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Larry MacIntyre
University Communications

Ryan Piurek
University Communications

Last modified: Thursday, September 23, 2010

IU appoints new Presidential Student Intern

Sept. 23, 2010

BLOOMINGTON, Ind. -- Esther Uduehi, a senior at Indiana University Bloomington majoring in biochemistry and mathematics, has been selected as IU's Presidential Student Intern for 2010-11, it was announced today (Sept. 23). As IU's second-ever Presidential Student Intern, she will serve on a new committee, recently established by IU President Michael McRobbie, which is examining the university's approaches to teaching and learning and their impact on student achievement.

Uduehi, a Herman B Wells Scholar who entered the fall semester with a 3.93 grade point average, is currently the vice president of IU's Board of Aeons, a 12-member student board that conducts research projects for the president's office.

"I first met Esther as a high school science student with great potential," McRobbie said. "Since her sophomore year, she has served on the Board of Aeons and has participated in outstanding assessments of undergraduate research at IU Bloomington and the state of our prestigious scholarship selection process. I am pleased that she has chosen to further serve the university in this important capacity by tackling issues of teaching and learning -- critical elements at the core of an IU education."

Administered by the IU Office of the President, the Presidential Student Intern position provides high-achieving IU undergraduates with the opportunity to gain experience and leadership skills while contributing to the long-term improvement of the university.

Uduehi will serve as a member of the University Steering Committee on New Directions in Teaching and Learning, which is being chaired by IU Vice President for University Regional Affairs, Planning and Policy John Applegate. Drawing on her own academic background and undergraduate research experiences, she will provide a student perspective to the committee, while assisting with committee operations, research and the development of a teaching and learning conference next spring.

"I am excited about the opportunity to work in the Office of the President," Uduehi said. "The New Directions Teaching and Learning Committee will allow me to work with administrators and faculty, which is a great privilege and honor. Through the presidential internship, I not only hope to add a student viewpoint to the committee, but also provide useful conclusions and ideas."

A former valedictorian at F.J. Reitz High School in Evansville, Ind., Uduehi entered IU in 2007 as a recipient of the Wells Scholarship, created in honor of the late IU Chancellor Herman B Wells and one of the most competitive and prestigious awards offered by any U.S. university. That same year she was also named a National Achievement Scholar and a Senator Richard G. Lugar Scholar, and received the Indianapolis Star Minority Achievement Award. This year, she received the Kenneth R.R. Gros Louis Scholarship, named after the former IU chancellor, and the Council on Advancing Student Leadership Top Ten Student Leader Award.

Uduehi is a participant in IU's Science, Technology and Research Scholars (STARS) program, the College of Arts and Sciences research program for undergraduate students in the sciences. She has worked in the laboratory of IU chemistry professor Amar Flood since her freshman year.

Last fall, she studied at Oxford University in the United Kingdom as a visiting student in chemistry and biochemistry. That experience followed a summer spent in Russia as a participant in the U.S.-Russia Global Health Care Study Program.

While at IU, Uduehi has co-founded the IU Minority Association of Pre-Medical Students (MAPS) and the IU Photography Society, served as diversity director for the IU Student Association, interned with the IU Premed Summer Experience Program, served as the first student docent at the IU Art Museum and conducted teaching internships in the departments of Biology and Mathematics.

Uduehi is interested in a career in medicinal chemistry research and has given several national research presentations, including a presentation earlier this year at the Harvard Medical School.

To schedule an interview with her, contact Ryan Piurek, University Communications, at 812-855-5393 or