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Of Interest

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jordanCivil rights leader, lawyer, and influential political figure Vernon E. Jordan Jr. delivered the 2008 Neal-Marshall Lecture in Public Policy last semester, at IUB.

Jordan’s lecture, titled “America – Crossing Boundaries of Possibility,” was followed by a question-and-answer session.

The annual Neal-Marshall Lecture in Public Policy began in 1989 as a partnership of the School of Public and Environmental Affairs and the Neal-Marshall Alumni Club. It honors Indiana University's first male and female African American graduates, Marcellus Neal and Frances Marshall. Previous speakers have included former Gary Mayor Richard G. Hatcher, the late U.S. Rep. Julia Carson, former U.S. Rep. Lee H. Hamilton, talk-show host and IU alumnus Tavis Smiley and former IU trustee Cora Smith Breckenridge.

Effective May 14, 2009, Professor Eric Wright will assume the role of SPEA associate dean on the IUPUI campus. He will retain his role as director of SPEA's Center for Health Policy until a successor is recruited.

Professor Wolfgang Bielefeld has been appointed SPEA’s IUPUI Director of Overseas Education and Programs. Professor Bill McGregor has agreed to similarly serve as SPEA’s Bloomington Director. Bielefeld and McGregor will work to increase the number of students who participate in overseas study.

Professor Matt Auer has been appointed Dean of the Hutton Honors College by the Indiana University Trustees. He will remain a member of the SPEA faculty, continuing to teach for the School.

Chancellor's Professor James Perry was elevated to the rank of Distinguished Professor, Indiana University's most prestigious academic appointment.

Professor Kurt Zorn has been named Associate Vice Provost at IU Bloomington. He will be responsible for overseeing the University Division on matters relating to dual credit, working with the director of athletic development to coordinate programs that support student-athletes, and coordinating initiatives related to curricular development.

schneiderStephen H. Schneider, one of the world’s leading experts on climate change science, presented the 2008 Charles F. Bonser Distinguished Lecture in October. The topic was “Changing the Course of Global Climate Change,” with events taking place over a two-day period.

On Day One, Schneider answered questions following a screening of “The 11th Hour,” a documentary film about climate change. The film is narrated by actor Leonardo DiCaprio and includes Schneider as one of several featured experts.

On Day Two, Schneider delivered a lecture entitled “Does U.S. Climate Policy Really Matter?”

Schneider is the Melvin and Joan Lane Professor of Interdisciplinary Environmental Studies in the Department of Biological Sciences at Stanford Unversity, and has been actively involved with the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change.

The Bonser Distinguished Lectures are designed to bring to campus prominent and influential figures in academic, business and politics to speak on complex interactions between business and public policy.

Yao and studentsOn January 23, 2009, Chinese NBA All-star player Yao Ming visited Indianapolis with the Houston Rockets – in town to play the Pacers. Through coordination among SPEA, the Center on Philanthropy, and Conseco Fieldhouse, a group of Chinese students and Chinese visiting scholars from SPEA were given the opportunity to watch Yao’s practice and met the star. The 7-feet-6-inch tall basketball player is one of the most popular superstars in China – not only because of his professional play in the NBA but also because of his philanthropic activities for earthquake relief and youth development.

SPEA Offers First Mayors Institute
Mayors of 39 Indiana cities took part in specialized training in November as SPEA and the Indiana Association of Cities and Towns launched the first Mayors Institute. The two-day program featured experts on governing, including former Indiana Governor and South Bend Mayor Joe Kernan, former Indianapolis Mayor Stephen Goldsmith, and former Fort Wayne Mayor Graham Richard.

Craig E. Hartzer, clinical professor and director of the Executive Education Program for SPEA, notes “We have extensive experience putting together these sorts of programs and making them meaningful and relevant. It’s a very positive thing for IACT and IU SPEA to be forming this partnership.”

The program was designed specifically for Indiana mayors. Participants acquire practical tools for meeting real-life challenges as IU SPEA faculty, IACT staff, and guest speakers led them through interactive leadership problem-solving exercises with their colleagues from around the state.

winnersThe first five recipients of a new undergraduate scholarship, the SPEA Academic Admission Award, were announced recently. They include (pictured, from left): Amy Allen, Environmental Management major, Bloomington, Ind.; Heather Gordon, majoring in Health Administration, Mishawaka, Ind.; Philip Heleringer, Legal Studies major, Louisville, Ky.; Evansville native Susan Miller, majoring in Health Administration; and Katharine Russell, Indianapolis, Nonprofit Management major.

The award, created for the school's highest-achieving newly admitted students, is based on students’ IU cumulative grade point average.

“SPEA's goal is to serve the very best students who are interested in public and environmental affairs,” said Burney Fischer, SPEA clinical professor and director of undergraduate programs. "We understand that financial incentives are important to students, particularly in these difficult economic times. We look forward to these students becoming future leaders in SPEA and in their careers.”

Lilly Endowment Inc. has awarded IU $2 million over three years to support the Center for Urban Policy and the Environment (CUPE) and its work through SPEA’s IU Public Policy Institute (PPI). CUPE is one of three research centers operating under the Indianapolis-based Institute, which also includes the Center for Health Policy and the Center for Criminal Justice Research. Established in 1992, CUPE works with state and local governments and their associations, neighborhood and community organizations, community leaders, and business and civic organizations to identify policy issues, analyze options and develop strategic plans for responding to challenges.

SPEA professor John L. Krauss directs both CUPE and PPI. The Lilly Endowment grant, according to Krauss, will enable the Center and the Institute to advance their efforts to provide independent, original research and program development in such areas as housing, land use, government reform, and economic development.

gutmanGretchen Gutman (MPA ’87) was named the SPEA 2008 Distinguished Alumna. The award is the highest honor bestowed by the school in recognition of outstanding professional achievement and service to the school and beyond

Gutman is currently a partner at the Taft, Stettinius, Hollister LLP law firm in Indianapolis. She began her public service career as public finance director for the Allen County Commissioners, followed by nearly a decade as Senate Majority fiscal analyst for the Indiana Senate Republicans. Gutman then Gutman then entered the private sector working for the international energy company, Mirant.

"I think Gretchen Gutman is a model for graduates of the School of Public and Environmental Affairs," said IU President Emeritus John Ryan, who is also a professor emeritus in SPEA. "She is recognized as an effective and competent public servant. She has served in government and she has served in the private sector, always involved with the development of policy and the carrying out of the programs serving the public."

The Society for Risk Analysis presented its 2008 Distinguished Achievement Award to SPEA Dean John D. Graham. The award, the highest honor given by the Society for Risk Analysis, recognizes extraordinary achievement in science or public policy relating to risk analysis. It was presented during the Society's annual meeting in Boston.