Lisa Ruch receives 2020 IUPUI Women's History Month Leadership Award


In 1985, Lisa Ruch moved to Indianapolis to accept a job as an academic advisor at IUPUI. Since then, Ruch, now the director of academic affairs for the IUPUI Honors College, has served IUPUI and its students for 35 years, and it is for that reason, in part, that she is this year’s recipient for the Annual Veteran Staff Women’s History Month Leadership Award.

Over her years at IUPUI, Ruch has held many different titles; however, through them all, she has been an effective leader, a respected colleague, and a cherished member of IUPUI.

When the Honors Program transitioned into the Honors College, Ruch was recruited to build the advising and student involvement component of the college, according to Melissa Cooper, senior career consultant in University College.

“Lisa Ruch is the face of the Honors College at IUPUI,” said Kristina Sheeler, executive associate dean of the Honors College, in her nomination of Ruch.

She has built a strong, cohesive team of advisors, not only within the Honors College but also with honors advisors in each of the schools.

Kristina Sheeler, executive associate dean, IUPUI Honors College

Ruch’s dedication to students can be showcased by her dedication to the Alpha Lambda Delta Phi Eta Sigma freshman honor society of which she has been the advisor of for 22 years, as well as formally serving as the national vice president of the organization.

“Impressively, Lisa’s Alpha Lambda Delta Phi Eta Sigma students have won over $400,000 in national scholarships,” Sheeler said. “Clearly her dedication has been important in the success of these students and in the national recognition IUPUI has achieved as a result of our students’ successes.”

Emily Clossin, the assistant director of the Honors College, said, “Her work with Alpha Lambda Delta Phi Eta Sigma has made the organization rise to a level that makes it one of the greatest chapters of these organizations in the country.”

Ruch’s work with the society has a direct positive impact on many of the students who are a participant. “Lisa is a wonderful chapter advisor and genuinely cares about the students and the organization,” said one Alpha Lambda Delta Phi Eta Sigma member. “I don't think we would be where we are without her. She is always trying to push the students in the best ways, empowering and motivating them to reach their goals. I could not ask for a better female leader.”

IUPUI’s Alpha Lambda Delta Phi Eta Sigma has been recognized as a top chapter in the country for the last four years, and Ruch has been recognized locally and nationally for her work as an adviser to the society.

Cooper said Ruch “has, directly and indirectly, made a positive difference for our campus and countless students and alumni, across these last three-and-a-half decades. I cannot think of anyone more deserving of this award than Lisa Ruch,” said Cooper in the nomination letter.

The Office for Women and the Division of Student Affairs celebrate national Women’s History Month every March by recognizing the outstanding contributions of women faculty, staff, and student leaders.

For more information, contact the Division of Undergraduate Education Office of Communications at