Millikin University - Decatur, IL
Press Releases
Blue Connection, Millikin University's student-run art gallery, located at 117 N. Water St. in Decatur, will highlight the unique and exploratory artwork of Millikin alumnus Michael Shultz '14 on Friday, March 6, 2015, from 5 – 7:30 p.m. The exhibit is Blue Connection's March After 5 Live event.

Michael Shultz is an artist who currently resides in St. Louis, Mo. He graduated from Millikin University in 2014 earning his Bachelor of Fine Arts in Painting and Drawing. His newest series of work, "Throes," uses self-portraiture to examine what it means to be alone. The images grapple with paint both as a subject and an object, emphasizing its characteristics as a creative medium while asking, "Why paint at all?" He explores this concept by executing a complete work during a specific moment in time, whether that be a fit of anxiety or a lazy Sunday.

This past year, Shultz was the first Millikin student to be accepted into the Escapist Mentorship Program. Founded and run by Houston-based contemporary artist John Ross Palmer, the program is dedicated to helping artists achieve professional success. Last fall, Shultz participated in "The Evening of Escapism," an exhibit curated in Palmer's signature space that he uses as a studio, gallery and home.

Shultz currently works in photography post-production and hosts quarterly avant-garde exhibits in his apartment in St. Louis, the next of which is later this month. Shultz's work has been exhibited nationally and purchased by collectors throughout the United States.

For more information on Michael Shultz, visit michaeleshultz.wix.com/paintings.

The March After 5 Live event is free and open to the public. Complimentary refreshments will be provided.

Focused on arts and specialty businesses, Blue Connection is used by students in Millikin's Arts and Entrepreneurship Program to grow their businesses. Millikin's Arts and Entrepreneurship Program provides performance-based business opportunities for students to exercise self-employment. The program utilizes student-run ventures to provide students live practice in developing, launching and growing a business.

For further information on Millikin University's Blue Connection visit millikin.edu/blueconnection or contact the gallery at 217.428.0112.
The Millikin University Institute for Science Entrepreneurship, a signature program of Millikin's Center for Entrepreneurship, will continue its 2014-2015 Speaker Series on Thursday, Nov. 20, 2014 with keynote speaker Bill O'Grady, chief market strategist for Confluence Investment Management.

The presentation will be held at 7:30 p.m. in the East Room of Lower Richards Treat University Center on Millikin's campus. The presentation is free and open to the public.

Bill O'Grady is the chief market strategist for Confluence Investment Management, a St Louis-based investment management firm. O'Grady performs market, economic, and geopolitical research and is actively involved in portfolio management activities. Known for his geopolitical commentary along with his energy and currency background, he is frequently quoted by national media outlets such as The Wall Street Journal, Bloomberg News, CNBC, CBS News, Dow Jones News Service, and Investor's Business Daily.

O'Grady joined Confluence in November 2008 and previously served as vice president and chief investment strategist for Wachovia Securities. As chief investment strategist, O'Grady provided short-term asset allocation advice for Wachovia's Advisory Services Group.

In all, O'Grady has more than 20 years of experience following the energy, foreign exchange and futures markets. O'Grady earned a bachelor's degree in history and public administration from Avila College and a master's degree in economics from St. Louis University.

O'Grady's presentation will focus on "Entrepreneurship, Inequality, and Inflation." His presentation will explore entrepreneurship as perhaps being the most effective response to inflation. By deregulating and globalizing, entrepreneurs can harness technology and global supply chains to create new products and services and improve existing ones.

Millikin's Science Entrepreneurship Speaker Series focuses on science entrepreneurship and how an increased emphasis on entrepreneurship can fuel economic growth and social well-being. Throughout the academic year, executives from science ventures will be discussing particular aspects of their business. In addition, business leaders will be discussing broader topics of interest.

Formed by Dr. David Horn, associate professor of biology, Dr. George Bennett, professor of chemistry, and Dr. Casey Watson, associate professor of physics & astronomy, the Institute for Science Entrepreneurship serves as a bridge between external clients and faculty and students of Millikin to provide high quality services to science companies and private practices.

The Institute for Science Entrepreneurship was originally funded by a Millikin University Performance Learning Enhancement Grant in December 2012. Since that time, the institute has received funding from 300 Below Inc., Andreas Foundation, Coleman Foundation, a private foundation and an anonymous donor to develop the 2014-2015 Speaker Series and other institute programming.

