December 14, 2015

The Right Place, the Right Time, and the Right People

Informatics:  Diversity-Enhanced Workforce Celebration
Informatics & Communications Technology Complex, IUPUI
Indianapolis, Indiana
(Remarks as prepared)


Thank you, Dean Palakal.

It’s a pleasure to be here this evening as we celebrate the end of the first semester of the Informatics: Diversity-Enhanced Workforce or iDEW program.

Preparing for a Bright Future

This program has its home in the heart of Indianapolis, but it responds to a national situation. According to Forbes Magazine, the list of highest paying, most in-demand jobs is dominated by those in technology: software engineers, web developers, computer systems analysts.1

This is the bright future for which our iDEW students are preparing.

This program shows us what can be achieved when people from across the educational spectrum work together with the community in the interest of our students and their future. Our faculty and staff at IUPUI have been working with our partners at Arsenal Tech, Pike, and Providence Cristo Rey high schools in Indianapolis to create remarkable opportunities for high school students.

Achieving Strategic Goals: Student Success and Diversity

Just as iDEW is helping student succeed, it is also helping IUPUI achieve other strategic goals of increasing diversity on campus and promoting an inclusive campus climate. It is fueling innovation and discovery, other strategic priorities as iDEW students develop technology to help solve real problems.

In fact, as part of this course, students have designed and implemented a solution—in the form of a web app—for the challenge of financial literacy. This challenge was brought to us by Old National Bank, and they will judge the apps that the students have developed. I understand that ONB will be awarding prizes today, so students, I wish you all good luck in that competition.

Special Thanks to Our Partners

We are grateful to all of our community partners for their generous support as well as their contributions of time and expertise to this program.

I would also like to thank the iDEW Advisory Council members. Would you please stand for our applause?

I would like to offer a very special thanks to Alvin Givens, Vice President at JP Morgan Chase who chairs the Advisory Council. Alvin’s tireless efforts and support have brought the community together to make this program a reality and a success. Alvin, we are also deeply grateful to you and your wife Nadine for establishing the first iDEW scholarship for students continuing with their degree program in Informatics at IUPUI.

Would you please join me in thanking Alvin, his wife, and everybody who has made this program such a great success in its first semester?

IUPUI: The Right School for Student Success

To the parents who are with us this evening, let me say that IUPUI recently ranked in the top five among public institutions across the nation for our outstanding undergraduate teaching. We are nationally recognized for our service learning and learning communities as well, both very important in ensuring student success. IUPUI is the right school for undergraduates who want to succeed.

Finally, to all the students here: I would like to congratulate you on being part of the iDEW program. You are on the pathway to a successful career. I encourage you to stick with this program until you graduate from high school, and I look forward to seeing you as IUPUI undergraduates in the coming years.

Thank you very much.