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Butler University MBA students learn about whiskey business (stock image)
Experiential Learning

“From Grain to Glass to COVID-19”: MBA Class to Publish Case Study on Whiskey Business

BY Katie Grieze

PUBLISHED ON Nov 23 2020

During the spring 2020 semester, a class in Butler University’s Master of Business Administration (MBA) program partnered with a local distillery to learn about the downstream supply chain—the process by which a product makes its way from production to consumers. After studying for themselves how the distillery’s Indiana-sourced whiskey is typically sold through restaurants, tasting rooms, or grocery store shelves, the class would write a case study to teach what they had learned to future business students.

They had just finished the second draft when the COVID-19 pandemic hit.

“Instead of teaching from a textbook about what the challenges are in distribution, I wanted students to have a grasp of what a real company actually goes through,” says Dr. Jane Siegler, Assistant Professor of Operations. “When the pandemic hit, we didn’t just ignore that and focus on what would happen in normal circumstances. No—this is a small business that is trying to find its way in the market, with all the normal challenges that a small company faces, but now there is this global pandemic. What do you do?”

Shutdowns affected restaurants and other distribution outlets across the hospitality industry, and the distillery’s on-site tasting room had to close its doors. So, while continuing to learn about the company (who asked to remain anonymous for the case study), the MBA students helped the distillery identify new opportunities for getting its products to customers.

Dr. Siegler says she often likes to partner with real companies for her classes, which not only provides an experiential learning opportunity for students, but also offers a range of fresh perspectives for the business.

“When we have all these smart minds working together in class,” she says, “chances are that we will see things that the company may have missed. We are offering high-quality consulting projects at low or no cost to the companies. It’s a way to benefit the companies, the regional economy, and the students.”

The students’ key recommendation for the distillery was to place more focus on direct-to-consumer sales. Without the need to pay distributors, these channels would be more profitable, as well as help the relatively young company continue building relationships and growing its brand. After the pandemic hit, the distillery opened a carryout bottle shop that replaced their tasting room as a way to engage directly with consumers.

The case study, which has now been accepted for publication in the International Journal of Teaching and Case Studies (IJTCS), also identified opportunities for the distillery to attract customers by highlighting stories about how its whiskey is sourced and produced entirely in Indiana (a state not known for making bourbon). The company could produce videos profiling local corn farmers, or showing the whole production process from seed, to grain, to glass, the students suggested. That all-Indiana ingredient sourcing was the main thing that caught Dr. Siegler’s attention, and chances are it would appeal to customers, too.

“The entire supply chain from the farmers all the way to packaging is made up of Indiana companies,” Dr. Siegler says. “I thought that was pretty interesting from a supply chain perspective, especially when you think about how we are a very global society. But this company points to their supply chain strategy as one of the key components to their success.”

Angie Bidlack, one of the four MBA students involved with the case study, says the onset of COVID-19 didn’t derail what they had started working on. It just added a new dimension.

“There are always unknowns in a case study,” she says, “but then we had this challenge of thinking through the immediate future during COVID, as well as the future post-COVID. We could compare how things changed before and after the pandemic.”

For example, when the class first toured the distillery at the beginning of the semester, the company had plans to take their brand national by partnering with some of the largest grocery retail outlets in the United States. The pandemic brought those plans to a crawl, but the class helped think through other ways the distillery could keep growing.

“Even with the pandemic, the company was doing great things,” Bidlack says. “They found a way to make challenges into opportunities and didn’t continue going with their normal business plan. They were very agile, and they immediately pivoted to something that allowed them to thrive. And that is something I think everybody can take and apply to their career in some way.”

 

Media Contact:
Katie Grieze
News Content Manager
kgrieze@butler.edu
260-307-3403  

Butler University MBA students learn about whiskey business (stock image)
Experiential Learning

“From Grain to Glass to COVID-19”: MBA Class to Publish Case Study on Whiskey Business

The Butler MBA class led by Dr. Jane Siegler partnered with a local distillery to help find solutions to new challenges 

Nov 23 2020 Read more

Bulldogs Adapt: COE Professor Offers Flexibility for Students

By Catalina Gallegos ’21


In a semester like no other, faculty members at Butler University have adapted to continue providing engaging academic experiences for their students. We checked in with Susan Adams, Professor of Education in the College of Education, to learn about how she has been putting students first this fall.

VIDEO PRODUCED BY: Catalina Gallegos ’21, Journalism major, Digital Media Production Minor

Butler University, Susan Adams COE class
Student-Centered

Bulldogs Adapt: COE Professor Offers Flexibility for Students

Susan Adams, Professor of Education, shares how she has met students' needs during a semester like no other

Steps to Success with Josh Turner ’15

By Grace Gordon ’23

On the evening of October 19, 2019, Josh Turner ’15 was preparing to step onto the stage of Shepherd’s Bush Empire in London to perform a tribute show to Paul Simon’s album Graceland. He, along with a six-piece band and a full South African Cultural Choir, would join the guestbook of major artists who had performed on the stage before, from Charlie Chaplin to David Bowie.

Waiting to hear the show was a nearly packed house and the London theatre press. The pressure was high, and in Turner’s words, “it was so scary.” Despite the nerves, Turner now identifies the show as a highlight of his career because halfway through the second set, the audience stood up and started dancing. For the rest of the night, the concert was a party.

For the Butler University graduate, that moment was the culmination of years of dedication and exciting opportunities—from performing on Good Morning America to touring with a tribute show called the Simon and Garfunkel Story. Music was always important in Turner’s life, especially on the internet. Starting in middle school, Turner had a YouTube channel dedicated to his musical journey, with a focus on singing and guitar. Since then, his channel has significantly expanded. In addition to an ongoing solo career, he is now in the musical group The Other Favorites, which may be best known for their performances on YouTube. Along with millions of video views, The Other Favorites have successfully created a virtual touring experience, which gives fans the opportunity to tune in to monthly live-streamed performances.

However, Turners’ journey to finding his way through the professional musical world was not without uncertainty. He outlines his success with three pieces of advice.

 

“Following what you are passionate about is step one to being successful.”

Like many students at Butler, Turner’s educational journey was not a straight line. Though music was always his passion—he started singing when he was 9 years old—he wasn't ready to officially pursue music as a first-year student. He worried that if he decided to study music, he might lose some of his passion for the art, so he initially chose a major in Digital Media (now called Creative Media and Entertainment). Turner also wondered if he was good enough to make a career out of music. But through taking classes outside of his major, he was always able to keep music in his life and class schedule.

Eventually, taking classes such as Music History and Aural Skills proved that Turner’s relationship to music wouldn't change just because he was graded on it.

“The more classes I took,” he says, “the more I realized that wasn't the case. Everyone is best served if I am doing something that I am really engaged in and I am motivated to work hard toward.”

With that mindset, Turner fully dove into the world of music, declaring a major in Music during his sophomore year. He graduated in 2015 to pursue a professional career in performing, writing, and producing music in nearly every genre. His music ranges from folk, to jazz, to R&B, to bluegrass-infused renditions of popular Backstreet Boys songs.

Now, living in New York, creating music every day, and performing around the world (or, during the pandemic, via livestream), Turner says he still feels the moments of self-doubt he felt in school. He still wonders if he has “made it.” But he combats these feelings by reminding himself that “comparing yourself to other people is, at the end of the day, not helpful.” He stresses how important it has been for him to learn his worth and walk the line between being confident without getting arrogant, and feeling motivated without getting down on himself.

 

Be “constantly in the process of ‘making it.’”

While enjoying every exciting opportunity, Turner says he has kept the mindset that he is “constantly in the process of making it.” He has never relied on one big break to be successful. Turner has continued to invest in himself, stay flexible in the mediums he uses to provide content to his fans, and know that he is “as prepared as he can be” for every performance. Right now, being flexible as a performer looks like providing online content through live streams.

 

“Be a good person.”

For Turner, the final step to achieving success has been to just be a good person. He says that in a competitive job market, you can really be set apart from all the other talented people by “being the person who isn't judgmental, who returns calls, and who does the little things.”

Turner has found the most satisfaction in his music by trying to create joy. He recognizes that the internet can be a platform that creates division, but he says his favorite part of his job is the feeling that he is contributing to “the part of the internet that actually brings people together.”

Turner certainly follows his words with action, and the evidence lies in the example he sets for those around him. Most recently, he demonstrated his commitment to making the world a better place by speaking at Butler’s virtual School of Music Convocation in September 2020. During the Zoom call, he talked about investing in yourself as a musician and a professional, harnessing social media to build an audience, and expanding interests outside of your major. The more time you can spend away from music, he told the students, the more you’ll love it when you come back.

 

Grace Gordon is a sophomore at Butler University, where she majors in Strategic Communication and minors in Creative Writing and Creative Media and Entertainment.

Josh Turner
Alumni Success

Steps to Success with Josh Turner ’15

The Butler graduate shares what it took for him to become a professional musician

Bulldogs Adapt: LSB Professor on Teaching During a Pandemic

By Catalina Gallegos ’21

 

In a semester like no other, faculty members at Butler University have adapted to continue providing engaging academic experiences for their students. We checked in with Stephanie Fernhaber, Professor of Entrepreneurship in the Lacy School of Business, to learn about the new approaches she’s using in the classroom this fall.

VIDEO PRODUCED BY: Catalina Gallegos ’21, Journalism major, Digital Media Production Minor

LSB
Student-Centered

Bulldogs Adapt: LSB Professor on Teaching During a Pandemic

Stephanie Fernhaber, Professor of Entrepreneurship in the Lacy School of Business, discusses the new approaches she’s using in the classroom this fall

A Chat with Dr. Fait Muedini

By Maddy Kline ’21

The newest published work to come from Butler University Director of International Studies Fait Muedini, Idolatry of the Translated Forms, is a clear departure from Muedini’s traditional written research—the 99 poems weave together to form the first book of poetry he has ever published.

“A lot of my work is research, of course—a lot of work related to human rights, LGBTI rights, child education rights—but I've always had a passion for writing poetry, as well,” Muedini says. “I just keep writing, keep writing, putting it aside, and really not thinking much of it. And there came a point when I said, ‘well, maybe I should focus on poetry as an outlet for publishing, as well.’ I'm happy I did it. I probably should have done it earlier.”

The book is deeply rooted in Sufi poetry and ideas, most of which are encapsulated by notions of beauty and love. Like his passion for poetry, Sufism has been a theme in Muedini’s life for a number of years. His ties to the subject matter of the book make it both a personal and striking read.

“The poems clarified a lot of how I view the world,” Muedini says. “And the best way to describe it, it's really this idea of non-duality, just kind of thinking about the world as a unity of everything—this manifestation of nothing, but what is understood as beauty and love—again, a very Sufi idea. All of the poems in some way center around the idea of elevating this idea of love in everyday beauty.”

But why stop at 99 poems?

Muedini explained the significance of the number in Islamic theology. Within that faith, he says, there exist 99 names or attributes of God known to the human mind.

“My idea of the book is idolatry of the translated forms, which essentially means all our conceptions of God are lacking—we can't ever understand, with language, what the ultimate power of God is,” Muedini says. “In Islam and Sufism, there's this idea that God has a 100th name, but that it's not revealed to anybody. And so, it's essentially silent. That's exactly what I was going for.”

Apart from publishing a new book, what else has Muedini been up to lately? Below, we chat with him about favorite meals, must-read books, and go-to films—spoiler: he loves slapstick comedy.

Are there any television shows or series that you're watching and enjoying right now?
To be honest, I don't get too much into series. It's not that I don't like TV, it's that once you get into a series, you feel like you have to watch all of it. And that takes a lot of time. I'll have some soccer games on in the background when I'm doing work, things like that.

In the vein of less time commitment, then: What about films? Do you have a favorite film?
I do tend to watch more films. I like a lot of introspective foreign films, or outright slapstick comedy type films—it's really that dichotomy.

Do you have a go-to for each of those categories?
There's a film in my course that a student actually recommended called Mustang about social gender issues in Turkey. It is a story about these five sisters who have various social pressures on them to marry, and then human rights abuses against women. I also thought Roma was very powerful. Films that I think really get people to reflect on topics and themes that again, bring about the human condition, I would say, are where there's a lot of interest.

Friends who've known me forever will know that Dumb and Dumber is by far the funniest I've ever seen. I've watched it countless times and I still laugh uncontrollably at so many of the parts.

What books should everyone read in their lifetime?
I just would tell people just to keep reading. The more you read, the more ideas you're exposed to. Really, it depends on the genre of what you're looking for. So, in the spirituality genre, for example, there's a book called The Upanishads. It's an ancient Hindu text—that was really one of the most influential books in my life.

For something like financial advice, there's a book called Rich Dad, Poor Dad by Robert Kiyosaki, which I think everyone should read. For something about monetary policy, there's a book I really think everyone should read called The Bitcoin Standard by Saifedean Ammous. But again, it really depends on the category of literature because there's just so much in every field.

What is your favorite meal to either cook or eat?
I don't cook. I've never even tried cooking. So, there's that. Thankfully, my wife loves to cook, and so she'll learn recipes and try a variety of dishes. I am very fortunate about that. My palate is pretty American-based—fried chicken, cheeseburgers—things like this. Although, I'm realizing as I get older, I should eat much less of it.

What three historical figures would you most want to have dinner with?
The ones that just immediately come to mind for me, I would say the Sufi poet Rumi, absolutely. Albert Camus, my favorite overall writer, would come to mind. There was a poet who died not too long ago. Her name was Mary Oliver, and she was an American poet. Those would be the three who would come to mind for me, initially, that I would have that dinner with.

What do you consider to be the most interesting thing that you've done in your lifetime?
For me, what has brought by far the most joy throughout my life—and continues to—is really to be married to the person I'm married to, whom I love very much. We have two children together. And with them, just seeing the wonder in their eyes every day, to me is interesting; seeing how they're going through life, and how they are developing their characters and personalities. So just having a family is, I think, the most interesting. I mean, I could quote where I've traveled, what I've written, but to me, it just pales in comparison to having this core nucleus of my family.

