Event at IUPUI to focus on advancing education in Burmese community


Students and staff of the Burmese Community Center for Education

INDIANAPOLIS — A half-day event Aug. 15 at IUPUI will focus on education and advancement for the growing Indiana communities of immigrants and refugees from Burma. The Burmese Community Center for Education and the Great Lakes Equity Center at IUPUI are co-hosting the program for invited leaders from the community, school districts from across the state, the Indiana Department of Education and Indiana University.

The Friday afternoon program at the IUPUI Campus Center has three primary goals: Participants will share information to increase awareness and understanding of available educational, cultural and language resources. The group will establish near and long-term objectives and identify strategies and resources to meet them. Finally, inaugurating the Burmese Education Advancement Taskforce, the event will open opportunities for participants to establish new and strengthen existing partnerships.

Burma, officially called the Republic of the Union of Myanmar by the military junta that overthrew the democratic government in 1962, is a country torn by years of warring conflict. Refugees have fled the country over the years, only slowing slightly since the military government dissolved in 2011 following elections that installed civilian leadership.

“In bringing together leaders from community-based organizations, schools, the state department of education and the university, we are creating a space to dialogue about strengthening educational pathways for students from these communities,” said Thu Suong Nguyen, principal investigator for the BCCE Community Self-Empowerment Program and assistant professor in the Department of Educational Leadership and Policy Studies at the IU School of Education at Indiana University-Purdue University Indianapolis. “An aim of the taskforce is to increase understanding of this multi-ethnic, multi-lingual community, so that communities and schools can work in concert to support students.”

Established in 2010, the BCCE focuses on education, workforce development, family and social health, and housing for the central Indiana Burmese community, estimated at 8,000. Based at the First Baptist Church on the north side of Indianapolis, the BCCE works largely through volunteers from the Burmese community. Last year, the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services granted $600,000 over three years for the BCCE’s Community Self-Empowerment Program, directed by May Oo Mutraw with assistant directors  Neineh Plo and Jerry Htoo. Nguyen and Brendan Maxcy, faculty members in the School of Education at IUPUI, are principal investigators for the grant.

The Great Lakes Equity Center is one of 10 Equity Assistance Centers in the United States that are funded by the U.S. Department of Education under Title IV of the 1964 Civil Rights Act. Directed by Seena Skelton, the center seeks to ensure equity in student access to and participation in high-quality, research-based education by expanding states’ and school systems’ capacity to provide robust, effective opportunities to learn for all students, regardless of and responsive to race, sex and national origin, and to reduce disparities among and between groups in educational outcomes. Along with principal investigator Kathleen King Thorius, Nguyen and Maxcy serve as co-principal investigators of the center.

Civic literacy conference aims to provide insight to scholars, general public


Sheila Suess Kennedy

An offhand comment by a student in a class led by School of Public and Environmental Affairs faculty member Sheila Suess Kennedy a few years back is making a difference in IUPUI’s academic circles these days.

Kennedy is a SPEA faculty member and a former executive director of the Indiana Civil Liberties Union. She was also a lawyer who served as a corporation counsel for the City of Indianapolis during the William H. Hudnut Administration (1976-92), and she is a passionate advocate for civic literacy.

The student’s remark — she didn’t know the identity of James Madison (the fourth U.S. president) when Kennedy asked a rhetorical question about what Madison would have thought about Internet pornography, based on his constitutional writings — challenged the longtime faculty member to find an answer to the “civic deficit” that affects students and Indiana residents.

To address the problem, Kennedy launched the Center for Civic Literacy in SPEA thanks to an IUPUI Signature Center grant. The center is the organizer for the upcoming “Connect the Dots” Civic Literacy Conference Aug. 22 to 24 at the Crowne Plaza Hotel in downtown Indianapolis.

Kennedy also established the new “Journal of Civic Literacy.” Its first issue, published on July 1, featured a cover story by Supreme Court Justice David Souter, in addition to contributions by members of the center faculty and conference leaders.

