IUPUI student creates “Shake It Off” video for fun and a cause

Screenshot from YouTube

Screenshot from YouTube

Indiana University-Purdue University Indianapolis students are dancing in a music video to Taylor Swift’s song “Shake It Off.” But they are doing more than dancing to the catchy beat. They are raising awareness about a social issue and challenging other college students to do the same.

The video was created by an IU School of Informatics and Computing at IUPUI freshman student Jacob Harris, who was inspired by videos of others dancing to Swift’s song. Harris is pursuing a Media Arts and Science degree.

“I saw the videos and kind of brainstormed a little bit,” Harris said. “I thought it would be really cool to do and to do it for a great cause.”

He settled on raising awareness about suicide prevention. In a message posted with the video, Harris provides the Web address for a suicide prevention website and a telephone number. He wrote, “If you are having thoughts of suicide, there is always help…You are loved and you are important no matter what. And if you still don’t think you are, you’re wrong. There are so many great things about life still ahead for you.”

Harris also challenged students at Indiana University Bloomington, Purdue University and Wabash College to produce their own “Shake It Off” video. He urged them to choose their own cause about which they could raise awareness.

Using University Library at IUPUI as a backdrop, Harris set up a video camera on a tripod. With the help of a roommate and two signs, Harris asked students as they passed the camera if they would dance for a few seconds in the video.

He had a box with an assortment of props, including wigs of various colors, a clown nose, a magic wand, a lime-green traffic vest, sunglasses and a pirate hat that dancers could wear, if they wished.

The fledging filmmaker learned that it is harder than one might think to get people to be in a video.

“About 80 percent of the students walking by wanted nothing to do with the video,” he said. “We had to beg some to do it. Some people wouldn’t dance alone on camera, so my roommate and I danced with them,” he said.

Two and a-half hours later, after a second shoot at the Campus Center and a little editing, the video was done.

“It was fun to do and it would be so cool if it could help save a life,” Harris said.

School of Liberal Arts Summer 2015 Research, Creative Activity , and Scholarship Grants Call for Proposals

imagesPurpose: The SLA Summer Research, Creative Activity, and Scholarship Grant is intended to support primary research, creative activity, and scholarship. Teaching and service activities are not funded through this program.

Amounts and use of funds: The committee expects to award 4-5 grants. The typical award amount is no more than $6,300 for salary and fringe, although proposals for smaller amounts are also welcome. Grants will be made for projects requiring at least one month of full-time research. This does not preclude teaching one class in the summer, though consultation with your department chair or program director is strongly recommended. Funds may be used for salary and benefits, research assistance, travel, and material collection or analysis. Special consideration will be given to career development and funding needs for research. Funds may be used as matches or in combination with other research grants. Applications for new projects are encouraged.

Please note: If you request salary, you must also include fringe benefits in your budget. You may request no more than $5,000 in salary. If you take your salary in June, the fringe rate is 25.31%, for total salary and fringe of $6,265.50. If you take your salary in July, the fringe rate is estimated to be 26.06%, for total salary and fringe of $6,303. The actual award amount for July summer salary will be adjusted when 2015-2016 fringe benefit rates are announced in Spring 2015.

Eligibility:

Tenured and tenure-track faculty in the IU School of Liberal Arts at IUPUI who did not receive a SLA Summer Research grant last year. IUPUC faculty are not eligible

Deadline: November 24 (SLA Internal Deadline November 17), 5 p.m.

SLA Summer Research, Creative Activity, and Scholarship Grants

Mano en Mano service project spruces up neighborhood underpass

A Facebook photo captures only part of the full scale of the mural. | PHOTO COURTESY OF IMMIGRANT WELCOME CENTER

A Facebook photo captures only part of the full scale of the mural. | PHOTO COURTESY OF IMMIGRANT WELCOME CENTER

A dash of color and an artistic flair have given an underpass just south and west of the IUPUI campus a new lease on life, thanks to the Mano en Mano service project linking the IUPUI campus with a group of neighborhoods that comprise the Near Westside Collaborative.

