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Richard Potter
American Humanics
816-561-6415, ex.106

Peg Stice
IU School of Public and Environmental Affairs

Last modified: Monday, December 29, 2008

Indiana University plays central role in American Humanics national institute

Dec. 29, 2008

INDIANAPOLIS -- Indiana University students, faculty and staff will be at center stage Jan. 4-7 when the American Humanics Management/Leadership Institute takes place in Indianapolis.

More than 1,000 college students, faculty, nonprofit and corporate leaders will attend the institute, a capstone experience for students earning American Humanics certification in nonprofit leadership and management.

"This is really the highlight of the American Humanics program year," said Leslie Lenkowsky, professor of public affairs and philanthropic studies in the IU School of Public and Environmental Affairs. "It's a real honor for it to be in Indianapolis."

Indianapolis skyline

Downtown Indianapolis will be the site of the American Humanics Management/Leadership Institute Jan. 4-7.

Print-Quality Photo

American Humanics is an academic certificate program that prepares college students to work as professionals in nonprofit and human services fields. Indiana University Bloomington and Indiana University-Purdue University Indianapolis offer the certificate within the School of Public and Environmental Affairs. Indiana State University also has an AH program.

The American Humanics Management/Leadership Institute (AHMI) provides opportunities for students from around the nation to network with nonprofit executives, participate in case studies and discussions, and attend workshops led by experts in nonprofit studies. It also includes an Advanced Practitioner Seminar for entry to mid-level nonprofit leaders, faculty members and graduate students.

"AH chose Indianapolis as the site for this year's AHMI for the city's many successful nonprofit organizations and spirit of philanthropy," said Karla Stoup, president of American Humanics, citing the Indiana University Center on Philanthropy and other resources. Lilly Endowment in Indianapolis is providing financial support.

Co-chairs of the host committee are Eugene Tempel, president of the Indiana University Foundation, and Jim Morris, president of Pacers Sports and Entertainment and a former IU trustee. Also on the host committee are IU SPEA faculty members Beth Gazley and Lenkowsky, and Erika Albert, an AH graduate of IU Bloomington and development director for the Monroe County YMCA.

AH campus executive directors Peg Stice of IU Bloomington and Laura Littlepage of IUPUI and student representatives Tiffany Guridy of IU Bloomington and Jaree Weeks of IUPUI serve on the Advisory Council for the event and helped organize the institute. Ginny Babbitt, an IUPUI student and national American Humanics intern, also has been instrumental in planning the institute.

The theme of AHMI is "The Power of Stories: Passion from the inside-out." Much of the discussion will focus on hunger issues, with keynote addresses scheduled by Morris, former director of the United Nations World Food Programme, and Robert Egger, founder/president of the DC Central Food Kitchen and author of Begging For Change, which received the 2005 McAdam Prize for "Best Nonprofit Management Book" by the Alliance for Nonprofit Management. Students will take part in a Case Study on domestic hunger issues and a National Collegiate Dialogue on world hunger, developed by a team made up of IU SPEA faculty members Lenkowsky, Gazley, Stice and Ann Marie Thomson, SPEA student Susie Puskar and alumnae Elizabeth Gensler and Kerry Brock.

A panel of community experts, including Pam Altmeyer, president/CEO of Gleaners Food Bank in Indianapolis, and Julio Alonso, executive director of Hoosier Hills Food Bank in Bloomington, will respond to student policy recommendations.

"We're hoping to make this very personal for the students," said Lenkowsky, who before joining the IU faculty was CEO of the Corporation for National and Community Service. "We're going to ask them to answer the question, 'What should I do?'"

Dozens of workshops will take place at the institute, many of them showcasing Indiana University diversity education resources and partnerships between IU Bloomington and IUPUI, campus and community, and schools and departments within the university.

American Humanics is a national alliance of colleges, universities and nonprofits dedicated to preparing the next generation of nonprofit sector leaders. Founded in 1948, it is affiliated with more than 70 colleges and universities and partners with more than 60 national nonprofit organizations, including the March of Dimes, YMCA and Girl Scouts of the USA.