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ENE Memo: August 8, 2016

From the Head: 08/08/2016

A Considerate and Caring Community

This is the final essay in a trilogy in which I have been reflecting on the School of Engineering, past, present and future. Being a truly courageous and compassionate community, one that is profoundly curious and creative, is predicated fundamentally on us being a considerate and caring community. 

Being considerate includes being respectful of people and place, being courteous and patient, helping others when asked, and paying things forward. Ultimately this comes down to focusing on the “we” rather than just thinking about “me”. Take a moment to think things through; look four or five steps ahead in terms of the possible consequences of your actions. Ask “what happens if I do this?” Who might be impacted? Are there possible unintended consequences? Will my actions set a precedent that causes others to have understandable expectations which if fulfilled are simply not feasible or sustainable? We need to see beyond the personal convenience of the moment and take the longer view and consider the collective interest and not merely our self-interest. 

Exercising humility and taking personal responsibility are foundational to building a courteous and considerate community. Unfortunately, hubris and a lack of real accountability are the twin Achilles’ heels of the academy, so we need to remain ever vigilant.   

In the fall of 2011, I wrote a series of essays on the critical role that civility plays in fostering a harmonious workplace. These were based on the Pier Forni’s book, Choosing Civility.

As I did at the time. I encourage everyone to consider purchasing a copy of Forni’s book; it is short, easy to read and to the point. The subtitle is very apt: Twenty-Five Rules of Considerate Conduct.

More recently I featured Caroline WebbHow to Have a Good Day. This is an excellent source of strategies for looking at our daily interactions with others in fresh ways that lead to positive and affirming outcomes.

One of pieces of advice I share with all incoming graduate students is to take the time to learn how things are done around here. Develop appropriate and well informed expectations rather than just assuming processes are the same as they were at the last place you worked or studied. Don’t just believe the first rumor you hear but seek out multiple view points and rely on authoritative information sources. While showing initiative is encouraged it is always wise check with someone who understands the background or can share some ground truth. Also take the time to find out the context and history of anything you are part of. We are all beneficiaries of the hard work and achievements of those who came before us. We also have an obligation to those who come after us.

A caring community is a natural extension of a considerate one. Beyond simply “playing nice”, a caring community exhibits visceral concern for the well-being of all its members. It is empathetic and supportive, without being intrusive. It has great listeners and reliable systems that can readily connect community members to appropriate assistance from professionals and helpful resources when needed. A caring workplace community does what it can to cut people some slack when they are really struggling for one reason or another and other members step up to ease the workload. 

Being a caring community is a high bar. There are practical limitations around workplace policies and procedures that sometimes confound our best efforts to be a caring community. Nevertheless we need to continuously strive to be ever mindful of others.

Being a courageous, compassionate, curious, creative, considerate and caring community is about living out the values we espoused in our Strategic Plan, which I now think of as our Strategic Compass. These behaviors we value and expect are:

  • being inclusive, collegial, and mutually supportive;
  • acting with integrity, courage and respect and building trust;
  • achieving professional and personal satisfaction;
  • being socially conscious in what we do and how we do it;
  • thinking strategically and striving for excellence;
  • being accountable.

We all fall short in living up to these aspirational ideals. We mess-up. We lose sight of what is really important. Sometimes we even act-up. However I believe the sentiment captured in the vision, mission, values and goals which we co-created through a process of appreciative inquiry are worth reaffirming. Over the years, the insight and foresight embodied in these high minded statements have provided a robust guide for our actions. The enduring strength of this community is our belief in a set of ideals that bind us together in being part of something much bigger than any one of us.  

It has been an honor and a privilege to serve as the Kamyar Haghighi Head of the School of Engineering Education for these past six years and before that as Interim Head for a year. This has only been possible through the steadfast support of many, many people. I look forward to continuing my association with ENE in various funs ways in the future and watching from afar as the School continues to move forward and realize its full potential.

