May 2002

            IUPUI’s Class of 2002 includes 3,768 earning Indiana University degrees and 939 earning Purdue University degrees -- more than 4,700 graduates in all.

            IU President Myles Brand will confer two honorary degrees at the May 12 commencement ceremony: the Doctor of Humane Letters degree to Rev. Boniface Hardin, founder and president of Martin University, and the Doctor of Laws degree to Hugh B. Price, president and CEO of the National Urban League.

            Our congratulations to one and all!

Governor Visits Center for Regenerative Biology

            Governor Frank O'Bannon recently held a news conference on campus to show Hoosiers what the 21st Century Research and Technology Fund means to jobs and Indiana's future.  The fund, created in 1999 but suspended this year because of the state's budget problems, provides grants to help commercialize science and technology as well stimulate entrepreneurial activity.  Among other projects, it provided $880,000 to the Center for Regenerative Biology at IUPUI, part of our Purdue School of Science, which explores the ability of some animals to regenerate limbs as possible treatment for human spinal cord and other injuries.     Governor O'Bannon, who wants to restore the fund, noted that “the success of projects such as this will lead to the creation of high-tech jobs, which diversify the state's economy and may stop some of Indiana's brightest college graduates from leaving to pursue careers in states where biotechnology and other high-tech industries flourish.”

IUPUI Program to Help Ease Science Teacher Shortage

            A pilot program at the School of Education at IUPUI is helping Indiana fill a growing need for qualified middle and high school science teachers.

            Our postbaccalaureate program for secondary science teachers enables those with a bachelor's degree in science to complete the requirements to become a certified teacher in one year.  Most programs require two years of study.

            Indiana has mandated that institutions which educate teachers implement 18-hour programs by fall 2003 as part of the Transition to Teaching program.  Our School of Education is the first to have a program up and running and is working on programs for English, math, social studies, and foreign languages.



IU’s Advanced Research and Technology Institute Has New President

            Mark S. Long, a molecular biologist and former director of technical operations in the Center of Technology Management at Washington University in St. Louis, is the new president of Indiana University’s Advanced Research and Technology Institute.  ARTI, a private not-for-profit organization, was established to assist IU researchers in bringing technology to market. 

            Mark will be responsible for supervising technology transfer, trademarks and licensing, and support for new start-up businesses.  Mark’s primary mission for ARTI is “to successfully ‘move’ technology from the research phase to the business phase, providing new jobs and new businesses in Indiana.”  Plans to develop a business incubator also will be an important factor in the success of the Central Indiana Life Sciences Initiative (featured in last month’s letter).


Nation’s Only Health Outreach Mapping Center Established at IUPUI

            Our IU School of Medicine, an international leader in medical informatics and health care outcomes research, and the Polis Center at IUPUI, a multidisciplinary urban analysis research center known for its applications of geographic information systems (GIS) technology, have  entered into a five-year contract with the National Library of Medicine, part of the National Institutes of Health, to develop the nation’s only National Outreach Mapping Center.

            The new center, housed at our Ruth Lilly Medical Library, will identify and track the special outreach efforts being made by all types of libraries nationwide on behalf of healthcare professionals and consumers.  Examples of these outreach efforts include teaching consumers to “quality filter” the web, supplying information access tools to rural health care providers, or working with local community groups to establish health information centers.

            The new mapping center will assist researchers to accurately target health outreach activities because they will be able to pinpoint exactly where the information is needed.


Medical Students Make “House Calls”

            IU School of Medicine students recently visited inner-city residents to deliver a healthy dose of assistance by sprucing up residents’ homes and yards.  Homeowners in the Haughville and Blackburn areas who requested assistance had student teams show up with yard tools, lawnmowers and weed trimmers.  As one Haughville community leader put it:  “Most of the people in this neighborhood, particularly the older folks, take a lot of pride in their homes, but because of their age, income and health, they just aren’t always able to make repairs and keep


their properties in the shape they would like. What the medical students are doing is invaluable - they’re helping give back that pride to my neighbors.”

