Celebrating International Podcast Day with ‘This Is Purdue’

Sept. 30 marks International Podcast Day

“This Is Purdue” highlights stories about Boilermakers from across all disciplines, who, through research, innovation and determination, have persistently pursued their next giant leaps.

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

President Mung Chiang on Becoming Purdue’s 13th President, Boilermaker Persistence and Family

President Mung Chiang discusses the day he learned he would become president of what he calls “the most consequential public university in the U.S.” Plus, he shares more about his family life (the Chiangs will be the first Purdue family to live in Westwood Manor with young children), hobbies and the best spot in West Lafayette to grab his favorite sweet treat — ice cream. You don’t want to miss this chance to get to know Purdue’s president on a more personal level!

Fighter Pilot Heather Penney Reflects on Purdue Journey and 9/11 Mission

Boilermaker and former D.C. Air National Guard fighter pilot Heather Penney (BA English ’95, MA American studies ’97) shares her incredible story from 9/11, when she was prepared to make the ultimate sacrifice with her flight lead, Marc Sasseville. She reflects on the events of that historic day, from being selected to complete the mission to stop the hijacked United Airlines Flight 93 to being grounded after hours of time in the air to how she feels about that day now, more than 20 years later.

From Purdue to President of Pizza Hut: In-Depth With David Graves

Did you know the president of one of America’s largest pizza chains is a Boilermaker?! David Graves (BS management ’03) describes how Purdue prepared him with the persistence and perseverance needed to innovate global brands such as Pampers, Pantene and several Yum! Brands, including Kentucky Fried Chicken (KFC) and Pizza Hut. You’ll hear about some of David’s favorite advertising and marketing initiatives over the years and using Pizza Hut’s brand nostalgia to bring its marketing into today’s modern age.  Plus, you don’t want to miss hearing our podcast team go behind the scenes in a Pizza Hut kitchen to make his go-to pizza order.

IndyCar Engineers, Purdue Alums Talk Team Penske Legacy and Indy 500

Team Penske IndyCar engineers Matt Kuebel (BS mechanical engineering ’22) and Mike Koenigs (MS aeronautical and astronautical engineering ’03) discuss their Purdue College of Engineering journeys and what it’s like working for one of the most well-known, legendary teams in motorsports. Matt, an IndyCar design engineer, and Mike, an IndyCar aerodynamicist, both work on all three Team Penske IndyCar entries — driven by Josef Newgarden, Will Power and Scott McLaughlin — that raced in the 2023 Indianapolis 500 at the Indianapolis Motor Speedway, and by the way, Josef took the win this year! These two alums discuss the persistence, grit and attention to detail required to be part of a winning Indy 500 team and how their Purdue education set them up for success in the professional motorsports world.

Deputy Athletics Director Tiffini Grimes Discusses the Spirit of Purdue Athletics and Proud Return to Her Alma Mater

Tiffini Grimes (BA political science ’05) serves as Purdue University’s deputy athletics director and senior woman administrator. She highlights her journey in collegiate athletics as she made her way from law school to the NCAA to working in the athletics departments for universities like Penn State University, the Georgia Institute of Technology, the University of Alabama and, finally, back home to Purdue. Tiffini, who was named in Sports Business Journal’s Forty Under 40 Class of 2022 and The Athletic’s College Sports 40 Under 40, shares the deep pride she feels in pursuing her next giant leap at her alma mater and what it’s like helping Purdue’s talented student athletes have the best experience possible, both on and off the field.

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