Home

Accounting Alum Works to Improve Diversity Within Firms Across the Nation

By Katie Grieze

Less than 9 percent of accounting professionals in the United States are Black, according to the National Association of Black Accountants, despite the fact that Black individuals make up nearly 14 percent of the population.

Since graduating from Butler University in 1996, Herschel Frierson has been working to change that.

When Frierson first joined Crowe LLP as a staff accountant right after graduation, he didn’t see anyone else at the Indianapolis office who looked like him. He struggled to find and build relationships with other people of color—until a colleague told him about the National Association of Black Accountants (NABA).

“Through NABA, I was able to connect with other people who look like me from other firms,” he says. “Once I met these individuals, I found out they were going through the same things I was going through. Some of them were at firms where there were only two or three people of color. It helped me feel like I wasn’t on an island by myself going through this.”

Throughout his career, Frierson has continued growing within NABA, a nonprofit organization dedicated to providing opportunities for Black professionals in fields such as accounting and finance. By 2020, he was named NABA’s Chairman of the board of directors. A few months later, Accounting Today included Frierson in its 2020 listing of the Top 100 Most Influential People in Accounting. And to wrap up the year, he was elected a Partner (effective April 1, 2021) at Crowe—achieving a dream he’d held since choosing the profession.

“You hate to have joy when there is so much pain going on,” he says about the wave of accomplishments. “But it has really been a year.”

Even so, Frierson can’t help but focus on all the work that still needs to be done.

“People have told me to just enjoy the moment,” he says. “I need to take that advice, and I’m trying to do it. But I also have a higher responsibility. What can I do better? What can I do more of?”

Throughout his nearly 25 years with NABA, Frierson has worked with companies in Indianapolis and across the nation to host speaker series, organize volunteer activities, and coordinate programming to help Black high school and college students learn more about accounting. At student conferences and professional conventions, he helps connect current and aspiring accountants with resources and opportunities.

“It’s my unpaid full-time job,” Frierson says. “It’s just important for me to be a voice for why representation matters, and to make sure NABA’s strategic vision is moving forward. I want to help more people get into the profession, and to make sure they succeed.”

That goal isn’t limited to Frierson’s role within NABA. At Crowe, he sits on the Inclusion Excellence Council, in addition to overseeing five business resource groups that support underrepresented communities within the firm. Now, as a Partner-elect, he looks forward to the chance to support and mentor even more people of color.

“I wanted a seat at the table. And now I’m at the table,” he says. “So I need to be a bigger voice. I need to represent well, and I need to give back to the community. So now it’s, ‘What am I going to do to get more people who look like me around the table?’ I can’t be quiet—I have to be louder.”

 

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

Herschel Frierson '96
Alumni Success

Accounting Alum Works to Improve Diversity Within Firms Across the Nation

As a Partner-elect at Crowe and Chairman of the National Association of Black Accountants, Herschel Frierson ’96 is helping more people of color join the profession

Butler University
Innovation

Wipro Collaborates with Butler University to Offer Salesforce Course

BY

PUBLISHED ON Dec 17 2020

Indianapolis, USA and Bangalore, India—Wipro Limited, a leading global information technology, consulting, and business process services company, has announced that Appirio, a Wipro company, has partnered with Butler University to offer a Salesforce consulting preparatory college course. Located in Indianapolis, Indiana, Butler University is a nationally recognized institution with six academic colleges.

Through the course, which was first offered during the fall 2020 semester and will be offered again for the spring, students have the opportunity to learn the in-demand skills needed for customer relationship management (CRM). The free, non-credit courses, which are held online, also provide students an opportunity to achieve their initial Salesforce certifications. A Salesforce certification can be a differentiator when students seek jobs in the Salesforce ecosystem.

Although the content is from Salesforce, the courses are developed and taught by Appirio, which often provides similar educational support for its clients. After learning the basics of CRM—a process that helps companies organize their relationships and interactions with current and potential customers—students are introduced to Salesforce’s suite of products. 

Hari Raja, Global Head of Appirio Cloud Services, said, “With the dawn of digital natives, customer experience has become a top priority in organizations today. Through the CRM corporate training course, we will be helping the students of Butler University become future ready. We believe this to be a great initiative as it brings together two of the essential features of Appirio—our partnership with Salesforce and our commitment to Indiana.”

Gary Beaulieu, Career and Professional Success (CaPS) Senior Director at Butler University, said, “The goal of the course is for students to gain a Salesforce Administrator Certification, which is widely recognized in the industry. In the CaPS Office, we are always looking at ways to help provide our students with marketable skills in addition to their undergraduate degrees. Many organizations, including Appirio, are looking for the Salesforce Administrator Certification. We feel that knowledge or certification in Salesforce can be a determining factor for recruiting organizations hiring these students.”

The certification course is open to Butler students of all majors. Students who are interested in enrolling should contact the CaPS Office at career@butler.edu.

 

Salesforce and others are among the trademarks of salesforce.com, inc.

 

About Wipro Limited
Wipro Limited (NYSE: WIT, BSE: 507685, NSE: WIPRO) is a leading global information technology, consulting, and business process services company. We harness the power of cognitive computing, hyper-automation, robotics, cloud, analytics and emerging technologies to help our clients adapt to the digital world and make them successful. A company recognized globally for its comprehensive portfolio of services, strong commitment to sustainability, and good corporate citizenship, we have over 180,000 dedicated employees serving clients across six continents. Together, we discover ideas and connect the dots to build a better and a bold new future. 

