Reflections on Leadership from Shamari Walker
For Shamari Walker, leadership comes naturally. He shares some reflections that may help those for whom leadership doesn’t come as easily.
Sometimes, you just know that you need to take the lead. For Shamari Walker, this has happened often. The first time was when he was 15. Nobody wanted to hire such a young person to support the technology for their company but he knew he could do it. So, he started his own technology development company.
Matt Schlacter Exemplifies Building Networks That Support His Well-Being
Matt Stachler knew in grade school that he had a passion for connecting with people and politics. In the sixth grade, he paged at the Indiana Statehouse for state Sens. Dennis Kruse and David Long. He also connected with his peers through opportunities like Boy Scouts, in which he obtained the rank of Eagle Scout.
These connections continued to grow throughout his high school years during his two terms on the Serve Indiana Commission and the Indiana Legislative Youth Advisory Council along with a plethora of additional experiences.
May 2021 - Special Summer Staff Spotlight / Steps to Leaps Showcase Nomination Example!
This month we are doing a special staff spotlight to share how you might submit a faculty or staff member for the Steps to Leaps showcase
Featuring our very own Zenephia Evans!
On and off campus, Zenephia Evans exemplifies Impact and Grit through service and leadership.
After earning her doctorate in biological sciences from Purdue in 1997, Zenephia Evans stayed on as a lecturer in the College of Science. A committed member of the Boilermaker Family, Evans eventually transitioned to a position in the Science Diversity Office, where she served as associate director and then director for more than 15 years.
Khushboo Jain Exemplifies Networks
When life started to look different during the COVID-19 pandemic, Khushboo Jain saw the chance to pursue smarter solutions.
As a junior finance major, Kushboo Jain planned to find an internship for the summer before her senior year. The already difficult process was made more challenging when the COVID-19 pandemic shifted the way people were working and studying.
Patrick Murphy Exemplifies Grit
“We can control our process of getting back up when we get knocked down.”
For Patrick Murphy, grit is not a static skill, but a dynamic energy that is both a product and process of consistently evaluating one’s values, strengths and failures. An advanced doctoral candidate who models grit both on and off campus, Patrick exemplifies the ways a growth mindset can lead to lifelong well-being and success.
Jill Reabe Exemplifies Impact
One of the most important lessons Jill Reabe has learned during her time at Purdue is that impact does not have a specific size, shape, or timeline.
Rather, if students can hone the small-scale impact they make on a daily basis, they will be better prepared to pursue their goals in college and beyond.
Jennifer Liu Exemplifies Leadership & Professional Development
For Jennifer Liu, Leadership is Founded in Passion and Confidence
Originally from Crestwood, KY, a small town outside of Louisville, Jennifer Liu is a third-year professional student in the PharmD program. She plans to pursue a career specializing in infectious disease, an interest she’s held since she was young and has been heightened by the global COVID-19 pandemic. Her experiences on campus have also fostered an interest in health policy that will influence her values as a professional and which she hopes to incorporate into her career.
Mark (Xingyuan) Zhang Exemplifies Well-Being
Mark Zhang is a sophomore in the school of Aeronautics and Astronautics. During this online semester, Mark plans to stay disciplined, improve his physical well-being through workouts and healthy food choices, and participate in club activities.
To promote physical wellness, Mark plays table tennis, jogs, and hikes. He completes the workout rings and monthly challenges on his Apple Watch and finds it rewarding.
Jackie Christon Exemplifies Networks
Jacqueline “Jackie” Christon is a natural communicator who relishes getting to know people and learning about their careers and worlds. Her innate sense of curiosity about others has served her well in organizations at Purdue, and as she launches her career as a spring 2020 graduate. Jackie embodies the Steps to Leaps pillar, “networks.”
Originally from Detroit, yet recently living in Indianapolis, Jackie majored in organizational leadership. Beginning in her freshman year, she was involved with Purdue’s Civic Engagement and Leadership Development (CELD), which offers leadership conferences, community service days, and more.
Talia Broekers Exemplifies Impact
Senior Talia Broekers is making an impact in healthcare and education by combining her passions for nursing and the LGBTQ community. “I am heavily involved with the LGBTQ Center,” Talia said. “I started to think about gaps in healthcare and about issues in education.”
From Westfield, Indiana, Talia is majoring in nursing and minoring in LGBT Studies. As a LGBTQ Center intern, she is fulfilling a requirement for her Women’s, Gender, and Sexuality Studies class 492 by conducting research focused on the gaps in accessing healthcare for transgender people.
Nathan Rowland Miller Exemplifies Leadership
Nathan Rowland Miller fosters community through several leadership positions he holds on campus. Now, during the coronavirus pandemic, he nurtures those communities virtually.
Nathan is a student leader in the trumpet section of the Purdue “All-American” Marching Band, assisting with the yearly band camp to welcome new members and mentoring them throughout the year. A junior from Perrysburg, Ohio, majoring in industrial engineering, Nathan helps to lead 66 trumpet players.
Hightower Exemplifies Well-Being
Sharae Hightower nurtures and protects her well-being by setting boundaries. “Basically, I let it be known where my headspace is,” Sharae said. “I don’t do things that I feel I can’t accomplish in the best way possible.”
How does Sharae set boundaries when asked to take a position or fulfill a task she feels is not a good fit for her? “I would say, ‘I have a lot on my plate right now. Is there anyone else?’” explained Sharae, a third-year pharmacy student from Gary, Indiana.
February 2020 - 2
Katherine Petts Exemplifies Networks
Senior Katherine M. Petts wants to work in the music industry after she graduates, so as marketing co-chair of Purdue Student Concert Committee (SCC) she energetically networks with the performers she meets. A marketing major from Los Angeles County, California, Katherine runs promotional campaigns for the concerts that SCC brings to campus. She also leads a marketing street team that helps with pamphlets and social media promotions.
When faced with a number of rejections in pursuing scholarships over a three year period, Marly Beck, a Purdue University senior from Indianapolis, took time to reflect and reframe her thinking. In the process, she exemplified grit, one of the 5 pillars in Purdue’s Steps to Leaps program. The definition of grit within the constructs of Steps to Leaps states, “Life is full of ups and downs. Learn strategies to tap into your inner fortitude to overcome challenges and become your best Boilermaker with steps to resolve and character.”
Drew Richard Thoennes, a junior from Lafayette majoring in computer science and mathematics, makes an impact through his everyday actions in student organizations. Drew is the director of donations for the ACE Campus Food Pantry. Located in the Baptist Student Foundation, 200 N. Russell Street, ACE provides groceries and more to members of the Purdue community who experience food insecurity.
Emily Cain, from South Bend, Indiana, is a junior majoring in English education with a theatre minor. Emily values well-being, but in the transition from high school to college, she experienced a common issue, becoming stressed and overwhelmed.
She began going to a therapist through Counseling and Psychological Services (CAPS).
Alexa Binckes Exemplifies Grit
Alexa Binckes is a senior majoring in Health Sciences and will continue her studies in the spring as a graduate student in Public Health with a concentration in Biological Statistics. Alexa exemplifies Grit in her ability to overcome challenges. She recently had a fourth knee surgery and wants to make the most of her last year on the softball team...