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Collegian, IndianapolisNewsBeat.com Win Four SPJ Awards

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PUBLISHED ON May 05 2014

Colin Likas and Jojo Gentry
Colin Likas and Joellen Gentry

The Butler Collegian and Butler's IndianapolisNewsBeat.com picked up four awards at the Society of Professional Journalists' "Best of Indiana" awards, presented by SPJ's Indiana Pro chapter.

The Collegian won two first places: Sports writing (Colin Likas '14, Jill McCarter '13 and  Marissa Johnson '13 for "Packing Up and Moving On?") and editorial writing (staff editorial by Kevin Vogel '14, for "The Ins and Outs of the Indiana Lifeline Law).

IndianapolisNewsBeat.com, a news website of the Eugene S. Pulliam School of Journalism that features stories by students in JR212, JR312 and JR412, won second- and third-place awards for non-deadline news reporting (Whitney Simmons, second place, for "What the Death Penalty Means in Indiana," and Joellen Gentry, third place, for "Recent Job Cuts and Hospital Expansions over Past Decade Generate Quality Care Concerns").

The awards banquet, which honored journalists at newspapers, magazines, TV and radio stations across the state, was held Friday night at the Marriott North.

 

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

 

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Academics

College of Education Students Facilitate a Loooooong Distance Call

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PUBLISHED ON Apr 29 2014

Butler junior Rachel Chambers made the long-distance call of a lifetime Tuesday, April 29—a video conference with astronauts aboard the International Space Station.

Rachel Chambers with astronaut David Wolf, who moderated the question-and-answer session.
Rachel Chambers with astronaut David Wolf, who moderated the question-and-answer session. (Photos by Jennifer Messmer)

The call took place at The Children’s Museum of Indianapolis, where Chambers and 19 students from Indianapolis middle and elementary schools spoke with Expedition 39 flight engineers Rick Mastracchio, Steve Swanson, and Koichi Wakata as they orbited the Earth at 5 miles per second.

While the students interviewed the astronauts, they and about 500 of their classmates watched the large video screen on which the astronauts—dressed in green polo shirts and khaki pants rather than spacesuits and letting a microphone float from man to man—could be seen answering the questions.

“It was one of the most wonderful experiences I’ve had in my life so far, especially educationally,” said Chambers, a Toledo, Ohio, native who plans to teach elementary school after graduation. “It was so cool to be up there, especially with the kids, and see their excitement, their enthusiasm, and have that chance to actually talk with astronauts live in space.”

Chambers and 27 classmates in Education Professor Catherine Pangan’s “Integrated Science and Social Students Methods for Elementary Students” class helped prepare second- and third-graders from the Indianapolis Public Schools/Butler Lab School to ask questions.

Most of the kids’ questions had to do with things like how the men became astronauts, what kind of foods the astronauts eat in space (pretty much what we eat on Earth, though Wakata said he wished sushi were an option), and how they go to the bathroom in space (fun fact: The oxygen in urine gets reused.)

Chambers asked the astronauts about their greatest experience in space. Mastracchio said his was taking a walk in space and seeing a panoramic view of the Earth.

“It’s something I’m going to remember for the rest of my life,” he said.IMG_9911

The event was part of Destination Station, NASA’s national awareness campaign to educate the public about space station activities.

Pangan said Butler got involved at the request of The Children’s Museum. Her class does work at the museum throughout the semester, in addition to working with students in the Lab School. To prepare the Lab School students, Pangan’s class spent a class period teaching them about who the astronauts are, what the International Space Station is, and the background of the space program.

The project so excited the Butler students that the mother of one, Mallory Russikoff, made T-shirts with Butler and NASA logos for the class to wear. Pangan was ecstatic, too.

“I had goose bumps almost the whole time,” Pangan said. “Every week our class has done something incredible. This was just icing on the cake.”

 

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

 

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Academics

Butler Students Show the Professional Investors How It's Done

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PUBLISHED ON Apr 28 2014

Seven years ago, students in Professor of Finance Steve Dolvin’s Applied Portfolio Management classes began investing $1 million from the Butler University endowment.

That million is now $1.4 million.

