5 Questions Interviews

Spring 2023 spotlights

Michael D. K. Ing

Professor and Director of Graduate Studies

College of Arts and Sciences

Michael explores identity and what it means to be human. “My work aims to show how robust the intellectual traditions of Indigenous peoples have been and are.

Meet Michael

Lauren “Wren” Garcia


College of Arts and Sciences

Wrenhas made a welcoming place for herself and others in STEM research.I truly cannot think of a better place for me to be pursuing my degree.

Meet Wren

Alwiya Omar

African Languages Coordinator, African Studies Program Director, Clinical Professor


I returned because Bloomington is really home away from my Zanzibar home.” Alwiya discusses the joy of teaching and learning language.

Meet Alwiya

Jamie Gayer

Assistant Vice President

Capital Planning and Facilities

The flexibility of the online MPA has made all the difference in being able to successfully complete courses. Jamie pursues an O’Neill degree while working and sharing time with family. 

Meet Jamie

John Ooley


Regional Academic Health Center

No matter what comes up — from broken glass to struggling students — John is ready to help. “We all go through our moments in life, and it’s good to be able to have community.” 

Meet John

Jen Berry

Assistant Director & Lead Academic Advisor

21st Century Scholars Program

Jen is committed to empowering lower-income and first-generation students in learning and growth. “Don’t let yourself be silenced!”

Meet Jen

Carley Cruz

Assistant Director for Diversity Initiatives and Curriculum

CommUNITY Education Program

Follow Carley’s journey as a first-generation college student and DEI educator in the CUE program. “The most important thing for me is cultural humility and being willing to learn.” 

Meet Carley

Mary Embry

Senior Lecturer, Merchandising

Eskenazi School of Art, Architecture + Design

Mary’s passion for fashion intertwines with her global advocacy. “Human rights in fashion are one piece of a rounded sustainability conversation about people, planet, and profit.

Meet Mary

Pieper Walton

Doctoral Student

IU School of Optometry

“I knew from my interview day at IU School of Optometry that IU felt like home.” 

Meet Pieper

Xavier Ramirez


O’Neill School of Public and Environmental Affairs

From Bloomington to the Netherlands, Xavier builds community. Each student has their own story and background, and making sure to never forget this is vital to creating the best possible outcomes, in work and in life.

Meet Xavier

Sam Young

Interim Director

Groups Scholars Program

As an IUB undergrad, Sam was an involved student and Groups Scholar. Now associate director of the Groups Scholars Program, he wants students to remember the program’s motto: “Success is our reality.”

Meet Sam

Purnima Bose

Academic Director, IU India Gateway, Professor

Department of English and International Studies

Purnima is an IUB professor of English and of international studies who wants to help connect faculty with the IU India Gateway.“Academic activities at the gateways are faculty driven. Were always happy to brainstorm ideas for initiatives with colleagues.” 

Meet Purnima

Mary Yoke

Healthy IU Instructor

School of Health and Human Sciences at IU Indianapolis

Learn how Mary’s journey from opera singer to Healthy IU instructor and lecturer has given her a unique perspective on the importance of physical and emotional well-being.

Meet Mary

Vesna Dimitrieska

Coordinator, Global Education Initiatives

School of Education and Hamilton Lugar School of Global and International Studies

Vesna Dimitrieska stewards a host of programs that help Hoosier educators internationalize their teaching and curricula for students from kindergarten to college.

Meet Vesna

Kate Johnson

Voice Student

Jacobs School of Music

Learn about Kate Johnson's path to IU and how she is preparing for the titular role of "Anne Frank" with IU Jacobs School of Music Opera Theater.

Meet Kate

Britt Koehnlein

Ph.D. candidate

Department of Political Science, College of Arts & Sciences

Ph.D. candidate and Ostrom Fellow Britt Koehnlein will present a March 8 workshop on how vaccination campaigns can both improve health and build capacity in states that are in conflict or are newly independent. 

Meet Britt

César Félix-Brasdefer

Professor and Director of Undergraduate Studies

Department of Spanish and Portuguese, College of Arts & Sciences

César offers ambitious, collaborative goals for IU’s Mexico Gateway and helpful advice for speaking respectfully with people of different cultures.

Meet César

Jennifer Engel

Associate Vice President

Office of Overseas Study

Jennifer joined IU as director of Overseas Study in July. Among the things she loves about the work is connecting students with opportunities -- especially those who didn’t think study abroad was within reach.

Meet Jennifer

Luke Leftwich

Executive Director

Residential Programs and Services

What has 3,300 toilets, 2,600 showers, and serves 28,000 meals a day to 11,000 people? Luke Leftwich offers a look inside the massive operation that is Residential Programs & Services.

Meet Luke

Steven Lalevich

Healthy IU Dietitian

IU Student Health Center

Steven offers tips on creating healthful habits, the ups and downs of diverse diets, and surviving the Bub’s “Big Ugly” challenge – twice.

Meet Steven

Kyle Seibert

Public Affairs, Policy Analysis Student

O’Neill School

The IU Student Body President shares how he is working with focus groups to bring a student perspective to the IUB 2030 strategic planning process.

Meet Kyle

Previous Semester's Spotlights