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March 2010

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Vol. 2009-2010 No. 7

Tom Crean to address retirees

IU men’s basketball coach Tom Crean will speak about the season just ended and prospects for the future when he talks to the IU Retirees Association at 2 p.m. April 14. The meeting will be in the Peterson Room at the IU Foundation. Tom celebrates his second anniversary as IU’s head coach on April 2.

IU finished the season 4-14 in Big Ten play, an improvement over the previous season’s 1-17, to finish ninth in the league. The team lost Maurice Creek, its leading scorer, to injuries Dec. 28, following the loss of sophomore Matt Roth in November.

Tom came to IU from Marquette University, where he averaged more than 20 wins a season in nine years. Before moving to Marquette, he was an assistant to Tom Izzo at Michigan State for four seasons. He and his wife, Joani, have three children.

In a March 17 article on, Peter J. Schwartz listed IU as the sixth most valuable men’s college basketball team in the country. Rankings were based on the value of contributions to the institution for academic purposes, including scholarships for basketball players; the net profit generated by the program that is retained by the athletics department; the value contributed to conference peers through tournament revenues; and estimated direct spending attributable to home basketball games by visitors to the county.

Teams that did better than IU were North Carolina, Kentucky, Louisville, Kansas, and Illinois. Ohio State was seventh, Wisconsin 12th, Minnesota 17th, and Michigan State 19th. IU finished in fourth place in last year’s ranking.

IURA: Claiming our identity

Like many of its members, the IU Retirees Association gets by with considerable help from its friends. Thanks to the IU Foundation and our talented membership, the IU Retirees Association has a new logo and is well on the way to a membership brochure and our own Web site.

Marcia Busch-Jones created the Retirees Association’s new rocking chair logo, approved by the board on Feb 3. Marcia retired at the end of October 2009 after 30 years as executive director of IU’s Office of Creative Services. A graduate of Rhode Island School of Design, she has taught design courses as an IU faculty member. Although newly retired, Marcia is a longtime member of the Retirees Association because she is married to Ted Jones, president of the organization in 2006-2007.

When Sandy Churchill, current IURA president, and several other IURA board members met with IUF President Eugene R. Tempel last year, he generously offered his staff’s help in designing the brochure and Web site. Gene became the IUF’s seventh president in September 2008.

IUF staff members who made the brochure and Web site possible include Bill Holladay, client relations manager of marketing; Kenya Cockerham, project coordinator; Tyagan Miller, creative director; Jen Schmitz, designer; Patrick Patterson, Web producer; and Amy Templeton, manager of interactive media.
The logo, Web site, and membership brochure have been goals for several years. Hats off to generous and talented friends for transforming our goals into reality. Retirees Association members who assisted with the projects include Sandy Churchill, Dick Dever, Bob Dodd, Bob Ensman, Art Lindeman, Gerald Marker, Judy Schroeder, and Don Weaver.

Annual meeting to take place in April

In addition to hearing from Tom Crean, the IU Retirees Association will hold its annual meeting at 2 p.m. April 14. The nominating committee, chaired by Vice President Jim Kennedy, will present candidates for three board positions for the term 2010-2013. With the permission of the person being nominated, nominations may also be made from the floor.

The nominees are Ruth Chesmore, Wayne Craig, and Iris Kiesling. Ruth retired in 1988 as associate director of foods for the Halls of Residence. She served on the board of the Annuitants Association, the predecessor of the IURA, from 1992 to 1996. Wayne, longtime director of university ceremonies and, before that, director of the conference bureau, retired in the late 1990s after more than 30 years at IU. Iris’s husband, Herb, professor emeritus of economics and of public and environmental affairs, died in 2000. Iris, a former member of the Bloomington City Council, is a Monroe County Commissioner.

The three board members whose terms expire are Sandy Churchill, Judy Schroeder, and Sue Talbot. Sandy will continue on the board as past president for one more year. In addition to Jim, nominating committee members include Sam Bell and Suzann Owen.

