Student pitch competition: solutions to social and economic challenges

student pitch

An innovative plan to tackle obesity and a new e-commerce tool for online purchases are among the ideas students will pitch next week during a competition at Indiana University-Purdue University Indianapolis.

The IUPUI Office of the Vice Chancellor for Research, in partnership with its Center for Research and Learning, will host the third annual Ideas Solving Social and Economic Challenges on Thursday, March 6.

The student idea “pitch” competition will take place from 3:30 to 5:30 p.m. in the IUPUI Campus Center Theater, 420 University Blvd.

This event is open to the public and free of charge.

Thirteen finalists will take the stage this year to share their ideas as the first step in potentially making them a reality. The projects and ventures represent a broad cross section of fields. For example, ideas to be pitched include a system establishing art therapy programs in high-risk schools, an e-commerce tool for use when purchasing clothing online, and a plan to tackle obesity through an innovative new program for college students.

Ideas Solving Social and Economic Challenges was established to encourage IUPUI students to provide innovative ideas to solve some of the social and economic challenges facing Indiana, the nation and the world. IUPUI students, as individuals or working in teams, are asked to propose new products and/or ventures, within both the for-profit or nonprofit sectors.

The finalists will have three minutes to present their concept or solution to a panel of business community judges using an “elevator pitch” format — without the benefit of slides or other props. The objective is to convince the judges that an idea is an incredible venture or opportunity. The time constraint challenges the students to present themselves, and their ideas, in a concise and persuasive manner, a skill they will need in their professional lives and as future innovators and entrepreneurs.

The students judged to have the most innovative ideas will be awarded cash prizes of $2,500, $1,500 and $500 for first, second and third place, respectively. Audience members will also have a chance to cast a ballot for their favorite idea in an “Audience Choice” category for a prize of $1,000.

For more information, contact Karen White at kfwhite@iupui.edu or 317-274-1083.

Exhibit exposes stereotypical portrayals of Arabs, Muslims in U.S.

a is for arab

A traveling exhibition exposing stereotypical portrayals of Arabs and Muslims in U.S. popular culture will be displayed Feb. 26 to March 21 at Indiana University-Purdue University Indianapolis.

“A Is for Arab: Stereotypes in U.S. Popular Culture” will be at the Multicultural Success Center in Joseph T. Taylor Hall, 815 W. Michigan St. The exhibit’s opening reception takes place from 4:00 to 6:00 p.m. on Feb. 27 at the center.

“IUPUI is a university promoting diversity and moving toward internationalization of its campus. Putting this vision in action, the Office of International Affairs is organizing a series of events to promote understanding of the Arabs and their cultures over three weeks,” said Amira Mashhour, a lecturer, director of the Arabic program at IUPUI and a primary organizer of the event. “‘A Is for Arab’ will be the inaugural event for these events. It will be a visual action to eradicate prejudices and address some questionable issues related to Arab culture.”

Sandra Lemons, who also is a primary event organizer, said, “The goal of this program is to raise awareness of Arab culture and society on campus and in the surrounding community. Most importantly, we want to break down harmful stereotypes that Arab people in our community deal with on a daily basis.” Lemons is associate director for student services in the Office of International Affairs.

For a full listing of other events, visit the International Affairs website.

“A Is for Arab” features photographs of objects and materials from the Jack G. Shaheen Archive at Tamiment Library and Robert F. Wagner Labor Archives, and it documents U.S. popular culture representations of Arabs and Muslims from the early 20th century to the present. The exhibit provides historical context about these images, which include film stills and comic books.

IU McKinney School of Law symposium to address Indiana water issues

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Water access and water quality challenges associated with Indiana’s riverways and watersheds are the focus of Indiana University Robert H. McKinney School of Law’s seventh annual spring symposium on the environment, energy and natural resources.

