Summer/Fall 2020University Updates

Summer/Fall 2020: Shaheen College of Arts & Sciences

R.B. Annis School of Engineering (RBASOE)

The first class of engineering students graduated in May. 

RBASOE hosted the annual FIRST Robotics Competition Kickoff Event in January.

The School has been awarded the “FIRST Indiana Robotics President’s Award” by FIRST Indiana. It is given to organizations that have provided tremendous support for expanding the FIRST programs in Indiana and supporting students.

RBASOE successfully held its 2020 Engineering Business Pitch Competition virtually in April. As part of the DesignSpine curriculum, third-year students work in interdisciplinary teams to design and pitch a product, process, or service in collaboration with industry mentors.

Dr. Md Munirul Haque, assistant professor, co-authored a paper, “We Need More Power to Stand Up: Designing to Combat Stigmatization of the Caregivers of Children with Autism in Urban Bangladesh” for the 11th International Conference on Information and Communication Technologies and Development. 

Haque also co-authored a poster, “Development of Computer Vision and Artificial Intelligence Algorithms for Analysis of Images Captured via Affordable Thermal Camera: A Potential Tool for Non-Invasive Monitoring of Neonates,” at the 2nd African Neonatal Nursing Conference in Nairobi, Kenya.

Dr. Christopher Stanley, assistant professor, published a novel method of calculating the specific heat at constant pressure completely from first principles. The paper is titled “Specific heat at constant pressure from first principles: contributions from fully anharmonic vibrations.”

Stanley also published work identifying the donor and acceptor levels of defects in semiconductors. The work is titled “Identification of the donor and acceptor states of the bond-centered Hydrogen-Carbon pair in Si and SiGe alloys.”

Dr. David Olawale, assistant professor, published two peer-reviewed cards on titled, “Identifying viable product opportunities via customer discovery” and “Why should I invest in your proposed product?” 

Olawale presented a webinar at the Global Entrepreneurship Exchange, University of Massachusetts Lowell titled “Combining Engineering Design and Entrepreneurial Mindset Learning: Teaching Entrepreneurship to STEM Students.” 

Dr. Mohammad Shokrolah-Shirazi, assistant professor, co-authored “Learning and Reasoning for Robot Sequential Decision Making under Uncertainty.” The paper was accepted for presentation at the 34th AAAI Conference on Artificial Intelligence in New York. 

Shokrolah-Shirazi served as associate editor for the 2020 IEEE Intelligent Vehicles Symposium, a conference sponsored by the IEEE Intelligent Transportation Systems Society.

Anthropology & Archaeology

Graduate student Ryan Pietras ’20 (archaeology) was featured in a trade publication for his work interning with the State of Indiana’s Division of Historic Preservation and Archaeology.

Art & Design

The department was invited to create a hanging sculpture for the Indianapolis Symphony Orchestra’s 2020 Beethoven Series. The piece was designed and installed by James Viewegh, associate professor and department chair, and assistant professors Nathaniel Foley and Katherine Fries

UIndy’s letterpress program, the Hullabaloo Press, celebrated its four-year anniversary with an exhibition of contemporary letterpress printers and bookmakers at the Christel DeHaan Fine Arts Center Gallery. 

Barry Barnes and Randi Frye, assistant professors, organized Empty Bowls, a fundraiser to benefit Gleaners Food Bank of Indiana. Faculty and students made over 300 ceramic bowls and an illustrated cookbook, with all proceeds going to charity. The event was canceled due to COVID-19. 


Dr. Krista Latham, associate professor, director of the molecular anthropology laboratory, and co-director of the archaeology and forensics laboratory, along with 12 graduate students, attended the 72nd American Academy of Forensic Sciences Annual Scientific Meeting. They gave four presentations and Latham was elected as the Anthropology Section Scientific Program Co-Chair.

Latham was invited to be an Advisory Committee Member of the Indianapolis Children’s Museum’s “Lilly Girls & Young Women in STEM.”

Latham collaborated with two students and a human biology alum to publish “Multiple DNA Transfer Events in a Social Setting Complicates Interpretation of DNA Evidence” in the Journal of Forensic Identification

Dr. Marc Milne, assistant professor, was invited to speak at Butler University as part of their seminar series. He gave a lecture on spider biogeography, titled “A phylogeographic study of Liocranoides (Araneae: Zoropsidae).”

Milne received the $2,500 Zerfas Grant through UIndy for foreign travel.

