Newsroom

Clowes Hall plaza project rendering
Butler Beyond

Butler Receives $1M Grant from Allen Whitehill Clowes Charitable Foundation for Modernization of Clowes Memorial Hall

BY Jennifer Gunnels

PUBLISHED ON Feb 26 2021

INDIANAPOLIS, Ind.—The Allen Whitehill Clowes Charitable Foundation (AWCCF) has awarded Butler University a $1 million grant to support the modernization of Clowes Memorial Hall, the anchor performing arts venue of the Butler Arts & Events Center (BAEC). The grant will enable the BAEC to address contemporary safety and security concerns for patrons and performers while honoring the building’s original architectural integrity. The modernization project is part of a larger plan to enhance and remodel the exterior plaza of the venue, which was built in 1963.

While the original design for Clowes Memorial Hall envisioned the entrance of the building as a “temple of light” with a very open feel, allowing visitors to enter from all three sides of the lobby, current security measures have limited the use of exterior doors for guest entry. The redesigned entrance will honor the building’s original vision through a reimagined entry facade with a glass-enclosed marquee and second-level event space that will link the east and west sides of the second-level lobby. The new design will also remove the current existing wall between the box office and the lobby, allowing natural light to flow into the lobby and increasing the size of the lobby by 12 feet. The new entry will increase the number of metal detectors from four to 10, more than doubling the speed with which visitors can enter the building for major events and providing a vast improvement for visitor experience, particularly during inclement weather.
 

Clowes Hall plaza rendering


“I think the biggest complaints we have heard from visitors when they have come here in the past is how long it takes to get into the building, or that intermissions have been a pain to try to move through the lobby to get to the restrooms. Accessibility has also been a bit of an issue for some, and this redesign takes all of those concerns into consideration,” says Aaron Hurt, Executive Director of the BAEC. “Ease of getting into the building in a safe way and flow once you’re inside will all be vastly improved by this redesign, and I think that’s really going to improve the experience a lot for our guests.”

The new entryway is the first phase of a larger plan to redesign the entire exterior plaza of the venue to be more secure and functional. The new plaza will be paved with a small outdoor stage for hosting pre-show events, outdoor concerts, and student performances. The plaza will also include new concrete bollards—short, flat posts that will serve as both seating around the stage as well as a protective perimeter for the venue and guests gathered outside. The new paved plaza will provide a central rallying point for student events and an additional versatile gathering space for the community, enhancing student life on campus.

Although the COVID-19 pandemic has forced the BAEC to cancel all in-person performances and events for the time being, the unexpected extended closure along with the AWCCF grant will allow Butler to begin the planned renovations and upgrades during the coming months. Construction on the entryway project will begin May 1 and should be complete by the time students return to campus at the end of August. The University hopes to raise an additional $3.5 million to help fund the exterior plaza project in the coming months, as well, taking advantage of the window of time provided by the pandemic to complete the renovations in advance of an anticipated grand reopening when in-person performances are once again viable.

Clowes Hall plaza renderings“We’ve really tried to approach this with an attitude of, ‘How can we come out of this period of time as an even better venue for our patrons and performers?’ Our booking staff has still been working really hard while the venue has been closed, and we have lots of big names lined up for when we can re-open,” Hurt says. “We’re excited for the chance to welcome guests back to Clowes, and we feel confident they’re going to have an even better experience than the last time they were here.”

With the help of the AWCCF grant, Butler has now raised more than $196.4 million toward its $250 million goal for its Butler Beyond comprehensive fundraising campaign. One of the pillars of the Butler Beyond campaign is Community Partnerships, which highlights the University’s efforts to expand its impact beyond the current student body and beyond the borders of campus by contributing to the wellbeing of the broader Indianapolis community. Butler President Jim Danko says the AWCCF has been an extraordinary partner in supporting the arts education and cultural offerings provided by the BAEC, which are important aspects of the University’s role in the community.

“I am extremely grateful to the Allen Whitehill Clowes Charitable Foundation for its support and partnership in preserving and enhancing Clowes Memorial Hall for future generations of students and community members,” Danko says. “As a result of the critical upgrades supported by this gift, Butler will continue in its leadership role, enriching the Central Indiana community through arts, culture, and entertainment.”

Clowes Memorial Hall serves more than 300,000 patrons annually through a variety of events and programs ranging from Butler University’s own The Nutcracker to national touring companies through Broadway Across America. With 2,148 seats and a rich history of hosting some of the world’s greatest talents and personalities, Clowes also serves as one of Central Indiana’s leading providers of arts education services, welcoming school corporations in more than 85 counties across the state and serving more than 35,000 student participants annually. Since 1991, more than one million students, teachers, and guests have attended education matinee performances at Clowes.

“Clowes Memorial Hall has a lot of significance in the Indianapolis community historically as a hub for arts and culture,” Hurt says. “We are constantly asking ourselves, ‘How do we make sure this flagship venue continues to be relevant for the community? How do we take it to the next level in terms of the value we can bring to our city?’ This project is an example of Butler’s commitment to being a place for everyone.”


Renderings by Browning Day


Media Contact:
Katie Grieze
Senior Content Manager
kgrieze@butler.edu
260-307-3403

Clowes Hall plaza project rendering
Butler Beyond

Butler Receives $1M Grant from Allen Whitehill Clowes Charitable Foundation for Modernization of Clowes Memorial Hall

The project is part of a larger plan to enhance and remodel the venue's exterior plaza

Feb 26 2021 Read more
Butler Theatre's 'Antigone,' fall 2020, photo by Zach Rosing
Experiential Learning

As COVID-19 Cancels Shows Across the Nation, Butler Theatre Stays on Stage

BY Katie Grieze

PUBLISHED ON Feb 18 2021

Antigone just learned her brother is dead, and the new king will prohibit the honor of a burial. A mask hides the fury on her face as she argues with her sister, shouting that they should bury their brother anyway, but Antigone’s head shakes and her fists pound the air as she paces quickly around the stage. She can’t breach the six feet of distance to confront her sister up close, but she conveys her passion by leaning forward and pointing as she speaks, taking small steps that drive her sister away.

Antigone, photo by Zach Rosing“We wore masks while performing, so we learned to take an emotion that would normally just be a frown on your face and express it with your whole body,” says senior Theatre major Sarah Ault, who played the role of Antigone in Butler University’s production last fall. “That’s a shift from how I would normally approach things, but it was useful to experience. It has been a ‘the-show-must-go-on’ situation.”

While most collegiate and professional theatre organizations have halted in-person performances during the pandemic, Butler’s program has stayed on stage. It took research, strict safety measures, and audience limits, but it was worth giving students the live learning opportunities they signed up for.

“Our priority is the educational and artistic development of our students,” says Diane Timmerman, Theatre Professor and Chair. “We’re just really excited and proud that we were able to make this happen, and that the students have grown so much as artists, even in this time.”

Butler Theatre’s fall 2020 productions included Shel Silverstein's Lafcadio at Shelton Auditorium, followed by a modern adaptation of Sophocles’ Antigone at the Schrott Center. The theatre season continues at Clowes Memorial Hall on February 26 with The Living, a play depicting the plague that hit London in the 17th century. In April, performances of Fleeting Full 2.0 by Samuel Beckett will wrap up the year.

