Home » New and familiar faces: Who’s doing what at ACM

New and familiar faces: Who’s doing what at ACM

New and familiar faces: Who’s doing what at ACM November 26, 2018
Associated Colleges of the Midwest

The ACM team includes new faces as well as veteran staff who are helping the organization continue to work with students, faculty and staff across the consortium. Here are some highlights:

Charlie Barlow, Vice President for Strategic Initiatives and Programs

Charlie Barlow

Since joining the ACM in early September, Barlow has focused on strategic planning as part of the organization’s efforts to reimagine its mission and its programmatic concepts for faculty, staff, students and member services. He will soon begin engaging the member campus communities for their input as the reimaging process continues.

Barlow is especially focused on building new student programs. This includes looking for ways to provide students with more civic engagement opportunities that address pervasive social problems, both where the programs take place and back on the home campuses.“I look forward to spending a sustained amount of time on the campuses, listening and learning and building these new programs and initiatives together,” Barlow said.

Barlow had previously served in various academic, policy research and civic engagement capacities for the University of Chicago, Roosevelt University, and housing-focused non-profit organizations in Chicago and beyond. He continues to serve on the board of directors for the National Public Housing Museum.

An alumnus of UChicago, Barlow later conducted doctoral research in geography at Trinity College at the University of Cambridge in England. He held a series of academic appointments at UChicago, then directed Roosevelt University’s Policy Research Collaborative to develop new experiential and applied research and teaching opportunities with civic partners across the United States.

A 2018 Equity Fellow in Chicago, Barlow brings a more refined understanding of how to help ensure that the ACM’s new programs and initiatives are equitable, inclusive and diverse, he said.


Liz Barnes, Controller


Barnes joined ACM in 2001 as assistant to the director of finance and administration and became Controller seven years later. She is responsible for accounts payable, accounts receivable, payroll, vendor management, and other financial duties.

Barnes planned to retire in at the end of July 2018, but is back at ACM on a temporary basis while the finance department is reorganized. She said, “I really enjoy working with the people—the office staff and colleagues on the campuses.”

Prior to coming to ACM, Barnes served as a call center director for Safelite Autoglass and previously worked in the headquarters of World Book Encyclopedia for over 20 years.


Ed Finn, Liaison for Innovation and Collaboration in Teaching and Learning


Finn joined ACM in July 2014 and it’s his “goal to be on each campus twice a year, once in the spring and once in the fall, with additional visits as requested.” He said, “I usually spend a whole day on each campus, meeting with faculty, administrators, information and educational technology staff, librarians, and occasionally students.”

During these meetings, Finn looks for connections across all 14 ACM campuses. As a match-maker of sorts, he seeks out pockets of innovation, whether it’s driven by topic or by discipline, and makes introductions wherever he can. This includes new technologies in and out of the classroom, learning space design, and exploring new teaching techniques.

Last year Finn began meeting with new tenure-track faculty hires on each campus. In September, for example, he met with a group of new faculty members at Lawrence University to discuss what ACM does and how it might benefit them in their new roles.

An alumnus of Indiana University, Finn earned his doctorate last year in Organizational Leadership from Indiana Wesleyan University. His research focuses on faculty perceptions of ever-changing technology. He holds and adjunct faculty appointment with Indiana University in Indianapolis and is a former staff member at the Indiana University Robert H. McKinney School of Law.


Betsy Hutula, Chief of Staff

Hutula began her ACM career in March 2004 as a two-week fill-in for a staffer who got called to jury duty. She ended up staying on for several months after that to help with other matters. By July, she joined the association in a permanent capacity.

“In my time at ACM I have worked in all the departments in the office,” she said. Hutula started as a program associate, then progressively worked her way up to coordinator of projects and administration, to assistant to the president and administrator of projects and personnel, to assistant to the president and director of human resources and administrative leadership initiatives.

In her current role as chief of staff, her main responsibilities encompass human resources, governance, consortial activities, administration and operations, finance, and off-campus study.

Hutula credits the writing and communication skills she acquired at Albion College in Michigan for boosting her ACM career. “Those are things that you use every day,” she said. Her course in Advanced Expository Writing was especially helpful in teaching her to pack as much information as possible into the least number of words.

She understands first-hand the world of off-campus study programs, one of the major elements in her ACM portfolio. As an undergraduate at Albion College, she traveled to London through the British-based Educational Programmes Abroad. Her semester in London included serving as a research assistant for The Earl Attlee in the United Kingdom’s House of Lords.


Diana Rubi, Special Projects Coordinator

Diana Rubi

Rubi started at ACM in early November 2018 as Special Projects Coordinator. She will be assisting students, faculty, and staff on a variety of ACM activities—including, the Graduate School Exploration Fellowship (GSEF), which she is a program alum from Cohort 1.

A 2018 graduate of Monmouth College, Rubi majored in political science, international studies, and Spanish. She was also the campus’ Lincoln Laureate as awarded by The Lincoln Academy of Illinois which recognizes outstanding seniors from participating Illinois colleges and universities.

She is excited to work for ACM and “sees that ACM plays a big role for faculty and students through multiple programs.” She looks forward to learning more about the other campuses and especially with GSEF scholars.


Michael Vertovec, Special Projects Coordinator

Vertovec began his role at ACM in September 2018 as Special Projects Coordinator. He focuses mainly on off-campus study programs, assisting students, faculty, and program staff in the administration of thirteen programs. He will transition to other ACM activities as off-campus study programs conclude.

A recent graduate of Lawrence University, where he studied Spanish, French, and Italian, Vertovec was made aware of ACM through his work in the off-campus programs office at LU. Prior to joining the ACM, he interned for The Education Abroad Network in Chicago.

“I love advising students from a variety of strong liberal arts colleges, including my alma mater,” he said. Vertovec credits his off-campus study experience with International Studies Abroad in Spain, for his dedication to international education.

Brian Williams, Vice President and Director, Faculty Development and Grant Programs

Brian Williams

As a four-year veteran of the ACM, Williams works primarily with the faculty of the 14 member campuses, with their deans and associate deans, and with foundations to secure grant funding for faculty professional development.

Faculty development includes collaborative project development around pedagogies identified by faculty and conferences devoted to best practices in teaching and learning. Also included are interdisciplinary immersive seminars that address broader emerging topics in liberal arts education.

A 1986 graduate of Knox College with graduate degrees in law and history, Williams has held positions in law, graduate program teaching and college administration, experience that he combines in his ACM work. During the early 2000s, Williams served as a senior administrator at Knox for approximately six years Prior to his time at Knox, Williams practiced law in Chicago and taught legal writing and analysis at Northwestern and Cornell universities. Williams also has lead development efforts at Antioch College and The Children’s Museum of Indianapolis.

“My legal experience was a great grounding in developing analytical skills,” he said. “Looking at an issue, figuring out the relevant facts, working through the different considerations that might come into play across 14 campuses:  that analytical process helps a lot in the work I do.”

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