Asian Correspondent » IUPUI Asian Correspondent Sat, 04 Jul 2015 00:10:37 +0000 en-US hourly 1 India to Indiana: International Student Perspective Thu, 08 Jul 2010 22:04:46 +0000

Tanumoy Pati wants prospective IUPUI Computer Science students to know – Indianapolis is a vibrant, livable city with a lot to offer. As an international student from Kolkata, West Bengal India, now a second-year MS student in Computer Science at IUPUI, Tanumoy should know. He lives downtown Indy (Indianapolis) near the IUPUI campus.

Tanumoy adjusted to life in the United States by reaching out to the many cultural organizations at IUPUI.  He connected with the Indian Student Advisory Council, which along with the Indian Student Cultural Association, is one of two organizations that hosts events for Indian students. Both groups have strong memberships at IUPUI and are among over 200 academic and student organizations serving students’ interests.  Cultural groups are also found for students coming from African countries, the Caribbean, China, Iran, and many other parts of the world.

During his time at IUPUI, Tanumoy has cheered on the Indianapolis Colts football team, rooted for Chatham FC, and strolled the downtown canal in the late evening.  Indianapolis is the nation’s 13th largest city, with almost 2 million people in the metropolitan area, yet it is easily accessible and has a small town, friendly feel.  Museums, cultural activities, grocery stores, parks, and upscale restaurants are a short bus ride or walk away for Tanumoy.  IUPUI and Indianapolis are a great fit for students who are used to a busy, urban center, yet want a safe environment and a low cost of living.

As his final semesters in the program approach, Tanumoy looked back on his time at IUPUI, “The program has been highly flexible, allowing me to explore my own interests in computer science.  I’ve worked with the faculty and staff quite closely, and been able to support myself financially while on campus, even without a full assistantship.”  He went on to say, “IUPUI and Indianapolis offer a wide variety of opportunities to grow and develop your skills, and prepare for a truly global workforce.  My colleagues have taken up exciting positions in industry at some of the world’s leading companies, such as Microsoft, Dell, Google, and Yahoo.  I look forward to joining them soon.”


The CSCI Master of Science Degree program, in addition to teaching fundamentals, emphasizes research in networking and network security, databases, biocomputing, visualization, and distributed computing. The program is designed to meet the research, educational, and industrial needs of the state of Indiana, the nation, and global community. Faculty in Computer Science conduct cutting edge research while continuing to work with individuals, corporations, and community organizations. Learn more at

Tanumoy Pati will graduate with a Master of Science in Computer Science in May 2011.


]]> 12
IUPUI Professor named to U.S. National Institutes of Health Advisory Council Wed, 07 Jul 2010 21:32:51 +0000

Kathleen Sebelius, secretary of the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services, has named  Carrie Foote, Associate Professor of Sociology in the IU School of Liberal Arts at IUPUI,  to a National Institutes of Health (NIH) advisory council that serves an important role in setting scientific priorities, enhancing collaboration, and ensuring that research dollars are invested in the highest priority areas of scientific opportunity that will lead to new tools in the global fight against HIV/AIDS. This appointment is recognition of Foote’s national leadership in the social scientific dimensions of HIV/AIDS.

 In July 2010, Foote will begin service on the Office of AIDS Research Advisory Council (OARAC). The OARAC provides advice to the Director of the Office of AIDS Research on the planning, coordination, and evaluation of research and other activities in respect to AIDS conducted or supported by the NIH.

OARAC also advises the Secretary of Health and Human Services, the Assistant Secretary for Health, the Director of NIH, and the Director of OAR, on AIDS research programs, the development and annual review of the comprehensive plan for the conduct and support of all AIDS activities of the agencies of NIH, including research policies and priorities, and the coordination of domestic and international NIH AIDS efforts.

Dr. Foote came to IUPUI in 2002. She teaches courses on the sociology of health and illness, HIV/AIDS and qualitative methods. Her HIV-related research focuses on the psychological and social aspects of reproduction and parenting in several cultural contexts, including the United States, Kenya and the Middle East.

As an HIV-positive woman living with HIV/AIDS for over 20 years, she also brings the critical dimension of personal experiences to her work. As a result of these experiences, she has become committed to HIV/AIDS research in the social science arena along with engaging in community advocacy efforts for HIV-positive men and women.

She is also currently serving a three-year term on the Comprehensive Services and Planning HIV Advisory Council to the Indiana State Department of Health where she represents the needs of women and oversees the research evaluation subcommittee. She recently was awarded the Outstanding Dedication to HIV Research Award from the Indiana State Department of Health HIV/AIDS division for her commitment to helping the division with several HIV needs assessment studies over the last few years.

Foote is leading HIV/AIDS social science research and educational efforts at IUPUI.

]]> 0
Germany awards highest civilian honor to IUPUI Professor Giles Hoyt Tue, 06 Jul 2010 21:32:12 +0000

IUPUI Professor Giles Hoyt, Ph.D., is a recipient of the highest tribute the Federal Republic of Germany awards for services to the European nation.

Hoyt, Professor Emeritus of German and Philanthropic Studies and past director of the Max Kade German-American Research and Resource Center in the School of Liberal Arts at IUPUI, is the recipient of the Bundesverdienstkreuz, the Federal Cross of Honor.

The Bundesverdienstkreuz was instituted in 1951 by German President Theodor Heuss. It may be awarded to Germans as well as foreigners for achievements in the political, economic, social or intellectual realm and for a myriad of outstanding services to the nation in the fields of social, charitable and philanthropic work.

Hoyt, an internationally recognized scholar, has been a pivotal figure in the field of German and German-American Studies. His service to IUPUI, as well as to the German-American community, particularly in Indiana and the Midwest, spans more than three decades. He has served on the board of numerous organizations, both locally and nationally, dealing with German-American relations.

Professor Hoyt was instrumental in the establishment and development of the Max Kade German-American center, a national model for interdisciplinary German and German-American Studies.

Together with his wife, Dolores Hoyt, Ph.D.; and friends and colleagues Eberhard Reichmann, Ph.D., and his wife, Ruth Reichmann, Ph.D., Hoyt created the Hoyt-Reichmann Faculty Chair in German American Studies and German Language and Culture at IUPUI with a $1.3 million gift commitment to the School of Liberal Arts.

“Professor Hoyt’s contributions to IUPUI, to academia and the German community are manifold and significant . . . His long-standing civic and community engagement can serve as a model for others to follow,” wrote the Reichmanns and Claudia Grossmann, Ph.D., in a letter nominating Hoyt for the Federal Cross of Honor.

Hoyt received the Cross on Wednesday, June 23, 2010, from Consul General of Germany Onno Hueckmann, based in Chicago. About 100 people attended the award ceremony held at the Indianapolis Athenaeum and hosted by the Max Kade German-American Center.

Germany’s recognition of Hoyt’s work advancing the cause of German-American relations and promoting German language and culture in the U.S is wonderful, said School of Liberal Arts Dean William Blomquist, adding that Hoyt’s service and work simultaneously promoted and served IUPUI.

