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ENE Memo: September 12, 2011

From the Head

Thinking the best

Working with people who are different from ourselves can be challenging. It is so easy to let unwarranted assumptions or hidden prejudices or even initial impressions color how we think about others with whom we have to interact in our work day. Reflecting the growing focus on Global Purdue and the increase over recent years in the number of international students, especially undergraduates, at Purdue, a number of items in this week’s ENE Memo have a global theme. Ethnic and cultural differences are of course not the only dimensions of difference that might make it hard for us to always think the best of others. The College of Engineering embraces differences as strengths. Diversity isn’t limited to cultural, ethnic, gender differences... it also includes socio-economic, learning, family and any other differences; differences that we all have. We see diversity as a promoter of greater creativity and innovation.

The following extracts, quoted directly from Forni’s book on Choosing Civility, give food for thought about thinking the best. He brings the perspective of a European living and working in the USA to this topic.

Thinking the best of others is the decent thing to do and a way of keeping a source of healthful innocence in our lives. ….When we approach others assuming that they are good, honest, and sensitive, we often encourage them to be just that. … Sometimes it is dissatisfaction with ourselves that makes us judge others unfairly. …. Make sure that you are not projecting onto others the least attractive traits you perceive in yourself.

People from other parts of the world are often struck by Americans’ seemingly unbounded willingness to take a chance on others. This is a defining American trait, just like freedom and in the rights of the individual. What is America if not the place where people can expect to be given a chance, where they are given the benefit of the doubt when they come under suspicion and a second chance after a fall? These are all forms of thinking the best of others.

As one way to get to know others I have introduced a new section at the end of News and Information that lists the National or Independence Days of countries around the world.

 - David

News and Information

Introducing Dr. Joyce Main, Visiting Assistant Professor

Welcome to Dr. Joyce Main, who joins us this semester for a two-year term as a visiting assistant professor in ENE.

With an academic background in integrative biology (B.A., Berkeley); administration, planning, and social policy (Ed.M., Harvard); and education: learning, teaching, and social policy (Ph.D., Cornell), Joyce has research interests in student persistence and outcomes; advising and mentoring; women in science, technology, engineering, and mathematics; higher education administration, education policy, and social inequality.

Joyce is currently teaching a section of ENGR 131 (“Transforming Ideas to Innovation I”) in First-Year Engineering. She also looks forward to collaborating with ENE faculty members and researchers, based on shared research interests.

Changes in Business Office Staff

Look directly at our staff or go to ENE's "Our People" drop-down menu, for a new web page listing ENE Business Office staff and noting their areas of responsibility and contact information.

ENE Research Seminar


Dr. Brent Jesiek

Title Global Engineering Competency: Definitions, Developmental Paths, and Situational Assessment
Details 3:30 – 4:20pm, Thursday, Sept. 15, Forney Hall, Room G124

Participation Still Sought for This Week's Events

Class of 1961 Alumni Reception (Friday, Sept 16, 10 – 11:30am, Armstrong Hall)
We'll be hosting a reception with coffee and rolls in the area outside of ARMS 1300, where visitors will gather for i2i tours. We need faculty and staff volunteers to take 30-minute shifts (10-10:30, 10:30-11, 11-11:30) to chat with visitors. Please contact Becky Fry to volunteer.

Family Day (Saturday, Sept 17, 9 – 11am, Engineering Mall and i2i)
ENE will have an informational booth set up in the Engineering Mall for students and families and will be offering tours of the i2i lab. We need faculty and FYE advisors to take one-hour shifts to answer questions about the First-Year Engineering program. Please contact Becky Fry to volunteer.

Reminder: AIMS Training for Faculty

The new AIMS program has several enhancements which include the following:

  • Detailed Payroll Data (names, payroll, fringes)
  • Hyperlinks to Easily Drill Down into Data
  • Balance Trend Reports
  • Notifications of Technical Reports (due dates, contacts)
  • Current Awards and Pending Proposals
  • Projection Tool

The previous version of AIMS will no longer be available effective September 26, 2011. Faculty will see a tab titled “GM AIMS” in place of the previous tab “GM Account Assignment Faculty”.

