NewsWinter/Spring 2021

Essential Support

Thanks to your support of the UIndy Fund, the University of Indianapolis continues to spark solutions and help students navigate in ways never imagined.

The unusual circumstances of the COVID-19 pandemic inspired numerous innovative solutions at the University of Indianapolis. The origin of many of those solutions can be found in the UIndy Fund. All UIndy students benefit from the UIndy Fund, which supports academic resources, scholarships, and student success programs including the Professional Edge Center. Gifts to the UIndy Fund are unrestricted, which allows the University flexibility in responding to a rapidly changing world. Across the University, examples abound of students benefiting from the UIndy Fund during the pandemic and beyond.

Gaining a New Telehealth Skill

Your support of the UIndy fund allows our faculty to be nimble and adapt quickly.

UIndy occupational therapy students were only a few weeks shy of fulfilling their clinical requirements for graduation when the pandemic halted their placements at local hospitals. University faculty quickly implemented a new electronic medical records system which was FERPA- and HIPAA-compliant and allowed students to gain telehealth experience to fulfill their academic requirements. Additionally, in true Greyhound fashion, many UIndy alumni who are now licensed occupational therapists stepped up to help supervise these sessions. The telehealth sessions continued to be beneficial for both OT and PT students over the summer. 

“I am so grateful for the telehealth fieldwork opportunity that allowed me to graduate on time and expand my clinical skills,” said Maggie Rhodes, ’16 (psychology) ’20, (MS, occupational therapy). “My graduate school experience has been wonderful, thanks to those who support UIndy and the entire Occupational Therapy department at UIndy!” 

While this experience is one that students may not have had before, it prepared them for a new practice area that may become more common, especially in rural areas. Students learned how to engage with clients through their therapeutic use of technology and gained experience managing treatment sessions online.

Global Collaborative Research

Your support of the UIndy Fund allows us to provide hands-on learning and connect students with new opportunities despite pandemic challenges.

UIndy students are safely working in UIndy’s labs as they participate in a global study to help analyze the active ingredient in drugs sold in developing countries. According to the World Health Organization, ten percent of pharmaceuticals sold in developing nations are deficient in the active ingredient and five percent contain no active ingredient—all causing potential harm to those taking it. To meet the high demand for drug evaluations, UIndy is assisting the Distributed Pharmaceutical Analysis Lab (DPAL) study by attracting undergraduate researchers to help with the analysis. The vital work connects UIndy students to a collaboration between 30 academic institutions around the world.

After passing quality control measures, students test pharmaceuticals using advanced chemical instrumentation in UIndy’s chemistry lab. Any substandard samples will be sent for further testing where a final report will be forwarded to the medicine regulatory agencies for review. This real-world collaborative effort gives students hands-on opportunities while using their skills to help others in need.

“I am grateful for the contributions that allow me to do research in the field I love and use instrumentation that I otherwise could not use,” said Shira Sasson ’21 (chemistry). “This sets me up for success and allows me to get the most out of my undergraduate degree.”

UIndy Human Identification Center

Your support of the UIndy Fund allows us to persevere in the face of unprecedented challenges.

Some things can’t be put on hold during a pandemic. That was the case for Dr. Krista Latham, director of the UIndy Human Identification Center and associate professor of biology, and human biology students. Through the University’s Forensic Anthropology and Forensic DNA Labs, UIndy students continued their learning and service to the community. Even when the University went virtual this spring, they didn’t skip a beat. 

By gaining essential employee status and taking additional safety precautions, students continued to help provide human identification answers to law enforcement in Indiana, Illinois, and Ohio while gaining valuable hands-on learning experiences. This program is a true testament of UIndy’s motto, “Education for Service.”

“I truly appreciate everyone who has supported UIndy and am so grateful to those who have made it possible for me to pursue my education,” said Alba Craig ’21 (MS, human biology). “Without this current program and all of its hands-on learning opportunities, I would not feel as confident in science as I do now.”

Translation Bootcamp

Your support of the UIndy Fund allows us to serve our community more deeply.

Students in Dr. Ana María Ferreira’s Spanish 300 course provided another example of “Education for Service” put into action. They worked on a class project to translate documents for Prevail of Central Indiana, an organization which serves victim of sexual abuse and domestic violence. Students in the course completed a “translation bootcamp” week to translate, from English to Spanish, many of the brochures, handouts, and informational sheets that the workers at Prevail give to their clients. Ferreira reviewed all of the students’ work before submitting it to Prevail.

Kaitlyn Ruiz ’23 (nursing, Spanish) was committed to doing her best to make sure that the translations were done appropriately. “I think our motto ‘Education for Service’ was exemplified in this project,” Ruiz said. “I think it’s important that we include this motto in our curriculum because it allows us to learn early on how to use our education to help others. I believe that no matter what we are studying, we will always impact others. There’s no better way to learn how to impact them positively than this.”

Please consider supporting UIndy students through the UIndy Fund by visiting uindy.edu/giving or contact Stephanie Hays-Mussoni at 317-791-7988 or haysmussonis@uindy.edu.