projects

Lawrence County projects

Indiana University’s Sustaining Hoosier Communities initiative partners with a local community to explore, understand and resolve challenges identified by the community.

Economic sustainability projects

  • Bedford Shared Work Space

    An important obstacle to entrepreneurship and small business start-ups is the availability of community-based workspace. In collaboration with the Chamber of Commerce, the class will reimagine and redesign the interior spaces of two downtown locations for conversion into shared workspace. Students will assess the needs of local entrepreneurs and plan their designed spaces according to those findings.

    Community Partner

    Shance Sizemore, Director, Bedford Chamber of Commerce

    IU instructor

    Marlene Newman, School of Art and Design

    Project course

    SOAD-D 374: Advanced Interior Architectural Design Studio, 16 undergraduates, spring 2018

  • City Gateways

    Bedford and Mitchell are planning to build city gateways that mark the entrances of these communities and celebrate their unique identities. Students from IU, led by professors from the School of Art and Design, will learn about the community identities of both cities and present gateway designs for each community to reflect their unique attributes.

    Community partners

    Shawna Girgis, Mayor of Bedford
    JD England, Mayor of Mitchell
    Marla Jones, City of Bedford Director of Community and Business Development
    Mark Bryant, City of Mitchell Clerk-Treasurer

    IU instructors

    John Racek, School of Art and Design
    Jenny El-Shamy, School of Art and Design

    Project course

    SOAD-A 211: Cross-Disciplinary Workshop—Design for Social Impact, 25 undergraduates, fall 2017

  • Complete Streets

    Project teams will utilize common national metrics for walkable and bicycle-friendly communities to provide a gap analysis for Bedford. Teams will also research best practices in complete streets policy and implementation and make specific recommendations for moving forward with aspects of the 2016 Bicycle and Pedestrian Master Plan.

    Community partner

    Dan Kirk, Director of Planning and Zoning, City of Bedford

    IU instructor

    Bill Brown, School of Public and Environmental Affairs

    Project course

    SPEA-S 515: Sustainable Communities, 30 graduates, fall 2017

  • HWY 50 Bypass

    Students will assess the feasibility of adjusting the current route of HWY 50 away from the downtown Bedford square. The class will analyze the impacts of an alternate corridor for the highway and the potential for business development in the downtown area.

    Community partner

    Dan Kirk, Director of Planning and Zoning, City of Bedford

    IU instructor

    Frank Nierzwicki, School of Public and Environmental Affairs

    Project course

    SPEA-V 365: Urban Development and Planning, 40 undergraduates, spring 2018

  • Little Theatre

    In order to assist the Little Theatre retain its position as a vibrant part of the Bedford community, the class will create best practices for fund development, board development, community relations and audience development. The class will investigate comparable local theatres and propose strategic plans that include both business and artistic perspectives.

    Community partners

    Penny and Jack May, Little Theatre of Bedford

    IU instructor

    Ursula Kuhar, School of Public and Environmental Affairs Arts Administration Program

    Project course

    AADM-Y 650: Seminar in Arts Administration, 20 graduates, fall 2017

  • Train Depot Visitor Display

    The City of Bedford will turn the recently relocated Milwaukee Road passenger depot into a community and tourism information center in the heart of downtown. A graduate laboratory will research and develop an interpretive exhibit about Bedford and Indiana’s limestone heritage. Students will translate interviews, historical photographs, and other related data into ten interpretive panel prototypes that could be used at the Visitor Center.

    Community partner

    Marla Jones, Business and Community Development Director, City of Bedford

    IU instructor

    Jon Kay, Department of Folklore and Ethnomusicology

    Project course

    FOLK-F 532: Public Practice in Folklore and Ethnomusicology, 12 graduates, spring 2018

Environmental sustainability projects

  • Avoca Fish Hatchery

    The decommissioned Avoca Fish Hatchery is in the midst of transfer from Indiana’s Department of Natural Resources to the Lawrence County Community. The class will spend the semester evaluating the site in order to propose a long-term vision and management plan for the historic, cultural resource. Students will apply ecological and social knowledge, skills, and abilities to the Avoca Fish Hatchery Case, presenting the community with a variety of potential proposals to consider for the sustainable stewardship of the newly acquired resource.

    Community partner

    Barry Jeskewich, Director, Parks and Recreation

    IU instructor

    James Farmer, School of Public Health, Recreation, Parks and Tourism Studies

    Project course

    SPH-O 305: Integrated Resource Management, 30 undergraduates, fall 2017

  • Gus Grissom Trail Design

    The city of Mitchell is in the early stages of planning a multi-use trail from Gus Grissom’s boyhood home to his memorial in Spring Mill State Park. Classes in the School of Informatics will pilot technological features for the larger trail on an existing trail within the park. Features might include: solar powered trail counters; phone apps to monitor and maintain the trail; and a public facing web portal. Art and Design students will design educational signage and a “brand book,” outlining the branding specifications that can be followed when the signs are designed and put into production. 

