College of Communication

Headline/Body Copy

In the College of Communication, students won’t merely listen to what others have to say; they’ll be inspired to find, and express, their own voice. We emphasize meaningful dialogue, social responsibility, leadership skills, and ethical communication. Our Career Advantage Program offers students opportunities for hands-on experience, whether that be in front of or behind the camera, in a clinical setting, as part of a student publication, or in a recording booth.

97% placement rate

57% Employed | 22% Grad School | 11% Internship | 5% Gap-Year Program | 3% Still Looking | 2% Fellowship

 

This information is based on 76% of 2017 graduates. Data is collected up to six months post-graduation from sources including students, employers, faculty, staff, parents, and online. 

Median Starting Salary

$38,000

Featured Employers

Boise Hawks
Creative Artists Agency
EchoPoint Media/Young & Laramore
Emmis Communications
Indiana Senate
IndyStar
Indianapolis Motor Speedway
MSNBC
Paramount Pictures
Yelp

Selected Graduate Schools

Boston University
California State University
Indiana University
Northwestern University
Saint Louis University
Vanderbilt University

FEATURED STUDY ABROAD PROGRAMS

University College Dublin (Ireland)

University of Cape Town (South Africa)

John Cabot University (Rome)

University of Maastricht (Netherlands)

Ritsumeikan University (Japan)

FEATURED GRADUATE SCHOOLS

University of Michigan

Indiana University

University of Chicago

McGill University 

Purdue University

#1

Most innovative school among midwest regional universities

U.S. News & World Report Best Colleges

#2

best college among midwest regional universities

U.S. News & World Report Best Colleges

33%

Students who chose to study abroad in 2017

Internship and Career Services

1,166

Total Bachelor's degrees awarded in 2017

237

Total graduate degrees awarded in 2017

75%

Students who chose to do one or more internship

 

Our Alumni Stories

Our alumni stories

Q&A with Transfer Student: Zoie Lowe '22

Zoie Lowe '22
Major: Communication Sciences and Disorders
College of Communication
Hometown: Greentown, IN

Why did you transfer to Butler University?
Originally, I applied to Butler as a high school senior, but I did not get accepted. From a very young age I had always wanted to go to Butler because I have a brother who also went to there, so my family and I visited him frequently. I remember visiting campus and just being there felt like home to me, even at such a young age. When I was in high school my family and I would go to Butler basketball games and that feeling of “home” when I was on campus still remained. Although I did not get accepted my first time around, I decided to re-apply to Butler after my first semester of freshman year because I knew that Butler was where I was meant to be.

What extracurriculars have you participated in? What sparked your interest to join?
I am currently involved in Greek life (a member of Alpha Chi Omega), an executive member of Butler Ambassadors for Special Olympics (BASO), a Butler Student Orientation Guide (SOG), and a member of the club Dawgs Serving Dogs. I became interested in Greek Life because I knew that it would be a great way for me step out of my comfort zone, meet new people, and help others through service. I decided to join BASO and hold an executive position because I have always had a passion for working with those who have disabilities. I have an older brother, Zack, who was diagnosed with Autism when he was around 18-months-old. The way Zack can light up any room that he enters and not let negativity ruin his spirit is inspiring.

I decided to become a Butler SOG because I saw it as another great leadership opportunity, as well as a way to show incoming students why I love Butler and why it is an awesome school full of amazing people. Lastly, I decided to join Dawgs Serving Dogs because I love animals and saw this club as a great way to volunteer and raise money for the local humane society. 

What hands-on learning experiences have you had and/or what internships have you completed?
I have not completed any internships or hands-on learning yet. However, through Butler's Communication Sciences Disorders clinical practicum, in the near future I will get the opportunity to experience working in a clinic and provide therapy to people in the community. This is something that is very unique about Butler's CSD program and I am very excited for the experience and skills that I will gain from it. 

What is your favorite thing about Butler?
My favorite thing about Butler is how everyone cares. The professors only want what is best for their students and are always there to help them succeed. Along with this, the students at Butler care too. Throughout my time at Butler, I noticed a sense of community. Whether it’s holding the door for someone they don’t know or looking out for one another, the people of Butler truly care and are considerate of each other.

