Saturday, June 30, 2007

Local Culture vs. International Expectations

Kyle Elyse Niederpruem, president of Kyle Communications, Inc. (and a former reporter for The Indianapolis Star), writes about her experiences hosting a group of journalists visiting Indy for the U.S. Grand Prix in an Indianapolis Business Journal perspective piece:

"When you see the city through a traveler's eyes, it can open your own. A test drive with a small group of international journalists visiting Indianapolis recently reveals why this city still has a very long way to go before it can claim itself to be a cultural destination point -- from the simple task of pouring a glass of wine correctly to sampling the night life (what there is of it)."

She concludes:

"What do journalists want when they visit this city?

"Local flavor, local culture. More choices also result in better stories that travel well. Yes, we have a lot to offer and we're up and coming. But until we can pour the wine correctly, I have my doubts."

The Ethnic Hoosier, always a contrarian, notes that it is "local flavor and local culture" to close restaurants early, not have much late-night entertainment downtown and be somewhat clueless about fine wine.

Perhaps Ms. Neiderpruem would have done better taking the visitors to some local favorites and not try to replicate the experiences they'd expect in Paris (or New York City, for that matter).

Friday, June 29, 2007

Mexican Fiesta in Fort Wayne

From 29 June - 1 July, stop by Headwaters Park Pavilion (East) in Fort Wayne for the MEGA Fiesta!

Regional Mexican music, dance, food and culture is promised.

There'll be music by El Pegasso del Pollo Estevan, Latin Royalty and others, plus food Ofelia's Lounge, Burrito Colonial, Griffin's BBQ, Arctic Ice, Pence's and Nissi's South American Restaurant -- plus free children's rides all three days.

For more information, call Angie Soto, 260:494-8914, or send an email to

Tuesday, June 26, 2007

Grupo Fantasma to Play at Purdue

Purdue University's Latino Cultural Center will present a free concert by Grupo Fantasma (right) from 9–11 p.m. on Saturday (14 July) at Slayter Center, 1209 West Stadium Avenue, West Lafayette, according to the Purdue News Bureau.

Based in Austin, Texas, Grupo Fantasma features Spanish-language vocals and a four-piece horn section anchored by a percussion and rhythm section. The band fuses Afro-Latin funk, cumbia, hip-hop, salsa and merengue to create their own sound.

Monday, June 25, 2007

Indiana Latino Economic Development Conference Set for October.

An Indiana Latino Economic Development Conference will be held from 8 a.m. - 5 p.m. 24 October at the Indiana Government Conference Center, 402 West Washington Street, Indianapolis.

Strategic partners for the conference are the Indiana Governor's Office, Indiana Economic Development Corporation, Ivy Tech Community College, Indiana Commission on Hispanic/Latino Affairs, Purdue Cooperative Extension Services, Indiana State Hispanic Chamber of Commerce, Indiana Statewide Latino Hispanic Association and others.

The conference will provide a forum for networking opportunities and the exchanging of ideas and resources. The goal is for minorities to develop into a strong and viable force for driving economic development in the state. The conference also is being marketed to non-Latinos to foster relationships and to provide mutual opportunities and access to resources.

Keynote presentations will include Governor Daniels, former Indiana Secretary of Commerce Mickey Mauer; former Ivy Tech President, Gerald Lamkin; John Klipsch, Executive Director for the Indiana Stadium and Convention Building Authority; Gary Gibson, Indianapolis Airport Authority and Earl Goode, Commissioner of Major Moves.

The Indiana Statewide Latino Hispanic Association, managed by BoseTreacy Associates LLC, is serving as fiscal agent and event planner for the conference.

Sunday, June 24, 2007

Central Indiana Workers Center Meets

The Central Indiana Workers Center pushed for immigrant rights during a meeting this weekend on current legislative proposals dealing with immigration reform, according to Inside INdiana Business.

The open gathering also promoted a national campaign for equality for those who come from other countries.

Saturday, June 23, 2007

Narendra Jadhav Visits I.U.

Narendra Jadhav, an economist and educational leader in India, and the author of best-selling books about his family's experience overcoming India's caste system, will return next week to visit Indiana University, according to the IU News Bureau. He earned a doctorate in economics at IU in 1986.

