Crispus Attucks 1955 championship basketball team reunites to dedicate new court

1955 Crispus Attucks Anniversary CelebrationSixty years ago this spring, while there was still overt public school segregation in Indianapolis, the Crispus Attucks High School basketball team won the Indiana state basketball championship.  More than just a basketball game, the event was a milestone for the African American community in Indianapolis and for the city.  As you may know, the 1955 Crispus Attucks team included Hall of Famer Oscar Robertson along with several other great players.

What you may not know is that the students who attended Crispus Attucks and lived in this part of town used to play pick-up basketball on an unpaved field, nicknamed the “Dust Bowl”, the site of which is on the IUPUI campus between Michigan Street and Lockefield Gardens.  Recently, IUPUI built a basketball court on that site and our students now play there for fun and recreation.
On April 1st, marking the 60th anniversary of the Crispus Attucks championship, the new basketball court on the old “Dust Bowl” site will be dedicated. This will be followed by a reunion and panel discussion with the players from the 1955 championship team, including Oscar Robertson.
Sponsored by Sports Journalism at the School of Liberal Arts, the National Sports Journalism Center, the Department of Tourism, Conventions, and Event Management, and the IUPUI Division of Student Affairs.

IUPUI announces new degrees focused on law in liberal arts and informatics

imagesThe Indiana University Board of Trustees has approved a proposal for two new degrees at IUPUI: One prepares undergraduate students for careers as paralegals, and the other provides a path for students to transition rapidly into in-demand and well-paid information technology jobs.

IUPUI will ask the Indiana Commission for Higher Education for final approval to offer the degrees beginning in the fall.

“These programs are the latest examples of IUPUI’s tradition of developing distinctive programs that respond to student demand and meet employer needs,” said IUPUI Executive Vice Chancellor Nasser Paydar.

The proposed Bachelor of Arts in law in liberal arts degree expands the certificate in paralegal studies now offered by the IU School of Liberal Arts at IUPUI, providing students with additional education and training and the baccalaureate degree increasingly required by employers. Students in the past could take the certificate in addition to a Bachelor of Arts degree in another discipline. But that required at least six courses beyond their degree, which burdened students with added expense and time.

The degree will provide students with the theoretical and conceptual components of the law and an introduction to the court system and legal procedures. Students will develop practical, real-world legal skills with courses in legal research, legal writing and litigation skills. In addition, students will be able to tailor the curriculum according to their own interests by selecting a number of elective courses from various legal specialties, including criminal law, family law, estate law and a variety of business law courses.

The second new program is a master’s degree offered by the School of Informatics and Computing at IUPUI. The proposed Master of Science in informatics offers specializations in data analytics, biomedical informatics, knowledge and information management, and user experience design.

The goal of the Master of Science in informatics is to enable students to apply informatics in their respective disciplines. To achieve that goal, the department proposes first to establish the new degree itself, providing specializations from within the school; and then to offer interdisciplinary five-year B.S./M.S. programs and dual degrees with other schools at IUPUI to meet the competitive requirements of Indiana’s job market.

Informatics has become not only an integral part of many disciplines and professions but also an essential skill for graduates.

The Master of Science in informatics will expand career opportunities of undergraduate students and degree holders in nontechnical disciplines by enabling them to apply information technology skills to their own field or to transition into information technology fields.

Center for Ray Bradbury Studies, IU Cinema pair to present sci-fi film series

Ray Bradbury in 1975 | Photo by Alan Light

Ray Bradbury in 1975 | Photo by Alan Light

Ray Bradbury, one of the best known science-fiction and fantasy writers of our time, will be the focus of a special four-day film series at IU Cinema on Indiana University’s Bloomington campus beginning March 24.

Ray Bradbury: From Science to the Supernatural” is intended as an exploration and celebration of his works on screen. The series, which includes lectures and panel discussions, was programmed by the Center for Ray Bradbury Studies, part of the IU School of Liberal Arts at Indiana University-Purdue University Indianapolis.

