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Butler Librarian Wins National Award for Innovation


PUBLISHED ON Mar 21 2018

Butler Business Librarian Teresa Williams, who teaches information-literacy sessions for many Lacy School of Business courses, wanted to find a way to provide more in-depth instruction on the business resources students should be using for their information needs.

"I was aware of workshops taught at other universities, but those focused mainly on teaching students how to use subscription research databases," she said. "The library subscribes to those types of databases for business research, but they are expensive and can be accessed only by current Butler students, faculty, and staff."

So Williams developed a workshop to teach Butler students how to find and use alternative business information resources that are reliable, free, and publicly accessible—information resources students can use while at Butler and later as they move into their professional careers.

On March 16, the Association of College and Research Libraries—the primary professional association for most U.S. librarians working in higher education—recognized her with the Innovation in College Librarianship Award. The prize is given annually to members who have demonstrated a capacity for innovation in their work with undergraduates, instructors, and/or the library community.

In recognizing Williams' work, Award Chair Eric A. Kidwell, who is Director of the Library, Professor, and Title IX Coordinator at Huntington College, said librarians working on information-literacy programs are most often focused on teaching students about resources for their academic work while they're in school. But the vast majority of those resources are subscription resources that will no longer be accessible once the students cease being students.

“What impressed the committee about Williams’ submission was the focus on teaching students about research resources available to them post-graduation as they transition into their careers and into their communities,” he said.

Williams developed her Business Research Workshop in 2014, then conducted a pilot program for the Butler Business Consulting Group interns and staff. It grew from there. Since then, she has taught the workshop for over 100 participants, including undergrads, MBA students, faculty and staff.

The workshop is free, and anyone from Butler can attend. Resources discussed in the workshop include government search portals, trade sites, advanced Google tools, and public library offerings for the business community.

Participants who complete the workshop receive a Certificate of Completion, and she said many students include the accomplishment on their resumes and apply the information learned during their business internships.

Williams has been at Butler for 11 years as Business Librarian and liaison to the Lacy School of Business.  Prior to that, she worked for the Carmel Clay Public Library, the IU School of Medicine, and PriceWaterhouse. She earned her Bachelor's in Business and a Master of Library Science from Indiana University, and a Master of Arts degree in Journalism from The Ohio State University.

"Teresa's Business Research Workshop is distinctive because it focuses on helping students make the transition from using the expensive subscription databases they use in their coursework to freely available resources they can use as they enter the workforce," said Julie Miller, Butler's Dean of Libraries. "I am delighted the selection committee recognized this project as a model for other academic libraries."


Media contact:
Marc Allan



AcademicsPeopleInnovation & Creativity

Butler Librarian Wins National Award for Innovation

Teresa Williams created the Business Research Workshop.

Mar 21 2018 Read more

Lisa Brooks Named New Dean of JCA


PUBLISHED ON Nov 16 2017

Lisa Brooks’ career at Butler has been a series of progressions—from Violin Professor to Assistant Chair of the School of Music and Director of the Graduate Program to Chair of the School of Music to Interim Dean of the Jordan College of the Arts.

And now, Dean.

Provost Kate Morris announced Brooks’ appointment as Dean of Butler’s Jordan College of the Arts on November 15 at the conclusion of a two-year national search.

“With each role she has held, Lisa has demonstrated her commitment to students, faculty, and staff, both within the College and across the University,” Morris said.

Brooks said when she took over as Interim Dean on June 1, there was a question about whether she would be able to advocate for the other departments in JCA—Dance, Theatre, Arts Administration, and Art + Design.

“I’m a music professor,” she said. “I’m a musician. I’m sure there were people in the college saying, ‘Will she be able to not be music-centric?’ And I didn’t know, either. So I took over June 1, and by mid-August I thought, ‘I can do this job.’ I believe that I’ve proven to my colleagues in the other disciplines that I can be their advocate.”

So she applied for the position.

As Interim Dean, Brooks has already put her stamp on the College. She and the JCA department chairs have replaced the 4-year-old Butler ArtsFest with JCA Signature Events, which provide more student-centered experiences followed by a public performance. The Signature Event on November 14-15, for example, featured theatre artist Tim Miller, who presented workshops for students and an evening show for the public.

Brooks said her immediate goals for JCA are to reconnect with and energize alumni, and to become “a major player in arts education in Indianapolis.”

“The college’s vision is to become a nexus of the arts in Indianapolis through education and performance, and to become a destination for innovative undergraduate arts education,” she said.

Brooks received both a bachelor’s and master’s degree in Violin Performance from West Virginia University and earned her doctorate in Violin Performance from the State University of New York at Stony Brook. She came to Butler from Baylor University in fall 1994 with her husband, Davis, as part of Butler’s first tenure-track faculty job share.

“It was actually quite forward-looking for Butler to hire us as a job-sharing couple,” she said. “That enabled us to do a lot of performing in the community as violinists. We also have two kids, so it was a great way to balance life, and it worked out well. They knew that they got more than 100 percent from the two of us, and they didn’t care how we split the position. They said, ‘Here are the duties. Do it.'”

They did. Lisa plays in the Indianapolis Chamber Orchestra, and both serve as substitutes for the Indianapolis Symphony Orchestra. (Davis retired from full-time teaching in spring 2014.)

Brooks said she will continue to teach—she has six students this semester—and serve as an academic adviser.

“You can really lose touch with students when you sit in this office,” she said. “You don’t see them frequently, and you can lose touch with the very thing you’re advocating for. So I think it’s important for a Dean to teach, and I’m going to continue to do so.”

