January 2020

Episode 3 - Innovation and Inclusion

A Purdue professor shares his fascination with technology in sports, and we celebrate Purdue's Black Cultural Center, which marked its 50th anniversary in 2019.

Rayvon Fouché is intrigued by the impact of technology in our lives and society. In Part One of this episode, Fouché, the professor and director of the American Studies Program in the College of Liberal Arts, defines technoscience and its increasingly important role in the world. While in college and graduate school, Rayvon developed an interest in the impact of technoscience on sports. He was an elite cyclist, and was fascinated by the latest technology in bicycle design. His recent presentation at Purdue, titled “It’s the Motor, Not the Machine,” focused on the idea that the body, not the equipment, is more important to the outcome of a competition. However, Rayvon believes that this popular saying is not completely true, and that technoscientific gear can help sports be more fun for athletes. He chronicles the history of Adidas and its founder, Adolf Dassler, influenced the German victory in the 1954 FIFA World Cup, and how technoscience plays an important role in the future of professional sports.

In Part Two, students and staff describe the impact of Purdue's Black Cultural Center, which celebrated its 50th anniversary last year. The center has given African-American students a home away from home, promoting academic excellence and cultural pride. In the late 1960s, which was the height of the Civil Rights Movement, less than 150 black students were enrolled at Purdue. They felt that there was nothing reflective of their culture or heritage at Purdue, and staged a silent protest, laying bricks on the steps of Hovde Hall and demanding a cultural center. The first center was housed in an old two-story home. In 1999, the center built a new building, the first Purdue building to be designed by an African-American architectural firm. The center provides its students with a library, lounge, student art displays, and many performing arts ensembles. It has given African-American students the chance to share their stories. Purdue's Black Cultural Center is a place where students learn from the past and create change in the present to build a better world together.

After you hear the stories in this episode, please connect with us on our social pages to share your reaction.

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Related links and resources

Learn more about Rayvon Fouché on his website.

Watch Rayvon’s TEDx talk: It’s the Motor, Not the Machine | Rayvon Fouche | TEDxPurdueU.

For more information on Purdue's Black Cultural Center, visit its website

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