Parents & Families E-Newsletter - November 2011
Dear Parents and Families,
The end of the fall semester is in sight, and students are finishing projects and studying for final exams. I’m sure your student would say this is the busiest time of year.
To help navigate this time, this newsletter provides many helpful resources, including financial aid deadlines, meal plan schedules, and flu shot information, to name a few.
You’ll also find updates on some of the extraordinary things happening on campus. If you’re a Boilermaker sports fan (and who isn’t?) we have information about Homecoming and the rededication of Mackey Arena. What an outstanding new space our basketball teams have to practice and play, a testament to our fans, donors and supporters who have proudly invested in our winning student-athletes.
This semester, we also celebrated our students’ participation in the U.S. Department of Energy’s Solar Decathlon in Washington DC. This was Purdue’s first year entering the competition and our student team’s solar INhome design brought home second place out of nineteen teams from around the world. Congratulations to our students!
I hope you enjoy these updates and the other items we have included in this newsletter. Our goal in everything we do is to make the student experience positive and successful. We recognize the importance of parents and families in our students’ college experience and we celebrate everything you do to help your student succeed.
I would also like to assure you that Purdue takes student safety very seriously. We have used the recent events at Penn State University as an opportunity to review our policies and procedures related not only to safety but also to child abuse and neglect, and we have recommitted to remaining vigilant and to reporting abuse immediately. As we reflect on the safety of our students and visitors, I am grateful to each member of the Purdue community for the role they play in keeping our campus safe.
From all of us here at Purdue, I wish you and your family a Happy Thanksgiving and a safe and joyful holiday season. Hail Purdue!
France A. Cordova
In light of recent events at Penn State University, Purdue administrators want to ensure families of Purdue students that the University has policies, support services, education and training in place to foster a community that is respectful and maintains high standards.
The Purdue community is directed to report any suspected sexual or other abuse of children to either the Purdue or local police and to one of several offices on campus:
- Office of Institutional Equity
- Vice President for Human Resources
- Graduate School
- Office of the Dean of Students
A whistleblower hotline for any type of suspected unethical or illegal behavior also is in place.
Policies and procedures are clearly stated, including the Procedures for Resolving Complaints of Discrimination and Harassment and Protection Against Reprisal for Good Faith Disclosures (Whistleblower Protection)
Counseling is available through the Purdue Student Health Center, Dean of Students office and Women’s Resource Network. Education and training programs are in place for faculty, staff and student leaders, and communications are in place, including the Fostering Respect, Creating Community booklet that is provided to all faculty and staff.
The University maintains full disclosure and compliance with the Clery Act through its annual campus crime statistics report.
President France A. Cordova has announced that she will transition out of her leadership role at the University during the summer of 2012. A presidential search committee, appointed by the Board of Trustees, will present top candidates to trustees during the spring 2012 semester. The goal is to appoint Purdue’s 13th president by summer 2012.
Professor Rakesh Agrawal received the National Medal of Technology and Innovation from President Barack Obama in a White House ceremony last month. The award is the highest honor for technological achievement bestowed by the U.S. government. Agrawal, the Winthrop E. Stone Distinguished Professor in the School of Chemical Engineering, holds 116 U.S. patents and nearly 500 non-U.S. patents and has authored 93 technical papers. More info.
Tippets appointed to oversee Purdue student access, success program
Jared Tippets, former assistant dean of students at the University of Kentucky, joined Purdue as director of the University's Student Access, Transition and Success programs (SATS) this fall. SATS programs include Boiler Gold Rush, Summer Transition, Advising and Registration and Learning Communities. “Jared brings practical knowledge, skills and tools for retention strategies, programming and policies that he has gained from hands-on experience," said A. Dale Whittaker, vice provost for undergraduate affairs at Purdue. "His background and enthusiasm for student transition and success will help Purdue to continue to excel in this critical area.” More info
Malone named new financial aid director
Ted Malone from University of Alaska Anchorage was named director of the Division of Financial Aid this fall. He succeeds Joyce Hall, who retired as executive director of DFA following 33 years of service. "Last year, the Division of Financial Aid awarded more than $500 million to Purdue students,” said Pamela T. Horne, associate vice provost for enrollment management and dean of admissions. “Ted's 24 years of leadership has prepared him to manage the administration of increasingly complex federal, state and institutional programs, as well as additional outreach and education on college affordability and financial literacy." More info
Purdue’s first-year students are breaking academic records, and the University reported its highest retention rates to date this fall. The average ACT score for the freshman class increased from 26.3 to 26.6, and the class average SAT score increased by 14 points to a combined 1731 on the critical reading, math and writing sections. This follows increases of nine points last year and 11 points in 2009. The average high school grade point average of the freshmen is 3.62 -- up from 3.57 one year ago. First- and second-year retention rates are all-time highs at 90.2 percent and 82.5 percent respectively. More info.
