Academics | Butler Stories
Back

Latest In

Academics

Butler Campus in the Fall
AcademicsCampus

Butler Ranked No. 1 in the Midwest For the First Time by U.S. News & World Report

BY Rachel Stern

PUBLISHED ON Sep 10 2018

For the first time in its history, Butler University has moved into a tie for the No. 1 Regional University in the Midwest, according to the 2019 U.S. News & World Report Best Colleges Rankings released today.

After eight years of being ranked second in the Midwest Regional Universities category, Butler tied for first place with Creighton University, thanks to its high percentage of small classes (52 percent of classes have fewer than 20 students), first-year students who were in the Top 25 percent of their high school class (76 percent), and alumni giving rates (22 percent—higher than any of the 165 schools in the Midwest region).

“Butler is an innovative leader in education,” President James Danko says. “This prestigious ranking affirms that Butler is creating learning experiences for students that support their success and well-being—both during their undergraduate experience and throughout their lives.”

Butler was also ranked the No. 1 Most Innovative School among Midwest Regional Universities for the fourth straight year, as well as the top school for its commitment to undergraduate teaching.

“Butler’s recognition for exceptional teaching is particularly rewarding, since this is determined by leaders at our peer institutions,” Danko says. “To have our faculty highlighted in this manner is a testament to their outstanding work.”

Butler was also listed among the best schools in six out of eight academic programs that U.S. News ranks. The lists for first-year experiences, internships/co-ops, senior capstone, service learning, study abroad, and undergraduate research, all categories that education experts, including staff members of the Association of American Colleges and Universities, believe lead to student success, all included Butler.

Here’s some more information on these categories:

  • First-year experiences are seminars or other programs that bring small groups of students together with faculty or staff on a regular basis.
  • More than 90 percent of Butler students have at least one internship before they graduate.
  • Senior capstone are culminating experiences that ask students nearing the end of their college years to create a project of some sort that integrates what they’ve learned.
  • In service-learning programs, volunteering in the community is an instructional strategy and relates to what happens in class.
  • Study abroad programs involve substantial academic work and considerable interaction between the student and the culture.
  • Undergraduate research gives students the opportunity to do intensive and self-directed research or creative work that results in an original scholarly paper or other product that can be presented on or off campus.

Administrators at regional universities and colleges were surveyed about peer institutions within their regions. The colleges and universities named on the list were cited most often by college presidents, provosts, and admissions deans who were asked to identify up to 15 schools.

Regional universities offer a full range of undergraduate programs and some master's programs, but few doctoral programs. These rankings are split into four regions: North, South, Midwest, and West. U.S. News also ranks National Universities, National Liberal Arts Colleges, and Regional Colleges in the North, South, Midwest, and West.

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

Campus in Spring
AcademicsCampus

Butler Makes Princeton Review's 'The Best 384 Colleges' For First Time

BY Marc Allan

PUBLISHED ON Aug 08 2018

Butler University is one of the nation’s best institutions for undergraduate education, according to The Princeton Review, which has included Butler in its 2019 annual "best colleges" guidebook for the first time.

“The Butler community takes great pride in being recognized by the highly-respected Princeton Review for the exceptional education we provide our students,” said President Jim Danko. “It is particularly rewarding to have an independent, external endorsement of the effectiveness of Butler’s collaborative, student-centered educational approach, one that is supported by outstanding and caring faculty.”

Butler is one of five schools that the New York-based education services company added to the roster of colleges it profiles in the 2019 The Best 384 Colleges (Penguin Random House/Princeton Review Books). The guide is now available.

Robert Franek, Editor-in-Chief of The Princeton Review, said, “We are truly pleased to add Butler to our widely used college guide, now in its 27th year. Only about 15 percent of the four-year colleges in the nation are in this book. In our opinion, these are ‘the crème of the crop’ institutions for undergraduates in America."

Franek said Butler was chosen for 2019 based on three areas: a high regard for its academic programs and other offerings, institutional data, and visits to the University as well as feedback from students, educators, and parents.

The annual "best colleges" book has two-page profiles on each school. Butler's pages note:

  • Butler’s student-to-faculty ratio, teachers collaborating with students on research and professional endeavors, and a core curriculum that pushes students out of their comfort zones, and allows students to explore interests outside of their major, creating “an atmosphere of driven students.”
  • Professors who support student ideas and make modifications to lectures to support student interests.
  • Student life "is completely sustainable on-campus,” which means that students typically stay there for studying, food, and for socializing. On days with good weather, students can be found out and about on campus.

In addition, the book contains 62 ranking lists of "top 20 schools" in individual categories.

The Princeton Review tallied the rankings for the 2019 edition based on its surveys of 138,000 students (average 359 per campus) attending the 384 colleges in the book in 2017-2018 and/or the previous two school years.

The survey asks students 84 questions about their school's academics, administration, student body, and themselves. The format uses a five-point Likert scale to convert qualitative student assessments into quantitative data for school-to-school comparisons. More information on the ranking methodology is at www.princetonreview.com/college-rankings/how-it-works.

The Princeton Review does not rank the colleges in the book hierarchically, 1 to 384, either on academics (the Company believes all 384 schools are academically outstanding) or on any other subject.

The school profiles in the book also feature rating scores (from 60 to 99) in several categories including Financial Aid, Fire Safety, and Green: a rating based on the colleges' environmental commitments. The Princeton Review tallies these scores primarily based on analyses of institutional data the Company obtains from the schools.

 

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

Campus in Spring
AcademicsCampus

Butler Makes Princeton Review's 'The Best 384 Colleges' For First Time

Butler is one of nation’s best institutions for education, according to The Princeton Review.

Aug 08 2018 Read more
AcademicsCampus

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

BY

PUBLISHED ON Sep 08 2019

For the second consecutive year, Butler University has been named the No. 1 Regional University in the Midwest, according to the 2020 U.S. News & World Report Best Colleges Rankings released today

Butler also ranked as the No. 1 Most Innovative School for the fifth straight year, the No.1 Best College for Veterans, and within the top-10 schools for Undergraduate Teaching among Midwest Regional Universities.

“I am pleased that our ranking reflects the high quality of education we provide at Butler University,” President James Danko says. “In addition to a highly-engaged educational experience, thanks to our outstanding faculty, we continue to underscore the importance of innovation, which creates an environment that both supports our students and challenges them to succeed.”

In addition to its strong position in the Midwest, Butler ranked within the top-20 among nationally-ranked schools (such as Harvard, Duke, and Stanford Universities) in three key areas identified by U.S. News as critical in providing students with the best possible undergraduate experience: first-year experience (No. 13), senior capstone experience (No. 18), and study abroad opportunities (No. 19).

“We are especially honored that this year’s rankings distinguish Butler University as among some of the most prestigious in the country,” Danko says. “I am so proud of our students, faculty, and staff, whose dedication to excellence has led us to earn this great recognition.”

The U.S. News first-year experience category recognizes schools that help new students feel connected well beyond orientation week. Butler’s First Year Seminar is required for all new students and is taken in a two-semester sequence. There are no exceptions, as all new students reflect on questions about self, community, and the world. 

Senior capstone experiences give students nearing the end of their time at college the chance to create a culminating project drawing on what they’ve learned over several years, such as collaborative research between Butler students and faculty, or recitals put on by graduating art students. 

And the study abroad category highlights universities that allow students to complete a substantial amount of credit hours outside the U.S., while also immersing themselves in new cultures. At Butler, about 40 percent of students travel abroad by the time they graduate, making the University ninth in the nation for undergraduate participation.

Butler also ranked just outside the top-20 on a national level for its focus on co-ops and internships (No. 21) and service learning (No. 23). Schools in the internship category either require or encourage students to apply what they’ve learned in class to a real-world setting, like the more than 90 percent of Butler students who complete at least one internship before graduation.

Universities in the service learning category require students to volunteer in the community as part of their coursework. Through Butler's Indianapolis Community Requirement (ICR), all students take at least one course that involves active engagement with the Indianapolis area.

For undergraduate research and creative projects, Butler ranked No. 59 in the nation for the opportunities it provides students to complete self-directed, formal research, often under the mentorship of a faculty member.

For each of these national categories, U.S. News surveyed higher education leaders from across the country, asking college presidents, chief academic officers, and deans of admissions to nominate up to 15 schools they felt best embraced each type of program. The final rankings include the 20 universities that received the most nominations in each category. 

“It is quite gratifying that our peer academic leaders recognize the quality of a Butler education which is distinguished by the teaching and learning that occurs inside our classrooms, and is further enhanced by the rich experiences offered outside,” Provost Kate Morris says. “I am proud of the high-quality education and experience our students receive thanks to our outstanding faculty and staff.”

 

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

AcademicsCampus

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

The University also ranks within the nation’s Top-20 schools for programs in three key areas.

Sep 08 2019 Read more
AcademicsStudent Life

Butler Places 815 Students on Fall 2017 Dean's List

BY

PUBLISHED ON Feb 06 2018

Eight hundred fifteen students have been placed on Butler University's Dean's List for the fall 2017 semester.

Any degree-seeking undergraduate student earning at least 12 academic hours of grade credit in a given semester may be placed on the Dean’s List of the college of enrollment if the semester grade point average is in the top 20 percent of all eligible students in that college. Courses taken under the pass/fail option do not count toward 12 academic hours of grade credit.

In the College of Pharmacy and Health Sciences, it is the top 20 percent of COPHS students in each curricular year who are named to the Dean’s List.

Here is the fall 2017 Dean’s List:

Katie Aaberg, Dance-Performance, Ada, Michigan

Jenna Aasen, Exploratory, Vernon Hills, Illinois

Karl Agger, English, Glen Ellyn, Illinois

Seth Ahlden, Professional Pharmacy, Bourbonnais, Illinois

McKenna Albers, Biochemistry, Mason, Ohio

Lydia Alberts, Science, Technology, & Society, Indianapolis

Laura Allaben, History and Political Science, Noblesville, Indiana

Lucy Allan, Peace and Conflict Studies, Carmel, Indiana

Jack Allbritton, Health Sciences, San Diego, California

Michaela Althoff, Pre-Pharmacy, Pittsboro, Indiana

Siena Amodeo, International Business, Powell, Ohio

Gabrielle Amstutz, Marketing, Berne, Indiana

Grant Anschuetz, Sports Media, Tecumseh, Michigan

Mary Beth Apker, Marketing, Omaha, Nebraska

Rachael Apter, Exploratory, Orland Park, Illinois

Kate Armstrong, Political Science, Grand Haven, Michigan

Camille Arnett, French, Granger, Indiana

Sarah Ault, Theatre, Overland Park, Kansas

Angela Avgerinos, Critical Communication & Media, Oak Brook, Illinois

Ben Babione, Exploratory, Diosd, Hungary            

Katharine Baird, Marketing, Novi, Michigan

Grant Baker, Pre-Pharmacy, Brownsburg, Indiana

Ally Balan, Exploratory (Business), Flat Rock, Michigan

Heather Baldacci, Actuarial Science, Algonquin, Illinois

Aislinn Baltas, Science, Technology, & Society, Manhattan, Illinois

Adam Bantz, Strategic Communication, Albany, Indiana

Nick Bantz, Chemistry, Albany, Indiana

Bronwyn Bartley, English, Indianapolis

Alex Bartlow, Accounting, Bloomfield, Indiana

Jen Barton, Health Sciences, Brownsburg, Indiana

Julia Bartusek, Peace and Conflict Studies, New Prague, Minnesota

Grace Bassler, Pre-Pharmacy, Washington, Indiana

Addison Baumle, Health Sciences, Payne, Ohio

Sydney Bebar, Psychology, Joliet, Illinois

Abby Beckman, Actuarial Science, Lexington, Kentucky

Livia Bedwell, Dance-Performance, Memphis, Tennessee

Michael Behna, Health Sciences, Naperville, Illinois

Zach Bellavia, Economics, Woodstock, Illinois

Adam Bender, Digital Media Production, Boulder, Colorado

Thomas Bennett, Economics, Grosse Ile, Michigan

Bailey Berish, Health Sciences, Greencastle, Indiana

Nina Bertino, Strategic Communication, Lockport, Illinois

Erica Biagini, Marketing, Skokie, Illinois

Holloway Bird, Dance/Arts Administration, Aledo, Texas

Carter Bisel, Exploratory, Crown Point, Indiana

Elizabeth Bishop, Strategic Communication, Jeffersonville, Indiana

Madi Blair, English, Johns Creek, Georgia

Elizabeth Blevins, Arts Administration, Glen Ellyn, Illinois

Natalie  Bloom, Middle/Secondary Education, Naperville, Illinois

Maddie Blum, Risk Management and Insurance, Wolcottville, Indiana

Brittany Bluthardt, Journalism, Antioch, Illinois

Lauren Bogart, Exploratory (Business), North Webster, Indiana

Tyler Bolger, Middle/Secondary Education, Chicago

Courtney Boos, Accounting, Winamac, Indiana

Bri Borri, Psychology, Ada, Michigan

Sydney Borror, Finance, Fort Wayne, Indiana

Lauren Boswell, Elementary Education, Fishers, Indiana

Zach Boudler, Finance, Fort Wayne, Indiana

Amy Boyd, Digital Media Production, Fishers, Indiana

Jaclyn Boyer, Criminology and Psychology, Indianapolis

Ashley Boylan, Sociology, Peoria, Arizona

Anna Claire Bradbury, Middle/Secondary Education, Lindenhurst, Illinois

Anna Bradley, English, Brownsburg, Indiana

Micah Brame, Mathematics, Libertyville, Illinois

Lauren Briskey, Actuarial Science, Avon, Indiana

Anna Broadhurst, Communication Science & Disorders, Oak Forest, Illinois

Katherine Bromley, Elementary Education, Oak Park, Illinois

Amy Brown, Accounting, Saint Charles, Missouri

Chloe Brown, Digital Media Production, Parker, Colorado

Chris Brown, Sports Media, Brentwood, Missouri

Courtney Brown, Chemistry, Londonderry, New Hampshire

Darby Brown, English, Franklin, Tennessee

Julia Brown, Elementary Education, Shelbyville, Indiana

Katie Brown, Elementary Education, Fort Wayne, Indiana

Kyla Brown, Communication Science & Disorders, Hanover, Indiana

Ryan Brown, Finance, Crete, Illinois

Shelby Brown, Pre-Pharmacy, Connersville, Indiana

Katie Brownlee, Elementary Education, Northbrook, Illinois

Brad Broyles, Pharmacy, New Castle, Indiana

Joey Brunk, Elementary Education, Indianapolis

Ethan Buchman, Entrepreneurship & Innovation, Warsaw, Indiana

Sydney Buck, Finance, Fort Wayne, Indiana

Macy Burkhart, Exploratory, Greensburg, Indiana

Shelby Burmeister, Actuarial Science, Normal, Illinois

Patrick Burns, Software Engineering, Deerfield, Illinois

Laura Burr, Exploratory (Business), Cincinnati, Ohio

Kenny Burton, Exploratory (Liberal Arts and Sciences), Kokomo, Indiana

Marissa Byers, Environmental Studies, Indianapolis

Katherine Cackovic, Dance-Performance, Wheaton, Illinois

Rachel Cairns, Pre-Pharmacy, Amherst, Ohio

Sean Callahan, Biology, Batavia, Illinois

Ally Carlson, Health Sciences, Glen Ellyn, Illinois

Kelli Carney, Elementary Education, Terre Haute, Indiana

Faith Carroll, Elementary Education, Whitehouse, Ohio

Mallory Carter, Pre-Pharmacy, Brownsburg, Indiana

Caden Castellon, Entrepreneurship & Innovation, Canal Winchester, Ohio

Bridget Cato, Marketing, Chicago

Jeremy Caylor, Biology, Tipton, Indiana

Victoria Cervoni, Strategic Communication, Fort Wayne, Indiana

Parker Chalmers, Risk Management and Insurance, Cincinnati, Ohio

Alena Chilian, Environmental Studies, Roanoke, Indiana

Gabby Chinski, Strategic Communication, Bourbonnais, Illinois

Noah Chopp, Actuarial Science, Grafton, Wisconsin

Holly Christensen, Web Design and Development, Shoreline, Washington

Nicolet Christensen, Elementary Education, Oak Brook, Illinois

Madi Christiansen, Entrepreneurship & Innovation, Etters, Pennsylvania

Elizabeth Clark, Pharmacy, Salem, Indiana

Ryan Clark, Finance, Carmel, Indiana

Caitlin Clement, Accounting, McCordsville, Indiana

Salena Clevenger, Pharmacy, Fortville, Indiana

Evan Cobb, Accounting, Avon, Indiana

Caroline Cohen, Entrepreneurship & Innovation, Carmel, Indiana

Liza Cohen, Criminology and Psychology, Indianapolis

Claire Colburn, English, Indianapolis

Hannah Coleman, Pharmacy, Danville, Indiana

Julissa Collazo, Middle/Secondary Education, Chicago

Claire Collett, Entrepreneurship & Innovation, Seymour, Indiana

Jaclyn Collier, Pre-Pharmacy, Indianapolis

Victoria Combs, Psychology and Political Science, Kokomo, Indiana

Grant Comella, International Business, Lafayette, Indiana

Kitty Compton, Theatre, Evansville, Indiana

Katey Conley, Elementary Education, Indianapolis

Catie Conlon, International Business, Brookfield, Wisconsin

Dana Connor, Communication Science & Disorders, Tallahassee, Florida

Mark Connors, Accounting, Carmel, Indiana

Maggie Considine, Psychology, Woodridge, Illinois

Allison Cook, Health Sciences, Evansville, Indiana

Vickie Cook, Biochemistry, Woodburn, Indiana

Delaney Cordell, Biology, Fishers, Indiana

Meredith Coughlin, Human Communications and Organizational Leadership, Tipp City, Ohio

Abigail Counts, Music, Powell, Ohio

Paige Cowden, Pre-Pharmacy, Ellettsville, Indiana

Britney Cowling, Health Sciences, Mount Carmel, Illinois

Carter Cox, Exploratory (Business), Louisville, Kentucky

Claire Cox, Marketing, Indianapolis

Abby Craig, Mathematics, Hudson, Illinois

Trent Craig, Marketing, Huntley, Illinois

Matthew Croaning, Finance, Carmel, Indiana

Katie Crouse, Music, Annapolis, Maryland

Olivia Crowder, Pre-Pharmacy, Cayuga, Indiana

Shelby Crum, Science, Technology, & Society, Rockville, Indiana

Ryan Cultice, Accounting, Warsaw, Indiana

Mary Curley, Pre-Pharmacy, West Terre Haute, Indiana

Adrian Daeger, Music Performance, Indianapolis

Maggie Danicek, Health Sciences, Grand Haven, Michigan

Erin Dark, Pharmacy, West Lafayette, Indiana

Tate Datweiler, Finance, Herscher, Illinois

Audrey Davenport, Pre-Pharmacy, Zionsville, Indiana

Eric Davidson, Actuarial Science, Newburgh, Indiana

Melody Davidson, Finance, Anderson, Indiana

Ali Davignon, Chemistry, Terre Haute, Indiana

Evan Davis, Theatre, Brentwood, Tennessee

Elena DeCook, English Writing, Holland, Michigan

Brett DeWitt, Psychology, Anderson, Indiana

Jarod Deckard, Pre-Pharmacy, Springville, Indiana

Matthew Del Busto, English, Carmel, Indiana

Alyssa Del Priore, Health Sciences, Fort Wayne, Indiana

Walker Demel, Music, Elgin, Illinois

Paige Dempsey, English, Harlan, Indiana

John Denger, Arts Administration, Carmel, Indiana

Michael Denner, Accounting, Ottawa Hills, Ohio

Kaitlin Detmar, Psychology, Schererville, Indiana

Sarah Dixon, Communication Science & Disorders, Pendleton, Indiana

Joshua Doering, Sports Media, Canton, Michigan

Maggie Dolph, Elementary Education, Western Springs, Illinois

Anna Doran, Accounting, Brentwood, Tennessee

Mattie Doran, Marketing, Winona Lake, Indiana

Sarah Doran, Music Education, Granville, Ohio

Gabby Douglas, Exploratory, South Bend, Indiana

Blake Dreihaus, Health Sciences, Dillsboro, Indiana

Marissa Duco, Pharmacy, Indianapolis

Ally Dudman, Pre-Pharmacy, Geneva, Illinois

Danielle Duff, Biology, Fort Wayne, Indiana

Elizabeth Duis, Arts Administration, Sheldon, Illinois

Kelliann Duncan, Journalism, Bartlett, Illinois

David Dunham, Middle/Secondary Education, Zionsville, Indiana

Jessica Dupree, Psychology, Arcadia, Indiana

Michelle Duritsch, Health Sciences, Troy, Ohio

Serenity Dzubay, English, Indianapolis

Dakota Eash, Pre-Pharmacy, Elkhart, Indiana

Mikayla Eaton, Marketing, Union Mills, Indiana

Grant Eberle, Exploratory, Naperville, Illinois

Nick Ebl, Finance, Glen Ellyn, Illinois

Ashlyn Edwards, Philosophy, Floyds Knobs, Indiana

Katie Edwards, Marketing, Libertyville, Illinois

Luke Edwards, Exploratory (Business), Libertyville, Illinois

Rachel Efroymson, Communication Science & Disorders, Indianapolis

Max Egenolf, Accounting, Avon, Indiana

Monika Eisenhut, Finance, Indianapolis

Beth Ann Ellingson, Pre-Pharmacy, Elgin, Illinois

William Emerson, Recording Industry Studies, Indianapolis

Grant Emrick, Marketing, Forsyth, Illinois

Kaitlyn Enderle, Chemistry, Carmel, Indiana

Erich Endres, Sports Media, Louisville, Kentucky

Claire Epley, Marketing, Edwards, Illinois

Emily Erickson, Accounting, Marion, Indiana

Ale Escobedo, Psychology, South Bend, Indiana

Ben Evans, Chemistry, Indianapolis

Erin Evans, Professional Pharmacy, O'Fallon, Illinois

Melissa Evans, Psychology, Lexington, Kentucky

Natalie Evans, Music Performance, Goshen, Indiana

Chiara Evelti, International Studies, Decatur, Illinois

James Ewing, Biology, Milwaukee, Wisconsin

Niki Ezeh, Strategic Communication, Grand Rapids, Michigan

Hannah Faccio, Psychology, Belmont, Michigan

Branson Facemire, Pharmacy, Madison, Indiana

Tatum Farlow, Dance-Performance, Germantown, Tennessee

Molly Farmer, Exploratory, Terre Haute, Indiana

Megan Farny, Health Sciences, Evansville, Indiana

Natalie Farrell, Music, Carol Stream, Illinois

Alec Fenne, Music Education, Geneva, Illinois

Grace Finley, Accounting, Indianapolis

Laura Fischer, Pre-Pharmacy, La Porte, Indiana

Lisa Fischer, Professional Pharmacy, La Porte, Indiana

Brea Fisher, Criminology and Psychology, Columbia City, Indiana

Taylor Fisher, Finance, Solon, Iowa

Megan Fitzgerald, Elementary Education, Dublin, Ohio

Emily Flandermeyer, Psychology, Indianapolis

Rachel Fleming, Marketing, Chicago Heights, Illinois

Kati Forbes, Pre-Pharmacy, Carmel, Indiana

Gabbi Forsythe, Software Engineering, Brownsburg, Indiana

Matt Fox, Finance, Appleton, Wisconsin

Nicholas Fox, Risk Management and Insurance, Country Club Hills, Illinois

Hannah Frank, Pre-Pharmacy, Homer Glen, Illinois

Emma Frasier, Communication Science & Disorders, Bloomington, Indiana

Travis Freytag, Actuarial Science, Cincinnati, Ohio

Ryan Friedrich, Pre-Pharmacy, Terre Haute, Indiana

Hope Frieling, Marketing, Holland, Michigan

James Frieling, Exploratory (Business), Holland, Michigan

Margaret Fries, Communication Science & Disorders, St. Louis, Missouri

Erica Frisby, Communication Science & Disorders, Lindenhurst, Illinois

Maggie Fuhrman, Health Sciences, Wauwatosa, Wisconsin

Connor Fuller, Accounting, Lancaster, New York

Ivan Fuller, Physics, Yardley, Pennsylvania

Sarah Galbreath, Elementary Education, Bloomington, Indiana

Caleb Gall, Economics, Valparaiso, Indiana

Nick Ganly, Chemistry, Brazil, Indiana

Brandon Gansell, Risk Management and Insurance, Plano, Texas

Eric Garcia, Music Performance, Fishers, Indiana

Alyssa Garelli, Pre-Pharmacy, Elmhurst, Illinois

Rachel Gathof, Accounting, Louisville, Kentucky

Kelsey Gausman, Marketing, Batesville, Indiana

Anna Geist, Risk Management and Insurance, Arvada, Colorado

Lydia Gentry, English, Troutville, Virginia

Ari Gerstein, Finance, Carmel, Indiana

Mario Giannini, Entrepreneurship & Innovation, Grayslake, Illinois

Kyle Giebel, Entrepreneurship & Innovation, Frankfort, Indiana

Jenna Gilberg, Journalism, Middleburg, Virginia

Chedae Gillam, Professional Pharmacy, Indianapolis, Indiana

Mary Bridget Ginn, Finance, Columbus, Ohio

Tyler Girton, Pharmacy, Greenfield, Indiana

Jimmy Gleichmann, Accounting, Whippany, New Jersey

Alex Glickfield, Physics, Greentown, Indiana

Robin Glicksberg, Middle/Secondary Education, Lincolnshire, Illinois

Madeleine Glogas, Pre-Pharmacy, Fort Wayne, Indiana

Isaac Gluesenkamp, Biology, Nashville, Indiana

Brian Goldner, Finance, Indianapolis

Jack Goldstein, Computer Science, Omaha, Nebraska

Tyler Goodrick, Finance, Osceola,  Indiana

Katelyn Gordon, Pharmacy, Indianapolis

Lauren Goslee, Exploratory, Maineville, Ohio

Zachary Gossett , Political Science, Terre Haute, Indiana

Alyssa Grabinski, Journalism, Naperville, Illinois

Becca Graham, Professional Pharmacy, Lawrenceburg, Indiana

Kerry Gray, Biology, Avon Lake, Ohio

Maddie Greer, Strategic Communication, Russiaville, Indiana

Jacklyn Gries, Pharmacy, Evansville, Indiana

Ally Griffin, Exploratory (Communication), Barrington, Illinois

Meredith Grossi, Marketing, Hinsdale, Illinois

Anthony Gurovski, Computer Science, Libertyville, Illinois

Allison Haan, Dance-Pedagogy, Holland, Michigan

Corey Hagerty, Finance, Louisville, Kentucky

Landen Haney, Healthcare and Business, Rockford, Michigan

Alaina Hanke, Criminology and Psychology, Bloomingdale, Illinois

Lauren Hannemann, Computer Science, Chicago

Zach Hanquier, Music, Greenwood, Indiana

Ali Hanson, English, Rosiclare, Illinois

Alex Hardiek, Actuarial Science, Dieterich, Illinois

Makiah Harper, Human Communication and Organizational Leadership, West Chester, Ohio

Logan Harris, Economics, O'Fallon, Illinois

Morgan Harrison, Pharmacy, Hillsboro, Indiana

Jillian Harrod, Exploratory (Business), South Elgin, Illinois

Auboni Hart, Accounting, Indianapolis

DeLaney Hartman, Health Sciences, Lebanon, Ohio

Kelli Hartman, Healthcare and Business, Batesville, Indiana

Elizabeth Hauk, Professional Pharmacy, Fairview, Pennsylvania

Blakely Heaton, Biology, Bloomfield, Indiana

Ryan Hecker, Strategic Communication, Chicago

Jordan Hennings, International Studies, Wheaton, Illinois

Nicole Henrich, International Business, West Bend, Wisconsin

Harry Hensel, Elementary Education, Indianapolis

Miranda Herman, Gender, Women & Sexuality Studies, Indianapolis

Mary Hermann, Software Engineering, Chelsea, Michigan

Thomas Hermsen, Psychology, Kaukauna, Wisconsin

Ryan Heumann, Mathematics, Indianapolis

Carly Hewitt, Actuarial Science, Mound, Minnesota

Molly Hicks, Anthropology, Fishers, Indiana

Allie Highsmith, English, Indianapolis      

Charlotte Hilker, Psychology, Des Moines, Iowa

Lilly Hinckley, Exploratory, Cincinnati, Ohio

Hannah Hinkle, Communication Science & Disorders, Warsaw, Indiana

Maddi Hinton, Biology, Pendleton, Indiana

Jessica Hock, Elementary Education, Bryn Mawr, Pennsylvania

Allison Hoffert, Health Sciences, Leesburg, Indiana

Sam Hoffman, Elementary Education, Noblesville, Indiana

Bailey Hogan, Elementary Education, Indianapolis

Jonny Hollar, Marketing, Warsaw, Indiana

Noah Holloway, English, Zionsville, Indiana

Ryan Holmes, Exploratory (Business), Carmel, Indiana

Kate Holtz, Risk Management and Insurance, Godfrey, Illinois

Alexandra Hopkins, Human Communication and Organizational Leadership, Sheridan, Indiana

Tori Horton, Finance, Verona, Wisconsin

Brooks Hosfeld, Gender, Women & Sexuality Studies, Carmel, Indiana

Asif Hossain, Chemistry, Carmel, Indiana

Samantha Howald, Health Sciences, Toledo, Ohio

William Howard, Biology, Carmel, Indiana

Zach Howe, Professional Pharmacy, O'Fallon, Missouri

Chandler Howell, Professional Pharmacy, Centerville, Indiana

Nicholas Huang, Finance, Geneva, Illinois

Fiona Huber, Dance/Arts Administration, Atlanta, Georgia

Maggie Hunt, Elementary Education, Indianapolis

Kate Hussey, Psychology, Cincinnati, Ohio

Peter Hutson, International Studies, Columbus, Ohio

Katie Hybarger, Middle/Secondary Education, Sheridan, Indiana

Lyla Iannaccone, Arts Administration, Glendale, California

Courtney Irwin, Human Communication and Organizational Leadership, Burr Ridge, Illinois

Kayla Irwin, Health Sciences, Lemont, Illinois

Michaela Ivory, Anthropology, Indianapolis

Claire Jaffee, Marketing, Michiana Shores, Indiana

Shea Jamieson, Biology, South Bend, Indiana

Ben Janson, Accounting, Saint Joseph, Michigan

Karla Jeggle, Actuarial Science, Upper Arlington, Ohio

Rachel Jennings, Actuarial Science, Goshen, Kentucky

Logan Jester, Health Sciences, Fort Wayne, Indiana

Bobby Johnson, History, McDonald, Ohio

Drew Johnson, Pharmacy, Noblesville, Indiana

Gordon Johnson, Art + Design, Elmhurst, Illinois

Luke Johnson, Biology, Indianapolis

Marissa Johnson, Performance & Music Education, Avon, Indiana

Jennifer Johnston, Health Sciences, Greenfield, Indiana

David Jones, Marketing, Westfield, Indiana

Sarah Jordan, Dance-Performance, Oak Park, Illinois

Daria Jouzdani, Economics, Boulder, Colorado

Emily Joyce, Political Science, Bloomingdale, Illinois

Jakob Jozwiakowski, Chemistry, Sudbury, Massachusetts

Michelle Jugovich, Music, Western Springs, Illinois

Colton Junod, Biology, Vincennes, Indiana

Rachel Kappeler, Pharmacy, Hartland, Wisconsin

Kelsie Kasper, Sports Media, Munster, Indiana

Kaitlyn Kastberg, Pre-Pharmacy, Chesterfield, Missouri

Nicole Katzin, Exploratory, Chicago

Hannah Kaufmann, Psychology, Pendleton, Indiana

David Kaylor, Pharmacy, Westfield, Indiana

Mahmood Kedo, Biology, McCordsville, Indiana

Annie Keirn, Communication Science & Disorders, Collinsville, Illinois

Jenna Kendrick, Professional Pharmacy, Rising Sun, Indiana

Morgan Kenny, International Business, Lafayette, Indiana

Jenny Kern, Communication Science & Disorders, Bartlett, Illinois

Maggie Kieffer, Exploratory, Morton, Illinois

Joe Killion, International Studies, USAF Academy, Colorado

Allison Kinsinger, Health Sciences, Washington, Illinois

Jessie Kirchoff, Professional Pharmacy, Terre Haute, Indiana

Klaudia Kirk, Marketing, Noblesville, Indiana

Joe Kirkpatrick, Pre-Pharmacy, Anderson, Indiana

Noa Klausner, Biology, Las Vegas, Nevada

Dillen Klemchuk               , Sociology, Fairfax, Vermont

Abby Klupchak, Marketing, Homewood, Illinois

Emily Knaub, Middle/Secondary Education, Channahon, Illinois

Danny Knauff, Music Education, Carmel, Indiana

Hunter Koch, Finance, Bedford, Indiana

Natalie Koch, Exploratory, Mililani, Hawaii

Kristen Koehl, Professional Pharmacy, Indianapolis

Hannah Koehler, Elementary Education, Mundelein, Illinois

Jarrod Koester, History and Political Science, Wadesville, Indiana

Jess Kolanowski, Entrepreneurship & Innovation, Saint John, Indiana

Brandi Kordes, Communication Science & Disorders, Saint Anthony, Indiana

Charles Kovarik, Economics, Downers Grove, Illinois

Andrea Krebs, Pharmacy, Indianapolis

Ray Kreloff, Economics, Valparaiso, Indiana

Anne Krietenstein, Biology, Plainfield, Indiana

Joey Krisko, International Business, Manteno, Illinois

Hannah Kroehler, Marketing, Fishers, Indiana

Nicole Krueger, Communication Science & Disorders, Willow Springs, Illinois

Allison Kubacki, Health Sciences, Rochester Hills, Michigan

Hannah Kurath, Elementary Education, Golden, Colorado

Lucas LaRosa, Actuarial Science, Indianapolis

Mariesa LaRosa, Communication Science & Disorders, Indianapolis

Emma LaVelle, Accounting, Columbus, Indiana

Alyssa Lach, Computer Science, Algonquin, Illinois

John Lacheta, Management Information Systems, Warsaw, Indiana

Caitlin Ladd, Individualized Major, Floyds Knobs, Indiana

Tori Lampert, Anthropology, La Grange Park, Illinois

Spencer Lang, Biology, Longmont, Colorado

Grace Langford, Actuarial Science, Avon, Indiana

Maddie Larsen, Health Sciences, Chicago

Annie Larson, Marketing, Victoria, Minnesota

Kyra Laubacher, Dance-Performance, Wexford, Pennsylvania

Zoe Law, Anthropology, Zionsville, Indiana

Emily Lawson, Chemistry, Fort Wayne, Indiana

Lance Lawyer, Health Sciences, Mooresville, Indiana

Jenna-Laine LeBleu, Strategic Communication, Aurora, Illinois

Allison Ledder, Exploratory (Business) Crystal Lake, Illinois

Adam Lee, Finance, Kirkwood, Missouri

Dana Lee, Journalism, Northbrook, Illinois

Jessica Lee, Biology, Chesterton, Indiana

Stephanie Lee, Pharmacy, Carmel, Indiana

Meghan Leete, Economics, Spring Lake, Michigan

Sara Lefere, Elementary Education, Jackson, Michigan

Emily Leiderman, Psychology, Geneva, Illinois

Cade Leinbach, Music Composition, Goshen, Indiana

Blake Leonard, International Business, Dexter, Michigan

Rachael Lewis, Marketing, Danville, Illinois

Samantha Lilly, Marketing, Indianapolis 

Morgan Linzmeier, History and Anthropology, Pulaski, Wisconsin

Monica Livorsi, Arts Administration, Minnetonka, Minnesota

Julia Lohan, Middle/Secondary Education, Lincolnwood, Illinois

Nick Lombardo, Finance, Glen Ellyn, Illinois

Austin Long, Professional Pharmacy, Mooresville, Indiana

Elizabeth Longthorne, Strategic Communication, Indianapolis

Jesse Longtin, Accounting, Kankakee, Illinois

Haley Loquercio, Theatre, Chicago

Melissa Louis, Health Sciences, Loveland, Ohio

Madeline Lowry, Risk Management and Insurance, Springfield, Virginia

Nick Lucas, Accounting, Johnston, Iowa

Hannah Luedtke, Accounting, North Barrington, Illinois

Abbie Lueken, Professional Pharmacy, Bloomington, Indiana

Cole Luty, Professional Pharmacy, Indianapolis  

Meghan Lynch, Communication Science & Disorders, Indianapolis             

Maggie MacBeth, Biology, Indianapolis  

Missy MacCarthy, Health Sciences, Saint Charles , Illinois

Cole Mackey, Pre-Pharmacy, Shelbyville, Indiana

Dustin Mailloux, Accounting, Bloomington, Illinois

Colleen Major, Elementary Education, Willowbrook, Illinois

Grace Malone, Digital Media Production, West Lafayette, Indiana

Brittney Man, Actuarial Science, Indianapolis

Izzi Mandli, Exploratory (Business), Whitefish Bay, Wisconsin

Addie Mann, Health Sciences, Bluffton, Indiana

Theo Maris, Pre-Pharmacy, Villa Hills, Kentucky

Allyson Marks, Marketing, Germantown Hills, Illinois

Justin Markus, Marketing, New Lenox, Illinois

Lindsay Marohn , Exploratory (Natural Sciences), Saint Joseph, Michigan

Kylie Mason, Elementary Education, Bourbon, Indiana

Elly Mawi, Biology, Indianapolis

Hillary May, Psychology, Mount Vernon, Indiana

Grace Maynard, Mathematics, Normal, Illinois

Eleanor McCandless, Marketing, Fort Wayne, Indiana

Lauren McCartt, Exploratory, Indianapolis

Eryn McCloy, Exploratory, Hortonville, Wisconsin

Katie McConnell, Elementary Education, Mesa, Arizona

Maeve McCormack, Accounting, Oak Park, Illinois

Bryce McDonald, Exploratory (Business), Canton, Michigan

Johnny McDonald, Accounting, Vernon Hills, Illinois

Kelsey McDougall, Biology, Canton, Michigan

Kirsten McGrew               , Pharmacy, Prospect, Kentucky

Morgan McInturff, Finance, Indianapolis

Addy McKown, Strategic Communication, New Castle, Indiana

Lauren McQuarters, Psychology, La Porte, Indiana

Carli Medina, Health Sciences, Crown Point, Indiana

Kasey Meeks, Health Sciences, Robinson, Illinois

Michael Melbardis, Music, Fishers, Indiana

Alex Mendelson, Finance, Evanston, Illinois

Abby Meredith, Elementary Education, Indianapolis

Nicole Miceli, Digital Media Production, Des Plaines, Illinois

Eric Michel, English Writing, Tipton, Indiana

Madison Millard, Psychology, Indianapolis

Alyssa Millen, Biochemistry, Valparaiso, Indiana

Allison Miller, Health Sciences, Warsaw, Indiana

Connor Miller, Pre-Pharmacy, Elkhart, Indiana

Katherine Miller, International Studies, Columbus, Indiana

Kiley Miller, Accounting, Carmel, Indiana

Shelby Miller, Communication Science & Disorders, McCordsville, Indiana

Travis Miller, Actuarial Science, Middlebury, Indiana

Karina Milvain, Theatre, Colorado Springs, Colorado

Jordan Minnick, Science, Technology, & Society, Las Vegas, Nevada

Bryce Minor, Accounting, Brazil, Indiana

Ntinyari Miriti, Music Education, Lexington, Kentucky

Madeline Mitchell, Pharmacy, Effingham, Illinois

Madeline Mleziva, Digital Media Production, Appleton, Wisconsin

Nyree Modisette, Political Science, Indianapolis

Kaeli Moffett, Professional Pharmacy, Indianapolis

Gabby Moline, Journalism, Schererville, Indiana

Matthew Monge, Human Communication and Organizational Leadership, Edwards, Illinois

Eliana Montalvo, Dance-Performance, Modesto, California

Lauren Monteith, Communication Science & Disorders, Indianapolis

Cecilia Moore, Communication Science & Disorders, Nashville, Tennessee

Matthew Moore, Chemistry, Cincinnati, Ohio

Rachel Moran, Science, Technology, & Society, Glen Ellyn, Illinois

Ashley Morgan, Health Sciences, Avon, Indiana

Erin Morrisey, Middle/Secondary Education, Glen Carbon, Illinois

Arianna Morrison, Dance-Performance, Seffner, Florida

Julia Mucci, Exploratory (Business), Canton, Michigan

Sam Mueller, Marketing, Westfield, Indiana

Daniel Mulawa, Health Sciences, Saint Charles, Missouri

Jacob Mummert, Sports Media, Amboy, Indiana

Gracie Munroe, Political Science, Crawfordsville, Indiana

Amanda Murphy, Exploratory, Arlington Heights, Illinois

Kelly Murphy, Human Communication and Organizational Leadership, Dublin, Ohio

Maeve Murphy, Elementary Education, Champaign, Illinois

Con Murray, English, Cincinnati, Ohio

Lindsey Myers, Elementary Education, Nashville, Tennessee

Kristen Mylcraine, Biology, Plainfield, Indiana

Maham Nadeem, Biology, Carmel, Indiana

Jack Napoleon, Finance, Arlington Heights, Illinois

Garrick Nate, International Studies, Plymouth, Indiana

Carl Nelson, Digital Media Production, Wheaton, Illinois

Emily Nettesheim, Health Sciences, Lafayette, Indiana

Jordyn Newett, Music Education, Greenwood, Indiana

Kendra Newman, Biology, Danville, Indiana

Josey Noel, Biology, Jeffersonville, Indiana

Ariel Norris, Marketing, Noblesville, Indiana

Carolan Norris, Dance/Arts Administration, Cumming, Georgia

Sean O'Brien, Psychology, Munster, Indiana

Sheila O'Keeffe, Exploratory, Orland Park, Illinois

Megan O'Neill, Marketing, Lemont, Illinois

Macey OBrien, Marketing, Northbrook, Illinois

Elise Offutt, Elementary Education, Arlington, Virginia

Sarah Opperman, Pre-Pharmacy, Valparaiso, Indiana

MacKenzie Orbaugh, Elementary Education, Zionsville, Indiana

Bailey Osler, Elementary Education, McCordsville, Indiana

Claire Ottmar, Middle/Secondary Education, Saint Joseph, Michigan

Andrew Ozga, Physics, Wauconda, Illinois

Claire Paciga, Pre-Pharmacy, Orland Park, Illinois

Lauryn Padgett, Biochemistry, Carmel, Indiana

Kenia Padron, Communication Science & Disorders, Panama       

Corbin Panturad, International Studies, Aledo, Texas

Nicolia Papadeas, Health Sciences, Greenwood Village, Colorado

Maddie Paraskos, Elementary Education, Mason, Ohio

Allie Parker, Anthropology, West Lafayette, Indiana

Kyleigh Parks, Finance, Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania

Sara Patel, Accounting, Cleveland, Ohio

Amber Patrick, English, Hilliard, Ohio

Cassidy Patscot, Marketing, Wales, Wisconsin

Kinsey Paulson, Human Communication and Organizational Leadership, Bettendorf, Iowa

Natalie Pawlak, Communication Science & Disorders, Appleton, Wisconsin

Paige Pearson, Strategic Communication, Edina, Minnesota

Leah Peavler, Arts Administration, Brookfield, Wisconsin

Michael Peay, Finance, Phoenix, Arizona

Breann Pempek, Middle/Secondary Education, Indianapolis

Allie Pence, Arts Administration, Fishers, Indiana

Anne Perez, Pre-Pharmacy, Elmhurst, Illinois

Braden Pershing, Accounting, Greencastle, Indiana

Jack Peterson, Finance, Rockville, Maryland

Caitlin Pethick, Biology, South Bend, Indiana

Robert Petrakis, Accounting, Peoria, Illinois

Lauren Pfeil, International Studies, West Des Moines, Iowa

Allie Phillips, Pre-Pharmacy, Noblesville, Indiana

Mackenzie Phillips, Health Sciences, Humble, Texas

Jack Pilcher, Finance, Zionsville, Indiana

John Plate, Music Performance, Wheaton, Illinois

Tyler Pollard, Economics, Highland, Illinois

Julia Pomeroy, Chemistry, Akron, Indiana

Noemi Ponzoni, International Studies, Sulbiate  

Sarah Poore, Marketing, Carmel, Indiana

Jessica Porter, Middle/Secondary Education, Elberfeld, Indiana

Malayna Pottschmidt, Accounting, Fishers, Indiana

Hannah Protich, Pharmacy, Plainfield, Illinois

Taylor Pugh, Digital Media Production, Los Alamitos, California

Tori Puhl, Actuarial Science, Mequon, Wisconsin

Krista Pulley, Chemistry, Noblesville, Indiana

Shannon Purcell, Professional Pharmacy, Geneva, Illinois

David Purdum, Mathematics, Noblesville, Indiana

Rehan Qureshi, Pre-Pharmacy, Carmel, Indiana

Courtney Raab, Health Sciences, Highland, Indiana

Gabrielle Raab, Communication Science & Disorders, Oldenburg, Indiana

Carter Raleigh, Finance, Cincinnati, Ohio

Isabelle Ramey, Dance-Performance, Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania

Armando Ramirez, Pharmacy, Decatur, Indiana

Courtney Ramirez, Dance/Arts Administration, Littleton, Colorado

Libbie Rammage, Strategic Communication, Wataga, Illinois

Allison Ramsey, Actuarial Science, Fishers, Indiana

Alea Rashid, Exploratory (Natural Sciences), Streator, Illinois

Anna Rather, English, Bargersville, Indiana

Jordan Rauh, Pharmacy, Wabash, Indiana

Jacob Reeves, Biology, Odum, Georgia

Kayla Reeves, Exploratory (Business), Des Plaines, Illinois

Maggie Regan, Art + Design, Manteno, Illinois

Taylor Reid, Elementary Education, Zionsville, Indiana

Lauren Reineke, Health Sciences, Valparaiso, Indiana

Jenna Repkin, Middle/Secondary Education, Vernon Hills, Illinois

Maggie Reynolds, Communication Science & Disorders, Darien, Illinois

Emma Richards, Communication Science & Disorders, Effingham, Illinois

Kate Richards, Communication Science & Disorders, Effingham, Illinois

Chanel Richardson, Pharmacy, Greenwood, Indiana

Lindsey Ridlen, Professional Pharmacy, Seymour, Indiana

Jaret Rightley, Accounting, New Palestine, Indiana

Mason Rinks, Accounting, Swartz Creek, Michigan

Ellen Rispoli, Psychology, Savoy, Illinois

Paul Ritter, Actuarial Science, Batesville, Indiana

Kade Roach, Finance, Salem, Indiana

Sophie Robertson, Dance/Arts Administration, Gig Harbor, Washington

Jacob Robleski, Accounting, Wheaton, Illinois

Cole Rodgers, Dance/Arts Administration, Woodbury, Minnesota

Lauren Rodgers, Psychology, Perrysburg, Ohio

Joseph Rodriguez, Music Education, Lafayette, Indiana

Avery Roe, Peace and Conflict Studies, Columbus, Ohio

Kyle Roe, Finance, Indianapolis

Tommy Roers, Middle/Secondary Education, Kildeer, Illinois

Rachel Rogers, Finance, Tipp City, Ohio

Evan Rolston, Pharmacy, Anderson, Indiana

Raven Roth, Marketing, Orange Village, Ohio

Joe Rowan, Exploratory, Fort Wayne, Indiana

Kelsey Rowley, Elementary Education, Connersville, Indiana

Connor Ruffing, Actuarial Science, South Bend, Indiana

Molly Rumble, Dance-Pedagogy, Virginia Beach, Virginia

Bella Ruscheinski, Exploratory (Business), Peoria, Illinois

Megan Rush, Marketing, Salisbury, Maryland

David Ryskamp, Biology, Caledonia, Michigan

Cobi Sabo, Computer Science, Homewood, Illinois

Mariam Saeedi, Art + Design, Bloomington, Indiana

Abdul Saltagi, Biology, Fishers, Indiana

Briana Sanchez, Marketing, Grand Forks, North Dakota

Andrew Sandlin, Actuarial Science, Indianapolis

Meredith Sands, Elementary Education, Valparaiso, Indiana

Logan Sanford, Marketing, Liberty, Indiana

Karnjanakorn Sapianchai, Dance-Performance, Thailand                

Payton Sassano, Communication Science & Disorders, Deerfield, Illinois

Madison Sauerteig, Sociology (Social Work) & Psychology, Arcadia, Indiana

Justin Savona, Exploratory (Business), Northville, Michigan

Kaitlyn Sawin, Marketing, Appleton, Wisconsin

Keegan Sawin, Psychology, Appleton, Wisconsin

Abby Schabel, Pre-Pharmacy, Westport, Indiana

Morgan Schaffer, Professional Pharmacy, Dayton, Ohio

Fiona Schicho, Anthropology, Blairstown, New Jersey

Jenny Schick, Communication Science & Disorders, Libertyville, Illinois

Leah Schissler, Elementary Education, Tinley Park, Illinois

Alexis Schmidt, English, Chillicothe, Illinois

Annika Schmidt, Sports Media, Zionsville, Indiana

Elizabeth Schmidt, Performance & Music Education, Crystal Lake, Illinois

Lauren Schmidt, Pre-Pharmacy, Columbia, Illinois

Rachel Schmidt, Marketing, Saline, Michigan

Riley Schmidt, Science, Technology, & Society, Mukwonago, Wisconsin

Becca Schmiegel, History, Valparaiso, Indiana

Emma Schneir, Marketing, Carlsbad, California

Kerianne Schoff, Communication Science & Disorders, Rockford, Michigan

Corey Scholl, Astronomy & Astrophysics, Indianapolis

Megan Schroeder, Biology, Richmond, Indiana

Lindsey Schuler, Health Sciences, Fishers, Indiana

Olivia Schwan, Marketing, Mattawan, Michigan

Kelly Schwantes, Theatre, Barrington, Illinois

Christa Schwinke, Management Information Systems, Teutopolis, Illinois

Daniel Scofield, Dance/Arts Administration, Fisherville, Kentucky

Blayre Scott, Health Sciences, Shelbyville, Indiana

Ana Segovia, Health Sciences, Nicholasville, Kentucky

Gwenyth Sell, Music Performance, Noblesville, Indiana

Brittan Semler, Strategic Communication, Spring Grove, Illinois

Sarah Semmen, Biology, Woodstock, Illinois

David Sexton, Political Science, Richmond, Indiana

Emilie Sgutt, Professional Pharmacy, Herrin, Illinois

Emma Shafer, Theatre, Quincy, Illinois

Khusbu Shah, Health Sciences, Schaumburg, Illinois

Umy Shaikh, Health Sciences, Carmel, Indiana

David Shammas, Healthcare and Business, Carmel, Indiana

Alex Shanafelt, Music Composition, Carmel, Indiana

Matt Shapiro, Exploratory, Wilmette, Illinois

Ben Sharp, Computer Science, Indianapolis

Sarah Sharpe, Health Sciences, Munster, Indiana

Katie Shelford, Biology, Fort Wayne, Indiana

Sydney Shelton, Middle/Secondary Education, Greenfield, Indiana

Jack Shirley, Critical Communication & Media, Brentwood, Tennessee

Kristen Shively, Actuarial Science, Columbia City, Indiana

Molly Shoffner, Biology, Russiaville, Indiana

Marley Shovlin, Health Sciences, Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania

Abby Sikorcin, Health Sciences, Lisle, Illinois

Hanna Silverman, Sociology (Social Work) & Psychology, Deerfield, Illinois

Derek Sims, Biology, Elwood, Indiana

Meghan Singer, Exploratory, Vernon Hills, Illinois

LauraJane Skillern, Exploratory (Business), Mooresville, Indiana

Elizabeth Small, Elementary Education, Zionsville, Indiana

Abigail Smith, Accounting, Winona Lake, Indiana

Adilyn Smith, Elementary Education, Cincinnati, Ohio

Allison Smith, Communication Science & Disorders, Antioch, Illinois

Bre Smith, Accounting, Danville, Indiana

Bret Smith, Exploratory (Business), Brownsburg, Indiana

Emi Smith, Political Science, Des Moines , Iowa

Genavieve Smith, Political Science, Mount Juliet, Tennessee

Layne Smith, Professional Pharmacy, Winchester, Indiana

Jenny Snedeker, Music Performance, Indianapolis

Michael Snyder, Finance, Peoria, Illinois

Spencer Spaulding, Biology, Madison, Indiana

Gwen Spencer, Actuarial Science, Waxhaw, North Carolina

Joe Spenchian, Marketing, Des Plaines, Illinois

Emma Sporer, Elementary Education, Wheaton, Illinois

Delainey Spragg, Communication Science & Disorders, Attica, Indiana

Lilly Springer, Economics, Indianapolis

Tyler Springer, Journalism, Lakeville, Minnesota

Caroline Squatrito, Marketing, Bloomfield Hills, Michigan

Samantha Stanley, Biology, Greenfield, Indiana

Mary Stazinski, Sociology (Social Work) & Psychology, Valparaiso, Indiana

Graham Stecz, Finance, Dublin, Ohio

Halle Stelbasky, Communication Science & Disorders, Strongsville, Ohio

Kailey Steward, English Writing, Oak Forest, Illinois

Kylie Stine, Exploratory (Business), Frankfort, Indiana

Emma Stockrahm, Communication Science & Disorders, Terre Haute, Indiana

Shelby Stone, Health Sciences, Wabash, Indiana

Sarah Stopczynski, Pre-Pharmacy, South Bend, Indiana

Sophie Strasheim, Music Education, St. Louis, Missouri

Riley Strauss, Elementary Education, Deerfield, Illinois

Delaney Straw, Pre-Pharmacy, Speedway, Indiana

Charlee Striebinger, Health Sciences, Overland Park, Kansas

Hannah Stroup, Middle/Secondary Education, St. Louis, Missouri

CJ Stump, Accounting, Noblesville, Indiana

Keith Sustich, Computer Science, Lake Zurich, Illinois

Hayley Sutherland, Pre-Pharmacy, Wauconda, Illinois

Shelby Swihart, Biology, Goshen, Indiana

Andrew Sysak, Finance, Goodrich, Michigan

Maria Szeszol, Pharmacy, Lindenhurst, Illinois

Brad Sznajder, Finance, Aurora, Illinois

Sara Taft, Psychology, Goshen, Indiana

Anis Tai, Pre-Pharmacy, Indianapolis

Avery Tanenhaus, Entrepreneurship & Innovation, Roslyn Heights, New York

Nick Taylor, Pre-Pharmacy, Nashville, Tennessee

Reagan Taylor, Communication Science & Disorders, South Bend, Indiana

Tyler Taylor, Psychology, Crete, Illinois

Marissa Terando, Accounting, Westfield, Indiana

Garrett Terhune, Pre-Pharmacy, Greenwood, Indiana

Sydney Theerman, Exploratory, St. Louis, Missouri

Madison Theile, Exploratory (Business), Bloomington, Indiana

Mckenzie Theis, Exploratory (Business), Mundelein, Illinois

Anna Thomas, Psychology, Naperville, Illinois

Maddie Thomas, Exploratory, Hamilton, Ohio

Michael Thomas, Health Sciences, Springfield, Illinois

Sean Thomas, Accounting, Western Springs, Illinois

Mackenzie Thompson, English, Franklin, Indiana

Ashley Thopiah, Dance-Performance, Champaign, Illinois

Hanna Throgmorton, Psychology, Carmel, Indiana

Lilly Thuma, Exploratory (Business), Edina, Minnesota

Lauren Tibbets, Actuarial Science, Converse, Indiana

Cassidy Tiberi, Psychology, New Lenox, Illinois

Shelbi Tidd, Psychology, Fishers, Indiana

Yzabel Tio, Music Education, Terre Haute, Indiana

Maxwell Todd, Health Sciences, Sullivan, Illinois

Avery Tolliver, Pharmacy, Tolono, Illinois

Viki Tomanov, English, Lombard, Illinois

Cole Tonucci, Exploratory (Business), Dublin, Ohio

Hannah Tourville, Entrepreneurship & Innovation, Kaukauna, Wisconsin

Noah Troxell, Management Information Systems, Golden, Colorado

Megan True, Art + Design, New Palestine, Indiana

Ryan Tsai, Actuarial Science, Canton, Ohio

Ashley Twigg, Biology, Columbus, Ohio

Joe Ulrey, Healthcare and Business, Mooresville, Indiana

Erin Underwood, Elementary Education, House Springs, Missouri

Sydney Ungar, Health Sciences, Eden Prairie, Minnesota

Jasmeen Uppal, Exploratory (Business), Plainfield, Indiana

Gwen Valles, International Studies, Hammond, Indiana

Logan Van Ravenswaay, Pre-Pharmacy, Palmyra, Illinois

Morgan Vance, Professional Pharmacy, Indianapolis

Reagan Vance, Marketing, Fort Wayne, Indiana

Sam Varie, Marketing, Indianapolis

Meredith Varner, Middle/Secondary Education, Vernon Hills, Illinois

Ian Veen, Accounting, Speedway, Indiana

Elizabeth Verkamp, Accounting, Jasper, Indiana

Ashlyn Vitoux, Pharmacy, Winona Lake, Indiana

Alexander Waddell, Accounting, Martinsville, Indiana

Kate Wade, Philosophy & Psychology, Fishers, Indiana

Tyler Wagner, English Writing, Avon, Indiana

Caleb Wakefield, Middle/Secondary Education, Indianapolis

Michael Walker, Pre-Pharmacy, Sullivan, Indiana

Skyler Walker, Pharmacy, Racine, Wisconsin

Madison Walrod, Health Sciences, McCordsville, Indiana

Rachel Walters, Art + Design, Zionsville, Indiana

Joe Wandro, Music Performance, Des Moines, Iowa

Elizabeth Wang, Health Sciences, Madison, Wisconsin

Ellen Ward, Human Communication and Organization Leadership, Towson, Maryland

Kate Warma, Anthropology, Carlinville, Illinois

Kylene Warne, Theatre, Nineveh, Indiana

Elaine Warner, Elementary Education, North Manchester, Indiana

Katherine Waters, Biology, Brownsburg, Indiana

Lucas Wathen, Exploratory, Deerfield, Illinois

Megan Watson, Elementary Education, Urbandale, Iowa

Madeline Watterson, History and Political Science, La Porte, Indiana

Megan Waxman, Biology, Highland, Michigan

Sarah Wede, Pre-Pharmacy, Carmel, Indiana

Emily Weiler, Biology, Batesville, Indiana

Carol Weirich, Music Education, Elkhart, Indiana

Lauren Weirich, Music Education, Elkhart, Indiana

Noah Weiss, Marketing, Richland, Michigan

Nathan Weller, Pre-Pharmacy, Bloomington, Indiana

Kylie Wermund, Health Sciences, Stevensville, Michigan

Daniel Whalen, International Business, Indianapolis

Kiersten White, Middle/Secondary Education, Indianapolis

Megan Whitwam, Exploratory, Stevensville, Michigan

Jillian Wickham, Health Sciences, Clarendon Hills, Illinois

Lauren Wiggins, Exploratory (Business), New Palestine, Indiana

Kait Wilbur, Digital Media Production, Manito, Illinois

Rachel Wilburn, History, Valparaiso, Indiana

Riley Wildemann, Pharmacy, Plainfield, Indiana

Celina Wilk, Middle/Secondary Education, Mt Prospect, Illinois

Cameron Willett, Biology, Prospect, Kentucky

Rachel Williams, Chemistry, Dayton, Indiana

Tyler Williams, Marketing, Osceola, Indiana

blake Williams, Pre-Pharmacy, Fishers, Indiana

Hannah Willmore, Music, Edwardsville, Illinois

Emma Wilson, Human Communication and Organizational Leadership, Columbus, Indiana

Laura Wilson, Finance, Greenwood, Indiana

Ross Wilson, Recording Industry Studies, Chandler, Arizona

Tim Winter, Computer Science, Decorah, Iowa

Layla Wisser, Health Sciences, Elgin, Illinois

Reagan Wohlford, Biology, Huntington, Indiana

Samantha Worden, Health Sciences, Middleton, Wisconsin

Rachel Worley, Musical Arts, Lebanon, Indiana

Alexander Wright, Chemistry, Fishers, Indiana

Heather Wright, Music, Indianapolis

Maddie Wright, Health Sciences, Mooresville, Indiana

Abigale Wynn, Mathematics, Madison, Indiana

Zhenzhen Xiang, International Studies, Beijing   

Jill Yager, Biology, Rushville, Indiana

Danny Yanosko, Finance, Cleveland, Ohio

Alyssa Yarosz,  Strategic Communication, Morristown, New Jersey

Sam Yeaton, Accounting, Akron, Ohio

Ryan Young, Marketing, Louisville, Kentucky

Xiaofu Yu, Exploratory (Business), Shanghai         

Ash Zehr, Professional Pharmacy, Indianapolis   

Kelsey Zetzl, Performance & Music Education, Hagerstown, Indiana

Lindsey Zimmerman, Marketing, Carmel, Indiana

Helen Zorn, Exploratory, Chicago, Illinois

 

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

 

AcademicsStudent Life

Butler Places 815 Students on Fall 2017 Dean's List

Top 20 percent of students are on the list.

Feb 06 2018 Read more
AcademicsPeople

He Wanted Every Class to Be An Event

BY

PUBLISHED ON Mar 26 2018

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

*

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

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

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

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

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

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

*

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

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

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

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

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

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

*

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

 

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

 

AcademicsPeople

He Wanted Every Class to Be An Event

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

Mar 26 2018 Read more
Rendering of New Sciences Building
AcademicsButler BeyondCampus

Butler Board of Trustees Approves $100 Million Sciences Upgrade, Largest Investment in Butler’s Future

BY Rachel Stern

PUBLISHED ON Jun 13 2019

 

 

INDIANAPOLIS-- A new sciences complex is set to take shape on Butler University’s campus, as the Board of Trustees approved the project during their June meeting.

The $100 million renovation and expansion is the largest investment ever by the Trustees in Butler’s future. The project includes new high-tech classrooms designed to promote learning by doing, labs that mimic the set-up at top research companies, and work spaces meant to encourage cross-disciplinary collaboration. The facility will reflect the interdisciplinary nature of science, and eliminate labs designed for a single purpose. Classroom spaces will enable faculty to step away from the podium and move among students in a more hands-on approach to instruction.

“We have outstanding faculty, we have outstanding students, we have outstanding programs, and this project will allow us to take all of that to another level,” says Jay Howard, Dean of the College of Liberal Arts and Sciences, who was also part of the project’s original planning committee in 2011. “Science is an ever-changing discipline, and now we will have the flexible facilities to lead the field into the future.”

Phases I and II of the project are expected to start very soon, with a predicted 18-month timeline. To date, $27.5 million has been raised for the project. The goal is to raise $42 million of the $100 million total cost through philanthropic support.

Thus far, major donations have come from the Richard M. Fairbanks Foundation, Frank Levinson ’75, Craig Fenneman ’71 and Mary Stover-Fenneman, Lynne Zydowsky ’81, Josh Smiley, Katie and Len Betley, Lou and Laura Glazer, Jane and Robert Wildman, and Dick and Billie Lou Wood.

The project will start with the creation of a connector building--linking Gallahue Hall and the Holcomb Building--that will house classrooms, study areas, and research labs dedicated to Chemistry, Astronomy, Physics, Engineering, and Psychology. The Phase I expansion will add nearly 44,000 square feet, as well as a nearly 13,200 square-foot atrium. This additional space will create a sciences corridor to house all of Butler’s undergraduate sciences programs in a central complex.

“This is a significant and historic step forward as Butler continues to transform education for the needs of students and employers in the 21st century,” President Jim Danko says.

“Our investment in the sciences, coupled with our new business school facility, provides our campus with the world-class infrastructure necessary to support critical skill development integrating business, science, innovation, and technology. These investments are also part of Butler’s commitment to the Central Indiana region as we strive to attract, retain, and develop the talent necessary for our community’s collective success.”

 

A net importer

The vast majority of Butler science graduates choose to stay in Indiana after graduation. In 2016, for example, 63 percent of science graduates remained in Indiana.

“Butler is a net importer of scientific talent,” Howard says. “Rather than be a part of the brain drain problem, we are actually importing talent to Indiana.”

Butler has also long been a leader in preparing women for STEM careers. For many years, the majority of Butler’s science majors have been women. Butler also has more Lilly Scholars than most institutions of a similar size, which speaks to the quality of its programs.

With new facilities, Butler’s ability to prepare homegrown talent for STEM careers in the region will only grow.

“We are honored to support the continued growth of the sciences program at Butler, which is a legacy grantee of our foundation and an institution that our founder, Richard M. Fairbanks, strongly supported,” says Claire Fiddian-Green, president and CEO of the Richard M. Fairbanks Foundation. “Among our foundation’s focus areas is supporting Indianapolis’ thriving life sciences sector and the STEM workforce to support it. Fueling a robust pipeline of science students at Butler helps to advance those goals.”

To prepare students for careers in a discipline that is evolving all the time, the new sciences complex needed a design that could change with new discoveries and new educational approaches.

Lab spaces will be flexible, students and faculty will work side-by-side, and areas of research will be grouped together to maximize collaboration. In addition to visiting other universities’ facilities for ideas, the planning team visited Eli Lilly, Roche, and Corteva to get an idea of what labs at cutting-edge research companies look like.

“Scientific inquiry demands collaboration,” Provost Kate Morris says. “Exciting work is happening at the intersection of multiple disciplines.  The design of the new facility encourages this work by creating space that breaks down the traditional barriers between areas of study.”

 

Endless possibilities

Phase II of the project will include renovating and repurposing the Holcomb Building, which will be vacated by the Lacy School of Business as it moves into its new building opening this fall. Phase III will involve a complete renovation of Gallahue Hall, which currently houses several science departments and has not been renovated since its construction in 1973.

Over the last 10 years, enrollment in the sciences at Butler has flourished, growing more than 70 percent. In addition, every student at Butler takes a science course because of the core curriculum.

With new facilities will come a plethora of new opportunities. New programs are being explored, such as Neuroscience and Data Science. Butler is already home of the country’s largest Undergraduate Research Conference, and now, the cross-disciplinary lab spaces will inevitably lead to new research projects. 

“I think it is hard to overstate the importance of this project, as it will prepare Butler students for the future and position us as a premiere undergraduate institution for the sciences,” says Morris.

 

Media contact:

Rachel Stern
Director of Strategic Communications
rstern@butler.edu
914-815-5656 (cell)

  

Rendering of New Sciences Building
AcademicsButler BeyondCampus

Butler Board of Trustees Approves $100 Million Sciences Upgrade, Largest Investment in Butler’s Future

Phases I and II of the project are expected to start very soon, with a predicted 18-month timeline.

Jun 13 2019 Read more
Jeremy Johnson
AcademicsPeopleResearch

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

BY Rachel Stern

PUBLISHED ON Aug 14 2018

INDIANAPOLIS – It happened by accident.

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

 

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

Jeremy Johnson
AcademicsPeopleResearch

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

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

Aug 14 2018 Read more
AcademicsArts & CulturePeople

He Helped the Dance Department Achieve Its Potential

BY

PUBLISHED ON Apr 02 2018

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

 

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

 

 

AcademicsArts & CulturePeople

Going Out on A High Note

BY

PUBLISHED ON Apr 16 2018

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

The feeling is mutual, Colburn said.

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

*

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

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

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

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

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

*

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

 


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

 

AcademicsArts & CulturePeople

Going Out on A High Note

Dan Bolin retires after 48 years in education.

Apr 16 2018 Read more
AcademicsPeople

School of Music Announces Three New Faculty Members

BY

PUBLISHED ON Mar 20 2018

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

 

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

 

 

 

AcademicsPeople

School of Music Announces Three New Faculty Members

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

Mar 20 2018 Read more
AcademicsCommunity

Popularity, Success Spark Second IPS/Butler Lab School

BY Rachel Stern

PUBLISHED ON Aug 10 2018

It was never supposed to happen this way.

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

What is the Lab School?

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Is it working?

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

What’s next?

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

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

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

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

 

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

AcademicsCommunity

Popularity, Success Spark Second IPS/Butler Lab School

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

Aug 10 2018 Read more
AcademicsStudent LifePeople

Butler Prepares to Say Goodbye to the Class of 2018

BY Peyton Thompson '20

PUBLISHED ON Apr 11 2018

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

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

We asked some of the seniors about their Butler experience:

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

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

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

                                                                        *

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

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

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

                                                                        *

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

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

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

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

                                                                        *

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

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

                                                                        *

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

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

                                                        

                                                                        *

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

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

    

Tips from Seniors to Underclassmen

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

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

Riley Schmidt:

1. Study smarter, not harder.

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

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

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

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

AcademicsStudent LifePeople

Butler Prepares to Say Goodbye to the Class of 2018

Graduating seniors share their memories, plans.

Apr 11 2018 Read more
Academics

At Clowes Hall, Lugar and Hamilton Discuss Civility

BY

PUBLISHED ON Nov 14 2017

Former U.S. Senator Richard Lugar and former U.S. Representative Lee Hamilton come from opposite political parties, but they came together at Clowes Memorial Hall to express the importance of civility in politics and in society.

Speaking in front of about 700 people November 13, as part of Butler University’s Celebration of Diversity Distinguished Lecture Series, the two political leaders agreed that you can’t get much done in an uncivil atmosphere.

Lugar, a Republican, told a story about serving on the Senate Foreign Relations Committee and how the chair, whether a Republican or Democrat, strived for a unanimous vote.

“The rest of the world was looking at the committee to come up with a 19-0 vote, not a 10-9 vote,” Lugar said. “If we came to a 19-0, the rest of the world would know that we meant business.”

Reaching a 19-0 vote “would take time and require a lot of civility,” he said.

Hamilton, a Democrat, reminded the audience about the way former President Ronald Reagan and former Speaker of the House Tip O’Neill used humor to diffuse tense situations.

“The level of discourse every now and then would become intense as you discussed difficult problems, but I do not ever recall the meetings becoming uncivil,” he said.

Hamilton said Reagan’s modus operandi would be to hand you a jar of jellybeans and ask you to pick one out. Then he’d psychoanalyze you based on the color you picked.

O’Neill, meanwhile, always told an Irish story.

“They both had a marvelous human touch, and they always tried to end a meeting with a touch of lightness,” Hamilton said.

This was the second event in the 2017-2018 Diversity Lecture Series. The series kicked off in October with David “Olmeca” Barragan, a bilingual hip-hop artist and producer. Rev. Dr. Jamie Washington will present “Diversity and Leadership in the 21st Century” on January 24. Doris Kearns Goodwin, a world-renowned presidential historian, will present “Where Do We Go from Here: Leadership in Turbulent Times” on February 12. Ellen Hume, a veteran teacher, journalist and civic activist, concludes the series with “Media and Politics: Finding a Useful Path” on March 6.

At this lecture, Lugar, the longest-serving member of Congress in Indiana history (1976-2012), and Hamilton, who served in the U.S. House of Representatives from 1965-1999, were joined onstage by Ivy Tech President and former Lieutenant Governor Sue Ellspermann, who served as moderator. When Ellspermann asked the audience whether people came to the event because they thought today’s political atmosphere was uncivil, most of the audience members raised their hands.

Hamilton said sometimes problems are insurmountable, but ultimately, you’ve got to be pragmatic.

“I think the greatest political skill that’s needed today is the skill to build a consensus behind the remedy for a problem,” he said. “It’s very easy to go into a room where you have disparate opinions and blow it apart…. What’s really hard is to go into a room where you have disparate opinions and bring people together.”

Lugar said the public can help the process by learning public speaking and how to frame an argument concisely. He suggested that students write for their school newspaper and participate in debate.

“Civility requires preparation,” he said. “Economy with use of language as opposed to babbling on and on and on.”

Hamilton said the public needs to hold public officials accountable.

“Some of those people who claim to be the most bipartisan have a 99 or 98 percent record of support for their party,” he said. “Now, come on. Hold them accountable. That’s your job.”

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

Academics

At Clowes Hall, Lugar and Hamilton Discuss Civility

Former U.S. Senator Richard Lugar and former U.S. Representative Lee Hamilton come from opposite political parties, but they came together at Clowes Memorial Hall to express the importance of civility in politics and in society.

Nov 14 2017 Read more
Academics

Physician Assistant Program Among Best in Nation According to US News & World Report

BY Marc Allan MFA ’18

PUBLISHED ON Mar 14 2019

Butler University's Physician Assistant program continues to climb in the national rankings, moving up to 37th in the U.S. News & World Report ratings of the Best Physician Assistant Programs.

Since 2013, Butler's program—the longest-accredited program in the state of Indiana—has moved up 60 places in the rankings. The most recent report, released in 2015, had Butler ranked 40th.

"These rankings are based on reputation, a survey of other leaders in the PA field," says Butler College of Pharmacy and Health Sciences Dean Robert Soltis. "The fact that we've gone from 97th in 2013, to 70th in 2014, to 40th in 2015, to now 37th is really impressive."

PAs have many of the same responsibilities as doctors and work in collaboration with a physician or surgeon. A PA can diagnose a patient, order tests and procedures, and prescribe treatments.

Soltis attributed the boost in reputation to faculty members becoming more visible among their peers and colleagues.

"They're publishing, they're making more appearances at national meetings," he says. "Professor Jennifer Snyder's been President of the PA Education Association. So some is just the visibility—you get your reputation from people seeing who you are and what you do."

The Physician Assistant program also has a 99 percent pass rate on the PA certification examination over the past 5 years, a 100 percent job-placement rate within six months of graduation over the past three years, and a championship in the Indiana Academy of PA Student Challenge Bowl for three of the past four years.

As the profession has increased in popularity in the past few years, Butler's PA program has grown. In 2016, the program switched from three years to two years, and the class grew from 50 to 75.

Soltis says the PA ranking is another reflection of the many happenings in the College of Pharmacy and Health Sciences. Earlier this year, Butler moved up to fourth in the nation for the highest passing rates for Pharmacy students taking the North American Pharmacist Licensure Examination.

"We've got good things happening in our programs in both pharmacy and PA," he says.

Academics

Physician Assistant Program Among Best in Nation According to US News & World Report

As the profession has increased in popularity in the past few years, Butler's PA program has grown.

Mar 14 2019 Read more
AcademicsPeople

His Approach to Teaching: Learning Starts with Confusion

BY Krisy Force

PUBLISHED ON Apr 09 2018

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

 

 

 

AcademicsPeople

His Approach to Teaching: Learning Starts with Confusion

Chemistry Professor Shannon Lieb officially retires.

Apr 09 2018 Read more
Chad

Engine of Opportunity

Cindy Conover Dashnaw

from Spring 2018

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

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

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

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

Effective keywords 

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

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

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

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

Intelligent search 

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

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

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

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

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

Results returned 

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

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

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

Giving Back by Giving Chances 

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

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

Chad
AcademicsGivingPeople

Engine of Opportunity

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

by Cindy Conover Dashnaw

from Spring 2018

Read more
AcademicsCommunity

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

BY Marc Allan

PUBLISHED ON Aug 16 2018

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

 

Media contact:

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

AcademicsCommunity

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

  

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

Aug 16 2018 Read more
AcademicsCommunity

Kenzie Academy, Butler University Executive Education Partner to Accelerate Tech Careers

BY

PUBLISHED ON Jun 20 2018

Kenzie Academy, an Indianapolis-based education and apprenticeship program that develops modern tech workers, and Butler University, a private liberal arts and professional education institution with a 160-year history of leading innovation in higher education, today announced a strategic partnership to offer a new model of education to the next generation of technology professionals. Through this innovative partnership, all Kenzie Academy graduates will receive a joint Kenzie Academy and Butler Executive Education certificate at the completion of the Kenzie Academy Front-End Web Development, Full-Stack Web Development, and Software Engineering programs.

The Kenzie-Butler certificate offers a new educational model with a path to employment to a wide range of Hoosiers looking for alternatives to a traditional, four-year college education. Kenzie’s programs are designed to be less expensive and less time-intensive than a four-year degree. By blending elements of traditional college with immersive learning and paid work, individuals from all different backgrounds, including recent high school graduates, those re-entering the workforce, and those looking to shift careers, will have the opportunity to gain education and work experience in high-demand, technical fields. Butler is adding Kenzie’s program to its offerings through its Executive Education program.

“We took notice of Kenzie Academy as soon as it appeared in Indiana,” said Jim Danko, President of Butler University. “The dynamics in higher education today require universities to think beyond the traditional models of the past century. Participating in a new model of education with Kenzie Academy, which is reimagining the way learning is delivered, will extend the market Butler currently serves beyond the traditional four-year residential undergraduate student. Butler University is excited to expand the way we serve the high-growth, high-energy technology community in Indianapolis and the greater Midwest alongside Kenzie Academy.”

Kenzie Academy, a college alternative, offers courses in Front-End Web Development (six months), Full-Stack Web Development (one year), and Software Engineering (two years). Kenzie’s career track programs combine paid apprenticeship work and immersive learning, closing the gap between learning and working. The software development courses cover modern programming languages and the most relevant computer science concepts. Students meet and network with local and national tech leaders, and are provided with one-on-one mentorship. Through Kenzie Studios, Kenzie Academy’s consulting arm, students complete real-world consulting projects for industry clients and are paid for their work. Students can use an Income Share Agreement (ISA) in place of tuition to finance their training at Kenzie, making the program accessible to people without the financial means to pay tuition up front.

“We feel Butler University is the perfect partner for Kenzie, and we’re proud to jointly offer a new type of learning model to the market. Kenzie’s unique approach to developing students who are knowledgeable in the latest technical competencies combined with Butler Executive Education’s proven success in developing workforce leaders creates a powerful solution for producing the talent critically needed by employers,” said William Gulley, Executive Director of Butler Executive Education.

Through the partnership with Butler Executive Education, Kenzie students will have the opportunity to develop skills in areas frequently noted by employers as critical to an individual’s overall success, including communication, problem-solving, change management and basic business acumen. These educational opportunities will be developed and delivered in the form of micro-credentials, allowing students to create a personalized curriculum, and additional certification, in the areas that complement Kenzie’s curriculum and are aligned with a student’s personal interest, capability and future career path.

“We can’t think of a better institution than Butler University to launch this first university partnership,” said Chok Leang Ooi, co-founder and CEO of Kenzie Academy. “Butler has a strong history of doing things differently. We’re excited to bring our innovative institutions together to level the playing field for anyone who wants a first-class education and a chance to be part of the tech ecosystem in Indiana.”

 

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

AcademicsCommunity

Kenzie Academy, Butler University Executive Education Partner to Accelerate Tech Careers

Students completing the Kenzie program will receive a joint certificate from Kenzie Academy and Butler Executive Education.

Jun 20 2018 Read more
Brooke Barnett
AcademicsPeople

Brooke Barnett Named New Dean of CCOM

BY Marc Allan

PUBLISHED ON Nov 15 2018

Brooke Barnett, a Professor and Associate Provost at Elon University who earned her master's and doctorate from Indiana University, will be the new Dean of Butler University's College of Communication (CCOM), Provost Kate Morris announced today.

Barnett will join Butler on June 1, 2019. She replaces Jay Howard, who has been serving as Acting Dean of CCOM and Dean of the College of Liberal Arts and Sciences since July 2017.

"Dr. Barnett will bring with her to Butler a wealth of experience as a teacher, scholar, and administrator," Morris said. "During her time as a faculty member at Elon University, she has been part of a strategic effort to grow a relatively small academic program into a signature school of communication. As an academic administrator, she developed and grew various academic programs, with a special emphasis on building a diverse and inclusive community.

"I believe that the combination of the excellent faculty and staff in CCOM and the experienced and engaged leadership Dr. Barnett will bring as Dean, our College of Communication is poised for a successful and exciting future."

Barnett, a Kentucky native, has taught in Elon's School of Communications since 2001 in subject areas that include Broadcast Journalism, Communication Research, Documentary Film, Freedom of Expression, Global Studies, Intellectual Property Law, Journalism and the Law (at Elon School of Law), Literary Journalism, Media and Culture, and Media Law and Ethics.

During her time at Elon, Barnett was awarded the School of Communications Distinguished Scholar award, was founding director of the Elon Program for Documentary Production, served as Faculty-in-Residence for the Elon London Centre, and served as chair of Elon’s faculty governing body.

She has been a member of the president’s senior staff since 2010 and has provided leadership for academics (five university-wide scholar programs, and national and international fellowships office) and inclusive excellence (diversity, and inclusion efforts, civic, global, and community engagement, education access programs, a lifelong learning program for community members). She has secured major and planned gifts, co-created two university centers and worked collaboratively to create two alumni groups.

Barnett said she is looking forward to joining Butler and leading CCOM.

"I'm excited about the different disciplines that are in CCOM," she said. "I think there are great opportunities for synergy across the areas and also continued honing of distinction within specific disciplines. CCOM faculty and staff are stellar and clearly focused on student learning and providing a meaningful student experience. The students I met on campus and the alumni featured in the Butler Magazine are testimonies to the strength of the College. I love the idea of Indianapolis as a backdrop for experiential learning and all the potential leverage points in CCOM within the College, across campus, and with alumni."

Barnett earned her Bachelor of Arts at Georgetown (Kentucky) College, where she majored in English and Communication Studies. She went on to get her Master of Arts in Journalism and doctorate in Mass Communication with concentration in Law and Visual Communication at IU-Bloomington. She earned a Diversity Management Certificate from the Cornell University School of Industrial and Labor Relations.

Barnett is a 2011 alumna of the HERS program for women in higher education leadership and a 2016 alumna from the Harvard Graduate School of Education, Institute for Educational Management program. This year she was elected to the board of the Association of American Colleges and Universities, a leading national higher education group with 1,400 member institutions.  

Barnett started her teaching career in the IU-Bloomington School of Journalism. She also has been a News Director, Reporter, and Host on WTIU, the public television station in Bloomington.

Because of the strong leadership Howard has provided the CCOM, Morris said, she is confident the College is ready for a strong transition.

"I am extremely grateful for the leadership Acting Dean Jay Howard has provided to CCOM," Morris said. "In addition to all the regular College operations, Dr. Howard led the CCOM through a structural reorganization and through review of both college level curriculum and college level policies. His leadership and the good work of the CCOM faculty and staff have positioned the college to move forward effectively and efficiently after Dean Brooke Barnett arrives next summer.”

 

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

Brooke Barnett
AcademicsPeople

Brooke Barnett Named New Dean of CCOM

Brooke Barnett, Professor and Associate Provost at Elon University, will be the new Dean of CCOM.

Nov 15 2018 Read more
AcademicsStudent Life

Archaeology Mobile Lab Brings History to Life

BY Jackson Borman '20

PUBLISHED ON Mar 27 2018

When you walk into Dr. Lynne Kvapil’s office in Jordan Hall, you'll likely see a binder full of ancient Greek and Roman coins, a ceramic bowl or two, and stacks and stacks of other artifacts and replicas. And she will gladly show you any of them.

Kvapil is an Assistant Professor of Classics at Butler, as well as a practicing archaeologist. These items are all a part of the Ancient Mediterranean Cultures and Archaeology Mobile Lab, of which Kvapil is a director, along with Associate Professor of Classics, Chris Bungard.

“We have a bunch of stuff, and the goal is for students to get their hands on things,” Kvapil said. “Short term, we want to get these materials in more classes at Butler. I think the long term is to get them into the Indianapolis area, to really create a network of people in the Indianapolis area who want to see these resources coming in and out.”

The lab’s extensive collection is made up of materials that are relevant to the ancient world, specifically Greece and Rome, but there are some items that branch out around the Mediterranean as well, such as reproductions of Egyptian papyrus.

The lab operates as a collection, through which items can be loaned out to classrooms at Butler or kindergarten-through-high school classrooms in the Indianapolis area. Kvapil said that the primary purpose of the lab is to provide a way of learning that is different from a traditional classroom, but also to provide materials for possible research opportunities.

The lab started in fall 2015, financed by a Butler Innovation Fund grant, but they had only a year to spend the money. Most of the first year was shopping around to see what materials were out there for purchase.

Since the shopping has been completed, Kvapil said that the majority of the work to be done with the lab is regarding what to do about their loan policy.

“We are still trying to figure out things like what do we do if we loan out a cup and someone trashes it, how do we replace that and what is our legal policy there,” Kvapil said. “These are some nitty-gritty things that take some time to hash out.”

Because the lab has accumulated so many artifacts and other materials, there is always more work to be done. Kvapil employs two student-interns every year to help with the organization and curation of the lab.

“The interns really make this place run,” Kvapil said. “We want to always spotlight Butler students and what they are doing. I think it is really important to make sure that the people that work with us get some publicity.”

Wendy Vencel '20 has been an intern with the lab for the last two years. She is also the president of the Classics Club. Besides working to help keep the lab running smoothly, Vencel has been trying to use the lab to help plan events with the Classics Club as well.

“We are really trying to work with it to engage with the lab because it really is the perfect opportunity, at least in the Butler community,” Vencel said.

This year, the interns started a WordPress blog that contains an electronic flipbook of all of the materials that the lab has in stock, as well as an Instagram page with photos of items. Audrey Crippin, a P3 Pharmacy major, made the flipbook. They set up a pop-up museum in the on-campus Starbucks during Dawg Days, where Butler-bound students could experience a mock archaeological dig, in an attempt to showcase some of what the Classics Department has to offer.

Vencel said that experiences like the mock dig are important to her because similar experiences made her first years at Butler memorable.

“What got me into classics was when Dr. Kvapil came and talked to an Anthropology class that I was in, and I was like, ‘Oh my gosh there is an archaeologist here,’” Vencel said. “It was super cool and I didn’t know Butler had that to offer. During my sophomore year, I took Kvapil’s Greek art and myth class and I’ve been here ever since.”

Kvapil said that the best way for students to get involved with the lab is by applying to be an intern for next year, or by joining the Classics Club. Another option is simply by taking classes that can make use of the lab.

“People are really shy about being interested in that kind of thing," Kvapil said, "but we also promote them to take classes, not just in the Classics Department, but there are a lot of classes in the History and Anthropology Department, as well as Philosophy and Religion, that are involved with this kind of idea that the past can be alive through things.”

 

 

 

AcademicsStudent Life

Archaeology Mobile Lab Brings History to Life

Faculty and students work together to curate a collection of artifacts and replicas.

Mar 27 2018 Read more
AcademicsArts & Culture

Critics Called It One of the Best Books of 2017

BY

PUBLISHED ON Mar 29 2018

 

The news came in an email at 6:00 AM on December 22. The subject line: "New York Times!"

 

The recipient: Butler Poet-in-Residence Alessandra Lynch. The sender: Kaveh Akbar MFA '15, who now teaches poetry at Purdue.

Inside was this link, but no message. And Lynch thought, "Good ol' Kaveh. Yet again, someone has recognized his prodigious gifts."

She clicked on the link and saw the cover of her new book Daylily Called It a Dangerous Moment under the headline "The Best Poetry of 2017." Along with it was this summation by David Orr, who writes the On Poetry column for The New York Times Book Review:

Alessandra Lynch, “Daylily Called It a Dangerous Moment.” You can read 20 pages into Lynch’s book before you fully realize it’s about a sexual assault — and this is to her credit. She wants to show an act of violence in all its terrible particularity and also in the way it becomes a background against which identity trembles and sometimes fractures. It’s difficult to read this collection without thinking about how timely it is, but its force is in no sense dependent on that congruity.

"I gasped," Lynch said. "It felt, and still feels, so surreal. Unreal. I don't know how David Orr found the book. He must receive thousands of books to review. So what was it about this book? I have no idea."

That was just the beginning. About six weeks later, Lynch got a call from The Los Angeles Times informing her that her book was a finalist for the LA Times Book Prize in Poetry. She'll be flown to California to participate in the newspaper's April 21-22 Festival of Books.

"I don't have experience like this," Lynch said. "From the time I was 9, I was just in my room, writing my poems. Then eventually I had enough poems and it dawned on me that I really wanted to make a book from them. For me, writing has always been a solitary, private situation. The public nature of publication and awards, while often nice, is very, sometimes chillingly, distant from the making and the life, the vitality of the poems."

*

As Orr wrote in The New York Times, Daylily Called It a Dangerous Moment is, in fact, about a sexual assault—Lynch's. The attack happened a couple of decades ago.

She didn't report the incident and for years told no one.

"I think I was in an extreme state of shock," she said. "I didn't even realize for years that I had some sort of PTSD. I wouldn't have ever said that I had that. That's what soldiers at war have. But clearly the disassociation and distance from what had happened are hallmarks of this. For years I moved around in a daze. And it's all over those poems."

In 2005, during a two-month stay at Yaddo, an artists' retreat in Saratoga Springs, New York, Lynch developed a routine—eat some blueberries and go for a run through the woods. As she ran, a line or two would come to her. When she got back to her studio, she would type "meditation," along with that line or two. There were meditations on the body, on absence, on abandonment, on desire. She wrote about a hundred, numbering each. She wasn't thinking about publishing or even sharing them.

"It just felt like such a sacred experience," she said. "I felt very in tune with those words."

In 2007, during a second stay at Yaddo, she followed a similar routine, but typed "agitation" at the top of each page. The “agitations” that surfaced became poems more directly about the assault.

After a few years, ready to share the poems and thinking she had two separate manuscripts, her husband, Butler Associate Professor of English and poet Chris Forhan, suggested that the agitations and meditations might belong together in a book.

Lynch devised a sequence for the poems, then showed the collection to another poet-friend who suggested that she move one of the more overt assault poems to the beginning. "I was thinking, 'I can't do that,'" she said. "That would be shocking. But he was right. And then I realized I was creating a narrative out of these highly lyrical poems. I was finally telling the story. I was finally facing the violence I had experienced through poetry."

Then, in 2015, during a two-week fellowship at The MacDowell Colony in Peterborough, New Hampshire—and after Alice James Books had already accepted Daylily for publication—Lynch wrote a final poem, "P.S. Assault." That "made the book fuller and more substantial."

The poem begins:

The girl it happens to
crawls out

of my body

"There are some really excruciatingly dark, excruciatingly personal moments in the book, and yet I think because it's poetry, there's so much metaphor and imagery," Lynch said. "It's not a direct report of what happened, and there's a meandering in and out of consciousness—a disassociated state, but a really beautiful state, a really comforting state. And the wandering out helps me and anyone who reads this book understand that the shock of it, the stun of it, makes you feel almost as though it didn't really happen to you."

Lynch took the book title Daylily Called It a Dangerous Moment from the first line of one of the poems. A daylily flower carries a lot of time symbolism and implication, Lynch said, and daylily, in this case, was witness to "the fact that at some point I realized I had experienced a dangerous moment in my life."

She chose the cover painting, Time, by Metka Krašovec, wife of Slovenian poet Tomaž Šalamun, for the traumatized look in the woman's eyes. "There's a wariness, there's a deep sorrow, an unsettledness and an unnerved quality to the eyes," she said. "But the figure itself is still. It's almost like paralysis. Plus there's a bird on her hand looking at her, but she's not paying attention to the bird. And there's a hand on her shoulder, which is ominous."

*

This is Lynch's third published book of poems, but she's been writing poetry and putting together books since she was a little girl in Pound Ridge, New York. She remembers her first-grade teacher announcing that the class would be working together on a journal and asking, "Who's going to write the poetry?" When no one spoke up, she volunteered.

She recalls her mother saying, "If you want to do anything well, you have to practice it." She took those words to heart and started to write every day. She still does.

In teaching poetry and memoir writing at Butler, she asks her students to reveal what is most important to them, what has hurt them most, what has made them feel most joyful—"those deeper feelings we don't often get the opportunity to share, but when we do share make us feel known."

"I think in some subconscious way, teachers teach what they want to learn," she said. "After all these years of having my terrific, brave students reveal all these things to me, I think that actually helped me."

Lynch said Daylily was cathartic to write. She hopes it will help others who've been through trauma. And she has no expectations about winning the Los Angeles Times Book Prize, for which she's competing against Shane McCrae, Evie Shockley, Patricia Smith, and David Wojahn.

She said she looks at their biographies and long lists of accomplishments, then looks at her own, which says she "lives with her husband and sons by a stony creek, two hackberry trees, and a magnolia trio."

"It's as though there are all these better-known poets up on the stage and I'm like a piece of pollen that drifts up," she said. "And there I am. I feel like pollen. But pollen's not a bad thing to feel like."

 

 

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

 

AcademicsArts & Culture

Critics Called It One of the Best Books of 2017

'Daylily Called It a Dangerous Moment,' Poet-in-Residence Alessandra Lynch's new book, is being praised from coast to coast.

Mar 29 2018 Read more
AcademicsPeople

Retailing's Loss Was Biology's Gain

BY

PUBLISHED ON Apr 23 2018

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

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

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

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

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

*

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

*

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

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

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

Michael Hole was one of those.

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

*

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

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

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

 

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

 

 

 

AcademicsPeople

Retailing's Loss Was Biology's Gain

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

Apr 23 2018 Read more

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.” 

Academics

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

No Literary Grandma Moses

Marc D. Allan MFA ’18

from Spring 2017

In May 2018, I will have completed all the requirements for an MFA in Creative Writing from Butler University and be preparing to graduate. And like so many students, I’ve been asked countless times: What are you going to do with that degree?

My usual answer is that I’m going to have an interesting last quarter of my life. I’ll be 59 by the time 2018 commencement rolls around, so I’m not looking for a career. I have no expectations of becoming a literary Grandma Moses.

I went through the MFA program (30 classroom credits, plus thesis) because I wanted—and got—a great education. I enjoy writing stories about reprobates and other morally ambiguous people—a woman who fled her marriage after 9/11; a meth addict who thinks he’s on a reality show; a recent graduate who takes a job writing scam emails. So that’s what I did.

Over two years as an MFA student, I wrote a play, a movie script, at least a half-dozen short stories (three of which have been published), and a handful of prose poems and flash fiction stories. I learned alternative forms of storytelling and how to write a non-fiction book proposal, read brilliant authors I never would have known about otherwise, and gained insights about writing and storytelling from exceptional faculty and visiting writers.

When I was a kid, I wrote a lot of fiction. Then I stopped. I don’t remember why. The MFA program motivated me to write again, and it enabled me to have my work critiqued by highly accomplished professors and classmates who make up for in talent and insight what they lack in age.

If you’ve ever thought about going back to school—whatever your age—I highly recommend the experience. And if you’re ever in a bookstore or browsing Amazon.com and see a novel about a racist obstetrician who microchips babies so he can track their movements as adults, I hope you’ll buy it.

Academics

No Literary Grandma Moses

"If you’ve ever thought about going back to school—whatever your age—I highly recommend the experience."

by Marc D. Allan MFA ’18

from Spring 2017

Read more
Academics

Make That ‘Dr.’ Physician Assistant, Please

BY Cindy Dashnaw

PUBLISHED ON Aug 01 2019

U.S. News & World Report ranks Butler University’s current master’s degree program for physician assistants (MPAS) as 37th in the nation, up 60 spots in just six years. Now, starting in January 2020, the University will add to this success and expand its PA offerings with the launch of a post-professional PA doctorate degree where every credit is earned online—one of only five in the nation. Butler’s new Doctor of Medical Science (DMS) degree program is accredited by the Higher Learning Commission.

DMS Director Dr. Jennifer Snyder ’97 knows better than most how much PAs need this opportunity, especially via the convenience of online access.

Snyder graduated from Butler’s bachelor’s PA program and has worked in both family and emergency medicine. She said PAs have the full confidence of the patients they treat—but not necessarily of the practice managers and hiring professionals responsible for filling higher positions.

“When we investigated offering this degree, we discovered through focus groups that PAs are missing out on promotions and leadership positions because decision-makers assume that those holding doctorates are more qualified,” Snyder says.

Butler’s DMS program will give PAs the doctoral degree they need, along with business acumen to advance in leadership within their institutions or clinics. Additionally, it will give PAs an opportunity to critically evaluate medical literature and benefit those still in clinical practice who simply want to extend their medical knowledge to better serve their patients.

The module-based curriculum allows students to enter into the program at any one of six starting points in the academic calendar. And the online structure of the program, with no required campus residency, means that students can take classes in a way that best suits their schedule.

 

Same Butler rigor, easier access

Butler’s DMS program is a natural evolution of its MPAS degree, developed with the same rigor and quality. Both she and Erin Vincent, Director of Academic Program Development, say living up to Butler’s reputation of educational excellence is paramount.

Vincent points to the structure and success of Butler’s latest online degree program, Master of Science in Risk and Insurance (butler.edu/msri), launched last year.

“Butler faculty is and has been brainstorming ways to creatively address the future of higher education across campus,” Vincent says. “We’re hoping to launch several more graduate programs very soon. The MSRI and the DMS are the start of a great, strong portfolio of advanced degrees at Butler University.”

Individuals are eligible to apply for the DMS program if they have earned an entry-level PA degree from an accredited program and have either a license to practice medicine or hold a national certification from the NCCPA.

Academics

Make That ‘Dr.’ Physician Assistant, Please

Online advanced degree for physician assistants to launch January 2020.

Aug 01 2019 Read more
AcademicsPeople

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

BY

PUBLISHED ON Apr 30 2018

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

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

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

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

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

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

*

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

*

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

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

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

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

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

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

 

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

AcademicsPeople

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

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

Apr 30 2018 Read more
Academics

Three Butler Students Chosen For Fulbright Summer Institute

BY

PUBLISHED ON Jun 01 2017

Three students from Butler University will participate in the Fulbright Summer Institute in the United Kingdom, one of the most prestigious and selective summer scholarship programs operating worldwide. Julia Bartusek ’20, from New Prague, Minnesota; Jeremy Caylor ’19, from Tipton, Indiana; and Carly McCarthy ’19, from Galesburg, Illinois, have received a prestigious place to study at Queen’s University, the University of Exeter, and the University of Strathclyde/Glasgow School of Art, respectively.

