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Letter to the Campus Community

Katherine L. Sermersheim, Ph.D. Associate Vice Provost and Dean of Students 

November 1, 2023

Our world, country, state, and campus has experienced a range of crises, conflict, disasters, and grief this fall semester alone. We know that these situations can have a great impact on you as a student.  Please know that whether you are directly impacted by these events or affected peripherally, we are here to support you and provide care.  As fellow Boilermakers in a shared community we care for each other as we navigate through difficult times. A simple action like asking someone how they are doing can go a long way.

As a Purdue University student (undergraduate, graduate and/or professional) you are also focused on classes, research, writing, studying, and learning, likely both in and outside of the classroom.  These demands coupled with other life challenges and events can add to existing, heightened stress levels. From time to time, most people feel overwhelmed with the expectations and demands confronting them and will feel stressed. If you are struggling right now, please know that help is available. 

Your physical and mental health and well-being remain important to us. A wealth of resources continues to be available to help address your needs and support your success as a Boilermaker.  Highlighted below are just a few of the various resources available to all students here at Purdue.  Please know that we care about you, recognize how events of all kinds can have an impact, and want to help. 

  • CAPS: Counseling and Psychological Services, in conjunction with support from the Action Council on Student Housing and Wellbeing, has increased staff and continues to offer same day or next day appointments.   Services are brief in nature, and the services provided/recommended are dependent on need. There are no pre-defined session limits.  Crisis services are available 24/7. Call 911 if your crisis is life threatening. After hours support is available by calling the Counseling Center main number, students will be redirected to speak with a licensed therapist. Call (765) 494-6995, then press 1.
  • CARE: Center for Advocacy, Response & Education -CARE provides free and confidential advocacy services to students who have experienced interpersonal violence (e.g., sexual violence, sexual exploitation, relationship violence, and stalking). The goal is to provide non-judgmental and survivor-focused services to empower survivors to make informed decisions that help them heal.
  • 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 is staffed with professionals who care deeply about students and their success. To visit a student support specialist, Monday-Friday, 8 am -5 pm, just walk into 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.
  • PUSH:  Purdue University Student Health center strives to keep you healthy and well.  If it is right for you, consider getting a COVID booster and/or flu shot.  If you are sick or have a fever, get checked out! Delaying care can lead to worsening conditions. 
  • 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. 
  • Steps to Leaps is an 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.
  • TAO Therapy Assistance Online is a free, confidential well-being resource with self-guided resources including short videos, brief exercises, and self-reflection tools to help overcome anxiety, depression, social support, relaxation, problem solving, overcoming loneliness and other concerns.  To enroll simply click on the link and log in using your Purdue credentials.
  • Personal Networks:  Never forget to activate your own personal support network: friends, family, advisors, coaches, supervisors, past teachers, clergy, mentors, and others.
  • Student of Concern: Worried about a student? Report your concern via the Student of Concern form and a professional staff member will reach out to offer support and assistance to the student.

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!


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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