Two key factors have allowed Butler to produce in-person shows, Timmerman says. First, they were willing to meet the high bar of safety standards needed to perform indoors, whereas some other theatres would rather wait until they can stage plays without social distancing, mask wearing, and other protocols. And because Butler’s program isn’t revenue-driven, they could afford to have a limited in-person audience alongside free livestreams—a rule that might not work for theatres where ticket sales cover production costs.

“Everyday going into rehearsal, I recognize that it is such a privilege,” says Ault, who will follow her time as Antigone with a new role in The Living. “I’m thankful for all the efforts that Butler and its Theatre program are putting in to make sure we can have the opportunity to perform. Because this is the bread and butter of our education.”
 

Butler Theatre's 'Lafcadio,' photo by Zach Rosing


Setting the Stage for Safety

Deborah Jo Barrett spent the summer researching.

As Production and Stage Manager for the Jordan College of the Arts, she set the rules for keeping performers safe from COVID-19. She started with guidelines from the city and state, plus the health standards in place at Butler, then added another layer of theatre-specific protocols based on recommendations and studies from production organizations across the country.

By the start of the fall semester, Barrett had compiled and shared a new pandemic handbook for the department and created a Stage Manager’s Handbook that included COVID-related guidelines. In addition to the basics we’ve all been following for nearly a year, these guidelines focused on cleaning protocols, air flow, and reduced cross contact.

During typical rehearsals and performances, several people touch the same props. Now that only one person can touch each item, directors have decreased overall prop usage. Actors also need to be in charge of their own costumes and makeup, without the assistance they’d normally have from crew members.

And with the amount of movement and vocal activity involved in theatre, the department took extra measures to maintain fresh air in rehearsal spaces. Accounting for room size, HVAC air exchange rates, and the number of people present, rehearsal groups need to take breaks or move to a different room about every 30 minutes to let spaces air out.

Surfaces are sanitized, temperatures are checked, and daily health surveys are filled out. As the virus evolves, so do the safety measures. Barrett says it’s tricky staging productions with everyone six feet apart, and they’ve needed to incorporate masks in ways that don’t distract from performances, but students have done a wonderful job sticking to the protocols.

“I think after the spring shutdown and the long summer, everyone was just so grateful to be back in-person,” Barrett says. “Everyone helped take care of everyone else. Of course, if we had to shut down again, we were ready to divert what we were working on into an online format. But because Butler is doing in-person classes, we feel it is important that as much as possible—and as safely as possible—we do live performances.”
 

On-The-Scene Learning

Kelly Schwantes, a senior Theatre major who served as stage manager for Lafcadio, is glad to be finishing her degree in-person.

“We are one of the only organizations in Indianapolis still producing,” Schwantes says. “And from the collegiate aspect, many universities had to do things like digital readings or radio plays. I don’t know if the magnitude of that hit every student, but it certainly hit me, and it reminded me how important it is to be grateful at a time like this that I can go to school and do what I came here to do.”

Schwantes says stage managing for the first time during a pandemic taught her that doing something new isn’t as scary as it may seem.

“In whatever role you’re in, you start small and work your way up,” she says. “I learned a lot of the skills I needed throughout my first three years at Butler. And I also work retail, so even with the added layer of COVID, I already had experience with maintaining safety standards. By the time we finished the first day of rehearsal, I knew we were going to make it through.”

While Butler Theatre’s fall productions were selected before COVID-19 hit, they still worked well with safety protocols. Antigone, for example, takes place during a plague, so masks fit the story. But for the spring semester, The Living—which is about the Great Plague of London—was chosen specifically for its current relevance.

And like the fall performances, the two this spring will be available via livestream. The program plans to continue livestreaming productions even after the pandemic to reach audiences who can’t make it to campus.

Ault’s family lives in Kansas, so she appreciates the new virtual viewing options.

“One positive thing about the way we are doing shows this year is that friends and family who have never seen me perform can now livestream the shows,” she says. “That has been a blessing in disguise.”
 

Photos by Zach Rosing
 

Media Contact:
Katie Grieze
Senior Content Manager
kgrieze@butler.edu
260-307-3403 (mobile)

Butler Theatre's 'Antigone,' fall 2020, photo by Zach Rosing
Experiential Learning

As COVID-19 Cancels Shows Across the Nation, Butler Theatre Stays on Stage

Strict safety measures allow students to keep rehearsing, performing, and learning together

Feb 18 2021 Read more
Spring Valley Farms eggs
Innovation

Butler Dining Launches New Sustainable Food Grant Program

BY

PUBLISHED ON Feb 09 2021

INDIANAPOLIS, Ind.—Butler University and its food service partner, Bon Appétit Management Company, are proud to announce the launch of the Food Enterprises Achieving Sustainability Together (FEAST) Fund, as part of their commitment to strengthening the local food system.

Butler students, campus groups, and departments—as well as food suppliers—can submit applications for sustainable food-related projects that will benefit the campus community.

“The FEAST Fund exemplifies Butler’s commitment to sustainability and student innovation,” said Dr. Frank E. Ross, Butler Vice President for Student Affairs. “Students will be empowered to take action and build an eco-friendlier campus that contributes to our collective health and well-being. As many face food insecurity amid the COVID-19 pandemic, we have a commitment to practice sustainable consumption and tackle food waste. The FEAST Fund will help us do just that.”

To inspire other applicants, the committee has launched its first project: an egg centrifuge that cracks eggs at very high speed, which will allow for eggs from Spring Valley Farms in Hagerstown, Indiana, to be used more widely at Butler.

Butler Dining already buys some local eggs, along with local produce, meat, cheese, and more from many local farms, ranches, and food artisans. But the University was previously buying precracked (aka, “liquid”) eggs from a national Certified Humane supplier, due to the impracticality of using whole eggs in a large-scale food service operation. The centrifuge was proposed by Bon Appétit chef Chad Melinger and researched with the leader of Local Farms Harvest, a farming co-op of which Spring Valley is a member. The machine allows Butler Dining to use more locally sourced eggs without the hassle of cracking them all by hand.

“Supporting our local Farm to Fork partners and fighting food waste are key parts of the Bon Appétit culture,” said Bon Appétit Regional Vice President Randy DeMers. “I’m looking forward to seeing what other innovative ideas from the Butler community we can support from the FEAST Fund.”

Bon Appétit Management Company is the first food service company to have made a commitment to local purchasing, launching its Farm to Fork program in 1999, and the first to switch to cage-free eggs companywide, starting in 2005. The FEAST Fund is open to the Butler community, as well as to existing Bon Appétit Farm to Fork suppliers. Application guidelines and deadlines can be found on the Butler Dining website.

 

Media Contact:
Mandy Rentschler
Butler Dining Marketing Manager
mrentschler@butler.edu

Spring Valley Farms eggs
Innovation

Butler Dining Launches New Sustainable Food Grant Program

Bon Appétit Management Company, working in partnership with a committee of Butler students and employees, will fund projects to increase the sustainability of the campus food system

Feb 09 2021 Read more
Butler University
Campus

Butler University and Ivy Tech Community College Announce Statewide Transfer Agreement

BY

PUBLISHED ON Feb 05 2021

INDIANAPOLIS, Ind.—Ivy Tech Community College and Butler University have partnered to create their first transfer agreement, making a seamless process for students to earn a bachelor’s degree in Elementary Education. This agreement also seeks to address Indiana’s teacher shortage by providing an affordable pathway.