Media contact:
Marc Allan


Lisa Brooks Named New Dean of JCA

Provost Kate Morris announced Brooks’ appointment as Dean of Butler’s Jordan College of the Arts on November 15 at the conclusion of a two-year national search.

Nov 16 2017 Read more

Butler's Realizing The Dream Scholarship Winner Is...


PUBLISHED ON Nov 07 2017

Kayleigh Pletch, a second-year Liberal Arts Exploratory major student from Frankfort, Indiana, has been selected as Butler University’s 2017 winner of the Independent Colleges of Indiana’s Realizing the Dream scholarship.


Matthew Scott and Kayleigh Pletch

This scholarship goes to students who are first in their families to go to college, have been selected by their colleges for outstanding achievement in their first year, and are successfully advancing towards completing their bachelor’s degrees.

Pletch and 30 other students from Indiana’s independent colleges and universities, and their most influential elementary or secondary teachers, were honored on November 4 at the 28th annual “Realizing the Dream” banquet. The event, made possible by a grant from Lilly Endowment Inc. to the Independent Colleges of Indiana, recognizes first-generation tudents attending ICI campuses, along with their inspirational teachers and families.

Pletch will receive a $2,500 check to help with college costs. Additionally, each student’s selected most influential teacher/mentor will receive a $1,000 professional development grant. Pletch chose her high school social studies teacher Matthew Scott from Clinton Prairie High School.

Media contact:
Marc Allan


Butler's Realizing The Dream Scholarship Winner Is...

Kayleigh Pletch, a second-year Liberal Arts Exploratory major student from Frankfort, Indiana, has been selected as Butler University’s 2017 winner of the Independent Colleges of Indiana’s Realizing the Dream scholarship.

Nov 07 2017 Read more

Butler Presents Eight Alumni Awards


PUBLISHED ON Sep 27 2017

Honorees to receive their recognition during Homecoming Weekend.

Butler University will hold the annual Alumni Awards Recognition Program for extraordinary professional achievement and service to the University and their communities on Friday, October 20, at 6:00 PM in the Howard L. Schrott Center for the Arts.

This year’s recipients are:

  • Butler Medal: Norman W. Wilkens ’57
  • Butler Service Medal: Dr. Robert Grechesky
  • Joseph Irwin Sweeney Award: Becky L. Ruby-Wojtowicz ’05
  • Hilton Ultimus Brown Award: Michael Hole ’08
  • Robert Todd Duncan Award: Wayne C. Burris ’77
  • Katharine Merrill Graydon Award: Kevin J. McDevitt ’77
  • Ovid Butler Society Mortar Award: Karen (Dietz) Colglazier ’70 MA’74 and John W. Colglazier
  • Foundation Award: Branden ’02 and Jenn Renner

Registration for the awards ceremony and all Homecoming activities can be made online at More about the recipients and their awards follows.

Norman W. Wilkens ’57 (The Butler Medal)

Norman W. Wilkens, President, Wilkens Consulting LLC, has been active in marketing, advertising, education, and public relations in Indianapolis for over sixty years. A 1957 graduate of Butler University with a Bachelor of Science in Radio and Television, Wilkens began his career as an announcer and floor director/writer at WTTV (Channel 4). He joined WXLW radio as Continuity Director in 1958. Four years later, he joined Ruben Advertising in its Public Relations Division.

The next steps of his career included advertising and marketing in leading Indianapolis firms including Handley & Miller and Caldwell, Larkin, Sidener, and Van Riper. At that juncture, he and others formed McQuade, Wilkens, Bloomhorst Advertising.

Wilkens became a principal in Carlson & Co. Advertising as President/CEO. Seven years later, he merged the agency into Montgomery, Zuckerman & Davis (MZD) as Vice President and Account Supervisor. He left MZD to form an in­house agency for Standard Management Corporation, an international insurance holding company, in 1993.

In 1996, he spun the agency out of its in-house status and it became an independent firm under the banner Advertising Visions Inc. Five years later, the name was changed to Ambient Communications. In 2004, he dissolved the agency to serve as an independent marketing consultant emphasizing health care. Today, that entity is known as Wilkens Consulting LLC.

Wilkens has held teaching posts at Butler University (for 21 years), Indiana University, and Indiana Wesleyan University, as an instructor in broadcast writing, advertising, and public relations. His father, Dr. Irvin Wilkens, received his pre-medical degree from the old Butler Campus in lrvington.

The Butler Medal, the highest honor conferred by the Butler University Alumni Association, recognizes individuals for a lifetime of distinguished service to either Butler or their local community while at the same time achieving a distinguished career in their chosen profession.

Robert Grechesky (The Butler Service Medal)

Dr. Robert Grechesky is Emeritus Professor of Music and Director of Bands at Butler University. He taught conducting, music education courses, wind band history and literature, and euphonium, and he conducted the Butler Symphonic Band and Wind Ensemble on four European tours. In 2014, he retired from active teaching after 41 years of service at Butler.

Grechesky received his Bachelor of Arts in Music Education from Rutgers University, and his Master of Music and doctorate in Music Education and Conducting from the University of Wisconsin-Madison.

He was named a Sagamore of the Wabash, the highest civilian award that the State of Indiana gives, by Governor Mike Pence, and in 2016 he was honored by his election to the Butler University Athletic Hall of Fame. He is the recipient of the A. Frank Martin Award, a national award given by Kappa Kappa Psi for outstanding service to college bands. Grechesky was named 2010 “Outstanding University Music Educator” by the Indiana Music Educators Association. He was selected as the 2010–2011 recipient of the James B. Calvert Lifetime Achievement Award by the Indiana Wind Symphony, and was named Outstanding Professor by the Butler Mortar Board.

