Essay on Indiana sports legends earns IUPUI student top score in national scholarship contest

INDIANAPOLIS — An Indiana University-Purdue University Indianapolis journalism student’s first-hand account of the IUPUI dedication celebrating a new recreational facility and 479272_w296honoring local sports legends — the Lockefield Gardens Dust Bowl and Crispus Attucks High School state basketball champions — has earned top honors in a national scholarship contest.

As the top-scoring writer, Elizabeth Cotter, 19, will receive the 2015 Jim Murray Memorial Foundation Judges’ Choice Scholarship Award of $5,000 for her essay showcasing the Dust Bowl, a dirt basketball court once on a spot that is now part of the IUPUI campus. The Dust Bowl became a proving ground for hundreds of young Indianapolis players, including members of the Attucks teams that won Indiana state championships in 1955 and 1956.

Cotter’s 987-word essay received the highest score in the foundation’s annual competition.  More than 30 colleges and universities are affiliated with the Jim Murray Memorial Foundation. Cotter is the first IUPUI student to win a Murray foundation scholarship.

“Elizabeth’s effort took a forgotten piece of campus real estate and brought it back to life,” said Malcolm Moran, director of the National Sports Journalism Center at Indiana University on the IUPUI campus. “She met every deadline, submitted every revision, responded to every suggestion and searched for every detail that would capture the significance of the Dust Bowl and its place in Indiana history.”

The Jim Murray Memorial Foundation perpetuates the legacy of Jim Murray, a Pulitzer Prize-winning sports columnist of the Los Angeles Times who died in 1998. In this year’s contest, students were tasked with writing essays that showcased a person, event or location of historical significance to their respective campuses.

In her winning essay, Cotter writes about “A Championship Tribute,” the April 1 dedication of the IUPUI Campus Recreation Outdoor Facility which included basketball great and Attucks star Oscar Robertson as a guest speaker:

“When I saw this tree over there,” Oscar Robertson said. “I thought, ‘There was where the Dust Bowl was.'” He stood beneath a tent on the (IUPUI) campus on a sunny spring afternoon, pointing to his right toward a tree just beyond a black iron fence …

The tree towers over the three-story, multi-colored tan brick Lockefield Gardens apartment complex a few feet beyond the northeast section of the IUPUI campus known as Lockefield Green, where students have walked to class for years with no idea of what stood there and the powerful meaning that spot holds.

Although she knew about Robertson’s sports legacy, Cotter said she only learned of the Dust Bowl because of the dedication.

“If I didn’t know about it, I figured a lot of other students didn’t know either. To showcase it was very cool,” said Cotter, who attended the dedication ceremony and the panel discussion afterward featuring Robertson and other Attucks alumni.

Cotter, a graduate of Indian River High School in Philadelphia, N.Y., moved with her family to Fort Wayne, Ind., after her father retired from a 20-year-career in the United States Army.

A junior in the School of Liberal Arts at IUPUI, Cotter is majoring in journalism with a sports concentration. She is sports editor for the IUPUI student-run media page, “The Campus Citizen,” and has participated in fantasy leagues following National Football League players since she was 11. Cotter, a summer intern at the CBS affiliate in Fort Wayne, dreams of becoming a sports writer reporting from the sidelines of NFL games.

The Murray foundation scholarship competition started with students from the nation’s top 15 university journalism programs before expanding to its current size. Each year, a panel of professional judges score submitted essays and award $5,000 scholarships to the entrants with the top five scores. This year, six winners were selected because of a tie for fifth place.

“It is such an honor to receive such a prestigious award and be a part of the Jim Murray Memorial Foundation family,” Cotter said. “I cannot thank IUPUI enough for giving me this opportunity.”

The other 2015 scholarship winners are from the University of Kansas, University of Georgia, Penn State University, University of Missouri and Northwestern University. The Murray foundation will hold a celebration for all the winners on Oct. 24 at Santa Anita Racetrack in Arcadia, Calif.

