The Center for the Study of Religion and American Culture …

by Caroline Ralston

Established in 1989, the Center for the Study of Religion and American Culture sought to better understand and educate others about religion in North America. Executive Director and Chancellor’s Professor Philip Goff, who joined the staff in 2000, says the program has two different missions for its two different audiences.

"Our academic mission is to do top-notch research in order to understand the complexity of religion in North America," Goff said. "In addition, we’re dedicated to educating the broad public. We want to come out of the ivory tower and have public teaching programs to help the average person …read more..


Manga sparked IUPUI student’s interest in Japanese culture …

by Ric Burrous

Kelcie Benson was born and raised in northeast Indiana, but a trip to her middle-school library in Whitley County opened up another pathway that intrigued her: exploring the world.

On that library trip, Benson discovered a type of Japanese comic called manga, and her curiosity led to doing research on that country’s culture and language. A flame had been lit.

When Benson enrolled at IUPUI, she chose to study global and international studies and Japanese studies. That path led her to Hakuoh University in Japan, where she immersed herself in all things Japanese in a long-term …read more..


Sisters share international experiences

by Ric Burrous

For a lot of IUPUI international students over the years, IUPUI has offered a home away from home while they pursue their academic dreams. But for sisters Megan and Hannah Ishikawa, IUPUI has offered an opportunity to embrace international life on campus, even though the two consider themselves Hoosiers.

Megan is currently a student in the School of Medicine, while Hannah, a School of Liberal Arts graduate, is now working in France as an English teaching assistant. The two spent most of their undergraduate years as residents of International House, which this year …read more..


Glimpse of history paves way to bright future …

by Ric Burrous

Transporting readers to the past has gone a long way toward expanding Elizabeth Cotter’s future.

Cotter was one of 31 students nominated for the 2015 Jim Murray Memorial Foundation Judges’ Choice Scholarship. Her essay on the dedication of IUPUI’s new Campus Recreation Outdoor Facility and joint celebration of the renowned Dust Bowl, located near the eventual home of the campus, earned her the $5,000 award in the national competition.

Elizabeth CotterElizabeth Cotter’s writing earned national acclaim.

Cotter, a journalism student and the sports editor for the online …read more..


IUPUI PR grad watched the world at United Nations Population …

by Benjamin Cooley

Firefighters, police officers, nurses, astronauts: they’re the stereotypical childhood dream jobs. But for Tejaswini Vavilala, an IUPUI Department of Journalism and Public Relations master’s graduate, such aspirations never seemed to fit. Her goals were much more specific, yet equally important.

Tejaswini VavilalaTejaswini Vavilala worked as an intern for the media and communications branch of the UNFPA in New York City. | PHOTO COURTESY DEPARTMENT OF JOURNALISM

“My dream has been to get into the U.N., and I’ve always been interested in nonprofit communications,” said Vavilala. “From …read more..


Freshman political science major running for City-County Council …

John and Eddie BarnesJohn and Eddie Barnes

by Ric Burrous

It’s not unusual for college students majoring in political science to consider careers in politics. It’s just that most of them think about careers after they earn their degrees.

But Edwin Barnes, known around the IUPUI campus as "Eddie," isn’t your usual political science major. The School of Liberal Arts freshman is already on the ballot for the May 5 primary election in Marion County, running as a Democratic candidate for the Indianapolis City-County Council. Since Barnes …read more..


Masarachia Scholars work to improve Indianapolis, society

Sam Masarachia Scholars ProgramSam Masarachia Scholars Program

Sam Masarachia had a dream, a dream of building a cohort of students armed with skills to change society. Masarachia was a World War II vet honored with four bronze stars. He later became an advocate for unions and senior citizens. In 1999 he endowed the Sam Masarachia Scholars Program in the IU School of Liberal Arts at IUPUI, which provides full tuition to students interested in careers that focus on labor, senior citizen and community advocacy. Masarachia …read more..


Two sisters travel different paths to graduate school at IUPUI …

partnershipFrom left: Mariana Lopez-Owens, Micaelaleft(mother), sister Karla,  sister Claudia

Turning a new land into new opportunities has become old hat to Karla and Mariana Lopez-Owens.

