15 teams to share $1 million in collaborative grants through IU Research program

IU Vice President of Research Jorge JosIU Vice President of Research Jorge JoséBLOOMINGTON, Ind. — Indiana University Vice President for Research Jorge José has announced over $1 million in collaborative research grants to be shared among 15 newly formed research teams. Members of the teams represent 21 departments from eight schools on three IU campuses.

The IU Collaborative Research Grants program, initiated by José and now in its fifth year, awards teams of researchers up to $75,000 to support collaborative, innovative projects with a high likelihood of securing external funding. Each project team includes faculty members from different campuses, schools, departments or disciplines.

“As it was envisioned to do, the Collaborative Research Grants program continues to increase the capacity for our investigators to do meaningful and innovative work through new partnerships,” José said. “This increased capacity for collaboration is an especially important outcome of this program.”

This year, 44 investigators make up 15 teams that represent departments and schools from Indiana University Bloomington, Indiana University-Purdue University Indianapolis and IU Southeast, in addition to one team that had a member from Purdue University.

IU President Michael A. McRobbie called the program and the most recent round of awards integral to stimulating new opportunities for sharing knowledge and expertise that lead to discovery.

“Vice President José has energetically promoted and supported this program to encourage faculty to contribute their expertise in shared, innovative ways,” McRobbie said. “As the end of his tenure draws near, Indiana University can reflect positively on the distinct successes that have been achieved by this program: New and highly productive partnerships have been forged that have already led to new discoveries; the university’s investment has been realized more than ten-fold thanks to subsequent related funding; and a new framework has been developed for our faculty that stimulates creative, passionate investigation through shared knowledge.”

Since a collaboration funded by the inaugural round of grants in 2010-11, Giovanna Guidoboni, an associate professor of mathematics at IUPUI, and Alon Harris, professor of cellular and integrative physiology at the IU School of Medicine, have seen their initial round of work on modeling glaucoma result in enormous benefits.

Following their original round of research, the pair received three external grants, including one from the National Science Foundation for over $275,000. They have also founded a new scientific journal, the Journal for Modeling in Ophthalmology; established an agreement of international cooperation with the Polytechnic University of Milan (Italy); and co-organized an international workshop in Europe.

“That 2011 collaborative research grant has indeed led to an incredible number of great successes,” Guidoboni said.

Craig Pikaard, the Carlos O. Miller Professor and Distinguished Professor of Biology at IU Bloomington, was funded in 2011 with Haixu Tang, an associate professor in the School of Informatics and Computing at IU Bloomington. Pikaard said spin-out benefits from that original grant continue to this day.

“This is a valuable university program that helped jump-start the collaboration between my lab and the group Haixu Tang leads,” he said “It also helped me obtain a highly coveted Howard Hughes Medical Institute-Gordon and Betty Moore Foundation investigator position. Haixu and I continue to collaborate, and we hold regular meetings of our groups.”

In total, it is estimated that the $3 million distributed by IU during just the first three years of the grants program has thus far helped Collaborative Research Grant-funded investigators earn more than $88 million in new external funding. This figure is expected to grow as those funded more recently pursue external funding opportunities.

“The idea behind the program was to create incentives for researchers to initiate new collaborations to address important problems in transformative ways,” José said. “While we can fund only about 15 percent of the applications, just the process of preparing applications has created some new partnerships across the university. The program has been a success so far, and we believe it will continue to be in the future.”

The 15 projects awarded funding this year are:

Single Cell Studies With Scanning Sniffer Patch Microscopy:
Lane Allen Baker, Department of Chemistry, College of Arts and Sciences, IU Bloomington; and Theodore Cummins, Department of Pharmacology and Toxicology, IU School of Medicine.

Investigating the Relationship Between Cumulative Disadvantage and Telomere Length as a Contributor to Cancer Disparities:
Silvia Bigatti, Department of Social and Behavioral Sciences, Richard M. Fairbanks School of Public Health, IUPUI; Brittney-Shea Herbert, Department of Medical and Molecular Genetics, IU School of Medicine; Kenzie Latham, Department of Sociology, School of Liberal Arts, IUPUI; and Anna Maria Storniolo, Department of Medicine, Division of Hematology/Oncology, IU School of Medicine.

