University UpdatesWinter/Spring 2021

Winter/Spring 2021: Shaheen College of Arts & Sciences

R.B. Annis School of Engineering 

The School received a 2020 Elevate Nexus Higher Education Grant for $50,000 to support program curriculum and entrepreneurship. 

Dr. Md Munirul Haque, assistant professor, co-authored a conference paper, “Towards Developing A Mobile-Based Care for Children with ASD (mCARE) in low and middle-income countries (LMICs) like Bangladesh” in IEEE COMPSAC.

Haque received a Distinguished Paper Award from the Association for Computing Machinery for a paper titled “Two Tell-tale Perspectives of PTSD: Neurobiological Abnormalities and Bayesian Regulatory Network of The Underlying Disorder in A Refugee Context.”

Haque also received a $11,305 subaward from Purdue University to work on a National Science Foundation project, “Physiological sensing to enable expert decision-making in healthcare.”

Dr. Kenneth Reid was announced as the new associate dean and director of the R.B. Annis School of Engineering.

Reid co-authored “Overcoming Challenges to Enhance a First-Year Engineering Ethics Curriculum” in Advances in Engineering Education

Kenneth Reid joined the University of Indianapolis R.B. Annis School of Engineering as associate dean and director in 2020. Reid holds degrees in computer and electrical engineering (BS) from Purdue University, electrical engineering (MS) from Rose-Hulman Institute of Technology, and engineering education (PhD) from Purdue. 

He began his position at the University of Indianapolis with a wealth of experience in higher education, having served as a faculty member at Indiana University-Purdue University Indianapolis, Ohio Northern University, and most recently, Virginia Tech where he also served as the assistant department head for undergraduate programs.

Reid has several goals for the Annis School. “The overarching goal is to grow the program and increase visibility,” he said. Reid hopes to accomplish this by exposing the program—especially aspects like the DesignSpine curriculum with an emphasis on hands-on problem-solving—to more high school students, parents, and teachers. 

Assistant professor Megan Hammond was nominated for the Outstanding Education in STEM Award, given by the organization Women & Hi Tech.

Assistant professor Dr. Mohammad Shokrolah-Shirazi served as publication chair, associate editor and chair for eight sessions of the 2020 IEEE Intelligent Vehicle Symposium. 

Three new assistant professors joined the program: Hung-Fu Chang (Software Engineering), Joan Martinez (Industrial & Systems Engineering), and Eliot Motato (Mechanical Engineering). 

Assistant professor Dr. David Olawale received a National Science Foundation grant to participate as an entrepreneurial lead in the Innovation Corps program.

Dr. Stephen Spicklemire, director of engineering instruction, was awarded a faculty fellowship by the American Society for Engineering Education. He worked with the Center for Physics Education Research at the United States Air Force Academy to develop engaging physics lessons.

Assistant professor Dr. George Ricco co-authored an article in the Journal of Engineering Technology: “Integrating Digital Civics into the Engineering Technology Classroom.”

Dr. Joseph Herzog, assistant professor, has been elected a Senior Member of SPIE, the International Society of Optics and Photonics. 

Meredith Magee ’22 (software engineering) and Miles Furr ’21 (software engineering), under the guidance of Herzog, published “Plasmonically enhanced photo brightening using quantum dots,” in the August 2020 issue of Proc. SPIE. 

Faculty collaborated to publish “Developing the Entrepreneurial Mindset in STEM Students: Integrating Experiential Entrepreneurship into Engineering Design” in the July 2020 issue of the International Journal of Process Education.

Faculty and students collaborated to design and build two steel trebuchets in three weeks for Catapult for a Cause, a new Homecoming tradition in support of local non-profit organizations. 

Anthropology & Archaeology

Dr. Christopher Moore ’04, associate professor, received a $50,000 Historic Preservation Fund Grant from the Indiana Department of Natural Resources Division of Historic Preservation and Archaeology and the National Park Service for “A Phase Ib Archaeological Survey of Portions of Prophetstown State Park.”

Moore also co-authored an article, “Exploring the Guale Village and Spanish Mission Occupations at the Sapelo Shell Ring Complex through Bayesian Analysis,” in the journal Radiocarbon.

Professor Dr. Christopher Schmidt published a book, “Long ‘on’ the Tooth: Dental Evidence of Diet,” through Academic Press, London.

