April 2, 2020

Purdue trustees approve faculty and staff positions, new degree programs, posthumous degree

chenn-zou Chenn Zhou Download image

WEST LAFAYETTE, Ind. — The Purdue University Board of Trustees on Thursday (April 2) ratified a distinguished professor; approved the appointment of a named professor, two new degree programs and a new department; and awarded a posthumous bachelor’s degree. Trustees also approved the naming of an existing staff position and ratified an administrative position, and issued a resolution of appreciation for friends of the university.

Chenn Zhou was approved as the NIPSCO Distinguished Professor of Engineering Simulation at Purdue Northwest. Zhou is a globally recognized expert in the application of computational fluid dynamics in combination with advanced visualization technologies for the development and improvement of industrial practices. She has been recognized multiple times by her peers with outstanding faculty awards at PNW and by professional societies. Zhou has received more than $25 million in grants and contracts since 1995. Zhou is the founding director of the Steel Manufacturing Simulation and Visualization Consortium (2016-present) and of the Center for Innovation through Visualization and Simulation (2009-present). She has taught at Purdue Northwest (formerly Purdue Calumet) since 1994 and has held a courtesy professorship in mechanical engineering at Purdue West Lafayette since 2008.

marcy-towns Marcy H. Towns Download image

Marcy H. Towns was appointed the Bodner-Honig Professor of Chemistry. Towns is an internationally recognized leader in the field of chemistry education. Her field of scholarship is the study of best practices for teaching and learning in undergraduate chemistry. She is recognized as one of the foremost experts in evidence-based learning, which couples research and classroom practice. She has received the three most prestigious national and international awards in chemistry education, including the American Chemical Society Award for Achievement in Research for the Teaching and Learning of Chemistry. Since 2006, when she came to Purdue as an associate professor, Towns has been involved with research grants totaling over $2 million.

The board also ratified the promotion and tenure of 169 faculty across the West Lafayette, Northwest, Fort Wayne and IUPUI campuses.

In other action, the board approved two new degree programs: Master of Science and Ph.D. in public health on the West Lafayette campus, and Bachelor of Arts and Bachelor of Science in criminal justice at Purdue Northwest, as well as the creation of a Department of Computer Science at Purdue Northwest.

The public health degrees will be research-focused and complement and build upon the existing Master of Public Health degree. They will be offered beginning in fall 2020. Faculty in the Department of Public Health at Purdue provide public health expertise and knowledge in core areas strategic to good health (e.g., nutrition and diet, environmental resource quality and sustainability, addiction, exercise and fitness, family and child development, cancer prevention, and mental health.)

The criminal justice degrees will be offered beginning in fall 2021. Criminal justice is an increasingly complex field with growing interest among students. Although there are increasing opportunities for jobs and careers within this discipline, the inherent skills and knowledge acquired in the study of criminal justice are applicable to a wide range of job and career opportunities outside of the traditional criminal justice environment.

The computer science department at Purdue Northwest will become a stand-alone department within the School of Engineering. In fall 2019, computer science was the fifth-largest major in the school, having steadily grown at an average of 16% annually.

Trustees awarded a posthumous Bachelor of Science degree in aeronautical and astronautical engineering to Kyle H. Runkle. Deceased students who have earned at least 85% of their credit-hour requirements and satisfied most of the requirements for a major may be nominated for a posthumous degree.

In other action, the board approved the renaming of the Purdue Musical Organizations Director and Jack Calhoun Director of the Purdue Varsity Glee Club to the Albert P. Stewart Director of Purdue Musical Organizations and Jack Calhoun Director of the Purdue Varsity Glee Club. The generosity of multiple donors to the Purdue Musical Organizations, with gifts totaling in excess of $1.5 million, led to an endowed directorship, named for Al Stewart, a former glee club member and director of the Purdue Musical Organizations from 1932-72. William E. Griffel currently serves as director.

matt-folk Matt Folk Download image

Matt Folk was ratified as Purdue vice president for university advancement and alumni engagement and will be president and chief executive officer of the Purdue for Life Foundation, the recently created organization designed to deepen ties to alumni and to drive and coordinate all alumni-facing activities for the university. Purdue for Life encompasses the Purdue Alumni Association, the University Development Office, John Purdue Club and President’s Council and is intended to improve alumni engagement and communication by aligning engagement, development, and stewardship activities across campus and with alumni and friends. For more information, click here.

Additionally, trustees approved a resolution of appreciation for those who recently have contributed $1 million or more to the university. Those are Lilly Endowment Inc., to support the College of Health and Human Sciences; John H. Smith, to support the School of Mechanical Engineering; Marshall and Susan Larsen, to support the School of Management; Agriculture Alumni Seed Improvement Association, to support the College of Agriculture; Jeannie and Jim Chaney, to support university initiatives; Judy and Dave Hale, to support university initiatives; and an anonymous gift, to support the Lyles School of Civil Engineering.

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Media contact: Tom Schott, 765-494-9318, tschott@purdue.edu

Sources: Jay Akridge, akridge@purdue.edu

Matt Folk, folk0@purdue.edu

Marcy Towns, mtowns@purdue.edu

Chenn Zhou, czhou@pnw.edu

Note to Journalists: Photos of Matt Folk, Marcy H. Towns and Chenn Zhou are available on Google Drive.

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