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Butler Magazine

Spring 2018

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

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

What's Out There

Marc D. Allan MFA ’18

from Spring 2018

While the beams go up on the new Lacy School of Business, faculty and students in the old building are busily constructing new curriculum to go with it.

They’ve built two student-run businesses—an insurance company and a marketing/communications firm—designed to work with clients and eventually become profitable. What they’re doing, Dean Steve Standifird said, “is the kind of thing you can’t teach in a classroom.”

“The term we use is ‘intense experiential education,’” he said. “One of our goals in the School of Business is to be the premier experiential-oriented business program in the country. This is a key component of that.”

FIRST OF ITS KIND—STUDENT ENTREPRENEURSZach Finn

The MJ Student-Run Insurance Company, known in industry parlance as a “captive,” is the first of its kind for a university. The company insures Butler programs and items including the live mascot Butler Blue III, rare books, artwork, and the telescope at the Holcomb Observatory. Students learn how to write the insurance policy and what the coverage terms will be, and they’re figuring out how to finance the company. In doing so, they will be able to apply their risk-management expertise in accounting, investments, and numerous other areas.

Zach Finn, the Clinical Professor and Director of the Davey Risk Management and Insurance Program, said the idea behind the internal insurance company is to give students hands-on experience and prepare them for an industry that anticipates needing 400,000 new employees by 2022.

The captive opened August 1, 2017. Finn said they spent the first semester “building the bridge between implementation and operation.” In spring 2018, the captive team worked on a variety of tasks, including putting together the insurance package it’s selling to Butler to cover the Butler University Police Department’s bomb-sniffing dog Marcus, Trip’s bejeweled collar, and more.

In addition, the captive team has been asked to inventory the University’s $3.9 million worth of pianos. That means they’ll photograph each instrument, identify their location on the campus map, determine their condition, and evaluate whether where they’re situated makes them more susceptible to damage.

“We’re going to be learning a lot about pianos over the course of the semester,” Finn said. 

They also will work to substantiate the value of Butler’s dogs, confirm the transition plan for Blue IV, and develop a policy in the event that Marcus were to be killed in the line of duty.

Derek DeKoning ’18Derek DeKoning ’18, the captive’s CEO and Co-Founder, said he’s learned an incredible amount about the industry in which he plans to work—nitty-gritty, behind-the-scenes kinds of things such as conforming with regulatory requirements, and the importance of regular and ongoing communication. 

“It has taught me how to conduct myself in a professional manner and maintain regular communications with all the parties involved,” said DeKoning, who came to Butler from Atlanta, Georgia. “It has helped my project and time management skills. I believe that these soft skills will assist me in the early days of my career.” 

BRIGHT BLUE MARKETING AND PR FIRM: REAL WORLD AND STUDENT RUN 

Another of the captive’s missions was to help increase the social media presence for Marcus. For that, it turned to Bright Blue, the Lacy School of Business’ student-run marketing/PR firm. Bright Blue, which started operations in spring 2017, is a partnership between the business school and the College of Communication. 

Standifird brought in Joe Ellsworth, who was a Principal in a marketing/communications agency for 30 years in the Evansville area, to serve as Program Director. Ellsworth said Bright Blue has been set up to be as much like a real-world agency as possible. 

Student-employees—they are paid—are contributing members of the team. They’re expected to do high-level work that makes the clients happy and, ultimately, turn a profit, EllswLeanna Kerbs ’19orth said. 

Allyson Marks ’18, a Marketing major with minors in Spanish, Strategic Communication, and Art + Design, joined Bright Blue in fall 2017 and moved up from Writer to Communication Specialist. She said one of their most noteworthy clients was an adoption agency that wanted to find more birth mothers looking to put their child up for adoption. (Bright Blue signs a non-disclosure agreement with its clients.) 

The Bright Blue team did a brand audit, determining what the adoption agency was, what it stood for, and how it could differentiate itself from other agencies. They created some key messages based on what this adoption agency offered that others didn’t (personal service) as well as a strategic communications plan that targeted birth mothers with brochures, social media, and a website. 

In other words, Marks said, Bright Blue did what a professional agency would, but at a fraction of the cost. Bright Blue has also worked with a manufacturing company, a tech company, a bio-healthcare company, and two independent consultants, she said. It’s given the participating students the opportunity to work as a professional team, develop strategies, and find solutions. 

“It’s a lot more than students usually get to do in an internship because you’re usually helping on someone else’s project,” said Marks, who’s from the Peoria, Illinois, area. “But on this, we were creating our own projects. That was fun—and as close to real-world experience as I could have gotten.” 

That’s exactly the point, Finn said. “It’s a class that feels more like a working environment than a traditional classroom,” he said of the captive insurance class. “It’s them doing things instead of learning about it. I could be teaching about creating an endorsement versus using one an insurance company’s provided or we can actually create one and get the insurance industry to implement it and make the world a better place a little bit and get some notice for the students. They’re doing the things they’re learning about.” 

What's Out There

While the beams go up on the new Lacy School of Business, faculty and students in the old building are busily constructing new curriculum to go with it.

by Marc D. Allan MFA ’18

from Spring 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
Campus

Life Lessons Found in Philanthropy

Market research consultant by day—nonprofit volunteer by night. 

by Patricia Pickett ’82 APR

from Spring 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

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

Pathways for Success

Monica Holb ’09

from Spring 2018

 

When Courtney (Campbell) Rousseau ’03, Butler University Internship and Career Services Career Advisor, meets with students in her office she is intent on providing tools to help them travel down paths that they may never have dreamed of. 

