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A Bulldog Abroad

By Brittany Bluthardt '20

Only a few weeks after graduating from Butler University, one student will travel halfway across the world to serve in the Peace Corps in Malawi, an impoverished country in southeastern Africa. During her nearly two-and-a-half-year service, senior Bulldog Alex Gabor will work in the education sector and teach English to children. Although she’ll be far away from Butler University and her home in Wilmette, Illinois, Alex is excited for what life and service across the world has in the future; she thanks Butler for helping her along the way.

“I hope to form relationships with the people in my village that I will be living with,” she said. “Hopefully, I can gain their trust and respect because I feel like without that it’s hard to learn from someone.”

Alex hopes to become fluent in the village’s language and fully immerse herself in the culture. Her transition from Indianapolis to the small village will be a familiar change. Alex was born in the Philippines and lived there for nine years before traveling to the states; she’s used to moving around.

“Moving around is such a big part of me that I will be able to manage well compared to other people that haven’t had that experience,” she said. “So, I feel like it won’t be that bad, but I will definitely be homesick.”

Nearly four years ago, Alex didn’t know what she wanted to study or where she wanted to go. She stumbled upon Butler’s name and decided it was the one - she hadn’t even stepped foot on campus. After enrolling in an exploratory course, she sat in on an upper-level psychology class and discovered her passion for research. From then on, Alex threw herself into undergraduate research any chance she could.

“Being involved in research has given me such good experience, not only for my professional self, but for my personal self,” Alex said. “Butler has opened so many doors for me.”

Alex had experience in undergraduate research early in her college career which prepared her for future presentations across the country. Along with presenting at the Undergraduate Research Conference on Butler’s campus, Alex has traveled to Chicago, Milwaukee, Maryland, and, soon, San Francisco to share her knowledge.

“My research in psychology, I think, made me a really competitive applicant to serve in the Peace Corp.”

During her time at Butler, Alex took full advantage of the resources available to her on campus, from receiving resume help at the Internship and Career Services office to going to as many events, with free food, as possible. Along with taking courses for her two majors in psychology and Chinese and her minor in neuroscience, she was involved in Student Government Association, a sorority, volunteer work, and the Asian Culture Enthusiasts club. Alex kept herself busy and she wouldn’t have it any other way.

“When I leave Butler, I’ll miss seeing the same people,” she said. “I’ll miss being around the people. It’s the vibe, the energy. You know when you’re on campus, you know?”

 

Alex Gabor
CommencementPeopleCampus

A Bulldog Abroad

Senior graduate Alex Gabor will fully immerse herself in a new culture, far away from her second home on campus.

Alex Gabor

A Bulldog Abroad

By Brittany Bluthardt '20

No Literary Grandma Moses

Marc D. Allan MFA ’18

from Spring 2017

In May 2018, I will have completed all the requirements for an MFA in Creative Writing from Butler University and be preparing to graduate. And like so many students, I’ve been asked countless times: What are you going to do with that degree?

My usual answer is that I’m going to have an interesting last quarter of my life. I’ll be 59 by the time 2018 commencement rolls around, so I’m not looking for a career. I have no expectations of becoming a literary Grandma Moses.

I went through the MFA program (30 classroom credits, plus thesis) because I wanted—and got—a great education. I enjoy writing stories about reprobates and other morally ambiguous people—a woman who fled her marriage after 9/11; a meth addict who thinks he’s on a reality show; a recent graduate who takes a job writing scam emails. So that’s what I did.

Over two years as an MFA student, I wrote a play, a movie script, at least a half-dozen short stories (three of which have been published), and a handful of prose poems and flash fiction stories. I learned alternative forms of storytelling and how to write a non-fiction book proposal, read brilliant authors I never would have known about otherwise, and gained insights about writing and storytelling from exceptional faculty and visiting writers.

When I was a kid, I wrote a lot of fiction. Then I stopped. I don’t remember why. The MFA program motivated me to write again, and it enabled me to have my work critiqued by highly accomplished professors and classmates who make up for in talent and insight what they lack in age.

If you’ve ever thought about going back to school—whatever your age—I highly recommend the experience. And if you’re ever in a bookstore or browsing Amazon.com and see a novel about a racist obstetrician who microchips babies so he can track their movements as adults, I hope you’ll buy it.

AcademicsCommencement

No Literary Grandma Moses

"If you’ve ever thought about going back to school—whatever your age—I highly recommend the experience."

by Marc D. Allan MFA ’18

from Spring 2017

Read more
AcademicsStudent Life

David Brooks to Deliver Spring Commencement Address

BY

PUBLISHED ON Apr 06 2018

David Brooks, an op-ed columnist for The New York Times, and a commentator on The PBS Newshour, NPR’s All Things Considered, and NBC’s Meet the Press, will deliver Butler University's 162nd Commencement address on Saturday, May 12, at Hinkle Fieldhouse.

Brooks will receive an honorary doctor of humane letters. In addition, Butler will honor the legacy of the late Julia and Andre Lacy by presenting posthumous honorary doctor of humane letters degrees in their memory. Nearly 900 students are expected to receive their diplomas. Commencement will start at 10:00 AM.

“Butler has made a concerted effort to celebrate civil discourse this year, both inside and outside the classroom,” President James Danko said. “Our campus has welcomed thought leaders who demonstrate humility and respect for diverse opinions—including Senator Richard Lugar, Congressman Lee Hamilton, Rev. Dr. Jamie Washington, historian Doris Kearns-Goodwin—and now author, columnist, and commentator David Brooks. They each bring to life the greater good that can be achieved through intellectual and civic engagement.”

Brooks has been a columnist at The New York Times since 2003, weighing in on the most pressing issues of our time. He has also written four books, the most recent of which was a New York Times bestseller.

In his most recent book, The Road to Character, Brooks writes that we live in a culture that encourages us to think about how to be wealthy and successful, but many of us are left inarticulate about how to cultivate the deepest inner life. He suggests we should confront our own weaknesses and grow in response.

Brooks earned a bachelor’s degree in history from the University of Chicago and, from there, became a police reporter for the City News Bureau, a news service owned by the Chicago Tribune and Sun Times. He then worked at The Washington Times and The Wall Street Journal for nine years, serving as op-ed editor at The Journal.

Brooks has covered Russia, the Middle East, South Africa and European affairs. While at The Journal, he also served as movie critic and editor of the book review section.

Recognized as champions of business and education throughout Central Indiana, the Lacy Family offered their time, talent, and philanthropy to causes that improved communities and the well-being of others. Their most notable act of generosity came in 2016, when they made the largest gift ever given by an individual or family to Butler, $25 million, renaming the School of Business the Andre B. Lacy School of Business.

Butler's selection of commencement speakers and honorary degree recipients is a result of a nomination process, the feedback received from Butler community members, and the formal approval of the Board of Trustees.

More about Spring 2018 Commencement activities is available at www.butler.edu/commencement.

 

Media contact:
Rachel Stern
rstern@butler.edu
317-940-9257

 

 

 

AcademicsStudent Life

David Brooks to Deliver Spring Commencement Address

The op-ed columnist for The New York Times will deliver Butler University's 162nd Commencement address on Saturday, May 12, at Hinkle Fieldhouse.

Apr 06 2018 Read more

15 Things You May Not Know about Spring 2018 Commencement

  1. The Real Deal
    Every single graduate receives their actual diploma (if they have completed their degree requirements) as they walk across stage. For logistical reasons, most universities issue fake diplomas on the day of graduation.
     
  2. Like a Pro
    The stages in Hinkle are built in less than 24 hours. Professional stage hands and sound engineers from Clowes Memorial Hall do the set up and tear down for commencement each year.
     
  3. So You Think You Can Walk?
    Michelle Jarvis, Associate Provost and a dance faculty member, helped to choreograph the processional on to Hinkle’s main floor.
     
  4. Crowded House
    Hinkle Fieldhouse’s floor can seat up to 1,200 graduates, 80 musicians, and up to 65 VIP for the ceremony.
     
  5. Take a Seat
    All the chairs set up on the main basketball floor and in the Efroymson Family Gym are zip tied together for safety, and each will contain a bottle of water and a program for the graduates and guests.
     
  6. “I Majored in Love. No, really.”
    There is a member of the class of 2018 who majored in Love as part of the individualized major program.
     
  7. Kellies E. Murphy
    This year’s graduating class has 963 participants, two of whom are named Kelly E. Murphy.
     
  8. All In the Family
    There are more than 17 Butler faculty and staff members who have family members graduating (spouses, children, and in some cases multiple children).
     
  9. The Year of the Symphony Orchestra
    Every other year, the Butler Symphony Orchestra (BSO) and the Wind Ensemble take turns performing at each Spring Commencement. This year will be BSO’s turn under the direction of Richard Auldon Clark.
     
  10. Butler Sing
    Every year, the School of Music’s Chorale performs at all three Academic ceremonies: Convocation during Welcome Week, Winter Commencement, and Spring Commencement.
     
  11. Jaguars Helping Out
    The IUPUI ROTC will serve as the color guard at this year’s ceremony.

  12. One in Three
    Of the students receiving their graduate degrees at this year’s ceremony, 34% already hold a bachelor’s degree from Butler.
     
  13. How Do You Pronounce That?
    More than 40 staff and student volunteers will help to make commencement a success this year. Two of the volunteers–Professors Scott Bridge and Ann Bilodeau–will serve as Announcers of Names by reading each graduate’s name as they walk across stage. Bridge and Bilodeau prepare by practicing for days from an excel spreadsheet with phonetic pronunciations. If they are uncertain, they have been known to contact the graduate to confirm how they’d like to be announced.
     
  14. Harry Potter-esque
    The flags that are part of the Commencement processional are called Gonfalons and are modeled after heraldic banners used by city states and guilds in medieval Italy (and by the houses in the Harry Potter series).
     
  15. Go Dawgs! No Really, You Gotta Go!
    Butler Baseball plays at 2:00 PM on Commencement day. Senior players will graduate first, then go suit up for their game. 
Commencement
CommencementCampus

15 Things You May Not Know about Spring 2018 Commencement

What do Harry Potter and the class of 2018 have in common? Read on. 

AcademicsPeople

Retailing's Loss Was Biology's Gain

BY

PUBLISHED ON Apr 23 2018

After he graduated from University of the South with an undergraduate degree in biology, Tom Dolan was unsure what to do next. His roommate's father helped him get a job at Davison's, an Atlanta department store owned by Macy's, and from 1973 to 1977 he moved up the ranks in management.

The money was good, but the hours were brutal. From mid-October to Christmas, Thanksgiving was his only day off, and 16-hour days were common.

Dolan's father used to tell him that you can either do something you like or make a lot of money. Or, if you're lucky, you can make a lot of money and do something you like.

"I was making a lot of money, but it was a killer job," Dolan said. So he chose the other option: "I'm going to do something I like."

He chose to go back to school at the University of Georgia and study botany. And now, four decades after making that decision and 33 years after he joined the Butler Biology faculty, he is retiring.

*

The decision to go back to school was easy. Getting accepted to graduate school was a different matter. Dolan, who grew up outside Chicago in Geneva, Illinois, had been out of college for six years when he applied to Georgia. The pharmacy school told him no. Botany, which was an up-and-coming program, invited him for an interview.

He remembers the head of the committee asking, "So what makes you think you can handle graduate school based on what you've been doing for the last six years?" Dolan responded, "I just walked away from managing a store that did $15 million a year in sales and had 100 people working for me. I know how to do things. I know how to get things done. I was a biology major. I would really like to do botany. I think I'll be fine."

Two weeks later, he received a letter saying he would not be admitted regular status, but if he wanted to take classes as a non-classified post-graduate, he could do that. Essentially, they wanted proof that he could succeed—and they wanted him to spend his own money to prove it.

Challenge accepted. The first quarter, he did well in all three classes. His Cell Biology professor—who was the department chair—offered him "regular status" admission and a teaching assistantship.

"It turned out that I liked teaching," Dolan said, "and it turned out that I was pretty good at it, based on the response that I got from people who were in the class and the people who were supervising the teaching assistants."

He finished his doctorate at Georgia (where he met his wife, Becky, who also earned her doctorate from the University of Georgia) and went on to a post-doctoral fellowship in plant pathology at the University of California, Riverside.

When the time came to find a full-time job, Dolan answered an ad for a Visiting Assistant Professor at Butler. He took the one-year assignment and then won the full-time, tenure-track position after that.

At the same time, Becky was hired at the Holcomb Research Institute (HRI) and Friesner Herbarium. When HRI folded, College of Liberal Arts and Sciences Dean Paul Yu transferred her staff position to the Department of Biological Sciences. For more than 30 years, she has been Director of the Friesner Herbarium, a systematic collection of over 100,000 dried, pressed and preserved plant specimens. 

"Becky was able to carve out a niche and has turned out to be very successful—as an academic, more successful than me," Dolan said. "She's had a much bigger imprint on the institution than I'll ever have."

*

In the 1990s, Dolan served as Chair of the Biological Sciences Department. Stuart Glennan, Associate Dean in the College of Arts and Sciences, said Dolan's appointment came "at a very crucial time for the department. Probably most importantly, he oversaw the hiring and mentoring of the current generation of leadership in the department, and managed it during a time in which its student population expanded considerably."

Dolan said that during his 33 years at Butler, he saw the University grow in stature and size. The constant, he said, has been the quality of the students.

"We always had good students," he said. "Now we have more of them. Some of the students I've had contact with would bowl you over. That's always been the case. Virtually every semester, every class has two, three, four, five students who just knock your socks off."

Michael Hole was one of those.

"Professor Dolan was the first person I met at Butler," Hole said via email from Texas, where he is now a pediatrician and social entrepreneur at the University of Texas at Austin's Dell Medical School. "From that moment, he used his brilliant mind, big heart, and humor to make learning fun and meaningful. A treasured mentor and friend, he oozed the Butler Way. There’s no doubt his legacy lives on in countless Bulldogs.

*

In retirement, he and Becky plan to spend most of the year living in a house they built on St. George Island, a pristine and quiet locale in the Florida panhandle. The Apalachicola Natural Forest is across the way, and for 30 miles west, 45 miles east, and 60 miles deep, there's nothing but state and national forest. Some, he said, consider it the No. 1 biological hotspot in North America.

