Thursday, December 31, 2009

Beijing Dragon Show Acrobats at Westlane

Indianapolis' Westlane Middle School students got a taste of a different culture when the Beijing Dragon Show Acrobats performed at the school on December 17, 2009, writes Indianapolis Star reporter Gretchen Becker.

The Washington Township school has had partnerships with Chinese schools since 2006 and offers Chinese classes for students. In addition, teachers and administrators from Westlane have visited China, and Chinese staff and students have come to Westlane.

The photo, from The Star, shows Westlane sixth-grader Delvon Hunt, 13, spinning two basketballs with the help of Zhang Fenggang.


Wednesday, December 30, 2009

Ethnic Groups Stage New Year's Eve Parties

At least three galas are scheduled for New Year's Eve by ethnic groups in Indy:

The New Year's Eve Dance begins at 8 p.m. in the German-American Klub, 8602 South Meridian Street, Indianapolis. Sponsored by Die Fledermaeuschen Tanzgruppe, tickets are $15. For reservations, call 317:460-4270. There'll be dancing to the music of Jay Fox and the Bavarian Showtime Band. We will have fun, music, dancing, noisemakers, snacks and a champagne toast at midnight.

A family-centered New Year Celebration also begins at 8 p.m. in the India Community Center, Indianapolis. Sponsored by India Association of Indianapolis, tickets are $5 family, $2 individual. For more innformation, call Sumit Thaker: 317:374-7472.

A Multiethnic New Year's Eve Party takes place at the Latvian Community Center, 1008 West 64th Street, Indianapolis. Join the Latvians, Scots, Poles, Finns, Lithuanians and others for an international celebration.


Tuesday, December 29, 2009

Global Health in Peru: A sabbatical project

Eric Wetzel, biology professor at Wabash College in Crawfordsville, will be spending his 2010 sabbatical in Peru studying and working in the field of Global Health. He'll be updating his progress and writing about his work through this blog.


Agribusiness Development Team Back from Afghanistan

Soldiers of the 1-19th Agribusiness Development Team are scheduled to return to Indianapolis tomorrow (30 December). The team, 63 Indiana Army National Guard Soldiers, conducted counterinsurgency operations in Khowst and East Paktika Provinces, Afghanistan.


Monday, December 28, 2009

Dr. Torabi Receives Award from Eta Sigma Gamma

Mohammad Torabi, Chancellor's Professor and chair of the Department of Applied Health Science in Indiana University's School of Health, Physical Education and Recreation, received the Distinguished Service Award from Eta Sigma Gamma (National Health Education Honorary) during its recent conference, reports the IU News Bureau.

Professor Torabi received a B.S. and M.S.P.H. from Tehran University, a Ph.D. from Purdue University, and M.P.H. from Indiana University. In addition to chairing the Department of Applied Health Science, he serves as co-director of the Rural Center for AIDS/STD Prevention and director of the Center for Health and Safety Studies. Torabi's research focus has been in the area of measurement and evaluation of school and public health education programs and factors associated with health behavior.

Sunday, December 27, 2009

People in the Fight Against AIDS in Tanzania

Dr. Theresa Kaijage (pictured), founder of WAMATA, a grass roots Tanzanian non-governmental organization that works with people affected by HIV/AIDS, presents a convocation entitled "WAMATA, People in the fight against AIDS in Tanzania" at 1 p.m. 3 February 2010 in Carpenter Hall's Goddard Auditorium on the campus of Earlham College in Richmond. Admission is free.

The acronym stands for the Swahili phrase "Walio Katika Mapambano Na AIDS Tanzania" which means "People in the fight against AIDS in Tanzania".


Thursday, December 24, 2009

Toys for Burmese Refugees

"Forty children who are refugees started their Christmas celebrations a little early on Dec. 17," reported Gretchen Becker in The Indianapolis Star's "North Indy" section today.

"Most of the children are from Burma, attend Nora Elementary School in Washington Township and will be observing their first Christmas in the country, said Milana Mileva, the school's English as a Second Language teacher.

"To make them feel welcome and to help struggling families, American Funds employees, who regularly volunteer at the Far-Northside school, donated clothes, toys, books and school supplies, and food for the children and their families."

Until it's taken down, there's also a photo gallery of the event here.