I ask that you give Professor Fentiman your utmost support and every possible assistance as she assumes the role as Interim Head. Please be patient, thoughtful and considerate as we work through this critical transition. 

.. David

News and Information: 08/08/2016

Kerrie Douglas appointed as a tenure-track faculty  

Dr. Kerrie Douglas will become a tenure-track Assistant Professor in ENE effective August 15. She has been working with us as a Visiting Assistant Professor and teaching ENGR 131 in the first-year engineering program.

Dr. Douglas is a psychometrician (a psychologist concerned with measurement techniques) with expertise in learning and motivational theories, assessment and evaluation methods. Her research focuses on the integration of data from traditional assessments (e.g., surveys, multiple-choice tests) and machine generated (e.g., clickstream) from learner behavior. This research has implications at a theoretical level of how inferences of learning are made from machine-generated data. For example, she is currently working with Dr. Mark Lundstrom on nanoHUB-U and the Purdue-edX initiative, providing assessment expertise. Her research has potential application across the College of Engineering at Purdue, in online engineering initiatives and in industry, as well as more broadly, personalized learning and real-time assessment.

Please welcome Dr. Douglas in her new role in ENE. Her office is located on level 4 of Wang Hall. 

Student Move-in Arrangements

Purdue's West Lafayette students attending Boiler Gold Rush will move into their on-campus housing on Aug. 15-16, a Monday and a Tuesday. This is the second year in a row for the weekday move-in timeframe, which accommodates a shifted Boiler Gold Rush schedule designed to improve student engagement and connect orientation more closely to the start of the academic term. Boiler Gold Rush will take place Aug. 15-20. Residence hall contracts for returning students begin Friday, Aug. 19. The first day of classes is Aug. 22.

During the move-in days, the central campus area will experience heavy traffic that may cause delays or disruptions to normal business. The most-affected areas will include State Street from Martin Jischke Drive to Airport Road; Stadium Avenue between Northwestern Avenue and McCormick Road; Martin Jischke Drive from State Street to Stadium Avenue; Third Street from Martin Jischke Drive to McCormick Road and all side roads in the vicinity of residence halls.

On Tuesday, Aug. 16, the new student induction event will take place at 4-4:45 p.m. in Mackey Arena. Before and after that period, about 6,000 undergraduate students and 6,000 parents will be walking from the residence halls areas to the arena, then returning to the halls and parking areas.

It is important for employees to anticipate delays and give themselves additional time for their morning commutes and/or to travel around campus for meetings during these periods. At the same time, I hope departments and supervisors will exercise discretion and an extra degree of understanding if the additional activity during the workday causes unavoidable delays for workers. 

Additional information about Boiler Gold Rush is available online at Those with immediate questions should contact Dan Carpenter, director of Student Success at Purdue, at


Calendar: 08/08/2016

Please mark you calendars as appropriate.

Summer 2016

  • July 11-Aug 12: Early Start Engineering program
  • Aug 8: Elementary Teacher Workshop, 1:30-4:30pm, Wang Hall 
  • Aug 11-13:  3rd P-12 Engineering and Design Education Research Summit, Chicago
  • Aug 14: End-of-Summer Potluck, 5-8pm, Happy Hollow Park

