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Chad

Engine of Opportunity

Cindy Conover Dashnaw

from Spring 2018

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

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

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

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

Effective keywords 

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

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

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

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

Intelligent search 

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

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

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

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

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

Results returned 

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

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

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

Giving Back by Giving Chances 

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

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

Chad
AcademicsGivingPeople

Engine of Opportunity

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

by Cindy Conover Dashnaw

from Spring 2018

Read more

Entrepreneurship is in His DNA

Cindy Conover Dashnaw

from Spring 2018

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

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

And he’s not done yet. 

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Academics

Entrepreneurship is in His DNA

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

by Cindy Conover Dashnaw

from Spring 2018

Read more

Of Brothers and Business

Megan Ward MS ’13

from Spring 2018

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

AcademicsAthletics

Of Brothers and Business

Butler University: Entrepreneurs welcome here

by Megan Ward MS ’13

from Spring 2018

Read more
AcademicsStudent Life

A Voyage to Irwin Library Yields Research Opportunities

BY

PUBLISHED ON Apr 17 2018

Only a couple of copies of the book Atlas to Cook’s Third Voyage, 1776-1780 (London, 1784) exist. Butler's Irwin Library owns one of them, and on a recent Thursday morning, sophomore Rachel Counts was looking at a map in the atlas, which details Capt. James Cook's three voyages to the South Seas.

She was putting together a proposal for a research project as part of the course "Close Encounters," a first-year seminar History Professor Paul Hanson teaches for History and Anthropology majors. Her topic was linguistics, and she was looking at the different spellings on Cook's map—Owyhee for what we now know as Hawaii, Niphon for Japan, Corea for Korea—as she and her classmates familiarized themselves with the kinds of primary-source materials that are available in the library's collection.

"Some of the books I was going to look at I found online," said Counts, who came to Butler from Powell, Ohio, outside Columbus. "But it's very different when you have a piece of history in your hands. You're living through that, rather than looking at a screen. It makes it more real—and, for me, more exciting."

The Cook Atlas is part of the William F. Charters South Seas Collection, which contains nearly 3,400 books and is one of the most extensive compilations the library owns. Sally Childs-Helton, Head of Special Collections, Rare Books, and University Archives, said that for a school its size, Butler has a large collection of materials that cannot be found elsewhere.

She said everything that comes into the library's archives must either reflect the history of the university or must be used for current teaching needs. The Charters collection, which was donated to the University in 1930, fits into that second classification.

Childs-Helton said students need to have access to materials like this that "haven't been spun, Photoshopped, or put into other contexts."

"Primary sources are the closest things we have to time travel," she said. "They have that power of immediacy to take you back to when a particular item was created. It's a very powerful experience to be sitting there, for example, with a copy of a letter that you know was written on a Civil War battlefield vs. that same letter being digitized and you're seeing it online or transcribed and printed in a book."

Childs-Helton said it's vitally important for students, especially at this point in their careers, to learn how to handle primary-source materials if they're going to do research. Her goal—and she works with classes in all six of Butler's colleges to accomplish it—is to teach them how to handle the materials carefully to preserve them for future scholars. (Special Collections follows best practices of conservation and preservation, protecting materials from light, temperature fluctuation, bugs, and theft/mishandling. "These materials are protected as well as they can be," Childs-Helton said.)

She also wants students to appreciate the potential these sources have to make their research the best it can be.

Hanson, who has written several books about French history, often uses primary sources for his research. He said that the nature of archival research has been a current topic for discussion among professional historians because it has been announced that the Barack Obama Presidential Library will be virtual—no stacks of documents and letters, but an entirely digital collection.

"You would have to look a long time to find a historian who would tell you they'd rather see a digital copy of something rather than hold a book in their hands," Hanson said.

