Sharon Kandris, Polis Center Associate Director
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 strategic planning and restructuring process in order to be more responsive to community needs and to build on our many and diverse collaborative partnerships,” Kandris said. “I look forward to developing even deeper connections in our communities and helping them build a better future.”
Kandris joined The Polis Center 18 years ago, serving most recently as Director of Community Informatics.
“For more than a decade, Sharon has provided great leadership in securing grants, contracts, and scholarships for the Polis Center,” said Executive Director David Bodenhamer. “She has directed large community-based projects, fostered strong relationships with organizations in Indiana, and has been a strong advocate for community-focused change in the National Neighborhoods Indicators Partnership. She brings great talent, vision, and energy to new role, and I am delighted that she will continue to be a model servant-leader for Central Indiana.”
Kandris serves on the United Way of Central Indiana Community Impact Committee, is a partner with the National Neighborhood Indicators Partnership (Urban Institute, Washington, DC), is a member of the Indiana Geographic Information Council, and is a member and volunteer at the Holy Trinity Greek Orthodox Church. She was named a Hoosier Fellow of the Randall L. Tobias Center for Leadership Excellence in 2014. Kandris earned a Masters’ degree in geography from the University of North Carolina at Charlotte, concentrating in geographic information systems and community planning, and received a B.A. degree in geography from Northwest Missouri State University.
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 Center at IUPUI, discussed the intersection of environmental burden and socio-economic indicators for identifying potential environmental justice concerns.
In addition, Dr. Paul Mullins, Professor in Anthropology at IUPUI, presented the history of Indianapolis neighborhoods and industry, and David Hirschl, City of Indianapolis Office of Sustainability, presented the state of the city’s work on environmental justice issues. Indra Frank, MD, MPH, HEC Environmental Health Director, closed the presentation with policy options for urban environmental justice from other cities for consideration in our local context. The community conversation will continue in February and April 2017.
To view the presentation of SAVI’s socio-economic data, click here. The environmental burden data and other relevant maps via the Multi-Layer Data Community Action Tool (created by IU Fairbanks School of Public Health as part of its Healthy Environment and Community Assessment Partnership) are available at the HECAP website: www.HECAP.net
Established in 1986, the Hoosier Environmental Council is Indiana’s leading educator and advocate for environmental issues and policies, protecting the forests, groundwater, and lakes throughout the state. Its efforts seek solutions and alternatives to reduce the footprint of industry, commerce and agriculture on the environment.
Sharon Kandris, Director of Community Informatics
Sharon Kandris, Director of Community Informatics, will be leading a required course of United Way of Central Indiana’s Fall Community Impact University program for United Way of Central Indiana area directors on November 4. The special class, “SAVI Community Assessment Tool Training Workshop,” will provide an overview of SAVI and discuss community assessments and online resources to help attendees and their agencies understand more about their service areas, identify needs, and find existing resources and collaborators in their communities. The program will also explore the latest SAVI tool to be launched in December, the United Way Community Assessment & Planning tool. At last count, registration was at about 50 attendees, which besides directors includes other United Way team members who will be able to make use of the tools.