Edward Wiercioch receives 2021 Purdue Staff Engagement Award

Edward Wiercioch, Early Clinical Practice Coordinator in the Office of Clinical Practice in the College of Education, has been awarded the 2021 Purdue University Staff Engagement Award. The Staff Engagement Award is presented annually to a staff member who consistently embodies community engagement through service which improves the lives of others.

Wiercioch was recognized for his more than 30 years of service in the Greater Lafayette area, strengthening the community and the Purdue West Lafayette campus.

“I believe that it is important for all of us to take an active role in our community,” Wiercioch said. “I use my strengths of working with youth and community connections to help make our community a better place one person at a time.”

Since 1988, Wiercioch has been involved with Big Brothers Big Sisters, serving in various capacities including a Big Brother, a school-based mentor, and Staff Club Advisor. 

Of his service, Wiercioch’s colleague at Big Brother Big Sisters said, “During Ed’s 32-year involvement in Big Brothers Big Sisters of Greater Lafayette, he has served as an exemplary Big Brother to many at-risk boys in our mentoring programs. He has proven to be consistent, reliable, caring, and considerate. As a result, Ed has been able to build a trusting friendship with his current Little Brother of seven years. Our agency has a saying: ‘A candle loses nothing of its flame by lighting that of another.’ Ed is a candle and has sparked his Little Brother to work toward his full potential.”

For more than a decade, he has served the United Way of Greater Lafayette as a College of Education Captain, as a spokesperson speaking on behalf of the organization and its agencies to Purdue staff and local businesses within the community, and as a member of the United Way Purdue Board which developed plans on how to best engage Purdue staff with the United Way.

Additionally, Wiercioch has played an integral role in developing the community focus component of Purdue Education’s new Innovation Initiative. After attending a service-learning workshop, he facilitated discussions with community partners and leaders to develop a list of approximately 30 community partners in Spring 2020 based on his knowledge of the community and his collaboration with the Purdue Service-Learning Office.

These discussions helped to pilot a service-learning course, EDCI 350, which gave Purdue Education students the opportunity to work in a community agency as part of the EDCI 350 course requirements. There are plans to continue the pilot in Summer 2021 and make it a permanent requirement for all Teacher Education students.

Wiercioch joined Purdue College of Education in 2000. In his role as Early Clinical Practice Coordinator, he is responsible for building relationships with area school administrators and teachers in order to place all Teacher Education student in local schools for their pre-service requirements.   All Teacher Education students have multiple placements prior to their student teaching semester.  Wiercioch ensures that students are placed at a variety of schools at varying grade levels.  In a typical semester there are around 700-1000 early field placements.

Source: Edward Wiercioch, wiercioc@purdue.edu