Where is your favorite place to be?
It doesn't matter anymore. I think this poetry really kind of brought that out: I really have tried in the past years just to be present in any spot I'm in. Being around my family—if I take kind of a non-physical location—being around my family as much as I can, is always where I'm happiest. There's just beauty in every space, every place, if we just pay attention to it. And so, I actually don't like sometimes when people say, ‘I must go here, I must go there,’ because I think you forget the wonder of where you're at now in that present moment.

What has been your favorite part of being a professor at Butler?
That’s an easy one. Just the inquisitive minds of my students. I mean, being alert, having conversations with them, having them just ask such detailed questions—really wanting to learn about the world, wanting to learn about human rights issues, and being so committed to their education. It makes work just such a joy because students are just excellent and have been excellent since I've arrived here.

Muedini
Campus

A Chat with Dr. Fait Muedini

Butler's Director of International Studies typically works on research, but he recently explored a different passion: poetry

Muedini

A Chat with Dr. Fait Muedini

By Maddy Kline ’21

What is it Like to be an Honors Student at Butler?

By Cassandra Stec ’23

Cassandra Stec is a junior at Butler studying Computer Science and Art + Design.

When I was first applying for college, I noticed a section in the Common App that asked if I wanted to participate in the Butler University Honors Program.

Intrigued, I looked up more information and learned that the Honors Program at Butler allows you to graduate with University Honors, as well as finish college with a published thesis. In order to complete the Honors Program, you need to attend eight honors community events, complete four honors classes (including a First Year Seminar), write a thesis on a topic of your choosing, and maintain a 3.5 GPA.

After reading about the program, I immediately applied. I enjoy education, as well as being involved, so the Honors Program seemed right up my alley. A few months later, I received my Honors Program acceptance along with the news that I had been accepted to Butler.

During New Student Registration, I attended the honors luncheon, where my dad and I got to sit with current honors students and hear about classes and professors. Dr. Jason Lantzer, Assistant Director of the Honors Program, provided details about the Honors requirements, as well as the various study abroad opportunities offered through the program. Later on, right before moving into my dorm and starting my first year of college, I was also assigned an Honors mentor, whom I could go to for help or questions regarding the program, Butler, or college life in general.

Since then, I have completed almost all requirements of the Honors Program. My first year, I took an Honors First Year Seminar (FYS) called “Women Writing the World.” The class was taught by English Lecturer Dr. Natalie Carter and delved into the different experiences of women around the world through pieces of literature written by women. For me, that class instilled a sense of togetherness and community among my Honors peers. Thanks to the Honors Program, I met some of my closest friends through that class that I likely would not have met otherwise.

I also participated in a variety of Honors events, including lectures (I went to a really cool one about Abraham Lincoln.), the Nutcracker ballet, and game and pizza nights.

My second year, I took a 200-level Honors course in the fall, as well as a 300-level Honors course in the spring. The 200-level course was called “The Wonderful World of Disney,” taught by Dr. Lantzer. The course delved into who Walt Disney was, as well as the company that came from his creations. It has been one of my favorite classes so far at Butler.

The 300-level course was called “Paris: The City as Text,” taught by History Professor Dr. Paul Hanson. The course examined Paris from a variety of disciplines and approaches. As part of the course, I also did a study abroad program to Paris over spring break to see and experience what we had discussed in class. Traveling to Paris and exploring alongside my classmates really made me appreciate what I had learned in the course.

Also during my second year, I joined the Student Honors Council. This organization helps plan events (such as “We Love Honors Week”) and get-togethers for Honors students, as well as helps connect mentors and mentees for the mentorship program. I also became a mentor for several first-year Honors students, not only helping them with life at Butler and college in general, but also becoming close friends with several of them.

Now, I am beginning work on my thesis by planning the proposal and searching for a thesis advisor. While I have finished all my other Honors requirements, I plan to stay involved with the program by continuing to take more Honors courses and study abroad as my schedule allows—just because of how much I enjoy not only the content of the courses, but also the professors who teach them.

If you are a prospective student interested in the Honors Program, make sure to apply by November 1. If you are a current student, it’s not too late! You can still petition for admission to the program.

For more information about the Honors Program at Butler, visit our website.

Butler University
Admission

What is it Like to be an Honors Student at Butler?

Cassandra Stec ’23 shares her experience with the program

A Day in the Life of Blue IV

By Nicki Clark ’22

 

 

Nicki Clark is a student in Butler’s Class of 2022, majoring in Journalism and minoring in Digital Media Production.

 

Perhaps the most famous face around Butler’s campus is Blue IV. After having Trip’s collar passed down in February 2020, Blue has been hard at work to keep his predecessor’s legacy strong. Being Butler’s live mascot is a serious gig, and Blue takes his job very seriously. He spends his days interacting with students, greeting visitors, and practicing to make sure he is the best mascot he can be. His schedule varies from day to day, but I was able to spend a morning with Blue to see what it’s like to spend a day in his paws.

9:30 AM
Blue IV went to the bookstore to see students, but he also had to take care of some business. He took a photo with the winning submissions from the AT HOMEcoming Coloring Contest. He also took photos to promote a Butler graduate’s new book. He got to say hello to many students, which resulted in pets, boops on the nose, and even a few treats.

Butler Blue IV

 

10:00 AM
Blue headed over to Robertson Hall to greet prospective students who were visiting Butler for a tour. The visitors’ faces lit up at the sight of Blue trotting up to say hello. It’s hard to say no to his fist bumps and wrinkly little face!

Butler Blue IV

Butler Blue IV

 

10:30 AM
Blue put on his Butler jersey and headed to Hinkle Fieldhouse to take a picture with two students. They were even nice enough to bring Blue some treats, which he could not wait to get his paws on. Although he had to save some of the treats for later, he did get to enjoy half of a doggy cupcake on the sidewalk outside Hinkle before heading off to his next adventure of the day.

Butler Blue IV

 

11:00 AM
Blue headed inside Hinkle Fieldhouse to get some Live Mascot practice. He had to work on getting comfortable walking up the ramps and up the stairs. He worked on his entrance run for basketball games—executing it perfectly. He made sure to drink lots of water to keep hydrated during his practice. He even got to sit at the very top of Hinkle and look down at all the empty seats that will someday be filled to cheer on the Dawgs.

Butler Blue IV

Butler Blue IV

 

12:00 PM
After a successful practice, Blue wanted to film a TikTok. He started off at Hinkle Fieldhouse and ventured all around campus to showcase the beautiful fall weather. Of course, he had to stop for some pictures with students along the way, but he always loves meeting all the Butler students and fans.

Butler Blue IV

Butler Blue IV

 

1:00 PM
After a long morning of strutting around campus, Blue was ready to head home for a well-deserved nap. While he can’t wait to get back to running out of the tunnel with the basketball team, he’s very much enjoying his walks around campus and other activities until sports start back up again. To keep up with Blue IV, you can follow him on his social media accounts: InstagramTwitterTikTok, and Facebook.

Butler Blue IV

 

Butler Blue IV
Campus

A Day in the Life of Blue IV

Butler's live bulldog mascot spends his days interacting with students, greeting visitors, and practicing to make sure he is the best mascot he can be

Butler Blue IV

A Day in the Life of Blue IV

By Nicki Clark ’22

Scholarship Helps Indy Native Study Pharmacy at Butler

By Meredith Sauter

Indianapolis native Andrés Huerta remembers his first visit to Butler. It was Homecoming weekend and he was with Sam, his mentor with Starfish Initiative—a local nonprofit that works with promising students to help overcome the barriers of poverty and to understand that college is an option. He vividly remembers walking around campus and eating dinner at Atherton Union, all the while visualizing himself as a student.

“I could see myself here,” Huerta says. “I knew deep down that this was the right place for me.”

So, with the help of his high school guidance counselor, he applied to Butler. And only to Butler.

Huerta was accepted into the highly-competitive Pre-Pharmacy Program, which he knew would be a great academic fit. However, the reality of funding his education was a challenge. “Looking back, I was very ignorant of the fact that college was expensive,” Huerta says. “I just knew I wanted to go to Butler, so I applied, but I didn’t really understand how I was meant to pay for it.”

Thankfully, Huerta, a 21st Century Scholar and first-generation college student, applied for—and received—the Butler Tuition Guarantee, a full-tuition scholarship available to Marion County students who exhibit a strong academic background, but also a large financial need. Huerta admits, “If I didn’t receive this scholarship, not only would I have not gone to Butler, but I probably wouldn’t have gone to college at all.”

Starting as a first-year student in 2017, Huerta said he was very timid and kept mostly to himself. But, over time, he became more comfortable interacting with students and professors, thanks largely to his involvement with the Efroymson Diversity Center (The DC). The DC helped him find his home away from home, allowed him to become more intertwined with campus, and served as the catalyst to many leadership opportunities, including his current role as the treasurer with Latinos Unidos.

Huerta is in the midst of his first (of four) years as a professional student in the Doctor of Pharmacy Program, and is still exploring the many avenues of pharmacy. Regardless of what he chooses, though, he knows that his Butler education will help get him there.

“At Butler, I’ve found that if you put in the work, things typically work out,” Huerta says. “Butler has pushed me to grow and I’ve succeeded far beyond what I thought I was capable of.”

Andrés Huerta
Student-Centered

Scholarship Helps Indy Native Study Pharmacy at Butler

Thanks to the Butler Tuition Guarantee, a full-tuition scholarship available to Marion County students, Andrés Huerta is a Bulldog

Butler Tuition Guarantee Scholarship Turns Dreams into Reality

By Meredith Sauter

Music Education student Nicole Whitman knew exactly what she was looking for in a university during her college search. “I wanted empathy,” she says. “I wanted someone to know and care about my feelings as a student. I didn’t want to be another number. I like that close connection with professors.”

That desire for empathy and connection was what initially interested her and ultimately brought her to Butler. That, and her high school choir director encouraged her to apply, thinking it would also be a great fit.

After visiting campus and taking a lesson with Jordan College of the Arts faculty member Dr. Gail Lewis, Whitman made the connections she desired, and knew that Butler was the place for her. But, as a first-generation college student and 21st Century Scholar, she knew that it would be financially difficult to make attending Butler a reality.  

Enter Butler Blue Scholars’ Day and the Butler Tuition Guarantee. Each year, the University invites hundreds of prospective, admitted students to interview for a variety of scholarships during a one-day event known as Blue Scholars’ Day.

Whitman was one of those invited to interview for one of the 10 available Butler Tuition Guarantee scholarships, which provides a student full tuition each academic year when combined with all federal, state, and University scholarships and grants. To be eligible, students must attend a Marion County high school, have a solid academic record, participate in extracurricular activities and community service projects, and have a great financial need.

Happily, Whitman received the award and could make her dream of attending Butler a reality.

Whitman’s days now involve classes in Music Education, playing the mellophone, practicing for basketball band, and living in Residential College. She’s excited to eventually complete her student teaching, and thinks she may add a Spanish minor sometime in the future. When asked what she thinks she wants to do once she graduates, though, there’s no hesitation.

“I want to be a high school band director for a huge marching band. I want to have a successful program that builds up the kids as both musicians and as people. And I know, without a doubt, Butler will get me there,” she says. “I will be a force.”

Nicole Whitman
Student-Centered

Butler Tuition Guarantee Scholarship Turns Dreams into Reality

Receiving the award allowed Music Education student Nicole Whitman to work toward her goal of becoming a band director

Butler University
Campus

Butler University Launches a Hub for Black Affairs and Community Engagement

BY

PUBLISHED ON Oct 15 2020

INDIANAPOLIS, Ind. (October 15, 2020)—In keeping with its founding values and ongoing efforts to promote diversity, equity, and inclusion (DEI), Butler University is establishing a Hub for Black Affairs and Community Engagement in partnership with Professor of Political Science Dr. Terri Jett as Faculty Director.

This is one of many DEI initiatives, and one in which the University is allocating notable financial resources, that are being implemented as part of Butler's broader commitment to create an intentionally diverse, equitable, and inclusive learning and working environment. Such actions, which include commencing the search to add two positions in the Efroymson Diversity Center and establishing a DEI Innovation Fund, will provide additional meaningful resources to our campus community.

Consisting of the components outlined below, the Hub will serve as an institutional command center to address systemic racism and Black oppression, with its work beginning this academic year.

  • An Advisory Group will be established, consisting of faculty members, staff, students, and representatives of the Black Alumni Association and local community to help determine the priorities of the Hub and be responsive to the administration in efforts to address the experiences of Black Butler faculty, staff, and students. This group will also establish ongoing communication and collaboration with, advocacy for, and institutional support of our Black Student Union and other Black students who are not a part of this student organization.
  • Black Faculty and Staff Affinity groups will be established to support Black faculty and staff to increase retention and professional development of Black faculty and staff. This includes mentorship across ranks and disciplines, resources to support professional development, and wellness support.
  • Black Student Support -  Ongoing communication and advocacy for support of the Black Student Union and other Black students who are not directly associated with the BSU will be provided. This will be coordinated through both the Black Faculty and Staff Affinity groups, as well as the Black Alumni Association.
  • Visiting Black Intellectuals will be invited to be in-residence to conduct workshops, trainings, and seminars. This will present a significant opportunity for Black students, and others, to learn from and interact with important role models.
  • Faculty Collaborative Fellows will be experts in the fields of diversity, social justice, and institutional racism. Collaborative Fellows will conduct presentations of their research in relation to social justice and diversity, as well as be available to connect with and mentor students.
  • As a longer-term goal, a Hub Location will be identified on campus as a designated space for ongoing activities such as workshops, discussions with Visiting Black Intellectuals, trainings, and wellness activities.

As Faculty Director, Dr. Jett will be focusing on the lives and experiences of the Black community at Butler and creating opportunities for engagement with the greater Black Indianapolis community. She will also serve as Senior Advisor to the President in this capacity.

Statement from Butler President James M. Danko
“Our renewed commitment to our founder's mission has taken on an even greater sense of urgency this year to ensure all students, faculty, and staff are welcome, respected, and flourishing. Butler University has a moral and historic imperative to be a leader in addressing issues of racism and social injustices in higher education.

“I am extremely pleased that Dr. Terri Jett agreed to lead our Hub for Black Affairs and Community Engagement, which is an important step in our endeavors. Terri’s passion for Butler and wealth of experience involving diversity, equity, and inclusivity will serve as a great benefit to our institution. I look forward to her continued leadership and contributions as our University embarks on a momentous time in our history.”