The two sisters, both IUPUI graduate students, came to the United States at ages 8 and 7, respectively, traveling from Mexico with their mother, Micaela, and older sister Claudia (then 9), when Micaela realized the few dollars she earned as a single mother each month was not enough to sustain her family. A trip that started in December 1999 led to the …read more..


Partnership links to global opportunities

partnershipFrom left, Jennifer Williams, Pat Fox, Claudia Grossmann and Terri Talbert-Hatch.

by Ric Burrous

A partnership linking the School of Engineering and Technology and the Department of World Languages and Cultures in the School of Liberal Arts has given four IUPUI students intriguing international experiences as they prepare to graduate in 2015.

dual-degree program between the engineering school and German, Spanish and French language programs opened the doors to the internships. Three of them, Brian Knip, Eduardo Salcedo and Jesus Roman, worked with the Bosch Engineering …read more..


Van De Voorde Recognized with Schultheis Award for Outstanding Staff …

Staff Appreciation Luncheon on November 24thEllen Van De Voorde, Bill Blomquist

Ellen Van De Voorde, Associate Director of Finance and Administration, received the Don Schultheis Award for Outstanding Staff Members for her service at the annual School of Liberal Arts Staff Appreciation Luncheon on November 24th.

As associate director of finance and administration, Van De Voorde’s is responsible for human resources within the school as well as payroll for liberal arts employees. She also assists the assistant dean for finance and administration …read more..


Tezanos-Pinto sweeps awards at Foreign Language Conference

Rosa Tezanos-PintoRosa Tezanos-Pinto

Rosa Tezanos-Pinto, associate professor of Spanish and director of the Latino Studies Program in the IU School of Liberal Arts at IUPUI, was recently honored for excellence, sweeping the teaching awards at the 2014 Indiana Foreign Language Teacher’s Association (IFLTA) Conference.

Tezanos-Pinto was selected as Indiana Teacher of the Year (Collegiate Level) and Overall Indiana Teacher of the Year (all levels). She will represent the state of Indiana at the Central States Teacher of the Year competition. She was also selected as Teacher …read more..


Youth philanthropy group one of seeds planted in community by …

Jill GordonJill Gordon

by Ric Burrous

Jill Gordon first got exposed to philanthropy in the late 1990s as an IUPUI undergraduate student in the School of Liberal Arts and as a Sam H. Jones Service Scholar in the Center for Service and Learning.

Gordon quickly figured out that she had career aspirations in the field of service and nonprofits, feelings that grew nearly a decade later as a master’s student in IUPUI’s museum studies program, also in Liberal Arts. But Gordon never imagined that she might …read more..


Tezanos-Pinto follows passion, makes difference in other’s lives …

Jill GordonRosa Tezanos-Pinto, Associate Professor of Spanish and Director of the Latino Studies program in the IU School of Liberal Arts at IUPUI

By April Klingler, Liberal Arts News Bureau

For Rosa Tezanos-Pinto, Associate Professor of Spanish and Director of the Latino Studies program in the IU School of Liberal Arts at IUPUI, studying South America and its people and teaching others about Latin American literature and culture is her passion and her vocation. 

Originally from Lima, Peru, Tezanos-Pinto’s education brought her to North America …read more..


Student Council wins recognition, supports Liberal Arts students through funding, …


The notion of student government is alive and thriving in the IU School of Liberal Arts at IUPUI.

For Kendrea Williams, an Africana Studies major who graduates in August and the 2013-2014 Liberal Arts Student Council (LASC) president, student government provided an opportunity to serve and represent IUPUI students while also honing leadership skills.

“I wanted to be engaged with an organization that focused on supporting the students and their activities on campus and off campus, in addition to ensuring that the students had access to professional development opportunities and exposure to a diverse array of events,” Williams says.

Representatives …read more..


