Spring/Summer 2007 Newsletter

A Call to Give

Opportunities to give back are expanding for engineering alumni.

Dear fellow Boilermaker,

Many of us may remember words spoken at our commencement ceremonies that encouraged us to be ambassadors of Purdue, wherever our life journeys take us.

The Engineering Alumni Association (EAA) facilitates opportunities for our members to remain active within the Boilermaker family—to be ambassadors. As a member of the EAA board, I am part of a group of highly involved and motivated alumni who encourage others to give back their time to the university and the College of Engineering. I’d like to share with you some of the board’s recent initiatives.

Our alumni excitement committee is focusing on activities that provide opportunities for our alumni to spend quality time with one another, such as participating in Purdue Day at the Indiana State Fair—which we will attend again this year. If you’re in the Indianapolis area, please join us at the fair on August 15.

EAA board members are also working on alumni events around the country, one of which might be in your city. And we’re developing an online social networking community with the Purdue Alumni Association.

The student recruitment committee is taking our responsibilities as mentors for future engineers seriously and is providing ways for alumni to help attract the best and the brightest engineers to Purdue. Alumni can participate in student recruitment through the Purdue Alumni Recruiting for Tomorrow (PART) and the Engineering Alumni Recruitment Network (EARN). A freshman engineering mentoring program starts this fall.

Also, I would like to thank all who participated in our recent survey. Your responses have shaped many of our efforts. We’ll soon be in touch with everyone who indicated an interest in our activities. I hope that we all take advantage of one of the numerous opportunities to give some of our time.  

The board is interested in better ways to serve you. You can send your comments or suggestions—or request more information on how to get involved—by contacting me at gadewunm@ecn.purdue.edu or Missy Davies, the the manager of stewardship and alumni relations for Purdue Engineering, at daviesm@purdue.edu


Gbile Adewunmi (ECE ’02)
EAA Board President

Up Close: Alumni

EAA Board Member Profiles:
Carrie (Christopherson) Kendrick (BSME ’01) and Vivek Thakkar (BSECE ’01)

Photo of CarrieCarrie (Christopherson) Kendrick (BSME ’01)
Aerospace Global Transitions Manager at Honeywell International
Phoenix, Arizona

Hobbies: competitive rowing; speaking at women’s leadership events.

Purdue activities as a student: Purdue Crew, avid sports fan.

Purdue-related activities: chair of the Student Recruitment Committee for the Engineering Alumni Association; Purdue Alumni Association Region 15 director; organizes Preview Purdue events and engages alumni in the Phoenix and Tucson areas with her husband, Brian (BSIM ’00, MBA ’04).

Photo of Vivek Vivek Thakkar (BSECE ’01)
Product Strategy and Operations Manager at Motorola Mobile Devices
Libertyville, Illinois

Hobbies: traveling, playing Tabla (Indian drums).

Purdue activities as a student: president of IEEE student chapter; ECE school representative; Hindu Student Council Core Group; Science Olympiad event coordinator; Indian Student Association.

Purdue-related activities: organized alumni events in Singapore; corporate presenter for Purdue HKN and IEEE societies; ECE representative at student recruiting events, and annual attendee of ECE luncheons.

Up Close: Students

Purdue Innovations is a student organization that began in 2006 with the help of advisors from Purdue’s Burton D. Morgan Center for Entrepreneurship, located in Discovery Park.

The organization’s mission is to provide a professional platform and community for innovative students who want to explore the feasibility of their business ideas and work toward turning those ideas into successful ventures. Here, engineering student Tung Ho—who represents the organization—answers some of our questions:

What prompted you all to organize this group?
There were several reasons for the creation of Purdue Innovations. One, there was a lack of an undergraduate entrepreneurship organization at Purdue. Second, there was a need for a centralized location that would allow like-minded entrepreneurs to meet, network, recruit, and tinker with problems and business ideas. There are many business opportunities to look into and valuable resources to take advantage of at Purdue that many students do not realize are available to them.

How many students are involved?
We have about 45 members. The officers meet weekly, and members attend the seminars and workshops.