 

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

 

Media Contact:
Shraboni Banerjee
Wipro Limited
Shraboni.banerjee@wipro.com

 

Wipro Forward-looking and Cautionary Statements
The forward-looking statements contained herein represent Wipro’s beliefs regarding future events, many of which are by their nature, inherently uncertain and outside Wipro’s control. Such statements include, but are not limited to, statements regarding Wipro’s growth prospects, its future financial operating results, and its plans, expectations and intentions. Wipro cautions readers that the forward-looking statements contained herein are subject to risks and uncertainties that could cause actual results to differ materially from the results anticipated by such statements. Such risks and uncertainties include, but are not limited to, risks and uncertainties regarding fluctuations in our earnings, revenue and profits, our ability to generate and manage growth, complete proposed corporate actions, intense competition in IT services, our ability to maintain our cost advantage, wage increases in India, our ability to attract and retain highly skilled professionals, time and cost overruns on fixed-price, fixed-time frame contracts, client concentration, restrictions on immigration, our ability to manage our international operations, reduced demand for technology in our key focus areas, disruptions in telecommunication networks, our ability to successfully complete and integrate potential acquisitions, liability for damages on our service contracts, the success of the companies in which we make strategic investments, withdrawal of fiscal governmental incentives, political instability, war, legal restrictions on raising capital or acquiring companies outside India, unauthorized use of our intellectual property and general economic conditions affecting our business and industry. The conditions caused by the COVID-19 pandemic could decrease technology spending, adversely affect demand for our products, affect the rate of customer spending and could adversely affect our customers’ ability or willingness to purchase our offerings, delay prospective customers’ purchasing decisions, adversely impact our ability to provide on-site consulting services and our inability to deliver our customers or delay the provisioning of our offerings, all of which could adversely affect our future sales, operating results and overall financial performance. Our operations may also be negatively affected by a range of external factors related to the COVID-19 pandemic that are not within our control.

Additional risks that could affect our future operating results are more fully described in our filings with the United States Securities and Exchange Commission, including, but not limited to, Annual Reports on Form 20-F. These filings are available at www.sec.gov. We may, from time to time, make additional written and oral forward-looking statements, including statements contained in the company’s filings with the Securities and Exchange Commission and our reports to shareholders. We do not undertake to update any forward-looking statement that may be made from time to time by us or on our behalf.​

Butler University
Innovation

Wipro Collaborates with Butler University to Offer Salesforce Course

The free course, developed and taught by Appirio (a Wipro company), covers the fundamentals of customer relationship management

Dec 17 2020 Read more
Butler University 2020
Campus

Year in Review: Top Stories of 2020

BY Katie Grieze

PUBLISHED ON Dec 16 2020

When everything changed 10 months ago, Butler University adapted. Our students, faculty, and staff found ways to replace vanished opportunities with new ones, continue caring for one another, and focus on the things that matter most—all while making sacrifices to keep our campus safe.

This year, Bulldogs also committed to helping others. From the Pharmacy students who made hand sanitizer for hospitals and other Indianapolis organizations; to the faculty member who helped parents and educators provide emotional support for children; to the graduate whose art helped people across the nation understand an invisible virus; we demonstrated the Butler Way.

And still, we celebrated. We kicked off 2020 by meeting Butler Blue IV, whose puppy photos have filled our social media feeds and invited us to smile even in some of this year’s hardest moments. We named new deans, launched our Hub for Black Affairs and Community Engagement, and welcomed our third-largest class of first-year students. Through a difficult season that may continue for months to come, we have found ways to be joyful together.

Here’s a look back at Butler’s top stories of 2020.

 

WE ADAPTED:

Butler Faculty Put Students First in Switch to Online Learning
When the coronavirus pandemic forced the cancellation of in-person classes last spring, faculty made the best of a difficult situation.

With Summer Internships Canceled, Business School Finds New Opportunities for Students
Butler's Lacy School of Business created about 20 last-minute internship positions built on remote, project-based work.

In Switch to eLearning, Butler Student-Teacher Finds What Matters Most
Patrick Conway developed new online content for seventh-graders at Zionsville West Middle School.

Butler Offers Free Online Course About COVID-19 to Incoming Students
The class helped students connect with the Butler community while reflecting on the effects of a global crisis.

Caring for Mental Health During COVID-19
Three Butler experts explain the pandemic’s psychological impacts and offer advice for staying well.

What Does an Online Music Class Look Like?
Dr. Brian Weidner of Butler's Jordan College of the Arts explains how he met the challenge of holding remote music education courses.

Pool Noodles Provide Social Distancing Guide for Physical Education Classes
The College of Education’s Dr. Fritz Ettl found ways to keep teaching hands-on, sport-specific skills this fall.

Butler Team Preserves, Improves Access to Artifacts through 3D Digital Replicas
While this grant-funded project began well before the pandemic, the researchers found low-cost ways to scan and share physical artworks in an online world—a method that’s especially useful when viewing art in-person isn’t possible.


