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Fond memories and excitement over a new era in journalism excellence at IU

Guest post courtesy of Mark Land, IU associate vice president of public affairs and government relations and adjunct lecturer of journalism.

A part of my educational history died today.

I’m a proud graduate of the IU School of Journalism (Class of ’85), which provided the foundation for most everything I have achieved in my career and more importantly is where I met the girl of my dreams.

Some of my fondest memories as an IU student are housed in Ernie Pyle Hall where I spent many an hour as a reporter and editor of the Indiana Daily Student, which was then – like today – one of the very best student newspapers in the country and where I learned from professors who left a lasting impression on my journalistic sensibilities.

But rather than mourn the passing of the IU School of Journalism, I’m choosing to look with excitement at seeing it reincarnated as a central piece of the new IU Media School.

IU journalism faculty celebrated past successes and the beginning of the new Media School on Monday, June 30. From L-R: Cleveland Wilhoit, David Nord, Trevor Brown, Tom French and David Weaver.

IU journalism faculty celebrated past successes and the beginning of the new Media School on Monday, June 30. From L-R: Cleveland Wilhoit, David Nord, Trevor Brown, Tom French and David Weaver.

Now, in my current position I don’t exactly get paid to take positions in opposition to university decisions. In this case, though, I honestly would be excited even if I was an arm’s length observer to IU’s transition from stand-alone journalism school to a more integrated communications school that is reflective of the way people create and consume content in today’s digital society.

This may still be a minority opinion among my fellow alums, and certainly a vocal contingent has shared its concerns for the feared loss of identity or independence for the school – and even a bit of nostalgia over moving out of Ernie Pyle Hall, which to call it a quaint home would be a compliment.

But consider this: For most of its storied century of history, the journalism program at IU existed not as an independent school, but rather as a department. In fact, the program had only been elevated to school status for less than a decade when I entered it in the early 1980s.

By that time, however, the program already produced a stable of journalistic legends from Nelson Poynter to James Polk to, of course, the legendary Pyle. Many more leaders in the field, including many still active today as working journalists, academics and public relations professionals, came through the program after it was elevated to school status.

Structure has never defined excellence when it comes to journalism education at IU, but change is a natural part of life, a fact that journalists have experienced first hand all too well over the past decade.

The legendary Ernie Pyle, reporting during World War II.

The legendary Ernie Pyle, reporting during World War II.

The sweeping changes in the delivery of news and the consumption preferences of audiences brought on by rapid technological change have turned the journalistic business model on its head by completely eliminating the traditional news cycle and greatly expanding the competition for consumers’ eyes and ears. They’ve also required journalists to be writers, videographers, web producers and more – often on a single story.

What hasn’t changed, however, is the need to produce graduates that understand what makes for a good story, that possess a keen eye for detail and an ear for language, that are steadfastly commitment to accuracy and that respect the enormous responsibility that comes with being a journalist.

Nothing about the School of Journalism’s move to the Media School affects the core principles that have guided the university’s teaching of journalism for more than a century. Instead, students will now be grounded in journalistic fundamentals as part of a school that offers significantly greater flexibility and choice when it comes to a communications curriculum.

And just as journalism students will benefit from access to the best of our current telecommunications and communication and culture curriculum – not to mention entirely new course offerings – they eventually will pursue their education in state of the art facilities in Franklin Hall.

J. Irwin Miller, business visionary and the longtime legendary chairman of another great Hoosier institution, Cummins Inc., once famously said “reorganization is organization.” In evolutionary terms, I believe the concept is “adapt or die.”

Rather than cry over the end of an era, I’d rather raise a glass and toast the IU School of Journalism for a good run and offer a hearty welcome to the Media School, which – if history is a guide – will make all of us at IU very proud.

Growing global partnerships

Guest post courtesy of Jennifer Piurek, director of communications and special projects, IU Office of the Provost and Executive Vice President.

During Lauren Robel’s trip to Taiwan in May — her third official Indiana University international visit in a six-month period — IU Bloomington’s Provost and Executive Vice President caught a glimpse into a fresh world of possibilities for IU students, particularly through partnerships with National Taiwan University and National Chiao Tung University.

