The College of Liberal Arts honors three talented and driven young alumni each year as recipients of the Emerging Voice Award. This award was created to recognize recent graduates who are achieving their career goals, serving their communities, and representing the college’s mission by shaping today’s world while imagining a better one.
Christian F. Hempelmann
Linguistics Director of Ontological Semantics RiverGlass Inc.
Some of Christian Hempelmann’s fondest memories at Purdue are of the quiet weekends he spent in the Humanities, Social Science, and Education Library working on his doctorate in computational linguistics, and being guided by his mentor, Professor Victor Raskin. Now at RiverGlass Inc., a text analytics company for enterprise search, Hempelmann says a liberal arts education taught him to “see problems in their full context. This problem-oriented thinking has led me to positions where I can and do have an impact.” He is also an adjunct faculty member at Purdue and previously served on the faculty at Georgia Southern University and as postdoctoral researcher at the University of Memphis.
Paul Kei Matsuda
English Associate Professor of English Arizona State University
Paul Kei Matsuda attributes much of his success in the past 10 years to the momentum he built at Purdue while working under Professor Tony Silva. The two collaborated on numerous projects and founded an annual international conference on second language writing. “Professor Silva was my ideal mentor because he gave me access to various professional resources while providing room — both literally and figuratively — for exploring my own ideas and approaches,” Matsuda says. Since earning his doctorate, Matsuda has edited a dozen books and special journal issues on second language writing, won several awards for his research and served as chair of the Nonnative English Speakers in TESOL Interest Section.
BS 1992, Economics CEO, The Entrepreneur Authority
A four-year letterman on Purdue’s baseball team, David Omholt says no mentor was more engaging than Betty Cook, a continuing lecturer in foreign languages, while the late Larry Axel, then chair of the religious studies program, strengthened his convictions and challenged him to grow intellectually. As president of Sigma Chi fraternity, Omholt had to respond to numerous changes in the Greek system, which became the foundation for his leadership in the business world. “I didn’t know it at the time, but that was a great training ground for the critical decision making and change-management skills I would need to thrive in the professional ranks. My time at Purdue was formative in so many ways. I will always be indebted.”
For a complete list of past recipients, and for information about nominating a Liberal Arts alumnus/ alumna for the EVA, please visit www.cla.purdue.edu/alumni/awards/emergingvoice.