April 25, 2016  

Purdue Profile: Jamie Mohler

Jamie Mohler

Jamie Mohler, associate dean in Purdue's Graduate School and professor of computer graphics technology. (Purdue University photo/John Underwood)
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Jamie Mohler, an associate dean in Purdue's Graduate School, hopes to help graduate students turn their "fuzzy" research ideas into questions that can help build up business and society.

Mohler, professor of computer graphics technology, began teaching at Purdue in 1994 and began focusing mainly on graduate education in 2006. Now he oversees the Graduate Programs Office, Information Management and Analysis Office and the Thesis and Dissertation Office.

He has a bachelor's degree in technical graphics, master's in industrial technology and a doctorate in education, all from Purdue.  

What is your role as associate dean of the Graduate School?

In my role as associate dean of the Graduate School, I oversee three main areas. The first of these, the Graduate Programs Office, deals with the academic governance portion of graduate education including the procedures for approval and revisions to items ranging from courses to entire degrees.

The second is the Information Management and Analysis Office, which oversees the Graduate School Database through which students have their plans of study approved. This office also performs data analysis for the Graduate School as well as requests that come from the academic colleges or other units on campus.

The third area in my portfolio of responsibilities is the Thesis and Dissertation Office, which processes the deposits of all theses and dissertations at Purdue University. This office also provides instructional outreach to candidates, departments, staff and faculty via scheduled workshops about thesis formatting and deposit.

What led you to this career path?

I have been heavily involved in graduate studies since returning full-time to the faculty in 2006 following working for several years in ITaP and completing my doctorate. Most of the academic leadership positions I have held since 2006 have been focused, in whole or in part, on graduate education. And as a faculty member, nearly all of the courses I have taught since 2006 have been at the graduate level. I also knew many of the other faculty and staff working in the Graduate School and I wanted to be part of the outstanding team assembled there. Thus pursuing the associate dean position in the Graduate School -- particularly one that focuses on academic governance; data and IT; and thesis and dissertation completion -- was a natural fit.

Why did you choose to work at Purdue?

I did not fully set my sights on a faculty position at Purdue until the completion of my master’s degree. What attracted me to Purdue was the idea that I could help others garner the applied knowledge to become a valuable contributor to the field of computer graphics. Although I have had opportunities to leave Purdue, it is the core mission of learning and shaping the next generation that has kept me here.  

What is the most rewarding part of your job?

One of the most rewarding things for me is to see graduate students mature and develop as scholars during their journey toward their master's or doctoral degrees. While one of the most rewarding aspects of being a graduate faculty member, it is also the most challenging as no two students, or their research questions, are alike. Nevertheless, I thoroughly enjoy seeing "fuzzy" research ideas mature into defined, executable research questions that can lead to bettering business, industry and society as a whole.

The highest honor for any faculty is seeing students successfully present papers at conferences, receive acceptance notifications for academic journals, win awards or grants due to their work and, ultimately, receive their hood and/or diploma at graduation. It doesn't get any better than that.

Writer: Megan Huckaby, 765-496-1325, mhuckaby@purdue.edu 

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