Details of training workshops were listed in the August 15 Memo:

RCR Training Requirement for Undergraduates on NSF Projects

Undergraduate students paid on an NSF project must complete responsible conduct of research (RCR) consisting of online CITI modules on research misconduct, conflict of interest, and data acquisition and management. This requirement must be completed and documentation provided to the Business Office prior be being hired. The same is true if a faculty member wants to switch an undergraduate’s cost distribution to an NSF project.

Assistance with accessing Library Resources

Amy van Epps from the Engineering Library provides ENE “office hours” each week to help members of this community to make the most of information resources in our research.

  • Hours: Wednesdays 10 am – 12 noon
  • Place: ARMS 1301

Amy can help you with:

  • EndNote, Mendeley and other citation management programs
  • Finding seminal literature on a topic
  • Tracing citations to older and newer literature from a given article
  • Helping assessing fair use for materials
  • Understanding open access and author rights
  • Finding Impact factors for journals and calculating an individual H-index
  • Schedule a time to speak with a class on literature research techniques, resources available
  • Writing a data management plan for a grant
  • Understanding the role and function of the Purdue University Research Repository for data

… and much more. Thanks, Amy.

Invitation – Global Design Teams – Exposition and Callout

Global Design Teams (GDTs) are international development projects that include full-cycle design experience in a real-world environment. Participation in GDTs raises global awareness by providing a global design experience with humanitarian impact. We are looking for advisors (faculty and advanced graduate students) who can provide technical guidance and assistance to teams; concepts for new projects, and potentially ‘evolving’ your current research projects into Global Design Team opportunities

Global Design Team Exposition, Wed, Sept. 14, 2011 — 3:30 – 5:30pm, ARMS Atrium
The Global Engineering Program invites you to check out our accomplishments and on-going Global Design Team projects at the Global Design Team Exposition. See what past teams have accomplished through their demonstration of their designs and products as they share their experiences.

Global Design Team Callout, Wed, Sept. 14, 2011 – 5:30pm, ARMS B061
Our annual callout is an opportunity to learn about and apply for Spring 2012 Global Design Teams.

Projects include:

  • Basic utility vehicle, Cameroon
  • Hydropower, Cameroon
  • Water quality issues in rural Colombia
  • Prediction of irrigation water quality in India
  • Reclaiming traditional water conservation practices in Lebanon
  • Wetlands for water treatment, Mexico
  • Spring water hydrogeochemistry, Palestine

Please come by the exposition and/or callout next week to learn more. If you are unable to attend the expo/callout but would like to speak with us, please contact Anne Dare, Global Design Team Coordinator, CIVL 1259, 765-746-1810,

Saying Farewell to Erica Timmerman

Erica Timmerman has decided to leave Purdue University; her last day as an academic advisor in First-Year Engineering is October 12, 2011. Erica joined the First-Year Engineering advising team in March 2009. During her time with the advising team, Erica was appointed Assistant Director of Undergraduate Advising. She held this appointment until January 13, 2011. On behalf of the advising team, we would like to thank Erica for her time and dedication to the students in the First-Year Engineering Program.

Industrial Roundtable Job Fair

Purdue's largest career fair is back with over 300 companies! The fair will be held Tuesday and Wednesday (Sept. 13 & 14) on the Memorial Mall from 9:30AM – 4:30PM with Company Seminars on Monday, Sept. 12 from 8:30AM to 5:30PM in Stewart Center. For more information on the companies attending this year:

National or Independence Days from Around the World this Week

  • Sept. 15 — Costa Rica
  • Sept. 15 — El Salvador
  • Sept. 15 — Guatemala
  • Sept. 15 — Honduras
  • Sept. 15 — Nicaragua
  • Sept. 16 — Mexico
  • Sept. 16 — Papua-New Guinea
  • Sept. 18 — Chile

If you know someone with heritage from any of these countries, ask them about the history behind their national day and how they celebrate the day – maybe a special food or drink. If one of these national days coincides with your birthday consider learning about the country and even adopt it as your birthday twin.