Lesa Lorenzen-Huber gives advice for living and aging well

Despite cold and snowy weather, more than 60 retirees turned out on the afternoon of Feb. 10 to listen to gerontologist Lesa Lorenzen-Huber describe “Ten Simple Things You Can Do to Live and Age Well.” Lesa, a clinical assistant professor of applied health science, teaches most of the gerontology courses at IU. She will be the keynote speaker when IURA hosts the annual meeting of Big Ten Retirees Associations in August.

Lesa invited retirees to the Living Lab on the northwest corner of Tenth and Woodlawn. She also demonstrated a robot seal developed in Japan to help communicate with children with emotional or physical challenges. Program chair Eileen Schellhammer introduced Lesa to the group assembled in the Peterson Room at the IU Foundation.

To live well, Lesa suggested five behaviors:

  1. Be active. For three to five days per week, engage in physical activity of moderate intensity for 20 to 60 minutes. Regular exercise promotes strength, flexibility, balance, and cardio-respiratory fitness.
  2. Eat well. Remember cruciferous vegetables, which are members of the cabbage family. Get folic acid in cereals, dried beans, citrus fruits, and leafy green vegetables. Think brightly colored fruits and vegetables for antioxidants. “Inflam-aging,” Lesa told retirees, “results from diets high in nitrites, sugar, and fat — all characteristics of highly processed food.” A daily vitamin is a good idea. A recent conference she attended in Paris stressed the value of Vitamin D in reducing risks of osteoporosis, cancer, and Alzheimer’s disease. Lesa also emphasized the importance of drinking a lot of water.
  3. Manage stress. Breathe. Meditate. Walk. Pray. Talk.
  4. Sleep well. Sleep apnea and restless leg syndrome are common and treatable sleep disorders, she said. Troubled sleep in older individuals relates in a significant way to diminished quality of life. If you have problems sleeping, Lesa said, tell your physician. Solutions need not be pharmacological. Behavioral and psychological interventions can treat insomnia effectively.
  5. Protect your financial security. Lesa’s group recently received a grant from the National Science Foundation to find out what older people know about cyberfraud and about staying safe online. Avoid submitting personal information online, she cautioned, and look for a privacy policy that explains whether your information will be shared. She recommended using only one credit card and one e-mail address (not your primary one) for online purchases. Don’t use a debit card, she advised. A credit card company will go to bat for you in case of fraud. Be sure your information is encrypted — that the company is giving you an https instead of an http address — and do business only with credible companies. Remember that anything you put up on Facebook belongs to Time Warner forever.

Lesa also listed five behaviors that help us age well. These second five don’t necessarily make it into the AARP Bulletin or onto the cover of Newsweek, but they’re just as important as the first five.

  1. Exercise your brain. Puzzles, games, software, videogames, and online games are all viable options. Two programs she commends are Nintendo’s Brain Age and MindFit, which the Wall Street Journal recently recommended. Just as you look for a workout that exercises different muscles, you should look for a workout that uses parts of your brain you don’t usually exercise.
  2. Learn to do something new to build your neural network. “A densely arbored brain can quickly repair itself,” Lesa said, so it’s important to build your cognitive reserve. Two very effective methods are by learning a new instrument or by learning a new foreign language. In his book Aging with Grace: What the Nun Study Teaches Us about Leading Longer, Healtheir, and More Meaningful Lives, David Snowdon describes research that tracked the lives of elderly Catholic nuns, aged 75 to 104. Autopsies showed that some nuns who exhibited few signs of dementia actually had more brain damage than the brains of some nuns diagnosed with acute Alzheimer’s disease. The difference was the density of their neural networks. In a densely arbored brain, the uninjured parts of the neural network often take on new functions, helping out the damaged areas.
  3. Make new friends. It’s important, Lesa said, to have friends of different ages. Younger friends can help take the place of friends we lose as we age. One participant in the Harvard study of aging advised, “Leave the screen door unlatched; let people in.” Another older person suggested, “It’s not the bad things that happen but the good people who happen to us that make the difference.”
  4. Forgive; be grateful. Findings from the Harvard study of adult development suggest that people who are aging well believe that, over time, good things outweigh the bad. Studies show that a good marriage is a better predictor of health at age 80 than is good cholesterol. Be quick to forgive; make haste to give thanks.
  5. Believe. “The socioemotional-elective theory,” Lesa said, “is just a long way of saying that you get to choose.” As we get older, we can choose to do only what is most important to us. We can rewire our circuits to get only positive potential energy.