Mechanism of the Regulation of DNA Replication by PIF1 Family Helicases:
Matthew L. Bochman, Department of Molecular and Cellular Biochemistry, College of Arts and Sciences, IU Bloomington; Yuichiro Takagi, Department of Biochemistry and Molecular Biology, IU School of Medicine; and Amber Mosley, Department of Biochemistry and Molecular Biology, IU School of Medicine.

Matrix Engineering With Adipose Stem Cells to Promote Islet Function and Longevity: Robert V. Considine, Department of Medicine, Division of Endocrinology, IU School of Medicine; Raghu Mirmira, Department of Pediatrics, IU School of Medicine; and Sherry L. Voytik-Harbin, Department of Biomedical Engineering, Weldon School of Biomedical Engineering, Purdue University.

Using in vivo Microscopy to Build Predictive Models of Drug-induced Liver Injury: Kenneth Dunn, Department of Medicine, Division of Nephrology, IU School of Medicine; Richard Day, Department of Cellular and Integrative Physiology, IU School of Medicine; and Steve Pressé, Department of Physics, School of Science, IUPUI.

Understanding Naturalistic Bicyclist Behavior for Safety and Sustainability:
David Good, School of Public and Environmental Affairs, IU Bloomington; Lauren Christopher, Department of Electrical and Computer Engineering, School of Engineering and Technology, IUPUI; Stanley Chien, Department of Electrical and Computer Engineering, School of Engineering and Technology, IUPUI; Jiang Zheng, Department of Computer and Information Science, School of Science, IUPUI; and Yaobin Chen, Department of Electrical and Computer Engineering, School of Engineering and Technology, IUPUI.

Neurotherapeutic Potential of Adipose Stem Cell-Conditioned Medium in ALS:
Kathryn Jones, Department of Anatomy and Cell Biology, IU School of Medicine; and Keith March, Department of Medicine, Krannert Institute of Cardiology, IU School of Medicine.

The Impact of the Public Investment in Education in the Academic Performance of K-12 English Language Learners in Southern Indiana:
Haeil Jung, SPEA, IU Bloomington; Magdalena Herdoíza-Estévez, School of Education, IU Southeast; Cathy Johnson, School of Education, IU Southeast; and Jacquelyn Singleton, School of Education, IU Southeast.

Developing Remote Sensing Techniques for Detection of Toxin-Producing Cyanobacteria:
Lin Li, Department of Earth Sciences, School of Science, IUPUI; Kevin Mandernack, Department of Earth Sciences, School of Science, IUPUI; and David Kehoe, Department of Biology, College of Arts and Sciences, IU Bloomington.

Effect of Antarctic Weathering on Global Climate:
Kathy Licht, Department of Earth Sciences, School of Science, IUPUI; and David Bish, Department of Geological Sciences, College of Arts and Sciences, IU Bloomington.

A Novel Approach to Discover Drug Resistance Genes in Breast Cancer Cells:
Tao Lu, Department of Pharmacology and Toxicology, IU School of Medicine; and Lang Li, Department of Medical and Molecular Genetics, IU School of Medicine.

Induction and Maintenance of Chronic Migraine: Regulation of TRP Channels by Endogenous N-acyl Amide Lipids:
Gerry Oxford, Department of Pharmacology and Toxicology, IU School of Medicine; Heather Bradshaw, Department of Psychological and Brain Sciences, College of Arts and Sciences, IU Bloomington; and Joyce Hurley, Department of Biochemistry and Molecular Biology, IU School of Medicine.

Optical-Based, Label-Free Multiplex Assay for Direct Quantification of microRNAs in Serum and Cancer Cells:
Rajesh Sardar, Department of Chemistry and Chemical Biology, School of Science, IUPUI; and Murray Korc, Department of Medicine, Division of Endocrinology, IU School of Medicine.

Developmental Adaptation to Chronic Hypoxia:
Robert Tepper, Department of Pediatrics, IU School of Medicine; Mircea Ivan, Department of Microbiology and Immunology, IU School of Medicine; and Kenneth Nephew, Medical Sciences Program, IU School of Medicine-Bloomington.

Hippo/YAP Signaling Controls Protein Redistribution and Organ Size in Critical Illness:
Clark Wells, Department of Biochemistry and Molecular Biochemistry, IU School of Medicine; Teresa Zimmers, Department of Surgery, IU School of Medicine; and Leonidas Koniaris, Department of Surgery, IU School of Medicine.

