2012 Alumni Award Recipients
Distinguished Alumni Award Recipient
Dr. Julie Fritz ’92 - Dr. Julie Fritz has spent the last 20 years as a physical therapist and is one of the most well-known researchers in physical therapy in the area of management of lower back pain. She received her graduate degree in physical therapy from the University of Indianapolis in 1992, during which time she conducted the research for her first publication.
Julie later earned a PhD from the University of Pittsburgh and is currently an assistant professor at the University of Utah. She also serves as editor for the Journal of Orthopedic and Sports Physical Therapy as a member of the Scientific Review Committee for the Foundation of Physical Therapy. Julie has written more than 100 peer-reviewed publications, and has appeared in such esteemed publications such as Clinical Journal of Pain, Spine, Archives of Physical Medicine and Rehabilitation, Journal of Orthopedic and Sports Physical Therapy, and Physical Therapy.
Julie is known nationally and internationally for her research and presentations in the field of physical therapy and the management of lower back pain. She has also received numerous awards for her work over the last two decades, including the Marian Williams Award for Research in Physical Therapy, and more than 15 funded grants for her work. Her dedication to physical therapy and her research into the management of back pain serves the academic world and the medical world as well.
Distinguished Young Alumni Award Recipient
Dr. Nichole Wilson ’02 ’06 - With undergraduate and graduate degrees in physical therapy from UIndy, Dr. Nichole Wilson worked as a physical therapist at both Hendricks Regional Health and Community Health Network with patients with orthopedic and neurological diagnoses. She now serves as Director of Rehabilitation Services at Community Hospital, supervising nine rehab and sports medicine clinics in the Indianapolis area. Nichole is active in the Indiana Chapter of the American Physical Therapy Association, including its legislative committee.
Organizations throughout Indianapolis benefit from Nichole’s efforts to mentor minority and underserved youth. Thanks in part to her initiative, UIndy’s Krannert School of Physical Therapy developed a mentoring program for minority allied health students that has grown to include local clinicians as well as PT and OT students from UIndy and Indiana University. Nichole regularly participates in interview days and panel discussions that assist the School with increasing student diversity. She is also a mentor, facilitator and alumna of the Center for Leadership Development, an organization that empowers and strengthens minority and at-risk youth in Indianapolis. She serves as a mentor for the Role Model Advisory Experience and is an active member of the Indianapolis Chapter of the Coalition of 100 Black Women and the Alpha Mu Omega chapter of Alpha Kappa Alpha Sorority, Inc., which recognized her as its 2008 Member of the Year.
Nichole is pursuing a Master of Business Administration degree at Purdue University and plans to further her career in health care administration.
Honorary Alumni Award Recipient
Bill Thompson -Mr. Bill Thompson’s service to UIndy is an example of the synergy that occurs when a volunteer and organization’s mission and needs coincide.Bill is one of the original members of the Community Patient Resource Group, developed at UIndy’s Krannert School of Physical Therapy in 1999 and recently expanded to include the School of Occupational Therapy. The Group integrates community-based clinical experiences into the classroom by providing opportunities for students to apply their knowledge with real-life patients under faculty supervision. Currently, the Group includes more than 80 members with amputations and diagnoses including stroke, Parkinson’s disease, cerebral palsy, and low back pain.
Bill first volunteered at UIndy in the mid-90s on the invitation of professor Julie Gahimer, who had conceptualized the Group. He wanted to give back to the professions that helped him achieve physical and occupational success after being been diagnosed with Guillian Barre Syndrome, a neurological condition that left him with weakness in his arms and legs.
Bill has participated in more than 50 patient-handling labs, practical exams, patient panel discussions, and research-related projects. He has worked with students in the KSPT-based program “Fitness Following Disability” at the Baxter YMCA for five years. Bill is famous at the School for his woodworking, having built critical pieces of research equipment, and for roaming the halls dispensing Hershey’s “hugs.”
Dr. Stephanie Combs says, “Bill’s contributions to the College of Health Sciences go well beyond being a member of the Community Patient Resource Group, which is critical to student learning experiences.
Gene and Joanne Sease Award Recipients
Orvall McCleary '49 and Martha Dean
"This is for the students." Those were the only words publicly spoken by Orvall McCleary '49 at the October 2009 dedication ceremony for the sculpture of the Greyhound he commissioned and donated to UIndy. That one sentence fully describes Orvall's motivation for all that he has done for UIndy. His desire to give back is coupled with his wishes that UIndy students have a fuller, more meaningful experience while they are on campus. Although he has provided generous support for scholarships, his name is most associated with two campus landmarks: McCleary Chapel and "Ace", the sculpture so-named by the UIndy students to whom he is so committed. His very special friend and "co-conspirator" in these acts of thoughtful generosity is Martha Dean. While Orvall generates the ideas, Martha pays attention to the details and makes sure that his ideas are well-executed.
Distinguished Staff Alumni Award Recipient
R. Peter Noot '77 '84
has worked at UIndy for more than 30 years, and is responsible for the appearance and content of all University publications, as well as a host of other writing and editing projects. When his material reaches its intended audience--whether high school students, prospective graduate students, adults seeking a first college degree, potential employees, alumni, or members of the community--it appropriately represents UIndy and leaves a lasting impression. UIndy publications and other projects that Peter has touched convey loudly and clearly that this is an institution of the highest caliber. Peter will not compromise on quality, and it shows. Everyone who works with him also discovers that in addition to considerable talent for writing and editing, Peter has the knack for bringing out the best in people. His easygoing nature can break down barriers and build alliances quickly. Peter also has a work ethic that will not quit; he is never too busy for the last-minute project that inevitably commands attention--be it a speech for the President, a grant proposal for Lilly Endowment, or collateral materials for a special event. He gives of his time and talent with humility and good cheer, while mentoring younger staff members and serving as a valued resource for all of his colleagues, both within the department and throughout the University. Peter certainly embodies the ethos of "Education for Service." It is a call to action he lives everyday.
Harvey M. Showalter Future Alumni Award Recipient
Curtis Ward '10
, is double majoring in political science and international business. Raised in Brookville, Indiana, he is an active student leader both on and off campus. He is president of the nationally recognized UIndy chapter of College Mentors for Kids, which serves 90 middle and high school students in the metro area. Through his leadership, the UIndy chapter received the 2009 Chapter of the Year Award. Curtis helped to raise funds to secure healthier meals for the children they mentor – a proven academic success factor in low income and high-risk students. He is a student board representative on the CMFK board of directors. He also oversees College Connection, a mentoring extension initiative engaging 20 eighth grade students. His nominator, UIndy’s Director of Community Programs Center Marianna Foulkrod '01 '04, says that "his drive and ability is beyond a doubt an asset to our institution. He is passionate about service and civic engagement and has impacted the lives not only on the UIndy campus, but also the children and their families in the programs he leads.”