Alternative Break students help create change in communities

This year, more than 70 students from IUPUI’s Alternative Break Program traveled across the United States to explore the root causes of social issues and expand their mindsets about everyday challenges others experience.

During spring break, six groups traveled to five major cities to examine community access to health care, disability rights, immigration and social entrepreneurship, urban education and LGBTQ+ issues, food security and redevelopment, prison justice, and gentrification that could lead to health disparities.

IUPUI students in Atlanta built picnic tables at Umarima, a farm partnered with Global Growers, to provide older workers there a place to sit at the job site. Photo courtesy of Mariana Lagunas, Indiana University

Two student groups went to New Orleans while the others explored Atlanta; Washington, D.C.; Charlotte, North Carolina; and Charleston, West Virginia. While learning about their individual topics, participants took part in service and educational activities that best suited the issues they were observing. Some students organized food pantries, while others facilitated programs and visited historical locations, local businesses and organizations that provide support services.

Alternative Breaks is a “by students, for students” IUPUI program — where group leaders, or Alternative Break Scholars, build their designated trips from the ground up. These student leaders develop educational materials for fellow students at each location and lead post-service reflection times about the service performed each day. Reflection helps guide students through critical questions that challenge their previous perspectives of each issue while providing new viewpoints and building community among the participants.

Trip leader Kevin Sanders, whose group traveled to Washington, D.C., to examine health care for those with disabilities, said his trip worked to dismantle stigmas often associated with having a disability. He said they visited lobbyists and trade associations that have an interest in promoting disability policies, organizations that provide access to health care, and nonprofits that fund research and supportive services for people with disabilities, such as the Alzheimer’s Association and the U.S. Access Board.

IUPUI students in Washington, D.C., met Indiana Sen. Todd Young at the Russell Senate Office Building to advocate for a bill to help people with disabilities. Photo courtesy of Kevin Sanders, Indiana University

Sanders explained that his participants learned about legislation up for debate in Congress and discovered obstacles individuals with disabilities must go through to receive health care.

Alternative Breaks Scholar Mariana Lagunas led a group to Atlanta that studied social entrepreneurship and immigration. Lagunas and her fellow students learned about fostering social entrepreneurship from Cox Enterprises, and Global Growers shared with them how the company helps immigrant and refugee communities with sustainable agriculture in Atlanta.

Lagunas’ group performed hands-on services like assembling picnic tables, weeding crop beds and clearing out produce crates for members of the community.

“The whole point is to move students along this active citizen continuum,” Lagunas said. “You have to live a lifestyle based on what you understand, and volunteering is only the first step. We’re hoping to get students from just living to volunteering and becoming active citizens.”

Read the original article from IUPUI News’ Ashlynn Neumeyer 

IUPUI’s Center For Service And Learning Cultivates A Culture Of Student Engagement

An IUPUI student shovels mulch as part of the 2017 César Chávez Day of Service. Photo by Liz Kaye, Indiana University

The IUPUI Center for Service and Learning and its opportunities to enrich the Indianapolis community have grown steadily through the decades, with programs earning national and international recognition. Today, community engagement is ingrained in the student culture. Four major days of service are highlights on the IUPUI academic calendar, including the upcoming César Chávez Day.

Ian Burke, a senior studying biochemistry, got involved with his community quickly. A student mentor for the scholarship students working to plan the day of service, Burke believes the experience is essential not only to making his community a better place but also to improving his professional skills.

“I plan on applying to medical school,” Burke said. “Professional skills, time management and leadership are all things I’ve learned in community service, and all are needed in medicine.”

Burke will serve as a student leader during the March 30 César Chávez Day of Service. Hundreds of students will engage with nonprofit organizations throughout the day. There is still time to register to be part of the event.

César Chávez is considered a hero for farm laborers and is hailed as one of the greatest American civil rights leaders. The campus also celebrates his legacy with a student-organized dinner.

While the 2018 César Chávez Day saw an unexpected 10 inches of snow dumped onto the city, the 2019 edition will still focus on outdoor projects. Students will be planting trees and weeding for organizations like Indy Urban AcresFletcher Place Community Centerand the Willard Park Community Garden. Burke will lead his fellow students in setting up summer camp tents for the Girl Scouts at Camp Dellwood.

A culture of service

As a member of a fraternity and the Honors College, Burke had to satisfy requirements for community service hours, but students wanting to further their service with communities have found a special outlet in the Center for Service and Learning.

