Faculty-In-Residence are full-time Butler faculty members who live on campus in one of three residence halls: Residential College, Irvington House, and Fairview House. These are faculty who are committed to students and the learning experience that takes place outside of the classroom, planning and implementing educational and social initiatives within the residence halls.

Catherine Hagerman Pangan
Professor, College of Education

Why did you decide to become a Faculty-In-Residence (FIR)?
Several years ago, a couple of colleagues reached out who were FIRs at the time and they thought I would enjoy the experience and suggested I apply. I’m so glad they did! I distinctly remember getting “the call” that my family had been chosen for the position and at that moment, I knew our lives were about to change significantly. The students we’ve engaged with over the years have been spectacular and many come back to visit to check in and share life updates. Participating in the FIR program has been such a life highlight and I am grateful to be part of this special time of growth into adulthood for the students. There is something unique about being an 18-19 year old and to be able to support that time in a student’s development is a privilege.

How do students, especially first-year students, benefit from a FIR? 
Many students have shared how much they appreciate the “home-away-from-home” feeling of an adult presence—someone who is there if you need them. They also enjoy the connectedness and sense of community the programming brings to the overall residence hall experience. In our programs and general conversations, they get to meet new people and expand their circles in easy and approachable ways (like coming to a cookout or going to explore the city, or even through something simple like pumpkin carving or learning how to grill). Everything is an opportunity for those crucial micro-connections.

Students have also discussed how they are much more comfortable talking with professors after they see us around the residence halls. It helps bridge connections between their residential life and academic life.

What types of activities or opportunities do you plan for your residents?
The FIRs like to keep activities varied and relevant for students, so we work in connection with the RAs to see what people are interested in. We offer lots of different experiences like trips downtown to explore new areas, home cooked dinners, Sundaes on Sunday, Trick-or-Treating for the whole first-year class, outdoor games on the weekends, ice skating, “all hall” BBQs, sporting events, Clowes events and speaker series, scavenger hunts, advising nights, healthy snacks and spa nights during finals, and most importantly we offer time to have one-on-one conversations if someone needs to celebrate or work through a challenge. Usually, if a resident wants to do something specific or needs a unique type of support, we can make it happen.

What advice would you give a first-year student about connecting with their FIR?
My advice would be to explore a program or just stop by a FIR apartment and say hi. We are easy to spot and out and about all the time and would love to get to know you!

What advice would you give families of prospective students who are considering sending their students to Butler? 
For families who are thinking about Butler, I would say that the FIR program not only helps with the student’s transition but the family’s transition as well. It is comforting for families to know there are eight professors living on campus who care deeply about the growth, development, connections, and experiences your child has on campus.