That feeling was evident among his students too. Maggie Jones, a junior from Elwood, Indiana, had requested four books from the Charters collection, including one Charles Darwin wrote about his experiences on the second voyage of the HMS Beagle. She was looking through a book by George French Angas called Polynesia: a popular description of the physical features, inhabitants, natural history and productions of the islands of the Pacific for research on the environment of 19th century South America.

As a history and anthropology major, she's interested in how the natural environment of a place contributes to the lives of the people.

"While it's convenient to have information online, there's just something about actually having the book and knowing that this is actually part of history," she said. "That's really cool to me, knowing that they're a part of history."

 

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

 

 

 

AcademicsStudent Life

A Voyage to Irwin Library Yields Research Opportunities

Rare books collection gives students the chance to look at primary sources.

Apr 17 2018 Read more
AcademicsArts & CulturePeople

Going Out on A High Note

BY

PUBLISHED ON Apr 16 2018

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

The feeling is mutual, Colburn said.

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

*

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

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

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

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

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

*

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

 


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

 

AcademicsArts & CulturePeople

Going Out on A High Note

Dan Bolin retires after 48 years in education.

Apr 16 2018 Read more
AcademicsStudent Life

Student-Researchers Get Their Day in the Spotlight

BY

PUBLISHED ON Apr 13 2018

Butler University student Jaquell Hamelin hypothesized that black students are less loyal to their schools than white students are, but he didn't know for sure. So, he decided to research the question, and on Friday, April 13, he presented his findings at Butler's 30th annual Undergraduate Research Conference (URC).

Hamelin told a packed classroom that he surveyed students from Butler and Purdue. He asked whether they would donate to their university after graduation, if they felt they had a positive relationship with, considered themselves loyal to, and would recommend their school.

Although the sample size was small, he said, the preliminary results confirmed what he expected: Of the 21 white respondents, 15 considered themselves loyal; of the 11 black respondents, three labeled themselves that way.

"Even though there are black and white college kids here and they're trying to achieve the same thing, the white students have more tools when they leave," he said. "These schools weren't built to support the needs of diverse student bodies."

Hamelin was among nearly 900 participants in the conference, which attracted students from 23 states who were presenting in 25 subject areas.

Courtney Hayes, a student from Eastern Kentucky University, presented her research on "Optimization of Camera Trapping Methods for Surveying Mesopredators in the Appalachian Foothills." To find out what kind of mid-sized, mid-level predators live in her region—meaning skunks, raccoons, possums, and more—she put out bait and installed cameras at 72 sites across 10 counties.

The hope, she said, was to measure biodiversity, which is an indicator of ecosystem health.

Hayes said being able to share her work at the URC was a nice experience.

"I've presented in Kentucky a lot and I've presented in Virginia, but it was interesting to come to Indiana, where there are no spotted skunks, to see how people want to hear about it," she said.

While science-related presentations accounted for slightly more than half of this year's URC presentations, the conference also included topics such as "The Relationship Between Social Media, Anxiety, and Depression," "Are the Highly Religious Better at Resisting Temptation?" and "Stress and Academic Outcomes in College Students."

Four teams of two from an IUPUI anthropology class presented their research on what happened to workers at the Carrier and Rexnord plants in Indianapolis who were laid off when their factories moved to Mexico. The students found that workers were bitter and blamed "greedy" management for valuing money over American jobs.

Jake Watson, one of the IUPUI students, said the goal of his and partner Corinne Baker's portion of the project was to give the laid-off workers a voice.

"We're undergrads," he said. "We're not trying to fix everything in the world. But we think that by drawing attention to this conversation and this process of deindustrialization, we can change the conversation in the future."

 

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

 

AcademicsStudent Life

Student-Researchers Get Their Day in the Spotlight

The Undergraduate Research Conference let nearly 900 participants show their work.

