Monthly Archives: September 2018

New Employees — August/Sept. 2018

Welcome to Purdue Libraries!

New employees since mid-June 2018.

  • Chris Brannan, Graphic Designer, Purdue University Press
  • Brianna Bush, Library Assistant IV, Print Repositories.
  • Chao Cai, Assistant Professor, Health and Life Sciences
  • Tiffany Eakin, Secretary, Archives and Special Collections
  • Matthew Kroll, Post-Doc, Distributed Data Curation Center, Research Data
  • Ignacio Sanchez, Assistant Professor, Humanities, Social Sciences, Education, and Business
  • Benjamin Sloan, Library Assistant, Humanities, Social Sciences, Education, and Business
  • Danny Vukobratovich, Instruction and Research Services Administrator, Instruction & Digital Programs Services
  • Danielle Walker, Assistant Professor, Health and Life Sciences

Office of Undergraduate Research

  • Amy Childress, Director
  • Angie Eldridge, Administrative Assistant
  • J.J. Sadler, Associate Director


Faculty Presentations and Publications, August/September 2018

In July, Bert Chapman served as a panelist on the “Managing the Utilization of Rare Earth Elements Across the DOD” discussion panel at the Defense Strategies Institute’s Advanced Materials for Defense Summit Conference in Alexandria, VA.

B. Chapman was awarded a Research and Scholarship Grant of $867.90 by Libraries Research Council to travel to the American Society for Competitiveness Conference on October 25-27, 2018, in Falls Church, VA, to present “The Arctic’s Emerging Geopolitics: Recommendations for the U.S. and its NATO Allies.”

Howard, Heather; Zwicky, Dave; Phillips, Margaret, “Academic Libraries Support Cross-Disciplinary Innovation and Entrepreneurship” (2018). Paper presented at the 38th Annual IATUL Conference in Oslo, Norway.

Phillips, Margaret; Fosmire, Michael; Petersheim, Kristin; Turner, Laura; and Lu, Jing, “Investigating the Information Habits and Needs of Practicing Engineers and University Students” (2018). Presentation at the Special Libraries Association Annual Conference.

Phillips, Margaret; Fosmire, Michael; and McPherson, Paul B, “Industry Standards for Everyone: Demystifying Technical Standards” (2018). Workshop presented at the Special Libraries Association Annual Conference.

Phillips, Margaret; Fosmire, Michael; and McPherson, Paul B, “Standards are Everywhere: A Freely Available Introductory Online Educational Program on Standardization for Product Development” (2018, May/June). Standards Engineering, 70(3), 1-6.

Phillips, Margaret; Fosmire, Michael; Petersheim, Kristin; Turner, Laura; and Lu, Jing, “How do professional engineers use information compared to undergraduates, and how can libraries prepare students and support engineers for future success?” (2018). Paper presented at the 38th Annual IATUL Conference in Oslo, Norway.

Goben, A., & Sapp Nelson, Megan. (2018). Teaching librarians about data: The ACRL Research Data Management RoadShow. College & Research Libraries News, 79(7), 354. doi:

Zwicky, Dave; Phillips, Margaret, “Inspiring Innovation with Patent Information Literacy in the Engineering Technology Curriculum” (2018). Paper presented at the 38th Annual IATUL Conference in Oslo, Norway.

Zakharov, Wei, Li, H., Fosmire, M., Traynor, A., & Pascuzzi, Peter. (2018, July). Supporting students’ self and peer assessment for writing assignments with Gradient. Presented at 2018 Pacific-Rim Objective Measurement Symposium (PROMS), Shanghai, China.

Zakharov, W., Li, H., & Fosmire, M. (2018, July). Undergraduate students’ perspectives of fake news in the field of geography. Presented at 2018 Great Lakes Science Boot Camp, West Lafayette, Indiana.

W. Zakharov was awarded a $2,000 travel grant from Libraries Research Council to travel to the 2018 Global Online Learning Summit in Toronto, Canada, October 16-19, 2018, to present, “An exploratory factor analysis of the online information literacy self-efficacy (OILS) instrument.”

Purdue Libraries’ United Way Campaign to Highlight Read to Succeed Program

by Mary Sego

Purdue University Libraries' 2018 United Way Committee -- (back row) Angie Ewing, Dan Rotello, and Teresa Balser; (front row): Sandy Galloway, Mary Sego, and Ashley Hutchcraft -- pose with the poster for the Purdue University 2018 United Way campaign.

