August 7, 2017

Rickus named associate vice provost for teaching and learning

Jenna Rickus, professor and associate department head of Agricultural and Biological Engineering and professor in the Weldon School of Biomedical Engineering, has been named associate vice provost for teaching and learning, effective Aug. 14.

In this new role, she will provide leadership to the campus in undergraduate education with specific oversight of undergraduate advising, career opportunities, student success programs and exploratory studies. She also will be responsible for some areas of governance including academic appeals. Rickus will report directly to Frank Dooley, senior vice provost.

Rickus is a biological engineer with expertise in biofunctional materials and biosensors. With funding from NIH, NSF, USDA, NASA, the Army Research Office and DARPA, her research lab has developed new technologies to treat, understand and detect brain cancer, diabetes and foodborne illness. She is an alumna of Purdue (BS ABE ’95, BS BCHM ’95) and has spent time in industry as an engineer before receiving her PhD in neuroscience and neuroengineering at UCLA.

During her 14 years as a faculty member at Purdue, she has invested significantly in building, growing and strengthening academic programs, classroom teaching and transformational experiences for students. She founded the Purdue international genetically engineered machine (iGEM) undergraduate research team and is a member of the Howard Hughes Science Education Alliance bringing authentic research into the classroom.

Rickus has won numerous awards for her work including the American Society for Engineering Education (ASEE) Biomedical Engineering Teaching award, the Outstanding Advisor in the College of Engineering award, the Erin Slater Mentoring Achievement Award, and the College of Engineering Research Team Award. In 2016, she was named a University Faculty Scholar and a Diversity Catalyst. She is currently a fellow of ELATE at Drexel (Executive Leadership on Academic Technology and Engineering), a program designed to advance senior women faculty in STEM into effective institutional leadership roles within their universities.

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