Across the bridge from their island is the new Apalachicola National Estuarine Research Reserve, so they'll be a short drive from scientific research, natural resource management, and environmental education. The Dolans also are thinking about ways to enhance science programming at the local high school, and Tom said Becky may well do some science writing.

"The punch line is that I really don't know," he said. "The other side of that is, I'm really not worried about it. But I'm definitely not going to just put my feet up, read, fish, and run kayaks—although that's a temptation."

 

Media contact:
Marc Allan MFA '18
mallan@butler.edu
317-940-9822

 

 

 

AcademicsPeople

Retailing's Loss Was Biology's Gain

Professor Tom Dolan, who worked for Macy's for several years out of college, found his passion in botany. Now, after 33 years at Butler, he has retired.

Apr 23 2018 Read more
AcademicsPeople

He Hasn't Been Everywhere, But It's On His List

BY

PUBLISHED ON Apr 30 2018

Professor Greg Osland received his first taste of learning about cultures of the world when he completed a study abroad trip to Mexico while completing his undergraduate degree. Since then, Osland has visited 40 countries and spent at least six years of his adult life living abroad. He may be retiring from teaching full-time, but his sense of adventure and his thirst for knowledge about cultures beyond his own will still be hard at work.

“I don’t view retirement as slowing down but rather doing a different set of things,” he said.

Osland already has booked four flights for next year. These include a trip to Colorado to visit family, a family trip to New England, a flight to Atlanta to present at an academic conference, and a two-week trip to Uganda to help with a few economic development projects.

Most of his upcoming trips are for personal or pro-bono consulting travel, something Osland hasn’t typically done. The majority of his time spent abroad has been for work or research. Prior to earning his Ph.D. at Michigan State University, he spent three years in China working for a business consulting company developing and delivering Executive Education programs. This experience was part of the reason he pursued a Ph.D. in International Marketing.

Professor Dick Fetter, a friend and colleague of Osland’s for 25 years, said that when they hired Osland in 1993, international business was a relatively new concept in business schools.

“Greg has really brought a global perspective not just to the classroom, but to the campus as well,” Fetter said.

*

Although known as the "China expert” across campus, Osland has developed interests, over time, in other parts of the world, particularly Latin America. In 2007, he and a few other colleagues helped to develop a course as part of the core curriculum titled “Frontiers in Latin America.”

“I’ve enjoyed teaching that course because it integrates a number of disciplines and I’m a little more eclectic than just marketing,” Osland said. “It allows me to do some other things with other elements of learning.”

Fetter confirmed Osland’s view of himself when he recounted the time Osland came to him in early 2000s asking to take his sabbatical with his family to learn the Spanish language in Mexico.

Fetter, dean of the College of Business at the time, was a bit taken aback.

“I barely have conquered the English language,” Fetter joked. “And here Greg had conquered the country of China and the Mandarin language and now he was ready to move on to another language in a different part of the world.”

Fetter was impressed. Osland did two more sabbaticals abroad, one in Costa Rica and the other in Panama.

Osland’s newfound excitement for Latin America has been passed on to his students as well—especially one. Alicia Helfrich ’16 was one of Osland’s advisees and students, and she can vividly recount Osland’s impact on her understanding of the world, and ultimately her interest in working in Latin America.

When she was deciding between studying abroad in Spain or Chile, Osland recommended Chile because of his own experiences there.

“After some debate, I decided to take his advice and can say it was one the best decisions I have ever made,” Helfrich said. “I had a life-altering experience in Chile, gained fluency, and returned with a mission to work in the region again post-graduation.”

Now, Helfrich works for a non-profit in Guatemala City. If it wasn’t for Osland’s guidance to study abroad, she says she wouldn’t be in her current role or discovered some of her greatest passions.

*

Beyond Osland’s travels, he and his wife, Joyce, have been heavily involved with not-for-profit organizations, both locally and all over the world. Osland even started his own 501(c)(3) when he was living in Noblesville, titled Project Eden.

The organization’s mission is to “reconnect people with the creation, and to restore broken ecosystems,” Osland said. Ultimately the non-profit aims to reconnect people with nature through gardening, nature hikes, planting trees, and ecological restoration projects. Grace Church now carries out all Project Eden's initiatives.

In retirement Osland plans to continue volunteering with various organizations; spend time with his parents and three daughters, Katie, Beth, and Dianne; stay connected to Butler by teaching a class every now and again; doing Executive Education; or maybe even administrative work.

Plus, he loves Butler basketball, has season tickets, and loves walking to the games with his wife.

“There are a lot of opportunities to continue to engage with Butler,” he said.

(After this story was posted, Professor Osland returned from retirement to begin a new full-time role with the Lacy School of Business as Director of Assurance of Learning, starting June 1, 2018.)

 

Media contact:
Krisy Force
kforce@butler.edu
317-940-6842

AcademicsPeople

He Hasn't Been Everywhere, But It's On His List

Professor Greg Osland, who has been to 40 countries, will remain on the go in retirement.

Apr 30 2018 Read more
AcademicsArts & CulturePeople

Going Out on A High Note

BY

PUBLISHED ON Apr 16 2018

Associate Professor of Music Dan Bolin '70 MM '75 looks back on his career in education—23 years at Butler, 48 overall—and says, "I can't think of anything I could have done that would have been more satisfying. To get to work with the kids, to get to know the people I've gotten to know …"

He lets the thought hang in the air, but he might have finished with "to achieve all I've achieved."

Since joining the Music Department faculty, Bolin has made his mark, particularly with regard to equipment, the physical plant, and faculty.

Bolin arrived in 1995 as Department Chair to find that no one had been keeping track of the instruments the department owned. Forty were missing. He had a hand in finding almost all of them and creating a new inventory system.

When the Schrott Center for the Arts was being built, Bolin took a tour of the construction and noticed that the orchestra pit was so low that people on the stage wouldn't be able to see the conductor. His keen eye helped Butler avoid a potentially costly repair.

It's a point of pride for him that the University's music ensembles have improved over the years and that Butler has retained so many talented faculty members.

"Most of the faculty in the music school were people I was involved with hiring and setting up," he said.
"(Professor of Music and Director of Bands) Michael Colburn is the last person I hired, and he's a superstar. We're fortunate to have him."

The feeling is mutual, Colburn said.

"My wife and I fell in love with Butler as soon as we visited, but I must admit that a big part of the attraction was the knowledge that Dan was serving as the Chair of the School of Music at the time," he said. "I figured that any school of music that had Dan Bolin in a leadership position would be a great place to work, and my instincts were right on the mark! Although he is no longer Chair, Dan has continued to be a valued colleague and a tremendous friend, and he will be sorely missed when he retires at the end of this semester."

*

Bolin spent his entire career close to home. He grew up in Indianapolis, took up the tuba in junior high school, and was the tubist in the Indiana All-State Orchestra all four years at Harry E. Wood High School, five blocks south of Monument Circle. That distinction earned him "a healthy scholarship" to Butler.

As an undergraduate at Butler, he tutored at his old high school. After graduation, his first teaching job was replacing his high school band director, who retired.

Bolin earned his principal's license at Butler and his doctorate in school administration at Indiana University. (His minor there was in music education.) He was a high school band director for 13 years, including time at Manual, Lebanon, and Southport high schools, and in administration for 12 years.

At Southport, he rose through the ranks to become an assistant principal. He left Southport for Perry Township Schools, where he moved from Director of Secondary Education to Personnel Director, Assistant Superintendent, and, finally, Interim Superintendent.

When the job opened at Butler, then-Director of Bands Robert Grechesky asked him to apply. Over the years, Bolin said, he was contacted by other institutions about opening on their faculty, but "I was doing what I wanted to do here."

*

Bolin said the greatest joy of his career has been working with students.

Matt Harrod '83 MM '88 is one of those. Harrod, Band Director and teacher at Riverside Junior High and Intermediate School in the Hamilton-Southeastern school district outside Indianapolis, was a student of Bolin's at Lebanon High School from 1975–1977. Harrod said even after Bolin left Lebanon for Southport, he stayed in touch and interested in his progress.

Harrod remembers a time when he was a freshman at Butler and decided to skip a pep band practice. That earned him a reprimand not only from Butler Band Director Grechesky but from Bolin.

"He told Dan and Dan got all over me about that," Harrod said. "He kept me on the straight and narrow."

After Harrod graduated from Butler, Bolin helped him get his first teaching job, attended his concerts, and worked with his band. Eventually, Harrod taught Bolin's sons at Keystone Middle School.

"He's been a close friend my whole life," Harrod said. "He's been a mentor to me. We laugh together, we tease each other a lot. He has guest-directed my band several times. He's introduced me to important people in the field. He hasn't only done this for me; he's done this for a lot of people."

In addition, Harrod said, Bolin has been instrumental in bringing military bands such as the U.S. Army Field Band to Indianapolis to perform free concerts for the public.

In retirement, Bolin said he and his wife, Jane, will continue to have a home in Indianapolis, but they'll also be living in Melbourne, Florida, where they bought a house 10 years ago.

Bolin said what he'll miss most are the students.

"They keep me young," he said. "Watching them grow and graduate and seeing some of them become educators—I tended to teach music education classes—and become band and orchestra directors and do good work has been incredibly gratifying. That's essentially what we’re all about—trying to create the next generation of teachers who are going to do what we did and hopefully do it even better."

(After this story was written, Dan Bolin conducted his final concert as Music Director of the Indianapolis Municipal Band and was awarded the Sagamore of the Wabash. The honor is given to those who have rendered a distinguished service to the state or to the governor.)

 


Media contact:
Marc Allan
mallan@butler.edu
317-940-9822

 

AcademicsArts & CulturePeople

Going Out on A High Note

Dan Bolin retires after 48 years in education.

Apr 16 2018 Read more

Student Choice and Student Voice: One Grad's Path to Success

By Brittany Bluthardt '20

“Did you see this?” Butler University staff members said as they celebrated one of many student success stories this spring.

Michele Eaton, a Butler alumna and Indianapolis educator, didn’t expect to become an Education Week “Leader to Learn From” after she left campus in 2008. She began her professional career prepared, but she didn’t know what her future success would entail.

Despite her current passion for the field, Eaton didn’t always want to pursue education. She originally had dreams of becoming an engineer but was discouraged by a teacher at a young age. Eaton didn’t let this affect her future. She eventually found her calling at Butler University.

“I knew the impact one person could have, positive or negative,” Eaton said. “I wanted to be the teacher that encouraged a student to follow their dreams, and I would help them to get there.”

After receiving her degree in Secondary Education, Eaton kick-started her career and taught in Indianapolis as a second-grade teacher. Ena Shelley, dean of the college of education, remembers her as academically talented, eager to learn, and a quiet leader. She was very happy to hear of Eaton’s honor, but she wasn’t surprised.

“I wish she could've heard our excitement because people were so proud of her,” Shelley said. “In a time when there are so many challenges in education, she was a message of hope and inspiration for the whole college to keep going.”

Eaton accomplished her goal of becoming an educator and became a second grade teacher after earning her degree at Butler. She took an online class for her master’s degree while teaching. From the completely online program, she earned a master’s degree in education with a focus in technology.

“I was so enamoured with the program and the professional connections that I was able to make without ever meeting anyone face to face,” she described. “I quickly became an advocate. Online learning was something I could get behind.”

A few years later in 2012, Eaton became the virtual education specialist for MSD Wayne Township. Shortly she was promoted to director of virtual and blended learning, a position created specifically for Eaton’s interests and skill set. Eaton helps direct the Achieve Virtual Education Academy, an online school for students to receive a high school diploma outside of the classroom. She trains teachers from across the state on blended learning, a combination of online schooling and face-to-face interaction.

Despite Eaton’s experience in education, the program had a rocky start with low engagement and interest. The teachers tried various techniques, but nothing worked. Eaton knew they needed to think about the academy from a different perspective.

“My first instinct was to throw out a ton of ideas, but this was something I’d never actually done myself in the classroom. I took a step back and said, ‘Let’s be students.’” And with that idea in mind, she began to study who they were serving.

She collected data and feedback from the teachers and redesigned their techniques to fit each individual. What they learned was that the academy students come from various backgrounds, ethnicities, and ages; over half of the students are adults. To accommodate this nontraditional student, Eaton worked with the teachers to recreate the program and revolutionize student’s thoughts of online learning.  The academy now allows students to recover lost credits, accelerate their learning, and earn an official high school degree -- not a lesser equivalent.

The proof of Eaton’s success in the numbers. Total graduating students rose from six in 2011 to 30 last year.

“There’s not a one-size fit all solution for any student or any classroom, but when you’re talking about a specialized population that you find in a virtual school, you can’t just create something and hope for the average,” Eaton said. “The more that we can personalize the experience for our students, the more success that we’re going to find.”

“Student voice and student choice” is one of Eaton’s main teaching philosophies. Although technology is inevitable for online learning, she doesn’t think of the internet as an educational barrier.

“It’s not about entertainment, it’s about doing work that I care about -- doing work that matters,” she said. “I think that if we help students find their voice, we can help students learn how to be advocates for their own learning. Technology is a catalyst for that type of work.”

Eaton’s passion for helping students flourished at Butler. College of education majors experience hours of student-teaching in classrooms across the city. Eaton said this lead to professional connections with other teachers and leaders in the field. Her advice for current and future students pursuing education is to get connected.

“It is too hard of a job to do on an island,” Eaton said. “Learn how to network. Butler makes that possible, so when you leave that is something you can continue to pursue.”

Eaton kept her strong connections. One of her mentors from Butler University is professor Arthur Hochman, who even today she still turns to for advice. Hochman knew she was impressive from the start, and he remembers her unwavering energy and focus. From a few notes he kept while Eaton was in school, he reminisces on his visit to her classroom during her first year of teaching.

“I spoke to her principal on the way into the school, who warned me that she had a really challenging group of children,” he wrote. “I came in expecting the usual first-year teacher chaos but instead I saw order and innovation. The class had a clear sense of community, and you could not have found a more joyful teacher standing in front of a group of young children. I will never forget what Michele whispered to me: ‘I must have gotten an easy class as a first year teacher, because these kids come to school every day ready to learn.’”

Hochman said this is only the beginning for Eaton. Dr. Shelley hopes she will return to Butler to speak about her success or become a mentor for future educators. A part of the COE’s vision statement is to challenge the status quo, and Eaton does just that.

