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You Are Not Alone

BY Marc D. Allan MFA '18

PUBLISHED ON Dec 17 2018

Kat Strube was “incredibly nervous” as she stood in front of 47 middle-schoolers at Christ the King Catholic School in Indianapolis. And that seemed fitting, really, for what was about to happen next.

For the next 30 minutes she and Butler University classmates Sid Garner, Alex Reinke, Maggie Nobbe, and Hannah Justice would deliver a presentation called "Understanding Anxiety," their final project in the course “Mental Illness: Biological, Psychological, and Sociological Perspectives.”

“I’m not somebody who feels super comfortable in this setting,” Strube, a biology major, says, “but it’s an interesting project.”

As the 11- and 12-year-olds listened attentively, the Butler students went through topics such as what anxiety is, what causes it, and what are the best ways to deal with it. They made paper fortune-tellers with the kids—"a fun, useful distraction for those facing anxiety or other mental illness," they explained—and answered the students’ questions. While one student wanted to know if any of the Butler group knew men’s basketball player Kamar Baldwin, all the other questions they asked dealt directly and seriously with the topic.

“I was super-surprised,” Strube said. “Everyone seemed receptive and to be listening. No one had their head down. Everyone participated and everyone had great questions. It’s not what you expect from middle school students. So that was pretty cool.”

Strube and her classmates were one of 12 teams from the Butler class who went out to Indianapolis-area middle schools in early December to discuss—and attempt to destigmatize—mental illnesses such as anxiety, depression, and schizophrenia. The groups also delved deeper into areas including technology disorders and addictions, sleep disorders, and substance abuse.

The class, which was offered this fall for the third time, is team-taught by Professors Kate Novak (Sociology), Tara Lineweaver (Psychology), and Jennifer Kowalski (Biology). But this was the first time Butler students went into the community to share what they'd learned, including general information (6.8 million children suffer from General Anxiety Disorder), and specifics, such as breathing techniques to ease symptoms.

 “We wanted our students to help middle school kids recognize the stigmas associated with mental illnesses, how the stereotypes are not true, to combat fears and worries about mental illness and to encourage them to know how to get help if they have a problem or they know someone who has a problem,” said Lineweaver.

It was not just about what the Butler students said, but who was delivering the information, Novak said. And getting into the community gave Butler students the chance to understand the implications of what they are learning in the classroom in a new, more real way.

“It's good to have college students come and talk to middle-schoolers because they really look up to college students,” Novak said. “They're going to take it a little more seriously. And a lot of our students have incorporated examples from their own lives. They're saying, ‘I'm willing to talk about this.’ It's been really good for our students, too. It gets them out and thinking about this: What does this mean in terms of people lives? They're not just thinking about the academic component. What is a mental illness? What does the research say? How does this impact people's lives, and how can they have an impact?”

To get the Butler students into the community, the professors teamed with the Joseph Maley Foundation, whose HOPE Program (Health through Outreach, Personal Perspectives, and Engagement) was created to bring emotional, physical, social and mental health awareness and advocacy to students in preschool through 12th grade. HOPE is one of five programs that fulfills the Maley Foundation's mission to serve children of all abilities.

Allison Boyll, a manager with the foundation, helped arrange the Butler students’ visits to local schools, including Westfield Middle School, Indianapolis Public Schools 91, St. Richards, St. Lawrence, St. Monica, and Christ the King.

"I think anytime we can work with students in the area of mental health and help them realize that it’s a natural area of conversation and we can talk about all areas of mental health, it helps to reduce the stigma on mental health and getting the support that you need,” Boyll said. “It just makes it everyday language, so that when you do need some extra support, if you need extra support, you don’t have to be afraid to reach out to get that help.”

That was the reason Christ the King Principal Ed Seib wanted his students to see the presentation. He said mental illnesses get in the way of students being able to reach their potential. Since a social stigma exists, “we want to let them know early on that it’s something they can talk about, it’s something that can be dealt with, and we’re here for them. The presentation was a great way of opening those doors and seeing kids who aren’t that much older than they are talking to them on their terms.”

Frank Meyer, 12, a Christ the King seventh-grader who saw the presentation, said he thought it was extremely worthwhile. He learned that while talking to a friend might not always be the most helpful, it’s always good to have someone to talk to when you’re going through a tough time. He also was interested in hearing about the most common disorders among children—test anxiety and social anxiety—because he deals with those from time to time.

He said hearing from the college students let him know that he’s not alone.

And getting that message out, Professor Kowalski said, is just one of the many benefits of this course.

“It's been a good challenge for the students to have to take the more academic information that they learned and then figure out what's critical, what's going to resonate with the middle-school students,” she said. “And I think it fits with the goals of the course, which are integrating these ideas, communicating about mental illness, dispelling stereotypes, things like that.”

 

Media contact:
Marc Allan MFA '18
News Manager
mallan@butler.edu
317-940-9822  

AcademicsCommunity

You Are Not Alone

Butler students explain mental illnesses to Indianapolis-area middle schoolers.

Dec 17 2018 Read more
PeopleCommunity

As Female Veteran Population Grows, So Do Their Healthcare Needs

BY Rachel Stern

PUBLISHED ON Nov 12 2018

 

 

INDIANAPOLIS—Veronica Vernon has, essentially, two jobs.

The Butler University Assistant Professor of Pharmacy Practice spends about half her time teaching student pharmacists and student physician assistants in the College of Pharmacy and Health Sciences, and the rest of her time is spent at the Richard L. Roudebush VA Medical Center in Indianapolis. At the VA, where she has worked since 2011, she sees Iraq veterans, Afghanistan veterans, male veterans, and transgender veterans. But there was one segment of the population she noticed she was seeing more and more of: female veterans.

The total veteran population is projected to decline from 20.0 million in 2015 to 11.9 million in 2045, according to the Department of Veterans Affairs. And male veterans are expected to diminish by nearly half over that same time period. But despite all of this, the number of female veterans has been on the rise, and is projected to continue going in that direction.

However, Vernon says, services have not necessarily matched that trend.

“For the foreseeable future, there will be more and more female veterans coming through the VA and we need to adapt and learn how to provide the best possible care for them, just as we have done for men,” Vernon says. “A team-based approach to care of female veterans is required. The VA desires to be a leader in women’s healthcare.”

So Vernon, who specializes in women’s health, took matters into her own hands. She, along with Butler graduates Maggie Meuleman and Christina White, and Butler undergraduate Sarah Lenahan, assessed menopausal symptom management by a clinical pharmacist at the Indianapolis VA.

