When you think of Purdue University, you probably think of the educational activities on the various campuses in the system. But Purdue has a powerful and highly beneficial presence in communities throughout the state. The University operates outreach programs in public schools, provides technical assistance to businesses, works with food producers to improve the quality and quantity of crop yields, and delivers educational programs in a variety of ways.
Beginning in August, members of my staff and I will begin a series of 11 visits to cities in every area of the state where we will review some of the Purdue programs that are contributing to the success of the local economy or the quality of life. At each location we will invite community leaders, local legislators, and members of the University family, including representatives of the Purdue Legislative Awareness Network and the Council on Agricultural Research, Extension, and Teaching.
The initial leg of the tour will be an August 12 stop in Lake County where we will visit three sites. The first will be Inland Steel's East Chicago plant for a demonstration of new high-technology equipment, which has made the facility much more efficient and productive. Faculty members from Purdue's Calumet Campus have played a key role in the upgrade by training Inland employees in the use of the equipment.
Next we will look in at the Continental Group, also in East Chicago, for a demonstration of the impact the Purdue Technical Assistance Program has had on a number of small businesses in the area.
Finally, we will drive to Whiting High School to meet with teachers and administrators from several of Lake County's largest school districts for a discussion of the many programs being operated in the schools by Purdue faculty from both the Calumet and West Lafayette campuses.
On August 29, we will head south to the Terre Haute area for a look at "Partners in Education," a classroom enrichment program conducted jointly by Purdue's Cooperative Extension Service and the city's schools. We will also visit Digital Audio Disc Co., which has received some significant help from the Technical Assistance Program. Another stop will be at a local supermarket for a demonstration of the tremendous impact the University's statewide agricultural research system has had on southwestern Indiana melon growers.
The scheduled visits mentioned above are only examples of the hundreds of programs through which Purdue bolsters the state's economy, enhances K-through-12 education, boosts career opportunities, and makes life better for Hoosiers in a variety of ways.
The Purdue Resources Directory lists and describes approximately 400 programs with phone numbers and other information to allow Hoosiers to take advantage of them. They offer help with everything from manufacturing to family nutrition.
These efforts are very much in keeping with Purdue's land-grant tradition, and I am excited about the opportunity to let more people know about them.
The other locations to be part of the statewide tour are:
Two years ago, two young women who were students in Purdue's Aviation Technology program became the first collegiate team to compete in the Air Race Classic, a 2,400-mile, all-female airplane race through eight states. The team finished ninth, a spectacular showing for such young pilots. Last year, the Purdue team did just as well, but earlier this month Lauren Nicholson and Jacqueline Battipaglia made national news when they out-flew 50 other entries to win the event.
Graduates of Purdue are succeeding throughout the aviation industry, as administrators and aircraft maintenance specialists, as well as pilots. Lauren and Jacqueline's accomplishment highlights a spectacularly successful program.
Steven C. Beering
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