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Inside Butler: An On-Campus Update

BY

PUBLISHED ON Sep 25 2020

 

“Homecoming is a time to celebrate our Butler pride, and while it’s been a difficult year in so many ways, we certainly still have many reasons to celebrate,” said President James Danko during a virtual event for the Butler University community on Friday afternoon.

Inside Butler: An On-Campus Update kicked off a weekend of online festivities for AT HOMEcoming 2020. The event provided an inside look at life on campus this semester, including updates from President Danko and other University leaders on how Butler has adapted and continues to provide an excellent educational experience despite COVID-19 restrictions.

“I do want to commend our students, faculty, and staff for their remarkable resilience and the flexibility they have demonstrated this year,” President Danko said. “We can all be extremely proud of the way this community has come together and exhibited the true nature of The Butler Way through acts of caring, sacrifice, and generosity. I also want to extend my deep appreciation for our alumni, trustees, donors, and friends. Your loyalty, leadership, and concern for the well-being of our students has been a source of great stability and strength for Butler this year.”

The community also heard from Dr. Terri Jett, Professor of Political Science and Butler’s Special Assistant to the Provost for Diversity and Inclusivity, who was recently appointed Faculty Director of the Butler University Hub for Black Affairs and Community Engagement.

“My work will coordinate and address the belonging and connection of our Black faculty, staff, students, and alumni,” Dr. Jett said of the new role, “in a manner that moves us to bring Ovid Butler’s prophetic vision into the present day.”

Dr. Jett provided updates on Butler’s efforts to eliminate racism on campus and create a welcoming environment for all, including the recent addition of a Social Justice and Diversity requirement for students, as well as ongoing faculty and staff workshops focused on diversity, equity, and inclusion.

Dr. Frank E. Ross III, Vice President for Student Affairs, shared how Butler has continued to engage students outside the classroom this semester. Many activities have adapted, moving either online or outdoors. Student support centers across campus, such as the Center for Faith and Vocation, the Diversity Center, and Health Services, have also worked hard to continue providing important resources.

“This semester is certainly unlike any other semester we have seen at Butler, and navigating the uncertainties of the pandemic has been quite a challenge,” Dr. Ross said. “I want to applaud our students, our faculty, and our staff for their resilience and agility in working together toward our goal of having a successful in-person fall semester.”

Butler Basketball fans who tuned in got to hear from Athletics Director Barry Collier ’76 that, as of now, the winter season is on. The men’s basketball season is scheduled to begin November 25.

Jonathan Purvis, Vice President of Advancement, thanked donors for their tremendous support over the last year, including $100,000 in emergency relief for Butler students hit hardest by the financial impact of COVID-19. He also announced that the University has exceeded $185 million in gifts toward Butler Beyond’s $250 million campaign goal.

“With your ongoing generosity,” Purvis said, “I’m confident that we’ll exceed this goal and continue to push Butler beyond the limits of today and into the future that our alumni, students, and faculty are creating.”

President Danko wrapped up the event by recognizing the recipients of Butler’s 2020 Alumni Awards, which honor individuals who have demonstrated extraordinary professional achievement and service to the University and their communities.

Inside Butler
Campus

Inside Butler: An On-Campus Update

The pandemic isn’t stopping Bulldogs from celebrating Butler during AT HOMEcoming 2020

Sep 25 2020 Read more
Butler University
Campus

Butler Presents Annual Alumni Awards, Recognizing Service to the University

BY Larry Clow

PUBLISHED ON Sep 23 2020

Seven Butler University alumni, one professor emeritus, and a former Trustee and his spouse are the recipients of Butler’s annual Alumni Awards. These individuals have demonstrated extraordinary professional achievement and service to the University and their communities. Honorees will be recognized this year online at butler.edu/homecoming as part of Butler’s AT HOMEcoming 2020 festivities, beginning on Friday, September 25. An in-person recognition program is slated for 2021.

This year’s recipients are:

  • Butler Medal: Thomas A. King ’66 
  • Butler Service Medal: James W. Berry
  • Robert Todd Duncan Alumni Achievement Award: Wendi C. Thomas ’93
  • Katharine Merrill Graydon Alumni Service Award: Mary Majewski Shaw ’93 
  • Hilton Ultimus Brown Alumni Achievement Award: Brandon M. Gaudin ’06 
  • Joseph Irwin Sweeney Alumni Service Award: Michael R. Bennett ’09
  • Mortar Award: Albert and Margaret Chen
  • Foundation Award: Scott ’03 and Katie Nichols ’05 

 

Butler Medal: Thomas A. King ’66 

Thomas A. King ’66 has been active in nonprofit management, community development, and philanthropy in Indiana throughout a wide-ranging career that has spanned more than five decades.

Following his graduation from Butler in 1966, King worked as a newspaper reporter for The Indianapolis Star and then joined the United States Air Force during the Vietnam War. After four years as an Air Force officer, King returned to Indianapolis, where he held a variety of positions at the Indianapolis Chamber of Commerce. He served as the Chamber’s president from 1979 to 1991. During his tenure as president, King led the Chamber’s study of Indianapolis’ infrastructure, which set the course for capital improvements during the next 20 years. He was also involved in building the Hoosier Dome and bringing the Colts to the city.

King later served as president of the Eli Lilly and Company Foundation, where he directed the company’s philanthropic strategies and managed global corporate responsibility practices. He shared his expertise with students at Butler and Indiana University—Purdue University Indianapolis as an adjunct instructor, teaching nonprofit management, ethics, and leadership courses.

Following his retirement from the Eli Lilly and Company Foundation, King was involved in consulting. He concluded his career as president and CEO of the Indiana State Museum and Historic Sites. He has served in volunteer leadership capacities for several community organizations, including Big Brothers of Central Indiana, Goodwill of Central Indiana, the Indiana Sports Corporation, and the Arthur Jordan Foundation.

King is an emeritus member of Butler’s Board of Trustees, as well as a recipient of the Butler University Outstanding Alumni Award, the 2005 Michael A. Carroll Award from the Indianapolis Business Journal, the 2011 S. Henry Bundles Service Award from the Center for Leadership Development, and the 2015 Charles L. Whistler Award from the Greater Indianapolis Progress Committee, among many others. He is a two-time recipient of the Sagamore of the Wabash.

King and his wife, Verletta, have been married 55 years and have three sons and seven grandchildren. His current interests include Butler basketball, organizational effectiveness, golf, and woodworking.

The Butler Medal is the highest honor conferred by the Butler University Alumni Association. It recognizes individuals for a lifetime of distinguished service to either Butler University or their local community, while at the same time achieving a distinguished career in their chosen profession and attaining a regional—or even a national—reputation. Since 1959, this award has recognized individuals who have helped immeasurably toward perpetuating the University as a great educational and cultural institution and have had a profound influence on the course of Butler University.

