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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, received a BS from Purdue and an MBA 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.

He is an experienced domestic and international executive in 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 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 The Procter & Gamble Company.

Jack currently serves as 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 BS in visual design engineering from the Interdisciplinary Engineering (IDE) program. While attending Purdue, he was active musically in the "All-American" Marching Band Drumline, 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 an MBA from Michigan State University in 2001.

Drew is a connector, changemaker and advocate of 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 a partner at Tremendousness, a boutique visual design consultancy.

He 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.

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.

Anthony Denhart

Anthony Denhart graduated from Purdue in 1989 with a BS degree from the Purdue Polytechnic Institute. While at Purdue, he became a member of Circle Pines Cooperative, IEEE, AET, and also participated in intramural sports. He served the Cooperative community in a number of roles, including as president and vice president of Circle Pines Cooperative.

Upon graduation from Purdue, Anthony moved to New York to join GE Power’s Field Engineering Leadership Program. He spent 22 years in numerous roles within GE Power. During that time, he found a passion of helping college students, which led him to his current role. In 2012, he joined the GE Corporate team as the global university relations director. He also serves on the advisory boards of the GE-Reagan Foundation Scholarship Program, the Society of Hispanic Professional Engineers National Industry Partners Council and the Purdue Honors College.

Anthony 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 (sophomore at Purdue).

Assata Gilmore

Assata Gilmore

Assata Gilmore is a recent graduate with a major in finance and a minor in French. She is the oldest of three and originally from Hyde Park in Chicago, Illinois. Assata 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. Upon graduation, she will be working as a Financial Solutions Consultant for KPMG.

Outside of academics, Assata was 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 the Black 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 Purdue were 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). Assata is passionate about building connections and community and is so excited to stay engaged with Purdue as a SLAC member.

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 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. He sold the business in 2001 and retired in 2002.

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 became and is currently a member of the Kiwanis Club of Lafayette.

Bob is a staunch supporter and advocate for the College of Health and Human Sciences. He co-chaired, 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 both served on the President's Council Leadership Council, and 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 spent in Jacksonville, Florida, where she spent more than 31 years with the Duval County Schools. She and her Purdue alum husband, Bob, have been active in numerous Purdue organizations, including the College of Consumer and Family Sciences (now the College of Health and Human Sciences), the Center for Families Advisory Board, Purdue Musical Organizations (Joyce is a former Purduette), and Women for Purdue. Joyce and her husband were both members of a co-op 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 Women for Purdue, and as a trustee for the Florida State University Foundation, she was responsible for initiating the Women for Florida State University, modeling the Purdue organization. Joyce and Bob currently live in Maggie Valley, North Carolina.

Lorrie Newhouse

Lorrie Newhouse graduated from Purdue in 2015 with her degree in agricultural and biological engineering. While at Purdue, Lorrie served in a number of roles within Residential Life, notably as the governess of Windsor Residence Hall Club her junior year, as a member of the Student Life Student Advisory Council her junior and senior years, and as president of the Residence Hall Association her senior year.

Highlights of her tenure include organizing an overnight retreat for all of the residence hall clubs; organizing a fall break trip to Washington, D.C., for 112 residents; attending and presenting at state, regional and national conferences; bidding to host the regional conference at Purdue; as well as leading exceptional groups of young student leaders.

Lorrie now lives in Washington, Indiana, where she works for Grain Processing Corporation as the Alcohol and Utilities Division engineer. She has been quite active in the community in the short amount of time she has called Daviess County home. Lorrie graduated from the Leadership Daviess County program in June 2016, is a 4-H Club leader and serves on the Daviess County Purdue Extension Board.

John Pierce

John Pierce graduated from Purdue in 1980 with a BS in economics from the Krannert School of Management. While at Purdue, he served on the Old Masters Central Committee, the Student Concert Committee, the Purdue University Press Editorial Board, and as president of Gimlet; was a vocalist for Purdue’s Variety Band during his senior year and a member of the University Choir during his first three years; and was a member of Sigma Chi Fraternity, Skull and Crescent, and Omicron Delta Kappa.

John received his JD 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. 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 headquartered in Washington, D.C., whose practice focuses on white collar criminal defense, primarily in health care, as well as civil litigation in securities fraud and whistleblower cases.

John founded his current firm, Themis, in 2010. He is admitted to practice before the Supreme Court of the United States, several United States Circuit Courts of Appeal and District Courts, the United States Court of Federal Claims. Also, he is a member of the bars of the District of Columbia, Maryland, Virginia, California and Illinois. 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, with their daughters, Amanda and Natalie.

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 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 US and Canada. Barbara is an award-winning embroidery designer; her pieces are typically large pieces of needlework.

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 the Oconee High School Band Boosters 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 future home of Purdue Bands & Orchestras, in memory of Barbara’s father. Barbara and Bill also support a 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 served as a residence hall counselor (now known as resident assistant) in Cary Quad for two years and spent three years a member of the student government in Owen Hall. Bill was also a member of 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. During his career he also volunteered with the local PBS affiliate and coached youth soccer. He has long been the “do anything” person for Perwinkle Promises, his wife Barbara’s embroidery business.

Bill, along with his wife Barbara, sponsored the naming of a practice room in Hagle Hall, the future home of Purdue Bands & Orchestras, in memory of Barbara’s father. Bill and Barbara also support a 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 sports and school activities his grandsons participate in. 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 in 1979, MS in 1981 and PhD in 2000). 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 2019, she returned to campus as an executive-in-residence, which she says was a transformative experience.

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 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.

Julie Vanier

Julie Vanier graduated from the University of Rhode Island in 1986 with a BA 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 BS in selling and sales management with a minor in management; he currently serves as a senior derivatives trading dpecialist for Charles Schwab in Indianapolis. Her youngest son, Bo ('22), is considering a similar major with a focus on management. Julie and her husband, John, have a third son, Charlie, who recently graduated from the University of Alabama with a BS in business family and consumer sciences/human sciences.

Julie serves on the major gifts team at Clark University (Worcester, Massachusetts), where she has been charged with expanding and strengthening alumni and community connections and support — a focus on the same areas she had for other educational organizations and institutions. Julie has worked in similar leadership capacities for Brown University (Providence, Rhode Island), Tabor Academy (Marion, Massachusetts), and Year Up (the country's single, fastest-growing nonprofit, where she remains involved as a consultant and volunteer) as director of development. 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, the board of the Highlander Institute (a nationally recognized organization specializing in blended and personalized learning models creating equity through education), and the Audubon Society of Rhode Island.

Julie and her husband, John, live in Barrington, Rhode Island, where they spend as much time as possible boating and at the beaches with family and friends.