IUPUI Solution Center | Official Blog
Welcome to our blog! We share stories here about the amazing Solution Center-supported internships, projects and research that IUPUI students and faculty members are working on in the community. If you are a community partner with a story idea, please contact us at 317-278-9170 or email@example.com.
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Karen M. Yoder, PhD, MSD
The IU School of Dentistry’s Healthy Smiles for Employability Program has helped many people gain the confidence and appearance they need to seek employment in many fields. Now, The IU School of Dentistry has created a new program that will serve those who have served our country bravely: military veterans.
The new IU School of Dentistry’s Veteran’s Employability: The Dental Connection will give military veterans the chance to get dental work done at no cost, with more complex dental work offered at a steep discount. This program, like the Healthy Smiles program, is funded in part through a $20,000 Venture Fund grant from the IUPUI Solution Center.
“The Student Outreach Clinic was such a success, we wondered what we could do for veterans,” said Dr. Karen Yoder, a professor at IUPUI who developed both programs. “This will be a great way to give back.”
Ten veterans have been selected for the project, and more will come. Patients in this program will be guided through the process by student navigators, who are second-year dental students. The student navigators will help the veterans get enrolled, so the vets can get the help they need.
“We want to develop partnerships with the veterans,” Yoder said. “We’re using the same criteria we used with Healthy Smiles, and we’re helping people become more employable.”
Jeni Bolenbacker, a third-year dental student in the IU School of Dentistry, said she volunteered for the program because she has a passion for assisting veterans. She wanted the chance to see veterans achieve their goals, and she believes this program can help them do that by giving the vets the extra confidence they need.
“I like this program because this program empowers people,” Bolenbacker said. “People often take for granted how lucky we are to have all of our teeth and what a negative impact missing teeth can have on employability. Being able to play my part as a dental student to help these veterans achieve oral health so that they can help themselves reach their goals is the most rewarding part of the program.”
But the program is more than just a dental health program. Student navigators team up with social workers at the Hoosier Veterans’ Assistance Foundation to teach employment skills. HVAF will help veterans job training skills to make sure the veterans have every opportunity to get a job. “We really wanted this to be a full program,” Yoder said.
Yoder said right now the program is only a semester long, but she’s hoping to extend it and make it a year-round program.
“I would also hope that this program would show other young health professionals that you don’t have to wait until you become a doctor to give back to your community,” Bolenbacker said. “You can start doing it now.”
Computer Graphic Technology Students Develop Public Service Video for PEN (Prison Enterprises Network)
PEN, a division of the Indiana Department of Correction, manufactures goods and provides services using offender labor through the Indiana prison industries. PEN’s mission is to equip offenders for successful reentry through meaningful work and career development while operating in a self-sustaining manner.
Becky Deeb commented, “This project will benefit PEN by increasing partnerships, increasing sales and increasing awareness for our mission. The larger community of Indiana will benefit as PEN trains offenders for post release employment, reducing recidivism, making Indiana safer and saving taxpayer dollars.”
Working with Becky Deeb, the PEN New Enterprise Development Manager, Christian Rogers, Assistant Professor in Computer Graphics Technology, Purdue School of Engineering & Technology at IUPUI, and eight of his students, developed a promotional video for PEN during the Fall 2013 Semester as part of a video technology class.
The eight Computer Graphics Technology students, Kent Hiquet, Prapti Jain, Courtney Knies, Zack Lubarski, Bryce McGlothlink, Chris Tieman, Andrea West and Greg Wire, chose this project as opposed to an individual project.
Working in teams, the students visited 3 adult correctional facilities (Plainfield, downtown Indianapolis, and Kokomo) to video work assignments and conduct offender interviews. Each student submitted their own preproduction planning, conducted video shoots and created a version of the final piece.
Rogers said, “This project was incredibly beneficial to my students as it provided a real-world project that exposed them to the functional aspects of working on a production. The project also opened the student’s eyes to prison life. After each shoot experience the students would comment that it wasn’t what they expected.”
Prapti Jain, a Junior at IUPUI said, “Working in my field gave me experience that I can’t get in the classroom. I was enjoying while learning. I am sure this project will play a huge role in my success.”
Rogers commented, “As an instructor, I have been on many different shoot experiences as I have taught and mentored, or with my own work. I have not done anything like this. It truly gave me a different perspective on how the prison system works, but provided me a much truer picture of an inmate and the type of people we have in our prisons. Some may have made just one mistake in their life that changed their life forever.”
Deeb said, “It has been a pleasure working with Chris Rogers. He is very professional, his students respect him very much and he really made this project come together.”
Rogers said, “As an organization, PEN desires to work with other businesses and expose others to the positive impact they are having on the incarcerated. My hope is that this video will provide an opportunity for them to express that message in a new way.”