Statement from Dr. Terri Jett
“In my new role as Faculty Director of the Butler University Hub for Black Affairs and Community Engagement and Senior Advisor to the President, I will coordinate and address the belonging and connection of our Black faculty, staff, students, and alumni in a manner that moves us to bring Ovid Butler’s prophetic vision into present day. The Hub is anchored in the abolitionist roots of Butler University and will elevate and center the disparate Black intellectual voice and experience that has often been marginalized and yet is critical for the institution to be at the forefront of our heightened awareness and shifting responsibilities considering what we are experiencing and witnessing.”

 

Media Contact:
Katie Grieze
News Content Manager
kgrieze@butler.edu
260-307-3403

Butler University
Campus

Butler University Launches a Hub for Black Affairs and Community Engagement

With leadership from Dr. Terri Jett as Faculty Director, the Hub will serve as an institutional command center to address systemic racism and Black oppression

Oct 15 2020 Read more
istock
Experiential Learning

The Future of Drug Discovery: Pharmacy Students Learn to Code

BY Katie Grieze

PUBLISHED ON Oct 14 2020

The discovery and development of new drugs is usually a long, expensive process, but recent advances in machine learning and artificial intelligence are starting to change that. By partnering with the Accelerating Therapeutics for Opportunities in Medicine (ATOM) consortium to create a new training experience, Butler University is preparing Pharmacy students for the future of drug discovery.

This past summer, five students in Butler’s Doctor of Pharmacy (PharmD) program participated in remote internships with ATOM—a global consortium with the goal of blending healthcare and computer science to create a faster drug discovery process. Starting with a coding boot camp led by Butler Assistant Professor Caleb Class, then working on individual research projects alongside ATOM mentors, students learned to integrate data science with their existing pharmacy expertise.

The interns worked to analyze, build, and curate data sets that can be used to advance ATOM’s open-source drug discovery platform. While most of them had little experience with machine learning prior to the program, they are excited to apply what they’ve learned to their pharmacy careers.

 

Paige Cowden (P2)
Project: “Data Curation for a Mitochondrial Membrane Potential Model”

Why did you pursue pharmacy?
I wanted to work in a hospital, but I didn’t want to be a doctor or a nurse, so I thought pharmacy might be cool. Also, addiction to prescription medications has affected people close to me, so I wanted to learn about drugs and be able to counsel people properly to prevent this from affecting others

What fascinates you most about the relationship between pharmacy and data science?
While learning to code was pretty difficult and frustrating at times, my knowledge of biology and science made it easier to compare the data I was working with. I could see how valuable my prior knowledge was to understanding the data, even though I was brand new to coding. It made me excited because I could see how machine learning could be used in my future career.

What have you learned from this internship opportunity?
Even if you’re bad at something, do it anyway. I wouldn’t say I became the most proficient at coding and analyzing data, but I definitely improved a lot. I think it’s frustrating trying something new for the first time, but keeping an open mind and not being so hard on yourself when you fail is key to becoming successful at something.

 

Chris Zeheralis (P3)
Project: “Open Cancer and Infectious Disease Datasets”

Why did you pursue pharmacy?
Pharmacy never really came across my radar until late in high school. I became a huge chemistry lover and enjoyed the idea of applying chemical concepts in a usable, practical setting, and in a way that could have a direct impact on people's lives. I've always aimed to use my passions and skills to improve the world around me, and pharmacy just seemed like it could give me the platform to bring the change I've always desired.  

What appealed to you about the ATOM internship?
I have always been fascinated with the power of computing, and I understand the inevitability of skills like programming and machine learning being incorporated into the healthcare field. I had attempted to teach myself how to code to no real avail. The ATOM internship allowed me the opportunity to learn coding in a more structured manner, connecting me with experts and professionals in multiple fields. I could also immediately apply what I was learning to something that had the potential to carry real weight outside of mere practice.

What did you learn from this experience?
Machine learning truly is the future of drug discovery. The sheer speed of methods like the ATOM Modeling PipeLine (AMPL) in discovering potential leads for molecule design, compared to the traditional methods, is astounding. This whole experience made me wish I had learned programming and coding at an earlier age.

 

Laura Fischer (P2)
Project: “Open Data and Model Fitting with AMPL”

What appealed to you about the ATOM internship?
I applied to the ATOM internship because I wanted to gain a better understanding of machine learning and how it can be used to impact healthcare. I had learned a little bit about it in my Biotechnology class, but I thought the hands-on approach would help me get a deeper understanding. I thought this would be a cool way to improve my computer skills while experiencing a research-based, nontraditional career path for pharmacists. I also was interested in ATOM's goal of speeding up the timeline of drug development, and I wanted to see how they used Machine Learning technology to work toward that goal.

Tell us about the experience.
My internship primarily consisted of writing and modifying Python code to work with public datasets and build machine learning models through the ATOM Modeling PipeLine (AMPL). I was working with four gene targets, training models to predict PIC50 values for them. The most accurate models can now be used to predict activities of new, unresearched compounds.

What fascinates you most about the relationship between pharmacy and machine learning?
I was really fascinated to see the actual impact that machine learning can have on pharmacy, and healthcare in general. I never thought I'd have a hands-on experience working directly with data science, so it was really cool to see how this makes an impact on the drug development process.

 

Logan Van Ravenswaay (P2)
Project: “Visualize Data: A Python Function to Generate Interactive Plots and Accelerate Exploratory Data Analysis”

Why did you choose to pursue pharmacy?
I always knew I wanted to pursue a career in healthcare, but I struggled with choosing a path. I loved my chemistry and biology courses in high school, so I thought pharmacy would be the perfect blend of the two.

Why did you decide to apply for the ATOM internship?
I applied for the ATOM internship because it would involve blending a computer science-based approach with drug discovery. I wanted to learn more about the drug discovery process and how we can improve it. However, both subjects were very much outside of my wheelhouse. I was excited by the challenge, as well as how I would be able to take what I learned with ATOM and use it to launch a potential career in drug discovery.

What fascinates you most about the relationship between pharmacy and data science?
I came into this internship with very little knowledge on computer science and how it might impact the future of drug discovery. However, I cannot be more excited about this relationship between machine learning and pharmacy. My time with ATOM has shown that data science is an integral piece of drug discovery. The sheer amount of potential therapeutic compounds far exceeds our ability to select drug candidates by hand. ATOM's modeling tool and others like it can accelerate this discovery process, as well as be adapted to choose the best drug for a particular patient.

 

Connor Miller (P3)
Project: “Working with Open Data Sources: PK-DB, Lombardo Dataset, and AstraZeneca”

Why did you pursue pharmacy?
I enjoy the blending of math and science that can be found in pharmacy. Pharmacy also offers an opportunity to provide health services and benefit patients without being as “hands-on” as other providers, such as physicians or physician assistants. I find it amazing that drugs are just these small molecules that can have substantial and even life-saving effects on the body and its chemistry.

Tell us about your experience with the ATOM internship.
The overarching goal for my project was to help advance ATOM’s work with open source data, which can be more widely shared with the public compared to proprietary datasets. Typically, a larger dataset will result in machine learning models with better accuracy or more predictive power, so finding open source datasets is important in the effort to build these models.

What fascinates you most about the relationship between pharmacy and data science?
I think the relationship between pharmacy and data science will become increasingly important in the future, particularly in the area of drug development. Through machine learning models, companies in the pharmaceutical industry will be able to much more quickly identify compounds that may be effective at a certain target, or screen out compounds that are likely to have toxic effects. What excites me the most about this is that new treatments may be found and developed at a faster rate, thanks to these advances in data science and machine learning.

What have you learned from this experience?
Starting from knowing very little about coding or research, I have been able to learn a lot through this experience in terms of technical skills. I was also able to gain experience working with a virtual team. Despite the fact that we were all working from home, we were able to still have good communication. I am so glad that I was able to take part in this opportunity, and I found it to be an incredibly enriching experience in my pharmacy education.

 

Media Contact:
Katie Grieze
News Content Manager
kgrieze@butler.edu
260-307-3403

istock
Experiential Learning

The Future of Drug Discovery: Pharmacy Students Learn to Code

Over the summer, five Butler PharmD students completed remote, data-focused internships with the ATOM consortium

Oct 14 2020 Read more

Bulldogs Adapt: How CCOM Faculty are Supporting Students this Fall

By Catalina Gallegos ’21

  

 

In a semester like no other, faculty members at Butler University have adapted to continue providing engaging academic experiences for their students. We checked in with Lecturer Scott Bridge and Assistant Professor Lindsay Ems from the College of Communication (CCOM) to see how their teaching has shifted this year.

VIDEO PRODUCED BY: Catalina Gallegos ’21, Journalism major, Digital Media Production Minor

CCOM faculty adapt
Student-Centered

Bulldogs Adapt: How CCOM Faculty are Supporting Students this Fall

In a semester like no other, faculty members at Butler have continued providing engaging academic experiences

BUPD Officer: ‘The Students Here are Just Awesome’

By Nicki Clark ’22

Nicki Clark is a student in Butler’s Class of 2022, majoring in Journalism and minoring in Digital Media Production. 

 

Matthew Grimes never really knows what his workday will be like, but that’s his favorite part of the job. As an officer for the Butler University Police Department (BUPD), his day can include anything from assisting a student who has locked their keys inside their car to helping students who are trapped in an elevator on campus.

“The thing about law enforcement that attracted me is that every day is different,” Grimes says. “This is a profession where you have to use your mind. You have to figure out complex situations and make decisions based on all the facts presented to you.”

BUPD provides a law enforcement presence made up of certified officers who help create a safe environment for the campus community. Grimes and the other BUPD officers take great pride in keeping campus safe for students, faculty, and staff. They typically park their patrol cars in areas where students can easily see them, and Grimes says BUPD hopes this helps students feel safe on campus.

“It’s like you’re all my kids, and I want to keep everyone protected,” Grimes says.

Before joining BUPD, Grimes worked for the Indianapolis Metropolitan Police Department (IMPD) for 25 years. He was the lead bicycle instructor for the department, and the city’s officers did their bike patrol training at Butler. Grimes loved being on campus, so when there was an opening with BUPD, he applied. He’s been at Butler ever since.

Grimes says being a police officer on a college campus is different from working for the city. Students often need assistance with issues that might not warrant a call to IMPD—like car trouble—but that campus officers frequently help with.

“A lot of students don’t drive their cars very often, so they’ll go to their car and the battery’s dead,” Grimes explains, providing an example of the ways BUPD officers typically support students. “We’ll go out and assist students with a dead battery, which occurs quite often.”

For Grimes, interacting with students is the highlight of his day.

“Most students come to campus straight out of high school, 18 or 19 years old, and you get to see them develop into young adults,” he says. “Interacting with students, they’ll always wave at us, and I try to wave at as many people as possible. They’re not afraid to come up and ask us questions. The students here are just awesome.”

BUPD
Student-Centered

BUPD Officer: ‘The Students Here are Just Awesome’

Matthew Grimes says every day is different as an officer in the Butler University Police Department, but he always looks forward to helping students

Butler University
Butler Beyond

Butler Receives $2.5 Million Grant from Lilly Endowment Inc. to Fund New Butler Beyond Transformation Lab

BY

PUBLISHED ON Oct 08 2020

INDIANAPOLIS, Ind. (Oct. 8, 2020)—Lilly Endowment Inc. has awarded Butler University a $2.5 million grant to fund its Butler Beyond Transformation Lab. The creation of the Transformation Lab is a significant step in advancing the University’s new strategic direction, Butler Beyond, which was unveiled last October.

Lilly Endowment made the grant through Charting the Future of Indiana’s Colleges and Universities, an initiative designed to help higher education institutions across the state develop new strategies to address challenges to financial sustainability and help them better prepare students for successful, meaningful lives.

The Butler Beyond strategy builds upon Butler’s strengths in delivering an exceptional undergraduate residential education, while expanding to offer opportunities for lifelong learning and new educational pathways that are more accessible, affordable, and flexible. The Transformation Lab will serve as a hub of resources, expertise, and activity to accelerate the development of future-oriented models of education and related ventures that contribute to the long-term success of the University and the learners it serves.

“Butler University is extremely grateful to Lilly Endowment for its support of our efforts to expand access to higher education through creation of new educational models and ventures within the Butler Beyond Transformation Lab,” says Butler President James M. Danko. “In keeping with our founding values of diversity, inclusivity, and equality, we are driven by an aspiration to put higher learning within reach of all who desire to pursue it by creating new, high-quality educational pathways and options that will prepare students for long-term success.”

The Transformation Lab will work with internal and external constituents to advance opportunities to identify, design, and pilot future-oriented education initiatives that align with both the University’s strategy and the educational needs of the community. This will include exploring emerging concepts designed to create greater access to education, adapting the educational experience to those who want to continually upskill and reskill, and pivoting higher education to an increasingly digital experience. Co-creation of innovative solutions will be a primary tenet of the Transformation Lab’s work, achieved through collaboration with a robust network of education experts, corporate leaders, workforce and economic development organizations, non-traditional education providers, and other forward-looking universities.

“We look forward to partnering with other institutions and organizations that share our sense of urgency and optimism in searching for solutions to the challenges facing higher education,” Danko says. “Butler is committed to being a leader in the development of new forms of education, thereby generating solutions not only for ourselves, but for higher education, students, and society more broadly. This grant to fund the creation of the Butler Beyond Transformation Lab is a significant milestone in Butler’s history.”

Along with establishing a $500,000 seed fund allocated to supporting select projects and ventures, funding from Lilly Endowment will be used to enhance a physical space on campus for the Transformation Lab, convene local and national higher education experts and university faculty and staff for discussion and collaboration, and add additional personnel to support stakeholders in moving ideas to viable solutions.

The Transformation Lab is modeled after practices often used for navigating transformation and change in industries outside of higher education. Benefitting from Butler’s collaborations with several major technology companies, venture studios, and other leading universities, the Transformation Lab will bring together the resources, expertise, and network necessary to move quickly from idea to pilot, and, ideally, to a scalable solution for some of higher education’s most pressing challenges.