 

Butler Service Medal: James W. Berry

Dr. James W. Berry is a Professor Emeritus of Biological Sciences at Butler University. A member of the University’s faculty from 1965 until his retirement in 1997, Berry’s academic career has taken him across the country and around the globe.

Berry received his bachelor’s degree from East Tennessee State University in 1957 and his master’s degree from Virginia Polytechnic Institute and State University in 1958. He went on to Duke University, where he completed his PhD studies in 1965. After a one-year stint teaching Zoology at Butler, Berry received a postdoctoral appointment at the University of Miami and began what would become a 50-year survey of spiders in the Florida Everglades.

In 1967, Berry returned to the Zoology Department at Butler. Along with his duties at the University, he was also hired by the Atomic Energy Commission to investigate the effects of atomic bomb blasts on Pacific Island flora and fauna. He spent two summers in 1968 and 1969 studying spiders on the Pacific atolls Eniwetok and Kwajalein.

He returned to the South Pacific in 1973 during his first sabbatical to continue his study of spiders there. His wife, Betsy, acted as his field assistant as they covered the Mariana and Caroline Islands from Guam to Helen Reef. They returned again in 1980 for Berry’s second sabbatical, this time with daughter Tina in tow, and lived for six months on the Micronesian island of Yap.

In 1988, Berry began work on organizing the first Butler Undergraduate Research Conference. The inaugural conference took place in 1989, with 50 students from colleges across Indiana. During the next three decades, the conference expanded and now hosts more than 750 students representing institutions throughout the Midwest.

Berry completed his survey of spiders in the Everglades in 2009 and submitted his study for publication this year. He is a member of the American Arachnological Society, the International Society of Arachnology, and the Indiana Academy of Science. Berry is a past fellow of the Indiana Academy of Science and a research associate for the Florida State Collection of Arthropods. He received the Special Services Award from the Indiana Academy of Science in 2012.

Since the 1980s, Berry has loaned his family’s antique sleigh out to the Jordan College of the Arts’ production of The Nutcracker. The sleigh is a familiar sight to the Butler community (and, according to Berry, looks “a lot more magical with the Clowes Hall lighting than it does in real life”), and he is proud to have a part in a production that is still enchanting the Indianapolis community.

The Butler Service Medal, established by the Alumni Association in 2001, is the second-highest honor conferred by the Butler University Alumni Association and is reserved for recognition of emeriti faculty or retired faculty and staff (graduate or non-graduate). The recipient will have achieved a lifetime of distinguished service to Butler University and/or the community. Recipients will have helped to shape the past and future successes of Butler and therefore shown a profound influence.

 

Robert Todd Duncan Alumni Achievement Award: Wendi C. Thomas ’93

Wendi C. Thomas ’93 is the founding editor and publisher of MLK50: Justice Through Journalism, a nonprofit newsroom in Memphis focused on poverty, power, and public policy. As part of ProPublica’s 2019 Local Reporting Network, she investigated a nonprofit hospital’s aggressive debt collection practices, which led the hospital to erase at least $11.9 million in hospital debt for more than 5,300 defendants. She is also a member of ProPublica’s 2020 Local Reporting Network.

Previously, she was metro columnist and assistant managing editor at The (Memphis) Commercial Appeal. She has also worked for The Charlotte Observer, The (Nashville) Tennessean and The Indianapolis Star. Thomas was a 2016 fellow at the Nieman Foundation for Journalism at Harvard University.

Thomas is the 2020 Selden Ring Award winner for investigative reporting and won first place in the Association of Health Care Journalists’ 2019 awards for business reporting. Her “Profiting from the Poor” investigation tied for first place in the Investigative Reporters & Editors 2019 awards.

In 2019, Thomas received the National Association of Black Journalists’ Best Practices award. In 2018, she was named Journalist of the Year by Journalism and Women Symposium. She was inducted into the Scripps Hall of Fame for commentary in 2008. She is a graduate of Butler University and a proud product of public schools.

The Robert Todd Duncan Award recognizes a graduate who is established in their career, and whose personal and/or professional accomplishment brings honor and distinction to the University, and individual attainment and/or contributions for the betterment of society. This award honors the spirit and accomplishments of Robert Duncan, a 1925 graduate, noted opera singer, and educator who in 1945, became the first African American to sing with a major white opera company, the New York City Opera Company.

 

Katharine Merrill Graydon Alumni Service Award: Mary Majewski Shaw ’93 

Mary Majewski Shaw ’93 attended Butler University on a full basketball scholarship and graduated with high honors in Business Marketing. Elected captain for three out of four years on the team, Shaw started every game and was the first player in Butler Women’s Basketball history to lead the Bulldogs in assists per game for four consecutive seasons. She achieved a number of milestones during her basketball career at Butler, including 332 career steals (the second-highest total in Butler and Horizon League history), the all-time record for minutes played, and being part of the top-10 players on Butler’s all-time list for three-point field goal shooting. She was inducted into Butler’s Hall of Fame in 2006 in recognition of her achievements. 

Shaw started her business, Your Image Works (YIW), in 1998. The only NCAA internal licensee owned by a woman, YIW counts among its clients OrthoIndy, Indiana University, Butler, and the NCAA. She credits her years as a student athlete with helping her serve her clients. In 2015, she established AP Property, a property management business.

She is a familiar face to Butler alumni in Central Indiana. Shaw served as a volunteer steering committee member for the Central Indiana Butler Community from 2010 to 2020, with seven of those years as vice president. She was a vital player in developing the annual Bulldog Crawl. She was also a member of the B Association for 12 years. During the last year, she joined Butler’s Board of Visitors and serves as an advisor to the Butler Giving Circle. She is also a board member for Aspire House Brand.

Shaw believes in Butler and calls herself a “huge cheerleader” for the University and its students. In 2017, she supported Butler Volleyball’s travels to Brazil, and she often hosts the women’s volleyball and basketball teams at her home. She also enjoys mentoring local high school seniors and connecting them with Butler professors.

The Katharine Merrill Graydon Alumni Service Award recognizes a graduate who is established in their career, and who has displayed and recognizes a long-term commitment of outstanding service to the University. The recipients of this award have provided demonstrable service to the University to assist in perpetuating Butler as a great educational and cultural institution. This award honors the memory of Katharine Graydon, who graduated from Butler in 1878 and was a Professor of English Literature at the University from 1907 to 1930, receiving an honorary doctorate of literature in 1928. Graydon served as the Alumni Secretary and Editor of the Alumnal Quarterly from its first edition in 1922 until her retirement in 1929, when she was named Professor Emerita.

 

Hilton Ultimus Brown Alumni Achievement Award: Brandon M. Gaudin ’06 

Brandon Gaudin ’06 is a play-by-play announcer for multiple national platforms. He broadcasts NFL football, college football, and college basketball for FOX Sports and the Big Ten Network. He also calls men’s NCAA basketball for the Westwood One radio network.

