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Purdue for Life Foundation
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Back to Class Sessions

Join us on February 12 for an array of classes, free of charge, that capture Purdue’s persistent quest for knowledge. Exclusive to President’s Council members.

RSVP by February 2, 2022!

9:10–10:10 a.m. // Session 1 // See options below            
10:20–11:20 a.m. // Session 2 // See options below               
11:30 a.m.–12:30 p.m. // Session 3 // See options below             

Naples Grande Beach Resort

Session 1 // 9:10-10:10 a.m.

Class 1: Ag Internet of Things, Big Data, and the Promise of Open Source for Agriculture

With widespread projections that we need to double world crop production in the next 50 years, the search for environmentally sound, economically sustainable food production will be of enduring importance. Many challenges face us: scarcity of land and water, topsoil at risk from poor tillage practices, increasing herbicide resistance, tight margins, and an evolving climate that may unfavorably raise the weather-related risks of farming. Many hope agricultural big data and analytics will figure prominently in the search for future farming systems to meet these challenges. This class will explore the work of the Purdue Open Ag Technology and Systems (OATS) Center concerning hardware and software for emerging ag IoT, metadata sensing, and an open-source project for ag data sharing. The class will seek to place this work in the context of the larger body of research at Purdue and elsewhere.

James V. Krogmeier // Professor, Electrical and Computer Engineering; College of Engineering

Class 2: Online Communities and Digital Relationships

Our social lives are increasingly embedded in digital tools and platforms. What are the strengths, limitations, and side effects of these technologies we have come to depend upon? How has our sense of our “community” shifted as our interactions have become more mediated by technology?

Austin L. Toombs // Assistant Professor, Computer Graphics Technology; Purdue Polytechnic Institute

Class 3: The Performing Arts at Purdue—Past, Present, and Future

Take a look at the history and future of the performing arts at Purdue from the perspective of the class presenters. Learn how their organizations created opportunities for Purdue students during the COVID-19 pandemic and why the future is brighter than ever for the performing arts on campus.

Jay S. Gephart // Dr. Al G. Wright Chair, Purdue University Bands and Orchestras
Bill Griffel // Albert P. Stewart Director, Purdue Musical Organizations
Todd Wetzel // Executive Director, Purdue Convocations

Session 2 // 10:20-11:20 a.m.

Class 4: The Black Death: The World’s Most Devastating Plague

In the late 1340s, long before COVID, a cataclysmic plague shook medieval Europe to its core. The bacterial disease known to us as the Black Death swept westward across the continent, leaving a path of destruction from Crimea and Constantinople to Italy, France, Spain, and ultimately most of Europe, traveling as far west as England and Iceland. Within these locations, the plague killed up to 60% of the population in less than 10 years—a staggering 75 million dead. Take an unforgettable excursion into the time period of the plague, its full human repercussions, and its transformative effects on European civilization.

Dorsey Armstrong // Professor and Department Head, English; College of Liberal Arts

Class 5: A Matter of National Security and Innovation: Military Officers Receive Advanced Degrees at Purdue

Each year, Purdue educates more active-duty service members at the graduate level than any other civilian institution through the Purdue Military Research Institute. Learn about U.S. military officers who are coming to campus from every branch of our armed forces and how Purdue is innovating to best serve our nation’s defense. These service members are partnering with faculty conducting world-class research to expand their knowledge and learn what is needed to drive rapid advances throughout their military careers.

Eric Dietz // Director of Purdue Military Research Institute
Joe Pekny // Founding Faculty Member of Purdue Military Research Institute

Class 6: Six Pathways to Deepen Your Engagement at Purdue

We help people who love Purdue stay connected, get involved, and give back. This session will present six pathways to engagement, including Volunteerism, Student Life, Lifelong Learning, Alumni Clubs, Affinity Networks, and International Engagement and Alumni Travel Programs. Each pathway is uniquely designed to help all alumni, friends, and fans find a way to engage with our great University, no matter where you live. This is a great session if you want to deepen your Purdue ties and get more involved!

Jillian Henry // Vice President of Engagement; Purdue for Life Foundation

Session 3 // 11:30 a.m.-12:30 p.m.

Class 7: What Are the Bees, Why Are They in Trouble, How Can I Help?

Bees are critical pollinators in agricultural and natural settings. They help make many of the foods we eat and sustain the biodiverse ecosystems we need to survive. Unfortunately, bee populations globally are experiencing unprecedented declines. In this class, you will learn to identify several common bee species, explore their lifestyles, discover factors influencing bee declines, and learn about what you can do locally to help bees survive and thrive.

Brock A. Harpur // Assistant Professor, Entomology; College of Agriculture

Class 8: No Slam Dunk: Women in Sport

Do you think sport is simply a form of entertainment? Find out how sports matter beyond the game, the societal benefits of women’s sports participation, and the role of Title IX. Perhaps you heard about the U.S. women’s national soccer team’s fight for equal pay. This class will explain what that means for women, sports, and our society.

Cheryl Cooky // Professor of Interdisciplinary Studies; College of Liberal Arts

Class 9: How SECURE Are Your Long-Range Retirement and Philanthropic Goals?

The SECURE Act of 2019 made several changes affecting retirement planning. Since the act’s passing into law, Congress has been tinkering away on several changes intended to fine-tune the original legislation. Will these changes “turbocharge” your retirement plan or throw everything into disarray? This class will discuss the SECURE Act and recent modifications likely to make it into law. We will also discuss how those changes could affect your retirement, estate, and philanthropic plans.

Marcus Knotts // Senior Associate Vice President, Planned Giving; Purdue for Life Foundation

Class 10: Diversity,  Inclusion and Belonging: The Boilermaker Way

Join us for a discussion of Purdue’s ongoing commitment to energize and expand support to recruit and retain underrepresented minority students, faculty, and staff, as well as initiatives aimed at improving the experience for these individuals on the Purdue campus.

John Gates // Vice Provost, Diversity, Inclusion and Belonging; Clinical Professor, Krannert School of Management 

Renee Thomas // Associate Vice Provost, Diversity, Inclusion and Belonging