2021 Focus Award Recipient - Staff

Pat Russell

Pat Russell is a professional in the Office of the Vice President for Human Resources, where she has spent much of her 39+ year career at Purdue. She was hired in 1981 as an employment recruiter, before completing training on Affirmative Action and Equal Employment Opportunity. In 1989 she was promoted to Compliance Specialist in the Affirmative Action office where she continued to build her knowledge of employment, diversity, and disability.

In 1995, Pat took on the role of Access and Occupational Health Services Coordinator, and her role was to continue the University’s efforts under the Americans with Disabilities Act (“ADA”). Russell’s primary role has been to oversee and develop the efforts for the university’s ongoing commitment to working with individuals who have disabilities in the workplace. She has worked with departments, faculty, staff, and student employees throughout the university community to assist with a variety of needs such as interpreters, service animals, specialized equipment needs, structural changes to buildings, technology needs, and more.  When the Americans with Disabilities Act Amendment’s Act of 2008 (“Act”) was passed, Pat was responsible for the revision and implementation of policies and procedures that would allow expanded types of disabilities to be recognized and accommodated in the workplace, for all employees at all campuses.  She also developed the process and procedures for accommodations of expanded leave time in response to this Act.