Apr 13 2018 Read more
AcademicsStudent LifePeople

Butler Prepares to Say Goodbye to the Class of 2018

BY Peyton Thompson '20

PUBLISHED ON Apr 11 2018

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

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

We asked some of the seniors about their Butler experience:

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

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

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

                                                                        *

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

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

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

                                                                        *

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

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

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

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

                                                                        *

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

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

                                                                        *

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

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

                                                        

                                                                        *

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

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

    

Tips from Seniors to Underclassmen

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

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

Riley Schmidt:

1. Study smarter, not harder.

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

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

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

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

AcademicsStudent LifePeople

Butler Prepares to Say Goodbye to the Class of 2018

Graduating seniors share their memories, plans.

Apr 11 2018 Read more

Taking Pharmacy Skills to a North Carolina Indian Reservation

Meghan Blais '17

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

Mountains

 

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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


Group of Students

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

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

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

AcademicsCommunity

Taking Pharmacy Skills to a North Carolina Indian Reservation

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

Experiential Learning for Collegian Editor Comes Outside an Actual Classroom

Katie Goodrich ’17

Senior year is a whirlwind. Welcome Week, the last first day of class, Homecoming, basketball games, and so many more moments made me nostalgic. Caught on the brink of a new adventure, time seems to run away from me.

In an effort to capture the feelings while they are raw, I decided to blog about the ones that really stand out. Too often we take things for granted, so I want to document my experiences.

My first semester of senior year was majorly defined by three things: being editor-in-chief of the Butler Collegian, interning at the Independent Colleges of Indiana and the 2016 presidential election.

While this was not my entire life first semester, these elements were the foundation and provided me with exciting challenges.           

As a senior journalism major, this year is the first time I’ve held the same position for more than one semester on the Butler Collegian, the student news organization. I’ve been a Reporter, Assistant News Editor, News Editor, Foreign Correspondent (writing profiles while I studied abroad), Managing Editor, and now Editor-in-Chief. I went to a high school without a newspaper, so I came to Butler with next to no experience. That was quickly rectified when I joined the paper and began writing. I fell in love with the Collegian and everything it provides for students. Early on, my editors assigned me stories right away, letting me mistakes, and then helped me to fix them and learn what I could do to improve with each and every new assignment. Butler prides itself on providing this kind of experiential learning to its students, and I learned the most outside of an actual classroom. I learned it a newsroom, surrounded by my peers who shared my passion for student press.

I needed this environment to test the theoretical knowledge I gained from classes. The Collegian allowed me to write, report and edit without worrying about a grade. It was real world experience, but inside the Butler bubble.

With this foundation, I left my comfort zone and wrote for a local newspaper, got an internship and grew immeasurably.

But the best part of the Collegian is the community. The staff is made up of some of the most passionate, dedicated and talented people I know. Their humor is always appreciated during the late nights.

Leading an amazing group is a great responsibility I take seriously, even if I add a GIF to almost every mass email I send reminding them about a meeting. I know the final decisions are mine to make, which is an immense pressure to be under.

I say thank you in almost every staff meeting and email, but I cannot express how grateful I am to have this staff in my life. They make all the hours of hard work worth it, because I know I am preserving a Butler cornerstone for generations of Bulldogs to come.

At the end of the fall semester, the staff surprised me with a blanket with a collage of headlines, photos and quotes from the issues we published. Overwhelmed, I started laughing and rambling on about how amazing they were.

In that moment, I could not express how much the gesture meant. I looked out at the crowd of staffers and saw the future of the paper and the future of the journalism industry, and they were thanking me. It was surreal, and I felt like I owed them everything.

Although we went through tough times as a newspaper and as a staff, the Collegian was a constant in my college career.

Joining the Butler Collegian was the best decision I made in my first few weeks at school. Its impact on my life will help shape my future journalism career.

Over the summer, I began interning at the Independent Colleges of Indiana, an organization that works on behalf of the 31 private, nonprofit universities in the state. About a dozen people work there, so I assumed responsibilities like I had always been a member of the team.

