Lyon College students pitch their entrepreneurial ideas

A post-grad baseball program, a golf club warmer and a hemp farming operation were among the ideas pitched by entrepreneurship students Tuesday, December 10, in an Enactus business pitch competition.

Eight teams presented their ideas to an audience that included Batesville Mayor Rick Elumbaugh, Parks Director Jeff Owens, area business owners and other students.

Dr. Angela Buchanan, assistant professor of business and economics, is the Enactus chapter adviser.

The competition called “Pitch Slap” was the final presentation for Buchanan’s entrepreneurship class. Enactus hosted the event to serve as a model for future pitch competitions that would be open possibly to entrepreneurs in the Batesville area. If nothing else, the entrepreneurship class will present business pitches next fall as the final class project. Jake Wilson served as host for the evening. Demio Enterprises and Shadrach’s Coffee were the top pitches.

Among the ideas pitched were:

• Post-Grad Baseball – Ryan Lewis, Rease Kinley, Mekhi Malvo-McFall and Kylan Barnett explained that the program would provide a second chance for high school baseball players to continue the sport without losing a year of eligibility. They said that of the thousands of high school baseball players, only 11.5 percent go on to play ball at the college level.

Based in Scottsdale, Ariz., the one-year program would allow recent high school graduates to continue to hone their skills before they begin their college careers. They said there would be five competitors in the U.S., but that Post-Grad Baseball would be $4,000 less expensive than the competition. The business would be financed by a bank loan that would be paid back by tuition and fees charged the participants.

• Stiff Stix – Mitch Cannon and Tomas Mariscotti, both members of the Lyon golf team, pitched the idea of a battery-powered golf grip warmer. The device, similar to a heating pad, would be wrapped around the club and fastened in place by Velcro. This would keep the grip warm for golfers in colder climates. There are 60 million golfers in the world, and there would be no direct competition. Cannon, the owner, said the business would be based in Jonesboro. The device would cost $13.50 per unit and he estimated sales of 60,000 units in the first year. The first step would be having a prototype designed and built.

• J.P.T. Hemp Farming – Tyler Vanlandingham, Peyton Noland, Joseph Mahe and Josh Sierra proposed a private farm operation in northern Arkansas to grow hemp. Hemp is a variety of the Cannabis sativa plant that is grown specifically for its industrial uses. One of the fastest growing plants, it can be refined into a variety of commercial items including paper, textiles, clothing, biodegradable plastics, paint, insulation, biofuel, rope and animal feed.

The Arkansas Legislature legalized the growing of hemp in 2017 but licenses must be obtained from the state Plant Board. Once they obtain a license, J.P.T. would lease land and equipment for the farming operation. It would be financed by a $400,000 bank loan.

• Demio Enterprises – Pitched by Josh Settimio, Josh Abel and Jake Wilson, Demio Enterprises is a marketing and consulting enterprise that would offer web design, branding and large and small event planning. In their presentation, they described Batesville as both historic and progressive. They want to become a liaison to Impact Independence, the strategic planning initiative. They also want to help establish an entrepreneur incubator program.

• NLine, LLC – Zac Lilly, Sam Taylor, Jacob Reithemeyer presented an idea for an application that would use contractors to wait in line for customers who use the app. There are similar companies but they are located in New York City and Los Angeles and do not market in most of the country. Not only would the app connect customers with those who would stand in line for them, it also would have a “marketplace” feature showing customers new release dates, prices and deals. It also would have an NLine Guard feature that would connect customers with contractors who would serve as bodyguards and security guards.

• JAB Entertainment – Andrew Hyde, Bruce Whitehead, John Bentley pitched the idea of bar and restaurant that would offer various entertainment activities similar to Dave and Buster’s. It would have an arcade, billiards, mini-golf and other activities. The proposed location would be in Independence Square between JC Penney Co. and Harbor Freight. The competition would be movie theaters, bowling alley, and the Batesville Community Center. The estimated start-up cost is $500,000 to $2 million. Estimated revenue is $40,000 a month.

• Shadrachs Coffee Roasting Co. – Zac Stewart, Clark Thornton, Dennis Maxwell proposed opening a branch of the coffee roasting and sales company located in Jonesboro. Stewart described the proposed location as a small structure similar to a food truck that would be on Myers Street behind Colton’s.Steak House.

• AMF Bowling – Presented by Hannah Stucky, Karina Chavez, Destiny Nunez and Lilly Lopez.

