November 20, 2020

Purdue University Global awards scholarships, honors faculty

Michael_Perez Michael Perez (photo provided)

INDIANAPOLIS — Purdue University Global announced on Wednesday (Nov. 18) the awarding of 12 student scholarships and multiple faculty honors.

Michael Perez, a nursing major from Los Angeles, and Sina Tidwell, a communication major from Denton, Texas, received the inaugural Betty Vandenbosch Leadership Scholarship, which recognizes the former Purdue Global chancellor and her leadership forte. Both Perez and Tidwell will receive a $2,500 scholarship.

 “I am truly inspired by the first two recipients of the scholarship,” Vandenbosch said. “They are strong and caring leaders with so much to offer their families and communities.”

Perez, a clinical coordinator, said: “As a health care professional, I have developed the quality of caring. I must care not only for the people I serve every day but also for the individuals I work with and the organization I represent. Genuine caring is the basis from where all my leadership qualities stem.”

Sina_Tidwell Sina Tidwell (photo provided)

Tidwell, a wife and mother of four children who aspires to become a certified professional communicator, said: “My passion for community has empowered me to create meaningful change. My leadership thrives at the intersections of vision, determination, responsibility and follow-through, making significant change in a diverse society.”

Ten Purdue Global students received Purdue Day of Giving Completion Scholarships. The most recent one-day, systemwide fundraising effort raised $38,273 for Purdue Global on Sept. 9. The 10 recipients, who each boast a cumulative grade-point average of at least 3.0 and are within 30 credits of graduating from one of Purdue Global’s eligible programs, are:

  • Mayra Castro, accounting, Norwalk, Connecticut.
  • Samuel Irwin, cybersecurity, Knoxville, Tennessee.
  • Shantel Jessen, legal support and services, Mesa, Arizona.
  • Mallory King-Childs, criminal justice, Windsor, Vermont.
  • Nicole List, nursing, Montgomery, New York.
  • Efrain Moreno, information technology – network administration, North Las Vegas, Nevada
  • Althea Nurse, human services in youth/family, New York City.
  • Melissa Verbraak, business administration, Endicott, New York.
  • Melinda Wilson, psychology in addictions, Louisville.
  • Katelyn Wright, health and wellness, Doster, Michigan.

Faculty Distinction Awards were presented in three areas: Great Leaders, Organization Builders and Accomplished Learners. The selection committee based its decisions on the following criteria: impact, innovation, best practices and measureable outcomes.

Great Leaders Award – for promoting a culture of excellence and expanding the vision of making Purdue Global a great place to work.

Honorable Mention: Jack Deem, academic department chair, School of Business and Information Technology. Deem received 12 nominations and is noted for being a fantastic leader and empowering his faculty to continue their research, professional development and become better instructors.

Honorable Mention: Michael Keathley, academic department chair, School of General Education. Keathley, who received four nominations, is known as a caring, supportive and compassionate leader as well as a great mentor.

Honorable Mention: Business Department chairs: Heather Dana, Jack Deem, Paul Franklin, Cathy Hochanadel and Laurie Millam. In 2019, this group was tasked with improving retention and persistence, and its collective efforts have resulted in increased persistence rates in the Associate of Applied Science in Business Administration and the Bachelor of Science in Business Administration programs.

Winner: Criminal Justice and Human Services Diversity and Inclusivity workgroup: Julie Ann Ausbrook, Mike Brackin, Miranda Brand, Russ Clark, Kristin Early, Cindy Johnson, Gurmit Kaur, Shane Kelley, Susan Lantz, Maggie Morgan, Donna Nygren, Amanda Rahn, Sara Sander, Holli Vah Seliskar and David White. This group created four new micro-credentials in the areas of criminal justice and human services. It also was nominated for the Accomplished Learners Award.

Organization Builders Award – for celebrating significant growth in Purdue Global from an innovative standpoint.

Honorable Mention: Human Services pilot coaching program: Melanie Beath, Juliet Bradley, Cheryl Bradt-Hyland, Miranda Brand, Jessie Budzinski, Valerie Capalbo, Jackie Craft, Nancy Duncan, Monica Farrar, Wendy Hall, Tessa Holst, Shonda McLaughlin, Maggie Morgan, Maricile Murray, Betsy Tomei and Rich Young. This program was developed to help students who needed extra support to persist.

Honorable Mention: TSAP Registrar Implementation team: Jillian Loslo, Caroline Marsh, Thomas Riemschneider, Nicole Saiz, Cornelius Williams and Lauren Zeffiro. This team designed a new transcript evaluation model that allows students with an eligible associate degree to transfer in at least 90 quarter credits.

Winner: Contact Tracing Course development team: Rhonda Bergamo, Kraig Blackwelder, Kevin Budd, Melissa Burdi, Chrissine Cairns, Ginger Cameron, Joy Carr, Russ Clark, Loralyn Duley, Juanita Graham, Amy Hawkinson, Jean Kotsiovos, Anna Lane, Susan Lantz, Angela Owens, Shireese Perez, Stephen Velky and Lisa Wallace. As the COVID-19 pandemic took shape, this group created a free non-credit course about contact tracing that has had nearly 12,000 people register and more than 4,000 complete.

Accomplished Learners Award – for creating positive student momentum at Purdue Global via curricular enhancements, faculty initiatives or technological advancements.

Honorable Mention: Desiree DePriest, faculty member, School of Business and Information Technology. DePriest has led the Purdue Global Internship Program for the last several years.

Winner: College of Social and Behavioral Sciences faculty persistence committee: David Brand, Miranda Brand, Scott Bushway, Karla Drenner, Jeffrey Gulley, Mary Hoke, Lindsey Jarvie, Katherine Kellogg, Cristina Nolan, Kristina Noriega, Linda DeAnn Simon and Kristy Vukoder. This committee of faculty volunteers worked on a yearlong initiative to develop resources that other university faculty can use to help Purdue Global students persist to graduation. Topics include time and stress management, motivation, university policies, seminar tips and building relationships.

About Purdue University Global

Purdue University Global delivers personalized online education tailored to the unique needs of adults who have work or life experience beyond the classroom, enabling them to develop essential academic and professional skills with the support and flexibility they need to achieve their career goals. It offers a hyper-tailored path for students to earn an associate, bachelor’s, master’s or doctoral degree, based on their work experience, desired pace, military service, previous college credits and other considerations – no matter where they are in their life journey. Purdue Global serves nearly 35,000 students (as of October 2020), most of whom earn their degree online. It also operates several regional locations nationwide. Purdue Global is a nonprofit, public university accredited by The Higher Learning Commission. It is affiliated with Purdue University’s flagship institution, a highly ranked public research university located in West Lafayette, Indiana. Purdue University also operates two regional campuses in Fort Wayne and Northwest, Indiana, as well as serving close to 6,000 science, engineering and technology students at the Indiana University-Purdue University Indianapolis (IUPUI) campus. For more information, please visit

Writer, Media Contact: Tom Schott, 765-427-1721,

Sources: Frank Dooley,

Amy Hawkinson, 

Purdue University, 610 Purdue Mall, West Lafayette, IN 47907, (765) 494-4600

© 2015-22 Purdue University | An equal access/equal opportunity university | Copyright Complaints | Maintained by Office of Strategic Communications

Trouble with this page? Disability-related accessibility issue? Please contact News Service at