sealPurdue Story Ideas, Events

JOURNALISTS: Here are story ideas and a list of selected Purdue events during the next two weeks.

September 16, 2002

Story Ideas

1. Activities highlight Discover Purdue Week
2. Understanding burnout helps adolescent athletes
3. Purdue expert explains reality show phenomenon
4. Internet research can be hassle-free
5. Homecoming Parade will soon be afloat

Purdue Events

1. Tuesday, Sept. 17 – Focus on Teaching begins with conversation series
2. Friday, Sept. 20 – Aviation Technology program honors American Airlines pilots
3. Friday, Sept. 27 – Purdue president to present jersey to Bill Cosby

Activities highlight Discover Purdue Week

From Sept. 19-28, the university will celebrate Discover Purdue Week with a full slate of groundbreakings and special events, culminating in the announcement of the largest fund-raising campaign ever for any college or university in Indiana. Two of the largest gifts in the history of Purdue will be announced, and numerous major building projects will move from the wish list to reality. Discover Purdue Week is part of the theme, coined last fall, which invites the public to learn about the university – its leadership and its potential for economic development, research and education. A media advisory outlining events planned during the week is available on the Web.

Understanding burnout helps adolescent athletes

Alan Smith, a Purdue health and kinesiology expert on adolescents, can talk about what "burnout" and how the term is misused, and overused, in the athletic community.

"Research shows how social relationships may contribute to burnout," said Smith, who focuses on how peer relationships affect adolescent athletes. "Burnout is about more than just training volume."

Peer relationships are one of many issues that should be considered when talking about burnout, said Smith, a researcher who studies youth sport issues.

Smith also can provide tips on what parents and coaches can watch for to make sure young athletes don't overdo it, as well as how to help them get the most out of their athletic participation.

Contact: Alan Smith, (765) 496-6002,

Purdue expert explains reality show phenomenon

Once again, prime time television viewers are gearing up for the fall premiers of their favorite reality television shows, such as "Survivor: Thailand" and "Fear Factor."

Glenn Sparks, a Purdue communications expert in mass media, can talk about why people are attracted to reality television programming.

"Many of these shows encourage us to get deeply involved in the lives of a few people, and that is often symbolic of our lack of relationships that we have individually," Sparks said. "We are living vicariously through these programs."

Sparks, whose specialty is cognitive and emotional effects of media, has authored "Media Effects Research," and is the co-author for "Refrigerator Rights," a book due out in November that deals with the loss of close interpersonal relationships in America.

CONTACT: Sparks, (765) 494-3316,

Internet research can be hassle-free

Alexius Macklin Smith has tips on how Internet research and homework can be pain-free for the frustrated student and their even more frustrated parents.

Kids are back in school, and the homework is beginning to pile up. Macklin, assistant professor of library science and user instruction librarian at Purdue, says students should talk with librarians about Web searches before they start sifting through thousands of hits from a general search engine.

"Students are coming to librarians discouraged with the resources found on Yahoo or Google, where anybody can push anything," Macklin says.

Macklin can share tips such as how to evaluate the credibility and relevancy of a Web site, as well as finding an appropriate search engine.

Macklin says one of the No. 1 problem when searching the Internet is not providing the computer with enough information.

"Students need to better articulate the question they are trying to answer," Macklin says.

CONTACT: Macklin, (765) 494-0297,

Homecoming Parade will soon be afloat

Purdue students are putting the final touches on 15 floats entered in this year's Purdue Boilermaker Night Train Parade.

The parade will begin at 7 p.m. Thursday, Sept. 26 at the intersection of Tower and North Russell drives. It will travel down North Russell Drive and take right on First Street, where it will continue to MacArthur Drive and take another right. The parade will then make its way up MacArthur Drive to Third Street, where it will take a right and head up to North Intramural Drive. There it will take a left and proceed to Ross-Ade Stadium.

The parade features Miss Indiana Tangra Riggle, who is a senior in communications, and Provost Sally Frost-Mason as the grand marshals. The spotlight also will shine on the Homecoming king and queen candidates, Purdue Pete, Rowdy, The "All-American" Marching Band, twirlers and cheerleaders.

A pep rally will follow the parade at 8 p.m. on Slayter Hill. The evening will conclude with a 9 p.m. concert on the hill.

CONTACT: Heather Owen, Purdue Student Union Board program adviser, (765) 494-8909,; Jared Winn, float director for the Association of Landscape Contractors of America, (765) 463-2119,; Stacie Woodrum, float director for Phi Sigma Rho and Triangle, (765) 495-9311,; Jeff Getts, float director for the Interfraternity Council and the Panhellenic Association, (765) 743-8089,



Focus on Teaching begins with conversation series
• Tuesday, Sept. 17.
3:30 p.m., Purdue Memorial Union, West Faculty Lounge. John Kirby, professor of classics, will present "Teaching the Humanities at the Turn of the Millennium" for the first Conversations About Teaching lecture. This series, sponsored by the Office of the Provost, is dedicated to teaching and learning. CONTACT: Christine Ladisch, associate provost and member of the Teaching Academy, (765) 494-6970.

Purdue University leaders to visit Vincennes
• Wednesday, Sept. 18.
Purdue University leaders, including President Martin C. Jischke, will kick off a series of Purdue Days in Indiana with a visit to Vincennes on Wednesday (9/18).

During the day, the group will tour the Southwest Purdue Agricultural Center, and visit Vigo Elementary School and Vincennes University. The day ends with an alumni picnic.

Jischke and other Purdue representatives will take questions from the media at 9 a.m. at the Southwest Purdue Agricultural Center. There will be a photo opportunity at 9:45 a.m. at the center's Pumpkin Day for first-graders from Bicknell Central Grade School.

For further information, contact Mike Lillich, Purdue News Service, (765) 494-2077,

A related news release is available at:

Aviation Technology program honors American Airlines pilots
• Friday, Sept. 20.
10 a.m. Aviation Technology Building, Hangar 1. Approximately 20 American Airlines pilots who are graduates of Purdue's Aviation Technology program will participate in a dedication event. Their picture will be taken for a 4x6 foot framed photo to be hung in the hangar. In addition to the picture of the pilots standing in front of an American Airlines plane, the display will feature medals and pins along with a list of donors. CONTACT: Amy Booher, (765) 494-7967,

Purdue president to present jersey to Bill Cosby
• Friday, Sept. 27.
8 p.m. Purdue President Martin C. Jischke will present a Purdue jersey to comedian Bill Cosby at the start of Cosby's performance in the Elliott Hall of Music. Jischke will thank Cosby for his fourth performance at Purdue and for being a frequent part of Purdue's history as the university celebrates the Convocations Centennial Season. CONTACT: Todd Wetzel, Purdue Convocations director, (765) 494-9712,

Purdue News Service: (765) 494-2096;

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