Lauren Robel

Lauren Robel

Robel was invited to Taiwan as a guest of the Ministry of Education. There, she met with ministry officials, alumni and university partners, and presented a talk on IU’s new academic directions.

“Everywhere I went, I saw more opportunities to help IU students to become globally engaged citizens,” Robel said. One of the most exciting parts of the trip: discussions with the Ministry of Education about additional opportunities for bidirectional student exchange programs. “Through these programs, both sets of students will be able to make incredibly valuable connections with professors and peers from another culture while experiencing immersion in that culture.”

At the request of the Ministry of Education, Robel gave a talk on Indiana University’s New Academic Directions initiative at the Chinese Culture University in Taipei. She attended a dinner hosted by CCU Professor of Political Science Spencer Yang, who is the chair of the Taiwan Alumni Club.

The Taiwan visit followed Robel’s trips to Seoul and Shanghai in March and to Korea in December 2013. All of these trips support her campus vision for even greater international connections that increase opportunities for IU students to both study abroad and take part in overseas service projects.

Indiana University already has strong connections to Taiwan; during the past academic year, over 200 Taiwanese students were enrolled in undergraduate and graduate programs at IU, most on the Bloomington campus.

IU’s Maurer School of Law has active partnerships with National Taiwan University and National Chiao Tung University. Mark Janis, the Robert A. Lucas Chair of Law and director of the Center for Intellectual Property Research, recently visited NTU and is currently teaching an advanced IP course at NCTU via videoconferencing. Robel met with officials from both universities and discussed the possibility of expanding existing partnerships to include other areas and schools.

Provost Robel with members of the Taiwanese Ministry of Education.

Provost Robel with members of the Taiwanese Ministry of Education.

Robel also had a special opportunity to visit National Taipei University of the Arts, the institution with the longest history of any art institution in Taiwan. She toured the university’s facilities with President Chyi-Wen Yang, a graduate of the IU Department of Theatre, Drama and Contemporary Dance in the College of Arts and Sciences. A number of accomplished directors have graduated from NTUA, including Oscar Award-winning director Ang Lee.

President Yang and Dean of Music Hwei-Jin Liu visited the Bloomington campus several years ago, and a number of NTUA students have studied in the Jacobs School of Music in recent years.

Provost Robel’s official visit to Taiwan coincided with Indiana University President Michael A. McRobbie’s trip to Japan, China, Singapore, Vietnam and Hong Kong.

Following her time in Taiwan, Robel traveled to Singapore, where she attended a ceremony in which McRobbie presented the Thomas Hart Benton Medallion to Maurer School of Law alumnus and former U.S. ambassador to the Association of Southeast Asian Nations, David Carden. While in Beijing, McRobbie dedicated IU’s second international gateway facility.

During her trip, Robel also met with IU Bloomington alumnus Yu-Chi Wang, Minister of the Mainland Affairs Council. Minister Wang is a graduate of the Maurer School of Law and serves as the political point person for cross-strait affairs with mainland China. He previously served as spokesman for President Ma Ying-jeou and as senior advisor on Taiwan’s National Security Council.

President McRobbie and Provost Robel have both made multiple official visits in recent years to Southeast Asia, a region of great strategic importance to Indiana University.

“It’s an honor to represent IU abroad,” Robel said. “These trips serve as a powerful reminder of this university’s ability to support the overseas engagement that leads our graduates to greater understanding of the world, richer visions of the possibilities for their lives and careers, and closer ties to IU.”

Mini University provides a learning vacation for students of all ages

Guest post courtesy of IU Newsroom colleague Jaclyn Lansbery:

As a recent graduate, I am not ready to jump back into the classroom anytime soon. But give me a few years, and I’ll start to miss the newness that comes with the first week of the semester – finding your “spot” in the classroom, feeling out your professor’s approach to grading and starting fresh with a new group of people.

For those who want to experience that first-week rush, the IU Alumni Association and IU Lifelong Learning are sponsoring the 43rd Mini University, giving people of all ages and backgrounds a chance to take five days of classes taught by IU faculty, right here on the beautiful Bloomington campus.