Oskar Werner starred in the 1966 film adaptation of "Fahrenheit 451." | Photo by Anglo Enterprise/Vineyard/The Kobal Collection

Oskar Werner starred in the 1966 film adaptation of “Fahrenheit 451.” | Photo by Anglo Enterprise/Vineyard/The Kobal Collection

In addition to being the author of such enduring books as “The Martian Chronicles,” “The Illustrated Man,” “Fahrenheit 451,” “Dandelion Wine” and “Something Wicked This Way Comes,” Bradbury was a successful screenwriter whose works were also adapted for film and television by other writers.

IU Cinema, an internationally recognized center for the study, presentation and preservation of film, will offer the following events:

  • 7 p.m. March 24, “Bradbury TV and Shorts Program” — The series kicks off with a unique gathering of short subjects, including the 1962 Oscar-nominated “Icarus Montgolfier Wright,” scripted by Bradbury and George Clayton Johnson. This animated film showcases paintings by Joseph Mugnaini, the illustrator closely associated with Bradbury’s books. Other short items include Bradbury stories adapted for “Alfred Hitchcock Presents” and “The Twilight Zone.”
  • 7 p.m. March 26, “It Came From Outer Space” — Bradbury fans and scholars will have the opportunity to view the 1953 feature film based on an original Bradbury concept and screen treatment. Paper optic glasses will allow the audience to watch the film in 3-D — a unique opportunity to see this classic Jack Arnold-directed film as it was originally intended.
  • 6:30 p.m. March 27, “A Sound of Different Drummers” and 9:30 p.m. March 27, “Fahrenheit 451″ — This double bill showcases two adaptations of Bradbury’s classic novel “Fahrenheit 451.” The evening begins with “A Sound of Different Drummers,” an uncredited television adaptation of Bradbury’s novel for the 1957 season of “Playhouse 90,” followed by a screening of the well-known 1966 film adaptation by François Truffaut. The intermission will include a panel discussion of the fascinating history surrounding these two landmark productions. Separate tickets are required for each film.
  • 3 p.m. March 28, “Moby Dick” — On its final day, the series closes with two films that showcase the broad range of Bradbury’s own screenwriting talents. The first is John Huston’s 1956 production of the classic novel, which was an early success that secured Bradbury’s Hollywood reputation. A panel discussion will be held following this film and before the evening screening of “Something Wicked This Way Comes.”
  • 6:30 p.m. March 28, “Something Wicked This Way Comes” — Directed by Jack Clayton, this is the result of a 30-year arc of creativity that transformed an original Bradbury short story into a script, a novel and finally a successful film production.

IU Cinema director Jon Vickers has worked closely with Bradbury Center director Jonathan Eller and the center’s senior advisor, Phil Nichols, to develop the program for the Bradbury film series.

“Every session has fascinating cultural connections,” said Eller, an IUPUI Chancellor’s Professor who is also the editor of Bradbury’s early collected stories and the author of two Bradbury biographies. “The Academy Award-nominated ‘Icarus Montgolfier Wright,’ a story of our quest to reach the moon, was screened in the Kennedy White House just as those dreams were beginning to move toward reality.”

The Bradbury Center has preserved Bradbury’s master 35mm reel of that animated film, along with thousands of other Bradbury artifacts, books and papers.

“The highlight of the week may be the chance on Friday to view John Frankenheimer’s masterful direction of ‘A Sound of Different Drummers’ as a prelude to the screening of Truffaut’s adaptation of ‘Fahrenheit 451,'” Eller said. “The uncredited ‘Playhouse 90′ adaptation led to legal actions and appeals that Bradbury eventually won, but these events are outweighed by the unique opportunity to compare the Truffaut film with Frankenheimer’s seldom-seen television precursor. Frankenheimer was not involved in the legal actions, and his acknowledged mastery of television drama would soon translate into a major Hollywood film career.”

