Robert Beasley has served as General Counsel for Paws since 1993, and is responsible for the legal affairs of the Company, including the establishment and protection of intellectual property rights. He is a graduate of the IU School of Laws and has been actively engaged in the practice of law since 1980. He currently serves on the Board of Directors for the Youth Opportunity Center in Muncie, Indiana.
Myra is the founder of Borsho!, one of Indiana’s largest communications firms, with a sta! of more than 40 and a client list that includes St. Elizabeth Regional Health, St. Francis Hospital and Health Centers, The Indianapolis Colts, F.C. Tucker, Indianapolis Power and Light, Rolls-Royce, Eli Lilly and the Indiana Pacers. She is a community leader as a board and executive committee member for the Greater Indianapolis Chamber of Commerce, president of the Indianapolis Press Club Foundation, and board member for the Greater Indianapolis Progress Committee and Phoenix Theatre. Myra is dedicated to mentoring young professionals as an accredited member and Fellow of the Public Relations Society of America (PRSA), sharing her wisdom on how to chart the sometimes murky waters of communications.
Jim Davis is the creator of the comic strip, GARFIELD, and President of Paws, Incorporated, a licensing and creative studio that handles the worldwide business affairs for the Garfield property. GARFIELD is the most widely syndicated comic strip in the world. Davis also had many successes with Garfield including four Emmy Awards for Outstanding Animated Program and induction into the Licensing Hall of Fame (1998), but his most prized awards are from his peers in the National Cartoonist Society: Best Humor Strip (1981 and 1985), the Elzie Segar Award (1990), and the coveted Reuben Award (1990) for overall excellence in cartooning.
Madelyn Ferris has been with Paws, Inc. serving in various capacities since 1984, and is currently vice president, Digital Marketing and is responsible for digital sales and marketing for the Garfield brand worldwide. She holds a BS in secondary education from Ball State University and an MBA from Indiana University. In the recent past, she has served as National Director and presenter for Show Your Spark!, the school assembly program for the now closed Sparktop.org. Madelyn has previously served as a director for American National Bank Corporation (now Old National) and is currently an elder for Commonway Church, Muncie, IN. Ferris is secretary of the Professor Garfield Foundation Board.
Dr. Jennifer Palilonis is a full professor in Ball State University’s Department of Journalism, and the director of the Center for Emerging Media Design & Development. She holds a PhD in Human-Computer Interaction from the Indiana University School of Informatics & Computing. Prior to becoming the EMDD director, she was the coordinator for the nationally recognized journalism graphics sequence and director of the Ball State Digital Publishing Studio. Her fields of professional specialization are design thinking, human-computer interaction, cross-platform storytelling, visual journalism, page design, information graphics reporting, art direction, redesign, visual rhetoric, composition, electronic learning, collaborative learning, animation, digital publishing, research-informed design and development, human-computer interaction and interaction design. Professor Palilonis is the author of two textbooks: A Practical Guide to Graphics Reporting (Focal Press, 2006; 2016) and The Multimedia Journalist (Oxford University Press, 2012). She has developed three major interactive multimedia books, including Design Interactive, an e-text on basic design principles and Visualizing Electricity & Magnetism, an interactive set of visualizations used in 100-level electricity and magnetism courses at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology.
Sharnell Jackson is the president of Data-Driven Innovations Consulting. With 35 years of educational experience, she helps school systems design and implement comprehensive curriculum, instruction, assessment, and data-driven inquiry-based professional development. She was formerly the Chicago Public Schools Chief eLearning O!icer and was responsible for training teachers and administrators in: online learning, data analysis, interpretation of student academic achievement results for school improvement, and e!ective use of technology resources for curriculum instruction to accelerate and motivate 21st century student learning.
Jacobson, Ed.D., Ed. S, M.Ed., has served as dean of Teachers College and professor at Ball State University since 2009. He oversees five academic departments, Burris Laboratory School, The Indiana Academy for Science, Math and Humanities, and other units of the college. Prior to joining BSU, he served six years as education dean at Stephen F. Austin State University. In addition to his thirteen years as dean, he served three years as associate dean at The University of Missouri-Kansas City and ten years in a variety of positions at the University of Texas-Arlington. John holds degrees in elementary education with a science minor, curriculum and instruction, educational administration, and a doctorate in reading education. He has chaired or served on various professional and governmental committees and boards at all levels. He has received numerous awards for teaching and service. Prior to his career in higher education, he served 15 years in the public schools—6 years as teacher and 9 as principal.