The symposium, “Indiana Rivers: Water Access, Water Quality & Water’s Future,” will take place at 9:30 a.m. Friday, Feb. 28, in the Wynne Courtroom of Inlow Hall, 530 W. New York St.

Carol Comer, general counsel for the Indiana Department of Environmental Management, will present “Indiana’s Water Priorities” as the keynote luncheon address at noon.

Recent events in West Virginia — where more than 300,000 people lost access to basic drinking water following a chemical release into the Elk River — and in Indiana — where almost two-thirds of assessed state waters have been designated as “impaired” under the Clean Water Act — show that even the most complex and carefully managed regulatory system can still fail, and that more can be done to address challenges to Indiana’s water system.

In addition to Comer’s address, panels of experts and leaders at the symposium will:

  • Describe the state of water access and water quality law and challenges in Indiana.
  • Examine recent efforts to protect water quality affected by coal combustion.
  • Assess the measures that exist to prevent an Elk River-type disaster in Indiana.
  • Explore water access and water quality as an Environmental Justice Concern.

Expert panelists include the co-director of Advocates for Environmental Human Rights in New Orleans; the managing principal of Beveridge & Diamond, P.C., in Washington, D.C.; the water and ag policy director for Hoosier Environmental Council; the conservation director of Sierra Club’s Hoosier Chapter; and the executive director of the Conservation Law Center in Bloomington.

Speakers from the Indiana House of Representatives, the Indiana Senate, Earthjustice, Prairie Rivers Network, the U.S. Attorney’s Office, the Office of Utility Consumer Counselor, IU Maurer School of Law at IU Bloomington and the McKinney School of Law will also participate.

A detailed listing of symposium panelists and topics for discussion is available online.

Online registration is available for high school and university students, faculty, staff and non-profit employees; and for other attendees. The cost is $75 for attorneys registering for 6 hours of CLE credit; $25 general admission.

For questions, please contact: enlaw@iu.edu.

The History of Science Society’s Reingold Prize essay competition

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Deadline: June 1, 2014

Full guidelines available on the HSS webiste.

The History of Science Society invites applications for the 2014 Nathan Reingold Prize. The  Reingold Prize annually recognizes an outstanding graduate-student essay in the history of science and its cultural influences. The winner receives a $500 cash prize and up to $500 travel reimbursement for attending the History of Science Society’s annual meeting.

The ideal Reingold Prize paper should be original; historiographically sophisticated; based on primary sources, either published or archival; clearly argued; well written; and interesting. Successful papers in the past have come from parts of dissertations in progress or revised seminar papers.

The prize recognizes an original and unpublished article (articles that have been accepted for publication are ineligible) on the history of science and its cultural influences written by a graduate student enrolled at any college, university, or institute of technology. Essays in the history of medicine are not eligible for the prize; however, papers dealing with the relations between medicine and the non-medical sciences are welcome.

It is hoped, but not assured, that the winning article will merit publication in Isis. Essays submitted for the competition must be thoroughly documented, written in English, must not exceed 8,000 words in length (exclusive of footnotes), and should conform to the latest edition of the Chicago Manual of Style.

Please submit your electronic submissions to prizes@hssonline.org. Files should be no larger than 5 megabytes. Please use low resolution images. All information identifying the author by name or school should be removed from the document except for a coversheet that is separate from the body of the paper (essays are read without knowledge of the authors’ identity). If sending hard copies to the address below, send three copies of the essay with a detachable cover sheet.

History of Science Society
440 Geddes Hall
University of Notre Dame
Notre Dame, IN 46556
USA

All essays are due at the Executive Office by 1 June 2014. All entries must be accompanied by proof that the author was a graduate student in good standing at a school, college, or university some time during 2014. This proof can take the form of a dated school ID, transcript, or letter of support from an advisor on school letterhead. For other suggestions for proof of eligibility, and all other questions regarding the Reingold Prize, contact the History of Science Society at info@hssonline.org.