Participants from the 2013 Mini University on the IU Bloomington campus.

Participants from the 2013 Mini University on the IU Bloomington campus.

From June 9 to 13, registered participants can take courses in a variety of topics: arts; business and technology; education, health and human development; humanities; international affairs; and science.

Participants will also be able to mingle with fellow classmates while attending a picnic, a faculty reception at the university president’s house on campus, a film at the IU Cinema, a play at the Wells-Metz Theatre and an informal graduation ceremony at the end of the week.

“Mini University is a summer-learning oasis,” said Jeanne Madison, IU Lifelong Learning director of Mini University. “Hundreds of adults will immerse themselves in the intellectually stimulating teachings of the finest faculty at IU, gaining emerging knowledge on topics of domestic and international importance, the arts, and social and natural sciences. Participants form lasting friendships at Mini University as they foster their joy for learning with their peers and the IU Bloomington community.”

Read more…

One-on-one with Robby Benson

This is a pretty amazing time in Btown — the IU baseball team made it back-to-back Big Ten regular season titles, underwater science researchers at the IU School of Public Health-Bloomington are investigating the recent potential discovery of Christopher Columbus’ Santa Maria, the Kelley School of Business made it to the big Nasdaq screen in New York City’s Times Square and three IU Bloomington faculty members made it to the silver screen at the Festival de Cannes with their short film about the ways humans have spread information throughout history, Humanexus.

All of this is incredibly exciting. But if you really want to get people going, just mention that Robby Benson is here. More and more, it’s becoming less and less of a secret that the veteran film and TV actor, director, producer and educator is on campus, working with aspiring IU filmmaking students and rapidly raising the visibility of film production and study on the Bloomington campus.

I recently had a chance to meet Benson, a professor of practice in the Department of Telecommunications, soon to be part of the new IU Media School, and it’s clear he has big plans for IU Bloomington, including making the campus one of the nation’s premier destinations for students who want to get into film. In the meantime, his students just finished more than nine months of film production work, which led to an eventful night on yet another big screen — that of the IU Cinema.

Check out the video above, shot and produced by Inside IU and IU Newsroom intern Matt Bloom.

Where the arts heat up in summer

Think summer slows down in Btown? Think again. I can’t get enough of this cool, colorful video that neatly captures the cultural vibrancy that is IU Bloomington’s annual Summer Festival of the Arts. The festival, now in its fourth year, started last week and continues through Aug. 24.

Teddy talks (and the modern-day commencement address at IU Bloomington)

Herman B and Booker T.

Mellencamp and Sylvia McNair.

Birch and Evan Bayh.

Q, Quincy Jones.

Pauley, Smiley and Enberg, oh my.

The statesmen, Richard Lugar and Lee Hamilton.

The Nobel winner, Eleanor Ostrom.

The Batman crusader, Michael Uslan, and the Puzzlemaster, Will Shortz.

Oh, and did we mention Teddy Roosevelt?

All of these names, from music, media and the movies, as well as education, politics and policymaking, are associated with the modern-day commencement address at Indiana University Bloomington, first introduced in 1892.

Teddy Roosevelt (seated at left) at IU Bloomington's 1918 commencement ceremony. IU President William Lowe Bryan is speaking. Photo from IU Archives Photograph Collection.

Teddy Roosevelt (seated at left) at IU Bloomington’s 1918 commencement ceremony. IU President William Lowe Bryan is speaking. Photo from IU Archives Photograph Collection.

Last spring, the IU Archives presented a great look back at commencement ceremonies of yesteryear, complete with some stunning black-and-white photography. And for those who want to delve deeper into the history of who’s spoken at commencement, the Office of University Archives and Records Management also has a complete listing of speakers and speech titles.

There you’ll find the notables I’ve listed above, including IU’s legendary 11th president, Herman B Wells; the late IU distinguished professor Elinor Ostrom, winner of the 2009 Nobel Prize in Economic Sciences; celebrated musicians Booker T Jones, Quincy Jones, John Mellencamp and Sylvia McNair; renowned TV broadcasters Dick Enberg, Jane Pauley and Tavis Smiley; longtime Indiana political leaders, Birch Bayh, Evan Bayh, Lee Hamilton and Richard Lugar; Batman producer Michael Uslan; and New York Times crossword puzzle guru Will Shortz.