Dr. Doug Stemke, associate professor, Shereen Almaroon, Brody Myers, and Arden Mower ’21 (MS in human biology) were scheduled to deliver posters at the American Society for Microbiology – Indiana Branch meeting. The event was canceled due to COVID-19. 

In his role as president of the Indiana Branch of the American Society of Microbiology, Stemke conducted outreach for the COVID-19 Research Registry and maintained the organization’s Facebook page to provide information on COVID-19.

Dr. Kim Baker, assistant professor, was awarded the Brooker Teaching Award for the Division of Math and Sciences.

Dr. Kevin Gribbins, associate professor, was a UIndy Teacher of the Year finalist.

The Commission on Accreditation for Respiratory Care reviewed the 2019 Annual Report of Current Status and Resource Assessment Matrix submitted by the Indiana Respiratory Therapy Education Consortium, of which UIndy is a partnering institution, and determined the program has met or exceeded all thresholds for success.


Harleen Athwal ’15 (chemistry and biology) won an award from the American Association of Dental Research. Her research, which focused on the regeneration and repair of salivary glands, was recognized as the best Basic Sciences poster presentation in the PhD student, post-doc, and faculty category. 


WICR News Director Taylor Woods ’21 (communication) and Thomas Gismondi ’22 (communication) were each awarded a $5,000 scholarship by the Indiana Broadcasters Foundation. 

Woods also placed second in the Best Student Radio Newscast category, Indiana Professional Chapter of the Society of Professional Journalists competition, and will receive a $2,000 scholarship from SPJ.

Shayla Cabalan ’20 (communication) placed first in the Best Student Radio Newscast category for the second consecutive year in the IndyPro SPJ competition.

Eddie Garrison ’21 (communication) placed second in the Best Student Radio Sports Reporting category in the IndyPro SPJ competition. 

Dr. Steven Koehn, assistant professor, and seven students went to the National Broadcasting Society Convention in Hollywood, California. 

Koehn was elected to the Board of Directors of the National Broadcasting Society as the Alpha Epsilon Rho National Honor Society director.  

Madison Nolot ’21 (communication) won second place in the Indiana Association of School Broadcasters College Competition for Best News Package.

WICR General Manager Scott Uecker attended the National Association of Broadcasters State Leadership Conference in Washington, DC, where he met with Indiana U.S. Senators and Representatives to discuss broadcasting industry regulatory issues. 

Under the direction of Dr. Stephanie Wideman, assistant professor and director of the UIndy Speech and Debate Team, the team placed fourth at the state championship and 15 Greyhounds earned top individual marks in finals. At the Novice National Tournament, seven students earned top marks in finals and the team was ranked fifth overall.

Chloe Tyson ’20 (communication) placed third in the Broadcast Education Association’s National Festival of Media Arts competition for “Best Air Personality.” Tyson also placed third in “Best Radio Air Personality” at the Indiana Association of School Broadcasters college competition.

Isaia Jacob ’20, Charon Von Berg ’20, and Clarissa Cairns ’20 won Intercollegiate Broadcast System (IBS) national award for Best Radio Morning Show with “Hot Mess Express” on UIndy Radio.

At the Indiana Association of School Broadcasters college competition: Aaron Duvall ’20 (communication) won awards in radio copywriting (1st place), radio imaging (2nd place), and radio spot production (2nd place); Ryan Soel ’22 (communication, electronic media concentration) placed third in “Best Radio Play-by-Play;” Shayla Cabalan ’20 placed second in “Best Radio Newscast.”

Under the guidance of Jeanne Criswell, associate professor, The Reflector staff won eight regional-level journalism awards in the Region 5 Society of Professional Journalists Mark of Excellence competition.

The Reflector staff also won 29 state-level awards from the Indiana Collegiate Press Association and the Society of Professional Journalists Best in Indiana Journalism competitions.

Criminal Justice

Doug Boxler, instructor and agent with the Marion County Forensic Services Agency, received the Shaheen College of Arts & Sciences Dynes Excellence in Teaching Award.


A launch party was held in December to celebrate the students, alumni, faculty, and staff who are published in the latest Etchings Literary & Fine Arts Magazine, Issue 32.1.

Etchings garnered five awards at the 2020 Indiana Collegiate Press Association meeting, including Best Cover Design.

Dr. Jen Camden, Beverley J. Pitts Distinguished Professor of the Strain Honors College, presented “Ivanhoe and Ecology” at the Interdisciplinary Nineteenth-Century Studies Conference in Los Angeles.

“Bitten,” a story by Barney Haney, assistant professor, was a finalist for the Wilda Hearne Flash Fiction Contest by the journal Big Muddy.

