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A Center of Support

Ryan Tedjasukmana headshot

“I arrived in West Lafayette on a cold and quiet winter day,” says Ryan Tedjasukmana (AAE’13, MS’15). “When classes started, Purdue turned into this melting pot of people from different backgrounds and unique upbringings. Some of them became my very best friends.”

When Tedjasukmana attended Purdue, the Asian American and Asian Resource and Cultural Center (AAARCC) was just starting to make an impact. “I followed the news about it a little bit during its formation, starting at the Stewart Center location,” Tedjasukmana says. “During the COVID-19 pandemic, I attended some online events and realized the importance of Asian American and Asian resources on campus. The AAARCC is a support system for students of Asian descent, which is very personal to me.”

A longtime supporter of the center with a passion for helping others, Tedjasukmana has established a scholarship endowment to support students involved with the AAARCC. The scholarship will help recipients further their professional development while encouraging academic excellence. 

“Giving has long been a part of my identity,” Tedjasukmana says. “I believe it started with seeing my father involved in various nonprofit organizations in addition to his professional and family obligations. I’ve been following in his footsteps in many ways. It’s satisfying to lead not just in your workplace or your home but also in your community.”

“The AAARCC opened in the spring of 2015 to weave the experiences of Asian and Asian American communities into Purdue’s campus,” notes Pamela Sari, the center’s director. “Asians and Asian Americans are the fastest-growing minorities in the United States.”

Like all cultural centers at Purdue, the AAARCC serves the entire campus. “For those who identify as Asian or Asian American, our hope is that the AAARCC will help them learn more about their heritage and find a sense of belonging on campus,” Sari says. “For those who don’t identify as Asian or Asian American, the AAARCC is a place of learning where they can enhance their intercultural competencies and skills.” 

Sari has known Tedjasukmana since he was a student and appreciates his continued engagement. Tedjasukmana was recently honored as a champion of the center at the AAARCC’s annual keynote event for Asian Pacific American Heritage Month. He now also serves on the leadership board of the recently launched Purdue Asian Alumni Network as events cochair. A proud Boilermaker, he plans to stay connected with Purdue and its students, encouraging them to “have fun, make connections, and continue learning after graduation.”

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Patsy J. Mellott

BS College of Health and Human Sciences, 1969
Fishers, IN

Patsy earned a bachelor’s degree in food and nutrition in business from Purdue in 1969, in addition to an MBA in food marketing from Michigan State University in 1970. She retired from Kraft Foods in 2006 after 36 years in corporate food marketing and marketing communications management.

A community volunteer, Patsy serves on the Women’s Fund of Central Indiana Advisory Board and the Purdue College of Health and Human Sciences Dean’s Leadership Council, in addition to the President’s Council Advisory Board. She is a former member of the Health and Human Sciences Alumni Board. Patsy held several offices from 2006 through 2013, including president and treasurer. She serves her community’s Discover Indianapolis Club in Fishers, holding several leadership roles for over 10 years.

Patsy has received several honors, including the Purdue University Nutrition Science Department Hall of Fame recipient in 2009 and the Purdue University College of Health and Human Sciences Distinguished Alumni Award in 2016. She also received the college’s Gold and Black Award in 2016, an honor reserved for donors who have moved the college forward by committing exceptional financial resources.

In addition to endowing two scholarships, the Patsy J. Mellott Scholarship and Patsy J. Mellott HHS Scholarship, she established the Patsy J. Mellott Teaching Innovation Award in the College of Health and Human Sciences in 2013. In 2015, she endowed the Patsy J. Mellott Women’s Tennis Coach Performance Award. She is a lead donor in the Christine M. Ladisch Faculty Leadership Award and the Purdue Women’s Network Virginia C. Meredith Scholarship for the College of Health and Human Sciences.