March 2019


Anna Szolwinski

Student Profile

Szolwinski Builds Foundation in Women's Leadership Series

Coming to college can be a daunting experience. Making individual connections within an environment of 43,000 students, creating a sense of home away from where one grew up, building new friendships, networking to create professional connections and finding one’s niche in a myriad of organizations are just some of the challenges new students face. 

For freshman Anna Szolwinski, some of these challenges began to be addressed through the Women’s Leadership Series. The series is one of several experiences that has helped cultivate Szolwinski’s desire to pursue the leadership opportunities that interest her at Purdue. 

“I think it can sometimes be scary to come into a university and not know which direction you want to take,” says Szolwinski. “This program opened up a lot of opportunities that I can now pursue throughout the next three years.”

This year’s Women’s Leadership Series consisted of three events spread throughout the spring semester. The series brings women students and campus faculty/staff together to network, provide support and learn from one another. Each event features a guest speaker or two who present on topics related to their area of expertise, share meaningful experiences and answer questions from participants. The events also include group discussion and networking opportunities for guests and attendees. 

Kristin Van Busum, founder and CEO of Project Alianza, is one of the guest speakers Szolwinski cited as having an impact on her ways of thinking. Van Busum presented the idea of creating a personal hashtag as a means of empowerment, sharing a creation called #ThisIsNotADressRehearsal. That message stuck with Szolwinski as a form of empowerment, who created her own hashtag #FiveTwo&BreakingThrough. 

“It was really important for her to say that we need to show up every day and ready to give our all,” says Szolwinski. “She also encouraged us to create our own hashtag, which I did. #FiveTwo&BreakingThrough perfectly sums up my experience as a petite young woman in our society attempting to break through the glass ceiling, as well as my high-achieving goals for my time spent at Purdue. As I begin to chip away at the glass ceiling, I want to inspire young girls and other women to chip away with me.”

After initially being undecided in her course of study, Szolwinski entered pre-communications with the idea of someday working in corporate communications or the non-profit sector. Van Busum’s work in founding Project Alianza, which provides educational opportunities for children living in rural Nicaragua, further served as inspiration and helped Szolwinski make a valued connection at one of the series events. Szolwinski has been in contact with Van Busum since the event, exchanging emails and having a phone conversation to discuss Szolwinski’s plans. 

“She’s a role model for me and someone I can look up to,” says Szolwinski. “To see a woman who’s in charge of a nonprofit, which is exactly what I could see myself doing someday, is really awesome.” 

In addition to networking and learning about the experiences of professionals, Szolwinski says participating in Women’s Leadership Series is about self-discovery. 

“It’s experiences like this series that allow me to learn more about myself and learn more about my interests and passions, which are building blocks to where I want to go,” says Szolwinski. “I think as I go through the next three years of college, I will be participating in experiences and having these connections that make me learn more about what I want to do later on.” 

Szolwinski participated in Rising Professionals this year, which unites distinguished young Purdue alumni with underclassmen to inspire the pursuit of the full Boilermaker experience, and has applied to serve on the organization’s committee next year. She plans to be a part of the Purdue Foundation Student Board and will be a team leader during Boiler Gold Rush next fall. Additionally, her membership in the Honors College allows Szolwinski the opportunity to serve as a mentor for incoming students next year – an experience that she found helpful in her own adjustment to the Honors College this year.  

“I had a mentor last semester and I’ll get to return the favor next year,” says Szolwinski. “I think this is a really unique position because it gives us an opportunity to give back what we got from our mentors.” 

Szolwinski’s enthusiasm in her participation in the series was recognized as she was presented with the Women’s Leadership Series Scholarship Award. The award is given to a student who distinguishes herself in the series, participates in all of the events, lives in University Residences, has demonstrated leadership as a Purdue student and is in good academic standing. 

Whatever the next three years and beyond bring, Szolwinski says the Women’s Leadership Series has given her a foundation to build upon.

“Being able to interact with all of these women on campus was truly an honor,” says Szolwinski. “I am excited to use what I learned within the series to be the most empowering leader that I can and help build up other women around me.” 



Student Profile

Newly Minted Drum Majors Have Tour Guide Connections

Drum majors are among the most visible performers in any band – and especially, the Purdue “All-American” Marching Band (AAMB). Drum majors are the leaders of the band, typically positioned at the head of the marching unit and leading the game day atmosphere in Ross-Ade Stadium. 

Lucy Bays, a junior from Zionsville, Indiana and Brendan Schultz, a senior from Brighton, Michigan will serve as the drum majors of the AAMB during the 2019-20 season. Each will be able to draw on experiences as members of University Residences’ Alumni and Guest Center. Bays is currently a tour ambassador, which includes supervising and coordinating tour guides. Schultz previously served as a tour guide for two semesters and was an active member of the Residence Hall Association, serving as the Issues and Facilities Director. 

The AAMB is a big part of the reason that Schultz and Bays each chose to attend Purdue. Bays’ visit with the band settled her on the Gold and Black despite her parent’s close ties to the “other” Big 10 school in the state, while Schultz initially found his inspiration to be part of a Big 10 band while attending football games at the University of Michigan.  

