Alumni Spotlights

Celebrating alumni contributions: 200+ years of impact

Our alumni are groundbreakers. Leaders. Game changers making a difference. And we're pretty proud of them.

The College of Arts and Sciences is celebrating the enduring legacies of our alumni —the contributions they have made to the university, in their communities, and in their professions. Join us as we commemorate the thinkers, doers, and leaders making an impact through a host of online events and alumni spotlights on the College's social media accounts.

Portrait of Rick Van Kooten.

The College has amazing alumni. They're just incredible, and it's so fulfilling to hear about the things they're doing and how invested they are in changing the world for the better.

Rick Van Kooten, Executive Dean

Biologist + Innovator

It all started with the flatworm. “I read about this little animal in high school," says H. Michael Shepard (Ph.D. '77, Biology). "The first thing that caught my attention was that, if you cut the flatworm in half, the back end can regenerate the head and the head part can regenerate the tail. And, so, I'm wondering how that works ... That's how I got in developmental biology.” Shepard would go on to develop the groundbreaking cancer drug Herceptin, which targets and slows the proliferation of tumor cells in patients with HER2-positive breast cancer. “It was building a great big old thing out of a little flatworm,” he recalls.

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Fundraiser + Game Changer

Elizabeth LaBorde had wanted to be a doctor since she was five. “I was pre-med for my first year or year-and-a-half,” LaBorde recalls. “I was a solid B-plus student.” But one not-so-great counselor—followed by some truly valuable mentors—would set her on a slightly different path. Today, she serves as vice president of principal and major gifts for City of Hope Comprehensive Cancer Center in Los Angeles.

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Trailblazer + Visionary

The IU College of Arts and Sciences certainly has had its share of greats. Case in point? Meet one of our most distinguished alumna, The Honorable Lorna G. Schofield (B.A. '77, English and Germanic Studies), who is the first Filipino-American to sit on the federal bench.

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Advocate + Astronomer

Michael Weasner (B.S. '70, Astrophysics) received the Indiana University Bicentennial Medal for Astronomy Outreach in 2019. After a storied career in the Air Force and a stint in the aerospace industry, the IU alumnus now operates his own observatory and has teaches kids and adults about the importance of keeping our skies dark.

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Artist + Educator

Katie Dieter (M.A. '09, Ph.D. '17, African American and African Diaspora Studies, M.A. '12, Gender Studies) is the associate director of African and African American studies (AAAS) at Stanford University, where she's passionately working at this monumental time to promote change and healing through the advancement of the vision and goals of AAAS programs.

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Professor + Researcher

Paul Musgrave (B.A. '04, History, Political Science) is an assistant professor of political science at the University of Massachusetts Amherst, where he studies how American domestic policies affect U.S. foreign policy.

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