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Shelvin Mack and Brad Stevens
HomecomingAthleticsPeople

Shelvin Mack's Homecoming

BY Rachel Stern

PUBLISHED ON Oct 01 2018

Emerson Kampen will never forget Shelvin Mack’s bachelor party in Las Vegas. But before any assumptions are made, Kampen wasn’t even there.

He called his former Butler University roommate and basketball teammate one morning, East Coast time, which must have been, “like 6:00 AM or 7:00 AM Vegas time,” he says, shock still audible in his voice, and Mack picked up.

“I’m in Vegas at my bachelor party,” Mack told Kampen. “I have this paper to do. I’m trying to knock it out this morning.”

And that is when Kampen knew his friend was serious about completing his Butler degree.

“Shel is as motivated as anybody, as self-driven as anybody I have ever met,” says Kampen, who is now an Assistant Coach on the Butler men’s basketball team. “When he says he will get something done, he will, and that attitude carries over to all areas of his life. When he said he was going to make the NBA, he did. When he said he was going to finish his degree, despite the demands of an NBA schedule, I knew he would do it. Now, in Vegas, I don’t know how good the paper ended up being, but I do know he was getting it done.”

Mack, who left Butler after his junior year in 2011, to enter the NBA Draft, has played for six teams, and most recently signed a one-year deal with the Memphis Grizzlies. Many players drafted in the second round like Mack have come and gone, but former teammates, coaches, friends, and family members say his work ethic and ambition separate him.

Those same traits that turned him into an 8-year NBA veteran, have motivated him to complete his Butler degree in Digital Media Production, he says. As he sees his sisters graduate, and all his friends flaunt their Butler degrees, as well as his wife, his competitive juices kick in. But it is also more than that—a love of Butler, a desire to better himself, and a promise he made to his mom.

“I always wanted to get my college degree, for myself and for my mom, but it was hard to balance my time when I first got into the league and figure out how to take classes without being at Butler,” Mack says. “Now that everything is sorted out, it was something I knew I had to do because I came to Butler because of the education and the fact that basketball won’t last forever. Now I know taking classes is part of bettering myself and my future.”

 

THE RECRUIT

Brad Stevens remembers meeting Victoria Guy, Shelvin’s mom, for the first time. He was in Lexington, Kentucky visiting Shelvin at his home.

Let’s just say Mack and his mom had slightly different questions as they sat in their living room with Stevens.

“She didn’t care about playing time, or TV games, or what kind of gym we were going to be playing in,” Stevens says. “She wanted Shelvin to get his college degree and work hard in the classroom. She asked about graduation rates and class sizes.”

Stevens had answers. A big part of the presentation at the time focused beyond what the team accomplished on the court, Stevens says.

They talked a lot about how successful players were after they graduated. Stevens shared graduation rates, and players’ majors, and the fact that practices were run around class schedules—not the other way around. 

The answers mattered. At the last second, the University of Kentucky swooped in, Guy says, and Mack was torn. He asked his mom for advice. She wanted the decision to be her son’s, but the only thing she did share with him was the value of a smaller, tight knit campus.

“He stuck with Butler and it worked out perfectly,” Guy says.

So, when Mack told Stevens he was going to finish his degree over a meal last summer, he wasn’t that surprised.

“Shelvin is very, very driven and usually that is hard to turn off. When you have an ambitious kid, they will usually be ambitious in everything they do and he certainly is that,” Stevens says. “I never dreamed he would have been good enough to leave after three years, but he did it because he was determined to.”

But Stevens also knows his mom is right there, ever-present, making sure her son is getting it done.

 

LIFE AT BUTLER

Kampen and Mack first met in 2008, two freshmen on the men’s basketball team in need of physicals. So, they hopped in Kampen’s car and headed to the doctor’s office. They made small talk and Kampen remembers how it wasn’t awkward—Mack always made everyone feel comfortable.

Kampen learned quickly that Mack was determined to make it to the NBA. But, he says, he and others didn’t really see it.

“He was obviously a really good player, but he was a bit chubby when he walked in. We all should have known when he says he will get something done, he will do it,” Kampen says.

Mack’s work ethic was always on display. He spent more time in the gym than anyone else on the team. They would be playing video games and Mack would have a 30-pound weight in his hands, doing curls while the game was loading, or while there was a pause in the game. He was always working.

Kampen wasn’t surprised when he found out Mack was finishing up his degree. He knows how much his friend loves Butler and values education. He also knows he can’t stand to have something go unfinished.

“I think one day he will be a coach,” Kampen says. “I always have tons of texts from him during the season, analyzing what we did in a game, and why we could have done this or done that. He is always the first to let me know about a decision we should have made.”

As a student, Mack took his work very seriously, Christine Taylor, Associate Professor of Entertainment Media and Journalism, says. She had Mack as a student in her directing and production classes. Now, Taylor is Mack’s academic advisor.

“He was very well-liked and a great team player in my classes,” Taylor says. “He also put his own creative stamp on the work. He had a creative identity of his own. He took his work seriously and was a very good student. So, when he reached out a few years ago, I was not really surprised at all. It was more about figuring out how we could make it happen logistically.”

 

LIFE IN THE NBA

When Mack decided to leave school early, his mom fully supported him, but said he had five years to finish his degree. As the years marched on, she kept checking on him. Mack claimed he was trying, but certain classes he needed weren’t offered by Butler online at the time, Guy says.

She did some fact checking.

“At first, I wasn’t buying it, so I called Coach Stevens,” Guy says. “I talked to Coach Stevens just to make sure Butler wasn’t offering the classes online and then I felt better.”

In Mack’s defense, it wasn’t just the logistics of figuring how to fulfill his major requirements. After he got drafted in 2011 by the Washington Wizards, by his estimate, he was moving around about once a year. He had a stint with the Philadelphia 76ers, the Atlanta Hawks, the Utah Jazz, the Orlando Magic, and now the Memphis Grizzlies. It was also adjusting to life in the NBA.

“It was something I always wanted to do, but I could never find the time,” Mack says. “I wasn’t great with time management, I was adjusting to NBA life, and probably not spending my time as wisely as I could have.”

Once Mack had his daughter, things changed, he says. He was on a strict schedule, going to bed early, waking up early, working out, taking care of her. Then, he realized, he could work school in. His daughter helped him manage his time, and he wanted to make sure he set a good example for her when it came to education.

Butler also started to work with him. A few years ago, when he tried to work on his degree, classes he needed weren’t offered online. A lot has changed over the last few years, says Taylor, his academic advisor, as more classes are offered online.

“Our philosophy is that we should partner with students so they can reach their goals,” Taylor says. “Obviously there is course work they must fully complete, but people are people and circumstances change for individuals and we will do our best to help them realize their goals of getting a Butler degree. This is simply us recognizing an individuals’ circumstance changes and we are as supportive as we can be within the rules to help them recognize their short and long-term goals.”

With Mack, Taylor sees someone who has a strong love for Butler and desire to complete a degree he has, in large part, already earned.

“For Shelvin, this has been part of the process of his development as a person and what kind of individual he wants to be,” Taylor says. “In times when the larger world is questioning the value of a degree from a four-year institution, I always find it really gratifying that people like Shelvin still place such a high value on education. It has been so uplifting to work with him…He is doing this to better himself because what happens in a classroom makes a difference, and he realizes that. That is really gratifying to know, and it reinforces that the conversations and lessons we have make a difference.”

 

FUTURE PROMISES

This summer, Mack finished his major by taking Entertainment Media and the Law.

He spent a couple months watching YouTube videos of different cases, reading case law, writing papers, learning why some people can sue, and others cannot. And, sometimes forgetting he had assignments due. Like many new students, he had to readjust to college life.

“Luckily, I had plenty of people around me reminding me and keeping me in check,” he says.

This fall, as the NBA season kicks off, Mack will be crisscrossing the U.S. on planes, playing in back-to-back games, and squeezing in time to read his textbooks. He will take two online courses, hoping to complete his degree in the next three years. But most importantly, before his youngest sister, Keionna, graduates in 2020. His mom is quick to remind him that he already missed his middle sister, Sierra, who graduated this past May.

To assure mom he is all over it, he had his textbooks sent to her house ‘by accident’ this summer. She isn’t so sure it was an accident.

“I know the degree isn’t everything, but it opens a lot of doors that won’t otherwise be there for you,” Guy says. “He could break a leg today and basketball could be over. I know he has thought about coaching, broadcast, and I want him to have that degree and those courses to fall back on.”

He will continue to take online courses throughout the season. As of now, he says, he would like a career in broadcast after his playing days are over. But coaching interests him, too. He looks forward to the day when he can just walk in the house and show his wife, a Butler grad and former hoops player, his degree.

But to his mom, who he says drove him around to “a million” basketball tournaments when he was young, and always supported him, it will mean everything.

Asked how she will feel when her son officially graduates from Butler, Guy is quiet for a moment.

“Oh my god. I will be super excited. Super excited. He will be the first male in his generation to have a college degree. He is behind schedule, but he needs to follow through. I need him to be better than average and I know he expects that out of himself, too.”

But there is one more thing that is bothering her. Mack pursuing his degree has motivated his mom to finish her degree. He has always motivated her to go after her dreams, just as she has always motivated him, he says.

“After two years of college, I had my son, and he was my number one priority, so I am going to go back after all of this and get my degree in business management,” Guy says.

Her son has given her a three-year window.   

 

Images courtesy of Shelvin Mack. 

Shelvin Mack and Brad Stevens
HomecomingAthleticsPeople

Shelvin Mack's Homecoming

NBA Player and former Butler Men's Basketball star Shelvin Mack is committed to completing his Butler degree. 

Oct 01 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. 

Let Passion Lead You

by Rachel Stern

If you want to get technical about it, Dave Calabro graduated from Butler University in 1985… and-a-half.

It was the spring of 1985, and Calabro, a senior radio and television major, needed to pass math. But, it was the spring. More specifically, it was May. May in Indianapolis. Which means Calabro—who grew up an approximate 2.3-mile bike ride away from the Indianapolis Motor Speedway, who knew that if he crawled through the creek he would wind up in Turn 2, who knew where to jump the fence in 1977 when A.J. Foyt won so he could catch a glimpse of him on Victory Lane—had other things on his mind.

The race was about a week away. It was also finals week at Butler. Math stood in Calabro’s way of graduating. Then he got the call.

“Can you fill in?” Calabro says, recalling being asked to work at IMS during that 1985 spring. “I was actually being asked to work at IMS during race week. I basically grew up at the track. Some people have baseball, we had the track, this is home for me. It was my sandbox. Sure, I needed to pass math, but I figured I would just take the test later.”

Calabro did take the test later. He got an empty diploma at commencement, took math in the summer, and as he says, “the rest is history.” Thirty-three Indy 500s later, it looks like it wasn’t a bad choice. Calabro is now the official voice of the race, serving as the track’s Public Address Announcer. He has only missed five days at IMS since that 1985 spring—his wife’s grandfather died, his mom had heart surgery, there was another death in the family, and his son graduated from college. Decent excuses.

But, it is not that his education and a degree were not important to him, Calabro insists. And it is true. His mother got her master’s degree from Butler. His brother, Kevin Calabro, graduated from Butler and is now a sports broadcaster for ESPN. He comes from a family of, “900 educators and two sports broadcasters,” he jokes.

But one thing Butler taught him, he says, and he lives by to this day, is to follow your passion. It just so happened, on that week in 1985, passion conflicted with his math final. And, passion won.

“I’m a firm believer in going with your heart and your passions and letting those lead you,” Calabro says. “You never know when opportunity will come, and if it presents itself, that one chance, that could be it. That could be your chance to make it happen for yourself, so you have to take advantage of it. That’s what I was doing and what I continue to do and believe in. Always let passion lead you.”

Danica Patrick and Dave CalabroIt’s about 8:45 AM on Tuesday morning and Calabro is gearing up to interview Danica Patrick. For some reporters, this might be a nerve-wracking experience. He’s about to ride shotgun in the pace car around the track, as Patrick drives about 110 miles per hour, reflecting on her career before her last Indianapolis 500. But, Calabro seems as relaxed as ever. He greets Patrick with an enthusiastic, “Gooooood morning!!” as he gets mic’ed up. He hops in the car and proceeds to reminisce with Patrick. He’ll ask her about her first race at IMS, about how she feels just weeks before her last race, and about boyfriend Aaron Rodgers (even though he doesn’t want to, he says, he knows his viewers are curious).  

Dave Calabro fell in love with racecar driving while sitting in his elementary school classroom.

He grew up about a mile-and-a-half from IMS on Indianapolis’ West Side, and would hear the roar of the cars during spring testing.

“I always wanted to know what that noise was,” Calabro says. “It was like a magnet. Where I’m from, racing is just in your blood.”

His first official trip to the track came when his first-grade class took a field trip to see the Hall of Fame Museum. Calabro remembers walking out of the backside of the oval and catching a glimpse of Art Pollard whiz by. He was instantly hooked.

Calabro attended his first Indy 500 with his mom, dad, and two brothers in 1969. He was seven. They sat at Turn 4.

“They were lousy seats, but were great to me. I was so excited to be there,” he says. “I remember everything about that day. Mario Andretti won and I just remember feeling like my eyes were going to pop out of my head. The day was magical. There are so many things I love about the Indy 500, but one is the tradition and routine.”

Calabro and his other brother, Kevin, the broadcaster for ESPN, were always into sports and would provide running commentary to their backyard bicycle races. They would beg their parents to drive home from vacation at night so they could que up sports radio. Calabro’s father was a “yellow shirt” at the track, or track Safety Patrol.

When Calabro went on to high school he convinced the public relations staff at IMS to allow him to get a radio line so he could broadcast for his high school radio station. He set his sights on Butler because he was enamored with radio and sports, he says. His brother was already at Butler and he knew the size would work well for him.

“The personal approach to teaching and knowing that I would have the opportunity to really follow my passion of broadcast in a smaller setting attracted me,” he says.

While at Butler, Calabro had to take acting classes and voice lessons. At the time, he says, he didn’t understand why, but it helps him so much now. He knows how to properly use his voice. That certainly helps, considering that in addition to serving as PA Announcer at IMS, he is the Sports Director at WTHR-Ch. 13. So, essentially, he has two full time jobs that require him to speak constantly, and if he loses it, he is not too useful, he says.

After graduating from Butler, Calabro started his career in television news in Fort Wayne, Indiana. He then went to Dayton, Ohio and covered news and sports there. All the while, he continued to travel back to Indianapolis in May to work at IMS. Then, in 1992, he started working at Ch. 13 covering sports full time. Since then, he has covered eight Olympics, Pacers playoff runs, Colts Super Bowls, and in the last year alone has been to Los Angeles, West Virginia, Chicago, New Orleans, Florida, North Carolina, to name a few.

His favorite event to cover? That’s easy.

“There is nothing like the Indianapolis 500,” he says. “The mixture of people from all walks of life that I get to interact with is unlike any other event. One minute I am talking to someone from Team Penske, and the next I am catching up with someone I grew up with from Ben Davis. One minute I am interviewing President Clinton, then President Bush. You get to see everyone at this track.”

Dave Calabro and Jim NaborsIt’s around 10:15 AM and Calabro is now bopping to his second home. Well, first home, depending on the time of year. But at IMS, it’s his second home. Under his perch in the pagoda is a tiny room under the stands that houses the working quarters for Ch. 13. As he weaves through traffic, Calabro knows almost everyone. “Hey dude,” he yells out. Calabro whips open the door and asks for some tape from his ride with Patrick to be cut. Then, his eyes are drawn to a small television in the corner of the room. Indianapolis 500 highlights are on. He is glued. Right away Calabro is reciting where he was and what race the highlights are from. “That was 1992, it was a cold one.

There was the time Jessica Simpson was stuck in the elevator before she was going to sing the National Anthem before the race. Calabro already introduced her to a raucous crowd, then heard the panic in his earpiece. She was caught in an elevator and he was told to stretch, and stretch some more. So, he pulled out his trusty binder full of various statistics–traditions, milestones, key dates, fun food facts, rain on race day—and told the crowd about 6,000 hot dogs would likely be eaten that day.

Calabro’s job is a strange balance of months and months of preparation, yet knowing when race day arrives there is no way to predict what will unfold.

“It’s like juggling chainsaws,” he says. “The vast majority of what I do is off the cuff and it definitely doesn’t always go right. You just have no idea what is going to happen, what the story will be, once the race starts. But being here every day helps you be prepared for anything and you know to be engaged and energized no matter what. That takes decades of preparation.”

Calabro’s race day starts around 4:30 AM. He is live, on-air for Ch. 13, doing a pre-race show until 8:30 AM. Then, he’s off to his PA role, doing pre-race ceremonies, driver introductions, calling the race, and after the race, jumping in the pace car with the winner. Then, he’s back on television with Ch. 13 for a post-race show. He is usually in his car driving home around midnight, with the windows wide open and music blasted in an effort to stay awake.

During the month of May, Calabro is at the track nearly every day, covering stories for both Ch. 13 and IMS, as well as announcing practice, qualifying, Bump Day, Carb Day, and the list goes on.  

Dave Furst, who is the Sports Director at Ch. 6, has known Calabro for about 20 years. Though they are in the same position at competing networks, they work closely together at IMS, as Furst assists with getting interviews up and down pit row.

 “The speedway has a way of bringing people together,” Furst says. “People might listen and think, wait a minute, Ch. 6 and Ch. 13 guys are having fun together, but I have enjoyed listening to Dave on the PA for years and years. It is humbling for me to be a part of it. He and I have developed a friendship over the years and I truly respect all the work and perseverance that goes into what he does.”

Calabro reached out to Furst and asked if he would be interested in helping out at the track after Carnegie’s death.

“I jumped at it immediately and was honored that Dave thought highly enough of me to ask me that,” Furst says. “Dave’s style is different from my style, but, ultimately, you want to come across as comfortable and relaxed and the best compliment you can get is if you meet someone and they are the same exact way in real life as they are on television and it is not some façade. Dave is definitely that person. What you get off air is what you see on air.”

It’s about 11:00 AM and Calabro rushes back to the pagoda to hop on “Indy 500 Now” for about 15 minutes with partner Bob Jenkins. He takes a quick cookie break, and then launches into announcing the last practice session of the week. He stands the entire time, shouting out the elementary school class that is visiting the track, reeling off the top speeds. He is zeroed in on each drivers’ car, specifically the winglets, as this is his last practice session, too. “I am always looking for ways to identify the cars whizzing by, either by their helmets, or something specific. This is great practice for us to pick out cars, too.” He reminds the crowd to wear sunscreen, in between updating them on the fact that a large bolt was found on the track and, therefore, practice was halted. The only time Calabro sits is when he answers a text message about an assignment from his other job. Calabro is surrounded by five screens, which still amazes him. When he started, drivers’ speeds were taken with stopwatches. Now, one screen gives him the speeds, the other has a television feed, another has where the drivers are at on the track.

Calabro sees himself as the connector between drivers and fans. That is what he loves so much about his job. Well, both jobs.

There was his streak of 23-straight years landing the first post-race interview with the winner. Then, there was the time that he heard through sources that Hélio Castroneves was in trouble for tax evasion. He dropped everything, flew to Miami, no hotel room, no toothbrush, and broke the story. Castroneves later told Calabro he knew things were serious because Calabro was there to cover the story.

Then, there was the time he raced from his son’s soccer game to give Danica Patrick a tour of IMS’ museum.

It was 2003 and Calabro heard that Patrick might race in the next Indianapolis 500 and she would be attending a women in racing event in Indianapolis. People in the racing community were starting to talk about Patrick, he said. So, Calabro attended the event and introduced himself to her. He told Patrick that he was the PA Announcer at IMS and the Sports Director at Ch. 13 and gave her his card.

Later that year, Calabro was at his son’s soccer game and his phone rang. It was Patrick on the other line. She told Calabro she was in Indianapolis and was wondering if he could give her a tour of IMS’ museum. So, he grabbed his son, still decked out in shin guards and all, and gave Patrick a tour.

“I have worked hard over the decades to build genuine relationships built on trust,” he says. “That has been most important to me.”

These relationships extend beyond just racing.

Dave Calabro and Tom CarnegieCalabro’s mentor, Tom Carnegie, taught him the importance of treating everyone he comes across the same. Fans, drivers, yellow shirts working at the track. Everyone.

Calabro met Carnegie in 1985. At the time, Calabro was an intern at Ch. 6 and Carnegie was the Sports Director, as well as the PA Announcer at IMS. Carnegie had just retired from Ch. 6 and Calabro picked his brain.

“I looked up to him big time,” says Calabro, as he starts to tear up. “I think about him a lot. I learned so much from him. What to do, what not to do, how to treat people. He didn’t care if you were the president of the U.S. or someone from the farms of Indiana. I try to do the exact same.”

Sure, Calabro learned when to annunciate, when to hype up the crowd, when to be playful, and when to be serious, from Carnegie, but it was so much more, he says. It was about relationships and being a connector for a young fan to his or her favorite driver.

Carnegie was the PA Announcer from 1946 to 2006. Calabro interned with him at IMS since 1985. It was Carnegie on the mic and Calabro chasing down interviews. He hardly saw any of the race back in those days, Calabro says. He was by the garages, which were wooden then, working to get updates on injured drivers, before gradually helping out with the PA Announcer role. Carnegie died in 2011.

Around 12:47 PM Calabro is in line for lunch. It is the first time he has come up for air and as he walks into the lunch room he sees a yellow shirt he knows. Because, well, he knows everyone. Before she can even say hi, Calabro engulfs her in a hug. Right after, his eyes dart toward the photos on the wall. Jeff Gordon, Danica Patrick, he has stories about all of the photos. He knows about the moments they were all taken. “It’s the stories within the stories that I love the most.”  

Around December or so, Bob Jenkins, Calabro’s partner in the booth, knows to start looking for the text message.

“Dave will send out a text that says, ‘are you ready? It is getting close,’” says Jenkins, who has worked in covering the race in various capacities since 1979, including anchor, ABC TV, IMS radio, and public address. “This is the best job I have ever had at the speedway, and one of the major reasons why is Dave.”

Jenkins also worked closely with Carnegie, who he says was one of a kind. And following a legend is nearly impossible. But Calabro, Jenkins says, has carried Carnegie’s legacy on to the fullest because they were so close.

“I know Dave thinks about Tom every time he goes on mic, and because of that he respects the job he did, but he also is his own person and does his own thing. That balance has led to Dave being able to take on this role in a way, quite frankly, no one else would have been able to do,” Jenkins says. “The number one thing I think about when I think of Dave is his passion. Dave brings to the PA an energy and we all feed off of it.”

It’s around 2:15 PM, Calabro revs up the golf cart and he is off, swerving in and out of IMS traffic. It’s one of the last practice days at IMS, and Calabro heads to the garages. He likes to check out the atmosphere, and what drivers and their crews are up to any chance he gets. So, he takes off. On the way, he points out nearly everyone. That yellow shirt, he says, has been at that post for decades. That dude right there, he says, that is ‘whistle man.’ He directs traffic into the garage area, Calabro explains. And sure enough, ‘whistle man’ has about 12 whistles around his neck. Calabro, despite being in a golf cart, is stopped about a dozen times. People want to chat with him, take photos with him, shake his hand, and catch up. He pretends to drive the golf cart into three-time Indy 500 winner Bobby Unser. After he makes the rounds, talks with some engineers in A.J. Foyt’s garage, it is back in the driver’s seat. After all, Calabro is in a rush, he has to get back to Ch. 13 for meetings about this fall’s coverage of the 25th anniversary of Operation High School Football.

Indy 500People

Let Passion Lead You

If you want to get technical about it, Dave Calabro graduated from Butler University in 1985… and-a-half.

Let Passion Lead You

by Rachel Stern

The Maven of March Madness

By Rachel Stern

JoAn Scott started her week in New York. She will end it in Detroit, with short stints in Dayton, Dallas, Charlotte, Pittsburgh, and Detroit in between. She will juggle plane delays, broken-down buses, bad weather, hotel reservations, and, you know, whatever other logistical challenges might pop up when managing a 68-team basketball tournament. Such is the life of the NCAA’s Managing Director of Men’s Basketball Championships. Short on sleep, long on stress.

But Scott, who got her MBA from Butler in 2005, wouldn’t have it any other way.

“There are definitely a lot of moving parts, and our goal is to make sure everything is buttoned up and that teams have as few distractions as possible,” Scott says. “I don’t get much sleep this month and my phone is constantly ringing as we try and put out the fires that come up. But I have the most rewarding job. I love seeing the players taking selfies next to the March Madness logo. The best part is really seeing everything through the eyes of the players.”

Scott oversees Division I, II, and III men’s basketball tournaments. On Selection Sunday, she is in the seeding room. She does not vote on seeding, but walks everyone through the process and explains to everyone who does vote how things work. Scott describes her role as “air traffic controller.”

But Scott, who got her MBA from Butler in 2005, wouldn’t have it any other way.

“Selection Sunday is the most stressful day,” she says. “There is simply no room for error.” Going into Selection Sunday there are about eight different brackets, depending on which teams won Sunday, she explains. Not only are there several scenarios to plug in, but then there are graphics to prepare for the live show, all under the tight time crunch of a live television broadcast. But March Madness is much more than just a one-month a year job, she says. Typically, the first two months after the tournament are spent analyzing how things went and what could be done better. The rest of the year is spent plotting and planning the next tournament.

Scott grew up a hoops fan in Nebraska. She played for one year in college at the University of Nebraska at Kearney. After graduation, she spent a year working for a brokerage firm, then answered a newspaper classified ad for what was then called Amateur Basketball Association of the United States of America (now USA Basketball). That job included incredible experiences, she said, including traveling with the 1992 men’s basketball “Dream Team.” After 10 years, she took a job with Nike, where she spent 17 years. During that time, Scott decided to get her MBA at Butler. “I knew a lot of the sports side and I knew personalities,” she says. “But once I got to Nike, I felt like I didn’t know the business side. I loved school and I soaked it in. I still talk to my Butler professors.”

Scott is a Butler men’s basketball season ticket holder. But when it comes to March Madness, she is “Switzerland,” she says. “This time of year, I wear a lot of gray, white, blue, black, because I really cannot cheer for anybody,” she says. “I am just a huge basketball fan.”

Since she oversaw her first NCAA Tournament in 2015, the biggest thing that has changed is the evolution of social media, Scott says. Now, people can watch tournament games in the car, at their desk, basically anywhere they are, she says. And with the increased presence of social media, comes increased awareness of those logistical challenges. “We have learned that the social world can certainly teach us some things,” she says. “We have learned what isn’t going well from Twitter. When a team innocently tweets about a plane delay, often times, that is how we hear about it. With social media, everything is visible.”

Which inevitably leads to more sleepless nights for Scott. But she’s OK with that.

joan scott
People

The Maven of March Madness

JoAn Scott started her week in New York. She will end it in Detroit, with short stints in Dayton, Dallas, Charlotte, Pittsburgh, and Detroit in between.

AcademicsPeople

He Wanted Every Class to Be An Event

BY

PUBLISHED ON Mar 26 2018

Professor of Religion Paul Valliere marvels at the similarities between the Butler University he joined in 1982 and the Butler University from which he's retiring in May.

"It's perfectly obvious that all kinds of things are happening at Butler now that weren’t happening in 1982," he said. "But there are real continuities in the Butler of yore and the Butler of today. Most of those continuities are very positive—face-to-face community, dedication to students, ability to attract really fine students. We get really fine students. So did we in 1982. Most of the changes at Butler have built on the positives that were already there."

And over 36 years at Butler, Valliere, 74, has had a hand in several of those positive changes. He collaborated on creating the Change and Tradition core curriculum (which has evolved into Global and Historical Studies), built up the Honors Program, co-wrote the application for a Lilly Endowment Inc. grant that created the Center for Faith and Vocation, and wrote the application that helped Butler get a Phi Beta Kappa chapter.

Then there's teaching. Valliere approached his courses with the memory of something his former colleague John Beversluis told him: "I want every class to be an event."

"My favorite moments at Butler are walking out of a class that I know in my heart went really, really well," Valliere said. "For me, nothing compares to the sense of elation when I know at the end of a class that it really went well—I accomplished what I intended to in there, but much more, because the students grabbed hold of it and ran with it and it ended up being a great class."

Betsy Shirley '10, now Associate Editor at Sojourners magazine, remembers Valliere referring to students as his "young colleagues. And he really meant it. It wasn't a gimmick."

"He took more notes in class than any professor I had," she said. "He took notes on what students were saying—interesting points they made or something he wanted to follow up with them. Sometimes after class, he would say, 'I really appreciated that point you made. You might want to check out this extra essay, or this article that might help you develop your point.' He saw what students were saying as important and wanted to learn with them and from them."

*

Valliere grew up in Longmeadow, Massachusetts. After earning his bachelor's degree from Williams College, he got a job as a community organizer in East Harlem. In 1971, he began his teaching career at Columbia University, from which he earned his master's and doctorate, and started his career-long scholarship in religion and theology in modern Russia.

He taught religion at Columbia for 11 years. But by this point, he and his wife, Marjorie, had three young children, and he wanted a tenured professorship.

Butler offered him that. He moved to Indianapolis to be Dean of Butler's University College, which advised all first-year students and sophomores and oversaw the core curriculum and the honors program, and an Associate Professor of Religion.

He said Marjorie had to get a driver's license when they settled in Indiana—she didn't need one in New York—but the adjustment to the Midwest was otherwise easy.

"You're still the same person with the same unfinished articles in the same drawer," he said. "People have a tendency to get too hung up on externals—what environment do I live in, that kind of thing. Those things are superficial compared to the continuities: same family, same profession, same responsibilities, same challenges."

One of those challenges was integrating his interest in and knowledge of Russian theology into the curriculum. He did that through a course he team-taught with History Professor Bruce Bigelow called Peoples and Faiths of the Soviet Union (later Peoples and Faiths of Russia and its Neighbors).

*

Valliere described himself as "the product of a 100 percent pure liberal arts tradition." In fact, he said, "There was concern among some of the people at Butler who hired me that I might be too liberal-artsy for the good of the institution."

He said Butler "broadened me" by exposing him to students in professional areas.

"In my years of working with students in the arts, pharmacy, education, and the other professional colleges, I've become a broader, better-informed academic," he said. "I feel very good about that part of my Butler experience, where I had to stretch. I hope I stretched Butler and my students. That's what we're supposed to do. Stretch. But I got stretched also. And to the good."

Judith Cebula, the Founding Director of the Center for Faith and Vocation, said one of Valliere's strengths is that he "believes in the possible."

"He hired me to help launch the Center for Faith and Vocation and I saw first-hand how he believed Butler could become a better university when he created the Center, when he created the Seminar on Religion and Global Affairs, when created new courses, such as Faith Doubt and Reason in collaboration with Philosophy Professor Stuart Glennan, for example," she said.

"I saw it most clearly when he shared with me that he always strived to see the fullest potential in each student who walked into his classroom. Each student entered a new semester with an A in Paul’s grade book. That is how much he believes in the possible."

*

Valliere said he's enjoyed watching the city of Indianapolis grow, and Butler grow with it. That's one of the reasons he put off retirement.

"Why leave when the institution is doing so well and the city has gotten so interesting?" he said.

But now that the time is right for retirement, Paul and Marjorie plan to stay in Indianapolis and keep their Butler Basketball season tickets. He plans to continue his Russia scholarship, and will be working with the Emory University School of Law to co-edit a volume on the history of Christianity and law in Russia. It's part of a big study program being coordinated by the Center for the Study of Law and Religion at Emory.

"I'm retiring from teaching," he said, "but there's no rule that says you have to retire from scholarship—and I don't have any plans to cut back on that front."

As for teaching, yes, he will miss the interactions with students and the dynamics of the classroom.

"But I taught for 47 years, which is a lot longer than a lot of people have a chance to do," he said. "I turn 75 this year, so I've had a long run, and I'm grateful."

The College of Liberal Arts and Sciences will hold a retirement reception for Paul Valliere and Philosophy Professor Harry van der Linden on Tuesday, April 3, from 4:30-6:30 PM in the Robertson Hall Johnson Room. All are welcome. No RSVP necessary.

 

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

 

AcademicsPeople

He Wanted Every Class to Be An Event

After 36 years at Butler, Religion Professor Paul Valliere retires.

Mar 26 2018 Read more
Abiodun
Welcome WeekPeopleCampus

From Nigeria to Butler, First Year Up to the Challenge

BY Rachel Stern

PUBLISHED ON Aug 20 2018

INDIANAPOLIS— It started as a friendly wager.

Teacher to pupil. Apply to as many colleges as possible, with the goal of earning at least $1 million in scholarship offers. But the accounts differ, a bit. According to teacher, it was a way for pupil to ‘explore his options.’ According to pupil, it was a way to get ‘$200 to take his girlfriend on a date to Buffalo Wild Wings.’ That’s a lot of wings.

Either way, pupil won the bet. Or, teacher won the bet. Well, those accounts differ, too, depending on who you ask.

Abiodun Akinseye applied to 32 colleges. He finished 28 applications. He was accepted into 30 colleges. Wait, what? Yes, two schools accepted him without a complete application. He has a heaping pile of acceptance letters to prove it, along with the multiple days it took to clean out the 2,000-plus emails he accumulated from different schools. There was Union College, Samford, Wittenberg, Central State, it’s hard for him to remember them all, but most states in the U.S. were covered. At the end of it all, Abiodun had more than $1 million in scholarship offers. And $200 from his teacher.

Genevieve McLeish-Petty wanted Abiodun to push himself. To explore his options. In her 17 years of teaching, she never came across a student quite like Abiodun. She knew the Northwest High School valedictorian was capable of getting into several colleges, but she wanted him to know it, too. So, she threw in a $200 motivator – earn the most scholarship money in the school and get $200. Next thing she knew, it seemed like Abiodun was coming up to her every day with another acceptance letter. And more scholarship money.

In the end, Abiodun chose Butler University. A campus he first stepped foot onto as a 10th grader, he was drawn to Butler’s location, size, Honors Program, and liberal arts education. But most of all, he was drawn to Butler because he knew it would challenge him. And though he made the college application process look easy, his road from Nigeria to Indianapolis was anything but.

“There’s definitely a reason I keep all of those acceptance letters at home in a big box,” says Abiodun, as he scrolls through pictures on his phone until he gets to the one he is looking for – a picture of all the acceptance letters and envelopes piled high. “I want to keep them to show how far I have come and how hard I have worked to get to where I am. I went from Nigeria, and tough, tough times, to graduating at the top of my class, and now really a dream at Butler. So, it has been good, but challenging, and now I want another challenge.”

I went from Nigeria, and tough, tough times, to graduating at the top of my class, and now really a dream at Butler.

From Nigeria to the U.S.

Abiodun grew up in Nigeria until he was five. He remembers it well. But he also vividly remembers why his family fled for America.

There was family tragedy. His aunt tried to kill him and his two brothers, so his mother and father moved the family to America. Abiodun still has nightmares about the pain he felt from being poisoned. He felt like he was on fire. About his mom crying next to him when he was laying in the hospital bed.

He also felt guilty for a long time. He was in charge of watching his younger brother when the hitman came and hit his brother with a motorcycle. He blamed himself.

They settled in Indianapolis in 2005. Abiodun remembers the cereal Corn Flakes and wondering what it was. He remembers the music. He definitely didn’t understand the music. The first song he heard was Beyoncé’s “Single Ladies,” and he wasn’t a fan of all the heavy bass. He taught himself English by watching "Sesame Street" daily. His favorite character was Cookie Monster, he could relate to his appetite. Then there was the snow. His family had no idea what the white stuff falling from the sky was. His mom warned him not to touch it. He still prefers summer to winter.

“What’s crazy is I never expected life to be harder in America than in Nigeria,” Abiodun says. “When I came here, things got worse.”

Abiodun was bullied in school. Classmates called him an “African booty scratcher.” They threw paper balls at him, made him feel ashamed of being Nigerian, and made fun of his accent. They asked him if he was related to monkeys, if turning the lights off would make his skin disappear, and if he knew what deodorant was.

He told his mom about the bullying, so he changed schools. But the bullying continued.

“The bullying caused me to be depressed and for years I really didn’t know how to deal with my emotions or my feelings,” he says. “It’s still hard, because the depression turned into anxiety,  and it was all tough.”

The adjustment has been difficult, he says. His family lives in Speedway. His mom and dad are both nurses. He has an older brother and three younger brothers. And quickly, Abiodun realized, academics and art were his refuge.

 

His Escape

Abiodun’s mother told him when he was young that education would be his escape. He says that always stuck with him.

So, when the bullying persisted, and he was down, he would focus on his studies, he says. Education runs in his family. His mom got her Master’s Degree a few years after they moved to the U.S. His dad has his Bachelor’s Degree from Nigeria. His grandmother’s sister has a doctorate in education. His favorite aunt got her Bachelor’s Degree a few years ago in the U.S.

His best friends growing up?

“The characters in books,” Abiodun says. “I spent all my time reading and studying. I would read the dictionary to grow my vocabulary. I love fiction with elements of reality because those books give me the ability to jump from the real world, but not take the full leap to the stars.”

He loves “The Perks of Being a Wallflower,” “The Fault in Our Stars,” and the Percy Jackson series. Usually, if he’s into a book, he will finish it in a few hours.

Drawing runs in his family, too. And it is something that has always helped him with his depression, he says. He started drawing when he was four. His dad taught him how when they lived in Nigeria.

Now, he fills up sketchpad after sketchpad. He makes sure to draw in pen, as opposed to pencil, to avoid overthinking. Pencil, he says, gives him the option to erase.

“Drawing helps me control my emotions,” he says. “It helps me take what is in my head, what is bothering me or what I am thinking about, and get it out and put it on paper in a creative form.”

 

The Last Valedictorian

McLeish-Petty knew about Abiodun before he ever enrolled in her sophomore honors English class at Northwest High School.

She ran the honors program at the school, so she had a whole lot of practice typing out his name. He broke test-score records, was known for his creativity, and of course, for how bright he was. At first, Abiodun was quiet, but as he became more comfortable, he started to challenge the class.

“We read some difficult literature and Abiodun was able to facilitate conversations when I couldn’t get the rest of the class on board,” she says. “He would stir up conversations by playing devil’s advocate, he would make everyone think in different ways. His fascination with certain topics were lightyears ahead of what a high school kid typically thinks about.”

Most students, McLeish-Petty says, just want an answer so they can put it down. Abiodun wanted to know why; he wanted to know what was the point. He was very refreshing, she says.

Then there was the time she tricked Abiodun into joining the drama club when he was a sophomore. It started as him working behind the scenes. She convinced him to design the sets for “Willy Wonka and the Chocolate Factory.”

“Because he is so smart, after a couple days, he knew everyone’s lines and where everyone should be,” McLeish-Petty says. “By the time the show opened, we had some people quit and Abiodun filled in as Grandma Josephine and doubled as an oompa loompa.”

By the time he was a senior, he was the lead in the school play.

Abiodun would end up with a 4.1 GPA. He would deliver the school’s final valedictorian address – the building will shift to a middle school in the fall. He would discuss religion and politics with McLeish-Petty for hours. He won $12,000 when he wrote a two-page essay about his life for a Kiwanis Club scholarship that honors local high schoolers for their resilience.

It wasn’t just teacher helping pupil. Abiodun forever changed McLeish-Petty.

A high school teacher for 17 years, Abiodun got her thinking. If she had been in his life earlier, around the time he started being bullied, she could have tried to make it better much sooner. How many young people are there out there who just need someone to talk to, she started to wonder.

For the first time in 17 years, McLeish-Petty won’t be teaching high school this school year. She will be teaching at Coldspring Elementary School. Something Abiodun inspired.

“Every once in awhile you have a student come through who you know will be in your life way past graduation,” she says. “Abiodun is one of those people. He’s not just smart. He’s self-aware, he wants to have an impact, he will befriend the kid that is sitting alone. I am positive I will still be talking to Abiodun in 15 years.”

 

Change-Maker

It’s a few days before the start of his first year, and Abiodun is walking around Butler’s campus.

He says he feels excited about the start of classes, but definitely a bit anxious. He’ll be taking Spanish – his fourth language (he already speaks English, French, and Yoruba), Calculus, Honors First Year Seminar, and Introduction to Art.

Abiodun plans on majoring in Psychology and minoring in Art and English. He hopes to write a book, and also help others who are going through depression. He’s interested in child psychology, and also art therapy.

“Maybe I will be able to make a change and help,” he says. “I definitely want to write my own book when I’m done with college.”

But that is down the line. For now, he wonders if he will play intramural soccer, maybe join student government, maybe get involved in a video game club. He’s excited for the food on campus. He hopes to make some friends.

He remembers back when he was in 10th grade and came to Butler’s campus for the first time on a school trip.

“I wasn’t that impressed,” he says. “But that’s because I was a judgmental teenager. As I saw more and more schools, I realized how big they were, and crowded, and confusing, and I realized how much I liked Butler. It was a perfect size.”

Here he is, 30 acceptances later. There may be differing accounts about why Abiodun applied to so many schools. But, one thing is clear: he’s up to whatever challenges are ahead.

 

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

Abiodun
Welcome WeekPeopleCampus

From Nigeria to Butler, First Year Up to the Challenge

30 acceptances later, Abiodun plans a psych major to help others.

Aug 20 2018 Read more
Jeremy Johnson
AcademicsThanksPeople

Butler Professor Receives NSF Grant to Study Class of Enzymes Linked with Cancer Growth

BY Rachel Stern

PUBLISHED ON Aug 14 2018

INDIANAPOLIS – It happened by accident.

Jeremy Johnson, Butler University Associate Professor of Chemistry, was looking at images of acyl protein thioesterases, or APTs. Because proteins are smaller than the wavelength of light, they cannot be seen by eye, or even with a microscope. So, proteins are crystalized, and then static images are taken, revealing what they look like at one point in time.

But, when Johnson looked at the APT images closely, he saw something he had never seen before, and something, he says, that is quite rare – the protein in multiple states.

“Our image showed the APT in open and closed states or active and inactive,” Johnson says. “Normally, we think of proteins as static, or as staying in one position, and only recently have we started to appreciate the idea of natural movements of proteins.”

With an $250,000 grant from the National Science Foundation, Johnson will be researching why we should appreciate that very idea. Seeing the image of the APT in a dynamic state enabled Johnson to hypothesize a whole new set of ideas about what this protein could potentially impact – cancer progression, neural deterioration, and immune functions, he says.

“Once we had this image and saw it was dynamic, we were able to start to hypothesize how this protein could be important within a cell,” he says. “All of a sudden new possibilities emerged that we knew we wanted to research more. Once we knew the structure, new alleys for research questions opened.”

APTs are a class of enzymes that are linked with cancer growth, neural degeneration, and bacterial infections. But, this photo revealed they are also dynamic – something that was not previously known.

Now, Johnson says, he is set to dive into what this dynamic function actually means, and how it could impact those important links. Some questions his lab will focus on include looking at how the dynamic nature of this protein could impact APTs as a future drug target, and how it might relate to cancer and immune functions.

After seeing the image, Johnson says his team will start to look into how that movement is related to the regulation of the protein and how that can impact the biological functions of APTs.

“You always hope there is relation to the big picture,” Johnson says. “We are going to be looking at the dynamic movement and if that movement is essential to biological function. You hope that movement is related to the big picture things that we know this protein is already involved in.”

Also, as part of the NSF grant, research occurring in Johnson’s lab will be integrated into undergraduate classroom laboratories, giving a wide range of students the chance to participate in the research. There will also be a new molecular biophysics laboratory added to the biochemistry major at Butler.

All of this, Johnson says, because of an accident.

 

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

Jeremy Johnson
AcademicsThanksPeople

Butler Professor Receives NSF Grant to Study Class of Enzymes Linked with Cancer Growth

Butler Chemistry Professor Jeremy Johnson discovered something in his research that no one had seen before.

Aug 14 2018 Read more
AcademicsArts & CulturePeople

He Helped the Dance Department Achieve Its Potential

BY

PUBLISHED ON Apr 02 2018

Stephan Laurent joined the Butler Dance Department in 1988, convinced it was going to be one of the top programs in the United States.

"And we proceeded to make it so," he said, crediting "aggressive recruitment and a fantastic faculty."

Thirty years later—the first 15 as chair, the second 15 as a faculty member—as he prepares to retire from Butler, Laurent looks back proudly at what he and the department have accomplished in developing a program that's consistently one of the top-rated in the country.

"It's been a wonderful experience because this is such a strong program," he said. "It's strong because of the curriculum, because of the faculty who deliver that curriculum, because of the students it attracts and because of the facilities in which it is delivered. It is a conservatory-level training program, but we all value the liberal arts and that's what makes the program unique."

Laurent grew up outside Lausanne, Switzerland, and moved to the United States to study at Southern Methodist University. After earning his Bachelor of Fine Arts, he danced professionally in Europe, then returned to SMU for his Master of Fine Arts.

He taught at the University of Wisconsin-Milwaukee and had spent six years as Artistic Director of Des Moines Ballet when he saw the opening at Butler. The Board of Directors was reducing the size of its company to cut costs, so he decided to apply.

He expected a short stay in Indianapolis, but "it clicked so well. It seems like I had found my place – and I think I did. I have really planted my roots in this community. It will be bittersweet to leave."

He leaves with great memories of "all the wonderful productions we have accomplished with the Butler Ballet" and comfortable in the knowledge that he helped advance both Butler and the Dance Department.

"I've seen a lot of progress being made in establishing the strong vision of a comprehensive university where the liberal arts are valued," he said. "The core curriculum is really excellent here. I teach an FYS seminar (Spellbound: the Quest for Magic in the Arts and in Fiction), so I know firsthand how good that core is and how valued it is by all the members of the faculty across all the colleges."

Sophomore Stefanee Montesantos said Laurent "has been a wonderful instructor to work with in the studio." Not only that, "but he has given me opportunities that most first-years and sophomores wish for."

In Butler Ballet’s 2018 Midwinter Dance Festival, Montesantos was cast as the lead female in Farewell to the Singing Earth, an original piece that Laurent-Faesi choreographed.

"It was one of my most challenging roles yet, but it was such a pleasure to work with him," she said. "His positivity, yet silent discipline to execute the steps, brought out a drive I didn’t know I had in me. I am sure I speak for all of Butler Ballet when I say that he will be deeply missed."

After the semester ends, Laurent plans to move to Texas, where his wife, Ellen Denham, is directing the opera program as a member of the music faculty at Texas A&M University in Corpus Christi. He describes the move as "going full circle," since Texas was where he started in the United States.

Professor Susan McGuire, his colleague in the Dance Department, said Laurent set an example for others to follow.

"He is outspoken and liberal-minded in the best sense, and a staunch defender of academic freedom, for one," she said. "He knows the university system inside and out, and holds the people within it to a high standard, and quite vocally, regardless of the consequences. I appreciate this wholeheartedly, and I will miss his loud and clear voice."

 

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

 

 

AcademicsArts & CulturePeople

Going Out on A High Note

BY

PUBLISHED ON Apr 16 2018

Associate Professor of Music Dan Bolin '70 MM '75 looks back on his career in education—23 years at Butler, 48 overall—and says, "I can't think of anything I could have done that would have been more satisfying. To get to work with the kids, to get to know the people I've gotten to know …"

He lets the thought hang in the air, but he might have finished with "to achieve all I've achieved."

Since joining the Music Department faculty, Bolin has made his mark, particularly with regard to equipment, the physical plant, and faculty.

Bolin arrived in 1995 as Department Chair to find that no one had been keeping track of the instruments the department owned. Forty were missing. He had a hand in finding almost all of them and creating a new inventory system.

When the Schrott Center for the Arts was being built, Bolin took a tour of the construction and noticed that the orchestra pit was so low that people on the stage wouldn't be able to see the conductor. His keen eye helped Butler avoid a potentially costly repair.

It's a point of pride for him that the University's music ensembles have improved over the years and that Butler has retained so many talented faculty members.

"Most of the faculty in the music school were people I was involved with hiring and setting up," he said.
"(Professor of Music and Director of Bands) Michael Colburn is the last person I hired, and he's a superstar. We're fortunate to have him."

The feeling is mutual, Colburn said.

"My wife and I fell in love with Butler as soon as we visited, but I must admit that a big part of the attraction was the knowledge that Dan was serving as the Chair of the School of Music at the time," he said. "I figured that any school of music that had Dan Bolin in a leadership position would be a great place to work, and my instincts were right on the mark! Although he is no longer Chair, Dan has continued to be a valued colleague and a tremendous friend, and he will be sorely missed when he retires at the end of this semester."

*

Bolin spent his entire career close to home. He grew up in Indianapolis, took up the tuba in junior high school, and was the tubist in the Indiana All-State Orchestra all four years at Harry E. Wood High School, five blocks south of Monument Circle. That distinction earned him "a healthy scholarship" to Butler.

As an undergraduate at Butler, he tutored at his old high school. After graduation, his first teaching job was replacing his high school band director, who retired.

Bolin earned his principal's license at Butler and his doctorate in school administration at Indiana University. (His minor there was in music education.) He was a high school band director for 13 years, including time at Manual, Lebanon, and Southport high schools, and in administration for 12 years.

At Southport, he rose through the ranks to become an assistant principal. He left Southport for Perry Township Schools, where he moved from Director of Secondary Education to Personnel Director, Assistant Superintendent, and, finally, Interim Superintendent.

When the job opened at Butler, then-Director of Bands Robert Grechesky asked him to apply. Over the years, Bolin said, he was contacted by other institutions about opening on their faculty, but "I was doing what I wanted to do here."

*

Bolin said the greatest joy of his career has been working with students.

Matt Harrod '83 MM '88 is one of those. Harrod, Band Director and teacher at Riverside Junior High and Intermediate School in the Hamilton-Southeastern school district outside Indianapolis, was a student of Bolin's at Lebanon High School from 1975–1977. Harrod said even after Bolin left Lebanon for Southport, he stayed in touch and interested in his progress.

Harrod remembers a time when he was a freshman at Butler and decided to skip a pep band practice. That earned him a reprimand not only from Butler Band Director Grechesky but from Bolin.

"He told Dan and Dan got all over me about that," Harrod said. "He kept me on the straight and narrow."

