Crisis Center earns first Purdue Community Partner Award

May 7, 2012

WEST LAFAYETTE, Ind. - Purdue has named the Lafayette Crisis Center as the inaugural winner of the university's Exemplary Community Partner Award.

The award was established to recognize local organizations that provide opportunities for Purdue students to enhance their educational experience through volunteer and service-learning activities. It carries a $1,000 cash prize.

This selection was determined by a panel representing leadership of the Boiler Volunteer Network, Engineering Projects in Community Service, College of Liberal Arts Engagement and Community Relations. Ten not-for-profit organizations were nominated by Purdue faculty and staff.

According to the nomination "the Crisis Center provides students practical job skills including communication and problem-solving. The communication skills learned by the students through their training gives them an opportunity to listen and hear not only what is said, but what isn't, and then they must strategize on how to help those in need."

The nominators also point out that the Crisis Center serves not only as a place for voluntary activity, but also is a place students can call on when they are in need of support and information.

Jane McCann, Crisis Center executive director, said the organization has a long history with Purdue.

"Since our founding by graduate students in clinical psychology in the early 1970s, our telephone hotlines have been answered by caring and trained Purdue students. Without the commitment and skills of over 85 Purdue student volunteers each year, we wouldn't be able to maintain our 41-year history of responding to every call for help."

"The Crisis Center gives us an opportunity to make a difference in the world," said Rachel Feltman, a Purdue student and center volunteer. "I have been told that my experience at the Crisis Center will be extremely helpful when I enter the workforce. It shows responsibility, compassion, loyalty, ability to handle high-stress situations, respect for people and a willingness to work for something greater than ourselves."

The award will be presented June 19 at a community breakfast.

Other organizations nominated for the award include the Columbian Park Zoo, Almost Home Humane Society, Hanna Community Center, West Lafayette Public Library, Humane Society of Indianapolis, Food Finders Food Bank, Lafayette Adult Resource Academy, Wabash River Enhancement Corporation and Tumaini Street Drop-in Center in Eldoret, Kenya.

Sources: Julie Griffith, vice president for public affairs, 765-494-6838,

                  Mike Piggott, community relations director, 765-494-9386,