IUPUI to significantly bolster its journalism/public relations program

Indianapolis bachelor’s/master’s program moves from Bloomington-based School of Journalism management to IU School of Liberal Arts at IUPUI

SLA at IUPUI logoINDIANAPOLIS — Graduate and undergraduate journalism and public relations students at Indiana University-Purdue University Indianapolis will have access to an array of new resources beginning July 1, when the long-established Indianapolis location of the IU School of Journalism shifts management from IU Bloomington to the IU School of Liberal Arts at IUPUI. The program will be known as the IU Department of Journalism and Public Relations at IUPUI.

The move comes as the IU School of Journalism at Bloomington merges on July 1 with the Department of telecommunications and Department of Communication and Culture to form The Media School.

With the transition to local oversight, the IUPUI journalism department will now offer students and faculty additional resources in academic and career advising, curriculum development, research funding, alumni engagement, philanthropic support and more.

School officials also envision partnerships with other departments and schools on campus — such as telecommunications, informatics, event management, medicine and athletics — to further enhance journalism and public relations programs focusing on sports and health/life sciences, and to give students the versatility needed in a rapidly changing profession.

“We’re honored to have our roots in the 100-year-old IU School of Journalism,” said Jonas Bjork, who will become the first chair of the new department. “But as one of IUPUI’s smallest schools, we didn’t have the depth of resources we needed to take our program to the next level. This move — reinforced by unanimous support from our faculty and staff — will help us achieve that.”

Bill Blomquist, dean of the School of Liberal Arts, said the merger is tailor-made for an urban-serving institution in a capital city ripe with professional opportunities.

“The skills and thinking we teach in journalism and public relations –– the ability to search out and explain information — are much in demand among all kinds of employers,” Blomquist said. “Developing those professional skills, along with the versatility instilled by liberal learning, will help prepare our graduates not only for their first jobs but also for the careers that follow.

“What’s more, in this city full of sports, health, life science, government and other communication opportunities, our classroom learning is supplemented and complemented by real-world learning — internships, service projects, guest speakers and more — that you can’t match anywhere else in this state and in few places around the nation.”

Bjork said the name change — to include public relations — is a decision based on the changing nature of the profession and the marketplace.

“While journalists and public relations professionals are, in many places, treated as adversaries, many of the theories and practices we teach journalists and public relations professionals are, in fact, complementary,” Bjork said. “Often, the two groups of professionals must work together, so it helps that we teach them together here at IUPUI with faculty members who bring real-world experience to the table.”

The new Department of Journalism and Public Relations will offer bachelor’s degrees, master’s degrees and certificates in journalism and public relations with specializations available in sports journalism, health/life science public relations, advertising and other areas.

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.

ArtPlace invites letters of inquiry for creative placemaking projects

ArtPlace, a nationwide initiative to drive community revitalization through the arts, is inviting Letters of Inquiry for its fourth round of funding through its Innovation Grants program.

A collaboration of thirteen major national and regional foundations, six of the nation’s largest banks, and eight federal agencies, ArtPlace works to accelerate creative placemaking — defined as “a means of investing in art and culture at the heart of a portfolio of integrated strategies that can drive vibrancy and diversity so powerful that it transforms communities” — in the United States.

Grants will be awarded to projects that involve arts organizations, artists, and designers working in partnership with local and national partners to have a transformative impact on community vibrancy. Applications are encouraged from all fifty states and any U.S. territory. Certain ArtPlace funders also are committed to working in specific states or communities. Currently, these include Akron, Charlotte, Detroit, Macon, Miami, New York City, Philadelphia, San Jose, and St. Paul, as well as communities in Alaska, Arizona, California, Iowa, Michigan, Minnesota, New Mexico, North Dakota, Oregon, South Dakota, Washington, and Wisconsin. Projects in these areas are particularly encouraged, although applications are welcome and grants may be awarded to projects from anywhere in the U.S.

Award amounts are decided on a case-by-case basis. To date, ArtPlace America has awarded 134 grants to 124 organizations in more than 79 communities across the U.S. for a total of $42.1 million.

While ArtPlace grants are intended to fund a range of costs associated with implementing a creative placemaking project, ArtPlace loans should be used to finance costs associated with a capital project such as pre-development, acquisition, construction, and real estate improvements.

Complete guidelines and Letter of Inquiry submission instructions are available at the ArtPlace Web site.