B-Town Hot Spots, Judge Julie, IC: Econ, Emmy Noms, Rene Weber’s Brown Bag

Bloomington Hot Spots: Summer Edition

The school year has almost run its course, and the grad blog crew has been on the hunt. We’ve come up with a list of the town’s hot spots, not-to-be-missed locations for faculty and grad students, new and old. Some are reliable favorites, and others are a bit off the beaten path. We’re breaking down each spot for you, highlighting the crowd it attracts and why you should go.

Hotspot: Upland Brew Pub, 350 W 11th Street

Who’s There: Young, old, birthday partiers, microbrew enthusiasts, long-lost friends, first dates . . . when it’s packed for the hours-long window of dinnertime, you can find almost anyone at Upland. It’s popular with the local crowd and college students alike, though the college crowd tends to be mostly graduate students.

Why You Should Go: What attracts people to Upland are its beers brewed right on site, but it would be a mistake not to order something off their list of creative burgers, gourmet pizzas, and memorable entrees. Their newly expanded patio further enhances the experience of sipping local beers while enjoying the summer breeze. Pitcher specials on Tuesdays and Sundays are a definite plus.

Hotspot: Eagle Pointe Golf Resort, 2250 East Pointe Road

Who’s There: Older folks come for the food specials, like the All You Can Eat Taco Bar on Mondays.  There is a younger crowd in the evening for live entertainment and karaoke.  It’s not frequented by many university types.

Why You Should Go: Eagle Pointe features a championship golf course and driving range.  There is live music every Friday night on the open air terrace, with no cover charge.  It also features a cabana bar.  Food and drink specials run all day Saturday and Sunday.

Hotspot: The Atlas Bar, 209 S College Avenue

Who’s There: Grad students, law students, hipsters, and even a handful of locals go to Atlas to escape the crowded bar scene in the downtown area. It’s a haven for those seeking an extensive beer and liquor list, and they’ve got quite a few brews you won’t find anywhere else in town. Atlas opened its doors just a few months ago, and it’s slightly hidden with no flashy signs proclaiming its existence, but it’s a place people like to come back to after they find it.

Why You Should Go: One word – Skeeball. They’ve got a pair of Skeeball machines reminiscent of the arcades and roller skating  rinks of your past. Atlas also boasts table shuffleboard for a fun deviation from the typical games of pool or darts elsewhere, and they’re proud to emphasize that they don’t have a TV anywhere in the building. Their beer and whiskey specials vary, but the place is consistently relaxed and friendly.

Hotspot: Lennie’s Bar and Grille, 1795 E 10th Street

Who’s There: It’s a popular evening hangout for professors, students with parents in town, local beer enthusiasts, and anyone who likes to design their own calzones. Lennie’s is home to Bloomington Brewing Company (BBC), and you can try and take home whatever they’ve got on tap.

Why You Should Go: The food is delicious, and the ambiance is even better. With dim lighting and walls adorned with local art, it’s a place that begs you to stay for hours. They have pizza and soup specials daily, and their Saturday brunch is a weekend comfort. It’s an ideal place to take almost anyone, and it doesn’t typically get as crowded as some of the downtown restaurants. It’s also within walking distance of IU Telecom, which is a major plus.

Hotspot: Scenic View, 4600 South State Road 446

Who’s There: It’s a favorite of Telecom faculty and you can often scope a John Mellencamp sighting.

Why You Should Go: It’s a hidden gem overlooking Lake Monroe with great outdoor seating.  Local beers on tap and full bar.  The menu is eclectic, the food is local, and the desserts change daily.  Menu items include crab mac and cheese, corn fritters, fish tacos, and angus beef burgers.  It boasts a great Saturday and Sunday brunch, featuring crab cake benedict and a salmon scramble.

Hotspot: Player’s Pub, 424 S Walnut Street

Who’s There: This place is almost entirely comprised of fun-loving, good natured Bloomington residents and the occasional crowd of grad students looking for a good music scene. It’s not the first place that comes to mind when listing off options for entertainment, but it’s a great deviation from the normal routine. Some graduate students in the School of Music have been known to show off their talents there on some nights, too.

Why You Should Go: Player’s Pub offers a great glimpse into the local music scene of Bloomington and Brown County. They’ve got live music every night of the week and boast small or no cover fees to enjoy it. The beers are pretty cheap, and it’s a good place to go when you don’t want to run into people you know. The venue sets itself up for a lively dance space on occasion as well. Their menu lists a wide variety of food genres, so you’ll never get bored.

Judge Julie’s Coutroom

In the final weeks of this semester, a class of undergraduate students routinely rises as a judge enters the room, the bailiff calls the session to order, and one by one members of the audience are called to the stand. Nobody committed a crime – instead, the students call on each other as expert

Judge Julie listens to the cross-examination of a witness in her T314 class.

witnesses to debate media related issues. Judge Julie presides over each session in robes, and doctoral student Soyoung Bae swears in each witness using the course’s revered textbook.

Putting the “issues” on trial is Julie’s unique approach to teaching T314: Telecom Processes and Effects. While working on a grant to develop more collaborative work for a course, it occurred to Julie that trials could be a useful teaching tool. “Everyone has to participate, and everyone has a part,” she explains. “There’s no reason that media processes and effects can’t be fun, and in this format, everyone gets something out of it.”

Students first pick topics and then gather “evidence” through research over the semester. The exercise culminates with the trials in the last two weeks of the semester, wherein each student is expected to participate as a jury member, witness, or lawyers, defense and prosecuting.

With incoming Professor Paul Wright taking over T314 for the forseeable future, Julie may have pounded her last gavel, at least for a while.

PhD Candidate Soyoung Bae swears in a witness before he takes the stand.