In-demand Herron art therapists make life better for those in pain

Linda Adeniyi, Bonnie Burke and Heidi Moffatt all have graduated from Herron School of Art herron_posterand Design’s Master of Arts in Art Therapy Program within the last two years.

They were employed right away, even before graduation in Burke’s case. Beyond those achievements, the three share additional characteristics. Not only are they helping people who suffer from a variety of causes, they are forging understanding among their peers in mental health throughout Indiana, many of whom have had little exposure to Art Therapy applied in a clinical setting.

They were born in different places—Adeniyi in Aguadilla, Puerto Rico; Burke in Baltimore and Moffatt in Indianapolis.

Adeniyi came to Herron as a seasoned counselor, with a B.A. degree in art and psychology from the University of Evansville. She found the Art Therapy program through an online search. Burke and Moffatt came as Herron fine art alumnae; they had been students during the formative years of the program, as it was being developed and before it was launched.

Burke (B.F. A. in General Fine Art ‘11) had turned to her own artwork during a rocky past. “I’ve always been an artist,” she said. “Art had helped in my private life, so I knew it can help anyone.”

Moffatt (B.F.A. in photography ‘08) said, “I was already evaluating the reasons behind the art I was creating, and beginning to realize how important it is for me to take action in order to create positive change. The blend of psychology and art in art therapy seemed as though it would be a perfect fit.”

Burke is a therapist at Sycamore Springs in Lafayette. It’s a 48-bed inpatient facility and also serves outpatients seeking mental health and addiction treatment, or geriatric services. The average in-patient stay is seven to 10 days.

She has a 10-person caseload. She also runs group therapy sessions and plans discharges.

Moffatt works for Community Health Network, providing individual, group and family therapy. Much of her work is performed in schools in Marion County.

Adeniyi is a 13-year veteran of Legacy House. The Indianapolis agency provides counseling for adult and child victims of violence. “Our services are free and voluntary,” she said. She loves witnessing her clients’ resiliency and helping them to move forward from their trauma.

Burke gives an example of using art therapy as a part of the care for a veteran in his 60s. He had a brain injury from an accident he was in after his military service. He was admitted for a psychotic episode. “Art therapy gave him a form of expression and a here and now focus,” she said. “The art kept him from suffering.”

Moffatt said being an art therapist gives her the nonverbal means to transcend barriers to service such as language, culture, communication, developmental delays and trauma.

The three art therapists all agree that although the therapeutic use of art has been a distinct practice since at least the 1940s, it is not as well known and understood in Indiana.

Moffatt said sometimes “Art therapists are mistaken for artists and craftsmen who happen to work in therapeutic settings. In fact,” she said, “art therapists are masters-level professionals trained to assist individuals of all ages. We clinically observe their creative process and assist with the careful selection of art media based on unique therapeutic needs and goals.”

Burke appreciates being a pioneer. She noted that people “don’t understand the training and the multiple therapeutic philosophies, or our deep skill set, but that’s part of our job—to educate people.”

“Whether the person is naturally creative or just stuck,” Adeniyi observed, “Art Therapy helps give them words.”

Each of these practitioners noted the advantage that Herron’s program gives students by preparing them for the dual credentials of Art Therapist Registered (ATR) and Licensed Mental Health Counselor (LMHC). All three are logging the post-graduation clinical hours required to obtain both.

They were pleased with the amount of studio art they had to take to complete the degree, and think that having the program situated in an art school sets it apart. Moffatt’s advice to candidates considering Herron’s graduate Art Therapy program is to begin early on the requirements—at the end of sophomore or beginning of junior undergraduate year.

“The faculty support is just amazing,” Burke said.

“Herron has made close connections with a variety of internship sites and offers graduate students within the program great experiences in getting to know different settings and populations,” added Moffatt. “I had very beneficial experiences at my internship sites. They included Peyton Manning Children’s Hospital, St. Vincent Breast Center, and the Stress Center’s Therapeutic Day School and intensive outpatient programs.”

