Purdue-linked scholars have spilled over into Indiana to boost broadband literacy


WEST LAFAYETTE, Ind. – The Purdue Center for Regional Development (PCRD), a client of Purdue’s student-run public relations firm Boiler Communication, sent six of its fellows across Indiana to increase “broadband literacy and digital “in our work mainly remotely. world based.

As many in the workforce have learned over the past couple of years, working remotely can be possible and just as efficient as working in the office. In other words, only if a reliable Wi-Fi connection is available.

“Our administration continues to make broadband investments a priority,” Indiana Lt. Gov. Suzanne Crouch said in the statement. “Last year taught us that reliable broadband internet is no longer a luxury, it’s essential. New partnerships continue to form to extend broadband services to Hoosiers and these fellows will help many leaders continue to work together to bring this critical infrastructure across our state. ”

The PCRD fellows, including three former Purdue students, are expected to work in Bloomington, Muncie, Richmond, Terre Haute and Versailles.

“Each fellow is serving two years in the high emergency area in which they were placed,” said Haley Agnew, media director for Boiler Communication. “They will, among other things, be developing and executing plans, raising digital awareness and organizing workshops and trainings.”

The six fellows contributing to these emergencies are: Emma Woods from Evansville, Ill., Reneisha Rudder from Louisville, Ky., Gary Thompson from Franklin, Ind., As well as three former Purdue students, Corey Knipp from the Chicagoland area, Olivia Haworth from Terre Haute and Iris O’Donnell Bellisario from Greater Lafayette.

Knipp, Haworth and Bellisario will use their Purdue experiences and help other organizations in their newly relocated areas.

“(Knipp) has supported several non-profit organizations in Chicagoland with his various skills,” the statement said. “like providing research for an economic empowerment program on the South Side and leading an effort to reduce the use of single-use plastics in Illinois …

“After graduation (from Haworth), she moved to Terre Haute, where her family has lived since 2018. She hopes to use and improve (her) skills to invest in digital readiness in West Central Indiana. while at Thrive. ”

Bellisario holds a Purdue degree in Natural Resources and Environmental Sciences with a concentration in Environmental Policy and Economic Analysis.

According to the statement, “Iris’ pursuit of sharing the effects of climate change with her peers and the community is becoming a reality. Iris adopted a climate resolution for the City of West Lafayette in October 2019, Declaration of Climate Emergency in 2021 , helped establish a Go Greener Commission Youth Advisor in 2021 and helped lead the collaboration between Tippecanoe County, West Lafayette and the City of Lafayette on Combined Climate Efforts. ”

These fellows will have a symbiotic relationship with their respective designated communities.

“The Supporting Partners believe that the Digital Inclusion Fellowship will not only impact communities in Indiana, but also the lives of fellows themselves,” the statement said. “While these fellows contribute to community development, they also develop skills and knowledge in digital inclusion, advocacy, public policy, economic development, data analysis, research, etc. “

Margaret Christopherson is a reporter for Journal & Courier. Email her at mtroup@jconline.com and follow her on Twitter @ MargaretJC2


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