IU in the News

A daily digest of media coverage about Indiana University

January 5, 2021
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

Breath test to detect COVID-19 in development by IUPUI researchers

This story has been covered by: CBS4, WTWO/WAWV, ABC27.

$37.6M grant awarded to develop innovative COVID-19 treatment

This story has been covered by: Inside Indiana Business.

Dressed for success: Alum used skills learned at IU to create a tailor-made business

This story has been covered by: Inside Indiana Business.

Nationwide study into COVID-19 infection, reinfection, immunity backed by philanthropic investment

This story has been covered by: WJCT, Inside Indiana Business.

Can 'the social brain' protect against Alzheimer's? NIH awards IU team $3.5 million to find out

This story has been covered by: The Bloomington Herald-Times, Inside Indiana Business.

Senior food insecurity connected to isolation, program barriers in rural areas

This story has been covered by: Inside Indiana Business.

$2.9 million NIH grant will help IU researcher expand work on subconcussive impacts

This story has been covered by: Inside Indiana Business.

IU Making Headlines

The Bloomington Herald-Times

IU medicine, nursing students volunteer to give COVID-19 vaccines

Anna Roesler was a little nervous the first day COVID-19 vaccinations were given to health-care workers in Indianapolis. It wasn't because the fourth year Indiana University medical student was afraid of getting a shot, it was because Roesler would be the one administering them. "After a couple, I felt really comfortable," she said. "I was happy to keep going for about four hours." Roesler was one of 430 students from the IU School of Medicine that volunteered to administer COVID-19 vaccinations. More than 200 IU School of Nursing students volunteered as well. "I'm just really excited our students can be involved," said Katherine Hiller, IU School of Medicine-Bloomington associate dean. "They're so desperate to help."

Related stories: Reuters, Post-Tribune, Fox 59

The Bloomington Herald-Times

How IU made it through the fall semester during the COVID-19 pandemic

In May, in anticipation of the fall 2020 semester, Provost Lauren Robel sent an email to all incoming Indiana University Bloomington students. She wrote that every generation has its own defining challenge, and the COVID-19 pandemic was theirs. Bringing students back to campus would require a commitment from each of them. They would have to follow the university's COVID-19 safety protocols -- get tested for the disease, avoid large gatherings and wear a mask. ... Critics scoffed at the idea of college students actually following the university's rules, especially off campus. Over the course of the semester, some IU students did break those rules. ... But IU Bloomington did not shut down. In-person learning took place from Aug. 24 to Nov. 20, just as planned. Students finished out the fall semester online. A virtual winter commencement took place Saturday. So how did IU do it? "As I have said many, many times: resources and will," said Aaron Carroll, director of COVID-19 mitigation testing for the university.

The Bloomington Herald-Times

IU instructor chosen to produce for PBS' 'American Portrait'

PBS has chosen a Bloomington documentarian to capture local stories for a nationwide ongoing, evolving initiative "American Portrait." Alex Chambers, instructor of radio and podcasting at Indiana University, responded to a general invitation from PBS in its search for filmmakers, although it was also open to audio producers."PBS was excited that I'm from the Midwest," Chambers said over the phone. Most of the respondents had come from the two coasts. A self-proclaimed introvert, he said, "I'm coming from a place of shyness." He is discovering, however, his joy of connecting with others. His three audiotapes on PBS' website are two of men experiencing homelessness in Bloomington -- Rick J., a gay man struggling with his mental health, and William B., who is working hard to quit smoking. In addition, Chambers captured stories of other Bloomingtonians such as Lauren M., a Black farmer examining the intersection of race and the pandemic.

Inside Indiana Business

Former IU stars partner to fight sleep apnea, snoring

Two former Indiana University basketball stars are teaming up to make a big play in the business world. Dr. Steve Green and Brian Evans played 20 years apart at IU, but are now teammates leading Arora Sleep. The company, which launched a few months ago, sells custom-made oral devices to treat snoring and sleep apnea. In a recent interview with Business of Health Reporter Kylie Veleta, Evans said the seeds of the partnership began back when he was a player at IU. "Coach (Bob) Knight used to have Dr. Green come in and visit with the team every year and so I met Steve for the first time as a freshman in 1992," said Evans. "Over the last three or four years as we've been building towards this launch, I've gotten to know him really well."

