Leadership Team

photo of Cathy BuyarskiCathy Buyarski, PhD
Executive Assistant Dean, University College

Cathy Buyarski serves IUPUI as the Executive Assistant Dean of University College, the academic home for all beginning students. She provides leadership and oversight for academic advising, career development, student employment, new student orientation, learning assistance, TRiO programs, and three scholarship support programs for students from at-risk backgrounds. Cathy serves as the project coordinator for implementation of the Personal Development Plan in first-year seminar courses. With a background in student affairs and student development, Cathy has significant experience in building programs that support retention and student success. She holds a master’s degree in college student development from Oklahoma State University and a doctorate in higher education administration from the University of Minnesota. Her dissertation focused on collaboration between academic and student affairs as a way to enhance student learning.

Susan Kahn photoSusan Kahn, PhD
Director, ePortfolio Initiative and Director, Office of Institutional Effectiveness

Susan Kahn joined IUPUI in 1998 as national director of the Urban Universities Portfolio Project, a six-campus collaborative project that produced the first electronic institutional portfolios. In her current roles, she works to support student learning and development and strengthen teaching across the IUPUI campus; enable documentation of learning; and demonstrate institutional accountability through the annual campus Performance Report, the online institutional portfolio, and various other reports and studies. Susan previously directed a University of Wisconsin System-wide faculty development program that led initiatives focused on effective teaching and learning and on expanding campuses’ teaching and learning capacity. She has published, presented, and consulted widely on faculty development, assessment, and electronic portfolios, including co-editing Electronic Portfolios: Emerging Practices in Student, Faculty, and Institutional Learning (Stylus, 2001). She currently chairs the Board of Directors of the Association for Authentic, Experiential, and Evidence-Based Learning (AAEEBL), the international association for ePortfolio practitioners. She holds a bachelor’s degree from Smith College and MA and PhD degrees from the University of Wisconsin, all in English literature, and team-teaches the senior capstone seminar in IUPUI’s Department of English each spring.

Brandi Gilbert photoBrandi Gilbert, MPH
Director, Life-Health Sciences Internship Program

Brandi Gilbert has been the Director of the Life-Health Sciences Internship Program (LHSI) since its inception in 2007. Through this program she connects IUPUI undergraduate students with career-related experiential learning opportunities mentored by faculty and staff in the graduate and professional programs on and near campus. She is interested in using the electronic portfolio, and the electronic Personal Development Plan specifically, as a framework to collect and share internship reflections. Since the 2012-13 academic year, Intern Ambassadors (former interns) have worked with current interns to complete ePDPs based on their internship experiences and have engaged interns in discussions prompting them to articulate how these experiences fit into their overall career and academic goals. The Intern Ambassadors provide a unique perspective and credibility as former interns and are able to share stories of reflecting on their university experiences and ways the ePDP will help in applications to graduate and professional school.

Academic Portfolio

photo of Ms. ShabazzKhalilah Shabazz, MS
Director, IUPUI Multicultural Success Center

Working at IUPUI since 2001, Shabazz has almost exclusively focused on how best to support and retain underrepresented populations. Shabazz first joined the campus as assistant director for student retention and scholarship in the Office of Student Scholarships. Her participation on the IUPUI Connect to Learning team began with her role in leading Student African American Sisterhood as part of her work with underrepresented students, which has expanded over the past three years to become University College’s Diversity Enrichment and Achievement Program. There she has been responsible for developing and implementing program concepts and objectives that promote retention and success of underrepresented students at IUPUI, as well as offering assistance to help entering underrepresented students and their families make a successful transition into IUPUI. Effective January 1, 2014, Khalilah has expanded responsibilities as Director of the IUPUI Multicultural Success Center.

Shabazz holds a Bachelor of Science in psychology from the Purdue School of Science at IUPUI and a Master of Science in higher education and student affairs from the IU School of Education at IUPUI, with the distinction of summa cum laude. She is pursuing her PhD in higher education and student affairs at IUPUI with an expected graduation date of May 2014.

Cynthia Williams photoCynthia Williams, MS
Director of Student Development, Department of Psychology

Cynthia Williams received her undergraduate degree at Northwestern University in Evanston, Illinois, and her MS in Counseling and College Student Development at Northeastern University in Boston. One of her focuses there was how to teach service learning. After three years at St. Lawrence University in Canton, New York, as Assistant Director of Residential Life in the First Year program, Cynthia came to Indianapolis, where she has taught and advised for fourteen years in the Psychology Department at IUPUI as the Director of Student Development. She is also the founding advisor for IUPUI’s new Neuroscience undergraduate program. Cynthia’s interests include academic advising, learner-centered teaching, student development and mentoring, ePortfolios as evidence of authentic learning, and service learning and civic identity. She has presented at NASPA, ACPA, NLCC, NACADA, and AAEEBL national conferences since coming to IUPUI.

Mikki Jeschke photoMichelle Jeschke, MS
Director, Health and Life Science Advising Center

During most of the Connect to Learning project, Mikki Jeschke served as Director of Undergraduate Student Services in the Psychology Department at IUPUI. She taught a career development course for psychology majors and provided students with career and academic advising. She has been integrating the electronic portfolio into her career planning classes for the past two years and continues to explore ways to use the ePortfolio beyond the first-year experience and with large numbers of students (typically 75 to 90 in a given semester). She also worked with the undergraduate faculty leadership in psychology as they consider broader uses of the electronic portfolio across the psychology curriculum for student development purposes and, potentially, assessment of learning outcomes. She received her MS in College Student Personnel from the University of Wisconsin – LaCrosse.

Susan Scott photoSusan Scott, MA
Coordinator, ePortfolio Initiative and Asst. Director, Office of Institutional Effectiveness

As Coordinator of the ePortfolio Initiative, Susan’s responsibilities include helping to manage the array of collaborative efforts involved with this program. She works with faculty and administrative leaders to ensure that the ePortfolio’s objectives move forward, plans professional development related to ePortfolios, handles ePortfolio information dissemination, and staffs relevant committees. Prior to joining IUPUI, Susan was with the Indiana Higher Education Telecommunication System (IHETS) with oversight of e-learning services, the Indiana College Network, communications, grants, and new service development. She has presented frequently on topics related to e-learning, academic technologies, and leadership of change in higher education. Her career in using technology in higher education began forty years ago as an English faculty member at Vincennes University. She earned a BA from Indiana University and an MA from Indiana State University, both degrees in English.

Cynthia Landis, MS
Graduate Research Assistant, University College and ePortfolio Initiative

Cynthia Landis is a full-time doctoral student and candidate in Higher Education and Student Affairs at Indiana University in Bloomington. Inspired by  her graduate assistantship and anchored by her previous education and professional practice, she is pursuing dissertation research which will focus the inquiry proposal on the influence of faculty attitudes toward ePDP implementation in First-Year Seminars at IUPUI. Cynthia graduated from Purdue University, West Lafayette, with a BS in Environmental Design and an MS in Environmental Design and Analysis. She practiced commercial interior design for several years at an Interior Design Top 100 design firm in Indianapolis before transitioning into higher education as a full-time, non-tenure-track faculty member in an accredited interior design program where, among other subjects, she taught portfolio thinking, composition, and strategy. Cynthia is NCIDQ-certified, a LEED AP, and spent two years as a board member with the Interior Design Coalition. She also enjoys site visitor status with the Council for Interior Design Accreditation (CIDA), the higher education accreditation body for interior design programs in North America.



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