After teaching economics at Eastern Michigan University and the University of the Philippines, Gwen began her twenty-five year career at Butler University in Indianapolis where she was an associate professor of economics and management, director of undergraduate programs for the College of Business Administration, associate provost for student learning and dean of academic affairs before becoming Butler’s first female president in 2000. After leaving Butler, Gwen worked for three years at the Indianapolis Children’s Museum as director of investments.
While at Butler, Gwen worked to educate others by co-founding SPARCS for Learning, Inc, with renowned New York educator, Esther Fusco. SPARCS is a not-for-profit corporation dedicated to teacher education and development.
During her thirty years living in Indianapolis, Gwen served on the Boards of Orchard Country Day School, Goodwill Industries of Central Indiana, Project Leadership Service, the Hudson Institute Board of Visitors, and as a consultant in the Indianapolis Public Schools. In addition to serving on Big Picture Learning's board, Gwen has also served on the Board of Goodwill Charter School Initiatives and Kalamazoo College Board of Trustees.
Gwen obtained her undergraduate degree from Kalamazoo College in Michigan and her Masters and PhD in economics from the University of Michigan. She also holds a Master of Science in Education and an Education Specialist Degree from Butler University. Gwen and her husband Jim, a retired retinal surgeon, have been married for forty years and have three children and one grandchild. They currently divide their time between Jackson, Wyoming and Bonita Springs, Florida.