Press Release: IUPUI economics professor comments on significance and controversy of Federal Reserve rate increase

INDIANAPOLIS — Today, the Federal Reserve increased the interest rate it pays on bank Steven Russell Imagereserves by one-quarter of one percent, from 0.25 percent to 0.5 percent. While this increase is slight and is not likely to have a major impact on the economy, its significance lies in two facts, according to Steven Russell, professor and chair of the Department of Economics in the School of Liberal Arts at Indiana University-Purdue University Indianapolis.

  • “It is the first time the Fed has moved to increase market interest rates since the financial crisis, and it likely begins a period of gradual rate increases.”
  • “It is the first time the Fed has used a new method for trying to increase market interest rates, which is increasing the interest rate it pays on bank reserves. In the past, the Fed has used changes in reserve supply to try to increase the rate banks pay when they borrow reserves from other banks.”

Russell also commented on the potential for the rate increase to be seen as controversial:

  • “The Fed’s rate increase is potentially controversial because steps to increase market interest rates are usually justified by the argument that there is a need to slow the pace of economic activity in order to restrain inflation. But the pace of economic activity is still modest, and the inflation rate is well below the Fed’s target rate — 2 percent — and shows few signs of increasing.
  • “Nonetheless, the Fed has been under pressure to start moving to increase market rates in order to demonstrate its continued commitment to maintaining low inflation,” Russell said. “And it has finally concluded that the economy is strong enough to justify bowing to that pressure.”

Russell holds a doctorate in economics from the University of Minnesota. His research interests are in macroeconomics — the study of how the levels of important economic indicators such as the inflation rate, the real GDP growth rate, the prime interest rate, and the unemployment rate get determined — and monetary economics, the study of the role of money in the economy and how government policy about money and credit can affect those economic indicators. Russell can be reached for interviews at 317-278-7214 or

Speaker: Activist Angela Davis to deliver keynote address at IUPUI Martin Luther King Jr. dinner

INDIANAPOLIS — Political activist, scholar, author and educator Angela Y. Davis will deliverAngela Y. Davis, 2016 MLK Dinner speaker the keynote address during the 2016 Indiana University-Purdue University Indianapolis dinner honoring the legacy of Dr. Martin Luther King Jr.
Organized by the Black Student Union in partnership with the Office of Student Involvement, the annual IUPUI Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. Celebration Dinner, now in its 47th year, will take place at 6 p.m. Sunday, Jan. 17, at the Indiana Roof Ballroom, 140 W. Washington St., in downtown Indianapolis.

Davis, Distinguished Professor Emerita in both the History of Consciousness Department and the Feminist Studies Department at the University of California, Santa Cruz, will continue the King Dinner legacy of addressing civil-rights issues of equality, freedom, justice and opportunity. The theme for this year’s dinner is “A Time to Break the Silence.”
Professor Davis’ extensive research has focused on race, gender and mass incarceration. Her articles and essays have appeared in numerous journals and anthologies. She is the author of eight books, including the new edition of “Narrative of the Life of Frederick Douglass,” “The Meaning of Freedom,” “Abolition Democracy” and “Are Prisons Obsolete?”

Davis is also a founding member of Critical Resistance, a national organization dedicated to the dismantling of the prison system. Internationally, she is affiliated with Sisters Inside, an Australia-based organization that works for solidarity with women in prison. For 25 years, she has lectured across the United States to urge her audiences to think seriously about the possibility of a world without prisons.
Tickets for the King Dinner, on sale now through Dec. 23, are available in the Office of Student Involvement, located in Suite 370 at the IUPUI Campus Center, 420 University Blvd. Tickets are $25 for IUPUI students; $65 for IUPUI faculty, staff and alumni; and $75 for community guests.

To purchase tickets, please contact or complete the Ticket Reservation form online and return the form with payment (cash or check only) to the following address:
2016 King Dinner Committee
420 University Blvd, Suite 370
Indianapolis, IN 46202
For questions, email or call the Office of Student Involvement at 317-274-3931.

Opening exhibition: Herron School of Art and Design offers relief from ‘rampant media consumption’

INDIANAPOLIS — Just in time to help shake off the winter doldrums comes “FABRICation,” Erin Castellans "Window" imagean exhibition co-curated by Reni Gower, professor in the Painting and Printmaking Department at Virginia Commonwealth University-Richmond, and Kristy Deetz, professor in the Art Discipline at the University of Wisconsin-Green Bay.

