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May 8, 2007

Purdue honors alumni from College of Consumer and Family Sciences

WEST LAFAYETTE, Ind. - Purdue University's College of Consumer and Family Sciences honored five alumni during an April dinner for their contributions and leadership within their professions.

Marlene Borschel of Columbus, Ohio, Karen Goebel of Madison, Wis., and Sarah Cauble Johnson of West Lafayette were honored for career advancement, long-term leadership within their professions and noteworthy professional accomplishments.

Danita Howell Rodibaugh of Rensselaer, Ind., was honored for demonstrating leadership ability in her community through private or public programs that enhance the quality of life for families and communities.

Caren Bristol Walker of West Lafayette was honored for making significant contributions to the advancement of the college through personal or professional influence, service or financial support.

Distinguished Alumni Award recipients:

*  Borschel earned her bachelor's degree in 1976 and her doctorate in 1983, both in consumer and family sciences. She earned a master's degree in allied health at the University of Kentucky in 1979. She is an associate research fellow in Ross Products Division of Abbott Laboratories, where she specializes in pediatric nutrition research and development. Her internationally recognized research has resulted in marketable products for infants and children needing specialized nutritional products, including a method to add selenium to nutrition products.

*  Goebel received a bachelor's degree in home economics in 1962. She earned her master's degree in education in 1966 from Ball State University and a doctorate in family ecology from Michigan State University in 1976. She is a professor in the School of Human Ecology at the University of Wisconsin-Madison and family resource management specialist in Family Living Programs in the University of Wisconsin Extension program. She has researched issues of relevance to women such as health care, money management and spousal impoverishment and has written informational publications benefiting women. She also is an active leader in many professional and community organizations.

*  Johnson earned a bachelor's degree in foods and nutrition in 1969. She earned a master's degree in 1972 from the University of Iowa. She has been the director of dining services at Purdue University Residences since 1986. Under her leadership, Purdue's residence hall dining services has received several national design awards for the new food courts that are part of the university's $48 million total revitalization of its residence hall dining system. She is a leader in a coordinated program in dietetics in foods and nutrition and is active in the local community, as well as in the national honor society for consumer and family sciences, Kappa Omicron Nu.

Community Service Award:

*  Rodibaugh received a bachelor's degree in 1976 in consumer and family sciences. She serves as office manager for her family's 2,000-acre grain and swine purebred seedstock operation. She is an active volunteer and advocate for the pork industry, often appearing as a speaker or in panels about environmental issues in the industry. She is immediate past president of the National Pork Board and also is a past president of the Indiana 4-H Foundation. Her work on behalf of Indiana's agricultural community earned her the Sagamore of the Wabash, the highest award given by the governor of Indiana.

Friend of Purdue Award:

? Walker received her bachelor's degree in education in 1976 from Central Michigan University. She teaches family and consumer sciences at Klondike Middle School in West Lafayette. During the last nine years, she has brought more than 1,500 eighth-grade students to visit Purdue to expose them to career choices and tour the college's laboratories in foods and nutrition, apparel design and technology, and child development.

Writer: Maggie Morris, (765) 494-2432,

Source: Wendi Ailor, CFS director of alumni relations and special events, (765) 494-7890,

Purdue News Service: (765) 494-2096;

Note to Journalists: Biographies are available online at

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