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Lauren Bryant
IU Office of the Vice Provost for Research

Last modified: Monday, June 22, 2009

IU education professor receives research award to further mathematics education

June 22, 2009

BLOOMINGTON, Ind. -- Dionne Cross, an assistant professor of education at Indiana University Bloomington, has received a 2009 Ralph E. Powe Junior Faculty Enhancement Award from the Oak Ridge Associated Universities organization.

This prestigious award is intended to foster research and professional growth and lead to new funding opportunities during the early stages of the recipients' careers. The ORAU's award consists of unrestricted funds for research and is matched by the awardee's home institution.

Cross, who has been a secondary-level mathematics teacher in Jamaica and the United States, focuses her research on strategies to improve both student learning and teachers' professional development in the areas of mathematics. She has been involved in a range of projects, such as a two-year initiative with the Gary (Ind.) Community School Corp. aimed at studying how to increase engagement with science and math among African American girls.

"This is a highly competitive program for junior researchers," said Sarita Soni, IU vice provost for research, who also serves as a councilor to ORAU. "Dr. Cross's selection for this award from more than 100 applications speaks volumes about her dedication to scholarly pursuits. We're very proud that she has received this exciting opportunity to further develop and enhance her research."

"Dr. Cross' accomplishments have been outstanding," said Gerardo Gonzalez, dean of the IU School of Education. "The work she has been doing to improve math and science education in Gary already has contributed to a major improvement in test scores. The research-based methods of instruction and professional development she and her colleagues have developed are impacting one of the most challenged areas in the state. Her research has national and international implications for improving STEM education among traditionally underserved populations."

Since the program began 19 years ago, ORAU has awarded 398 grants totaling more than $1.9 million. Including the matching funds from member institutions, ORAU has facilitated grants worth more than $4 million.

Oak Ridge Associated Universities (ORAU) is a university consortium leveraging the scientific strength of 100 major research institutions to advance science and education by partnering with national laboratories, government agencies, and private industry. ORAU manages the Oak Ridge Institute for Science and Education for the U.S. Department of Energy.