Board Members


Maekin Smith (they/them)

Departmental Program Coordinator, Purdue Study Abroad

Maekin is a Purdue 2009 graduate of the College of Liberal Arts where they studied Spanish and studied abroad in Spain. Maekin has been working in the office of Programs for Study Abroad since 2014 and delights in helping faculty, staff, and students have transformative study abroad experiences too.

Outside of work you can find Maekin organizing with SURJ, YWTF, or Working Hoosiers Vote, puttering around their garden, or taking photos of their friends' pets.


Ethan Johnson (he/him)

Vice President
Honors Advisor, Honors College

Ethan is an advisor in the Honors College, and has been working at Purdue since summer of 2018. Originally from Indianapolis, Ethan attended Ball State University for undergrad and Southern Illinois University for graduate school. In addition to PEP, he's a member of One Size Fits All improv troupe and Showing Up for Racial Justice of Greater Lafayette.

Ethan likes board games, iced coffee, and reading.


Carina Rebello (she/her)

Events Co-chair
Assistant Professor of Practice, Department of Physics and Astronomy

Carina is an Assistant Professor of Practice in Physics and Astronomy and is new to PEP. Originally from Kansas, Carina attended Kansas State University for undergrad and University of Missouri for graduate school. Dr. Rebello’s expertise is in physics education research with the aim to enable students at all levels to develop critical thinking skills, and to become good problem solvers and independent learners.

She enjoys practicing power yoga, hiking, cooking, and spending time with her dog Henry.


Elizabeth Barnes (she/her)

Communications Chair
Exotic Forest Pest Educator, Department of Entomology

In her spare time, Elizabeth enjoys hiking, painting, and embroidery. She is also always excited to help with caterpillar identification.


SJ Houston (he/him)

Counselor for International Scholars, ISS

SJ is an Immigration Counselor in the International Scholar's Office, International Programs here at Purdue.He is an IDI Qualifying Administrator and coordinates several programs for International Scholars on campus. SJ holds a MS in Higher Education from Purdue University Global. He enjoys doing advocacy work and has spoken at area schools about creating a culture of acceptance in classrooms. SJ was previously on the Board of Pride Lafayette.

SJ and his wife, Christine Kassab, live in Lafayette and have four kids and currently two foster children. SJ spends his "free time" coaching his kid's sports teams, cooking, and working on DIY projects around the house.

GET INVOLVED. We are a volunteer board and are always looking for ways to expand our reach across campus and get fresh ideas. Contact us to learn how you can join the board or help us with an event. We especially encourage those of diverse backgrounds to get involved. Contact us at

Purdue University, 610 Purdue Mall, West Lafayette, IN 47907, (765) 494-4600

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