Region natives return home to discuss their careers in ‘Public Service & Leadership’

2012-09-28T17:45:00Z 2012-09-28T17:59:05Z Region natives return home to discuss their careers in ‘Public Service & Leadership’Contributed by Wes Lukoshus | Purdue University Calumet Vice Chancellor of University Relations nwitimes.com

HAMMOND | Two former Northwest Indiana residents who have gone on to successful national careers in public service will offer their perspectives about “Public Service and Leadership,” at a forum hosted by Purdue University Calumet at 5 p.m., Tuesday, Oct. 9.

Participating are Carolyn Curiel, a former a speechwriter for U.S. President Bill Clinton and Ambassador to the Central American nation of Belize, and Dale Pupillo, deputy assistant director of the U.S. Secret Service, who has headed the Vice Presidential Protective Division. Curiel grew up in East Chicago and Hammond; Pupillo formerly resided in Gary and Merrillville. Both are Purdue graduates.

The forum, moderated by Purdue Calumet Associate Professor of Political Science Richard Rupp, will place in Alumni Hall of Purdue Calumet’s Student Union & Library.

Admission is free.

“We are extremely pleased and excited that these two highly respected and distinguished individuals are willing to make time in their busy schedules to come to our campus and share important perspectives about public service and leadership,” Purdue Calumet Chancellor Thomas L. Keon said. “Unquestionably, We can learn a great deal from them about taking advantage of opportunities to make our world a better place.”

Curiel, a Hammond Morton High School alumna, claims her attendance at a 1968 presidential campaign rally in East Chicago for candidate Robert Kennedy whet her appetite for public service.

“The experience of that evening left me feeling that I needed to try to contribute to a better world, to shed light into shadows in whatever way I could,” Curiel, also a former journalist and now a Purdue faculty member and director of the university’s Project Impact, said. “So I went to The Washington Post, The New York Times, ABC News and into public service.

“Now, I am fortunate to teach young people at Purdue from all over the political spectrum who share one thing: a hunger to be involved and to affect change. All that began in Northwest Indiana, in the Calumet Region.”

Pupillo, a 30-year Secret Service veteran, also is credited with having initiated in Gary the suicide prevention Rap Line, which has evolved into Crisis Center, Inc., a multi-service, crisis intervention resource for troubled teens and others.

He attended classes at Purdue Calumet and Purdue West Lafayette, where he joined the Navy ROTC. Commissioned in 1976, he served as a naval surface warfare officer. After active duty, he worked as a special agent for the Naval Criminal Investigative Service before joining the Secret Service in 1982.

“I have been very lucky throughout my career to witness and participate in extraordinary events,” he said. “I attribute my ability and success to the fact I grew up in Northwest Indiana.”

During the forum, Curiel and Pupillo will express how their Region upbringing helped mold their desire and commitment to public service, as well as qualities of public service leadership they have embraced.

Curiel and Pupillo also will speak to Purdue Calumet classes earlier in the day.

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