Women’s Philanthropy Leadership Council awards $105,000 in grants to 11 programs on IU campuses

Indiana University School of Medicine LogoBLOOMINGTON, Ind. — The Indiana University Women’s Philanthropy Leadership Council awarded grants Wednesday totaling $105,000 to 11 programs affiliated with five IU campuses and one regional center. This year marks the council’s fifth grant cycle, with cumulative awards totaling more than $500,000 since 2012.

Awards range from $3,000 to $20,000 and support projects to improve public health, support women’s leadership initiatives, increase opportunities for diverse and underserved populations, and provide global experiences at IU Bloomington, IU East, IU Kokomo, Indiana University-Purdue University Indianapolis/Indiana University-Purdue University Columbus and IU South Bend. There were 28 grant applicants this year.

“We were impressed by the applications we received, which reflect the creativity and commitment of the applicants to IU students, the IU community, our state and beyond,” council member and Grants Working Group chair Judy Summerville said. “It is a challenging process to select awardees as we receive more worthy applications than we can currently fund.”

In a unique partnership with the Well House Society — one of the IU Foundation’s donor recognition societies — three applicants received an additional $25,108 in funding this year. Members of the Well House Society Advisory Board reviewed Women’s Philanthropy Leadership Council grant applicants to ensure selected projects answer urgent needs and opportunities, demonstrate widespread impact on the university and align with the priorities of the Indiana University Bicentennial Campaign.

Well House Society support fully funded the Student Outreach Clinic of the IU School of Medicine’s Department of Ophthalmology on the IUPUI campus, and it provided supplemental support to the Kinsey Institute in Bloomington and IUPUI’s School of Social Work.

“The Women’s Philanthropy Leadership Council was created to work together to support the innovative work of IU faculty, students and staff,” Summerville added. “We help new initiatives get started, expand the reach of current programs and provide special opportunities through the IU campus system. We invite others to partner with us to expand our ability to effect change. Together, we believe we can make a difference.”

The funding makes a difference for populations the grant recipients’ projects serve — and may even save lives, according to Rosalie S. Aldrich, assistant professor in communication studies at IU East. One of this year’s grant awards will expand suicide prevention training on the IU East campus.

“I am excited and grateful to receive the WPLC grant,” Aldrich said. “This funding will allow me to continue to offer multiple suicide prevention trainings to faculty, staff and students at IU East with the hopes of increasing the willingness to intervene when someone is suicidal and ultimately save lives. Together we can positively address the serious public health problem of suicide and improve intervention training effectiveness through assessment.”

2016 IU Women’s Philanthropy Leadership Council grant recipients are:

Workplace Simulation Project, Center for P-16 Research and Collaboration at IU Bloomington: This is a collaboration of industry professionals and high school teachers who develop client-generated projects that students complete. Participating students will explore STEM concepts and gain hands-on, real-world experience as they complete projects.

Student Sexual Health and Awareness Campaign, Kinsey Institute at IU Bloomington:
The award will fund a campus bus-wrap advertisement to provide students with information and resources related to safe sex. The grant will support advertising inside the bus as well.

International Women’s Day Conference, Gender & Women’s Affairs at IU Bloomington:
This one-day conference will focus on women’s empowerment, leadership development, healthy relationships and student well-being.

Examining Suicide Intervention Training and Its Effectiveness, Rosalie S. Aldrich at IU East:
The award will help expand suicide prevention training — Question, Persuade, Refer training — among students, faculty and staff on the IU East campus.

Supporting Student Persistence in Traditionally Underserved and Underrepresented Student Populations at IU Kokomo:
Grant funds will enable more students to participate in the Summer Bridge program, which prepares underserved students for the transition to a university environment.

Pathway to Success for Practicing Nurses, School of Nursing at IUPUC:
The award will provide tuition assistance to registered nurses with an Associate of Science in nursing, increasing their educational and professional opportunities through the IUPUC nursing program.

