Take a look back at some of the most popular stories from 2013

Dec. 19, 2013

As we approach the one-year anniversary of Inside IU Bloomington, which debuted on Jan. 10, 2013, we're taking a look back at some of the top stories of the year.

The debut issue included Provost Lauren Robel’s first “From the Desk” column (see this issue’s FYI category for her latest column); a story about two staff members who’d lost weight through healthful lifestyle changes, and kept it off; the chance to win tickets to see Joshua Bell with The Cleveland Orchestra at IU Auditorium; and a Jacobs School student’s video cover of Gotye’s “Somebody That I Used to Know.”

Throughout the year, we’ve noted that beyond giveaways for tickets or apparel, the most popular stories are typically about IU policies, health, food and relationships. People also seem to love archival photo galleries and animals: Our "Squirrels of Bloomington" photo gallery was one of the most popular features in the Oct. 24 issue, which is why we thought we'd check back in with our fuzzy friends this month to see them frolicking in the snow.

As always, we want to hear from you: Please submit your story suggestions about faculty, staff, students and alums who are doing interesting things, share news about cool classes, programs or exhibitions, and let us know of events or workshops of particular interest to faculty and staff.

Year in review: Some of 2013’s top stories

dance party

Earlier this year, Justin R. Garcia, evolutionary biologist and researcher at The Kinsey Institute, conducted research on how college students negotiate relationships and sexuality.

Is dating dead?: In January, Justin R. Garcia, evolutionary biologist and researcher at The Kinsey Institute at IU Bloomington, and a research team examined how college students negotiate relationships and sexuality. "If we're going to take college health seriously, we have to think of the context in which dating, love and sex occur. This is the context college students are experiencing -- hookups first and then 'maybe' relationships," Garcia said. "We need to understand the physical and psychological consequences, both positive and negative."

Long-distance mentor: "Without Dr. Beggs, I could not have made such progress,” then Horace Greely High school senior Jiayi Peng said about her mentor, John M. Beggs. Through email and Skype, the IU physicist began mentoring Peng when she was 15 years old. She went on to win the $50,000 second-place prize in the national Siemens Competition in Math, Science and Technology.

Reducing waste: Tracy James, senior news and media specialist at IU Communications, followed an effort on behalf of campus dining halls to reduce food waste. By going trayless, one group was able to save about 25 pounds of food, each meal, from being thrown away.

“Who da King?”: Fans flocked to the IU Auditorium in February to catch the always popular “Monty Python’s Spamalot,” a loving rip-off of the brave and gallant knights of olden times and internationally known British comedy super group Monty Python. Staff and faculty also had a chance to win tickets to the performance through Inside IU Bloomington.

Megan Van Pelt

A snapshot of Megan Van Pelt's storybook-style video she created to describe "Why I Choose to Teach."

“Why I Choose to Teach”: Then-sophomore Megan Van Pelt celebrated winning the 2013 "YouTube Video Sensation Contest” in February. Her video, on the theme “Why I Choose to Teach,” featured drawings and crafts to illustrate an original poem about how teachers can inspire and motivate students to learn.

A new model for student services: In March, a new student services center opened on Indiana University's Bloomington campus, combining customer service operations for the offices of the Registrar and Student Financial Assistance. "It streamlines these necessary processes for students, as cross-trained staffers can assist with both registration and financial aid issues,” said David Johnson, vice provost for enrollment management.

Mourning Chief Keith Cash: The community was saddened and shocked by the unexpected death of IU Police Chief Keith Cash, who passed away March 20 of natural causes. "Keith served Indiana University with enormous distinction and honor for nearly three decades, culminating in a highly successful, and all too short, tenure as chief," IU President Michael A. McRobbie said.

Group workout: Fitness and wellness experts agree that group exercise engaged in with others and led by an experienced leader is one of the best ways to both begin a regular exercise routine and stay motivated to continue. Last spring, Recreational Sports touted more than 80 weekly group exercise sessions available to faculty, staff and students.

Brilliant Minds of Bloomington: Sparked by his daughter’s excitement about the story of ancient Greek mathematician Archimedes, Ryan Piurek, director of the News and Media team with IU Communications, blogged in April about The Brilliant Minds series, which highlights some of the fascinating research and creative activities taking place on the IU Bloomington campus. 