“These screenings offer the first curated overview of Bradbury’s legacy in film and television,” said Nichols, a well-known Bradbury media scholar on the Faculty of Arts at the University of Wolverhampton in the United Kingdom. “Selecting the films for this event has been a challenge, because of the range and diversity of Bradbury’s work.”

In discussion panels March 27 and 28, Nichols will reveal some of the findings from his research among the papers in the Bradbury Center.

All “Ray Bradbury: From Science to the Supernatural” events are free and open to the public, but tickets are required for IU Cinema film screenings. Due to expected demand and limited seating, tickets should be secured in advance.

Tickets can be obtained at the IU Auditorium box office from 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. Monday through Friday; or by phone at 812-855-1103 for a $10 service fee per order. If seats remain, tickets also will be available in the IU Cinema lobby 60 minutes before each screening.

“Ray Bradbury: From Science to the Supernatural” is sponsored by IUPUI’s Center for Ray Bradbury Studies; IU Bloomington’s College Arts & Humanities Institute; IUPUI Arts & Humanities Institute; IU’s Advanced Visualization Lab; Science on Screen, an initiative of the Coolidge Corner Theatre Foundation with support from the Alfred P. Sloan Foundation; and IU Cinema.

The symposium and series will take place at the IU Cinema, a 260-seat, THX-certified cinema that is dedicated to the scholarly study of film and the highest standards of exhibition. IU Cinema is one of a small percentage of theaters still able to project 35mm and 16mm films properly, as well as using the latest digital technology.

Bradburymedia blog

Keira Amstutz, William Blomquist, John Dichtl, Valerie Eickmeier, Jonathan Elmer, and David Lawrence discuss “The Future of the Arts & Humanities”

March 5, 2015 | 12:00-1:30
Indiana Humanities
1500 North Delaware Street

Are the arts and humanities in crisis?  What do financial cuts ultimately mean for arts and humanities institutions and their publics?  What role should governments play in supporting the arts and humanities?  What does the future look like for arts and humanities in this country and around the world?  What functions do the arts and humanities provide in sustaining a democratic society?

This roundtable will discuss these and many other questions in this can’t-miss event featuring several of central Indiana’s leaders in the arts and humanities.

Keira Amstutz is the President and CEO of Indiana Humanities.

Dr. William Blomquist is the Dean of the IU School of Liberal Arts at IUPUI.

Dr. John Dichtl is the Executive Director of the National Council on Public History and an Adjunct Assistant Professor in History in the IU School of Liberal Arts at IUPUI.

Dr. Valerie Eickmeier is the Dean of the Herron School of Art and Design.

Dr. Jonathan Elmer is the Director of the College of Arts and Humanities Institute and a Professor of English at IU Bloomington.

David Lawrence is the President and CEO of the Arts Council of Indianapolis.

This event is co-sponsored by Indiana Humanities

Award-winning novelists and poets headline Reiberg Reading Series at IUPUI

Emily Gray Tedrowe

Emily Gray Tedrowe

The Spring 2015 Rufus & Louise Reiberg Reading Series at Indiana University-Purdue University Indianapolis kicks off Thursday, March 5, with Emily Gray Tedrowe reading from her works, including the recently published second novel, “Blue Stars.”

Tedrowe’s first novel, “Commuters,” was listed as a Best New Paperback by Entertainment Weekly, an IndieNext Notable pick and a Target Breakout Book. Tedrowe also has published work in the Chicago Tribune’s Printers Row Journal, “Fifty-Two Stories, and Other Voices.”

All readings will take place at 7:30 p.m. in the Lilly Auditorium, University Library, 755 W. Michigan St, unless otherwise noted.

Other series events, open to students, faculty, staff and the general public, include:

  • Thursday, March 12 — 16th annual “International Women’s Day: A Celebration” with poetry, music and visual art to honor the creativity of women around the world. Program includes an opening reception at 6:30 p.m. followed by featured performers at 7 p.m. and a multicultural, multilingual open mic at 8:20 p.m.

