Meet 3 of the newest faculty at IU Bloomington

As classes kick off this week with thousands of new students, the Indiana University Bloomington campus also has more than 300 new faculty.

Of the 314 new faculty, 36 percent are researchers, 32 percent are tenured or tenure track, 24 percent are visiting faculty and 9 percent are lecturers and clinical faculty. Thirty-five countries are represented in the cohort, and about a third of the members are faculty of color.

Inside IU Bloomington caught up with three of the new faculty members before the semester started to learn more about their work and what brought them to campus.

Joseph Gramley

Professor of music (percussion) at the Jacobs School of Music

Joseph GramleyView print quality image
Joseph Gramley. Photo by Brandon Ilaw

Q: What made you want to join the IU faculty?

A: It truly is an honor to join the outstanding faculty of artists, scholars and performers at the Jacob School of Music. Throughout my career, I have followed the work being done at Indiana. In my previous post at University of Michigan, I was lucky enough to work with graduates of IU, and they were incredibly impressive, talented, hard-working and well-prepared. That's a reflection on the faculty and leadership here.

I've seen, for decades, Indiana's foundation for learning and their sustenance of the highest levels of performance, research and pedagogy. To be able to join this community is incredibly invigorating and exciting.

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An accessible version of this graphic is available online. Graphic by Samantha Thompson, Indiana University

Q: How do you hope to impact students?

A: My hope is to bring my experiences as a performer and teacher over many years to the new and ever-changing 21st-century arts world. My goal is to start to know and learn about our students and what goals -- musically, pedagogically, research-wise -- they have, and what areas of music they want to dive into.

I was lucky enough to tour the world with Yo-Yo Ma for the last 20 years, and I want to bring those experiences into the studio to inform the new work that we will do together.

Q: What do you think of Bloomington so far?

A: Immediately after my interview, I began to picture myself living in Bloomington. Now that I've moved, I'm happy to report that my instincts were on the mark. The people have been amazing and so welcoming. I grew up on a farm in Oregon and seeing the lush green of Bloomington with so many trees feels really great and reminds me of home.

Jacqueline MacDonald Gibson

Professor and chair in the Department of Environmental and Occupational Health at the School of Public Health-Bloomington

Jacqueline MacDonald GibsonView print quality image
Jacqueline MacDonald Gibson. Photo by James Brosher, Indiana University

Q: What are your goals for this fall semester?

A: I want to build my department's research on ways to prevent environmental risks to public health. For example, I am writing a grant proposal to the Department of Housing and Urban Development for a project that would test an innovative type of water filter for removing lead from drinking water in houses that get their water from unregulated private wells.

In my prior research, I have found that lead occurs much more commonly in private well water in some areas than in city water. Most people with private well water are not aware of this risk, because they rarely if ever test the quality of their drinking water. But in my previous work, I have found that children in the United States who get their water from private wells are at higher risk of having elevated blood lead levels than children who get city water. We need better ways to help protect these children from lead.

Q: How do you hope to impact students?

A: I want students to get excited about cutting-edge research to find ways to prevent diseases brought on by environmental risks. Some of this research involves working directly with affected communities.

I am very privileged to work in a field that draws so many students who want to make life better for others. Offering students the chance to get involved in research that has meaningful impact will contribute to the richness of their educational experience and help them build skills that are difficult to teach in classroom settings.

Q: What do you think of Bloomington so far?

A: I am a long-distance runner and have run several marathons, including the Boston Marathon. Because I love to run on trails, my favorite place so far is Griffy Lake. As a trail enthusiast, I also appreciate the many paths and patches of forest on the IU campus. I am in love with this place already.

Jennifer Silva

Assistant professor at the O'Neill School of Public and Environmental Affairs

Jennifer SilvaView print quality image
Jennifer Silva. Photo by James Brosher, Indiana University

Q: What made you want to join the IU faculty?

A: I was looking for a place where the faculty were active and excited about their research, where I would have lots of opportunities for collaboration and get the opportunity to teach graduate students and undergraduate students. I also wanted a supportive, friendly environment.

So far, I have been amazed by the kindness of my new colleagues at O'Neill who have brought home-cooked meals as we are settling in, while also reaching out to start applying for grants together.

I love how O'Neill integrates research and public policy -- this year I'll be collaborating with the Brookings Institution on a study about middle-class Americans and their struggles and dreams, and I will be able to get students involved in my research as well as present findings to policy-makers in Washington, D.C.

Q: How do you hope to impact students this semester?

A: I am looking forward to teaching qualitative research methods to students at all levels. I love teaching field research and watching students get excited about asking a question, collecting data through interviews and observation, and creating a compelling narrative to explain what they found. I also enjoy writing for both scholarly and popular audiences and hope to help students feel empowered instead of intimidated by the writing and revising process.

Q: What do you think of Bloomington so far?

A: Bloomington is beautiful. I interviewed in January when it was freezing cold and dark, and I was pleasantly surprised by how green and lush it is now. Coming from a town of 5,000 people, where restaurants were open only a few days a week, I am most excited about all the different kinds of food to try.