Alumni Newsletter - November 2016


Endowed Professorship Honors Beeler

Dr. Alan C. Beeler

He taught music theory and composition at Eastern Kentucky University for almost four decades, taking a special interest in his students’ success. Beeler taught at EKU from 1970 to 2007 and passed aware earlier this year.

Now, the legacy of Dr. Alan C. Beeler will enhance EKU’s School of Music for generations to come, thanks to a nearly $500,000 gift from his estate to establish the Alan C. Beeler Endowed Professorship in Music. The gift from his estate was announced at a memorial concert in September 2016 featuring musical performances of his compositions by music faculty and students.

Beeler was an accomplished composer, with published works for solo piano, chorus, chamber ensemble, string orchestra, full orchestra and voice. Many of his compositions were recorded for Parma Records, including Alan Beeler: Quintessence, The Real Beeler, The Vocal Music of Alan Beeler, and Forever Beeler, scheduled for release in early 2017.

Beeler was also a regular member of various woodwind quintets, and has performed with chamber groups on oboe and English horn.

Jeremy Mulholland, interim chair for the EKU School of Music, worked alongside Beeler for the last five years of the latter’s tenure.

“In the time that I had the pleasure of knowing him, he made an indelible impression on me, as he did on our colleagues and student body,” Mulholland said. “He took special interest in the success of his students, encouraging their progress by working with them individually, being active and interested in their academic well-being, and most impressively, spending an immense amount of his personal time attending all of their concerts and recitals. This open giving of his time for the students ... truly made Dr. Beeler exceptional.”

The Beeler Professorship will provide programmatic and/or salary support for a new or existing faculty position for oboe studies and associated costs, including professional development and research opportunities. Secondary preference will be given to a faculty position for clarinet studies.

Dr. Ann Geers, sister of Dr. Beeler and executor of the estate, was instrumental in selecting EKU as a major beneficiary of Beeler’s estate. Geers is a research professor at the Callier Center for Advanced Hearing Research in the School of Behavioral and Brain Sciences at the University of Texas at Dallas and in the Dallas Cochlear Implant Program at the Southwestern Medical Center at Dallas.

“This professorship will extend Dr. Beeler’s influence to generations of music students to come,” Geers said. “We look forward to filling this new faculty position with a professor of oboe, Alan’s primary performing instrument from childhood on.”

Mulholland called the estate gift “a continuation of Dr. Beeler’s remarkable and caring generosity. Through this gift, students who did not have the pleasure of knowing Dr. Beeler or having him as a professor will still be cared for, affected and supported. Generations of EKU School of Music students will be able to attend this University and have lessons on their instrument with a full-time professor who is a specialist in their field. This experience, which is so crucial to the development and education of musicians, is something that would not have been possible without the incredible generosity of Dr. Beeler and his family. We at the EKU School of Music are humbled, honored and deeply appreciative of all that Dr. Beeler has given to us in his tenure as professor here and through his estate gift.”

For more information about EKU’s School of Music, visit

Original story published September 19, 2016 at

Faculty Profile: CMS Professor, Dr. Karen Rudick by Kathy PrevisDr. Karen Rudick

“‘Life isn’t about waiting for the storm to pass. It’s about learning to dance in the rain,’” said Dr. Karen Rudick, Professor of Communication Studies (CMS), quoting author Vivian Greene. “Since I love to dance and am an optimistic person, it really relates to me.”

In her long career at EKU, she has brought this optimism into the classroom, impressing upon decades of EKU students the importance of positive thinking. “Optimism is all in your head. It’s a choice,” Rudick said. Students seem to relate quite well because EKU alumni who have been fortunate enough to have her in class come back to visit her or keep in contact via email. They know she continues to care about their successes, just as she did when they first entered her classroom.

“I recall a plaque I saw on a professor’s desk at Purdue University, where I earned my doctorate, that read, ‘People don’t care how much we know until they know how much we care.’ This quote made a huge impact on me. As I have evolved with my teaching, I have found that guiding principle to be the most important one in my life, both in teaching and outside of teaching,” Rudick explained.

When asked what she liked most about teaching and EKU, Rudick replied, “The students, hands down. The interaction. Seeing the light bulbs go off in their heads. Seeing them in my office. Seeing that I make a difference.” In terms of EKU’s students, Rudick offered the following analysis of how unique they are: “It seems to me they are very genuine and hard-working. I respect that.”

Dr. Rudick stands with student at graduationHer compassion toward students is evident in many ways. In her nearly twenty-five years at EKU, Dr. Rudick has won numerous teaching awards, more than anyone in the Department of Communication thus far, despite being one of the toughest graders in the department. These awards, some won multiple times throughout the years, include the Critical Thinking Teacher Award, the Excellence in Teaching Award, the Golden Apple Award, and the Distinguished Educational Leader Award, to name a few. Her dedication to students is also evident in the Karen L. Rudick Entrepreneurial Scholarship, which was created in 2005 with alumni donations to pay tribute to Rudick’s service to CMS students.

