Groundhog Day and the genius of IU students

This morning one of my much younger IU Newsroom colleagues asked me when I graduated from college, and when I answered “1994,” there was a brief moment when she looked like the groundhog who, earlier today, saw his shadow.

“Wow,” she said, “that’s over 20 years ago,” and suddenly I was the one who wanted to run back to his burrow.

Time has a way of passing quickly when you live and work in a college town like Bloomington. And yet looking on the sunny side on this dreary Groundhog Day, being part of such a vibrant, energetic, powerful place as IU Bloomington also keeps you feeling young.

I’ve written in this space before about how continually amazed I am by the people you stand next to in line for coffee every morning, many of whom, you come to find out, are world-renowned researchers and/or the best teachers around. Well, I can easily say the same thing about IU students, who, in their own right, are sometimes even more inspiring. Which brings me back to age and a question I repeatedly ask myself: How is it that so many 19- and 20- and 21-year-olds can be so intellectually curious, so actively engaged on campus and in their communities, so creative, so courageous and already so skillful with still so much time and learning ahead of them?

Being part of a university community also means that we often take for granted what goes on here day after day after day. So today, to celebrate Groundhog Day and the genius of IU students, I thought I’d shine a light on a few recent undergraduate-led projects, each of which reflects just how much IU students enrich the Btown campus and community and, in turn, how the experience they’re given here is preparing them for successes they’re certain to repeat over and over again.

IU Bloomington undergrad stories:

Two undergraduates from the College of Arts and Sciences at IU Bloomington have teamed up with Professor of Germanic Studies Fritz Breithaupt on research in the field of storytelling, including what we learn from stories, how we pass them along and why we preserve them.

IU Bloomington honors students in an “Intro to Psychological and Brain Sciences” class worked last year to build a palm sweat sensor device to measure the effects of various stimuli on the brain.

IU undergraduate Christina Moe is working in the Walczak Lab at IU Bloomington. Moe was recently featured in a LabTV segment in which she described her genetics research into how cells are supposed to properly divide and how she hopes her work will help identify treatments for cancer and other diseases where there are problems with cell division.

And, finally, students in IU Bloomington’s new Media School are taking a course in 3D cinematography, in which they’re learning how 3D film can significantly enhance the storytelling process and the impact it can have on building the professional portfolios of aspiring filmmakers.

Check out the new IU Bloomington YouTube channel for more videos about the Bloomington campus experience.

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