Visual communication design class plays role in zero-waste initiative at IU Natatorium

By Rich Schneider, IU Communications Specialist:

The Indiana University Natatorium will make sustainability history June 18 when it begins operating as a zero-waste athletic facility for the 2016 Olympic Diving Trials.

It  will be the first athletic facility in Indiana to achieve zero-waste goals and the first host of an Olympic event to have a zero-waste designation.

Zero Waste infographicBeing a zero-waste venue means that by weight, 90 percent of all waste must be recycled or composted. Only 10 percent may be disposed of as trash. In a typical trash can , about 75 percent of what has been thrown away is recyclable, while another 20 to 25 percent is compostable.

A number of athletic facilities, particularly at the collegiate level, have tried to reach zero waste, but many have fallen short. But staff at the IU Natatorium and the Office of Sustainability at Indiana University-Purdue University Indianapolis are confident the initiative will succeed.

That confidence springs, in part, from the work done by a Herron School of Art and Design visual communication design class.

Led by assistant professor Pamela Napier, the students were asked, among other things, to design signage that would guide athletes, fans and others to use not only trash and recycle bins, but a third kind of bin that was added for the zero-waste initiative: compost bins.

The project was a natural fit for Napier’s class, which emphasizes community-engaged service learning for students.

“I am always looking for community partners, people who have a problem they need help with, and that gives my students real-world experience,” Napier said.

The students’ efforts began with intense research, including field research in which one student team went to the Indianapolis International Airport to watch people as they used trash and recycling stations to understand their habits and behaviors, Napier said.

“One of the things we’re really trying to instill in the students in our program is using people-centered design, which focuses on the active inclusion of users and stakeholders throughout the design process,” she said. “Rather than the students making assumptions, like “we need to have all visuals on the signage,” they engaged in a lot of generative and evaluative feedback to make sure what they were creating was appropriate.”

“One of the interesting things the students found was that there is a split second to capture people’s attention when they are standing at a trash or recycle station and thinking ‘what do I do with this?'” Napier said.

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Theme of art exhibit by Herron faculty member and other artists tied to Indianapolis 500

By Rich Schneider, IU Communications Specialist:

Several artists, including Herron School of Art and Design faculty member Danielle Riede, have their work on display at an exhibit in Indianapolis that takes as its theme the 100th running of the Indianapolis 500.

The name of the show, “Asphaltum,” makes the connection between these two very different worlds: It is named for a component used both in pavement and in artists’ materials. In this case, Asphaltum is bringing together artists with work that expresses ideas related to auto racing and the Indianapolis 500.

wingspan

One of the pieces you can see at the “Asphaltum” show.

The exhibit is at the Schwitzer Gallery on the second floor of the Circle City Industrial Complex, at the corner of Massachusetts Avenue and 10th Street. The facility was constructed in the 1920s by Louis Schwitzer, winner of the first automobile race at the Indianapolis Motor Speedway and the engineer behind the famous “Marmon Wasp” engine that propelled Ray Harroun to victory in the first Indy 500.

“Last year, I went to the Indy 500 for the first time and experienced the race,” said Riede, a painter/installation artist and an associate professor at Herron. “I was really blown away by the sheer speed of it, so much so that I almost felt like I was in a video game. It was just really shocking to me.”

“When I went, I really couldn’t believe it. I think maybe if you have grown up going to the race, maybe it wouldn’t feel so impactful, although I can’t presume to know how other people might feel about the race,” Riede said. “But it’s nearly impossible when you’re up so close to focus on the cars zooming by.”

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An undelivered speech for a shining moment in baseball

By Diane Brown, IU Communications Specialist

Many of Martin Luther King Jr.’s words, such as “Letter from Birmingham Jail,” “I’ve Been to the Mountain Top” and the famous “I Have a Dream,” are defining moments in American history.

But in a twist of fate, the brilliant orator never delivered one speech he wrote specifically to mark a special night in history. Read more…

New Center of Earth and Environmental Science director connected to soil

By Rich Schnieder, IU Communications specialist:

Soil has always been a presence in the life of Pierre-Andre Jacinthe, who recently took over the reins of the Center on Earth and Environmental Science at IUPUI.

It was the agricultural land around Arcahaie, the village in Haiti where he grew up, that gave the community and its residents a special identity. About 60 percent of the cropland surrounding the village was devoted to what the growers claimed were the tastiest plantains in Haiti.