Under the agreement, any Ivy Tech student that completes an Associate of Science in Elementary Education degree can directly transfer to Butler University’s Elementary Education program with junior standing.

“Ivy Tech is elated to announce this new partnership with Butler University, not only to create an affordable and seamless transfer experience, but to address the critical shortage of educators in our state,” said Dr. Sue Ellspermann, president of Ivy Tech.

Eligibility will require a 3.0 or higher cumulative grade point average and course grades of “C” or better. Additionally, students must also complete Butler University’s transfer application. Upon meeting these requirements, students may apply a minimum of 57 credit hours from their Ivy Tech associate degree toward requirements for Butler University’s Bachelor of Science degree in Education.

“Butler University is excited to open this door to a community and statewide partnership that not only will help address the teacher shortage, but will also increase access to Butler University and attainment of bachelor’s degrees in our state,” Dr. Brooke Kandel-Cisco, Dean of Butler’s College of Education, said. “We look forward to this being the first of many agreements with Ivy Tech Community College.”

Ivy Tech students interested in this opportunity can work with their academic advisor to confirm their academic plan meets all the requirements.

To maximize savings, students can take advantage of scholarship and grant opportunities at both institutions.

The agreement, which became effective December 10, 2020, remains in effect for two years. After two years, the institutions will review the agreement for renewal.

For more information about Ivy Tech’s education program, visit IvyTech.edu/education. For information about Butler University, visit Butler.edu.

 

About Ivy Tech Community College
Ivy Tech Community College is Indiana’s largest public postsecondary institution and the nation’s largest singly accredited statewide community college system, accredited by the Higher Learning Commission. Ivy Tech has campuses throughout Indiana and also serves thousands of students annually online. It serves as the state’s engine of workforce development, offering associate degree and short-term certificate programs, and trainings that align to the needs of the community. The College also offers courses and associate degree programs that seamlessly transfer to other colleges and universities in Indiana, as well as out of state, for a more affordable route to a Bachelor’s degree.

About Butler University
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.

 

Media Contacts:

Mark Apple
Butler University Interim Director of Strategic Communications
317-519-8592
mapple1@butler.edu

Tracey Allen
Ivy Tech Executive Director of Marketing and Communications                                         
317-459-5157                                    
tallen205@ivytech.edu                        

Butler University
Campus

Butler University and Ivy Tech Community College Announce Statewide Transfer Agreement

Institutions partner to create seamless Elementary Education pathway to reduce teacher shortage

Feb 05 2021 Read more
Butler University
Butler Beyond

Inspired by Time at Butler, John Oberhelman Gives Back to Student-Athletes Through New Scholarship

BY Jennifer Gunnels

PUBLISHED ON Feb 01 2021

John Michael Oberhelman ’64, MS ’67 was a standout football player for Evansville Central High School when he first visited Butler University for a campus tour with his parents in the late 1950s. Legendary Butler Coach Tony Hinkle, who coached football, baseball, and men’s basketball at the time, drove the Oberhelman family around campus in his car that day. Hinkle made such an impression on the young student-athlete that Oberhelman chose to attend Butler to play football under Hinkle’s leadership despite initially receiving no scholarship money to attend.

“The fact that Coach Hinkle was willing to meet me personally on a weekend and give me a tour made a big impression—it made me feel special and that I was going to be a part of the team,” Oberhelman says. “In addition to our tour, I felt it was the right size school, the right distance from home, and I was struck by the beauty of the campus as well as the facilities.”

Tony Hinkle and John Michael Oberhelman
Tony Hinkle and John Oberhelman

During his first year, Oberhelman went on to make the football team at Butler and picked up a part-time job serving meals at the sorority and fraternity houses to help pay for tuition and living expenses. He eventually was offered a scholarship beginning his sophomore year, a gift he has never forgotten.

“Having the scholarship enabled me not to have to work during the football season. More meaningfully, it signaled to me that I was an important part of the team and worth the investment,” Oberhelman says.

Now retired, Oberhelman is paying that gift forward by establishing a new endowed scholarship for Butler student-athletes through an estate commitment. The John Michael Oberhelman ’64, MS ’67 Endowed Athletics Scholarship will exist in perpetuity at Butler, providing support for student-athletes in good academic standing. Thanks to the Oberhelman gift and others like it, Butler has now raised more than $45 million toward its $55 million scholarship goal for the Butler Beyond comprehensive fundraising campaign.

“Scholarships make an enormous long-term impact on the lives of the student-athletes who receive them, as demonstrated through John Oberhelman’s successful and meaningful career and his desire to offer this gift to future generations of Butler student-athletes,” says Vice President and Director of Athletics Barry Collier. “I am grateful for scholarship donors like John who are making the Butler Athletics experience available to future students through their generous gifts.”

During his football career at Butler, Oberhelman played on both offense and defense as center and linebacker. He continued to be deeply influenced by Hinkle’s mentorship, describing him as an honorable man who rarely raised his voice to motivate and who helped advise students on their career plans.

After graduating with a Bachelor of Science in Physical Education in 1964, Oberhelman was inspired to follow in Hinkle’s footsteps by becoming a teacher and coach. After earning his graduate degree in guidance and counseling from Butler, Oberhelman began his career as a teacher and coach at Tipton High School in Tipton, Indiana. He went on to become a college admissions director and later transitioned into human resources, eventually becoming the Senior Vice President of Human Resources at Citizens National Bank, which became part of Fifth Third Bank in Evansville.

Oberhelman has supported Butler Athletics throughout his adult life, and decided to concentrate his legacy giving on providing future student-athletes with the same opportunities that were made available to him through scholarship support. Oberhelman credits his experience at Butler, and particularly his experience as a student-athlete, with preparing him for his career and life. He says he and many of his Butler teammates have remained lifelong friends. The experience was one he is pleased to be able to offer to future students through the Oberhelman Scholarship.

“My parents established a scholarship at another university, and I continue to support it. Meeting those students, knowing their stories, and gaining an awareness of college costs for young people today informed my decision to be helpful,” Oberhelman says of his decision to establish a scholarship at Butler. “The student-athlete focus reflected my experience at Butler. Enabling a scholarship can allow a student to attend who may not normally be able to afford it.”

 

Student Access and Success
At the heart of Butler Beyond is a desire to increase student access and success, putting a Butler education within reach of all who desire to pursue it. With a focus on enhancing the overall student experience that is foundational to a Butler education, gifts to this pillar will grow student scholarships, elevate student support services, expand experiential learning opportunities, and more. Learn more, make a gift, and read other stories like this one at beyond.butler.edu.

Butler University
Butler Beyond

Inspired by Time at Butler, John Oberhelman Gives Back to Student-Athletes Through New Scholarship

The 1964 grad, who played football under the leadership of Coach Tony Hinkle, has supported Butler Athletics throughout his adult life

Feb 01 2021 Read more
Butler University
Campus

Butler University to Freeze Tuition for 2021-2022 Academic Year

BY

PUBLISHED ON Jan 28 2021

(INDIANAPOLIS, Ind.)—Butler University will not raise tuition during the 2021-2022 academic year, President James M. Danko announced today. The tuition freeze, as approved by Butler’s Board of Trustees, ensures that current and incoming students will remain at the tuition rate established for the current 2020-2021 academic year.

“Many of our current and incoming students and their families have been impacted financially by the pandemic, and it is my hope that, by freezing tuition, we can help ease their burden,” Danko said. “I am pleased that we can provide some stability to our students and their families during this very uncertain period.”