“In Indianapolis, throughout Indiana, throughout the United States, and overseas, IUPUI and the IU School of Liberal Arts couldn’t have had a better ambassador than Giles Hoyt,” Blomquist said

]]> 0
IUPUI International Student Perspective Fri, 02 Jul 2010 21:03:10 +0000

My name is Lukia Li, and I am from eastern China. My hometown, Hangzhou, is the capital of Zhejiang Province. I came to IUPUI in 2006 to pursue my first Master’s degree in  Communication Studies

I still remember the first day I set foot on the soil of the United States, with two big suitcases and one bigger dream. The journey ahead was exciting and challenging, especially for an ambitious student like me.  I applied to IUPUI because of their commitment to a wide range of degree programs and their dedication to the IUPUI international student population.  I came ready to absorb everything this study abroad experience could offer: great academic achievement, a fabulous social life, and better cultural understanding. 

Now, four years later, I am in the process of completing my second Master’s degree in Philanthropic Studies. My long-term goal is to become a researcher in international philanthropy and to develop new media strategies for nonprofit fundraising and marketing in an intercultural environment. I work part-time as a graduate assistant at IUPUI Office of International Affairs. I also write articles for a college newspaper in China, sharing my stories with youth who are also willing to explore  and capable of exploring unfamiliar territory.

Li Yannan (Lukia to her friends and colleagues at IUPUI) is a recipient of 2010 Joan and Larry Cimino Award in Intercultural Communication (Thesis).  This award, offered by the Indiana Center for Intercultural Communication, is for the best paper or thesis on intercultural communication submitted by a graduate student enrolled in a graduate course in a degree program offered through one of the departments in the IU School of Liberal Arts.


]]> 1
Potential industrial and agricultural uses of echinacea trump health claims Wed, 30 Jun 2010 15:43:12 +0000

Echinacea has been used for hundreds of years as an herbal remedy to prevent or treat colds, and today it is among the most commonly used herbal medicines in North America. However, in spite of its popularity, studies of the effect of the herb on the body’s immune system are conflicting.

Now researchers from the School of Science at Indiana University-Purdue University Indianapolis are investigating the possibility that echinacea has other potentially more important uses – not in health, but in the fields of petrochemicals and agriculture.

Using the cutting edge tools of the newest “-omics” – metabolomics and transcriptomics – Robert Minto, PhD., associate professor of chemistry in the School of Science, is studying the lipid metabolism of the herb, bioprospecting the plant’s genes and enzymes.

“The goal of our National Science Foundation (NSF) funded project is to gain a better understanding of this plant, which in spite of its popularity, has not received the basic scientific scrutiny of so-called model plants like corn, rice and soy.   We are identifying and mapping the complex biosynthetic metabolic pathways, especially the alkamide pathway. We hope that this work will lead us to a better understanding of the plant’s metabolic processes with wide-ranging application in such diverse fields as lubrication and design of disease-resistant plants,” said Minto, who directs the IUPUI Signature Center for Membrane Bioscience.

According to Minto, the study of the unique metabolic characteristics of echinacea and other natural plants should translate into the creation of novel bio-derived compounds.

Minto and fellow IUPUI researchers are collaborating on this study of echinacea with investigators from Iowa State University.

The School of Science at IUPUI is committed to excellence in teaching, research, and service in the biological, physical, behavioral and mathematical sciences. The School is dedicated to being a leading resource for interdisciplinary research and science education in support of Indiana’s effort to expand and diversify its economy. For more information go to

]]> 2
Human trafficking experts visit IU School of Law – Indianapolis Mon, 28 Jun 2010 20:55:43 +0000

George Edwards, international human rights law expert at the Indiana University School of Law-Indianapolis, and the school’s Program in International Human Rights Law hosted two law enforcers and a nongovernment organization official from the Philippines on Friday, June 25  to discuss the global human trafficking issue.

The visit was sponsored by the U.S. State Department pursuant to its Countering Trafficking in Persons project for the Philippines.

The three visitors included:

  • Yehlen Chiu Agus, agent with the National Bureau of Investigation (NBI), the Philippines’ premier law enforcement agency. She works with the NBI’s Anti-Fraud and Computer Crimes Division.
  • Girlie Gay Sequino Sanado, a decorated officer of the Philippine National Police (PNP), where she earned four medals of merit and almost 30 commendations from the police force and other government entities. Her achievement as the topnotcher in the PNP Junior Leadership Course remains unsurpassed to this day.
  • Jerome Aguila Alcantara, head of the resource center of the Visayan Forum Foundation Inc. (VFF), which provides reintegration programs benefitting trafficking victims. Alcantara supervises the VFF’s national and regional planning and consultation conferences for law enforcers and government agencies to help prevent trafficking in persons, especially children.

Agus undertakes undercover missions to break up international human smuggling syndicates operating in the Southeast Asian archipelago. In 2007, she and her fellow NBI operatives arrested, in an entrapment operation, a Malaysian and a Filipino national for recruiting young women in the southern islands of Mindanao to work as entertainers without securing government permits. The NBI agents rescued 10 females, including children, following the entrapment.

Agus also conducts raids of cybersex dens in Metro Manila, the country’s national capital region, and participates in the rescue of female trafficking survivors.

Sanado handles women’s and children’s cases as an officer of the PNP Women’s and Children’s Concerns Desk. Her crime-solving expertise earned her the Country’s Outstanding Policemen in Service (COPS) award in 2007. Sanado also sits as a regular member of the Philippines’ National Technical Working Group on Anti-Trafficking, sponsored by USAID/American Solidarity Center.

Alcantara has participated in various trainings and consultation sessions in India, Thailand and Nigeria to help curb the exploitation of child laborers, especially girls.

The three are visiting Indiana as part of the U.S. State Department’s International Visitor Leadership Program. The State Department wants to help the visitors learn the latest “methods and best practices to help prevent trafficking in persons.” It also seeks to share with them new “anti-trafficking law enforcement techniques” and “methods for effective inter-agency communication.”

The International Institute Graduate School arranged their program in coordination with the Program in International Human Rights Law and the International Center of Indianapolis.

]]> 0
IU cancer researchers named to Komen Scientific Advisory Council Fri, 25 Jun 2010 20:56:19 +0000

Four Indiana University Melvin and Bren Simon Cancer Center researchers are among 62 top-ranking scientists and clinicians from seven countries selected to serve as inaugural members of the Susan G. Komen for the Cure’s new Scientific Advisory Council.

The Komen Scientific Advisory Council members who also are faculty at the Indiana University School of Medicine are:

  • Sunil S. Badve, M.B.B.S., associate professor of pathology and laboratory medicine
  • Theresa A. Guise, M.D., the Jerry W. and Peggy S. Throgmartin Professor of Oncology and professor of medicine in the Division of Endocrinology
  •  Kathy Miller, M.D., associate professor of medicine and Sheila D. Ward Scholar, who was selected as a 2010 Associate SAC Member
  • Harikrishna Nakshatri, Ph.D., the Marian J. Morrison Professor of Breast Cancer Research and a professor of surgery, biochemistry and molecular biology

The Scientific Advisory Council’s provides scientific peer review for the breast cancer grants and programs that Komen funds annually. Komen plans to invest $55 million in 2010.

A surgical pathologist, Dr. Badve is the primary pathologist for breast cancer research at the IU School of Medicine. He also directs the translational genomics core at the medical school.

Dr. Guise is an expert on metabolic bone diseases. Her research interest also include the skeletal complications of malignancy and the effect of chemotherapy and radiation treatments on bone.

Dr. Miller specializes in the study and treatment of breast cancer and directed early studies of drugs used to treat advanced breast cancer.

Dr. Nakshatri is studying the mechanisms of chemotherapy resistance and organ-specific metastasis in breast cancer. 

