Noted ethnomusicologist and associate vice provost awarded IU Bloomington Provost?s Medal

  • July 23, 2014


BLOOMINGTON, Ind. -- Indiana University Bloomington Provost and Executive Vice President Lauren Robel has presented the Provost's Medal to Ruth M. Stone, a distinguished scholar of ethnomusicology on the IU Bloomington campus.

Robel presented the medal at a celebration marking the retirement of Stone from her position as an associate vice provost for arts and humanities in the IU Bloomington Office of the Vice Provost for Research, a position she has held for the past seven years. Stone will continue in her role as the Laura Boulton Professor of Folklore and Ethnomusicology in the IU Bloomington College of Arts and Sciences. Over the next several months, she plans to continue her research in Africa.

Stone, who earned her Ph.D. from IU in 1979, is co-founder of the EVIA Digital Archive, an ethnographic archive that began as a joint venture between Stone and Lester Monts at the University of Michigan. Funded since 2001 by the Andrew W. Mellon Foundation, the EVIA archive’s diverse collections represent music traditions and performances from all over the world.

In 2007, when she became associate vice provost, Stone took on leadership of the Institute for Digital Arts and Humanities at IU Bloomington. The institute, which exists to empower arts and humanities faculty through access to IU’s powerful IT resources, has sponsored five groups of faculty fellows who have created projects such as documentaries, motion-capture dance performance and iPad apps.

During her time as associate vice provost, Stone also led the IU Bloomington Media Preservation Initiative, supported by the Office of the Vice Provost and Office of the Provost at IU Bloomington. That initiative began with a campus-wide survey revealing critical media preservation needs for hundreds of thousands of items.

Stone guided a large task force and dozens of campus partners toward the creation of a plan to accomplish the necessary digital preservation. As a result of the work accomplished under Stone’s leadership, in fall 2013, IU President Michael McRobbie announced the establishment of a university-wide IU Media Digitization and Preservation Initiative with $15 million in funding and the development of an official IU Digitization Master Plan.

"Ruth Stone is an inspiration to her students and colleagues at IU Bloomington,” Robel said. “From her pathbreaking scholarship in ethnomusicology to her leadership of the efforts to digitize and preserve the cultural treasures of this campus, Ruth’s work has touched virtually every corner of this campus. As she steps down from her associate vice provost role to delve back into her research and teaching passions here at IU, we are delighted to recognize Ruth’s role as both an accomplished scholar and administrator who brings so much to the university community."

As part of the Office of the Vice Provost for Research, Stone played key roles in securing funding to support faculty on the IU Bloomington campus. In 2013, for example, Stone was instrumental in securing a $750,000 award from the Andrew W. Mellon Foundation to strengthen international and global research and teaching at IU Bloomington. In its first two years, the Mellon Innovating International Research, Teaching and Collaboration grants program has awarded more than $400,000 to faculty projects covering areas such as Bangladesh, China, El Salvador, Haiti, Korea, Tibet and Zambia.

Stone is the author or editor of eight books, including “The Garland Handbook of African Music,” “The Garland Encyclopedia of World Music, Music in West Africa,” “Theory for Ethnomusicology” and “Dried Millet Breaking.”

The Provost's Medal is cast in silver and depicts the Indiana University Bloomington Student Building, the tree of knowledge and the Indiana landscape on one side, and the Showalter Fountain on the other. Originally called the Chancellor's Medallion, it was first given in 1997 to James P. Holland, an exemplary teacher and scholar in the Department of Biology. Renamed the Provost's Medal in 2006, it recognizes outstanding service that builds and enhances the impact of Indiana University.

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Lauren Bryant

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