Engineering Education Welcomes New Staff Members

Four new staff members have joined the Department of Engineering Education: Julia Allen, Director of K-12 Engineering Education Outreach; Kavitha Muthuraman, Community & Alumni Relations Coordinator; Jim Pukrop, Honors Program Coordinator; and Daniel Somerville, Coordinator--Our Town Program.

Julia Allen
Director of K-12 Engineering Education Outreach

Julia joined ENE on January 3, 2006. Prior to joining ENE, she was the Education Manager for NASA Specialized Center of Research and Training in Advanced Life Support.

Julia holds a license to teach chemistry/general science in the State of Indiana, has nine years high school and ten years college teaching experience along with nine years of experience in education curriculum development and management of outreach programs at the university level. Julia has authored three semester STEM curriculum units that are used by K-12 educators nationwide, along with designing and providing professional development workshops to train educators on the use of the curriculum units.

In addition, Julia has been the director of various programs for youth/educators at the university level, including: 1) an NSF funded Purdue Instrument Van Project bringing research grade scientific instrumentation to classrooms of advanced science teachers in Indiana, and 2) a Lilly Foundation funded Initiative for Schools, Industries and the Sciences focusing on motivating inner city and rural students to become involved in science, math and engineering. Julia has a MS in Education, Graduate Division, from Indiana University and a BA in Elementary Education from Wittenberg University.

As Director for Engineering Education Outreach, Julia's primary responsibility will be developing, maintaining, and enhancing a coordinated research-based K-12 engineering education and outreach program in accordance with the vision/mission and goals of the Department of Engineering Education.

Kavitha Muthuraman
Community & Alumni Relations Coordinator

Kavitha also joined ENE on January 3, 2006. She was a Human Resource Assistant with TTK Bharatplanet. At TTK Bhartaplanet she helped design human capital training and development programs for employees. The last year at Bharatplanet, her focus was on coordinating communications among the investors in the company.

During spring 2005 Kavitha also took graduate coursework at the Krannert School of Management at Purdue University. She holds a MBA in Human Resource Management and Marketing from Thiagarajar School of Management in India.

Kavitha will be working on developing relationships with alumni, friends, and prospective donors and coordinating Engineering Education Advisory Council (E2AC) and alumni events and activities.

Jim Pukrop
Honors Program Coordinator

Jim will be joining ENE on January 24. He is presently an academic advisor in the Krannert School of Management. He currently advises students on academic and career issues, performs audits, advises first-year Dean's Scholars and University Honors Program MGMT students, teaches MGMT 100, and speaks with prospective students and their families.

Jim graduated with a MA in English from Ball State University in May 2001 and received his BA in English from Hanover College in May 1998.

Jim's experience has been specifically with honors and high-achieving students and his background in recruitment and public presentation not only brings his valuable experience and enthusiasm to ENE but will help the Honors Program to develop stronger leadership, undergraduate research, and international components.

Daniel Somerville
Coordinator Our Town Program

Dan came to ENE in August 2005. Prior to joining ENE, he worked in the sponsored programs division of Discovery Park in the same capacity, as the Coordinator for the Our Town Program, and has been an advisor and project partner for EPICS.

Our Town is an EPA sponsored K-12 education program that engages youth in Brownfield redevelopment. Brownfields are abandoned and potentially contaminated properties located primarily in urban communities. Our Town is in its third year, and has four participating communities in Indiana including Lafayette, Hammond, Kokomo and Indianapolis, with 26 teachers and over 700 students. In the fall of 2006, Our Town will expand to communities throughout the U.S.

Dan's responsibilities as the Our Town Program Coordinator include developing and enhancing the standards-based multidisciplinary curriculum for K-12 Brownfields assessment and planning, teacher training, program expansion and development, and providing assistance and expertise to the development of K-12 Engineering Education at Purdue.

Dan taught high school social studies in Indiana for six years prior to his appointment at Purdue. His teaching experience focused upon developing creative approaches to engaging students in learning, and included the design and implementation of high school anthropology and international relations courses. Dan earned bachelor's degrees from Purdue in history ('91) and anthropology ('92).