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Student Success Programs

Annual Report

Opening Remarks

Dan Carpenter
Executive Director of Student Success Programs

Thank you for taking the time to read the Student Success Programs 2021-22 Year-in-Review, which summarizes our work, in collaboration with all of you, to support the success of Purdue students over the past year.

Nearly all (99.8%) of Purdue’s first-time, full-time students participate in at least one Student Success program, and many participate in more than one. Though our programs vary in scope and audience, our interconnected departments share a central mission of helping students maximize their success at Purdue.

I am immensely proud of the team behind this work. They have done that work exceptionally well while retaining their focus on continuous improvement. I am proud to share this summary and wish to express my appreciation for being able to work with all of you toward mutual goals.

Meet the staff from:

Teresa Harris

Veterans Success Center

Fun fact: Teresa and her husband were high school sweethearts.

Katie Dufault

Academic Success Center

Fun fact: Katie was on her college dance team!

Dennis Bowling

Student Success Admin

Fun fact: Dennis has been to 3 out of the 7 Great Wonders of the world.

Jo Cardarelli

Academic Success Center

Fun fact: Jo once visited Luke Bryan's house.

Bahiyyih Baker

Purdue Testing Center

Fun fact: Bahiyyih's favorite place in the world is Qingcheng Shan in Sichuan, China.

Max Dryer

Student Success Admin

Fun fact: Max is the one who designed this report! It is my favorite project every year, and I hope you enjoy it. :)

Craig Johnson

Orientation Programs

Fun fact: Craig sang bass in a barbershop quartet that won the Michigan/Ontario championships in 2011.

Tyra Baker

Purdue Promise

Fun fact: Tyra is an amateur bass guitar player!

Lisa Yates

Disability Resource Center

Fun fact: Lisa once lived on a Navajo Reservation without running water or electricity.

Virginia Cabrera

Orientation Programs

Fun fact: Virginia loves to dance, and wants to learn how to samba!

Quinton Skibinski

Purdue Promise

Fun fact: Quinton's favorite place in the world is the Jefferson Memorial in Washington DC.

Wendy Mouser

Veterans Success Center

Fun fact: Wendy recommends everyone read the book "American Sniper" by Chris Kyle.

Caylen Redden

Purdue Testing Center

Fun fact: Caylen once briefly served as Mark Hamill's bodyguard.

Mary Kirk

Academic Success Center

Fun fact: Mary's least favorite food is peanut butter, or really any kind of seafood.

Pete Celeste

Disability Resource Center

Fun fact: Pete's favorite book is "Academic Ableism: Disability and Higher Education" by Jay Dolmage.

Morgan Torres

Veterans Success Center

Fun fact: Morgan's dream vacation in one sentence, "Somewhere warm with my golf clubs".

Jessica Weller


Fun fact: If Jess could learn to do one thing, it would be ballet!

Brittany Allensworth


Fun fact: One of Brittany's professional bucket list items is to become a published author.

Maggie Smith

Orientation Programs

Fun fact: Maggie is a retired fitness instructor (now a Peloton addict!)

Brooke Gibson

Academic Success Center

Fun fact: Brooke used to play soccer and sprained the same ankle four times within 4 months.

Matt Gouwens

Purdue Promise

Fun fact: Matt's favorite way to spend his free time is with his daughter, Sydney.

Jacque Rickett

Orientation Programs

Fun fact: Jacque was a competitive figure skater as a child!

Dan Carpenter

Student Success Admin

Fun fact: Dan once hung out with Robin Williams in Uzbekistan

Courtenay Murakowski

Veterans Success Center

Fun fact: Courtenay's first paying job was selling soccer game tickets as a freshman in college.

Gina Zaccagnini

Academic Success Center

Fun fact: Gina has performed in two operas with the Pittsburgh Opera Company.

Bryan Arbic

Veterans Success Center

Fun fact: Bryan has been to 14 different countries, and recently moved to Indiana from Hawaii.

Sandra Cash

Disability Resource Center

Fun fact: Sandra's favorite book is "All the Light We Cannot See" by Anthony Doerr.