Wednesday, December 23, 2009

Copenhagen, China...and DePauw

"We have learned quite a few things after a week as student observers at the United Nations climate change summit in Copenhagen," DePauw University students Pucong Han and Anthony Baratta wrote in the China Daily last week. Their letter was reported by the DePauw news bureau. The pair are among a group of DePauw students who traveled to Denmark, for the climate change conference known as COP15. (photo, l-r: DePauw students Taylor Cantril, Anthony Baratta, Andrew Maddocks)

"Our class of 13 -- four students from China, one each from India and Myanmar, and seven from the United States -- walked around the Bella Center and took note of the positions articulated by different countries," the two undergraduates write (Pucong Han '11 hails from Beijing, while Anthony Baratta '11 is from Ohio). "Although the negotiations were complex one thing was clear. Irrespective of the outcome at Copenhagen, our generation of Chinese and American youth has the opportunity to work together to solve the issue of climate change. The youth in both countries can cooperate by raising awareness about global warming. In fact, many students have already taken the lead."

Their letter to the editor continues, "We helped found the DePauw Environmental Policy Project, the program that brought us to Copenhagen. The youth in both nations can cooperate by facilitating understanding between China and the U.S. There is often suspicion between our nations. Both wonder -- 'Is the other sincere in its promises?' Here in Copenhagen, a 'China-U.S. Youth' dinner brought together 50 Chinese and an equal number of American students. We ate Gong Bao Chicken, Zuo Jiao Beef, and other delicious dishes. During the meal, we discussed what we had learned about global warming, as well as the contentious issues debated at the climate summit. By the end of the evening, we had become friends and better understood the reasons for our countries' disagreements regarding a new climate change treaty. We were no longer mistrustful of the others' intentions. We hope that more American and Chinese students would have opportunities to learn from each other. Maybe, we will play a small part in encouraging cooperation between our countries."

They add, "We are doing this because we are the leaders of tomorrow. Climate change is an issue that will not disappear anytime soon, and we must try to mitigate its impact and adapt."

China Daily is the most widely-circulated English-language daily newspaper published in the People's Republic of China.


Tuesday, December 22, 2009

"Assuring Global Food Security"

The 2010 edition of the Purdue University Agricultural Alumni Fish Fry will feature not one, but two guest speakers.

A pair of World Food Prize Laureates, Philip Nelson (left; 2007) and Gebisa Ejeta (right; 2009), both Purdue University College of Agriculture faculty members, will speak on the topic "Assuring Global Food Security."

The luncheon, scheduled for 6 February, begins at 11:30 a.m. in the Toyota Blue Ribbon Pavilion at the Indiana State Fairgrounds in Indianapolis.

The World Food Prize has been presented annually since 1987 by the World Food Prize Foundation and recognizes significant contributions in any field involved in improving the world food supply. The award was established by the late Norman E. Borlaug, winner of the 1970 Nobel Peace Prize.

Tickets for the Ag Alumni Fish Fry are $20 and must be purchased in advance. Tickets are available by contacting the Purdue Ag Alumni office at 765-494-8593 or by e-mailing

Known as a fish fry by tradition, the menu features both Indiana farm-raised yellow perch and roasted pork loin entrées. The perch is donated by the Indiana Soybean Alliance, while the pork loin is donated by Indiana Packers Corp.

The Ag Forecast, a program highlighting important topics in agriculture, will precede the Fish Fry starting at 9:30 a.m. in the Grand Hall, also located on the fairgrounds.


Monday, December 21, 2009

Daniels to Honor World Food, Noble Prize Winners

Governor Mitch Daniels will honor Purdue University Agronomy Professor and World Food Prize Laureate Gebisa Ejeta with the 2009 Dr. Phillip E. Nelson Innovation Award this evening at an event to be held at the Governor’s Residence, reports Inside INdiana Business. He will also present Indiana University Economist and Nobel Prize Winner Elinor Ostrom with a Sagamore of the Wabash. Ostrom, an Indiana University faculty member since 1965, traveled to Stockholm, Sweden earlier this month to receive the Sveriges Riksbank Prize in Economic Sciences in Memory of Alfred Nobel for her work on economic governance, especially of the commons.

Dr. Ejeta is the second recipient of the award Daniels created in 2007 to recognize outstanding Hoosier scientists for their unique discoveries, research and inventions, and to encourage young people to consider careers in science. The award is named to honor of Dr. Phillip E. Nelson, a Purdue University scientist awarded the 2007 World Food Prize for his revolutionary achievements in the field of food processing. The Nelson Innovation Award selection committee consisted of five Hoosier scientists from the state’s universities and private industry. Ejeta will receive a commemorative plaque and a $5,000 honorarium from the privately funded Indiana Economic Development Foundation.


