OPP Team Members Honored at 2023 Staff Awards of Excellence Celebration

As we wrap another momentous semester, one of the highlights of the year included a recent ceremony including OPP team members at the College of Engineering Staff Awards of Excellence celebration.

Arvind Raman, the John A. Edwardson Dean of the College of Engineering, opened the night to a crowd of over 220 attendees including faculty, staff and guest for the December 8 event at the Shively Club at Ross-Ade Stadium.

The annual event was being held for the 22nd time in College of Engineering history as a milestone for all attendees celebrating the hard work and accomplishments of all finalists and their nominators.

Patrick Francis, Assistant Director for Employer Engagement was a finalist for the New Employee Award in the Professional/Management category. Nominated for more recent contributions to OPP and the College of Engineering in early 2022, his recommendations included:

“Patrick was an excellent hire and a clear rising star at Purdue. This is no doubt he’ll continue to grow finding ever expanding ways to make an impact. His passion for his work, for our office, and for Purdue is inspiring, his compassion for others - for helping others, for serving others, for supporting others, and for elevating others - is second to none He has had a huge impact on students and has furthered Purdue’s reputation as a top 10 university for co-op and internship programs. His enthusiasm and work effort have helped create an extremely positive work environment within the OPP.”

Joe Tort, Associate Director of the Office of Professional Practice was a finalist for the Leah H. Jamieson Leadership Award. Nominated for his continued stewardship of OPP programs and team through an extraordinary stretch of advancement, his recommendations highlighted:

“I have witnessed many times how Joe goes out of his way to help a student in need, sometimes changing their whole life trajectory for the better by enabling a paid co-op to meet the dire financial needs or to connect with a supportive mentor in industry. Joe's ability to foster a sense of belonging among students, staff, and faculty has enriched our department's culture. Joe has a service-oriented attitude and leans yes, always helping others and putting the needs of the College of the Engineering as priority for advancement, recruitment and retention. His leadership and strategy greatly positioned our office as a resource that students can rely on and trust for career-readiness.”

Patrick Francis (left) and Joe Tort (right) pictured with their finalist awards.

The Dean’s Staff Affairs Committee is responsible for reviewing all nominations and selecting the award winners each year. With over 68 nominations across 10 categories, OPP was well-represented with Patrick & Joe being named finalists and a win for the Staff Team Excellence Award, GEARE 20th Anniversary Event Team including Joe Tort, Jenny Strickland, Heather Fabries, Francisco Montalvo (ME) and Jared Pike (ME).

The GEARE 20th Anniversary Event Team pictured with Arvind Raman, the John A. Edwardson Dean of the College of Engineering, after receiving the 2023 Staff Team Excellence Award. From left to right: Arvind Raman, Joe Tort, Francisco Montalvo, Heather Fabries, Jared Pike, and Jenny Strickland.


The evening was filled with memorable moments for the OPP team as it was a reminder to take a minute to appreciate the excellence among everyone in the room and appreciate quality time with fellow colleagues.