WE HELPED:

How to Care for Children’s Minds During COVID-19
The College of Education's Dr. Lori Desautels offers guidance for educators and parents as the pandemic causes uncertainty, isolation, and restraint. To learn more about how Desautels teaches students about their brains, check out our pre-pandemic story How Neuroscience Helps Kids Heal From Trauma.

Butler, Old National Partner to Support Businesses Owned by Underrepresented Groups
The Old National Bank Center for Business Excellence—a partnership between Butler University and Old National Bank—is waiving membership fees for companies owned by people of color, women, LGBTQ+ individuals, veterans, and individuals with disabilities.

Butler Pharmacy Prof Receives $1.39M NIH Grant to Support Cancer Research
Dr. Chioniso Patience Masamha is studying an oncogene commonly linked to Mantle Cell Lymphoma and other types of cancer.

Pharmacy Students to Fill Indy’s Prescription for Hand Sanitizer
A trio of graduate students made 50 liters of sanitizer for donation to community programs and facilities.

Butler Theatre Gives Health Professionals SWAG
Theatre faculty and staff joined the Indy-based Safer With a Gown project, using their skills to help produce gowns for healthcare workers.

Grad Students from Butler's College of Education Create Guide to Help Schools Reopen
Cohort members from the Experiential Program for Preparing School Principals (EPPSP) released Blueprint 2020: A Guidebook for School Leaders Moving Forward.

Butler Grad Helps Americans See Coronavirus Up Close
At the National Institutes of Health (NIH), Austin Athman ’09 is part of a team that captures images of microscopic diseases.

This Team of Alumni Helped Butler Go Remote
Four grads in the Center for Academic Technology knew that strong relationships would be key to online learning.

 

WE CELEBRATED:

Butler Blue IV, next live mascot for Butler, revealed, ready to report to work
In January, the 12-week-old English Bulldog was set to take the reins as Butler’s fourth live mascot. Butler Blue III (AKA Trip) retired in May.

Butler Ranked No.1 in Midwest for Third Straight Year by U.S. News & World Report
The University also ranked among top universities in three national categories.

Butler Welcomes Third-Largest Class Ever Despite COVID-19 Challenges
More than 1,125 first-year students logged on for their first day of classes on August 24.

Butler University Launches a Hub for Black Affairs and Community Engagement
With leadership from Dr. Terri Jett as Faculty Director, the Hub will serve as an institutional command center to address systemic racism and Black oppression.

Butler Receives $2.5 Million Grant from Lilly Endowment Inc. to Fund New Butler Beyond Transformation Lab
The Transformation Lab will serve as a hub of resources, expertise, and activity to accelerate the development of future-oriented education models.

Kandel-Cisco Named New College of Education Dean
Dr. Brooke Kandel-Cisco was Interim Dean since May 2019 before filling the position permanently this past March.

Hilary Buttrick Named Interim Dean of the Lacy School of Business
Dr. Buttrick served as an Associate Dean in the Lacy School of Business (LSB) before being named Interim Dean on June 9.

Loyal Donors and New Strategic Direction Help Butler Thrive Through Unprecedented Year
Total giving during the 2019-2020 fiscal year included $16.6 million toward scholarships and $28.5 million toward the Butler Beyond campaign.

 

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

Butler University 2020
Campus

Year in Review: Top Stories of 2020

In 2020, Butler adapted to new challenges, helped our community, and found ways to celebrate

Dec 16 2020 Read more
Music in My Head
Experiential Learning

Two Butler Students Team Up to Publish Children’s Book

BY Katie Grieze

PUBLISHED ON Dec 15 2020

Jen Mulzer’s son thinks in colors, songs, and stories.

When it’s time to go to bed, he can’t keep his eyes closed—he’s too excited about the adventures he might take in his dreams. And when it’s time to sit still at school, all he wants to do is dance. His body is full of motion, and his mind is full of music, but that can be frustrating when parents or teachers tell him “now is not the time.”

Jen Mulzer
Jen Mulzer

Mulzer, a student in Butler University’s MFA in Creative Writing program, wants her son and other children who experience ADHD or similar conditions to know there is nothing wrong with how they process information or move in the world. No matter how frustrating things are right now, she wants to say, just hang in there.

“I wanted to address that even though you might be in a situation where you feel frustrated, or like you’re not part of the group, or you can’t keep up, or maybe something’s not interesting to you—whatever the situation is, it’s temporary and it will pass,” Mulzer says. “And someday, you’ll have that moment when things just click, and all the things you struggled with will add up and make sense.”

That’s the key message of Music in My Head, a new children’s book written by Mulzer and illustrated by Abey Akinseye, a Butler junior majoring in Psychology and Sociology with a minor in Art. Published early last month, the book follows the story of a young boy—inspired by Mulzer’s son—whose “body dances all the time, especially when it’s time to sleep.” Alongside the text, Akinseye’s artwork vividly illustrates each of the character’s imaginary adventures, from leading a circus to flying to the moon.

After drafting the story last year, Mulzer reached out to Butler’s Department of Art to find an illustrator. She knew she wanted to work with a fellow student, so she shared a summary of the project and began accepting portfolios.

Intrigued by the story, Akinseye applied.

Abey Akinseye
Abey Akinseye

“I think what interested me the most was how much I related to the story myself,” he says. “Sometimes I have trouble sleeping because I’m always thinking of these adventures in my head, and I even stay up at night painting or drawing because these ideas are always there, and I’m afraid to lose them.”

