April 2017

Academic Success Center coming to Wiley Hall

Housing News

Academic Success Center coming to Wiley Hall

Purdue’s Academic Success Center (ASC) is moving out of the Krach Leadership Center, and ASC’s new home is also home to 750 students – Wiley Hall. Like with the UR Support Center in Shreve Hall, University Residences is taking another former dining space and repurposing it for academic use, this time to house the ASC in what was once a dining room in Wiley, east of the front desk area.

The ASC serves as a hub of academic enhancement initiatives within Student Success at Purdue. It’s open to all Purdue students and offers Supplemental Instruction (SI), Peer Success Coaches, tutoring, workshops and other resources. The center has three full-time staff and four grad assistants, as well as a significant number of undergraduate employees. SI has another three staff members and additional student employees.

“SI uses space all over campus wherever they can get it. The ideal spaces are residence hall spaces, because what they do is off-hours and it’s primarily first-year students,” said Dan Carpenter, executive director for Student Success Programs. “They’re going to be in a purpose-built location housed in a residence hall, in one of the halls that’s most proximate to academic campus. That’s an advantage.”

Half of the renovated space will serve as a collaborative learning area, similar to the UR Support Centers in Shreve and Cary Quad, while the other will house offices, consultation rooms, and smaller study spaces for students. The administrative side will have custom-built prefabricated modular walls, while the collaborative learning area will be outfitted with floor-to-ceiling white boards and digital projectors.

The renovation project kicks off in May and should be completed in time for the fall semester to begin in August.

Writer: Matt Watson

Jack Champaigne at the Harrison 50th Celebration

Jack Champaigne (third from the right) at the Harrison Hall 50th Anniversary Celebration

Alumni Profile

Former counselor pushes development of Center for Surface Engineering and Enhancement

Jack Champaigne, president of Electronics Incorporated, is bringing his life’s work to his alma mater. His company’s products are used in aerospace, automotive, medical, mining and other manufacturing applications all over the world, with distribution in 20 different countries, and now the shot peening processes he’s been working on since founding Electronics Inc. in 1974 are playing a pivotal role in Purdue’s new Center for Surface Engineering and Enhancement (C-SEE).

Jack-Champaigne-headshot“We’re looking for ways to establish equipment and facilities at Purdue to increase our knowledge of the process of surface enhancement and engineering,” said Champaigne, a 1968 electrical engineering graduate.

Champaigne hopes Electronics Inc.’s collaboration in the C-SEE development will position Purdue as a research leader in his field. He expects a physical facility in the Purdue Research Park in the next few years, with other partners such as Rolls Royce and Caterpillar donating resources and equipment to the initiative.

“I’ve been working on this with Purdue for 25 years, and this time it’s going to succeed,” he said. “That’s on my bucket list – I’m not quitting until this thing comes to life.”

Champaigne’s drive to contribute to his alma mater stems from a lifelong bond forged long ago. He cites the Soviet Union’s launch of the Sputnik satellite when he was a child as the moment he knew he wanted to be an engineer, and Purdue was a natural fit from there. He says he “fell in love” with the school at a Purdue Christmas Show. But the one connection that’s kept him dreaming about reliving his college days is his time as a residence hall counselor.

Champaigne spent two years as a counselor in Harrison Hall, and 50 years later he can rattle off story after story of highlights (and mischief) from his time in the halls. His best memories of course involve electronics, like when he wired an intercom between floors so he could talk to his friends, or when the residents on his floor all pitched in to buy him a Christmas present.

“They had a gift exchange and gave out gag gifts, and my first package was a can of soup. Then they were all crowding in my room and there was another package on my bed. They’d all chipped in and purchased a portable black-and-white television set for me,” Champaigne said. “That was an emotional moment, to say the least. I really adopted the residents on the floor, especially the freshmen. It was a good experience.”

Now Champaigne endows scholarships to provide those experiences for others. He contributes to a fund named after James (Jim) Burwell, his residence hall manager at Harrison, as well as grants for high school students in the South Bend area where he lives to go to Purdue.

“Purdue shaped my life in numerous ways. The engineering education instilled a discipline that I still rely upon today. Being a counselor at Harrison Hall for two years was absolutely the most significant aspect of my tenure at Purdue,” Champaigne said. “It’s give-back time, just to say to Purdue how grateful I am for the tremendous education I got there.”

For information about giving opportunities in University Residences, visit

Writer: Matt Watson

Drake Krohn and Ryan Steele

Wiley residence education assistant Drake Krohn and Wiley Dining Court employee Ryan Steele

Student Spotlight

Fast friends: Wiley REA and dining court employee mark five years of friendship

Five years ago, Wiley Dining Court employee Ryan Steele approached then-sophomore Drake Krohn and his friends and asked if he could eat lunch with them.

“It is that simple,” Steele says while eating lunch with Krohn at Wiley, just as he has about three times a week for the last five years. It’s one of the last lunches they’ll share while Krohn is a student, before he graduates in May and moves to Chicago this summer for a civil engineering job at O’Hare International Airport.

Steele, a special needs adult who started working at Wiley Dining Court in 2012, cleans tables and distributes clean dishes in the dining court three afternoons per week. He works a morning job at Mackey Arena supporting the equipment staff, then heads to the dining court and eats lunch before his shift starts at noon. He says he likes his jobs because, “Everyone loves me for who I am. People inspire me all the time.”

The friend he found in Krohn is wrapping up his master’s degree and his sixth year in University Residences, including two years as a resident assistant, one as a staff resident and this year as a residence education assistant, a new position that evolved from the staff resident role. Krohn happened to eat lunch at the same time as Steele his sophomore year, and in subsequent years he started scheduling his classes around lunch with his friend.

In five years, the pair have gone to Purdue basketball and baseball games together, as well as concerts like Shania Twain – Steele is a “huge Shania fan,” Krohn says. They go to church together and have volunteered together at the Food Finders Food Bank in Lafayette. Krohn has come to Ryan’s birthday parties and his Special Olympics competitions, which include basketball and bowling. What started as one lunch became a regular routine, and that routine has become a lasting friendship that’s had a significant impact on both of them.

“I have a lot of people I’ll remain in close contact with after graduation, like Ryan,” Krohn said. “It’ll be a lot different – six years is a long time. I have a lot of emotional attachment to a lot of things here at Purdue.”

Writer: Matt Watson

Writer: Matt Vader | Editors: Tammy Loew, Renee Kashawlic, Danielle Fawbush

Editorial Board: Barb Frazee, Tammy Loew, Renee Kashawlic | Inquiries Contact:

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