What is the most unique experience you've had while attending Butler? 
I think that the most unique experience that I have had while at Butler was transferring at the start of my spring semester of freshman year. It was very hard for me to adjust and there were times when I called my parents a lot throughout the week crying and I would often go home on the weekends. Everyone else was already well-adapted to the school and atmosphere, while I had no idea what to expect. Although it was a difficult change for me, what kept me going was how caring everyone is at Butler. I was blessed with amazing roommates that were always there for me and were the first people to show me around campus and help me find where my classes were—they are now my best friends. At the time I was a Biology major and was struggling with it, but my then advisor, professors, and the Center for Academic Success and Exploration were incredibly uplifting and helpful for me. Everyone cares for each other at Butler and there is a special feeling of community here. 

What tip(s) do you have for incoming transfer students?
One big tip that I have for transfer students is to put yourself out there. When I transferred, it was during the spring semester, so clubs had already began and it was hard for me to get involved. However, I made it a priority of mine to attend the block party at the beginning of the fall semester so that I could find what clubs interested me and go to call-out meetings for them. I think that it is also important to be open to change. I came into Butler as a Biology major and thought I had my life figured out. After a few months, I realized that I did not enjoy being a Biology major and I found myself under a lot of stress. Everyone has their own strengths and weaknesses, my strength was not Biology and it took me awhile to realize that and I didn’t want to at first. I decided to take an Exploratory class my first semester of sophomore year and it was probably the one of best things that I could have done for myself. With the help of my professor in that class, I was able to continue to learn my strengths and weaknesses, and how to better develop my strengths.

Meet Current Student Marcos Navarro Garcia ’23

Marcos Navarro Garcia ’23
Major: Critical Communication and Media Studies
Minors: Creative Media and Entertainment, Spanish
Hometown: Lafayette, Indiana
Co-curricular activities: Student Government Association, Latinos Unidos, Multicultural Student Mentor, Efroymson Diversity Center

 

At Butler, we have access to an incredible network of students and faculty, as well as endless opportunities to get involved both on campus and in the Indianapolis community. My time at Butler began at Dawg Days, a Pre-Welcome-Week orientation program led by the Efroymson Diversity Center. I met some of my closest friends in that program and we’ve had each other’s backs since day one. This year, I was able to serve as a mentor for the very same program, which was incredibly rewarding as I was able to welcome a new group of first-year students.

My involvement isn’t limited just to on-campus activities either. Butler really encourages its students to get out in the community, and I’ve definitely taken advantage of that. Over the last year, I’ve had the opportunity to speak to other Latinx students at a few local high schools and elementary schools about my own personal experiences, including my time at college. Every single time, I walk out with my cup filled, knowing that the kids that I speak with can now see that successful people do look like them and come from a similar background.

When I graduate, I would love to take the skills I’ve learned as a student in the College of Communication and become a motivational speaker. I want to speak about the importance of self-love, passion, heart, and grit, and help empower future generations to fight for their dreams and what they believe in.

Current Student Q&A | Brittany Bluthardt ’20

Brittany Bluthardt ’20
Majors: Journalism, Strategic Communication
Hometown: Antioch, Illinois
Co-curricular activities: Alpha Lambda Delta National Honor Society, Butler Honors Program, CHAARG, Greek Life, The Odyssey

Q: What’s your favorite spot on campus?
A: Holcomb Gardens, because of its beautiful scenery and proximity to the Indianapolis community. From the gardens, I can walk along nature paths, visit The Farm at Butler, travel to the Indianapolis Museum of Art, or spend time studying outside.

Q: What’s your favorite hidden-gem in Indianapolis?
A: A small marketplace called Locally Grown Gardens, which is pretty close to campus. Every time I walk through the doors, I’m excited to see what new produce they’ve received from the day before. And I get to see my little furry friend who greets every visitor with a “meow!”

Q: What’s your ideal day look like?
A: My best days are busy because I thrive under a little stress and excitement. I love starting my day with a quick blog post, going to class, fitting in a workout, and winding down by studying with my roommates. Each day is new and different, but I wouldn’t have it any other way!