“Since I was the first art therapy intern within my program at the Stress Center,” Moffatt continued, “I was able to build an art therapy program and work alongside the designated teacher, clinician, social worker, nurse and activity therapist.”

Adeniyi noted that “the faculty continues to communicate opportunities and support” post graduation.

Burke observed that there is an entrepreneurial aspect to being an art therapist, even if a practitioner is not in private practice. “You have a great deal of autonomy,” she said. “You have to be your own boss, know what you are doing and what needs to be done.”

“Once we are registered art therapists and licensed mental health counselors, we have unlimited opportunities,” said Adeniyi, although she does not see going into business for herself. “I like having a team,” she said.

“I am very proud to have been in the first graduating class of the Herron School of Art and Design’s Art Therapy program,” Moffatt added. “We had a 100 percent employment rate within a month and a half of graduation. I recently celebrated my one-year anniversary as a therapist for Community Health Network. I feel proud to have helped carve the path for future graduate art therapy students and for the field in Indiana.”

Burke recounts her proudest clinical moment as “working with a client with Parkinson’s disease and severe speech impediment. She has a new identity as an artist. She has amassed a portfolio. It really helped her deal with her depression and Parkinson’s, with being where she was,” Burke said.

Adeniyi was deeply moved by being asked to speak at the [Indianapolis] Vet Center. “When they found out I am a veteran, they wanted me to facilitate at their staff retreat,” she said, as both a therapist and a veteran.

Burke advised students thinking of pursuing Art Therapy to “be dedicated and do all they ask of you. It is a serious program. You have no chance of having a career if you burn out.” She noted that all Art Therapy students are encouraged to get their own therapist. “Students in this program can’t be afraid to know who they are. If you don’t, you can’t help anyone,” she pointed out.

“Get involved! No matter how little time you have and how heavy the work,” is Moffatt’s advice. “Embrace the opportunities that come your way. Seek out established professionals, ask your supervisors questions, become a member of the Indiana Art Therapy Chapter and the American Art Therapy Association, attend opportunities such as the Spirit and Place Festival and Combat Paper, go to the National Art Therapy Conference if you can. Remember that time is limited and your two years as a graduate student will fly by.” She also cautioned near-graduates to begin the job search early. “I had several job interviews. The process can take awhile—two to three months—plus training, so be prepared.”

“Don’t be afraid to ask for help,” said Adeniyi. “Get proper rest, stay connected with your peers and manage your time wisely.”

Each of these Herron graduates imagines a future where Art Therapy continues to drive their career decisions. Adeniyi finds herself being drawn to working on sexual assault trauma with veterans, especially as women’s roles in the military are being expanded to include combat.

Burke wants to eventually be “running Art Therapy every day, transitioning away from care management.” She sees herself “continuing to provide Art Therapy wherever that may be.”

Moffatt imagines continuing “to learn and grow within the field of art therapy as I discover its many faces within different settings and populations.”

“People who graduate from this program now are the founders, continuing to educate Indiana,” said Burke. “The good thing is we are so new, facilities are grabbing us rather quickly.”

Summer Youth Program Fund feeds thinking and making at Herron Creativity Camps

At Herron School of Art and Design, if you can think it, you can make it. That holds true for herron_posterthe 147 youths who attended this year’s Summer Creativity Camps.

Camp Cartoon, Camp Tomorrow, Camp Noise and Camp Kinetics each ran for a week in Eskenazi Hall. Students explored, discovered and made things—often with digital technology in the school’s newly established Think It Make It Lab.

“These new camps are what the students are looking for,” said instructor Lauren Saunders (B.A.E., 2015). “Bringing together traditional studio art practices and digital technologies opens up a whole new set of skills for the students. It also takes them out of their comfort zone and results in great brainstorming and exploration.”

