Skip to main content

Together, we can Protect Purdue.

See our FAQs
Student Life Advisory Council Members Fall 2021

Advisory Council Members

The Student Life Advisory Council provides advice to the division leadership on its overall strategic direction, advocates for its programs with other constituencies, and assists with the expansion of the division’s ability to serve Purdue students through development activities.

Meet the Council Members

See below for information about current Student Life Advisory Council members. Information on select past members can be found on our Emeritus Members page.

Jack Calhoun — Chair

Jack Calhoun attended Indiana University School of Music and received a Bachelor of Science from Purdue and a Master of Business Administration from Harvard Business School. While at Purdue, Jack was a member and officer of the Purdue Varsity Glee Club, president of the Purdue Student Union Board, chairman of Iron Key, member of Omicron Delta Kappa honorary and received the G.A. Ross Award upon graduating. Jack received an honorary doctorate from Purdue’s College of Health and Human Sciences in 2021.

Jack is an experienced domestic and international executive in the customer and retail business. He works as a senior advisor at McKinsey & Company, based in San Francisco.

Jack spent 12 years at Banana Republic, a division of Gap Inc., leading the company from bricks-and-mortar to an integrated digital business. He served as global president of the company for eight years, overseeing all aspects of running a $3 billion global business. Prior to Gap Inc., Jack was EVP of brand management and advertising at Charles Schwab & Co. His early career was spent leading teams at Foote, Cone & Belding and Young & Rubicam, as well as in marketing positions at Levi Strauss & Co. and Procter & Gamble Company.

Jack currently serves as chair of the Australian fashion brand Lack of Color, is vice chair of the Fine Arts Museums of San Francisco (the country's third largest) and executive board member of the San Francisco Opera (the world's second largest). He also served for five years on the board of directors for the national nonprofit GLAAD (Gay and Lesbian Alliance Against Defamation).

Drew Mattison — Vice Chair

Drew Mattison graduated from Purdue in 1994 with a Bachelor of Science in Visual Design Engineering from the Interdisciplinary Engineering (IDE) program. While attending Purdue, he was active musically in the "All-American" Marching Band drumline, the Purdue Jazz Band, Boiler Brass, Winter Drumline and Kappa Kappa Psi. He was also a University Residences hall counselor at Cary Quad, played intramural baseball and was part of the Omicron Delta Kappa honorary. He went on to earn a Master of Business Administration from Michigan State University in 2001.

Drew is a connector, changemaker and advocate for helping clients get things done. He has spent the majority of his 25-year career where business and strategy intersect with design and visual communication, having started that journey as a car designer at Chrysler’s Advanced Packaging Studio working on concept and next-generation vehicles. He spent the first 15 years of his career in the design and creative technology space, expanding roles in both startups and Fortune 100 companies. This work culminated in his role as the global director of industry marketing for Autodesk.

After making the leap into the agency and consulting world, Drew has led several design consultancies as a chief revenue officer with responsibility for all top-line revenue and stewardship of company culture. He has successfully helped deliver effective communication strategies, drive new enterprise strategy alignment and activation, build change management initiatives, and create organizational readiness and customer experience plans for global brands, such as UPS, BNY Mellon, Procter & Gamble, Abbott, Nike, Ford, BMW, American Express and Apple. Drew is currently the chief digital advisor at Worldwide Technologies.

Drew is active outside the workplace, volunteering at his children's school, coaching his son's travel baseball team, mentoring at the Mike Illitch School of Business at Wayne State and occasionally playing in jazz combos around the Metro Detroit area. He also was a University Residences Executive-in-Residence in fall 2018 and has supported the Executive-in-Residence program with strategy and planning development. Drew and his wife Heidi live in Birmingham, Michigan with their four kids. 


Gary Cummings

After earning his BS in mathematics with a minor in industrial engineering from Purdue, Gary Cummings earned his MS in industrial and operations engineering from the University of Michigan. He also attended the Executive Development Program at Cornell University in 1998.