Their research, which they just presented at the annual North American Menopause Society Conference, showed that female veterans who received care for menopausal symptoms by a clinical pharmacist specializing in women’s health, saw a significant decrease in symptoms.

“We saw major resolution for these patients at the end of this specialized care,” Vernon says. “That highlights two important things. One, pharmacists bring a real value to the healthcare team when it comes to managing disease states. And two, which is probably even more important, is that most VA’s don’t have a pharmacist who focuses on women’s health issues. Women’s healthcare is a rapidly growing area in the vet population and the more we focus on it, evidently, the better off patients will be. This population deserves the best possible care and we need to start giving that.”

From August 2013 to August 2017, Vernon and her team tracked a total of 121 patients at the Richard L. Roudebush VA Medical Center in Indianapolis. The average age of the female veteran patients was 52.

When Vernon and her team started seeing patients, the average number of hot flashes or night sweats reported was 11.9 per day. After a year of being treated by the team of pharmacists dedicated to women’s health, the average number of hot flashes or night sweats reported was 1.4.

The percentage of patients reporting vaginal dryness, irritation, and pain during intercourse prior to pharmacist management was 57 percent. After a year of pharmacist management, the average was 6.6 percent.

In all, 88.4 percent of patients who had vaginal dryness, irritation, and pain during intercourse, saw resolution, Vernon says. The team followed up with patients, on average, every three weeks, and used different therapies depending on the situation. Some therapies were hormonal agents, non-pharmacological, Gabapentin, and Clonidine.

“Physicians have limited time to fully dive into the different obstacles patients are facing and then counsel the patient all the time. We believe this research shows the power of having a pharmacist as part of the care team,” Lenahan says. “After the initial diagnosis is made by the primary care physician, the pharmacist can enter the picture and manage the disease state from there in a much more specialized, specific way.”

And nowhere is the power of this continuity of care clearer that at the VA, Vernon says, where female veterans are on the rise, yet there is a real gap when it comes to adequate services. Many providers at the VA have never had a female patient so there is a discomfort and lack of knowledge when it comes to treating things, such as menopausal symptoms, she says.

But as this segment continues to grow, the reality is that providers at the VA will have to treat a female veteran. Having a system in place that utilizes the pharmacist fully, Vernon says, clearly produces results that will benefit patients.

“Our research shows the power of the right care,” she says. “Most VA’s don’t have a pharmacist that focuses on women’s health but the hope is that this data shows how impactful it is, and as this population grows, awareness too grows, in hopes our female veterans get the best possible care. This is about improving access for female vets.”

Media contact:
Rachel Stern
Director of Strategic Communications
rstern@butler.edu
914-815-5656

PeopleCommunity

As Female Veteran Population Grows, So Do Their Healthcare Needs

The number of female veterans has been on the rise, and is projected to continue going in that direction.

Nov 12 2018 Read more

Families in Residence

For most of us, the idea of raising a family in a residence hall on a college campus sounds, to put it mildly, challenging. But for many of Butler’s Faculty In Residence (known as FIRs), this challenge is well worth it. Celebrating nearly three decades, the FIR program places faculty members in residence halls with “learning communities” of approximately 80-120 students. Officially, FIRs host a minimum of two activities a month for their learning communities, to introduce students to campus and the city of Indianapolis. Activities might be shared meals, game nights, volunteer work, or attending lectures or sports events with students.

Unofficially and by choice, FIRs do much more. They lead lots of informal conversations in their living quarters, ranging from politics and entertainment to picking careers and Final Four teams. FIRs dispense cookies and encouragement to students cramming for exams, model the fun and challenge of family life, and offer a concerned adult ear to the homesick, the lovelorn, the questioning—even to parents emotionally overwhelmed at leaving their child on campus.

While not all FIRs have children in residence, many do. Sharing a family home with approximately 100 undergrads under your roof may seem daunting, but these communities become extensions of the FIR’s family. The unique living quarters provide extraordinarily unique opportunities for children of FIRs to see college life up close and for college students to see family life.

We asked Four Faculty in Residence to speak about what it’s like to raise children in this unique arrangement.

 


Meet the Families in Residence

Name: Catherine Pangan
Position at University: Associate Professor, College of Education
Names of Family members who live in residence: Roland, Hudson (13), Violet (7)
Residence Hall (current and past): Fairview, Resco, Schwitzer

What are the benefits of raising a family in this unique environment?
They are so fortunate to be around an enormous amount of role models doing extraordinary things every day. On a daily basis, they see students studying, working, enjoying friendships, struggling and succeeding.  They get to see what it is like for college students to grow, as they grow themselves! We also feel like we are in a mini-neighborhood within Butler. Ms. Janine Frainier and the bookstore staff, BUPD, and of course, Miss Denise, and the Starbucks staff have been extraordinarily supportive and kind throughout the entire experience. They feel like family as well.

What's it like to live in a neighborhood of only college-age students?
You age, but your neighbors don't. It is kind of like the fountain of youth!

As your children grow and become adults, what do you hope they will take from this experience?
I hope they feel connected to a community the same way they feel living at Butler.

Is there a story that you think exemplifies your family in residence experience?
I've told this story so many times, but when Hudson was four years old and learning to ride his bike, he was trying to make it down the whole length of Hampton. As he rode, he had students shouting "Go Hudson!" from sorority and fraternity windows - students were clapping for him on the street as he rode by, and then they let out a huge cheer for him when he made it to the end. I will never forget his smile when he made it, or the Butler students that helped him get to the end! If that doesn't exemplify the Butler Way, I'm not sure what does!

What's your commute like in the morning?
Short!

***

Name: John Esteb
Position at University: Chemistry Professor
Names of Family members who live in residence: 4 total (including me)
Residence Hall: Resco C-Wing

What are the benefits of raising a family in this unique environment?
The kids learn how to interact with adults and also are exposed to so many wonderful cultural events, speakers, shows, etc. that almost no other kid gets to experience on a regular basis

What's it like to live in a neighborhood of only college-age students?
There is constantly a lot of energy around and there is ALWAYS something going on!  It is a unique experience that we get to interact with them both inside and outside the classroom and help not only with their academic development but get to know them as the fun and talented people they are in their day to day life as well.

As your children grow and become adults, what do you hope they will take from this experience?
I hope that they see the value of the college experience (with everything that it entails) and also learn that everyone has strengths that they can showcase in their own unique ways when put into an environment that provides the right opportunities and fosters the development of skills and talents.