Summer course takes students into the world of Parisian Impressionism …

Paul Signac (French, 1863–1935), Opus 217Paul Signac (French, 1863–1935), Opus 217. Against the Enamel of a Background Rhythmic with Beats and Angles, Tones and Tints, Portrait of M. Felix Fénéon in 1890

A summer II session history course in the School of Liberal Arts at IUPUI will take students out of the classroom and into the Indianapolis Museum of Art to study firsthand the impact urban Paris played on Impressionist artists and the artists’ role in Parisian society.

Cultural History of Modern France-Impressionism (History B421) begins Tuesday …read more..


Davis continues “telling stories” in new novel

The Devil Likes to Sing - Thomas J. Davis

If suddenly confronted with the devil and a proposition to fulfill your dreams, would you take it? A new novel by Thomas J. Davis, professor of religious studies and associate dean for academic affairs in the IU School of Liberal Arts at IUPUI, puts his protagonist in that very position and ponders the sacrifices people are willing to make in order to succeed.

The Devil Likes to Sing (Cascade Books) tells the story of Timothy McFarland, a failed theology student who begins writing fiction. Feeling he’s a hack, McFarland strikes a deal with Lucifer, who offers to shape him …read more..


Subramanian brings expertise to Film Studies program

Subramanian Janani

By Lauren Stone, Liberal Arts News Bureau

The lights in the classroom are off, the blinds closed. The elegant noise of the title music seeps from the speakers. Anticipation mounts. Dr. Janani Subramanian understands the joy that comes from watching films. She is, after all, a Film Studies professor.

As a young child, Subramanian was first attracted to film when she watched Return to Oz. "It frightened me, but at the same time, I really liked it." As a teenager, she felt a curiosity about movies such as Indiana Jones and Star Wars. Though she didn’t know how significant film would become …read more..


Exhibit showcases artwork of campus literary magazine


For four decades IUPUI, students, faculty and staff have had an opportunity to read two copies each year of the campus literary magazine, genesis.

Some have had the opportunity to write poems, short stories and essays, or create the artwork that gives the publication its unique look. And a select few have even been paid for their creations, as each recipient of the magazine’s bi-annual “best of” category award receives $100 for his or her work.

Genesis was born in 1972 as a joint venture of the English and philosophy departments in the School of Liberal Arts, according to longtime faculty …read more..


Student Spotlight: IUPUI senior to perform in upcoming Shakespeare production …


William Shakespeare is about to make another theatrical debut, thanks to IUPUI’s New Oxford Shakespeare project and its theatrical arm, Hoosier Bard.

And, once again, with the help of talented and enthusiastic students like Keegan Cooper, Hoosier Bard is making theater come to life on the IUPUI campus.

Cooper, a senior in the IU School of Liberal Arts and an award-winning English major, is looking forward to his second gig as both actor and crew member in Hoosier Bard’s fourth major Shakespeare production, “Arden of Fevershame,” opening April 3 in the Clowes Auditorium at the Indianapolis Central Library.

Cooper is …read more..


Economics professor is one of the country’s most successful runners …

Paul Carlin

Paul Carlin is used to finish lines, but the economics professor in the School of Liberal Arts has got a big one coming up in May: retirement.

Life outside the classroom is taking a different shape these days for Carlin, who has tapped a passion from the past—long-distance running—for his post-retirement enjoyment.

At age 68, Carlin has become one of the country’s most successful runners in his age group.

Carlin admits even he finds it unusual. “I ran in college (while a student at Tufts University), but I was no great shakes,” he said. “After college, …read more..


ASL continues to be a growing segment in IUPUI’s World …

American Sign Language

Helping people communicate effectively is often a popular career choice, and that applies to those whose skills include American Sign Language, one of the growing segments in IUPUI’s World Languages and Cultures department.

The ASL/English Interpreting Program, which includes classes in ASL, has been part of IUPUI’s communications training programs for more than a decade. Last July, it found a home in the World Languages department, a “good fit” for the ASL program, according to director Janet Acevedo.

Interpreting between ASL and English is a significant skill, Acevedo said, and not easily acquired.

“You cannot read about …read more..