Gaudin is also the play-by-play voice for Madden NFL by EA Sports and has been featured as the lead voice on a number of national ad campaigns. His three seasons as the play-by-play voice for the Georgia Tech Yellow Jackets earned him features in The New York Times, USA Today, and SportsIllustrated.com.

However, Gaudin is best known to Bulldogs as the play-by-play voice for Butler Basketball and was on the call for the Bulldogs’ trip to the Final Four in 2011. During his years at Butler, he was named Most Outstanding Communications Student and one of the top-10 male students in his graduating class. He is currently a member of the College of Communication’s Dean’s Advisory Board.

The Hilton Ultimus Brown Alumni Achievement Award honors a recent graduate whose personal and/or professional accomplishment brings honor and distinction to the University, and individual attainment and/or contributions for the betterment of society. Hilton U. Brown gave a lifetime of service to his career and Butler University, including serving on the Board of Trustees for 71 years. He was an award-winning newspaper journalist and Managing Editor at the Indianapolis News for more than seven decades.

 

Joseph Irwin Sweeney Alumni Service Award: Michael R. Bennett ’09

Michael R. Bennett ’09 is a director and investment counselor covering the east coast region for Citi Private Bank. Bennett works with ultra-high net worth individuals, family offices and endowments, and foundations to provide strategies for asset allocation, investment objectives, and risk management.

Before joining Citi, Bennett worked at J.P. Morgan Private Bank for 10 years. A part of the Private Bank Opportunistic Investment Council and an analyst, he ended his time at J.P. Morgan as an executive director and investment specialist.

Bennett received a Bachelor’s Degree in Finance from Butler in 2009. He played an integral part in the development and execution of Butler's New York Trek program, which provides current students a glimpse at working on Wall Street. A CFA charter-holder, he is also a board member of the D10 Decathlon and serves as the New York City board chair for Good Sports. He lives in New York City.

The Joseph Irwin Sweeney Alumni Service Award recognizes a recent alumnus who has demonstrated a significant commitment of outstanding service to the University. The award’s recipients have provided demonstrable service to the University to assist in perpetuating Butler as a great educational and cultural institution. The award honors the spirit and example of Joseph Sweeney, a young student with a great deal of potential, whose life was tragically cut short.

 

Mortar Award: Albert and Margaret Chen

Albert and Margaret Chen are the cofounders of the Telamon Corporation, headquartered in Carmel, Indiana. Founded in 1985 and named for the Greek word for “support,” Telamon has grown to a $770 million company with more than 2,000 employees. Albert is also the owner of Telamon Enterprise Ventures, LLC, which provides energy management, solar solutions, and smart manufacturing. 

During their first 20 years in business, Albert focused on external marketing and strategic planning while Margaret managed the company’s operations. They have been widely recognized for their success in business and have received several awards, including the Cummins US Diverse Supplier Award in 2014 and the Best of Tech in Indiana: Corporate Innovator of the Year award in 2016. Most recently, Telamon Corporation was named one of the best-managed private companies in the U.S.

In 2016, Margaret retired to focus on her grandchildren and faith-based activities. Albert currently oversees Telamon Enterprise Ventures and is Executive Chairman of Telamon Corporation. They are both actively involved in community service. Margaret is a former board member of the Indianapolis Symphony Orchestra. Albert is a former member of Butler University’s Board of Trustees and currently serves on the board of the Lingnan Foundation.

The Chens also are actively involved with their church and homeless outreach efforts. They enjoy giving generously to endowed scholarship funds at Indiana University, Purdue University, and Portland State University.

Albert is a graduate of the Executive Minority Business Program at Tuck School of Business, and he received an M.S. in Mathematical Sciences from Portland State University, as well as an LL.B. from National Cheng-Chi University in Taiwan. Albert received an honorary doctoral degree from his alma mater, Portland State University, in June 2017. Margaret received a B.A. in Piano Performance from Portland State University. 

The Mortar Award, created in 1995, honors one person or couple each year who personifies the Butler spirit by demonstrating great vision, leadership, and generosity to Butler University.

 

Foundation Award: Scott ’03 and Katie Nichols ’05 

Scott Nichols ’03 is president of Palmer Trucks, a Kenworth Dealership Group with 12 stores throughout the Midwest. He began working in the family business in 2008, and the business is currently celebrating its 55th anniversary.

A 2003 College of Business graduate, Nichols was a four-year Men’s Lacross player and a member of the Sigma Chi fraternity.

Dr. Katherine T. Nichols ’06 was born and raised in Terre Haute, Indiana. She received her undergraduate degree in Biology at Butler in 2006 and went on to attend the Indiana University School of Dentistry. She graduated with honors in 2010 and completed her residency program in pediatric dentistry at Riley Hospital for Children at IU Health.

Known to her patients as “Dr. Katie,” she specializes in dental care for infants, children, adolescents, and patients with special healthcare needs. She is an active member of the American Academy of Pediatric Dentistry, the American Dental Association, and the Indiana Society of Pediatric Dentistry. A Diplomate of the American Board of Pediatric Dentistry, Dr. Nichols maintains hospital privileges at St. Vincent’s Carmel Hospital and IU North Hospital.

The Nichols were married in 2008. They are members of Meridian Street United Methodist Church, the Indianapolis Children’s Museum, and the Ovid Butler Society. They are the proud parents of four children—Nolan, Knox, and twins Collin and Nora—and enjoy family bike rides, playing in the park, and cheering on the Butler Bulldogs.

“Butler University has played an integral role in shaping our lives, our businesses, our marriage, and our community outreach,” says Katie. “Our time spent at Butler shaped our view of The Butler Way and what it means to give back to an institution and programs that gave so much to you.”

The Foundation Award, created in 2011, honors one person or couple (age 40 and younger) each year who personifies the Butler spirit by demonstrating leadership and generosity to Butler University.

 

Please join us for Inside Butler: An On-Campus Update on Friday, September 25, at 3:30 PM EST, where we will be honoring the recipients of the Alumni Awards.

Butler University
Campus

Butler Presents Annual Alumni Awards, Recognizing Service to the University

This year's honorees will be recognized online as part of Butler’s AT HOMEcoming 2020 festivities

Sep 23 2020 Read more
Lewellyn research
Innovation

Fruit Flies Could Help Scientists Understand Human Fertility

BY Katie Grieze

PUBLISHED ON Sep 22 2020

Even though about one in 10 individuals experience problems with fertility, the cause of infertility is often unknown. At Butler University, Lindsay Lewellyn is trying to change that.

The Associate Professor of Biological Sciences has received a grant from the National Institutes of Health (NIH) totaling $413,086 over the next three years. Her research aims to learn more about how reproductive cells are normally formed, which she hopes will lead to a better understanding of how defects in their development can cause infertility.

