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About the Episode

The what's what...

It’s one thing to have a team that works well together. It’s another thing to have a team that knocks it out of the park in terms of productivity, honors, and a place where people want to be. That would be the marketing and communications team at Purdue University. It’s a team that has nearly doubled in size through a university-wide 150th anniversary celebration, the COVID lockdown, and presidential transition.

Two Purdue marcom leaders, Ethan Braden and Kelly Hiller, joined “I Wanna Work There!” to talk about their journeys, building a team culture, and earning campus wide buy-in to become an award-winning operation. To learn more about Purdue’s team and work, go to. 


This Episode is Sponsored by Pathify

Meet Pathify —  an innovative higher ed engagement hub that puts students at the center of their college journey. Pathify sits at the center of your school’s digital ecosystem, becoming the single, user experience interface tying together all systems, content, and communications. Their engagement hub elevates the information that matters most and pushes systems like the SIS behind the scenes where they belong, making it simpler for students to discover and engage with the opportunities your institution provides at every step of their higher ed journey, from prospect to alumni. What’s even better, Pathify has a mobile experience that provides 100% parity with the responsive web app, so your campus app is always in sync. Pathify is a platform that EVERY stakeholder on campus  — from marketing, to admissions, to student affairs, to IT, etc., — can get equally excited about. Learn more about how Pathify is uniting strategic units across campus and bettering the entire student experience by visiting


About the Enrollify Podcast Network: 

I Wanna Work There is a part of the Enrollify Podcast Network.  If you like this podcast, chances are you’ll like other Enrollify shows too!  

Our podcast network is growing by the month and we’ve got a plethora of marketing, admissions, and higher ed technology shows that are jam packed with stories, ideas, and frameworks all designed to empower you to be a better higher ed professional. Our shows feature a selection of the industry’s best as your hosts. Learn from Jeremy Tiers, Zach Busekrus, Jaime Hunt, Allison Turcio, Jamie Gleason and many more. 

Learn more about The Enrollify Podcast Network at Our shows help higher ed marketers and admissions professionals find their next big idea — come and find yours. 

About the Podcast

Eddie Francis


Eddie Francis

Eddie Francis, a brand strategy consultant, award-winning broadcaster, podcaster, and speaker, is driven by the deep belief in the importance of being valued. As the founder of Edify Ventures, a consultancy focusing on personal and employer branding, Eddie hosts "I Wanna Work There!" on employer branding in higher education and "For Our Edification" on personal leadership. With a background in radio, including hosting the "HBCU Lifestyle Podcast," Eddie's contributions extend to various platforms, earning him recognition as one of New Orleans Magazine's "30 People to Watch." In higher education, he played pivotal roles in brand identity, communications, and enrollment growth. As a speaker, Eddie shares leadership insights with college students and has contributed to the book "Leadership to Letters." Eddie holds a Master of Professional Studies in strategic leadership and a Bachelor of Arts in mass communication. Proudly affiliated with Alpha Phi Alpha Fraternity Inc., he is the husband of Dr. Halima Leak Francis and the father of Stevie.

R. Ethan Braden


R. Ethan Braden

Ethan Braden serves as executive vice president and chief marketing and communications officer for both Purdue University and Purdue Global which has been ranked as one of the Top Ten Most Innovative Schools in America by U.S. News and World Report for five consecutive years. Ethan leads the Purdue system in the persistent pursuit of the next giant leap by passionately positioning, promoting, and protecting the $3 billion Purdue brand and portfolio worldwide. With Ethan at the helm of marcom, Purdue has earned impressive accolades as a global brand. In June 2023, Purdue was ranked #10 worldwide, in front of global icons including UCLA, University of Pennsylvania, Cambridge University and Yale University in American Caldwell’s Global University Visibility Rankings. In March 2023, Purdue University was named one of Fast Company Magazine’s World’s Most Innovative Companies – coming in at #16 overall, #1 in education and regarded as “the most innovative university in America” – for its advances in the vital field of semiconductors and microelectronics, making Purdue the only university on the list of Fast Company magazine’s prestigious Top 50 Most Innovative Companies in the World. This is after, in October 2022, Fast Company selected Purdue University as one of its “Brands That Matter” for a second time. As one of only 13 repeat winners in 2022 as well as the only university named a Brand That Matters in 2021 and 2022, Purdue was selected alongside iconic brands including Nike, 3M, McDonald’s, Ford, and Yeti. In 2020, Purdue University swept the American Marketing Association’s annual higher education awards when it selected Ethan as Higher Education Marketer of the Year and Purdue’s marketing and communications team as Higher Education Marketing Team of the Year. Ethan has appeared in the Washington Post, AdAge, The Hechinger Report, Fast Company, and The Morning Brew. He has spoken at Google Marketing Live, Salesforce’s Dreamforce and Connections conferences, AdWeek’s Brandweek, and he appeared on numerous podcasts related to brand management, leadership, and higher education. Ethan teaches personal branding to Purdue’s Division I student athletes in the university’s Optimizing Personal Brand and Image class, an innovative partnership between Purdue’s School of Business and Purdue Athletics in response to NIL. Ethan earned his M.B.A. from the University of Notre Dame and his bachelor’s degree in economics and Spanish from Willamette University (Salem, OR). Ethan currently lives in West Lafayette, Indiana, with his wife, Betsy, and their three children.

Kelly Hiller


Kelly Hiller

Kelly Hiller is Purdue University’s executive director of creative services, which includes copy, design, web, photo, video and operations. Kelly has been working at Purdue since January 2005, when she joined the university’s marketing department as communications coordinator. In 2008, she moved to the Purdue Alumni Association where she managed the communications team and oversaw production of the Purdue Alumnus magazine. She also served as the lead planner of the Boilermaker Ball, the Alumni Association’s signature event. In March 2017, Kelly decided she was up for a new challenge. She led Purdue’s sesquicentennial effort by spearheading the Giant Leaps Campaign, which launched on Homecoming 2018 and concluded Homecoming 2019. Kelly holds a Bachelor of Science in marketing from Indiana University’s Kelley School of Business.

I Wanna Work There

A great employee experience equals a great student experience. In a time where employee recruitment and retention is more challenging than ever, I Wanna Work There! takes a look at how colleges and universities can develop competitive, compelling employer brands. Join us for an honest and solutions-based look at the issues that surround institutions positioning themselves as employers of choice.

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