Thursday, March 10, 2011

International students highly satisfied with experience at IU

International students who choose Indiana University (IU) for their education rank their experience highly, according to the recently released International Student Barometer (ISB) report, which measures international student satisfaction at more than 700 educational institutions worldwide.

Despite growing numbers of international students attending programs outside of the U.S., the U.S. remains the destination of choice for international students polled for the report. International students who chose IU did so for the quality of the teaching, quality of research, and the reputation of the department. Safety, IU’s institutional reputation, and cost also factored in.

The Leo R Dowling International Center's educational and cultural programs, and services provided by the Office of International Services were chosen as the most important aspects effecting their quality of life at IU. In terms of support while in attendance, international students were most highly satisfied in their interaction with the University Graduate School, Recreational Sports and the IMU.

The ISB Report is created by the International Graduate Insight Group (i-graduate), an independent benchmarking and research service. The report is the largest annual study of international students in the world, with feedback from over 150,000 respondents in 22 countries (and across five continents) each year.

Read the report:

Wednesday, March 9, 2011

Two McNair scholars selected as 2011 Elvis J. Stahr award recipients

Isak Nti Asare
The University Graduate School would like to congratulate two of our McNair Scholars, Isak Nti Asare and Esther Uduehi who were selected as the 2011 Elvis J. Stahr award recipients.

Isak Nti Asare is a linguistics, political science, and African studies major, with an African languages minor.  In addition to being a McNair Scholar, he is also a Wells Scholar and a Hudson/Holland Scholar.   Isak is awaiting graduate school acceptances, but so far was accepted to Indiana University Bloomington (Ph.D. program in political science) with a McNair Fellowship and is on the short list for Harvard.

Esther Uduehi
Esther Uduehi is a biochemistry, mathematics major, with a Spanish minor.   In addition to being a McNair Scholar, she also participated in the STARS program.   Esther is a Rhodes fellow and will be studying Chemistry at Oxford (England) in the fall.

The Elvis J. Stahr Distinguished Senior Award was established in 1966 by Stahr, IU's 12th president. The annual award honors three to five seniors who have excelled academically while serving as active student leaders. The names of the recipients are added to a permanent plaque that hangs in the Indiana Memorial Union.

Learn more about the Ronald E McNair Scholars Program:

North Carolina A&T joins IU and 11 other historically black colleges and universities in STEM effort

Lagina Williams, of Xavier University of Louisiana, performs an experiment in 2008. North Carolina A&T State University has joined Xavier and 10 other historically black colleges and universities in the initiative.

March 7, 2011

BLOOMINGTON, Ind. -- North Carolina A&T State University has joined with Indiana University and 11 historically black colleges and universities in a partnership aimed at increasing the number of African Americans pursuing careers as researchers and scholars in science, technology, engineering and mathematics disciplines.
Lab photo

Lagina Williams, of Xavier University of Louisiana, performs an experiment in 2008. North Carolina A&T State University has joined Xavier and 10 other historically black colleges and universities in the initiative.

Since 2007 the partnership has provided high-achieving African American students from HBCU institutions with opportunities and mentoring to help them find and succeed in graduate-level research programs in the STEM disciplines.

IU President Michael A. McRobbie recently signed a memorandum of agreement with North Carolina A&T State University President Harold Martin that will open participation to selected individuals from that institution's 10,500-student body.

"We welcome our colleagues at North Carolina A&T State University into this important undertaking," McRobbie said. "By expanding our partnerships with our historically black colleges and universities, Indiana University is making good on its long-standing commitment to encouraging and helping students from under-represented minorities to pursue a graduate education in the STEM disciplines."

"We are very excited about this new strategic collaboration that will provide students from North Carolina A&T State University as well as other historically black colleges and universities a competitive edge in this global society as they pursue careers in science, technology, engineering and mathematics (STEM)," said Harold L. Martin Sr., chancellor of North Carolina A&T.

Each summer, undergraduate students from HBCU institutions have participated in a Summer Scholars Institute and conducted research in the laboratories of faculty mentors at IU Bloomington and Indiana University-Purdue University Indianapolis (IUPUI). They then present their research at the annual Summer Research Opportunities Program of the Committee on Institutional Cooperation (CIC).

North Carolina A&T University joins other partner institutions Alabama A&M, Clark Atlanta, Hampton, Jackson State, Langston, Morgan State, North Carolina Central and Tennessee State universities, as well as Bennett College for Women, Morehouse College and Xavier University of Louisiana.

Edwin Marshall, IU vice president for diversity, equity and multicultural affairs, said the Greensboro, N.C.-based, university is a good fit because of its own STEM activities. For example, several of its students already have participated informally with IU-HBCU STEM summer programs and have been on campus for other similar activities.

Marshall said the initiative's ultimate goal is to increase the number of black faculty and academic researchers traditionally underrepresented in the STEM disciplines, who also serve as mentors and role models for others.
Michael McRobbie

"According to a recent survey by the Bayer Corp., a lot of students have been deterred from pursuing careers within the STEM disciplines by their faculty and others within their academic pipeline, not because the student showed a poor acumen or was performing poorly in class, but because of non-validated information suggesting that they do something else," Marshall said. "I don't think this is done intentionally to keep students out, but a lot of faculty might think they are doing the student a favor by guiding them to areas that are a little softer."

"As we have seen with the students coming here, there is often a tendency to underestimate what they can do and contribute," he said, adding that involvement of IU faculty partners with the STEM Initiative has caused them to "become some of our biggest supporters."

"If we can increase the number of faculty in the STEM disciplines who come from similar backgrounds, and who can reflect on their own paths to achievement, it will help lead to more students following in their footsteps."

