University UpdatesWinter/Spring 2019

Spring 2019: Shaheen College of Arts & Sciences


Research & Recognition

Dr. Christopher Moore ’04, chair and associate professor of anthropology, published a public archaeology booklet, “Early Pioneers of Carroll County, Indiana,” on the department’s archaeological research at the Baum’s Landing site. The project was funded through a matching grant from Indiana Humanities.

Katie Lutzmann ’19 (archaeology and anthropology) was recognized as the 2018 winner of the undergraduate student paper competition at the Midwest Archaeological Conference in South Bend. Christopher Moore also attended the conference.

Dr. Christopher Schmidt, professor of anthropology, published “Dental Macrowear and Microwear” in the International Encyclopedia of Biological Anthropology, a peer-reviewed compendium of topics in biological anthropology.

Art & Design

Faculty & Student Exhibitions

Nathaniel Foley, assistant professor of art & design, exhibited his work, “Flight of Obscurity XVII,” at the Rosemary Duffy Larson Gallery at Broward College, Davie, Florida.

Katherine Fries, assistant professor of art & design, held exhibitions at the Nance Gallery in Evansville and at the Garfield Park Arts Center in Indianapolis. Fries designed the 2019 commemorative membership cards for the College Book Art Association, which were letterpress printed at UIndy’s Hullabaloo Press.

Fries collaborated with the Indianapolis Public Library to create a series of events, “Then & Now – Printing in Indy,” by curating an exhibition and co-hosting a letterpress workshop with David Peat. Hullabaloo Press held a student-run open house in October. Auna Winters ’20 (M.A.), ’18 (art & design, printmaking concentration) and Kalia Daily ’20 (M.A.), ’18 (studio art major, art history minor, painting and printmaking concentrations) produced a commissioned letterpress promotional poster for the series, which showcased the history and community of printing in Indianapolis.

Grants & Scholarships

Fries was a UIndy InQuery Research Grant Recipient for “The Peat Project,” a student and faculty research initiative. She co-presented research with Erin Beckloff of Miami University at Atypi: Association Typographique Internationale, in Antwerp, Belgium, and presented “Scouting for Letterpress” at “Makeready: A letterpress symposium for educators,” Hamilton Wood Type & Printing Museum in Wisconsin.

Kalia Daily earned a Caxton Club Grant of $2,500 (Chicago, Illinois) for “The Peat Project.”

Auna Winters & Kalia Daily both received Hamilton Wood Type & Printing Museum Scholarships.


Faculty Publications

Dr. Nelson Kraus, associate adjunct biology professor, published “Super Simple Anatomy and Physiology: The Ultimate Learning Tool.”

Dr. Krista Latham, associate professor of forensic anthropology and biology, Dr. Alyson O’Daniel, associate professor of anthropology and Justin Maiers ’17 (M.S., human biology) contributed a chapter, “Migrant Death and Identification: Theory, Science, and Sociopolitics,” in “Massacres: Bioarchaeology and Forensic Anthropology Approaches.”

Students & Faculty Present Work in Human Identification

Fourteen students from the human biology graduate program participated in the FLAG Forensic Anthropologists annual meeting in October. Dr. Latham, who directs the University of Indianapolis Human Identification Center, and Dr. Stephen Nawrocki, professor of biology, also attended. UIndy attendees gave seven presentations.

In January 2019, Dr. Latham and graduate students in human biology who comprise the UIndy Beyond Borders Team returned to southern Texas to continue their humanitarian work to identify those who died while crossing the southern border of the United States. Since 2013, the team has participated in “Operation Identification” in Brooks County, Texas, assisting in the exhumation of hundreds of unidentified people and in the identification process of 30 of these individuals.

Ground-breaking Research Continues

Dr. Marc Milne, assistant professor of biology, published new research in Ecosphere, an online Ecology journal: “Carnivorous plants eat a diet of certain spiders, regardless of what’s on the menu.”

Dr. Daniel Scholes, assistant professor of biology, received a Senior Research Grant from the Indiana Academy of Science in the amount of $2,050. Preliminary data serving as the basis for the proposed study were collected by undergraduate students William Buelsing ’17 (environmental science), Kyle Barkovich ’18 (nursing), Grace Buck ’18 (human biology) and Savannah Phipps ’21 (biology).


