INDIANAPOLIS — The Purdue School of Science at IUPUI is celebrating its faculty and staff members who are the recipients of several awards for their research and teaching.
Despite the challenges the COVID-19 pandemic presented, faculty and staff rose above them to continue their mission of educating students, conducting impactful research, and providing essential support.
Three faculty members received the IU President’s Bicentennial Medal: Lixin Wang, Ph.D., Christine Picard, Ph.D., and Pratibha Varma-Nelson, Ph.D.
Varma-Nelson, the founding Executive Director of STEM Education Innovation and Research Institute (SEIRI), a chemistry professor, and supporter and educator of Peer-Led Team Learning (PLTL), received the IU President’s Bicentennial Medal for her excellence in research.
“I feel honored to be one of the recipients of the IU Presidential Bicentennial Medal,” said Varma-Nelson.
Lixin Wang, an associate professor of earth sciences, also received the medal for excellence in research.
“This is an amazing surprise. I am honored for this recognition. This is a great testament to the wonderful support to my research from colleagues at all levels,” said Wang. He further elaborated, “I love this medal also because I feel I am holding a unique piece of the history of Indiana University.”
The Bicentennial Medal is made out of materials salvaged from bells hung in the Student Building on the IU Bloomington campus for almost 100 years.
Christine Picard, an associate professor of Biology and director of the Forensic and Investigative Sciences program, received the medal for her distinguished and distinctive services in support of the mission of Indiana University.
“Being recognized by my peers for the contributions I've made to science and education - work I consider a labor of love much more than a job - is truly humbling and something I'll cherish my whole career,” said Picard.
Broxton Bird, Ph.D., and Nick Manicke, Ph.D., were both recipients of the IUPUI Research Trailblazer Award in their respective fields. Established in 2010, this award recognizes outstanding IUPUI researchers who show promise in becoming nationally and internationally known for their research and creative activity. It is given to associate professors within the first three years of being appointed or promoted to that title.
“I'm passionate about my research and have worked hard to develop my program into the international. It’s an honor to be recognized and have the opportunity to share my work with the IUPUI community,” said Bird.
Greg Anderson, Ph.D., was selected by the Center for Research and Learning as the recipient of the Kathryn J. Wilson Award for Outstanding Leadership and Mentoring of Undergraduate Research. The Center for Research and Learning says Anderson, an associate professor of biology, is their choice because of the wonderful and important work he’s doing to impact students and their success at IUPUI.
“I am honored to receive this award. The many fantastic undergraduate students who have worked in my lab have pushed my research program forward in new and exciting directions,” said Anderson. “I look forward to continued mentoring of undergraduates and the discoveries we will make together!”
Keith Anliker, a Senior Lecturer for chemistry received the Glenn W. Irwin, Jr., M.D., Experience Excellence Award. The award recognizes faculty and staff for service “above and beyond the call of duty.”
“I'm quite excited about this. I've won other awards, but this one is rather special to me because I see service as such an important part of what we do. I've been blessed to work on a campus that values service, and equally blessed to have been given so many opportunities to serve,” said Anliker. “It's also special because I won the staff version of the Irwin Award way back in 1995--largely for work that I did to facilitate the move of the Chemistry Department from the 38th St. Campus, and to "decommission" the lab spaces in the Krannert Building and in Cavanaugh Hall. Serving my department, the School of Science, and at the campus level, have truly been some of the great joys of my career.”
The School of Science is also applauding our women in STEM, leading the charge to change the way women are regarded in science. Several of our faculty and staff received the Women’s History Month Awards. It recognizes the outstanding contributions made by women-identified faculty, staff, and students at IUPUI.
Julia Arciero, Ph.D., was one of the faculty members who received the Veteran Faculty award for her commitment to her work, research, and students.