The $2.5 million grant from Lilly Endowment to establish the Transformation Lab is a meaningful step toward the University’s goal to raise a total of $25 million for initiatives that drive transformation throughout the University and within the broader landscape of higher education as part of its $250 million Butler Beyond comprehensive fundraising campaign.

This implementation grant was awarded as part of the second phase of Lilly Endowment’s three-phase Charting the Future initiative. In the first phase, Butler received a $250,000 planning grant in 2019 to prepare the implementation proposal. Grants under a third phase, which is competitive, will be awarded in 2021. Those grants will support collaborative efforts that seek to have a large-scale impact on the ability of higher education institutions in Indiana to fulfill their educational missions.

Lilly Endowment Inc. is an Indianapolis-based, private philanthropic foundation created in 1937 by J.K. Lilly Sr. and sons J.K. Jr. and Eli through gifts of stock in their pharmaceutical business, Eli Lilly and Company. While those gifts remain the financial bedrock of the Endowment, the Endowment is a separate entity from the company, with a distinct governing board, staff, and location. In keeping with the founders’ wishes, the Endowment supports the causes of community development, education, and religion and maintains a special commitment to its hometown, Indianapolis, and home state, Indiana.

 

Butler Beyond: The Campaign for Butler University is the University’s largest-ever comprehensive fundraising campaign, with a goal of $250 million to support student access and success, innovations in teaching and learning, and community partnerships.

 

Media Contact:
Katie Grieze
News Content Manager
kgrieze@butler.edu
260-307-3403

Butler University
Butler Beyond

Butler Receives $2.5 Million Grant from Lilly Endowment Inc. to Fund New Butler Beyond Transformation Lab

The Transformation Lab will serve as a hub of resources, expertise, and activity to accelerate the development of future-oriented education models

Oct 08 2020 Read more
esports
Campus

Butler Joins The Esports Combine as Hosting University

BY

PUBLISHED ON Oct 08 2020

INDIANAPOLIS, Ind.—Ahead of The Esports Combine™ 2020, a virtual convention designed to connect esports players with collegiate programs, Indiana Esports Development LLC. has announced a partnership with Butler University to be the official host for the event. The University will host this year’s convention through student participation, marketing efforts, and spectatorship. Butler will also host its own panel on Saturday, October 17, that discusses the challenges and opportunities involved in building an academic program around gaming and esports.

The Esports Combine™ is organized by Indiana Esports Development and powered by Indiana Sports Corp and Indiana-based Harena Data, with other Indiana participants including Butler, the Horizon League, and the Indiana High School Esports Network.

“There is a real hunger out there for academic programs in esports,” said Lee Farquhar, Associate Professor of Journalism and Sports Media at Butler. “The growth of gaming and esports presents a tremendous opportunity to connect student passion with the jobs of a growing industry. In addition to game development and design, I envision continued growth for esports programs centered on business, communication, media production, and gaming studies.”

“Butler serving as the host university is only fitting, as it’s true to two things: Indiana and esports,” said Bill Dever, President of Indiana Esports Development. “The rapid launch of esports is proving to be a huge benefit for Indiana and is a growing identity for everyone involved. This Esports Combine will solidify that position, and while this year it’s only virtual for safety purposes, we’re going to make it grand.”

“We are excited to host the 2020 Esports Combine in partnership with Indiana Esports Development LLC and Indiana Sports Corp,” said Eric Kammeyer, Director of Esports and Gaming Technology at Butler. “The convention provides Butler Esports with the ability to expand the foundation in competition, curriculum, and community engagement. Indianapolis as a host city is an energetic hub for esports, and like Butler, thrives in innovative technology, hosting large events and sports competitions.”

Since 2019, Indiana has emerged as a bustling esports hub in the U.S. Beyond The Esports Combine, Indiana has pushed a strong esports agenda:

  • Indiana colleges, such as Butler, and high schools are implementing esports programs that benefit students.
  • Pacers Gaming is becoming a prominent philanthropy source in the sports and gaming communities, with the launch of a Make-A-Wish partnership.
  • State associations are creating esports leagues and reinventing recreational soccer for youth.
  • Esports startups such as Challonge, ggCircuit, Harena Data, Beastcoast, and many others are thriving in the Indiana economy.

 

The Combine is a partnership between Indiana Sports Corp and Indiana-based Harena Data. It serves as a celebration of esports and its ever-increasing place in the academic world. The event will help players receive varsity team offers and scholarships from colleges and universities throughout North America.

 

About Butler University
Butler University is a nationally recognized comprehensive university encompassing six colleges: Arts, Business, Communication, Education, Liberal Arts & Sciences, and Pharmacy & Health Sciences. Approximately 4,600 undergraduate and 800 graduate students are enrolled at Butler, representing 45 states and 30 countries. More than 75 percent of Butler students will participate in some form of internship, and Butler students have had significant success after graduation, as demonstrated by the University’s 98 percent placement rate within six months of graduation. The University was recently listed as the No. 1 regional university in the Midwest, according to the U.S. News & World Report Best Colleges Rankings, in addition to being included in The Princeton Review’s annual “best colleges” guidebook.

 

About GYO
GYO Score is an esports and gaming data analytics platform that seeks to support gamers and esports at all levels. With its game data analytics tools, team management, player profile, and league tool systems, GYO supports gamers and esports-enthusiasts of all competition levels to pursue their dream of esports stardom and community building. To date, GYO Score has helped facilitate more than 200 esports scholarship offers and boasts more than 30,000 players on its platform since it launched in September 2019. To learn more about GYO, please visit www.gyo.gg.

 

About Harena Data, Inc
Founded in 2017, Harena Data has developed GYO Score to be a data analytics, league development, and player management tool for the esports industry. The principles of Harena Data have a strong background in esports, event management, motion picture production, and telecommunications. In addition to GYO Score, Harena Data specializes in esports consultation regarding the development and deployment of esports venues, scholastic esports programs, and esports league concepts.

 

Media contact:
Wahid Lodin
Harena Data
Director of PR & Communications
Wahid@gyoscore.com 

esports
Campus

Butler Joins The Esports Combine as Hosting University

Indiana rises as esports hub in America

Oct 08 2020 Read more
Major Gift from Diane Meyer Simon
Butler Beyond

Major Gift from Diane Meyer Simon to Support Center for Urban Ecology and Sustainability

BY Jennifer Gunnels

PUBLISHED ON Oct 07 2020

Diane Meyer Simon ՚68 recently made a $500,000 estate commitment to Butler University, which will be used to create the Mikhail Gorbachev Fund for the Center for Urban Ecology and Sustainability (CUES) and to name the CUES office and teaching space in Gorbachev’s honor in the renovated and expanded sciences complex on Butler’s campus.

Meyer Simon and Gorbachev have worked together on environmental sustainability issues for more than 25 years and in 1994 co-founded Global Green, the United States affiliate of Green Cross International (GCI). The new endowed fund will provide ongoing support for the work of the CUES, whose vision is to be a national leader in the engagement of undergraduate students in the study, research, and practice of urban ecology and sustainability through established local leadership in urban ecology research, sustainability best practices, and community engagement in Indianapolis.

“Both Butler University and Mikhail Gorbachev are beloved influences in my life. I wanted to honor both in an appropriate way,” Meyer Simon says. “It is my hope that this gift will engage more students to study urban ecology as well as strengthen the study of sciences aided by the new Sciences Renovation and Expansion at Butler.”

The CUES was formally founded in 2008 and includes The Farm at Butler, a one-acre sustainable agriculture project on the west side of Butler’s campus. Led by Director Julia Angstmann, the CUES connects students, faculty, staff, and community partners for collaboration on interdisciplinary research and education through place-based projects and public discourse. One such current project is a partnership between the Department of Sociology and the CUES, along with a number of local nonprofit organizations, to understand how organizational structure influences approaches to solving food access and food justice challenges in Indianapolis.

“Adequately mitigating global challenges such as climate change and social injustice require the engagement and participation of a multitude of perspectives, expertise, and experiences,” Angstmann says. “The Center brings together students from every College on campus, as well as faculty, staff, and community stakeholders to research and devise innovative solutions to local challenges on our campus and in our city.”

Meyer Simon’s lifelong passion for public service and activism began during her years at Butler. While working toward an undergraduate degree in psychology, Meyer Simon was in attendance at Robert F. Kennedy’s famous Indianapolis speech on April 4, 1968, during which he announced the assissination of Martin Luther King, Jr. Meyer Simon calls that experience a turning point in her life, and she promptly joined Kennedy’s 1968 presidential campaign as an aide to Kennedy’s press secretary, Dick Drayne. Meyer Simon went on to serve on Indiana Senator Birch Bayh’s staff for more than 12 years, and later co-founded Eco Partners, an all-female ecological consulting firm.

In 1993, Meyer Simon learned that Mikhail Gorbachev, Nobel Peace Prize laureate and former President of the USSR, was establishing GCI in response to the 1992 Rio Earth Summit’s call to create a “Red Cross for the environment.” Meyer Simon wrote Gorbachev a letter of support and congratulations and mentioned her work with Eco Partners. In response, Meyer Simon was invited to attend the second meeting of GCI in Moscow. At the conclusion of the meeting, Gorbachev asked Meyer Simon to found the American affiliate of GCI and to serve on the GCI Honorary Board. With help from her friends Pat Mitchell, Marianne Williamson, and Matt Petersen, Global Green USA was born.

Meyer Simon sees the work of the CUES at Butler as an important local expression of the work she and Gorbachev have sought to promote on a national and international scale. Angstmann says the gift will help to engage the next generation of leaders in the work of environmental sustainability.

“This gift will allow the CUES to increase opportunities for student leadership positions in our Sustainability Leadership Cohort program, which will also allow us to expand partnership projects with campus and community partners,” Angstmann says. “Both will impact student experiences and learning, as well as further progress sustainability and urban ecology in our city.”

Along with the endowed fund to provide ongoing programmatic support for the CUES, a portion of Meyer Simon’s gift will go toward the Sciences Expansion and Renovation project, which is currently under construction. Named in Gorbachev’s honor, a portion of the project will include new, expanded office space for the CUES in Gallahue Hall, as well as a multi-functional space that will serve as a teaching and gathering space for learning, partnership, collaboration, and project development. Butler recently surpassed $30 million raised toward its $42 million fundraising goal for the project, which will add nearly 44,000 square feet of new space for teaching, research, collaboration, and study, plus a 13,140-square-foot atrium connecting Gallahue Hall to the Holcomb building.

“On behalf of Butler University and my colleagues in the College of Liberal Arts and Sciences, I am extremely grateful to Diane Meyer Simon for this meaningful gift to support the Center for Urban Ecology and Sustainability at Butler,” says Jay Howard, Dean of the College of Liberal Arts and Sciences. “Through the CUES, our students and faculty are engaged in valuable collaborations with community partners in searching for solutions to real-world challenges facing our city and broader global community. This support for the Sciences Expansion and Renovation project and interdisciplinary initiatives like those happening in the CUES will have a broad impact, enhancing the learning experiences available to every Butler student.”

 

Butler Beyond: The Campaign for Butler University is the University’s largest-ever comprehensive fundraising campaign, with a goal of $250 million to support student access and success, innovations in teaching and learning, and community partnerships.

 

Media Contact:
Katie Grieze
News Content Manager
kgrieze@butler.edu
260-307-3403

Major Gift from Diane Meyer Simon
Butler Beyond

Major Gift from Diane Meyer Simon to Support Center for Urban Ecology and Sustainability

The $500,000 estate commitment will be used to create the Mikhail Gorbachev Fund

Oct 07 2020 Read more

Where to Eat Near Butler

By Hailey Radakovitz ’21

Hailey Radakovitz is a senior at Butler with a major in Strategic Communication and minors in Spanish and Marketing.

 

Even if it now means ordering takeout or finding a seat outdoors, Butler students enjoy access to Indianapolis’ amazing assortment of restaurants and cafés. Here’s a tried-and-true list of some of the best spots to dine near Butler’s campus—just be sure to stay safe.

 

317 Burger

(GF and Vegetarian options available)

Located in the center of nearby Broad Ripple, 317 Burger’s specialty is—you guessed it—burgers. Their beef burgers are made with 100 percent premium Black Angus beef, and they also serve bison, turkey, veggie, and impossible patties. 317 crafts meals with high-quality ingredients, which helps set their burgers apart from the rest.

What to try: The 317 Burger & a side of Garlic Parmesan Fries

Open for carryout, delivery, dine in, and patio service.

 

Café Patachou

(GF, Vegetarian, and Vegan options available)

A favorite Sunday brunch spot among students and locals alike, Café Patachou offers delicious breakfast and lunch favorites with their own unique twist. Their menu is filled with sandwiches, omelets, soups, salads, and specialty coffee drinks. Located just a short drive (or even a long walk) from campus, Café Patachou is an easy and dependable go-to for many students.

What to try: The Omelette You Can’t Refuse

Open for carryout, dine in, and patio service.

 

Napolese

(GF, Vegetarian, and Vegan options available)

Patachou’s artisanal pizza joint is the perfect place for a night out. With multiple locations around Indianapolis, a delicious pie is never far. Napolese’s menu features fresh salads, pizza made with hand-formed dough and homemade sauce, and a wide array of wines for those 21 and older. With a modern and stylish atmosphere, Napolese is a great place to unwind and enjoy a weekend dinner.

What to try: The Margherita Pizza & the Napolese Double Chopped House Salad

Open for carryout, dine in, and patio service.

 

Ripple Bagel & Deli

(Vegetarian options available)

Broad Ripple Bagel & Deli is the place to go for bagels near Butler. With a wide array of spreads and toppings, their bagel sandwiches are anything but basic. This place is great for breakfast, lunch, or a snack any time of day.

What to try: The Banana Surprise & The Morning Mess

Open for carryout, dine in, and patio service.

 

St. Elmo Steak House

(GF options available)

For special occasions such as Family Weekend or graduation, St. Elmo is the place to be. As one of Indy’s most well-known restaurants, it is notorious for its incredible shrimp cocktail and steaks. Not only does St. Elmo serve great food, but it also has history and a consistent reputation—the restaurant is Indy’s oldest steakhouse still in its original location, and it has also been named one of Forbes“10 Great Classic Restaurants Well Worth Visiting.”

What to try: The famous St. Elmo Shrimp Cocktail

Open for reservations.

