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Butler Undergraduate Research Journal Publishes Third Edition


PUBLISHED ON May 13 2017

“Uncovering the Mystery of Machu Picchu, “Social Relevance and Innovation in Public Radio,” and “Tango: A Spanish-Based Programming Language” are just some of the papers contained in the 2017 Butler Journal of Undergraduate Research, which is now available online.

The third annual journal features a wide range of scholarly papers—five by Butler students and the others from Stanford, DePauw, Pittsburgh, California State Polytechnic, and University of Warwick.

Submission of original scholarly research articles is open to undergraduates from any accredited college and university. Published papers were selected by Butler faculty.

The first two editions of the journal had more than 6,100 downloads from across the globe.

“The Butler Journal of Undergraduate Research has successfully enhanced Butler’s commitment to undergraduate research by building upon and expanding existing opportunities for student scholarship with the additional opportunity to disseminate their work to a growing national and international audience,” said Professor of Sociology Kenneth Colburn, the Editor of the journal.


Media contact:
Marc Allan


Butler's Student-Run Insurance Company To Open August 1


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


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

Yoga Gives Lab School Students Time to Breathe


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


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
AcademicsStudent Life

Hahn, Pingel Named Most Outstanding Students


PUBLISHED ON Apr 28 2016

Rachel Hahn ’16, a Spanish and Communication Sciences and Disorders double-major from Zionsville, Indiana, and Chad Pingel ’16, a Finance and Marketing double-major from Des Moines, Iowa, have been selected as Butler University’s Most Outstanding Female and Male students, respectively.

Butler University student Rachel Hahn March 26, 2015.Hahn has a 4.0 grade-point average and achieved seven different academic honors, including being named the Top Student in Communication Sciences and Disorders in 2013, 2014, and 2015. Her activities include participation in Student Government Association (SGA), Fall Alternative Break, and three years as a Resident Assistant. Twice, she was named Most Outstanding Resident Assistant.

Hahn also was selected as Butler’s student Woman of Distinction for 2016.

After graduation, Hahn plans to pursue a Master’s in Speech Language Pathology at Purdue University.

“Rachel is that rare student who seems to be the complete package of what we seek as the ideal student to enter our field and certainly to represent Butler University,” Ann Bilodeau, Clinical Faculty, Director of the Butler Speech and Language Clinic Communication Sciences and Disorders, wrote in recommending Hahn. “I have watched with joy as she continues to grow in her skills each semester and continue to be impressed by her maturity in decision making and her sincere dedication to her own educational development.”

Pingel finishes his Butler career with a 3.92 grade-point average. He earned more than a dozen academic honors, including multiple academic Butler University College of Business student Chad Pingel November 19, He served as President of SGA in 2014-2015, was Director of Academic Affairs for SGA’s Student Initiatives Board, and has worked in the Office of Admissions since 2013. He is an active member of the Delta Tau Delta fraternity.

“Chad utilized a calm, quiet, and collaborative approach to increase campus awareness of Student Government Association, to focus on areas critical to student retention, including awareness and appreciation of diversity, and to develop an organizational commitment to service and volunteerism,” Vice President for Student Affairs Levester Johnson wrote in his recommendation letter.

After graduation, Pingel will work for Google. He will work in People Operations on data analytics, recruiting, and learning & development.

The Outstanding Student Recognition Program seeks those who give unselfishly of themselves, who are highly regarded by the entire university community, and who, as future alumni, may take satisfaction in their contribution and service to Butler University. Some of the criteria that are evaluated include outstanding character, scholarship, engaged citizenship, leadership, and commitment to fostering diversity.

The 2016 Top 100 Students are:

Tori Adachi   Senior   Art + Design Glen Ellyn IL
Carly Allen   Senior   Middle Secondary Education Columbus OH
Matthew Arkenberg   Senior   Chemistry Milan IN
Holly Aviles   Senior   Biology Hobart IN
Tabitha Barbour   Junior   English Language Clarksville TN
Shelby Beutel   Senior   Professional Pharmacy Washington IL
Morgan Blake   Senior   Chemistry Mooresville IN
Alexandra Bode   Senior   Speech Language Pathology Geneva IL
Emily Bohn   Senior   Theatre Carmel IN
Megan Borries   Junior   Pharmacy Antioch IL
Aaron Brenner   Senior   Chemistry Sterling IL
Matthew Brooks   Senior   Strategic Communication LaGrange Park IL
Emily Brown   Senior   Chemistry Saint Charles MO
Jacob Brown   Senior   Pharmacy Brownstown IN
Lindsay Byers   Senior   Strategic Communication Bloomington IL
Lauryn Campagnoli   Junior   Biology Elkhart IN
Mary Cerajewski   Junior   Marketing Fort Wayne IN
Sarah Clary   Junior   Elementary Education Angola IN
Connor Coatney   Senior   Biology Fremont IN
Ashley Dale   Senior   Physics New Palestine IN
Cara Donovan   Senior   Speech Language Pathology Indianapolis IN
Kailey Eaton   Junior   Strategic Communication Fishers IN
Emma Edick   Junior   Digital Media Production Columbus OH
David Ediger   Senior   Biology Naperville IL
Alan Eidelman   Junior   Accounting Saint Louis MO
Sara Erb   Senior   Music Performance New Paris IN
Daniel Evans   Senior   Psychology Muskego WI
Katherine Evans   Senior   Chemistry Westfield IN
Emily Farrer   Junior   Music Lexington KY
Bethany Feitshans   Senior   Professional Pharmacy Tipp City OH
Colleen Frank   Senior   Psychology Cary IL
Luke Gallion   Senior   Chemistry Brownstown IN
Hayley Gearheart   Junior   English Language Hartford City IN
Hana Goodman   Senior   Speech Language Pathology Woodstock IL
Paige Haefer   Junior   Human Communication & Organizational Leadership Madison WI
Rachel Hahn   Senior   Speech Language Pathology Zionsville IN
Whitney Hart   Junior   Chemistry La Porte IN
Rebecca Hilton   Senior   Pharmacy Indianapolis IN
Courtney Hittepole   Senior   Psychology Troy OH
Sean Horan   Senior   Economics Dayton OH
Madison Horth   Senior   Psychology Zionsville IN
Chandler Howell   Junior   Pharmacy Centerville IN
Tyler Hudgens   Senior   Biology Elgin IL
Connor Hummel   Senior   Pharmacy Crystal Lake IL
Leesa Jing   Junior   Arts Administration Evansville IN
Nicole Johnson   Senior   Finance Maryville IL
Chase Keirn   Senior   Health Sciences Collinsville IL
Amber Kline   Senior   Biology Fishers IN
Ashley Kline   Senior   Biology Fishers IN
Kelsey Lange   Senior   Health Sciences Ferdinand IN
Kendra Lucas   Senior   Pharmacy Franklin IN
Hannah Martin   Senior   Arts Administration Winfield IL
Scarlet Martin   Senior   Actuarial Sciences Louisville KY
Rachel McFarland   Senior   Pharmacy El Paso IL
Monica McKary   Senior   Biology Carmel IN
Christina McKnight   Senior   Actuarial Sciences Aledo IL
Sara Midura   Senior   Elementary Education Marlton NJ
Shelby Miller   Junior   Biology Yorktown IN
Blake Moskal   Senior   Science, Technology and Society Lake Zurich IL
Arielle Noel   Senior   Health Sciences Milan IN
Stephanie Oakland   Senior   Music Composition Ridley Park PA
Garrett Oberst   Senior   Chemistry Louisville KY
Isabelle Obert   Senior   Middle Secondary Education Loomis CA
Jackson O'Brien   Senior   Physics Logansport IN
Matt Pauszek   Junior   Risk Management Indianapolis IN
Chad Pingel   Senior   Finance Runnells IA
Daniel Przybylski   Senior   Pharmacy Hickory Hills IL
Nicole Puccini   Senior   Marketing Lisle IL
Perry Rabin   Senior   Chemistry Highland Park IL
Anna Rauh   Junior   Strategic Communication Harrods Creek KY
Ryan Reid   Junior   Finance Wheaton IL
Shannon Reid   Junior   Psychology Indianapolis IN
Noelle Rich   Senior   Sociology and Psychology Downers Grove IL
Kaylie Ricks   Senior   Journalism Dixon IL
Danielle Ruppal   Junior   Health Sciences Grand Rapids MI
Arielle Russell   Senior   Chemistry Indianapolis IN
Hadeel Said   Junior   Marketing Indianapolis IN
Dania Saltagi   Junior   Health Sciences Fishers IN
Luke Scalone   Senior   History New Lenox IL
Caleb Schmicker   Senior   Chemistry Winamac IN
Marilyn Schoenle   Senior   Pharmacy Plymouth MI
Benjamin Sieck   Senior   Journalism Cumming IA
Katie Springston   Senior   Sociology McHenry IL
Brian Straughn   Junior   Accounting Oswego IL
Micaela Strycker   Senior   Pharmacy Zionsville IN
Riley Supple   Senior   Marketing Holland MI
Katelyn Sussli   Senior   Organizational Communication Loveland OH
Clayton Taylor   Junior   Biology Greenwood IN
Maria Thaman   Senior   Psychology Cincinnati OH
Sam Thomas   Junior   Political Science Wabash IN
Sarah Tietz   Senior   English Language Arlington Heights IL
Marina Tipold   Senior   Biology Hobart IN
Mallory Tolin   Junior   Health Sciences Crawfordsville IN
Laura Tonner   Junior   Science, Technology and Society Rensselaer IN
Dessirae Turner   Senior   Elementary Education Englewood OH
Kathryn Utken   Senior   Strategic Communication Carmel IN
Gabrielle Vinyard   Junior   Biology Valparaiso IN
Charis Webb   Junior   Religious Studies Brownsburg IN
Kristen Webb   Junior   Psychology Gallatin TN
Courtney West   Senior   Strategic Communication La Porte IN
Laura Wilhelm   Senior   Media, Rhetoric & Culture Indianapolis IN
Jessica Williams   Senior   Pharmacy Indianapolis IN
Julia Williams   Senior   Health Sciences Washington IL
Keiffer Williams   Senior   Biology Huntington IN
Elizabeth Wilson   Senior   Accounting Kokomo IN
Allison Wolter   Senior   Health Sciences Indianapolis IN
Alexandra Zaslav   Senior   Dance Richmond VA
Joseph Zegar   Senior   Pharmacy Gurnee IL
Ashley Zegiestowsky   Senior   Computer Science Franklin TN
Nicole Zimmerman   Senior   Chemistry Pittsboro IN
Sarah Zimmerman   Senior   Spanish Duluth MN

