IU in the News

A daily digest of media coverage about Indiana University

July 20, 2020
IU in the News is a daily review of the important news stories relating to Indiana University. It is not intended to be an all-inclusive gathering of news, and no editorial revisions are made to the content, which is presented as it was initially published or broadcast.

Big News

COVID-19 hurting vulnerable populations already struggling to pay utilities

This story has been covered by: EarthBeat, Fox 59.

IU Making Headlines

Campus Technology

IU report offers 4 recommendations for online teaching this fall

Indiana University has released preliminary findings from a survey of undergraduates and instructors across its all of its campuses, examining their experiences of the transition to remote instruction this past spring. The research was conducted by the eLearning Research and Practice Lab, a unit within IU's Pervasive Technology Institute, as part of the "Mega-Study of COVID-19 Impact in Higher Education," an IU-led initiative that is gathering data from institutions within the Unizin Consortium in order to inform future e-learning efforts. The IU survey asked 6,156 current students and 1,538 instructors for their feedback and insights.

Inside Higher Ed

Writing to belong

Colleges and universities pour resources into student retention efforts, sometimes without much gain. These efforts will be further challenged by the social, educational and economic effects of COVID-19. A new paper in Science Advances doesn't pretend to solve the student retention puzzle. But it offers a relatively simple, proven suggestion: get students to read and write about belonging in college in their first-year writing courses. ... Lead author Mary C. Murphy, Herman B. Wells Endowed Professor in Indiana University's Department of Psychological and Brain Sciences, said recently that because the writing exercises studied are "inherently social -- telling the belonging stories of upper-year students and the academic and social strategies that students used to develop a sense of belonging in college -- they serve in some ways as role models for the first-year student participants."

IU Voices in the News


Kids get coronavirus, but do they spread it? We'll find out when schools reopen

Given the uncertainty, the decisions on how to safely reopen schools are tricky. "Kids don't seem to be super spreaders," says Dr. Aaron Carroll, a pediatrician at Indiana University School of Medicine. But, since most schools around the country closed in March as the virus began to circulate more widely, it's really an unanswered question. "Schools will now be the experiment," Carroll says. "We're going to see a bunch of schools open with varying levels of control, and then we will see what happens." 

NBC News

The Holocaust survivor hoping to change American police culture

Ethical Policing Is Courageous (EPIC) ... puts the onus on the New Orleans police officers to call out misconduct before it happens, and works to change the culture of police. ... The Active Bystandership for Law Enforcement (ABLE), will act as a national hub for EPIC training, technical assistance and research. The aim is to overhaul police culture, where officers routinely intervene as necessary to prevent misconduct, avoid police mistakes, and promote officer health and wellness. ... "EPIC and ABLE are a step in the right direction, without a doubt," Sean Nicholson-Crotty, a professor at Indiana University who has studied policing, said. However, he cautions that there aren't a lot of empirical studies looking at training efficacy, and says that evidence from his own limited studies that are currently under review suggests that training programs are only effective where the turnover is high and where the new recruits make up a higher proportion of departments.


On the phone, contact tracers try to limit virus spread: 'Please answer that call'

Contact tracers have been used to track down those sick with diseases including HIV, measles, mumps, tuberculosis, and now COVID-19. Described as "hunter-gatherers," their job is to call those with positive COVID-19 lab results and anyone they may have exposed. ... The Indiana State Department of Health estimates 80% of those contacted are actually cooperative, said Shandy Dearth, an epidemiology professor at Indiana University’s Richard M. Fairbanks School of Public Health. ... The National Association of County and City Health Officials advised states in April to hire 30 tracers per 100,000 people preparing them for a "surge" in cases. For Indiana, with 6.7 million residents, that would mean 2,000 tracers needed. "I think it would be great if they could hire some more," Dearth said, while noting Indiana ranks near the bottom in U.S. public health spending, while county health departments are typically "greatly understaffed."


A bird named for a Confederate general sparks calls for change

McCown's longspur, a bird that lives in the Great Plains and looks a bit like a sparrow ... was named after John Porter McCown, who was involved in forcible relocations of Native Americans during the 1840s, and who left the United States Army to serve as a Confederate general during the Civil War. ... Last year, the North American Classification Committee of the American Ornithological Society (AOS), passed on a chance to rename McCown's longspur, citing the importance of maintaining stability in bird names. ... Sara Lipshutz, a postdoctoral fellow in biology at Indiana University Bloomington, wrote in an email to Undark that she was frustrated with the value placed on stability. "Yes, it is confusing to learn new bird names, and would take more money and energy to make new field guides," she wrote. "But this already happens when we learn new genetic information leading to species being split or collapsed. To me, changing names is worth it, if it means a more inclusive birding community."


Who gets to study whom?

There's now more awareness of the need to fund scholars from underrepresented communities than ever before -- both in their own countries and internationally. This shift in thinking could help scholars from underrepresented groups around the world contribute to and participate in anthropology. But funding bodies still rarely encourage these scholars to study Western societies and communities in the same way that many Western scholars examine non-Western regions. Anne Pyburn and Richard Wilk, anthropologists at Indiana University, have given this issue a lot of thought. ... According to Pyburn and Wilk, most foreign anthropology graduate students who are trained at U.S. universities are still expected to go home to do their fieldwork, while students from the United States are often discouraged from studying American culture. "Anthropology has come a long way, but we still need to keep the decolonizing project underway because we still have a lot of smelly baggage," Wilk says.

The Indianapolis Star

What Indiana can learn from states where coronavirus is surging, according to experts

Shandy Dearth, director of undergraduate epidemiology education at the Richard M. Fairbanks School of Public Health at IUPUI, said she was happy to hear Holcomb hasn't taken a mask mandate off the table. "We don't have a vaccine yet. We don't have a treatment," she said. "Masks are sort of the best protection that we have, so that would be a great public health move going forward." ... Thomas Duszynski, the epidemiology education director for the Fairbanks School of Public Health, consults with the state health department on a regular basis. As to whether there's a marker for when the state should start pulling back even more, Duszynski said it's not that easy.  "It's not just a single day's number." he said. "We have to look at these trends over time to see which were which direction we're heading."

The Conversation

Sexism pushed Rosalind Franklin toward the scientific sidelines, but her work still shines

Written by Richard Gunderman, Chancellor's Professor of Medicine, Liberal Arts and Philanthropy, Indiana University. What do coal, viruses and DNA have in common? The structures of each -- the predominant power source of the early 20th century, one of the most remarkable forms of life on Earth and the master molecule of heredity -- were all elucidated by one person. Her name was Rosalind Franklin, and the story of her triumph over sexism and rise to scientific greatness is made even more remarkable by the fact that she lived only 37 years.

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