“She embodies this can-do, must-do spirit of giving back and moving people forward,” Dr. Shelley said. “It’s that quiet leadership of bringing people along, not forcing them, but helping them to see how it works. That’s a gift. That’s a true leader.”

As for the future, Eaton hopes to continue improving and growing as an educator. Above all, she thanks Butler for helping her to reach this point in her career. When asked, she says doesn’t have just one favorite memory as a student -- she just remembers the people.

“Butler is all about community,” Eaton said. “I think that was one of the best things about coming here and certainly something that won’t leave me.”

PeopleCommunity

Student Choice and Student Voice: One Grad's Path to Success

Michele Eaton, a Butler alumna and Indianapolis educator, didn’t expect to become an Education Week “Leader to Learn From” after she left campus in 2008.

AcademicsStudent Life

A Voyage to Irwin Library Yields Research Opportunities

BY

PUBLISHED ON Apr 17 2018

Only a couple of copies of the book Atlas to Cook’s Third Voyage, 1776-1780 (London, 1784) exist. Butler's Irwin Library owns one of them, and on a recent Thursday morning, sophomore Rachel Counts was looking at a map in the atlas, which details Capt. James Cook's three voyages to the South Seas.

She was putting together a proposal for a research project as part of the course "Close Encounters," a first-year seminar History Professor Paul Hanson teaches for History and Anthropology majors. Her topic was linguistics, and she was looking at the different spellings on Cook's map—Owyhee for what we now know as Hawaii, Niphon for Japan, Corea for Korea—as she and her classmates familiarized themselves with the kinds of primary-source materials that are available in the library's collection.

"Some of the books I was going to look at I found online," said Counts, who came to Butler from Powell, Ohio, outside Columbus. "But it's very different when you have a piece of history in your hands. You're living through that, rather than looking at a screen. It makes it more real—and, for me, more exciting."

The Cook Atlas is part of the William F. Charters South Seas Collection, which contains nearly 3,400 books and is one of the most extensive compilations the library owns. Sally Childs-Helton, Head of Special Collections, Rare Books, and University Archives, said that for a school its size, Butler has a large collection of materials that cannot be found elsewhere.

She said everything that comes into the library's archives must either reflect the history of the university or must be used for current teaching needs. The Charters collection, which was donated to the University in 1930, fits into that second classification.

Childs-Helton said students need to have access to materials like this that "haven't been spun, Photoshopped, or put into other contexts."

"Primary sources are the closest things we have to time travel," she said. "They have that power of immediacy to take you back to when a particular item was created. It's a very powerful experience to be sitting there, for example, with a copy of a letter that you know was written on a Civil War battlefield vs. that same letter being digitized and you're seeing it online or transcribed and printed in a book."

Childs-Helton said it's vitally important for students, especially at this point in their careers, to learn how to handle primary-source materials if they're going to do research. Her goal—and she works with classes in all six of Butler's colleges to accomplish it—is to teach them how to handle the materials carefully to preserve them for future scholars. (Special Collections follows best practices of conservation and preservation, protecting materials from light, temperature fluctuation, bugs, and theft/mishandling. "These materials are protected as well as they can be," Childs-Helton said.)

She also wants students to appreciate the potential these sources have to make their research the best it can be.

Hanson, who has written several books about French history, often uses primary sources for his research. He said that the nature of archival research has been a current topic for discussion among professional historians because it has been announced that the Barack Obama Presidential Library will be virtual—no stacks of documents and letters, but an entirely digital collection.

"You would have to look a long time to find a historian who would tell you they'd rather see a digital copy of something rather than hold a book in their hands," Hanson said.

That feeling was evident among his students too. Maggie Jones, a junior from Elwood, Indiana, had requested four books from the Charters collection, including one Charles Darwin wrote about his experiences on the second voyage of the HMS Beagle. She was looking through a book by George French Angas called Polynesia: a popular description of the physical features, inhabitants, natural history and productions of the islands of the Pacific for research on the environment of 19th century South America.

As a history and anthropology major, she's interested in how the natural environment of a place contributes to the lives of the people.

"While it's convenient to have information online, there's just something about actually having the book and knowing that this is actually part of history," she said. "That's really cool to me, knowing that they're a part of history."

 

Media contact:
Marc Allan
mallan@butler.edu
317-940-9822

 

 

 

AcademicsStudent Life

A Voyage to Irwin Library Yields Research Opportunities

Rare books collection gives students the chance to look at primary sources.

Apr 17 2018 Read more
AcademicsPeople

His Approach to Teaching: Learning Starts with Confusion

BY Krisy Force

PUBLISHED ON Apr 09 2018

When Professor of Chemistry Shannon Lieb was in high school, he remembers telling his geometry teacher after class that he didn’t fully understand that day’s lecture. His teacher’s response was, “Learning starts with confusion.”

That statement left an impact on Lieb, so much so that he used it as a foundation for his own teaching for the last 39 years at Butler.

“I’ve always kept that idea in mind, and I’ve added to it as well," said Lieb, who officially retired in December. "Now I tell my students: Learning starts with confusion; those who don’t make mistakes have never tried, and those who keep making mistakes haven’t learned.”

Lieb’s classes, like General Chemistry and Physical Chemistry, are filled with college-level mathematics and science concepts. It is easy to believe students would make mistakes and learn from their confusion. He said it's easy to get confused. For some students, simply turning a table sideways presents a whole new problem if they’ve only been focusing on memorization.

“My primary push is to get students to think about how to approach a problem, not simply fill in the boxes,” he said.

Lieb’s dedication to student learning and understanding has been demonstrated in more ways than just in his classes. He has mentored two Master’s thesis students and 30-plus undergraduate research projects, starting with the origin of the Butler Summer Institute program in the early 1990, and he was the first faculty member in the sciences to incorporate Writing Across the Curriculum in the Physical Chemistry laboratory.

“I found that students who don’t know how to write, their way of expressing mathematics isn’t all that great," he said. "I remember one of my first-year students said to me, ‘Well, sciences aren’t creative.’ She was thinking of writing music, writing plays, etc. But science is the same way. There’s obviously some place at which the path splits, but fundamentally it’s a creative process, whether it’s sciences, mathematics, English literature, or performance.”

Although he's officially retired, Lieb is still hard at work teaching two physics labs and working with a student doing research during the spring 2018 semester.

Lieb said he considers his greatest achievement to be the impact he's had on the education of many students during his years at Butler.

“I am most proud of the successes of students that I have had in class,” he said. “I’ve had the privilege of witnessing students succeed who had all odds stacked against them, and I’ve seen some truly remarkable stories.”

He shared a note from Annie Search ’95, one of his former students, who wrote: “Thanks so much for your never-ending patience, kindness, and sense of humor. I could not have gotten through college without you.” 

Lieb isn’t sure what he’ll do when the semester ends in April when he’s fully retired. Perhaps he’ll work on an old Volkswagen that he drove for a number of years. He's already rebuilt the engine twice. He’ll definitely watch movies with his wife, Sue, work on his carpentry, and continue to volunteer with animal rescue.

Being the continuous learner he is, he’ll find something to keep himself occupied. For now, Lieb is following Snoopy’s advice, which is also the signature line on his emails: “Learn from yesterday. Live for today. Look to tomorrow. Rest this afternoon.”

 

 

 

AcademicsPeople

His Approach to Teaching: Learning Starts with Confusion

Chemistry Professor Shannon Lieb officially retires.

Apr 09 2018 Read more
Student LifePeople

Pictures Worth a Thousand Words

BY

PUBLISHED ON Feb 20 2018

By Jackson Borman '20

From the time that he got his first video camera, Thulani Smith ’20 has been documenting his life through the lens.

“I like to take pictures and reminisce instantly," he said. "My dad and I have traveled the world for my entire childhood, and I liked being able to go there and take a picture and then remember everything about each place.”

As a middle-schooler, Smith captured everything from family trips to everyday life. His specialty at the time was creating basketball trick shot videos of his brother and his friends shooting balls into trashcans in the front yard.

“We thought it was great," he said, "and then my dad said to me, ‘Thulani, are you ever going to film anything besides this?’ and I remember responding to him, ‘Dad, there is nothing more than trick-shot videos!’”

But Smith started experimenting and learning how to create visual effects, and he became more interested in the full potential that filmmaking had. Now, as a digital media production major at Butler, he already is getting the experience he needs to grow in his craft.

Smith currently posts his work on his Facebook, YouTube, and Instagram account is @Marshallmoviemaker.

Starting in his first year at Butler, Smith had Professor Farhad Anwarzai for his First-Year Seminar class called "The Coming of Age Story." Smith said that Anwarzai’s willingness to allow students to learn in ways that they enjoyed was a great start to his college experience.

“For our final project, he said just to do something creative, so I made a film,” Smith said. “He has really been a huge help in allowing me to grow in classes that I have been taking. Being able to take his class and have that relationship with him has been huge because it has restored my understanding of how I want to do college.”

Anwarzai said he was blown away with Smith’s work.

“I thought that the project was not only very well made and very well shot and edited, but it was very mature for a freshman to make,” Anwarzai said. “He’s good at telling these big stories but telling them through the lens of students. That’s one of the things that stands out in my mind when I think of Thulani. It was a spectacular job.”

In Smith's sophomore year, Anwarzai ended up as his professor for the Global and Historical Studies course "China and the Islamic Middle East." This time, he and Smith worked together to write a short film for the students’ final project.

“Having not seen a lot of faculty and student collaboration in the humanities, I wanted to test that, and I thought Thulani would be the perfect person to work with,” Anwarzai said. “In the end, he and the other students created a marvelous work. It added a great layer of depth to the conditions we deal with today.”

The 20-minute film, which was made in nine days with no budget, dealt with the preconceived notions that many have about China and the Middle East.

Last summer, Smith had an internship with a company called Train918 that was started by 2016 Butler graduates Tim Valentine and Joshua Gaal. The pair started the company in their senior year at Butler and now create commercials and promotional videos for groups like Downtown Indy Inc. and Indiana University.

“Working with them was a blast because I was able to grow with them while I was still growing,” Smith said. “They had almost the same experiences that I had as far as being a creative on Butler’s campus so they could give me some insight.”

Smith said that Valentine and Gaal allowed him to take a larger role in the company than a typical intern would, and he was able to take control of certain projects. For example, Smith took photos at a fashion shoot over the summer, just a month into the internship.

“It gave me the opportunity to have the camera in my hands, to shoot everything and to come up with concepts, edit it, and call it my own,” Smith said.

In between class projects and internships, Smith still works on projects of his own. He has created video compilations of Butler Basketball games. This winter, Smith went on a trip to Northern Ireland where he took more photos of the Irish landscape and worked on one of his projects. Over the past few months, Smith has also been working on what he calls "The Portrait Project," a series of photos and short videos of a subject that are compiled into a short, portrait-style video.

This spring Smith will be going abroad once again, this time through the College of Communication's trip to Germany.

Through his work, both on his own and at Butler, Smith hopes that he will be able to grow as a filmmaker and one day be able to create on a higher level.

“I think over the next couple of months what I really want to do is just create more,” Smith said. “I’ve done [a lot of projects], but I want to be able to have examples of my best work so that I can point people to that.”

 

Photo via Thulani Smith

Student LifePeople

Pictures Worth a Thousand Words

Sophomore Thulani Smith follows his passion for filmmaking.

Feb 20 2018 Read more
AcademicsArts & CulturePeople

He Helped the Dance Department Achieve Its Potential

BY

PUBLISHED ON Apr 02 2018

Stephan Laurent joined the Butler Dance Department in 1988, convinced it was going to be one of the top programs in the United States.

"And we proceeded to make it so," he said, crediting "aggressive recruitment and a fantastic faculty."

Thirty years later—the first 15 as chair, the second 15 as a faculty member—as he prepares to retire from Butler, Laurent looks back proudly at what he and the department have accomplished in developing a program that's consistently one of the top-rated in the country.

"It's been a wonderful experience because this is such a strong program," he said. "It's strong because of the curriculum, because of the faculty who deliver that curriculum, because of the students it attracts and because of the facilities in which it is delivered. It is a conservatory-level training program, but we all value the liberal arts and that's what makes the program unique."

Laurent grew up outside Lausanne, Switzerland, and moved to the United States to study at Southern Methodist University. After earning his Bachelor of Fine Arts, he danced professionally in Europe, then returned to SMU for his Master of Fine Arts.

He taught at the University of Wisconsin-Milwaukee and had spent six years as Artistic Director of Des Moines Ballet when he saw the opening at Butler. The Board of Directors was reducing the size of its company to cut costs, so he decided to apply.

He expected a short stay in Indianapolis, but "it clicked so well. It seems like I had found my place – and I think I did. I have really planted my roots in this community. It will be bittersweet to leave."

He leaves with great memories of "all the wonderful productions we have accomplished with the Butler Ballet" and comfortable in the knowledge that he helped advance both Butler and the Dance Department.

"I've seen a lot of progress being made in establishing the strong vision of a comprehensive university where the liberal arts are valued," he said. "The core curriculum is really excellent here. I teach an FYS seminar (Spellbound: the Quest for Magic in the Arts and in Fiction), so I know firsthand how good that core is and how valued it is by all the members of the faculty across all the colleges."

Sophomore Stefanee Montesantos said Laurent "has been a wonderful instructor to work with in the studio." Not only that, "but he has given me opportunities that most first-years and sophomores wish for."

In Butler Ballet’s 2018 Midwinter Dance Festival, Montesantos was cast as the lead female in Farewell to the Singing Earth, an original piece that Laurent-Faesi choreographed.

"It was one of my most challenging roles yet, but it was such a pleasure to work with him," she said. "His positivity, yet silent discipline to execute the steps, brought out a drive I didn’t know I had in me. I am sure I speak for all of Butler Ballet when I say that he will be deeply missed."

After the semester ends, Laurent plans to move to Texas, where his wife, Ellen Denham, is directing the opera program as a member of the music faculty at Texas A&M University in Corpus Christi. He describes the move as "going full circle," since Texas was where he started in the United States.

Professor Susan McGuire, his colleague in the Dance Department, said Laurent set an example for others to follow.

"He is outspoken and liberal-minded in the best sense, and a staunch defender of academic freedom, for one," she said. "He knows the university system inside and out, and holds the people within it to a high standard, and quite vocally, regardless of the consequences. I appreciate this wholeheartedly, and I will miss his loud and clear voice."

