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2011 Central Region Recipient of the Stanley C. Israel Award for Advancing Diversity in the Chemical Sciences

 This year’s award winner, Dr. Pratibha Varma-Nelson, is a Professor of Chemistry and the Executive Director of the Center for Teaching and Learning (CTL) at Indiana University-Purdue University Indianapolis (IUPUI). She received her B.Sc. in Chemistry with first class distinction from the University of Pune, India, in 1970 and a Ph.D. in 1978 from the University of Illinois in Chicago in Organic Chemistry. She joined the faculty of Saint Xavier University, Chicago in 1979 where she received tenure in 1985 and was promoted to Professor in 1992 and served as department co-chair from 1992-1995. She moved to Northeastern Illinois University in July of 2002 as Professor of Chemistry and Chair of the Department of Chemistry, Earth Science and Physics. From August 2006-2008, she was a Program Director at the National Science Foundation (NSF) in the Division of Undergraduate Education. Since 1995, Dr. Varma-Nelson has been involved in the development, implementation and dissemination of the Peer-Led Team Learning (PLTL) model of teaching. She has been a Co-PI of two NSF funded National Dissemination Grants awarded to the PLTL project and was senior partner of the Multi Initiative National Dissemination (MID) Project. In addition she was a founding Co-PI of the first NSF funded Undergraduate Research Center “Center for Authentic Science Practice in Education, (CASPiE)”. Her research group is currently working on development, implementation, evaluation, and dissemination of cyber-PLTL (cPLTL). For work on cPLTL, she has received funding from IUPUI, NSF and Educause (Next Generation learning Challenges). As the executive director of the CTL at IUPUI she is developing discipline–based professional development programs for faculty and for this in 2009 she received a CCLI Type I grant from NSF to study “The Role of Centers of Teaching and Learning in undergraduate Engineering Workshop.” Varma-Nelson is co-author of several publications about PLTL and CASPiE and has made numerous presentations in national and international venues. She was the co-recipient of the 2008 James Flack Norris award for her role in developing PLTL Workshop model for teaching chemistry courses. Stanley C. Israel Award for Advancing Diversity in the Chemical Sciences Sponsored by the American Chemical Society’s Committee on Minority Affairs, the Stanley C. Israel Regional Award recognizes individuals and/or institutions who have advanced diversity in the chemical sciences and significantly stimulated or fostered activities that promote inclusiveness within the region.

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