Butler University

Butler’s Response to Racism/Social Injustice


PUBLISHED ON Sep 10 2020


Butler University

Butler’s Response to Racism/Social Injustice

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

Sep 10 2020 Read more

Coronavirus Information for the Butler Community


PUBLISHED ON Mar 20 2020

The University’s incident response team is meeting regularly to assess conditions and develop response plans for a variety of possible scenarios. New or increasing outbreaks of COVID-19 are being reported on a daily basis and strict travel restrictions have been put in place for those countries with the most severe outbreaks (including China, Iran, Italy, and South Korea). Fortunately, most individuals who have contracted the virus have recovered without requiring significant medical treatment. We are reminded by the Centers for Disease Control (CDC), there is no reason to panic—the key is to be prepared.

Butler Communications on Coronavirus (COVID-19)

Coronavirus (COVID-19) Frequently Asked Questions


Coronavirus Information for the Butler Community

Butler remains in communication with local and state health departments and has been taking guidance from the CDC

Mar 20 2020 Read more
Inside Butler

Inside Butler: An On-Campus Update


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

Inside Butler: An On-Campus Update

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

Sep 25 2020 Read more
Butler University

Butler Presents Annual Alumni Awards, Recognizing Service to the University

BY Larry Clow

PUBLISHED ON Sep 23 2020

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

This year’s recipients are:

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


Butler Medal: Thomas A. King ’66 

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

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

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

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

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

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

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


Butler Service Medal: James W. Berry

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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


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

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

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

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

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

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


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

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

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

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

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

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


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

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

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

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

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


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

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

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

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

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


Mortar Award: Albert and Margaret Chen

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

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

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

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

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

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


Foundation Award: Scott ’03 and Katie Nichols ’05 

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

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

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

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

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

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

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


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

Butler University

Butler Presents Annual Alumni Awards, Recognizing Service to the University

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

Sep 23 2020 Read more
Lewellyn research

Fruit Flies Could Help Scientists Understand Human Fertility

BY Katie Grieze

PUBLISHED ON Sep 22 2020

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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


Media Contact:
Katie Grieze
News Content Manager

Lewellyn research

Fruit Flies Could Help Scientists Understand Human Fertility

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

Sep 22 2020 Read more

Butler Alum Turns Lifelong Hobby into Vintage Indy Staple

By Maddy Kline ’21

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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


Some of Marshall’s favorite Butler memories:

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

Butler Alum Turns Lifelong Hobby into Vintage Indy Staple

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

BBQ event
Experiential Learning

Chemistry Profs Connect With Alumni Through Food-Based Science Lessons

BY Katie Grieze

PUBLISHED ON Sep 16 2020

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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


How it all began

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

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

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

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

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

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


Media Contact:
Katie Grieze
News Content Manager

BBQ event
Experiential Learning

Chemistry Profs Connect With Alumni Through Food-Based Science Lessons

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

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

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


PUBLISHED ON Sep 14 2020

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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


Media Contact:
Katie Grieze
News Content Manager

Butler University U.S. News Rankings

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

The University also ranked among top universities in three national categories

Sep 14 2020 Read more

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

By Grace Gordon ’23

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


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

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

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

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

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

How to get Involved

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

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

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

What to Expect from Organization Meetings and Events

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

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

How to Help the Semester Stay On Track

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

Butler Blue

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

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

COE sign
Butler Beyond

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

BY Jennifer Gunnels

PUBLISHED ON Sep 09 2020

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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


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


Media Contact:
Katie Grieze
News Content Manager

COE sign
Butler Beyond

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

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

Sep 09 2020 Read more

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

By Cassandra Stec ’23

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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


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

Diversity Center

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

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


Convocation 2020 Highlights


PUBLISHED ON Sep 08 2020



Our fall semester kicked off virtually on August 24, but as we now start in-person classes, this week is full of first experiences for many in the Butler community.

We recently held a virtual convocation event for our first-year students and their families. Convocation recognizes the moment in which new students officially become members of the Butler community. This ceremony also marks the start of a new academic year and celebrates the incoming class.

With that in mind, we invite you to view this shortened version of the 2020 Convocation Ceremony to mark the occasion of this first week of in-person classes for the fall semester.


Convocation 2020 Highlights

We recently held virtual convocation for our first-year students and their families, marking the start of a new academic year and celebrating the incoming class

Sep 08 2020 Read more
cancer research at Butler University

Butler Pharmacy Prof Receives $1.39M NIH Grant to Support Cancer Research

BY Katie Grieze

PUBLISHED ON Sep 03 2020

Over the next five years, Dr. Chioniso Patience Masamha will be studying the ways cancer cells multiply. The Butler University Assistant Professor of Pharmaceutical Sciences, who received a grant for $1,394,125 from the National Institutes of Health (NIH), hopes this project will lead to more effective strategies for detecting and treating the disease.

Cancer works by hijacking normal processes within the body, taking advantage of existing functions to cause the excessive multiplication of cells. Some of the same structures that allow our bodies to survive can be mutated in life-threatening ways. Normal, healthy genes that have the potential to become cancerous are called oncogenes.

Cyclin D1, the oncogene Dr. Masamha is focusing on for this research, normally plays an important role in driving cell progression and multiplication. In healthy cells, cyclin D1 only “turns on” when it is needed—such as when the body has been injured and needs to heal itself—then “turns off” when it is no longer needed.

When cancer hijacks this gene, it essentially removes the off switch. The cyclin D1 goes into overdrive, causing cells to continue dividing and growing uncontrollably. Abnormal cyclin D1  expression is common across several types of cancers, including pancreatic cancer, breast cancer, melanoma, and endometrial cancer, among others.

“When cyclin D1 is normally expressed in cells,” Dr. Masamha explains, “it is usually degraded within 30 minutes. However, in cancer cells, cyclin D1 can survive for up to eight hours without being degraded.”

We know this happens, but we don’t know how. So Dr. Masamha’s research studies the specific sequences of cyclin D1 expressed in cancer cells, as well as the proteins involved in processing cyclin D1, to try to understand the mechanisms that lead to the oncogene’s abnormal overexpression.

Dr. Masamha will look specifically at cyclin D1’s relationship to a type of lethal blood cancer called Mantle Cell Lymphoma (MCL). Why MCL? This type of cancer originates in the B-cell, a white blood cell that creates antibodies. In healthy B-cells, cyclin D1 is never actually active at all. But in cancerous B-cells, not only is the cyclin D1 active, it’s overactive—leading to the aggressive growth of cancer cells. This is associated with reduced survival in MCL patients.

Dr. Masamha believes the mechanisms that cause cancerous B-cells to activate their otherwise-dormant cyclin D1 could be the same mechanisms that put cyclin D1 into overdrive.

“If we figure out why cyclin D1 is expressed in this particular type of cancer,” she says, “then maybe we can try to target that mechanism that results in cyclin D1 overexpression in this and other types of cancers.”

In addition to determining how cyclin D1 becomes expressed in cancerous B-cells in the first place, Dr. Masamha aims to discover the consequences of the resulting cyclin D1-driven hyperproliferation—or multiplication—of tumor cells.

Healthy B-cells generate antibodies through a process of breaking apart chromosomes and putting them back together. In cancerous B-cells, increased cell division due to abnormal cyclin D1 expression makes it more likely that the broken chromosome pieces will end up reattaching to the wrong chromosomes.

The result is the formation of something called fusion genes, which are made up of DNA sequences that don’t belong together.

We know fusion genes happen frequently in MCL, but we don’t yet know exactly what they look like, or how to systematically detect them. Dr. Masamha’s project will use third-generation sequencing technology, allowing her to look at the full DNA sequences of individual genes and identify which types of fusion genes are present. Her findings could provide crucial information for both the diagnosis and treatment of cancers involving the abnormal expression of cyclin D1.

“If you can detect fusion genes early enough—so if you sequence someone’s DNA before they even get cancer and find fusion genes—you can know that those fusion genes might end up resulting in cancer,” she says, explaining that this could help identify preventative therapies. “Or, if the person already has cancer and you can detect what kind of fusion genes they have, you can identify which drugs would provide the best treatment.”


Media Contact:
Katie Grieze
News Content Manager

cancer research at Butler University

Butler Pharmacy Prof Receives $1.39M NIH Grant to Support Cancer Research

Dr. Chioniso Patience Masamha will study an oncogene commonly linked to Mantle Cell Lymphoma and other types of cancer

Sep 03 2020 Read more

What’s the Role of the Student Government Association?

By Cassandra Stec ’23

Cassandra Stec is a junior at Butler studying Computer Science and Art + Design. She’s involved in many student organizations across campus, including the Student Government Association.

Butler University’s Student Government Association (SGA) represents the student body by supporting student organizations, addressing student concerns, and providing engaging programs. Similar to the United States government, SGA has legislative, executive, and judicial branches.

