Distinguished Women Scholars

Jay Akridge, Provost and Executive Vice President for Academic Affairs and Diversity; Mangala Subramaniam, Chair and Director, Susan Bulkeley Butler Center for Leadership Excellence; Lynda Ciuffetti, Professor Emeritus of Botany and Plant Pathology, Oregon State University; Cassander (Cassie) Smith, Associate Professor of English, University of Alabama; Trisha Van Zandt, Professor of Psychology, Ohio State University; Nicole Key, Associate Head for Graduate Studies, Professor of Mechanical Engineering, Purdue University; Bhramar Mukherjee, John D. Kalbfleisch Collegiate Professor and Chair of Biostatistics, Professor of Epidemiology and Global Public Health, University of Michigan, School of Public Health
The Office of the Provost, in partnership with Susan Bulkeley Butler Center for Leadership Excellence, is pleased to announce the 11th Annual Distinguished Women Scholars award to honor alumnae who earned a Purdue doctorate and have made significant scholarly contributions to their respective academic communities.  
By recognizing our academic women of distinction, we also acknowledge and celebrate the contributions of our faculty to mentoring these successful scholars and recognize Purdue’s role in diversifying university faculty across the nation. At the same time, we demonstrate to our undergraduate and graduate students the many benefits of a Purdue graduate degree. We hope the recipients will be role models to all scholars in the making.

The three 2020 honorees, who are from the colleges of Agriculture, Liberal Arts, and Health and Human Sciences, are:
  • Lynda Ciuffetti, who earned her PhD in plant pathology/plant physiology in 1983 from the Department of Botany and Plant Pathology. She is professor emeritus of botany and plant pathology at Oregon State University.
  • Cassander (Cassie) Smith, who earned her PhD in early American literature in 2010 from the Department of English. She is currently associate professor of English at the University of Alabama.
  • Trisha Van Zandt, who earned her PhD in quantitative psychology in 1992 from the Department of Psychological Sciences. She is currently professor of psychology at Ohio State University.