Ashley Hastey

Ashley Hasty in one of the purple dresses she wears each April to bring awareness to Crohn's disease.

Purple Dress Project: Ashley Hasty, lecturer in IU’s Department of Apparel Merchandising and Interior Design, continued her campaign to bring awareness to Crohn’s disease. Through the Purple Dress Project conceived in 2011, Hasty, who struggled with the disease, wears a purple dress every day in April to draw attention to the disease and those who suffer from it.

Truman Scholar: In April, Rahaf Safi, an Indiana University Bloomington junior from Plainfield, Ind., was named a 2013 Truman Scholar. She was one of only 62 undergraduates from 54 U.S. colleges and universities to receive the award. "I am excited to meet the other Truman Scholars and learn about their experiences,” Safi said. “IU is a great university that has provided me with the opportunity to interact with amazing faculty and staff and has given me the chance to turn my ideas into action."

The gender gap: In April, Tracy James blogged about an IU study that found that mothers are more likely than other employees to leave jobs in male-dominated fields, a trend not seen in balanced or female-dominated occupations. "Mothers were 52 percent more likely than other women to leave their jobs if they were working a 50-hour week or more, but only in occupations dominated by men," said Youngjoo Cha, assistant professor in the Department of Sociology at IU Bloomington. "Many of these are lucrative fields, such as law, medicine, finance and engineering."

Spotlight on Christina Abossedgh: In May, law school student Christina Abossedgh was featured as a student spotlight. The New York native discussed how she chose Maurer School of Law, tips for aspiring lawyers and her then-upcoming trip to India.


Students play bridge in the Indiana Memorial Union on Jan. 28, 1948.

Flashback: IMU: Readers took a look back at the Indiana Memorial Union through a black-and-white photo gallery provided by the IU Archives. The IMU has 500,000 square feet of space, making it one of the largest unions in the world.

Opus 91: In May, Latonya Yarbro wrote about the Opus 91 -- a massive pipe organ that was added as one of the final touches of the IMU Alumni Hall renovations. Custom-built in 1987 for the home of the late Jacques M. Littlefield, the organ boasts 44 stops, 56 ranks and 2,838 pipes.

A course in country music: Although not originally drawn to country music, Nathan Gibson, with a pompadour and tasseled shirt, looks the part of country music superstar. Previously living in Helsinki, Finland, the St. Louis native moved back to Bloomington last summer to teach a course on country music.

Sample Gates: Now complete, the Sample Gates area was still full of construction cones and men at work in the summer. The project featured brick replacement by the gates, which Tom Morrison, IU’s vice president for capital planning and facilities, said would make the pathway safer.

Parking on campus: Faculty and staff were able to learn exactly how much they would be paying to park on campus during a June feature outlining permit renewal and alternates lots to use during construction at the Herman B Wells Library.

Saying goodbye: In July, Matthew Auer, then dean of the Hutton Honors College, said goodbye to IU after 18 years to work at Bates College. "My preparation for a new challenge is fundamentally a result of experiences working with Hutton staff and faculty who have high expectations of themselves, their dean and of HHC students,” Auer said.

Racial segregation: The case of a neighborhood watch member shooting and killing a 17-year-old in Florida dominated the country last summer. In July, IU law professor Jeanine Bell wrote an op-ed piece about that young man’s death and what she saw as the root of the incident -- continued racial segregation of housing in much of the United States.

Susan Gubar.

Susan Gubar, distinguished professor emerita of English at IU.

“Madwoman” to “Debulked” woman: As the new fall semester rolled in, Deborah Galyan, director of communications and marketing in the College of Arts and Sciences caught up with Susan Gubar, distinguished professor emerita of English at IU, who taught in the College for more than 36 years. Gubar, author of “The Madwoman in the Attic,” is now retired being diagnosed with ovarian cancer. In 2012 she published "Memoir of a Debulked Woman," recounting her odyssey “from the world of the healthy to the domain of the ill.”

