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School of Science receives several faculty and student awards in 2019-20 academic year


INDIANAPOLIS -- The Purdue School of Science at IUPUI is applauding its faculty members and students who received several awards related to their work here. 

Kristin VanderWall, a biology graduate student is the recipient of the prestigious Sherry Queener Graduate Student Excellence Award. The award honors former Associate Dean,  Sherry Queener, Ph.D., and her many contributions while leading the Graduate School at IUPUI. The IUPUI Fellowship Committee says they were impressed with the breadth of accomplishments and VanderWall's growth as a student as shown by her Ph.D. dissertation.

Her dissertation focused on glaucoma and how it impacts vision. "This research will help our understanding the loss of vision associated with glaucoma. Additionally, this research will provide novel insights into future treatments and drug therapeutics for glaucoma," said VanderWall. "This is a testament to the hard work I've put in over the past four years and a testament to the great mentorship." VanderWall's hard work will continue; she accepted a position with Eli Lilly.

The School of Science is also recognizing undergraduate, Samuel Canner. He is the recipient of the IUPUI Chancellor's Award for Outstanding Undergraduate Research. Canner has spent the last four years working in Stephen Wassall's, Ph.D., Physics lab, the research focusing on cell membranes, which surrounds every cell.

His focus has been in computational work, performing simulations of the cell membranes and analyzing them. "Under him, I've had the opportunity to present multiple times on campus, present at international conferences, be a co-author on an accepted grant and be a co-author on two published papers," stated Canner. "It took a lot of time to do the work, but it was well worth it, to present what I did and contribute to the field."

Canner will be continuing his education in computational biophysics at another school but says he's sad to leave IUPUI and his mentor, professor Wassall.

The School of Science Chancellor's Scholar Award recipient is Tyler Lawson, an Environmental Sciences student. "I am honored to receive the Chancellor's Scholar Award and am happy to have my accomplishments as an undergraduate recognized," said Lawson. He continued, "I am very grateful for the IUPUI professors and faculty who have helped cultivate my love for science and further instilled within me the virtues of hard work and service. Those are values which I will carry with me for the rest of my life."

Keith Anliker, Senior Lecturer for the Department of Chemistry and Chemical Biology is the recipient of the prestigious President's Award for Excellence in Teaching and Learning Technology. The award recognizes faculty members who have enhanced the teaching and learning experience at Indiana University using innovative technology.

Michelle Saylers, Ph.D., Psychology professor and director of the clinical psychology program is the recipient of the Glenn W. Irwin, Jr., M.D. Research Scholar Award. It is the highest recognition of continuing research by a colleague. The award honors and recognizes the achievements of Dr. Glenn W. Irwin, Jr., a professor, dean of the School of Medicine, chancellor of IUPUI and vice president of Indiana University.

The award recognizes Salyers continued work on improving treatment for those with mental health issues while not forgetting those who work in the mental health field.

"It was such a special honor to be selected for this award! I am so appreciative of my colleagues -- those who nominated me and wrote letters on my behalf, and those who have made this possible through collaboration," said Saylers. She added, "This award reflects a long history of partnering with great people (researchers, community members, staff and students) and having the support of IUPUI to make it all happen."

Salyers is also the recipient of the Distinguished Alumni Award.

The School of Science is also celebrating Christine Picard, Ph.D., professor and director of the Forensic and Investigative Sciences program and Lixin Wang, Ph.D., an associate professor in Earth Sciences. Both received the IUPUI Research Trailblazer Award in their respective fields.

Gabriel Filipelli, Ph.D., professor and director of the Center for Urban Health, received the John W. Ryan Award for Distinguished Contributions to International Programs and Studies, and the Chancellor's Professor Award.

"I have committed my 25+ year career to IUPUI, serving the local and global community, working with the best students imaginable, and exploring nature and translating my discoveries to the scientific field, and to local communities. Being recognized as a Chancellor's Professor is a top honor that I will cherish as I continue to faithfully serve our campus, our community, and our society in the years to come," said Filippelli.

The School of Science is also proud of Peggy Stockdale, Ph.D., department chair and professor of Psychology, along with Eva Pietri, Ph.D., assistant professor of Psychology. Both were honored with Women's History Month Annual Leadership Awards. Stockdale received the Veteran Faculty award, while Pietri received the Newcomer Faculty award. It recognizes the outstanding contributions made by women-identified faculty, staff and students at IUPUI.


The full list of 2019-20 award recipients:
  • Chancellor's Professor Award: Gabriel Filippelli, Ph.D.
  • John W. Ryan Award for Distinguished Contributions to International Programs and Studies: Gabriel Filippelli, Ph.D.
  • Glenn W. Irwin, Jr., M.D., Research Scholar Award: Michelle Salyers, Ph.D.
  • Distinguished Alumni Award: Michelle Salyers, Ph.D.
  • IUPUI Chancellor's Award for Outstanding Undergraduate Research: Samuel Canner
  • School of Science Chancellor's Scholar: Tyler Lawson
  • Sherry Queener Graduate Student Excellence Award: Kristin VanderWall
  • IUPUI Research Trailblazer Award: Christine Picard, Ph.D.
  • IUPUI Research Trailblazer Award: Lixin Wang, Ph.D.
  • President's Award for Excellence in Teaching and Learning Technology: Keith Anliker
  • Women's History Month Annual Leadership Awards Veteran Faculty: Peggy Stockdale, Ph.D.
  • Women's History Month Annual Leadership Awards Newcomer Faculty: Eva Pietri, Ph.D.
  • Women's History Month Annual Leadership Awards Undergraduate: Sara Alhaffar
  • Women's History Month Annual Leadership Awards Undergraduate: Nora Gilliam