The Ultimate Mentor

by Marc D. Allan MFA ’18

 

 

Maybe the ultimate Scott Bridge story is how he arranged for Megan Yates '16 to finish her degree after the Juvenile Diabetes Research Foundation hired her full time at the beginning of her senior year.

Or perhaps the best story is the time he gave Teresa Mask '93 a copy of the book I Dream a World: Portraits of Black Women Who Changed America with this inscription: "I fully expect to see your picture and an article about you in a similar book someday."

"To say that he had that much confidence that my life was going to amount to something worthy to be read about, it was like, 'Wow,'" says Mask, who spent two decades as a newspaper reporter and editor and is now Senior Public Relations Manager for AT&T in Michigan. "That was encouragement beyond belief."

But it could be that the greatest Scott Bridge story is the one about Ari Kasle '14.

"Couldn't stand him when he was a freshman," Bridge says, "but I saw some good things when he was a sophomore and we had some talks about his big, obnoxious mouth overshadowing his creativity, intelligence, and his good heart. When I think about what Ari was like when he started at Butler versus the Ari who graduated four years later, it reminds me why I love my job. Very, very proud of him."

Kasle, now an Associate Producer at Emmis Communication in Indianapolis, says: "He's gone to bat for me so many times. I developed a reputation early on at Butler and he could have thrown me to the scrap heap if he wanted to. But he took me under his wing and he said, 'I believe in you.' I'll be forever in debt to him for that."

Bridge, who started teaching in Broadcast/Electronic Journalism at Butler in 1988, has helped send hundreds of future broadcasters, teachers, publicists—and even a couple of current members of Butler's Board of Trustees—into the world. Probably every one of them can recall some example of his kindness and his guidance.

Stephanie (Hoop) Callihan '89, now a Vice President for Entercom and mother of Butler first-year student Kate Callihan: "He was a great mentor even then to all of us. He would say, 'Here’s what you have to do to find a job,' and was very realistic about how hard it was. He really helped and mentored you about what your next, best steps were and how you needed to go about doing it."

Hayley Ross '17, now a Production Assistant on MSNBC's Deadline: White House: "He pushed me to do everything that I did, and he's 100 percent the reason that I graduated with a journalism degree. I definitely would not be where I am if he had not pushed me to be my best."

*

Bridge '82, MS '91 worked in radio and TV for six years after earning his bachelor's degree. Even then, the media was shrinking. In 1988, when the radio station he worked for cut most of its newsroom—though not his position—he started looking around.

At the time, Butler advertised a full-time staff position that entailed serving as sports and news director for WAJC-FM, the campus radio station, and teaching one class.

"It was a 10 percent pay cut," Bridge says, laughing, "and I was not their first choice."

He took the job and found his calling. "When I started teaching and working with the students, that was it," he says. "It was being able to help students and help them realize whatever their goals and dreams were. Just seeing that light bulb go on, being able to help them with their careers."

That first year in the classroom, Bridge was 27 but looked 22. He would often be mistaken for a student. He started wearing a jacket and tie to distinguish himself. But students called him Scott because "Mr. Bridge didn't feel right."

He stayed in that staff position for five years. In 1993, when Butler sold the radio station, Bridge was named sports and news director for the campus TV station. By then, he was teaching two classes.

He modeled his approach to teaching after B.J. Goodwin, one of his high school teachers in Lebanon, Indiana, who nurtured and encouraged him.

His philosophy: "Students just need somebody to affirm to them that they're doing good work. They already know when they're screwing up. Very few of them need somebody to tell them that they've screwed up. But they do need somebody to tell them, 'Yeah, you're doing something good.'"

*

Bridge's job at Butler lasted until spring 1995, and he taught one class a semester till spring 1997. Then he took time off to be Mr. Mom while his wife, Maryann, a Pathologist, worked. Still, Bridge served on the Alumni Board and kept his men's basketball tickets.

"Butler was still part of my life," he says. "But not as strong."

When his children got a little older, Bridge started thinking about returning to work. At a basketball game in 2006, he ran into a Butler faculty member who asked if he'd be interested in teaching again. He was.

Bridge wondered, though, if he would be relevant. Technology had changed, and "I didn't want to seem like some old fogey." To prepare, he took a computer literacy class at Franklin College. He also took classes in Microsoft programs at Indiana Business College in Columbus, where he lives.

