Students who came in contact with Dr. Bell via the BOP program could count on forging life-long personal and professional bonds. We knew that career and academic advice, job leads and straight talk were just a phone call or office visit away. We would like to continue and expand that tradition by leveraging the power of our vast network of BOP alumni and friends.
To continue the legacy and vision of Dr. Cornell A. Bell
To maintain an active network of Purdue Krannert alumni and friends of the Dr. Cornell A. Bell Business Opportunity Program (BOP)
- Provide support for the goals of BOP.
- Assist in fundraising for BOP.
- Provide advisory support for the Director of BOP
- Provide a communication network for BOP alumni and friends.
- Provide a support system for BOP alumni and friends to include:
- Career information
- Spiritual encouragement
- Knowledge sharing
- Support select humanitarian efforts
On April 24, 2015, three BOP alumni connected to discuss ways to support BOP. By July 2015, this group of BOP alumni had expanded to five and the concept of forming a formal BOP Alumni Network was adopted.
Sonia D. Winslett, M.D., BOP ’73
While on BOP, Dr. Sonia D. Winslett, MD excelled academically, and became the first student in Krannert, and maybe even Purdue’s history to complete both her bachelor and master degrees in only 3 ½ years. She subsequently was inducted into Purdue’s Iron Key Honors Association, the highly selective Mortar Board Honor Society and Alpha Lambda Delta’s Honors Society. Upon graduating from Purdue, Dr. Winslett became a CPA, working as an auditor for KPMG and later AT&T. She then followed her true calling to become a medical doctor; completing her doctor of medicine degree at University of Illinois College of Medicine in Chicago, and her emergency medicine residency at Henry Ford Hospital. Today, Dr. Winslett works as a “locums tenens” or traveling doctor; providing aid for post-Hurricane Katrina, Hurricane Rita and the Haiti earthquake victims. She also mentors students and other medical professionals by helping them prepare for board exams.
Kassandra Agee Chandler, BOP ’77
Ms. Kassandra Agee Chandler, BSM, Accounting is founder and principal consultant at Systematic Design Consultants, a boutique information technology consulting firm based in Houston and College Station, Texas. While at Purdue Kassandra distinguished herself both academically and as a leader; serving as a student counselor for the Business Opportunity and founding member of the Society of Minority Managers. She also became the university’s first African American Homecoming Queen. Upon graduation, Kassandra spent several years in the private sector, working for notable companies such as Proctor & Gamble, Dow Chemical, and Exxon. She later joined the public sector, serving as Texas A&M Transportation Institute’s Chief Information Officer and Director of Computing Services at the Texas A&M Engineering Experiment Station. Kassandra is the proud mother of three adult children and resides with her husband in Houston, Texas.
Eddie Holman, BOP ’73
Mr. Eddie Holman, BSIM achieved early career success at Proctor & Gamble, Exxon Mobil and Chase Manhattan Bank. Currently, he is a consultant, venture capitalist, entrepreneur and managing partner at Black Swan Squared. Having developed international relationships in more than 25 countries and 6 continents, Eddie prides himself on his “collaborative consulting” skills—mastering the art of learning from and listening to others, in order to find win-win solutions to global business issues. He developed this skill while on BOP and credits the program for broadening his perspective. Eddie’s mantra: Listen to what others are saying. If it is important, retain and disseminate the information. If it is not, dismiss it as useless, unproductive thought.
Steve Lewis, BOP ’76
Steve Lewis, BSM has enjoyed a diverse career as both an entrepreneur and corporate executive. Early endeavors focused on information technology and commercial construction. In his current role as Vice President, Associated General Contractors (AGC) of Missouri, Steve directs inclusion and infrastructure initiatives while also serving on the organization’s executive leadership team. He credits his life-changing BOP experience as foundational for continued career success and embraces new challenges where he can apply insight and creative vision to catalyze positive change in diverse roles and corporate cultures.
James Foster, BOP ’69
Rev. James Foster, BSM Economics, ’73 has the distinction of being in the first BOP graduating class and credits his success in the program to two things: “being as responsible as I possibly could with everything – all my classes and homework assignments, all relationships including peers and all leaders.” and “working to enjoy life by being positive and encouraging to all.”
After graduating, James accepted the position of Assistant Director of the Purdue Upward Bound Program on the Purdue Calumet Campus, in Hammond, IN and was their first Assistant Director. After a couple of years, he returned to the Purdue main campus as a Housing and Food Service administrator; and created both the UR Global Program and the university’s first peer mentoring program for residents of under-represented minority groups. “I am most proud of the many lives I touched over the years serving at Purdue.” After a nearly 40-year career, James answered the call to serve full-time in ministry and is currently senior pastor of a local church in Lafayette, IN.
“The key to my success is my faith in and walk with God, and I am thankful for my loving wife, my beautiful four daughters and now my four fun grandsons!”