Is there a story that you think exemplifies your family in residence experience?
We have had many! Ranging from my son jumping around and singing along with students at a Butlerpalooza concert, to cheering on the Colts and my kids going crazy in the stands at the game with students that were die-hard Colts fans, to the kids competing with the students to see who would be willing to eat the wildest sushi order, to just hanging out with the students over cheesecake, bbq, cookies, donuts, etc. at the apartment!

What's your commute like in the morning?
Normally great (since I just walk in)! Haha!

***

Name: Ryan Flessner
Position at University: Associate Professor of Teacher Education (COE)
Names of Family members who live in residence: Courtney (wife), Abel (11), Adelyn (10)
Residence Hall (current and past): Fairview House (2016-present), Ross Hall (2013-2016)

What are the benefits of raising a family in this unique environment?
Our kids are surrounded by young adults who are working toward their goals on a daily basis while also enjoying each other's company and the beautiful campus on which we live. The kids have the opportunity to see college students find their way, develop friendships, and contribute to our community. Abel and Adelyn learned to ride their bikes on the mall, and they can always find a pick-up game of kickball with ever-ready college students. Who wouldn't want to grow up on this campus?!

What's it like to live in a neighborhood of only college-age students?
It's inspiring to see students finding their way in the world, discovering their passions, and contributing to the community. I'm a better professor because I see more than just the academic side of college life. In addition to their commitments to their studies, I see the students' commitments to campus and community organizations, their commitments to their network of friends and mentors, and their commitments to their future careers.

As your children grow and become adults, what do you hope they will take from this experience?
I hope my kids understand the privileges they have in life and the ways in which their experiences are shaping their futures. I hope they use their privilege to benefit others as they make their way in the world.

Is there a story that you think exemplifies your family in residence experience?
There are too many magical moments to count. We've been to the wedding of one of our RAs, we've been references for residents as they seek employment, and we've even helped a student learn to wrap holiday gifts! My favorite memory, however, is probably from a faculty dinner we hosted on our patio last fall. After the event with her professors that evening, one of our residents said, "This is why I came to Butler - so I could interact with the faculty and we could get to know each other as people." Making that moment possible for her was incredibly rewarding, and her gratitude was worth all of the effort we put into this role.

What's your commute like in the morning?
I love the fact that I can walk my kids to the bus and then walk across campus to my office. That 15-minute stroll is a great way to organize my thoughts as I transition into my teaching or my research.

***

Name: Erin Garriott
Position at University: Instructor in Special Education, College of Education
Names of Family members who live in residence: Scott Garriott (husband), Ella (15), Mae (9) and Weston (5)
Residence Hall (current and past): ResCo B-wing currently, Schweitzer for 2 years

What are the benefits of raising a family in this unique environment?
To have my kids surrounded by goal-centered, focused, kind, thoughtful BU students is priceless. We also think the access to sports, the arts, campus projects, and events are real benefits.

What's it like to live in a neighborhood of only college-age students?
It’s so much fun! There’s always something going on or conversations to join in on. We’ve been so lucky to live by wonderfully caring and kind students. We realize how much we rely on their energy to get through our days. When students aren’t here, we totally miss them!

As your children grow and become adults, what do you hope they will take from this experience?
I hope they will remember the time we got to spend together in our cozy living space. I hope they take with them the importance of working hard to reach a goal. We hardly ever go by a study lounge where there isn’t at least one student in there studying. Mostly, I really hope they take the amazing feeling of being part of something bigger than themselves. Butler is a really special place to be. I know my kids “know” that because of the conversations we’ve had about the people here and the experiences we’ve gotten to have with our residents.

Is there a story that you think exemplifies your family in residence experience?
There are sooooo many, from Ms. Denise getting Scott and I an anniversary cake to students leaving encouraging notes to our kids outside our door. The one that always sticks out though came from my husband Scott. As long as I’ve known him, I’ve always been an educator. He had often made comments about how I always had my students on my mind and he didn’t seem to understand how that happened. Fast forward 15 years...our first year as a FIR family was coming to an end. I mentioned one evening during dinner that classes were finishing up and students would be moving out soon. Scott said in a panic, “Do you think we’ll ever see Emma again?” And all evening, he would randomly ask things like, “I wonder if Allison got her summer job?” and “Do you think Helen will stop by to say good-bye?” My favorite one was, “I hope Rex (Hailey’s dad) knows he can stop by and see us anytime.” After just one year, he had experienced the relationships you build with young people and how it changes your life. He has a better sense of what it means to care deeply about a group of students; it was a lesson I could never teach but am so glad I got to see click.

What's your commute like in the morning?
Surprisingly, I drive to my office. I take my kids to their bus stop at 46th and Cornelius and then hustle to South Campus for class.

FamilyPeopleCommunity

Families in Residence

Sharing a family home with 100 undergrads under your roof may seem daunting, but they become family.

A Chance to Be Heard

Marc D. Allan MFA ’18

from Fall 2018

Harper, a 3-year-old in a pink jacket with tan sleeves, is supposed to have her hearing checked, but she’s having none of it. Margaret Fries ’19, a Butler senior from St. Louis majoring in audiology, is trying to coax Harper to raise her hand when she hears a tone through the headphones she’s wearing.

“It’s not scary,” says Fries, one of nine Butler Communication Sciences and Disorders students at Children’s Day In preschool to administer speech and hearing tests as part of Professor Ann Bilodeau’s Community Screenings class. “I promise.”

Harper sits silent and stone-faced, so Fries tries Plan B—a set of rubber-tipped darts known as play audiometry. Fries shows her the set of green darts with blue suction tips. She tells Harper to hold a dart up to her ear and then stand it on the table after she hears a tone.

Before long, Harper is actively participating. When she’s finished, she utters two words to Fries: “Thank you.” “It started out a little tough,” Fries says afterward, “but you just have to change up methods. We always like to start with raising their hands—that’s just the easiest way—but most younger kids don’t do that, or don’t want to do that. So then we move on to play audiometry. If that doesn’t work, high-fives or some way of getting them to recognize they are hearing the sound is next. It sometimes takes a while.”

Fries and her classmates have gotten plenty of practice. During the spring 2018 semester, they administered more than 500 speech and hearing tests at almost a dozen locations. Nearly a quarter of the children they tested needed some kind of follow-up attention.

Bilodeau, Director of the Butler Speech and Language Clinic, says what they’re doing in this preschool and other places they visit fills a gap in the healthcare system. Typically, children are screened for hearing and speech disorders from birth to age 3, and then again when they’re in school. But from ages 3-5, services aren’t readily available.

