April 18, 2016  

Liberal Arts honors 2016 distinguished alumni

WEST LAFAYETTE, Ind. — Purdue University's College of Liberal Arts honored four distinguished alumni during its 2016 annual awards banquet on April 15. 

Mark Achler, Melissa Stapleton Barnes, Kevin Speer and Joe Trimmer are this year's recipients of the distinguished alumni award.

* Achler, of Chicago, is managing director of MATH Venture Partners. He is a serial entrepreneur who has co-founded four companies, as well being a partner in an earlier venture fund called Kettle Partner. Prior to MATH, he was the senior vice president of New Business, Strategy and Innovation for Redbox. He also teaches entrepreneurship at Northwestern University's Kellogg School of Business. He received his Purdue bachelor's degree in history in 1980.

* Stapleton Barnes, of Carmel, Indiana, is senior vice president and enterprise risk management and chief ethics and compliance officer at Eli Lilly and Co. Prior to taking this role, Stapleton Barnes was vice president and deputy general counsel and global litigation and specialty legal. She received her Purdue bachelor's degree in political science in 1989.

* Speer, of Indianapolis, is chief executive officer of Hendricks Regional Health in Danville, Indiana. He also serves as executive vice president of the Indiana Academy of Family Physicians, providing oversight and acting as the principal spokesperson for the academy and its members. He received his Purdue bachelor's degree in political science in 1986.

* Trimmer, of Muncie, Indiana, is the founding director of the Virginia B. Ball Center for Creative Inquiry at Ball State University. He also is a professor emeritus of English. Trimmer is the author of numerous articles on literature, culture and literacy, and he has worked on 20 documentary films for PBS — including the 1982 six-part series, "Middletown," which was nominated for eight Emmys and won first prize at the Sundance Film Festival. Trimmer received his Purdue doctoral degree in English in 1968. He was the first person to receive a doctorate degree in English from Purdue.

The College of Liberal Arts is home to the departments of Anthropology, English, History, Philosophy, Political Science and Sociology; the Brian Lamb School of Communication; the Patti and Rusty Rueff School of Visual and Performing Arts; the School of Interdisciplinary Studies; and the School of Languages and Cultures.  

Writer: Amy Patterson Neubert, 765-494-9723, apatterson@purdue.edu

Source: Christine Sharp, 765-494-7884, CTSharp@prf.org 

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