March 29, 2016  

Purdue Profiles: Heather Beasley

Heather Beasley

Heather Beasley, director of student involvement, and her staff work with students to provide and help them engage in a meaningful, co-curricular learning experience that will lead to success at Purdue and beyond. (Purdue University Photo/John Underwood)
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The Purdue director of student involvement started her career as a program advisor with the Purdue Student Union Board and expected to be at Purdue only for a few years.

After 15 years, Heather Beasley is proud to call Purdue home. She works in Krach Leadership Center and is still involved with the Purdue Student Union Board.

What do you do as the director of student involvement?

My team is the Student Activities and Organizations area on campus. The staff work with our students to provide and help them engage in a meaningful co-curricular learning experience that will lead to success at Purdue and beyond.

This area has four departments (or teams):

* Student Involvement -- This team works with all the recognized student organizations on campus. There are about 900 or more of those organizations.  The team helps these organizations navigate this process of running a successful organization on campus.

* Civic Engagement and Leadership Development -- This team works to provide opportunities to help our students explore who they are and how they fit in the world around them, as well as helping students grow their leadership abilities both in and outside of the classroom.

* Programs and Recreation at the Union -- home of the Purdue Student Union Board, a student-run programming board on campus, and the Union Rack and Roll.

* Krach Leadership Center -- This team works daily to make this a facility for our students to engage, collaborate and learn. We provide intentional space and programs within the leadership center to allow students these abilities.

What led you to this career path?

Well, I didn't know that higher education was something that you could get a degree in at first.

I was headed down the path of recreation and sports management with an emphasis in therapeutic recreation at Indiana State. I realized one day that I might not want to do that my entire life.

I had come to know some really great mentors. I had to join two other campus organizations as a requirement of my sorority. I was involved with the Sycamore Ambassadors and the union board, which introduced me to people that had the types of jobs that I have now, and they really guided me when I wanted to change paths.

What is your favorite part of your job?

I came to work at Purdue and swore I would only be here a few years. Now it's 15 years later. The people and the students have kept me here. I could not ask for better peers, mentors and supervisors. The students are the biggest thing, though.

They have amazing talent and aren't doing things as a résumé builder; they want to learn and have a real impact on the world. We have a lot of students that want to leave Purdue better than it was when they arrived here.

Writer: Megan Huckaby, 765-496-1325,

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