Butler College of Business Administration professor Steve Dolvin's class in Holcomb 122 September 25, 2007.So the Butler University Board of Trustees has decided that, this fall, Dolvin and his students are getting a second million.

“The College of Business is growing substantially,” Dolvin said. “Enrollments are up, and the finance major is more popular. We want to make sure the class is available to more students, and we also want to offer it to the MBA students as well. Since we’ve done well, we felt that it would be feasible to start a second fund.”

MBA students will get a chance to invest the money in the fall, and undergraduates will have the opportunity in the spring, Dolvin said.

All students who invest the money take a prerequisite investments class that Dolvin teaches in which they learn how to evaluate stocks and build portfolios.

Applied Portfolio Management “is their chance to take that and put it into practice,” he said.

Typically, 12-16 students take the class each semester. They split into four teams, and each is responsible for two segments of the S&P 500. So one group may have consumer staples and industrials; another might have financials and healthcare.

The students provide their classmates with written information about each company, and they’re required to present formal metrics and analysis in the class. Approval by a two-thirds majority of the class is required to place an order to buy.

Students also get the benefit of an eight-person advisory board made up of local investment professionals, many of whom are Butler alumni. Each group gets two advisers for the semester.

Among the students’ best picks has been Express Scripts, a pharmaceutical benefits manager, which has doubled in value, split, and gone up more, Dolvin said. Home Depot also has doubled since they bought the stock.

About 20 fund managers oversee a portion of Butler’s endowment, which is currently valued at around $200 million. Over the past seven years, students in Dolvin’s classes have done about as well as any other manager. One quarter, they were the top performers.

And what have Dolvin and the students learned from that?

“We pay way too much money for people to pick stocks for us,” Dolvin said, “and not enough money for people to help us build portfolios.”

 

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

 

 

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Academics

Musicologist Nicholas Johnson Joins School of Music Faculty

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PUBLISHED ON Apr 28 2014

Musicologist Nicholas Johnson, a specialist in the music history of the early-modern period and American popular music, will join the Butler University School of Music faculty.

Johnson headshot 2As an Assistant Professor, he will instruct courses on music ranging from the Medieval through the Classical periods, as well as seminars on a wide range of musical and societal issues.

"Nicholas Johnson just fits Butler's needs as a fine teacher, accessible and yet properly demanding of his students,” said James Briscoe, Butler Professor of Historical Musicology. “He comes to us with excellent experience in teaching and promises much that will engage the full imagination of those in his classes.  It is wonderful to have such a fine cross-over colleague, one who empathizes fully with the need for highest scholarship—liberal and broad learning—and the need to merge that with performance expectations."

Johnson has taught as an adjunct professor at Ohio State University and Wittenberg University, and full time at Butler during the 2013-2014 school year. He has received prestigious research grants from the Fulbright Commission and the Mellon Foundation, and has presented at several national and international conferences, including Princeton University, Oxford University, and the University of Vienna.

He earned his doctorate in musicology at The Ohio State University in 2012 with a dissertation on magic, music, and astronomy at the court of Holy Roman Emperor Rudolf II in Prague, He also holds a master’s degree in music history from the University of Maryland, and a bachelor’s degree in music from Truman State University.

Johnson has performed extensive archival research at the Österreichischen Nationalbibliothek in Austria, the Bayerische Staatsbibliothek in Munich, and the Biblioteka Uniwersytecka we Wrocławiu in Wrocław, Poland. His primary research area is the interaction between music and philosophy in the period surrounding the Scientific Revolution.

 

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

 

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Academics

Dr. Grechesky Goes Out on a High Note

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PUBLISHED ON Apr 07 2014

Forty-one years, seven presidents, six deans, countless performances. That’s the line on Bob Grechesky’s career at Butler, which ends this spring when he retires as director of bands.

bobgrechesky11Grechesky joined the faculty in 1973, when Lilly Hall was barely a decade old, and Gallahue Hall and the Holcomb Building had yet to be built. One of his professors at the University of Wisconsin-Madison, former Butler Marching Band Director Michael Leckrone, had taught at Butler and told him about the job, which consisted of conducting the marching band and jazz band.