Mano en Mano — literally “Hand in Hand” — was a partnership between IUPUI and the Immigrant Welcome Center of Indianapolis that took place Sept. 13 during National Welcoming Week, a national campaign that encourages cities to improve the quality of life and economic potential for immigrants and foster unity with members of the U.S.-born community.

Cindy Gil of IUPUI’s Office of External Affairs said Mano en Mano was the latest collaboration between the campus and the Near Westside Collaborative, which represents neighborhoods of Haughville, Hawthorne, Stringtown and We Care and promotes Indianapolis as a “welcoming city for all,” Gil said.

Jennifer Hutchinson, a clinical study technician in the Division of Endocrinology in the School of Medicine, designed the mural. Hutchinson paints under the name Jennifer Delgadillo and graduated in 2010 from the Herron School of Art & Design.

IUPUI has built ties to the Immigrant Welcome Center, located in the John H. Boner Community Center on the city’s east side, as part of the campus’s ongoing internationalization efforts. Last year, IUPUI hosted more than 1,800 international students from more than 140 countries; this year, the numbers have topped 1,900 students from approximately 150 countries.

Besides recruiting students for the project from the Office of International Affairs, Mano en Mano also is connected to the campus through the Center for Service and Learning and through the Community Learning Network.

Volunteers from Service and Learning’s iServe project primed the underpass walls that feature Delgadillo’s work during that service-learning project, also in September. The mural covers roughly 100 feet in width and is located near an IndyGo transportation facility southwest of the campus. The public transportation company supported Mano en Mano by providing parking for the IUPUI volunteers, Gil added, support that has pleased area merchants.

“When we spoke to local businesses around the mural, they all agreed that the project was much needed due to graffiti problems in the underpass,” Gil said. “Now that the mural is complete, the merchants said it brings a new image to the surroundings and helps encourage business in the area.”

The Community Learning Network contributed to the campus-neighborhood partnership by developing a survey published on the Near Westside Collaborative website to more fully identify area needs in education, training and workforce development.

Earlier this year, IUPUI, city officials and neighborhood leaders announced plans for $30 million in improvements to the IU Natatorium, as well as city streets, lighting and crosswalks.

“Our hope is to continue to be not only an institution of learning, but a bridge to potential resources that will add to the social and economic development of our surrounding neighborhoods,” Gil said.

by Ric Burrous

Herron art professor is in the healing business, bringing hope to veterans and others

Juliet King

Juliet King

Juliet King has never spent a day in military service during war or peace times.

But the Herron School of Art and Design assistant professor and licensed art therapist has taken up the fight to improve the lives of veterans facing emotional adjustments after their time on the battlefield.

Most recently, King, director of Herron’s art therapy program, signed on as the point person for the “Veterans Coming Home” campaign at the art school on the Indiana University-Purdue University Indianapolis campus. The school has joined forces with WFYI Public Media and the Kurt Vonnegut Memorial Library for the yearlong multimedia, arts-focused awareness campaign to support Indiana’s veterans and their families.

Veterans Coming Home,” was funded with a $25,000 Corporation for Public Broadcasting grant and includes WFYI broadcasts of the stories of veterans such as Andrew Schneiders, Kris Bertrand and others.

In a Richard L. Roudebush Indianapolis VA Medical Center pilot group art therapy project spearheaded by King and Dr. Brandi Luedtke of the Veterans Affairs, Schneiders has found healing power in “illustrating his troubled Iraq experiences with art” and then talking with fellow vets, according to a WFYI report.

And as part of an arts intervention program, Bertrand, who was sexually assaulted while serving in the Navy 25 years ago, found an emotional salve in throwing clay on a potter’s wheel.

“That’s because art is inherently therapeutic,” King said in a “Veterans Coming Home” broadcast, now available online.

“Engaging in the creative process is something that typically is going to be a life-enhancing experience for you,” King said. “It gets your blood moving; it gets your brain working in different ways. It helps you relax, it helps you get distance from what it is that you might be living with in your life at the time.”

King’s hope is that the success stories of Schneiders, Bertrand and others will raise the awareness of the value of art therapy in helping soldiers and others deal with trauma.