School of Informatics and Computing hosts robotics competition

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The IU School of Informatics and Computing at Indiana University-Purdue University Indianapolis will host the 2014 Indiana VEX IQ Robotics State Championship on Feb. 22 at the Informatics and Communications Technology Complex on the IUPUI campus.

The championship, presented by the Office of Education Innovation and Robotics Education & Competition Foundation, is a competition to spur science, technology, engineering and math activities at area middle schools, with some competitors coming from elementary schools.

“Today, informatics plays a key role in many different industries,” said Polly Baker, professor of media arts and science in the Department of Human-Centered Computing. “Robotics is an example of a field where students can engage by making and designing information technology to serve people and augment our abilities to operate in the world.”

“It’s amazing to see how many students are already interested in getting involved in this exciting area of study,” said Davide Bolchini, interim chair of the Department of Human-Centered Computing and professor of human-computer interaction at the School of Informatics and Computing.

The competition is divided into different parts. The day will include team cooperative and skill competitions, as well as evaluation of design books, and mathematical research components.

Seven of the competing teams will qualify for the VEX IQ World Championship on April 17 in Anaheim, Calif. About 30 teams are expected to compete in the event at IUPUI.

Inaugural poet Richard Blanco highlights reading series

photo blanco

The Spring 2014 Rufus & Louise Reiberg Reading Series at Indiana University-Purdue University Indianapolis features President Barack Obama’s second inaugural poet as a guest speaker.

The series kicks off with fiction writer and essayist Jacinda Townsend as guest reader on Thursday, Feb. 27. It concludes with a reading by 2013 inaugural poet Richard Blanco on Thursday, April 10.

Townsend will read from her works at 7:30 p.m. Feb. 27 in the Lilly Auditorium of University Library, 755 W. Michigan St. Townsend’s work is published in literary journals such as African Voices, Carve Magazine, The Maryland Review, Obsidian II, Passages North, Phoebe and Xavier Review, and anthologized in “Surreal South” and “Telling Stories: Fiction by Kentucky Feminists.” Her nonfiction appears in two different series of “Chicken Soup for the Soul.”

Townsend, who teaches writing fiction at Indiana University Bloomington, took her first creative writing class at Harvard and began registering for writing workshops while studying at Duke Law School. In 1999 she was a part of the prestigious Iowa Writer’s Workshop.

Blanco’s reading will take place at 7:30 p.m. April 10 in the Basile Auditorium of the Herron School of Art and Design, 735 W. New York St.

In 2013, Blanco served as the fifth inaugural poet of the United States, reading “One Today” during Obama’s second inauguration. He is the youngest poet and the first Latino, immigrant and openly gay writer to hold the honor. Following the Boston Marathon bombing, he wrote “Boston Strong” and read the piece at a benefit concert for bombing victims, as well as a Red Sox baseball game. He published the poem in a limited edition “Boston Strong” chapbook and donated the proceeds to those most affected by the bombing.

Reiberg events are free and open to the public. The Rufus & Louise Reiberg Series is sponsored by the Department of English in the IU School of Liberal Arts at IUPUI.

Founded in 1997 in honor of former IUPUI Department of English chair and Professor Emeritus Rufus Reiberg and his wife, Louise, the annual Reiberg Reading series brings nationally and regionally known writers to the IUPUI campus to present their work.

Other spring Reiberg events include:

  • 15th Annual International Women’s Day Celebration, March 12; 6:30 p.m. reception, 7 p.m. performers, University Library Lilly Auditorium. This event features poetry, music, and visual art to honor the creativity of women around the world.
  • Bonderman Workshop, featuring poet Rochelle Hurt, 4 p.m. March 25, location to be announced. Hurt, winner of the 2013 Richard Peterson Poetry Prize from Crab Orchard Review, recently published a novel in poems, “The Rusted City.”

For more information about the series, contact Terry Kirts at tkirts@iupui.edu or 317-274-8929.