Thomas J. Kinghorn has been Vice President for Business Affairs and Treasurer of Ball State University since 1980. He has served in various capacities in Business A!airs since 1968, including 10 years as the university’s representative to the Indiana General Assembly. He has been a member of the Ball State University Foundation Board since 1980. He is an alumnus of Ball State University, receiving his B. S. in Business Administration in 1965 and his M.A. in Business Administration (Management) in 1966. Primary areas of responsibility include all finance and business services, state and federal governmental relations, human resources, auxiliary services, facilities master planning, building construction, and facilities management.
Anita Kishel was a professional educator in urban schools for over 25 years. She was awarded an Eleanor Roosevelt Teacher Fellowship in 1996, received the Christa McAuli!e Fellowship in 1998 and is a 1999 graduate of the National Sta! Development Academy. Anita served as a TopHat Mentor in a collaborative program between the Indiana Department of Education and Mid-Continent Research for Education and Learning (McREL) to support the implementation of research-based, e!ective practices in low performing schools. After leaving the classroom, she worked with aha! Process, Inc. for almost a decade teaching schools and communities about working with children and adults from poverty. Currently, she is the President of Palmetto Planters, LLC.
As Director of Educational and Online Initiatives for Paws, Inc., Bob supervises all online programs and services that address the millions of Garfield fans worldwide. He also oversees all content development for www.professorgarfield.org. Before joining Paws, Bob spent 3 years as VP of Sales for Assa International, an international manufacturing firm, and 12 years with VF Corp., a Fortune 500 company, as Director of National Accounts. Bob has a degree in Computer Science from Bowling Green State University in Ohio.
Before retiring, Don Mikesell served as Ball State University’s Dean of Students, an associate professor, and director of Graduate Programs in the Student A!airs Administration in Higher Education. His career as a Student A!airs professional began in 1961 when he accepted a position as a Ball State residence hall director. The year before, he had been a student himself earning a bachelor's degree in physical education, and in 1963 he completed a master's degree in guidance counseling. In 1970, he earned his doctoral degree in higher education administration from Indiana University.
Jon Moll is an attorney with the law firm DeFur Voran LLP, which has offices in Muncie, Fishers and New Castle, Indiana. His principal areas of practice are higher education, banking and employment law. He and his family moved to Muncie in 1971 following his service in the United States Navy as a Lieutenant in the Judge Advocate General Corps during the Vietnam War. He is presently serving or has served as an o!icer and director of numerous civic and community welfare organizations, including the United Way of Delaware County, the Community Foundation of Muncie & Delaware County, the George & Frances Ball Foundation, the Hamer & Phyllis Shafer Foundation, the Harry & Janet Kitselman Foundation, the Mary Garr Scholarship Trust, the Youth Opportunity Center Foundation, Delaware Advancement Corporation, the Muncie Symphony Orchestra, The Nature Conservancy, the Indiana Natural Resources Foundation, the Indiana Heritage Trust, and the Indiana Environmental Quality Service Council. He earned his doctor of jurisprudence degree in 1967 from the Indiana University School of Law, Bloomington, Indiana (now the Indiana University Maurer School of Law).
Professor Stan Silverman, New York Institute of Technology, is widely regarded as a pioneer and national leader in distance learning and educational technology. He combines a physicist’s knowledge of technological hardware with a teacher’s insight into how they can be applied to enhance learning. He is a full professor in the School of Education and the director of the school’s Technology Based Learning Systems Department and Educational Enterprise Zone. He is a nationally known speaker and author on technology and education, serves on the NYS Regents Technology Council and Chairs the NYS Teacher Center Technology Committee. He has been honored by inclusion in the USDLA Hall of Fame and was the September, 2003 profile winner of the Center for Digital Education's "In the Arena" program. Most recently he has directed numerous grant projects to include multiple State Funded Title IIB STEM project, Title IID Enhancing Education Through Technology Grants and Federally funded Institute for Museum Library Services (IMLS) 21st Century Museum Professionals Grant, and an Innovation Challenge Grant.