Kimberly Heslin

Veterans Success Center

Fun fact: Kimberly's favorite way to spend her time is traveling and being with family.

Eli Van Sickel

Disability Resource Center

Fun fact: Eli has worn hearing aids since the age of 2 and is a self-trained musician!

Alli Stubbs

Purdue Promise

Fun fact: Alli hopes to visit every city in the USA that starts with the letter Z!

Jazmine Clifton

Purdue Promise

Fun fact: Jazmine briefly worked on a cruise ship after finishing her undergraduate degree.

Theo Bernt

Disability Resource Center

Fun fact: Some of Theo's favorite things are cats, movies, and sports.

Dianne Pedroza

Purdue Promise

Fun fact: Dianne's favorite food is enchiladas, as long as there isn't any cheese.

Karen Jacobson

Academic Success Center

Fun fact: Karen's first paying job was detasseling corn!

Andrea Mattingly

Student Success Admin

Fun fact: Andrea has a 1,864-day streak (a little over 5 years, counting) of learning Spanish on Duolingo.

Marquetta Strait


Fun fact: Marquetta's first paying job was being a babysitter, and she says it was a ton of fun.

Heidi Smart

Disability Resource Center

Fun fact: Heidi loves to dress up for the holidays, especially St. Patrick's day, Easter, and Christmas.

McKalaih Mitchell

Purdue Promise

Fun fact: McKalaih loves to spend her free time in the woods with her dog, Marvin.

Dylan Whipple

Purdue Promise

Fun fact: The best birthday gift Dylan has ever received was field-level Colts tickets.

Taylor Stayback

Student Success Admin

Fun fact: Taylor's first paying job was picking blueberries.

Keara Wilson

Span Plan

Fun fact: Keara is currently trying to learn how to crochet!

Karen Zerby

Student Success Admin

Fun fact: If Karen's house were burning down, she would try to save a memory bear made out of a shirt her dad used to wear.

Connie Washburn

Student Success Admin

Fun fact: Connie's first paying job was as a waiter in the dining room at Cary Quad during summer sports camps.

Nicole Martin

Disability Resource Center

Fun fact: Every year, Nicole takes a vacation to Elk Lake in Michigan with her family.

Marnie Abram

Purdue Promise

Fun fact: Marnie eats her pizza in layers by taking off each topping one at a time.

Randall Ward

Disability Resource Center

Fun fact: Randall's favorite way to spend his free time is at his camp in UP Michigan "smoking ribs and reading about the fur trade".

Kelsey Jordan

Disability Resource Center

Fun fact: Kelsey knows how to play Taps on a PVC pipe.

Lilli Hertel

Purdue Promise

Fun fact: One of Lilli's personal bucket list items is to go to Italy.

Cindy Hedgecough

Disability Resource Center

Fun fact: One of Cindy's personal bucket list items is to go on another mission trip to Guatemala.

Bonnie Huckaby

Disability Resource Center

Fun fact: Bonnie's dream vacation would be staying in a castle that has secret passages.

Cindy Fields

Purdue Testing Center

Fun fact: Cindy occasionally daydreams of standup comedy routines.

Kendra Coons-Oborne

Academic Success Center

Fun fact: The first CD Kendra ever bought was "Metamorphosis" by Hilary Duff.

Miaya Scott


Fun fact: Miaya loves to collect sneakers such as Jordan's and Nikes.

Image showing man with whiteboard marker writing, facing towards students

Notable Program Updates

Orientation rebrands programs to 'All Aboard Purdue,' holds launch event for campus partners

Purdue’s Orientation Programs is simplifying some of its program names and descriptions to help students, their families, and campus partners better navigate Purdue’s orientation processes and milestones.

Specifically, Orientation Programs has retired the names of “STAR” and “VSTAR,” and has renamed VSTAR parts one and two to Purdue 101 and Purdue 102 beginning for students starting at Purdue in the spring 2023 semester. New students going through Orientation Programs experiences will be welcomed “All Aboard Purdue,” a four-step process to start their journey as Boilermakers.