Enactus is an international organization that connects students with academic and business leaders through entrepreneurial-based projects. Guided by academic advisers and business experts, the student leaders of Enactus create and implement entrepreneurial projects. The experience helps students develop the talent and perspective that are essential to leadership in a challenging world.

Lyon College Announces Addition of Men’s Lacrosse, Monty Curtis Named Head Coach

Lyon College President Dr. W. Joseph King announced the addition of men’s lacrosse and introduced the team’s new head coach, Monty Curtis, at a press conference Thursday, December 6.

The College will apply for membership in the Men’s Collegiate Lacrosse Association (MCLA), a league of eight college lacrosse conferences. Lyon will petition to join the MCLA’s Lone Star Alliance (LSA), which consists of teams in Arkansas, Kansas, Louisiana, Nebraska, Oklahoma, and Texas. The team would start competing in 2021 with potential for NAIA affiliation in the future.

The sport’s new coach, Curtis, has more than two decades of experience in coaching lacrosse, and has helped to move a college team to national affiliation before. Curtis, a charter member of the Southwestern University lacrosse team, was a player, coach, and faculty adviser for the program in Georgetown, Texas. He coached the team to its first win, as well as its first Southwest Lacrosse Association (SWLA) Championship. The SWLA was the precursor to the LSA Conference. Curtis also served as league president during his tenure with the Southwest Lacrosse Association. Curtis left Southwestern with a 70-56 record.

Curtis went on to take over the only National Collegiate Athletic Association (NCAA) lacrosse team in Louisiana at Centenary College in Shreveport. He was coach when the team had its first win.

“I am humbled to have this opportunity to introduce lacrosse to the Lyon community,” said Curtis. “What we build has the chance to last and positively impact real lives and the reputation of the sport and the College.”

Curtis said a few factors he will focus on for developing the program will be recruiting, fundamentals, and game strategies.

“A player who spends time practicing the fundamentals will see their efforts rewarded quickly; their success is not necessarily dependent on their physical stature,” he said.

According to, lacrosse is one of the fastest growing team sports in the country. With more than 60,000 competitors in the United States, the number of players has doubled since the late 1990s, early 2000s.

Today, lacrosse is found nationwide. Over 400 schools compete at the NCAA level, 32 at the National Association of Intercollegiate Athletics (NAIA) level, and more than 200 colleges and universities offer men’s club teams. Men’s Collegiate Lacrosse Association (MCLA) is the primary association for men’s club teams. The MCLA has eligibility rules and All-American selections, much like that of the NAIA and NCAA.

Hutchison named new vice president of advancement at Lyon College

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

David Hutchinson

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.”

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.

Lyon College Radio is Live

On Monday, October 8, students, faculty, and staff gathered to celebrate the launch of the new Lyon College radio station, KILT. Those attending enjoyed pizza and refreshments as they discussed the success of current shows on the station as well as plans for new ones.

Lyon’s Director of Institutional Research Andrew English played his guitar live on the air during the event.

Junior Miguel Hernandez is thrilled that Lyon has started a radio station. He has plans of participating in a show called “Sad Boi Hour” that will be airing on Wednesdays and Fridays from 7-8 p.m.

“I think it’s really neat that we finally have a radio platform,” said junior Navy Griffin. “I am really excited about it! I think that it’s a great way to have our students’ voices be heard.”

KILT’s faculty advisor, Dr. Radek Szulga, is pleased with all the interest the campus community has shown in KILT so far.

“We have eleven shows right now,” said Szulga. “Some are live, and some are pre-recorded, and everyone is super enthusiastic. We’re having a lot of fun.”

KILT is an online radio station, so anyone anywhere can listen. Check out KILT at For more information, contact Szulga at

Four New Programs Come to Lyon College

Competitions, community service, and creativity will characterize four new engaging options for Lyon College students. These programs align with Lyon’s mission—fostering critical, creative thought, service, ethical growth, and lifelong learning. Each program will also provide scholarship opportunities.


Enactus encourages students to adopt integrity, innovation, collaboration, and passion as values for life, helping students develop “a head for business and a heart for the world.”

Faculty sponsor Dr. Angela Buchanan says, “Enactus builds critical leadership and business skills by putting classroom theory into entrepreneurial action. The focus is social entrepreneurship, empowering community members to improve their lives through sustainable real world solutions.”

Any student with an entrepreneurial spirit will be able to join Enactus. Members will form teams that participate in needs assessment and data collection for community impact projects that might support such things as women’s economic empowerment, food availability, clean water supplies, or increased entrepreneurship. Students will connect with business leaders and compete for regional, national, and international titles.