The Summer Job and Internship Fair, held at the IUPUI Campus Center on February 20th, 2014, offered approximately 200 students the opportunity to meet face to face with potential employers from a variety of career fields to apply for summer jobs and internship opportunities.
Harold Owens II (left) shaking hands with Jake Todd (right), student at IUPUI, pursuing a Master’s degree in Electrical Engineering.
The Fair was hosted by the IUPUI University College, Office of Student Employment and was open to IUPUI students of all majors and class standings.
Forty-Eight employers attended and offered on-site interviews to qualified candidates.
Harold Owens II, employer from Interactive Intelligence said he met good prospective employees. “We’re in need,”Owens said.
Jordan Pierce, Junior at IUPUI, pursuing a degree in Electrical Engineering said,”This is my first job fair outside of my degree. I didn’t come in with too many expectations, but it’s exciting to meet prospective employers.”
Indiana University School of Dentistry Healthy Smiles Program Links Dental Health with Employability
Persons with missing, broken, or badly stained teeth may lack confidence in the job search and also find it difficult to get hired into many positions that require work with customers or the public. The IU School of Dentistry’s Healthy Smiles for Employability Program links dentistry with economic development by improving oral health to increase employability.
The Healthy Smiles mission is to improve oral health, well-being and employment outcomes for local, low-income and uninsured residents by providing patients with dental care and free dentures as well as linkages to community employment services. The program is an extension of Indiana University School of Dentistry’s Student Outreach Clinic, and is funded in part by the IUPUI Solution Center’s Community Venture Fund, and the JP Morgan Chase Foundation through the IUPUI/Chase Near Eastside Legacy Initiative.
Professor Karen M. Yoder PhD, MSD developed this program with the help of IU Dental students, and interns from the Lilly Family School of Philanthropy and the IU School of Public Health. The students assisted Dr. Yoder to identify candidates for the program.
“It’s been a wonderful experience to see the educational piece of this,” Dr. Yoder said. “It’s been a joy to see how the students have developed their leadership skills, their organizational skills, and their ability to work with diverse people in diverse settings.”
Join us in congratulating Christine Fitzpatrick, who accepted a new position as Chief of Staff to the IUPUI Executive Vice Chancellor and Chief Academic Officer, Nassar Padar, effective February 1, 2014. As Chief of Staff, Fitzpatrick will serve as an advisor to Paydar and will assist with strategic planning and change management initiatives, budget and financial planning, and policy and program development for the campus.
Christine served as the IUPUI Solution Center’s Associate Director since 2010. Over the last three years, Christine worked with many Solution Center community partners to develop projects and determine how to best meet community needs through internships, research, consultation or class projects.
We wish Christine all the best with her new role. More Information
Indiana INTERNnet honored excellence among interns, employers and career development professionals on February 5, at the eighth annual IMPACT Awards Luncheon, sponsored by Ivy Tech Community College. Director Janet Boston says there was a record number of nominations this year for categories including Intern of the Year and Employer of the Year. Congratulations to the Winners!
Indiana INTERNnet, managed by the Indiana Chamber of Commerce, is a statewide resource for internship opportunities that has helped connect students and employers across the state since 2001.
This month we are excited to welcome a new member to our team! Teresa Francis is the Communication Assistant at the IUPUI Solution Center. She coordinates the center’s internal and external communication and reporting efforts- keeping up with our social media accounts, orchestrating our monthly newsletter, distributing press releases, and aiding in event planning.
Through the support of the IUPUI Solution Center’s Venture Fund, the IUPUI CyberLab has been able to recruit a skilled set of interns to work on education technology innovation and development. The CyberLab is a research and development lab on the IUPUI campus. After assisting in the development of several successful learning systems, including Oncourse, Angel Learning, and Epsilen, the CyberLab has taken on CourseNetworking (CN) as its current project. CN is an academic social learning environment with thousands of members in more than 100 countries worldwide. Since summer 2013, interns have been working on projects in graphic design, multimedia production, social media and marketing, and mobile app development.
IUPUI CyberLab interns Manpreet Singh and Philip Heebner, majors of computer science at IUPUI, spent their 2013 winter breaks developing the anticipated CN Android App. They collaborated extensively on the project, sharing unique experiences that they found challenging, rewarding, and beneficial to them in the long term.
Singh, the CN’s iPhone app developer, explained several challenges. “The biggest challenge was code sharing. Because this project had to be completed as a team, we had to make sure that the code we wrote was compatible with the code others on the team had written. There were moments when our code conflicted.” Singh also described challenges communicating with the Application Programming Interface (API), which allows the app to communicate with the online server, much like a control panel. “This was the first Android app we had ever developed, and figuring out how to talk with the server’s API was difficult,” Singh commented.
As the CyberLab’s most experienced programming intern, Singh’s leadership became critical when guiding other interns through tasks and to tackle the ones for which he was in charge.
