Steps to Leaps Recognized by National Organization

Purdue’s Steps to Leaps initiative was recognized with a 2023-24 NASPA Excellence Award, presented by the National Association of Student Personnel Administrators.

Steps to Leaps received a bronze award in the category of Athletics, Recreation, Counseling, Health, Wellness, and related. Excellence Awards recognize the contributions of members who are transforming higher education through outstanding programs, innovative services and effective administration. NASPA’s Excellence Awards cover 12 categories crucial to the success of students.

“We are proud of all the resources and support we’ve provided to students through the Steps to Leaps framework and excited that the hard work is being recognized nationally,” says Carl Krieger, director of residential education for Student Life. “While many staff and faculty members have played key roles in the continued success of the initiative, the greatest impact has been from the students who initially built the program. From naming the program to creating modules, it has been our students who first acknowledged the need for aligning Purdue resources and got to work to make campus better for their peers.”

“Steps to Leaps continues to connect people, programs and resources across campus to help students develop in each of the pillar areas,” says Beth McCuskey, Vice Provost for Student Life. “Students, faculty and staff all have a hand in the success of Steps to Leaps and this national recognition represents the commitment our campus has to promoting student well-being. By continuing to engage all of the pieces of Purdue that contribute to holistic well-being, we can set students up for a lifetime of success.”

Steps to Leaps is a collaborative, campus-wide effort focused on enhancing and promoting holistic well-being. Steps to Leaps focuses on the key pillar areas of wellbeing, leadership, impact, building networks and grit/persistence. Steps to Leaps was created by students for students and today engages many segments of campus to help students flourish and become their best selves.

Steps to Leaps engages students and staff directly through a newsletter, a newly redesigned website, well-being tips, learning modules, student spotlights and more. The Discussion and Dialogue series and other events provide professional development and networking opportunities for faculty and staff. Students can also join a registered student organization for leadership development workshops, relaxation and well-being activities, alumni networking events, collaborative campus programs and more.

Members of the Steps to Leaps Steering Committee and Steps to Leaps Research Collaborative have lent their expertise to nationwide efforts to promote well-being on college campuses. Recently, Beth McCuskey, vice provost for Student Life, and Louis Tay, the William C. Byham Associate Professor in Industrial-Organizational Psychology, co-edited an upcoming book on well-being research.

“Building on this success, Steps to Leaps will continue its focus on well-being as an integral part of student success,” says Chris Hanes, director of Counseling and Psychological Services. “Leaders are working collectively to align Purdue’s many resources and services into a holistic, integrated and strategic approach to promoting well-being across the university.”

The annual Steps to Leaps Summit will be held Wednesday, March 20 at Beck Agricultural Center. The event will include guest speakers, recognition of the annual Steps to Leaps award-winners, a student panel and presentations highlighting research, programs and resources related to the Steps to Leaps pillars. Learn more and register here.