More on Life Sciences at 


]]> 0
Profile of an IUPUI NCAA Diving Champion Thu, 24 Jun 2010 20:16:55 +0000


Chen Ni is a native of Qingdao, China. Her father is a friend of Wenbo Chen, a coach at USA Diving’s national training center in Indianapolis. This association, along with the encouragement of IUPUI diving coach, Dr. Johannah Doecke, led Chen to decide to pursue her college degree at IUPUI. From her first year with the IUPUI Jaguars (Jags), she immediately began breaking diving records.

Chen approaches academic life at IUPUI with the same energy as she does with diving. Last April, she participated in IUPUI’s inaugural Research Day. Her team’s Undergraduate Student  Abstract, funded by a Multidisciplinary Undergraduate Research Institute (MURI) grant, was an “Investigation of the Relationship among Sport Motivation, Involvement, and Quality Of Life of Indianapolis Colts Fans.”Other team members were from the Department of Tourism, Conventions, and Event Management.


A 2009-2010 MURI-funded project has Chen Ni working with fellow student-athlete Dana Gardner (Business) and non-athletes Paige Conder (Science, Pre-Med), and Orey Pence and Donna Wampler (Dental Hygiene,) on “Evaluating the Relationship between Promotions and Public Perception of the New Dissolvable Tobacco Products during their Test Market in Central Indiana.” Clinical Associate Professor of Oral Biology Laura Romito mentors the team.

Athletic success at IUPUI for Chen has meant attaining 2009 Summit League Diver of the Year, 2010 Summit League 3-meter champion, 2010 NCAA Zone C Platform Diving champion, and 2010 NCAA Platform Diving champion. She is also a three-time Summit League Athlete of the Month.

Chen plans to become a kindergarten teacher through IUPUI’s Transition to Teach Program. She loves working with young people and loves coaching young divers.  Of course, she also has the 2012 London Olympic Games to look forward to as well.




For more information about IUPUI Jaguar Athletics, visit or contact John Rasmussen, Associate A.D. for External Affairs.



]]> 20
Top fuel driver makes NHRA history, credits IUPUI motorsports engineering students Wed, 23 Jun 2010 18:09:36 +0000

Top Fuel driver Cory McClenathan gave credit to IUPUI motorsports engineering students and their professors following his recent history-making race track performance, according to reports from the National Hot Rod Association (NHRA) and Don Schumacher Racing.

McClenathan sped his Top Fuel dragster to 324.75 mph at the 41st annual National Hot Rod Association (NHRA) SuperNationals on Friday, June 11, 2010. McClenathan and the Brownsburg, Ind.-based Don Schumacher Racing (DSR) Team made NHRA history by setting the fastest elapsed time of racing to 1000 feet – 3.752 seconds.

McClenathan’s speed, the second fastest in NHRA class history, set a track record at the Old Bridge Township Raceway Park as McClenathan qualified No. 1 for the 37th time in his career.

“We have been working very closely with IUPUI . . . and those kids over there are just unbelievable when it comes to aerodynamics and the way chassis should work. They were a big part of how we built our DSR car last year and different configurations we tried this year,” McClenathan said, according to an online Don Schumacher Racing press release.

“This car is basically kind of set up the way they like to see things go in the future, especially when it comes to aerodynamics. We’re testing some stuff this weekend on different parts of the car…and this was really a tribute to what happens when you put good people together.”

“My hat’s off to those guys. Not taking anything away from (crew chiefs) Todd (Okuhara), Phil (Shuler) and the guys on the FRAM car, but at the same time it’s a good partnership.”

McClenathan’s dragster is the first car that DSR has run using the new frame that was developed using the work done by IUPUI students Kirk Barber and Paul Lucas, according to Pete Hylton, IUPUI director of motorsports.

Barber and Lucas have spent the past several months as interns with DSR.

“During my internship at Don Schumacher Racing I have worked with many amazing talents,” said Barber. “The team at DSR challenges me to utilize every aspect of my education to help increase their on-track success.”

From NHRA, DSR and IUPUI Motorsports Program reports


For more on the IUPUI-DSR partnership, click here.

To get the news on the SuperNationals from Don Schumacher Racing, click here.

To read the NHRA’s write-up on the SuperNationals, click here

To read more about the Motorsports Engineering Program in the Purdue School of Engineering and Technology at IUPUI, click here .

]]> 13
New bachelor’s degree aims to help students change the world Tue, 22 Jun 2010 21:38:44 +0000

Center on Philanthropy at Indiana University Launches Philanthropic Studies Program for Undergraduates

INDIANAPOLIS – Students who want to make a difference in the world will be able to earn a bachelor’s degree that prepares them to do so starting this fall, the Center on Philanthropy at Indiana University announced this past week.

The new program is designed to equip students with the knowledge and hands-on experience needed to succeed in entry-level positions in philanthropy and the nonprofit sector. It will help them prepare for careers in fields as diverse as foundations, healthcare, human services, community development, education, the arts, and the environment.

“Philanthropy and the nonprofit sector are becoming increasingly complex, and those who plan to work in this field need more sophisticated education than ever before,” said Patrick M. Rooney, executive director of the Center on Philanthropy.   

The program will explore the role and impact of philanthropy and nonprofits from a variety of perspectives and subject areas. Courses will examine issues such as the ethics and values of philanthropy, giving and volunteering, philanthropy’s history, fundraising for nonprofits and building civil society.

Students will have opportunities to interact with national nonprofit leaders, complete a capstone learning experience and participate in internships and service learning projects. They will learn firsthand from Center on Philanthropy experts and Indiana University’s Philanthropic Studies faculty members, many of whom are among the nation’s leading experts and researchers in philanthropy.

The program was developed by Dwight Burlingame, associate executive director and director of academic programs at the Center and Richard Turner, professor emeritus of English at IUPUI and former chair of the IU Philanthropic Studies faculty. The degree will be offered through the IU School of Liberal Arts at Indiana University-Purdue University Indianapolis (IUPUI), of which the Center on Philanthropy is a part.

The Center on Philanthropy pioneered the field of Philanthropic Studies and created the world’s first Master of Arts and Ph.D. degrees in Philanthropic Studies.

“The new program will expand learning opportunities for undergraduates and extend the range of distinctive 21st century degrees offered by IUPUI,” said Charles R. Bantz, chancellor of IUPUI and executive vice president of Indiana University. “Offering a bachelor’s degree in this rapidly growing field will attract many of the best, brightest and most civically engaged students from Indiana, across the nation and around the world, who in turn will make an important impact on the cultural, educational and economic growth of our community and state.” 

More details and application information for the Bachelor of Arts in Philanthropic Studies are available at


About the Center on Philanthropy

The Center on Philanthropy at Indiana University, a part of the Indiana University School of Liberal Arts at Indiana University-Purdue University Indianapolis, is a leading academic center dedicated to increasing the understanding of philanthropy and improving its practice worldwide through research, teaching, training and public affairs programs in philanthropy, fundraising, and management of nonprofit organizations.

]]> 12
IUPUI faculty profile: The importance of mentoring Mon, 21 Jun 2010 20:49:42 +0000

Pratibha Varma-Nelson, 59, a chemistry professor and executive director of the Center for Teaching & Learning at Indiana University-Purdue University Indianapolis (IUPUI), grew up in a middle-class family in Pune, India.