He will be awarded the Butler Service Medal, which recognizes emeriti faculty or retired faculty and staff (alumnus or non-alumnus) for a lifetime of distinguished service to Butler University and to the community.

Becky L. Ruby-Wojtowicz ’05 (Joseph Irwin Sweeney Alumni Service Award)

Becky Ruby-Wojtowicz graduated with a Bachelor of Science in Arts Administration and a Bachelor of Arts in Journalism (Public Relations).

After two years as Individual Giving Manager at the Indianapolis Zoo, and two years in a similar position at Wishard Health Foundation, she left to run lilly lane, a company she started in January 2008 to provide flowers, event-planning, and other services. (Her first client was a Butler alumnus.) lilly lane has now provided wedding flowers to over 600 couples, as well as corporate and non-profit clients.

Ruby-Wojtowicz was a four-year member of the Young Alumni Board, including one year as vice president and one as president, and has taught at Butler in the Arts Administration program.

She and her husband, Justin, have a daughter, Claire.

The award she is receiving is named for Joseph Irwin Sweeney, whose student career was cut short when he suffered an untimely death in summer 1900, prior to his senior year. It goes to a graduate who completed their degree within the past 15 years who has contributed significant service to the University.

Michael Hole ’08 (Hilton Ultimus Brown Alumni Achievement Award)

Dr. Michael Hole is a pediatrician and social entrepreneur who started his career as a case manager focused on child trafficking before founding two international development campaigns: Power of Children, which started a primary school for 350 students in post-conflict Uganda, and BeHaiti, which helped Partners in Health develop and distribute a vitamin-enriched food treating 50,000 malnourished youth yearly and support an orphanage for 64 disabled, abused, or homeless children abandoned during Haiti’s 2010 earthquake.

He completed residency at Harvard Medical School, where he trained at Boston Children’s Hospital, the world’s No. 1 children’s hospital as ranked by U.S. News & World Report, and Boston Medical Center, New England’s largest safety-net hospital. He earned an MD and MBA from Stanford University with concentrations in public management, community health, and social innovation, and he holds a Bachelor of Science cum laude with honors in Biology and Spanish from Butler University, where he was a Lilly Scholar and the 2008 Top Male Student.

In 2016, he co-launched StreetCred, an organization at the intersection of government and health systems helping low-income families build assets while they wait in pediatric clinics and hospitals. Featured by The Boston Globe and CBS News, StreetCred has returned more than $1.5 million in tax refunds to vulnerable families, which placed Hole on Forbes Magazine‘s 30 Under 30 list of social entrepreneurs.

The Hilton Ultimus Brown Alumni Achievement Award honors alumni who have exited the University within the past 15 years and have made major contributions to a career field or to society.

Kevin McDevitt ’77 (Katharine Merrill Graydon Alumni Service Award)

Kevin McDevitt, Senior Vice President-Wealth Management for UBS Financial Services Inc., graduated from Butler University with a degree in mathematics and went on to earn his MBA in finance from the University of Detroit. He is a Certified Financial Planner and is a member of the Investment Management Consulting Association. He is a member of UBS’s distinguished Director’s Club, which recognizes the top Financial Advisors in the firm. McDevitt has worked for UBS for 30 years.

McDevitt is the current President and a founding member of the Butler University Detroit Alumni Chapter and has been a member of the Ovid Butler Society for the past five years. He also was a supporter of the Campaign for Hinkle Fieldhouse.

In the Detroit community, he has served as a former Introduction Leader of Landmark Education, past President of Marian Athletic Club, and member of the Finance Committee at St. Ireneaus Church.

McDevitt was a four-year letter-winner as a running back on Butler’s football teams, 1973–1976. He led the NCAA (all divisions) in kickoff returns in 1975, and he still holds Butler’s career record for kickoff returns. He won the conference scoring title in 1974, and he became the first Butler football player to score 100 points in a season in 1976. In 2003, he was inducted into the Butler Athletic Hall of Fame.

He and his beloved late wife, Kathy ’78, met at Butler. They have four children, including daughter Shannon, who is a senior at Butler this fall. Shannon is a Health Science and Business major and is a member of the Butler’s Women’s Soccer Team. In 2016, she was named to the All-BIG EAST Conference Second Team.

He is receiving the Katharine Merrill Graydon Alumni Service Award, which is presented to a graduate who received their degree more than 15 years prior to the presentation of the award in recognition of outstanding service to Butler University.

Wayne C. Burris ’77 (Robert Todd Duncan Alumni Achievement Award)

As Senior Vice President and Chief Financial Officer for Roche Diagnostics Corp.—a position he has held since 1996—Wayne Burris uses his strong background in U.S. and international accounting and finance experience dealing with business and reporting issues to provide strategic and tactical advice for the many Roche businesses.

He was a founding member of the Roche Diagnostics-North American STAR initiative that generated over $100 million in purchasing savings and has since become a global initiative, and he served on the Diagnostics Investment Committee tasked with deciding how to allocate and approve over $500 million in annual capital investments.

Prior to his current position, Burris was Head of Global Finance for Patient Care and, before that, was Vice President of Finance. Before joining Roche Diagnostics in 1986, he was Senior Manager for Price Waterhouse LLP, focusing on clients in the financial service industry and on global healthcare manufacturers in diagnostics, orthopedics, and pharmaceuticals.

Burris, a Certified Public Accountant, is a native of Indianapolis. He received his Bachelor of Science degree in Accounting and Finance from Butler University, where he was voted one of the Top Ten Male Students and was named the Outstanding Male Student of his graduating class. He was a recipient of an Ernst & Young scholarship in accounting, and in 2002, he was inducted into the Butler University Athletic Hall of Fame.

