Dr. Nancy Pelaez is an Associate Professor of Biological Sciences in the College of Science with a courtesy appointment in Curriculum and Instruction. She holds a B.S. in Biology summa cum laude from Tulane University, a k-12 California teaching credential in both Life Science and Physical Science from Mills College, and a Ph.D. in Physiology and Biophysics from Indiana University School of Medicine as a Howard Hughes Medical Institute fellow. Pelaez is currently PI of the NSF-funded project, “Advancing Competence in Experimentation – Biology (ACE-Bio) Network," is Co-PI of NSF#1661124 “Exploring Biological Evidence,” and has served as External Evaluator of several NSF-funded educational projects including the Faculty Developer Network for Undergraduate Biology Education and the “Diagnostic Question Clusters (DQC)” project to diagnose student misconceptions in biology. Pelaez was the recipient of the 2016 Guyton Educator of the Year from the American Physiological Society, she was the 2014 Indiana LSAMP Faculty Mentor of the Year, and in 2015 she served as the Fulbright-University of Applied Sciences FH Campus Vienna Visiting Professor. With more than 40 refereed publications in the field, Pelaez is now Convener of the Biology Education Area (BEA), which was established as one of six research focus area in the Department of Biological Sciences at Purdue.
Pelaez posts project up-dates on ResearchGate (https://www.researchgate.net/profile/Nancy_Pelaez). For example, the NSF-funded Advancing Competencies In Experimentation - Biology (ACE-Bio) Network project links educational specialists (who study how students learn) and scientists (who are active researchers and educators) to develop assessment tools that directly measure what students learn about experimentation in biology. Collaboratively, these two groups developed a set of Basic Competencies of Biological Experimentation (see http://docs.lib.purdue.edu/pibergiim/4) about the concepts underlying an experiment and the nature of representations students should apply in reasoning about experiments and visualizing data. The project is focused on revealing areas of student difficulties, leading to new instructional and mentoring approaches targeting those areas.