Jadhav, now vice chancellor of the University of Pune in Maharashtra, joined the Reserve Bank of India in 1977 and heads its Department of Economic Analysis and Policy today. He also advised the executive director of the International Monetary Fund from 1998 to 2002, and has published nearly 80 journal articles and books about monetary policy, public finance and international economics.

He is perhaps best known to millions of Indians, particularly many of its 165 million Dalits, for his book Outcaste -- Life and Triumphs of an Untouchable Family in India (Viking, 2003).

On Tuesday (26 June), Jadhav will tour the IU Bloomington campus and meet with Michael A. McRobbie, IU's president-elect; Sumit Ganguly, director of IU's India Studies Program; and Patrick O'Meara, dean for international programs. Vinay Dhumale, an Indian filmmaker who is directing a film about Jadhav's life, will accompany him.

Jadhav, who was born in Mumbai in 1953, earned a doctorate in economics from IU in 1986. While at IU, he received the Best International Student Award and the Award for Outstanding Contribution to Economic Theory.

His other books include Monetary Economics for India (Macmillan, 1994) and his edited book Challenge to Indian Banking: Competition, Globalization and Financial Markets (Macmillan, 1996).

Established one year after India gained its independence in 1948, the University of Pune is one of the leading centers for research and teaching in the country. Its 40 departments cover a wide array of academic programs in the arts, science, commerce and languages. Jadhav was named vice chancellor this year.

Thursday, June 21, 2007

Study to Focus on Hispanic Business

A new study sponsored by the Greater Indianapolis Chamber of Commerce’s Hispanic Business Council and Latinus Group Enterprise Facilitators will focus on Hispanic business owners in central Indiana, according to Inside INdiana Business.

The goal of the study is to provide recommendations for business growth, training and networking opportunities. The study will involve half-hour surveys with approximately 1,500 Hispanic business owners.

The 30-minute survey is being conducted in person by specially-trained Indiana University-Purdue University Indianapolis (IUPUI) students in both Spanish and English and is in collaboration with the Indiana Business Research Center, the IUPUI Solution Center and Butler University.

Hispanic business owners interested in participating in the study should call 317:487-6026.

For further information about the project, please call Roberto Curci, 317:940-9980.

Wednesday, June 20, 2007

Learning How to Teach Chinese

The Chinese Pedagogy Institute opened Sunday. Sponsored by Indiana University in Bloomington and its East Asian Studies Center, the two-week intensive course is all about teaching Mandarin Chinese at the secondary level.

Fifteen prospective and practicing high school teachers of Chinese are enrolled this year. Jennifer Liu, East Asian languages and cultures professor, and Chinese language coordinator at IU, is leading the course.

IU was one of 34 institutions awarded a grant by the National Security Language Initiative's STARTALK, a federal program aimed at increasing the number of Americans learning critical need languages such as Chinese and Arabic.

Tuesday, June 19, 2007

Bastille Day Celebration in Indy!

Celebrate the quintessential French holiday with the Alliance Française of Indianapolis: Bastille Day.

This family barbecue will be held from noon to 4 p.m. Sunday (15 July) in Lilly Shelter at Eagle Creek Park in Indianapolis (enter through the 71st Street gate -- there is a $4 fee to enter but lunch is courtesy of the Alliance).

Food grilling will be 12:30-2:30 p.m. Bring a favorite dish to share, a chair, and frisbee, pétanque -- whatever you like, and we'll provide the rest.

It's a great family event. Guests are welcome for $5, AFI members are free, and we always welcome new memberships.

Please RSVP by 11 July so they can plan food purchases: send an email to, or call Eloïse Sureau, at 317:924-3878 with the names of those attending and the ages of the children.

Monday, June 18, 2007

Purdue Prof Wins World Food Prize

Philip E. Nelson (left), the Scholle Chair Professor in Food Processing at Purdue University was named winner of the World Food Prize for his contributions to food processing and preservation, according to Purdue's News Bureau.

Nelson retired as head of Purdue's Department of Food Science in 2003, a department he helped establish in 1983.

Nelson is credited with developing technology to transport processed fruits and vegetables without product spoilage. The technology, known as aseptic bulk storage and distribution, revolutionized global food trade.

