RISE Initiative Elevates Student's Career

IUPUI student Jennifer Romine in the laboratory.

Jennifer Romine is well aware of the definition of a “full plate”—she’s been dealing with one throughout her IUPUI academic career. Romine mixes her undergraduate coursework in the Purdue School of Science with intense research work with her mentor—Dr. Jinhui Chen of the IU School of Medicine—and an application to enter the medical school thrown in for good measure.

Oh, and then there’s the daunting prospect she faced this fall—presenting research findings before a top-flight group of fellow investigators at the second annual International Neural Regeneration Symposium in China.

If you’d asked Romine a few years ago about her chances of facing such an illustrious group of experts, the Indianapolis Roncalli High School graduate might have put the odds at somewhere between slim and none, with slim a few miles down the road.

When she came to IUPUI, Romine admits she “didn’t really want to do research. What’s ironic now is I’m completely embedded in it,” she says. During her IUPUI tenure, Romine has been part of the school’s Biology Freshman Work Program, earned her way into the Life Health Sciences Internship program, done investigative work at the renowned Star Neuroscience Institute at IUPUI, and honed her presentation skills before the local chapter of the Indiana Society of Neuroscience.

That last group is particularly important, since she’s aiming to work in the field of neuroscience research, focusing on the study and treatment of Alzheimer’s disease.

“IUPUI has allowed me to take advantage of all the opportunities to meet my RISE goals,” says Romine, referring to IUPUI’s mission to provide Research, International study, Service, and Experiential learning for all undergraduates.

Romine is a Fugate Scholar, under the umbrella of the Sam H. Jones Community Service Scholarship Program, and is the president of Timmy Global Health at IUPUI (part of the Timmy Foundation, launched by School of Medicine graduate Chuck Dietzen). She also serves as an ambassador for the Center for Research and Learning, and is the pre-professional coordinator for the IUPUI Biology Club, a member of the Student Development Funding Committee, and an IUPUI Honors College peer mentor.