“I have to find what they are passionate about. I know it when I see it. When their faces light up … I know we are talking about something important to them,” Rousseau said.

The next four pages share incredible stories of students with vision and passion who are fulfilling their own dreams and doing it their own way. Rousseau knows exactly what it is like to follow your dreams—hers brought her right back to Butler.

Letting Passions Pave the Way

 

Career Advisor Courtney Rousseau ’03 is accustomed to students who are following a formula about what they should do with their careers. But those formulas can impede their innovation and dampen their passions. She and her Internship and Career Services (ICS) colleagues provide students traditional career services and the resources necessary to search for and secure internships, but they increasingly support students wandering beyond standard plans. 

More students are venturing out by obtaining unique internships or starting their own organizations. Rousseau pointed to trends such as social media connections, the popularity of “side hustles,” and professionals changing jobs more often as reasons why students are drawn to make their own way. 

She provides support to step away from a comfortable plan and helps validate students’ choices. “Butler students are very driven, very ambitious,” Rousseau said, which means many are looking to do something bold. Rousseau references the impressive but intimidating 97 percent placement rate after graduation and acknowledges the pressure: “Who doesn’t get freaked out? They wonder, ‘What if I am the three percent?’” Courtney Rousseau ’03 with student

Rousseau strategically supports students to take risks in their career planning by ensuring a favorable environment. “When you are planting flowers, to make them grow you have to plant them in space where they work. Sometimes we create a greenhouse to trick the plants to grow,” Rousseau said. The greenhouse she builds is made of students’ own strengths—strategic thinking, relationships, planning. From there, Rousseau guides students toward the best risks for them to take. “I never see anything as impossible. I think I probably prepare them, see the competition, and know the value of making connections and experiences,” Rousseau said. 

When students take the risk and it turns into a learning experience instead of the opportunity envisioned, Rousseau is quick to tell her own story. 

From graduating from Butler with a degree in French to teaching English in France, Rousseau found herself waiting tables and returning to Butler for career advice of her own. After a graduate program and a move to Oregon for a job that turned out to be a less than a perfect fit, Rousseau came back to Butler for her current role. She recognizes the non-linear path and ultimate success of her own risk tasking, as well as how students connect to the story. 

Rousseau hopes all students find their own way with their own passions. “I want students to know we are here. I don’t want people to be perfect. I prefer you come in with questions and fears. I want to take impossible situations and make it work, and make it something beautiful.” 

Weaving Old Threads into a New Company 

 

While in high school at Culver Military Academy, Aaron Marshall ’18 embraced self-expression beyond his uniform. He recorded hip-hop music in his dorm room with friends and wore thrifted clothing. His love for the music scene culture influenced his vintage style and would eventually influence his career path. 

Marshall came to Butler University for Recording Industry Studies. No other college offered the opportunity to turn his dorm room hobby into a major. Yet, Marshall’s studies were not contained to a library and the classroom. His interests spilled over into his life. His friends noticed, too. They came over to record music with Marshall, but after asking “Where’d you get that?” they might leave with a borrowed, one-of-a-kind, vintage sweater straight from Marshall’s closet. Aaron Marshall ’18

As he collected unique pieces in his thrifting trips with his family, he saw the market for selling finds to others and realized that maybe thrifting, not music, would be the passion to turn into a career. His business, Naptown Thrift, was born and grew by word of mouth. Marshall started an Instagram account that drew worldwide attention. With more stock and buyers, he moved the business to a large storage unit. But “storage unit” is an inaccurate description of what is ostensibly a store—racks of clothing for customers to browse on an appointment basis. 

“It doesn’t feel like work, so it is definitely something I can see myself doing in the long run. It’s become a passion of mine I didn’t know existed before coming to Butler,” Marshall said. With his family’s support, Marshall is looking ahead to opening a brick and mortar store after graduation. 

“My professors have been extremely supportive of me taking on my own endeavors,” Marshall said. His Recording Industry Studies Advisor Cutler Armstrong encourages him, even though he knows he won’t be going into music. 

The support comes from students as well. “People have genuinely wanted to see me succeed,” Marshall said. For example, in his Audio Capstone course, the class is helping record a commercial for Naptown Thrift, recognizing how they could complete their assignment and help Marshall at the same time. 

While ICS didn’t need to help Marshall figure out what to do with his life, Career Advisor Courtney Rousseau has assisted him in finding his way through the Career Planning Strategies course. “A lot of students are looking for jobs and internships. I love what I do already. The valuable thing in that course is Courtney helping me be more goal oriented. You have to have some sort of plan of what the next steps will be.” 

As Marshall graduates, he might be more likely to apply for building permits than jobs, but following his passion will be a solid step toward reaching his goals. 

A Runway from the Midwest to High Fashion 

 

Growing up in Tipp City, Ohio, the closest Meredith Coughlin ’18 got to the fashion world was glossy magazines. Reading the periodicals helped her learn about fashion, the editors, and what it would take to make it in the industry. 

Meredith Coughlin ’18But while Coughlin didn’t end up in fashion school, the Butler Human Communication and Organizational Leadership major used Internship and Career Services (ICS) to go after exactly what she wanted: A career in fashion. 

After a summer spent managing a boutique in Northern Michigan, Coughlin had experience with creating visual displays, directing photo shoots, executing a fashion show, buying products, and running social media. When she returned to campus in the fall, she was determined to reach her goal of working in fashion in New York City. 

She worked with ICS to improve her cover letter, but Career Advisor Courtney Rousseau, and Internship Advisor Scott Bridge, both knew Coughlin was venturing into uncharted territory for most Butler students. Coughlin was set on finding her internship on her own. “I knew what I desired was different,” she said. And sure enough, Coughlin, with ICS’s support and a great cover letter, earned an internship with Oprah Magazine in New York City. 