Hannah, a 13-year-old camper, tried all of the creativity camps. “I came to camp to learn how to do animation and broaden my experiences,” she said. She described the unfamiliar hand-to-computer processes in Camp Cartoon as really tough at first, but “the more I did it, the easier it got. I feel like I really pushed myself.”

A scholarship made it possible for Hannah to attend. “Scholarships are good,” she said, “because there are a lot of kids who want to come to camp but can’t. That’s too bad because they may not be able to become what they want to be. I feel lucky.”

Thanks to donors including the Summer Youth Program Fund—a collaborative coordinated by the Central Indiana Community Foundation and Lilly Endowment, Inc.—many Marion County youths had something fun to do this summer.

Sisters Nyela, 12, and Mesgana, 13, said their mother was looking for educational camps online when she found Herron. The pair said she was happy to learn that scholarships were available. The girls attended camp for two weeks. They both wanted to thank whoever made the scholarships possible. “It’s neat that two people from the same family got to come to camp,” Nyela said.

This year’s Summer Youth Program Fund partners included Lilly Endowment, Inc., Allen Whitehill Clowes Charitable Foundation and the Christel DeHaan Family Foundation.

The Lacy Foundation also supported Herron Creativity Camps through its support to Herron’s Community Learning Programs.

Herron’s Community Learning Programs have undoubtedly made a positive mark on the lives of aspiring artists. To learn more about these programs, visit

Goodine and Richardson say farewell to Herron after 59 combined years of teaching

There are a lot of meet-cute stories at Herron School of Art and Design. One belongs to goodine_richardson_mainthe departing duo of Linda Adele Goodine, former Chancellor’s Professor of Photography and Intermedia and Mark Richardson, former associate professor of Ceramics. A school secretary introduced them to each other a quarter of a century ago. “She said to Mark, ‘Look at that skinny photo instructor. She looks like she needs to be fed,’” recalled Goodine. They went to Some Guys, a popular place for pizza.

Their apartments were within walking distance of the school. Later, said Richardson, “We could have bought a small house, but we bought this crazy, empty church,” just a few degrees north on the same street in the historic neighborhood. The vast space, fronted by a lush garden today, became a hub for creative activity and socializing.

Richardson earned his M.F.A. degree from IU Bloomington in 1980. He started at Herron the same year as a visiting lecturer and stayed for 34 years. He retired in December 2014.

Goodine, who holds master’s degrees from Ithaca College (1981) and Florida State University (1983), was recruited in 1989 as a visiting artist. “I came with an established career and had 20 museum shows under my belt,” she said. Her 26-year career at Herron ended on May 31.

Both Richardson and Goodine have family on the east coast. His family is in Massachusetts. Although she was born in New York, Goodine said, “I came of age in the South as an artist and I go back down to the Gulf or the Everglades to do my work.” With their daughter, Ella Richardson Goodine, out of the nest and studying French theory and gendered sound art at Smith College, it was natural for the couple to look beyond the Midwest.

“I am well into my 50s, and I wanted to start spending more time in my studio,” said Goodine. “I probably would have stayed at Herron just a year or so longer.” However, a position in Greenville, North Carolina, caught her eye.

“It was as if the job description had been written for her,” Richardson said. So she has accepted the appointment as Carol Grotnes Belk Distinguished Professor in the School of Art and Design at Eastern Carolina University, beginning this August.

Goodine said she will be teaching three classes per year and have more time for research, including several book projects she has had in mind. “There’s a real connection fit-wise between there and Herron,” she said. “It has a very familiar feel.”

Richardson and Goodine said what they loved most about their time at Herron was their students.

“When you have a big group of curious people—for example, last semester’s junior class—I was so lucky to have them. They were ready to think differently at any moment,” said Goodine.

“You look at the art you make and the kids you teach as your children,” Richardson said.

Both professors empathize with parents’ varied reactions when students announce their plans to go to art school.

Richardson said his own parents were a little nervous but supportive.

“My dad wanted me to go to law school with my sister and start a family business,” said Goodine. “‘Why would you take a vow of poverty?’ he said. That worry for parents never changes—that connectedness to security and what that means for livelihood.”