 

Media contact:
Marc Allan
mallan@butler.edu
317-940-9822

 

 

What's It Like To Find a Roommate

By Malachi White '20

One of the most stressful and exciting aspects of going into your first year of college is who your roommate is going to be. Will I like them? Will they like me? What if they stay up all night, or aren’t very clean? What if they like to go to bed early and are super clean?

Having a random roommate can be a fabulous experience because you may become best friends. However, if your random match seems a bit too random, Butler University opens a window of time to switch roommates or switch dorms.

Another option other than going random is to use Facebook as a resource to find a compatible roommate(s). When accepted into Butler, students are added to a group on Facebook with the rest of their class. Many students use Facebook to meet and chat with potential roommates instead of getting paired. By selecting their own roommate, some find peace of mind because the decision is in their hands rather than the school’s.

My Experience

My first year experience was unique because I lived in Fairview House during its inaugural year. I had six pod mates and all of them were randomly assigned except one, Sean, who I met on Facebook. Moving from high school to college, from home to a dorm, came with a lot of change for everyone. The year was filled with a lot of laughs and some of your typical first-year drama. Maybe we were always destined to be friends or maybe it was the circumstances of first year, but of my six roommates, I found two of my very best friends, Sean who I met on Facebook and Eric, who I will live with again next year.  

Although we are very different, Sean and I can tell each other almost anything. He’s a supportive friend who has stood by me through thick and thin. When recruitment during Greek rush did not work out in my favor, Sean never turned his back on me even when he did receive a bid/invitation to join his now fraternity. I went to all his philanthropy events that I could fit into my schedule, and he came to as many of choral concerts as he could. We even had a near death experience when going to visit his best friend at Notre Dame where we slid on the road one snowy night!

Although Eric was randomly assigned to me my first year on campus, we realized pretty quickly that we had a lot in common. One of those similarities is that we are both very picky eaters. I can’t tell you how many times we took field trips to new local restaurants around Indianapolis to escape having to eat in the dining hall every day. I’ve gone back home with him and his girlfriend for Fall Break and finally had the opportunity to explore Chicago. Sure things aren’t always perfect...I can’t even count the number of times we’ve argued, but at the end of the day I know that Eric always has my back and vice versa.

No Perfect Formula

Like my own experience, there is no perfect formula when it comes to finding roommates. You may find two best friends, or probably just as likely, you may not. Stories of awful roommates are told all the time, but so are the stories of roommates who end up being groomsmen and bridesmaids. However, no matter the outcome, Butler provides a community for everyone to be a part of. College is a time for growth and learning, new experiences, and new people. So be optimistic about your first year at Butler and the people you will be surrounded by, because you can definitely create some of your fondest memories together.

 

 

Roommates
Student LifePeople

What's It Like To Find a Roommate

​One of the most stressful and exciting aspects of going into your first year of college is who your roommate is going to be.

Growing Community Connections

By Morgan Skeries '20

An Indianapolis Community Requirement, also known as an ICR, is a learning experience that integrates classroom knowledge with activities in the Indianapolis community. Students are required to take one course in any part of the university that involves active engagement with the Indianapolis community, and there are many classes that offer this.

Grace Bowling, junior strategic communications major, explains that an ICR helps students to learn more about Indianapolis and the way it is unique to other cities. “An Indianapolis community requirement is a way that Butler students can broaden their horizons and make themselves well rounded students,” Grace said. “It is a way that we can reach out to the community we live in and impact them on a deeper level.”

ICR’s are a great way to push Butler University students out of their comfort zones. Moreover, Grace said it was important to be apart of something that is bigger than herself. By fulfilling her ICR requirement in a science course, called “The World of Plants,” and by partnering with students at the Indianapolis School for the Blind and Visually Impaired, she found that she loved connecting with the students. She found that she really enjoyed the experience and being able to get involved into the community.

“A lot of what we did was very hands on,” Grace said. “For example, our ICR required a project that helped us connect with students from ISBVI. We made butterflies with them, planted plants in their personal butterfly garden, and explored the Indianapolis Zoo's Butterfly Garden.”

The experience really impacted her positively and showed her that doing something bigger than herself is always important to pursue. “I loved getting to know the community better and learning more about the place that I live in,” she said.

Want to learn more? Information all about ICRs can be found on Butler University’s Indianapolis community requirement page.

Green House
Student LifeCommunity

Growing Community Connections

Indianapolis Community Requirement’s are a great way to push Butler University students out of their comfort zones.

Green House

Growing Community Connections

By Morgan Skeries '20
AcademicsArts & Culture

Critics Called It One of the Best Books of 2017

BY

PUBLISHED ON Mar 29 2018

The news came in an email at 6:00 AM on December 22. The subject line: "New York Times!"

The recipient: Butler Poet-in-Residence Alessandra Lynch. The sender: Kaveh Akbar MFA '15, who now teaches poetry at Purdue.

Inside was this link, but no message. And Lynch thought, "Good ol' Kaveh. Yet again, someone has recognized his prodigious gifts."

She clicked on the link and saw the cover of her new book Daylily Called It a Dangerous Moment under the headline "The Best Poetry of 2017." Along with it was this summation by David Orr, who writes the On Poetry column for The New York Times Book Review:

Alessandra Lynch, “Daylily Called It a Dangerous Moment.” You can read 20 pages into Lynch’s book before you fully realize it’s about a sexual assault — and this is to her credit. She wants to show an act of violence in all its terrible particularity and also in the way it becomes a background against which identity trembles and sometimes fractures. It’s difficult to read this collection without thinking about how timely it is, but its force is in no sense dependent on that congruity.

"I gasped," Lynch said. "It felt, and still feels, so surreal. Unreal. I don't know how David Orr found the book. He must receive thousands of books to review. So what was it about this book? I have no idea."

That was just the beginning. About six weeks later, Lynch got a call from The Los Angeles Times informing her that her book was a finalist for the LA Times Book Prize in Poetry. She'll be flown to California to participate in the newspaper's April 21-22 Festival of Books.

"I don't have experience like this," Lynch said. "From the time I was 9, I was just in my room, writing my poems. Then eventually I had enough poems and it dawned on me that I really wanted to make a book from them. For me, writing has always been a solitary, private situation. The public nature of publication and awards, while often nice, is very, sometimes chillingly, distant from the making and the life, the vitality of the poems."

*

As Orr wrote in The New York Times, Daylily Called It a Dangerous Moment is, in fact, about a sexual assault—Lynch's. The attack happened a couple of decades ago.

She didn't report the incident and for years told no one.

"I think I was in an extreme state of shock," she said. "I didn't even realize for years that I had some sort of PTSD. I wouldn't have ever said that I had that. That's what soldiers at war have. But clearly the disassociation and distance from what had happened are hallmarks of this. For years I moved around in a daze. And it's all over those poems."

In 2005, during a two-month stay at Yaddo, an artists' retreat in Saratoga Springs, New York, Lynch developed a routine—eat some blueberries and go for a run through the woods. As she ran, a line or two would come to her. When she got back to her studio, she would type "meditation," along with that line or two. There were meditations on the body, on absence, on abandonment, on desire. She wrote about a hundred, numbering each. She wasn't thinking about publishing or even sharing them.

"It just felt like such a sacred experience," she said. "I felt very in tune with those words."

In 2007, during a second stay at Yaddo, she followed a similar routine, but typed "agitation" at the top of each page. The “agitations” that surfaced became poems more directly about the assault.

After a few years, ready to share the poems and thinking she had two separate manuscripts, her husband, Butler Associate Professor of English and poet Chris Forhan, suggested that the agitations and meditations might belong together in a book.

Lynch devised a sequence for the poems, then showed the collection to another poet-friend who suggested that she move one of the more overt assault poems to the beginning. "I was thinking, 'I can't do that,'" she said. "That would be shocking. But he was right. And then I realized I was creating a narrative out of these highly lyrical poems. I was finally telling the story. I was finally facing the violence I had experienced through poetry."

Then, in 2015, during a two-week fellowship at The MacDowell Colony in Peterborough, New Hampshire—and after Alice James Books had already accepted Daylily for publication—Lynch wrote a final poem, "P.S. Assault." That "made the book fuller and more substantial."

The poem begins:

The girl it happens to
crawls out

of my body

"There are some really excruciatingly dark, excruciatingly personal moments in the book, and yet I think because it's poetry, there's so much metaphor and imagery," Lynch said. "It's not a direct report of what happened, and there's a meandering in and out of consciousness—a disassociated state, but a really beautiful state, a really comforting state. And the wandering out helps me and anyone who reads this book understand that the shock of it, the stun of it, makes you feel almost as though it didn't really happen to you."

Lynch took the book title Daylily Called It a Dangerous Moment from the first line of one of the poems. A daylily flower carries a lot of time symbolism and implication, Lynch said, and daylily, in this case, was witness to "the fact that at some point I realized I had experienced a dangerous moment in my life."

She chose the cover painting, Time, by Metka Krašovec, wife of Slovenian poet Tomaž Šalamun, for the traumatized look in the woman's eyes. "There's a wariness, there's a deep sorrow, an unsettledness and an unnerved quality to the eyes," she said. "But the figure itself is still. It's almost like paralysis. Plus there's a bird on her hand looking at her, but she's not paying attention to the bird. And there's a hand on her shoulder, which is ominous."

*

This is Lynch's third published book of poems, but she's been writing poetry and putting together books since she was a little girl in Pound Ridge, New York. She remembers her first-grade teacher announcing that the class would be working together on a journal and asking, "Who's going to write the poetry?" When no one spoke up, she volunteered.

She recalls her mother saying, "If you want to do anything well, you have to practice it." She took those words to heart and started to write every day. She still does.

In teaching poetry and memoir writing at Butler, she asks her students to reveal what is most important to them, what has hurt them most, what has made them feel most joyful—"those deeper feelings we don't often get the opportunity to share, but when we do share make us feel known."

"I think in some subconscious way, teachers teach what they want to learn," she said. "After all these years of having my terrific, brave students reveal all these things to me, I think that actually helped me."

Lynch said Daylily was cathartic to write. She hopes it will help others who've been through trauma. And she has no expectations about winning the Los Angeles Times Book Prize, for which she's competing against Shane McCrae, Evie Shockley, Patricia Smith, and David Wojahn.

She said she looks at their biographies and long lists of accomplishments, then looks at her own, which says she "lives with her husband and sons by a stony creek, two hackberry trees, and a magnolia trio."

"It's as though there are all these better-known poets up on the stage and I'm like a piece of pollen that drifts up," she said. "And there I am. I feel like pollen. But pollen's not a bad thing to feel like."

 

 

Media contact:
Marc Allan MFA '18
mallan@butler.edu
317-940-9822

 

AcademicsArts & Culture

Critics Called It One of the Best Books of 2017

'Daylily Called It a Dangerous Moment,' Poet-in-Residence Alessandra Lynch's new book, is being praised from coast to coast.

Mar 29 2018 Read more

#FTK: Butler University Dance Marathon

By Malachi White '20

BUDM#FTK, For The Kids, is a popular hashtag that is often taken out of context and used in a jokingly ironic way. However, at Butler #FTK is taken very seriously. We do care about the people we are serving in our community. One of the ways we show this is by hosting our annual Butler University Dance Marathon.

Dance Marathon is a multi-hour, multi-faceted event that blends dancing, games, crafts, food, and fun into one philanthropic experience. Students are on their feet the entire duration of the marathon as they stand for the kids at Riley. Funds for Dance Marathons are raised in a variety of ways. The main way funds are raised for Dance Marathons is through personal donations from friends, family, and the community either online or offline.

My friend Phil Faso, a sophomore at Butler, says he thoroughly enjoyed participating for his first time this year. “It personally impacted my life because I’ve done similar things before but not to such a great extent and it was very heartwarming.” Phil said. “It’s for an amazing cause and everyone should be aware of what we can do to help other people in need.”

Butler University Dance Marathon, or BUDM, is sponsored by Butler’s SGA. Their mission statement is “to engage the students of Butler University in striving to improve the quality of life for the children and families of Riley Hospital for Children.” This student-led organization works throughout the school year and summer to raise money to support cancer research performed at the hospital. Our money also helps the hospital continue its tradition of treating all patients, regardless of financial concerns.

Holding this organization close to her heart and platform, Annie Foster is a junior chemistry and Spanish double major, and has worked with BUDM since her first year on campus. “As soon as I joined, I knew this organization was about something bigger than I could ever imagine,” Annie said. “Supporting this organization means joining a movement to give hope back to the kids.” She started as a morale committee member during her first year. Her sophomore and junior years she worked on the executive board as Director of Fundraising. She will close her time at Butler as the Vice President of Finance. All students have the opportunity to be on the executive board by attending call out meetings, being actively annually, and showing commitment to the cause.

“From the start I knew I wanted to join the executive board and make a difference in this organization. BUDM has given my college experience meaning,” Annie said. “Being on a college campus comes with feeling of being in a bubble, secluded from the world around you. Getting involved in BUDM brings you out of that bubble and into the real world. It provides a new perspective, it teaches you about the power of hope, and it allows you to become apart of something larger than yourself.”BUDM

Inspired by the ability to make a change, Taylor Murray is a senior pharmacy major and served on the executive board of BUDM this past year. He realized that his impact on a family in need superseded monetary support for the cause. “I saw the joy and hope, especially, that support and simply dancing can bring to a child, or families face regardless of the amount of money raised that year,” Taylor said. “That was something that truly made me want to continue my involvement with the organization and the cause as a whole.”

As co-director of the morale committee Taylor says that “this committee meshed my love for dancing, with that of wanting to bring happiness and energy to those who may need it most.”

“Prospective students may not have had a Dance Marathon at their high school, and/or did not even know it was happening/what it is when they step foot onto Butler’s Campus,” Taylor said.  “From the outside, it may look like another organization at block party, but once you step out and begin to talk to those who have experienced it or been involved, one can realize it is more than an organization, it is a family.”

This year BUDM raised $301,576 for Riley Children’s Hospital and Butler celebrates being the second largest fundraising school in undergraduate schools with less than 12,000 students. Taylor tells his story and experience with BUDM by sharing how he has grown since his first year at Butler. He hopes that after he graduates he will be able to come back to people who have found their passions and act upon them to make their own Butler experiences special.