IUPUI student designs safe house for children in Swaziland

photo swaziland safe house

An interior design student at Indiana University-Purdue University Indianapolis has designed a “safe house” that will be built to protect child-led families in the Kingdom of Swaziland in southern Africa who desperately need safe places to live.

A full-sized section of the safe house, built by the Indiana/Kentucky/Ohio Regional Council of Carpenters, will be unveiled at 6 p.m. on February 18, at an exhibit of photographs that explores the lives of these children, “Hope Seekers: Survival of Southern African Child-Led Households in the Shadow of HIV.” The section of the safe house will be displayed in the main lobby at Hine Hall from February 19 – 25.

“The exhibit tells the stories of these children and really allows people to enter into an experience of gaining more of an intimate look at the child-led households in South Africa,” said Cynthia Prime, CEO of Saving Orphans through Healthcare and Outreach. SOHO is an Indianapolis-based nonprofit organization taking a leading role in efforts to help educate, nurture and feed the child-led families.

The number of households in Swaziland led by children, some as young as 8, is mushrooming, resulting from an HIV/AIDS pandemic that is creating a new orphan every 14 seconds.

The 800-square-foot sustainable safe house will be constructed of local materials and feature a single sloping roof and a rainwater collection and filtration system. Safety features include windows placed high on the walls and an outdoor courtyard surrounded by high walls. Six orphan girls will live in the safe house that provides communal sleeping and living spaces.

In a written presentation of her design, Earley wrote that the children of Swaziland have very few adults to cherish and protect them from the dangers of their world. “This is why the sustainable housing units are such an important endeavor to start to build the nourishing community these children so desperately need. Building this groundwork to create a safe haven and a means to a more thriving reality is hopefully just the beginning for these six girls that will occupy this homestead.

“As AIDS cheats these kids of parents, it is common that the surviving family also will cheat them out of anything moveable or of value from their remaining homes,” Earley said. “Everything the children knew to be theirs is ripped away from them along with their parents. For this reason, it’s essential that furniture be built into the walls of the home or fixed together resulting in immobility. It is my goal that the young girls of the homestead will feel safe, secure and confident in their permanent dwelling.”

McDonald Merrill Ketcham Award Lecture: “Are Physicians Fiduciaries for Their Patients?”

photo mehlman
Thursday February 20, 2014
12:45 – 3:45 p.m.
Wynn Courtroom, Inlow Hall

Maxwell J. Mehlman, J.D., will present “Are Physicians Fiduciaries for Their Patients?” from 12:45 to 1:45 p.m. A panel discussion, then reception will follow the lecture.

A fiduciary is a legal or ethical relationship of trust between two or more parties. The patient-physician relationship would seem to be a classic example of a fiduciary relationship given the need for ill-informed patients lacking bargaining power to trust their physicians, but many scholars and judges have questioned this assumption. The lecture examines the reasons for their skepticism and argues that they are misguided. Mehlman argues that regarding doctors as fiduciaries for their patients not only is essential for the patients’ well-being, but necessary to preserve the physicians’ status as learned professionals in the face of increasing pressure to act contrary to their patients’ interests.

A speaker’s reception will be held from 2:45 to 3:45 in the Inlow Hall atrium. This event is part of the McDonald Merrill Ketcham Award Lecture series presented by the Hall Center for Law and Health at the IU Robert H. McKinney School of Law.

This is a free event, but registration is required.