After Harrod graduated from Butler, Bolin helped him get his first teaching job, attended his concerts, and worked with his band. Eventually, Harrod taught Bolin's sons at Keystone Middle School.

"He's been a close friend my whole life," Harrod said. "He's been a mentor to me. We laugh together, we tease each other a lot. He has guest-directed my band several times. He's introduced me to important people in the field. He hasn't only done this for me; he's done this for a lot of people."

In addition, Harrod said, Bolin has been instrumental in bringing military bands such as the U.S. Army Field Band to Indianapolis to perform free concerts for the public.

In retirement, Bolin said he and his wife, Jane, will continue to have a home in Indianapolis, but they'll also be living in Melbourne, Florida, where they bought a house 10 years ago.

Bolin said what he'll miss most are the students.

"They keep me young," he said. "Watching them grow and graduate and seeing some of them become educators—I tended to teach music education classes—and become band and orchestra directors and do good work has been incredibly gratifying. That's essentially what we’re all about—trying to create the next generation of teachers who are going to do what we did and hopefully do it even better."

(After this story was written, Dan Bolin conducted his final concert as Music Director of the Indianapolis Municipal Band and was awarded the Sagamore of the Wabash. The honor is given to those who have rendered a distinguished service to the state or to the governor.)

 


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

 

AcademicsArts & CulturePeople

Going Out on A High Note

Dan Bolin retires after 48 years in education.

Apr 16 2018 Read more

Perseverance and Patients: A 23-Year Journey to Graduation

By Rachel Stern

When Trent Tipple was at his low point, living in Indianapolis, Indiana, experiencing nose bleeds during class, suffering memory loss while trying to study for tests, juggling pre-med classes with daily dialysis treatments, little did he know this was just the first of three major low points in his life.

There was the lymphoma diagnosis. Then the kidney failure. Again. And a kidney transplant. Again.

But to hear Tipple tell it, these are all moments that have shaped an amazing life. So far. Because, let’s be honest, Tipple has defied death approximately three times. And, in his words, he feels “full of gratitude.”  

“I have learned to treasure each day and never ignore what is right in front of me,” Tipple says. “I try to remember that the relationships and memories are what actually matter and, as cliché as it is, tomorrow really isn’t guaranteed.”

But there is one thing nagging at Tipple. He hasn’t technically graduated from Butler University, where he was an undergraduate biology major. All of those dialysis appointments didn’t stop him, though, let’s make that clear.

It was that darn beeper.

Tipple, who enrolled at Butler in the fall of 1991, was on track to graduate in 1995. He was 19 credits shy and had applied to Indiana University’s School of Medicine. But, then, that beeper started going off and he had to answer it.

Because Tipple was on the kidney transplant list, he always had a beeper on in case a transplant arrived. After three years, his beeper went off. It just so happened to be during his last semester, senior year. So, technically, he never graduated.

That’s all about to change.

 

Always Interested in Medicine

Tipple grew up in Wabash County, Indiana. Farm country as he refers to it.

Long before the constant trips to the doctor, he had an interest in helping people by being a physician. Pretty ironic, he says. He was always interested in the ability to help others, and working in medicine gave him the opportunity to blend his interest in science with that desire. 

When Tipple was a sophomore in high school he stepped foot on Butler’s campus for the first time as part of a youth event. He was drawn to the campus’ small size and intimate setting.

“Everyone I came across was just nice,” Tipple says. “That first encounter made me familiar with the school and gave me a certain comfort level. I was attracted to the smaller size and the opportunity to get a well-rounded education beyond just science-based courses.”

Turns out the smaller setting would be crucial for many reasons. Tipple was diagnosed with chronic renal disease before his freshman year at Butler. He applied early to Butler, was accepted, and enrolled. With his disease came several trips to the doctor every week. Tipple knew going to Butler would enable him to continue down his desired pre-med path, while also being physically close to the downtown campus of IU Medical Center, as a kidney transplant was what he would eventually need. Tipple felt a school the size of Butler would be more willing to accommodate his specific needs.

“I knew I would be in and out of certain classes due to doctor’s appointments and, at any point, might need to miss class or assignments,” Tipple says. “At a smaller school, it is much easier to form personal relationships and communicate about my specific needs and situation. I think that would be much harder to do at a larger university.”  

 

Determined to Follow His Dreams

Trent at Butler with fraternity brothers.

Jim Shellaas remembers laying eyes on Tipple for the first time. Tipple was a freshman. Shellhaas was Tipple’s academic advisor, and, right away, something was different.

“He showed up to our first meeting with his mother,” says Shellhaas, who retired two years ago after working at Butler as a biology professor. “Now don’t get me wrong, his mother was a lovely person, but most freshmen don’t come to their appointments with their parents. She was there to explain Trent’s medical condition.”

From that first meeting, Shellhaas says, it was clear that Tipple was a determined young man. And Shellhaas’ first impression never changed over the course of four years.

“He had a dream and he was focused and no matter what, he wasn’t going to let go of it,” Shellhaas says. “It is hard enough to be on a pre-med track when a student is fully healthy. But to do that with a health condition like Trent’s, you have to be special and he is special. He had a goal in mind, plugged along, and never lost sight of it.”

Barb Howes recalls a student who was extremely responsible and always showed up to work at the Science Libraries with a work ethic that stood out. Howes has interacted with thousands of students during her time at Butler, but Tipple stands out.

“No matter what was asked of him, he did it, and he always had a wonderful attitude,” she says. “You never would have known that he was dealing with all of the dialysis, and the pain. It amazes me that he was able to remain so positive, despite having to face so much and juggle so much as a young person.”

 

Nothing Could Stop Him

After being on dialysis for two-and-a-half years, and after seven surgeries due to dialysis-related complications, Tipple’s beeper finally went off. He would later learn that a woman named Shiela, who’s family decided that she would be an organ donor, enabled him to become a kidney transplant recipient that January day in 1995. But, it wasn’t that simple.

Though he walked in his commencement ceremony, technically, Tipple did not graduate from Butler because of the timing of the transplant surgery and the recovery associated with it. He was 19 credits short.

He did, however, make the most of his time spent around the physicians he still hoped to one day be. “You meet tons of patients and they all impact you in different ways, but Trent stuck out and always will stick out,” says Sharon Moe, professor of nephrology at Indiana University School of Medicine, who first met Tipple when he was a patient at IU Medical Center. “He was just a smart, inquisitive, sharp young man.”

Moe learned that Tipple wanted to attend IU School of Medicine when he was a patient. Tipple also worked in Moe’s lab when he was a student at Butler. She decided to arrange a meeting between Tipple and the head of the Medical School’s admissions committee.

“I learned later that those conversations I had, thanks to Dr. Moe, were key for me ever getting in to med school and achieving my dream of becoming a physician,” says Tipple. “I am so thankful for people like Dr. Moe who believed in me and went out of their way to vouch for me and look out for me. They changed the course of my life.”

“Trent was networking, so to speak, or creating strong relationships, before that was even a thing,” Shellhaas says. “Instead of feeling sorry for himself when he was in the hospital, he was thinking about his next move and how he could achieve his dreams. He is an amazing person.”

He was accepted into IU’s School of Medicine in the summer of 1995, even though he didn’t have an undergraduate degree.

 

The Struggles Continue

When it was time to head to medical school, Tipple had to, well, learn how to learn again, he says. A fraternity brother from his Butler days, Doug Towriss, was already a medical student at IU. He tutored Tipple for well over a year.

“He taught me what it was to know something, versus being familiar with it,” Tipple says. “If you can’t write it down, you don’t know it. That was his big thing. A lot of time was spent at the chalk board with me writing down pathways, lists, and that type of thing from memory. He didn’t have to do that but he wanted to help me get caught back up.”

Tipple ended up graduating from medical school in 2000. He completed a general pediatrics residency in 2003 and a fellowship in neonatal-perinatal medicine in 2006 at The Ohio State University. By 2006 he was an attending neonatologist and assistant professor of pediatrics at The Ohio State University College of Medicine.

But, things weren’t all smooth sailing.

In 2008, he was in Vienna for a conference with his wife and two children. In retrospect, he had been experiencing headaches for a few months, but that is just in retrospect. They wandered through the Swarovski store looking at all the jewelry. Then, all Tipple remembers is his world went black and the loud store went silent. He was 35 and experienced his first seizure.

He was rushed to the hospital, eventually made his way back to Ohio, and on Christmas Eve 2008, he was officially diagnosed with a rare form of lymphoma. Technically speaking, he had post-transplant lymphoma. It is a kind of lymphoma only seen in transplant patients. The cruel irony? While Tipple took powerful medications to prevent his body from rejecting his kidney transplant 13 years earlier, those same medications kept his body from recognizing the cancerous cells and eliminating them. Those same cells actually allowed the tumor to form in the first place.

Trent with his cousin who donated a kidney.

This type of lymphoma carries an average 2-year survival rate of less than 10 percent around the world. But, Tipple’s oncologist at OSU had developed an experimental therapy that showed promise in the six patients who used it prior to Tipple.

Three weeks after starting the therapy, the tumor that had been the size of a walnut was gone. And within six months, there was no evidence of the active disease at all. Tipple was in remission. “It was honestly a miracle,” Tipple says. “I really thought I was going to die. I thought that was it and I just could not believe I was in remission. It is impossible.”

But, Tipple’s story does not end there.

One year after his seizure in Austria, the kidney that he had received about 15 years earlier failed. Tipple was back on dialysis.

“I was feeling devastated. I was angry and frustrated. But yet again, I had the amazing support of those around me,” Tipple says. “My wife put everything in perspective when she reminded me that a year earlier we thought I was going to die and said we will do whatever it takes.”

After 15 months of daily dialysis in their home, Tipple was back in the hospital for his second kidney transplant in 2011. This time, he knew the donor. “My cousin is a police officer outside of Seattle. She called me one day and said she was coming to Columbus to finish testing because she was informed that she was a match,” Tipple says. “How do you thank someone who says that?”

She was a match and Tipple had his second transplant on Aug. 2, 2011. Since then, things have been great, he says. But then there is that elusive degree from Butler.

 

Getting that Piece of Paper

Travis Ryan met Tipple about five years ago. He didn’t know much about him, but invited him to Butler’s campus to speak to a seminar class about potential opportunities to pursue research projects. “I had no idea about his background, but I knew he had a ton of experience in the research field and thought, as a Butler graduate, he could inspire our students,” says Ryan, who is the Biological Sciences Department Chair at Butler. “When we spoke after his talk and I learned about his background, and I remember thinking we should really look into trying to get Trent his official degree. He embodies everything Butler is about.”

Tipple was extremely excited about the idea.

“It always came up in job interviews and things like that,” he says. “But more than that, I know it is just a piece of paper, but it really means something important to me. My time at Butler was extremely valuable and meant a lot to me and to know that I officially graduated would mean a lot.”

Ryan worked with many people at Butler to make it official. Many courses that Tipple completed at IU’s School of Medicine, it ended up, could be counted toward the credits he was missing at Butler.

After 23 years, Tipple will be officially graduating from Butler.

 

Full Circle

Trent with his family on a trip to Germany in 2008.

Tipple tries to get back to Indianapolis, and specifically, Butler’s campus at least once a year. He usually returns for a basketball game or two, and comes each May for the Indianapolis 500.

Unfortunately, he won’t be here for the spring commencement ceremony on May 11. It is a bit harder now. In 2014, he started working at the University of Alabama at Birmingham as an associate professor. He is Director of the Neonatal Redox Biology Program and his work has been continuously funded by the National Institutes of Health since 2007. Tipple also serves as the Director of Neonatology Faculty Development and Program Co-Director of Neonatal-Perinatal Fellowship Program.

“After everything, I am doing what I love. I am teaching, I have a research lab, and I also see patients. I love doing all of that and it is exactly what I always wanted to do,” he says. Tipple plans to be back in Indianapolis at the end of May for the Indianapolis 500. He will be stopping by Butler’s campus. And this time, he will be picking up a diploma.

“It feels great to just come full circle after everything,” Tipple says. “I appreciate everything Butler did for me and with all I have been through and all the people who supported me and were there for me, everyone really made this happen.”

 

Images
Feature: Trent with his wife at medical school graduation (left). Tren with his son at a Butler Basketball game (right).
Top: Trent at Butler with fraternity brothers.
Middle: Trent with his cousin who donated a kidney.
Bottom: Trent with his family on a trip to Germany in 2008.

 

Trent Tipple MD
CommencementPeopleCampus

Perseverance and Patients: A 23-Year Journey to Graduation

After two kidney transplants and a battle with cancer, Trent Tipple M.D. will finally graduate.

 

GivingPeopleCampus

Butler Names New Vice President for Advancement

BY

PUBLISHED ON Mar 07 2018

Jonathan Purvis, a respected leader in higher education advancement with 19 years of experience, has been named Butler University’s Vice President for Advancement. He begins his duties at Butler on April 16, 2018.

Purvis comes to Butler from Indiana University where he has served as Vice President for Development and Regional Campuses. Prior to that, he served as Executive Director of Development and Alumni Relations for the Indiana University School of Education and Senior Director for Capital Projects at Washington University in St. Louis. He has also held varied positions at the IU Foundation ranging from Executive Director of Special Gifts and Annual Giving to Assistant to the President.

“Jonathan possesses an exceptional depth of experience within higher education advancement,” said Butler University President James Danko. “His proven success in development, and demonstrated leadership in higher education, make him the right person to help us to achieve our ambitious fundraising goals.”

Purvis holds the Certified Fund Raising Executive credential (CFRE) and has taught a variety of fundraising courses at Indiana University. He is a frequent presenter with the Council for Advancement and Support of Education (CASE) and is a contributing author to the third edition of the acclaimed Achieving Excellence in Fundraising. He holds a bachelor’s degree in English and master’s degree in Public Affairs, both from Indiana University Bloomington.

Having grown up in Noblesville, Indiana, in a family of Butler alumni, Purvis is excited to return to Central Indiana to be part of the Butler community. He is joined by his wife Brittany, daughter Sophie, and son Joshua.

 

Media contact:
Rachel Stern
rstern@butler.edu
317-940-9257

GivingPeopleCampus

Butler Names New Vice President for Advancement

Jonathan Purvis comes to BU from IU.

Mar 07 2018 Read more
AcademicsPeople

School of Music Announces Three New Faculty Members

BY

PUBLISHED ON Mar 20 2018

The Butler University School of Music will add three new faculty members beginning in the 2018–2019 academic year, Doug Spaniol, Interim Chair, announced today.

Becky Marsh, a choral music educator who's finishing her doctorate at Michigan State University, is the new Assistant Professor of Choral Music Education.

Brian Weidner, currently a lecturer at Lake Forest (Illinois) College, is the new Assistant Professor of Instrumental Music Education.

Dana Zenobi, a soprano who has taught for the past 10 years at Southwestern University in Georgetown, Texas, is the new full-time Instructor of Voice.

Marsh was a choral music educator in North Carolina for several years as well as the Musical Director of a K-12 youth theatre. She holds a Master of Music in Music Education and a Post-Baccalaureate Certificate in Music Theory from the University of North Carolina at Greensboro, where she taught beginning guitar, supervised student teachers, and assisted in introductory music education, vocal pedagogy, and choral methods courses.

She is currently finishing her dissertation, which examines the intersections of preservice music teachers' identities and their initial field-observation experiences.

Weidner will receive his Ph.D. in Music Education at the Bienen School of Music at Northwestern University. He holds bachelor's degrees in Music Education and English from Illinois State University and master's degrees in Music Education from Northern Illinois University and school leadership from Olivet Nazarene University.

Prior to his studies at Northwestern, he taught for 12 years at McHenry (Illinois) High School, serving as its Fine Arts Coordinator, Director of Bands, and Music Theory Instructor. He is a National Board-certified teacher. His academic interests include investigating the relationship between music and literacy and the development of independent musicianship through large ensemble instruction.

Zenobi has taught Vocal Diction, Vocal Pedagogy, Song Literature and first-year Theory and Ear Training, as well as an interdisciplinary course in Music and Gender Studies. Her studio teaching was nationally recognized in 2014, when The American Prize competition issued her an "Inspiration in Teaching" award.

An active recitalist and concert performer, her work as an interpreter of art song by women composers has garnered both regional and national attention. On the opera stage, she has earned critical acclaim for roles ranging from Mozart heroines Donna Elvira and Konstanze to Verdi's Violetta Valéry. She appeared in the American Premiere of Philip Glass’s Waiting for the Barbarians with Austin Opera, and performed with Lyric Opera Cleveland in the first production of Mark Adamo’s Little Women directed by the composer.

Zenobi created Southwestern University's Sarofim Vocal Competition for high school singers. She also founded BELTA.org, a nonprofit that provides free crowdfunding services and entrepreneurial support to artists and musicians. She holds a dual degree in Music and Women's Studies from Duke University, as well as both an MM and a DMA from The University of Texas at Austin.

 

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

 

 

 

AcademicsPeople

School of Music Announces Three New Faculty Members

Becky Marsh, Brian Weidner, and Dana Zenobi will join Butler for 2018-2019 school year.

Mar 20 2018 Read more

Butler Roots Run Deep

By Rachel Stern

DETROIT—Out on the hardwood, toward a far corner of the court, the shortest player with the floppy blonde hair puts up three-pointer after three-pointer. Swish, swish, swish. At one point, he hits nine in a row.

He is 5 feet 11 inches, and Campbell Donovan wearing number 0 on his jersey is in a land of giants. It is the Thursday before Donovan, a freshman walk-on, and No. 10 Butler will take on No. 7 Arkansas in the first round of the NCAA Tournament.  

The team is at open practice – think glorified shoot-around – but to Campbell, this is serious business. Any chance to work on his game, be a part of the Butler team, and, his dad Rick jokes, put up shots, is a good day. And he knows to never take it for granted.

That’s because, despite basically growing up in Hinkle Fieldhouse, he was very close to never putting on the Butler jersey at all.

The Butler Bond Begins

Donovan Family
          Donovan Family during 2015-2016 Season

Rick Donovan grew up in Fort Wayne, Indiana during Hoosier Hysteria, dreaming of playing basketball at the college level. He rooted for Purdue, but when it came time for Rick to head off to college, it looked like he would have a good chance to play at Butler. Joe Sexson was the head coach and the team wasn’t great, Rick said, but he was excited. “Once you get that Butler blue in your blood, Purdue and everyone else becomes secondary,” he says. “I had an amazing experience there.”

Barry Collier took over for Sexson during Rick’s senior season and Rick says, he could tell the program was starting to move in the right direction. After graduating in 1990 and enrolling in law school at Valparaiso, Rick bought season tickets to the Bulldogs and he hasn’t looked back since.

Rick and his wife, Sabrina, still live in Fort Wayne, but that hasn’t stopped them from traveling to Indianapolis for most games. And, it turns out, the Donovans have had several reasons to keep coming back to Hinkle. And keep coming back, and back, and back.

Another Donovan Joins Butler

Campbell remembers the drive from Fort Wayne to Indianapolis. There have been so many trips back and forth, but this one, he says, sticks out. His oldest sister, Ali, was on the brink of heading off to college at Butler, but first, she had a cheerleading tryout. Campbell was devastated.

“I remember it was her tryout day and I was in the backseat so sad,” he says. “She was about to leave home and I really didn’t want her to leave yet. She is 10 years older, so I remember thinking how upsetting it would be without her at home. But I also remember how excited she was to have the chance to cheer at Butler. We grew up at Hinkle with my dad watching basketball games and everything, so this was huge for her. I just remember being real sad, but also real nervous for her and just thinking what a big deal it was.”

Ali ended up making the cheer team. Donovan No. 2 to be connected to Butler Athletics. Rick says he made a distinct effort to remain open-minded during Ali’s college search. They made about four college visits and he was very impressed with all the schools.

“When Ali decided on Butler, let’s just say I was extremely happy,” Rick says. “It was really neat and special to see my kid on the court. I remember people would always ask, did you ever think you would see one of your kids out there, and I always would think of Campbell with hoops, that’s just what would come to my mind. But seeing Ali cheer was very special.”

With Ali’s four-years came more trips to Butler sporting events, says Campbell. He remembers going to tons of basketball games, football games, and traveling all the time.  With all of the travel, Rick says, he started to see his son’s motivation and passion grow. Rick and Campbell used to stay up late and watch Butler compete in the Atlantic 10 on television when they had away games. But once Ali joined the cheerleading team, Rick says, they started traveling to more and more games.

“I literally grew up in Hinkle,” Campbell says. “The coolest thing was she was on the cheer team during the 2010 and 2011 National Championship runs. This was the time that Butler was really starting to become a household name and gain national prominence. I knew before that it was cool my dad played in college and that was a big deal. But this was when it really hit me how much of a big deal playing for Butler was. It was then that I decided, OK, I really want to play basketball for Butler one day.”

A Dream Comes True

Rick and Campbell have walked out of Hinkle Fieldhouse together too many times to count. But this time, Rick made a beeline to Scotty’s Dawghouse. He had to talk some sense into his son.

The two of them had just met with, Butler’s head coach at the time, Chris Holtmann. They expected the meeting to just be a chance to get to know one another, let Holtmann know Campbell was interested in potentially walking on, and find out what the process would be like. At that point, Campbell was being recruited heavily by smaller schools, such as Division III’s DePauw. He knew he would have a great experience at a smaller school, get a lot of playing time, and that these smaller schools were very interested in him. However, Butler was always his dream.

Rick happened to play in an alumni game in fall 2016, which led to a phone call with former Butler assistant coach Terry Johnson, which led to this very meeting with Holtmann at the end of the season. An hour-and-a-half into the meeting, Rick couldn’t help himself. He kept looking over at Campbell, thinking, is this really happening.

“It seemed like Coach Holtmann was going in the direction of offering Cam a walk on position,” Rick says. “We just were looking at each other, like, is he really going to offer this? It was such a surprise. We were days away from probably going with one of the smaller schools, just because we didn’t know if this was an option for Cam. I really think if I pushed Cam with one finger he would have fallen over.”

Holtmann ended the meeting by telling Campbell to give the walk on role some thought and then to get back to him. Campbell said thanks and left. Rick couldn’t believe it. “I told him, you have been waiting 18 years for this, working your butt off, dreaming about this, the heck you will think this over,” Rick joked. “Cam told me he didn’t want to look too anxious, but after lunch he walked right back over to Hinkle and told Coach he couldn’t wait to join the team.”

Back to the Tournament

Campbell with Sisters
         Campbell with sisters at Final 4 in 2010.

There was the time Roosevelt Jones hit a floater at the buzzer to beat Gonzaga at Hinkle. Campbell remembers storming the court from 15 rows up. Then there was the time he watched in person as Butler advanced to their first ever National Championship in 2010, knocking off Michigan State. He remembers watching with his entire family. He also remembers missing the Final Four the following year because of a family vacation in Florida. He recalls looking for his sister, who was a cheerleader at the time, on TV. He was bummed he wasn’t there as he watched from the beach.

“Having all these memories, and now being in Detroit as a part of the team, it’s just mind blowing,” Campbell says. “Having this opportunity to be in the tournament, even though I am just a small part of it, but knowing I am a little part of something special, is just so incredible.”

Rick and Sabrina will be in the stands on Friday. Their two daughters will join on Sunday, if Butler advances. “Friday will be very emotional for me,” Rick says. “Butler has been great to us as a family. I am smiling all the time when I walk into Hinkle, but this will definitely be a different level of excitement getting to see Cam achieve something he always had in the back of his mind, surrounded by so many great teammates and friends.”

Campbell was one of the last one’s off the court Thursday. Putting up a few last shots, taking in every last second on the court. His first time being a member of an NCAA Tournament team, something he has thought so much about. “I try and put myself in the shoes of where I was last year, not even knowing where I was going to go to college,” Campbell says. “I remind myself all the time how lucky I am to be at Butler, not only as a walk on, which is amazing because so many kids would give a lot to be in my position, but to just take classes here and be at such an amazing University. It is really a great all around place and I am enjoying every moment.”

 

Team at Practice
AthleticsPeople

Butler Roots Run Deep

DETROIT—Out on the hardwood, toward a far corner of the court, the shortest player with the floppy blonde hair puts up three-pointer after three-pointer. Swish, swish, swish. At one point, he hits nine in a row.

Team at Practice

Butler Roots Run Deep

By Rachel Stern
Indy 500Student LifePeople

Four Butler Students Named 500 Festival Princesses

BY

PUBLISHED ON Mar 02 2018

Taylor Bowen                                  Natalie Cole     

Katie Pfaff                                    Anna Rather

                         

Four Butler University students have been selected as 500 Festival Princesses for 2018.

They are:

-Taylor Bowen, Michiana Shores, a senior majoring in Digital Media Production and Art Plus Design.

-Natalie Cole, Westfield, a junior majoring in Violin Performance with emphases in Music Theory and Music History.

-Katherine (Katie) Pfaff, Lewisville, a junior majoring in Strategic Communication: Public Relations.

-Anna Rather, Bargersville, a junior majoring in English Literary Theory, Culture and Criticism.

Each 500 Festival Princess will receive a $1,000 scholarship. In addition, 500 Festival Princesses are involved with the 500 Festival’s statewide community outreach programs, volunteering at 500 Festival events, and participating in various Indianapolis Motor Speedway functions, including the pre-race ceremonies and Victory Circle celebration for the 102nd running of the Indianapolis 500.

The 2018 500 Festival Princesses represent 14 Indiana colleges and universities and 21 cities and towns across the state. With a cumulative GPA of 3.72, this year’s 500 Festival princesses were selected from hundreds of applicants based on communication skills, academic performance and community involvement.

 

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

 

Like a Pro

By Rachel Stern

DETROIT—It’s hard to catch Jimmy Lafakis.

The first time, his phone goes straight to voicemail. The next, after about two rings, it goes to voicemail again. But this time, Lafakis follows up with a text message.  “I’m on the court shooting Michigan State-Bucknell, can we talk after the game?” he writes. “The atmosphere is insane.”

He steals a few minutes to talk during a media timeout, in the bowels of Little Caesars Arena. It’s fitting. Most of Lafakis’ college career has been spent dotting the country, following the Butler men’s basketball team from arena to arena, squatting on baselines, documenting the action for The Collegian, Butler’s student newspaper.

Then, there are games like Michigan State-Bucknell. The Butler junior has no real reason to shoot photos of this game. But that’s not how he sees it at all. In Lafakis’ eyes, it’s impossible to count all the reasons. He has a media pass, he is a basketball fanatic, he loves photography, it’s March. The list goes on.

Take Friday for example.

He rose at about 4:00 AM, drove from Indianapolis to Detroit with his parents. Went straight to Little Caesars Arena. Arrived in time to shoot the Purdue-Cal State Fullerton game at noon. Then shot the Butler-Arkansas game (a perfect game, he says). And when he takes a quick break to chat, it is about 9:00 PM and he is in the midst of shooting the Michigan State-Bucknell game (he’s running on adrenaline, he says. He isn’t even tired, he says).

March is his favorite time of the year. According to Jimmy, the tournament “is unlike anything else in the universe.” Which is no surprise, considering what a basketball junkie he is. But what is a surprise, if you talk to him for just five minutes, is that he had never even heard of Butler University until he was in eighth grade.

A lot has changed since then.

 

A Student of the Game

Lafakis is from Schererville, Indiana. Hoops country. But, believe it or not, he grew up without a favorite college basketball team. How did a hoops-obsessed kid from Indiana grow up teamless?  “Well, my dad went to IU and everyone I knew had a team, but I was waiting for a reason to really fall in love, you know?” Lafakis says.

Lafakis played basketball in middle school, but was just OK, he says. However, he was always a student of the game. And then there’s his memory. Jimmy Lafakis remembers everything. He says this carries over to most things in life. But when it comes to basketball, well, his memory is extra sharp. He likes to play a game with his friends where they name a professional basketball player, and Lafakis fires back with the college he went to. Lafakis is rarely stumped.

So, when he started to get really into hoops, he, of course, remembered everything. Every game he watched, every player he saw, most stats. There was that day in seventh grade when he was watching SportsCenter and saw highlights of A.J. Graves and Butler. Naturally, it stuck and he was instantly hooked, he says.

“A.J. Graves was getting buckets,” Lafakis says, recalling specific highlights from a clip he saw in seventh grade. “I remember thinking, wow, he is good and Butler is good. I have to go to Hinkle. It was perfect timing because they were on the brink of bursting onto the national scene.”

 

A Butler Love Affair is Born

Obviously, Lafakis can reel off the first time he went to Hinkle Fieldhouse. He was in eighth grade, it was Halloween, and the Bulldogs were playing an exhibition game against Florida Southern. “I instantly fell in love with Hinkle,” he says. “That was the moment I knew I had to go to Butler.”

I instantly fell in love with Hinkle,” he says. “That was the moment I knew I had to go to Butler.

Jimmy’s parents, John and Kathy, toured the campus with Jimmy that day. They walked into the bookstore and walked out “with basically the entire store,” Jimmy says. Most notably? A blue sweatshirt that Jimmy still wears. Holes and all. “My mom and I still wear it. My dad tells me it is time to throw it out, but it means way too much,” Jimmy says. “There is too much history in that sweatshirt.”

The game against Florida Southern was just the beginning that year. The crew then went to Valparaiso in January (they lost in overtime, Jimmy says). Then it was onto New Orleans for the Sweet 16, where the Lafakis family watched Butler beat Wisconsin. After that game, the family headed back to Indianapolis, but made a pitstop at Butler, specifically Atherton Union, to watch Butler beat Florida in the Elite Eight. The game was projected on a wall inside the Reilly Room and Jimmy recalls the feeling of jubilation when the buzzer sounded (Shelvin Mack scored 27, he says), and he and about 200 Butler students ran onto the lawn outside Atherton to celebrate.

Now, a junior journalism major, Jimmy cannot believe how lucky he is. Instead of Atherton Union, he takes in most games from the baseline, Canon Rebel T6S camera, the same one he got June 1, 2015 for a graduation present around his neck. Snapping away. Posting to Twitter, Instagram, and publishing for The Collegian.

 

Experiences  

It’s hard to believe, Lafakis says, with a chuckle. But the first Butler game he ever shot photos for was exactly five years to the day after the first one he saw as an eighth grader with his parents. Halloween, 2015. And of course, he starts getting into the details of the game. An exhibition game. From 2015.

Lafakis first got into photography when he was a sophomore in high school. The girls basketball team was really good, and he started shooting their games. He saw this as a perfect way to blend his love of sports with journalism. Butler has allowed him to grow that passion, on a much larger scale, he says.

“I have worked for The Collegian since my freshman year and I really thank my lucky stars everyday,” says Jimmy. “It is really so special and unique. I don’t think too many other folks have the opportunity to do what they love, on this level, all over the country, while they are still in college. It’s really special.”

Following the team for the better part of his college career has sent Lafakis to Memphis, Portland, Detroit, Cincinnati, and West Lafayette, to name a few. Since he takes full advantage of these trips and snaps as many games as possible, he has captured some of basketballs biggest names. There has been Lonzo Ball, LeBron James, Magic Johnson, and Russell Westbrook (that was a selfie, he notes). NFL and NBA players have retweeted his photos.

But being around fellow journalists has been one of the most impactful parts, Lafakis says. It has given him a unique opportunity to seek out advice and learn from the best in the business. Jeff Goodman, of ESPN, for example, has offered words of encouragement. And he has developed a close relationship with the Indianapolis Star’s Gregg Doyel.

“There’s so much you learn in the classroom that prepares you, which I have been so fortunate at Butler to have some awesome professors. To mix that with the opportunities I have had in the field is irreplaceable. In the field, you really get thrown into the fire, which is where the real-world experience that I wouldn’t normally have so much of at this point in my life is so helpful. I am so lucky for that,” he says.

 

Making his Mark

Gregg Doyel remembers Lafakis’ presence in his inbox before actually meeting him in person. And he wasn’t exactly impressed. Lafakis would email Doyel some stories when he first got to Butler and ask for advice.

“I thought, ‘you are not very good,’” Doyel says. “Two years later, he is fabulous. Jimmy is like a basketball player who gets to college and cannot walk and dribble and then by the time he is a sophomore, he is an All-American.”

Doyel says Jimmy has become a regular at Butler men’s basketball games. Lafakis sends Doyel photos all the time. For example, Doyel recently published a story about Trevon Bluiett and Kelan Martin. Later that day, Lafakis pops up in his inbox, an email with photos of Bluiett and Martin together.

“Jimmy is the sweetest kid,” Doyel says. “He’s really smart. The thing about Jimmy is, and very few people have this, and I am not exaggerating, he is sincere. He’s got this thing where he embeds himself into your heart. He is not just a guy who takes pictures and writes stories, the entire team loves him. He is part of the team.”

A few weeks ago, Doyel was speaking to a College of Education class at Butler. He referenced a story he wrote and brought up Jimmy Lafakis, as he was mentioned in the story. He asked the class, about 20 women, if any of them knew Lafakis. “I’m telling you about 18 of them were nodding and smiling at me,” Doyel says. “I blurt out, ‘Why do you all know Jimmy?’ And someone says, ‘Well, everyone follows his Instagram because he is always taking beautiful pictures of Butler, and we want to see Butler through his eyes’…He is everywhere. He deserves everything. He is happy and humble, and all he does is bring happiness to everyone.”

 

Documenting in Detroit

It’s 9:30 AM on Sunday morning and Jimmy arrives at Little Caesars Arena. He likes to get to the arena on game day “as early as possible. Every time.”

Tip off against Purdue is over two-and-a-half hours away, the court is nearly empty, but Jimmy heads to his usual spot on the baseline. Questions swirl around the health of Butler’s Paul Jorgensen and Purdue’s Isaac Haas, and Jimmy wants to make sure he sees how each look during warmups. And of course, document it.

Minutes later, Jorgensen emerges from the tunnel to test his ankle. At seemingly the same time as Jorgensen hits the court in real life, images of him running up and down the court appear on Jimmy’s Twitter account.

“This school literally means everything to me,” he says. “These guys on the court are some of my good friends. I love basketball, trust me, but it is about so much more than being able to do what I love while I watch what I love. It is about being at a place that means so much to me with lifelong friends and memories that I will have forever.”

It is about being at a place that means so much to me with lifelong friends and memories that I will have forever.

See, that is what Jimmy loves about photography so much. That is why he gets to the arena on Sunday morning around 9:30 AM. That is why he shoots as many games as he can. And that is why, he estimates, he has shot hundreds of thousands of photos since he stepped onto Butler’s campus nearly three years ago, only missing a handful of Butler basketball games.

“It’s fun capturing moments. I love catching the emotion. It’s really cool to look back on. I love looking back at all of my pictures and seeing all the emotion and the memories,” he says.

If Jimmy has it his way, he will get a job in sports journalism after he graduates in 2019. Ideally, doing both writing and photography. But for now, he doesn’t want to even think about graduating from the place that has been “life changing,” he says.

“Being a senior will be extremely emotional. I don’t even want to talk about it,” Jimmy says. “Butler is such a special place. I am really nervous to be a senior. I want to savior every morsel of junior year.” But, when the time comes to graduate, Gregg Doyel, of the Indianapolis Star, thinks Jimmy is more than ready. Maybe a little too ready. “I’m not sure what he does better, write or take photos. He can really do both. He could write for any paper in America tomorrow, but he might be an even better photographer. And that is sincere,” Doyel says. “I just hope that little sucker doesn’t take my job someday.”

 

 

Student LifePeople

Like a Pro

DETROIT—It’s hard to catch Jimmy Lafakis. The first time, his phone goes straight to voicemail.

Like a Pro

By Rachel Stern
Arts & CulturePeopleCampus

On Butler's Curling Team, the Students Sweep Together

BY

PUBLISHED ON Feb 12 2018

By Jackson Borman '20

The history of curling can be traced back 500 years to the frozen lochs of Scotland.

The history of curling at Butler University is a bit more recent.

It all started with a group of Butler students who were inspired by the 2010 Vancouver Winter Olympics to try curling for the first time. At first, they were just joking around on the ice, but eventually they bought their own shoes and brooms and in 2012 started Butler’s very own club curling team.

Fast forward eight years. Jacqueline Murphy '20, is the president of Butler’s club curling team. She was inspired to join during her freshman year because of her own background with the sport.

Murphy said that in her home town of South Bend, Indiana, curling is all the rage.

“Curling is the number one sport for student participation at Notre Dame right now,” Murphy said. “It takes places on a certain night of the week and they will have tons of students turn out just to go curling.”

Murphy and her father were always interested in joining in on the fun, but they never did.

Once she got to Butler and saw that there was a curling team, she felt she had to join. She and some friends decided to go to a meeting and try it out.

“When I told my family that I was the president of the curling club they were like, ‘Uhh what?’” Murphy said. “It’s a weird sport, you know? You never hear people say that they love to go curling.”

Last year there were only seven members of the team including Murphy, and they did not have enough members to compete. This year, the club more than quadrupled in size to an impressive 30 members. With this many people, the team now has enough members to participate in tournaments, which are known as bonspiels.

While this year's team has enough people to compete, Murphy said that they are just working on the basics.

“No one that came out for the team this year had ever played before, except for one person, so everyone is a beginner,” Murphy said. “We really didn’t expect so many people, but it is so much fun.”

The team practices at the Circle City Curling Club, which is housed within the Indiana State Fairgrounds, a 10-minute drive from campus. They meet every Thursday night and practice by playing in tournaments against each other.

While the team practices, the executive team members are visiting and researching different bonspiels that the team could compete in next year. The club was invited to compete at University of Colorado and University of Oklahoma, but there are other tournaments in Chicago and Minnesota that the team is considering as well.

As far as the team roster goes, Murphy said she is just going with the flow. Anyone can invite a friend to join the team, and even staff and faculty are welcome to join in the fun. Joey Calvillo, Butler’s Residence Life Coordinator, is a member of the team.

Calvillo said that he is always glued to his TV during the Winter Olympics. When he saw a blurb in the Butler Connection about a meeting for the curling club, he reached out to the executive members of the team to see if he could tag along.

While Calvillo is still a novice, he said that the most exciting part of the club is seeing students leading the charge and getting out of their comfort zone.

“I got into student affairs so that I could work with students and be around students, and it has been really awesome to be there and see them in their element and also just to be an active participant,” he said. “That’s been the great part: seeing it from a staff member’s perspective of getting students connected to something that they wouldn’t have possibly done outside of here. I think that’s one great thing about Butler in general; they provide so many of those types of experiences that students would not have been able to access [otherwise].”

The next big event for the team (outside of weekly practices) is a viewing party to watch the 2018 PyeongChang, South Korea, Winter Olympics. Their emphasis is sure to be on one sport in particular.

 

 

 

Arts & CulturePeopleCampus

On Butler's Curling Team, the Students Sweep Together

Curling club members show they have the stones needed to compete.

Feb 12 2018 Read more

Meet the Class of 2022: Maria De Leon

Maria De Leon
Major: Peace and Conflict Studies
Hometown: Indianapolis, Indiana
High School: Crispus Attucks Medical Magnet High School


“I’m really looking forward to growing my professional network in my Butler experience.”

 


 

Incoming first-year student Maria De Leon is leading her family in a number of firsts.

She’s the first of her family members to graduate high school.

She’ll be the first to attend college. This fall, Maria will be one of 1,357 first-year students in Butler University’s Class of 2022, the University’s largest class ever.

Maria is also the first in her family to travel to Washington DC to participate in a sit-in to persuade senators to vote “yes” for a clean Dream Act.

And—as a result of participating in that protest—she’s definitely the first to text her Butler admission counselor to ask how getting arrested might affect her admission.

Luckily, Maria didn’t need to worry about the answer to her text. She was not arrested for her participation, although some of her travel companions were. But the protest was still an emotional experience for her.  While she isn’t directly impacted by the Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals (DACA) legislation, her family and many of her friends are.

“My parents are immigrants, so they are affected by the immigration laws that the current administration is trying to put into place. Whatever happens with DACA will have a direct impact on my parents and my peers who want to attend college but might not be able to,” she explained.

Maria’s civic involvement began long before her DC trip. The Crispus Attucks High School salutatorian participated in last year’s nationwide “A Day Without Immigrants” rally.

“It was after this experience that I started asking more questions,” Maria said. “I asked, ‘How can I be more involved?,’ and ‘What can I do to help?’”

It was questions like these that landed her in contact with the Central Indiana Community Foundation, where she had the opportunity to be a Community Ambassador. In this role, Maria conducted in-depth research on a community of her choosing. As the daughter of two Guatemalan immigrants, Maria chose to research the Hispanic and Latino communities in Indianapolis.

“I wanted to know what my community was facing. Just because I’m Latina and have immigrant parents doesn’t mean I know everything,” she said.

Beyond rallies, Maria was also heavily involved in advocacy and raising awareness about various social issues at her high school. She founded the International Club at Crispus Attucks and was also a leader in her school’s NO MORE Club, designed to raise awareness about domestic violence. She’s interned with the Domestic Violence Youth Network and the Center for Victim and Human Rights (CVHR), and a teen dating violence policy she worked on will be implemented at Indianapolis Public Schools this fall.

These leadership efforts helped her earn the competitive Lilly Endowment Scholarship, which offers four-year, full-tuition scholarships to select Indiana students in all 92 counties. Candidates for the prestigious award must display “notable abilities, leadership skills, and civic potential through community service, exemplary school citizenship, and outstanding academic performance.” Maria is one of 20 Lilly Scholars in Butler’s incoming class this year.

Maria will continue her advocacy efforts at Butler, where she plans to double major in Peace and Conflict Studies and Political Science. She’s already lined up a gig on campus as an assistant in the Office of Health Education and Outreach Programs.

Butler’s Associate Director of Health Education and Outreach Programs Sarah Diaz believes Maria will be an excellent fit for their office.

 “She is coming in with this very solid foundation of knowledge around sexual violence, also some knowledge of the resources within our community because she done work with them, and she has had the experience of being a peer educator,” Diaz said. “She’s  the whole package of what our office does.”

Whole package, indeed.

Maria De Leon
Welcome WeekStudent LifePeople

Meet the Class of 2022: Maria De Leon

Incoming first-year student Maria De Leon is leading her family in a number of firsts.  

A House Sometimes Divided

By Rachel Stern

DETROIT—Chris Williams had her wardrobe change down to a science.

She started the day in all Purdue attire. Purdue shirt, Purdue hat, decked out in black and gold. She cheered for the Boilermakers in the stands at Little Caesars Arena Friday as they beat Cal State Fullerton in the first round of the NCAA Tournament.But when the buzzer sounded, it was time for the change.

See, Chris is a Purdue graduate. And a proud one at that. But she married Mike, a Butler graduate. A proud, Butler basketball season-ticket-holding-since-1990 graduate, at that. And ever since, there have been, well, some hiccups. Like Friday, and Sunday, and the time their kids were deciding where to go to school, and the Crossroads Classic, and, and, and.

“We went to all the football and basketball games when I was at Purdue, and I am still a huge fan,” Chris says. “When I met my husband, I definitely became a Butler fan quickly. Pretty soon, I was going to tons of Butler sporting events and, even though I never stopped rooting for Purdue, I found a special place for Butler.”

On Friday, at least, there was an easy remedy. Chris was prepared. She dug into her purse after the Purdue game, reached for her stash of Butler gear, and changed before the Bulldogs tipped off against Arkansas in their first round matchup. Sunday, well let’s just say Sunday will be a bit less convenient. Butler will face Purdue for a birth in the Sweet 16. A wardrobe change won’t cut it. “Sunday will definitely be hard for me. It is always hard when both teams play each other,” Chris says. “I will probably wear a Butler hat and a Purdue quarter zip…”

Then Mike interjects.

“I remember, specifically, by the end of one Crossroads Classic game you were rooting for Butler,” Mike says. “The kids were like wow, you went to Purdue, but you are rooting for Butler. I definitely remember that time specifically.” Mike grew up in the Broad Ripple area, in, wait for it, a Notre Dame family. But, being so close to Butler, he attended a fair share of Bulldog basketball and football games growing up. When it was time for him to make his college decision, Mike knew he wanted to play golf and Butler, he says, was a perfect match.

Chris, on the other hand, grew up in Buckeye Country, eating and breathing Ohio State football in Lima, Ohio. She was all set to attend Ohio State, but at the last minute, switched to Purdue to study pharmacy. The two met in 1989 in Indianapolis and then married in December 1993. A lot of Butler athletic events followed. “I still followed Purdue closely, but just because of proximity and having season tickets, Butler was much more on my radar after we got married,” Chris says.  

Then they had their first child, Nick. “We took him to Hinkle a couple weeks after he was born. He always felt like Hinkle was home and the campus was comfortable to him,” Mike says. And it must have stuck. Nick is now a freshman at Butler and a member of the golf team. So, it is clear where his allegiance lies. Mike and Nick were texting during the Butler-Alabama game. Nick was trilled after the win, Mike says.

But then, there is their younger daughter, Claire. A junior in high school, she is starting to weigh her college options. “Every kid is different. She is just trying to figure out what place feels right for her and what will be the best fit. We will be taking some visits soon, but we are definitely hoping she likes Purdue or Butler,” Chris says. “Hopefully Butler,” Mike adds.

Claire wanted to be in Detroit, and is certainly rooting for Butler, Mike says, but she is away at a leadership retreat. The retreat doesn’t allow cellphones, but Claire has her priorities and was following the Butler game closely on her phone Thursday. She will do the same Sunday, secretly keeping an eye on the action. “She’s a good Butler fan,” Mike says.

The Williams', though a house sometimes divided, were excited on Selection Sunday when they saw the potential Butler-Purdue matchup in Detroit. At least they could travel to Detroit, see both teams play in the first round, and then watch a potential second round clash. Things are still tough for Chris when Purdue and Butler face off, she says. She still feels divided, even more so now that her son goes to Butler and is having such a great experience. She has taken to the Bulldogs even more now, with a vested interest at the school. There is one thing, though, that is easy for the Williams’ to agree on when it comes to college hoops.

“We both aren’t IU fans, that’s a no brainer,” Mike says. “And no matter what happens Sunday, we want the Indiana team that wins to keep going. But it better be Butler.”

 

Williams
People

A House Sometimes Divided

DETROIT—Chris Williams had her wardrobe change down to a science. She started the day in all Purdue attire. Purdue shirt, Purdue hat, decked out in black and gold.

Watching from Afar

By Rachel Stern

When it comes to the first weekend of the NCAA Tournament, Andrew Cottrell usually tries to figure out how he can watch as many games as possible. That usually means mixing work with basketball. Or maybe, mixing basketball with work.

“I make no bones about it, I love basketball and there is nothing better than the first weekend of the tournament,” Cottrell says. “I try and mix client entertainment with watching some basketball. Let’s call it watching basketball under the guise of client entertainment.” Cottrell, who graduated from Butler in 2011 and now works at Merrill Lynch as a Senior Financial Advisor in Cincinnati, will maintain that work-basketball mix until approximately Friday at 3:10 PM. “That’s when I will shed that coat and tie and trade it in for a Bulldog pullover,” Cottrell says. “The Butler game needs my full attention.”

Cottrell will be watching at a bar in Cincinnati with, maybe around 30 to 40 alums, he says. Among those in the crowd will be his wife, a former Butler softball player who graduated in 2012, and their six-week-old, decked out in blue with earmuffs on.

A similar scene will be unfolding in New York City.

Jennifer White, who graduated from Butler in 2000 and is an attorney in New York City, will be gathering with fellow grads, friends, and family members at Suspenders in the Financial District to watch No. 10 Butler take on No. 7 Arkansas. The timing could be tricky, she said, in terms of predicting turnout, but one thing is always guaranteed. “These gatherings are so much fun because you meet people from all different years and there is such a great community feeling,” says White, who double majored in English and music. “We all have such a great time together.”

And it is not just the Butler-affiliated people who get into it, she says. These gatherings are an opportunity to introduce Butler to the rest of the country, White says. Before 2010, people would sometimes confuse Butler for Baylor. Then, after Butler knocked off Syracuse, people in New York definitely knew who Butler was, White says.

“You can see there has been a huge shift in name recognition in New York,” she says. “I remember in 2003, we were watching a tournament game and we were losing at halftime and we had our Butler shirts on and no one heard of Butler. Then, we came storming back and everyone in the bar was supporting us. The fun thing is everyone loves an underdog and we always end up in a bar full of Butler supporters and people always end up asking about our school. It is a great opportunity to spread the word.”

White and her husband always attend Butler games in person if the team makes the Sweet 16 or better. But she never shirks her alumni event responsibilities. She has been in a hotel business center sending out emails to alumni to let them know about a chapter event. Last year, White was in London coordinating tournament plans from her laptop. She knows firsthand how important these events are. As a result of the New York City gatherings, White says, she has met people who have graduated way before her – one comes all the time who graduated in 1953 and spends an hour on the train coming to NYC events from his home in New Jersey. Others are way younger than her, she says.

“We know sports goes a long way for brand recognition, but also for us and for the opportunity to get to know all different people from the Butler family,” White says. “We try and take advantage of it and have a good time.”

St.Louis

In St. Louis, Rachel Gotshall will be trying to keep her husband from counting his chickens before they hatch on Friday. The Gotshalls followed the team almost everywhere when they were students at Butler, Rachel says. They have been to Maui, Memphis, Maine, Birmingham, to name a few. And now, Rachel is trying to make sure her husband waits until Sunday before making plans for Boston.

But on Friday, they will be at a Butler Bar in St. Louis with friends and fellow alums. Rachel, who graduated in 2009, has the day off on Friday. But her husband will be playing hooky. “These are truly some of our closest friends,” she says. “We all have a love for Butler in some way or another. The best thing is seeing more people come out and seeing new faces. That is what I look forward to the most.”

 

People

Watching from Afar

When it comes to the first weekend of the NCAA Tournament, Andrew Cottrell usually tries to figure out how he can watch as many games as possible.

Watching from Afar

By Rachel Stern
AthleticsPeople

President Danko to Chair Big East Board of Directors

BY

PUBLISHED ON Jun 04 2018

James M. Danko, President of Butler University, has been elected to a two-year term as Chair of the BIG EAST Conference Board of Directors. The Board of Directors is comprised of the Presidents of the BIG EAST’s 10 member institutions.

