CRL Highlights

For older newsletters, please visit the News Archive.

June/July/August 2015 CRL Highlights

The Center for Research and Learning (CRL) publishes CRL Highlights to keep the academic community and the community at large informed about research activities, opportunities and development on the IUPUI campus.

Carolyn Key

For older newsletters, please visit the News Archive.


  1. Dominique Galli Assumes Helm of CRL
  2. September 11 Deadline for MURI and UROP
  3. September 11 Deadline to Present STEM Research at LSMCE Conference
  4. Save the Date: Bloomington to Host IUURC on November 20
  5. Rick Ward Retires to Albuquerque
  6. Elizabeth Rubens Retires after 25 Years at IUPUI
  7. Sharvonne Williams Embarks on Career with State of Indiana
  8. NSF Officials Visit Successful 2015 CRL Summer Poster Session

Dominique Galli

Dominique Galli Assumes Helm of CRL

Dominique M. Galli, IUPUI assistant vice chancellor for research and associate professor of biomedical and applied sciences at the IU School of Dentistry, has been appointed interim executive director of the IUPUI Center for Research and Learning (CRL). Galli, who began her new role August 1, succeeds Richard E Ward, Ph.D., who retired this summer after 31 years of service as an administrator and faculty member at IUPUI.

Dr. Galli has been involved with the center since 2006, when she joined its advisory board, serving through 2012. In 2007 she co-drafted the campus-wide expansion of the Multidisciplinary Undergraduate Research Institute (MURI) and was a member of the CRL leadership team that implemented an organizational restructuring of CRL in AY 2008-2009. Undergraduate research was part of her administrative portfolio when she served as a faculty fellow under former executive vice chancellor Uday Sukhatme from 2006 to 2008. At that time she compiled data on all IUPUI undergraduate-research programs in an effort to increase their visibility and drafted recommendations for coordination of efforts between these programs.

“I am honored to serve in this interim role,” Galli said. “The Center for Research and Learning plays a vital role in a number of campus initiatives such as RISE to the Challenge and helps expose and engage students in a variety of experiences, which allows them to better understand how research is an important component of higher education and extends beyond the natural sciences into many disciplines."

Galli earned her M.S. in biology and Ph.D. in microbiology at Ludwig-Maximilians-Universität in Munich, Germany, and completed a postdoctoral fellowship at The University of Texas Health Science Center at San Antonio.

Dr. Eliza Du with MURI research team

September 11 Deadline for MURI and UROP

Now is the time for students to apply to participate in the Multidisciplinary Undergraduate Research Institute (MURI) and the Undergraduate Research Opportunities Program (UROP) for academic year 2015-2016. The deadline for student applications for MURI and UROP is Friday, September 11, 2015. All CRL programs provide students the opportunity to work with a faculty mentor. Projects begin in October and continue through the academic year. For students interested in participating in MURI team-based research, please go to to view the available projects (click on AY 2015-2016 MURI Projects) and to submit an application. Students interested in UROP can apply here: Note that applications to the UROP program require both a mentor and a project.

Faculty members, please encourage your undergraduate students to take advantage of these excellent opportunities to enhance undergraduate learning through independent mentored research.


September 11 Deadline for Abstracts on STEM Research at Louis Stokes Midwest Center of Excellence (LSMCE) Conference

We are excited to offer IUPUI students the opportunity to present their STEM research posters and to compete for awards at the 2015 Louis Stokes Midwest Center of Excellence Conference. For further details, see Faculty mentors, please share this information with your undergraduate students.

Submission deadline is Friday, September 11, 2015, by 11:00 p.m. EST.
The Louis Stokes Midwest Center of Excellence (LSMCE) is hosting its third annual conference on October 23-25, 2015, in Indianapolis. The conference will showcase student STEM research. The poster session will be held on Saturday, October 24, 2015, from 2:00 to 4:00 p.m. in the Golden Ballroom Preconvene. Undergraduate abstract submissions selected to present will receive both complimentary conference registration and two nights lodging at the Wyndham Indianapolis West, plus a $250 travel award. Awardees will be notified via e-mail by September 18, 2015. IUPUI students are encouraged to submit abstracts.


Save the Date: Bloomington to Host IUURC on November 20

IU Bloomington will host the 21st annual Indiana University Undergraduate Research Conference (IUURC) on Friday, November 20, 2015. IUURC, established in 1994, is dedicated to promoting undergraduate research, scholarship and creative activity in all fields of study, which is performed in partnership with faculty or other mentors as a vital component of an Indiana University undergraduate education. This is an annual meeting for undergraduate students across the state. Please mark your calendar! More details to follow.

Assistant Carolyn Key presents album of student reminiscences and thanks to Dr. Ward

Rick Ward Retires to Albuquerque

Dr. Richard E Ward, Chancellor’s Professor and a founding faculty member of IUPUI’s University College, retired July 31, culminating three decades of service to the university. The previous four years Dr. Ward served as the executive director of the Center for Research and Learning (CRL) and directed the IUPUI Undergraduate Research Opportunities Program (UROP).

He was on the faculty of this campus since 1985 with joint appointments in the IU Schools of Liberal Arts and Dentistry. He served as a professor of anthropology—three times chairing his department—associate dean of student affairs in Liberal Arts, as well as interim dean of University College before assuming the role of executive director of CRL.