“FABRICation” opens with a reception at 6 p.m. Jan. 13 in the Berkshire, Reese and Paul galleries in Herron School of Art and Design’s Eskenazi Hall, 735 W. New York St., on the Indiana University-Purdue University Indianapolis campus.

The exhibition is making its way around the country, coming to IUPUI by way of Morehead State University in Kentucky. It will continue on to Midland College in Texas.

In addition to works by the co-curators, “FABRICation” features works by five artists: Erin Castellan, Virginia Derryberry, Rachel Hayes, Susan Iverson and Natalie Smith. Each incorporates a textile sensibility through elements of fabric and fabrication.

Gower said, “Inspired by a rich array of historical textiles, from drapery to quilt, these complex, multipart works contrast our culture’s rampant media consumption with the redemptive nuance of slow work wrought by hand.”

“Individual works range from delicate illusions to layered constructions to architectural interventions,” she continued, “created from a variety of materials, including oil and acrylic paint, vintage clothing, aluminum screens, wool, silk, plastic, thread, vinyl, burlap, rug-hold, glass, recycled objects and found fabrics. These works interweave sensory pleasure with repetitive process to invoke introspection and reflection.”

Aficionados of Herron galleries may recall Gower’s name from “Papercuts,” another show she curated, which visited Herron School of Art and Design in 2012. Gower expressed her delight at working with Herron again and looks forward to sharing “FABRICation” with students, faculty and the public. “FABRICation” continues through Feb. 12.

Also opening on Jan. 13 in the Marsh Gallery is an exhibition of works by first-year photography and intermedia graduate students and in the Basile Gallery, a solo exhibition of works by Indianapolis-based artist Michael Milano. Both shows continued through Jan. 27.

Funding for “FABRICation” was made possible in part by the Virginia Commonwealth University VCUarts Painting and Printmaking Department.

Erin Castellan, “Window,” 2013, 59″ x 46″, acrylic, latex paint, yarn, thread, fabric

Announcement: IUPUI is advancing the vision of a vibrant NearWest neighborhood

For decades, IUPUI faculty, students and staff have worked with Near West Indianapolis neighborhoods just across the White River from campus; collaborating with schools, great places 2020 imagenonprofits, companies and residents to identity and address areas of most concern. Recently, those efforts got a boost as the intersection of Michigan and King Streets was designated one of three Great Places 2020 locations in Indianapolis.

“Great Places is intended to jump start neighborhood development in specific geographic areas,” said Martha Henn, Great Places 2020 convener for the West Michigan and King Street area. “My role is to be the head cheerleader and get momentum going behind taking action steps identified in the area’s Quality of Life plan.”

In each Great Places 2020 location, a prominent institution has stepped up to take the lead and assume the role of an anchor institution – that is, a large, well-established nonprofits unlikely to move their location. Anchor institutions are usually universities or nonprofit hospitals but can also include nonprofits like libraries, and churches. In an increasingly global and transient economy, anchor institutions play an important role in their communities. For the Michigan and King Street area, the anchor institution is IUPUI, which is currently housing and supporting the convener for the project.

The Michigan and King Street area project will be the topic of several public meetings to garner community input on how those in the community want their neighborhood development to look.

“This is an opportunity for residents, businesses, schools, nonprofits and others to share their concerns, hopes, and dreams for their neighborhood,” said Henn.

The outcome of this process will feature tangible projects that align with Great Places 2020 priorities of Livability, Opportunity, Vitality, and Education. The goal is to complete projects by 2020, the year of the state’s bicentennial.

Currently on the horizon are efforts to create a pocket park at the intersection Michigan and Holmes Streets and a public art project.

For more information on Great Places 2020, visit And for details on the Near West Indianapolis area, visit

Community Engaged Research And Service Learning: A Few Words From Our Vice Chancellor

At IUPUI, every single school is invested in community-engaged research and service Nasser H. Paydar Imagelearning. Annually, we catalog more 300,000 community service hours and fund more than 80 service learning assistants to leverage faculty expertise. At the invitation of our neighbors, IUPUI became a strategic partner in the Indy East Promise Zone and the convener for the West Michigan & King Street Great Places 2020 initiative. The campus is energized and inspired by opportunities in our community and beyond. In order to succeed, our partners depend on us, and we depend on them.

We have earned national recognition through the President’s Higher Education Commission on Community Service and the Carnegie Foundation classification as an engaged campus. Top notch faculty, staff and students from around the globe are attracted to IUPUI as a result of these distinctions and the region’s impressive reputation for corporate and volunteer civic involvement; a place where they can work in and with the community as partners in building Indiana’s future. In addition to our history and reputation as a community-engaged campus, we are an economic powerhouse.

