Purdue Polytechnic Educational Research and Development: Highlights of 2014 & Ambitions for 2015


…I hope you will have a wonderful year, that you’ll dream dangerously and outrageously, that you’ll make something that didn’t exist before you made it, that you will be loved and that you will be liked, and that you will have people to love and to like in return. And, most importantly (because I think there should be more kindness and more wisdom in the world right now), that you will, when you need to be, be wise, and that you will always be kind. – Neil Gaiman

Welcome to this special Purdue Polytechnic report in which we celebrate our accomplish in 2014, reflect on what we have learned, and prepare for another momentous year.


We wrapped up 2014 with a potluck dinner with the Purdue Polytechnic family. It was attended by students, staff, faculty, and their respective families. We especially enjoyed meeting many of our students’ parents and hearing their feedback, questions, and suggestions. One of the highlights of the evening was when the students gave their parents a tour of the lab and showed them the projects they have designed.

We began 2015 with another communal event: a two-day working retreat where we processed program evaluation data collected in 2014 and planned the many activities for 2015. Here too students were present with us. They were invited to add their voices, and several enthusiastically decided to do so. It is very hard to capture the level of energy and the sense of boundless possibilities that reigned during the two-day retreat. When we started a year ago, we half-jokingly stated, “We are not creating a new curriculum; we are creating a new culture.” As we questioned, debated, and “dreamed dangerously and outrageously,” it definitely felt like a new culture — one built on mutual trust, respect, vulnerability, and commitment to a common vision.

The most fitting way to start 2015 is by saluting my colleagues who have been making this possible, taking risks, getting out of their comfort zones, and asking questions that deeply touch our very identities as educators. Kudos to all of you: Kirk Alter, Richard Dionne, Jeffrey Evans, Marisa Exter, Esteban Garcia, Michael Fosmire, Tom Hacker, Robert Herrick, Davin Huston, Gozdem Kilaz, Sorin Matei, Mark Shaurette, Michael Smith, and Amy Van Epps, founding faculty fellows. Welcome to new faculty: Rayvon Fouche, Marifran Mattson, Nancy Gabin, Ajith Rajapaksha, and Sharra Vostrel. And thank you to Stephanie Schmidt and John O’Malley, our dedicated staff.

The full report is attached and can also be found at Best wishes to all. Dream big … and always be kind. Fatma Mili

PolytechEduRDAnnualReport14-15.pdf (6 MB)

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