Haney moderated a panel, “On Grading the Creative Writing Workshop in the 21st Century,” at the 2020 Association of Writers and Writing Programs Conference in San Antonio.

Dr. Molly Martin, professor, published “John Benet’s Chronicle,” translation [Latin to English], in The Jack Cade Rebellion: A Sourcebook, ed. Alexander Kaufman (Rowman & Littlefield, 2020).

Kevin McKelvey, associate professor, published a book, “Indiana Nocturnes,” with co-author Curtis L. Crisler. 

An essay by McKelvey, “Renewal,” was published by Indiana Humanities. 

Dr. Leah Milne, assistant professor, published a pedagogy blog post on YA literature with MELUS, along with a blog post for Indiana Humanities.

Savannah Harris ’21 (creative writing) published her first flash fiction piece titled “Ataraxy” in the December 2019 issue of Penultimate Peanut Magazine

Tyrah Chery ’20 (English, creative writing) received the third-place Best Short Poem award from the Indiana Collegiate Press Association for “The child says nothing, but what it heard by the fire,” published in Butler University’s Manuscripts magazine.

Experience Design

Dr. Samantha Meigs, professor, published an article, “Traveling Food: Using Peripatetic Food to Understand the Medieval Past,” in Volume 27, Issue 1 (Spring 2020) of Studies in Medieval and Renaissance Teaching.

A paper by Meigs and Austin Baker, associate adjunct professor, “A Cook’s Apprenticeship: Hands-on Workshop on Experiential Learning with Medieval Food-Practical Challenges and Classroom Management,” was accepted for presentation at the International Congress on Medieval Studies (rescheduled for May 2021). 

Global Languages & Cross-Cultural Studies

Dr. Ana María Ferreira, assistant professor, published several articles: “English Only: xenofobia disfrazada de preservación de la cultura,” “American Dirt”, o cómo vender el sufrimiento ajeno,” and “La lectura en tiempos de cuarentena” in Razón Pública

Ferreira presented a workshop for students, “How to Study for Modern Languages” at the University of Indianapolis. 

Dr. Eduard Arriaga, assistant professor, presented “Afro-Latin American and Afro-Latino Digital Decolonization” during a conference at the Afro-Latin American Research Institute at Hutchins Center, Harvard University. 

Arriaga also presented “Expanded Digital Infrastructures in Teaching Latin American and Hispanic Cultures” at the Modern Language Association Annual Convention in Seattle. 

Dr. Gerburg Garmann, professor, presented a workshop, “Whether the Muses Are Angry or Gentle––The Humanist Reach of Feminism through Ekphrasis and Poetry” at the Humanities Education and Research Association (HERA) 2020 Conference.

Dr. Dan Briere, associate professor, presented “The Demise of the Traditional Don Juan” at the HERA 2020 Conference. 

History & Political Science

Instructor Emily Miller presented a poster, “Book Bentos: Using Historical Fiction to Increase Relevancy of Primary Source Materials,” at the National Council for History Education Conference. 

Dr. Laura Merrifield Wilson, assistant professor, was elected to the Executive Board for the Girl Scouts of Central Indiana. 

Wilson also graduated from the Leadership United Class of 2020, run by United Way, and was selected to participate in the Speakers Bureau for Indiana Humanities’ celebration of the women’s suffrage centennial in 2020.

The Indiana Historical Bureau Marker on Harriette Bailey Conn that was researched and written by Wilson and her student research assistant and Shaheen Scholar Karlee Taylor ’20 (political science) will be unveiled in September 2020 (postponed from May 1).

The 2014 Cambridge book The Great War At Sea, written by Dr. Lawrence Sondhaus, Gerald and Marjorie Morgan Endowed Professor of European History, is under contract for an Italian translation with Libreria Editrice Goriziana. Sondhaus also delivered the manuscript of the revised second edition of his 2011 book World War One:
The Global Revolution to Cambridge

Professor Dr. A. James Fuller published “Everything Wrong with the Grant Presidency,” in Anthony Comegna’s Everything Wrong with the Presidents

The seventh annual Fairbanks Symposium on Civic Leadership took place in early March with the theme “At the Crossroads: Women in Civic Leadership,” featuring board of trustees member Deborah Daniels and local civic leaders.

Sarah King ’18 (political science) begins studies at Harvard Law School in
Fall 2020. 

International Relations

Dr. Jyotika Saksena, associate professor and graduate director, hosted an exhibit, “Through Their Eyes: Health and Social Integration of Congolese Refugee Women in Indianapolis,” on campus. The project was funded by a UIndy Interdisciplinary Grant and a grant from Indiana Minority Health Coalition. Several
articles resulting from the study have been published in peer-reviewed journals.

