The Bickel family: Following in the footsteps of UIndy tradition

From left: Tyler, Cindy and Joe Bickel

From left: Tyler, Cindy and Joe Bickel

As UIndy Family Weekend approaches, the Bickel family of Carmel is sharing memories and looking forward to the future. Married for 22 years, Joe ’93 and Cindy Bickel ’93 first met as undergraduates at the University – and the family ties to UIndy go even further.

Joe and Cindy are all smiles when asked about how they met. Joe was working as an RA helping freshmen (including his brother Scott) move into the residence halls.

“I was helping my brother move into what was called North Hall at the time. I see this cute blonde walk by, and I’m thinking I’d like to get to know her, maybe,” he grinned. “Later on in the day, we happened to meet and I just said ‘hi’ to her. That evening, all the freshmen came over for the freshman dance. I thought if I happen to see her come into the Schwitzer Center, I’ll ask her to dance with me.”

He didn’t have to wait long.

“That evening, she came walking in with a bunch of friends and I asked her to dance. That went on and we dated through college,” said Joe.

The University’s criminal justice program, which recently celebrated its 45th anniversary, has played a major role in the lives of Joe and his brother Scott Bickel ’94, both of whom went on to pursue law enforcement careers after graduating from UIndy with degrees in criminal justice. Now Joe’s son Tyler ’21 is following in the family footsteps in a place that feels like home.

“UIndy gives you a very welcoming feeling in a friendly environment,” said Tyler.

The UIndy ties are strong in this family. Cindy graduated with a major in business and a minor in accounting in 1993. His brother Scott ’94 (criminal justice) and sister-in-law Steph (education) are UIndy alumni, and Cindy’s brother is also a graduate.

Tyler appreciates those family connections.

“Having both my parents as UIndy graduates, they’ve given me personal tips on UIndy – how to survive the first year. ‘You’re on your own now but we’re still looking out for you,’” he said.

Joe, a lieutenant with the Carmel Police Department, grew up in a law enforcement family and knew from a young age he wanted to be a police officer. He took a position with Carmel PD a year after graduating from UIndy. He’s served in several different roles at Carmel PD, including field training officer, community outreach, public information, hiring and recruiting and crime scene investigators supervisor.

Along with personal connections, Joe created important professional relationships through UIndy’s criminal justice program. Dennis Williams, assistant professor of criminal justice, was Joe’s law enforcement advisor who helped him obtain internships with Indiana State Police and the U.S. Customs Service.

“He was an awesome mentor and professor,” said Joe.

The Bickels have another son, Josh, who is a junior at Carmel High School.

Indianapolis Quartet launches fall performance schedule

The Indianapolis Quartet (TIQ) photo session in the Ruth Lilly Performance Hall  on Tuesday, August 29, 2017.   TIQ is the resident string quartet at the University of Indianapolis and consists of prominent local classical musicians Zachary De Pue, Joana Genova, Michael Isaac Strauss, and Austin Huntington.  (Photo:  D. Todd Moore, University of Indianapolis)

The Indianapolis Quartet (TIQ) photo session in the Ruth Lilly Performance Hall on Tuesday, August 29, 2017. TIQ is the resident string quartet at the University of Indianapolis and consists of prominent local classical musicians Zachary De Pue, Joana Genova, Michael Isaac Strauss, and Austin Huntington. (Photo: D. Todd Moore, University of Indianapolis)

The Indianapolis Quartet returns Oct. 2 to perform at the University of Indianapolis, showcasing the world-class talent of the ensemble and the continuing partnership with the Indianapolis Symphony Orchestra.

The Quartet, launched in 2016 and featuring University music faculty and ISO musicians, has established itself as a marquee group in the regional musical community. Its members have earned international acclaim and reputations as being among the most elite musicians in the area. With renewed support from the Christel DeHaan Family Foundation, the Quartet will continue to expand its audience, nationally and internationally.

“The Indianapolis Quartet features some of the best musicians in the world who have set forth on a trajectory for growth that will extend well beyond Indiana as the ensemble becomes synonymous with musical excellence,” said Brenda Clark, chair of the Department of Music at the University of Indianapolis.

