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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.


The family of Sandra Petronio, Ph.D., has announced her passing on April 20, 2024. Dr. Petronio had deep connections across the Indianapolis campus from the IU School of Liberal Arts to the IU School of Medicine, Communication Privacy Management Center, and Center for Translating Research into Practice, among other units. During her more than 20-year association with Indianapolis, Dr. Sandra Petronio became known for her teaching and innovative research in the Department of Communication Studies as well as her mentorship and support of other scholars in the department, throughout the School of Liberal Arts, and across our campus.

A Celebration of Life ceremony is planned for May 21. Please see full story for details.

Indiana University Indianapolis (IUI) and the Institute of Reproductive Grief Care®, the global authority on reproductive grief care research and education, announced that Dr. Maria Brann, professor in the IU School of Liberal Arts Communication Studies, and Dr. Kelsey Binion, a recent IU School of Liberal Arts Communication Studies Health Communication alum, earning her master’s and PhD in 2019 and 2023 respectively, will be speaking at the Institute’s Symposium on reproductive grief care.

The Symposium takes place at the Institute’s San Diego headquarters on March 22, 2024. It brings together professionals from across the academic, healthcare and business sectors, including Drs. Brann and Binion, to learn and share groundbreaking research and best practices related to pregnancy loss and reproductive grief care.

Dr. Kelsey Binion, a recent School of Liberal Arts Communication Studies Health Communication alum earning her master’s and PhD in 2019 and 2023 respectively.

In February 2024, Dr. Latha Ramchand officially took the reins as the inaugural chancellor of IU Indianapolis and executive vice president of Indiana University. As she learns more about the campus she now leads, she has been touring the various IU Indianapolis schools to meet and engage in conversations with students, faculty, and administration.

Dean Tamela Eitle and a group of liberal arts students, faculty, and staff recently welcomed Chancellor Ramchand to Cavanaugh Hall for a tour and a chance to experience some of the exciting academic, research, and community activities going on the School of Liberal Arts.

As the sun rose on a rainy October morning, excitement buzzed through the halls of the Ray Bradbury Center in the IU School of Liberal Arts in Indianapolis on the IUPUI campus. We were about to welcome a crew from PBS's WTIU/Indiana University Radio & Television Services to film a feature for their Journey Indiana series, called A Fantastic Fate. This wasn't just any ordinary day; it was a chance to share our passion for literature and the legacy of one of America's most beloved authors.

IU School of Liberal Arts Department of Communication Studies researchers Jennifer J. Bute and Maria Brann are bringing attention to grief felt by patients after a reproductive loss by helping to create a tool that can reshape clinical practice and aid patients facing complicated grief.

Approximately 2 million American women experience pregnancy loss each year. After such a loss, patients can experience grief, post-traumatic stress, anxiety, depression, suicidal behaviors and profound threats to identity. In clinical settings, mental health issues after reproductive loss can be missed if health care providers lack the tools to detect the symptoms and measure their intensity.

Since its inception in 1989, the Center for the Study of Religion & American Culture on Indiana University’s Indianapolis campus has become known across the globe as a leader in its field. The center’s focus is to increase understanding of the influence of religion in the lives of Americans through impactful research and service to the public.

The center’s reach expanded in 2020 when the Association of Religion Data Archives transitioned its operations from Penn State to its current home at IUPUI. The ARDA was recently awarded a $1.6 million grant from The John Templeton Foundation to continue its work, which complements a $2.4 million grant it previously received from Lilly Endowment Inc. The funds will help the ARDA provide important data to clergy members, community leaders, journalists, and researchers as well as students and others who interact with the center.

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