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This is your central location for IU School of Liberal Arts news. Check back regularly for the latest stories highlighting the research and academic accomplishments in and around our liberal arts community.


Associate professor and sociologist Dr. Andrew Whitehead, Department of Sociology is among eight IUPUI researchers, with current projects such as improving the quality of care for older adults and better understanding the role of Christian nationalism in the U.S., that have been honored as 2023 Research Frontiers Trailblazers.

This annual award from the Indianapolis campus’s vice chancellor for research recognizes associate professors in the first three years of their academic appointment who have made exceptional contributions to research in their field. This year’s recipients mark the largest group of honorees in the award’s history, joining 35 others who have been recognized since the award’s inception in 2010.

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Dr. Edward Curtis, William M. and Gail M. Plater Chair of the Liberal Arts and Professor of Religious Studies in the IU School of Liberal Arts has been awarded the 2023 Evelyn Shakir Non-Fiction Arab American Book Award from the Arab American National Museum. Curtis’ book, Muslims of the Heartland: How Syrian Immigrants Made a Home in the American Midwest explores the world of the first two generations of Arab Muslims who settled in the Midwest in the late nineteenth and early twentieth centuries, offering an intimate portrait of fifteen women and men who lived in the Dakotas, Indiana, Iowa, and Michigan. “I shed a tear or two of joy when I received the news,” said Curtis. “It means so much that the book award comes from the Arab American National Museum.” Curtis will be honored during the Arab American National Museum award ceremony in November.

The IU School of Liberal Arts at IUPUI is proud to announce that a new $1.2 million grant from Lilly Endowment Inc. to Indiana University Foundation will fund research about the hopes, challenges, and experiences of parents in the Episcopal Diocese of Indianapolis in passing on their religious faith to their children.

Lilly Endowment is supporting the research through its Christian Parenting and Caregiving Initiative. The aim of the national initiative is to help parents and caregivers share their faith and values with their children.

Congratulations to Holly Cusack-McVeigh, PhD, this year’s recipient of the 2023 Bantz-Petronio Translating Research into Practice Faculty Award at IUPUI. Dr. Cusack-McVeigh is an associate professor of Anthropology and Museum Studies and Public Scholar of Collections and Community Curation in the IU School of Liberal Arts with an appointment in the Native American & Indigenous Studies Program. Dr. Cusack-McVeigh received this award in recognition of her scholarly research that is deeply grounded in social justice and centered in an interdisciplinary, community-based collaborative approach to address real-world issues.

Congratulations to Alyssa Pier, MA student in the IU School of Liberal Arts Museum Studies program, who was honored this spring with the prestigious William M. Plater Civic Engagement Medallion at IUPUI. Alyssa was one of 22 students recognized for demonstrating exemplary commitment to their communities during their years as an IUPUI student.

The William M. Plater Civic Engagement Medallion, named in honor of IUPUI’s former Executive Vice Chancellor and Dean of the Faculties (1988 to 2006), was established in 2006 to honor IUPUI graduates who have excelled in their commitment to the community through activities such as service learning, volunteerism, community/social issue advocacy, community work-study, and political engagement. 

See the full list of 2023 Plater Medallion Recipients »

Learn more about the William M. Plater Civic Engagement Medallion »

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