 

  • Michelle Herman

    Michelle Herman

    Thursday, April 2 — Essayist and fiction writer Michelle Herman, whose works include a collection of novellas, “A New and Glorious Life.” Her essay collection “The Middle of Everything, Stories We Tell Ourselves” was longlisted for the 2014 PEN/Diamonstein-Spielvogel Award for the Art of the Essay.

 

 

  • Dana Roeser

    Dana Roeser

Thursday, April 16 — Dana Roeser, the author of three books of poetry including her latest, “The Theme of Tonight’s Party Has Been Changed.” Roeser is also author of “In the Truth Room” and “Beautiful Motion,” each winners of the Samuel French Morse Prize and nominated for the 2010 Poets’ Prize.

The Reiberg series was founded in 1997 by the Department of English in the IU School of Liberal Arts at IUPUI to honor department chair Professor Emeritus Rufus Reiberg and his wife, Louise. The series annually brings national and regional writers to the IUPUI campus to present their work.

Visitor parking for the readings is available in the North Street Garage, 819 W. North St.; the Vermont Street Garage, 1004 W. Vermont St.; and the Sports Complex Garage, 875 W. New York St.

The Spring 2015 Rufus & Louise Reiberg Series, hosted by the Department of English, is made possible by the support of the Reiberg family; and IUPUI’s Office of Academic Affairs; University Library; University College; Office for Women; and Women’s Studies Program.

For additional information, contact Terry Kirts or by phone at 317-274-8929. Facebook users can “like” the series page at The Rufus & Louise Reiberg Reading Series @ IUPUI.

Partnership links to global opportunities

Four IUPUI faculty and staff members who are involved with international opportunities for students attended Oktobertfest in the fall: from left, Jennifer Williams, Pat Fox, Claudia Grossmann and Terri Talbert-Hatch.

Four IUPUI faculty and staff members who are involved with international opportunities for students attended Oktobertfest in the fall: from left, Jennifer Williams, Pat Fox, Claudia Grossmann and Terri Talbert-Hatch.

A partnership linking the School of Engineering and Technology and the Department of World Languages and Cultures in the School of Liberal Arts has given four IUPUI students intriguing international experiences as they prepare to graduate in 2015.

A dual-degree program between the engineering school and German, Spanish and French language programs opened the doors to the internships. Three of them, Brian Knip, Eduardo Salcedo and Jesus Roman, worked with the Bosch Engineering Group in the small town of Abstatt. The fourth, C. J. Nielsen, worked at the University of Heilbronn. Both Abstatt and Heilbronn are located in southern Germany.

Knip, Salcedo and Roman tested their skills and knowledge in Bosch’s research and development department as part of an international group of engineering professionals, researchers and interns. Nielsen worked at an engineering lab alongside graduate students. All but Knip are part of IUPUI’s motorsports engineering program; Knip majors in mechanical engineering.

Claudia Grossmann, director of IUPUI’s German program, said the time abroad has an impact on the students.

“They gain new language, technical and intercultural skills, and gain on a personal level, as well,” Grossmann said. “They learn how to take care of themselves in another culture. As interns, they don’t have as much support as they are used to, so they have to deal with a wide range of practical experiences. That’s invaluable.”

Terri Talbert-Hatch, the assistant dean of student services in Engineering and Technology, knows the dual-degree program allows students to prepare for professional careers while benefitting schools at the same time.

“It helps us develop partnerships with other universities and with businesses,” she said. “Last year, for instance, an official from Bosch Motorsports in Detroit heard about our dual-degree program, and the talented students who were involved, and wondered why the company’s Detroit site didn’t have a similar program.” That has opened a discussion that may lead to opportunities in the U.S.

Both Grossmann and Talbert-Hatch have led student delegations to Germany, and have seen how the trips affected IUPUI students.