“There aren’t enough speech-language pathologists to see all the kids who need to be seen,” she says. “All the preschool directors are so grateful, the teachers are so lovely when we come, and the parents are lovely.”

At this preschool, located at a United Methodist Church near 54th and Illinois streets in Indianapolis, the Butler students are separated into two rooms. One is for hearing tests, which are administered using an audiometer, a machine that measures the ability to hear different sounds, pitches, and frequencies, and one is for speech.

Breanna Corbin ’19, a senior from Indianapolis studying to be a Speech-Language Pathologist, is in the speech room, working with a preschooler named Ruben. She opens a colorful book and points to the pictures.

“This is the woman’s …”

“Foot!” Ruben says.

“And you write with …”

“A pencil!”

Dozens of questions follow. While Corbin is administering the test, Shelby Miller ’19, a senior from Fishers, Indiana, who’s studying to be a Speech-Language Pathologist, explains that the Butler students in this room are checking to make sure the preschoolers can produce specific words and sounds and can identify colors, shapes, and body parts. They evaluate the children based on articulation, fluency, and voice intelligibility.

They also see whether the preschoolers can carry on a conversation. Ruben certainly can. When he coughs, Corbin asks if he needs a tissue. She helps him blow his nose. Ruben tells her that when it’s time to use hand sanitizer, he holds his hands together. “Like a book!”

“When I first started doing this,” Corbin says afterward, “it took a lot of adjusting. I’d never worked with kids before, so it required adjusting to what the kids say. They’re going to be silly, but that’s how kids are. Now, it’s knowing what to expect, knowing that you’ve got to be patient. You have to take time to talk to them but also keep them on track.”

By the time the Butler students have finished their work at Children’s Day In, they will have seen nearly 40 children. Christy Whaley, who runs the preschool program, says Butler is providing an important and much needed community service.

“I’m a teacher at heart,” she says, “so my former background wants the Butler students to encourage the students to come in and let us be their guinea pigs. And it really works out—the parents love having the opportunity to have their children have free screenings. This is a perfect age group for the students and a perfect setting.”

Whaley said every time Butler Communication Sciences and Disorders students have visited her preschool, they have diagnosed at least one preschooler who needs further attention.

“Even if you catch just one a year, it’s worth having,” she said.

The Butler students all will go on to graduate school for advanced degrees in Audiology and Speech Pathology. Courtney Rooker ’19 a senior from St. Joseph, Michigan, said getting into the community to administer these tests gives them needed experience.

“In Butler’s program, you get a lot of hands-on opportunities in the clinic, at school, and then here,” she says. “Kids can be anxious and nervous and difficult to work with, so that’s definitely been a huge learning curve for me, especially the patience part of it and teaching them what to do. But this is an amazing experience that Butler offers.”

 

 

Community

A Chance to Be Heard

Taking Butler to the Community

by Marc D. Allan MFA ’18

from Fall 2018

Read more
United States Marine Band
Arts & CultureCommunity

One Night Only: Colburn to Rejoin "The President's Own" United States Marine Band

BY Marc Allan

PUBLISHED ON Sep 14 2018

You can take the colonel out of the band, but you can't take the band out of the colonel.

So when “The President’s Own” United States Marine Band comes through the Indianapolis area on October 27, retired Col. Michael Colburn—now in his fifth year as Director of Bands at Butler University—will return to the podium. He'll conduct the band he led for 10 years in a performance of John Williams' "The Adventures of Han" from the movie Solo: A Star Wars Story.

"I was really thrilled to get the invitation," Colburn said. "And this will be a chance for a local audience to realize that they have a connection to the Marine Band that perhaps they weren't aware of right here at Butler."

Colburn, who directed the Marine Band from 2004-2014, said he received the invitation from his successor, Col. Jason Fettig, after Fettig found out that the band's tour would stop in Carmel, right outside Indianapolis.

They decided that it would be most appropriate for Colburn to conduct a piece by Williams because during Colburn's tenure with the band, he established a close relationship with the famed composer.

Their friendship started with a letter about 20 years ago—Colburn wrote to Williams asking him to guest-conduct the Marine Band, and Williams did. They collaborated several other times, including in 2004 when Williams requested that Marine Band perform his music during the Kennedy Center Honors tribute to him.

"Col. Colburn's distinguished service as the 27th Director of the U.S. Marine Band had an immeasurable impact on the ongoing success and reputation of this historic ensemble," Fettig said. "He spearheaded many notable artistic achievements for the organization during his time at the helm, not the least of which is developing our close relationship with famed composer and conductor John Williams. I'm absolutely thrilled to welcome Col. Colburn back to the podium of "The President's Own."

The rest of the concert at the Center for the Performing Arts in Carmel will feature a selection of patriotic music—Sousa marches such as "Semper Fidelis" and "Stars and Stripes Forever" (that's Colburn conducting in these video clips)—as well as some recent original music for wind band.

"This concert is a rare opportunity to hear the Marine band," Colburn said. "They only come through this area once every 4-5 years at most. I encourage people to get out there and get a little taste of what people in Washington, DC, and especially people in the White House get to hear all the time. This is really one of our national musical treasures."

"The President's Own" U.S. Marine Band will perform at the Center for the Performing Arts in Carmel on October 27. Ticket and tour information is available here.

Media Contact:
Marc Allan
mallan@butler.edu
317-940-9822

 

 

United States Marine Band
Arts & CultureCommunity

One Night Only: Colburn to Rejoin "The President's Own" United States Marine Band

Butler's Director of Bands will conduct his former band when they come to area on October 27. 

Sep 14 2018 Read more
AcademicsCommunity

Planet Parade: Venus, Jupiter, Moon, Saturn, Mars to All Line Up this Weekend

BY Marc Allan

PUBLISHED ON Aug 16 2018

For the first time in more than a decade, Venus, Jupiter, the Moon, Saturn, and Mars will be lined up across the sky.

The best time for viewing will be on the evenings of August 17 and 18, according to Butler University Professor of Physics and Astronomy Brian Murphy—weather permitting, of course. Mars will be near its closest approach to Earth since 2003, and through a telescope, one should be able to see cloud-covered Venus in a quarter phase, the rings of Saturn, the belts and satellites of Jupiter, and Mars’ polar caps (if the dust storm has cleared).

Murphy, who is also the Director of Butler’s Holcomb Observatory, says the planets all orbit the sun in different periods, which means they are typically scattered along the zodiac. Some may be seen only before sunrise, only after sunrise, or not at all if they appear in the direction of the Sun.

