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Sandra S. Liu

Professor of consumer sciences and retailing
College of Health and Human Sciences

Sandra Liu

What do you do at Purdue?

I joined Purdue as a faculty member in 2001; currently I am professor of consumer sciences and retailing in the College of Health and Human Sciences. My teaching responsibilities have been in the area of sales, strategy and entrepreneurship. My research focuses on (1) primary prevention, social determinants of health, and sustainable health delivery systems and planning; and (2) business modeling and strategic planning for sustaining programs and initiatives that creates both social and economic value.

I also am director of the Center for Global Urban Sustainability: Ensuring Sustainable Health among Underserved (CGUS). As director of CGUS and co-chair of Covering Kids & Family local coalition of Lake County, I create programmatic enhancement through networking and collaboration with the safety net providers in Lake County (including schools, hospitals, community health clinics, faith-based organizations, and other social services agencies) and build a uniform platform that facilitates coordinated services offered by these providers for maintaining and improving health and well-being of the underserved persons.

In addition, I am director of international training for Discovery Park. In my role, I plan and organize training programs globally.

Which woman has inspired you most? Why?

Diane Tang-Liu, VP at Allergan Inc., who recognized my potential and hired me out of the other department of the company with increased job duties three months after I joined Allergan in 1983. That position switch facilitated my growth as a "fast-track employee" of the company. Dr. Tang-Liu once said that it might not be a blessing for a person to be promoted to a position when one does not have the quality required for that position. That comment has been with me ever since and it always reminds me that I should always have a heart for learning in order to excel in all that I do. In the meantime, I have to have the humility and contentment with whatever position that I am in.

What are your goals and experiences with mentoring or encouraging others?

My ultimate goal as a mentor is to help my mentee achieve his or her fullest potential in whatever s/he does, whether it is academic or personal. I often see myself as a facilitator, where I encourage my mentees to strive for their personal best, as I build a genuine and trusting relationship with each one of my mentees. Everyone is unique and I try to tailor my mentorship approach to suit the needs and personalities of my mentees. In applying constructive criticism and comments to help improve all aspects of their lives, I aspire to have my mentees' best interests in mind. Although I may share my thoughts candidly, my hope is that the guidance that I provide will help point my mentees toward purpose-driven lives.