Brenda Capobianco has been named interim director of the Discovery Learning Research Center at Purdue University's Discovery Park. She takes over for Gabriela Weaver, who is leaving for a position with the University of Massachusetts, Amherst. August 27, 2014

News Release

WEST LAFAYETTE, Ind. – Brenda Capobianco, a Purdue science education professor and researcher on the issues of gender, culture and identity in science and engineering education, has been appointed interim director of Purdue's Discovery Learning Research Center in Discovery Park.

Capobianco, associate professor of science education in the Department of Curriculum and Instruction, will serve in an interim role during the search for a successor to Gabriela Weaver, the Jerry and Rosie Semler Director of the DLRC and professor of chemistry and science education.

Capobianco's appointment is effective immediately, said Alan Rebar, executive director of Discovery Park and senior associate vice president for research for Purdue. Weaver is leaving Purdue to become associate provost for faculty development and director of the Center for Teaching and Faculty Development at the University of Massachusetts, Amherst.

“Since coming to Purdue more than a dozen years ago, professor Capobianco has established productive lines of research, teaching and engagement activities focused in the extremely important STEM education disciplines of science, technology, engineering and mathematics,” Rebar said Monday (Aug. 25) in announcing her appointment.

“We're excited that she will bring an incredible depth of interdisciplinary research activity, a collaborative spirit and leadership to the Discovery Learning Research Center, which is crucial to the Purdue Moves mission to help advance our STEM efforts.”

This year, Capobianco received the inaugural Christian J. Foster Award, named after the former Purdue first gentleman for a faculty member who has made transformational contributions to improving STEM teaching and learning in Indiana's K-12 schools. She received the Outstanding Faculty Teaching Award in 2004 and was recognized as a University Faculty Scholar in 2010.

Capobianco has been awarded more than $17 million in both external and internal grants as the principal or co-principal investigator, including several large-scale grants funded by the National Science Foundation, that emphasize the integration of engineering design in science and science teacher education.

She also serves as co-project leader for Science Learning through Engineering Design (SLED), a multiyear Math and Science Partnership program at Purdue funded by the NSF. SLED partners include faculty from Purdue's colleges of Education, Engineering, Science and Technology, as well as Taylor Community, Plymouth, Lafayette and Tippecanoe school corporations.

Capobianco received her doctorate degree in education and school improvement/science education from the University of Massachusetts, Amherst, a master's degree in general science from Central Connecticut State University and a bachelor's degree in science education from the University of Alaska, Fairbanks.

The Discovery Learning Research Center (DLRC) is one of the centers comprising Purdue's innovative Discovery Park, an interdisciplinary research enterprise committed to advancing science, engaging industry, enhancing educational and work environments, and improving the quality of life.

Since its inception in 2003, the DLRC has fostered more than $80 million in funded research focused on identifying, developing, and nurturing interdisciplinary teams and projects that integrate, synthesize and promote discovery, learning and engagement.

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