After that experience, Coughlin doubled down. In the fall semester of her junior year, she spent time studying fashion merchandising at The Westminster School of Fashion in London, a prestigious fashion program, through the Institute for Study Abroad-Butler. Then she completed another fashion internship on the East Coast with Vineyard Vines the next summer, all before her senior year. 

“I’ve always wanted real-life experiences,” Coughlin said. “Whenever I’m interning, I feel like I can see this is helping the store, this is helping the magazine, this is helping the company. I love to see the end result and accomplish my goals.” Coughlin’s story shows students they don’t have to wait until senior year to have hands-on learning experiences. 

The risks she took—moving to a place where she knew no one, building a career without a network in a new city—were tempered by the passion for the work. “I don’t follow the path. I seek out what I know I am passionate about. You don’t want to invest your time into something you aren’t passionate about,” Coughlin said. As she looks forward to graduation, Coughlin will certainly be able to design her own career to fit her passions. 

Making His Own Way

 

If you saw a resume for Anthony Murdock II ’17, it would show evidence of how he met with Career Advisor Courtney Rousseau at ICS about opportunities before he was even enrolled in classes. It would list internships with the Sagamore Institute and the City of Indianapolis. After graduation, the Political Science and Religion major is looking ahead to law school. A very traditional career path. 

And yet, Murdock is using creativity and innovation to create movements that didn’t exist before he stepped foot on campus, which has changed the way he sees his future. 

Anthony Murdock II ’17As an African American man and as a commuter, Murdock sometimes found himself in uncomfortable, outsider situations. He credits the challenge with giving him the opportunity to help advocate for other students. Butler ended up to be the perfect place for him to hone his leadership skills. 

“It put me in a place to say, ‘Are you going to let people you don’t know define who you are by the color of your skin and where you come from, or are you going to use this platform and opportunity of being marginalized to help yourself help other people?’ And that is what I decided I was going to do,” Murdock said. 

Murdock took that experience to heart and made a power move. With his fraternity brothers from Alpha Phi Alpha Fraternity Inc., they developed a new brand on campus. #PowerMovesOnly is a wave, a movement, and a shift in culture. The brand, fueled by hashtags and positive interactions with others, promotes success-oriented lifestyles and actions. “We were men who understood that it is one thing to do something for a moment and it is another to create sustainable change,” Murdock said of the beginning of the brand. “It was purely something we loved to do—see people benefit with great social meaning,” Murdock said. 

Murdock also founded Bust The B.U.B.B.L.E., a student movement that promotes the perspectives of students of color at predominantly white institutions through diversity education, cultural awareness, and action-oriented activism. 

Before his experience at Butler, Murdock thought he would take the traditional path: Practice law, run for office, become a political analyst. Yet his untraditional experience on campus, and skills in starting brands and organizations creating change, has brought him to another path. It still includes law school, but will veer in a different direction: Murdock will pursue sustainable social justice change in Indianapolis. 

His empowering messages and actions toward change isn’t only shaping students’ experiences at Butler, but allowing Murdock to define his own career path as well. 

Pathways for Success

Stories of the way less traveled

by Monica Holb ’09

from Spring 2018

Read more

It’s Spring—Batter Up! Tyler Houston ’18 Baseball Player

Hannah Hartzell ’18

Tyler Houston '18 was 7 years old when he first visited Butler University. A Finance major from Brownsburg (Indiana) Houston frequented Butler’s sports camps as a child.

So when the time came to choose a school for himself, Butler immediately came to mind. “I definitely wanted a small school,” he said. “When I came for a tour of the campus, it was everything I remembered. I could see myself here.”  

More specifically: He could see himself as a student athlete here.

“I had an opportunity to play baseball and accomplish my academic goals,” he said.

That’s exactly what Houston has done. After a standout, first-year season, Houston was named second team All-BIG EAST. In spring 2017, he was named first team All-BIG EAST and led the Bulldogs in home runs. However, Houston has developed more than just his athletic ability.

“The first two years were pretty big adjustments,” Houston said. “Once I settled in though, I got better at managing my time.”

“The business program is amazing,” he said. “I’m in a Portfolio Management class right now and I’ve gotten really into investing stocks. Before, I didn’t really understand what that was.”

He has also grown as a leader.

During his first year at Butler, Houston said a senior baseball teammate took the time to mentor him.  “Having that mentor was great,” Houston said. “Now I’m in his shoes and I get the chance to do the same thing for younger athletes.”

In the process, Houston said he has found lifelong friends.

“My favorite part is being around the guys,” he said. “The fun atmosphere is incredible.”

As far as baseball, well he’s not quite done with that either. “Our goal this year is to compete, qualify, and win the BIG EAST tournament,” he said. “And if the opportunity [to play baseball post-collegiately] presents itself, I might pursue that.”

Beyond the Classroom

Patricia Pickett ’82 APR

from Spring 2018

While words like “innovation” and “entrepreneurship” are most often associated with the business world, they have also found their place nestled in Suite 200 of Atherton Union. 

That is the office occupied by the Office of Student Affairs and its newly appointed Vice President Frank Ross III. 

Since joining Butler less than a year ago, Ross has diligently researched the University’s culture, digging deep into student life at Butler in what he calls “a listening tour” of students, faculty, and staff. 

