Kelsey Kruyer on Networking Within Her Community at Purdue

Kelsey Kruyer photo
Kelsey Kruyer, a junior studying biomedical health sciences on a pre-dental track with minors in anthropology and psychology, is passionate about her role as a resident assistant (RA) at Meredith Hall. Kelsey says that some of the inspiration for what she does today stems from the unusual situation of arriving at Purdue as a first-year student during the pandemic.

“When I came to Purdue in the fall of 2020, everything was online,” Kelsey says. “When the spring 2021 semester came around, more and more things began to open up. This impacted how involved I wanted to be on campus – in a positive way! I made a commitment to myself to be more involved when we were allowed to be.” 

The biggest shock that came to Kelsey was after the first in-person class was let out on campus. She was stunned when she saw just how many students were flooding out of the buildings to switch classes. That is when she decided to step out of her comfort zone and show Purdue what she has to offer.

Kelsey says she enjoys being an RA at Meredith Hall. She says it comes naturally to her to speak with and work alongside the other students in the residence hall. Kelsey says that taking on a larger role and stepping up as an RA, she believes, has shown her supervisor that she is ready for the next step. Her initiative has been rewarded with the opportunity to move up the ranks and become a resident education assistant (REA) in the fall.

Reflecting on the opportunity ahead, Kelsey says it is satisfying to see her hard work as an RA pay off. She feels she is receiving her first “honest promotion” in her job and says that this promotion validates her purpose in proving to herself what can do when she follows her passions in pursuit of the next challenge. Her boss must have received the signal, because next year, Kelsey has found the opportunity to move up the ranks and become a REA at Windsor in the fall.

Outside of her duties for Residential Life, Kelsey is a junior advisor for Alpha Lambda Delta Phi Eta Sigma. Kelsey is also an environmental health sciences research assistant for Dr. Mark Wilson, testing the air pollution around campus for purposes such as gauging the air quality for joggers in the community. When she has an opportunity to return home, she also serves as a substitute in local schools around Plymouth, Indiana.

When asked what personifies grit, Kelsey says, “Grit is perseverance in what you are doing. It is not always linear to your past and where are currently in life. There are things you must get done. For example, you must study for exams, etc. Some classes require more grit, and you just push yourself harder.”

Kelsey recently gave a presentation in Washington, D.C. on how to apply grit and persevere. It was called Gratitude and Grit: Finding Our Way Back to “Normal”.

When asked about what advice she would give to others about how to create their sense of impact, Kelsey says to just make intentional connections with other people.

“The impact can be so much greater if you are part of a group,” Kelsey says. “Students sometimes feel that what they are doing now is not impactful, but we all have our different ‘levels’ of impact. Be confident in yourself. You may not be changing the whole of Purdue’s campus, but you are impacting someone.”

Wrapping up the discussion, Kelsey had to add the following about the Steps to Leaps program:

“The program is a great opportunity for students to understand Purdue’s purpose and the influence it has in our lives while we are here. Steps to Leaps is one of our domains as a RA and it helps to know that there are other things to help you grow at Purdue besides getting the diploma. The impact you make, whether small or large, is rooted in what Purdue talks about and what expects from its students.”

We really appreciate Kelsey’s insights. If you want to add Kelsey to your network, connect with Kelsey on LinkedIn.