Fall 2016

  • Aug 15: Faculty return.  
  • Aug 17: ENE Advance, 10:00am-4:00pm, Wang Hall
  • Aug 18: Orientation for New ENE Grad Students, 8:30am-5pm, WANG 3501  
  • Aug 19: University / Grad School Orientation for new grad students (TBD) 
  • Aug 22: Classes begin
  • Aug 25: ENE Research Seminar ARMS BO71 3:30pm (Weekly) 
  • Aug 31: ENE Faculty Meeting, 9:30-10:30am, WANG 3501
  • Aug 31: Assistant Professors meet with Head, 10:30-11:30am, WANG 3501
  • Sept 2: Book Launch: A Pictorial History of the School of Engineering Education at Purdue University, 2:30-3:30pm, Wang Hall 3500 Research Commons
  • Sept 5: Labor Day
  • Sept 7: Faculty Meeting, 9:30-11:20am, WANG 3501
  • Sept 14: ENE Advance Follow-Up, 9:30-11:30am, WANG 3501
  • Sept 24: Family Day
  • Sept: 25/26: Big Ten + Grad Expo
  • Sept 28: ENE Faculty Meeting, 9:30-10:30am, WANG 3501
  • Sept 28: Associate Professors meet with Head, 10:30-11:20, WANG 3501
  • Oct 12/13: Fall Break
  • Oct 14: ENE Staff Meeting, 8:30-9:30am, TBD
  • Oct 15: Homecoming
  • Oct 20/21: ENE Grad Program Open House
  • Oct 26: ENE Faculty Meeting, 9:30-11:20am, WANG 3501
  • Nov 2: ENE Advance Follow-Up, 9:30-11:20, WANG 3501
  • Nov 10: ENE Interdisciplinary Colloquium, 3:30-5:00pm, ARMS Atrium
  • Nov 11: ENE Industrial Advisory Council, 8:00am-3pm, WANG 3501
  • Nov 16: Faculty-PhD Student Matching, 9:30-11:20, WANG 3501
  • Nov 23-25: Thanksgiving
  • Nov 30: ENE Faculty Meeting, 9:30-11:20am, WANG 3501
  • Dec 10: Classes End
  • Dec 18: Commencement

Funding Opportunities: 08/08/2016

Selected Funding Opportunities:

DOD-ARO Proof of Concept Commercialization Pilot Program Innovation Corps @ Department of Defense (I Corps@DoD) FY16 The I Corps @ DoD program is an opportunity for PIs to learn how to commercialize their discoveries/innovations. Winning proposers submit a budget and receive a $40,000-$70,000 grant as well as extensive training in product commercialization from industry experts and ‘serial entrepreneurs’ who have helped over 600 I-Corps™ Teams bring their innovations to market. The DoD is soliciting applications from current/recent grant awardees to receive mentoring and funding to accelerate the innovation of the funded research. Deadline: September 15.

USDA-NIFA K-8 Health Education: Teacher Professional Development & Curriculum Resources for Department of Defense Education Activity (DoDEA) Schools  NIFA requests applications to create professional development modules and standards-based curriculum resources for the K-8 Health Education strands focused on mental health and alcohol, tobacco and other drugs.  Deadline:  September 1.

Toyota Material Handling North America University Research Program Through the University Research Program, Toyota Material Handling North America is seeking proposals that innovate and elevate the supply chain, logistics and material handling industry. The Toyota Material Handling North America (TMHNA) University Research Program is a new sponsored research program created to drive the next generation of technology for the entire supply chain, logistics and material handling industry. The mission is to encourage professors and researchers to apply their knowledge of engineering and technical fields, drawing synergies and collaboration between collegiate research and TMHNA.  Deadline: August 31

Limited Submissions:

Preproposals and rankings to the EVPRP should be e-mailed to Purdue’s open limited submission competitions, limited submission policy, and templates for preproposals may be found at For any case in which the number of preproposals received is no more than the number of proposals allowed by the sponsor, the EVPRP will notify the PI(s) that an internal competition will be unnecessary.

Anticipated Funding Opportunities:

These solicitations are anticipated to be released soon based on the timing of previous solicitations for the program or notices of intent to publish. We are posting this information to help with proposal planning efforts but please keep in mind that the release dates and/or scope of a solicitation can change from year-to-year so be sure to read the solicitation carefully once it is released.


NSF Opportunities to Address Barriers and Opportunities for 2-Year and 4-Year STEM Degrees: Systemic Change to Support Students’ Diverse Pathways (PDF)

Please contact Sue Grimes (, Kristyn Jewell (, or Perry Kirkham ( with any questions

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