May 26, 2022

Inaugural Sandra K. Monroe Award winner announced

Sandy Monroe and Kaletra Dispennett Sandy Monroe and Kaletra Dispennett. (Photo provided by the Office of the Provost) Download image

The Office of the Provost has announced that Kaletra Dispennett, senior career services consultant with the Purdue University Center for Career Opportunities (CCO), is the inaugural winner of the Sandra K. Monroe Excellence in Student Services Award.

Dispennett, who joined the Purdue staff in May 2005, was honored this month for her numerous contributions to the student services field, including her work as co-founder and facilitator of the Career Advising Council (CAC), a collaboration between the CCO and the Office of Undergraduate Academic Advising. The council was created in 2014 to engage more academic advisors in the career advising process with students. Under her leadership, the CAC has developed a series of career exploration activities for incoming students (MyCareerPlan) as well as a series of workshops for academic advisors. To date, more than 42,000 students have participated in MyCareerPlan and 530 advisors have attended CAC presentations.

Dispennett also facilitates Mentoring Moments, a program that prepares faculty to incorporate career readiness in their work with students and provides students with broader exposure to mentors and career professionals. Although all students could benefit from the program, it is especially helpful for those who are first-generation and/or come from low-income backgrounds and do not otherwise have a strong support structure back home.

“I am so grateful for the honor of having received this award,” Dispennett says. “The honor of collaborating with Sandy during her time at Purdue was a reward in itself.  Being nominated and selected by my peers for this particular award is most definitely one I will cherish for a very long time.”

The Sandra K. Monroe Excellence in Student Services Award is given annually to one student-facing professional for their policy advocacy and/or exemplary service to students and comes with an award of $1,000.

The Office of the Provost established the award to honor Sandra Monroe’s contributions to Purdue and her legacy of impact. Monroe, who retired in August 2021, was a constant advocate for Boilermakers. During her time at Purdue, she served as a counselor, an academic advisor, associate dean of students, and assistant vice president for student services, and she helped thousands of undergraduate and graduate students throughout their time on campus. 

Writer: Kate Walker,

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