Think back to when you started college. More than likely, you had your eye on
a specific career — and chose your major and coursework accordingly. We
take tremendous pride in the College of Science at our success in preparing
students for that first post-graduation job. But the impact of a science degree is
much deeper. Our rigorous training in science and mathematics helps build
lifelong habits and skills — hard work, critical thinking and analysis, intellectual flexibility and resiliency. Our graduates leave Purdue knowing how to
solve thorny problems and ready to succeed in whatever field they choose. I’m
always excited when I hear from alumni about the impact and importance of
Purdue in their lives.
In this issue of Insights, we explore how some of our alumni used their
College of Science experience as a catalyst for change and a springboard for
taking advantage of opportunities that could not have been imagined when
they first stepped on the West Lafayette campus. You’ll learn how Purdue
prepares our students to be adaptable and to thrive on change.
While many graduates enjoy successful careers at one company or
institution, there are some who make the brave choice to switch gears.
Sometimes this change comes early. Biological sciences alumnus Billy
Crosby started at Eli Lilly and Company before finding an interesting fit as a
configuration manager at Cummins Inc.
Other alumni made their changes further into their careers. Jon Ferency
established a strong career as a software consultant with help from his computer science and mathematics degrees. After more than a decade, he wanted
to transition from communicating with systems to interacting with teams and
clients while still using his strong STEM skills as a global research and
development finance manager for Roche Diagnostics.
College of Science graduates help implement change as well. Cary Supalo,
another bio alum, has made national progress in the implementation of lab
equipment for the visually impaired.
Of course, there is the world-changing research, too. You’ll meet bio sophomore Nicole Biddinger, who came to Purdue with years of research experience
from high school and summer programs at Oklahoma State University. Her success continues to build, and a minor planet was recently named in her honor.
Whether as a safety net or an enabler, I am proud to know that a Purdue
College of Science degree can be an important instrument for change.
Thank you and please have a happy, warm and safe holiday season.
JEFFREY T. ROBERTS
Frederick L. Hovde Dean of the College of Science