Art & Design

A $100,000 grant from the Allen Whitehill Clowes Charitable Foundation is supporting a significant facility upgrade and expansion to accommodate more students and continue to meet the accrediting standards set by the National Association for Schools of Art and Design. 

The Hullaballoo Press created a free, downloadable, and printable poster in a non-partisan effort to encourage voting.

Associate professor Katherine Fries is part of a seven-person team from the US and UK that organized “Make-ready 2020: A Symposium for Letterpress Educators,” a week-long virtual experience that was attended by 150+ people from around the world. Fries also presented and served as moderator during the event. 

Fries was a guest artist for the Hamilton Wood Type & Printing Museum’s Virtual Series “Ham Hangs.” Other exhibitions included Hoosier Women in Art: My Generation, Juried Exhibition, Garfield Park Arts Center (Indianapolis) and Reverting to Type 2020: Protest Posters, Juried Exhibition, New North Press, London, England, International Juried Exhibition and Signs of Change!.

Art by assistant professor Nathan Foley was included in The In Art Gallery, an international virtual sculpture exhibition.

Work by assistant professor Barry Barnes was included in an exhibition at the New Harmony Gallery of Contemporary Art.

Noni Brynjolson, assistant professor, published an essay, “Learning From 

Watts House Project: On Failure and Reparative Practice in Socially Engaged Art,” in the peer-reviewed journal Public Art Dialogue.

Brynjolson published a chapter titled “The Making of Many Hands: Artisanal Production and Neighbourhood Redevelopment in Contemporary Socially Engaged Art” for the book The New Politics of the Handmade: Craft, Art and Design.

Assistant professor Sarah Pfohl participated in Broadside, a large-format photo poster fundraiser sale and online exhibition. Pfohl’s edition sold out, with proceeds benefiting the Navajo Nation and their COVID-19 pandemic relief fund.

Work by Pfohl was featured in a juried international-online exhibition in Fraction Magazine‘s 12th Anniversary Issue, a juried exhibition, There/Their/They’re, in Brooklyn, New York, and at Filter Photo’s we like small things v.3 exhibition in Chicago, among others. 

Pfohl published “Teaching in The Age of Covid-19” in Postdigital Science and Education, provided an updated definition of the term people with disabilities to the Photo Bill of Rights, and was invited to contribute eight disability-related questions to “The Photographer’s Green Book” project. 

Adjunct professor Steve Garst designed, manufactured, and released 134 printing presses to help 25+ printmaking and letterpress university programs around the US cope with the COVID-19 pandemic.

Garst’s work has been featured in two juried exhibitions: Printmaker, Interrupted at Illinois State University and Artlink 40th National Print Exhibition in Fort Wayne, Ind. 

Jim Viewegh, associate professor and chair, had work featured in The Figure and Exploring our Fears, international juried online exhibitions by The In Art Gallery. 

Faculty and students from the Departments of English and Art & Design collaborated to bring the 18th-century novel The Castles of Athlin and Dunbayne by Ann Radcliffe back into print. Set in medieval Scotland, the book features warring clans, imprisoned heroes and heroines, a shipwrecked Count, stolen inheritances, and many of the hallmarks of Radcliffe’s later Gothic fiction. 

Students learned how to produce a scholarly edition of the novel in ENGL 420, taught by Dr. Jennifer Camden, professor and associate chair of English. Students in ART 193 and ART 430, taught by Randi Frye, former assistant professor of Art & Design, illustrated key scenes from the novel. Students in the ST 299 course, taught by Liz Whiteacre, assistant professor of English, created the master design file of the book, completed its editing, and developed marketing materials to promote it. 

Katherine Fries, associate professor of Art & Design and director of Hullabaloo Press, is working with the National Library Bindery Company of Indiana to provide an opportunity for students to hand-bind a limited, commemorative art edition of the novel and learn more about bookmaking.

The novel was published through Etchings Press at the University of Indianapolis and is available for purchase on Amazon. Faculty presented a roundtable panel on the project at the virtual Indiana College English Association conference, which was well-attended by UIndy students, faculty, and alumni. 


Dr. Kevin Gribbins was named Mentor of the Year by the Ron & Laura Strain Honors College and was a finalist for the University Teacher of the Year.

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

Associate professor Dr. Marc Milne worked with the Indiana Department of Natural Resources to create the first official list of spiders in the state and to assign statuses of conservation concern (threatened, endangered, vulnerable, etc.) to these species.

