Jackie Christon, Enthusiastic Connector

Jackie Christon photo
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.

“I learned to love that place,” said Jackie. “They have been like a family to me. We coordinate three or four yearly service days, like MLK Day of Service, helping with Food Finders, YWCA and De-Trash the Wabash. We also do a lot of trainings and education creation. Connecting students with the community is huge to help them learn from service.”

Jackie has been president of the AfroRoyále Dance Troupe. “It’s the only Afrobeat dance team at Purdue,” Jackie said. “The sister organization to the African Students’ Association (ASA).”

Through AfroRoyále, Jackie networked on campus representing the organization’s mission to bring all ethnicities and backgrounds together to promote African culture, unity, and fellowship through the art from of dance. She also made contacts with African student associations at other universities. “African American advocates have a different way of presenting their culture in life,” Jackie said. “Learning about that culture through dance itself was really ‘at home’ for me.”

Jackie was involved in the Purdue Polytechnic Institute CLAIM-IT and WOW-IT. Creating Leadership and Advancing Innovation for Majors in Technology (CLAIM-IT) is a one-day camp on campus for high school students that showcases what Polytechnic has to offer.

The focus of Windows of Opportunity for Women in Technology (WOW-IT) is similar to CLAIM-IT, however this workshop introduces technology to young women in high school with a supportive all-female experience. “I was a counselor and volunteer in some of the sessions,” Jackie said. “I gave them advise and let them know that it’s possible to get here, being a minority student.”

The summer before her freshman year, Jackie participated in Academic Boot Camp. There, she gained her first connections and resources that served her throughout her time at Purdue and continue to influence as she begins a position with PricewaterhouseCoopers in Chicago as a management consultant.

“There are so many different things that happen around campus that build new bridges,” said Jackie. “I found those pinpoints that could help me maneuver and grow. My network of individuals in every different aspect— community service, dancing, being an advocate for people—helped me become who I am.”