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Hutchison named new vice president of advancement

David Hutchison has been announced as the new vice president for advancement at Lyon College. He will start January 10, 2019.

In his new role, Hutchison will be responsible for increasing advancement efforts, assessing the need for program and organizational adjustments, and implementing projects of improvement. This is an exciting time for the College as it institutes its goals of the four year strategic plan, which Hutchison will partner with President Joey King to accomplish.

“We are delighted to have David joining the leadership team,” said King. “We had a strong pool of advancement professionals, but David impressed us with his variety of experience, energy, and dedication to our liberal arts mission.”

As the executive director of advancement and alumni programs at Central Methodist University in Fayette, Missouri, he successfully executed a $20 million capital campaign, added $4 million to the university’s endowment, oversaw the major gifts program, and managed several alumni engagement initiatives.  

Hutchison also served on the executive board for the Fayette Main Street Association, where he fundraised for economic and community development projects.

“I am extremely excited to be joining Lyon College at a time of great transformation,” said Hutchison. “I look forward to working with President King, as well as the board, faculty, and staff, and most importantly with alumni and friends of Lyon College to move forward with the College's strategic vision.”

Before his time in advancement, Hutchison was a pastor for the Central Methodist University campus. Besides leading a congregation, he oversaw collaborative programs between the church and the campus community. His time in church leadership prepared him for his roles in engagement.

“I learned that leading people to support a mission begins with developing committed, authentic relationships,” said Hutchison. “The work of college advancement is no different, and I am eager to begin developing relationships, connecting the passions of our community and alumni and friends with the mission and vision of Lyon College.”

Hutchison expects to receive his Doctor of Education in higher education leadership and policy from the Peabody College of Education at Vanderbilt University this May. He also has a Master of Divinity from Saint Paul School of Theology and a Bachelor of Arts in history and religion from Central Methodist University.

“As a product of a liberal arts education at a small, private Christian college myself, I know well and am deeply invested in the kind of personalized, life-changing education that Lyon College provides,” said Hutchison. “What a gift to be a part of helping make that happen at what is both the most exciting and most important time in young people's lives.”

at Wednesday, November 14, 2018

Lyon students succeed at Model UN Conference

Earlier this month, eight students from Lyon’s Model United Nations (UN) group attended the eighth annual Arkansas Collegiate Model United Nations (ACMUN) conference at the University of Central Arkansas in Conway.

Serving on four different committees, the students represented the United States, the Republic of Korea, and Cuba. They finished the day with David Lewis, '20, winning the outstanding delegate award.

Model UN conferences allow students to role play as delegates to the United Nations and simulate UN committees. Students learn about real politics for the countries they represent and practice cooperating with other nations to resolve international conflicts.

This was the group’s first time to attend the conference, and Model UN faculty advisor Dr. Jaeyun Sung was pleased with the results.

“Our students played their roles firmly even though it was their first experience,” said Sung. “They didn't hesitate to explore different perspectives and were actively engaged in negotiations. I see that they are ready to take the next step.”

According to Sung, the next step will mean more conference opportunities in the future. The team will now commit to attend the ACMUN every year and plan new tactics for the competition.

at Tuesday, November 13, 2018

New poetry collection by Andrea Hollander published

Andrea Hollander, an award-winning poet and former writer-in-residence at Lyon College, recently published her fifth full-length collection of poetry, Blue Mistaken for Sky, by Autumn House Press.

Hollander ran a bed and breakfast in Mountain View for 15 years and served as the writer-in-residence at Lyon College for 22 years until 2013. After many years in the Ozark Mountains, she moved to Portland, Oregon, in 2011 but would return to Lyon for her teaching semesters.

The new collection is personal in nature, a memoir recounting the breakup of her marriage, the feelings of betrayal, and her eventual decision to literally move on, relocating from Arkansas to Portland, Oregon.

The middle section of the book flashes back to her youth and to experiences that contributed to decisions and circumstances of her adult life, including early relationships with boys and men, her mother’s illness and death, and uncomfortable dealings with her father, whose use of silence felt to her like a weapon and who eventually slid into dementia.

The new collection has received excellent reviews. For example, Maria Rouphail wrote in Pedestal Magazine:

“To call Blue Mistaken for Sky a poetic or spiritual memoir may be to over-define it. Nonetheless, taken together as Hollander has arranged them, the poems appear to be the mature fruit of a smart poet’s process of discernment, an exploration of personal loss and disillusion. Honest and authentic come to mind as apt adjectives …. The fact is that the poems are proof of the poet’s dogged internal work, and for Hollander to have translated this journey into such graceful and relatable poems is stunning.”

In an interview by Terri Lewis in the Washington Independent Review of Books, Hollander said:

“For me, drafting poems is a form of writing practice, the operative word being practice. I don’t expect a good poem to emerge. When a promising poem makes a turn I didn’t expect, I know I have something worthwhile to work with. Then I begin to edit both immediately and over a period of days or weeks, sometimes even months. I put the poem away, take it out, read it aloud again and again, put it away, and so on, making adjustments as I recognize problems or improvements.”