And that’s only going back a mere 26 years.

Keep scrolling down the list and you’ll find Supreme Court justices, U.S. senators, governors, lieutenant governors, ambassadors, and, yes, former U.S. presidents.

Indeed, that’s the Teddy Roosevelt on the list. Nine years after completing his second term as U.S. president and one year before his passing, Roosevelt delivered the 1918 spring commencement address in Bloomington. While we can’t be certain that Roosevelt ‘spoke softly’ during his address, titled “Straightforward Americanism,” we do know that he was greatly impressed by Bloomington and its graduation proceedings.

He said:

“I want to say at the outset that I don’t think that I have ever been at a more beautiful university commencement than this.”

See IU’s press release about this year’s commencement speakers in Bloomington, Michael D. Higgins, president of Ireland, and former U.S. Treasury Secretary Paul O’Neill. Visit the official IU Commencement website for additional details on this year’s ceremonies.

The crowd at the 1942 spring commencement in Bloomington. From IU Archives Photograph Collection.

The crowd at the 1942 spring commencement in Bloomington. From IU Archives Photograph Collection.

IU's graduating class of 1912. From IU Archives Photograph Collection.

IU’s graduating class of 1912. From IU Archives Photograph Collection.

IU students step up to create a Culture of Care

Guest post courtesy of Leslie Fasone, assistant dean for women’s and gender affairs in the Dean of Students Office at IU Bloomington.

Culture of Care. What is a culture of care and how do we create a community at IU where students, staff and faculty demonstrate care and concern for one another? Creating a Culture of Care is a tall order. It involves everyone. To show that you care isn’t always easy, especially when our calendars are full with classes, assignments, projects, leadership responsibilities, and activities with friends.

Earlier this week the White House’s first report for protecting students from sexual assault was released at notalone.gov. I spent Tuesday morning in my office combing through the document to see if we are on track here at IU. I am happy to say that we most certainly are. There are four main points identified in the report, three of which are recommendations for colleges and universities. First, identify the problem by conducting a campus climate survey. Second, develop and implement sexual assault prevention programs and work to engage men as allies. Last, effectively respond to sexual assault complaints.

We have students, staff and faculty throughout campus who work in each of these areas and have been working hard over the past several years to increase our efforts to decrease the number of sexual assault incidents that occur on campus. Approximately 1 in 5 women are sexually assaulted during their collegiate experience (Fisher, Cullen & Turner, 2000). Although there are fewer men who are sexual assault survivors, it is still a problem among men as well. One sexual assault is too many. Often times, with issues related to public health, so much of our time gets caught up in response. It takes a great deal of time, energy and strategy to get ahead of an issue to prevent it from occurring. This is exactly what Culture of Care aims to do: prevent these incidents from occurring before they become problematic.

IU Bloomington students are working together to build a Culture of Care that aims to prevent incidents of sexual assault from occurring.

IU Bloomington students are working together to build a Culture of Care that aims to prevent incidents of sexual assault from occurring.

What does this look like for sexual assault prevention? Through Culture of Care and programs such as the Step UP! IU bystander intervention training program, we encourage students to take action. Culture of Care is a student-led and staff supported initiative that is aimed at making compassionate action the norm. We know from a survey that we conducted when we were developing our program in the fall of 2011 that nearly 89 percent of students were very bothered when they witnessed inappropriate sexual behavior. That is a powerful number. Our role now is to help students identify the risks of a situation and to give them the skills and resources to help someone out before a sexual assault occurs.

Having the Courage to Care can take a variety of forms. Here are some actions that students are doing during trainings and activities to better prepare them to step up in different situations.

