IU in the News

A daily digest of media coverage about Indiana University

December 7, 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

IU Board of Trustees approves projects for IUPUI, Bloomington campuses

This story has been covered by: The Bloomington Herald Times.

Board of Trustees hears update on presidential search

This story has been covered by: Inside Indiana Business.

IU Making Headlines


Researchers launch statewide COVID-19 immunity study

A new study at the Indiana University School of Medicine hopes to find out how immunity to COVID-19 develops and changes over time. The study is called DISCOVER, which stands for "Development of Immunity after SARS-CoV2 Exposure and Recovery." IU Associate Professor Alka Khaitan is a leader of the 2-year study and said its goals are to measure how immunity develops and if it lasts. "We know if we check antibody levels in people who had COVID they seem to decrease after a few months, but we don't know if that actually means that they're not immune anymore, because there might be other parts of the immune system that might be protecting them," Khaitan said.

Golf Digest

Why the lore of Bandon Dunes gets stronger with Sheep Ranch, our 2020 best new winner

The course-construction recession was considered a temporary squall, but course openings have remained maddeningly scarce over the past 10 years, and this year's class consists of just 15 graduates. But feeling that new course openings are now more newsworthy than ever, we've decided to proceed with the prize... Our third-place winner is the Pfau Course at Indiana University, another complete remodel, by Steve Smyers, of the school’s narrow, tree-lined 1950s-era layout. Smyers' views on classical strategy have changed in recent years, particularly as they relate to elite players, and at Pfau he put his evolving design theories into practice. ... The holy grail of golf design has always been to create courses that optimize the greatest fun for the greatest number, but that can also challenge the game’s best. Pfau becomes an attractive addition to that ongoing quest, and along with Sheep Ranch and Troubadour, represents the latest chapter -- so far -- in the never-ending story of American golf design.

Related stories: The Indianapolis Star

Indiana Daily Student

Recent IU study shows COVID-19 exposure risk in class is low

IU researchers recently conducted a study on the safety of IU's in-person instruction by comparing IU's positive COVID-19 data and the amount of in-person credit hours students took this semester. The study showed that students who took more in-person credit hours were less likely to test positive for COVID-19 than other students with fewer in-person credit hours, Lana Dbeibo, an assistant professor of clinical medicine at the IU School of Medicine and part of IU's Medical Response Team, said. The analysis started around two months ago, she said. ... Molly Rosenberg, an assistant professor of epidemiology at the School of Public Health and part of IU's Mitigation Testing Team, said there is no concrete evidence to support an explanation for the trend, but there is some speculation. ... Data was taken from the undergraduate populations on IU-Bloomington, Indiana University-Purdue University Indianapolis and IU regional campuses, Rosenberg said. The date range was from Aug. 24 to the end of October.

Related stories: The New York Times

Indiana Public Media

Ostrom Workshop at IU working to eliminate space junk

Indiana University is working to clean up debris in space. Things like old satellites and booster rockets have put hundreds of millions of pieces of litter in Earth's orbital space.  That can hinder space missions and leave less room for things that bring us GPS, cell service, and satellite TV. IU professor Scott Shackleford is the executive director of the Ostrom Workshop. He said back when there were just two major players -- the U.S. and the Soviet Union -- international partners saw space as a shared resource. But Shackleford said the U.S. has taken an increasingly nationalistic point of view.

IU Voices in the News

The Conversation

From permafrost microbes to survivor songbirds, research projects are also victims of COVID-19

Written by Karen Lloyd, Associate Professor of Microbiology, University of Tennessee; Ellen Ketterson, Professor of Biology, Indiana University; Miriah Kelly, Assistant Professor of Environment, Geography & Marine Sciences, Southern Connecticut State University. What do you do when COVID-19 safety protocols and travel restrictions mean you can't do your research? That's what these three scientists have had to figure out this year, as the global pandemic has kept them from their fieldwork. A microbiologist describes the frustration of missing a sampling season in the Arctic at a time when climate change means the permafrost is an endangered resource. A biologist writes about missing for the first time the annual census of a bird population she's been studying for 35 years and the hole that leaves in her data. And natural events aren't the only ones researchers are forced to skip. An environmental scientist explains how postponing a global gathering about climate change could have long-term effects for people like her who study the process -- as well as for the planet.

The Indianapolis Star

Op-ed: Indiana climate change education 'abysmal.' Alaska got an 'A.' It's not politics.

Written by Michael Hamburger, co-director of Indiana University's environmental education program, Educating for Environmental Change, and a professor of earth and atmospheric sciences at IU Bloomington, and Adam Scribner, co-director of Indiana University's environmental education program, Educating for Environmental Change, and the director of STEM education initiatives for IU's School of Education. A recent report by the National Center for Science Education, one of the nation's leading science education organizations, has evaluated each state's science standards and considered the treatment of climate change science, considering key points that draw from scientific consensus on the issue. ... The report indicated that "Indiana earned a D, just barely escaping an overall failing grade. The state's approach to educating Hoosier students about the reality and severity of climate change is abysmal." ... One reviewer stated, "I must say the standards do not meet the needs of Indiana students in the process of learning their foundational understanding of the world they are inheriting and the promising careers and opportunities that are available to them; this is a disservice to them."