The Bloomington Herald-Times

IU broadcasts winter commencement like no other

Kheng Hua Tan wasted no time acknowledging she was the featured speaker for an Indiana University winter commencement like no other. "I mean, look at me," she said. "I'm speaking to all of you through a computer screen from a computer screen, here from my living room in Vancouver, where I am filming, and in my bare feet." Tan, a 1986 graduate of IU's O'Neill School of Public and Environmental Affairs, is co-starring in the CW television network's reboot of "Kung Fu." The award-winning actress and producer gained international recognition for her performance as Constance Wu's mother in the 2018 movie "Crazy Rich Asians." While her speech was broadcast from Canada, other commencement speakers were spaced several feet apart on the IU Auditorium stage in Bloomington. Just after 5 p.m. Saturday, IU President Michael McRobbie, wearing the traditional academic dress of red robe and large black hat, removed his mask and welcomed the class of 2020 to the 191st IU commencement. It was the first formal, official, online conferral of IU degrees, he said.

The Times of Northwest Indiana

IU Northwest raises more than $10 million in bicentennial campaign

Indiana University Northwest has raised more than $10 million as a part of IU's multiyear bicentennial campaign, university officials said last (month). Launched in September 2015, IU's "For All: The Indiana University Bicentennial Campaign" sought to raise funds for IU campuses across the state -- including IU Bloomington, IUPUI and IU Northwest among others -- in celebration of the university's 200th anniversary. The campaign ended on Sept. 30 this year. "Over the past years, the Bicentennial campaign has galvanized hundreds of thousands of IU supporters," IU President Michael McRobbie said. "It has transformed the landscapes of IU's campuses with state-of-the-art facilities. It has helped to ensure the future success of a number of IU schools that now bear the names of their supporters. It has generated support for our most outstanding faculty. And it has offered the promise of an affordable education to some of the state's and the country's very best students."

Related stories: Northwest Indiana Business Times

IU Voices in the News

Voice of America

To keep schools open, schools ask college students to help

In a town near Indianapolis, Indiana, 19-year-old college student Grace Kern has been working in elementary school classrooms. She is helping students as teachers offer instruction online via a screen inside the room. "My dad told me that a bunch of teachers are out and they're struggling to get substitutes in. And I was like, 'Well, all my classes are online, except for one, so I have the time to do it.' And I would hate for the schools and the students to struggle," she said. Grace Kern is studying medical imaging technology at Indiana University-Purdue University Indianapolis.

The Indiana Lawyer

Acting to ensure integrity: New prosecutor’s unit to investigate wrongful conviction claims

A decade after Kendrick Morris was convicted of attempted murder after an 11-year-old girl pointed at him in court and said he was her shooter, the victim recanted her testimony, saying she had lied. Despite her recantation, the court found the woman's testimony wasn't credible. Represented by Fran Watson of the Wrongful Conviction Clinic at Indiana University Robert H. McKinney School of Law, Morris was eventually able to obtain a sentence modification from the Marion County Prosecutor's Office. Still, Watson says her client, while released from prison, wasn't truly exonerated. ... A willingness to agree to DNA testing for cases traced back 20 or 30 years is huge, Watson said, especially if the person has used up his or her legal remedies. "If something comes along after you had your first petition for post-conviction relief, you may not have a right to go back to court," she said. "With a conviction integrity unity, the prosecutor's office can take a look outside a court proceeding and take action if it's warranted."

