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Faculty & Staff Spotlights

Matthew Holley's "Forty Under 40" nomination reflects a committment to community

Feb. 21, 2013

From performing onstage to studying speech and debate to helping coach a future winner of the Miss Indiana contest, Matthew Holley knows how to make an impression.

As director of curriculum and instructional design for medical student programs at the IU School of Medicine, Holley has once again pulled to the head of the pack as one of the 2013 Indianapolis Business Journal’s "Forty Under 40."

Matthew Holley

Matthew Holley has been named one of IBJ's "Forty under 40" to watch. 

“My nomination to the IBJ reflects a commitment to community service,” said Holley, “I was very fortunate to grown up in a family with a strong history in public service, including my grandmother, who was in public office, and my brother, who is the eighth Illinois State Police Trooper in my family.”

This community service includes roles as board member of IndyHUB and fundraising positions at the Damien Center, Alpha Chi Omega and the Indianapolis Zoo.

Moreover, Holley’s commitment to the community doesn’t end when he goes to work in the morning. As a curriculum guru at the IU School of Medicine, his work supports the Health Resources and Services Administration’s Advancing Medically Underserved Student Training initiative, which aims to improving student learning in rural and underserved communities to increase interest in primary care and serving the underserved.

“We are taking a three-pronged approach by increasing the number of training sites, developing online modules related to health disparities, and providing “just-in-time” training for community faculty,” he said. “We’re working to introduce students to the barriers individuals face in obtaining health care services.”

In addition, Holley has served as an educational consultant to two teams related to the curriculum reform process at the IU School of Medicine, where he also serves as a visiting lecturer in family medicine.

“This is a very exciting time for the school of medicine,” he said. “I really admire the leadership by Dr. [Maryellen] Gusic and others to lead our institution through such an overhaul of the curriculum. We’ve undergone a very thoughtful and in-depth process that allowed students, staff and faculty from across the state to discuss the school’s future.”

He added the new curriculum will provide students with earlier experiences to clinical care while reinforcing foundational sciences in later years as well as provide students greater opportunities to select specialties sooner, explore personal interests with more robust electives and themed tracks and better prepare for residency.

“Matt’s skills in curriculum development and evaluation are second to none,” said Scott Renshaw, M.D., assistant professor of clinical family medicine. “He has a true commitment to education and academics, including going beyond the boundaries of the United States…to learn new pedagogical styles and best practices.”

This international experience includes a study abroad experience in Bangkok, Thailand, undertaken as part of Holley’s pursuit of a doctorate in educational leadership and policy studies from IU Bloomington, where he expects to graduate next year. He also holds a master’s in Educational Leadership and Policy Studies from IU Bloomington and a master’s in philanthropic studies from IUPUI.

“My decision to pursue doctoral work at IU is the result of my desire to integrate my academic and professional work in philanthropy and education,” he said. “IU’s reputation in the fields of higher education and philanthropy made the decision to complete my PhD here an easy decision.”

The field of medical education interested him due the wide variety of educational techniques used to train the next generation of doctoral, he added.

“From problem-based learning to patient simulations and international service learning trips, there are a lot of instructional techniques being used in medical education,” he said. “It makes it a pretty exciting field to be in -- no idea is off the table.”

Holley’s mentors on his journey to a Ph.D. include Nancy Chism, Ph.D., associate vice chancellor for professional development and associate dean of the faculties at the IU School of Education at IUPUI, and Megan Palmer, Ph.D., assistant dean for faculty affairs and professional development and assistant professor of emergency medicine at the IU School of Medicine and assistant professor in the IU School of Education at IUPUI.

In addition to Dr. Renshaw, Holley also received support for his nomination to the IBJ’s 40 Under 40 from Molly Chavers, executive director of IndyHub; and Tim Ardillo; director of institutional advancement at the Indianapolis Zoo and Susan Guilkey, a development officer for Riverview Hospital and Miss Indiana 2006, who he got to know due to his experience as a professional public speaker as well as a singer and dancer from a young age.

"I was tapped to run a local preliminary program for the Miss Indiana Pageant After judging local competitions for a few years,” he explains. “Susan won our very first program and went on to win Miss Indiana 2005, and compete at Miss America.”

Others met through the program include Megan Meadors, also a recipient of the Miss Indiana title in 2008 and one of the cheerleaders with the Indianapolis Colts who recently shaved their heads to support Colts Head Coach Chuck Pagano's fight against cancer and raise funds for the IU Health Simon Cancer Center.

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