Women in engineering enrollment up 31 percent
International enrollment ranked No. 2 in nation
New Heritage Scholarship honors members of the Purdue community
Purdue announced a new scholarship fund that can be used to honor University faculty, staff, students, alumni and friends. Joyce Hall, retiring executive director of the Division of Financial Aid, is the first Heritage Scholarship Fund honoree. Pamela Horne, associate vice provost of enrollment management and dean of admissions, foresees the fund being used to honor other retirees, as a source for memorials and for parents who want to contribute to celebrate a student's accomplishments. The fund will provide open-ended, general scholarships to students from all disciplines. More info.
Zipcar provides new transportation option at Purdue
Zipcar service is now available to all Purdue faculty, staff and students who are 18 years or older. Zipcars are parked on campus, and reservations can be made online or on a mobile device 24/7, or by phone. Hourly and daily rates include gas, insurance, and 180 miles per day. More info.
A cookout, Hero Bowl, blood drive, Boilermaker Night Train Parade, king and queen coronation and pep rally were among Purdue’s Homecoming events that culminated in a Boilermaker football victory against the University of Illinois. Purdue students Gabriel Clark and Kaylie Waltz (pictured at left) were crowned the 2011 Homecoming king and queen.
Purdue celebrates mackey rededication
Nearly four and a half years after plans for the Mackey Complex Project were formally announced, Purdue celebrated its unveiling Nov. 11-13 with rededication ceremonies and five Boilermaker victories -- football, men’s and women’s basketball and volleyball twice.
Purdue treated to Strange Fruit performance
Among this fall’s performances offered through Purdue Convocations was Australia’s Strange Fruit (view video ), a Melbourne-based performing arts company. Convocations still has a dozen more events scheduled for the 2011-12 academic year. More info.
Employer recruiting increased this fall
Overall, hiring for the Class of 2012 is projected to be up nationwide. Purdue’s Center for Career Opportunities reported campus recruitment activity up 11.4 percent this fall compared with fall 2010 and up 15.9 percent over fall 2009. Job postings for employers unable to visit campus also are up. Plenty of full-time and internship openings still exist, so students should regularly check their CCO Express accounts. Interviews will begin again in February and run through the middle of April. Spring recruiting also is expected to be stronger, so opportunities will be available for students who are seeking internships and jobs.
Academy Award-nominated documentary filmmaker Morgan Spurlock will speak Dec. 8 at 7 p.m. in Stewart Center's Loeb Playhouse as part of the Purdue University Series on Corporate Citizenship and Ethics. Spurlock's first feature-length film, "Super Size Me" about eating fast food, won best directing honors at the Sundance and Edinburgh film festivals and an Academy Award nomination for best feature documentary. Free and open to the public, More
PMO Christmas Show slated for Dec. 3-4
Tickets are still available for the 78th annual Purdue Christmas Show. Show times include Saturday, Dec. 3, at noon, 4 p.m. and 8 p.m. and Sunday, Dec. 4, at 2 p.m. Note: The 8 p.m. show includes sign language interpretation.
Watch a short video
Purdue builds nation's fastest campus supercomputer
The nation's fastest campus supercomputer has been built at Purdue University. Nicknamed "Carter," the supercomputer was ranked 54th this week on the latest international Top 500.org list of the world's most powerful supercomputers. More info.
Encourage your student to Get Involved
A recent Purdue study revealed that students who are highly involved in campus activities outside the classroom earn a higher grade point average and more credit hours than Purdue students overall. More info
Many callouts for student organizations will take place at the beginning of the spring semester. Encourage your student to visit Get Involved at Purdue for more information.