Danko replaces Rev. Brian J. Shanley, O.P., President of Providence College, who served on the BIG EAST Executive Committee since 2013 and as BIG EAST Board Chair since 2016. Rev. Peter M. Donohue, OSA, President of Villanova University, will serve as new Vice-Chair of the Board of Directors. Fr.  Michael J. Graham, S.J., President of Xavier University, was elected to fill the third Executive Committee position.

Danko, who has served as Butler’s President since 2011, oversaw the school’s entrance into the BIG EAST in 2013. He has served on the conference’s Executive Committee since that time, most recently as Vice-Chair of the Board of Directors. Danko also currently serves as the BIG EAST’s representative on the National Collegiate Athletic Association (NCAA) Division I Presidential Forum. 

The Executive Committee appointments were made in connection with the annual spring meeting of the BIG EAST Board of Directors, which was held at the Conference’s offices in New York City. Agenda items included men’s and women’s basketball matters, transfers, esports, and strategic direction as the Conference enters the sixth year of its current configuration. Katrice Albert, NCAA Executive Vice President of Inclusion and Human Resources, made a presentation to the Board on the NCAA’s current initiatives in the area of diversity and inclusion. The Board of Directors also received a report on the recent decision of the U.S. Supreme Court on sports betting and the potential ramifications for intercollegiate athletics.

People

From Butler to DEA to '60 Minutes'

BY

PUBLISHED ON Jan 09 2018

The credo "The Butler Way" did not yet exist when Joe Rannazzisi ’84 walked Sunset Avenue and Hampton Drive.

But those values of commitment, selflessness, passion, and servanthood were ever-present on campus, he said, and they became a part of who he is. And on October 15, the former Drug Enforcement Administration agent demonstrated The Butler Way to the nation.

Rannazzisi came forward on 60 Minutes and in The Washington Post to reveal how members of Congress worked to limit the DEA’s ability to crack down on the widespread distribution of opioids.

As The Post put it: “The Ensuring Patient Access and Effective Drug Enforcement Act was the crowning achievement of a multifaceted campaign by the drug industry to weaken aggressive DEA enforcement efforts against drug distribution companies that were supplying corrupt doctors and pharmacists who peddled narcotics to the black market. The industry worked behind the scenes with lobbyists and key members of Congress, pouring more than a million dollars into their election campaigns.”

Rannazzisi, who saw what was going on, spoke out. He ended up being forced out of his job in August 2015.

“One day, they came in and they removed me and put another guy in my place,” he said. “That’s all because that’s what industry wanted.”

Now, Rannazzisi has come forward, leading 60 Minutes correspondent Bill Whitaker to label him, “one of the most important whistleblowers ever to be on 60 Minutes.

“My only motive was to protect public health and safety,” Rannazzisi said in a phone interview. “I wasn’t going to get paid more to do my job. I just wanted to make sure everybody understood what their obligations were.”

Sense of community

Joe Rannazzisi already had a well-formed sense of right and wrong by the time he chose to attend Butler. He grew up in Freeport, Long Island, an area where a lot of police and firefighters lived. His father was a teacher who thought public service was important for everyone, and young Joe found himself inspired by the bravery of a DEA Special Agent named Frank Tummillo, who was killed during an undercover operation in New York City in 1972.

Rannazzisi came to Butler to study Pharmacy, and he worked his way through school—at The Children’s Museum as an Emergency Medical Technician; at Butler’s Science Library; and at the Washington Township Fire Department as a reserve, where he was on an engine once or twice a week.

"Joe was always a guy who wore his heart on his sleeve,” said his Delta Tau Delta fraternity brother Scott Bridge ’82, an Instructor in Butler’s College of Communication. “He was a very caring guy with a good sense of humor and a quick smile. He frequently talked about joining the DEA even when he was a freshman. The guys in the house were usually skeptical about those plans, but damn if he didn't prove us all wrong. I shouldn't be surprised, though. Joe was also a guy who tended to know what he wanted and worked hard to get it."

Rannazzisi said Butler was “a great experience,” though he remembered one terrible night during either his sophomore or junior year when a member of Lambda Chi got into a car accident outside the Sigma Nu house. Rannazzisi had just returned to campus from one of his jobs.

“One of my fraternity brothers and another guy were out there doing everything possible to help this guy,” he said. “But he didn’t make it. I remember my fraternity brother was so distraught that he couldn’t do more. Everybody was. And then the campus gathered and I remember there was a vigil. It was like Butler was a community. You could go 4-5 years on a large campus and not know everybody. But by the time you’re done with Butler, you pretty much know everybody because you’re living in such close proximity to each other. You go to the same social events and restaurants and bars and you’re working together. It’s one of those communities where we are all so close-knit.”

Butler, he said, taught him that “there’s a big, big world out there besides living on the East Coast. That’s the first thing I learned. The people were so nice. I learned a different way of living. It was much more laid back, not the hustle-bustle. I would do it again in a heartbeat.”

‘Thank you for doing the right thing and stepping up

Rannazzisi earned his Bachelor of Science in Pharmacy, but he wanted to be a cop or a DEA agent. After he graduated, he practiced pharmacy for a few years, then got calls from the Indianapolis Police Department and the Drug Enforcement Administration within a month of each other.

He chose the DEA and was assigned to Detroit, where he worked during the day and earned his law degree from Michigan State University’s Detroit College of Law at night.

Eventually, he transferred to Washington, DC. From January 2006 until his retirement, he served as Deputy Assistant Administrator of the DEA.

Now, he’s working with lawyers who represent states that are suing opioid manufacturers because “the states are the ones who can effect change better than anybody else can,” he says.

As for what has changed since he went public?

“Congress is debating whether they should repeal the bill or not, the nominee for Drug Czar [Tom Marino] withdrew his name, and people are still dying. That’s about it,” Rannazzisi said.

One more thing: Rannazzisi’s email has been flooded with notes from supporters saying “you did the right thing” and “thank you for stepping up.”

And in this sense, Joe Rannazzisi is just like his alma mater.

“In 2010 and 2011, I had to explain to people where Butler was,” he said. “They talked about this little school that pushed academics, but they were really good at basketball and they’re going up against all these big guys who have a lot more money and better recruiting. But Butler succeeds because they’re disciplined and they know how to achieve things that normal people wouldn’t achieve. That’s what the school instills in you. I always thought it was pretty neat that people would say, ‘How does this little school get to where it is?’ It’s because the school has values that a lot of large schools should have and don’t.”

People

From Butler to DEA to '60 Minutes'

Rannazzisi came forward on 60 Minutes and in The Washington Post to reveal how members of Congress worked to limit the DEA’s ability to crack down on the widespread distribution of opioids.

Jan 09 2018 Read more
AcademicsStudent LifePeople

Butler Prepares to Say Goodbye to the Class of 2018

BY Peyton Thompson '20

PUBLISHED ON Apr 11 2018

One of the hardest challenges in life is saying goodbye, and as graduation day draws near at Butler, we prepare to send the seniors into adulthood.  

The seniors who will receive their diplomas on May 12 are more than just students. They're mentors and friends who will leave a lasting impact on this campus.

We asked some of the seniors about their Butler experience:

Tyler WidemanSenior basketball player and Human Movement & Health Science Education major Tyler Wideman: “I have a good relationship with my professors and faculty here at Butler. Mainly because everyone here is so easy to talk to and so friendly, it helps out a lot. It has been a great four years. I’d like to thank everyone who has helped me in some type of way to become a better person. I am also thankful for all the friends that I’ve made here and wouldn’t trade it for anything. Go Dawgs!”

Wideman said he hopes to be remembered as a good person, on and off the court.

After graduation: “I plan to play basketball after college, or to get into coaching or any aspect of athletics.”

                                                                        *

Basketball Manager and Human Movement & Health Science Education major Davis Furman: “I think our 2018 class has a strong impact on the campus for years to come. Since we came onto campus, we have endured a lot of changes in this Davis Furmanphysical landscape of campus and in the social aspects. Because of these changes, we have had to adapt a lot and I think we have mentored the younger classes so that they could adapt easier as well. I think the changes that have been made on campus and the students in our class will continue to have a strong impact on the university even after we graduate.          

“I think what I will miss most about Butler is all the different people I have come in contact with and get to see on a regular basis. I don’t think I really realize the amount of people I have bonded with here and that will become a much heavier realization once everyone has moved on to the next chapter of their lives.”     

After graduation: “After college I hope to get into collegiate basketball coaching. It’s always been a dream of mine.”

                                                                        *

Elementary Education major and Butler Dance Team member Emily Loughman: “Coming to Butler was the best choice I have ever made; it has been the best four years of my life! Everyone at Butler is so welcoming and loving, especially in the College Emily Loughmanof Education. Knowing every professor always has my back is a feeling I didn't always have in school growing up and that's what inspired me to become a teacher. I came to Butler for the Education program but I had no idea the impact that the Butler Dance Team, Delta Gamma, all my friends, and opportunities would have on my life forever. Butler has shaped me into the person I am today!”

Emily has also had the opportunity to dance with her younger sister, sophomore Caroline Loughman.

“Dancing with Caroline on BUDT has been a dream come true. While we are very different, we are also very similar. She is my best friend! Having the opportunity to dance with her again was so much fun.”

After graduation: "I plan on finding a teaching job either somewhere in Indy or around the Chicago suburbs where I grew up. I also would LOVE to have the opportunity to be a dance team coach since dance has been my passion since I was 3!”

                                                                        *

Science, Technology, and Society Major Riley Schmidt: “Butler has made me a better student over the last four years because of the challenging, supportive, and dynamic academic environment. The professors have taught me that it is OK to ask for Riley Schmidthelp, a grade does not define you, and how to study more effectively. The small class sizes have allowed me to participate frequently and develop a close relationship with my professors. Because of Butler I have met my lifelong friends and role models who helped me become a person that I am proud of and the best version of myself."

After graduation: "I plan on going to graduate school. It is an 18-month accelerated Master of Science in Nursing program. I hope to work for a couple years in the field and then go back to school to become a Nurse Practitioner.”

                                                                        *

Chaz GabrielSenior Education Major Chaz Gabriel: “Butler has helped me realize what my passions are and how to pursue them. Before Butler I knew I was interested in teaching, but through the COE I realized I’d never be truly happy pursuing another career.”

After graduation: Chaz hopes to work as an elementary school teacher in the Indianapolis area.

                                                        

                                                                        *

Senior Arts Administration major Emmy Cook: “Studying at Butler has definitely ignited my ambitions. The incredible instruction from my professors, the mentor relationships I’ve developed, the professional opportunities I’ve been lucky enough to have Emmy Cookand the leadership experience I’ve gained throughout my undergraduate career all have shaped me to be the person that I am now. Butler helped me to expand on my strengths, explore my goals, refine my personal qualities and skills and become more confident in my ability to succeed. I don’t know that I would feel as competent and ready to enter the workforce or being ‘adulting’ if I hadn’t gone to Butler.”

After graduation: “I’m interested in the more entrepreneurial route after graduation. I’ll be developing my own event planning business, specializing in weddings as well as corporate and social events.”

    

Tips from Seniors to Underclassmen

Davis Furman: “I would definitely advise the younger students at Butler to really savor their time here. As cliché as it sounds, I cannot believe how fast my four years have gone by here. Take in and cherish every moment.”

Emmy Cook: “My biggest tip for underclassmen would be to take full advantage of what Butler has to offer. If there’s a free event in the Reilly Room, go to it! Go see the ballets and plays. If there’s a seminar on financial management or leadership development, attend that seminar. Get outside of Butler, too. Don’t forget that Butler is such a piece of Indianapolis, and there’s a lot happening outside of Butler—be a part of something bigger than yourself and absolutely dive in. Get involved in service and philanthropic efforts, start interning early. Choose to take a few classes that maybe you don’t necessarily need to take, but simply because they sound interesting and you want to learn. In short, show up and do as much as you can do before you graduate, because you won’t have access to this high a volume of experiences and opportunities probably ever again”.

Riley Schmidt:

1. Study smarter, not harder.

2. It’s OK to switch your major. It’s better to figure out what you want to do now rather than later!

3. Get involved, try something new, and then put your time and effort into the organizations you’re most passionate about.

4. STUDY ABROAD! It is the experience of a lifetime packed full of adventure.

Strategic Communications major Sarah Thuet: “Make every moment count. Get involved with something and put your whole heart in it. If you spread yourself too thinly you’ll be exhausted always, but when you find that sweet spot then you get to do what you love and share it with everyone. Also, treat everyone with respect. This campus is full of administrators, professors, staff, and students who truly care about you. Use them to your advantage and someday hopefully you’ll be able to help them in return. Butler is absolutely what you make of it, so make the most of it. These people and this place just might change your life like it did mine.”

AcademicsStudent LifePeople

Butler Prepares to Say Goodbye to the Class of 2018

Graduating seniors share their memories, plans.

Apr 11 2018 Read more
AcademicsPeople

His Approach to Teaching: Learning Starts with Confusion

BY Krisy Force

PUBLISHED ON Apr 09 2018

When Professor of Chemistry Shannon Lieb was in high school, he remembers telling his geometry teacher after class that he didn’t fully understand that day’s lecture. His teacher’s response was, “Learning starts with confusion.”

That statement left an impact on Lieb, so much so that he used it as a foundation for his own teaching for the last 39 years at Butler.

“I’ve always kept that idea in mind, and I’ve added to it as well," said Lieb, who officially retired in December. "Now I tell my students: Learning starts with confusion; those who don’t make mistakes have never tried, and those who keep making mistakes haven’t learned.”

Lieb’s classes, like General Chemistry and Physical Chemistry, are filled with college-level mathematics and science concepts. It is easy to believe students would make mistakes and learn from their confusion. He said it's easy to get confused. For some students, simply turning a table sideways presents a whole new problem if they’ve only been focusing on memorization.

“My primary push is to get students to think about how to approach a problem, not simply fill in the boxes,” he said.

Lieb’s dedication to student learning and understanding has been demonstrated in more ways than just in his classes. He has mentored two Master’s thesis students and 30-plus undergraduate research projects, starting with the origin of the Butler Summer Institute program in the early 1990, and he was the first faculty member in the sciences to incorporate Writing Across the Curriculum in the Physical Chemistry laboratory.

“I found that students who don’t know how to write, their way of expressing mathematics isn’t all that great," he said. "I remember one of my first-year students said to me, ‘Well, sciences aren’t creative.’ She was thinking of writing music, writing plays, etc. But science is the same way. There’s obviously some place at which the path splits, but fundamentally it’s a creative process, whether it’s sciences, mathematics, English literature, or performance.”

Although he's officially retired, Lieb is still hard at work teaching two physics labs and working with a student doing research during the spring 2018 semester.

Lieb said he considers his greatest achievement to be the impact he's had on the education of many students during his years at Butler.

“I am most proud of the successes of students that I have had in class,” he said. “I’ve had the privilege of witnessing students succeed who had all odds stacked against them, and I’ve seen some truly remarkable stories.”

He shared a note from Annie Search ’95, one of his former students, who wrote: “Thanks so much for your never-ending patience, kindness, and sense of humor. I could not have gotten through college without you.” 

Lieb isn’t sure what he’ll do when the semester ends in April when he’s fully retired. Perhaps he’ll work on an old Volkswagen that he drove for a number of years. He's already rebuilt the engine twice. He’ll definitely watch movies with his wife, Sue, work on his carpentry, and continue to volunteer with animal rescue.

Being the continuous learner he is, he’ll find something to keep himself occupied. For now, Lieb is following Snoopy’s advice, which is also the signature line on his emails: “Learn from yesterday. Live for today. Look to tomorrow. Rest this afternoon.”

 

 

 

AcademicsPeople

His Approach to Teaching: Learning Starts with Confusion

Chemistry Professor Shannon Lieb officially retires.

Apr 09 2018 Read more

A Working Actor: Logan Moore

By Marc Allan

Whether he's acting or doing landscaping, Logan Moore '14 considers himself a workhorse.

From the time he was a sophomore at Butler, Moore was performing in productions both on and off campus, and since graduating he's worked steadily at several theaters in central Indiana while retaining his job with a local landscaping company.

In other words, he's living the life of a working actor.

"I like hard work," he said. "I just do."

Those who saw his most recent work, Actors Theatre of Indiana's production of Forbidden Broadway, can attest to that. In the show, a rapid-fire spoof of Broadway hits, cast members sing, dance, and act their way through multiple roles and costume changes galore. 

"Forbidden is one of the best shows I've ever been in," Moore said. "It's also one of the hardest shows I've ever done just because it's a marathon. Even in intermission, we're getting ready for the next numbers and setting up for Act 2. We get a five-minute break and then places get called."

By the time Forbidden Broadway ended on July 29, Moore had already secured his next two roles, Seven Brides for Seven Brothers (August 30-October 7) and Man of La Mancha (October 11-November 18) at Beef and Boards dinner theater in Indianapolis, and Actors Theatre of Indiana invited him back for an updated version of Forbidden Broadway (April 26-May 19, 2019).

"He’s got a good bit of the whole package," said Don Farrell, Artistic Director/Co-Founder of Actors Theatre of Indiana. "He has a beautiful voice. I was surprised at the range. He has the low notes for the bass, but he also goes into the tenor range as well. The clarity and the tone is really strong, and I just love the resonance of it too. His acting ability is very good. His comic timing is very good. He’s also a team player, which always goes, no matter what business you’re in. You give him a little direction and he can run with it. He’s a good mover, dancer. On top of it, he’s a good-looking guy too."

Moore grew up on the eastside of Indianapolis, the second of six children. He's always been a singer—he sang in church choir with his family, and he sometimes traveled with his dad, who was part of a southern gospel quartet. He was homeschooled till eighth grade and hadn't thought about performing in public until his school drama teacher and choral director dragged him to an audition.

"From then on, I liked being onstage," he said. "There's just something about the lights. When they shine and you're in front of them, you just forget that any audience is there and you're just in a different world. It's like playing make-believe for a job. And it's great."

He went to Warren Central High School and chose Butler for college because he wanted to stay close to home and Butler felt like home. "Once you get on campus, you just know that you're in a good place," he said. "That was the first thing I felt on my first tour here. I couldn't believe it. I had never felt that feeling before—except when I was home. I love the class sizes, being able to have one-on-one time with the professors, the core curriculum, everything."

At Butler, guest director Richard J Roberts, the dramaturg from the Indiana Repertory Theatre, cast him in Sarah Ruhl's Eurydice in the role A Nasty Interesting Man/The Lord of the Underworld. He also had parts in every production directed by the Christel DeHaan Visiting International Theatre Artists (VITA), guest directors from other countries who spend a semester working with Butler students and faculty.

In one VITA production, The Priest and the Prostitute, Moore performed an intricate Indian dance known as kathakali.

"The physical rigor of these pieces and the completely different style of working demanded a lot," Theatre Department Chair Diane Timmerman said, "and Logan delivered beautifully."

"Not only was he a terrific actor while here at Butler, he also excelled in technical work, and, perhaps most notably, was one of the kindest and most generous students around. If anyone needed help with a project, Logan was first in line. And whenever anyone was down, he made a special point to seek them out and brighten their day."

Moore said one of the lessons he learned at Butler is that acting is 80 percent connection and 20 percent talent. That stuck with him, especially since he had no connections. So he went out and met people. He did The Oedipus Trilogy at NoExit (a local theater company run by Butler graduates) and shows at Booth Tarkington Civic Theatre and Footlite Musicals.

After graduation, Roberts, who directed Moore at Butler, put him up for the lead in Actors Theatre of Indiana's production of The 39 Steps. "For Richard to think that highly of Logan said something," Farrell said. "And Logan gave a great audition."

Now four years out of college, with a resume that also includes The Fantasticks and The Mystery of Edwin Drood for Actors Theatre of Indiana, Romeo and Juliet at the Indiana Repertory Theatre, and Ghost the Musical at Beefs and Boards, Moore is toying with the idea of seeing what he can do in New York.

He's been thinking about a trip there in April—his boyhood friend Jordan Donica is currently on Broadway in My Fair Lady—but he may well be working then.

"It's not my favorite to decline work," he said. "If people are like, 'We need you for a show,' I'm there."

  

Logan Moore
People

A Working Actor: Logan Moore

Whether he's acting or doing landscaping, Logan Moore `14 considers himself a workhorse.

Jimmy Lardin ’18

Student Profile

Major / Program: Political Science

 

Meet Jimmy Lardin. SGA president (2017–2018, after two years on Student Senate). Student Orientation Coordinator (promoted after two years as a Student Orientation Guide). Education Reflection Chair for Fall Alternative Break. Four minors (English, Ethics, Environmental Studies, and Peace and Conflict Studies). Campus tour guide.

And that’s just a partial list.

“Out of the three S’s—socialize, sleep, and study—I don’t sleep,” he said with a laugh.

Lardin expected to be active in college. Just not here. The Shelbyville, Indiana, native was “1,000 percent determined not to go to school in Indiana.”

But a friend who was a year ahead of him chose Butler and invited him to campus. Lardin sat in on a business class and, six minutes into the lecture, belched. Loudly. The professor made light of it and used that as a way to incorporate Lardin into the class and make him feel at ease. Afterward, the professor offered her email and phone number in case Lardin had questions about Butler.

Then at lunch in Atherton, Lardin’s friend’s friends told him how passionate they were about Butler. Others chimed in too.

“That’s what sold me,” he said. “People who had no idea who I was were still interested in sharing their love of the school with me.”

He’s seen that love up close in the years since. In summer 2016, Lardin was diagnosed with cancer. He went through surgeries, then chemotherapy.

“The feedback and support I got was outstanding—and far beyond what I could have ever imagined,” including from professors who reached out to express support and offer accommodations for missed classes. Lardin said the cancer is in remission.

“I’m thankful that happened on this campus versus a school where you’re considered more of a number,” he said. 

Lardin is now looking at public policy programs for graduate school, though he wants to work for a while first—ideally on environmental justice issues. In June, he went to India for a month through the School for International Training to work on a food security/climate change project and see if he wants to do international work. He does.

He said Butler has proved to be a great fit, giving him opportunities and satisfying his social nature.

“It’s small enough that I can’t walk from my house to my classes without running into two or three people who I know and love dearly,” he said, “but it’s large enough that I meet one or two new people every single day.”

 

 

 

 

Jimmy
CommencementStudent LifePeople

Jimmy Lardin ’18

Meet Jimmy Lardin. SGA president. Student Orientation coordinator. Education Reflection chair for Fall Alternative Break. Four minors. Campus tour guide.

Jimmy

Jimmy Lardin ’18

Student Profile
Chad

Engine of Opportunity

Cindy Conover Dashnaw

from Spring 2018

Why would a man who graduated cum laude with three job offers accept the one that didn’t quite match either of his two Butler University degrees? 

Because this offer came from Google, and “I think I would’ve been kicking myself if I hadn’t taken it,” said Chad Pingel ’16. 

The Des Moines, Iowa, native hasn’t allowed himself many chances to kick himself for passing up opportunities in his life—or for failing to make the most of them. And though he earned degrees in Finance and Marketing with an Ethics minor, Pingel may have found his activities outside Butler’s classrooms the most educational. 

“I was interested in forming relationships with folks who had unique and varied experiences. One of the core pieces to my time at Butler was how the campus fostered relationships from chance encounters and random experiences.” 

Effective keywords 

Taking his parents’ lifelong advice to always make the most of the chances he’s given, Pingel quickly became a Student Ambassador and a member of the Student Government Association, eventually becoming Student Body President. 

“Being in SGA was the perfect opportunity to serve as a liaison between groups. We were hearing students’ concerns directly and then championing them to staff, faculty, and administration,” he said. “Some of my proudest accomplishments happened in SGA.” Chad Pingel at Google

Pingel led initiatives to persuade IndyGo to reroute city buses through campus, and to court student input and buy-in around plans for new student residences. 

“The plans were a bit of a shift in perspective for students who had lived in Ross Hall, like I did, and we didn’t want to lose the community feeling we had created there,” he said. 

Intelligent search 

Pingel threw himself into the Lacy School of Business with the same sense of purpose. He cites three specific sources of the business mentality and work ethic he took to Google: The Real Business Experience (RBE), a financial portfolio management class, and the Butler Business Consulting Group (BBCG). 

RBE teaches students how to finance and market a project, take informed risks, and manage a real business “just like out in the real world.” In the financial portfolio management class, Pingel and his team were allowed to invest and manage $2 million of the University’s endowment money. (They finished 80 basis points up.) 

“I knew I was interested in assessing companies and the quality of an investment, but we got to go beyond that and develop higher-level skills by looking at overall business values,” he said. 

Finally, Pingel said joining the BBCG was “one of the most exciting and valuable chances of my life. We got to help the NCAA better align their internal feedback and approach to setting goals. It was a dream project.” 

Then came a job at one of the most successful companies in the world. 

Results returned 

Google receives two million resumes every year. Pingel’s first position was in Human Resources, diving into that enormous stack of candidates to recruit for finance positions. Itching to get back to actual Finance a year later, he became a Finance Automation System Administrator, the position he holds today. 

Though he said Google is such a leader in automation that no university could have fully prepared him for what he’s doing now, Pingel said he left Butler knowing how to assess information and maintain a work-life balance. 

“I learned a lot about professional life, but also how to show yourself as someone who can have fun and relate to people,” he said. “And professors like Dr. Paul Valliere taught me the importance of staying intellectually curious. The ability to think creatively helps me every day—at Google and in life.” 

Giving Back by Giving Chances 

Working at Google in California puts Chad Pingel ’16 far from his Iowa family and his Butler family, too. He decided to stay connected and give back to the University by funding the Pingel Family Scholarship. 

“I created a scholarship in my family’s name because I recognize all the sacrifices my parents made to put themselves through school. They worked two and three jobs, and I am so lucky that I could attend a great school like Butler without having to worry about finances,” he said. “Now, I get to give a similar chance to another student every year that could make the difference for them being able to attend Butler’s business school.”

Chad
AcademicsGivingPeople

Engine of Opportunity

Why would a man who graduated cum laude with three job offers accept the one that didn’t quite match either of his two Butler University degrees? 

by Cindy Conover Dashnaw

from Spring 2018

Read more

Baked Goods and Bulldog Groupies

By Rachel Stern

If you have been to a Butler basketball game, in say, the last eight years or so, chances are you’ve sampled Lori Showley’s famous Bulldog Droppings.

That’s because she has researched the ins and outs of most arenas in America, and how precisely to sneak the two to three batches of her chocolately-peanuty treat into the game. Since Showley started mass producing what she says she has become famous for, arenas have become more secure. So, she’s simply gotten more creative. In some places, she hides the Droppings under her pompoms. Other times, she hands them out in the hotel lobby – that is easiest, she says.

But then, there was Maui.

There is an exact science to making Bulldog Droppings. There are three different kinds of chocolate and peanuts, all mixed together in a crockpot, cooking on low for three hours, Showley explains. Traveling to Maui to watch Butler play does not lend itself well to making Bulldog Droppings. But tradition is tradition. “I found a fan who had a friend who lived in Maui, believe it or not. I borrowed her crockpot and set it up in my hotel room,” Showley says. “Well, when you cook it on low for three hours, my room was smelling like Hershey, Pennsylvania and I almost got evicted. I quickly had to put everything away and clean up all the evidence before hotel staff came in to check out what was going on.” Before tip-off in Maui, though, there was Showley, outside the arena handing out Bulldog Droppings. It was too hot, she said, to try and sneak the treats into the arena. So, she put bags of ice underneath the packages so they wouldn’t melt outside and handed them out to Butler fans.

“It’s my claim to fame,” she says. “If I don’t do it, everyone is upset. We are all a family, even if we have never met. What makes these games so fun is the tradition and the comradery that is formed over the years among Butler fans. I venture to guess this doesn’t happen at a lot of schools. People just fall in love with Butler.”

Showley, a 1974 Butler graduate, will be in Detroit, Michigan on Friday afternoon when No.10 Butler takes on No.7 Arkansas in the first round of the NCAA Tournament, Bulldog Droppings and all. She will be making the drive with her husband Thursday morning, who is recovering from rotator cuff surgery. But, as Showley explains, they already had to miss the Big East Tournament because of the surgery, so enough was enough.

Showley’s son, who graduated from Purdue, will be meeting them at the game, driving to Detroit from Ohio, but with strict directions. “He is welcome to sit with us, but only if he has his Butler gear on,” she says. “Otherwise we will just be waving to him.”

 

Group Photo
"Butler Groupies" at a tournament in Portland

 

There is a group of about 12 that Showley says will be meeting up in Detroit and has been meeting up all over the country to watch their beloved Bulldogs, for the most part, since 2008.

Mary Shaw starts to tick off the various destinations the crew has been to. There was San Jose, Milwaukee, Greensboro, Portland, Memphis, says Shaw, who ran point for the Butler women’s basketball team from 1989 to 1993 and has been meeting up with Showley’s group since about 2010. Shaw will drive to Detroit with her husband, brother-in-law, and Xandra Hamilton, another member of the group who has been going to games for “forever,” Shaw says.

Nadine Treon calls them the Butler Groupies. Treon started going to Butler games with her dad in 2000. Her dad was a Butler graduate and Treon got her MBA from Butler in 2006. For Treon, Hinkle Fieldhouse always makes her think of her dad. After he passed away, she took over his season ticket package in 2006-07. She loves basketball, but Butler games mean so much more to her than just hoops. When Treon starts talking about Butler basketball, the memories start rolling off her tongue. There was the time she watched Darnell Archey’s consecutive free throw streak end. Then the time Archey hit 8-9 three pointers in the Sweet 16 against Louisville.

“I always think of my dad when I am going to a game,” she says. “It is pretty special every year. When I go to the first game, I think of him. There is so much history for me personally.”

This year was unique for Treon. She has been on the road in New Jersey for work since July, so she has been unable to watch Butler in person as much as past seasons.

“But once March rolled around, I was totally excited for that,” Treon says. “I will fly to Detroit and meet the gang out there and when we win this weekend, I will start making plans for Boston.”

And you better believe, they’ll be enjoying Lori Showley's Bulldog Droppings at every stop along the way.

 

Photo Credits: Lori Showley

People

Baked Goods and Bulldog Groupies

If you have been to a Butler basketball game, in say, the last eight years or so, chances are you’ve sampled Lori Showley’s famous Bulldog Droppings. 

Arts & CulturePeopleCommunity

Community Arts School Head Honored As United Way 'Hero'

BY

PUBLISHED ON Feb 26 2018

Butler Community Arts School Director Karen Thickstun has been honored as one of United Way of Central Indiana's 100 Heroes for her efforts to grow the arts education program from 180 students in 2002 to more than 2,000 in 2016–2017.

The 100 Heroes awards are being given to 100 people from the Central Indiana community who have made a positive impact over the last 100 years.

"I appreciate the opportunity to share with the community what the Butler Community Arts School is all about," Thickstun said. "This is nice recognition for Butler, for the Community Arts School, for the Butler students who are doing something in the community. This isn't about one person. It is about one person plus staff and faculty and Butler students and community partners that have been with us from the very beginning."

The Butler Community Arts School (BCAS) provides affordable arts instruction to the Indianapolis community—people like Kennon Ward, who is now Assistant Music Director of The Salvation Army's Phil Ramone Orchestra for Children in New York—and enables Butler students to hone their teaching skills. BCAS offers private lessons, group classes, camps, and off-campus community programming.

Last year, 59 percent of the BCAS students taking lessons received a scholarship, and minority enrollment accounted for 53 percent.

The BCAS program was the vision of Peter Alexander, then Dean of the Jordan College of Fine Arts, who had started a similar community arts school at the University of Southern Mississippi. Alexander "saw the potential for using college students as the primary instructors and making inroads into the community with that dynamic," Thickstun said.

Alexander approached Thickstun with the idea in January 2002. At the time, Butler's only music instruction for the community was a piano camp. With the help of Arts Administration Professor Susan Zurbuchen, Thickstun secured a grant from the Indiana Arts Commission to provide need-based scholarships to students who wanted music lessons but could not afford them.

By September 2002, BCAS was up and running.

"It was a leap of faith by the Indiana Arts Commission because they were funding something that didn't exist yet," she said. "But Butler had credibility, and the Jordan College of Fine Arts had credibility, and I'm assuming they saw the potential."

The Indiana Arts Commission has renewed that grant every year since. Last year, BCAS received grants totaling more than $113,000 from the Indiana Arts Commission, the Christel DeHaan Family Foundation, The Indianapolis Foundation, Summer Youth Program Fund, and the Lilly Endowment. Some 90 percent of the grant money goes to provide student need-based scholarships.

The program also now has:

-Thirteen community partners serving more than 800 students with music, visual arts, dance, and theatre programs. The Martin Luther King Center, Metropolitan Youth Orchestra, Auntie Mame Child Development Center, and Christel House Academy have all been community partners since the beginning.

-Sixteen summer camps serving over 600 students ages 7 and older. The camps include a summer ballet intensive that will be expanded to four weeks beginning in 2018, as well as theatre and music programs. A new guitar camp will debut in 2018.

-Nine group class programs—including Guitar for Young Bulldogs, Youth Theatre, and Children's Orchestra—serving more than 200 students ages 5 and older.

-Nine areas of private lessons serving over 400 students ages 5 and up. Lessons are available in piano, strings, voice, woodwinds, brass, percussion, guitar, music theory, and composition.

"I'm proud that Butler has stood behind the program for 16 years and continued to support it," Thickstun said. "Butler has recognized that it provides community engagement for the University students, in addition to all the good that it does for the children in the community."

 

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

 

Arts & CulturePeopleCommunity

Community Arts School Head Honored As United Way 'Hero'

Karen Thickstun has made a positive impact on the central Indiana community.

Feb 26 2018 Read more
AcademicsPeople

Retailing's Loss Was Biology's Gain

BY

PUBLISHED ON Apr 23 2018

After he graduated from University of the South with an undergraduate degree in biology, Tom Dolan was unsure what to do next. His roommate's father helped him get a job at Davison's, an Atlanta department store owned by Macy's, and from 1973 to 1977 he moved up the ranks in management.

The money was good, but the hours were brutal. From mid-October to Christmas, Thanksgiving was his only day off, and 16-hour days were common.

Dolan's father used to tell him that you can either do something you like or make a lot of money. Or, if you're lucky, you can make a lot of money and do something you like.

"I was making a lot of money, but it was a killer job," Dolan said. So he chose the other option: "I'm going to do something I like."

He chose to go back to school at the University of Georgia and study botany. And now, four decades after making that decision and 33 years after he joined the Butler Biology faculty, he is retiring.

*

The decision to go back to school was easy. Getting accepted to graduate school was a different matter. Dolan, who grew up outside Chicago in Geneva, Illinois, had been out of college for six years when he applied to Georgia. The pharmacy school told him no. Botany, which was an up-and-coming program, invited him for an interview.

He remembers the head of the committee asking, "So what makes you think you can handle graduate school based on what you've been doing for the last six years?" Dolan responded, "I just walked away from managing a store that did $15 million a year in sales and had 100 people working for me. I know how to do things. I know how to get things done. I was a biology major. I would really like to do botany. I think I'll be fine."

Two weeks later, he received a letter saying he would not be admitted regular status, but if he wanted to take classes as a non-classified post-graduate, he could do that. Essentially, they wanted proof that he could succeed—and they wanted him to spend his own money to prove it.

Challenge accepted. The first quarter, he did well in all three classes. His Cell Biology professor—who was the department chair—offered him "regular status" admission and a teaching assistantship.

"It turned out that I liked teaching," Dolan said, "and it turned out that I was pretty good at it, based on the response that I got from people who were in the class and the people who were supervising the teaching assistants."

He finished his doctorate at Georgia (where he met his wife, Becky, who also earned her doctorate from the University of Georgia) and went on to a post-doctoral fellowship in plant pathology at the University of California, Riverside.

When the time came to find a full-time job, Dolan answered an ad for a Visiting Assistant Professor at Butler. He took the one-year assignment and then won the full-time, tenure-track position after that.

At the same time, Becky was hired at the Holcomb Research Institute (HRI) and Friesner Herbarium. When HRI folded, College of Liberal Arts and Sciences Dean Paul Yu transferred her staff position to the Department of Biological Sciences. For more than 30 years, she has been Director of the Friesner Herbarium, a systematic collection of over 100,000 dried, pressed and preserved plant specimens. 

"Becky was able to carve out a niche and has turned out to be very successful—as an academic, more successful than me," Dolan said. "She's had a much bigger imprint on the institution than I'll ever have."

*

In the 1990s, Dolan served as Chair of the Biological Sciences Department. Stuart Glennan, Associate Dean in the College of Arts and Sciences, said Dolan's appointment came "at a very crucial time for the department. Probably most importantly, he oversaw the hiring and mentoring of the current generation of leadership in the department, and managed it during a time in which its student population expanded considerably."

Dolan said that during his 33 years at Butler, he saw the University grow in stature and size. The constant, he said, has been the quality of the students.

"We always had good students," he said. "Now we have more of them. Some of the students I've had contact with would bowl you over. That's always been the case. Virtually every semester, every class has two, three, four, five students who just knock your socks off."

Michael Hole was one of those.

"Professor Dolan was the first person I met at Butler," Hole said via email from Texas, where he is now a pediatrician and social entrepreneur at the University of Texas at Austin's Dell Medical School. "From that moment, he used his brilliant mind, big heart, and humor to make learning fun and meaningful. A treasured mentor and friend, he oozed the Butler Way. There’s no doubt his legacy lives on in countless Bulldogs.

*

In retirement, he and Becky plan to spend most of the year living in a house they built on St. George Island, a pristine and quiet locale in the Florida panhandle. The Apalachicola Natural Forest is across the way, and for 30 miles west, 45 miles east, and 60 miles deep, there's nothing but state and national forest. Some, he said, consider it the No. 1 biological hotspot in North America.

Across the bridge from their island is the new Apalachicola National Estuarine Research Reserve, so they'll be a short drive from scientific research, natural resource management, and environmental education. The Dolans also are thinking about ways to enhance science programming at the local high school, and Tom said Becky may well do some science writing.

"The punch line is that I really don't know," he said. "The other side of that is, I'm really not worried about it. But I'm definitely not going to just put my feet up, read, fish, and run kayaks—although that's a temptation."

 

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

 

 

 

AcademicsPeople

Retailing's Loss Was Biology's Gain

Professor Tom Dolan, who worked for Macy's for several years out of college, found his passion in botany. Now, after 33 years at Butler, he has retired.

Apr 23 2018 Read more
People

Live from the Ed Sullivan Theatre

BY

PUBLISHED ON Aug 03 2018

 

Katie Hannigan '08 just got the kind of break that can catapult a standup comic's career: She performed on The Late Show with Stephen Colbert.

Her segment—which was recorded June 15 at the Ed Sullivan Theatre and aired on August 2—"went really, really well," she said by phone from her home in New York. "It was such a great experience for me."

Hannigan, who describes herself on Twitter as "just another wholesome Midwestern girl with demons" and in her act as someone who "looks like she owns a muffin shop," said a booking agent for the show caught her act in March and invited her to do the show. She was the first of seven comics who recorded their sets on that day in June, in front of an audience that was specifically in the theater to see comedy, as opposed to celebrities and musical acts.

The idea behind that is to make sure the comics get the best possible reception.

"It definitely is a huge career milestone for me," she said. "This is something I've been working toward for years and years and years."

Eight years, specifically. But at least 14 years, if you go back to her first year at Butler.

*

After graduating from Warren Central High School in Indianapolis, where she was fascinated by experimental theater, Hannigan came to Butler as a Theatre major and immediately found herself cast in Top Girls, a play by unconventional writer Caryl Churchill. Everyone in the cast was older, and "I felt quite distinguished and honored to be able to do that show."

In that production, she worked with director Constance Macy for the first time. They teamed up again two years later on The Underpants, and she credits Macy, an Indianapolis actress and director who works frequently with Butler Theatre, with helping her develop a critical eye for comedic timing.

Theatre Department Chair Diane Timmerman remembers Hannigan as "talented, intelligent, and curious. Her primary focus was acting and she was and is a gifted actress. She was always an extremely funny person with a terrific sense of humor. But while she was a Theatre Major, she was known primarily for her acting abilities."

At Butler, Hannigan also worked at the Holcomb Observatory for 2½ years, which "helped me develop my interests outside of performing, which is so important to be able to draw on." (She's now hosting a podcast called Apodcalypse about ends-of-days scenarios in pop culture and religious legend.)

*

Hannigan moved to New York a week after graduation. She moved in with her former Butler roommate Leah Nanako Winkler—who has also gone on to great success as this year's winner of the prestigious Yale Drama Series Prize—and they worked together in experimental theater.

"I felt that if I went to New York," she said, "I would find exactly what I was interested in focusing on for a long period of time."

But that took some time. Two years later, Hannigan started in comedy. She spent four years going to open-mic nights five to 10 times a week to hone her act. A couple of years in, she also took a job at a comedy club so she could get more stage time, and she began to hit the road to work at clubs and comedy festivals around the country. She also started posting jokes regularly on Twitter—and still does @katiehannigan.

She had other gigs too, including preschool teacher ("the kids were teaching me … that I hate kids," she says in her act) and New York City tour guide. She developed such an extensive knowledge of New York City that she's appeared in episodes of The Travel Channel's Mysteries at the Museum as an expert.

And even as her comedy schedule filled, she continued to act. This month, she shot two TV pilots, including one about city yuppies who decide they're going to live off the land but find they're woefully unprepared.

Hannigan said if she could choose, she would act all day and do standup at night. "I am someone who has the ability to write comedically. I also have the ability to perform and act. I have a skillset I would like to use fully in a number of different contexts."

In the near term, she appreciates that standup comedy is the skill that's bringing her the most attention.

"The weekend after I performed (for Colbert), it was quite a shock to my system to have accomplished that kind of goal," she said. "I was feeling kind of overwhelmed as far as what do I do next. The Late Show something that will help my career as a comedian, but I do have some big things ahead that I'm looking forward to."

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

People

Live from the Ed Sullivan Theatre

Katie Hannigan '08 just got the kind of break that can catapult a standup comic's career.

Aug 03 2018 Read more

Miles Ahead

Michael Kaltenmark '02 was desperate.

The year was 2008, and Butler's Director of External Relations (and handler of the University's live mascot) had a side hustle handling public relations and marketing for Vision Racing. The trouble was, Vision Racing lacked the big stars and success stories that other teams had. No one was paying attention.

Kaltenmark needed to change that. So he turned to social media—and wound up rewriting the norms of auto-racing public relations.

"At Butler, social media was working well for Butler Blue II," he said. "People were receptive to it, we had great dialogue and we produced great content that generated a lot of interaction. I thought if it works for the dog, it might work for the race team."

His initial attempt was basic: When the team added a sponsor, he took a picture and asked team owner Tony George if he could tweet the photo. George gave his OK. So did the fans on Twitter.

"At that point, for me, it was like 'ah-ha,'" Kaltenmark said. "This is a great way to interact with people."

Soon, Vision Racing was live-tweeting races and practices and giving fans as much information as possible.

"We went from being the laughingstock of the IndyCar series to being a beloved underdog," Kaltenmark said. "It changed the fans' perspective about our team. They got content they couldn't get elsewhere. They got to understand our brand and our voice and meet our people digitally. That resonated with them. That was something they didn't have anywhere else in motorsports."

Mike Kitchel, Communications Director at IndyCar, said Vision Racing’s social media strategy "was miles ahead of the curve in the IndyCar Series at the time," and he credited Kaltenmark and colleague Pat Caporali with "leading the charge with a passion and work ethic that was truly unparalleled."

"Looking back, what amazes me most, was how quickly the rest of the teams in the IndyCar Series went from being completely skeptical of what they were doing to desperately trying to catch up," Kitchel said. "They were ahead of their time.… To this day, IndyCar stands out as one of the most socially active and engaging leagues in all of professional sports and I believe—without question—that has a lot to do with what Vision Racing started over a decade ago.”

Their social media efforts had another consequence: the fans' interest forced tradition media—TV, radio, print—to pay attention and cover the team.

"We learned to leverage earned media," he said. "We've been working that recipe to death with the dog here at Butler, putting out our own content and having the big media outlets pick it up and want to do a story."

This May, Kaltenmark is doing social media with the Indianapolis Motor Speedway marketing team, and what he started in 2008 is as common as the rev of an engine in May. But back then, he said, "My colleagues in PR used to make fun of me for always tweeting. Now you walk around the paddock and it’s all they do."

He credits his Butler education and work experience with his approach to problem-solving.

"You can call it a liberal-arts background, or you can call it good preparation, but I was able to lean on that," he said, pointing to his abilities to write and think critically and his knowledge of journalism and public relations. "I felt confident in what I was doing because of the experiences I had in and out of the classroom at Butler."

Indy 500People

Miles Ahead

The year was 2008, and Butler's Director of External Relations (and handler of the University's live mascot) had a side hustle handling public relations and marketing for Vision Racing.

GivingPeople

Donors Give $1 Million to Honor Lacy School of Business Visionary Dick Fetter

BY Rachel Stern

PUBLISHED ON Dec 03 2018

The vision for the Butler University Lacy School of Business can be traced back to a drawing of a barbell on a crumpled-up napkin.

Instead of 25-pound weights on each side, there was the First-Year Business Experience and the Butler Business Consulting Group. Each side, then-Dean Dick Fetter would explain, represented a key aspect of what the school’s curriculum would be built around: real life experience. This, Fetter explained to anyone who would listen, was exactly what was missing. In fact, he felt, it was what was missing from most business school curriculums. Nearly 20 years ago and ahead of his time, Fetter thought that the key to taking Butler from a fine business school to a great one was to get students more exposure to the business world from day one.  

A former fertilizer business owner, Fetter entered the academic world and saw a disconnect between what was needed in the business world and what students were getting on campus. So, he wanted to change it. And he took to napkins, whiteboards, scraps of paper, anything, to show people his ideas.

The ideas, explains Dan McQuiston, Associate Professor of Marketing and the man largely responsible for hiring Fetter, had been floating around Fetter’s head for years. But, once he was named Dean of the College of Business in 1999, he started to really put his vision into motion. He would diagram out what a revamped curriculum would look like to solve this dilemma—to turn a fine school, McQuiston explains, into a top-quality one on the cutting edge of experiential learning before it became the go-to-catch-phrase-every-school-touts-themselves-as-being.

About 20 years later, a $22 million Lilly Endowment grant, an overhauled curriculum, and a new building on the way, much of the progress behind the Lacy School of Business, and its national recognition as a result , can be traced back to Fetter’s trailblazing ways. And napkins.

“Dick is a visionary,” McQuiston says. “He really was able to see where education was going, what was needed, and how to get us there. He put into place the programmatic things that we are still doing today, the very things that give us a tremendous competitive advantage.

audience clapping for Dick Fetter“We went from the school no one really knew about to a model school. Now, we cannot fit anyone else in here with a shoehorn. Because of the programs Dick put into place 15 years ago when no one else was thinking about experiential education, we have been able to attract students from all over the place. We would not be putting up a new building if it wasn’t for Dick.”

So, it is only fitting that the new building honor the man friends, co-workers, former students, and business partners say is largely responsible for it. When fundraising for the new Lacy School of Business building started three years ago, recognizing Fetter, who is now an Associate Professor of Marketing, in some way was immediately a priority, says Graham Honaker, Executive Director of Principal Gifts.

Fifty-five donors and $1 million later, the Dean’s Suite in the new Lacy School of Business building will be named in Fetter’s honor. Donations came from members of Fetter’s own family, from individuals representing seven different states, from Butler graduates from the class of 1962 to the class of 2016. There were several first-time donors, long-time donors, faculty members, former students, and some with no connection to Butler except Fetter.

“This was really a grassroots effort and the more people we talked to, it just took off and kept going because Dick has influenced and helped so many individuals,” Honaker says. “There were not a lot of no’s in the process. Everyone gave a different amount, of course, but it all helped us get to our goal. It shows the influence Dick has had and the power of every gift.”

And even more impressive, this fundraising effort was all kept a secret from Fetter the entire time. But those who know him best say that if he knew, he would have attempted to shut the entire thing down.

On a recent Friday evening, a group of Fetter’s family, former students, colleagues, President James Danko, and others gathered in Fairview House to reveal the $1 million surprise. Fetter showed up in a hardhat—he thought he was there to give a tour of the new business school building. He knew something was awry when he saw his four sisters from Ohio in the room.

“Rarely am I speechless, but I’m almost at a loss for words,” said Fetter.

About 95 percent of those who donated to the $1 million were there to celebrate—from Colorado, North Carolina, Ohio, to name a few—Fetter’s vision and leadership, and to return the gifts he had given all of them.

**

Dan McQuiston first met Dick Fetter at the copy machine.

Dean's Suite RenderingLet’s be clear. McQuiston had certainly heard of Fetter. Everyone at Indiana University had. McQuiston was a professor and Fetter was a star doctoral student. Professors would seek Fetter out to do their data analysis and research because he was so skilled, says McQuiston.

“I remember when I first actually met him he said, ‘hi, my name is Dick Fetter,’ and I just kind of laughed because of course I knew who he was,” McQuiston says. “But that is the kind of guy Dick is. He is the most humble, unassuming, deferential person you will ever meet.”

The two chatted and right then and there McQuiston was impressed. Shortly after that, McQuiston took a job at Butler and his first mission as department chair: hire Dick Fetter.

“I didn’t think we had a snowball’s chance in Haiti of getting Dick here, but I knew I was going to do whatever I could to try,” he says. “His older daughter was thinking of going to North Carolina for school and I knew Dick had an offer from Wake Forest, so I figured we were done.”

McQuiston was giving his daughter a bath when the phone rang. It was Fetter. He braced for the bad news. But, he will never forget the words on the other end.

“Dick said, ‘I am coming to Butler,’ and I nearly dropped the phone in the bath,” says McQuiston.

But what came next, he says, was foreshadowing at its finest. McQuiston asked Fetter why he decided on Butler and his answer was simple. Fetter told McQuiston that he is a builder and he wanted to build things. That, McQuiston says, is how it all started. For the next couple years Fetter commuted from Bloomington, often times sleeping in a bed in Robertson Hall.

Fetter became interim dean in 1999 and started to put into play many of the programmatic changes that the Lacy School of Business is known for today, says McQuiston. For example, at the time, first-year students didn’t take any business classes. He changed that by putting into place the First Year Business Experience, which gave students experience working with corporate partners. He implemented the Real Business Experience for sophomores, which is essentially a mini-Shark Tank.