MAC-Tech: Mentoring for Accessible Careers through Technology, School of Informatics and Computing at IUPUI:
This three-day workshop will address technology’s impact on employment of the blind/visually impaired population, with the goal of improving communications, networking and mentorship opportunities to reduce this group’s 70 percent unemployment rate.

Building Hopes, Creating Change: International Service-Learning in Post-War Communities, School of Social Work at IUPUI:
Grant funds will allow minority and low-income social work students to participate in study abroad service-learning programs in conflict-affected areas.

Girls STEM Institute, Crystal Morton at IUPUI:
This summer camp provides African American and Latina females ages 9 to 18 the opportunity to access mathematics and other STEM concepts in a culturally grounded context. Grant funds will double the number of participants in the program.

Office for Women at IUPUI/IUPUC:
This office will extend services and support from the IUPUI Office for Women to the Columbus campus, providing programming, mentoring and support that address needs of female students.

Raclin School of the Arts 25th Anniversary Distinguished Lecture Series, Ernestine M. Raclin School of the Arts at IU South Bend:
Funds will support a series of six prominent speakers who, through lectures and workshops, will discuss the impact that a formal arts education has had on their professional success.

Founding executive director named to head STEM institute

Interim Vice Chancellor for Research Simon Atkinson has announced the appointment of Pratibha Varma-Nelson as founding executive director of the campus’ STEM Education Innovation and Research Institute.

The institute builds upon IUPUI’s substantial strengths in science, technology, engineering and Pratibha Varma-Nelson Imagemath education and research. It is dedicated to the development, dissemination and promotion of STEM education programs and initiatives across the campus and in collaboration with external partners.

Pratibha Varma-Nelson has been appointed the founding executive director of the STEM Education Innovation and Research Institute.

As executive director, Varma-Nelson will lead the institute in the realization of nationally acclaimed STEM research and education initiatives, supported through external funding. Additionally, she will coordinate, strengthen and grow campus STEM efforts; lead the development of major grant proposals; collaborate in recruiting faculty with a focus on STEM education, research and innovation; and broadly promote IUPUI STEM efforts nationally and internationally

“Pratibha’s vast knowledge, leadership and passion for STEM education, research and innovation make her an ideal selection for this important position,” Atkinson said. “Her extensive experience will help the campus and university further one of its strategic priorities of accelerating innovation and discovery through research and creative activity and will also help us capitalize on the outstanding faculty expertise in STEM education at IUPUI.”

Varma-Nelson is a nationally recognized leader in STEM education and research for her pioneering work in the development, implementation and dissemination of Peer-Led Team Learning — a model of teaching undergraduate STEM courses that introduces peer-led workshops as an integral part of the course. She has co-authored many publications; made numerous presentations in national and international venues; and regularly reviews for the National Science Foundation, the Journal of Chemical Education and Cell Biology Education, among others.

Serving as the executive director of the Center for Teaching and Learning, Varma-Nelson joined IUPUI in 2008 as a professor of chemistry in the Department of Chemistry and Chemical Biology. Some of her accomplishments in her current role include improving the quality of grant proposals submitted for National Science Foundation CAREER proposals as well as of proposals submitted for the creation of innovative formal and informal teaching and learning spaces; creating the Curriculum Enhancement Grants program, which provides faculty with resources to pursue innovative pedagogical techniques, technologies or materials or create new courses; sponsoring and hosting symposiums, workshops, webinars and high-profile speakers; and creating the teaching assistant development programs that serve graduate students who would like to learn about or increase teaching effectiveness.

At the international level, she has assisted in the formation of a Center for Teaching and Learning at Symbiosis International University, India; University of Padua, Italy; Atilim University, Turkey; and Sun Yat-sen University, China.

“I am truly honored to be appointed as the founding executive director of the STEM Education Innovation and Research Institute,” Varma-Nelson said. “I look forward to my future collaborations with IUPUI faculty, staff and students as we push IUPUI to the forefront of STEM education research, innovation and practice.”

