sealPurdue News

November 1994

Steady diet of TV has spoiled college students, professor says

College students who grew up glued to the television expect their classes to be entertaining and prefer TV to reading, says Yahya Kamalipour, associate professor of mass communications at Purdue Calumet in Hammond. This generation of students also has trouble paying attention to lectures, which are not full of movement, color, sound and visual effects like TV. Kamalipour and two colleagues did a national study of college students and TV. They found that the students relate more to pictures than to words, and they expect tricky life problems to have fast solutions and easy answers such as those offered in TV commercials and soap operas. CONTACT: Kamalipour, (219) 989-2880.

Students make college rooms feel like home, sweet home

College students have stopped thinking about university housing as simply a place to sleep. The residence hall is home eight months of the year, and students are bringing the comforts of home with them to school. The comforts include telephones, answering machines, televisions, videotape recorders, refrigerators and personal computers. Students are using the concepts of interior design to personalize their living space, and this fall Purdue conducted a contest to let students show their creativity. Two students who decorated their room in a sports motif won the inaugural judging. With nearly 11,000 undergraduate students living on campus, Purdue operates the largest residence hall system in the country that does not require students to live in university housing. CONTACT: Barbara Middleton, residence halls marketing manager, (765) 494-1000; Internet, Color photos available. (765) 494-2096.

Lullabies are good tool to help baby learn language

Singing or reciting nursery rhymes to your baby is a good way to help the child learn language, says Michael P. Lynch, assistant professor of audiology and speech sciences at Purdue. And it's never too early to start, he says -- babies are fascinated by music from the moment they're born. Even if you sing off-key, that's OK, he says. The important thing is to use music to encourage your little one to pay attention and start picking up how language sounds. CONTACT: Lynch, (765) 494-3824.

Higher education turns more to private funds

"Shrinking state revenues are forcing public-assisted colleges and universities to make private support a larger part of their budgets," says Charles B. Wise, Purdue vice president for development. Wise spearheaded Purdue's five-year, $250 million "Vision 21" campaign, which has raised more than $321 million to date -- the largest total by an Indiana public college or university. Wise says, "Private support has become increasingly important to Purdue's ability to sustain and build excellence. In fact, few realize that only one-fourth of Purdue's 1994-95 annual operating budget comes from state funds. This compares to 33 percent in 1980-81." The "Vision 21" campaign allows the university to bolster such areas as student scholarships, faculty development and establishment of new centers of excellence. The campaign officially ends Dec. 31. CONTACT: Wise, (765) 494-8653. Black-and-white photo of Wise and b-roll of campaign celebration available, (765) 494-2096.

From computer to construction, Purdue lab has it all

Students in Purdue's Department of Building Construction and Contracting have the technology at their disposal to take a building from the drawing board to the construction site and back again. Thanks to a new project manager lab, the students do everything from design to accounting on-line -- sans paper -- before sending the final plans to the school's field lab. In the field lab, students actually construct, test and tear down full-scale models of the buildings they design. "This facility fully simulates an actual construction company," says Stephen D. Schuette, professor and head of the department. CONTACT: Schuette, (765) 494-2465.

Professor: Media should recognize effect of violence on children

Network executives who argue that television violence is benign resemble tobacco company executives who have told us that the medical case against cigarette smoking is inconclusive, says a Purdue professor, who took part recently in the International Conference on Violence in the Media, held in New York City. Purdue Professor Glenn G. Sparks spoke about children's emotional reactions to violence in the media. "There clearly is a causal link between viewing television violence and aggressive behavior," he says. "Also, violent programs often frighten children, and the impact can result in lingering anxieties that remain for days, weeks, months or even years after viewing." CONTACT: Sparks, (765) 494-3316. Copies of Sparks' paper available, (765) 494-2096.

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