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New Trustees: Juniata Names Five to Board

(Posted September 24, 2012)

HUNTINGDON, Pa. --The Juniata College board of trustees has added five new members to begin the 2012-2013 academic year. The new trustees appointed to begin their service Sept. 1, 2012 through August 2015 are: Bruce Davis, of Los Angeles, Calif.; Kimberly McDowell (church trustee), of Hyattsville, Md.; Douglas Spotts (alumni trustee), of Mifflinburg, Pa.; John Nagl, of Alexandria, Va.; and Pennington, N.J. resident John Hill II.

Bruce Davis was executive director of the Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences, the organization of distinguished film artists who award the Oscars, for more than 20 years and worked for the group for more than 30 years. In 1981, he was hired as executive administrator of the Academy, and became executive director of the organization in 1989.

As executive director he instituted changes in the Academy Awards including returning the ceremonies to Hollywood, moving them to earlier in the year and expanding the field of Best Picture nominees to a variable number between 5 and 10.

In addition, Davis was instrumental in establishing an endowment for the organization's Margaret Herrick Library and led the Academy's efforts in film preservation by establishing the Academy's world-renowned film archive at the Pickford Center for Film Study.

Davis started his career as an instructor at Juniata in 1968. At Juniata, he helped redesign the college's curriculum and became a specialist in "interdisciplinary" courses that involved students and faculty from a wide spectrum of academic departments.

Davis, a native of Washington, D.C., earned a bachelor's degree in English from Juniata College in 1965 and earned a master's degree in English from the University of Maryland in 1968. Davis received the Juniata Alumni Achievement Award in 1990. He returned to Juniata previously in 2001, when he received an honorary doctor of humane letters degree and delivered the commencement address.

Nagl is a non-resident senior fellow of the Center for a New American Security, and a Minerva Distinguished Research Professor at the U.S. Naval Academy, which is part of the Department of Defense Minerva Initiative. As part of the Minerva Initiative, he teaches a course at the academy on modern counterinsurgency warfare. Previously he was president of the center.

He was on the writing team that compiled the "U.S. Army/Marine Corps Counterinsurgency Field Manual" and wrote "Learning to Eat Soup with a Knife: Counterinsurgency Lessons from Malaya and Vietnam."

Nagl assumed the presidency of the influential Washington, D.C. think tank when he retired from the U.S. Army as a lieutenant colonel in 2008. He served as an armor officer for much of his career, leading a tank platoon in Operation Desert Storm and serving as an operations officer for a tank battalion in Operation Iraqi Freedom.

The former Army officer is a 1988 graduate of the U.S. Military Academy. After graduation he received a Rhodes Scholarship, and studied international relations at St. John's College in Oxford, England. After serving in the first Gulf War, he returned to Oxford to earn a master's degree and doctorate, studying counterinsurgency.

He returned to West Point as a professor and taught national security studies until 2003, when he was appointed operations officer for the 1st Battalion, 34th Armor Regiment, 1st Infantry Division.

He currently is a member of the Defense Policy Board, a life member of the Council on Foreign Relations and the Veterans of Foreign Wars and the Institute of Strategic Studies.

Nagl has taught as a visiting professor at King's College of London and earned a master's degree from the Command and General Staff College. He received the Combat Action Badge from Gen. James Mattis, U.S. Marine Corps, in 2004.

The counterinsurgency expert has been a sought-after guest on a variety of talk shows and news programs, including "The Jim Lehrer News Hour," "The Daily Show with Jon Stewart," National Public Radio and "60 Minutes."

Kimberly McDowell, a native of Lancaster, Pa., will be the church trustee for the college. She is currently pastor of the University Park Church of the Brethren in University Park, Md., and has held that position since 1990. Previously, she was interim pastor of the First Baptist Church, in Elmira, N.Y.

McDowell served as assistant pastor of the First Baptist Church from 1982 to 1986. From 1987 to 1988, she served an internship and residency as a chaplain at Methodist Hospital in Indianapolis, Ind., and then served the following year as a chaplain in the hospital's chaplaincy department.

She earned a bachelor's degree in 1976 from St. Olaf College, in Northfield, Minn., and attended Bethany Theological Seminary from 1979 to 1981. McDowell earned a master of divinity degree from Associated Mennonite Biblical Seminaries in 1982.

She remains active in her church and her community, serving as a board member for the New Community Project and the National Campaign for a Peace Tax Fund. She also serves as moderator for the Mid-Atlantic Church of the Brethren.

Douglas Spotts, a 1989 graduate of Juniata College, is a family physician and chief medical information officer at Evangelical Community Hospital, in Lewisburg, Pa.

Spotts started his medical career in 1996 as a family physician for the Evangelical Medical Services Foundation. In 2003, he opened his own medical practice, which remained open until 2011, when Spotts started his current job at Evangelical Community Hospital.

Spotts earned a bachelor's degree in 1989 in biology from Juniata, and went on to earn his medical degree in 1993 from the Penn State University College of Medicine. He served a residency at the Harrisburg Hospital Family Practice Residency Program.

Since 2009 he has served as president of the Pennsylvania Family Practice Foundation and is currently vice president of the board of directors. He was previously vice-speaker of the organization's House of Delegates. Spotts was in May named a trustee of the American Academy of Family Physicians Foundation.

In 2002 Spotts was named a Fellow of the American Academy of Family Physicians. He also holds many professional memberships, including the Pennsylvania Academy of Family Physicians, the American Medical Association, the Pennsylvania Medical Association and Union County Medical Society. He also is a member of the American College of Physician Executives and the American College of Healthcare Executives.

He also remains active in his community, serving as a board member since 2006 of the Susquehanna Council of the Boy Scouts of America (He earned Eagle Scout status in 1983.) and the Lewisburg Sunrise Rotary Club. He also serves as a lector, lay Eucharistic Minister and substitute organist at St. Andrews Episcopal Church in Lewisburg.

John Hill II is president and chief operating officer of Magna Carta Companies, a commercial lines insurance carrier that is one of the 100 largest mutual insurance companies in the United States.
Hill earned a bachelor's degree in accounting in 1977 from Waynesburg College, in Waynesburg, Pa. and went on to become a certified public accountant licensed in the state of New York.

Hill has served as president of Magna Carta since 2003. He joined the company in 1995 as senior vice president and chief financial officer. He currently serves on Magna Carta's board of directors.

In addition, he served on the board of directors of the National Association of Mutual Insurance Companies and was chairman of the association in 2010. He also is a member of the board of directors for the Insurance Federation of New York and a past board member of NCCI Holdings Inc.

Hill has testified on insurance regulations in front of the Senate Banking Committee and also testified in front of a House Financial Services Committee hearing on "Systemic Risk and Insurance."

Contact John Wall at wallj@juniata.edu or (814) 641-3132 for more information.