“I’ve been a Vice President at two previous institutions, but I’d be naïve to think because I’ve done this job before, I have all the answers,” he said. “This is a great area of opportunity to expand on my background of integrative learning. Student Affairs exists to support a university’s core mission of academics. I believe we can achieve that in innovative, collaborative partnerships throughout campus.” 

Indeed, Butler’s Office of Student Affairs is defined on the Butler website as, “Striving to integrate educational experiences into a campus setting with opportunities, challenges, and services that promote a student’s development as a total person. Whether it’s helping you find your place, get involved, or feel your best, our staff is happy to enrich your Butler experience beyond the classroom.” 

To Ross, those collaborations are all about approaching the whole student and every student. 

“We talk about a transformative experience, and I want to make sure we are including all students in that experience,” he said, pointing to conversations as diverse as “Tell me about the day of a typical first-year dance major?” to “How are commuter students making connections on campus?” “It’s all about understanding the culture as a whole at Butler,” Ross said. 

While Ross may be a long way from rural Southern Indiana where he was raised, those lessons of “scrappiness” — as he calls it — are evident. He’s not afraid to walk a different path, literally, admitting his comfortable office isn’t his favorite place to get things done. 

“I don’t feel particularly productive holed up in here,” he said motioning to the tree-lined sidewalk outside his window. “I have office hours in other buildings so 

“If we aren’t willing to articulate our own failures and how we can do better next time, how can we expect students to do the same? You can’t take students somewhere you can’t take yourself.” 

I can get to better know students and faculty. I find having walking meetings is a great way to break down barriers and allow people to think openly.” 

If Ross has an entrepreneurial calling card per se, it’s his dedication to encouraging a free flow of ideas. He identifies with the importance of failure in innovation and believes its integral to the mission of his office to embrace it as well. He recounts a “get to know you” exercise he conducted with Student Affairs leaders early in his days at Butler that sounds like a page out of the Fast Company playbook. 

“I asked them to answer three questions: 1) What did you do well last year? 2) Tell me something from your personal life you’re proud of, and 3) What was something you didn’t do well last year that you would call a failure? Failure is an important part of learning, as it is an important part of entrepreneurship,” he said. “If we aren’t willing to articulate our own failures and how we can do better next time, how can we expect students to do the same? You can’t take students somewhere you can’t take yourself.” 

Ross believes it’s the responsibility of a Student Affairs professional to nurture the willingness to try resilience in the face of failure within a safe and encouraging environment. “Our profession is grounded in theory—we know when to push and when to pull. We want students to learn from their experiences,” he said. 

While he harkens to the roots of his profession being traced all the way to 1636 at the founding of Harvard, he points to the incredible possibilities in the future, Frank Ross with studentsparticularly as it pertains to the digital space. “Social media has provided a great way to enhance access to students and a way for them to reach out to us,” he said. “Parents are able to engage with us via Twitter or Facebook Messenger. There’s no longer that 8-to- 5 limitation of office hours. Our students’ schedules are different. Responsiveness to students means reaching them where they are … and a great use of technology.” 

As Ross learns more about the inner workings of Butler’s culture, he will be instituting new programs and practices based on his findings as well as past experiences. He has been active in numerous leadership roles with NASPA, the leading association for the Student Affairs profession, including serving on its Board of Directors. That involvement has given him a front seat to innovative practices at institutions of higher education throughout the country. 

“What’s important to me as a professional is a commitment to emerging best practices. It’s not always about reinventing the wheel,” he said. “It doesn’t have to be universities just like Butler—there are both large research institutions and community colleges that are doing some great things in Student Affairs.” 

What’s the entrepreneurial bottom line on innovation for Ross? “Innovation and creativity should be at the heart of what we do in Student Affairs. It isn’t just trying new things. You have to stop saying “no” and instead, give your team the space and encouragement to share their good ideas.” 

Beyond the Classroom

Entrepreneurial Innovation Takes its Place in Student Affairs 

by Patricia Pickett ’82 APR

from Spring 2018

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Entrepreneurship is in His DNA

Cindy Conover Dashnaw

from Spring 2018

Sixteen-hour work days? Jeremy Baldi ’09 loves them—as long as he’s spending them working for himself. 

In less than a decade, the student who majored in Biology “because it strongly interested me, not for career planning” has started two companies that are bringing significant improvements to the medical industry. In fact, he’s working with some of the most innovative players in synthetic DNA research today. 

And he’s not done yet. 

“I enjoy everything about starting companies: The challenges in the first year or two, the 16-hour days, the working weekends, the late nights. It’s an adrenaline rush, really exciting because it’s yours and you’re influencing something greater than yourself.” 

Though his formal education may not have led directly to his career choice, Baldi said the Butler experience taught him how to network, which turned out to be key to successful entrepreneurship. 

Networking led directly to the creation of Baldi’s current company. An acquaintance, Rob Moseley, was considering how to build a business around a new DNA assembly technology invented by Dr. Henrique De Paoli in Knoxville’s Oak Ridge National Laboratory. 

“Unfortunately, a bottleneck still exists in R&D’s (research and development) design and build stages, which leads to increased costs and research slowdowns. That’s where we were stepping in, streamlining these stages for scientists and improving efficiencies up to tenfold,” Baldi said. “Rob and Dr. De Paoli brought the technical and scientific knowledge, and I was able to bridge the business gap: I had my Butler science background, and I’d already started one company. After a few months, Rob realized the value I would add and asked me if I was interested in becoming a co-founder.” 

He was. The two co-founders recruited a Chief Technology Officer as a third founder and formally established SimPath (simpathinnovations.com) in early 2016. Basically, researchers place orders for synthetic DNA for use in testing and SimPath builds it to their specifications, allowing research scientists to test hundreds of ideas in a fraction of the time and cost of current technology. 