“I just connected with being able to do something positive for the community,” Burke explained. “The impact is a big thing for me.”

The Sam H. Jones Community Service Scholarship Program was established in 1999. Students like Burke interact with community organizations, lead projects, write about their experiences, and lead reflective and educational dialogue with their peers on-site. Burke said most of his fellow Jaguars are drawn to deeper community-engagement experiences after their first service day experience.

“At the end of the day,” Burke added, “I try to drive home the message: ‘Yeah, you got your service hours, but did you get anything else?'”

Taking service to work

Burke believes his community-based experiences will apply to his post-IUPUI career. He’s learned project management and programming skills to go along with his biochemistry degree.

“I plan on getting involved with nonprofits during my professional life,” he said. “A lot of the concepts I’ve learned from here, I’ll take with me to whatever I do. I think it would be my responsibility to continue to help my community.”

And Burke believes that culture of service will continue at IUPUI for another 25 years or more: “I see a lot of students engaging with the community and realizing they can be a part of it.”

Read the original article from IUPUI News’ Tim Brouk 

5 Tips for Landing an Internship

For those of you trying to plan ahead for internships, here are tips from our expert career advisors about how to land the job.

Start early and talk to your career advisor

The IUPUI campus has many resources to help with each step in landing an internship. Intern fairs are a great way to search for opportunities, establish connections and get your name out there. Liz Kaye, Indiana University

Don’t wait to look for an internship. It’s common for businesses to search for summer interns as early as the fall semester. Students who wait until spring to look for a summer internship might have trouble getting a position because many opportunities will be filled.

It’s also smart to begin the internship search by visiting your career advisor. They can help you consider what you want to do with your degree, guide you to templates for your resume and cover letters, review your resume and cover letters, help you with networking, do a mock interview with you, notify you about career fairs, and more.

Search for opportunities

First, check to see if your school has a database or another kind of internship listing for your major. For students in the School of Liberal Arts, there’s a database available to get help with many things involving your career. JagJobsIndiana INTERNnet and Ascend Indiana are a few sites that are specifically intended for students looking for internships. Google and LinkedIn are also options, and of course you can just go directly to a company’s website to see if it’s hiring.

Career and intern fairs are a great way to find opportunities and get your name out there. When attending career events, informational interviews or job-shadowing opportunities, make sure to dress professionally, come with questions and bring your resume. Also, make sure to follow up with the people you met.

Once you have a list of internships you’d like to apply for, prioritize them. Don’t apply for every position that sounds interesting — but don’t apply for just one or two either, in case those companies don’t get back to you.

Use your connections

Connections give you an advantage in the workforce. Not only can they suggest people you haven’t heard of, but they could also help you get in the door for that first interview. Those who are close to you know how you work and will likely enjoy helping where they can. Ask your advisors, professors or peers for potential connections. In addition, your parents — or your friends’ parents — might know people who could help you make connections.

Research professionals in your field and reach out to them to see if they’ll talk with you. Other ways to make connections are attending career fairs, joining LinkedIn, scheduling informational interviews and job-shadowing opportunities, attending company presentations, and talking with guest speakers in your classes.

Once again, don’t forget to follow up and send a thank-you email or note to people who took any time to help you.

Prepare your resume and cover letter

Every industry has different expectations.

Your resume needs to be descriptive and show measurable outcomes about your work experiences, accomplishments, scholarships and skill sets. It should not be more than one page. Also, unless your GPA is close to a 4.0, don’t put it on there.

Your cover letter must be tailored specifically to the internship you’re applying for — do not create a general one you send out to everyone. Briefly include what you know about the company, why you want to work there and how your skills match the needs listed in the job description. When you’re done, have professors, advisors, your career development office, parents and friends proofread the documents.

Finally, identify and ask three people you know to be references. Make sure you tell them in advance when they might be receiving a phone call or email from potential employers.

Prepare for the interview

Dress to impress for your interview, complete with professional clothing and a well-groomed appearance. Stay away from strong perfume/cologne and distracting jewelry. Also, find out beforehand exactly where the interview is, how long it takes to get there and where to park to avoid any chance of being late.

Nail down your elevator pitch and rehearse your answers to typical interview questions before the big day, and request a mock interview with your career advisor or a professor.

Lastly, never forget to follow up within 24 hours by sending a thank-you email or handwritten note. It should reiterate your interest, state something you learned or appreciated, and thank them for their time.