"Being able to observe the Sun, Moon, Venus, Mars, Jupiter, and Saturn in a two- to three-hour time span is quite nice," he said.

Murphy encourages people to get out and see this "planet parade"—either by looking through the telescope at the Holcomb Observatory, which is the ninth largest telescope East of the Mississippi River, or simply by going outside and viewing the night sky.

"It's an ideal time to get out and see the planets," he said. "Usually, we don't have four planets visible at once in good viewing location, along with a quarter moon, which is the ideal time to view the moon. And they're all evenly spaced. If you ignore the sun, these are the four brightest objects in the sky we're talking about."

It’s hard to calculate when this lineup will occur again, Murphy says, but something similar will likely occur in two years. But after that, it will not happen for a long time.

In addition to telescope viewing at the Observatory, Planetarium shows will take place each evening.

 

Media contact:

Marc Allan
News Manager
mallan@butler.edu
317-940-9822

AcademicsCommunity

Planet Parade: Venus, Jupiter, Moon, Saturn, Mars to All Line Up this Weekend

  

Butler astronomer says phenomenon likely won’t occur again for a long time

Aug 16 2018 Read more
AcademicsCommunity

Popularity, Success Spark Second IPS/Butler Lab School

BY Rachel Stern

PUBLISHED ON Aug 10 2018

It was never supposed to happen this way.

The goal was one, if that, and that alone seemed daunting, even impossible at times. Starting a school, and not just any school, was the dream for Ena Shelley, Dean of Butler University’s College of Education. But in reality, she couldn’t imagine the pieces coming together.

It was after a sabbatical in Italy in 1998. Between all the pizza, Shelley managed to fall in love with something else. A new style of teaching, the Reggio model, and she vowed to figure out a way to bring it back with her.

The idea of a Lab School was born, but it was very much just an idea, she says.

“I knew I had to change my curriculum, but I didn’t have any schools where my students could actually see what I wanted to do,” Shelley says. “My dream was to have a Lab School in Indianapolis that we could share with the community, but also use to teach Butler students. The dream was never to have two.”

About 20 years after her initial trip to Italy, Shelley’s seeing double. A second Lab School, born out of demand, success, and lots of work, is up and running at 54th Street.

And even though it was never part of the plan, well, it sure seems like it was.

Lab School 55’s campus happens to occupy the school building that is named after Eliza A. Blaker. Named after the founder of Butler’s College of Education. This was a complete coincidence and just happened to be a building that the Indianapolis Public Schools Superintendent said was available and was in close proximity to Butler.

“The community has responded in ways I never anticipated,” Shelley says. “Being asked to open a second one is really an honor. The dream has gone way further than I ever thought it could.”

What is the Lab School?

It’s a couple weeks before school starts and Nicole Kent is talking on the phone, cradling it between her ear and shoulder, while she furiously types an email on her cell phone.

She’s at School 60, the original Lab School. But really, she is itching to get to School 55, the new Lab School. Furniture is about to be delivered and from the sounds of the conversation, there are a few hiccups with the delivery.

Kent, who graduated from Butler’s College of Education, will be the principal at the new Lab School. She used to teach at the original Lab School and was the assistant principal for two years.

That’s not uncommon. Butler graduates tend to flock to the Lab Schools. In fact, at Lab School 60, or the original, 69 percent of teachers graduated from Butler with either a Bachelor’s or a Master’s Degree. At Lab School 55, or the second Lab School, 61 percent of the teachers are Butler grads.

Teachers receive continued professional development from Butler, and the Lab Schools also serve as a classroom to current Butler education students. Some also student teach at the Lab Schools.

But, says Ron Smith, the Lab Schools don’t hire just Butler grads. Smith is the principal at the original Lab School. He says they hire from wherever, but, because the Lab School program is different than a traditional learning environment, they need teachers who are able to teach that style, and, Butler grads are familiar with the Reggio model.

Learning at the Lab Schools is project based. There aren’t a lot of worksheets where students are mindlessly copying things down. The curriculum is teacher created. Art is infused into most classrooms. Inquiry, research, and exploration are the cornerstones of the Lab School curriculum, where there is a bigger picture behind each lesson. It is not about memorizing facts, but rather about communicating and collaborating and acquiring life skills.

“Of course, we want our students to do well on the standards you would find in the state curriculum, but beyond that we want our kids to become life-long learners,” Smith says. “We want them to find joy in learning, we want them to ask questions of their own and to find answers to those questions and projects help us get at that. That helps us get beyond the state curriculum.”

The Lab Schools are magnet schools. Students are chosen by random lottery from all who apply, with preference given to applicants who live nearby, have siblings in the school, and then children of either Butler or IPS employees. 

Lab School 60 has consistently been one of the two most requested elementary schools in Indianapolis since 2012. Students come from Broad Ripple, Butler-Tarkington, Meridian Kessler, to name a few, and the hope is that with a second school, even more of the city will be served.

“As a University, we value being a really good community member,” Shelley says. “We not only want to serve the community, but also learn from the community. We are not separate, but we are better together, and I think we are always striving to fulfill that mission.”

Is it working?

Amy Goldsmith vividly remembers the first time she met Ena Shelley.

Goldsmith was serving on the Indianapolis Public Schools’ Strategic Planning Committee and Shelley was presenting on the concept of the first Lab School. Goldsmith, whose daughter was about to enter kindergarten, was planning on sending her to School 57, but after hearing Shelley speak, everything changed.

“I remember thinking to myself, ‘wow, there really are people who think the same things as me about education,’” says Goldsmith, who lives in Irvington. “I was so excited that Indianapolis was going to have something like that for our community.”

Quickly, Goldsmith changed course and enrolled her daughter in the inaugural year of the first Lab School. And her family hasn’t looked back. She has a seven-year-old, 10-year-old, and 12-year-old who are all in the Lab School.

Prior to Shelley’s presentation, Goldsmith had never heard of Reggio Emilia. After doing some research, and listening to Shelley, she was sold. And now, three kids later, she is the one constantly pitching the Lab School to friends, and really, anyone who will listen.

“It’s hard when you find something you love, you can’t stop talking about it,” Goldsmith says. “I find myself making the sales pitch all the time, maybe too often. People are probably sick of hearing it from me. But I really do mean everything I say.”

And it is not just Goldsmith’s words. The statistics support her pitch.

By the end of second grade each year, about 75 percent of Lab School students are above grade level on the text reading and comprehension assessment. In language arts, the achievement gap between white and black students has been reduced by more than 25 percent.  

There are delegation days at the Lab School where groups from around Indiana, and outside of the state, come to visit and see what’s going on.