Our mission as a public institution with an annual $1.3 billion operating budget and 534 acres of real estate, reinforces our intentional action to reinvest in the city, region, state, nation, and beyond. With a payroll of over $381 million, employee base of 15,018, more than 30,000 students, research expenditures of $305 million, and annual campus buying power of $1.3 billion, we have the opportunity to focus our efforts in a strategic manner to make a difference now and for decades to come as an anchor institution in our state.

Our partners are vast, capable, committed and strong. We salute BioCrossroads and the Biosciences Research Technology Institute for stimulating Indiana’s life sciences economy. We thank the Haughville Branch of the Marion County Public Library, Hawthorne Place, and Christamore House for embracing our children and preparing them to succeed. Finally, we applaud the John Boner Center, Legacy Center and the People’s Clinic for investing in human capital that will inspire the vitality of the east side.

Collaboratively, we bring about change for the future that assures opportunities for all to improve their quality of life. At IUPUI, we are up to the challenge and we invite you to ENGAGE IUPUI. Join us in making Indiana a healthier state, preparing those who are under-employed to be competitive in the marketplace, and building thriving communities that are culturally and economically vibrant and open to new comers from across the country and beyond.

Stay tuned to learn more about the impact of the people, places and initiatives unfolding in our community.

Lecture: McKenzie Beverage and Gabe Filippelli talk Environmental Awareness

Date: December 10, 2015
Time: 12:00 PM
Location: Circle Centre (2nd floor, across from H&M), 49 W. Maryland Street

Outpost Indy and the IUPUI Arts and Humanities Institute invite you to join us for weekly, Mckenzie Beverage Image one-hour discussions on connectivity, environmental awareness, good design, and community in Indianapolis.

This week, McKenzie Beverage and Gabe Filippelli talk Environmental Awareness

McKenzie Beverage, Sustainability Coordinator at Butler University: McKenzie holds undergraduate and graduate degrees from Indiana University (Bloomington), where she focused on sustainable development and interned at the Office of Sustainability. Prior to Butler, McKenzie was the program advisor for the Student Sustainability Committee at the University of Illinois (Champaign-Urbana), overseeing more than $1 million in funding for green projects around campus.

Gabe Filippelli, Director of the Center for Urban Health, IUPUI: Gabe is the Professor of Gabe Filippelli ImageEarth Sciences at IUPUI and the Director of the Center for Urban Health. He specializes in environmental geochemistry and climate change science, developing and interpreting geochemical records of climate and climate change extracted from oceans and lakes, and he has studied heavy metal distributions, geochemistry, and human health impacts in wetland, soil, and riparian environments.

So come on down to the Circle Centre Mall (yes we did say the mall), bring your lunch and join us to discuss how we can make Indy a cooler, more beautiful, and greener place to live.

Award: School of Informatics and Computing receives $120K grant from Nina Mason Pulliam Charitable Trust

INDIANAPOLIS — The IU School of Informatics and Computing at IUPUI has received a grant totaling $120,000 from the Nina Mason Pulliam Charitable informatics logoTrust.

The grant will help fund Informatics: Diversity-Enhanced Workforce, an innovative, year-round, dual-credit multifaceted information technology program that will benefit approximately 180 students for their four-year career at Arsenal Technical, Pike or Providence Cristo Rey high school in Indianapolis.

The program features mentorship, IT certification training, project-based learning and internships to prepare students for interesting, high-paying, in-demand careers in IT fields.

The grant will be used for the first and second years of the program to:

  • Help pay the salary of a School of Informatics and Computing lecturer to teach learning education modules and train the high school teachers.
  • Help purchase tablets for students to use and keep.
  • Help cover the costs of a professional program evaluator.

Informatics: Diversity-Enhanced Workforce addresses the critical shortage of skilled workers in IT as well as the dramatically low number of blacks, Latinos, women and other underrepresented groups working in the IT sector.

“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 School of Informatics and Computing. “These jobs are high-paying and available all over the United States. We feel a sense of responsibility to assist with the preparation of the workforce of the future.”

During her career, Nina Mason Pulliam shared her financial success and business-leadership skills with many charities. She was particularly sensitive to human needs, animal welfare and environmental issues. “She had a keen awareness of challenges that face our community and would take great pride in the outstanding work being done by organizations like the IU School of Informatics and Computing,” said Carol Schilling, trustee chair. “Through her trust, we continue to build on her legacy, which clearly reflects her heart for philanthropy.”

