Catching up with Jane Rogan

Tuesday, December 7, 2021

Jane Rogan served as Associate Director of LAMP from 1999 to 2013, working closely with more than ten classes of LAMP students and significantly contributing to the Program along the way. Some core elements, such as the careers course (LAMP-X298) and the annual honors retreat, were originally Jane’s creations. 

To catch up, we have asked her some fun, rapid-fire interview questions, along with some more serious ones. Thank you, Jane, for your time and dedication to LAMP!

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Rogan at LAMP Camp in 2009.

Coffee or tea to start the day? Definitely tea. I’m British and have been drinking tea for as long as I can remember. I wish more people in the US would invest in a good tea kettle (to boil the water) and a tea pot (to brew the tea). I think tea is often underappreciated because it’s not well prepared.

Favorite season? Late spring into early summer. I’m a late May baby so that’s my season. Strawberries, beautiful blooms and warm sunny skies.

Least favorite food? Oh good grief I hate celery more than any other substance. It’s inedible. I can smell it from yards away. I can’t stand it in the house as it taints everything in the fridge. Gah!

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Rogan and fellow LAMP staff in 2009.

What would your debut album be titled, and what genre would it be? I think it would be entitled “Awesome Force” and the genre would be a blend of Neko Case lyrics and vocals, Punch Brothers arrangements, and strong Beatles-style blended harmonies. The album would have a few “belters” the songs you sing loud in the shower because that’s my kind of jam!

Dream for your life when you were in college? I was certain I would end up in France and live in a small village there. I had been fortunate to live and work in France before and during my undergraduate degree and always felt at home there. But I had no clue what I was going to do for a career. Opportunity came my way to head across the Atlantic and I moved to Indiana in 1993 and never left! Over time I came to see education as the perfect fit for my career values and have worked at Indiana University since my first temp job on campus in 1994.

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Rogan and previous LAMP Director James Madison, center, during a 2002 Student Advisory Board meeting.

You worked at LAMP for many years! How did the program change over time, and which developments were you most excited about? The program was so small when I started working in LAMP in 1999. LAMP had 75 students across three years and it was wildly popular and students loved it. My charge was to expand the reach of the program and to offer better guidance, including career support, to students with diverse academic backgrounds and almost limitless opportunities. I was delighted to see the program reach about 100 students in each cohort and develop a really strong and clear identity that was recognized by students, faculty and by career- and graduate school recruiters.

Working with motivated students is very rewarding and also challenging. LAMP students always pushed me to up my game and to meet their questions and curiosity with my own enthusiasm and willingness to learn. Developing the career course was a great step in better preparing students, as was the critical thinking course which my then-colleague (still friend) and advisor Robyn Schuster and I devised.

As a career move, joining LAMP and working with LAMP students and faculty was one of the smartest things I could have done. Professor Michael McGerr hired me and steeped me in the culture and aspirations he had for the program. And Professor Jim Madison pushed me and trusted me to create an innovative program with a strong and clear identity. I learned so very much about higher education, curriculum planning and design, working collaboratively with students and faculty, and continually shaping and reframing ideas. I spent 14 years at LAMP and I NEVER was bored. Not once. Plus, I have life-long friends who were colleagues and students. 

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Rogan and Eric Metzler working in the old Wylie Hall office in 2008. Metzler still teaches for the Liberal Arts and Management Program.

“One perspective is never enough” and “Not business as usual” are the best-known LAMP mottos. Were there others over the years? Maybe one you think we should launch now? Interestingly there was a marketing campaign in the College in the late 1990’s and I had a few of the posters in my office. We featured the final part of that campaign slogan “think for a living” with LAMP from time to time. I think the posters still hold up well and convey why LAMP (and a liberal arts education in general) is such an important educational framework.”

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The posters that Rogan referred to, which have been tucked away in storage at LAMP House.

What roles have you held since leaving LAMP? How do they relate to the liberal arts and/or management? I left LAMP to take the position as the first Director of Engaged Learning on campus. The kinds of things we do in LAMP (project-based learning in the junior-year statistical analysis class; recommending internships and experiential learning opportunities; providing resources for undergraduate research and overseas study opportunities) are all essential components of engaged learning. My position was to expand and centralize information about engaged learning opportunities for undergraduates. I worked with an insanely talented student group to launch IU’s first undergraduate research journal (IUJUR). I also piloted a few initiatives to create undergraduate research opportunities on campus for freshmen, and launched a research scholars program in sustainability which is still thriving. 

One of the pilots was a project-based learning initiative called Sustaining Hoosier Communities. This program was based on the EPIC model (Educational Partnerships for Innovation in Communities) and we joined forces with Lawrence County (just south of Bloomington) to learn about their community and to address opportunities. Over the course of the academic year 12 faculty members worked in their classes with around 550 students to complete 14 projects for the community. 

Piloting the program out of the Engaged Learning office was a modest start but the program is now working in its fourth community and will embark on a fifth county-wide partnership in fall 2022. The direction of Sustaining Hoosier Communities became my full-time job when, in March 2018, IU opened the Center for Rural Engagement after receiving a $10M gift from the Lilly Endowment to support our local rural communities. SHC is how hosted within the Center for Rural Engagement. Our program was honored with the EPIC Program of the Year award in 2019 and I now sit on the EPIC board working on member engagement. 

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Rogan catching up with LAMP alumna Liz Oates in 2010.

Tell us about your current fellowship! What are you learning about? Ahh—the fellows academy! As I learned how to take my work (which heretofore had been directed inwardly on campus and targeted at students) out to our community partners, I soon recognized I needed some different skills. The work I do with rural communities starts with listening. I use an Asset-Based Community Development model for this in order to build co-equal partnerships between the community and the university. 

While building up my tool-kit I was introduced to Strategic Doing. It’s a relatively new model which brings together elements of leadership, management, design-thinking, economics, and psychology. I’ve been certified in Strategic Doing for a couple of years and just completed the Fellows Academy so that I will be able to teach others to utilize the Strategic Doing practice.

If current or former students want to get in touch I encourage you to connect to me via LinkedIn . I look forward to hearing from students and reconnecting.

Feature compiled by Laresa Lund and edited by LAMP staff.