BDM Fellows Have Dinner with Daniels

Burton D. Morgan Fellows with Purdue President Mitch Daniels

The Burton D. Morgan Fellows invited Purdue President Mitch Daniels to dinner and to discuss his outlook on entrepreneurship on February 15, 2016. Pictured (left): Rachel Foster, business management; Rachel Borsa, aviation and aerospace management; Aaron Dunajeski, agricultural economics; Natalie Berea, marketing; President Mitch Daniels; Zack McCormack, pharmacy; Lauren Rourk, industrial engineering; Jason Brier, computer graphic technology; Rucha Joshi, biomedical engineering; Craig Sweet, PULSe graduate student; and Julian Archer, industrial engineering.

The inaugural cohort of the Burton D. Morgan Fellows were selected in August. One of the group’s goals was to meet with inspirational individuals that could share entrepreneurial and professional advice. One individual selected by the group was Purdue President Mitch Daniels.

On February 15 President Daniels and 10 fellows had dinner and discussed their career goals and future objectives.

“The fellows introduced themselves, providing their major and career aspirations,” said Zack McCormack, a pharmacy student and current fellow. “Being interested in the pharmaceutical industry, I asked President Daniels about his thoughts regarding the future of the industry.”

Not all the questions were as defined. Other fellows asked about his career and path to success.

“One point in particular that I thought was insightful was his advice to always have an open mind. He noted, when he was in college, he never would have thought he would be Purdue President and how these opportunities are not always planned.”

The Burton D. Morgan Fellowship Program is a student-driven initiative focused on leadership, mentorship and community building. Graduate and undergraduate students can be selected.

Jennifer Dexter, internship and outreach program manager and Fellows advisor, said opportunities like this one are important to the student’s.

“The program is designed so students can develop, both professionally and academically. As President Daniels shared in discussion, taking educated calculated risks and being open to opportunities is what may lead a student on a path he never expected. When students think about their future, I hope meetings like this one help define, answer or even cultivate questions.”

McCormack added that being in the Burton D. Morgan Fellowship program has truly been an honor. It is quite rare that driven individuals from a variety of academic disciplines are able to come to together, share experiences, and develop professionally in both an individualistic and group manner.

To learn more about the Burton D. Morgan Fellows, visit


Writer: Sayde Uerkwitz, 765-494-3386,
Source: Jennifer Dexter,
Zack McCormack,