Varma-Nelson earned her B.S. in chemistry from Poona University in India and her M.S. in chemistry and Ph.D. in organic chemistry from the University of Illinois at Chicago.

School of Science receives $1M gift from husband-and-wife faculty members

INDIANAPOLIS — The School of Science at Indiana University-Purdue University Indianapolis has received a Alexander and Elizabeth Its Image$1 million planned gift from two of its Department of Mathematical Sciences faculty members. The gift from Distinguished Professor Alexander R. Its and associate research professor Elizabeth N. Its will endow a professorship within the department and an undergraduate scholarship for an honors student.

The gift honors the couple’s commitment and gratitude to the school and is one of the largest estate gifts ever committed by a faculty member from the School of Science at IUPUI.

“The School of Science is so grateful to Elizabeth and Alexander Its for their thoughtful generosity,” said Dean Simon Rhodes. “Their endowed gift, just like their outstanding personal contributions to our research and teaching missions, will support the success of IUPUI students forever.”

Both natives of Russia, Alexander and Elizabeth met and married while classmates at Leningrad State University, U.S.S.R. (now known as St. Petersburg State University). When they were recruited to join the Department of Mathematical Sciences in 1993, it was a tumultuous time in their homeland. The combination of personal and professional motivations to join IUPUI has proved positive.

“This gift is a small portion of what we’d like to do to express our appreciation for all these years at this great school,” Alexander Its said. “We are very fortunate to witness and be a part of the growth of this institution where we’ve been able to move up together.”

The decision to endow a math professorship and an undergraduate scholarship stemmed from the couple’s passion for fundamental higher education. Both continue to teach courses in the school, and they are continually impressed with their students. It is Elizabeth’s hope that the scholarship will assist students who share their passion for mathematics.

“Most classes I teach are undergraduate classes, and I love my students,” Elizabeth Its said. “It’s so important to help them a little, because many of them struggle. I have the greatest respect for those students who have to work their way through school.”

Alexander Its joined the School of Science faculty in 1993. As an Indiana University Distinguished Professor of Mathematics, he has worked tirelessly on research involving partial differential equations and related aspects of spectral theory and algebraic geometry, soliton theory, and exactly solvable quantum field models. To date, he has published more than 128 research papers and five books, and he has given 219 invited lectures at leading institutions and scientific meetings all over the world.

A distinguished panel of Alexander Its’ peers has described him as “one of the best applied mathematicians of our time” and his work as “definitive, revolutionary and transformative.”

Elizabeth Its joined the School of Science faculty in 1997 and is an associate research professor. Her specific interests are mathematical geophysics with a focus on the theory of diffraction and scattering of elastic waves, numerical methods in wave propagation, the Riemann-Hilbert method for solving diffraction and scattering problems, and physical ultrasonic modeling.

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.

Exhibit showcases World War II experiences of a soldier artist

Blue Square

INDIANAPOLIS — When Harry Davis, a Herron School of Art and Design graduate, went to war in 1942, he didEbb and Flow of War by Harry Davis Image so with a paintbrush in his bag.

An exhibit in University Library at Indiana University-Purdue University Indianapolis showcases his work as a combat artist and impressions of the war that Davis chronicled in letters, a diary and a memoir.

The exhibit is free and open to the public between 9 a.m. and 5 p.m. Monday through Friday in the Ruth Lilly Special Collections and Archives, on the lower level of the library, 755 W. Michigan St. The exhibit runs through September.

Davis returned to Herron as a faculty member in 1946, teaching there until his retirement in 1983 with the title of professor emeritus. In 1948, he married fellow artist and Herron alumna Lois Peterson.

Davis graduated with a Bachelor of Fine Arts from Herron in 1938, the same year he won the prestigious Prix de Rome in Painting, according to Greg Mobley, archives specialist. Mobley assembled the new exhibit, using materials that had been donated to the Herron Alumni Association by Davis’ family, records from the Herron School of Art and Design that are in the archive’s collections, and images of pen and ink drawings and paintings from Fort Belvoir, where they are part of the U.S. Army’s art collection.