 

Provider 

(Vegetarian options available)

If you’re looking for an inviting coffee shop where you can study and grab a latte, Provider is an ideal spot to check out. With a cool, modern interior and plenty of seating, this coffeehouse is the perfect place to grab a drink and catch up on assignments with a few friends.

What to try: The Ginger Latte & a pastry

Open for curbside pickup or walk-up window with outdoor seating.

 

Chatham Tap

(Vegetarian options available)

With a location right on Butler’s campus, this laid-back pub emphasizes sandwiches and appetizers and also serves a wide array of draught and bottled beer for the 21+ crowd. Conveniently located just a short walk from Hinkle Fieldhouse, Chatham is an especially great place to pick up a quick and satisfying meal on game day.

What to try: The Fish and Chips or any order of wings

Open for carryout, delivery, dine in, and patio service.

Chatham Tap
Admission

Where to Eat Near Butler

If you're looking to grab take-out or sit down to a socially distanced meal near campus, check out these Bulldog favorites

Chatham Tap

Where to Eat Near Butler

By Hailey Radakovitz ’21

A Dawg’s Guide to Fall in Indy

By Maddy Kline ’21

Maddy Kline is a senior Journalism major with minors in Spanish and International Studies.

 

Bulldogs, it’s finally that time of year. The humidity has simmered into a crisp breeze, and hammocks are swaying in the brilliantly colored trees. As the weather beckons you to ditch the dorms and head outside, you may find yourself at a loss for what to do. But don’t despair—these juniors and seniors have provided a guide to doing fall right in Indy.

 

Ryan Gernady ’22
Environmental Studies major

“I like to go on long walks around campus, probably in Holcomb Gardens or by the bell tower.”

There’s no place like home, right? Butler’s campus undergoes a golden transformation in the fall, and Holcomb Gardens is the perfect place to witness it. Take a walk around the fountain, sit on the steps to the bell tower, or even take a hike along the paths in the woods to fully experience all campus has to offer this time of year.

More spots to hike in Indy:

 

Erin Pushic ’21
Marketing major

“Around this time, I love trying a lot of new restaurants around Indy—definitely a big foodie.”

Indianapolis is certainly a city that loves its food, and fall is the perfect time to enjoy the extra safety of outdoor dining. Don’t worry, picky eaters: The vast landscape of Indy’s food scene has something for everyone. Dig into warm, Southern comfort food at the newly opened Root & Bone, or enjoy a classic burger and shake combo at Baby’s.

Butler favorites:

 

Mason Lovett ’22
Computer Science and Math major

“I like to walk the canal and go to Newfields. Honestly, I just like walking around the grounds there—getting outside.”

Newfields, home to the Indianapolis Museum of Art and more than 100 acres of gardens and woodland, is a hot spot for seasonal festivities. Now is the perfect time to check out the museum, as it’s hosting its fall festival Harvest Nights for the entire month of October.

Note: Typically, all Butler students have access to a free Newfields annual membership, but this program is not currently offered due to increased safety measures.

More Indy museums:

 

Sam Nakis ’22
Computer Science and Software Engineering major

“Perhaps Tuttle Orchards. It’s fun to go with friends and pick out pumpkins and apples.”

Tuttle Orchards is both a student and Indianapolis favorite. Explore the apple orchard, stumble through the corn maze, or pop into the store for some hot cider and apple cinnamon donuts. Be sure to get there early on weekdays, or make a reservation to visit on a Saturday.

More Indy orchards:

 

Drew Sandifer ’21
Sports Media major

“I really like to throw a hoodie and some sweatpants on, make a fire out back, and enjoy the cooling weather. I love a good s’more; the only way to cook a s’more is to just put it in the fire until it’s burnt black. Any other way is wrong.”

Please don’t rush to start a bonfire on the mall, but Butler’s campus has plenty of firepits outside of dorms. Throw on a sweatshirt and bring your laptop outside to enjoy that campfire aesthetic while finishing your FYS homework.

Great campfire recipes:

 

Carli Medina ’21
Health Sciences and Spanish major

“I love being able to be outside and hammock in this weather. At night, I like hanging out with my roommates and watching scary movies.”

It only takes a short stroll around campus to see students’ never-ending love for the art of hammocking. Take advantage of having wifi outside, and curl up with a spooky movie at dusk. Check out Broad Ripple’s Rusted Moon Outfitters for all your hammocking supplies, and pick a film from this extensive list.

Other unique movie spots in Indy:

 

Bridget Early ’21
Political Science major

“We have a firepit in our backyard, so those have been really fun. Doing firepits and having s’mores with pals.”

What goes with an autumnal bonfire better than s’mores? Scary stories and urban legends. Gather around the firepit, snuggle up in a blanket, and distract yourself from the immanence of midterms with some stories.

Explore Indy in the fall:

 

Meghan Stratton ’21
Organizational Communication and Critical Media Communication major

“My favorite new fall activity is going to Trader Joe’s and buying everything fall-seasoned or flavored.”

In the past month, Trader Joe’s has released a huge amount of mouth-watering fall items. Treat yourself to some pumpkin spice and everything nice products—you deserve it.

Trader Joe's fall must-haves:

  • Honeycrisp apple candle
  • Pumpkin butter
  • Chocolate-covered pretzel crisps
Blue at pumpkin patch
Student-Centered

A Dawg’s Guide to Fall in Indy

After spending a few autumns as Butler students in Indianapolis, these Bulldogs share tips for making the most of the cooler weather

Blue at pumpkin patch

A Dawg’s Guide to Fall in Indy

By Maddy Kline ’21

Bulldogs Adapt: First-Year Students Share their Fall Semester Experiences

By Catalina Gallegos ’21

 

 

These Butler students began their time on campus in a year like no other. They are masking up or logging on for classes, and they’re finding ways to stay safe while making new friends. So, what has it been like? 

VIDEO PRODUCED BY: Catalina Gallegos ’21, Journalism major, Digital Media Production Minor

first-year students
AdmissionStudent-Centered

Bulldogs Adapt: First-Year Students Share their Fall Semester Experiences

These Butler students began their time on campus in a year like no other. So, what has it been like? 

Making the Difficult Decisions: Butler Leaders Strive for In-Person Semester

By Nicki Clark ’22

Nicki Clark is a student in Butler’s Class of 2022, majoring in Journalism and minoring in Digital Media Production.  

 

Butler University has begun in-person instruction amid the same pandemic that forced classes to move online during the spring 2020 semester. That wouldn’t have been possible without the people working behind the scenes to keep campus safe.

The first day of in-person classes on September 7 followed two weeks of virtual learning that kicked off the fall semester. While classes were supposed to be held in person from the start, University leaders made the difficult decision to begin the year online due to an uptick in positive COVID-19 cases on campus. Since then, the number of active cases has dropped significantly, allowing students to return to classrooms.

Brent Rockwood, Butler’s Chief of Staff, says the University is using a methodical, data-driven approach for its COVID-19 response. The choice to move the first two weeks of classes online, for example, was mainly due to a three-day time period when the campus positivity rate increased from 0.5 percent to 2 percent. The University was also struggling to get into contact with students for contact tracing.

“Because of the exponential factor with the virus, 2 percent can very quickly become 6 percent,” Rockwood says. “We all have the goal to have a successful, in-person semester, and we felt going online for two weeks improved our chances of that happening. We’re in a much better place now than we were when we decided to start the semester remotely.”

While the University has had a whole host of internal teams managing its response to COVID-19 for the last six months, leaders are still learning and restructuring their approach every day. Rockwood has regular meetings via Zoom and phone calls with other universities and businesses in the area, as well as with city and state leaders, to collaborate with them on issues that arise.

Although University leaders are tailoring plans specifically to Butler’s campus, they are able to draw inspiration from some of the systems that other schools and organizations have put in place. The Covid Concerns form, for example, was picked up from the BIG EAST, and an improved testing strategy was modeled after Yale University’s.

During the first two weeks of classes, the Health Services team continued working hard to keep the virus under control. The University also expanded its contact tracing staff, making that process more efficient.

“Health Services has been tremendous,” Rockwood says. “They’re led by Rhonda Jackson, who works around the clock. I really don’t think she even sleeps.”

The work of Health Services has allowed Butler to increase its testing capacity, offering tests to anyone with symptoms, individuals (and their roommates) who have come in close contact with a positive case, and those who are quarantined. Butler is also testing samples of asymptomatic students throughout the semester.

This increase of testing, along with the two-week online period, helped Butler get classes back in-person.

Gary Edgerton, a Professor of Creative Media and Entertainment, says that with the training faculty members received on how to conduct classes in the COVID-19 era, he was more than happy to have students back in the classroom. Edgerton says so far in his classes, he has seen no deviation from Butler’s health and safety guidelines.

Tory Combs, Butler’s Student Government Association Chief of Staff, says she believes that classes being virtual for the first two weeks encouraged students to take the rules more seriously.

“After being online for two weeks, I think it made students think more about what they can do to keep us in person as opposed to online,” Combs says. “I’ve seen people being really responsible about wiping down desks and wearing masks since we’ve been in person.”

Even after classes began in person, the positivity rate on campus has continued to decline.

“We didn’t want to have to go online for two weeks, but it was the best thing to do,” Rockwood says. “Looking back on it now, sometimes the right decision isn’t the easiest one. Hats off to the students. The social distancing, wearing masks, refraining from large gatherings—it’s working. We want to continue having a successful, in-person semester, and we’re on the right track.”

Butler campus
Campus

Making the Difficult Decisions: Butler Leaders Strive for In-Person Semester

Thanks to hard work from faculty, staff, and students, Butler is still on track to keeping classrooms open this fall

Inside Butler
Campus

Inside Butler: An On-Campus Update

BY

PUBLISHED ON Sep 25 2020

 

“Homecoming is a time to celebrate our Butler pride, and while it’s been a difficult year in so many ways, we certainly still have many reasons to celebrate,” said President James Danko during a virtual event for the Butler University community on Friday afternoon.

Inside Butler: An On-Campus Update kicked off a weekend of online festivities for AT HOMEcoming 2020. The event provided an inside look at life on campus this semester, including updates from President Danko and other University leaders on how Butler has adapted and continues to provide an excellent educational experience despite COVID-19 restrictions.

“I do want to commend our students, faculty, and staff for their remarkable resilience and the flexibility they have demonstrated this year,” President Danko said. “We can all be extremely proud of the way this community has come together and exhibited the true nature of The Butler Way through acts of caring, sacrifice, and generosity. I also want to extend my deep appreciation for our alumni, trustees, donors, and friends. Your loyalty, leadership, and concern for the well-being of our students has been a source of great stability and strength for Butler this year.”

The community also heard from Dr. Terri Jett, Professor of Political Science and Butler’s Special Assistant to the Provost for Diversity and Inclusivity, who was recently appointed Faculty Director of the Butler University Hub for Black Affairs and Community Engagement.

“My work will coordinate and address the belonging and connection of our Black faculty, staff, students, and alumni,” Dr. Jett said of the new role, “in a manner that moves us to bring Ovid Butler’s prophetic vision into the present day.”

Dr. Jett provided updates on Butler’s efforts to eliminate racism on campus and create a welcoming environment for all, including the recent addition of a Social Justice and Diversity requirement for students, as well as ongoing faculty and staff workshops focused on diversity, equity, and inclusion.

Dr. Frank E. Ross III, Vice President for Student Affairs, shared how Butler has continued to engage students outside the classroom this semester. Many activities have adapted, moving either online or outdoors. Student support centers across campus, such as the Center for Faith and Vocation, the Diversity Center, and Health Services, have also worked hard to continue providing important resources.

“This semester is certainly unlike any other semester we have seen at Butler, and navigating the uncertainties of the pandemic has been quite a challenge,” Dr. Ross said. “I want to applaud our students, our faculty, and our staff for their resilience and agility in working together toward our goal of having a successful in-person fall semester.”

Butler Basketball fans who tuned in got to hear from Athletics Director Barry Collier ’76 that, as of now, the winter season is on. The men’s basketball season is scheduled to begin November 25.

Jonathan Purvis, Vice President of Advancement, thanked donors for their tremendous support over the last year, including $100,000 in emergency relief for Butler students hit hardest by the financial impact of COVID-19. He also announced that the University has exceeded $185 million in gifts toward Butler Beyond’s $250 million campaign goal.

“With your ongoing generosity,” Purvis said, “I’m confident that we’ll exceed this goal and continue to push Butler beyond the limits of today and into the future that our alumni, students, and faculty are creating.”

President Danko wrapped up the event by recognizing the recipients of Butler’s 2020 Alumni Awards, which honor individuals who have demonstrated extraordinary professional achievement and service to the University and their communities.

Inside Butler
Campus

Inside Butler: An On-Campus Update

The pandemic isn’t stopping Bulldogs from celebrating Butler during AT HOMEcoming 2020

Sep 25 2020 Read more
Butler University
Campus

Butler Presents Annual Alumni Awards, Recognizing Service to the University

BY Larry Clow

PUBLISHED ON Sep 23 2020

Seven Butler University alumni, one professor emeritus, and a former Trustee and his spouse are the recipients of Butler’s annual Alumni Awards. These individuals have demonstrated extraordinary professional achievement and service to the University and their communities. Honorees will be recognized this year online at butler.edu/homecoming as part of Butler’s AT HOMEcoming 2020 festivities, beginning on Friday, September 25. An in-person recognition program is slated for 2021.

This year’s recipients are:

  • Butler Medal: Thomas A. King ’66 
  • Butler Service Medal: James W. Berry
  • Robert Todd Duncan Alumni Achievement Award: Wendi C. Thomas ’93
  • Katharine Merrill Graydon Alumni Service Award: Mary Majewski Shaw ’93 
  • Hilton Ultimus Brown Alumni Achievement Award: Brandon M. Gaudin ’06 
  • Joseph Irwin Sweeney Alumni Service Award: Michael R. Bennett ’09
  • Mortar Award: Albert and Margaret Chen
  • Foundation Award: Scott ’03 and Katie Nichols ’05 

 

Butler Medal: Thomas A. King ’66 

Thomas A. King ’66 has been active in nonprofit management, community development, and philanthropy in Indiana throughout a wide-ranging career that has spanned more than five decades.