What are some projects you are working on?
We are working on publishing a monthly campus-wide newsletter that will encourage more people to think about the potential of starting their own business in the future. The uniqueness and flexibility of the program allows individual members to even start their own activities and projects with the support from other members.

What support have you received from the university?
We have great support from our Purdue advisors, whom we mainly go to for advice. We also have sponsors from Discovery Park and the Burton D. Morgan Center for Entrepreneurship. Overall, Purdue Innovations is very fortunate to have great support from the staff and faculty at Purdue.

Do you have any corporate or alumni support?
Not yet. If alumni are interested in supporting our organization or viewing our recent activities, they can go to www.purdue-innovations.com.

What do you see for the future of your group? 
With our newsletter being published, we feel that we will be able to get adequate revenue from advertisements and sponsorships that will allow us to fund future projects, events, and awards that foster the development of entrepreneurs. In the future, we see ourselves establishing a relationship with student organizations from other universities to combine our resources. We see Purdue Innovations as a place where problems are solved, opportunities are explored, and successes are made by students.

Purdue Engineering and WFYI Public Radio in Indianapolis Present: After Oil

Peak oil is the day when the world’s supply of oil reaches its peak and then begins to decline. And it could be right around the corner. Purdue Engineering professors Jay Gore and Rakesh Agrawal and retired ExxonMobil executive vice president Mike Ramage (BSChE '66, MSChE '69, PhD '71) join other experts to talk about what we can and should do to prepare for a world AFTER OIL.

Join NPR host Barbara Bogaev and hear from those who are pioneering the alternative fuels that can keep us running if (or when) the new energy crisis arrives.

A podcast is available on the iTunes store at http://phobos.apple.com/WebObjects/MZStore.woa/wa/viewPodcast?id=260862117, and the MP3 audio files can be found on the Purdue Engineering Impact site: http://engineering.purdue.edu/EngineeringImpact/Radio.

The radio program has already aired in Arizona, California, Colorado, Idaho, Indiana, Oregon, Texas, and Washington, and can be heard on the following stations in August:

WFYI-FM 90.1 Indianapolis, IN August 5, 6pm www.wfyi.org
WNIN-FM 88.3 Evansville, IN August 5, 6pm www.wnin.org
WFYI-FM 90.1 Indianapolis, IN August 6, noon www.wfyi.org
KCLU-FM 102.3 Santa Barbara, CA August 7, 2pm ww.kclu.org
KCLU-FM 88.3 Ventura, CA August 7, 2pm www.kclu.org
WAMU-FM 88.5 Washington D.C. August 7, 10pm www.wamu.org
WGVU-FM 88.5 Grand Rapids, MI August 8, 10am www.wgvu.org
WCPN-FM 90.3 Cleveland, OH August 10, 9pm www.wcpn.org
KPRE-FM 89.9 Vail, CO August 12, 2pm www.cpr.org
KPRH-FM 88.3 Montrose, CO August 12, 2pm www.cpr.org
KPRN-FM 89.5 Grand Junction, CO August 12, 2pm www.cpr.org
KPYR-FM 88.3 Craig, CO August 12, 2pm www.cpr.org
KKPC-AM 1230 Pueblo, CO August 12, 2pm www.cpr.org
KCFC-AM 1490 Boulder, CO August 12, 2pm www.cpr.org
KCFR-AM 1340 Denver, CO August 12, 2pm www.cpr.org
KPRE-FM 89.9 Vail, CO August 13, 9pm www.cpr.org
KPRH-FM 88.3 Montrose, CO August 13, 9pm www.cpr.org
KPRN-FM 89.5 Grand Junction, CO August 13, 9pm www.cpr.org
KPYR-FM 88.3 Craig, CO August 13, 9pm www.cpr.org
KKPC-AM 1230 Pueblo, CO August 13, 9pm www.cpr.org
KCFC-AM 1490 Boulder, CO August 13, 9pm www.cpr.org
KCFR-AM 1340 Denver, CO August 13, 9pm www.cpr.org
KJZZ-FM 91.5 Phoenix, AZ August 19, 3pm www.kjzz.org
KXJZ-FM 90.9 Sacramento, CA August 24, 2pm www.capradio.org
KKTO-FM 90.5 Tahoe City, CA August 24, 2pm www.capradio.org
KUOP-FM 91.3 Stockton, CA August 24, 2pm www.capradio.org
KQNC-FM 88.1 Quincy, CA August 24, 2pm www.capradio.org
WBAA-AM 920 West Lafayette, IN August 31, 2pm www.purdue.edu/wbaa

Geddes Awarded National Medal of Technology

The White House and Department of Commerce have announced that Dr. Leslie A. Geddes, Purdue University's Showalter Distinguished Professor Emeritus of Biomedical Engineering, is a 2006 National Medal of Technology Laureate.

