Purdue features 5 students who work for equality

January 3, 2013  

WEST LAFAYETTE, Ind. — Purdue University is recognizing five students who are leaders on campus and in the community to promote race, culture and gender equality.

Purdue Marketing and Media has developed a website at http://www.purdue.edu/fivestudents/ that includes information about the students.

The five "Equality Makers" are:

* Maxwell Alexander of Fort Wayne, Ind., a senior studying mechanical engineering. He has developed a new training experience for residential life staff at Wiley Hall. UNITE, which stands for University Network of Inclusive Training and Experience, addresses issues from cultural identity and race to body image, disabilities and bullying.

* Laura Blackburn of Frankfort, Ind., a senior studying history and political science. She is a member of the Purdue Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual, Transgender, Queer (LGBTQ) Advisory Board and the College of Liberal Arts steering committee for the planned LGBTQ minor. She participated in the Victory Congressional Fund Internship Program and served in the office of Tammy Baldwin, then Wisconsin's U.S. representative and now the U.S. Senate's first openly gay member.

* Martha Burris of Beloit, Wisc., a senior studying selling and sales management and organizational leadership and supervision. She is the director of diversity and inclusion for Purdue Student Government, which includes working on issues and activities for the social climate of diverse students on campus. She also is developing a university-wide Global Inclusion Week that will celebrate all cultures through food and music.

* Jasmine Coe of Indianapolis, a doctoral student studying veterinary medicine. She helped establish a weekly literacy program for children at Lafayette's Hanna Community Center to promote science, diversity, equality and multiculturalism. She also is president of the national chapter of Veterinary Students as One in Culture and Ethnicity (VOICE).

* Cesar Reynaga of Lima, Peru, a senior studying industrial engineering. He is president of the Society of Hispanic Professional Engineers at Purdue, which has led community service projects to help local veterans and feed the homeless.

Writer: Amy Patterson Neubert, 765-494-9723, apatterson@purdue.edu

Sources: Maxwell Alexander, alexanm@purdue.edu

Laura Blackburn, lblackbu@purdue.edu

Martha Burris, mburris@purdue.edu

Jasmine Coe, jscoe@purdue.edu

Cesar Reynaga, creynaga@purdue.edu

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