Graduate Student Recruitment & Outstanding Alumna

by theaudioprof on March 28, 2009

Indiana University  is a terrific place.  It’s a small university town with a great music school and world-class auditorium that brings unbelievable world-class cultural events to its residents at terrific prices (sometimes FREE).  And, there are first-rate scholars and researchers across multiple disciplines:  Psychology, Cognitive Science, Neuroscience, Informatics, Sex Research, etc., etc.  All of this is shrouded in an idyllic, tree-filled green space that makes Bloomington a place that, once you visit, you feel a strong pull to stay.

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This was the type of place that Herman B Wells envisioned and help to design as a way to attract world-class faculty to the Bloomington campus.  And it’s the type of place that we try to show off during the Department of Telecommunications’ Graduate Student Recruitment Day.

We had a fantastic group of students who we admitted this year, and yesterday we invited them to Bloomington and showed them around.  We had people coming from Boston, Santa Barbara, Buffalo, and a couple of students from right here in Bloomington.  It started with a continental breakfast in our atrium so the faculty and students could meet each other causaully before visiting those they were most interested in at their offices.

Later that day at the T600 Colloquium the recruits (and the rest of us!) were treated to a fabulous talk by Dr. Joanne Cantor. Cantor continues a Recruitment Day tradition of having a research talk presented by a departmental alumn.

Dept. Chairman Walter Gantz announces Professor Joanne Cantor as the Dept.'s First Oustanding Alumni Award Recipient

Dept. Chairman Walter Gantz announces Professor Joanne Cantor as the Dept.'s First Oustanding Alumni Award Recipient

But this year, with Cantor being the guest, the Department began a new tradition–of awarding an Outstanding Alumni Award in recognition of superlative contributions to the field.   And Cantor is an exceptionally worthy inaugural recipient–who also seemed surprised and touched by the award!

Cantor received her doctorate from IU in 1974 and spent her entire academic career on faculty at The University of Wisconsin-Madison.  While there published over 90 (!) academic articles in areas of television violence, children’s fears and television ratings.  She’s received grants from the NSF, NIH, and the Robert Wood Johnson Foundation and has testified before Congress and Oprah Winfrey!  Her talk (I’ll Never Have a Clown in My House: What Long Term Memories of Scary Movies Tell us about Media Effects and the Brain) was terrific.

Gantz congratulates Cantor on her Award

Gantz congratulates Cantor on her Award

Later in the afternoon we had an open house in the ICR It’s always a great time showing off that facility–with current “lab rats” demonstrating their latest experiments.  And this year we even had our act together to such an extent that we had THIS YEAR’S ICA posters on the walls.

Jim Cummings and Alida Fields demonstrated a physiological experiment exploring the impact of human likeness and character disposition on facial muscle activity.  Sungkyoung Lee had visitors complete a portion of her dissertation prestest.  Bridget Rubenking and Di Chen were there running people through an experiment we’re calling “How Fast You Can See”–that tries to establish the optimal duration of visual recognition probes on a big-screen TV set.

Robert Cornell and Matt Falk showed off an experiment where subjects designed their own Second Life avatars according to specific goals subjects were told the avatars would try to accomplish.  This task was one that Annie Lang found extremely entertaining!img_1568

Great day showing off the department,  honoring an inspiring alumna, and meeting the future of the field.


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