The US-UK Fulbright Commission is the only bi-lateral, transatlantic scholarship program offering awards and summer programs for study or research in any field, at any accredited U.S. or U.K. university. The Commission is part of the Fulbright program conceived by Senator J. William Fulbright in the aftermath of World War II to promote leadership, learning, and empathy between nations through educational exchange. Award recipients and summer program participants will be the future leaders for tomorrow and support the “special relationship” between the US and UK.

“With only 60 placements available in this distinguished program, I am particularly pleased that Butler University—with three participants—represents 5 percent of the total 2017 Fulbright Summer Institute population,” said Dacia Charlesworth, Director of Undergraduate Research and Prestigious Scholarships, who assisted students in the application process. “I was thrilled to have two winners in 2016 from Butler for the first time ever, and I hope that our students continue to remain interested in this award as Butler University’s focus on liberal and professional education prepares outstanding applicants for this program.”

As participants, these students have been selected from a strong applicant pool to experience the UK on a four- or three-week summer program.

 

Julia Bartusek, double majoring in Peace and Conflict Studies and Human Communication and Organization, was one of three students selected to participate in the program “Understanding Ireland: Northern Perspectives: Conflict Transformation” at internationally renowned Queen’s University Belfast. She will learn about Northern Ireland in terms of its political, economic, and cultural relationships within the United Kingdom and in the world; learn about the theories and practices of conflict transformation from within local and global perspectives; and interact with a range of people including politicians, police officers, community workers, and people involved in conflict resolution.

“I cannot wait to learn more about global conflict alongside students from around the world while experiencing Northern Ireland and all it has to offer,” she said. “I hope to gain new perspectives and understanding for conflict and how these events affect citizens. I hope to bring back these immeasurable and valuable lessons to Butler to further my own research, to share with my classmates, and to eventually go into the field of public policy where my time at Queen’s will surely impact my work. This is truly a once in a lifetime experience and I am ecstatic to be a participant.”

 

Jeremy Caylor, a Biology major, was one of four students selected to participate in the program “Issues in Climate Change” at the University of Exeter. He will learn about environmental change and its consequences through both field work and classroom learning with faculty from the University of Exeter’s Geography department, which is one of the most successful in the UK and ranked in the top 25 in the world.

“It is an amazing honor to be selected,” he said. “As a Fulbright summer program participant, I will have the opportunity to travel outside of the United States for the first time in my life. I know the exposure to new people and perspectives will help me grow my understanding of the world. I plan to return with an experience that I can use for the rest of my life to encourage others to pursue similar cultural and academic opportunities.”

Carly McCarthy, majoring in Science, Technology, and Society, was one of 10 students selected to participate in “Scotland: Technology, Innovation and Creativity” at the University of Strathclyde and the Glasgow School of Art. She will gain a unique perspective on the cultural and political forces that have shaped modern Scotland, with a strong emphasis on its pioneering role as a technological nation.

“I hope this work enables me to further my understanding of Scottish culture and the importance of the roles of innovation and creativity in a technologically advancing world through a new perspective,” she said. “I also hope to take advantage of my time and immerse myself in the culture, explore historical sites and the scenic beauty in Scotland, and make new life-long friends. I could not be any more excited or grateful about my opportunity to study in Scotland.”

The Commission selects participants through a rigorous application and interview process. In making these awards the Commission looks not only for academic excellence but a focused application, a range of extracurricular and community activities, demonstrated ambassadorial skills, a desire to further the Fulbright Program, and a plan to give back to the recipient’s home country upon returning.

Fulbright Summer Institutes cover all participant costs. In addition, Fulbright summer participants receive a distinctive support and cultural education program including visa processing, a comprehensive pre-departure orientation, enrichment opportunities in country, a re-entry session, and opportunity to join our alumni networks.

 

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

Academics

Three Butler Students Chosen For Fulbright Summer Institute

Three students from Butler University will participate in the Fulbright Summer Institute in the United Kingdom, one of the most prestigious and selective summer scholarship programs operating worldwide.

Jun 01 2017 Read more
AcademicsStudent LifePeople

Butler Honors Top 100 Students

BY

PUBLISHED ON Apr 23 2018

The Alumni Association has announced Butler University's Top 100 Outstanding Students, honoring the top juniors and seniors for the 2017–2018 academic year.

The list is below. Top 15 students have an asterisk next to their name.

The students honored each year continue the tradition of dedication and service to Butler. They reflect outstanding character, scholarship, engaged citizenship, leadership, and commitment to fostering diversity.To be considered a Top 100 student at Butler University, students must have a cumulative GPA of 3.5 or higher and may not be on conduct probation during the application process or the announcement for Top 100 and Top 15.

The Top 100 students are determined by the Top 100 Selection Committee composed of representatives of each of the six colleges, student affairs, academic affairs, and alumni. Each candidate is judged against the core values of the program on a numeric scale. At the end of the judging period, all scores are tabulated, and the Top 100 students are selected.

Visit the Top 100 website to view guidelines for the program. 

The Alumni Association in conjunction with the Office of Student Affairs conducts the Outstanding Student Recognition program. The program is in its 57th year.

The full list of honorees, majors, and hometowns:

Lynn Alsatie, International Studies and French, Carmel, Indiana

Siena Amodeo, International Business and Marketing, Powell, Ohio

Deborah Arehart, Middle/Secondary Education and French, Dayton, Ohio

Thomas Baldwin, Biochemistry, Carmel, Indiana

*Adam Bantz, Strategic Communication, Marketing, Muncie, Indiana

Alex Bartlow, Accounting and Spanish, Bloomfield, Indiana

Leah Basford, International Business, Chinese minor, Centerville, Indiana

Brianna Borri, Psychology, Ada, Michigan

Lauren Briskey, Actuarial Science, Statistics, Avon, Indiana

Amy Brown, Accounting, Saint Charles, Missouri

Rachel Burke, Mathematics, Software Engineering, Mount Vernon, Indiana

Jeremy Caylor, Biology, Chemistry, Tipton, Indiana

*Parker Chalmers, Finance/Risk Management & Insurance, Wyoming, Ohio

Lauren Ciulla, Biology, Carmel, Indiana

Brooklyn Cohen, Elementary Education, Glenview, Illinois

Hannah Coleman, Pharmacy, Danville, Indiana

Dana Connor, Communication Sciences and Disorders, Tallahassee, Florida

Vickie Cook, Chemistry, Woodburn, Indiana

Meredith Coughlin, Human Communication and Organizational Leadership, Tipp City, Ohio

*Ryan Cultice, Accounting and Finance, Warsaw, Indiana

Ashley Dale, Physics, Electrical Engineering, New Palestine, Indiana

Erin Dark, Pharmacy, West Lafayette, Indiana

Darby DeFord, Biology and Chemistry, Spencer, Indiana

Matt Del Busto, English creative writing and Spanish, Carmel, Indiana

David Dunham, Human Movement and Health Sciences Education, Zionsville, Indiana

Suzanne Dwyer, Pharmacy, Tinley Park, Illinois

Shelby Jo Eaton, Psychology and Sociology, Indianapolis

Ashlyn Edwards, Philosophy, Critical Communication, and French, New Albany, Indiana

*Katie Edwards, Marketing and Finance, Libertyville, Illinois

Sarah Elam, International Studies and Spanish, Indianapolis

John Evans, Accounting and Finance, Indianapolis

Hannah Faccio, Psychology, Belmont, Michigan

Megan Farny, Pre-PA, Evansville, Indiana

Megan Fitzgerald, Elementary Education and Religion, Dublin, Ohio

Annie Foster, Spanish and Chemistry minor, Westfield, Indiana

Jacklyn Gries, Pharmacy, Evansville, Indiana

Hannah Hartzell, Strategic Communication and Spanish, Powell, Ohio

Patrick Holden, PharmD/MBA, Brownsburg, Indiana

Jonny Hollar, Finance and Marketing, Warsaw, Indiana

Kate Holtz, Risk Management and Insurance, Finance, Godfrey, Illinois

*Nick Huang, Finance and Marketing, Geneva, Illinois

Karla Jeggle, Actuarial Science, Upper Arlington, Ohio

Nathan Jent, Health Sciences/Pre-PA, Crawfordsville, Indiana

Drew Johnson, Pharmacy, Noblesville, Indiana

Jakob Jozwiakowski, Chemistry, Boston, Massachusetts

Colton Junod, Biology and Biochemistry, Vincennes, Indiana

Libby Kaufman, Elementary Education, Chanhassen, Minnesota

*Nida Khan, Pharmacy/Pre-Med, Noblesville, Indiana

Rachel Koehler, International Studies and French, Franklin, Tennessee

*Caroline Kuremsky, Elementary Education with a Mild Intervention Minor, Cincinnati, Ohio

Carly Large, Accounting, Bloomington, Illinois

*Emily Lawson, Chemistry and Mathematics (Pre-Med), Fort Wayne, Indiana

Becca Lewis, Biology and Chemistry, Danville, Illinois

Rachael Lewis, Marketing, Spanish, and International Business, Danville, Illinois

Kayla Long, Critical Communications and Media Studies, Digital Media Production, Spanish, Evanston, Illinois

Kelsey McDougall, Biology, Canton, Michigan

Kirsten McGrew, Pharmacy, Louisville, Kentucky

Kasey Meeks, Health Sciences and Chemistry, Robinson, Illinois

Rachel Metz, Health Science, Ferdinand, Indiana

Joshua Murdock, Pharmacy, Grand Junction, Colorado

*Kelly Murphy, Human Communication and Organizational Leadership, Dublin, Ohio

Emily Nettesheim, Health Sciences and Spanish, Lafayette, Indiana

Alexis Neyman, Biochemistry, Fort Wayne, Indiana

Olivia Nilsen, Communication of Sciences and Disorders, Neuroscience minor, Ballwin, Missouri

Gehrig Parker, Sports Media, Park Ridge, Illinois

Justin Poythress, Accounting and Finance, Geneva, Illinois

*Tori Puhl, Actuarial Science, Mequon, Wisconsin

*Salman Qureshi, Biology, Fishers, Indiana

*Courtney Raab, Health Sciences, Highland, Indiana

Jordan Rauh, Pharmacy, Wabash, Indiana

Allison Reitz, Communication Sciences and Disorders, Newburgh, Indiana

Kate Richards, Communication Sciences and Disorders, Effingham, Illinois

Sophie Robertson, Dance Arts Administration and Journalism, Gig Harbor, Washington

*Abdul Saltagi, Biology, Fishers, Indiana

Kaitlyn Sawin, Marketing, Appleton, Wisconsin

Olivia Schwan, Marketing and Spanish, Kalamazoo, Michigan

*Abby Sikorcin, Health Sciences, Lisle, Illinois

Sundeep Singh, Biology and Political Science, Fishers, Indiana

Maree Smith, Spanish and Marketing, Monticello, Minnesota

Lilli Southern, Communication Sciences and Disorders, Solsberry, Indiana

Madison Stefanski, Elementary Education and seeking licensure in Special Education with minors in Reading, Frankfort, Michigan

Isaiah Strong, Strategic Communication/Recording Industry Studies, Brooklyn Park, Minnesota

Natalie Van Ochten, Biology and Biochemistry, Shorewood, Minnesota

Alexander Waddell, Accounting, Greenwood, Indiana

Skyler Walker, Pharmacy, Racine, Wisconsin

Kathryn Warma, Science, Technology, and Sociology, Carlinville, Illinois

Riley Wildemann, Pharmacy, Plainfield, Indiana

Alexander Wright, Chemistry, Fishers, Indiana

Heather Wright, Music, Greentown, Indiana

Jill Yager, Biology, Rushville, Indiana

Due to a tie in scoring, more than 100 students are being honored for the 2017–2018 academic year. All honorees were recognized at the Outstanding Student Banquet on April 13, where the Top 15 Most Outstanding Students were announced.

This list includes all students who opted to post their names.

 

In the photo:

Front row: Emily Lawson, Nida Khan, Nicholas Huang, Caitlyn Foye, Katie Edwards, Adam Bantz, Kelly Murphy

Back row: Abby Sikocin, Abdul Saltagi, Courtney Raab, President Danko, Salman Qureshi, Tori Puhl, Ryan Cultice

 

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

 

 

AcademicsStudent LifePeople

Butler Honors Top 100 Students

This is the 57th year to recognize the Top 100 students' dedication and service to Butler.

Apr 23 2018 Read more
AcademicsStudent Life

Butler's Undergraduate Research Conference Turns 30

BY

PUBLISHED ON Apr 03 2018

After footing the bill to send two students to present papers at an undergraduate research conference in the south, Butler Biology Professor Jim Berry decided that the university needed to host its own event.

He founded the Butler Undergraduate Research Conference (URC) in 1989 "to encourage undergraduate students to become involved in research," he wrote in the program. "We believe that the best way to teach science is by actually doing science. Only through the actual process of asking questions and solving problems can one become experienced in the methods of science."

Today, Berry's creation is stronger than ever: On April 13, from 8:00 AM to 4:15 PM, Butler will welcome 896 participants from 23 states to present their work at the 30th annual URC.

Berry, now Professor Emeritus, will be recognized at the luncheon, and Major Matthew Riley '01 will deliver the keynote address. Riley is Department Chief at the U.S. Army Medical Research Institute of Infectious Diseases, the Department of Defense’s lead laboratory for medical biological defense research. 

In its first year, the URC that Berry created included 171 participants in five disciplines—Biology, Chemistry, Physics, Engineering, and Social Science—all of whom were from Indiana. The next year, Music Professor Jim Briscoe ushered in Music and Arts.

This year's conference will feature presentations in 25 disciplines. Topics this year will be as varied as "Manufacturing: An Uncertain Future," "Beyond Godzilla: Reflections of National Identity in Japanese Horror Films," and "Can You Outsmart the ImPACT Test? A Study of Sandbagging on Baseline Concussion Assessments."

"Because of Jim Berry's hard work—and the hard work of other folks—we're now one of the largest undergraduate research conferences in the nation," said Dacia Charlesworth, Butler's Director of Undergraduate Research and Prestigious Scholarships.

Under Charlesworth's guidance, the URC has added research roundtables that allow students just embarking on their research projects to share their plans with experienced professionals and receive feedback and a competitive-paper division. This year, 28 students submitted competitive papers.

The Butler Collegian interviewed Berry about the URC in 1995. He described the conference then as "a district version of the big national conferences you always hear about. We’ve just brought it closer to home so that more students can take part.”

Charlesworth said that with 79 colleges and universities participating, the conference has expanded beyond what anyone expected.

"I'm happy we're continuing Jim’s mission," she said. "At the heart of it, we're still fulfilling his original intention: Helping students understand research by conducting research."

 

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

AcademicsStudent Life

Butler's Undergraduate Research Conference Turns 30

The URC has grown from 171 participants in 1989 to nearly 900 this year.

Apr 03 2018 Read more
AcademicsPeople

Study Finds Gender Gap in the Sciences Closing

BY

PUBLISHED ON Apr 26 2018

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

 

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

AcademicsPeople

Study Finds Gender Gap in the Sciences Closing

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

Apr 26 2018 Read more
Academics

The MBA Class that Saved a Town

BY Marc Allan

PUBLISHED ON Feb 19 2019

The story of how a Butler University Lacy School of Business instructor and his MBA students helped revive the small town of Atlanta, Indiana, begins in 2016, inside an 8,000-square-foot flour mill-turned-grocery store that had been vacant for 10 years.

Wall of model trainsThe instructor, Steve Nelson, needed a place to display his collection of 6,000 model trains. He bought the empty building on Atlanta’s Main Street, even though the floor had caved in and the furnace didn’t work, because he liked the location, and the price was right.

He fixed up the building and spread the word that his trains, which had been on display for several years in the Indianapolis suburb of Carmel, had moved about 35 miles north of Indianapolis. Soon, model railroad enthusiasts and families with kids started coming to Atlanta on Saturdays to see Mr. Muffin’s Trains, as the layout is called.

But once visitors had seen Nelson’s collection and watched his train wind its way around miniature cities, their visit to Atlanta was essentially over. Downtown was almost entirely vacant otherwise, with no place to eat or shop. Not only that, but Atlanta had gained nothing—admission to see the trains is free.

“We started talking,” Nelson says, “and we wondered: Is there a way to bring Atlanta back, to turn Atlanta into some kind of destination?”

***

Nelson and his wife, Liz, didn’t have an answer. But as a professor in Butler’s MBA program, he knew how to find one. He posed the question as a semester-long project for his Integrated Capstone Experience class—an assignment that would give his students valuable experience as they worked to figure out a real-world problem.

Jenn Truitt MBA '16 was one of the students who took on the challenge.

"I like the concept of taking a small town and trying to build a community around a business that would attract both families with children and train enthusiasts," she says. "That was my draw to the project."

On April 25, 2016, a group of students took a day trip to Atlanta to scout the location.

They found a small town in great decline—there was no one on the streets and nearly every storefront was empty—but they also recognized opportunity. Through subsequent research, the students found examples of at least four other small towns that reversed their declines by making themselves tourist destinations. One—Hamilton, Missouri—had turned itself into “the Disneyland of quilting.”

The students suggested using a train theme as a centerpiece for the town’s turnaround.

***

The Nelsons put the report into action. They bought a second building, where Liz opened the Choo Choo Café, and a third, where Steve’s son Jeff operates a workshop that buys, sells, and repairs trains.

Steve bought a light manufacturing business called Korber Models and moved it to Atlanta, upstairs from the train layout. Korber makes easy-to-build structures like power plants and grain silos that augment model railroad displays.

Atlanta Post OfficeBetween the train sales, Korber, and the seed company Beck’s Hybrids, which is also in Atlanta, they generated enough business to keep the post office open.

Meanwhile, others joined in Atlanta’s rebuilding. The Roads Hotel began offering ghost-hunting expeditions. The Nickel Plate Heritage Railroad took riders on train trips from Atlanta south. More than 10,000 people made the trip during fall 2018, and rides resume on Valentine’s Day 2019. The Monon Historical Society moved its historic Monon caboose to Atlanta.

In addition, the town received grants to build a public restroom, and another to renovate its park, including spaces for people to sit while waiting for the train, and build a fire pit.

The report the MBA students put together noted that turnarounds for small towns can take years, and that's true—downtown Atlanta is still mostly open only on weekends for visitors.

Still, the Nelsons’ businesses and the railroad have generated at least 30 full-time and part-time jobs.

“A lot of small towns think they need to bring businesses where the town is the customer, but that doesn't work,” Nelson says. “The town isn't big enough. In today's world, you can bring in ecommerce business to a small town. The real estate is very cost-effective. All three of these buildings we own cost us less than my rent in Carmel. Then there are people who will work for you there, and they're affordable, and you can organize synergy around it.”

***

The Nelsons plan to continue what the MBA students suggested. Steve has plans to add a speakeasy and an indoor train that kids can ride. He’s hoping Atlanta can attract another restaurant, too.

They’re not doing this to make a living. Steve, a former tech executive, has been teaching at Butler since the 1990s; Liz sells real estate.

Steve Nelson in Mr. Muffin's Trains“When we started doing this, success for us was knowing that we've entertained a family and when they go home, they're talking about what fun they had at Mr. Muffin’s,” he says. “I feel really, really good about it. It's meant a lot to people in Atlanta. The local people are very excited about it.”

Robyn Cook, the town’s former clerk-treasurer and a 26-year resident of Atlanta, confirms that. She says the Nelsons have been “a godsend” for the town.

“They were a perfect fit for what our community needed,” she says. “What's going on, whatever is needed, we call Liz and Steve and they just jump in, roll up their sleeves, and help in any way they can.”

Jenn Truitt, who was part of the MBA team that spurred the Nelsons’ plans, says she feels good about having a helping hand in Atlanta’s revitalization. She’s brought her 4-year-old daughter to Atlanta to see Mr. Muffin’s Trains, and she plans to go back again to see what else is happening in Atlanta.

“I felt like we did a really good job (on the MBA project), but I didn’t know how much it benefited them,” she says. “It’s awesome to see that it created this vision for him. He’s built upon it since then, but I feel like it helped validate their thinking. And it was a great experience for us, as students. I'm excited that our team had a small influence in the success that's coming, and will continue to come, to Atlanta.”

Academics

The MBA Class that Saved a Town

The students found at least four other small towns that reversed their declines by becoming tourist destinations.

Feb 19 2019 Read more
Academics

Eleven Butler Students Selected for Elite Orr Fellowships

BY Marc Allan MFA ’18

PUBLISHED ON Mar 12 2019

In his three years as Butler University's starting quarterback, Will Marty '18 learned lessons that transcended the football field. He discovered that the ability to communicate with all different kinds of people is vital. You can't sweep issues under the rug. You've got to be upfront with people. And you have to be able to achieve in high-pressure situations.

"It's the same thing in the business world," says Marty, who graduated in December with a degree in finance and marketing. "You've got to make quick decisions. You've got to be able to communicate with people directly. And you can't be afraid to go forward."

Marty is seeing the parallels between football and business play out in his post-graduation role as an Orr Fellow. As part of the two-year fellowship, he's working as a growth analyst for Greenlight Guru, a downtown Indianapolis company that makes quality-management software for medical devices.

The Orr Fellowship program guarantees participants a two-year position at an Indianapolis host company as well as executive mentorship and training in areas like growing a strong network, entrepreneurial law, and personal finance.

With a 5 percent acceptance rate, the Orr Fellowship program is extremely selective. This year, 1,259 graduates from 48 states applied. The program accepted 68 from 19 universities. Of those 68, 11 were Butler graduates—more than any other school. (The full list of Butler students accepted is below.)These students will not only receive guaranteed job placement for their first two years out of undergrad, they will also receive executive mentorship, and participate in a unique curriculum intended to develop business and professional acumen in the real world. These combined factors fast-track students from college to career success as young professionals.

Marty, who threw for 5,550 yards and 30 touchdowns in three years, thinks teamwork is why Butler has been so successful in placing Orr Fellows.

"What Butler teaches you is how important your role is within teams," he says. "I'm doing such a small part of the bigger picture here at Greenlight, but I also see how valuable my little part is. I think Butler stresses collaborative work, communication, and overall group dynamics to bring out the best in the entire organization. The Lacy School of Business did a great job of that as well."

Jen Agnew, Director of Programming and Engagement for the Orr Fellowship, says Butler graduates have been successful in applying to the program in part because they make a commitment to the arduous two-month recruiting process. Orr Fellow alumni from Butler also do a great job of recruiting qualified candidates, she says.

In the end, "there's a real understanding and buy-in from the Butler students about what we're doing and what we're achieving in the Indianapolis community," Agnew says. "I think Butler students are interested in serving their community beyond their four years at Butler and finding unique opportunities that are going to help the Indianapolis community grow. I think that Orr does that."

Orr Fellowships are open to students from across all majors—not just business. Carly McCarthy '18 majored in Science, Technology, and Society at Butler and started her fellowship in January with Greenlight Guru. The Galesburg, Illinois, native is now working in product marketing.

McCarthy heard about the program from several friends who were business majors and wondered if there was a place for her. Everyone she talked to at Butler encouraged her to apply.

"They showed me that Orr was made for a diverse group of people with diverse educational background," she says.

Meanwhile, she says she felt ready and confident, thanks to Butler, which helped her develop the interpersonal skills and receive the interdisciplinary education needed to relate to people in different ways.

At Greenlight, McCarthy says, she gets to work with experienced professionals in healthcare, which is the field in which she ultimately wants to work.

"So working here has enabled me to learn other skills that will be applicable in my other education and career endeavors," she says. "And in my role here as a product developer and product marketer, I get to learn about a company and how a company works, rather than taking one position."

That's the kind of experience Kendall Povilaitis '19 is hoping for. Povilaitis, a Creative Writing major and Digital Media Production minor, will be working for Covideo, a video email communications company based in Broad Ripple.

Povilaitis heard about the Orr Fellowship through friends she had worked with in Ambassadors of Change, the Butler program that welcomes new students to campus. They were in the Orr program and encouraged her to apply.

"Our community looks out for one another," she says. "And I think when you have students who were part of Butler, they know what Butler students offer. We are reaching out to our own."

At Covideo, she’ll be working in several departments over the two years—sales, marketing, video—to see the business from all sides.

She says all the things she learned at Butler helped her land the fellowship.

"I think the experiential learning really showed through," she says. "I’ve had the internships and the real experiences—at The Children’s Museum, in Butler’s Marketing and Communications Department, and other places. I think that gave me more confidence going in: I’ve done this before, and I know I can take on a real job and be different than somebody else."

 

Class of 2019 Butler Orr Fellows:

  • Addyson Aiman, The Heritage Group
  • Alex Adams, Torchlite
  • Carly McCarthy, Greenlight Guru*
  • Kendall Povilaitis, Covideo
  • Lyndsey Isenhower, Apex Benefits
  • Olivia Schwan, Lessonly
  • Rachel Schafer, Sigstr
  • Sarah Burkhart, OneCause
  • Sarah Forhan, IU Health
  • Tanner Cline, enVista
  • Will Marty, Greenlight Guru*

*December graduate

 

 

Academics

Eleven Butler Students Selected for Elite Orr Fellowships

Teamwork is why Butler has been so successful in placing Orr Fellows.

Mar 12 2019 Read more
AcademicsPeople

Identify, Visualize, Make it Happen

BY

PUBLISHED ON May 07 2018

Associate Professor of Pharmacy Dennis Gardner either had luck on his side throughout his career or he is a purebred innovator. Both he and Associate Dean for Clinical Education and External Affiliations Julie Koehler believe it’s a mix of both.

“Dennis is a starter,” Koehler said. “He loves the opportunity to be involved in the establishment of new things.”  

Gardner elaborated and said, “I’m able to identify, visualize, and then make something happen. I like that challenge of development.”

The notion of being in the right place at the right time and starting new things is demonstrated throughout Gardner’s career. Before working at Butler he was one of the initial clinical faculty at Auburn University. In the 1970s, after leaving Auburn, Gardner joined Butler with a joint appointment with St. Vincent Hospital. During this time, he also helped establish Butler’s first experiential program in the fall of 1978 to meet the American Association of Colleges of Pharmacy’s requirements.

After establishing the program, Gardner joined St. Vincent Stress Center, where he managed the computerization of the pharmacy, which was the first St. Vincent facility to get one. After St. Vincent, Gardner worked at IU Hospital Pharmacy Department at Riley Hospital for Children and in the pharmacy industry at Novartis Oncology for a few years.

Gardner explained that through all these experiences he stayed connected to Butler by providing student experiences throughout the hospital. He lost touch with students a bit while working with Novartis. Although this position was challenging, Gardner discovered his heart was truly that of a clinician and a teacher.

Koehler explains the stars must have aligned because at the same time of Gardner’s realization, Butler was in search for a pharmacy faculty position that would have a joint appointment at Butler in the classroom and at Community Health Network at as a clinician. Gardner was hired into his current role in 2004 and neither he nor Koehler have looked back.  

“Dennis has been a valuable preceptor for us for many years,” Koehler said. “He’s really looked to as a leader in the field of pharmacy practice and to that, he’s a great role model for our students, for the residents who train with him, and for the junior faculty who are just getting started in practice who don’t have as many years under their belt.”

Kacey Carroll, Assistant Professor of Pharmacy Practice at Butler and Ambulatory Care Pharmacist, is just one example of a student who has felt the impact Gardner has made. She worked with Gardner during her first year of residency and explained that Gardner taught her, by example, how to be a compassionate care giver, educator, and person.

“There are very few pharmacists that I have worked with that care as much as Dennis does and can handle the stressors of the job with grace and without complaint,” Carroll said. “He made coming to work an enjoyable experience and I worked harder knowing he was invested in me as a person and as a learner.”

Gardner’s work in recent years at Community Health Network has helped Community expand their pediatric practice within the pediatric and neo-natal intensive care units and form a partnership with Riley Hospital for Children.

Koehler best describes the impact Dennis has had on Butler and the local health care providers with a quote from author Nelson Henderson: “The purpose of life is plant trees under whose shade we do not expect to sit.”

“If you look at Dennis’ career, he’s done that for us, he’s planted an awful lot of trees,” Koehler said. “There will be a lot of shade from which we can benefit in future years.”

In retirement, Gardner plans to spend more time with his sons Geoffrey, John, and grandchildren, spend time with his wife, Leslie, who is also retiring, travel, and become more active in his church and choirs.

If Butler has opportunities in the future for him, Gardner said he’ll be happy to come back. So Gardner may be retiring as a professor from Butler and as a clinician, but he’s far from retiring his sense of tackling new things. You can rest assured that whatever Gardner tackles in retirement, he’ll probably be a trailblazer.

 

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

AcademicsPeople

Identify, Visualize, Make it Happen

That's the mantra of retiring COPHS faculty member Dennis Gardner.

May 07 2018 Read more

Taking Pharmacy Skills to a North Carolina Indian Reservation

Meghan Blais '17

When I first learned about the opportunity to work on an Indian Reservation during my sixth-year pharmacy rotations, I immediately knew I wanted to apply. As students, we are lucky enough to have a few options to choose from when applying, but I knew I wanted to go to North Carolina—partly because I had peers who had told me great things about the site and partly because I was familiar with the Smoky Mountains and the beauty in that area. So, when I received my schedule and saw that I would be going to North Carolina, during the fall no less, I was ecstatic. My rotation is in Cherokee, North Carolina, and as its name implies, it is at the Cherokee Indian Hospital, which serves the Eastern Band of Cherokee Indians. But it is not a reservation. The Eastern Band owns the land; they built the hospital too, and anyone who steps foot into the facility can see that. The culture of the tribe is reflected in almost every facet.  But the culture is also reflected in the care, and that is why I wanted so badly to have a rotation at this site.

Mountains

 

Throughout my entire month, I will have the opportunity to learn and apply my time in the classroom to real situations, but I will also be able to learn about a patient population, a culture that I have limited experience with, and about how there is more to healthcare than just medicine.

Within these next few posts, I will try to convey my time and experiences in North Carolina.  And as the saying goes, a picture is worth a thousand words.  I’ll start off with this one of the sunrise from the top of the mountain just outside of town.

Rotations for Butler students start on Mondays, unless there is a holiday, but those are always exceptions to the rule.  And, since our rotation sites change every four weeks, it is pretty much like starting a new job every month.  This rotation was no different.  I reported to work bright and early on Monday morning where I went through orientation for the better part of the morning.  I had my picture taken, received my ID badge, and got a brief tour of the facility before being dropped off at the pharmacy to meet my preceptor and the other students on rotation (I had already met one of them since the hospital has housing for its students—my roommate was from a pharmacy school in upstate New York!). Meghan Blais with Waterfall

Then I got a quick tour and information session about the pharmacy, which fills on average, 1000 prescriptions a day.  The amazing thing about the Cherokee Indian Hospital is that is serves as both an in-patient and out-patient facility.  Primary care doctors and pediatricians have offices in what was known as the clinic—a large building which houses 12 different medical teams and serves over 18,000 enrolled members.  There is an emergency department, a lab, an eye care clinic, and a dental clinic.  In addition to this, there is also a 20-bed facility which houses patients who are admitted to the hospital, a wound care clinic in conjunction with physical therapy, and a complementary and alternative medicine center.  This is where I would be working for a month!Cherokee Syllabry

In the afternoon, I was trained on their electronic health record system, then was taken on a more in-depth tour of the hospital.  It was during this tour that I started to learn more about the people I would be serving during the month—the Cherokee Indians.  I was told about the importance of nature and the environment around someone during the healing process, which is why the hospital is built in a way such that every room has a window with a beautiful view of the mountains.  I also learned about how the hospital was built to be the center of care for this community and how important it was that the community was reflected within the walls of the hospital.  On the floor, you can see the river and its banks, an important aspect of life to the Cherokee.  At one end is the spider which is said to have brought fire to the community.  At the other end, a water beetle, which brought water to the community.  The entrance that was built to look like a basket weaved by a local woman, known as the Rotunda.  The artwork, most of which was done by local artists, which incorporates the Cherokee syllabary—the language of the tribe.  It is truly beautiful!

As much as I loved taking in all the different aspects in the hospital, though, I love working with the patients too!  I jumped right in on Tuesday, where I worked in one of the counseling rooms, talking with patients about their medications.  This is such an important part of pharmacy, and it is one of my favorite parts really.  These interactions allow me to get to know someone, to find common ground and create a relationship that promotes trust and improved care.  As the week progressed, I moved into the anticoagulation clinic—where patients taking warfarin (or Coumadin) would follow-up and work with pharmacists to ensure proper management—and into the actual clinic, where pharmacists were called on to follow-up with patients on a wide range of conditions, such as high blood pressure, diabetes, and tobacco cessation.  Being able to work in an environment that provides me with so many different opportunities is phenomenal, and I know it is making me a much more well-rounded student pharmacist!  With one week under my belt, I am excited to get back and do more next week.  Until then, we have a weekend to explore all that Cherokee, NC has to offer!

Returning to a rotation site after the first week takes on a whole new look because at this point, you have had a week to learn your way around, ask questions, and find your groove in the work place.  The great thing about this rotation was the daily changing of tasks.  No two days were the same for me.  Some days I would counsel in the morning, then work with the teams in the clinic in the afternoon.  Other days I would work in the anticoagulation clinic, better known as a Coumadin clinic.  Most importantly, though, every day I had a chance to talk with patients, ask questions, and help make decisions about their care.

A huge part of the reason I love pharmacy and what I do is due to the interactions and communication with both patients and other healthcare providers.  Pharmacists have an amazing opportunity to not only help the patient but to advocate for them within the healthcare team.  At the Cherokee Indian Hospital, there were about 10 medical teams of caring for about 20,000 patients! So, it is understandable that communication is key to be successful.  Doctors relied on pharmacists to help care for the patients beyond simply supplying medications.  Clinic pharmacists worked directly with patients to help them better control their diseases, such as diabetes and high blood pressure.  As a student, I had a unique opportunity to lead some of these sessions, to interview patients, determine potential gaps in care, and problem-solve to close those gaps.Cherokee Seal

In addition to my patient care responsibilities, weeks 2 and 3 of my rotation also brought me opportunities to present at the monthly P&T (pharmacy and therapeutics) meeting.  P&T meetings are not exclusive to 1 hospital; if a location has a formulary—a list of approved drugs available for use in the pharmacy and hospital—it has P&T meetings.  Having the opportunity to present at these meetings, as a student, is a little less common, so I was very excited to have the chance to do this while on rotation!  My presentation was also a bit different since it was not a drug proposal but rather an educational review on the recommended treatments for irritable bowel syndrome.  I will spare you from my nerd talk, and simply say it was an excellent way for me to learn about a disease state I was not very familiar with and to provide an informative session to the doctors on staff about the available options for their patients. 

Suffice to say that the middle weeks of my rotation were busy ones.  But, with each week completed, we earn a weekend to explore.  Cherokee is in an amazing location—both Gatlinburg and Asheville are an hour’s drive away.  The Great Smoky Mountain National Park and Blue Ridge Parkway both have entrances a few miles from the student housing.  The new presence of forest fires, however, have casted a smoky haze over the town making hiking and exploring the mountains a bit more difficult. The tourism season is winding down, so town is much less crowded.  However, the other students and I still found time to explore some of the shops, many filled with handmade crafts by local artists, and to watch the Chicago Cubs win the World Series (I was much more excited about this than any of the other students, but they offered support for me while I cheered at the TV).  It is amazing that I am nearly done with my rotation already, but I have one week left and a few more new experiences to come.  Stay tuned, and in the meantime, check out these pictures and the stories they tell within the hospital!

The last week of a rotation is always a confusing time—on one hand, you have finally become acclimated to the location and feel comfortable with all your tasks, on the other hand, you are about to leave just as you started to get settled in.  My last week at the Cherokee Indian Hospital was still filled with new experiences though, and new students (you can see them all below)!  But most importantly, my last week was filled with reflection and appreciation for all the experiences I had this month.

I had the chance to sit in with the pharmacy resident and the physician who operates the pain management clinic.  I also had a chance to go into the in-patient side of the hospital for table rounds—a quick way for everyone on the medical team to receive updates about the patients currently being treated.  It is easy to think that the primary topic of these conversations would be the medicine, but it wasn’t.  Many of the topics and updates focused on the patient and his or her life, struggles taking place outside the hospital.  Some touched on the forest fires, which were threatening the homes of some of the patients.  Others focused on reunions of family deaths and how this time of the year, the holiday season, can be difficult. 

In all these conversations, though, one thing remained the same—compassion.  It can be easy to get caught up in the medicine; after all, there are so many novel treatments and interesting research trials to capture the eye.  There is more to that though, and that is what my time in Cherokee taught me.  Care comes in all forms—sometimes it is a hospital room with a spectacular view of the mountains, other times it is a simple question of ‘how are you doing?’    


Group of Students

I have always wanted to do something with my life that serves others.  For a while, I thought about being a teacher (I still do, but in pharmacy now!), and then I found pharmacy.  It combined my love for math and chemistry with the ever-changing world of medicine.  But most importantly, it provided me with an outlet to show compassion and make a difference in others’ lives, to have an impact.  But truthfully, my month in Cherokee made a difference in my life and had an impact on me. 

If someone would have asked me when I started my journey at Butler if I could have imagined it would take me here, my answer would have been no.  I was not keen on being away from family, traveling to a place where I know no one.  But, here I am now, a month later and I can’t imagine my rotation schedule without Cherokee.

If there is one thing I want to share (apart from the pictures of course), it is this—don’t be afraid to do something different, to go somewhere new.  Learning happens all around us when we step outside the classroom, all you must do is talk to others and listen in return.

AcademicsCommunity

Taking Pharmacy Skills to a North Carolina Indian Reservation

When I first learned about the opportunity to work on an Indian Reservation during my sixth-year pharmacy rotations, I immediately knew I wanted to apply.

AcademicsCampus

Butler Continues Trend, Welcomes Record First-Year Class

BY Rachel Stern

PUBLISHED ON Aug 16 2018

INDIANAPOLIS – It happened again.

For the second time in three years, Butler University is set to welcome its largest class ever, as 1,336 first-year students prepare to begin classes on August 22.

For the second time in three years, Butler University is set to welcome its largest class ever, as 1,336 first-year students prepare to begin classes on August 22.

The class highlights a nearly 10-year trend of application growth, represents a continued increase in out-of-state enrollment, and is more diverse. While the Class of 2020 was previously the largest class, with 1,255 incoming students, Butler has been experiencing an upward trajectory in applicants since 2009. 

“Butler’s enrollment goals have aligned with the University’s strategic plan, known as Butler 2020,” says Lori Greene, Vice President for Enrollment Management. “One of the strategic growth objectives is to increase full-time, undergraduate student enrollment. This is strategic growth complemented by an investment in the student experience. We see growth also reflected in new facilities, including two new state-of-the-art residence halls, and the new Lacy School of Business building, set to open in August 2019.”

This year’s growth is hardly a one-year anomaly.

Interest in Butler has been on the rise throughout the last decade. Since 2009, applications to the University have increased by 163 percent. For example, in 2015, Butler received 9,942 applications, compared to 16,431 this year. In the last year alone, first-year applications increased more than 12 percent.

This continued demand is due to a number of strategic initiatives, says Greene.

 

 

 

 

“Over the last few years, we’ve continued to refine and target our communications, and connect with prospects earlier in a student’s high school career. We’ve also focused on building a relationship with our prospective parents throughout the process,” Greene says. “We aim to support prospective students with the type of campus events and visit programs delivered, along with providing multiple options for a student to experience campus life, talk with current students, and hear from a professor in an area of interest.”

The increase in recruitment travel and targeted marketing efforts have paid off, Greene says, as the University continues to grow its out-of-state enrollment. Sixty percent of this year’s class comes from out-of-state, with nearly 20 percent of those coming from the Chicagoland area. Since 2015, applications to Butler from out-of-state students have increased by 68 percent.

And it’s not just applications. Since 2015, the number of students choosing to enroll at Butler from out-of-state has increased by 40 percent, compared to 17 percent growth in-state. Specifically, enrollment from the Northeast and Mid-Atlantic has more than doubled since 2015.

While this year’s class hails largely from other Midwest states, California, Massachusetts, Minnesota, and Texas are quickly on the rise. Over the last few years, Greene says, Butler has embedded counselors in the Mid-Atlantic and Northeast in an effort to increase the University’s visibility.

This year’s incoming class is also the most diverse, as nearly 17 percent of the class are multicultural students. This represents a 3 percentage point jump from last year. While this is a percentage that Butler would like to see increase more, Greene says, partnerships with multiple Indianapolis-based organizations, as well as other community-based organizations throughout the Midwest, have helped multicultural recruitment efforts. The goal is to keep increasing this percentage, she says. 

Despite its size, Butler’s Class of 2022 is as academically inclined as previous classes. The average GPA is 3.86, up slightly from last year. This year’s incoming class features 44 valedictorians, 20 Lilly Scholars, and about 20 percent were in the top 10 percent of their high school graduating class.

The most popular majors this year are Pre-Pharmacy (136), Exploratory Studies (103), Exploratory Business (88), and Biology (72).

The University will also welcome 86 transfer students this fall.

 

Media contact:

Rachel Stern
rstern@butler.edu
914-815-5656

AcademicsCampus

Butler Continues Trend, Welcomes Record First-Year Class

For the second time in three years, Butler University is set to welcome its largest class ever,

Aug 16 2018 Read more
AcademicsStudent Life

BU Well to Publish Its Third Volume

BY

PUBLISHED ON Apr 09 2018

BU Well, Butler University’s open-access, multimedia, student-run healthcare journal, will publish its third volume on April 20. The volume will feature eight articles on a variety of health-related topics ranging from low-carbohydrate diets to electroconvulsive therapy for mental illnesses to retail therapy and its emotional impact.

BU Well uses three formats to deliver information: print, an informational YouTube video, and an infographic highlighting key aspects of an article or other health topic. The open-access journal will be available on Butler University’s Digital Commons website, http://digitalcommons.butler.edu/buwell/.

“BU Well is a unique experience that unites students from diverse backgrounds to create a journal that promotes health and wellness to an audience of all ages," said Skyler Walker, a second-year pharmacy student and Editor-in-Chief of BU Well. "Students gain valuable skills through the research, writing, infographic, and video process while learning their leadership style and how to effectively communicate interprofessionally. It's a one-of-a-kind experience that I have been privileged to be a part of these past two years, and I'm very excited to publish Volume 3."

Nearly 25 students from four of the six colleges at Butler University participated in the publication of the journal. Two Assistant Professors of Pharmacy Practice, Dr. Annette McFarland and Dr. Sheel M. Patel, serve as faculty advisors.

The fourth volume will accept submissions beginning in the fall semester. BU Well invites students, faculty, healthcare professionals and others to submit original healthcare-related articles for publishing consideration.

More information is available at BU Well’s Facebook page, https://www.facebook.com/BUWellJournal and on Twitter and Instagram @BUWellJournal.

 

 

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

 

AcademicsStudent Life

BU Well to Publish Its Third Volume

Student-Driven Multimedia Journal on Health, Wellness, and Life Sciences comes out April 20.

Apr 09 2018 Read more
AcademicsResearch

Bracket Busting in the Classroom

BY Marc Allan MFA ’18

PUBLISHED ON Mar 27 2019

If you believe the data, there will be no Cinderella winner of this year's NCAA men's and women's basketball tournaments.

Those are the findings of the students in Professor of Pharmacy Practice Chad Knoderer's Bracket Busting class, which focuses on how to use data analytics to make decisions. Knoderer, a Pediatric Pharmacist by training, has been teaching at Butler since 2008—typically in the College of Pharmacy and Health Sciences. But after using some sports-related statistics in his Pharmacy Statistics class and seeing the students' positive reaction to it, he created the Bracket Busting course for Butler's Core Curriculum.

Before the class considered college hoops, they turned to the pros. Early in the semester, the students looked at five years of NBA data to determine where the best places are to shoot from and what kind of shot a player should take (is a catch-and-shoot jumper better than a dribble-drive, pull-up jumper?).

The students were able to see trends over time and better understand why so many NBA teams rely on the three-point shot, as well as shots close to the hoop, from a value standpoint.

Just before spring break, the class turned their attention to March Madness. Knoderer had everyone  predict the top four seeds in each region of the men's bracket. But he gave them data only—no team names attached.

"They just had numbers associated with a team ID," he says. "So Team 956 could have been Duke. It could have been Gonzaga. They didn't necessarily know. They just knew performance data from the season. They knew the type of conference the team came from, but not the actual conference. They had to rank the team just as the selection committee would do."

When the students had ranked teams 1-16, he released the names of each school to go along with the data. Students then could adjust their brackets, if they chose to do so.

In the men’s tournament, most of Knoderer's students chose either Duke University or the University of North Carolina to win it all. (Knoderer picked Gonzaga, though he didn't make his choice strictly through analytics.)

In the women's tournament, the data pointed the students to Notre Dame or the University of Connecticut to cut down the net. (Knoderer picked Baylor, "but not too many were with me," he says.)

"They enjoyed the activity," he says. "A few of them said it was a lot more challenging than they thought—even when they knew which team was which."

After the NCAA unveiled the 2019 bracket, Knoderer assigned his students to predict the outcomes of the first-round games based on data alone. There, the students picked some upsets—"There's been some lean toward St. Mary's over Villanova, and Murray State-Marquette was a game of interest," he says—and learned the difference between choosing with their head versus their heart.

Jaret Rightley, a junior from New Palestine, Indiana, says the class, which combines his passions for statistics and sports, has been a great experience.

“It has changed the way I think about and watch sports, and it has been awesome to see the direct impact that the data actually plays in sports such as basketball and the NCAA tournament,” he says. “I look forward to going to this class each and every day, and I’m excited to see how this class evolves and the role analytics will continue to play in sports moving forward.”

Knoderer says he's also enjoying Bracket Busting, especially because he has an opportunity to teach students he doesn't normally interact with. Most of the students are from outside the College of Pharmacy and Health Sciences.

And he plans to teach the course again this summer—this time using baseball.

AcademicsResearch

Bracket Busting in the Classroom

If you believe the data, there will be no Cinderella winner of this year's NCAA basketball tournaments.

Mar 27 2019 Read more
For the second year in a row, Butler University is one of the nation’s best institutions for undergraduate education, according to The Princeton Review.
AcademicsCampus

Butler Makes Princeton Review’s ‘The Best 385 Colleges’ For Second Straight Time

BY Rachel Stern

PUBLISHED ON Aug 06 2019

For the second year in a row, Butler University is one of the nation’s best institutions for undergraduate education, according to The Princeton Review.

Butler is again included in the 2020 annual The Best 385 Colleges guidebook, which showcases the schools Princeton Review recommends to college applicants. Only about 13 percent of the country’s 3,000 four-year colleges and universities are profiled in The Best 385 Colleges, which is one of the company’s most popular guides.

“We chose the 385 colleges for this edition as our ‘best’ overall, academically based on data we gathered in 2018-19 from more than 1,000 school administrators about their schools’ academic programs and offerings,” said Robert Franek, The Princeton Review’s Editor-in-Chief and lead author of the book.

In Butler’s two-page profile in the book, students highlighted the impressive student-to-faculty ratio, the willingness of professors to collaborate with students on research, and the vast study abroad offerings.

Students said innovative technology is continually being introduced into the classroom, professors are willing to support student ideas and modify lectures to support student interests, and most coursework and internships provide real-life experiences.

“Different majors have inventive requirements and classes: some science classes have semester-long research projects; one class participated in a simulated village while studying modern China; while the business school has a Real Business Experience course,” the guidebook says.

Students highlighted the welcoming and accepting student body, along with the inclusive Butler culture.

The best 385 colleges are not ranked hierarchically. Published annually since 1992, the book features detailed descriptions of each college, including admission and graduation rates, as well as excerpts from surveys of students and graduates.

For the second year in a row, Butler University is one of the nation’s best institutions for undergraduate education, according to The Princeton Review.
AcademicsCampus

Butler Makes Princeton Review’s ‘The Best 385 Colleges’ For Second Straight Time

Students highlight experiential learning, study abroad offerings, innovation, and inclusive culture.

Aug 06 2019 Read more
Julian
AcademicsStudent LifePeople

Julian Wyllie '16 Named to Politico Journalism Institute

BY

PUBLISHED ON Mar 20 2018

Julian Wyllie '16, a Lacy School of Business graduate and former editor of The Butler Collegian, has been named to the 2018 class of the Politico Journalism Institute (PJI), an educational initiative supporting diversity in Washington area newsrooms.

PJI, which will be held May 29 to June 9, will offer 13 university students intensive, hands-on training in government and political reporting. Programming includes interactive sessions, panels with industry leaders, mentoring, and an opportunity for students to have their work published by Politico.

The PJI Class of 2018 also includes students from Yale, University of Southern California, and Georgetown. Two of the students will be selected at the end of the program for a three-month residency in the Politico newsroom where they will write, edit, and produce content.

All costs for PJI participants, including room, board, and transportation, are provided by Politico. Students split time between American University in Washington, D.C., and Politico headquarters in Arlington, Virginia.

