December Salon Spotlight


Thursday, March 3, 2016

Each month, CEWiT hosts a Faculty and Ph.D. Salon to provide a venue for faculty and students to network, socialize, and learn more about the research and/or teaching of colleagues across multiple schools and disciplines. In addition to networking time with wine and cheese, select faculty give lightning talks on their topic of research/study.

December’s Salon featured Shahla Ray, Stepanka Korytova and Kylie Peppler.

Shahla Ray
Senior Lecturer, Applied Health Science, School of Public Health


Dr. Shahla Ray wears many different hats at IU through teaching, service and research. She teaches nutrition courses to undergraduate students and even developed a course related to obesity. “Among these courses, I promote a healthy lifestyle for students,” she said. “In addition, I teach my students how to conduct research, apply for grants and publish.” Ray has established service-learning courses and worked to create a bridge between IU and the community.

At December’s Salon, Ray enjoyed being among female faculty members and brainstorming ideas. “I think women are underrepresented in general in many societies,” she said. “It is good to have women’s voices to work together on our campus.”

Ray loves the way technology promotes health and connects her to the world. Her advice to students entering technology fields is to evaluate their surrounding environment, find what is needed, and use expertise to serve. When Ray is not working with her students on research, she loves painting, gardening and spending time with her family outdoors.

Stepanka Korytova
Adjunct Lecturer, Department of International Studies

Stepanka Korytova believes CEWiT Salons are a great way for women to share their work and accomplishments. After attending a few times, Korytova agreed to share her own. “I wanted to present my ideas and students’ accomplishments,” she said. “I do not get the chance to address the public about the issues of exploitation very often.”

Korytova enjoys the little research she is still able to do while teaching and interacting with her students, and is proud of her ability to enter new fields and reinvent herself professionally. In 2011, Korytova won the Zirin Prize by the Association for Women in Slavic Studies (AWSS). The prize “aims to recognize the achievements of independent scholars.”

A historian by training, Korytova likes to collaborate with colleagues who can enhance her IT skills. She wishes students entering technical fields knew that there is support out there for them. Outside of work, Korytova enjoys Argentinian tango and skiing, cinematography, tennis and hiking.

Kylie Peppler
Assistant Professor, Learning Sciences and Director of The Creativity Labs


Through her work, Kylie Peppler seeks to understand the connection between arts and technology in order to broaden a child’s learning experience. “I want to unlock the idea that computational thinking is an ability that allows you to construct things just like you would with a crayon and paper,” she said.

As an IU faculty member since 2008, Peppler has been heavily involved with CEWiT since its creation as a Faculty Leader and Circles Champion.

Peppler encourages women interested in technical fields not to conform to the pressures and existing standards in today’s society. “Be comfortable with what you fall in love with, and be secure in the kinds of material you’re interested in working in,” said Peppler. “You don’t need to abandon your identity to come into computing.”

Watch videos of the December Salon presentations on this YouTube playlist!