The legislative branch contains the Speaker of the Senate, Senate Secretary, 40 senators, and four different commissions. The Student Senate encompasses the majority of what the legislative branch does in that the Senators are in charge of taking questions, comments, concerns, and ideas from students regarding campus, and then enacting those changes. Each Senator is elected by peers in their residence hall, college, or class. Besides enacting changes, the Senate also approves new student organizations and often hosts outreach events to promote unity and bonding with the students they represent.

The executive branch is comprised of the Student Body President, Executive Vice President, Vice President of Finance, Chief of Staff, and Executive Secretary. In addition to these positions, the Board of Directors also falls under the executive branch. Director positions include the Director of Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion (DEIB), the Director of Marketing and Communications (MarCom), the Director of Programming, and the Director of Service and Philanthropy. Each director (and the VP of Finance) works with a board of other students that helps them enact their responsibilities.

  • The Finance Board makes sure SGA is allocating money fairly and also distributing funds to student organizations through grants.
  • DEIB hosts diversity-centered events on campus that range from educational to celebratory.
  • MarCom manages SGA social media and promotional materials.
  • The Program Board handles SGA’s fun and educational events. There are several boards within Programming that are in charge of running concerts, taking students off campus, bringing groups onto campus for fun activities, making sure Homecoming runs smoothly, and ensuring that programs and funds are being used intentionally.
  • The Service and Philanthropy board oversees the three big service projects that occur at Butler each year: Butler Dance Marathon (BUDM), Butler Ambassadors for Special Olympics (BASO), and Bulldogs into the Streets (BITS).


The judicial branch includes a Chief Justice, Court Clerk, and six Associate Justices. This branch is designed to hold SGA and all its members accountable. Some of the things it oversees include making sure all legislation passed by the legislative branch is constitutional, that elections are fair and impartial, and that the constitution and bylaws of SGA reflect the organization as it changes and grows.

I, myself, have been involved in the legislative branch through the Program Board. My first year at Butler, I joined the concerts board and helped bring Jesse McCartney to campus for Exam Jam. We also took students off campus to see Luke Combs and Lizzo. After two years on the board, I am now the Director of Programming and in charge of 20 or so students who are excited to problem solve and create programming for students to enjoy (even in the middle of a pandemic). Joining SGA was one of the best decisions I have made at Butler so far. I have made so many friends, learned many skills, and helped overcome many challenges and obstacles.

If you want to join SGA, elections for board positions occur twice a year, while Senate elections occur in the fall semester. To learn more about SGA, visit our website and subscribe to our newsletter. SGA can also be found on Facebook, Twitter, and Instagram, and there is an office dedicated to SGA in Atherton Union.

Atherton Union

What’s the Role of the Student Government Association?

One SGA member explains the organization's structure and responsibilities

Ibram X. Kendi at Butler

Ibram X. Kendi: ‘We Need Universities to Challenge the Status Quo’

BY Katie Grieze

PUBLISHED ON Aug 28 2020

As part of Butler University’s ongoing commitment to eliminate racism and discrimination on campus, the University kicked off the fall 2020 semester by welcoming bestselling author Ibram X. Kendi as the keynote guest in virtual Q&A sessions with students, faculty, and staff.

Dr. Kendi is Director of the Boston University Center for Antiracist Research. He is also a Professor of History and International Studies, an Ideas Columnist at The Atlantic, and a correspondent with CBS News. His four books have included Stamped from the Beginning: The Definitive History of Racist Ideas in America; How to Be an Antiracist; and STAMPED: Racism, Antiracism, and You (co-authored with Jason Reynolds). His newest book, Antiracist Baby, was published on June 16, 2020.

The conversation with Butler employees, held August 19 as part of a day-long symposium on anti-racism, was moderated by College of Communication (CCOM) Dean Brooke Barnett. The student session later that week was led by junior CCOM student Marcos Navarro García, alongside Gina Forrest, Butler’s Executive Director of Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion.

Dr. Kendi says the journey to being anti-racist should start by defining racist policies as any policies that lead to racial inequity, and by defining racist ideas as any concepts that suggest one racial group is superior or inferior to another.

“And so, racism is a powerful collection of racist policies that lead to racial inequity and are substantiated by racist ideas,” he says.

The sessions focused mainly on the experiences of Black individuals within predominantly white institutions such as Butler, and on the role those institutions must play in combating racism. One of the most important things universities can do, Dr. Kendi says, is to use their intellectual resources to challenge the status quo.

“How can we assemble and organize experts on our campus who can really figure out the causes of racial inequities in our town, in our state?” he says. “We're going to need that for this struggle to transform this country. We need intellectuals, we need scholars, and we need universities to support that level of public scholarship.”

Dr. Kendi also recommends that universities encourage anti-racist work by making it an explicit part of the employee review process, just as faculty are incentivized to publish academic journals. Spreading out diversity-related work will also give some breathing room to employees of color, who often shoulder the load of supporting students of color.

“Many predominantly white universities do not have many Black and Brown faculty members,” Dr. Kendi explains. “And so, typically, Black and Brown students are lining up at their doors, talking to them about their classes and about the racism they may be facing on campus. You know, just talking to them to feel valued, because in other places on campus, they don't.”

All members of university communities need to put in the work to make sure people of color feel welcome and valued everywhere on campus. But Dr. Kendi acknowledges that even those who want to help might hesitate to speak up for fear of offending others. He says it’s important to understand that even anti-racist people will sometimes make mistakes, sometimes say racist things. The difference is in how they react.

“A racist person will deny it,” he says. “But someone who is being anti-racist reflects on what they said, based on the definition of a racist idea that they have learned, and will be like, ‘You know what, that was a racist idea. I was being racist in that moment, but I want to be different. I want to change. I want to learn. I want to grow, and I'm sorry for saying that. Let me repair the harm that I caused."

Ibram X. Kendi at Butler

Ibram X. Kendi: ‘We Need Universities to Challenge the Status Quo’

In mid-August, the bestselling author of ‘How to Be an Antiracist’ joined virtual conversations with the Butler community

Aug 28 2020 Read more
Brooke Moreland
Alumni Success

Butler Alum Receives Indiana’s Achievement in Education Award

BY Katie Grieze

PUBLISHED ON Aug 26 2020

Brooke Moreland ’11 first came to Butler University from a low-income household in 2007. Now, she’s being celebrated for her years of supporting students in similar situations, as the 2020 recipient of Indiana’s Achievement in Education award.

“It’s really a full-circle experience,” she says.

The award, which recognizes educators who have used innovative strategies to increase achievement for their students, was announced August 26 as part of the Governor’s Celebration of Community Service Awards. During the virtual ceremony, the State of Indiana honored six Black Hoosiers for their exceptional efforts across a variety of fields. Moreland received six nominations for the education category.

“I feel very appreciative of this award,” says Moreland, who is currently Assistant Director for the  21st Century Scholars Success Program at Indiana University–Purdue University Indianapolis (IUPUI). “When you are a leader in higher education, and especially when you are a leader of color at a predominantly white institution, it can sometimes be really hard to gauge if your work is appreciated or if you are truly making a difference. I’m so appreciative that people took the time to acknowledge my work and my passion for helping students.”

During her time at Butler, Moreland spent three years serving as a Resident Assistant. She loved the role so much—from managing programs to building relationships—she wondered if she could do something similar full time.

Mentors at Butler—including former President Bobby Fong—introduced Moreland to the world of student affairs. She hasn’t looked back. After graduating from Butler’s Psychology program, she went on to earn her master’s degree in Higher Education and Student Affairs from Indiana University (IU).

Moreland spent two years on IU’s student conduct team before starting as a Scholarship Coordinator at IUPUI, where she has worked mostly with high-risk and first-generation students participating in Indiana’s 21st Century Scholars program. After two years guiding students through the program requirements, providing individualized support, and helping families understand financial aid logistics, Moreland was promoted to her current role as the program’s Assistant Director.

Her work now focuses on developing strategies for enhancing the retention and success of more than 4,500 21st Century Scholarship recipients at IUPUI. She highlights the need to rely on concrete data in creating these programs, often basing her decisions on institutional research.

“I’m not just guessing—the success of the students is too important,” she says. “If I was that student, I would want someone to do their research and make sure the guidance they’re giving me is solid and accurate. And I think the students I work with recognize that I do put in that level of effort every day.”

In addition to overseeing a robust peer mentoring initiative, Moreland has implemented regular check-ins with the students she works with. Six times each academic year, she and her team hold one-on-one meetings with all of IUPUI’s 21st Century Scholars. This proactive approach establishes supportive relationships and allows staff members to identify and resolve issues before students reach the point of asking for help.