"We're thrilled to welcome this exceptional new class of PJI students," said Politico Editor Carrie Budoff Brown. "Our class this year reflects the racial, geographic, and socioeconomic diversity that Politico is committed to nurturing. Our newsroom is looking forward to mentoring these talented young journalists, who will be at the forefront of tomorrow's political news landscape." 

Since graduating, Wyllie’s career has included stops at Governing magazine and The Chronicle of Higher Education.

"My time in Washington has been more than amazing so far," Wyllie said. "Being associated with anything as big as Politico is a great thing. But the best part about this program is that it gives me the chance to meet other hard-working young writers, who are all going through the struggles of trying to make it. Being around them feeds my desire to keep pushing myself and not let up. Overall, the success I've had is a direct result of skills I gained while attending Butler, where at The Collegian I stumbled on my life's passion."

 

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

Julian
AcademicsStudent LifePeople

Julian Wyllie '16 Named to Politico Journalism Institute

Program offers hands-on training in government and political reporting.

Mar 20 2018 Read more
Brain
AcademicsResearch

Outsmarting the Test: Concussions & ImPACT

BY Rachel Stern

PUBLISHED ON Jul 31 2018

INDIANAPOLIS – Before the start of most seasons, chances are high that athletes have gone through a computerized exam called ImPACT, or Immediate Post-Concussion Assessment and Cognitive Testing. It is a process that has become almost synonymous with preseason conditioning tests and two-a-days.

The ImPACT Test, one of the most widely used of several similar concussion management tools, is a computer-based test that measures shape recall, reaction time, attention, working memory, and other mental abilities. Individuals are given the test to establish a baseline score at the start of a season, then those who suffer a head injury are tested again before being allowed to return to play.

But, baseline results may not be as accurate as ImPACT claims.

According to new research from Butler University Director of Undergraduate Health Science Programs, Dr. Amy Peak, and former Butler health science student Courtney Raab, individuals are outsmarting the test. Previous studies, including one cited by ImPACT’s “Administration and Interpretation Manual,” say 89 percent of ‘sandbaggers,’ or individuals purposefully doing poorly on the test, are flagged. But, according to Peak and Raab’s research, only half are caught.

“If baseline scores aren’t accurate, that could likely lead to individuals returning to play before they are healed, or individuals returning to normal activity prior to their brain being ready,” Peak says. “This is a very dangerous situation because it is clear that individuals who have had one concussion are at greater risk of having subsequent concussions.”

So why cheat the system?

Many athletes don’t want to miss playing time. In fact, a study found in 2017 that nearly a third of athletes didn’t give their best effort on computerized neurocognitive tests, such as ImPACT.

The ImPACT Test is key when it comes to making return to play decisions. Though not the only determining factor, comparing test scores is routinely something trainers or doctors do to see if the individual can return to action or regular activities.

“Athletes get smart about how to take this test and they admit to wanting to return to action as soon as possible,” Peak says. “Some athletes ignore the risks, and just want to play, so if this test can be cheated, they will do it.”

Their research shows that those who attempted to sandbag were successful, as long as they didn’t try to do too poorly on the test.

There were 77 volunteers who participated in the study, 40 of whom were told to sandbag the test and 37 of whom were told to try their best. Of the 37 volunteers in the control group, none were flagged for invalid results. But of the 40 sandbaggers, 20 successfully tricked the test.

The key to not getting flagged by the test was to get questions wrong, but not too many questions.

“The group that scored much lower than our control got flagged, but the group that did bad, but not too bad were not caught,” Peak says. “Our research revealed that you can get away with doing poorly, sneak through with a low score, if your score isn’t outrageously low.”

Instead of the 89 percent rate of catching sandbaggers that previous research suggests, Peak and Raab’s research revealed just a 50 percent rate. However, Peak says, the takeaway is not to scrap the entire ImPACT Test. Peak says their research points to the fact that key aspects of the widely used test should be reevaluated.

The ImPACT Test’s five built-in invalidity indicators, which are designed to flag results which suggest underperformance, are not working well, she says. Peak and Raab’s research found that only two of those indicators detected more than 15 percent of test takers who tried to trick the test.

“There are some invalidity indicators that are really ineffective. Our research showed us that these indicators are not sensitive enough,” Peak says. “There are many things to consider. Are the indicators even right? Maybe the cutoffs should be higher? These are all important questions. But one thing we do know is that a much greater percentage of individuals can purposefully underperform without detection and we need to delve deeper into how to improve the test.”

 

Brain
AcademicsResearch

Outsmarting the Test: Concussions & ImPACT

 Butler University researchers show individuals outsmart popular concussion test 50% of time.

Jul 31 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. 

AcademicsStudent Life

Pathways for Success

Stories of the way less traveled

by Monica Holb ’09

from Spring 2018

Read more
AcademicsPeople

'A Reliable and Steady Presence'

BY

PUBLISHED ON May 14 2018

As part of a presentation she gave in late March, Becky Dolan talked about the importance of flexibility and adaptability in life. She pointed to her career as an example.

"I thought I would be a professor at a university," the Director of Butler's Friesner Herbarium said. "This was a different route. There was a lot of serendipity that happened along the way that worked out well for me."

Thirty-one years later, as she prepares to retire from Butler, Dolan looks back proudly at her achievements, which include working with her assistant Marcia Moore and many students to create a searchable database of more than 40,000 Indianapolis and Indiana dried, pressed, and preserved plant specimens.

"Largely because of her hard work," Butler Biology Professor Carmen Salsbury said, "the Friesner Herbarium is locally, regionally, and nationally recognized."

*

Dolan grew up in the Detroit area and moved with her family when she was in middle school to a suburban area that had woods, natural areas, and a creek. She liked spending time in the woods, and she was good in science—especially biology—so her high school guidance counselor suggested medical school.

She went to the University of Michigan, where she was one of 1,500 undergraduate pre-professional majors in biology. One of the required courses was botany.

"It was fascinating to me," she said. "I was struggling in an animal physiology class I was taking, but the botany came easily and it felt like things I already knew—and was learning again. I loved learning more about things I was seeing in the woods and understanding more about their biology and their life cycle and knowing their names."

She changed her major to botany—there were only 70 botany majors—and found both a subject she enjoyed and a tight-knit community.

After graduating, she moved to the University of Georgia for graduate school. She missed the burgeoning music scene in Athens, but she did meet her future husband, Tom, there. He was also a graduate student who had started school a year before her.

They had mutual friends, and at one point she learned that Tom and his girlfriend had broken up. She invited him to a campus movie. He blew her off, saying he had to study for a test, but the following week he called and they had dinner together.

*

In 1981, Tom and Becky got married. They decided they'd both apply for jobs and take the best offer. When Tom took a two-year position doing research at the University of California, Riverside, Becky took a job with an environmental-consulting firm, where she received some grants from the Bureau of Land Management to study rare plants in Napa and Sonoma counties.

After Tom was hired in 1985 to teach at Butler, the Holcomb Research Institute (HRI) at Butler, which employed a half-dozen Ph.D. plant ecologists studying areas like acid rain and the effects of air pollution, gave Becky a courtesy appointment so she could apply for grants and figure out ways to work with its researchers.

One of those projects turned out to be a study of a red-flowered prairie plant called royal catchfly. An HRI researcher named Eric Menges had been studying the plant for years and he was looking at how prairie management like burning or mowing was affecting the viability of populations to promote long-term management and preservation of them. She asked if he had genetic info. He said no. She said she could get it. They collaborated and published work on the effects of fire on promoting stability of these prairie plant populations.

Orie Loucks, then the director of the HRI, also funded a part-time position so she could work at the Friesner Herbarium. When HRI was closed a couple of years later, Paul Yu, Dean of College of Liberal Arts and Sciences, created the position of Director of the herbarium and hired her.

*

Dolan expanded the reach and scope of herbarium outreach, working with students such as Raelene Crandall '97 to inventory the plants in local parks. Dolan hadn't done field work in Indianapolis, so that was her first look at local plants. Through the years, Dolan did more inventories and studies in local parks and realized that they were a treasure trove of information about plants that can grow wild in the city. That led to a number of publications in urban ecology, a growing area of interest in the field of ecology.

Crandall, meanwhile, is now an Assistant Professor of Fire Science at University of Florida.

"Becky has consistently produced novel research that has evolved and expanded over time," Crandall said in a letter she wrote nominating Dolan for a Woman of Distinction Award. "Additionally, she has strived to digitize and improve the Friesner Herbarium, drawing researchers from all over the country to use and benefit from the plant collections. She has received many grants and mentored countless students over her long career at Butler University. Many researchers slow down in their later years, but in fact, we have discussed a new collaboration when she retires and moves to Florida."

Dolan's work locally coincided with the development of Butler's Center for Urban Ecology, which she worked on with Biology Professors Carmen Salsbury and Travis Ryan to get organized and funded. Salsbury said the CUE wouldn't exist without Dolan's dedication and leadership in its early years.

She described Dolan as "a reliable and steady presence in the department contributing tirelessly behind the scenes and in the larger Butler and surrounding communities to initiatives promoting plant research and conservation, student research experiences, citizen science opportunities, and educational outreach."

*

The new Director of the herbarium will be Emily Gillespie, who comes to Butler from Marshall University. She also will teach in the Department of Biological Sciences.

Becky and Tom Dolan, meanwhile, plan to spend most of the year living in a house they built on St. George Island, a pristine and quiet locale in the Florida panhandle. But Becky said she'll maintain some ties to Butler. She will have affiliate status with the Center for Urban Ecology and continue to work on projects she's started.

"This was an unexpected career path," Dolan said, "but I really appreciated the opportunities that Butler gave me and I'm proud of having sustained this position for more than 30 years."

 


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

 

AcademicsPeople

'A Reliable and Steady Presence'

Becky Dolan, who officially retires in August, has helped Butler's Friesner Herbarium become nationally recognized.

May 14 2018 Read more
AcademicsStudent Life

David Brooks to Deliver Spring Commencement Address

BY

PUBLISHED ON Apr 06 2018

David Brooks, an op-ed columnist for The New York Times, and a commentator on The PBS Newshour, NPR’s All Things Considered, and NBC’s Meet the Press, will deliver Butler University's 162nd Commencement address on Saturday, May 12, at Hinkle Fieldhouse.

Brooks will receive an honorary doctor of humane letters. In addition, Butler will honor the legacy of the late Julia and Andre Lacy by presenting posthumous honorary doctor of humane letters degrees in their memory. Nearly 900 students are expected to receive their diplomas. Commencement will start at 10:00 AM.

“Butler has made a concerted effort to celebrate civil discourse this year, both inside and outside the classroom,” President James Danko said. “Our campus has welcomed thought leaders who demonstrate humility and respect for diverse opinions—including Senator Richard Lugar, Congressman Lee Hamilton, Rev. Dr. Jamie Washington, historian Doris Kearns-Goodwin—and now author, columnist, and commentator David Brooks. They each bring to life the greater good that can be achieved through intellectual and civic engagement.”

Brooks has been a columnist at The New York Times since 2003, weighing in on the most pressing issues of our time. He has also written four books, the most recent of which was a New York Times bestseller.

In his most recent book, The Road to Character, Brooks writes that we live in a culture that encourages us to think about how to be wealthy and successful, but many of us are left inarticulate about how to cultivate the deepest inner life. He suggests we should confront our own weaknesses and grow in response.

Brooks earned a bachelor’s degree in history from the University of Chicago and, from there, became a police reporter for the City News Bureau, a news service owned by the Chicago Tribune and Sun Times. He then worked at The Washington Times and The Wall Street Journal for nine years, serving as op-ed editor at The Journal.

Brooks has covered Russia, the Middle East, South Africa and European affairs. While at The Journal, he also served as movie critic and editor of the book review section.

Recognized as champions of business and education throughout Central Indiana, the Lacy Family offered their time, talent, and philanthropy to causes that improved communities and the well-being of others. Their most notable act of generosity came in 2016, when they made the largest gift ever given by an individual or family to Butler, $25 million, renaming the School of Business the Andre B. Lacy School of Business.

Butler's selection of commencement speakers and honorary degree recipients is a result of a nomination process, the feedback received from Butler community members, and the formal approval of the Board of Trustees.

More about Spring 2018 Commencement activities is available at www.butler.edu/commencement.

 

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

 

 

 

AcademicsStudent Life

David Brooks to Deliver Spring Commencement Address

The op-ed columnist for The New York Times will deliver Butler University's 162nd Commencement address on Saturday, May 12, at Hinkle Fieldhouse.

Apr 06 2018 Read more

Going Places: Studying Abroad in the Sciences

By Marc Allan, MFA '18

Chemistry Professor Stacy O’Reilly remembers looking at the other science disciplines and thinking, "They're going places. Why can't we?"

O’Reilly wanted Chemistry students to have the opportunity to see the world, learn from other cultures, and put their classroom education into practice—something they didn't typically get to do because they were so busy with coursework.

That was in 2015.

Soon after, she got a call from a tour company about putting together a study-abroad trip for Chemistry students. In less than 10 months, she and colleague Michael Samide developed a course centered on Chemistry and sustainable energy in Germany and Switzerland. They took 18 students to visit two hydroelectric power plants and, by the time they left, better understood how water is used to create electricity, the finances required to build such a facility, and the economic impact a plant can have on a community.

Fast-forward three years: 87 students have taken Chemistry's study-abroad course in various incarnations: Chemistry and Food, Chemistry and Art Conservation Science, and Chemistry and Fermentation. There are courses with embedded study tours planned out through 2021—including one for Butler alumni, employees, their families, and friends called Beer, Wine, Cheese, and Chocolate. (More at https://blue.butler.edu/~msamide/AlumniTour2020/)

"So often, our science students are so engaged in the work to finish their science degree," O'Reilly says. "They don't have a lot of flexibility in their schedules. One of the things we like about this program is that it's not a full semester abroad, it's not a full summer abroad, but it gives them a taste of international travel."

"The language of science bridges culture," Samide adds. “There's a common bond they feel between cultures. I think it makes the world a little smaller for them. They feel more globally connected."

Students who take CH418 spend the semester building their background in the subject area, the idea being that they have the scientific knowledge they need before they travel. Then, when they go overseas in early May, they can integrate the science with the culture and society they're visiting and have conversations with experts.

Ben Zercher '16 was among the students who went on that first study tour. When he first heard about the opportunity to study abroad, he was excited because "Chemistry can get lost in textbook learning and memorizing."Student Feeding Goat

"I wasn't sure how they'd work chemistry into a study abroad program, but we started looking at renewable energy systems that are used around the world and I was excited for the trip because it would give the class some cultural context to the curriculum we go over," said Zercher, now a graduate student at the University of Washington in Seattle. "We moved around a lot and saw a lot of different applications of what we had learned in the course."

Zercher said what he looks for in Chemistry are ways to better society. The study-abroad trip showed him that the United States is lagging the leading countries when it comes to renewable energy. "Maybe I can help change the cultural acceptance of science and how we apply it to renewable energy," he said.

Heidi Kastenholz '19, took the Chemistry and Art Conservation Science tour in 2017, which met during the spring semester to prepare the students for what they would see at conservation and research laboratories in Germany.

She said she chose to go because she's always been interested in art and she wanted "to be able to take what I'm learning in class and see it applied to something I have a great interest in and to be able to learn and to see it in a new way."

The experience so intrigued Kastenholz that she continued to look into conservation science. This summer, she presented a Butler Summer Institute project called "Case Studies of Reference Materials in Conservation Science."

Kastenholz came to Butler wanting to be an optometrist. Until last summer, that was her goal.

"Because of my awesome experience, I'm actually having a really tough time trying to figure out if I do want to do optometry or if I want to pursue a career in culture heritage Chemistry because I think it's a fascinating field that most people don't know about," she says.

As for the Chemistry study abroad class, "I think it's my favorite class I've ever taken at Butler, and this is my fourth year," Kastenholz says. "I think that speaks a lot about what the Chemistry Department has been putting into these short-term study abroad programs. Sometimes, when you're a Chemistry or Biology major, you feel like you can't take that whole semester. But they're making it so easy to be able to go abroad for a short time. I don't know how you can say no to it."

*

Although study abroad is relatively new to Chemistry, it's been part of Butler's sciences programs for at least 30 years, dating back to Biology's first trip to look at marine life in Belize. Physics and Astronomy also has been taking students to Japan, Spain, Chile and China for at least 10 years.

The College of Liberal Arts and Sciences believes so strongly in study abroad for science students that it offers financial assistance through Seitz Awards, which assist Natural Science students who desire to study science and conduct research abroad, outside the normal academic classroom setting. Sophomores and junior status majoring in Biology, Chemistry, Physics and Mathematics are eligible to apply. (Psychology majors studying Physiological or Cognitive/Neuropsychology, or Anthropology majors studying Biological Anthropology, Primatology, or Archaeology also are eligible to apply.)

The Seitz funds have provided financing for students to study all over the world—China, Tanzania, South Africa—and propelled the careers of graduates who've gone on to research and travel the world fighting infectious diseases.

The Biology Department has been taking students on study-abroad trips to Belize every other year since the 1980s, thanks in part to the Seitz Awards. There, students get what often is their first exposure to the tropics and marine ecosystems in the second largest barrier reef in the world, said Biology Professor Carmen Salsbury, who has led the trip, which goes every other year, since joining the Butler faculty 17 years ago.

"It gives us the opportunity to dive in deeply—excuse the pun—to those particular habitats," she said.

Prior to trip, students spend the first part of the semester learning about marine ecology. In the laboratory, they learn to identify organisms. They come to know what the fish are, as well as the ecology of the invertebrates. When they travel to Belize during spring break—they stay on one of the largest island off the coast of Belize, Ambergris Caye, which has a small fishing village that is a popular tourist destination—they're on or in the water from 9:00 AM to 4:00 PM daily.

In evenings, there's class to review everything they saw. The students make a list of species and where they're found so they can see the different patterns of diversity.

They also take one day for a side trip to visit the Mayan ruins and the rainforest.

Salsbury says study abroad trips are important for students to broaden their worldview.

Students Abroad"This goes well beyond science," she says. "The walk from where we stay to the dock is maybe five blocks. The students walk by houses where there are no windows, there are dirt floors, there are feral dogs everywhere. Chickens and roosters wake them up in the morning because they're wandering the streets. The streets aren't paved. It's a very different experience. I don't think you can give students a sense of what's that about until they see it for themselves."

In the years when Biology students aren't going to Belize, they're traveling to Panama for an immersive tropical biology course. There, they walk the Pipeline Road, where over 400 species of birds can be observed at one time or another. They witness researchers collecting bats, take a crane ride more than 130 feet in the air to see the tops of the forest and meet the researchers on Barro Colorado Island, the most intensively studied tropical forest.

That course is heavily subsidized through an endowment from Frank Levinson '75, part of a $5 million gift to the sciences in 2007 that also enabled the University to buy the Big Dawg supercomputer and make upgrades to the Holcomb Observatory telescope. Biology Department Chair Travis Ryan said Levinson's endowment covers more than half the course and also pays for two Butler interns to spend the summer interning at the Smithsonian Tropical Research Institute in Panama.

One of every three Butler interns who works there becomes an author on a paper they helped collect data on, and most have their own independent project they're working on while they're interning, Ryan said.

*

Physics Chair Gonzalo Ordonez said his department has used Seitz Awards for several years. Professor Xianming Han has taken students to China, while Ordonez has gone with others to Japan and Spain.

"That's been really helpful for our students, and it really improves their prospects for grad school," Ordonez said. "They get involved in more serious research and they might get interested in a field that they didn't know before."

Bradley Magnetta '15 went to Osaka on a Seitz Award in the summer of 2014. He was in Japan for a month, studying and collaborating with Ordonez's colleagues there.

Magnetta participated in all the research opportunities available to him at Butler and had a wealth of experience in research in general when he took the study trip.

"I already had a base foundation for my project and I was really ready to start collaborating with people in general," he says. "I knew I wanted to start collaborating. I heard about this program and I knew that Dr. Ordonez had colleagues working on similar things that I was interested in. So it was a natural fit to pick Japan and Osaka."

He describes the experience as "excellent," not just academically but on a personal level. It was his first opportunity to leave the country, he collaborated with a graduate research group—"which as an undergrad was a really cool experience"—and he got to be around different people from different backgrounds and discover that there's a universal language in sciences and mathematics.

Magnetta said he went in with questions on his project and, through collaboration, was able to answer them. He published the results a couple of years later.

Today, Magnetta is working on a doctorate in applied physics at Yale University and grateful to have had the chance to study abroad.

"I absolutely recommend it," Magnetta said. "A trip like this really adds clarity because once I get into grad school, I felt very comfortable. When I joined a research group, it was a very familiar feeling because I had already spent a month with a graduate level research group in Japan. So it prepared me for what the group dynamics were. That trip prepared me for my future in a number of ways and I would recommend it to anyone."

Study Abroad Group in Germany
AcademicsStudent Life

Going Places: Studying Abroad in the Sciences

Although study abroad is relatively new to Chemistry, it's been part of Butler's sciences programs for at least 30 years.
#ButlerBoundAcademics

#ButlerBound: Where are They Now?

BY Jeff Stanich '16

PUBLISHED ON Nov 16 2018

For five years, the #ButlerBound program has delivered good news to prospective students around the country. With a personal touch and a lot of drool, Trip - Butler’s live mascot - surprises future Bulldogs with their acceptance letters or scholarship announcements.

We followed up with three current students who once received the furry herald to hear about their #ButlerBound experience and to find out what they are doing now.

 

Allan Schneider

One room. Dozens of applicants. Only a few full-ride scholarships on the line.

This is the stressful scene Allan Schneider sets while recounting the final leg of a marathon he’d been on his entire life to get to Butler University. As an Indianapolis native, Allan couldn’t help but view Butler as the cream of the crop when it came to colleges. But the reality of actually attending was a little more sobering.

“It was always my number one choice, but by the time I was applying it fell because of the cost,” Schneider says, now a psychology major in the Class of 2022. “I only felt that the scholarship interview went fine, which didn’t boost my confidence. But the worst part was hearing it would be three more weeks before I found out if I got it.”

But it would only take three days.

After being instructed to stay in his study hall to show prospective parents and students around, Allan heard one of his teachers, a Butler alumna herself, shriek in delight down the hall.

“Then in walks Trip with his handler and he asks: ‘Are you Allan Schneider?’ I knew right away what was happening. All I could think was: don’t look like an idiot,” Schneider says. “That was the start of the best day of my life. For sure.”

Trip and his handler, Michael Kaltenmark, didn’t have to travel far that day. Allan’s study hall room at Bishop Chatard High School is only three miles east from Butler’s campus. They arrived by van, but had it been Allan on the other end of Trip’s leash, they would’ve arrived on foot.

Allan had been running cross country for most of his life, an extracurricular that sent him on a path through Butler’s campus almost every day for practice. As a kid, every student and professor with whom he interacted was friendly and treated him like an equal. That warmth stuck with Allan, setting the expectations high for his Butler experience even after accepting the scholarship.

But time and time again, Butler continues to exceed those expectations. After underperforming on an exam, one of his professors offered to walk him through all the questions he had, which was when Allan recognized the professor sincerely cared about how he was doing.

“Not just in the class, but in my everyday life, which kind of shocked me,” Schneider says. “This really made me realize how incredible everyone at Butler is, and how the people here truly care about you and want you to succeed in every aspect of your life.”

For the younger Allan Schneider who once ran through Holcomb Gardens as a child, he is living a dream come true.

The bell tower is still ringing with every passing hour. The campus remains home to friendly faces. And he is still running, growing every step of the way.

 

Keelen Barlow

It’s only ever taken one question to find Keelen Barlow in a game of Guess Who: “Does your character wear a Butler t-shirt?”

“I’ve been wearing one for as long as I can remember, probably since I was two. That’s when my grandpa and grandma started taking me to all the basketball games at Hinkle,” Barlow says. “This place has always been a second home for me ever since.”

Which is why it was all the more special when, in the middle of an otherwise average week, Keelen’s mom made sure he didn’t have any plans made for the following Wednesday after school. Surprises like this weren’t the norm in the Barlow household, so Keelen started working on some theories.

He knew he was waiting to hear if he had been accepted into Butler. He knew his mom wouldn’t set aside time for bad news. He also knew that another Indianapolis native, Allan Schneider, got a personal visit from Butler’s live mascot, Trip, with the news that he was Butler Bound after reading about it in the IndyStar.

Days later, while watching a soccer game with his buddy Jared, Keelen voiced his suspicions for the very first time: “What if Trip is coming to my house on Wednesday?”

He was spot on.

Many members of his extended family gathered around on that Wednesday, including the grandma he’s continued going to every basketball game with after his grandpa passed when he was five. Then, right on cue, Trip and Kaltenmark knocked on the door with a special delivery.

“I don’t necessarily want to say that every moment of my life had been leading up to that, but…” Barlow says, “that’s kind of exactly how it felt.”

Now, as a journalism major in his first year, Keelen is still going wherever the next hunch takes him. But no matter where every uncertain lead goes, whether it's covering a local beat for class or on assignment for the Butler Collegian, Keelen knows he is exactly where he needs to be.

“Back when I made my first official visit, my current advisor Scott Bridge told me: ‘We’d love to have you. And whether you come here or not, know that I’m here for you,’” Barlow says. “He spoke to me like I was a real person, not another applicant. I didn’t feel that anywhere else.”

Unlike other first-year students, Keelen has a deeper appreciation for the way campus has evolved without losing its essence since he first arrived as a child. Because, in a way, the same can be said of him.

“Of course I still wear Butler t-shirts,” Barlow said. “There’s just a whole lot more around me now.”

 

Brooke Blevins

You probably can’t describe a seahawk as well as you can count off teams and schools that use the bird as its mascot. South River High School in Edgewater, MD, is one of those schools.

So you can imagine the confusion South River’s players and fans felt as a bulldog panted his way into the locker room before a women’s basketball game.

But that night, Brooke Blevins felt clarity. She was going to be a bulldog, too.

“My younger brother and I hadn’t put Butler on our list of schools to visit initially, but it ended up being on the way between other options,” says Blevins, now a sophomore studying with the College of Communication. “I knew right away once I got to campus that Butler was a place I could definitely call home.”

That feeling ended up being the key ingredient to her success. Because being 600 miles away from home for the first time not only brought the occasional wave of isolation, it also left Brooke without plans for her first fall break. With her new peers making plans for quick visits home to reconnect with family and friends, Brooke’s options dwindled as the days passed.

“But then someone recommended that I apply for the Fall Alternative Break, and honestly everything I’ve really loved about Butler since started with that trip,” Blevins says. “Doors for more and more opportunities just keep opening up.”

After spending a long weekend in Kentucky by helping with affordable housing projects, Brooke put herself up to be on the committee for the following year’s trip. She turned those connections into a job with the volunteer center on campus. Then into a six-month internship in Singapore working in her dream field of event management, all while juggling the demands of a double-major in Human Communication & Organizational Leadership and Strategic Communication.

That’s a full plate for any student, but one that Brooke never takes for granted.

“I’ve discovered new passions and ways to follow them to their highest potential,” she says. “Even though I feel like I’ve already been able to do so much with my time at Butler, I know there is still so much more to look forward to.”

Brooke traces all the excitement in her voice back to that night in her high school gymnasium, when the desire to attend Butler was fulfilled in the form of bulldog waiting just for her.

“I see Trip every once in a while on campus, but I can’t be sure if he recognizes me since he’s always surrounded by a crowd of students.”

A crowd of students who, just like Brooke, see that bulldog and know they’re home.

#ButlerBoundAcademics

#ButlerBound: Where are They Now?

Hear from three current students who once received #ButlerBound visits to find out what they are doing now.

Nov 16 2018 Read more
AcademicsCommunity

You Are Not Alone

BY Marc D. Allan MFA '18

PUBLISHED ON Dec 17 2018

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

 

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

AcademicsCommunity

You Are Not Alone

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

Dec 17 2018 Read more
AcademicsStudent Life

'The Mall' Lets First-Year Students Publish

BY Peyton Thompson '20

PUBLISHED ON Mar 22 2018

First-year class president Elizabeth Bishop is a Marketing and Strategic Communications double-major who has always had a passion for writing.

So when Jim Keating, the instructor in her First-Year Seminar (FYS) course Utopian Experience, and some of her friends encouraged her to submit her writing to The Mall, she said she would.

The Mall is a journal dedicated to showcasing exemplary FYS work. First-year students can submit a piece of literary analysis and criticism, a creative writing piece, or a personal essay. Bishop said she will be submitting an analysis of alienation in literature and why it is so common among characters.

"I'm so excited to have the opportunity to have my work published in The Mall," Bishop said. "I've really enjoyed my FYS and I feel as though it has definitely helped me develop as a writer. I think it's wonderful that Butler is giving us this opportunity and I'm highly anticipating reading everyone's entries!”

The Mall, now in its fifth year, was created by Adjunct Professor Nicholas Reading, with a push from English Professor Susan Neville.

"She sparked the idea of publishing student’s work, and just needed someone to take initiative and do it,” Reading said.

He said students are not required to have a certain grade on their work to submit. It is also possible to submit multiple papers, and in some cases, be published twice.

The most recent edition of The Mall was 201 pages, with all different kinds of pieces submitted by students. In all, 34 papers were published.

Reading said The Mall serves three primary goals:

-To present to the Butler community the FYS program and increase awareness about the program and the work that is produced in FYS courses.

-To build an FYS learning resource for instructors so that they will have the opportunity to use published essays as learning tools in the classrooms and to provide models of exemplary FYS writing to new students.

-To empower first-year students and give their voices and opinions a forum to be heard.

The Mall is edited by FYS students. Throughout the process, students exercise the peer-review and collaborative learning skills practiced in their FYS courses. Similarly, the journal provides a forum for students to be published and have an opportunity to showcase their work.

“Our purpose is to empower students in their writing," Reading said. "That is the end goal. To understand that the written word will always be an integral and indispensable facet of our existence. To understand that as writers, we have the opportunity to participate in larger discussions that work to elevate us all. To own that voice, and use it passionately and responsibly, can be an exhilarating feeling. And we try to showcase the results of that journey.”

Goals of FYS

  • To reflect on significant questions about yourself, your community, and your world.
  • To develop the capacity to read and think critically.
  • To develop the capacity to write clear and persuasive expository and argumentative essays with an emphasis on thesis formation and development.
  • To gain an understanding of basic principles of oral communication as they apply to classroom discussion.
  • To understand the liberal arts as a vital and evolving tradition and to see yourself as agents within that tradition.
  • To develop capacities for careful and open reflection on questions of values and norms.
  • To develop the ability to carry out research for the purpose of inquiry and to support claims.

                                                         

 

 

 

AcademicsStudent Life

'The Mall' Lets First-Year Students Publish

The journal is dedicated to showcasing exemplary FYS work.

Mar 22 2018 Read more
AcademicsPeople

Dean Shelley Honored for Contributions to Teacher Education

BY

PUBLISHED ON Feb 01 2016

Ena Shelley, Dean of Butler University’s College of Education (COE) since 2005 and a professor in the College since 1982, has been selected to receive the Edward C. Pomeroy Award for Outstanding Contributions to Teacher Education from the American Association of Colleges of Teacher Education (AACTE).

The award will be presented to the Dean on February 23 in Las Vegas.

The Pomeroy Award is given to a person or persons who have made exceptional contributions to AACTE, to a national or state organization involved in teacher education, or to persons responsible for the development of exemplary teacher education initiatives.

Shelley provided the leadership to create the first Butler University memo of understanding between the University and the Indianapolis Public Schools (IPS) to establish Shortridge Magnet High School for Law and Public Policy (now Shortridge International Baccalaureate High School). In addition, she led creation of the IPS/Butler University Laboratory School, focused on early childhood and elementary education.

She also was instrumental in bringing Reggio-inspired educational practices to Indiana through the Indianapolis Reggio Collaborative. She was able to bring an international exhibit from Reggio Emilia, Italy, to the Indiana Statehouse for a six-month stay that provided many professional development experiences for hundreds of educators from around and beyond the state.

“Each success in the College of Education is not from a solo experience in my role as a Dean, but rather it is a beautiful symphony created by colleagues in the College and in the schools,” Shelley said. “There is a saying that ‘a leader is only as good as the team that surrounds them,’ and I have found that to be very true. I truly have the dream team in my College.”

Shelley’s approach to education is well known around the COE and Butler: “The College of Education believes we must prepare our students for schools as they should be, not simply perpetuating schools as they currently exist. We must be willing to explore with our students the difficult issues of inequities that exist in our schools and society and to help them to become agents of change.”

Shelley’s COE colleagues said her efforts on behalf of the College, its faculty, staff, and students have been outstanding.

“She has always been charismatic, clear in her vision and integrity, but at her core profoundly decent and kind,” said Professor of Education Arthur Hochman. “This is the reason that she makes so many connections, achieves what might appear impossible, and the reason that so many want to walk in her wake.”

“If you are looking for a positive educator and advocate who challenges the status quo and works tirelessly at lifting up the greatest profession in the world, then look no further,” Associate Dean Debra Lecklider wrote on Shelley’s behalf.

Shelley earned her Bachelor of Science, Master of Science, and Doctor of Philosophy from Indiana State University.

“Each day I see the future of education in the talented young people who have chosen it as their vocation,” she said. “These young people could do anything, and they want to teach. I see great teachers doing extremely difficult work as I spend time in the schools. It will be up to our society to invest in educators by valuing the teaching profession and remembering that our democracy was founded on providing a free public education to all citizens.”

 

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

AcademicsPeople

Dean Shelley Honored for Contributions to Teacher Education

Ena Shelley, Dean of Butler University’s College of Education (COE) since 2005 and a professor in the College since 1982, has been selected to receive the Edward C. Pomeroy Award for Outstanding Contributions to Teacher Education from the American Association of Colleges of Teacher Education (AACTE).

Feb 01 2016 Read more
AcademicsPeople

Butler Librarian Wins National Award for Innovation

BY

PUBLISHED ON Mar 21 2018

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

 

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

 

 

AcademicsPeople

Butler Librarian Wins National Award for Innovation

Teresa Williams created the Business Research Workshop.

Mar 21 2018 Read more

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.” 

Academics

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
Academics

Butler Introduces The New York City Learning Semester

BY

PUBLISHED ON Nov 29 2017

Students will spend a semester interning and learning in Manhattan.

For more than a decade, Butler University has been offering students a chance to spend a semester interning and taking classes in Washington DC. Beginning in fall 2018, students will have that same opportunity in New York City.

Rusty Jones, Faculty Director of the Center for High Achievement and Scholarly Engagement, said the New York City Learning Semester will be offered to juniors and seniors of all majors with a minimum 3.0 grade-point average.

Butler will offer six credits of internships and nine credits of electives related to New York. The University is arranging for housing, either in the city or Brooklyn Heights.

“I think the experience provides the opportunity for significant personal and professional growth,” Jones said. “Our students will live and work in the nation’s largest city, developing valuable work experience, while also learning from the diverse, multi-cultural population in Manhattan.”

The New York program will be similar to DC in that students will work as interns Monday through Thursday for 30 hours. Two, three-credit courses will be offered during the semester in subjects such as City as Text and Public Art and Architecture. A New York offering might include an Intro to Wall Street course, Jones said.

Those classes will meet Tuesday and Wednesday nights.

In addition, three, one-credit courses will be offered on various weekends. In Washington, for example, Political Science Professor Terri Jett is scheduled to teach a Black History course that includes a visit to the National Museum of African American History and Culture, and Sociology Professor Antonio Menendez has taught a class on immigration.

“Most of the students in DC choose to take all the classes,” Jones said. “I think they find them fun and they leave DC as real experts in that area.”

Jones said after students are accepted to the program, he will meet with them individually to help them line up an internship in New York. He also will be checking with Butler alumni in New York to see if they have internship opportunities.

“Butler people tend to be very loyal,” he said. “I wouldn’t be surprised if they’ll be excited to have Butler students come and intern with them.”

Claire Jacobi, a Sports Media and Strategic Communications major from Batavia, Illinois, spent a semester in Washington interning at the United States Holocaust Memorial Museum. She said she strongly encourages Butler students to study in a different city, whether it be across the country or across the world.

“I loved my experience in Washington DC,” she said. “It was eye-opening, fun, and allowed me to take a huge step out of my comfort zone. It gave me real-life experiences and I feel it helped prepare me for life after college.”

Students have until February to apply for the New York trip, and Jones said he doesn’t expect to limit the number of students who can participate.

“There’s plenty of time for students to work with their advisers and figure out if this is a fit,” he said. “I want anybody who participates to make sure they stay on track with their graduation plan, and if it does fit their professional goals and their academic goals, I’d love to see them in the program.”

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

Academics

Butler Introduces The New York City Learning Semester

For more than a decade, Butler University has been offering students a chance to spend a semester interning and taking classes in Washington DC. Beginning in fall 2018, students will have that same opportunity in New York City.

Nov 29 2017 Read more
AcademicsPeople

What Makes a Leader? Professors' Research Offers Insight

BY

PUBLISHED ON Feb 16 2018

WHAT MAKES A LEADER? PROFESSORS’ RESEARCH OFFERS INSIGHT

ON  

When most think about leadership, a CEO, or All-Star, or conductor might come to mind. Think Jeff Bezos, LeBron James, or Yo-Yo Ma. 

Turns out, we may have it all wrong.  

That’s according to new research from two Butler University Lacy School of Business professors. Instead of relying primarily on those at the top to lead—and only those at the top—the most successful organizations are full of individuals who lead from wherever they are, according to their research.  

“We have a top-centric idea of leadership in America and we tend to attribute far too much of the performance of an organization to the person at the top of it,” said Craig Caldwell, Associate Dean of Graduate and Professional Programs. “That doesn’t accurately describe reality of how work gets done and it often results in the rest of us feeling like we are powerless cogs. Many people think that because they are not in a formal management role in the company, or the superstar of the team, they cannot be a leader. Our research shows that you can have a significant impact no matter where you are in an organization.” 

Caldwell and Jerry Toomer, along with their co-authors, conducted more than 80 interviews across three sectors–business, the arts, and sports—to find out what traits define those individuals who make teams better. They call this The Catalyst Effect, which is also the title of their book that was published this week.  

The book highlights 12 key competencies, centered on four cornerstones, that are the foundation of catalytic behavior. These competencies were gleaned from interviews with a wide cross-section of people, including bass players and concert masters, amateur athletes and professional athletes, business leaders and technical professionals.  

“The magic of being a catalyst that sparks team performance is the ability to master most of the 12 competencies and use them in concert, at the right time,” said Toomer, an Executive Partner and Adjunct Professor. “The catalytic effect is maximized by using all of them to elevate the performance of the team.” 

The four cornerstones are:  

  • Building credibility 
  • Creating cohesion 
  • Generating momentum 
  • Amplifying impact  
     

“My hope is that with this research we invite team members to realize that they can lead without formal authority. That they can lead from wherever they are, in whatever setting they work or play,” Toomer said. “We almost always think about leadership from a position of authority in traditional organization structures. This suggests that the most successful teams and organizations value everyone leading in unique, value-adding ways.” 

Now, they say, the key is to train individuals in organizations to look for talent in a new way. If CEOs, for example, have a better understanding of the catalyst effect, they may change the metrics they use to identify talent. 

“Right now, we look for superstars—those who sold the most in dollar volume, who stuffed the stat sheet in the last game or played the most notable solo,” Caldwell said. “Our research team believes that we have a lot of people flying below the radar. We need to view our high performers in new ways.”

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

 

AcademicsPeople

What Makes a Leader? Professors' Research Offers Insight

Craig Caldwell and Jerry Toomer have a new book, "The Catalyst Effect."

Feb 16 2018 Read more

Butler's Healthcare and Business Major

Amy Peak ’97

from Spring 2017

Here we grow again! Innovative programs continue to be developed and implemented all over campus.  The novel undergraduate Healthcare and Business (HCB) major, a unique partnership between the Lacy School of Business and the College of Pharmacy and Health Sciences, is a perfect example. This program, which began in August 2016, consists of a nucleus of liberal arts, science, healthcare, and business experiences surrounded by a plethora of elective options. This adaptable new bachelor’s degree program will prepare students for direct entry into the workforce in areas which include, but are not limited to, healthcare marketing, health insurance and risk management, healthcare finance, healthcare information technology, healthcare data analytics, healthcare policy, and much more. HCB is also excellent preparation for graduate programs such as Master of Health Administration, Master of Public Health, Master of Business Administration, and multiple clinical graduate programs.

Two fundamental themes within the HCB program are collaboration and flexibility. Throughout the four- year curriculum, HCB majors have more than a dozen courses in common with health science majors. In these courses, future healthcare providers, administrators, insurers, and business leaders all work and learn together. By purposefully combining these cohorts of students throughout their undergraduate experience, we believe tomorrow’s generation of healthcare leaders will be better equipped to solve complex problems in a modern healthcare environment.    

Flexibility is also essential. Over half of today’s college-students change their major at least once, and over 20 percent change majors three times or more. The HCB program is designed to provide students with the flexibility to explore and pursue different career options without necessitating a major change.  Over 50 elective course options are available, allowing students to customize their educational experience to optimally prepare for their individual career goals.   

As this new program grows, we are actively seeking support from our alumni, friends, and community members. If you are an individual whose career is in the business of healthcare, and you are willing to allow a HCB student to shadow you for a half day or more, please provide your contact information here.  (add link-need a tiny url here if you can or ask Nancy)  If your organization currently offers, or is interested in developing internships for which HCB students may apply, please contact Amy Peak at apeak@butler.edu.

Academics

Butler's Healthcare and Business Major

Here we grow again!

by Amy Peak ’97

from Spring 2017

Read more
Academics

Lacy School of Business Named Outstanding On-Campus MBA Program by Princeton Review

BY Marc Allan

PUBLISHED ON Nov 07 2018

Butler University's Lacy School of Business has been named one of the 252 outstanding on-campus MBA programs in the Princeton Review's “Best Business Schools for 2019.” The school profiles and rankings can be found at https://www.princetonreview.com/best-business-schools.

The best on-campus MBA list is based on a combination of institutional and student survey data, including career outcomes, admissions selectivity, and academic rigor, among others. The on-campus MBA programs are listed 1 to 252, rather than ranked hierarchically.

“We’re honored to be recognized, and we are incredibly proud of the graduates who come out of our program to make an immediate impact in their organizations and community,” said Lacy School of Business Dean Steve Standifird.

The Butler entry in the Princeton Review says that the MBA program's focus on applying real world experiences to the classroom "provides an MBA experience that makes it very popular for residents of the region." Flexibility was noted, with one student saying, “If you want a concentration that is not offered, professors will work with you to tailor your education needs/wishes.”

The program also was praised for having a “good balance of difficult and moderately easy classes” and a helpful, responsive administration that works with students on every aspect of their education. The school's leadership “is very willing to make integrating the learning experience with busy careers and family lives” a priority, and it shows in the number of students who juggle active careers and busy class schedules.

The Princeton Review writes that "students who want to be surrounded by those with real life experience will find Butler to be a welcoming environment." It noted that "a consistent trait is that students here are 'committed, smart and friendly,' and described students as "more supportive than competitive; people are down to earth and have a good sense of humor.”

"For students in the Midwest in particular, Butler provides good inroads to a career," the Review says, adding that when Forbes recently ranked the 200 largest metropolitan areas in the United States to determine which were the best places for business and careers, Indianapolis ranked in the top ten.

"All those traits—the real-world focus, flexibility, support, and work-life balance—are what we strive to deliver, along with the experiences and credentials that lead to long-term career progression and success," Standifird said. "We believe in the power of hands-on, student-focused, experiential learning, and saturate our program with opportunities to apply classroom concepts to real-world situations."

Butler's MBA program offers concentrations in finance, international business, leadership, entrepreneurship and innovation, and marketing. Graduates have gone on to work for companies such as Eli Lilly and Company, Roche, M&I Bank, Regions Bank, Firestone, and the NCAA.

 

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

Academics

Lacy School of Business Named Outstanding On-Campus MBA Program by Princeton Review

The Lacy School of Business has been named an outstanding on-campus MBA program by the Princeton Review.

Nov 07 2018 Read more
Donkey, Blue, Elephant
AcademicsPeopleResearchStudent Life

(Bull)Dog Days on the Campaign Trail

BY Sarah Bahr

PUBLISHED ON Oct 31 2018

What awaited Butler University sophomore Jon Gray-Smith inside the small, ramshackle house on a Saturday in Grant County in northeast Indiana this summer was less than inviting.

Maybe I should just skip this one, the Indiana Republican Party field intern mused before walking up the front porch steps.

But Gray-Smith knocked on the door, took a step back (no one wants to be accosted by a stranger, he says), and was greeted by. . .

A nearly nude older white man. Toting a shotgun. And wearing only a pair of white underpants.

While that’s his horror story, Gray-Smith says it’s not out of the ordinary for canvassers to work in less-than-ideal conditions.

Jon and Luke Messer
Jon Gray-Smith with Luke Messer

“People don’t always have a lot of clothes on when they answer the door,” he says. “And, in my experience, a ‘Beware of Dog’ sign is typically correct.”

The life of a political intern is hardly glamorous.They get chased by dogs. Confronted by half-dressed old men packing heat. Screamed at like they’re the second coming of Cruella de Vil. And most of the time, they do it for free.

But Butler students also intern with political campaigns in increasingly large numbers. At a time when the political stakes are at an all-time high, Butler students are dotting the state, serving in a variety of  roles with political parties. From answering phones, to crafting press releases, to knocking on doors, Butler students say it is not just the skills garnered in their political science classes that have helped, but also the skills from their journalism, business, and history classes, for example, that have prepared them for when they are thrown into the real-world political fire. Or even faced with a semi-clothed man at the door.

 

“A Dream Come True”

Knocking on 527 doors for 12 hours in Indiana’s blistering July heat isn’t most people’s idea of a good time.

But Gray-Smith, the Vice President of the Butler University College Republicans, says each interaction motivates him to seek out the next one.

“I’m talking to voters who sometimes have never talked to someone about an election in their whole life,” he says.

Gray-Smith says people are often surprised by his age.

“I had a lot of people tell me, ‘It’s so good to see a young person out here doing this,’” he says. ‘That keeps me going.’”

And, unlike at many political events, he enjoyed bipartisan support.

“I had so many people offer me bottles of water, Gatorade, Powerade, anything to help me stay cool,” he says. “They told me ‘Please keep doing this; there are lots of voters out there.’”

He won a $30 Visa gift card for contacting the most voters from 9:00 AM to 9:00 PM — an average of 48 per hour, with an hour for lunch.

But his margin of victory?

Just 13 people.

Passion fuels political interns from both major parties, who perform thankless tasks such as calling voters, knocking on strangers’ doors, editing video, and uploading press releases to campaign websites — most of the time for free.

Gray-Smith contacted just under 7,000 voters this summer soliciting support for Republican congressional candidates such as U.S. Rep. Trey Hollingsworth, U.S. Rep. Susan Brooks, and Mike Braun. From mid-February to May during his internship with U.S. Rep. Luke Messer’s U.S. Senate campaign, he called 17,000 voters.

Cecil with Susan Brooks
James Cecil with Susan Brooks

Door-knocking and phonebanking are hardly sexy selling points for students seeking political internships, but Butler Assistant Professor of Political Science Greg Shufeldt says Butler has “countless” students volunteering and interning for campaigns and political parties this semester.

Junior Rachel Spodek has been a field intern for Democratic Sen. Joe Donnelly’s re-election campaign since May.

“I’m running phone banks and trying to get as many voters registered as possible,” she says.

Senior James Cecil, who is named after President James Madison, landed a congressional internship on the Hill this summer in Washington, D.C., with Indiana congresswoman Susan Brooks.

The president of the Butler University College Republicans researched bills, attended hearings, answered phone calls, and gave tours of the U.S. Capitol building. She’d previously completed an internship with the Indiana GOP and is currently interning with the Mike Braun campaign for U.S. Senate.

“I’m a huge history buff, so being able to walk the halls of the Capitol was a dream come true,” she says.

 

Once-in-a-Lifetime Opportunities

While most of their days are spent canvassing counties and calling constituents, some interns do enjoy the occasional once-in-a-lifetime experience.

Earlier this month, Cecil snapped a photo with George W. Bush, whom she got to meet at a fundraiser for Republican U.S. Senate candidate Mike Braun.

“He’s one of the funniest guys I’ve ever listened to,” she says.

Gray-Smith was left speechless after he had the chance to meet Vice President Mike Pence as part of his Indiana GOP internship last summer.

“I was able to meet the second most powerful person in America,” he says. “I could’ve never imagined that would happen when I came to Butler.”

 

A Butler Assist

A common thread runs through Cecil, Gray-Smith, and Spodek’s experiences — Butler’s Political Science department helped them land their first internship.

“I always knew I wanted to pursue politics, but I was more laid back my freshman and sophomore years,” Cecil says. “Then [Shufeldt] urged me to get involved in the Todd Young Senate campaign during the 2016 election cycle, which sparked my interest and led to my internship with the Republican Party.”

