IU in the News

A daily digest of media coverage about Indiana University

January 25, 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.

IU Making Headlines

The Bloomington Herald-Times

Dawn Johnsen sworn in as part of new DOJ

Dawn Johnsen, an Indiana University Maurer School of Law professor, was sworn in Wednesday as a senior counselor in the U.S. Department of Justice's Office of Legal Counsel as part of the new administration of President Joe Biden. Johnsen worked in the U.S. Department of Justice in the Office of Legal Counsel as acting assistant attorney general under President Bill Clinton's administration, and was once under consideration for the same role under President Barack Obama. She was also on the transition team for both presidents in 1992 and 2008, respectively. She has taught at the Maurer School of Law since 1998.

Related stories: U.S. News and World Report, Indiana Public Media

Inside Indiana Business

IU Angel Network invests in Blueprint Stats startup

The Indiana University Angel Network has invested nearly $100,000 in Blueprint Stats, a sports analytics startup. The company was launched by Hunter Hawley, a recent graduate of the university. IU says Hawley founded Blueprint Stats and pitched to the network while he was still an undergraduate at IU Kelley School of Business. Indianapolis-based Elevate Ventures also contributed to the investment. "While I may have been the first student to pitch in front of the IU Angel Network, I get a feeling I won't be the last," Hawley said. "Plenty of other student and recent-alumni ventures have been funded and are seeing great success this year, and not by accident. Just over the course of my college career, I've seen massive strides made in what IU and the surrounding Bloomington community offer to their student entrepreneurs and innovators."

The Journal Gazette

'Very scary': Study looks at COVID

One in 43 Hoosiers who contract COVID-19 and are over age 65 and not living in a nursing home will die from the disease, experts affiliated with a statewide study on the prevalence of the novel coronavirus said during a webinar Thursday. "That is very scary," said Paul Halverson, founding dean of the Indiana University Richard M. Fairbanks School of Public Health in Indianapolis, affiliated with the research. The webinar, attended by 41 people, was aimed at Fort Wayne-area educators and students, plus representatives of health care and nonprofit organizations and the business community. "Contributions of the Indiana Prevalence Study to the Worldwide Fight against COVID-19" provided an update on the groundbreaking study that tracked a large random sample of Hoosiers beginning early the pandemic.

IU Voices in the News


Political scientists: Pence political future may not be great

Mike Pence is back home, and plans to live in Indiana. But, his political future may not be certain. Several political scientists talked about what might happen with the former governor and former vice president. "If history is any guide in this case, when a vice president loses on a ticket, there's not a huge trajectory going forward. It's usually a pretty modest career," said IUPUI history Prof. Ray Haberski. ... Most of the panel agreed that Pence's loyalty to Trump may have dampened his chances at running for office. "In part I think it's gonna depend upon the continued influence of Donald Trump on the Republican Party," said Kevin Brown, professor of law at the Maurer School of Law at IU, Bloomington. "If this remains the party of Donald Trump, then Mike Pence, in the final analysis, is gonna look like the one who did not hold the line." (Also quoted in this story are Dr. Elizabeth Bennion, a political science professor at IU South Bend, and Prof. Emerita Margie Hershey, with IU Bloomington.)


Is it safe to travel yet? Current travel guidelines for COVID-19

It's still not 100% safe to travel domestically or internationally, despite initial rollout of the COVID-19 vaccine. While the vaccine offers a shred of hope, not enough people have been vaccinated to bring the US to herd immunity, and there's still risk of contracting the virus abroad. Becky Liu-Lastres, a professor of crisis management and risk management in tourism at Indiana University, explains that "the sense of perceived safety is highly subjective." "How an individual evaluates the situation is largely influenced by their personal experiences, their surroundings and their knowledge on the issue," Liu-Lastres says, so "people should take a look at the evidence, such as the number of cases (where they're going and coming from) and the potential health consequences of COVID-19, and then make the judgment."


Indiana showing signs of slower spread, less daily positive cases

Despite an additional 3,733 positive coronavirus cases announced on Thursday, health officials say Indiana is trending downward for community spread. According to the Indiana State Department of Health's COVID-19 dashboard, Indiana has not reported daily case counts this low since November. "We're just now starting to see the continuance of that downward slope that I think we were trying to get to actually back in November if it hadn't been for the traveling and the clustering that the holidays entail," said Dr. Cole Beeler, (assistant professor of clinical medicine at the IU School of Medicine and) Medical Director of Infection Prevention at IU Health Hospital. ... Director of Public Health Informatics at Regenstrief Institute, Dr. Brian Dixon, (and an assistant professor in the Richard M. Fairbanks School of Public Health at IUPUI) said a decline in testing could very well be the reason cases are also dropping. "We're seeing essentially levels of testing that are probably similar to what we saw last summer -- even though our number of cases is higher than what we saw that summer," Dr. Dixon said. "So that tells us that not everyone who has the disease is getting tested."

Indiana Public Media

Amid spread of new virus variation, officials advise doubling down on pandemic protocols

The good news is that this mutation, which was first identified in Great Britain last fall, has shown to be no more lethal than the original strain, which has now caused 2 million deaths world-wide. But it is more contagious; at least 50% so. Some studies have said 75%. And that led a number of questions submitted to our City Limits: Coronavirus project asking if people need to adjust the recommended practices to avoid COVID-19 -- wearing masks, washing hands and social distancing. The answer is no, said Graham McKeen, the Assistant University Director of Public and Environmental Health at Indiana University. But because the Great Britain strain is so much more contagious, McKeen suggests doubling down on preventative measures, and more. "I think it's time to consider using more protective masks," McKeen said. "Surgical masks, isolation masks, N-95s and things like that that are more protective. Maybe those are more important than they were before."

The Newportbury Daily News

We must learn from attack on the Capitol

Written by Lee Hamilton, a senior adviser for the Indiana University Center on Representative Government and a professor of practice at the IU O’Neill School of Public and Environmental Affairs. With a new administration in office, it's tempting to put the disturbing events of Jan. 6 behind us. But we should not dismiss -- or fail to learn from -- what happened when the president of the United States incited his followers to storm the Capitol and try to overturn a lawfully decided election. The event was a dark moment in our history, a crisis that showed we are living in a time of great stress for our republic. The chaos and violence may turn out to be short-lived, but the anger and rage they represent will remain, and we will have to deal with that.

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