In celebration of IU Day, several IUPUI Office of Community Engagement staff members shared “What IU means to them.” Each has their own unique history at IUPUI that has contributed to their current positions and work within the community.
Connie Anoskey, Business Manager at the IUPUI Office of Community Engagement, enjoys that both she and her husband, Dan Anoskey, Building Operations Manager for Campus Facility Services, work at IUPUI. Both of her sons, Ben and Craig, also stayed within the Indiana University family and attended IU Bloomington and IUPUI.
Ben graduated in December 2018 from the Purdue School of Engineering & Technology at IUPUI. Ben had three great internships with Honda while attending IUPUI, and now works for Honda as a New Model Quality Engineer in Dublin, Ohio. Craig graduated from IU Bloomington in 2013 from the IU School of Informatics. He now lives in Southport and works for the USPS as a mail carrier.
Connie recently received a Master Gardener Certification that required training in multiple areas of horticulture, exams, and volunteering. She is currently completing her volunteer hours as a Master Gardener Intern and is also a Notary.
Myron C. Duff, Jr., Director of Workforce Readiness and Program Development at the IUPUI Office of Community Engagement, has been a staff member at IUPUI since 1997.
His first positions as Assistant Director of Admissions and Senior Academic Advisor were at the Student Support Services program in University College from 1997-2000. He returned to IUPUI in 2006 as a staff member. Myron hopes to retire from IUPUI with at least 30 years of service.
His current work focuses on the Near West of Indianapolis and Workforce Development. Myron refers to his responsibilities in the office as his day and night jobs. By day, he is the Director of Workforce Readiness & Program Development. He is also the convener and community builder for the Near West neighborhood, for which he is often attending evening and weekend neighborhood meetings.
Myron is currently working on a doctorate degree in Urban Education Studies with a minor in Adult Education at the IUPUI School of Education. He hopes to defend his dissertation by the end of the year.
Myron says, “One of the biggest reasons why IUPUI is so important to me is because I was actually born on this campus in Coleman Hall. At that time, it was the city’s only women’s hospital.”
Kristin Norris, Director of Assessment at the IUPUI Office of Community Engagement, grew up in the City of Lawrence and came to IUPUI on a volleyball scholarship in 1996 when IUPUI athletic teams were known as the Metros. Upon completion of her master’s degree, Kristin took a Visiting Lecturer position in Tourism, Convention, and Event Management (TCEM) while pursuing her Ph.D. in Higher Education Administration.
Kristin says, “I remember what campus was like and witnessed much of the growth of this city during my childhood.”
She is grateful for the opportunities she was given to pursue her first passion (volleyball) and her “quest for life-long learning at IUPUI.”
Her professional career at IUPUI has put her in contact with faculty and staff across the campus who work in and with the community to address society’s greatest challenges. “Hearing our faculty’s commitment, passion, and purpose-driven life inspires me to continue to give to IUPUI,” says Kristin.
“I was proud of what IUPUI stood for, which is what enticed me to attend as an athlete.” Kristin says. “But today, I’m impressed by the people of IUPUI, what they can accomplish in partnership with others, and why they persist.”
Kristin hopes to see some of her former teammates at IUPUI’s alumni match on April 13.
Kayla Nunnally, is Program Manager of Tutoring, Mentoring, College and Career Programming and the IU Indiana Kids program at the IUPUI Office of Community Engagement. Kayla is a first generation student who did not think she would go to college.
As an undergrad at IUPUI, she served as a tutor and mentor for K-12 students in local schools for six years. She is currently working on a master’s degree in the Urban Education program at IUPUI School of Education.
Kayla says, “Not only attending IUPUI but working here as well means a lot to me and is another reason IUPUI is so special to me!”
Shari Parker, Program Manager for Special Events and Outreach at IUPUI Office of Community Engagement, moved to Indianapolis in the spring of 1993 with full intentions of continuing her education at IUPUI after receiving an Associates of Science Degree at Sinclair Community College in Dayton, Ohio. Initially, she went a different direction as a bartender and waiter at TGI Fridays. After a couple of years, she found an office job and settled into life.
In 2001, Shari started looking for new career opportunities. In April 2001, she finally made her way onto the IUPUI campus after 8 years to begin her career as an Executive Assistant to the Director at the Herman B Wells Center for Pediatric Research in the IU School of Medicine. She worked there for 8 years and transferred to the newly formed Center for Diabetes Research as the Research Administrative Coordinator. In the fall of 2014, she began working as the Assistant to the Vice Chancellor for the Office of Community Engagement.
After 17 years on campus, Shari applied and was accepted to IUPUI as a student. She is currently seeking a bachelor’s degree in the General Studies program with a minor in event planning. Shari is proud to have earned a 3.9 grade-point average in her first semester.
Shari also shares why she loves Riley Hospital for Children. In 2002, she was pregnant with very high-risk twins. On August 7, she gave birth 3 months prematurely, losing one twin and the other being born in critical condition. She delivered at IU Hospital and the living twin, Braedon, was rushed to Riley Hospital for Children. He spent 11 weeks in the NICU at Riley fighting for his life.
Because of the amazing experience they had with Riley and their willingness to tell his incredible success story, she and Braedon were invited to speak at the annual Riley Hospital telethon when Braedon was 3 years old. That progressed to being invited to do radio interviews with several Indiana radio stations during their radiothons to raise money for Riley Hospital. They have spoken at more than 100 dance marathons all over the state of Indiana, including participating in Jagathon for the past 6 years. Shari and Braedon have had the opportunity to speak or participate in many other Riley events, such as the Indianapolis Air Show, the Don Schumacher Racing annual bowling event, Indianapolis 500, car shows, and more, and Braedon even sang the national anthem at the Miracle Ride.
Shari’s daughter, Hannah, who was 4 when Braedon was born, was so impacted by her time at Riley visiting her brother that she started the first ever Whiteland Community High School Dance Marathon in 2013, which is one of Jagathon’s participating high schools.
Vernon Williams, Communications & Community Engagement Strategist at the IUPUI Office of Community Engagement, is a graduate of Indiana University Bloomington in the IU School of Journalism. Prior to joining the IUPUI staff, he served as national president of the IU Neal-Marshall Alumni Club.
“Indiana University is the most transformational experience of my adult life. That is the source of my commitment to giving back through vigorous alumni volunteerism,” he said. Vernon has received the IUAA President’s Award and the IUPUI Outstanding Alumni Award, as well as the IU Group’s Program Covered Bridge Award.
He started as Assistant to the former Chancellor Charles Bantz for Communications. “That was an exceptional year in my career,” Vernon said.
When Dr. Bantz transitioned from that office, incoming Chancellor Nasser Paydar asked him to join the Office of Community Engagement – consistent with his background of communication and deep community involvement.
“It was an opportunity of a lifetime, working with visionary and influential Vice Chancellor Amy Conrad Warner and her incredible staff,” Vernon said.
Vernon says his position is “constantly evolving in efforts to create experiences that maximize the impact of IUPUI on the community and beyond.”
“My dedication is to doing whatever I can to help tell the IUPUI story, building rapport off campus, contribute to student opportunities to enroll at IUPUI and, most importantly, play whatever role possible in student success as they transition from graduation to outstanding careers and citizenship,” he said.