Plantains and Arcahaie had been closely linked since the time of French colonization, said Jacinthe, an associate professor in the Department of Earth Sciences in the School of Science.

And with that came a reputation of sorts, he says: “If you go anywhere in Haiti and say you are from Arcahaie, they will say, ‘that’s a plantain guy.'”

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IUPUI student-activist onstage for Oscar moment to be remembered

By Diane Brown, IU Communications Specialist

Traveling to California to appear onstage with Lady Gaga during her performance at the 2016 Oscars isn’t a bad way for a college senior to spend a weekend.

And when you’re told not to worry about what to wear since the Academy would take care of your wardrobe, well, that’s enough to give any girl visions of Dior, Gucci or Stella McCartney.

But any dreams IUPUI student Kiratpreet Sandhu might have had of wearing a heavily embellished gown by Armani or a diamond necklace by Harry Winston gave way to the reality of wearing an orange top, jeans and a denim jacket — typical campus dress.

The 2016 Oscars

The 2016 Oscars

They wanted her group to dress like ordinary college students, Sandhu learned. Her bling for the evening were the words “Not Your Fault,” written on her right arm with a black Sharpie.

But how did Sandhu, a 21-year-old majoring in philanthropic studies and women’s/gender studies at Indiana University-Purdue University Indianapolis, come to share the stage with Gaga during the star’s powerful performance of “Til it Happens to You”?

If you haven’t heard, Sandhu was among the 50 survivors of sexual abuse who took to the stage during the last verse of the song, which was nominated for Best Original Song.

The piece was written by Gaga and Diane Warren for “Hunting Ground,” a CNN documentary about campus sexual assault and how universities across the United States handle it.

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Knowledge gained from graduate psychology program guides CEO through tough times

When Kevin Kabat was pursuing his graduate degree in industrial/organizational psychology at the School of Science at IUPUI, little did he know the knowledge he was gaining would someday help him steer a major financial organization through a global economic catastrophe.

As the chief executive officer of Fifth Third Bancorp, Kabat did just that. His guiding hand and belief in his employees helped the corporation survive the darkest days of the Great Recession beginning in December 2007.

Kabat realized that a key to Fifth Third’s survival was keeping loyal staff on board. Despite concerns from board members and investors about the costs, he insisted on support for employee training programs, believing that it would not only help the company retain its best employees but improve operations as well. His plan worked.

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Looking back at Black History Month 2016

By Diane Brown, IU Communications Specialist

Another Black History Month has ended, and it’s time for me to take inventory of speeches attended, movies viewed and books read as part of my personal celebration of the occasion.

Mind you, I don’t limit my study of and musings over African-American contributions, achievements, struggles, etc. to the month of February. But I do use the month as an opportunity to tackle something out of the ordinary. Read more…

A bucket list for Black History Month

By Diane Brown, IU Communications Specialist

If you’re looking for something special to do in observance of Black History Month, you might want to put attending the IUPUI Steward Speakers Series Feb. 22 event on your 2016 bucket list.

The evening includes dinner and a lecture featuring Grammy-winning hip-hop artist and actor Common. Read more…

‘The People v. O.J. Simpson’ turns 21

By Diane Brown, IU Communications Specialist

The television series “American Crime Story: The People v. O.J. Simpson” premiered this week. It was a reminder that it’s been 21 years since the day I sat in on O.J. Simpson’s trial for the murders of his second wife, Nicole Brown Simpson, and a restaurant employee named Ronald Goldman.

My, how time flies.

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Jane Schultz helps bring historical accuracy to Mercy Street, PBS’ new Civil War drama

By Rich Schneider, IU Comunications Specialist

When Jane Schultz, professor of English and medical humanities and director of literature in the School of Liberal Arts at IUPUI, was asked to be a historical consultant for “Mercy Street,” a PBS Civil War medical drama series, she said she would think about it.

“I did so, for about three seconds,” Schultz said. “It seemed a wonderful way to bring the history of Civil War hospitals and medicine to a wider public.”

That was the same goal set by “Mercy Street” producer Lisa Wolfinger, who told the L.A. Daily News, “We just thought, ‘Let’s do something set in the Civil War from the vantage point of these doctors and volunteer nurses.’ Because it’s never been done. It’s never been told.”

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