Karen Hum, PhD
Director of Assessment
My path to higher education, both personally and professionally, was circuitous at best. Growing up on a farm, I determined early in life that I wanted to be a veterinarian. Consequently, I worked hard to have high marks, volunteered several years with the local vet, and made plans to attend Purdue. Upon high school graduation, however, I abruptly (and inexplicably) changed my mind and went instead to Ball State, but without a replacement plan or academic direction. Needless to say, my initial undergraduate years were kind of a bust. I eventually dropped out, got married, had children, etc., as well as moved to central Florida for several years before returning to Indiana to be close to family. During this time, my employment choices, although interesting (e.g. nurse aide in a convent, surgical assistant in a veterinary clinic, and laboratory technician for a cytology firm), were limiting.
Over time, I became increasingly unhappy with myself for not yet completing college, especially since my younger sister (I’m one of seven siblings) was a partner in a law firm (talk about peer pressure!). Thus, around the age of 30, I went back to school and earned a BA in English, which, although not my dream major, appeared to be the fastest route to completion. Thankfully, I was able to parlay my degree into an editing career before my employment path led me to Ivy Tech Community College in Indianapolis. I was surprised at how much I enjoyed working in higher education (something I had never considered previously), especially in the area of data analysis.
Fast forward several years, I completed my PhD in Educational Psychology (cognate in statistics and educational research with a specialization in psychometrics) at Ball State and was Director of Institutional Research for Ivy Tech’s statewide administration. Yet, I was still feeling unfulfilled. I can blame some of this on my children, as I’m (un)patiently waiting for a grandchild, but I also wasn’t utilizing my education and skills to their fullest. Hence, my new role as Director of Assessment, in which I’ll be collaborating with the Purdue Libraries staff to lead, coordinate, and expand assessment activities, to facilitate reporting and to analyze and interpret data. I’m especially interested in finding alternative means to measure success and determine outcomes.
My husband and I currently live in Noblesville and have three children, aged 22 (boy), 27 (girl, married), and 29 (boy). We also own several large catfish (my other babies), too many dogs and a mean cat.
I’m truly honored to be part of the Purdue Libraries team. It’s exciting and humbling to be surrounded by such a high level of knowledge and accomplishment. I’m very mentor-oriented, so I fully intend to glean as much information from all of you as I can!
My office is located in STEW 266 and I can be reached at email@example.com or 49-61554.
Web Application Developer
Instruction & Digital Programs Services
Born and raised in Chennai, India, where I completed my high school and undergraduate education in Computer Engineering, I moved to the U.S. for my graduate studies. I earned my master’s degree in Computer Science from the University of Cincinnati. After working for about 10 years as a web developer in Princeton, NJ, I moved to West Lafayette in 2008.
I love web design and am very excited and grateful to be doing just that at Purdue Libraries. I joined Purdue in January, and every day has been a great learning experience.
I have two kids, my daughter Aditi is thirteen and my son Bharath is eight. My husband is a faculty member at ECE. Reading books and gardening are my two most favorite hobbies.
My office is located in STEW 363 and I can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org or 49-61242.
Web Applications Developer
Instruction & Digital Programs
I guess Thomas Wolfe was right: you can’t go home again. After first coming to Purdue in 2010, my family and I returned to our hometown of Asheville, North Carolina last summer (incidentally, Asheville was also Wolfe’s hometown). With a shiny new PhD in philosophy in hand, I had high hopes of settling down and securing a job on my old stomping ground.
As it turned out, there were two problems with this plan. First, Asheville is largely a tourist town, so unless one is trained in hospitality or healthcare, finding a career can be difficult (yes, even for someone with an advanced degree in a highly marketable field like philosophy). Second, “home” just didn’t feel much like home anymore. Being surrounded by family and beautiful scenery was great, but the sprawl and congestion was not.
Thus enlightened, we decided we’d like to return to West Lafayette — the place we could call home without reaching for scare quotes. Before first coming to Purdue, I worked as a web developer for six years. So, when I saw that the Libraries was looking for a web applications developer, I jumped at the opportunity. Now I’m part of a great team in Instruction and Digital Programs Services, and I couldn’t be happier to be back at Purdue.
Outside of work, I enjoy spending time with my family. I have twin boys who are seven (both of them), a daughter who’s four, and a wife who’s two years older than I am. I like to read, particularly the classics and philosophy. I also enjoy tinkering with audio/video equipment (much to my wife’s annoyance, I have a subwoofer collection capable of shaking our house), driving fast cars (I wish I had one), biking and playing video games.
My office is in STEW 363, and I can be reached at email@example.com or 49-61360.