He served as an Adjunct Professor for a couple of years until 2010, when the department, faced with a last-minute departure, hired him full time as an Instructor of Electronic Journalism. He still holds that title, and in 2014 he added the role of Internship Director for the College of Communication, which allows him to work with students in all Communication majors.

"Scott transformed the College of Communication internship program upon becoming its director in January 2014, raising its profile and scope while tripling the number of student interns benefiting from this program every year," says former College of Communication Dean Gary Edgerton, who calls Bridge "the epitome of a student-centered faculty member."

These days, Bridge still wears a jacket and tie every day. Students called him Professor Bridge, but his approach to working with students remains the same.

"Students wonder when Scott sleeps since they receive numerous emails from him about internship opportunities in the middle of the night," says Suzanne Reading, Associate Dean of the College of Communication. "When I talk with students at new-student registration, many of them know Scott already and have been in contact with him several times prior to coming to Butler."

At the end of the inscription, Bridge wrote in the book he gave Teresa Mask said, "Good luck and know that you can count on me if you ever need a helping hand."

Mask and multiple generations of Butler students know that he means it.

The Ultimate Mentor

Scott Bridge has built a family of hundreds of Butler students he’s helped send out into the world.

The Ultimate Mentor

by Marc D. Allan MFA ’18

Can I Help You?: Natalie van Dongen '18

By Cindy Dashnaw

When Natalie van Dongen ’18 describes her passion for the environment, she’s not referring to climate change, clean air, or protecting forests. She’s concerned with how one’s environment can influence how other people treat them.

“Certain socioeconomic groups are treated differently based on their environment or place in the community,” she said. “For example, wealthy and white people, frankly, have access to better food systems and more organic food than lower-income and minority groups.”

Van Dongen credits her childhood for her ability to recognize these disparities. She was born in Indianapolis but grew up in the small farming town of Towanda, Illinois, with a population of just 480 at the 2010 census. Though her family never wanted for anything, it wasn’t the case for everyone in Towanda, where the median household income is under $45,000—and big stores with healthy food options are unknown.

“I was incredibly privileged growing up. I still am. And I knew if I wasn’t using that privilege to help others, I’d feel guilty,” she said. “My childhood is one that not a lot have lived. My experience is my own, and there’s a lot that can be done with it.”

But what?

In thinking about a college degree and a career, Van Dongen found herself considering the employability of her passions.

“I’m quite outspoken and really care about a lot of issues. When I was looking at what to study, I didn’t know which basket to put my eggs in,” she said. “In today’s world, you can be someone who is outspoken yet not very productive. I wanted to make sure I was putting my time and resources where my mouth is, but more than that, I wanted to do it for others.”

At first, mostly because both parents are Butler Bulldogs, she was adamantly opposed to attending Butler. But like many students, the moment she stepped on campus, she made her choice.

“There’s such a sense of community that’s unlike anything else. It’s like a neighborhood but more than that. I’ve never experienced it anywhere else. It’s a sense of solidarity and camaraderie that’s amazing.”

With the help of her professors, Van Dongen centered her academics on critical communications: The importance of messaging and rhetoric, how they can affect our understanding of the world, and how we can change the ways the world works.

Without them, Van Dongen said, she would never have been able to see a career path from combining her studies and her passions. “My professors identified strengths in me that I didn’t see in myself, and encouraged me to do academic and personal work that would help me explore them. In fact, they made me feel more comfortable in all facets of my life,” she said.

She’s now working for the City of Indianapolis, where she began as a Communications Intern. She helps callers to the Mayor’s Action Center figure out which department handles their questions and requests, giving everyone an equal voice.

Van Dongen’s Instagram profile features a quote from Paul Farmer, international health and social justice activist. “The idea that some lives matter less is the root of all that is wrong with the world.”

Now that she’s a Butler graduate, Van Dongen is out to correct the imbalance.

Always in Style: Andrew Gelwicks '15

By Marc Allan, MFA '18

Andrew Gelwicks ’15 is wearing ripped jeans, a white T-shirt, Converse sneakers, and a baseball hat, which seems antithetical to how a stylist to the up-and-coming stars ought to be dressed.