“From my experiences with BUDM, I have come to realize that I can be a leader, but a leader that doesn’t necessarily have to be the loudest or most successful in the room, but a leader who can lead by example and as one with the others,” Taylor said. “My advice to prospective students is if you do not know what you what in life, finding and driving toward your passion(s) will open up new avenues and opportunities you never would have thought existed.”

BUDM
Student LifeCampusCommunity

#FTK: Butler University Dance Marathon

#FTK, For The Kids, is a popular hashtag that is often taken out of context and used in a jokingly ironic way. However, at Butler #FTK is taken very seriously. 

AcademicsPeople

He Wanted Every Class to Be An Event

BY

PUBLISHED ON Mar 26 2018

Professor of Religion Paul Valliere marvels at the similarities between the Butler University he joined in 1982 and the Butler University from which he's retiring in May.

"It's perfectly obvious that all kinds of things are happening at Butler now that weren’t happening in 1982," he said. "But there are real continuities in the Butler of yore and the Butler of today. Most of those continuities are very positive—face-to-face community, dedication to students, ability to attract really fine students. We get really fine students. So did we in 1982. Most of the changes at Butler have built on the positives that were already there."

And over 36 years at Butler, Valliere, 74, has had a hand in several of those positive changes. He collaborated on creating the Change and Tradition core curriculum (which has evolved into Global and Historical Studies), built up the Honors Program, co-wrote the application for a Lilly Endowment Inc. grant that created the Center for Faith and Vocation, and wrote the application that helped Butler get a Phi Beta Kappa chapter.

Then there's teaching. Valliere approached his courses with the memory of something his former colleague John Beversluis told him: "I want every class to be an event."

"My favorite moments at Butler are walking out of a class that I know in my heart went really, really well," Valliere said. "For me, nothing compares to the sense of elation when I know at the end of a class that it really went well—I accomplished what I intended to in there, but much more, because the students grabbed hold of it and ran with it and it ended up being a great class."

Betsy Shirley '10, now Associate Editor at Sojourners magazine, remembers Valliere referring to students as his "young colleagues. And he really meant it. It wasn't a gimmick."

"He took more notes in class than any professor I had," she said. "He took notes on what students were saying—interesting points they made or something he wanted to follow up with them. Sometimes after class, he would say, 'I really appreciated that point you made. You might want to check out this extra essay, or this article that might help you develop your point.' He saw what students were saying as important and wanted to learn with them and from them."

*

Valliere grew up in Longmeadow, Massachusetts. After earning his bachelor's degree from Williams College, he got a job as a community organizer in East Harlem. In 1971, he began his teaching career at Columbia University, from which he earned his master's and doctorate, and started his career-long scholarship in religion and theology in modern Russia.

He taught religion at Columbia for 11 years. But by this point, he and his wife, Marjorie, had three young children, and he wanted a tenured professorship.

Butler offered him that. He moved to Indianapolis to be Dean of Butler's University College, which advised all first-year students and sophomores and oversaw the core curriculum and the honors program, and an Associate Professor of Religion.

He said Marjorie had to get a driver's license when they settled in Indiana—she didn't need one in New York—but the adjustment to the Midwest was otherwise easy.

"You're still the same person with the same unfinished articles in the same drawer," he said. "People have a tendency to get too hung up on externals—what environment do I live in, that kind of thing. Those things are superficial compared to the continuities: same family, same profession, same responsibilities, same challenges."

One of those challenges was integrating his interest in and knowledge of Russian theology into the curriculum. He did that through a course he team-taught with History Professor Bruce Bigelow called Peoples and Faiths of the Soviet Union (later Peoples and Faiths of Russia and its Neighbors).

*

Valliere described himself as "the product of a 100 percent pure liberal arts tradition." In fact, he said, "There was concern among some of the people at Butler who hired me that I might be too liberal-artsy for the good of the institution."

He said Butler "broadened me" by exposing him to students in professional areas.

"In my years of working with students in the arts, pharmacy, education, and the other professional colleges, I've become a broader, better-informed academic," he said. "I feel very good about that part of my Butler experience, where I had to stretch. I hope I stretched Butler and my students. That's what we're supposed to do. Stretch. But I got stretched also. And to the good."

Judith Cebula, the Founding Director of the Center for Faith and Vocation, said one of Valliere's strengths is that he "believes in the possible."

"He hired me to help launch the Center for Faith and Vocation and I saw first-hand how he believed Butler could become a better university when he created the Center, when he created the Seminar on Religion and Global Affairs, when created new courses, such as Faith Doubt and Reason in collaboration with Philosophy Professor Stuart Glennan, for example," she said.

"I saw it most clearly when he shared with me that he always strived to see the fullest potential in each student who walked into his classroom. Each student entered a new semester with an A in Paul’s grade book. That is how much he believes in the possible."

*

Valliere said he's enjoyed watching the city of Indianapolis grow, and Butler grow with it. That's one of the reasons he put off retirement.

"Why leave when the institution is doing so well and the city has gotten so interesting?" he said.

But now that the time is right for retirement, Paul and Marjorie plan to stay in Indianapolis and keep their Butler Basketball season tickets. He plans to continue his Russia scholarship, and will be working with the Emory University School of Law to co-edit a volume on the history of Christianity and law in Russia. It's part of a big study program being coordinated by the Center for the Study of Law and Religion at Emory.

"I'm retiring from teaching," he said, "but there's no rule that says you have to retire from scholarship—and I don't have any plans to cut back on that front."

As for teaching, yes, he will miss the interactions with students and the dynamics of the classroom.

"But I taught for 47 years, which is a lot longer than a lot of people have a chance to do," he said. "I turn 75 this year, so I've had a long run, and I'm grateful."

The College of Liberal Arts and Sciences will hold a retirement reception for Paul Valliere and Philosophy Professor Harry van der Linden on Tuesday, April 3, from 4:30-6:30 PM in the Robertson Hall Johnson Room. All are welcome. No RSVP necessary.

 

Media contact:
Marc Allan
mallan@butler.edu
317-940-9822

 

AcademicsPeople

He Wanted Every Class to Be An Event

After 36 years at Butler, Religion Professor Paul Valliere retires.

Mar 26 2018 Read more
GivingPeopleCampus

Butler Names New Vice President for Advancement

BY

PUBLISHED ON Mar 07 2018

Jonathan Purvis, a respected leader in higher education advancement with 19 years of experience, has been named Butler University’s Vice President for Advancement. He begins his duties at Butler on April 16, 2018.

Purvis comes to Butler from Indiana University where he has served as Vice President for Development and Regional Campuses. Prior to that, he served as Executive Director of Development and Alumni Relations for the Indiana University School of Education and Senior Director for Capital Projects at Washington University in St. Louis. He has also held varied positions at the IU Foundation ranging from Executive Director of Special Gifts and Annual Giving to Assistant to the President.

“Jonathan possesses an exceptional depth of experience within higher education advancement,” said Butler University President James Danko. “His proven success in development, and demonstrated leadership in higher education, make him the right person to help us to achieve our ambitious fundraising goals.”

Purvis holds the Certified Fund Raising Executive credential (CFRE) and has taught a variety of fundraising courses at Indiana University. He is a frequent presenter with the Council for Advancement and Support of Education (CASE) and is a contributing author to the third edition of the acclaimed Achieving Excellence in Fundraising. He holds a bachelor’s degree in English and master’s degree in Public Affairs, both from Indiana University Bloomington.

Having grown up in Noblesville, Indiana, in a family of Butler alumni, Purvis is excited to return to Central Indiana to be part of the Butler community. He is joined by his wife Brittany, daughter Sophie, and son Joshua.

 

Media contact:
Rachel Stern
rstern@butler.edu
317-940-9257

GivingPeopleCampus

Butler Names New Vice President for Advancement

Jonathan Purvis comes to BU from IU.

Mar 07 2018 Read more

California Girl to Butler Bulldog

By Morgan Skeries '20

When I tell people I'm from California, their response is usually the same. "Wow, why would you ever want to come here?" It is a valid question. Out of all the schools I applied to and visited, why Butler University? Before I answer that, let me walk you through my college application process.
 

Morgan at BeachI knew I wanted to go away for college because I wanted the ability to live on my own away from home. I was looking at schools all over the Midwest and East coast, and I knew I wanted to attend a small, liberal arts school. I was extremely interested in having small class sizes that would emphasize my learning and for my professors to know me on a first-name basis. It was important for me to have these connections with my classmates and my professors, so I would always have help if I needed it.

My college counselor at the time was helping me apply to schools that she thought would be a great fit for me, academically and socially. After doing some research, I found that Butler checked off many boxes on my list, including an impressive school for communication degrees, as I knew I wanted to study journalism. I sent in my application not thinking much of it. In the fall, I received a letter saying I was accepted to Butler University.

As soon as I stepped onto campus, something clicked. My college counselor was right, Butler did have everything I was looking for. Butler had a beautiful campus, small class sizes, and a college-town feel with a city only 15 minutes away. I remember thinking to myself, "I could really picture myself going here."


Although the weather was something I had to get used to, I am making amazing friends, and my professors are genuinely interested in my academic success. I am a member of a sorority and on the Student Government Association. As a journalism major, it is really beneficial that I live in a major city that has a variety of media sources available to me. I do not think I would have had the same opportunities at another school if I had not gone to Butler.


Although I miss my home in sunny California, I could not be happier with my college choice. I'm proud I get to yell, "Go Dawgs!" and be a part of a supportive community of people like me.

Morgan
Student Life

California Girl to Butler Bulldog

Although I miss my home in sunny California, I could not be happier with my college choice.

Morgan

California Girl to Butler Bulldog

By Morgan Skeries '20
AcademicsStudent Life

Archaeology Mobile Lab Brings History to Life

BY Jackson Borman '20

PUBLISHED ON Mar 27 2018

When you walk into Dr. Lynne Kvapil’s office in Jordan Hall, you'll likely see a binder full of ancient Greek and Roman coins, a ceramic bowl or two, and stacks and stacks of other artifacts and replicas. And she will gladly show you any of them.

Kvapil is an Assistant Professor of Classics at Butler, as well as a practicing archaeologist. These items are all a part of the Ancient Mediterranean Cultures and Archaeology Mobile Lab, of which Kvapil is a director, along with Associate Professor of Classics, Chris Bungard.

“We have a bunch of stuff, and the goal is for students to get their hands on things,” Kvapil said. “Short term, we want to get these materials in more classes at Butler. I think the long term is to get them into the Indianapolis area, to really create a network of people in the Indianapolis area who want to see these resources coming in and out.”

The lab’s extensive collection is made up of materials that are relevant to the ancient world, specifically Greece and Rome, but there are some items that branch out around the Mediterranean as well, such as reproductions of Egyptian papyrus.

The lab operates as a collection, through which items can be loaned out to classrooms at Butler or kindergarten-through-high school classrooms in the Indianapolis area. Kvapil said that the primary purpose of the lab is to provide a way of learning that is different from a traditional classroom, but also to provide materials for possible research opportunities.

The lab started in fall 2015, financed by a Butler Innovation Fund grant, but they had only a year to spend the money. Most of the first year was shopping around to see what materials were out there for purchase.

Since the shopping has been completed, Kvapil said that the majority of the work to be done with the lab is regarding what to do about their loan policy.

“We are still trying to figure out things like what do we do if we loan out a cup and someone trashes it, how do we replace that and what is our legal policy there,” Kvapil said. “These are some nitty-gritty things that take some time to hash out.”

Because the lab has accumulated so many artifacts and other materials, there is always more work to be done. Kvapil employs two student-interns every year to help with the organization and curation of the lab.

“The interns really make this place run,” Kvapil said. “We want to always spotlight Butler students and what they are doing. I think it is really important to make sure that the people that work with us get some publicity.”

Wendy Vencel '20 has been an intern with the lab for the last two years. She is also the president of the Classics Club. Besides working to help keep the lab running smoothly, Vencel has been trying to use the lab to help plan events with the Classics Club as well.

“We are really trying to work with it to engage with the lab because it really is the perfect opportunity, at least in the Butler community,” Vencel said.

This year, the interns started a WordPress blog that contains an electronic flipbook of all of the materials that the lab has in stock, as well as an Instagram page with photos of items. Audrey Crippin, a P3 Pharmacy major, made the flipbook. They set up a pop-up museum in the on-campus Starbucks during Dawg Days, where Butler-bound students could experience a mock archaeological dig, in an attempt to showcase some of what the Classics Department has to offer.

Vencel said that experiences like the mock dig are important to her because similar experiences made her first years at Butler memorable.

“What got me into classics was when Dr. Kvapil came and talked to an Anthropology class that I was in, and I was like, ‘Oh my gosh there is an archaeologist here,’” Vencel said. “It was super cool and I didn’t know Butler had that to offer. During my sophomore year, I took Kvapil’s Greek art and myth class and I’ve been here ever since.”

Kvapil said that the best way for students to get involved with the lab is by applying to be an intern for next year, or by joining the Classics Club. Another option is simply by taking classes that can make use of the lab.

“People are really shy about being interested in that kind of thing," Kvapil said, "but we also promote them to take classes, not just in the Classics Department, but there are a lot of classes in the History and Anthropology Department, as well as Philosophy and Religion, that are involved with this kind of idea that the past can be alive through things.”

 

 

 

AcademicsStudent Life

Archaeology Mobile Lab Brings History to Life

Faculty and students work together to curate a collection of artifacts and replicas.

Mar 27 2018 Read more
AcademicsPeople

What Makes a Leader? Professors' Research Offers Insight

BY

PUBLISHED ON Feb 16 2018

WHAT MAKES A LEADER? PROFESSORS’ RESEARCH OFFERS INSIGHT

ON  

When most think about leadership, a CEO, or All-Star, or conductor might come to mind. Think Jeff Bezos, LeBron James, or Yo-Yo Ma. 

Turns out, we may have it all wrong.  

That’s according to new research from two Butler University Lacy School of Business professors. Instead of relying primarily on those at the top to lead—and only those at the top—the most successful organizations are full of individuals who lead from wherever they are, according to their research.  

“We have a top-centric idea of leadership in America and we tend to attribute far too much of the performance of an organization to the person at the top of it,” said Craig Caldwell, Associate Dean of Graduate and Professional Programs. “That doesn’t accurately describe reality of how work gets done and it often results in the rest of us feeling like we are powerless cogs. Many people think that because they are not in a formal management role in the company, or the superstar of the team, they cannot be a leader. Our research shows that you can have a significant impact no matter where you are in an organization.” 

