Latino Americans: 500 Years of History hosted by IU East

August 3rd, 2015


Latino Americans: 500 Years of History is a public programming initiative produced by the National Endowment for the Humanities (NEH) and the American Library Association (ALA), and is part of an NEH initiative, The Common Good: The Humanities in the Public Square. Indiana University East is the proud recipient of a $10,000 ALA/NEH which will enable us to host a variety of programs throughout the 2015-16 school year.

We kick off our theme year on September 8th with the first of six episodes of the critically acclaimed PBS series Latino Americans. Films will be shown alternately at the Morrison Reeves Library and at IU East. Film discussions will be led by Dr. Christine Nemcik, who serves as the program scholar and is Assistant Professor of History and of World Languages and Cultures at IU East. A summary of each episode is available here: and the series is also viewable online

To learn more about members of the Latino community in the Wayne County area, there will be an oral history project, “Cultural Connections.” Immediately following each film and other programs, Latino participants will have an opportunity to pair with an IU East student and tell their stories, to be compiled into a larger oral history project detailing the Latino history of the local area. In addition, IU East will launch Los lobos rojos escriben, a writing program that connects IU East students with local youth and other members of the community to share stories through writing.

For those interested in writing and activism, there will be a presentation by Dr. Marjorie Agosin on Oct. 12. Author of I Lived on Butterfly Hill and winner of the Neustadt International Prize for Literature, Agosin be on campus to speak about human rights and the memorialization of tragic events. A Chilean native who earned her Ph.D at Indiana University, Agosin’s family fled Chile in the wake of Pinochet’s administration. She has written extensively on the brutalities of the Pinochet regime and continues to advocate for women’s rights in her native country. In addition to her talk, Agosin will conduct a workshop on making arpilleras, which are tapestries intended as a form of protest. More information here:

A variety of special programs will be part of the Latino Americans theme year. At Dia de los Muertos (Day of the Dead) on October 24th at Morrisson Reeves Library from 2-3:30 participants will be able to build their own ofrendas (memorial altars) to the memory of their loved ones. There will be a chocolate tasting on January 16th at Morrisson Reeves Library and a seminar on Latinos and the local police on March 23rd, 2016. In May, Dia del Nino (Day of the Child) will be held at the Boys and Girls Club, with activities for children and their families. Starting in September 2015, you can tune in Thursdays at 9 pm to WCTV to see Vida! our community television series on Latino culture. Vida! features episodes on food, culture, history, and more.

From February 26th to March 25th, 2016 the Richmond Art Museum will host “Art is… Latin America”, an interactive cultural exploration program will focus on the art of several Latin American nations.  Children will engage in hands-on activities in small groups, recreating arts and crafts traditional or representational to the countries being studied. Teachers and homeschoolers may schedule field trips through RAM Education Director Lance Crow,

In addition to events, we have resources in the Campus Library to assist with research about Latinos. Latin American Women Writers contains 103,624 pages of prose, poetry and drama, all searchable and some including images of the original printed text. Its companion database, Latino Literature, comprises a similar amount of material. Both databases include works in Spanish, Portuguese and a limited number of English works. Sabin Americana includes a wealth of primary source documents in their original language that trace the history of the Americas. Feminism in Cuba includes documents covering the history of Cuban feminism from 1898 to 1958, a crucial period between the Spanish-American war and Castro’s revolution.

We’re excited to share what we have scheduled and invite campus and community members to participate. The schedule and additional resources are here: If you have questions you are welcome to contact us:

Student Marisa Vanzant shares the message of Positive

July 27th, 2015

The One Book, Many Voices program here at IU East continues this year with Positive by Paige Rawl. As a student and employee here at IU East, I am very excited for everyone to get the chance to read this important book, meet the author, share personal stories, etc. Not only is the story riveting, but it also has powerful messages that can be taken away by people of all ages and situations. Paige is an Indiana native and current college student, so students can definitely relate to her story, as well as anyone else who reads the book. Positive is a story of strength, dedication, struggle, and overcoming ignorance. There are extremely dark moments and extremely happy moments. You might even find yourself both grinning and crying over the course of the memoir (It has been suggested NOT to read Positive in public, such as on a plane, because of this). While the book is about issues such as bullying and HIV, there is another important idea illustrated within: the idea that one person, even you, can make a difference in the world.

Bullying is a major issue at the heart of Positive, and of Paige Rawl’s life. In fact, she helped the Indiana Anti-Bullying law get passed by Congress in 2013. Bullying is a serious issue in society today. According to Education News, one in four students in Indiana is bullied at school. As part of the One Book program, we encourage anyone to anonymously share their stories at in an attempt to help others. It is important to understand that in these situations, you are not alone. We also have a resource page on the One Book LibGuide for bullying, and an entire LibGuide devoted to bullying resources and more. is an excellent starting place. Also, October is National Anti-Bullying Month, so it is fitting that a lot of the One Book events, such as Paige Rawl’s visit to campus, will take place in October (Paige will be in Vivian Auditorium on October 27th at 7 pm). Learn more about National Anti-Bullying Month here: and get your tickets for the event here:

I hope everyone enjoys the book as much as I have, and that the impact of making this book the common read for our campus is wide reaching and long lasting.

Like One Book on Facebook to stay up to date with any information regarding the program.

Summer of service continues

July 20th, 2015

summer service learning

sarah hensley

New this summer is a tutoring program for K-12 youth in the Wayne County community. It is coordinated by Ann Tobin, campus/community liaison in the Center for Service-Learning, and IU East student Katelyn Brown, who initiated it for an Honors service project. IU East education faculty Denice Honaker provided literacy trainer for 14 IU East students serving as tutors. Representing a variety of majors, these college students help 30 young students gain an understanding of reading, math, and science. They are Kristina Kier, Dillon Hildebrand, Sarah Hensley, Hope Alexander, Hannah Castor, Hope Peer, Coty Barrett, Kaylyn Flora, Trevor Boram, Alex Estes, and Heather Rastbichler. IU East science faculty Dr. Simran Banga also serves as a tutor and plans to coordinate an after-school science tutoring program beginning in Fall 2015.

Neither summer rain nor heat could stop the many hours and activities of tutoring and other service provided by IU East students! Housed in the Campus Library, the Center for Service Engagement coordinates service-learning and other outreach opportunities in our community region. In the summer of 2015 IU East students have engaged in more than 100 (!) hours of service each week. This week’s blog introduces you to a few of these students, what they are accomplishing, and their thoughts on the experiences.

Hope Alexander

With a strong interest in History and Social Studies, Hope enjoys talking with the seniors at Friends Fellowship as a “life enhancer” and particularly listening to their stories of WWII. “Working at Friends Fellowship has been incredibly interesting to me because the residents that I work with are a living link to history, which is what I am primarily studying. While I can read text books to learn the same things, I can listen to their stories and truly understand what the experience may have felt like. These residents can teach me more about wars and the politics of the last century than any book can, and for that I am so grateful. I hope to remember these stories and pass them on to my future students.”

Hope Peer 

Hope is putting her organizational skills to good use at the Grassroots Resource Center in downtown Richmond, working on projects such as the new Women’s Resource Center, and the “$500 project.”  She shared some of the wonderful projects being funded, such as to repaint Richmond High School’s parking lot, and “Positive Tickets from Police Officers.” For that project police will give out positive tickets when children are “caught” doing the right thing, and these tickets can be exchanged for prizes. Hope also enjoyed her experiences with a “Slip-N-Slide” down Roosevelt Hill, painting murals on the sides of trash cans, and hosting a multicultural day.