But no, he said. His personal style is to keep things simple.

“You see stylists on TV and they’re portrayed as ultra-glamourous, running around in heels and designer clothes,” he said. “While that is sometimes the case, the reality of it is that styling is more physically demanding than most people would think. You’re carrying garment bags, you’re bringing racks of clothes around to people’s hotel rooms, you’re standing on set for 12 hours. So I just dress for comfort. I love dressing my clients in very luxurious, high-end clothing, but my personal style is not that.”

He added: “At the end of the day, my objective is to make sure that as soon as my client steps in front of the cameras, they look and—more importantly—feel their best. It’s my job to take their style and bring it to the next level.”

And in just three years since graduating from Butler, he has a growing list of clients to prove his point. Celebrities such as Tommy Dorfman and Brandon Flynn (Netflix’s 13 Reasons Why), KJ Apa (Riverdale), Sistine Stallone (model, daughter of Sylvester Stallone), Serayah (Empire), Cordell Broadus (model, Snoop Dogg’s son), Larsen Thompson (dancer/model/actress), Chloe Lukasiak (Lifetime’s Dance Moms), Dascha Polanco (Orange Is the New Black), and Camren Bicondova (Gotham) are just some of who have all taken their fashion cues from him.

 

The Andrew Gelwicks Course

Gelwicks traces his desire to be part of the fashion industry to well before he arrived at Butler. Strategic Communication Professor Rose Campbell remembers looking at the website Gelwicks designed when he was in high school in Cincinnati, Ohio, and being impressed by the modeling, clothing, and design.

“It was a cool, well-done visual, and very clever,” she said. “We don’t see too many students who have that kind of interest early on.” She added: “We didn’t turn him into what he is; he came here laser-focused on what he wanted to do, and he found that our department was the way to get there.”

Gelwicks had looked at a number of schools, but when he visited his older sister’s friend, who was a Butler student, “there was a click between me, the students, and the campus.” He came in as a Strategic Communication major, with a minor in Digital Media Production.

After Gelwicks’ first year at Butler, he wanted to do an internship in New York City. Before the end of his first semester, he had six internship offers around the country, including at Hearst Magazines and Vogue. (He went with Hearst). At the time, the department didn’t have a mechanism to allow him to get credit—something all of the companies he was considering required—so they created a new course, STR199, Field Experience in Strategic Communication.

“That,” Campbell said, “is the Andrew Gelwicks course.”

He also was interested in the design aspects of Strategic Communication, but the department only had one required design course and no photography or videography courses. Strategic Communication Instructor Armando Pellerano worked with Gelwicks, supervising multiple independent studies where he was able to expand his knowledge on photography, video, and design.

“Having an Andrew Gelwicks teaches you about the holes in your curriculum,” Campbell said.

Beyond his coursework, Gelwicks made a splash nationally with articles he wrote for Out magazine and The Huffington Post about being gay in a fraternity. (He published a dozen more pieces for the Huffington site.) And he periodically flew to New York to assist stylists on photo shoots, help out at New York Fashion Week, and to interview for a job. He was adamant about keeping one foot in the city as best he could.

“In my senior year, I did a freelance project for Self magazine, helping them with an event they were doing with Drew Barrymore,” he said. “I would sit in the basement of my senior house helping arrange the guests for this 600-person event.”

Ultimately, he said, Butler “helped me figure out myself, what my priorities are, and my personal goals. If I had gone to school in New York, it would have been very, very different. The fact that I grew up in Ohio and went to school in Indiana really helped me as I’m now in this hyper-chaotic world with extreme personalities and egos. Coming from the Midwest, I was able to be with people who are really grounded and care about their friends and families. That has been so valuable.”

 

Building His Own Brand

After studying in Berlin, Germany, his junior year, Gelwicks came back for the fall 2015 semester and graduated in December. He waited a week or two and moved to New York the first week of January.

That first week, he had 20 interviews. By Friday, he had accepted a job at GQ, working in the fashion closet. Four months in, he met the entertainment editor at Vogue, “an Editor I had been fascinated with for years. I was so curious about her and her job and what she did every day—she books all the celebrities for Vogue, and is such a big force at the magazine.”

