2017 Rising Professionals

Karan Ahuja

Mr. Karan Ahuja received both a Bachelor of Science in Electrical Engineering and a Bachelor of Science in Management from Purdue in 2011. He is currently pursuing a Masters in Business Administration from Harvard University. Prior to his new academic venture, he was a Management Consultant at McKinsey and Co where he earned Rookie of the Year Award. He then began working at LinkedIn, being promoted 3 times in one and a half years, where he wound up being the Senior Product Manager and in charge of the “Profile” tab.  During his time at Purdue, Mr. Ahuja was the Delta Sigma Pi President as well as on the Krannert President’s Council and the Purdue Student Engineering President’s Council. When he graduated, he was Top 1% of graduating class and Eta Kappa Nu.

Eric Barnard

Mr. Eric Barnard holds a Bachelor of Science in Agriculture Finance (2009) and a minor in Management. After graduating, he worked at RICS software as an Analyst before being promoted to Implementations Manager and then Software Engineer. Soon after, he began work at Codagami as a Senior Software Engineer and then Parkland College as the Program Director for Computer Science and Information Technology. He currently works at his own company, Barnard Tech Solution as well as at Granular as their Senior Front End Software Engineer. While at Purdue, Mr. Barnard was the Purdue Student Government President, a 4-H Member, and part of both the Order of the Iron Key Leadership Honorary and Mortar Board. Additionally, he was involved with FarmHouse Fraternity and member of the President’s Leadership Class. Upon graduation, he was the winner of G.A. Ross Outstanding Undergraduate Male and graduated with distinction. He also received the Purdue Indiana Resident Top Scholar, Purdue Betty M. Nelson Skilled Leader Award, Purdue Academic Success Award, and the Lilly Endowment Community Scholar title.

Alexandra French

Ms. Alexandra French earned her Bachelors of Arts in Political Science and Philosophy from Purdue in 2012. She then went on to receive her Juris Doctor Degree in 2015 from the University of Virginia Law School. She currently works for Barnes and Thornburg LLP as a Litigation Associate. During her time at Purdue, she was involved extensively, participating in Purdue Musical Organizations’ Purduettes, the College of Liberal Arts Dean’s Ambassador, Purdue Student Government, Association of Big Ten Students, the Philosophy Undergraduate Committee, the Community Standards board, and the President’s Round Table as part of the Hansard Scholars Programme. Ms. French was also in both the University Honors Program and Liberal Arts Honors, as well as Mortar Board National Honor Society, the Barbara Cook Chapter. She was also chosen to be a member for the Order of the Iron Key, where she worked to design and commission the John Purdue statue. She also has an impressive internship resume which includes Judicial intern for the Supreme Court of the United States and Indiana Court of Appeals and an internship for Lieutenant Governor Skillman and the Indiana Department of Agriculture. She graduated from Purdue with distinction.

Derek Mauk

Mr. Derek Mauk most recently earned his Masters in Business Administration in 2010 from Purdue University. Upon finishing his MBA, he joined Procter & Gamble in Cincinnati, OH in Finance Management as part of P&G’s North America business; he first worked across all P&G categories and later worked with specific focus on the Baby Care and Home Cleaning businesses. Mr. Mauk was then invited to join Brand Management to work on the Swiffer & Mr. Clean brands. Subsequently, Mr. Mauk had the opportunity to join Anheuser-Busch InBev, first serving as an Innovation Brand Manager in St. Louis, MO and currently serving as a Sr. Innovation Brand Manager in New York, NY. During his time on campus at Purdue University, Mr. Mauk was President of the School of Management Council, Co-President of the University Honors Program Leadership Council, and Vice President of the Purdue Foundation Student Board. He was also involved as an Old Masters Host, as a member of the University’s Presidents Roundtable, and in several organizations in the Krannert School of Management. As an undergraduate student at Purdue, Mr. Mauk was awarded the Krannert Outstanding Senior Award; he earned a B.S. in Management with Distinction and was one of fewer than forty students in his graduating class to be awarded a University Honors Diploma. Mr. Mauk has continued to be involved with Purdue after graduating: he currently serves on the Purdue Libraries Dean’s Advisory Board, is a lifetime member of the Purdue Alumni Association, and previously served as the Treasurer and President of the Purdue Alumni Association’s Cincinnati chapter.

