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Honoring Tomorrow's Leaders

Spring 2012 | By THiNK Staff. Photo by $photocredit.value.

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.

Brad DancerBrad Dancer

BA 1995, Communication
Senior Vice President, Research and Digital Media, National Geographic Channel
Washington, D.C.

When Brad Dancer started at Purdue, he told friends that he would someday make science films and end up at National Geographic. His career prediction proved to be dead-on.

Dancer joined National Geographic in 2000 as one of the first 10 employees in the newly launched National Geographic Channel (NGC).

As the company's senior vice president for research and digital media, he leads research in support of the network's program development and strategy, scheduling, ad sales, consumer, and promotion. He also spearheads digital media operations.

"Liberal arts is thinking," Dancer says. "It's creating, and this is a world where information is no longer power — information is a commodity. It requires intelligence, critical thinking, and creativity to use the information available to everyone in new ways."

Delita MartinDelita Martin

MFA 2009, Creative Arts
Owner/Master Printer, Black Box Press
Adjunct Professor, University of Arkansas at Little Rock
Little Rock, Arkansas

Delita Martin credits a liberal arts degree with providing her a broad foundation of knowledge to "enable discourse, challenge the status quo, and develop innovative alternatives." Just the life preparation she needed as an artist.

Martin, who is now an adjunct professor at the University of Arkansas at Little Rock and the owner and founding director of Black Box Press, the only open printmaking facility in Arkansas, credits Purdue's Creative Arts program with giving her a way to explore her boundaries as an artist.

"The education I received provided a background in the rigor of artistic research and printmaking methodology that helped in understanding how to provide solutions and answers based on past success and failure," she says.

Jennifer PingJennifer Ping

BA 1995, History
Principal, Bose Public Affairs Group, LLC
Principal, Bose Government Strategies
Indianapolis, Indiana

Jennifer Ping draws on her liberal artse ducation daily in her work lobbying for clients' legislative, regulatory, procurement, political, and communication interests. Intrigued by history and politics, she especially recalls her "Constitutional Law" course at Purdue, with its discussions and debates about Supreme Court decisions.

"Participation in discussions over current or past events, social issues, and women's studies helped to formulate who I am today," she says.

Such discussions aren't merely the stuff of Ping's workday. As vice chair of Indiana's Marion County Republican Central Committee and vice chair of the 7th Indiana Congressional District for the Indiana State Republican Party, she keeps busy in her off-hours as well.


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.

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