Students' first-year experience to be enhanced by Foundations of Excellence
If first-year college students have a first-rate experience then they are more likely to succeed as better, more satisfied students and, ultimately, better world citizens. That is the wisdom behind a national higher education initiative -- Foundations of Excellence -- that Purdue joined this year in an ongoing effort to ensure student success. The program helps participating institutions develop a consistent, campus-wide strategy for working with first-year students. A task force composed of faculty, staff and students is using evidence from faculty and student surveys, the University's current regulations, and data on student success to evaluate Purdue's current systems and make specific recommendations for change or new programs. More info.
Campus safety is paramount importance for Purdue police
Purdue makes every effort to provide a safe environment for students and the entire University community. To ensure safety on campus, the Purdue University Police Department offers the following services:
- Annual Security Report: www.police.purdue.edu
- Emergency telephones at more than 200 campus locations, which connect directly to the police department.
- Purdue student security patrol, which assists the police in patrolling the campus at night.
- Safe-Walk program staffed by the student security patrol, offering service 24/7 to and from University Residences, the academic campus and the Village business district by calling 765-494-SAFE.
- Engraving tools for marking personal possessions; they are available in University Residences and from the University police.
- Self-defense programs, including Rape Aggression Defense (RAD) System
Parent's Committee gives away 4 free iPads
Accurate emergency contact information is critical for reaching a student's family in the event of an emergency. More than 6,000 students updated their emergency contacts on the myPurdue portal this fall as a result of an incentive (a chance to win one of four Apple iPads) provided by the Purdue Parents' Fund. More info
Student support available for Finals Week preparation
Students may need some additional support in the last few weeks leading up to finals week. The following campus resources provide students with:
- The Academic Success Center Student Advisory Board will present a workshop, "Surviving Finals Week," at 4:30 p.m., Wednesday, Nov. 30, in Bering Hall, Room 2290.
- A surprise snack: Families can send students living in the residence halls a Boiler Treat Pack available through Housing and Food Services.
- A quiet place to study: Purdue Libraries has extended its hours of operation, including the UnderGrounds coffee shop.
- Study and test-taking suggestions: The Academic Resource Center has resources available on site and online.
- Writing resources: Students who have questions about final writing assignments can contact the Purdue Online Writing Lab (OWL).
- A doctor or a counselor: The Purdue University Student Health Center (PUSH) has physicians and mental health care providers on staff. Purdue's Student Wellness Office is a point of contact for a wide variety of student needs, including annual flu shots, and offers many online, self-help resources.
Information Technology at Purdue provides students with resources and guidance
Purdue students have free access on their computers -- 24 hours a day, seven days a week -- to most of the commonly used software on campus, such as Microsoft Office (Word, Excel) and Adobe Creative Suite (Photoshop, Dreamweaver). Students can access these apps on computers in any of the more than 40 ITaP instructional labs across campus. Before students access Software Remote for the first time, they must have an Internet connection and download an authorizing program to log in with their Purdue career account. If necessary, students can check with ITaP about borrowing or buying specific software.
When shopping for computers, software and other electronics this holiday season, check out Purdue-negotiated discounts available from the ITaP Shopping website or stop by Stewart Center, Room G65, when on campus to test-drive the latest equipment. Visit the ITaP newsroom for more information on student discounts.
Just like your car, a computer needs routine maintenance and occasional repairs. For students encountering computer problems while they are away at college, however, finding a qualified and affordable computer repair shop can be challenging. ITaP has some suggestions to ease the process.
Whether they’re checking email, ordering a pizza online or catching up with friends on Facebook, students who haven’t protected their hardware or information can leave personal and University data vulnerable to cyber attacks. On the other hand, families who encourage their student to take steps to ensure computer security will help protect the Purdue community from data and identity theft, viruses, hackers and other abuses.
To combat such risks, Purdue offers several resources and recommendations on how to protect devices and stored data:
- Creating strong passwords and remembering multiple ones, which may seem cumbersome at times, are essential steps in protecting sensitive information. Here are several tips to help students put some muscle in their Purdue career account and other passwords. Information on locking and enabling password protection on cell phones, disabling Bluetooth when not in use, keeping applications up-to-date, and more advice on keeping mobile devices secure may be found in the ITaP newsroom.