Indiana University launches search for new vice president for research

BLOOMINGTON, Ind. — A search committee has been formed to identify candidates for 225910_w296the position of Indiana University vice president for research, the university has announced.

Bernice Pescosolido, Distinguished Professor of Sociology in the College of Arts and Sciences at IU Bloomington, and David B. Burr, associate vice chancellor for research at Indiana University-Purdue University Indianapolis, will co-chair the 18-member committee. The group includes faculty, administrators and students representing IU’s Bloomington, Indianapolis and regional campuses.

The new vice president will succeed Jorge José, who will step down when his five-year appointment ends July 31, 2015. José will serve as Rudy Professor of Physics at IU Bloomington and a member of the Department of Cellular and Integrative Physiology at the IU School of Medicine in Indianapolis.

To build on the success achieved by José, the committee will conduct an internal search within Indiana University. It will make its recommendations to McRobbie. The university hopes to have a new vice president identified by the time José steps down.

José oversaw an 18 percent increase in federally funded research by Indiana University faculty members in his first four years as vice president for research. The strategic plan for research at IU, the development of which was overseen by his office, helped shape IU’s bicentennial strategic priorities approved by the IU Board of Trustees in December 2014.

He also prioritized efforts to decrease the administrative burden on researchers through increased efficiency, including the implementation of new grants administration software and of an online research compliance review system that greatly reduced turnaround times for research protocols.

Pescosolido, in addition to her Department of Sociology appointment, is director of the Indiana Consortium for Mental Health Services Research. Burr is also a Distinguished Professor in the Department of Anatomy and Cell Biology in the IU School of Medicine and an adjunct professor of biomedical engineering in the IUPUI School of Engineering and Technology.

The vice president for research works with various university offices, campus leaders and deans to increase and diversify research and creative works at IU, attract external funding and develop public-private partnerships, technology transfer, graduate education and intercampus research opportunities.

In addition to being responsible for research administration and research compliance, the vice president oversees and is responsible for the Office of the Vice Provost for Research at IU Bloomington and the Office of the Vice Chancellor for Research at IUPUI.

More information about the search is available online.

Chicagoans more likely to give to charity, IU study finds

CHICAGO – Chicagoans are more likely to give to charity on average than are people elsewhere in the U.S., according to a new report being released today by The Chicago Community Trust and the Indiana University Lilly Family School of Philanthropy, which conducted the study.philanthropy

The report, Giving in Chicago, is the first comprehensive study of individual, corporate and foundation giving in the six-county metropolitan Chicago region. It examines patterns of charitable giving by households and corporations across the region in 2013, and grant making by foundations and public charities in the region for 2012, the latest year for which data are available.

The Trust’s Centennial year begins on May 12, 2015 with On the Table 2015. Starting on this date and for the entire year after, the Trust will celebrate philanthropy in all its forms – not just monetary gifts, but also the contributions of volunteers that strengthen the region and impact the lives of others in countless ways.

Among the study’s key findings:

  • Chicagoans give to charity at higher rate than the national average. Nearly three-quarters (73 percent) of households in the Chicago metro area donated to nonprofit organizations in 2013. Nationally, 59 percent of households contributed in 2010 (the latest year for which national data are available), other research by the school finds. Approximately two-thirds of households contributed in any given year between 2000 and 2008.
  • Almost 70 percent of households in the region reported giving $100 or more to charity in 2013, and more than half reported giving $500 or more. On average, Chicago-area donor households contributed about 3 percent of their annual income to nonprofits in 2013.
  • Chicagoans are motivated to help those in need. Most Chicago-area donor households (76 percent) said “helping individuals meet their basic needs” was their top motivation for giving, followed by “feeling that those who have more should help those who have less” (70 percent) and “personal values or beliefs” (67 percent).
  • Chicagoans give their time as well as their money. Approximately half (49 percent) of area households volunteered in 2013, and among those, about half (47 percent) volunteered once a week or more.
  • Most of Chicagoans’ giving helps people close to home. A large majority – 78 percent – of charitable dollars donated by Chicago metro area households stayed within the region in 2013.

The study indicated that local corporations also give back and support local causes. In 2012, corporate foundations in the Chicago region made approximately 3,500 grants of $4,000 or above, totaling $158 million. About 44 percent of grants and over half (51 percent) of the grant dollars awarded stayed in the area. Almost all companies surveyed (97 percent, or 68 companies) reported making charitable donations to nonprofits in fiscal year 2013, and 81 percent of surveyed donor companies gave to nonprofits in the Chicago metro region.