The College’s chapter currently plans an internship workshop for employers in the Batesville area and the return of the pitch competition for budding entrepreneurs in the community, which will expand to include high school students. For more information, contact Dr. Angela Buchanan at

Rock Climbing

A new climbing club will allow students to enter climbing competitions through USA Climbing: Collegiate, an organization that sponsors competitions in bouldering, sport climbing, and speed climbing for students currently enrolled at a college or university.

Bouldering is performed on small rock formations or artificial rock walls, without the use of ropes or harnesses. Most climbers still use climbing shoes to help secure footholds, chalk to keep their hands dry and provide a firmer grip, and bouldering mats to prevent injuries from falls. Sport climbing is a form of rock climbing that relies on permanent anchors fixed to the rock. In contrast, traditional climbers must place removable protection as they climb. Speed climbing is done on rocks, walls and poles. Competition speed climbing, which takes place on an artificial standardized climbing wall, is the main form. For more information, contact Dr. Rodney Griffin at


eSports is a form of competition using mostly multiplayer video games. Millions worldwide now watch eSports on online streaming media platforms. The majority of viewers are between the ages of 18 and 34. Companies like Nintendo now sponsor tournaments which may last more than a month. Lyon eSports teams will hold on-campus tournaments and also participate in regional competitions.

While training for athletes in traditional sports is based almost entirely on honing their physical prowess, emphasizing strength, agility, endurance, and muscle memory, eSports athletes’ training relies much more on training the mind by studying strategies and new updates in their chosen games. For more information, contact Tommy Newton at and Dr. Rodney Griffin at

Lyon College Radio

With the call letters KILT, Lyon College Radio launches in fall 2018 in a sound-proofed room to support live broadcasts of solo or small band performances. Because KILT will be an online radio station, anyone in the United States can listen in.

Students will program, produce, and market the station with guidance from faculty sponsor Dr. Radek Szulga. Students will decide how KILT will mix music with talk/news/features and sports. A regular rotation of current “college music” will be available alongside dedicated genre shows, featuring categories like gospel, bluegrass, reggae, classical, and more. Exact coverage will depend on student interest.

Szulga says, “We hope to be on air 24 hours although a good part—especially overnight—will be automated. We also very much want to focus on service to both the community and campus.” KILT will offer weekly features on campus organizations and events, producing spots and advertisements for bigger events.

Szulga also plans to involve the community by featuring local musicians, artists, and businesses. Some possibilities are a “what’s happening downtown” show as well as a buy/sell program that will take call-ins from people seeking or selling particular items. He will be contacting individuals in the community and town organizations to gather ideas and expects this kind of programming to enhance Lyon’s connection with Batesville and the surrounding area. For more information, contact Dr. Radek Szulga at

These four new programs are joining Lyon’s programs added last year, archery, shooting, dance and cheer, disc golf, and cycling. For more information about archery, contact Dr. Rodney Griffin at, and for shooting, please contact Dalton Lamons at For dance and cheer, contact Kristen McMullin at For disc golf, contact Austin Smith at And for cycling, contact Dr. Rodney Griffin at

Lyon College Joins Disc Golf Association

This year, the Lyon College Disc Golf Club will compete in college matches as part of its joining the Southern Collegiate Disc Golf Association (SCDGA). The club has grown into a team of eight members, with Andrew Hyde, ’19, as the team captain.

Disc golf is part of the Lyon Education Adventure Program (LEAP)’s activities. Disc golf has become popular enough on campus that LEAP is needing to purchase more disc golf rental sets for students.

Director of Outdoor Education and Recreation Austin Smith is excited Lyon’s disc golf club will compete at the collegiate level and notes that the disc golf club has helped with disc golf’s popularity on campus.

“The club has promoted a disc golf culture on campus, and we have seen a huge growth in the number of students playing disc golf,” said Smith. “LEAP’s mission is to provide opportunities for students to have fun, learn, grow, and develop outdoor skills, increased leadership, and an appreciation for the environment. Through the creation of the Club and disc golf culture on campus our disc rentals and student participation have been much higher than past years.”

View the SCDGA schedule here.

Summer Experience Fair Showcases Lyon Students’ Success

On Tuesday, August 28 the Lyon College Career Center held the Summer Experience Fair (SEF), an event that Annette Castleberry, Lyon’s Director of Career Services, describes as a “casual, interactive forum where younger students learn from upperclassmen how they found summertime career-building opportunities.” Such opportunities include internships, research assistantships, academic travel and more.