“It has been great to get a lot of interest and have the program be so popular,” Kent says. “But at our core we always want to be a place that is representative of our whole city. The second school gives us a chance to enroll more students and serve more students. The goal is to always serve our community as best we can.”

What’s next?

The original Lab School has grown to pre-K through 8th grade. It opened as pre-K through 1st grade and added a grade every year. This is the first year the original is at capacity, which is about 570 students.

The second Lab School opened with pre-K through 6th grade and each year they will add a grade until they have 8th grade. In its inaugural year, School 55 has around 300 students. Last year, about 180 attended the school.

Most families who had children attending School 55 prior to it becoming the Lab School this year decided to keep their kids at the school, Kent says. Of the 180 students that attended the school last year, about 150 are staying.

“I was asked early on, in year two or three, if I thought this was scalable and if we could replicate it and at the time I really didn’t think we could,” Shelley says. “But when I see the community response and the potential we have, I find myself wondering if a third is possible. But that is just me wondering. Right now there is much work to be done and we are just happy to be part of our community.”

 

Media contact:
Rachel Stern
rstern@butler.edu
914-815-5656

AcademicsCommunity

Popularity, Success Spark Second IPS/Butler Lab School

Starting a school, and not just any school, was the dream for Ena Shelley.

Aug 10 2018 Read more

I Love Indy Because...

Morgan

MORGAN SNYDER, ‘07

One might peg me as someone with a bit of bias towards Indy. After all, as Director of Public Relations for Visit Indy, I’m paid to pitch to journalists what it is that makes Indy so special and worthy of ink in Forbes or AFAR Magazine.

I love my job. But, I love my job because I love the product I get to promote. One doesn’t come without the other.

I was closing in on graduation from Butler in 2007 and wanted one more internship to round-out my skillset. I landed a gig with the city’s tourism office and it was in the span of those four internship months where I was forced to learn a new product: Indianapolis. I learned that there’s more than an iconic motor speedway and 500-mile race. There’s a glimmering canal walk, 250 acres of urban greenspace with seven museums and a top ten zoo. I learned that less than a mile from Butler’s campus there’s the original, iconic LOVE sculpture and one of the most progressive art museums in the country. The world’s largest children’s museum. A restaurant that’s pegged for having the world’s spiciest dish and another restaurant that is named on Condé Nast Traveler’s World’s Best Restaurants list. A city that checks the boxes on just about any sporting event one can imagine. Hip and funky neighborhoods. And so much more.

After that internship, I was sold on the city that was going to be my home. The city where I would make my core group of friends, find my husband, and raise our family together.

What I didn’t know or even really care that much about as a college student was that Indy was super accessible and affordable. Friends can flee to bigger cities after college – some of mine did – but ask them how much they paid for that tiny studio apartment or what their meal cost even at the most casual of restaurants. Indy is continuously ranked as one of the country’s most affordable cities. Even better, Indy is a city that is led by listeners, believers, and visionaries. Did you know this city built a football stadium when we didn’t even have a football team? And look where we are now. If you have an idea, you can actually make it happen here. The guy that built an 8-mile, $63 million bike trail in the heart of downtown wrote his idea on a napkin and without any taxpayers’ dollars, he made it happen. Project for Public Spaces called his trail, “the biggest and boldest step by any American city.”

Fortunately for us, Indy loves their Butler Bulldogs. We’re a community that has a unique bond in the principles we learned through The Butler Way. And I am continuously grateful that our city operates under a similar mantra.

 

NATALIE VAN DONGEN, ’18

I love Indianapolis because it rejects expectation. Upon seeing our humble skyline, one may believe that Indianapolis is nothing more than a run-of-the-mill, midwestern, industrial city – this assumption would be incorrect. Indianapolis is defined by its residents, and therefore cannot be adequately defined by any given industry, belief system, socioeconomic status, or even basketball team. We are artists, agriculturalists, environmentalists, athletes, activists, techies, entrepreneurs, doctors, spiritual leaders, and civil servants. We are mothers, fathers, brothers, sisters, friends, and community members. We are hard workers, determined to do better and grow faster than any expectation would allow. We are our own city, made for each other, by each other.

Indianapolis is by no means a perfect city. In recent years, we have faced the same unrest many of our country’s cities have had to overcome. The issues we are facing currently will not subside in a day’s time. These challenges, be it an aging infrastructure or increased political tension, will require time, patience, and diligence. However, we do not claim to be perfect, nor do we claim to be complete. Indianapolis is a constant work in progress, wherein we must not only identify the adversity laid at our feet, but learn how to overcome as a community. We do not make excuses, we do not point fingers, we do not fall victim to hatred, and above all else, we watch out for all members of our community.

I love Indianapolis because it is limitless. In years past, Indianapolis has welcomed the victims of natural disasters, opened our hearts to refugees, and become a new home to disenfranchised populations. All who have come to Indianapolis, no matter if it was out of newfound opportunity or dire circumstance, have become an integral part of our city’s fabric. An engravement in the stone of the Old City Hall building in downtown Indianapolis reads, “I am a citizen of no mean city” – that is Indianapolis. A city proud of its people, the backgrounds of those people, and the accomplishments of those people.

 

JEFFREY STANICH III, ‘16

Indianapolis will sneak up on you - like how, during a random visit with a friend, it turned out to be a place I might actually like to call home.

Years ago, my high school buddy Elliot and I were down from Wisconsin for the day looking for some warmer golfing weather that we never found, so we had time to kill in a place we knew nothing about. Until he said: “Want to go check out that one small school that just made it to the Final Four?” So we did.

As reader has probably already picked up on, the institution in question was Butler University, and it turned out to be so much more than one small school. After leaving with more reasons to return than any other university visit had offered, Butler was choice number one when it came time to choose. And the following four years surpassed every expectation that I had built up in my head since first walking up the steps of Robertson Hall.

Beyond the ways that Butler integrated me into the surrounding city - such as statehouse visits with journalism courses, or learning that weekends begin on Thursday nights in Broad Ripple - it was on my peers and I to get to know Indianapolis beyond the bubble.

And for as much as we tried to get to know places, it wasn’t until the June following my ’16 commencement that I finally stumbled upon the downtown canal walk, and months more until I got to witness the leaves turn every September in Holliday and Garfield parks. Sure, nice places to spend some time are found in every city - but that autumn was when I learned how Butler University and Indianapolis are part of an entire community that has your back. 