Milne co-authored “Results of the Indiana Forest Alliance Ecoblitz at Morgan-Monroe/Yellowwood State Forest in Indiana,” in the Indiana Academy of Science and co-authored “Biodiversity from caves and other subterranean habitats of Georgia, USA,” which was published in the Journal of Cave and Karst Studies

Professor Dr. Krista Latham participated in a virtual press conference to announce the Lilly Girls and Young Women in STEM Advisory Committee, of which she is a member.

Latham participated in a review of research and development applications as a standing member of the National Institute of Justice, Research and Development in Forensic Science for Criminal Justice Purposes Forensic Biology Panel.

Assistant professor Dr. Daniel Scholes presented a research poster at the American Society of Plant Biology virtual conference, and co-presented a scholarship of teaching and learning poster with Shira Sasson ’21 (chemistry, biology minor). 

Scholes also presented an invited research poster for the virtual Leading Ecologist Showcase of the Ecological Society of America. 

Alba Craig ’21 and Tanya Ramos ’22 (human biology) were featured in a video on the Indiana Academy of Science website. 


The department has been accepted into the MICRO (Development and Deployment of Microfluidic Based Labs in Chemistry) program, which incorporates microfluidic lab-on-a-chip devices into analytical chemistry curriculum. UIndy is one of ten institutions selected to pioneer this program, led by associate professor Dr. Levi Mielke.

Aaron Drake ’21 (chemistry major, biology minor), 2020 recipient of the Wayne Patrick Comer Award, had data featured in the latest seminar in the JASCO series on Molecular Spectroscopy.


Professor Dr. Katie Greenan was appointed by President-Elect Joe Biden’s campaign director to serve on the Biden-Harris 2020 Presidential Campaign by hosting and moderating virtual leadership events and communication training sessions.

Greenan, assistant professor Dr. Whitney Tipton, and colleagues completed an audio book narration with Indiana State Library. “Campaign Crossroads: Presidential Politics in Indiana from Lincoln to Obama” will be published in 2021 and preserved by the Library of Congress in Washington, D.C.

Tipton presented two papers at the National Communication Association annual conference: “Still in the fight but out of the race: An agenda-setting analysis of the last week of the Kamala Harris campaign” (co-authored by graduate students Stephen Cox, Rebecca Coutcher, and Lamara Finley) and “Toward an invitational andragogy: Articulating a teaching philosophy for the adult/accelerated classroom” (co-authored by Dr. Stephanie Wideman). 

Scott Uecker, instructor and general manager of WICR, commented for an Indianapolis Business Journal article about radio listenership during the pandemic. 

Uecker co-presented “Coaching Radio On-Air Personalities” at the College Broadcasters, Inc. virtual National Student Electronic Media Convention, and was re-elected to the Indiana Broadcasters Association Board of Directors. 

Uecker also won an Indiana Broadcasters Association Spectrum Award for Best Sports Coverage in the large market radio division for his football play-by-play on Fox Sports Radio 1260 AM.

The UIndy Forensics Speech and Debate Team competed in their first virtual tournament at the 2020 T-Town Swing Tournament, hosted by Tulsa Community College and Northeastern State University.

Dr. Steven Koehn, assistant professor, was the keynote speaker at the 27th ICTEL 2020 Virtual International Conference on Teaching, Education & Learning held at the Universiti Teknologi Malaysia (UTM) in Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia.

Dr. Ray Begovich, director of graduate studies in public relations, published a book review of News From Germany :The Competition to Control World Communications, 1900-1945 by Heidi J.S. Tworek in Journalism and Mass Communication Quarterly, Vol. 97, No. 2, Summer 2020.

Begovich participated virtually in the Annual General Meeting of the International Association of Business Communicators; the annual conference of the American Journalism Historians Association; and three webinars hosted by PR Week magazine.

Begovich also served as a judge for the Society of Professional Journalists’ Sigma Delta Chi national writing awards.

Criminal Justice

Faculty and students have been working with the Marion County Forensic Services Agency surveying cold case homicides that have National Integrated Ballistic Information Network criteria evidence which has not yet been entered into the database. 


Dr. Leah Milne, assistant professor, published “ZITKÁLA-ŠÁ, Earlham Hall, Richmond, Indiana,” in Literary Landscapes

Milne also presented at the Midwest Pop Culture/American Culture Association conference and presented “Emotional Labor & the Labor of Distraction” at the National Humanities Conference.

