AAAS ELISS: Emerging Leaders in Science and Society

Emerging Leaders in Science and Society (ELISS) is a program hosted by the American Association for the Advancement of Science, that prepares graduate and professional students to collaborate across boundaries to tackle complex challenges in society. In its pilot year, the AAAS ELISS fellows utilize their leadership, team building, and problem-solving skills as they work together in multi-campus teams across the nation to solve problems in the areas of health and energy.

There are currently 4 campuses partaking in the inaugural year of the ELISS Program: Purdue University, Stanford University, University of Pennsylvania, and University of Washington. The ELISS program is a grassroots initiative brought to Purdue University by students. In 2012, a signature drive was initiated on campuses all across the United States to bring the ELISS program to their respective university.  The 4 campuses with the highest number of student signatures were selected to join the inaugural ELISS class.  

Two of the four current Purdue fellows have chosen to work on a multi-disciplinary team involving sustainable design. This team will partner with the Purdue University Office of Sustainability to work on the design of sustainable spaces for Purdue University, involving beta testing a “hub-let” project as part of the planning process of the State Street master plan.  Information prior to testing will be gathered from cities such as Seattle, Palo Alto, and Philadelphia. The researchers will examine how these cities have utilized the “hub-let” idea--  gathered information will be translated for application to West Lafayette, Indiana.  This is an exciting project to be a part of because it will directly impact the Purdue community as well as serve as a model for other universities.  This project will be shared with the students, community members, and policy-makers at the end of the year in Washington, D.C. The ELISS fellows will also share the information with the Purdue community at an upcoming open forum. Additional outreach to the Purdue community is also in the planning stages. For more information about ELISS, visit the Purdue University Graduate School’s Office of Interdisciplinary Graduate Programs. Email: