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Fisher Named Dean of the Dwyer College of Health Sciences

Posted on: March 14th, 2017 by
Photo of Thom Fisher

Thom Fisher, new Dean of the Vera Z. Dwyer College of Health Sciences at IU South Bend.

Dr. Thomas Fisher, PhD, OTR, CCM, FAOTA, has been named the new Dean of the Vera Z. Dwyer College of Health Sciences at Indiana University South Bend.

Fisher has nearly 20 years of experience in higher education, most recently as Professor and Chair of Occupational Therapy at the Indiana University School of Health and Rehabilitation Sciences at IUPUI  since 2003.

He also held faculty positions at the College of Health Sciences at Eastern Kentucky University and the College of Medicine at the University of Kentucky. In addition to his career in academia, Fisher has 18 years of experience as a practicing occupational therapist and director of rehabilitation services.

Fisher earned his PhD in Educational Psychology and Educational Specialist degree in Educational and Counseling Psychology from the University of Kentucky in Lexington. He received a Master of Science in Education with a concentration in Educational Psychology from Purdue University and a Bachelor of Science in Occupational Therapy from the IU School of Medicine in Indianapolis. He is also a Certified Case Manager, with a small practice of managing cases of persons with traumatic brain injuries.

Fisher’s professional accolades include induction into the Roster of Fellows of the American Occupational Therapy Association (AOTA), as well as recognition from the AOTA with the Award of Merit. He was also named one of the 100 Most Influential People in the occupational therapy profession.

Fisher replaces Mario Ortiz who left IU South Bend last year to be Dean of the Decker School of Nursing at Binghamton University in New York. Fisher will start his responsibilities with the Dwyer School on July 1.


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Kolbe Hosts Breakfast to Meet Area Business Leaders

Posted on: March 5th, 2017 by

Richard Kolbe, who recently became dean of the Judd Leighton School of Business and Economics, hosted a breakfast at IU South Bend on Thursday, March 2nd to meet Michiana business leaders. The group included bankers, manufacturers, attorneys, and other influential civic and business directors.

Photo of Richard Kolbe

Richard Kolbe, dean of the Judd Leighton School of Business and Economics

In his remarks, Dean Kolbe shared his excitement for the vibrant economic development activity in the region and his intention for the business school to be an integral part of these efforts—supplying a talented workforce and providing the programs businesses need to grow and advance. “I want the community to say, ‘I don’t know what we would do without IU South Bend and the Leighton School.’”

The first to attend college in his family, Kolbe expressed his desire to help students overcome the enormous challenges they face and to support them in successfully attaining their degrees and finding meaningful careers. “As a first generation college student, I place a great deal of value in education,” Kolbe explained. “It’s made a tremendous difference in my career and life. That’s what we want for our students, too”

Kolbe also gave high praises to the Leighton School faculty and staff and their commitment to the students they serve. “They take great pride in their accomplishments as teachers and scholars,” he commented. “Our faculty and staff gain tremendous satisfaction in advising and preparing our students to excel in careers in business.

He asked the group of business leaders for their help in making sure the School’s curriculum is relevant to what they do in their organizations. He encouraged them to be part of his advisory board, to provide opportunities for student internships and job shadowing, and other meaningful activities that will ensure students are prepared to be successful in today’s business environment.

He also shared his interest in entrepreneurship and small business development, and his wish to expand opportunities for students to gain valuable experience in these areas.

“I’m asking you to be my partner in this and to make sure we get it right,” he said. “My goal is to start with something really good, and to leave with something even better.”



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Author Colson Whitehead Discusses Best-Seller

Posted on: March 2nd, 2017 by

A large and appreciative audience at Indiana University South Bend got an inside look at how best-selling author Colson Whitehead wrote The Underground Railroad during an interactive discussion on Wednesday evening. Whitehead spent an hour talking about the book in a relaxed and entertaining question-and answer format with host Darryl Heller, director of the IU South Bend Civil Rights Heritage Center.

Photos of Chancellor Allison, Darryl Heller, Colson Whitehead

(L-R) Chancellor Terry Allison, Darryl Heller, Colson Whitehead.