“I didn’t think I’d stay longer than a few years,” said Grechesky, sitting in a Lilly Hall office filled with memories and mementos of his decades at Butler, including probably 100 bobbleheads. “But it’s been a very good place to be.”

Growing up in Salem, New Jersey, near the Delaware border, Grechesky planned to become a lawyer or a psychologist. In high school in the early 1960s, he was a “crappy” trombone player. One summer he went to a summer music camp at Glassboro State College (now Rowan University) and found himself relegated to the last chair. “It was embarrassing,” he said.

The next year, the Beatles made their first appearance on “The Ed Sullivan Show,” and suddenly everyone wanted to be in a rock band—including a friend down the street who played euphonium. Grechesky asked to borrow the horn, which he describes as “a tuba with a thyroid condition.” That next summer, he earned euphonium first chair at the summer camp.

“I wasn’t ready to play that stuff, but there I was,” he said. “So I practiced eight hours a day. The camp was a three-week camp, and, by the time I got done, I was pretty good. I stuck with it. There’s a lot to be said for perseverance. Showing up is the majority of it. Show up, do the work, work hard at it.”

He went on to study at Rutgers University as an undergraduate and earn his doctorate at the University of Wisconsin in Madison. He taught in New Jersey and Wisconsin high schools, and at Madison Area Technical College while in grad school. But Butler was his first—and, it turns out, last—full-time university teaching job.

“I got to a place in my career where this [Butler] was very satisfying,” he said. “And Indianapolis is a great town. We sort of grew up with the town. And this is a great place to raise a family. This is a good school with great students and faculty, and I’ve always been able to fulfill my professional artistic needs here as far as making music and doing music.”

Butler Composer-in-Residence Michael Schelle said Grechesky has been a phenomenal asset for Butler as a professor, performer, and colleague.

“For 40 years, he has been ‘Radio Free Butler’—by far, the most flag-waving chamber of commerce representative for the University I have ever known here, or anywhere else,” Schelle said. “He put his heart and soul into the school and the young musicians, 24/7.”

But now Grechesky and his wife, Adrienne, a music teacher in Indianapolis Public Schools for the past 41 years, will be moving to Marietta, Georgia, to be near their daughter, son-in-law, and two granddaughters.

Grechesky expects to do a lot of chauffeuring. He also plans to play in the Cobb County Wind Ensemble and work on a critical addition to a composition called “A Chant from the Great Plains,” which won the first National Band Association composition contest in the 1920s but has since been lost through time.

What he’ll miss most about Butler, he said, are the students. He’s proud of the number of students who’ve gone on to successful careers in music, including Bob Wood ’74 (trumpet in the Indianapolis Symphony Orchestra), Steve Eggleston ’74 (professor of music at Illinois Wesleyan University), and Matt Henry ’96 (colonel and conductor in U.S. Air Force band).

“Some of my best friends are former students,” he said. “Over the years, you establish those relationships. That’s the thing. That’s the bond.”

 

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

 

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26th Annual Undergraduate Research Conference Will Be the Biggest Yet

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PUBLISHED ON Mar 31 2014

Butler University’s 26th annual Undergraduate Research Conference will be its biggest ever, with nearly 1,000 students and their mentoring faculty from 20 states coming to campus April 11 for a daylong event showcasing oral and poster presentations on topics as diverse as molecular biology and 17th-century opera.

014Admission is open to the public, although advanced registration is encouraged. For more information, call 317-940-9581.

Rusty Jones, Interim Associate Director of Butler’s Center for High Achievement and Scholarly Engagement, said nearly two-thirds of the students presenting their research will be from outside Butler, with some coming from as far away as Massachusetts, Florida, and California.

This year’s conference is more than 20 percent bigger than any previous year’s—with nearly 600 presentations scheduled. Jones expects the event to continue to grow.

“This is a unique opportunity for undergraduate students to show off their work,” he said. “We’re one of the only places doing something like this. The quality is absolutely first rate.

“It’s harder and harder to get into grad school. High-achieving students are doing everything they can to make themselves strong candidates, and participation in this event can really bolster their applications and help prepare them for graduate-level work.”

