Change Maker

Change Maker

5 Students Who
Miranda McCormack


  • Marcelo José Castillo Rivas
  • Miranda McCormack
  • Lynette Flagge
  • Joseph Rust
  • Kendra Lancaster

Name: Miranda McCormack
Major: Chemical Engineering
Year: Junior
Hometown: Fowler, Indiana

Indiana Governor Mitch Daniels chose Miranda from a competitive field to represent all students for a two-year term as the only student member on the Purdue Board of Trustees. She knows the golden opportunity that she has to make change. She’s also sure of at least one change she’d like to make.

Changing campus consciousness

“I want students to be more aware of what the trustees do. Decisions we make directly affect them. The example I use is the May public hearing on tuition and budget. They had 10 slots open for students to speak and only one person showed up.”

Walking the talk

“I’ve been working with the Exponent, trying to get the trustee meetings to be more of a priority. I’d like to see it on the front page. I’m also putting myself out there in the Exponent as a person for students to contact — and I will respond. I want to hear the good, the bad and the ugly. I want to hear everything.”

Advice from the big guy

“When I found out I was chosen (as a trustee), Gov. Daniels said, ‘I want you to go in there and stir it up. Ask tough questions. I don’t want the board to be the governor’s golf buddies; I want them to be people who are willing to ask tough questions and do things differently.’ He wanted people who want the best for the university — with that as their sole focus.”

No prima donna

“I’m just a normal kid. I feel like I’m pretty down to Earth. I think there’s an innocence about being wowed by being a trustee and being involved in commencement. I don’t want to lose that or the appreciation for it, and I don’t think I will.”

Humble truth

“I had a speech impediment when I was little. Sometimes I revert back into it when I’m nervous. And sometimes I stutter and fall back into it.”

Key lesson from Dad

“That you can overcome past mistakes. Nothing’s fatal. It might seem like it’s the end of the world, but life goes on, and you can fix it.”

By Amy Raley
Published November 1, 2011