The Washington Post

Atypical forms of dementia are being diagnosed more often in people in their 50s and 60s

Unlike Alzheimer's, which generally occurs in older people, these are rarer dementias -- including bvFTD; another frontotemporal variant that leads to language disturbances called primary progressive aphasia; a visual and spatial dementia called posterior cortical atrophy; Lewy body dementia; and early-onset Alzheimer's in people with no family history. ... "There is still limited awareness about early-onset dementias. When people come in with cognitive complaints in their 40s or 50s, nobody believes them. We are trying to improve our understanding of the risk factors and various disease presentations, and raise awareness about it," said Liana G. Apostolova, a professor of neurology, radiology, and medical and molecular genetics at Indiana University School of Medicine and the Indiana Alzheimer's Disease Research Center. Apostolova is a co-principal investigator of the Longitudinal Early-Onset Alzheimer's Disease Study (LEADS), a multicenter observational trial enrolling 500 cognitively-impaired people between ages 40 and 64 with early-onset dementia due to Alzheimer's. The investigators are conducting annual clinical and cognitive assessments, imaging, biomarker, and genetic studies. They hope to define patients and characterize their symptoms and rate of disease progression, and then enroll them into clinical trials.

Verywell Health

High blood sugar can increase COVID-19 risk, even without diabetes

"Everyone is at risk of getting COVID-19," Mary de Groot, PhD, associate professor of medicine and acting director of the Diabetes Translational Research Center at Indiana University, tells Verywell. "If you are diabetic, or pre-diabetic, you need to take all the steps to manage your blood sugar. Work with your provider to keep your numbers as normal as possible, eat healthy, and exercise. It is important to decrease your risk of exposure to COVID-19."

Post Tribune

‘Totally unprecedented’: Concern grows as Indiana hospitals fill with COVID-19 patients

Indiana's Region 1, which includes hospitals in Lake, Porter, Jasper, Newton and LaPorte counties, only had 45 open ICU beds Friday, or 17.9%. COVID-19 patients take up 38.5% of ICU beds. Single-day COVID-19 hospitalizations declined to 474 Wednesday, down from an all-time high of 588 on Nov. 30, nearly twice spring's peak of 300 in April. "I would call the situation almost dire," said Thomas J. Duszynski, Richard M. Fairbanks School of Public Health Director of Epidemiology Education at Indiana University-Purdue University Indianapolis (IUPUI). Rising case numbers directly lead to rising hospitalizations, patients going into the ICU and on ventilators and more deaths, he said. "We just got through Thanksgiving," Duszynski said. "We expect to see a bump in cases even more than what we are seeing now, putting even more pressure on the health care system."

The Dallas Morning News

Happiness hacks: 3 ways to a happier you

Giving both money and time makes us happier and healthier -- benefits that can linger and catch on with others, notes social psychologist Sara Konrath of Indiana University. For example, people who regularly do small, kind acts for others feel happier up to two months later. People who receive generosity or see someone else give are inspired to pay it forward with their own kind acts, notes Konrath, whose research focuses on using mobile phones to implement empathy-building programs.

ABC News

As lawyers keep pushing Trump election challenges, calls for sanctions mount

Charles Gardner Geyh, a law professor at the Indiana University Maurer School of Law, said he found it distressing to see the president "export this post-truth environment" to the courtroom. But he has doubts that courts will go so far as to sanction lawyers bringing election challenges, no matter how thin the evidence. Judges "don't want to be perceived as openly political," Geyh said. "If they come down on lawyers who represent the president like a ton of bricks, they are aware of how that will be perceived." 'Oddly extreme' The one possible exception to that, Geyh said, involves Sidney Powell, the increasingly incendiary attorney whom the president jettisoned from his legal team 13 days ago. Powell has filed a succession of unfounded conspiracy-laced lawsuits challenging the election's outcome that have distressed even some of Trump's longtime allies. Former New Jersey Gov. Chris Christie, a confidante of the president, called the far-fetched legal claims "a national embarrassment."

Indianapolis Business Journal

U.S. trade policies likely to soften after Biden becomes president

The incoming Biden administration is widely expected to embrace a more multinational approach to U.S. trade policy, moving away from the "America first" strategy embraced by President Donald Trump. ... Having a pandemic follow so closely on the heels of the trade war has only made manufacturers more skittish about doing business with China. "The reality of it is, businesses don't like uncertainty," said Andrew Butters, an assistant professor of business economics and public policy at Indiana University's Kelley School of Business.


'Our heart is in it:' Black farmers work to keep ancestral legacy alive

The number of Black-owned farms across the country has decreased over the past century. Much of that is a result of discrimination. Valerie Grim, an African American and African Diaspora studies professor at Indiana University Bloomington, says many (Black farming) families like the Bradfords couldn't get loans from banks or the federal government. Many Black farmers won a class-action lawsuit against the USDA in the 90s. The lawsuit, Pigford v. Glickman claimed the agency discriminated against Black farmers and failed to investigate complaints made from 1983-1997. "One of the ways that many of the Black farmers fell behind and eventually lost land was because they could not get the loan in the first place," Grim says.