“Low civic literacy doesn’t just damage the political structure,” Kennedy said. “It makes it difficult to do business and even affects science and medicine, even social work. We want to raise awareness of those issues.”

Kennedy hopes the conference will provide insights about civic life both for scholars and the general public, and offer advances to essential knowledge and skills in what citizens need to know to navigate the 21st century. The center is working closely with the Indiana Bar Foundation, scholars on the IU Bloomington campus, people from other schools and universities and members of the center’s National Advisory Committee, among others.

Kennedy believes the Journal of Civic Literacy could play an increasing role in the success of both the center and the conference.

“Believe it or not, in a world where I thought there was an academic journal for everything, there was no interdisciplinary journal devoted to the role of civic knowledge,” Kennedy said. She believes that the journal can take a holistic look at the role played by civic knowledge across disciplinary domains.

“One research center is not going to ‘cure’ a problem of this magnitude,” Kennedy said. “We need to determine what happens to a diverse society when citizens are ignorant of the only thing disparate groups have in common.”

by Ric Burrous

Central Indiana Community Foundation helps Herron’s art therapy program produce a skilled and in-demand workforce

UntitledJob placement is 100 percent for the first cohort of eight graduate students who earned a master’s degree in Art Therapy from Herron School of Art and Design this May, said Juliet King, program director and professor of Art Therapy. Launched only two years ago, the program has developed vigorously, in large part due to philanthropic support from individuals and foundations.

The Frank Curtis and Irving Moxley Springer Fund, a fund of the Central Indiana Community Foundation, put its support into bringing together Herron students—who must complete 1,000 hours of supervised, clinical training as part of their degrees requirements—and community members who can benefit from art therapy services.

Herron’s Art Therapy program is one of only 34 two-year, full-time, residential programs in the country—offering graduate art therapy education in preparation for the dual credentials of Registered Art Therapist and Licensed Mental Health Counselor.

Herron currently is working with nearly 30 community organizations to pair its art therapy students with programs that serve youths, adults, the aged and other vulnerable populations. Qualified professionals must supervise Herron’s students in a clinical setting. That requires investment.

Andrew Black, a grants officer of the Central Indiana Community Foundation, said “The Art Therapy grant was in alignment with The Frank Curtis and Irving Moxley Springer Fund because it promotes the making of art and provides important health and social services to improve the physical, mental and emotional well-being of people of all ages, many of whom are dealing with significant physical and/or mental health challenges.”

Frank began work at Eli Lilly and Company in 1937. He and his wife, Irving, became incredibly generous philanthropists. Both are now deceased, but their fund, established in 1998, will continue in perpetuity as they wished.

King said, “It’s exciting to see the full cycle of the impact of the program. We are helping children and adults cope with illness, injury and trauma while the graduate students gain the academic experience necessary to become a trained professional and contribute to the workforce of Indiana and beyond.” She added, “We are grateful to the Frank Curtis and Irving Moxley Springer Fund and CICF for the assistance in successfully developing the program.”

The program’s first eight graduates are Linda Adeniyi, Uriah Graham, Amy Granger, Katherine Hearn, Amanda Krieger, Heidi Moffat, Hillary Timmerman and Natalie Wallace. These alumni were hired by providers including Adult & Child Community Mental Health, MENTOR Network, Midtown Community Mental Health, Season’s Hospice, Legacy House, Meridian Health Services and Gallaudet University that provide school- and home-based counseling, health therapy and hospice care.

Nine students are projected to graduate in 2015 and 13 in 2016.

Black added, “Not only does this therapy provide counselors, therapists, or case workers with an additional and often times necessary alternative method for communication, it also provides some of our most vulnerable populations with a creative outlet that promotes self-expression, increases their ability to cope with their circumstances or challenges, and ultimately aids in their rehabilitative progress and contributes to their quality of life.”