Mulzer chose Akinseye’s portfolio as her favorite from the bunch for his ability to capture facial expressions and personality. When they met in person to go over details, she could see his passion for the story. Akinseye told her about how art served as a form of therapy for him, and how he wanted to use his art to help others (with the goal of pursuing a PhD in art therapy). When Mulzer left the meeting, she thought, “Oh my gosh, he was meant to do this.”

They have worked mostly independently for the past year, with Mulzer providing brief descriptions for the illustrations and Akinseye producing artworks that were even better than what she’d imagined.

“I wanted to challenge myself,” Akinseye says. “I didn’t want any of the images to be the same, and I wanted each page to stand out and be its own independent story.”

He is grateful for Butler Adjunct Art Instructor Jingo de la Rosa, who encouraged Akinseye to get his art out into the world.

“He also taught me to carry a small sketchbook around to just draw down ideas, which became very helpful for this project,” Akinseye says. “And he is an illustrator, so his insight was very helpful.”

On the writing side, Mulzer was grateful to have the opportunity to read her own writing out loud to other students in the MFA in Creative Writing program.

“When you need to read something out loud, all the sudden you are changing the language, or you are changing some of the structure because you are getting tripped up on things,” she explains. “That really helped me. I had already written the story for Music in My Head, but then I had to go back to it and revise. And that’s extra important for children’s books, which are meant to be read out loud.”

Music in My HeadWhen they were almost finished, Mulzer reached out to a children’s book publisher in Indianapolis to ask how she might go about getting the book onto store shelves. They directed her to Wish Publishing, an independent publisher that works mostly with new authors and artists. After providing some guidance for the process of finalizing the book, Wish published Music in My Head in November 2020.

Mulzer says the best review so far has come from her son, who is now 9.

“I gave the finished book to him, thinking that we would sit down and I would read it,” she recalls. “But he immediately said, ‘I can read it to you.’ He started reading it, and he actually gave me edits, because he knew right away: ‘This is me, and this is my dog.’ I loved that it was his little mind all over again. He was super excited. He loved the story, but then he’s also critiquing it, and that’s totally him.”

For Akinseye, the experience helped him learn about how ADHD and similar conditions are typically portrayed. He wants to help children understand that there’s nothing wrong with being themselves.

“I hope this book shows ADHD in a different way,” he says. “A more relatable way.”

 

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

Music in My Head
Experiential Learning

Two Butler Students Team Up to Publish Children’s Book

Written by MFA student Jen Mulzer and illustrated by junior Abey Akinseye, Music in My Head celebrates children’s creativity

Dec 15 2020 Read more
Butler University physical education class, playing soccer with pool noodles
Experiential Learning

Pool Noodles Provide Social Distancing Guide for Physical Education Classes

BY Kennedy Broadwell ’21

PUBLISHED ON Dec 08 2020

Fall collegiate sports were canceled. Professional teams joined “bubbles” to ensure athletes’ safety during a global pandemic. But what would happen for Butler University students whose classes involved hands-on physical activity?

Since 2018, Assistant Professor of Education Dr. Fritz Ettl has been teaching physical education courses for future teachers, coaches, health education professionals, and recreation professionals (among others). The students learn sport-specific skills, and courses include tournaments in which students design all aspects of their own league and physically compete against one another while also fulfilling supportive roles such as coach, referee, and statistician. But with the need for social distancing this fall, contact sports wouldn’t be so easy.

Ettl says his first concern going into the semester was how he would teach physical activity virtually during the first two weeks, when Butler temporarily moved classes online.

“We had to start with the cognitive aspects of soccer, like rules of the game, key sport-specific vocabulary, and some tactical concepts,” Ettl says. “I used images and video to help bring it to life, since our opportunities to physically experience everything would be delayed. I really just had to commit to a couple of ways of trying to make it work. I had to learn to trust myself and my students that once it all started, we could make it meaningful by communicating with one another and being flexible.”

Once classes were back in person, Ettl adapted his soccer and basketball courses to be COVID-friendly by adding pool noodles into game play situations. He came up with the idea based on a Buzzfeed article about a restaurant that encouraged social distancing by having guests wear hats with pool noodles sticking out from all sides.

Butler physical education class, playing basketball with pool noodlesEttl remembers thinking, “You know what? I can’t make a bunch of pool noodle hats, but I can order a bunch of pool noodles, and we’ll figure out how to use that.”

The pool noodles were used to keep the students six feet apart from one another. In soccer, they were also used to knock at the ball on defense instead of putting one’s body in the way of the shot or pass.

Ettl says carrying the noodles did make the game awkward and changed how the class experienced soccer. However, there were positives. Students had to think more about space, which helped them improve their skills, including being more accurate with passing or creating more space in order to receive a pass without it getting deflected by a noodle.

Adaptations also had to be made when the class went indoors for basketball. The noodles were used to knock at passes or shots, and to box out or screen other players from a distance. To remove the need for close proximity to other players, Ettl also made basketball a possessions-based game. Teams were given five possessions, and scoring was based on how many points they could get in their allotted possessions. This eliminated the need for rebounding and the physical contact that inherently happens after someone shoots.