Read the original story from IUPUI News’ Ashlynnn Neumeyer

IUPUI to party like it’s 1969

IUPUI will officially turn the big 5-0 on Jan. 24. It’s the campus’s birthday, but the presents are for you. Photo by Getty Images

On Jan. 24, 1969, the average cost of gas was 32 cents a gallon, “I Heard It Through the Grapevine” by Marvin Gaye was the No. 1 song on the radio, and “Sweet Caroline” crooner Neil Diamond turned 28 years old.

Also, and most importantly, IUPUI was officially established on that memorable day.

IUPUI’s golden anniversary will be celebrated in style throughout the day and well into the evening Jan. 24 in the Campus Center.

The day will feature a wide variety of activities designed to honor IUPUI’s past, celebrate our present and envision our future. Accomplishments by faculty, staff, students, alumni and community partners throughout the past 50 years will be recognized even as guests throughout the day will be looking ahead to the university’s next half-century.

Here’s a breakdown of what you can expect next week while celebrating IUPUI’s golden anniversary:

50th Anniversary Report to the Community

When and where: 10 to 11 30 a.m. on the fourth floor of the Campus Center.

Registrations are full for this invitation-only event that will feature remarks by IUPUI Chancellor Nasser H. Paydar, IU President Michael A. McRobbie, Purdue Board of Trustees President Michael Berghoff and a panel of Indianapolis mayors — past and present — who will help celebrate the occasion of IUPUI’s official birthday in historic fashion. But the event will be live-streamed on

Special sessions and party activities

When and where: Noon to 5 p.m. on various floors of the Campus Center.

Presentations from IUPUI faculty and staff, all 45 minutes or less, will enlighten throughout the afternoon. The talks are open to all. They include:

  • Professor of anthropology Paul Mullins will offer a featured session, “The Price of Progress: Race and Displacement in Indianapolis’ Near-Westside,” from noon to 12:45 p.m. and 2 to 2:45 p.m. in Room 309
  • Colleagues in the Office of the Vice Chancellor for Research have organized an IUPUI Research Rock Stars session, highlighting 50 years of outstanding research at IUPUI.
  • University Library colleagues will share information about digital collections, including an opportunity to have a 3D scan made of your face — or your favorite IUPUI artifact — for the digital repository that will commemorate the day.

The party continues

When and where: Noon to 10 p.m. on various floors of the Campus Center.

Employees, students and visitors are invited to check out the activities on the Campus Center’s main floor and the theater level, which will include a 360-degree photo booth, an all-day dance party, a virtual-reality 3D tour of campus, a new interactive map of community engagement and 50th-birthday cakes made by local bakeries.

Get your golden jaguar

IUPUI is giving out 700 3D-printed “Golden Jaguars” to faculty, staff and students who print out a passport and collect stamps at various birthday locations around campus. The jaguars have been produced on campus by University Library’s digital scholarship group in the 3D Printing Studio.

Residence halls and organizations are competing for the most stamps to win golden jaguar figurines and a chance for pizza with Chancellor Paydar. Get started here.

Be sure to wear your JagSwag and post on social media about IUPUI’s birthday. The hashtag #MyIUPUI was created to celebrate this exciting day, so take advantage of this special occasion and show off your school spirit by spreading the word.

Read the original article from IUPUI News

Jaguars in the City

Students rake leaves and help clean up White River State Park near campus. Photos by Liz Kaye, Indiana University

The annual IUPUI Day of Caring brought hundreds of IUPUI volunteers to 20 different organizations in the community on October 20th, where they each lent a helping hand to help beautify the city.

Students paint a fence in Pocket Park located in Haughville, a neighborhood west of campus. Photos by Liz Kaye, Indiana University

Several student groups, including Circle K and the Pre-Dental Club as well as the Women’s Softball team, volunteered their time with community organizations such as Habitat for Humanity of Great IndianapolisHeart and Hands of Indiana, the Department of Public WorksFletcher Place Community Center, and the Girl Scouts of Central Indiana.

IUPUI Works Indy: Melissa McDermott Unites Art and History Interning at the Indiana State Museum

You know internships provide great experience. You also know that Indianapolis provides great opportunities. Put them together, and you have a dynamite combo that prepares you for a lifetime of success.

See how Herron School of Art and Design senior Melissa McDermott colors outside the lines with her internship at the Indiana State Museum.

Melissa McDermott has always wanted to be an artist, but her internship at the Indiana State Museum opened her eyes to the wealth of creative professional opportunities. Video by Myron Russell, Indiana University

Read the original article from IUPUI News’ Becky Hart