Students come to college both for “training” (learning to do) and for “education” (learning to become). They deserve an inspiring, rigorous, and fulfilling learning experience to become enthusiastic and self-sufficient, life-long learners. Dr. Vardar-Ulu sees her role to be a guide and a mentor in her students’ own learning journey and believe in teaching students and not topics. She is passionate and committed to provide every student with an authentic and enriching learning experience built on interpersonal connections, student-centered, active learning activities, and meaningful reflection and assessment opportunities.

As a part of her teaching assignments, Dr. Vardar-Ulu has significantly redesigned existing curricula or developed entirely new courses to incorporate evidence based effective teaching pedagogies and address the challenges of offering an inclusive, equitable, consistent, and high-quality education in large classes that require partnership with undergraduate and graduate teaching assistants.

  • CH 373 – Principles of Biochemistry
  • CH 101/103 – General Chemistry I
  • CH 421/422 – Biochemistry I/II Laboratory Coordinator
  • CH 171 – Principles of Chemistry Laboratory Coordinator
  • CH 172 – Principles of Organic and Biochemistry Laboratory Coordinator

Additional courses designed and taught prior to BU position can be found at Vardar-Ulu Group Website


Vardar-Ulu group is interested in designing and implementing student centered interdisciplinary curricula and novel classroom assessment strategies for students interested in life sciences. Group’s active research is focused on four areas: (1) developing Molecular Case Studies and supplementary classroom tools in collaboration with Molecular CaseNet and studying the effectiveness of their classroom implementation for improving visual literacy and effective teaching of the structure-function relationship (2) creating student-friendly and effective teaching materials with students for students. (3) developing novel competency and skill based assessment strategies for laboratory courses that can be propagated across courses and into professional platforms. (4) studying the academic and social/emotional impact of “decentering of grades/ ungrading” in upper level courses as it relates to STEM careers and inclusive STEM teaching.

Please visit Vardar-Ulu Group Website for more details on chemical education and other projects as well as related publications and presentations

Recognitions and Awards

  • Molecular CaseNet Faculty Mentoring Network (2020-)
  • Inclusive STEM Teaching Faculty Fellow (2021)
  • Adobe Creative Campus Faculty Fellow (2021)
  • BioQUEST & Quantitative Undergraduate Biology Education and Synthesis (QUBES) Biology and Mathematics Educators (BIOME) Fellow, (2020 & 2021)
  • BU CT&L Blended Learning Challenge Fellow (2017-2018)
  • ASM-NSF Biology Research (2008-2009) and Assessment (2013-2014) Scholar
  • HHMI Curriculum Development Award (2010)
  • Wellesley College Educational Research and Development Award (2008-2009 & 2013-2014)
  • NIH Academic Research Enhancement Award (2010-2014)
  • Wellesley College Faculty Awards (2007-2008, 2011-2014)
  • Cottrell College Science Award (2008-2011)
  • The Camille & Dreyfus Foundation Faculty Award (2006-2012)