Cokie Roberts speaks at Ivy Tech, stresses need for political compromise

Cokie Roberts speaks at Ivy Tech, stresses need for political compromise

NPR/ABC news analyst featured at O’Bannon Institute

By Laura Lane 331-4362 | llane@heraldt.com
April 28, 2012

When National Public Radio and ABC news analyst Cokie Roberts was a kid growing up in the hallways of Congress, Republicans and Democrats sometimes compromised on big issues, standing together occasionally as political foes united for a cause or for change.

When former Republican President Gerald Ford was U.S. House minority leader and her late father, Democrat Hale Boggs, was the majority leader, they were “best friends,” she said, who on shared cab rides to Capitol Hill discussed what they would later in the day argue about. There was give and take.

That art of political compromise, Roberts said Friday afternoon during a discussion at Ivy Tech Community College, has been lost.

“That’s just gone,” she said. “The ability to seek and find a consensus. That’s the most important thing politically. You can’t get anything done now. You can’t stand and say, ‘My way or the highway’ if you’re not the only person in the room.”

She said that during this presidential primary season, candidates are finding no common ground. When asked if politicians will ever step across party lines to join forces, she said voters will decide.

“In the end, voters will have to reward people who compromise,” Roberts said.

The Emmy Award winner and best-selling author sat on stage for an hour with Herald-Times Editor Bob Zaltsberg and answered questions on topics ranging from Newt Gingrich — she called his attempt to become “emperor” and his support from the religious right “mind-boggling” — to progression of the gay marriage movement. “The majority of people today support gay marriage,” she said, “and it’s because brave gay people said to their friends (who opposed it) that, ‘You’re talking about me.’”

The talk focused on politics. Roberts praised two Indiana lawmakers she has gotten to know in decades covering Washington. She called former U.S. Rep. Lee Hamilton “a truly wonderful member of Congress” whose word could be trusted, no matter what. And she said U.S. Sen. Richard Lugar, a Republican facing his first primary opponent in more than three decades, has made “extraordinary contributions” and that the Senate would suffer with his loss.

Roberts, who said she “grew up in a household where politics was the family business,” never set out to follow the career she chose. But she fell into it when she met her husband of 45 years, Steve Roberts. “It never occurred to me to be a journalist,” she said. “Then I met my husband, who was always going to be a journalist. It was easier to switch than fight.”

She said it’s difficult to pinpoint her favorite interview. But easy to remember the worst. “Ross Perot,” she said, recalling a live 1992 Nightline show where Perot, who had unexpectedly pulled out of the presidential race, was the lone guest. “He kept getting testier and testier and testier.” She feared he might stand up and walk out, leaving her there alone. He stayed.

Later, in a phone conversation, Roberts accused Perot of being rude to her on the show. “And just to make the point,” she said, “he hung up.”


About the institute

Ivy Tech’s O’Bannon Institute for Community Service kicked off Wednesday with an awards program, followed by Thursday’s volunteer events and the annual fundraising dinner. This year’s featured speaker was Pulitzer Prize-winning columnist George Will. Friday’s events included panel discussions and a conversation with political analyst Cokie Roberts.

Journalist Cokie Roberts talks with Judy O’Bannon before her appearance Friday at Ivy Tech Community College. Jeremy Hogan | Herald-Times

Journalist Cokie Roberts talks about the current state of American politics during her appearance at Ivy Tech Community College. Jeremy Hogan | Herald-Times

Copyright: HeraldTimesOnline.com 2012

 

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Will voices some hope for America, none for the Cubs

Will voices some hope for America, none for the Cubs

By Christy Mullins
331-4266 | cmullins@heraldt.com
April 27, 2012

George Will, a Pulitzer Prize-winning columnist on politics and national best-selling author on baseball, would not predict Thursday who will be the next president of the United States.

But he did say this: Indiana Gov. Mitch Daniels was his top choice.

At Thursday night’s annual fundraising dinner for Ivy Tech Community College’s O’Bannon Institute for Community Service, guest speaker Will said he was disappointed when the Republican governor called him last May and said he wouldn’t run for office.

“Since then, I haven’t had a dog in this fight,” Will said.

About 400 people attended the dinner at the Bloomington/Monroe County Convention Center. A large handful clapped in agreement.

Will spewed voting statistics, minority percentages and political trivia throughout his hour-and-a-half-long speech.

His message, overall, was grave.

Every 10 seconds, the United States government goes more than $500,000 into debt, he said. To put that into perspective, Bill Gates could write a check worth his entire network of assets, and “he still couldn’t even pay two months’ interest on the national debt.”

