Telling the inspiring story of a safe haven

“For me the office has really served as a home away from home. It’s kind of this place where I can be sure that there will be acceptance no matter what. No matter what problem I have or what issue comes up I can always come here and people will be very supportive and willing to listen and willing to help.” — IU Bloomington student Xander Harty. 

This week, IU Bloomington’s Gay, Lesbian, Bisexual, Transgender Student Support Services Office will celebrate 20 years of serving Xander Harty and other students for whom the office, at one time an unfathomable concept, has become a safe haven, a second home and a beacon in the fight for acceptance and understanding.

Some stories are so powerful and inspiring they deserve to be told in a way that goes beyond dates, soundbites and statistics, which is why my talented colleagues in the IU Bloomington Newsroom and with the Inside IU newsletter took the “long reads” approach to telling the tale of IU’s GLBT Student Support Services Office and the father figure who has so ably guided it since its inception, Doug Bauder.

Experience the full story package, which includes a number of anecdotes, photos and videos such as the one above, at the following link: https://iuglbtoffice-iucomm.creatavist.com/glbtanniversary

The story arrives just in time for the office’s 20th anniversary open house, which will be held on Wednesday, Nov. 19, from noon to 5 p.m. The event will include guests sharing memories of the office, food, prizes, a collaborative art project and more.

I hope you’ll enjoy the story and learning about the impact that this cozy house on the edge of campus has made on the lives of hundreds of students.

Says Bauder, “I try not to take it for granted. I wake up almost every morning thinking this is such a wonderful place to be. For me, it’s a calling. It’s absolutely what I’m supposed to be doing. I’m more convinced of that than ever.”

Reception to honor Herb Terry, Distinguished Service Award recipient

Herb Terry

Herb Terry

Guest post courtesy of Steve Hinnefeld, who normally writes at the Policy Briefings blog.

If there were a dictionary entry for “faculty governance at Indiana University Bloomington,” it would probably include a picture of Herb Terry, who was recognized for his long and steady service by being awarded the campus’s 2014-15 Distinguished Service Award.

The professor emeritus of telecommunications will be celebrated at a reception at 5:30 p.m. Tuesday, Nov. 18, at the Indiana Memorial Union Federal Room. Hosting the event are Provost and Executive Vice President Lauren Robel and Vice Provost for Faculty and Academic Affairs Tom Gieryn.

Friends who plan to attend may RSVP to vpfaa@indiana.edu.

Terry retired in 2012 but has remained a key member of the Bloomington Faculty Council. He was president of the council in 2013-14 and serves this year as a member of its executive, budgetary affairs, faculty affairs and nomination committees.

“Herb Terry has been the face, the voice and the heart of faculty governance at IU Bloomington for decades,” Gieryn said in announcing the award in July. “I know well, from close personal experience, how deftly he negotiates the best interests of the university. He is a model for getting things done, and I cannot imagine a more deserving recipient of this award.”

Terry characteristically deflected credit. “While I am honored to receive this award, it is really an award for all of the people throughout IU that I’ve worked with for almost 40 years,” he said. He added, “Effective shared governance is crucial to the success of the university, and I’m pleased that it’s being recognized through this award.”

Terry joined the Department of Telecommunications faculty in 1974 and was first elected to the Bloomington Faculty Council in 1983. He previously served as its president 2008-09. He was co-secretary of the University Faculty Council, which represents all IU campuses, in 2008-09 and 2013-14.

A first-generation college graduate, Terry developed a passion for service when he joined the American Association of University Professors while a doctoral student at the University of Minnesota. An expert on electronic media law and policy, He has worked in the former Soviet Union and other nations in transition to help create environments favorable to independent media. His international experiences led to his appointment as founding director of the College of Arts and Sciences’ Global Village Living Learning Center, which marks its 10th anniversary this year.

Investing in IU’s compelling research story

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

Education. Service. Research.

The work of all universities is embodied by the first two of those three words. At Indiana University and its peer universities across the country, however, faculty research rounds out the tripartite missions of these institutions.