Service Awards

Dr. Rebekah Watson Gaidis, assistant professor of communication, was honored with the “Outstanding Service to the Division” award from the National Communication Association‘s Political Communication Division.

WICR Radio received a Cardinal Community Service Award from the Indiana Broadcasters Association for the WICR Arts Organization of the Month program, which provides complimentary spot production and $1,000 of air time to promote the Arts Council of Indianapolis’ featured organization and upcoming events. Indiana Congressman André Carson presented the award.


Conference Showcases Talent & Research

In October, the Department of English hosted the Indiana College English Association’s annual conference featuring well-known creative writers and scholars. Dr. Leah Milne, assistant professor, organized the conference and Dr. Stephen Zimmerly, assistant professor, presented an original paper. Dr. Liz Whiteacre, assistant professor, presented research and sponsored a student session. Dr. Jessica Bannon, assistant professor, sponsored a student panel. Other presenting faculty included assistant professors Dr. Rebecca McKanna and Dr. Kip Robisch. English graduate students Julie Breeden and Alison Sigman-Powell presented papers.

Dr. Milne moderated an INConversation with science fiction author Victor LaValle for an Indiana Humanities event at the Indianapolis Public Library. Mr. LaValle also met with English capstone students.

Etchings Press Staff Honored

The Etchings Press staff received first place in the 2018 American Scholastic Press Association’s review and competition for the 30.1 and 30.2 editions. (See for details.)

Kylie Seitz ’19 (English), former editor-in-chief of Etchings Magazine, participated in an internship with Zionsville-based Tipton Poetry Journal during the summer of 2018 and helped publish the journal’s summer issue. The Tipton Poetry Journal now partners with Professional Edge Center and will offer additional internships to UIndy students in the future. Seitz also designed the 2018 Whirling Prize Bookplate.

Faculty Fiction & Non-Fiction

Natalie McCann ’19 (English) wrote a chapbook for ENGL 471, Maria, I’m Drunk, which was one of five finalists for the 2018 Digging Press Chapbook Series among 250 submissions.

Dr. Liz Whiteacre, assistant professor of English, published four persona poems in Wordgathering Magazine for the September 2018 issue.

Dr. Stephen Zimmerly, assistant professor of English, has a book in progress with Lexington Books researching how young adult literature has changed the character-paradigm of the sidekick. The project was granted an Honorable Mention by the Northeast Modern Language Association. Dr. Zimmerly is also participating as an academic advisor to an entry in an upcoming edition of Gale/Cengage Learning’s Literature Criticism Series.

Interdisciplinary Collaborations

Conference Presentations

The following faculty presented research, “Faculty Fellows: An Innovative Model for Enhancing and Expanding Faculty Development,” at the Original Lilly Conference on College Teaching at Miami University, Oxford, Ohio, in November 2018:

Dr. Lynn Shaw, assistant professor and Master of Social Work field director

Dr. Amanda Miller, associate professor and sociology chair

Dr. Lisa Borrero, assistant professor of Interprofessional Health and Aging Studies

Dr. Marcos Hashimoto, associate professor of entrepreneurship in the School of Business

Dr. Leah Milne, assistant professor of English

Dr. Alison Nichols, assistant professor of occupational therapy

Dr. Angelia Ridgway, professor and director of secondary education

Dr. Jyotika Saksena, associate professor of international relations, graduate program director of international relations

Dr. Lochana Siriwardena, assistant professor of mathematics

Drs. Shaw, Miller, Milne and Nichols attended the conference, where they discussed how the Faculty Fellows program was implemented to address faculty professional development needs at UIndy.

The University of Indianapolis Faculty Learning Community (FLC) on the Digital Humanities received an Indiana Humanities Quantum Leap Grant of $4,000 to cover the cost of three workshops during the 2018-19 academic year.

International Relations

UIndy students competed against universities in Indiana and Kentucky to earn several awards at the November 2018 Model United Nations on the IU Southeast campus. Participating students were from the Department of History and Political Science, majoring in international relations, political science and history.


The Indianapolis Quartet returned to the Christel DeHaan Fine Arts Center in October with a program that continued their exploration of the Beethoven quartets, an award-winning work by New York City-based composer Robert Paterson and Schoenberg’s groundbreaking string sextet. The Quartet is looking forward to a busy spring with five performances and a masterclass. See for a complete schedule.