Student presenter Melanie Beehler, who spent her summer doing research in Fayetteville, first arrived at Lyon knowing little about internships except that they were integral to success. Beehler hopes that her presentation at the SEF will “help other students know how to get [an internship] and what to expect from it.”

Patrick Mulick, Dean of Students, is also excited to see students helping each other, saying, “I think this is a valuable experience because students get to bring back to the college the experiences they had while they were away. Without an event like this, those experiences are often lost. They may learn something or may have gained an experience, but to get to share those experiences with the rest of the students perpetuates that cycle of more and more students going out and getting internships.”

Taylor Donnerson, a senior who spent her summer working on Capitol Hill in Washington, D.C., found herself in this once-in-a-lifetime position when a member of her Lyon College family nominated her for the Arkansas Leadership Forum. This nomination set off a chain reaction that landed Donnerson in Washington D.C., where she worked alongside senators and advocated for Arkansas. Donnerson described her experience working with peers and mentors in Washington as being “like a wave.” The SEF strives to help Lyon students collaborate and, together, make waves of their own.

Donnerson won the 2018 Summer Experience Fair Scholarship prize of $1,000.

Lyon College Names New President

Dr. W. Joseph (Joey) King, next President of Lyon College

Dr. W. Joseph (Joey) King, next President of Lyon College

The Lyon College Board of Trustees has announced that Dr. W. Joseph (Joey) King will become the 18th president of Lyon. He will succeed Dr. Donald V. Weatherman, who is retiring. King and his family will move to Batesville next summer, and he will begin work July 1.

“The Board of Trustees is extremely excited about the election of Dr. Joey King as the next president of Lyon College. Dr. King’s broad experience, vision, and commitment to innovative liberal education will strengthen and further Lyon’s mission of shaping world changers. We welcome Dr. King to Lyon with open arms,” said board chairman Perry Wilson of Little Rock.

A Texas native, King holds a Ph.D. in human-computer interaction from the University of Washington and a B.A. with honors in computer science and experimental psychology from Southwestern University (Georgetown, Texas).

King says, “I am honored and humbled by the opportunity to serve as Lyon’s next president. From its founding on the frontier in 1872, Lyon has remained true to its mission. As it approaches its sesquicentennial, it has the potential to define and become a 21st century liberal arts college of the first order. I am excited to be a part of that process and look forward to getting started in July.”

King comes to Lyon from Emory & Henry College, where he is senior advisor to the president and interim executive director at the National Institute for Technology in Liberal Education (NITLE). He previously served as NITLE’s executive director, helping almost 140 liberal arts colleges integrate inquiry, pedagogy, and technology to become stronger institutions.

He has worked at Rice University, Southwestern University, University of Washington, and the Texas Christian University Neeley School of Business, where he was a finalist for Most Inspiring Professor.

He has also been a research scientist at the Human Interface Technology Laboratory at the University of Washington, the Advanced Telecommunications Research Institute, and Hughes Research Laboratories. He has served as a consultant and advisor to Hanson Robotics, Microsoft, Interval Research, Walt Disney Imagineering, and Atari Games.

In addition, King has wide-ranging experience as an entrepreneur, co-founding Grifiti, a technology accessories provider; serving as president of Zama Networks, a quality of service network provider acquired by Mitsui & Co; working as chief scientist of F5 Networks, the industry leader in network traffic management; and serving as the managing director of Trinity River Ventures.

King also has extensive fundraising experience with both for-profit and non-profit organizations, having raised over $100 million in private capital for new ventures and successfully solicited over $25 million in gifts and grants for non-profits. In addition, as a trustee for Southwestern University, he served on the campaign cabinet that raised over $125 million.

Lyon President announces upcoming retirement

Donald and Lynn Weatherman

Donald and Lynn Weatherman

Dr. Donald V. Weatherman, president of Lyon College since 2009, announced his retirement during the Board of Trustees meeting on Friday, October 23. He plans to leave at the end of the 2016-17 academic year and made the announcement now so that the College will have ample time to find his successor.

Weatherman originally came to Arkansas College in 1983 as the John D. Trimble, Sr., Professor of Political Philosophy but left in 1999 to become Vice President and Dean at Erskine College in Due West, South Carolina. In 2003, he became Executive Vice President and Dean of the College there.

When Dr. Walter Roettger retired from Lyon in 2009, Weatherman was the choice of the search committee seeking a replacement.

“Finding a new President for Lyon College was the most important task I faced after becoming Chairman of the Board in 2006,” said Ray LaCroix, President of LaCroix Optical in Batesville. “A Presidential Search Committee was appointed in the fall of 2008 and began a very thorough process of going through many applicant resumes and then interviewing the finalists. After reviewing the final candidate interviews, the committee voted unanimously in April 2009 to select Dr. Weatherman to be the 17th President of Lyon College.”