Research is a large economic driver at institutions such as IU, bringing hundreds of millions of dollars a year into the state and supporting a significant number of jobs.

Research is a large economic driver at institutions such as IU, bringing hundreds of millions of dollars a year into the state and supporting a significant number of jobs.

This work – done across a spectrum of disciplines, encompassing the physical sciences, social sciences, arts and humanities – is pursued by talented and dedicated scholars and researchers, and provides many of the basic intellectual discoveries that serve as the foundation for life-saving medical treatments, life-changing technological advancements and life-enhancing knowledge. Indeed, well over half of all basic research in the United States that results in commercial products, technologies or therapies is performed at universities.

Research also is a large economic driver at institutions such as IU, bringing hundreds of millions of dollars a year into the state and supporting a significant number of jobs. For example, IU researchers spent $533 million on their work in fiscal year 2014, and that total has exceeded $500 million annually for the past four years.

The lion’s share of that funding comes from federal agencies such as the National Science Foundation and the National Institutes of Health, which are charged with supporting basic research that helps advance the nation’s vital interests. This infusion of financial support is an important driver of IU’s economic impact on the state – which exceeds $10 billion a year when taken together with our healthcare partner Indiana University Health.

As you might imagine, a research enterprise of this magnitude is complex. Competition for funding at a time of dwindling public funding is especially fierce, which makes effectively communicating the breadth and value of IU faculty research more important than ever.

At IU, that work traditionally has been done by skilled communicators embedded across the university in our various schools, as well as in our campus and university research organizations and the office of public affairs. That work routinely results in interesting stories about breakthrough research at IU, which often is shared through the media and regularly pushed out by the university through our social media channels.

I’m extremely proud of our efforts to share IU’s outstanding research story, but we know there is more to do, and we have taken an important first step in raising our game in this area by creating the university’s first-ever manager of research communication.

This position, a cooperative venture between the offices of Public Affairs and Government Relations and the Vice President for Research, will lead a coordinated university-wide effort to better communicate the scope and impact of IU’s research enterprise to key audiences. Steve Chaplin, a veteran science writer at IU, has moved into this new role and we will be adding another science writer in the office of public affairs to further bolster our efforts.

Veteran IU science writer Steve Chaplin is IU's first-ever manager of research communications.

Veteran IU science writer Steve Chaplin is IU’s first-ever manager of research communications.

Our intent is to do more than just tell individual success stories about research grants, but rather to leverage our communication resources to highlight broad themes and areas of expertise as they relate to IU’s research enterprise across all our campuses. We also intend to do more to show the real-world impact of IU research, which is vitally important at a time when funding sources are under considerable stress.

And we don’t intend to stop there.

Research communications will continue to be a top priority across the university, and we will be examining every aspect of how we do this work – from staffing to story selection to distribution to how we work with researchers to help them become better advocates for their work.

IU has a great research story to tell. And we intend to do a great job of telling it.

IU student veterans and the ‘experience of war’

This book is to be neither an accusation nor a confession, and least of all an adventure, for death is not an adventure to those who stand face to face with it. It will try simply to tell of a generation of men who, even though they may have escaped shells, were destroyed by the war. 

– Epigraph to Erich Maria Remarque’s “All Quiet on the Western Front” (1929)
310882_w296

Si sta come
d’autunno
sugli alberi
le foglie

We are like
the leaves
on the trees
in autumn

– From “Soldati” or “Soldiers” (1916) by Italian modernist poet Giuseppe Ungaretti 

This afternoon, on Veterans Day and as part of IU Bloomington’s yearlong commemoration of the 100th anniversary of the start of World War I, three IU student veterans will gather in, fittingly, the Great Room of the Hutton Honors College to share their thoughts on what soldiers-turned-authors Remarque and Ungaretti so artfully expressed — the weight of war and, more specifically, how war affects and changes the perspectives of those who play a role in it.