Mathematical Sciences

Professor Dr. Jeff Oaks co-authored the book Al-Hawārī’s Essential Commentary: Arabic Arithmetic in the Fourteenth Century. Berlin: Edition Open Sources.

Dr. Lochana Siriwardena, assistant professor, co-authored an article, “Memory-Modulated CIR Process with Discrete Delay Coefficients” in the online issue of Journal of Stochastic Analysis. 

Dr. Lauren Nelsen, assistant professor, published “A Gradient Estimate for PageRank” in the Proceedings of the Eighth International Conference on Complex Networks and Their Applications.

Dr. Clay Roan, assistant professor, presented “An Analysis of Math Requirements for Early Childhood Education Majors at Indiana Colleges” at the 10th Annual Indiana Mathematics Education Research Symposium in Indianapolis. 


Dr. Brett Leonard, assistant professor, hosted an Audio Engineering Society event on campus.

Third Coast Percussion’s album Perpetulum, editing and post-production by Leonard, was nominated for a 2020 Grammy for “Best Chamber Music/Small Ensemble Performance.”

Dr. Elisabeth Honn Hoegberg, chair and associate professor, was elected Vice President of the College Music Society’s Great Lakes Chapter.

Janice Schreibman, assistant professor, co-authored an article, “AMTA and Aspirational Ethics” in Music Therapy Perspectives.

Professor Dr. John Berners was composer-in-residence at the University of Texas-El Paso in January, offering a composition masterclass. The visit also included a recital of his recent songs and a local TV appearance.

Dr. Jon Noworyta, assistant professor, was selected as the 2020 DCI INpact Band guest conductor, leading 500 middle school students in a performance at the opening ceremonies at the DCI World Championships in Lucas Oil Stadium. Due to the cancellation of this year’s event, the invitation has been extended to Noworyta again in 2021.

Dr. Laurie Williams, assistant professor, presented a clinic, “Gaming the Classroom,” at the ASTA National Conference in Orlando, where she was also a co-facilitator for a K-12 roundtable session.

The Indianapolis Quartet, UIndy’s resident ensemble, performed a recital at Carnegie Hall in March. The program of traditional and contemporary works was performed with former UIndy Artist-in-Residence and American Pianists Association Fellow Drew Petersen. 

The department was well represented at the 2020 Indiana Music Education Association’s Professional Development Conference. Faculty, undergraduate students, and alumni received awards, presented sessions, or performed. The reception was attended by six decades of Greyhound musicians.

Philosophy & Religion

Dr. Peter Murphy, professor, published “Suspension-to-Suspension Justification Principles,” in Belgrade Philosophical Annual

Murphy also published a book review of Bryan Caplan, “The Case Against Education: Why the Education System Is a Waste of Time and Money,” in Metapsychology, and provided comments on “The ‘Theoretical Conception’ of Instrumental Reasoning,” at the American Philosophical Association, Central Division Meeting.

Professor Dr. Greg Clapper published “An Introduction to John Wesley’s Abridgement of Jonathan Edwards’s Treatise Concerning Religious Affections” in The Wesley Works Editorial Projectby Duke University.

Dr. Kenny Shields, visiting assistant professor, published a co-authored article, “A Dilemma for Neurodiversity,” in Neuroethics.

Dr. Nathan Johnson, assistant professor, presented “David on Daniel’s Throne of Fire: Survey of an Apocalyptic Trope from the Dead Sea Scrolls to the Hekhalot Rabbati,” at a national conference of the Society of Biblical Studies.

Johnson also taught a day-long class for the United Methodist Church’s “Course of Study” and presented “When Did the Women Visit the Tomb? Retrieving Eusebius’ Forgotten Intertextual Proposal on the Crux Interpretum of Matthew 28:1” at the regional conference of the Society of Biblical Studies (Notre Dame).

Nader Shoaibi, visiting assistant professor, provided comments on “Epistemic Akrasia,” at the American Philosophical Association, Central Division Meeting. 

Connor Waddell ’18 (philosophy, psychology) received an internship through the Brazilian federal government to work on policy issues for 10 weeks in Brasilia during
summer 2020. 

Physics & Earth-Space Science

Dr. Timothy Duman, associate professor, presented “The software and hardware used to create video lectures” at the American Association of Physics Teachers Winter Meeting. 