Raiidi Kaldani Thompson, mother of first-year Butler student Michael Thompson, sent an email to University administration when she learned about the tuition freeze.

“Receiving the news about Butler University’s tuition freeze made my morning! I'm speechless and utterly filled with gratitude,” Kaldani Thompson said. “I want to thank President Danko and the Board of Trustees for extending this generous gift to all of your students and their families! It truly embodies the caring spirit, and the sense of a close community that drew my son to join the Butler family.”

“The tuition freeze is so important as students and their families continue to face unimaginable hardships,” Maya Patel, a junior majoring in Strategic Communication, said. “We can take solace in the much needed economic stability for the next academic year, allowing us to focus on our academics and finding our new normal.”

Danko stated that Butler instituted significant budget adjustments when the pandemic started last March, and that those adjustments have proven beneficial in maintaining the University’s financial stability.

“The decision to freeze tuition for students and families is indicative of the confidence I have in Butler’s current position and long-term future,” Danko said. “I am deeply appreciative of our faculty and staff in particular, for their extraordinary work and personal sacrifices to carry out the University’s mission and support our students.”  

Butler started the spring 2021 semester on January 25, with the vast majority of students choosing to live on campus and receive instruction in the classroom. The University has invested heavily in improving health and safety efforts to reduce the spread of COVID-19 on campus and upgrading academic technology to further enhance the learning environment.

For more information about Butler University, please visit www.butler.edu.

 

Media Contact:
Mark Apple
Director of Strategic Communications
mapple1@butler.edu
317-519-8592

Butler University
Campus

Butler University to Freeze Tuition for 2021-2022 Academic Year

Butler's Board of Trustees approved the tuition freeze to help ease the financial burden many students and families have faced during the pandemic

Jan 28 2021 Read more
Dr. India Johnson
Innovation

Butler Professor’s Research Aims to Help More Black Women Join STEM

BY Katie Grieze

PUBLISHED ON Jan 22 2021

Dr. India Johnson, Assistant Professor of Psychology at Butler University, wants more Black women to pursue careers in STEM. But in order to feel like they belong in these fields, Johnson says, college students need to have role models.

“In the world of psychology, role models are individuals you feel similar to,” she explains. “If you don’t feel similar to the person, they can’t necessarily do much to make you feel like you belong in that environment.”

While Black women make up about 6.5 percent of the United States population, they hold only 2 percent of STEM jobs, according to the National Science Foundation (NSF). So, for the past three years, Johnson’s research has focused on learning more about which types of individuals serve as the most effective role models for encouraging Black women to join—and stay in—STEM professions.

In collaboration with Dr. Evava (Eva) Pietri, an Assistant Professor of Psychology at Indiana University–Purdue University Indianapolis, Johnson previously conducted research based on the dual identities of Black women in STEM: As both women and people of color, they represent two different groups who are often underrepresented in science and technology fields. So, the researchers asked, which of those identities matters most when it comes to connecting with role models?

They found that Black women viewed Black people (either men or women) as role models more than they viewed white women as role models. Now, with the support of a grant for more than $68,000 from the NSF, they are trying to understand why. They also hope to learn more about which factors might contribute to non-Black individuals serving as effective role models for helping college-aged Black women feel a sense of belonging.

Starting last September, one of three studies through this grant has focused on gender, comparing STEM fields that have significant gender disparity with those that don’t.

“We expect that when Black female college students are in a major where there is not a lot of contact with other women overall, that might heighten the extent to which they feel similar to white women scientists in that field,” Johnson says. “In those cases, white women might then serve as more effective role models.”

Johnson’s previous research suggests that the stronger connection Black women tend to feel with other Black persons may be due in part to the perception that those individuals have experienced a similar type of race-based adversity. Based on that idea, a separate study will examine whether Black women might also identify with people from other non-white races.

“In this study, we will be varying to what extent a Latino male scientist actually looks phenotypically Black—so the extent to which they have features that align with those of Black persons,” Johnson says. “Then, we will study to what extent that leads Black women to feel similar to that role model in encouraging their belonging and interest in STEM.”

A final study will focus again on gender, but this time looking less at overall identity and more at the experience of various types of adversity. The researchers expect that if Black women perceive white women as having experienced adversity specifically based on sexism, they’ll be more likely to feel similar to that role model.

Katie Tisdale
Katie Tisdale

Johnson hopes the research findings will help non-Black individuals better understand how they can serve as relatable role models to help recruit and retain Black women within STEM professions.

Katie Tisdale, a senior Psychology major and Johnson’s research assistant for this project, says this research has helped her understand how much race and gender identity can influence career choice.

“I am a Black woman, so this research focusing on Black women and what makes them feel like they belong—and what makes them feel valued in academic or organizational settings—is really interesting to me, just because of the personal nature of it,” says Tisdale, who hopes to pursue a career in counseling and work with underrepresented groups. “This experience has shown me that allyship actions, or just validating someone’s identity, is so crucial and important.”

 

Media Contact:
Katie Grieze
News Content Manager
kgrieze@butler.edu
260-307-3403

Dr. India Johnson
Innovation

Butler Professor’s Research Aims to Help More Black Women Join STEM

Supported by a $68K grant from the NSF, Psychology Assistant Professor Dr. India Johnson is studying the influence of race and gender on the effectiveness of role models

Jan 22 2021 Read more
Butler University
Innovation

Wipro Collaborates with Butler University to Offer Salesforce Course

BY

PUBLISHED ON Dec 17 2020

Indianapolis, USA and Bangalore, India—Wipro Limited, a leading global information technology, consulting, and business process services company, has announced that Appirio, a Wipro company, has partnered with Butler University to offer a Salesforce consulting preparatory college course. Located in Indianapolis, Indiana, Butler University is a nationally recognized institution with six academic colleges.

Through the course, which was first offered during the fall 2020 semester and will be offered again for the spring, students have the opportunity to learn the in-demand skills needed for customer relationship management (CRM). The free, non-credit courses, which are held online, also provide students an opportunity to achieve their initial Salesforce certifications. A Salesforce certification can be a differentiator when students seek jobs in the Salesforce ecosystem.

Although the content is from Salesforce, the courses are developed and taught by Appirio, which often provides similar educational support for its clients. After learning the basics of CRM—a process that helps companies organize their relationships and interactions with current and potential customers—students are introduced to Salesforce’s suite of products. 

Hari Raja, Global Head of Appirio Cloud Services, said, “With the dawn of digital natives, customer experience has become a top priority in organizations today. Through the CRM corporate training course, we will be helping the students of Butler University become future ready. We believe this to be a great initiative as it brings together two of the essential features of Appirio—our partnership with Salesforce and our commitment to Indiana.”

Gary Beaulieu, Career and Professional Success (CaPS) Senior Director at Butler University, said, “The goal of the course is for students to gain a Salesforce Administrator Certification, which is widely recognized in the industry. In the CaPS Office, we are always looking at ways to help provide our students with marketable skills in addition to their undergraduate degrees. Many organizations, including Appirio, are looking for the Salesforce Administrator Certification. We feel that knowledge or certification in Salesforce can be a determining factor for recruiting organizations hiring these students.”

The certification course is open to Butler students of all majors. Students who are interested in enrolling should contact the CaPS Office at career@butler.edu.

 

Salesforce and others are among the trademarks of salesforce.com, inc.