I ran the social media accounts, wrote press releases, started an intern blog about college life and helped with different marketing campaigns. My supervisors trusted my knowledge and skillset, so I dove into the work.

Some big projects came my way, including a month long campaign focused on answering questions about college for high school students. 31 Answers to Your Questions About College launched in September, but the process was already underway when I began work in May.

One of the focal points of the campaign was to show how affordable attending a private college can be, because more than 90 percent of students who attend an ICI school receive financial aid. But the questions also covered topics from campus housing options to how many applications to send.

I helped coordinate with representatives from every campus to collect short videos answering common college questions. (That was no easy task, might I add.) Then we edited and transcribed the videos as we worked with a web design company to build a new microsite to host the campaign.

With my high level of involvement, I sat in on all the meetings. My voice was heard, and my suggestions were valued. My input made positive changes to the campaign, which was a powerful thing for me to witness as an intern.

ICI does great work, and I was a part of it.

The organization works to help the private universities and students in many ways, from helping colleges be cost efficient to promoting the institutions to prospective students.

My work could potentially impact thousands of students and their choices about college.

Believing and buying into the mission of where you is so important.

“ICI is the collective voice for excellence and choice in higher education for all students.”

That simple motto sums up the core belief in providing quality educational opportunities for everyone, and I am really proud of the role I get to play to make it happen.

The 2016 presidential election rocked the political atmosphere of the United States on Election Night, I reported on it.

Collegian staffers and editors came to the newsroom to watch the results roll in, work on the next day’s paper and eat pizza.

We were over inundated with information — flipping through channels, checking several online news organizations and scrolling through our social media feeds. When a state was called either for red or for blue, I could feel the newsroom buzz.

I was writing an article as the results rolled in, noting everything from the time to how to stock market was faring. We brainstormed headline ideas, which spun into ridiculous territory pretty quickly.

As it got later, it felt like time moved slower. At 1:30 AM, I called the printer to see just how late we could push back our deadline and still get the paper delivered at the same time. He said 5:00 AM was the latest.

Then all the networks and newspapers began calling the election for the Republican nominee Donald Trump.

It was 3:30 AM, but I was more alert than I had been all day. I furiously typed quotes from his acceptance speech and scrolled through my newsfeed to see who was still up.

I talked to my fellow Bulldogs who had very different views at 4 in the morning. I put it all together, placed it on our pages in InDesign and finally sent the printer our paper at 4:45 AM.

I slept for two hours and then went on with the next day.

Collegians hit the newsstands the next day with the headline “He’s hired” and a picture of Trump’s face above the fold.

Some major newspapers like The New York Times or The Indianapolis Star did not have the winner in their headline, since they sent the pages in before the announcement. (See, sometimes it is worth it to ask for the extension.)

Reflecting on that day, I feel really lucky to have the unique experience of reporting about a presidential election surrounded by very supportive peers. The collegiate newsroom harbors a true sense of friendship and mutual respect.

I was running on adrenaline, and I accomplished the task with the help of my editorial team. Their support pushed me to finish strong and produce work I am proud of.

This experience cemented a career choice that I already knew I wanted. I want to share events with people and let their voices be heard.

The Collegian let me start my journalism career early, and I am so glad I got to cover my presidential election with the paper that started it all for me. 

Academics

Experiential Learning for Collegian Editor Comes Outside an Actual Classroom

Too often we take things for granted, so I want to document my experiences

Antiretrovirals and Intentionality

Emily Yarman ’17

“I’m too early. Typical,” I thought as I sat silently in my car, eagerly waiting for the day to begin. On the first day of my elective rotation, I arrived at the Damien Center in downtown Indianapolis fifteen minutes before the doors to the building were unlocked. I would spend the next month at Indiana’s largest AIDS service organization in their sister clinic, Damien Cares, seeing patients with HIV and AIDS. Although I love being early on my first day, this has led to a great deal of waiting in my car. As I sat there, the engine gently purring, I wondered what the month would hold. I quizzed myself on what I knew about HIV: the risk factors, the pathophysiology, the medications used to treat it and how they work. I stopped mentally drilling myself when I realized that I didn’t actually know much about the day-to-day life of a patient with HIV. I had studied the disease enough to pass the test, but I hadn’t had an opportunity to really get to know any patients with HIV.

