Neil Armstrong - Purdue Alum
Neil Armstrong Building, Purdue University

“One small step for man, one giant leap for mankind.”

Neil Armstrong, who passed away on 8/25/2012 at 82, is an alum of Purdue University. As a non-traditional PhD student, I never felt the need to connect to Purdue, like I did during my younger years attracted to Texas Collegiate Football. But yesterday, when I heard the news of Neil’s passing, I felt an overwhelming sense of pride to know that I am a part of something great at Purdue University.

Purdue is an incredibly renowned engineering school, and the School of Engineering Education, where I am a Doctoral Candidate, is the leader in the relatively new discipline. It is ultimately exciting to be on the cutting edge of research, and among the most revered names of contributors.

If I were not working remotely on my dissertation research, I would likely be officed in the Neil Armstrong Building. I would daily walk by a statue of Neil as a student, and take a moment to reflect on the legacy this one Boilermaker has made on this world. Even though I do not have this daily opportunity right now, I can still reflect on a great man, and consider the legacy I want to leave on this world.  I am inspired by his quiet contributions, and lasting legacy.

I may not ever walk on the moon, but as an engineering educator focused on equity, I hope that my work will inspire more women and other under-represented students to greatness in engineering like Neil Armstrong. RIP Neil. I will do my best to follow in your famous footsteps and contribute to future giant leaps for mankind.


How will you follow in Neil Armstrong’s legacy and contribute to giant leaps for mankind?

Photo:,  Osman Oruma Alhassan.

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