifi-equipped buses will pick up passengers every 10 minutes, from 5 a.m. to 1 a.m., every day of the year.

Construction of the IndyGo’s Red Line also was a key improvement recommended from an intense neighborhood study conducted as part  of the South Indy Quality of Life Plan. The University has been one of the anchor organizations supporting these efforts.

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Having the Red Line on campus will support neighborhood growth and better connect students to downtown activities and additional networking opportunities. The University is a major employer on the south side and hosts more than 200 cultural attractions and events each year. In addition to providing more access to campus, the Red Line also will help students and residents in the area connect to downtown and other destination points across the city.

Traffic impacts on the south side are expected to be minimal, according to the IndyGo website.

IndyGo Transit Talk
6 p.m. Tuesday, Jan. 30
Schwitzer Student Center, University of Indianapolis
1400 E. Hanna Ave.

The Jan. 30 event is one of nine upcoming Transit Talks that will be hosted around the city of Indianapolis in early 2018, around the same time that Red Line construction will begin.

See the full list of upcoming Transit Talks.

 

Exhibition of women illustrators reveals limitless possibilities in a growing field

From digital animation to traditional illustrated media, a new exhibition at the University of Indianapolis celebrates the work of female artists from around the globe who make their living as illustrators.

“Illustration: Women Making A Mark” is an invitational exhibition of contemporary, award-winning illustrators that examines the practice of traditional and digital illustration across various genres, including editorial, publishing, advertising and merchandising. The exhibition, which is co-sponsored by Talbot Street Art Fair, runs from Jan. 16 through Feb. 9 in the Christel DeHaan Fine Arts Center gallery, with an opening reception from 4:00 to 6:00 p.m. on Jan. 22, followed by an Artist Talk with animator/filmmaker Jordan Bruner.

Randi Frye, assistant professor of art & design, curated the exhibition with the goal of creating an eye-opening experience for viewers. The featured artists boast an extensive client list, including news outlets such as The New York Times, Vanity Fair, and The Washington Post and book publishers like Harper Collins, Random House and Houghton Mifflin.

“The field of illustration has historically been a predominantly male-dominated field. However, many of these women included in the exhibition have decades of experience as prominent illustrators and have forged the way as leaders and mentors for the emerging artists who are part of the exhibition,” Frye said.

The exhibition also highlights the Department of Art & Design’s newest concentration within the studio art degree, animation/illustration, as it demonstrates the exciting possibilities for students who wish to blend their love for figurative art and storytelling.

“Animation and illustration are used to visually enhance narratives, which can range from advertising campaigns to graphic novels to animated films. With these possibilities in mind, the newest concentration offers our students the opportunity to leverage traditional and/or digital media and apply it to a broad range of genres and career possibilities,” Frye said.

The exhibition will feature animation reels, hand-painted art and mixed media from more than a dozen international artists from the United States, Italy and Canada, who range from emerging illustrators to women with decades of experience.

A discussion with artist Jordan Bruner will follow the reception, beginning at approximately 6:30 p.m. on Jan. 22 (Room 115, Christel DeHaan Fine Art Center). Bruner, an Emmy Award nominee based in New York, is a filmmaker and animator who has created music videos, commercials for Paul McCartney and Google, and animation for the documentary Waiting for Superman.

Prints will be available for purchase at the Jan. 22 reception.

See the full artist listing here.

 

University connects with international alumni in China

China Nov 2017The University of Indianapolis has connections in China, Brazil, Turkey and beyond that allow for the exchange of faculty members and students and other collaborative activities.

Through accredited partnerships with Chinese institutions, more than 1,200 Chinese students have achieved a University degree and about 200 students are pursuing degrees now, spending at least one year in Indianapolis. The program offers students from both countries the opportunity to pair their education with a cultural experience that will last a lifetime.

In November 2017, the University strengthened its connections in China by establishing the Chinese Student Alumni Association and hosting several student engagement events in China.

Three University employees: Executive Vice President & Provost Stephen Kolison, Associate Provost for International Engagement Jodie Ferise and Associate Vice President for International Partnerships Phylis Lin traveled to China, visiting four cities and hosting three events during their time abroad. Students and alumni from Ningbo Institute of Technology and Zhejiang Yuexiu University of Foreign Languages in Shaoxing attended.

“Our two joint programs in China (NIT & ZYU) have enhanced the University’s internationalization since 2004,” Lin said. “These two programs have also enhanced diversity on campus.”

“It’s important to remind someone half a world away that they’re still part of our UIndy community,” Ferise said. “These trips make sure there are touchpoints for students and graduates and allow us to continue building relationships.”

The group hosted the first-ever Alumni Day in Hangzhou, along with two UIndy Days for current students in Ningbo and Shaoxing. At each event, students shared their experiences, participated in social activities like tea ceremonies and music recitals and learned about news from the University. It was a chance to celebrate and network with current and former students and to make personal connections that wouldn’t be possible otherwise.

“It was very moving to hear the alumni stories,” Ferise said. “Every single one of them harkened back to their time and credited the University for where they are now. As professors, we want to think the things we put out in the universe matter, and this was proof they do.”

