Appointments, honors and activities

April 6, 2012

• Faculty and staff honors:

- A Purdue University team that developed hermetic storage bags that enable farmers in sub-Sahara Africa to store their cowpea crop longer while protecting it from a destructive weevil has won an Integrated Pest Management International Award of Excellence. Cowpeas, known in the U.S. as black-eyed peas, are rich in protein, and many small farming operations in West and Central Africa use them as a principle food grain. But bruchid weevils eat them in unprotected storage. The Purdue Improved Cowpea Storage Team, led by entomology professor Larry Murdock, responded to annual losses in the millions of dollars and developed storage bags that kill the weevils. With support from the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation and international colleagues, the new bags have improved food security and economic conditions for millions of cowpea farmers. Demonstrations have been held in 30,000 villages in 10 countries. The PICS process is low-cost and is safer than no protection or treating cowpeas with insecticides. The PICS project has entered a second phase to determine whether the storage method is feasible for other crops grown in Africa. Integrated Pest Management is an environmentally sensitive approach to pest management that uses current, comprehensive information on the life cycles of pests and their interaction with the environment.

- Niambi Carter, an assistant professor of political science and African American Studies, has been appointed a visiting scholar at the James Weldon Johnson Institute of Emory University. Her appointment is for 2012-13.

-  The Aeronautics and Astronautics Engineering System-of-Systems Laboratory, led by associate professor Daniel DeLaurentis, has received a 2011 Boeing Performance Excellence Award. The Boeing Company issues the award annually to recognize suppliers who have achieved superior performance. The lab maintained a gold composite performance rating for each month of the 12-month performance period from Oct. 1, 2010, to Sept. 30, 2011. This year, Boeing recognized 529 suppliers, only 122 of which reached gold level. DeLaurentis' group conducted research and supplied new metrics for system complexity as part of Boeing's team performing under the DARPA META program. "Performing this research collaboratively with Boeing was a valuable experience for our students. The recognition of our efforts through this award should spur expansion of the already strong Purdue-Boeing relationship," DeLaurentis said.

- Jacob Carlson, Michael Fosmire, C.C. Miller, and Megan Sapp Nelson, of Purdue Libraries, have received the American Society for Engineering Education, Engineering Library Division, award for best publication for their paper, "Determining data information literacy needs: A study of students and research faculty." The paper was published in Project Muse, and is a realistic overview of how data could be managed at many academic institutions by faculty, graduate students and librarians. The paper can be found at

- Erin Bowen, assistant professor in the Department of Technology Leadership and Innovation, will be awarded the 2012 Award of Excellence in Distance Learning at the Provost's Faculty Awards Convocation, April 26. Her summer course, IT50600 (Measurement and evaluation for industry and technology), was selected as the best for-credit distance course offered in 2011. She taught the course as part of ProSTAR's online Master of Science degree program in aviation technology.

- Alejandra Magana, assistant professor of computer and information technology, is one of four recipients of the 2012 ASEE-ERM Apprentice Faculty Grant. She will be able to attend the annual American Society for Engineering Education's conference June 10-13 in San Antonio. Magana will also be paired with a mentor from ASEE's Educational Research and Methods division.

- Paul Schwab, professor of agronomy and learning community instructor for the environmental sciences learning community, has won the Learning Communities Advocate Award. The award is presented each year to a Learning Community instructor who has demonstrated uncommon commitment and has gone beyond expectations in leading the learning community. Award winners are nominated by the students in their Learning Community.

• Student honors:

- The Purdue Paintball Club went undefeated against three other universities and placed first in the Mid-West Class A College Conference event on March 31 in Chicago. The club participated in the event after being granted $500 from Purdue's For Small But Important Things (FSBIT) grant. On April 13-15, the club will participate in the National College Paintball Association: College Paintball Nationals in Orlando, Fla.  They will compete against 15 other of the best Class A teams in the country. Purdue Paintball Club won this event in 2009.