IUPUC professor, Aimee Zoeller, has been named an Outstanding Woman Leader in the “veteran faculty” category of IUPUI’s 2021 Women’s History Month Leadership Awards. As part of IUPUI’s National Women’s History Month observance each year in March, women-identified faculty, staff, and students are recognized and celebrated for their achievements and contributions by the Office for Women and the Division of Student Affairs.
The honor was given to Zoeller for her continued work as a leader not only at IUPUC and IUPUI, where she serves as a Forum Fellow, but for her influence across the entire IU system. In the spring of 2020, as the pandemic forced faculty to transition from in-person classes to online formats, she provided training to professors across campuses by co-developing and teaching courses during the summer. The curriculum she helped to create became the standard for universities statewide use this past year.
“Aimee is a tireless servant leader whose possesses a true talent for bringing her fellow faculty together to best serve the university. She is richly deserving of this very meaningful award,” said George Towers, Head of the Division of Liberal Arts at IUPUC.
Zoeller has been teaching sociology at IUPUC for 15 years and currently serves as the director of the Sociology Program. She is the founding coordinator of the Women, Gender, and Sexuality Studies minor at IUPUC, and teaches across the sociology discipline: Music and Social Change in the U.S., Protest Music in the U.S., Women and Health, AIDS and Society, Gender and Society, Sociology of Happiness, Families and Society, Social Science Research Methods, and Introduction to Sociology. In 2015, Zoeller and Towers applied for an IUPUI Learning Environments Grant to convert a classroom into a dedicated space for women’s studies seminars and co-curricular activities. Zoeller has used that space to create a welcoming environment for students, faculty, and staff that continues to be a point of pride for the campus.
In addition to her service to IU, Zoeller has been working with the Woody Guthrie Center in Tulsa, Oklahoma to translate her expertise in folk music and protest music into organizing a nationwide faculty learning community dedicated to Guthrie’s work. Her Scholarship of Teaching and Learning (SoTL) includes co-authoring a recent paper on best practices in capstone classes in the peer-reviewed journal, Assessment Update. She has also made SoTL presentations at a number of venues including the Lilly Conference on Teaching for Active and Engaged Learning, the Midwest Sociological Society Meeting, and Northeastern State University in Oklahoma.
During her time at IUPUC, Zoeller has earned a number of awards for teaching and service. She has been awarded the Indiana University Trustees Teaching Award three times, as well as the Vice Chancellor’s Service Learning Award, the Vice Chancellor’s Community Engagement Award, the IUPUC Diversity Award, and the Outstanding Full-Time Faculty Service Award.
When asked what it means to receive this most recent honor, Zoeller had this to say: “I have been mentored by many incredible women at IUPUI; Dr. Linda Haas, Dr. Carrie Foote, Dr. Nancy Robertson, and Dr. Lisa Contino, to name a few. I am moved by mentors unknown to me, too, such as Toni Morrison, who said, ‘I tell my students, “When you get these jobs that you have been so brilliantly trained for, just remember that your real job is that if you are free, you need to free somebody else. If you have some power, then your job is to empower somebody else. This is not just a grab-bag candy game.”’ I am deeply honored to be recognized as someone who is committed to teaching and mentoring as a pathway to social justice and freedom for all members of our campus community.”