Networking with an acquaintance had sparked Baldi’s first startup, too. 

“A family friend was in an industry where there was a strong need, but antiquated methods. We created a plan to take advantage of technology and analytics,” Baldi said. The startup, Archway Physician Recruitment, is a placement firm now helping hospitals and medical groups find physicians. 

Baldi said his extracurriculars at Butler University taught him valuable lessons about forming fruitful relationships. 

“I learned a lot about networking through being a fraternity President and coordinating a charity 5K race. When you’re in high school and even college, you think of networking as a buzzword. You realize when you get out of college that networking is so multi-faceted and might be the most important thing.” 

He said networking has opened many avenues to people and companies he’d never dreamed of connecting with while a Butler student: The CEO of Foundation Medicine, a global leader in connecting physicians and their patients to the latest cancer treatment approaches; the CEO of EDP Biotech, committed to developing simple, accurate and cost-effective diagnostics for early disease detection; and members of the business team at Google. 

Baldi would like to see Butler further its blend of science and business. “In the lab where we licensed our technology, for example, a lot of the scientists had no business background at all. In today’s world, everyone needs to know the basics of business. And we need to start exploiting the many avenues today’s technology gives us within the Science Department.” 

Entrepreneurship is in His DNA

Sixteen-hour work days? Jeremy Baldi ’09 loves them—as long as he’s spending them working for himself. 

by Cindy Conover Dashnaw

from Spring 2018

Read more
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

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
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

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
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

Dinner with 10 Bulldogs

On the menu: trust, collaboration, innovation, and connections

by Megan Ward MS ’13

from Spring 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.” 

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
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

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

Of Brothers and Business

Megan Ward MS ’13

from Spring 2018

Conner ’11 and Jordan ’13 Burt—brothers from Elkhart, Indiana—came to Butler for similar reasons. The people. The size. The athletics. The feeling ... you know, the one where you just know it’s where you belong. 

While at Butler, both studied Economics—Conner an Economics major with a minor in Business, and Jordan a double major in Economics and Finance— and both played soccer. 

Conner BurtJordan’s favorite Butler memory is playing Indiana University in the Sellick Bowl with 5,000 fans in the stands. “The game was wild in itself, but we ended up coming back from a 2-0 deficit when David Goldsmith sent in a game-winner during overtime. That was a special day.” 

And Conner credits Butler Soccer for teaching him how fulfilling it can be to reach toward a common goal with like-minded individuals. “It made me appreciate ‘the underdog’ and, to this day, I’ve always tried to find situations that allow me to play that role.” 

To most people, being an entrepreneur is a lot like being the underdog. You aren’t the “safe bet,” so you have to enjoy taking risks. And you’re going to need to work twice as hard to be successful, so you better have incredible drive. Conner and Jordan both possess these traits and, with them being brothers, it makes most question the role genetics play in the matter. But, we aren’t here to discuss the nature vs. nurture of it all. 

During Jordan’s first year at Butler, he “got very fired up about entrepreneurship” in his Real Business Experience class. As he continued into his junior and senior year, his “classes and internships really fueled the flame.” 

Not surprisingly, Conner can relate. “Experimentation and opportunity was encouraged. From the Real Business Experience to independent studies, I realized the challenge and fun in starting something new.” 

In fact, both Conner and Jordan helped start the Butler Farm and Conner tried to build a compost business during his time at Butler. “Seven years later, I still think about a lot of lessons I learned through those experiences,” Conner confesses.

These lessons have served him well. After graduation, Conner completed an Orr Fellowship, which places high-potential college graduates with Indianapolis-based technology companies. His first job—which turned out to be in sales—was with a software startup called iGoDigital. Conner loved the challenge and helping solve customer problems.Jordan Burt

Eventually, ExactTarget acquired the startup and, then, Salesforce acquired ExactTarget. Through the transitions, Conner got involved with training—these new companies needed to learn about iGoDigital in order to sell it, which is what Conner had been doing for two years. So, he spent a lot of time on assignment in London, Australia, and all over the United States. 

During this time, Conner became a friend and roommate of Max Yoder. Yoder needed clients to test out his new training product, so they tested it at ExactTarget. As Conner shares, “It worked splendidly. It cut my travel time in half, and everyone who used it, loved it.” 

Conner joined Yoder at Lessonly, where he currently serves as the Chief Operating Officer, which means, “focusing on new initiatives that present large opportunities and/or the biggest challenges we’re facing at any given time.” 

According to Conner, “Lessonly has more than doubled in size each of the last five years and was ranked one of the Top 3 Best Small Business Cultures in the United States by Entrepreneur.” Quite an accomplishment for a startup. 

Back when Lessonly had only three employees, Jordan worked with Conner, helping him sell the software for a year and a half. He also was playing soccer with the Carolina Railhawks. 

While his friends were applying for corporate jobs after graduation, Jordan was trying to land a position on a pro soccer team. He admits it wasn’t a smooth path, but he is happy he took the risk. 

“The soccer world is an uncertain one in which your career could end at any time, so I have tried to always find balance in doing other work, exploring interesting topics, and, now, starting my own business,” explains Jordan. 

He found his passion while completing internships during his time at Butler. His first, in corporate finance at Zillow in Seattle, had some great perks but was not something that would excite him every day. His next experience at Techstars, a startup accelerator for tech companies in Boulder, Colorado, is where he found the contagious excitement and energy he wanted. 

Now, Jordan is playing professional soccer with the Colorado Springs Switchbacks Football Club and is Co-Founder of Pro Performance (properformance.guru). 