The Quartet will deliver a free performance at 7:30 p.m. tonight in the Ruth Lilly Performance Hall in the Christel DeHaan Fine Arts Center. RSVP is requested.

The performance will include major works associated with Vienna, from the classical procedures in Beethoven’s G-Major Quartet, Op. 18, No. 2, to the lyrical intensity of Johannes Brahms in his A-minor Quartet, Op. 51, No.2. The three-time, Grammy-nominated clarinetist Todd Palmer joins the Quartet for Mozart’s eloquent 1789 masterpiece, the Quintet for clarinet and strings, K. 581.

The Quartet consists of ISO concertmaster Zachary DePue, Joana Genova, second violinist violist Michael Isaac Straus and ISO principal cellist Austin Huntington. Genova recently joined the University as visiting instructor and director of Chamber Music initiatives and brings a wealth of international success as a musician, both in Europe and the United States. Genova most recently served as principal second violin Berkshire Symphony Orchestra is former concertmaster of the Manchester Festival Orchestra and member of the Brooklyn Philharmonic. Detailed information on the Quartet can be found at

The Christel DeHaan Family Foundation recently awarded a $100,000 grant to support the Quartet. The DeHaan family is a longtime supporter of the Indianapolis arts community, including the University of Indianapolis. Christel DeHaan is the namesake of the Christel DeHaan Fine Arts Center, where more than 120 performances take place each year, entertaining more than 10,000 people.

“The University is extremely thankful to the DeHaan Family Foundation for its continued support, which will be critical to achieving the vision for the Indianapolis Quartet. The goal is to enhance the cultural fabric of our city and region through both performance and educational outreach,” said University President Robert L. Manuel.

For more information about the Quartet performance and other cultural events, please visit


The University of Indianapolis mascot Ace and students set a new GUINNESS WORLD RECORDS (TM) title for the Most High Fives Given by a Mascot in One Minute.

Ace the mascot hit 128 high fives during halftime at the UIndy Homecoming game at Key Stadium Saturday night, breaking the previous record of 121. A GUINNESS WORLD RECORDS adjudicator was on site to certify the results of the record-breaking attempt.

The No. 10 Greyhounds notched another victory to go 5-0, beating Truman State University 34-19.

Media coverage:
WTHR: UIndy sets new Guinness world record for high fives

University of Indianapolis Department of Criminal Justice celebrates 45th anniversary

UIndy hosted the Indianapolis-Marion County Forensics Services Agency for a training exercise on Thursday, August 17, 2017. (Photo: D. Todd Moore, University of Indianapolis)

UIndy hosted the Indianapolis-Marion County Forensics Services Agency for a training exercise on Thursday, August 17, 2017. (Photo: D. Todd Moore, University of Indianapolis)

The University of Indianapolis Department of Criminal Justice marks an important milestone during Homecoming Weekend. The University is celebrating the department’s 45th anniversary, making it one of the longest-running criminal justice programs in the state.

An anniversary celebration will be held from 1:30 to 2:30 p.m. on Saturday, Sept. 30, 2017, at the President’s Home (4051 Otterbein Ave., Indianapolis, Ind. 46227). Register here for this event.

Guests will learn about the future Criminal Justice Education Lab, which will provide a space for training simulations for UIndy students as well as city police departments and investigators. Students, faculty and alumni are invited to enjoy special crime lab activities with long-time faculty member Dennis Williams, new faculty member Bruce Biggs and University of Indianapolis President Emeritus Gene Sease.

Demand is growing for criminal justice graduates, and the University of Indianapolis has responded with exciting new opportunities available within the major, said Kevin Whiteacre, associate professor and chair of the criminal justice program. The program has expanded to include the loss prevention and cyber security tracks, added in 2015. A crime scene investigation (CSI) track will be offered in fall 2018.

