July 3, 2017

Four Purdue-affiliated professionals selected for Tippy Connect Top 10 Under 40

Veronica Rahim, Melissa Gruver, Ileana Cortes Santiago and Natasha Watkins Veronica Rahim, Melissa Gruver, Ileana Cortes Santiago and Natasha Watkins have been selected for the Tippy Connect Top 10 Under 40 for 2017. (Photo by Mike Piggott) Download image

Four Purdue-affiliated professionals have been selected for the Tippy Connect Top 10 Under 40 for 2017.

Veronica Rahim, senior career services consultant; Ileana Cortes Santiago, doctoral candidate in Literacy and Language Education; Melissa Gruver, associate director of Civic Engagement and Leadership Development; and Natasha Watkins, clinical assistant professor in the Department of Human Development and Family Studies, were honored at a luncheon on June 22.

The award is given by Tippy Connect, a young professionals organization based in Greater Lafayette, in conjunction with the Greater Lafayette Chamber of Commerce. Tippy Connect works to engage and advocate for young professionals through social networking, philanthropy and professional development.

Recipients are chosen based on professional accomplishments, extracurricular activities and community involvement.  

In addition to being a career counselor, Rahim also serves as an advisor for Delta Sigma Theta sorority. She says in her nomination packet that the work she does with kindergartners has helped her professionally as they have taught her to pay more attention to how people treat each other and how to let things go and laugh.  

Cortes Santiago is a member of Greater Lafayette Immigrant Allies and the steering committee for We Are All Connected, a program of the Indiana Voices of Women and Purdue’s Black Cultural Center. She also is a mentor for Latino/a students in Indiana and volunteers at the Lafayette Urban Ministry’s Immigration Clinic.

Gruver is the founding chapter director for the Greater Lafayette Younger Women’s Task Force, a grassroots organization by and for women to address local issues that affect women in their 20s, 30s and 40s. She also is a Tippecanoe Arts Federation Board member.

Watkins is the co-organizer for the Black Professionals of Greater Lafayette, and a member of the Youth Committee for the Greater Lafayette chapter of the Indiana Black Expo. She also mentors two youth as part of the Big Brothers Big Sisters of Greater Lafayette.

For more information on the Top 10 Under 40 and Tippy Connect, visit http://tippyconnectyp.com/.

Writer: Megan Huckaby, 765-496-1325, mhuckaby@purdue.edu

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