Panel Discussion following Professor’s Mehlman’s lecture:

  • Mary Ott, M.D., M.A., Associate Professor of Pediatrics, Indiana University School of Medicine
  • Joshua Perry, J.D., M.T.S., Assistant Professor of Business Law and Ethics and a Life Sciences Research Fellow, Indiana University Kelley School of Business
  • Mark Rothstein, J.D., Herbert F. Boehl Chair of Law and Medicine, University of Louisville Louis D. Brandeis School of Law, and Director of the Institute for Bioethics, Health Policy, and Law, University of Louisville School of Medicine

Mehlman is a Distinguished University Professor and Petersilge Professor of Law at the Case Western Reserve School of Law and and professor of biomedical ethics at Case Western Reserve School of Medicine. He is also director of the Law-Medicine Center at the Case Western Reserve University. Panel discussion participants are Mary Ott, M.D.,associate professor of pediatrics at the IU School of Medicine; Joshua Perry, J.D., assistant professor of business law and ethics and a life sciences research fellow at the IU Kelley School of Business at Bloomington and Mark Rothstein, J.D., Herbert F. Boehl Chair of Law and Medicine and director of the Institute for Bioethics, Health Policy, and Law at the University of Louisville.

“Visualizing Disease” explores pathological illustrations from 16th-19th century

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Wednesday February 19, 2014
12:00 – 1:00 p.m.
Van Nuys Medical Science Bldg.
Room 122A

Domenico Bertoloni-Meli, Ph.D., Department of History and Philosophy of Science, Indiana University presents “Visualizing Disease: Pathological Illustrations from the 16th to the 19th Century.”

“Visualizing Disease” explores pathological illustrations from the 16th century to the first half of the 19th century, in the period from the first representations of remarkable cases to the first comprehensive treatises with color images of diseases affecting the entire human body. The talk will illustrate and discuss the lesions found in the dissected bodies of dead patients at postmortems, and skin diseases on live patients, which played an important role in the history of pathological illustrations more generally.

Presented by the Medical Humanities & Health Studies Seminar Series. Free and open to the public. Please RSVP to medhum@iupui.edu.

IUPUI health informatics professor receives $100,000 grant

photo brian dixon

An IU School of Informatics and Computing faculty member at Indiana University-Purdue University Indianapolis will receive a $100,000 grant and two years of targeted scientific mentoring after being selected as an early-career scholar by a national center that seeks to improve population health.

Brian Dixon, an assistant professor in health informatics, will receive the award from the National Coordinating Center for Public Health Services and Systems Research. The center is housed at the University of Kentucky College of Public Health and funded by the Robert Wood Johnson Foundation. Dixon is also a research scientist at the Regenstrief Institute and an investigator in residence for the Center for Health Information and Communication, part of the Department of Veterans Affairs’ Health Services Research and Development Service.

In a statement, the National Coordinating Center for Public Health Services and Systems Research said the funding and mentorship are designed to speed the discovery of strategies for improving the nation’s public health system. Dixon and the three others who were named early-scholars are expected to become the next generation of national leaders in the field of public health services and systems research.

The scholars’ studies investigate innovative public health programs and practices that have the potential to improve health status on a population-wide basis but currently have insufficient evidence about their effectiveness and value, the center said.

The project Dixon will focus on is titled “Improving Vaccine-Preventable Disease Reporting and Surveillance Through Health Information Exchange.”

Dixon’s research will implement and evaluate an automated process designed to improve reporting rates for vaccine-preventable diseases in Indiana, and to support more efficient provider reporting to public health agencies. The process takes advantage of Indiana’s statewide health information exchange that enables data-sharing between clinical and public health organizations, and it replaces existing, inefficient reporting procedures involving manual completion of health department forms.

Data from the health information exchange will be used to partially complete many of the required fields submitted to public health departments leaving blank only a small number of fields for clinical providers to complete. The process will also help identify cases of vaccine-preventable diseases that providers might otherwise forget to report because of high patient volumes or missing information.

Regenstrief Institute investigator Dr. Shaun Grannis, associate professor of family medicine at the Indiana University School of Medicine, and P. Joseph Gibson, director of epidemiology at the Marion County Public Health Department, will serve as Dixon’s mentors. Grannis collaborates closely with state, national and international public health stakeholders to advance technical infrastructure and data-sharing capabilities for population health. Gibson oversees disease surveillance for Marion County and advises state and federal authorities on using information technologies to improve public health practice.