“These were, and continue to be, tremendous competitive advantages for our school,” McQuiston says. “Coming in as interim dean, he could have just kept things status quo and made sure things ran smoothly. But that’s not Dick. He had ideas and knew how to make us go from good to great. He put everything together that you now see as cornerstones of our school.”

Then there was the Butler Business Consulting Group. This was Fetter’s model for how Butler could serve as a place to attract businesses, and in turn, get students more real-life experience. Butler received a Lilly Grant for this to the tune of $22 million.

“Every decision he made was about students. With him, it is always about the students and how to make their experience better,” he says.

**

Dick Fetter embraces donorJulie Hoffmann was set on Drake University. She had been to campus multiple times, her living arrangements were finalized, and there were only three days left before her decision would be official in April of her senior year of high school.

But, there was that scholarship offer from Butler, and she hadn’t visited campus yet, so she hit the road with her dad from Wisconsin just to make sure.

She went through her visit, took a tour, sat in on a class, ate lunch, and was unswayed, she says. The last thing on her schedule was to meet with Dick Fetter. She told her dad to wait outside, she would be out in 10 minutes.

An hour-and-a-half later, she walked out, and on the car ride home she told her dad she was going to Butler.

Fetter knew Hoffmann’s interests, he offered her a job as his student assistant, he gave her his home phone number, and he was well aware of what she did in high school.

“Nobody is better at subtle sales than Dick,” says Hoffmann, who graduated from Butler in 1998 and is now Assistant Director of the IT Help Desk at Butler. “At that age, hard selling wouldn’t have worked. He was a great listener, he remembered what I said, he made me feel like an adult, he read my file carefully, he never was in a hurry. I will never forget my first encounter with him.”

Her second semester on campus she was in a bad car accident and couldn’t get home to Wisconsin. She needed some time to recover and couldn’t use stairs, so the Fetters invited her to stay in their home for a couple weeks. It just so happened to be the exact same day a foreign exchange student arrived at their home, as well, but that didn’t matter to the Fetters, Hoffmann says. Dick’s wife, Peg, stocked the house with all her favorite snacks, like iced animal crackers, and made her grilled cheese sandwiches and mashed potatoes to make Hoffmann feel at home.

Hoffmann went on to work for Fetter for all four years she was at Butler. She roomed with their youngest daughter, Sara, three different times in her life. When Hoffmann needed surgery on her wrist her senior year, the Fetters took her. When a job opened at Butler in 2000 doing marketing research in the Office of Admission that initially brought Hoffmann back to campus, it was Fetter who told her about it. And when her dad died three years ago, it was the Fetters who drove 350 miles each way in one day to attend his funeral.

“The depths of how many different things I am grateful to the Fetters for is limitless,” Hoffmann says. “At every turn in my life when I needed something, they never hesitated. And my story is not unique. There are lots of Butler students who have lived with them for a summer. Their door has always been open, they have always been there for whoever needed them.”

Just ask J.J. DeBrosse.

DeBrosse first met Fetter when he was an undergrad and Fetter became his advisor his senior year. The two developed a relationship and Fetter was someone DeBrosse could go to for financial, personal, and career advice.

But, DeBrosse will never forget the day he lost his first child to SIDS, and the first people at the hospital were Dick and Peg Fetter. DeBrosse still isn’t sure how they found out, the day was a blur, but the Fetters were there when DeBrosse needed them most. The Fetters drove J.J. and his wife home, let their friends and family know, arranged for food at the house, and made sure their cars ended up back at their house.

“You are so helpless in that moment, and for them to drop everything and be there for us at our lowest moment and make sure everything was taken care of, and then just disappear, that is who they are. They are behind the scenes people who are so big hearted, but don’t want any attention,” says DeBrosse.

There isn’t a moment, DeBrosse says, in his life that Fetter hasn’t been a part of. DeBrosse is now the Director of Graduate and Professional Recruitment in the Lacy School of Business, a position Fetter pushed him to interview for.

He meets with Fetter weekly and can count on honest feedback, just as it was when he was an undergrad.

“Dick is so generous and never judges you. I know he will always give advice, and will push back on an idea I might have, but in a way that is thoughtful and smart and you know he is making you better and making you think differently,” DeBrosse says. “If there is one thing in life I fear it is disappointing people I care about and for me that is my parents, my wife, and then Dick is next in line. I have seen him help people in so many different ways, from personal matters, to helping with major business advice.”

**

Dick Fetter claps for speakerLaura Yurs was frustrated. She knew something was wrong with the financials of her family business, but she couldn’t get a straight answer from her accountant. She knew exactly who to call.

“I knew I could trust Dick. I knew he wouldn’t beat around the bush about it, I knew he would be direct,” says Yurs, who graduated from Butler in 1998 and worked for a professor down the hall from Fetter as a student.

So, Yurs met Fetter for dinner, explained what was going on, and a week later, the two met at Barnes and Noble to go over the financials. Fetter kept asking questions as he poured over the papers, as Yurs fed her eight-month-old daughter. Fetter calmly asked for the weekend, and said he would be in touch on Monday.

Monday came and Fetter confirmed Yurs’ hunch. The financials were not in good shape. But, he also had a plan. He identified the problem, had steps to take to turn things around, and suggested Yurs sign on with the Butler Business Consulting Group (BBCG).

“He changed our lives,” Yurs says. “He could have turned and ran and said I cannot help you, but he stood by us. A lot of people would have run for the door. Now, 10 years later, we are still in business and it is because of that pivotal moment. If we hadn’t called him, if he didn’t help, I think we would no longer be in business.”

Laura and her husband, Kevin, signed up with the BBCG. Student interns sat in on their business’ meetings, their situation was used as a case study, and while the Yurs participated in MBA classes at Butler, Peg Fetter babysat.

“Dick understood what we were facing very quickly, and he had the desire to see us get through it,” Kevin says. “Whenever we have had something pivotal—kids, business—he has been the critical difference and been there for us. But if you ask him, he will say he didn’t do anything. He is really great at understanding a situation, analyzing it for what it is, but then caring enough to help.”

**

Butler has also been there for the Fetters.

Alli, Dick’s oldest daughter, got her master’s degree from Butler’s College of Education in 2002. Sara, Dick’s youngest daughter, graduated from Butler with a degree in Anthropology in 2001. Peg has taken many classes at Butler over the years.

“My dad’s students and peers have meant so much to our entire family over the years. We have met so many amazing people because of Butler,” Alli says. “My dad would say the advancement of the College of Business over the last 30 years has been the product of the work of so many.”

When Alli found out about the 55 donors, she broke down for about 10 minutes. She started thinking about all that has taken place. There was the time Bob Mackoy gave up his sabbatical so Fetter could be with his family during a really difficult time. There are the lifelong friends that she met when she was a teenager that stayed in their home over the summer.

“Butler instantly became family when my dad accepted the job and since then my dad’s colleagues and students have meant so much to our entire family,” Alli says. “We are so grateful and moved and feel humbled by the whole thing.”

**

When Steve Standifird became Dean of the Lacy School of Business, he had to go out of his way to track Dick Fetter down.

“I had to seek him out and convince him that I wanted his feedback,” Standifird says. “He didn’t want to be in my way, or impose his vision. He is so wonderful about stepping forward any way he can and supporting you however he can. It is a rare gift to have a colleague like him.”

And so, it made perfect sense to honor Fetter with the naming of the Dean’s Suite, explains Standifird. The pivot point of the school can be traced back to when Fetter served as dean. But more than that, Standifird explains, as Fetter exemplified, a dean leads best by supporting others.

In the new building, the Dean’s Suite is intentionally on the fourth floor in a back corner because it is not the star of the show.

“A leader is doing the best job when leading by developing others and that is exactly how Dick leads. He leads by empowering others. The Dean’s Suite is a support center for the rest of the school and that is exactly how Dick leads, out of the way, not on the main floor, supporting and developing others,” says Standifird.

And Standifird is not the only University administrator to seek out Dick Fetter. When Jim Danko became Butler’s 21st president, it didn’t take him long to understand the value of Fetter’s input and counsel. 

“I’ve always appreciated the wisdom in his advice as I’ve worked to move the University forward. He’s been tremendously helpful to me, and I know the same is true of countless others at Butler and in the Indianapolis community,” says Danko. 

**

Jeff Blade remembers the napkin. It seems to him like that was one of the first things Fetter showed him when the two met back in 1996.

Blade, who graduated from Butler in 1983, had just joined the College of Business’s Board of Visitors and Fetter was eager to show him the barbell model. A napkin was all that was available. So, Fetter got to sketching.

“Next thing I know, he is drawing his barbell, and explaining, essentially, the future of education on a napkin,” Blade says. “He’s graphically depicting experiential education, but at the time that was not the hot phrase that it is now. He was talking about getting students involved in real life projects and his vision for how the curriculum would work.”

Blade worked for Kraft Foods at the time, and he worked closely with Fetter to make real marketing data from Kraft available for Butler students. The two became close friends, and Blade turned to Fetter for career advice later on.

As a business person, Blade thought Fetter’s model made a ton of sense. He was energized by the idea of hiring students who had more real-life business experience during college and tailoring the curriculum toward that.

“I remember thinking then much of the same things I think today—Dick is a transformative leader and someone who thinks big thoughts and has a vision of where things should go,” Blade says. “But he also has the unique ability to draw people in and relate to people. At his core, he is an individual who wants to make a difference in the lives of everyone he meets.”

GivingPeople

Donors Give $1 Million to Honor Lacy School of Business Visionary Dick Fetter

$1 million gift was raised from 55 donors, including Fetter’s family, friends, colleagues, and former students.

Dec 03 2018 Read more
AcademicsPeople

He Hasn't Been Everywhere, But It's On His List

BY

PUBLISHED ON Apr 30 2018

Professor Greg Osland received his first taste of learning about cultures of the world when he completed a study abroad trip to Mexico while completing his undergraduate degree. Since then, Osland has visited 40 countries and spent at least six years of his adult life living abroad. He may be retiring from teaching full-time, but his sense of adventure and his thirst for knowledge about cultures beyond his own will still be hard at work.

“I don’t view retirement as slowing down but rather doing a different set of things,” he said.

Osland already has booked four flights for next year. These include a trip to Colorado to visit family, a family trip to New England, a flight to Atlanta to present at an academic conference, and a two-week trip to Uganda to help with a few economic development projects.

Most of his upcoming trips are for personal or pro-bono consulting travel, something Osland hasn’t typically done. The majority of his time spent abroad has been for work or research. Prior to earning his Ph.D. at Michigan State University, he spent three years in China working for a business consulting company developing and delivering Executive Education programs. This experience was part of the reason he pursued a Ph.D. in International Marketing.

Professor Dick Fetter, a friend and colleague of Osland’s for 25 years, said that when they hired Osland in 1993, international business was a relatively new concept in business schools.

“Greg has really brought a global perspective not just to the classroom, but to the campus as well,” Fetter said.

*

Although known as the "China expert” across campus, Osland has developed interests, over time, in other parts of the world, particularly Latin America. In 2007, he and a few other colleagues helped to develop a course as part of the core curriculum titled “Frontiers in Latin America.”

“I’ve enjoyed teaching that course because it integrates a number of disciplines and I’m a little more eclectic than just marketing,” Osland said. “It allows me to do some other things with other elements of learning.”

Fetter confirmed Osland’s view of himself when he recounted the time Osland came to him in early 2000s asking to take his sabbatical with his family to learn the Spanish language in Mexico.

Fetter, dean of the College of Business at the time, was a bit taken aback.

“I barely have conquered the English language,” Fetter joked. “And here Greg had conquered the country of China and the Mandarin language and now he was ready to move on to another language in a different part of the world.”

Fetter was impressed. Osland did two more sabbaticals abroad, one in Costa Rica and the other in Panama.

Osland’s newfound excitement for Latin America has been passed on to his students as well—especially one. Alicia Helfrich ’16 was one of Osland’s advisees and students, and she can vividly recount Osland’s impact on her understanding of the world, and ultimately her interest in working in Latin America.

When she was deciding between studying abroad in Spain or Chile, Osland recommended Chile because of his own experiences there.

“After some debate, I decided to take his advice and can say it was one the best decisions I have ever made,” Helfrich said. “I had a life-altering experience in Chile, gained fluency, and returned with a mission to work in the region again post-graduation.”

Now, Helfrich works for a non-profit in Guatemala City. If it wasn’t for Osland’s guidance to study abroad, she says she wouldn’t be in her current role or discovered some of her greatest passions.

*

Beyond Osland’s travels, he and his wife, Joyce, have been heavily involved with not-for-profit organizations, both locally and all over the world. Osland even started his own 501(c)(3) when he was living in Noblesville, titled Project Eden.

The organization’s mission is to “reconnect people with the creation, and to restore broken ecosystems,” Osland said. Ultimately the non-profit aims to reconnect people with nature through gardening, nature hikes, planting trees, and ecological restoration projects. Grace Church now carries out all Project Eden's initiatives.

In retirement Osland plans to continue volunteering with various organizations; spend time with his parents and three daughters, Katie, Beth, and Dianne; stay connected to Butler by teaching a class every now and again; doing Executive Education; or maybe even administrative work.

Plus, he loves Butler basketball, has season tickets, and loves walking to the games with his wife.

“There are a lot of opportunities to continue to engage with Butler,” he said.

Although Osland retired as a Professor of Marketing at the end of May, he has continued on as a full-time part of the faculty and staff of the LSB.  On June 1 he began a new role as the LSB Director of Assessment of Learning (AOL), while also engaging with the School as Professor Emeritus of Marketing.  He looks forward to working with the faculty and administration to help develop an AOL process that will be useful, manageable, and sustainable in enhancing student learning and improving our programs.

 

Media contact:
Krisy Force
kforce@butler.edu
317-940-6842

AcademicsPeople

He Hasn't Been Everywhere, But It's On His List

Professor Greg Osland, who has been to 40 countries, will remain on the go in retirement.

Apr 30 2018 Read more

Meet the Class of 2022: Kate Callihan

Kate Callihan
Major: Sports Media
Hometown: Austin, Texas
High School: Westlake High School

 

"I am most excited about the growing Sports Media program. It offers so many opportunities here and around Indy, and the professors show so much interest in the students already and classes haven't even started yet. Working with people who are likeminded and driven is going to be just incredible."
 


 

Like many high schoolers, Kate Callihan and her classmates studied the Vietnam war during their junior year.They read The Things They Carried by Tim O'Brien, heard from veterans who visited their class, and, as a final assignment, researched an American soldier who died in, or as a result of, the war.

Unlike many high schoolers, though, Kate took this assignment to the next level–and discovered a passion for storytelling in the process.

The name Kate was assigned was Michael Meyhoff. Rather than do some cursory research, she tracked down his family in North Dakota and made a 20-minute documentary using home movies, photos, and recollections of family and friends.

"I absolutely loved every second of it," she said.

Kate said she'd always loved writing, but it wasn’t until this project that she realized how much she loved storytelling. She narrated the video, "and at the beginning you can hear how timid I was and by the end of it I really found my voice and confidence."

"I realized that by telling this story I was not only impacting my grade and my own agenda, but there was a whole community that benefited from it and it was an absolutely incredible experience," she said.

Kate's English teacher, Dr. James Moore, wrote this about her effort: "The work you put in with calls, interviews, and emails eclipsed that of your classmates tenfold at least. I can tell that you really delved into the material, too, mining it for any little detail that would help fill out your story. "

Kate will continue honing her storytelling craft as a Sports Media major at Butler this fall. She will be one of 1,357 first-year students in Butler’s Class of 2022, the University’s largest class ever.

Butler’s Sports Media program drew her to Indianapolis–and it’s drawn others, too. Since 2017, the number of first-year students enrolling in Sports Media has more than doubled. The program, an integration of Sports Journalism and Digital Sports Production, is the only degreed program of its kind in Indiana, and one of only a handful of degreed programs in the Midwest.

In addition to studying Sports Media at Butler, Kate plans to double minor in Marketing and Theology, with a focus on Monotheism and Biblical Studies. She hopes one day to combine her interests in sports media and theology to bring teams to third-world countries to teach the children there how to play sports.

But that's the future. For now, she said, "I feel blessed to be part of the young Sports Media program and blessed to be part of Butler."

Kate Callihan
Welcome WeekStudent LifePeople

Meet the Class of 2022: Kate Callihan

Butler's Sports Media program drew Kate to Indiana from Texas.

AcademicsPeople

Study Finds Gender Gap in the Sciences Closing

BY

PUBLISHED ON Apr 26 2018

The gender gap in the sciences may be closing, at least according to a study conducted by professors from Butler University and three peer institutions.

The study, published April 26 in the online journal PLOS ONE, looked at 10 years of undergraduate research at four schools: Butler, Creighton University, John Carroll University, and the University of St. Thomas. It found that male and female chemistry and physics students are producing research at the same rate.

"As we talk about how there are issues with women in science, at least at our four undergraduate institutions, we were not seeing any gender effect when it comes to the research outputs that the students are able to produce," said Butler Chemistry Professor Anne Wilson. "That is great."

The researchers, working together as part of a National Science Foundation grant, examined what factors affect a student to produce a research paper versus a poster versus an oral presentation. They also looked at the factors affecting students' producing work that was presented at local, regional, and national conferences, and published in peer-reviewed journals.

Rasitha Jayasekare, Assistant Professor of Mathematics and Actuarial Science at Butler, provided a detailed analysis of the data using advanced statistical models.

"It was really nice to collaborate with our colleagues from other institutions and find out that a lot of us are all doing good work with undergraduates and that we value undergraduate research," Wilson said. "It's not only important to do the work but to disseminate the findings and get our students out there speaking and writing and doing all the things that liberally educated students do."

Wilson encouraged other undergraduate institutions to examination their data to see if they find a similar result. She said she had suspected that there would be no gender gap.

"It's nice to have data to back up what you think and feel in your heart," she said.

 

Media contact:
Rachel Stern
rstern@butler.edu
317-940-9257

AcademicsPeople

Study Finds Gender Gap in the Sciences Closing

Butler and three other schools see male and female students producing research at similar rates.

Apr 26 2018 Read more
Grand Adventure

A Grand Adventure

Camryn Walton ’14

from Spring 2018

It Happened in a Weekend

Over the course of 48 hours, we decided to quit our jobs, leave Indianapolis, road trip across the United States, and buy a one-way ticket to India. 

Why? We felt that restless feeling to be somewhat careless and do something crazy. We wanted to experience newness. To break out of our routine. We had a desire to change our surroundings and rid ourselves of the strains of everyday life. 

And so we went. In fall 2016, we spent two months camping and hiking the western United States, two months navigating the chaos of India, and three months exploring Southeast Asia. It’s hard for me to put into words how grateful I feel for being able to go on this grand adventure. 

In reality, long-term travel is overwhelming and exhausting. You are constantly pushed outside of your comfort zone. Your relationship with yourself and your partner is challenged daily. Here are just a couple of excerpts from my blog sharing our unique and transformational travel experiences: 

Grand Tetons, Wyoming 

Camryn Walton ’14 and husband at the Grand Tetons“What’s been your favorite place so far?” We get asked this question quite a bit on the road, and so far we have the same answer: The Grand Tetons. While leaving beautiful Oregon was bittersweet, we were eager to get to Jackson, Wyoming. We bypassed our planned one-night stay in Boise (We’ll be back for you Idaho!) and drove the 12+ hours from Portland, Oregon, to Jackson, Wyoming, in one day. We made it in one piece and found a free campsite as the sun was setting just outside of the Tetons. 

The next morning, we arrived at the Grand Tetons Visitor Center an hour before it opened to get a backcountry permit. Needless to say, John (JJ) was excited to be the first one in line. Before getting our permit, we had to watch a short video about backcountry camping safety… and this is where my irrational fear of bears began. By the end of the video, I was convinced we were going to be stalked and killed by a bear. Wyoming isn’t too bad of a place to die, right? 

Bear spray in hand, we set off on a 22-mile loop hike up Paintbrush Canyon and down Cascade Canyon. The first day consisted of 7.5 miles and 3,500 feet up. It was tough hiking, but the blossoming colors of fall made us forget about the level of difficulty. There are two weeks out of the year when leaves are at their brightest in the Tetons, and we had unknowingly chosen one of these sacred weeks. The Aspens were changing to a shade of yellow I’ve never seen before—hard to describe, and even harder to photograph. 

We were up early the next morning to tackle our one mile, 1,500-foot ascent of Paintbrush Divide to the Saddle Between Two Peaks. JJ kept me going by reminding me that, “every step you take is the highest elevation you’ve ever been.” At 10,700 ft., the 360-degree views were breathtaking. The pass opened up a new world of mountain ranges, peaks, and canyons; it is safe to say that I’m addicted. Addicted to the feeling of wanting to see what’s over the next pass, to the exhilaration of the wind blowing in your face, to feeling entirely humbled, small, and insignificant compared to the mountains that surround you. 

India 

On December 17, 2016—my 25th birthday—we arrived in Rishikesh, India. Nestled in the foothills of the Himalayas on the banks of the Ganges River, Rishikesh is a charming town that attracts yogis and adventurers from around the world. It is free of meat, dairy, and alcohol—making it the ideal location for people to focus on their spiritual and physical wellness. 

Camryn Walton ’14 and husband in IndiaHowever, two days into our blissful retreat, JJ and I were taking turns emptying our stomachs over a dirty toilet in a freezing cold yurt. The physical pain was compounded by the homesickness I felt being away from my loved ones so close to the holidays. I was tired of being cold and dirty and living out of a backpack. I couldn’t help but think of all of the places I’d rather be. 

Slowly, we started to regain physical strength and with it came mental clarity. We spent the next two weeks practicing yoga, getting lost in the foothills, reading by the river, and expanding our minds with new forms of spiritual guidance. And then I’m crying at the airport because I’m not ready to leave this powerful place that had become “home.” 

Despite the immense discomfort, we quickly discovered the real reason why we travel: It reminds us to be present, to be kind, to practice empathy—and to never take ourselves too seriously. Most importantly, it’s a reminder to be grateful for exactly where you are and who you are with in life. 

 

Camryn Walton '14 (Strategic Communication) and John Joseph '11 (International Studies and Marketing) moved to Denver in July 2017. They spend their time exploring the mountains, chasing music festivals, and working at a small marketing agency and large software company respectively. To read more on their grand adventure, check out flossinginthesunshine.com or follow them on Instagram @camryn_walton and @plaidjj1.

Grand Adventure
Arts & CulturePeople

A Grand Adventure

Over the course of 48 hours, we decided to quit our jobs, leave Indianapolis, road trip across the United States, and buy a one-way ticket to India. 

by Camryn Walton ’14

from Spring 2018

Read more
People

Nine Alumni To Be Honored

BY Marc Allan

PUBLISHED ON Aug 23 2018

  

Nine Butler University alumni who have demonstrated extraordinary professional achievement and service to the University and their communities will be honored at the annual Alumni Awards Recognition Program on Friday, September 28, at 6:00 PM in the Howard L. Schrott Center for the Arts, part of Homecoming Weekend festivities.

This year’s recipients are:

  • Butler Medal: John B. Dunn ’77
  • Butler Service Medal: Jeanne Hawkins VanTyle ’74 MS ’80
  • Joseph Irwin Sweeney Award: Kyle S. Delaney ’03
  • Hilton Ultimus Brown Award: Dr. Adam B. Hill ’03
  • Robert Todd Duncan Award: Hoagland C.  Elliott ’57
  • Katharine Merrill Graydon Award: Julie Russell Dilts ’92
  • Mortar Award: Jean McAnulty Smith '65
  • Foundation Award: John MBA '04 and Jordanna Perry MBA '03

Registration for the awards ceremony and all Homecoming activities can be made online.


THE BUTLER MEDAL: John B. Dunn ’77

John Dunn grew up in Speedway, Indiana, and attended Butler on a full-ride basketball scholarship. He majored in business, played varsity basketball and baseball, and was a member of Lambda Chi Alpha fraternity. In 2004, he Dunnwas inducted into the Butler University Athletics Hall of Fame.

After graduating in 1977, he went to work for Cummins Engine Company in Columbus, Indiana, where he worked his way up from foreman on the main engine assembly line to owner of the Cummins distributor Cummins Rocky Mountain in Denver, Colorado. He sold the business and retired in 2001.

Dunn has been a long-time supporter of Butler University. He served on the Butler University Board of Trustees for 14 years, chairing a number of committees and two successful capital campaigns, ButlerRising and the Hinkle Campaign. He also served as Board Chair for three years. He was elevated to Chairman Emeritus status by the Board in 2016.

Dunn and his wife of 41 years, Kathryn (Kathy) Wilkie Dunn '79, whom he met at Butler, are members of the Cornerstone Society (lifetime giving of $1 million or more) and the Bulldog Club.  They have also supported the Campus Crusade for Christ organization for years on the Butler campus.  The Dunns also have established a scholarship fund for Speedway High School graduates attending Butler University. John attributes much of his success to Butler University and the invaluable lessons, friendships and service opportunities Butler has afforded him.

The Dunns have three adult children, John, Alisyn, and Patrick. John and Alisyn are both Butler graduates.

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

 

THE BUTLER SERVICE MEDAL: Jeanne Hawkins VanTyle ’74 MS ’80

VanTyleDr. Jeanne Hawkins VanTyle is Professor Emerita of Pharmacy Practice at Butler’s College of Pharmacy and Health Sciences. She began her professional career in a joint appointment with Butler and St. Vincent Hospital before moving into a full-time academic position in 1981.

Her teaching areas have included pharmacokinetics, therapeutics, clinical assessment, and women’s health issues. She has taught in the Pharmacy, Physician Assistant, and Health Sciences programs. In addition to teaching, she served as the Director of the Learning Resource Center and as Interim Department Chair for Pharmacy Practice. 

Van Tyle served as Chair of the Assessment, Curriculum, Academic Affairs, and Honors committees in the College of Pharmacy and Health Sciences. In addition, she was elected as the College’s Faculty Senator, and was the long-standing advisor to Lambda Kappa Sigma, the professional fraternity for Women in Pharmacy.

She was faculty advisor for Butler University Community Outreach Pharmacy and the Academy of Students of the American Pharmacists Association. She was Chair of the Faculty Senate, Vice Chair of the Faculty Assembly, Co-Chair of the Gender Equity Commission, and member of the Sesquicentennial Planning Committee. In recognition of her service, she was awarded Butler’s Woman of Distinction (Faculty) Award in 2011, and the Distinguished Faculty Award for Service and Leadership in 2015.

Van Tyle earned a BS in Pharmacy and MS in Hospital Pharmacy from Butler’s College of Pharmacy and Health Sciences in 1974 and 1980, respectively. She earned a PharmD from Mercer University and completed a postdoctoral fellowship in pharmacokinetics at the State University of New York in Buffalo. Her husband, Dr. Kent Van Tyle ’67 (COPHS), is Professor Emeritus, Pharmaceutical Sciences at Butler. They have two daughters, Rachel and Emily ’13 (LAS).

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

 

THE JOSEPH IRWIN SWEENEY ALUMNI SERVICE AWARD: Kyle S. Delaney ’03

Kyle Delaney is Executive Director of Strategic Initiatives and Marketing for the McCormick School of Engineering at Northwestern University, serving as the Dean’s Chief of Staff with oversight over marketing and communications,Delaney new strategic initiatives, events, and dean’s office operations.

In his current role he has led a comprehensive rebranding of Northwestern Engineering, articulating Northwestern’s “whole-brain engineering” approach and leading significant improvements in media coverage of engineering research at Northwestern. He has also driven the development of new collaborative initiatives, such as activities at the interface of art and engineering.

Kyle joined Northwestern in 2005 and previously held a number of marketing positions at the school. He is a 2003 graduate of Butler University, earning a degree in integrated communications. As an alumnus, he has served as Chicago Chapter co-president, president of the Butler Alumni Association Board of Directors and a member of the Board of Trustees.

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

 

THE HILTON ULTIMUS BROWN ALUMNI ACHIEVEMENT AWARD: Dr. Adam B. Hill ’03

HillDr. Adam B. Hill is a palliative care physician at Riley Hospital for Children. Dr. Hill is a proud Hoosier, a Butler Bulldog, and an Indiana University School of Medicine (IUSM) graduate. He completed his pediatric residency training at St. Louis University, a fellowship in pediatric hematology/oncology at Duke University, and a palliative medicine fellowship at IUSM.

His work in palliative care is focused on allowing patients to live the best quality of life possible, in the midst of chronic, life-limiting and/or life threatening medical conditions.

In addition, Hill is passionate about physician wellness/self-care, physician education, and international medical work. His international work has allowed him to work in Belize, Mexico, Kenya, Tanzania, and Australia over the past several years. As part of his work in palliative care, he serves as the medical director for a weeklong summer camp for children affected by childhood cancer.

A true embodiment of the Butler Way, Dr. Hill put others above self and courageously broke the silence regarding substance abuse issues within the medical field. Using his own struggles as the subject, Dr. Hill lectures and writes about the importance of addressing addiction and mental health challenges. His article titled, “Breaking the Stigma – A Physician’s Perspective on Self-Care and Recovery” was recently published in the New England Journal of Medicine.

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

 

THE ROBERT TODD DUNCAN ALUMNI ACHIEVEMENT AWARD: Hoagland C. Elliott ’57

ElliottHoagland Elliott spent the first half of his career in retail and the second half in healthcare. After graduating from Butler, he worked as a buyer for L. S. Ayres & Co., and a Manufacturer's Representative for C.R. Gibson Co. He was Owner and President of the Card & Gift Gallery retail chain, The Fireside Shop, The Candle Gallery, The Wooden Unicorn, and I-ICE Inc.

In 1997, after a short retirement, Elliott was asked to serve as Chief Financial Officer for the Raphael Health Center, a ministry outreach of Tabernacle Presbyterian Church that serves as a primary health center for the uninsured and underserved in the inner city of Indianapolis. The center, which started as a half-day health clinic on Saturday mornings, grew from 400 patient visits and a staff of volunteer doctors in the first year to 20,000 visits and a staff of 37 doctors when he retired as Chief Executive Officer in 2014.

Elliott had left Butler nine credits shy of graduation in 1957. In 2013, at the age of 78, he returned to Butler to finish his academic requirements by completing nine hours of German.

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

 

THE KATHARINE MERRILL GRAYDON ALUMNI SERVICE AWARD:  Julie Russell Dilts ’92

DiltsJulie Russell Dilts is the Director, Regulatory Compliance, for Roche Diagnostics, where she has worked since 2007. Her teams help Roche achieve key business goals while ensuring that its product communications comply with FDA regulations.

Prior to her current role at Roche, Julie was Senior Counsel and also served as the Indianapolis campus leader and the mentoring program chair for Roche’s Women’s Leadership Initiative. Previously, she practiced law in the business department of Barnes and Thornburg, LLP, an Indianapolis-based law firm from 1997-2007.

She earned a bachelor’s degree in computer science from Butler in 1992. After graduating from Duke University School of Law in 1997, she returned to Indianapolis and served on the Advisory Board for the Butler chapter of Kappa Alpha Theta from 1998-2007 (Chair, 2002-2004). 

Dilts joined the Butler University Alumni Association Board of Directors in 2007 and served as its President and representative on the university Board of Trustees from 2012 to 2014.

Her love for Butler started early, as her parents, Marla (Lantz) Dernay ’66 and the late Tim Russell ‘64, are Butler  graduates. The Butler legacy continued with her younger brother, Andrew Russell (PharmD ’08), and his wife, Danielle Haynes Russell (PharmD ’09). 

Dilts lives in Indianapolis with her husband, Clay, and their children, Asher and Lucinda.

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

 

MORTAR AWARD: Jean McAnulty Smith '65

SmithJean McAnulty Smith graduated from Butler with a Bachelor of Arts in Journalism and served as a newspaper reporter, gubernatorial Press Secretary, and Communications Director before spending 20 years as First Vice President and Director of Public Relations and Corporate Giving, First Chicago NBD Bank.

In 1999, she earned her Master of Divinity (magna cum laude) from Christian Theological Seminary and had a 15-year career in religion, mostly as Program Director, Religion Division, with the Lilly Endowment Inc. In 1998 she was ordained a priest in the Episcopal Church. She served several years at Saint Alban's, Indianapolis, retiring in 2013.   

Her service to Butler has included membership on the Board of Trustees (she is a trustee emerita), co-chair of a Presidential Search Committee, and chair of committees on Clowes Memorial Hall and Student Affairs. She has received The Butler Medal, Alumni Achievement Award, and Distinguished Professional Award from School of Journalism.

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

 

FOUNDATION AWARD: John MBA '04 and Jordanna Perry MBA '03

John D Perry is Managing Director - Family Wealth Director of Perry Wealth Management at Morgan Stanley. He is a member of Morgan Stanley's Chairman's Club, a distinction made for the top 2 percent of advisors within the firm. He is among the select few Financial Advisors to have earned Morgan Stanley's designation of Family Wealth Director, an industry leading designation that demonstrates that he met rigorous and high standards of delivering depth of experience and breadth of knowledge in wealth planning and investment advice to the most affluent clients.

John has been named in Barron's Top Advisor Rankings, honored as an IBJ 40 Under 40, Indy's Best and Brightest, and was featured in the magazine and website On Wall Street at number one on their Top 40 Under 40 list.

John is a graduate of the Kelly School of Business at Indiana University and earned his MBA from Butler University. He currently serves on the boards of the Goodwill Industries Foundation and Butler University’s Lacy School of Business. He also served as an advisory board member for the Butler Business Consulting Group and Student Managed Investment Fund.

John and his wife, Jordanna, have three children: Jack, Elly, and Gracy.

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
mallan@butler.edu
317-940-9822

 

 

People

Nine Alumni To Be Honored

The annual Alumni Awards Recognition Program will take place as part of Homecoming Weekend.

Aug 23 2018 Read more
AcademicsPeople

Identify, Visualize, Make it Happen

BY

PUBLISHED ON May 07 2018

Associate Professor of Pharmacy Dennis Gardner either had luck on his side throughout his career or he is a purebred innovator. Both he and Associate Dean for Clinical Education and External Affiliations Julie Koehler believe it’s a mix of both.

“Dennis is a starter,” Koehler said. “He loves the opportunity to be involved in the establishment of new things.”  

Gardner elaborated and said, “I’m able to identify, visualize, and then make something happen. I like that challenge of development.”

The notion of being in the right place at the right time and starting new things is demonstrated throughout Gardner’s career. Before working at Butler he was one of the initial clinical faculty at Auburn University. In the 1970s, after leaving Auburn, Gardner joined Butler with a joint appointment with St. Vincent Hospital. During this time, he also helped establish Butler’s first experiential program in the fall of 1978 to meet the American Association of Colleges of Pharmacy’s requirements.

After establishing the program, Gardner joined St. Vincent Stress Center, where he managed the computerization of the pharmacy, which was the first St. Vincent facility to get one. After St. Vincent, Gardner worked at IU Hospital Pharmacy Department at Riley Hospital for Children and in the pharmacy industry at Novartis Oncology for a few years.

Gardner explained that through all these experiences he stayed connected to Butler by providing student experiences throughout the hospital. He lost touch with students a bit while working with Novartis. Although this position was challenging, Gardner discovered his heart was truly that of a clinician and a teacher.

Koehler explains the stars must have aligned because at the same time of Gardner’s realization, Butler was in search for a pharmacy faculty position that would have a joint appointment at Butler in the classroom and at Community Health Network at as a clinician. Gardner was hired into his current role in 2004 and neither he nor Koehler have looked back.  

“Dennis has been a valuable preceptor for us for many years,” Koehler said. “He’s really looked to as a leader in the field of pharmacy practice and to that, he’s a great role model for our students, for the residents who train with him, and for the junior faculty who are just getting started in practice who don’t have as many years under their belt.”

Kacey Carroll, Assistant Professor of Pharmacy Practice at Butler and Ambulatory Care Pharmacist, is just one example of a student who has felt the impact Gardner has made. She worked with Gardner during her first year of residency and explained that Gardner taught her, by example, how to be a compassionate care giver, educator, and person.

“There are very few pharmacists that I have worked with that care as much as Dennis does and can handle the stressors of the job with grace and without complaint,” Carroll said. “He made coming to work an enjoyable experience and I worked harder knowing he was invested in me as a person and as a learner.”

Gardner’s work in recent years at Community Health Network has helped Community expand their pediatric practice within the pediatric and neo-natal intensive care units and form a partnership with Riley Hospital for Children.

Koehler best describes the impact Dennis has had on Butler and the local health care providers with a quote from author Nelson Henderson: “The purpose of life is plant trees under whose shade we do not expect to sit.”

“If you look at Dennis’ career, he’s done that for us, he’s planted an awful lot of trees,” Koehler said. “There will be a lot of shade from which we can benefit in future years.”

In retirement, Gardner plans to spend more time with his sons Geoffrey, John, and grandchildren, spend time with his wife, Leslie, who is also retiring, travel, and become more active in his church and choirs.

If Butler has opportunities in the future for him, Gardner said he’ll be happy to come back. So Gardner may be retiring as a professor from Butler and as a clinician, but he’s far from retiring his sense of tackling new things. You can rest assured that whatever Gardner tackles in retirement, he’ll probably be a trailblazer.

 

Media contact:
Krisy Force
kforce@butler.edu
317-940-6842

AcademicsPeople

Identify, Visualize, Make it Happen

That's the mantra of retiring COPHS faculty member Dennis Gardner.

May 07 2018 Read more
Life Lessons

Life Lessons Found in Philanthropy

Patricia Pickett ’82 APR

from Spring 2018

With less than a decade of professional work experience under his belt, Matt Lally ’10 has ventured into territory many might postpone until closer to retirement. He’s the Founder of a nonprofit dedicated to bettering educational outcomes for at-risk youngsters; in addition, he’s funded a global effort to create a sustainable food source. Yet it’s clear his youthful enthusiasm is paying off for those individuals and communities in the crosshairs of his altruistic dreams.Matt Lally ’10

While he is optimistic about his efforts, he is also in touch with the realities of running a not-for-profit and a start-up business.

As Nielsen’s Associate Director of Growth and Strategy, Lally refers to himself as a market research consultant by day and nonprofit volunteer evenings and weekends. “Philanthropic work has always been important—it’s a value instilled from an early age,” he said. “My father ran his own charity for a decade (saving outcast dormitory furniture from landfills and delivering to Appalachia, the Caribbean, and Central America). I’ve always had exposure and interest in philanthropic activities.”

Networking led to meeting other young professionals with similar aspirations. One such acquaintance was exploring how he could have an impact on educational systems. The two were shocked at the statistic that one out of every eight students misses a month of school per school year. In 2012, when Chicago was the focus of national attention with high school graduation rates hovering around 50 percent, the duo began researching the issue—speaking with educators, administrators, and those with experience with existing programs and their shortcomings. “I believe education is the foundation and background for a successful life,” he said. “It was an area in which I wanted influence.”

Ugandan ParticipantsThrough research, they narrowed their focus to an approach that had little or no attention: A partnership geared toward elementary school parents that they named, “Goods for Grades.” In 2014, they attained their 501c3 and launched the inaugural program in 2015 with one school on Chicago’s southside. There, regular attendance (and later they added good behavior) results in rewards to the parents of actual goods or open-ended opportunities like a gift card to a restaurant or for purchasing clothes.

As happens through altruistic efforts, he’s learned more than he’s given over the course of three years. What he found was that the lackluster attendance of children was not because it was inconvenient to get them to school or that parents didn’t believe school was important.

“For some of them, it’s a matter of ‘I have to be at work at 6:00 a.m., so I rely on an older child to get them to school.’ We have to take into account all the different circumstances and then what would it take to place importance on overcoming that barrier,” he said. “We have learned a lot—most importantly, understanding the problem from their perspective. No one wants someone from the outside telling them how to raise their kids.”

As if one such effort wasn’t enough, Lally more recently became an investor in a sustainable chicken farm in Uganda. The relationship formed as he sat on the Chicago board of Accumen, “a global community dedicated to changing the way the world tackles poverty” by employing business practice and models and changing the traditional charity approach to something more sustainable. A business plan, cost analysis, and proforma led to Lally providing them with capital. 

Chicken Coup“The chicken farm is a supply/demand opportunity for eggs. At the beginning of 2015, five families were selected to participate to be the caregivers and owners of the project,” he said. “It’s been a tremendous success. They’ve followed their revenue forecast and already payed back the loan. Structuring it as a loan—versus a charitable donation—brings a greater sense of responsibility.”

These sorts of bold endeavors take a little chutzpah, and Lally credits his days at Butler with building that trait. “Something that has always stuck with me that I learned at Butler: It never hurts to ask. That can play out in a lot of different ways, but it’s a mentality. If there’s something that you want, the worst that can happen is you get a ‘no.’ Being vocal about what you want is going to have a positive impact. Also, if you have a real passion, you need to share that with as many people as you can.” 

 

To learn more about these respective projects and how to support them, visit GoodsForGrades.org or gofundme.com/emmy039s-empathy.

Life Lessons
ThanksPeopleCampus

Life Lessons Found in Philanthropy

Market research consultant by day—nonprofit volunteer by night. 

by Patricia Pickett ’82 APR

from Spring 2018

Read more

Meet the Class of 2022: Ben Varner

Ben Varner
Major: Engineering Dual Degree Program
Hometown: Metamora, Michigan
High School: Oxford High School

"What I'm looking forward to the most in my time at Butler is meeting new people and getting the opportunity to live and hopefuly, work in Indianapolis."

 


 

Ben Varner's dad took him to a local go-kart track when he was 7. That started his competitive fires.

And he’s counting on Butler University to keep them going.

For the past 11 years, Ben has been competing in go-kart racing—and winning. He has more than 60 career wins and a list of achievements that include: 2011 Great Lakes Sprint Series Season Champion; 2016 East Lansing Kart Track Season Champion; 5th Place US Pro Kart Series Season Championship; and WKA Manufacturers cup win.

In 2017, after 10 years of go-kart racing, Ben got enough funding to take a step up into Formula cars. The next step, he hopes, will be IndyCar. His dream is to win the Indianapolis 500.

Achieving that dream, though, requires finding financing, he said. In the complicated and expensive world of auto racing, it can take mid-six-figure investments just to get started.

"You could be the best driver in the country and not have any financial backing and you wouldn't be able to get anywhere," he said.

So while he works toward that, Ben also has a backup plan: He wants to be an IndyCar engineer. To achieve that goal, he chose Butler's Engineering Dual Degree Program (EDDP), figuring that attending school within seven miles of the Indianapolis Motor Speedway was a smart strategy.

“We were at the Indy 500 a few years ago, and my dad told me about Butler,” he said. “We went and visited during the 500 weekend. I really liked the campus, and we talked to Jessica McCormick (Academic Program Coordinator) about the engineering program. I knew it would be a really good fit.”

Butler’s 5-year Engineering Dual Degree Program integrates curriculum from Butler University and Purdue University. Students enroll at both universities, and courses are taught on Butler’s campus during the first three years. In the final two years, courses are held at Butler and at Indiana University-Purdue University Indianapolis.

Ben will be one of 1,357 first-year students in Butler’s Class of 2022, the University’s largest class ever. As a Michigander, he’ll be in good company on campus–76 other new Bulldogs are also from the state. Since 2015, applications for admission by Michigan high schoolers have increased by more than 80 percent.

Last May, Varner shadowed the engineers at Rahal Letterman Lanigan Racing, and he hopes to work with them again.

While he's looking forward to starting his college career, he also appreciates what he's achieved so far.

"It's been a ride, that's for sure," he said.

Ben Varner
Welcome WeekStudent LifePeople

Meet the Class of 2022: Ben Varner

 Originally from Michigan, Ben is a competitive Forumal car racer who is majoring in Engineering.

What's It Like To Find a Roommate

By Malachi White '20

One of the most stressful and exciting aspects of going into your first year of college is who your roommate is going to be. Will I like them? Will they like me? What if they stay up all night, or aren’t very clean? What if they like to go to bed early and are super clean?

Having a random roommate can be a fabulous experience because you may become best friends. However, if your random match seems a bit too random, Butler University opens a window of time to switch roommates or switch dorms.

Another option other than going random is to use Facebook as a resource to find a compatible roommate(s). When accepted into Butler, students are added to a group on Facebook with the rest of their class. Many students use Facebook to meet and chat with potential roommates instead of getting paired. By selecting their own roommate, some find peace of mind because the decision is in their hands rather than the school’s.

My Experience

My first year experience was unique because I lived in Fairview House during its inaugural year. I had six pod mates and all of them were randomly assigned except one, Sean, who I met on Facebook. Moving from high school to college, from home to a dorm, came with a lot of change for everyone. The year was filled with a lot of laughs and some of your typical first-year drama. Maybe we were always destined to be friends or maybe it was the circumstances of first year, but of my six roommates, I found two of my very best friends, Sean who I met on Facebook and Eric, who I will live with again next year.  

Although we are very different, Sean and I can tell each other almost anything. He’s a supportive friend who has stood by me through thick and thin. When recruitment during Greek rush did not work out in my favor, Sean never turned his back on me even when he did receive a bid/invitation to join his now fraternity. I went to all his philanthropy events that I could fit into my schedule, and he came to as many of choral concerts as he could. We even had a near death experience when going to visit his best friend at Notre Dame where we slid on the road one snowy night!

Although Eric was randomly assigned to me my first year on campus, we realized pretty quickly that we had a lot in common. One of those similarities is that we are both very picky eaters. I can’t tell you how many times we took field trips to new local restaurants around Indianapolis to escape having to eat in the dining hall every day. I’ve gone back home with him and his girlfriend for Fall Break and finally had the opportunity to explore Chicago. Sure things aren’t always perfect...I can’t even count the number of times we’ve argued, but at the end of the day I know that Eric always has my back and vice versa.

No Perfect Formula

Like my own experience, there is no perfect formula when it comes to finding roommates. You may find two best friends, or probably just as likely, you may not. Stories of awful roommates are told all the time, but so are the stories of roommates who end up being groomsmen and bridesmaids. However, no matter the outcome, Butler provides a community for everyone to be a part of. College is a time for growth and learning, new experiences, and new people. So be optimistic about your first year at Butler and the people you will be surrounded by, because you can definitely create some of your fondest memories together.

 

 

Roommates
Student LifePeople

What's It Like To Find a Roommate

​One of the most stressful and exciting aspects of going into your first year of college is who your roommate is going to be.

Julian
AcademicsStudent LifePeople

Julian Wyllie '16 Named to Politico Journalism Institute

BY

PUBLISHED ON Mar 20 2018

Julian Wyllie '16, a Lacy School of Business graduate and former editor of The Butler Collegian, has been named to the 2018 class of the Politico Journalism Institute (PJI), an educational initiative supporting diversity in Washington area newsrooms.

PJI, which will be held May 29 to June 9, will offer 13 university students intensive, hands-on training in government and political reporting. Programming includes interactive sessions, panels with industry leaders, mentoring, and an opportunity for students to have their work published by Politico.

The PJI Class of 2018 also includes students from Yale, University of Southern California, and Georgetown. Two of the students will be selected at the end of the program for a three-month residency in the Politico newsroom where they will write, edit, and produce content.

All costs for PJI participants, including room, board, and transportation, are provided by Politico. Students split time between American University in Washington, D.C., and Politico headquarters in Arlington, Virginia.

"We're thrilled to welcome this exceptional new class of PJI students," said Politico Editor Carrie Budoff Brown. "Our class this year reflects the racial, geographic, and socioeconomic diversity that Politico is committed to nurturing. Our newsroom is looking forward to mentoring these talented young journalists, who will be at the forefront of tomorrow's political news landscape." 

Since graduating, Wyllie’s career has included stops at Governing magazine and The Chronicle of Higher Education.

"My time in Washington has been more than amazing so far," Wyllie said. "Being associated with anything as big as Politico is a great thing. But the best part about this program is that it gives me the chance to meet other hard-working young writers, who are all going through the struggles of trying to make it. Being around them feeds my desire to keep pushing myself and not let up. Overall, the success I've had is a direct result of skills I gained while attending Butler, where at The Collegian I stumbled on my life's passion."

 

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

Julian
AcademicsStudent LifePeople

Julian Wyllie '16 Named to Politico Journalism Institute

Program offers hands-on training in government and political reporting.

Mar 20 2018 Read more

The Highlight of My Summer...

Travis Ryan, Professor and Chair of the Biological Sciences

"The highlight of my summer was the first two weeks after graduation! My colleague Phil Villani and I led a class to Panama for an intensive field ecology course. We teach this course every other summer and it is always a real thrill to take a group of students to the tropics – most of them for the first time. Over the course of two weeks we saw red-eyed tree frogs, sloths, howler monkeys, white throated capuchin monkeys, dozens and dozens of bird species, and more shades of green than most people can imagine. The class hiked an island in the middle of the Panama Canal, toured a rain forest canopy from a crane, and visited a facility that serves as a refuge for several frog species on the brink of extinction. In addition to meeting with scientists studying the endless diversity of tropical biodiversity, we also toured a traditional slash-and-burn farm, visited with an indigenous tribe of Amerindians, and learned about sustainable permaculture on a cacao plantation. The class ended the two-week whirlwind tour of Panama exhausted, but with deeper understanding of tropical biodiversity and an appreciation of different ways to live off of and with the land. And, we are already planning the trip for 2020!"

 

Francis Mihm, Class of 2020, Dance Arts Administration

"The highlight of my summer was my trip through Eastern Europe with Butler’s dance department. The trip began in Warsaw Poland and continued on to Poznan, Krakow, Bratislava, Vienna, Salzburg, and Prague. The semester before I left for the trip the dance department began rehearsals to take with us as a mini showcase to present to the other dance schools that we visited. The showcase was a combination of student and faculty choreography and represented the diversity and versatility of our program.

Once we arrived in Europe we immediately got to work by taking classes with the National Ballet School of Poland and continuing rehearsals for our showcase. However, it wasn’t all dance all the time. We were able to do a lot of sight-seeing including visiting the home of Mozart and the famous salt mines in Salzburg as well as many of the great old palaces and museums of Poland and Europe. Overall, the trip was an incredible experience and I would strongly suggest it to any future dance students coming to Butler. Butler creates so many options for students to travel and study abroad that offer such rich experiences. It has changed my life and hope other students take advantage of that opportunity."