While he and Conner may not work together directly anymore, Jordan’s business uses Lessonly. “We get a killer deal.” 

Of Brothers and Business

Butler University: Entrepreneurs welcome here

by Megan Ward MS ’13

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 stories occasionally—like on the night of March 20, 1954, when he was sent to the tiny town of Milan to see if there was anyone around. (Almost everyone was in Indianapolis, watching their team win the state high school basketball championship.) 

“I loved that,” Schumacher said. “I really loved that. That got me hooked on Journalism.” 

With what he learned in classes, on The Collegian, and through his outside jobs, he graduated with skills that translated well for what was to come next. 

“I thought at the typewriter better than longhand, so to have correspondence that had to go out to somebody for Indians’ business, I could sit down and compose a coherent letter and fire it into the mail to them,” he said. “I was very happy with my education. It helped me develop the necessary skills to be successful, and I had what it took to get started.” 

Building a Franchise and Family 

From 1957 until he stepped down in 2016, Max Schumacher experienced enormous successes—and the occasional hiccups. He once traded a future Cy Young Award winner (Mike Cuellar), but he also helped assemble teams that won four consecutive championships in the 1980s. The 1986 title, won in the bottom of the ninth inning of the seventh game when the Indians’ Billy Moore drove in the winning run off future star Rob Dibble, remains a personal favorite. 

Perhaps his greatest success in those years was meeting and marrying Judy Whybrew, an Indiana University graduate who worked on the Indians’ ticket staff. Schumacher had been hired to replace her friend Marge Smith as ticket manager, “and I was not real well received because I was replacing her friend,” he said. “But we got to know each other well, and we fell in love later.” Bruce, their first son, who succeeded Max as Indians Chairman of the Board and CEO, was born in 1959, followed by Brian, Karen, and Mark, and they now have five grandchildren. 

Over the years, Schumacher had opportunities to go to the major leagues, but he turned them down. He grew up in Indianapolis and, except for his two years in the Army, has lived here his entire life. With the Indians, he was more or less his own boss, and he was instrumental in building one of America’s great minor-league franchises. He’s particularly proud that for the team’s employees, “to have on their resume that they worked for the Indianapolis Indians is a pretty good line to have.” 

“I never had the feeling that I wanted to be a big guy in my industry,” he said. “A lot of people think if you work in baseball, you need to get to the major leagues if you want to be a success. So many people have said to me, ‘I thought you would have been in the major leagues by now.’ If you’re an attorney, do you have to work in New York or Chicago or Los Angeles to be successful in your profession? No. And I don’t, either.” 

Max

That's the Ticket

Can one little newspaper story change a life? It did for Max Schumacher ’54. 

by Marc D. Allan MFA ’18

from Spring 2018

Read more
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

Beam Me Up, Scottie

“Immerse yourself in something but experience everything.” 

by Patricia Pickett ’82 APR

from Spring 2018

Read more

Wherefore Art Thou Juliet Blue?

Marc D. Allan MFA ’18

from Spring 2018

Chemists in Verona, Italy, found out recently what’s been happening in a Butler University Chemistry lab, and they’re very grateful. 

Butler University Junior Ben Dawson, working with Chemistry Professor Anne Wilson during the summer of 2017, has replicated a pigment that matched a color called Juliet blue that the Italian chemists had discovered on historical artifacts. 

“I think they’ll be excited that somebody’s actually making these,” Wilson said. “People have been talking about these pigments but not making them.” 

The Italian scientists’ discovery of Juliet blue goes back to 2010. They laid out the problem in a paper they published: Their museum had placed several ancient flints, used for making arrowheads, in storage. They had put the flints in a drawer, on rubber mats to keep them from breaking. When they opened the drawer, they found that a chemical reaction had occurred. The flints, which were gray, had turned blue—a color the chemists would later call Juliet blue. 

The chemists thought the color on the flints was derived from a volatile organic component that was coming from the rubber mats, and that the culprit was a stabilizer that’s added to keep the rubber from falling apart over time. 

Dr. Greg Smith, the Otto N. Frenzel III Senior Conservation Scientist at the Indianapolis Museum of Art, read the Italians’ paper and gave a copy to Wilson, asking if she thought someone at Butler might want to try to figure out a synthesis for Juliet blue. She thought that would be a great summer project for a student, so she had Dawson try to make the pigment. She paid him with an annual grant the Chemistry Department receives from Eli Lilly and Company to do synthetic chemistry work. 

“Initially, we were not having a lot of success” trying to re-create the chemical reaction that caused the discoloration, Wilson said. “Then Ben left out some things over the weekend, and some of his indicator plates had turned blue.” Anne Wilson

To be specific: Juliet blue. 

“It was a very happy accident,” Wilson said. 

Dawson confirmed that the way this blue pigment occurred on the surface of the flints was probably due to a combination of air oxidation, coupled with contamination from the compound in the rubber mats. And he was able to make additional quantities of the pigment. 

“It’s a beautiful blue,” Wilson said. “It looks very Disney. It’s beautiful. It’s a great blue. It’s a lot of fun to be doing this and to see these great colors.” 

Although reproducing Juliet blue is essentially an academic exercise, Wilson said, it could have practical applications. Butler Chemistry professors and students have done several projects with the Indianapolis Museum of Art on artworks that have faded over the centuries. Perhaps, Wilson said, this summer’s finding could be a step in figuring out how to treat, and possibly restore, artifacts that have been damaged. 

“It’s exciting when you get scientists from different areas together and they start talking and trading ideas,” she said. “I think we’re very fortunate to be this close to the lab at the IMA. I think we’re very fortunate to be able to try things.” 

