Campus snapshots: Sociology, Communication, Anthropology, and Music


Sociology professor named among ‘Living Legends’

Lin,-Phyllis-LanProfessor of Sociology Phylis Lan Lin was honored in September among the “Living Legends of Indiana’s Chinese-American Community” for her contributions to education and international cooperation. The honorees were recognized during the 10th anniversary gala of the Indy Asian American Times newspaper at the Indiana History Center. Dr. Lin, who also received a letter of congratulations from Lt. Gov. Sue Ellspermann, came to the United States from Taiwan in 1966 and joined the UIndy faculty in 1973. Her many responsibilities include serving as director of Asian Programs and associate vice president for International Partnerships, and served for a number of years as executive director of the University of Indianapolis Press. She spearheaded the establishment of UIndy’s Social Work program, which is now an academic department that bears her name. She was introduced at the event by her daughter Toni Lin, a local surgeon, who described her mother as a prolific author and organizer of international symposia who lives by the principle of “VIP”: vision, integrity, and passion. “She is living proof that an Asian-American female can rise to become a leader and an amazing role model for her daughter and community,” Toni Lin said.

Senior honored as state’s top student journalist

Pg32UIndy senior Kayla Sullivan was named in April as Student Journalist of the Year by the Indiana Professional Chapter of the Society of Professional Journalists. The honor recognizes an Indiana student journalist or team with the most outstanding body of work during the contest period. Sullivan, a Communication major, was active in UIndy’s student news operations while on campus, serving this year as news director for UIndy TV. She was graduated May 2 and began work as a reporter for WLFI-TV in Lafayette. Sullivan’s work this past year included co-anchoring live coverage of the November election for UIndy’s WICR radio, with five-minute updates every 30 minutes that included live field reports and interviews with in-studio analysts. Prior to the election, she produced a written guide to educate student field reporters on the races and candidates of interest. As a student, Sullivan has benefited from internships at local stations WXIN, WISH, and WTHR. She also served  as president of the UIndy student chapter of SPJ, organizing campus events featuring broadcast professionals.

Anthropology prof named among ‘influential Hoosiers’

Schmidt,-ChrisAnthropology Professor Christopher Schmidt was celebrated last summer in an Indianapolis Star column headlined  “5 overlooked yet influential Hoosiers.”Schmidt, director of the department’s Indiana Prehistory Laboratory, is cited for accomplishments including a student archeological dig that uncovered a 10,000-year-old bone tool, the oldest ever documented in Indiana. He’s one of just two contemporary figures on the list, which also includes 1830s Indian leader Chief Menominee and Underground Railroad supporters Levi and Catharine Coffin. The Star piece was penned by Nelson Price, an award-winning journalist, author, and historian, host of the “Hoosier History Live!” radio show. He has featured Schmidt twice on the program, which airs at noon Saturdays on UIndy’s 88.7 WICR-FM/HD. Schmidt and students traveled to Italy last summer to study victims of the A.D. 79 eruption of Vesuvius, as well as a study of teeth from burials at Britain’s Canterbury Cathedral to learn about the diet and social roles of medieval children.

Earning classical and jazz laurels on the ivories

University of Indianapolis senior Kevin Ellenberger came away with one of the top honors at the Music Teachers National Association State Performance Competitions, held on November 22 at Ball State University. Ellenberger’s 30-minute performance of selections by C. P.  E. Bach, Kodály, Messiaen, and Shostakovich won the piano category in the Collegiate/Young Artist division for ages 19 to 26. He is a piano performance and finance major from New Palestine, Indiana. His fellow student, junior James Loughery, earned honorable mention in the same category of the competition with his performance of J. S. Bach, Liszt, Debussy, Poulenc, and Michael Schelle. The honor came on the heels of a jazz accolade: the Indianapolis Jazz Foundation named Loughery among just four college musicians in the state to receive a $1,000 scholarship. Loughery is majoring in piano performance, jazz, and composition and plays in UIndy’s Jazz Combo and Jazz Ensemble, as well as numerous events and venues around town. He performed with other local notables November 20 at the foundation’s annual Legacy Showcase.