“Not only was I responsible for writing code, I also had to make sure that we were on schedule and that we were meeting our goals.” Despite time constraints and these challenges, Singh describes the learning experience he gained as a positive one. “I’ve learned a lot about how the Android works. It’s a completely different developing environment from what I’ve worked with before. As the project progressed, so did our team.”
Philip Heebner, who worked directly with Singh, also shared his experience. As the creator of the app’s login page, post reflections page, create post form, and the logic responsible for running these functions, Heebner discovered challenges of his own. “The most challenging part for me was learning how to use a large number of tools at once. In some ways, the experience was one of the most rewarding.” Heebner appreciates the learning experience this project has given him and working for the CyberLab. “I’ve learned so much,” he said. “I’m thrilled to have been involved in this project.”
Heebner’s outlook on the Android project reiterates a key purpose of the CyberLab internship program: Providing student interns with opportunities to apply knowledge and skills learned in school to real life innovations that build a solid foundation for their future careers. Heebner comments on how these practices have helped him grow as an intern. “I believe the most important knowledge I have gained through this experience is an understanding of the big picture and how all these different parts fit into an application as a whole.”
Functions of this first version of the CN Android app include access to course posts and making reflections, creating posts with attached photos, and many other features. Singh reassures Android users that more advanced updates are on the way. “This first release is just the beginning,” Singh said. “Users should expect to receive many more updates, which will include more sophisticated features. The goal is to make this app function the same as the iPhone app” (an app that Singh developed in record time over the summer 2013 break).
CyberLab Director, Dr. Ali Jafari, praised his interns on their progress. “I’m very impressed with the quality of work Manny, PJ, and all of our interns have produced so far,” Jafari commented. “They’ve proved that even as interns, with the proper training, supervision, and dedication to their tasks, that they can produce work as highin quality as the work of many full-time professionals.” Alice Zhao, CyberLab Project Coordinator, Research Associate, and supervisor of the interns, is excited to watch the lab grow in size and capacity, giving career development opportunities to more and more IUPUI students. “Through the Venture Fund and the advice of the Solution Center, we hired six more interns this spring semester, and we located faculty members from their study areas to mentor them. They are all motivated to take the challenge and make CN a better learning system.”
(Article provided by Jennifer Hashem at CN)
Vanessa Echeverria, a graduate student in the School of Public and Environmental Affairs pursuing a masters in nonprofit management, learned more about that subject faster than she ever thought she could thanks to an internship with Riley Area Development Corporation.
“This internship exceeded my goals of building skills,” she said. “I never imagined I would have learned so much in so little time. I was given a lot of responsibility and freedom to make my own decisions. My opinions were respected and they gave me many opportunities to participate in events and network.”
The Riley Area Development Corporation is a community development corporation concentrating on building and developing new communities in the Indianapolis area. In the internship, which was funded through the Community Venture Fund, Echeverria helped RADC with the Willard Park Development Project.
Echeverria helped with all aspects of this project, including strategic planning. She helped research information for the project, and put that research into a number of spreadsheets so it was in a readable format. She also helped determine how “green” the project was, and led a group of Rose-Hulman students who did research into that issue.
“She did a lot of research, and also helped us determine how we view the project’s success,” Susan Vogt, Associate Director and project supervisor at RADC, said.
Vogt said Echeverria’s help was invaluable, especially since she was a hard worker.
“She was very diligent and she worked well on her own, which was great considering we’re so busy,” Vogt said. “Since we’re so short staffed, having that extra half person was really key.”
Vogt said the RADC liked Echeverria so much they wanted to hire her full time for the next semester. However, Echeverria was looking for other experiences.
But she will forever be grateful to RADC for giving her a chance to learn and grow in a great setting.
“I would say that it is a great learning experience,” Echeverria said. “There is no better way to learn than to be fully immersed in the sector and do the work instead of only reading about it. Riley valued my opinion and treated me as a professional, I really appreciated all the trust they put in my work. The high performance standards they had really pushed me to accomplish much more than I ever thought possible in one semester.”
During the summer of 2013 six IUPUI students had the experience of a lifetime studying, volunteering, and working with an indigenous community of fewer than 300 people in Nanwalek, Alaska, during a three-week Anthropology and Museum Studies Field Experience. Following the summer experience the group planned and hosted a public presentation about the experience for an audience of 50 people which proved to be an experience as well.
The School of Liberal Arts students who participated in the Field Experience and fall presentation were: Caitlin Kegley, a second-year masters student studying Anthropology; Megan Elmore, a senior Anthropology major; Vickie Stone, a non-degree seeking graduate student; Alyssa Boge, a first year graduate student pursing a degree in Museum Studies; Daniel Bennett, a first-year Anthropology major; Tyler Coxey, an Anthropology student; Brianna McKnight, an Education student and Lauren Baker, a Museum Studies graduate student.