Darryl Heller interviews Colson Whitehead

Darryl Heller interviews Colson Whitehead.

The Underground Railroad won the 2016 National Book Award for Fiction. It was also the  #1 New York Times Bestseller, #1 Time Magazine Book of the Year, #1 Amazon Book of the Year, and the selection of Oprah Winfrey for her Book Club.

Photo of Colson Whitehead event.

Colson Whitehead event at IU South Bend.

Whitehead answered questions from Heller and the audience during the session while sitting on stage at the Louise E. Addicott and Yatish J. Joshi Performance Hall. After the talk he patiently signed books for people of all ages and backgrounds who waited in a line that stretched up the stairs of the hall. Many times during the talk and book-signing he was thanked for writing the book which tells the fictional account of Cora and Caesar, two slaves who make a bid for freedom from their Georgia plantations.

Mr. Whitehead’s appearance was sponsored by the Civil Rights Heritage Center at IU South Bend as part of the celebration of Black History Month.


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IU South Bend Recognized in Dark Matter Research

Posted on: February 27th, 2017 by

Indiana University South Bend is a member of the PICO Collaboration which has announced world-leading limits in the search for dark matter from its latest experimental run using the PICO-60 bubble chamber. This new result is a factor of 17 improvement in the limit for spin-dependent WIMP-proton cross-section over the already word-leading limits from PICO-2L run-2 and PICO-60 CF3I run-1 in 2016.

The PICO-60 experiment is currently the world’s largest bubble chamber in operation; it is filled with 52 kg of octafluoropropane and is taking data in the ladder lab area of SNOLAB. The detector uses the target fluid in a superheated state such that a dark matter particle interaction with a fluorine nucleus causes the fluid to boil and creates a telltale bubble in the chamber.

The PICO experiment uses digital cameras to see the bubbles. Acoustic pickups, designed and fabricated at IU South Bend, are used to distinguish between dark matter particles and other sources when analyzing the data.

Photo of IU South Bend astroparticle team

Astroparticle team at IU South Bend: Front (left to right) Professor of Physics and Astronomy Ilan Levine, undergraduate Physics major Haley Borsodi, Engineer Edward Behnke. Back (left to right) IU South Bend graduate (BS, Physics) Thomas Nani, undergraduate Physics major Aaron Roeder. Not pictured: postdoctoral researcher Orin Harris and IU South Bend graduate (BS, Physics) Jonathan Wells.

The superheated detector technology has been at the forefront of spin-dependent searches, using various refrigerant targets and two types of primary types of detectors; bubble chambers and droplet detectors. PICO is the leading experiment in the direct detection of dark matter for spin-dependent couplings and is developing a much larger version of the experiment with up to 500 kg of active mass.

This work was supported by the US National Science Foundation under Grants PHY-1242637, PHY-0919526, PHY-1205987 and PHY-1506377, and in part by the Kavli Institute for Cosmological Physics at the University of Chicago through grant PHY-1125897, and an endowment from the Kavli Foundation and its founder Fred Kavli.

About PICO

16 participating Institutions: University of Alberta; University of Chicago; Czech Technical University; Fermilab; Indiana University South Bend; Kavli Institute for Cosmological Physics; Laurentian University; Universite de Montreal; Northwestern University; Universidad Nacinal Autonoma di Mexico; Pacific Northwest National Laboratory; Queen’s University at Kingston; Saha Institute of Nuclear Physics, India; SNOLAB; Universitat Politecnica de Valencia; Virginia Tech.

The PICO Collaboration (formed from the merger of two existing groups, PICASSO and COUP) uses bubble chambers and superheated fluid to search for dark matter. The PICO-60 detector consists of a fused-silica jar sealed to flexible, stainless steel bellows, all immersed in a pressure vessel filled with hydraulic fluid. Eight lead zirconate (PZT) piezoelectric acoustic transducers mounted to the exterior of the bell jar record the acoustic emissions from bubble nucleation and four 2-megapixel resolution fast CMOS cameras are used to photograph the chamber. The PICO-60 detector was built at Fermilab in Batavia, IL and installed underground at SNOLAB in 2012.