Gary retired from General Motors in 2009 after 32 years of service. He held several positions with GM, including time in Brazil, where he served in an executive role that oversaw product development in Africa, Latin America and the Middle East. He won the 2004 U.S. Black Engineer of the Year Award in the Corporate Promotion of Higher Education category. Since retiring, Gary has served as the assistant vice president at a local community college, where he works to grow strategic alliances between the college and four-year institutions. He currently serves on the board of regents for Orchard Lake Schools in Orchard Lake, Michigan, and is an adjunct professor at Walsh College in Troy, Michigan.

While at Purdue, Gary was a member of the "All-American" Marching Band, the symphony and basketball bands, and the Reamer Club, where he was a Boilermaker Special pilot. He is a member of Kappa Kappa Psi, the national honorary band fraternity, and served as a district and national officer for the fraternity.

Gary has been a strong supporter of Purdue and engineering, serving on the Dean of Engineering Advisory Committee from 2003-17. During this time, he strengthened corporate relations between GM and Purdue and helped produce numerous opportunities for students to engage with engineers and executives. Gary and his wife, Lynn, have two sons, a daughter-in-law and a grandson.

Tony Denhart

Tony Denhart graduated from Purdue in 1989 with a Bachelor of Science from the Purdue Polytechnic Institute. While at Purdue, he became a member of Circle Pines Cooperative, the Institute of Electrical and Electronics Engineers (IEEE) and AET, and participated in intramural sports. He served the cooperative community in a number of roles, including as president and vice president of Circle Pines Cooperative. 

Tony is the executive vice president of talent and workforce for the Indiana Economic Development Corporation (IEDC). He most recently served as the University Relations Director for GE Corporate.  In his role, Tony reports to Brad Chambers, Indiana Secretary of Commerce, to connect Hoosier businesses and talent resources including universities, government agencies and resources, as well as community and education stakeholders. The goal is to make it as easy as possible for employers to develop robust talent pipelines, meet hiring goals and implement training and development programs. He also represents the IEDC as a member of the Governor’s Workforce Cabinet. Tony joined the IEDC with more than 30 years of developing early career talent attraction strategies and engaging with university recruiting and student relations.  Prior to his last role, he had several roles of increasing responsibility at GE Power and in 2007, he was promoted to the role of senior services leader, where he led GE Energy’s Midwest Field Service organization.   

Tony enjoys spending time outdoors and with family and friends. He and his wife, Rhonda (BSM '89), are the proud parents of Jake (BSIM '17) and Nicole (BSN ‘21). 

Assata Gilmore

Assata Gilmore

Assata Gilmore is an advisory associate at KPMG within the Customer & OperationsFinancial Services practice. Outside of client work, Assata is heavily involved in campus recruitment efforts and various initiatives related to company culture and diversity, equity, inclusion and belonging. She is the oldest of three and is originally from Hyde Park in Chicago, Illinois.

Assata graduated from Purdue in May 2021 with a major in finance and a minor in French. She participated in several programs for professional development and academic enhancement through the Krannert School of Management and her French minor allowed her to incorporate an international background into her everyday studies. Outside of academics, Assatawas quite involved during her time at Purdue. She could be found in nearly every sphere of campus life, including professional development, community outreach, university fundraising, and arts and music engagement. She was a student assistant at the Roland G. Parrish Library of Management & Economics, a proud member of the Business Opportunity Program (BOP) Class of 2017, a part of the Barbara Cook Chapter of Mortar Board, and an avid singer within theBlack Voices of Inspiration (BVOI) choir. As the former Student Body Vice President (2019-2020), Assata focused heavily on providing transparency into Purdue Student Government (PSG)processes and worked to ensure that the needs of traditionally underserved populations at Purduewere brought to the forefront of campus consciousness. In 2020 she spearheaded efforts for a campus-wide Mental Health Awareness Week and continued to advocate for the increase of mental health resources at Purdue during her tenure as Student Body President (2020-2021).

In her free time, Assata enjoys long walks with her dog Otis, attending Hip Hop Yoga classes at her local yoga studio and baking sweet treats for her family and friends. Assata is passionate about building connections and community and is so excited to stay engaged with Purdue as a SLAC member.

