October 20, 2021

First Societal Impact fellows announced

Purdue’s newest professional development opportunity — the Societal Impact Fellows Program — is arming Purdue faculty and staff with the training and tools to create grant proposals that impact society. The proposals will reach across mission areas, integrating discovery with the scholarship of engagement, teaching and learning.

Projects selected for each semester-long class will align with the University’s initiatives. This academic year, reflecting Purdue’s diversity initiatives, many fellows are exploring opportunities to impact Black communities.

For the fall semester, the Office of Engagement selected 11 faculty members and one staff member, for the Societal Impact Fellows Program:

  • Omolola Adeoye-Olatunde, assistant professor, College of Pharmacy.
  • Brandon Allen, staff, College of Engineering.
  • Yaohua Feng, assistant professor, College of Agriculture.
  • Inez Hua, professor, College of Engineering.
  • Chrystal Johnson, associate professor, College of Education.
  • Nan Kong, professor, College of Engineering.
  • Pi-Ju Liu, assistant professor, College of Health and Human Sciences.
  • Krishna Nemali, assistant professor, College of Agriculture.
  • Philip Pare, assistant professor, College of Engineering.
  • Kathryn Seigfried-Spellar, associate professor, Polytechnic Institute.
  • Pengyi Shi, associate professor, School of Management.
  • Rua Mae Williams, assistant professor, Polytechnic Institute.

All will complete at least an executive summary and logic model for their grant proposals. Fellows will receive direct feedback from mentors, who have a history of successful engaged scholarship. The mentors for the fall are:

  • Lynn Bryan, professor, College of Education.
  • Stacey Connaughton, professor, College of Liberal Arts.
  • Liz Flaherty, associate professor, College of Agriculture.
  • Karen Hudmon, professor, College of Pharmacy.
  • Shelley MacDermid-Wadsworth, professor, College of Health and Human Sciences.
  • Sonak Pastakia, professor, College of Pharmacy.

Fellows will receive a stipend of $1,000 for participating in and completing the program.

The foundation for the pilot program was laid by Purdue Advancing Research Impact in Society (PARIS). This PARIS team of research and engagement faculty and staff, brought together by Steve Abel, associate provost for engagement, sought input across campus to identify the challenges, training and tools faculty and staff need to be successful in developing these grant proposals. The project lead of PARIS, Rod Williams, professor of wildlife sciences, was named assistant provost this fall, and now oversees the Societal Impact Fellow Program.

Read more about the program. Applications are now open for the spring semester.

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