The PICO bubble chambers are made insensitive to electromagnetic  interactions by tuning the operating temperatures of the experiment, while the alpha decays are discriminated from dark matter interactions by their sound signal, making these detectors very powerful tools in the search for dark matter.

PICO is operating two detectors deep underground at SNOLAB: PICO-60, a bubble chamber with 52 kg of C3F8 and PICO-2L, another bubble chamber with 2.9 kg of C3F8.

The paper is now available online: http://arxiv.org/abs/1702.07666


SNOLAB is Canada’s leading edge astroparticle physics research facility located 2 km (6800 ft.) underground in the Vale Creighton Mine. The SNOLAB facility was created by an expansion of the underground research areas next to the highly successful Sudbury Neutrino Observatory (SNO) experiment. The entire laboratory is operated as an ultra-clean space to limit local radioactivity. With greater depth and cleanliness than any other international laboratory, it has the lowest background from cosmic rays providing an ideal location for measurements of rare processes that would be otherwise unobservable.

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“PICO bubble chambers provide the best discrimination against backgrounds of any dark matter detector technology. This pretty much guarantees a continued improvement of sensitivity in upcoming chamber designs. We are still very far from reaching the limits of this technique.”

Juan I. Collar Principal Investigator – US Department of Physics Enrico Fermi Institute Kavli Institute for Cosmological Physics

 These transducers were designed, fabricated and installed in the mine at SNOLAB by IU South Bend students. Without these devices, PICO would not be competitive with other dark matter experiments.”

Acoustic identification of individual subatomic particles was invented at IU South Bend.

Ilan Levine Principal Investigator – Indiana University South Bend

Department of Physics & Astronomy Indiana University South Bend

Phone (574)520-5544

Email: ilevine@iusb.edu



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Former Chancellor Lester Wolfson Dies at 93

Posted on: February 10th, 2017 by
photo of Lester Wolfson

Chancellor Lester Wolfson 1991

Lester Wolfson, the first chancellor of Indiana University South Bend, has died at the age of 93. Wolfson led the campus from 1969 to 1987 and is the longest serving chancellor in the history of IU South Bend.

“I had the privilege of speaking with him on the phone shortly after I arrived as chancellor,” said IU South Bend Chancellor Terry L. Allison. “I have a deep appreciation for his career and the service he provided IU South Bend during his 18 years as chancellor. He built the foundation of this great campus and his legacy lives on here.”

Indiana University President Michael A. McRobbie issued the following statement:

“Indiana University is deeply saddened by the passing of former Chancellor Wolfson, who was instrumental in the development of the IU South Bend campus into a thriving center for education and community engagement in north central Indiana. Under his leadership, the campus experienced many firsts — including new degree programs and academic facilities — and his lifelong love of literature and music ensured that the arts would always be a central part of the campus’ tradition. Our thoughts go out to Chancellor Wolfson’s family, friends and loved ones, as we pay tribute to his many achievements and the lasting contributions he made to the South Bend community.”

Prior to Wolfson’s service as chancellor at IU South Bend, he was Associate Professor of English at Indiana University Gary (now IU Northwest) until 1964, when he was selected as Director and Assistant Dean of IU South Bend. In 1969, he was named chancellor and retired in 1987.

Wolfson was raised in Grand Rapids, Michigan and received his bachelor’s, master’s and doctoral degrees in English from the University of Michigan. His teaching experience prior to IU South Bend included Wayne State University, University of Houston, University of California Santa Barbara, and Indiana University Gary.

He received an honorary doctorate degree in Humane Letters from Indiana University in 1988. The degree was presented to him by IU President Thomas Ehrlich at commencement ceremonies in South Bend.

The life, career, and impact of Wolfson on IU South Bend and the community can be found in the book “A Campus Becoming” published by the Wolfson Press at IU South Bend.

To send condolences to the family log on to: www.McGannHay.com.

In lieu of flowers, donations should be sent to the Wolfson Literary Awards (www.myiu.org) or the Southern Poverty Law Center (www.splcenter.org). Services will be family only with a public memorial in the near future.

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