My passion for Purdue: Tanya Foster

September 3, 2013  

Tanya Foster

Tanya Foster, associate director for athletic academic support services in Intercollegiate Athletics. (Photo provided)
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As a proud College of Agriculture alumna, Tanya Foster, associate director for athletic academic support services in Intercollegiate Athletics, and her husband, Kevin, believe deeply in research that focuses on feeding the world and keeping the food supply chain safe. Giving to Purdue is one way Foster believes she can address these issues and contribute to a quality of life people will be able to enjoy in the U.S. and across the globe.

Foster (A'79, LA'79, MS'97, PhD'81), who has traveled extensively, says: "I've had the opportunity to see places in the world where the food supply chain was neither as safe nor as robust with choices as in our own country. I have seen countries where I marvel at their ability to subsist in harsh conditions."

Having worked with numerous international students during her more than 30 years at Purdue, she has seen how many -- some from war-torn areas of the world -- worry about their family back home being able to meet their nutritional needs.

Although Foster has lived mostly in urban environments, her parents were both born and raised on farms and many of her relatives still have farms. Foster is acutely aware of how important the agricultural services of Purdue Extension are to farmers. "I certainly appreciate the challenges involved in farming and just how vital research at this level is to the average farmer trying to produce a crop or raise livestock," she says.

Foster knows also that some children in Greater Lafayette do not receive adequate nutrition every day. "My husband and friends who work in the local schools often comment on the percentage of students receiving subsidized breakfasts and/or lunches in local school corporations. It's sad to think that there are so many hungry children right here in Tippecanoe County," she says.

Foster and her husband felt compelled to do something, so they started giving where they believed making a difference could start.

"I love the College of Ag and believe in what they do! I believe that the research and mission of the College of Agriculture matter greatly, so I'm proud to support my alma mater and be a part of the Purdue story that has yet to be written," Foster says.

* Faculty and staff who would like to share their own thoughts and stories about supporting Purdue should contact or 49-43872.

Writer: Karen Pulliam, 49-43872,

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