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2 Purdue employees honored with 2009 Dreamer Award

WEST LAFAYETTE, Ind. — Purdue’s University’s 2009 Dreamer Award will honor the diversity and community coordinator for University Residences and the special assistant to the chancellor at Purdue North Central.

James J. Foster and Patricia A. Carlisle will be honored during the university’s annual Martin Luther King Jr. celebration at 7 p.m. Monday, Jan. 19, in Stewart Center’s Fowler Hall.

James J. Foster

James J. Foster

“The award is presented annually to individuals or organizations within the university whose contributions embody Martin Luther King Jr.’s vision of service to others and further the university’s commitment to diversity,” said Alysa Christmas Rollock, vice president for ethics and compliance. “The award was established in 2004, and it continues to shine a spotlight on those who are walking the talk.”

Foster develops and facilitates diversity workshops for students and staff within University Residences and in the Lafayette/West Lafayette communities. He also coordinates the residences’ Peer Mentoring Program, where upperclassmen volunteer to mentor new residents in achieving early academic success.

With Foster’s help, university’s housing and food services in 2007 received a national award from the National Association of College Auxiliary Services for improving cultural awareness and diversity in its work force. Foster currently serves on the executive vice president for business and finance and treasurer’s diversity task force and is an adviser for the University Residences central diversity team.

Patricia A. Carlisle

Patricia A. Carlisle

Foster has given diversity workshops and training throughout Indiana and brings fun to his teaching with his Diversity Through Dance program. He is a graduate of Leadership Lafayette and is pastor of the Word of Life Fellowship Church in Lafayette.

Carlisle of Chesterton, Ind., who will be retiring this year from Purdue North Central, also serves as PNC’s equal opportunity/affirmative action officer. She has worked at Purdue North Central since 1982 and was the founder and director of PNC’s student support services that assists students with disabilities, low-income students and first-generation college students.

She has worked through Purdue North Central’s Leadership Seminar to help students attain leadership skills. Carlisle also has won numerous awards for her work advocating women’s issues, enhancing diversity, equal opportunity and multiculturalism, including the Athena and Violet Haas awards. Her current diversity initiatives in northwest Indiana include the Race Relations Council of NW Indiana, El Puente Community Center, Michiana Resources, Healthy Communities of LaPorte County, past president of the Indiana Affirmative Action Association, and the Indiana Chapter of the Mid-America Association of Educational Opportunity Program Personnel. She has been a member of and chaired the LaPorte County Martin Luther King Jr. Celebration Committee. In addition, she has been a PNC representative to the Chesterton/Duneland Chamber of Commerce among other local groups. She also is a United Way volunteer.

Steve Curwood, executive producer and host of the Public Radio International distributed program “Living On Earth,” will be the keynote speaker at the Jan. 19 celebration. Earlier in the day, Purdue faculty, staff, students and community members will participate in a Day of Service in recognition of MLK Day.

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