He is being honored with the Robert Todd Duncan Alumni Achievement Award, which is presented to a Butler graduate who received their degree more than 15 years prior to the presentation of the award in recognition of outstanding contributions in a career field or to society.

Karen (Dietz) Colglazier ’70 MA ’74 and John W. Colglazier (Ovid Butler Society Mortar Award)

Karen and John, “Bud,” Colglazier have been Ovid Butler Society members since 2002. Karen joined the OBS Executive Committee in 2008 and served as the chairperson for three years. She also served on the Butler Parent-Faculty Council (2002–2003) and in the fall of 2005 joined the Board of Visitors for the College of Liberal Arts and Sciences, which she is still a member of today.

Karen, an Indianapolis native, spent her childhood playing in the sand under the bleachers and running the ramps of Hinkle Fieldhouse, rolling down the grassy hill onto the football field, and sledding behind the Butler Bowl. Her father, Bob Dietz ’41, was an All-American basketball player at Butler and long-time assistant Men’s Basketball coach to Tony Hinkle from 1947–1970. Karen attended Butler for her undergraduate and graduate degrees, receiving her Bachelor of Arts in History/Political Science and her Master of Arts in American History.

In the summer of 1974 she was awarded a Fulbright Fellowship for study and travel in India, an achievement she credits to the rigorous curriculum of the College of Liberal Arts and Sciences. Karen taught social studies in Indianapolis Public Schools and Hamilton Southeastern High School, and was a Title IX girl’s tennis coach, being a part of the first high school girls’ tennis program in IPS in 1971.

Bud is owner and President of Don Hinds Ford in Fishers, Indiana. He is a 1967 graduate of Indiana University Kelley School of Business and a member of Sigma Chi Fraternity.

The Colglaziers are the parents of three children—sons John and Mark and daughter Carrie. John and Mark are part of the management team at Don Hinds Ford. Carrie, a member of the Butler Women’s Soccer team studying in the pre-PA program, was killed by a drunk driver June 6, 2003. In 2006, Bud and Karen established an endowed scholarship in Carrie’s memory to benefit a Butler Women’s Soccer player who best exemplifies the Butler Way.

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.

Branden ’02 and Jenn Renner (The Foundation Award)

Branden and Jenn Renner were one of the first pledges to the new Butler Andre B. Lacy School of Business building, and their contribution will result in a conference room being named for them.

Brandon, who played football for Butler, graduated in 2002 with a Bachelor of Science in Finance. He is now Associate Vice President, Investments & Financial Advisor for Renner Masariu Wealth Management of Raymond James—one of the youngest vice presidents in Raymond James’ 50-year history. He has also been a consecutive five-year winner of the Achiever’s Club Award and has been nominated as one of Five Star Professional’s Top Wealth Advisors in Indianapolis.

He is a member of the Indiana Motor Truck Association’s Executive Committee and the chairman of their Allied Committee, past President of the Butler Young Alumni Board and Central Indiana Alumni Chapter, and past member of the Ovid Butler Society Executive Committee, Career Services Advisory Board, and Alumni Engagement Subcommittee for the Board of Trustees.

In addition, he has won the Joseph Irwin Sweeney Alumni Service Award and the Barbara Busche OBS Award, and was the Rotary Foundation’s Paul Harris Fellow.

Jenn graduated from Purdue University in 2005 with a Bachelor of Arts in Education. She was an Avon Community School Corporation elementary-school teacher and is now a stay-at-home mom with sons Luke and Logan. She works as a Beachbody coach and is active with the Make-A-Wish Foundation.

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.

Media contact:
Marc Allan


Butler Presents Eight Alumni Awards

Honorees to receive their recognition during Homecoming Weekend.

Butler University will hold the annual Alumni Awards Recognition Program for extraordinary professional achievement and service to the University and their communities on Friday, October 20, at 6:00 PM in the Howard L. Schrott Center for the Arts.

Sep 27 2017 Read more

After 40 Years of 'Helping People,' Jeanne Van Tyle Retires


PUBLISHED ON Jun 26 2017

Professor of Pharmacy Jeanne Van Tyle discovered her love of teaching in what sounds like a moment scripted for television. Four weeks into her teaching assistantship for her master’s program, the professor she was assigned to had a heart attack. He told Van Tyle where the class notebook was, and she was left to teach the class while he recovered.

“That was the first thought I’d given to teaching,” Van Tyle explained.

Originally thinking she would go into research and work for a company like Eli Lilly, her direction suddenly changed.

That was about 45 years ago, and now Van Tyle is exiting Butler after 40 years of teaching.

“I came to pharmacy school thinking I wanted to help people,” she said. “So this brings me back to my base roots of service. When we ask students on the first day of classes, ‘Why do you want to be a pharmacist?’ the number one answer is, ‘to help people.’ Many have seen grandparents struggle or have a personal history which perked their interest. In addition, I come from a social justice background as well. I truly believe that ‘to those to whom much is given, much is expected.’”

Van Tyle grew up on the southwest side of Indianapolis and intended to go to school at Indiana University. But her presentation at a high school science fair—doing a tissue culture to measure the effects of drugs on chick embryos—earned her a half-tuition scholarship to Butler.

She lived at home while at Butler and finished her Bachelor of Pharmacy degree in 1974. Two years later, after earning her Doctor of Pharmacy from Mercer University in Atlanta, Georgia, Butler’s College of Pharmacy recruited her to join the faculty.

Over the next several years, she impacted the Butler culture in at least two significant ways.