 

About Wipro Limited
Wipro Limited (NYSE: WIT, BSE: 507685, NSE: WIPRO) is a leading global information technology, consulting, and business process services company. We harness the power of cognitive computing, hyper-automation, robotics, cloud, analytics and emerging technologies to help our clients adapt to the digital world and make them successful. A company recognized globally for its comprehensive portfolio of services, strong commitment to sustainability, and good corporate citizenship, we have over 180,000 dedicated employees serving clients across six continents. Together, we discover ideas and connect the dots to build a better and a bold new future. 

 

About Butler University
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.

 

Media Contact:
Shraboni Banerjee
Wipro Limited
Shraboni.banerjee@wipro.com

 

Wipro Forward-looking and Cautionary Statements
The forward-looking statements contained herein represent Wipro’s beliefs regarding future events, many of which are by their nature, inherently uncertain and outside Wipro’s control. Such statements include, but are not limited to, statements regarding Wipro’s growth prospects, its future financial operating results, and its plans, expectations and intentions. Wipro cautions readers that the forward-looking statements contained herein are subject to risks and uncertainties that could cause actual results to differ materially from the results anticipated by such statements. Such risks and uncertainties include, but are not limited to, risks and uncertainties regarding fluctuations in our earnings, revenue and profits, our ability to generate and manage growth, complete proposed corporate actions, intense competition in IT services, our ability to maintain our cost advantage, wage increases in India, our ability to attract and retain highly skilled professionals, time and cost overruns on fixed-price, fixed-time frame contracts, client concentration, restrictions on immigration, our ability to manage our international operations, reduced demand for technology in our key focus areas, disruptions in telecommunication networks, our ability to successfully complete and integrate potential acquisitions, liability for damages on our service contracts, the success of the companies in which we make strategic investments, withdrawal of fiscal governmental incentives, political instability, war, legal restrictions on raising capital or acquiring companies outside India, unauthorized use of our intellectual property and general economic conditions affecting our business and industry. The conditions caused by the COVID-19 pandemic could decrease technology spending, adversely affect demand for our products, affect the rate of customer spending and could adversely affect our customers’ ability or willingness to purchase our offerings, delay prospective customers’ purchasing decisions, adversely impact our ability to provide on-site consulting services and our inability to deliver our customers or delay the provisioning of our offerings, all of which could adversely affect our future sales, operating results and overall financial performance. Our operations may also be negatively affected by a range of external factors related to the COVID-19 pandemic that are not within our control.

Additional risks that could affect our future operating results are more fully described in our filings with the United States Securities and Exchange Commission, including, but not limited to, Annual Reports on Form 20-F. These filings are available at www.sec.gov. We may, from time to time, make additional written and oral forward-looking statements, including statements contained in the company’s filings with the Securities and Exchange Commission and our reports to shareholders. We do not undertake to update any forward-looking statement that may be made from time to time by us or on our behalf.​

Butler University
Innovation

Wipro Collaborates with Butler University to Offer Salesforce Course

The free course, developed and taught by Appirio (a Wipro company), covers the fundamentals of customer relationship management

Dec 17 2020 Read more
Butler University 2020
Campus

Year in Review: Top Stories of 2020

BY Katie Grieze

PUBLISHED ON Dec 16 2020

When everything changed 10 months ago, Butler University adapted. Our students, faculty, and staff found ways to replace vanished opportunities with new ones, continue caring for one another, and focus on the things that matter most—all while making sacrifices to keep our campus safe.

This year, Bulldogs also committed to helping others. From the Pharmacy students who made hand sanitizer for hospitals and other Indianapolis organizations; to the faculty member who helped parents and educators provide emotional support for children; to the graduate whose art helped people across the nation understand an invisible virus; we demonstrated the Butler Way.

And still, we celebrated. We kicked off 2020 by meeting Butler Blue IV, whose puppy photos have filled our social media feeds and invited us to smile even in some of this year’s hardest moments. We named new deans, launched our Hub for Black Affairs and Community Engagement, and welcomed our third-largest class of first-year students. Through a difficult season that may continue for months to come, we have found ways to be joyful together.

Here’s a look back at Butler’s top stories of 2020.

 

WE ADAPTED:

Butler Faculty Put Students First in Switch to Online Learning
When the coronavirus pandemic forced the cancellation of in-person classes last spring, faculty made the best of a difficult situation.

With Summer Internships Canceled, Business School Finds New Opportunities for Students
Butler's Lacy School of Business created about 20 last-minute internship positions built on remote, project-based work.

In Switch to eLearning, Butler Student-Teacher Finds What Matters Most
Patrick Conway developed new online content for seventh-graders at Zionsville West Middle School.

Butler Offers Free Online Course About COVID-19 to Incoming Students
The class helped students connect with the Butler community while reflecting on the effects of a global crisis.

Caring for Mental Health During COVID-19
Three Butler experts explain the pandemic’s psychological impacts and offer advice for staying well.

What Does an Online Music Class Look Like?
Dr. Brian Weidner of Butler's Jordan College of the Arts explains how he met the challenge of holding remote music education courses.

Pool Noodles Provide Social Distancing Guide for Physical Education Classes
The College of Education’s Dr. Fritz Ettl found ways to keep teaching hands-on, sport-specific skills this fall.

Butler Team Preserves, Improves Access to Artifacts through 3D Digital Replicas
While this grant-funded project began well before the pandemic, the researchers found low-cost ways to scan and share physical artworks in an online world—a method that’s especially useful when viewing art in-person isn’t possible.


WE HELPED:

How to Care for Children’s Minds During COVID-19
The College of Education's Dr. Lori Desautels offers guidance for educators and parents as the pandemic causes uncertainty, isolation, and restraint. To learn more about how Desautels teaches students about their brains, check out our pre-pandemic story How Neuroscience Helps Kids Heal From Trauma.

Butler, Old National Partner to Support Businesses Owned by Underrepresented Groups
The Old National Bank Center for Business Excellence—a partnership between Butler University and Old National Bank—is waiving membership fees for companies owned by people of color, women, LGBTQ+ individuals, veterans, and individuals with disabilities.

Butler Pharmacy Prof Receives $1.39M NIH Grant to Support Cancer Research
Dr. Chioniso Patience Masamha is studying an oncogene commonly linked to Mantle Cell Lymphoma and other types of cancer.

Pharmacy Students to Fill Indy’s Prescription for Hand Sanitizer
A trio of graduate students made 50 liters of sanitizer for donation to community programs and facilities.

Butler Theatre Gives Health Professionals SWAG
Theatre faculty and staff joined the Indy-based Safer With a Gown project, using their skills to help produce gowns for healthcare workers.

Grad Students from Butler's College of Education Create Guide to Help Schools Reopen
Cohort members from the Experiential Program for Preparing School Principals (EPPSP) released Blueprint 2020: A Guidebook for School Leaders Moving Forward.

Butler Grad Helps Americans See Coronavirus Up Close
At the National Institutes of Health (NIH), Austin Athman ’09 is part of a team that captures images of microscopic diseases.

This Team of Alumni Helped Butler Go Remote
Four grads in the Center for Academic Technology knew that strong relationships would be key to online learning.

 

WE CELEBRATED:

Butler Blue IV, next live mascot for Butler, revealed, ready to report to work
In January, the 12-week-old English Bulldog was set to take the reins as Butler’s fourth live mascot. Butler Blue III (AKA Trip) retired in May.

