sealPurdue Minorities in Higher Ed Experts


Douglas L. Christiansen

Director of Admissions
(765) 494-1776

Was associate director of the Office of Student Recruitment and High School Services at the University of Utah. In that position, was responsible for state and national student recruitment programs. Supervised the development of several programs that encouraged enrollment of National Merit Finalists, minority scholars and female students in the science areas. Served as director for the Rocky Mountain Association of College Admission Counselors annual college fair in Salt Lake City drawing 3,300 students and involving 107 colleges and universities from across the country.

Denise Ottinger

Director, Admissions and Student Services, School of Veterinary Medicine
(765) 494-7893

Initiated veterinary school's Minority Mentor Program. Also directs National Institutes of Health Minority Summer Research Apprentice Program for Veterinary Medicine at Purdue. Appointed in 1995 as editor of the publication, Veterinary Medical Colleges Admissions Requirements in the United States and Canada. Is on the steering committee for the Veterinary Medical Colleges Application Service.

Deborah A. Starks

Senior assistant director, Multicultural Undergraduate Admissions
(765) 494-1776; (765) 494-4523

Coordinates minority student recruitment programs for the Office of Admissions. Program director for Minority Summer Intern Program for middle-school and high-school counselors. Provides information about college preparation to high-school students.

Affirmative action

Patricia A. Carlisle

Director, Student Support Services, Purdue North Central
Equal Opportunity/Affirmative Action Officer
(219) 785-5241

Directs North Central's Horizon's program , which provides academic and personal support for first-generation, low-income and disabled students. Students in this program have a high retention and graduation rate. Also monitors campus EO/AA activities and provides leadership in women's programming.

Judith M. Gappa

Professor, educational administration
(765) 494-8121

Served as Purdue's vice president for human relations from 1991 to 1998. Is knowledgeable about faculty employment issues, including hiring, tenure, development, collective bargaining, and part-time and temporary faculty. Deals with women's issues such as sexual harassment, dual-career couples and salary equity. Also addresses affirmative action/equal opportunity, campus climate, harassment and minority faculty recruitment and retention.


Leo A. Bryant

Vice chancellor, student services
Dean of students, Purdue Calumet
(219) 989-2367

Interested in Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. and the civil rights movement in the South and what the movement should mean on college campuses today. Regular campus presenter on black history.

Myra Mason

Program specialist, Horizons Program
(765) 496-3758

Works with Horizons, a program supported jointly by the university and the U.S. Department of Education to retain and graduate students from low-income families, first-generation college students and those with disabilities. Was director of diversity at Purdue 1993-1997. Conducted campus climate survey about attitudes about diversity with a grant from Lilly Endowment. Chaired Purdue University committee that drafted anti-harassment policy in 1994 and has since become a model for other colleges and universities. Was statewide director of educational opportunity for the central office of Indiana Vocational Technical College. Also was minority affairs director for Indiana University's School of Dentistry. Also contributed to "Hoosier Plan for Minority Enhancement," a program to increase minority student and faculty representation at IU's eight campuses.

Renee A. Thomas

Director, Black Cultural Center
(765) 494-3091

Has worked closely with African-American students, supervising the performing arts ensembles of Purdue's Black Cultural Center. Assists in cultural exchange programs and provides information about the center to students, faculty, alumni and visitors.

Recruitment and retention

Marion W. Blalock

Director, Minority Engineering Programs
(765) 494-3974; home: (765) 463-3064

Is an academic adviser in the department of freshman engineering. Has developed recruitment and retention programs for minority engineering students. Developed precollege programs for minority students in grades 7-12. Conducts workshops for junior and senior high teachers.

Karla A. Hay

Assistant to director of School of Agriculture academic programs, multicultural/multiethnic affairs
(765) 494-9849

Responsible for minority recruitment/retention for School of Agriculture. Serves on board of directors of Growth in Agriculture Through Education. Adviser to Purdue chapter of Minorities in Agriculture, Natural Resources and Related Sciences and is its National Student Membership Chair.

Charles Haynes

Tactile illustrator, Department of Chemistry
(765) 496-3421

Research interests include recruitment and retention efforts of under-represented students in education at predominantly white universities; the factors that influence their ability to persist and successfully negotiate their academic programs. Formerly was coordinator of minority programs in the School of Education.

Regina Todd Hicks

Director, minority programs, School of Science
(765) 494-1760

Is a multicultural counselor. Has developed recruitment and retention programs for college and precollege minority science students. Was named Outstanding Woman of America 1986. Is chairwoman of the Youth Committee for the NAACP and founder of Ebony Movement, a youth dance ensemble for children.

William K. LeBold

Professor, engineering
Director, Educational Research and Information Systems
(765) 494-3976

Is a national authority on educational and employment opportunities for women and minorities in engineering and science. Is an expert on supply and demand for engineers. Developed and administered the Purdue Interest Questionnaire to assist more than 60,000 engineering, science and technology students and graduates in making educational and career decisions. Was a commissioner of the Engineering Workforce Commission, 1990-94. Co-authored a book, "Engineering as a Career" (1983).

Dwight E. Lewis

Director of Minority Affairs, Graduate School
(765) 494-3232

Oversees the Historically Black Institution Visitation Program, which encourages undergraduate African-American students to seek advanced education at Purdue. Helped prepare U.S. Department of Education grant application for Minority Participation in Graduate Education. Work in recruitment and retention has boosted minority enrollment at Purdue's Graduate School to record highs.

Victor W. Rodwell

Professor, biochemistry
Director, Minority Access to Research Careers (MARC) and Access Internally for Minorities (AIM)
(765) 494-1608

Oversees programs that allow minority undergraduates to conduct summer research in various areas at Purdue. Program started with nine students in 1980. Now, about 30 students participate each summer. Of the 528 participants through 1996, 283 have received or were pursuing advanced degrees. Program has been copied at most other Big Ten universities.

Purdue News Service: (765) 494-2096; e-mail,

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