OPP Expands Team and Names Two New Assistant Directors

Purdue’s Office of Professional Practice has expanded their team to support industry driven strategic initiatives focused on building partnerships and connecting more students to work-integrated learning experiences, including internships and co-op opportunities. 

The expansions are industry specific roles that include the newly added Pharma Co-op and Lilly Scholars Program Manager and the Semiconductor Co-op Program Manager. Kimberly Graham brings over a decade of educational leadership and a strong background in student success. Her role as Pharma Co-op and Lilly Scholars Program Manager will focus on the oversight of the newly established Lilly Scholars at Purdue program in collaboration with Eli Lilly and Company. The inaugural cohort of Lilly Scholars welcomes 98 students and will include professional development, mentorship, networking opportunities, and a guaranteed, paid internship during the scholars’ sophomore year. Graham will also help drive the experiential education piece connected to the new multidisciplinary Pharmaceutical Manufacturing Certificate.

Purdue’s efforts to deliver the next talent pipeline for the Semiconductor industry have been widely integrated across campus since the announcement in May 2022. With a concentration on student development and expanding industry partnership, OPP has welcomed a new Semiconductor Co-op Program Manager. Sophie Tung recently joined OPP after completing her MBA at Duke University. With a strong background in tech and global business development, Sophie has worked with Dell Technologies and spent six years as a Product Manager with ASUS in Taiwan. Her work will focus on supporting the connections to employers, strategic professional development and aligning students with ongoing training for Boilermakers interested in the Semiconductor industry.

In addition to the growth and expansion, OPP has promoted two Senior Program Managers to Assistant Directors to provide focused efforts to a growing team. In her new role as the Assistant Director for Co-op Programs & Student Development, Jenny Strickland will oversee all aspects of co-op education, on-going training and development opportunities for students, and focus on expanding co-op deliverables across the university. As the liaison for all Co-op Coordinators across campus, she will continue to build upon the successes and driving data collection of student experiences in partnership with Purdue’s Institutional Data Analytics + Assessment (iDA+A).

Patrick Francis formerly served as the Senior Experiential Learning Program Manager with an emphasis the oversight of initiatives such Learning While Working (LWW) and the Interns for Indiana program. With the expansion of the OPP team he will step into a new role as the Assistant Director of Employer Engagement. The expanded responsibilities will include managing strategic relationships with OPP employer partners and driving the process behind industry knowledge courses run by OPP.  He will also focus on deploying workforce development strategies across all industry sectors locally in Indiana and across the nation. 

About OPP

The Office of Professional Practice (OPP) facilitates work-integrated experiential learning and professional development opportunities to Purdue students. OPP serves a diverse, high-performing student population eager to gain industry experience. In order to prepare the next generation of industry leaders, OPP has developed extensive programs supporting students through academic projects, skills development, global experiences and career exploration. Purdue University was recently ranked #7 for Co-op/Internships by U.S. News and World Report in 2022.