Faculty & Alumni Honored

Music education majors and members of the Collegiate Chapter of the National Association for Music Education, as well as several music faculty and UIndy alumni, attended the annual Professional Development Conference held in January 2019. Faculty and alumni presented research on a dozen topics and the following participants received awards: Outstanding Hoosier Musician Award – Mick Bridgewater ‘73; Outstanding Collegiate Educator of the Year Award – Dr. Brenda Clark, associate professor and assistant dean for the Shaheen College of Arts & Sciences (Clark also received this award in 2013 and is the only person to have been selected twice for the award); Outstanding Future Music Educator Award – Anna Miller ‘20 (choral/general music education) and Jacqueline Wiernicki ‘19 (instrumental/general music education major).

Gala Opening Marks Maestro Leppard’s Farewell Concert

Maestro Raymond Leppard, 91, celebrated his 25th season as artist-in-residence at the Gala Opening Concert sponsored by Katz, Sapper & Miller. The maestro’s concert featured the premiere of Leppard’s “Summoned for Love” song trilogy with Mitzi Westra, assistant professor of music, Daniel Narducci and the UIndy Concert Choir. Indianapolis Quartet member Joana Genova performed Bach’s E-Major Violin Concerto. The standing-room-only audience honored Leppard with a prolonged ovation.

Recordings & Performances

Peter Nichols, instructor and operations manager for Ruth Lilly Performance Hall, recorded and edited a CD for Minju Choi released on the Navona record label in November. The album is called BOUNDLESS and is available on Amazon, iTunes and at Barnes
& Noble.

Dr. Jon Noworyta, visiting assistant professor and director of UIndy Wind Ensembles, completed his second season as the assistant conductor of the Cincinnati Chamber Orchestra, where he prepares performances for the orchestra’s Summermusik concert series. Dr. Noworyta is also the director and conductor of the Cincinnati Brass Band, a British-style all-brass community group that performs public concerts in the greater Cincinnati area. The Cincinnati Brass Band will travel to Fort Wayne in April to participate in the North American Brass Band Association Championships. In his role at UIndy, Dr. Noworyta has worked with several area high school groups and led an Indiana Bandmasters Association All-District Honor Band in November.

Acclaimed American pianist Drew Petersen, now in his second year as artist-in-residence at the University of Indianapolis, performed an October solo recital featuring the music of Mozart, Beethoven (the Appassionata Sonata, Op. 57), and Liszt (including the rarely performed Illustrations du Prophète de Meyerbeer). Mr. Petersen is the 2017 American Pianists Association award winner, Christel DeHaan Fellow and the recent recipient of a prestigious Avery Fisher Career Grant.

Dr. Rebecca Sorley, professor of music, presented a community engagement program entitled “Connecting Through Music” as part of the College Music Society National Convention in Vancouver, B.C. in October. This program, at an area assisted living facility, was geared toward residents with dementia and focused on folk songs and popular music from when the residents were in early adulthood.

Dr. Sorley, along with daughter Allegra, performed with Mu Phi Epsilon International Competition winner, clarinetist Katsuya Yuasa, in August at a concert in the Christel DeHaan Fine Arts Center. The recital was in conjunction with the Mu Phi Epsilon International Board annual meeting and hosted by the Beta Psi UIndy chapter along with the Kappa Butler chapter. Dr. Sorley serves as Beta Psi collegiate advisor along with 4th International Vice President, Music Advisor, of Mu Phi Epsilon.

The 2018 Trumpet Conference was featured in an article published by the International Trumpet Guild Journal. The story includes the upcoming Trumpet Conference on March 9, 2019, featuring Jens Lindemann and Brassfire. See for more information.

A New Tradition Begins

The first annual Viola Day was held at the Christel DeHaan Fine Arts Center in October for high school and middle school students. Organized by Department of Music faculty Michael Strauss and Sarah Knight, the event featured faculty Susan Chan and Ari Rudiakov, and guests Yu Jin, Greg Noland and Emma Strohbusch.

Physics & Earth-Space Science

Three University of Indianapolis students presented research to an audience of 6,000 scientists at the 2018 annual meeting of The Geological Society of America in November in Indianapolis. Vanessa Bump ’19 (environmental science and earth-space science), Stephanie Burdsall ’19 (environmental science and earth-space science) and Sarah Ruehl ’20 (environmental science and sustainability major, earth-space science and biology minor) presented their work. Dr. Leah Courtland, assistant professor, was the faculty advisor for all three research projects.

