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IU South Bend archivist and librarian takes pride in her campus’s role in the community

Nov. 30, 2016

Indiana will celebrate its 200th birthday in December, and one of the people singing the birthday song the loudest will be Alison Stankrauff, archivist and associate librarian in the Franklin D. Schurz Library at IU South Bend.

Alison Stankrauff

Alison Stankrauff | IMAGE COURTESY OF ALISON STANKRAUFF

For two years, Stankrauff has represented IU South Bend with the St. Joseph County Bicentennial Committee. She helped organize the county’s Bicentennial Bash, a party hundreds attended in October. 

She also served as the torch relay coordinator for St. Joseph County. All 92 of Indiana’s counties participated in the relay in which residents carried a torch across the state.

From her perspective, it’s important that IU South Bend plays a role in Indiana’s bicentennial celebration.

“It’s key that IU South Bend represents in the celebration of the 200th birthday of the state,” Stankrauff said. “We both reflect the community and the county and are a part of it. We are the only comprehensive public university for north-central Indiana -- and it’s hard to find someone who is not touched in significant ways by IU South Bend.”

Taking part in the state’s birthday celebration is also a chance for Stankrauff to help IU South Bend reach Carnegie Engagement Classification in 2020.

Stankrauff is on the IU South Bend task force that has been working on earning the classification for two years.

“The Carnegie Engagement status gauges the connections that a university has with its community,” she said. “Our mantra at IU South Bend is just how sewn into the community we are in so many deep ways. Our participation in the Indiana Bicentennial both reflects that deep community involvement as well as placing our campus as a part of the county. And just how key the IU South Bend campus has been in the history (and present and future) of the county and the state.”

For Stankrauff, the campus’s relationship with the community is vital and gives her personal pride. In her work to celebrate the state’s bicentennial and reach the campus’s goal of Carnegie Engagement Classification, she hopes to capitalize on and expand IU South Bend’s engagement with the community.

“Being a faculty member on the IU South Bend campus for 12 years and seeing how it is so much a part of the community is truly meaningful to me,” she said. “My role as the archivist and a reference librarian at our campus means that I’m an educator and thus a change-maker. IU South Bend’s centrality in helping people find their success, their connection to their passion and participation in their community cannot be underestimated. I feel proud about being a part of this.”

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