“It's not an ideal or a traditional way of experiencing basketball,” Ettl says, “but since the noodles are so large in a small space, it made people more aware of certain aspects of skills like dribbling and passing. I also saw students having to make quick decisions to shoot when they were open, since the long noodles helped defenders close down the space to shoot faster.  I liked that this encouraged students to not only keep the ball moving with quick passes, but also to shoot without hesitating. There were some interesting opportunities to learn by having that added challenge.”

Butler University physical education class, playing soccer with pool noodles
Experiential Learning

Pool Noodles Provide Social Distancing Guide for Physical Education Classes

COE’s Dr. Fritz Ettl found ways to keep teaching hands-on, sport-specific skills this fall

Dec 08 2020 Read more
Esports Camps
Student-Centered

Nerd Street Gamers Partners with Butler University to Host Virtual Esports Winter Camps

BY

PUBLISHED ON Dec 07 2020

PHILADELPHIA & INDIANAPOLIS (December 7, 2020)—Nerd Street Gamers, the national network of esports facilities and events dedicated to powering competitive opportunities for gamers, and Butler University have partnered to host virtual esports winter camps. With sessions from December 14 through January 8, Camp Localhost gives gamers ages 10-18 the opportunity to participate in a week-long online esports camp focusing on a variety of video games, including Overwatch, Rocket League, and Fortnite. These boot camps will be held through Discord, where campers will be virtually overseen by a coach, who will run games, drills, and matches throughout the duration of the week.

Camp Localhost coaches will provide a structured environment for participants to learn about the fundamentals of competitive gaming, map and game strategy, team dynamics, and effective communication skills. In addition to improving their gaming abilities, campers will take away various skills throughout the sessions that they can apply to other aspects of their lives, including teamwork, communication, and the ability to stay calm under pressure. Nerd Street Gamers is providing the logistics for the clinics, including professional instructors and camp programming. Butler Esports will also provide coaches, along with communications and recruitment of players.

“After a successful series of summer camps with Butler University, we are thrilled to continue our partnership with them into the winter,” said Nerd Street Gamers CEO and Founder John Fazio. “In an ever-changing environment, we are proud to offer safe and competitive virtual opportunities for amatuer gamers. Our partnership with Butler University allows us to engage and connect aspiring players in an online esports camp, while fostering relationships with a prominent collegiate esports league.”

Since 2017, Butler University’s Butler Esports group has been competing in intercollegiate esports, including in the BIG EAST Conference. Its administration brings this experience to Camp Localhost to empower students to truly become ingrained in the games. Every session will allow campers to scrimmage, practice their skills, and then evaluate their performance with structured, individualized feedback from instructors. The camps will also include daily seminars from industry experts, professional players, and more.

“Esports continue to thrive during the pandemic,” said Butler University’s Director of Esports and Gaming Technology Eric Kammeyer. “This partnership with Nerd Street Gamers allows us to integrate coaching and mentorship opportunities from our passionate collegiate esports players while fostering the next generation of gamers who are aspiring to play at the next level. We are excited to build on the foundations created during the esports camps this past summer to deliver an elevated experience for the participants.”

 

When:

  • December 14–18, 2020: Rocket League, Ages 15-18
  • December 14–18, 2020: Fortnite, Ages 10-14
  • January 4–8, 2021: Overwatch, Ages 15-18
  • January 4–8, 2021: Fortnite, Ages 10-14

 

Cost: $60

 

To register for Camp Localhost presented by Butler Esports, visit nerdstgamers.com/butler.

 

About Nerd Street Gamers
Nerd Street Gamers is a national network of esports facilities and events dedicated to powering competitive opportunities for gamers. The company promotes greater access to the esports industry, laying a national framework for esports talent development and high-quality gaming tournaments. NSG has received backing from Five Below, Comcast, SeventySix Capital, Elevate Ventures, and angel investor George Miller.

For more information, follow @nerdstgamers on Twitter or visit nerdstgamers.com.

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

Esports Camps
Student-Centered

Nerd Street Gamers Partners with Butler University to Host Virtual Esports Winter Camps

Week-long camps will be held online from December 14 through January 8

Dec 07 2020 Read more

Q&A with Frank Felice, Music Prof and Classical Composer

By Katie Grieze

Last year, Butler University Associate Professor of Music Frank Felice decided it was time he put together a new CD. The composer had written several songs for both string instruments and voice, accumulating a diverse array of one-off chamber music pieces. After writing just a few more new compositions, the CD’s track list was ready to go.

By the summer, Felice had teamed up with local musicians to make recordings for each of the songs. By the fall, he was working on post-production. The finished album, Reflections and Whimsies: Chamber Music for Strings and Voice, hit the market in February 2020.

We all know what happened next. The COVID-19 pandemic struck two weeks later, closing event stages and delaying shipments all across the nation. Like many others in the music world, Felice had to cancel performances and just stay home. Still, he’s finding ways to move on to new projects and stay creative in a difficult year.

We touched base with Felice to learn more about his recent album, his experience as a musician during COVID-19, and why he became a composer in the first place.

How does this CD compare to your previous work?
This is actually a good representative slice of my music. It’s eclectic: everything from something that’s humorous or tongue in cheek and might be a little theatrical or bizarre, up to something very straightforward. Some of the music on here is sacred, and some of it is very secular. Some of it is something you could very easily hear on an elevator, and some of it will make you go, “What did I just listen to? That sounded like a weird acid jazz piece from a 1950s nightclub.”

