G.R.I.T.+ initiative launches at Welcome Picnic

Purdue Engineering rolled out a multifaceted initiative called G.R.I.T.+ at the Welcome Picnic for Engineering Friday, August 16, 2-3:30 PM.
Purdue Engineering Welcome Picnic
Purdue Engineering Welcome Picnic

G.R.I.T.+ expands the definition of undergraduate learning beyond classroom lectures and grades by connecting students to experiential learning opportunities available through Purdue Engineering programs on and off the transcript.  

The initiative’s name has two meanings:

First, it refers to “grit,” or emotional strength, which Purdue University President Mitch Daniels told May 2019 graduates would be essential for them to realize their potential and hold a competitive advantage in their careers.

“We see grit to be as important as a transcript and a GPA,” said Alina Alexeenko, Associate Dean for Undergraduate Education for the College of Engineering. “Grit comes from within, and it is built from a drive to succeed, the ability to overcome obstacles, and the perseverance required to make it to graduation day. I like to remind students that human potential is not expressed by a single number and that Neil Armstrong was a low B average student in his first year at Purdue. He learned a lot of aerospace engineering by designing model airplanes with Aero club and his on-campus job teaching in General Engineering.”

To help students develop grit, Alexeenko said, “G.R.I.T.+ programs enrich, challenge, and deepen the heart and mind.”

Second, “G.R.I.T.+” stands for “Global, Research, Industry, Teamwork and More.” It covers eight experiential learning programs offering opportunities to gain valuable skills and experiences solving real-world research and design problems in venues spanning other countries, industrial sites and field locations. Participants collaborate with students, faculty, alumni, companies, and community organizations.

Here are some program examples:

Engineering Projects in Community Service (EPICS): This multidisciplinary design program, founded at Purdue in 1995, has enrolled more than 1,200 students per year from 40-plus majors. Participants currently are working with more than 50 community partners on more than 130 active projects to address compelling human, community and environmental needs. Student teams manage projects, budgets and partner relationships, developing designs that are deployed, used and supported in partner communities.

Vertically Integrated Projects Program (VIP): The Vertically Integrated Projects (VIP) Program provides an opportunity for undergraduate students to earn academic credit while engaging in authentic and extended research and design projects related to active research areas of Purdue faculty members and national, international, and industry-sponsored design challenges. Students can participate on interdisciplinary and vertically-integrated teams (first-year through seniors) with faculty and graduate student mentors for multiple semesters to address these real-world research and design challenges.

Global Engineering Programs and Partnerships (GEPP): The vision of GEPP is to be known for its impact on the world through innovative programs that help all graduates become effective in a global context and through global partnerships that address some of the world’s greatest challenges. The mission is to leverage and empower engineering students, faculty and staff for success and impact in an interconnected world. GEPP includes the Global Engineering Alliance for Research and Education (GEARE), Purdue’s premier international work experience program.

Summer Undergraduate Research Fellowship Program (SURF): This program helps students in engineering, science and technology disciplines find opportunities available to them through research. By working closely with other innovative people, they explore, discover and transform ideas into reality to advance society and improve people's lives.

Purdue Foundry: The Purdue Foundry enables students, faculty and local alumni move ideas to the marketplace more quickly. It transforms innovators into entrepreneurs by advising on entity formation, ideation, market analysis, and business model development. In fiscal year 2018 alone, Purdue Foundry achieved 231 technologies licensed and 136 licensing and option agreements, both up from the previous year.

Across the College of Engineering, more than 500 undergraduates conduct research for credit in a typical semester, guided by faculty members.

For more information about G.R.I.T.+ : https://engineering.purdue.edu/Engr/Academics/Undergraduate/grit