After high school, Varma-Nelson enrolled at Wadia College at the University of Pune. She received the highest grade in her freshman chemistry class of 600 students. That got her noticed by her professor, Jayant Mandlik. “I always had questions, so I would go to him for help,” she says. “He was like my academic father. He encouraged me and made me believe that I could do whatever I wanted to do.”

After Varma-Nelson’s sophomore year, Mandlik left India to take a research position at the University of Illinois, Chicago (UIC). But he and Varma-Nelson stayed in touch. “He continued to encourage me to pursue chemistry,” she says. “I wrote to him and asked whether there was any chance I could come to the U.S. He said yes and helped me with the applications.” She was accepted into UIC’s Ph.D. program in organic chemistry and came alone to the U.S., which was uncommon for single women in India at that time.

Varma-Nelson received a doctorate in chemistry in 1978 and completed a postdoc at Loyola University in 1979. She started her career as an assistant professor at Saint Xavier University, in Chicago. She moved to Northeastern Illinois University in 2002 to serve as chair of the department of chemistry, earth science, and physics. From 2006 to 2008, Varma-Nelson served as a program director in the Division of Undergraduate Education at the National Science Foundation. After that, she joined IUPUI, where in addition to her role as executive director of the Center for Teaching & Learning, she directs a research group working on cyber peer-led team learning and other collaborative teaching approaches.

Varma-Nelson (center) with her staff at IUPUI’s Center for Teaching & Learning

Varma-Nelson says she has had mentors throughout her career. When she first started teaching, she sought the advice of other faculty members. She also sought mentorship when she was trying to move from a liberal arts college to a Ph.D.-granting institution. “At every stage in my life, there’s always been someone who’s been willing to show me what I need to do,” she says.

Now, at IUPUI, she is giving back by mentoring others. “When I became a tenure-track assistant professor and had my own students, I knew how important it was to be encouraging to them, so I spent a fair amount of time telling them about my own experiences and encouraging them to do what interested them instead of what others told them to do,” she says. Varma-Nelson is also mentoring students to serve as peer leaders and working with faculty members to improve how they teach.

This profile first appeared in C&EN Chemical & Engineering News on June 14, 2010. Submitted by the IUPUI Department of Chemistry & Chemical Biology

]]> 0
IUPUI Herron School of Art and Design Sculpture M.F.A. Students Transform Gateway to the Indianapolis International Airport Fri, 18 Jun 2010 21:16:51 +0000

Through their graduate studies at Herron, three sculpture M.F.A. students have been awarded commissions to create public art installations along the interstate connecting downtown with the Indianapolis International Airport.  The commissions were awarded by the non-profit organization, Keep Indianapolis Beautiful.

One student, Kathryn Armstrong, has already completed her project, and a video blog on her experience can be found at  The two other students receiving commissions for future projects are Shi-Fen Liu and Jason Bord.

Herron’s graduate students are highly involved with public art projects through their graduate studies.  The Frank and Katrina Basile Center for Art, Design and Public Life is Herron’s avenue for applying the talents and skills of Herron students and faculty to the actual, relevant needs of businesses, nonprofit organizations, and government agencies. The Basile Center brings Herron’s commitment to civic engagement to life through core offerings of art and design to a variety of clients. In turn, Herron students gain professional experiences through rewarding, collaborative partnerships.

For more information on Herron School of Art and Design’s graduate programs and the Basile Center, please visit  


]]> 0
IUPUI Faculty Recognized for International Accomplishments Thu, 17 Jun 2010 20:44:56 +0000

This summer, France and Germany will recognize career-spanning accomplishments of two members of our faculty, Rosalie Vermette and Giles Hoyt, with prestigious awards.

Such awards, from governments abroad, illustrate that universities—through the work of their faculty—bring cities and nations together through knowledge building.

Professor Emerita of French Rosalie Vermette has been named by the government of France a Chevalier dans l’Ordre des Palmes Académiques (Knight of the Order of Academic Palms).

Membership in the 200-year-old Order of Chivalry for academics and educators is conferred by France’s Ministry of National Education based on a record of teaching, publication, and promotion of French language and culture. Napoleon Bonaparte set up the award to honor prominent members of the University of Paris. By virtue of her knighthood, Rosalie will also become a member of the American Society of the French Academic Palms.

Rosalie, who will retire from the faculty this year, recently lectured about her sabbatical leave study of sociocultural minorities in France. We are proud of her for having received this wonderful honor as a career capstone and grateful for her many contributions to IUPUI, including serving as President Pro Tempore of the Faculty Council.

Professor Emeritus of German Giles Hoyt will receive the Federal Cross of Honor, the highest civilian award from the government of Germany.

As the first Director of the Max Kade German American Center at IUPUI, Giles devoted much of his career to the study, preservation, and recovery of documents and other materials reflecting Indiana’s German American heritage. He has also long been involved in activities related to the Indianapolis-Cologne Sister City relationship, established in 1988.

In 2001, together with fellow IUPUI colleagues—his wife, Dolores, and Ruth and Eberhard Reichmann—he donated $1.3 million to the School of Liberal Arts to institute the Hoyt/Reichmann Faculty Chair in German American Studies and German Language and Culture. The couples are also founding members of the Indiana German Heritage Society.

Other IUPUI faculty members have received prestigious Fulbright Awards for study and teaching abroad.

Edward E. Curtis IV, Millennium Chair of Liberal Arts and Professor of Religious Studies, has just led an IUPUI Summer Abroad Program in Jordan, where he has been conducting his Fulbright-sponsored research on African American connections to foreign Muslims. He is the author of several books on African American religious history, including Muslims in America: A Short History, published in October 2009 by Oxford University Press.

Helen Schwartz, Professor Emerita of English, spent the spring semester as a Fulbright Senior Lecturer at Bilkent University in Ankara, Turkey. She taught American drama and American ethnic literature for the Department of American Culture and Literature. Helen has taught abroad before. In 1988, she was a Fulbright Senior Scholar at Twente University of Technology in the Netherlands, designing software to help students write in their native language. She also participated in an exchange program with Debrecen University in Hungary in 2001, where she shared techniques for online teaching.

Tim Brothers, Associate Professor of Geography, just received a Fulbright award for research and teaching in the Dominican Republic during spring 2011. With colleagues Jeff Wilson and Owen Dwyer in the IUPUI Geography Department, Tim recently published Caribbean Landscapes: An Interpretive Atlas, which integrates essays, satellite imagery, and ground photos to develop interpretations of the region’s diverse landscapes. The National Geographic Society helped fund his research on landscape change in Cuba over the last 50 years, from the time of the revolution to the present day.

As for hosting Fulbright Scholars, IUPUI’s Institute for American Thought is an attractive destination. Currently, Giovanni Maddalena of the University of Molise (Italy) is here studying the American pragmatist Charles Peirce. Previous visiting Fulbright scholars attracted to the institute’s Peirce Edition Project have come from Brazil, Bulgaria, Finland, Italy, and Russia for high-level doctoral and postdoctoral research.

We are proud that IUPUI’s faculty is recognized internationally. Our students and faculty are privileged to have these scholars as teachers and colleagues.

]]> 11
Fairbanks foundation awards $20m grant for new public health school at IUPUI Wed, 16 Jun 2010 16:32:44 +0000

Indiana University President Michael A. McRobbie announced today (June 15) that the Richard M. Fairbanks Foundation of Indianapolis has awarded a $20 million grant to Indiana University-Purdue University Indianapolis to help fund its proposed school of public health and provide increased support for public health initiatives in Indiana.