Caldwell and Jerry Toomer, along with their co-authors, conducted more than 80 interviews across three sectors–business, the arts, and sports—to find out what traits define those individuals who make teams better. They call this The Catalyst Effect, which is also the title of their book that was published this week.  

The book highlights 12 key competencies, centered on four cornerstones, that are the foundation of catalytic behavior. These competencies were gleaned from interviews with a wide cross-section of people, including bass players and concert masters, amateur athletes and professional athletes, business leaders and technical professionals.  

“The magic of being a catalyst that sparks team performance is the ability to master most of the 12 competencies and use them in concert, at the right time,” said Toomer, an Executive Partner and Adjunct Professor. “The catalytic effect is maximized by using all of them to elevate the performance of the team.” 

The four cornerstones are:  

  • Building credibility 
  • Creating cohesion 
  • Generating momentum 
  • Amplifying impact  
     

“My hope is that with this research we invite team members to realize that they can lead without formal authority. That they can lead from wherever they are, in whatever setting they work or play,” Toomer said. “We almost always think about leadership from a position of authority in traditional organization structures. This suggests that the most successful teams and organizations value everyone leading in unique, value-adding ways.” 

Now, they say, the key is to train individuals in organizations to look for talent in a new way. If CEOs, for example, have a better understanding of the catalyst effect, they may change the metrics they use to identify talent. 

“Right now, we look for superstars—those who sold the most in dollar volume, who stuffed the stat sheet in the last game or played the most notable solo,” Caldwell said. “Our research team believes that we have a lot of people flying below the radar. We need to view our high performers in new ways.”

Media contact:
Rachel Stern
rstern@butler.edu
317-940-9257

 

AcademicsPeople

What Makes a Leader? Professors' Research Offers Insight

Craig Caldwell and Jerry Toomer have a new book, "The Catalyst Effect."

Feb 16 2018 Read more
People

From Butler to DEA to '60 Minutes'

BY

PUBLISHED ON Jan 09 2018

The credo, The Butler Way, did not yet exist when Joe Rannazzisi ’84 walked Sunset Avenue and Hampton Drive.

But those values of commitment, selflessness, passion, and servanthood were ever-present on campus, he said, and they became a part of who he is. And on October 15, the former Drug Enforcement Administration agent demonstrated The Butler Way to the nation.

Rannazzisi came forward on 60 Minutes and in The Washington Post to reveal how members of Congress worked to limit the DEA’s ability to crack down on the widespread distribution of opioids.

As The Post put it: “The Ensuring Patient Access and Effective Drug Enforcement Act was the crowning achievement of a multifaceted campaign by the drug industry to weaken aggressive DEA enforcement efforts against drug distribution companies that were supplying corrupt doctors and pharmacists who peddled narcotics to the black market. The industry worked behind the scenes with lobbyists and key members of Congress, pouring more than a million dollars into their election campaigns.”

Rannazzisi, who saw what was going on, spoke out. He ended up being forced out of his job in August 2015.

“One day, they came in and they removed me and put another guy in my place,” he said. “That’s all because that’s what industry wanted.”

Now, Rannazzisi has come forward, leading 60 Minutes correspondent Bill Whitaker to label him, “one of the most important whistleblowers ever to be on 60 Minutes.

“My only motive was to protect public health and safety,” Rannazzisi said in a phone interview. “I wasn’t going to get paid more to do my job. I just wanted to make sure everybody understood what their obligations were.”

Sense of community

Joe Rannazzisi already had a well-formed sense of right and wrong by the time he chose to attend Butler. He grew up in Freeport, Long Island, an area where a lot of police and firefighters lived. His father was a teacher who thought public service was important for everyone, and young Joe found himself inspired by the bravery of a DEA Special Agent named Frank Tummillo, who was killed during an undercover operation in New York City in 1972.

Rannazzisi came to Butler to study Pharmacy, and he worked his way through school—at The Children’s Museum as an Emergency Medical Technician; at Butler’s Science Library; and at the Washington Township Fire Department as a reserve, where he was on an engine once or twice a week.

"Joe was always a guy who wore his heart on his sleeve,” said his Delta Tau Delta fraternity brother Scott Bridge ’82, an Instructor in Butler’s College of Communication. “He was a very caring guy with a good sense of humor and a quick smile. He frequently talked about joining the DEA even when he was a freshman. The guys in the house were usually skeptical about those plans, but damn if he didn't prove us all wrong. I shouldn't be surprised, though. Joe was also a guy who tended to know what he wanted and worked hard to get it."

Rannazzisi said Butler was “a great experience,” though he remembered one terrible night during either his sophomore or junior year when a member of Lambda Chi got into a car accident outside the Sigma Nu house. Rannazzisi had just returned to campus from one of his jobs.

“One of my fraternity brothers and another guy were out there doing everything possible to help this guy,” he said. “But he didn’t make it. I remember my fraternity brother was so distraught that he couldn’t do more. Everybody was. And then the campus gathered and I remember there was a vigil. It was like Butler was a community. You could go 4-5 years on a large campus and not know everybody. But by the time you’re done with Butler, you pretty much know everybody because you’re living in such close proximity to each other. You go to the same social events and restaurants and bars and you’re working together. It’s one of those communities where we are all so close-knit.”

Butler, he said, taught him that “there’s a big, big world out there besides living on the East Coast. That’s the first thing I learned. The people were so nice. I learned a different way of living. It was much more laid back, not the hustle-bustle. I would do it again in a heartbeat.”

‘Thank you for doing the right thing and stepping up

Rannazzisi earned his Bachelor of Science in Pharmacy, but he wanted to be a cop or a DEA agent. After he graduated, he practiced pharmacy for a few years, then got calls from the Indianapolis Police Department and the Drug Enforcement Administration within a month of each other.

He chose the DEA and was assigned to Detroit, where he worked during the day and earned his law degree from Michigan State University’s Detroit College of Law at night.

Eventually, he transferred to Washington, DC. From January 2006 until his retirement, he served as Deputy Assistant Administrator of the DEA.

Now, he’s working with lawyers who represent states that are suing opioid manufacturers because “the states are the ones who can effect change better than anybody else can,” he says.

As for what has changed since he went public?

“Congress is debating whether they should repeal the bill or not, the nominee for Drug Czar [Tom Marino] withdrew his name, and people are still dying. That’s about it,” Rannazzisi said.

One more thing: Rannazzisi’s email has been flooded with notes from supporters saying “you did the right thing” and “thank you for stepping up.”

And in this sense, Joe Rannazzisi is just like his alma mater.

“In 2010 and 2011, I had to explain to people where Butler was,” he said. “They talked about this little school that pushed academics, but they were really good at basketball and they’re going up against all these big guys who have a lot more money and better recruiting. But Butler succeeds because they’re disciplined and they know how to achieve things that normal people wouldn’t achieve. That’s what the school instills in you. I always thought it was pretty neat that people would say, ‘How does this little school get to where it is?’ It’s because the school has values that a lot of large schools should have and don’t.”

People

From Butler to DEA to '60 Minutes'

Rannazzisi came forward on 60 Minutes and in The Washington Post to reveal how members of Congress worked to limit the DEA’s ability to crack down on the widespread distribution of opioids.

Jan 09 2018 Read more
Julian
AcademicsStudent LifePeople

Julian Wyllie '16 Named to Politico Journalism Institute

BY

PUBLISHED ON Mar 20 2018

Julian Wyllie '16, a Lacy School of Business graduate and former editor of The Butler Collegian, has been named to the 2018 class of the Politico Journalism Institute (PJI), an educational initiative supporting diversity in Washington area newsrooms.

PJI, which will be held May 29 to June 9, will offer 13 university students intensive, hands-on training in government and political reporting. Programming includes interactive sessions, panels with industry leaders, mentoring, and an opportunity for students to have their work published by Politico.

The PJI Class of 2018 also includes students from Yale, University of Southern California, and Georgetown. Two of the students will be selected at the end of the program for a three-month residency in the Politico newsroom where they will write, edit, and produce content.

All costs for PJI participants, including room, board, and transportation, are provided by Politico. Students split time between American University in Washington, D.C., and Politico headquarters in Arlington, Virginia.

"We're thrilled to welcome this exceptional new class of PJI students," said Politico Editor Carrie Budoff Brown. "Our class this year reflects the racial, geographic, and socioeconomic diversity that Politico is committed to nurturing. Our newsroom is looking forward to mentoring these talented young journalists, who will be at the forefront of tomorrow's political news landscape." 

Since graduating, Wyllie’s career has included stops at Governing magazine and The Chronicle of Higher Education.

"My time in Washington has been more than amazing so far," Wyllie said. "Being associated with anything as big as Politico is a great thing. But the best part about this program is that it gives me the chance to meet other hard-working young writers, who are all going through the struggles of trying to make it. Being around them feeds my desire to keep pushing myself and not let up. Overall, the success I've had is a direct result of skills I gained while attending Butler, where at The Collegian I stumbled on my life's passion."

 

Media contact:
Marc Allan
mallan@butler.edu
317-940-9822

Julian
AcademicsStudent LifePeople

Julian Wyllie '16 Named to Politico Journalism Institute

Program offers hands-on training in government and political reporting.

Mar 20 2018 Read more
Indy 500Student LifePeople

Four Butler Students Named 500 Festival Princesses

BY

PUBLISHED ON Mar 02 2018

Taylor Bowen                                  Natalie Cole     

Katie Pfaff                                    Anna Rather

                         

Four Butler University students have been selected as 500 Festival Princesses for 2018.

They are:

-Taylor Bowen, Michiana Shores, a senior majoring in Digital Media Production and Art Plus Design.

-Natalie Cole, Westfield, a junior majoring in Violin Performance with emphases in Music Theory and Music History.

-Katherine (Katie) Pfaff, Lewisville, a junior majoring in Strategic Communication: Public Relations.

-Anna Rather, Bargersville, a junior majoring in English Literary Theory, Culture and Criticism.

Each 500 Festival Princess will receive a $1,000 scholarship. In addition, 500 Festival Princesses are involved with the 500 Festival’s statewide community outreach programs, volunteering at 500 Festival events, and participating in various Indianapolis Motor Speedway functions, including the pre-race ceremonies and Victory Circle celebration for the 102nd running of the Indianapolis 500.

The 2018 500 Festival Princesses represent 14 Indiana colleges and universities and 21 cities and towns across the state. With a cumulative GPA of 3.72, this year’s 500 Festival princesses were selected from hundreds of applicants based on communication skills, academic performance and community involvement.

 

Media contact:
Marc Allan
mallan@butler.edu
317-940-9822

 

SGA: Committed to Your Campus Experience

By Malachi White '20

Were you apart of your high school’s student government? Did you help plan dances, prom, student events or fundraisers? Have you ever wanted to be apart of something that was super cool and fulfilling? I ask these questions because that was me when I was in high school. Although I am not as active in student government as I used to be, I still reap many of the benefits of those involved in Student Government Association on Butler’s campus.

Butler University’s SGA is committed to improving your campus experience. They represent the student body and support over 150 student organizations on campus while addressing student concerns and providing engaging programming with the Butler community. SGA connects the students to the administration; building strong relationships with the faculty and staff addressing student concerns. Some of SGA’s functions include providing a free weekend shuttle service for students, offering grants for represented student organizations, and hosting exciting student events, like diversity programming, concerts, and philanthropy fundraisers.

Taylor Leslie is a senior international business major and a SGA Diversity and Inclusion Board member. She is a major advocate for the push to bring notable and different speakers to campus. “My experience with SGA has been great. I’ve been a member of the Diversity and Inclusion Board since my sophomore year,” Taylor said. “My roles within SGA have given me the opportunity from a student position to help make changes in the way that diversity and inclusion is perceived on campus.”

Another student involved in SGA is Chris Sanders. He is a junior psychology major, a co-chair for SGA’s Concerts Committee and a student assistant for the Office of Health and Education. His experiences have made working within SGA some of his best memories while on campus. “I didn’t know what I was really getting into when I joined, but if someone would have told me that my Butler experience would including meeting famous artists such as T-Pain, Kesha, and DNCE, I would not have believed them, but this is exactly what happened.” Chris said.

SGA can open several doors for students. Once apart of SGA team, new benefits and opportunities open up for everyone on campus in the Butler community.

“Other students should consider joining SGA because it gives you an opportunity to be a leader on this campus,” Taylor said. “You get a chance to influence and be apart of the change that is happening on campus. You’ll also make connections with many students and find a team of leaders that have similar passions as yourself.”

Not only is being apart of SGA an awesome opportunity, but it is an important part of campus life on campus. “I think SGA is very important to have on campus.” Chris said.“Without SGA, we wouldn’t be able to have great events such as BUDM, Butlerpalooza, or Spring Sports as all of these are all planned by different SGA committees. SGA pays a critical role in facilitating important relationships between all members of the Butler community.”

SGA Office
Student LifeCampus

SGA: Committed to Your Campus Experience

Were you apart of your high school’s student government? Did you help plan dances, prom, student events or fundraisers?

AcademicsStudent LifePeople

Ten Butler Students Selected for Orr Fellowships

BY

PUBLISHED ON Feb 13 2018

Ten Butler students from the Class of 2018 have landed two-year jobs after graduation through the Orr Fellowship program, which recruits and evaluates candidates based on academic excellence, extracurricular involvement, and leadership qualities and matches them with local companies.

The students (and companies) are:

Claire Cox (Allegion)

Zach Bellavia (Ascend Indiana)

Cole Geitner (DemandJump)

Bailey Padgett (FirstPerson)

Benjamin Evans (hc1.com)

Eleanor McCandless (Innovatemap)

Sarah Thuet (OurHealth)

Hayley Brown (Probo Medical)

Mariam Saeedi (RocketBuild)

Kaitlyn Sawin (Vibenomics)

Some 1,100 students competed for 70 possible positions with 47 companies across central Indiana.

The Orr Fellowship facilitates in-depth interviews that connect local decision makers to top young professionals.

“What began as a simple idea – attract talented new graduates to central Indiana’s workforce and grow them into business leaders and entrepreneurs over the course of two years – has evolved into a program infusing the community with hundreds of entrepreneurial, high-achieving and civic-minded Orr Fellows and alumni,” said Karyn Smitson, Orr Fellowship Executive Director.