The Undergraduate Research Conference (URC) is open to all fields of study. This year’s theme is “Cultivating urcregisterIntellectual Growth,” and, in keeping with the theme of “cultivation,” McKenzie Beverage, Butler’s sustainability coordinator, will showcase environmental awareness projects on Butler’s campus. That includes tours of the campus farm and LEED gold-certified Howard L. Schrott Center for the Arts and the Pharmacy Building addition, as well as a glimpse of a new initiative to operate campus vehicles using student-produced biodiesel fuel.

Information about the presentations at the URC can be found at www.butler.edu/urc.

 

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

 

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Stephen Standifird Named New College of Business Dean

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PUBLISHED ON Mar 21 2014

Stephen Standifird, Dean of the Schroeder School of Business at the University of Evansville, will become the Dean of Butler University’s College of Business beginning June 1.

Standifird_PhotoAt Butler, he will take over the University’s third-largest college, with approximately 900 undergraduate and 200 graduate students. Butler’s College of Business was ranked 47th in the 2013 Bloomberg BusinessWeek ranking of 124 U.S. undergraduate business programs, and U.S. News and World Report ranked the College 141 out of 342 schools in 2013. Butler University’s part-time MBA program is currently ranked 57th by Bloomberg BusinessWeek and 72nd by U.S. News and World Report’s Best Graduate Schools.

"I am impressed by what the Butler College of Business has been able to accomplish in recent years,” said Standifird. “Butler University and the College of Business specifically are leaders in higher education innovation. I am thrilled with the opportunity to lead the ongoing advancements of the College."

At Evansville, Standifird was responsible for all aspects of the Schroeder School of Business, including leading the school’s faculty, assuring continued accreditation, and providing oversight of the school’s Institute for Global Enterprise and Institute for Banking and Finance. Standifird also led the revamping of the school’s assurance of learning program and the introduction of a variety of new international offerings including the “Global Virtual Classroom.”

He created a $1.2 million endowment for career services, with commitments to bring the endowment to $2 million. Under his watch, student placement and their starting salaries increased by 24 percent and 14 percent, respectively. Standifird also led the creation of a $100,000 microfinance fund for minority- and women-owned businesses, which is operated by students and in partnership with Old National Bank.

Prior to his time at the University of Evansville, Standifird held positions at the University of San Diego’s School of Business. As Associate Dean from 2009–2011, he helped increase enrollment of the school’s six master of science programs by roughly 34 percent over a two-year period. During his time as Director of Undergraduate Programs from 2006–2009, he created a comprehensive assurance of learning program and positioned the program for its first-ever ranking by Bloomberg BusinessWeek in 2009.

Standifird earned his bachelor’s degree in chemical engineering from Purdue University, his MBA from Northwestern University, and his doctorate in organizational studies from the University of Oregon.

“Steve has the precise combination of experience and expertise to become the next leader of the Butler College of Business,” Provost Kathryn Morris said. “I am very pleased that he will be joining the leadership team at Butler.”

 

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

 

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AcademicsStudent Life

Jackson Aldridge Tries to Make Fans Comfortable

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PUBLISHED ON Jan 16 2014

When he’s not making a name for himself playing basketball, Butler guard Jackson Aldridge is working on his career as a businessman/entrepreneur. As part of his Real Business Experience course, the sophomore economics major from Sydney, Australia, has created Stadium Sidekick, an inflatable drink holder that doubles as a seat cushion.

The Stadium Sidekick

Stadium Sidekick, which sells for $4, is designed to be customized with school and team logos, and marketed with this slogan: “Support your team with a full beer and a comfortable rear.”

“The long term goals of my business are to establish a reliable, comfortable, and unique product to both professional and collegiate sporting venues for fans to enjoy,” Aldridge said.

Product development began in Butler’s Real Business Experience (RBE) class, where students team up and devise an idea to produce and market a product or service. Then they produce and sell the product.

Aldridge and his team in the RBE class established a connection with a supplier in China to manufacture the product, and towards the end of the semester he made bulk sales totaling 200 units in just two weeks of sales.

