President's Message - April 2010
Dear Purdue family and friends:
As we near the end of another school year, it's a wonderful time to showcase teaching excellence, recognizing the innovative approaches that lead to student success in K-12 and higher education. It's also a great time to enjoy the rites of spring and celebrate
our students' boundless energy.
The Hall for Discovery and Learning Research, our faculty, working to revolutionize learning in the STEM (science, technology, engineering, math) and agriculture disciplines, have developed projects such as electronic field trips and enhanced science education programs for middle school students.
In addition, a Lilly Endowment grant has helped us model innovative teaching around the state through the Woodrow Wilson Indiana Teaching Fellows program. This program, just finishing its first year, places teachers in the STEM disciplines in rural Indiana schools.
Here on campus, we encourage and honor excellence in undergraduate teaching with the University's annual Charles B. Murphy Outstanding Undergraduate Teaching Awards, presented each April to our top teachers as chosen by students and faculty peers. These teachers will become fellows of our Teaching Academy, a group whose mission is to provide leadership to enhance and strengthen the quality of teaching and learning at Purdue.
We are in the vanguard in engineering education, with the world's first School of Engineering Education, providing a solid academic foundation for our outstanding first-year students and ongoing programs that provide a supportive climate for these students to succeed. These innovative young minds are being nurtured in cutting-edge classrooms, such as the Innovation to Ideas Learning Laboratory. All first-year engineering students are introduced to the discipline in a classroom that encourages collaboration and hands-on work.
We also foster the can-do spirit of entrepreneurship through student competitions that expand learning opportunities. Winning teams in the recent Student Soybean and Corn Innovation Contests created a substance from soybeans that acts as a binding agent in the production of pills and a corn-based coating that increases the durability of hardwood floors. And we kindle the spirit of discovery through programs such as the undergraduate research and poster symposium, showcasing undergraduate education that goes beyond books and traditional learning.
In this month's "5 Students Who ..." feature, we introduce young men and women who are using their imaginations and materials from the world around them to improve the lives of others. Sydney Minnis, an industrial design student, has won many awards for her designs. Her latest work is an artificial leg that allows above-the-knee amputees to rock climb and could help veterans and accident victims lead more active lives.
Of course, we also can have loads of fun while we're learning and working. And we've got plenty of opportunities for that this month, from Spring Fest and the wonders of Bug Bowl to Grand Prix and our annual Earth Day celebration, when we will highlight many of the University's sustainability efforts. This year also brings the first EV (Electric Vehicle) Grand Prix, an event highlighting Purdue's role in the Indiana Advanced Electric Vehicle Training and Education Consortium, a federally funded program that supports Indiana's role in leading the electric vehicle revolution of the 21st century.
Also this month, hundreds of our students will give back to our community during Boiler Blast, a day of volunteerism in which students rake leaves, paint houses, clean garages, and reach out to local residents.
As you can see, this campus is always on the move. It's invigorating to think of the limitless possibilities with all of the spirit, energy, creativity and enthusiasm, and no shortage of fun.
France A. Córdova
President, Purdue University