Of the 61 scholars who have participated in the IU-HBCU STEM Initiative, 25 of the 40 who have graduated so far have enrolled in master's and Ph.D. programs around the country, including at IU. In 2008 one of the students who participated during the first year enrolled at IU as a doctoral student in neuroscience and received support from the Herbert Presidential Fellows Program.

In April, IU President McRobbie and North Carolina A&T President Martin will host the CEOs of the IU-HBCU partner institutions on the campus of North Carolina A&T State University to discuss the future direction for the consortium, which could include even more student scholars, new research collaborations involving students and perhaps faculty exchanges. About 70 faculty members and administrators were involved in the original planning process

Marshall said the IU-HBCU STEM Initiative also has helped IU to identify other activities at IU Bloomington and IUPUI and tie in those programs to the STEM Initiative.

"We're developing a nexus of activity with the STEM Summer Scholars program just being one component," he said. "Many of the current ideas and concepts around collaboration might not have existed but for what we've seen happen the last four years.

"Understanding comes with conversation, so when you have students and faculty from different backgrounds and perspectives working side-by-side in a laboratory setting over the course of eight weeks, there's greater understanding and appreciation of each other," Marshall said. "The more that we can do to bring various cultures together, the better we are able to advance understanding, not just around STEM, but many other social issues as well."

More information about the IU-HBCU STEM Initiative is available at

Monday, March 7, 2011

NRC Plans to Release Revised Doctoral-Program Rankings Soon

By David Glenn
March 6, 2011

From the Chronicle of Higher Education:

The National Research Council will "shortly" release a revised version of its enormous database on American doctoral education, the project's leaders said here Friday during a conference on the past and future of doctoral-program assessment. In at least a few cases, the officials said, the revisions will significantly change certain programs' rankings.

After the NRC's long-delayed report was released last September, scholars in some fields—notably computer science —said they saw serious errors in the data.

In response to such concerns, the NRC invited programs to formally submit any problems or mistakes they had detected. Of the nearly 5,000 programs in the study, 453 submitted such letters before the November deadline, said the project's staff director, Charlotte V. Kuh, during Friday's meeting.

Read the entire article..

IU School of Education graduate student awarded prestigious Wells Fellowship

For more information, see the original release:

Julie Frye

March 7, 2011

BLOOMINGTON, Ind. -- The Indiana University Graduate School has awarded Julie Frye, PhD student in Curriculum and Instruction at the IU School of Education, with the 2011-12 Wells Graduate Fellowship.

The fellowship is an award provided for by the estate of longtime IU president and University Chancellor Herman B Wells. The $33,000 award goes to a doctoral or M.F.A student who demonstrates the qualities of Chancellor Wells: leadership abilities, academic excellence, character, social consciousness, and generosity of spirit.

Frye has exhibited those qualities through her work as a school librarian, a university instructor, and a graduate student. In 2003, shortly after the latest in a series of religious wars that killed more than 1,200 in Kaduna, Nigeria, Frye traveled alone to the city to help rebuild the destroyed library. In her first semester as a public school librarian, she opposed and stopped the removal of a book from the shelves that one teacher and a principal deemed "offensive." During her master's work (MS'02 from the IU School of Library and Information Science in Indianapolis), she created a curriculum designed to engage disinterested readers that incorporated snorkeling and rock-climbing and resulted in the assigned books flying off the shelves.

"Julie Frye is a one-woman stimulus package when it comes to her leadership style," wrote Mary Nine, social studies teacher and department leader at Edgewood Intermediate School in Indianapolis, in her recommendation letter. "She lifted up her teaching colleagues and challenged them to learn new skills, try new initiatives and transform student learning."

The chair of the Department of Curriculum and Instruction wrote in his recommendation that Frye's journey to a war-torn part of Nigeria embodied Wells' call for students to devote themselves to institutions worthy of their best. "Julie, in her usual tenacious and passionate way, chose to be the first international volunteer to help reestablish a library in Kaduna," wrote Jesse Goodman. "Only someone with Julie's strong character and devotion to social justice would have the courage and resolve to be involved in such a project."

Frye has served as a visiting lecturer at IUPUI for the School of Library and Information Science, the School of Liberal Arts, and University College since 2000, and has impressed faculty and students alike. "Julie has been a true beacon of brilliant light in our first-year seminar program," wrote David Sabol, academic coordinator for Learning Communities for University College. Sabol added that Frye's work produced some of the most amazing results he had ever seen from entering students. "Julie's positive energy and competence is readily sensed by students," he said.

The award will go toward helping Frye complete her dissertation. She intends to focus on the professional socialization of new school librarians. "I'm generally interested in what's happening in schools," Frye said. "As an instructor in the School of Library and Information Science, I'm always thinking about how we can prepare our students for the school environment. So that genuine curiosity and the desire to help those first few years to not be so rocky in the transition process -- that's what has led me to the topic."

Frye becomes the third recipient of the Wells Fellowship with ties to the School of Education in the last three years. Oren Pizmony-Levy, a PhD double major in education policy studies and sociology was awarded the Wells Fellowship for 2010-11; Payal Shaw, comparative education PhD candidate, earned the award in 2009-10. Frye earned her undergraduate degree in secondary English from the IU School of Education in 2000.

"It is because of students like these that the School of Education enjoys such a wonderful national and international reputation," said Gerardo Gonzalez, dean of the School. "No wonder we are ranked among the best graduate schools of education in the world."

Frye said the award has made her think back on a chance conversation she had with Chancellor Wells' retired secretary who raved about Wells' attributes. "And I thought, I need to know more about this man," Frye said. "I really connected to his story because of his advocacy for libraries and for intellectual freedom. I feel like it's just such a great honor to be named the recipient of this fellowship."