How did you decide which musicians would perform the recordings of these compositions?
One of the pieces I wrote for my wife, so I wanted to have her sing it. A couple other pieces are also performed by the people I originally wrote them for, like one for Butler’s own David Murray. The other musicians were people I knew and admired. For example, I was very happy to get The Indianapolis Quartet on this disc.

How did COVID-19 affect the release of your CD?
Everything just stopped. People could still stream the music through platforms like Spotify, but the physical disc was difficult to purchase for a while due to COVID-related delays. Now, it’s sold out on Amazon, and they won’t get new ones in very quickly just because of COVID. There were also five or six performances of these pieces that had to be canceled. That’s just been the story for classical musicians during the pandemic.

Do you have any alternative plans moving forward?
I haven’t made new plans for the album myself, but I’ve had a few people request to perform the music virtually.

I’ve been at kind of a loss since COVID happened. So much of what I like about this kind of classical music is the interaction and socialization, where you can make music with friends and colleagues and for an audience. That has been very tough to lose. I’ve been playing some jazz on back porches, but that will go away soon with the weather changing.

So, I’ve been moving to a couple different projects. One of those is electronic-based, where I can do a recording and put that out virtually. I’ve also done some research in recent months about possibly writing some brass quintets, or doing a really ultra-difficult virtuosic piano solo. In some ways, I’ve just been nesting in my studio, saying, “Alright, I have to make music for me and just put it out.” I can’t rely on going and doing this with a group, or for a particular audience.

You mentioned you prefer working with smaller groups of musicians. Why?
I love the intimacy of it. I love the fact that you can put four singers together and perform that in a recital hall, but you can also do that in someone’s living room. That collaborative intimacy is a marvelous thing. And as a composer, I can really get to know the performers I’m working with. That’s tougher to do with a large ensemble or a symphony.

Why did you first get involved with composing?
I first started composing in high school for the rock band I was part of. While we loved getting together and playing music we all knew and loved, we also liked just sitting and playing. Pretty soon, we started coming up with new melodies and lyrics, and then putting them all together. That process became really quite fun.

When I went off to college, I was attracted to classical music through soundtracks by composers like John Williams. In music classes, I found myself loving the interaction of how music is all put together. During my practice times, I grew to like writing music as much as I liked practicing my instrument.

I love to create. I love to cook, write poetry, and paint. Tomorrow when I rake my leaves, I’ll probably make shapes instead of going in straight lines. I think all humans have that creativity in us to one extent or another, and I think I just got a double dose.

Frank Felice, Butler University
Campus

Q&A with Frank Felice, Music Prof and Classical Composer

After releasing a new CD two weeks before pandemic shutdowns hit Indiana, Felice is finding new ways to stay creative

Bulldogs Adapt: COE Student Ready to Take on Teaching

By Catalina Gallegos ’21

Fall 2020 College of Education graduate Grace Dittoe is excited to apply what she’s learned through being a student during a pandemic to her career in the classroom.

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

Grace Dittoe
Student-Centered

Bulldogs Adapt: COE Student Ready to Take on Teaching

Fall 2020 College of Education graduate Grace Dittoe is excited to apply what she’s learned through being a student during a pandemic to her career in the classroom

Catching up with Jimmy Lafakis ’19

By Maddy Kline ’21

Jimmy Lafakis is in eighth grade.

He is on his way back to Northwest Indiana from New Orleans, where he and his mother Kathy had just watched Butler defeat Wisconsin in the 2011 NCAA tournament. Spirits were high, even though Jimmy couldn’t stay to watch the Bulldogs take on Florida—he had to be back at school on Monday.

The two decided on the next best thing: stopping at Butler to catch the game. Jimmy and his mother stood in the Reilly Room and stared, transfixed, as Butler defeated Florida 74-71, propelling them to the Final Four.

“Oh my gosh, they won,” Kathy says. “All the kids on campus went outside to celebrate, and I took a picture of Jimmy celebrating as a middle schooler with all these college kids. He was so elated. He just had a love for Butler from back then.”

That moment was the first time Butler felt like home to Jimmy.

 

***

 

Jimmy is a first-year student at Butler.

It is fall of 2015, and he is finally enrolled at the university he had been cheering on since middle school.

“My parents did not go to Butler,” Jimmy says. “I wanted to go somewhere and write my own story and, you know, do my own thing. And I'm glad I did.”

It didn’t take long for Jimmy to write that story on campus.

Scott Bridge, College of Communication Lecturer and Internship Director, recalls his first impressions of Jimmy, who was his student and advisee.

“He’s one of the kindest, most sincere people I have ever met,” Bridge says. “And he continued that way through all four years. His attitude was one that I learned from because I thought, ‘Gosh, so many of us need to probably be a little bit more like Jimmy Lafakis’.”

Jimmy truly found his footing when he joined the sports section of The Collegian, which he describes as the foundation of his entire Butler experience. Jimmy was assigned to cover women’s volleyball, but it was nearly impossible to miss him on the sidelines of any sporting event—his eyes staring through his camera lens to capture a fleeting moment in the game.

“One of the things you notice about Jimmy after you get to know him for a little while is that you will rarely see Jimmy without his camera,” Bridge said. “And I know he was very valued over in the Athletics department…because he was a fixture over there at Hinkle for all four years, and he took so many photos in so many different sports. Everybody—from the coaches, to the staff, to the athletes—everyone knew Jimmy.”