Lewellyn, with the help of several undergraduate student-researchers, is focusing on structures called intercellular bridges. These structures aid in the formation of egg and sperm cells by connecting developing germ cells with other germ cells, or with supporting “nurse” cells. Intercellular bridges allow nutrients, proteins, and other essential materials to be shared between neighboring cells, and defects in these structures can affect development in ways that negatively impact fertility.

Using the female fruit fly as a model organism, Lewellyn’s project examines a handful of proteins involved in the development of intercellular bridges to better understand how these structures are formed and how they are able to stably connect cells during periods of significant growth. Lewellyn has already characterized four proteins she believes play a role in this process. Now, by altering the levels and localization of these proteins, she’s trying to figure out how they could work together.

“If we are able to characterize the specific roles of these proteins in the fruit fly, it’s possible that those same proteins contribute to intercellular bridge formation and stability in humans,” Lewellyn says, explaining how this research could impact our understanding of human fertility. “What’s really nice about using the fruit fly as a model is that in the developing fruit fly egg, these intercellular bridges are relatively large and easy to see.”

But of course they’re still small—only about 10 micrometers wide at most—so Lewellyn says the research team spends a lot of time at microscopes. After extracting the fly ovaries, researchers add stains and use fluorescence microscopes to help them see the proteins they’re looking for.

In offering opportunities for students to join her research lab, Lewellyn hopes to provide valuable experience in these and other common lab techniques. But she says this kind of research also teaches transferable skills that can be applied outside the lab, including critical thinking and communication.

Lindsay Lewellyn, along with student-researchers Josephine Thestrup, Kara Stark, and Umy Shaikh, attended a research conference in Washington, DC last year. 

For Umy Shaikh, a senior who has been involved with Lewellyn’s research for more than two years, improving his ability to think critically has been a central part of the experience.

“In addition to all the technical skills—which is definitely huge—I’ve learned to think like a scientist and a researcher,” says Shaikh, who majors in Spanish and minors in Chemistry and Communication. “The mindset and mentality needed for this work has been just as, if not more, important than the actual technical skills. By constantly asking new questions, I’m able to grow in the way I conduct research, and to grow in the way I approach problems.”

Shaikh decided to pursue biological research to help prepare him for medical school, which has been his goal since arriving at Butler. He was drawn to Lewellyn’s lab because of the potential impacts of her research within the field of medicine.

“The big-picture goal of the lab is really to understand the mechanisms that lead to infertility, which is a very pervasive problem in the world,” Shaikh says. “Seeing that that was the cornerstone of her research really spoke to me because I want to effect meaningful change in any way I can.”

 

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

Lewellyn research
Innovation

Fruit Flies Could Help Scientists Understand Human Fertility

Lindsay Lewellyn, Associate Professor of Biological Sciences, has received more than $400,000 from the NIH to study the development of reproductive cells

Sep 22 2020 Read more
BBQ event
Experiential Learning

Chemistry Profs Connect With Alumni Through Food-Based Science Lessons

BY Katie Grieze

PUBLISHED ON Sep 16 2020

On a Saturday evening in July, Amy E. Hyduk-Cardillo ’04 and her husband heated up the ribs they’d smoked a few days earlier, booted up Zoom, and sat down to learn more about their meal.

The Science of BBQ virtual event was just the latest in an ongoing series of similar food-centric alumni gatherings. Butler University Chemistry Professors Mike Samide and Anne Wilson, in partnership with the Office of Alumni Relations and Engagement, have been teaching small groups of alumni about the science behind their favorite foods—think beer, cheese, wine, and chocolate—since 2018.

“These events allow alumni to feel like they are back in class engaging with faculty, learning something new, and talking with one another,” Wilson says.

Each lesson covers the basic history, science, and production process of the featured food item. Hyduk-Cardillo, who attended several of the Science of… events held in-person at local businesses before the start of COVID-19, says virtual events have provided some relief during the pandemic.

“What’s been the silver lining around COVID-19 is the ability to see how organizations and businesses create new events, environments for hosting events, and ways of doing business that have been unique and fun to participate in,” she says. “The virtual Science of BBQ alumni event was a perfect way to spend our otherwise very rainy Saturday evening making new Butler connections.”

Prior to the BBQ event, participants received a video covering basic methods for choosing, prepping, and cooking different kinds of meat. The event itself focused on themes like the difference between grilling and smoking, whether you should use sauce or rub, and tips for achieving the best results. Jeffrey Stroebel ’79 says he plans to use the trick of applying a dry rub beneath the skin when cooking poultry, which directly seasons the meat while taking advantage of flavorful fats that escape the skin as it cooks. Stroebel didn’t have time to buy or prepare a BBQ meal to enjoy during the event, but he’s glad he took part.

“We are more than 2,000 miles away in Bellevue, Washington,” he says, “so it’s nice to be able to stay connected.”

About 100 Butler community members from across the country attended The Science of BBQ. It was the first virtual event of the series, allowing for a bigger audience that extended beyond alumni and also included parents, faculty, staff, and trustees.

Now, Samide and Wilson are getting ready to kick off the AT HOMEcoming 2020 event schedule with a virtual Science of Beer presentation—complete with an at-home tasting experience.

“Food provides an easy way for anyone to connect with science,” Wilson says. “For some reason, food is non-threatening—probably because we handle it every day. And that offers a good entryway into being able to talk about science.”

Space is limited for the 7:00 PM EDT event on September 22, so make sure to register here if you want the inside scoop on at-home brewing.

 

How it all began

When the Butler Department of Chemistry and Biochemistry first introduced short-term study abroad courses in 2015, alumni got jealous. Why weren’t those trips offered back in their college years?

So, Wilson and Samide decided to make it happen. They planned an inaugural Alumni Travel Tour that was scheduled to take place in summer 2020, incorporating topics with mass appeal: beer, wine, cheese, and chocolate. With a variety of European destinations on the itinerary, the curriculum aimed to combine interdisciplinary science with societal and historical perspectives.

To help spread the word about the trip—but also just to engage with alumni in a new way—Wilson and Samide launched the Indianapolis-based Science of… event series. Each of the in-person gatherings involved local businesses: Science of Chocolate with alumnus-owned DeBrand Fine Chocolates, Science of Beer with Metazoa Brewing Co., Science of Cheese with Tulip Tree Creamery, and Science of Wine with Sugar Creek Winery.

Modeled after the Butler classroom experience, the sold-out events all started with about 30 minutes of teaching, followed by discussion and an experiential component (AKA, a food or beverage tasting). Samide says the educational portion is taught in layperson terms, skipping some of the complexities that would be part of a regular science class and focusing more on things like how various chemical compounds make up different flavor profiles, or how growing conditions and aging times affect the taste of wine.