“Students figure out pretty quickly how studying abroad can benefit them in internships and career opportunities,” Talbert-Hatch said, noting a wealth of connections linking the U.S. and Germany in engineering fields.

Knip said he learned a lot during his time abroad, not all of it technical.

“Throughout my internship, I discovered both what I enjoyed and disliked about the possible careers available for mechanical engineering graduates,” he said. That knowledge has given him a stronger focus on his career goals as he applies and interviews with prospective employers.

The dual-degree program has been around for a decade, and Grossmann believes that internship prospects in German companies fit well with the language she teaches.

“We have a good following from engineering students, who often are interested in German engineering and want to take advantage of what they can learn,” she said.

“Engineers tend to look at things a little differently, and doing an internship in Germany allows them to experience technology that is just as advanced, but in a different culture,” Grossmann added. “The language immersion and engineering work enrich each other.”

By Ric Burrous

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.

IUPUI associate dean Genevieve Shaker honored with professional group’s Emerging Scholar Award

Genevieve G. Shaker

Genevieve G. Shaker

An Indiana University-Purdue University Indianapolis administrator and professor has received national recognition for demonstrating a promising career as a researcher whose scholarship will shape the disciplines of philanthropy and fundraising.

The Association of Fundraising Professionals has selected Genevieve G. Shaker, associate dean for development and external affairs in the IU School of Liberal Arts at IUPUI and assistant professor in the IU Lilly Family School of Philanthropy, as the recipient of the organization’s 2015 Emerging Scholar Award.

Established by the Research Council of the Association of Fundraising Professionals in 2013, the Emerging Scholar Award honors an early-career scholar or scholar-practitioner whose research has and will continue to shape the discourse on philanthropy and fundraising.

“The Emerging Scholar jury recognized Dr. Shaker’s extremely impressive training and experience,” said Russell James, chair of the association’s Emerging Scholar Award Committee. “Her research provides a greater understanding of academic workplace giving and motivation of faculty in seeking academic careers. Her work will further enhance fundraising strategy development for the field and will provide insights regarding donor motivations, interests and giving trends.”

Emerging Scholar jurors rated nominated scholars on their record of scholarship; demonstrated evidence of a further promising career as an academic researcher or scholar-practitioner; demonstrated impact on the state of scholarship or advancement of knowledge; and evidence of impact on fundraising practice.

“I’m humbled to have been chosen by my peers in AFP for this wonderful award and grateful for the support I have received at IUPUI to pursue my research interests as well as to serve the university as an advancement professional,” Shaker said. “I’m looking forward to the opportunity to make further contributions to the field, higher education and society.”
Shaker, who is also an adjunct professor of liberal arts, focuses her research on workplace giving and higher education advancement, as well as the faculty profession. She has been recognized with several other national awards, including the Dissertation of the Year Award in 2009 from the Association for the Study of Higher Education; and, with her co-authors, the 2009 Robert Menges Award for research in educational development and a 2013 Charles F. Elton Best Paper Award from the Association for Institutional Research.

“Dr. Shaker has quickly become a highly productive and influential researcher on fundraising within colleges and universities, and especially on the philanthropic activities of faculty and staff,” said Bill Blomquist, dean of the IU School of Liberal Arts. “It is very gratifying to see her work receive this well-deserved national recognition through the AFP Emerging Scholar Award.”

Shaker completed her doctorate in higher education at Indiana University Bloomington and holds a master’s in philanthropic studies from the Center on Philanthropy, the Lilly Family School of Philanthropy’s predecessor.

Since 1960, the Association of Fundraising Professionals has advanced effective and ethical philanthropy by providing advocacy, research, education, mentoring, collaboration and technology opportunities for the world’s largest network of professional fundraisers. AFP’s more than 30,000 members raise more than $100 billion annually.
The AFP Research Council leads the association’s efforts to identify research priorities for AFP; recognize and promote research that informs philanthropy and fundraising practice; and translate and disseminate research-based knowledge to practitioners.

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.”