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Lisa Brooks Named New Dean of JCA


PUBLISHED ON Nov 16 2017

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

And now, Dean.

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

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

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

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

So she applied for the position.

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Media contact:
Marc Allan


Lisa Brooks Named New Dean of JCA

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

Nov 16 2017 Read more

Butler Business Consulting Group Posts Impressive Numbers


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


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

At Clowes Hall, Lugar and Hamilton Discuss Civility


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


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

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


PUBLISHED ON Nov 07 2017

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


Matthew Scott and Kayleigh Pletch

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

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

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

Media contact:
Marc Allan


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

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

Nov 07 2017 Read more

Wherefore Art Thou, Juliet Blue? In a Butler Chemistry Lab


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


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
Virtual Anatomy Table

Technology is Shaping the Way PA Students Are Learning


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

Virtual Anatomy Table

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

What They Learned in Butler's MBA Program Translates to Victory


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



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

Three Butler Students Chosen For Fulbright Summer Institute


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


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

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