- The University will never ask students for their password or any other personal information through email, though some spam may look official. To thwart phishing attempts, families should encourage their student to delete unsolicited emails and ignore instant messages from unknown parties containing URLs.
- Students should be reminded of the dangers of posting sensitive or secret information online, especially when using social networking sites like Facebook or Twitter, as consequences of posting such information are varied, lasting and may negatively impact a student’s life. Keith Watson, a Purdue information assurance research engineer, recently co-authored a free 14-page Facebook security guide for families and students, in which he shares social media best practices that may be applied to other sites as well.
Creative. Motivated. Forward-thinking. These five students have made changes for the better at Purdue, in their hometowns, among their friends -- and while serving their country.
They are nimble enough to adapt while being determined to reach success. We salute these Purdue students who are Change Makers. Visit the"5 Students Who …" website
Six international students spent their fall break in Bloomsburg, Pa., assisting with cleanup efforts from a recent flood as part of the Boiler Out! Program. Boiler Out! is a Purdue international student volunteer program organized in 2009.
This fall, Boiler Out! attracted 165 volunteers who have contributed more than 1,000 hours of community service.ther volunteer activities undertaken by Boiler Out! participants included Columbian Park Zoo's Halloween event "Boo at the Zoo," ushering at Lafayette Symphony Orchestra events, assisting and organizing food collections at Food Finders Food Bank, and sorting donated goods at Trinity Mission. More info.
Christine Collins, associate director of ISS and students Di Chen, Jessie Ho and Siew La Pang work on the job site in Bloomsburg, Pa. over fall break.
Over the summer the Hicks Undergraduate (HIKS) and Siegesmund Engineering (ENGR) libraries each converted large reading rooms into advanced classrooms and group collaborative study spaces for students. More info.
The Libraries Orientation Committee worked with a group of student leaders from Student Access, Transition, and Success (SATS) to turn a set of learning objectives into viable concepts and then actual scripts for four videos that were unveiled at Boiler Gold Rush (BGR) and to the Purdue community. More info. View the videos:
Students residing in Purdue residence halls who are not participating in winter commencement will need to vacate their rooms over the winter holiday by noon on Monday, Dec. 19. Students may leave their personal belongings in their room, and return at 8 a.m. Tuesday, Jan. 2. The first contract meal will be breakfast on Monday, Jan. 9, when spring semester classes begin. The deadline for students who would like to change their meal plan option is Sunday, Jan. 8. More info.
Families filing a 2011 U.S. tax return may be eligible for educational tax credits when claiming their Purdue student as a dependent. In mid-January, the Bursar's Office will generate an IRS Form 1098-T to help students and families prepare their 2011 tax return.
- Students may access the IRS Form 1098-T form at myPurdue in mid-January. Click on the "Financial" tab and the "1098-T Tax Information" option. Note: Students should make address updates by Jan. 1 on the myPurdue portal to ensure that the IRS Form 1098-T information is accurate. Address information can be accessed and updated under the "Student Life" tab on myPurdue.
- Tax filers should note that the American Opportunity Tax Credit, extended for tax years 2011 and 2012, is based upon payments made by Dec. 31, 2011. If students and parents intend to take advantage of this credit, they should make payments by this deadline.
Contact your tax advisor for further assistance in claiming these credits.
Families should remember that when holiday festivities are over and the new year arrives, it is also time to start thinking about filing the Free Application for Federal Student Aid (FAFSA). More info
Plenty of warm clothing and outerwear along with a well-stocked medicine cabinet and vehicle trunk (if your student has a vehicle on campus) are some of the important preparations for Indiana winters. Be sure your student returns to campus with the necessities -- boots, coats, hats and gloves for themselves and ice scrapers, jumper cables and freeze-resistant fluids for their vehicles.
Most students are apt to catch a cold or the flu over the course of the winter. The Purdue University Student Health Center (PUSH) is there to assist them with prevention and treatment. Flu shots are available for students Monday-Friday, 8:30 a.m. to 4:30 p.m., in Room 228. To schedule a PUSH appointment, students should call 765-494-1700.
On rare occasions, the University may need to close for inclement weather. For cancellation notices, consult local news media, view the front page of the University’s website, or sign up for the University’s text message service: