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!

Independence Day

June 29th, 2015

This week we will celebrate the Fourth of July. John Adams advocated celebrating it with “pomp and parade, with shows, games, sports, guns, bells, bonfires, and illuminations from one end of this continent to the other”. Whether any of these factor into your own festivities, or whether you have your own traditions, the day marks a major change in human events. In 1776, the Declaration of Independence was signed by fifty-six men, putting our country on a path to freedom and self-determination that has since been copied by dozens of other nations. Before 1776, the evidence was scant that any people could successfully govern themselves without kings or aristocracy. Today, it is common knowledge.

John Adams and Thomas Jefferson were two of the drafters of that declaration – two of many men who overcame vast personal differences and interests to forge an intricate working government that would strive and evolve towards serving the needs of all its citizens. They were friends, then. But later events, including incredibly bitter elections in 1796 and 1800, left the men as personal and political enemies, divided in their views on national institutions, relationships with France and England, the strength of the federal government as compared with the states, and national security. It would be years before they reconciled, in 1812, but both men finally died as friends on July 4, 1826, the fiftieth anniversary of the adoption of the Declaration of Independence.

jefferson and adams

Still, it is an important lesson for us. Two people who would seem to agree on so much had almost irreconcilable views on every major national policy issue. Both believed their views fervently and honestly. And both came by their beliefs through rigorous and intellectual thought – they were not fools who were tricked into anything. But this is hardly unique in human thought – meaning and truth are often contested. Well-meaning and credible people always have widely divergent views and beliefs. And whether they intend to or not, they often try to convince you of the rightness of their cause.

At IU East, we believe a truly free person is one who can see these intentions, examine these arguments, and who can critically evaluate any claims – whether they are ones you are inclined to distrust, or, perhaps even more importantly, if they are ones you are inclined to accept. A free person reads, and thinks, and researches. They ask themselves many questions before coming to a conclusion. Who is making the claim? Why? Do they get anything out of it? What are the implications? And we may also come to different conclusions, like Adams and Jefferson – but we will not be at anyone’s mercy, or led down a path we do not understand or agree with.

This freedom – the freedom that comes from clear, critical thought – is one reason why libraries are so important. Information is made accessible to anyone, to evaluate and consider rationally any argument. Like all libraries, IU East has lots of sources for this. CQ Researcher is a database that offers deep, heavily footnoted and fact-checked primers on major issues of the day, including an overview, a chronological history, potential pros and cons, and plenty of multimedia. Opposing Viewpoints in Context lets the different stakeholders speak for themselves, choosing leading intellectual authorities on both sides of every major debate to write very partisan, but well-thought out and researched position papers. And we offer our own Beginning Research libguide, to help any scholar get started with questioning, evaluating, and learning.

Any questions? Ask them at!