I thought about the struggles patients with HIV in the US have had since the 1980s. I had learned about the social implications of HIV and I wondered what emotional hardships these patients had been through. I already knew that my month at the Damien Cares clinic would teach me a great deal about medical management of patients with HIV. I realized then, while sitting in my idling car, that it would also deepen my knowledge about how to care for a patient as a whole person.

My first patient was a gentleman in his early 50’s. He had been on ART (anti-retroviral therapy) for years and came to the office for a visit as an established patient. I followed my preceptor, Randall McDavid, NP, into the exam room and introduced myself. After a pretty uneventful follow-up visit, Randall and I sat down in his office. He turned to me and asked, “If you saw that man walking down the street, would you think he had HIV?” I quickly responded, “No, I wouldn’t.” This patient did not look like he was HIV-positive. Neither did my second patient. Or my third patient. As someone that recognizes the damage that stereotypes can cause, I’m always trying to purge myself of my presuppositions about people. As I saw more patients on that first day, I realized I had failed to do just that; I had unconsciously built up presuppositions about how an HIV-patient would look or act. I expected patients with HIV to appear much more sick than this gentleman had.

I was reminded on this rotation that by unconsciously pigeonholing a patient, I set myself up for failure as a provider. Even something as simple as having preconceived notions about what an HIV patient looks like can affect the way I practice medicine. There are certain risk factors that make a patient more likely to acquire the illness, but HIV still affects every sex, gender, age, race, sexual orientation, and socioeconomic status. Embarking on the slippery slope of making assumptions about patients can lead to big mistakes in forming treatment and prevention plans for them. By making assumptions about patients, I also miss out on the opportunity to get to know and learn from them, which could benefit my future patients. It seems simple, but it is easy to overlook the fact that everyone suffers when providers make assumptions, especially in a patient population as diverse as the HIV community. There is no one face of HIV. This month, I have been learning to stop giving it one.

***

I held the diaphragm of my stethoscope over his left chest and heard the thunderous, rapid lub-dub of his heart. I finished my physical exam and told Randall that everything was within normal limits, except his heart, which was beating quickly. The patient shifted uncomfortably in his chair when we asked him questions about his sexual habits. He laughed nervously when we inquired about drug use. This was the typical behavior of a patient new to the clinic.

New patients with HIV experience a spectrum of emotions during that first visit, including fear and anxiety. Their anxieties include questions about what it means to have HIV, if they can afford the treatment, and ultimately, if it will kill them. They are nervous about if the people they meet at the clinic will judge or chide them. Their fear of being rebuked is legitimate; decades after HIV showed up in the US, it still carries a stigma and is very closeted. The medical and social concerns that a new HIV patient has culminate into a patient presentation like the one I described above: visibly restless and apprehensive about being honest with their provider.

An established patient with HIV, however, is a foil of a new patient with HIV. While new patients tend to be restless and apprehensive, many established patients are calm and relaxed. Long-time HIV-positive patients understand that if they are compliant with their medications, their life can be much like the life of a person that is HIV-negative. They are happy to see Randall and talk about their social and sexual histories with ease. The visit becomes less about HIV and more about friendly conversation and getting to know each other. During physical exam, their hearts beat at a regular rate again.