In addition to the speaker series, the Institute for Science Entrepreneurship has recently garnered several accomplishments including external funding from Caterpillar Decatur to support a new course entitled "Introduction to Science Entrepreneurship," external funding and a collaboration between 300 Below Inc., Harcros Chemicals, and Millikin University, and a collaboration with the Community Foundation of Macon County to host a convening on poverty.

The Institute for Science Entrepreneurship also offers Performance Learning opportunities for students through its new Science Entrepreneurship Research Fellow Program. The program pairs student interest with needs of companies and private practices in the health and natural sciences.

For more information on the speaker series or the Millikin Institute for Science Entrepreneurship, please call 217.424.6392 or visit millikin.edu/InstituteForScienceEntrepreneurship.

Millikin University's Art Department and Center for Entrepreneurship will host its 8th Annual High School Art Show starting on Monday, Nov. 3, 2014. The art show will be held in Perkinson Art Gallery in Millikin's Kirkland Fine Arts Center. A closing reception and awards ceremony will be held for teachers, students, parents and the public on Saturday, Nov. 8, 2014, from 4 – 5:30 p.m.

The exhibit will highlight the exceptional artwork of high school students from throughout central Illinois. Submissions will be judged and students will have the opportunity to win cash prizes and scholarships to Millikin University. Submissions will be juried by the Millikin University Art Department Faculty and a guest judge.

The competition's focus on entrepreneurship sets this event apart from other art contests. Students have the opportunity to participate in Arts, Creativity, and Entrepreneurship (A.C.E.), a day of workshops and presentations on Saturday, Nov. 8, designed to engage students in the business of art.

The sessions will include a how-to on preparing a portfolio for college submission, a workshop on the studio art experience, and a chance to participate in a young professional artists roundtable. In addition, students will be encouraged to price their work to sell at the show. Workshops and presentations will be held from 1 – 4 p.m.

The guest judge for this year's show is Millikin alumna and Chicago-based contemporary artist Amanda Voltz '08. As an instructor of art, Voltz teaches drawing and art appreciation at McHenry County College in Crystal Lake, Ill., and Elgin Community College in Elgin, Ill. Voltz earned her bachelor's degree in painting, drawing and printmaking, and her art education K-12 certification, from Millikin University in 2008. Voltz earned her master's degree in painting from Northern Illinois University in 2011.

Throughout her graduate studies at Northern Illinois University, Voltz was granted consecutive teaching and studio assistantships within the foundation and painting programs. She has been the recipient of numerous awards and scholarships. Voltz pursues her career as an active artist exhibiting regularly. In June 2014, Voltz's solo exhibition, RUPTURE, was showcased at the Starline Gallery in Harvard, Ill.

Cash prizes will be awarded to Best of Show and to selected Honorable Mention Award recipients. Millikin Scholarships will be awarded to the top three winners. Millikin Art Faculty Awards will also be presented.

Art selections will be on display from Nov. 3 – Nov. 8 in Perkinson Art Gallery in Kirkland Fine Arts Center.

Information can be found on the event website, millikinhighschoolartshow.com. For further information, please call 217.420.6752 or e-mail hsartshow@millikin.edu.

The Millikin University Center for Entrepreneurship is a laboratory for student professional development. The Millikin Art Department works hand-in-hand with the Entrepreneurship Center to facilitate the Arts and Entrepreneurship program, effectively combing fine art and business. This unique curriculum collaboration is regionally exclusive to Millikin University.

Curriculum information is available online at millikin.edu/entrepreneurship and millikin.edu/art.
The Millikin University Institute for Science Entrepreneurship, a signature program of Millikin's Center for Entrepreneurship, will continue its 2014-2015 Speaker Series on Thursday, Oct. 23, 2014 with keynote speaker Dr. Mark R. Rank, Herbert S. Hadley professor of social welfare at Washington University in St. Louis.

The presentation will be held at 7:30 p.m. in the East Room of Lower Richards Treat University Center on Millikin's campus. The presentation is free and open to the public.

Dr. Mark Rank is widely recognized as one of the foremost experts and speakers in the country on issues of poverty, inequality, and social justice.

Dr. Rank's areas of research and teaching have focused on poverty, social welfare, economic inequality, and social policy. His first book, "Living on the Edge: The Realities of Welfare in America," explored the conditions of surviving on public assistance and achieved widespread critical acclaim.

He is currently completing a book with his long-time collaborator, Thomas Hirschl of Cornell University, entitled, "Chasing the American Dream: Understanding the Dynamics that Shape Our Fortunes." It explores through a multi-methodological approach the nature of the American Dream and the economic viability of achieving the Dream. In addition to writing books, Dr. Rank has published articles in numerous academic journals across a wide variety of fields.