The exchange programs in China have been a pivotal part of the University’s international engagement portfolio for more than a decade, with plans in place for continued growth in the years ahead. Seven University of Indianapolis professors are now teaching at Chinese institutions.

As the faculty advisor for the program, Lin has been working hard to increase the University’s visibility in China, sending marketing materials for display and making five to six trips to China each year.

“The most vibrant universities are those that have living, breathing communities of people who remain connected to them,” Ferise said. “Opportunities for networking, student internships, future student employment and enhanced campus diversity – that’s what we want.”

The next trip to China is slated for March 2018.

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.

Alumnus designs Good Hall model for 2017 holiday card

Visual communication design graduate Daniel Del Real ’05 offered his creative talents for this year’s University of Indianapolis holiday card.

Daniel Del RealGood Hall was an easy subject choice for Del Real—it’s where he held his first public art show during his senior year and he attended classes there every semester as a student as well.

“UIndy has managed to keep that tradition going today,” Del Real said. “All students are still going into this building for classes during their time on campus.”

While designing the card, Del Real built a scale model of Good Hall and adorned the building with miniature holiday decorations, ribbons on the columns and artificial snow. He even provided lighting on the inside of the model. He said he drew his inspiration from a card he received from a friend depicting a Christmas village. Once the model was finished, he photographed it for the University’s holiday card.

“It’s really wonderful to give back to the University,” Del Real said. “My fours years at UIndy were some of the best years of my life. So, to see that it has come full circle, I was glad to create this for UIndy.”

Del Real explained his biggest challenge was getting the proportions right. To do this, he said he measured the windows on several images provided by the University to assign a scale for each detail of the building, including the bricks, molding, columns and steps. Watch this short video to hear about his creative process.  

Because renovations are underway to restore Good Hall’s two-story portico and six columns at the main entrance, Del Real said, “this is an opportunity for incoming students to really see the potential of the building with the portico.”

The scale model of Good Hall will be on display at the Krannert Memorial Library following the holiday break.

Del Real is the resident artist at the International Marketplace Coalition, working to forge relationships between businesses, community and artists through public art programs and installations that enrich the International Marketplace neighborhood on Indy’s northwest side.

He received the University’s Distinguished Young Alumni Award at the Honors & Recognition Dinner in September. He also partnered with current students to create greyhound vignettes that were on display at that Homecoming event.

University of Indianapolis faculty highlight migrant death crisis in new book

Latham’s work has brought national attention to the humanitarian crisis happening at the border.

Latham’s work has brought national attention to the humanitarian crisis happening at the U.S. southern border.

A unique new book by University of Indianapolis faculty sheds light on the migrant death crisis in the Texas Borderlands by discussing the circumstances that force people to flee their home countries to seek refuge in the United States – despite the perilous journey. The book also explores the reasons why migrant deaths have reached mass disaster proportions and the techniques employed by forensic scientists to locate and identify the dead.

“Sociopolitics of Migrant Death and Repatriation: Perspectives from Forensic Science” by Krista Latham, associate professor of biology and anthropology, and Alyson O’Daniel, assistant professor of anthropology, explores the migrant death crisis at the U.S. southern border, along with the forensic techniques utilized in this humanitarian crisis. The book focuses on situating the migrant death crisis and response within a broader sociopolitical framework by highlighting the challenges faced by forensic scientists working in this context and the techniques used by cultural anthropologists to contextualize the crisis.
 


“Sociopolitics of Migrant Death and Repatriation” includes chapters written by experts actively working on these issues and discusses how historically-driven conditions of social inequality, resource allocation and policy implementation have contributed to the crisis unfolding along the border today. Latham and O’Daniel organized a symposium based on the book at the 37th Annual Mountain, Desert & Coastal Forensic Anthropologists Meeting in 2017, where the work of ten of the contributing authors was presented and discussed.

“The main focus of the book is to better understand the crisis and the forensic science response as shaped and constrained by broad, systems-level processes of power,” said Latham, who also serves as the director of the University of Indianapolis Human Identification Center.

Latham’s work has brought national attention to the humanitarian crisis happening at the border. Latham and her graduate students on the University of Indianapolis Forensics Team have been working to uncover remains from unmarked grave sites and identify the bodies of those who have died while making the journey to the United States since 2013. In 2017, five Human Biology graduate students, two Anthropology undergraduate students and colleague O’Daniel traveled to Texas with Latham to participate in the project, and in January 2018, she will return to the area with another group of graduate students. (Read more about the project here.)

“Sociopolitics of Migrant Death and Repatriation” introduces readers to some of the forensic science techniques utilized in the migrant identifications, including forensic archaeology to recover the bodies and DNA analysis as a means of positive identification, among other techniques.

“Our authors together have traced how global and local political economic relationships shape what happens to marginalized migrants in life and in death. The picture that emerges is profoundly troubling, but it is not without hope and not without dedicated individuals who are indeed taking action,” O’Daniel said.

