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Alan Friedman - Board Member
Having been a student in public and private schools in Kansas City where I grew up and been a student, instructor and faculty member in public and private universities, I’ve seen the good, the bad, the beautiful (and a little bit of the downright ugly) in a lot of education. While perhaps a romantic notion, I’d always hoped that public education could rise to the level of their private peers (although maybe that’s just my nostalgia for third grade talking).

I know in practice, though, that private schools will always be needed to provide the special individual care that every child deserves, but is not always available, and this is nowhere so true as in those critical formative years. I have personally been the beneficiary of excellent private schooling. I’ve seen for myself the benefits I’ve received and my wife Gosia and I have seen the benefits our son Sebastian has now received. And I know that private schooling requires the efforts and dedication of those who believe in it. My mom did fundraising work for my private high school for many years, continuing well after I had graduated. She didn’t make a big deal about it, and I was surprised to learn that she was still at it ten years after. When I ask her why, she said something close to I owe them something for what they did for you. I now know how she felt.

As a faculty member at Purdue, I’ve taught extremely large introductory courses (>300 students) and small graduate seminars. I’ve managed research grants of several hundred thousand dollars and worked individually with students to develop their laboratory techniques. I was an NSF Early Career Awardee. I’ve applied for patents on research inventions and negotiated and interacted with companies who have developed my work. I’ve developed lecture material for new courses and new lab exercises, and experimented with various teaching styles (some more successful than others, I have to admit). Although I don’t have any formal education training, like most university faculty, I’ve been tossed into the fray and forced to figure out what works and what doesn’t. I’m very sympathetic to the problems of teachers and teaching, but I’ve also set expectations for my teaching assistants and helped them meet them.
My Personal Statement

 

My Credentials