The student veterans scheduled to offer their experiences and perspectives on war and life in today’s 3 p.m. roundtable discussion are:

Once thought to be the war that would “end all wars,” World War I instead triggered many other conflicts, and the concepts it introduced (modern-day warfare, ethnic nationalism, political extremism, terrorism and more) are now commonplace in today’s global vernacular. Not to be forgotten, though, is the physical and psychological impact of what the Great War and subsequent conflicts have had on those who, willingly or unwillingly, have participated in them.

“World War I was the first war that utilized modern technology and warfare,” says Andrea Ciccarelli, dean of the Hutton Honors College and coordinator of IU’s World War I commemoration. “Soldiers were exposed for the first time in history to constant artillery bombardment, and yet they also were facing a brutal man-to-man combat experience. These daily experiences caused more stress to the troops than in previous wars, and for the first time malaises such as shell shock — which later would evolve into post-traumatic stress disorder  — were diagnosed.

“Today’s warfare in certain areas of the world, despite sophisticated equipment and technology, lead to similar situations for our soldiers, who are forced to manhunt in difficult terrains and conditions.”

IU student veteran and former U.S. Navy intelligence analyst Anthony Arnold will participate in a roundtable discussion at IU Bloomington about the "experience of war."

IU student veteran and former U.S. Navy intelligence analyst Anthony Arnold will participate in a roundtable discussion at IU Bloomington about the “experience of war.”

As a personal aside, I’m proud to be part of a campus that has consistently been ranked as one of the top colleges in the nation for veterans,  offers a full suite of services, such as scholarships and other financial support, to assist our military students and their families, and regularly salutes the military service of Hoosiers here at IU and around our state.

All members of the campus community are invited to the student veteran roundtable discussion today at the Hutton Honors College, at 811 E. Seventh St. in Bloomington.

Visit IU’s World War I website for more information on all of the commemorative events and activities.

All abuzz about Jonathan Banks

For a guy who’s built a career in film and on TV for playing sinister types and villains, including Mike Ehrmantraut on the award-winning TV drama “Breaking Bad,” Jonathan Banks seemed to have no trouble embracing the part of happy homecomer during a whirlwind visit to IU Bloomington last week.

Breaking Bad actor Jonathan Banks mugs in front of a video camera follwing the ceremony to formally dedicate IU's new Media School.

Actor Jonathan Banks mugs in front of a video camera following the ceremony to formally dedicate IU’s new Media School.

Best known for his memorable roles in “Breaking Bad,” “Community” and “Wiseguy,” Banks got his start in acting while a student in Btown in the 1960s. At the time, he appeared in a production of “Threepenny Opera” with fellow IU alumnus Kevin Kline, who was here just a few weeks ago.

If it seemed like Banks was everywhere during his return trip home, which happened to coincide with IU’s 2014 Homecoming celebration, that’s because he was. Speaking at the inauguration of the new Media School and dedication of a new sculpture of Pulitzer Prize-winning journalist Ernie Pyle. Meeting with IU President Michael A. McRobbie. Conducting a master class with IU theater students. Riding with his daughter in the annual homecoming parade. Cheering on the Hoosier football squad. Delivering an inspiring talk at IU Cinema. Recording a new public service announcement. Posing for pictures with IU students thrilled to be in the presence of such an accomplished actor, who was anything but the bad guy he frequently plays on screen.

Everywhere he went he was warm and gracious, but not unwilling to spread a little tough love here and there, like when he implored students to watch out for the dangers of alcohol and talked passionately and forcefully about the need to care for and respect one another.

“Jonathan’s main motivation to return this week is to connect with theater students, both at the graduate and undergraduate level,” Jon Vickers, director of the IU Cinema, said prior to Banks’ visit. “He has told me several times how important his time here at IU was to him. He feels that he may be able to offer the students some wisdom collected from his 40-plus years in the business.”

Banks didn’t disappoint. And his message, delivered in his unmistakable, serious, deep-throated voice, couldn’t have been lost on anyone: “Be kind, don’t lie.”

Here’s hoping Banks will be true to his own word and bring more of his own kindness back to Btown very soon.

In the meantime, here’s a sampling of various tweets chronicling Banks’ memorable and inspiring homecoming.

