June 5, 2023

Walk the Talk award recipients honored

Ken Sandel and Stephanie Willis, both of Sponsored Program Services, along with 2023 graduate Benjamin Mann, were honored at a reception in April to celebrate their selection as recipients of the 2023 Walk the Talk Awards. 

Three prior recipients, Chris Agnew, professor, psychological sciences; Patricia Hart, professor emerita, School of Languages and Cultures; and Jessica Huber, professor, speech, language, and hearing sciences, were also honored at the reception hosted by the Office of the Vice President for Ethics and Compliance.

 All of the recipients were selected due to demonstrated commitment to the principles outlined in the university’s “Statement of Integrity and Code of Conduct.” 

The “Statement of Integrity and Code of Conduct” promotes integrity, honesty, trustworthiness, good stewardship and avoidance of impropriety and conflicts of interest.

Each year, staff of the Office of the Vice President for Ethics and Compliance review and screen nominations, and awardees are selected by Alysa Christmas Rollock, vice president for ethics and compliance. Nominations for the Walk the Talk Award are accepted year-round and may be submitted by completing the nomination form on the VPEC website.


Benjamin Mann – Mann is a member of Alpha Sigma Phi Fraternity. He served as a teaching assistant at the Bechtel Innovation Design Center, and as vice president for risk management for the Interfraternity Council in 2022.

Mann’s nomination and selection for the Walk the Talk Award were based on his work as vice president for risk management for the Interfraternity Council.

“This role is responsible for education, implementation and enforcement of health and safety policies and procedures throughout the Purdue fraternity community. Ben led with exceptional effort, commitment to health and safety, and an unwavering commitment to the ethical and moral execution of his duties,“ wrote Mann’s nominator. “Ben was firm, fair and honest in all dealings and earned an exceptional reputation among his peers and advisors. He was always willing to make tough decisions, confront behavioral challenges and challenge his peers to be better. Ben’s ability to manage the role and maintain clarity speaks to his belief in, and commitment to, maintaining a high standard of integrity.”

Ken Sandel – Since July 1988, Sandel has served Purdue University, eventually assuming his current role of senior director of sponsored program services in July 2014. Additionally, he serves as the senior intellectual property officer for the university.

Sandel’s nominator wrote, “He strives to avoid impropriety and conflicts of interest for both the university and individual faculty members. Ken creates space for open dialogue that considers a variety of options and considers all possible scenarios. He actively seeks to avoid conflicts and provides productive solutions to ensure that faculty can do their research while remaining within the proper ethical boundaries. Ken’s knowledge of Purdue University and individual faculty and their research expertise has been instrumental in securing contracts and awards from government agencies and industry.”

Stephanie Willis – Willis began her career with Purdue in August 1973. She has held a number of positions in her sponsored program services and currently serves as the director of information and support services.

Willis was nominated by two individuals. One of Willis’ nominators wrote, “If morals are how we treat the people we know and ethics are how we treat the people we don't know, Stephanie shines at both. Stephanie is selfless in her care and attention to making all experiences the best for her colleagues throughout the Purdue system. Everyone Stephanie encounters is treated with respect and personal attention matched by very few. But she doesn’t stop there. Whether Stephanie knows you or not, you get the highest level of support and attention to your issues. From calls received from upset sponsors to individuals trying to navigate and find their way to the right Purdue office, if you get Stephanie, you get a high level of attention and support.” 


Chris Agnew, professor, psychological sciences, College of Health and Human Sciences, Purdue University West Lafayette.

2022 Article


Patricia Hart, professor emerita, School of Languages and Cultures, College of Liberal Arts, Purdue University West Lafayette.

Jessica Huber, professor, speech, language, and hearing sciences, College of Health and Human Services, Purdue University West Lafayette.

2021 Article

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