The ultimate goal is to draw the support of lawmakers and service providers who can both advance the licensing of art therapists across the state and promote the employment of such professionals as clinical counselors. Female veterans would in particular benefit from an expansion of art therapy services since they have traditionally voiced a reluctance to attend co-ed therapy groups and cited the lack of art therapy services for women.

Art therapists hold master’s degrees in art therapy and are eligible for licensure as clinical mental health counselors who are trained to use art to help clients find ways to express things they might not be able to say with words, King said. Art therapy is an effective treatment intervention for helping anyone facing issues such as post-traumatic stress disorder, which can affect not only war veterans but also victims of rape, torture, child abuse, car accidents and natural disasters, she said.

“We need more licensed art therapists,” King said. “(‘Veterans Coming Home’) is one way we are going about raising awareness. Hopefully people at the state level will pay attention and see the need.”

King is available for media interviews discussing her art therapy work with veterans. For interviews with King, contact Diane Brown 317-274-2195 or habrown@iu.edu.

New Frontiers Exploratory Travel Fellowships Applications Available Now

imagesIndiana University New Frontiers in the Arts and Humanities
Indiana University is pleased to announce the 2014-2015 New Frontiers in the Arts and Humanities seed funding program. The objective of this opportunity is to help Indiana University faculty members by supporting the initial stages of path-breaking and transformative programs of scholarly investigation or creative activity.

Exploratory Travel Fellowship funding up to $3,000 is available to support national and international travel for scholars and researchers pursuing new and innovative research or artistic projects in the arts and humanities. The grants will allow travel to museums, libraries, laboratories, art galleries, and cultural sites; travel and participation in conferences, workshops, symposia, and performances; and visits to collaborators. Exploratory travel fellowships prioritize travel that is a crucial element of new projects which are themselves potentially significant to the larger scholarly or creative community.

Travel to present or support work that is already well advanced is not eligible for support; travel to give short conference presentations of exploratory work, or to participate in conferences that have limited impact in the field have low priority for New Frontiers. Because overall New Frontiers funding is limited, multiple fellowships for the same project are not possible, and funding is not available for projects that have already been supported through other New Frontiers programs. For the same reason, faculty members are limited to one Exploratory Travel Fellowship award every 18 months (calculated from the submission deadline of the most recent award).

Deadline: December 15 (SLA Internal Deadline December 8), 5 pm

Guidelines

From here to Helsinki, Herron’s Visual Communication Design faculty operate in the vanguard

Presenters including Youngbok Hong (front row, second from right) and Aaron Ganci (back row, left) at NordDesign 2014, Aalto University, Helsinki, Finland Image courtesy Maria Solovjew

Presenters including Youngbok Hong (front row, second from right) and Aaron Ganci (back row, left) at NordDesign 2014, Aalto University, Helsinki, Finland
Image courtesy Maria Solovjew

Assistant Professor Aaron Ganci and Associate Professor Youngbok Hong recently traveled to Finland to presented findings about the senior capstone course in Visual Communication Design they team-teach at Herron. They made their remarks during the NordDesign 2014 conference at Aalto University in Helsinki. Their scholarly trip was made possible by Herron Travel grants.

The central theme of the conference was innovation, said Hong. “In the area of innovation, design and product development, we quite often seem to know that something works in practice, but might lack understanding of the theoretical foundations of why. NordDesign 2014 organizers were looking for evidence-based academic work on topical issues of design, development and innovation to strengthen both our theoretical understanding and the connection between theory and practice.”

Hong focuses on Service Design and Ganci’s specialty is a subset called Interaction Design. They have identified these two fields as important to moving the design of new products forward and are using their experiences in these fields to design the coursework at Herron.

“Twenty years ago, products were physical objects that were mostly created by engineers, not designers,” Ganci said. “Today, we have a more diverse understanding of a product. It can be software or even a service experience. So this conference was a great place for us to share our ideas on how to prepare design students for 21st century careers in product design.

‘We’re trying to create an experience that better resembles the professional work that Visual Communication Design students might be doing. We recognize that you can’t make objects in isolation anymore,” Ganci said. “We’re predicting that the integration of several tracks into one is where the future of the visual communication design teaching lies. What we shared at this conference was the approach we are taking to help explain our vision of the design profession to our students.”