Initially, when she was hired, she was in a 50-50 position—that is, half her salary was paid by Butler and half by St. Vincent Hospital. She spent time in the mornings with doctors and students at St. Vincent, then the afternoon at Butler—many elective courses were offered in the evening division at the time. The 50-50 appointment is common now among pharmacy faculty so that pharmacy students can have access to faculty at sites. She was at both sites every day while working at St. Vincent, she said, but she was the first in this type of appointment.

Her second significant change was when she married another Pharmacy Professor, Kent Van Tyle, in 1982. It was rare at the time for faculty members to marry and have both stay at Butler, but the dean agreed with the decision.

At Butler, faculty appointments are based around teaching, research, and service. Van Tyle’s teaching areas are in pharmacokinetics and women’s health issues. She has taught in the Pharmacy, Physician Assistant and Health Sciences program. As for research, she’s also published articles in various scholarly journals like Pharmacotherapy and Annals of Surgery, and in pharmacy journals such as Pharmacy Times, some with her fellow colleagues. She has written several book chapters for textbooks in pharmacokinetics.

Service, however, is what Van Tyle has truly focused on for the past 40 years through teaching, mentoring students, training pharmacists, and volunteering in the community. For the past 20 years, she has served as a volunteer pharmacist for the Gennersaret Free Clinics, which provides healthcare for the homeless.

Rebecca Seifert, Executive Director of Gennersaret Free Clinic, has known Van Tyle as both a volunteer and as a member of the organization’s board.

“She goes above and beyond in terms of just caring,” Seifert said. “She has one of the most caring and compassionate hearts.”

At Butler, Van Tyle’s volunteer service included serving as Co-Chair of the Gender Equity Commission, a study of campus atmosphere for faculty, staff, and students, and as Chair of the Faculty Senate for one term.

“Both of these roles emphasize working with other across campus and helps to unite us in common causes,” Van Tyle said. “It is too easy to work by yourself and just your college. Cross campus activities help build new relationships and friendships.”

Van Tyle said Butler has been an ideal workplace because of the interaction with many bright students and colleagues, and the ability to integrate the service aspect of her life into her career so heavily.

At the end of the day though, she’s ready for the next stage, and to spend more time with her husband and two daughters, Rachel and Emily ’13, both of whom have inherited her service nature.

“I’ve spent so much time and energy working, I don’t know what all is out there,” Van Tyle said. “Everyone I know who is retired says they don’t look back but move on to new things.”

Like everything else she’s fully immersed herself in, that’s what she’s planning to do.

Media contact:
Krisy Force


After 40 Years of 'Helping People,' Jeanne Van Tyle Retires

Professor of Pharmacy Jeanne Van Tyle discovered her love of teaching in what sounds like a moment scripted for television.

Jun 26 2017 Read more
Darius Hickman
Arts & CulturePeople

Does He Think He Can Dance? He *Knows* He Can Dance


PUBLISHED ON Jul 17 2017

When the other members of Butler’s Class of 2021 ask Darius Hickman what he did this summer, he’ll have a story that starts with, “I was a contestant on So You Think You Can Dance.

The incoming first-year Dance major from West Palm Beach, Florida, dazzled the judges and audience with this audition and so far has made it through the first three rounds. (The competition, which airs Mondays at 8:00 PM on Fox TV, is ongoing as this is being written.) In this summer’s “All-Star” edition of the Fox TV show, the Top 10 dancers are paired with stars from past seasons who guide them as they vie for America’s votes and the title of America’s Favorite Dancer. So far, Hickman has made it to the round of 20.

“I was always really into the show, but I never thought about auditioning,” Hickman said. “You have to submit an online video, and then they tell you if you can come and audition in person. So I did that.”

He didn’t get a response, so he went to an open audition in Los Angeles and stood in line for six hours to get a shot.

Hickman said what viewers are seeing now is the result of seven years of work. After a difficult early childhood—his mother was imprisoned for drugs; his father was absent; he was raised by an aunt who was in an abusive relationship—he started dancing in the sixth grade because “I wanted to do a sport, something, like all my friends did.”

He started with hip-hop lessons, which led him to a performing-arts middle school. The first day of middle school dance training was his first full-length ballet class.

“It was a little overwhelming, for sure, because I was frustrated,” he said. “I didn’t have the skills to keep up. It was hard for me to pick up combinations, and I was not very flexible—I couldn’t even touch my knees well. It was a struggle, for sure.”

But he persevered, and by eighth grade Hickman decided that he liked the challenge. In the months before high school, he took his first summer intensive—concentrated classes during school break—at the Harid Conservatory, a ballet professional-training school for high-school age students located in Boca Raton. That, he said, prepared him for high school at Alexander W. Dreyfoos School of the Arts, from which he graduated in May.

Hickman hadn’t planned on going to college, but at the South Florida College Dance Fair he met Butler Dance Professor Marek Cholewa, who was teaching a class.

“I fell in love with his class, everything about it,” Hickman said. “I want to be taught like this. He talked to me after class and told me to come to Butler to audition, so I went to Indiana to audition.”

“We had a good chemistry,” Cholewa said. “His talent was very clear.”

And now, Hickman is Butler bound.

Cholewa said Butler Ballet audiences will see a young man with the right combination of focus and physical abilities, and “we can develop that even further.”

“I was very impressed when I saw him for the first time in Boca Raton,” Cholewa said. “He was able to follow everything that I said, which is very tough. He doesn’t know me, and I’m teaching my way, which is unknown to him, and he was grabbing the material very quickly. I’m glad he’s coming to Butler, and I’m sure he will be very good and very successful by the end of his four years with us.”


Media contact:
Marc Allan

Darius Hickman
Arts & CulturePeople

Does He Think He Can Dance? He *Knows* He Can Dance

When the other members of Butler’s Class of 2021 ask Darius Hickman what he did this summer, he’ll have a story that starts with, “I was a contestant on So You Think You Can Dance.

