Book explores teen novels’ portrayals of autism to help libraries choose wisely

By Rich Schneider, IU Communications Specialist

A new book detailing teen novels that feature characters with autism will help libraries select books that help young readers understand the disorder and foster acceptance, says one of the three authors, an associate professor at Indiana University-Purdue University Indianapolis.

“Autism in Young Adult Novels: An Annotated Bibliography” identifies novels published between 1968 and 2013 that have autism content and evaluates how the lives of characters with autism are portrayed, said Rachel Applegate, chair of the Department of Library and Information Science in the School of Informatics and Computing.

“This is a book that focuses on the autism spectrum, and there hasn’t been anything like it before,” she said

The target audience for the book is librarians who will be able to use it to select high-quality, engaging novels that positively and accurately portray autism and use those works to educate young adults about the disorder, Applegate said.

Awareness of autism has grown significantly, but teens often don’t know much about it, the authors said. With greater awareness and understanding comes greater acceptance, they said.

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Keeping the fun in family reunions

by Diane Brown, IU Communications Specialist

My family reunion is just a few days away.

Perhaps you are like me and look forward to such an occasion with a little bit of apprehension. Family get-togethers have the potential for making memories worthy of a Hallmark movie — or an episode of “Cops.”

One of the great things about working on a university campus is that you have access to outstanding professional minds who can shed practical insight on numerous life situations.

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Getting to know IUPUI’s new first lady

By Diane Brown, IU Communications Specialist

IUPUI first lady-select Niloo Paydar grabbed my attention and admiration during our first chat when I learned of her behind-the-scenes role in a critically acclaimed exhibit — one of my favorites — at the Indianapolis Museum of Art. Read more…

28 miles but worlds apart: life expectancy in Central Indiana

By Rich Schneider, IU Communication Specialist:

The saying that the rich get richer and the poor get poorer only tells part of the story.

The rich, or those who live in a community with greater access to health-promoting and health-protecting resources and opportunities, also have a greater life expectancy, according to “Worlds Apart: Gaps in Life Expectancy in the Indianapolis Metro Area.”

The report — produced by the Richard M. Fairbanks School of Public Health at Indiana University-Purdue University Indianapolis in partnership with The Polis Center at IUPUI — looks at the life expectancies of residents in 11 Central Indiana counties as well as smaller geographic areas within those counties.

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Reflections from the IUPUI White House

By Diane Brown, IU Communications Specialist:

Sandra Petronio, Chancellor Charles R. Bantz and family dog Arabella.

Sandra Petronio, Chancellor Charles R. Bantz and family dog Arabella.

Soon IUPUI will be under new leadership. Chancellor Charles R. Bantz will pass the baton to Chancellor Nasser Paydar in mid-August.

As a communications specialist, I had the honor of being backstage at the inauguration of Chancellor Bantz and his wife, IUPUI first lady Sandra Petronio. It would be my baptism into the world of the pomp and circumstance that comes along with such Indiana University occasions.

My memories of that event focus on the dynamics of interactions among the extended Bantz family as they proudly celebrated the accomplishment of one of their own, while recognizing the tremendous responsibility inherent in the mantle Bantz was accepting.

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Dream to publish book was 30 years in the making

By Rich Schneider, IU Communications Specialist and Rob Schneider, external affairs coordinator, IU School of Social Work:

Her first book took 30 years, but Katrina Patterson already has a second book in mind.

Patterson is the Bachelor of Social Work student services secretary and recorder in the Indiana University School of Social Work administrative offices at Indiana University-Purdue University Indianapolis, where she has worked for more than 20 years.

Her first book, “Ralph’s Journey to Babyland: A place for the night,” was published this year and is available on Amazon. The book tells the story of Ralph, a 10-year-old boy who is playing with his dog Sonic and loses track of time. Before he knows it, Ralph is lost and then walks through a cloud. What happens next is Ralph’s amazing discovery of a world of babies and the casual, free, candy-filled lives they live.

She got the idea for the book in 1985, while she was in high school. Patterson had completed an English assignment by writing a children’s book. She kept it, knowing that one day she wanted to do something more with it.

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Orange is the new look of New York Street as city reconfigures campus thoroughfare

By Diane Brown, IU Communications Specialist:

Let me say what everyone thinks when they first encounter all those orange-striped barriers blocking two left lanes of New York Street through campus.

What the heck!?

OK, maybe what they are saying isn’t quite that tame, but you get my drift.

What are those barricades? How long will they be in the way? When will we get back to four lanes of New York from White River Parkway to West Street?

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IUPUI campus art is a lot to be admired

By Diane Brown, IU Communications Specialist:

'Mother's Helper'

‘Mother’s Helper’

“Art washes away from the soul the dust of everyday life,” Pablo Picasso reportedly said.

A 16-foot highchair and a trail of brown ants are my favorite campus dust busters.

Perhaps your daily routine could stand a little dusting off. Let me prescribe a walking tour of the public sculptures on the Indiana University-Purdue University Indianapolis campus.

First stop should be that stone pyramid with a seasonal water flow. Wood Fountain — south of University Library along New York Street — is first and foremost a work of art.

The pyramid designers, Singh Associates, added the water function so it could also serve as a fountain. Singh is also the artist behind the geyser-like McKinney Fountain on the IU Bloomington campus.

Wood Fountain, completed in 1995, is one of 29 listed public sculptures on the IUPUI campus; others include the Chihuly DNA Tower at the IU School of Medicine and Punctuation Spire in the Campus Center. Some pieces are on loan, but many are owned by IU.

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Researcher looks at relationship between chronic pain and physical activity

By Rich Schneider, IU Communications Specialist:

Need another reason to get off that couch and be physically active? You may be more likely to develop chronic pain if you don’t.

An Indiana University-Purdue University Indianapolis researcher is studying the relationship between physical activity/fitness and the prevention or reduction of chronic pain among adults as they age. Such research could have a wide impact, given that as many as 100 million adults in the U.S. suffer from chronic pain.

Kelly Naugle, an assistant professor in the Department of Kinesiology in the IU School of Physical Education and Tourism Management, is studying systems in the body that reduce pain or amplify it.

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Corvette fever on Indy streets this weekend

By Diane Brown, IU Communications Specialist:

At first it was one car – white – behind me as I drove east on Crawfordsville Road headed to work Friday morning.

Soon I spotted two more vehicles from the famous Chevy family in the left lane – and then two more.

Then it hit me when I saw the line of Corvettes – make that parade of Corvettes — waiting to turn into the Indianapolis Motor Speedway at the 16th Street gate.

Must be a “Vette” show in town, I thought to myself.

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