Guest blogger Cynthia Sequin
The information coming out of Purdue University is a machine that never stops producing as the good news is endless.
Last year, I retired as the Vice President of Marketing and Communications for the Purdue Research Foundation following 20-plus years of service for Purdue.
In 1999, I joined the Purdue University News Service under the outstanding leadership of Jeanne Norberg, news director at that time. I came with more than 10 years experience in media. Still, it was a giant leap from media work to publicist and done with some trepidation. Jeanne allayed any concerns because I quickly realized that every Purdue news release is based on fact and includes important information that the public can benefit from knowing.
We promote news not an agenda.
Before going out to the public, each release is reviewed by a highly professional group of writers, experts and editors. Even after writing a news release, it typically takes a week or more to move it through the approval process – and that is good.
In 2007, I moved over to the Purdue Research Foundation, whose mission is to serve Purdue University. The work and collaboration between the University and Foundation remained seamless.
The leadership at the University and the Foundation, particularly over the past eight years, are the best any organization could have and that I have ever witnessed.
It has been a great ride. Like life, the snapshots of a career are highlighted by moments in time.
Here are two of my favorite:
- After publicizing a clinical trial for a promising ovarian cancer drug, a woman in the trial contacted me and said that participation extended her life and gave her the gift of watching her two grandchildren being born. When I called the highly esteemed Purdue researcher and shared this story, he became very quiet as he composed himself. He said it is not the accolades or financial reward that drive him but it is helping people like this grandmother that matters to him. People like him make Purdue great.
- A second highlight is bringing Marine One, the U.S. President’s Osprey, to Purdue’s Public Airport at no cost to Purdue. Filling out a DOD request for air support and then verbally convincing a colonel in the Pentagon to approve the request was enormous. It is what we call a “Wow” moment and watching the public come out and enjoy the moment made it worthwhile as we also celebrated Purdue’s collaboration with Rolls-Royce.
Twenty years and thousands of stories later I am ready for the next giant leap in my life. My daughter lives in Stockholm with our two young grandsons so, pending COVID-19 restrictions, my husband and I are excited to make the Swedish capital our home base, but I will always read the great news coming out of Purdue.
West Lafayette Mayor John Dennis (Left) and Cynthia Sequin (Right) at her retirement party in 2019.
Cynthia Sequin is an award-winning writer who previously served as a business editor for the Gannett and as the Ohio Bureau Chief for the Ogden media chains. She splits her time between Carmel, Indiana and Stockholm, Sweden.