Bruce Alton, an executive search consultant working with the committee, noted that it was the only time in his career that a single candidate had been the top choice of every member of a search committee.

LaCroix further noted that Weatherman faced many challenges: budget deficits, a need to increase student enrollment, the complete destruction of Edwards Commons by fire, a Higher Learning Commission visit, and a shortage of student housing. “These issues, and many others,” he said, “have been addressed by the fine leadership of President Weatherman and the Board of Trustees.”

Perry Wilson, Chairman of the Lyon Board of Trustees, agreed with this assessment, stating that Weatherman became president “at one of the most crucial times in the College’s history. In that role, he refocused the College on its liberal arts mission, increased enrollment dramatically, built a solid infrastructure, initiated numerous innovative student programs, and elevated the profile of the College exponentially.”

According to Dr. Terrell Tebbetts, who was on the search committees both times Weatherman was hired, “President Weatherman has led Lyon in recovering from the loss of our Commons to fire, securing funding for the new, larger Edwards Commons. He has also led the College in adding football and men’s and women’s wrestling, spreading interest in the College, and building excitement on campus. Finally, he initiated a revision of Lyon’s Core Curriculum, giving it new purpose and organization. The result of his efforts has been impressive enrollment growth. He will be leaving Lyon a stronger college than he found it.”

“Lyon College is a much better institution as a result of President Weatherman’s foresight and leadership,” LaCroix affirmed. “He will be missed by everyone on the Lyon campus and in the Batesville community.” Wilson agreed, observing that Weatherman “will be missed by all who are associated with Lyon College, but he will leave behind a solid legacy that will serve as a model for the continued growth and success of Lyon College as a nationally-recognized liberal arts college.”

Weatherman holds a bachelor’s degree from California State University at Los Angeles and a Master of Arts and Ph.D. from Claremont Graduate University in Claremont, California. He taught at California State University, San Bernardino before moving with his wife, Lynn, to Idaho, where he taught for three years at the College of Idaho, a small, private liberal arts college, winning recognition for excellence in teaching.

“We discovered when we moved there that we like having seasons. Then we moved to Minnesota and discovered not all seasons are created equal,” Weatherman joked.
He taught in St. Paul at the College of St. Catherine, another liberal arts school, for five years, where he was recognized as Teacher of the Year. Seeking relief from the brutal winters, Weatherman said his in-laws, who planned to retire in Mountain Home, urged the couple to consider moving to Arkansas.

As an Arkansas College professor, he received the Lamar Williamson Prize for Excellence in Teaching in 1986. Weatherman began the College’s philosophy and politics programs, established the faculty and staff assemblies, and co-chaired the first strategic planning effort.
In 1988, he spent six months in Washington, D.C., as one of the first Bradley Resident Scholars at the Heritage Foundation.

During his first employment at Lyon, Weatherman wrote a weekly column for the Batesville Daily Guard and then for the Arkansas Democrat-Gazette. He is the author of a book, Endangered Guardians: Party Reform Within A Constitutional System, along with numerous professional articles, editorials, and reviews.

He has served as an elder and a church school teacher in the Associate Reformed Presbyterian Church and the Presbyterian Church (U.S.A). He enjoys sailing and keeps a sailboat at Greers Ferry Lake, although he reports that “the students in the LEAP Program use it more than I do.”

Since his return to Lyon as president, he has served as a Board member of the TranSouth Athletic Conference, the Midwest Athletic Conference, and the Association of Presbyterian Colleges and Universities. He has also been a member of Arkansas’ Independent Colleges and Universities and currently serves as Chairman of the Board of the group’s Presidents’ Council.

In the community he is Co-chair of the Independence County Strategic Planning Committee and a member of the FutureFuel Chemical Company Community Advisory Panel, Chief Executive Officers Organization of Batesville, White River Health System Board of Directors, and the White River Medical Center Advisory Board.

He is also on the Board of the Philadelphia Society, a membership organization of scholars, educators, journalists, business and professional leaders, and clergy who explore pressing economic, political, cultural and other issues and provide analysis that influences the ongoing debate about the future of freedom in the U.S. and around the world.

Weatherman and his wife celebrated 42 years of marriage last April. They have two children, David and Andrea. David is an attorney and lives in Nashville with his wife, Kristine Fox, and their two children. Andrea is completing a Ph.D. in German at Vanderbilt University.