Will said that’s because American families have adopted the spending habits of the American government. Spend, and see what happens.

Home equity loans, too many credit cards, and overspending have put the American economy in a lost era, Will said. “Americans can’t separate the pleasure of purchasing something from the pain of paying for it.”

Will said Americans have become too dependent on government, especially Social Security and Medicaid. He used Ida May Fuller, the first American to receive a monthly benefit Social Security check, as an example.

Fuller had worked just long enough and had paid a total $22 into the Social Security program.

“Then, in an act of recklessness, she lived to be 100,” Will said. The woman collected more than $24,000 in Social Security benefits before she died.

“Social Security was never designed for a world like this,” where people live longer and the money doesn’t last, Will said.

He also decried the nation’s tax code, calling it “codified envy.”

“Envy is not fun,” Will said. “It’s the only one of the Seven Deadly Sins that doesn’t give the sinner even momentary pleasure.”

Still, Will said, “Things, I think, are going to get better. We are not Bangladesh. We can get better by choosing to get better. We can get better by choosing to make better choices.”

In a question-and-answer portion, one Ivy Tech student asked Will if an associate’s degree is enough to get a job in the current economy.

Will suggested staying in school.

“Two hundred years ago, the source of wealth was land. We essentially gave it away,” he said. “Today, it’s human capital … education. Get some loans and stay in school.”

Another audience member asked Will if he would ever run for political office.

“No, never,” he replied. “A, it would cut into my baseball. B, I’m too old. C, I live in Maryland. Only three other Republicans live there.”

Bloomington Mayor Mark Kruzan asked whether the Cubs would ever win the World Series.

“The Cubs have not won the World Series since 1908 — that’s two years before Tolstoy died,” Will said. “No, no, it’s hopeless.”

Ivy Tech’s O’Bannon Institute for Community Service kicked off Wednesday with an awards program and continued into Thursday with a volunteer day for students, faculty and staff.

Today, the community college will host panel discussions with political analyst Cokie Roberts in the Ivy Tech Bloomington Student Commons.

Judy O’Bannon, left, and Ivy Tech Chancellor John Whikehart, center, listen as George Will talks about the books he has on his cellphone. Jeremy Hogan | Herald-Times

Award ceremony part of Ivy Tech’s O’Bannon Institute

Award ceremony part of Ivy Tech’s O’Bannon Institute

By Dann Denny 331-4350 | ddenny@heraldt.com
April 26, 2012

When students in Robert Soto’s Ivy Tech cultural diversity class conducted a “life history project,” which involved interviewing Bell Trace residents about their lives and preserving the interviews on film for their families, they came across a woman in her upper 80s who said she could never cook worth a darn.

“She said she covered up her poor cooking by using fancy china and serving lots of wine,” Soto said.

The woman, a psychiatric nurse, also said she once witnessed a psychiatric doctor inadvertently lick some LSD off his finger.

“He really started tripping,” she said.

Soto was one of several people honored during Ivy Tech’s Civic Engagement Awards ceremony Wednesday afternoon in the Connie and Steve Ferguson Academic Building, an event that kicked off Ivy Tech’s three-day O’Bannon Institute for Community Service event by honoring faculty, staff and student volunteers, as well as community partners.

“I would like to congratulate and thank this year’s civic engagement award winners, and all Ivy Tech volunteers, for making volunteer contributions to our community possible,” said John Whikehart, Ivy Tech’s Bloomington campus chancellor.

Whikehart said Ivy Tech’s commitment to service learning and civic engagement is evidenced by its collective contributions to the community, pointing out that in the past year Ivy Tech’s service learning and community service hours totaled nearly 46,000 hours for a contribution of about $894,000 to area communities.

He said this spring, Ivy Tech accounting class volunteers served more than 700 clients by preparing taxes through the Volunteer Income Tax Assistance program, and generated a college record of $1.2 million in federal refunds for those clients.

Soto, one of three recipients of the Faculty Excellence in Service Learning award, said he launched the “life history project” to show students the older generation has plenty to teach them.

“I think doing the project helped most of them realize that’s true,” he said. “One girl said she felt spoiled that she didn’t have to fetch her own water.”

Daniel Stec was given the Excellence in Student Volunteerism award for several volunteer activities, such as his participation in Ivy Tech’s Alternative Spring Break 2011, during which he and 11 other Ivy Tech students spent spring break week in an impoverished Mexican village, helping to put concrete floors in homes.

“We also took shoes collected here and distributed them to kids,” he said. “We actually got to fit the kids with the shoes. It was really a great experience.”

