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Disney and Battelle for Kids Headline Otterbein's Commencement Ceremonies

Nursing class to receive first doctorate degrees from
Otterbein in over a century

March 25, 2013

Westerville, OH—Otterbein University has selected Meg Crofton, president of Walt Disney Parks and Resorts Operations, United States and France, to address the class of 2013 at the University’s undergraduate commencement ceremony on Sunday, May 19, in the Rike Center on the Otterbein campus in Westerville. Otterbein will present Crofton with an honorary Doctor of Public Service degree.

Crofton is responsible for operations at Walt Disney’s theme parks and resorts, including Walt Disney World Resort in Florida, Disneyland Resort in California, and Disneyland Paris. A 30-year Disney veteran, Crofton has held a wide range of executive positions at Disney in Hotel Operations, Convention Sales and Services and Human Resources, and played key leadership roles in the opening of both Disneyland Paris and Hong Kong Disneyland Resort. She joined The Walt Disney Company in 1977 as a marketing manager with Vista-United Telecommunications. After leaving Disney in 1979 to join AT&T as District Manager of Marketing, she rejoined the company in 1981 and proceeded to work her way up through a variety of leadership roles.

Crofton has been active in the central Florida community for many years. She previously served on the boards of Rollins College, the Central Florida Commission on Homelessness, and Orlando Health, as well as the executive committee of the Dr. Phillips Center for the Performing Arts. She also has served on the board of the Metro Orlando Economic Development Commission, which she chaired in 2009-2010, and continues to serve as a member of the Governors Council. In 2011, Crofton co-chaired the Greater Orlando Heart Walk for the American Heart Association. She currently serves on the University of Central Florida Board of Trustees and is a member of The Florida Council of 100. She earned her bachelor’s degree in marketing and her master’s degree in business administration from Florida State University. Read more about Crofton at corporate.disney.go.com/news/parks_resorts/exe_bios/megcrofton.html.

Dr. James W. Mahoney, executive director of Battelle for Kids, has been tapped to speak at the graduate commencement ceremony on Saturday, May 18, in Cowan Hall, 30 S. Grove St. Otterbein will present Dr. Mahoney with an honorary Doctor of Public Service degree.

Since 2001, Mahoney has served as the executive director of Battelle for Kids, a national, not-for-profit organization that provides strategic counsel and solutions to address complex educational-improvement challenges. The organization specializes in creating strategies that advance the development of human capital; the use of strategic measures; the implementation of effective practices; and communication with all stakeholders in schools.

Mahoney has more than 35 years of experience in educational roles, including superintendent, principal, teacher, professor and author. He has lectured throughout the United States, Canada and China on school reform through improving teaching and learning K-12; measuring and developing highly effective teachers and leaders; the role of student growth measures in determining teacher effectiveness and student progress; and engaging and collaborating with all stakeholders to improve education.

Under his leadership, Battelle for Kids partners with state departments of education, school districts and education-focused organizations across the country to advance these strategies with the shared goals of improving teaching effectiveness and student progress; informing instructional practice; recognizing and rewarding teaching excellence; and aligning goals and maximizing impact in schools.

The seven members of Otterbein’s first doctor of nursing practice (DNP) cohort class will receive the first doctorate degrees granted by Otterbein since 1896. The program was offered in response to projected needs in healthcare, with the first class being admitted April, 2011. The practice-focused doctoral program develops advanced practice nurses that are committed to scholarly evidence-based practice, innovation, testing of care delivery models, and evaluation of health outcomes for the good of all members of society. Students gained knowledge and skill sets to promote positive health outcomes for individuals and populations, to lead nursing and health care organizations, and to positively influence health policy.

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