    IU instructors

    JD Mitchell, Mayor, City of Mitchell
    Allen Burris, Resident, City of Mitchell
    Tonya Chastain, Lawrence County Tourism Commission

    IU instructors

    John Racek, School of Art and Design
    Jenny El-Shamy, School of Art and Design
    Bryce Himebaugh, School of Informatics, Computing, and Engineering

    Project courses

    SOAD-S 450: Graphic Design Problem Solving, 15 undergraduates, spring 2018
    SOAD-S 452: Seminar in Graphic Design,15 undergraduates, spring 2018
    CSCI-P 442: Digital Systems, 30 undergraduates, spring 2018

  • Hoosier National Forest Dark Sky Designation

    To increase the number of visitors and their enjoyment of the forest, the Hoosier National Forest is pursuing Dark Sky designation for parts of the forest within Lawrence County. Light sensors—developed by IU Informatics and Computing Professor Bryce Himebaugh—will be deployed in the fall semester to generate data needed to identify accessible locations with low enough light pollution to qualify for designation. In the spring semester, students will improve the sensors and provide a report to Hoosier National Forest staff on areas suitable for Dark Sky designation.

    Community partner

    Andrea Crain, Public Affairs Officer, Hoosier National Forest

    IU instructor

    Bryce Himebaugh, School of Informatics, Computing, and Engineering

    Project course

    CSCI-P 442: Digital Systems, 30 undergraduates, spring 2018

Social sustainability projects

  • Civics and Financial Literacy Curriculum

    In partnership with stakeholders from Bedford North Lawrence Schools, IU students will develop a civics and personal financial health curriculum for middle school students enrolled at Bedford Middle School. The engaging curriculum will connect to the needs expressed by the community and will focus on issues of financial well-being and planning, and developing a sense of community belonging and participation. The curriculum will meet specific principles set out in the Indiana Academic Standards (IAS).

    Community partners

    Larry Will, Retired, NSWC Crane
    Gene McCracken, Lawrence County Commissioner
    Christy Wintczak and Sarah Lee, Curriculum Directors, Bedford North Lawrence Schools
    Gary Conner, Superintendent, Bedford North Lawrence Schools

    IU instructor

    Deb Getz, School of Public Health, Applied Health Sciences

    Project courses

    SPH-F 150: Intro to Life Span Development, 150 undergraduates, fall 2017

  • Community Gardens

    Assist in continuing the strength and success of community gardens in the Mitchell and Bedford communities through a life-span development model. Students will create fundraising, marketing, and community engagement plans for the community gardens—tailored to residents of varying ages.

    Community partner

    Rachel Beyer, Lawrence County Community Wellness Coordinator

    IU instructor

    Deb Getz, School of Public Health, Applied Health Sciences

    Project course

    SPH-F 150: Intro to Life Span Development, 150 undergraduates, fall 2017

  • Diversity Commission

    In addition to assessing the internal and external factors that affect issues of diversity in the city of Bedford, students will conduct interviews and online surveys to understand more fully Bedford residents’ attitudes, views, and perceptions of the diversity of their community.

    Community partner

    Shawna Girgis, Mayor of Bedford

    IU instructor

    Minjeong Kang, Media School

    Project course

    MSCH-R 428: Public Relations Planning and Research, 25 undergraduates, spring 2018

  • Gus Grissom Trail Use for Healthy Communities

    In collaboration with Live Well Lawrence County, students in public health and in biology will work to develop and test physical activity interventions in order to promote active living and health. The goals of the project include encouraging physical activity as a way to reduce cardiovascular disease, with particular focus on high blood pressure and hypertension.

    Community partners

    JD Mitchell, Mayor, City of Mitchell
    Allen Burris, Resident, City of Mitchell
    Tonya Chastain, Lawrence County Tourism Commission

    IU instructors

    Whitney Schlegel, College of Arts and Sciences Department of Biology
    Jeanne Johnston, School of Public Health, Department of Kinesiology

    Project courses

    BIOL-P 451: Integrative Human Physiology, 50 undergraduates, fall 2017

    SPH-K 553: Physical Activity in Health, 20 graduates, fall 2017

    SPH-K 554: Seminar in Physical Activity and Wellness, 15 graduates, fall 2017

    SPH-K 556: Physical Activity Assessment in Public Health, 30 graduates, spring 2018

  • Issues of Addiction

    Through a series of classes in social work and law, students will research and analyze the social and legal issues of drug use, abuse, and addiction. The classes will explore the impacts of drug use on individuals and families and will examine best practices used in other communities as models for addressing drug use issues in the Lawrence County community.

    Community partners

    John Plummer III, Juvenile Referee, Lawrence County Circuit Court
    Mike Branham, Sherriff, Lawrence County
    Nedra Fleetwood, Chief Probation Officer, Lawrence County

    IU instructors

    Kristin Hamre, School of Social Work
    John Keesler, School of Social Work
    Victor Quintanilla, School of Law

    Project courses

    SWK-S 502: Research Methods in Social Work, 20 graduates, fall 2017
    SWK-S 505: Social Policy Analysis and Practice, 20 graduates, fall 2017
    LAW-B 515: Project Management for Lawyers, 21 graduates, spring 2018

  • Youth Council

    Building on work already in place in the community, the class will create a dynamic youth engagement program for high school students to educate them about and involve them in local government and civic engagement opportunities to build active, engaged and empowered youth, committed to the success of their community.

    Community partner

    Shawna Girgis, Mayor of Bedford

    IU instructor

    Deb Getz, School of Public Health, Department of Applied Health Sciences

    Project course

    SPH-F 180: Survey of Practice with Youth and Families, 40 undergraduates, spring 2018