News From Terre Haute, Indiana

May 24, 2012

Woods junior named state Phi Beta Lambda president


ST. MARY-OF-THE-WOODS — When Katelyn Dukes graduates in 2013, she will be a triple threat to her peers.

Majoring in three programs — art, graphic design and advertising — at St. Mary-of-the-Woods College, Dukes already has a resume showing leadership and creativity.

As the newly elected 2012-2013 state president of Indiana’s Phi Beta Lambda chapter, Dukes is strengthening these skills by aiming creative ideas toward new challenges.

“Katelyn is a superb choice, and we are proud that the rest of the state can also benefit from her work,” said Jim Tanoos, Ph.D., associate professor of business and faculty sponsor for SMWC’s PBL club.

“PBL has given her a venue to find her voice and she has demonstrated quite often that she is the type of person that you should listen to.”

Dukes, currently the vice president of SMWC’s PBL club, is no stranger to leadership, responsibility and stewardship. She competed in the 2011 National Leadership Conference in Orlando, Fla.; regularly designs promotions for student events; and volunteers throughout the community. As the president-elect for the state’s PBL, she is looking forward to tackling her to-do list.

“I am a person of many goals and I have high expectations in completing them,” Dukes said. “As state president of PBL, I will be responsible for recruiting colleges, leading meetings, helping to choose keynote speakers and planning events at conferences. My main goal is to recruit more colleges and to be there for our members as a strong, positive leader.”

Many distinguished leaders step out into the world from the doors of SMWC. Ethics, critical thinking and responsible communication, all qualities of great leaders, are dispersed throughout the college’s academics and activities.

Dukes, a Marshall, Ill., native, will rely on these qualities as she embarks on her 2012-2013 presidency for the state PBL, while simultaneously serving as president for SMWC’s club.

“Juggling both will be a challenge, but I have always done well with time management,” Dukes explained. “I will take one day at a time, and do all that I can in assisting both.”

PBL, a national student organization, prepares the next generation of business leaders for the challenges ahead. They deepen their commitment to leadership through national conferences, workshops, competitions and seminars.

One of the newest clubs at The Woods, PBL encourages both campus and online students join.

“PBL lets our students step in and take on leadership roles that prepare them for similar challenges in the real-world,” Tanoos said. “We provide numerous ways for students to take the initiative to display their talents, such as Katelyn and her rise to president of Indiana's chapter.”

To learn more about SMWC’s PBL club, visit

Distinguished Alumnae

The St. Mary-of-the-Woods College Distinguished Alumnae Award honors graduates who have epitomized The Woods tradition of excellence by their professional achievement, personal accomplishment or humanitarian service to their community, state or nation.

This year’s recipient, Rachel Eberle Ambrose, ’64, is no exception. For her leadership in maintaining a level of career excellence over her lifetime and for her commitment to her alma mater, SMWC named Ambrose as the 2012 Distinguished Alumna at its commencement this year.

Ambrose retired three years ago after 45 years as a journalist with The Associated Press, one of the largest and most trusted sources of independent newsgathering. Her career began first in Indianapolis; the past 42 years she served in in Los Angeles, Calif., where she served as broadcast supervisor for California and Nevada.

“Our distinguished alumnae have achieved a level of excellence in their professions, have contributed to knowledge in their disciplines, and have been guided by the principles of a Woods education,” said Dottie King, Ph.D., president of SMWC. “Rachel has demonstrated exceptional and sustained leadership in her career and in her community. We’re proud that she was selected as this year’s recipient.”

A native of Floyds Knobs, Ambrose graduated from Clarksville Providence High School. She graduated from The Woods with a bachelor’s in journalism. While at SMWC, she served as co-director of the College News Bureau her junior year and editor of the school newspaper her senior year. She attributes the college for helping hone her love of writing into a marketable skill.

At the Associated Press in Indianapolis, she worked as Indiana broadcast editor. In Los Angeles, she garnered national and international AP awards for spirit, achievement and breaking news coverage. Several of her stories earned national media coverage, including her reports on the O.J. Simpson trial and the San Francisco earthquake.

Upon her retirement, Ambrose was honored with achievement awards from the Associated Press Television-Radio Association, of which she was executive director for 35 years, and Radio-TV News Association of Southern California for which she served on the board of directors for 20 years.

APTRA also named its Internet breaking news awards for Ambrose. She mentors in the APTRA Academy boot camp program she helped found in Malibu, Calif., in 2000.

Ambrose has served as president of the Southern California chapter of the SMWC Alumnae Association and the Torrance (Calif.) branch of the American Association of University Women.

She lives in the Los Angeles with her family.