The students were responsible for every aspect of the public forum, from planning the venue, room set-up, and refreshments to publicity and seeking funding to pay for the event, to planning content, each person’s part, and creating a video. The students said the presentation was all about telling the story of the adventure they had just been on. “The goal of our presentation was to share how meaningful and dynamic this experience was, and how much we learned from it, both academically and community-based,” Elmore said.
The Alaska Field Experience was developed and led by Dr. Holly Cusack-McVeigh, Assistant Professor in Anthropology, and was made possible through funding and support from the University of Alaska, private and public museums in Alaska, and the IUPUI Community Venture Fund. On their own, students Megan Elmore and Tyler Coxey submitted a proposal to the Venture Fund and also were awarded support for the public event.
Elmore said her part was especially helpful. “Tyler Coxey and I wrote a grant proposal to receive money for refreshments for the event. This was a really helpful exercise for me as a Museum Studies student because grant funded work is the lifeblood of many museums,” Elmore said.
The students used the presentation to bring their experiences in Alaska to life, with a goal of helping others to experience what the students discovered about themselves and others 2,000 miles away. The team did that with a video, and through stories about native culture, food, art, family and other topics.
“I hope that with the presentation gave “voice” to the Alaska natives,” Elmore said. “We shared not only our experience but some of the social and cultural issues, such as lack of resources for museums, lack of representation, community dynamics, and the big need for mentoring youth. Cultural heritage, something we take for granted and don’t really comprehend, is something others have to fight for. I hope this presentation spoke to that idea and enlightened the audience about the world, even if in a small way.”
Anne Bunte’s work for the Indiana Blind Children’s Foundation helped the organization be seen by others.
Bunte, a Visual Communication Design Major, was the development and marketing intern for IBCF, responsible for completing research, designing marketing elements and adjusting and creating content for the organization’s website and Facebook page. She said the experience opened her eyes in many ways to how the real world operates. Her experience was funded by the IUPUI Venture Fund.
“Anne was a tremendous resource,” IBCF’s Executive Director Teresa Brun said. “Her skills and resources in graphic design and photography were great. She’s still working on a new brochure for us.”
Bunte said the internship was great for her as well.
“Getting out of the classroom and being placed in a real work environment helps develop my design skills and helps improve my future career opportunities and success,” Bunte said. “I learned that having a job is more than just making money — it’s about respecting your employers who have trusted you by giving you this position. Having a career is about being a loyal employee to your supervisors and providing superior service.”
Bunte’s research included research communication with multiple businesses and donors. She took photograph’s at the IBCF’s “Through the Looking Glass,” Gala, where she also made the invitation, RSVP card, event program and billboard for the event.
Brun said Bunte’s graphic design skills were the most helpful to IBCF. The organization has only two part-time workers, so they didn’t have time to add these visual details into their marketing strategy.
“Those things are nice to have, but we just didn’t have the time or resources,” Brun said.
Bunte said the experience offered her something she couldn’t get anywhere else as well.
“This offered real life experience,” Bunte said of the internship. “School reminds me of practice for a sport. You can practice all you want and practice is a necessity to become a great athlete, but an athlete needs to actually run the race or compete in a match, to know how it feels to win or lose a game, and how to improve your game to become a real champion.”
She also said this internship helped her communicate in the workplace.
“Communicating with co-workers, businesses and donors is something that classes don’t have. School classes give chances to have open conversations, but school can sometimes isolate a student, as there are not a lot of opportunities to practice conversing with other people.”
Bunte said this also made her thankful for her own opportunities.
“As a Visual Communication Design Major I rely so much on eyesight,” Bunte said. “It was inspiring to be around people who can’t rely on sight at all. [This experience] made me grateful for the gift of seeing when it is taken for granted most of the time. It felt great to support this non-profit and its mission.”
The IUPUI Solution Center was able to complete a tangible assessment of its work in the community recently thanks to a mini-grant from the Indiana University President’s office, through the Lilly Endowment’s Initiative to Promote Opportunities Through Educational Collaborations (LEI) grant.
IUPUI Solution Center Assistant Director Christine Fitzpatrick, and Research and Evaluation Specialist Silvia Garcia conducted the study. The study served as a foundation for a subsequent assessment of the JPMorgan Chase IUPUI Near Eastside Legacy Initiative evaluation Garcia completed in 2013.
Silvia Garcia & Christine Fitzpatrick
Both studies will be used in assessments of community engagement for IUPUI in support of its new strategic plan, as well as to maintain and expand external recognition of community engagement initiatives at IUPUI.
The two presented their findings at the 2013 Assessment Institute on Oct. 28 2013, at the Marriott in downtown Indianapolis. The institute is the nation’s oldest and largest event focused exclusively on outcomes assessment in higher education.
