Each year, the IUPUI Office of Alumni Relations honors IUPUI’s Top 100 undergraduate students. These outstanding students are selected for demonstrating academic excellence, campus leadership, and community engagement.
For the 2020-21 academic year, three O’Neill students were selected, including Civic Leadership major Beca Stockman.
“I was so excited,” she says. “I called my parents and every friend who would answer their phone to tell them I had been selected for the Top 100. I wanted so badly to do something positive with my time at IUPUI, and this award feels like an affirmation that I accomplished that.”
We asked Beca to weigh in on questions on her time at O’Neill and what she plans to do in the future.
Why did you choose to pursue a Civic Leadership major?
“I spent my first two years of undergrad as a business major. After a year-long internship managing a local band, I decided I wanted to do something that would have a greater impact on my community. I chose Civic Leadership at the O’Neill School because it allowed me to pursue a policy path.”
What advice do you have for students just starting in the O’Neill School?
“I would tell students to try every opportunity that comes your way. In my time here, I have gotten to do different types of activism and research. Not everything I engaged with ended up becoming my whole life, but I learned new skills and figured out what I do and don’t like based on these experiences.”
What has been one of your most memorable projects in O’Neill?
“Beginning in summer 2020, I began working with Dr. Eric Grommon to create a database of Indianapolis police shootings and their social, legal, and administrative consequences from 2010-2020. This project is still ongoing and has been incredibly rewarding to partake in. Not only is this the first research project I designed from scratch, but it addresses an issue that is incredibly timely and important to me. I learned a lot through this process and got to create a resource that I hope will soon be available for public use.”
What do you see as your biggest accomplishment during your time at O’Neill?
“Every project that I have worked on during my time as a research assistant for the IU Center for Health and Justice Research feels like a huge accomplishment to me. In the two years that I have worked there, I have gotten to work with a long list of Indianapolis stakeholders to study mental health first response teams, police shootings, protests, gun violence, recidivism reduction, etc. to help gather information to develop community solutions.”
How have you managed your education amid the challenges of the COVID-19 pandemic?
“It has been really difficult for me. I am a procrastinator at heart and thus have a hard time working at home, but I have found that creating a dedicated workspace at home helps me stay on task. Making sure I make time to talk with my friends and classmates—virtually or otherwise—has also helped me to stay motivated and sane.”
What are your plans after graduation?
“I plan to get my master’s abroad in Europe this fall as the next step toward getting my Ph.D. in public affairs. In the long run, I want to teach and do research at a university.”