Status of Indiana Families symposium set for Oct. 19


By Heather Collins

Researchers from four universities will present information on issues facing families today at the 2017 Status of Indiana Families: Issues and Answers symposium. It will be from 9 a.m. to 4:30 p.m. Oct. 19 at the Ivy Tech Community College Conference Center, 2820 N. Meridian St.

Information will cover topics relating to infants, children and the elderly. Speakers will also discuss issues affecting military families, low-income families seeking higher education, low-income single moms and issues of rural and urban families.

The event is the brainchild of Carmel resident Lorene Burkhart, event chair. She is the founding donor for the Center For Families at Purdue University and a 1956 Purdue graduate.

Burkhart said she is happy to bring four universities together to discuss topics affecting everyone who lives in Indiana. Researchers from Indiana University, Ivy Tech Community College, Marian University, Purdue University and the Sagamore Institute will speak.

Speakers will present cutting-edge, academic-based research data and information that isn’t generally readily accessible to the public.  Burkhart said discussing such topics help the public to become more sensitive to whom they elect to the General Assembly.

The symposium is open to the public. State legislators, social workers and agencies that serve lower income families, children and the elderly can learn more about the people they serve by attending.

Speakers include Dr. Shelley MacDermid Wadsworth, director of Military Family Research Institute at Purdue University; Dr. Paul Halverson, professor and founding dean of Fairbanks School of Public Health and IUPUI;  Dr. Andrew Browne, senior vice president and COO at Ivy Tech Community College; Dr. Heather Eicher-Miller, assistant professor of nutrition science at Purdue University; and Dr. Joanna Brown, senior fellow at the Sagamore Institute.

Lunch will include a presentation by Keynote speaker Chuck Underwood. Underwood is the author of “The Generational Imperative,” “America’s Generations in the Workplace” and “Marketplace and Living Room.”

Admission is $50 and includes lunch. For information or to register, visit


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