“Our poster presentation was very well received, especially by professionals who work in the community engagement area,” Fitzpatrick said. “The challenges of measuring impact and assessing results of community engagement are not trivial. In addition to gauging some of the benefits and impact of the Solution Center’s work, our study illuminates some of these challenges and suggests ways to address them.”
The study showed that internships and college work experiences were beneficial to college students. Study results revealed that 95 percent of students in the study who participated in an engagement experience believed it was useful to strengthen their professional skills and gain work experience. Over 80 percent said they felt better prepared for a job as a result of their experience, and 76.7 percent believed that they could easily get a good job reference from their former employer.
On the community partners’ side, 64.2 percent of those surveyed said they would be more likely to hire applicants who have internship experience and 80.4 percent responded that they agreed internship experience was desirable in a new graduate resume. Over 90 percent said students getting involved in these experiences helped the organization better meet its goals, 77 percent said interns bring a creative perspective to their organization, and 73 percent said interns helped improve the organization’s productivity.
In general, 81% of students, 96% of faculty members and 90% of community partners expressed satisfaction with their participation in an experience coordinated by the Solution Center.
“A strength of our work in the Solution Center is the continuous evaluation, critical thinking, and reflection we wrap around our engagements, especially those we support through the IUPUI Community Venture Fund” Fitzpatrick said. “The impact study provides a framework for capturing results in the aggregate and for helping to tell the story of community engagement at IUPUI.”
|November 2013 – Kara Moran has had a very specific dream to use music therapy to help in American Indian hospice care. A recent internship funded by the IUPUI Community Venture Fund gave her the hands on experience to enhance it.Moran worked with Seasons Hospice and Palliative Care as an Intern Music Therapist. She had her own clients, and also did research into American Indian culture and end of life care, and how music can be used in that respect. She was essentially completing two projects in one, and said that was the toughest part about her project.”I had a caseload of 25 patients that I was treating using my music therapy skills while also learning and working within an interdisciplinary team,” Moran said. “This meant there were many late nights reading and compiling an abundant amount of information that is not necessarily the easiest to track down after working a full day in the field.” But Moran learned a lot from her project and the American Indian culture. She learned how individuals and cultures treat the dying process in general, and how to be open to the grieving process.
“I learned the valuable lesson that the individual, the family, the community, and the cultural grouping of different people go through the death and dying process uniquely, sometimes on each level,” Moran said. I also learned in a big way how all groups of people use music to process and treat death and dying from life summary, to symptom management, to the grieving process. “Learning this has allowed me to feel confident in my ability to be a part of a professional hospice team as a music therapist.”
Moran hopes the research she completed for Seasons Hospice will allow them to serve American Indian communities in the future.
“There are many people in the country who self-identify as American Indian and it is important for hospice workers to understand this cultural perspective,” Moran said. “Often, it seems, quality elder and end-of-life care is not provided to AI people. It seems as well that when health care providers do attempt to provide end-of-life care, there is a cultural barrier. For me, realizing this information allowed me to ask the question: what about music therapy? Can I help by using music therapy? I believe that eventually, yes, music therapy will prove effective in providing quality and culturally respectful end-of-life solutions to this large issue.”
Moran is currently working for Heartland Hospice, beginning its music therapy program in Indianapolis. She will be one of two music therapists for this nationwide company.
“I am grateful for this opportunity,” she said.
November 2013 – Glass Web Projects, LLC is preparing for its Venture Fund-sponsored spring intern by launching a new website aimed at bringing attention to what it does. Not only will the intern help create the website, but they also will be updating community via email and Facebook fan page updates.
Glass Web is a company focused on creating a community of support around local, ethically sound organizations. It does this by being a high quality, low cost, one-stop-web-shop to increase their web presence in a society sustained by the Internet. As an internet-based business, the company needed a new website to draw people to it. Founder of Glass Web Derek Glass, a 2012 IUPUI graduate, said the project took most of this year to complete, but he hopes it will draw people his new effort.
“Short-term, we need the website to attract, educate and retain those wishing to support local, ethical organizations by volunteering, donating or sponsoring projects we are working on,” Glass said.
There are many improvements to the site, including a slideshow of current projects, a how it works page and a become a sponsor page, among many other improvements. There are still more to be made, including an in-progress flow chart and more work on the positions available page.
Glass said his business, which he’s working in his free time when he’s not working at his full time job, is coming along well, and he’s looking forward to his web developer intern to come in spring 2013 to continue the company’s growth. “We have steady but slow progress,” he said. “Currently, the only people working full-time on GWP are myself, my wife and Chanie (Mobley) for design.
To apply for this internship, log on to JagJobs.org and search for job number 15821.
All four students have made great contributions to thecn.com project, according to Mengyuan Zhao, a research associate and project coordinator at CyberLab.