Jul 17 2017 Read more
Lacy School of Business

‘Doc’ McGowan in Retirement: Reading, Writing, Thinking


PUBLISHED ON May 13 2017

For almost 25 years, Dick McGowan taught Butler students—mostly in the Lacy School of Business, and mostly about ethics. But the underlying lesson in everything he taught them was about hope.

Dick McGowan

McGowan would tell his classes about how, as an undergraduate at Colgate University, he had been unprepared to leave home and not ready for the academic rigors of college. In his first three philosophy courses, he got a C-plus, a D, and a C.

“I made sure my students knew that,” he said, “because I wanted them to understand redemption. What happens can be overcome. There’s hope. I want to teach hope. I think professors have to teach hope. If they don’t, they’re not doing their entire job. What I like to say is, ‘George W. Bush is not the only C student who did something with his life.’”

And now that McGowan has retired—2016–2017 was his final year—he looks back proudly at what he achieved.


McGowan grew up on the north shore of Long Island, New York. His father was an athletic director working with disadvantaged kids; his mother stayed home to raise eight children.

After graduating from Colgate in 1971, McGowan moved back to Long Island and became a field supervisor, overseeing the construction of about 80 houses. He guesses he would have been a multimillionaire if he’d stuck with that profession.

“But it didn’t suit my nature,” he said. “I had a boss who wanted us to skimp. But if you don’t follow the contract, that’s a mistake. It’s a moral shortcoming.”

Instead, he moved out to Washington state, where he worked as a bartender, forklift operator, hot-tar roofer—anything to support his habit. The habit of learning. He finished his master’s at Washington State University in 1976.

From there, McGowan went to Marquette University, where he worked as a teaching assistant and earned his doctorate in Philosophy in 1985. He also met and married his wife, Barbara, a research scientist, and they began a family that grew to three sons, all now adults.

After graduation, he found himself teaching at the Milwaukee School of Engineering, “which had very little use for ethics,” he said. His wife’s job was going to lose funding, so they started to look for work elsewhere. McGowan landed a position at St. Joseph’s College in Rensselaer, Indiana, as an associate professor and director of the school-wide required ethics course.

Rensselaer was great for him, but not so much for Barbara, who was underemployed and unhappy. He decided to “commit career suicide” and follow her to Indianapolis. She worked, and he stayed home with the boys. In 1993, Butler hired him for a part-time position teaching business ethics.

“What they learn in ethics is going to impact everything, whether they’re in business or whether they become firefighters,” said McGowan, who was elevated to instructor in 2001. “Basics ethics courses are for everything, all human activity. All voluntary human activities needs an ethics course.”


Over the years, McGowan taught a variety of courses, including ancient philosophy, biomedical ethics, introduction to ethics, introduction to philosophy, and assorted First-Year Seminar classes. He also ran the Undergraduate Research Conference for five years.

Students—who call him “Doc”—and faculty alike found him helpful and influential.

“Doc has inspired me to do the impossible,” said Nyree Modisette ’19, a political science major. “I never thought I could publish any of my work; however, Doc changed that for me. He helped me publish my essay titled ‘Framing the News; Dividing the Country,’ which has been published in the Kokomo TribuneUSA TodayThe Commercial AppealBurlington Free Press, and other places. He saw something in me that I did not see. Doc deserves to be celebrated and recognized for all the great work he has done for all of his students.”

Connor Brooks ’18, a finance major, said McGowan encouraged and sponsored him to present a paper during the Butler Undergraduate Research Conference last spring. He described McGowan as “a friend, mentor, and professor—in that order.”

“Doc made a personal connection with me and from the beginning has encouraged and challenged me to pursue my passion,” Brooks said. “He sees the good in people and encourages students to be better people in the classroom, on campus and in society as a whole. I am grateful for professors like Doc who encourage and support students both in and outside the classroom.”


Around Butler, McGowan became known for a number of disparate characteristics. He rode his bicycle to work most days, a commute of about 16 miles round trip. He paints tiny pictures that he gave to people as gifts. He kept espresso candies in his desk that he shared with anyone who needed a little burst of energy.

Associate Professor Hilary Buttrick, who is taking over the ethics classes McGowan taught, remembers getting one of those candies when she came to Butler to interview for her faculty position. She met McGowan at the end of that day.

“I think he could tell that I was exhausted, stressed,” she said. “He sat down and looked at me and said, ‘What kind of books are you reading right now?’ So we spent most of our interview time talking about books that we’d read, books that we want to read. So I will always think of Dick as somebody who has tremendous compassion for the people he’s working with and he encounters, and compassion for his students.”

McGowan counts among his proudest achievements helping Fraser Thompson ’01 became Butler’s first and only Rhodes Scholar (“One of the cleanest, clearest writers I’ve ever had”) and helping the women’s lacrosse club get off the ground.

“I thought it was important for women to run around and hit each other with sticks, consistent with Title IX,” he said with a smile.

In retirement, McGowan plans to continue painting, reading, writing, thinking, traveling, and riding. He said if he has any regrets, it’s that he didn’t pursue baseball after high school. He was a pitcher in high school, he wishes he had seen how far he could have gone.

He loves baseball, roots for the Milwaukee Brewers and the Atlanta Braves, and for years led a quixotic campaign to get pitcher Virgil Trucks into the Baseball Hall of Fame. Trucks, who pitched two no-hitters in one season (1952), and McGowan ultimately became friends.

Hank Aaron, the great home run hitter, was one of McGowan’s idols.

“He was what I wanted to be,” McGowan said. “But being a philosophy professor wasn’t bad.”


