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Cindy Harkness

Faces of IUPUI: Cindy Harkness

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Cindy Harkness. Photo by Liz Kaye, IU Communications

Division of Enrollment Management's Senior Programs Coordinator Cindy Harkness is a well-known face around the IUPUI campus, recognizable to students, faculty and staff by her warm, outgoing personality and her ever-present smile. An enthusiastic and proud ambassador for the university and its students, as well as the city of Indianapolis, Harkness exemplifies IUPUI's welcoming spirit.

A native of Lafayette, Indiana, she attended DePauw University before graduating from Purdue University with a degree in communications science. Harkness — also known around town as "Indy Cindy" — began her IUPUI career 17 years ago as the part-time services coordinator at the IUPUI Glendale Center.

"After the interview, I met a wonderful lady outside of the IUPUI Glendale Center. We chatted about children, dogs, and life in general. Little did I know then that my nice, new friend was Amy Conrad Warner, who at that time was the Director of the IUPUI Community Learning Network. I have truly gotten to know and work with some of the best people at IUPUI," Harkness said.  

"Cindy radiates the characteristics of a welcoming campus, and she works tirelessly to create an environment where our students are successful and confident personally, academically, and professionally," said Vice Chancellor for Community Engagement Amy Conrad Warner.

Cindy Harkness with some students at the 2016 IUPUI Night at the Indiana Pacers.
Cindy Harkness chats with some of her Student Ambassadors.
Cindy Harkness laughs in the Campus Center.

From top: Harkness (second from right) with a group of former IUPUI Campus Ambassadors at the 2016 IUPUI Night at the Pacers; Harkness chats with some of IUPUI's current Campus Ambassadors; Harkness shows off some of her lighthearted personality at the Campus Center. Photos by Liz Kaye, IU Communications

In her current role as senior programs coordinator, Harkness works with partners across the Office of Undergraduate Admissions to bring prospective students to campus for a firsthand look at what it means to be a Jaguar. She also advocates for IUPUI in the Indianapolis community, extending the university's reach to potential students. One such student is School of Public and Environmental Affairs alumnus André Zhang Sonera, who met Harkness at the 2010 FFA Conference in downtown Indianapolis where she sold him on the programs and opportunities that IUPUI could offer a small-town boy from Puerto Rico.

"Ms. Harkness shared with me this board game poster that laid out the path for a student to apply and graduate from IUPUI. I remember taking that poster and hanging it on my wall, fantasizing and imagining what my life would be if I were a Jaguar," said Sonera, a SPEA Peterson Fellow who received his Master of Public Affairs in 2018 and is now working in the Indianapolis Mayor's Office.

"Students here have the unique opportunity to share ideas, engage in programs on campus and in the community, and truly develop their dreams. The sky is the limit at IUPUI," Harkness said.