Then, by happenstance, Gelwicks ran into her again on the street. She hired him that day and two weeks later, he was handling the celebrity bookings for Teen Vogue.

He was there almost a year—booking celebrity talent for the print magazine and digital, and getting to meet up-and-coming actors, actresses, and musicians. But he missed the fashion element of the business, so on the weekends he started doing test shoots for modeling agencies. He would find photographers and models on Instagram and they would come together to create work for all of their portfolios.

For the next six months, Gelwicks did two or three shoots a weekend to put together as much content as possible. In summer 2016, Madonna’s publicist introduced him to an agent who represents Hollywood stylists and makeup artists. He’s been working in that end of the business ever since.

Connecting with clients happens in a variety of ways. He will sometimes see someone in a new show or movie that interests him and reaches out, or the talent finds him via word of mouth or social media. His agents bring in new work as well.

Right now, his aim is to build his business as much as possible. “I’m working with a lot of great clients who I have a connection with and I feel passionate about—where they’re going, what our vision is, where we want to take their careers.” In the days after this interview, he was scheduled to do two shoots with Cosmopolitan and another with Refinery29, a digital media and entertainment company focused on women.

“I’m really enjoying myself,” he said. “This is definitely a high-stress and 24/7 job, but I can’t imagine doing anything else. And going from being an employee to now operating my own business was definitely a learning curve. I didn’t study business, so figuring out how to operate the financial end of things was incredibly overwhelming at the beginning. All of that aside, though, I’m loving every second of what I’m doing.”

 

Photo courtesy of Ben Hider

Meet the Class of 2022: Kate Callihan

Kate Callihan
Major: Sports Media
Hometown: Austin, Texas
High School: Westlake High School

 

"I am most excited about the growing Sports Media program. It offers so many opportunities here and around Indy, and the professors show so much interest in the students already and classes haven't even started yet. Working with people who are likeminded and driven is going to be just incredible."
 


 

Like many high schoolers, Kate Callihan and her classmates studied the Vietnam war during their junior year.They read The Things They Carried by Tim O'Brien, heard from veterans who visited their class, and, as a final assignment, researched an American soldier who died in, or as a result of, the war.

Unlike many high schoolers, though, Kate took this assignment to the next level–and discovered a passion for storytelling in the process.

The name Kate was assigned was Michael Meyhoff. Rather than do some cursory research, she tracked down his family in North Dakota and made a 20-minute documentary using home movies, photos, and recollections of family and friends.

"I absolutely loved every second of it," she said.

Kate said she'd always loved writing, but it wasn’t until this project that she realized how much she loved storytelling. She narrated the video, "and at the beginning you can hear how timid I was and by the end of it I really found my voice and confidence."

"I realized that by telling this story I was not only impacting my grade and my own agenda, but there was a whole community that benefited from it and it was an absolutely incredible experience," she said.

Kate's English teacher, Dr. James Moore, wrote this about her effort: "The work you put in with calls, interviews, and emails eclipsed that of your classmates tenfold at least. I can tell that you really delved into the material, too, mining it for any little detail that would help fill out your story. "

Kate will continue honing her storytelling craft as a Sports Media major at Butler this fall. She will be one of 1,357 first-year students in Butler’s Class of 2022, the University’s largest class ever.

Butler’s Sports Media program drew her to Indianapolis–and it’s drawn others, too. Since 2017, the number of first-year students enrolling in Sports Media has more than doubled. The program, an integration of Sports Journalism and Digital Sports Production, is the only degreed program of its kind in Indiana, and one of only a handful of degreed programs in the Midwest.

In addition to studying Sports Media at Butler, Kate plans to double minor in Marketing and Theology, with a focus on Monotheism and Biblical Studies. She hopes one day to combine her interests in sports media and theology to bring teams to third-world countries to teach the children there how to play sports.

But that's the future. For now, she said, "I feel blessed to be part of the young Sports Media program and blessed to be part of Butler."

Kate Callihan
Student-Centered

Meet the Class of 2022: Kate Callihan

Butler's Sports Media program drew Kate to Indiana from Texas.