Voices of Senior Academy

For questions, please contact us at sacademy@iupui.edu.


Vaccination Story from a Senior Academy Member

Hello everyone, my wife and I had a surprisingly wonderful experience with the IU Medical Center vaccine process. Our 1st experience with making an appointment resulted in both of us getting scheduled at the same Neuroscience Building, although at different times. My wife’s experience going through the stages on shot day mirrored mine: all indoors, 4 or 5 workstations, fairly long, well-spaced, but steadily moving lines for our designated time slots, all of the staff & patients masked properly.

After our shots, which were not terribly painful—similar to a standard flu or measles shot—we both were required to wait 15 minutes before leaving to ensure there were no complications. Fortunately, there were none. We’re scheduled to get our 2nd shot in a few days & we’ve been forewarned that it might result in considerably more discomfort & side effects. So, we’re forewarned and at least braced for such a potentiality.

In comparison to what seniors in several other cities & states have experienced, this is one of many times when I could say ”I’m glad we live in Indiana!”.

- Submitted by Russell Vertner (posted on 02/08/2021)

Below are a few useful links to stay connected with Senior Academy and campus news:

  • Senior Academy Bulletin – monthly newsletter for members
    • View current and past newsletters
  • IUPUI Faculty and Staff Town Halls – Chancellor Paydar will host monthly town halls for IUPUI faculty and staff. Details for dates, times, and video recordings of the town halls are available via this website.
  • Inside IUPUI – weekly newsletter for IUPUI faculty and staff
    • View current and past newsletters or subscribe to recieve the newsletter directly to your email

Archive of Posts

Upcoming IUPUI Event of Interest

Those of you who enjoyed the past events of the Senior Academy about the November elections and also about violent weather and religion may also find the following event of interest: “Religion &”: Center Conversations on the State of Religion and the Current Moment. Religion & the 2020 U.S. Election

- Submitted by Marianne S. Wokeck (posted on 11/16/2020)


Community Engagement Opportunities

Before the COVID-19 pandemic, the Senior Academy took an active part in the annual Spirit & Place Festival, organizing and supporting events in some years and providing facilitators to small discussion groups of a large community event last year. This year, the theme of the Festival is Origins with mostly virtual events after the election: November 5-15, 2020. The ten days of the Festival offer many interesting opportunities for learning, discussion, and engagement. The calendar is posted online () for easy reference and, importantly, for registering for any of the events—a necessity for making virtual events work under current circumstances.

Unlike previous years, the Senior Academy could not collaborate with a particular event because pandemic-related circumstances prevented its long-term partners in the IU School of Liberal Arts from participating in the 2020 Spirit & Place Festival. It is serendipitous, however, that a later opportunity for community engagement provides an occasion for support by the Senior Academy and active involvement of its members. After the conclusion of the compressed fall semester at IUPUI, a public conversation about Albert Camus’s The Plague brings students, faculty, staff, and of the community at large together to explore—virtually—how this novel can provide insights about Keeping Going in Times of Crisis. For particulars and to register, see , and also consult the University Calendar for Wednesday, December 9, 2020, 7–9 p.m.

The announcement for this public conversation will soon include an invitation to facilitators of small group discussions. Senior Academy members may be particularly interested in this opportunity to engage with a famous text, together with others from the community, on and off campus. Since Spirit & Place is also a supporter of this event, they will lend their experience and expertise to the facilitator guide and orientation.

- Submitted by Marianne S. Wokeck (posted on 11/4/2020)


Mark Your Calendar for the IUPUI Diversity Speaker Series

We are fortunate in that our calendars are filling up with many interesting events and presentations—all virtual—now that the fall semester is under way. You may want to mark your calendar for the IUPUI Diversity Speaker Series. (Presented by the IUPUI Division of Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion.)

IUPUI's Fall Diversity Speaker Series will be hosted as a series of webinars this year. Featured guests include:

  • Kat Lazo is best known for her series "The Kat Call," Lazo debunks taboos and misconceptions about the Latino community. Sept. 29 at 6 p.m.
  • Hinaleimoana Wong-Kalu (Hina) is an advocate for Native Hawaiian issues including politics, culture, language, and history. Oct. 6 at 6 p.m.
  • Khalil Gibran Muhammad is professor of History, Race, and Public Policy at Harvard Kennedy School of Government and a contributor the Pulitzer Prize winning 1619 Project. Oct. 29 at 6 p.m.
  • Tatanka Means is an actor and comedian who represents the Navajo, Oglala, and Omaha Nations. The son of American Indian Movement member Russell Means, Tatanka has followed in his father's footsteps as an advocate for Native American equality. Nov. 12 at 6 p.m.

View more details on IUPUI Division of Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion's website.


You're Invited to the IUPUI United Way Campaign Kick-off Virtual Sessions

All are invited to join campaign co-chairs Stephan Viehweg and Stephen Hundley, as well as some other familiar faces, for a virtual IUPUI United Way Campaign Kick-off! Don’t miss this opportunity to learn how our contributions make it possible for United Way programs to help people, neighborhoods, and agencies throughout Central Indiana. Three 45-minute sessions will be offered, each covering the same information. Register for any of these sessions at https://unitedway.iupui.edu.

  • Tuesday, September 15 from 11:30 a.m.-12:15 p.m.
  • Wednesday, September 16 from 5-5:45 p.m.
  • Thursday, September 17 from 8-8:45 a.m.

 - Submitted by Christine Fitzpatrick and Karen Black (posted on 9/15/2020)


Academy Member Bill Plater Calls Attention to the Critical Work of American Red Cross

In the current COVID-19 pandemic natural disasters, like hurricanes and the wildfires in the American West, add to anxiety and also to calls to action. One of the Academy’s members, Bill Plater, called attention to the critical work that the Red Cross is doing when disaster strikes. Support, volunteering as well as donations, of this organization has broad impact.

Kaleena Wright (gro[dot]ssorcder[at]thgirw[dot]aneelak) is the director of Red Cross volunteer services here in Indiana and is the best person to contact for volunteering. Questions or information about donations, which are especially need right now, can be directed to Jenny Pfiel (gro[dot]ssorcder[at]liefp[dot]refinnej).

- Submitted by Marianne S. Wokeck (posted on 9/15/2020)


Quick Informal Updates on Blue Retiree Plan for 2021

Following is an informal communication from HR’s Director of Benefits, Christan Royer. More detailed information will soon come by email from her office as well as mailed to homes in October.

  • There are no plan changes for the Blue Retiree Plan for 2021. Additionally, there is a rate hold on premiums, so the premiums will remain the same in 2021 as they were in 2020. We are still working on the Under-65 changes for 2021, so I apologize I don’t have an update on that yet. However, I believe the changes will be minimal.
  • Last winter’s issues with the Blue Retiree Plan are resolved, promising smooth sailing in the year ahead. HR will continue to monitor everything (Karen Hill is on top of all of the Retiree issues). 
  • Due to the current COVID-19 situation and the shift in the academic calendar to end all on-campus learning by Thanksgiving, the normal Open Enrollment period is going to move up to be a bit earlier this fall, but not by much. HR wants to make sure there are no issues getting any member changes to the vendor given most are working from home.

- Submitted by Marianne S. Wokeck (posted on 9/9/2020)


Fidelity Hosts Financial Education Workshop

For those of you who are interested in the Senior Academy’s first virtual program, ‘The Economy and Personal Finances in Uncertain Times,’ you may also be interested in the Fidelity Financial Education Workshop.

  • Submitted by Marianne S. Wokeck (posted on 9/2/2020)