Corporations cited “needs in local communities,” particularly in communities where the corporation operates, as their highest priority (62 percent) for giving in the survey, and 29 percent cited it as at least a minor influence on their giving. Seventy-six percent of donor companies indicated they focus their giving on human services (including basic needs and a wide range of other social services). Beyond their charitable giving, a majority of companies surveyed reported that they invest in their communities in other ways as well. Among those, the most popular (82 percent) was employee volunteerism.

Foundations are also a crucial part of Chicagoland giving, according to the report. More than 2,000 grant making organizations located in the Chicago metro area made nearly 39,000 grants of $4,000 or more in 2012, with an estimated total value of $2.6 billion. Grant recipients in the Chicago metro area received more than 19,000 grants of $4,000 or more from more than 1,300 Chicago-area grant makers, accounting for about $1 billion or about 39 percent of total grant dollars made by Chicago-area grant makers in 2012.

View the full report and graphic overview.

About the Chicago Community Trust

The Chicago Community Trust, our region’s community foundation, partners with donors to leverage their philanthropy in ways that transform lives and communities. Since our founding in 1915, the Trust has awarded approximately $2.3 billion in grants to thousands of local and national nonprofits, including $164.5 million in 2014. Throughout our Centennial year, the Trust will celebrate how philanthropy in all its forms – time, treasure and talent – strengthens our region and impacts the lives of others in countless ways.

About the Lilly Family School of Philanthropy

The Indiana University Lilly Family School of Philanthropy is dedicated to improving philanthropy to improve the world by training and empowering students and professionals to be innovators and leaders who create positive and lasting change. The school offers a comprehensive approach to philanthropy through its academic, research and international programs and through The Fund Raising School, Lake Institute on Faith & Giving, and the Women’s Philanthropy Institute.

NEH awards IUPUI-Ivy Tech partnership $119,009 grant to create world religions curriculum

With funding from the National Endowment for the Humanities, Indiana University-Purdue University Indianapolis will work in partnership with Ivy Tech Community College faculty to create 150 course modules on world religions for Ivy Tech humanities classes.Photo courtesy of Center for Interfaith Cooperation.

The NEH, in Washington, D.C., recently announced it has awarded IUPUI $119,009 to conduct “World Religions in Greater Indianapolis,” a two-year study program on contemporary religious traditions in greater Indianapolis for 15 faculty members at the Indianapolis campus of Ivy Tech Community College.

Led by IUPUI professors Edward Curtis and Arthur Farnsley and Ivy Tech humanities chair Jack Cooney, the program will help the Ivy Tech faculty develop course modules on five world religions for the existing Ivy Tech humanities core, including courses on history, literature and cultural anthropology.

“This NEH grant for ‘World Religions in Greater Indianapolis’ exemplifies all we reach for at Ivy Tech Community College as we provide our students with learning opportunities which lead them to flourishing lives as well-educated citizens and as resourcefully nimble employees,” Cooney said. “We are both honored and proud to partner with our teacher colleagues at IUPUI whose vision for this substantial NEH grant is not without regard to our possibilities.”

The Center for the Study of Religion and American Culture, a unit of the IU School of Liberal Arts at IUPUI, will operate the program, which will connect Ivy Tech faculty to experts on Judaism, Christianity, Islam, Hinduism and Buddhism at IUPUI, Indiana University Bloomington, Butler University and Marian University.

The program seeks not only to bolster humanities content at Ivy Tech but also to create more understanding of Central Indiana’s religious diversity, especially of recent immigrant communities.

“This project will aid faculty in helping students understand the breadth of religious traditions in America and in central Indiana,” IUPUI Chancellor Charles R. Bantz said. “At a time when there are far too many examples of misunderstandings about religions, this is a vital project. I am pleased that the Center for the Study of Religion and American Culture, one of our outstanding research and public outreach centers, is willing to lead this project.”

Ivy Tech faculty in the program will be introduced to world religious traditions and their sacred texts, and study their significance to U.S. history and culture. After their study of a particular tradition, the faculty will then arrange discussions with members of a recent immigrant community from that tradition. The faculty will create the Ivy Tech course modules as capstone projects based on their comprehensive studies.