Media contact:
Marc Allan



Our Risk Management Students: 'These Guys Are Good'


PUBLISHED ON Apr 22 2016

Butler's Risk Management students place third in national competition.


As consolation prizes go, this one was pretty great.

Matt Pauszek, Melissa Lakin, Erin Bundy, and Jake Doman.
Matt Pauszek, Melissa Lakin, Erin Bundy, and Jake Doman.


A Butler team of seniors Jake Doman (from Chicago) and Melissa Lakin (Westfield, Indiana) and juniors Matt Pauszek (Indianapolis) and Erin Bundy (Knightstown, Indiana) has just finished competing in the Spencer-RIMS Risk Management Challenge on April 11 in San Diego. They went head-to-head against teams from seven other schools—all assigned to analyze a case study involving Lego—and finished third.

The students were a little disappointed. But afterward, Hans Læssøe, the Risk Manager for Denmark-based Lego, showed them what he had written during their presentation: These guys are good.

“That was an honor in itself,” Bundy said.

“It validates everything you’re doing,” Doman added. “If the Risk Manager at Lego thinks we did an all-right job, we probably did an all-right job.”

To make it as far as they did was impressive. Third place is the best result yet for a Butler team in this competition, and particularly remarkable for a program that’s only in its fourth year.

The Butler team, mentored by Zach Finn, Clinical Professor & Director of the Davey Risk Management and Insurance Program in the College of Business, started in the fall by writing a two-page essay that got them into the competition against 20 other schools. After that, all the teams were assigned to analyze the risk and opportunity that could affect the growth of Lego, which has grown at an annual rate of 16 percent, even during the Great Recession.

Eight teams were chosen to compete in San Diego, where they each gave 20-minute presentations before a panel of judges. Three made it to the finals.

“We were competing against the top programs in the nation and programs that have been around for so much longer than Butler’s,” Pauszek said. “As a program in its fourth year with a max of 40 students or so, we were pretty pleased with how we fared.”

“Butler wants to promote experiential learning, and this is it,” Lakin said. “That’s exactly what we’re doing.”

Butler’s representatives, all Risk Management/Finance double-majors, said their experience gave them the opportunity to network with professionals at the conference and cemented their appreciation for risk management.

Pauszek, Lakin, Bundy, Doman, and faculty mentor Zach Finn.
Pauszek, Lakin, Bundy, Doman, and faculty mentor Zach Finn.

“For me,” Bundy said, “risk management is a different task every day you’re faced with and it’s problem solving, which is fun, in a sense. You also get to help protect people at the same time.”

“I’m a numbers guy, so I love finance,” Doman said. “But risk management allows you to go a lot deeper into those numbers and explain why things are occurring. That’s why I find it interesting.”