“It was a matter of using his words and images to tell his story of that period in his life,” Mobley said.

The Prix de Rome allowed Davis to study at the American Academy in Rome and travel throughout the Mediterranean for two years. The award was extended for an additional year, but Davis, along with other Americans, had to leave Italy in 1940 when it declared war on England and France.

The exhibit also contains Davis’ impressions of Italy and his travels in the years immediately preceding the outbreak of World War II.

After enlisting in the Army in October 1942, Davis served in an engineering battalion stationed in North Africa and then in Italy, where he was assigned camouflage work. During that time, Davis wrote:

“The B-25 crews are very much attached to the bombers that have taken them on so many successful missions, and for each mission completed, they have a place just under the pilot, on the nose of the ship, where a mark is placed in the shape of a bomb, thus denoting the mission accomplished … they also go in for a painting of some sort, just behind the mission marks. Some of them had pretty girls, a la Petty, and others had cartoon characters. When they found out that I was an artist, I was busy the rest of the time we were with the Bomb Group, painting this sort of pretty girl and cartoon character stuff. The airmen thought that this was really fine art, and they were happy, and I think they were given a little more courage by our work for them.”

He also wrote:

“We were busy doing all sorts of camouflage jobs, for camouflage was found to be very effective in Italy. We were on the move, staying only a day or two in a bivouac area, and then to the next place. All along the way, familiar places and names of towns would loom up, for along this highway I had been many times before the war, but now, towns and cities were flattened.”

Davis returned to Italy in January 1944, disembarking on the same pier in Naples as he had when he first arrived in 1938. He met an officer who had been a colleague of his at the American Academy. At Davis’ request, the officer had Davis assigned to a combat division, where he served as a combat artist.

Among the paintings Davis created are:

  • “Ebb and Flow of War,” showing men from the 85th Infantry Division moving toward the front while ambulances carry the wounded to the rear.
  • “Sunday Service in the Field,” showing an Army chaplain conducting worship services for men of the 85th Infantry Division.
  • “Division in Paris,” showing the U.S. 28th Army Division marching down the Champs Elysees in Paris on Aug. 29, 1944.

He also reflected on the combat he saw in his writings:

“There was so much going on and there was an endless amount of material to paint, but I had no hankering for the kind of subject matter that I had to draw from, torn and crumbling buildings, dead dismembered bodies of soldiers, both our own and the enemy’s, and rugged and treacherous mountain passes that were scarred and pitted with shell holes.”

Davis received numerous awards and honors over the years, and his paintings are in the collections of museums, colleges and universities, corporations, and private collectors. He died in 2006.

Indiana State Police veteran funds largest endowed scholarship in history of SPEA at IUPUI

INDIANAPOLIS — A 29-year veteran of the Indiana State Police has committed to fund the largest endowed Marv Smalley Imagescholarship in the history of the School of Public and Environmental Affairs at IUPUI.

Marv Smalley, a 1980 SPEA graduate, made the commitment through a bequest that will fund two renewable full-tuition scholarships in perpetuity. The Marv Smalley Indiana State Police Scholarship Fund will support one scholarship, while the second will be funded through the Bicentennial Campaign matching gift program.

The scholarships may be used for undergraduate or graduate programs. Current and retired members of the Indiana State Police, as well as the children, stepchildren, grandchildren and stepgrandchildren of ISP officers, are eligible.

“It was the right thing to do to provide the support and opportunities to Indiana State Police officers and their families,” Smalley said. “This is just a small gesture of my gratitude, given my career and all of the opportunities I received from the Indiana State Police department. But it’s also recognition and payback to SPEA for the support I received from Indiana University and SPEA.”

Following a four-year active-duty stint in the U.S. Air Force, Smalley joined the Indiana State Police as a trooper in 1960. By the mid-1970s, he had worked his way through the ranks to lieutenant when he decided to pursue his bachelor’s degree in criminal justice through SPEA.