“This year, choosing the recipient for the Achievement in Education award was fairly easy,” said a Civil Rights Commission spokesperson during the Wednesday ceremony. “When an abundance of past and present students—including colleagues—nominate someone, it’s pretty clear to see that that person has put forth the initiative, the work, and the compassion. Brooke Moreland has not only counseled her students, but has supported, mentored, and inspired thousands of students throughout her career.”

The 2020 Governor’s Celebration of Community Service Awards were hosted by the Indiana Civil Rights Commission in partnership with Indiana Black Expo, the Indiana Division of Supplier Diversity, and the Family & Social Services Administration. The celebration acknowledges the outstanding achievement of Black leaders throughout the state of Indiana.


Media Contact:
Katie Grieze
News Content Manager

Brooke Moreland
Alumni Success

Butler Alum Receives Indiana’s Achievement in Education Award

Brooke Moreland ’11 has dedicated her career to helping college students succeed

Aug 26 2020 Read more
ethics series

New Podcasts from Lacy School of Business Ethics Series Focus on Fighting Racism, Social Injustice


PUBLISHED ON Aug 26 2020

The Lacy School of Business (LSB) Ethics Series podcast, presented by Old National Bank, is devoting its next episodes to local community leaders committed to combating issues of racial and social injustice in the Indianapolis community and beyond.

“These episodes will explore ways that businesses and educators can make a difference,” says Hilary Buttrick, Interim Dean for LSB and host of the podcast. “We believe that being an ethical leader means acknowledging injustices and actively working to correct them. We have an obligation to prepare students to be leaders in organizations that are inclusive and offer a place of belonging for all people, regardless of background.”

The series kicks off with a conversation featuring Brian Payne, President and CEO of the Central Indiana Community Foundation (CICF). The organization works to mobilize people, ideas, and investments to create a community where all individuals have an equitable opportunity to reach their full potential. Under Payne’s leadership, CICF has made dismantling systemic racism in Central Indiana a multi-generational commitment.

“We are really trying to dismantle racist systems and replace them with systems built on principles of equity… and understanding the DNA of a system is really important,” Payne says on the podcast. “The DNA of America is business, and capitalism tends to overwhelm democracy. Businesses are hugely powerful in America, and if we want to change systemic racism, we have to do that with business.”

The full conversation between Payne and Buttrick is available now. Future episodes in the social justice series will feature Jennifer Pope Baker, Executive Director of the Women’s Fund of Central Indiana, and other community leaders.

This is the second set of episodes within the LSB Ethics Series podcast, following one earlier this year that focused on the effects of COVID-19. The podcast’s episodes can be found on Spotify, BuzzSprout, Apple Podcasts, Google Podcasts, and TuneIn.


About Lacy School of Business Ethics Series, presented by Old National Bank:
This podcast is part of LSB’s continuing journey to become the Midwest’s leader in Business Ethics Education and Ethical Leadership by offering free educational events to students, alumni, and the business community. Our goal is to exemplify ethical practice and leadership development for our students, future leaders, and the community as a whole. 


Media Contact:
Katie Grieze
News Content Manager
260-307-3403 (cell)

ethics series

New Podcasts from Lacy School of Business Ethics Series Focus on Fighting Racism, Social Injustice

The first episode, available now, features CICF President and CEO Brian Payne

Aug 26 2020 Read more
Butler Class of 2024

Butler Welcomes Third-Largest Class Ever Despite COVID-19 Challenges

BY Katie Grieze

PUBLISHED ON Aug 24 2020


INDIANAPOLIS—Despite a year of unexpected challenges in the college admissions world, Butler University is welcoming its third-largest class ever, with 1,128 first-year students planning to begin classes on August 24.

Butler has continued to experience a surge in interest and enrollment over the last five years. Last year’s Class of 2023 was previously the third-largest, topped by this new incoming group of students. The Class of 2022, now juniors, is the largest in the University’s history.

The Class of 2024 has been through a lot over the past six months. The COVID-19 pandemic forced many of them to finish high school online, cancel graduation celebrations, and navigate changes to AP and IB exams. These students are also starting their college experiences in a way that likely looks different from what they ever pictured, with the first two weeks of the semester occurring remotely. But even as they log on for their first day of classes, they are excited to be Bulldogs.

“I ultimately chose Butler because I got that ‘home’ feeling when thinking about the University,” says Marissa Flannery, an incoming student who had initially planned to attend college closer to her hometown of Fairport, New York. “I know there are people here who truly care about students and want success for all of us.”

Flannery says Butler’s relatively small size was a big factor in her decision, but not just for safety reasons during the course of the pandemic.

“You can’t walk into Butler and feel like a little fish in the ocean, or feel like there’s no one to notice if you need help with something,” she says. “The sense of community and family is undeniable, and that is my absolute favorite part of Butler.”

Flannery had the chance to visit campus multiple times before making her choice. While that wasn’t the case for some other prospective students, Vice President for Enrollment Management Lori Greene applauds the adaptability of Butler staff who adjusted quickly to a virtual environment.

“Butler already offered a virtual campus tour option,” Greene says, “so we were able to build upon that foundation by adding virtual counselor meetings and events for both individuals and groups. Our enrollment team, both the admission and financial aid staff members, worked diligently to meet the needs of prospective students by focusing on creative solutions for outreach and active follow up. Our biggest concern was working to provide support at a time of great uncertainty.”

Faculty members at Butler have also committed themselves to providing extra support for this group of new students. As the pandemic continued to surge in mid-May, the University announced it would offer a free online class to help incoming students learn about and reflect on the widespread impacts of the COVID-19 crisis. The one-credit-hour summer course was taught by a team of 14 faculty members from across the University, with more than 250 incoming students enrolled.

“We wanted to show our incoming students how current Butler students, faculty, and staff have really rallied to make the best of a very difficult situation,” says Anne Wilson, Professor of Chemistry and faculty lead for the online class. “This course offered an opportunity for incoming students to learn more about the Butler community while reflecting on what they have learned about their own adaptability and resilience.”

Many traditionally on-campus enrollment activities moved to virtual delivery this year. All incoming students completed course registration virtually this spring, and more than 130 students attended a virtual admitted student visit.

Despite the pressure of adjusting to a global pandemic, this incoming class is as academically strong as ever. The Class of 2024 includes 41 high school valedictorians, 23 Lilly Scholars, and 40 21st Century Scholars. Nearly 18 percent of the students graduated in the top 10 percent of their classes. The average high school GPA of the class is 3.92, one of the strongest in recent admission cycles. In addition, Butler will also welcome 66 transfer students.

The most popular majors among the incoming class include Exploratory Studies, Pre-Pharmacy, Exploratory Business, Biology, and Health Sciences.

Butler’s upward trend in out-of-state growth continues with this class. Incoming students represent 37 states and 13 countries, including Australia, Mexico, and South Korea. Out-of-state students make up 57 percent of the class, with significant populations from Illinois and the Chicagoland area, Michigan, Ohio, and Wisconsin. Enrollment also increased in California, Texas, and Maryland.

One incoming Maryland student, Anisa Cobb, says she chose Butler for its nationally renowned Dance program. The Morton-Finney Scholar is also looking forward to exploring a wide variety of academic options.

“The great thing about Butler is that there are so many options that it’s possible to be involved in so many different things,” Cobb says.

Another out-of-state first-year student, Ashton Franklin, says he was drawn to Butler’s welcoming atmosphere. The Michigan native plans to major in Strategic Communication: Public Relations and Advertising, using what he learns to help others tell their stories.

“I really believe that the world can become a brighter place if we all try to understand one another,” Franklin says. “And by the time I graduate, I’m confident that I’ll be the very best version of myself because of the opportunities that Butler has given to me.”


Media Contact:
Katie Grieze
News Content Manager

Butler Class of 2024

Butler Welcomes Third-Largest Class Ever Despite COVID-19 Challenges

More than 1,125 first-year students plan to log on for their first day of classes on August 24

Aug 24 2020 Read more

Butler Massage Therapist Advocates for Mental Health Awareness

By Kamy Mitchell ’21

“We all act like the world will stop if we stop,” says Lara Pearson, Massage Therapy Services Coordinator at Butler’s Health and Recreation Complex (HRC).

Pearson sees adults working 60 hours a week, students pulling all-nighters to study before exams, and society as a whole working overtime while rarely taking a moment to pause. And she gets it, but she also knows the stress it brings. She used to get caught up in the frenzy of life, too, until she discovered the merits of regular massage therapy.

Pearson says massage is more than a luxurious spa experience, but rather an important tool within healthcare. Massages reduce muscle tension, lower blood pressure, improve circulation, reduce stress hormones, enhance athletic performance, and improve overall mental health. And yet, many people don’t know about the benefits that massage therapy has to offer.