The 2017 competition is in Philadelphia, the home of Temple University, which beat Butler and Florida State in this year’s finals. Butler will be back.

“Given that this year's challenge felt like the Rocky sequel Creed, where the protagonist boxer loses the title but wins the crowd's hearts, it's a fitting locale and perfect setup for our return next year,” Finn said.

The students feel the same way.

“Erin and I are juniors,” Pauszek said, “so we’re hoping next year we come back with a vengeance and hopefully get first place next year. That’s the goal.”


Media contact:
Marc Allan



URC Let Students Show Their Work


PUBLISHED ON Apr 08 2016

More than 900 individuals representing 58 colleges and universities in 11 states participated in Butler University's 28th annual Undergraduate Research Conference on April 8. The students presented in 26 subject areas, from music and English to biology and chemistry.

Indiana University-Bloomington student Reyan Coskun presents her poster on "Toward Efficient Chemoenzymatic Syntheses of Sialyl-a-2,3-Lactose/Lactosamine Assisted by a Fluorous-Tag Purification."
Indiana University-Bloomington student Reyan Coskun presents her poster on "Toward Efficient Chemoenzymatic Syntheses of Sialyl-a-2,3-Lactose/Lactosamine Assisted by a Fluorous-Tag Purification.


Emily Wilkerson, a sophomore Elementary Education major from Columbus, Indiana, Moriah Riggs, a sophomore Marketing/Communications major from Hernando, Mississippi, and Allissa Quick, a sophomore Pharmacy major from Terre Haute, Indiana, were among the volunteers helping out at the URC.
Emily Wilkerson, a sophomore Elementary Education major from Columbus, Indiana, Moriah Riggs, a sophomore Marketing/Communications major from Hernando, Mississippi, and Allissa Quick, a sophomore Pharmacy major from Terre Haute, Indiana, were among the volunteers helping out at the URC.



Butler student Jesse Allen presents "A Blaschke-Factor Bifurcation Locus"
Butler student Jesse Allen presents "A Blaschke-Factor Bifurcation Locus


Butler's Brittany Garrett was among the artists who artwork was on display.
Butler's Brittany Garrett was among the artists who artwork was on display.



51 Years and Counting: Mulholland Still Makes Sweet Music


PUBLISHED ON Apr 07 2016

You might think that having just turned 81, Professor of Music James Mulholland would be in the winter of his career. If so, it’s a mighty busy winter.

During March and early April, Mulholland:

James Mulholland, rehearsing choirs in Carnegie Hall.

-Served a week in residency at University of Wisconsin Eau Claire, which culminated with a concert of Mulholland compositions by the various ensembles of the School of Music. While there, he coached the all-male choral ensemble The Singing Statesmen on his latest commission for them, in honor of the group’s 50th anniversary.

-Visited the University of Illinois for the 2016 Intercollegiate Men’s Choral National Seminar. Ten choirs came from all over the country, and Mulholland’s music was featured.

-Attended the Gotham SINGS! Collegiate Choral Showcase at Carnegie Hall, where choirs from four universities performed selections by composers such as Mozart, Mendelssohn, Rachmaninoff, and, yes, Mulholland. He rehearsed the university choirs prior to their performance.

-Hosted students from Iola/Scandinavian High School of Wisconsin, who made a two-day trip to Indianapolis to attend a choral clinic with Mulholland and tour the Butler campus.

-Finished a composition for the combined Indianapolis Children’s Choir and full orchestra to perform at the retirement extravaganza for Choir Founder and longtime Butler Professor Henry Leck.

While doing all this, he only missed one class.

“I’m booked through 2018,” said Mulholland, who is finishing his 51st year of teaching at Butler. “As far as my career artistically and academically, I’m still in demand. And I’m not cheap.”

Mulholland travels frequently to work with choral groups around the country, and he is among the world’s most-performed composers. In his doctoral dissertation examining music selected by high school honor choirs, James Spillane, now Director of Choral Studies at the University of Connecticut, found that the five most-programmed composers are, in order, Handel, Brahms, Mendelssohn, Mulholland, and Mozart.

In 2015, the Southern Chorale at the University of Southern Mississippi, Mulholland’s undergraduate alma mater, released a CD of his compositions called Back Home in Southern Mississippi: The Music of James Quitman Mulholland. The discs features 11 selections in which Mulholland married his music to texts by William Butler Yeats, Elizabeth Barrett Browning, Lord Byron, and others.

