University UpdatesWinter 2012

Winter 2012: CELL, Communication, Ecumenical & Interfaith, English, History & Political Science, Honors College, Kinesiology

Center of Excellence in Leadership of Learning: Celebrating a successful decade

The Indianapolis Business Journal named UIndy President Beverley J. Pitts and CELL Executive Director David Dresslar in its list of Who’s Who in Education in Indiana. They were nominated because of their efforts to improve student achievement and exemplify educational leadership.

In November CELL hosted its seventh Indiana Education Transformation Conference, “Indiana’s Future: Navigating New Demands & New Directions.” The conference brought together teachers, business and community leaders, and policymakers to promote efforts to improve education. More than 80 presentations from national experts and local leaders focused on education transformation.

September marked CELL’s 10th anniversary of providing innovative education transformation. CELL featured former staff members and education and business leaders across the state while recognizing a decade of successful education change efforts.

In November the research team at CELL released the Research Report for Fourth-Year Implementation of New Technology High Schools in Indiana. The annual report continues to find high student engagement, teacher leadership, and positive student culture with the model.

Also in November, the team presented a paper on teacher leadership in New Tech High School at the University Council for Educational Administration in Pittsburgh.

By the end of 2011, CELL will have provided $2.5 million in grants through the American Recovery and Reinvestment Act State Fiscal Stabilization Fund to 18 New Tech High Schools across the state. Now at 19 schools, Indiana houses more New Techs than any other state.

Communication: Champion of the challenges

In August Jeanne Criswell presented “Challenging Students, Challenging Times, and the Critical Voyage of Journalism Education” at the Association for Education in Journalism and Mass Communication national conference in St. Louis. She also received the Best Reviewer Award from the Cultural and Critical Studies Division of AEJMC at the conference. She served as the organizer, moderator, and presenter for the “Connecting with the Newspaper Course” panel on October 27 at the ACP/CMA National College Media Convention.

Top Dog indeed! Student PR firm claims national honor
Top Dog Communication, UIndy’s student-run public relations agency, has been named Outstanding Chapter Firm for 2011 by the Public Relations Student Society of America. The award, presented October 17 at PRSSA’s National Conference in Orlando, Fla., recognizes one student chapter nationwide for the quality and impact of its work on behalf of clients and for the professional development opportunities it provides for the student staff. Top Dog’s entry covered work done during the 2010–11 academic year for clients including USA Gymnastics, Christel House Academy, Girls Inc., March of Dimes of Indiana, Crossroads of America, Teachers’ Treasures, Open Door Health Services, and University Heights Neighborhood Association. The firm was led last year by student director Tim Coxey ’11 and managers Christi Butler, Matt Bryant, and Ashley Roy. Assistant Professor of Communication Rebecca Deemer directs UIndy’s public relations program and serves as faculty advisor to Top Dog Communication and the campus chapter of PRSSA, which is the premier preprofessional organization for public relations students. The UIndy chapter formed in 2007 and met the stringent requirements to become a designated PRSSA national affiliate in 2010. This year, Top Dog is led by students Butler, Bryant, Lara Parker, and Jenn Meadows.

Ecumenical & Interfaith Programs: Back to basics

In October Michael G. Cartwright (dean) presented “Reincorporating Wisdom” at the 2011 Symposium on Educating for Wisdom in the 21st-Century University, held at Baylor University’s Institute for Faith and Learning. Cartwright’s essay “Learning to ‘Plunder the Egyptians’ with Prophetic Urgency,” about the uses of Scripture in Christian Ethics has been published by the Covenant Quarterly.

English: Battling intransitive monsters

Mary McGann taught two courses at the University of Indianapolis-Athens during summer session 2011. In October McGann presented “Reading-Writing Strategies to Support Students’ Reading” at the Indiana Teachers of Writing Fall Conference. In November McGann and Jennifer Williams ’09 traveled to Chicago to the National Council of Teachers of English conference to present “Intransitive Monsters and Other Confusions for Student Writers: Integrating Grammar Instruction into Writing.”

History & Political Science: War and peace

In September A. James Fuller presented “Baptists and the Civil War” at the Baptists and War Symposium at the Andrew Fuller Center at the Southern Baptist Theological Seminary in Louisville.

The announcement of longtime Libyan leader Moammar Gadhafi’s death in October prompted some celebration as well as sober speculation on the future of the African nation. Joseph Prestia, assistant professor in UIndy’s Department of History & Political Science, was interviewed by WRTV-Channel 6 for his perspective on the effort to form a new government in Libya.

Honors College: It’s an honor

UIndy Honors College students took firsts in three of seven categories for the poster competition at the National Collegiate Honors Council Conference this fall in Phoenix. More than 120 posters from 56 colleges and universities were included in this inaugural competition. UIndy tied with the University of Alabama-Birmingham (a Research I institution) in terms of the number of first-place submissions. The firsts went to Candi Witzigreuter, Sociology (“Trafficking: A Women’s Issue?”); Mindy Owens, Music Teaching (“Music in Gothic Architecture”); and Brittany Teipen, Chemistry & Biology (“Trees”).

Kinesiology: Healthy Diploma a hit

WXIN-Fox 59 in Indianapolis came to campus in October for a story on UIndy’s one-of-a-kind Healthy Diploma, developed by the Department of Kinesiology. The report—now airing on Fox stations across the country—features kinesiology instructor Mindy Mayol and senior exercise science major Emily Didelot, who will be one of the first students to graduate with a Healthy Diploma. The program is designed to give students a healthy start on their professional lives and an edge in the job market. More than 50 local employers have endorsed the program.

In June Michael Diacin presented “Financial Planning in Practice: Creating a Small Business” at the North American Society for Sport Management Teaching and Learning Fair in London, Ontario.

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