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.

Butler Welcomes Third-Largest Class Ever Despite COVID-19 Challenges
More than 1,125 first-year students logged on for their first day of classes on August 24.

Butler University Launches a Hub for Black Affairs and Community Engagement
With leadership from Dr. Terri Jett as Faculty Director, the Hub will serve as an institutional command center to address systemic racism and Black oppression.

Butler Receives $2.5 Million Grant from Lilly Endowment Inc. to Fund New Butler Beyond Transformation Lab
The Transformation Lab will serve as a hub of resources, expertise, and activity to accelerate the development of future-oriented education models.

Kandel-Cisco Named New College of Education Dean
Dr. Brooke Kandel-Cisco was Interim Dean since May 2019 before filling the position permanently this past March.

Hilary Buttrick Named Interim Dean of the Lacy School of Business
Dr. Buttrick served as an Associate Dean in the Lacy School of Business (LSB) before being named Interim Dean on June 9.

Loyal Donors and New Strategic Direction Help Butler Thrive Through Unprecedented Year
Total giving during the 2019-2020 fiscal year included $16.6 million toward scholarships and $28.5 million toward the Butler Beyond campaign.

 

Media Contact:
Katie Grieze
News Content Manager
kgrieze@butler.edu
260-307-3403

Butler University 2020
Campus

Year in Review: Top Stories of 2020

In 2020, Butler adapted to new challenges, helped our community, and found ways to celebrate

Dec 16 2020 Read more
Music in My Head
Experiential Learning

Two Butler Students Team Up to Publish Children’s Book

BY Katie Grieze

PUBLISHED ON Dec 15 2020

Jen Mulzer’s son thinks in colors, songs, and stories.

When it’s time to go to bed, he can’t keep his eyes closed—he’s too excited about the adventures he might take in his dreams. And when it’s time to sit still at school, all he wants to do is dance. His body is full of motion, and his mind is full of music, but that can be frustrating when parents or teachers tell him “now is not the time.”

Jen Mulzer
Jen Mulzer

Mulzer, a student in Butler University’s MFA in Creative Writing program, wants her son and other children who experience ADHD or similar conditions to know there is nothing wrong with how they process information or move in the world. No matter how frustrating things are right now, she wants to say, just hang in there.

“I wanted to address that even though you might be in a situation where you feel frustrated, or like you’re not part of the group, or you can’t keep up, or maybe something’s not interesting to you—whatever the situation is, it’s temporary and it will pass,” Mulzer says. “And someday, you’ll have that moment when things just click, and all the things you struggled with will add up and make sense.”

That’s the key message of Music in My Head, a new children’s book written by Mulzer and illustrated by Abey Akinseye, a Butler junior majoring in Psychology and Sociology with a minor in Art. Published early last month, the book follows the story of a young boy—inspired by Mulzer’s son—whose “body dances all the time, especially when it’s time to sleep.” Alongside the text, Akinseye’s artwork vividly illustrates each of the character’s imaginary adventures, from leading a circus to flying to the moon.

After drafting the story last year, Mulzer reached out to Butler’s Department of Art to find an illustrator. She knew she wanted to work with a fellow student, so she shared a summary of the project and began accepting portfolios.

Intrigued by the story, Akinseye applied.

Abey Akinseye
Abey Akinseye

“I think what interested me the most was how much I related to the story myself,” he says. “Sometimes I have trouble sleeping because I’m always thinking of these adventures in my head, and I even stay up at night painting or drawing because these ideas are always there, and I’m afraid to lose them.”

Mulzer chose Akinseye’s portfolio as her favorite from the bunch for his ability to capture facial expressions and personality. When they met in person to go over details, she could see his passion for the story. Akinseye told her about how art served as a form of therapy for him, and how he wanted to use his art to help others (with the goal of pursuing a PhD in art therapy). When Mulzer left the meeting, she thought, “Oh my gosh, he was meant to do this.”

They have worked mostly independently for the past year, with Mulzer providing brief descriptions for the illustrations and Akinseye producing artworks that were even better than what she’d imagined.

“I wanted to challenge myself,” Akinseye says. “I didn’t want any of the images to be the same, and I wanted each page to stand out and be its own independent story.”

He is grateful for Butler Adjunct Art Instructor Jingo de la Rosa, who encouraged Akinseye to get his art out into the world.

“He also taught me to carry a small sketchbook around to just draw down ideas, which became very helpful for this project,” Akinseye says. “And he is an illustrator, so his insight was very helpful.”

On the writing side, Mulzer was grateful to have the opportunity to read her own writing out loud to other students in the MFA in Creative Writing program.

“When you need to read something out loud, all the sudden you are changing the language, or you are changing some of the structure because you are getting tripped up on things,” she explains. “That really helped me. I had already written the story for Music in My Head, but then I had to go back to it and revise. And that’s extra important for children’s books, which are meant to be read out loud.”

Music in My HeadWhen they were almost finished, Mulzer reached out to a children’s book publisher in Indianapolis to ask how she might go about getting the book onto store shelves. They directed her to Wish Publishing, an independent publisher that works mostly with new authors and artists. After providing some guidance for the process of finalizing the book, Wish published Music in My Head in November 2020.

Mulzer says the best review so far has come from her son, who is now 9.

“I gave the finished book to him, thinking that we would sit down and I would read it,” she recalls. “But he immediately said, ‘I can read it to you.’ He started reading it, and he actually gave me edits, because he knew right away: ‘This is me, and this is my dog.’ I loved that it was his little mind all over again. He was super excited. He loved the story, but then he’s also critiquing it, and that’s totally him.”

For Akinseye, the experience helped him learn about how ADHD and similar conditions are typically portrayed. He wants to help children understand that there’s nothing wrong with being themselves.

“I hope this book shows ADHD in a different way,” he says. “A more relatable way.”

 

Media Contact:
Katie Grieze
News Content Manager
kgrieze@butler.edu
260-307-3403

Music in My Head
Experiential Learning

Two Butler Students Team Up to Publish Children’s Book

Written by MFA student Jen Mulzer and illustrated by junior Abey Akinseye, Music in My Head celebrates children’s creativity

Dec 15 2020 Read more
Butler University physical education class, playing soccer with pool noodles
Experiential Learning

Pool Noodles Provide Social Distancing Guide for Physical Education Classes

BY Kennedy Broadwell ’21

PUBLISHED ON Dec 08 2020

Fall collegiate sports were canceled. Professional teams joined “bubbles” to ensure athletes’ safety during a global pandemic. But what would happen for Butler University students whose classes involved hands-on physical activity?

Since 2018, Assistant Professor of Education Dr. Fritz Ettl has been teaching physical education courses for future teachers, coaches, health education professionals, and recreation professionals (among others). The students learn sport-specific skills, and courses include tournaments in which students design all aspects of their own league and physically compete against one another while also fulfilling supportive roles such as coach, referee, and statistician. But with the need for social distancing this fall, contact sports wouldn’t be so easy.

Ettl says his first concern going into the semester was how he would teach physical activity virtually during the first two weeks, when Butler temporarily moved classes online.

“We had to start with the cognitive aspects of soccer, like rules of the game, key sport-specific vocabulary, and some tactical concepts,” Ettl says. “I used images and video to help bring it to life, since our opportunities to physically experience everything would be delayed. I really just had to commit to a couple of ways of trying to make it work. I had to learn to trust myself and my students that once it all started, we could make it meaningful by communicating with one another and being flexible.”