Pearson was one of them. She had been working a high-stress job in the corporate insurance world for 13 years when, one day, she received a gift card for a massage. The experience entirely changed her view of well-being, so she enrolled in massage therapy school on the weekends in hopes of beginning a side business. After a few months, this choice led to a full career change when she joined the HRC staff at Butler in 2011.

As a massage therapist, Pearson loves working with Butler students, faculty, and staff. She hopes the availability of massage therapy services will eventually be common knowledge across campus, as it caters to a variety of needs ranging from letting go of some stress during finals week to preparing for or recovering from sports competitions. As Pearson strives to increase awareness about the health benefits of massage, she also works to end the stigma associated with mental health issues.

Her passion for mental health awareness began at an early age. As a young adult, Pearson attempted suicide and was admitted to a stress center, where she was connected with a counselor.

“It literally saved my life to know I was not alone,” she says, “to know that there was help out there, and to know all I had to do was ask someone.”

Ever since, Pearson has been advocating for mental health awareness. She believes our most important job in life is to take care of our mental health, and that care can come in many forms.

“True healthcare begins with self-care,” Pearson says. “It’s important to be aware of the link between physical and mental health. Massage therapy is just one of many tools to help you take care of your mind and body.”


Lara Pearson, BCTMB
Member of American Massage Therapy Association


Lara Pearson

Butler Massage Therapist Advocates for Mental Health Awareness

For Lara Pearson, massage is more than a luxurious spa experience. It's a key healthcare tool.

How to Get the Most Out of Your Time with Your Academic Advisors

By Hailey Radakovitz ’21

As Butler undergrads navigate through their academic programs, various opportunities and challenges are bound to arise. Luckily, Butler provides all students with an academic advisor to provide guidance along the way.

Academic advising isn't just about scheduling classes. Rather, advisors can help guide you through your academic journey, providing information and guidance about educational opportunities and working with you to plan a path toward academic and (ultimately) professional success. At Butler, academic advising is a critical piece of the teaching and learning relationship.  

For many Butler students, academic advisors serve as valuable, trusted resources. Advisors meet with students at least once each semester, but often, students and their advisors meet throughout the academic year to discuss academic developments, goals, successes, and challenges. In order to get the most out of your time with your advisor, there are a variety of ways to prepare.

Understand that they are busy but will make time for you

Butler faculty and staff members have packed schedules. Between lectures, office hours, and other responsibilities, your academic advisor might not always be available right when you want them to be. But they will do their best to assist you as soon as they can. As an advisee, it’s important to be patient and respect their time. Don’t panic if your advisor hasn't responded to you within a few hours—wait a day or two before circling back.

Be prepared for your appointment

Since advising is a collaborative relationship, it’s important to be prepared for any meeting that you secure with your advisor. To make the most of that time, make sure to always come with any relevant information and materials that your advisor might request from you. Typically, your advisor will let you know in advance how you can best prepare for a meeting, so treat those suggestions as a plan of action for the days leading up to it. That way, your meeting time can be utilized effectively, rather than being wasted by sorting through old academic records.

Know your requirements, and have a plan to achieve them

Advisors will do their best to guide you through your time at college, but you should understand that it is your responsibility to keep track of your progress within your program. Each semester, set aside some time to look through your academic requirements and check that you are on the right track and timeline. Think about your academic goals, and make sure your course schedule matches up with them. If you have questions, be ready to bring them up when you meet with your advisor.

Form a strong professional relationship

Students are typically paired with advisors who have experiences and connections in the student’s area of concentration. This means that advisors themselves (or their peers) likely have first-hand knowledge about the careers you are interested in. By making an effort to build a strong professional relationship with your advisor, you can connect with them and gain deeper insights into your future career path.

Be open to new ideas, and ask questions

Always go into meetings with your advisor with an open mind. Occasionally, they may suggest a course or academic path that you haven't considered or that doesn't necessarily seem to line up with exactly what you want to do. Before you reject those ideas, hear out your advisor and find out why they believe these experiences outside your comfort zone might be beneficial. A change in perspective can often be positive, helping you discover new interests and paths that you might not have considered in the first place.

Ultimately, your relationship with your academic advisor is based on respect, trust, and a mutual understanding of each of your responsibilities. As a student, if you go into advising meetings prepared and with an open mind, your advisor will be able to help you position yourself on a path to academic, personal, and professional success.


BONUS: Tips from an Academic Advisor

  • Get to know yourself, who you are, and what you like.
  • Meet early and often with your academic advisor.
  • Use your resources, and ask your advisor how you can get involved.
  • Educate yourself on all the academic possibilities at Butler. Ask a lot of questions.
  • Be flexible. This is crucial when building your academic schedule each semester.
  • Don't be afraid to make a four-year plan once you have chosen your academic path.
  • Have a back-up or parallel plan.


If you are a first-year student and wondering how to prepare for your first advising appointment, be sure to attend the “Getting Ready for Your First Advising Appointment” workshop this fall. This workshop will provide an overview of the course advising and registration process at Butler, introducing you to the tools that will help you navigate registering for your spring courses. Click here for details about this and other academic success workshops.

Butler University

How to Get the Most Out of Your Time with Your Academic Advisors

Academic advisors do more than help with class schedules. Check out these tips for building a strong relationship that can set you up for success.

Butler University

Butler Named a Top College by Princeton Review For Third Straight Year


PUBLISHED ON Aug 20 2020

Butler University is one of the nation's best undergraduate institutions, according to The Princeton Review. For the third year in a row, Butler has been included in The Princeton Review’s annual college guide, The Best 386 Colleges. The book provides school recommendations for undergraduate college applicants, with only about 14 percent of America’s four-year colleges and universities profiled in the guide’s 2021 edition.

The company chooses colleges for the book based on data it annually collects from administrators at hundreds of colleges about their institutions’ academic offerings. The Princeton Review also considers data gathered from surveys of college students who rate and report on various aspects of their campus experiences.  

"We salute Butler University for its outstanding academics, and we are truly pleased to recommend it to prospective applicants searching for their personal ‘best-fit’ college,” said Robert Franek, The Princeton Review's Editor-in-Chief and lead author of The Best 386 Colleges. 

In Butler’s profile from the book, students highlighted the University’s student-to-faculty ratio and said instructors often collaborate with students on research and professional endeavors. Students also appreciated the ongoing introduction of new technology into the learning experience, as well as curriculum that challenges students to try new things.

Students valued Butler’s study abroad offerings, with more than 200 programs across 60 countries, along with other experiential learning opportunities.

The best 386 colleges are not ranked hierarchically. Published annually since 1992, the book features detailed descriptions of each college, including admission and graduation rates, as well as excerpts from surveys of students and graduates.


Media Contact:
Katie Grieze
News Content Manager

Butler University

Butler Named a Top College by Princeton Review For Third Straight Year

The University has been included in the 2021 edition of 'The Best 386 Colleges'

Aug 20 2020 Read more
Ibram X. Kendi

Ibram X. Kendi Visits Butler to Discuss Anti-Racism with Faculty, Staff, Students


PUBLISHED ON Aug 18 2020

In his campus-wide message on Juneteenth, Butler President James Danko charged members of the Butler community with proposing immediate steps to address racism, discrimination, and social injustices that may be evident at the University. While that mission will continue throughout the academic year and beyond, Butler is excited to kick off the fall 2020 semester by inviting faculty, staff, and students to attend virtual Q&A sessions featuring bestselling author Ibram X. Kendi.

Professor Kendi is the Director of the Boston University Center for Antiracist Research. He is also a professor of history and international studies, an Ideas Columnist at The Atlantic, and a correspondent with CBS News. His four books have included Stamped from the Beginning: The Definitive History of Racist Ideas in America; How to Be an Antiracist; and STAMPED: Racism, Antiracism, and You (co-authored with Jason Reynolds). His newest book, Antiracist Baby, was published on June 16, 2020.

On Wednesday, August 19, Professor Kendi will be the keynote guest during a live, virtual symposium on anti-racism for all Butler faculty and staff. Later in the week, he will speak with students.

“While we realize that meaningful change cannot result from just one or two conversations,” President Danko says, “we hope hearing from Professor Kendi will help strengthen the urgent desire that so many in our community already feel—a desire to truly live out our founding mission to be a University where all students, faculty, and staff are welcome and respected.”


Photo by Stephen Voss


Media Contact:
Katie Grieze
News Content Manager

Ibram X. Kendi

Ibram X. Kendi Visits Butler to Discuss Anti-Racism with Faculty, Staff, Students

The bestselling author and Director of the Boston University Center for Antiracist Research will lead virtual Q&A sessions with the Butler community

Aug 18 2020 Read more
Butler Beyond

Inaugural Butler Giving Circle Grant Supports Local Nonviolence Training


PUBLISHED ON Aug 13 2020

INDIANAPOLIS—On July 16, the first annual Butler Giving Circle community grant was awarded to the Desmond Tutu Peace Lab at Butler University. The grant supports local nonviolence training workshops in partnership with the Martin Luther King Community Center (MLK Center), which is located one mile from Butler’s campus in the Butler-Tarkington neighborhood. The 32 inaugural shareholders of the Butler Giving Circle gathered virtually to hear presentations from three potential grant recipients before deliberating and ultimately recommending to award $10,596 to fund nonviolence training for all MLK Center staff and board members, the MLK Center’s teen/young adult group, Butler Peace Lab interns, and Butler faculty fellows.