 

Ryan Rogers, Assistant Professor of Creative Media and Entertainment

"The highlight of my summer was traveling to Prague to present a research paper at the annual conference of the International Communication Association. I had the opportunity to chat with other researchers and see some exciting work in the field as well as share my work - ‘The Impact of Presenting Physiological Data During Sporting Events on Audiences' Entertainment.’ Outside of the conference, I got to enjoy the culture, especially the beer gardens like Stalin (the former site of a huge monument to Joseph Stalin) and Letna. After the conference, I left the Czech Republic to spend some time in Lake Bled, Slovenia where I hiked to Mala Osojnica and rowed a boat to the Pilgrimage Church of the Assumption of Mary at the center of the lake. Then I took a bus to Budapest, Hungary where I ate some amazing food like Langos and Nokedli. I also spent some time in the ruins bar, Szimpla Kert."

 

Nate Fowler, Class of 2019, Mechanical Engineering and Economics

"In addition to my two summer classes and daily basketball workouts, a highlight of my summer was the opportunity to intern at RENU Property Management in Carmel, Indiana. The benefits of a Mechanical Engineering and Economics double major were revealed to me this summer through my job responsibilities. While the internship was not directly correlated with my Mechanical Engineering coursework, being an Acquisition Analyst at RENU utilized my analytical and critical thinking skills, as well as knowledge attained from the Economic courses I completed at Butler. My daily work at RENU consisted of using their proprietary analytics software to search and underwrite single family residential properties in markets such as Las Vegas, Charleston, Milwaukee, Minneapolis, and Indianapolis. I was fortunate to share the work experience with current Butler student-athletes, Will Marty and Joey Lindstrom throughout the summer as well. I am incredibly thankful for the experience and opportunity Tom Eggleston, Traves Bonwell, and everyone else at RENU gave me this summer!"

 

Lauren Tibbets, Class of 2019, Actuarial Science

"The highlight of my summer was having the opportunity to fully embrace my sport (golf) before entering my last year as a collegiate student-athlete. I spent most of my time around golf through my part-time jobs in the golf industry and my practice time. Through working part-time, I was able to practice more than last summer, and it led to some success – I won the Indiana Women’s Open and Indiana Women’s Match Play tournaments. I also got the chance to play in the Monday qualifier for an LPGA tournament held in Speedway, IN. The support I received throughout the whole summer topped off my experience. My dad caddied for me in every tournament; my mom and grandparents attended all of them; a few members of my Butler golf family were able to watch my final holes in the State Open. The success and support I experienced this summer have contributed to excitement and confidence that I am ready to carry into our season as Butler golf starts competing in September!"

 

Ena Shelley, Dean of College of Education

"This summer was one filled with new beginnings!  The COE had been located in Jordan Hall for 35 years so packing and purging were hurdles that we all jumped together.  Working with Colin Moore and his team to finish the details in our new space on South Campus was one of the best experiences of my 36 years at Butler.  On August 6 the moving trucks arrived and the process began. I then left the site with many of my colleagues for the opening of new second Butler Lab School at IPS #55.  It is named the Eliza Blaker School and she happened to be the founder of the COE.  The past, the present, and the future have all been connected for me in a summer that I will always treasure."

 

 

Kayla Long, Class of 2019, Critical Communication and Media Studies + Spanish Majors

"The highlight of my summer was my participation in the Indy Summer Experience (ISE) program. Although I have spent my entire college career at Butler University, I was still unfamiliar with city. ISE provided the opportunity to learn more about Indianapolis and capitalize on the remaining time in my undergraduate experience. Through the program this summer, I spent my Wednesdays networking with Butler University alumni and traveling to amazing sites around Indy such as the Indianapolis Motor Speedway and the back rooms of The Children’s Museum (I touched a real dinosaur skull!). I not only learned more about what Indy has to offer but I also learned more about myself. With meeting alumni and visiting incredible professional spaces like Statwax/BLASTmedia and The Speak Easy Downtown, I have been able to envision my future as a young professional. ISE 2018 has opened my eyes to see Indianapolis as a hub of different environments, people, and remarkable spaces."

Francis Mihm
Welcome WeekPeople

The Highlight of My Summer...

From Panama to Poland, these Butler students and faculty had an amazing summer doing what they love.

Meet the Class of 2022: Max Cordoba

When incoming first-year Theatre and Math major Max Cordoba flew to Los Angeles in February to attend the National Unified Auditions—a one-stop shop for high school seniors to audition for multiple universities—he had never even heard of Butler University. The Neward, California native’s intention was to audition for mainly private schools that had a special musical theatre degree, explore those options, and then pick whichever school felt right, offered the best financial aid, and allowed him to learn more about not only the fine arts, but math as well.

He spotted Butler’s name and decided it was in his best interest to at least do one more session—it was additional practice, after all.

In most auditions, Cordoba was asked to perform two monologues and two songs. In the audition with Butler, Professor of Theatre William Fisher asked Cordoba to do one of each to start. Cordoba chose to sing Beautiful City from the Broadway production Godspell. For his monologue, he chose to read an excerpt as Hank from Marvin’s Room—a piece he believed would put him “over the top for the audition.”

After his monologue, Fisher and Cordoba made an instant connection over Marvin’s Room.

"I almost thought my audition with Butler was going to be a practice session, but after my talk with Professor William Fisher, I thought this could be the right school,” Cordoba said.

Cordoba explained to Fisher that he is a big theatre lover, but he wanted to also major in something a little more practical.

“I didn’t want to put all my eggs in one basket, and I wanted to ensure I had math as a back-up since a major in theatre isn’t foolproof,” Cordoba said. “I really needed a school that understood that about me.”

Most schools Cordoba had talked to previously in the day had told him that pursuing math with a Bachelor of Fine Arts (BFA) was not a possibility. Fisher explained that at Butler it’s not a BFA, but rather a Bachelor of Arts, which offers more flexibility, as well as the option to incorporate his passion for math.

“He really convinced me to at least explore more,” Cordoba said, “Even though it’s really far away, Butler seemed open to my diverse interests.”

In April, Cordoba—joined by his grandfather—started the on-campus college visit journey,  exploring the various schools he was interested in—including Butler. While on campus, Cordoba had the opportunity to speak with professors, including Chair of the Theatre Department, Diane Timmerman. He also sat in on an improv class.

“The students were making me laugh. Just from that show alone, I saw what I loved about theatre,” he said. “The students were super friendly and amiable, and they love to act and perform.” When he left for his trip, he was excited about all the schools he was about to explore. After the trip, though, he realized that when he was making his rounds, he always found at least one thing he didn’t like—except for when he was at Butler.

“What really set it in stone for me for Butler was that it was a smaller school than most I was looking at, but it had a big school feel,” Cordoba said.

Cordoba arrived on campus August 12, and feels just as excited as nervous—as most students are their first year. Cordoba’s distance from his friends and family definitely makes it harder, especially when he was so involved with various theatre and chorus groups for the past eight years.

Despite the nervousness of new surroundings and being so far from home, Cordoba said he feels honored, “to go to a school that is super accepting and diverse.”

Max Cordoba
Welcome WeekArts & CultureStudent LifePeople

Meet the Class of 2022: Max Cordoba

What brought Max from California to Indiana was Butler Theatre's faculty and flexibility. 

#LoveIndy: 6 Questions for Chris Gahl

By Shannon Rostin '18

Butler students find a home in Indianapolis as soon as they arrive on campus. Exploring Indy and all it has to offer helps to shape a student's experience from weekend adventures to finding their favorite hidden gems in the city. Butler Grad and Trustee Chris Gahl ’00 serves as Senior VP of Marketing and Communications for Visit Indy and shared some of the perks of living and studying in Indianapolis.

For more information on Indianapolis and everything happening throughout the city, check out Visit Indy

 

How do you think being located in Indianapolis affects Butler students or shapes their college experience?

The ability to score meaningful internships is one of many ways Indy helps shape—and benefits from—Butler students. This aligns with Butler’s “Indianapolis Community Requirement,” a core-curriculum ensuring students get out of the classroom and into the community to learn.  For instance, collegiate sports are governed in Indy at the NCAA, an organization that is constantly looking for talented marketing interns.  Pharmaceutical giant Eli Lilly’s international headquarters are here, regularly employing Butler business interns.  

 

What are some highlights that Butler students have access to?

Each year, Indy host more than 1,000 major music concerts, sporting events, festivals, and cultural events, allowing Butler students the ability to soak in the sights and sounds, all within minutes of campus. 

 

What is something (or a few things) you would recommend students do in Indianapolis before they graduate?

You can kayak the White River, a hidden jewel running more than 300 miles, with portions adjacent to Butler’s campus.  During the summer, it’s fun to watch a concert at The Lawn, an amphitheater in downtown Indy.  I’ve seen The Avett Brothers, Arcade Fire, and The Black Keys.  

 

What attracts students and young professionals to Indy?

Students and young professionals continue to gravitate to Indy’s big city amenities with the affordability of a smaller city. Indy has arrived, much like Butler, onto the national stage as a vibrant world class city. Travel & Leisure named Indy one of only “50 Best Places in the World to Travel" in 2017, right next to Honolulu, Hawaii and Cape Town, South Africa. 

 

What are some ways students can feel at home in or apart of the Indianapolis community?

Part of our DNA in Indy is hosting major sporting events. As part of this, we are in constant need for volunteers to help roll out the red carpet and welcome international visitors to Indy. We are always seeking ambassadors to give city tours, greet professional athletes, and donate time to staff information desks.  Volunteering for major sporting events—like an NCAA Men’s Final Four—helps the community all while providing an incredible networking opportunity.  

 

What makes Indy home to you?

Indy’s residents genuinely care about each other.  We are quick to smile and eager in our desire to help.  Servant leadership can be seen and felt daily, there’s even a name for it, “Hoosier Hospitality.” 

From Bearcat to Bulldog

by Elizabeth Duis ’20

I can barely hear my own applause as Clowes Memorial Hall erupts for the final bow. Somehow, I’m smiling, crying, and overwhelmed by everything that I’ve just seen all at once. As my parents guide me out the door and to our car, I find myself longing to stay. But I know that the two-hour car ride home will be filled with joy, laughter, and talk of what we’ve just seen.

The irony of this story is that I can’t even remember which musical I’m describing…or perhaps this accurately describes all of them. Being blessed with the ability to see professional, live theatre at such a young age has drastically influenced my life. And it all started at a single venue, at a single university.

Clowes Memorial Hall of Butler University: everything about the venue, from the grand lobby to the crisp red seats to the proscenium stage, was mesmerizing to me. I’m not sure if it was my naivety, curiosity, or just a gut feeling, but the place felt like home. I remember feeling like I had taken a palpable breath of fresh air whenever I entered the theatre. It was a feeling that I attempted to take home with me and recreate on the Milford High School stage. I wanted to make people feel how I had felt when the curtain fell, in awe of art that had unfolded before me.

Art brings people together. Often, it is an intangible force that inspires a sense of awe and, in this case, generates applause. It’s also the force that led me to Butler University, and thus, to my future.

I was a Milford High School Bearcat, small-town girl born and raised, with this innate desire for more than what surrounded me. By my senior year of high school, I felt like I had accomplished all of my goals and began searching for my next adventure.

Disclaimer, folks: the college search is hard. So much is thrown at you as an 18-year-old that it is confusing to know where to even begin. So, I made the logical decision and started with what I already knew: there was a private university in Indianapolis with a performance venue that I loved.

I knew I wanted be near a city, but I didn’t want to be in Chicago. I knew I wanted a major that allowed me to focus on art (specifically theatre), but I didn’t want to solely perform it. And I knew I wanted a much bigger feel than my 200-student high school, but I didn’t want to be lost in a sea of 40,000 other students. In other words, I was a basket of contradictions searching for my Goldilocks school that felt “just right.”

My first visit to Butler University was my first college visit, period. It was a beautiful, sunny day to walk around campus and learn about the university. I learned about the city of Indianapolis and Butler’s proximity to it. I learned about the Arts Administration program that allowed me to pursue the managerial side of the arts while still incorporating performing. And I learned about the faculty-to-student ratio that allowed a university of about 5,000 undergrads to get broken down into class of 20. Essentially, Butler fit the bill in every single category.

You know that feeling when you love the first thing you try, but you’re not sure if that’s because you actually love it or because you have no frame of reference? That’s how I felt. I needed reassurance. Well, allow me to assure you, I attended several college visits after that one, and nothing compared to the feeling of home I got while being on Butler’s campus.

Coming to Butler was truly one of the best decisions I have ever made. It was a decision that led me to my best friends, my proudest moments, and some of my dearest memories. Since coming to Butler, I have performed in several college-level productions, added in an entirely new course of study (Strategic Communication) to my degree track, and got engaged to my best friend, right on the steps of the bell tower. I have grown more as a person in these two years than I ever had before. You see, Butler does that to you. It challenges you, strengthens you, roots for you, paves a way for you, and welcomes you home.

Art put Butler on the map for me. It was a seed that was planted in me at a young age that came into full bloom this last semester when I worked a very special internship at, you may have guessed it, Clowes Memorial Hall. During my time there, I was able to give people that exhilarating feeling I had felt during every curtain call. In fact, it’s the same feeling I would like to dedicate my career to giving other people.

I’m so excited for that day when I walk across the stage in historic Hinkle Fieldhouse and set out to make my mark on the world, but for now, I still have work to do here. Because I’m no longer a Bearcat…I’m a Bulldog.

Elizabeth Duis

From Bearcat to Bulldog

by Elizabeth Duis ’20
Student LifePeople

Pictures Worth a Thousand Words

BY

PUBLISHED ON Feb 20 2018

By Jackson Borman '20

From the time that he got his first video camera, Thulani Smith ’20 has been documenting his life through the lens.

“I like to take pictures and reminisce instantly," he said. "My dad and I have traveled the world for my entire childhood, and I liked being able to go there and take a picture and then remember everything about each place.”

As a middle-schooler, Smith captured everything from family trips to everyday life. His specialty at the time was creating basketball trick shot videos of his brother and his friends shooting balls into trashcans in the front yard.

“We thought it was great," he said, "and then my dad said to me, ‘Thulani, are you ever going to film anything besides this?’ and I remember responding to him, ‘Dad, there is nothing more than trick-shot videos!’”

But Smith started experimenting and learning how to create visual effects, and he became more interested in the full potential that filmmaking had. Now, as a digital media production major at Butler, he already is getting the experience he needs to grow in his craft.

Smith currently posts his work on his Facebook, YouTube, and Instagram account is @Marshallmoviemaker.

Starting in his first year at Butler, Smith had Professor Farhad Anwarzai for his First-Year Seminar class called "The Coming of Age Story." Smith said that Anwarzai’s willingness to allow students to learn in ways that they enjoyed was a great start to his college experience.

“For our final project, he said just to do something creative, so I made a film,” Smith said. “He has really been a huge help in allowing me to grow in classes that I have been taking. Being able to take his class and have that relationship with him has been huge because it has restored my understanding of how I want to do college.”

Anwarzai said he was blown away with Smith’s work.

“I thought that the project was not only very well made and very well shot and edited, but it was very mature for a freshman to make,” Anwarzai said. “He’s good at telling these big stories but telling them through the lens of students. That’s one of the things that stands out in my mind when I think of Thulani. It was a spectacular job.”

In Smith's sophomore year, Anwarzai ended up as his professor for the Global and Historical Studies course "China and the Islamic Middle East." This time, he and Smith worked together to write a short film for the students’ final project.

“Having not seen a lot of faculty and student collaboration in the humanities, I wanted to test that, and I thought Thulani would be the perfect person to work with,” Anwarzai said. “In the end, he and the other students created a marvelous work. It added a great layer of depth to the conditions we deal with today.”

The 20-minute film, which was made in nine days with no budget, dealt with the preconceived notions that many have about China and the Middle East.

Last summer, Smith had an internship with a company called Train918 that was started by 2016 Butler graduates Tim Valentine and Joshua Gaal. The pair started the company in their senior year at Butler and now create commercials and promotional videos for groups like Downtown Indy Inc. and Indiana University.

“Working with them was a blast because I was able to grow with them while I was still growing,” Smith said. “They had almost the same experiences that I had as far as being a creative on Butler’s campus so they could give me some insight.”

Smith said that Valentine and Gaal allowed him to take a larger role in the company than a typical intern would, and he was able to take control of certain projects. For example, Smith took photos at a fashion shoot over the summer, just a month into the internship.

“It gave me the opportunity to have the camera in my hands, to shoot everything and to come up with concepts, edit it, and call it my own,” Smith said.

In between class projects and internships, Smith still works on projects of his own. He has created video compilations of Butler Basketball games. This winter, Smith went on a trip to Northern Ireland where he took more photos of the Irish landscape and worked on one of his projects. Over the past few months, Smith has also been working on what he calls "The Portrait Project," a series of photos and short videos of a subject that are compiled into a short, portrait-style video.

This spring Smith will be going abroad once again, this time through the College of Communication's trip to Germany.

Through his work, both on his own and at Butler, Smith hopes that he will be able to grow as a filmmaker and one day be able to create on a higher level.

“I think over the next couple of months what I really want to do is just create more,” Smith said. “I’ve done [a lot of projects], but I want to be able to have examples of my best work so that I can point people to that.”

 

Photo via Thulani Smith

Student LifePeople

Pictures Worth a Thousand Words

Sophomore Thulani Smith follows his passion for filmmaking.

Feb 20 2018 Read more
AcademicsPeople

Brooke Barnett Named New Dean of CCOM

BY Marc Allan

PUBLISHED ON Nov 15 2018

Brooke Barnett, a Professor and Associate Provost at Elon University who earned her master's and doctorate from Indiana University, will be the new Dean of Butler University's College of Communication (CCOM), Provost Kate Morris announced today.

Barnett will join Butler on June 1, 2019. She replaces Jay Howard, who has been serving as Acting Dean of CCOM and Dean of the College of Liberal Arts and Sciences since July 2017.

"Dr. Barnett will bring with her to Butler a wealth of experience as a teacher, scholar, and administrator," Morris said. "During her time as a faculty member at Elon University, she has been part of a strategic effort to grow a relatively small academic program into a signature school of communication. As an academic administrator, she developed and grew various academic programs, with a special emphasis on building a diverse and inclusive community.

"I believe that the combination of the excellent faculty and staff in CCOM and the experienced and engaged leadership Dr. Barnett will bring as Dean, our College of Communication is poised for a successful and exciting future."

Barnett, a Kentucky native, has taught in Elon's School of Communications since 2001 in subject areas that include Broadcast Journalism, Communication Research, Documentary Film, Freedom of Expression, Global Studies, Intellectual Property Law, Journalism and the Law (at Elon School of Law), Literary Journalism, Media and Culture, and Media Law and Ethics.

During her time at Elon, Barnett was awarded the School of Communications Distinguished Scholar award, was founding director of the Elon Program for Documentary Production, served as Faculty-in-Residence for the Elon London Centre, and served as chair of Elon’s faculty governing body.

She has been a member of the president’s senior staff since 2010 and has provided leadership for academics (five university-wide scholar programs, and national and international fellowships office) and inclusive excellence (diversity, and inclusion efforts, civic, global, and community engagement, education access programs, a lifelong learning program for community members). She has secured major and planned gifts, co-created two university centers and worked collaboratively to create two alumni groups.

Barnett said she is looking forward to joining Butler and leading CCOM.

"I'm excited about the different disciplines that are in CCOM," she said. "I think there are great opportunities for synergy across the areas and also continued honing of distinction within specific disciplines. CCOM faculty and staff are stellar and clearly focused on student learning and providing a meaningful student experience. The students I met on campus and the alumni featured in the Butler Magazine are testimonies to the strength of the College. I love the idea of Indianapolis as a backdrop for experiential learning and all the potential leverage points in CCOM within the College, across campus, and with alumni."

Barnett earned her Bachelor of Arts at Georgetown (Kentucky) College, where she majored in English and Communication Studies. She went on to get her Master of Arts in Journalism and doctorate in Mass Communication with concentration in Law and Visual Communication at IU-Bloomington. She earned a Diversity Management Certificate from the Cornell University School of Industrial and Labor Relations.

Barnett is a 2011 alumna of the HERS program for women in higher education leadership and a 2016 alumna from the Harvard Graduate School of Education, Institute for Educational Management program. This year she was elected to the board of the Association of American Colleges and Universities, a leading national higher education group with 1,400 member institutions.  

Barnett started her teaching career in the IU-Bloomington School of Journalism. She also has been a News Director, Reporter, and Host on WTIU, the public television station in Bloomington.

Because of the strong leadership Howard has provided the CCOM, Morris said, she is confident the College is ready for a strong transition.

"I am extremely grateful for the leadership Acting Dean Jay Howard has provided to CCOM," Morris said. "In addition to all the regular College operations, Dr. Howard led the CCOM through a structural reorganization and through review of both college level curriculum and college level policies. His leadership and the good work of the CCOM faculty and staff have positioned the college to move forward effectively and efficiently after Dean Brooke Barnett arrives next summer.”

 

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

AcademicsPeople

Brooke Barnett Named New Dean of CCOM

Brooke Barnett, Professor and Associate Provost at Elon University, will be the new Dean of CCOM.

Nov 15 2018 Read more
ThanksGivingPeople

Honor My Father: Jay Sandhu and his Gift to Butler

BY Marc Allan

PUBLISHED ON Aug 01 2018

Jay Sandhu '87 wanted to honor his father, Chain. So when the opportunity arose to name the garden terrace in Butler's new Lacy School of Business building for his father, he and his wife, Roop, said yes.

"The reason I am where I am is in no small part due to his hard work and guidance," said Sandhu, chair of Butler's Board of Trustees and CEO of NYX, an automotive supplier his father purchased in 1989, which has grown from 30 employees and $2 million in sales to 2,400 employees in four countries and nearly $600 million in sales. "He allowed me to come to Butler even after I said I wasn't going to be a doctor. He was my boss, mentor, father, and his hard work since the family emigrated from India is reason we live the life we do. He loves gardens, he loves business, so the garden terrace space seemed like a beautiful spot."

Sandhu, a Biology and Physics major at Butler, got his first look at the new building during a tour in June. He found himself "totally blown away" by what he saw—from the majestic atrium to the serenity of the view from the top-floor garden terrace. He expects the finished product, which is scheduled to open in fall 2019, to be transformative for business education at Butler, and he hopes to inspire others to contribute.

"It's not so much the number," he said. "As a trustee and chairman, obviously I'd like the number to be as big as possible, but I think it's more about having that connection with Butler, supporting Butler, to the extent that feels good. I know supporting Butler in this way has given me more happiness than I can describe. It feels good to support the school that I think so much of."

ThanksGivingPeople

Honor My Father: Jay Sandhu and his Gift to Butler

Jay Sandhu, and his wife, Roop, wanted to honor Jay’s father through a gift to the Lacy School of Business.

Aug 01 2018 Read more

A Bulldog Abroad

By Brittany Bluthardt '20

Only a few weeks after graduating from Butler University, one student will travel halfway across the world to serve in the Peace Corps in Malawi, an impoverished country in southeastern Africa. During her nearly two-and-a-half-year service, senior Bulldog Alex Gabor will work in the education sector and teach English to children. Although she’ll be far away from Butler University and her home in Wilmette, Illinois, Alex is excited for what life and service across the world has in the future; she thanks Butler for helping her along the way.

“I hope to form relationships with the people in my village that I will be living with,” she said. “Hopefully, I can gain their trust and respect because I feel like without that it’s hard to learn from someone.”

Alex hopes to become fluent in the village’s language and fully immerse herself in the culture. Her transition from Indianapolis to the small village will be a familiar change. Alex was born in the Philippines and lived there for nine years before traveling to the states; she’s used to moving around.

“Moving around is such a big part of me that I will be able to manage well compared to other people that haven’t had that experience,” she said. “So, I feel like it won’t be that bad, but I will definitely be homesick.”

Nearly four years ago, Alex didn’t know what she wanted to study or where she wanted to go. She stumbled upon Butler’s name and decided it was the one - she hadn’t even stepped foot on campus. After enrolling in an exploratory course, she sat in on an upper-level psychology class and discovered her passion for research. From then on, Alex threw herself into undergraduate research any chance she could.

“Being involved in research has given me such good experience, not only for my professional self, but for my personal self,” Alex said. “Butler has opened so many doors for me.”

Alex had experience in undergraduate research early in her college career which prepared her for future presentations across the country. Along with presenting at the Undergraduate Research Conference on Butler’s campus, Alex has traveled to Chicago, Milwaukee, Maryland, and, soon, San Francisco to share her knowledge.

“My research in psychology, I think, made me a really competitive applicant to serve in the Peace Corp.”

During her time at Butler, Alex took full advantage of the resources available to her on campus, from receiving resume help at the Internship and Career Services office to going to as many events, with free food, as possible. Along with taking courses for her two majors in psychology and Chinese and her minor in neuroscience, she was involved in Student Government Association, a sorority, volunteer work, and the Asian Culture Enthusiasts club. Alex kept herself busy and she wouldn’t have it any other way.

“When I leave Butler, I’ll miss seeing the same people,” she said. “I’ll miss being around the people. It’s the vibe, the energy. You know when you’re on campus, you know?”

 

Alex Gabor
CommencementPeopleCampus

A Bulldog Abroad

Senior graduate Alex Gabor will fully immerse herself in a new culture, far away from her second home on campus.

Alex Gabor

A Bulldog Abroad

By Brittany Bluthardt '20
Doug King
People

Doug King '73 Named 'Diplomat of the Defense'

BY

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
mallan@butler.edu
317-940-9822

Doug King
People

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
Atherton Union
GivingPeople

Board of Trustees Adds Four New Members

BY

PUBLISHED ON Jun 18 2018

Butler University’s Board of Trustees welcomed four new members during its annual board meeting in June.

Jeffrey A. Blade ’83, Nick Musial ’02, Stephen Sterrett, and Amy E. Wierenga ’01 were appointed. The new trustees began their appointments at board meetings that took place June 7 and 8 on Butler’s campus.

“We are excited to welcome our new trustees to the board," Chairman Jay Sandhu said. "We look forward to their combination of talent, varied experiences, insights, and enthusiasm for Butler. We know these four individuals are extremely well qualified and well positioned to further strengthening our institution.”

In addition to welcoming new members, the board celebrated the service of three outgoing trustees. Craig Fenneman ’71 and Jim White retired after 15 years of service on the board. Outgoing Alumni Association President Beth Morris left the board, as her two-year appointment ended.

“We are grateful to Craig, Jim, and Beth for their service, dedication, and generosity to Butler University,” President Jim Danko said. “The entire Butler community has benefitted from their leadership and investment as trustees.”

Blade
Blade

Blade graduated from Butler with a B.S. in Accounting. He received his MBA from Northwestern University’s Kellogg Graduate School of Management in 1991. While at Butler, he was the founding President of the Alpha Kappa Psi business fraternity. He is also a past member of the Lacy School of Business Board of Visitors and currently serves on the Advisory Board for Old National Bank Center for Closely Held Business. Blade is the CEO of Matilda Jane Clothing LLC in Fort Wayne, Indiana.

Musial
Musial

Musial received his bachelor’s degree in accounting from Butler. As a student, the Indiana Certified Public Accountants Society recognized him as the outstanding senior accounting major. He served on Butler’s Young Alumni Board from 2007 to 2010, and he and his wife, Elizabeth ’05 MBA '08, received the Ovid Butler Society’s Foundation Award in 2013. Musial is the incoming Alumni Association President and serves as the Vice President of Finance at Allegion in Carmel, Indiana.

Sterrett
Sterrett
 

Sterrett earned a B.S. in Accounting and an MBA in Finance from Indiana University in 1977 and 1983, respectively. He serves on the boards of the Indiana Golf Foundation, the Indiana State Seniors Golf Association, and Tindley Accelerated Schools. He also is a member of the Advisory Board for IU’s Benecki Center for Real Estate Studies, and he is a former board member of the Simon Youth Foundation, Boy Scouts of America, Christian Theological Seminary, Catholic Youth Foundation, and the Juvenile Diabetes Research Foundation. Sterrett retired as the CFO of Indianapolis-based Simon Property Group Inc. in 2014.

Wierenga

Wierenga graduated from Butler with a B.S. in Economics and Music. She was a Top 100 Outstanding Student, as well as a member of Resident Life staff, Butler Symphony Orchestra, Alpha Kappa Psi business fraternity, and the track and cross country teams. She earned an MBA from the University of Chicago Booth School of Business and is currently a partner and chief risk officer at Blue Mountain Capital Management LLC in New York.

Butler has a 35-member board. Trustees are selected by the committee on trusteeship, and then voted on by the full board.

 

Media contact:
Rachel Stern
rstern@butler.edu
317-940-9257

 

Atherton Union
GivingPeople

Board of Trustees Adds Four New Members

Board also says goodbye and thanks to Craig Fenneman, Jim White, and Beth Morris.

Jun 18 2018 Read more
AcademicsPeople

'A Reliable and Steady Presence'

BY

PUBLISHED ON May 14 2018

As part of a presentation she gave in late March, Becky Dolan talked about the importance of flexibility and adaptability in life. She pointed to her career as an example.

"I thought I would be a professor at a university," the Director of Butler's Friesner Herbarium said. "This was a different route. There was a lot of serendipity that happened along the way that worked out well for me."

Thirty-one years later, as she prepares to retire from Butler, Dolan looks back proudly at her achievements, which include working with her assistant Marcia Moore and many students to create a searchable database of more than 40,000 Indianapolis and Indiana dried, pressed, and preserved plant specimens.

"Largely because of her hard work," Butler Biology Professor Carmen Salsbury said, "the Friesner Herbarium is locally, regionally, and nationally recognized."

*

Dolan grew up in the Detroit area and moved with her family when she was in middle school to a suburban area that had woods, natural areas, and a creek. She liked spending time in the woods, and she was good in science—especially biology—so her high school guidance counselor suggested medical school.

She went to the University of Michigan, where she was one of 1,500 undergraduate pre-professional majors in biology. One of the required courses was botany.

"It was fascinating to me," she said. "I was struggling in an animal physiology class I was taking, but the botany came easily and it felt like things I already knew—and was learning again. I loved learning more about things I was seeing in the woods and understanding more about their biology and their life cycle and knowing their names."

She changed her major to botany—there were only 70 botany majors—and found both a subject she enjoyed and a tight-knit community.

After graduating, she moved to the University of Georgia for graduate school. She missed the burgeoning music scene in Athens, but she did meet her future husband, Tom, there. He was also a graduate student who had started school a year before her.

They had mutual friends, and at one point she learned that Tom and his girlfriend had broken up. She invited him to a campus movie. He blew her off, saying he had to study for a test, but the following week he called and they had dinner together.

*

In 1981, Tom and Becky got married. They decided they'd both apply for jobs and take the best offer. When Tom took a two-year position doing research at the University of California, Riverside, Becky took a job with an environmental-consulting firm, where she received some grants from the Bureau of Land Management to study rare plants in Napa and Sonoma counties.

After Tom was hired in 1985 to teach at Butler, the Holcomb Research Institute (HRI) at Butler, which employed a half-dozen Ph.D. plant ecologists studying areas like acid rain and the effects of air pollution, gave Becky a courtesy appointment so she could apply for grants and figure out ways to work with its researchers.

One of those projects turned out to be a study of a red-flowered prairie plant called royal catchfly. An HRI researcher named Eric Menges had been studying the plant for years and he was looking at how prairie management like burning or mowing was affecting the viability of populations to promote long-term management and preservation of them. She asked if he had genetic info. He said no. She said she could get it. They collaborated and published work on the effects of fire on promoting stability of these prairie plant populations.

Orie Loucks, then the director of the HRI, also funded a part-time position so she could work at the Friesner Herbarium. When HRI was closed a couple of years later, Paul Yu, Dean of College of Liberal Arts and Sciences, created the position of Director of the herbarium and hired her.

*

Dolan expanded the reach and scope of herbarium outreach, working with students such as Raelene Crandall '97 to inventory the plants in local parks. Dolan hadn't done field work in Indianapolis, so that was her first look at local plants. Through the years, Dolan did more inventories and studies in local parks and realized that they were a treasure trove of information about plants that can grow wild in the city. That led to a number of publications in urban ecology, a growing area of interest in the field of ecology.

Crandall, meanwhile, is now an Assistant Professor of Fire Science at University of Florida.

"Becky has consistently produced novel research that has evolved and expanded over time," Crandall said in a letter she wrote nominating Dolan for a Woman of Distinction Award. "Additionally, she has strived to digitize and improve the Friesner Herbarium, drawing researchers from all over the country to use and benefit from the plant collections. She has received many grants and mentored countless students over her long career at Butler University. Many researchers slow down in their later years, but in fact, we have discussed a new collaboration when she retires and moves to Florida."

Dolan's work locally coincided with the development of Butler's Center for Urban Ecology, which she worked on with Biology Professors Carmen Salsbury and Travis Ryan to get organized and funded. Salsbury said the CUE wouldn't exist without Dolan's dedication and leadership in its early years.

She described Dolan as "a reliable and steady presence in the department contributing tirelessly behind the scenes and in the larger Butler and surrounding communities to initiatives promoting plant research and conservation, student research experiences, citizen science opportunities, and educational outreach."

*

The new Director of the herbarium will be Emily Gillespie, who comes to Butler from Marshall University. She also will teach in the Department of Biological Sciences.

Becky and Tom Dolan, meanwhile, plan to spend most of the year living in a house they built on St. George Island, a pristine and quiet locale in the Florida panhandle. But Becky said she'll maintain some ties to Butler. She will have affiliate status with the Center for Urban Ecology and continue to work on projects she's started.

"This was an unexpected career path," Dolan said, "but I really appreciated the opportunities that Butler gave me and I'm proud of having sustained this position for more than 30 years."

 


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

 

AcademicsPeople

'A Reliable and Steady Presence'

Becky Dolan, who officially retires in August, has helped Butler's Friesner Herbarium become nationally recognized.

May 14 2018 Read more

Pursuing Her Passion

By Meg Liffick

Graduating Senior Mariam Saeedi grew up in Fishers, Indiana, just up the road from Butler University. Like a lot of kids, she really loved being creative and especially loved art. In high school at Hamilton Southeastern, she took all the art classes they offered and pursued as many opportunities as she could to be creative.  

While she has a passion for artmaking and an obvious talent, when Mariam chose her major before starting her first year at Butler, Art wasn’t even on her radar. “I originally came to Butler because I wanted to be a teacher. I had heard great things about the College of Education. After my first semester, I realized that it wasn’t the right path for me. I felt like I was missing something.”

Like so many college students, Mariam switched her major her freshman year. This time, she chose Marketing.

But again, after taking a few classes, she still wasn’t confident she was on the right path. She had a nagging feeling that wouldn’t go away. One day as she was browsing through the course list for the Art+Design major in the Jordan College of the Arts things became clear. “I wanted to take all of those classes. I realized what I was missing was an opportunity to be really creative and express myself, and I found it in those classes.”

In the Art+Design program, Mariam was able to take coursework that explored different mediums of expression, and in doing, so she found her voice.

“During my time here, I’ve learned about myself. I don’t want to be somewhere where I’m creating what everyone else is doing. I want to create for myself and be an individual.” At Butler, Mariam found the courses, mentors, and opportunities to do just that. She forged strong relationships with her classmates and her instructors, and these relationships inspired her and challenged her to be her best.

“When I was younger, I knew I always liked art, but I never imagined it would turn into something I’d do all of the time. I was more interested in finding a `practical, reasonable career path.’ It all grew on me as I found myself more,” says Mariam.

After graduating this spring with a Bachelor of Arts degree in Art+Design, Mariam will begin a prestigious Orr fellowship. After interviewing for months, she was selected with other top seniors from Indiana and Ohio to join the post-graduate experience dedicated to creating a foundation of career success through coursework, professional mentoring, and a full-time, salaried position. Awarded each year to an elite group of graduates, the Orr fellowship has launched the careers of some of the most accomplished young professionals in the city and beyond.

“People don’t think of the arts as a stable field, and I think they are scared to pursue creative paths.” But in finding her major, Mariam found herself. She proved that creativity and a practical career path are not mutually exclusive, and in fact, passion is critical to long term success.

“Loving what you do it the best motivation. It’s so much easier to succeed when you are really passionate about something.”

 

Mariam Saeedi
CommencementPeopleCampus

Pursuing Her Passion

When Mariam Saeedi '18 found her major, she found her voice.

Mariam Saeedi

Pursuing Her Passion

By Meg Liffick

The Ultimate Mentor

by Marc D. Allan MFA ’18

Maybe the ultimate Scott Bridge story is how he arranged for Megan Yates '16 to finish her degree after the Juvenile Diabetes Research Foundation hired her full time at the beginning of her senior year.

Or perhaps the best story is the time he gave Teresa Mask '93 a copy of the book I Dream a World: Portraits of Black Women Who Changed America with this inscription: "I fully expect to see your picture and an article about you in a similar book someday."

"To say that he had that much confidence that my life was going to amount to something worthy to be read about, it was like, 'Wow,'" says Mask, who spent two decades as a newspaper reporter and editor and is now Senior Public Relations Manager for AT&T in Michigan. "That was encouragement beyond belief."

But it could be that the greatest Scott Bridge story is the one about Ari Kasle '14.

"Couldn't stand him when he was a freshman," Bridge says, "but I saw some good things when he was a sophomore and we had some talks about his big, obnoxious mouth overshadowing his creativity, intelligence, and his good heart. When I think about what Ari was like when he started at Butler versus the Ari who graduated four years later, it reminds me why I love my job. Very, very proud of him."

Kasle, now an Associate Producer at Emmis Communication in Indianapolis, says: "He's gone to bat for me so many times. I developed a reputation early on at Butler and he could have thrown me to the scrap heap if he wanted to. But he took me under his wing and he said, 'I believe in you.' I'll be forever in debt to him for that."

Bridge, who started teaching in Broadcast/Electronic Journalism at Butler in 1988, has helped send hundreds of future broadcasters, teachers, publicists—and even a couple of current members of Butler's Board of Trustees—into the world. Probably every one of them can recall some example of his kindness and his guidance.

Stephanie (Hoop) Callihan '89, now a Vice President for Entercom and mother of Butler first-year student Kate Callihan: "He was a great mentor even then to all of us. He would say, 'Here’s what you have to do to find a job,' and was very realistic about how hard it was. He really helped and mentored you about what your next, best steps were and how you needed to go about doing it."

Hayley Ross '17, now a Production Assistant on MSNBC's Deadline: White House: "He pushed me to do everything that I did, and he's 100 percent the reason that I graduated with a journalism degree. I definitely would not be where I am if he had not pushed me to be my best."

*

Bridge '82, MS '91 worked in radio and TV for six years after earning his bachelor's degree. Even then, the media was shrinking. In 1988, when the radio station he worked for cut most of its newsroom—though not his position—he started looking around.

At the time, Butler advertised a full-time staff position that entailed serving as sports and news director for WAJC-FM, the campus radio station, and teaching one class.

"It was a 10 percent pay cut," Bridge says, laughing, "and I was not their first choice."

He took the job and found his calling. "When I started teaching and working with the students, that was it," he says. "It was being able to help students and help them realize whatever their goals and dreams were. Just seeing that light bulb go on, being able to help them with their careers."

That first year in the classroom, Bridge was 27 but looked 22. He would often be mistaken for a student. He started wearing a jacket and tie to distinguish himself. But students called him Scott because "Mr. Bridge didn't feel right."

He stayed in that staff position for five years. In 1993, when Butler sold the radio station, Bridge was named sports and news director for the campus TV station. By then, he was teaching two classes.

He modeled his approach to teaching after B.J. Goodwin, one of his high school teachers in Lebanon, Indiana, who nurtured and encouraged him.

His philosophy: "Students just need somebody to affirm to them that they're doing good work. They already know when they're screwing up. Very few of them need somebody to tell them that they've screwed up. But they do need somebody to tell them, 'Yeah, you're doing something good.'"

*

Bridge's job at Butler lasted until spring 1995, and he taught one class a semester till spring 1997. Then he took time off to be Mr. Mom while his wife, Maryann, a Pathologist, worked. Still, Bridge served on the Alumni Board and kept his men's basketball tickets.

"Butler was still part of my life," he says. "But not as strong."

When his children got a little older, Bridge started thinking about returning to work. At a basketball game in 2006, he ran into a Butler faculty member who asked if he'd be interested in teaching again. He was.

Bridge wondered, though, if he would be relevant. Technology had changed, and "I didn't want to seem like some old fogey." To prepare, he took a computer literacy class at Franklin College. He also took classes in Microsoft programs at Indiana Business College in Columbus, where he lives.

He served as an Adjunct Professor for a couple of years until 2010, when the department, faced with a last-minute departure, hired him full time as an Instructor of Electronic Journalism. He still holds that title, and in 2014 he added the role of Internship Director for the College of Communication, which allows him to work with students in all Communication majors.

"Scott transformed the College of Communication internship program upon becoming its director in January 2014, raising its profile and scope while tripling the number of student interns benefiting from this program every year," says former College of Communication Dean Gary Edgerton, who calls Bridge "the epitome of a student-centered faculty member."

These days, Bridge still wears a jacket and tie every day. Students called him Professor Bridge, but his approach to working with students remains the same.

"Students wonder when Scott sleeps since they receive numerous emails from him about internship opportunities in the middle of the night," says Suzanne Reading, Associate Dean of the College of Communication. "When I talk with students at new-student registration, many of them know Scott already and have been in contact with him several times prior to coming to Butler."

At the end of the inscription, Bridge wrote in the book he gave Teresa Mask said, "Good luck and know that you can count on me if you ever need a helping hand."

Mask and multiple generations of Butler students know that he means it.

FamilyPeople

The Ultimate Mentor

Scott Bridge has built a family of hundreds of Butler students he’s helped send out into the world.

The Ultimate Mentor

by Marc D. Allan MFA ’18
AcademicsStudent LifePeople

Butler Honors Top 100 Students

BY

PUBLISHED ON Apr 23 2018

The Alumni Association has announced Butler University's Top 100 Outstanding Students, honoring the top juniors and seniors for the 2017–2018 academic year.

The list is below. Top 15 students have an asterisk next to their name.

The students honored each year continue the tradition of dedication and service to Butler. They reflect outstanding character, scholarship, engaged citizenship, leadership, and commitment to fostering diversity.To be considered a Top 100 student at Butler University, students must have a cumulative GPA of 3.5 or higher and may not be on conduct probation during the application process or the announcement for Top 100 and Top 15.

The Top 100 students are determined by the Top 100 Selection Committee composed of representatives of each of the six colleges, student affairs, academic affairs, and alumni. Each candidate is judged against the core values of the program on a numeric scale. At the end of the judging period, all scores are tabulated, and the Top 100 students are selected.

Visit the Top 100 website to view guidelines for the program. 

The Alumni Association in conjunction with the Office of Student Affairs conducts the Outstanding Student Recognition program. The program is in its 57th year.

The full list of honorees, majors, and hometowns:

Lynn Alsatie, International Studies and French, Carmel, Indiana

Siena Amodeo, International Business and Marketing, Powell, Ohio

Deborah Arehart, Middle/Secondary Education and French, Dayton, Ohio

Thomas Baldwin, Biochemistry, Carmel, Indiana

*Adam Bantz, Strategic Communication, Marketing, Muncie, Indiana

Alex Bartlow, Accounting and Spanish, Bloomfield, Indiana

Leah Basford, International Business, Chinese minor, Centerville, Indiana

Brianna Borri, Psychology, Ada, Michigan

Lauren Briskey, Actuarial Science, Statistics, Avon, Indiana

Amy Brown, Accounting, Saint Charles, Missouri

Rachel Burke, Mathematics, Software Engineering, Mount Vernon, Indiana

Jeremy Caylor, Biology, Chemistry, Tipton, Indiana

*Parker Chalmers, Finance/Risk Management & Insurance, Wyoming, Ohio

Lauren Ciulla, Biology, Carmel, Indiana

Brooklyn Cohen, Elementary Education, Glenview, Illinois

Hannah Coleman, Pharmacy, Danville, Indiana

Dana Connor, Communication Sciences and Disorders, Tallahassee, Florida

Vickie Cook, Chemistry, Woodburn, Indiana

Meredith Coughlin, Human Communication and Organizational Leadership, Tipp City, Ohio

*Ryan Cultice, Accounting and Finance, Warsaw, Indiana

Ashley Dale, Physics, Electrical Engineering, New Palestine, Indiana

Erin Dark, Pharmacy, West Lafayette, Indiana

Darby DeFord, Biology and Chemistry, Spencer, Indiana

Matt Del Busto, English creative writing and Spanish, Carmel, Indiana

David Dunham, Human Movement and Health Sciences Education, Zionsville, Indiana

Suzanne Dwyer, Pharmacy, Tinley Park, Illinois

Shelby Jo Eaton, Psychology and Sociology, Indianapolis

Ashlyn Edwards, Philosophy, Critical Communication, and French, New Albany, Indiana

*Katie Edwards, Marketing and Finance, Libertyville, Illinois

Sarah Elam, International Studies and Spanish, Indianapolis

John Evans, Accounting and Finance, Indianapolis

Hannah Faccio, Psychology, Belmont, Michigan

Megan Farny, Pre-PA, Evansville, Indiana

Megan Fitzgerald, Elementary Education and Religion, Dublin, Ohio

Annie Foster, Spanish and Chemistry minor, Westfield, Indiana

Jacklyn Gries, Pharmacy, Evansville, Indiana

Hannah Hartzell, Strategic Communication and Spanish, Powell, Ohio

Patrick Holden, PharmD/MBA, Brownsburg, Indiana

Jonny Hollar, Finance and Marketing, Warsaw, Indiana

Kate Holtz, Risk Management and Insurance, Finance, Godfrey, Illinois

*Nick Huang, Finance and Marketing, Geneva, Illinois

Karla Jeggle, Actuarial Science, Upper Arlington, Ohio

Nathan Jent, Health Sciences/Pre-PA, Crawfordsville, Indiana

Drew Johnson, Pharmacy, Noblesville, Indiana

Jakob Jozwiakowski, Chemistry, Boston, Massachusetts

Colton Junod, Biology and Biochemistry, Vincennes, Indiana

Libby Kaufman, Elementary Education, Chanhassen, Minnesota

*Nida Khan, Pharmacy/Pre-Med, Noblesville, Indiana

Rachel Koehler, International Studies and French, Franklin, Tennessee

*Caroline Kuremsky, Elementary Education with a Mild Intervention Minor, Cincinnati, Ohio

Carly Large, Accounting, Bloomington, Illinois

*Emily Lawson, Chemistry and Mathematics (Pre-Med), Fort Wayne, Indiana

Becca Lewis, Biology and Chemistry, Danville, Illinois

Rachael Lewis, Marketing, Spanish, and International Business, Danville, Illinois

Kayla Long, Critical Communications and Media Studies, Digital Media Production, Spanish, Evanston, Illinois

Kelsey McDougall, Biology, Canton, Michigan

Kirsten McGrew, Pharmacy, Louisville, Kentucky

Kasey Meeks, Health Sciences and Chemistry, Robinson, Illinois

Rachel Metz, Health Science, Ferdinand, Indiana

Joshua Murdock, Pharmacy, Grand Junction, Colorado

*Kelly Murphy, Human Communication and Organizational Leadership, Dublin, Ohio

Emily Nettesheim, Health Sciences and Spanish, Lafayette, Indiana

Alexis Neyman, Biochemistry, Fort Wayne, Indiana

Olivia Nilsen, Communication of Sciences and Disorders, Neuroscience minor, Ballwin, Missouri

Gehrig Parker, Sports Media, Park Ridge, Illinois

Justin Poythress, Accounting and Finance, Geneva, Illinois

*Tori Puhl, Actuarial Science, Mequon, Wisconsin

*Salman Qureshi, Biology, Fishers, Indiana

*Courtney Raab, Health Sciences, Highland, Indiana

Jordan Rauh, Pharmacy, Wabash, Indiana

Allison Reitz, Communication Sciences and Disorders, Newburgh, Indiana

Kate Richards, Communication Sciences and Disorders, Effingham, Illinois

Sophie Robertson, Dance Arts Administration and Journalism, Gig Harbor, Washington

*Abdul Saltagi, Biology, Fishers, Indiana

Kaitlyn Sawin, Marketing, Appleton, Wisconsin

Olivia Schwan, Marketing and Spanish, Kalamazoo, Michigan

*Abby Sikorcin, Health Sciences, Lisle, Illinois

Sundeep Singh, Biology and Political Science, Fishers, Indiana

Maree Smith, Spanish and Marketing, Monticello, Minnesota

Lilli Southern, Communication Sciences and Disorders, Solsberry, Indiana

Madison Stefanski, Elementary Education and seeking licensure in Special Education with minors in Reading, Frankfort, Michigan

Isaiah Strong, Strategic Communication/Recording Industry Studies, Brooklyn Park, Minnesota

Natalie Van Ochten, Biology and Biochemistry, Shorewood, Minnesota

Alexander Waddell, Accounting, Greenwood, Indiana

Skyler Walker, Pharmacy, Racine, Wisconsin

Kathryn Warma, Science, Technology, and Sociology, Carlinville, Illinois

Riley Wildemann, Pharmacy, Plainfield, Indiana

Alexander Wright, Chemistry, Fishers, Indiana

Heather Wright, Music, Greentown, Indiana

Jill Yager, Biology, Rushville, Indiana

Due to a tie in scoring, more than 100 students are being honored for the 2017–2018 academic year. All honorees were recognized at the Outstanding Student Banquet on April 13, where the Top 15 Most Outstanding Students were announced.

This list includes all students who opted to post their names.

 

In the photo:

Front row: Emily Lawson, Nida Khan, Nicholas Huang, Caitlyn Foye, Katie Edwards, Adam Bantz, Kelly Murphy

Back row: Abby Sikocin, Abdul Saltagi, Courtney Raab, President Danko, Salman Qureshi, Tori Puhl, Ryan Cultice

 

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

 

 

AcademicsStudent LifePeople

Butler Honors Top 100 Students

This is the 57th year to recognize the Top 100 students' dedication and service to Butler.