“This is an extraordinarily generous gift that gives us great momentum as we prepare for the opening of a school of public health in Indianapolis to train future generations of public health practitioners and researchers,” McRobbie said. “We are indebted to the Richard M. Fairbanks Foundation board of directors for their vision, foresight and commitment to improving the quality of life in Indiana.”

IUPUI hopes to open its school of public health in the fall of 2011 after the review to renew the accreditation for the Master of Public Health program is completed.

IUPUI Chancellor Charles R. Bantz said at least 80 percent of the gift will be placed in an endowment that will provide essential funding for faculty and students.

“The impact of this gift will forever be seen in the education of students who will become tomorrow’s public health professionals and researchers, in the support of ongoing public health research, and in the direct improvement of the health of the people of Indiana,” Bantz said. “Part of the challenge is not only treating disease, but preventing it in the first place. Public health is about prevention.”

Leonard J. Betley, chairman of the Fairbanks Foundation, said a major focus of the foundation is improving health.

“Major deficiencies in our region and state are resources, research and trained personnel in the area of public health,” Betley said. “Health studies consistently show that disease prevention through public health initiatives have a significant impact on the physical and economic health of a community. Creating a badly needed school of public health is a step long overdue, and we are pleased to be part of the effort.”

Indiana faces a number of public health challenges. It has the second highest prevalence of all states in tobacco use. Curbing tobacco use is considered to be a leading factor in reducing a wide range of illnesses and premature deaths.

The 2009 America’s Health Rankings further show that Indiana is among the 10 worst states for obesity, high cholesterol, infant mortality and deaths due to strokes, heart attacks and diabetes.

“These statistics can all be improved, with our new school playing a key role in community-based health promotions that address these problems,” Bantz said.

About the Richard M. Fairbanks Foundation

The Richard M. Fairbanks Foundation Inc. was established in 1986 by Richard M. Fairbanks, who was the founder and owner of Fairbanks Communications Inc. The Richard M. Fairbanks Foundation is an independent, private foundation granting funds to qualifying tax-exempt organizations in the Greater Indianapolis area. The foundation has three primary focus areas: health, the vitality of Indianapolis, and sustainable employment. The foundation seeks to fund initiatives and organizations delivering impactful solutions that address key challenges facing the Indianapolis community.

For more than 50 years, Richard M. Fairbanks was a leader and innovator in radio broadcasting. His company owned and operated 20 radio stations around the country, a television station in Atlanta, cable television systems, a charter airplane company, and had interests in real estate. He established the Indianapolis Motor Speedway Radio Network when he owned and operated WIBC radio.


Indiana University-Purdue University Indianapolis is a place where IMPACT is made. With more than 30,000 students, IUPUI is one of the top “up and coming” American universities that U.S. News and World Report says people should be watching, and the eighth best public college in the Midwest, according to Forbes. It offers nationally ranked programs in nursing, public and environmental affairs, law and health, and a campus renowned for service learning and civic engagement.

]]> 2
VisionFest 2010: International animation and gaming festival returns to IUPUI Tue, 15 Jun 2010 14:58:48 +0000


VisionFest 2010
Student animation festival returns to Indianapolis and IUPUI October 22-23

VisionFest, an international juried student animation festival, will make its return to the Indiana University – Purdue University Indianapolis (IUPUI) campus October 22 through 23. The festival, organized and hosted by the Indiana University School of Informatics at IUPUI since 2005, is now accepting entries for competition and screening. High school, undergraduate and graduate students from around the world are invited to submit their work in the categories of animation and games/interactive arts. There is no fee to enter and all entries must be postmarked by July 28, 2010. Festival details and submission instructions are available at

This year’s keynote speaker will be Mark Pudleiner ( Pudleiner is a veteran of the animation industry, with nearly three decades of experience bringing characters to life for Walt Disney Feature Animation, Dreamworks and several other studios. His film credits include Shrek 2, Meet the Robinsons, The Emperor’s New Groove, The Hunchback of Notre Dame, Hercules, Tarzan, Mulan, and many more. He currently teaches 2D and 3D animation and story at the Vancouver Institute of Media Arts (VanArts) and for Animation Mentor, an online animation school.

Illustrator Matt Haley (, well-known in the world of comics for his work with DC (Superman Returns, Batgirl, Birds of Prey), Marvel (The Order, Heroes Reborn: Rebel), Dark Horse (Ghost) and others, will also join VisionFest as a featured presenter.   

To date, hundreds of talented students representing nine countries and 56 schools have taken part in VisionFest, including Japan, Taiwan and Singapore. Its mission is to create an environment of imagination, inspiration and education between emerging student talent and established industry leaders.

Categories are divided into three levels of competition recognizing high school, undergraduate and graduate students. Best-in-Category Award winners receive cash prizes. The festival’s audience members will also vote to determine an overall Audience Choice Award winner in each category.

A jury of animation and gaming industry experts selects winners in each category at every level of competition. All entries meeting submission requirements will receive written critiques from the jury. Past VisionFest jurors include top talent from the most recognizable players in the industry, including Industrial Light & Magic, Walt Disney, Blue Sky Studios and DC Comics. This year’s jury members will be announced at a later date.


 About IU School of Informatics at IUPUI:

The Indiana University School of Informatics was established in 2000 as one of the first schools in the nation dedicated to education and research in informatics. Informatics is the study and application of information technology to the arts and sciences, and the resulting impact on organizations, individuals and society as a whole.

 The Indiana University School of Informatics offers both undergraduate and graduate degrees in Media Arts and Science. To learn more about the Media Arts and Science program and distinguished faculty, please visit The IU School of Informatics is located on the campus of Indiana University-Purdue University Indianapolis. For additional information, please visit 

]]> 0
New Energy Engineering Degree announced at IUPUI Mon, 14 Jun 2010 15:16:20 +0000

 Bachelor’s of Science program to launch students into energy engineering field

INDIANAPOLIS, IN (June 11, 2010) The Indiana Commission for Higher Education approved a new Energy Engineering degree today for the Purdue School of Engineering and Technology (E&T) at IUPUI. IUPUI is one of a handful of schools across the United States to offer a Bachelor’s of Science in Energy Engineering, specifically preparing students for careers in this rapidly-expanding industry.

The energy engineering industry has grown extensively in recent years as engineers address global clean energy production while at the same time protecting the environment and growing the economy. State and national leaders recognize the industry as a key contributor to the nation’s economic growth as the US seeks to decrease its dependency on foreign oil and become proactive in the development and use of improved energy sources.

IUPUI’s Energy Engineering Program responds to the needs and growth of this industry and the careers it is generating. In a formal survey of industry leaders, the university found an expressed need to train an engineering workforce with the expertise to work in and develop this nascent industry. Leaders stated clear interest in hiring college graduates who have been specifically trained in the energy engineering field.

“The program will equip students to find new ways to extract and use energy efficiently and sustainably, emphasizing high quality research as the basis for success,” said H. Öner Yurtseven, Dean of the School of E&T. “We are extremely pleased to offer this degree as we continually seek to develop programs that are cutting-edge, relevant and that maximize on the resources available to us.”

Classes for the Energy Engineering degree will begin in the Fall 2011 semester.