Dr. Ward is the recipient of several awards, including the 2009 IUPUI Alvin S. Bynum Award for Excellence in Academic Mentoring, the inaugural (2005) IUPUI Center for Research and Learning Director’s Award for Outstanding Leadership and Mentoring of Undergraduate Research, the 2000 Indiana University Trustees’ Teaching Excellence Recognition Award (TERA), the 1995 Glenn W. Irwin, Jr., M.D., Experience Excellence Award, the 1998 IU School of Liberal Arts at IUPUI Outstanding Academic Advisor and, in 1993, the Frederic Bachman Lieber Memorial Award, Indiana University’s oldest such distinction for teaching.

Upon Professor Ward’s retirement, the IUPUI Office of the Vice Chancellor for Research established in his honor the Richard E Ward Undergraduate Research Opportunities Program Recognition Award, and University College renamed an extant recognition the Rick Ward University College Leadership Grant. He holds a B.A. in anthropology from the University of Northern Colorado, as well as an M.A. in anthropology and a Ph.D. in biological anthropology from the University of Colorado. He completed a postdoctoral fellowship in the Departments of Oral Facial and Medical Genetics, Indiana University Schools of Dentistry and Medicine.

In relocating to his retirement home in New Mexico, Dr. Ward leaves behind a notable legacy of leadership, mentorship and friendship and will be greatly missed by colleagues and students alike. We celebrate his

Elizabeth Rubens

Elizabeth Rubens Retires after 25 Years at IUPUI

Elizabeth J. Rubens, M.Ed., retired on August 14, 2015. Her career at IUPUI spanned 25 years. She joined Learning Technologies in 1990 as an instructional designer and was part of the team that opened the Center for Teaching and Learning when the then-new University Library building opened. She later worked for Integrated Technologies as a senior analyst and eventually joined the Office for Professional Development (OPD) as the program leader for instructional design and development and later as the director of assessment. When the OPD was divided into separate units, she joined the Center for Research and Learning (CRL) as the director for assessment and eventually accepted the position as the director of the Multidisciplinary Undergraduate Research Institute (MURI) and the Clinical and Translational Sciences Institute (CTSI) undergraduate research programs. Along the way, she participated in initiatives such as the Community Learning Network, IUPUI online learning, the Oncourse Implementation Committee, the Indiana Partnership for Academic Success (IPAS), the RISE to the Challenge initiative and development of the ePortfolio environment. Elizabeth will miss IUPUI’s talented undergraduate researchers and dedicated mentors, yet she is excited to be able to spend more time with her large extended family and to pursue a variety of personal interests.

Of Ms. Rubens’s service in CRL, alumnus Daniel Popoola said, “She mentored me through my doubts and weaknesses and awarded me my first summer research position with the CTSI program just about five years ago. Neither she nor I knew she was sowing the seed that would bring me two years away from a Ph.D. degree as we speak. My warm

Sharvonne Williams

Sharvonne Williams Embarks on Career with State of Indiana

The Center for Research and Learning (CRL) bids a fond farewell to colleague Sharvonne A. Williams, M.P.A., as she begins her new position as program officer with Serve Indiana, formerly the State of Indiana Office of Faith-based and Community Initiatives (OFBCI). Sharvonne joined CRL in 2012 as the graduate assistant for Bridges to the Baccalaureate of Central Indiana and the Diversity Scholars Research Program (DSRP)and advanced to the position of program coordinator. In the latter capacity, she supported DSRP and the nascent IUPUI Post-baccalaureate Research Preparation Education Program (IPREP), edited the CRL Highlights newsletter and contributed to the overall success of CRL.

In her new role, Sharvonne will provide leadership to a portfolio of Serve Indiana grant recipients and will serve as the lead for office communications and marketing. Serve Indiana’s mission is to advance service and volunteerism by informing, connecting and promoting opportunities and resources that enrich the lives of Hoosiers. Of her years at CRL she said, “I enjoyed watching our students grow from being novices to actual researchers, which is the happiest gratification.” Sharvonne acknowledged in particular the staff of the Center for Research and Learning and of the Office of the Vice Chancellor for Research for showing her the ropes of success. CRL appreciates her creativity, hard work and dedication to students’


Richard Wilson, III, presenting research findings from IU Simon Cancer Center Summer Research Program

NSF Officials Visit Successful 2015 CRL Summer Poster Session

More than 150 undergraduate and high-school students presented their completed summer research projects at the annual IUPUI Summer Research Programs Poster Session sponsored by the Center for Research and Learning (CRL) on Thursday, July 23, 2015. The large group of IUPUI students was joined by participants from Ivy Tech Community College, University of Notre Dame, local high schools and several out-of-state colleges and universities. These summer scholars took part in one of over a dozen sponsored programs designed to provide aspiring investigators with intensive research experiences under the guidance of IUPUI faculty over eight to nine weeks of the summer. Students worked with their mentors in laboratories, field studies, library archives and other settings to undertake independent research projects across an impressive array of disciplines. In addition, they were afforded the opportunity to participate in the CRL summer skill-building sessions and to earn credit for IUPUI’s RISE to the Challenge initiative for their research experiences. The poster session was the culminating event for the scholars and afforded them an opportunity to interact with other students, faculty, staff and community members in the professional presentation of their research projects. The event attracted over 200 attendees in addition to the poster presenters. One of the highlights was a visit by two program administrators from the National Science Foundation (NSF) Research Experiences for Teachers (RET) program who took the time to talk to several of our presenters. Both NSF visitors were impressed by the quality of the projects and commended the students on their hard work. A list of participants, mentors and projects can be found on the CRL website.