Purdue community invited to Council for Manager Development presentations
Members of the Council for Manager Development group working on a conceptual plan to meet the rising needs of international students: (from bottom left) Yating Haller, Michelle Williams, (from top left) Anneliese Kay, Jim Slopsema and Ben Dispennett. Not pictured: Ken Musselman and Lisa Tetzloff. (Purdue University photo by Mark Simons)
The 2012 graduating class of Purdue's Council for Manager Development Program (CMD) -- a program that sees staff work in groups to improve campus and their careers -- will present project results April 24.
The presentations will take place from 10 a.m. until noon in Stewart Center, Fowler Hall. Project topics of the three groups in this class are the successful transition of beginning undergraduate international students, enhancing the sophomore experience and improving students' experiences at home football games.
A two-year program, CMD typically involves opportunities to meet with key University leaders. It also involves exposure to significant questions and trends shaping the direction of Purdue and higher education, and interaction with a cross-functional team that researches, analyzes and develops strategies and presents recommendations for action.
"When you bring together this many folks from different areas of campus, it embodies the University's interdisciplinary approach," says Brenda Simler Wallar, whose group will present results from its student game-day experience project.
"From brainstorming the project to completing it to bringing its findings to fruition, this has been a most rewarding experience for me."
INTransition: The Successful Transition of New Beginning Undergraduate International Students is a project that aims to draft a conceptual plan to meet the rising needs of international students. Group members are Ben Dispennett, Yating Haller, Anneliese Kay, Ken Musselman, Jim Slopsema, Michelle Williams and Lisa Tetzloff.
To gather information about international students' experiences when they first arrive at Purdue, the group conducted separate focus groups made up of international students and their academic advisors, group co-leader Dispennett says.
"Some of our group members work closely with international students in a variety of ways, so it was interesting to learn more about their initial experiences at Purdue -- and what we could do to make them even better," group member Haller says.
During their presentation, group members will recommend creating a Web-based program aimed at helping international students learn about campus resources, including how to register for classes. International students often find gathering this information difficult, Dispennett says, because visa restrictions prevent them from attending many campus programs that take place during the summer.
Although Boiler Gold Rush International (BGRi) helps international students acclimate to campus, the Web-based program would assist with areas not included in that program. They include academic advising and registering for classes.
Members of the Council for Manager Development group working on improving the retention rates of students from their sophomore to junior years: (from left) Sasse Steele, Ryan Stremke, Beth Siple and Jessica Lawrence. Not pictured: Greg Hedrick and Jessica Teets. (Purdue University photo by Mark Simons)
Enhancing the Sophomore Experience is a project that aims to improve the retention rate of students from their sophomore to junior years. Group members are Greg Hedrick, Jessica Lawrence, Beth Siple, Sasse Steele, Ryan Stremke and Jessica Teets.
Group members conducted interviews with University staff in key areas on campus and reviewed relevant programs in place at peer institutions. They also identified common obstacles sophomores face that impede their success, says project leader Teets.
"One of the biggest obstacles for sophomores is finding ways to actively engage in their education, whether it's through extracurricular activity, an internship or simply connecting with a faculty or staff member," Teets says.
"A focused effort on programming for sophomores that better connects them to resources on campus -- such as the Center for Career Opportunities, study abroad and student organizations -- would provide the momentum sophomores need to keep them engaged and on the track to graduation."
Members of the Council for Manager Development group focusing on students' game-day experiences: (from left) Eric Chin, Brian Zink, Brenda Simler Wallar, Tracy Sondgerath, Terry Patterson and Chris Clopton. Not pictured: Rosa Ledezma. (Purdue University photo by Mark Simons)
Student Football Game Day Experience aims to formulate steps that will get more students excited about home football games. Group members are Eric Chin, Chris Clopton, Rosa Ledezma, Terry Patterson, Tracy Sondgerath, Brenda Simler Wallar and Brian Zink.
To gather information, group members surveyed student attendees at two home football games last year. They also conducted an online student survey, conducted in-depth student focus groups, reached out to student organizations and benchmarked other Big Ten universities' practices aimed at getting students involved in home games, says group leader Chris Clopton.
In addition to its presentation, by the end of May the group will give a detailed report with its recommendations to the athletics department. Clopton says the group is hopeful that student fans will see some of those recommendations become reality during the 2013 season.
"Football games are events that can bring students together to build a sense of unity and community with an impact far beyond Ross-Ade Stadium. We feel like our project can help involve even more students, generate support for the football program and create excitement and memories that will last a lifetime," Clopton says.