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ENE Memo: March 4, 2013

From the Head: 3/4

While we know that every story has at least two sides, we are often content to accept at face value the first version we hear. This is especially so if this version of the story aligns with our preconceptions or prejudices. It is a form of laziness not to dig deeper and to find the "facts" - insofar as they exist - or to see the incident behind the story through the eyes of the others involved. Gossip and innuendo gain their power from this laziness on our part - why let the facts spoil a good story? Even worse, some gossip is based on deliberate misinformation, not merely a difference in point of view. Some individuals have a vested interest in being "economical with the truth" or distorting it or even changing the "facts" to suit their purposes.  

It pays to always dig deeper and to ask others about what happened, to understand the complete circumstances and to put any story (gossip) we hear into a broader perspective. Sometimes people intentionally tell a story in such a way that, at first hearing, it seems that an egregious wrong has been committed against them. On closer inspection, however, the "incident" may have a simple explanation and be quite benign. Even a small investment of time spent in "fact checking" and connecting a particular incident with related events and longer-term patterns of behavior can shed a powerful new light on juicy gossip and the motivations behind claims that are made. This requires effort, a desire to give the benefit of the doubt (until more is known)—and it can sometimes take courage. 

Patterns of behavior over time are often good predictors of how an individual behaves on a particular occasion. A very subtle yet especially pernicious form of behavior that thrives on distorted stories is that of the victim bully. Unlike the traditional playground bully, the victim variant is more difficult to detect, as their methods are disguised in a cloak of apparent plausibility, charming in public but aggressive and manipulative  in private. Nothing is ever their fault. The world is against them. They are misunderstood, no one has their back, they are treated badly by those in authority, others get the breaks while they do not. In reality, they are nothing of the sort but use this stance to lord it over others and exert power. Typically, they exhibit passive-aggressive behavior. Unfortunately, universities tend to have a disproportionately large number of victim bullies. We have all experienced victim bullies, although we may not have been able to put a name to it.

Our work environment can be easily distorted by malicious stories, those based on deliberate misinformation, half-truths and distortions aimed at impugning the character of a person. Victim bullies wield such distortions as a weapon in their exercise of power over others. The negativity they foster can seriously inhibit the work of those who strive to build a culture of collaboration, tolerance and inclusion. We must all be eternally vigilant to ensure our workplace is not poisoned by victim bullies. In the end, it is up to each of us to be diligent in not taking everything we hear at face value but to think critically about the stories people tell and to do some fact checking. To do less than this is to let ourselves and others down and to risk being manipulated.


I think self-awareness is probably the most important thing towards being a champion. - Billie Jean King

Calendar: 3/4

Spring 2013

Summer 2013

  • June 17 - July 11:  STAR​ (Student Transition, Advising and Registration)

Fall 2013

  • Aug 14: ENE Faculty Advance 
  • Aug 19: Classes Begin
  • Sept 27: 2nd Annual First-Year Engineering Friday
  • Sept 28 Homecoming & Family Weekend
  • TBD:   ABET Site Visit (Mon + Tues; most likely in Oct or Nov
  • Nov 8: Engineering Education Industrial Advisory Council (E2IAC) 
  • Nov 9: ENE Friends at the Football
  • Nov 14: 3rd Annual Interdisciplinary Engineering Colloquium


Kudos: 3/4 Monica Cox on being named this year's recipient of the Purdue Black Graduate Student Association's Engagement Award. The award honors those who have made a significant contribution to the recruitment and retention of African American graduate students at Purdue University. Monica will be recognized at BGSA's annual awards banquet on April 13, 2013, at 6pm at the Four Points by Sheraton Hotel in West Lafayette. James Huff on being named ENE's recipient of the James V. Stack Dissertation Fellowship. Jeremi London on receiving a 2013 Outstanding Service Award from the College of Engineering. Velvet Fitzpatrick on receiving ENE's 2013 Outstanding Leadership Award (a new recognition created this year). Julia Thompson on receiving ENE's 2013 Outstanding Change Agent Award (a new recognition created this year). Hadi Ali and Lee Rynearson on each receiving a Magoon Teaching Award.

Graduate student colleagues: Masaki Kakoi on being named a candidate for the Graduate School Excellence in Teaching Award. Jeeyeon Hahn on receiving the CETA Teaching Award. Lucia Capdevila on receiving a Magoon Teaching Award.

News and Information: 3/4

ENEGSA Thank-You Card Writing

This week the ENEGSA will host a thank-you card event starting at 2:30 pm in ARMS 1314. Come write and send a card to someone who has inspired you! If you want to send a card but cannot attend, please contact Justin Hess.


Five Ways to Improve Your Safety

See Here’s how the 5 ways apply to ENE:

1.  Get to know your building deputy: The building deputy for ARMS is Phil His office is located in the dock area in ARMS, and in Potter in the dock area. His phone number is (765)496-9757. He is a great resource for building safety issues.

2. Read your Building Emergency Plan: The ARMS Building Emergency plan is located here:"

3. Check out your Building Safety Committee and/or Department Safety Committee:The ENE Safety Committee information in on the ENE Safety webpage:

4. Ask your safety committee for a drill. There will be a Purdue tornado drill shortly after 10 a.m. on Wednesday, March 27. The ARMS designated safe areas are ARMS B061, B071, 1010.


Purdue Online Travel System Goes Live March 18 (Monday after Spring Break)

This means – NO MORE Forms 17s and 25s. All travel will be planned and reconciled via CONCUR.

All faculty, staff and graduate students who travel will need a Purdue-issued Visa Travel Card.

Concur Training Schedule: Please review the attachment for dates and times available for training. Click the following link to register and attend the session that best suits your needs based on your role in traveling at Purdue. You only need to attend one session.

Visa Travel Cardholder Agreement: Complete this form. Please enter your full building address on the Campus Address line. Please remember to sign both pages. This form can be returned to Amanda Jackson, ARMS 2201.  (*If you have already completed this form in the Fall, Amanda has your form on file.)


Scheduled Power Outage March 11

There will be a 15-minute scheduled power outage taking place within Armstrong Hall at 5:00am on Monday, March 11, 2013. This outage is part of a campus-wide metering project and has been scheduled to take place during Spring Break in an effort to reduce the impact on faculty, staff, and students working in ARMS.

Please be certain to completely shut down all electrical devices, including computer workstations, before leaving campus for Spring Break. If you will be in work status during Spring Break, please be sure to completely shut down all electrical devices prior to 5:00am Monday morning, March 11. Feel free to contact either Phil Qualio or Donna Ahlen if you have any questions.


Mel Chua a Finalist for Oticon's *Focus on People* Award--See Link to Vote for Her

Oticon, a manufacturer of hearing aids, has chosen Mel as one of three finalists for its *Focus on People* award. The award recognizes people who, in addition to hearing loss, share a passion and commitment to make the world a better place. Check out this web page-- read about Mel and cast your vote for an ENE student who is indeed making a difference.


HONR 299 Lecture Series: "Our Idea of the University*

This series resumes on Tuesday, March 5, with Professor Fabian Winkler, whose presentation is titled “Art and the Public University.” Time: 6:30-7:30pm. Location: Rawls Hall, Room 1062.

To suggest content for future issues of ENE Memo, contact David Radcliffe or Lisa Tally by midday Friday for the following week's issue.