Media contact:
Marc Allan

Lacy School of Business

‘Doc’ McGowan in Retirement: Reading, Writing, Thinking

For almost 25 years, Dick McGowan taught Butler students—mostly in the Lacy School of Business, and mostly about ethics. But the underlying lesson in everything he taught them was about hope.

May 13 2017 Read more

Darius Hickman ’21

Student Profile


Major / Program: Dance Performance


It’s fall semester 2017, and first-year student Darius Hickman is getting his first impressions of Butler.

“I love it so far,” he said. “The thing I love the most is the people. I didn’t realize the people were going to be so nice. I really enjoy the people here—as well as my classes; I love all my classes—but the people, I really enjoy. I love meeting new people every day. So that’s been great.”

The Dance Performance major and Education minor said he didn’t know what to expect from Butler. In fact, for a long time, he planned to join a professional ballet company after high school rather than attend college. But his mother pointed out that dancers get injured and he should have an education to fall back on.

So he went to a college fair in Boca Raton, took a class with Butler Dance Professor Marek Cholewa, “and I fell in love with everything about it.”

Hickman came to Butler a bit of a celebrity—this summer, he was a contestant on the Fox network series So You Think You Can Dance, where he finished in the top 100. He also learned a few things about himself during that process: He’s persistent and resilient (the day he auditioned, he spent six hours in line and another four waiting once he got inside), and celebrity makes him a little uncomfortable.

Rather than shoot for superstardom on television, he said, he’s excited to experience personal growth over the next four years. “I’m excited to see where I will be in 2021 and see how I’ve changed. Because change is good, I think.”

He plans to spend the next four years preparing to be in a professional ballet company.

“I think I’ll definitely be ready by then, especially by being here,” he said. “I know they’re going to take care of me and make sure I’m ready when that time comes.”

Darius Hickman
Student LifePeople

Darius Hickman ’21

The Dance Performance major and Education minor said he didn’t know what to expect from Butler.

Darius Hickman

Darius Hickman ’21

Student Profile
Doug King

Doug King '73 Named 'Diplomat of the Defense'


PUBLISHED ON Dec 18 2017

For civil defense attorneys, it’s the equivalent of a lifetime achievement award.

Doug King ’73 describes himself as someone who “goofed around a lot” at Butler, “was not very academically oriented,” and “barely got into law school.”

He can smile about those work habits now that he has been named the 2017 Diplomat of the Defense Trial Counsel of Indiana, a lifetime achievement award-like honor bestowed by the officers and Board of Directors of the Defense Trial Counsel of Indiana.

“When you are recognized by your peers, by people who do the same thing you do, and they know how hard it is to do, that really means something,” King said, sitting behind the desk in his 18th-floor corner office in downtown Indianapolis.

King is now 41 years into his career as a Civil Defense Attorney with Wooden McLaughlin, where he defends companies in asbestos and medical device product liability cases. (More about his notable cases can be found here.)

His roots, though, are decidedly blue collar. He grew up in Chesterton, Indiana, the son of a steelworker, and dreamed of becoming a lawyer. He chose Butler for undergraduate studies, following in the footsteps of his brother Jon ’68 (now CEO at Synovia Solutions in Indianapolis).

To pay for school, King worked in the mills every summer during college. He keeps a picture of himself and others from the steel mill on his desk “to remind me that whatever kind of pressure I may be feeling, I’m not there.”

At Butler, King double-majored in History and Political Science. He was elected President of Phi Delta Theta twice. (He boasts that he works alongside Butler Phi Delt brothers Ron Salatich ’67 and John Nell ’68) and worked as an Office Assistant for Professor George “Mac” Waller, who later wrote Butler University: A Sesquicentennial History.

King also had a hand in a campus protest against the rule that women had to be inside by 11:00 PM weekdays and 1:30 AM on weekends. He remembers University President Alexander Jones calling the police, who brought dogs to chase the protestors into the Phi Delt house.

“It was women’s hours—not exactly an earthshaking issue—but to us it was a big deal,” he said. “Everybody thought it was unfair and paternalistic and that we were adults. Which, of course, we weren’t.”

When he got to Indiana University School of Law, King turned his academics around, thanks largely to professors who scared him with statistics about the number of students who flunk out. King decided he wanted to be a Criminal Defense Attorney, a real-life Perry Mason. But as a second-year law student interning for a Public Defender, he helped acquit a man who had stabbed a high school cheerleader 56 times.

“That really turned me off,” King said. “I never wanted to do criminal law again after that.”

King graduated summa cum laude and fourth in his class in May 1976. He started with the Wooden firm that August. One of his mentors was Bill Wooden, one of the founders of the firm, who was a Civil Defense Attorney. King became his protégé.

Over the years, King has tried more than 100 cases, including representing Bloomington Police in the shooting death of former IU football player Denver Smith. King was named Indiana Defense Lawyer of the Year in 2003 by the Defense Trial Counsel of Indiana, and in 2005 the American College of Trial Lawyers elected him a fellow.

King said studying History at Butler has served him well throughout his career.

“Almost every time I get involved in a case, I start a timeline,” he said. “You’ve got to have that historical sense. An integral part of the defense case in asbestos litigation is: What did you know and when did you know it? When did you know that asbestos was dangerous? When did you know that there was a health hazard associated with it? That’s not just true in asbestos. With medical devices, it’s the same concept: When did you know there was a risk associated with this medical device? That history background is something I use all the time.”

And he has stayed close to Butler. He travels with the men’s basketball team—most recently to Portland for the PK80 tournament in Portland, Oregon—and proudly displays Butler memorabilia in his office.

“Butler helped me be who I am,” he said. “It’s a great school.”


