President Alice Long Heikens

  • Professor of Biology, Franklin College
  • Ph.D., Southern Illinois University

Dr. Heikens teaches field biology, botany, and conservation courses. A faithful member of IAS since 1991, she and her students have presented papers on rare plants, invasive species, floristic and population ecology studies, and quantitative plant ecology studies of the barrens and glades in southern Indiana. Named a fellow in 2014, Dr. Heikens chairs the Junior Grants Subcommittee. Her passion is mentoring her undergraduate students in research on native plants and quantitative studies of natural areas.  She has received the Franklin College Faculty Excellence, Teaching, and Scholarships awards.

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President Elect Vanessa Quinn

  • Associate Professor of Biology, Purdue North Central
  • Ph.D., Indiana State University

Dr. Quinn has published 17 peer-reviewed journal articles about animal behavior and global climate change. Dr. Quinn has authored a book chapter on ecosystems. Her current research interests include understanding how ecotourism can affect endangered wildlife. Vanessa has served as Chair and Vice-Chair of the Science Education Section, Junior Research Grants Committee member, Science and Society Committee member, and as a judge for the Academy Science Talent Search Youth Program.
 

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Immediate Past-President Horia Petrache

  • Associate Professor of Physics, IUPUI
  • Ph.D. Carnegie Mellon University

Dr. Petrache teaches introductory general physics and mathematical physics. He conducts research on biological membranes using x-ray scattering and NMR spectroscopy. Dr. Petrache has created a strong record of Academy involvement and was inducted as a Fellow in 2015. He has served as Chair of the Physics and Astronomy Section and has served on both the Science and Society Committee and the Senior Research Grants Committee. He helped to organize several Academy sponsored projects and has attended and participated in several Academy sponsored community events.

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Secretary Jessique Ghezzi

  • Assistant Professor of Soil Science, Ball State University
  • Ph.D., University of Kentucky

Dr. Ghezzi is the creator and director of the Ball State Student Farm, where students perform research on production methods for over 179 varieties of produce. She also volunteers for a number of student professional development organizations and looks forward to helping students prepare for successful careers in STEM/Agriculture. Dr. Ghezzi has served the Indiana Academy of Science as Vice Chair and currently Chair of the Earth Science Section and Proceedings Editorial Board Member.

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Treasurer Michael S. Finkler

  • Professor of Biology, IU-Kokomo
  • Ph.D. Miami University

Dr. Finkler has presented at the Annual Meeting, been awarded an IAS Research Grant, organized the Annual Meeting at IU Kokomo in 2009, and was Zoology Section Chair. He served as Budget Committee Chair and was President in 2012-2013.  In June 2015, he accepted the duties and responsibilities of Treasurer. Mike brought public visibility to the Academy as President when he appeared on “Inside Indiana Business”. Mike is also active in Community Service, as a Biology instructor for “Science Rocks”, a summer science camp program for middle school-aged students from underrepresented groups.

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Chair, Foundation Tom Dolan

  • Biology Professor Emeritus, Butler University
  • Ph.D., University of Georgia

Dr. Dolan recently retired from the Dept. of Biological Sciences, Butler University, after 33 years of teaching and research. He regularly taught courses in genetics and evolution as well as organismal courses in mycology and phycology.  Research interests focus on the biology of the Oomycota. Dr. Dolan joined Butler in 1985. His background in budgeting and fiscal administration led him to consecutive terms as department chair, followed by extensive service on university committees and work groups focused on university budgeting and capital allocation.  Dr. Dolan has served IAS since 2012 as an Academy Foundation Trustee.

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Chair, Research Grants James D. Mendez

  • Assistant Professor of Chemistry, IUPUC, Columbus
  • Ph.D. Case Western Reserve University

Dr. Mendez's research interests focus on the extraction and isolation of chitin from underutilized sources. Chitin is the second most abundant natural polymer on the planet, and its slightly modified version, chitosan, have found uses in a wide variety of fields, ranging from agriculture to medicine. His research group is currently modifying existing procedures for the isolation of chitin from these conventional sources to use with other abundant materials, such as crawfish shells, cicada sloughs, mealworm exuviae, and lobster shells. J.D. was elected to the Research Grants Committee in 2015.

 

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Executive Director Delores Brown

  • Executive Director, IAS
  • M.S., University of Illinois, M.Ed., Syracuse University

With over 30 years of executive level experience in organizational management, higher education administration and community partnership, Delores has done an excellent job recruiting new members, bringing corporate and community sponsorship to our IAS Annual Meetings, and has raised the professional profile of IAS. Previously, she was the Dean of Admissions for Northwestern University’s Feinberg School of Medicine; Co-principal investigator on a National Heart Lung and Blood Institute (NIH) grant; and founding Director of Health Education for the Howard University Cancer Center.

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Council Member-at-Large Luke Jacobus

  • AssistantProfessor of Biology, Indiana University Purdue University Columbus
  • Ph.D., Purdue University

Dr. Jacobus has served on the Research Grants Committee, and as chair in 2013, he evaluated committee operations, recommended changes to the grants application and review process, and proposed a change to the IAS Bylaws to help expedite the committees’ functioning. As Chair of the Research Grants Committee, Luke also served on the Budget Committee and the Academy Council. He regularly presents at the annual meeting and publishes in the Proceedings. Dr. Jacobus is a former graduate research fellow for both the National Science Foundation and the Environmental Protection Agency. He was named a Fellow of the Academy in 2014.

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Council Member-at-Large Patrick Motl

  • Assistant Professor of Physics & Associate Dean School of Sciences, Indiana University Kokomo
  • Ph.D., Purdue University

Dr. Motl's current academic interests include interacting binary stars, relativistic binary systems and stellar astrophysics as well as education and public outreach through his role as director of the IUK Observatory. Dr. Motl received the Faculty Research Award from IUK in 2012. He is the current Chair of the Physics and Astronomy Section, has served as Vice Chair of the Physics and Astronomy Section, and a Proceedings Editorial Board Member.
 

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