Appointments, honors and activities

January 25, 2013  

• Campus activities:

- The Faculty Commons and Christian Faculty Staff Network present their annual "The Symposium" Feb. 1-2. The event will begin with a noon luncheon for faculty, staff, and students with a talk by William Lane Craig. At 7 p.m. at Elliot Hall of Music, Craig, a Biola University philosopher, will debate atheist Alex Rosenberg, Duke University department head of philosophy, on the topic "Is Faith in God Reasonable?" The event is free and open to the public. Beginning at 9 a.m. on Feb. 2, several Purdue professors and experts will give talks at Lilly Hall of Life Sciences relating faith to a number of topics, including medicine, economics, science, suffering, psychology, academics, and vocation. Plenary sessions include "The Case for the Resurrection of Jesus Christ" and "Can Man Be Good without God?" The day concludes with a panel question-and-answer discussion, "Faith and Science: Sleeping with the Enemy." A full schedule is available at The symposium is free to the public and is sponsored by more than 35 organizations.


Faculty and staff honors:

- Ellen Ernst Kossek, Krannert professor of management and the inaugural research director of the Susan Bulkeley Butler Center for Leadership Excellence, has been elected president of the Work and Family Researchers Network. WFRN, formerly the Sloan Work and Family Research Network, is an international membership organization of interdisciplinary work and family researchers. Kossek joined Krannert's faculty earlier this month.

- Purdue University's VACCINE center has received an award from the U.S. Transportation Security Administration recognizing the center's work to improve TSA's efficiency of operations through combining operational, staffing, financial, performance and safety data. Michael Young, TSA federal security director of Northern Ohio, presented the award to VACCINE director David Ebert in December. Established in 2009, VACCINE stands for Visual Analytics for Command, Control, and Interoperability Environments. The center was created to develop interactive visualization and analytical tools for homeland security. VACCINE focuses on the education, research, development, and deployment of new tools and technologies that communicate and disseminate information to first responders and decision-makers.

- Kenneth Ridgway, a professor of earth, atmospheric and planetary sciences, received The Geological Society of America's 2012 Bromery Award for the Minorities. The award recognizes minority professionals who have made significant contributions to research in the geological sciences and who have been instrumental in opening the geosciences field to other minorities. Ridgway is a Native American of the Lenape (Delaware) tribe. The award citation and response are available online at

- Ahmed Elmagarmid, a professor of computer science, has been named an Association for Computing Machinery fellow for his contributions to database management systems. The ACM fellows program recognizes outstanding members for their achievements in computer science and information technology and for significant contribution to the mission of the association.

- David McMillin, a professor of chemistry, was named a fellow of the Inter-American Photochemical Society in recognition of his outstanding career achievements and service to the society.  The recognition cited his research into exciplexes and unusual excited states of transition metal compounds and discovery of the long-lived emissive excited states of copper iodide diimine complexes. He has served the society in various capacities during his membership, including as president. McMillin is the 17th person to be selected as a fellow since the honor was introduced in 1994.


Student honors:

- Pharmacy students Anthony "Carmine" Colavecchia and Jennifer Barth, received 2013 Lafayette Chamber of Commerce Community Activity Recognition awards. The awards recognize Purdue University and Ivy Tech Community College students for their volunteer efforts that enhance the quality of life in Greater Lafayette. Barth and Colavecchia organized eight medication collection events in Greater Lafayette to provide a safe and environmentally friendly way to dispose of unwanted and expired medications.

Barth also co-chaired the 2012 Annual Arthritis Walk, which raised more than $10,000 for the Arthritis Foundation, and organized the "Battle of the Barrels" competition between Purdue and Indiana University to collect food for the hungry. She also helped organize "Greeks go Green" to engage Purdue's Greek community in recycling.

Colavecchia, who is president of Purdue's gymnastics team, also helped organize "Tumbling for Ta-Tas," which raised nearly $2,000 for the Susan G. Komen Foundation search for the cure for breast cancer and organized teammates to teach gymnastics to Cumberland elementary school children. He also was active in Learning for Life, an afterschool mentoring program for area elementary school students.

More information is available at

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