Dr. Rank's presentation on Oct. 23 will focus on "Chasing the American Dream." His presentation will explore the American Dream, has it become more difficult to achieve in recent times, and what can be done to strengthen the American Dream in today's society.

Millikin's Science Entrepreneurship Speaker Series focuses on science entrepreneurship and how an increased emphasis on entrepreneurship can fuel economic growth and social well-being. Throughout the academic year, executives from science ventures will be discussing particular aspects of their business. In addition, business leaders will be discussing broader topics of interest.

Formed by Dr. David Horn, associate professor of biology, Dr. George Bennett, professor of chemistry, and Dr. Casey Watson, associate professor of physics & astronomy, the Institute for Science Entrepreneurship serves as a bridge between external clients and faculty and students of Millikin to provide high quality services to science companies and private practices.

The Institute for Science Entrepreneurship was originally funded by a Millikin University Performance Learning Enhancement Grant in December 2012. Since that time, the institute has received funding from the Andreas Foundation, Coleman Foundation, a private foundation and an anonymous donor to develop the 2014-2015 Speaker Series.

In addition to the speaker series, the Institute for Science Entrepreneurship has recently garnered several accomplishments including external funding from Caterpillar Decatur to support a new course titled "Introduction to Science Entrepreneurship," external funding and a collaboration between 300 Below Inc., Harcros Chemicals, and Millikin University, and a collaboration with the Community Foundation of Macon County to host a convening on poverty.

The Institute for Science Entrepreneurship also offers Performance Learning opportunities for students through its new Science Entrepreneurship Research Fellow Program. The program pairs student interest with needs of companies and private practices in the health and natural sciences.

For more information on the speaker series or the Millikin Institute for Science Entrepreneurship, call 217.424.6392 or visit millikin.edu/InstituteForScienceEntrepreneurship.

This is not the first time Millikin was featured on Illinois Stories. Watch as Mark McDonald discovers our students wild bird study. 

Millikin study on the impact of wild bird feeding featured on 'Illinois Stories'
Blue Connection, Millikin University's retail art gallery located at 117 N. Water St. in Decatur, Ill., will feature the works of Eric Weatherford, a senior art major from Decatur, as part of its October After 5 Live event. A variety of work will be displayed due to the various media used by Eric. The event will be held Friday, Oct. 3, from 5 p.m. - 7:30 p.m.

Although he primarily works with white chalk and colored pencil, Eric also works with pastels, sculpture, acrylic and oil paints, ink, and graphic design. He describes his style as "illustrative surrealism."

"I take everyday images, as well as ones I've created in my head, and tweak their appearances on paper," said Weatherford. "My work varies so it's hard to classify it as a whole. Each piece has its own style, feeling, and message that I'm trying to generate."

Focused on arts and specialty businesses, Blue Connection is used by students in Millikin's Arts & Entrepreneurship Program to grow their businesses. Millikin's Arts & Entrepreneurship Program provides performance-based business opportunities for students to exercise self-employment. The program utilizes student-run ventures to provide students live practice in developing, launching, and growing a business.

Alumnae Event

Blue Connection will also host a special After 5 Live Alumnae event on Friday, Oct. 10, from 5 p.m. – 7:30 p.m. The show will feature the works of Jamie Kotewa '01 and Debbie Campbell '05.

Jamie Kotewa graduated from Millikin in 2001 with a Bachelor in Fine Arts. After receiving her master's degree, she returned to Millikin in 2003 as a professor in the Millikin Art Department. In 2004, Kotewa was hired as the first instructor/manager of Blue Connection where she held that position until 2008.

"Working with Blue Connection taught me about consistency, flexibility, the importance of professional presentation and the value of listening," said Kotewa. "The gallery taught me how to accept, create and nurture the concept of ownership."

Debbie Campbell graduated from Millikin in 2005 with a bachelor's degree in elementary education. Campbell earned her master's degree in library and information science from the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign, and then went on to work for Millikin as a research/instruction librarian from 2007 to 2012. Campbell was a member of Blue Satellite Press where Dr. Stephen Frech, Millikin associate professor of English, taught her the fundamentals of letterpress and the basics of letterpress-based design.

"The ability to be involved in the arts as both a student and as a faculty member at Millikin was refreshing," said Campbell. "For my career, it showed me the importance of having passions and hobbies."

Campbell has been working as a full-time librarian since 2007. Currently, she works at the Consortium of Academic and Research Libraries in Illinois. In 2010, she started her own letterpress shop called Fine House Press.