Shufeldt emphasizes campaign internships because they lead to future political internships and career opportunities.

“Interning on a campaign is a great opportunity to open professional doors,” he says. “It  is one of the most impactful ways we, as citizens, can shape the direction of our government.”

Shufeldt regularly invites Democratic and Republican Party and campaign representatives to speak to his students.

“Studying politics in a major metropolitan area and a state capital is a huge advantage for our students,” Shufeldt says. “I encourage them to take advantage of this as much as possible.”

And Gray-Smith says Butler’s Political Science students are well prepared when opportunities arise.

“The two journalism classes I took forced me to reach out to people and made me more comfortable interviewing strangers,” he says. “They really opened my eyes that I can’t turn to my friends for help every time.”

“The U.S. Politics class I took helped inform my basic knowledge of voting,” Spodek says.

Cecil says being a conservative among more liberal classmates has made her more comfortable defending her beliefs.

“I’m an outspoken conservative in a liberal environment,” she says. “But my beliefs are challenged, not changed.”

 

A Political Future

Cecil wants to pursue a career in political fundraising. Gray-Smith wants to one day run for state or national office. Spodek wants to go into public policy and is looking at law school.

They know that, whatever path they end up pursuing, their internships will have helped them get there.

“The connections I’ve made will propel me to the career I want,” Cecil says. “I definitely look forward to getting up in the morning and doing something I’m really passionate about.”

But, in the meantime, all three stress that one vote can turn the tide.

“This election is going to be really tight, not just for Donnelly, but for a lot of candidates,” Spodek says. “I know every bit of effort I put in will make a difference.”

Donkey, Blue, Elephant
AcademicsPeopleResearchStudent Life

(Bull)Dog Days on the Campaign Trail

Butler students also intern with political campaigns in increasingly large numbers.

Oct 31 2018 Read more
AcademicsPeople

Phi Beta Kappa Visiting Scholar to Talk About the Microbial World

BY

PUBLISHED ON Feb 27 2018

Amy Cheng Vollmer, a Swarthmore Professor who has helped create initiatives to promote adult science literacy and increase diversity in the science, technology, engineering, and math fields, will speak at Butler University on March 26 at 7:00 PM in Jordan Hall Room 141 as part of the Phi Beta Kappa Visiting Scholars Program.

Admission is free and open to the public. For more information, contact Rusty Jones at 317-940-6552.

The title of her talk, which is sponsored by the Phi Beta Kappa Theta of Indiana Chapter and Butler's Center for High Achievement and Scholarly Engagement, is The Microbial World: Small and Ancient is Not Primitive or Unsophisticated.

Vollmer is the Isaac H. Clothier Jr. Professor of Biology at Swarthmore. Her teaching, which incorporates active learning in large and small classes, includes microbiology, biotechnology, metabolism, and introductory biology; her research focuses on the regulation of the response of bacteria to environmental stress. She has authored works on basic bacterial genetics and physiology and on applied and environmental microbiology.

Serving in numerous leadership capacities as a member of the American Society for Microbiology, she was the 2006 recipient of the American Society of Biology’s Carski Distinguished Undergraduate Teaching Award. She is past president of the Waksman Foundation for Microbiology.

 

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

 

AcademicsPeople

Phi Beta Kappa Visiting Scholar to Talk About the Microbial World

Amy Cheng Vollmer's talk is open to the public.

Feb 27 2018 Read more
AcademicsPeople

Outstanding Butler Faculty Honored

BY Marc Alan

PUBLISHED ON Aug 16 2018

 Outstanding achievement inside and outside the classroom has propelled five Butler faculty members to be awarded Distinguished Faculty and Outstanding Professor designation.

These awards recognize inspiring presence in the classroom, achievement in research, community service, and exemplary achievements.

"As an educational institution, Butler strives to provide transformative educational opportunities to our students," said Provost Kate Morris, who handed out the awards on August 15 at the Fall Academic Workshop. "And faculty are on the front lines of that transformation. Simply put, without great faculty, our students would not have the success they have." 

"As an educational institution, Butler strives to provide transformative educational opportunities to our students," said Provost Kate Morris, who handed out the awards on August 15 at the Fall Academic Workshop. "And faculty are on the front lines of that transformation. Simply put, without great faculty, our students would not have the success they have." 

"It is critical to find ways to recognize faculty who have had outstanding years and outstanding careers to highlight the fact that their work truly makes a difference to students and to our academic community. I am delighted to be able to honor the five individuals honored this year, and believe they are excellent representatives of the impact faculty have on our students."

The Outstanding Professor awards recognize faculty members who excelled in all areas of their professional responsibilities and demonstrated outstanding achievement in teaching, scholarship, and/or service and were given to Associate Professor of English Ania Spyra and Professor of Music Kate Boyd.

The Distinguished Faculty awards recognize exemplary achievement, accomplishments, and contributions across the length and breadth of the winner’s career at Butler and were given to Associate Professor and Chair of Arts Administration Susan Zurbuchen, Professor of Philosophy Stuart Glennan, and Professor of Religion Paul Valliere.

Spyra, who joined the Butler faculty in 2008, studies the influence of migration on the language of literature. She was recognized for high student evaluation scores and her ability to reach all of her students in core, departmental, and interdisciplinary settings.

Boyd, a Butler professor since 2005, played nine solo recitals and nine chamber music performances during the 2016-2017 academic year. In addition, her CD recording of the work of composer John Cage garnered much national and international attention.

Zurbuchen was commended for creating one of the most successful degree programs of its kind in the country. She joined the Butler faculty in 1989.

Glennan, whose area of specialization is in the philosophy of science, with particular attention to biology and psychology, came to Butler in 1992. He is a scholar of international repute and a widely acknowledged founder of an important emerging field in philosophy.

Valliere, who retired at the end of the 2017-2018 after 35 years at Butler, was called a great professor, an outstanding scholar and researcher and a remarkable contributor to the university mission.

 

Media contact:

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

AcademicsPeople

Outstanding Butler Faculty Honored

Five faculty members have been recognized for outstanding achievement inside and outside the classroom. 

Aug 16 2018 Read more
AcademicsStudent Life

A Voyage to Irwin Library Yields Research Opportunities

BY

PUBLISHED ON Apr 17 2018

Only a couple of copies of the book Atlas to Cook’s Third Voyage, 1776-1780 (London, 1784) exist. Butler's Irwin Library owns one of them, and on a recent Thursday morning, sophomore Rachel Counts was looking at a map in the atlas, which details Capt. James Cook's three voyages to the South Seas.

She was putting together a proposal for a research project as part of the course "Close Encounters," a first-year seminar History Professor Paul Hanson teaches for History and Anthropology majors. Her topic was linguistics, and she was looking at the different spellings on Cook's map—Owyhee for what we now know as Hawaii, Niphon for Japan, Corea for Korea—as she and her classmates familiarized themselves with the kinds of primary-source materials that are available in the library's collection.

"Some of the books I was going to look at I found online," said Counts, who came to Butler from Powell, Ohio, outside Columbus. "But it's very different when you have a piece of history in your hands. You're living through that, rather than looking at a screen. It makes it more real—and, for me, more exciting."

The Cook Atlas is part of the William F. Charters South Seas Collection, which contains nearly 3,400 books and is one of the most extensive compilations the library owns. Sally Childs-Helton, Head of Special Collections, Rare Books, and University Archives, said that for a school its size, Butler has a large collection of materials that cannot be found elsewhere.

She said everything that comes into the library's archives must either reflect the history of the university or must be used for current teaching needs. The Charters collection, which was donated to the University in 1930, fits into that second classification.

Childs-Helton said students need to have access to materials like this that "haven't been spun, Photoshopped, or put into other contexts."

"Primary sources are the closest things we have to time travel," she said. "They have that power of immediacy to take you back to when a particular item was created. It's a very powerful experience to be sitting there, for example, with a copy of a letter that you know was written on a Civil War battlefield vs. that same letter being digitized and you're seeing it online or transcribed and printed in a book."

Childs-Helton said it's vitally important for students, especially at this point in their careers, to learn how to handle primary-source materials if they're going to do research. Her goal—and she works with classes in all six of Butler's colleges to accomplish it—is to teach them how to handle the materials carefully to preserve them for future scholars. (Special Collections follows best practices of conservation and preservation, protecting materials from light, temperature fluctuation, bugs, and theft/mishandling. "These materials are protected as well as they can be," Childs-Helton said.)

She also wants students to appreciate the potential these sources have to make their research the best it can be.

Hanson, who has written several books about French history, often uses primary sources for his research. He said that the nature of archival research has been a current topic for discussion among professional historians because it has been announced that the Barack Obama Presidential Library will be virtual—no stacks of documents and letters, but an entirely digital collection.

"You would have to look a long time to find a historian who would tell you they'd rather see a digital copy of something rather than hold a book in their hands," Hanson said.

That feeling was evident among his students too. Maggie Jones, a junior from Elwood, Indiana, had requested four books from the Charters collection, including one Charles Darwin wrote about his experiences on the second voyage of the HMS Beagle. She was looking through a book by George French Angas called Polynesia: a popular description of the physical features, inhabitants, natural history and productions of the islands of the Pacific for research on the environment of 19th century South America.

As a history and anthropology major, she's interested in how the natural environment of a place contributes to the lives of the people.

"While it's convenient to have information online, there's just something about actually having the book and knowing that this is actually part of history," she said. "That's really cool to me, knowing that they're a part of history."

 

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

 

 

 

AcademicsStudent Life

A Voyage to Irwin Library Yields Research Opportunities

Rare books collection gives students the chance to look at primary sources.

Apr 17 2018 Read more
AcademicsStudent Life

Butler Selects Top 100 Students

BY

PUBLISHED ON Jan 26 2018

The Alumni Association has announced Butler University's Top 100 students, honoring the top juniors and seniors for the 2017–2018 academic year.

The list is below, and Butler Collegian coverage is here.

The Top 100 students are determined by the Top 100 Selection Committee composed of representatives of each of the six colleges, student affairs, academic affairs, and alumni. Each candidate is judged against the core values of the program on a numeric scale. At the end of the judging period, all scores are tabulated, and the Top 100 students are selected.

Visit the Top 100 website to view guidelines for the program.  

The Alumni Association in conjunction with the Office of Student Affairs conducts the Outstanding Student Recognition program. The program is in its 57th year.

Due to a tie in scoring, more than 100 students are being honored for the 2017–2018 academic year. All honorees will be recognized at the Outstanding Student Banquet on April 13, when the Top 15 Most Outstanding Students will be announced. 

Full Listing of Honorees (in alphabetical order)

Katie Allee, senior, Communication Science and Disorders, College of Communication (CCOM)

Lynn Alsatie, junior, International Studies, College of Liberal Arts and Sciences (LAS)

Siena Amodeo, junior, International Management, Lacy School of Business (LSB)

Deborah Arehart, senior, Middle-Secondary Education, College of Education (COE)

Thomas Baldwin, senior, Biochemistry, LAS

Adam Bantz, senior, Strategic Communication, CCOM

Alex Bartlow, senior, Accounting, LSB

Leah Basford, senior, International Management, LSB

Zach Bellavia, senior, Economics, LSB

Bri Borri, junior, Psychology, LAS

Lauren Briskey, junior, Actuarial Sciences, LAS

Amy Brown, senior, Accounting, LSB

Rachel Burke, junior, Mathematics, LAS

Jeremy Caylor, junior, Biology, LAS

Parker Chalmers, junior, Risk Management, LSB

Lauren Ciulla, junior, Biology, LAS

Brooklyn Cohen, junior, ELED.BS, COE

Hannah Coleman, senior, Pharmacy, College of Pharmacy and Health Sciences (COPHS)

Dana Connor, senior, Communication Science & Disorders, CCOM          

Vickie Cook, junior, Biochemistry, LAS

Meredith Coughlin, senior, Human Communication & Organizational Leadership, CCOM

Ryan Cultice, junior, Accounting, LSB

Ashley Dale, senior, Physics, LAS

Erin Dark, junior, Pharmacy, COPHS

Darby DeFord, junior, Biology, LAS

Matthew Del Busto, junior, English Literature, LAS

David Dunham, senior, Middle-Secondary Education, COE

Suzanne Dwyer, junior, Pharmacy, COPHS

Shelby Eaton, junior, Sociology and Psychology, LAS

Katie Edwards, senior, Marketing, LSB

Ashlyn Edwards, junior, Philosophy, LAS

Sarah Elam, junior, International Studies, LAS

John Evans, junior, Finance, LSB

Chiara Evelti, senior, International Studies, LAS

Hannah Faccio, senior, Psychology, LAS

Megan Farny, junior, Health Sciences, COPHS

Elizabeth Fecht, senior, Middle-Secondary Education, COE

Megan Fitzgerald, junior, Elementary Education, COE

Annie Foster, junior, Spanish, LAS

Caitlyn Foye, senior, Biology, LAS

Travis Freytag, junior, Actuarial Sciences, LAS

Jackie Gries, junior, Pharmacy, COPHS

Nathan Hall, junior, History and Political Science, LAS

Hannah Hartzell, senior, Strategic Communication, CCOM

Patrick Holden, senior, Pharmacy, COPHS

Jonny Hollar, junior, Marketing, LSB

Kate Holtz, junior, Risk Management, LSB

Nicholas Huang, senior, Finance, LSB

Karla Jeggle, senior, Actuarial Science, LAS

Nathan Jent, junior, Health Sciences, COPHS

Drew Johnson, senior, Pharmacy, COPHS

Jakob Jozwiakowski, senior, Chemistry, LAS

Colton Junod, senior, Biology, LAS

Libby Kaufman, senior, Elementary Education, COE

Nida Khan, junior, Pharmacy, COPHS

Rachel Koehler, junior, International Studies, LAS

Caroline Kuremsky, senior, Elementary Education, COE

Carly Large, senior, Accounting, LSB

Emily Lawson, junior, Chemistry, LAS

Rachael Lewis, senior, Marketing, LSB

Becca Lewis, junior, Biology, LAS

Kayla Long, junior, Critical Communication & Media Studies, CCOM

Nicholas Maicke, senior, International Studies, LAS

Kelsey McDougall, senior, Biology, LAS

Kirsten McGrew, senior, Pharmacy, COPHS

Kasey Meeks, junior, Health Sciences, COPHS

Rachel Metz, senior, Health Sciences, COPHS

Joshua Murdock, senior, Pharmacy, COPHS

Kelly Murphy, senior, Organizational Communications, CCOM    

Garrick Nate, junior, International Studies, LAS

Emily Nettesheim, junior, Health Sciences, COPHS

Alexis Neyman, junior, Biology, LAS

Olivia Nilsen, junior, Communication Science & Disorders, CCOM

Gehrig Parker, senior, Sports Media, CCOM

Justin Poythress, junior, Accounting, LSB

Tori Puhl, junior, Actuarial Science, LAS

Salman Qureshi, senior, Biology, LAS

Courtney Raab, senior, Health Sciences, COPHS

Jordan Rauh, senior, Pharmacy, COPHS

Allison Reitz, senior, Communication Science & Disorders, CCOM          

Kate Richards, senior, Communication Science & Disorders, CCOM         

Sophie Robertson, junior, Dance, Jordan College of the Arts (JCA)

Abdul Saltagi, junior, Biology, LAS

Kaitlyn Sawin, senior, Marketing, LSB

Olivia Schwan, junior, Marketing, LSB

Abby Sikorcin, junior, Health Sciences, COPHS

Sundeep Singh, senior, Biology, LAS

Molly Smith, senior, International Studies, LAS

Maree Smith, senior, Marketing, LSB

Lilli Southern, junior, Communication Science & Disorders, CCOM

Madison Stefanski, junior, Elementary Education, COE

Isaiah Strong, junior, Recording Industry Studies, CCOM

Jennifer Sutor, junior, Marketing, LSB

Natalie Van Ochten, senior, Biology, LAS

Alexander Waddell, junior, Accounting, LSB

Skyler Walker, senior, Pharmacy, COPHS

Kate Warma, junior, Science, Technology and Society, LAS

Riley Wildemann, senior, Pharmacy, COPHS

Alexander Wright, senior, Chemistry, LAS

Heather Wright, senior, Music, JCA

Jill Yager, senior, Biology, LAS

 

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

 

AcademicsStudent Life

Butler Selects Top 100 Students

Recipients to be recognized at April 13 banquet.

Jan 26 2018 Read more
AcademicsCommunity

Butler Launches Online Master’s in Risk and Insurance

BY

PUBLISHED ON Jul 12 2018

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

 

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

AcademicsCommunity

Butler Launches Online Master’s in Risk and Insurance

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

Jul 12 2018 Read more
Academics

Butler's Student-Run Insurance Company To Open August 1

BY

PUBLISHED ON May 03 2017

Butler University’s MJ Student-Run Insurance Company, which will insure items such as the University’s live mascot bulldog Trip, rare books, fine art, and observatory telescope, has received licensing approval from the Bermuda Monetary Authority, moving it one step closer to opening.

The student-run operation—known in industry terms as a “captive insurance company”—is scheduled to officially begin work on August 1.

“This allows us to take the premiums, that in the past were going to an insurance company, and have them stay in the captive, to be reinvested in loss control,” said Zach Finn, Clinical Professor & Director of Butler’s Davey Risk Management and Insurance Program, who will supervise the students. “Butler will save and potentially make money” by someday going beyond Butler’s boundaries to insure others.

Butler’s Lacy School of Business created the insurance company as a way to give students hands-on experience that will prepare them for an industry that anticipates needing 400,000 new employees by 2020. Finn said approximately 1,900 American universities have accounting programs, and 900 have finance programs, but only 82 offer insurance and risk programs. Risk Management and Insurance majors at the Lacy School of Business will not only graduate having had two internships, but they will have run an insurance company and participated in all aspects of it.

The money to start Butler’s captive insurance company came from a gift from MJ Insurance and Michael M. Bill.

“We’re thrilled to not only be involved from a financial perspective, but also as part of the education process,” said Colin MacNab, Executive Vice President of Property & Casualty at MJ Insurance. “I served as a mentor in the first Captive Insurance class at Butler, and can attest that the experience these students gain in creating the captive is unparalleled, and are coming out of school prepared to make an immediate impact. One of the students who served a key role in preparing and delivering the application to the Bermuda Authority is joining MJ as a full-time employee after she graduates in May, and will fast track due to the knowledge and experience she brings with her Butler degree.”

Finn said that in addition to teaching the business students about insurance and risk management, business students also will learn about things like the planets through their work at the planetarium and rare books and how to preserve them, thanks to their time spent at the library.

“I wanted to pick coverages where not only would the students learn about insurance and risk management, but they would learn about other things,” Finn said. “So we’ve learned about poets, paintings, planets and more. I am going to leverage the great liberal arts education they receive at Butler.”

Under the terms of its license from the Bermuda Monetary Authority, the captive insurance company will be able to pay out losses of up to $250,000 a year.

Finn said the company chose to be licensed in Bermuda based on the student’s objective and subjective analysis of the regulatory and tax environment in multiple domestic and international domiciles. He said the students who have been working to start the captive company saw the result of their efforts in early April when they appeared before the Bermuda Monetary Authority to get the company licensed.

“They have Fortune 500 companies that have to go through five and six rounds of question-and-answer sessions to get approved by the Bermuda Monetary Authority,” he said. “We were approved right out of the gate.”

Students and faculty also had the opportunity to meet with the Bermuda Business Development Agency and “we could not have felt more welcome on the island,” Finn said.  “Bermuda is a key pillar of the Global insurance market and we are excited that the captive gives us a seat at the table.”

The new company has the backing of Aon, the world’s largest insurance broker.

“Aon fully embraced the opportunity to do more than just manage the student-run captive with Butler University,” said Don Ortegel, Resident Managing Director at Aon Risk Solutions Chicago and Butler’s strategic account manager. “We view this as a great opportunity to demonstrate our commitment to support and educate the Butler students. The Butler University captive partnership fits nicely with our existing Launch and Business Internship Programs and Aon’s recently announced Chicago apprenticeship program to train and attract talent to the Industry.”

KPMG will be auditors of the captive.

“When I first learned of the Butler University student-run captive, I found their story very interesting and compelling,” said Eric Heinrichs, Managing Director at KPMG in Bermuda and Lead Engagement Partner. “I very much look forward to working with the Butler students on this endeavor and exploring the different ways that we can work together to further help students taking part in this program to have a rewarding and fulfilling experience.”

 

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

Academics

Butler's Student-Run Insurance Company To Open August 1

Butler University’s MJ Student-Run Insurance Company, which will insure items such as the University’s live mascot bulldog Trip, rare books, fine art, and observatory telescope, has received licensing approval from the Bermuda Monetary Authority, moving it one step closer to opening.

May 03 2017 Read more
AcademicsArts & Culture

Professor Lynch's Book Named One of 2017's Best by The New York Times

BY

PUBLISHED ON Jan 03 2018

The New York Times has selected Butler English Instructor Alessandra Lynch’s Daylily Called It a Dangerous Moment as one of the 10 best books of poetry in 2017.

“You can read 20 pages into Lynch’s book before you fully realize it’s about a sexual assault—and this is to her credit,” wrote David Orr, author of the “On Poetry” column for The New York Times Book Review. “She wants to show an act of violence in all its terrible particularity and also in the way it becomes a background against which identity trembles and sometimes fractures. It’s difficult to read this collection without thinking about how timely it is, but its force is in no sense dependent on that congruity.”

The full article is here.

Lynch is the author of three collections of poetry: Sails the Wind Left Behind (winner of the New York/New England Award from Alice James Books, 2002), It was a terrible cloud at twilight (winner of the Lena-Miles Wever Todd Award, Pleaides/LSU Press, 2008)and Daylily Called It a Dangerous Moment (Alice James  Books, 2017). She has received fellowships from The Corporation of Yaddo, the MacDowell Colony for the Arts, and the Vermont Studio Center, and she has been the recipient of a Barbara Deming Award and a Creative Renewal Fellowship for the Arts from the Indianapolis Council for the Arts.

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

AcademicsArts & Culture

Professor Lynch's Book Named One of 2017's Best by The New York Times

The New York Times has selected Butler English Instructor Alessandra Lynch’s Daylily Called It a Dangerous Moment as one of the 10 best books of poetry in 2017.

Jan 03 2018 Read more
Commencement
AcademicsCampus

Be a Positive Force for Others, Singh Tells December Grads

BY

PUBLISHED ON Dec 16 2017

See yourselves as pioneers with big ideas and as a generation with transcendent vision, 2017 Winter Commencement speaker Kanwal Prakash (KP) Singh advised Butler University’s 150 newest alumni.

 

“You already know that many of you will travel to destinations outside the familiar,” Singh, a prolific Indianapolis-based artist who came to the United States from India 50 years ago, said during the December 16 ceremony at Clowes Memorial Hall. “You will be facing an increasingly interconnected and intensely competitive world. Immersing yourselves and understanding cultural and civic frameworks in place will be an important first step to unlocking your first doors. Know that there is much to learn from other struggles and experiences.”

Singh, who was awarded an honorary doctorate, said he and his family were among the millions who faced life and death challenges at the time of the Partition of India in 1947 and during their escape to safety in the new India. His goal since then has been to radiate a spirit of “Charhdikala” (positive optimism) in all seasons “and dedicate my life to ideas that make a difference.”

He recommended that the graduates “be a willing shoulder and positive force for others,” and that they shape a future that best reflects our collective gifts and universal hopes.

Singh also said the graduates should leave behind unfounded stereotypes of faiths, cultures, and communities different from their own.

“In today’s multicultural society with a wide spectrum of backgrounds, lifestyles, and perspectives, it is critical to adopt and exercise the art and spirit of mutual respect; be a trusted team player; and as a leader, to tap all talents for the tasks at hand,” he said.

The December 2017 graduates included 50 students from the Lacy School of Business, 44 from the College of Liberal Arts and Sciences, 32 from the College of Education, nine from the Jordan College of the Arts, eight from the College of Communication, and seven from the College of Pharmacy and Health Sciences.

Former Trustee Robert Postlethwait and his wife, Kathi, also received honorary degrees. President James M. Danko praised the Postlethwaits as “exemplars in their dedication to serving others.”

Robert Postlethwait advised the graduates to “take care of your brain, feed the hungry, and routinely evaluate the impact you’re having on people and issues you care deeply about.”

 

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

Commencement
AcademicsCampus

Be a Positive Force for Others, Singh Tells December Grads

See yourselves as pioneers with big ideas and as a generation with transcendent vision, 2017 Winter Commencement speaker Kanwal Prakash (KP) Singh advised Butler University’s 150 newest alumni.

Dec 16 2017 Read more
AcademicsPeople

Lisa Brooks Named New Dean of JCA

BY

PUBLISHED ON Nov 16 2017

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

And now, Dean.

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

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

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

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

So she applied for the position.

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

AcademicsPeople

Lisa Brooks Named New Dean of JCA

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

Nov 16 2017 Read more
AcademicsPeople

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

BY

PUBLISHED ON Nov 07 2017

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

 

Matthew Scott and Kayleigh Pletch

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

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

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

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

AcademicsPeople

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

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

Nov 07 2017 Read more
AcademicsCommunity

Butler Business Consulting Group Posts Impressive Numbers

BY

PUBLISHED ON Nov 15 2017

To tell the story of the Butler Business Consulting Group (BBCG), it helps to look at the numbers.

The BBCG, which helps businesses solve their challenges, has worked with 94 clients, including Roche Diagnostics, Defenders, Hitachi, Eskenazi Health Foundation, and MJ Insurance.

Trent Ritzenthaler, left, discussed the 10-year anniversary of the BBCG with Inside Indiana Business host Gerry Dick.

It’s generated over $10 million in revenue— $7 million of which has been returned to help continue to fund academic programs in the Lacy School of Business.

About 192 Lacy School of Business student analysts have had an internship with the BBCG, and they have participated in over 300 projects with client companies representing 40 different industries.

And now, the BBCG has a number of its own to celebrate. The group is marking 10 years of serving the Indiana business community, Butler University students, and the University this year.

Executive Director Trent Ritzenthaler is proud of those numbers. He’s even more proud of the stories behind the numbers.

‘A great business model’

One of Ritzenthaler’s favorites to tell is about the BBCG’s longtime relationship with Estes Design and Manufacturing, a family-run sheet metal fabricator on Indianapolis’ Eastside and one of the consulting group’s longest-standing clients.

In 2008, Ritzenthaler said, Estes approached the BBCG about increasing sales of its products, which include metal fabricated mailboxes and metal cabinets. Estes bends the metal needed to manufacture those products.

The BBCG did a sales-effectiveness project for Estes, which led to the consulting group serving as Estes’ outsourced marketing team. BBCG professionals and student-interns worked with the company on a new website, blog, and marketing campaign. As a result, Estes hired BBCG as its marketing department—a role the consulting group continues to play.

That was just the beginning.

Over the years, the BBCG has guided Estes through potential acquisitions of other companies, provided outsourced financial services support, and even provided a short-term loan from the BBCG Investment Fund to purchase a piece of equipment integral to the growth of their operations.

“We’ve helped bring a lot of positive change to that company in a lot of ways, and they’ve been a great partner in doing so, allowing our professional staff and student analysts to play tangible roles in bringing about those positive changes,” Ritzenthaler said.

Estes Design President Tim Estes agreed.

“The professionalism they have exhibited and the whole model of using interns, whether they be undergrad or grad students, has been great,” he said. “They’ve got a great business model. I tell Trent all the time that I would have killed to have done something like that in college and been able to get that experience.”

The beginning

The BBCG got its start in 2005 thanks to a $22 million grant from the Lilly Endowment Inc. to help accelerate experiential learning.

A portion of the funds were used to create what was initially called the Butler Business Accelerator. With the money came a mission: Help Indiana companies that have been in business for five years and were generating between $5 million and $50 million in sales grow, prosper, hire more people, achieve their goals, and stop Indiana’s brain drain.

The Accelerator started serving clients in 2007 and then became the BBCG in 2012.

Ritzenthaler said the BBCG provides benefits not only to its corporate clients, but to Butler (both by earning money and by familiarizing companies with Butler and its programs) and to Butler students (for internships and experiences that help them start and advance their careers). He called it “the cyclical positive effect of those things on each other.”

As an example, he cited the BBCG’s work with MJ Insurance.

Initially, the insurance company signed on for help with marketing strategy and sales processes design. Later, the partnership expanded to include digital strategy development. As that was occurring, MJ’s Chief Operating Officer joined the BBCG Consulting Advisory Board, MJ donated money to name Butler’s new student run captive insurance program, MJ hired several graduates from the Lacy School of Business, and an MJ representative joined Butler’s Davey Risk Management Program Board of Advisors.

And in October, a member of Butler’s Information Technology staff moved over to MJ full time to serve as their new Chief Information Officer.

“You’re helping students, who are helping clients, who are hiring students and donating back to the university and helping academic programs,” Ritzenthaler said. “That is a dynamic set of positive changes for all of the stakeholders involved.”

How students benefit

Kate Allen ’15 interned with the BBCG as a student and worked on at least five projects. Allen said she was given great responsibility and autonomy. She had three other internships while at Butler, and the BBCG, “was a totally unique environment.”

Allen now works in finance for Eli Lilly and Co. She credits her experience at the BBCG with helping her get ahead.

“Being able to use my interpersonal skills and problem-solving skills in the BBCG and then apply that to my first full-time job has been really helpful,” she said.

 

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

AcademicsCommunity

Butler Business Consulting Group Posts Impressive Numbers

To tell the story of the Butler Business Consulting Group (BBCG), it helps to look at the numbers.

The BBCG, which helps businesses solve their challenges, has worked with 94 clients, including Roche Diagnostics, Defenders, Hitachi, Eskenazi Health Foundation, and MJ Insurance.

Nov 15 2017 Read more
Study Abroad
AcademicsStudent Life

Study Abroad Program Among Best in Country

BY

PUBLISHED ON Jun 13 2018

Butler University's Study Abroad Program has been named one of the Top 30 in the country by the website bestvalueschools.org.

"Butler University students can choose from over 200 study abroad and exchange programs in over 60 countries," the website said. "Butler also works with the neighboring Institute for Study Abroad (IFSA) as a provider of study abroad programming for U.S. undergraduates. In addition to providing transcripts for all IFSA students, Butler University endorses all IFSA-taught courses."

Butler University offers over 200 study abroad programs in over 70 countries to meet the diverse needs of the student population. About 40 percent of Butler students study abroad at some point. Students are permitted to study abroad as early as the first semester of their sophomore year and as late as their senior year, if allowed by their College. Butler's Center for Global Education (CGE) provides study abroad advising and organizes pre-departure and re-entry sessions to help guide students through the study abroad process. The CGE maintains the List of Approved Programs, titled Where Can I Go? to research approved study abroad programs. All programs on the list meet Butler’s high standards for academic excellence.

Among the other schools in the Top 30 are Duke, Stanford, and Michigan State, as well as the BIG EAST's Georgetown and St. John's. To compile the list, the website said it used two surveys from the Princeton Review and U.S. News that surveyed hundreds of thousands of respondents including students, faculty, and administrators to find out what schools they believe have the best study abroad programs.

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

Study Abroad
AcademicsStudent Life

Study Abroad Program Among Best in Country

Butler University's Study Abroad Program has been named one of the Top 30 in the country by the website bestvalueschools.org.

Jun 13 2018 Read more
Research Lab Participants

Exploring the Unanswered

Rachel Stern

from Spring 2019

 

 

In the depths of Gallahue Hall, 14 Butler University undergrads work to make the vaccines for a leading cause of infant mortality worldwide actually effective. But first, with the Backstreet Boys harmonizing about wanting it that way in the background, they need some really good ice.

The students are studying strains of RSV, or respiratory syncytial virus, for which there is no vaccine. There certainly are people looking for one, Assistant Professor of Biology Chris Stobart, also known as ‘Doc’ in this lab, explains. Lots of people. Major research universities and pharmaceutical companies alike are working to bring the first RSV vaccine to market. For them, Stobart says, the keys are to make sure their vaccine candidate is safe and effective. But these researchers are overlooking a major issue. Enter— Butler University.

RSV breaks down even at refrigeration temperature. That matters because the vaccines needed for infants require a live virus. Those chasing an RSV vaccine, Stobart explains, are so caught up with being first, they aren’t so focused on making sure it will actually last once it leaves the factory.

“Everyone has their eyes on the prize—the vaccine,” Stobart says. “But the key question that underlies how vaccines work is being ignored. They have to be stable, safe, and immunogenic. You need all three things to make a vaccine work. Without the answers coming from our lab, you only have two elements.”

So, here we are, back to the ice, back to the basement in Gallahue, and back to the Backstreet Boys. The thing everyone is overlooking is this whole temperature thing.

And Stobart would know. He was one of the overlookers. ‘Doc’ used to be in the business of finding vaccines. That’s how he realized such an important question was being ignored. As a postdoctoral research fellow at Emory University, he was on the hunt for an RSV vaccine. While doing that research, he realized that no one was worrying about whether or not that vaccine would actually last more than a day. So, he started going against the grain and decided to use a different strain of RSV for his vaccine. He got lucky, he says, and the strain he chose ended up being more stable than the strain that everyone else is using. His vaccine, which should enter clinical trials next year, would last longer than the vaccines being developed by most other research labs.

Now, he and his army of Butler undergrads are digging deeper into the very questions Stobart stumbled upon: What makes some RSV strains more resistant than others, and what strain of RSV would make it least susceptible to temperature variations?

This is the work of the Stobart Lab. But it is hardly just a place where major scientific questions are being answered. MCAT prep happens here. Trivia nights happen here. Ideas for other research projects happen here—five experiments are taking place right now. And, on occasion, naps take place here, thanks to a new couch on loan from a student’s family. First-year students through seniors mill in and out of the lab in the basement of Gallahue Hall on any given day or night. Just ask Jenna Nosek ’20, who storms in on a recent Tuesday afternoon.

“I have spent 19 hours in here the past few days: don’t test me, Sean [a fellow lab mate],” she jokes, and with that, she is out, the two lab mates laughing, as she makes her way out the door.

“I have told her to back off on the hours,” Stobart says. “But she is the expert in the lab right now on HPMV, another human respiratory virus we are researching. On her own, she brought this virus to Butler to study. She is essentially teaching us all, myself included, how this virus works and behaves.”

But at its core, this is research at Butler. Undergrads and faculty members teaming up to come up with, and then explore, the unanswered, overlooked questions that are vital to their field of study, but go ignored at larger, more research-focused institutions—where there is constant pressure to publish on hot topics, but not necessarily on the more nuanced, just as vital, questions.

“The primary goal of our research at Butler is to provide an environment for our undergrads to understand what science is, how it’s performed, and how it’s used in our world. We use science and research as a teaching tool,” Stobart says. “But the second goal, which is no less important, is to provide answers to the scientific community that still move the community forward. They don’t have to all be big answers, but they have to be answers nonetheless.”


 

Student working in the labFor Kate Morris, it’s really simple. Higher education boils down to two things: teaching, and the production of new knowledge. The way to produce new knowledge, according to Morris, Butler’s Provost since 2012, is through research. And not just the traditional type of research that most people envision when they hear the word. It goes beyond beakers, test tubes, and chemicals. Research might be in a lab, of course, but it also takes the form of writing, literary analysis, anything that produces new information.

“The way I think about it is if we aren’t doing research, we aren’t doing our jobs as teachers,” Morris says. “Research is the production of new information that will be taught in tomorrow’s classrooms. We are always looking for faculty who are active scholars, furthering their disciplines, and who are furthering their disciplines while also teaching their undergrad students how to do that.”

But what makes Butler unique, she says, is the way it tackles each of these goals. At larger institutions, faculty tend to prioritize knowledge production, and teaching lags behind. Research is done with grad students, and it’s not a form of teaching, but rather a way to get recognition in major journals and move up within the institution and, subsequently, the field. Undergrads rarely get the opportunity to put their stamp on the project, she says.

At smaller institutions, Morris says, undergrads act like grad students. They have the chance to develop their own projects. But it’s much more than just a small school versus large school thing. Butler is unique in its offerings, she says.

While Stobart’s lab might be one of the largest on campus, it’s hardly the only research cooking.

Tara Lineweaver, Professor of Psychology, started a project in 2014 that looks at music’s impact on dementia patients. Since its inception, 156 students across all disciplines have been involved.

Assistant Professor of Entertainment Media and Journalism Ryan Rogers started a Sports Media Research Group in fall 2018, along with Associate Professor of Entertainment Media and Journalism Lee Farquhar.

The point, Rogers says, was to look deeper into different facets of sports media. The group published a paper on the impact of sponsors on esports, and recently presented their findings in Las Vegas at the annual Broadcast Education Association convention.

And sometimes the researchers extend beyond the Butler campus. Butler senior Political Science and Criminology major Julio Trujillo ’19 is working on a research project with Political Science Professor Siobhan McEvoy-Levy and three high school students from the Butler-Tarkington community. The crew got together as part of Butler’s Desmond Tutu Peace Lab, which McEvoy-Levy directs, and the Lab’s dedication to undergrad research and dialogue. They’re studying perceptions of career barriers according to minority youth.

Then there’s the telescope. Since 2008, Professor of Physics and Astronomy Brian Murphy has teamed up with Professor of Physics and Astronomy Xianming Han to produce 65 journal publications. And 29 of those have student co-authors. Topics of study range from the short- and long-term behavior of astronomical phenomena, to the rotation periods of asteroids, to the pulsating variables of stars, to the eclipsing variables of stars. All of the scholarship was made possible by a gift in 2008 from Frank Levinson ’75 which enabled Butler to join the Southeastern Association for Research in Astronomy. Since then, Murphy says, research involvement in astronomy has ballooned.

“In today’s world, coursework may give you the knowledge you need for a career, but coursework alone will only get you so far,” Murphy says. “Research gives those intangibles. It can be described as flying by the seat of your pants, not knowing what is around the next corner. And for that matter, trying to figure out how to get around the next corner. The problem-solving skills learned from doing original research can be transferred to any field.”

Look no further than Murphy’s former student, Katie Hannigan ’08. The former Theatre major got involved at the Holcomb Observatory on some projects and, Murphy says, gleaned different skills, like speaking in front of crowds, and presenting complex information, like research.

Hannigan is now a standup comedian, and recently performed on The Late Show with Stephen Colbert. (Read Hannigan’s story on Page 6.)


 

Stobart supervises students in the labMarisa Miller ’19 understands firsthand why research matters.

She has no memory of the details—she was just three months old—but her mom reminds her often. It started as a cough in the middle of the night. But, quickly escalated, and soon she was struggling to breathe.

Miller ended up in a hospital for a week, diagnosed with RSV. She was quarantined to a tent within the hospital for three days. After those first few days, her parents were allowed to hold her, but they had to put on the same gear a surgeon wears. They were terrified, Miller says, that she wouldn’t make it to her first birthday.

“When I was growing up, it was just something that happened to me that I knew was very bad. But I don’t think I understood how bad it is, and how many people it impacts,” Miller says.

Now, she does. Her Butler roommate is Darby DeFord, one of the students in the Stobart Lab working on the RSV research, and a co-lead author on the paper the group has submitted to the Journal of General Virology.

RSV is the leading cause of hospitalization for children under age 1 in the United States. As Miller explains, it presents itself like the flu, or other common colds, but can be deadly for the elderly or the young. In the United States, RSV leads to more than 2 million outpatient visits, and about 60,000 hospitalizations every year for children under age 5, according to the CDC.

That explains the race for a vaccine. But it doesn’t explain the problems inherent in that race, Stobart says.

As teams all over the world work to be the first to bring a vaccine to market, he explains, to solve a very real clinical need, most are using the same strain of RSV in these vaccine preparations. There are 1,000s of different strains of RSV circulating in nature, and each strain differs subtly. But the focus is just on creating a vaccine, not on all the different strains, how they behave, what makes them different, and which might make the best vaccine candidate, he says.

Enter the Stobart Lab.

They are the first group to thoroughly focus their research on how different strains behave, Stobart says. The group of 10 undergrads who will all be co-authors on the journal paper found that the warmer it gets, the more quickly RSV breaks down. But, they also found that certain strains are more resilient to temperature than others. And the strain that is being used in many vaccine candidates currently is not the best candidate.

The popular strain, A2, used in many vaccine candidates, has a half-life of 17 hours. So after 17 hours, half the virus will be ineffective. The Butler students found that a different strain, A2-line19F, is much more resilient to temperature, and has a half-life of 135 hours.

“We’re talking about something that’s much more effective. And what it suggests is there may be promise for finding an even better platform to use.” Stobart says.


 

Student working in the labRusty Jones cannot decide where to begin. There are so many different options.

Jones is the Faculty Director of the Center for High Achievement and Scholarly Engagement (CHASE) at Butler. His office oversees many of the different options for undergrads to get involved in research at Butler. And Jones cannot decide where to begin.

There’s the Undergraduate Research Conference (URC). It’s one of the largest and longest running undergraduate research conferences in the country, and Butler has played host for 31 years. Faculty serve as moderators, but it’s undergrad-focused, as well as interdisciplinary. Students from across the country flock to Indianapolis to present, Jones says.

Then there’s the Butler Summer Institute.

Students get a $4,500 stipend to work on a research project for nine weeks during the summer. The projects are guided by a faculty member, but the ideas are student-driven. It’s a competitive process, as a committee of faculty members select up to 30 participants from all the student applicants.

New this year, Jones explains, is the CHASE Scholars program. It is, essentially, the Butler Summer Institute, but the research occurs during the academic year. The program funds four participants across campus.

It’s nearly impossible to say how many students participate in research at Butler, Jones says, because not all do it through one of these programs. There are plenty of students who get involved in a more informal manner with one of their professors. But, he says, it’s safe to say the majority of students across all disciplines participate at some point during their college experience.

“The biggest thing about our programs is everyone has a faculty member working closely with them, as students dive into topics they are passionate about,” Jones says. “The strength of Butler comes from the opportunities students get to forge one-on-one working relationships with faculty, and that faculty are willing to take this on because they know how valuable it is to the educational experience.”


 

Coming into Butler as a first-year student, Darby DeFord ’19 had no idea what research even was. Now, as a senior, she is the first co-author on the RSV paper.

The senior Biology and Chemistry major has worked in the Stobart Lab since she was a sophomore. Since then, she has presented on the team’s findings at several conferences, including the Butler URC, and in Maryland at the American Society for Virology Annual Meeting.

Next year, she will work in a lab at Washington University in St. Louis studying RSV. Looking at stability. And after that? She plans to pursue her MD/PhD.

“Dr. Stobart connected me with the person I will be working for at Wash U. I was starting to look for jobs and I texted him for some help, and by the next day he’d sent my name to a bunch of his contacts. Within a few days, I was connected with Wash U,” DeFord says. “That’s Dr. Stobart. He’s so much more than just a professor. He’s a mentor, he’s someone who’s willing to help us with anything we need.”

Juniors Sean Callahan and Ben Nick have the MCAT in five weeks. On a recent Tuesday afternoon, as they run an experiment under the watchful eye of ‘Doc,’ they ask him for help with the reading comprehension section. Callahan is not too keen on that section.

The lab consists of a mix of seniors, juniors, sophomores, and first-year students. Some want to go to med school, some want to be dentists, some optometrists, some PhD tracks. But there is one common thread: most had no plans of getting involved in research before coming to Butler.

“I always thought I wanted to be a doctor,” explains Jenna Nosek, a junior Biology and Classical Studies major with a Chemistry minor. “Everyone comes to college with the same jobs in mind. But then, research opened my eyes to all the different opportunities available to me, and all the different things you can learn about. I realized you can study the most random things and that can be your life’s work. It can be your job to study something that you are really interested in, that is really impactful, and you can enjoy it more than a job. Research has been eye-opening.”

Nosek first met Stobart when she had him as a professor in her first semester genetics course. He told her to interview for his lab. So she went home for fall break, thought about it, and talked it over with some cousins.

They told her she would never get into a research lab. She was just an undergrad. Those spots were reserved for grad students, they told her.

Nosek interviewed anyway.

She was shocked when she got in, she says. Now she is an author on two papers, is regularly in the lab at 3:00 AM, has presented the findings at conferences in Maryland and Minnesota, and worked in a research lab last summer at the University of Pittsburgh Medical Center. She was just accepted to a biomedical summer research program at Harvard University.

Oh, and she no longer wants to be a doctor.

“I realized you can be a professor and do research,” Nosek says. “There are so many different things you can study that aren’t explained to you until you get to school, get into the lab, and see these things firsthand, and that’s exactly what happened to me. Now I realize I can do what I enjoy every single day as a profession.”

Which sounds eerily similar to what got everyone in this basement in the first place. You know, the place with the ice, and, yes, those Backstreet Boys.

You see, ‘Doc’ was all set to be a, well, doctor. He was on the pre-med path, but then decided he wanted to teach and research. That is why he left his RSV vaccine candidate, and instead decided to answer those unanswered, overlooked questions he realized were being ignored. So now he is surrounded by undergrads who call him ‘Doc,’ and ask him mid-experiment what is more filling, McDonalds or Taco Bell.

“When I left Emory, I knew I wanted to pursue a career that involved both teaching and research,” Stobart says. “I always intended to be pre-med, but then I decided teaching was important to me. Butler fits the mold of a school I wanted because it has a research system that is amenable to undergrad research. I can’t do the stuff that is high-end, detailed research, because undergrads come in and don’t have the skills yet. They are new. They don’t have the science background yet. But I knew I wanted a system that would involve simple experimental assays, but still would have the impact and make meaningful contributions to the scientific community while teaching important lessons. I think we are doing that here.”

Research Lab Participants
AcademicsResearch

Exploring the Unanswered

In the depths of Gallahue Hall, 14 Butler University undergrads work to make the vaccines for a leading cause of infant mortality worldwide actually effective.

by Rachel Stern

from Spring 2019

Read more
Pharmacy
AcademicsCommunity

Butler Provides Critical Clinical Expertise to Insurance Industry

BY Rachel Stern

PUBLISHED ON Apr 04 2019

INDIANAPOLIS—Eric Farmer ’07 remembers being frustrated.

It was around 2014, and Farmer, an HIV Clinical Pharmacist at Indiana University Health Methodist Hospital, was working at one of the largest providers of HIV care in Indiana, yet he was spending most of his time filling out paperwork.

The Affordable Care Act was in the midst of being implemented, and many of Farmer’s patients were having issues with their health insurance marketplace plans covering the HIV medications he prescribed. So, Farmer was looking for an “in” at the Indiana Department of Insurance in hopes of influencing the process on a larger scale.

Then, an email from a former Butler University professor popped into his inbox.

Carriann Smith, professor of pharmacy practice, was working on a project —with the Department of Insurance—on marketplace health insurance plans. Would Farmer be interested in helping?

“It was unbelievable timing,” says Farmer, who graduated from Butler with a degree in Pharmacy in 2007. “I was desperately looking for a way to improve the process when it comes to deciding what drugs insurance companies cover on marketplace plans. We were having issues with plans covering some of the HIV medications and not others, and I wanted to influence the process on a much bigger scale than just my institution.”

Now, about four years later, the partnership between Butler and the Department of Insurance, which has involved about 25 Butler undergrads, five Butler alumni, and 11 Butler faculty, is doing just that—influencing the process. The tool they created, which insurance companies in Indiana fully implemented last year, specifies what medications insurance companies should cover for 17 diseases that are health priorities in the state.

One purpose of health insurance plans available on the marketplace, Smith says, was to provide a level playing field, and to make sure individuals with certain diseases were not discriminated against by insurance companies in terms of the level of coverage provided.

However, prior to this tool, insurance companies were deciding which medications to cover for each disease. There was limited external clinical perspective or dialogue with experts about why certain medications would or would not be covered, Smith says.

“Our tool takes into account all of the latest research, the published literature, and uses the clinical experience and expertise of our faculty, as well as external experts,” Smith says. “The goal is to bridge the gap between the regulators, the insurance companies, and the clinicians, and get everybody on the same page. We look at the evidence and, based on that evidence, say 'Is that side effect of that medication really true, or is a prior authorization really needed, or, from a clinical perspective, this really should be covered.' Medicine is not always black and white, and this now allows for more of a dialogue.”

The Department of Insurance now shares the tool with insurance companies in Indiana, who in turn use it while finalizing their marketplace insurance plans for the year. Plans are then submitted to the Department of Insurance for approval. The tool is used by the insurance companies when deciding which medications to cover for the 17 diseases it looks at.

By providing this expertise, and in turn, this tool, to insurance companies, Butler is adding a clinical perspective to the medication decision-making process when it comes to designing insurance plans. Most insurance companies have limited clinical expertise on staff when thinking through which drugs should be covered. As a result, the clinical perspective is not always taken into consideration or discussed. This process adds that clinical expertise, which in turn could result in a more thorough development of  insurance plans.

“Our goal is not necessarily to make more drugs covered, but to make sure the key products are covered,” Smith says. “We need to weigh the benefits and potential side effects for patients. So our job as clinicians is to carefully consider the literature and evaluate whether or not a treatment is best.”