Rebecca McKanna, assistant professor, published a short story, What Happens to Girls, in Rumpus, 24 June 2020.

Liz Whiteacre, assistant professor, published a poem, “Home for the Holidays,” An Indiana Christmas (Indiana University Press), and had two poems published in the literary magazine Last Leaves (October 2020): “My Daughter Hates Basil” and “My Daughter Whirls.”  

Dan Vice, assistant professor, published the poem “House Hunters” in High Shelf XIX.

A poetry collection by professor Kevin McKelvey was shortlisted for top honors for the 2020 Eugene and Marilyn Glick Indiana Authors Awards.

McKelvey also presented “Arts, Community, & Place: A Collaborative Workshop” in the Indiana Humanities INseparable Speakers Bureau for Historic New Harmony and University of Southern Indiana’s Crossroads: Change in Rural America series. 

Experience Design

The department has been collaborating across campus to design virtual programming that is safer and more accessible during the pandemic. 

Students in EXD 101 have been working with the Center for Global Engagement, and EXD 300 students are partnering with Dr. Bev Reitsma (School of Education) and Mary Gobbett (Biology) to create original experiential video content for teaching modules in social studies and science. 

Global Languages & Cross-Cultural Studies

Professor Dr. Gerburg Garmann published a poem, “Covid-19 or On Cultivating a Sharpness from the Backs of Rocks” in Northern New England Review. 

Dr. Ana María Ferreira, assistant professor, published “George Floyd, la víctima más reciente del racismo y el abuso policial” in Razon Pública. 

Students in Ferreira’s class translated documents for Prevail of Central Indiana, an organization that serves victim of sexual abuse and domestic violence.

Dr. Eduard Arriaga, assistant professor, published “Redes epistemológicas y acciones. Manuel Zapata Olivella en el Primer Congreso de la Cultura Negra de las Américas.” Visitas al patio. Revista de lingüística y literatura, vol. 14, No. 1, pp. 107-125.

History & Political Science

Dr. Ted Frantz, professor and department chair, collaborated with Indiana politician John Mutz to write “An Examined Life: The John Mutz Story,” published by the Indiana Historical Society Press. Frantz was quoted in an Associated Press article about the presidential election, along with several regional news outlets.

Associate professor Dr. Laura Wilson continued to provide commentary to multiple local, regional, and international outlets regarding questions surrounding the 2020 election cycle.

Professor Dr. James Fuller presented papers virtually at two conferences: “The Significance of War Governors or Why We Should Care About State and Local Matters in Studying Civil War History,” Thirteenth Annual Symposium of the Civil War Study Group, hosted by Youngstown State University and “Interpreting the Life of Richard Yates, Civil War Governor of Illinois,” 22nd Annual Conference on Illinois History.

Fuller also virtually spoke on “The Lady Major and the War Governor: The Politics of a Civil War Sex Scandal,” as the Hosmer-Williams Lecture hosted by Principia College and The Historic Elsah Foundation.

Professor Dr. Lawrence Sondhaus published a second revised edition of his book “World War I: The Global Revolution” with Cambridge University Press.

Instructor Emily G. Miller was elected to a three-year term as secretary for the Indiana Council for the Social Studies. 

International Relations

Led by associate professor Dr. Jyotika Saksena, students majoring in International Relations, Political Science, and History participated in the Model United Nations Conference this fall. Craig Chigadza ’21 won the Best Delegate Award for the African Union Council. 


Professor Dr. John Berners collaborated with faculty and alumni to create an original composition that honors the life of Christel DeHaan. The tribute is based on “Wandrers Nachtlied,” written by German poet Johann Wolfgang von Goethe. 

Nemanja Ostojić, associate adjunct professor of classical guitar, was featured in a music video to educate young students in his home country of Serbia.

Dr. Brett Leonard, assistant professor and director of music technology programs, and the Department of Music produced several virtual ensembles in the wake of social distancing requirements during the COVID-19 pandemic.

Leonard has been nominated for a 2021 Grammy Award for “Best Engineered Album” for his work on Third Coast Percussion & Devonté Hynes’s album “Fields,” for which he provided audio editing.

Dr. Ryan Behan, assistant professor, has been named Co-Director of the Franz Liszt International Piano Competition, which is to be held in May 2021 in Columbus, Ohio.