Before going out:

  • Make a plan with your friends before you go out. Talk about how you are going to get home in advance and keep an eye out for each other. Don’t let your friend go home with someone when they are really intoxicated. Get the other person’s number and have your friend text him or her the next day.
  • Set a limit on how much alcohol you and your friends will consume and keep track. Watching out for each other and how much your friends are drinking can help avoid a predicament.
  • Designate one of your friends to be the “social monitor” each time you go out and rotate this position. That person should be responsible for watching out for everyone and helping to get them home safely.
  • Download the Circle of 6 app which is available for free. This app allows you to put six people into your “circle” to whom you can easily contact for help. Visit http://www.circleof6app.com/ to learn more.

While you are out:

  • If you see two people who are about to go somewhere to hook up, there are several things that you can do to break up the situation. Note: Someone who is not sober is not able to give consent to sexual activity. So, if your friend has been drinking, stop the situation before it gets bad for any of the people involved.
  • Here are some things that you can do “in the moment”:
    • Ask friends of both people to help you stop a potential risky situation
    • Distract your friends – Encourage them to get up and dance or order some food. Pizza and breadsticks seem to be a good trick!
    • Put your arm around a person and lead them away
    • Pretend that you have a crisis and need to talk to your friend. You can “pretend” that you are going to bring your friend back, but distract them instead.
    • Get the person’s number and tell them that your friend will text him/her the next day. Waiting, especially if someone has been drinking or using drugs, is always a good idea.

If you think a friend has been sexually assaulted or is in an unhealthy relationship:

  • Check in with your friend.
  • Ask if your friend is okay. Use “I” statements such as “I’ve noticed” or “I’m concerned about you.” This will help your friend feel less defensive.
  • Support and believe your friend. It is never the fault of the sexual assault survivor.
  • Encourage your friend to talk to someone. Sexual Assault Crisis Services (SACS) has a 24-hour line (812) 855-8900 that someone can call for assistance. Counseling at SACS is available at no cost. To schedule an appointment with a SACS counselor, call Counseling and Psychological Services (CAPS) at 812-855-5711 and ask specifically to meet with a Sexual Assault Crisis counselor.
  • If your friend is interested in reporting the incident, they can meet with someone at Student Advocates Office to learn about their options. To schedule an appointment call (812) 855-0761 or email advocate@indiana.edu.

What is unfortunate about sexual assault is that it will be incredibly challenging to prevent every incident from occurring. That is the reality. Just like with illnesses such as cancer, we can work together to lower risks, but unfortunately, problems do arise. But the bottom line is that we can all work together to prevent incidents from occurring and to take care of each other if they have occurred. Creating a culture of care means that we are creating a supportive and safe environment. It takes everyone. Have the Courage to Care.

To learn more about Culture of Care and to see Hoosiers stepping up to show they care, check out Culture of Care’s video, “The Bystanders” and visit us online at care.indiana.edu. Resources available at IU and in the community are available here.

*Note: These suggestions and tips have been developed with the help of students and several staff members on campus from Sexual Assault Crisis Services, OASIS, Counseling and Psychological Services and the Office of Student Ethics.

Reference:

Fisher, B.S., Cullen, F.T., & Turner, M.G. (2000). The sexual victimization of college women. Washington, D.C.: National Institute of Justice.

Buon giorno, Btown! Celebrating 35 years of ‘Breaking Away’

As a non-native Bloomingtonian who grew up about 900 miles away in Connecticut, my initiation to the city and the beautiful Indiana University Bloomington campus was through Hoosier basketball, of course, and also the Academy Award winning movie “Breaking Away.” (True confession: my 8-year-old self frequently and proudly wore one of those Campagnolo cycling caps made popular in the film. Thankfully, no pictures exist of which I’m aware.)

Thirty-five years after its release, and on the eve of IU Bloomington’s annual Little 500 races that served as the basis for the movie, “Breaking Away” continues to captivate audiences as one of the most popular sports movies of all time. The movie, which introduced me and so many others to the “Cutters,” quarry diving and the nation’s premier intramural collegiate cycling event, has also been the subject of several fun stories in recent days, like this one on the IU alumnus who served as the inspiration for the movie’s main character, written by our friends at the Bloomington Herald-Times.

