ITB-Purdue Bridge Building Event, Collaboration between ITB and Purdue University

Oleh Adi Permana

Editor Vera Citra Utami

BANDUNG, - ITB with Purdue University through Purdue Asian American and Asian Resource and Cultural Center (AAARCC) and Purdue Old Masters collaborated in the ITB/Purdue Bridge Building Event. The event, which was held on November 6, 2020, aims to establish a partnership among ITB and Purdue University.

Prof. Reini Wirahadikusumah was chosen to be one of the Purdue Old Masters in 2020 due to her outstanding achievements and contributions in the field of engineering, as a professor, as well as the first female rector at the Bandung Institute of Technology. Purdue Old Masters is a gathering and sharing experience by several Purdue alumnae who excel in their respective fields with Purdue students.

Prof. Reini is one of the Purdue alumni that earned MSCE and PhD from Purdue University in 1996 and 1999. The ITB/Purdue Bridge Building Event is expected to be an event that will initiate cooperation and collaboration between the two universities in the fields of education and research.

Prof Reini Wirahadikusumah, 3 Purdue University students (Assata Gilmore, Derek Lee, and Marisabel Segovia), and 4 ITB students namely Karin Adriana Widyanti (MRI'16), Arif Rahmadian Arifianto (ET'17), Selvia Diwanty (AR'16), and Billy Akbar Prabowo (MG'16) have attended this event.  The event was hosted by Purdue Old Masters Director Kristen Michael and Teddy Sergesketter.

Prof. Reini explained that the 100th anniversary of ITB is a form of ITB's contribution in the field science, arts, technology, and the humanities for society. "I will try to preserve the culture on campuses such as the openness to new ideas, academic freedom, and maintaining good student and lecturer behaviour," she said.

The panellists then asked Prof. Reini regarding the challenges she is facing as a rector, especially as the first female rector in ITB. She explained that the challenge is to do change management. "As the head of the institution, we have a transformation plan to achieve several achievements in the future. The continuity of the project is the key to our success in the next 100 years," she said.

Prof. Reini also stated that the relationship with students, as the most crucial stakeholder in the institution, is a challenge, especially in the COVID-19 pandemic. However, the presence of the Directorate of Student Affairs helps the rector to serve students, especially when studying online.

The next session was a discussion between ITB students and Purdue University. The first question from the panellists is how to describe the campus to people who have never visited the place.

Assata Gilmore explained that Purdue University has 13 faculties and postgraduate faculties. "Before being accepted as a student, I had never been there before (Purdue University). The atmosphere of Purdue University was similar to American films with campus themes such as Pitch Perfect and others. The campus atmosphere describes the variety of students and their activities," she explained.On the other hand, Karina Andriana explained that ITB has three campuses, namely Ganesa, Jatinangor, and Cirebon campuses. "Our main campus (Ganesha) is unique; there are classic buildings since ITB was founded and modern buildings," she explained.

Selvia also added that ITB has beautiful mountain scenery on the north side and ITB Ganesa Campus is friendly to pedestrians. Also, she said that there are unique monuments called Plaza Widya Nusantara and Indonesia Tenggelam fountain in the centre of the campus. The discussion between ITB and Purdue University students continued to address the unique traditions on both campuses, daily life as students, motivation to continue working as students, and others.

In the end, Prof. Reini explained that she was proud of her institution as well as the ITB. "ITB students inspire me and provide two-way lessons between teachers and students," she said. Also, she stated that the similarity between ITB and Purdue University should be maintained for future collaborations.

Reporter:  Billy Akbar Prabowo (Metallurgical Engineering, 2020)

Translator: Billy Akbar Prabowo (Metallurgical Engineering, 2020)

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