“There were other things I wanted to be challenged by in addition to my career,” said Smalley, who knew he wanted to be a state trooper as early as 8 years old and finished his tenure on the force with the rank of major. “Once I became a trooper, I realized the many opportunities available within the department and knew that having a college education would set me up for success in pursuing those opportunities within the Indiana State Police Department. I knew my degree would help me advance in my career.”

During his time with the Indiana State Police, Smalley served as the planning and operational commander for the 1987 Pan American Games, for which Indianapolis was the host city. He would draw on that experience five years later when he joined the U.S. Department of Defense.

From 1992 through 1996, Smalley was the DOD liaison to federal, state and local law enforcement agencies charged with security for the 1994 FIFA World Cup games held in Orlando, Florida, and the 1996 Summer Olympic Games and Paralympic Games in Atlanta. He also served as security director for the Salt Lake Organizing Committee for the 2002 Winter Olympics.

“I sought education from other universities, as well as through advanced certification and select trainings, throughout my career,” said Smalley, who received specialized training with both the FBI and the Secret Service. “But SPEA helped prepare me for my entire career in so many ways. Without my SPEA education, I would not have had as much direction and guidance in the field that shaped my career.”

Lilliard Richardson, executive associate dean of the school, said Smalley’s gift will have a lasting impact on the school and further enhance its ability to compete for the best and brightest students.

“Our mission is to give students the knowledge and skills to have a significant impact in diverse settings, and Marv’s career perfectly embodies the vision we have for SPEA graduates,” Richardson said. “His commitment and generosity to SPEA will have an enduring influence on future generations of public and nonprofit leaders.”

In addition to his scholarship bequest, Smalley will also make a gift to the Indiana University McKinney School of Law Global Crisis Leadership Forum.

Large reductions in prison population can be made without endangering public safety, study says

INDIANAPOLIS — A paper published in the journal Criminology & Public Policy addresses one of the Jody Sundt Imagemost important crime policy questions in America: Can prison populations be reduced without endangering the public?

That question was examined by researchers who tested the impact on public safety of California’s dramatic efforts to comply with court-mandated targets to reduce prison overcrowding

The results showed that California’s Realignment Act, passed in 2011, had no effect on aggregate violent or property crime rates in 2012, 2013 or 2014. When crime types were disaggregated, a moderately large, statistically significant association between realignment and auto theft rates was observed in 2012. By 2014, however, this effect had decayed, and auto theft rates returned to pre-realignment levels.

The paper, “Is Downsizing Prisons Dangerous? The Effect of California’s Realignment Act on Public Safety,” was authored by Jody Sundt, associate dean and associate professor at the School of Public and Environmental Affairs at Indiana University-Purdue University Indianapolis; Emily Salisbury, an associate professor of criminal justice at the University of Nevada, Las Vegas; and Mark Harmon, an assistant professor in the Department of Criminology and Criminal Justice in the Hatfield School of Government at Portland State University.

“The results provide evidence that large reductions in the size of the prison population can be made without endangering the overall safety of the public,” Sundt said. “Three years after the passage of the Realignment Act, California crime rates remained at levels comparable to what we would predict if the prison population had remained at 2010 levels.”

According to the paper, within 15 months of its passage, realignment reduced the total prison population by 27,527 inmates and saved $453 million.

Realignment substantially reduced the size of the prison population by shifting responsibility for certain groups of offenders to local jurisdictions.

The researchers found that with a mixture of jail use, community correction, law enforcement and other preventive efforts, California counties have provided a comparable level of public safety to that previously achieved by state prisons.

That’s a far cry from what was believed in the mid-1970s, when the U.S. prison population began a steady climb that continued until 2010, the first time in 30 years the number of inmates declined.

The prison buildup was based on the premise that incarceration improves public safety, the researchers wrote in the paper. As the buildup began, some argued that the nation had a clear choice — build more prisons or tolerate higher rates of violent crime.