Orientation Programs hosted an event on Nov. 3 to help campus and community partners learn more about this transition.

Craig Johnson, director of Orientation Programs, says the program elements will remain the same, but that the branding changes aim to convey the orientation process as a holistic suite of experiences rather than single, standalone events.

"Over the last couple of years, we’ve been looking at the terms ‘STAR’ and ‘VSTAR,’ and using feedback from students, to make sure that this change was something positive for the new student experience,” Johnson says. “By shifting the language to Purdue 101 and 102, referring to their advising appointment directly, and acknowledging the variety of ways students are welcomed at the start of the semester, we are going to more effectively communicate about orientation as an experience rather than seemingly unconnected programs.

The recorded livestream video of the event is available below.

DRC launches new 'Usable Materials Center' for faculty

Instructors at Purdue now have a new resource resulting in more help, guidance, and support in developing accessible course materials. Purdue’s Disability Resource Center (DRC) recently launched a Usable Materials Center (UMC) to remove barriers for instructors aiming to improve the usability and accessibility of their course materials.

Susan Lausier was hired as the DRC’s new assistant director, oversees the center, which is now accepting requests for support. One significant aspect of the UMC mission is to take in course materials and convert them into accessible versions at no cost to the instructor.

While material conversion and video captioning services are currently available, Lausier says the center is ramping up to soon provide instructors with:

  • Accessibility checks
  • Workshops
  • Hands-on training
  • A physical space on the eighth floor of Young Hall where they can get in-person help

Lausier says the UMC will supplement services already provided by the DRC; existing services include the creation of or conversion to accessible materials for students with disability-related accommodations. However, Lausier says the UMC will broaden the scope of this service to help instructors be more proactive in creating materials that are inherently more usable for all students.

As one example, Lausier says PDFs generally present more accessibility barriers, most commonly due to the inclusion of images, diagrams, or other non-text elements that exclude learners who use screen readers. However, there are steps that can be taken to mitigate those barriers, including having the instructors, as the subject matter expert, add the description of those elements as alternative text in the PDF, thus making it accessible to a screen reader.

“Digital accessibility is not just about supporting disabled students, but also about adopting professional practices that make documents, presentations, and multimedia more accessible and more flexible for every learner,” Lausier says.

Learn More About the UMC
Image showing Disability Resource Center staff

Span Plan expands physical spaces in Krach Leadership Center

Over the summer of 2022, Span Plan underwent a significant restructuring of its physical space in Krach Leadership Center. In addition to its main office, Span Plan now has three student-focused spaces for nontraditional undergraduate students to utilize while on campus.

Student Space (KRCH 421): In addition to four dedicated study/work stations, Span Plan's new student space now includes a dedicated computer station available for students who don’t have or choose not to bring their own technology to campus to utilize. This allows them to simply come to the space, log into a computer with their Purdue login and access their account to be able to complete work, study, and print.

Lactation Space (KRCH 411): Although there are a number of lactation spaces across campus, there is not a undergraduate student specific lactation space available for Purdue students. Span Plan piloted this space to meet a specific need so that undergraduate parenting students know they have access to a clean, private, dedicated space to feed and care for their dependents while on campus.

Student Coach Office (KRCH 490): Span Plan also gained access to a space completely dedicated to Student Coaches. This provides them with a professional environment to conduct outreach to our 850 Span Plan students, take meetings with students in a more confidential manner, and so much more!

Learn More About Span Plan
Image showing front profile of Krach Leadership Center

Renaming and dedication of the Helen Bass Williams Academic Success Center

In 1972 Helen Bass Williams, Purdue's first African American professor, co-wrote the proposal that led to the creation of the Learning Center, which is now known as the Academic Success Center, and even more recently was renamed in Williams’ honor. On Sept. 23, 2022, members of the Purdue community gathered to celebrate the center’s 50th Anniversary and Renaming Dedication open house reception for the Helen Bass Williams Academic Success Center. About 70 people attended the event, which took place outside of Wiley Residence Hall, which is where the ASC is located.