I got my first real job out of college - writing speeches for Indianapolis Mayor Joe Hogsett - because his chief of staff somehow found my name on Butler’s website. This job (beyond a consistent paycheck) offered a chance to see the true dynamic identity of Indianapolis, that major-metropolis-with-small-town-charm people often speak to.

On any given weekend, hundreds of thousands of visitors will flood the town late into the night for world-class events like the Indy 500 and GenCon, and then by Monday you’re bumping into old and new friendly faces to catch up with during your morning routine.

You can meet residents whose families have lived in a neighborhood for generations, and then spend time with whole communities of Burmese immigrants who are just starting their lives in America through Exodus Refugee Immigration.

There are all the jobs you could want in the 80,000-strong hospitality industry that is to credit for Indianapolis’ ranking as the number one convention city in the United States, or you can pursue just as many careers in one of the many tech companies like Salesforce and Infosys that contribute to our reputation as the Tech Capital of the Midwest. (We’re not letting Silicon Prairie catch on, sorry.)

So Indianapolis will sneak up on you - for me, it transformed from a day-trip destination, to a place where I spent four years learning and living, to the place where I still intend on growing. My little cousin is starting at Butler in August, and she’s echoing that same sentiment I did six years ago: “this is a whole lot better than I expected.”

Yeah, it is, I tell her. And you’re only at the beginning.

 

I Love Indianapolis Because...
Summer in IndyPeopleCommunity

I Love Indy Because...

We know Indy is a great city; we asked 3 young alumni to tell us why. 

What She Did On Her Summer Vacation: Shakespeare

By Marc Allan

For the past 10 years, Butler Theatre Chair Diane Timmerman has spent her summers bringing Shakespeare to the masses in White River State Park—first as an actor and, since 2013, as Producing Artistic Director of the Indianapolis Shakespeare Company, better known as Indy Shakes.

It's a huge commitment of time and energy, but Timmerman has a list of reasons that it's worth her time.

"There's a freewheeling joy to getting together and producing a Shakespeare play outdoors, where it was originally produced," she said as she prepared for this summer's production of the rarely produced tragedy Coriolanus, August 2-4.

Her list continues:

-Indy Shakes gives work to Butler alumni and interns. This summer's cast includes alumni Ryan Ruckman '06 and Joanna Bennett '08, and four current students are working as interns. "This project provides gainful, paying, artistically satisfying work for local artists. So that's a driver. I seem to have the ability to give a lot of other theater artists jobs, and I really like that."

-These free shows are an opportunity to expose more people to theater. Through surveys, Indy Shakes has found that as many as 12 percent of its audiences are seeing live theater for the first time.

-She gets the chance to work with so many talented people. "To have the professional quality of the actors, directors, designers, and everyone doing this work is incredible."

Coriolanus tells the story of a man who ends up seizing power and wielding that over the people. The story, Timmerman said, is easy to understand and dynamic.

"I think it's going to be our strongest production to date," she said.

Indy Shakes was founded as the Heartland Actors Repertory Theatre in 2006-07 by a group of equity actors. They began by doing mostly contemporary work, but Shakespeare in the Park took hold and became the company's primary activity. Timmerman was in the first Shakespeare production, The Merchant of Venice.

This year, the company launched a new traveling troupe that played a one-hour version of Macbeth in city parks, libraries, and community centers.

"What I love about this company is that none of us really have to do it," said Timmerman, who has been teaching at Butler for 25 years. "All of the artists are gainfully employed in other ways. But this project feeds everybody's artistic soul."

Coriolanus will be staged August 2-4 at 8:00 PM each night in White River State Park. Admission is free. Food trucks and beer and wine vendors will be on hand and pre-show entertainment begins at 5:00 PM.

 

In the photo: Grant Goodman and Constance Macy star in 'Coriolanus.' (Julie Curry Photography)

Shakespeare
Summer in IndyPeopleCommunity

What She Did On Her Summer Vacation: Shakespeare

Theatre Chair Diane Timmerman is Producing Artistic Director for Indy Shakes

Indy Named Most Underrated City in America

by Elizabeth Duis ’20

This past May, Forbes named Indianapolis the Most Underrated City in America.

“It’s a city with an exploding culinary scene that is easy to get to, about as cheap as any urban destination in America, with lots of worthwhile attractions and a litany of special and Bucket List events, full of new hotels and outdoor activities, and every time I come back wondering, why don’t you hear more about Indy?” Larry Olmsted explained in his recent article. “Well, now that is all starting to change.”

Events like the Indy 500 have been on the public’s radar for years, but new developments such as the bid for Amazon’s second headquarters and Travel + Leisure’s 50 Best Places to Travel both included Indianapolis and have caused the media to take a closer look at Circle City. What they’ve found is a vibrant, growing metropolis that is ideal for young professionals.

“From a business perspective…Indy punches so far above its weight class,” Olmsted continued. “That and the low cost of living and high quality of life are all reasons why Indy recently made the cut to the short list for Amazon’s new second headquarters.”

As a future or current college student, you may be wondering what does this mean for me? Location is a huge factor to weigh when making a college decision. For those who are considering Butler University, the city of Indianapolis is closely tied to who we are and what we do. As the 15th largest city in America, it’s not too big and it’s not too small. It’s just right.

Indy is both an experience and a resource for Butler Bulldogs. It’s a metropolis that sustains, entertains, and connects us with the rest of the world. To show our love for Circle City, we’ve broken down some of our favorite ways that Indianapolis benefits Butler students during their time here and even after graduation.

While You’re a Student

No matter where you come from, Indianapolis is the perfect place for you. Indy has often been described as a “Goldilocks” type of city. For those coming from a bigger city, it’s a chance to receive personalized attention, take advantage of a lower cost of living without losing any benefits, and escape inconveniences like traffic, pollution, and crowded neighborhoods.

The opposite can be true as well. If you come from a small town, Indianapolis can be like a starter city to immerse yourself in a new and exciting environment. It’s a chance to try on big city life without any risk. Butler’s campus is its own community in the heart of a vibrant neighborhood just ten minutes from downtown Indianapolis. Within a short walk, bike ride, or drive, there is always something fun to do and wonderful places to eat. You can truly feel connected to the rest of the world.  

Not only does the environment fit just right, but the attitude of the environment fits as well. This is a place where you truly matter and you can make big things happen. Butler faculty and Indianapolis employers alike are concerned with and committed to your success. You’ll be a big fish in a big pond.

Another benefit to having Indy at your doorstep can be summarized in one word: internships. One of the aspects that sets Butler apart is that many degree tracks require an internship. The internships you complete during your time at Butler will connect you to this vibrant, growing city. This access to some of the nation’s top companies and organizations gives you a leg up on the competition.