“I try to teach my students to be full-brained, to reign in their intuition through technique and go past their craft,” she said. “If they never make another piece of art after they leave here is doesn’t matter. They have adaptability tenacity, and the ability to think critically.”

Richardson and Goodine still remember their early artistic influencers reverently. For Richardson, they were the international ceramicist Gregor Giesmann and folk potter Shoji Hamada. For Goodine, they were her grandfather, Arthur H. Richards, a photojournalist for Reuters and Gannett, and Roger Mertin, “a photographer’s photographer,” she said.

From Adele, I learned that good art starts from a place of questioning rather than knowing. Her great gift as an educator was to create a space where I could challenge what I thought I knew, about the world and myself, and use that inquiry as a basis for making better images.

She inspired this quest to really examine where the images come from inside yourself, and also to think more about how your art lives outside the classroom. A regular part of Adele’s curriculum was a public-service component; I loved finding out that art-making can go out of the studio and be a part of the community. It’s a wonderful way to keep your practice alive and fresh. In Adele’s classroom, we got this sense that what we do as artists is powerful and important. I’ve kept that feeling throughout my career.

“We will miss our colleagues. We’ve said goodbye to many people and been happy because they are going on to more adventures,” said Richardson.

A title from one of the airport commissions sums it up best for Richardson and Goodine: Bon Voyage, Fly, Perfect.

Paluzzi, others, will get their online due thanks to new Donald Prell Fellowship in Art History

Donald Prell, 91, met Herron alumnus Rinaldo Paluzzi during an exhibition in Los Angeles. 220px-D.Prell.2009“I purchased one of his paintings in September 1960 for $360,” said Prell, “which in today’s dollars would be $2,875.”

Prell observed that Paluzzi’s body of work is impressive. He called on Herron via email to inquire as to why there was no official school entry for this notable alumnus on Wikipedia, or the school’s website.

Explanations about Wikipedia’s status (does not count as publishing in the eyes of some scholars) and referral to Herron’s website for an obituary—Paluzzi died in 2013 at the age of 85—even a copy of Herron’s history book, The Herron Chronicle; well, Prell was having none of it.

“He deserved to have his own page in Wikipedia,” Prell said. “He is a notable graduate of Herron, and the school should be proud to list him as a notable member of its alumni.”


The continuing conversation stimulated Prell and the school. Since Prell lives in California, the likelihood of a trip to Indiana to answer his questions in person is doubtful. He was so committed to his idea that he did more than create a Wikipedia page himself for Rinaldo Paluzzi, asking the school to vet the information. With a philanthropic gift to Herron, he created the Donald Prell Fellowship in Art History, to support budding art historians in telling a fuller story of Herron’s notable alumni. Paluzzi’s will be first story told.

Taylor Townsell, a senior majoring in art history, is the first Prell Fellow. She transferred to Herron from the Fashion Institute of Technology in New York. The art history faculty nominated her for the Prell Fellowship based on her demonstrated abilities in research, analysis and writing. She will have a year to complete her assignment. She has shrewdly negotiated a deal with an English professor to submit her paper on Paluzzi in fulfillment of an ethnographic research assignment as well.

“Waking up one day and having this email from Jennifer Lee [associate professor of art history] saying ‘You are the perfect person for this,’ made me feel very grateful,” said Townsell. “I got a research fellowship as an undergraduate!”

“I am excited to research Paluzzi’s body of work in detail. I will be interviewing some people in the area that knew him. I am really excited that I’ll be able to use local resources.”

Townsell noted what a wonderful thing Donald Prell has done. “I feel that not much is given to Art History,” she said. “I was surprised by this proposition. This will add a lot of interest about art history to Herron.”

In subsequent years, the subject may be any notable Herron alumna or alumnus, to add to the body of knowledge about Herron alumni. The Prell Fellow will produce an analytical research paper or an equivalent product in another medium, perhaps for conference presentation or submission to a peer-reviewed publication.