Apr 23 2018 Read more
AcademicsPeople

Butler Librarian Wins National Award for Innovation

BY

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
mallan@butler.edu
317-940-9822

 

 

AcademicsPeople

Butler Librarian Wins National Award for Innovation

Teresa Williams created the Business Research Workshop.

Mar 21 2018 Read more

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

AthleticsPeople

Albert at the Bat

BY Brock Benefiel ’10

PUBLISHED ON Nov 14 2018

Jeff Albert didn’t want to get into his car. It was winter break 2001 and Albert was staring down an almost nine-hour road trip from his hometown in Rochester, New York, to Butler University in Indianapolis, Indiana—a school he had already decided not to attend.

Weeks before, Albert had cold-called Steve Farley, then Butler’s head baseball coach, to request the visit. So he made the drive, despite blizzard-like conditions.

At that point, Albert was a junior. He’d already attended Johns Hopkins University and the Rochester Institute of Technology, enjoying academic life and playing Division III baseball. But before finishing his playing days, he wanted a crack at playing Division I while still attending a school with a great academic reputation.

Butler offered that opportunity. But, so did the University at Buffalo, which was only an hour’s drive from Albert’s home in Rochester, and was about to restart its D-1 baseball program with several of his former high school teammates and opponents. At Butler, Albert knew no one.

After meeting with players and coaches, experiencing the small campus environment he craved, and catching a basketball game at Hinkle Fieldhouse, Albert’s plan was flipped on its head. He was convinced Butler was the place to spend his remaining college years.

He enrolled the following semester without an athletic scholarship or a promise from Coach Farley that he’d ever play an inning for the Bulldogs. And because he had already transferred twice, Albert had to sit out the entire 2001 season and wait a year before he’d get his chance to take the field. The odds were against him, but he knew the campus felt right that day, so he took the chance.

“I basically walked in there and no one knew anything about me,” Albert said. “I wasn’t even the backup going into the 2002 season. I put myself in a position where I knew I was going to be behind a bit. But that was the point.”

He wasted no time making strides to improve as a player and also felt increasingly more comfortable on campus.

“If you live on campus, you really assimilate into Butler life,” Albert said. “Being away from home, that made it feel better for me socially.”

By the end of his Butler career in 2003, Albert went from a roster afterthought to an All-Horizon League infielder. During his two-year career, he batted a respectable .284, hit 10 career home runs, seized the starting third baseman role, lead the team in runs batted in one season, and helped the Bulldogs set a school-record with 34 wins in each of his two seasons. 

And this was all years before he embarked on the fast-tracked professional career that led him to being named the head hitting coach of the St. Louis Cardinals in October.

*

No one who watched Albert beat the odds at Butler is surprised that he’s continued to trek an unlikely path to success all the way to the dugouts of Major League Baseball. Paul Beck, a fellow infielder and 2003 Butler graduate, remembers Albert as a soft-spoken, hard-working teammate who immediately fit in despite being one of the few players who came from outside the Midwest.

“He was the definition of a grinder,” Beck said. “Always in the weight room. Always looking to improve himself.”

Beck also remembers Albert as an unofficial hitting coach for several players. Before he arrived at the highest levels—earning praise from future Hall-of-Famers and World Series champions—Albert was helping his college teammates and developing his own swing. He often took an approach that was unconventional for college baseball in 2002, like setting up a camcorder to film batters’ swings.

“He was very ahead of time in video analysis,” Beck said. “He always had a video camera at practice.”

Farley chuckles when he thinks back to the technology his players used in the early 2000s. Before smartphones made video recording almost ubiquitous, Albert was forced to lug around a large camcorder to document batting practice. One time, Farley said, he brought in a computer expert who had figured out how to capture slow-motion video from high-profile MLB players. Once this new tool was shared with the team, Albert spent hours breaking down the swings of major league players like Alex Rodriguez and Carlos Delgado and comparing their approaches with frame-by-frame breakdowns of the swings of his own Butler teammates.

“He was diligently recording swings and constantly analyzing them,” Beck said.

Away from the team, Albert put in even more work on himself. In the mornings before class during his first winter at Butler, he’d scrape the ice off his car windows and make the 20-minute drive north to Carmel, to his cousin’s house, where he could take extra swings in the garage to help increase his bat speed. In the weight room on campus, Albert developed the power that led to his double-digit career home run total. Farley estimates Albert put on about 15 to 20 pounds of muscle over the course of his college career to fill out what had been a scrawny, 5-foot-10 frame.

If Farley has any criticism of Albert, it’s that his former player was almost too focused on tweaking his swing, that his aim to improve often bordered on obsession. Farley said he sometimes worried Albert might fall victim to “paralysis by analysis” by picking over every minor detail of his hitting approach and overthinking the split-second decision to swing.

However serious he might have been in the batter’s box, Albert said he looks back on his Butler years as a remarkably fun time. Both on the field and off it, Farley said his former player fell in with a core group of guys in his class who worked hard in school, put together record-setting win totals on the field and, most importantly, graduated college.

Albert said his fondest memory at Butler was spending countless hours in the collection of dorm rooms on the second floor of the Residential College (ResCo) that was occupied entirely by baseball players such as Beck, and two-time MLB All-Star pitcher Pat Neshek.

“We had our share of fun,” Beck said. “And we always rolled like 30-deep everywhere.”

*

Albert’s time at Butler convinced him that he wanted a career in professional baseball. After a brief stint playing with the Washington Wild Thing of the independent Frontier League, he prepared himself to switch to coaching. He went back to school and earned his Master of Science in Kinesiology at Louisiana Tech University, doubling up his course load so he’d finish in time to be able to join an MLB organization by spring training in 2008.

He did.

The St. Louis Cardinals offered him a role as a hitting coach for their minor league affiliate, the Batavia Muckdogs. Albert moved on from the Cardinals to join the Houston Astros organization in 2012. With the Astros, as a minor league hitting coach, he helped coach another core group of talented young players—just like he did with his teammates at Butler—on their way up the minor leagues to eventually win the organization’s first World Series in 2017.

As a result of his minor league success, this past season Albert was promoted to join the major league club as the Astros’ assistant hitting coach. And when the head hitting coach role opened up this offseason with the St. Louis Cardinals, John Mozeliak, president of baseball operations, offered his former employee the job.

“No one is shocked that he’s advanced as far as he has,” Beck said. “But it’s still so cool to see him in the dugout now.”

Though the technology he uses now has dramatically advanced from his college years, Albert still looks for tools that provide an edge for his hitters. He also learned to speak Spanish so he could better communicate his instructions to even more players. Albert combines his background in kinesiology, strength training, and advanced measurement to provide a unique approach to the old art of swinging a wooden baseball bat.

When asked what makes him a “good” hitting coach, Albert said he doesn’t assess himself in those terms.

“I don’t think I’m good or bad or anything,” Albert said. “I just stay focused on making progress. If I‘m making progress myself, that gives me more tools to help the people I’m around.”

AthleticsPeople

Albert at the Bat

Albert was just called up to the majors as Head Hitting Coach for the St Louis Cardinals.

Nov 14 2018 Read more

Lee-gacy

by Sarah Bahr

“I’m already late for work, Dana!”

“It’ll take like five seconds, I promise!”

Butler University Collegian reporter Dana Lee pauses from reading her column-in-progress over the phone to her mother — a palliative care nurse in a northern suburb of Chicago who is, indeed, late for work.

Yes, the Collegian’s now-editor-in-chief and former ESPN and Indianapolis Star intern really does read (almost) every story she writes to her mom — who’s often cooking dinner in her kitchen 200 miles away.

Talking through her ideas helps her conquer writer’s block, Lee says.

The 21-year-old senior journalism major calls her parents at least once a week — but usually many times more. She called her dad before the first interview she did for the Indianapolis Star. During her freshman year when she was overwhelmed by Carmel, IN’s roundabouts. After she asked a security guard at Madison Square Garden to film her while covering the 2018 Big East Men’s Basketball Tournament in New York City for the Collegian. Her dad’s reaction? “I can’t believe you did that!”

Lee has written for ESPN, hobnobbed with celebrities (Bill Nye!), and embedded herself in former Butler basketball player Kelan Martin’s kitchen, but just try and tell her story without bringing up her parents (“They’ve read every story I’ve ever written”) and her two younger siblings, Jessica and Michael, who also attend Butler.

You can’t.

A Butler Family Lee-gacy

When Jessica Lee was weighing the pros and cons of attending Butler, her sister, Dana, landed squarely on the cons side.

“Which I didn’t know until halfway through my freshman year,” says Dana.

But Jessica, a junior Political Science and Strategic Communication double major, says that, without Dana, Butler likely wouldn’t have been on her radar. And, in the end, Butler’s internship opportunities, proximity to a big city, and beautiful campus proved too difficult to ignore.

Despite her older sister’s presence.

“I certainly had reservations about attending the same school as Dana,” Jessica, who’s a year younger than Dana, says. “Not because we aren’t close, but because I wanted my college experience to be my own.”

But Jessica says attending the same school as her siblings does come with perks; namely, Butler-themed inside jokes.

“It’s like speaking our own language. Like, ‘Have you seen Holcomb Gardens yet?’” Jessica says. “‘The leaves are turning and it looks BU-tiful.’”

While the siblings aren’t roommates, they live close enough together to walk to one another’s residences. Jessica and Dana lived in the same residence hall Jessica’s freshman year.

“It was nice having her closet nearby!” says Jessica.

Dana says she, Jessica, and Michael have always gotten along because they “didn’t have any other option.”

“Growing up, my parents would sit us on the staircase until someone gave someone else a hug,” Dana says. “We genuinely enjoy each other’s company.”

Michael, a freshman Digital Media Production major, says the siblings haven’t yet been on campus during the same semester.

Jessica is the culprit. She’s interning with the Democratic National Committee in Washington D.C. this semester, completed an internship with the European Union in Belgium last summer, and studied abroad in Germany last spring.

But even nearly 600 miles apart, the Lees are on the same wavelength.

Now the trio write for the Butler Collegian, Butler’s student newspaper. Dana is the editor-in-chief, Jessica is a co-news editor, and Michael is on the multimedia team. While Jessica says there’s no sibling rivalry, in the same breath, she contradicts herself.

“When Dana was the sports editor and I was the co-news editor, we would compete to see which section got the most clicks online,” Jessica says. “I most definitely won.”

But the siblings don’t share everything. When Michael committed to Butler last December, Dana and Jessica found out when he posted his decision on Instagram.

“So basically almost 500 people knew before I did,” Dana says. “Classic.”

A Sports Journalist in the Making

Though all the Lees played sports, it was Dana who was the family fanatic.

Mike Lee was a high school varsity baseball coach, so his daughter rode alongside him as he dragged baseball fields on a tractor, and wore his team’s uniform in the dugout during games.

Dana’s thirst for all things news — not just sports — was insatiable. In eighth grade, she wrote a persuasive essay petitioning her parents for an iPhone so she could read the The New York Times online before school (spoiler alert: she got it).

“My parents thought I was crazy,” she says, but it was this fanaticism that has made Dana successful as a student and a budding journalist

It’s a love she’s carried with her to college. Case in point: if inflating 500 basketballs in four hours would get her to ESPN, Dana Lee was going to do it.

Her first internship with the WNBA’s Chicago Sky the summer before her sophomore year was decidedly non-glamorous: As an unpaid community relations intern, she did the grunt work for the franchise. Including inflating all those basketballs.

“That was the lowest point of my internship,” she says.

Of the nearly 20 internships she applied for, Lee says the Sky position was the best offer she got.

Fast forward a year, and Lee had the opposite problem: too many opportunities.

Her offers: an Indianapolis Colts Media Operations internship, an Indianapolis Star reporting fellowship, a promotion to Butler Collegian sports editor . . .

So which one did she pick?

All of them.

Oh, and she also took 20 credit hours of classes that fall.

“Junior year was a nightmare,” Lee says. “I wouldn’t wish it on anyone.”

She put in 16 hours per week at The Star as an “Our Children” fellow, examining opioid addiction and spotlighting nonprofit success stories in her quest to find and tell the overlooked stories of Indianapolis kids. She spent Sundays at Lucas Oil Stadium, helping set up the press box before Colts home games and transcribing coach and player interviews. She coordinated the Collegian’s sports coverage whenever she had a free moment. She slept very little.

“It was a terrible idea to intern two different places,” Lee says. “I’d never, ever do it again, but it was a great time.”

Don’t Look Over Her Shoulder in Class

You may be wondering, at this point, about Dana’s social life.

Two of her friends, Butler Collegian Digital Managing Editor Zach Horrall and Managing Editor Marisa Miller, both seniors, shed some light.

The last time they hung out?

Last Saturday night, when the evening’s agenda included Lee creating a class schedule for next semester.

“When we hang out, it’s basically low-key work,” says Horrall.

Lee’s been involved with the Collegian every semester, first as a sports reporter her freshman and sophomore years, then as a sports editor last year, and now as editor-in-chief, which means she’s grown to love staying up until 2:00 AM  on weeknights before tests. Not because she’s cramming — because she’s designing and editing stories at the Collegian office.

The print edition of the weekly Collegian publishes on Wednesdays, and Lee must read every story that ends up in print and online before the page designers can go to work.

And, of course, reporters being reporters, much of the copy comes in just before the deadline.

“I try to start reading between classes on Tuesday,” Lee says. “I probably read more stories in class than I’d like to admit. I try to have all the stories read by 10:30 PM, but if I finish by 9:30 PM, we’re in really good shape.”

After arriving at the office around 7:00 PM, the rest of her night is spent helping the designers and dealing with any snafus. Typically around 2:00 AM — but sometimes as late (or early?) as 5:00 AM — she’ll head home to catch a few hours of sleep before her Wednesday morning classes.

“My dad asks me all the time ‘Why are you doing this?’” Lee says. “I went from thinking my sister was crazy when she’d stay late working on our high school paper to being that person.”

But she says editing the Collegian doesn’t feel like work.

“It’s so nice to be immersed in something I want to do after graduation,” she says.

A “Hail Mary” Internship

You’d never know it if you came across Lee in the newsroom, but she’s an introvert. Her parents are still in disbelief that she wants to talk to people for a living, she says.

But she says her Collegian experiences have forced her out of her shell, from interviewing Butler men’s basketball’s second all-time leading scorer, Kelan Martin, as he fried up a dozen slices of turkey bacon in his kitchen, to enlisting a Madison Square Garden security guard as her cameraman during the 2018 Big East tournament in New York City.

“Freshman me never would’ve done that; not in a million years,” she says.

At the end of her junior year, she decided it was time for a hail mary — and applied for a summer internship at ESPN.

She got it.

She and 50 other interns spent 10 weeks in Bristol, Connecticut (where ESPN is headquartered), New York City, Los Angeles, and Washington, D.C. this summer with the country’s foremost sports network.

She filmed Bill Nye demonstrating the physics behind a line drive. She covered the 2018 MLB All-Star Game in Washington, D.C. She shadowed SportsCenter newscasters Keith Olbermann and Chris Berman. She got a shout-out from ESPN sportswriter Seth Wickersham on Twitter.

But, true to form, Miller says the newly minted Collegian editor-in-chief still worked on the paper from Bristol.

“Even during her 40 hour-a-week internship, she was still updating our spreadsheets and planning guest speakers for the semester,” says Miller.

“She’s Very Talented, But She Doesn’t Always See It”

Every one of her friends, editors, and professors will tell you: Detail is to Lee what a lightsaber is to a Jedi.

She has a spreadsheet to keep track of every Chicago restaurant she’s eaten at, and those she wants to visit, with detailed notes about each, says Horrall. She interviewed Indianapolis Indians President and 1954 Butler graduate Max Schumacher for four hours just because she was curious. She filmed a standup shot at Hinkle Fieldhouse after the first Butler basketball game she covered 16 times to get it exactly right (Miller stood there until 11:00 PM holding the camera).

“I wish I had even 10 percent of her attention to detail,” Horrall says. “She homes in on things I’d never notice.”

She’ll Google restaurant names in Collegian stories to make sure ‘Bazbeaux’ doesn’t have an ‘s’ on the end of it, Horrall says, or check to make sure a movie theater really is in Carmel and not Indianapolis.

Nancy Whitmore, who’s taught journalism at Butler for 18 years, says Lee’s observational skills often surpass those of professional journalists.

“The insight and interpretation she brings to her reporting far exceeds her age,” says Whitmore.

Jessica Lee says her sister’s articles are an extension of her personality.

“Dana’s able to write these stories because she sits down with her yellow legal pad and blue pen and computer and she steps into [her interviewee’s] shoes,” she says.

Yet Lee doesn’t realize what she does is in any way out of the ordinary, says Horrall.

“She is very talented, but she doesn’t always see it,” he says. “Sometimes she thinks she’s gotten lucky, but she’s just really good at what she does.”

Her Parents Might Want to Look Into a Long-Distance Phone Plan

Her sister’s been to Belgium; her brother Cambodia. But outside of a two-week trip to Spain in high school, Dana Lee hasn’t left the country.

She wanted to spend a semester abroad last year, but as the Collegian’s sports editor, she couldn’t afford to leave Butler in the middle of basketball season.

But after graduation, she says, all bets are off.

“I’m looking at journalism fellowships abroad, particularly South Africa,” she says. “It’d be really interesting to look at the country post-apartheid.”

But one thing won’t change anytime soon.

“Jessica and Michael will always be my best friends,” she says.

FamilyStudent LifePeople

Lee-gacy

  When Jessica was weighing the pros and cons of attending Butler, her sister landed on the cons side.

Lee-gacy

by Sarah Bahr
AcademicsPeople

What Makes a Leader? Professors' Research Offers Insight

BY

PUBLISHED ON Feb 16 2018

WHAT MAKES A LEADER? PROFESSORS’ RESEARCH OFFERS INSIGHT

ON  

When most think about leadership, a CEO, or All-Star, or conductor might come to mind. Think Jeff Bezos, LeBron James, or Yo-Yo Ma. 

Turns out, we may have it all wrong.  

That’s according to new research from two Butler University Lacy School of Business professors. Instead of relying primarily on those at the top to lead—and only those at the top—the most successful organizations are full of individuals who lead from wherever they are, according to their research.  

“We have a top-centric idea of leadership in America and we tend to attribute far too much of the performance of an organization to the person at the top of it,” said Craig Caldwell, Associate Dean of Graduate and Professional Programs. “That doesn’t accurately describe reality of how work gets done and it often results in the rest of us feeling like we are powerless cogs. Many people think that because they are not in a formal management role in the company, or the superstar of the team, they cannot be a leader. Our research shows that you can have a significant impact no matter where you are in an organization.” 

Caldwell and Jerry Toomer, along with their co-authors, conducted more than 80 interviews across three sectors–business, the arts, and sports—to find out what traits define those individuals who make teams better. They call this The Catalyst Effect, which is also the title of their book that was published this week.  

The book highlights 12 key competencies, centered on four cornerstones, that are the foundation of catalytic behavior. These competencies were gleaned from interviews with a wide cross-section of people, including bass players and concert masters, amateur athletes and professional athletes, business leaders and technical professionals.  

“The magic of being a catalyst that sparks team performance is the ability to master most of the 12 competencies and use them in concert, at the right time,” said Toomer, an Executive Partner and Adjunct Professor. “The catalytic effect is maximized by using all of them to elevate the performance of the team.” 

The four cornerstones are:  

  • Building credibility 
  • Creating cohesion 
  • Generating momentum 
  • Amplifying impact  
     

“My hope is that with this research we invite team members to realize that they can lead without formal authority. That they can lead from wherever they are, in whatever setting they work or play,” Toomer said. “We almost always think about leadership from a position of authority in traditional organization structures. This suggests that the most successful teams and organizations value everyone leading in unique, value-adding ways.” 

Now, they say, the key is to train individuals in organizations to look for talent in a new way. If CEOs, for example, have a better understanding of the catalyst effect, they may change the metrics they use to identify talent. 

“Right now, we look for superstars—those who sold the most in dollar volume, who stuffed the stat sheet in the last game or played the most notable solo,” Caldwell said. “Our research team believes that we have a lot of people flying below the radar. We need to view our high performers in new ways.”

Media contact:
Rachel Stern
rstern@butler.edu
317-940-9257

 

AcademicsPeople

What Makes a Leader? Professors' Research Offers Insight

Craig Caldwell and Jerry Toomer have a new book, "The Catalyst Effect."

Feb 16 2018 Read more
Ramonna

Accentuate the Positive

Marc D. Allan MFA ’18

from Spring 2018

During her 25 years as a public relations practitioner, Ramonna Robinson ’93 has seen the best and worst the world has to offer. 

Within a year after graduation, she was traveling handling communications for the Pan Am Games, Goodwill Games, and the Olympics. 

Six years later, she’d been the Lakewood (Colorado) Police Department’s spokesperson for just six weeks when the Columbine High School shootings occurred. “It was trial by fire,” Robinson said, “and that is where I learned ‘on the job’ and honed my crisis communication skills.” 

At those jobs and others, Robinson has used what she learned at Butler—and in the field—to accentuate the positive and minimize the negative for a slew of clients. 

“I rave about Butler all the time,” said Robinson, whose first name is her mom’s middle name, Ann, and her dad’s first name, Omar, spelled backwards. “I got a great education, a great mixture of professors and adjuncts who came in from the real world—especially in some of my advertising classes, where we looked at campaigns and how things are applied—and values that were instilled in me that stick with me to this day.” 

Robinson grew up in Greenwood, Indiana, and chose Butler for radio/TV. But as a member of the WAJC staff, she kept losing her voice. An examination discovered nodules on her vocal cords, so she switched her major to Journalism with a concentration in Public Relations. 

She remembers Gay Wakefield, who ran the department, and her advisor, Journalism Professor Art Levin, as being particularly influential and helpful. Levin helped arrange her schedule so she could study at Murdoch University in Australia for a full year and still graduate from Butler on time. 

One of Wakefield’s classes helped propel Robinson into the sports industry upon graduation—first leading communications for a national gymnastics organization and then to Indiana Sports Corp., where she handled communications for events in Indianapolis like the Olympic trials for swimming and diving. 

In 1998, Robinson visited Colorado “and realized that the sun comes out in the winter and people get outside year-round to enjoy the mountains and everything Colorado has to offer.’” Though the closest she’d been to law enforcement was getting a speeding ticket, she got the job with the Lakewood Police Department. In her first year there, she worked on Columbine, two officer-involved shootings, and a record number of homicides. 

After that, she had the opportunity to take over the marketing and public relations for Swedish Medical Center outside of Denver. She spent five years there in a role that expanded to include physician relations and new business development. While there, Robinson helped the hospital celebrate its 100th anniversary by putting together a commemorative book, arranging publicity for a community immunization project, and planning a gala celebration. 

During that time, she mentioned to a friend that she was open to new opportunities. That friend connected Robinson with Laura Love, the owner of GroundFloor Media, and “I left a 100-year-old hospital for a 4-year-old PR agency.” 

That was in 2005. Robinson has since become part owner of the agency, which is located around the corner from Coors Field. She’s helped the firm evolve into digital marketing and social media strategies, guiding clients through successes and crises, and is building a culture that has landed the agency in the top five on Outside magazine’s best places to work list for the past five years. (One of her clients is Sun King, the hugely successful Indianapolis-based brewery founded by her dad and her brother Clay.) 

Though Robinson’s plan had been to be in the media, she said everything has worked out well. She credits Butler with kick-starting her career. 

“The education I got there and the class size and the attention to detail that I learned at Butler,” she said, “has stuck with me and served me well.” 

Ramonna
People

Accentuate the Positive

During her 25 years as a public relations practitioner, Ramonna Robinson ’93 has seen the best and worst the world has to offer. 

by Marc D. Allan MFA ’18

from Spring 2018

Read more

Derek Dekoning ’18

Student Profile

Major / Program: Risk Management/MIS

 

Derek DeKoning spent a lot of his free time this summer—10–15 hours a week, he estimates—helping to establish Butler’s new MJ Student-Run Insurance Company. The payback: By the time DeKoning graduates, he will have made four Butler-paid trips to Bermuda, where the company is licensed.

“You can’t complain about that,” he said with a smile.

DeKoning came to Butler from Atlanta, Georgia, as an Exploratory Business major. As he took classes, he began to select majors, starting with Management Information Systems. He knew something about risk management—his father is in reinsurance—so he had exposure to the industry. But it wasn’t until taking Professor Zach Finn’s class creating the “captive” insurance company, which insures University-owned properties such as the live mascot Trip and the Holcomb Observatory telescope, that he found his place.

“Insurance is a great industry to be in, and my experience at Butler has given me so much real-world experience, both through my internships and my experience with the captive, that it should be a big advantage for me,” he said.

Since coming to Butler, DeKoning interned at a suburban Atlanta software company called Concurrent and the cyber-insurance company INSUREtrust. In fall 2017, he interned at M.J. Schuetz Insurance Services Inc. in downtown Indianapolis. He also is an active member in the Phi Delta Theta fraternity and works a part-time job at Woodstock Country Club.

DeKoning said he’s still deciding what he wants to do after graduation—perhaps work for a brokerage or independent insurance agency, or maybe do something in captive management. “Within risk management and insurance there’s so many different career paths that you can take,” he said.

But overall, he said, “I’ve just been thrilled with the environment Butler has provided and the class sizes. The professors I’ve had have been really dedicated to what they’re doing. Butler was my top choice on my list of schools and I’m glad to have been able to come here and end up in the Program I’m in.”

 

 

 

Derek
Student LifePeople

Derek Dekoning ’18

Derek DeKoning spent a lot of his free time this summer—10–15 hours a week, he estimates—helping to establish Butler’s new MJ Student-Run Insurance Company.

Derek

Derek Dekoning ’18

Student Profile

Chelsea Groves ’20

Student Profile

Major / Program: Sports Media

Chelsea Groves is the poster child for the importance of paying attention, showing up, and doing your best work.

In early September of her first year at Butler, she and the other Sports Media majors received an email from Creative Media and Entertainment Professor Christine Taylor asking them to contribute to the Bulldog Blitz, a weekly show spotlighting Butler sports. Groves jumped at the chance. She set up an interview with Volleyball Coach Sharon Clark, “and it just started to expand through that.”

Her work on the Blitz, which aired during halftime of games that aired on butlersports.com, led to work with Butler Athletics, where she reported stories about Butler Baseball, the men’s and women’s golf teams, and several other sports.

“I put myself out there and responded to that email,” she said. “It was a big deal for me.”

Now in her sophomore year, “I just want to get better,” she said. “I want to be my absolute best and watch myself grow in other areas. I want to be better in the broadcast area and be prominent and be known for doing a great job.”

Groves came to Butler from Walkerton, Indiana, where her dad was the high school varsity football coach and also coached eighth-grade boy’s basketball. She remembers bringing her stuffed animals and American Girl doll to games when she was little and learning to keep score as she got older.

“I had one of the rosters, I got a pen from my grandma’s purse, and I would put a tally mark next to all the people who scored,” she said. “I just became enthralled with it. My dad was a big reason why I fell into sports.”

Her plan now is to develop her skills in school and ultimately become either a sideline reporter or analyst for men’s college basketball or baseball.

She said Butler is making her better.

“So many people around me—basically everyone—pushes you to be your absolute best all the time,” she said. “They critique me, tell me what to do—and what to do better—and I listen to them because they know what they’re doing and I trust them and I want to step up my game all the time. Butler is an amazing place, and I’m so glad I’m here.”

 

 

 

 

Chelsea Groves
Student LifePeople

Chelsea Groves ’20

Chelsea Groves is the poster child for the importance of paying attention, showing up, and doing your best work.

Chelsea Groves

Chelsea Groves ’20

Student Profile
AcademicsPeople

Phi Beta Kappa Visiting Scholar to Talk About the Microbial World

BY

PUBLISHED ON Feb 27 2018

Amy Cheng Vollmer, a Swarthmore Professor who has helped create initiatives to promote adult science literacy and increase diversity in the science, technology, engineering, and math fields, will speak at Butler University on March 26 at 7:00 PM in Jordan Hall Room 141 as part of the Phi Beta Kappa Visiting Scholars Program.

Admission is free and open to the public. For more information, contact Rusty Jones at 317-940-6552.

The title of her talk, which is sponsored by the Phi Beta Kappa Theta of Indiana Chapter and Butler's Center for High Achievement and Scholarly Engagement, is The Microbial World: Small and Ancient is Not Primitive or Unsophisticated.

Vollmer is the Isaac H. Clothier Jr. Professor of Biology at Swarthmore. Her teaching, which incorporates active learning in large and small classes, includes microbiology, biotechnology, metabolism, and introductory biology; her research focuses on the regulation of the response of bacteria to environmental stress. She has authored works on basic bacterial genetics and physiology and on applied and environmental microbiology.

Serving in numerous leadership capacities as a member of the American Society for Microbiology, she was the 2006 recipient of the American Society of Biology’s Carski Distinguished Undergraduate Teaching Award. She is past president of the Waksman Foundation for Microbiology.

 

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

 

AcademicsPeople

Phi Beta Kappa Visiting Scholar to Talk About the Microbial World

Amy Cheng Vollmer's talk is open to the public.

Feb 27 2018 Read more

Jennifer Snyder

Professor, Physician Assistant Program

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

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

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

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

Jennifer Snyder

Jennifer Snyder

Professor, Physician Assistant Program

A Snapshot of Something Bigger

By Brittany Bluthardt '20

“This story is only a snapshot of something bigger, genuine, and unique” Butler University senior, and soon to be graduate, Nikki Miceli said as she introduced her capstone project, “Up North.” The video follows with snapshots of her smiling family members, days in the water, and some traditional campfire singing. Clip after clip, Nikki captures the little moments her family celebrates every summer at their cabin in northern Wisconsin. Two years ago, Nikki didn’t know the random footage she took while on vacation would turn into a 16-minute short documentary about her family’s history and legacy. When Nikki came to Butler University, she wasn’t sure what to expect or where to go first. She just jumped in.

Nikki came to Butler because she loved the feel and energy of campus, and it was the first college campus she didn’t get lost on. Beginning as an exploratory major, she tried a little bit of everything and strayed away from everything she knew she didn’t like. Nikki was certain of one thing: she loved to make videos.

“I like video because it’s a more detailed photograph,” she said. “My family makes fun of me because I always have a camera out, but I tell them, ‘In 10 years, you’re going to really like this footage and see how you acted, what we looked like.’ You see so many more intricate, small, wonderful moments with video than you do with photography.”

Nikki and her freshman year roommate made lip sync covers to popular songs in their dorm room, then she would edit the footage with iMovie and upload it to their Youtube channel. At the time, Nikki didn’t think much of it until one video of her singing to “Hakuna Matata” gained over 4,000 views. With the help of her counselor who urged her to pursue video work, she eventually found a home in the college of communication.

Flash forward three years and Nikki will soon be graduating with degrees in digital media production and strategic communication. She’s completed multiple internships with companies like the Big East Digital Network and Webstream Productions, but her greatest experience was found in the heart of campus. As a video intern for Butler University’s Marketing and Communications office, Nikki connects with people and tells their story through Instagram.

“These people at Butler are so dang incredible,” Nikki said. “They are, honestly, the most passionate and caring people you’ll ever meet. I’ve seen that through this internship the most. I’ve learned about everyone’s true, genuine story and excitement about why they love Butler. I just love it.”

Although Nikki pushed herself to complete multiple internships, study abroad in Australia, complete two majors, and have room for a social life, her biggest challenge was gaining self-confidence. Her parents, one an accountant and the other a physical therapist, have supported her throughout her career but couldn’t help. Nikki’s creative side is unique, and she knew she had to work hard to be successful and find a job after college. Rather than change her major or redefine herself, Nikki took the challenge and reached her goals.

“I know what makes me happy,” she said. “Some people told me you go to school to find out who you are, and I thought, ‘No, college only solidified who I was.’ I knew who I was beforehand.”

Nikki took advantage of any opportunity presented to her. She helped create the newest Butler commercial through her internship on campus, and although it was stressful and a lot of work, she doesn’t regret taking on the challenge.

“The commercial project kick-started my confidence and made me realize I have a place here,” she said. “I think Butler and the community of care will stick with me for the rest of my life.”

She said she’ll miss Butler’s tight-knit community, the people, and her experiences, but she is ready to move on. Nikki is unsure where she’ll land after college, but knows she’ll continue making videos and telling stories.

 “I’m confident now -- watch me kill it.”

 

 

Nikki
CommencementPeopleCampus

A Snapshot of Something Bigger

Senior Nikki Miceli uses her experience on campus to tell the stories of others. 

Nikki

A Snapshot of Something Bigger

By Brittany Bluthardt '20

Bettine Gibbs ’19

Student Profile

Bettine Gibbs said their “Butler moment” came at the beginning of her third year, during the College of Pharmacy and Health Sciences’ White Coat Ceremony that marks students’ transition from the study of preclinical to clinical health science.

“It lets the students know that this is the time to be serious,” they said. “It’s not a game. You have people’s lives in your hands. Having all the faculty participate was really nice, and the speech the Dean gave was helpful in guiding me, having me think about which route I want to take and understanding that it’s not always going to be a straight line to where you want to go.”

Gibbs, who chose Butler because earning their PharmD degree would take six years here rather than eight at another school, has often traveled the road less taken. For starters, while Pharmacy is typically all-consuming for students, they found time to walk on to the track and field team for two years, competing in the BIG EAST outdoor championships at Villanova and indoor championships in New York. In addition, they have been an officer in the Black Student Union, where they have pushed for more diversity and inclusivity at Butler.

Then, because they had an internship over summer 2017—at Eli Lilly and Company, in the Bioproduct Research and Development sector—they spent the fall 2017 semester finishing her Introductory Pharmacy Practice Experiences at IU Health Methodist Hospital. They worked a full eight-hour day each Saturday or Sunday alongside pharmacists and physicians, making medication recommendations. (Their classmates completed their IPPE’s in larger blocks of time.)

And finally, while most of their classmates tend toward clinical pharmacy, Gibbs has decided they want to be a pharmaceutical scientist. Their goal is to either work for a company like Lilly, become a tenure-track professor at a research institution where they would have her own lab, or teach at a liberal arts college like Butler.

Gibbs said professors at Butler have backed her decisions.

“Finding a home in the Pharmaceutical Sciences Department has been the best thing about Butler,” they said. “I found support there when I didn’t want to go the traditional clinical route. I was able to find support in the Pharmaceutical Sciences Department as well as the Chemistry Department—and even some professors in Political Science and History and Anthropology helped me have ideas about what route I would like to go. It taught me that you don’t have to stay in one place in this University. You can go to different colleges and people will help you out.”

 

 

 

Bettine Gibbs
Student LifePeople

Bettine Gibbs ’19

Gibbs, who chose Butler for a PharmD degree has often traveled the road less taken.

Bettine Gibbs

Bettine Gibbs ’19

Student Profile

Meet the Class of 2022: Jack Kane

Jack Kane
Major: Accounting
Hometown: Arlington Heights, Illinois
High School: Rolling Meadows High School

 

"I'm looking forward to meeting new people and the new experiences, and all of the fun that comes with college and everything." 
 


 

Racing remote-controlled model airplanes has been part of Jack Kane's life for longer than he can remember. He was 2 months old the first time he attended a competition, and the hobby has taken him around the country (California, Colorado, Arizona, Florida) and the world (Australia, the Netherlands, England, Switzerland).

And now, it’s a hobby he hopes to continue in Indianapolis. Jack will be one of 1,357 first-year students in Butler’s Class of 2022, the University’s largest class ever.

"My dad's dad started doing this in the '60s and '70s," Jack said. "My grandpa was obsessed with it. Then my dad followed in his footsteps to be closer to his dad, and I followed to be closer to my dad too."

Jack and his dad fly Formula 1 and Quickee planes that are about 3 or 4 feet long and have a wingspan of roughly 6 feet. In competitions, they race against three other flyers at a time on a mile-long course. The first one to navigate around three pylons and get back quickest wins.

Winners take home trophies—there's no prize money—and in the past five years, since Jack's been an active participant with his dad, they've won about 20.

Jack said competitions are meant "to just enjoy yourself and have fun with your friends."

"But it's an adrenaline rush," he said. "These planes are going about 200 miles an hour around a mile course. It gets your heart pumping a little bit."

Jack said the biggest competition is held annually in Muncie, Indiana—and that, in part, is how he ended up applying to  Butler University. He would see Butler billboards on I-465 heading toward I-69 to Muncie, and that piqued his interest enough to investigate further. He liked what he found.

Like Jack, more than 25 percent  of this year’s class hails from Illinois. As an incoming Accounting major, he’ll be among the first Lacy School of Business students to enjoy the college’s new building. Set to open in August 2019, the new business facilities will feature a trading room, food service, and a rooftop deck.

When he's at Butler, Jack plans to try to continue racing planes.

"But," he said, "I'm putting school first."

Jack Kane
Welcome WeekStudent LifePeople

Meet the Class of 2022: Jack Kane

An native of Illinois, Jack has traveled the world racing remote-controlled airplanes.

CommunityPeople

Butler Presents Eight Alumni Awards

BY

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 butler.edu/homecoming. 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
mallan@butler.edu
317-940-9822

CommunityPeople

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

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
Movie
Arts & CulturePeople

Lights! Camera! Action! Dance!

BY

PUBLISHED ON Jun 01 2018

Stirling Matheson '09, who already has dancer and writer on his resume, is adding a new credit: film director.

Absolution, his short film of a dance Sarah Farnsley '10 choreographed, will premiere at the Dances With Films independent-film festival in Los Angeles on June 8 at the world-famous TCL Chinese Theatre.

"It's a very different kind of directing," said Matheson, who danced with Ballet Theatre of Maryland, founded Ballet Theatre of Indiana in 2014, and has written for Dance magazine, among other publications. "I'm used to directing my company, and that's about training it to be repeatable so that it goes right for the one shot you get on stage. But we had five hours to do this, which was a new experience, for sure."

The film, which runs almost seven minutes and features five Butler University graduates among the company, visits the House of the Rising Sun, which in folklore is an allegory for purgatory. There, in the pouring rain, all the dancers are grappling with their guilt and figuring out how to forgive themselves for whatever went wrong in their lives. As they come to terms with their issues, they can go off into the purple light and the rest of the afterlife. But for some people, that takes more time than others.

Absolution debuted as a dance piece about two years ago during a Ballet Theatre of Indiana performance at the Indianapolis Museum of Art. As he watched, Matheson was struck by the details and angles in the choreography. He began to envision it as a film.

""I had some ideas of exactly what I wanted in lighting, which was different from the stage version," he said. "The original version was stark white side light. I thought it would end up looking dead on film. There was a bit of symbolism in the colors that we used, that pale melancholy blue-gray on the right side of the frame and then as they traveled from right to left, they went into that more ethereal death and rebirth-looking purple.""

He describes his role in the production as "translator" between Director of Photography Bryan Boyd and Farnsley, who made sure the film was true to her choreography.

They shot the film from 10:00 PM to 3:00 AM on a night when "it was 60 degrees and I was literally spraying them with a sprinkler the whole time," Matheson said. "They're some pretty tough ladies."

The dancers include Michelle Quenon '15, Anne Mushrush '15, Lauren Nasci '14, Audrey Robson '14, Christina (Presti) Voreis '14, and Catherine Jue '15. They're all part of the Ballet Theatre of Indiana company, which concluded its fourth season this spring.

Matheson said the Indianapolis debut of the film version of Absolution will likely take place during Ballet Theatre of Indiana's fifth season, which will be announced this summer. He suggested that people who want to see the film check out Ballet Theatre of Indiana's website.

"I'm never mad when people go to btindiana.org and sign up for the newsletter if they want to see us flail our limbs in person, rather than on the screen," he said, laughing. "I mean, that's what dancing is—it's limb-flailing. But good limb-flailing."

 

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

 

Movie
Arts & CulturePeople

Lights! Camera! Action! Dance!

Stirling Matheson '09, Sarah Farnsley '10 combine to turn a dance into a film.

Jun 01 2018 Read more

Fait Muedini

Associate Professor, International Studies

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

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

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

Fait Muedini

Fait Muedini

Associate Professor, International Studies

Craig Caldwell

Associate Professor, Lacy School of Business

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

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

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

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

Craig Caldwell

Craig Caldwell

Associate Professor, Lacy School of Business
AcademicsPeople

Dean Shelley Honored for Contributions to Teacher Education

BY

PUBLISHED ON Feb 01 2016

Ena Shelley, Dean of Butler University’s College of Education (COE) since 2005 and a professor in the College since 1982, has been selected to receive the Edward C. Pomeroy Award for Outstanding Contributions to Teacher Education from the American Association of Colleges of Teacher Education (AACTE).

The award will be presented to the Dean on February 23 in Las Vegas.

The Pomeroy Award is given to a person or persons who have made exceptional contributions to AACTE, to a national or state organization involved in teacher education, or to persons responsible for the development of exemplary teacher education initiatives.

Shelley provided the leadership to create the first Butler University memo of understanding between the University and the Indianapolis Public Schools (IPS) to establish Shortridge Magnet High School for Law and Public Policy (now Shortridge International Baccalaureate High School). In addition, she led creation of the IPS/Butler University Laboratory School, focused on early childhood and elementary education.

She also was instrumental in bringing Reggio-inspired educational practices to Indiana through the Indianapolis Reggio Collaborative. She was able to bring an international exhibit from Reggio Emilia, Italy, to the Indiana Statehouse for a six-month stay that provided many professional development experiences for hundreds of educators from around and beyond the state.

“Each success in the College of Education is not from a solo experience in my role as a Dean, but rather it is a beautiful symphony created by colleagues in the College and in the schools,” Shelley said. “There is a saying that ‘a leader is only as good as the team that surrounds them,’ and I have found that to be very true. I truly have the dream team in my College.”

Shelley’s approach to education is well known around the COE and Butler: “The College of Education believes we must prepare our students for schools as they should be, not simply perpetuating schools as they currently exist. We must be willing to explore with our students the difficult issues of inequities that exist in our schools and society and to help them to become agents of change.”

Shelley’s COE colleagues said her efforts on behalf of the College, its faculty, staff, and students have been outstanding.

“She has always been charismatic, clear in her vision and integrity, but at her core profoundly decent and kind,” said Professor of Education Arthur Hochman. “This is the reason that she makes so many connections, achieves what might appear impossible, and the reason that so many want to walk in her wake.”

“If you are looking for a positive educator and advocate who challenges the status quo and works tirelessly at lifting up the greatest profession in the world, then look no further,” Associate Dean Debra Lecklider wrote on Shelley’s behalf.

Shelley earned her Bachelor of Science, Master of Science, and Doctor of Philosophy from Indiana State University.

“Each day I see the future of education in the talented young people who have chosen it as their vocation,” she said. “These young people could do anything, and they want to teach. I see great teachers doing extremely difficult work as I spend time in the schools. It will be up to our society to invest in educators by valuing the teaching profession and remembering that our democracy was founded on providing a free public education to all citizens.”

 

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

AcademicsPeople

Dean Shelley Honored for Contributions to Teacher Education

Ena Shelley, Dean of Butler University’s College of Education (COE) since 2005 and a professor in the College since 1982, has been selected to receive the Edward C. Pomeroy Award for Outstanding Contributions to Teacher Education from the American Association of Colleges of Teacher Education (AACTE).

Feb 01 2016 Read more

A Career That's Off to the Races

By Elizabeth Duis '20

Name: Zach Horrall
Hometown: Vincennes, IN
Major(s): Journalism, Spanish minor
Anticipated Grad Date: Spring 2019
Career Goals: Become a NASCAR reporter; travel and cover motor sports

 

Maybe it’s the sound. Maybe it’s the crowd. Maybe it’s the speed. Maybe it’s all of the above. Zach Horrall loves racing and hopes to make a career of it. But his route to victory in the sport isn’t exactly what you’d expect.

Growing up only two hours south of Indianapolis, Zach Horrall watched countless NASCAR, stock, and Indy car races. Frequent trips to the city fueled Zach’s desire to become a part of the racing community. This passion quickly merged with his talent for writing, and he began to aspire towards sports journalism. When the time came to make a college decision, Zach knew exactly where he wanted to be.

“There are two major racing hubs: Charlotte, North Carolina and Indianapolis,” Zach explained. “From there, I felt like Butler was the best school in Indy.”

Zach describes Butler’s caring community as plainly evident from his first visit. Small details like someone going out of their way to hold a door or an advisor’s genuine interest in him contributed to Zach’s overall view of Butler as a place where he could succeed.

During Zach’s first and second years, Butler’s sports media program owned and operated a website. After convincing the director to let him write for the website, Zach handled all the racing coverage. Covering one race in particular would change the course of his career.

While covering the Brickyard 400 at Indianapolis Motor Speedway in 2016, Zach ran into his sports journalism idol Marty Smith. Smith was a general assignment reporter for ESPN who was also covering the race. Zach promptly introduced himself and explained his passion for sports journalism. It was then that Smith pointed to IndyStar’s table of employees and prompted Zach to reach out.

Believing he had plenty of time, Zach continued his coverage of the race in the hopes of approaching IndyStar later in the day. At the conclusion of the race, Zach looked back to see the table packed up and the employees about to leave. Practically running so as not to miss the chance, Zach approached the group, introduced himself, and inquired about a writing position.

Two years later, Zach Horrall is about to celebrate his second anniversary at The Indianapolis Star. This same interest in racing has transformed into a sports writing internship at one of the largest news sources in the state. His involvement with IndyStar began in a sports clerk role covering high school sports and has grown into the coverage of major motor sporting events such as the 2017 U.S. Nationals and this past spring’s Indy 500. A few of his stories have also been picked up by USA Today.

Zach attributes much of his academic and professional development to journalism classes and his time with the Butler Collegian. This experience provided real-world exposure that allowed Zach to learn in a hands-on setting. He will use these real-world lessons to serve as the Digital Managing Editor for the Collegian this upcoming academic year.

Moving forward, this successful senior aspires to continue working in racing, specifically as a NASCAR reporter. Zach maintains that as long as he can remain part of the racing community, he will be content and excited to go to work.

“I’m a very optimistic, happy-go-lucky person, and I want to maintain that attitude. I know the only way for me to do that is to do something I love,” Zach explained. “I want to be a person who says ‘I don’t have to go to work, I get to go to work.’”

This enthusiasm springs from a desire to share live sports with people. Not everyone has the ability to see a race, and Zach’s aim is to make these quick getaways accessible for everyone. He believes that everyone deserves the getaway from everyday stresses that sports can provide.

“Even if it’s only for a two or three hour race, everyone deserves that break from time to time,” Zach shared. “Racing isn’t the most popular thing in the world, but I want to show people why I love it and why it’s so interesting.”

To aspiring writers, Zach would like them to realize that it is possible to pursue a passion. Though covering a NASCAR race might not often be associated with journalism, it’s important to know yourself and explore the variety of positions available.

“The way that I’ve lived my life is to never take ‘no’ for an answer and never be afraid. If I was afraid to talk to my idol Marty Smith, I wouldn’t be where I am right now,” Zach explained. “You have to take chances because if you don’t, you will never meet your full potential.”

Summer in IndyStudent LifePeople

A Career That's Off to the Races

Zach Horrall's route to victory in racing isn’t exactly what you’d expect.

A Career That's Off to the Races

By Elizabeth Duis '20
People

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

BY

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
kforce@butler.edu
317-940-6842

People

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
Caldwell
People

Howard Caldwell, Alumnus and Former Trustee, Dies

BY

PUBLISHED ON Sep 11 2017

Beloved alumnus had lifelong ties to Butler.

Howard Caldwell ’50, MA ’68, whose distinguished career at WRTV (Channel 6) in Indianapolis earned him induction into the Indiana Journalism Hall of Fame and Indiana Broadcasters Hall of Fame, died Monday. He was 92.

Caldwell earned his bachelor’s degree in journalism and his master’s degree in political science from Butler. He served as a trustee from 1980-1983 and was awarded an honorary doctorate in 1984. In 1992, he received an honorary doctorate from Indiana University.

He had lifelong ties to Butler. His parents, Howard ’15 and Elsie ’17, and his sister Virginia Caldwell ’40 all were Butler alumni, as is his daughter Tracy Reidy ’80, MS ’84. His wife of 62 years, Lynn, has served on the Clowes Women’s Committee.

Caldwell served in the Navy during World War II and the Korean War. After graduating from Butler, he was a News Manager with WTHI radio in Terre Haute, Indiana. He joined WRTV (then called WFBM) in 1959 as a reporter and spent 35 years at the station, retiring as Senior Anchor. He was named the 1978 Newsman of the Year by the Indianapolis Press Club, a first for a television reporter. He was the first American reporter to interview the newly elected Indian Premier Indira Gandhi, and his documentary on hunger in India earned him several honors.

He was inducted into the Indianapolis Public Schools Hall of Fame in 2008. That same year, he received an Indiana Lifetime Achievement Award, one of the state’s highest awards given to any individual who demonstrates outstanding devotion to Indiana. He received the Hilton U. Brown Award for Lifetime Achievement from the Irvington Historical Society in 2006.

In addition, he is the author of Tony Hinkle: Coach for All Seasons (1991) and The Golden Age of Indianapolis Theaters (2010).

Visitation is Thursday, September 14, from 2:00 to 8:00 PM at Castleton United Methodist Church, 7101 Shadeland Avenue, Indianapolis, with funeral services Friday, September 15, at 11:00 AM at the church.

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

Caldwell
People

Howard Caldwell, Alumnus and Former Trustee, Dies

Howard Caldwell ’50, MA ’68, whose distinguished career at WRTV (Channel 6) in Indianapolis earned him induction into the Indiana Journalism Hall of Fame and Indiana Broadcasters Hall of Fame, died Monday. He was 92.

Sep 11 2017 Read more
Arts & CulturePeopleCampus

Commedia Dell'Arte is Like the Pork

BY Marc Allan MFA `18

PUBLISHED ON Oct 22 2018

Italian actor, director, and theatre teacher Marco Luly is trying to explain commedia dell'arte, the art form he has worked in since 1980, and The Servant of Two Masters, the play he is directing for Butler Theatre, October 31 through November 4 at the Schrott Center for the Arts.