USA Today

Yes, some Americans may be required to get a COVID-19 vaccine but not by the federal government.

A big question remains: Will Americans be required to get vaccinated? For some, the short answer is yes, public health and legal experts say. But a mandate is not likely anytime soon, and likely not to come from the federal government. Instead, employers and states may condition return or access to workplaces, schools and colleges upon getting the vaccine and mandate it once the FDA issues full approval, potentially months later. ... The best strategic approach to promote vaccination is to maximize communication and minimize barriers, said Ross Silverman, a professor at Indiana University’s Richard M. Fairbanks School of Public Health and Robert H. McKinney School of Law. "What can we do to make this as easy as possible for people to say yes to?" he said. "The best approach to be taking in the near term is engaging communities, answering questions, and letting people know what the benefits and risks are, where they’re going to be able to get access to it and that there are no costs associated with getting the vaccine."

The Times of Northwest Indiana

Number of ICU beds in NWI dwindles as pandemic continues

The number of available beds at Northwest Indiana hospitals' intensive care units stood at 17.5% Friday, a troubling sign as the coronavirus pandemic continues to grip the Region. That percentage represents just more than 40 ICU beds in Indiana's District 1, which includes Lake, Porter, LaPorte, Newton and Jasper counties and has a population of about 800,000, said Micah Pollak, associate professor of economics at Indiana University Northwest. The number is concerning, considering the average number of daily hospital admissions recently has ranged from 35 to 40, he said. "Even if one or two of those go to the ICU, it's not going to take long to fill it up," Pollak said.

The Herald Republican

Social media creating dubious portal to the future

Abby Bainbridge, a 2017 DeKalb High School graduate, works as Social Media and Student Outreach Coordinator for the Indiana University Division of Student Affairs in Bloomington. Set to graduate this month with a degree in journalism, Bainbridge presented her senior thesis Friday on how political campaigns use Twitter. When the Pew Research Center began tracking social media adoption in 2005, 5% of adults in the United States used a virtual social platform. By 2019, 72% of the American public used some form of social media. "As someone who works in social media and who pursued that job because I'm interested in social media, I often feel like I can't escape it," said Bainbridge. "I very regularly will delete social media apps from my phone for days at a time and then re-download them for work." Surveys show that 90% of teens ages 13-17 have used social media, says the American Academy of Child and Adolescent Psychiatry. Seventy-five percent report having at least one active social media profile and 51% admit to visiting a social media site at least daily. Rising statistics surrounding self-harm, suicide, depression and anxiety can be linked to the rise of social media ... YouTube and Facebook are the most widely used online social platforms, according to Pew. Statista data shows 34% of teens prefer Snapchat; 29%, Tiktok; and 25%, Instagram.

Indianapolis Business Journal

Indiana's Klan legacy deserving of an honest reckoning

Written by James Madison, IU professor of history emeritus and author of "The Ku Klux Klan in the Heartland." Every day brings laments about the nasty conflicts swirling around us, the anger, and the failure to get along. We want more civility and less violence, of course, but I'm convinced we just have to accept disagreement. It's the burden of our past. American history is full of anger, division and violence. ... We've often embraced a consensus history, one devoid of conflict. A bloody civil war becomes a noble cause. The white supremacy that began in 1619 to build the largest system of forced labor in world history becomes a sidebar with modest significance. Such myths are prerequisites for so-called patriotic history. They comfort us, at least until we understand them as simple propaganda ill-suited to democracy.

Related stories: The Times of Northwest Indiana

USA Today

What will 2021 bring? Promising vaccines and 'the darkest days of our war on COVID-19'

COVID-19 cases and deaths are skyrocketing nationwide, taxing hospital staff and facilities. More school disruptions seem inevitable, vexing students and frustrating parents. The recession has plunged millions into unemployment, challenging the incoming administration of President-elect Joe Biden to provide relief. And partisan politics linger, undermining the kind of united front necessary to stem the tide of death and economic disruption. ... "We won't return to pre-pandemic levels until the end of 2021, so in a way we've lost two years," said Andrew Butters, assistant professor at the Kelley School of Business at Indiana University in Bloomington. In a recent report, Butters and his colleagues at the Kelley School predicted that employment is not likely to hit a pre-shutdown peak until "well into 2022," and while consumer spending ultimately may recover, it will be aimed at goods and not services as people remain wary of interaction for the foreseeable future.

Post Tribune

First-time candidate is first African American elected to Highland school board, hopes to bridge gap

When Allencia Ballard began campaigning for a position on the School Town of Highland school board, she had no idea that if elected, she would be the first African American to have the position. ... Mark Sperling, Interim Dean of the School of Education at Indiana University Northwest, too, said Ballard's election to the school board will assist both the school and the community in both the communication Ballard will bring as well as the diversity. "I think whenever your school board is diversified, that’s a positive thing for the community,” Sperling said. "The community is represented by a number of different ethnic and racial groups, and I think it's very helpful to have representatives of those groups on your board."

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