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.'”

Read more…

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.

Read more…

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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A tale of two universities, shared values and passions

By Diane Brown, IU Communications Specialist

From left, Joseph Hayes, Aaron Hart, Zeb Davenport, Jing "Claire" Zhao, Sandra Lemons, Sara Dickey traveled to China to visit Sun Yat-Sen University in December.

From left, Joseph Hayes, Aaron Hart, Zeb Davenport, Jing “Claire” Zhao, Sandra Lemons, Sara Dickey traveled to China to visit Sun Yat-Sen University in December.

“It was a phenomenal trip, better than I imagined it would be,” said IUPUI Vice Chancellor for Student Affairs Zeb Davenport.

He was referring to a late-December visit to Sun Yat-Sen University, IUPUI’s strategic university partner in Guangdong, China.

Coming from a student affairs professional known nationally for his expertise in creating out-of-classroom experiences that are culturally responsive and engaging for students, Davenport’s words say a lot about the trip’s success.

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To Star Wars and Hot Cars

By Diane Brown, IU Communications Specialist

With Christmas just days away, classes out until the New Year, and workplaces operating at holiday speed, let’s make this posting merry, short and bright. No heavy intellectual stuff to confuse minds already absorbed with last-minute shopping and trips to the post office.

Instead, let’s turn our attention to things that are grabbing the headlines: toys and movies. We can simplify that even more by focusing on hot cars and “Star Wars.”

Read more…