“All the CyberLab interns who are supported by the Venture Fund are excellent,” Zhao said. “They bring in innovatie ideas and new perspectives on the project which we are currently working on.”
Singh is a software development intern, and has built a reliable educational app for the Cn.com in three weeks. “He has strong problem solving skills and a strong sense of responsibility,” Zhao said. “Every piece of his programming is high quality.”
Graphic design interns Leibrock and Bouchard have done a lot of work to make the interface of thecn.com more appealing, and have also worked on design banners, logos, brochures and flyers for the lab.
Hashem is the social marketing intern, and helps introduce the product to professors and students alike. “She’s never afraid to talk to strangers and her CN blog posting are fabulous and glittering with sharp thoughts,” Zhao said.
Zhao said she’s been most impressed with the interns’ problem solving skills. “They can always find the right information and best solution online and solve problems on their own,” she said.
Zhao said all four interns will continue to work on the cn.com, and some have already gotten job offers through CourseNetworking. “No matter what they choose for their future, we will fully support them to fulfill their goals,” Zhao said
October 2013 — Griseldis Ortega from the IUPUI Tourism, Conventions, and Event Management program recently had the opportunity to help plan one of Indianapolis’s most popular events, Chocolate Fest, thanks to her internship with Arts for Learning and support from the IUPUI Solution Center Community Venture Fund.
Indiana’s largest and oldest provider of professional arts education programs for children, Arts for Learning serves more than 65,000 preschool through high school students in approximately 30-35 counties in Indiana annually with performances, workshops, and residency programs in-school, afterschool and out of school. Planning for its annual fundraiser, Chocolate Fest, held at Harrison Center this year, required the assistance of a talented intern, and Griseldis fit the bill.
Griseldis’s tasks for the event included vendor recruitment and communications, preparation and dissemination of marketing materials, volunteer recruitment and supervision, and logistical oversight.
“The toughest part was calling vendors,” said Griseldis, adding, “but I was able to get outside of my comfort zone and learn new things.”
Upon completion of the event planning, there were 21 vendors supplying mouth-watering chocolate samples for attendees to taste, as well as about 900 attendees, an all-time high. From a harp player outside the grounds, to multiple rooms filled with decadent chocolate treats, to a Christopher Columbus impersonator, the Chocolate Fest was a memorable event for many in the Indianapolis community and an important career-development milestone for Griseldis.
October 2013 — Last year, two IUPUI students, Samir Kumar Kukadia and Swetcha Rao, received an extraordinary opportunity through the help of the IUPUI Solution Center’s Venture Fund to intern with Alivio Medical Center and work on a fall detection initiative.
“Dr. Alfredo Lopez-Yunez throughout his medical practice was very aware of all the issues caused by falls in elderly people. This is a very serious issue in healthcare and it has a great social and economical impact,” said Luis Palacio, director of research and development for Alivio. In 2011, Dr. Lopez and Diana Vasquez, a Ph.D student at IUPUI, met and decided to start a project that could take care of this issue by using a combination of sensors and airbag technology.
According to Palacio, the project applies a unique combination of medical and engineering expertise to design and develop a system that detects a fall and helps protect the person from injury due to impact.
October 2013 — Forest Manor Multi-Service Center (FMMSC) is host to a multitude of programs and tools aiding the Forest Manor area in maximizing their potential. This vision of a vibrant community pushes them to create programs that result in a more impassioned and self-sufficient youth, higher employment rates, lower crime and poverty rates, and higher high school graduation rates.
Last summer, Lana Brown, a recent IUPUI graduate, had the opportunity to intern with the FMMSC in the Youth Development segment of the organization. After an internship trial period in which Lana successfully facilitated a summer camp, Forest Manor offered the IUPUI grad a staff position!
Kyle McIlrath, supervisor to Lana, commented, “Lana was the right person for the staff position because of her dedication and hard work. She meshed well with the staff and was able to get her tasks done on time, if not before time.”
Lana’s new position involves planning and implementing after school, spring and summer camps in a safe, structured, and fun environment as well as finding grants, writing proposals for these grants and budgeting the grant money for an entire year.
Said Lana, “I am part of the 46218 community now. I am involved in community festivals, fairs, and open houses. I not only know the boundaries for our area but also know the families that live inside of those boundaries. I have grown to love this community and the children and parents in it. I know the schools that are in these areas, where to go to get involved, and who to go to when needing help! Being from a small town I am used to knowing everyone and never thought that would transition into a big city like Indianapolis until now. I realize even though the north east corridor is part of a big city, it feels like a small town.” says Lana.
October 2013 — Fifteen Crispus Attucks Medical Magnet High School students will have a once-in-a lifetime experience when they travel next month to Swaziland, a small country in southern Africa as part of a multi-partner initiative designed to help fight HIV/AIDS and other communicable disease prevalence among youth.