Ganci said this approach works well at Herron because “we are rooted in design thinking and people-centered design.”

Herron’s Visual Communication Design senior capstone provides a base of knowledge that can be applied to many different types of things a designer might make,” Ganci said. “We ask students to solve problems with a broad, integrated set of solutions, sometimes called touchpoints. We want our students to know how to identify these touchpoints and then design them at a high level.”

“Designers are great at seeing things through the eyes of the user,” he said. “A skilled visual communicator is a an asset when it comes to understanding and documenting an experience in order to improve it.”

In addition to traditional forms of visual communication design, Hong and Ganci believe “experience design is primarily what our students will be doing in the next five to 10 years.”

Read more about Hong and Ganci’s work and see examples of student projects here.

Wein Artist Prize of $50,000 goes to Herron alumnus Samuel Levi Jones

Samuel Levi Jones  image by Tressa Pack

Samuel Levi Jones
image by Tressa Pack

“Sam Jones (B.F.A. ’09 in Photography) is an artist with a dream,” said Professor Linda Adele Goodine, who teaches photography and intermedia at Herron. “He has followed his vision to graduate school and now, the larger art stage. It’s an infinite plan to create and bring wonder and curiosity to the public by making art that begs us to look at who we are and where we come from.”

Goodine’s assessment was not lost on those who bestow the Joyce Alexander Wein Artist Prize, which for nine years has been awarded to an African-American artist “who demonstrates great innovation, promise and creativity.” George Wein created the $50,000 prize in memory of his wife. It is given each year by the Studio Museum in Harlem. The prize was announced on October 27.

“I remember Sam Jones vividly,” said Professor Jean Robertson. “He was a student in several of my art history classes, and a complete pleasure in every way. He was always engaged in class and eager to learn and discuss. He was particularly interested in documentary photography that shone a light on the situation of impoverished and disadvantaged people. Sam has a strong sense of social justice, and wanted to use his art to make a difference in the world. Clearly he was a young man who was going to be a success, given his dedication and commitment.”

As for Jones, he said he was at home in the San Francisco Bay area when he got the fateful phone call. “I was really surprised. I never imagined getting this award.” His website describes his art making as “…an attempt to address identity within the modern world upon the existence of exclusion.” He describes his first class in photography as a life changing experience even though his work has evolved into additional mediums.

Work by Jones will be featured in Black White Thread, a solo exhibition opening on November 8 at Papillon in Los Angeles.

Richard Lugar to headline Bulen Symposium examining impact of midterm elections

Richard Lugar

Richard Lugar

Former U.S. Sen. Richard Lugar will headline the 2014 Bulen Symposium on American Politics at Indiana University-Purdue University Indianapolis.

The symposium will take place from 9 a.m. to 3 p.m. Friday, Nov. 14, in Room 450 of the IUPUI Campus Center, 420 University Blvd. It is presented by the Department of Political Science in the IU School of Liberal Arts at IUPUI.

Lugar, distinguished scholar and professor of practice at the IU Bloomington School of Global and International Studies, will join a roster of academics, media and political party representatives to examine the impact of midterm election results, including the presidential agenda for the next two years and the 2016 race for the White House.

“Senator Lugar is one of the most respected politicians of the last half century, not just in Indiana but across the country,” said professor Aaron Dusso, co-chair of the symposium. “Any opportunity to hear him speak in our hometown of Indianapolis is a wonderful thing. We like to think of the Bulen Symposium as one of Indiana’s premier post-election discussion forums and believe there are few people who can bring as much insight to the process as Senator Lugar.”

Midterm congressional elections are traditionally viewed as a referendum of the sitting president.  With the Senate potentially up for grabs and the 2016 presidential election lurking around the corner, the implications of this November’s elections can hardly be understated.