Participating religious communities from Central Indiana include Jews from the former Soviet Union, Russia and Ukraine; Spanish-speaking Roman Catholic Christians from Latin America; Muslims from West Africa; Hindus from India; and Buddhists from Vietnam.

“We are grateful to all of our community partners for making it possible to bring together Central Indiana’s academic experts and its rich immigrant cultures in a program for Ivy Tech faculty,” said Bill Blomquist, dean of the IU School of Liberal Arts.

NEH grants are among the most prestigious research awards in the humanities. The “World Religions in Greater Indianapolis” program received one of only four grants awarded in the NEH’s “Bridging Cultures at Community Colleges” category, for which there were 46 applications.

Created in 1965 as an independent federal agency, the NEH supports research and learning in history, literature, philosophy and other areas of the humanities by funding selected, peer-reviewed proposals from around the nation.

IU voices concerns over state’s Religious Freedom Restoration Act, reaffirms commitment to equality

NOTE: Indiana University President Michael A. McRobbie has issued the following Indiana University President Michael A. McRobbiestatement about the Religious Freedom Restoration Act, which was recently signed into law in Indiana.

“The recent passage of the Indiana Religious Freedom Restoration Act has brought significant negative attention to the state of Indiana throughout the nation and indeed the world, because the law is widely viewed as signaling an unwelcoming and discriminatory atmosphere in our state.

“While Indiana University hopes that the controversy of the past few days will move the state government to reconsider this unnecessary legislation, the damage already done to Indiana’s reputation is such that all public officials and public institutions in our state need to reaffirm our absolute commitment to the Hoosier values of fair treatment and non-discrimination.

“For its part, Indiana University remains steadfast in our longstanding commitment to value and respect the benefits of a diverse society. It is a fundamental core value of our culture at Indiana University and one that we cherish. Indeed, in 2014 the trustees of Indiana University reaffirmed our commitment to the achievement of equal opportunity within the university.

“To that end, Indiana University will recruit, hire, promote, educate and provide services to persons without regard to their age, race, disability, ethnicity, gender, gender identity, marital status, national origin, religion, sexual orientation or veteran status. Equally importantly, we will not tolerate discrimination on the basis of any of these same factors.

“These are not merely words written in a policy and soon forgotten. These are core values by which every member of the Indiana University community is expected to treat his or her fellow colleagues, students and visitors.

“I want to reassure the entire Indiana University community, including our students, faculty, staff and alumni, that each and every one of you is welcome and appreciated for the unique qualities that you bring to our community. We are all better as a result of our shared experiences, as different as those experiences in life may have been.”

Herron School of Art and Design is in the thick of IUPUI’s entrepreneurial culture

Herron School of Art and Design

IUPUI provides many pathways for students who want to learn more about the art and science of entrepreneurship. Herron School of Art and Design is one of the places on campus where entrepreneurial spirit is encouraged and supported. Here are a few examples:

Herron’s Visual Communication Design graduate curriculum focuses on design thinking and leadership. It engages students with diverse community members and organizations through projects where students use design thinking processes to lead stakeholders to solutions that address a diverse range of real concerns. A recent meeting about “Developing an Entrepreneurship Culture at IUPUI” provided an opportunity to illustrate the application of these processes. According to Youngbok Hong, associate professor and coordinator of the Design Thinking and Leadership Graduate Program at Herron, “idea generation during this meeting was enhanced through the use of visual modeling, which captured both the breakout session and large group discussions in real time. Students and faculty from Herron served as the visual modelers.”

The latest modification to Herron’s physical space will be the new Think It Make It Lab in Eskenazi Hall. With an anticipated opening this spring, the Lab will give students access to even more digital technologies, building on Herron’s existing equipment and curriculum. Other faculty and students from across campus will also use the equipment, which will create synergy across disciplines. Students will explore the broad applications of design, production and fabrication that are in demand in a variety of fields. The Lab will expand Herron’s capability to educate its students about rapid prototyping and cross-disciplinary investigations with schools and departments including Engineering and Technology, Interior Design, Informatics and Computing, Motorsports and Medicine.