Wherefore Art Thou Juliet Blue?

A “happy accident” leads to a scientific discovery.

by Marc D. Allan MFA ’18

from Spring 2018

Read more

An Innovative Partnership

Marc D. Allan MFA ’18

Tim Valentine and Joshua Gaal started Train 918, their video-production company, at Butler. But after graduating in 2016, they needed a home base.

They found it at the Broad Ripple Speak Easy, which bills itself as "a place for entrepreneurs to create, collaborate, and learn."

The Broad Ripple Speak Easy only offers community space, though, and with their business growing, the Train 918 partners needed dedicated office space. So they moved to the downtown Indianapolis Speak Easy—of which Butler University is a founding partner—where they have an office and a secure place for their equipment. Not only that, but they work alongside lawyers, graphic designers, programmers, and others trying to build new businesses. The opportunities to collaborate are abundant.

"What's nice about the Speak Easy is the community," Valentine said. "If you ever have a question, there's tons of people that are here as resources. I can't tell you the amount of times I get up and walk across to the guy next door, who's a venture capitalist, and ask him a question about an email I'm going to send or a marketing strategy or anything like that. Everyone's here trying to help each other out to get to that next step."

Butler got involved with the Speak Easy in 2016 when the business was looking to expand beyond its Broad Ripple location. Andy Clark MBA '99, a founder of the Broad Ripple Speak Easy, approached the University with the idea of a partnership downtown.

Melissa Beckwith, Butler's Vice President for Strategy and Innovation, Chief Information Officer Pete Williams, and Lacy School of Business Dean Steve Standifird saw the potential.

"What an interesting opportunity from the standpoint of experiential education," said Beckwith, who's now a Speak Easy board member. "If you have this very entrepreneurial co-working space with all of these companies, it is another way to connect Lacy School of Business students into the working environment of these companies. There are all kinds of possibilities for internships and job placements. It's another way to connect our students with the business community."

The downtown Speak Easy, located at 47 South Meridian Street, is situated in a 12,000-square-foot space. With its exposed brick and pipes, rustic woodwork, and large common area where members can avail themselves of coffee and beer, it looks like something you'd expect to see in Seattle or Silicon Valley.

Travis Herring, Speak Easy Experience Manager, said the downtown venue has 17 offices with tenants. (Over all, the Speak Easy now has about 1,000 members and five locations in Central Indiana.)

Herring sees the space as a middle ground for fledgling businesses for whom working from a coffee shop might not be conducive to doing business but renting a large office might be too expensive. Membership costs $75 a month, or $750 a year (office space is additional), and gives members access to community space in the five Speak Easy locations.

Valentine said the office that Train 918 rents for about $1,200 a month has been "100 percent worth it. We as a company make that back monthly—easily—just by the connections that we make."

Beckwith said the Speak Easy partnership has been worth it for Butler too. Butler students have been able to get involved with companies housed at the Speak Easy. Representatives from some of the companies have come to campus to work with students in the Real Business Experience classes. The Small Business Development Center, which became part of Butler on January 1, is housed in the Speak Easy. And the Speak Easy and Butler's Executive Education program are working to develop a non-degree certificate program for Speak Easy members.

"There are so many benefits for us partnering with startups and creating synergies we can potentially offer beyond academic," she said. "This is giving us an opportunity to be in the middle of a lot of companies."

Innovative Partnership

An Innovative Partnership

"Everyone's here trying to help each other out to get to that next step."

Innovative Partnership

An Innovative Partnership

Marc D. Allan MFA ’18

From Tel Aviv to Indianapolis

Jackson Borman ’20

from Spring 2018

Butler University tennis player Aviv Ben Shabat ’19 transferred from the University of North Carolina Wilmington to Butler after one semester. 

That was a comparatively minor transition in his life. 

Ben Shabat grew up in Israel, playing tennis all through his childhood, with plans to play at a higher level. When he was 18, he was required, under the Israeli Defense Service Law, to serve in the military. 

“I got special service because when I started mandatory service I was ranked No. 1 in Israel for the under-18 age group,” Ben Shabat said. “They say that you don’t have to go to the combat field because they don’t want to ruin you and the 15 years that you have already invested in tennis. They want you to still represent Israel.” 

Ben Shabat worked in a kitchen cooking and serving meals to soldiers for six hours a day in Tel Aviv. The base was close to where he trained, so after work he could stay focused on tennis. 

“It wasn’t the best time of my life, but you’ve got to do what you’ve got to do and every other Israeli has to do it too, no exceptions, so that’s the reality,” he said. 

When Ben Shabat finished his military service, he moved to North Carolina but struggled in Wilmington. He decided to transfer to Butler because of the tennis program and the small classes. 

“I came here and everyone was super nice and very welcoming and everybody wants to help,” he said. “For me especially, small classes are super important because in bigger classes you are just getting lost, and the professor doesn’t even know what your name is.” 

Ben Shabat is studying Management Information Systems and has been excelling, contributing to the men’s tennis team’s 3.376 cumulative GPA, which ranked second among Butler’s men’s sports teams. He decided on MIS because it would be useful in Indianapolis as well as in Tel Aviv. 

“Israel is a big startup nation, so I want to keep the option open to get a job in the tech field if I go back to Israel,” he said. “I had to pick a major that could combine the two worlds of Israel and the United States.” 

He’s also excelling at tennis. Ben Shabat said his best memory came on the court last year when the Butler men’s tennis team took home the BIG EAST Championship after finishing last the previous year. 