“I’m feeling a bit nostalgic about it,” she says. “It’s a fun, creative activity, and I’m going to miss it.” The grand finale was particularly sweet as Julie’s current semester has seen the best group of student presentations to date.  In Julie’s words, “This was the strongest set so far.”

For Julie, the court cases have been a creative way to give everyone in the class an opportunity to present while still keeping the 60-person class manageable. Since the students work in teams and feedback is oriented towards fostering collaboration, the entire group has pressure to succeed. More importantly, the courtroom model is versatile. “It’s a good format, and these topic come up all the time, so conceivably the trials could be done in a variety of courses,” she explains. She may pass the gavel on to other faculty, but more than likely, we’ll see Judge Julie bringing “issues” to trial in one of her other classes.

Intellectual Circuits, Part 5: Economics

Doctoral student Sung Wook Ji’s journey into the field of economics started completely by chance.  While pursing his MA at the Michigan State University, he read Dr. James Rosse’s paper, “The Evolution of One-Newspaper Cities.”  That’s all it took to prompt Sung Wook to study economics.  Rosse’s paper detailed how media economics dealt with some of the practical aspects of the media industry.  Sung Wook explains, “I always wanted to study something that was practical and applicable to the real world.  This is what brought me to the Department of Telecommunications.”

Sung Wook’s first course, “The Theory of Price and Markets,” presented a major challenge because many of the other students trained in economics were familiar with the basic concepts and techniques, whereas Sung Wook was not.  It took a lot of hard work to catch up.  Thereafter he began to read papers in the field of mass communication differently.  “I began wondering what would happen if communication scholars were to consider some of the concepts and variables commonly used in economics.” For example, selective exposure theory states that individuals prefer to expose themselves to specific media messages.  However, if an individual has already paid to consume media, will he expose himself to something he doesn’t necessarily prefer?  The payment requirement might strengthen an individual’s selective exposure to media messages.  “Adding economic variables, like price, to existing theories in mass communication leads to more fruitful insights into media phenomena.”

Sung Wook explains that the connection between the Department of Telecommunications and economics will continue to grow because research about the media industry from an economic perspective has increased.  The Department of Telecommunications offers courses on media economics.  The students also take courses in the Department of Economics in the College of Arts & Sciences (COAS) and the Department of Business Economics and Public Policy in the Kelley School of Business.

Professor David Waterman has been exploring this relationship ever since his doctoral work in economics at Stanford University, where his dissertation focused on the economics of the movie industry. David explains that economics provides well-developed models that explain why some media are competitive and others are practically monopolized; and for understanding whether regulations and other government policies are likely to work or not.  “The study of economics fits well within the interdisciplinary mix of the Telecom Department.  Several different disciplinary perspectives are important to understand media and its effects on society.”

Many of David’s students have minored in economics or received MA degrees in economics in addition to their PhD in Telecommunications. This interaction has paid multiple dividends.  The majority of the articles he has published in the last 17 years have been co-authored with those students.  Nearly all of them have gone on to productive academic or research careers.  Furthermore, these interactions have benefitted the university as a whole by broadening perspectives and inspiring further research collaborations.

Telecom Faculty Receive Emmy Nominations

Congratulations are in order for Telecom faculty members Steve Krahnke and Ron Osgood, who both received regional Emmy nominations this week.  Steve was nominated in the Arts and Entertainment category for his work as the executive producer of the documentary, “Harp Dreams.”  Ron was nominated in the Documentary category for “My Vietnam Your Iraq,” which premiered on WTIU last fall.

The Great Lakes Chapter of the National Academy of Television Arts and Sciences Emmy Awards Ceremony will take place Saturday, June 18th in Cleveland, Ohio.  Cheers to Steve and Ron!

Brown Bag

René Weber, Department of Communication, University of California, Santa Barbara

Mass Communication Research and Cognitive Neuroscience: A Promising Combination?

Abstract:  Numerous histories of communication science argue that our discipline evolved from earlier investigations in psychology and sociology in the early to mid 20th century and was always characterized by transdisciplinary perspectives. Today, scholars in still related fields such as cognitive psychology have long begun to study human behavior with state-of-the-art neuroscientific approaches. In the field of communication, however, it seems that this opportunity remains unexplored with few exceptions.  This colloquium debates potential benefits and pitfalls of incorporating neuroscientific approaches – mainly functional brain imaging – into communication research. René Weber will present a selection of his brain imaging studies in the areas of media violence, media entertainment, and health communication/persuasion as examples for how examining media processes with a modern neuroscientific perspective might have the potential to enhance mass communication research. A new analytical paradigm for brain imaging experiments using typical low-controlled stimuli in mass communication research will be presented. The colloquium will also demonstrate that the communication discipline has a lot to offer for cognitive neuroscientists.

Bio: René Weber is an Associate Professor in the Department of Communication at the University of California, Santa Barbara. He holds bachelor/masters degrees in Communication and Quantitative Economics, a Ph.D. (Dr.rer.nat.; University of Technology Berlin, Germany) in Psychology, and an M.D. (Dr.rer.medic.; RWTH University of Aachen, Germany) in Psychiatry & Cognitive Neuroscience. In his recent research he focuses on cognitive and emotional effects of television and new technology media, including new generation video games. He develops and applies both traditional social scientific and neuroscientific methodology (fMRI) to test media related theories. His research has been published in major communication and neuroscience journals. He is the author of two books and numerous book chapters.

Listen to René’s talk here: Weber Brown Bag

Random Photo of the Week:

Professor Mark Deuze creates a sea of blue students by asking them to dress like Nav'i from the film "Avatar" in his T101 class.


Nicky Lewis: Bloomington Hot Spots, Intellectual Circuits: Economics, Emmy Nominations

Katie Birge: Bloomington Hot Spots, Judge Julie, Brown Bag

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