Reviewing the CD in The Choral Scholar, the online journal of the National Collegiate Choral Organization, C. Michael Porter, Director of Choral Organizations at Boise State University, wrote: “James Quitman Mulholland’s compositions have garnered a respected position within today’s choral canon. Because of their rich sonorities and expansive melodic lines, Mulholland’s compositions appeal to musicians and audiences of all levels…. Through their moving and impeccable performance, the Southern Chorale demonstrates why Mulholland’s works are synonymous with choral excellence.”mul2

Gregory Fuller, the Director of Choral Activities at Southern Mississippi, said he’s known of Mulholland’s work since he was a high school student in the late 1970s. What makes Mulholland’s music distinctive, Fuller said, is its “lush, romantic sound—lush harmonies and beautiful melody.”

“There are a couple of things that make him a standard-bearer,” he said. “Number one, he’s been at it a long time. He’s written a lot of music that is not only beautiful, but it’s accessible for a lot of different types of groups—school groups, community groups, professional groups, collegiate groups. And one of the reasons I think his music is profound is that you will struggle to find any piece by James Mulholland that does not include substantive text. He chooses great poetry, and he does not waste his time on things that are not profound or have not stood the test of time.”

Mulholland said he’s written the lion’s share of his more than 600 compositions on the piano in his second-floor office in Lilly Hall. He remains enormously proud of his service at Butler, including his 41 years on the Athletic Committee, and notes that next year, one of his students will be the third generation of his family to take one of his classes.

“I’m going to make music until I die,” he said. “And the only thing I enjoy more than making music is sharing it. Where better than you share your knowledge and love of music, the passion of it, than at a university? It’s also nice to have a captive audience. It gives me a fuel for my creativity.”


Media contact:
Marc Allan



Butler Inducts 29 Into Phi Beta Kappa


PUBLISHED ON Mar 10 2016

Butler University’s Theta of Indiana Chapter of Phi Beta Kappa will induct 29 new members at a ceremony to be held April 16 at 8:30 AM in the Irwin Library.

pbkkeyStudents are considered for membership based on their grade point averages in liberal arts studies, typically ranking in the top 10 percent of arts and sciences majors at the University. Other factors considered include breadth and depth of areas of study, honors program involvement, undergraduate research activity, and other campus involvement and leadership.

"Earning Phi Beta Kappa is not only a recognition of students’ outstanding undergraduate commitment to the study of the liberal arts, but it provides them with an ongoing intellectual community, via local PBK chapters, with which they can engage throughout their lifetimes,” said Rusty Jones, President of the Butler University Phi Beta Kappa chapter.

The new Butler honorees are:


Emily Brown, Chemistry (St. Charles, Missouri)

Jesse Burton, Physics and Electrical Engineering (Nineveh, Indiana)

Anna Durham, Math and Middle Secondary Education (Batavia, Ohio)

Colleen Frank, Psychology and Spanish (Cary, Illinois)

Luke Gallion, Chemistry (Brownstown, Indiana)

Courtney Hittepole, Psychology and Sociology (Troy, Ohio)

Madison Horth, Psychology (Zionsville, Indiana)

Tyler Hudgens, Biology and Biomedical Engineering (Elgin, Illinois)

Hannah Martin, Arts Administration and Individualized Major in Liberal Arts and Sciences (Winfield, Illinois)

Paul Milius, Psychology (Rockford, Illinois)

Maggie Monson, Media, Rhetoric, and Culture, and Spanish (Palatine, Illinois)

Garrett Oberst, Chemistry (Louisville, Kentucky)

Perry Rabin, Chemistry (Highland Park, Illinois)

Ian Ray, Professional Pharmacy and Spanish (Indianapolis)

Wesley Sexton, Music and English Literature (Muncie, Indiana)

Taylor Smith, Chemistry and Energy Engineering (Crown Point, Indiana)

Julie Spoehr, Spanish and English Literature (Phoenix, Arizona)

Katie Springston, Sociology and Criminology (McHenry, Illinois)

Alec Stubbs, Philosophy and Political Science (Elkhart, Indiana)

Katelyn Sussli, Human Communication and Organizational Leadership and Political Science (Loveland, Ohio)

Sarah Tietz, English and Spanish (Arlington Heights, Illinois)

Kathryn Utken, Strategic Communication and Spanish (Carmel, Indiana)

Laura Wilhelm, Critical Communication and Media (Indianapolis)

Ashley Zegiestowsky, Computer Science and Spanish (Franklin, Tennessee)