The estimated hundreds of thousands of photos that Jimmy took during his four years at Butler never felt like work to him. He had a voracious appetite for sports—football, basketball, soccer—Jimmy wasn’t picky. He just loved what he did.

“I was just happy to be out there covering, writing, taking photos, whatever the case may have been,” Jimmy says. “That’s one thing I've taken with me into my jobs. There are a lot of things, especially right now, in the world that we can't really control. The one thing I can control is my attitude. I can control my effort. And I can control my work ethic.”

 

***

 

Jimmy is a senior at Butler.

It is the spring of 2019, he is graduating with a major in journalism and a minor in strategic communication, and he has to make a decision.

One thing to understand about Jimmy is that he loves Indiana. He grew up in Indiana, he went to school in Indiana, and his circle of family and friends reside in Indiana.

Now he is receiving a job offer to be a sports reporter at the Minot Daily News in Minot, North Dakota—a city that is only about an hour south of the Canadian border. But Jimmy always likes to write his own story, so he took the position. His first day landed on July 15, 2019—his birthday.

“Just try something new and see what that has to offer,” Jimmy says. “Yes, it gets really cold, but the place is beautiful. They call it the Peace Garden State for a reason. I learned so much about myself, about the work I could do. It was my first experience in, you know, in the real world.”

The “real world” of North Dakota yielded some drastically different stories than Jimmy was used to covering. In just his second week on the job, he was covering the rodeo, working out how to report on bull riding and horse races when he was used to collegiate basketball. 

Jimmy’s retelling of his time in North Dakota is interspersed with chuckles and awe, as he recounts his coverage of a high school wrestling tournament in Fargo—a familiar enough sport, but something he had not written about in the past four years at Butler.

“It was one of the most challenging experiences of my life because it was three days of non-stop action,” Jimmy says. “You're literally being thrown in the fire. And I look back on those couple days fondly, because you know what? I got through it. I'm just like, man, if I got through that wrestling tournament, I could get through a lot of things.”

Jimmy continued covering high school and Class B sports in Minot until this past September, when Indiana called him home.

In the hopes of being closer to family and friends, Jimmy parted ways with the student athletes, athletic directors, editors, and community that had welcomed him for 14 months. He traveled 18 hours to Jasper, Indiana, where he now works as a sports reporter for the Dubois County Herald.

Jimmy is certainly in his happy place, covering whatever high school sports are currently in season.

 

 

***

 

Jimmy is in his “Kobe year,” as he and his parents like to say.

He is 24 years old—the number sported by the late NBA star Kobe Bryant—and he is still learning.

“Just in what's basically been a year and a half, I have grown so much it's unbelievable,” Jimmy says. “I've learned a lot about myself…And I know I'm young and I still have a lot to learn. But I'm figuring it out.”

Jimmy’s attitude toward learning is an apt indicator of his personality. His mother describes him as a “student of life,” but also a teacher.

“I've learned a lot from him,” Kathy says. “He teaches me every day. And, you know, that's all a parent wants to do is to see their child succeed and do what they love to do. So, as a parent, I'm just thrilled for him.”

For now, Jimmy plans to keep his ever-present watch at the sidelines of any game he can attend, camera poised, mind racing with stats and adrenaline pumping at the institution that is Indiana high school sports.

If one thing is certain, his mind always returns to Butler.

“I hope I've inspired somebody,” Jimmy says. “I hope somebody out there at Butler looks to me and says, ‘You know what? Jimmy is setting a good example,’ because there are so many people who set an example when I got there…I mean, it's been fun, man. I just have gratitude in my entire life.”

Keep up with Jimmy and his work on Twitter.

Jimmy Lafakis
Alumni Success

Catching up with Jimmy Lafakis ’19

The 2019 grad discovered a love for sports photography during his time at Butler. Now, after a year covering rodeo, wrestling, and more in North Dakota, he's back home in Indiana. 

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

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

BY Katie Grieze

PUBLISHED ON Nov 23 2020

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

 

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

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

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

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

Nov 23 2020 Read more

Bulldogs Adapt: COE Professor Offers Flexibility for Students

By Catalina Gallegos ’21


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

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

Butler University, Susan Adams COE class
Student-Centered

Bulldogs Adapt: COE Professor Offers Flexibility for Students

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

Steps to Success with Josh Turner ’15

By Grace Gordon ’23

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

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

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

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

 

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

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

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

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

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

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

 

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

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

 

“Be a good person.”

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

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

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

 

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

Josh Turner
Alumni Success

Steps to Success with Josh Turner ’15

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

Bulldogs Adapt: LSB Professor on Teaching During a Pandemic

By Catalina Gallegos ’21

 

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

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

LSB
Student-Centered

Bulldogs Adapt: LSB Professor on Teaching During a Pandemic

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

A Chat with Dr. Fait Muedini

By Maddy Kline ’21

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

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

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

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

But why stop at 99 poems?