The chemistry professors enjoy providing these opportunities for alumni to connect with faculty and one another, having meaningful conversations while learning something new. While COVID-19 forced the Alumni Travel Tour to be postponed until 2021, virtual versions of the Science of… events have opened doors (or web browser windows) for broader participation.

“Events like these show that the University is not just a degree mill,” Wilson says. “It really is a place where we value learning and conversation. We are living the ideals of a liberal education—that there’s always something you can learn.”

 

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

BBQ event
Experiential Learning

Chemistry Profs Connect With Alumni Through Food-Based Science Lessons

‘The Science of Beer’ on September 22 will be the second virtual offering in a class-like event series focused on meaningful alumni engagement

Sep 16 2020 Read more
Butler University U.S. News Rankings
Campus

Butler Ranked No.1 in Midwest for Third Straight Year by U.S. News & World Report

BY

PUBLISHED ON Sep 14 2020

For the third straight year, Butler University has been named the No. 1 Regional University in the Midwest, according to the 2021 U.S. News & World Report Best Colleges Rankings, released today.

Butler also ranked as the No. 1 Most Innovative School for the sixth consecutive year, and No. 3 for Undergraduate Teaching.

“The 2021 U.S. News & World Report Best Colleges Rankings confirm Butler’s place as one of the region’s most outstanding, innovative institutions for teaching and learning,” says President James Danko. “These rankings reflect the ongoing excellence of our academic programs and exceptional student experience. As we continue to pursue our goal of expanding student access and success through the Butler Beyond strategic direction, we are committed to extending this valuable, quality education to a broader set of learners for the good of our community.”

In addition to its strong position in the Midwest, Butler ranked within the top 30 among nationally ranked schools (such as Elon, Princeton, and Yale Universities) in three key areas identified by U.S. News as critical in providing students with the best possible undergraduate experience: first-year experience (No. 19), senior capstone experience (No. 23), and study abroad opportunities (No. 28).

The U.S. News first-year experience category recognizes schools that have developed ways to help new students feel connected well beyond orientation week, such as Butler’s required First-Year Seminar, which introduces students to the practice of engaging with complex and unfamiliar ideas.

Senior capstone experiences give students nearing the end of their time at college the chance to create a culminating project drawing on what they’ve learned over several years. At Butler, for example, many students collaborate with faculty members on meaningful research, perform recitals, or complete other capstone projects within their academic programs.

The study abroad category highlights universities that allow students to complete a substantial amount of credit hours outside the United States, immersing themselves in new cultures. While the COVID-19 pandemic has limited travel opportunities throughout 2020, Butler normally offers more than 200 study abroad programs across 60 different countries, including several designed and led by Butler faculty.

“Our rankings are reflective of Butler’s commitment to our students," Provost Kate Morris says. "By emphasizing innovation within our curriculum, we provide students with educational experiences that prepare them to adapt to challenges and changes throughout their careers. I am tremendously proud of our faculty and staff for their dedication to student success, both inside and outside of the classroom.”

 

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

Butler University U.S. News Rankings
Campus

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

Sep 14 2020 Read more
Butler University
Campus

Butler’s Response to Racism/Social Injustice

BY

PUBLISHED ON Sep 10 2020

  

Butler University
Campus

Butler’s Response to Racism/Social Injustice

Just as it is our obligation to support our students at this critical moment, we also must support one another, working collaboratively to achieve lasting progress toward our shared Butler mission

Sep 10 2020 Read more
COE sign
Butler Beyond

Honoring A Mother’s Legacy: Donor Gift Supports College of Education Faculty

BY Jennifer Gunnels

PUBLISHED ON Sep 09 2020

As John Steele ’92 approached the 25th anniversary of his mother’s death earlier this summer, he discussed with his wife and father how the family might mark the occasion in a way that would honor her memory.

A lifelong learner and dedicated educator, Shirley Luhn Steele, MS ’82 died of cancer in 1995 at the age of 56. At the time of her death, she was working at The Orchard School as Head of Support Services and pursuing a PhD in neuropsychology at Indiana State University. This year, through a major gift to the College of Education (COE), John Steele established the Shirley Luhn Steele Faculty Support Endowed Fund in honor of his mother’s continuous efforts to further her own education for the benefit of her students. The gift is the first of its kind at Butler to specifically support faculty in the COE.

The fund will support faculty research, leadership development, scholarly engagement opportunities, and other specialized continuing education with a particular focus on supporting faculty in the area of special education and learning disabilities. The $125,000 gift will be matched over the next several years at a 1:1 ratio by John Steele’s employer, Eli Lilly and Company, doubling the impact of the gift.

Shirley Luhn Steele taught for nearly 20 years at The Orchard School, beginning as a teacher’s aide and taking on roles with increasing responsibilities as her own training grew. She earned her master’s degree in Education at Butler in 1982 and later earned a certificate in Special Education in 1991. Steele was especially dedicated to helping students with learning disabilities succeed.

“This was a sad milestone, but a milestone nonetheless. We wanted to find a way to honor her and also meet a need for Butler, which has a special place in my heart as a graduate myself,” John Steele says. “This fund is a good reflection of what my mom did as an educator for students with learning disabilities, continuing her training so she could pass that knowledge on to her students. The stars kind of aligned, and this seemed like the right thing to do at the right time.”

Dr. Brooke Kandel-Cisco, COE Dean, says the fund will support faculty research in the area of Special Education, such as a project on which Dr. Suneeta Kercood and Dr. Kelli Esteves are currently collaborating with faculty who specialize in English as a Second Language. Within the project, Kercood and Esteves are investigating barriers and supports that dual-identified students and their families encounter in special education, English language development, and K-12 inclusive settings, and identifying practices that will promote equity and access in these settings. Kandel-Cisco says research studies such as this one allow faculty to collect pilot data, which enhances their ability to secure large federally funded grants to support research programs.

“Faculty support funds such as the Shirley Luhn Steele Faculty Support Fund are so important because they enhance faculty excellence and innovation in teaching, research, and curriculum development, which in turn has a positive impact on students and practitioners,” Kandel-Cisco says.

Along with research support, other possible uses for the fund include support for Butler’s community partnership with Special Olympics of Indiana, which involves COE undergraduate and graduate students and aims to increase inclusion efforts on campus, international opportunities that allow faculty to learn about and conduct research on special education practices from around the world, and engagement and leadership development connected to faculty involvement with professional associations focusing on Special Education, such as the Council for Exceptional Children.

The fund will also provide support for COE faculty to offer professional development and instructional coaching for local K-12 educators working with students with special learning needs. Thanks to the Steele fund, this training can be provided at little or no cost for schools with limited resources.

John Steele is proud the fund will bear the name of a woman he says embodied all the qualities of a great educator. Even while battling multiple myeloma, Shirley Luhn Steele continued to show up for her students in spite of her pain.