King Kevin returns

Don’t call him stupid. Call him Dr. Kevin Kline.

The man who brought us the clueless criminal Otto from “A Fish Called Wanda” and has famously portrayed Shakespearean kings, pirate kings and presidents, among many other classic characters of the stage and screen, made a triumphant return to Indiana University Bloomington this afternoon, earning standing applause for a new honor to accompany his Oscar and two Tony Awards.

Kevin Kline displays his newest honor -- an honorary doctorate from Indiana University.

Kevin Kline displays his newest honor — an honorary doctorate from Indiana University.

“It all did start here,” Kline said upon receiving an honorary doctoral degree from his alma mater and the place where he launched a remarkable acting career still going strong in its fifth decade.

That was just one of several memorable lines the living legend shared during his post-degree conferral Q&A session with Jonathan Michaelsen, chair of the Department of Theatre, Drama, and Contemporary Dance, who led the audience through a retrospective of Kline’s most well known (and a few lesser known) roles and allowed Kline to reminisce fondly about his days as an IU student. 

Of note, Kline said:

  • “The American Olivier,” as he was famously dubbed by New York Times theater critic Frank Rich, “hated” Shakespeare in high school. Then he took a Shakespeare class at IU, where he became fascinated by the Bard and learned to really focus on the true meaning behind Shakespeare’s lofty language.
  • He got his acting start in the “small” T300 classroom, located in the University Theatre Building.
  • As a student, he was inclined to mimic the masters, asking himself how actors like Marlon Brando or Jimmy Stewart would approach a particular role. While studying at IU, he quickly learned how to be the “author of your own work.”
  • Improv contributed to the success of “A Fish Called Wanda,” for which he won the 1988 Academy Award for Best Supporting Actor. As an IU student, he honed his improvisational talent while performing sketches at the Owl, a one-time Btown coffee shop, and at the neighboring Brown County Playhouse. (Kline will appear at a special screening of “Wanda” this evening at IU Cinema.)

Kline will remain in his old stomping grounds tomorrow for a master class with IU theater students. He’ll also get to spend time with his friend and fellow actor, IU Professor Robby Benson, who was instrumental in bringing Kline back to Btown. Then it’s on to yet another challenge.

But he won’t be able to leave IU too far behind. In a few weeks, Kline will begin filming a new movie, starring opposite another recent IU honorary degree recipient: Dr. Meryl Streep.

A best value

For the second straight year, Indiana University Bloomington has been recognized by Washington Monthly for being one of the nation’s top values in higher education.

In its 2014 “Best Bang for the Buck” rankings, which are based on the economic value students receive per dollar, the non-profit publication that covers Beltway politics and government, culture and media ranked IU Bloomington eighth among larger national universities and 20th among the 1,540 universities and colleges it reviewed. Among larger national universities, IU Bloomington was once again tops in the Big Ten, followed by Rutgers University (14) and Purdue University (19).

IU Bloomington has once again been named a best value by Washington Monthly magazine.

IU Bloomington has once again been named a best value by Washington Monthly magazine.

While rankings only reflect part of the overall college experience, it’s satisfying to see such recognition for IU’s commitment to keeping a quality education affordable, which includes recent efforts like the new “Finish in Four” program and several initiatives designed to help keep tuition costs low and control student debt levels.

The rankings appear in the magazine’s September/October issue. Go here to read more about the methodology behind and insights into the rankings.

Making a caring culture the “norm”

Guest post courtesy of IU Bloomington student Rachel Green, who is a senior advisor to Culture of Care

College is a time for learning, exploration and self-discovery, for forging new and lasting friendship, for developing strong mentoring relationships — and it’s often a time for partying and late-night adventures.

Rachel Green has been involved with IU's Culture of Care as a director, co-chief and now senior advisor.

Rachel Green has been involved with IU’s Culture of Care as a director, co-chief and now senior advisor.

Often, when students leave for college, they think “Freedom! Finally!” now that parents and guardians are no longer watching over them. Although college is a time for learning, navigating these new freedoms can be challenging.