“I am truly honored to be a recipient of the 2021 Women’s History Month Leadership Award. One of my deepest passions is mentoring undergraduate students in research, and this award reflects the great privilege of helping to develop the scientists and researchers of tomorrow,” said Arciero. “I am very grateful for every opportunity I have had to serve my students, faculty, university, and community.”
Melissa Cyders, Ph.D., also received the Veteran Faculty award for her leadership.
“Although things haven’t always been perfect in the last year, and I’ve often felt like I’m feeling around in the dark, it’s wonderful to be honored with this award during a time where leadership is infinitely more difficult but also more important,” said Cyders.
Allie Medellin received the Veteran Staff award for her leadership during her time with the Science PREPs office.
“Receiving a Women’s History Month Leadership Award is a very exciting and meaningful honor for me. First, receiving a nomination and reference letters from colleagues is so incredibly special. One of my favorite parts of my role is the opportunity to work with others in the School of Science and schools across campus, and I am honored to be recognized for this. Second, I am a member of our Career Services Council’s Women’s Work Group, which seeks to develop resources and programming to support our female students to be successful in the professional workplace,” said Medellin. “This is especially vital for women in STEM, who make many strides but continue to be underrepresented and sometimes undervalued in male-dominated fields. It is exciting that several women from the School of Science were recognized for these awards!”
Kathy Marrs, Ph.D. was honored with two awards this year. She earned a Women's History Month Veteran Faculy award and the Sarah Baker High-Impact Practices Teaching Award for 2021. She is recognized for her amazing and important work with our students inside and outside of the classroom.
"I greatly enjoy teaching, and I frame my philosophy and approach to teaching around High-Impact Educational Practices (HIPs), strategies that create a positive learning environment for First-Year Students," said Marrs. "I am deeply committed to helping all students discover their own potential for success and professional growth while at IUPUI, both as students in my courses, or as peer mentors or undergraduate TAs in subsequent semesters, and I am honored to have been selected for the Sarah Baker High-Impact Practices Teaching Award."
The School of Science is also proud of Veronica Derricks, Ph.D. She is the recipient of the CTSI Young Investigator Award KL2 Scholar. This is a highly competitive award, and her application was chosen out of 33 submissions for the state.
“This award truly means a lot to me, and I am so grateful that the Indiana CTSI has given me this opportunity. I have long been interested in conducting research that would help society better understand and mitigate racial health disparities,” said Derricks. “ This award gives me the opportunity to work with Drs. Adam Hirsh and Marianne Matthias to develop an intervention that will improve the way clinicians deliver health communication to Black patients. The findings from this work will hopefully move us one step closer to improving healthcare delivery, especially for members of minoritized groups.”
The full list of the 2020-21 award recipients
- IU Presidential Bicentennial Medal: Christine Picard, Ph.D.
- IU Presidential Bicentennial Medal: Lixin Wang, Ph.D.
- IU Presidential Bicentennial Medal: Pratibha Varma-Nelson, Ph.D.
- IUPUI Research Trailblazer Award: Nick Manicke, Ph.D.
- IUPUI Research Trailblazer Award: Broxton Bird, Ph.D.
- Sarah Baker High-Impact Practices Teaching Award: Kathy Marrs, Ph.D.
- Kathryn J. Wilson Award for Outstanding Leadership and Mentoring of Undergraduate Research: Greg Anderson, Ph.D.
- Glenn W. Irwin, Jr., M.D., Experience Excellence Award: Keith Anliker
- CTSI Young Investigator Award KL2 Scholar: Veronica Derricks, Ph.D.
- Women’s History Month Annual Leadership Awards Veteran Faculty: Melissa Cyders, Ph.D.
- Women’s History Month Annual Leadership Awards Veteran Faculty: Julia Arciero, Ph.D.
- Women’s History Month Annual Leadership Awards Veteran Faculty: Kathy Marrs, Ph.D.
- Women’s History Month Annual Leadership Awards Veteran Staff: Allie Medellin
- Women’s History Month Annual Leadership Awards Veteran Staff: Tasha Gilson-Durham