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School of Liberal Arts News Center

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.


In 2020, as the COVID-19 pandemic lingered from days, weeks, and into several months, it became clear the social and physical impacts of the pandemic affected everyone. For university professors, the methods of teaching shifted dramatically. Courses were moved entirely online, resulting in increased time spent on course prep and research. Like many other professionals, faculty were also forced to find time to manage childcare and homeschooling.

Rachel Wheeler, chair and professor of religious studies at the IU School of Liberal Arts, recognized this problem and assembled a team of IUPUI faculty to develop an app, COVIDCV, that allows individuals to document burdens and challenges posed by the pandemic. The team is now moving to a broader app, RealCV, which will use artificial intelligence to translate work that often goes unacknowledged, frequently called “invisible labor,” into a set of skills, such as strategic planning, project management and communications, that will be legible to current and potential employers.

The IU School of Liberal Arts annual alumni awards were presented on campus last week during the 2023 IUPUI Alumni Leaders Dinner. Tory Schendel-Vyvoda, David Girton, and Etta Ward have distinguished themselves professionally and have exhibited exceptional service to the School, IUPUI, IU, and our local community. The Indiana University Alumni Association (IUAA) shared appreciation for the alumni and volunteer leaders for their gifts of time, talent, and treasure to the IUPUI campus and its alumni programs.

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.

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News, insights, discoveries, and creations from Indiana University faculty.

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Contributions that our faculty make to others through transactional research.

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