Stec also made two mission trips to Haiti with his home church, New Community Church in Martinsville; and volunteered as first the local coordinator and then the regional adviser for the International Student Exchange, a nonprofit organization that finds host families for international students who have come to study in the United States.

Here are the other award winners:

The Community Partner award, honoring an organization the college works with throughout the year, went to the Boys and Girls Clubs of Bloomington, which hosted community work studies, Ivy Tech AmeriCorps students and interns. Recently, the organization partnered with Ivy Tech’s poetry class on a service learning project called Art into Poetry.

The Ivy Tech John Waldron Arts Center Community Partner award went to the Bloomington Playwrights Project. In addition to the Ivy Tech/Bloomington Playwrights educational partnership over the past year, BPP has played a significant role in strengthening the arts, economy and community.

The Gayle and Bill Cook Center for Entrepreneurship award went to the Cook CEO Roundtable. Recently, the group formed an alliance with the center, and individual members made an investment to replace a valued tree in Bryan Park that belonged to a resident after vandals had cut it down.

Recipients of the other two faculty Excellence in Service Learning award were Roy Elkes and Steve Englert, for their leadership efforts in the VITA program (a learning staple for Ivy Tech accounting students since 2004).

The Excellence in Faculty/Staff Volunteerism award went to Steve Hanson for his work with the Homeward Bound Walk to benefit the poor and homeless. Additionally, Hanson has served for the past three years as director of the Monroe Tournament Division of USA Bassin Next Generation, a youth fishing tournament. In 2011, winners were offered $21,000 in college scholarships.

The Jeanine C. Rae Humanitarian award went to Jerrilyn Zeigler for her positive attitude and commitment to Ivy Tech through her student life involvement. She is a student ambassador, Student Government Association member and volunteer. Zeigler attended Alternative Spring Break 2011 and will be attending Western Kentucky University when she leaves Ivy Tech.


O’Bannon Institute events

Ivy Tech Community College’s 2012 O’Bannon Institute for Community Service in Bloomington began Wednesday and runs through Friday.

Thursday, 150 Ivy Tech volunteers will participate in a Day of Service, working with agencies in Bloomington and area communities. Volunteer locations include Red Cross Blood Drive, Habitat for Humanity ReStore, Early Head Start, Head Start, IU Health and Safety Fair at the Morgan County Fairgrounds, Bloomington Animal Shelter, City of Bloomington—Wapahani Bike Trail and Pages to Prisoners.

Thursday night, more than 400 people at the convention center will hear Pulitzer Prize-winning columnist George Will (ticket sales are closed).

Friday, panel discussions are planned at Ivy Tech.

Copyright: HeraldTimesOnline.com 2012

O’Bannon event sets great example of citizenship, leadership and service

O’Bannon event sets great example of citizenship, leadership and service

Our opinion
April 26, 2012

The headlining events of the Ivy Tech O’Bannon Institute for Community Service are the nationally known speakers who come to town. This year, syndicated columnist George Will and ABC and NPR journalist Cokie Roberts join a long list of previous O’Bannon guests including former First Lady Laura Bush, former presidential candidate George McGovern, and an impressive selection of well-known public servants and journalists.

Also each year, engaging groups of panelists cover a variety of topics of importance to the community and civic engagement.

With all that, the crux of the O’Bannon Institute’s message is embodied in other lower-profile activities that occur this week. Awards were handed out Wednesday that helped illustrate how Ivy Tech students were able to log nearly 46,000 hours of service learning and community service in the past year. The volunteer efforts contributed nearly $900,000 to community organizations.

In addition, 150 Ivy Tech students were scheduled to volunteer in “Day of Service” activities today at various locations throughout area communities.

The O’Bannon Institute each year helps focus on one of the strengths of the Ivy Tech Bloomington campus — its unwavering commitment to being a good citizen and active participant in the community through its students, faculty and staff. The event sets a good example for everyone.


George Will

Copyright: HeraldTimesOnline.com 2012

Civic Engagement Awards ceremony to kick off 2012 O’Bannon Institute on Wednesday evening

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE

April 23, 2012

Civic Engagement Awards ceremony to kick off 2012 O’Bannon Institute on Wednesday evening

Ivy Tech’s Bloomington campus will kick-off its annual signature O’Bannon Institute for Community Service three-day event by honoring faculty, staff, and student volunteers, as well as community partners during its Civic Engagement Awards ceremony on Wednesday, April 25 at 4 p.m., held in the Hoosier Times Student Commons in the Connie and Steve Ferguson Academic Building.

