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2 IE staff part of PESLA Cohort 2.0

Photo of PESLA Cohort 2.0 members
PESLA Cohort 2.0, February 2019
Photo of PESLA teambuilding activity game
PESLA members engaged in a team-based critical thinking activity in May.
Two Purdue IE staff are gaining professional development experience by participating in the second Purdue Engineering Staff Leadership Academy (PESLA) cohort.

Two IE staff members, Senior Academic Advisor Elizabeth Allum and Communications Specialist DeEtte Starr, joined the 12-member Cohort 2.0 when it began in February 2019. 

Through real-world case studies, small group discussions, and interactive presentations, PESLA encourages staff to think beyond their own administrative area and lead in ways that support larger institutional objectives. The two-year commitment culminates with a research project and poster exhibition.

“I joined PESLA because I was looking for an educational opportunity that would be professionally enriching," said Allum. "I had been researching various avenues for a while (additional graduate school, PhD, MBA, etc.), but did not find anything that fit what I was looking for. PESLA provides a depth of exposure to areas of Purdue and higher education I do not typically see in my role as an advisor. I was also drawn to the project component PESLA members complete in the second year. I have been at Purdue for over five years now, and there are a few ideas I would like to investigate that could potentially help our staff, students, and faculty."

"I wanted to do the PESLA program because I wanted to learn more about how the College and the University function, and I wanted more training specifically in leadership," added Starr. "I'm grateful to the College and the School of Industrial Engineering for allowing me to be part of this program to grow professionally and as an individual."

Purdue IE Academic Advisor Morgan Kuryla participated in the inaugural Cohort 1.0, which began in February 2017 and concluded in January 2019 with a poster exhibition and awards luncheon.

"PESLA has given me a bigger understanding of the university as a whole, as well as individual areas," said Kuryla. "In my role as an advisor, understanding the bigger picture has helped me connect students to resources I would not have known about had I not been a part of PESLA."

"We are fortunate that senior leadership in the College of Engineering continues to support the PESLA program," said Eric VandeVoorde, Director of Professional Engineering Master's Programs and co-founder of PESLA. "Expanding the skills, knowledge, and network of our growth-oriented staff members is a wise investment with clear added value."

Writer: DeEtte Starr,

Source: PESLA

Contact for questions about PESLA: Eric VandeVoorde,


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