More about Helen's Impact:

Decades after her passing in 1991, several examples of Williams’ impact at Purdue persist. Beyond her role as professor of French, Williams recruited Black students from schools throughout Indiana, wrote programs and proposals, encouraged the addition of Black faculty, planned bridging programs, and worked with students to encourage them to evaluate and vocalize their needs. She helped launch Purdue's African American studies program and the Black Cultural Center. She also served on the first executive board of the Black Faculty and Staff Council (now Black Caucus of Faculty and Staff) in 1975 and as a faculty advisor for Harambee, a Black student organization on campus. She opened her house to students in need by providing lodging and meals.

“I can remember her single-minded persistence,” said her colleague Paul Bayless, former director of affirmative action at Purdue, upon Williams' passing in 1991. “It was as if her total being, and her total passion, was for her students and their success.”

Student Success Programs welcomes four new directors

Purdue’s Student Success Programs department has welcomed four new directors to its leadership team. Overseeing Purdue’s Veterans Success Center, Horizons Student Support Services, Purdue Promise, and Span Plan Nontraditional Student Services, each of the new leaders has first-hand experiences that are similar to the students they now serve.

Four student success programs directors stand for a picture in Krach Leadership center

Pictured (left to right): Jazmine Clifton, Brittany Allensworth, Keara Wilson, Morgan Torres

Morgan Torres, who joined the U.S. military at 17, returned to Purdue to serve as assistant director of the Veteran Success Center in 2021; in 2022, Torres was hired into the director’s role after her predecessor took another job at Purdue.

Brittany Allensworth was a first-generation student who joined the Horizons program when she was completing her undergraduate studies. Then, in a span of only a few years, Allensworth became the interim director and ultimately was promoted to director of the Horizons program.

Keara Wilson was also the first in her immediate family to go to college, and her goal as director of Span Plan is to show non-traditional students that they have support and resources at Purdue to help them.

Jazmine Clifton was in the seventh grade when she became involved in AVID, an in-school academic support program that prepares students for college eligibility and success. Those early experiences became the foundation upon which Clifton’s passion for working with first-generation and low-income students began.

Four student success programs directors stand for a picture in Krach Leadership center

Pictured (left to right): Brittany Allensworth, Morgan Torres, Keara Wilson, Jazmine Clifton

All four of these women will work collaboratively and within their individual programs to develop new initiatives and build upon those already in existence.

Image showing students at Boiler Gold Rush posing in a group, all wearing yellow shirts
More News From


Student Success co-sponsors First-Gen Week 2022 celebrations

The Purdue community was invited to help celebrate the assets and strengths embodied by first-generation college students during "Proud to be First!" on Monday, Nov. 7. The reception took place in the North Ballroom of the Purdue Memorial Union.

"Proud to be First!" was intended to build community among first-generation students, as well as staff, faculty, and advocates. This event was one of many occurring across campus as part of Purdue’s First-Gen College Student Celebration Week from Nov. 7-11, 2022.

Purdue is one of 277 institutions to earn the national “First Gen Forward” designation from NASPA's Center for First Generation Student Success, which acknowledges higher education institutions’ commitment to first-generation student success. Nicole Wilson, University Innovation Alliance fellow at Purdue, shares the weeklong celebration is a part of Purdue's First Gen Forward Initiative, which aims to reignite conversations and action items focused on promoting first-generation college student success that began before the pandemic.

"Roughly 16 percent of Boilermakers self-identify as first-generation college students, which means we have a tremendous opportunity, if we pay close attention, to tailor and shape the Purdue experience with first-generation college student success in mind,” Wilson says. “Literature suggests what works for first-gen students benefits all students, but the reverse is not necessarily true. What's challenging is that we are talking about institutional transformation, and that’s never easy work. It takes a committed group of administrators, faculty, staff, and students to transform our service and commitment to student success.”

Read More About First-Gen at Purdue

ASC resumes 'Test Drive' event after pandemic pause

For courses with large enrollment numbers, Elliott Hall of Music is Purdue’s most practical space for hundreds—and sometimes thousands—of students to take a single exam at once.

