Speaker’s Bureau connects community to IUS speakers

IUS Horizon

Many times employers need an expert to talk with their employees about various issues from finances to child care but do not always know where to turn.

To help people in situations such as this, IU Southeast launched the Speaker’s Bureau on Feb. 1.

The Speaker’s Bureau will provide a free online forum for people in the Southern Indiana and Kentuckiana areas to find speakers from within the IUS community for events such as lectures and workshops.

The featured speakers are lecturers and professors.

“If there’s a local historian who is looking for someone to come and speak to their class or their group on a certain topic they would look through the different speakers on the Speaker’s Bureau link on our website and request that speaker to come to their event,” said Erica Walsh, public relations specialist.

The bureau has had a variety of local teachers from elementary to high schools needing someone to come and talk to their class about whatever they may be studying at that time.

“This is good for our faculty and staff, because they can be seen as experts in the community,” Walsh said. “Anyone can use this service at any time, and it’s on their schedule.”

Walsh said the Speaker’s Bureau is designed to be a resource for the community.

“A lot of times members of the community will call my office looking for a certain speaker who can talk on a very specific topic,” Walsh said. “Those topics can be anything and everything.”

Walsh said she has had many requests for people who can talk about shyness because of Bernardo Carducci, professor of psychology and director of the Shyness Research Institute, along with many others, including the economy and business professors.

Walsh has also heard some unusual random requests, both from the media and the community.

“They just found this old English king’s body under a parking lot in England,” Walsh said,.“So we got a request to see if we had any experts in that area of history about King Richard III. Unfortunately we could not help with that particular request.”

Many professors have spoken at public events and Diane Wille, professor of psychology, is one of them.

“I’ve done several talks relating to my expertise in baby and infant development,” Wille said. “I’ve done a series of talks on building better brains, and one in particular was for child-care providers and parents.”

Wille has given talks at Floyd Memorial Hospital, different social work groups and child care institutions about such subjects as pre-term infants and adult cognition.
“What a lot of people don’t know is that your local university is a great resource for information,” Wille said. “We have lots of experts in many areas and we offer free community service.”

Uric Dufrene, Sanders Chair in the School of Business, said that he has spoken at as many as 70 presentations since 2006.

Some presentations with very little audience members in attendance and some with more than 300.

“I speak to various business and community groups, area chambers of commerce and trade associations,” Dufrene said. “I generally talk about the economic outlook of Southern Indiana and Louisville Metro. I also include the national economy, as well.”

Dufrene has been teaching at IU Southeast since 1992. He has served as dean of the School of Business for seven years and has held the Sanders Chair of Business since 2006.

Dufrene enjoys talking about the economy because it is a topic that has been on the minds of everyone.

“The economy affects everything we do and has an impact on both businesses and individuals,” Dufrene said.

Eric Schansberg, professor of economics, has spoken several times in his 25 years of teaching to groups such as the Rotary, as well as others.

Schansberg has talked about such issues as public policy and health care.
“I do even more with the media,” Schansberg said. “Most recently, KET’s ‘The Price of Poverty’ along with radio, op-eds and policy journals. I love to teach in whatever forum I’m given.”

Tina Reed