Purdue University Libraries’ 2018 United Way Committee — (back row) Angie Ewing, Dan Rotello, and Teresa Balser; (front row): Sandy Galloway, Mary Sego, and Ashley Hutchcraft — pose with the poster for the Purdue University 2018 United Way campaign.

The Purdue United Way campaign is just around the corner! Our Interim Dean Rhonda Phillips is the chair of the Purdue United Way Campaign this year, and I am chair for the Libraries, with Sandy Galloway serving as junior chair. Team captains (now referred to as “champions”) in the Libraries include: Teresa Balser, Angie Ewing, Ashley Hutchcraft, and Dan Rotello. The University kickoff is set to start at 10 a.m. (Wednesday, Sept. 12) at the entrance of Hovde Hall, with a speech delivered by Provost Jay Akridge. Representatives in each department, school, or unit have been asked to have their own kickoff events or activities after the University’s official kickoff event concludes.

The Libraries’ kick-off event will take place at 11:30 a.m. (Sept. 12) at the Wilmeth Active Learning Center (WALC), room 1087. We will host a second-grade class from Vinton Elementary (Lafayette).

Our United Way team members will present them with books as part of the Read to Succeed program. We will have laptops available that morning for you to make United Way pledges on the spot and receive your posters.

Purdue Libraries' Read to Succeed - 2018 United Way Campaign

Use these vouchers Saturday, Sept. 15 at Barnes & Noble in Lafayette and help contribute to the United Way! (Right click on the image to make it appear in its own browser window for printing or downloading.)

We are the Purdue Libraries, so it only seemed fitting that we would focus on books and the Read to Succeed program. President Daniels has always supported this program, even allowing Purdue employees time away from work to volunteer.

Many thanks to all of you that donated new books to the Vinton students that will be coming to the Libraries’ United Way kick-off event Wednesday. Because of your generosity, that of family and friends, including Patty Jischke, we have enough new books to give each student two.Thanks to Bryan Shaffer and the Purdue Press, we have bags to put a plentiful assortment of goodies in, including the inspirational note written and signed by President Daniels, a pair of Purdue Libraries’ sunglasses for each student; frisbees from the Office of Undergraduate Research; Boiler Up stickers from Purdue Alumni Office; Boilermaker Special erasers from the Purdue Visitor’s Center; United Way t-shirts from Purdue’s United Way office; and various goodies from the Libraries’ United Way Team members.

Please note: We will continue to take new and/or gently used children’s books for all elementary school grades. Interested individuals can contact me or any of the team members mentioned above to arrange pick-up of books. There will also be a collection box in the hallway between the Purdue Memorial Union and Stewart Center from Weds., Sept. 12 – Weds., Sept. 26.

The Vinton Elementary students are a representative group of children who have benefitted from the program. The children’s teacher, Laura Gullion, was truly touched to be asked to come to campus to receive the books on behalf of the Purdue Libraries and the Read to Succeed program. She said it is not uncommon for many teachers to spend close to $1,000 from their own pockets for books for their classrooms and school libraries.

The United Way supports many organizations in the Greater Lafayette area. For the complete list, please see It is good to know that such a support system exists in our community and continues to help many!

With sincere thanks! Your Libraries’  2018 United Way Team

Purdue Libraries in the News

Excerpt from…

PURR and Libraries: Providing Purdue Researchers with Data-Management and Archiving Tool

September 7, 2018 — Last week, the Washington Post published an article about the data a Purdue University professor (and two of his research colleagues) gathered on “every confirmed, line-of-duty police killing a civilian in 2014 and 2015.” Logan Strother, assistant professor in the Purdue Department of Political Science, used the Purdue University Research Repository, or PURR, to publish the dataset of police shootings he references in the piece. (Co-authors include Charles Menifield and Geiguen Shin, both at Rutgers University, Newark.) According to Data Repository Outreach Specialist (Research Data, Purdue University Libraries) Sandi Caldrone, by using PURR to publish the dataset, Strother is promoting transparency in scholarship. Read more on the Purdue Libraries’ news site…

Exhibition shows growth of West Lafayette campus since 1869

AUGUST 29, 2018, WEST LAFAYETTE, Ind. (AP) — A newly opening exhibition by Purdue Libraries highlights the physical growth and evolution of the university’s West Lafayette campus from its establishment in 1869. Read more at