Lauren Mioton-Connor

Dr. Lauren Mioton-Connor holds a Bachelor of Science in Biology (2009) from Purdue University. She then continued to receive her Doctor of Medicine from Vanderbilt. She currently works at Northwestern Memorial Hospital as a Plastic Surgery Resident. During her time at Purdue, Dr. Mioton-Connor was the Team Captain of the Purdue Basketball Team, which she played on during her 4 years in West Lafayette. She was also crowned Homecoming Queen during her senior year. When she graduated from Purdue, she was presented with the Flora Roberts Outstanding Senior Award.

2016 Rising Professionals


Carlos Banks

Mr. Carlos Banks earned his Bachelor of Science in Accounting & Finance from University in 2008 before obtaining both his Masters of Engineering Management and Masters of Business Administration from Northwestern University. He has worked with Goldman Sachs, Apple, and Groupon and now serves as an Assistant Vice President for GENPACT, which runs intelligent business for 25% of Fortune 500 companies. While on campus, Mr. Banks was involved in the Krannert President’s Council, was treasurer for the Mortar Board Honor Society, President of the School of Management Ambassadors, President of the Society of Minority Managers, a senator for Shreve Club, and an avid intramural sports participant. He is the recipient of the Dr. Cornell A. Bell Award, the Purdue Black Caucus Academic & Leadership Awards, and the Krannert Outstanding Senior Award. Mr. Banks’s favorite Purdue memories came as a result of the work he did through various student organizations.


Rachel Cumberbatch

Ms. Rachel Cumberbatch holds a Bachelor of Science in Animal Science (2007) and a Doctorate of Vetinary Medicine (2011) from Purdue University, where she served on the Board of Trustees. She has worked as a Fellow for the Environmental Protection Agency and now works as a healthcare policy fellow for Senator Al Franken in Washington DC, where she recently won the EPA Peer Award. Her campus resume is just as impressive, having been involved with Iron Key, Mortar Board Honor Society, Timmy Global Health, President’s Leadership Class, and Animal Science Ambassadors. She was not only the winner of the College of Agriculture/Animal Science Outstanding Senior Award, but she received the Flora Roberts Award, given to the most outstanding senior female. Ms. Cumberbatch studied abroad in Honduras and China before traveling with Timmy Global Health (formerly the Timmy Foundation) to Ecuador the following two years. Ms. Cumberbatch said it was impossible to choose her favorite Purdue memory but that she “absolutely loved being a student trustee.”


Shane Hageman

Mr. Shane Hageman received both a Bachelor of Arts in Political Science and a Bachelor of Science from Purdue in 2008, before going on to receive his Master of Science in Food & Agribusiness Management in 2012. He also his Juris Doctorate and Master of Business Administration from the Mauer School of Law and Kelley School of Business at Indiana University. Mr. Hageman currently serves as President of Hageman group, an Indianapolis based Agricultural company. He followed his time as a President of Indiana FFA with an impressive Purdue career, involved with Iron Key, Old Masters, Purdue Student Government, Alpha Gamma Rho, College of Agriculture Ambassadors, and the President’s Leadership Class. Mr. Hageman studied abroad in London, Argentina, and Beijing as a student and is most fond of bringing the Unfinished Block-P statue to campus as a part of Iron Key.


Jayme Huber

Mrs. Jayme Huber holds a Bachelor of Science in Aeronautical and Astronautical engineering from Purdue University in 2008. After graduating, she pursued her Master of Business Administration from Harvard University. Having held positions with Bain & Company, the Special Olympics, and Whirlpool, she now works as an Associate Director at Joss & Main. While at Purdue, Ms. Huber was involved with the Purdue Engineering Student Council, National Association of Engineering Student Councils, Society of Women Engineers, American Insitute of Aeronautics and Astronautics, Mortar Board Honor Society, Purdue University Dance Marathon, as a participant in the Reduced Gravity Flight Opportunities Program, and as a volunteer for the Lafayette Crisis Center. One of Mrs. Huber’s favorite memories of Purdue was the Neil Armstrong Statue unveiling ceremony.


Jill Zeller

Mrs. Jill Zeller received her Bachelor of Science in Agricultural Economics and Agricultural Communications from Purdue in 2009. She has worked her way up through Dow AgroSciences and now serves as a Brand Manager. During her time at Purdue, Mrs. Zeller was a member of Purdue’s Board of Trustees, Iron Key, President of Purdue Foundation Student Board, President of Glenwood Cooperative, on the Central Committee for Old Masters, an Ambassador for the College of Agriculture, and a member of Ag Council, Ag Communicators of Tomorrow, the National Agri-Marketing Association, the President’s Leadership Class, and the Mortar Board Honor Society. One of Mrs. Zeller’s favorite Purdue memories was being present for President Cordova’s Inauguration Celebration.