Muncie, In. — To train American workers for technology-based jobs, Ball State University will soon offer an online version of its highly regarded master’s in information and communication sciences.Beginning with the Spring semester, Ball State’s Center for Information and Communication Sciences (CICS) will launch its online master of science in addition to its on-campus degree. On campus or online, the 38-credit-hour program that can be completed in as soon as 18 months.The program features innovative coursework, a flexible degree plan, and immersive learning opportunities. Students will have real-world issues to solve and projects to collaborate on while working professionals, alumni in the field, and a team of forward-thinking faculty and industry-leading partners.Dennis Trinkle, CICS director and director of the Applied Research Institute at Ball State, said expanding to an online platform will allow CICS to reach more students and fill the need for professionals in high-tech fields.The online master’s, like its on-campus counterpart, will help workers prepare for jobs in an ever changing workplace, he said, citing a McKinsey Global Institute report that projects automation could displace as many as 73 million U.S. jobs by 2030.“The McKinsey report also projects that many new jobs will be created by these new technologies,” he said. “The types of roles that will be most protected from the effects of automation involve managing people, high-level expertise, and unpredictable environments. These jobs will be at a high skill-level and require significant creativity, adaptability, and comfort with rapid change. Our program prepares students with the ability to think critically and to solve novel problems.”For more than 30 years, CICS has prepared students to creatively solve communication and information challenges in business, government, education, and nonprofit organizations using the latest technologies. The program provides students with both practical leadership experience and with technical understanding.“More importantly, we prepare our graduates to be creative, adaptable problem-solvers committed to their own perpetual learning and re-skilling,” Trinkle said. “To succeed in technology, you have to master the art of continuous learning and develop effective techniques for handling stress, change, and disruption. You need persistence, resilience, and confidence. This is the foundation that CICS helps its graduates to build.”Learn more by visiting the CICS website.
For the past five years, several USC students have tried to generate interest in a fraternity for gay men, yet their attempts have failed because of a lack of publicity.This year, however, Nick Powers, a sophomore majoring in East Asian rea studies who identifies himself as gay, and Vincent Vigil, director of the LGBT student resource center, are hoping to produce more publicity to gain support for a renewed effort for a gay fraternity.Powers hopes to create a chapter of either Delta Lambda Phi, a national social fraternity for gay, bisexual and progressive men, Sigma Phi Beta, a fraternity for gay, straight, bisexual and transgender men or Delta Lambda Psi, a co-ed fraternity that aims to connect LGBT students to the surrounding community.Delta Lambda Phi is the largest and oldest of the gay fraternities. Its slogan is, “Founded by gay men for all men.” Though Powers said he hopes to create a chapter of Delta Lambda Phi, the steps required might pose too much of a challenge.“The problem with [Delta Lambda Phi] is it’s the most difficult to get a chapter because the requirements are so strict,” Powers said. “You have to have at least 10 founding fathers, set up bank account, get a mailing address — it might be a little too much for us to accomplish.”Sigma Phi Beta, whose primary goal is to teach queer men about leadership and confidence, is also a potential option but does not have as strict requirements for membership as Delta Lambda Phi. Moreover, it’s a community fraternity, meaning it’s open to those who aren’t students at USC.“All Sigma Phi Beta sent us was a sign-up sheet for the interest group,” Powers said. “It could be one person, five people, however many.”Powers feels as if pursuing a smaller fraternity such as Sigma Phi Beta or Delta Lambda Psi, which only has one chapter at UC Santa Cruz and has no colonization requirements, will be more productive in the progression toward creating a gay fraternity at USC.Powers said that because interest is currently low, they do not want to limit the fraternity to only LGBT members.“There’s only three people in our group so far, so we’re a bit inexperienced,” Powers said. “We’re not getting a lot of interest, so we don’t necessarily need a frat just for gay people.”Powers’ goal is to choose one of the three fraternities by spring break and have the application process completed by August.“We really want to have it soon, and we think that’s possible with Sigma Phi Beta,” Powers said. “Delta Lambda Phi just wouldn’t be possible right now.”If Powers were to start a new fraternity at USC, he and the founding members would have to decide which fraternity council — Interfraternity Council, Multicultural Greek Council or Professional Fraternity Council — their chapter would classify under.Powers said Sigma Phi Beta recommends its chapters join the Interfraternity Council at the school immediately, while Delta Lambda Phi leaves the decision up to each chapter. Delta Lambda Psi has not specified which council it prefers its chapters to join.Patrick Lauer, IFC president, said the councils have different requirement for new chapters.“Each council has its own expansion process,” Lauer said. “IFC has a bunch of requirements that have to do with chapter advisories, alumni support and a bunch of other factors.”Powers and Vigil are both working to publicize the possible enactment of a new chapter in order to prevent failure this time around.“Three years ago, California State University, Long Beach came to USC to talk to students about starting [Delta Lambda Phi]. It has always been talked about, but there has been no drive or momentum to finish it,” Vigil said. “This year, the students have been very consistent about meeting and trying to recruit. They’re putting more energy into it.”Vigil said he will serve as a guide to Powers and the other students involved by researching the different LGBT-related fraternities and talking to chapters at other schools.“I’m trying to recruit four to five students as a core group every other week as well as information sessions, reserving venues and trying to get the word out,” Vigil said.Powers said the previous attempts to form a gay fraternity were unsuccessful because people were not actively communicating with each other.“When we really started last spring, what failed was no one really knew how to organize the group and do this on our own,” Powers said. “We started to realize what’s really important now is to check up on each other every week to keep up to date with progress.”Powers said he feels the obstacles in bringing a gay fraternity to campus are worth it.“Personally, before college, I was turned off by the Greek community, but when I saw what it really was, I wanted to be a part of it,” Powers said.He hopes the creation of a gay fraternity, regardless of which of the three it is, will help to break down stereotypes and build a bridge between the LGBT community and the community at large.
JOHNSTON — Governor Reynolds yesterday announced that Test Iowa screenings would be open to anyone who wants a test. During her press conference this morning she said many people took advantage of submitting an assessment.She says, “As of 8:00 AM this morning, nearly 1700 appointments were scheduled at sites across the state. For Iowans returning to work and restaurants and retail stores or other establishments that serve the public, this is a resource that you can use at any time to ensure your health and well being.”Reynolds says there’s no restrictions now for people who feel they may need to be tested. “For health care workers, first responders and law enforcement that are at high risk of exposure at work, having the ability to be tested frequently is important. For anyone who is symptomatic or thinks they may have been exposed, getting tested as soon as possible is critical, whether it’s a Test Iowa site or through your own doctor.”Reynolds says increasing the number of Iowans tested is one of the best things that can be done for the overall health of the state. “If you’re interested in being tested, the first step is to complete an assessment on TestIowa.com. Even if you’ve already taken an assessment, you’ll need to take it again, or be sure and take it when you get the reminder if you’ve taken one before. Your health changes from day to day, and the information you provide tells us about your condition, and it might also identify other information that’s important for public health and may identify new trends that will help us continue to better understand the virus.”Reynolds announced that new Test Iowa testing sites will open next week in Burlington, Council Bluffs, Marshalltown and Sioux Center.