The University of Indianapolis was the first university in the state to develop a partnership with the Indiana Law Enforcement Agency (ILEA), which led to UIndy’s badge and bachelor’s program in 1996. UIndy criminal justice graduates are qualified to be hired as police officers, provided they complete training at the Indiana Law Enforcement Academy. Since 1997, the University in partnership with ILEA has graduated 70 students.

UIndy criminal justice majors who are pursuing a concentration in law enforcement can attend the ILEA their senior year. Whiteacre points out the distinct advantage this opportunity provides for graduates.

“Law enforcement agencies don’t have to pay for candidates who graduate from UIndy’s criminal justice program to attend the Academy, because they have already completed their training – so they’re more likely to get the job,” Whiteacre said.

New tracks including loss prevention offer numerous career choices for graduates. Logan Britton ’17, was one of the University’s first criminal justice graduates with a concentration in loss prevention. Britton credits the University’s Professional Edge Center and Whiteacre’s networking efforts in assisting his job search, which led to his current position at an Indiana-area Macy’s store as a loss prevention detective.

“I’ve talked to many other criminal justice students from different schools and no other school will help you get the experience and know-how you need to get a good job in your career path,” Britton said.

The criminal justice program takes an interdisciplinary perspective to offer students a broad range of skills. Students enrolled in the loss prevention track also take a business analytics class. The cyber security track includes coding classes taught by computer science faculty.

Partnerships and collaboration with accrediting agencies are an important aspect of the program, Whiteacre said. The loss prevention track, developed in partnership with the National Loss Prevention Foundation,  includes Loss Prevention Qualified accreditation (LPQ) as part of the curriculum. The new CSI track, developed in consultation with IMCFSA, ensures graduates will meet Indianapolis-Marion County Forensic Services Agency’s accreditation requirements for hiring crime scene techs.

“Our course offerings provide our students with the credentials for their accreditation needs. We are always reaching out and collaborating with external partners in the field to develop the program,” Whiteacre said.

Internship brings engineering career into focus

Jake Smith '20 (industrial engineering)

Jake Smith ’20 (industrial engineering)

Jake Smith ’20 (industrial engineering) knew he was making an impression at his internship last summer when his colleagues admiringly compared him to a “Swiss Army knife.” Learning every aspect of the operation turned out to be the key to his success.

“It was everything from, ‘Hey, Jake, there’s some excess scrap metal on the floor to ‘We have a new client, so we need this design and all of our engineers are working on it but we need extra help,’” Smith explained.

The Brownsburg, Ind., native transferred to the University of Indianapolis in fall 2017 to study industrial engineering at the R. B. Annis School of Engineering. UIndy’s student-faculty ratio (12:1) appealed to him after he spent his freshman year at the University of Iowa, where there were up to 400 students in each engineering class. After taking a summer design class with Jose Sanchez, director of engineering programs, Smith knew UIndy was the right move.

“Everybody has the same goal – they want you to succeed just as much as you do,” he said.

For Sanchez, that goal is for engineering students to emerge as problem solvers and critical thinkers, not just graduates trained out of a textbook. The hands-on learning in the R.B. Annis School of Engineering helps students to have an immediate impact in internships and future career opportunities.

Smith said his paid internship with Eagle Oxide Services, a subsidiary of Shelbyville-based Capital Industries, provided a valuable perspective. He played tennis and baseball year-round growing up and never had the opportunity for a part-time job. His internship was an eye-opening experience.

“It gives you a broad idea of the business field and the work life. It really just shows you what you’re about to get into. The work ethic builds on you,” he said.

The internship also gave Smith the opportunity to develop his communication skills, especially when consulting more experienced colleagues before making decisions about ordering or researching expensive parts.

“If it doesn’t match up, your company just lost $500,000 and it’s not on anybody but yourself. You’ve got to talk to higher-up powers and people who have been there to learn the way,” he said.

Smith’s successful internship got him invited back for future summers. He’s also looking into the possibility of other internships, including the Lilly summer replacement program, which is available to relatives of Lilly employees. Smith’s father worked at Lilly for 37 years as a chemical and industrial engineer.

Smith said he was excited that “there are so many options” in his chosen career field of industrial engineering.

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