Rodney Glass

Rodney Glass

Rodney Glass is the chief operating officer and senior vice president at HID Global, a worldwide leader in trusted identity solutions that provides millions of people convenient access to physical and digital places and connects things that can be identified, verified and tracked digitally. HID Global has more than 5,000 employees worldwide and operates international offices that support more than 100 countries.

Rodney is a strategic, dynamic and results-driven leader with more than 25 years of experience delivering transformative business operations for mission-critical and enterprise-scale projects across industries. He is a visionary focused on providing business success while enabling team growth, retention and development. In his previous roles, Rodney worked for Motorola and Ford Motor Company, driving operational excellence, profitability and customer experience across multiple industries.

While at Purdue, Rodney served as student body president and was an active member in his fraternity, Kappa Alpha Psi, as well as part of the Board of Trustees that collaborates with the Office of the Dean of Students. He also served as a counselor and staff resident at Cary Quadrangle. He actively engages with the Purdue community by regularly participating in speaking events at the university and mentoring undergraduate and graduate students. Rodney and his brother, Rodrick, have also endowed two scholarship programs for student at Purdue in the schools of Polytechnic and Management.

Rodrick Glass

Rodrick Glass

With an entrepreneurial spirit and a passion for driving growth and profitability within startup and mid-sized businesses, Rodrick Glass has multidisciplinary expertise in sales and business development, cultural transformations, financial and operational processes, and business turnaround. He endeavors to be a servant leader and focuses on developing talent, building strong relationships and advocating for his team and customers.

Rodrick has served as executive vice president of sales and business development with Creative Realities, a digital marketing technologies innovator, for the past four years. Prior to his current role he also served as founder, president and chief executive officer for Allure Fusion Media, where he built a team from three employees to more than 100, expanding and contracting company operations as dictated by market conditions and stakeholder expectations to maintain profitability. Rodrick feels his greatest success has been in his ability to develop and foster long-lasting business relationships that provide customers with value and results.

While at Purdue, Rodrick was active in student life including serving as president of The Society of Minority Managers, counselor and staff resident at Harrison Hall and Cary Quadrangle, as well as vice president for Purdue Student Government. Rodrick continues to work with Purdue as a board member for the Purdue Alumni Association and as an active speaker on campus. Rodrick and his brother Rodney have also endowed two scholarship programs for student leaders.

Kris Harvey

Kris Harvey

Kris received a Bachelor of Arts degree in Political Science from Purdue in 1991. As an undergraduate, she completed an honors program, was inducted into the Phi Beta Kappa Honor Society, and graduated with distinction in the top 10% of her class. While at Purdue, Kris participated in a study-abroad internship with the House of Commons in London.

After Purdue, Kris continued her education and received a Master of Business Administration (MBA) from Georgetown University in Washington, D.C. While there, she completed a study-abroad program at the University of Melbourne. Following commencement, Kris remained in Australia and worked in the publishing industry.

For the past 19 years, Kris has been advocating nationally for first-generation college students. She worked at the College Board on its program that serves first-generation and minority students. Kris has presented at numerous conferences for university professionals who serve first-gen students, including the National Association for College Admission Counselors, the National Council for Community and Education Partnerships, and the FGLI Consortium.  

Kris has also presented at conferences for first-generation students, including the Stanford FLI conference, the 1vyG conference at Princeton, and the AL1GN conference at the University of Virginia. She has written articles on the subject of first-gen students for the member magazine of the American School Counselor Association. 

Kris is the Founder and Executive Director of the non-profit, whose mission is to empower first-gen students by connecting them to information, each other and colleges that value them. She and her husband have established scholarships, as well as internships, at Purdue for first-generation students. 

This past year she led a volunteer effort to secure the Purdue chapter of a national honor society for first-generation college students. On November 8, 2022 (which is National First-Generation College Student Day), Purdue’s chapter of Alpha Alpha Alpha (or Tri-Alpha) inducted 166 students.

