New and Noteworthy
you'd been here
If you weren’t on SPEA’s Bloomington campus this
fall, you missed:
- Mel Foote, founder and CEO of the Constituency
for Africa, on why Africa should matter to America, and what
students can do to help change public policy. Foote’s
conversation with SPEA Professor Osita Afoaku can be heard at:
- Bloomington native and MSNBC political correspondent David
Shuster, who explained how the media regained its critical
voice after Hurricane Katrina. Hear Shuster’s talk at:
- Alice Rivlin, Brookings Institution scholar,
founding director of the Congressional Budget Office, and vice
chair for the Board of Governors for the Federal Reserve System,
on “Are We Too Polarized to Make Public Decisions?”
Hear her talk at: http://video.indiana.edu:8080/ramgen/ip/iucast/bem/lectures/aliceqa.rm.
- Shana Weber, SPEA alum and former professor
of environmental science at Santa Clara State University, on
the Sustainability Initiative for the city of Santa Clara.
The event was sponsored by SPEA, the Environmental Literacy
and Sustainability Initiative, and the Council for Environmental
you thought the dandelions in your garden yard were a problem?
SPEA has joined with the Hoosier National Forest as part of
the Invasive Plant Control Partnership, a four-year program to
control invasive plant species in mid-Indiana. Associate professor
Vicky Meretsky is heading up SPEA’s role
in the project, in which students will help remove targeted plants
such as stilt grass and garlic mustard to reduce the vigor and
size of those invasive plant populations in the area. These plants
tend to grow quickly and spread rapidly, choking native species
out of light and nutrients needed to survive.
“The problems with non-native invasive species continue
to escalate and conservation biologists realize that if something
isn’t done, many of our native Indiana plants may be in
jeopardy,” says Meretsky.
The partnership also includes the development of conservation
education for Bloomington residents and a student outreach program
for local schools to teach students about invasive plants in the
Funding for the program is also going to Luke Flory, a SPEA graduate
and doctoral candidate at IU's Department of Biology, to study
the effects of stilt grass on native plant communities.
student receives STAR Fellowship
Jonathan Raff, a doctoral student at SPEA, received
a $26,000 STAR Fellowship to study brominated diphenylethers (BDEs)
in the environment. The STAR Fellowship is funded by the Environmental
Protection Agency and will cover his study of BDEs for a year.
The pollutant has been banned but there have not been any significant
studies to determine how long these BDEs stay in the environment.
In fact, in some cases, the levels of these pollutants rival the
levels of PCBs.
Raff first became interested in BDEs when he was a graduate student
working in the Ronald Hites laboratory at SPEA. “One gap
in our knowledge,” explains Raff, “has to do with
how BDEs are transported over long distances through the atmosphere,
such as to the Arctic, and what type of reactions they undergo
during this process.”
Development Project receives additional funding
The Parliamentary Development Project (PDP)
received $500,000 to continue its work on developing a constitution
for the former Russian state of Ukraine. The funding from the
U.S. Agency for International Development (USAID) is in addition
to the nearly $5 million given by the agency to help facilitate
legislative reform in that country.
The agreement will target legislation to combat corruption, administrative
reform, and local government reform as well as legislation to
help the country integrate into international groups such as the
World Trade Organization and the European Union.
“This agreement will enhance an already exciting relationship
between Indiana University and Ukraine,” notes U.S. Senator
Dick Lugar of Indiana. “This partnership provides a wonderful
opportunity for one of Indiana’s top educational institutions
to share its research and expertise with a burgeoning democratic
The PDP is a non-partisan organization based at SPEA with offices
in Ukraine. It works with members of the Ukrainian Parliament
to draft new and reform current legislation that will allow the
country to become more democratized.
dissertation wins awards
Sergio Fernandez received the American Political
Science Association’s Leonard D. White Award for the best
doctoral dissertation in the field of public
APSA’s award com-mittee called his paper, “Analyses
of Contracting for Services Among Local Governments,” an
ambitious effort and particularly noted the real-world lessons
that public managers can learn. Fernandez was also recognized
by the National Association of Schools of Public Affairs and Administration
for his dissertation.
scholarship recognized by ASPA
Robert Agranoff, professor emeritus at SPEA,
received the Daniel Elazar Distinguished Federalism Scholar Award
at APSA’s conference in Washington, DC in September. The
annual Elazar award recognizes distinguished scholarly contributions
to the study of federalism and intergovernmental relations.