Benjamin Zercher, Chemistry (Nappanee, Indiana)


Olivia Crowe, Biology (Bloomington, Indiana)

Whitney Hart, Chemistry (LaPorte, Indiana)

Katie Kincaid, Psychology and Middle Secondary Education (Fishers, Indiana)

Andrew Ozga, Physics and Mechanical Engineering (Hawthorn Woods, Illinois)

For more information about Butler’s Phi Beta Kappa chapter, visit:


Media contact:
Marc Allan



Surprise! You've Earned a Tuition-Free Scholarship to Butler


PUBLISHED ON Mar 07 2016

With classmates cheering, family members on hand for hugs, and Butler’s live mascot, Trip, there to pose for pictures, Shortridge International Baccalaureate High School seniors Jacob Charboneau, G. Gray, and Aaliyah Coe got an enormous surprise on March 3: They each received full four-year Butler Tuition Guarantee scholarships.

Jacob Charboneau (kneeling with Trip) and his family.

“I was kind of upset earlier in the week and I was crying,” said Coe, who didn’t think she’d gotten the scholarship, said after the announcement. “My mom and dad were really concerned. They said they had to hold it as a surprise, which was hard for them. But I’m glad they did. It’s pretty cool.”

The Butler Tuition Guarantee offers 10 full tuition awards to students who have high financial need as determined by the Free Application for Federal Student Aid (FAFSA). In addition to financial need, the review committee values students who have taken leadership roles, participated in co-curricular activities, and shown dedication to academic achievement.

Students who are 21st Century Scholars, future Indianapolis Public School graduates, or eligible for free/reduced lunch were encouraged to apply.

Also receiving Butler Tuition Guarantee scholarships are:

-Amanda Fordyce (Ben Davis High School)
-Emily Jewell (Lawrence North High School)
-Serenity Dzubay (North Central High School)
-Auboni Hart (North Central High School)
-Isaiah Moore (North Central High School)
-Alexandria Kassan (North Central High School)
-Andrew Tucker (Scecina Memorial High School)

Most of the awards were presented quietly, but Shortridge celebrated loudly.

“There are only 10 (Butler Tuition Guarantee scholarships) in all of Marion County,” Shortridge Principal Shane O’Day announced proudly, “and three came out of the 2016 graduating class of Shortridge High School.”

Aaliyah Coe celebrates her scholarship.

Coe said she expects to study pharmacy at Butler. Charboneau said he plans to look into Butler’s Engineering Dual Degree Program. Gray was not available to comment.

“Thank you for the tenacity, the perseverance, the grit that you’ve shown,” Greg Newlin, Enrollment and Options Officer for Indianapolis Public, told the students. “I know it’s not easy. I’ve been a principal in an IB school. I know what it takes. I know what you do every day, and I couldn’t do it. So I want to be the first to tell you I am for doing that.”

Butler Associate Director of Admission Ashley Anderson noted that Butler has a long-standing, strong relationship with Shortridge. Butler offers an Early College Program, and a number of the faculty and staff members and student teachers are Butler alumni or current Butler students.

In addition, Butler Opera Theatre will present The Pirates of Penzance at Shortridge in April, with students and faculty from both schools working together. The College of Business is working to launch a financial literacy experience at Shortridge. And the Butler Chemistry Department donated much needed science equipment to the high school.

“We really want Shortridge to continue being a pipeline to Butler,” Anderson said.


Media contact:
Marc Allan



Jill Bolte Taylor to Deliver Spring Commencement Address


PUBLISHED ON Mar 02 2016

Globally renowned neuroanatomist Dr. Jill Bolte Taylor—known as “Dr. Jill”—will deliver the keynote address at Butler University’s 2016 Commencement ceremony on May 7 at 10:00 AM in Hinkle Fieldhouse. She will receive an honorary Doctor of Science degree.

bolte-taylorDr. Jill’s 2008 TED Talk was the first TED presentation to go viral, and remains among the top five TED talks of all time. In this moving talk, Dr. Jill explains the experience of her own stroke, an arterio-venous malformation, at age 37.

On the morning of her stroke, December 10, 1996, Dr. Jill was already a successful and prolific brain scientist focused on severe mental illness. Because of her understanding of the brain, she was able to study the effects of the stroke on her own body, in real time, as she suffered them. Further, in the midst of her own near-death experience, she was inspired to recover so that she could help others heal from severe brain trauma. It took Dr. Jill eight years to fully regain her neurological and physical abilities—including how to talk and walk.