The Indianapolis Star

Indiana's biggest court stories of 2020: From Coney Barrett to Land Rover saga

In her debut as a justice, (Amy Coney) Barrett gave a decisive vote in favor of the Roman Catholic Diocese of Brooklyn and Agudath Israel of America in two cases that argued New York's COVID-19 restrictions on religious assembly were unconstitutional. ... Barrett did not write an opinion but in the end her silent vote was pivotal. She tipped the decision 5-4. Indiana University law professor Gerard Magliocca said it's still too early to understand how exactly Barrett's influence will shift the court. "She hasn't actually written anything yet in her first two months on the court so we don't really know anything in terms of how her views might develop in cases," said Magliocca. "That's very much going to be a 2021 story."

Fox 59

Indiana to begin testing for new COVID-19 variant Jan. 1

Colorado health officials say a new COVID-19 variant is spreading in the U-S. ... Shandy Dearth, Director of the Undergraduate Epidemiology Program at IUPUI's Fairbanks School of Public Health, said health officials in the United Kingdom first discovered the variant back in September. "(Virus_ variants happen all the time and they've been happening with COVID-19," said Dearth. "The concern here is that this particular variant has a lot of mutations -- more than normal." Dearth said the state health department already has the capability to test for the variant here in central Indiana. She said beginning Friday, ten randomized samples will be sent from the state to the CDC's National Surveillance Program. "Each state starting in January, so Friday, will send samples to CDC every two weeks to look for these variants in some of these mutations," said Dearth. "So they're doing additional sequencing at the CDC in addition to the state health department labs."

Fox 59

New code will make it easier to track Indiana's evictions in 2021

Stanford University's Eviction Lab, which studies eviction levels nationwide, recently began compiling and updating weekly eviction cases in Indianapolis' small claims courts. Dr. Breanca Merritt, IUPUI professor and director of the Center for Research on Inclusion and Social Policy, hoped the data would help inform policies to help Indiana's tenants. "I do think the drop off tells us that policy matters and decisions matter from our government," Merritt said. "I hope it brings greater attention and greater activity and support for those who are really in limbo."

The Bloomington Herald-Times

Pandemic a boon for games, puzzles of all sorts

In a normal year, Kim Saxton would expect video game sales growth to match inflation, so about 2% or 3%. This year, it's up 20% over 2019 figures. But the Indiana University marketing professor said that type of growth isn't limited to video games. Sales by Hasbro, one of the largest manufacturers of board games, are up 21%. ... What's going on is clear to Mathew Powers, an IU lecturer in media arts who has taught courses on everything from video game history to design and production. "The pandemic has been one of the biggest boons for gaming in the last several years," he said. ... Travis Faas, a media arts lecturer who teaches game development classes at IU, said there was a lot of hype leading up to the "New Horizons" debut because it had been a while since the last "Animal Crossings" release. But the game also offers a calm escape from what has been a tumultuous year. ... "It's relaxing, chill, there's not a lot of stress. You can enjoy your time on the island, decorating your house," Faas said. "For a lot of people it's been their 2020 therapy game."

Inside Indiana Business

Indiana philanthropy in the year of COVID-19

The impact of the COVID-19 pandemic on communities around the globe was swift and devastating. Indiana nonprofits found their resources stretched thin as tens of thousands of Hoosiers found themselves unemployed and seeking help. Ten months later, the need remains strong, but so does philanthropic giving. In an interview with Inside INdiana Business, Una Osili, Efroymson Chair in Philanthropy at the Lilly Family School of Philanthropy at IUPUI said 2020 has been an unprecedented moment for philanthropy. "We have seen philanthropy step up in the face of COVID-19," said Osili. "At the beginning of the pandemic, most of the philanthropic support was focused on the health care sector, supporting frontline workers, PPP, getting equipment to hospitals and clinics."

Fox 59

Indy leaders reflect on record breaking homicide numbers in 2020

"More cities than not are seeing an increase in homicide," said IUPUI criminal justice professor Jeremy Carter. "It's hard to explain." Carter says given the financial and social impacts of COVID, it's impossible to predict how the spike in homicide numbers in 2020 will translate moving into a new year. "No projections or long term anything can really be drawn from these numbers," said Carter.

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