In aseptic processing, food is stored at ambient temperatures in sterilized containers free of spoilage organisms and pathogens. The headspace inside the containers is then filled with an inert nitrogen gas.

More than 90 percent of the approximately 24 million tons of fresh tomatoes harvested globally each year are aseptically processed and packaged for year-round remanufacture into various food products, according to the World Food Prize Foundation.

Nelson will receive his $250,000 award at an Oct. 18 World Food Prize ceremony in Des Moines, Iowa.

Saturday, June 16, 2007

Blogging about IUPUI in Kenya

Diane "Petey" Scott, a student at Indiana University-Purdue University in Indianapolis, has been blogging about her time in Eldoret, Kenya.

A recent post:
"I love the days that I get to go out for field work in the rural areas. The landscape is by far the most fascinating and diverse of any place in the world that I have ever been. One day I am watching an orange and purple sunset drop behind mountain peaks as I head for home and the next I am trekking into the interior across tree dotted plains under the bluest sky I have every seen. It is so beautiful here that I am convinced Kenya is the place that Mother Nature calls home."

Learn more about IUPUI's Eldoret project.

Friday, June 15, 2007

Cummins Supplies Bus Engines to Beijing

Columbus-based Cummins, Inc. has signed a deal with Beijing Public Transport Holdings Ltd. to supply 1,400 diesel and natural gas engines to power transit buses in China's capital city, reports Inside INdiana Business.

Cummins says this is the largest order of Euro IV diesel engines in the Chinese bus market. The order is part of the transport company's fleet upgrade to prepare for the 2008 Summer Olympic Games being held in Beijing.

China began adopting European on-highway emission standards in 2001 and the countrywide environmental standard is now Euro II. Beijing leads the country in terms of emission compliance with Euro III being the current standard, and the capital city will move to Euro IV in 2008.

Cummins is the largest supplier to China's nationwide Euro III/IV diesel bus engine market and is the largest supplier in the country's natural gas transit bus engine sector.

Franklin Electric Expands in South Africa

Bluffton-based Franklin Electric Co., Inc.,is buying a pump manufacturing and distribution company in South Africa, acording to Inside INdiana Business.

The company has entered into an agreement with Howden Africa Holdings Limited to acquire Howden's 42 percent stake in Pump Brands Limited.

The deal must first be approved by the South African Competition Authority before Franklin Electric can purchase the rest of the company. Franklin Electric officials say the purchase will increase its presence in South Africa. Pump Brands does business as Denorco Engineered Pumping Solutions.

Wednesday, June 13, 2007

International Harp Competition in Bloomington

Virtuosic harp music once again will ring through recital halls on the Indiana University Bloomington campus, as the Seventh USA International Harp Competition takes place from 4-14 July, reports the IU News Bureau.

Founded in 1989 by renowned harpist and IU Jacobs School of Music Distinguished Professor of Music Susann McDonald (right), the USA International Harp Competition is one of the largest and most prestigious events of its kind in the world.

Held every three years, the competition is open to harpists of all nationalities between the ages of 16 and 32 and has consistently attracted some of the finest young talents from throughout the world. Since the first USA International Harp Competition in 1989, more than 270 harpists from 17 countries have come to Indiana to compete.

Tuesday, June 12, 2007

Angie's List to Expand to Europe in 2008

Indianapolis-based Angie's List has received $9 million from current shareholders and bond financing that it will use to expand into 25 more U.S. cities this year and Europe in 2008, reports Indianapolis Business Journal Daily.

Angie's List already provides a listing of consumer opinions about businesses in 124 U.S. cities to more than 500,000 consumers across the U.S. In Indianapolis, it rates 12,247 service companies.

Sunday, June 10, 2007

A poet from Japan

Kae Morii 森井香衣, a member of the Japan Poets Club, is among the wordsmiths converging on Indianapolis 24-27 June for the 3rd National Gathering of Poets Laureate.

The theme of the gathering is "Sporting Words" as the participants will use poetry to celebrate Indiana's rich history and current culture in athletics.

Saturday, June 9, 2007

Indiana first state to adopt East Asian language standards

Action taken by the State Board of Education this week made Indiana the first state to adopt grade-level standards specific to Chinese, Japanese and Korean languages for all grades kindergarten through twelve.