Following his graduation from Butler in 1966, King worked as a newspaper reporter for The Indianapolis Star and then joined the United States Air Force during the Vietnam War. After four years as an Air Force officer, King returned to Indianapolis, where he held a variety of positions at the Indianapolis Chamber of Commerce. He served as the Chamber’s president from 1979 to 1991. During his tenure as president, King led the Chamber’s study of Indianapolis’ infrastructure, which set the course for capital improvements during the next 20 years. He was also involved in building the Hoosier Dome and bringing the Colts to the city.

King later served as president of the Eli Lilly and Company Foundation, where he directed the company’s philanthropic strategies and managed global corporate responsibility practices. He shared his expertise with students at Butler and Indiana University—Purdue University Indianapolis as an adjunct instructor, teaching nonprofit management, ethics, and leadership courses.

Following his retirement from the Eli Lilly and Company Foundation, King was involved in consulting. He concluded his career as president and CEO of the Indiana State Museum and Historic Sites. He has served in volunteer leadership capacities for several community organizations, including Big Brothers of Central Indiana, Goodwill of Central Indiana, the Indiana Sports Corporation, and the Arthur Jordan Foundation.

King is an emeritus member of Butler’s Board of Trustees, as well as a recipient of the Butler University Outstanding Alumni Award, the 2005 Michael A. Carroll Award from the Indianapolis Business Journal, the 2011 S. Henry Bundles Service Award from the Center for Leadership Development, and the 2015 Charles L. Whistler Award from the Greater Indianapolis Progress Committee, among many others. He is a two-time recipient of the Sagamore of the Wabash.

King and his wife, Verletta, have been married 55 years and have three sons and seven grandchildren. His current interests include Butler basketball, organizational effectiveness, golf, and woodworking.

The Butler Medal is the highest honor conferred by the Butler University Alumni Association. It recognizes individuals for a lifetime of distinguished service to either Butler University or their local community, while at the same time achieving a distinguished career in their chosen profession and attaining a regional—or even a national—reputation. Since 1959, this award has recognized individuals who have helped immeasurably toward perpetuating the University as a great educational and cultural institution and have had a profound influence on the course of Butler University.

 

Butler Service Medal: James W. Berry

Dr. James W. Berry is a Professor Emeritus of Biological Sciences at Butler University. A member of the University’s faculty from 1965 until his retirement in 1997, Berry’s academic career has taken him across the country and around the globe.

Berry received his bachelor’s degree from East Tennessee State University in 1957 and his master’s degree from Virginia Polytechnic Institute and State University in 1958. He went on to Duke University, where he completed his PhD studies in 1965. After a one-year stint teaching Zoology at Butler, Berry received a postdoctoral appointment at the University of Miami and began what would become a 50-year survey of spiders in the Florida Everglades.

In 1967, Berry returned to the Zoology Department at Butler. Along with his duties at the University, he was also hired by the Atomic Energy Commission to investigate the effects of atomic bomb blasts on Pacific Island flora and fauna. He spent two summers in 1968 and 1969 studying spiders on the Pacific atolls Eniwetok and Kwajalein.

He returned to the South Pacific in 1973 during his first sabbatical to continue his study of spiders there. His wife, Betsy, acted as his field assistant as they covered the Mariana and Caroline Islands from Guam to Helen Reef. They returned again in 1980 for Berry’s second sabbatical, this time with daughter Tina in tow, and lived for six months on the Micronesian island of Yap.

In 1988, Berry began work on organizing the first Butler Undergraduate Research Conference. The inaugural conference took place in 1989, with 50 students from colleges across Indiana. During the next three decades, the conference expanded and now hosts more than 750 students representing institutions throughout the Midwest.

Berry completed his survey of spiders in the Everglades in 2009 and submitted his study for publication this year. He is a member of the American Arachnological Society, the International Society of Arachnology, and the Indiana Academy of Science. Berry is a past fellow of the Indiana Academy of Science and a research associate for the Florida State Collection of Arthropods. He received the Special Services Award from the Indiana Academy of Science in 2012.

Since the 1980s, Berry has loaned his family’s antique sleigh out to the Jordan College of the Arts’ production of The Nutcracker. The sleigh is a familiar sight to the Butler community (and, according to Berry, looks “a lot more magical with the Clowes Hall lighting than it does in real life”), and he is proud to have a part in a production that is still enchanting the Indianapolis community.

The Butler Service Medal, established by the Alumni Association in 2001, is the second-highest honor conferred by the Butler University Alumni Association and is reserved for recognition of emeriti faculty or retired faculty and staff (graduate or non-graduate). The recipient will have achieved a lifetime of distinguished service to Butler University and/or the community. Recipients will have helped to shape the past and future successes of Butler and therefore shown a profound influence.

 

Robert Todd Duncan Alumni Achievement Award: Wendi C. Thomas ’93

Wendi C. Thomas ’93 is the founding editor and publisher of MLK50: Justice Through Journalism, a nonprofit newsroom in Memphis focused on poverty, power, and public policy. As part of ProPublica’s 2019 Local Reporting Network, she investigated a nonprofit hospital’s aggressive debt collection practices, which led the hospital to erase at least $11.9 million in hospital debt for more than 5,300 defendants. She is also a member of ProPublica’s 2020 Local Reporting Network.

Previously, she was metro columnist and assistant managing editor at The (Memphis) Commercial Appeal. She has also worked for The Charlotte Observer, The (Nashville) Tennessean and The Indianapolis Star. Thomas was a 2016 fellow at the Nieman Foundation for Journalism at Harvard University.

Thomas is the 2020 Selden Ring Award winner for investigative reporting and won first place in the Association of Health Care Journalists’ 2019 awards for business reporting. Her “Profiting from the Poor” investigation tied for first place in the Investigative Reporters & Editors 2019 awards.

In 2019, Thomas received the National Association of Black Journalists’ Best Practices award. In 2018, she was named Journalist of the Year by Journalism and Women Symposium. She was inducted into the Scripps Hall of Fame for commentary in 2008. She is a graduate of Butler University and a proud product of public schools.

The Robert Todd Duncan Award recognizes a graduate who is established in their career, and whose personal and/or professional accomplishment brings honor and distinction to the University, and individual attainment and/or contributions for the betterment of society. This award honors the spirit and accomplishments of Robert Duncan, a 1925 graduate, noted opera singer, and educator who in 1945, became the first African American to sing with a major white opera company, the New York City Opera Company.

 

Katharine Merrill Graydon Alumni Service Award: Mary Majewski Shaw ’93 

Mary Majewski Shaw ’93 attended Butler University on a full basketball scholarship and graduated with high honors in Business Marketing. Elected captain for three out of four years on the team, Shaw started every game and was the first player in Butler Women’s Basketball history to lead the Bulldogs in assists per game for four consecutive seasons. She achieved a number of milestones during her basketball career at Butler, including 332 career steals (the second-highest total in Butler and Horizon League history), the all-time record for minutes played, and being part of the top-10 players on Butler’s all-time list for three-point field goal shooting. She was inducted into Butler’s Hall of Fame in 2006 in recognition of her achievements. 

Shaw started her business, Your Image Works (YIW), in 1998. The only NCAA internal licensee owned by a woman, YIW counts among its clients OrthoIndy, Indiana University, Butler, and the NCAA. She credits her years as a student athlete with helping her serve her clients. In 2015, she established AP Property, a property management business.

She is a familiar face to Butler alumni in Central Indiana. Shaw served as a volunteer steering committee member for the Central Indiana Butler Community from 2010 to 2020, with seven of those years as vice president. She was a vital player in developing the annual Bulldog Crawl. She was also a member of the B Association for 12 years. During the last year, she joined Butler’s Board of Visitors and serves as an advisor to the Butler Giving Circle. She is also a board member for Aspire House Brand.

Shaw believes in Butler and calls herself a “huge cheerleader” for the University and its students. In 2017, she supported Butler Volleyball’s travels to Brazil, and she often hosts the women’s volleyball and basketball teams at her home. She also enjoys mentoring local high school seniors and connecting them with Butler professors.

The Katharine Merrill Graydon Alumni Service Award recognizes a graduate who is established in their career, and who has displayed and recognizes a long-term commitment of outstanding service to the University. The recipients of this award have provided demonstrable service to the University to assist in perpetuating Butler as a great educational and cultural institution. This award honors the memory of Katharine Graydon, who graduated from Butler in 1878 and was a Professor of English Literature at the University from 1907 to 1930, receiving an honorary doctorate of literature in 1928. Graydon served as the Alumni Secretary and Editor of the Alumnal Quarterly from its first edition in 1922 until her retirement in 1929, when she was named Professor Emerita.

 

Hilton Ultimus Brown Alumni Achievement Award: Brandon M. Gaudin ’06 

Brandon Gaudin ’06 is a play-by-play announcer for multiple national platforms. He broadcasts NFL football, college football, and college basketball for FOX Sports and the Big Ten Network. He also calls men’s NCAA basketball for the Westwood One radio network.

Gaudin is also the play-by-play voice for Madden NFL by EA Sports and has been featured as the lead voice on a number of national ad campaigns. His three seasons as the play-by-play voice for the Georgia Tech Yellow Jackets earned him features in The New York Times, USA Today, and SportsIllustrated.com.

However, Gaudin is best known to Bulldogs as the play-by-play voice for Butler Basketball and was on the call for the Bulldogs’ trip to the Final Four in 2011. During his years at Butler, he was named Most Outstanding Communications Student and one of the top-10 male students in his graduating class. He is currently a member of the College of Communication’s Dean’s Advisory Board.

The Hilton Ultimus Brown Alumni Achievement Award honors a recent graduate whose personal and/or professional accomplishment brings honor and distinction to the University, and individual attainment and/or contributions for the betterment of society. Hilton U. Brown gave a lifetime of service to his career and Butler University, including serving on the Board of Trustees for 71 years. He was an award-winning newspaper journalist and Managing Editor at the Indianapolis News for more than seven decades.

 

Joseph Irwin Sweeney Alumni Service Award: Michael R. Bennett ’09

Michael R. Bennett ’09 is a director and investment counselor covering the east coast region for Citi Private Bank. Bennett works with ultra-high net worth individuals, family offices and endowments, and foundations to provide strategies for asset allocation, investment objectives, and risk management.

Before joining Citi, Bennett worked at J.P. Morgan Private Bank for 10 years. A part of the Private Bank Opportunistic Investment Council and an analyst, he ended his time at J.P. Morgan as an executive director and investment specialist.

Bennett received a Bachelor’s Degree in Finance from Butler in 2009. He played an integral part in the development and execution of Butler's New York Trek program, which provides current students a glimpse at working on Wall Street. A CFA charter-holder, he is also a board member of the D10 Decathlon and serves as the New York City board chair for Good Sports. He lives in New York City.

The Joseph Irwin Sweeney Alumni Service Award recognizes a recent alumnus who has demonstrated a significant commitment of outstanding service to the University. The award’s recipients have provided demonstrable service to the University to assist in perpetuating Butler as a great educational and cultural institution. The award honors the spirit and example of Joseph Sweeney, a young student with a great deal of potential, whose life was tragically cut short.

 

Mortar Award: Albert and Margaret Chen

Albert and Margaret Chen are the cofounders of the Telamon Corporation, headquartered in Carmel, Indiana. Founded in 1985 and named for the Greek word for “support,” Telamon has grown to a $770 million company with more than 2,000 employees. Albert is also the owner of Telamon Enterprise Ventures, LLC, which provides energy management, solar solutions, and smart manufacturing. 

During their first 20 years in business, Albert focused on external marketing and strategic planning while Margaret managed the company’s operations. They have been widely recognized for their success in business and have received several awards, including the Cummins US Diverse Supplier Award in 2014 and the Best of Tech in Indiana: Corporate Innovator of the Year award in 2016. Most recently, Telamon Corporation was named one of the best-managed private companies in the U.S.

In 2016, Margaret retired to focus on her grandchildren and faith-based activities. Albert currently oversees Telamon Enterprise Ventures and is Executive Chairman of Telamon Corporation. They are both actively involved in community service. Margaret is a former board member of the Indianapolis Symphony Orchestra. Albert is a former member of Butler University’s Board of Trustees and currently serves on the board of the Lingnan Foundation.

The Chens also are actively involved with their church and homeless outreach efforts. They enjoy giving generously to endowed scholarship funds at Indiana University, Purdue University, and Portland State University.

Albert is a graduate of the Executive Minority Business Program at Tuck School of Business, and he received an M.S. in Mathematical Sciences from Portland State University, as well as an LL.B. from National Cheng-Chi University in Taiwan. Albert received an honorary doctoral degree from his alma mater, Portland State University, in June 2017. Margaret received a B.A. in Piano Performance from Portland State University. 

The Mortar Award, created in 1995, honors one person or couple each year who personifies the Butler spirit by demonstrating great vision, leadership, and generosity to Butler University.

 

Foundation Award: Scott ’03 and Katie Nichols ’05 

Scott Nichols ’03 is president of Palmer Trucks, a Kenworth Dealership Group with 12 stores throughout the Midwest. He began working in the family business in 2008, and the business is currently celebrating its 55th anniversary.

A 2003 College of Business graduate, Nichols was a four-year Men’s Lacross player and a member of the Sigma Chi fraternity.

Dr. Katherine T. Nichols ’06 was born and raised in Terre Haute, Indiana. She received her undergraduate degree in Biology at Butler in 2006 and went on to attend the Indiana University School of Dentistry. She graduated with honors in 2010 and completed her residency program in pediatric dentistry at Riley Hospital for Children at IU Health.

Known to her patients as “Dr. Katie,” she specializes in dental care for infants, children, adolescents, and patients with special healthcare needs. She is an active member of the American Academy of Pediatric Dentistry, the American Dental Association, and the Indiana Society of Pediatric Dentistry. A Diplomate of the American Board of Pediatric Dentistry, Dr. Nichols maintains hospital privileges at St. Vincent’s Carmel Hospital and IU North Hospital.

The Nichols were married in 2008. They are members of Meridian Street United Methodist Church, the Indianapolis Children’s Museum, and the Ovid Butler Society. They are the proud parents of four children—Nolan, Knox, and twins Collin and Nora—and enjoy family bike rides, playing in the park, and cheering on the Butler Bulldogs.