The Basile Center for Art, Design and Public Life at Herron offers students professional practice experiences integrated into the academic curriculum. Students have opportunities to collaborate on projects with businesses, not-for-profit organizations, communities and government agencies that provide professional-level engagement and enhanced experiential learning. There are a wide range of projects—from designing an award in bronze to creating a painting for a magazine cover to developing large-scale installations. Students develop and present their concepts based on the needs of clients. Since the Basile Center was established in 2006, more than 900 students have participated in projects serving approximately 105 community partners.

Herron graduate students may also opt into experiences such as a new, interprofessional class that spans visual communication design, informatics and computing, nursing and more. With a working title of “Healthcare Revolution Challenge 2015,” the course is designed to offer one credit for each of three semesters. Students will go through the course as cohorts, collaborating on cases for actual healthcare clients and presenting their proposed solutions in a “Shark Tank” style setting. Eva Roberts, Visual Communication Design department chair, said “Herron faculty members are among the developers and presenters of this distinctively formatted course, the aim of which is a working endeavor to humanize healthcare and increase access by disrupting the current system.”

Steward Speakers Series brings Hollywood to Indianapolis

Viola Davis

Viola Davis

Two acclaimed TV and film personalities are headed to Indianapolis to take the podium as guest speakers for the 2014-15 Steward Speakers Series.

Steve Harvey

Steve Harvey

The Steward Speakers Series presents award-winning actress Viola Davis and popular talk show and game show host Steve Harvey as keynote speakers for the lecture series that seeks to enhance the community by providing opportunities to engage with America’s best leaders and brightest luminaries.

Davis, currently starring in the ABC hit “How to Get Away With Murder,” is the featured speaker for the March 2 talk. Harvey, who has found success as an actor, writer and producer, as well as TV host, will headline the April 20 lecture.

Activities during both evenings include dinner from 6 to 7 p.m., followed by a lecture at 7:30 p.m. in the second-floor ballroom at the Marriott Downtown, 350 S. Maryland St.

During the March 2 lecture, Davis will discuss her career and how overcoming adversities and preconceived restrictions have all contributed to reinforcing her abilities as an artist and to her becoming a stronger woman.

The Tony Award-winning actress was thrust into the spotlight after her Oscar-nominated portrayal of Aibileen Clark in “The Help,” a big-screen drama about the struggles of black housekeepers working for white families in 1960s Mississippi.

In addition to hosting his TV shows, Harvey is a fashion entrepreneur and bestselling author. The 2012 box office hit, “Think Like a Man,” was adapted from Harvey’s No. 1 book, “Act Like a Lady, Think Like a Man.”

While he is known as a funny man, Harvey’s serious side shows in his longtime dedication to philanthropy. His current projects include The Steve Harvey Mentoring Weekend for Young Men, a camp that shares insights and manhood skills with teenage boys who are without fathers.

Tickets for each dinner and the following lecture are $100 per person. They can be purchased online.

Indiana University-Purdue University Indianapolis is a title sponsor for the Steward Speakers 2014-2015 season that opened with Nov. 20 and Feb. 9 events featuring Michael Eric Dyson and T.J. Holmes as guest speakers.

The Steward Speakers Series provides continuous education and awareness to Indianapolis residents interested in empowerment topics. The program allows the community to dialogue on important issues of the day with celebrities, leaders and experts in particular fields.

IUPUI Africana studies program presents first Heritage Week

The Africana Studies Program in the IU School of Liberal Arts at Indiana University-Purdue University Indianapolis will inaugurate the first Africana Studies Heritage Week Feb. 9 to 13.

The weeklong celebration will feature a series of public lectures; panel discussions; an art exhibit curated by Bessie House-Soremekun, professor and director of Africana studies; a book signing by Ronda Henry Anthony, public scholar of African American studies and undergraduate research; and film viewings based on the theme of “Reconnecting the African Diaspora to Africa.”

“It is entirely fitting and important for us to establish Africana Studies Heritage Week as one of the important traditions that we will celebrate yearly at IUPUI,” House-Soremekun said.

“We are delighted that we will celebrate the creation of black studies/Africana studies as a viable discipline in academia and pay tribute to the numerous contributions of Africa and of African-descended people who reside in the African Diaspora as part of the broader Black History Month activities. Africa is the birthplace of humankind as we know it and has been central in the development of global civilization processes. Our goal is to expose students, faculty and members of the broader community as a whole to these important issues.”

The Heritage Week celebrations will kick off Monday, Feb. 9, with a lecture featuring Dawn Batson, the former chair of the Department of Visual & Performing Arts at the Florida Memorial University and former chair of the National Steel Orchestra of Trinidad and Tobago, as the keynote speaker.