To learn more about supporting Herron’s Art Therapy Program, contact Kim Hodges, Office of Development, at 317-278-9472 or kshodges@iupui.edu.

Annual urban education conference to focus on many factors affecting schools


Dr. Virginia Caine


James Earl Davis

INDIANAPOLIS — The 16th annual Indiana Urban Schools Association summer conference on urban education is gathering experts from across the country and many from the Indiana University School of Education at IUPUI to examine the many factors impacting students, families, and educators this Wednesday, June 18. The conference, whose theme is “Schooling and the Ripple Effect: Emotional, Intellectual, Physical,” starts at 8:30 a.m. at the Chapel Hill 7th and 8th Grade Center in Indianapolis. Among the presenters are several Indiana school teachers and program leaders. They will share the latest program developments in place for the state’s urban schools.

The conference sessions and topics will focus on a variety of factors affecting K-12 education in urban schools. Some of the sessions will address meeting expectations in the midst of environmental distractions, how well students learn, and nutrition and physical well-being factors impacting student learning. “The ripple effect of schools reaches everyone, not simply students,” said Chuck Little, executive director of the Indiana Urban Schools Association (IUSA) and clinical professor or educational leadership at the IU School of Education at IUPUI. “At this conference, we will engage topics like health, instruction, politics, and teacher evaluation, all of which impact and shape the future.”

The keynote address will be delivered by James Earl Davis, professor of educational leadership and interim chair of the department of Teaching and Learning at Temple University. Davis is the author of Uneasy Ties: Race and Gender in Urban Education Reform. His research expertise covers gender and schooling outcomes, masculinity, sociology of higher education, and applied research methods.

The guest speaker for the conference is Dr. Virginia Caine, director of the Marion County Health Department and associate professor of medicine at the Indiana University School of Medicine’s Infectious Disease Division. Caine has served on many professional boards, including the Robert Wood Johnson Foundation, the Centers for Disease Control & Prevention Elimination of Health Disparities through Translation research panel, and the Council on Education for Public Health.

Also presenting at the conference is Doug Martin, an Indiana writer and educator who released his book Hoosier School Heist earlier this year. The work makes the case for what he calls the private corporate takeover of Indiana’s public schools. Martin says legislation and an extensive net of interlocking relationships have allowed this to happen, promoting private sector interests at the expense of public schools.

The IU School of Education at IUPUI will be part of several presentations throughout the day. Hardy Murphy, a research scholar with the School of Education, will be a panelist on two panels dealing with teacher evaluation, one focusing on how teacher evaluation is evolving and the other about developing a rubric for teacher evaluation standards. Murphy is conducting a statewide research project on Indiana’s teacher evaluation system. Three students from the Urban Education PhD program will present. Aly Elfreich and Brandon Currie will conduct two sessions of “School Counselors as Participatory Action Researchers in Urban High Schools,” one in the morning and the other in the afternoon. Tiffany Kyser will present “Design Shift, System Shift: a Design Thinker’s Brief Multimodal Approach to Urban Education.” Additionally, Dean Gerardo Gonzalez will provide opening remarks for the conference.

The Indiana Urban Schools Association was established to serve the needs of urban school children in Indiana by supporting a positive legislative agenda, providing a forum for considering urban school needs, cooperating with other organizations interested in urban school children, providing services and programs designed for urban schools, and supporting other programs designed to benefit all children in Indiana schools. More about this week’s conference is available here.

International Violin Competition Exhibition


June 20- July 24, 2014

   Frank & Katrina Basile Gallery
    Marsh Gallery



Herron is partnering on two gallery exhibitions for the 9th Quadrennial International Violin Competition of Indianapolis, one of the most respected music competitions in the world (taking place in September 2014).

A Juried Exhibition of Student Art, 30 prize-winning entries from first through 12th graders around Indiana will fill the Basile Gallery.