In 2004, when “Breaking Away” turned 25, the IU Newsroom encouraged fans of the movie to tour Btown through the lens of the movie, pointing out places, both on and off campus, where the movie was filmed. Feeling a little nostalgic, we at Btown Banter thought we’d share those places again for those who might’ve missed them 10 years ago or simply want to take another couple of laps around a movie that continues to maintain a special spot in campus and community lore.

Breaking Away tour of Bloomington

– Dave’s father, played by Paul Dooley, is a used car dealer who doesn’t appreciate his son’s aspirations. Today, his Campus Cars is home to the Perry Township government office. It is located at 1010 S. Walnut Ave.

– The Rose Well House, an open-air pavilion in the heart of campus, covers the original well for IU and was a gift from Theodore F. Rose in 1908. IU tradition holds that a female student is not officially a coed until she has been kissed beneath its dome at midnight. It also is the place where Dave confesses to his coed love, Katherine, played by Robyn Douglass, that he is not an Italian student but in fact a “cutter,” someone from the community, where limestone remains an important industry.

breaking away– The abandoned quarry where the four young local men talk about dreams and their futures today is off-limits to everyone because it is located on private property. Called either “The Long Hole” or “Sanders” quarry, it is owned by the Indiana Limestone Co. and is located on Empire Mill Road.

– The Commons of the Indiana Memorial Union, located at 900 E. Seventh St. on campus, is where Dave and his friends get into a fight with college students. It remains a gathering place today for many students and visitors to IU.

– The name of Delta Delta Delta sorority was temporarily changed for the making of the movie, but it is the place where Katherine is serenaded by Dave and Cyril. The sorority is located at 818 E. Third St. An online house tour is available online.

– The IU president’s office, where then IU President John Ryan announced that there would be a town team in Little 500, remains in Bryan Hall, located at the corner of Kirkwood and Indiana avenues near the Sample Gates. Those who knew Ryan, IU’s 14th president who passed away in 2011, will realize as they watch the movie that his voice was dubbed over.

– The restaurant where Dave and Katherine talk about their families and about Italy was known in 1979 as the Magic Horn restaurant and was located at 430 Fourth St. Today it is home to a Thai restaurant, Siam House.

– The Stohler home was located at 756 S. Lincoln St. and today is another family’s home.

– Little 500 race scenes were filmed in 10th Street or Memorial Stadium, where the IU Arboretum is now located. The last Little 500 race was held there in 1980, and the stadium was torn down in 1982. Today, the Arboretum is an ideal place for relaxation and study, with hundreds of trees and other greenery. It is located between the Main Library, the Radio-Television Building and the School of Health, Physical Education and Recreation. The LIttle 500 races are now held at Bill Armstrong Stadium on North Fee Lane.

The legendary "Cutters" from "Breaking Away," then and now.

The legendary “Cutters” from “Breaking Away,” then and now.

The TEDx factor

By now, I suspect you’re familiar with TED — the now 20-year-old event series that has spread knowledge and ideas to tens of millions of curious souls around the world. Perhaps you even have your favorite TED talk. (I’m partial to Susan Cain’s “The power of introverts” and Jill Bolte Taylor’s “My stroke of insight.”) Or maybe you have a friend or colleague who’s shared with you a TED talk he or she found particularly inspiring.

This year's TEDxBloomington event once again features a strong IU Bloomington connection.

This year’s TEDxBloomington event once again features a strong IU Bloomington connection.

If you’re like me, you’ve watched these videos in the privacy of your own home or workplace – not that there’s anything wrong with that. But there’s an X-factor to TED that even its most devout followers might not always recognize, one that organizers of this year’s TEDxBloomington event on April 26 — the third such event to be held in Btown in the past four years — are focusing on more than ever before: community building.

“We see the entirety of TEDxBloomington as an experience so far beyond watching individual videos on screen,” says event curator Luci McKean. “It’s about speakers interacting with attendees. It’s about attendees interacting with each other. It’s about connecting with one another.”

Naturally, McKean says, it’s also about IU. Nearly all of this year’s speakers have some sort of IU connection – they are faculty, students and alumni. The list of speakers includes, among others, Distinguished Professor of Sociology Bernice Pescosolido; T. Kelly Wilson, director of the IU Center for Art and Design in Columbus; Shahzeen Attari, assistant professor at the IU School of Public and Environmental Affairs; and Professor of Photography at the IU School of Fine Arts Jeffrey Wolin.