Purdue Polytechnic professor uses grant award to bring virtual reality training to archivists nationwide

AUGUST 22, 2018 — Mesut Akdere, associate professor of human resource development (HRD) and director of HRD Virtual Lab at the Purdue Polytechnic Institute, along with [Purdue Libraries’ faculty Sammie Morris and Nastasha Johnson] and professors from and the Center for Intercultural Learning, Mentorship, Assessment, and Research (CILMAR), received a grant from the National Historical Records and Publications Commission (NHPRC) to provide training for archivists across the country by developing and facilitating the Archives Leadership Institute (ALI) for the next generation of archivist leaders. The new program, ALI@Purdue, will provide advanced training for archival leaders in the United States, giving them the knowledge and tools to transform the profession in practice, theory and attitude. Read more from Purdue Polytechnic Institute…

Bringing Bioinformatics to Boilermakers

Biochemistry and bioinformatics expert Dr. Peter Pascuzzi teaches Purdue researchers how to use open-source and web-based tools to dig deeper into their research data.

When hearing about what Purdue University Libraries Assistant Professor Peter Pascuzzi does at Purdue and how he helps graduate-student and faculty researchers, one is reminded of the inventive plot twists often found in episodes of “The Simpsons.” His career chronicle has many intriguing turns like those portrayed in each tidy tale of Homer’s world. And then, so satisfyingly, it all makes perfect sense when you get to the episode’s end.

Purdue Libraries Assistant Professor Peter Pascuzzi

Pascuzzi presenting to students at a Fall 2018 orientation in the Wilmeth Active Learning Center (Home of the Library of Engineering and Science). Photo by Lindsey Organ

Pascuzzi, who studied biology and chemistry as an undergraduate, earned his Ph.D. in biochemistry (at Cornell). Naturally, as a Libraries faculty member in life sciences, his subject areas at Purdue include biochemistry, bioinformatics, medicinal chemistry, molecular biosciences, and molecular pharmacology.

His expertise is not only in biochemistry, but also in bioinformatics. He teaches researchers how to use web-based and open-source tools to better analyze and understand their research data. His CellMiner Companion application is an example of this. According to Omicstools, where his application is available, the tool “enables researchers to explore the output of CellMiner queries. The data from multiple files is summarized, assembled into a single data matrix, z-score normalized, clustered, and visualized both as a heatmap and dendrogram.” [See image below.]

“With the work I do here at Purdue, I really want to make an impact on the science, but more importantly, having been a graduate student, I have a lot of empathy with people who get stuck in a place because they don’t have the data skills they need. So I have always made a lot of effort to understand what the graduate students need, and that is what motivates a lot of the teaching I do,” Pascuzzi explained. “Many people I teach are new to bioinformatics. But I can look back over a few years now, and from that experience, I can surmise about half of them will go on to do their own bioinformatics, and it will really help them in their research. I’m not saying they wouldn’t publish without it, but I know they are doing more of the work themselves and that they are more qualified because of what they learned.”

Image Courtesy of Peter Pascuzzi. Image is figure from NIH website, "A gene expression pattern for 21 transporter genes was retrieved from CellMiner and visualized with CellMiner Companion."

Image Courtesy of Peter Pascuzzi. “A gene expression pattern for 21 transporter genes was retrieved from CellMiner and visualized with CellMiner Companion.” Image is figure from “CellMiner Companion: an interactive web application to explore CellMiner NCI-60 data.” (Image Link to NIH website)

Plants, Paths, Plots, and Projects

Pascuzzi, who started college at 26, began his academic career studying to be a plant scientist.

“I always tended to make these weird angles. I fell in with a great botany professor and then good chemistry professors. Later, I transferred to a new school and got in with a good genetics professor. I went to Cornell for plant science—I was in the biochemistry program, but working in a plant pathology lab at the Boyce Thompson Institute, which surprised my department,” he explained. “Then I collaborated on a structural biology project, which involved working with another lab at Cornell. After that, I went to N.C. State for a post-doc in plant genomics, but I had to learn bioinformatics to understand our data. The interest in bioinformatics brought me to Purdue Libraries.”