He says the show, which was written by Carlo Goldoni in 1745 and has been performed steadily in Italy since 1949, is a comedy with some funny and some serious parts. Some parts develop the story, some parts advance the story, and some parts play the lazzi—the jokes, the fun. There's improvisation, so the actors need to listen to each other. They need to understand how to share the space and pace. To learn action and reaction. To control their body, their body language. To establish contact with other people. To pick up the vibe of the crowd and play with the audience, rather than to the audience.  

"Everything can be used," he says. "Everything. It's like the pork, where everything gets used. We can title this interview, 'Commedia dell'arte is like the pork.'"

And so we have.

Luly, who is spending nine weeks at Butler teaching two classes and directing the show, is the 2018 Visiting International Theatre Artist (VITA). Butler Theatre established the program in 2010 to give students the opportunity to learn from a theater professional from another country. Past VITAs have come from Russia, India, England, and elsewhere.

Luly chose to have the students perform The Servant of Two Masters, a classic in commedia dell'arte, a 500-year-old comedy art form that will be instantly recognizable to today's audiences through its resemblance to Shakespeare's comedies, silent movies, sketch comedy, and TV sitcoms. Actors wear leather masks that exaggerate facial features and identify them as stock characters. There are mistaken identities, lovers' triangles, class struggles, and more.

"Commedia dell'arte is at the root of almost every form of comedy that we know today, whether it's a TV commercial or Saturday Night Live, or Seinfeld and Cheers," says Diane Timmerman, Chair of Butler Theatre. "All these shows have stock characters, situations, physical comedy that is all derived from comedia. So it's fun to go to the source and experience what the original comedy was."

Luly brought with him four masks for the student-actors to portray character types. There's Brighella, who is a high-status servant like an innkeeper; Arlecchino, a servant character looking for money, power, and position in the world; Il Dottore—the Doctor—who bluffs his way through every situation; and Pantalone, an old merchant who's often in love with young girls.

The masks, he says, "are the magic of this form of theater. The masks are important for the actors. The mask does not hide. The mask amplifies. The mask is a tool that can help me show the audience my emotions, my sentiments, my lines. And I don't need to use too many words, too many moves. I can project my emotions just by one movement of my mask."

Taylor Steigmeyer, a junior Theatre/Psychology double major from South Bend, Indiana, is playing Arlecchino, the servant of two masters—and having a great time squatting and jumping and inhabiting this sprightly, sparkly, physically demanding character.

Arlecchino, she says, is a character with two basic needs. He wants food—he's always hungry—and affection from Smeraldina, the maid.

"He's someone who doesn't care about anyone but himself, so while I have to worry about what the other characters are doing, I'm in my own little world sometimes," she says. "I wonder when I'm going to get to eat again. I wonder if Smeraldina wants to kiss me too."

Steigmeyer said working with Luly has been a great experience, one she initially was unsure she was going to be able to fit into her packed schedule. But she found time to take one of Luly's afternoon classes, and then was cast as the title character.

"I was like, this is going to be such a great experience," she says. "When and where would I get an experience like this again?"

Rehearsals for The Servant of Two Masters have been running 6:30-9:30 PM five days a week, and Luly says he's been impressed with the students' work ethic and the way they've come to understand the characters.

As a director, Luly is a taskmaster, but benevolent. During a rehearsal in early October, when an actor missed a line, he told her, "If you don't speak, she might speak, so you have to speak." When the cast is trying to grasp the rhythm of a particular scene where everyone has a couple of words, he explained, "This is a staircase – 1, 2, 3, 4, 5, 6, 7, 8 – with each line getting progressively louder. He'll walk over to tilt an actor's head, correct the emphasis of a particular line, and instruct one of the actors to carry a prop on a different shoulder so the audience can see his face.

"He's intense, but he's very definitive," says Isaiah Moore, a junior Theatre/Psychology double major from Fishers, Indiana, who plays Florindo Aretusi, who is in love with Beatrice Rasponi and has run away from his hometown because he killed a man in a duel and has relocated to Venice. "He knows what he wants. We have to make sure we're ready to present what he wants."

To put it another way, they have to deliver the pork.

 

MEDIA CONTACT
Marc Allan MFA '18
News Manager
mallan@butler.edu
317-940-9822  

Arts & CulturePeopleCampus

Commedia Dell'Arte is Like the Pork

Visiting International Theatre Artist Marco Luly directs Butler Theatre's The Servant of Two Masters.

Oct 22 2018 Read more

Butler Year in Review: The People of 2018

In March of 2018, we launched Butler Stories, a place to share news, tell tales, and engage more deeply with our community. Over the course of the year we have shared more than 100 stories about the Butler community and its impact.

People are what make Butler so extraordinary. Every day, we are reminded of just how compassionate, tenacious, and curious Bulldogs can be. From a patient’s bedside to the sideline at Hinkle, some of our most notable stories of 2018 were about some of the most exceptionable members of our Butler Family.

Here are just 5 of the top profiles of the year:

 

Butler Roots Run Deep

Having spent much of his youth on the sidelines of Hinkle, Campbell Donovan’s path to playing for the men’s basketball team was a dream come true for both him and his family.

 

Perseverance and Patients

Cancer kept Trent Tipple from officially receiving his Butler degree until May 2018, nearly 27 years after he enrolled, but that didn’t stop him from pursuing his dream to become a Neonatal physician.

 

Let Passion Lead You

In the spring of 1985, just days before graduating, Dave Calabro skipped his math final to announce for the first time at the Indianapolis Motor Speedway. The decision paid off for the man who eventually became the official voice of the Indianapolis 500.

 

Shelvin Mack’s Homecoming

Shelvin Mack decided to leave school early to pursue his NBA dream. 7 years into his successful professional basketball career, he’s pursuing a old dream – a Butler degree.

 

Lee-gacy

Award-winning reporter and current editor for Butler’s Collegian Dana Lee ’19 has written for ESPN and hobnobbed with celebrities, but it’s impossible to tell her story without bringing up her two younger siblings, Jessica and Michael, who also happen to attend Butler.

PeopleCampus

Butler Year in Review: The People of 2018

From a patient’s bedside to the sideline at Hinkle, here are some of our most notable stories of 2018.

Ena Shelley

Dean, College of Education

After serving twice as the interim dean, Dr. Ena Shelley was appointed dean of the College of Education in June 2005. Shelley's experience with the College of Education began almost 34 years ago when she joined the faculty as an assistant professor of early childhood education in the summer of 1982.

For the past several years, Shelley has been heavily involved in state and national legislation and policy involving the education of young children. She has also been involved with the National Association for the Education of Young Children and the Indiana Professional Standards Board (IPSB), which oversees teacher licensure and accreditation of teacher education programs. Three governors have appointed her to boards active in legislation to help young children and their families as well as improved teacher education.

Twelve years ago Shelley began building a partnership with Lawrence Township's Centralized Kindergarten and in 1998 helped them to begin to infuse the Reggio Emilia educational approach into their environments and teaching practices. She continues that work today, serving as co-chair on the Lawrence Early Childhood Task Force, with the additional focus of integration of the arts. She was instrumental in establishing the Indianapolis Reggio Collaborative, which includes the Lawrence Early Learning Centers, St. Mary's Child Center and the Warren Early Childhood Center. Shelley also serves as a member of the Closing the Achievement Gap Committee and Digital Literacy Committee within the Lawrence Township Metropolitan School District.

Shelley has also provided the leadership to create the first Butler University memo of understanding between the University and the Indianapolis Public Schools (IPS) to establish Shortridge Magnet High School for Law and Public Policy (now Shortridge International Baccalaureate High School). In addition, she led creation of the IPS/Butler University Laboratory School, focused on early childhood and elementary education.

Her current research interest is studying how teachers in the new Early Learning Centers in Lawrence Township use the Reggio influenced art studios as they continue to develop their understanding of the many ways young children learn.  Summing up her belief on the future of education, Dr. Shelley states,  “Each day I see the future of education in the talented young people who have chosen it as their vocation.  These young people could do anything, and they want to teach. I see great teachers doing extremely difficult work as I spend time in the schools. It will be up to our society to invest in educators by valuing the teaching profession and remembering that our democracy was founded on providing a free public education to all citizens.”

In 2016, Shelley was chosen to receive the Edward C. Pomeroy Award for Outstanding Contributions to Teacher Education from the American Association of Colleges of Teacher Education (AACTE).  “Ena Shelley’s influence and dedication to the field of teacher education and her contributions to practices in all levels of education are exemplary,” said James M. Danko, President of Butler University. “AACTE made an excellent choice for the 2016 Edward C. Pomeroy Award. Butler University is extraordinarily proud, and we congratulate her on this honor.”  To read more about the Pomeroy Award, please visit: http://news.butler.edu/blog/2016/02/ena-shelley/ 

Ena Shelley
People

Ena Shelley

Dr. Ena Shelley was appointed dean of the College of Education in June 2005.

Ena Shelley

Ena Shelley

Dean, College of Education
AcademicsPeople

Lisa Brooks Named New Dean of JCA

BY

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
mallan@butler.edu
317-940-9822

AcademicsPeople

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

Making May

When the IPL 500 Festival Parade passes through downtown Indianapolis on May 26, one of the proudest spectators in the expected crowd of 300,000 will be Rebecca VanVliet '19.

Since January, VanVliet, a marketing major, has been a full-time intern with the 500 Festival, the non-profit organization that puts on civic events around the Indianapolis 500-Mile Race. She works from 8:00 AM to 5:00 PM, fulfilling one of the two internships that all Lacy School of Business students are required to complete and getting a taste of the work world.

Her role as intern has included working on logistics and planning for festival events, which include the parade, the OneAmerica 500 Festival Mini-Marathon, and the 500 Festival Princess Program. During the weekend of the Mini-Marathon, VanVliet said, she worked for 40 consecutive hours.

"I was exhausted, but at the end, I had a hand in making such a great event happen, one of the best half-marathons anywhere," she said. "To be able to say I'm part of that is really special."

But the best part of her internship experience, she said, has been getting to call retirement homes and other organizations that have asked to buy tickets for the parade.

"They ask, 'OK, so how much for the tickets?' and I get to tell them that the tickets are a gift from the 500 Festival," she said. "It's really cool, and it works in with a lot of my personal passions as well, which is great."

Those personal passions include participating in Best Buddies, an organization dedicated to ending the social, physical, and economic isolation of people with intellectual and developmental disabilities. VanVliet is the Event Planner for the Butler chapter. (She also serves as Chapter Marketing Director for Her Campus, an organization that empowers college women, and Ambassador Director for the Independent Student Council.)

*

VanVliet has been involved in event work for as long as she can remember. Growing up in Dublin, Ohio, she volunteered, and later worked for, what the community calls "the largest three-day Irish Festival on the planet."

"I like the idea of putting a lot of work into an event and see it come to fruition," she said. "It's so gratifying."

This summer, she will switch gears and do her second internship with Comcast. When she's finished, she'll be able to claim experience working for a government, a non-profit, and a corporation.

But right now, VanVliet's attention is focused on her work with the 500 Festival.

"It's something I would recommend to Butler students," she said. "Butler's campus is right in the heart of Indianapolis, and I think sometimes people forget that. This internship has been a really cool way to experience the month of May in Indianapolis."

Lauren Boswell ’20

Student Profile

Major / Program: Elementary Education

Lauren Boswell says she found her calling in a program at her high school called Cadet Teacher, which takes college-bound students into elementary schools to give them a sense of what it’s like to be a teacher.

“In that class, we got to visit the College of Education here and I just fell in love with it,” she said. “I fell in love with the faculty and all the ideals of the program. That was the main reason I came here. And I’m a big basketball fan, so that’s always a plus.”

Boswell said one of the great lessons she’s learned in the College of Education is that in teaching, “it’s all about the kids and the importance of individualizing learning for each student. You need to look at each student and help them learn based on their ways of learning.”

In addition to her coursework, she’s continued her longtime involvement with Best Buddies, a program that matches volunteers with people who have intellectual and developmental disabilities. “I’ve always loved working with people with disabilities, helping them be the best they can be. And I feel like I’ve learned so much more from them than I could ever teach them. They always have such a positive outlook on life, and that’s something I try to emulate.”

Ultimately, Boswell hopes to be a third-grade teacher. “They’re just developing those personalities. They’re getting witty and kind of funny and they’ll understand some of your humor, so that’s my ideal grade. But anywhere from kindergarten to fourth grade, I’d be really happy.”

And she said Butler has proved to be the right place for her.

“There’s just something about when you step on this campus,” she said. “I feel like it has such a great atmosphere. Even when I came back after being away for the summer, I felt happy. I felt like I was home. Even though I only live 30 minutes away, there’s something about the people here. It was so easy to make friends. Everyone here is just so kind and so enthusiastic about life. I’m really happy that I’m here.”

 

 

 

Lauren
Student LifePeople

Lauren Boswell ’20

Boswell said one of the great lessons she’s learned in the College of Education is that in teaching, “it’s all about the kids and the importance of individualizing learning for each student."

Lauren

Lauren Boswell ’20

Student Profile
AcademicsPeople

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

BY

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
mallan@butler.edu
317-940-9822

AcademicsPeople

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

Terri Jett

Associate Professor, Political Science

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

Terri Jett
People

Terri Jett

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

Terri Jett

Terri Jett

Associate Professor, Political Science

Behind the Behind the Scenes

Spenser Jaenichen '19 is getting a chance to experience May in Indianapolis as an intern with the marketing and advertising agency Mortenson Kim. He likes what he's seen.

"Before I had this internship, May was just another month and the Indianapolis 500 was just another festivity," he said. "But after seeing how much goes into it, that they've created this whole month of events rather than just a daylong event, it's really exciting."

Mortenson Kim creates ads and provides other services for the Indianapolis Motor Speedway. Jaenichen's role has been to put audio subtitles into video reminders sent to ticket buyers to renew their seats. It's peripheral to the big projects the agency is doing, he said, but "as an intern, I can't expect to be right in the heart of things."

The Goshen, Indiana, native came to Butler to study Strategic Communication. He had originally chosen Xavier University, but his mother suggested he go to Butler—where he'd also been accepted—on New Student Registration Day. "I felt an environment that I didn't feel anywhere else," he said. "I fell in love. That was the beginning of a beautiful relationship between the two of us."

During his first year, he decided to add a second major, Economics. "The academics of Economics is rigorous," he said, "and I figured if I understood it, it would help me across all facets of my education, not just business and not just advertising."

He started his internship in February and has worked on projects with a client list that includes Roche Diagnostics, the Hoosier Lottery, and Michelob Golden Light. He said the experience he's gaining is exactly what he hoped for. The internship has gone so well, in fact, that the firm asked him to stay through the summer.

Jaenichen said he's become fascinated by marketing analytics—using data to support advertising campaigns—and that may be his future. Either that or law school.

In fact, while he's excited about the Indianapolis 500-related work being done at his internship, he'll be skipping the race this year because the LSAT exam is two weeks after the 500. Race weekend will be dedicated to studying.

"I'd been looking at tickets," he said, "but I know that's a bad idea. It's one of those temptations you have to resist."

Indy 500People

Behind the Behind the Scenes

Spenser Jaenichen '19 is getting a chance to experience May in Indianapolis as an intern with the marketing and advertising agency Mortenson Kim.

Dujuan

Thinking Big, Achieving More

Pat Pickett Snyder ’82 APR

from Spring 2018

As a student at Butler University, DuJuan McCoy set his sights on success. The Ben Davis High School graduate and recipient of a Christamore House scholarship was dedicated in both the classroom as a Business/Marketing major and on the athletic field as a record-holding Bulldog sprinter.

The prowess and inner drive that helped him navigate his undergraduate years has propelled him into significant roles of management and ultimately ownership in the broadcast industry. He currently owns five television stations as President and CEO of Bayou City Broadcasting, including CBS and Fox affiliates in Evansville, Indiana and three stations (Fox, NBC, and Mynetwork TV) in Lafayette, Louisiana.

According to McCoy, his desire to rise through the ranks was established early in his career while in his first job at WTTV-4, Indianapolis.

“In 1991, the station was sold to River City Broadcasting. One of the partners was a guy named Barry Baker, a 38-year-old entrepreneur,” McCoy recalls. “He stands up in front of the whole sales team and says, ‘I’m looking for athletes who want to make a lot of jack.’ From that day forward, I wanted to be like that guy. I trained my brain to learn as much as I could about my craft, and I became the top sales guy by 25. I just took my athletic principals and applied them to the business world.”

His experience includes over 13 years of television sales management in market sizes ranging from No. 105 to No. 10. He has worked with small, medium, and large ownership groups in different regions of the country, including Capitol Broadcasting, River City Broadcasting, Sinclair Broadcasting, and Fox Television Stations Group, managing revenue budgets ranging from $4 million to more than $130 million annually and he now has over 10 years of M and A experience

“When I started really chasing my dream of station ownership,” he said. “I let enough people know that’s what I wanted to do, and heard a lot of, ‘that will never happen, there’s too much consolidation going on in the industry’—but I didn’t let that dissuade me.”

McCoy believes that despite an increasingly competitive media landscape, the future remains bright for local broadcast TV stations. “In a time of crisis—a hurricane, a tornado—people turn to their local station. That’s never going to go away.”

His reputation of turning around stations and increasing revenue followed him throughout the industry to his last job as Vice President of Sales for Rupert Murdoch’s Fox 26 in Houston. “When I started, their annual revenue was roughly $90 million, and in four years, I  took it to over $130 million based on my skills and strategy,” he said. In July of 2007, he left Fox 26, formed Bayou City Broadcasting, and agreed to purchase seven, at the time, unprofitable stations in West Texas for $3 million.  

“Five years later, I was able to sell them for nearly seven times that amount,” he said. My track record was solidified and, even during the recession, my companies profited.” That success attracted the attention of Bain Capital who provided the backing needed for his currently owned stations.

Amid all that success, it’s not lost on McCoy that his success is unique on more than one level. “For whatever reason, I was never given a shot as a station general manager,” he said. “I skipped that step, so to speak.”

His recent station acquisitions are of special significance according to the National Association of Black Owned Broadcasters where McCoy serves on the Board of Directors. “Even though constituting 14 percent of the total population, African Americans own only 12 full-power, commercial television stations out of the 1300 full-power, commercial television stations in the United States.” McCoy is currently the only African American to own, operate, and manage every aspect of a big-4 affiliate (ABC, NBC, CBS, or Fox) in the United States. His company has no joint sales agreements, shared service agreements, financing agreements, or any other ‘sidecar’ agreements with any group station owners. His company is a stand-alone operation.”          

Beyond that, the organization refers to McCoy as a “broadcaster’s broadcaster.”

“Upon acquiring his television stations…he immediately upgraded the service that his stations provided to that community,” the organization noted in a 2017 press release. “He hired staff and launched new local newscasts in Evansville and increased local news production in Lafayette, which had an immediate, positive impact on the community served by those stations. In addition, for the past 10 years, McCoy has been paying his success forward by teaching other TV Executives (with an emphasis on women and people of color), how to do what he has done all via the National Association of Broadcasters--Broadcast Leadership Training Program in Washington, DC. 

Dujuan
People

Thinking Big, Achieving More

"I trained my brain to learn as much as I could about my craft, and I became the top sales guy by 25. I just took my athletic principals and applied them to the business world.”

by Pat Pickett Snyder ’82 APR

from Spring 2018

Read more
Darius Hickman
Arts & CulturePeople

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

BY

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
mallan@butler.edu
317-940-9822

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
AcademicsStudent LifePeople

Ten Butler Students Selected for Orr Fellowships

BY

PUBLISHED ON Feb 13 2018

Ten Butler students from the Class of 2018 have landed two-year jobs after graduation through the Orr Fellowship program, which recruits and evaluates candidates based on academic excellence, extracurricular involvement, and leadership qualities and matches them with local companies.

The students (and companies) are:

Claire Cox (Allegion)

Zach Bellavia (Ascend Indiana)

Cole Geitner (DemandJump)

Bailey Padgett (FirstPerson)

Benjamin Evans (hc1.com)

Eleanor McCandless (Innovatemap)

Sarah Thuet (OurHealth)

Hayley Brown (Probo Medical)

Mariam Saeedi (RocketBuild)

Kaitlyn Sawin (Vibenomics)

Some 1,100 students competed for 70 possible positions with 47 companies across central Indiana.

The Orr Fellowship facilitates in-depth interviews that connect local decision makers to top young professionals.

“What began as a simple idea – attract talented new graduates to central Indiana’s workforce and grow them into business leaders and entrepreneurs over the course of two years – has evolved into a program infusing the community with hundreds of entrepreneurial, high-achieving and civic-minded Orr Fellows and alumni,” said Karyn Smitson, Orr Fellowship Executive Director.

Named for the late Indiana Governor Robert D. Orr, the Orr Fellowship develops the next generation of business leaders and entrepreneurs in Indianapolis. The Fellowship is designed to create a foundation for career success and a talent pipeline for the Indy business community.

Since its inception in 2001, Orr Fellowship has placed nearly 400 Fellows with some of Indiana’s leading companies, and many Fellows have gone on to form their own companies.

 

 

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

 

 

AcademicsStudent LifePeople

Ten Butler Students Selected for Orr Fellowships

These members of the Class of 2018 have two-year guaranteed jobs.

Feb 13 2018 Read more

How Entrepreneurial Are You?

Marc D. Allan MFA ’18

from Spring 2018

 

Stephanie Fernhaber remembers a student asking Butler University President Jim Danko, who owned a medical-supply company for many years, about the transition from being an entrepreneur to academia. And she recalls his answer vividly: “I really do believe that in whatever you are doing, even in running this University, I really like to think like an entrepreneur.” 

That’s the mindset she tries to instill in her students. 

Fernhaber, Associate Professor of Entrepreneurship in the Lacy School of Business, thinks we can all be entrepreneurial, our job titles notwithstanding. 

“We tend to think of entrepreneurs as high-tech startups or someone who owns their own business,” she said. “But being an entrepreneur means being innovative, actively pursuing new opportunities, and taking managed risk. So it’s really a spectrum. It’s not ‘Are you an entrepreneur?’ It’s ‘How entrepreneurial are you?’” 

Take her, for example. Yes, she’s a professor, but she applies an entrepreneurial approach to her work with both undergraduates and MBA students. 

“In my research, I need to be entrepreneurial because I have to come up with brand new ideas and theories and ways of testing them,” she said. “But even in our teaching, I think we all strive to be innovative. We want to try new things that will create value for our students. In doing that, there are some calculated risks.” 

Fernhaber grew up in an entrepreneurial home—her father ran his own construction company in northern Wisconsin— and her first job after earning her undergraduate degree in Business and Spanish from Ripon College was writing business plans, doing market feasibility studies, and helping startups and business owners get Small Business Administration loans. 

She earned her MBA at Marquette University and her doctorate in Entrepreneurship from Indiana University. In 2010, she joined the Butler faculty after four years as an Assistant Professor/Affiliate Status at Iowa State University. 

In her teaching and research, she looks at entrepreneurship and innovation in a variety of ways. One course she teaches is Social Entrepreneurship—how entrepreneurship can be applied to social issues. Her current research is focused on bridging international and social entrepreneurship, and considers how grassroots innovations in India move from the local level to the world stage. 

In addition to publishing nearly 20 journal articles, Fernhaber has co-authored two books, Teaching the Entrepreneurial Mindset to Engineers and The Routledge Companion to International Entrepreneurship. She’s also been part of the collaboration between several of Butler’s Colleges to write, illustrate, produce, and sell children’s books on subjects related to health. In that project, students and faculty from the participating Colleges bring their different expertise. 

And that, Fernhaber point outs, is an example of an entrepreneurial, innovative way to teach. 

“What I enjoy most in the classroom,” she said, “is when students get excited and get engaged about a project or a topic and when you can find a way to reach them.” 

AcademicsPeople

How Entrepreneurial Are You?

Fernhaber, Associate Professor of Entrepreneurship in the Lacy School of Business, thinks we can all be entrepreneurial, our job titles notwithstanding. 

by Marc D. Allan MFA ’18

from Spring 2018

Read more
Phoenix
PeopleArts & Culture

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

BY

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
mallan@butler.edu
317-940-9822

 

 

Julian Wyllie

Self-Made Man

Rachel Stern

from Fall 2018

Julian Wyllie ’16 taught himself how to be a journalist in two weeks. 

The setting was the Butler University Library and it was winter break 2015. Wyllie, a junior, had just been named The Collegian’s Editor-in-Chief. Despite being named the leader of the campus paper; Wyllie didn’t really know journalism. 

He was a business major. He had never taken a journalism course at Butler. He wondered why the paragraphs in newspapers were so “little.” He was used to writing essays. He enjoyed reading long books. He had worked at The Collegian, but was the Opinion Editor, and didn’t feel ready to oversee an entire paper. 

So, he locked himself inside Irwin Library for two weeks. A crash course, of sorts, in journalism. 

“I read everything cover-to-cover,” Wyllie says. “The New York Times, The New Yorker, The Wall Street Journal, everything I could get my hands on. For two straight weeks, I just went to the library, borrowed newspapers and magazines, and read every single word. I copied down stylistic things I noticed, reporting tricks, everything. I did not talk to anyone for two weeks.” 

It must have been a decent crash course. Wyllie, who graduated from Butler in 2016 with a degree in Economics and Entrepreneurship, has already worked at the Indianapolis Recorder, Governing magazine, The Chronicle of Higher Education, and Politico. 

But it was more than just that self-guided, bleary-eye-inducing, two-week course that set Wyllie down the journalism path. He credits Butler’s tight-knit community, which was conducive to “stumbling,” he says, upon the student paper. And more than that, it allowed people with no reporting background to get involved, very involved, in the paper. Butler’s curriculum also enabled an individual in the Business School to explore other interests, something Wyllie says he wouldn’t have been able to do at a larger institution. 

Wyllie recently accepted a full-time position as a reporter at The Chronicle of Philanthropy. This comes after completing the 2018 Politico Journalism Institute, which offered 13 university students intensive, hands-on training in government and political reporting. His goal is to continue to tell the stories that drew him to the library in the first place: individual people who are experiencing something that represents a much larger societal issue. 

“I stumbled on my life’s passion while at Butler and I am so lucky that I was able to find that, cultivate that, almost by accident, all while still pursuing a completely different major that helped me in so many ways,” he says. 

“The primary reason I am where I am, is that Butler is small enough to meet people who can change your life by accident. If you go to a massive school, you can only focus on business, or engineering, for example. At Butler, I was able to have a business major, yet also get involved in the college paper, which was something I didn’t even know I wanted to do, all because of the small community. I never would have been able to get that support at a bigger place. At Butler, I met so many people who pushed me to do what I knew I wanted to do, but didn’t have the courage to do.” 

 

Off to Indiana

Wyllie grew up in Brooklyn. The son of immigrants. Most of his family is from the island of Saint Vincent in the Caribbean. 

Wyllie’s mother moved to Canada in the 1980s to attend graduate school, and eventually moved to New York where Julian was born in 1994. His parents broke up in the late 1990s, and after his mother remarried someone from Indiana, they moved to Indianapolis when Wyllie was 13. 

When it was time for Wyllie to start thinking about colleges, Butler was very much on his mind. In fact, it was on the minds of most people in Indiana, he says. It was 2011 and Butler was fresh off an NCAA Men’s Basketball National Championship appearance. 

Wyllie knew he wanted to stay in Indiana for college and narrowed his list to Indiana University, University of Indianapolis, and Hanover. Butler, he says, was his top choice, but he didn’t think he had a chance of getting in. 

Enter Jamie Martindale. 

Martindale was Wyllie’s government teacher at Pike High School. And Martindale didn’t want to hear Wyllie say he couldn’t get into Butler. He pushed Wyllie to “just give it a shot.” Wyllie took Martindale’s advice and was thrilled when he was accepted early. 

“Butler seemed like the type of place where people would ask you how you are,” Wyllie says. “I remember visiting campus and just being completely sold on it right after my visit. I loved the size, the feel, and the people. Random people were just so friendly.” 

Fear of rejection wasn’t Wyllie’s only hesitation in applying to Butler. Even if he did get in, he figured he wouldn’t be able to afford it. 

But, much to his surprise, Butler ended up being more affordable than any of the other Indiana schools he got into. Wyllie received the Morton-Finney Leadership Award and the Heritage Award. 

The Morton-Finney Leadership Award is given to students who have taken a leadership role promoting diversity and inclusion in their schools or communities. The Heritage Award, Wyllie says, was because he was a first-generation college student. 

 

A New Passion Emerges

Hilary Buttrick knows she is not supposed to have favorite students, but when it comes to Wyllie, she can’t really help it. 

“He is one of those students who really sticks out in my mind,” says Buttrick, Associate Professor of Business Law. “He is a great kid, who is really creative, and has a natural curiosity. He just has an interest and desire to go way beyond what the assignment requires.” 

Wyllie first met Buttrick in her Business Ethics course when he was a sophomore. That’s where, he says, he really learned to write, and also realized how much he loved it. 

Buttrick’s class tackled Karl Marx, criticisms of a capitalist society, classical philosophy, and more. Wyllie, she says, had a gift for close reading and writing. If the whole journalism thing doesn’t pan out, he would make a great lawyer, she says. 

“He was always such a good contributor to our class discussions,” Buttrick says. “He raised the bar in class. Our entire class benefitted because Julian would raise his hand and say something truly insightful. He is the kid that every professor wants to have in their class.” 

As he was taking Buttrick’s class, he just happened to be approached by a Collegian reporter for a story she was writing and asked to do an interview. He agreed and, because of that interview, learned more about what The Collegian was. 

He connected with the Opinion Editor at the time and she looked at his essays. 

“I remember she said to me, ‘If we could teach you to write for a newspaper, would you be interested?’” Wyllie says. “I figured why not? Initially, I thought it would be fun to show my friends that I could just write my opinions. That’s what I thought journalism was. Boy was I wrong.” 

 

A Long Way from the Library Crash Course

Wyllie remembers his first column with a bit of disgust. “It wasn’t very good at all,” he says. He waxed poetic about why it was perfectly OK to be an independent student at Butler, but still have friends who were part of the Greek system. “It was very basic,” he says. “I was still learning how to write, let’s put it that way.” 

Eventually, he became the Opinion Editor and put his business background to good use, shaping the section through a new lens. 

“I wanted to have different types of writers for the opinion section. A business-focused person, a culture-focused person. I wanted an opinion writer for everybody,” he says. “I wanted to build the section so that if someone tuned in for one specific thing, they would be able to find it. I approached it from the perspective of, we need to get readers. I would never take back my business background. Without it, I would never have had that mindset.” 

After serving as Opinion Editor, Wyllie became Editor-in-Chief. 

“Julian is the only non-media major to ever hold the Editor-in-Chief position that I know of,” says Nancy Whitmore, who has been a Journalism Professor at Butler for 18 years. “He was very unusual and unique in terms of the history of the paper and we not only enjoyed that, but greatly benefitted from his new perspective.” 

Wyllie used his business background to tackle stories that others at the paper shied away from, Whitmore says. He wrote about student debt and tuition increases, the endowment, and budget-centered stories. 

“He had an outstanding ability to take complex things and make them understandable to the reader,” Whitmore says. “Journalism students, typically, hide from number stories because they aren’t drawn to math. But Julian took on those big issue stories and was able to succinctly translate that information into something that students could relate to and that was compelling.” 

Then, she says, he started to embrace the narrative style, as well. 

As Wyllie became more experienced, he started to dabble in human interest stories. Whitmore recalled a story he wrote about two students who nearly died in auto accidents. With time, Whitmore not only saw Wyllie’s writing style expand, but she also saw his understanding of journalism grow. 

“It was special having him around because we really got to see, right in front of us, his love for journalism, and what it could do, come alive,” she says. “His passion came from this sense of community service and how journalism could result in positive change for the greater public.” 

When all was said and done, Wyllie took one journalism course at Butler. But, he clarifies, it wasn’t a writing course. It was a journalism readership course. 

But between The Collegian, his business courses, and the people he met, the blended skills he acquired have helped him land gigs at places he never would have dreamed of, such as The Chronicle of Higher Education and Politico, he says. 

“The primary reason I am where I am and have been able to do what I love so far is because Butler was a small enough campus to allow me to meet people who would change my life quickly,” he says. “I had people telling me to do as many things as possible—not just focus on one thing—and I will forever be thankful for that. That led to me learning way more than just my major.” 

And let’s not forget about his two-week crash course, too.

 

Photo courtesy of Gary Cameron

Julian Wyllie
People

Self-Made Man

Julian Wyllie ’16 taught himself how to be a journalist in two weeks.   

by Rachel Stern

from Fall 2018

Read more
archive
People

Smiley, Langston Join University Board of Trustees

BY

PUBLISHED ON Jan 14 2013

The Butler University Board of Trustees has welcomed two new members: Joshua L. Smiley of Indianapolis, senior vice president of finance at Eli Lilly and Co., and Ronald N. Langston of Des Moines, Iowa, principal of Langston Global Enterprises LLC.

Both will serve three-year renewable terms as trustees.

Joshua L. Smiley
Smiley is senior vice president of finance at Eli Lilly and Company and the corporate controller and chief financial officer for Lilly Research Laboratories.

The finance function at Lilly is centralized with approximately 1,000 employees globally.

As controller, Smiley has responsibility for all the financial operations for the company’s business units and business functions. In his CFO capacity for Lilly Research Laboratories, he oversees an annual research and development budget of $5 billion.

Previously, he was employed by Lilly as a deployment leader for Six Sigma (2004‐2007); director of U.S. business‐to‐government operations (2002‐2004); and director of U.S. business‐to‐business strategic marketing (2000‐2002).

Prior to his work with Lilly, Smiley served as a financial advisor at Putnam Associates and Prudential Securities. He was also a board member for CGI Pharmaceuticals, a genomics-based drug discovery company, until its acquisition by Gilead Sciences."

Smiley was named in Treasury & Risk Magazine’s “40 Under 40” list of the country’s up‐and‐coming young finance executives in 2005.

He earned a bachelor of arts degree in history from Harvard University in 1993.

He is a past member of the board of Aspire Indiana, which offers mental health services, finds meaningful employment or affordable housing or those in need, offers an HIV/AIDS care program, and provides services for the deaf community.

His personal interests include reading, football, and spending time with his three children.

Ronald N. Langston
Langston is the principal of Langston Global Enterprises LLC, an entrepreneurial and business innovations consulting firm based in Des Moines, Iowa. The firm supports business-to-business relations in the United States, Africa, South America, the Caribbean, Pacific Islands, and China.

He has served two U.S. presidents, Ronald W. Reagan and George W. Bush. As national director of the U.S. Minority Business Development Agency, Langston led an agency reorganization and transformation that resulted in the MBDA receiving a Gold Medal Award for entrepreneurial leadership from the U.S. Department of Commerce. Under his leadership, the agency achieved more than $3 billion in procurement and financial transactions on behalf of business entrepreneurs.

His prior career included administrative positions with EMCO Manufacturing, the Institute for Social and Economic Development, Principal Financial Group, the Greater Des Moines Chamber of Commerce Federation, U.S. Department of Health and Human Services, U.S. Senate, and Iowa General Assembly.

Langston is a senior fellow for Global Entrepreneurship Initiative of the United Negro College Fund Special Program Corporation, and serves on the Villanova School of Business Dean’s Advisory Council.

He is a past chairman of the Iowa Commission on the Status of African Americans, and state commissioner for the Iowa Department of Transportation. He has received the prestigious Iowa Literary Award; the Ronald H. Brown Economic Development Prism Award from Minorities Magazine; the Asian Business Strategic Thinker Award; and the National Diversity Gala Best Practice’s Government Leader Award.

Langston holds degrees from the University of Iowa, City University of New York, and Harvard University. He is a member of the African Methodist Episcopal (AME) Church, and a fraternal member of Omega Psi Phi and Sigma Pi Phi. He is married to Inga Bumbary-Langston, Esq. of Washington, D.C.

He officially introduced his friend James M. Danko during Danko’s inauguration as Butler University’s 21st president on Nov. 17, 2011.

Media contact: Mary Ellen Stephenson
(317) 940-6944
mestephe@butler.edu

Can I Help You?: Natalie van Dongen '18

By Cindy Dashnaw

When Natalie van Dongen ’18 describes her passion for the environment, she’s not referring to climate change, clean air, or protecting forests. She’s concerned with how one’s environment can influence how other people treat them.

“Certain socioeconomic groups are treated differently based on their environment or place in the community,” she said. “For example, wealthy and white people, frankly, have access to better food systems and more organic food than lower-income and minority groups.”

Van Dongen credits her childhood for her ability to recognize these disparities. She was born in Indianapolis but grew up in the small farming town of Towanda, Illinois, with a population of just 480 at the 2010 census. Though her family never wanted for anything, it wasn’t the case for everyone in Towanda, where the median household income is under $45,000—and big stores with healthy food options are unknown.

“I was incredibly privileged growing up. I still am. And I knew if I wasn’t using that privilege to help others, I’d feel guilty,” she said. “My childhood is one that not a lot have lived. My experience is my own, and there’s a lot that can be done with it.”

But what?

In thinking about a college degree and a career, Van Dongen found herself considering the employability of her passions.

“I’m quite outspoken and really care about a lot of issues. When I was looking at what to study, I didn’t know which basket to put my eggs in,” she said. “In today’s world, you can be someone who is outspoken yet not very productive. I wanted to make sure I was putting my time and resources where my mouth is, but more than that, I wanted to do it for others.”

At first, mostly because both parents are Butler Bulldogs, she was adamantly opposed to attending Butler. But like many students, the moment she stepped on campus, she made her choice.

“There’s such a sense of community that’s unlike anything else. It’s like a neighborhood but more than that. I’ve never experienced it anywhere else. It’s a sense of solidarity and camaraderie that’s amazing.”

With the help of her professors, Van Dongen centered her academics on critical communications: The importance of messaging and rhetoric, how they can affect our understanding of the world, and how we can change the ways the world works.

Without them, Van Dongen said, she would never have been able to see a career path from combining her studies and her passions. “My professors identified strengths in me that I didn’t see in myself, and encouraged me to do academic and personal work that would help me explore them. In fact, they made me feel more comfortable in all facets of my life,” she said.

She’s now working for the City of Indianapolis, where she began as a Communications Intern. She helps callers to the Mayor’s Action Center figure out which department handles their questions and requests, giving everyone an equal voice.

Van Dongen’s Instagram profile features a quote from Paul Farmer, international health and social justice activist. “The idea that some lives matter less is the root of all that is wrong with the world.”

Now that she’s a Butler graduate, Van Dongen is out to correct the imbalance.

Dinner

Dinner with 10 Bulldogs

Megan Ward MS ’13

from Spring 2018

It’s not about the location or the menu for that matter. I mean, let’s not kid ourselves—college students are all about a home-cooked meal. But, what a Dinner with 10 Bulldogs is really about is the energy and connections made between students and alumni. 

Just ask Bryan Brenner ’95, CEO of FirstPerson and current Butler Trustee, who was hooked after hosting a dinner. “I’ve hosted a few of these because they inspire me—the eagerness of students to connect ... It reminds me to go for big goals in my own life and to encourage others.” 

Curious how Butler students feel about Dinner with 10 Bulldogs? Look no further than Logan Schwering ’18, who has engaged with alumni in various contexts, but says the Dinner with 10 Bulldogs is the most memorable. “It’s motivating and inspiring to see how much success Butler alumni have achieved. The dinners lead to connections that last a lifetime.” 

In Schwering’s case, it also led to an internship with FirstPerson. As Brenner puts it, 

“[The dinner] gives us access to great future talent! It’s also a great opportunity to reconnect to the purpose and values of Butler. I’ve instilled those values in my company. ” 

These values—trust, collaboration, and innovation, to name a few— are important to Butler students and many seek those values in an employer. It should come as no surprise, then, that FirstPerson has seven Butler alumni on staff and several Butler interns. 

So what kind of company is FirstPerson? It’s an Indianapolis-based strategic business advisory that helps organizations of all sizes become better businesses by developing smarter people strategies. Their core solutions—benefits and compensation, leadership and infrastructure, and community and culture—help organizations design meaningful employment experiences, resulting in healthier employees and a more productive business. 

“I do market research, benchmarking, sales support, and build community partnerships,” Schwering explained of his internship role, where he assists the small group team (clients with less than 200 employees). And with so many Butler alumni on staff, I wasn’t shocked to learn that Schwering reports to one—Alli Isaacs ’10, who is a Strategist in the organization. 

His connection to Butler alumni at FirstPerson doesn’t end there. Schwering was introduced to FirstPerson by Mark Minner ’12, a Managing Director with the company. Minner and Schwering met through their mutual involvement in Phi Delta Theta. Schwering’s role in Student Government Association (SGA) also gave him opportunities to speak with and present to Butler Trustees, including Brenner. 

About a year later, FirstPerson hosted a Dinner with 10 Bulldogs event and Schwering attended. He interacted with Brenner and Minner at the dinner and, as they say, the rest is history. 

For those of you thinking about hosting a Dinner with 10 Bulldogs, Brenner has some advice: “Do it! You’ll be energized by the rich personalities of Butler students, and their capacity for understanding the world around them. You’ll remember why you love Butler, and discover new ways to engage with your alma mater.” 

Still on the fence? Schwering reassures me that Butler students want to hear about your Butler experience. He also added, “If it’s the food selection that has you worried, fear not. Anything homemade or from a restaurant is likely better than what we would have eaten in the dining hall or made on our own.” 

See, I told you it wasn’t about the menu. 

We Need You!

Collaborate with and inspire Butler students while making connections that will last a lifetime. To host a Dinner With 10 Bulldogs, please visit butler.edu/busf/dinner-10-bulldogs. You will be energized to reconnect with Butler while encouraging students to “go for big dreams.” 

Dinner
GivingPeopleCommunity

Dinner with 10 Bulldogs

On the menu: trust, collaboration, innovation, and connections

by Megan Ward MS ’13

from Spring 2018

Read more
AcademicsStudent LifePeople

Butler Journal of Undergraduate Research Is Ready to Be Read

BY

PUBLISHED ON Apr 25 2018

An examination of an Indianapolis food cooperative's work to stem food insecurity, measurements of job satisfaction among those employed by intercollegiate sport organizations, and the underrepresentation of women in U.S. elected political offices are some of the topics covered in the fourth annual Butler Journal of Undergraduate Research (BJUR).

A full list of topics is below.

Volume 4 of the journal contains 12 student papers, including four from Butler students. Sixteen Butler faculty members in addition to the co-editors served as reviewers in selecting the best papers from among the various submissions for this issue.

Kenneth Colburn, Butler Sociology Professor and Co-Editor of the journal, said there have been more than 13,000 downloads of BJUR articles from many different institutions around the world.

"The academic exposure for Butler is very nice," he said. "Everyone knows about our basketball team, but we think it's important that a large audience also understands that Butler is a place for student scholarship."

BJUR was created to build on the success of Butler's Undergraduate Research Conference, which just completed its 30th year, and to complete the cycle—from doing the research to presenting the findings to publishing.

"We enjoy giving students this outlet," said Psychology Professor Tara Lineweaver, a Co-Editor of BJUR. "I have mentored four students who have submitted their honors theses to the journal, and I can say that each and every time they're thrilled to have their paper published in BJUR. It's a very good resume/CV builder for them. And it feels like the project is complete when you get to the stage of seeing it in publication."

Thus far, 19 of the 42 papers published have been written by Butler students. The journal also has published 23 papers authored by students from the University of Pittsburgh, Bellarmine University, Huntington University, Wabash College, Keene State, Columbia University, Hanover College (2), Midway College, Brandeis University, IU-Bloomington, University of Warwick (England), Cal Poly Pomona, DePauw University, University of Tennessee-Martin, University of Indianapolis, and Stanford University.

These are the papers and their authors from the fourth edition of BJUR:

PDF

A Community's Collective Courage: A Local Food Cooperative's Impact on Food Insecurity, Community and Economic Development, and Local Food Systems
Tabitha C. Barbour

PDF

Allopathic Medicine’s Influence on Indigenous Peoples in the Kumaon Region of India
Eliana M. Blum

PDF

Determinants of job satisfaction and dissatisfaction among practitioners employed in intercollegiate sport organizations
Ian Cooper, Chantel Heinsen, and Michael Diacin

PDF

Individualized Music Improves Social Interaction of Women, But Not Men, With Dementia
Emily Farrer and Diana Hilycord

PDF

Inferences on Criminality Based on Appearance
Hannah Johnson, Morgan Anderson, Hayley R. Westra, and Hayden Suter

PDF

A Blend of Absurdism and Humanism: Defending Kurt Vonnegut’s Place in the Secondary Setting
Krisandra R. Johnson

PDF

Do Black and White Americans Hold Different Views on Marijuana Legalization? Analyzing the Impact of “The War on Drugs” on Racialized Perceptions of Legalizing Marijuana
Benjamin S. Kaminoff

PDF

Miguel de Unamuno: The Relationship among Women, his Life, Spanish Society and El marqués de Lumbría
Tina Maric

PDF

Using Random Forests to Describe Equity in Higher Education: A Critical Quantitative Analysis of Utah’s Postsecondary Pipelines
Tyler McDaniel

PDF

Public Financing and the Underrepresentation of Women in United States Elected Political Offices
Libby P. Moyer

PDF

Holding on to Culture: The Effects of the 1837 Smallpox Epidemic on Mandan and Hidatsa
Jayne Reinhiller

PDF

The Reification of Hegemonic Masculinity via Heteronormativity, Sexual Objectification, and Masculine Performances in Tau Kappa Epsilon Recruitment Videos
Viki Tomanov

The first three volumes of BJUR (2015-2017) were funded through a Butler Innovation grant; this year’s journal was funded by the College of Liberal Arts and Sciences.

Going forward, funding will be provided in part by the following annual sponsors who have committed financial support: English; Biological Sciences; College of Communication; College of Education; College of Liberal Arts and Sciences; Creative Media and Journalism; Critical Communication and Media Studies; Gender, Women and Sexuality Studies; History and Anthropology; International Studies; Jordan College of Arts; Neuroscience; Philosophy, Religion & Classics; Physics and Astronomy; Political Science/Peace and Conflict Studies; Psychology; Science, Technology and Environmental Sciences; Sociology and Criminology; Strategic Communication; Founding Partner-Irwin Library.

 

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

 

AcademicsStudent LifePeople

Butler Journal of Undergraduate Research Is Ready to Be Read

The fourth volume of the increasingly popular annual publication is now online.

Apr 25 2018 Read more
Schneider
People

A Visit from Trip

BY By Rachel Stern

PUBLISHED ON Mar 27 2018

Allan Schneider said he was in complete shock when a bulldog showed up at his high school study hall in February. It wasn’t any bulldog. It was Butler Blue III, or Trip, with Michael Kaltenmark, his handler and Butler University’s Director of External Relations. They were there to deliver a surprise.

“I instantly knew that something was going on when I saw Trip come in and then I saw my mom,” Schneider said. “I knew some good news was about to happen. Now, I get to go to Butler and pursue my dreams in life. Ever since I talked to the alumni and the people there, they have nothing but great things to say about Butler and how wonderful it is.” Schneider is one of about 75 prospective students that Trip surprised this school year with an in-person visit, often to deliver an admission decision or scholarship. And while most won’t be swayed by a visit from a bulldog, the personal touch certainly helps.

This is all part of the #ButlerBound campaign.

Students who are surprised by Trip tend to commit to attend Butler the following year at a 20-30 percent rate. That compares to a 10-15 percent yield rate for all other admitted students. Prospective students often say how much the visit shows that Butler cares and makes them feel special, which is what Butler is all about. And while Kaltenmark and Evan Krauss, one of the marketers on Butler’s team, can only visit so many students each year, the impact is far greater, Kaltenmark says. Posts to social media and students and parents telling their families and friends have a ripple effect.

“Butler Bound has become a tagline for our new student recruitment, and specifically, our prospective students that we look to bring to Butler, so when they commit or when they’ve been accepted we hope that they will hold up their poster and post on social media that they are Butler Bound,” Kaltenmark said. “We hope this gets a larger audience to buy into the concept and embrace the Butler family before they even get here.” Kaltenmark and the team started visiting prospective students about four years ago. They often target cities that already have an alumni event scheduled, or an away basketball game taking place there. The team has surprised students in Indianapolis, Milwaukee, Boston, New York City, Orlando, Detroit, and Chicago, to name a few.

Some students have already been admitted to Butler, others are waiting to hear, and sometimes, Trip arrives with news of full tuition. That was the case with Schneider. The Bishop Chatard High School senior interviewed for the Butler Tuition Guarantee and was waiting to hear if he would receive full tuition. Then, Trip arrived in his study hall.

Schneider's mother, Katrina, was thrilled for her son. "My son gets to go to the college of his dreams," she said. "To see his face and to know that his dreams just came true, I can't even describe it."

Schneider
People

A Visit from Trip

Allan Schneider said he was in complete shock when a bulldog showed up at his high school study hall in February.

Mar 27 2018 Read more
Student LifePeople

Five Butler Students Earn Prestigious Scholarships

BY

PUBLISHED ON May 30 2018

Five Butler students have been awarded prestigious scholarships—two to study in the United Kingdom, two to teach English abroad, and one to continue his education in math and physics.

Huang
Nick Huang

Nick Huang and Marissa Schoedel have received Fulbright U.S. Student Program awards for English Teaching Assistantships for the 2018-2019 academic year from the U.S. Department of State and the J. William Fulbright Foreign Scholarship Board. Huang ’18, a Business major from Geneva, Illinois, will be teaching English at the Macau Polytechnic Institute. Schoedel ’18, a German major from Crown Point, Indiana, will be teaching English in Saarland, Germany.

Madisyn Smith ’22, from Coatesville, Indiana, and Megan Waxman ’21, from Highland, Michigan, will participate in the Fulbright Summer Institute in the United Kingdom, one of the most prestigious and selective summer scholarship programs operating worldwide. They will study at the University of Exeter and the University of Strathclyde/Glasgow School of Art, respectively.

And Robert “Alex” Glickfield '19 has been named a Goldwater Scholar for the 2018-2019 academic year. Glickfield, a mathematics and physics major, is from Greentown, Indiana. His career goal is to earn a doctorate in mathematical physics and conduct theoretical physics research while teaching at a university. 