The After 5 Live events are free and open to the public. Complimentary refreshments will be provided.

For further information on Millikin University's Blue Connection, visit millikin.edu/blueconnection or contact the gallery at 217.428.0112.


Millikin University's Institute for Science Entrepreneurship and 300 Below Inc., announced their renewed partnership during a news conference held on Tuesday, Sept. 30, 2014 on Millikin University's campus.

Formed by Dr. David Horn, Millikin associate professor of biology, Dr. George Bennett, Millikin professor of chemistry, and Dr. Casey Watson, Millikin associate professor of physics and astronomy, the Institute for Science Entrepreneurship serves as a bridge between external clients and faculty and students of Millikin to provide high quality services to science companies and private practices.


Based in Decatur, Ill., 300 Below Inc. is the world's largest and oldest commercial cryogenic processing company, in business since 1966. 300 Below has started 156 operations in 36 countries around the world with its technology.

300 Below called upon local business leaders in central Illinois to commit additional resources to the Institute for Science Entrepreneurship in order to foster enhanced innovation in the sciences, and empower the creation of new science-focused startups.

"Collectively, in less than two years' time, the Institute has been able to lay the foundation for a culture of science entrepreneurship at Millikin University and the greater community, including a four-year pathway of curricular and co-curricular activities for students in the natural and health sciences," said Dr. David Horn. "One of the science companies that we have forged a strong relationship with since our founding and is a model for the type of relationship we would like to develop with other science companies, organizations, and private practices large and small is 300 Below Inc."



Since the Institute's inception, 300 Below has pledged its ongoing collaboration to conduct experiments on a new non-toxic cleaning solution in conjunction with Harcros Chemicals.

The Institute for Science Entrepreneurship also offers Performance Learning opportunities for students through its new Science Entrepreneurship Research Fellow Program. The program pairs student interest with needs of companies and private practices in the health and natural sciences.

Millikin's first two Science Entrepreneurship Research Fellows, Kyle Leadlove, a junior physics major from Belleville, Ill., and James Seyfert, a junior physics major from Danville, Ill., will work at 300 Below on an applied ultra-low-temperature cryogenic research project with expected commercial applications.

In recognition of Dr. David Horn's continued leadership of the Institute for Science Entrepreneurship, 300 Below announced its renewed support for Millikin University by establishing an immediate capital contribution of $10,000 to support its Institute for Science Entrepreneurship.

"Through the Institute for Science Entrepreneurship, 300 Below is applying its cryogenic technology to study and improve all sorts of materials, including railroad steel and wind turbine gearbox bearings. This partnership has worldwide impact for our business," said Prescott Paulin, international research consultant at 300 Below.

The Institute for Science Entrepreneurship was originally funded by a Millikin University Performance Learning Enhancement Grant in December 2012. Since that time, the institute has received funding from the Andreas Foundation, Coleman Foundation, a private foundation and an anonymous donor to develop its 2014-2015 Speaker Series.

Dr. Horn added, "We are honored to receive the donation from 300 Below Inc., a donation which will allow us to continue to fulfill the Institute's mission and provide Millikin University students with Performance Learning opportunities that prepare them for the transition from science student to science career."

For more information on Millikin University's Institute for Science Entrepreneurship, visit millikin.edu/InstituteForScienceEntrepreneurship.




Blue Connection, Millikin University's retail art gallery located at 117 N. Water St. in Decatur, will highlight the paintings of Millikin Adjunct Instructor Erica Reese Melcher '11 on Friday, Sept. 5, from 5 p.m. – 7:30 p.m. The exhibition is Blue Connection's September After 5 Live event.

Melcher's paintings are a formal response to remembering. She uses memory as a vehicle to create unified compositions, in which the viewer can actively participate and discover formal qualities, while also reflecting and responding to their own past experiences.

"Working in a meditative manner, I obsessively create connections with color, mark, and texture," said Melcher. "I paint to document and organize my thought process. By pushing, pulling, dragging, and scraping, my paintings become a precious record of time and consciousness. Through this process, my memory is continually being rediscovered and revealed."

Melcher's work has been on display in galleries across the state of Illinois including Decatur, Springfield, Jacksonville, Carbondale, and Peoria as well as St. Louis, Mo. She holds a bachelor's degree in painting and drawing from Millikin University, and a master's degree in painting and drawing from Southern Illinois University – Carbondale.

She currently teaches drawing as an adjunct instructor at Millikin. For additional information on Erica's work, visit ericareese.com.

The September After 5 Live event marks the first event of the academic year for the Arts & Entrepreneurship (A&E) students who are running the Blue Connection retail art gallery.

