Take a look at some of the top Inside IU Bloomington stories of 2014

Dec. 11, 2014

December is a time of reflection, so Inside IU Bloomington is looking back at the top stories of the year.

Stories about university policy, construction around campus, and health are always popular among readers, as is IU Bloomington Provost Lauren Robel’s “From the Desk” column. Contests for IU gear and tickets to shows also get a lot of attention.

As always, we want to hear from you: Please submit your story suggestions to us at @InsideIU or iniub@indiana.edu about faculty, staff, students and alumni 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.

2014 Year in review 

Marjorie Young came up with the winning caption for Inside IU Bloomington's first squirrel caption contest: "Bro! From me to you -- straight from the heart -- I love you, man."

“I love you, man”: In January, Inside IU Bloomington asked its readers to write a caption for the ever popular “Squirrels of IU” photo gallery. And readers did not disappoint. Marjorie Young, senior administrative assistant at the Center for Applied Cybersecurity Research, came out the winner with “Bro! From me to you -- straight from the heart -- I love you, man.” 

Working around the clock: Last year’s winter featured sub-zero temperatures that took a toll on homes and buildings throughout Bloomington. While a majority of IU faculty and staff were able to stay home during the frigid weather, essential personnel from the IUB campus worked round the clock to keep things running.

Transgender students: In January, the IU Bloomington Health Center made drastic changes to its information management policies, staff education and health care services to better accommodate IU’s transgender population. Three options -- male, female and transgender -- are available for patients’ demographic information, as well as a preferred name option.

IU alum “Enlisted”: January also featured a spotlight on IU alum Angelique Cabral, who snagged a role on Fox’s comedy “Enlisted.” The musical theater major and Wells Scholar who graduated from IU Bloomington in 2001 said the training and experiences she received at IU prepared her for her acting career. 

IU exchange student Lucy Danser’s one-woman production of “Rachael’s Café -- The Play,” followed the transition of Eric Wininger to Rachael Jones, the owner of Bloomington coffee house and music venue Rachael’s Café.

“Hunt for gender”: February featured a video about IU exchange student Lucy Danser’s one-woman production of “Rachael’s Café -- The Play.” Opening in London that month, the play follows the transition of Eric Wininger to Rachael Jones, the owner of Bloomington coffee house and music venue Rachael’s Café and well-known figure of the gay, lesbian, bisexual and transgender community in Bloomington.

From the desk: February also featured Provost Lauren Robel’s update on work of the IU Bloomington Strategic Plan. The IUB Strategic Planning Committee, composed of 167 faculty members, staff and students, spent the fall semester “envisioning a third century of academic excellence” on campus.

Alvin Ailey: Renowned modern dance ensemble Alvin Ailey American Dance Theater came to the IU Auditorium in February. The Alvin Ailey American Dance Theater was born from a 1958 performance, when Ailey and a group of young African American modern dancers became the first professional company to fully embrace cultural diversity by welcoming dancers of all races and backgrounds.

Alcohol and women’s brains: An IU study found that alcohol-dependent women have trouble switching between networks of the brain, part of a larger effort to understand the differences between men and women with respect to alcohol. IU researcher Lindsay Arcurio used functional magnetic resonance imaging, or fMRI, to look more closely at the brain activity of women dependent on alcohol.

In March,  Peter Todd, professor in the Department of Psychological and Brain Sciences in the College of Arts and Sciences, discussed the art of attraction. 

Science of attraction: A March video feature explored the art of attraction. Research by Peter Todd, professor in the Department of Psychological and Brain Sciences in the College of Arts and Sciences, looked at explanations of initial attraction that draws people to certain others and how others can influence a mate choice.

Innovative recruitment: IU’s increased focus on diversity made headlines in March with the addition of new staff, collaborations and recruitment outreach. "Diversity forces us to challenge stereotypes, and it permits us the opportunity to marvel at our similarities and celebrate our differences," said Martin McCrory, associate vice president for diversity, equity and multicultural affairs and vice provost for educational inclusion and diversity. 

Planting season: Old Man Winter was still lingering in March, but Lea Woodard, coordinator for Hilltop Garden and Nature Center, helped readers prepare for the spring planting season. “Don't wait until after the frost date to start working on seeds and plants for your garden. If you like to start your vegetable plants from seeds, now is the time,” she said.

