Did you know...?

The close bond between Purdue University and Colombia began decades ago. It has sustained and grown stronger over time, but especially in the current decade, since Purdue launched its Colombia Purdue Initiative in 2010. In six short years, hundreds of individuals from all across Colombia and Purdue have crossed the Caribbean to explore and implement collaborations that matter to our collective futures.

Our greatest joint asset, however, is you - our alumni - you share a deep, lifelong attachment to your beloved country of Colombia and to your university family here at Purdue (and around the world!).

This section is an opportunity for us to feature and appreciate the stories of our common history and to acknowledge the contributions of those who have built the Colombia Purdue legacy.

The Colombian Student Association at Purdue has a new board!

Colombian students constitute the largest Latin-American population enrolled at Purdue University. The Colombian Student Association (CSAP) has over 100 students registered as active members and seeks to ease the integration of Colombian students to campus life, provide opportunities to their members and friends to expand their professional and cultural network, and share the Colombian culture with the community.

Now in its seventh year, a CSAP student board has been elected. Its members will bring gender, professional background, and cultural diversity to the table. They originate from cities as diverse as Florencia, Medellín, Valledupar, and Santa Rosa de Cabal and have professional interests that span across several areas: Material Science, Botany and Plant Pathology, Pharmacy, Civil Engineering, and English Language. Check out CPI's infographic below to learn more about the new board members.

All newly elected members of the CSAP board are enthusiastic about this opportunity. The new President, Lorena Alzate, believes this is a unique opportunity to represent the Colombian community at Purdue and to share Colombian culture with other associations on campus. "One of my interests since I came to Purdue has been to share with my colleagues and friends the endless aspects that make Colombia an amazing country," she explains. Similarly, CSAP's new Treasurer, Lisa Losada, decided to join the board because Colombia is always on her mind and in her heart. "Being part of the diverse team that conforms the board this year is a great opportunity of promoting the Colombian culture at Purdue," adds Lisa. CSAP's new Secretary, Clara Correa decided to join the 2017-18 board because she wants to make others feel welcome to the Colombian community, just as she felt when she first came to Purdue. "CSAP is a community of people proud of their home country and who are always willing to help others. This makes me feel like home," she says. Moreover, CSAP's new Faculty Advisor, Ximena Bernal, is excited about helping the association develop additional ways to serve the growing Colombian student population. "I have been highly impressed by the role this organization plays at promoting Colombia's culture as well as helping Colombian students integrate effectively at our campus and advance academically," adds Dr. Bernal, Assistant Professor in the Department of Biological Sciences.

The primary goal of the board for this academic year is to connect with people at Purdue who are passionate about Colombia's culture but haven't joined CSAP yet. As CSAP's new Community Manager, Rodrigo Rodríguez, expressed: "We want them to know that they have fellow country people to share their journey with and that they are always welcome to attend or get involved in CSAP activities." In order to do this, they will have to face some challenges. One of the biggest ones is the design of new activities that engage all the members of the association. "Keeping the community interested in what we do is critical for the well-functioning of the Association because we all constitute CSAP," says the new Vice-President Pedro Pablo Parra.

Former CSAP president, Juan David Ortega-Alvarez, is confident that the new board will do an extraordinary job, and he assures they will enjoy every step of the journey. Moreover, Juan says that this experience will bring them a set of useful skills for their professional life. "Being president of CSAP was a truly rewarding experience. It taught me a valuable lesson on community service and time management. I also got the opportunity to connect with great people, both in and outside CSAP, with a common interest in making Purdue a place for integration, inclusion, and personal growth". The Purdue-Colombia community welcomes the new CSAP board and thanks the former constituents for their wonderful job!

Help us build our Colombia Purdue history!

We found this photograph within the Purdue Library's Archives and Special Collections. It was taken September 1969 in BOGOTA during a Purdue Alumni Club meeting. However, we do not know the people or story of this image -- do you recognize someone (maybe yourself) in the picture? What is your story? Or your friend's story? What is the history of the Purdue Bogota Alumni Club? Who organized it? What did they do and why did it stop?

Por Favor, HELP us build the story of the Colombia Purdue legacy and SHARE what you know about this picture. Click HERE to write to us and to upload other photos and stories that you saved from your Purdue adventures as a student and your family and life experiences after Purdue.

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