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Muedini
Campus

A Chat with Dr. Fait Muedini

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

Muedini

A Chat with Dr. Fait Muedini

By Maddy Kline ’21

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

By Cassandra Stec ’23

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Butler University
Admission

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

Cassandra Stec ’23 shares her experience with the program

A Day in the Life of Blue IV

By Nicki Clark ’22

 

 

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

 

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

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

Butler Blue IV

 

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

Butler Blue IV

Butler Blue IV

 

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

Butler Blue IV

 

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

Butler Blue IV

Butler Blue IV

 

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

Butler Blue IV

Butler Blue IV

 

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

Butler Blue IV

 

Butler Blue IV
Campus

A Day in the Life of Blue IV

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

Butler Blue IV

A Day in the Life of Blue IV

By Nicki Clark ’22

Scholarship Helps Indy Native Study Pharmacy at Butler

By Meredith Sauter

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Andrés Huerta
Student-Centered

Scholarship Helps Indy Native Study Pharmacy at Butler

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

Butler Tuition Guarantee Scholarship Turns Dreams into Reality

By Meredith Sauter

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Nicole Whitman
Student-Centered

Butler Tuition Guarantee Scholarship Turns Dreams into Reality

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

Butler University
Campus

Butler University Launches a Hub for Black Affairs and Community Engagement

BY

PUBLISHED ON Oct 15 2020

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

 

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

Butler University
Campus

Butler University Launches a Hub for Black Affairs and Community Engagement

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

Oct 15 2020 Read more
istock
Experiential Learning

The Future of Drug Discovery: Pharmacy Students Learn to Code

BY Katie Grieze

PUBLISHED ON Oct 14 2020

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

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

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

 

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

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

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

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

 

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

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

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

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

 

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

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

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

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

 

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

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

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

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

 

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

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

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

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

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

 

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

istock
Experiential Learning

The Future of Drug Discovery: Pharmacy Students Learn to Code

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

Oct 14 2020 Read more

Bulldogs Adapt: How CCOM Faculty are Supporting Students this Fall

By Catalina Gallegos ’21

  

 

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

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

CCOM faculty adapt
Student-Centered

Bulldogs Adapt: How CCOM Faculty are Supporting Students this Fall

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

BUPD Officer: ‘The Students Here are Just Awesome’

By Nicki Clark ’22

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

 

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

BUPD
Student-Centered

BUPD Officer: ‘The Students Here are Just Awesome’

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

Butler University
Butler Beyond

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

BY

PUBLISHED ON Oct 08 2020

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

 

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

 

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

Butler University
Butler Beyond

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

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

Oct 08 2020 Read more
esports
Campus

Butler Joins The Esports Combine as Hosting University

BY

PUBLISHED ON Oct 08 2020

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

 

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

 

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

 

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

 

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

 

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

esports
Campus

Butler Joins The Esports Combine as Hosting University

Indiana rises as esports hub in America

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

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

BY Jennifer Gunnels

PUBLISHED ON Oct 07 2020

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

 

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

 

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

Major Gift from Diane Meyer Simon
Butler Beyond

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

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

Oct 07 2020 Read more

Where to Eat Near Butler

By Hailey Radakovitz ’21

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

 

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

 

317 Burger

(GF and Vegetarian options available)

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

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

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

 

Café Patachou

(GF, Vegetarian, and Vegan options available)

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

What to try: The Omelette You Can’t Refuse

Open for carryout, dine in, and patio service.

 

Napolese

(GF, Vegetarian, and Vegan options available)

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

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

Open for carryout, dine in, and patio service.

 

Ripple Bagel & Deli

(Vegetarian options available)

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

What to try: The Banana Surprise & The Morning Mess

Open for carryout, dine in, and patio service.

 

St. Elmo Steak House

(GF options available)

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

What to try: The famous St. Elmo Shrimp Cocktail

Open for reservations.

 

Provider 

(Vegetarian options available)

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

What to try: The Ginger Latte & a pastry

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

 

Chatham Tap

(Vegetarian options available)

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

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

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

Chatham Tap
Admission

Where to Eat Near Butler

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

Chatham Tap

Where to Eat Near Butler

By Hailey Radakovitz ’21

A Dawg’s Guide to Fall in Indy

By Maddy Kline ’21

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

 

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

 

Ryan Gernady ’22
Environmental Studies major

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

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

More spots to hike in Indy:

 

Erin Pushic ’21
Marketing major

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

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

Butler favorites:

 

Mason Lovett ’22
Computer Science and Math major

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

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

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

More Indy museums:

 

Sam Nakis ’22
Computer Science and Software Engineering major

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

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

More Indy orchards:

 

Drew Sandifer ’21
Sports Media major

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

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

Great campfire recipes:

 

Carli Medina ’21
Health Sciences and Spanish major

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

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

Other unique movie spots in Indy:

 

Bridget Early ’21
Political Science major

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

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

Explore Indy in the fall:

 

Meghan Stratton ’21
Organizational Communication and Critical Media Communication major

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

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

Trader Joe's fall must-haves:

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

A Dawg’s Guide to Fall in Indy

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

Blue at pumpkin patch

A Dawg’s Guide to Fall in Indy

By Maddy Kline ’21

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

By Catalina Gallegos ’21

 

 

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

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

first-year students
AdmissionStudent-Centered

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

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

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

By Nicki Clark ’22

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

 

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Butler campus
Campus

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

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

Inside Butler
Campus

Inside Butler: An On-Campus Update

BY

PUBLISHED ON Sep 25 2020

 

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Inside Butler
Campus

Inside Butler: An On-Campus Update

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

Sep 25 2020 Read more