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Her Persistent Pursuit of the Next Giant Leap


Dr. Amanda Thompson. Marcya Carter-Sheats. Sara Howe. Marthe Reinette. Dr. Mary Pilotte.

These may not be household names to you, but we are celebrating the incredible contributions these women have made to society. The Purdue Executive MBA community stands together with these alumnae and faculty members as they make world-changing strides toward the next giant leap. 

Dr. Amanda Thompson


Dr. Amanda Thompson is a professor in our Executive MBA programs and is the CEO of a Purdue affiliated startup called Explore Interactive. Through her work, Amanda is creating opportunities for children to experience science, technology, engineering, and math through ground-breaking technology. Hear from Amanda about her persistent pursuit of the next giant leap:

“At our company we believe that our augmented reality technology platform can bring science and engineering to life for kids in a way that is intuitive for them to understand. Personally, I know I want my own children to grow a love of learning that extends beyond just science, and I think new and engaging tools are very effective in inspiring young people. We want to build a product that can impact kids across the spectrum of ability, socioeconomics, and demographics. I’ve seen children from all walks of life interact with our tool, and the way their eyes light up when they figure something out makes all the effort worth it. In the future, I hope that we see revolutionary changes to the way kids get to learn. Krannert School of Management, the Purdue Foundry, and Elevate Ventures through the State of Indiana have been such strong supporters of all our work. It is only because of this ecosystem that I could become an entrepreneur.”

Marcya Carter-Sheats


Marcya Carter-Sheats is an IMM Global Executive MBA alumna and volunteers with Jack & Jill of America, Inc. Through her work in the organization, Marcya is nurturing future African American leaders. Hear from Marcya about her persistent pursuit of the next giant leap:

“Our family has a long history with Jack & Jill of America, Inc. My husband and I were both in Jack & Jill when we were young. We were both committed to ensuring our daughter has the same opportunity to participate when she came of age. As a mother, I want to make sure that I provide a diverse landscape of friends that my daughter would not generally get. At Jack & Jill of America, we are building future leaders by providing social, cultural and educational opportunities for our children. I believe that African American history is important for all Americans to understand and one that I hope we continue to teach and learn from. I would love for us to one day have an America that is less focused on color and race, and one that is diverse and naturally celebrates our complex history.”

Sara Howe


Sara Howe is an Executive MBA alumna and serves as the CEO of the Illinois Association for Behavioral Health. Through her work, Sara is transforming how we address the mental health crisis. Hear from Sara about her persistent pursuit of the next giant leap:

“I have been involved in advocacy for addiction and mental health since my high school years. Today, I serve as the CEO of the Illinois Association for Behavioral Health. We educate policymakers, parents, youth, and communities about the importance of mental health and wellness, while sharing the message that addiction and mental illness are preventable, effective treatment strategies exist, and recovery is possible! One in five teens in the U.S. live with a mental health condition. It is imperative we reverse these trends. I look forward to the day when these statistics are our history, and not our future. I would like to see every youth and adult trained in Mental Health First Aid, making it as common and normal as CPR training. I dream of the day when individuals with substance use or mental health disorders are treated the same as someone diagnosed with cancer.”

Marthe Reinette


Marthe Reinette is an IMM Global Executive MBA alumna and serves as the Director of Global Participation for THNK, the Amsterdam School of Creative Leadership. Through her work, Marthe is supporting creative leaders solving large societal challenges. Hear from Marthe about her persistent pursuit of the next giant leap:

“In this increasingly complex world, leaders need to learn to think and do things differently to solve the world’s most pressing issues. I work for a creative leadership school based in Amsterdam, which develops and supports creative leaders around the world with the purpose to resolve large societal challenges. I love to help people connect to their passion and purpose, and come out of our program as a better version of themselves. This is the impact I’d like to have in this world — helping others find their purpose to drive positive change. My hope is that one day creative leadership will be the norm, and every leader will have the innovative and creative mindset necessary to effectively and efficiently make this world a better place for future generations.”

Dr. Mary Pilotte


Dr. Mary Pilotte is a professor in our Executive MBA programs and is the co-inventor and co-owner of the start-up associated with Jammed Pack, launching an innovative, sustainable packaging alternative. Hear from Mary about her persistent pursuit of the next giant leap:

“My sister and I are inventors and co-owners of the start-up associated with Jammed Pack. From our farming family roots, we developed a deep care and appreciation for maintaining a healthy and sustainable environment. We feel we have a responsibility to be part of a positive change back toward solutions that are convenient, safe, and sustainable. By 2025, there could be one ton of plastic for every three tons of fish in the ocean. We hope that our example will help encourage others to not just hear these statistics and grow sad, but to be bold and act, looking for opportunities to make the world healthier for generations to come, now. We can all do something. We should reflect and treasure the lessons of history, and perhaps slow down just a bit, to ensure we take the time required to make decisions that are beneficial to all, including Mother Earth, over the long haul.”