Instructor of Entrepreneurship and Blue Connection Manager Julienne Shields says, "I look forward to the academic year with Blue Connection. Our emphasis this year is on creating effective connections among artists, the community and the retail gallery. Our young entrepreneurs will be testing new marketing channels and practicing management strategies."

Millikin's Arts & Entrepreneurship program provides performance-based business opportunities for students to exercise self-employment. The program utilizes student-run ventures to provide students live practice in developing, launching, and growing a business.

The September After 5 Live event is free and open to the public. Complimentary refreshments will be provided.

For further information on Millikin University's Blue Connection visit millikin.edu/blueconnection or contact the gallery at 217.428.0112.
SCORE and Millikin University's Center for Entrepreneurship present First Step FastTrac, an 11-week course on business ownership that can make your business idea a reality.

This course will be held on 11 consecutive Thursdays beginning Sept. 4, 2014 and ending Nov. 13, 2014. Each session will be held from 5:30 p.m. - 9 p.m. in Room 109 of ADM-Scovill Hall on Millikin University's campus.

Interested persons are encouraged to attend a free, informational session on Thursday, Aug. 21 from 6 p.m. - 7 p.m. in Room 109 of ADM-Scovill Hall.

"The course really made me stop and think about my business more, and how I can improve it," said a recent participant. First Step FastTrac is designed for start-up and new businesses. It is a practical, hands-on program designed to help entrepreneurs gain knowledge and skills needed to create, manage, and grow a successful business.

Participants will work with certified instructors with real-world business experiences. Participants not only learn about business, they live it. The course helps entrepreneurs develop a network of business start-up and growth resources, a completed feasibility plan, ways to turn an idea into a profitable business, and information on topics including market research, competitor analysis, and product/service distinction.

Cost is $275 per person, which includes all materials, speakers, business coaches, and meals. It also includes a one-year membership ($100 value) to the newly formed Micro Business Network (MBN). The MBN's mission is to provide micro business owners an environment where they can share knowledge and resources to help each other succeed. Reserve your seat today with a $55 deposit. For further information, please contact Briana Stephens in the Millikin Center for Entrepreneurship at 217.424.6296 or via e-mail at bstephens@millikin.edu. Limited seating is available.

The course is sponsored by Millikin University's Center for Entrepreneurship and SCORE (Counselors to America's Small Business) Decatur Chapter #296.

Click here for more information on the First Step FastTrac course.
Blue Connection, Millikin University's student-run retail art gallery, is pleased to announce Xin "Water" Zhao, a junior studio art major from Oreana, Ill., as the 2014 Summer Artist-in-Residence from June 2 – July 12. Xin will showcase her pottery and photography projects this summer while running Blue Connection Art Gallery.

Xin moved to the United States in 2008 from China, and received her associate degree in art from Richland Community College in 2013.

New this summer, Xin will be hosting Blue Connection ceramics classes for children and adults. Classes will be held on Fridays and Saturdays in June from 1 p.m. - 2:30 p.m. each day. Classes are appropriate for children age 10 and up, and adults are welcome to attend. Classes are limited to five participants. Single classes cost $15 and discount packages for multiple classes are available. Xin is also offering individual sessions for anyone interested in working one-on-one.

Xin and her family are talented photographers, and their popular photographs will be featured at Blue Connection this summer. "I am excited and pleased to be able to both practice my passion for ceramics and share it with the community through this opportunity with Blue Connection," says Xin.

Julienne Shields, instructor of entrepreneurship at Millikin says, "Xin sold her pieces through BC Studios – Millikin's arts and entrepreneurship incubator – this spring as part of the art of entrepreneurship course. She was received very positively by clients, and was financially successful in a tough field. We are excited to see what she can do this summer."

Xin will also be assisting with Millikin's SMASH Camp Arts Sector this summer. Other youth organizations interested in holding small group instruction for ceramics should contact Julienne Shields at 217.424.6267 or via e-mail at jshields@millikin.edu.

Blue Connection is located at 117 N. Water St. next door to the Decatur Area Arts Council in Downtown Decatur. The retail location is used by students in Millikin's Arts & Entrepreneurship Program.

Millikin's Arts & Entrepreneurship Program provides performance-based business opportunities for students to exercise self-employment. Blue Connection utilizes student-run ventures to provide students live practice in developing, launching, and growing a business.

For further information on Millikin University's Blue Connection, visit millikin.edu/blueconnection or contact the gallery at 217.428.0112.
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Millikin University - Decatur, IL
 
Millikin University - Decatur, IL