Lesa suggested three books for further reading:

After the meeting, retirees shared their thoughts about healthy living and aging while enjoying the delicious cookies provided by Fran Bell, Judy Ensman, Jean Overly, and Martha Smiley.

Remembering our friends …

For the past couple of years and again this year, the final (April) issue of the academic year pays tribute to the memories of retirees who have died during the last year. Listings are limited to individuals who were members of the IU Retirees Association at the time of their death. Out-of-town members have expressed particular appreciation for this feature. For two years the August issue has included more recent deaths and those inadvertently omitted from the April listing.

Beginning this August a new editor will set her or his own priorities, which may or may not include an in memoriam section. Therefore, if you know of members who died during the last year, please let me know by e-mailing or by calling (812) 332-5057, before April 18. Thank you.

IU to host Big Ten retirees conference

In August, the Indiana University Association of Retired Faculty and Staff will host the Big Ten Retirees Associations Conference. The theme is “Play On: Retirement and the Arts,” and the meeting will be from Aug. 20-22. Each year representatives of the Big Ten retirement associations meet to share program ideas and best practices. IU last hosted the group in 2000.

The steering committee is made up of Doris Burton, Sandy Churchill, and Bob Ensman, with Doris as general chair. Committee chairs have begun work, and volunteers are welcome. Chairs are Don Weaver, speakers; Sandy Churchill, tours and transportation; Jim Allen, facilities; Eileen Schellhammer, meals; Judy Schroeder, communications and registration; Gerald Marker, database manager and nametags; Ted Jones, entertainment; and Pat Chase and Shirley Pugh, hospitality bags.

Conference participants will hear from, among others, Lesa Lorenzen-Huber, R. Keith and Marion Blankert Michael, Charles Webb, and Bob and Pat Williams.

Art exhibit to open at Emeriti Center

The eighth annual Emeriti House Art Exhibit takes place in April. The opening reception for the art exhibit is Friday, April 2, from 5:30 to 7:30 p.m. The Retirees Association is supporting the exhibit with a $250 grant. The Emeriti Center is at 1015 E. Atwater. It is generally open from 8:30 a.m. to 5 p.m. Monday through Friday. Parking is available one block west, in the Atwater Garage.

The Emeriti House also offers special programs of interest to retirees. On April 7 at 4 p.m. Don Gray, professor emeritus of English, together with Yue Ren, will talk about the oral history project. On April 14, at 4 p.m., Chancellor Emeritus Ken Gros Louis will give a history of the IU Bloomington campus. (You can go directly from the Retirees Association meeting to the Emeriti House.) On April 21 at 4 p.m. Lawrence Buell, Distinguished Professor of American literature at Harvard University, will speak on environment and memory. George Malacinski, professor emeritus of biology, will talk about Oriental rugs and the stories they tell on April 28 at 4 p.m.

May is time to potluck, rock ’n’ roll

The Retirees Association ends the academic year with a potluck dinner at the IU Foundation at 5:30 p.m. on Wednesday, May 12. After we have grazed to our hearts’ (and stomachs’) content, Jacobs School of Music Professor Glenn Gass will regale us with songs and stories about rock ’n’ roll.

The potluck provides an excellent opportunity to invite a friend or two to join you and see what the IURA is all about.