News & Blog

We’ve made it easy for you to stay up to date on news and blog posts. Subscribe to our RSS feed for weekly updates!

NOTE: The RSS feed works best in Internet Explorer or Mozilla Firefox.


Who’s Who at The Polis Center: Gloria Harmsen

Posted on Jun 22, 2017

Gloria has worked at IUPUI for nineteen years, providing administrative support for School of Medicine faculty and research centers before coming to Polis and as a finance assistant. Her duties here include being the Building Coordinator, a “key” position (she fixes problems with the access key cards), which sends her in search of the source of strange odors and ceiling leaks. Her finance tasks keep her on her toes. “No day is the same. There is always something new to do because University changes policies unexpectedly.”...

read more

New IU Grand Challenge initiative to tackle major environmental threats to Hoosier health, economy

Posted on May 31, 2017

Indiana University President Michael A. McRobbie has announced that IU will invest $55 million to help Indiana develop actionable solutions that prepare businesses, farmers, communities and individual Hoosiers for the effects of ongoing environment change. The initiative—Prepared for Environment Change—is the second project funded through IU’s $300 million Grand Challenges Program which launched in 2015. Indiana is already experiencing heavier spring flooding and hotter, drier summers, and the pace of change is expected to increase. The...

read more

SAVI Talks! Unequal Access: Tobacco Retail in the Indianapolis Metro Area

Posted on May 10, 2017

Did you know? In 2016, the smoking rates of the five healthiest states ranged from 9.1-13.8%. Indiana ranks 39th with a smoking rate of 20.6%; Marion County’s smoking rate is 21.8%. Maternal smoking is nearly twice as high in high tobacco access areas.  Tobacco costs Indiana $6 billion annually in health care costs and lost productivity. Join us Thursday, June 29, 2017, 7:45-10:00 a.m. at WFYI, 1630 N. Meridian St., Indianapolis, IN 46202 for SAVI Talks! Be the first to hear the findings from the report, Unequal Access: Tobacco...

read more

Sharon Kandris Appointed Associate Director at Polis Center

Posted on May 10, 2017

The Polis Center at IUPUI is pleased to announce that Sharon Kandris has been named Associate Director. In this role, she will lead center-wide initiatives, cultivate the development of new initiatives and project opportunities, expand community partnerships to further the Center’s mission, direct the community informatics area as a special focus of attention for the Center, address operational issues, and oversee strategic planning. “This is an exciting time to take on fresh challenges because The Polis Center is undergoing a new...

read more

Social Media Coordinator

Posted on Mar 10, 2017

The Polis Center at IUPUI is seeking a talented individual who wants to make a difference. In this role, you will be promoting the SAVI Community Information System (SAVI), a free online data resource which helps nonprofit organizations, academia, and government agencies improve strategic planning and programming efforts. Your primary goal is to increase the visibility and awareness of SAVI. In short, SAVI engages organizations by: Identifying their data and information needs Providing reliable, up-to-date facts about social, economic, and...

read more

SAVI Community Assessment and Planning Tool

Posted on Mar 3, 2017

Assessing your community’s needs and assets is an important first step in planning community improvements. In fact, users report “community assessments” as the number one use of the SAVI community information system, helping them make more informed decisions about program priorities and identifying existing community resources. We’ve made this process much simpler for you with the easy-to-use SAVI Community Assessment & Planning Tool. The big improvement is that it streamlines planning, pulling together the most critical...

read more

IndyVitals Tool Nominated as Innovation of the Year for TechPoint 2017 Mira Awards

Posted on Feb 20, 2017

18th Annual Event Honors ‘the best of tech in Indiana’ IndyVitals–a digital neighborhood monitoring tool developed by The Polis Center at IUPUI in partnership with the Greater Indianapolis Progress Committee (GIPC) and the City of Indianapolis Department of Metropolitan Development–has been nominated as Innovation of the Year for the 18th annual TechPoint Mira Awards presented by Angie’s List, Genesys, and Salesforce. The Innovation of the Year Award category recognizes scientific achievements, the results of R&D...

read more


Posted on Jan 9, 2017

Lashawnda Crowe Storm, Spirit & Place Community Engagement Director for the Polis Center at IUPUI, and Phyllis Viola Boyd are the award-winners of a three-year, $200,000 grant from Artplace’s National Creative Placemaking Fund to support their public safety and neighborhood improvement project, RECLAIM. RECLAIM will use art to develop vacant spaces along an unsafe, walking corridor traveled by elementary school children in northwest Indianapolis into a safe pathway where blight is transformed into beauty and economic opportunity. The...

read more

Delegates from World Bank Group Visit IUPUI

Posted on Dec 16, 2016

On Wednesday, December 14, delegates from the World Bank Group visited IUPUI as guests of The Polis Center and the Office of the Vice Chancellor of Research (OVCR). The group included officers and specialists from the South Asia Disaster Risk Management team and the Global Facility for Disaster Reduction and Recovery (GFDRR). The World Bank team came to IUPUI specifically to learn more about The Polis Center’s risk analysis and disaster mitigation planning. It was especially interested in how Polis engages communities in mitigation...

read more

Using Data to Inform the Conversation on Environmental Disparities in Indianapolis

Posted on Dec 13, 2016

On December 8, 2016, The Hoosier Environmental Council (HEC) convened several Indianapolis/Marion County stakeholders for a conversation on environmental disparities in Indianapolis. The Polis Center and the IU Fairbanks School of Public Health collaborated to present data to inform the conversation. Jay Smirat and Dr. Yi Wang with Fairbanks presented their work on the creation of an environmental index and maps to assess neighborhood vulnerability and environmental burden. Sharon Kandris, Director of  Community Informatics at the Polis...

read more