The event begins at 11:40 a.m. in Room 104 of Taylor Hall, 815 W. Michigan St., with introductions from House-Soremekun and Khalilah Shabazz, director of the IUPUI Multicultural Center. Batson will speak from noon to 12:45 p.m.

As part of the Heritage Week observance, House-Soremekun will present an art exhibit and lecture, “The Africa the World Seldom Sees.” Using African artwork from her personal collection, as well as photos she took when she served as a faculty host on the “Treasures of East Africa Tour” to Tanzania and Kenya in 2014 (sponsored by the Indiana University Alumni Association), House-Soremekun will challenge stereotypical images of Africa often presented in popular culture by presenting a compelling counter-narrative that illuminates many positive attributes and beauty of African society.

The art exhibit is open for public viewing Feb. 9 to 28 in Taylor Hall, Room 101.

“The inaugural Africana Studies Heritage Week features a full line-up of very interesting and enjoyable events,” said William Blomquist, dean of the IU School of Liberal Arts at IUPUI. “I commend all those who have collaborated on the organization of this new program, and we’re looking forward to its successful launch.”

Other events open to students, faculty and the general public during Heritage Week include:

12:50 to 2:15 p.m. Monday, Feb. 9, Taylor Hall, Room 115k — Panel discussion about the recent critically acclaimed film “Selma,” moderated by Monroe Little, associate professor of Africana studies and history.
6:30 to 7:45 p.m. Tuesday, Feb. 10, Taylor Hall, Room 101 — A public reception with an Evening of Jazz performed by Bryan Thompson.
1:15 to 2:15 p.m. Wednesday, Feb. 11, Taylor Hall, Room 104 — The lecture “Negotiating Patriarchy, Colonial Legacies and Human Rights Law in Africa” by Obioma Nnaemeka, Chancellor’s professor of French, Africana studies and women’s studies;
Noon to 1:30 p.m. Thursday, Feb. 12, Taylor Hall, Room 104 — A lecture by Ronda Henry Anthony about her book, “Searching for the New Black Man, Black Masculinity and Women’s Bodies.”
10 a.m. to noon Friday, Feb. 13, Taylor Hall, Room 115K — Viewing of the film “Honor & Glory,” the story of the co-discoverer of the North Pole, Matthew Henson.

Additional sponsors for the weeklong event include the IUPUI Office of Admissions; the IU School of Liberal Arts; Office for Diversity, Access, and Inclusion; Multicultural Center, IUPUI Arts and Humanities Institute and the Center for Global Entrepreneurship and Sustainable Development.

The first annual Africana Studies Heritage Week is free and open to the public. A complete listing of events is available online.

For more information, call the Africana studies program at 317-274-8662.

Director of Art Therapy Juliet King appointed to professorship in Department of Neurology

Juliet King

Juliet King

Juliet King, assistant professor and director of Art Therapy, has been appointed to an adjunct assistant professorship in the School of Medicine Department of Neurology.

In announcing the groundbreaking joint appointment, Robert M. Pascuzzi, M.D., professor and chair of neurology, wrote “Ms. King’s professional background and current activities relate closely to those of the Department of Neurology and associated departments within the IU Neuroscience Center. As such, a secondary appointment for Ms. King in Neurology will foster collaborative research related to art and the brain with an emphasis on the development of therapeutic strategies for broad application.”

King is a licensed professional counselor and currently serves on the American Art Therapy Associations board of directors. Her current research focuses on helping veterans with post-traumatic stress disorder through Art Therapy.

Her participation in medical student education in a variety of clinical departments at the School of Medicine and IU Health and her work in Indianapolis and surrounding communities to build 30 clinical internship programs for Herron Art Therapy students has built bridges between art and medicine on the IUPUI campus and beyond since the Graduate Art Therapy Program’s inception in 2011.

“The scope of neurological and psychiatric disorders affecting the general population is staggering,” said Dr. Pascuzzi. “Traumatic brain injury represents a common daily challenge for the clinician, be it related to sports concussion, auto accidents, the effects of military combat, epilepsy, stroke, depression or other causes.