While here, his work has been varied, too. He recalls one project on which he worked with a faculty member in the vet school, helping her take data from the National Center of Biotechnology Information and getting it into a format she could use.

“For me, it was very simple; for her it seemed impossible. In many ways, how I helped her is, 100 percent, the work that libraries do. There is a public resource out there, the resource is information or data, and I show them how to work with it,” Pascuzzi said.

While people have complimented Pascuzzi on his CellMiner Companion tool—that he used to develop a visualization plot, or a heatmap, on cancer cells with drug treatment, data—he points out what really is important is what can be done, with data by individual researchers.

“Generating a plot, from publicly available data on cancer cells, isn’t revolutionary. What is revolutionary is that I was able to do it myself—and I am able to teach just about anybody how to do something like that,” Pascuzzi said. “The technology has moved so quickly, data access has moved so quickly, that projects like that have become trivial. A decade ago, that would have been a major project. You would have approached computer science students, and then write to someone to get access to the data. Now it is just all out there.”

Purdue University’s Elizabeth Tran, an associate professor in biochemistry, is another faculty member who Pascuzzi has helped over the years. She said his expertise has contributed to the continued funding of her work, as well as critical bioinformatics training and instruction for her and her graduate students.

“He taught my students how to code, both from his R/Bioconductor course [BCHM 695 Introduction to Bioconductor and R] and through one-on-one assistance,” she noted.

Tran added that she and Pascuzzi have collaborated on several research projects since he has been at Purdue.

“Our research is focused on the role of RNA unwinding enzymes in gene expression. Not surprisingly, we were faced with the challenge of needing genome-wide studies gene expression differences between the pathways we were investigating. I reached out to Pete, and he was able to help us use published data sets to compare to results we had generated with RNA sequencing. This resulted in a grant renewal for my laboratory, with Pete as an essential collaborator, and a publication one of my graduate students,” she explained.

Pascuzzi has continued working on projects in Tran’s laboratory, including helping another one of her graduate students with cutting-edge “next gen” studies to identify binding sites for the RNA helicases on RNAs.

Distinguished Professor in the Purdue University Department of Nutrition Science James Fleet pointed out that Pascuzzi’s unique perspective and skill set bridge the traditional roles of the library, “i.e. information management and analysis, with an important area of modern biology, bioinformatics and big data analysis.”

“I came to know Pete through an educational program funded by the National Institutes of Health’s ‘Big Data to Knowledge’ program. This program funded projects to provide data-analysis training to traditional biomedical researchers. (This was a unique, nationally competitive grants program, and Purdue was only of only about a dozen places to receive funding from the program.) I had heard about Pete’s skills as a bioinformatician and an educator, and I knew that he was the piece we needed to round out our team,” Fleet explained. “His contribution to our course was necessary for its success. In addition, he has been instrumental in establishing core bioinformatics and data management/analysis courses for the Biochemistry Department.”

Biochemistry Assistant Professor Vikki Weake said Pascuzzi’s influence on student learning and success is clear.

“Pete and I worked together on some RNA-seq studies in Drosophila, and he helped mentor one of my graduate students, Jingqun Ma, so that she could learn how to analyze her data. These studies were published in the journal G3. Jinqun is now a bioinformatician,” she said.

When it comes to research data, Weake not only touted Pascuzzi’s bioinformatics expertise, but she also noted that Purdue Libraries’ Purdue University Research Repository, or PURR, is a tremendous resource for Purdue faculty.

“Data management and archiving are becoming increasingly important in the life sciences, and my lab team members have used PURR extensively to archive data sets associated with our published studies,” she said. “This is really important, as other researchers have access to the raw data, so they can replicate our analyses and results. The National Institutes of Health have recognized that we need efforts to improve rigor and reproducibility in biomedical science, and services that make raw data freely available are a great way for labs to be transparent about the work that they are doing. Ideally, other groups should be able to take our data and replicate our findings, or if new knowledge becomes available—they might use our data to gain novel insight into a biological process,” Weake added.

Pascuzzi, like his fellow faculty colleagues in the Purdue Libraries, serves Purdue faculty with invaluable instructional and research support, oftentimes providing key resources, tools, and insights that help them make great leaps in their learning, information discovery, and research studies.

“My niche has always tended to be helping others. Libraries are highly service, education, and learning oriented,” Pascuzzi said. “I have tried to go all in on that. It’s what we do.”