Despite the strong cream and crimson flair, though, McKean says TEDxBloomington isn’t your typical academic symposium, where there’s a theme and the academics sit together, maybe on a panel or in a VIP section of the audience, apart from attendees. Indeed, the intermingling of speakers and attendees differentiates TEDxBloomington from other TEDx events around the country and creates what McKean calls a “magical experience.”

“TEDxBloomington is designed to generate opportunities for all of our attendees to interact with our speakers, who sit in the audience during breaks, interact with attendees before and after their talks,” McKean says. “Everyone is encouraged to come back after breaks and sit in a different seat, view the event from a different perspective and with different people. It sets us apart, very dramatically, from other conferences.”

“The first year we did this event (2011), we had Gever Tulley, who’s spoken on the big stage at TED,” McKean continues. “He was so impressed with how we dealt with our speakers and how we put the show together.”

McKean says that this year, event organizers purposely only invited a couple of speakers from outside the state. “We were always showcasing talent,” she says, “but this year we’ve found so many people right here who had ideas worth spreading and that fit our theme.”

This year’s theme is: “What Goes ‘Round,” and presenters will talk about topics that are metaphorically or literally round, spherical, global or cyclical.

Fortunately, McKean and co. didn’t have to go far to find folks who could talk knowledgeably and spark discussion on these subjects. Perhaps the biggest X factor at all in TEDxBloomington’s favor? Being based in one of the nation’s premier college towns.

“Certainly people do TEDx events all over world, not just in university towns, but I wouldn’t want to try,” McKean says. “There’s such rich diversity of intelligent thought at IU and in Bloomington that our biggest problem isn’t having enough ideas, it’s having too many to choose from.”

Check out this Inside IU Bloomington story for more on TEDxBloomington and the IU connection.

TEDxBloomington will be held on April 26 from 10:30 a.m. to 5 p.m. at the Buskirk-Chumley Theater. Tickets are available here or at the BCT Box Office. 

Btown welcomes the king of the B movie

Just yesterday, I was talking to my dad about one of his favorite films: the 1979 cult classic “Rock ‘n’ Roll High School,” featuring the legendary punk rock band the Ramones. Dad was telling me about the day he and one of his middle-school teaching buddies decided it would be fun to show a particularly loud scene from the film to their fellow teachers, many of whom had grown up with Johnny Mathis, not Johnny Ramone, under the guise of a “teacher training” video.

Roger Corman will discuss his six decades in film IU Cinema on Friday, April 18.

Roger Corman will discuss his six decades in film at the IU Cinema on Friday, April 18.

Dad will be happy (and perhaps a little bit jealous) to hear that the guy who made possible that little act of teacher rebellion, the legendary filmmaker Roger Corman, will be here at the Indiana University Cinema this week. Corman, who has built a legacy that is unparalleled and helped launch the careers of a countercultural generation of filmmakers, will address his art and legacy during the latest Jorgensen Guest Filmmaker Lecture at 3 p.m. Friday, April 18.

Martin Scorsese. Frances Ford Coppola. Joe Dante. James Cameron. Ron Howard. Jonathan Demme. Peter Bogdanovich. All of these incredible directors graduated from the “Corman School” of filmmaking and learned the finer points of their craft from a Hollywood rebel who somehow managed to be among the most influential and prolific producer/directors in American cinematic history.

Like many others, I’m guessing, I associated Corman with low-budget B movies. It was only after hearing the two-time Academy Award-nominee Bogdanovich (“The Last Picture Show”) talk about Corman’s immense influence on his own work that I began to connect Corman with the masterful and path-breaking moviemaking for which he is renowned.

Bogdanovich’s talk also occurred at IU Cinema. Back in 2011, Bogdanovich helped dedicate a facility that’s quickly become a haven for the greatest living actors and filmmakers from around the world to share their insights and showcase their best works.

And sure enough, the king of the B movie gets an A-list warm-up act. Meryl Streep is here in Btown on Wednesday.