  • Tuesday, Sept. 13: Faculty Meeting 1:30-2:30 (POTR 234 - Fu Room)
  • Thursday, Sept. 15: ENE seminar: Global Engineering Competency: Definitions, Developmental Paths, and Situational Assessment. Dr. Brent Jesiek. (FRNY G124)
  • Friday, Sept. 16:  ENE reception and tours of i2i Class of '61
  • Saturday, Sept. 17:  Family Day (tent outside MSEE); tours of i2i
  • Tuesday, Sept. 20: Purdue Engineer of 2020 Workshop: Designing a Safer Tomorrow
  • Thursday, Sept. 22: ENE seminar: Human-Centered Design: Research and Practice. Dr. Carla Zoltowski. (FRNY G124)
  • Tuesday, Sept. 27: Faculty Meeting 1:30-2:30 (POTR 234 - Fu Room)
  • Thursday, Sept. 29: ENE seminar: Exploring Cyberlearning Through an NSF Lens. Jeremi London. (FRNY G124)
  • Tuesday,  Oct. 4: Faculty Meeting 1:30-2:30 (ARMS 1021)
  • Thursday, Oct. 6: ENE seminar: Into the Matrix: Gender, Race and Class in Engineering Education. Lorie Groll. (FRNY G124)
  • Wed/Thurs, Oct. 19-20: Grad Recruitment Open House
  • Thursday, Oct. 20 ENE seminar: Learning From Authentic Mathematical Modeling Experiences for First-Year Engineering Students. Dr. Heidi Diefes-Dux. (FRNY G124)
  • Thursday, Oct. 20:  Science on Tap: 50th Anniversary of Spaceflight: Lessons for Tomorrow
  • Saturday, Oct. 22:  Homecoming (booth in ARMS atrium); tours and refreshments in i2i
  • Tuesday, Oct. 25: Faculty Meeting 1:30-2:30  (POTR 234 - Fu Room)
  • Thursday, Oct. 27: ENE seminar: Blocks and Stickers: Rethinking the where and how of Learning to Program. Dr. Michael Horn. (FRNY G124)
  • Thursday, Nov. 3: ENE seminar: Dr. Robin Adams. (FRNY G124)
  • Thursday, Nov 10: It Takes A Team: Reflections at the 50th Anniversary of Human Spaceflight. 3:30-5:00pm. This event is a prelude to the ENE Industrial Advisory Board meeting.
  • Friday, Nov 11: ENE Industrial Advisory Council Meeting  
  • Thursday, Nov. 17: ENE seminar: Expertise and Adoption: Preliminary Classification of Elementary Teachers' Integration of Engineering. Dr. Johannes Strobel. (FRNY G124)
  • Mon/Tues, Nov. 21-22: Site Visit by External Review Committee
  • Thursday, Dec. 1: ENE seminar:  Dr. Larry Shuman. (FRNY G124)

Kudos Melissa Dyehouse on her appointment as Visiting Assistant Professor, Department of Educational Psychology, Purdue University. Melissa will continue working in INSPIRE on the DR K-12 grant and Teacher Professional Development. Ron Carr on his selection as INSPIRE's inaugural Pre-College Engineering Education Research (PEER) Fellow. Phil Wankat on his editorial about the Cross-fertilization of STEM Education Communities published in the Journal of STEM Vol 12, No 5 (2011). It asks the timely question, What can we do to control this tendency to form silos and to increase the rate of dissemination of effective educational innovations in the STEM disciplines? It speaks to the need to be proactive in fostering conversations within and between the engineering education research community and the professoriate in the engineering (and other STEM) disciplines. Thought provoking.

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