Anna Childers
Biology and Chemistry double major
Pendleton, IN

Butler University is home to nearly 100 Lilly Endowment Community Scholarship recipients, making it one of the top institutions in Indiana for Lilly Scholars. Read on to learn more about Anna Childers, a current Lilly Scholar at Butler, and how she knew becoming a Bulldog was the path for her.

What’s one of your favorite things about being a student at Butler?
It’s hard to choose just one thing that makes being a Butler student so great, but my favorite part would have to be the unique professor-student relationships that Butler fosters. All of my professors know my name and care about me as a person first and a student second. That being said, my professors still encourage me to be the best student I can be and have provided support as I apply to graduate schools. 

What made you pick Butler University?
As a Lilly Scholar, I chose Butler University not just because of the small class sizes, tight-knit community, and research opportunities—but also because Butler made me feel as though they were proud of me. 

I vividly remember receiving a letter from Butler congratulating me on my Lilly scholarship and explaining what being a Lilly Scholar could look like at Butler. The letter even included a Butler University flag and some Butler Blue IV stickers. I felt like Butler was excited to welcome me! And that made me feel seen and celebrated.

What does being selected as a Lilly Scholar mean to you?
Being selected as a Lilly Scholar was a life-changing moment for myself and my family. It meant that I was able to pursue the education I dreamed of at the university I wanted, without fear of financial difficulties down the road. Being chosen as a Lilly Scholar meant that my years of hard work and dedication paid off. Receiving this honor comes with a sense of gratitude and love towards my home community. I feel so fortunate to be at Butler University and to be a Lilly Scholar from Madison County, and I want to use what I have been given to help the lives of others. 

What’s your favorite student activity?
It’s difficult to choose my favorite between the sorority I’m in as a part of Butler’s Greek Life and club soccer. Both organizations have provided me with wonderful groups of friends who support me in everything I do! I am so very thankful for the leadership opportunities and lifelong friendships both my sorority and club soccer have provided. 

Have you taken part in any internships or research opportunities? 
I have been lucky enough to take part in both research and internship opportunities. I have been working in the research lab of Dr. Benjamin Spears since January 2021, which has given me so much research experience early on in my undergraduate career and has set me up to land my dream internship. With Dr. Spears, I have presented at conferences across the Midwest and have improved my lab skills, critical and scientific thinking, leadership, project management, and public speaking. I have also been very fortunate to become a published scientific author along with some of my peers.

This past summer, I lived in New York City and interned for Eli Lilly and Co. at their gene therapy subsidiary, Prevail Therapeutics. I worked in the Analytical Development Department and loved getting to work in an incredible research environment. Prevail’s state-of-the-art facilities allowed me to train on types of machinery and testing equipment that is not available at typical undergraduate institutions. This internship confirmed my passion for discovery and innovation, and I am thankful that my experiences at Butler set me up for this opportunity!

Which faculty member has inspired you the most?
Dr. Alicen Teitgen has been one of my most influential professors. Dr. Teitgen taught both semesters of Organic Chemistry my sophomore year and she agreed to become my Chemistry advisor, too.

Dr. T has shown myself and my peers that academics should not come at the expense of mental health; she truly sees us as people first and students second. She was influential in my decision to apply to graduate schools and was my biggest cheerleader throughout the entire process. I admire Dr. T so much, and I hope one day to act as a mentor to younger women in science just as she has done for me.

What do you hope to do upon graduation?
Following graduation, I plan to further my education in a Molecular Biology or Genetics PhD program. I am in the process of applying and interviewing, and even though I don’t know which program I’ll attend, I am confident that my education and experiences at Butler have prepared me to thrive.