“I can’t think of a better role model in terms of a person of strong faith, humility, and just hard work and perseverance,” Steele says. “She came from very poor beginnings, and was the first person in her family to go to college. Through her own educational efforts and determination to continue improving herself, she influenced many lives with her dedication to her students.”

Innovations in Teaching and Learning is one of the pillars of the Butler Beyond $250 million comprehensive fundraising campaign. The University aims to raise $20 million in new funding for faculty through endowed faculty positions and funds like the Shirley Luhn Steele Faculty Support Endowed Fund, which will help Butler to attract and retain the nation’s top scholars.

“The Shirley Luhn Steele Faculty Support Endowed Fund is a tremendous gift to the COE faculty, the Butler students they teach, and the thousands of children our COE graduates will educate in their classrooms throughout their careers,” says Kathryn Morris, Provost and Vice President for Academic Affairs. “Investing in the excellence of our faculty will have ripple effects well beyond our imagination.”

 

Innovations in Teaching and Learning
One of the distinguishing features of a Butler education has always been the meaningful and enduring relationships between our faculty and students. Gifts to this pillar during the Butler Beyond comprehensive fundraising campaign will accelerate our commitment to investing in faculty excellence by adding endowed positions, supporting faculty scholarship and research, renovating and expanding state-of-the-art teaching facilities, and more. Learn more, make a gift, and read other stories like this one at beyond.butler.edu.

 

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

COE sign
Butler Beyond

Honoring A Mother’s Legacy: Donor Gift Supports College of Education Faculty

The Shirley Luhn Steele Faculty Support Endowed Fund is the first of its kind at Butler to specifically support faculty in the COE

Sep 09 2020 Read more
Campus

Convocation 2020 Highlights

BY

PUBLISHED ON Sep 08 2020

 

 

Our fall semester kicked off virtually on August 24, but as we now start in-person classes, this week is full of first experiences for many in the Butler community.

We recently held a virtual convocation event for our first-year students and their families. Convocation recognizes the moment in which new students officially become members of the Butler community. This ceremony also marks the start of a new academic year and celebrates the incoming class.

With that in mind, we invite you to view this shortened version of the 2020 Convocation Ceremony to mark the occasion of this first week of in-person classes for the fall semester.

Campus

Convocation 2020 Highlights

We recently held virtual convocation for our first-year students and their families, marking the start of a new academic year and celebrating the incoming class

Sep 08 2020 Read more
cancer research at Butler University
Innovation

Butler Pharmacy Prof Receives $1.39M NIH Grant to Support Cancer Research

BY Katie Grieze

PUBLISHED ON Sep 03 2020

Over the next five years, Dr. Chioniso Patience Masamha will be studying the ways cancer cells multiply. The Butler University Assistant Professor of Pharmaceutical Sciences, who received a grant for $1,394,125 from the National Institutes of Health (NIH), hopes this project will lead to more effective strategies for detecting and treating the disease.

Cancer works by hijacking normal processes within the body, taking advantage of existing functions to cause the excessive multiplication of cells. Some of the same structures that allow our bodies to survive can be mutated in life-threatening ways. Normal, healthy genes that have the potential to become cancerous are called oncogenes.

Cyclin D1, the oncogene Dr. Masamha is focusing on for this research, normally plays an important role in driving cell progression and multiplication. In healthy cells, cyclin D1 only “turns on” when it is needed—such as when the body has been injured and needs to heal itself—then “turns off” when it is no longer needed.

When cancer hijacks this gene, it essentially removes the off switch. The cyclin D1 goes into overdrive, causing cells to continue dividing and growing uncontrollably. Abnormal cyclin D1  expression is common across several types of cancers, including pancreatic cancer, breast cancer, melanoma, and endometrial cancer, among others.

“When cyclin D1 is normally expressed in cells,” Dr. Masamha explains, “it is usually degraded within 30 minutes. However, in cancer cells, cyclin D1 can survive for up to eight hours without being degraded.”

We know this happens, but we don’t know how. So Dr. Masamha’s research studies the specific sequences of cyclin D1 expressed in cancer cells, as well as the proteins involved in processing cyclin D1, to try to understand the mechanisms that lead to the oncogene’s abnormal overexpression.

Dr. Masamha will look specifically at cyclin D1’s relationship to a type of lethal blood cancer called Mantle Cell Lymphoma (MCL). Why MCL? This type of cancer originates in the B-cell, a white blood cell that creates antibodies. In healthy B-cells, cyclin D1 is never actually active at all. But in cancerous B-cells, not only is the cyclin D1 active, it’s overactive—leading to the aggressive growth of cancer cells. This is associated with reduced survival in MCL patients.

Dr. Masamha believes the mechanisms that cause cancerous B-cells to activate their otherwise-dormant cyclin D1 could be the same mechanisms that put cyclin D1 into overdrive.

“If we figure out why cyclin D1 is expressed in this particular type of cancer,” she says, “then maybe we can try to target that mechanism that results in cyclin D1 overexpression in this and other types of cancers.”

In addition to determining how cyclin D1 becomes expressed in cancerous B-cells in the first place, Dr. Masamha aims to discover the consequences of the resulting cyclin D1-driven hyperproliferation—or multiplication—of tumor cells.

Healthy B-cells generate antibodies through a process of breaking apart chromosomes and putting them back together. In cancerous B-cells, increased cell division due to abnormal cyclin D1 expression makes it more likely that the broken chromosome pieces will end up reattaching to the wrong chromosomes.

The result is the formation of something called fusion genes, which are made up of DNA sequences that don’t belong together.

We know fusion genes happen frequently in MCL, but we don’t yet know exactly what they look like, or how to systematically detect them. Dr. Masamha’s project will use third-generation sequencing technology, allowing her to look at the full DNA sequences of individual genes and identify which types of fusion genes are present. Her findings could provide crucial information for both the diagnosis and treatment of cancers involving the abnormal expression of cyclin D1.

“If you can detect fusion genes early enough—so if you sequence someone’s DNA before they even get cancer and find fusion genes—you can know that those fusion genes might end up resulting in cancer,” she says, explaining that this could help identify preventative therapies. “Or, if the person already has cancer and you can detect what kind of fusion genes they have, you can identify which drugs would provide the best treatment.”

 

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

cancer research at Butler University
Innovation

Butler Pharmacy Prof Receives $1.39M NIH Grant to Support Cancer Research

Dr. Chioniso Patience Masamha will study an oncogene commonly linked to Mantle Cell Lymphoma and other types of cancer

Sep 03 2020 Read more
Ibram X. Kendi at Butler
Campus

Ibram X. Kendi: ‘We Need Universities to Challenge the Status Quo’

BY Katie Grieze

PUBLISHED ON Aug 28 2020

As part of Butler University’s ongoing commitment to eliminate racism and discrimination on campus, the University kicked off the fall 2020 semester by welcoming bestselling author Ibram X. Kendi as the keynote guest in virtual Q&A sessions with students, faculty, and staff.