Participants will be trained by professionals from the Institute for Nonviolence Chicago in the practical use of nonviolence principles established by Martin Luther King. With help from Butler Giving Circle funds, the workshops will be conducted using a “train the trainer” model, equipping all participants with the skills to train successive cohorts of young people in the nonviolence principles at both the MLK Center and Butler. Desmond Tutu Peace Lab Director Dr. Siobhan McEvoy-Levy says this model will establish a sustainable network of qualified trainers, institutionalizing nonviolent conflict transformation as a shared endeavor across both campuses.

“The nonviolence program will help build much-needed capacity for resolving conflict on our campus and in the community, and for resolving conflicts between our campus and community,” McEvoy-Levy says. “Through this program, we are both learning from and giving back to the community within which we are rooted, making connections with future Butler students from Butler-Tarkington and the surrounding areas. I am excited to help create a unique space of learning to promote peace, justice, and dignity for all, in partnership with Butler graduate Allison Luthe ’97, who is Executive Director of the MLK Center.”

The Butler Giving Circle is a new initiative spearheaded by Board of Visitors member Loren Snyder ’08 in conjunction with the Office of University Advancement. The Butler Giving Circle is designed to connect alumni to their philanthropic areas of passion, focused on two mission-critical elements of the University’s Butler Beyond comprehensive fundraising campaign: student scholarships and Indianapolis community partnerships.

With an annual gift of $500, Butler graduates can become shareholders in the Butler Giving Circle. After shareholder funds are pooled, 40 percent of the funds are directed to the Butler Fund for Student Scholarship, and 60 percent are granted to an Indianapolis community partner with an existing affiliation to Butler. Current Butler students and faculty who are engaged with Indianapolis community partners were invited to apply for the partner funding earlier this year by submitting project ideas. After an initial review of applicant projects by Butler leadership and the Butler Giving Circle Executive Committee, three finalists were chosen to present their ideas for use of the funds at the July 16 shareholder meeting.

“Despite the challenging circumstances we are all facing today, I’m so pleased that, through the Butler Giving Circle, the Butler alumni community was able to partner with the Butler Peace Lab and the MLK Center while also supporting scholarship opportunities,” Snyder says. “I’m looking forward to watching the impact of this group grow as more people join the Butler Giving Circle.”

In keeping with the Butler Giving Circle’s funding priorities, the other $7,310 of this year’s shareholder funds were directed to the Butler Fund for Student Scholarship, which directly supports the University’s annual commitment to students in the form of scholarships and financial aid. In 2019-2020, Butler committed more than $77 million to students in the form of financial aid. The University announced earlier this year a commitment of $10 million in additional financial aid to incoming and returning students in response to the unforeseen economic hardships caused by the COVID-19 crisis, and the Butler Giving Circle’s gift will support this commitment.

“The Butler Giving Circle is a wonderful example of the generous and innovative spirit of the Butler alumni community,” says Jonathan Purvis, Vice President for University Advancement. “I am grateful for the way this group is not only inspiring our students and faculty to dream about new ways to broaden Butler’s partnerships with the community, but also offering direct scholarship support to our students in the process. Students, faculty, alumni, and our community partners will all benefit from the connections and philanthropy generated by the Butler Giving Circle.”

The Butler Giving Circle is currently led by an Executive Committee of seven Butler graduates: Ted Argus ’08, Chris Beaman ’12, Krissi Edgington ’05, Lindsey Hammond ’06, Tom Matera ’95, Loren Snyder ’08, and William Willoughby ’19. Networking opportunities are currently being developed for Giving Circle shareholders to connect with students, faculty, staff, and community partners during the year.

Shareholder Kim Kile ’89, MS ’98 says no matter where alumni live, the Butler Giving Circle provides a unique opportunity to be connected with current students and to extend Butler’s positive influence in the community.

“It’s about being engaged with students and connected with what they’re passionate about,” Kile says. “It doesn’t matter if you live in Central Indiana or not—it’s all about Butler and all about the students.”

New shareholders can join the Butler Giving Circle at any time by making a gift at butler.edu/givingcircle or by contacting Associate Director of Alumni & Engagement Programs Chelsea Smock at csmock@butler.edu.


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

Butler Beyond

Inaugural Butler Giving Circle Grant Supports Local Nonviolence Training

The grant for more than $10,000 will fund nonviolence training workshops in partnership with the Martin Luther King Community Center

Aug 13 2020 Read more

Butler, Old National Partner to Support Businesses Owned by Underrepresented Groups


PUBLISHED ON Aug 12 2020

Evansville & Indianapolis, Ind. (August 12, 2020) – The Old National Bank Center for Business Excellence—a partnership between Butler University and Old National Bank—is proud to announce an initiative geared toward strengthening and supporting businesses owned by underrepresented groups throughout Indiana. 

The Old National Bank Center for Business Excellence at Butler University (ONB Center), which was established to connect privately held companies with the resources and support they need to succeed, will waive its annual membership fee of $1,000 for the first year for companies that meet the following criteria:

  • Privately held companies, headquartered in Indiana, with majority ownership (51% or more) by an underrepresented population. This includes the following business owner categories: all people of color; women; LGBTQ+ individuals; veterans; and individuals with disabilities
  • Annual revenues between $1 million and $50 million. Companies with revenues less than $1 million will be referred to the Small Business Development Center to better match needs and resources.


This initiative was born out of a conversation between Mark McFatridge, Executive Director for the ONB Center, and Butler student Victor Aguilar, an intern at the Center. Shortly after the death of George Floyd in Minneapolis, Aguilar approached McFatridge to ask whether the ONB Center would be issuing a public statement related to the situation.

“It was simply a question to see if we were going to release anything official, and that sparked the development of this program,” explained Aguilar. “I never imagined this outcome.”

“It’s no surprise that this initiative was sparked by the social consciousness and passion of one of our Butler students,” said Butler President James Danko. “Furthermore, I applaud the ONB Center’s executive director, Mark McFatridge, for his efforts to foster such student leaders as well as an innovative and socially responsible initiative such as this. Victor, Mark, Old National Bank, and our partners are among many throughout the University who are working diligently to live Butler’s mission both on our campus and in the community.”  

Old National Chairman and CEO Jim Ryan said this initiative is a logical extension of the ongoing partnership between Old National and Butler.

“This is absolutely the right thing to do to support Indiana’s underrepresented business owners and the clients they serve,” said Ryan. “We are incredibly proud to partner with Butler on this program.”


Phased Program Roll-out

To ensure that the ONB Center can appropriately service the potential demand, the initiative will be rolled out in phases. However, demand from business owners may cause the Center to adjust these dates.

  • Phase One (August 12, 2020 – July 31, 2021): focus on Black-owned businesses in Marion County
  • Phase Two (January 1, 2021 – December 31, 2021): focus on all businesses owned by people of color and headquartered in Indiana
  • Phase Three (July 1, 2022 – June 30, 2022): focus on women- and LGBTQ+-owned businesses headquartered in Indiana
  • Phase Four (January 1, 2022 – December 31, 2022): focus on businesses headquartered in Indiana and owned by veterans or individuals with disabilities


Upon registering for the initiative here, ONB Center member companies will receive the following:


Old National Bank Center for Business Excellence - Official Statement Condemning Racism While Providing Assistance
The Old National Bank Center for Business Excellence is a partnership between Butler University and Old National Bank, two of Indiana’s longest-standing and most respected institutions. The partnership was established to assist privately held companies in achieving their goals. This assistance is based on connecting member companies to resources necessary to achieve those goals. 

While the ONB Center does not discriminate in who we serve, we have not placed the appropriate focus and attention on seeking out member companies owned or managed by the underrepresented populations that help make Indianapolis and the state of Indiana great.

Butler University and Old National Bank condemn racism and hold the fundamental belief that our respective services should be available to all—regardless of race, gender, religion, ability, or sexual orientation.


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.


Old National Bancorp (NASDAQ: ONB), the holding company of Old National Bank, is the largest bank holding company headquartered in Indiana. With $22.1 billion in assets, it ranks among the top 100 banking companies in the U.S. and has been recognized as a World’s Most Ethical Company by the Ethisphere Institute for nine consecutive years. Since its founding in Evansville in 1834, Old National Bank has focused on community banking by building long-term, highly valued partnerships and keeping our clients at the center of all we do. This is an approach to business that we call The ONB Way. Today, Old National’s footprint includes Indiana, Kentucky, Michigan, Wisconsin and Minnesota. In addition to providing extensive services in retail and commercial banking, Old National offers comprehensive wealth management, investment, and capital market services. For more information and financial data, please visit Investor Relations at oldnational.com.


