'Preferred name' can help Purdue people feel at home

September 6, 2011

Students can create a "preferred name" through the Academic tab of myPurdue, which allows a student who generally goes by a middle name, for example, to be referred to by that name while attending Purdue.

The feature is likewise valuable in the case of international students who prefer to use an Americanized version of their names or for LGBTQ students who wish to be addressed according to their gender preferences.

"As a large university, we want to be mindful of steps we can take to welcome and recognize individuals in a personal way," says Dale Whittaker, vice provost for undergraduate academic affairs. "The preferred name option uses the capacities of technology to overcome impersonal systematizing and instead create a personal touch."

A student's preferred name shows up as a nickname in Blackboard, Purdue's course management system, where it is accessible to faculty who want to address their students in a welcoming fashion. The Purdue Gold Answers online knowledge base explains how. Sign in with your Purdue user name and password, then search for "preferred name" in the Find Answers box.