Sunday, December 20, 2009

Haitian Writer to Speak at Butler University

CANCELLED DUE TO EARTHQUAKE IN HAITI: Author Edwidge Danticat, winner of a 2009 MacArthur Foundation "genius grant", will NOTopen the spring 2010 Vivian S. Delbrook Visiting Writers Series at 7:30 p.m. 13 January in the Reilly Room of the Atherton Union at Butler University, Indianapolis. Her presentation will be rescheduled later.

Danticat is a novelist whose moving and insightful depictions of Haiti’s complex history are enriching our understanding of the Haitian immigrant experience. In works that chronicle the lives of ordinary Haitians, she evokes themes of family, isolation, and community that, while grounded in a specific cultural milieu, resonate with a wide range of audiences.

Her books include The Farming of Bones (1999), The Dewbreaker (2004) and the memoir Brother, I’m Dying (2007), which pays tribute to her father and uncle through an unflinching account of the triumphs and tragedies they experienced in Haiti and the United States. She has been a visiting professor of creative writing at New York University (1996-1997) and the University of Miami (2000 and 2008).

Next up on 11 February is Junot Diaz, who was born in the Dominican Republic. All events in the series are free and open to the public; no ticket is required. Call 317:940-9861 for more information.


Friday, December 18, 2009

South Shore Orchestra Heads to China

Valparaiso University’s Confucius Institute will continue building artistic and cultural exchanges between the United States and China during the holiday season as it leads the South Shore Orchestra on a tour through several Chinese cities 26 December through 5 January.

Valpo violinist and music professor Dr. Gregory Maytan will join the orchestra as a featured soloist during its tour, which includes seven performances in music venues renowned throughout China. Leading the tour are Jianyun Meng, a Chinese instructor and director of Valpo’s Confucius Institute, and Jiangang Liu, associate director of the institute.

More than 70 musicians from the South Shore Orchestra will participate in the tour, which will include performances in Beijing and Zhejiang Province, Indiana’s sister province. The orchestra will perform a combination of Chinese and American music during its tour. Dr. Maytan, who has performed extensively throughout the United States and Europe, will be featured on pieces including “The Butterfly Lovers” violin concerto by He Zhanhao and Chen Gang during the upcoming tour.

Valpo is the first faith-based university in the United States to host a Confucius Institute, a non-profit institute established and funded by the Chinese government to promote cultural, business, educational, artistic and government exchanges.


Thursday, December 17, 2009

IPFW Names International Student Services Director

Indiana University–Purdue University Fort Wayne has hired a new director of International Student Services, reports Inside INdiana Business. Brian Mylrea comes from the University of Wisconsin Oshkosh, where he served as ISS assistant director for the past five years. The ISS office serves as the initial contact for all students from abroad and remains a point of reference during their time on campus.


Tuesday, December 15, 2009

Québec Firm to Acquire Tangent Rail Corporation

Stella-Jones Inc. announced today that it has signed a non-binding letter of intent to acquire Tangent Rail Corporation (“Tangent”), a provider of wood cross-tie supply chain services to the railroad industry. This acquisition will expand Stella-Jones’ capabilities within the U.S. railway tie industry and provide the Company with creosote manufacturing operations. Stella-Jones is based in Saint-Laurent, Québec, Canada.

Tangent serves the railroad industry with treated wood products, mainly railway ties, through facilities located in Warrior, Ala.; Terre Haute and Winslow, Ind.; Alexandria, La. and McAlisterville, Penn. The wood preservative, creosote, is produced at its distilleries in Terre Haute, Ind., and Memphis, Tenn.


Monday, December 14, 2009

Cummins to Participate in 2010 World Expo

Columbus-based Cummins Inc. has announced it will be an official sponsor of the USA National Pavilion at the 2010 Shanghai World EXPO, reports Inside INdiana Business. The event involves more than 190 countries and is expected to attract up to 70 million visitors. The EXPO will focus on environmentally sustainable development.