Named for the late Indiana Governor Robert D. Orr, the Orr Fellowship develops the next generation of business leaders and entrepreneurs in Indianapolis. The Fellowship is designed to create a foundation for career success and a talent pipeline for the Indy business community.

Since its inception in 2001, Orr Fellowship has placed nearly 400 Fellows with some of Indiana’s leading companies, and many Fellows have gone on to form their own companies.

 

 

Media contact:
Marc Allan
mallan@butler.edu
317-940-9822

 

 

AcademicsStudent LifePeople

Ten Butler Students Selected for Orr Fellowships

These members of the Class of 2018 have two-year guaranteed jobs.

Feb 13 2018 Read more
Arts & CulturePeopleCommunity

Community Arts School Head Honored As United Way 'Hero'

BY

PUBLISHED ON Feb 26 2018

Butler Community Arts School Director Karen Thickstun has been honored as one of United Way of Central Indiana's 100 Heroes for her efforts to grow the arts education program from 180 students in 2002 to more than 2,000 in 2016–2017.

The 100 Heroes awards are being given to 100 people from the Central Indiana community who have made a positive impact over the last 100 years.

"I appreciate the opportunity to share with the community what the Butler Community Arts School is all about," Thickstun said. "This is nice recognition for Butler, for the Community Arts School, for the Butler students who are doing something in the community. This isn't about one person. It is about one person plus staff and faculty and Butler students and community partners that have been with us from the very beginning."

The Butler Community Arts School (BCAS) provides affordable arts instruction to the Indianapolis community—people like Kennon Ward, who is now Assistant Music Director of The Salvation Army's Phil Ramone Orchestra for Children in New York—and enables Butler students to hone their teaching skills. BCAS offers private lessons, group classes, camps, and off-campus community programming.

Last year, 59 percent of the BCAS students taking lessons received a scholarship, and minority enrollment accounted for 53 percent.

The BCAS program was the vision of Peter Alexander, then Dean of the Jordan College of Fine Arts, who had started a similar community arts school at the University of Southern Mississippi. Alexander "saw the potential for using college students as the primary instructors and making inroads into the community with that dynamic," Thickstun said.

Alexander approached Thickstun with the idea in January 2002. At the time, Butler's only music instruction for the community was a piano camp. With the help of Arts Administration Professor Susan Zurbuchen, Thickstun secured a grant from the Indiana Arts Commission to provide need-based scholarships to students who wanted music lessons but could not afford them.

By September 2002, BCAS was up and running.

"It was a leap of faith by the Indiana Arts Commission because they were funding something that didn't exist yet," she said. "But Butler had credibility, and the Jordan College of Fine Arts had credibility, and I'm assuming they saw the potential."

The Indiana Arts Commission has renewed that grant every year since. Last year, BCAS received grants totaling more than $113,000 from the Indiana Arts Commission, the Christel DeHaan Family Foundation, The Indianapolis Foundation, Summer Youth Program Fund, and the Lilly Endowment. Some 90 percent of the grant money goes to provide student need-based scholarships.

The program also now has:

-Thirteen community partners serving more than 800 students with music, visual arts, dance, and theatre programs. The Martin Luther King Center, Metropolitan Youth Orchestra, Auntie Mame Child Development Center, and Christel House Academy have all been community partners since the beginning.

-Sixteen summer camps serving over 600 students ages 7 and older. The camps include a summer ballet intensive that will be expanded to four weeks beginning in 2018, as well as theatre and music programs. A new guitar camp will debut in 2018.

-Nine group class programs—including Guitar for Young Bulldogs, Youth Theatre, and Children's Orchestra—serving more than 200 students ages 5 and older.

-Nine areas of private lessons serving over 400 students ages 5 and up. Lessons are available in piano, strings, voice, woodwinds, brass, percussion, guitar, music theory, and composition.

"I'm proud that Butler has stood behind the program for 16 years and continued to support it," Thickstun said. "Butler has recognized that it provides community engagement for the University students, in addition to all the good that it does for the children in the community."

 

Media contact:
Marc Allan
mallan@butler.edu
317-940-9822

 

Arts & CulturePeopleCommunity

Community Arts School Head Honored As United Way 'Hero'

Karen Thickstun has made a positive impact on the central Indiana community.

Feb 26 2018 Read more

Chelsea Groves ’20

Student Profile

Major / Program: Sports Media

Chelsea Groves is the poster child for the importance of paying attention, showing up, and doing your best work.

In early September of her first year at Butler, she and the other Sports Media majors received an email from Creative Media and Entertainment Professor Christine Taylor asking them to contribute to the Bulldog Blitz, a weekly show spotlighting Butler sports. Groves jumped at the chance. She set up an interview with Volleyball Coach Sharon Clark, “and it just started to expand through that.”

Her work on the Blitz, which aired during halftime of games that aired on butlersports.com, led to work with Butler Athletics, where she reported stories about Butler Baseball, the men’s and women’s golf teams, and several other sports.

“I put myself out there and responded to that email,” she said. “It was a big deal for me.”

Now in her sophomore year, “I just want to get better,” she said. “I want to be my absolute best and watch myself grow in other areas. I want to be better in the broadcast area and be prominent and be known for doing a great job.”

Groves came to Butler from Walkerton, Indiana, where her dad was the high school varsity football coach and also coached eighth-grade boy’s basketball. She remembers bringing her stuffed animals and American Girl doll to games when she was little and learning to keep score as she got older.

“I had one of the rosters, I got a pen from my grandma’s purse, and I would put a tally mark next to all the people who scored,” she said. “I just became enthralled with it. My dad was a big reason why I fell into sports.”

Her plan now is to develop her skills in school and ultimately become either a sideline reporter or analyst for men’s college basketball or baseball.

She said Butler is making her better.

“So many people around me—basically everyone—pushes you to be your absolute best all the time,” she said. “They critique me, tell me what to do—and what to do better—and I listen to them because they know what they’re doing and I trust them and I want to step up my game all the time. Butler is an amazing place, and I’m so glad I’m here.”

 

 

 

 

Chelsea Groves
Student LifePeople

Chelsea Groves ’20

Chelsea Groves is the poster child for the importance of paying attention, showing up, and doing your best work.

Chelsea Groves

Chelsea Groves ’20

Student Profile

Bettine Gibbs ’19

Student Profile

Bettine Gibbs said her “Butler moment” came at the beginning of her third year, during the College of Pharmacy and Health Sciences’ White Coat Ceremony that marks students’ transition from the study of preclinical to clinical health science.

“It lets the students know that this is the time to be serious,” she said. “It’s not a game. You have people’s lives in your hands. Having all the faculty participate was really nice, and the speech the Dean gave was helpful in guiding me, having me think about which route I want to take and understanding that it’s not always going to be a straight line to where you want to go.”

Gibbs, who chose Butler because earning her PharmD degree would take six years here rather than eight at another school, has often traveled the road less taken. For starters, while Pharmacy is typically all-consuming for students, she found time to walk on to the track and field team for two years, competing in the BIG EAST outdoor championships at Villanova and indoor championships in New York. In addition, she has been an officer in the Black Student Union, where she has pushed for more diversity and inclusivity at Butler.

Then, because she had an internship over summer 2017—at Eli Lilly and Company, in the Bioproduct Research and Development sector—she spent the fall 2017 semester finishing her Introductory Pharmacy Practice Experiences at IU Health Methodist Hospital. She worked a full eight-hour day each Saturday or Sunday alongside pharmacists and physicians, making medication recommendations. (Her classmates completed their IPPE’s in larger blocks of time.)

And finally, while most of her classmates tend toward clinical pharmacy, Gibbs has decided she wants to be a pharmaceutical scientist. Her goal is to either work for a company like Lilly, become a tenure-track professor at a research institution where she would have her own lab, or teach at a liberal arts college like Butler.

She said professors at Butler have backed her decisions.

“Finding a home in the Pharmaceutical Sciences Department has been the best thing about Butler,” she said. “I found support there when I didn’t want to go the traditional clinical route. I was able to find support in the Pharmaceutical Sciences Department as well as the Chemistry Department—and even some professors in Political Science and History and Anthropology helped me have ideas about what route I would like to go. It taught me that you don’t have to stay in one place in this University. You can go to different colleges and people will help you out.”

 

 

 

Bettine Gibbs
Student LifePeople

Bettine Gibbs ’19

Gibbs, who chose Butler because earning her PharmD degree would take six years here rather than eight at another school, has often traveled the road less taken.

Bettine Gibbs

Bettine Gibbs ’19

Student Profile
Amber Mills

Amber Mills ’14

BY

PUBLISHED ON Dec 15 2017

Amber Mills ’14 said Butler provided her with a blank canvas—a fitting analogy for someone whose profession is graphic designer.

“I got to explore who I was, what I was passionate about, and who I wanted to become, and then Butler gave me the tools and the confidence to go out and get it,” she said.

Mills, one of the University’s first Art + Design majors, is now a Graphic Designer at the Indiana Repertory Theatre, the largest fully professional resident non-profit theater in Indiana. In that role, she works on the website (irtlive.com), designs ads, marketing materials, and does some photography. The job “changes by the minute,” she said. She even designed the theater’s current logo during its 2015 rebranding.

She said Butler prepared her well—whether it was what she learned in the classroom or in her internship with the University’s Marketing and Communications Department, where she designed the Hinkle Fieldhouse replica doghouse that is still on display in the campus bookstore. Mills did four internships while in school.

“Butler goes beyond teaching just the basic skills and theories in the classroom,” she said. “It teaches you how to communicate effectively. It teaches you how to solve problems. It teaches you how to think critically. And then it sends you out into the world to apply those skills and really gain the experience that sets you apart. There’s nothing like going into a job interview right after you graduate and being able to say, ‘Hey, I know I just graduated from school, but I’ve been making money as a graphic designer for two years and here’s my portfolio and my references to back that up.’”

Mills grew up in New Carlisle, in northern Indiana, and wanted a small school in a city. She found Butler to be “a nice steppingstone” with a community feel that reminded her of home. And she found people who are “exemplifying and living out the golden rule—being kind to one another, helping each other out, lifting each other up instead of tearing each other down. That’s the Butler Way.”

Amber Mills

Amber Mills ’14

Butler provided her with a blank canvas.

AcademicsStudent Life

Butler Selects Top 100 Students

BY

PUBLISHED ON Jan 26 2018

The Alumni Association has announced Butler University's Top 100 students, honoring the top juniors and seniors for the 2017–2018 academic year.

The list is below, and Butler Collegian coverage is here.

The Top 100 students are determined by the Top 100 Selection Committee composed of representatives of each of the six colleges, student affairs, academic affairs, and alumni. Each candidate is judged against the core values of the program on a numeric scale. At the end of the judging period, all scores are tabulated, and the Top 100 students are selected.

Visit the Top 100 website to view guidelines for the program.  

The Alumni Association in conjunction with the Office of Student Affairs conducts the Outstanding Student Recognition program. The program is in its 57th year.

Due to a tie in scoring, more than 100 students are being honored for the 2017–2018 academic year. All honorees will be recognized at the Outstanding Student Banquet on April 13, when the Top 15 Most Outstanding Students will be announced. 

Full Listing of Honorees (in alphabetical order)

Katie Allee, senior, Communication Science and Disorders, College of Communication (CCOM)

Lynn Alsatie, junior, International Studies, College of Liberal Arts and Sciences (LAS)

Siena Amodeo, junior, International Management, Lacy School of Business (LSB)

Deborah Arehart, senior, Middle-Secondary Education, College of Education (COE)

Thomas Baldwin, senior, Biochemistry, LAS

Adam Bantz, senior, Strategic Communication, CCOM

Alex Bartlow, senior, Accounting, LSB

Leah Basford, senior, International Management, LSB

Zach Bellavia, senior, Economics, LSB

Bri Borri, junior, Psychology, LAS

Lauren Briskey, junior, Actuarial Sciences, LAS

Amy Brown, senior, Accounting, LSB

Rachel Burke, junior, Mathematics, LAS

Jeremy Caylor, junior, Biology, LAS

Parker Chalmers, junior, Risk Management, LSB

Lauren Ciulla, junior, Biology, LAS

Brooklyn Cohen, junior, ELED.BS, COE

Hannah Coleman, senior, Pharmacy, College of Pharmacy and Health Sciences (COPHS)

Dana Connor, senior, Communication Science & Disorders, CCOM          

Vickie Cook, junior, Biochemistry, LAS

Meredith Coughlin, senior, Human Communication & Organizational Leadership, CCOM

Ryan Cultice, junior, Accounting, LSB

Ashley Dale, senior, Physics, LAS

Erin Dark, junior, Pharmacy, COPHS

Darby DeFord, junior, Biology, LAS

Matthew Del Busto, junior, English Literature, LAS

David Dunham, senior, Middle-Secondary Education, COE

Suzanne Dwyer, junior, Pharmacy, COPHS

Shelby Eaton, junior, Sociology and Psychology, LAS

Katie Edwards, senior, Marketing, LSB

Ashlyn Edwards, junior, Philosophy, LAS

Sarah Elam, junior, International Studies, LAS

John Evans, junior, Finance, LSB

Chiara Evelti, senior, International Studies, LAS

Hannah Faccio, senior, Psychology, LAS

Megan Farny, junior, Health Sciences, COPHS

Elizabeth Fecht, senior, Middle-Secondary Education, COE

Megan Fitzgerald, junior, Elementary Education, COE

Annie Foster, junior, Spanish, LAS

Caitlyn Foye, senior, Biology, LAS

Travis Freytag, junior, Actuarial Sciences, LAS

Jackie Gries, junior, Pharmacy, COPHS

Nathan Hall, junior, History and Political Science, LAS

Hannah Hartzell, senior, Strategic Communication, CCOM

Patrick Holden, senior, Pharmacy, COPHS

Jonny Hollar, junior, Marketing, LSB

Kate Holtz, junior, Risk Management, LSB

Nicholas Huang, senior, Finance, LSB

Karla Jeggle, senior, Actuarial Science, LAS

Nathan Jent, junior, Health Sciences, COPHS

Drew Johnson, senior, Pharmacy, COPHS

Jakob Jozwiakowski, senior, Chemistry, LAS

Colton Junod, senior, Biology, LAS

Libby Kaufman, senior, Elementary Education, COE

Nida Khan, junior, Pharmacy, COPHS

Rachel Koehler, junior, International Studies, LAS

Caroline Kuremsky, senior, Elementary Education, COE

Carly Large, senior, Accounting, LSB

Emily Lawson, junior, Chemistry, LAS

Rachael Lewis, senior, Marketing, LSB

Becca Lewis, junior, Biology, LAS

Kayla Long, junior, Critical Communication & Media Studies, CCOM

Nicholas Maicke, senior, International Studies, LAS

Kelsey McDougall, senior, Biology, LAS

Kirsten McGrew, senior, Pharmacy, COPHS

Kasey Meeks, junior, Health Sciences, COPHS

Rachel Metz, senior, Health Sciences, COPHS

Joshua Murdock, senior, Pharmacy, COPHS

Kelly Murphy, senior, Organizational Communications, CCOM    

Garrick Nate, junior, International Studies, LAS

Emily Nettesheim, junior, Health Sciences, COPHS

Alexis Neyman, junior, Biology, LAS

Olivia Nilsen, junior, Communication Science & Disorders, CCOM

Gehrig Parker, senior, Sports Media, CCOM

Justin Poythress, junior, Accounting, LSB

Tori Puhl, junior, Actuarial Science, LAS

Salman Qureshi, senior, Biology, LAS

Courtney Raab, senior, Health Sciences, COPHS

Jordan Rauh, senior, Pharmacy, COPHS

Allison Reitz, senior, Communication Science & Disorders, CCOM          

Kate Richards, senior, Communication Science & Disorders, CCOM         

Sophie Robertson, junior, Dance, Jordan College of the Arts (JCA)