While in Swaziland, the students, who will be accompanied by two Crispus Attucks faculty members, a physician, nurse, pharmacist, mental health and SOHO (Saving Orphans Through Healthcare and Outreach) facilitators, will:
* Lead health education convocations in four Swazi High Schools;
* Participate in a shared learning experience with Swazi Youth Leadership groups;
* Meet and dialogue with civic leaders and health and social services providers;
* Participate in two community health clinics;
* Distribute donated school shoes, clothing, hygiene products and school materials; and
* Engage in humanitarian work at a large orphan homestead.
September 2013 — This month we are excited to welcome a new member to our team! Chrissy Colgrove is the Communication Intern at the IUPUI Solution Center. She coordinates the center’s internal and external communication and reporting efforts- keeping up with our social media accounts, orchestrating our monthly newsletter, distributing press releases, and aiding in event planning. A Junior at IUPUI, Chrissy studies Public Relations Journalism and Business. She is currently a member of the IUPUI Speech & Debate team and recently has completed internships with Jada Beauty in Carmel, Ind., and Bitner PR in Orlando, Fla.
|Image Courtesy of SuperInterns.com|
We have all heard the story of the intern who made the boss’s workday harder instead of easier. To avoid this, the IUPUI Solution Center suggests searching for a “Super Intern”- one who goes above and beyond your expectations. We put together a few quick tips to aid you in the process:
- Hire an intern you could envision as a future full-time employee.
- Check candidates’ Social Media accounts – keep brand management in mind.
- Post on University outlets such as IUPUITalent.net, contact the Solution Center and email the school you are hiring out of (e.g. School of Journalism).
- Ask challenging interview questions – not only will this benefit you but it will also give great real-world experience to the students you speak with.
- Write a meaningful position description, just like you would for a full-time position, and structure your internship around tasks that will build your intern’s resume.
- Pay your intern! A paid internship sends the message that this position is important and valued by your organization, and that you are seeking someone who is ready to be a paid professional. Plus many college students cannot afford an unpaid experience. Don’t miss out on meeting these candidates!
September 2013 — IUPUI student, Faren Jones, received a Venture Fund supported internship Spring & Summer 2013 at The Oaks Academy, a private elementary school dedicated to the success and spiritual growth of their students. At the academy, Faren was responsible for gift processing, sending acknowledgement letters, board & gift reporting, blogging, and event planning. “My time at The Oaks Academy was a time of personal and professional development. I learned about the history of The Oaks and all that it seeks to accomplish, its community partnerships, and the population it intentionally serves.” In addition to a successful growth in her field, Faren acknowledges, as a student, her internship would not have been possible without match funding from the IUPUI Solution Center. “I would not have been able to afford school and other living expenses without having a paid internship. It opened up an opportunity for me to apply hands-on what I’ve been learning in my courses and still pay bills.” Learn More
September 2013 — “Get outside and grow inside.” The motto of Jameson camp serves to illustrate the inspiration they provide in encouraging students to recognize their strengths while in the wilderness. Planted on roughly 100 acres of woods on the west side of Indianapolis, Jameson Camp serves hundreds of youth each year during their summer camp and yearly leadership program. This summer, the IUPUI Solution Center provided Jameson Camp with Venture Fund support that allowed them to hire an intern. Cassandra Tice, Development Manager for Jameson Camp, commented on the opportunity: “The Venture Fund provided Jameson Camp the opportunity to hire a highly qualified IUPUI Graduate Student to serve as our summer development intern. Over the summer our talented intern, Catie Jackson, completed prospect research, wrote grant reports and proposals, interviewed summer campers, photographed activities, and created marketing and fundraising materials.” Learn More
September 2013 — According to a study by Indy Hunger, 1 in 6 Americans struggle with hunger and food insecurity. Of some 50 million people waiting in agony for their next meal, 313,880 are located in just southeast and central Indiana alone. Even more shocking, 263 million pounds of food are wasted each day in the United States, enough to feed the hungry 50 million. Faculty member, Nancy Barton, recognized that this data was more than just a collection of numbers on a sheet of paper. Rather, these numbers reflected a crisis in our own community that had potential to be solved through the lives of students on the IUPUI campus.
There are 33 high school and collegiate campuses in the country who work with the non-profit, Campus Kitchen. The Campus Kitchen’s mission is to fight world hunger by utilizing their own backyard: the college campus. Student volunteers on each campus plan menus, run cooking shifts, garden, and teach nutrition education – all in order to serve the hunger fighting community.