Keeping up with the latest literature and research has been the main focus of Drew Johnson, a P3 Pharmacy major, who has been involved in the project since 2018. Johnson reviews all of the generic products that come to market and makes sure the tools for bipolar, depression, and MS reflect the most current medications.

To do that, Johnson collaborates with clinical pharmacy specialists, reads up on drug industry newsletters, sifts through literature in the latest databases, and, occasionally, whips out his notes from the clinical experts who recently taught his classes at Butler to see if there is a particular drug in the pipeline that he should be aware of.

“Without having an external clinician looking at these plans, it is possible for the insurance company to look past the clinical perspective,” Johnson says. “Our involvement helps to ensure that quality insurance programs are sold throughout the state of Indiana to all individuals.”

That was essentially why the Department of Insurance reached out to Butler in the first place.

Jenifer Groth, spokesperson for the Department of Insurance, says the Department reached out to Butler in an effort to leverage the pharmacy program’s expertise, as the Department worked to determine if insurance carriers were covering an adequate amount of prescription drugs.

Which all leads back to Eric Farmer and all that paperwork.

As the Affordable Care Act was being implemented, Farmer was noticing that many of his patients with marketplace plans were having trouble getting coverage for the HIV medications he was prescribing.

“Keep in mind, when it comes to HIV, these pills are expensive,” he says. “To control HIV, the first line regimen is usually $2,500 to $3,000, and it only gets more expensive from there.”

The problem was, Farmer was seeing that most of his patients with marketplace plans were getting denied those first line regimens. The insurance companies were asking for prior authorizations for those drugs. Sometimes, insurance companies would not only ask for a prior authorization, but they would instead recommend trying a different drug—usually one from the 1990s, or one that was no longer on the market in the U.S.

“HIV is a field that moves super fast and many insurance companies weren’t keeping up,” Farmer says. “I would spend the majority of my day filling out paperwork, and I am lucky that I was able to. Imagine a small primary care doctor in rural Indiana—if he or she gets a prior authorization back from an insurance company, they likely won’t have the time or person power to fill out that paperwork. Instead, they will just ask the insurance company what will they cover, and just prescribe whatever the insurance company says they will cover. As a result, that patient is not getting the best care.”

Now, Farmer is working on the HIV tool to help guide insurance companies. One aspect of Farmer’s work is determining what medications should be covered, and which should require prior authorizations and which shouldn’t—all from a clinical perspective.

 

MEDIA CONTACT
Rachel Stern
Director of Strategic Communications
rstern@butler.edu
317-940-9257 (mobile: 914-815-5656)

Pharmacy
AcademicsCommunity

Butler Provides Critical Clinical Expertise to Insurance Industry

Butler has developed a tool that could aid in a more thorough development of insurance plans.

Apr 04 2019 Read more
AcademicsCampusResearch

Scholarship Supports Student's Research of Refugees in Germany

BY Marc Allan MFA `18

PUBLISHED ON Apr 03 2019

On a Butler University Honors Program and Modern Languages, Literatures, and Cultures-sponsored “Bulldogs to Berlin” spring break trip in 2018, Addy McKown ’21 became fascinated by how the Germans had taken in 2 million Syrian and Turkish refugees, and how those refugees have integrated and assimilated.

“I saw neighborhoods that were devoted to thousands of people from Turkey and Syria and how the city swallows them up and lets German culture wash over them,” she says. “Yet their native cultures are still prevalent in their neighborhoods with their markets, with their restaurants and cafés, and how they garden. They let them adjust to their new life while retaining the fondness and heritage of their old life.”

Her observation became the impetus for her honors thesis, A Cross-Cultural Comparison of the Assimilation of Twenty-First Century Refugees in Modern Cultures. It also earned her the annual Bruce and Lucy Gerstein Holocaust Education Travel Fund, an endowed fund established by Indianapolis dermatologist and friend of the University Dr. David Gerstein. The Fund, named for Gerstein’s parents, supports travel and research related to the Holocaust.

For her thesis, McKown is comparing how Germany and the United States are handling the current refugee crisis, and how the Holocaust left residual effects on Germany’s foreign policy and relief aid efforts.

McKown, a double major in Critical Communications and Media Studies and Human Communication and Organizational Leadership, is spending the spring 2019 semester at Humboldt University in Germany. She’s also traveled on weekends to Vienna, Prague, and Dresden to see how they're taking in refugees.

In Berlin, she’s visited Tempelhof Airport, where some refugees have been housed in hangars, and she’s planning to go back to talk to people living there.

McKown, who’s from New Castle, Indiana, says she chose Butler after visiting campus and meeting representatives of the study abroad and honors programs, and her future faculty advisor, Associate Professor of Communications Allison Harthcock.

“I immediately fell in love with the possibilities,” she says. “I love to travel. I was fortunate to have parents who exposed me to that from a young age. So hearing about all the study abroad opportunities was great. I came here and you feel like a family, but a family that's going to push you and not let you settle for mediocre. That was really important to me.”

Jason Lantzer, Assistant Director of the University Honors Program, describes McKown as “a wonderful student and a terrific representation of our Honors Program.” He’s taught her in a couple of classes and was one of the professors who led the first trip she took to Germany.

“The Gerstein Fund not only helped her achieve her goal of going back, but is helping to lay the groundwork for her planned honors thesis,” Lantzer says. “Having just returned from the second time of Bulldogs to Berlin, it was great to get to see Addy while we were in the city and see just how much she has grown in the year since she first arrived.”

McKown says she’s unsure of her plans after graduation—she might apply for a Fulbright Award, go to graduate school, or find a job. She’s interested in working within outreach programs, a liaison between the public and the organization.

“I want to be on the people side of things, whether that's organizing training, doing research sessions in groups to find out how to better market products or word our statements,” she says.

In the meantime, she plans to keep her options open and explore the world. She thinks others should do the same.

“It's OK to explore something that hasn't been explored yet,” she says. “To witness this refugee crisis firsthand, to see what such a crisis is doing to the world, you can get involved and step in in some sort of way, whether that just ends up educating yourself or if you come over here and start a thesis, if you join the Peace Corps. Whatever it is, I think it's just important to open your eyes up and see the world and see what you can do with it.”

 

AcademicsCampusResearch

Scholarship Supports Student's Research of Refugees in Germany

Addy McKown '21 has been awarded a scholarship from the Bruce and Lucy Gerstein Holocaust Education Travel Fund.

Apr 03 2019 Read more
New Data Analytics Boot Camp
AcademicsCommunity

Butler University Launches Data Analytics Boot Camp in Partnership with Trilogy Education

BY

PUBLISHED ON Aug 07 2019

Indianapolis, IN (August 6, 2019) – Today, Butler University Executive Education announced the launch of a data analytics boot camp, in partnership with leading workforce accelerator Trilogy Education. Geared toward adult learners and working professionals, the Butler Executive Education Data Analytics Boot Camp teaches the analytical, technical, and teamwork skills necessary to become a proficient data professional.

The 24-week, part-time program begins November 19, 2019 and includes two, three-hour evening classes during the week (6:30 to 9:30 PM) and a four-hour class on Saturdays (10:00 AM to 2:00 PM). Enrollment is now open at bootcamp.butler.edu.

“Butler University Executive Education has partnered with Trilogy Education to help meet the ever-growing demand for data professionals in Indianapolis,” said William Gulley, Executive Director of Butler Executive Education. “Collectively, Butler University and Trilogy will aid students with rigorous, hands-on coursework, and an excellent support structure that will feed the city’s increasingly data-driven economy.”

The ability to create actionable insights from complex data sets has become a universal need across businesses in every industry. According to data from Burning Glass, Indianapolis employers struggled to fill more than 23,000 open roles in the last year alone requiring some level of data proficiency. Nationally, roles like data scientist, business analyst, and research analyst rank among the fastest-growing professions.

“The number of job openings in Indianapolis requiring data analytics skills was 53 percent higher in 2018 than the year before,” said Dan Sommer, CEO and Founder of Trilogy Education. “Butler University recognizes that this growth in demand is creating a gap between the skills companies need and the ability of Indianapolis’ workforce to supply those skills at scale. We’re excited to partner with Butler to help increase the city’s pipeline of data-savvy talent.”

Pairing Butler’s strengths with Trilogy’s market-driven data analytics curriculum offers students of the new program both the competence and confidence to succeed as data professionals. The program’s curriculum covers everything from data programming to data storytelling and helps students build proficiency in technologies like Excel, Tableau, Python, Pandas, SQL, MongoDB, JavaScript, basic machine learning, and more.

In addition to classroom instruction, students will spend a minimum of 20 hours a week on outside projects, homework, and experiential learning activities, ranging from visualizing bike sharing data in Indianapolis to mapping worldwide earthquakes in real-time. They’ll build a professional project portfolio to showcase their abilities and hone their competitive edge in the employment market. Students will also receive a range of career-planning services, portfolio reviews, recruiting assistance, and extensive staff support.

Boot Camp students will gain the knowledge and skills to conduct robust analytics on real-world problems and receive a Certificate in Data Analytics from Butler Executive Education.

 

Apply Now

To learn more about the Butler Executive Education Data Analytics Boot Camp, visit bootcamp.butler.edu. You can apply online or by calling (317) 210-2385.

 

About Butler University Executive Education

Butler University Executive Education offers custom in-person development, and online certificate programs, to both individuals and businesses seeking to expand their knowledge to meet the rapidly changing needs of today’s business environment. Executive Education’s programs are built around what organizations want their employees to learn, and what skill-sets individuals need to advance their careers. For more information, visit https://www.butler.edu/executive-education.

 

About Trilogy Education

Trilogy Education, a 2U, Inc. brand (NASDAQ: TWOU), is a workforce accelerator that empowers the world’s leading universities to prepare professionals for high-growth careers in the digital economy. Trilogy’s intensive, skills-based training programs bridge regional talent gaps in coding, data analytics, UX/UI, and cybersecurity in more than 50 markets around the globe. Thousands of working adults have successfully completed Trilogy-powered programs, and more than 2,500 companies—ranging from startups to the Fortune 500—employ them.

 

Community Partnerships

Through collaboration and strong partnerships, Butler Beyond will unleash the potential of our brilliant faculty and students on the complex issues facing our community. Support for this pillar will expand Butler’s reach and roots in the Indianapolis community and beyond by cultivating deeper integration with local organizations and businesses, increasing experiential learning opportunities for students, nurturing new ventures, and more. Learn more, make a gift, and read other stories like this one at beyond.butler.edu.

New Data Analytics Boot Camp
AcademicsCommunity

Butler University Launches Data Analytics Boot Camp in Partnership with Trilogy Education

Offers part-time professional data analytics program in Indianapolis beginning November 19  

Aug 07 2019 Read more
Virtual Anatomy Table
Academics

Technology is Shaping the Way PA Students Are Learning

BY

PUBLISHED ON Sep 12 2017

Innovative additions to the program give students new ways to view the human body.

A virtual cadaver table. Ultrasound systems. Fresh-tissue labs. These are some of the new ways that Butler PA students are learning their craft and gaining experience in the workings of the human body.

“All three of these together are really innovations in our curriculum and will help shape our understanding of the human body,” said College of Pharmacy and Health Sciences Professor Jennifer Snyder, who runs the PA program.

The cadaver table, called an Anatomage, came to Butler thanks to a grant written by the University’s Information Technology department and co-funded by Dean Robert Soltis and the College. The Anatomage—think of a 7-foot-long iPad—allows users to explore 3D images of the human body, inside and out.

You can wipe away layers of skin. Remove muscle or take bone. Stand up the table or lay it flat.

“The students can see in a different dimension what they can’t get with models or a skeleton hanging on a post,” Snyder said. “It’s bringing technology to the classroom and professors can create lectures around the table to enhance learning.”

Previously, professors used plastic models to illustrate their points. “Never in the past have we been able to isolate individual systems within the body,” she said. “We could show every bone, but we couldn’t show bone, muscle, and vascular systems and how they interact together. Now we can peel away skin, peel away bone. They could never get this view from a model. It really makes it alive in a way we haven’t been able to do before.”

Snyder said the Anatomage is going to help students’ understanding of spatial relationships between parts of the body. And the technology suits today’s learners. The tables will be used in the College’s undergraduate and graduate anatomy courses.

“This really meets the students where they are,” she said. “They like technology, and if that’s what they like, they’re going to learn what they need to learn more quickly and easily.”

A standard way for medical students to learn anatomy is to look inside the body by working on cadavers. But working on embalmed, preserved bodies is different from working on fresh tissue. PA students at Butler University now go to the Medical Academic Center at the Indiana Spine Group north of Indianapolis to practice procedures on fresh tissue or cadavers that have not been embalmed.

Procedures such as suturing, lumbar punctures, intubation, and joint injections are performed.

Snyder said students may have an entire body to work on, but they also may have body parts—a back or shoulder, for instance.

“Before the students go out on rotations, before they practice on live people, they’re going to practice on a dead person,” she said. “They so appreciate getting to practice what they’ve learned without it being a live person first. We’re now taking it to where we’re applying what we’ve taught them in laboratory courses and they’re doing these procedures before they’re out suturing on you or me.”

She said this opportunity is uncommon in PA education. “You don’t see this application experience very often until you’re actually doing it for the first time. Experience counts.”

And because experience counts, Snyder said the College also has purchased four ultrasound systems that will be integrated across the PA curriculum in classes such as Anatomy and Physiology, History and Physical Examination, and Imaging.

“This is really cutting edge as far as PA education,” Snyder said. “A lot of people really learn this on the job. It hasn’t been embraced fully in PA programs across the United States. Our graduates will have a familiarity and a comfort level that students in other programs just won’t have.”

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

Virtual Anatomy Table
Academics

Technology is Shaping the Way PA Students Are Learning

A virtual cadaver table. Ultrasound systems. Fresh-tissue labs. These are some of the new ways that Butler PA students are learning their craft and gaining experience in the workings of the human body.

Sep 12 2017 Read more
AcademicsCommunity

Yoga Gives Lab School Students Time to Breathe

BY

PUBLISHED ON Mar 13 2017

 

 

It’s after lunch in 1990 Butler graduate Lisa Gundaker’s kindergarten/first-grade class at the IPS/Butler University Laboratory School, and that means it’s time for downward-facing dog, star pose, and tree position.

She turns off the lights and puts on a recording of forest sounds—crickets chirping, birds calling.

“Take a deep breath in,” she instructs. “Lower your arms and let your breath out.”

Most of her 20 or so students, who have scattered around the room, stretch and balance themselves silently as their teacher leads them through various yoga moves. Some curl up with little stuffed animals they call “breathing buddies” and rest quietly.

“Think about your day,” she says as she walks around the room spraying a lavender/peppermint mist. “Think about one positive thing that’s happened today.”

For these 10 minutes, a quiet calm takes over the room.

 

The yoga exercises Gundaker leads in her classroom are replicated daily throughout the Lab School—and have been since the elementary school reopened five years ago as a partnership between the Indianapolis Public Schools and Butler. The idea is to relieve stress, to give the students a chance to move purposefully, and teach them how to calm down and focus.

“It gives them a time to be by themselves,” Gundaker says later. “We’re together, we’re together, we’re together. We’d just come back from recess and lunch. My thinking about adding yoga to quiet times is that children learn to slow down and reflect. They get to know themselves better and they can take it home too.”

Yoga at the Lab School started when Heather Williams, then the administrative assistant, saw that some classrooms were struggling to stay focused. She started in one classroom and soon was in all of them. As the Lab School grew—it started with kindergarten and first grade and has added a grade every year—so did Williams’ responsibilities.

Today, her title is Yoga Instructor/Researcher, and she’s paid, in part, from a three-year, $150,000 grant from PNC Bank, a major supporter of the Lab School.

"PNC's signature philanthropic cause is early childhood education, which is supported through its Grow Up Great program," PNC Senior Vice President Jeff Kucer said. "The Lab School was a perfect fit for us."

Williams said the yoga program’s positive effects can be seen in students across the school. For some, like Ella, a student in Gundaker’s class, yoga is fun.

“I like yoga,” she says, “because it kind of makes you relax sometimes and it makes you focus. And it feels good.”

For others, yoga is vital. Williams tells the story of a Lab School student who has lost both parents to murder. He’s a quiet, soft-spoken kid, but when he gets worked up, no one can seem to quite get him back down, she said. They’ve done yoga together, and the boy’s grandmother has told Williams that he will go home and do the exercises on his own.

“There is a ton of scientific research backing up yoga, breathing, and mindfulness—how it not only helps academically but also with life skills,” she said. “Now there are a lot more people taking it seriously and doing the research on it to back that up. If you’re going to teach someone academics but you don’t teach them how to deal with emotions or teach them life skills, then you’re not teaching the whole child. If they don’t know how to deal with their inner struggles, it’s going to affect them one way or another.”

 

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

AcademicsCommunity

Yoga Gives Lab School Students Time to Breathe

It’s after lunch in 1990 Butler graduate Lisa Gundaker’s kindergarten/first-grade class at the IPS/Butler University Laboratory School, and that means it’s time for downward-facing dog, star pose, and tree position.

Mar 13 2017 Read more
The Tropical Field Biology Coral Reef program has changed since 1969, but its purpose stays the same.
UnleashedAcademics

Butler’s Oldest Study Abroad Trip Watches Climate Change Through Coral

BY Rachel Stern

PUBLISHED ON Jun 27 2019

Back in 1969, they met at Butler University, loaded up five cars with camping gear, and were off to the Florida Keys for the inaugural Tropical Field Biology Coral Reef study abroad trip. Nearly everyone took a turn at the wheel—including students and the chairs of the Chemistry and Zoology Departments at the time—and they made it to Cordele, Georgia, the first night. Then, on to the Keys.

Before hitting the road, the students learned how to snorkel in the old Hinkle Fieldhouse pool, where Professor Emeritus of Biology James Berry transformed from Biology Professor to underwater guru. The week-long trip cost students about $45 that first year. They cooked their own meals. They shared one shower. They pitched their own tents.

Berry says he was inspired to start the trip when a student revealed he had never been south of Bloomington, Indiana.

“We wanted to show these students what the rest of the world looked like,” says Berry.

Fifty years later, the Tropical Field Biology trip is Butler’s longest-running study abroad program. Though the backdrop has changed—the class has gone to the Florida Keys, then Pigeon Key, then Jamaica, now Belize—the original reason for packing up those cars has not. The trip gives students a chance to see everything they learn about in a classroom up close.

Oh, that fish we read about in the textbook back in Indianapolis, it is swimming right next to me, and now I have to identify it and explain that it is important to this ecosystem because...

The study abroad trip has also morphed into a 50-year study, of sorts, on the effects of climate change.

“Back in the 1970s, we weren’t thinking much about global warming,” says Dave Daniell, who was part of the original trip in 1969 and is now Professor Emeritus of Biology. “We certainly heard about the possibility back then, but it was a relatively new concept. We were starting to chart out areas of the world that it might effect. As the years went on, it became clear that you could really see the effects on corals, as they were sensitive to a few degrees in temperature change. This trip, then, became a way to observe how corals were changing over time, year after year.”

Students are no longer paying $45 to go to Belize. They are not driving themselves. They are not cooking their own meals, pitching their own tents, or sharing a single shower. But the impact of the trip has not changed a bit since 1969.

In fact, because the effects of climate change have become increasingly apparent and detrimental with each passing year, the impact of the trip has only become more immediate and intense, says senior Matt Warren, who went on the trip this spring.

“The fragility of the ecosystem becomes so clear when it is right in front of you,” Warren says. “Let’s say we are only seeing 20 percent of it, because the other 80 percent has been damaged. What will the next generation see 10, 15, 20 years down the line? Will we even have this ecosystem anymore? And if so, what will it look like? When you are in Belize learning about everything this ecosystem does and impacts, it becomes impossible to not start wondering about all the things we are doing to ruin it, but then start thinking, how can we make positive change?

 

Underwater tests

Since 1997, the class has been visiting Ambergris Caye, Belize, home to the world’s second-longest barrier reef. The Butler group stays at the Belize Marine Tropical Research and Education Center, where the staff serve as hosts, providing the boats and leading the group to different reefs.

A typical day starts around 9:00 AM with breakfast, then a boat ride to the day’s snorkeling location. The class usually snorkels for about two hours before a lunch break. Then, it’s on to the next snorkeling spot. The goal is to snorkel in as many different ecosystems as possible. After a few more hours under the water, it’s back to the house for dinner and lectures until around 8:30 PM.

Shelley Etnier, Associate Professor of Biology, has been leading the trip since 2003. A lot of the learning happens before, during, and after the trip, she explains.

“We ask our students to learn more than 200 organisms before we even arrive in Belize,” Etnier says. “We have exams at Butler before we leave, lectures on the boat once we are there, exams underwater on slates with a mask and snorkel on while swimming, an exam at the airport. We write up every organism we see when we get back from snorkeling. If you go and snorkel for five hours and don’t know anything, you just think you saw a bunch of cool fish. But we know all of the fish, the algae, the coral, and invertebrates, and as a result, we become much more invested.”

Beyond biology, the course discusses what has shaped Belize, the ecotourism industry, the challenges the country is facing, the government, and what life in Belize is like.

All of this helps the students understand the social, cultural, political, and economic forces that influence the health of marine ecosystems. And it helps paint a full picture of how what they are seeing in the water every day has an impact on the entire country.

 

Drastic changes over the years

Etnier used to send out the same packing list to her students year after year. Historically, the weather in Belize was very predictable: Always leave the raincoat at home. Now, Etnier says, she makes sure students are ready for the elements.

“We never used to see cool, rainy weather before,” Etnier says. “But now, things aren’t as predictable as they were before. That is all associated with climate change.”

The trip’s location hopping wasn’t without reason, either. The effects of climate change had left them with less to study while snorkeling. In some places, hurricanes damaged the reefs, but the most common occurrence has been coral bleaching.

When temperatures get too hot, corals get stressed, causing them to spit out algae inside of them, which makes them lose their color and turn white. Corals can recover from a temporary stressor. But if the stressor is consistent, corals become weak and will not recover.

“Belize definitely doesn’t look like what it did in 2003,” Etnier says. “It is not as pristine. The country has done a great job protecting their reefs, but we still see major differences.”

Since 2013, the group has also seen an increase in floating algae. With a very rough, almost sandpapery texture, floating algae used to pop up here and there—maybe a piece or two. Now, Etnier says, it is everywhere. Giant tennis-court-size pieces of it, about six inches deep. The people of Belize need bulldozers to scrape it off the beaches.

Sam Ross, a senior at Butler, has always loved animals. He grew up watching The Crocodile Hunter and knew he wanted to get involved in biology and study animals in college.

But after taking Tropical Field Biology and going to Belize this past spring, everything changed for him.

“It made me really sad to come face to face with the reality that we continue to do things every day, even with the knowledge that what we are doing is incredibly damaging,” says Ross, a Biology major. “One might think a couple-degree change in temperature isn’t a big deal. But when we see the impact on the life in the ocean, it is a huge deal. And when we learn about everything that impacts an entire country’s way of life, you start to look at things differently.”

Ross still wants to study animals, but he now wants his research to be more impactful. Instead of just looking at snakes, for example, he wants to go to graduate school, get his doctorate in ecology, and teach at the college level. He wants to look at entire ecosystems, not just one species, and study how humans affect their lives and their existence.

“This course and experience made me really take a step back and look at the broader picture,” he says. “I might have known I always loved animals, but I never thought about the bigger picture and how everything is connected. Everything impacts everything else, and we need to take ownership and make change because no one else will.”

The Tropical Field Biology Coral Reef program has changed since 1969, but its purpose stays the same.
UnleashedAcademics

Butler’s Oldest Study Abroad Trip Watches Climate Change Through Coral

The Tropical Field Biology Coral Reef program has changed since 1969, but its purpose stays the same.

Jun 27 2019 Read more
AcademicsStudent LifePeople

Butler Journal of Undergraduate Research Is Ready to Be Read

BY

PUBLISHED ON Apr 25 2018

An examination of an Indianapolis food cooperative's work to stem food insecurity, measurements of job satisfaction among those employed by intercollegiate sport organizations, and the underrepresentation of women in U.S. elected political offices are some of the topics covered in the fourth annual Butler Journal of Undergraduate Research (BJUR).

A full list of topics is below.

Volume 4 of the journal contains 12 student papers, including four from Butler students. Sixteen Butler faculty members in addition to the co-editors served as reviewers in selecting the best papers from among the various submissions for this issue.

Kenneth Colburn, Butler Sociology Professor and Co-Editor of the journal, said there have been more than 13,000 downloads of BJUR articles from many different institutions around the world.

"The academic exposure for Butler is very nice," he said. "Everyone knows about our basketball team, but we think it's important that a large audience also understands that Butler is a place for student scholarship."

BJUR was created to build on the success of Butler's Undergraduate Research Conference, which just completed its 30th year, and to complete the cycle—from doing the research to presenting the findings to publishing.

"We enjoy giving students this outlet," said Psychology Professor Tara Lineweaver, a Co-Editor of BJUR. "I have mentored four students who have submitted their honors theses to the journal, and I can say that each and every time they're thrilled to have their paper published in BJUR. It's a very good resume/CV builder for them. And it feels like the project is complete when you get to the stage of seeing it in publication."

Thus far, 19 of the 42 papers published have been written by Butler students. The journal also has published 23 papers authored by students from the University of Pittsburgh, Bellarmine University, Huntington University, Wabash College, Keene State, Columbia University, Hanover College (2), Midway College, Brandeis University, IU-Bloomington, University of Warwick (England), Cal Poly Pomona, DePauw University, University of Tennessee-Martin, University of Indianapolis, and Stanford University.

These are the papers and their authors from the fourth edition of BJUR:

PDF

A Community's Collective Courage: A Local Food Cooperative's Impact on Food Insecurity, Community and Economic Development, and Local Food Systems
Tabitha C. Barbour

PDF

Allopathic Medicine’s Influence on Indigenous Peoples in the Kumaon Region of India
Eliana M. Blum

PDF

Determinants of job satisfaction and dissatisfaction among practitioners employed in intercollegiate sport organizations
Ian Cooper, Chantel Heinsen, and Michael Diacin

PDF

Individualized Music Improves Social Interaction of Women, But Not Men, With Dementia
Emily Farrer and Diana Hilycord

PDF

Inferences on Criminality Based on Appearance
Hannah Johnson, Morgan Anderson, Hayley R. Westra, and Hayden Suter

PDF

A Blend of Absurdism and Humanism: Defending Kurt Vonnegut’s Place in the Secondary Setting
Krisandra R. Johnson

PDF

Do Black and White Americans Hold Different Views on Marijuana Legalization? Analyzing the Impact of “The War on Drugs” on Racialized Perceptions of Legalizing Marijuana
Benjamin S. Kaminoff

PDF

Miguel de Unamuno: The Relationship among Women, his Life, Spanish Society and El marqués de Lumbría
Tina Maric

PDF

Using Random Forests to Describe Equity in Higher Education: A Critical Quantitative Analysis of Utah’s Postsecondary Pipelines
Tyler McDaniel

PDF

Public Financing and the Underrepresentation of Women in United States Elected Political Offices
Libby P. Moyer

PDF

Holding on to Culture: The Effects of the 1837 Smallpox Epidemic on Mandan and Hidatsa
Jayne Reinhiller

PDF

The Reification of Hegemonic Masculinity via Heteronormativity, Sexual Objectification, and Masculine Performances in Tau Kappa Epsilon Recruitment Videos
Viki Tomanov

The first three volumes of BJUR (2015-2017) were funded through a Butler Innovation grant; this year’s journal was funded by the College of Liberal Arts and Sciences.

Going forward, funding will be provided in part by the following annual sponsors who have committed financial support: English; Biological Sciences; College of Communication; College of Education; College of Liberal Arts and Sciences; Creative Media and Journalism; Critical Communication and Media Studies; Gender, Women and Sexuality Studies; History and Anthropology; International Studies; Jordan College of Arts; Neuroscience; Philosophy, Religion & Classics; Physics and Astronomy; Political Science/Peace and Conflict Studies; Psychology; Science, Technology and Environmental Sciences; Sociology and Criminology; Strategic Communication; Founding Partner-Irwin Library.

 

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

 

AcademicsStudent LifePeople

Butler Journal of Undergraduate Research Is Ready to Be Read

The fourth volume of the increasingly popular annual publication is now online.

Apr 25 2018 Read more

How Entrepreneurial Are You?

Marc D. Allan MFA ’18

from Spring 2018

 

Stephanie Fernhaber remembers a student asking Butler University President Jim Danko, who owned a medical-supply company for many years, about the transition from being an entrepreneur to academia. And she recalls his answer vividly: “I really do believe that in whatever you are doing, even in running this University, I really like to think like an entrepreneur.” 

That’s the mindset she tries to instill in her students. 

Fernhaber, Associate Professor of Entrepreneurship in the Lacy School of Business, thinks we can all be entrepreneurial, our job titles notwithstanding. 

“We tend to think of entrepreneurs as high-tech startups or someone who owns their own business,” she said. “But being an entrepreneur means being innovative, actively pursuing new opportunities, and taking managed risk. So it’s really a spectrum. It’s not ‘Are you an entrepreneur?’ It’s ‘How entrepreneurial are you?’” 

Take her, for example. Yes, she’s a professor, but she applies an entrepreneurial approach to her work with both undergraduates and MBA students. 

“In my research, I need to be entrepreneurial because I have to come up with brand new ideas and theories and ways of testing them,” she said. “But even in our teaching, I think we all strive to be innovative. We want to try new things that will create value for our students. In doing that, there are some calculated risks.” 

Fernhaber grew up in an entrepreneurial home—her father ran his own construction company in northern Wisconsin— and her first job after earning her undergraduate degree in Business and Spanish from Ripon College was writing business plans, doing market feasibility studies, and helping startups and business owners get Small Business Administration loans. 

She earned her MBA at Marquette University and her doctorate in Entrepreneurship from Indiana University. In 2010, she joined the Butler faculty after four years as an Assistant Professor/Affiliate Status at Iowa State University. 

In her teaching and research, she looks at entrepreneurship and innovation in a variety of ways. One course she teaches is Social Entrepreneurship—how entrepreneurship can be applied to social issues. Her current research is focused on bridging international and social entrepreneurship, and considers how grassroots innovations in India move from the local level to the world stage. 

In addition to publishing nearly 20 journal articles, Fernhaber has co-authored two books, Teaching the Entrepreneurial Mindset to Engineers and The Routledge Companion to International Entrepreneurship. She’s also been part of the collaboration between several of Butler’s Colleges to write, illustrate, produce, and sell children’s books on subjects related to health. In that project, students and faculty from the participating Colleges bring their different expertise. 

And that, Fernhaber point outs, is an example of an entrepreneurial, innovative way to teach. 

“What I enjoy most in the classroom,” she said, “is when students get excited and get engaged about a project or a topic and when you can find a way to reach them.” 

AcademicsPeople

How Entrepreneurial Are You?

Fernhaber, Associate Professor of Entrepreneurship in the Lacy School of Business, thinks we can all be entrepreneurial, our job titles notwithstanding. 

by Marc D. Allan MFA ’18

from Spring 2018

Read more
AcademicsCommunity

Wherefore Art Thou, Juliet Blue? In a Butler Chemistry Lab

BY

PUBLISHED ON Oct 02 2017

A “happy accident” leads to a scientific discovery.

In a couple of weeks, some chemists in Verona, Italy, are going to find out what’s been happening in a Butler University Chemistry lab, and they’re going to be grateful.

They’re going to be notified that junior Ben Dawson, working with Chemistry Professor Anne Wilson this past summer, 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 Co. 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.”

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 some contamination from the compound in the rubber mats. And he 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.”

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

AcademicsCommunity

Wherefore Art Thou, Juliet Blue? In a Butler Chemistry Lab

Chemists in Verona, Italy, will find out what’s been happening in a Butler University Chemistry lab.

Oct 02 2017 Read more
AcademicsStudent LifePeople

Ten Butler Students Selected for Orr Fellowships

BY

PUBLISHED ON Feb 13 2018

Ten Butler students from the Class of 2018 have landed two-year jobs after graduation through the Orr Fellowship program, which recruits and evaluates candidates based on academic excellence, extracurricular involvement, and leadership qualities and matches them with local companies.

The students (and companies) are:

Claire Cox (Allegion)

Zach Bellavia (Ascend Indiana)

Cole Geitner (DemandJump)

Bailey Padgett (FirstPerson)

Benjamin Evans (hc1.com)

Eleanor McCandless (Innovatemap)

Sarah Thuet (OurHealth)

Hayley Brown (Probo Medical)

Mariam Saeedi (RocketBuild)

Kaitlyn Sawin (Vibenomics)

Some 1,100 students competed for 70 possible positions with 47 companies across central Indiana.

The Orr Fellowship facilitates in-depth interviews that connect local decision makers to top young professionals.

“What began as a simple idea – attract talented new graduates to central Indiana’s workforce and grow them into business leaders and entrepreneurs over the course of two years – has evolved into a program infusing the community with hundreds of entrepreneurial, high-achieving and civic-minded Orr Fellows and alumni,” said Karyn Smitson, Orr Fellowship Executive Director.

Named for the late Indiana Governor Robert D. Orr, the Orr Fellowship develops the next generation of business leaders and entrepreneurs in Indianapolis. The Fellowship is designed to create a foundation for career success and a talent pipeline for the Indy business community.

Since its inception in 2001, Orr Fellowship has placed nearly 400 Fellows with some of Indiana’s leading companies, and many Fellows have gone on to form their own companies.

 

 

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

 

 

AcademicsStudent LifePeople

Ten Butler Students Selected for Orr Fellowships

These members of the Class of 2018 have two-year guaranteed jobs.

Feb 13 2018 Read more

Stephanie Fernhaber: A Butler Professor Taking Learning Beyond the Classroom

by Sarah Bahr

While visiting a friend 4,300 miles away in Morocco last fall, Butler University Associate Professor of Entrepreneurship Stephanie Fernhaber came face-to-face with her first-world privilege.

She encountered a woman her age—43—who’d never attended a day of school in her life. The woman could neither read nor write.

“I’d read about the percent of women who are illiterate, but she wasn’t a number,” Fernhaber says. “She was an actual person.”

Fernhaber was inspired by the Moroccan mother’s determination to send her daughters to school, to break the cycle of illiteracy.

Back in Indianapolis, Fernhaber had a similar experience in 2017 when she discovered that the city she lives and works in was ranked last in the nation for food deserts, or areas where residents must travel a mile or more to reach a grocery store.

“I was shocked,” she says.

But, in both cases, she was also inspired. And she turned her shock into action.

All in the Family

Fernhaber grew up in a small town in northern Wisconsin—Gresham, population 586 as of the 2010 census—as the daughter of community-minded parents.

“I was familiar with social justice before I ever learned the word,” she says.

She credits her father, who owned a construction company, for instilling her passion for community-conscious activism.

“I was always conscious of the balance between business, community, and social impact,” she says.

Fernhaber has now lived in Indiana for nine years—she moved after she took a teaching position at Butler in 2010—but her passion for social entrepreneurship, or using start-up companies to develop and implement solutions to community issues, transcends location.

A longtime dream came to fruition when she developed a social entrepreneurship course at Butler, which she inaugurated in spring 2014.

Nonprofits in Indianapolis were scrambling to address big-picture issues like food insecurity and refugee resettlement with limited resources.

She had a captive audience of 24 students for 16 weeks (and could have had even more, but she caps the class, which she says always fills, to ensure it remains meaningful for students).

What can we do to help?, she thought.

A Class of Dreams

Fernhaber calls the Social Entrepreneurship course her “dream class”—in more ways than one. Yes, it allows her to share her passion for utilizing entrepreneurship to create social justice solutions, but it also inspires students to exercise their creativity.

“I wanted them to have a chance to see what’s happening in the community and have the chance to dream, and this class allows me to do both,” she says.

This spring, her fifth semester teaching the course, her students will split into teams of three and partner with eight community organizations. Past partners have included the Indianapolis Canine Assistance Network, Exodus Refugee Immigration, and Indy Reads Books, but Fernhaber adds new ones each year.

Each team will assess their assigned organization’s business model based on the social enterprise concepts they’re learning in class, as well as provide recommendations for how the organization can better serve their target population.

They’ll also produce a short video that will highlight the impact the organization is having in the community. At the end of the semester, the videos will be shared on the Central Indiana Social Enterprise Alliance website.

Beyond the Classroom

Butler sophomore Jordan Stewart-Curet, 20, helped Boys & Girls Club Teen Council members develop youth empowerment initiatives as part of the communityINNOVATE project, an initiative Fernhaber developed in 2016 to inspire the community to co-create solutions for social issues.

“The best memories I have are from the group discussions that would take place with the teen groups,” Stewart-Curet says. “To see them transform from shy, reserved individuals to powerful, confident community leaders are experiences I will forever take with me.”

Stewart-Curet calls Fernhaber someone who “truly, truly cares” and “is full of passion and drive to better the community.”

“She is a phenomenal woman,” Stewart-Curet says. “She has a heart for not only the students she works with, but issues of justice and equality for the community around her.”

Case in point: Teaching a class on social entrepreneurship and empowering her students to better their community wasn’t enough.

Fernhaber does so in her free time as well.

She’s developed a myriad of social entrepreneurship initiatives in Indianapolis through her communityINNOVATE project, among them the 2018 Indy Youth Empowerment Challenge and the 2017 Indy Healthy Food Access Challenge.

“I thought, ‘Wouldn’t it be cool if we could bring some of these processes from the class into the community?’” says Fernhaber.

Through communityINNOVATE, Fernhaber brings together a group of change-makers from Indianapolis businesses, nonprofits, and citizens to devise solutions to one social issue per year.

In spring 2017, she launched the Indy Healthy Food Access Challenge to facilitate discussions among businesses, church groups, and neighborhood residents to answer the question: “How might Indianapolis residents better access healthy and affordable food?”

She followed up the effort with the Indy Youth Empowerment Challenge in spring 2018, a four-month process designed to pinpoint the obstacles preventing youth empowerment in Indy — and implode them.

She worked with the Kheprw Institute, an Indianapolis nonprofit that works to empower young people through mentorship, to host workshops to teach young people about social capital—for instance, putting participants in groups and asking them to plan a trip to Florida in 10 minutes, including how they’d get there, where they’d stay, and what they’d eat.

The catch? They couldn’t use money.

Attendees instead had to think about how to leverage their existing relationships to make the trip happen, relying on social rather than financial capital.

As for 2019? She’s taking a hiatus from hosting a challenge to map out the initiative’s future, but with plenty of social problems left to solve—Indy’s increasing gap among the haves and have-nots, the race divide, and economic problems among them—she’s sure to be busy for the foreseeable future.

No Day But Today

Fernhaber’s Social Entrepreneurship students will soon dive into this spring’s projects with partner organizations ranging from Nine Lives Cat Café in Fountain Square to RecycleForce, a recycling company that employs formerly incarcerated individuals.

And some students, such as Stewart-Curet, might even come away from the class with changed career goals.

“I want to become a creative director for a nonprofit or minority-owned business that focuses on intercommunity efforts and youth empowerment,” she says. “This project definitely influenced that.”

Fernhaber is clever like that: Students think their work is impacting the Indianapolis community, but the greater impact may actually be on them.

AcademicsPeople

Stephanie Fernhaber: A Butler Professor Taking Learning Beyond the Classroom

Fernhaber brings together a group of change-makers to devise solutions to  social issues.  

Emily Nettesheim at the Capitol Building
AcademicsResearchUnleashed

Why We Dance: Butler Student Researcher Refutes Her Generation’s Reputation

BY Marc D. Allan MFA ’18

PUBLISHED ON May 10 2019

Emily Nettesheim '19 has heard her generation called lazy, entitled, and selfish. Her research—which she presented in Washington, DC, in late April to an audience that included both of Indiana's Senators—suggests that those labels are misguided.

Since sophomore year, Nettesheim has been examining why so many students participate in Dance Marathon, the annual fundraiser benefiting Children’s Miracle Network Hospitals, a non-profit organization that raises funds and awareness for more than 170 pediatric hospitals across North America. This year at Butler University alone, more than 500 participants raised over $365,000.

"Especially in light of how millennials have been portrayed negatively in the media, I knew the passion, drive, and sacrifice I was seeing in Dance Marathon was counter-cultural and special," says Nettesheim, a Health Sciences and Spanish double major from Lafayette, Indiana.

In a survey of Butler, Ball State, and IUPUI students, she found that an overwhelming majority participated in Dance Marathon because they were acting on their values—and because participants have the opportunity to meet families affected by the hospital, and visit the hospitals for tours to see first-hand where the money is going.

"Millennials tend to be motivated if they can see the impact of the cause," she says.

More than 85 percent also said they benefited from participating by developing maturity and specific skills, such as communication and empathy, that they can use later in life, according to Nettesheim’s research.

 

*

Nettesheim's story starts not with Dance Marathon—her high school didn't participate—but with her interest in Indianapolis-based Riley Hospital for Children, the beneficiary of Indiana Dance Marathon events. When her parents' friends asked what she wanted to do when she grew up, she said she wanted to be in the medical field and work with kids.

In 2015, when she arrived on campus, she heard about Dance Marathon almost immediately at an event about campus organizations.

"It sounded like a great opportunity to get my foot in the door somewhere I wanted to work," she says.

She joined the Riley Relations Committee as a first-year student—the committee works directly with Riley families—and fell in love with the people, and what Dance Marathon stood for. Sophomore and junior years, she served as the director of Riley Relations, and senior year became president.

In fall of her sophomore year, she started thinking about a subject for her honors thesis. She met with Pharmacy Professor Chad Knoderer.Knoderer had never taught Nettesheim, but after talking to her and hearing about her interest in Dance Marathon, he suggested that it could be her focus.

"As I researched more," Nettesheim says, "I realized that nonprofits across the country are experiencing issues trying to recruit donors and volunteers, and that the Dance Marathon movement is the No. 14 fastest growing peer-to-peer campaign in the nation. It became really evident that something different and unique is happening. So I wanted to see if I could figure out why—or at least quantify it a little bit."

She and Knoderer worked together on how to design the thesis, roll it out, and make it realistic to be completed. With help from Butler's Center for High Achievement and Scholarly Engagement (CHASE), everything came into focus.

Normally, the final step in the work Nettesheim was doing would be to write and turn in her honors thesis. And she did that—a 35-page paper.

But she wanted to do more. So early this year, she submitted an abstract to present at Posters on the Hill, the Council on Undergraduate Research's annual undergraduate poster session on Capitol Hill.  Members of Congress and their staff gather at the presentations to learn about the importance of undergraduate research through talking directly with the student researchers themselves.

The selection process is extremely competitive, but Nettesheim beat the odds—becoming the first Butler student in memory to be invited to participate.

"I can’t say definitively that she’s the first," says Rusty Jones, the CHASE Faculty Director, "but she’s certainly the first that I know of. What’s especially great about the Posters on the Hill event is that they are highlighting the importance of undergraduate research to our lawmakers in DC."

 

*

Part of Nettesheim's goal was to detail her findings, but she was also in Washington to share the value of undergraduate research with members of the Senate and Congress, and their staffs.

Nettesheim's father worked at Purdue University, and being around research there got her interested in it from a young age. She chose Butler precisely because she wanted the opportunity to do her own projects.

"It's so cool that even at a small university, there have been so many opportunities for me to get involved in research," she says.

In addition to delving into students' motivations to participate in Dance Marathon, Nettesheim also has worked in the Neurobiology Lab at Butler with Associate Professor of Biology Jennifer Kowalski. She's studying microscopic roundworms known as C. elegans, which have nervous systems similar to humans.

"It’s exciting to share the impact of research in my life and be the face behind the cause of research," Nettesheim says. "I've had much more of an opportunity to get involved and have my research be my own here than I would have had the opportunity to do elsewhere."

And that, says Knoderer, is the takeaway: Butler encourages and supports undergraduate research.

"If you've got an idea, go for it," he says. "The sky's the limit. I knew what Dance Marathon was from working at Riley Hospital for a number of years, so I knew the organization and what it was, but I didn't necessarily know how to approach her question. But there are enough people to help support a student and see their project through."

Emily Nettesheim at the Capitol Building
AcademicsResearchUnleashed

Why We Dance: Butler Student Researcher Refutes Her Generation’s Reputation

Millennials tend to be motivated if they can see the impact of the cause.

May 10 2019 Read more
AcademicsStudent Life

Student-Researchers Get Their Day in the Spotlight

BY

PUBLISHED ON Apr 13 2018

Butler University student Jaquell Hamelin hypothesized that black students are less loyal to their schools than white students are, but he didn't know for sure. So, he decided to research the question, and on Friday, April 13, he presented his findings at Butler's 30th annual Undergraduate Research Conference (URC).

Hamelin told a packed classroom that he surveyed students from Butler and Purdue. He asked whether they would donate to their university after graduation, if they felt they had a positive relationship with, considered themselves loyal to, and would recommend their school.

Although the sample size was small, he said, the preliminary results confirmed what he expected: Of the 21 white respondents, 15 considered themselves loyal; of the 11 black respondents, three labeled themselves that way.

"Even though there are black and white college kids here and they're trying to achieve the same thing, the white students have more tools when they leave," he said. "These schools weren't built to support the needs of diverse student bodies."

Hamelin was among nearly 900 participants in the conference, which attracted students from 23 states who were presenting in 25 subject areas.

Courtney Hayes, a student from Eastern Kentucky University, presented her research on "Optimization of Camera Trapping Methods for Surveying Mesopredators in the Appalachian Foothills." To find out what kind of mid-sized, mid-level predators live in her region—meaning skunks, raccoons, possums, and more—she put out bait and installed cameras at 72 sites across 10 counties.

The hope, she said, was to measure biodiversity, which is an indicator of ecosystem health.

Hayes said being able to share her work at the URC was a nice experience.

"I've presented in Kentucky a lot and I've presented in Virginia, but it was interesting to come to Indiana, where there are no spotted skunks, to see how people want to hear about it," she said.

While science-related presentations accounted for slightly more than half of this year's URC presentations, the conference also included topics such as "The Relationship Between Social Media, Anxiety, and Depression," "Are the Highly Religious Better at Resisting Temptation?" and "Stress and Academic Outcomes in College Students."

Four teams of two from an IUPUI anthropology class presented their research on what happened to workers at the Carrier and Rexnord plants in Indianapolis who were laid off when their factories moved to Mexico. The students found that workers were bitter and blamed "greedy" management for valuing money over American jobs.

Jake Watson, one of the IUPUI students, said the goal of his and partner Corinne Baker's portion of the project was to give the laid-off workers a voice.

"We're undergrads," he said. "We're not trying to fix everything in the world. But we think that by drawing attention to this conversation and this process of deindustrialization, we can change the conversation in the future."

 

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

 

AcademicsStudent Life

Student-Researchers Get Their Day in the Spotlight

The Undergraduate Research Conference let nearly 900 participants show their work.

Apr 13 2018 Read more

It’s Spring—Batter Up! Madi Christiansen ’18 Softball Player

Hannah Hartzell ’18

If Madi Christiansen ’20 is on the softball field, chances are: Her Mom and Dad are in the stands. The student athlete from Etters, Pennsylvania said her parents have watched nearly every softball game she’s played for the Bulldogs.

“My dad is a huge Butler fan,” she said. “Initially, he and my mom worried about me being so far from home. But now they see how much I really do love it here.”

As a first-year student and athlete at Butler, Christiansen became very tight-knit with her new softball teammates as they made their way to the BIG EAST semifinals. “I’ve made so many friends through softball and through my classes,” she said. “That’s something I wanted when I came here.”

As an Entrepreneurship major with a 3.9 GPA, one of Christiansen’s favorite classes was the first-year real business experience last year, where she worked with a group to develop an imaginary product and business plan.  “It was great because we were actually doing something that will help us out in the future,” she said. “Plus, it helped me meet people.”

“I definitely like the small class sizes as well,” she said. “All my professors know my name and they’re very accommodating with the softball schedule.”

During the spring season, the softball team is gone every Thursday and Friday. But that doesn’t mean Christiansen is idle on the other days. “We have 6:00 AM practice four times a week,” she said. “The set schedule is helpful, but I have to make sure I go to bed early.”

Still, she said the whole Butler experience is worth it.

Whether it’s a trip to Smoothie King; a winning game; or a weekend movie night, Christiansen said she enjoys spending time with her Butler family.

“Last year, I was excited to go home for fall break,” she said. “But after four days, I realized that I really wanted to come back to Butler. This feels like home now.”

Grace Hart studied in Greenland and Iceland for the spring 2019 semester.
AcademicsUnleashed

From the Top of a Glacier: Grace Hart Feels Climate Change Up Close

BY Katie Grieze

PUBLISHED ON Jun 26 2019

Grace Hart stared out at the white ice. She couldn’t see where it ended, but she noticed a blue tinge marking the Icelandic glacier’s age. It had lived a long life.

According to the guide who’d just led Hart’s hike to the top of the slope, that would probably change within the next 200 years.

