December 16, 2022

Purdue Parent and Family Connections awards 4 BIG Give grants

pt-care-banner The Purdue Center for Advocacy, Response, and Education (CARE) uses BIG Give grant funds to offer a December campus individual planting project. (Purdue photo/Denis Kilseev) Download image

The Purdue Parent and Family Connections (PFC) Advisory Board awarded four BIG Give grants to improve and enhance the Purdue student experience. The grant program is funded through donations from parents, families and other friends. Parents on the advisory board award the grants annually.    

“The 2022 Purdue BIG Give recipients programming connects to the Steps to Leaps well-being pillar,” says Beth McCuskey, vice provost for student life. “Support to the BIG Give allows the university to strengthen campus well-being programs. Focus areas include staying healthy in the body, brain and spirit.”  

Steps to Leaps is a framework developed at Purdue focused on enhancing and improving holistic well-being.   

“I am inspired by our students and families and what we can accomplish by working together for Purdue,” says Kim Pohlman, a member of the PFC and parent of Alissa Honigford, who will graduate in May with a degree in computer science.  

Learn more about the areas that were awarded grants below.    

2022-23 BIG Give grants   

Purdue University Student Hospital (PUSH), Compassionate Care  
PUSH will use grant funds to purchase an infusion and study chair to create a more comfortable student-patient environment. PUSH accepts medical orders from the student’s chronic health condition provider, and the PUSH nursing team administers the care. The infusion chair provides additional comfort while providing an attached table for students to study. Jamie Jackson, director of nursing at PUSH, founded the infusion program in 2018.  

According to Jackson, this service provided by PUSH eliminates the need for students to miss class to travel off-campus for infusion care. Also, students do not have to be on a waiting list for new patient care as they can get infusion care on campus at PUSH.   

“By keeping students’ physical well-being in check we are also assisting them in maintaining their academic well-being,” Jackson wrote in the grant.  

The PUSH team has a mission to provide quality, compassionate, culturally competent and safe care to members of the Purdue student community.   

ACE Campus Food Pantry  
ACE will use grant funds to purchase culturally responsive food provisions and other staples for community clients. Food supply chain disruptions have resulted in shortages of culturally relevant foods. The ACE Campus Food Pantry is student-led and provides food and hygiene products for clients in the Purdue community. The community operation staffed by volunteers includes 11 student directors. ACE also has a portfolio of educational programs to help clients access nutritional support.    

“We focus on efforts on serving the immediate needs of our clients in the Purdue community,” wrote Viviana Tsangaroploulos, staff coordinator of ACE. “We also focus on the eradication of the root causes of hunger.”  
The ACE Campus Food Pantry is part of the Roger C. Stewart Leadership and Professional Development Department and is available to help combat food insecurity on the Purdue campus. Located in the Baptist Student Foundation, the pantry is currently open on Tuesdays from noon to 6 p.m. and Sundays from 5-8 p.m., to provide food and hygiene supplies.  

BSN (Boilermaker Support Network)    

BSN will use grant funds to enrich its peer support programming through the purchase of games, craft supplies, food and event supplies. BSN is a registered student organization at Purdue that provides peer-to-peer facilitated support groups led by trained student leaders and monthly social outreach events for all students. The support groups are offered multiple times Monday-Thursday and provide a welcoming space to discuss mental well-being and the stressors associated with being a student, family member, friend and/or peer.  

“Students attending weekly BSN groups feel better equipped to take charge of navigating healthy behaviors related to well-being,” wrote Zenephia Evans, associate dean of students, education and advocacy, and Veronic Reynolds, executive director of BSN and a senior in the Purdue Polytechnic Institute. 

Operating in its second year, BSN has worked closely with departments including the Office of the Dean of Students and Counseling and Psychological Services (CAPS). As a branch of a national organization, the Boilermaker Support Network was created to allow Purdue students to receive peer-to-peer support with trained student leaders. BSN offers another level of support on campus for students to have a conversation about mental well-being.    

Center for Advocacy, Response, and Education (CARE)    

CARE will use the funds to enhance active programming offerings in a Connection to Healing series for Purdue students to engage and make connections with their healing. This series includes yoga, meditation, spirituality, discussing mental health, being creative and more. The grant will support the purchase of art supplies and plants. A succulent planting activity will teach healing through growth. Other activities and programs will also be offered.  

“When you look at the definition of healing, you get many words such as ‘ease,’ ‘soften,’ or ‘alleviate,’” wrote Tiffany Botsford-Samuels, assistant director of CARE, in the grant submission. “The goal of this series is to aid our Purdue students in finding opportunities to participate in ways that our minds, body and spirit can find healing in their many forms – whether that be building upon interests that you may already engage in, learning something new to address our responses to difficult moments in life, or trauma.”   

Botsford-Samuels also said this program “supports the students who are trying to heal from whatever situation has made things hard for them – whether it be trauma, assault, adjusting to college, difficult classes or not fitting in. The hope is that this series can provide a new space to explore ways of connecting with self and others to heal from what they are experiencing.”  

To learn more about the Division of Student Life and other connection opportunities, visit Parent & Family Connections. The Student Life community appreciates the continued support to strengthen the well-being of Purdue students and the campus community. Donations to the BIG Give grant can be made here. 

Questions can be directed to Melissa Evens, Division of the Vice Provost at 

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