            Spring House Calls is an annual program of the medical school’s Office of Medical Service-Learning.  Since 1996, nearly 500 students have volunteered about 5,000 hours of service to the near-westside community bordering the IU Medical Center.


Nursing Professor Develops Video Game to Help Girls Resist Smoking

            Nursing Professor Anna McDaniel has created a new video game “Escape from Nicotinia!” to help stop young girls from smoking.  Players navigate a variety of scenes in the city of Nicotinia (a giant, floating ashtray) to save their friend Cindy who tried a cigarette offered by Joe Tobacco.  Along the way, they learn the health and social consequences of tobacco use.

            Professor McDaniel tested the game at local Girls, Inc., community centers and found that antismoking attitudes were significantly stronger after playing.

            The project was funded by a grant from the Indiana Commission for Women and Indiana State Department of Health’s Office of Women’s Health.  The programming and graphic design were done by the Medical Education Resources Program through the IU School of Medicine.


Students Earn Prestigious Government Internships in Nation’s Capital

            Three students in our IU School of Public and Environmental Affairs at IUPUI have been awarded prestigious Presidential Management Internships, a fast-track program for entry into the management ranks of the federal government service.  We nominated three students for this national competition and all three made it – an unparalleled achievement for any university.

            Lincoln Capstick, who will graduate this month with a bachelor’s and master’s in public affairs, hopes to work in the Department of Defense or the State Department.  Wendy McLaughlin, a social worker who will receive her Master of Public Affairs in Non-profit Management, hopes to work in an agency dealing with education, health, or social services.  Emily Spencer, who graduated in December with master’s degrees in public affairs and philanthropic studies, would like to work on international issues.

            The PMI program selects only 400 graduate students from a nationwide pool of several thousand.  It was established by executive order in 1977 to attract to federal agencies individuals interested in a career in public service.  Applicants undergo a rigorous selection process that includes impromptu public policy presentations in front of federal employees.




IUPUI’s Math Assistance Center Helps Students Confront Math Anxiety

            In our latest move to help students succeed in their intention to earn a college degree, IUPUI has opened a Mathematics Assistance Center (MAC).  Nearly all students at IUPUI, regardless of major, must take at least one math course, and math anxiety can adversely affect their progress.  Approximately 14,000 students enroll each year in IUPUI’s math classes.

            In partnership with University College, home to most IUPUI freshmen, the Mathematical Sciences Department in our Purdue School of Science developed the MAC, which celebrated its formal grand opening on April 4 with remarks from Judith Ramaley, assistant director of the National Science Foundation for Education and Human Resources.  The former president of Portland State University is a national leader in improving math and science education.

            The MAC is designed to overcome students’ shyness about approaching instructors for help.  Students receive structured learning activities and programs, all in a technology-rich setting and all under one roof.  It offers 30 wireless laptops, delivering streaming video of supplemental lectures, electronic tutoring, and other instructional materials.  

            Open seven days a week, the center offers human help as well. In addition to math instructors, there are peer mentors, students who did well in a course and can guide others through the same course, and tutors, upper-level and graduate students who have high proficiency in mathematics.  Students off campus can access the MAC by logging onto the math department’s web site, where whiteboard technology lets tutors work with students on problems.

            More than 1,200 students went to the MAC for help during the fall 2001 semester, when it had just opened.  And student success in completing math courses (not receiving D’s, F’s, or withdrawing from courses) improved 7.5 percent last semester, compared to the fall 2000.  In some courses, the success rate improved as much as 15 percent.


            We are sorry to report that William A. Spencer passed away this month.  During his 25 years with IUPUI, Bill Spencer served as a special assistant to three IUPUI chancellors, Maynard Hine, Glenn Irwin, and myself.  A former media relations director for New York University, he was one of the architects of this monthly letter, the first of which was mailed in December 1976.  No one knew as much about IUPUI as he, and no one could have been more devoted to telling IUPUI’s story.  Even after retiring in 1991, Bill remained in touch, regularly coming to campus to see what was going on.  Bill will be very much missed by all of us.


                                                                                                                        Gerald L. Bepko