Indiana State University
This year’s Community Semester, a program by Indiana State University’s College of Arts and Sciences, is putting a new spin on what creative minds have to offer.
“‘Old Wine in New Bottles’ is my way of saying Arts and Sciences are looking at things from a new perspective,” said Roby George of the theme. George is this year’s program coordinator and director of bands at State.
The kickoff event, “Teaching About Genocide,” is 7 p.m. Jan. 28 at the CANDLES Holocaust Museum and Educator Center and will include a lecture by Isaac Land of the history department and a panel of guest speakers.
“Another special and historical event has to do with the Martin Luther session,” George said in reference to the event at 10 a.m.on April 28 at Immanuel Lutheran Church. “In the Footsteps of Martin Luther: Trumpet of Reforms” will include student presentations about Martin Luther and the Reformation, musical interludes and a celebration of the 500th anniversary of the beginning of the Protestant Reformation.
The visual arts will be featured during the presentation “Why is That Art?” in the University Art Gallery at 5 p.m. Feb. 9, which promises an interesting interpretation of the significance of contemporary art by scholar and artist Terry Barrett. All students are encouraged to attend, and educators from the state of Indiana will also receive Professional Growth Points for attending the lecture.
The semester isn’t all lectures, though. Some of the events are interactive, such as the return of “Night at the Museum” event 6-8 p.m. March 29 in the Science Building. The hallways and laboratories will come alive at night, as faculty present a number of family-friendly, hands-on activities for all ages.
The semester will also highlight the music department with two concerts, two environmental science presentations and an event on successful internships for students.
“It’s important to highlight events throughout the College of Arts and Sciences, one of the most active colleges at the university,” George said. “There’s quite a variety of activities that go on throughout the year within College of Arts and Sciences.”
Although many of the departments in the college participate, one of George’s future goals is to integrate even more into future Community Semester seasons.
“One of the problems I ran into while coordinating was getting all the departments involved,” he said. “Next year, I want to branch out and get all of the areas making up the College of Arts and Sciences to have an event. Get people who aren’t involved this year to get involved next year.”
In conjunction with wanting more widespread involvement, George is also looking forward to the expansion of community attendance, which is one of the main reasons why Community Semester began.
“I think it is a great idea to get people in the community involved. It’s brilliant to showcase what’s going on with the college,” he said.
The connection between the university and community has always been a prominent theme and tradition is definitely one of the most exciting highlights of the semester, with events like “Night of the Museum,” which is co-sponsored by the Vigo County Public Library with participation by Indiana State’s departments of biology, chemistry and physics, earth and environmental sciences, and the Center for Bat Research, Outreach, and Conservation.
To commemorate the end of the semester, a closing concert by Terre Haute Children’s Choir is set for 6:30 p.m. April 26.
Although this is George’s first year as coordinator, he is no stranger to the effect these events have on the community and Indiana State.
“The biggest benefit of Community Semester is that it gets students involved and brings us as a university closer to the Wabash Valley to identify a common ground,” he said.
In the past, the events of the semester have garnered 3,000 to 4,000 attendees, and the magic that keeps the community coming is accessible events that are interesting.
“My thinking was to get diversity involved, because something exciting happening in the community will draw its members,” George said.