Media Contact:
Katie Grieze
News Content Manager



Old National Bank Center for Business Excellence
Diversity, Equity & Inclusion Initiative
Frequently Asked Questions


What is the overriding goal of the ONB Center’s Diversity, Equity & Inclusion initiative?
Our goal is to play a role in reducing the wealth gap of underrepresented groups.


How can the ONB Center accomplish that goal?
The ONB Center’s mission is to help privately held companies be successful.  With a more intentional focus on recruiting Member companies from underrepresented groups, we believe that those Members will continue to grow in size and profitability which will yield higher wages and more investment in underrepresented markets.  Higher wages lead to opportunities for investments in education, housing and stock ownership (either public or private firms), all are keys to reducing the wealth gap.


How does the ONB Center help privately held companies be successful?
The core of the ONB Center is the Member assessment.  The assessment is a survey that focuses on the following areas of each company:

  • Organization Structure
  • Accounting & Financial Reporting
  • Compensation & Benefits
  • Human Capital
  • Talent
  • Legal
  • Capitalization & Financing
  • Risk & Insurance
  • Information Technology
  • Sales
  • Marketing
  • Mergers & Acquisitions
  • Competitors
  • Long Term Goals


By better understanding these elements of each Member company, we are able to offer observations to help them achieve their definition of success.  Additionally, we are able to make connections with Accredited Partners that can provide insight and assistance in achieving success. 

The ONB Center Members also benefit from peer interaction.  This interaction comes in a variety of ways from Executive Forums, Peer Happy Hours, our monthly eNewsletter – The Connection, our peer to peer platform – The Hub and other educational events and resources.


What are Accredited Partners?
Accredited Partners are experts in their field that have been vetted by the ONB Center to ensure that they provide excellent work and service for our Member companies.  Our Accredited Partners fall into one of twelve categories:

Risk & Insurance             
Benefits & Compensation             
Capital Acquisition         
Information Technology
Human Capital                   
Operational Consulting


Who are your Accredited Partners?
Old National Bank         
Katz, Sapper Miller        
Donovan CPAs                          
Krieg DeVault                  
Green Loop Marketing           
Bose McKinney & Evans
The Catalyst Effect         
First Person                               
Impact Financial Group
The Mako Group            
MJ Insurance                   
Spry Brands                               
Leaf Software                 
Media Fuel                      
Valve & Meter                 
Wilcox & Associates                
Ambassador Enterprises
Little Engine Ventures                                              
Edge Business Strategies             
Crossroads Business Solutions                              
Promethius Consulting
Indiana Business Advisors                               
WestPoint Financial Group             


How are your Accredited Partners involved in the ONB Center Diversity, Equity & Inclusion initiative?
Each of our Accredited Partners have identified ways in which they can provide additional benefits to our newest Members.  Some of these benefits can be reflected in reduced pricing, counseling or contributions that will have a lasting effect on closing the existing wealth gap for underrepresented groups.


Who else is partnering with the ONB Center on this initiative?
The Indiana Small Business Development Center (SBDC) has committed $150,000 in funding to assist our newest Members with accessing resources from our Accredited Partners.  Additionally, the SBDC will provide resources to companies with annual revenues less than $1 million or entrepreneurs who are interested in starting up a company.

Mid States Minority Supplier Development Council (Mid-States MSDC) certifies, develops, connects and advocates minority-owned companies.  MSMSDC will offer our newest Member companies free membership and serves as a referral source to identify Members and Accredited Partners for the ONB Center. Recently, Old National announced a partnership with MSMSDC and Bankable that provides unique, flexible financing solutions and business development resources to MSMSDC-certified Minority Business Enterprises within Indiana. Old National is providing $50,000 in funding to launch the partnership with an emphasis on broadening economic development and financial empowerment initiatives among diverse businesses and geographies.

Indy Black Chamber of Commerce advocates for Black-owned businesses in central Indiana.  The Indy Black Chamber has offered our newest Member companies free membership and serves as a referral source to identify Members and Accredited Partners for the ONB Center.

Bankable is a nonprofit lender that provides access to capital, financial education and economic resources to build healthy small businesses.

Conscious Capitalism Indianapolis (CCI) helps companies grow by producing positive results in performance, in their associates’ engagement, and in their communities.  CCI has offered our newest Member companies to join as Future Champions at no cost for their first year and serves as a referral source to identify Members and Accredited Partners for the ONB Center. 

Indianapolis Chamber of Commerce empowers business to ensure all have the opportunity to succeed in the Indianapolis region.  The Indy Chamber provides access for our Members to capital, peer networking and other economic development initiatives and serves as a referral source to identify Members and Accredited Partners for the ONB Center.


Butler, Old National Partner to Support Businesses Owned by Underrepresented Groups

ONB Center to waive membership fee for companies owned by people of color, women, LGBTQ+ individuals, veterans, and individuals with disabilities

Aug 12 2020 Read more
Muslim Studies
Butler Beyond

Donor Gift Expands Muslim Studies Programming

BY Jennifer Gunnels

PUBLISHED ON Aug 06 2020

In the fall of 2018, Dilnaz and Qaiser Waraich were pleased with their son’s choice to attend Butler University. He was beginning his junior year and had already made lifelong friends and built strong relationships with his professors. Driven by their Muslim faith, the Waraichs began having conversations about where their family values of giving back and promoting a greater understanding of Islam might intersect on Butler’s campus. The Waraichs viewed the authentic, lasting relationships that happen within Butler’s close-knit community as an opportunity to foster meaningful dialogue between students, faculty, staff, and the greater community.

After conversations as a family and with faculty and leadership at Butler, the family established the Muslim Studies Endowed Fund in October 2018 with the goal of supporting programming that advances understanding, mutual esteem, and cooperation for education and awareness about the Muslim faith.

“We’re way past tolerance; I don’t think we should be using that word anymore,” Dilnaz Waraich says. “There is such a misconception about Muslims in America, and we’re at the point where we really need to develop relationships. The only way you can get to those relationships is by having conversations.”

In an effort to promote more conversation, the family’s first goal for the fund was to support programming that would raise awareness about Islam at Butler and allow members of the Butler community to have exposure to Muslims from diverse walks of life. Earlier this year, the family made an additional significant gift to expand the scope of the endowment’s impact in the Butler community through support for student internships with Muslim organizations and for faculty research on Islam.


Broadening perspectives

“The first thing this endowment really allowed was the regular presence of high-profile Muslim speakers on our campus, which is so important to broadening perspectives and allowing for diverse voices to be heard,” says Dr. Chad Bauman, Professor of Religion in the Department of Philosophy, Religion, and Classics, where the endowed fund is housed.

During the 2019-2020 academic year, the Muslim Studies Endowed Fund brought three Muslim-American speakers to campus for lectures and dialogue through partnerships with the Center for Faith and Vocation, the Global and Historical Studies program, and other departments across campus. The series kicked off in October with a performance by Omar Offendum, a Los Angeles-based rapper, poet, and activist, which filled Eidson-Duckwall Recital Hall and required the use of an overflow room. Along with his performance, Offendum also visited a number of classes for more in-depth dialogue and was available for one-on-one conversations during a drop-in session that was open to the Butler community.

“Many of our students don’t have a lot of exposure to Muslims and to the Islamic tradition, and the knowledge that they do have about the religion or the people is really filtered to them through the media,” says Dr. Nermeen Mouftah, an Assistant Professor of Religion and the Religion program’s specialist on Islam. “We’re trying to add complexity with programming that’s going to deal with politics, art, culture. We really want the programming to be across the spectrum so you can see all those different facets of Muslim life.”

In November, Ustadh Ubaydullah Evans, Scholar-in-Residence at the American Learning Institute for Muslims, gave a well-attended lecture titled “Islam and our Current Cultural Moment.” In March, journalist Leila Fadel held a conversation about reporting on Muslims in the American media. Now a national correspondent for National Public Radio’s race, identity, and culture beat, Fadel previously served as an international correspondent based in Cairo during the wave of revolts in the Middle East.

“I have just been truly blown away by the impact of the programming,” Mouftah says. “I’ve asked students who have attended to write short reflections after the events, and their reflections have been so poignant. It seems pretty clear that, for most of the students who are attending, these viewpoints and experiences they are hearing from these speakers are revelatory. They are turning over ideas that the students had and giving them new ideas. We’re simply bringing in these speakers who are experts in their fields, and it is raising the level of dialogue about Muslims in America.”