I want you all to spend a minute taking in your surroundings, the guide said before leading the group back down the trail. Think about where you are right now. Because this glacier changes every single day, and some day, it’s going to be gone.

Living in the Midwest, Hart had only ever heard news stories of the ice caps melting. Now, as part of her study abroad trip in spring 2019, she was seeing it happen live.

The guide broke the silence.

Remember this feeling, he said. When you’re trying to explain to someone why it’s important to slow down climate change, remember this.

Hart knows she will.

During the semester-long program through the School for International Training (SIT), the rising Butler University senior traveled around Greenland and Iceland to study topics related to climate change: what’s happening, how it affects people, and what we can do to help. She’d first read about the trip as a freshman Environmental Studies major. She had always wanted to go to Iceland, and the topic was right in line with her interests.

Hart says her choice to study climate change started with “a love of nature and a sadness that people were trying to destroy it.” Butler taught her about the real consequences climate change has already caused, even in Indianapolis.

“Seeing that in my own community cemented my goals of advocating for the environment and those who have been negatively affected by the irresponsible actions of people who are careless with the earth's resources,” Hart says.

Through almost-daily discussions about climate change in her environmental studies classes, Hart sometimes loses hope that things will get better. She believed visiting Iceland and Greenland would break that cycle and give her the skills to do something.

“I thought it would be really cool to learn about climate change from a place that is typically seen as very sustainable and environmentally friendly,” Hart says. “It’s a different conversation than happens in the U.S., where we have a long way to go.”

Calie Florek, Study Abroad Advisor at Butler, says SIT offers some of her favorite study abroad opportunities. Hart was the first Butler student to go to Iceland with SIT, but all the organization’s programs emphasize engaging with local communities. Through experiences such as internships, research projects, and home stays, SIT students really dive into a culture and learn about its people in ways not all study abroad programs offer.

When Hart first came to see Florek, she knew exactly what she wanted to do. She’d had a challenging fall semester during junior year, and she decided to apply to the Iceland program in hopes of shaking things up. Commiting to a three-and-a-half-month trip with a group of strangers scared her, but she looked forward to feeling independent. 

The trip began in February, just missing the time of year when the sun never rises. They started in Reykjavík, Iceland, studying climate modeling and glaciology before heading to Nuuk, Greenland. For two weeks, the group learned about the country’s culture. Hart studied how climate research often excludes native people, and she loved learning the value of including diverse voices in those conversations. She says you shouldn’t make decisions about the land without asking the people who’ve been working with it for centuries.

There was also time for some fun. During a brief stay in Akureyri, Iceland (where Hart would return for the final part of her program), she traveled far enough north to see the arctic circle. She loved Akureyri for its beautiful location, deep in a fjord with mountains all around. Actual trees grow there, too, which can be hard to find in Iceland.

But Hart’s favorite thing was the endless light. At sunset, the sky turned orange and pink, then it just stayed that way for hours.

“At a certain point, I think I kind of got used to the fact that it was so pretty,” Hart says. “I had to think about it again and realize how cool it was that I got to be there.”

In her free time, she swam in geothermal pools, visited art museums, tried out new restaurants, and learned how to knit a sweater. She saw waterfalls and volcanoes. She snowshoed up a mountain. She even tried her hand at some Greenlandic dishes.

For most of the semester, Hart followed a set program, but the last five weeks were up to her.

 

 

Comparing Iceland to Indy

Hart first learned about food security through her classes and internships at Butler, where she spent a semester working on the campus farm.

“I really became passionate about it because the faculty at Butler are passionate about it,” she says.

During the last five weeks of her study abroad trip, which were dedicated to independent study, she wanted to see how an issue so prominent in Indianapolis might play out in a different climate.

Mostly through secondary research, Hart found that food security in Iceland isn’t really an economic issue: It’s a land issue. People there have started demanding foods that just can’t grow in the frigid climate, forcing residents to import most of what they eat. Beyond harming the environment, Hart says, importing can make the country especially vulnerable whenever trade gets disrupted.

Her study offered some solutions. She focused mainly on changes that might shift tastes back to what the land can support, such as subsidizing and labeling local foods. She also suggests more Icelanders rent garden pots to grow their own produce. Ultimately, she says, the country should try to become self-sufficient.

For now, Hart’s research is more of a personal exploration. She wasn’t able to share it with anyone outside of the study abroad group, but she believes her study could inspire change.

Hart would like to return to Iceland and build a community outreach program, which she hopes would get Icelanders talking about their food in ways they might not have before.

 

 

Student Access and Success

At the heart of Butler Beyond is a desire to increase student access and success, putting a Butler education within reach of all who desire to pursue it. With a focus on enhancing the overall student experience that is foundational to a Butler education, gifts to this pillar will grow student scholarships, elevate student support services, expand experiential learning opportunities, and more. Learn more, make a gift, and read other stories like this one at beyond.butler.edu.

Grace Hart studied in Greenland and Iceland for the spring 2019 semester.
AcademicsUnleashed

From the Top of a Glacier: Grace Hart Feels Climate Change Up Close

Butler student travels to Iceland and Greenland for program with the School for International Training.

Jun 26 2019 Read more
Mother with children
AcademicsResearchUnleashed

The Precarious Position of Muslim Orphans to Be Focus of Butler Professor's Research

BY Marc Allan MFA `18

PUBLISHED ON May 01 2019

Nermeen Mouftah, Butler University Assistant Professor of Religion, was in Egypt for her first project. She was studying the ways Islamic reformers have turned to literacy to improve conditions in their countries.

But, while doing that research, she noticed that nearly every nonprofit organization not only had some kind of literacy project, but they also did work with orphans. That got her thinking about Muslim orphans, their care, and their place in Islamic society. She wondered: How does Islam shape the legal, biological, and affective negotiations involved in the care and abandonment of vulnerable children?

This year, thanks to a $12,000 grant from the University of Notre Dame’s Global Religions Research Initiative, Mouftah will do four months of fieldwork to investigate what she calls the Muslim orphan paradox: the precarious condition faced by millions of Muslim orphans that makes them at once major recipients of charity, yet ostracized for their rootlessness.

The world has approximately 140 million orphans today, but military conflicts in countries from Burma to Yemen to Syria have left Muslim children disproportionately affected, Mouftah says. As a result, many Muslim-majority countries face high numbers of child abandonment. The level of care these orphans receive is largely contingent on how people view family, childhood, and community.

Giving to orphans is seen, by in large, as a laudable form of giving in these societies, she says. However, what the care of orphans should look like is highly contested, as a consensus among Islamic legal schools is that adoption is prohibited, Mouftah explains. As a result, there is much debate about whether, and how, to raise a non-biological child in Muslim society.

So, as part of her research, Mouftah will be going to Morocco and Lebanon over the summer, and Pakistan in December. Morocco and Pakistan because they’re Muslim-majority countries that have some of the largest numbers of orphans and strong ties to the inter-country adoption market. Lebanon, on the other hand, takes in a large number of Syrian refugees.

“One of the things I'm interested in is trying to question some kind of universal idea of what the ideal way to care for orphans is,” says Mouftah, who’s finishing her first year at Butler. “I’ll be doing that by looking at multiple forms of care across different countries and institutions who have distinct views on, and methods of, orphan care.”

Mouftah will be listening in on the debate and discussions people are having first hand about the best way to do things when it comes to caring for orphans, she says. She will be observing different practices, watching who people are influenced by when it comes to orphan care, and what they are aspiring toward, as well as what the problems people run into when trying to care for orphans.

One of the major issues she’ll be looking at is the Islamic taboo against fictive kinship—taking in a child and raising that child as if he or she were one’s biological child. Some of her research is looking at how some Muslim families are using the approach of non-fictive kinship, meaning the child knows that he or she is not the biological child of the parents.

That, Mouftah says, is parallel with trends of adoption in the United States, where people have moved toward open adoptions that let the child know who their biological parent is/was.

“Many times in the Koran, it says to help the widows, and the orphans, and the vulnerable,” she says. “So they're elevated figures to care for. But because of various laws, and the stigmatization of orphans, and especially abandoned children, adoption is widely looked at with skepticism.”

Rather than adoption, one of the ways some Muslim organizations care for orphans is through sponsorships similar to the child sponsorship commercials seen on American television.

“We clearly don't have this worked out,” she says. “When you look at the historical story, we're clearly feeling our way through the dark. We don't know what to do. It's not until the Victorian age that there is the institution of the orphanage. But institutions are not the best places for children to flourish. I won't be shy to lay out some practical plans based on the research.”  

Mother with children
AcademicsResearchUnleashed

The Precarious Position of Muslim Orphans to Be Focus of Butler Professor's Research

Nermeen Mouftah, Professor of Religion, will do fieldwork to investigate the Muslim orphan paradox.

May 01 2019 Read more
Graduates in Hinkle Fieldhouse at Commencement
Academics

Butler to Hold Historic 163rd Spring Commencement

BY Rachel Stern

PUBLISHED ON Apr 26 2019

INDIANAPOLIS—History will be made when Butler University celebrates its 163rd Spring Commencement.

Nearly 1,050 graduates are expected to receive their diplomas—the largest graduating class in Butler’s history—on Saturday, May 11, at 10:00 AM at Hinkle Fieldhouse.

The keynote Commencement speaker, selected by graduating students, will be Penny Dimmick, Professor of Music. An Honorary Doctor of Education will be given to Ena Shelley, longtime Dean of the College of Education, and an Honorary Doctor of Music will be given to the jazz musician Benny Golson.

Dimmick is the Associate Director of the School of Music, and Coordinator of Butler’s Music Education program. She joined the Butler community in 1991 and has served the University in several different capacities, including Head of the School of Music and Faculty in Residence. In addition to teaching undergraduate and graduate students at Butler, Dimmick works with children in the Indianapolis Children’s Choir’s Preparatory Choirs, at summer camps at Sunnyside Road Baptist Church, and on mission trips to South America and Asia.

Shelley joined the Butler faculty as an Assistant Professor of Early Childhood Education in 1982. After serving as Interim Dean twice, she was appointed Dean in June 2005. She introduced the Reggio Emilia educational philosophy, created two IPS/Butler Lab Schools, and established a new home for the COE on South Campus.

Golson started his jazz career about 65 years ago and has traveled the world, playing with renowned performers including Benny Goodman, Dizzy Gillespie, Lionel Hampton, Art Blakey, and Johnny Hodges. He has written well over 300 compositions and recorded more than 30 albums. He has composed and arranged music for legends such as John Coltrane, Miles Davis, Ella Fitzgerald, Diana Ross, and Itzhak Perlman. Golson served as a guest artist on campus last spring and immediately connected with Butler students.  

 

 

MEDIA CONTACT

Rachel Stern
Director of Strategic Communications
rstern@butler.edu
317-940-9257 (mobile: 914-815-5656)

Graduates in Hinkle Fieldhouse at Commencement
Academics

Butler to Hold Historic 163rd Spring Commencement

History will be made when Butler University celebrates its 163rd Spring Commencement.

Apr 26 2019 Read more
AcademicsResearch

Advancing the Field: Highlights of the 2019 Undergraduate Research Conference

BY Rachel Stern

PUBLISHED ON Apr 11 2019

Lillian Southern ‘19 was 12 when her brother, Jack, was born with mitochondrial disease. He couldn’t walk, talk, sit up, and later, lost the ability to eat on his own.

Southern quickly became interested in helping him. She was intrigued by the therapy he received. When Jack died in 2012 at the age of 4, Southern decided she wanted to spend her life helping children just like him.

And now, her first research paper might do just that. Inspired by Jack, Southern spent the last year-and-a-half exploring how hearing impairment, as well as disability, in babies impacts interactions between parents and children. The paper, Parent Interaction Between an Infant with a Cochlear Implant and Additional Disabilities: How Interaction is Affected Due to Stress and Difficulty of Communication, was one of four winners in the Competitive Paper division of the Undergraduate Research Conference.

The URC, which takes place for the 31st time April 12 at Butler University, added a Competitive Paper division two years ago to give students experience submitting papers to outside faculty reviewers—the same process, essentially, that happens when professors, for example, submit a paper to a journal in hopes of publishing their research. That panel of reviewers then picked four winning papers from 36 entries. Southern was one of the winners.

In the fall, the Communication Sciences and Disorders major and Special Education minor, will attend graduate school at Indiana University to study Speech Pathology. But in the meantime, she hopes her first research project will help advance the field.

“Research is like an exciting mystery, where you go from having these questions, to actually having an answer,” she says. “But the most powerful thing is, especially in my field, all therapy practices that help kids are based on research people have done. Without having access to questions and answers, you cannot move forward and discover new ways to help people.”

As Southern’s research progressed, the answers did not line up with what she originally thought. She hypothesized that the addition of a disability to a child with hearing impairment would have a major impact on parent-child interactions. She assumed there would be cascading effects of stress, for example. However, the results showed that the addition of a disability didn’t affect interactions as much as other environmental factors, such as education and financial resources.

Tonya Bergeson-Dana, Assistant Professor of Communication Sciences and Disorders at Butler, worked with Southern on the project. Bergeson-Dana, who has published on this topic before, says Southern’s findings can help get these families the appropriate resources they need to develop child language.

This relevancy was what struck Tracey Quigley Holden, Assistant Professor of Communication at the University of Delaware. Quigley Holden was one of 13 faculty reviewers who looked at the 36 papers that were submitted to the URC’s competitive paper division. Four were selected as winners by the reviewers.

If she’s honest, Quigley Holden wasn’t all that excited to be asked at first. She loves research, but the process of reviewing papers is extremely time consuming. Then she jumped in and was elated.

“These students were really doing work that was innovative and pushing the envelope,” she says. “They were taking on topics that we wouldn’t have touched when I was an undergrad. There was such a range of topics, from race, to class, to politics, there was such a wide range. Students were looking at some of the topics that we are most challenged by in public discourse and society today, not just the confines of academia.”

Quigley Holden, who studies military dissent, has served as a reviewer for fellow colleagues in the world of academia. At times, she says, the process can be monotonous. But not this time.

“Our students are thinking about what they are interested in, what they want to find out about, and they are challenging things,” she says. “Their papers reflect how inquisitive and engaged they are in thinking about the world that they live in and how it works and what they need to know to help them identify larger issues and gain more knowledge. The papers I reviewed looked at questions that are of interest to the public.”

______

If you go to the URC, there’s an endless number of presentations to take in. You may want to start with the winners. Here’s a look at the top four competitive papers:

Lillian Southern, Butler University, Parent Interaction Between an Infant with a Cochlear Implant and Additional Disabilities: How Interaction is Affected Due to Stress and Difficulty of Communication, Faculty Sponsor: Tonya Bergeson-Dana

How does the stress from having a child with hearing loss, or another disability, impact the relationship between parent and child? Southern examined exactly that. She looked at pediatric hearing loss, and how that can contribute to maternal and paternal stress. Because of that stress, she wondered, what other cascading effects on parent-child interactions occur?

Stephanie Mithika, Taylor University, The Curse of Nakedness: African Women’s Use of the Naked Body in Resistance Movements, Faculty Sponsor: Nicholas Kerton-Johnson

The female body typically has had many gendered, cultural, and political inscriptions ascribed to it. As a result, society, more often than not, perceives women as lacking in agency, unfit for public affairs, as well as political roles. Mithika though, explored how African women used their bodies to resist patriarchal, classist, capitalist, and oppressive systems through the act of disrobing. Why, she examined, was the sight of a naked African women’s body protesting serve as a powerful tool for social and political change? Mithika explores how women rewrite the script of vulnerability, and in this case, embody resistance, while reclaiming their bodies as political sites of agency and power.

Maggie Kieffer, Butler University, The Avengers: Hegemonic Depictions of Heroism Present in the Working World, Faculty Sponsor: Kristin Swenson

Kieffer digs into the superhero characters in the 2012 film The Avengers to evaluate how American ideals of heroism and patriotism are reflected through the superhero genre. Kieffer looks at Iron Man and Captain America, and analyzes how the film reaffirms hegemonic American heroism fulfilled by individual heroes coming together under a patriotic leader to combat threats to traditional American values.

Jillian Fox, Denison University, Broken Bodies, Evolving Systems: An Evaluation of International Prosecution of Sexual Violence After Genocide, Faculty Sponsor: Taku Suzuki

Using the Nuremburg Trials, the International Criminal Tribunal for the Former Yugoslavia, and the International Criminal Tribunal for Rwanda as case studies, Fox explores the influence of social movements on international humanitarian laws. Essentially, why did prosecutors start to indict individuals for crimes of gender-based violence when they did? Through Fox’s research, it seems that as the world begins to understand the reality of wartime gender-based and sexual violence, coupled with efforts by feminist organizations to raise global consciousness, then humanitarian law adapts to ensure justice prevails regardless of historical precedent.

AcademicsResearch

Advancing the Field: Highlights of the 2019 Undergraduate Research Conference

Familiarize yourself with the winners of the Undergraduate Research Conference.

Apr 11 2019 Read more
AcademicsResearch

Bracketology and the Collective Brain

BY Rachel Stern

PUBLISHED ON Oct 22 2018

 

  

INDIANAPOLIS—It is believed by most that many brains are more powerful than one. So, when it is time, for example, to guess how many gumballs are in a jar, the average of the group’s guesses is probably better than most of the individual guesses.

But, there isn’t much out there that really explains why that is, says Ryan Rogers, Butler University Assistant Professor of Entertainment Media and Journalism.

Rogers looked into this concept using one of America’s favorite past times—filling out March Madness brackets. He wanted to find out what exactly makes collective intelligence effective.

“Yes, we know crowd sourcing is beneficial, but what are those traits, and tasks, that are going to make the group impactful in its decision-making process?” Rogers says. “What kind of group is most effective and what kinds of tasks lend itself to crowd sourcing?”

Individuals were divided up based on their backgrounds and expertise in college basketball. One group was made up of serious college basketball fans. The other group was made up of college basketball experts, for example, journalists, former players, coaches, or others with insights beyond just being an engaged fan.

Each group then filled out NCAA tournament brackets using collective intelligence software. The goal, Rogers says, was to see how group make-up would impact the effectiveness of collective intelligence, and therefore, the infamous activity of avoiding a busted bracket after, well, one round.

The results, published in the Journal of Creative Communications, showed that the experts and the fans performed similarly throughout the first few rounds of the tournament. However, the experts gained a real edge over the fans as the tournament progressed—as the task became more difficult. When it came to the later rounds—games that are typically more challenging and complicated to predict—the experts had more success in picking winners than the fans.

“There’s a passion and there’s an interest,” he says. “It is not just about having a buddy who knows basketball, but our study showed that it is about the group dynamic, and that specific traits impact how successful the group will be. In addition to the traits of a group, our study showed task matters, too. The more difficult the task, the more important the make-up of the group.”

The results are important, Rogers says, because they can be applied to many fields and subject matters much more complicated than guessing gumballs in a jar or filling out a bracket.

The experts separated themselves in the later rounds of the tournament—when the task was more complicated and collective wisdom, therefore, mattered more, Rogers says. This distinction is a crucial finding.

When it comes to solving a complex engineering problem, for example, he says, it would be important to think about getting a group of experts together. Rogers compares that to asking a bunch of stargazers to solve a complex astrophysics problem. Collective intelligence, he says, wouldn’t help that group.

“Their love of the subject matter won’t matter because the topic is highly complex,” he says. “They simply don’t have enough technical knowledge to leverage the wisdom of the crowd. That is what, essentially, this study teaches us. It is not just that many brains are better than one, but who the group is made up of that impacts its effectiveness.”

 

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

 

AcademicsResearch

Bracketology and the Collective Brain

Assistant Professor Ryan Rogers has new research that reveals when many brains are better than one. 

Oct 22 2018 Read more
Hopkins is studying which aspects of music education curricula proved most helpful for preparing students to face the realities of the field.
AcademicsResearchUnleashed

Are Music Education Grads Ready for Reality?

BY Katie Grieze

PUBLISHED ON Jul 15 2019

During her last two years at a small high school in Villa Grove, Illinois, Abigail Hopkins rarely went to class.

But that was okay. Her teachers knew where she was.

Hopkins had stepped in to help when the music program at her school faced budget cuts. The general music teacher there, who had to take over band, choir, and other music classes at all levels of the K-12 school, didn’t know how to play any band instruments. Hopkins was a star in the band room and had been playing violin for years, so the teacher asked her to help out as a Teaching Assistant during the hour she was scheduled for band class each day.

One hour snowballed into five. Hopkins got caught up sautering sousaphones and meeting with music shops, and she eventually became known as the school’s unpaid band director. She had an office and everything.

“If I didn’t have to be in the classroom, I was in the band room,” she says.

Beyond repairing instruments, Hopkins sometimes conducted rehearsals for the junior high ensembles or helped coordinate concerts. She loved helping, but she worried what might happen when she graduated. Through researching for a paper in her high school English class, she learned the situation wasn’t unique.

Now a rising sophomore at Butler University, Hopkins hasn’t let it go. The Violin Performance major would love to be a full-time performer, but she says she knows she’ll probably end up teaching. She wants to be ready.

That’s why she took on a project through this year’s Butler Summer Institute (BSI), a program allowing students to stay on campus for two months in pursuit of significant research questions. Through interviews with recent graduates of music education programs at several Indiana universities, Hopkins is studying which aspects of the curricula proved most helpful for preparing students to face the realities of the field, along with which areas might have been neglected.

“My overall goal is to prolong the life of music education,” she says. “Because, sadly, it’s the first thing to be cut when there’s some sort of budget crisis.”

The project’s interviewees all have between one and five years of professional teaching experience, and they all come from undergraduate music education programs at Butler, Indiana University, Ball State University, or Indiana State University.

Hopkins hopes her findings will inform recommendations for schools to incorporate a wider variety of classes into each music concentration, better preparing graduates to take on what might be expected of them when funding gets cut.

So far, Hopkins has confirmed conversations with 10 recent graduates. Beyond questions about their college programs, she’s asking if the things they’re doing in their jobs today align with what they expected when they pursued careers in music education. She hopes she can make their feedback available for incoming students, who still have time to adapt their studies accordingly.

After completing the interviews, Hopkins and faculty mentor Dr. Becky Marsh will code the answers to find common themes. When the nine-week program ends on July 19, Hopkins will present her findings as a poster. She says the results can apply beyond Indiana, however, and she hopes to share the conclusions at music education conferences across the country.

 

Media Contact:

Katie Grieze

News Content Manager

kgrieze@butler.edu

260-307-3403 (cell)

 

Student Access and Success

At the heart of Butler Beyond is a desire to increase student access and success, putting a Butler education within reach of all who desire to pursue it. With a focus on enhancing the overall student experience that is foundational to a Butler education, gifts to this pillar will grow student scholarships, elevate student support services, expand experiential learning opportunities, and more. Learn more, make a gift, and read other stories like this one at beyond.butler.edu.

Hopkins is studying which aspects of music education curricula proved most helpful for preparing students to face the realities of the field.
AcademicsResearchUnleashed

Are Music Education Grads Ready for Reality?

Butler student interviews recent Indiana grads for Butler Summer Institute project.

Jul 15 2019 Read more

Antiretrovirals and Intentionality

Emily Yarman ’17

“I’m too early. Typical,” I thought as I sat silently in my car, eagerly waiting for the day to begin. On the first day of my elective rotation, I arrived at the Damien Center in downtown Indianapolis fifteen minutes before the doors to the building were unlocked. I would spend the next month at Indiana’s largest AIDS service organization in their sister clinic, Damien Cares, seeing patients with HIV and AIDS. Although I love being early on my first day, this has led to a great deal of waiting in my car. As I sat there, the engine gently purring, I wondered what the month would hold. I quizzed myself on what I knew about HIV: the risk factors, the pathophysiology, the medications used to treat it and how they work. I stopped mentally drilling myself when I realized that I didn’t actually know much about the day-to-day life of a patient with HIV. I had studied the disease enough to pass the test, but I hadn’t had an opportunity to really get to know any patients with HIV.

I thought about the struggles patients with HIV in the US have had since the 1980s. I had learned about the social implications of HIV and I wondered what emotional hardships these patients had been through. I already knew that my month at the Damien Cares clinic would teach me a great deal about medical management of patients with HIV. I realized then, while sitting in my idling car, that it would also deepen my knowledge about how to care for a patient as a whole person.

My first patient was a gentleman in his early 50’s. He had been on ART (anti-retroviral therapy) for years and came to the office for a visit as an established patient. I followed my preceptor, Randall McDavid, NP, into the exam room and introduced myself. After a pretty uneventful follow-up visit, Randall and I sat down in his office. He turned to me and asked, “If you saw that man walking down the street, would you think he had HIV?” I quickly responded, “No, I wouldn’t.” This patient did not look like he was HIV-positive. Neither did my second patient. Or my third patient. As someone that recognizes the damage that stereotypes can cause, I’m always trying to purge myself of my presuppositions about people. As I saw more patients on that first day, I realized I had failed to do just that; I had unconsciously built up presuppositions about how an HIV-patient would look or act. I expected patients with HIV to appear much more sick than this gentleman had.

I was reminded on this rotation that by unconsciously pigeonholing a patient, I set myself up for failure as a provider. Even something as simple as having preconceived notions about what an HIV patient looks like can affect the way I practice medicine. There are certain risk factors that make a patient more likely to acquire the illness, but HIV still affects every sex, gender, age, race, sexual orientation, and socioeconomic status. Embarking on the slippery slope of making assumptions about patients can lead to big mistakes in forming treatment and prevention plans for them. By making assumptions about patients, I also miss out on the opportunity to get to know and learn from them, which could benefit my future patients. It seems simple, but it is easy to overlook the fact that everyone suffers when providers make assumptions, especially in a patient population as diverse as the HIV community. There is no one face of HIV. This month, I have been learning to stop giving it one.

***

I held the diaphragm of my stethoscope over his left chest and heard the thunderous, rapid lub-dub of his heart. I finished my physical exam and told Randall that everything was within normal limits, except his heart, which was beating quickly. The patient shifted uncomfortably in his chair when we asked him questions about his sexual habits. He laughed nervously when we inquired about drug use. This was the typical behavior of a patient new to the clinic.

New patients with HIV experience a spectrum of emotions during that first visit, including fear and anxiety. Their anxieties include questions about what it means to have HIV, if they can afford the treatment, and ultimately, if it will kill them. They are nervous about if the people they meet at the clinic will judge or chide them. Their fear of being rebuked is legitimate; decades after HIV showed up in the US, it still carries a stigma and is very closeted. The medical and social concerns that a new HIV patient has culminate into a patient presentation like the one I described above: visibly restless and apprehensive about being honest with their provider.

An established patient with HIV, however, is a foil of a new patient with HIV. While new patients tend to be restless and apprehensive, many established patients are calm and relaxed. Long-time HIV-positive patients understand that if they are compliant with their medications, their life can be much like the life of a person that is HIV-negative. They are happy to see Randall and talk about their social and sexual histories with ease. The visit becomes less about HIV and more about friendly conversation and getting to know each other. During physical exam, their hearts beat at a regular rate again.

Some of this release of anxiety in patients is because of patient education about the disease and the effectiveness of HIV medications. HIV pharmacotherapy has progressed a great deal since the 1980s. Many patients with HIV take just one pill per day and have an undetectable blood viral load. Causes of death in the HIV population are increasingly due to chronic illness, like most of the US, and less due to immunological compromise because we diagnose and treat earlier. The average life expectancy of an HIV-positive patient is the same as an HIV-negative patient. When patients learn about these advances in our understanding and treatment of HIV, many of their fears are quelled. This, however, is only a part of the cause for calm in established patients.

The other, bigger, part of the relief of anxiety for established patients with HIV is the relationship that they build with their provider. The care that Randall provides his patients is non-judgmental. He talks comfortably about patient’s sexual habits and drug use without scolding them. I have watched patient’s anxiety melt away during office visits because of the relaxed demeanor. This allows the patient to be honest, which enables Randall to take better care of them. I have observed that this kind of therapeutic relationship is the key to success for patients at the clinic. The patients that are most healthy are patients that have built this kind of relationship with Randall. In the presence of empathetic medical care, the patient’s viral load and anxiety both drop. Randall always says “HIV is a relationships disease,” and he’s right. Because HIV is a physically and socially taxing disease, it is best treated with appropriate medical therapy and a caring heart.

***

Seeing established patients with HIV gives me so much hope during those initial patient visits at the clinic. As a future physician assistant, I have the opportunity to be part of what brings that hope to fruition. I can walk with patients on their journey to have an undetectable viral load and an unbroken spirit. This month, I have learned that even in in the face of a disease that used to be a death sentence, there is hope on the horizon through proper medical treatment and a truly therapeutic relationship. Serving patients in this way, however, is not simple. It requires a concerted effort on the part of the provider to be intentional about the medical and emotional care they offer. I have learned that part of that intentional care is to resist pigeonholing patients and to actively dismantle stereotypes that we create. I have learned that it means listening and responding in a way that creates a comfortable environment for the patient to be honest in, regardless of any social stigma involved. Truly treating a patient as a whole person requires all of these things and nothing less.

AcademicsArts & CulturePeople

Playing the Long Game

BY

PUBLISHED ON Jun 05 2018

Annie Sullivan MFA '12 finds herself wearing a lot of gold-beaded jewelry these days. What better way to call attention to the release of her first young-adult novel, A Touch of Gold?

On this particular day, she's wearing a gold/orange beaded necklace that a friend gave her. Her bracelet is made up of strands of overlaid beads of gold, a gift from the Chicago Pearl Company to accent her outfits as she promotes the book.

A Touch of Gold, which comes out August 14, tells the story of King Midas' daughter, Princess Kora, 10 years after she'd been turned to gold by her father. She's now back to life, but with some lasting side effects—one of which is that she can sense other objects her father turned to gold. When those objects get stolen, she goes on a quest to find them.

Along the way, Kora faces off with pirates and thieves and discovers not only who to trust but who she is. Ultimately, A Touch of Gold is about a girl finding herself and becoming comfortable in skin that makes her unlike everyone else.

Sullivan—the first fiction writer from Butler's MFA in Creative Writing program to earn a book deal—said she and Kora have plenty in common, from their appearance (short in stature, with long, golden hair) to their adventurous spirit, toughness, and sticktoitiveness.

"I write strong female characters who can stand up for themselves," she said. "People who have a little Disney princess in them but also have that hardcore side where they say, 'I can handle this.'"

But while Kora battles in the fantasy world, Sullivan must deal with the real world: the often exasperating, slow-moving world of publishing.

"Writing," she said, "is not for the weak. You've got to have a strong constitution and be willing to never give up."

Sullivan, who grew up in Indianapolis and earned her undergraduate degree from Indiana University, began writing her book as an MFA student at Butler. She chose Butler's graduate program in creative writing because she found that it was open to many different styles of writing.

"People were writing ghost stories and middle-grade stories, and I'm over here writing fairy-tale retellings," she said. "And they were open to that. I know there are other programs where they really look down on genre fiction and anything that's not literary fiction."

Still, Sullivan started off unsure. The first assignment she turned in was a short story about an old man whose wife died in a car accident. She hated the story and so did everyone else in the class. "I'm sure I went back to my car and cried," she said.

Next came the breakthrough moment: She decided that next she submitted a story, "I'm going to turn in something that actually represents me."

That story turned out to be the first chapter of what became A Touch of Gold. Her classmates recognized her passion, she said, and they approved.

"Annie was obviously very talented," Associate Professor of English Mike Dahlie said. "But more important, she was wholly devoted to her writing. Her kind of unfettered and patient love of storytelling is always why people get book deals."

That was in 2010.

Over the next seven years, Sullivan continued writing. Finished the first draft of A Touch of Gold. Read about agents (she recommends literaryrambles.com for that) and sent query letters to more than 100 before she found one who appreciated her work. Wrote a second book. Then a third. Attended the Midwest Writers Workshop. Revised the first book based on feedback from the workshop. Received a rejection from one publisher saying the book was too dark. Received a rejection from another publisher the next day saying the book wasn't dark enough.

Finally, in August 2017, her agent called: She sold the book to Blink, a young-adult imprint of HarperCollins.

"You've got to be in this for the long game," Sullivan said. "And it is a long game. It's a game of timing and finding the right person who loves your work."

Now, while she continues in her day job working for Wiley Publishing as copy specialist on the content-marketing team, Sullivan is working on another book, writing articles for Young Adult websites to help publicize A Touch of Gold, planning to attend the American Library Association's midwinter conference to sign advance reader copies of her book, setting up school visits, and thinking about a book launch party in August.

She gives Butler's MFA program a great deal of credit for her success—from providing her time and motivation to write, to having professors and critique partners to guide her writing, to having the freedom to tell the kinds of stories she likes to tell.

"I can't describe how much they helped me," she said. "Everything fell into place through Butler to make my writing dreams come true."

Find Annie Sullivan on Twitter (@annsulliva), Facebook (Author Annie Sullivan) or on her blog (anniesullivanauthor.wordpress.com).

 

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

 

AcademicsArts & CulturePeople

Playing the Long Game

Annie Sullivan MFA '12 spent eight years on her book "A Touch of Gold." That sticktoitiveness is about to pay off.

Jun 05 2018 Read more

Experiential Learning for Collegian Editor Comes Outside an Actual Classroom

Katie Goodrich ’17

Senior year is a whirlwind. Welcome Week, the last first day of class, Homecoming, basketball games, and so many more moments made me nostalgic. Caught on the brink of a new adventure, time seems to run away from me.

In an effort to capture the feelings while they are raw, I decided to blog about the ones that really stand out. Too often we take things for granted, so I want to document my experiences.

My first semester of senior year was majorly defined by three things: being editor-in-chief of the Butler Collegian, interning at the Independent Colleges of Indiana and the 2016 presidential election.

While this was not my entire life first semester, these elements were the foundation and provided me with exciting challenges.           

As a senior journalism major, this year is the first time I’ve held the same position for more than one semester on the Butler Collegian, the student news organization. I’ve been a Reporter, Assistant News Editor, News Editor, Foreign Correspondent (writing profiles while I studied abroad), Managing Editor, and now Editor-in-Chief. I went to a high school without a newspaper, so I came to Butler with next to no experience. That was quickly rectified when I joined the paper and began writing. I fell in love with the Collegian and everything it provides for students. Early on, my editors assigned me stories right away, letting me mistakes, and then helped me to fix them and learn what I could do to improve with each and every new assignment. Butler prides itself on providing this kind of experiential learning to its students, and I learned the most outside of an actual classroom. I learned it a newsroom, surrounded by my peers who shared my passion for student press.

I needed this environment to test the theoretical knowledge I gained from classes. The Collegian allowed me to write, report and edit without worrying about a grade. It was real world experience, but inside the Butler bubble.

With this foundation, I left my comfort zone and wrote for a local newspaper, got an internship and grew immeasurably.

But the best part of the Collegian is the community. The staff is made up of some of the most passionate, dedicated and talented people I know. Their humor is always appreciated during the late nights.

Leading an amazing group is a great responsibility I take seriously, even if I add a GIF to almost every mass email I send reminding them about a meeting. I know the final decisions are mine to make, which is an immense pressure to be under.

I say thank you in almost every staff meeting and email, but I cannot express how grateful I am to have this staff in my life. They make all the hours of hard work worth it, because I know I am preserving a Butler cornerstone for generations of Bulldogs to come.

At the end of the fall semester, the staff surprised me with a blanket with a collage of headlines, photos and quotes from the issues we published. Overwhelmed, I started laughing and rambling on about how amazing they were.

In that moment, I could not express how much the gesture meant. I looked out at the crowd of staffers and saw the future of the paper and the future of the journalism industry, and they were thanking me. It was surreal, and I felt like I owed them everything.

Although we went through tough times as a newspaper and as a staff, the Collegian was a constant in my college career.

Joining the Butler Collegian was the best decision I made in my first few weeks at school. Its impact on my life will help shape my future journalism career.

Over the summer, I began interning at the Independent Colleges of Indiana, an organization that works on behalf of the 31 private, nonprofit universities in the state. About a dozen people work there, so I assumed responsibilities like I had always been a member of the team.

I ran the social media accounts, wrote press releases, started an intern blog about college life and helped with different marketing campaigns. My supervisors trusted my knowledge and skillset, so I dove into the work.

Some big projects came my way, including a month long campaign focused on answering questions about college for high school students. 31 Answers to Your Questions About College launched in September, but the process was already underway when I began work in May.

One of the focal points of the campaign was to show how affordable attending a private college can be, because more than 90 percent of students who attend an ICI school receive financial aid. But the questions also covered topics from campus housing options to how many applications to send.

I helped coordinate with representatives from every campus to collect short videos answering common college questions. (That was no easy task, might I add.) Then we edited and transcribed the videos as we worked with a web design company to build a new microsite to host the campaign.

With my high level of involvement, I sat in on all the meetings. My voice was heard, and my suggestions were valued. My input made positive changes to the campaign, which was a powerful thing for me to witness as an intern.

ICI does great work, and I was a part of it.

The organization works to help the private universities and students in many ways, from helping colleges be cost efficient to promoting the institutions to prospective students.

My work could potentially impact thousands of students and their choices about college.

Believing and buying into the mission of where you is so important.

“ICI is the collective voice for excellence and choice in higher education for all students.”

That simple motto sums up the core belief in providing quality educational opportunities for everyone, and I am really proud of the role I get to play to make it happen.

The 2016 presidential election rocked the political atmosphere of the United States on Election Night, I reported on it.

Collegian staffers and editors came to the newsroom to watch the results roll in, work on the next day’s paper and eat pizza.

We were over inundated with information — flipping through channels, checking several online news organizations and scrolling through our social media feeds. When a state was called either for red or for blue, I could feel the newsroom buzz.

I was writing an article as the results rolled in, noting everything from the time to how to stock market was faring. We brainstormed headline ideas, which spun into ridiculous territory pretty quickly.

As it got later, it felt like time moved slower. At 1:30 AM, I called the printer to see just how late we could push back our deadline and still get the paper delivered at the same time. He said 5:00 AM was the latest.

Then all the networks and newspapers began calling the election for the Republican nominee Donald Trump.

It was 3:30 AM, but I was more alert than I had been all day. I furiously typed quotes from his acceptance speech and scrolled through my newsfeed to see who was still up.

I talked to my fellow Bulldogs who had very different views at 4 in the morning. I put it all together, placed it on our pages in InDesign and finally sent the printer our paper at 4:45 AM.

I slept for two hours and then went on with the next day.

Collegians hit the newsstands the next day with the headline “He’s hired” and a picture of Trump’s face above the fold.

Some major newspapers like The New York Times or The Indianapolis Star did not have the winner in their headline, since they sent the pages in before the announcement. (See, sometimes it is worth it to ask for the extension.)

Reflecting on that day, I feel really lucky to have the unique experience of reporting about a presidential election surrounded by very supportive peers. The collegiate newsroom harbors a true sense of friendship and mutual respect.

I was running on adrenaline, and I accomplished the task with the help of my editorial team. Their support pushed me to finish strong and produce work I am proud of.

This experience cemented a career choice that I already knew I wanted. I want to share events with people and let their voices be heard.

The Collegian let me start my journalism career early, and I am so glad I got to cover my presidential election with the paper that started it all for me. 

Academics

Experiential Learning for Collegian Editor Comes Outside an Actual Classroom

Too often we take things for granted, so I want to document my experiences

Academics

What They Learned in Butler's MBA Program Translates to Victory

BY

PUBLISHED ON Jun 12 2017

The Butler MBA team won the 2017 ACG Cup.

A tech company has three divisions—one that’s a cash cow, one that’s small and not terribly important, and one that is the company’s future but hasn’t achieved any cash flow, never mind profitability. Now that third division has run out of cash and the banks are calling in their lines of credit.

What should the company do?

That’s the kind of issue professionals in the mergers and acquisitions, investment banking, financial advisory, and private equity world deal with regularly. And it was the question put to teams of MBA students from Butler, Ball State, IU Kelley-Indianapolis, IU Kelley-Bloomington, and Purdue universities at the seventh annual Association for Corporate Growth (ACG) Cup competition.

In the end, the Butler team—David Watkins, Michael Doenges, Jason Fried, and Katie Alexander—won the Indiana competition. (See their presentation here.)

“Being able to win a competition like this demonstrates that you need a solid understanding of basic financial principles, good business savvy, critical thinking, executive presence, and strong presentation and communication skills—all the things we teach in the Butler MBA program,” said Marietta Stalcup, Director of the MBA Program in Butler’s Lacy School of Business.

The ACG Cup competition is a nationwide investment banking mergers-and-acquisitions case competition intended for graduate business students. And although the competition is nationwide, it’s organized on a chapter-by-chapter basis, with about 15-18 taking place each year.

The teams were given the case study at 12:01 AM on a Saturday and had a week to prepare their answer. On the following Saturday, they presented their recommendations to a panel of industry professionals who judged them not only on their strategic analysis but on how they presented the information and handled questions that arose.

In an interview after the competition, Butler team member David Watkins said getting a case that had to be analyzed in a week and presented in 20 minutes was a great challenge. Team member Katie Alexander credited the team with being strategic and united in its approach.

“We spent a lot of time throughout the week putting that together, figuring out how we were going to do what we were going to do, and the questions we thought we might get asked,” Watkins said. “And it was a team effort.”

“The competition in general was fantastic,” team member Mike Doenges added. “It was a really good way for us to learn some of these financial models, especially since none of us really have a background in that. We really cut our teeth trying to figure out how to do these models, understand them, and now I think we know it like the back of our hand.”

“We’re not finance people,” team member Jason Fried said. “We may have some finance majors, but we don’t do finance as an everyday job. We’re in school working full time—we’re busy 60 hours a week—and we still found a way to put this together. It’s a lot of time and effort. A grind. We’re tired, but we’re excited.”

As for the team’s recommendation on what the tech company should do about its issue, the Butler group recommended refinancing the debt and staying the course until the third division starts making money.

Meet the Team:

Michael Doenges

Current position/employer: Project Manager at Bowen Engineering

MBA concentration: Finance

What I’m learning at Butler that is helping my career: The program has given me new insight into developing and implementing business strategy and analyzing new opportunities. The MBA program at Butler has provided diverse experiences that I’ve been able to immediately employ in my career.

Jason Fried

Current position/employer: Project Coordinator/Walker Information

MBA concentration: Finance

What I’m learning at Butler that is helping my career: Butler has helped me grow to become more successful in leadership, finance, accounting, entrepreneurship, and giving presentations. Marietta Stalcup and several of the Butler professors have helped me learn what I truly want out of a career and have helped springboard my journey to achieve the goals I set out for myself. I’m hoping the connections and resources I have picked up through Butler’s MBA program will help push me to the next level in my career.

David Watkins

Current position/employer: Assistant Director of International Admissions, IUPUI

MBA concentration: Finance and Entrepreneurship

What I’m learning at Butler that is helping my career: Figuring out my “why.” Yes, I am learning many of the hard skills needed to be successful in business, finance, accounting, etc. but I think more importantly, I am constantly being pushed to figure what I want to be doing, why I want to do it, and how to go about reaching that goal. Between my executive leadership coach, Randy Brown, professors like Dr. Fetter, and the Program Director, Marietta Stalcup, I am constantly being challenged to dig a bit deeper beyond the acquiring of simple skills to nurture a passion and a purpose for my MBA from Butler University.

Katherine Hopkins Alexander

Current position/employer: Lab Manager, Axis Forensic Toxicology

Concentration: Finance

What I’m learning at Butler that is helping my career: The professors and advising staff are exceptional and focus heavily on not just learning but applying the material, which gives you direct experience so that you are more comfortable applying it in your everyday life. Additionally, Butler has immersed us in all facets of what makes you an exceptional professional. It’s not just learning each of the core subjects that makes you an effective financial leader, team manager, etc. but rather working through it with your classmates, working on it simultaneously with other subjects, applying it all at the same time so you see the full picture during your entire program.

 

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

 

Academics

What They Learned in Butler's MBA Program Translates to Victory

The Butler MBA team won the 2017 ACG Cup.

Jun 12 2017 Read more
DNA research
AcademicsResearchUnleashed

Professor’s DNA Research Could Help Cure Genetic Diseases

BY Katie Grieze

PUBLISHED ON Sep 10 2019

Many life-threatening diseases come from slight variations in our genetic codes. A problem with the BRCA1 gene makes a person more prone to certain cancers, for example, and mutations of the hemoglobin-Beta gene can lead to sickle cell anemia.

Not everyone with genetic mutations will develop the associated conditions, but just having a variation can change a person’s life—they’ll need to get tests, take pills, go through surgeries, and constantly worry that doing all of these things still won’t be enough.

So, what if we could fix the problem at its root?

Using a grant from the National Science Foundation (NSF) for more than $711,000, that’s what Butler University Pharmaceutical Sciences Professor Alex Erkine is trying to work toward. The project falls into NSF’s fairly new Rules of Life category, which aims to promote discoveries related to fundamental questions about how living things work.

Erkine says genes can have a wide range of functionality levels. Scientists already understand that the level of functionality depends both on certain aspects of the gene itself, as well as on the quality of the proteins that bind with the gene. These proteins work as activators, helping determine the gene’s level of functionality by dimming it up or down—imagine a light dimmer controlling the brightness in a room.

The problem is, biochemists have never completely understood how that gene-regulating dimmer works. If we don’t know how it works, we don’t know how to control or replicate it, and we can’t effectively edit a person’s DNA. Erkine’s project combines biochemistry with informatics, or machine learning, to try and change that.

In the physical lab, researchers will transfer strands of unique DNA sequences into cells. Then they’ll rate each cell based on how functional the DNA sequence is. In the past, similar tests have only been able to analyze a few DNA samples at a time, but using bioinformatics and machine learning will allow Erkine and his collaborators to compare more than 10,000 cells at once.

The ability to work with such a large group of DNA sequences is game-changing, Erkine says, because researchers can find patterns that never would have shown up when only comparing a few samples. Using bioinformatics tools makes this possible.

While scientists have been trying to understand the gene activator mechanism for decades, Erkine says both the DNA sequences and the ways they interact are highly variable and almost random—but not completely. Patterns do emerge within large enough data sets, which is why massive amounts of data are key. Erkine says computer-based tools are necessary in trying to understand these near-chaotic processes because finding those patterns will help us predict how genetic structures might interact after the activators are edited.

By identifying common features between strands with similar functionality scores, the informatics tools should help answer the question of what makes one gene functional and another gene cause disease.

The finished project is expected to shed some light on how genes are regulated and exactly how specific parts of a gene would need to be altered to prevent certain diseases. Scientists already know which part of the gene needs to be changed—as they can recognize mutations in DNA—and they now have the power to make those specific changes with the recent discovery of the CRISPR-Cas9 DNA editing system. But Erkine’s project is trying to answer the question of how to change sequences in ways that achieve the desired outcome of curing disease. So, we can already recognize and remove a genetic mutation, but what DNA sequences can we use to effectively replace it?

One of the project’s goals is to create a computational algorithm that will predict how certain changes to the gene activator mechanism (or the dimmer) will affect the genes it is working on.

“It sounds easy—just create an algorithm,” Erkine says. “But in reality, the problem is not trivial, because we do not fully understand how activators work. Our project, first of all, addresses the question about the mechanism of activator function. Then, as a byproduct, we hope to create a machine learning model (or algorithm) that can be used with CRISPR DNA editing for medical purposes.”

Some of this analytics process will take place at Butler, with help from PharmD students Brad Broyles and Andrew Gutierrez.

Broyles, who is in his third professional year of Butler’s Doctor of Pharmacy program, says working on this research has been the most valuable part of his time at Butler. He’s excited for the chance to learn about complicated aspects of biology while sharpening his computer skills, and he hopes the results will help make the field of biochemistry more receptive to new ideas.

Researchers at Purdue University also received close to $250,000 from the NSF to collaborate with Butler on this project. Purdue will handle most of the computer-based process Erkine calls the dry lab.

Back in 2015, Erkine had the chance to spend his sabbatical in Cambridge, England, with the MRC Laboratory of Molecular Biology. He has continued collaborating with the institution ever since, publishing an article in 2018 that helped lay the foundation for his current project.

Erkine says our current lack of understanding about how some molecular mechanisms work has a lot to do with long-held beliefs in the field of biochemistry—beliefs about what is and what isn’t worth studying.

“In short, biochemistry is about specificity,” he explains. “It looks at specific structures interacting with other specific structures in specific ways—key-and-lock sorts of interactions. But this is simply because that’s easy to study. Everything that does not necessarily interact specifically or strongly is ignored by biochemistry. It is considered noise: noise that is nonessential, non-functional, detrimental—that essentially stands in the way of new biochemistry developments.”

Erkine wants researchers to think about things differently. The human cell is full of interactions that occur randomly, but that doesn’t make them any less important to understand. Because if his research works, he says, we’ll find a way to get to the root of diseases we’ve been trying to cure for decades.

 

Media contact:

Katie Grieze

News Content Manager

kgrieze@butler.edu

260-307-3403

 

Innovations in Teaching and Learning

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

DNA research
AcademicsResearchUnleashed

Professor’s DNA Research Could Help Cure Genetic Diseases

Alex Erkine receives more than $711,000 from the National Science Foundation (NSF) to study gene regulation.

