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"19 Stars of Indiana" Author to Join Vera Bradley Creator for IUPUI Lecture

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November 15, 2010

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What was to be a classroom lecture featuring talks by an author and a successful entrepreneur, is now a campuswide event for Monday, Nov. 22, 2010.

Author Mickey Maurer, and Patricia Miller, co-founder of Vera Bradley, will be special guest presenters on Nov. 22 at IUPUI as an outreach of Rachel Davidson’s and Emily Deering’s Themed Learning Community (TLC) class .

Davidson and Deering, communication studies graduate students at IUPUI, were approached by Professor Catherine Dobris about becoming instructors in a new TLC that would focus on women’s portrayal in the media. Without hesitation, the two graduate students accepted the challenge.

Both Davidson's and Deering's interests lie in feminist rhetorical criticism with an emphasis on women’s experiences portrayed in media, making this TLC perfect for them both.

Within the TLC, Derring teaches “Introduction to Women’s Studies” and Davidson teaches First Year Seminar and Fundamentals of Public Speaking.

The team introduced the text titled 19 Stars of Indiana: Exceptional Hoosier Woman, by Michael “Mickey” Maurer into their class curricula.

“The text helped create an overreaching theme for our TLC by highlighting experiences of local women and initiating an understanding of the global context of women’s studies,” Deering said. The two instructors found that by incorporating local Hoosier women, the themes, examples, and concepts became more tangible for the students.

To make these women even more accessible, Davidson, Dr. Dobris, and Deering decided to ask the author, Mickey Maurer, and a featured woman, Patricia Miller, creator of the popular Vera Bradley bags and accessories, to speak to the group of 24 female students. However, as the planning progressed the idea has grown into a campuswide event, IUPUI Celebration of Hoosier Women, scheduled from 10:30 to 11:45 a.m., Monday, Nov. 22, 2010, in Room 409 of the Campus Center.

“This teaching opportunity has truly been a highlight of my academic and teaching career here at IUPUI,” said Deering.

This program provided an opportunity for Davidson and Deering to establish a co-curriculum, share teaching ideologies, and really develop a great working relationship. Deering said it has been an invaluable experience as both a graduate student and educator.