Dr. Kendi is Director of the Boston University Center for Antiracist Research. He is also a Professor of History and International Studies, an Ideas Columnist at The Atlantic, and a correspondent with CBS News. His four books have included Stamped from the Beginning: The Definitive History of Racist Ideas in America; How to Be an Antiracist; and STAMPED: Racism, Antiracism, and You (co-authored with Jason Reynolds). His newest book, Antiracist Baby, was published on June 16, 2020.

The conversation with Butler employees, held August 19 as part of a day-long symposium on anti-racism, was moderated by College of Communication (CCOM) Dean Brooke Barnett. The student session later that week was led by junior CCOM student Marcos Navarro García, alongside Gina Forrest, Butler’s Executive Director of Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion.

Dr. Kendi says the journey to being anti-racist should start by defining racist policies as any policies that lead to racial inequity, and by defining racist ideas as any concepts that suggest one racial group is superior or inferior to another.

“And so, racism is a powerful collection of racist policies that lead to racial inequity and are substantiated by racist ideas,” he says.

The sessions focused mainly on the experiences of Black individuals within predominantly white institutions such as Butler, and on the role those institutions must play in combating racism. One of the most important things universities can do, Dr. Kendi says, is to use their intellectual resources to challenge the status quo.

“How can we assemble and organize experts on our campus who can really figure out the causes of racial inequities in our town, in our state?” he says. “We're going to need that for this struggle to transform this country. We need intellectuals, we need scholars, and we need universities to support that level of public scholarship.”

Dr. Kendi also recommends that universities encourage anti-racist work by making it an explicit part of the employee review process, just as faculty are incentivized to publish academic journals. Spreading out diversity-related work will also give some breathing room to employees of color, who often shoulder the load of supporting students of color.

“Many predominantly white universities do not have many Black and Brown faculty members,” Dr. Kendi explains. “And so, typically, Black and Brown students are lining up at their doors, talking to them about their classes and about the racism they may be facing on campus. You know, just talking to them to feel valued, because in other places on campus, they don't.”

All members of university communities need to put in the work to make sure people of color feel welcome and valued everywhere on campus. But Dr. Kendi acknowledges that even those who want to help might hesitate to speak up for fear of offending others. He says it’s important to understand that even anti-racist people will sometimes make mistakes, sometimes say racist things. The difference is in how they react.

“A racist person will deny it,” he says. “But someone who is being anti-racist reflects on what they said, based on the definition of a racist idea that they have learned, and will be like, ‘You know what, that was a racist idea. I was being racist in that moment, but I want to be different. I want to change. I want to learn. I want to grow, and I'm sorry for saying that. Let me repair the harm that I caused."

Ibram X. Kendi at Butler
Campus

Ibram X. Kendi: ‘We Need Universities to Challenge the Status Quo’

In mid-August, the bestselling author of ‘How to Be an Antiracist’ joined virtual conversations with the Butler community

Aug 28 2020 Read more
Brooke Moreland
Alumni Success

Butler Alum Receives Indiana’s Achievement in Education Award

BY Katie Grieze

PUBLISHED ON Aug 26 2020

Brooke Moreland ’11 first came to Butler University from a low-income household in 2007. Now, she’s being celebrated for her years of supporting students in similar situations, as the 2020 recipient of Indiana’s Achievement in Education award.

“It’s really a full-circle experience,” she says.

The award, which recognizes educators who have used innovative strategies to increase achievement for their students, was announced August 26 as part of the Governor’s Celebration of Community Service Awards. During the virtual ceremony, the State of Indiana honored six Black Hoosiers for their exceptional efforts across a variety of fields. Moreland received six nominations for the education category.

“I feel very appreciative of this award,” says Moreland, who is currently Assistant Director for the  21st Century Scholars Success Program at Indiana University–Purdue University Indianapolis (IUPUI). “When you are a leader in higher education, and especially when you are a leader of color at a predominantly white institution, it can sometimes be really hard to gauge if your work is appreciated or if you are truly making a difference. I’m so appreciative that people took the time to acknowledge my work and my passion for helping students.”

During her time at Butler, Moreland spent three years serving as a Resident Assistant. She loved the role so much—from managing programs to building relationships—she wondered if she could do something similar full time.

Mentors at Butler—including former President Bobby Fong—introduced Moreland to the world of student affairs. She hasn’t looked back. After graduating from Butler’s Psychology program, she went on to earn her master’s degree in Higher Education and Student Affairs from Indiana University (IU).

Moreland spent two years on IU’s student conduct team before starting as a Scholarship Coordinator at IUPUI, where she has worked mostly with high-risk and first-generation students participating in Indiana’s 21st Century Scholars program. After two years guiding students through the program requirements, providing individualized support, and helping families understand financial aid logistics, Moreland was promoted to her current role as the program’s Assistant Director.

Her work now focuses on developing strategies for enhancing the retention and success of more than 4,500 21st Century Scholarship recipients at IUPUI. She highlights the need to rely on concrete data in creating these programs, often basing her decisions on institutional research.

“I’m not just guessing—the success of the students is too important,” she says. “If I was that student, I would want someone to do their research and make sure the guidance they’re giving me is solid and accurate. And I think the students I work with recognize that I do put in that level of effort every day.”

In addition to overseeing a robust peer mentoring initiative, Moreland has implemented regular check-ins with the students she works with. Six times each academic year, she and her team hold one-on-one meetings with all of IUPUI’s 21st Century Scholars. This proactive approach establishes supportive relationships and allows staff members to identify and resolve issues before students reach the point of asking for help.

“This year, choosing the recipient for the Achievement in Education award was fairly easy,” said a Civil Rights Commission spokesperson during the Wednesday ceremony. “When an abundance of past and present students—including colleagues—nominate someone, it’s pretty clear to see that that person has put forth the initiative, the work, and the compassion. Brooke Moreland has not only counseled her students, but has supported, mentored, and inspired thousands of students throughout her career.”

The 2020 Governor’s Celebration of Community Service Awards were hosted by the Indiana Civil Rights Commission in partnership with Indiana Black Expo, the Indiana Division of Supplier Diversity, and the Family & Social Services Administration. The celebration acknowledges the outstanding achievement of Black leaders throughout the state of Indiana.

 

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

Brooke Moreland
Alumni Success

Butler Alum Receives Indiana’s Achievement in Education Award

Brooke Moreland ’11 has dedicated her career to helping college students succeed

Aug 26 2020 Read more
ethics series
Innovation

New Podcasts from Lacy School of Business Ethics Series Focus on Fighting Racism, Social Injustice

BY

PUBLISHED ON Aug 26 2020

The Lacy School of Business (LSB) Ethics Series podcast, presented by Old National Bank, is devoting its next episodes to local community leaders committed to combating issues of racial and social injustice in the Indianapolis community and beyond.

