Sponsor: Cengage Learning and the ACS Division of Chemical Education
Citation: For work on face-to-face and cyber versions of Peer Led Team Learning that has facilitated understanding of small-group chemistry learning in the two environments.
Current position: professor of chemistry and founding executive director, STEM Education Innovation & Research Institute, Indiana University-Purdue University Indianapolis
Education: B.Sc., chemistry, University of Pune; Ph.D., organic chemistry, University of Illinois, Chicago
Varma-Nelson on her biggest research challenge: “There were two challenges. First, I started my career at a small institution not known for attracting much external funding, so it was difficult for me to get support for my work. We didn’t even have local administrative expertise for how to pursue or manage grants. Second, although it has been sometimes amusing, it’s been challenging to deal with stereotypes about female Indian immigrants being in positions of authority in otherwise traditional settings.”
What her colleagues say: “None of her publications, presentations, or awards can begin to describe the personal impact that Dr. Varma-Nelson has had on the field of chemical education, including undergraduates, graduate students, peers, and professional colleagues. No one can interact with Dr. Varma-Nelson without leaving charged with her enthusiasm, passion, and talent for changing how we teach chemistry.”—Diane M. Bunce, Catholic University of America
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