“Ivy Tech-Bloomington’s commitment to service learning and civic engagement is evidenced by its collective contributions to the community,” John Whikehart, Chancellor of Ivy Tech’s Bloomington campus said. “In the past year, Ivy Tech’s service learning and community service hours total nearly 46,000 hours for a contribution of approximately $894,000 in our communities.”

Just this spring, Ivy Tech accounting class volunteers served over 700 clients by preparing taxes through the VITA program, and generated a college record of $1,200,000 in federal refunds for those clients.

Award categories for the 2012 O’Bannon Institute Civic Engagement awards ceremony include Community Partner Award, the new Ivy Tech John Waldron Arts Center Community Partner Award, the new Gayle & Bill Cook Center for Entrepreneurship Community Partner Award, Excellence in Service Learning, Excellence in Volunteerism, and the Jeanine C. Rae Humanitarian Award.

The Community Partner awards honor organizations that the college works with throughout the year.

  • The first recipient is Boys and Girls Clubs. They have hosted community work studies, Ivy Tech AmeriCorps students, and interns. Recently, the organization partnered with Ivy Tech’s poetry class on a service learning project, Art into Poetry.
  • The Ivy Tech John Waldron Arts Center Community Partner award goes to the Bloomington Playwrights Project. In addition to the Ivy Tech/BPP educational partnership over the last year, BPP has played a significant role in strengthening the arts, economy, and the community.
  • The Gayle & Bill Cook Center for Entrepreneurship award goes to Cook CEO Roundtable. Recently the group formed an alliance with the Center, and individual members made an investment to replace a valued tree that belonged to a resident in Bryan Park after vandals cut it down.

Recipients of the faculty Service Learning award are Roy Elkes and Steve Englert for their leadership efforts in the VITA program. Since 2004, VITA has been a learning “staple” for Ivy Tech accounting students.

Additionally, Robert Soto has been awarded for his Ivy Tech cultural diversity class Life History Project. His students interviewed residents of Bell Trace about their lives and preserved the interviews for families of the residents.

Excellence in Faculty/Staff Volunteerism award goes to Steve Hanson for his work with Homeward Bound to benefit the homeless. Additionally, Hanson has served for the past three years as director of the Monroe Tournament Division of USA Bassin Next Generation, a youth fishing tournament. In 2011, the classic tournament offered $21,000 in college scholarships to winners.

Recipient of the Student Volunteerism award goes to Daniel Stec for his participation in Alternative Spring Break 2011, as well as participating in two mission trips to Haiti with his church. He is involved with Student Leadership Academy, Campus Activities Board, and nursing club. Stec also works for International Student Exchange, a nonprofit organization, finding host families for students traveling to study in the United States.

The Jeanine C. Rae Humanitarian award recipient is Jerrilyn Zeigler for her positive attitude and commitment to Ivy Tech through her student life involvement. She is a student ambassador, SGA member, and volunteer. Zeigler attended Alternative Spring Break 2011 and will be attending Western Kentucky University when she leaves Ivy Tech.

“I would like to congratulate and thank this year’s civic engagement award winners, and all Ivy Tech volunteers, for making volunteer contributions to our community possible,” said Whikehart.

More information about the annual O’Bannon Institute for Community Service can be found online at http://obannon.ivytech.edu.

Information about Ivy Tech-Bloomington’s Center for Civic Engagement can be found at online www.ivytech.edu/civicengagement.

Ivy Tech Community College is the state’s largest public postsecondary institution and the nation’s largest singly accredited statewide community college system serving nearly 200,000 students annually.  Ivy Tech has campuses throughout Indiana. It serves as the state’s engine of workforce development, offering affordable degree programs and training that are aligned with the needs of its community along with courses and programs that transfer to other colleges and universities in Indiana. It is accredited by the Higher Learning Commission and a member of the North Central Association.

Ivy Tech culinary students baking goods for community fundraiser

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
April 19, 2012

Ivy Tech-Bloomington’s culinary students have been invited to bake gluten free and diabetic friendly goods for a fundraising event to benefit the Middleway House, a nonprofit social service agency, hosted by Goods for Cooks. Seven Ivy Tech student volunteers will take part in baking alternative items for the bake sale to be held downtown, on the square, on Saturday, April 21.

“We usually introduce gluten free baking concepts in our Introduction to Baking course,” said Jeffrey Taber, Ivy Tech-Bloomington Assistant Professor and Hospitality Program Chair. “Once the students are familiar with the techniques in normal baking, we introduce alternatives for people who cannot enjoy usual baked goods.”