Brendan Schultz

“I had this dream for quite a while in being able to fill this role at a big university,” says Schultz. “I came to Purdue and saw that this was the band that I really wanted to be in. It was one of the major selling points for why I came to Purdue.” 

While most who come to Ross-Ade Stadium on game day will only see the final product, a lot of behind-the-scenes work goes into being a drum major. Drum majors perform a major role in running band camp and holding auditions for student leaders, who make up another part of the band’s leadership for each section. They also perform numerous administrative duties such as tracking attendance and monitoring uniform protocols. All of this takes place in addition to performances on game day, coordinating music with members of the media during timeouts, leading stadium cheers and performing at other special events. 

Bays says she can lean on her previous experience with University Residences in how she represents the band. 

“One of the reasons I was really excited for the opportunity to be drum major is that we do a lot where we can be seen as the face of the band,” says Bays. “The professionalism from being a tour guide and knowing that when guests come here, we’re the face of Residential Life is the same in however you portray the band.” 

Lucy Bays

Being visible as a leader and encouraging members of the band is perhaps the biggest part of the daily role filled by Bays and Schultz. Bays extends the positivity in the way she communicates with tour guides into her role in the AAMB. For Schultz, promoting a family atmosphere features prominently in his encouragement of band members.   

“I like to encourage students to find their family,” says Schultz. “When you’re away from home and you’re not with your actual family, it can be hard to find a group like that on campus. For the most part, we want to make sure that the band is that family for a lot of the people that need it.”

Both Schultz and Bays say that they have been able to connect the leadership experiences they have been a part of in University Residences with their roles in the AAMB. 

“Both leadership opportunities have given me that ability to practice and learn at leadership, and also the ability to fail at leadership and then go about figuring it out,” says Bays. “I’ve been able to cross back and forth a lot as far as getting comfortable with being uncomfortable in giving criticism and realizing that there are bigger goals.” 

Self-improvement has been the cornerstone of Schultz’s leadership development.

“I think you build a lot of confidence in high school when you serve in different leadership roles, but when you get to Purdue and there’s an entire campus full of people who have also done amazing things, it’s hard to look at yourself and ask what can I improve on?” says Schultz. “One of the hardest things to do is look at yourself from an outside perspective and find the things that you aren’t doing well. Oftentimes that means going to others to see what areas you can improve on. That definitely is the hardest thing about improving as a leader, but the best thing that’s happened to me in terms of personal leadership growth at Purdue.” 

Before the AAMB takes the field, Bays and Schultz will work with directors of the AAMB to train for the spring game and band camp. Even with all the work to come, Bays says the experience might not seem real until the AAMB takes the field before kickoff on September 7. 

“I don’t think I can even wrap my head around the fact I’m a drum major yet,” says Bays. “It doesn’t seem real. I’m looking forward to that first game day – all the stress, but all the excitement.” 

Bays and Schultz will be part of an iconic Purdue tradition that dates to 1886. The world-renowned band performs at each home football game and travels to concerts and festivals around the world. Directed by Jay S. Gephart, the 384-member band is the largest in the Big 10 and one of the largest in the nation. 



Purdue Day of Giving 2019

Upcoming Event

Show Your Purdue Pride to Impact University Residences on Day of Giving

University Residences invites you to show your Purdue Pride by participating in hourly challenges on Purdue Day of Giving, scheduled for April 24. 

Our goal during this 24-hour social media blitz is to raise funds for the many programs that provide leadership, professional development and career growth opportunities for our 14,000-plus residents. Hourly challenges provide opportunities for us to win additional “bonus” funds by meeting these challenges through donation or social media participation. Not all challenges require a donation. 

This year’s social media challenges University Residences is participating in that do not require a donation include:

  • 10 a.m. – 50th original Tweet with unit hashtag and #PurdueDayofGiving
  • 11 a.m. – Most unique photo with Day of Giving Logo, unit hashtag and #PurdueDayofGiving
  • 12 p.m. – Most creative Purdue Day of Giving Selfie with unit hashtag and #PurdueDayofGiving
  • 3 p.m. – Film an Instagram video of yourself singing the chorus of “Hail Purdue,” including the unit hashtag and #PurdueDayofGiving
  • 8 p.m. – Most creative photo of your pets in Purdue Gear on Twitter or Instagram. Make sure to include #PurdueDayofGiving and the unit hashtag.

By simply including the hashtags #PurdueUR and #PurdueDayofGiving and posting during these hours, you can help us earn funds that will be used to further the University Residences experience – and share your own Purdue Pride! 

We also invite you to participate in the following hourly challenges by donating to University Residences. 

  • 12 a.m. – Purdue Pete is challenging you to start Purdue Day of Giving right! Be the first to donate to win bonus funds for your chosen unit.
  • 9 a.m. – Most faculty/staff donors. 
  • 1 p.m. – Most donations from Alumni donors. 
  • 6 p.m. – Power Hour: funds awarded based on a random first-time donation. 
  • 7 p.m. – Donation from person living farthest from campus. 

Your donation can be directed towards leadership programs such as Men’s Leadership Series and Women’s Leadership Series, RAISE awards benefitting financial assistance for resident assistants, hall clubs, or any other area a donor wishes. 

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

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

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