Supervised by the IUPUI Office of Sustainability and Professor Nancy Barton, Lecturer for the Department of Kinesiology, IUPUI students, Logan Bogard, a senior in the school of Engineering and Technology, and Kelli Cantrell, a senior in the school of Liberal Arts, attended the Campus Kitchen annual Boot Camp in Washington D.C. at the beginning of August. At the camp, Bogard and Cantrell became equipped with the skills necessary to begin and run a Campus Kitchen at IUPUI.
|Logan Bogard prepares a recycled meal at the CK boot camp.|
The IUPUI Solution Center provided a portion of the funds necessary to attend the Campus Kitchen Boot Camp. “The Solution Center Venture Funding has been essential in taking this project to the next step. Now we are getting students engaged in training for the implementation of the Campus Kitchen at IUPUI. This support reveals the validation of the IUPUI campus with this project.” says project supervisor, Barton.
Bogard and Cantrell joined 35 other leaders from 19 campuses for three days of intensive training in: food sustainability, food safety paperwork, food recovery, food resourcing, and food serving. On their first day alone, the students carried freshly prepared inter-generational meals over to the Guy Mason Recreation Center in D.C.
“I learned a lot about asset-based development. It is important to look at what you already have in place and use existing things that are not being used to their full capacity instead of building new things. This is how CKP (Campus Kitchens Project) works. I am going to be able to apply what I have learned to the Urban Gardens we already have on campus and expand that to include the Campus Kitchen we are going to establish this year at IUPUI.” says Bogard.
Once finalized, the Campus Kitchen will be located in the University Tower and will provide service opportunities for the freshman living in the dorms and on campus as well as a solution for the hunger struggling community and campus in Indianapolis. For more information on how to get involved with the IUPUI Campus Kitchen Initiative contact Deborah Ferguson from the IUPUI Office of Sustainability: firstname.lastname@example.org
|See Campus Kitchen participant Kelli Cantrell in the third row, far left; Logan Bogard laying down in the front row.|
August 2013 — For just 30 minutes on Tues., Sept 3, every local television station in Indianapolis will cut off from regular program commercials to urge the entire community to “LIVE UNITED.” The segment will profile the good work of several IUPUI Solution Center partners in order to illustrate the immense impact United Way and their affiliates made on the city of Indianapolis. Stories include the Martin Center Sickle Cell Initiative‘s persistence in alleviating the emotional barriers of a 5-year-old dealing with Sickle Cell and John H. Boner Community Center‘s dedication to life-changing crisis aversion techniques for a young woman in need. For more information, visit UWCI.
August 2013 — As part of a newly created field experience, several IUPUI museum studies and anthropology students spent part of their summer vacations traveling outside Indiana. The three-week field study in Alaska, was created by Holly Cusack-McVeigh, Assistant Professor in Anthropology, and was made possible through funding and support from the University of Alaska, private and public museums in Alaska, and the IUPUI Community Venture Fund.
The IUPUI Solution Center granted nearly $15,000 to cover student stipends and travel expenses for 10 students who traveled to the village of Nanwalek, Alaska, where they helped residents identify, preserve, and display their cultural artifacts at a newly established local museum.
Nanwalek is a census-designated place with an area of 8.5 square miles on the southern tip of the Kenai Peninsula in southern Alaska.
Lauren Baker, an IUPUI museum studies graduate student, said Nanwalek’s residents had plenty of artifacts — many of them Russian Orthodox items from their church — they just didn’t know how to display them. Baker said she and her fellow students helped teach residents how to properly clean and care for the items, creating a safe and educational resource for the small Alaskan community.
“This was nothing like anything I’ve done before,” she said. “It just very different than being at a (traditional) museum, where you’re just very distanced. It was great to be able to be with the culture that these objects are tied to.”
Tyler Coxey, an anthropology student at IUPUI, said there was not one moment during the field study that he was not learning about something, including basket weaving and the villagers’ native language, Sugt’stun. But Coxey’s favorite part was visiting the museums.
“I am very grateful that I was able to work with some of their most valuable artifacts, listen to their many stories, and be accepted and cared for so quickly,” he said.
After returning from Alaska, Coxey said he and other IUPUI students are staying connected with their new friends in Nanwalek through Facebook and email.
August 2013 – With a nearly $25,000 grant from the Solution Center, Informatics faculty member Joseph Defazio and graduate students Jay Hardin and Whitney Coleman (pictured above, left to right) developed and tested a new content management system that allows the storage and manipulation of digital course content, such as assignments, grading criteria and class schedules.
Coleman and Hardin say their new system offers greater user-friendliness for faculty members uploading class resources. The project was part of an Informatics – Media Arts and Science course.
August 2013 – Kudos to our director, Teresa Bennett, on having her article, “Achieving the Partnership Principle in Experiential Learning: The Nonprofit Perspective,” selected for publication in the summer 2013 edition of the Journal of Public Affairs Education. The article, which explores what characterizes the most useful university-community partnerships, was co-authored by fellow Indiana University faculty members Beth Gazley and Laura Littlepage.
Click Here to read a digital copy of the journal.