Political Science

The Pre-Law Student Association (PLSA) established a partnership with the Perry Township Small Claims Court, for which PLSA members will be selected as judicial interns each semester to assist Judge-Elect Cheryl Rivera. Efforts to establish the partnership were conducted by Dr. David A. Root, assistant professor of political science and pre-law advisor, in his capacity as faculty advisor to PLSA. Drake Abramson ’21 (political science, legal studies minor, business administration minor) was selected as the first PLSA Perry Township Judicial Intern.

Kaitlin McDonald ’20 (political science, international relations, legal studies minor) completed an internship during fall 2018 at the Children’s Policy and Law Initiative of Indiana. Ben Osborne ’19 (political science, legal studies minor) obtained an internship with the Marion County Prosecutor’s Office for Spring 2019.

University Welcomes Circuit Court Judge

In November, Pulaski County Circuit Court Judge Michael Shurn ’75 (English) delivered the keynote address for the PLSA Judicial Lecture Series, organized by Dr. Root. Judge Shurn regaled students with interesting, insightful and sometimes zany stories from more than 30 years of experience on the bench. Judge Shurn was also the 2018 Education for Service Award recipient.

Faculty Share Expertise

Dr. Root published an article in the Journal of the Indiana Association of the Social Sciences titled “Chief Justice Leadership: A Brief Sketch of its Landscape, Structure and Operation.” It discusses small group and behavioral leadership of the United States Supreme Court.

Dr. Laura Wilson, assistant professor of political science, provided expert analysis for national and regional news outlets on the midterm elections, including the London School of Economics U.S. Centre, WalletHub, the Indianapolis Business Journal, WTHR, The Hoosier Times and more.


Important Research from UIndy Faculty

Dr. Amanda Miller, chair of sociology, published research, “Stalled for Whom? Change in the Division of Particular Housework Tasks and Their Consequences for Middle- to Low-Income Couples” with Daniel Carlson and Sharon Sassler. It was listed as “most read” by the journal Socius: Sociological Research in a Dynamic World.

Dr. Miller’s blog with Sharon Sassler on Psychology Today, “Cohabitation Nation,” reached more than 28,000 readers. Miller also provided an interview and appeared in U.S. News & World Report about cohabitation and finances.

Dr. Miller and Dr. Alyson O’Daniel, associate professor of anthropology, presented “Scaffolding Space to Speak: Student Storytelling as Long-term Strategy for Developing Faculty Cultural Competence” at the Original Lilly Conference on College Teaching.

Dr. Jim Pennell, professor of sociology, participated in an author-meets-critics session on his book, “Local Vino: The Winery Boom in the Heartland,” at the Association for Humanist Sociology Annual Meeting, Detroit, Michigan, in November. He participated in an Indiana authors book-signing event at the Indianapolis Public Library in October, sponsored by the library and the Eugene & Marilyn Glick Indiana Authors Award.

Dr. Colleen Wynn, who joined the Department of Sociology as assistant professor in Fall 2018, published research, “Assessing the Role of Family Structure in Racial/Ethnic Residential Isolation,” in a special issue of the journal Social Sciences on social inequality and residential segregation in urban neighborhoods and communities.


The UIndy Theatre Company, featuring students from the Department of Theatre, debuted at Indy Fringe, an Indianapolis summer theatre festival held in August. The students performed “Too Much Light Makes the Baby Go Blind” by Greg Allen. The Department of Theatre also presented, “It’s a Wonderful Life, the Radio Play,” for on-campus performances and a broadcast on WICR.

In January 2019, 26 theatre students and four faculty members traveled to Madison College in Madison, Wisconsin, to participate in the Kennedy Center American College Theatre Festival. Zech Saenz ’19 (theatre education) received the Crafts, Engineering & Management Award for “The Love Talker.” Saenz was a finalist for the Regional Design Projects Award for “Haroun & the Sea of Stories” and he also received a Certificate of Merit for Props Designs for the “Complete Works of William Shakespeare.” Haley Rigsby ’20 (theatre) received the Theatre Design Excellence Recipient for Vectorworks Award for “I & You,” and Jill Wooster ’22 (theatre education) received the Design Storm Award for “Arcadia.” Liesel Schmitz ’20 (theatre) received a Certificate of Merit in Stage Management for “I & You.” See for more details.

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