October 20, 2017

Appointments, honors and activities

Faculty and staff honors:

- Peter Hirst, a professor of horticulture, was made a fellow of the American Society of Horticultural Science (ASHS). The organization was established in 1903 and is globally recognized as one of the most influential and respected professional societies for horticultural scientists. He received this honor at the 2017 ASHS annual conference in Waikoloa, Hawaii. As a pomologist, Hirst works closely with the tree fruit industry to help them adapt to changes by implementing new practices. He collaborates with electrical engineers, computer graphic modelers and other specialists to gain further knowledge of underlying processes. To find out more about his research and programs, visit: https://ashs.confex.com/ashs/2017/meetingapp.cgi/Paper/27619 or https://ag.purdue.edu/hla/hirstlab/Pages/home.aspx.

- Kathleen Abrahamson, an associate professor in Purdue’s School of Nursing, has been awarded a Hulman Health Achievement Award in the health science and research category. She received her award from the Indiana Public Health Association at the Indiana History Center in Indianapolis on Thursday (Oct. 19). Abrahamson received the Excellence in Public Health Science Research award, which recognizes those who conduct impactful, innovative research that focuses on disease prevention, health promotion and population health outcomes. Here is a full release.


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- Mesut Akdere, associate professor and a faculty fellow at the Center for Intercultural Learning, Mentorship, Assessment and Research, gave a presentation to the NASA Academy of Aerospace Quality Workshop in Huntsville, Alabama, entitled “Exploring Mixed Reality for Developing Intercultural Team Skills: Implications for Space Exploration Teams.” Akdere, who is the director of Purdue’s Human Resource Development Virtual Lab, talked about utilizing immersive technologies such as mixed reality to develop collaborative team skills. While NASA has long been utilizing such technology in astronaut training for space walk and other mission-related tasks, a new approach may be in order to focus on developing team skills prior to space missions given the vast variety of cultural backgrounds of astronauts, particularly those in the International Space Station. Akdere spoke about training astronauts to be effective in intercultural teams – both in technical situations as well as everyday life scenarios in space­ – by helping them develop skills and attitudes openness, empathy and curiosity in order to more successfully collaborate with across difference.     

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