Sep 10 2019 Read more
AcademicsResearch

Combating Counterfeit Meds: Butler Prof Navigates the dotcom World of Prescriptions

BY Marc D. Allan MFA ’18

PUBLISHED ON Apr 17 2019

Before you buy medication from an online pharmacy, you may want to think twice.

And after listening to Butler University Associate Professor of Pharmacy Practice John Hertig, who studies the impact of counterfeit online drug distribution worldwide, rattle off the numbers, you may want to avoid medication sold on the world wide web all together.

62% of medicines purchased online are fake or substandard."At any one time, there are between 35,000 and 45,000 illegal online pharmacies operating worldwide," he says. "The issue with those illegal online pharmacies, in addition to not operating under the laws and regulations of the United States, is that about 50 percent of them sell counterfeit medications. So in addition to just being the criminals who now have your credit card data and home address, about half the time they're going to ship you counterfeit product."

Hertig is a board member of the Alliance for Safe Online Pharmacies (ASOP), whose mission is to protect patient safety. His research looks at why patients are going online ("No surprise, it's because of cost, but it's also because it's an ecommerce world, and people are not aware of the risks"), and whether pharmacists, nurses, and physicians adequately educate their patients about the risks.

The dangers, Hertig says, are the possibility of getting either a substandard or falsified drug. Substandard could be counterfeit, meaning it might not have any of the active ingredient in it—it could be sugar pills—or there might not be enough, or too much, of the active ingredient. Sometimes, counterfeiters might cut 100 real pills into 1,000 pills by diluting them with sugar, brick dust, antifreeze, or chalk.

Falsified drugs are real, but they haven't been labelled, stored, or handled appropriately.

Hertig says there are ways to tell if an online pharmacy is legitimate. The National Association of Boards of Pharmacy (NABP) owns the ".pharmacy" top-level domain, and there's no way to obtain a dot-pharmacy web address without going through the association.

"If you go to cvs.pharmacy, you're good," he says. "If you go to walgreens.pharmacy, you're good. If you go to bestdrugsever.com, even though the website might look legitimate, you need to second-guess that."

The ASOP and NABP are both heavily involved in consumer education (more information is available at BuySafeRx.pharmacy), as is Hertig in conjunction with the Indiana Coalition for Patient Safety, and a network of hospitals. They've developed toolkits and are working to determine how much doctors, nurses, and pharmacists know about online pharmacies.

This summer, Hertig will be working on a Butler Summer Institute project with Kyla Maloney '22, a Pharmacy student whose research will summarize the possible link between illegal online pharmacies and patient harm worldwide. She plans to do a comprehensive review of the available literature regarding this kind of patient harm and unearth data that can be used for patients and providers to make better-informed healthcare decisions.

Maloney says that during an introductory pharmacy class, she was exposed to the world of online pharmacies and the massive issue surrounding adulterated drugs from these sites.

"The impact these pharmacies have on the economy, health system, and patient well-being were quite intriguing to me," she says. "Pharmacists have a professional responsibility to deliver exceptional care for our patients; in many cases, the ease and convenience of online pharmaceuticals may aid in that mission ... I am hoping this literature review will allow me to help make the world of pharmacy just a bit safer for my future patients."

AcademicsResearch

Combating Counterfeit Meds: Butler Prof Navigates the dotcom World of Prescriptions

Before you buy medication from an online pharmacy, you may want to think twice.  

Apr 17 2019 Read more
AcademicsResearch

Butler Researcher Shows Link Between Social Media and Happiness

BY Rachel Stern

PUBLISHED ON Feb 01 2019

 

 

INDIANAPOLIS—People flock to Facebook to see the latest wedding news, vacation photos, new baby arrival, or home purchase. Most people, research indicates, head to their newsfeeds to passively watch and compare, much more often than post their own news or updates.

But, it turns out, some of us prefer to look at and compare ourselves to certain types of individuals: those who make us feel better about ourselves. And that, in turn, can lead to an increase in happiness and life satisfaction.

That’s according to new research from Lee Farquhar, Butler University Associate Professor of Entertainment Media and Journalism in the College of Communication. Humans continually observe those around them to see how they fit in, a process called social comparison theory. This innate concept holds true in the world of social media, according to Farquhar’s research. It not only holds true, but the more individuals engage in that type of behavior on Facebook—comparing themselves to others in various ways—the happier and more satisfied they were with their life.

“There is no secret that Facebook intensity has been associated with negative social consequences, such as anxiety, narcissism, and loneliness,” says Farquhar, whose own previous research has revealed those very things. “But this looked at something new. When individuals positively compared themselves to other Facebook users, they had higher levels of reported happiness. These findings nuance previous scholarship that largely indicated heavy Facebook use has a detrimental effect on one’s psychological well-being. It is not the amount of Facebook use that matters, but rather, how one feels they measure up in comparison with those around them.”

Farquhar’s research, published in the Journal of New Media & Culture, surveyed 406 college students and Amazon’s Mechanical Turk Workers. The average age was 32, and 46 percent were male.

The participants went through a series of questions about their social media use, such as time spent on Facebook, how they would feel if the social media outlet was taken away from them, and how often they look at others on Facebook, for example. They also measured life satisfaction and happiness.

The average life satisfaction and happiness scores were about a five out of seven. And, the more frequently one engaged in Facebook activities, the happier one was, Farquhar says. This, he says, can most likely be explained by downward social comparisons.

When individuals positively compared themselves to other Facebook users, they had higher levels of reported happiness and life satisfaction. So, he says, it is likely that individuals were seeking out others who made them feel better about themselves.

“For example, if the user wanted to feel better about his or her career, they might compare to an individual who is unemployed, or had a less appealing job. That same type of comparison could be done for virtually every other aspect of one’s life, like intelligence, family life, the list goes on,” he says. “It is not simply the amount of social comparing one does that matters, but the type of comparison that predicts happiness and life satisfaction.”

This targeted, downward social comparison, was the predictor of happiness and overall life satisfaction, Farquhar says. Facebook is the ideal medium for this, he says, because it allows users to select particular people or elements to hone in on for comparison, while blocking out those elements, or people, that are unwanted.

What this study didn’t account for, Farquhar explains, is the long-term impact of this behavior.

“I wouldn’t encourage people to spend more time on Facebook looking for people to look down on,” he says. “Looking for peers to look down on to make oneself feel better is not the prescription here. We believe the more time spent on there, the less satisfied with life one will eventually be, as one is bound to run into unfavorable social comparisons.”

But, he says, the findings are important for adding a more nuanced understanding to the social media behemoth. For so long the conversation has focused on doom and gloom when it comes to Facebook. While that may still be true, it is important to understand the medium in a more detailed way.

Facebook lends itself to downward social comparison, and therefore, makes the user feel better. So, he explains, for some, social media can have a positive impact, even if it is fleeting. This study also helps us understand how users interact with the medium on a more intimate level.

“We assumed the results would fall in line with the body of literature that says social media interactions make you feel worse and were surprised to see any sort of uptick,” Farquhar says. “We assumed, you go online, look at others, and feel worse. We believe downward comparison is going on and this adds another dimension to the complex conversation about Facebook.”

 

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

AcademicsResearch

Butler Researcher Shows Link Between Social Media and Happiness

  Turns out social media can make you happy.

Feb 01 2019 Read more
AcademicsResearch

New Study by Butler Professor Shows Why Electoral Integrity Matters

BY Rachel Stern

PUBLISHED ON Oct 30 2018

INDIANAPOLIS—As the 2018 midterm elections near, there is an increasing focus on how difficult it is for some people to actually cast a vote in certain states.

For example, voters in North Dakota, Ohio, Missouri, Kansas, and New Hampshire, among others, are facing restrictive voter ID laws and purges of voter names from the rolls. In Georgia, allegations of voter suppression against black voters have reached a boiling point. According to a recent report from the Associated Press, about 53,000 voter registration applications are in limbo because information on applications doesn’t exactly match up with names on drivers licenses or Social Security cards.

These challenges to electoral integrity have an impact on citizen confidence in elections, according to new research from Butler University Assistant Professor of Political Science Greg Shufeldt. His research found that the higher a state ranks when it comes to electoral integrity, or how states run elections, the more likely individuals are to feel like their vote is being counted fairly.

Essentially, those states that ranked higher in electoral integrity had citizens who felt more confident in the democratic system, according to Shufeldt’s research.

“Citizens that live in states with lower electoral integrity are going to be less likely to have confidence in the election process and are less likely to think that their vote is counted fairly and that has consequences,” says Shufeldt, who studies political parties, political inequality, and American politics. “If you don’t think your vote is counted fairly, are you going to keep voting? Probably not.”

Shufeldt’s research, published with Patrick Flavin from Baylor University in State Politics & Policy Quarterly, looked at two different measures of electoral integrity (one led by researchers at MIT and one led by researchers at Harvard). They tested which components of each electoral integrity measurement had a relationship with voter confidence through statistical analyses.

The aspects that impacted citizens’ confidence in the electoral system the most? Personal experience. Examples include problems with the voter registration process, polling site accessibility, availability of ballots, simplicity of the voting process, voter ID laws, violent threats against voters, and simply the presence of qualified candidates on the ballot.

“Broadly, what citizens directly experience impacts their perceptions about whether or not their vote is being counted fairly the most,” Shufeldt says. “The things that a voter would experience going to the polling place are the types of things that are much more likely to have an impact on their confidence, as opposed to the things that happen in a government office that they don’t see.”

All of this matters, Shufeldt says, because if a person doesn’t feel like the process in their state is legitimate, and therefore, that their vote is going to be counted fairly, then there’s a good chance they will stay home on election day, he says.

“This impacts voter turnout,” he says. “My research showed that there is a direct correlation between having confidence in the electoral integrity of your state, and whether or not your vote is being counted fairly. In turn, where you live can determine your desire to show up and your confidence in the system. That is hugely problematic for our democratic system. Where you live is determining the experience you have at the polls.”

This isn’t all just some accident, says Shufeldt. 

States chose their election laws and, he says, states are choosing to go in very different directions in terms of how they conduct their elections. So, who controls state government matters a whole lot for the quality of democracy in one’s state, he says.

According to past research from Shufeldt, Republican-controlled states are increasingly pursuing measures that are damaging electoral integrity, whereas majority Democrat-controlled states are more likely to pursue policies that would lead to higher electoral integrity rankings.

“Because states are increasingly under one party control, some states are able to implement tougher voter ID laws, purging their voter rolls, and are adding additional restrictions or checks to the election process, while other states are choosing to go in a different direction and pursue reforms like making voter registration automatic,” he says. “If you assume that elections play a key and central role in a democratic government, states are choosing wildly different ways to conduct those elections.”

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

 

Photo by Erik (HASH) Hersman via: freeforcommercialuse.org

AcademicsResearch

New Study by Butler Professor Shows Why Electoral Integrity Matters

Professor Greg Shufeldt's study shows that electoral integrity has impact on citizen confidence in elections.

Oct 30 2018 Read more
AcademicsResearch

New Butler Research Shows Hearing Loss Linked to Cognitive Ability in Babies

BY Rachel Stern

PUBLISHED ON Mar 01 2019

INDIANAPOLIS—It is fairly typical for individuals with profound hearing loss to experience other cognitive issues. There could be issues with memory or paying attention, for example. But are those other problems related to a lack of experience with language, or is there something else at play?

That is the very question Butler University Assistant Professor of Communication Sciences and Disorders Tonya Bergeson-Dana wanted to answer. Does hearing loss have an effect on other systems of development?

According to new research Bergeson-Dana co-authored in the journal PLOS One, the answer is yes.

“When one thinks about hearing loss, they think about hearing impairment, hearing aids, or maybe American Sign Language (ASL). No one thinks about the cascading effects on other systems as the child is developing,” she says. “What we are really seeing here is that hearing loss certainly has an effect on other systems in development, and not only that, but it starts very, very early, when the individual is an infant.”

Individuals who have hearing loss have other cognitive issues separate from their hearing impairment, she says. The assumption, though, she says, has largely been that those issues are related to a lack of experience with language.

The bigger question at play is if hearing loss is connected to the larger cognitive system, and therefore has a cascading effect on cognitive development. This is important, Bergeson-Dana says, because that would mean hearing loss has a direct effect on cognitive functions.

“What we are really looking at is whether congenital hearing loss has an effect on other systems in development,” she says. “We wanted to know how early this might start, and how impactful hearing loss is on the rest of the whole system.”

Forty-three infants, half of them hearing impaired and half of them hearing, aged seven-to-23 months, were presented with the same image over and over again. Once they acted like they were bored of the image, a new image appeared.

The purpose was to see how quickly the babies tired of the photos. Previous studies show that babies who get bored quickly have increases in cognitive functions. So, this was used as a measure to see if deafness slows cognitive development.

The rate of habituation, or how quickly a baby got bored with an image, was different between hearing babies and deaf babies. Babies with typical hearing were faster to habituate than babies with hearing loss. It took hearing impaired babies an average of eight-and-a-half trials before they got bored, compared to seven trials for hearing babies.

These findings, Bergeson-Dana says, can have major implications on how hearing loss is treated.

“We definitely should be treating hearing impairments much earlier than we do because of these clear cascading effects,” she says. “But more than that, we also need to provide children with cognitive skill interventions, in addition to just treating their hearing impairment.

“Before, we have just focused on their hearing impairment, but this study shows we have to think about the baby as a whole child, not just as a child with a hearing loss. The ear is connected to the brain.”

 

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

AcademicsResearch

New Butler Research Shows Hearing Loss Linked to Cognitive Ability in Babies

Hearing loss is connected to the larger cognitive system, and has a cascading effect on cognitive development.

Mar 01 2019 Read more
Academics

College of Education Named AACTE Global Award Recipient

BY Marc Allan

PUBLISHED ON Feb 15 2019

Two Reggio Emelia-inspired Lab Schools in the Indianapolis Public Schools system, a Lab School created within Shortridge International Baccalaureate World School, partnerships with schools in Sweden and Australia, to name a few, and study abroad and faculty development opportunities outside the United States.

Those are just a few of the reasons that the Butler University College of Education was awarded the national 2019 Best Practice Award in Support of Global and International Perspectives. The award, presented by the American Association of Colleges for Teacher Education (AACTE), recognizes exemplary practice in the intercultural, global, cross-cultural, and international arenas.

“We believe that our students have to be globally informed,” says Kelli Esteves, College of Education Associate Professor and Global Coordinator. “Our students need to bring knowledge of diverse perspectives from around the world into their teaching. Intercultural knowledge and an expanded worldview enable them to meet the needs of their future students.”

The award will be presented to Esteves at the AACTE 71st annual conference February 22-24 in Louisville, Kentucky. It is sponsored by AACTE’s Committee on Global Diversity as part of its mission to assure that a global and international perspective is brought to policy and programs associated with the preparation of education professionals.

The College of Education was lauded for its programs in international student teaching, international partnerships, and teacher-preparation programs.

"We do a great job of preparing globally ready educators who go out into the world to educate students," Esteves said. "Our teachers understand the global dimensions of their discipline and are prepared to go into any classroom in any setting and succeed."

Academics

College of Education Named AACTE Global Award Recipient

The COE was lauded for international student teaching, international partnerships, and teacher-preparation.

Feb 15 2019 Read more

Find Your Passion

by Jackson Borman ’20

If you walk inside of Butler University’’s Learning Resource Center, you will likely run into Heather Lee, one of the academic advisors for students in the Exploratory Studies Program. Inside her office hangs a bulletin board covered in photographs of students: students she has helped pick an area of study through the program in the past year alone.

For some, deciding what to study in college can be one of the hardest decisions to make. Typically, Lee will meet with students to plan a schedule that includes classes that cover a wide range of the student’s interests before they even arrive on campus.

“What’s the number one question that people ask when you are coming into college? ‘What’s your major?’” Lee says. “Exploratory studies is a great place to fall if you have a couple of ideas or if you have 20 or 30.”

Lee teaches an exploratory studies class that is geared toward first-year students. The class isn’t like a typical seminar; students complete self assessments, shadow and observe classes, and do research on the types of careers that are available with each degree that they might be interested in.

Through the class, exploratory students can also job shadow and attend faculty panels where professors come and discuss every major and minor that Butler offers.

“This leaves them with a foundation where they get to learn about their strengths, what their interests are, and gives them an opportunity to see what [a certain major] is really like,” says Lee.

Lee feels that the program is extremely valuable to students because it can empower them and give them reassurance that they will find a major that they are interested in.

“Some students look around campus and feel that their peers have it all figured out,” Lee says. “You don’t have to have it all figured out. When [students] do come in as exploratory, I like for them to convey it to other people and say that they are an exploratory studies student; that it is a major, and that they are doing the research to make an informed decision on what their major is going to be.”

In recent years, exploratory studies has been one of the largest majors on Butler’s campus. Since the 2015-2016 school year, the program has grown by over 60 students. Currently, there are almost 200 students in the program.

Jen Mann is another academic advisor in the Learning Resource Center who also works as a student development specialist. She says that the exploratory studies major is essential because of the countless options that are available to Butler students.

“In high school, students are likely only exposed to around 10 areas of study,” Mann says. “Here at Butler, we have over 65 majors. There is no way that a first year student has any concept of what some of those areas are that they could potentially go into.”

Mann sees the exploratory studies program as a unique opportunity for Butler students.

“I think what this program has done is make [exploratory studies] a very real major,” Mann says. “It is a program that is intentional, planned,  and thoughtful, and is a space where you can come in and have some normalcy with the goal of students feeling confident in saying that they are an exploratory studies major.”

Corrin Godlevske is a junior marketing major who started her first year at Butler in the exploratory studies major. She said that coming into college, she was torn between studying business or going into the pre-PA program.

“I’m thankful that I fell into exploratory,” Godlevske says. “The amount of help that I’ve received, even after [declaring my major], with questions about prerequisites and classes and all of that, they are always so willing to help me out.”

During her first semester as an exploratory studies major, Godlevske felt a little nervous about choosing an area of study, but listening to professors talk about their majors during classes and taking a Real Business Experience class helped to guide her toward the marketing major. Now she is confident in her major and thankful for the program.

“I’m not behind and I don’t feel like I missed anything that any other first-year would have done,” Godlevske says. “If anything, it has added to my experience and now I have such a great support system in the [Learning Resource Center] because they are always there to reassure me.”

Godlevske thinks that the exploratory studies major is something that separates Butler from other schools because it can be comforting to a new student who is unsure about deciding a major.

“I don’t think that a lot of other universities offer the same experience,” Godlevske says. “You come in and get this reassurance that you are in the right place.”

Nina Bertino is a junior strategic communications major who started as an exploratory student. She said that originally she was thinking about studying psychology in college, but joined the exploratory studies program to hone in on her interests.

“I didn’t even know that [strategic communication] was an option,” Bertino says. “It has been such a great major for me and the exploratory class helped me narrow down what exactly I was interested in.”

Some may doubt that the exploratory studies major would work or that it is worth the time to go through. But for Bertino, it was well worth it.

“I had a lot of people tell me, ‘Oh, you are going to school and you don’t even know what your major is?’” Bertino says. “I am actually on track to graduate a semester early because I went into exploratory.”

Bertino said the biggest thing is to figure out what you are passionate about and to go from there.

“There are a lot of people who declare, but you shouldn’t let that scare you,” Bertino says. “A lot of people change their majors or go into a major that they don’t really like. Take the time and figure out what exactly you want to study.”

Academics

Find Your Passion

Discover your major through the Exploratory Studies Program.

Find Your Passion

by Jackson Borman ’20

Art: The Secret Ingredient

Cindy Dashnaw

from Spring 2016

Common Core State Standards outline what to teach students so they can graduate. What the standards don’t address is how to do that.

In this void, College of Education (COE) Professor Arthur Hochman saw an opportunity for Butler to influence the way teachers teach and students learn for decades to come.

Art Meets Education

We know today that the arts improve educational performance. But it wasn’t until 2002 that a first-of-its-kind research study showed that students exposed to arts education scored higher on standardized tests, developed better social skills, and had more motivation than their counterparts.

Hundreds of studies since have reached the same conclusion: Integrating the arts with other subjects improves the performance of K-12 students. 

Why, then, haven’t schools changed? 

“In 2002, teachers weren’t being taught to teach this way,” Hochman said. “And they still aren’t, for the most part—frankly, because standardized tests don’t emphasize it.” 

Teachers who might want to add an arts component to lesson plans are on their own.

“They have only their own experience to draw from. And think about that: all of us—teachers—included, grew up doing sums on the board, not moving in front of the class,” Hochman said. “So how can we expect them to naturally integrate an art form into the way they teach?” 

Hochman’s solution began with his creation of the Arts Integration (AI) course.

Art for All

Hochman recruited Tim Hubbard, Arts Integration Specialist, to help teach the required course in 2004. AI ensures that future teachers get a base of knowledge about successfully marrying the arts with other subjects. 

It’s our responsibility as an educational institution, Hochman said. 

“We always hear that the arts are for everyone, but they’re not. When families cannot afford to take their children to a performance or exhibit, school is their only chance,” said Hochman. “We want to make sure teachers know how to give students what they need.”

The arts can be integrated into any subject—math, for example. Twenty students solving the same equation may come up with the same answer. But when they can use their bodies to express their thought processes, Hochman said, individuality, retention, and attitudes soar. 

“The arts are inherently personal. They demand our own interpretation. So when I, as a student, connect math with the physical movement of my body, the math becomes a personal expression of me. After all, what am I more connected to than me?” he said.

Effective Arts Integration

The approach intrigued Superintendent of Kokomo-Center Consolidated School Corporation Jeff Hauswald. He asked Hochman and Hubbard for help in developing an arts-integrated elementary school. Thanks to exceptional community support, the Wallace School of Integrated Arts opened in 2012 with a waiting list. Eleven of its 14 teachers are Butler graduates. 

One of those is Veronica Orech ’14, who wrote in an email that Butler transformed her ideas on how to be a teacher. She also saw the approach at the Indianapolis Public Schools/Butler University Lab School 60, a COE partner. 

"The arts are inherently personal. They demand our own intepretation."

“No matter the subject, arts integration is my favorite way to teach. The overall experience is more rewarding for everyone involved because everyone is more motivated to take ownership of their learning experience—myself included,” she wrote. 

For more information, visit the Wallace School of Integrated Arts

Academics

Searching for Cpl. James B. Gresham

BY Marc Allan MFA `18

PUBLISHED ON Oct 29 2018

Cpl. James B. Gresham deserves a memorial. Of that, Butler University senior History and Political Science major Nathan Hall is sure.

Why Gresham doesn't have a memorial has become Hall's fascination. This slight against the first Indiana soldier to die in World War I was the subject of Hall's presentation at the 2018 Butler Undergraduate Research Conference, and it served as the topic for a talk at TEDxEvansville on October 26.

"I would love if he got a monument or some kind of memorial in Evansville," says Hall, who, like Gresham, is from Evansville. "I think it'd be very fitting. I think he's a piece of our culture that's incredibly important."

Hall became aware of Gresham during his junior year at Reitz Memorial High School. Larry Mattingly, Hall's history teacher, offered extra credit to students who could find Gresham's grave. Hall and his friends scoured Locust Hill Cemetery and found what they were looking for: a government-issued headstone in the middle of rows of similar headstones.

At Butler, Hall researched Gresham to find out why he'd never been given a proper memorial after his body had been returned to Evansville in 1921. He wrote up his findings as part of his junior research project in Professor Vivian Deno's History 302 class.

Deno says Hall’s project "is testament to his determination and a historian’s intuition that there is a larger, more important story about an event or person that needs to be told."

"He spent many long hours reaching out to various archives, and searching for missing records," she says. "That effort paid off in a really smart and nuanced paper that makes us rethink the importance of local history. Working with students like Nathan and so many others is one of the real joys of being a historian at an institution like Butler. Undergraduate research has important contributions to make to the field."

In his research, Hall discovered that a combination of distraction and neglect were the reasons Gresham never got his due.

First, in 1922, the city's powerful mayor, Benjamin Bosse, died, which shifted Evansville's focus away from Gresham. Then the Depression hit. In 1936, the city again took up Gresham's cause. But in 1937, as plans developed to build a plaza dedicated to Gresham on the Ohio River, the river flooded. A third of the city's homes were destroyed.

The 1940s saw Evansville focused on the war effort.

And daily life went on.

"It seemed several times to be a surefire thing," Hall says. "But there was no end result. I wanted to unpack that mystery as best I could. I don't think I totally have, but even to get to the point where I am now where I can pretty confidently say that there were all these other things that happened that buried his memory – that's where I've gotten."

The more Hall found, the more interested he became in the issue of how and why we as a society choose to remember—or forget—different parts of our history

And when Hall's sister suggested he apply to speak at the TEDxEvansville event, he did and was excited to be selected. (TED—Technology, Entertainment, and Design—is a nonprofit devoted to spreading ideas, usually in the form of short, powerful talks. (Independently run TEDx events help share ideas in communities around the world.)

Hall, who graduates in December and plans to go to law school next fall, says the call to action in his talk isn't so much about the fact that there should be a monument for Gresham.

"It's that we need to understand that if something important like this gets lost or swept under the rug, we can get it back or remember it," he says.

Academics

Searching for Cpl. James B. Gresham

Nathan Hall `18 discovered the untold story of World War I's first Hoosier fatality, Cpl. James B. Gresham.

Oct 29 2018 Read more
AcademicsArts & CulturePeople

Professor Lynch's Book Is a Finalist for LA Times Prize

BY

PUBLISHED ON Feb 22 2018

English Instructor Alessandra Lynch's 2017 book of poetry Daylily Called It a Dangerous Moment has been selected as a finalist for the Los Angeles Times Book Prize.

Lynch will be flown to the April 20 ceremony where the winners will be announced.

Daylily Called It a Dangerous Moment has been widely acclaimed, with The New York Times naming it one of the 10 best books of poetry last year.

Lynch has been teaching at Butler since 2008. She has designed courses in the First Year Seminar (Memoir) and Special Topics in Literature (Transformations in Literature), Introduction to Poetry Writing, Intermediate Poetry, and Independent Studies in Poetry, and she created and designed an Advancing Poetry course.

She has also designed the Poetry Workshop in the MFA program, created and designed Shaping a Manuscript, Finding Its Song: MFA Revision Class, and advised MFA students on their theses.

Lynch is the author of three collections of poetry: Sails the Wind Left Behind (winner of the New York/New England Award from Alice James Books, 2002), It was a terrible cloud at twilight (winner of the Lena-Miles Wever Todd Award, Pleaides/LSU Press, 2008), and Daylily Called It a Dangerous Moment (Alice James Books, 2017). She has received fellowships from The Corporation of Yaddo, the MacDowell Colony for the Arts, and the Vermont Studio Center, and she has been the recipient of a Barbara Deming Award and a Creative Renewal Fellowship for the Arts from the Indianapolis Council for the Arts.

 

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

 

Good for Business

By Marc Allan, MFA '18

On a mid-October Thursday morning, 27 Butler University MBA students direct all of their attention to Nick Carter, owner of Market Wagon—an Indianapolis-based online farmer's market he created to connect local farmers and artisans with customers who want their products. The students are eager to learn about Carter's scrappy startup, and for the next hour and change, they pepper him with questions.

They ask about space (Market Wagon plans to move to a bigger location by the end of the year), company management (he’s building the team; he’s a self-taught developer), where marketing money is spent (80 percent to Facebook, 19 percent Google ad words; 1 percent local blog advertising), who the typical customer is (a 34- to 54-year-old female with kids), and more.

The students are here for their Business Practicum class, a 2½-day, hands-on course designed to immerse them in the local food movement—one of the economic hubs that drives business development in Indianapolis—and put what they've been learning in the classroom to practical use.

They've been divided into teams of four or five, and each group has been assigned to one of the six businesses they'll visit as part of what they jokingly call "a two-day fieldtrip." Their assignment: recommend solutions for an issue each company faces.

For Market Wagon, the question is whether to become more like a conventional grocery store or move into others cities and replicate the niche the business now has in four Indiana locations (Indianapolis, Evansville, La Porte, Fort Wayne) and one that serves Dayton/Cincinnati, Ohio.

After the group has an opportunity to question Carter, the team will come up with recommendations and present them to the class on the final day of the course. The businesses also will receive a paper outlining the students' suggestions. (For Market Wagon, the students recommended sticking with the niche market.)

"The class is a great way to apply some of the skills we've acquired through the curriculum so far at Butler and apply them to real-world business challenges," says student Stephen Lindley, 27, whose full-time job is with the commercial real estate development firm Strategic Capital Partners. "You feel connected to the Indianapolis community and local businesses, and you get hands-on experience you don't get in the classroom."

"It's definitely a different way of learning than I'm used to," agrees classmate Bryden Basaran, 27, a software engineer for Midcontinent Independent System Operator, a not-for-profit organization that ensures delivery of electricity across all or parts of 15 U.S. states and one Canadian province. "I've always been the kind of person who's like, 'Give me the book, I'll read it and learn it.' That's not something you can do for this course. I've had quite a lot of fun over the last two days."

Adjunct Professor Mike Simmons developed the Business Practicum course a few years ago. His initial idea was to focus on a specific industry. The first year was sports. The second, craft beer. But in the third year, he found the right focus with local food, which gives the students a look at producers, distributors, retailers, and other means of pushing the product out to the public.

Food has been the focus ever since.

"They're getting a macro and micro view," Simmons says. "They can see an individual company but then they can also see how it all fits together."

*

The fall version of the Business Practicum (it's also offered in spring) started on the evening of October 10 with a panel discussion featuring representatives from the individual companies. The next day, the students boarded a bus that took them to Market Wagon, Public Greens (a farm-market-inspired urban cafeteria and microfarm that donates all profits and crops to feeding kids), and Fitness Farm (which offers event space; education and exercise programs on nutrition, fitness, and agriculture; a fully sustainable market garden for farm-to-table sales; and a seasonal on-site produce stand).

Friday, they did it again, with visits to Mad Farmers Collective (a group of three farmers growing on two urban farms in downtown Indianapolis), Oca (a beer-friendly sausage and sandwich counter), and Tulip Tree Creamery (a cheesery).

At Oca, Corrie Cook Quinn, who calls herself the Narration and Libation Manager," tells them about the history of the business. That is, how Goose the Market, which opened in Indianapolis more than 10 years ago as a modern-day version of a neighborhood butcher shop, led to the Smoking Goose, which is now 7 years old and has smoked meats distributed in 46 states, which spun off Oca, an elevated version of pub food.

The issue Oca faces in its Carmel location is visibility amid all the construction going on around it. Quinn wanted to know how Oca can build its business there while also boosting the reputations of Oca and the Smoking Goose. (The students recommended improved signage, offering samples, educating consumers about the quality of the products, and other solutions.)

Tulip Tree Creamery was facing a more immediate quandary—whether to open a retail space inside the Bottleworks District, a redeveloped Coca-Cola bottling plant in downtown Indianapolis. Tulip Tree co-founders Fons Smits and Laura Davenport tell the students that they want to keep their operation as lean as possible, but they wonder if a retail space would help them expand their brand. (The team split on its recommendation and offered Tulip Tree some options to decrease its risks while boosting its sales.)

"There were some very well thought out answers," Simmons says.

Ashley Butler, 31, who is a nurse, is also studying osteopathic medicine at Marian University in Indianapolis while working on her MBA. Butler says classes like Business Practicum are the reason she decided on Butler for her MBA.

"The hands-on experience and the people—the caliber of the individuals I thought I was going to be in class with—are what sold the program for me," she says. "It wasn't just a bunch of case learning, where you talk about and hypothesize over what this would look like. We've gotten to go out into the community, meet with business leaders, and network within the community."

And that can be as useful for the businesses as it is for the students. Market Wagon's Carter says the time he spent with the students "was well worth my hour."

"Because I learn from them too," he says. "The questions that they ask, I shoot back an answer to them, but it may be an answer I just thought of because I hadn’t even thought of that question before. So it’s really good to hear MBA students. What they’re asking me is always teaching me what I should be concerned about in my business."

Academics

Good for Business

Butler MBA students hit the road to solve business challenges.

Good for Business

By Marc Allan, MFA '18

From the President

James Danko

from Spring 2017

When North Western Christian University—later to be renamed Butler University—opened its doors in 1855 with only two professors, natural science was a foundational part of the curriculum. As courses of study evolved in later years, the science track was in high demand among students. And in the mid-1940s, as Eli Lilly and Company was achieving success with the production and distribution of penicillin, Butler took over the Indianapolis College of Pharmacy, becoming one of only two colleges in Indiana to confer pharmacy degrees.

Now, as then, Butler University is dedicated to providing world-class academic programs in pharmacy and in life, physical, and health sciences. Demand among students and employers for these programs, as well as for Butler’s engineering and technology programs, is high, and many—including the Science, Technology, and Environmental Studies program featured in this magazine— prepare students for medical school and other graduate programs. Butler is dedicated to all these programs not only because they are central to its academic mission, but because the University has an important role in supporting economic development in the Hoosier state.

Over the past decade, Butler’s undergraduate enrollment in the sciences within the College of Liberal Arts and Sciences has increased by over 56 percent. As applications to the University reached an all-time high last year, 10 percent of those applications were for Biology. Applications to the Computer Science and Software Engineering major have jumped 67 percent over the past two years alone. Because science and technology are integral to economic and social progress locally and worldwide, they are central to Butler’s educational mission. As Butler prepares a diverse, socially responsible generation of students to excel in these fields, I hope you will join me in celebrating the success stories highlighted in this edition of Butler Magazine.

AcademicsCampus

From the President

Butler University is dedicated to providing world-class academic programs in pharmacy and in life, physical, and health sciences.

by James Danko

from Spring 2017

Read more
Academics

How to Succeed in Business By Making Bassoon Reeds

BY

PUBLISHED ON May 07 2015

The Butler University Bassoon Reed Co., a partnership between the Butler University Bassoon Studio and students in the Butler College of Business to build reeds for bassoons, has won the $9,000 top prize in the fifth Zotec Business Competition, part of the Real Business Experience curriculum.
Hailey Jensen and Nolan Reed led the Butler University Bassoon Reed Co.

Second place and $5,000 went to Freedom of Peach BBQ, a flavored barbecue sauce. Third place and $3,000 went to i + Care, a fundraiser for hungry children in the United States.

Butler’s Real Business Experience class, a sophomore level experiential learning course, incorporates the competition throughout the semester. In collaboration with Zotec Partners, a national firm providing revenue cycle and practice management services to hospital-based physicians, students learn to develop, grow, and run a real business. Winning teams demonstrate outstanding presentation skills, business process management, sales and marketing success, growth and partnering, use of technology and social responsibility.
The winner

The judges found that the Bassoon Reed Co. “did an outstanding job presenting their challenges and milestones in a very concise and professional presentation. They also were able to maintain a competitive price strategy and establish employee production measures that increased efficiency and ensured their products’ quality control was superior.”

Participants in the winning team were Nolan Reed (CEO), Hailey Jensen (Chief Sales Officer), and Professor Anne Clark (mentor) from the College of Business, and six bassoon students: Owen Carlos, Kathryn Chamberlain, Sara Erb, Claire Hazelton, Erin Wells, and Heather Wright.

“I think the Butler University Bassoon Reed Co. is a great example of many of the things we are striving to do at Butler,” Professor of Music Doug Spaniol said. “It’s certainly innovative (as far as I know, it’s the first student run business of its kind); it’s collaborative and interdisciplinary with business majors and music majors working together; it’s entrepreneurial by it’s very nature, and it’s a great example of both ‘Real Life, Real Business’ and ‘Music & More.’ I’m delighted to see the bassoon students getting real business experience and developing skills that can help them make a life and career in music.”

Freedom of Peach BBQThe judges said the second-place Freedom of Peach BBQ company “bought a business, rebranded their product and really took a good look at the marketing and determined how to take sales to the next level. They worked nationally with grocery chain Fresh Thyme to gain local placement at three locations in Indianapolis.”

The Freedom of Peach team was Carson Ludwig (CEO), Kevin Rhinesmith (COO), Kirby Lawson (Creative Director), Alan Eidelman (CFO), Claire Krohn (Sales), Meredith Comerford (Marketing), and John Seal (Mentor/Alumnus).

The third-place team, i + Care, “showed that passion, persistence, and people can allow you to make a profit and a difference, and they utilized feedback to pivot and change marketing direction to create greater interest and connection to product and the cause.”

I + CareThe team was Dylon Pierce (CEO), Maison Priest (Creative Director), Karli Azar (Director of Sales), Paige Freud (COO), and Rhoda Israelov (Mentor/Alumni).

“The top three teams demonstrated to us how they really leveraged the five “Ps” that comprise Zotec’s mission statement: Passion, Perspective, Persistence, Predictability and People,” said T. Scott Law ’85, Zotec’s Founder and CEO. “The RBE at Butler University’s College of Business is a fantastic learning opportunity for each student that is involved. We are very proud of each team this semester and the individual contributions and accomplishments of the students.”

 

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

Faculty Focus: Tara Lineweaver

Krisy Force

from Spring 2017

When she entered Butler University as a first-year voice major, Professor of Psychology Tara Lineweaver ’91 never would have imagined that she would graduate four years later with a Psychology degree as well. Nor would her first-year self believe she would head to graduate school in Georgia, finish an internship in Chicago, complete a doctoral program in California, and work at The Cleveland Clinic Foundation in Ohio, only to end up right back where she started—at Butler. 

“It’s funny because when I was a student at Butler, I always said I wanted to work at a place like Butler when I grew up, but I never really imagined I’d work at Butler,” Lineweaver said. “I worked in Admission as a student, so I thought if I did come back I was going to be an admission counselor. I had no idea I would return as a professor.” 

Since arriving back at Butler, Lineweaver has participated in numerous research projects with her students, and she also, along with a group of faculty, has played an integral role in helping create and teach Butler’s new Neuroscience minor. 

“Provost Kate Morris, who was the chair of the Psychology Department at the time, initiated the effort. We were excited to get the Neuroscience minor approved,” Lineweaver said. 

The new minor is interdisciplinary with coursework in Psychology, Biology, and Philosophy. Since its creation in 2013, 26 students have graduated with a Neuroscience minor and 62 students are currently pursuing it. 

“One thing that’s really cool about the minor is that it encourages students to think about the mind and brain from both a scientific and liberal arts perspective,” Lineweaver said. 

In addition to the coursework, students involved in the Neuroscience minor complete internships and research as well. 

For instance, last year one of Lineweaver’s students, Colleen Frank ’16, completed a project that looked at the recognition of emotion through both facial expressions and tone of voice in patients with Parkinson’s disease. She found that people with Parkinson’s disease are not as good at recognizing emotion as their healthy age-matched peers. 

Lineweaver’s passion for neuroscience and collaboration with students has allowed her to build up her own research portfolio and to keep pursuing the many areas of interest she developed prior to teaching at Butler, including Parkinson’s, Epilepsy, Dementia, and Attention Deficit Hyperactivity Disorder research. Many times her students have guided which direction her research takes. 

“I’ve always been a dabbler. I tried many different types of research through my graduate training, and when I got to Butler I continued in all of those areas,” Lineweaver said. “That is one thing I really like about being at Butler, that I can do a lot of different things and not just focus on one question.” 

Lineweaver continued by saying, “Not too many people get the opportunity to go back and work at their alma mater. I am really fortunate that I had that opportunity. I love working at Butler.” 

 

Tara is also currently interested in researching healthy aging. If you are age 60 or over, live in or near Indianapolis, and want to participate in future studies, please email her at tlinewea@butler.edu

Academics

Faculty Focus: Tara Lineweaver

“It’s funny because when I was a student at Butler, I always said I wanted to work at a place like Butler when I grew up, but I never really imagined I’d work at Butler.”

by Krisy Force

from Spring 2017

Read more
NY Giants Vs. Cleveland Browns
AcademicsResearch

Research Reveals Why Long-Suffering Fans Continue to Watch

BY Rachel Stern

PUBLISHED ON Oct 29 2018

There are films like The Notebook that make viewers reach for the tissue box, but they will watch the movie again and again despite all the tears. Why do people want to put themselves through the repeated misery?  Researchers have found that there is a reason for this.

There are two different ways people are entertained when it comes to media, says Ryan Rogers, Butler University Assistant Professor of Entertainment Media and Journalism. There’s enjoyable entertainment and meaningful entertainment and tear jerkers fall under the meaningful category, he says.

“You might say The Hangover was fun and enjoyable, but The Notebook was meaningful,” he says. “You enjoyed both, but they gave you different processes of being entertained.”

So, Rogers took the idea of these different types of entertainment, and found that they could be applied to that long-suffering Buffalo Bills fan, for example. He found that the same dichotomy that exists with movies, exists with sports, too.

“Fans watch for enjoyment and for victory and cheering with friends when things are going well—that excitement and sense of craziness when their team is winning. But, I found that there are also other reasons fans watch that are more akin to meaningful experiences,” Rogers says. “Even if the Bills lose, their fans keep watching every single year because of a deeper, meaningful experience they are deriving from watching.”

Rogers surveyed 277 people, half male and half female, with an average age of 39. His findings, which were published in Media Watch Journal, revealed that even when a fan’s team isn’t winning, even when there is absolutely no hope, those fans continue to tune in because they are gaining meaningful experiences.

Yes, when a team is winning, fans experience enjoyment. But watching teams with no hope might still provide a deeper, more meaningful form of entertainment for people, says Rogers.

“This explains why Browns fans, for example, are Browns fans when intuition tells us otherwise,” Rogers says. “Even when there is no hope, even when a team is eliminated mathematically from contention, fans keep watching and we found that is because they are deriving other, more meaningful appreciation from it.”

Rogers says his research revealed that watching a team struggle is meaningful because of who one is watching with. Often times individuals watch with family, or grew up watching with parents, and so when they watch now, they are reminded of those times, he says.

There’s also that sense of suffering and struggling as a group. Camaraderie is built around a collective struggle, says Rogers. Also, struggling through something can be enlightening and can provide insights that the thrill of victory does not, says Rogers.

“We know why fun and funny movies entertain us, but sad movies also captivate us because of the deeper emotions they tug at and the deeper introspection and deeper feelings they cause us to have,” Rogers says. “The same thing can be said for sports fans, and particularly for fans of struggling teams. People enjoy watching sports because it gives them a feeling of positive emotions and decreased negative emotions. This perfectly explains why people watch teams that absolutely stink.”

So, take solace Browns fans, and remember there is reason why you turn on your television every Sunday.

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

NY Giants Vs. Cleveland Browns
AcademicsResearch

Research Reveals Why Long-Suffering Fans Continue to Watch

The same reasons people enjoy tear jerkers can be applied to watching sports says Butler Professor Ryan Rogers.

Oct 29 2018 Read more

Keeping the #ButlerBound Secret

Jeff Stanich ’16

For six years, the #ButlerBound program has delivered good news to prospective students around the country. With a personal touch, and a lot of drool, Blue III (a.k.a. Trip), Butler’s live mascot, surprises future (human) Bulldogs with their acceptance letters or scholarship announcements.

More often than not, such a big reveal is dependent upon the accepted students’ parents, who work behind the scenes with Butler to organize the surprise. We caught up with a few parents whose children had their acceptance letters paw-delivered by Trip to gain more insight on that moment and how their relationship with the university continued from there.

For Angela Buchman, she knows that getting the news directly from Trip could be one of the main factors in her son’s decision. Luke, now a high school senior, is still in the thick of his college-choosing process.

“If you saw Luke’s face, you saw how special that moment was, and how he’s continued to think about it,” she says. “In the last few years, he has really buckled down and worked hard at school, and Butler seemed to recognize that. It really vaulted Butler up his list.”

That’s right - Luke’s future as a bulldog is still up in the air. Some schools have his attention for the programs they offer, others because it’s where his friends will probably go. But no other school has pulled out the kind of stops that Butler has, which is exactly why the university does it.

As higher education becomes increasingly more competitive and the college decision becomes more pressure filled, Butler has a Trip up their sleeve.

Michael Kaltenmark, Butler's Director of Community and Government Relations and resident bulldog handler, makes anywhere from 40 to 100 admission visits with Trip each year. These visits demand lots of coordination and early mornings, but the payoff is worth it. Students who receive a personal visit from Kaltenmark and his loveable pooch are significantly more likely to attend Butler, and that’s what it’s all about.

And to be on the receiving end of such a visit is all the more memorable. Especially for Keelen Barlow.

“It was amazing - really, it was everything he could have hoped for,” says Keelen’s mother, Nicolette. “Given his backstory, and what Butler has always meant to him, it couldn’t have played out any more perfectly.”

Because even though no one in the Barlow family had ever attended Butler before Keelen started this fall, the university always held a special place in their lives.

After Keelen was born, Nicolette’s parents subscribed to season tickets for Butler basketball games and started to take him to every home game when he was only two. It’s how Keelen initially fell in love with Butler - and when his grandfather passed away, Nicolette believes going to the games became a way of keeping those memories alive.

“But even though he always wanted to be a student there, it wasn’t a sure thing given the costs,” she recalls. “That’s why Trip showing up at our door was so amazing. They didn't just come with an acceptance letter, it was also the first time we learned that Keelen had gotten the scholarship he needed to go.”

For Keelen, meeting Trip in a room full of his loved ones, including his grandma and fellow bulldog super-fan, all of his life seemed to be leading up to that moment. For Nicolette, it became one of many examples of how Butler often goes the extra mile to ensure its students feel a true sense of belonging on campus.

“It’s such a tight-knit community in so many regards, and I love knowing he’s not sitting in a lecture hall surrounded by 200 other students being taught by a T.A.,” she says. “Especially as a freshman, because all the changes are easy to get lost in. But when he came home for the first time he was a changed man. Definitely for the better.”

Angela is aware of those same obstacles that her son will face next year on campus as a freshman, wherever that might be.

“With everyone that Luke talks to at Butler, he can really tell how much they care about him as an individual already,” she says, “and I think that’s important to him. It’d be important to anyone. Butler’s people really are eager to help every student find their place there.”

So eager, in fact, that the Butler Bound visits become one of the hardest secrets to keep in town. For Angela, she couldn’t help but let it slip to the receptionist during one of Luke’s orthodontist visits.

With Keelen’s family, they all knew how significant this moment would be for him. And the more and more people were invited by his mother to witness it, Keelen started to know something was up. But even though he is a journalism major now and learning to chase leads, his instincts were a little off when guessing what everyone was so excited about.

“He thought I was pregnant!” Nicolette says. “Once I started telling him to be home on a certain day and time he got really suspicious, but he still didn’t expect the bulldog to be there on the front door. He was so shocked that I had to remind him to let them in.”

Because there, in his living room surrounded by family, dreams were coming true between two bulldogs. Nicolette used to fear that her son would get teased for wearing a Butler t-shirt every day growing up. But all those worries went away knowing her son would soon be right at home.

“Once he got his letter and that scholarship there was no way in hell I wasn’t going to let Butler happen for him,” Nicolette says. “He still pretended to look at other places just because they were on the table before. But his heart was already at Butler, where it still is now.”

#ButlerBoundAcademicsStudent Life

Keeping the #ButlerBound Secret

A big reveal is dependent upon the accepted students’ parents, who work with Butler to organize the surprise.

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.” 

AcademicsAthletics

Of Brothers and Business

Butler University: Entrepreneurs welcome here

by Megan Ward MS ’13

from Spring 2018

Read more

Butler Summer Institute–Celebrating 25 Years

Sharon Alseth ’91

from Spring 2017

No classes, no employment, no interruptions—only research. That’s just the way they want it, the 30 students who are chosen to immerse themselves in the Butler Summer Institute (BSI), celebrating its 25th anniversary this year.

These are dedicated, self-directed Butler student researchers with a methodological background and a passion to pursue a significant question, every day for nine weeks. Students who apply need a recommendation from a faculty member, and an explanation of their project. BSI participants each get a $2,500 stipend and live and work on campus. Each student has his or her own faculty mentor and close bonds are formed, with the added support and encouragement of fellow student researchers.

“No topic is off limits,” said Dr. Dacia Charlesworth, Director of Undergraduate Research and Prestigious Scholarships at Butler. “It could be that a student found something interesting in the humanities, and they’re excited to take it to another level. One student analyzed Tweets about the violence in Ferguson, Missouri, and then the Orlando nightclub shootings happened and her project shifted focus. We had a history major who wants to be a dentist, study the effects of mercury tooth fillings. She uncovered an actual melodrama musical of mercury’s side effects.” Said Charlesworth, “These are great students who want to learn, and that makes our job easy.”

The BSI students have to show how they are advancing research in their field, and make a definite contribution to their discipline. There are “research recaps” at the end of each week, aided by presentation training so students can more confidently explain their work in basic terms to their audiences. In the end, students are required to produce work worthy of acceptance in a professional conference or publication, and they present their project at Butler’s Undergraduate Research Conference the following April. 

AcademicsStudent Life

Butler Summer Institute–Celebrating 25 Years

No classes, no employment, no interruptions—only research.

by Sharon Alseth ’91

from Spring 2017

Read more