After four years of making valuable networking connections and lifelong friends, graduates have a strong desire to put down roots here. It’s almost like if you love Butler, then you’re guaranteed to love Indy!

After Graduation

Even after you’ve walked across the stage at graduation, the Butler-Indy network is one that you will never lose. More than likely, the internship (or several!) that you completed during your time at Butler will help connect you to employment after graduation. That’s one of the many reasons that Butler University’s overall placement rate is 97%. That sense of security is critically important in today’s ever-shifting job market.

If you don’t have an “in” right away, don’t worry! Both Butler and Indy have several resources to help connect you to your next job. Butler’s Internship and Career Services will work closely with you even after graduation to ensure that your transition into the real world is a smooth one.

Another great Indianapolis resource goes by the name of Indy Hub. Established as a resource for 20 and 30-year olds to learn more about and become more connected with the city, Indy Hub coordinates signature programs and initiatives to provide young professionals with opportunities that cannot be found elsewhere. With your success in mind, Indy Hub helps bridge the gap between where you are and where you want to be.

The city of Indianapolis is an extremely collaborative place. It’s hard to find another place in the country that offers you access to thriving companies like Eli Lilly and Roche. Statistics like high quality of life and low cost of living speak for themselves, but when you read between those lines you uncover that Indianapolis is a place where you can easily find professional and personal success.

Not only can you pursue your career here, but you can also watch professional sports, dine at award-winning restaurants, explore miles of biking trails, or even go see a Broadway show! These are just a few reasons why young professionals are turning their heads towards Indy.

Here at Butler University, we are proud to call Indianapolis our home, and we hope that maybe one day you will too.

Summer in IndyCommunity

Indy Named Most Underrated City in America

Indy is both an experience and a resource for Butler Bulldogs.

AcademicsCommunity

Butler Launches Online Master’s in Risk and Insurance

BY

PUBLISHED ON Jul 12 2018

Butler University's Lacy School of Business will introduce an online Master of Science in Risk and Insurance (MSRI) program—among the first of its kind in the nation—beginning in January 2019 to help address the gap between the risk and insurance industry’s personnel needs and the limited talent pool that exists in today’s job market. 

The degree is intended to serve students who aspire to advanced roles in corporate risk management. It will also serve students with a few years of finance or legal experience seeking employment in the insurance field, as well as early-phase professionals already working for insurance firms in both property and casualty, and life and health, and students who have an undergraduate degree in risk and insurance and want to pursue advanced study in the industry. 

More information about the program is available www.butler.edu/msri. Applications will be open beginning August 1.

“The need for risk management professionals in the professional services industry is well-documented," said Donald J. Ortegel, Resident Managing Director of Aon. "The good news is that the trend line is positive for professionals with a specific, applicable risk management four-year degree. Someone holding an advanced degree or additional education in this area would have an edge over other professionals competing for open and career-advancement opportunities.”

The part-time MSRI program will be conducted exclusively online, except for two required in-residence experiences—one on the Butler campus at the start of the program and one at the end of the program in the “world's risk capital,” Bermuda. Coursework will take approximately 24 months to complete.

Zach Finn, Clinical Professor and Director of Butler’s Davey Risk Management and Insurance program, said Butler's goal with the new MSRI program is to prepare students for an industry that anticipates needing 400,000 new employees by 2020.

"As one insurance executive said in our focus group: 'This degree is an automatic $10,000 raise for any employee who acquires it,'” said Victor Puleo, Butler Associate Professor of Risk Management and Insurance, who will run the MSRI program.

The MSRI curriculum will include content dealing with property and casualty, and health and life. It also will have unique and hard-to-find courses on insurance-linked securities and a hands-on opportunity to run a captive insurance entity.

Puleo said graduates of the program will have access to some of the best jobs available for corporate risk managers. Other candidates will be able to enter or accelerate their careers with insurance carriers and brokers. High-caliber graduates from this program will possess the capability to attain senior level positions in these firms.

Butler already boasts a robust undergraduate program for Risk Management and Insurance, including the MJ Student-Run Insurance Company, known in industry parlance as a “captive.”

The company, the first of its kind for a university, insures Butler programs and items including the live mascot Butler Blue III, rare books, artwork, and the telescope at the Holcomb Observatory. Students learn how to write the insurance policy and what the coverage terms will be, and they're figuring out how to finance the company. In doing so, they are able to apply their risk-management expertise in accounting, investments, and numerous other areas.

 

Media contact:
Marc Allan MFA '18
mallan@butler.edu
317-940-9822

 

 

AcademicsCommunity

Butler Launches Online Master’s in Risk and Insurance

"This degree is an automatic $10,000 raise for any employee who acquires it."

Jul 12 2018 Read more

Stream Lines

Marc Allan

from Spring 2016

The Impact of Water

Walk in Holcomb Gardens these days and you’ll see a series of red lines, mirrors, backwards words, and a pedestal in the center where visitors can stand. There are poems written on the mirrors, as well as facts about the Indianapolis water system. And there are even jokes: What is a tree that looks different on both sides? Asymmetry. 

They’re all part of StreamLines, an interactive project that merges art and science to advance the Indianapolis community’s understanding and appreciation of its waterways. 

StreamLines—in place for the next two years—was unveiled in September 2015. It’s the result of a $2.9 million National Science Foundation grant awarded to the Center for Urban Ecology at Butler University. 

The project features a collection of dance performances (choreographed by Butler Dance Professor Cynthia Pratt), musical recordings, poetry, and visual art tailored for sites along the six Indianapolis waterways—White River, Fall Creek, Central Canal, Little Eagle Creek, Pleasant Run, and Pogue’s Run. The art created for each site invites the community to learn, explore, and experience the science of local water systems. 

Also incorporated into the project is an interactive website (streamlines.org), smartphone app, and related programming to increase access, enhance interpretation, and provide expanded opportunities for learning. 

Spokesperson Ryan Puckett said the objective is to inform Indianapolis about its waterways, to understand the impact water has on us, and to recognize the impact we have on water. 

“We’re not trying to get somebody a PhD in the science of water,” he said. “We’re trying to go for things like getting people to understand that we all live in a watershed. In Indianapolis, we live in the White River Watershed. When a drop of water hits the ground here, it eventually flows into the White River, which ends up in the Mississippi River, which ends up in the Gulf of Mexico, which ends up in the ocean. So that connectivity to all those different waterways shows we can have some impact on the ocean.” 

Community

Stream Lines

by Marc Allan

from Spring 2016

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