If the business concept is approved by an outside funding review board, students can take a second class where they actually run their business marketing their product, and the College of Business will loan the team up to $5,000 to get up and running.

Aldridge is taking the second class and will be selling the Stadium Sidekick during the spring semester. After he pays back the money, he can keep the profits.

 

 

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

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Professor Eyerly Finds Her Roots, and Her Research Topic

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PUBLISHED ON Mar 22 2013

Assistant Professor of Music Sarah Eyerly studies the practice of musical improvisation in the 18th-century communities of the Moravian Church. It’s a topic that seems obscure—until you know the backstory.

Sarah Eyerly

Rewind to 2002. A cousin sent her father a Pennsylvania Historical Society article about her great-great-great-great grandfather, Johann Jacob Eyerly, Jr., whose newly translated diary documented his roughly 300-mile walk along Indian trails from Bethlehem, Pa., to Pittsburgh, in the early 1790s. (The trip took eight days, during the summer. He wrote that the weather was so hot that the clothes melted off his back.)

The article mentioned that the diary was kept in the archives of the Moravian Church in Bethlehem. So Eyerly and her father drove there to view the manuscript. There, Eyerly, who grew up in the Lutheran Church, discovered family history she never knew: The Eyerlys’ roots were in the Moravian Church.

Coincidentally, her advisor at the University of California-Davis happened to be Moravian. After some discussion, Eyerly decided to apply for a research grant to go to the central archives of the Moravian Church in Germany. She spent a summer there and found manuscripts related to the practice of improvising hymns.

That ended up being the subject of her dissertation, and a life-changing event that has led her to become one of the foremost authorities on improvisational hymn singing.

In September 2011, she presented a paper at Oxford University on improvisational hymn singing as a way of communicating Christian theology.

“People would get together and sing in groups,” said Eyerly, who’s in her fourth year teaching music history at Butler. “They would lie on the floor and sing into the wooden floor boards so the vibrations of the singing would cleanse them in the way that theologically Christ’s body and blood can cleanse the Christian community in spiritual and physical ways. So it was a spiritual and physical way of singing that helped to guide participants toward an understanding of their theology.”

A year later, Eyerly went back to Oxford for a conference called “Perspectives on Musical Improvisation.” She talked about how the Moravians were able to teach so many community members how to improvise hymns and the pedagogy behind teaching improvisation.

Eyerly is writing a book on Moravian music, which she hopes to publish in the next two years. She is also returning to Oxford in September 2013 to talk about the Moravians and the creation of Christian community through song.

“This consumes me now,” she said with a smile.

 

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

 

 

 

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U.S. News Ranks Butler Part-time MBA Program 67th in Nation

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PUBLISHED ON Mar 12 2013

Butler Univesity's part-time MBA program ranks 67th in U.S. News and World Report’s Best Graduate Schools, 2014 Edition, a two-point improvement over its 2013 ranking at 69th.

BusinessButler is the top-ranked private school program in Indiana. This is the third consecutive year Butler has made the list; it placed 105th in the 2012 rankings.

College of Business Dean Chuck Williams said the ongoing national recognition can be credited to graduate faculty’s efforts to connect theory with actual business practice. “Working with area executives, our MBA faculty incorporate relevant, real business experiences into courses—activities such as our one-day immersion Gateway Experience and our FirstPerson Board Fellows program, which places our graduate students on the boards of local non-profit organizations.”

 Butler’s part-time MBA program combines evening classes with accelerated and weekend sessions; it offers concentrations in finance, international business, leadership, and marketing.

U.S. News rankings are based on four factors: average peer assessment score; average GMAT score of students entering in fall 2012; acceptance rate; and the program’s fall 2012 part-time enrollment.

The average peer assessment score—which accounts for 50 percent of a school’s overall score—is calculated from a fall 2012 survey that asks business school deans and MBA program directors at each of the nation’s 325 part-time MBA programs to rate the programs on a 5-point scale.

 Media contact: Mary Ellen Stephenson
(317) 940-6944
mestephe@butler.edu

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McGrath Named to College Sports Information Directors' Hall of Fame

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PUBLISHED ON Feb 27 2013

Butler University Associate Athletic Director Jim McGrath has been selected for induction into the College Sports Information Directors of America (CoSIDA) Hall of Fame.