All in the family: “I can’t remember a time when all of us have been honored at the same ceremony,” said Sarah Kusisto, Founders Scholars and one of four siblings. “It’s exciting.” All of the Kusisto siblings -- Laura, Sarah, Paul and Kevin -- were honored during this year’s Founders Day.

One of the hundreds of Stanhopes found at The Kinsey Institute for Research in Sex, Gender and Reproduction. | PHOTO BY SOL LEGAULT

Erotic novelties: In April, The Kinsey Institute added to its Stanhope collection of tiny erotic images hidden in everyday objects. The hidden erotic novelties, or “peeps” as others called them, were the 19th century’s dirty little secret, bypassing microscopes to create microscopic images. The Kinsey Institute for Research in Sex, Gender and Reproduction has hundreds of the miniature photographs in its collection.

Crimson Cruisers: IU Bloomington launched a free, bike-lending program for faculty, staff and students in April.  Modeled after a program at the University of Kentucky, “Crimson Cruisers” provides free bikes to employees and students to commute to and from campus and around campus for one semester at a time. 

Bare feet: In April, Inside IU Bloomington went behind the scenes at For Bare Feet Originals, one of the world’s largest specialty sock manufacturers. IU alumna Sharon Rivenbark founded the company in 1985 as an homage to her late son, who also studied at IU. 

American Academy of Arts and Sciences: Indiana University Distinguished Professor Emerita of English Susan D. Gubar and Ellen D. Ketterson, Distinguished Professor of Biology and Gender Studies, were elected to the American Academy of Arts and Sciences in April. The award is one of the nation's most prestigious honorary societies. 

Television industry veteran actor and IU professor Robby Benson during a filmmaking seminar last spring.

Moviemaking with Robby Benson: In May, readers caught a glimpse of what it's like in a filmmaking seminar run by television industry veteran actor and IU professor Robby Benson. “This year has been the most challenging and rewarding year of my college career,” senior Nathan Erdel said. “Robby’s class is worth admission to IU alone.”  

Ready for a dip: As classes wound down, IU Campus Recreational Sports opened the IU Outdoor Pool in May. Working with staff from the IU Physical Plant, Recreational Sports oversaw improvements to the pool, including painting the inside and outside of the facility, improving the floor in the bath house and installing new lights. A new shade structure was also added, and some of the deck furniture was replaced. 

Hoosier Commuter Club: Readers learned all about the numerous alternative modes of transportation in May, right before parking passes were set to expire. Alternative options included the Hoosier Commuter Club, which offers incentives to faculty and staff who give up their A and C parking permits in favor of using other transportation such as mass transit, bicycling and carpooling.

In May, Rec Sports encouraged faculty and staff to participate in its free Step Into Fitness program. 

Walk this way: In May, Rec Sports encouraged faculty and staff to participate in its free Step Into Fitness program. “We just want to get people moving,” said Chris Arvin, program director at Campus Recreational Sports. “We want participants to be more aware of how active or not active they are.”

Summer barbecue: Bloomington resident Dave White started hosting pulled pork cookouts as a fundraiser for his newborn son, selling wristbands and barbecue at the west side Kroger on weekends in between a full-time job. A “wooden cabin on wheels” and two large smokers later, White now sells pulled pork and more on a food truck called the “Great White Smoke,” which earlier this year was invited to serve fans at the NCAA Baseball Regionals at IU’s Bart Kaufman field.

State of corruption: In June, a study by researchers at IU and City University of Hong Kong identified the most corrupt and least corrupt states in the U.S. and calculated that government corruption costs American taxpayers tens of billions of dollars a year.

Piper O'Sullivan wears a traditional tribal textile called a "suzani" on a trip to Tajikistan, where she studied Persian through a scholarship from the U.S. government. | PHOTO COURTESY OF PIPER O'SULLIVAN

A passion for language: A July student spotlight featured Piper O’Sullivan, who was then a third-year Ph.D. student in IU’s Department of Central Eurasian Studies. O’Sullivan had taken courses in three languages -- Pashto, Persian and Uyghur -- through the IU Summer Language Workshop, an intensive language training program that attracts students, faculty and professionals from across the U.S.

The Big Cheeze: A July video highlighted The Big Cheeze food truck. Co-owned by former IU student Joe Morton, the truck serves up a unique take on the classic grilled cheese. “It’s good food served in a unique way, and it’s a unique take on something that everyone’s known most of their lives,” Morton said. “It’s good American comfort food.”