Faculty Spotlight: Powell, Williams bring teaching careers to a close …

Jim Powell

Jim Powell and Anne Williams, senior lecturers in the Department of English, brought their distinguished teaching careers to a close following the fall 2013 semester. Both spent over 25 years teaching at IUPUI, acting as advisors to the literary journal, genesis, and playing important roles in creating classes and opportunities for students.

Powell began teaching part time at IUPUI in the spring of 1982. During his career at IUPUI he taught various freshmen composition courses and creative writing and literature classes.  During much of his teaching career, he was also the executive director at the Indiana Writers Center. As …read more..


Alumni Spotlight: Retired respiratory therapist graduates with bachelor’s degree after …

Sharyn Murphy

After retirement Sharyn Murphy wanted to do more with her life. What started as an inquiry about Spanish classes at IUPUI’s Center for Adult and Lifelong Learning (CALL) led her to begin the journey of her lifelong dream of attaining a Bachelor of General Studies (BGS) degree from the IU School of Liberal Arts. 

Murphy’s educational journal is similar to many of the stories shared by returning adult learners in the General Studies Program.

Following high school, forty-five years ago, Murphy began undergraduate classes in Indianapolis at what was then known as the IU Extension, the early precursor …read more..


Featured Institute: Institute for American Thought, The power of ideas …

Ray Bradbury

Rubbing “intellectual elbows” with great minds from America’s past is a daily challenge and responsibility for the men and women who comprise the Institute for American Thought. But according to Marianne Wokeck, the institute’s director, it’s also a labor of love.

“It’s an amazing experience to study the work of great philosophers and writers,” Wokeck said. “Their writings make them truly inspirational figures.”

The Institute for American Thought team has an opportunity to work closely with some of the best and brightest from such diverse fields as philosophy, literature, politics, religion, science and other areas of inquiry along the spectrum …read more..


Alumni Spotlight: Robert Villarreal (BA, English/Philosophy, 2013)

Robert Villarreal

After high school graduation Robert Villarreal found himself staring into the ice-packed undercarriage of an automobile, an auto technician dodging droplets of melting snow filled with road salt, grime, and other unsavory debris. He was unhappy and knew something had to change.

The change arrived when Villarreal became a student in the IU School of Liberal Arts and discovered a new purpose-educating himself so he can educate others.

He found a passion for writing thanks to Professor Gail Bennett-Edelman’s W390 Writing for Social Change course. "W390 showed me how important rhetorical considerations are to writing, and how important the …read more..


Featured Center: The Polis Center is gearing up for its …

POLIS logo

The Polis Center will celebrate its silver anniversary in 2014, and the organization has packed a lot into 25 eventful years.

Polis has literally written the book on its home city, the highly regarded “Encyclopedia of Indianapolis.”

It did a well-regarded study called the Project on Religion and Urban Culture, which helped launch an 18-year-and-counting success story called the Spirit & Place Festival, expanding the city’s cultural foundation and creating partnership opportunities for dozens of civic, social and cultural organizations.

And it helped create IMAGIS, a digital survey of city maps, water systems, infrastructure and other types of data that give …read more..


Faculty Spotlight: Professor Terri Bourus has spread of her love …

In addition to performing and directing stage production, Terri Bourus is one of the editors in the New Oxford Shakespeare Project in compiling a groundbreaking new edition of

For a guy who is coming up on the 400th anniversary of his death, William Shakespeare is pretty “hot,” to borrow a bit of Hollywood terminology.

And one of the hot spots for the world’s most famed playwright is IUPUI, home of The New Oxford Shakespeare and Hoosier Bard Productions, two of the elements that are putting this campus in the Shakespearean spotlight.

It seems ironic that four centuries after he lived, Shakespeare’s life and work remain a bit shrouded in mystery. He is credited for some of history’s greatest plays, yet manuscripts that he wrote or co-wrote continue to …read more..


Student Spotlight: Senior Jacob McDaniel’s ‘discovery of faith’ has led …

Jacob McDaniel visited Sugar Loaf Mountain (background) beside Guanabara Bay during World Youth Day in Brazil.

