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President's Message - February 2010

Dear Purdue family and friends:

We enter the second month of our spring semester with some exciting events focused on health and with continuing pride in our students, faculty and staff who work to make a difference in the world around us.

healthyplanetI’m very pleased to introduce Healthy Planet 2010, a weeklong series of events that promote healthy and balanced lifestyles.

Activities, lectures and programs throughout the week of Feb. 1 will engage members of the campus community in a variety of fitness activities and challenges that address wellness in a holistic sense. Topics include health knowledge and education, life balance, money management and nutrition.

Ian Smith
Ian Smith
Highlights include lectures by PBS "Moneywise" host Kelvin Boston, who will speak on financial wellness; and Dr. Ian Smith, medical/diet expert on VH1’s "Celebrity Fit Club," who will deliver the keynote address on "Culturally Competent Healthcare" at 7 p.m. Feb. 4 in Fowler Hall, Stewart Center.

Healthy Planet 2010 also will showcase the ties between Purdue research and global health concerns through forums such as a symposium addressing health from an environmental and policy vantage point. Details on all the week's events are at the Healthy Planet 2010 Web site.

Health and wellness are, of course, of year-round concern for Purdue students, staff and faculty. Among them are Lara Schlitter, a former Louisville Ballet dancer, who is now a foods and nutrition student. In addition to her studies, she continues to dance and choreograph and is sharing her knowledge of nutritional health through work with Lafayette’s Women, Infants and Children Program. Lara and other students for whom health is a priority are featured in our monthly "Five Students Who …" feature.

Haiti visit Many of our students, faculty and staff continue to be passionate about helping with recovery from the Haitian earthquake disaster. Our student groups have been raising money for disaster assistance, and researcher Eric Calais from the College of Science, who in 2008 reported the potential for a magnitude 7.2 earthquake in Haiti and a magnitude 7.5 earthquake in the Dominican Republic, recently returned to Haiti to further investigate the cause of the Jan. 12 earthquake and collect crucial data to assess whether it could trigger another major event to the east or west of Port-au-Prince.

Looking ahead at our commitment to global health, I am delighted to announce that Purdue has the honor of hosting the International Breast Cancer Symposium in October, an event that will showcase our multidisciplinary research on a subject of wide concern and draw global health researchers and advocates to campus from around the world.

As we all consider our own passions -- for health, for family and friends, for our fellow citizens of the world -- I encourage you to pursue them as we do each day at Purdue.

Happy Valentine's Day and Hail Purdue!


France A. Córdova
President, Purdue University