Once classes were back in person, Ettl adapted his soccer and basketball courses to be COVID-friendly by adding pool noodles into game play situations. He came up with the idea based on a Buzzfeed article about a restaurant that encouraged social distancing by having guests wear hats with pool noodles sticking out from all sides.

Butler physical education class, playing basketball with pool noodlesEttl remembers thinking, “You know what? I can’t make a bunch of pool noodle hats, but I can order a bunch of pool noodles, and we’ll figure out how to use that.”

The pool noodles were used to keep the students six feet apart from one another. In soccer, they were also used to knock at the ball on defense instead of putting one’s body in the way of the shot or pass.

Ettl says carrying the noodles did make the game awkward and changed how the class experienced soccer. However, there were positives. Students had to think more about space, which helped them improve their skills, including being more accurate with passing or creating more space in order to receive a pass without it getting deflected by a noodle.

Adaptations also had to be made when the class went indoors for basketball. The noodles were used to knock at passes or shots, and to box out or screen other players from a distance. To remove the need for close proximity to other players, Ettl also made basketball a possessions-based game. Teams were given five possessions, and scoring was based on how many points they could get in their allotted possessions. This eliminated the need for rebounding and the physical contact that inherently happens after someone shoots.

“It's not an ideal or a traditional way of experiencing basketball,” Ettl says, “but since the noodles are so large in a small space, it made people more aware of certain aspects of skills like dribbling and passing. I also saw students having to make quick decisions to shoot when they were open, since the long noodles helped defenders close down the space to shoot faster.  I liked that this encouraged students to not only keep the ball moving with quick passes, but also to shoot without hesitating. There were some interesting opportunities to learn by having that added challenge.”

Butler University physical education class, playing soccer with pool noodles
Experiential Learning

Pool Noodles Provide Social Distancing Guide for Physical Education Classes

COE’s Dr. Fritz Ettl found ways to keep teaching hands-on, sport-specific skills this fall

Dec 08 2020 Read more
Esports Camps
Student-Centered

Nerd Street Gamers Partners with Butler University to Host Virtual Esports Winter Camps

BY

PUBLISHED ON Dec 07 2020

PHILADELPHIA & INDIANAPOLIS (December 7, 2020)—Nerd Street Gamers, the national network of esports facilities and events dedicated to powering competitive opportunities for gamers, and Butler University have partnered to host virtual esports winter camps. With sessions from December 14 through January 8, Camp Localhost gives gamers ages 10-18 the opportunity to participate in a week-long online esports camp focusing on a variety of video games, including Overwatch, Rocket League, and Fortnite. These boot camps will be held through Discord, where campers will be virtually overseen by a coach, who will run games, drills, and matches throughout the duration of the week.

Camp Localhost coaches will provide a structured environment for participants to learn about the fundamentals of competitive gaming, map and game strategy, team dynamics, and effective communication skills. In addition to improving their gaming abilities, campers will take away various skills throughout the sessions that they can apply to other aspects of their lives, including teamwork, communication, and the ability to stay calm under pressure. Nerd Street Gamers is providing the logistics for the clinics, including professional instructors and camp programming. Butler Esports will also provide coaches, along with communications and recruitment of players.

“After a successful series of summer camps with Butler University, we are thrilled to continue our partnership with them into the winter,” said Nerd Street Gamers CEO and Founder John Fazio. “In an ever-changing environment, we are proud to offer safe and competitive virtual opportunities for amatuer gamers. Our partnership with Butler University allows us to engage and connect aspiring players in an online esports camp, while fostering relationships with a prominent collegiate esports league.”

Since 2017, Butler University’s Butler Esports group has been competing in intercollegiate esports, including in the BIG EAST Conference. Its administration brings this experience to Camp Localhost to empower students to truly become ingrained in the games. Every session will allow campers to scrimmage, practice their skills, and then evaluate their performance with structured, individualized feedback from instructors. The camps will also include daily seminars from industry experts, professional players, and more.

“Esports continue to thrive during the pandemic,” said Butler University’s Director of Esports and Gaming Technology Eric Kammeyer. “This partnership with Nerd Street Gamers allows us to integrate coaching and mentorship opportunities from our passionate collegiate esports players while fostering the next generation of gamers who are aspiring to play at the next level. We are excited to build on the foundations created during the esports camps this past summer to deliver an elevated experience for the participants.”

 

When:

  • December 14–18, 2020: Rocket League, Ages 15-18
  • December 14–18, 2020: Fortnite, Ages 10-14
  • January 4–8, 2021: Overwatch, Ages 15-18
  • January 4–8, 2021: Fortnite, Ages 10-14

 

Cost: $60

 

To register for Camp Localhost presented by Butler Esports, visit nerdstgamers.com/butler.

 

About Nerd Street Gamers
Nerd Street Gamers is a national network of esports facilities and events dedicated to powering competitive opportunities for gamers. The company promotes greater access to the esports industry, laying a national framework for esports talent development and high-quality gaming tournaments. NSG has received backing from Five Below, Comcast, SeventySix Capital, Elevate Ventures, and angel investor George Miller.

For more information, follow @nerdstgamers on Twitter or visit nerdstgamers.com.

About Butler University
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 U.S. News & World Report Best Colleges Rankings, in addition to being included in The Princeton Review’s annual “best colleges” guidebook.

Esports Camps
Student-Centered

Nerd Street Gamers Partners with Butler University to Host Virtual Esports Winter Camps

Week-long camps will be held online from December 14 through January 8

Dec 07 2020 Read more
Butler University MBA students learn about whiskey business (stock image)
Experiential Learning

“From Grain to Glass to COVID-19”: MBA Class to Publish Case Study on Whiskey Business

BY Katie Grieze

PUBLISHED ON Nov 23 2020

During the spring 2020 semester, a class in Butler University’s Master of Business Administration (MBA) program partnered with a local distillery to learn about the downstream supply chain—the process by which a product makes its way from production to consumers. After studying for themselves how the distillery’s Indiana-sourced whiskey is typically sold through restaurants, tasting rooms, or grocery store shelves, the class would write a case study to teach what they had learned to future business students.

They had just finished the second draft when the COVID-19 pandemic hit.

“Instead of teaching from a textbook about what the challenges are in distribution, I wanted students to have a grasp of what a real company actually goes through,” says Dr. Jane Siegler, Assistant Professor of Operations. “When the pandemic hit, we didn’t just ignore that and focus on what would happen in normal circumstances. No—this is a small business that is trying to find its way in the market, with all the normal challenges that a small company faces, but now there is this global pandemic. What do you do?”

Shutdowns affected restaurants and other distribution outlets across the hospitality industry, and the distillery’s on-site tasting room had to close its doors. So, while continuing to learn about the company (who asked to remain anonymous for the case study), the MBA students helped the distillery identify new opportunities for getting its products to customers.

Dr. Siegler says she often likes to partner with real companies for her classes, which not only provides an experiential learning opportunity for students, but also offers a range of fresh perspectives for the business.

“When we have all these smart minds working together in class,” she says, “chances are that we will see things that the company may have missed. We are offering high-quality consulting projects at low or no cost to the companies. It’s a way to benefit the companies, the regional economy, and the students.”