Her previous collection, Landscape with Female Figure: New & Selected Poems, 1982 - 2012 (Autumn House Press, 2013) was a finalist for the Oregon Book Award, and her first, House Without a Dreamer (Story Line Press, 1993), won the Nicholas Roerich Poetry Prize.

Hollander’s many other honors include two Pushcart Prizes (in poetry and literary nonfiction) and two poetry fellowships from the National Endowment for the Arts. Her work is widely published in textbooks, anthologies, and literary journals. More information is on her website:

Blue Mistaken for Sky and her other collections are available on Amazon. A signed copy may be purchased through her website.

at Thursday, November 8, 2018

Lyon students win at Arkansas INBRE Conference

Lyon College senior Jordan Trant and sophomore Hannah Zang both received awards for their research presentations at Arkansas IDeA Network of Biomedical Research Excellence (INBRE) conference this past weekend in Fayetteville, Arkansas.

The Arkansas INBRE conference is the largest undergraduate conference in the state where students can present their research in biology, chemistry, and physics. The conference attracts colleges from Arkansas and neighboring states, including Rhodes, Hendrix, Oklahoma State University, and many more.

Trant won first place for her oral presentation in chemistry and biochemistry. Zang won second place for her oral presentation in biological sciences. Both presented on research they had been conducting since the beginning of their college careers.

“My work involves modifying a tuberculosis antibiotic to be effective against mutated strains of the bacteria,” said Trant. She has worked on this research since her freshman year with Assistant Professor of Chemistry Irosha Nawarathne, who was selected as a keynote speaker for the conference.

“I started doing this research my spring semester of freshman year and continued it over the summer,” said Zang. “My presentation was about trans-acting factors to help promote ribosome maturation in S.cerevisiae, commonly known as baker's yeast.”

Assistant Professor of Biology Alexander Beeser, who worked with Zang on her research, wants to emphasize the opportunities students receive at Lyon to conduct research and the importance of presenting.

“[Presenting] exposes students to other undergrad research projects and allows them to possibly consider networking, or looking into specific graduate positions,” said Beeser. “You want to get better at something? You have to get outside of your comfort zone.”

“Giving a talk to a room full of undergrad peers and their faculty mentors” does just that. And Trant and Zang agree.

“I had never presented any research before, so being nominated to give an oral presentation was very intimidating,” admitted Zang. “It was a really cool experience to be able to talk to others about the research I did, even if it was nerve-wracking. I am still very grateful for that opportunity, especially as just a sophomore.”

For senior Trant, this is her second time to attend the conference, and she is happy her hard work paid off.

“Since I've been working on this project for about three years now, it feels really great to be getting recognition for all of the hard work myself and other people in my lab have done to make it a success,” said Trant.

at Wednesday, November 7, 2018

Past president shares about his time at Lyon in memoir

What do a tornado, an airplane crash, and an increased endowment have in common? They all occur in Dan C. West’s memoir, Causeway to a Bigger World, during chapters covering his time at Lyon College, then Arkansas College.

President of the College from 1972 to 1988, West shares about his experience working in higher education; his experience at Arkansas College spans about a third of the book.

West summarizes his time in Batesville as “the hardest work [he had] ever done and the most satisfying and the most important.” His “work” was also quite eventful.

After uprooting his wife and their two small children to live in Batesville, West quickly discovered he faced a challenge. Almost a week after his inauguration, Arkansas College was hit by a tornado. Many buildings were damaged or completely destroyed, but, as West emphasizes, miraculously no one was hurt. In fact, the campus was up and limping four days later, after brief closure and clean up.

Less than two years later, West was flying from Little Rock back to Batesville for a meeting, when the airplane engine stopped. The plane made an emergency landing on the highway. West and the pilot left unscathed, and West even made it back to Batesville in time for his meeting.

Among the many thrilling ventures West recalls, he also encountered several successful ones. West’s presidency saw several installations that still thrive today, including the Lyon Business and Economics Building, the Nichols International Studies Program, and the Scottish Heritage Program. West also left the College with a larger endowment.

When contacted about the memoir, West enthusiastically discussed his time at Arkansas College.

“We’re very grateful for the experience we had there,” said West. “The years we spent at Lyon were very important because my wife and I were quite young when we moved there, and we had two little kids. They really grew up [at the College].”

West also explained that “causeway” in the title alluded to the road he and his family travelled when moving from Galveston Island in 1949.

“That was the beginning of the journey,” said West. Many journeys require risk, and West’s is no exception. His “bigger world” included a small, liberal arts college in rural Arkansas, and despite twists and turns, he lived to write his memoir.

“What is important is that a small college which has been of vital importance to thousands of students and residents of northeast Arkansas first survived and then grew stronger and better than any time in its history,” concluded West.

at Monday, November 5, 2018