Road Masters

Well-traveled alumni call West Lafayette home

Married master’s alumni Charles and Susan (Campbell) Jischke are proud to call West Lafayette their home. But don’t be surprised if either one or both of them is somewhere else at any given time, from halfway across the country to the opposite side of the globe.

Charles recently finished his sixth sojourn as tour photographer and engineering technician for musician Billy Idol, who this May and June performed 22 shows in 19 U.S. cities and Canada in less than six weeks. Previous Idol tours have taken Charles across Europe, including stops in Germany, Russia, Austria, Sweden, Norway, Denmark, Spain and Portugal.

Susan has rotated among North America, Asia and Latin America as an HR professional for IBM, where she began her career as a Krannert intern. She spent weeks at a time in 2012 in China and since January has served as a global process lead for IBM’s HR information system in more than 20 countries and expanding to Latin America.

Susan and Charles Jischke

Susan and Charles Jischke on their honeymoom at Yellowstone National Park (Photo by Charles Jiscke)


Their home base remains Purdue, where they met in 2005 when Charles was visiting his parents, former Purdue president Martin Jischke and first lady Patty Jischke, and Susan was a senior in hospitality and tourism management and already thinking about a master’s degree.


Thus began a long-distance relationship that a year later led them both to Krannert.

A 1998 graduate of the Berklee College of Music in Boston, where he majored in music production and engineering, Charles had been pondering a career shift after seven years in Los Angeles working in the recording industry.

“I was at a crossroads,” he says. “I have always been entrepreneurial and interested in the business side of the music industry, and decided a management degree would give me the most options.”

While Susan furthered her studies through Krannert’s master’s program in human resource management, Charles honed his skills with an MBA and internship at the Indiana Venture Center.

They took their first international trip together to China through a Krannert study abroad program and haven’t stopped since, visiting one another at work locales across the globe whenever schedules and geography permitted. They were wed in 2008 and took a belated honeymoon trip to Yellowstone National Park this summer.

“I started a savings account for international travel when I was 12 years old, so it’s no surprise that I have a job that takes me new places and a husband who has the same passion!” Susan says.

Charles now devotes most of his professional time to photography, specializing in live entertainment and portraiture. His portfolio at cfjphoto.com also includes Boilermaker athletics and his work for Purdue’s “5 Students Who Move the World Forward” feature.

Meanwhile, Susan, a new member of the Krannert School Alumni Association board, is anxious to learn her destination in IBM’s Corporate Service Corps, which provides project assistance to communities and organizations in emerging markets. She will begin her four-week assignment in the coming months.

“I don’t know where I’ll be going or when, but I think it could be the most rewarding trip yet,” she says.