A culture of understanding

This year, the additional commitment to the endowment expanded the use of the fund to include support for faculty conducting research on Islam. Butler faculty members in any department who are carrying out research projects centering on Islam, interfaith dialogue, or religious pluralism will be able to apply for course development and research grants supported by the fund.

“It’s really important for faculty to have the support they need to do the research they are doing,” Dilnaz Waraich says. “Academia is run on research, so if we as a family can support faculty to go to seminars and dig deep into a certain topic and then come back and share what they’ve learned with other faculty members, that is very important.  We want to make sure it is taught from a perspective of religious pluralism; it’s about learning about various faiths and how many commonalities they have about them instead of just highlighting the differences.”

Waraich says it was important to the family that the research and course development support be available to faculty from any department so that faculty will share what they are learning with one another across disciplines, ultimately promoting a culture of greater understanding of Islam throughout campus. Bauman says these faculty development funds also have the long-lasting effect of helping to inspire and retain Butler’s excellent faculty.

“The ability to support our faculty and encourage their work in research and teaching not only allows us to attract the top minds in our fields to Butler, but it encourages these faculty that Butler is a worthwhile place to stay, which has an enduring effect on the culture at Butler and on our students,” Bauman says.


Hands-on experience

Also new this academic year, the Waraichs’ latest gift will provide support for students pursuing internships with Muslim organizations such the Muslim Alliance of Indiana. Several funds currently exist within the Center for Faith and Vocation to support students pursuing internships with various faith-based organizations, but this is the first fund at Butler to provide support for internships specific to the Muslim faith.

“The Waraich family has a very coherent vision to promote greater understanding of Islam, which directs their energy and their philanthropic investment,” Bauman says. “We are very grateful that Butler is part of that vision.”

Though their son has now graduated from Butler, the Waraichs say they are grateful to have had the opportunity to get involved and contribute as parents while their child was on campus, and are inspired to think about the long-term impacts of their gift beyond their son’s experience.

“To be in the position to give is such a privilege, and it’s something we take very seriously,” Dilnaz Waraich says. “If other parents see where their family values meet what Butler is doing, I think higher ed is really an exciting place to be because you have young adults who are not only future leaders, but they are present-day leaders. The impact is both immediate and enduring.”


Media Contact:
Katie Grieze
News Content Manager

Muslim Studies
Butler Beyond

Donor Gift Expands Muslim Studies Programming

Dilnaz and Qaiser Waraich established the Muslim Studies Endowed Fund in 2018. This year, the family made an additional gift to expand the scope of the endowment’s impact.

Aug 06 2020 Read more
Sorell Grow ’20
Experiential Learning

Q&A with Sorell Grow ’20, Butler’s First News21 Fellow

BY Katie Grieze

PUBLISHED ON Aug 04 2020

Sorell Grow’s professional journalism career was off to a busy start this summer as the May 2020 graduate completed a 10-week fellowship with News21. She is the first Butler University student ever to apply for and be accepted into the prestigious investigative reporting program, which recruits fellows from across the nation to produce in-depth, multimedia stories. Content created for the project is often published in major outlets such as The Washington Post, NBC News, and USA Today.

This year, the 35-member team has studied and reported on aspects of the United States juvenile justice system. One of Grow’s stories covers the system’s disparities, and another chronicles the experience of life after incarceration for those who were imprisoned as kids. Overall, the 2020 fellows produced about 20 longform investigative pieces that will be published in mid-August.

While the pandemic meant this year’s fellows had to work remotely instead of traveling to Arizona State University, Grow still loved the opportunity to work with other top journalism students while gaining hands-on experience in investigative reporting.


Why did you pursue this program? What aspects appealed to you most?

I found out about the fellowship through Dean Brooke Barnett and one of my journalism professors, who nominated me for the program. I was most intrigued by the idea of working with fellow journalism students who are around the same age and interested in the same field that I am.

Since Butler’s journalism program is fairly small, I was eager to work with students from other universities and backgrounds. Sadly, I never got to actually meet the other fellows I worked with every day, but we’re planning to meet up once it’s safer to travel!

The topic of our reporting—the juvenile justice system—was very interesting to me, too. It seemed like an often-neglected aspect of this country’s criminal justice and law and order systems. Especially given the national conversation this summer surrounding racial equality and police brutality, this topic felt even more important to cover.

I was also excited to be under the mentorship of veteran investigative reporters and editors, some of whom have won Pulitzer Prizes and produced many of this country’s most compelling investigative pieces in recent history.


What have been the main things you've learned from this experience?

When it comes to working from home, I’ve learned how to focus and manage my time well, by creating a healthy work-life balance.

When it comes to journalism, I’ve learned that it’s always possible to dig deeper and find out something new, even if it seems like every possible question has already been asked or every resource has been used. We were tasked with completing a national investigative project—including dozens of videos, longform stories, graphics, and illustrations—while working completely virtually. While this wasn’t an ideal experience for anyone in News21, we still completed the project successfully in these difficult and unfortunate circumstances.


Do you have plans for what you'll be doing next, now that you've wrapped up the fellowship?

I’ll be working for The Christian Science Monitor this fall. I interned there two summers ago and loved the experience of working for a global news organization, so I’m looking forward to working there again.


Read more about the 2020 News21 project here, and be on the lookout for Grow’s stories that will be published in the coming weeks.

Sorell Grow ’20
Experiential Learning

Q&A with Sorell Grow ’20, Butler’s First News21 Fellow

The recent Journalism & Spanish grad spent her summer reporting on the U.S. juvenile justice system

Aug 04 2020 Read more

Butler Alum Serves Community as Clothing Brand CEO—Among Other Roles

By Grace Gordon ’23

Nick Fox ’17 was riding a hoverboard around the Butler University campus when he first met Zach Finn, a Clinical Professor of Risk Management & Insurance. Finn sparked a conversation about the logistics and legal implications of hoverboards, and that discussion launched a relationship between Fox and Finn that would become a fundamental part of Fox’s career path.

Fox was a student in Butler’s Exploratory Business program, and as a first-semester junior, he had yet to choose a major. He thought he might want to study law after graduation—an interest sparked through years of watching Law and Order and discussing mock cases with his dad—but Finn encouraged Fox to consider a major in Risk Management & Insurance. Finn said the field involved all the things Fox found most interesting about law, including the need to think analytically. After learning more about the field during his Real Business Experience class, Fox has completed a degree in Risk Management, discovered his passion, and even started his own business.

After graduating from Butler in 2017, Fox moved back home to Chicago and ended up using the analytical and business skills he learned at Butler to become a financial advisor on social media. He created a “MoneyTalkMonday” series, which he uses to help others with their financial questions. He also started working as a risk analyst at Marsh & McLennan, where he has now moved on to serve as a consultant on the Emerging Risks team. All of these roles have allowed him to apply his expertise in ways that empower members of his community.

By the summer of 2019, he had started looking for other ways to build connections with the people of Chicago. He saw opportunities for bringing people together through one of his other passions outside the worlds of finance and risk management: shoes and streetwear.

So, alongside his brother and a friend, Fox launched the clothing brand Gratitude Chicago. The business aims to do more than sell clothes—Fox wants to help change his community’s mindset, encouraging audiences to focus on the things they are grateful for.

“No matter where you come from, where you are going, or where you have been, everyone is grateful for something, and that feeling connects us,” Nick says.

Through a variety of campaigns, Gratitude Chicago encourages people to recognize those in their lives who have helped them get where they are today. Some recent campaigns included the Juneteenth-inspired “Last Generation” project, which raised $5,000 for nonprofit groups Bridging the Gap Globally and Color of Change. Another campaign, “Gift of Gratitude,” focused on helping people discover what gratitude means to them.

For Fox, gratitude means cherishing his family, who instilled in him the desire to have a strong work ethic and to make a difference in any way he can—even if that means pursuing all his passions and holding simultaneous jobs in unrelated fields. (This year, he added on the role of co-leading the Entrepreneurship pillar of ThinkTank, a non-profit organization that works to accelerate economic growth for Black communities in the U.S.) He also appreciates the opportunities that have put him where he is today, many of which he found at Butler. And he’s especially grateful for the mentors, including Professor Finn, who have helped him on his winding path from aspiring lawyer, to financial advisor, to risk analyst, to community-focused CEO.

Nick Fox '17
Alumni Success

Butler Alum Serves Community as Clothing Brand CEO—Among Other Roles

After graduating from the Lacy School of Business, Nick Fox ’17 has applied his skills toward empowering others in any way he can

Butler University Libraries, Center for Academic Technology, PALNI grant, Digital 3D objects from photogrammetry

Butler Team Preserves, Improves Access to Artifacts through 3D Digital Replicas

BY Katie Grieze

PUBLISHED ON Jul 24 2020

Butler University is home to more than 100 artifacts and fine art pieces, including several three-dimensional works such as sculptures, jewelry, and clothing. Scattered across campus, some of these items fill display cases while others are stowed away for safekeeping. Many of the artifacts have been studied for educational purposes, providing visual examples for courses in art history or anthropology.