The students’ key recommendation for the distillery was to place more focus on direct-to-consumer sales. Without the need to pay distributors, these channels would be more profitable, as well as help the relatively young company continue building relationships and growing its brand. After the pandemic hit, the distillery opened a carryout bottle shop that replaced their tasting room as a way to engage directly with consumers.

The case study, which has now been accepted for publication in the International Journal of Teaching and Case Studies (IJTCS), also identified opportunities for the distillery to attract customers by highlighting stories about how its whiskey is sourced and produced entirely in Indiana (a state not known for making bourbon). The company could produce videos profiling local corn farmers, or showing the whole production process from seed, to grain, to glass, the students suggested. That all-Indiana ingredient sourcing was the main thing that caught Dr. Siegler’s attention, and chances are it would appeal to customers, too.

“The entire supply chain from the farmers all the way to packaging is made up of Indiana companies,” Dr. Siegler says. “I thought that was pretty interesting from a supply chain perspective, especially when you think about how we are a very global society. But this company points to their supply chain strategy as one of the key components to their success.”

Angie Bidlack, one of the four MBA students involved with the case study, says the onset of COVID-19 didn’t derail what they had started working on. It just added a new dimension.

“There are always unknowns in a case study,” she says, “but then we had this challenge of thinking through the immediate future during COVID, as well as the future post-COVID. We could compare how things changed before and after the pandemic.”

For example, when the class first toured the distillery at the beginning of the semester, the company had plans to take their brand national by partnering with some of the largest grocery retail outlets in the United States. The pandemic brought those plans to a crawl, but the class helped think through other ways the distillery could keep growing.

“Even with the pandemic, the company was doing great things,” Bidlack says. “They found a way to make challenges into opportunities and didn’t continue going with their normal business plan. They were very agile, and they immediately pivoted to something that allowed them to thrive. And that is something I think everybody can take and apply to their career in some way.”

 

Media Contact:
Katie Grieze
News Content Manager
kgrieze@butler.edu
260-307-3403  

Butler University MBA students learn about whiskey business (stock image)
Experiential Learning

“From Grain to Glass to COVID-19”: MBA Class to Publish Case Study on Whiskey Business

The Butler MBA class led by Dr. Jane Siegler partnered with a local distillery to help find solutions to new challenges 

Nov 23 2020 Read more

Butler Media Relations

Whether you’re looking to promote a new initiative, your research, an event, or preparing for an interview with national media, Butler Media Relations is here to help. We’ll work with you to focus your message, and get the word out.

 

Media inquiries and questions about Butler Today should be directed to Katie Grieze at kgrieze@butler.edu or 317-940-9742.

 

Experts

EXPERTS

Jennifer Snyder

Professor, Physician Assistant Program

Dr. Snyder graduated from the Butler University physician assistant program in 1997 and earned a PhD in Health Sciences from Nova Southeastern University in 2014.  She has worked in both Family and Emergency Medicine as a physician assistant.  She is a tenured professor and serves as chair of the department /PA Program Director.  She  has served within the program as both the Academic Coordinator and a Clinical Coordinator.  She has served as a University Faculty Senator and on the College and University Professional Standards Committees while at Butler University.

Dr. Snyder has been active in the national professional organizations of the PA profession. She currently serves as the Immediate Past President of the Physician Assistant Education Association (PAEA).  She has served as a site visitor for the Accreditation Review Commission on Education of the Physician Assistant.  Dr. Snyder has served as chair of the Public Relations Committee of the American Academy of Physician Assistants (AAPA).  She has served on several Reference Committees and the Standing Rules Committee within the House of Delegates, AAPA.  In addition, she has served on numerous other committees and workgroups in both the PAEA and AAPA.

She has remained active as a member with her state physician assistant organization. In the past, Dr. Snyder was elected to positions within the Indiana Academy of Physician Assistants (IAPA) as President, Secretary and on numerous occasions as a Delegate to the AAPA House of Delegates.  Dr. Snyder was awarded the President’s Award in 2011 by the Student Academy of American Academy of Physician Assistants. She is a Distinguished Fellow Member of the AAPA. 

She has presented and published several articles on clinical, professional and research topics associated with the PA profession and education.

Jennifer Snyder

Jennifer Snyder

Professor, Physician Assistant Program

Terri Jett

Associate Professor, Political Science

Dr. Terri Jett is an Associate Professor of Political Science and Special Assistant to the Provost for Diversity and Inclusivity. Dr. Jett is also an affiliate faculty member of the Gender, Women & Sexuality Studies Program. She teaches courses on U.S. politics with a focus on the experiences of AfricanAmericans and other ethnic minorities such as Black Political Thought and The Politics of Alice Walker. Her research focus is on the post-Civil Rights Movement experiences of African Americans in rural communities in the southern U.S. and she is currently writing on the recent settlements of Black, Native American, Women and Latino farmers against the United States Department of Agriculture for discrimination. Dr. Jett has a B.A. in Ethnic Studies and a Masters in Public Administration from California State University, Hayward (now East Bay) and a Ph.D. in Public Policy and Public Administration from Auburn University. She is President of the Board of the American Civil Liberties Union of Indiana and serves on the Indiana Debate Commission.

Terri Jett

Terri Jett

Dr. Terri Jett is an Associate Professor of Political Science and Special Assistant to the Provost for Diversity and Inclusivity.

Terri Jett

Terri Jett

Associate Professor, Political Science

Fait Muedini

Associate Professor, International Studies

Fait Muedini is the Frances Shera Fessler Associate Professor of International Studies. He is also a Fellow at the Desmond Tutu Center for Peace, Reconciliation, and Global Justice .

He holds a Ph.D. in Political Science from the University at Buffalo, SUNY, a M.A. in International Affairs from the American University School of International Service, and a B.A. in Political Science from Wayne State University, in Detroit, Michigan.

His teaching and research interests are centered primarily on issues of human rights, Islam and politics, and the politics of the Middle East and North Africa.

Fait Muedini

Fait Muedini

Associate Professor, International Studies

Craig Caldwell

Associate Professor, Lacy School of Business

Dr. Caldwell works with organizations to develop strategic direction, link implementation steps to strategy, identify organizational culture, and develop processes to bring about organizational change. Since 2007, Craig has served as an Associate Professor of Management in the Lacy School of Business at ButlerUniversity.   He is currently the Associate Dean of Graduate & Professional Programs.  He teaches MBA and undergraduate courses in Strategy, Leadership, and Organizational Change. Craig has won six teaching awards and two advising awards.  He is the Chair of Graduate Council and his past roles include the Faculty Annual Evaluation Committee and Department Chair for Marketing & Management.

Dr. Caldwell’s consulting and executive education activities focus on strategy development, leadership, and organizational change. He has worked with client firms in logistics, manufacturing, food service, life-sciences and architecture. In addition to strategy development, Craig's leadership works includes human capital strategy, employee engagement, and building high-performance teams.

Craig has a leadership book being released in February of 2018 titled, "The Catalyst Effect" that talks about how you can lead from anywhere in an organization.  Craig’s other research includes academic articles in Business and Society, Journal of Leadership & Organizational Studies, The Monitor, Business and Society Review, Management Accounting Quarterly, and Journal of Corporate Citizenship. 

Craig holds a Doctorate from the University of Pittsburgh, an MBA from Virginia Tech,and a BA from Anderson University. 

Craig Caldwell

Craig Caldwell

Associate Professor, Lacy School of Business