Other highlights of her experiences were attending the Women’s Resource Network Information Day and a conference featuring Peter Kageyama, author of For the love of cities.  Hope notes that “It has been a really eye opening experience to the changes that are underway in my community. Especially here in Richmond, I think it is great to see so many people investing time, energy, and money into our community with hope to make it a better and more lovable, (and loved) place to live.”

Sarah Hensley

Sarah is spending time with both children and adults, so is gaining a diversity of experience.  Her major is nursing and she observed that “This will help me so much in my first few years in my nursing career.” Sarah believes in the importance of service as a reciprocal benefit for individuals and communities. Through her service at the Boys and Girls Club, Friends Fellowship, and tutoring Sarah has learned that each contribution of time and work can have a large impact.

Dillon Hilderbrand

Dillon serves in the open learning lab at Ivy Tech Henry County in New Castle. He helps Ivy Tech students study for their GED, other tests, or homework.  Dillon explained, “I had never really thought about what people go through when trying to get their GED.  I didn’t understand the struggles they had with their personal and academic lives and how that working to get their GED was very hard for many students.  Many students have a lot going on personally which affects their performance academically and I think we forget that a lot of the time.  It has really opened my eyes to not being judgmental and really looking at a person as a whole individual and not just how they are performing in a classroom at a certain time.” Dillon has helped many students progress very well and realize their potential.

Heather Rastbichler – 12 hours (10 hours at Boys and Girls Club or Girls Inc  + 2 hour tutoring):

“I am enjoying my service learning experience a great deal and feel almost like it is a class because I am learning so much. I really enjoy being at The Boys and Girls Club.” Heather interacts with children in the age range that she wants to teach when she completes her education degree.  She shared, “I am getting to know them on such a personal level. This is very important to me because I think the most important job of a teacher is to know their students…This experience will help throughout the rest of my education and when I do become a teacher. I learn how to handle certain situations there that I might not have learned until I had a classroom of my own. I learn how to help children stay busy and keep bullying at a zero tolerance level.”

Academic outreach connects expertise and opportunity

July 13th, 2015

The IU East Campus Library is an active place this summer! We hosted two Third Grade Academy (TGA) classes, coordinated the 2nd annual Crime Camp, produced two new educational television shows in collaboration with WCTV, and are the site for the Center for Service-Learning tutoring program.  Seventy-five IU East faculty, staff and students have impacted 70 youth with interactive educational programs that focus on a range of literacy skills in reading math, and science, as well as critical thinking and cultural arts. In this week’s blog we feature TGA and Crime Camp.

“I love to read now!” ~ TGA participant

third grade academy pics

During Third Grade Academy, 24 students joined us for 4 weeks, experiencing the many interesting activities IU East has available. Thanks to these IU East faculty and staff who made learning fun for students!
Reading activities by Lee Ann Adams, Denice Honaker, and Jerry Wilde
Special programs by Kara Bellew (money), Diane Baker (health care simulation), Dr. Simrin Banga (India), Amy Schrock (Spain), Tim Scales (rock painting), KT Lowe (Japanese calligraphy, poetry), Marisa Vanzant (squirrel feeders), Kyle Wright (trail clean up), Athletes (sports), Rufus & Amanda Vance (games), Carla Coombs and Martina Chomel (sundaes in The Den), and Mary Freeland (physical education)
Listeners Jack Hagenjos, Jaimie Rippey, Carla Bowen, Bailey Schroeder, Nancy Schlichte, Tracy Amyx, May Moore, Amber Hall, Marisa Vanzant, Danielle Nuss, Kim Ladd, Beth South, Matt Dilworth, Linda Melody-Cottongim, Vicki Bishop, Latishea Varnesdeel, and Vicki Chasteen
Celebration program – Chancellor Cruz-Uribe and Latishea Varnesdeel
Library facilities and services – Beth South, Marisa Vanzant, KT Lowe, Matt Dilworth

We’ve enjoyed being host site for this program since 2009 and this year collaboratively planned IU East activities with teachers Joani Sullivan, Derek Summan, Sara Frakes, Katie Strohm-Morales, and Teri Melo. We welcome them in future summers!