In addition to Lugar, panelists who will assess the impact of the November midterm elections include:

  • Tim Berry, chairman, Indiana Republican Party
  • John Zody, chairman, Indiana Democratic Party
  • Tony Cook, Statehouse reporter, The Indianapolis Star
  • Amber Stearns, news editor, Nuvo
  • Lesley Weidenbener, executive editor, The Statehouse File
  • Jeffery Mondak,  professor of political science, University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign
  • Edward Burmila, assistant professor of political science, Bradley University

“When putting together the Bulen program, we focus on bringing together as many different perspectives on the process as possible,” Dusso said.

Lugar, who will present the symposium’s afternoon keynote, spent 36 years in the United States Senate, where he focused on issues such as nuclear non-proliferation, energy, agriculture and free trade. Before being elected to the Senate, Lugar was a two-term Indianapolis mayor. He is currently the president of the Lugar Center, a nonprofit organization that continues the work he focused on in the Senate.

The Bulen Symposium on American Politics is named for L. Keith Bulen, who personified political leadership in Indiana and beyond for three decades. He served twice in elective office and served three presidents in major appointive posts. Bulen is best remembered for his innovative management of major political campaigns, his leadership in revitalizing the Indiana Republican Party and his unwavering commitment to the American two-party framework.

For the symposium event schedule and further information visit the symposium website.

The event is free and open to the public, but registration is required by Nov. 12.

Spirit and Place Festival explores life’s journey

imagesLife’s journey is filled with movement and meaning, but this Nov. 7 to 16, “Journey” also is the theme of a quest for thousands of curious people during the 2014 Spirit & Place Festival in Indianapolis.

The 19th annual festival will explore the various aspects of “Journey” in nearly 40 events scattered throughout the city, focusing on the impact of such topics as immigration, incarceration, marriage and dozens of others, all led by partnerships linking various civic, cultural and religious groups.

Spirit & Place was created 19 years ago by The Polis Center at IUPUI to engage the city’s population in unique conversations about each year’s festival theme.

This year, individual events will study life’s journey, all leading to the annual festival finale: the public conversation. This year’s event will feature renowned authors Gail Sheehy and Mark Nepo and Dr. Timothy Quill and focus on the “Journey’s End” at 4 p.m. Nov. 16 at the Christian Theological Seminary’s Shelton Auditorium.

All three are linked by loss and the quality of one’s end of life. Sheehy, the author of “Passages,” cared for her husband in the last stages of his life. Nepo is a two-time cancer survivor, and is scheduled to tour with television host Oprah Winfrey to discuss his perspectives on the importance of palliative care. Quill is the director of the Center for Ethics, Humanities and Palliative Care at the University of Rochester School of Medicine.

The three also will participate in the Mary Margaret Walther Program in Palliative Care Research and Education symposium “Passages and Promises: Innovations in Palliative Care Research Education and Practice” at the IUPUI Campus Center on Nov. 17.

Linking to other community events of importance is a Spirit & Place goal, said David Bodenhamer, the executive director of The Polis Center and one of those who helped create the festival.

“Spirit & Place’s success ultimately rests upon its ability to connect to the larger civic interests and concerns represented by an ever-growing number of groups in our city who, like Spirit & Place, want to make Indianapolis an even better place tomorrow than it is today,” Bodenhamer said.

Simple, open-ended themes are a deliberate choice, said Pam Blevins Hinkle, the festival director.

“We purposefully choose themes that are timely and resonate broadly in the community,” she said. Such themes help organizations find intriguing partnerships with other groups and explore issues more deeply.

Bodenhamer said he has been pleasantly surprised by some of those partnerships.

“I underestimated both the desire to contribute and the ways in which people wanted to collaborate across sectors,” he said. “People want to experience the whole city, not only their part of it. In this sense, Spirit & Place has touched a longing for connections that make a difference. The festival has encouraged this city’s cultural re-awakening and its belief in itself as a city of worth.”

Simple themes “evoke a wide range of feelings, images, memories and reflections that stoke the imagination and create a sense of anticipation for the November festival,” Hinkle said. The themes often offer an interesting mix of individual and community journeys.

Though other cities have shown an interest in imitating the impact of Spirit & Place, Bodenhamer said none have been able to replicate it.

“Spirit & Place is unique because Indianapolis is unique: we have our own history, our own traditions, our own sense of time and space,” he said.

by Ric Burrous

Learn more about this year’s festival.