During my experience at IU, I’ve seen a number of students struggle for different reasons. Some of my fellow students have abused alcohol to the point of getting so sick I’ve had to hold their hair back as they puked onto the concrete. Others have struggled with anxiety, depression, overwhelming sadness or alcohol abuse. I’ve also personally seen how sexual violence has taken a toll on someone’s emotional well-being and ability to be successful at school.

The student founders of the Culture of Care program felt that these experiences shouldn’t be considered normal. They created Culture of Care Week at IU in the spring of 2012 to raise awareness about issues related to mental health, drug and alcohol abuse, sexual assault and discrimination, with the overarching message to students to help one another. To not be idle bystanders. To intervene on behalf of one another.

In short, the goal of Culture of Care is to engage students to create a safer IU Bloomington community.

Over the past year and a half, Culture of Care has grown into a campus-wide, student-led, staff-supported initiative housed under IU Student Association Special Projects. We have four focus areas: sexual well-being; drug and alcohol awareness; respect; and mental health awareness. Our goal is to connect students to the multitude of on-campus resources available and to spread awareness about our four focus areas through a speaker series, workshops, training through our Step Up IU Bystander Intervention Program and our annual Culture of Care Week. We also maintain visibility on campus by handing out information at highly populated areas on campus.

The Culture of Care vision is to create a campus where students have the courage to care about one another.

Transforming the culture through the “courage to care”

I have been involved with Culture of Care since the fall of 2012 as a director, co-chief and now senior advisor. Through my experience leading Culture of Care, I have learned that the hardest challenge facing this organization as well as IU Bloomington and college campuses as a whole is the slow nature of culture change and the simultaneous necessity of culture change if we want to live in a healthy, safe, caring and productive society.

We live in a world where, when a party guest has drunk so much that she becomes physically ill all over the sidewalk, other party guests excuse her behavior saying, “Everyone has those days.” What kind of culture is that, where drinking to the point of physical illness is a normal and acceptable way to socialize on a weekend?

To me, it is terrifying that it’s acceptable for “everyone” to have those days. Those days are dangerous! Those days can result in serious injury or death! Those days should not be normal.

This is a cultural issue that spans generations of Americans. It cannot and will not be fixed in a few years with a few thousand T-shirts handed out with information at tables across campus. The students who started Culture of Care, the leaders currently on campus, the freshmen who have just arrived — none of them will likely see a total transformation of IU’s culture.

It will be a gradual, slow process. We’re taking steps in the right direction by talking to students face-to-face about bystander intervention; explaining what mental health stigma is and how to reduce it; providing clear definitions of consent; and talking with students about real-life situations so they can treat their sexual partners with respect. Our goal is to educate students with information about the resources and help available to them on campus. If we can create a culture where the “norm” is for students to intervene when they see someone in need, we can work to address the root cultural problems that condone dangerous binge drinking, violent and aggressive sexual behavior, and discrimination against people because of their race, sexual orientation or religion.

Culture of Care is taking steps to engage students in creating a safer environment, one in which students have the courage to care. We want students to feel empowered to act when they see another in need.

These steps are new on such a large scale and with such widespread administrative support for a student-led organization, but they are not new for IU. The university has been committed to providing a safe, rewarding campus atmosphere for students for years. What makes Culture of Care unique now is the level of collaboration and coordination among different entities across campus. I am so incredibly proud and grateful to be a student at IU during this critical point in time and to be able to offer my time and passion to help make IU an even better place for students for years to come.

Learn more

Those interested in learning more about Culture of Care should check out our website at http://care.indiana.edu. We also have a Facebook and Twitter. Please email if you have any questions or want to get involved: iucultureofcare@gmail.com.

Student groups, professors, student organization leaders can request a Culture of Care – Step UP! IU bystander intervention training to teach students who to step up and help intervene. Request a presentation here.

Rolling out the Big Red carpet

We’re still basking in the glow of Move In Day here at IU Bloomington and the fun, energy and excitement that comes with welcoming all of our new and returning students, their families and their loved ones to campus. As this video, courtesy of your friendly neighborhood IU Newsroom attests to, there truly is nothing like a warm Hoosier welcome to IU’s best and brightest.