Schoedel
Marissa Schoedel

“I have been ecstatic with our applicants’ successes," said Dacia Charlesworth, Director of Undergraduate Research and Prestigious Scholarships, who assisted students in the application process. "For example, with only 60 Fulbright UK Summer placements available nationwide, I am particularly pleased that Butler University students have, on average, comprised almost 4 percent of the entire population for the past three years. And in terms of the Goldwater Scholarship, it’s amazing that we have had four consecutive years with either a Scholar or an Honorable Mention from Butler.”

Huang and Schoedel, both members of Butler University’s Honors Program, join over 1,900 U.S. citizens who will study, conduct research, and teach abroad for the 2018-2019 academic year through the Fulbright U.S. Student Program.

"I am looking forward to engaging with my students and the community in Saarland through the game nights I will be hosting as a part of my proposed community engagement project,” Schoedel said. “I am ecstatic to be able to share my American perspective with learners of English and gain insight into their learning experience."

*

Smith
Madisyn​ Smith

As a participant in the Fulbright UK Summer Institute, Smith, a Pharmacy major, will be one of four students to participate in the program “Issues in Climate Change” at the University of Exeter. She will learn about environmental change and its consequences through both field work and classroom learning with faculty from the University of Exeter’s Geography department, which is one of the most successful in the U.K. and ranked in the top 25 in the world.

“I am beyond thankful to have been selected to participate in the Fulbright UK Summer Institute at the University of Exeter. Southwest England is a perfect destination for a first-time study abroad trip, and I am excited to see what this area has to offer,” she said.

Waxman, who is earning dual degrees in Biomedical Engineering and Biology, was one of 10 students selected to participate in the joint Summer Institute hosted by the University of Strathclyde and Glasgow School of Art that focuses on Scottish Technology, Innovation, and Creativity. She will gain a unique perspective on the cultural and political forces that have shaped modern Scotland, with a strong emphasis on the nation’s role as a technological pioneer. 

“I'm looking forward to immersing myself in Scottish culture and being able to experience all the technology and creativity Scotland has to offer firsthand,” she said.

Waxman
Megan Waxman

Fulbright UK Summer Institutes cover all participant costs. In addition, Fulbright summer participants receive a distinctive support and cultural education program including visa processing, a comprehensive pre-departure orientation, enrichment opportunities in country, a reentry session, and opportunity to join our alumni networks.

*

Glickfield, as a Goldwater scholar, joins 210 undergraduate sophomores and juniors across the United States and was selected from a field of 1,280 applicants nominated for the award.

“Winning the Goldwater Scholarship is easily my proudest achievement thus far," he said. "As it is one of most prestigious STEM scholarships in the country, I feel as though I have a great chance at standing out when applying to graduate schools like Berkeley, UCLA, and University of Chicago.”

He thanked his mentors, professors and research advisors Gonzalo Ordoñez, John Herr, Prem Sharma, and Manuel Gadella as well as the Goldwater Campus Representative and Butler’s Director of Undergraduate Research and

Glickfield
Alex Glickfield

Prestigious Scholarship Dacia Charlesworth for her assistance throughout the application process.

Glickfield continues Butler’s recent success associated with the Goldwater scholarship: Caitlyn Foye ’18 was a 2017-2018 Goldwater Scholar, both Lauryn Campagnoli ’17 and Whitney Hart ’17 received honorable mentions in 2016, and Luke Gallion ’16 was named a Goldwater Scholar in 2015.

The Goldwater Scholarship is the preeminent undergraduate award of its type in these fields and covers the cost of tuition, fees, books, and room and board up to $7,500 per year for one or two years. 

 

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

 

Student LifePeople

Five Butler Students Earn Prestigious Scholarships

Four receive Fulbright awards, one is Goldwater Scholar.

May 30 2018 Read more
John Michael Goodson, Deena Fogle, Emily Bohn, Abby Gilster, Elisabeth Speckman
Arts & CulturePeople

Sense & Sensibility & Bulldogs

BY

PUBLISHED ON Feb 06 2018

The production of Sense & Sensibility now running at the Booth Tarkington Civic Theatre in Carmel, Indiana, is more than a production of Jane Austen's beloved novel—turns out, it's a gathering of Bulldogs.

The cast includes Emily Bohn '16 portraying Elinor Dashwood, Abby Gilster '16 as Fanny Dashwood, Lucy Steele, and a gossip; and Elisabeth Speckman MFA '16 and current College of Communication Adjunct Professor as Margaret Dashwood, Anne Steele, and a gossip.

John Michael Goodson, the Director, is an Adjunct in the Dance Department, where he has taught since 2011. Deena Fogle, the Stage Manager, earned her Master of Science in School Counseling in 2013.

Speckman said she knew Bohn and Gilster were Butler graduates. She and Bohn had performed together in Shakespeare's Cymbeline in October at Indianapolis' Bard Fest, and Bohn and Gilster are roommates.

"Then one night at rehearsal we were talking about our lives outside of the rehearsal room and realized that there were lots of us!" Speckman said.

Sense & Sensibility follows the fortunes (and misfortunes) of the Dashwood sisters—sensible Elinor and hypersensitive Marianne—after their father’s sudden death leaves them financially destitute and socially vulnerable. Set in gossipy late 18th-century England, the show examines our reactions, both reasonable and ridiculous, to societal pressures. When reputation is everything, how do you follow your heart?

The show runs February 2–17. Show times, tickets prices, and more information are available here.

 

(In the photo: John Michael Goodson, Deena Fogle, Emily Bohn, Abby Gilster, Elisabeth Speckman)

 

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

John Michael Goodson, Deena Fogle, Emily Bohn, Abby Gilster, Elisabeth Speckman
Arts & CulturePeople

Sense & Sensibility & Bulldogs

Butler is all over the Civic Theatre production of Sense & Sensibility.

Feb 06 2018 Read more

Student Choice and Student Voice: One Grad's Path to Success

By Brittany Bluthardt '20

“Did you see this?” Butler University staff members said as they celebrated one of many student success stories this spring.

Michele Eaton, a Butler alumna and Indianapolis educator, didn’t expect to become an Education Week “Leader to Learn From” after she left campus in 2008. She began her professional career prepared, but she didn’t know what her future success would entail.

Despite her current passion for the field, Eaton didn’t always want to pursue education. She originally had dreams of becoming an engineer but was discouraged by a teacher at a young age. Eaton didn’t let this affect her future. She eventually found her calling at Butler University.

“I knew the impact one person could have, positive or negative,” Eaton said. “I wanted to be the teacher that encouraged a student to follow their dreams, and I would help them to get there.”

After receiving her degree in Secondary Education, Eaton kick-started her career and taught in Indianapolis as a second-grade teacher. Ena Shelley, dean of the college of education, remembers her as academically talented, eager to learn, and a quiet leader. She was very happy to hear of Eaton’s honor, but she wasn’t surprised.

“I wish she could've heard our excitement because people were so proud of her,” Shelley said. “In a time when there are so many challenges in education, she was a message of hope and inspiration for the whole college to keep going.”

Eaton accomplished her goal of becoming an educator and became a second grade teacher after earning her degree at Butler. She took an online class for her master’s degree while teaching. From the completely online program, she earned a master’s degree in education with a focus in technology.

“I was so enamoured with the program and the professional connections that I was able to make without ever meeting anyone face to face,” she described. “I quickly became an advocate. Online learning was something I could get behind.”

A few years later in 2012, Eaton became the virtual education specialist for MSD Wayne Township. Shortly she was promoted to director of virtual and blended learning, a position created specifically for Eaton’s interests and skill set. Eaton helps direct the Achieve Virtual Education Academy, an online school for students to receive a high school diploma outside of the classroom. She trains teachers from across the state on blended learning, a combination of online schooling and face-to-face interaction.

Despite Eaton’s experience in education, the program had a rocky start with low engagement and interest. The teachers tried various techniques, but nothing worked. Eaton knew they needed to think about the academy from a different perspective.

“My first instinct was to throw out a ton of ideas, but this was something I’d never actually done myself in the classroom. I took a step back and said, ‘Let’s be students.’” And with that idea in mind, she began to study who they were serving.

She collected data and feedback from the teachers and redesigned their techniques to fit each individual. What they learned was that the academy students come from various backgrounds, ethnicities, and ages; over half of the students are adults. To accommodate this nontraditional student, Eaton worked with the teachers to recreate the program and revolutionize student’s thoughts of online learning.  The academy now allows students to recover lost credits, accelerate their learning, and earn an official high school degree -- not a lesser equivalent.

The proof of Eaton’s success in the numbers. Total graduating students rose from six in 2011 to 30 last year.

“There’s not a one-size fit all solution for any student or any classroom, but when you’re talking about a specialized population that you find in a virtual school, you can’t just create something and hope for the average,” Eaton said. “The more that we can personalize the experience for our students, the more success that we’re going to find.”

“Student voice and student choice” is one of Eaton’s main teaching philosophies. Although technology is inevitable for online learning, she doesn’t think of the internet as an educational barrier.

“It’s not about entertainment, it’s about doing work that I care about -- doing work that matters,” she said. “I think that if we help students find their voice, we can help students learn how to be advocates for their own learning. Technology is a catalyst for that type of work.”

Eaton’s passion for helping students flourished at Butler. College of education majors experience hours of student-teaching in classrooms across the city. Eaton said this lead to professional connections with other teachers and leaders in the field. Her advice for current and future students pursuing education is to get connected.

“It is too hard of a job to do on an island,” Eaton said. “Learn how to network. Butler makes that possible, so when you leave that is something you can continue to pursue.”

Eaton kept her strong connections. One of her mentors from Butler University is professor Arthur Hochman, who even today she still turns to for advice. Hochman knew she was impressive from the start, and he remembers her unwavering energy and focus. From a few notes he kept while Eaton was in school, he reminisces on his visit to her classroom during her first year of teaching.

“I spoke to her principal on the way into the school, who warned me that she had a really challenging group of children,” he wrote. “I came in expecting the usual first-year teacher chaos but instead I saw order and innovation. The class had a clear sense of community, and you could not have found a more joyful teacher standing in front of a group of young children. I will never forget what Michele whispered to me: ‘I must have gotten an easy class as a first year teacher, because these kids come to school every day ready to learn.’”

Hochman said this is only the beginning for Eaton. Dr. Shelley hopes she will return to Butler to speak about her success or become a mentor for future educators. A part of the COE’s vision statement is to challenge the status quo, and Eaton does just that.

“She embodies this can-do, must-do spirit of giving back and moving people forward,” Dr. Shelley said. “It’s that quiet leadership of bringing people along, not forcing them, but helping them to see how it works. That’s a gift. That’s a true leader.”

As for the future, Eaton hopes to continue improving and growing as an educator. Above all, she thanks Butler for helping her to reach this point in her career. When asked, she says doesn’t have just one favorite memory as a student -- she just remembers the people.

“Butler is all about community,” Eaton said. “I think that was one of the best things about coming here and certainly something that won’t leave me.”

PeopleCommunity

Student Choice and Student Voice: One Grad's Path to Success

Michele Eaton, a Butler alumna and Indianapolis educator, didn’t expect to become an Education Week “Leader to Learn From” after she left campus in 2008.

AcademicsArts & CulturePeople

Professor Lynch's Book Is a Finalist for LA Times Prize

BY

PUBLISHED ON Feb 22 2018

English Instructor Alessandra Lynch's 2017 book of poetry Daylily Called It a Dangerous Moment has been selected as a finalist for the Los Angeles Times Book Prize.

Lynch will be flown to the April 20 ceremony where the winners will be announced.

Daylily Called It a Dangerous Moment has been widely acclaimed, with The New York Times naming it one of the 10 best books of poetry last year.

Lynch has been teaching at Butler since 2008. She has designed courses in the First Year Seminar (Memoir) and Special Topics in Literature (Transformations in Literature), Introduction to Poetry Writing, Intermediate Poetry, and Independent Studies in Poetry, and she created and designed an Advancing Poetry course.

She has also designed the Poetry Workshop in the MFA program, created and designed Shaping a Manuscript, Finding Its Song: MFA Revision Class, and advised MFA students on their theses.

Lynch is the author of three collections of poetry: Sails the Wind Left Behind (winner of the New York/New England Award from Alice James Books, 2002), It was a terrible cloud at twilight (winner of the Lena-Miles Wever Todd Award, Pleaides/LSU Press, 2008), and Daylily Called It a Dangerous Moment (Alice James Books, 2017). She has received fellowships from The Corporation of Yaddo, the MacDowell Colony for the Arts, and the Vermont Studio Center, and she has been the recipient of a Barbara Deming Award and a Creative Renewal Fellowship for the Arts from the Indianapolis Council for the Arts.

 

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

 

Donkey, Blue, Elephant
AcademicsStudent LifePeople

(Bull)Dog Days on the Campaign Trail

BY Sarah Bahr

PUBLISHED ON Oct 31 2018

What awaited Butler University sophomore Jon Gray-Smith inside the small, ramshackle house on a Saturday in Grant County in northeast Indiana this summer was less than inviting.

Maybe I should just skip this one, the Indiana Republican Party field intern mused before walking up the front porch steps.

But Gray-Smith knocked on the door, took a step back (no one wants to be accosted by a stranger, he says), and was greeted by. . .

A nearly nude older white man. Toting a shotgun. And wearing only a pair of white underpants.

While that’s his horror story, Gray-Smith says it’s not out of the ordinary for canvassers to work in less-than-ideal conditions.

Jon and Luke Messer
Jon Gray-Smith with Luke Messer

“People don’t always have a lot of clothes on when they answer the door,” he says. “And, in my experience, a ‘Beware of Dog’ sign is typically correct.”

The life of a political intern is hardly glamorous.They get chased by dogs. Confronted by half-dressed old men packing heat. Screamed at like they’re the second coming of Cruella de Vil. And most of the time, they do it for free.

But Butler students also intern with political campaigns in increasingly large numbers. At a time when the political stakes are at an all-time high, Butler students are dotting the state, serving in a variety of  roles with political parties. From answering phones, to crafting press releases, to knocking on doors, Butler students say it is not just the skills garnered in their political science classes that have helped, but also the skills from their journalism, business, and history classes, for example, that have prepared them for when they are thrown into the real-world political fire. Or even faced with a semi-clothed man at the door.

 

“A Dream Come True”

Knocking on 527 doors for 12 hours in Indiana’s blistering July heat isn’t most people’s idea of a good time.

But Gray-Smith, the Vice President of the Butler University College Republicans, says each interaction motivates him to seek out the next one.

“I’m talking to voters who sometimes have never talked to someone about an election in their whole life,” he says.

Gray-Smith says people are often surprised by his age.

“I had a lot of people tell me, ‘It’s so good to see a young person out here doing this,’” he says. ‘That keeps me going.’”

And, unlike at many political events, he enjoyed bipartisan support.

“I had so many people offer me bottles of water, Gatorade, Powerade, anything to help me stay cool,” he says. “They told me ‘Please keep doing this; there are lots of voters out there.’”

He won a $30 Visa gift card for contacting the most voters from 9:00 AM to 9:00 PM — an average of 48 per hour, with an hour for lunch.

But his margin of victory?

Just 13 people.

Passion fuels political interns from both major parties, who perform thankless tasks such as calling voters, knocking on strangers’ doors, editing video, and uploading press releases to campaign websites — most of the time for free.

Gray-Smith contacted just under 7,000 voters this summer soliciting support for Republican congressional candidates such as U.S. Rep. Trey Hollingsworth, U.S. Rep. Susan Brooks, and Mike Braun. From mid-February to May during his internship with U.S. Rep. Luke Messer’s U.S. Senate campaign, he called 17,000 voters.

Cecil with Susan Brooks
James Cecil with Susan Brooks

Door-knocking and phonebanking are hardly sexy selling points for students seeking political internships, but Butler Assistant Professor of Political Science Greg Shufeldt says Butler has “countless” students volunteering and interning for campaigns and political parties this semester.

Junior Rachel Spodek has been a field intern for Democratic Sen. Joe Donnelly’s re-election campaign since May.

“I’m running phone banks and trying to get as many voters registered as possible,” she says.

Senior James Cecil, who is named after President James Madison, landed a congressional internship on the Hill this summer in Washington, D.C., with Indiana congresswoman Susan Brooks.

The president of the Butler University College Republicans researched bills, attended hearings, answered phone calls, and gave tours of the U.S. Capitol building. She’d previously completed an internship with the Indiana GOP and is currently interning with the Mike Braun campaign for U.S. Senate.

“I’m a huge history buff, so being able to walk the halls of the Capitol was a dream come true,” she says.

 

Once-in-a-Lifetime Opportunities

While most of their days are spent canvassing counties and calling constituents, some interns do enjoy the occasional once-in-a-lifetime experience.

Earlier this month, Cecil snapped a photo with George W. Bush, whom she got to meet at a fundraiser for Republican U.S. Senate candidate Mike Braun.

“He’s one of the funniest guys I’ve ever listened to,” she says.

Gray-Smith was left speechless after he had the chance to meet Vice President Mike Pence as part of his Indiana GOP internship last summer.

“I was able to meet the second most powerful person in America,” he says. “I could’ve never imagined that would happen when I came to Butler.”

 

A Butler Assist

A common thread runs through Cecil, Gray-Smith, and Spodek’s experiences — Butler’s Political Science department helped them land their first internship.

“I always knew I wanted to pursue politics, but I was more laid back my freshman and sophomore years,” Cecil says. “Then [Shufeldt] urged me to get involved in the Todd Young Senate campaign during the 2016 election cycle, which sparked my interest and led to my internship with the Republican Party.”

Shufeldt emphasizes campaign internships because they lead to future political internships and career opportunities.

“Interning on a campaign is a great opportunity to open professional doors,” he says. “It  is one of the most impactful ways we, as citizens, can shape the direction of our government.”

Shufeldt regularly invites Democratic and Republican Party and campaign representatives to speak to his students.

“Studying politics in a major metropolitan area and a state capital is a huge advantage for our students,” Shufeldt says. “I encourage them to take advantage of this as much as possible.”

And Gray-Smith says Butler’s Political Science students are well prepared when opportunities arise.

“The two journalism classes I took forced me to reach out to people and made me more comfortable interviewing strangers,” he says. “They really opened my eyes that I can’t turn to my friends for help every time.”

“The U.S. Politics class I took helped inform my basic knowledge of voting,” Spodek says.

Cecil says being a conservative among more liberal classmates has made her more comfortable defending her beliefs.

“I’m an outspoken conservative in a liberal environment,” she says. “But my beliefs are challenged, not changed.”

 

A Political Future

Cecil wants to pursue a career in political fundraising. Gray-Smith wants to one day run for state or national office. Spodek wants to go into public policy and is looking at law school.

They know that, whatever path they end up pursuing, their internships will have helped them get there.

“The connections I’ve made will propel me to the career I want,” Cecil says. “I definitely look forward to getting up in the morning and doing something I’m really passionate about.”

But, in the meantime, all three stress that one vote can turn the tide.

“This election is going to be really tight, not just for Donnelly, but for a lot of candidates,” Spodek says. “I know every bit of effort I put in will make a difference.”

Donkey, Blue, Elephant
AcademicsStudent LifePeople

(Bull)Dog Days on the Campaign Trail

Butler students also intern with political campaigns in increasingly large numbers.

Oct 31 2018 Read more

An Enterprising Pediatrician Expands His Mentors’ Influence

Monica Holb ’09

Scientific theories comprise some of the lessons Butler University students receive in Gallahue Hall. One, for example, is Hubble’s law, which describes the expanding universe. In the law’s equation—velocity = H x distance— the H stands for Hubble’s constant. 

But if that equation were adjusted to explain the expanding influence of Butler’s science departments in the universe, the H might stand for Hole: Dr. Michael Hole ’08. 

 

Hole graduated from Butler less than a decade ago; received his MD and MBA from Stanford University; and spent time in Ecuador, Guatemala, Uganda, and Haiti. Now a pediatrician and clinical fellow at Harvard, Hole is committed to improving life trajectories for the poorest children. Around the world, many children are better off because of Butler scientists’ influence on Hole. 

“The part of science I like is its potential impact on the human experience beyond the classrooms and laboratories. Scientists, often humbly behind the scenes, make life better for each of us,” Hole said. “The mentors I had at Butler pushed me to apply their teaching outside the classroom, which led me to Timmy Global Health.”

Hole, who founded the Butler chapter of Timmy Global Health, an organization fighting for global health equity, credits his professors for shaping his work. Mentors such as Professors Bob Pribush, Thomas Dolan, Shelley Etnier, Phil Villani, Carmen Salsbury, and John Esteb taught him the minutiae of biology and chemistry, while placing the learning in a broader context. 

“You may think that learning how a muscle contracts is silly as a student. But imagine you understand that and can apply it for someone whose muscles aren’t working. You can help them work better,” Hole said. 

When Hole worked with a medical service team in Ecuador, he saw the effects of developing-world poverty on human suffering. “That broke my heart,” he said. The experience moved Hole to focus on becoming a physician for underprivileged children. 

“The Butler Way, if you will, supported me to take on leadership positions and to start organizations aimed at those social injustices,” Hole said. 

This support, particularly from Pribush and the late President Bobby Fong, allowed Hole to begin a fundraising campaign to build a school in Uganda. After raising $50,000 and partnering with Building Tomorrow, an organization providing access to education in hard-to-reach areas, Hole is proud to say the school now serves 350 children. The students, aged 4 to 14, learn science among other subjects, and the Butler influence continues its expansion. 

Hole has since kept in touch with his Butler science mentors. “They have been instrumental in helping me think about how to increase the impact of the missions of the organizations I’ve created,” he said. 

Among those organizations is StreetCred. As a pediatrician, Hole sees the negative impact of poverty on children’s health. He lamented that resources were available, but inaccessible. StreetCred helps parents file their taxes and apply for and access the benefits they can put toward children’s health—and it is all done in the doctor’s waiting room. 

“Butler had patience with me. They taught me and got me fired up about scientific thinking because of the implications it could have on human suffering. What is unique is that they are not only interested in scientific thinking, but are experts in mentorship; they are experts in trying to understand what gets me out of bed in the morning so they can apply their expertise to that,” Hole said. 

Yet, the biology major who became a doctor doesn’t necessarily think of himself as a scientist. 

“What I do is mostly social. If you find a cure for cancer, but you can’t get it to the poorest people, there is a gap. That is my passion—figuring out how to use the brilliant minds and breakthroughs of scientists and getting it to the people who need it most.” 

For children around the world, the universe is indeed expanding, leading to health and opportunity—in large part because of the Butler scientists who continue to influence Dr. Hole.

PeopleCommunity

An Enterprising Pediatrician Expands His Mentors’ Influence

Around the world, many children are better off because of Butler scientists’ influence on Hole. 

The Path Began at Butler

Patricia Snyder Pickett '82, APR

The recent addition of the Healthcare and Business major to Butler University’s College of Pharmacy and Health Sciences reflects the evolving needs within the life sciences industry. Many of these students will go straight into jobs at pharmaceutical or medical device companies, healthcare IT, or public policy positions; others will be prepared to go into clinical graduate programs or pursue post-graduate programs in public health or hospital administration. 

When Lynne Zydowsky ’81 began pursuing her Bachelor of Science in Pharmacy at Butler University, no such combination major existed and her path seemed fairly clear cut. After graduation, she would probably return to the small town of Newton, Illinois and help run the family-owned drug store where she had worked for nearly as long as she remembered. Her father had followed the same path—including graduating from Butler—and it seemed a logical progression. 

Instead, at the urging of what she describes as the interested and insightful Butler Pharmacy School faculty, she received a doctorate in Chemistry from The Ohio State University and was a National Institutes of Health post-doctoral fellow in the Department of Biological Chemistry and Molecular Pharmacology at Harvard Medical School. Because her career path kept merging with the business side of life sciences, she briefly considered entering an MBA program. “However, in the end, I really believed that I was learning a lot along the way, and that I had the innate desire to solve the problems at hand and was able to accomplish it in a positive and creative way,” she said. 

In the last 25 years, she has launched and built several successful life science companies, playing a key role in raising private capital, setting overall corporate strategy, and establishing and managing strategic alliances. Since 2003, she has owned her own business, Zydowsky Consultants, as well as served as Chief Science Advisor to the CEO for Alexandria Real Estate Equities Inc, a NYSE traded company. In addition, she co-founded the Alexandria Summit®, an invitation-only gathering that brings together the world’s foremost visionaries from the biopharma and tech industries; medical, academic, financial, philanthropic, advocacy groups; and government to discuss and take action on the most needed innovation in life sciences. 

She credits much of her success and subsequent leadership to a work ethic established in the family business that carried over to her years at Butler. “There was no doubt that my post-graduate work was going to be self-funded. Even while at Butler, I worked in the science library as a lab tech and at both Haag’s Drug Store and the Winona Hospital pharmacy,” she recounts. “I got my (pharmacy) license to practice in Indiana and Ohio after college because I had to support myself in graduate school. I learned to manage my time and work efficiently.” 

Her advice to those students considering a career in the life sciences? 

“You always have to be realistic about the opportunities at hand—even when I was getting my PhD I was thinking about my future job,” she said. “I’d really like to see students intern every summer in internships that are meaningful where they can experience different segments of business, science, or philanthropy and not wait until their last summer before graduation … why not do it every summer?” 

Zydowsky has lived in San Francisco since 1996, moving there initially for a position with a biotech company. She admits it took several years before she adjusted to living on the West Coast. Now? “I can’t imagine leaving,” she said. “Acceptance, social responsibility, and innovation are woven into the fabric of the city. There’s a feeling that no problem is too big to solve. Living here really changed me; it’s made me more open and creative in my thinking.”

PeopleCommunity

The Path Began at Butler

The recent addition of the Healthcare and Business major to Butler University’s College of Pharmacy and Health Sciences reflects the evolving needs within the life sciences industry.

The Path Began at Butler

Patricia Snyder Pickett '82, APR
Arts & CulturePeopleCommunity

Angela Brown Sings Again in Celebration Concert

BY

PUBLISHED ON Feb 08 2018

Indianapolis-based soprano Angela Brown, who had taken some time off due to vocal stress, returns to the stage for a free concert on Sunday, February 25, at 7:30 PM at Butler University's Schrott Center for the Arts as part of the Celebration of African-American Music Concert.

The concert will feature Brown, Butler University choirs, and the Eastern Star Church Choir performing together and separately songs such as "This Little Light of Mine," "Wade in the Water," and "Lift Every Voice and Sing."

The Celebration of African-American Music Concert, pioneered by Jeremiah Marcèle Sanders MM '17 in collaboration with the Efroymson Diversity Center, Mu Phi Epsilon and the School of Music, celebrates the vast wealth of African-American culture through singing.

"Our singing is a tool for increasing the awareness of the oppression under which African slaves were brought to this land," Sanders said. "We wish that all see a day in which we celebrate a reconciliation of racial injustice. Until that day arrives, we rejoice in hope, sing in unity of mind and spirit, and educate toward equality."

Brown, a Butler University Visiting Guest Artist during the 2017–2018 academic year, sang on the Grammy-winning recording of "Ask Your Mama,” composer Laura Karpman’s setting of the poem by Langston Hughes of the same title. She also co-starred in the new American opera Charlie Parker’s Yardbird in the 2015 world-premiere performance with Opera Philadelphia.

She reprised the role of Addie Parker in historic performances at The Apollo in New York City in 2016, for Lyric Opera of Chicago and Madison Opera, and in London at The Hackney Empire in 2017.

This season includes solo appearances with the Indianapolis Chamber Orchestra, Venice Symphony Orchestra, Fayetteville Symphony Orchestra, and Duisberger Philharmonic (Germany) as well as performances of Opera…from a Sistah’s Point of View in the United States.

The Butler choirs will be conducted by John Perkins, Associate Director of Choral Activities, who joined the University in 2014. Perkins previously served at the American University of Sharjah (UAE) from 2008-2014. Perkins’ teaching and research centers around broadening reasons for choral musicking, including social justice education. In pursuit of these goals, in the spring of 2016 he created a transnational course entitled "Peacebuilding through Choral Singing."

Sherri Garrison, who conducts the Eastern Star Church, Cooper Road campus, has been the Minister of Music there for the last 30 years. During her tenure at Eastern Star Church, she has overseen six choirs, of which she taught and directed five, two praise teams, two dance ministries, and a full music staff.

 

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

 

Arts & CulturePeopleCommunity

Angela Brown Sings Again in Celebration Concert

Performance will feature the great soprano along with Butler choirs and the Eastern Star Church choir.

Feb 08 2018 Read more
Arts & CulturePeople

James Alexander Thom '60 Earns Lifetime Achievement Award

BY

PUBLISHED ON Jan 25 2018

Historical fiction novelist James Alexander Thom ’60 has been selected as the recipient of the 2018 Lifetime Achievement Award by the Indianapolis Public Library Foundation. He is only the third Hoosier author to receive this award.

Thom studied English and journalism at Butler, after which he became a reporter and columnist for The Indianapolis Star, as well as a freelance magazine writer. His writing focuses on frontier and Indian Wars history, and his carefully researched novels have sold more than 2 million copies. Two of these novels were made into television films by Ted Turner and Hallmark.

Follow the River, a 1981 novel about a pioneer woman captured by Shawnee Indians became a New York Times bestseller and is now in its 50th printing. Panther in the Sky, his biographical novel about Shawnee chieftain Tecumseh, won the Western Writers of America Spur Award for best novel in 1989.

Years of research among Shawnee Indians for Panther in the Sky led to his marriage to Dark Rain, a Shawnee Indian with whom he co-authored the 2003 novel Warrior Woman. His most recent book, Fire in the Water, about the sinking of the steamboat Sultana during the Civil War, was published in 2016.

Thom was born in Owen County, Indiana, in 1933 and still resides there, in a log house he built himself. He is currently working on another American Indian novel and a memoir, and he is illustrating a children’s book.

“Awards come as surprises,” he said. “In my long lifetime as an author, I've never worked on a story with an award in mind. Storytelling is its own reward. It takes the cake. Good thing, because the pay isn't all that great. Being able to live on your royalties, if you can, is icing on the cake. Then they surprise you with an award like this ... and it's like a bright candle on top of the icing on top of the cake.”

The Lifetime Achievement Award is a literary honor that seeks to recognize outstanding authors who have left an indelible mark on our state’s literary heritage. Thom’s life and work will be celebrated at the Indiana Authors Award Dinner on October 13 at Central Library. He will select an Indiana public library to receive a $2,500 grant on behalf of the Library Foundation.

In 2009, Thom won the library’s National Indiana Authors Award, and he received multiple nominations for the Lifetime Achievement Award. As one nominee said, “[James Thom] researches his subjects very carefully and makes historical characters come alive and their stories compelling and interesting to read. When he writes, it’s as if he has a paintbrush in his hand, describing every detail as though he were painting a picture. I can see each scene he portrays, and I feel as though I am there in that time and place. I can even smell the smoke of battle or bread baking in the oven. He cares about his characters and makes us care about them as well.”

In addition to his writing and journalism talents, Thom’s legacy includes serving as a professor and lecturer in the Indiana University School of Journalism and mentoring many people in the Indiana writing community over the years.

The Eugene & Marilyn Glick Indiana Authors Award recognizes Indiana authors’ contributions to the literary landscape in Indiana and across the nation. 2018 marks the 10th anniversary of the Award. The Indiana Authors Award is a program of The Indianapolis Public Library Foundation and is funded through the generosity of the Glick Fund, a fund of Central Indiana Community Foundation.

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

 

Arts & CulturePeople

James Alexander Thom '60 Earns Lifetime Achievement Award

The Indianapolis Public Library Foundation will honor him on October 13.

Jan 25 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
AcademicsPeople

Professor Hege's Book Looks at the Resurrection

BY

PUBLISHED ON Jan 26 2018

At the heart of Christian faith is the resurrection—the idea that "Jesus is risen." But what does that mean? Did Jesus literally walk out of the tomb? Did he transform into a new body? Or is the resurrection symbolic or metaphorical?

Those are some of the questions Center for Faith and Vocation Scholar in Residence and Instructor of Religion Brent Hege examines in his new book, Myth, History, and the Resurrection in German Protestant Theology.

Hege writes that beginning in the 18th century and for about 300 years, theologians—starting in Germany, then spreading across Europe and the United States—have debated the true meaning of the resurrection.

"That's what this book is," he said. "It's a journey through what that discussion was like."

In the book, Hege doesn't adjudicate the different theologies. Instead, he lays them out for the reader and points out that "good questions never die; only the responses change."

"Not only is the question of the resurrection a good question," he writes, "it is also perhaps the most important question for Christian theology. The responses to these questions must evolve because the context in which the questions are raised is also always evolving. What was the most faithful response for the ancient church might not be the most faithful response for the church at the beginning of the twenty-first century. It is the task of theology to evaluate its context and develop faithful responses that address that same context."

The idea for the book grew out of Hege's master's thesis, which he wrote in 2001 while a student at the Lutheran Theological Seminary in Gettysburg, Pennsylvania, about theologian Rudolf Bultmann. At the time Hege finished writing, Bultmann's views had become out of date and unfashionable. So Hege moved on to other topics.

Then two years ago, a Princeton Theological Seminary scholar published a nearly 1,000-page study of Bultmann's work, The Mission of Demythologizing. Hege, who's in his 10th year teaching at Butler, decided the time was right to revisit and revise his master's research. The result is this new book.

To some degree, the book is written for scholars, Hege said. But he's heard from people who aren't scholars who found it helpful.

"Especially people who aren't sure about that question," he said. "Anybody who is familiar with the broad contours of Christian thinking and has a little sense of the history of intellectual ideas from the last 300 years will be able to follow it easily."

 

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

AcademicsPeople

Professor Hege's Book Looks at the Resurrection

He documents theologians' arguments from the past 300 years.

Jan 26 2018 Read more
Marc Williams

A Philanthropic Vibe

Marc D. Allan MFA ’18

from Spring 2018

As a student, Marc Williams ’07 spent as much time as possible in Fairbanks, Room 050, working on his music and learning audio production. 

“I just threw myself into that,” he said. “Admittedly, I didn’t think of what it would be like for me after college. I was just so in love with having the opportunity to be hands-on with equipment I could never afford in my entire life. I thought that was such a great opportunity. I was all-in when it came to that.” 

What it’s been like since college has been a mix that takes advantage of Williams’ many talents. He is, depending on the time of day: A special-education teacher at Fishers (Indiana) High School; the on-court emcee at Butler Men’s Basketball home games; a recording artist and deejay (known as Mr. Kinetik; his latest record is called Voyager); event producer and promoter (Fam Jaaams, a family-oriented dance party, is his newest event); and Adjunct Professor at Butler, where he teaches “A World of Hip-Hop,” a course on the global impact of rap culture. Not to mention husband and father. 

The through line for all of this? Butler. 

“Butler is where I was able to figure out who I really wanted to be,” he said. “As I was learning new information, I was able to form a more detailed perspective about myself and my place in the world. I met people from all over the world, had support from incredible people, and was able to experience things in ways I really never imagined.” 

Williams came to Butler from Dayton, Ohio, in 2003—two years after his sister Danielle—for the Engineering Dual Degree Program. When that major didn’t fit, he switched to Recording Industry Studies. 

“Best decision I made in college in terms of academics,” he said. 

After graduation, Williams went back to Dayton to work for a car dealership management software company, then returned to Indianapolis in 2008 for a job with a company that sold copy machines. “I hated every part of it,” he said. 

He saw an ad on Career Builder for a transition-to-teaching program. “I thought, I like young people and I like working with people and watching them become better,” he said. “I thought it would be nice to do because there were so many educators who had helped teach me. I thought it would be a cool thing to do and give back. A philanthropic vibe. I thought I was going to save the world from a classroom.” 

Williams is now in his 10th year of teaching at Fishers, where his classes include Algebra 1, English 10, and a basic reading/writing skills class—and he has found his niche. He approaches teaching this way: Students are like plants. Some of them will grow fast, some will take a while, some will take more work than others, some might not grow the way you want them to. 

He approaches his role as on-court emcee—a position he pioneered during the 2009–2010 season—with the same kind of thoughtfulness. “I’m not really the center of attention, as much as it may seem like it. I just want people to be engaged and have a good time and establish an environment that helps the team play better.” 

And just as Williams enjoys helping to excite the Hinkle Fieldhouse crowd, he’s just as happy to have a chance to spend time at his alma mater. 

“Butler is my home away from home,” Williams said. “I hope I’ll always have a way to be somewhere around 4600 Sunset Avenue for the rest of my life.” 

Marc Williams
GivingPeopleCommunity

A Philanthropic Vibe

"I thought I was going to save the world from a classroom.”

by Marc D. Allan MFA ’18

from Spring 2018

Read more
Lacy School of Business
People

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

BY

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
mallan@butler.edu
317-940-9822

Lacy School of Business
People

‘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

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.

5 Questions for Kate Richards '18

By Shannon Rostin '18

Butler’s American Sign Language Club (ASL) engages students and the community by promoting appreciation for American Sign Language. In addition to improving ASL skills, the group offers events open to the public. Senior Kate Richards, a Communication Sciences and Disorders major, is president of ASL and shared her experience in both ASL and the CSD major. 


What are your career goals or post grad goals?

After getting my MA in Speech-Language Pathology, I would be happy working in any speech-language pathology (SLP) setting, but my dream is to be an SLP with children. I hope my future  career involves working with kids in a children’s hospital, outpatient clinic, or a hearing or a deaf school, especially if I could use my American Sign Language skills.


What is ASL?

American Sign Language (ASL) is a form of manual sign language used predominantly by people that are deaf and members of the deaf community of the United States.


How does ASL relate to the CSD major? How does the club relate to the butler or Indy community?

The CSD major centers around active and successful communication, and ASL is a true manifestation of that. ASL is a thriving language that is surrounded by a community and culture, especially here in Indianapolis. In Indy, there is a vibrant deaf community with the Indiana School for the Deaf nearby. This, along with other community events, allows the club and Butler students to partner with ISD to participate in events, volunteer, and get together with members of the deaf community


What inspired you to study CSD?

Ever since I was young, I knew I wanted to work in a service industry and with children. I have always been really interested in medicine and anatomy. For a long time, I thought I would study pre-med and become a pediatrician. Then I stumbled upon the SLP career and realized it was the perfect marriage of medical and communications. This is when I realized it was the perfect major and career path for me.

 

For more information on ASL, visit https://www.butler.edu/communication-disorders/student-resources 

ASL Butler
Student LifePeople

5 Questions for Kate Richards '18

Senior Kate Richards, a Communication Sciences and Disorders major, is president of Butler's American Sign Language club. She answers 5 questions about her experiences at Butler. 

ASL Butler

5 Questions for Kate Richards '18

By Shannon Rostin '18

When a Journalist's Questions Transform Care

Monica Holb ’09

When one begins his healthcare career following a tandem bike across the country, there is no telling where he’ll travel and what he’ll learn along the way. 

“Transformation is a never-ending journey,” John Doyle ’74, said. He may have been referencing the continuing changes of the healthcare industry; he may have been talking about his own career. 

Doyle, Executive Vice President of Ascension, the largest nonprofit healthcare system in the United States, also serves as President and CEO of Ascension Holdings and Ascension Holdings International. He has spent his career in healthcare, a science-heavy industry. But the journalist by training admits science was never his strong suit. 

While at Manual High School, Doyle was named Editor in Chief of the Manual Booster and advisor Jane Gable encouraged him to apply for a Pulliam family-sponsored Hilton U. Brown Journalism scholarship. Upon being awarded the scholarship, he made the choice to attend Butler University and study Journalism. 

The closest Doyle got to science at Butler was covering the 1973 opening of Gallahue Hall for The Collegian. The writer’s outside perspective has allowed him to advance in a scientific industry, asking the unconstrained questions to stimulate progress. That is a trait emblematic of both journalists and scientists. 

After writing for and editing The Collegian, and having spent his senior year as Editor in Chief, Doyle found himself with a post-graduate internship at St. Jude Children’s Research Hospital. St. Jude commissioned a husband and wife to ride a tandem bike across the country to raise awareness and funds for the organization dedicated to healing sick kids. Doyle’s job was to plan the ride, work with media contacts, make introductions, and lay the foundation for a continuing campaign. 

“It was an exciting thing,” Doyle said. “I took off in a new Chevy Impala loaded with a stack of McDonald’s coupons to generate interest and support for what was, at the time, the world’s largest childhood cancer research center.” Along the way, he learned more about the science behind saving children’s lives. Going to entertainer Danny Thomas’ world-renowned hospital had a lasting impact as Doyle saw staff so dedicated to the children. “It became a heartfelt mission.” 

Doyle credits long-time Chairman of the Butler Journalism Department Art Levin with instilling in him a passion for bringing important issues to people’s attention. And with the road trip, Doyle began a career in healthcare communications to bring awareness to important issues and seek new solutions. “I was thunderstruck with the importance of the work they were doing,” Doyle said of St. Vincent Health, part of Ascension, when he began his work there in 1996. 

As the industry endured changes, Doyle brought the science of marketing to the healthcare organizations he served. He was challenged by the perception of “merchandising” care, but knew consumers were increasingly making choices about where they would go for their care. 

Moving from communications to strategy, Doyle helped incubate the new ways healthcare systems provided care. He helped organizations rebuild their capacity to serve the community and to see the way forward to meet the needs of different populations. With his colleagues at Ascension beginning in 2000, he worked on systemwide efforts to improve the patient experience and to eliminate preventable injuries and deaths. During this time, Ascension made great foundational strides with innovative safety and quality initiatives that kept patients from being harmed during the course of care. Doyle was particularly drawn to the mission of faith-based care with a primary concern for the poor and vulnerable. Ascension provides nearly $2 billion of charity care and community benefit annually. 

Now, Doyle is learning from international care providers on how to transform healthcare in the United States. Doyle travels to India and the Cayman Islands with Ascension partners Narayana Health and Health City Cayman Islands to see how they can provide high-quality healthcare, particularly to the poor and vulnerable, at lower costs. While the United States spends more in healthcare than other countries, it does not see significantly higher positive outcomes. As CEO of Ascension Holdings International, Doyle is charged with sharing what has been learned at Ascension and bringing innovative lessons learned back to the United States.

“Over the years in my work, I’ve had the privilege of being a voice at the table, with the ability to ask how we might think differently to make things better,” he said.

Throughout the journey that began with raising awareness for a tandem bike ride across the country and to discovering new models to care for patients through international joint ventures, Doyle has continued asking questions. Whether that’s the journalist or the scientist in him, it’s helping transform healthcare.  He remains excited to ask, “What’s next?”

John lives with his wife, Barb, and daughter, Ginna, in St. Louis, Missouri. 

PeopleCommunity

When a Journalist's Questions Transform Care

When one begins his healthcare career following a tandem bike across the country, there is no telling where he’ll travel and what he’ll learn along the way.

Dave

Beam Me Up, Scottie

Patricia Pickett ’82 APR

from Spring 2018

A product of Butler University’s Radio/Television program (now part of the College of Communication), Dave Arland ’85 began his career working a graveyard shift at an automated radio station that played easy listening music … not exactly the stuff of which dreams are made. 

That rather inauspicious beginning led to big things that included working at the then top-rated news station in the city (WIBC), serving as the Press Secretary for four-term Indianapolis Mayor Bill Hudnut, and ultimately landing at Thomson/RCA in 1991 where he became Vice President of Global Consumer Marketing. One of those jobs you think you’ll be in forever—until you’re not. Dave Arland and company at CES“I was there 16 years, but the last five produced a major shift away from the consumer business to B2B,” he recounts. “Every week, I was getting additional budget cuts and having a difficult conversation with someone.” Eventually, his job was eliminated as well, and for the first time in a long time, his future wasn’t so certain. 

Friends encouraged him to launch his own firm—a rather daunting task if you’ve never run a business before. But another friend gave a stellar piece of advice: “What’s the worst that can happen? It’s an epic fail, and you go to work for some big company.” 

Arland started with one client that soon became three that became six. “We moved out of my spare bedroom and into this office about six years ago,” he says, nodding to the wall covered with his beloved deck of the Starship Enterprise (yes, he’s a Trekkie of galactic proportion). “I hired my first full-time employee and then a second. It just grew.” 

In January, Arland Communications celebrated its 10th anniversary. He has built upon the expertise in the consumer electronics industry gained through his time at Thomson/RCA to become a major player working for large manufacturers like LG and Panasonic (both in the U.S. and Japan), as well as the Consumer Technology Association that stages the annual CES. As one of the largest tradeshows in the world—with 185,000 attendees in Las Vegas for four days in a space equivalent to 47 Lucas Oil Stadiums—it garners hours of air time via reporters interested in the “next big thing.” 

Staying nimble and relevant in the fast-moving pace of electronics and technology can present a challenge in and of itself. Calling himself a “reluctant entrepreneur,” Arland credits Butler with the preparation that enabled him to succeed. 

“I picked Butler because of the Radio/Television program; they had a great intern program and offered substantial on-air experience,” he says. “It may not have prepared me for the exact place I am now, but I’d like to think Butler prepared me for new challenges and being willing to learn.” 

And willing to change. He continues, “You have to learn to not fall into the same old way you’ve done things. I keep up by hiring people younger and smarter than me ... they are amazing and do incredible work.” Among those people is Butler graduate Joshua Phelps ’12 as well as a rotation of interns from his alma mater that he touts as “fabulous.” 

Dave Arland in a StudebakerMore than three decades after he graduated, Arland offers three timeless pieces of advice: 

  • Find a way to work somewhere doing something so you get a taste of what the real world is like. It may not be the be-all-end-all, but you have to show initiative, be thorough, and find a way in. In my case, working late at night at an easy listening station led to other opportunities. 
  • If you are a student, immerse yourself in something but experience everything. I didn’t have the highest GPA; I wasn’t aiming for that. But I was very involved—from choir and marching band to the radio station to being an officer in my fraternity (Lambda Chi Alpha). 
  • Get out of your bubble. I took a class called “Change and Tradition” that was taught by noted professor Emma Lou Thornbrough. We were on opposite ends of the political and life spectrum, and I learned so much. If you’re a college Democrat and I bleed blue, or a college Republican and bleed red, get out of your bubble to listen and respect other opinions. The world is not a bubble just for what you want to hear. 
Dave
PeopleCommunity

Beam Me Up, Scottie

“Immerse yourself in something but experience everything.” 

by Patricia Pickett ’82 APR

from Spring 2018

Read more
Max

That's the Ticket

Marc D. Allan MFA ’18

from Spring 2018

In October 1956, Schumacher was finishing a two-year stint in the Army and thinking about what to do with his Journalism degree from Butler. He picked up a copy of the Indianapolis Star—he had his subscription forwarded to Fort Sheridan, Illinois, where he was stationed—and read a one-paragraph news brief reporting that Marjorie Smyth, the ticket manager for the Indianapolis Indians baseball team, was leaving. 

Schumacher called his mentor, J.R. Townshend Sr., who knew Frank McKinney Sr., the Indians’ Chairman of the Board, to help him arrange an interview. That December, Schumacher went to McKinney’s Fidelity Bank office on East Market Street. After a brief conversation, McKinney wrote a note on a little piece of paper and told Schumacher to take the note to Ray Johnston, the team’s General Manager. 

“He didn’t put it in an envelope,” Schumacher said. “He just handed it to me. He wrote something like: ‘This is the young man I talked to you about for the open position at the ballpark.’” 

Schumacher took the paper to Johnston. He was hired. 

Over the next dozen years, Schumacher advanced from Ticket Manager to Public Relations Director to General Manager to President and Chairman—a position he held for 47 years until he retired at the end of 2016. In that time, the Indians won 19 divisions and eight league championships, turned a profit for 42 consecutive years after periods of financial losses, and moved into a downtown Indianapolis ballpark still considered one of the best in America. 

“After I graduated from Butler, I thought I’d get a regular job—work for the Star, maybe—or be in somebody’s PR department or putting together publications for some corporation,” he said. “This just dropped in my lap.” 

Truly a Butler Family 

Schumacher grew up at 44th Street and Winthrop Avenue in Indianapolis, his academic future seemingly preordained. His father, a musician, and his mother, who worked in a downtown department store and later at a bank, both went to Butler when the campus was in Irvington. His two older sisters preceded him on the Fairview campus. “I never thought about anything else other than Butler,” he said. 

As a sophomore at Shortridge High School, where his classmates included future U.S. Senator Richard Lugar and author Dan Wakefield, Schumacher became interested in Journalism. He also played second base on the Shortridge team, which was coached by Jerry Steiner, a 1940 Butler graduate and future Butler Athletic Hall of Fame inductee. Steiner accompanied Schumacher on a visit to ask Tony Hinkle about an athletic scholarship. They arrived to find Hinkle cutting the grass, his leg in a cast—the result of a lawnmower accident from a previous session mowing the baseball field. 

Schumacher remembers Hinkle’s response. “He said, ‘Well, kiddo’—everybody was ‘kiddo’—‘we have a great school here. It’s a wonderful school. We announce when baseball practice starts, and you can come out for ball.’ He didn’t say baseball. And away we go. Long story short, that’s what I did.” 

Schumacher drove his 1936 Chevrolet Coupe the two miles to Butler (later upgrading to a ’41 Pontiac), where he studied Journalism and walked on to the baseball team. He was surprised at his first game when Hinkle called out, “Hey, Schuey, coach third base.” He did that for two years before earning some playing time in his last two years. (His best game, four hits in four at-bats against DePauw was overshadowed by teammate Norm Ellenberger, who threw a no-hitter that day.) 

When Schumacher wasn’t playing ball, he was in class or writing for The Butler Collegian. He worked his way up to Editor, but when the boss at his summer job—public relations for Junior Baseball, a citywide youth baseball program—asked him to stay on during the school year, Schumacher chose the paying job. 

Time to Go to Work 

That turned out to be the right decision: The man who ran Junior Baseball, J.R. Townsend Sr., would later provide the introduction to Frank McKinney Sr. with the Indianapolis Indians. 

By his senior year, Schumacher also had a second job with the Indianapolis Times. He took calls from sports correspondents at high schools, gathering information for box scores and game stories. He also wrote his own s