 About the Purdue School of Engineering and Technology at IUPUI:
The mission of the Purdue School of Engineering and Technology at IUPUI is to be one of the best urban university leaders in the disciplines of engineering and technology recognized locally, nationally and internationally. The school’s goal is to provide students an education that will give them the leverage to be leaders in their communities, industry and society. For additional information on the School of Engineering & Technology, go to

About IUPUI:
Created as a partnership between two world-renowned universities and destined to be the state’s urban research and academic health sciences campus, IUPUI has rapidly grown in size and stature since it was established in 1969. The partnership between the state’s two major public universities – Indiana University and Purdue University – enables IUPUI to bring together a tremendous range of degree programs in 21 schools and academic units for nearly 30,000 students who earn their degrees from Indiana University or Purdue University. Today, IUPUI is the third strong pillar supporting public higher education in Indiana. For more information on IUPUI, go to 


]]> 17
IUPUI Professor Recognized for Development of DirecTV Fri, 11 Jun 2010 16:00:13 +0000

Professor at the School of Engineering and Technology to Join 2010 Consumer Electronics Hall of Fame

Dr. Lauren Christopher will soon join the notable Steve Jobs, co-founder of Apple, and Vladimir Zworykin, a pioneer of television technology, in the Consumer Electronics (CE) Hall of Fame. Dr. Christopher is credited with managing the team of engineers who developed the digital satellite receiver system for DirecTV in the 90’s, and is being recognized by the Consumer Electronics Association (CEA) for her achievement.

Each year inventors, executives, engineers, retailers and journalists, nominated by industry professionals and media through online submissions, are selected by an independent panel of industry judges to be inducted into the CEA’s CE Hall of Fame. Dr. Christopher is in the 2010 class of inductees being honored for contributions to the products and services that improve consumers’ lives and are a vital part of our nation and its economy. “Those who have historically been inducted into the CE Hall of Fame are high level, excellent people. To be recognized among them, makes me feel as if I’m standing on the shoulders of giants,” said Dr. Christopher.

While working in a co-op for RCA (which later became Sarnoff Corporation) in Princeton, New Jersey, Christopher was mentored by some excellent television engineers including one of the inventors of color, Dalton Pritchard. At RCA she learned about and became involved in the design of the new digital television standards. Following graduation at MIT, Christopher started her career conducting research for RCA, and in 1990 Thomson, who had purchased the RCA Consumer Electronics Division from GE, offered her the opportunity to move to Indianapolis to help turn research ideas into products.

Christopher helped Thomson win the DirecTV project with Hughes Electronics/Satellite group in a competitive bid process in 1991. She then served as the manager of the digital set-top box for the DirecTV project, and led a group of about 30 software, hardware and manufacturing engineers in working on the receiver design. “This collaborative effort involved extremely talented engineers and dedicated individuals. We worked very hard and put in a lot of hours. For me, and many of the other engineers, this was a pinnacle experience as we started with a blank sheet and created something new. We were wildly successful, even more than we expected,” said Dr. Christopher.

DirecTV went to market in 1994, and Dr. Christopher remembers the launch date well as it was certainly something to celebrate. Engineers went to local stores for the launch to provide additional information and help answer questions, and really took part in introducing the product to the market. Prior to the launch, the team conducted thorough tests and worked to clean up all of the software bugs. They did such a good job testing that it was almost two years after the launch before they had to download any minor patches to fix anything.

“Congratulations are extended to Dr. Christopher for her incredible achievement. We are proud to have such a high caliber individual impacting the lives of our students, and contributing her talents to the advancement of our society as a whole,” said Dr. Yurtseven, Dean of the School of Engineering and Technology at IUPUI.

After a long career at Thomson, Christopher went back to school and earned her PhD from Purdue University in 2003. In 2008 she became a professor at the Purdue School of Engineering and Technology at IUPUI. She currently teaches courses on signals and systems, circuits and digital systems design in the Department of Electrical and Computer Engineering. She is also working on a new course on 3-D image processing for fall 2011. “Teaching is the perfect job for where I am in my career. It allows me to give back to the younger generation and get back into research, which is my passion,” said Dr. Christopher.

What’s next for Dr. Christopher? Dr. Christopher believes the future of television is in 3-D displays that you don’t need glasses to see, and she has set up a 3-D digital imaging lab at IUPUI to do research in this area. Her thesis for her doctorate was specifically focused on 3-D medical imaging, and being at IUPUI allows her to work with doctors at the IU School of Medicine on IUPUI’s campus to capture live 3-D images for medical imaging. Right now, Dr. Christopher is working with her students to find a way to use one camera to capture 3-D information. Vai Technology, supplier of Xilinx expertise and training, and Viimagic, supplier of a prototype imager, have been an integral part of her work with 3-D. She is also finalizing a research contract with Stereo Vision Systems Inc., a company pursuing technological and business opportunities in applying the latest innovations in the field of stereoscopic imaging based in New York.

Students are impressed with Dr. Christopher’s achievement, and excited to engage in 3-D research. Dr. Christopher also is pleased to have the opportunity to share her knowledge with others and pass along what she has found to be valuable advice. “I’ve worked hard to get where I am today, but much of my success is credited to those who’ve helped me along the way. I have been fortunate to learn from great mentors and advise my students to do the same: seek out leaders and learn from them.”

To learn more about Dr. Lauren Christopher, visit

]]> 2
IUPUI international student profile Thu, 10 Jun 2010 13:38:27 +0000

Namrita Bendapudi, Visakhapatnam, India             

Namrita Bendapudi, a 2008 IUPUI University Fellowship recipient, is a Master’s student in Industrial/Organizational Psychology who has immersed herself in the IUPUI student life experience. She says, “Since this was my first time in the U.S., I was apprehensive, but the staff in International Affairs, as well as the faculty in the Department of Psychology, have gone out of their way to help me adjust to my new life and the academic system here.”

She attributes much of her success to getting involved with student life on campus. In her first year, she signed up as the Public Relations Officer for the IUPUI Chapter of Heifer International, responsible for publicizing events of this service organization.

Currently, Namrita is an International Peer Mentor with IPMP, a program that provides mentoring services to incoming international undergraduate students and helps them adjust to life at IUPUI. Additionally, she is President of Volunteers for a Global Campus, which aims at providing volunteer opportunities for internationally-focused events around the campus and city, and a founding member of the Indian Students Advisory Council, formed to help incoming and current Indian students acclimatize themselves to life in the U.S.

Students at IUPUI have a unique opportunity to earn degrees from either Indiana University or Purdue University. The School of Science Department of Psychology offers the BS or the BA Purdue University degree, in addition to optional concentrations aligned with three graduate areas: clinical psychology, industrial/organizational psychology, and the psychobiology of addictions.

]]> 16
IUPUI students, faculty travel to Kenya to help make high altitude training center into a sports tourism destination Wed, 09 Jun 2010 14:43:43 +0000

Faculty and students from the IU School of Physical Education and Tourism Management at IUPUI are setting out to do for the High Altitude Training Center near Eldoret, Kenya, what its founder has done for herself: make it a world champion.

Two faculty members and four students will depart IUPUI on July 3 for a 22 day stay in Kenya in which they will begin developing plans to make the High Altitude Training Center (HATC), founded in 1999 by Lornah Kiplagat, a four-time World Champion runner, into a sports tourist destination, drawing people interested in long-distance running, biking, and physical training from around the world.

A $10,000 grant from the Efroymson Family Fund, managed by the Central Indiana Community Foundation, will help offset some of the students’ expenses.