It is difficult to believe that Rudick has been at EKU nearly a quarter of a century. “I knew I was getting old when I started saying ‘for decades now’ in class,” laughed Rudick. Eastern students know she’s been a staple at EKU, but what they might not know is that she enjoys the great outdoors when she is not teaching, grading tests and papers or doing research. “I love to ride my scooter, weight train, and do yard work. These activities enable me to be creative, which relate to my teaching. I can be creative, and believe everyone is creative in some format.” To relax, she also likes to go out with friends. But most of all, she enjoys spending time with L.G. (a.k.a., “Life’s Good” or “Lover Girl”), her five-year-old Schnauzer. “She’s still my wild child,” Rudick said as she chuckled.

Perhaps most surprising is that Rudick rode a Harley Davidson motorcycle for a number of years. “When I sold it, I really missed the wind in my face,” said Dr. Rudick sitting on her motorcycleRudick. She saw a scooter and realized she needed something to replace the Harley. Rudick made a trip to the Vespa store in Lexington, where she was given a brochure that featured a genuine Stella scooter with a sidecar. “I knew I had to have it. I love the beach in the winter and hang gliding. They all have that ‘wind in your face’ component in common, and my scooter satisfies that, too,” Rudick explained.

So what does the future hold for Rudick? When asked what she wanted to do when she eventually retires, Rudick responded, “As cliché as it may sound, I’d like to travel and see the United States. After that, I don’t know.” But until that time comes, you can find Dr. Karen Rudick riding around Richmond on her turquoise Stella scooter, with the wind in her face. Life is indeed good.


Student Profile:Journalism Student Daniel Klapheke by Emily Vinson

Daniel KlaphekeSenior journalism and broadcast electronic media double major Daniel Klapheke is involved in several facets of the university. He is the editor in chief of The Eastern Progress, a media consultant for the Noel Studio, a member of the Alpha Tau Omega Fraternity, a member of the Honors Program and a diehard Colonel.

“I enjoy EKU because it gives me the opportunity to get practical experience in my field,” Klapheke said. “I get to do that through internships and working at the Progress. Then I take what I’ve learned and start applying that outside the classroom to make money and build a portfolio for myself.”

Klapheke began writing for the Progress in 2013 and was named opinions editor in 2014. During his sophomore year he discovered a love for video and picked up a broadcast electronic media major, which led him to be the first video editor for the Progress in 2015. Klapheke started working for WLEX18 as a sports videographer in August, and in his spare time works as a freelance wedding videographer.

For his honors thesis Klapheke is writing and shooting a feature film, “The HillsDaniel Klapheke setting up microphone Were Unshaken,” which tells the story of a young Appalachian kid overcoming stereotypes and facing the problems of the region.

“I’m working with another student and my part is producing. My whole goal behind it is to make it a no-budget film,” he said. “This means I’m using things that I already own, like my DSLR camera and microphones. I’m going to make a film basically spending no money.”

Klapheke values experiences outside of the classroom and has participated in several internship programs. In summer 2015, he was selected as a Kentucky Press Association intern where he worked as a reporter for The Falmouth Outlook. During his time at the Outlook, Klapheke wrote a seven-part series on heroin abuse in Northern Kentucky, “The pursuit of joy: A Battle for Faith, Hope and Integrity,” which won honorable mention from KPA and the Mark of Excellence award for In-Depth Reporting for Region 5 of the Society of Professional Journalists.

This past summer, Klapheke was selected as one of four students to participate in the first internship program hosted by the International Society of Weekly Newspaper Editors, where he worked as a reporter for the Illinois Valley News in Cave Junction, Oregon.

Daniel Klapheke and other students looking at camera“You have to have practical experience before you get out of college or you will be scrambling,” Klapheke said. “It is all about content, and whether it’s a small internship or a big internship, it’s important to have content and that’s what people look for. In these internships I’ve just been able to hone in on what I’ve already learned in class.”

Klapheke is not quite sure what field he wants to go into after graduation.

“I would love to work for a larger media outlet, because I feel like I have enough of a skill set to where I can be generally valuable,” he said. “Whether it be video, writing or photography, I can do it.”


November 8, 2016
University Closed for Election Day

November 17, 2016
Chautauqua Lecture: Jeremy England
Topic: Entropy and Irreversible Change: The Thermodynamics of Evolutionary Adaptation
7:30 pm
O'Donnell Hall, Whitlock Bldg.

November 19, 2016
Spotlight Event
Keen Johnson
11:45 am

December 17, 2016
Fall Commencement
10:00 am
Alumni coliseum

Department of English and Theatre

November 16-20, 2016
The Cherry Orchard
Gifford Theatre, Campbell Bldg.
For performances and ticket purchase see:

Department of Music

Thursday, November 3, 2016
Alyssa Hensley Senior Clarinet Recital
7:30 pm
Brock Auditorium

Sunday, November 6, 2016
LeMorris Hunt Graduate Choral Conducting Recital
3:00 pm
Brock Auditorium