“Butler University has played an integral role in shaping our lives, our businesses, our marriage, and our community outreach,” says Katie. “Our time spent at Butler shaped our view of The Butler Way and what it means to give back to an institution and programs that gave so much to you.”

The Foundation Award, created in 2011, honors one person or couple (age 40 and younger) each year who personifies the Butler spirit by demonstrating leadership and generosity to Butler University.

 

Please join us for Inside Butler: An On-Campus Update on Friday, September 25, at 3:30 PM EST, where we will be honoring the recipients of the Alumni Awards.

Butler University
Campus

Butler Presents Annual Alumni Awards, Recognizing Service to the University

This year's honorees will be recognized online as part of Butler’s AT HOMEcoming 2020 festivities

Sep 23 2020 Read more
Lewellyn research
Innovation

Fruit Flies Could Help Scientists Understand Human Fertility

BY Katie Grieze

PUBLISHED ON Sep 22 2020

Even though about one in 10 individuals experience problems with fertility, the cause of infertility is often unknown. At Butler University, Lindsay Lewellyn is trying to change that.

The Associate Professor of Biological Sciences has received a grant from the National Institutes of Health (NIH) totaling $413,086 over the next three years. Her research aims to learn more about how reproductive cells are normally formed, which she hopes will lead to a better understanding of how defects in their development can cause infertility.

Lewellyn, with the help of several undergraduate student-researchers, is focusing on structures called intercellular bridges. These structures aid in the formation of egg and sperm cells by connecting developing germ cells with other germ cells, or with supporting “nurse” cells. Intercellular bridges allow nutrients, proteins, and other essential materials to be shared between neighboring cells, and defects in these structures can affect development in ways that negatively impact fertility.

Using the female fruit fly as a model organism, Lewellyn’s project examines a handful of proteins involved in the development of intercellular bridges to better understand how these structures are formed and how they are able to stably connect cells during periods of significant growth. Lewellyn has already characterized four proteins she believes play a role in this process. Now, by altering the levels and localization of these proteins, she’s trying to figure out how they could work together.

“If we are able to characterize the specific roles of these proteins in the fruit fly, it’s possible that those same proteins contribute to intercellular bridge formation and stability in humans,” Lewellyn says, explaining how this research could impact our understanding of human fertility. “What’s really nice about using the fruit fly as a model is that in the developing fruit fly egg, these intercellular bridges are relatively large and easy to see.”

But of course they’re still small—only about 10 micrometers wide at most—so Lewellyn says the research team spends a lot of time at microscopes. After extracting the fly ovaries, researchers add stains and use fluorescence microscopes to help them see the proteins they’re looking for.

In offering opportunities for students to join her research lab, Lewellyn hopes to provide valuable experience in these and other common lab techniques. But she says this kind of research also teaches transferable skills that can be applied outside the lab, including critical thinking and communication.

Lindsay Lewellyn, along with student-researchers Josephine Thestrup, Kara Stark, and Umy Shaikh, attended a research conference in Washington, DC last year. 

For Umy Shaikh, a senior who has been involved with Lewellyn’s research for more than two years, improving his ability to think critically has been a central part of the experience.

“In addition to all the technical skills—which is definitely huge—I’ve learned to think like a scientist and a researcher,” says Shaikh, who majors in Spanish and minors in Chemistry and Communication. “The mindset and mentality needed for this work has been just as, if not more, important than the actual technical skills. By constantly asking new questions, I’m able to grow in the way I conduct research, and to grow in the way I approach problems.”

Shaikh decided to pursue biological research to help prepare him for medical school, which has been his goal since arriving at Butler. He was drawn to Lewellyn’s lab because of the potential impacts of her research within the field of medicine.

“The big-picture goal of the lab is really to understand the mechanisms that lead to infertility, which is a very pervasive problem in the world,” Shaikh says. “Seeing that that was the cornerstone of her research really spoke to me because I want to effect meaningful change in any way I can.”

 

Media Contact:
Katie Grieze
News Content Manager
kgrieze@butler.edu
260-307-3403

Lewellyn research
Innovation

Fruit Flies Could Help Scientists Understand Human Fertility

Lindsay Lewellyn, Associate Professor of Biological Sciences, has received more than $400,000 from the NIH to study the development of reproductive cells

Sep 22 2020 Read more

Butler Alum Turns Lifelong Hobby into Vintage Indy Staple

By Maddy Kline ’21

Two years ago, on September 15, 2018, Aaron Marshall ’18 opened the doors to his nostalgic paradise—Naptown Thrift.

Retro hats and sports flags hang from the ceiling like streamers. The walls are plastered with an eclectic mix of movie posters, photographs, and album art from decades past—yes, Space Jam is on display. One clothing rack holds a vintage Chicago Bulls jersey, while another holds a Bugs Bunny crewneck. The entire shop is a treasure trove just waiting to be explored.

The collection has been years in the making. When Marshall was young, his parents encouraged him to explore his interest in ’80s and ’90s style at second hand stores in the area.

“That kind of got the bug in me initially to be interested in the hunt,” Marshall says, “you know, finding cool stuff and never knowing what's going to be there and checking in on things daily.”

By the time Marshall arrived as a first-year student on Butler University’s campus, he had filled a small storage unit to the brim with vintage finds. That’s when he began to consider starting a business.

“Initially, it was just me meeting up with friends from Butler, letting them dig through our finds, and kind of just throwing in prices on the fly,” Marshall says. “I think those were honestly some of my favorite Butler memories—taking my friends to that storage unit and just seeing their eyes light up.”

In 2015, Marshall created an Instagram account for the “store,” and business started booming.

Marshall and his parents grew out of their storage unit into another. And then another. Vintage aficionados from near and far contacted Marshall to see the collection and purchase products. Naptown Thrift quickly became a staple in the Indianapolis vintage scene, featured in Indianapolis Business Journal and highlighted in Visit Indy.

Naptown Thrift was not Marshall’s only endeavor to gain a significant following during his years at Butler. As a Recording Industry Studies major, he also attracted fans through his music. Under the stage name Double A, Marshall has made strides in the Indianapolis hip-hop community, with three albums and a performance at the Chreece music festival under his belt.

In 2018, Marshall graduated from Butler and was faced with the question of his future. In the end, the success of Naptown Thrift provided the answer Marshall was looking for.

“I was wondering what I wanted to do after school,” Marshall says. “But at the same time, I already knew what I wanted to do after school. It was this.”

After three years of running Naptown Thrift from social media and storage units, Marshall opened a brick and mortar store. But about a year later, disaster struck.

In October 2019, the restaurant next door to Marshall’s shop caught on fire, causing extensive smoke damage to Naptown Thrift and all its products. The shop underwent a massive deep cleaning and was temporarily closed for nearly four months.

Naptown Thrift announced its grand reopening for February 29, 2020, and loyal shoppers—many of them Butler students—waited in massive lines to sift through the racks.

Two weeks later, the COVID-19 pandemic hit. Luckily, Marshall was prepared for this disaster.

“Everything shifted to online,” Marshall says. “Actually, we already had our website in place, thanks to Butler: Part of my capstone was building our website senior year. So that was a pretty easy transition. But it was still adversity.”

Despite the ups and downs of Naptown Thrift’s young existence, Marshall celebrated the shop’s two-year anniversary on Tuesday, September 15.

You can keep up with Marshall and Naptown Thrift on the store’s Instagram page.

 

Some of Marshall’s favorite Butler memories:

  • Opening for T-Pain in the Reilly Room: “My sophomore year, T-Pain came to Butler and sold out, and me and another classmate of mine were the openers. That was my first time performing in front of 400-plus people. And, I mean, it was just cool. You can't replicate that.”
  • Hinkle Magic: “I was actually on the women's basketball team practice squad, so they got a group of guys together to scrimmage against the women's team at Butler. Getting to play on the floor of Hinkle is just something not many people can say they’ve done. I wasn’t playing in a real game, but you look up and you’re like, ‘Wow, I’m playing in Hinkle right now.’”
  • Community of Care: “Butler is a special place, and I get a lot of support still with the store from classmates at Butler, and then with music stuff. They're still sharing everything that I release. The people that I met at Butler still definitely are showing support, whether they are in Indy or somewhere else.”
Naptown Thrift
Alumni Success

Butler Alum Turns Lifelong Hobby into Vintage Indy Staple

Despite enduring a fire and a pandemic, Aaron Marshall ’18 just celebrated two years since opening Naptown Thrift

BBQ event
Experiential Learning

Chemistry Profs Connect With Alumni Through Food-Based Science Lessons

BY Katie Grieze

PUBLISHED ON Sep 16 2020

On a Saturday evening in July, Amy E. Hyduk-Cardillo ’04 and her husband heated up the ribs they’d smoked a few days earlier, booted up Zoom, and sat down to learn more about their meal.

The Science of BBQ virtual event was just the latest in an ongoing series of similar food-centric alumni gatherings. Butler University Chemistry Professors Mike Samide and Anne Wilson, in partnership with the Office of Alumni Relations and Engagement, have been teaching small groups of alumni about the science behind their favorite foods—think beer, cheese, wine, and chocolate—since 2018.

“These events allow alumni to feel like they are back in class engaging with faculty, learning something new, and talking with one another,” Wilson says.

Each lesson covers the basic history, science, and production process of the featured food item. Hyduk-Cardillo, who attended several of the Science of… events held in-person at local businesses before the start of COVID-19, says virtual events have provided some relief during the pandemic.

“What’s been the silver lining around COVID-19 is the ability to see how organizations and businesses create new events, environments for hosting events, and ways of doing business that have been unique and fun to participate in,” she says. “The virtual Science of BBQ alumni event was a perfect way to spend our otherwise very rainy Saturday evening making new Butler connections.”

Prior to the BBQ event, participants received a video covering basic methods for choosing, prepping, and cooking different kinds of meat. The event itself focused on themes like the difference between grilling and smoking, whether you should use sauce or rub, and tips for achieving the best results. Jeffrey Stroebel ’79 says he plans to use the trick of applying a dry rub beneath the skin when cooking poultry, which directly seasons the meat while taking advantage of flavorful fats that escape the skin as it cooks. Stroebel didn’t have time to buy or prepare a BBQ meal to enjoy during the event, but he’s glad he took part.

“We are more than 2,000 miles away in Bellevue, Washington,” he says, “so it’s nice to be able to stay connected.”

About 100 Butler community members from across the country attended The Science of BBQ. It was the first virtual event of the series, allowing for a bigger audience that extended beyond alumni and also included parents, faculty, staff, and trustees.

Now, Samide and Wilson are getting ready to kick off the AT HOMEcoming 2020 event schedule with a virtual Science of Beer presentation—complete with an at-home tasting experience.

“Food provides an easy way for anyone to connect with science,” Wilson says. “For some reason, food is non-threatening—probably because we handle it every day. And that offers a good entryway into being able to talk about science.”

Space is limited for the 7:00 PM EDT event on September 22, so make sure to register here if you want the inside scoop on at-home brewing.

 

How it all began

When the Butler Department of Chemistry and Biochemistry first introduced short-term study abroad courses in 2015, alumni got jealous. Why weren’t those trips offered back in their college years?

So, Wilson and Samide decided to make it happen. They planned an inaugural Alumni Travel Tour that was scheduled to take place in summer 2020, incorporating topics with mass appeal: beer, wine, cheese, and chocolate. With a variety of European destinations on the itinerary, the curriculum aimed to combine interdisciplinary science with societal and historical perspectives.

To help spread the word about the trip—but also just to engage with alumni in a new way—Wilson and Samide launched the Indianapolis-based Science of… event series. Each of the in-person gatherings involved local businesses: Science of Chocolate with alumnus-owned DeBrand Fine Chocolates, Science of Beer with Metazoa Brewing Co., Science of Cheese with Tulip Tree Creamery, and Science of Wine with Sugar Creek Winery.

Modeled after the Butler classroom experience, the sold-out events all started with about 30 minutes of teaching, followed by discussion and an experiential component (AKA, a food or beverage tasting). Samide says the educational portion is taught in layperson terms, skipping some of the complexities that would be part of a regular science class and focusing more on things like how various chemical compounds make up different flavor profiles, or how growing conditions and aging times affect the taste of wine.

The chemistry professors enjoy providing these opportunities for alumni to connect with faculty and one another, having meaningful conversations while learning something new. While COVID-19 forced the Alumni Travel Tour to be postponed until 2021, virtual versions of the Science of… events have opened doors (or web browser windows) for broader participation.

“Events like these show that the University is not just a degree mill,” Wilson says. “It really is a place where we value learning and conversation. We are living the ideals of a liberal education—that there’s always something you can learn.”

 

Media Contact:
Katie Grieze
News Content Manager
kgrieze@butler.edu
260-307-3403

BBQ event
Experiential Learning

Chemistry Profs Connect With Alumni Through Food-Based Science Lessons

‘The Science of Beer’ on September 22 will be the second virtual offering in a class-like event series focused on meaningful alumni engagement

Sep 16 2020 Read more
Butler University U.S. News Rankings
Campus

Butler Ranked No.1 in Midwest for Third Straight Year by U.S. News & World Report

BY

PUBLISHED ON Sep 14 2020

For the third straight year, Butler University has been named the No. 1 Regional University in the Midwest, according to the 2021 U.S. News & World Report Best Colleges Rankings, released today.

Butler also ranked as the No. 1 Most Innovative School for the sixth consecutive year, and No. 3 for Undergraduate Teaching.

“The 2021 U.S. News & World Report Best Colleges Rankings confirm Butler’s place as one of the region’s most outstanding, innovative institutions for teaching and learning,” says President James Danko. “These rankings reflect the ongoing excellence of our academic programs and exceptional student experience. As we continue to pursue our goal of expanding student access and success through the Butler Beyond strategic direction, we are committed to extending this valuable, quality education to a broader set of learners for the good of our community.”

In addition to its strong position in the Midwest, Butler ranked within the top 30 among nationally ranked schools (such as Elon, Princeton, and Yale Universities) in three key areas identified by U.S. News as critical in providing students with the best possible undergraduate experience: first-year experience (No. 19), senior capstone experience (No. 23), and study abroad opportunities (No. 28).

