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This Is Purdue

This Is Purdue, the official podcast for Purdue University, highlights stories about Boilermakers from across all disciplines, who through research, innovation and determination, have persistently pursued their next giant leap.

Hosted by Purdue University alum, Brian Lamb School of Communication graduate, and Indiana native Kate Young, This is Purdue aims to examine all of the incredible accomplishments of Boilermakers and their contributions to the world.

Join us every other Thursday as we interview students, faculty, and alumni taking small steps toward their giant leaps, and inspiring others to do the same.

PGA Tour Player Adam Schenk Reflects on Purdue Golf Career, Playing Professionally and His First Invite to the Masters

This Is Purdue

  • 250 views
  • about 2 months ago
  • 34:03

In this episode of “This Is Purdue,” we’re talking to PGA Tour golfer Adam Schenk.  Adam is a Mitchell E. Daniels, Jr. School of Business alum and former first-team All-Big Ten Purdue men’s golfer, who has spent nearly a decade dedicated to his full-time career on the golf course. During this time, he secured his PGA Tour card and rapidly ascended the leaderboard, often competing alongside some of the world's top-ranked golfers. The 2023 season took him to new heights pursuing his first PGA Tour win and, in 2024, he continues that chase while preparing to play his first Masters.   Listen as he takes us back to his time playing for the Purdue men’s golf team, recounting his first collegiate tournament and what it felt like winning for a team, not just himself. Frequently returning to the Purdue golf courses, he loves mentoring and playing with current Boilermaker golfers, while practicing his own swing and preparing for major tournaments like the U.S. Open.  With his golden retriever, Bunker, at his side during practice, Adam discusses how he prepares to play with pro golf legends like Rory McIlroy on some of the most famous courses across the country. Adam says he loves seeing plenty of spectators in Purdue clothing and often hears a distant “Boiler Up!” from the bustling crowds at PGA tournaments.  Plus, Adam reflects on his unique friendship with his mentor, Purdue men’s golf coach Rob Bradley, who joins the podcast to discuss this duo’s journey from Purdue to the PGA Tour.  You don’t want to miss this conversation with a Boilermaker who is taking giant leaps in the world of professional golf. 

Greatest Hits of 2023: Celebrating Boilermaker Persistence

This Is Purdue

  • 470 views
  • 6 months ago
  • 45:34

In this episode of “This Is Purdue,” we’re starting to ring in the new year with some of our most popular episodes from 2023.  Part 1 of our two-part “Greatest Hits of 2023” episode shines a light on the incredible stories and achievements of Boilermakers from across different disciplines.   Tune in as we share highlights from episodes featuring Purdue President Mung Chiang, fighter pilot Heather Penney, Pizza Hut U.S. President David Graves, Purdue deputy athletics director Tiffini Grimes, Team Penske IndyCar engineers Matt Kuebel and Mike Koenigs, and Purdue’s “Piano Man” Bruce Barker.  Celebrate the past year by listening to these Boilermakers who persistently pursue their next giant leaps. You don’t want to miss this one!  

Sangtae Kim on Leading the Davidson School of Chemical Engineering and the Importance of Purdue’s ‘Excellence at Scale’

This Is Purdue

  • 460 views
  • 6 months ago
  • 30:56

In this episode of “This Is Purdue,” we’re talking to Sangtae Kim, the Jay and Cynthia Ihlenfeld Head of Chemical Engineering and Distinguished Professor.  Sangtae dives into his family background — including what it was like growing up in a family of educators, his career at Eli Lilly and what brought him back to academia to lead Purdue University’s Davidson School of Chemical Engineering.  Listen as Sangtae discusses the significance of the growing number of women majoring in engineering and Purdue’s culture of solution-oriented students.   “Be part of the solution, not the problem, right?” Sangtae says. “It’s advice that I don’t have to give because that’s the nature of Purdue students and graduates.”    Plus, he shares what it means to him to be guiding and mentoring those walking in the same shoes he once did and his admiration for Purdue’s “excellence at scale.” 

Football Legend Leroy Keyes’ Wife, Monica, on Earning Her Master’s Degree at Purdue, Raising Their Family in the Boilermaker Community and Her Husband’s Legacy

This Is Purdue

  • 470 views
  • 7 months ago
  • 36:14

In this episode of “This Is Purdue,” we’re talking to Monica Keyes, wife of the late Purdue icon and former Boilermaker football player and coach Leroy Keyes.  Turns out, the couple met in a church bowling league in Philadelphia, Monica’s hometown, when Leroy was an NFL player for the Eagles. Week after week they happened to keep showing up in the same-colored shirts.   “I was learning how to bowl … and he and I began to have little wagers,” Monica reflects. “You know, ‘I’ll bet you a Coke.’ And that’s how our relationship grew.”  Monica’s introduction to Purdue came from a sweatshirt Leroy was wearing one day.   “I’m like, ‘Purdue, what is that? Is it an Ivy League school?’” Soon enough she would get to experience the Purdue community for herself. Leroy, who was a two-time All-American and Heisman Trophy candidate, took a job as a running backs coach with Purdue in 1995 under then-head football coach Jim Colletto.   At the time, Monica wouldn’t have guessed it. But soon enough, Purdue started to feel like home. By the early 2000s, Monica became a Boilermaker herself as she enrolled in a nurse practitioner master's program at Purdue.  Tune in to hear Monica share what it was like relocating to the Midwest, raising kids in the Boilermaker community and how Leroy’s legacy lives on. 

‘Piano Man’ Bruce Barker on His Purdue Experience, Playing in Front of Millions and Retirement

This Is Purdue

  • 490 views
  • 7 months ago
  • 46:42

In this episode of “This Is Purdue,” we’re talking to Purdue’s “Piano Man,” Bruce Barker.  Despite growing up in Lafayette, Bruce didn’t see himself attending Purdue. He wasn’t the best student while in school, and he didn’t peg himself as someone who would succeed in college.   But after high school, he struggled to find meaningful work without a college degree. On a whim, he applied to Purdue. Pretty soon, Bruce was auditioning for the Varsity Glee Club, teaching himself to play piano and reinventing himself as the person we’ve come to know and love for decades — Purdue’s “Piano Man.”  In Bruce’s nearly three decades on the stage, he has become a beloved fixture in the Boilermaker community, attracting thousands to his weekly shows and even inspiring alumni to return from as far away as Georgia, Colorado, Florida and Texas.  Tune in to discover how Bruce got his job at the Neon Cactus, his favorite memories from performing in front of millions, the story of the night he met his wife during a performance, what it meant to give back to Purdue during the pandemic — and why he’s decided to hang up the mic at the end of the 2023 fall semester.