The Indiana Department of Education’s World Language Standards Revision Task Force developed a separate, yet related, set of standards specifically geared towards East Asian languages, according to a press release.

The revision of the state’s standards for world languages is part of a larger effort designed to equip Indiana students with the skills needed for success in a global economy. Click here for Indiana’s academic standards for world languages.

Friday, June 8, 2007

Cummins Builds in Wuhan, China

Cummins says it broke ground today on its first fuel systems plant outside North America.

Cummins Fuel Systems - Wuhan will be the Company's 13th production facility in China and is expected to begin production early next year.

Wuhan also is home to a regional Cummins service center and a technical center joint venture owned by Cummins and Dongfeng Motor Company. Cummins plans to invest approximately $10 million in the plant, which will assemble Cummins Common Rail (CCR) fuel pumps and CELECT injectors/fuel pumps primarily for the China market.

Cummins Fuel Systems designs and manufactures new and replacement fuel systems primarily for heavy-duty on-highway diesel engine applications. Much of the current production goes to the Company's engine business, with Scania being Cummins' primary outside customer.

Cummins currently designs and machines fuel systems in Columbus, Ind., and has an assembly operation in Juarez, Mexico.

Thursday, June 7, 2007

Better crop storage method for Africa

A Purdue University team will help residents of 10 African countries increase their supply of cowpeas thanks to an $11.4 million Gates Foundation grant to Purdue Agriculture.

The five-year project on crop storage will cover the countries of Benin, Burkina Faso, Cameroon, Chad, Ghana, Mali, Niger, Nigeria, Senegal and Togo.

Purdue University entomologist Larry Murdock (at left - with bagged cowpeas!) discovered that cowpea weevils can be controlled if the crop is properly stored. With a one-time cost estimated at a little more than $3 per household, farmers in West and Central Africa will learn how to better protect cowpeas, an important food and cash crop.

Cowpeas, better known in America as black-eyed peas, are marketed by an estimated 3.4 million households in those countries. Even though cowpea yields are low, the legume is one of the few grain crops that can be profitably exported by farmers in this dry, resource-poor part of Africa.

Proven effective in pilot projects, the Purdue-developed hermetic storage method involves triple bagging the cowpeas in plastic and sealing them tight. Not only is the process low-cost - basically the cost of the plastic bags - it's also safer than current practices of either no protection or treating cowpeas with insecticides.

Purdue will work with partners in Africa to recruit and train technicians who will travel from village to village to demonstrate this method for cowpea storage. In addition, the Purdue team will work with manufacturers and suppliers in the region to ensure that appropriate plastic bags are available.

The cowpea is a key crop prioritized in the Alliance for a Green Revolution in Africa's (AGRA) Program for Africa's Seed Systems (PASS), an effort to improve the availability and variety of seeds that can produce higher yields in the often harsh conditions of sub-Saharan Africa.

AGRA is an African-led response to broad calls in Africa for a partnership working across the continent to help millions of small-scale farmers and their families lift themselves out of poverty and hunger. Alliance partnerships focus on key aspects of African agriculture: from seeds, soil health and water to markets, agricultural education and policy.

AGRA is based in Nairobi and supported by the Gates Foundation and the Rockefeller Foundation.

Wednesday, June 6, 2007

ICIC gets major grant from Eli Lilly and Co. Foundation

The Eli Lilly and Co. Foundation has awarded a $480,000 grant to the Indiana Center for Intercultural Communication at Indiana University-Purdue University in Indianapolis for a literacy project to help limited English speakers improve their health care options.

The long-term goal is to develop effective training and communication tools so people with limited English proficiency can have better access to medical information and treatment.

International School names new Head of School

David Garner will be the new head of the International School of Indiana beginning in August. He replaces Alain Weber, who will officially leave on 30 June to become the Head of the French Lycée in Chicago.

Garner is currently the Head of School at the International Secondary School in Eindhoven in the Netherlands. A native of Nottingham, UK, he is moving to Indianapolis with his wife Sylvie (who is French) and their daughter, Nathalie. A son, Jonathan, lives near Toronto, Ontario.