The U.S. News first-year experience category recognizes schools that have developed ways to help new students feel connected well beyond orientation week, such as Butler’s required First-Year Seminar, which introduces students to the practice of engaging with complex and unfamiliar ideas.

Senior capstone experiences give students nearing the end of their time at college the chance to create a culminating project drawing on what they’ve learned over several years. At Butler, for example, many students collaborate with faculty members on meaningful research, perform recitals, or complete other capstone projects within their academic programs.

The study abroad category highlights universities that allow students to complete a substantial amount of credit hours outside the United States, immersing themselves in new cultures. While the COVID-19 pandemic has limited travel opportunities throughout 2020, Butler normally offers more than 200 study abroad programs across 60 different countries, including several designed and led by Butler faculty.

“Our rankings are reflective of Butler’s commitment to our students," Provost Kate Morris says. "By emphasizing innovation within our curriculum, we provide students with educational experiences that prepare them to adapt to challenges and changes throughout their careers. I am tremendously proud of our faculty and staff for their dedication to student success, both inside and outside of the classroom.”

 

Media Contact:
Katie Grieze
News Content Manager
kgrieze@butler.edu
260-307-3403

Butler University U.S. News Rankings
Campus

Butler Ranked No.1 in Midwest for Third Straight Year by U.S. News & World Report

The University also ranked among top universities in three national categories

Sep 14 2020 Read more

Miss Virtual Block Party? Here’s How You Can Still Get Involved in Student Orgs

By Grace Gordon ’23

Grace Gordon is a sophomore at Butler University, where she majors in Strategic Communication and minors in Creative Writing and Creative Media and Entertainment.

 

“Student organizations may resume with approved in-person activities on Monday, September 7.”

As someone who spent the first two weeks of the fall semester patiently complying with safety guidelines, reading these words in a recent campus-wide message was one of the most exciting moments I’ve had at Butler so far. I know I am not alone in hoping that Butler students might be on their way back to having the college experience we longed for all summer.   

As we proceed with some in-person activities, you might have questions:

  • “If I missed the virtual Block Party, is it too late to get involved on campus?”
  • “What can I expect at student organization meetings?”
  • “What can I do to help make sure in-person student activities can continue throughout the fall semester?”

If you find yourself wondering some or all of these things, you are not alone. Everyone on campus is going through this together, and while I am feeling more optimistic about the future, there are certainly still a lot of unknowns. Hopefully, some of your concerns will be addressed below.          

How to get Involved

The virtual Block Party earlier this semester was an excellent alternative to our usual in-person event, which gives students the chance to explore options for getting involved on campus. But if you were unable to virtually attend, you did not miss your shot to get involved!

The first step is to sign into Butler Engage using your Butler credentials. If you are looking to get in contact with a specific club or organization, go to the “Organizations” tab and search through the 185 clubs and organizations offered at Butler. A description of the group, along with contact information, should be included on each of the organization pages.

Engage also helps you find exciting upcoming events under the “Events” tab. Everything listed here is open to all students, and you are always encouraged to attend—even if that means trying something new.

What to Expect from Organization Meetings and Events

Flexibility has certainly been the central theme of our time on campus so far, and social activities are no exception. Most clubs and organizations are finding ways to serve members both on and off campus, with many events scheduled to take place online or outdoors. The ability of certain clubs to accommodate virtual-only participation if preferred may vary, but you can learn more about an organization’s plans by contacting them directly on Engage.

Clubs can still meet in-person on campus, but this may look a little different than in previous years. The maximum number of participants will depend on the size of the room that has been reserved through Engage. At any gathering, students will need to stay at least six feet apart and wear masks at all times. Outdoor meetings may allow for more guests, but campus safety measures must still be followed.

How to Help the Semester Stay On Track

The scheduling of in-person events and organization meetings is very exciting, but we need to remember the main goal of keeping everyone safe. Continue following Butler’s health and safety practices on and off campus, and make sure you understand the safety expectations for any events you plan on attending. There are still plenty of opportunities to get involved—just remember to mask up!

Butler Blue
Student-Centered

Miss Virtual Block Party? Here’s How You Can Still Get Involved in Student Orgs

Things might look different this year, but you can still mask up and join a club on campus

Butler University
Campus

Butler’s Response to Racism/Social Injustice

BY

PUBLISHED ON Sep 10 2020

  

Butler University
Campus

Butler’s Response to Racism/Social Injustice

Just as it is our obligation to support our students at this critical moment, we also must support one another, working collaboratively to achieve lasting progress toward our shared Butler mission

Sep 10 2020 Read more
COE sign
Butler Beyond

Honoring A Mother’s Legacy: Donor Gift Supports College of Education Faculty

BY Jennifer Gunnels

PUBLISHED ON Sep 09 2020

As John Steele ’92 approached the 25th anniversary of his mother’s death earlier this summer, he discussed with his wife and father how the family might mark the occasion in a way that would honor her memory.

A lifelong learner and dedicated educator, Shirley Luhn Steele, MS ’82 died of cancer in 1995 at the age of 56. At the time of her death, she was working at The Orchard School as Head of Support Services and pursuing a PhD in neuropsychology at Indiana State University. This year, through a major gift to the College of Education (COE), John Steele established the Shirley Luhn Steele Faculty Support Endowed Fund in honor of his mother’s continuous efforts to further her own education for the benefit of her students. The gift is the first of its kind at Butler to specifically support faculty in the COE.

The fund will support faculty research, leadership development, scholarly engagement opportunities, and other specialized continuing education with a particular focus on supporting faculty in the area of special education and learning disabilities. The $125,000 gift will be matched over the next several years at a 1:1 ratio by John Steele’s employer, Eli Lilly and Company, doubling the impact of the gift.

Shirley Luhn Steele taught for nearly 20 years at The Orchard School, beginning as a teacher’s aide and taking on roles with increasing responsibilities as her own training grew. She earned her master’s degree in Education at Butler in 1982 and later earned a certificate in Special Education in 1991. Steele was especially dedicated to helping students with learning disabilities succeed.

“This was a sad milestone, but a milestone nonetheless. We wanted to find a way to honor her and also meet a need for Butler, which has a special place in my heart as a graduate myself,” John Steele says. “This fund is a good reflection of what my mom did as an educator for students with learning disabilities, continuing her training so she could pass that knowledge on to her students. The stars kind of aligned, and this seemed like the right thing to do at the right time.”

Dr. Brooke Kandel-Cisco, COE Dean, says the fund will support faculty research in the area of Special Education, such as a project on which Dr. Suneeta Kercood and Dr. Kelli Esteves are currently collaborating with faculty who specialize in English as a Second Language. Within the project, Kercood and Esteves are investigating barriers and supports that dual-identified students and their families encounter in special education, English language development, and K-12 inclusive settings, and identifying practices that will promote equity and access in these settings. Kandel-Cisco says research studies such as this one allow faculty to collect pilot data, which enhances their ability to secure large federally funded grants to support research programs.

“Faculty support funds such as the Shirley Luhn Steele Faculty Support Fund are so important because they enhance faculty excellence and innovation in teaching, research, and curriculum development, which in turn has a positive impact on students and practitioners,” Kandel-Cisco says.

Along with research support, other possible uses for the fund include support for Butler’s community partnership with Special Olympics of Indiana, which involves COE undergraduate and graduate students and aims to increase inclusion efforts on campus, international opportunities that allow faculty to learn about and conduct research on special education practices from around the world, and engagement and leadership development connected to faculty involvement with professional associations focusing on Special Education, such as the Council for Exceptional Children.

The fund will also provide support for COE faculty to offer professional development and instructional coaching for local K-12 educators working with students with special learning needs. Thanks to the Steele fund, this training can be provided at little or no cost for schools with limited resources.

John Steele is proud the fund will bear the name of a woman he says embodied all the qualities of a great educator. Even while battling multiple myeloma, Shirley Luhn Steele continued to show up for her students in spite of her pain.

“I can’t think of a better role model in terms of a person of strong faith, humility, and just hard work and perseverance,” Steele says. “She came from very poor beginnings, and was the first person in her family to go to college. Through her own educational efforts and determination to continue improving herself, she influenced many lives with her dedication to her students.”

Innovations in Teaching and Learning is one of the pillars of the Butler Beyond $250 million comprehensive fundraising campaign. The University aims to raise $20 million in new funding for faculty through endowed faculty positions and funds like the Shirley Luhn Steele Faculty Support Endowed Fund, which will help Butler to attract and retain the nation’s top scholars.

“The Shirley Luhn Steele Faculty Support Endowed Fund is a tremendous gift to the COE faculty, the Butler students they teach, and the thousands of children our COE graduates will educate in their classrooms throughout their careers,” says Kathryn Morris, Provost and Vice President for Academic Affairs. “Investing in the excellence of our faculty will have ripple effects well beyond our imagination.”

 

Innovations in Teaching and Learning
One of the distinguishing features of a Butler education has always been the meaningful and enduring relationships between our faculty and students. Gifts to this pillar during the Butler Beyond comprehensive fundraising campaign will accelerate our commitment to investing in faculty excellence by adding endowed positions, supporting faculty scholarship and research, renovating and expanding state-of-the-art teaching facilities, and more. Learn more, make a gift, and read other stories like this one at beyond.butler.edu.

 

Media Contact:
Katie Grieze
News Content Manager
kgrieze@butler.edu
260-307-3403

COE sign
Butler Beyond

Honoring A Mother’s Legacy: Donor Gift Supports College of Education Faculty

The Shirley Luhn Steele Faculty Support Endowed Fund is the first of its kind at Butler to specifically support faculty in the COE

Sep 09 2020 Read more

‘One of the Best Places on Campus’: The Efroymson Diversity Center

By Cassandra Stec ’23

One of the most welcoming places on Butler’s campus is the Efroymson Diversity Center. While there are plenty of places to hang out, study, or make friends, the Diversity Center—or DC, as we lovingly call it—is home to some of my favorite memories at Butler.

I have met some of my closest friends through attending DC events and volunteering to be a Multicultural Mentor for Dawg Days, Butler’s pre-orientation experience designed to support underrepresented groups. Not only have I met amazing students through my work in the DC, but I have built relationships with several professors who sponsor and attend diversity-related events. I have also had the opportunity to get in contact with several alumni, making connections that have been valuable to my college experience.

The DC features several lounge areas, a boardroom, study tables, a kitchen, and two gender-neutral bathrooms. There is also an area dedicated to reflection, meditation, and prayer.

Gina Forrest, Executive Director of Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion, has her office in the space. Since day one, Dr. Forrest has been like everyone’s second mom: She’s someone we all know we can go to for help. Even students who don’t make regular appearances in the DC constantly see Dr. Forrest around campus starting conversations, making people laugh, and showcasing students and their talents through her social media.

The DC also serves as home base for several diversity-related organizations on campus. These groups have offices in the space, where they hold office hours and plan for their next events. Most afternoons, you can find different organizations hosting events in the DC, ranging from hangouts and meetings to celebrations and learning opportunities.

Some of the student organizations that have offices in the DC are the Asian and Pacific Islander Association, the Gender Equity Movement, the Black Student Union, Students for Justice in Palestine, Butler’s LGBTQIA+ Alliance, and Latinos Unidos. Each organization serves a different group of people and has a unique outlook regarding the programming they do and in what capacity they choose to do it.

The Asian and Pacific Islander Association aims to educate the Butler community about a wide array of different Asian and Pacific Islander cultures, as well as provide empowerment for those within these cultures. One of my favorite events from this organization was a Lunar New Year celebration, which featured a discussion about the importance of Lunar New Year and its traditions, as well as traditional home-cooked food that we could all try and enjoy.

The Gender Equity Movement, or GEM, is Butler’s intersectional feminist organization. Their name is a homage to the first black woman who graduated from Butler, Gertrude Amelia MaHorney. The organization seeks to be a support system for Butler students through education, activism, and celebration. GEM recently got a complete branding makeover and has big plans for ways in which they can support students both on and off campus.

The Black Student Union (BSU) is one of the oldest diversity organizations on Butler’s campus. They seek to support Black students at Butler, as well as to raise awareness of Black cultures. Every year, BSU hosts a week in February that celebrates Black History Month. One of my favorite events in that week is the Unity Ball, which brings together students from Butler and surrounding universities to celebrate and dance.

Students for Justice in Palestine (SJP) is an organization that works for the freedom, justice, and equality of the Palestinian people who are under Israeli occupation. My favorite event that they host is the Palestinian culture night, where they provide education on their culture, teach those in attendance their dances, and showcase their food. SJP often also collaborates with other DC organizations, as they believe that all struggles for freedom, justice, and equality are interconnected.

Butler LGBTQIA+ Alliance is a safe space for LGBTQ+ individuals, as well as allies, to find community through education, communication, activism, and celebration. Events range from game nights and discussion circles to the annual Alliance-hosted Drag Show and the Indianapolis LGBT Film Festival (held annually at Newfields). While the Drag Show is always a fun time, my favorite event has been the Faculty and Staff Dinner this group hosts during Coming Out Week, which helps students find allies and fellow LGBTQ+ individuals among the staff and faculty at Butler.

Latinos Unidos is an organization that is dedicated to advocating, educating, celebrating, and helping Latinx students transition from high school into college through community programs. Similar to BSU, Latinos Unidos hosts a week of events during Latinx Heritage Month. One of the most popular days during that week is Salsa Night, during which a local dance company comes to teach students how to dance, and chips and salsa are served.

But the DC is not just for these organizations. Plenty of other diverse, equitable, and inclusive groups utilize the space, along with individuals looking for support. Even a scholarship program calls the DC home: the Dr. John Morton-Finney Leadership Program supports students who have taken a leadership role promoting diversity, equity, and inclusion in their communities. 

Everyone is welcome to come to the DC to hang out, study, meditate, go to an organization meeting, or just enjoy a snack in the kitchen.

 

Cassandra Stec is a junior at Butler studying Computer Science and Art + Design. She’s involved in many student organizations across campus, including several within the Efroymson Diversity Center.

Diversity Center
AdmissionStudent-Centered

‘One of the Best Places on Campus’: The Efroymson Diversity Center

Located in Atherton Union, the Diversity Center is home to a wide range of programs and student organizations