Introducing Janis

By Mona Malacane

This week, I got to sit down with Janis Bolling, our new undergraduate academic adviser.  Even though we are well into the semester, it would be remiss not to interview our newest staff member, who is also a Hoosier alum!

Photos from Madrid and Barcelona.

Photos from Madrid and Barcelona.

Janis received her bachelor’s degree from IU and in 2005 completed an MS degree from Tcomm. She is originally from Chicago but has lived in Bloomington for quite some time. She has raised four children, a dog, and a cat here, while the rest of her family lives in Chicago and Luxembourg.

Although advising is a full-time job, Janis makes time to work on outside projects. In fact, she is currently working with a researcher at Purdue on a project for Indiana farmers. Her collaborator wrote a manual for sustainable farming to encourage Indiana growers to get involved with farmers’ markets.  Janis is tasked with shooting and producing informational videos that accompany the manual. To do this, she travels to nearby farms to interview the farmers and talk about everything they need to know to start participating in farmers’ markets. Once the project is completed, both the manual and Janis’ videos will made available online.

Photo from Haiti.

Photo from Haiti.

Janis also enjoys photography, gardening, and traveling. In fact, her office is decorated with photos I mistook as works of professionals, but are actually pictures taken by Janis on her travels and locally. Some of the pictures are from a trip to Haiti that Janis took with two friends this summer, and others are from visits to Barcelona and Madrid. She has also visited Luxembourg and England.  Of all her travels, her recent trip to Haiti made such a lasting impression that she has started learning Creole and plans to go back in a few summers. She has an adventurous side too! Janis and her children have gone zip-sledding multiple times in Brown County, most recently for her birthday last weekend. (Happy belated birthday Janis!)

To answer a few obligatory interview questions…

Blackhawks flag in Janis' office.

Blackhawks flag in Janis’ office.

  1. Her favorite movies include Little Miss Sunshine, E.T., and Pieces of April.
  2. Her favorite food (at the moment) Mexican. More specifically, fajitas.
  3. If she could meet anyone in the world, dead or alive, she would want to meet Abe Lincoln (she is kind of a history buff).
  4. A few of her favorite books are The Bean Trees, by Barbara Kingsolver, and A Tree Grows in Brooklyn, by Betty Smith.
  5. Finally, Janis is a big Blackhawks fan (evident by the large Blackhawks flag that is hung in her office).

I have to say that from the moment I walked into Janis’ office, I knew she was going to be a fun interviewee. We talked about so much more than I could possibly fit into a blog post and the time literally just flew by. Before I knew it I had been in her office for an hour, and I could have stayed for another. Multiple times during the interview I found that Janis had flipped the script and the conversation had become about me. If you are next door in the AI office, I highly recommend poking your head in and saying hello.

Janis and I by the end of the interview. We bonded.

Janis and I by the end of the interview. We bonded.

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