Expert opinion: Media call on faculty for perspective on current events


UIndy’s faculty share their expertise in the classroom and with the general public, through interviews with print, broadcast, and online news media. Here’s
a sampling from the 2009–10 academic year.

Where money meets sports

Associate Professor Larry DeGaris, director of the sports marketing program in UIndy’s School of Business, is building a reputation nationwide and beyond for his knowledge about the intersection of business and sport, as well as his ability to boil down the latest news into a pithy quote.

In November, DeGaris was noted on a short list of “Marketing Academics to Watch” in Marketing News magazine.

When personal issues threatened the career and the lucrative endorsement deals of golf star Tiger Woods, DeGaris was interviewed by news outlets ranging from local radio station WIBC to Sports to the UK’s Guardian newspaper.

When publicity-shy billionaire Stan Kroenke began expanding his empire of professional sports teams, DeGaris offered his perspective to the New York Times and the St. Louis Post-Dispatch. And in addition to many interviews with local print and broadcast outlets, DeGaris has been cited this year by MSN Money, the Toronto Star, Advertising Age magazine,, and—believe it or not—Women’s Wear Daily, for a story on the use of celebrity athletes in fashion marketing.

In other business…

Rachel Smith, assistant professor of finance in the School of Business, is a regular contributor to the Indianapolis Star’s business blog, the Bottom Line, and a frequent source for local print and TV news reports. She has been interviewed this year on topics including credit card reform, corporate bankruptcies, payday loans, and the revival of retail layaway plans.

Matt Will, associate professor of finance, remains one of the most sought-after business experts in central Indiana. In addition to frequent print and broadcast interviews on the stock market, commodity prices, and the ups and downs of major corporations, he has been a panelist for WFYI-TV’s “Inside Indiana Business” and an in-studio guest for other local stations.

Education in flux

Reform efforts and financial concerns have kept Indiana’s education system in the news this year.

David Dresslar, executive director of the Center of Excellence in Leadership of Learning, has granted several news interviews about CELL’s work in school reform and how it dovetails with state and national initiatives.

He also has written opinion columns for the Indianapolis Star on school funding referenda, the state’s attempt to win federal education
grants, and the importance of parental involvement in schools.

Associate Professor John Somers, director of graduate programs for the School of Education, has offered his perspective for TV and newspaper stories on the impact of school budget cuts and the push to revamp how teachers are evaluated and compensated.

Politics & history

Milind Thakar, associate professor of international relations, granted several TV and radio interviews in the fall, when President Barack Obama announced his plans to step up the fight in Afghanistan, and again when the world celebrated the anniversary of the fall of the Berlin Wall.

Upon last fall’s release of the film Pirate Radio, Assistant Professor Chad Martin, a specialist in U.K. history, was contacted by radio stations around the nation about the odd exploits of renegade British broadcasters in the 1960s. Another round of interviews occurred this spring, as British voters geared up for a three-way election battle that reshuffled their government.

Though new to the UIndy faculty in 2009, Carrie Cihasky, assistant professor of political science, hit the ground running as a source for journalists.

A specialist in elections and media coverage of politics, she was interviewed for local television about the various school funding referenda in central Indiana, and she discussed President Barack Obama’s first State of the Union Address for a local radio station, an international news agency, and radio talk shows around the country.