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. 

Hilary Madinger
Lecturer in Biological Sciences

Why did you decide to become a Faculty-In-Residence (FIR)? 
I decided to become a FIR to have an opportunity to connect with our students in a new context. Whether it’s sharing meals, participating in extracurricular activities, or simply engaging in casual conversations, I am eager to be an integral part of their college journey and contribute positively to their overall experience at Butler University.

How do students, especially first-year students, benefit from a FIR? 
FIRs are here to help bridge the student life and academic sides of our student’s experience at Butler. We plan activities targeted to have students interact with one another and with our faculty. I also try to have activities that allow the students to explore different sides of campus. For instance, I’m bringing students to the campus greenhouse and to the planetarium this spring. 

First-year students can benefit from the support and guidance provided by FIRs. Alongside our dedicated Resident Assistants (RAs), we actively engage in academic programming tailored to address the specific needs of new students. For instance, I recently collaborated with RAs to organize an event focused on helping students prepare for their first round of academic advising and course registration. By offering valuable insights and resources, we aim to ease the transition into college life and help students make informed decisions about their academic journey.

In essence, being a FIR allows me to not only connect with students in a meaningful way but also to positively influence their collegiate experience, especially during their first year. Plus, I’ll look forward to seeing the students around campus for their upper years too.

What types of activities or opportunities do you plan for your residents? 
Throughout my experience as a Faculty-In-Residence, I’ve had the opportunity to meet and make connections with many students. While much of this interaction occurs through brief encounters, such as providing eggs to students baking in the dorm, lending breakfast cooking utensils to Resident Advisors (RAs), and engaging in conversations with students about current events on campus, I also organize events to foster a sense of community. These events range from small gatherings to larger residence hall-wide activities.

For instance, I hosted a ‘Sunday Sundae’ event where the entire building was invited to make sundaes and socialize together in the evening. Additionally, we organize smaller, more spontaneous events such as pop-up snacks and games. One recent hit was a scavenger hunt within the building, complete with hidden trophies redeemable for prizes. Our aim is to provide a diverse array of activities that cater to the interests of all residents, ensuring there’s something for everyone to enjoy.

What advice would you give a first-year student about connecting with their FIR?
First of all, welcome to the Butler community and I’m excited to meet you! Feel free to introduce yourself and ask questions, invite us to activities on campus, wave hello, or tell us about how your day is going. My advice is that if you’re intimidated, bring a friend with you to an event or by our apartments. Remember that we’re here to help enhance your college experience and support you throughout your journey at Butler University.

What advice would you give families of prospective students who are considering sending their students to Butler? 
Butler is not just a place of academic excellence; it’s a home where students are nurtured intellectually, socially, and personally. FIRs are just one way that we try to encourage students to see how the faculty across campus are welcoming, approachable, and willing to have a mentoring relationship with students. I believe that the FIR program is a shining example of Butler’s dedication to holistic student development. It’s a program I would have liked to have at the school I attended!