An exhibition of 19 works from a commission competition for Herron junior painting students, through a project of the Basile Center for Art, Design and Public Life, will be exhibited in the Marsh Gallery.

About the Basile Center for Art, Design and Public Life:

The Basile Center for Art, Design and Public Life enables Herron faculty and students to apply their talent and skill to real-world situations and needs. The Basile Center brings together Herron artists, designers, and art educators to serve the needs of the broader Indianapolis community. The projects that the Basile Center manages range from permanent public art installations to visual communication design projects, to arts administration and fine art exhibitions, and they yield incredible opportunities for professional practice for our students, including both our undergraduates and students in our graduate programs.

The Center for Digital Scholarship: Preserving the past and preparing for the future

UntitledThe online, digital environment is changing the way scholars communicate, access scholarly resources, and share the products of their research. In recent years, the University Library’s program of digital scholarship has grown so much that we were prompted to formalize our efforts by creating the IUPUI University Library Center for Digital Scholarship.

The Center for Digital Scholarship can help faculty, staff, and students navigate this fast-changing environment. The Center will enable faculty to share articles, data, images, learning objects, posters, presentations and working papers with students. In addition, it can be used as a means of engaging students in primary research and knowledge creation.

Much like the library itself, the Center will benefit community members as well as IUPUI faculty, staff and students. The Center functions as an important bridge through which we co-create collections with community organizations, providing access and preserving the stories of many of Central Indiana’s leading cultural institutions.

Engagement with the Indianapolis and Indiana community is one of the core principles of IUPUI, and a significant point in the current draft of the IUPUI Strategic Plan. While the library has been engaging with the community through digital collection creation for over 12 years (the majority of our historical digital collections are physically owned by other cultural heritage institutions, including libraries, historical societies, and community organizations), the Center offers an additional connection to our community partners.

We have the technology and expertise to digitize and provide access to historic collections that would otherwise be accessible only to those able to visit the cultural heritage institutions. We are making Indianapolis history visible to the world. We are also creating trusting relationships in the community that have proved fruitful for ventures outside of digitization.

The Center for Digital Scholarship represents the next chapter in the library’s enduring commitment to technology. We encourage you to take advantage of the Center and all of the resources it has to offer.

Conference explores service learning in the community

May 12-16, 2014
Indianapolis, IN

The Center for Service and Learning and Indiana Campus Compact, invite those interested in enhancing their service learning courses or advancing their research on service learning to the Connecting Campuses with Communities conference.

The conference is a two-part event that focuses on building a network of scholars and practitioners and offers the following opportunities:

The Service Learning Institute (May 12-14) is ideal for those interested in gaining strategies used to improve the quality of a service learning course;

The Research Academy (May 14-16) is designed to strengthen one’s research on service learning while advancing their scholarship of teaching and learning.

Visit the conference website for further details.

Student-orgnaized exhibit opens documenting community history of Near Southside

Split but Not Separated: Recapturing the Legacy of the Near Southside, a new exhibit designed by students in the Museum Methods class, will open on Sunday, April 27, at the Concord Neighborhood Center, 1301 South Meridian.

This pop-up exhibit originates in a class taught by Professor Modupe Labode (History and Museum Studies), and was inspired by an earlier student research project. In 2010, Anthropology students from IUPUI began collecting oral histories, photographs, and other memorabilia from African American and Jewish elders who had grown up together on the Near Southside. This research is captured in the oral history book The Neighborhood of Saturdays, by Professor Sue Hyatt, which was published in 2013 by Dog Ear Press. The exhibit presents another view of the history of the community and moves the story into the future by involving the views of children who are currently participating in programs at the Concord Neighborhood Center. The exhibit is open from 2-4 p.m., and the program begins at 2:30 p.m.

For more information, please contact Modupe Labode, Assistant Professor of History and Museum Studies, mlabode@iupui.edu, 274-3829.