Confidence in the utility of incarceration was so great that policies to increase sentence lengths and punish a range of crimes with imprisonment were pursued with vigor over several decades by every jurisdiction in the United States, the researchers wrote.

“This issue is complicated, but I think the safety effects of prison have been oversold,” Sundt said. “Many of the estimates of the effectiveness of incarceration were based on a comparison to doing nothing. The estimates tend to be too optimistic because they are not really comparing the preventive effect of prison to other options that are available for addressing crime.”

The research study did not address the best ways to reduce prison populations, but Sundt said, “If we want to reduce the size of the prison population, we should think about who we are currently sending to prison and whether we can supervise them as effectively or perhaps more effectively in the community.”

Another consideration, Sundt said, would be to consider “how we can reduce the length of stay in a way that balances the public safety and accountability desires of the public with the economic and social costs of prison. We can reduce sentences in ways that are rational and recognize the risk that offenders pose.”

“For the first time in decades, it appears that a window of opportunity for justice reform is opening to allow for a reevaluation of the effectiveness and wisdom of policies that have created the largest prison population in the world,” the researchers wrote.

Film database of child welfare court, delinquency court proceedings now available to IU faculty

INDIANAPOLIS — Faculty throughout the Indiana University campus system now have access to almost Indiana University-logo150 videos shot in juvenile courts, detention centers and prisons that can be used to train future social workers, probation officers, counselors, correctional officers, teachers and others who will work with abused, neglected and at-risk youth.

The footage is available through the Institute for Juvenile Court and Corrections Research. It was created through a collaboration between the Indiana University Research and Technology Corp. and Calamari Productions, an Emmy Award-winning film production company based in Indianapolis. Three videos are available to the public.

The project was made possible by a grant from Lilly Endowment Inc.

IU alumna Karen F. Grau is founder and executive producer at Calamari Productions. She received approval from the Indiana Supreme Court to film inside the courts in 1998 and began filming in 1999. The most prominent content in the database focuses on child welfare, both abuse and neglect; juvenile justice and delinquency; and children in adult prison.

“The goal of filming was to illuminate the cycle of misery that seems to hover over our juvenile courts and understand how we can all find solutions to some of our most vexing social issues,” Grau said. “Over the past 17 years, we have amassed thousands of hours of content and produced dozens of documentary films that have led to breathtaking outcomes, nationally and around the globe. The ability to explore what all of this truly looks like on the inside is vitally important as new legislative initiatives are considered around the country, and before those on the front lines make decisions that affect the lives of the children entrusted to their care.”

Calamari Productions’ footage has been cataloged and tagged in the database. It is available to IU faculty across all academic disciplines through a service hosted by IU Libraries in Bloomington. Faculty can log in to the database using their IU network ID and passphrase to search for and stream the videos.

“IJCCR fits well with IU Libraries’ mission to support and strengthen teaching, learning and research,” said Jon Dunn, assistant dean for library technologies. “Building on our solid history of leadership in online access, this collection leverages the Avalon Media System open source software platform co-developed by IU Libraries and Northwestern University. We are pleased to be a partner in preserving and providing access to this valuable collection that will serve as a resource for a wide range of disciplines.”

Dean Michael A. Patchner said the IU School of Social Work works closely with the Indiana Department of Child Services to educate and train the next generation of case managers and leaders who will impact the lives of Indiana’s most vulnerable children. He said the IJCCR database will add to the state-of-the-art education the students receive through the Indiana Child Welfare Education and Training Partnership.

“Now, for the first time, our students will be able to watch actual footage of how parents and children react when caseworkers must remove children from their homes, or what it is like to testify in court, or what life is like in a juvenile detention facility,” Patchner said. “We know that the skills our students learn help them handle such situations. Now our students can see those skills being used in real situations and understand how they work in the real world, in some of the most difficult situations any of us can imagine.”