Kris met her husband, Greg Kryder (who is also a Purdue alum), at an alumni event in Newport Beach, California. They have been married for more than 25 years, and are the proud parents of a friendly golden retriever. They are avid travelers, and have visited all 50 states, plus more than 50 foreign countries. They have also lived abroad, spending time in both London and Paris. They now split their time between their homes in San Diego and New York City.

Bob Miles

Bob Miles is a 1963 Purdue alumnus in civil engineering. While on campus, he was a member of Fairway Cooperative and the Student Cooperative Association, where he held several leadership positions in both. He also was an active member of the Purdue Reamer Club.

Bob started his career with the Ceco Corporation, a national supplier of construction materials and concrete forming services. He was the regional manager of three offices in Florida. Following his employment with Ceco, he owned his own company, Bob L. Miles and Associates, a manufacturers' representative selling to the construction industry. Bob sold the business in 2001 and retired in 2002. He was a member of Kiwanis and served in leadership positions at both the club and state levels. He served as president of the Northside Business Men’s Club.

Upon retirement and a subsequent move to Maggie Valley, North Carolina, Bob remained active with the Kiwanis Club of Waynesville, North Carolina, serving as the club's newsletter editor and chair of the Third Grade Dictionary Project. He also chaired the advisory council for Big Brothers Big Sisters of Haywood County and served on the Haywood County Child Abuse and Neglect Task Force. He is an active supporter of Clothes to Kids, providing clothing wardrobes to disadvantaged school children. Upon moving to Lafayette, Bob is currently a member of the Kiwanis Club of Lafayette where he serves on the board of directors and chairs several committees.

Bob is a staunch supporter and advocate for the College of Health and Human Sciences. He co-chaired, along with his wife, Joyce, the Consumer and Family Sciences development team for the $13 million planned-giving campaign. Bob and Joyce are on the Purdue Center for Families Advisory Council and are advocates for the center. They also serve on the HHS Dean’s Leadership Council and the Purdue Cooperative Alumni Advisory Committee. They were the lead donors for the Bob L. and Joyce Beery Miles Outdoor Learning Space at Lyles-Porter Hall. As a result of Joyce's influence as a Purduette, Bob has become a supporter of Purdue Musical Organizations. There is a practice room named for them in Bailey Hall and they mentor several Purduettes. They have endowed two scholarships at Purdue and maintain relationships with their scholarship students while at Purdue and continuing after graduation.

Joyce Beery Miles

Joyce Miles is a Purdue graduate in Health and Human Sciences with a major in home economics education. Her professional career was in Jacksonville, Florida, where she spent more than 31 years with Duval County Schools. She and her husband Bob, a Purdue alum, have been active in numerous Purdue organizations, including the College of Consumer and Family Sciences (now the College of Health and Human Sciences), Dean’s Leadership Council, the Center for Families Advisory Board, Purdue Musical Organizations (Joyce is a former Purduette), Purdue Cooperative Life Advisory Committee and Purdue Women’s Network. Joyce and her husband were both members of a cooperative house during their years on campus. 

In retirement, Joyce has focused on preserving the history of home economics as she has portrayed the founder, Ellen Swallow Richards, throughout the country for the 100th anniversary. She has been honored as the modern biographer of Richards. Joyce also has been active with Purdue Women’s Network and served for eight years as a trustee for the Florida State University Foundation where she was responsible for initiating the Women for Florida State University, modeling the Purdue organization. Joyce and Bob live in Lafayette.  

John Pierce

John Pierce graduated from Purdue in 1980 with a Bachelor of Science in Economics from the Krannert School of Management. While at Purdue, he served on the Old Masters Central Committee, the Student Concert Committee, and the Purdue University Press Editorial Board. He also served as president of Gimlet, was a vocalist for Purdue’s Variety Band during his senior year and was a member of the University Choir during his first three years. Additionally, John was a member of Sigma Chi Fraternity and its intramural basketball team extraordinaire (Team 3), Skull and Crescent, and Omicron Delta Kappa. 

John received his J.D. from the University of Texas School of Law in 1984 and joined the Los Angeles firm of Adams, Duque & Hazeltine as a civil litigator. In 1987, he joined the U.S. Attorney’s Office in San Diego as an assistant U.S. attorney (AUSA). He also served as an AUSA in the U.S. Attorney’s Offices in Washington, D.C., and Alexandria, Virginia. 

