Each of our storytellers is an alumni volunteer who is willing to share their story and stimulate thoughts of how our experiences at Purdue can inspire others to get involved and give back. Topics may include cultural identity, ethnicity, gender, sexuality, social status, religion/ideology and the various ways alumni now are choosing to stay connected, get involved, and give back to Purdue.

Keynote Speaker

Dr. John


Purdue vice provost for diversity and Inclusion

Gates joined Purdue in early 2019 as the vice provost for diversity and inclusion and clinical professor in the Krannert School of Management. You can learn more about Gates and his vision for diversity, inclusion, and belonging at Purdue by visiting:




Airline Pilot

About Abelardo

Born and raised in the Pacific Northwest, Abelardo grew up as a first-generation Latino. He was born to immigrant parents who fled El Salvador at the onset of its civil war, then immigrated north to the United States in search of a better life. Despite being raised in a family where education had previously not been a way of life, Abelardo was constantly encouraged to pursue higher education. After graduation, he worked for various airlines before becoming one of the founding pilots for one of America’s newest airlines.

Abelardo's Story

In a presentation called “Unsuspecting Job,” I will share the story of a first-generation Latino having to do a job he never thought he’d have to do. What happens when your job takes an unsuspecting turn? What happens when you’re asked to do a task that many others may not agree with—even though you’re not doing anything wrong or breaking any rules? What happens when you try to do your job as a professional yet, at the same time, your heart aches?



(PhD LA’12)

Associate Professor

About DR. LISA K.

Lisa is an associate professor in the School of Media and Communication at Bowling Green State University, and she is an affiliated faculty member of the American Culture Studies and Women’s, Gender, and Sexuality Studies Programs at the school. She also serves as the National Center for Faculty Development and Diversity’s academic director of training and content. Her research focuses on diversity, equity, and inclusion (DEI) in higher education. While pursuing her PhD in communication studies at Purdue, Lisa was part of an interdisciplinary team of faculty, administrators, staff, and students who worked collaboratively to establish Purdue’s Asian American Studies Program.

DR. LISA K.'s Story

In a presentation called “Where Are You From … and Where Are We Going?” I will share my story of growing up in Indiana as a fourth-generation Japanese American cisgender girl. By interrogating my racialized roots, I will challenge anti-Asian stereotypes and invite audience members to move forward collectively to prevent and stop anti-Asian prejudice and discrimination.




Financial Services Advisor


A financial services advisor for Woodman Life Insurance, Myron earned his bachelor’s degree in industrial management from Purdue while graduating with distinguished honors. He was the first Black Presidential Scholar in Purdue history and had the opportunity to be featured with Boilermaker legends Neil Armstrong, Orville Redenbacher, and John Wooden, among others, during Purdue’s highly successful Vision 21 Campaign. White has over 30 years of corporate, foundation, financial, military, academic, and community leadership experience.

DR. MYRON's Story

I came to Purdue from a small town in Illinois with dreams of making a difference. I found an opportunity to succeed at Purdue, eventually earning honors from the Phi Beta Kappa, Phi Kappa Phi, and Mortar Board academic honor societies and winning the Emanuel Thornton Weiler Award for outstanding graduating senior at Krannert and the G.A. Ross Award for outstanding senior male on campus. I also won the Wall Street Journal Student Achievement Award and the Kodak Scholar Award. I met many amazing Boilermakers along the way, and I am grateful and humbled to tell my Purdue story.