“The learning experience for the students travelling to Kenya will be unique, powerful, and enlightening. They are the first of what I hope will be many students that travel to the High Altitude Training Center. The Center presents a great platform for our students to apply what they have learned in an international context,” said Jay Gladden, Dean, School of Physical Education and Tourism Management.

The foundation for the trip was laid a year ago when Sotiris Hji-Avgoustis, Chair of the Department of Tourism, Conventions and Event Management (TCEM), oversaw a feasibility study of making the HATC, located about 30 minutes away from Eldoret at an elevation of 7,000 feet, known world-wide among long-distance running enthusiasts.

“Eldoret wants to be like Indianapolis, which is known as the amateur sports capital of the world,” Hji-Avgoustis said. “Eldoret wants to be known as the long-distance running capital of the world.”

Kiplagat holds four world records over 5 K, 10 Mile, 20 K and Half Marathon. The HATC welcomes runners, triathletes, mountain bikers and people who want a quiet place where they can relax and train. It is surrounded by hundreds of miles with dirt roads, perfect for running and mountain biking. There is a 400 meter dirt track and hills for hill training. The HATCCenter’s facilities include a state of the art gym, fitness centre, sauna, and 25 meter solar heated swimming pool and a pool restaurant.

Despite what the HATC offers, few outside Kenya are aware of it, Hji-Avgoustis said.

When the IUPUI delegation arrives, they will begin working with a delegation of students and faculty from the Netherlands and a delegation from Moi University. Yao Yi Fu, Ph.D, a faculty member in the school’s Tourism, Conventions and Event Management Department, will work on the marketing and promotional plans for the Center, while a Brian Culp, Ed.D., a faculty member from the school’s Physical Education Department, will focus on plans to promote community health and the importance of physical activity.

Long-term, Hji-Avgoustis said other goals are to establish a foundation to help sustain plans for the HATC and to provide micro-financing that would enable local Kenyan families to make a living offering traditional and cultural products to tourists visiting the HATC.

]]> 15
Virtual humans appear to influence ethical decisions in gender-specific ways Tue, 08 Jun 2010 15:24:56 +0000

Virtual humans are increasingly taking on roles that were once reserved for real humans. A study by researchers at the Indiana University School of Informatics at Indiana University-Purdue University Indianapolis (IUPUI) explores how appearance, motion quality and other characteristics of computer-generated characters may impact the moral and ethical decisions of their viewers.

The research, published in the June 2010 issue of the journal Presence: Teleoperators and Virtual Environments found that the decisions of men were strongly affected by presentational aspects of the simulated woman, while women’s decisions were not.

“Much evidence has accumulated showing that nonverbal behavior can have a profound impact on human judgment in ways we are hardly aware of and this research extends that work to the digital realm. This work demonstrates that presentational factors influence people’s decisions, including decisions of moral and ethical consequence, presumably without their realizing it,” said study co-author Karl F. MacDorman, Ph.D., an associate professor in the Human-Computer Interaction Program at the School of Informatics. He is also an adjunct associate professor with the Purdue School of Engineering and Technology at IUPUI.

In the study, a simulated female character presented participants with an ethical dilemma related to sexual conduct and marital infidelity. The character’s human photorealism and motion quality were varied in four ways. The changes had no significant effect on female viewers, while male viewers were much more likely to rule against the character when her visual appearance was obviously computer generated and her movements were jerky.

“Although it is difficult to generalize, I think the general trend is that both men and women are more sympathetic to real human characters than to simulated human characters. So I think the women were mainly influenced by the moral dilemma itself, and they may have felt more empathetic concern for the character, because they could better imagine what it would be like to be in the same situation,” said MacDorman.

The fact that males and females react differently to changes in a character’s visual presentation could impact the design of future systems created to facilitate medical decision-making, crime reenactments and many other scenarios.

“The ‘human interface’ is the most natural interface for us to use for communication, because it is the interface we know best. There are many potential applications for simulated human characters as a communication interface. As we come to a better scientific understanding of how nonverbal behavior can be used to influence people without their knowing it, we will also need to consider how it might be exploited by humans who create virtual characters,” said MacDorman.

“If it is used to manipulate people into taking a course of action they might not otherwise take, such as buying more products or adhering to medical or behavioral advice, that clearly raises ethical concerns. Technology should not be used in ways that diminish human autonomy,” MacDorman concluded.

This study was funded by an IUPUI Signature Center and Research Investment Funds grant. A future study with a simulated male character is planned.

Co-authors of “Gender Differences in the Impact of Presentational Factors in Human Character Animation on Decisions of Ethical Consequence” in addition to MacDorman are Joseph A. Coram, M.S.; Chin-Chang Ho, M.S.; and Himalaya Patel, M.S. from the IU School of Informatics at IUPUI.

A copy of the paper can be found at:

]]> 1
The road to healing: IUPUI’s 2nd International Symposium on Peace, Kenya Mon, 07 Jun 2010 17:07:35 +0000

The second International Symposium on Peace, jointly planned and sponsored by IUPUI and our strategic international partner in Kenya, Moi University, was held from May 12-14 in the city of Eldoret. Dr. Ian McIntosh, Director of International Partnerships at IUPUI and Rotary World Peace Fellow for 2010, led a delegation from Indianapolis.

After the disputed December 2007 Kenyan elections, widespread and bitter inter-ethnic violence broke out across the country resulting in over 1,300 deaths, 400,000 displaced persons, and millions of dollars in property damage. A joint effort spearheaded by IUPUI and Moi University has focused attention, through two international conferences, on the root causes of the conflict and strategies for long term peace building. The goal is to reduce civil unrest and the likelihood of civil unrest during the next Kenyan election in 2012.

While the 2009 symposium in Kenya focused on national dialog, healing, and reconciliation, the 2010 symposium had youth empowerment as its theme. As part of the proceedings, a youth peace march held in downtown Eldoret attracted many youth from both the university and the wider community, including members of youth groups from all around Kenya who are doing outstanding work for the cause of peace and reconciliation.

Over 100 academic papers were delivered during the symposium on a series of topics, including: youth, healing and reconciliation; youth leadership in justice and peace; promoting youth employment and business opportunities; youth and gender education; youth and ethnicity etc. Of particular note was the work of Caroline Thuo and the Church World Service in the Mathare slum of Nairobi, Mary Kakuvi’s leadership of the Rural Women’s Peace Network throughout the troubled Rift Valley province, and also Kenyan music sensation Eric Wainaina, whose songs of peace activism had the entire audience singing along.

It was also agreed that IUPUI and Moi University would continue their cooperation in 2011 with a further symposium with a theme of ‘Peace and Prosperity.’

For further information on the conference program, see

]]> 0
Frank Tai took his IUPUI degree to Pixar Fri, 04 Jun 2010 15:16:56 +0000

Yung-Lian “Frank” Tai, Taipei, Taiwan

Ask Frank Tai if IUPUI prepared him well for the big stage of computer-generated filmmaking, and he’ll give an enthusiastic “yes!” Frank first came to IUPUI in 2003 as an undergraduate art student. A class trip to see The Incredibles – an animated film hit from Pixar Animation Studios – hooked Frank on becoming a 3-D animator. After completing his bachelor’s degree in Media Arts & Sciences, he continued on for a master’s degree in Media Arts & Sciences, also from the IU School of Informatics.


Upon graduation, Frank was invited to the field’s biggest stage of all, working as a technical director for Pixar Animation Studios in Emeryville, California. He joined a team responsible for set dressing and modeling of vegetation landscapes for Toy Story 3, a major film release for 2010.


