Chancellor Charles R. Bantz
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Greetings from IUPUI

September 2007

“It wasn’t so much what I learned at IUPUI, it was how I learned. Don’t get me wrong, you learn a lot in new media and informatics. But, even more, you learn how to grow, to adapt, to keep learning...”
- Remarks of Tony Cardinali, IUPUI alumnus and Video Production Expert for Medical Animatics

Medical Animatics is a company formed by CEO Harlon Wilson and fellow alumni of the IU School of Informatics at IUPUI. Their college experience of practice-based education, internships, peer networking, and professional mentoring was the foundation for the entrepreneurial venture, which recently announced that two former Anthem/Wellpoint executives and “angel” investors, Jane Niederberger and Barbara Kew, will serve as chair and vice chair, respectively, of the Board of Directors.

Harlon Wilson, age 38 and a high school dropout, worked 14 years in the medical field, but began to doubt career prospects would blossom without further education. He came to IUPUI, where he earned bachelor’s and master’s degrees in new media. Here, the world-savvy entrepreneur-in-the-making met younger tech-savvy classmates who became partners in a company that, among other products, creates 3-D computer demonstrations which help physicians communicate complex procedures to patients.

Harlon Wilson’s story is a microcosm of IUPUI today.

The “nontraditional” student, mid-career, seeking graduate/professional training, or returning to college after an absence, attending part time, working full time, used to be the majority of our students. But the Harlon Wilsons at IUPUI now find that the campus has become very attractive to traditional-age full-time students as well.

This fall, 71 percent of our students are full time—up from 57 percent in 2000—a reflection of IUPUI’s national reputation as a campus where undergraduates find outstanding programs—service learning, undergraduate research and creative projects, learning communities, and first-year experiences—that lead to successful degree completion and well-prepared alumni for Indiana’s workforce.

And, just as Harlon Wilson and his fellow-graduates-turned-partners, are all central Indiana natives, 97 percent of our students are Indiana residents.

Although the start of the fall semester brings an extra measure of excitement to life at IUPUI, it has not been an uneventful summer. IUPUI has been much in the news.

The Chronicle of Higher Education published “Thinking Locally, Acting Globally,” featuring IUPUI’s international partnerships—most prominently the AMPATH collaboration on HIV/AIDS with Moi University in Kenya—but also programs in Mexico and China. Incidentally, the Academic Model for the Prevention and Treatment of HIV/AIDS, as our multidimensional effort is known, has been nominated for a Nobel Peace Prize, along with its founder, “retired” physician, Dr. Joseph Mamlin.

John Krauss and his colleagues from our Center for Urban Policy and the Environment will provide expert analyses for the bipartisan Indiana Commission on Local Government Reform, appointed by Governor Mitch Daniels. It is cochaired by Indiana Supreme Court Chief Justice Randall Shepard and former Governor Joe Kernan. Recommendations are due out in a report to be made later this year.

Yingzi (Eliza) Du, assistant professor of electrical and computer engineering, was named one of 33 recipients of the prestigious 2007 Office of Naval Research Young Investigators award. She received a $300,000 grant to develop a video surveillance system for homeland security that uses biometrics (iris recognition) to identify people.

Loren Field and six IU School of Medicine faculty affiliated with the Wells Center for Pediatric Research and Riley Hospital for Children received an $11.5 million National Institutes of Health grant to study the causes of heart failure in children.

Ghassan Kassab, who holds the Thomas J. Linnemeier Guidant Foundation Chair in Biomedical Engineering, received $250,000 in BioCrossroads seed funding for his LumenRECON device, which measures blood vessels when placing cardiac stents.

Professor Kassab and other IUPUI colleagues, such as Ali Jafari, inventor of web-based teaching/learning environments for educators, are among the hundreds of faculty to be highlighted in our Translating Research into Practice (TRIP) initiative. Jafari will be among those participating in an upcoming colloquium on translational research scheduled October 15 at IUPUI as part of “Celebrate IU Week,” a series of events including the inauguration of IU President Michael McRobbie.

Watch for details in next month’s “Greetings from IUPUI.”

Charles R. Bantz


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