Abdul Saltagi, junior, Biology, LAS

Kaitlyn Sawin, senior, Marketing, LSB

Olivia Schwan, junior, Marketing, LSB

Abby Sikorcin, junior, Health Sciences, COPHS

Sundeep Singh, senior, Biology, LAS

Molly Smith, senior, International Studies, LAS

Maree Smith, senior, Marketing, LSB

Lilli Southern, junior, Communication Science & Disorders, CCOM

Madison Stefanski, junior, Elementary Education, COE

Isaiah Strong, junior, Recording Industry Studies, CCOM

Jennifer Sutor, junior, Marketing, LSB

Natalie Van Ochten, senior, Biology, LAS

Alexander Waddell, junior, Accounting, LSB

Skyler Walker, senior, Pharmacy, COPHS

Kate Warma, junior, Science, Technology and Society, LAS

Riley Wildemann, senior, Pharmacy, COPHS

Alexander Wright, senior, Chemistry, LAS

Heather Wright, senior, Music, JCA

Jill Yager, senior, Biology, LAS

 

Media contact:
Marc Allan
mallan@butler.edu
317-940-9822

 

AcademicsStudent Life

Butler Selects Top 100 Students

Recipients to be recognized at April 13 banquet.

Jan 26 2018 Read more

Jimmy Lardin ’18

Student Profile

Major / Program: Political Science

 

Meet Jimmy Lardin. SGA president (2017–2018, after two years on Student Senate). Student Orientation Coordinator (promoted after two years as a Student Orientation Guide). Education Reflection Chair for Fall Alternative Break. Four minors (English, Ethics, Environmental Studies, and Peace and Conflict Studies). Campus tour guide.

And that’s just a partial list.

“Out of the three S’s—socialize, sleep, and study—I don’t sleep,” he said with a laugh.

Lardin expected to be active in college. Just not here. The Shelbyville, Indiana, native was “1,000 percent determined not to go to school in Indiana.”

But a friend who was a year ahead of him chose Butler and invited him to campus. Lardin sat in on a business class and, six minutes into the lecture, belched. Loudly. The professor made light of it and used that as a way to incorporate Lardin into the class and make him feel at ease. Afterward, the professor offered her email and phone number in case Lardin had questions about Butler.

Then at lunch in Atherton, Lardin’s friend’s friends told him how passionate they were about Butler. Others chimed in too.

“That’s what sold me,” he said. “People who had no idea who I was were still interested in sharing their love of the school with me.”

He’s seen that love up close in the years since. In summer 2016, Lardin was diagnosed with cancer. He went through surgeries, then chemotherapy.

“The feedback and support I got was outstanding—and far beyond what I could have ever imagined,” including from professors who reached out to express support and offer accommodations for missed classes. Lardin said the cancer is in remission.

“I’m thankful that happened on this campus versus a school where you’re considered more of a number,” he said. 

Lardin is now looking at public policy programs for graduate school, though he wants to work for a while first—ideally on environmental justice issues. In June, he went to India for a month through the School for International Training to work on a food security/climate change project and see if he wants to do international work. He does.

He said Butler has proved to be a great fit, giving him opportunities and satisfying his social nature.

“It’s small enough that I can’t walk from my house to my classes without running into two or three people who I know and love dearly,” he said, “but it’s large enough that I meet one or two new people every single day.”

 

 

 

 

Jimmy
CommencementStudent LifePeople

Jimmy Lardin ’18

Meet Jimmy Lardin. SGA president. Student Orientation coordinator. Education Reflection chair for Fall Alternative Break. Four minors. Campus tour guide.

Jimmy

Jimmy Lardin ’18

Student Profile
Lester Burris

Lester Burris ’12

BY

PUBLISHED ON Dec 15 2017

Lester Burris ’12 said he received a great education from Butler’s College of Pharmacy and Health Sciences—especially the lessons in dealing with the ever-changing role of the pharmacist.

“I learned at Butler that a career spans several different jobs or even roles within those jobs,” he said. “Pharmacy is probably going to continue to change for as long as I’m working, so it’s important to be adaptable to that.”

That information proved to be important because since graduating, Burris has moved from CVS to Kmart to his own pharmacy. In May 2016, Burris, Josh Anderson ’07, and Josh’s uncle Steve Anderson ’91 founded Panacea Pharmacy inside the new Lucky’s Market store in Bloomington, Indiana. (They have since opened another pharmacy in Hope, Indiana.)

Suddenly, not only did Burris need to know all about medications, but he had to learn the business of pharmacy. The Panacea team had to contract with insurance companies, figure out their inventory, and develop their business model—which includes a more holistic approach to providing medication. Among their innovations: Packaging a patient’s medications together so they don’t have to open multiple pill bottles, and a smartphone app that makes it easier to fill prescriptions.

“We’re trying to change the way pharmacy’s done,” he said. “The main thing we’re trying to focus on improving is medication adherence. That’s a big focus of the Affordable Care Act—preventing readmission to the hospital. And one big cause of that is medication non-compliance.”

Burris grew up in Mitchell, Indiana, south of Bloomington, and knew he wanted to study pharmacy in college. He chose Butler because it’s closer to his home than Purdue is, and he was able to walk on and play football. After a year on the team as kicker—mostly place kicking, and a little punting—he figured he wasn’t going to see much playing time. He talked to the coaching staff and asked if he could help out.

“I was able to stay involved with the football team, which was one of my best experiences at Butler for sure,” Burris said.

Burris said by the time he graduated, he was well prepared for the state and national pharmacy licensing exams. As for running his own pharmacy, Burris said he’s enjoying the opportunity to improve patients’ health.

Lester Burris

Lester Burris ’12

He and two other Butler alumni are looking to redefine how pharmacy is practiced.

Doug King
People

Doug King '73 Named 'Diplomat of the Defense'

BY

PUBLISHED ON Dec 18 2017

For civil defense attorneys, it’s the equivalent of a lifetime achievement award.

Doug King ’73 describes himself as someone who “goofed around a lot” at Butler, “was not very academically oriented,” and “barely got into law school.”

He can smile about those work habits now that he has been named the 2017 Diplomat of the Defense Trial Counsel of Indiana, a lifetime achievement award-like honor bestowed by the officers and Board of Directors of the Defense Trial Counsel of Indiana.

“When you are recognized by your peers, by people who do the same thing you do, and they know how hard it is to do, that really means something,” King said, sitting behind the desk in his 18th-floor corner office in downtown Indianapolis.

King is now 41 years into his career as a Civil Defense Attorney with Wooden McLaughlin, where he defends companies in asbestos and medical device product liability cases. (More about his notable cases can be found here.)

His roots, though, are decidedly blue collar. He grew up in Chesterton, Indiana, the son of a steelworker, and dreamed of becoming a lawyer. He chose Butler for undergraduate studies, following in the footsteps of his brother Jon ’68 (now CEO at Synovia Solutions in Indianapolis).

To pay for school, King worked in the mills every summer during college. He keeps a picture of himself and others from the steel mill on his desk “to remind me that whatever kind of pressure I may be feeling, I’m not there.”

At Butler, King double-majored in History and Political Science. He was elected President of Phi Delta Theta twice. (He boasts that he works alongside Butler Phi Delt brothers Ron Salatich ’67 and John Nell ’68) and worked as an Office Assistant for Professor George “Mac” Waller, who later wrote Butler University: A Sesquicentennial History.

King also had a hand in a campus protest against the rule that women had to be inside by 11:00 PM weekdays and 1:30 AM on weekends. He remembers University President Alexander Jones calling the police, who brought dogs to chase the protestors into the Phi Delt house.

“It was women’s hours—not exactly an earthshaking issue—but to us it was a big deal,” he said. “Everybody thought it was unfair and paternalistic and that we were adults. Which, of course, we weren’t.”

When he got to Indiana University School of Law, King turned his academics around, thanks largely to professors who scared him with statistics about the number of students who flunk out. King decided he wanted to be a Criminal Defense Attorney, a real-life Perry Mason. But as a second-year law student interning for a Public Defender, he helped acquit a man who had stabbed a high school cheerleader 56 times.

“That really turned me off,” King said. “I never wanted to do criminal law again after that.”

King graduated summa cum laude and fourth in his class in May 1976. He started with the Wooden firm that August. One of his mentors was Bill Wooden, one of the founders of the firm, who was a Civil Defense Attorney. King became his protégé.

Over the years, King has tried more than 100 cases, including representing Bloomington Police in the shooting death of former IU football player Denver Smith. King was named Indiana Defense Lawyer of the Year in 2003 by the Defense Trial Counsel of Indiana, and in 2005 the American College of Trial Lawyers elected him a fellow.

King said studying History at Butler has served him well throughout his career.

“Almost every time I get involved in a case, I start a timeline,” he said. “You’ve got to have that historical sense. An integral part of the defense case in asbestos litigation is: What did you know and when did you know it? When did you know that asbestos was dangerous? When did you know that there was a health hazard associated with it? That’s not just true in asbestos. With medical devices, it’s the same concept: When did you know there was a risk associated with this medical device? That history background is something I use all the time.”

And he has stayed close to Butler. He travels with the men’s basketball team—most recently to Portland for the PK80 tournament in Portland, Oregon—and proudly displays Butler memorabilia in his office.

“Butler helped me be who I am,” he said. “It’s a great school.”

 

Media contact:
Marc Allan
mallan@butler.edu
317-940-9822

Doug King
People

Doug King '73 Named 'Diplomat of the Defense'

For civil defense attorneys, it’s the equivalent of a lifetime achievement award.

Dec 18 2017 Read more
JoJo Ciancio

JoJo Ciancio ’14

BY

PUBLISHED ON Dec 15 2017

JoJo Ciancio ’14 came to Butler with a clear vision—find the perfect post-graduate job. He took advantage of opportunities provided through Butler’s Lacy School of Business to come out on top.

An Economics and Finance double major, Ciancio developed relationships with professors and attended campus networking events to embed himself in the Indianapolis community as a future business professional.

He found his first internship at Localstake, a community investment company, through a career fair held at Butler. Ciancio worked as a Financial Analyst and was able to watch the start-up company grow from the ground up.

He then scored a second internship at Pearl Street Venture Funds, a venture capital firm, through a connection to a Butler graduate.

“I’m really fortunate I came here because there aren’t many schools that can get so many internships for students,” he said. “It really helps you learn on-the-job skills, what employers look for, and how to apply skills you learn in class to real-world situations.”

A star on the football field, Ciancio was named the co-recipient of the first Pioneer Football League Scholar-Athlete of the Year. His teammates voted him senior captain during his final season, and he was chosen for the Pioneer Football League Academic Honor Roll for four consecutive years.

Ciancio said Butler provided him with the tools and the mindset to succeed in all aspects of life. Since graduating, he has been working as a Staff Consultant in the finance department at H. J. Umbaugh and Associates, a CPA firm in Indianapolis. In 2017, he was promoted to Senior Staff Consultant at the firm.

“The most important thing that Butler teaches you is that you have to be able to communicate with others,” he said. “In order to be successful in a job, but really at anything in life, you not only have to set goals, but you have to be able to communicate to peers, or a supervisor, what you want to accomplish.”

JoJo Ciancio

JoJo Ciancio ’14

JoJo came to Butler with goals—and met them.

Kyle Inskeep

Kyle Inskeep ’12

BY

PUBLISHED ON Dec 15 2017

Kyle Inskeep ’12 graduated from Butler as a recipient of an NBC News Tim Russert Fellowship, which earned him a one-year salaried position in the network’s Washington, DC bureau.

During that year, he worked stints with NBC’s political reporting unit, The Nightly News, filled in as a White House Pool Producer (filing reports to the media when access to the President is limited), worked the red carpet to interview celebrities the night of the White House Correspondents’ Dinner, and put in time behind the scenes at Meet the Press.

“It’s incredible to see how much work goes into a show that’s only one hour,” he said. “On Friday nights, you’re there until almost midnight, and then you’re there at Saturday at 9:00 AM. And then you might have to be back the next day at 4:00 AM. But that’s the level of work that’s required at the network level.”

Inskeep is working his way to the level. In August 2013, he joined WTWO in Terre Haute, Indiana, as a reporter and weekend anchor. Then in early May 2015, he moved back to Indianapolis to be a reporter at WXIN (Channel 59).

Inskeep said he sees the benefits of his Butler education every day.

“At Butler, writing was everywhere,” he said, crediting College of Communication Professor Scott Bridge as being particularly influential. “In journalism classes, in your core classes, you’re always writing. One of the things my bosses will say to me is, ‘Your writing is really good. You’re writing to the video. You’re writing to what viewers are seeing.’ That’s because at Butler, we’re writing all the time. They teach you the fundamentals that you need.”


 

Kyle Inskeep

Kyle Inskeep ’12

“At Butler, they teach you the fundamentals that you need.”