Frank believes that IU Informatics is particularly well suited to train animation students. “I credit IUPUI’s Media Arts and Science program for properly preparing me,” he says. 


IUPUI offers students a unique opportunity to earn degrees from either Indiana University or Purdue University in one location: Indianapolis, IN. Learn more about the IU School of Informatics at

]]> 0
IUPUI art students to inhabit floating fiberglass island at new IMA park Thu, 03 Jun 2010 16:24:54 +0000

Many people dream of living in an artfully designed home, but few can claim living publicly inside a fiberglass island created by renowned artist Andrea Zittel. That’s exactly what one student and one new graduate of the Herron School of Art and Design at IUPUI will be doing for six weeks.

The Indianapolis Museum of Art commissioned Zittel to create Indianapolis Island, a work of art that will float on the 35-acre lake within 100 Acres: The Virginia B. Fairbanks Art and Nature Park. Herron 2010 graduate Michael Runge and student Jessica Dunn, who will graduate next May, are preparing for a move-in by the park’s opening day, June 20, 2010.

In keeping with broad themes of Zittel’s work – experimental living and self-sufficiency – Dunn and Runge’s project encompasses fabrication of furnishings, floating gardens, a bicycle generator, a rowboat, periodic performances, an interactive blog and message containers for communication between them and park visitors.

“Working with an artist of Andrea Zittel’s caliber and being part of an inaugural commission at 100 Acres are fantastic opportunities for Herron students,” says Herron Assistant Professor Jennifer Mikulay. “Dunn’s and Runge’s residency will bring Zittel’s island to life. Their project will surely cause people to ponder what it means to make art and make a home.”

Both Runge, who built the project’s floating gardens, and Dunn, who has built furnishings for the habitat, have chronicled the project on their blog site: .
“It’s crazy. So much bigger than anything I’ve done,” says Runge, who earned a bachelor’s degree in art education from Herron. “I am learning so much. Every project has built upon itself over these last two years. To be able to work on such a large scale and in collaboration is one of the attractions of Herron.”

Dunn juggled work on the floating message system with the hectic last days of this school year. “When I first heard about the request for proposals in August 2009, I knew I had to do this,” says Dunn, who is concentrating on sculpture and painting at Herron. “I knew I worked well with Michael, so we decided to collaborate on the proposal.”

Artist Zittel and Lisa Freiman, chair of the museum’s contemporary department, selected Dunn and Runge’s proposal from 16 submitted competitively by Herron students. In preparation, the students visited the site and met with Zittel to create a vision for living in Indianapolis Island and interacting with visitors to the park.

The collaboration between the IMA and Herron is the result of a longstanding relationship and the creative talents of Mikulay, who is also Public Scholar of Visual Culture at IUPUI, and sculpture professors Eric Nordgulen, Greg Hull and Holly Streekstra, who constantly seek stretch projects for their students. As a school of IUPUI, Herron supports the university’s aim to bolster education through components including research and experiential learning.

For more information on 100 Acres: The Virginia B. Fairbanks Art and Nature Park visit

For more about the island created by Andrea Zittel, go to:

]]> 0
Indy 500 and IUPUI Motorsports Engineering Program Wed, 02 Jun 2010 15:55:20 +0000

Congratulations to Dario Franchitti on winning the Indy 500! This year’s race was especially exciting for students in our new motorsports engineering program because they were directly involved or knew others who were. Only in its second year, IUPUI’s Bachelor of Science degree in motorsports engineering already has an enrollment of some 60 students from 16 states.

As the first U.S. university to offer a four-year program, IUPUI benefits directly from relationships with big-name motorsports crews. This not only provides incredible student internship opportunities but also the advantage of a curriculum developed in partnership with an advisory board of professional industry leaders. It also helped us to attract top-notch faculty like Motorsports Director Pete Hylton, whose background includes a 25-year career in aerospace engineering and nearly 30 years of amateur sports car racing, and Andrew Borme, engineer for driver Helio Castroneves during his first two Indy 500 wins.

The creation of an innovative degree program is not unusual for IUPUI. Over the years, our schools and faculty launched many programs that fulfill IUPUI’s mission of creating fields of study that simultaneously are attractive to students looking for promising careers, build on academic strengths, forge interdisciplinary partnerships, and meet workforce needs in high-potential areas of economic development such as arts, culture, and tourism; health and life sciences; philanthropy and nonprofits; information technology; and sports. I label these “21st century degrees”—for they represent the innovation, academic strength, interdisciplinary partnerships, and commitment to economic development that characterizes IUPUI.

Just in the past two years, the following new 21st century degree programs have been established:

  • BA in Africana Studies
  • BS in Health Sciences
  • BS in Music Technology
  • BA in Philanthropic Studies
  • MA in Applied Anthropology
  • MA in Art Therapy
  • Master of Criminal Justice and Public Safety
  • MA in Sports Journalism
  • Ph.D. Biostatistics
  • PhD in Economics
  • PhD in Epidemiology
  • PhD in Health and Rehabilitation Science
  • Doctor of Nursing Practice

As graduates of these, and programs yet to be developed, fan out into our community and communities around the world, IUPUI can take great pride in the creativity of the faculty of this 21st-century urban research university.

From the Desk of the Chancellor, June 1, 2010
Comments? Write .

]]> 0
From the Chancellor of Indiana University Purdue University Tue, 01 Jun 2010 20:17:48 +0000

In December 2009 I travelled to China to sign a strategic international alliance with Sun Yat-Sen University.


The memorandum we signed December 9 expands the already substantial collaboration between IUPUI and Sun Yat-Sen University. It follows the same pattern as the agreement I signed in 2006 with Moi University in Kenya. Under the new agreement, IUPUI and Sun Yat-Sen University pledge to expand collaboration across the arts and sciences as well as the professions.


IUPUI’s strategy of forming campuswide international partnerships led to our receiving the Andrew Heiskell Award for Innovation in International Education from the American Council for Education.


Strategic alliances are long-term, comprehensive collaborations between two universities that advance the internationalization of each institution while also providing linkages for the communities in which these institutions are located.


The China visit revealed current relationships and opportunities.


We met Sun Yat-Sen University medical students who had recently returned from Indianapolis. An IUPUI colleague arrived during our visit for a month at their medical school. I had the opportunity to speak to business students at Lingnan (University) College on “Understanding Universities through the Organizational Communication Culture Method” and Professor Sandra Petronio (my wife) addressed the medical school on “Managing Medical Disclosures with Patients.”


Our relationship with Sun Yat-Sen University was a key factor in our being selected in 2007 to house a prestigious Confucius Institute.


Our Confucius Institute is led by Professor “Joe” Xu, a Sun Yat-Sen University graduate and a neuroscientist in the IU School of Medicine. Joe led our visit to Sun Yat-Sen and to Beijing for the annual worldwide conference of the Confucius Institutes. The Confucius Institute has taken a leadership role, with the Mayor’s Office, in establishing the annual Chinese Festival of Indianapolis.


We also visited Peking and Zhejiang University, both impressive universities.


Visiting five very large cities (the smallest with 6.5 million residents!) and three universities in 11 days made clear the benefit of exchange programs and highlighted the keen interest of the Chinese in partnerships and mutual cultural understanding. 


I came home with a clear sense that this moment in time offers an opportunity to create partnerships that span not only the Pacific but centuries of history—a strategic opportunity to foster relationships that will shape our joint future for decades to come.

]]> 0