The award, the nation's highest honor for technological innovation, will be presented “for contributions to electrode design and tissue restoration that have led to the widespread use of numerous clinical devices. His discoveries and inventions have saved and enriched thousands of lives and have formed the cornerstone of much of the modern implantable medical device field.”

Because of Dr. Geddes and the teams he has created, led, and inspired, burn victims today heal with fewer scars, heart patients exercise with greater confidence, athletes and "weekend warriors" can repair damaged tendons and ligaments, and infants can be monitored in a more holistic approach. By laying a solid foundation of fundamentals with his early work and continually building onto that foundation throughout his lengthy career, Dr. Geddes has made a direct impact on the everyday lives of untold people. 

More information on the award can be found at http://www.technology.gov/Prel/pr070716.htm.

Upcoming Events

Purdue Day at the Indiana State Fair
August 15, 2007
Purdue will once again take over Main Street at the State Fair. Stop by the College of Engineering booth. Bring your Purdue Alumni Association membership card and receive a special gift. For more information, contact Missy Davies at daviesm@purdue.edu.

ECE Silicon Valley Symposium
August 21, 2007
Santa Clara Marriott Hotel, Santa Clara, CA
Join Leah Jamieson, John A. Edwardson Dean of Engineering and Ransburg Distinguished Professor of Electrical and Computer Engineering, for dinner and a presentation. For more information, contact Robin Canada at rcanada@purdue.edu.

Purdue Alumni Association News

The Purdue Alumni Association changes to meet the modern needs of alumni.

The Purdue Alumni Association has undergone an internal reorganization aimed at better meeting the needs of alumni. The change places staff members into one of three main categories: engagement, finance, or marketing.

Kirk Cerny, executive director and chief executive officer of the association, says the reorganization will result in efficiencies for members and staff.

"The traditional alumni association offered alumni clubs, a quality magazine, and other tangible benefits," Cerny says. "Today's graduates have a very different set of ideas about the services we should provide, including robust Internet communications and stronger alumni networking in addition to our current services."

The engagement team will handle traditional outreach activities with alumni, including clubs, academic alumni groups, reunions, and travel programs, and the finance team will manage resource development and stewardship. The marketing team will focus on membership, corporate relations, and communications that educate alumni about the programs and services the association offers.

The marketing group also will work to establish a strong Web presence while using more e-mail and downloadable information to reach alumni.

In addition to clearly identifying staff member priorities, the reorganization identifies a small senior management team that will meet regularly to address the association's goals. Staff members also will have more authority to make decisions within the association.

"This plan empowers our people to make decisions on behalf of membership and operation needs," Cerny says.

Two new positions have been created as part of the changes. Dan Rhodes, the new director of corporate relations, will work to foster stronger relationships with alumni at companies nationwide and develop support for association programs.

Mark Wright serves as the chief financial officer. Chad Johnson leads the engagement team as chief operations officer, and Nicole Reas, the chief marketing officer, handles the marketing and membership team.

"The bottom line is that our services have not changed, but we are working hard to be a better resource for alumni and friends," Cerny says. "Changing how we communicate within the organization and with our members will contribute to the longevity and usefulness of PAA."

** If you are a PAA member, you can receive a 15% on Purdue Alumni gear. Visit http://www.purduealum.org/merchandise/default.asp for more information.
** Not a PAA member?  Join by visiting http://www.purduealum.org/membership/membershiptypes.asp.

Contact Us

Send your alumni news and thoughts on what you’d like to see in this e-newsletter to the Engineering Alumni Association at EAA@ecn.purdue.edu.