August 16, 2016

Purdue Profiles: Cara Putman

Cara Putnam Cara Putman, continuing lecturer in the Krannert School of Management. (Purdue University photo/Mark Simons)

When Cara Putman isn't a continuing lecturer at Purdue, she keeps busy by practicing law, adding to her list of more than 20 published novels and taking care of her family.

Putman teaches business law, ethics, and communications classes full time in the Krannert School of Management, where she also earned an MBA through the Weekend MBA program. She also has a bachelor's degree from the University of Nebraska and a law degree from George Mason University School of Law.

What is your role as a continuing lecturer?

My role is to help students take complex legal principles and break them down so they can apply them to their jobs as managers. I see myself as a translator, removing as much complexity as possible and helping students see how these legal concepts intersect with the business world. When I work with businesses, I love helping them stay on the right side of the law. Teaching allows me to do that at a deeper level by equipping students with the tools for success when they leave Krannert. I love getting emails from former students who let me know how much of what I taught them they are actually using in their jobs. That's how I know I've done mine.

What is one thing you hope your students take away from your lectures?

I want them to leave with concrete pictures and ideas about how the law and communications intersects with the jobs they will do. If it's all esoteric and theoretical, then it doesn't connect to their real world. I want to bridge that gap.

What is your favorite part about working with students at Purdue?

It's so hard to narrow it down to one, but I'd say knowing I'm working with exceptional young people and young professionals who will impact the world. They will be managing departments at major companies around the world. These students literally circle the globe, and knowing them enriches my life. My family also enjoys inviting them into our world, so there's cross-over to my kids learning just how big and rich this world is.

What kind of books do you write and what made you want to write them?

I write primarily Christian fiction set during WWII or romantic suspense/mystery. My next book is a legal romantic suspense that is being published by Harper Collins Christian Publishing. All of my books are available wherever books are sold. I also wrote the Complete Idiot's Guide to Business Law just to be different.

I’ve wanted to write since I was a teen and couldn’t believe my favorite authors couldn’t write faster. Many of them took the time to correspond with me and encourage my dream. Then I started college, got married, began a career, and that dream went on hold. In 2005 I met another Indiana author who fanned the flame back to life. The next year I sold my first book, a year later it was published, and the year after that it won an award. It’s been an amazing marathon of a journey, but I love that I have the opportunity to highlight stories of the Greatest Generation in a way that people can easily absorb. That first book was a retelling of my grandparents' story. Now I’m moving back into the legal environment and drawing from my experiences as an attorney.

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

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