In the meantime, Prell has become fascinated by the life of John Herron. In addition to the school, he has contacted the Indiana State Library, the Indianapolis Museum of Art and University Library at IUPUI to satisfy his thirst for knowledge. May all Herron students be as diligent.

And the Webby goes to…Things Organized Neatly

Austin Radcliffe (B.F.A. in Art History, ’12) has done it again. His curated blog of blissfully austin_by_lucien_mainarranged objects—Things Organized Neatly—has snagged a Webby.

The Webby is bestowed by the International Academy of Digital Arts and Sciences, founded, according to its website, “in 1998 to help drive the creative, technical, and professional progress of the Internet and evolving forms of interactive media.”

Honoring “the best of the Internet,” the 2015 Webby went to 344 entries out nearly 13,000 from every state in the U.S. and more than 60 countries. Radcliffe won in the Personal Blog/Website category.

This accolade is only the latest in a steady progression of attention for Radcliffe. Herronline has followed Radcliffe’s creation since 2012. Things Organized Neatly has taken him from his student days in Indianapolis to the Tate Modern in London, where he was a guest lecturer in 2014.

Perhaps the most remarkable aspect of this beautiful blog is the sheer discipline Radcliffe has demonstrated in building himself into a phenom through it; “I have featured approximately one photo every day for the last five years,” he said, noting that he could not have done it by himself. People from all over the globe submit their images to his curatorial charm.

“The site has become a documentation of the trend and style of organizing things neatly,” Radcliffe observed.

Why? Why do viewers—closing in on half a million of them—seek out this visual representation of order? “I can say that people find it calming—respite from the chaos of the Internet and 21st century living,” he said.

After the Webby win in May, He was hired by Fitz & Co. to shoot Instagram photos at ArtBasel in Switzerland.

Next up for Radcliffe, who currently resides in Cincinnati, is a book about Things Organized Neatly, a best-of collection from the blog, which will be published in 2016 by Universe, an imprint of Rizzoli.

Radcliffe also is contributing to the next issue of Pattern magazine and has a number of shows under development in the Midwest, which he’s sensibly remaining tight-lipped about until details are cemented.

Summer Workshops support increasing interest in informatics

The School of Informatics and Computing at IUPUI hosts Summer Workshops each year informatics logoas a way to introduce informatics and computing to area high school students and provide them the opportunity to discover their interests in technology in a variety of ways.

This year’s workshops were held June 8 through July 24 and included new sessions to engage junior high students as well, with exciting results. The workshops, taught by faculty and students in the school, covered topics in Media Arts and Science, Informatics, and Bioinformatics.

“Informatics and computing is prevalent in so many different fields including health and life sciences. So we wanted to include workshops for junior high students to introduce them to informatics and computing and allow them to explore, and also include something for high school students that have an interest in science as well as technology,” said Angela Madden, high school specialist for the School. “With the new changes, registration doubled from last year and more registered for multiple workshops, which shows how the interest in informatics is growing.”

The workshops offered hands-on experience on everything ranging from game design, 3D animation and app development for smartphones to exploring a human genome.

Students were able to work and become familiar with the latest technology, production equipment, and software during class sessions.

At the end of each workshop, students gave a project presentation. Those in the bioinformatics workshop did a team presentation that detailed their research and provided data visualization of their findings, giving students real world experience. “Presentation skills are important to have not only when preparing for college, but for a career too,” said Brian Benedict, Director of Career Services for the School of Informatics and Computing at IUPUI.

Each workshop was Monday through Friday, with class sessions going from 8: 30 a.m. to 4:30 p.m. daily. Classes were open to any student entering, currently enrolled in, or graduating from grades 7-12.

The workshop series is scheduled annually mid-June through the end of July.