Kevin Leineweber, adjunct, was named the 2020 Clyde Motts Memorial Innovative High School Science Teacher of the Year by the Hoosier Association of Science Teachers Inc.

An article co-authored by Stacy Hootman, instructor, and Cory Pickett ’20 (biology) on their magnetic field measurement study has been accepted for publication by The Physics Teacher.


Research by Dr. Amanda Miller, chair and associate professor, was cited in two New York Times articles about relationships: “How to Make Your Marriage Gayer” and “5 Wedding Traditions You Can Skip.” 

Miller also co-organized an internationally attended conference on Nonmarriage and the Law at the University of Arizona.

Dr. Colleen Wynn, assistant professor, published two teaching resources, “Neighborhood Tour Project” and “Making Motherhood Work: Reading and Discussion Questions,” in the American Sociological Association’s peer-reviewed teaching resources library. 

Wynn served as a Census Partner and the Committee Chair for the UIndy Complete Count Committee to encourage participation in the 2020 Census.

Wynn also collaborated with graduate students and the South Indianapolis Quality of Life Plan on a research study examining faculty, staff, and students’ perceptions of the neighborhoods near campus. 

Dr. Elizabeth Ziff, assistant professor, attended the Eastern Sociological Society annual meeting and presented her work, “Examination of the Reproductive Landscape of Teenagers in Indiana,” at a panel in the affiliated mini-conference on the Sociology of Reproduction.

Ziff also served as the faculty lead for student members of UIndy Pride at the annual Midwest Bisexual Lesbian Gay Transgender Asexual College Conference.


James Leagre, assistant professor, received the 2020 Faculty Service Award from the Kennedy Center American College Theatre Festival.

Faculty and several undergraduate students competed and/or were recognized at the 2020 Kennedy Center American College Theatre Festival – Region III in Madison, Wisconsin: 

Kielynn Tally ’22 was awarded a scholarship to the Summer Arts Institute at Cal State University for their Voice Acting Intensive.

Emily Hart ’19 advanced to the finalists round for her realized Costume Design work for UIndy’s production of Cabaret.

Rick Shaw ’70 won The Design Storm group competition for his unrealized Costume Design work for The Legend of Georgia McBride.

Liesel Schmitz ’19 was hired to manage the festival’s Stage Management Intensive.


Dr. David Olawale, assistant professor of engineering, and Rhonda Wolverton, assistant professor of art & design, presented a UMass Lowell Global Entrepreneurship Webinar: “Art-engineering Collaboration: Enhancing Entrepreneurial Opportunities.”

Dr. Daniel Scholes, assistant professor of biology, published peer-reviewed teaching materials for a lab activity, titled “Mate choice from sociological and biological perspectives: Sexual selection meets mating markets,” with Dr. Amanda Miller, chair and associate professor of sociology, in Teaching Resources and Innovations Library for Sociology.

Dr. Colleen Wynn, assistant professor of sociology, organized a Faculty Academy panel with Dr. Joe Herzog, assistant professor of engineering, on “Engaging Students in Research” with faculty panelists Dr. Marc Milne, assistant professor of biology, Dr. Greta Pennell, professor of teacher education, Dr. Alli Snyder, assistant professor of business, and Dr. Briyana Morrell, assistant professor of nursing. 

School of Nursing Instructor Anthony Cory worked with Dr. Vijay Thukral, adjunct faculty in the R.B. Annis School of Engineering, and engineering students on a project regarding enteral feeding pumps. 

Faculty from the School of Occupational Therapy and the Department of Interprofessional Health and Aging Studies authored two articles that were published in the Open Journal of Occupational Therapy.

Professor Emerita of English Alice Friman gave a reading and participated in the Art Song Events, which was organized by Dr. John Berners, professor of music. 

Under the guidance of Liz Whiteacre, assistant professor of English, poetry by students and alumni were included in the Art Song Event: Jessica Marvel ’20 (creative writing); Tyrah Chery ’20 (English, creative writing), Brooklyn Raines ’19 (English, creative writing); Shauna Sartoris ’19 (English, professional/creative writing); Tayah Eakle ’19 (English, creative writing).

Whiteacre performed with Dr. Kathleen Hacker, professor of music, and Matthew Bridgham ’13 (music performance) for the Faculty Artist Concert Series in an event titled “Poetry and Song.”

Dr. Stephanie Miller, chair of Krannert School of Physical Therapy and professor of physical therapy, and Dr. Lisa Borrero, professor of interprofessional health & aging studies co-authored with Maryleen Jones ’20 (health science): “Community mobility perceptions of older adults who have experienced a stroke and their physical therapists.”