Thursday, December 10, 2009

German Church Road's German Church Threatened

German Church Road on the far east side of Indianapolis got its name from St. John's Church (pictured). Built in 1914, St. John’s is the German Church. The congregation, dating to the 1850s, was originally comprised primarily of German immigrants who farmed the surrounding area. The present building, originally known as Deutsche Evangelische St. Johannes Kirche, is the third structure on the site. Its Tudor Gothic Revival architecture and stained glass windows mark it as the “gateway” to the community of Cumberland.

According to the Historic Landmarks Foundation of Indiana, a developer has offered St. John’s congregation a "significant amount" for the property. Historic Landmarks Foundation has filed for emergency designation of the church by the Indianapolis Historic Preservation Commission.

The Cumberland Town Council unanimously passed a resolution favoring preservation of the structure, and Indianapolis City-County Councilor Benjamin Hunter submitted a letter supporting the preservation plan. Negotiations for compromise continue with the developer's representatives, though so far no resolution has been achieved.

UPDATE (3 February 2010):
The Metropolitan Development Commission has approved an emergency motion to protect a 1914 church at the northeast corner of Washington Street and German Church Road, Indianapolis (source).


Wednesday, December 9, 2009

Artie Yellowhorse at Bear Creek Gallery

Third-generation jeweler and designer Artie Yellowhorse will be at Bear Creek Gallery, 8659 River Crossing Boulevard, Indianapolis, tomorrow (10 December) through Sunday (13 December). Her "wearable art" includes pendants, earrings, rings, necklaces in turquoise, amber, sugilite, lapis, carnelian and gold. Yellowhorse, born and raised on the Navajo reservation in Arizona, is part of the Towering House Clan. Her grandfather, Cuthair Yellowhorse, began the family design tradition by working with silver and turquoise.


Tuesday, December 8, 2009

University of Evansville Students Head to Caribbean

The University of Evansville is returning to the Dominican Republic to help develop a humanitarian project, reports Inside INdiana Business.

Students from the Schroeder Family School of Business Administration and UE's mechanical engineering program will be in the Caribbean country in January to work on a project to help create sustainable, green energy and make it available throughout the entire Dominican Republic.


Sunday, December 6, 2009

Germans, Scots Meet in Indy on Wednesday

Two ethnic group members of the Nationalities Council of Indiana have their regularly scheduled meetings on Wednesday (9 December).

Jeanette Footman and Alice Matsuo will talk about "The Wonderful World of German Breads and Pastries" at the 7:30 p.m. meeting of the Indiana German Heritage Society in the Max Kade Room of the Athenaeum, 401 East Michigan Street, Indianapolis. The meeting is preceded by an optional Stammtisch (no-host dinner) at 6:30 p.m. in the Athenaeum's Rathskeller Restaurant. For more information, contact Claudia Grossman, 317:464-9004.

Scottish toasts are the topic for the 6:30 p.m. meeting of the Scottish Society of Indianapolis. The evening begins with a pitch-in dinner at the Latvian Community Center, 1008 West 64th Street, Indianapolis.


Friday, December 4, 2009

Brazil Consulate Stops in Indy Tomorrow

Indiana Partners of the Americas today announced collaboration of their organization with the Brazilian Consulate in Chicago to open a Travelling Consulate tomorrow (5 December) from 9:30 a.m. – 4 p.m. at The Market Street Center in the Stockyards Building, Suite 1200, 136 East Market Street, Indianapolis.

Indiana Partners of the Americas is a member of the Nationalities Council of Indiana.


Wednesday, December 2, 2009

IUPUI European Studies Conference

The first European Studies conference at Indiana University-Purdue University in Indianapolis will be held on Friday (4 December) from 9 a.m. to 2:30 p.m. in Campus Center 305 on the IUPUI campus. There will be three panels and research presentations from faculty colleagues in the Indiana University School of Liberal Arts departments of History, Communication Studies, and Political Science and the Herron School of Art. For more information, contact John McCormick, 317:274-4066.


Tuesday, December 1, 2009

Dow AgroSciences and Canadian Biotech

Indianapolis-based Dow AgroSciences LLC and Agrisoma Biosciences Inc. of British Colombia, Canada have signed a research and commercial license option agreement, reports Inside INdiana Business. The deal provides Dow AgroSciences with access to Agrisoma's proprietary Engineered Trait Loci (ETL) technology. The two companies have collaborated since 2004 on high value protein production in plants and plant cell cultures. The new agreement builds on that relationship and expands use of the ETL technology into field crops.