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Dr. Jacqueline M. GastonKnown as a STEM diversity and inclusion thought leader and advocate, Jacqueline M. Gatson (Ed.D.) has more than a decade of experience conceptualizing and managing nationwide programming, engagement initiatives, and strategic partnerships for higher education.

As the Assistant Vice President of Advancement for Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion at the Purdue for Life Foundation, Jacqueline designs, leads, and directs a broad range of Advancement initiatives that support engagement and development strategies to fulfill the University’s diversity, equity, and inclusion priorities. She directly oversees and supports fundraising activities, foundation relations, industry partnerships, and community partnerships aimed at increasing representation and access for diverse students, faculty, and staff.

Prior to joining the Purdue for Life Foundation, Jacqueline was the Associate Director for Purdue University’s Minority Engineering Program (MEP). In addition to creating and implementing multiple new programs and offerings during her tenure, she also founded and led the Purdue College of Engineering’s award-winning “We Support Black Engineers” campaign that launched during the Fall 2020 semester.

In 2020, Jacqueline received the New Employee Award from the College of Engineering. She is also the 2021 recipient of the Purdue Black Graduate Student Association’s Distinguished Service Award, which recognizes those who have made significant and sustained contributions to Black Higher Education within the State of Indiana.

Jacqueline received her bachelor’s degree from Grambling State University. She holds both a master’s degree and a doctorate from Kansas State University, where she served in numerous roles prior to her arrival at Purdue. Jacqueline is also a professional member of the American Society for Engineering Education and a former board member of the National Association of Multicultural Engineering Program Advocates.

Purdue for Life Foundation

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.