A big Btown welcome!

It’s hard to believe it’s back-to-school time in Bloomington – that time of year when those of us who stick around during the quiet summer months start to gear up for the impending onslaught of students arriving on campus, busier streets and sidewalks, louder, more crowded restaurants and, yes, fewer parking spaces.

I admit, this is that time when I start pining for a few more weeks of summer to bask in that parking spot right behind my office building and the short line for my coffee and bagel at the Bloomington Bagel Company.

And then it happens: Smiling students and their families snapping selfies at the Sample Gates. Incoming freshmen happily meeting one another for the very first time. The looks on the faces of those students’ family members – a unique combination of pride, happiness and anxiousness. A parent stopping to comment on the stunning beauty of the Bloomington campus.

For us longtime IU Btown folks who’ve experienced more than a few back-to-school extravaganzas, it’s easy to forget what a special and momentous time this truly is for IU students and their families and loved ones.

Here in the IU Newsroom, we talk a good deal about what it means to our students to be joining (or rejoining) the IU community and the power of being part of its proud traditions. Many of us are alums who have fond memories of our days spent as students. Some of us have seen our own children follow in our footsteps or look forward to a time when they will.

Also not to be overlooked is the time and energy that dedicated IU Bloomington staff put into welcoming the campus’s new and returning students and the programs that have been carefully constructed to enable IU students to better connect with the people, places and services that can ensure a positive overall college experience. Indeed, the events and activities that make up IU Bloomington’s “Welcome Week” – including popular traditions like Freshman Induction, which, remarkably, began 80 years ago; CultureFest, a celebration of the many cultures represented at IU; and Traditions and Spirit of IU – have become vital components of a campus culture that emphasizes caring and community, engagement, personal responsibility, safety and Hoosier spirit.

Says Melanie Payne, senior associate director of IU’s First Year Experience Programs and director of New Student Orientation, “Welcome Week is more than a schedule of events. By going to events of Welcome Week – academic, social, large, small, required and optional – they are meeting people, learning the campus and exploring what is here to help them be successful as Hoosiers.”

While popular traditions like Freshman Induction, which will formally welcome the class of 2018, will continue this year, Welcome Week also will weave in messages and activities highlighting efforts related to IU Bloomington’s Culture of Care, a student- and staff-led initiative to foster greater care and awareness in the areas of sexual well-being, drug and alcohol usage, mental health and respect.

“Building upon messages from New Student Orientation of safety, community, personal responsibility and the Indiana Promise, we want our newest Hoosiers to understand they are part of a community that takes care of one another,” Payne says. “We hope to help them to be compassionate, engaged, aware members of the IU and Bloomington community by connecting with each other and their surroundings.”

As the Bloomington Herald-Times reported today, IU’s new international students are being made to feel at home through orientation and transition activities organized by the Office of International Services, First Year Experiences and Residential Programs and Services. They and other new students from Indiana and around the nation will have the opportunity to further acquaint themselves with IU through the popular RecFest, job fairs, open houses, Taste of the IMU (Indiana Memorial Union), academic advising opportunities, IU Guides support, IUBeginnings trips and numerous fun events, including late-night movies and shopping trips and the annual Welcome Week concert. A new social media contest even asks students to upload their favorite move-in images to win prizes.

IU’s newest students are already giving back, too. This year’s incoming class started its giving spirit at New Student Orientation by collectively donating 3,085 pounds of food to Hoosier Hills Food Bank to help feed the area’s hungry. What’s more, IU’s orientation staff expect that hundreds of new Hoosiers, who will participate in New Student Service Day, will donate their time to the Bloomington community, working with local agencies, to serve others in many different ways.

All in all, the events and activities of Welcome Week, which officially begins Wednesday, Aug. 20, are enough to excite even longtime Hoosiers like myself and infuse them with some serious IU pride.

A complete Welcome Week schedule is available online.