By Olivia Crouse/Purdue Today
Lori Feldman, who serves as associate vice chancellor for academic affairs at Purdue University Northwest, goes to work every day with the goal of helping students become as passionate about their careers as her son is about his. Almost every time Lori talks to her son, she hears about how much he loves what he studies. It is these conversations that drive Lori to work as hard as she can to help students find careers that excite them and light their fires.
What are your responsibilities as associate vice chancellor for academic affairs at Purdue Northwest?
I am very fortunate to be able to lead a team of wonderful people who all work in an effort to make a difference in the lives of students and faculty. One of the things that I really focus on and am passionate about is faculty development. There is a lot of literature that states that the more we focus on faculty development, the more we are able to impact the lives of students and help them become successful in their careers. I have many different responsibilities as associate vice chancellor for academic affairs, but my biggest responsibility is to guide, inspire and seek out new ways and opportunities to have an impact on our students, faculty and University as a whole.
What was it that inspired you to work in this type of career field?
I have had a number of wonderful mentors to guide me throughout my lifetime. If you had asked me when I was 20 years old, I would not have known what I wanted to do for the rest of my life. My mom was my first role model. She worked as a professor when I was a junior in college at the University of Michigan, and when I was in need of a job, she suggested that I go talk to a couple of her colleagues. Through these encounters, I met a doctoral student in marketing who encouraged me to apply to the doctoral program. It was through this encounter, as well as a series of wonderful mentors, family members and friends, that I found my career.
How does your work influence the lives of students?
My work helps students by helping faculty members. If we help faculty to become better and more innovative teachers, then they are going to make more of an impact in the classroom and be more creative about seeking out ways to help and teach their students. I also work with the Academic Center for Excellence, which is an area where students can come to find out what career path is the best fit for them and receive help finding their path to success.
You are responsible for the Center for Faculty Development and Leadership. Can you explain what this program is and how it is benefiting faculty?
The Center for Faculty Development and Leadership is a brand-new center that is working to help our faculty develop in their areas of work. We are working to help them become better teachers by putting them through a program called Association of College and University Educators. This program teaches faculty how to design an effective course, how to utilize active learning techniques, how to successfully promote learning and more.
What kinds of things to do you like to do outside of your time at Purdue Northwest?
I love to attend musicals, and am very passionate about going to see Broadway shows. I am also passionate about cooking and baking. I love trying out new recipes, but my favorite thing to bake, and, in my opinion, the best-tasting thing that I bake, is carrot cake. My family and my two dogs take up a lot of my time outside of work. I have one black and one gold dog, and my family and I enjoy calling them our Purdue puppies.