Cummins Foundation joins other industry partners and IUPUI to support IT program for IPS high school students

Students at Arsenal Technical High School, part of Indianapolis Public Schools (IPS), are CumminsSignWeb-750-340x246receiving an investment from Fortune 160 company, Cummins Inc (NYSE: CMI). To improve learning opportunities for students from low-income and minority families and provide more pathways to good jobs, the company is investing its resources as well as the skills of its employees.

The IU School of Informatics and Computing at Indiana University-Purdue University Indianapolis (IUPUI) announced today Cummins Inc. is donating funding and encouraging its employees to contribute their time and talents to the Informatics: Diversity-Enhanced Workforce initiative, or iDEW.

Launching this fall, iDEW will help students from Arsenal Technical, IPS’ Pike High School and the private Providence Cristo Rey learn information technology (IT) skills necessary for two or four-year college degrees and careers in the IT industry.

The iDEW program has broad support from area Cummins invests in iDEW initiative
businesses, with the global power leader Cummins being the most recent investor. As part of the partnership, Cummins employees can use four or more hours of their work time to mentor and tutor iDEW students.

“Cummins employees are excited to support iDEW and help students in Indianapolis’ Near Eastside reach their full potential in education and beyond,” said Mary Chandler, Cummins’ Executive Director of Corporate Responsibility. “Cummins is grateful for the opportunity to partner with IUPUI and other industry partners committed to helping students in our community gain skills that lead to good jobs.”

iDEW is a year-round program that introduces students to computing, informatics, and other IT concepts, the real-world application of those concepts, and career opportunities in the IT industry, which according to one IU executive is lacking in both diversity and quantity of qualified applicants.

“There are over 1.4 million unfilled jobs in the IT industry, and the number continues to grow,” said Mathew Palakal, executive associate dean of the IU School of Informatics and Computing at IUPUI. “These jobs are high-paying and available all over the United States. We feel a sense of responsibility in assisting with the preparation of the workforce of the future by providing them with the necessary skills to secure these jobs.”

To prepare graduates for those future careers, iDEW will focus on students’ reading, writing, and interpersonal communication skills in addition to building their self-esteem, confidence, and ability to work on teams.

Leading those sessions, which range from basic programming to creating websites and mobile applications to understanding the data behind DNA, will be Informatics and Computing faculty working with high school teachers. Lending a hand will be volunteers from industry experts like Cummins.

Headquartered in Columbus, Ind., with a growing presence in Indianapolis, Cummins designs, manufactures, and distributes engines, filtration, and power generation products. In 2016, Cummins’ Distribution Business will open a downtown Indianapolis office, increasing the number of employees in the city to approximately 250. Corporate Responsibility is a core value at Cummins, and employees are encouraged to serve and improve the communities in which they live, with partners and programs like the iDEW initiative through the School of Informatics and Computing at IUPUI.

First physician assistant program class prepares to begin new jobs caring for Hoosiers

INDIANAPOLIS — Thirty-seven students at Indiana University-Purdue University Indianapolis are making history again.479165_w296

Twenty-seven months ago, they were members of the first class of students to begin the Master of Physician Assistant Studies program in the IU School of Health and Rehabilitation Sciences.

They will record another first on Friday when they complete the program, created to help fill the need for health care practitioners, particularly for medically undeserved populations and Hoosiers living in rural areas.

“Most of the students already have jobs lined up in various areas of medicine, including surgery, primary care and emergency departments,” said Rebecca Rebman, a physician assistant and director of the physician assistant program. “Some have applied for physician assistant residencies to gain additional education needed to practice in a specialized area.

“Physician assistants are advanced practice providers whose training is modeled after medical students,” she said. They study primary care as well as specialties.

“They are dependent practitioners who work in a collaborative arrangement with a supervising physician, but physician assistants also have a lot of autonomy,” Rebman said. They can see patients on their own, consulting with a physician as needed.

“They are able to assess patients, order diagnostic tests and then develop a treatment plan and write prescriptions,” Rebman said.

During the 27-month program, students take 111 credit hours, compared to the 128 credit hours taken by a typical undergraduate student over four years.