“It’s criminal how much fun Crime Camp is” ~ faculty participant

crime camp

The ten hour Crime Camp experience, generously sponsored by Premier Toyota Nissan of Richmond, brought together a select group of middle school students to examine, analyze and solve a crime. Thanks to the knowledge of IU East faculty, staff and students, 20 Crime Camp participants learned about evidence analysis, witness interrogation, and other skills needed to critically evaluate people and situations to solve crimes.

Special skills that were shared:
program coordination, script, crime scene, self-defense training – KT Lowe
gangs, interrogation, crime solving logic – Dr. Mengie Parker
handwriting analysis, fingerprinting, crime solving logic – Dr. Stephanie whitehead
blood grouping, dna analysis crime lab – Simran Banga, Anna Moser, Kelly Parker, Austin Barancin, Neil Sabine
criminal profiling – Shay Clamme
sketch artist – Ed Thornburg
wound analysis and care, program volunteer – Diane Baker, Dana Mathews, Whitney Ford, Cristina Berry, Ashley Patton
Completion celebration – Tim Metcalfe of Premier Toyota Nisssan
Certificate presentations – Dr. Ross Alexander
recruitment and registrations – Kierstan Barbre
tshirt design – Katie Kruth
food services – The Den
crime scene coroner role – Michelle King
Campus police officer Tim Swift
Library staff – Marisa Vanzant, Beth South
Wayne county prosecuting attorney – Mike Shipman

Fulfilling the mission…

This summer of service is reflective of the library mission “to provide resources and services that support the academic engagement and research of diverse participants in our teaching and learning community” and we look forward to continuing our tradition of service, in all its forms.
To contact us about a program or service:

Latin American Resources

July 6th, 2015

The United States is undergoing a massive demographic shift, as immigration again changes our national character and makeup. But in recent decades, the influx of people has not been from Europe but from our own hemisphere – Mexico, Central, and South America. And like generations of previous immigrants, these new Americans bring their own vibrant culture, interweaving it with the multifaceted tapestry that is already here.

Richmond seems far away from the southern border, but almost all of us have still been touched in some way by Hispanic culture – neighbors, friends, coworkers, and colleagues. Perhaps you’re curious about these cultures, and want to know more. The library has plenty of tools to study Latin American and Hispanic culture – databases like Informe Revistas en Espanol, Latin American Women Writers, Latino Literature: Poetry, Drama, and Fiction, and Sabin Americana, 1500-1926 can serve academic needs.

hispanic literature

Perhaps you would like to to engage with a culture through stories. For anyone interested in Latin American literature or media, we have lots of books and ebooks. Writings like Peel My Love Like an Onion by Ana Castillo, The House on Mango Street by Sandra Cisneros, Flight by José Skinner, The Last of the Menu Girls by Denise Chávez, or anthologies like Hispanic, Female and Young edited by Phyllis Tashlik are perfect for summer reading, and criticism like Recovering U.S. Hispanic Literary Heritage by Gerald Poyo, Hispanic Immigrant Literature: El Sueño del Retorno by Nicolás Kanellos, Latin American Melodrama: Passion, Pathos, and Entertainment by Darlene Sadlier, Contemporary Latina/o Performing Arts of Moraga, Tropicana, Fusco, and Bustamante by Leah Garland, Affinity of the Eye: Writing Nikkei in Peru by Ignacio Lopez-Calvo, or even Emergence of Latin American Science Fiction by Rachel Ferreira can enrich your understanding.

Want multimedia, instead?  Try videos from Alexander Street Press.  And we have plenty of Spanish-language films available for checkout, too. Additionally, throughout academic year 2015-16, IU East will be hosting a film series as part of a Latino Americans: 500 Years of History program funded by the National Endowment for the Humanities through the American Library Association. Dates and information about the film series and more is available here:

Any questions? Ask us at!