Dr. Jill’s memoir, My Stroke of Insight: A Brain Scientist’s Personal Journey, spent 17 weeks on The New York Times bestseller list and is now available in 30 languages. Her rare and inspirational story has led to many accolades, including a place as one of TIME Magazine’s 100 Most Influential People in the World and an appearance on The Oprah Winfrey Show in 2008.

She serves as the National Spokesperson for the Harvard Brain Tissue Resource Center (Harvard Brain Bank); CEO of My Stroke of Insight, Inc., and Chair of the Board of the not-for-profit Jill Bolte Taylor BRAINS, Inc. Further, she has continued her active membership in NAMI (the National Alliance on Mental Illness) since 1993.

Dr. Jill speaks at conferences and events worldwide. In addition to sharing her personal story, she enjoys speaking to audiences about their own brains—especially the differences between their right and left “hemisphere personalities.” Building a healthy relationship between the two, she asserts, can help forge a path to peace within ourselves and throughout the world. It can also help us discover new things about our own interests and abilities.

Dr. Jill herself, when her left hemisphere was compromised, experienced a right-hemisphere renaissance that resulted in a new artistic endeavor: the creation of colorful, anatomically correct stained glass brains.


Media contact:
Marc Allan


AcademicsStudent Life

Good Practice, And An Even Better Public Service


PUBLISHED ON Mar 01 2016

The big kids (Physician Assistant students from Butler) needed experience dealing with young patients. The little kids (kindergarten and first-grade students at the IPS/Butler Lab School) needed to have their eyes, ears, and teeth checked.

It was, as Associate Professor Jennifer Zorn put it, “a win-win situation, to get experience for our students but also provide a nice service.”

Bri Henke, Jordan Kirkegaard, and Abby Gallett teach Lab School students about how much toothpaste to put on a toothbrush.

And so, on February 23, 74 PA students and 5 PA program faculty visited the elementary school a few miles south of Butler to administer exams and teach them about good dental hygiene while having a little fun, too.

Before the exams, the PA students fanned out to classrooms to work with the Lab School students in small groups. In one classroom, Butler PA students Briana Henke of Sycamore, Illinois; Jordan Kirkegaard of Milwaukee, Wisconsin; and Abigail Gallett of Phoenix, Arizona, sat on the floor with eight Lab Schoolers to coach them on how to take care of their teeth.

They started with the basics—what causes cavities and which sugary foods to avoid—and moved on to showing them how much toothpaste to use and the proper way to brush and floss. A giant set of teeth, an oversized toothbrush, and a rope of floss made it fun and funny for the kids.

Then they closed with a song (to the tune of “Twinkle, Twinkle, Little Star”):

Here’s my toothpaste, here’s my brush.
I won’t hurry, I won’t rush.
Working hard to keep teeth clean,
Front and back and in between.
When I brush for quite a while,
I will have a happy smile.

Sing that about four times while brushing—taking roughly two minutes—and brush at least twice a day, the Butler students advised.

Emily Williams checks a Lab School student's ear for excessive wax.

Then the Lab School kids had a few things they wanted to know before they went to another room to have the PA students check their eyes, ears, and teeth. Like: “What do your gums do, and why are they called gums?” And: “Why do you have baby teeth?” And: “What are you going to have for dinner tonight?”

“It’s definitely different from what we normally do,” Kirkegaard said. “We mostly see adults in the classroom setting. But this was good practice for us for our clinical rotations and fun for them.”

This is the second year Butler PA students have gone to the Lab School to examine the youngest students. Last year, they noted a number of students with plaque buildup—and they also discovered a student who had vision problems. The child’s teacher said the student has been doing much better in school after being diagnosed and getting glasses.

“You do a lot of screenings that turn up normal,” Zorn said, “to get one that makes an impact.”


Media contact:
Marc Allan



The PA Program at 20: Many Reasons to Celebrate


PUBLISHED ON Feb 29 2016

Stacy Dawkins ’01 thought she might want a career in medicine after graduating from Indiana University-Bloomington as a Chemistry and English double major. Physician Assistant (PA) was not on her list—mostly because she’d never heard of it.

But the Anderson, Indiana, native had a friend in the program at Butler University, and the friend convinced her that she belonged in the PA program.

Butler University College of Pharmacy lab scenes October 27, 2015.

Fast-forward 15 years, and Dawkins now boasts an impressive work history that includes seven years in cardiology, three years in internal medicine, and, these days, emergency medicine work at St. Francis Hospital Center on the south side of Indianapolis. She has also served as an adjunct instructor for Butler in the past and currently lectures at another PA program.