Expanding services: More doctors, diagnostic tools, eyewear shopping opportunities and free parking awaited Community Eye Care Center patients after the Indiana University School of Optometry expanded its services at Atwater Eye Center.

Wells Scholars: In August, IU announced 18 entering freshmen and two current IU students were named Wells Scholars. The scholarship, created in honor of the late IU Chancellor Herman B Wells, ranks among the most competitive and prestigious awards offered by any American university.

Canning summer produce: Trying to consume all the fruits and vegetables that are in season can be overwhelming, but in August, Inside IU Bloomington readers received some tips on canning produce for colder months. They included how to prepare food for storage and store food at the right temperatures, as well as recommended storage times.

USS Indiana: Readers learned all about the prow of the World War II battleship USS Indiana, which was dedicated in a ceremony before an IU vs. Navy football game in September. The last ship to be named for the Hoosier state, the USS Indiana served in the Pacific during World War II.

Jeffrey Huber

Jeffrey Huber, former U.S. Olympic coach and head coach for diving at IU.

Jeffrey Huber: Jeffrey Huber, a former U.S. Olympic coach and head coach for diving at IU, joined the Department of Psychological and Brain Sciences faculty as a professor of practice in the fall. "He takes a scholarly -- and heart-felt -- approach to the application of psychological principles to real-world challenges facing elite athletes and coaches. This is exactly what you'd expect of a professor of practice,” said department chair William Hetrick.

September scenes: Lily pads in the Arboretum, the Herman B Wells sculpture peeking through flowers, and a cascading waterfall in front of the gazebo were a few of the scenes captured in a September photo gallery.

What’s wrong with Molly?: Public health experts at the Indiana Prevention Resource Center at the IU School of Public Health-Bloomington delved into the topic of “Molly,” a party drug that is often associated with dancing and fun. "Since last spring, seven people attending dance concerts died with symptoms matching overdoses of MDMA (Molly),” said Carole Nowicke, reference specialist at the IPRC. “It sounds harmless, with a name like 'Molly,' and references to the drug can go unnoticed. But the consequences can be deadly." 

That’s a big brain: On Oct. 11, the Department of Psychological and Brain Sciences at IU Bloomington recognized its 125th anniversary with a daylong program of major festivities. That included the installation of a 10,000-pound limestone sculpture of the human brain.

Pedaling around campus: Employees of IU Bloomington’s utilities department are used to walking long distances to document utilities on campus. But a new bicycle pilot program, launched in September, allows those employees to do their job a little faster and more efficiently while getting some exercise.

Hoosier Hysteria: Basketball season was back in full swing in October, and Ryan Piurek, of IU Communications, captured the pre-season hysteria surrounding the start of this year's season. The season kicked off with Hoosier Hysteria, which featured members of the men's and women's squads and lots of cheering fans. 

Vanpool to Btown: In October, employees of IU Bloomington wanting to commute from nine Indiana counties were introduced to a new vanpool program aimed at helping commuters lower their stress levels, save money and make less of an environmental impact.


An IU Bloomington squirrel has a snack near Rose Well House.

Squirrels of IU: Things got a little nutty in October with a photo gallery featuring IU Bloomington squirrels mugging for the camera.

Making strides: “My weight affected every part of my life,” said Linda Kern, 57, a grant representative in the Department of Biology in the College of Arts and Sciences at IU Bloomington. That’s before she signed up for the Campus Recreational Sports Diabetes Prevention Program.

New chief in town: Readers were introduced to Laury Flint, who began serving as chief of IU Police Department Bloomington on Nov. 1. "I like the atmosphere at Indiana University," the longtime officer said. "Over the years I have been fortunate to develop good relationships with students, faculty and staff, which will help me manage the IU Police with their needs and concerns in mind."

Life in a small town: A documentary about a small town in Jackson County, Ind., made its statewide theatrical premiere on IU Cinema's big screen in November. Angelo Pizzo, writer and producer of "Hoosiers" fame, introduced the premiere, and faculty and staff won tickets to three of the showings through Inside IU Bloomington.

Family-friendly “Hansel and Gretel”: Readers received a sneak peek of this year's performance of Engelbert Humperdinck's “Hansel and Gretel” at IU Opera Theater through a November photo gallery.

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