Category: Our Town

Dov-Ber Kerler: 
Yiddish Scholar

Dov-Ber Kerler relishes Yiddish. “It’s a very different language,” says the Indiana University professor of Jewish studies and Germanic studies. “It’s the only other Jewish language that rose to such prominence to be able to rival Hebrew.”

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Michael Adams: Lexicographer

Most people think of dictionaries as thick volumes that lay out the definitions of words with resolute authority. But Michael Adams, provost professor of English at Indiana University, sees dictionaries as living documents, very human attempts to capture the complexity of language as it changes over time.

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Belinda Johnson-Hurtado: Attorney

The 2018 Women in the Law Recognition Award sits on Belinda Johnson-Hurtado’s desk at the Bloomington law firm Clendening, Johnson & Bohrer (CJB). The award, from the Indiana State Bar Association’s Women in Law Committee, celebrates her commitment to helping people overcome adversity, and serves as a reminder that her own path to success hasn’t been easy.

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Mary & Morris Hickman Foster Parents

In 29 years of foster parenting, Mary Hickman and her husband, Morris, helped raise 54 foster children alongside their own four children. Some of the foster children stayed as long as 10 years.

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Joel Stager Swim Coach & Researcher

Joel Stager has made a career of studying high-performance athletes, so one might assume the goal has been to help them win. But Stager, 66, professor emeritus in the Indiana University Department of Kinesiology, insists winning never was the focus of his life’s work.

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Why Long-Term Care Insurance Is Important

Discussions of health as we get older typically revolve around fears of serious illness, such as cognitive diseases or cancer. These discussions tend to focus on quantity of life, often failing to consider the need for a fulfilling quality of life.

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Marvin Sterling: Anthropology Professor

Marvin Sterling, associate professor of anthropology at Indiana University, studies Japanese devotees of Jamaican culture—an interest piqued by a doll he saw in a shop window when he was in his early 20s.

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Karin Willison: Writer and Editor

As a successful writer and the disabilities editor for The Mighty, a website for people with health challenges and disabilities that has more than 2 million registered users, Karin Willison defies what people think they know about the lives of disabled people.

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Nicky James: VP at Cook Medical

“All roads have led to this position for me,” says Nicky James, vice president of human resources and talent development for Cook Medical and its parent company, Cook Group.

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Mary Ann Macklin: Activist Minister

It was that nagging little voice inside—along with some encouragement from Mom—that ultimately set Mary Ann Macklin on her true path. Macklin, senior minister at the Unitarian Universalist Church of Bloomington (UUCB), was once poised to practice law.

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Tristra Newyear Yeager: Russophile & Writer

Tristra Newyear Yeager admits these are peculiar times for an admirer of Russian culture. But while American and Russian politicians carry on their geopolitical rivalry, Yeager says both countries have a heartland where the people have more in common than they probably realize. 

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David Polly: Paleontologist

As a professor of geological sciences at Indiana University, David Polly uses the past to divine our climatic future. Polly studies how vertebrate animals respond to climate change over geological time.

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Emily Herr: Canine Therapist

This past summer, if you paid a visit to Bloomington Animal Care and Control, chances are you would find Zeus, a 1-year-old white pit bull mix, sprawled in the office of Emily Herr.

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Dashel Oliver: Hockey Player

Thirteen-year-old Dashel Oliver says he doesn’t know when he started playing hockey, just that he’s been on skates and chasing pucks for as long as he can remember.

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Yaël Ksander, City Communications Director

As a broadcast journalist, Yaël Ksander estimates she has interviewed more than 7,000 people. Now that she’s been appointed communications director for Bloomington Mayor John Hamilton, she’s becoming comfortable on the other side of the microphone.

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Bloomington, Indiana
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