Media contact:
Marc Allan

Doug King

Doug King '73 Named 'Diplomat of the Defense'

For civil defense attorneys, it’s the equivalent of a lifetime achievement award.

Dec 18 2017 Read more
PeopleArts & Culture

Meet Butler's Participants in Phoenix Theatre's "Halftime with Don"


PUBLISHED ON Jan 05 2018

Wherever you look during the Phoenix Theatre’s upcoming production of the play Halftime With Don, Butler Theatre will be well represented.

Onstage, Michael Hosp ’08 will be playing Ed, an aspiring sportswriter who meets his football hero, a man suffering from traumatic brain injury. The technical aspects of the show will be handled by Jeffery Martin, who studied at Butler from 2005-2009. And behind the scenes, Corbin Fritz ’18 is interning as he prepares for a career as a director.

“Education and the training of the next generation of theatre artists are an integral component of the mission of the Phoenix Theatre,” Producing Director Bryan Fonseca said. “We are fortunate to have an ongoing relationship with the Butler Department of Theatre.”

Over the past decade, Fonseca said, the Phoenix has hosted Butler interns, employed faculty members, collaborated with the department on projects, entertained and educated students through a formal program of attendance, advised incoming new students for the past five seasons, and employed former students as actors, technicians, and staff.

“I think our relationship is a successful model for professional training,” he said.

Let’s meet the Butler participants in Halftime With Don, which runs January 12-February 4.


The Actor


Michael Hosp grew up a couple of miles from Butler and went to school to be an actor. Ten years after graduation, he continues to rack up credits both day and night. In addition to performing in several other plays at the Phoenix, he’s appeared in and directed shows produced by several of Indianapolis’ most inventive theatre companies, including NoExit, EclecticPond, and Know No Stranger.

Hosp also has worked on adaptations of two Kurt Vonnegut books for the IndyFringe stage, and this past summer he was in the Indianapolis Shakespeare Company’s presentation of As You Like It.

Theatre is his full-time job too. During the day, Hosp works as an Actor-Interpreter at The Children’s Museum, where you might find him in the atrium dressed as a Transformer, or in one of the galleries doing a serious monologue while portraying historical figures such as Otto Frank, the father of Anne Frank.

“It’s a good day job in the sense that it’s creative and it’s different every time,” he said. “My work here at the museum and my work outside, they both help. I’ve become a better actor by just having to perform every day. And kids, you never know what they’re going to do or say. So that definitely helps the improvisational skills.”

Halftime With Don playwright Ken Weitzman, who was in Indianapolis for the first three nights of rehearsal, said casting Hosp as Ed is an unusual move since Hosp is significantly taller than Bill Simmons, the actor who plays Don.

“But there’s something really to me compelling about this big guy with this hero worship for a football player who’s not as big as him,” Weitzman said. “And Mike has a real good instinct for the part.”

Hosp said Butler gave him a great education in how to approach not only acting, but a career in theatre.

“The education prepared me to be a theatre artist and not just an actor or any one thing,” he said. “It’s so valuable to understand how to communicate and collaborate with designers if you are the director. Or as an actor, really understand how you fit into the stage picture at any given moment– to make choices that support the visual story that’s being told. I learned those things there.”


The Technical Director


Jeff Martin knew he wanted to be in theatre, and at Butler he found a mix that allowed him to experience acting as well as behind-the-scenes work.

“It gave me a good head start,” the Griffith, Indiana, native said. “Butler gives everyone what they need. You just have to use it. People coming out of school who want to be actors—it’s hard. That’s a hard life. In the tech world, there’s a lot more stability.”

After graduation, Martin spent about a year in New York, where he did some acting and special-event tech work, including setting up the teleprompter and lighting for a speech by President Obama. He then moved to Atlanta and worked with theatre companies there for a couple of years, winning awards for his lighting work.

In 2013, he saw on a Butler listserv that the Phoenix Theatre was looking for a technical director. That’s been his full-time job ever since, and he’s earned some acclaim for his innovative work. Martin also has worked regularly with Young Actors Theatre and also collaborated with Hosp on the two Vonnegut shows.

Martin said the Phoenix keeps him busy, especially now that it’s getting ready to move into a new building just west of downtown Indianapolis. Having a fully rounded education has been important to his career, he said.

“If I only knew the tech side, for example, it wouldn’t be a good fit for the Phoenix or regional theatres around the country,” he said. “The people they want to hire—from my experience—are people who can wear a lot of hats. If you can’t, it’s hard to get your foot in the door. Have that cumulative experience is helpful.”


The Intern


Corbin Fritz ’18 spent much of his winter break at the Phoenix Theatre, where he’s interning with Bryan Fonseca, the director for Halftime With Don. Fritz wants to be a director—he plans to move to either Seattle or Denver after graduation—and he said getting this experience has been valuable.

“All those actors are incredibly talented, and getting to work with Ken, the playwright, is super, super-informative and educational and also productive to the creative process,” he said. “To hear Bryan’s thoughts and analysis of the play and to be able to share my thoughts has been a cool honor.”

Fritz came to Butler from Noblesville, Indiana, planning to be an Education major, but he switched before classes started. During his time at Butler, Fritz has gotten a wide variety of experiences in acting, directing, and light, sound, and costume design. He’s studied at the Moscow Art Theatre, in London for a semester, and interned with the Indianapolis Shakespeare Company as an assistant director and production intern.

“I’ve been able to get all the education and training through Butler’s diversified theatre approach,” he said. “In the Theatre Department, we’re all theater majors—not theatre-acting, theatre-design, theatre-directing or anything like that. Wider and greater understanding of the art has been the biggest thing I’ve been able to come away with at Butler.”


Media contact:
Marc Allan