ENE Prof. Bill Oakes Receives Purdue Learning Community Advocate Award

Bill Oakes
An instructor with both the EPICS (Engineering Projects in Community Service) and IDEAS (Introducing Diversity through Engagement and Service) learning communities, Oakes is recognized for going above and beyond his required role in order to benefit students in their first year at Purdue.

"We are thrilled with the impact Dr. Oakes has had on the learning community students and appreciate his dedication to the overall success of both the EPICS and IDEAS learning communities," says Jaclyn Palm, assistant director for Purdue's Student Access, Transition, and Success Programs.

 Below, comments from students who contributed to Oakes's nomination:

  • “Professor Oakes is one of those instructors that goes above and beyond what is expected, especially in the classroom.”
  • “Professor Oakes is always willing to help you succeed in EPICS and the greater engineering program. He is enthusiastic, humorous, and is passionate about what he does. I am thrilled that I got an opportunity to participate in the EPICS learning community with Professor Oakes as the instructor. I would recommend him as a teacher and instructor of the EPICS learning community in the future.”
  • “Dr. Oakes is very enthusiastic about what he does, and that makes it very easy for students to get excited about what they are doing, which is a very welcome attribute to new students." 
  • “Prof. Oakes was always in high spirits in and out of class. He was a very enthusiastic individual and instructor, which in turn motivated us students to enjoy ENGR131 and EPICS. Oakes managed to keep a fun learning environment while maintaining a professional atmosphere. He allowed his students to explore the possibilities within EPICS and was always open to discussion and additional guidance. I get a real sense that Prof. Oakes really cares about his students. He is everything and more what a learning community instructor should be.”
  • “He was always available to help and energetic about engineering.”
  • “Professor Oakes went above and beyond an instructor's role. He planned fun activities for participants in EPICS. For example, he planned a fun afternoon at his place back in early fall (BGR time). There, we were able to meet Professor Oakes and network with other EPICS students. He stressed the importance of a community feel and brought all his students together. He also planned a trip to the Subaru plant, where any EPICS student could attend. It was a learning opportunity spent with our fellow students. I attended both these events and had a splendid time. In addition, he even planned an adventurous outing to Turkey Run, equipped with lunch and snacks. And of course, I participated in Design Review for EPICS, in which I was able to gain professional experience and feedback from successful engineers.”

Oakes is the director of the EPICS program.