“Each of these disorders presents major challenges to patients, families and communities,” he continued. “Currently, each has limited therapeutic options. Thus, it is essential that any opportunity to improve our ability to prevent and manage these common disorders be identified and perfected. Juliet King’s focus on the neuro-scientific basis for art therapy provides our institution with the opportunity to clarify mechanisms for effective art therapy, optimize treatment strategies and clinical applications, establish an optimal educational program for such treatment and, ultimately, improve the outcomes of our patients.”

IUPUI professor provided key testimony in Nigerian oil-spill case settled for $83 million

Scott Pegg treks through mud, dead mangrove trees and previous oil spill residue to get to the site of a new oil spill in 2012.

Scott Pegg treks through mud, dead mangrove trees and previous oil spill residue to get to the site of a new oil spill in 2012.

In an out-of-court settlement announcement Wednesday, Shell Petroleum Development Co. of Nigeria agreed to a compensation package of 55 million pounds — about $83.4 million — for a Nigerian farming and fishing community damaged by massive oil spills in 2008 and 2009. An Indiana University-Purdue University Indianapolis professor had been among witnesses for the residents of Bodo, Nigeria, in their three-year legal battle.

According to a statement by Leigh Day, the London-based law firm representing the community of Bodo, 15,600 individual claimants will received a total of 35 million pounds, with the remainder of the settlement going to the Bodo community as a whole. Shell has also agreed to clean up the Bodo Creek, Day said.

Scott Pegg, chair of the Department of Political Science in the Indiana University School of Liberal Arts at IUPUI, has been actively involved in the life of Bodo for more than 14 years. As someone who has worked in Bodo for years and as an honorary chief in the village, Pegg said it was the least he could do to provide a detailed witness statement on behalf of the Bodo plaintiffs.

Pegg first visited the community in 2000 and returned a year later with his wife, Tijen Demirel-Pegg. The then newlyweds donated $2,800 of their wedding gift money to the Bebor Model Nursery and Primary School in Botor Village, Bodo. This money finished a roofing project and funded a cement floor for a five-classroom primary school building at the school that now serves more than 300 children.

The couple continued to raise money for the school, and in 2002 their work was formally incorporated into the work of the Indianapolis-based charity now known as Timmy Global Health. The Peggs’ work with the school in Bodo now includes providing boreholes for drinking water; boys’, girls’ and teachers’ toilets for better sanitation; and a pilot health program providing immunizations, health exams and deworming treatments to students at the school.

In 2002, the Bodo Council of Chiefs named the Peggs honorary chiefs in recognition of their contribution to the community’s educational development. In August 2005, Botor Village in Bodo dedicated the “Chief Prof Scott Pegg Road.”

Pegg’s written testimony, filed in the case before the High Court in London, used numerous pictures to document the story of Bodo’s transformation after the oil spills from a vibrant fishing community to a land of “environmental devastation as far as the eye could see.”

Of particular interest to the British lawyers representing the Bodo claimants were the many photographs Pegg had from earlier visits to Bodo before the 2008-09 oil spills. Pegg and people who visited with him often would go down to the waterfront and paddle out into Bodo Creek on a traditional fishing canoe for recreation. Pegg said he never envisioned that his “tourist photos” along the waterfront would actually be used to help document how green and verdant the mangrove forests in Bodo were before the oil spills.

Pegg, who holds a doctorate in political science, described himself as “sort of a perfect storm” as a witness in that the combination of his academic training and interests and his track record of publications on the oil industry in Africa, plus his local status as a chief in the village, made his testimony hard to discredit. At IUPUI, Pegg primarily teaches courses on international relations, war and conflict, U.S. foreign policy, globalization and African politics.

The IUPUI professor is proud of the fact that the Bodo case is the first major legal settlement where compensation has been paid directly to individual Africans and not just done through chiefs or community leaders. He believes the success or failure of the promised environmental cleanup of Bodo Creek will ultimately be even more important than the compensation itself. He also hopes the case will set a precedent and establish benchmark standards for oil companies to follow in dealing with other oil spills throughout the Niger Delta.

“Bodo has suffered and continues to suffer horribly because of the two massive oil spills that hit the community in 2008-09 and for which any kind of clean-up effort has still not yet started,” Pegg said in an email message to Timmy Global Health supporters and other friends. “Even if everything goes well with this settlement, the community faces a daunting list of challenges and problems.

“Still, this is a great day for the people of Bodo. As people who have supported them in various ways, I hope you can savor and enjoy this news as well.”