“It’s a demanding program,” Rebman said. “It’s like sprinting through a marathon.”

Rebman said the students have done well in their classes and clinical rotations. More importantly, she said, the program’s health partners — which are among the health organizations hiring the students — feel the same way.

Now a lecturer and academic coordinator in the physician assistant program, Sarah Eli had her first encounter with the students while working as a physician assistant in the Indiana University Health West Hospital emergency department.

She said the emergency department staff was a little nervous when the first student arrived for a clinical rotation. “We hadn’t had a physician assistant student before, and we had no idea of what their preparation might be.”

“The first (IU) student just blew our socks off,” Eli said. “He was great. He knew his content, he was enthusiastic, and he was willing to do everything.

Five new centers awarded Signature Centers Initiative grants

INDIANAPOLIS — One team of scientists is searching for an innovative repair strategy for human spinal cord and brain injuries. Another is looking for cures for the “wasting away,” imagesexperienced by patients with cancer, congestive heart failure, AIDS and other underlying diseases.

Both are the recipients of a grant from the Office of the Vice Chancellor for Research at Indiana University-Purdue University Indianapolis to establish their research centers as viable units whose work will translate into better understanding of disease and the development of better cures and treatments.

The two groups are among five research center teams awarded development funding in Round 8 of the IUPUI Signature Centers initiative Program.

“This is the eighth year that we have been running this internal grant program, and I congratulate the new centers that have been selected for funding,” Kody Varahramyan, IUPUI vice chancellor for research, said.

“The Signature Centers Initiative has become a key cornerstone of the IUPUI research enterprise, playing an important role in enhancing research and scholarly activity, while fostering the development of research centers that are addressing important national and global needs, and contributing to economic and social well-being,” Varahramyan said.

Two of the five centers selected in the latest round have received Category A (three-year) funding:

Center for Spinal Cord and Brain Injury Research, Xiao-Ming Xu, director, IU School of Medicine. Focus: To understand molecular mechanisms underlying traumatic spinal cord and brain injuries and to develop innovative repair strategies that can be translated to clinical treatments of these diseases in a timely and responsive fashion.

Indiana Center for AIDS Research, Samir Gupta, director, IU School of Medicine. Focus: To develop internal infrastructure to facilitate novel collaborations among researchers that will lead to improving access to care for all HIV/AIDS patients; and improving retention in care and adherence to antiretroviral therapy especially for racial and sexual minorities.

The other three centers have received Category B (one-year) funding for planning purposes:

Center for Aerial Unmanned Systems Imaging, Dan Johnson, director, IU School of Liberal Arts at IUPUI. Focus: non-military applications of unmanned aerial systems (drone) technology such as remote imaging for water quality, mosquito habitat mapping, disaster preparation and precision agriculture; and the utilization and analysis of data collected with unmanned aerial systems.

Institute for Product Lifecycle Innovation, Hazim El-Mounayri, director, Purdue School of Engineering and Technology. Focus: the promotion and management of product lifecycle practice in advanced manufacturing and life science applications in order for American industries to remain competitive in the global market; to serve as a test bed and vehicle for the rapid implementation of advanced product liability tests, digital manufacturing and designing.

Center for Cachexia Research Innovation and Therapy, Teresa Zimmers, director, IU School of Medicine. Focus: U.S. multi-investigator cachexia (involuntary weight loss) research center will support development of interdisciplinary, multi-investigator collaborations through meetings, a research retreat and the development of a regional consortium with Ohio State University; and center will invest in a thematic research program on cardiopulmonary effects in tobacco-associated cancer cachexias.

The IUPUI Signature Centers Initiative fosters the development of centers that are unique to IUPUI and that can lead the way in world-class research and creative activities, and make a difference in the lives of people. The initiative provides each selected center with initial funding for a period of one to three years. The centers are re-evaluated at the end of three years and if approved, receive a five-year designation as an IUPUI Signature Center.