The grant to the School of Informatics and Computing represents one of 27 awarded to nonprofit organizations in Indiana by the Nina Mason Pulliam Charitable Trust during the second of two grant cycles this year.

Since the trust began its grant-making in 1998, it has awarded more than $252 million to nonprofit organizations in Indiana and Arizona. As of Sept. 30, the trust had assets of approximately $364 million.

Presentation: Renowned Indiana historian tapped for inaugural ‘History Talks!’

INDIANAPOLIS—Indiana historian James Madison, author and Thomas and Kathryn Miller James Madison ImageProfessor of History Emeritus at Indiana University Bloomington, will launch the new “History Talks!” series, designed to “engage the past, in the present, about the future.”

His presentation, “Two Centuries of Hoosiers,” will take place Thursday, Dec. 10, at the Indiana Landmarks Cook Theater, 1201 N. Central Ave. in Indianapolis. The interactive presentation and conversation begins at 4:30 p.m. Madison will sign copies of his books from 5:30 to 6 p.m.

“History Talks!” is a new series offering insightful conversations featuring leading historians who will shed light on the rich complexities of the past and help spark conversation on how the past is shaping Indiana’s present and future.

With the approach of Indiana’s bicentennial in 2016, Madison will present an overview of the state’s past, from Hoosier pioneers through the Civil War to the 21st century. His illustrated talk will highlight connections between past and present and help us think about the future.

Madison’s books include “Hoosiers: A New History of Indiana”; “Eli Lilly: A Life, 1885-1977”; “The Indiana Way: A State History”; and “A Lynching in the Heartland: Race and Memory in America.” He serves on the boards of Indiana Humanities and the Indiana Historical Society and is a member of the Indiana Bicentennial Commission. He began teaching history in 1976 and has lectured and consulted widely on Indiana topics.

“Jim Madison knows who we are because he knows who we, as Hoosiers, have been,” said David Bodenhamer, professor of history and executive director of the Polis Center in the School of Liberal Arts at IUPUI. We are excited that he will be our inaugural History Talks! speaker, especially as we approach Indiana’s 200th anniversary. I cannot imagine a better guide to understanding what we might become as a state.”

The presentation is free and open to the general public. Request additional information or RSVP by contacting

The “History Talks!” inaugural program is a collaboration between the Department of History in the School of Liberal Arts at IUPUI, the Spirit & Place Festival and Indiana Landmarks.

Award: Sociology professor receives national honor for work as an HIV/AIDS activist, survivor

INDIANAPOLIS — Indiana University-Purdue University Indianapolis professor Carrie E. Carrie E Foote ImageFoote is among an elite group of individuals being honored as long-term gladiators in the fight against HIV/AIDS.

POZ magazine has named Foote to its “2015 POZ 100” list for her work teaching “countless students how to think about HIV — compassionately and unconventionally — and how to get involved in HIV activism.”

Once a homeless injection-drug user addicted to heroin, Foote, 46, is now a respected sociology scholar and director of graduate studies in the School of Liberal Arts at IUPUI. She was diagnosed with HIV in 1988.

“I am honored,” Foote said of her inclusion on the POZ list. This year’s list celebrates U.S. residents who are long-term survivors of HIV, defined as having been diagnosed in 1995 or earlier, before effective treatment was available.

Nominated for the list by IUPUI students, colleagues and community partners, Foote said she is focused on reducing the stigma associated with having HIV/AIDS.

“The social stigma associated with being HIV-positive is the main barrier to our being able to end this epidemic,” she said.

Foote’s current research includes a project with the Indiana State Department of Health and the CDC regarding the Scott County, Ind., HIV outbreak among injection-drug users.

POZ celebrated its sixth annual “100” list in conjunction with the Nov. 19 New York City debut of a traveling pop-up art installation featuring pictures and testimonials of HIV-positive men and women over 50 years of age. That exhibit, part of a Walgreens-Graying of AIDS project, “Well Beyond HIV,” ran two days at Rogue Space Chelsea gallery in New York.

Foote’s activism will be evident on World AIDS Day 2015 as her sociology class AIDS and Society will host longtime HIV survivor and advocate Sean Strub as a guest campus lecturer. “An Evening with Sean Strub: The Criminalization of HIV” will take place from 6 to 8 p.m. Thursday, Dec. 3, in Room 450C at the IUPUI Campus Center, 420 University Blvd. Author of “Body Counts: A Memoir of Activism, Sex and Survival,” Strub will hold a book-signing immediately following his talk. The event is free and open to the public.