“It’s kind of a Cinderella story because we were in the bottom of the conference and no one expected Butler to win the title and then we ended up winning every match,” he said. “It was a great experience because I was the last point in the final, so everyone came to watch my match. It was a great moment, maybe one of the best moments of my life.” 

From Tel Aviv to Indianapolis

Ben Shabat worked in a kitchen cooking and serving meals to soldiers for six hours a day in Tel Aviv.

by Jackson Borman ’20

from Spring 2018

Read more

VISIONARIES: The Spirit of Entrepreneurship and Innovation

President James Danko

from Spring 2018

As I sat down to write this message, my wife Bethanie told me that she’d just purchased tickets for the Butler Theatre performance of The Little Prince. Although Bethanie normally prefers to read mysteries and I enjoy biographies, this classic book by Antoine de Saint-Exupéry is a shared childhood favorite of ours. We still treasure the story for many reasons, including its celebration of creativity. Saint-Exupéry’s concept of vision as a sense that goes beyond that which is obvious to the eye—one that requires humanity, imagination, and courage—is something that we both deeply value. Not surprisingly, it is also a The Little Princeconcept that is woven through Butler’s history and present-day campus culture.

Fifty years before American women had the right to vote, Ovid Butler endowed the first chair in the nation specifically for a female professor in honor of his daughter Demia. And nearly a century ago, in the midst of a KKK resurgence in the state, seven young African American visionaries founded Sigma Gamma Rho Sorority Inc. at Butler. It is now a nationwide Greek organization with more than 500 chapters. Whether through the groundbreaking social-justice initiatives of our founders, the actions of those in the generations that preceded us, the introduction of the “blue book” and the orange basketball, or housing the largest telescope in Indiana, Bulldogs have always pioneered new ideas.

In this edition of Butler Magazine, you’ll find that today’s visionary spirit at Butler is stronger than ever. Our faculty, staff, students, and alumni are rolling up their sleeves and immersing themselves in entrepreneurial, technological, research, and service projects. And they are doing so within a Liberal Arts model that encourages humanity, imagination, courage, and a lifelong love of learning.

I think the Little Prince would be pleased.

VISIONARIES: The Spirit of Entrepreneurship and Innovation

Today’s visionary spirit at Butler is stronger than ever.

by President James Danko

from Spring 2018

Read more

An Innovative Partnership

Marc D. Allan MFA ’18

from Spring 2018

Tim Valentine and Joshua Gaal started Train 918, their video-production company, at Butler. But after graduating in 2016, they needed a home base.

They found it at the Broad Ripple Speak Easy, which bills itself as "a place for entrepreneurs to create, collaborate, and learn."

The Broad Ripple Speak Easy only offers community space, though, and with their business growing, the Train 918 partners needed dedicated office space. So they moved to the downtown Indianapolis Speak Easy—of which Butler University is a founding partner—where they have an office and a secure place for their equipment. Not only that, but they work alongside lawyers, graphic designers, programmers, and others trying to build new businesses. The opportunities to collaborate are abundant.

"What's nice about the Speak Easy is the community," Valentine said. "If you ever have a question, there's tons of people that are here as resources. I can't tell you the amount of times I get up and walk across to the guy next door, who's a venture capitalist, and ask him a question about an email I'm going to send or a marketing strategy or anything like that. Everyone's here trying to help each other out to get to that next step."

Butler got involved with the Speak Easy in 2016 when the business was looking to expand beyond its Broad Ripple location. Andy Clark MBA '99, a founder of the Broad Ripple Speak Easy, approached the University with the idea of a partnership downtown.

Melissa Beckwith, Butler's Vice President for Strategy and Innovation, Chief Information Officer Pete Williams, and Lacy School of Business Dean Steve Standifird saw the potential.

"What an interesting opportunity from the standpoint of experiential education," said Beckwith, who's now a Speak Easy board member. "If you have this very entrepreneurial co-working space with all of these companies, it is another way to connect Lacy School of Business students into the working environment of these companies. There are all kinds of possibilities for internships and job placements. It's another way to connect our students with the business community."

The downtown Speak Easy, located at 47 South Meridian Street, is situated in a 12,000-square-foot space. With its exposed brick and pipes, rustic woodwork, and large common area where members can avail themselves of coffee and beer, it looks like something you'd expect to see in Seattle or Silicon Valley.

Travis Herring, Speak Easy Experience Manager, said the downtown venue has 17 offices with tenants. (Over all, the Speak Easy now has about 1,000 members and five locations in Central Indiana.)

Herring sees the space as a middle ground for fledgling businesses for whom working from a coffee shop might not be conducive to doing business but renting a large office might be too expensive. Membership costs $75 a month, or $750 a year (office space is additional), and gives members access to community space in the five Speak Easy locations.

Valentine said the office that Train 918 rents for about $1,200 a month has been "100 percent worth it. We as a company make that back monthly—easily—just by the connections that we make."

Beckwith said the Speak Easy partnership has been worth it for Butler too. Butler students have been able to get involved with companies housed at the Speak Easy. Representatives from some of the companies have come to campus to work with students in the Real Business Experience classes. The Small Business Development Center, which became part of Butler on January 1, is housed in the Speak Easy. And the Speak Easy and Butler's Executive Education program are working to develop a non-degree certificate program for Speak Easy members.

"There are so many benefits for us partnering with startups and creating synergies we can potentially offer beyond academic," she said. "This is giving us an opportunity to be in the middle of a lot of companies."

An Innovative Partnership

"Everyone's here trying to help each other out to get to that next step."

by Marc D. Allan MFA ’18

from Spring 2018

Read more