“The flexibility in being a PA is wonderful,” she said. “I’ve gotten to be part of three different areas of medicine.”

It’s stories like Dawkins’s that will be celebrated on April 22 with a daylong free continuing medical education conference for alumni and a dinner celebrating the 20th anniversary of the PA program.

The program, which educates healthcare providers to practice medicine on teams, started as a joint program between Methodist Hospital and Butler, with 2.5 full-time faculty members and 8 students working toward a bachelor’s degree. At the time, there were no other PA programs in Indiana and only 55 in the country.

In 2008, Butler became the sole sponsor of the PA program. Today, the program is a master’s degree-only curriculum taught by 9.5 full-time faculty. It will graduate its 710th student in May. Statewide competition has expanded to include University of Saint Francis, Indiana University, and Indiana State University, with four more schools opening programs in the near future.

Jennifer Snyder, who graduated from the program in 1997 and now serves as the program director, said Butler and Methodist recognized that there was a need for a profession like PA to help increase the number of medical providers, fill a gap in the healthcare community, and increase access to care.



Snyder said PAs choose to be PAs for a number of reasons:

-Flexibility. PAs are trained as generalists. They can go into whatever field they choose and change specialties if they want.

-No residency. PAs don’t have to do a residency or take the board exams associated with a specific field. They are nationally certified and state licensed to practice medicine in every medical or surgical specialty and prescribe medication. To maintain national certification, PAs are required to complete 100 hours of continuing medical education every two years and recertify as medical generalists every 10 years.

-Faster development. PAs earn their degrees in two years, rather than four, allowing them to graduate and get into the workforce quickly.

-Collaboration. PAs collaborate with physicians. A PA’s scope of practice typically grows over time with clinical experience. A PA often serves as the lead on care coordination teams and sees patients in all settings without a physician present. In fact, in some rural and underserved areas, a PA may be the only local care provider, collaborating with a physician in separate location via telecommunication.

Butler’s PA program was built in part on word of mouth. Just as Dawkins heard about it from a friend, Rob Estridge ’08 called Dawkins, whom he knew, to ask about her experience. Estridge had worked as a nursing assistant through high school and as a pre-med undergrad at Miami (Ohio) University. A few years after graduation, he shadowed a PA at Johnson Memorial Hospital in Franklin, Indiana.

“He was doing all these procedures—everything a physician would do—but he didn’t have all the burden of being the one in charge,” Estridge said. “But he still practiced medicine to a strong degree and had all this autonomy. I thought, ‘This is what I want to do. I don’t care if I’m the one in charge. I just want to be part of the team.’ PA just fit so well.”

Estridge, who grew up in Cincinnati, Ohio, is now the manager of the in-patient Nurse Practitioners and PAs for neurosurgery and neurology at the Cleveland Clinic, and also supervisors the neuro-ICU Nurse Practitioners.



“I wouldn’t have gotten anywhere if it wasn’t for Butler,” he said.

Megan Wesler ’13 started at Butler as an undergraduate and went straight through the PA program after being accepted as a sophomore. She had thought about going to medical school, but opted for a career with more flexibility.

Since graduating, she’s worked in the emergency medicine at Community Hospital North and Community Hospital East, Indianapolis, where she sees patients with everything from sore throats to heart attacks. The way her schedule is organized, she works 10- or 11-hour shifts six of every seven days, then has five consecutive days off. In a typical month, she only works about 15 days, which allows for a work-life balance she likes.

“I feel like I was very well prepared for my career,” she said. “They talked a lot in school about how much on-the-job training there would be, but I feel like the skills I graduated with and the tests we took were a great foundation that allowed me to acquire a lot of skills.”

Maggie Doty ’15 said the opportunity for work-life balance attracted her to PA as a profession. Being part of the Butler program sealed the deal. Today, the Minnesota native works in outpatient internal medicine at Johnson Memorial Hospital. She also is an adjunct instructor at Butler, helping with the Health Care Communications class and sitting in on panels for the incoming PA classes.



“There was never a rotation site I went to during our clinical rotation year where our preceptors and supervising physicians didn’t recognize Butler students and how we stood out,” Doty said. “I didn’t really know until I started getting out into the community about how well known Butler’s PA program is.”

That—and more—is what they’ll be celebrating in April.

“We want to celebrate who we are and what we’ve become,” Snyder said. “Our graduates have really helped shape the program. We’re going to look back and celebrate it.”



Media contact:
Marc Allan