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April 11, 2007

Two professors to be named winners of 2007 Violet Haas Award

WEST LAFAYETTE, Ind. - Two Purdue professors will be awarded the 2007 Violet Haas Award at a ceremony on April 26.

Klod Kokini, a professor of mechanical engineering and associate dean of engineering for academic affairs, and Sally Thompson, professor and head of the Department of Agricultural Economics, will be honored at a reception at 4 p.m. April 26 in the lobby of the Lawson Computer Science Building.

Established in 1990, the award recognizes individuals, programs or departments currently at Purdue that have effectively facilitated the advancement of women in hiring, promotion, education and salary, or have generally enhanced a positive professional climate for women at the university.

Kokini has played a key role in recruiting women faculty to the College of Engineering, said Leah Jamieson, the John A. Edwardson Dean of Engineering.

"Klod has championed mentoring programs and family-friendly policies and processes," Jamieson said. "Most notable, however, has been his success in creating and implementing a fundamentally new process for faculty hiring, in which the two factors of diversity and multidisciplinarity have attained formal status in the College of Engineering hiring deliberations.

"Under his determined attention to diversity, the college has an all-time high number of 43 women faculty and has seen women represent 33 percent of our new faculty during the past two years."

Thompson has made a difference for female faculty and staff in her department, said Randy Woodson, Glenn W. Sample Dean of Agriculture.

"Sally has placed a high priority on recruiting outstanding women faculty members to her department," Woodson said. "Her efforts in direct recruiting, as well as her work to facilitate two-career couples, has helped bring the number of women faculty in agricultural economics from four in 2002 to 11 today."

The awards, sponsored by the Council on the Status of Women, are named for Haas, an electrical engineering professor from 1962 to 1986, who was instrumental in the early development of the Purdue chapter of the Society of Women Engineers. Kokini and Thompson will have their names added to the Violet Haas Legacy Plaque, outside Purdue Memorial Union, Room 108.

The Council on the Status of Women was formed in 1988-89 to create a voice for women at Purdue by studying existing university practices and procedures, and women's professional concerns.

The group has been active in issues related to women at Purdue, such as advocating for the development of a child-care facility and domestic partner benefits.

Writer: Christy Jones, (765) 494-1089,

Sources: Barbara S. Clark, director of Science Diversity Office, (765) 494-1765,

Leah Jamieson, (765) 494-5346,

Randy Woodson, (765) 494-8391,

Purdue News Service: (765) 494-2096;

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