Fresh faced: Would you go one year without makeup? That’s what journalism student Annie Garau decided to do earlier this year, which garnered national attention including a spot on "Good Morning America" and stories in The Huffington Post and Self magazine’s website.

Back to school: Parents and students flocked to the Bloomington campus in August for the start of school. Inside IUB provided tips on move-in day, traffic patterns and helping newcomers acclimate to their new home.

IU journalism students on a summer trip to Uganda. | PHOTO BY JIM KELLY

IU around the world: An August photo gallery shined a spotlight on IU journalism students' travels abroad for an in-depth reporting project in Uganda and internships in England, as well as IU Kelley School of Business students' studies in Turkey, Peru and South Africa.

Triple threat: The start of the school year also welcomed Batesville, Ind., triplets, Cassandra, Jordan and Connor, whose arrival to campus included a newfound individuality as IU freshmen. “At home, people knew us as the triplets,” Cassandra said, and Jordan jumped in to finish, “But here, nobody knows you’re a triplet unless you tell them.”

Upscale upcycle: A September blog featured the Kelley School of Business, which repurposed trees cut down during the construction of its new building. The school's deans developed a plan to replant about a dozen trees along 10th Street that were cut down because of construction.

Prominent portals: September also included a snapshot of four gateways being built on the IU Bloomington campus. “Edges and gateways help to create and reinforce a sense of place,” said Mia Williams, university landscape architect. “IU Bloomington has always recognized, embraced and supported its strong landscape tradition. Creating special landscapes to provide the gateway experience reinforces that core value.”

Eleanor Roosevelt and Herman B Wells in 1950. | PHOTO PROVIDED BY IU ARCHIVES

Famous faces: The fall visit of actor Kevin Kline inspired a September photo gallery of famous faces who have visited the IU Bloomington campus. Past visitors included Tommy Dorsey, Eleanor Roosevelt, Elvis Presley and Coretta Scott King.

Mindful meditation: October featured a story on the Mid-Day Mindfulness Practice sessions at the IMU. The 30-minute sessions give faculty and staff a time to unplug and de-stress.

Tasty recipe: Chris Gray, food and beverage director at the IMU, shared a tasty seasonal mac ‘n’ cheese recipe in an October video. He also shared some seasonal fall cooking tips such as using your crockpot, preserving fresh herbs in butter and snacking on roasted pumpkin seeds.

Charting the course: IU President Michael A. McRobbie gave the first detailed look at the university’s Bicentennial Strategic Plan during his State of the University address in October. Initiatives focused on student success and the value of an IU education; research and scholarly excellence; the university’s role as an economic powerhouse in Indiana; and more -- all of which are designed to carry IU into its third century as one of the premier public universities in the United States.

Paying ‘Homage’: Readers learned about IU Kelley School of Business alumnus Steve Werman, chief financial officer for Homage, an Ohio-based vintage T-shirt company, in an October featured spotlight. The company sells several IU-branded T-shirts, some of which Inside IU Bloomington readers got the chance to win.

Amanda Turnipseed, IU's new manager of Parking Operations.

New parking operations manager: Amanda Turnipseed was named the new manager of Parking Operations in October. A graduate of IU Bloomington, Turnipseed began her career at IU in 1999 and had previously worked as assistant director of IU parking operations.

Campus legends: “The Woman in Black,” “The Hatchet Man” and a ghost at the IU Auditorium were a few of the campus legends outlined in a Halloween feature. “It’s such a historical campus,” said Hannah Catt, one of the organizers of the annual Ghost Walk sponsored by the Folklore and Ethnomusicology Student Association. “It’s very beautiful. It looks like what people expect college to look like. But at the same time, you don’t always think about what might be under the surface.”

Are you prepared?: John Summerlot, emergency management coordinator for IU Emergency Management and Continuity, provided ways employees can prepare for winter weather in a November blog. Summerlot suggested keeping items such as a flashlight with extra batteries, a blanket and water in the office and car.

Hottest job at IU: Don Garvin, the chemistry department’s full-time glassblower, was a November video spotlight. Garvin, IU’s only scientific glassblower, has worked for IU for 35 years.

Safe Haven: IU's Gay, Lesbian, Bisexual, Transgender Student Support Services Office celebrated its 20-year-anniversary in November. Inside IU Bloomington spoke to dozens of IU employees and supporters who helped make the office a reality and students whose lives have been impacted by the office.

Compiled by April Toler

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