Instructor Amy Foley published an article, “Coping with Changes to Music Therapy Business During the Pandemic” in Connect 2 Music Therapy, an online magazine for music therapists.

Assistant professor Joana Genova and adjunct instructor Ariel Rudiakov, artistic directors of Taconic Music, presented the first indoors (limited audience, socially distanced) concert series in the state of Vermont.

Physics & Earth-Space Science

The department welcomed two new faculty, assistant professor Dr. Nick Soltis and associate adjunct professor Opondo Makito.

Soltis published “Measuring student engagement in traditional and active learning biology classrooms using skin biosensors” in CBE: Life Sciences Education and presented “Exploring spatial relationships between lignite-bearing aquifers, total organic carbon, and end-stage renal disease in the US Gulf Coast” at the Geological Society of America Annual Meeting. 

Instructor Dr. Stacy Hootman received the Charles Emmert Distinguished Service Award from the Indiana Section of the American Association of Physics Teachers. 


Dr. Colleen Wynn, assistant professor, published an article for the American Sociological Association’s Community & Urban Sociology blog that discusses the importance of using evidence when talking about urbanization and racial justice. 

Wynn also spoke with local radio station WFYI about the collection of the 2020 Census. 

“Surrogacy and Medicalization: Navigating Power, Control, and Autonomy in Embodied Labor,” an article by assistant professor Dr. Liz Ziff was accepted for publication at The Sociological Quarterly.  

Dr. Amanda Miller, associate professor and department chair, completed data collection with over 65 current and former cohabiting individuals as a follow-up study with her colleague, Sharon Sassler.

Miller also presented “Supporting Underprepared Students in the Online Classroom: COVID-19 Edition” for Alpha Kappa Delta, the Sociology Honor Society, and wrote a press release for the Council for Contemporary Families on the challenges of Cohabiting During COVID.


Carla Harper, an instructional designer for the Faculty Academy, recently received the Outstanding Service 2020 Award from the Private Academic Library Network of Indiana. 

Dakota Ebersold ’21 (history and government/geography education) and Sierra Roberts ’21 (history and social studies education) received the 2020 Dennis Beadles Pre-Service Teacher Award – Outstanding Future Social Studies Educator from the Indiana Council for the Social Studies. 

Aviya Hawkins ’22 (public health) and Abigail Wagner ’22 (physical therapy) were selected for the Indiana AHEC Scholars Program, part of a national initiative to prepare tomorrow’s health professionals to become leaders in interprofessional practice. 

The Department of Music and the Center for Aging & Community partnered with the Dementia Friends Indiana movement (led locally by CICOA Aging & In-Home Solutions) to host a series of Memory Cafes at Books & Brews-South Indy.

Faculty and students from the Departments of English and Art & Design collaborated to bring The Castles of Athlin and Dunbayne back to print. The student-friendly edition of Ann Radcliffe’s first novel is available for purchase on Amazon. Faculty presented a roundtable panel on the project at the virtual Indiana College English Association conference, which was well-attended by UIndy students, faculty, and alumni.

Dr. Colleen Wynn, assistant professor of sociology, and Dr. Leah Milne, assistant professor of English, presented “How Interdisciplinarity Can Enhance Conversations about Race in the Classroom” for Alpha Kappa Delta, the Sociology Honor Society. 

For the second year, visual communication design students collaborated with engineering students on DesignSpine, year-long engineering entrepreneurial projects. 

R.B. Annis School of Engineering faculty Dr. David Olawale, Dr. Paul Talaga, and James Emery, along with Dr. Marcos Hashimoto (School of Business) and Rhonda Wolverton (Department of Art & Design), have been named Innovation Fellows to support collaborative entrepreneurship and innovation across campus. The initiative is funded by the Elevate Nexus Higher Education Grant.

Olawale and Wolverton hosted a webinar for their project, “Art-Engineering Collaboration: Enhancing Entrepreneurial Opportunities.” for the Jack M. Wilson Center for Entrepreneurship at UMass-Lowell.

Dr. Melissa Ketner, assistant professor in the Phylis Lan Lin Department of Social Work and Liz Ziff, assistant professor of sociology, received a Faculty Scholarship Award to support a research study called “Sex Ed Curriculum in the State of Indiana: Is Abstinence-Only Education Best for our Youth?”