Reaching out to help others is as natural as breathing for IUPUI student Jacob McDaniel, a senior in philosophy in the School of Liberal Arts.

Sometimes, McDaniel’s efforts involve serving as an academic mentor. Other times, it means joining one of IUPUI’s many civic engagement programs. Still others involve getting involved with individuals through the Archdiocese of Indianapolis and its work on the IUPUI campus.

The last one is becoming first in McDaniel’s heart. The Michigan City native originally came to IUPUI to check out the forensic sciences program and eventually migrated to chemistry and mathematics. But in the last couple …read more..


Faculty Spotlight: New book explores Spectral Journeys of Dunsany, Lovecraft, …

Modern works of the supernatural are increasingly considered to be more than just entertainment. Indeed, a growing body of serious critical study on writers of the weird tale suggests that such stories speak to the modern condition.

In his new book, Lord Dunsany, H. P. Lovecraft, and Ray Bradbury: Spectral Journeys (Scarecrow Press), William Touponce, professor emeritus of English in the IU School of Liberal Arts at IUPUI, examines these three writers and how their stories comment on modernity and capitalism throughout the twentieth century. He also traces the development of supernatural storytelling over the course of the century.

The …read more..


Faculty Spotlight: Professor helps bring local history to forefront …

Writing Local History

A new book co-authored by Thomas Alexander Mason, a history faculty member within the IU School of Liberal Arts at IUPUI, will help guide non-academic writers as they research, write, and attempt to publish local history narratives. The local history field has seen a recent resurgence, spurred by grassroots movements and trying times that echo those seen in the early 19th and 20th centuries during the Progressive Era, a time period when the field flourished.

Writing Local History Today: A Guide to Researching, Publishing, and Marketing Your Book (Rowman & Littlefield) features topics such as identifying an audience; working with …read more..


Featured Center: University Writing Center

University Writing Center

The University Writing Center helps students from across the IUPUI campus as they work on papers and projects. At the Center, experienced faculty and student consultants guide students through the writing process in a stress-free environment. In 2012, a record 8209 were served at the Writing Center’s two locations with 63% of visits coming from departments and schools outside of the English department.

A Writing Center strength is the collaboration that takes place between faculty and student consultants, as student consultants provide services to other students while developing their own skills. In order to be eligible for a Writing Center …read more..


Student Spotlight: Karlie Vida

Karlie Vida

Karlie Vida, a history and art history double major at IUPUI, was a senior in 2013, but won’t graduate until the spring of 2014. "I’ll be running a victory lap," she says with a laugh, "on my way to graduate school in art therapy." Her decision to be a double major stems from her two favorite subjects in high school: history and art.

Originally from Clare, Michigan, Vida wasn’t initially interested in coming to Indiana for college. But when a friend of her father, a graduate of the Herron School of Art and Design, recommended IUPUI, she decided to check …read more..


Faculty Spotlight: John McCormick

John McCormick

The news coming out of Europe in recent years has not been good: high unemployment, recession, austerity, threatened bank collapses, and speculation that the bold experiment of the euro might be on the verge of collapse. But an IUPUI professor of political science argues that the pessimism is misplaced and it is well past time to get the debate back on a productive track.

In his new book, "Why Europe Matters: The Case for the European Union" (Palgrave Macmillan), John McCormick argues that the European Union is widely misunderstood—on both sides of the Atlantic—and that the debate has for too …read more..


Student Spotlight: Graduate student Rachel Zajac continues to lead the …

Rachel Zajac has set several school records in both cross country and track for the Jaguars, but has made her mark in other campus activities, too.

As an IUPUI cross-country runner, Rachel Zajac is used to running up front—she holds school records for the Jaguars and has numerous awards for her accomplishments.

But Zajac, a graduate student in communication studies, is a leader in other aspects of campus life, too. She is a Top 100 student, has been honored five times as the Summit League Athlete of the Week for her sport, earned her second All-Conference honor from the league this month, and has won multiple academic honors from The Summit League and College Sports Information Directors of America.

It’s been quite a career for the …read more..