More than 200 students, parents, faculty and others attended Weber’s farewell party in the school’s Taurel Building on 24 May. Mr. Weber was also presented with the prestigious Sagamore of the Wabash award, a Declaration from the Mayor of Indianapolis of Alain Weber Day, and a presentation of the Alain Weber Endowment Scholarship.

Garner is an expert in international education, language acquisition and the impact of language on cognitive development. Prior to his work at International Secondary School of Eindhoven, Mr. Garner was the Headmaster of the Grammar School, British International School of Prague. His teaching experience includes serving as an IB English instructor at the International School of Vienna and as the Regional Project Director with the Centre for British Teachers Ltd. in Morocco, supervising the work of British teachers placed in French-speaking Moroccan secondary schools to teach English.

Mr. Garner, who has dual French and English citizenship, has an MBA in Educational Management from the University of Leicester in the UK and an MA in Applied Linguistics from the University of Reading, also in the UK. He speaks German, French, Russian, Dutch and English.

Lilly's latest investment in China

BioVeda China today announced a $10 Million investment from Lilly Asian Ventures, reports Genetic Engineering & Biotechnology News.

BioVeda China, headquartered in Shanghai, is the first international venture capital fund focusing on life sciences investments in China. The investment has shown Lilly's commitment to expand its economic footprint in the fast growing life science industry in China.

BioVeda China helps to create and build future industry leaders, and transform Chinese companies into the next generation multinationals. BioVeda China will use funds provided by Lilly Asian Ventures along with other investors to invest in local Chinese life sciences companies.

Lilly Asian Ventures is a newly established spin-off of Lilly Ventures, one of the top venture capital organizations in the health care industry. Lilly Ventures identifies developing enterprises that have promising new technologies but need the funding and support of experienced investors to be successful.

Tuesday, June 5, 2007

Dr. He is new director of IU Center for AIDS Research

Johnny J. He, Ph.D. (left), has been named director of the Indiana University Center for AIDS Research.

Dr. He’s major research interests are the molecular mechanisms of HIV infection and development in the central nervous system and how the HIV and hepatitis C viruses evade human immune systems. An associate professor of microbiology and immunology and of medicine, Dr. He also is an associate member of the Walther Oncology Center.

Dr. He completed a BS at Sichuan University, Chengdu, China, and an MS at Beijing (China) Agricultural University. He also received master’s and doctoral degrees from New York University. He completed post doctoral studies at Aaron Diamond AIDS Research Center at Rockefeller University and the Dana Farber Cancer Institute at Harvard Medical School.

The IU Center for AIDS Research supports a multi-disciplinary environment in basic, clinical, epidemiologic, behavioral and translational research for the prevention, detection and treatment of HIV infection and AIDS.

Monday, June 4, 2007

Italian Street Festival is next weekend

Indianapolis' summer ethnic festival season kicks off Friday and Saturday with the 24th annual Italian Street Festival.

Food is the star here, with more than 25 different Italian meats, pastas, salads and desserts on sale. Admission is free.

There will be live music and dancing, and games for everyone.

Hours both days are 5-11 p.m. The place is the corner of East and Stevens street (on the near southside of Indianapolis). It's sponsored by Holy Rosary Roman Catholic Church with the assistance of the Italian Heritage Society of Indiana.

On Saturday (9 June), there will be a mass at 4:30 p.m. in the church. A colorful, traditionally Italian religious procession takes place at 6:45 p.m. and is followed by a second mass at 7 p.m. The Catholic Choir of Indianapolis will be singing at both masses.

Saturday, June 2, 2007

ISU band director works in Singapore

John P. Boyd (left), director of bands at Indiana State University and coordinator of ISU's Wind/Percussion Division, served as visiting professor and full-time conductor of the chamber winds ensemble at Yong Siew Toh Conservatory of Music in Singapore for the 2006-7 academic year.

Boyd was the first full-time conductor the chamber winds ensemble at the conservatory, and taught classes in conducting and wind literature.

The Conservatory was established in 2001 in collaboration with the Peabody Institute of the Johns Hopkins University and the National University of Singapore, a leading university in the Asia-Pacific region. The Conservatory offers undergraduate degrees in performance in orchestral instruments, piano, and composition, and has an enrollment of 180 students representing 12 countries, including the United States and New Zealand.

Friday, June 1, 2007