During his 14 years as an AUSA, John investigated and prosecuted complex frauds, organized crime and homicides. He conducted more than 70 trials in multiple jurisdictions, coordinated international investigations and extraditions, presented hundreds of investigations to grand juries, and briefed and argued appeals. He served on the Organized Crime Drug Enforcement Task Force and the Attorney General's Healthcare Fraud Advisory Committee. 

John left the government in 2000 to reenter private practice. He is a trial attorney with Liles Parker PLLC, headquartered in Washington, D.C.  His nationwide practice focuses on white-collar criminal defense, primarily in health care, as well as civil litigation in securities fraud and whistleblower cases. 

John is vice president of the board of Housing Unlimited, a nonprofit that provides housing to persons recovering from mental illness.  He has served as general counsel to the Woods Academy, a private school in Bethesda, Maryland, and coaches several youth sports teams. 

John and Roxana Pierce live in Bethesda, Maryland.  Their daughter, Amanda, graduated with a degree in civil engineering from the University of Michigan (aargh!) in 2018, and their youngest daughter, Natalie, is currently a student at the University of Michigan (double aargh!)

Barbara Rakosnik

Barbara Rakosnik

Barbara Rakosnik earned a Bachelor of Science in Equipment and Family Housing from Purdue in 1970. As a student, she worked as a residence hall counselor (now known as a resident assistant) in Meredith Hall, served as a church officer at Purdue University Lutheran Church and worked on Debris, the Purdue yearbook. She married her husband, Bill, at University Lutheran Church in 1970.

Barbara initially worked as a draftsman for an architectural firm in Binghamton, New York and served on the board of trustees for WSKG, a local PBS affiliate. She also volunteered as a scorekeeper for youth swimming events and held several offices with the B.C. Stitchers, the local chapter of the Embroiderer’s Guild of America. She has gone on to hold various regional and national positions with the guild.

After doing some freelance architectural work, Barbara decided to embrace her lifelong passion for hand-stitching and started her own business, Periwinkle Promises, to design, teach and market counted thread embroidery. She designed more than 300 projects and taught extensively in the United States and Canada. Barbara is an award-winning embroidery designer; her pieces are typically counted thread samplers using silk threads on linen fabric.

Upon retirement, Barbara and Bill moved to Georgia, where she continues to be active in the community. Barbara has held several offices with the Dogwood chapter of EGA, volunteered with several of their grandsons’ school and other events, and currently serves on the Board of Governors of the Trinity Lutheran Academy at Trinity Lutheran Church in Athens.

Barbara and Bill sponsored the naming of a practice room in Hagle Hall, the new home of Purdue Bands & Orchestras, in memory of Barbara’s father. Barbara and Bill also support the RAISE Fund scholarship, used to support resident assistants, and have supported the Student Life Professional Development Fund of Students Endowment.

Bill Rakosnik

Bill Rakosnik

Bill Rakosnik earned a Bachelor of Science in Mechanical Engineering in 1969 and completed a Master of Science in Industrial Administration in 1970. He spent three years as a member of the student government in Owen Hall and then became a residence hall counselor (now known as a resident assistant) in Cary Quad for two years. Bill was also a member of the Purdue Reamer Club and Pi Tau Sigma Mechanical Engineering Honors Society. Bill and his wife, Barbara, were married in the Purdue University Lutheran Church in 1970.

After graduating, Bill began his career as a systems analyst for IBM in Endicott, New York. He held various management positions in production control and procurement, manufacturing, distribution and logistics prior to his retirement in 2000. Bill volunteered at WSKG, the local PBS affiliate and coached youth sports in the community. He also held various church offices at Grace Lutheran in Vestal, New York.

Bill, along with his wife Barbara, sponsored the naming of a practice room in Hagle Hall, the new home of Purdue Bands & Orchestras, in memory of Barbara’s father. Bill and Barbara also support the RAISE Fund scholarship, used to support resident assistants, and have supported the Student Life Professional Development Fund of Students Endowment.