While great for concerts and commencement ceremonies, the venue provides some challenges as a testing environment. Its dim lighting and a cacophony of shuffling feet and papers can be distracting to students who have only tested in high school classrooms or virtual settings.

That’s why, after a brief pause due to the pandemic, Purdue’s Helen Bass Williams Academic Success Center (ASC) recently resumed its program that enables Purdue students to “test drive” the Elliott Hall exam experience.

The Test Drive event gives students—new freshmen in particular—an opportunity to take a timed, multiple choice practice exam in Elliott so they can experience the testing circumstances without any effect on their grade.

“Every semester, we hear from students that their first exams were much more difficult than the practice ones they took,” says Katie Dufault, ASC director. “The help students seek at the ASC is often reactionary, so we decided to simulate the exam experience to give new undergraduates a better idea of what to expect.”

More than 530 students participated in the Sept. 7 mock exam. The event focused on high-enrollment math, biology, and management courses.

Dufault said program coordinator Joanna Cardarelli made some educational updates to the event that students enjoyed.

Read Full Story Here
Image showing Elliott Hall of Music seating during Test Drive 2022, with the room full of testing students

Orientation partners with Fusion Studio to bring interactive installations to BGR

In partnership with Purdue’s Fusion Studio for Entertainment and Engineering (FSEE), Purdue Orientation Programs launched its inaugural Boiler Gold Rush Entertainment Challenge this August by featuring interactive installations around campus during the week of BGR. All of the Purdue-themed installations were created by Purdue students and instructors.

The partnership began at a networking event. The Fusion Studio team (Dr. Mary Pilotte, School of Engineering Education and Professor Rich Dionne, College of Liberal Arts Theatre Department) met Craig Johnson, director of Orientation Programs, and discussed ideas about how to incorporate engineering and entertainment aspects into Boiler Gold Rush. The Fusion Studio team then attended “Fountain Fest” during last year’s Boiler Gold Rush welcome week. The event, which aims to connect incoming students with the Greater Lafayette community, inspired the team to come up with some creative ways to increase engagement.

“We reached out to show our interest in connecting our teams and connecting people together who are working even tangentially in fields related to engineering and the entertainment industry,” says Rich Dionne, co-director of the Fusion Studio, associate professor of practice and theatre production manager in the Patti & Rusty Rueff School of Design, Art, and Performance.

The idea was to provide mini-grants for faculty and students who might be interested in proposing a project that could be integrated into BGR. The team launched the BGR Entertainment Challenge, and four grantee installations were then designed, developed, and constructed by the combination of faculty and student groups, each of which have been awarded $2,500 mini-grants for their creations.

The four awardees include: Dr. Chris Cayari for his installation of “Hail Purdue in Virtual Reality;” The Theme Park Engineering and Design (TPED) student group for “A Journey Through Purdue;” Wan Kyn Chan in collaboration with the Electronic and New Media Art Club for the proposal “A Warm Light for All;” and Dr. Andreas Arrieta in collaboration with the Programmable Structures Lab for his development of “Bistable Embrace.”

Read the Full Story
Image showing students gathered around large colorful glowing pole, excitedly yelling

VSC launches new 'Historical Veteran-linked Campus Tour' video

Many Boilermakers have taken an exam or gone to a career fair in the Armory — but did you know the role it plays in Purdue’s rich military history? Have you ever stopped to read the dedication at the Gold and Black Cross in Purdue Memorial Union’s Great Hall? Do you know where Schleman Hall gets its name?

The above video gives a brief tour of the landmarks and their history, along with commentary from VSC Director Morgan Torres and military-connected students.

Visit the VSC Website

Student Success Programs Team Photos

Please note: Some staff may be missing based on when pictures were taken.

Orientation Programs full staff picture
Academic Success Center full staff picture
Disability Resource Center full staff picture
Purdue Promise full staff picture
Span Plan full staff picture
Veterans Success Center full staff picture
Horizons full staff picture
Purdue Testing Center full staff picture
Student Success Admin full staff picture
Student Success Programs full staff picture
Image showing students gathered around a table outside of Krach Leadership center playing games


For Reading Our

Annual Report

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