In restoring the names and memories of migrants whose identities would otherwise be unknown, Latham said the goal is to create a record that one day will work toward change and social justice.

“As professionals in forensic science, we are able to tell stories and document inequalities that may otherwise go unheard and unnoticed by the vast majority of Americans,” Latham said. “We see the imprints of  lifelong poverty on their bones and teeth. We see the love they have for their families in the photos and notes recovered in their pockets. We document the places they die and bear witness to the fact that these deaths are happening in staggering numbers.”

Follow Latham’s work in Texas here.


 

University of Indianapolis Class of 2017 encouraged to pursue passions

The University of Indianapolis held the inaugural December Commencement Ceremony on Saturday before a capacity crowd in Ransburg Auditorium.

Nearly 260 students graduated from the University in December, including 203 undergraduates, 50 graduate and 4 doctoral students. The total number of University of Indianapolis graduates for 2017 (May and December combined) stands at nearly 1,700 students from 24 countries, with 1,235 undergraduates, nearly 500 graduate and doctoral students, and 136 graduates at international partner sites.

President Rob L. Manuel encouraged graduates to seek balance, truth and engagement in their lives through creativity and passion. He also emphasized the importance of humor, humility and community when facing new challenges.

“I’ve seen the growth in your world views and your ability to engage with the most pressing questions of our time and to care for others in the process. I hope that in your time here, you learned not only what you want to be, but who you want to be,” Manuel said.

The ceremony included a full academic procession, musical performances by University faculty and the National Anthem performed by Kyleigh (Randolph) Hernandez ’17, (music education).

Congressman Andre Carson (D-IN) delivered the keynote address. He noted that it was a day of new beginnings and opportunities.

“The degree you’ll receive today is physical proof of the skills you’ve developed at the University of Indianapolis. It truly is an American commitment to better yourselves that will set the course for the rest of your lives. All of you had the determination and hope that you would succeed and that’s what’s central to making this country great,” Carson said.

Rep. Andre Carson (D-IN)

Rep. Andre Carson (D-IN)

Carson urged graduates to follow their passion. “Don’t ask what the world needs. Ask what makes you come alive,” he said. “It’s important that you continue to carry your mantels of success not only for yourselves but for your loved ones. By doing so you remain true to yourself and to those who love you the most.”

Jason Marshall, Indianapolis Student Government president, also served as a featured speaker. President Manuel credited Marshall and other student government leaders for their work in organizing the December Commencement Ceremony, which marks a new University tradition.

“We all have the capabilities and power to pursue our goals, to be successes in each of our individual endeavors – and how lucky we are to have obtained not only a degree, but a degree from the University of Indianapolis,” Marshall said.

President Manuel urged graduates to be confident in their professional pursuits.

2017_dec_grad__11331“Believe that you belong at the table where the most critical decisions are being made about our collective realities. You have a unique world perspective and a unique set of skills to employ in solving those issues,” he said.

He also encouraged new alumni to stay connected with the UIndy family.

“You’re not just a graduate from UIndy. You’re now and forever a part of our story,” Manuel said.

 

 

 

Tomorrow’s leaders explore international affairs with former Senator Lugar

More than 400 high school students from across Indiana soaked in valuable insight on the most pressing issues of our time during a special presentation by former Sen. Richard G. Lugar, who hosted an annual leadership symposium at the University of Indianapolis.

More than 60 Hoosier counties were represented at the 41st annual Richard G. Lugar Symposium for Tomorrow’s Leaders, hosted in December 2017 by the Lugar Academy at the University. The tradition allows select high school students to hear from one of the most distinguished minds on policy and domestic and global affairs.

“I look forward to this event each year because I am able to interact with students interested in leadership and making a difference,” said Lugar, a Distinguished Trustee at the University. “These are some of the next great leaders in Indiana and perhaps the country.”

“I hope to help spark the thought that would lead to them running for office or taking some public office for service one day,” Lugar added.

Julia Garrard, a senior from Lebanon High School, was honored by Lugar as this year’s recipient of the Richard G. Lugar Distinguished Student Leadership Award. The $1,000 award recognizes one Indiana high school senior each year for leadership and community service activities.

From partisan politics and climate change to trade agreements and immigration, Lugar provided insight on many of the hot-button issues facing society today. He agreed partisanship continues to be a major stumbling block to the legislative progress, but he said this is not a new phenomenon: The difference today is the power of special interests overshadowing the constituencies of elected officials.

Lugar often mentioned the work of the Lugar Center, a think tank group that issues the Bipartisan Index each year to rank Congress members on how often they work across party lines.

The 85-year-old Lugar, who served for 36 years in the U.S. Senate (including as a leader on the Committee on Foreign Affairs), led a spirited Q and A session, touching on many topics important to young people. Among his messages: Manmade climate change is real. International trade is critical for international relations. DACA children should be protected. North Korea is an extreme danger to the world.

President Robert L. Manuel praised Lugar for his continued commitment to the next generation of leaders and to the University. Lugar is a former professor of political science and holds a honorary degree from the University of Indianapolis.

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