After retiring and moving to Georgia, Bill continues to support various activities in which his grandsons have participated. He is an active participant in various leadership positions in Trinity Lutheran Church of Athens, Ga. He also enjoys meeting with friends at the local senior center, where he has also taught classes.

Teresa Roche

Teresa Roche earned multiple degrees from Purdue (BA ‘79, MS ’81, Ph.D. ‘00). In 2001, Teresa and her family, David and Kai Monahan, moved to Fort Collins, Colorado, where she continued her work as a global human resources executive in high-technology companies, including Hewlett-Packard and Agilent Technologies. 

Since 2016, Teresa has served as chief human resources officer for the city of Fort Collins. She is a member of Colorado State University College of Business' HR Edge and a fellow with Harvard University's Learning Innovations Laboratory. 

In 2005, Teresa was an Old Master. and in 2009 she received the Distinguished Alumni Award from the College of Education. In the spring of 2019, she returned to campus as an Executive-in-Residence, which she says was a transformative experience. In the fall of 2019, she was the keynote speaker at the National Mortar Board Conference and, as she planned to walk off the stage, she was told to stay and she was tapped as an Honorary Mortar Board member. 

During Teresa's first year as an undergraduate, she lived at Earhart Hall, became a member of the Delta Gamma sorority and held several leadership positions in the house. Teresa’s last year was spent as a residence hall counselor (now called a resident assistant) in Shreve Hall. 

As an undergraduate, Teresa was involved in the Old Masters Program, as a host and on the Central Committee. She was an executive member of the Association for Women Students, started a new department in the Purdue Student Government called Women's Awareness and was a co-founder of the Communications Council to support the dialogue between students and members of the student government. Teresa was a member of Iron Key, Omicron Delta Kappa, Kappa Delta Pi and Phi Alpha Theta.

In 1979, she received the Bruce Kendall Award and a Mortar Board fellowship to pursue her graduate studies. 

During her master's studies, Teresa was an intern in the Office of the Dean of Students and the Center for Career Opportunities and was the senior staff resident in Grad House East. 
Teresa believes her long journey at Purdue continues to have a major impact on her life and she is in constant gratitude for her experiences and mentors. 

Jenni Birch Szolwinski

Jenni Birch Szolwinski

Jenni Birch Szolwinski earned a bachelor’s degree in 1994 and a master’s degree in 1996, both from Purdue University’s College of Liberal Arts. As a student, she served as a residence hall counselor at Earhart Hall and was involved in both Mortar Board and Iron Key. She was a Liberal Arts Dean’s Scholar and received the Charles O. McGaughey Leadership Award and Betty M. Nelson Skilled Leader Award. She was also honored to be chosen as a commencement student responder.

During her time as a graduate student, Jenni worked in the Student Activities & Organizations area for the Office of the Dean of Students, providing leadership opportunities and experiences for undergraduates through the Emily Mauzy Vogel Sophomore Leadership Conference and the Mauzy Mentor Program, among others.

Currently living in Cincinnati, Ohio, Jenni works as program coordinator for the Lakota Cyber Academy, a first-of-its-kind curriculum preparing high school students for cybersecurity careers through industry certifications, business partnerships and co-curricular programming. She also volunteers as alumni representative for the Mortar Board National College Senior Honor Society, an organization she has served since 2010.

Jenni and her husband, Matt, are especially proud of their two Boilermaker children. Anna is a May 2022 graduate from Purdue’s College of Liberal Arts, and Adam started his Purdue journey in the fall as a student in the Purdue Polytechnic Institute. 

Matt Szolwinski

Matt Szolwinski

Matthew P. Szolwinski (B.S. AAE ’93, M.S. AAE ’95, Ph.D. ’98) was born in Milwaukee, Wisconsin, where he graduated as valedictorian from Marquette University High School. Inspired by the first space shuttle launch in 1981, Szolwinski enrolled in 1989 at Purdue University to pursue an undergraduate degree from the School of Aeronautics and Astronautics. While at Purdue, he was an active student leader, serving as president of the Purdue Engineering Student Council, a member of Iron Key and Mortar Board honor societies, and a member of search committees for Dean of Engineering and Athletic Director.  He is a recipient of the Mercury 7 scholarship. Matt also served as a residence hall counselor and staff resident.