“These episodes will explore ways that businesses and educators can make a difference,” says Hilary Buttrick, Interim Dean for LSB and host of the podcast. “We believe that being an ethical leader means acknowledging injustices and actively working to correct them. We have an obligation to prepare students to be leaders in organizations that are inclusive and offer a place of belonging for all people, regardless of background.”

The series kicks off with a conversation featuring Brian Payne, President and CEO of the Central Indiana Community Foundation (CICF). The organization works to mobilize people, ideas, and investments to create a community where all individuals have an equitable opportunity to reach their full potential. Under Payne’s leadership, CICF has made dismantling systemic racism in Central Indiana a multi-generational commitment.

“We are really trying to dismantle racist systems and replace them with systems built on principles of equity… and understanding the DNA of a system is really important,” Payne says on the podcast. “The DNA of America is business, and capitalism tends to overwhelm democracy. Businesses are hugely powerful in America, and if we want to change systemic racism, we have to do that with business.”

The full conversation between Payne and Buttrick is available now. Future episodes in the social justice series will feature Jennifer Pope Baker, Executive Director of the Women’s Fund of Central Indiana, and other community leaders.

This is the second set of episodes within the LSB Ethics Series podcast, following one earlier this year that focused on the effects of COVID-19. The podcast’s episodes can be found on Spotify, BuzzSprout, Apple Podcasts, Google Podcasts, and TuneIn.

 

About Lacy School of Business Ethics Series, presented by Old National Bank:
This podcast is part of LSB’s continuing journey to become the Midwest’s leader in Business Ethics Education and Ethical Leadership by offering free educational events to students, alumni, and the business community. Our goal is to exemplify ethical practice and leadership development for our students, future leaders, and the community as a whole. 

 

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

ethics series
Innovation

New Podcasts from Lacy School of Business Ethics Series Focus on Fighting Racism, Social Injustice

The first episode, available now, features CICF President and CEO Brian Payne

Aug 26 2020 Read more
Butler Class of 2024
Campus

Butler Welcomes Third-Largest Class Ever Despite COVID-19 Challenges

BY Katie Grieze

PUBLISHED ON Aug 24 2020

 

INDIANAPOLIS—Despite a year of unexpected challenges in the college admissions world, Butler University is welcoming its third-largest class ever, with 1,128 first-year students planning to begin classes on August 24.

Butler has continued to experience a surge in interest and enrollment over the last five years. Last year’s Class of 2023 was previously the third-largest, topped by this new incoming group of students. The Class of 2022, now juniors, is the largest in the University’s history.

The Class of 2024 has been through a lot over the past six months. The COVID-19 pandemic forced many of them to finish high school online, cancel graduation celebrations, and navigate changes to AP and IB exams. These students are also starting their college experiences in a way that likely looks different from what they ever pictured, with the first two weeks of the semester occurring remotely. But even as they log on for their first day of classes, they are excited to be Bulldogs.

“I ultimately chose Butler because I got that ‘home’ feeling when thinking about the University,” says Marissa Flannery, an incoming student who had initially planned to attend college closer to her hometown of Fairport, New York. “I know there are people here who truly care about students and want success for all of us.”

Flannery says Butler’s relatively small size was a big factor in her decision, but not just for safety reasons during the course of the pandemic.

“You can’t walk into Butler and feel like a little fish in the ocean, or feel like there’s no one to notice if you need help with something,” she says. “The sense of community and family is undeniable, and that is my absolute favorite part of Butler.”

Flannery had the chance to visit campus multiple times before making her choice. While that wasn’t the case for some other prospective students, Vice President for Enrollment Management Lori Greene applauds the adaptability of Butler staff who adjusted quickly to a virtual environment.

“Butler already offered a virtual campus tour option,” Greene says, “so we were able to build upon that foundation by adding virtual counselor meetings and events for both individuals and groups. Our enrollment team, both the admission and financial aid staff members, worked diligently to meet the needs of prospective students by focusing on creative solutions for outreach and active follow up. Our biggest concern was working to provide support at a time of great uncertainty.”

Faculty members at Butler have also committed themselves to providing extra support for this group of new students. As the pandemic continued to surge in mid-May, the University announced it would offer a free online class to help incoming students learn about and reflect on the widespread impacts of the COVID-19 crisis. The one-credit-hour summer course was taught by a team of 14 faculty members from across the University, with more than 250 incoming students enrolled.

“We wanted to show our incoming students how current Butler students, faculty, and staff have really rallied to make the best of a very difficult situation,” says Anne Wilson, Professor of Chemistry and faculty lead for the online class. “This course offered an opportunity for incoming students to learn more about the Butler community while reflecting on what they have learned about their own adaptability and resilience.”

Many traditionally on-campus enrollment activities moved to virtual delivery this year. All incoming students completed course registration virtually this spring, and more than 130 students attended a virtual admitted student visit.

Despite the pressure of adjusting to a global pandemic, this incoming class is as academically strong as ever. The Class of 2024 includes 41 high school valedictorians, 23 Lilly Scholars, and 40 21st Century Scholars. Nearly 18 percent of the students graduated in the top 10 percent of their classes. The average high school GPA of the class is 3.92, one of the strongest in recent admission cycles. In addition, Butler will also welcome 66 transfer students.

The most popular majors among the incoming class include Exploratory Studies, Pre-Pharmacy, Exploratory Business, Biology, and Health Sciences.

Butler’s upward trend in out-of-state growth continues with this class. Incoming students represent 37 states and 13 countries, including Australia, Mexico, and South Korea. Out-of-state students make up 57 percent of the class, with significant populations from Illinois and the Chicagoland area, Michigan, Ohio, and Wisconsin. Enrollment also increased in California, Texas, and Maryland.

One incoming Maryland student, Anisa Cobb, says she chose Butler for its nationally renowned Dance program. The Morton-Finney Scholar is also looking forward to exploring a wide variety of academic options.

“The great thing about Butler is that there are so many options that it’s possible to be involved in so many different things,” Cobb says.

Another out-of-state first-year student, Ashton Franklin, says he was drawn to Butler’s welcoming atmosphere. The Michigan native plans to major in Strategic Communication: Public Relations and Advertising, using what he learns to help others tell their stories.

“I really believe that the world can become a brighter place if we all try to understand one another,” Franklin says. “And by the time I graduate, I’m confident that I’ll be the very best version of myself because of the opportunities that Butler has given to me.”

 

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

Butler Class of 2024
Campus

Butler Welcomes Third-Largest Class Ever Despite COVID-19 Challenges

More than 1,125 first-year students plan to log on for their first day of classes on August 24

Aug 24 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