But the need to preserve objects that are hundreds of years old means most physical artifacts need to stay put in one place. Even if a piece is out on display, studying it closely means trekking a class of students across campus and crowding together to peer through the glass. And that’s just if you’re already on campus—a luxury not available to all who want to see the art up close, especially in a socially distanced world.

Over the last year, Butler Libraries and the Center for Academic Technology have teamed up to find a way to simultaneously protect these artifacts while making them more accessible to the community. The work was part of a project funded by a grant of more than $5,000 from the Private Academic Library Network of Indiana (PALNI), which supports collaboration between member schools.

The project was led by Olivia MacIsaac, Digital Scholarship Library Associate, and Kristen Allen, Academic Technology Specialist, who started by researching options for digitizing the art collections. They learned about a process called photogrammetry.



By stitching together a series of high-quality photos taken from all sides of each object, photogrammetry creates detailed digital replicas. The end products—which can now be accessed online in Butler’s Digital Collections—are like three-dimensional panorama images that can be rotated and viewed from any angle.

It’s not a new process, but it’s one that often carries a big price tag, requiring expensive camera equipment and computer software. So, as part of its goal to minimize financial pressures for small universities, PALNI charged the Butler team with finding a lower-cost workflow that can be applied at libraries across Indiana.

Thanks in large part to hours of work from Tatum Turner, a rising senior majoring in History and Anthropology, Butler has now created 3D digital objects of nearly 20 art pieces from its collections (though only the first 10 were part of the PALNI-funded project). The team succeeded in developing a low-cost scanning process, swapping pricey gadgets for free apps like Focos, which allowed them to capture detailed images using an iPad camera. Even with some larger purchases, including a high-powered graphics card, the team found a way to replicate their process for just over $2,000.

“This project has shown me that digital humanities is insanely experimental right now,” says Turner, who was responsible for taking photos and trying out new technologies. “The marriage of humanities and technology is something that is incredibly necessary for archival purposes and future generations, as more things can’t withstand the test of time. It also makes things more accessible.”

Now, this low-cost, sustainable solution can be shared with other private universities throughout the state. After streamlining their own workflow, the Butler team created a Canvas training course that others can use to replicate the process.

“Creating 3D objects often seems daunting to librarians with physical collections,” MacIsaac says. “I’m hoping once they learn about the benefits of photogrammetry and the details you can capture with it, this will be a method they can use regularly instead of some of the other methods that cost a lot more money or require more expertise. I hope this empowers other schools to do this kind of work.”



The free online course, which anyone can request access to use, starts by walking students through the equipment and techniques they’ll need to create their own 3D digital objects. Users then learn how to edit the photos of their artifact, adjusting the lighting and removing the background before using 3D imaging software to build the digital replica. To wrap things up, the course shows users how to finalize their 3D models and record all necessary data, choosing the best online platform where the digitized artifacts can be stored and accessed.

“I’ve been really excited to already see the impact of the educational component we created, and that we will be able to partner with faculty and make this available to Butler students,” Allen says.

“This technology and this method has been used for years,” MacIsaac adds, “but it’s just now becoming a standard skill that’s needed in fields like archaeology. This is more important than ever as artifacts are destroyed or lost. We need to capture this information while we can, so developing these skills is really important.”


Media Contact:
Katie Grieze
News Content Manager

Butler University Libraries, Center for Academic Technology, PALNI grant, Digital 3D objects from photogrammetry

Butler Team Preserves, Improves Access to Artifacts through 3D Digital Replicas

The grant-funded project found low-cost ways to scan and share physical artworks through a method called photogrammetry

Jul 24 2020 Read more

Dance Group Moves Summer Festival Online with Help from Butler Student

By Mikaela Schmitt ’22

As much of the world moved online over the last several months, arts organizations largely lost the ability to host programming as they know it. No more concerts, gallery exhibitions, theatre performances, or film festivals—at least not in person. Just a lot of time sitting at home and looking at screens.

Chicago Human Rhythm Project (CHRP) was one of many organizations forced to adapt, but they had help from Butler University senior Katherine Cackovic.

Cackovic, a Dance Arts Administration major, has spent the summer completing a virtual internship with the nonprofit tap dance organization. CHRP focuses on building a community around tap dance and other percussive art forms through education and performance. Each summer, they host Rhythm World, Chicago’s annual festival of tap and percussive dance. Cackovic was hired to work as the Rhythm World intern, but due to COVID-19, the festival has been shortened and made fully virtual.

Cackovic says the opportunity to assist with navigating the COVID-19 crisis and moving the festival to an online space has helped her develop real-time problem-solving skills that will allow her to better serve other arts organizations in the future.

Throughout 2020, arts communities around the world have been forced to cancel programming and figure out how their organizations, typically centered around gathering the community together, will function as the world continues to fight COVID-19. Staff members are collaborating to keep their organizations alive and to ensure their work stays relevant during this difficult time, bringing art into homes as a form of comfort, conversation, and entertainment.

“Since COVID-19 has caused everything to be reworked, creativity, communication, and teamwork are key,” Cackovic said. “My supervisor is the festival coordinator, and since his job has diverted from what it usually is, even he is learning new things and taking on new tasks.”

During a normal year, The Rhythm World festival occurs throughout July, featuring classes and performances at different venues around Chicago. This summer, the shortened festival will take place virtually in mid-August, with three days of classes followed by three days of performances. CHRP is working to find new opportunities unique to their online platform, such as including international teachers in the program faculty.

Cackovic is still working on the Rhythm World festival, doing registration and ticketing work, developing livestreams for virtual classes, and creating social media posts for the organization. Her work is far more technology-driven than originally anticipated, pushing her outside her comfort zone and helping her to expand her skill set.

“While it's a strange time for internships and organizations, I think we are getting prepared to be extremely flexible and easily adaptable employees in the future,” Cackovic said. “Our class will be graduating into an unstable and uncertain world, and we will need to bring creativity to the table to navigate the tough times ahead.”


Butler’s Arts Administration major serves students interested in the arts, nonprofit organizations, and management, integrating art with business. The program focuses on offering opportunities for students to learn and develop skills through experiential learning, including internships and special projects with arts organizations.

Experiential Learning

Dance Group Moves Summer Festival Online with Help from Butler Student

In a virtual internship with Chicago Human Rhythm Project, Katherine Cackovic gains experience in adaptability

Four Ways to Stay Active Near Butler University

By Katie Grieze

If you’re looking for a break from homework and want to get your blood pumping, check out one of these options for exercising on or near Butler’s campus.


Go for a walk or bike ride along the Central Canal Towpath

The Indianapolis Central Canal runs right through Butler’s campus, separating the west-side Farm and athletics fields from the main campus to the east. Despite its proximity to the university hustle and bustle, this path—which stretches more than five miles from 30th Street up to Broad Ripple—is quiet and calm any time of day. Nature-lovers are sure to see geese, ducks, cardinals, and maybe even a great blue heron.


Spend a day at Eagle Creek Park

At Eagle Creek, a 3,900-acre park near the northwest corner of Indianapolis, you’ll forget you’re just 20 minutes from the heart of a busy capital city. As one of the largest municipal parks in the nation, this destination provides hours of outdoorsy fun and wildlife sightings in exchange for just a $5 per car admission fee. Start your Saturday morning with a hike on one of the park’s six major trails, bring a blanket for a lunch-time picnic on the beach, then rent a kayak or canoe for an afternoon out on the water. If you’re looking for a more thrilling challenge—and you’re ready to splurge a bit—check out the zip-line-filled Go Ape Treetop Adventure.


Explore Broad Ripple on the Monon Trail

The nearby neighborhood of Broad Ripple is packed with chill coffee shops, cute cafés, casual taco joints, and trendy storefronts. Connecting them all? The popular Monon Trail. This asphalt walking, running, biking, and roller-blading path runs all the way from downtown Indy to Sheridan, but the Broad Ripple section alone makes for a great workout—albeit with the temptation of trail-side ice cream parlors.


Take advantage of the Health and Recreation Complex

Going to the gym is probably one of the most obvious ways to get moving. While opting for outdoor workouts is the safest option during the COVID-19 pandemic, Butler’s beautiful Health and Recreation Complex (HRC)—including cardio and strength equipment, a 0.1-mile track, a pool, and more—provides a great alternative for days when you need to escape the rain or lift some weights. For the fall semester, HRC staff members are taking extra measures to keep guests safe, reducing capacity and upping the cleaning requirements.


Four Ways to Stay Active Near Butler University

Whether through an early-morning bike ride or an afternoon walk, working out makes for a great study break