As I have the opportunity to meet formally and informally with faculty members on all of our campuses, I am constantly reminded of how our incredibly talented community of educators ensures that IU successfully meets our three university missions. The passion of our teachers and researchers sets the stage for creating exceptional student experiences, conducting groundbreaking research and creative scholarship, and improving the lives of residents in Indiana and beyond.
The efforts of Eskenazi School of Art, Architecture + Design faculty member Jon Racek to provide real-world experience for his students have led to solutions for our neighbors in Paoli to address affordable housing challenges. The innovative thinking that emerged from Jon's class project at IU Bloomington gave the Paoli Housing Task Force a jump-start in meeting its community's needs. IU chemistry professor Yan Yu in the College of Arts and Sciences also combines research with a pivotal student learning experience. Her team, which includes graduate students, created a sensor to detect changes in immune cells during the breakdown of pathogens, with the goal of early infectious disease diagnosis.
Lisa Staten, an associate professor in the Department of Social and Behavioral Science at IUPUI, is leading a team on a project to improve health equity in three Indianapolis neighborhoods where residents are predominantly people of color. Staten's work in the Fairbanks School of Public Health tackles the underlying causes of diabetes while improving access to healthy food, reducing stress, and creating an infrastructure and culture that support physical activity.
At IU South Bend, counseling and human services professor Jeremy Linton has taken a unique approach to helping veterans by creating a local chapter of the national Guitars for Vets, which offers guitar lessons to veterans to aid their recovery from trauma and post-traumatic stress disorder.
The knowledge, commitment and innovation of these IU faculty members and so many others reaffirm what I've always known about IU as a cutting-edge research institution, an economic driver and a space where students always come first.