 

This honor is presented to members of CoSIDA who have made outstanding contributions to the field of college athletic communications. McGrath will be inducted into the CoSIDA Hall of Fame at a luncheon and ceremony on Thursday, June 13, in Orlando, Fla.

McGrath has served as Butler's sports information director since 1981 and assumed the title of associate athletic director in 1989 after four years as an assistant athletic director. In his current role, he is responsible for overseeing media relations for Butler’s 19 intercollegiate sports, and he’s the individual sport contact for men's basketball, football, men's soccer, softball, men's and women's golf and men's and women's cross country and track.  During his tenure, he has covered more than 2,000 Butler athletic events.

Since assuming his post at Butler, McGrath has served as the host SID for four NCAA Division I Men's Basketball Final Fours and one Women's Basketball Final Four, as well as nine NCAA men's first and second rounds tournaments.  He’s served on the NCAA Media Coordination staff for the Final Four since 2008, and he’s been a member of the NCAA Media Coordination Advisory Board since 2012.

McGrath has worked in press operations at amateur national championships in boxing, swimming and track and field. He was a press officer at the 1982 and 1983 United States Olympic Committee National Sports Festivals and the 1986 U.S. Olympic Festival, and he served as a press officer for the United States team at the 1984 Summer Olympics in Los Angeles and the 1987 Pan American Games in Indianapolis. He co-chaired the Media Center Development and Operations Committee for Pan American Games X and served on the media coordination staff for the 2002 World Basketball Championship.

McGrath arrived at Butler after a 10-year stint as sports information director at his alma mater, Augustana College (Rock Island, Ill.). While at Augustana, he served as the host SID for five NCAA Division III national basketball championships. He was publicity director for the Ed McMahon Quad-Cities Open professional golf tournament for five years, and he served five years as the director of communications for the College Conference of Illinois and Wisconsin.  While at Augustana, he received 30 publications awards from CoSIDA, including 10 Best in the Nation certificates.

McGrath received the “Helping Hand” Award from the Indiana Sportswriters and Sportscasters Association in 2010, and he was inducted into the Butler Athletic Hall of Fame in September 2012.  He also joined the Augustana College Tribe of Vikings Hall of Fame with the 1972-73 men’s basketball team in fall 2012.

A 1971 graduate of Augustana, McGrath and his wife, Judy, have three sons, Chad, Scott and Christopher, and five grandchildren.

 

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

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Butler Students Perform Well in Model Arab League

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PUBLISHED ON Feb 27 2013

Butler University’s delegation turned in a strong showing in its first appearance in the Model Arab League, held Feb. 21-23 at Miami University in Oxford, Ohio.

Kirstie Dobbs, Delaney Barr, Needa Malik

Individual honors for Butler include Delaney Barr (International Studies), who received Honorable Mention in Social Affairs; Needa Malik (International Studies), Honorable Mention in Joint Defense; and Kirstie Dobbs (International Studies and French), Best Delegate in Political Affairs.

Through participation in the National Council on U.S.-Arab Relations’ Model Arab League (MAL) program students learn about the politics and history of the Arab world, and the arts of diplomacy and public speech. MAL helps prepare students to be knowledgeable, well-trained, and effective citizens as well as civic and public affairs leaders.

Universities and high schools from across the United States are invited to participate.

Robert L. Oprisko, visiting assistant professor in Butler’s International Studies Program, oversaw the Butler delegation and said it earned a reputation for innovative problem solving and mastery of parliamentary procedure. The Butler students were responsible for a number of firsts in Model Arab League history, including the first joint-session, the first use of the International Criminal Court, and the first use of protest to promote policy (in honor of the Arab Spring).

The Butler delegates received high praise by other faculty-coaches including Vaughn Shannon (associate professor, Wright State), Saleh Yousef (provost and executive vice president of academic affairs, Miami of Ohio), and Ambassador Feisal Amin Rasoul al-Istrabadi (director of the Center for Middle Eastern Studies, Indiana University).

 

 

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

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