Taber says that students use alternative grains such as rice and tapioca, and use Splenda and agave syrup as sweeteners in their baked goods.

The gluten free baked goods that Ivy Tech Culinary volunteers will provide for this Saturday’s bake sale include a Crusty French Baguette, Brownies, Shortbread, Dark Chocolate Torte, Rosemary Crackers, and Carrot Cake Cupcakes.  Ingredients include rice flour, coconut flour, almond flour and other alternatives.

“These items not only meet diabetic friendly and gluten free guidelines, but taste delicious as well,” Taber said.

For more information about Ivy Tech-Bloomington’s Hospitality degree program options, including Culinary, visit www.ivytech.edu/academics.

Call to strike: Ivy Tech production packs a punch

THEATER REVIEW: ‘WAITING FOR LEFTY’

Call to strike: Ivy Tech production packs a punch

By Doris Lynch H-T Reviewer
April 17, 2012

Under Paul Daily’s fine direction, this first production by Ivy Tech Community College, “Waiting for Lefty,” energetically presented a classic from the 1930s, a time period that shares many similarities with our own. In short but powerful vignettes, 14 (mostly young) actors offered strong performances of workers debating the pros and cons of a strike. Also included were stories of a doctor and a chemist fighting against an unfair system, and risking their livelihoods in the process.

Setting the mood, the ushers wore knickers, suspenders, old-fashioned dress shirts and caps. Nathaniel Alcock (Fayette) played banjo and harmonica while belting out Woody Guthrie and other Depression-era folk songs.

The playwright Odets designed the clever staging: actors stationed among audience members, where they shouted out opinions, disputes, ayes and nays. Dismantling the fourth wall worked well by involving the audience and inspiring the actors to really feel their roles.

Somewhat disorienting was the beginning, in which there was no clear demarcation between when the play officially started and when characters finished greeting each other at a union meeting.

Ian Martin (Fatt), with his booming voice and commanding presence, made anti-strike Fatt a believable and intimidating foe of the pro-strike contingent.

As Agate Keller, Jacob Duffy Halbleib was particularly memorable, using his body to express urgency and to rally the taxi drivers to vote for the strike.

Saturday night, several actors’ dialogue seemed rushed, but everyone delivered their lines with strong feeling. Daily’s direction placed several characters almost in each other’s faces, close enough to spit their arguments at each other.

In fact, this yelling and tension led to some fist pummeling. Two fight scenes were executed efficiently and dramatically under Adam Nobel’s fight choreography.

Two particularly moving vignettes involved family scenes. In the first Edna (Patricia Rochell) passionately presses her husband, Joe, (played forcibly by Ian Ketcham) to fight for the union because the 5 bucks a week he’s making now will soon become only $3. And their two children already suffer from rickets from lack of milk.

A welcome romantic interlude between Florence (Cara Thompson) and Sid (Nick Johnson) makes upfront and personal Odets’ message that poor pay hurts everyone. Thompson’s Florence shows a caring, strong woman. As Sid, Johnson displays a tender kindness and an almost repressed longing. Their love becomes palpable in a dance scene. Heartbreakingly, both are smart enough to realize that a marriage between them won’t work unless they can earn a living wage.

John Whikehart played a conflicted Barnes, a doctor who emphasized that medical care was not under the control of doctors. He tries to persuade young, idealistic Dr. Benjamin (David Chervony) that he needs to compromise to survive in the working world, but Benjamin rebuffs him.

Barbara Abbott’s costumes captured the ’30s street urchin look and businessman attire of that era including skinny, polka-dotted ties and a pork-pie hat.

Shane Cinal transformed the Waldron’s Rose Firebay into a palette of light and dark grays: bricks, an American flag, and a Transportation Union insignia completed the wall decor.

Ivy Tech’s rendition of “Lefty” was stirring as people all around you — even next to you — demanded a strike or urged caution. These actors — some of them first-timers — gave fine performances. For political theater with punch and relevance, go see this show.


If you go

WHO: Ivy Tech Community College.

WHAT: “Waiting for Lefty,” a play by Clifford Odets.

WHEN: 7:30 p.m. Wednesday-Saturday; 2 p.m. Saturday. WHERE: Ivy Tech John Waldron Arts Center’s Rose Firebay, 122 S. Walnut St., Bloomington.

TICKETS: $15 general admission and $5 for students/seniors; available at the Buskirk-Chumley box office at 114 E. Kirkwood Ave., 812-323-3020, or by visiting www.bctboxoffice.com.

Copyright: HeraldTimesOnline.com 2012