Some of this release of anxiety in patients is because of patient education about the disease and the effectiveness of HIV medications. HIV pharmacotherapy has progressed a great deal since the 1980s. Many patients with HIV take just one pill per day and have an undetectable blood viral load. Causes of death in the HIV population are increasingly due to chronic illness, like most of the US, and less due to immunological compromise because we diagnose and treat earlier. The average life expectancy of an HIV-positive patient is the same as an HIV-negative patient. When patients learn about these advances in our understanding and treatment of HIV, many of their fears are quelled. This, however, is only a part of the cause for calm in established patients.

The other, bigger, part of the relief of anxiety for established patients with HIV is the relationship that they build with their provider. The care that Randall provides his patients is non-judgmental. He talks comfortably about patient’s sexual habits and drug use without scolding them. I have watched patient’s anxiety melt away during office visits because of the relaxed demeanor. This allows the patient to be honest, which enables Randall to take better care of them. I have observed that this kind of therapeutic relationship is the key to success for patients at the clinic. The patients that are most healthy are patients that have built this kind of relationship with Randall. In the presence of empathetic medical care, the patient’s viral load and anxiety both drop. Randall always says “HIV is a relationships disease,” and he’s right. Because HIV is a physically and socially taxing disease, it is best treated with appropriate medical therapy and a caring heart.

***

Seeing established patients with HIV gives me so much hope during those initial patient visits at the clinic. As a future physician assistant, I have the opportunity to be part of what brings that hope to fruition. I can walk with patients on their journey to have an undetectable viral load and an unbroken spirit. This month, I have learned that even in in the face of a disease that used to be a death sentence, there is hope on the horizon through proper medical treatment and a truly therapeutic relationship. Serving patients in this way, however, is not simple. It requires a concerted effort on the part of the provider to be intentional about the medical and emotional care they offer. I have learned that part of that intentional care is to resist pigeonholing patients and to actively dismantle stereotypes that we create. I have learned that it means listening and responding in a way that creates a comfortable environment for the patient to be honest in, regardless of any social stigma involved. Truly treating a patient as a whole person requires all of these things and nothing less.

Butler Alumna Makes Science Fun

Krisy Force

from Spring 2017

Julie Boyk ’10, Senior Education Coordinator for the Museum of Science and Industry (MSI) in Chicago, remembers having a difficult time deciding which college to attend. She was excited to be accepted to Butler University but she had two other colleges who were offering scholarships from which to choose. It wasn’t until her dad was heading to Indianapolis for a business trip that he asked her along to tour the campus.

“I went on the trip just to appease my father. It was freezing cold and snowing, but the moment I stepped out of my dad’s car, I felt at home,” Boyk said. “I thought, ‘this is where I was going to spend the next five years of my life.’ We went on a tour, further drawing me into what some people call ‘Butler magic;’ I was hooked.”

Boyk spent her next few years at Butler working toward her degree in Early/Middle Childhood Education. About a year after graduation, Boyk stumbled across a position at MSI while perusing the museum’s website prior to a planned visit, and since she had been having a difficult time finding a job within the school systems, she decided to apply. Julie Boyk with students

“MSI was the mecca of field trips as a kid from the Chicago suburbs, so the thought of working there brought back many positive memories,” Boyk said.

During her interview, Boyk pulled from the skills toolkit Butler’s College of Education gave her to demonstrate a potential lesson plan that was hands on, thoughtful, and tasty since Oreo cookies were involved.

“All of the hands on work Butler exposed me to was very helpful and I wouldn’t be the teacher I am today without that,” Boyk said.

Before she made it home, Boyk had an offer.

Since getting hired, Julie has had many realizations about herself and the job she had in mind before starting at MSI.

“I never saw myself teaching middle school or high school students, but it’s so fun. I’ve discovered it’s one of my favorite parts,” Boyk said.

Her list of favorites regarding her work at MSI doesn’t stop there. Every day is different and through MSI’s Learning Labs she has the opportunity to teach a wide range of science subjects like forensics, pendulums, simple machines, and Mars, where students and Boyk have the opportunity to teleconference with real NASA scientists to ask questions.

