Liberal Arts Sabbatical Series Spring schedule announced

Professors in the IU School of Liberal Arts at Indiana University-Purdue University Indianapolis will discuss their sabbatical projects throughout the spring semester. Topics include delinquent youth in China, the deaf community in Kenya, online classes, humor in the classroom, and white masculinity in the television drama Scandal.

The series is free and open to the public. The lectures will take place from 4:30 to 5:30 p.m. in the IUPUI Campus Center (CE), 420 University Blvd.


Julie FreemanJulie Freeman
Wednesday, Feb. 1 (CE 307): Julie Freeman, English, “Ready or Not? Students Self-Assess Readiness for Online Learning.” Online classes are here to stay, but are students making informed decisions about whether online learning is a good fit for them? This study involved encouraging students to assess their readiness for taking online composition courses before they register.



Mike PolitesMike Polites
Friday, Feb. 3 (CE 309): Mike Polites, communication studies, “What If I’m Not Funny? Using Humor as a Teaching Tool.” Whether or not you are “funny”, you can be humorous in the classroom. Research has indicated a number of benefits including increased class cohesiveness, retention of material, and even stress reduction in students (Weimer, 2013). Learn how humor and teaching work together in the classroom from a faculty member who moonlights as a standup comedian.



Wan-Ning BaoWan-Ning Bao
Wednesday, Feb. 8 (CE 405): Wan-Ning Bao, sociology, “Delinquent Youth in a Transforming China.” A sharp rise in youth delinquency has accompanied China’s profound economic, social, and cultural transition. How does dramatic social change lead to a higher rate of delinquency? Is delinquency a coping strategy for stress?



Susan ShepherdSusan Shepherd
Friday, March 3 (CE 405): Susan Shepherd, English, “We are here! Counteracting Stigma in the Kenyan Deaf Community.” Deaf individuals in Kenya are marginalized and denied their basic human rights. How do traditional beliefs affect attitudes and how can this be addressed? Activist research addresses counteracting stigma and issues of empowerment, identity and access to education, healthcare, and employment in the Kenyan Deaf community.



Ronda henry AnthonyRonda Henry Anthony
Wednesday, March 8 (CE 405): Ronda Henry Anthony, English, “Shonda Rhimes’ Scandal and the Triumph of the White Masculine Ideal.” A socio-historical analysis of the philanthropic activities of African American entrepreneurs, the strategies that they used to achieve economic success in their business enterprises, and their ongoing struggle to attain economic independence and self-reliance.


Visitor parking is available for a fee in the Vermont Street Garage.

For more information or to RSVP, email

News Categories: Communication Studies | English | Sociology