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From the Desk of the Chancellor, Jan. 23, 2012

Chancellor Charles R. Bantz
Chancellor Charles R. Bantz View print-quality image

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January 23, 2012

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On Sunday,  Jan. 15, CBS’s 60 Minutes aired a wonderful segment on Jake Barnett, a 13-year old once diagnosed with autism who turned out to have a special talent for math, physics, and astronomy at a very young age. He enrolled as a full-time undergraduate student in the School of Science at IUPUI last year. It is a thoughtful and touching story, but it is also terrific exposure for the campus, as Jake sports his IUPUI sweat shirt and hat, and is videotaped in various campus settings. Morley Safer interviews Jake, his family, his faculty mentors, and fellow students. Not only did it run on 60 Minutes, but it was plugged repeatedly during the NFL playoff game that preceded it.

If you missed it, you can view the segment here.

Jake’s becoming a student at IUPUI started at age 8, when he sat in on an advanced astronomy class. By 5th grade, his math IQ was off the chart and he was becoming bored in regular school. He tested out of high school–level algebra, geometry, calculus, and trigonometry when his parents decided to enroll Jake in SPAN, our early college entrance program for gifted and talented students. The School of Science faculty and Dean Jane Luzar in Honors College helped give Jake’s talents room to bloom by facilitating research opportunities for him and offering him the chance to tutor other students. Jake is the recipient of a Chancellor’s Scholarship, a merit-based scholarship for incoming freshmen that offers direct admission to IUPUI’s Honors College.

My thanks to Diane Brown in Media Relations, who did a beautiful job with the 60 Minutes crew during their three separate visits to campus, and to Jane Luzar for making the family and the CBS producers at home during their interviews and visits to Honors College. And my thanks to all the faculty, staff, and students who have made this special young man feel welcome at IUPUI. He is undoubtedly destined for a bright future.

Comments? Write chancllr@iupui.edu.