If she had to choose a favorite aspect of her job, it would be when she gets to make science fun for all of the students who enter the museum with the mindset that science is boring, or confusing.

Julie Boyk with students

“Not too long ago we were doing a project about Mars and a student in 6th or 7th grade asked me if I was a scientist. Technically I’m not, but to answer his question, and to get him involved I responded by saying ‘Yes, I am a scientist and you are too,’” Boyk said. “At first he said ‘No, no I’m not.’ He came up to me after class and told me, ‘I understand what you mean now about how I’m a scientist too,’”

Creating even just a small shift in attitude among students about science, and making sure they understand that science can be messy and fun is why Boyk loves the work she does and for a museum that is considered an industry leader.

“I’m able to touch the lives of so many more students with what I’m doing here. Between myself and four other co-workers, we are able to interact with about 24,000 students a year,” Boyk said. “We really are at an important museum, and it makes me want to work above and beyond my abilities to make sure I represent the museum in the best way possible.” 

AcademicsCommunity

Butler Alumna Makes Science Fun

It wasn’t until her dad was heading to Indianapolis for a business trip that he asked her along to tour the campus.

by Krisy Force

from Spring 2017

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From Intern to Mentor

Megan Yates ’16

from Spring 2017

Before going off to college, I had always heard that internships and opportunities that one was presented with while in school would help them land their future career. Little did I know how true this would be for me when beginning my journey at Butler University.

Before my first-year began, I decided to declare my major in Organizational Communication and Leadership in the College of Communication. After much research, I determined that this seemed like the best fit for the combination of my primary interests; planning events and nonprofit organizations. Along the way, I picked up a double major in Critical Communication and Media Studies. The two majors coincided well and provided me with a solid foundation in my professional development as well as communication skills.

My sophomore year of college was when I realized how applicable my major was going to be in the real world. I landed my first internship with Juvenile Diabetes Research Foundation (JDRF). My primary task was to help with the silent auction at JDRF Indiana’s Promise Gala. Working on the silent auction, I helped secure over 300 auction items that we then bundled together to sell in larger packages the night of the event. By the end of Gala, the silent auction had brought in over $70,000. 

When my internship with JDRF concluded, I knew that I wanted my next opportunity to be with another nonprofit organization doing similar work. October of my junior year, I received my second internship with Riley Children’s Foundation. In this internship, my energy was focused on helping with a variety of third party events as well as miscellaneous office duties. Each day presented a new set of tasks ranging from drafting letters to families treated at Riley Hospital for Children all the way to organizing and attending fundraisers which benefitted the hospital.

Before my senior year began, I heard that JDRF was looking for summer help. I applied for and accepted the open internship and was excited to be back at JDRF. This internship was centered around helping plan the Indianapolis One Walk that would take place in October. Not far into the summer, JDRF was looking to hire a full-time Development Coordinator that required 35+ hours of work each week and provided the opportunity to have a large play in the logistics and fundraising aspects of the fundraisers that JDRF would hold throughout the state of Indiana. I knew this was a career that I’d be interested in post-graduation and decided to apply for the opening; despite having one year left of college. Just a few days before my senior year started, I was offered the position.

With the guidance and support of Professor Scott Bridge, Internship Director for the Butler University College of Communication, I was able to manage a full-time schedule with JDRF and remain in a full course load at Butler. Through the internships and internship program that I had been a part of my first three years of schooling, I was able to gain a skillset which an employer saw value in prior to me receiving my diploma. While the real world might’ve started a year earlier than I had anticipated, it was a great opportunity that I had because of the successful internship program at Butler University. Today, I am still working with a focus in special events and fundraising at JDRF and love every day. My passion for planning events and helping others has continued to blossom into a career field that I hope to be in for years to come.

Academics

From Intern to Mentor

My sophomore year of college was when I realized how applicable my major was going to be in the real world.

by Megan Yates ’16

from Spring 2017

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