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Letter to the Community

October 15, 2019

Dear Boilermaker Community –

Happy fall! As your Dean of Students, I wanted to communicate my well wishes for your personal and academic success! There has been so much excitement on campus lately including Purdue’s 150th anniversary celebrations, homecoming activities, Dr. Condoleezza Rice’s visit to campus, the astronauts’ reunion, and so much more.

During all this, the reality remains that classes, research, writing, studying and learning of all kinds continue. Whether you are an undergraduate or graduate student, we know that all of these opportunities can lead to challenging schedules where we make decisions to skip or avoid healthy choices including getting enough sleep, eating well, exercising, checking in with those we care about, and taking necessary breaks. You are not alone. From time to time, most people feel overwhelmed with the expectations and demands confronting them and will feel stressed and make sacrifices. If you are struggling right now, please know that help is available. I believe in you and your ability to be successful.

Your physical and mental health and well-being are important to us. I wanted to remind you of some of the resources available on campus to help address your health needs. These efforts of promoting self-care tools are part of the Steps to Leaps initiative, intending to bolster student success by offering tools, resources, and support for all aspects of your life. This is a unique program in that Purdue University sees every student as a person who can excel on their own path to achieve personal goals. Steps to Leaps is a positive affirmation of each student's past, present and future. No goal or dream is too small or too large.

  • Recreation and Wellness provides the Purdue community with recreational and wellness activities that contribute to learning and the pursuit of an active, healthy lifestyle. This excellent Purdue resource offers exercise, fitness training, nutrition counseling, wellness coaching, a mindfulness space, financial literacy/Boiler Financial Track and in general an excellent social outlet and place to relieve stress.
  • PUSH, Purdue University Student Health center strives to keep you healthy and well. If right for you, consider getting a flu shot. If you are sick or have a fever, get checked out! Delaying care can lead to worsening conditions.
  • WellTrack is an interactive, self-help app that can help address feelings of stress, anxiety and depression. Download the WellTrack app on your phone and take this community of wellness support with you anywhere! A few of the WellTrack tools include a Thought Diary, The Zen Room, MoodCheck, and an Activity Scheduler, all delivered directly to your smartphone.
  • Personal Networks – Never forget to activate your own personal support network: friends, family, advisors, coaches, supervisors, past teachers, clergy, mentors, and others.
  • CAPS- Counseling and Psychological Services has added staff, expanded group therapy sessions, and continues to support students with their mental health. While we are working to reduce the wait time to see a therapist on campus, please know that students who are experiencing an emergency or have an urgent mental health need will always be seen immediately.
    • Emergencies: CAPS is open 8:00 a.m. - 5:00 p.m., Monday through Friday. Students in crisis can walk in anytime to be seen by an On-Call Clinician.
    • Call 911 if your crisis is life threatening.
    • After hours: Students in crisis can call ProtoCall, an emergency crisis counseling service available 24/7 when CAPS is closed. By calling the Counseling Center main number, students will be redirected to speak with a licensed therapist. Call (765) 494-6995, then press 1.
  • ODOS Student Support Services: Some students may not need to see a licensed clinician to feel better and/or supported. The Office of the Dean of Students, specifically Student Support Services, is staffed with professionals who care deeply about students and their success. To visit with a student support specialist, Monday-Friday, 8 am -5 pm, just walk in to the office on the 2nd floor of Schleman Hall and they can help. Students experiencing an emergency, crisis or catastrophic event may meet with the Office of the Dean of Students about options for financial support.
  • Student of Concern - Worried about another student? Report your concern through the Student of Concern Report.

Consider the above as a reminder of opportunities available to you to establish lifelong habits to realize your personal definitions of success. Together we will continue to make Purdue an excellent place to learn, grow, and flourish!

Boiler Up! Hammer Down! Hail Purdue and each of you!


Dean Sermersheim

Katherine L. Sermersheim, Ph.D.
Associate Vice Provost & Dean of Students
Purdue University
Schleman Hall| Room 207
475 Stadium Mall Drive | West Lafayette, IN  47907
Phone:  765.494.1257| Email:

Purdue University, Office of the Dean of Students, Helen B. Schleman Hall (formerly the Recitation Building), 2nd Floor, 656 Oval Drive, West Lafayette, IN 47907-2086, Phone (765) 494-1747, Fax (765) 496-1550

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