After graduating with highest honors in 1993, Szolwinski began his graduate program in the School of Aeronautics & Astronautics – working with Dr. Thomas N. Farris on understanding the mechanics of fretting fatigue in aging aircraft for the U.S. Air Force as a Department of Defense Fellow. This work, which culminated in Szolwinski being awarded a doctorate in 1998, earned him the ASME International Marshall B. Peterson award for early career contributions in tribology.

Szolwinski served on the faculty of Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute (RPI) in Troy, New York as an assistant professor in the Department of Mechanical and Aeronautical Engineering from 1998 to 2000. He left RPI to join Pratt & Whitney, where he worked to support Pratt’s entire operational commercial engine fleet as a structures integration manager. In late 2004, Szolwinski returned to the Midwest to join the Systems Engineering team designing the GEnx engine for the 787 Dreamliner at GE Aviation in Evendale, Ohio. He was a key contributor to the initial FAA certification of the GEnx in March of 2008. Shortly after this certification, Matt was named chief engineer for GE Aviation’s large military engines, including the F110, which powers over two-thirds of the combat-ready fleet of F-16s in the U. S. Air Force fleet, along with the fleet of engines that power the B-1, B-2 and U-2 aircraft.

Matt then returned to the commercial side of GE’s engine business, leading the team to field the GEnx engine on the 787 and then the technology development effort for the GE9X, the world’s most powerful engine that is the sole-source powerplant for Boeing’s latest aircraft, the 777X. Szolwinski currently leads GE’s large-combat engineering team that is responsible for all aspects of the design, system integration and product support for a global fleet of nearly 10,000 military engines.

Matt is married to Jenni Birch Szolwinski (Purdue B.S. ’94, M.S. ’96) with two children, Anna (Purdue CLA ‘22) and Adam (Purdue Polytechnic – Cybersecurity ’26).  He enjoys traveling, stationary cycling and cheering for all Boilermaker sports teams. He also has been an active industry alumni advisor of the School of Aeronautics and Astronautics, which awarded him the Purdue Outstanding Aerospace Engineer award in 2010.

Julie Vanier

Julie Vanier graduated from the University of Rhode Island in 1986 with a Bachelor of Arts in English and a minor in journalism. Julie's involvement with Purdue is a result of her passion for education and her respect for the Boilermaker community. Her oldest son, Jack, earned a Bachelor of Science in Selling and Sales Management with a minor in business management in 2016. He serves as an investment associate for Stifel Financial Corp. (Indianapolis) where he is part of The Knall/Cohen/Pence Group. Julie’s youngest son, Bo, graduated from Purdue in August 2022 with a Bachelor of Science in Selling and Sales Management and minors in both business management and organizational leadership, and is in the midst of launching his career. Both Jack and Bo were active members of the Phi Kapa Psi Fraternity. Julie’s third son, Charlie, graduated from the University of Alabama in 2019 with a Bachelor of Science in Business Family and Consumer Sciences/Human Sciences. Charlie is a sales development representative for Ably, a pub/sub messaging company based out of London. Charlie also was active in Greek life and was a member of Pi Kappa Phi Fraternity.

Julie is director of major gifts, development and alumni affairs for the College of Engineering at Northeastern University. While the university is a global one, Julie works out of the Boston campus location. Julie served in similar leadership roles for Clark University (Worcester, Massachusetts), Brown University (Providence, Rhode Island), Tabor Academy (Marion, Massachusetts), and Year Up (the country's fastest-growing nonprofit.) In addition, Julie owns and operates an active consulting business. Her career includes extensive work in advertising, marketing, sales and philanthropy.

In addition to Purdue's Student Life Advisory Council, Julie serves on the University of Alabama's Student Life Leadership Council as well as UA’s Campaign Committee for Student Life.

Julie and her husband, John, live in Barrington, Rhode Island.