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Meet the Class of 2024 - Marissa Flannery

Marissa Flannery
Hometown: Fairport, NY
Intended Major: Middle/Secondary Social Studies Education

 

Butler University is excited to welcome an exceptional group of first-year students this coming fall. Read on to get to know Marissa Flannery, one member of the Class of 2024.

 

What were you involved with during high school?

During high school, I was involved with my school’s National Honors Society, as well as our Spanish National Honors Society (SNHS). I also wrote for my school’s newspaper during my time there, and was an Asset Leader (a community volunteer) in the Fairport Schools. When I wasn’t at school or clubs, I was dancing at my studio. I was dancing five nights a week and couldn’t have been happier.

How did you initially hear about Butler?

I heard of Butler through my older brother. He is two years older than me, and when he was choosing a college, he took a great interest in Butler, so much so that he went there! Once I learned more information about the University, I began to feel like this was a place where people weren’t just another face in the crowd. Butler approaches students and families in such a personal and individualized way, and that is what I found so interesting about it.

What is your favorite part about Butler?

My favorite part about Butler is the on-campus environment. Yes, the nature at Butler is beautiful, but I’m talking about the community there. You can’t walk into Butler and feel like a little fish in the ocean, or feel like there’s no one to notice if you need help with something. The people at this school are there to support each and every one of us. From professors and administrators, to advisors and fellow Bulldogs, the sense of community and family is undeniable, and that is my absolute favorite part of Butler. Positivity is everywhere.

Why did you choose Butler?

There are so many reasons! One is the College of Education. The resources available and the plan to prepare me for my future in my profession blew me away! Another reason is the size of Butler. It’s a school that isn’t so big that you feel overwhelmed, but isn’t too small to the point where I’m reliving my high school classes! Lastly, I chose Butler because when I walked on other college campuses, I didn’t get the same feeling that I did at Butler. It may sound cheesy, but there definitely was that moment of, “Yup, this is the one.” 

What do you hope to major or minor in?

I will be majoring in Middle/Secondary Education in Social Studies with a minor in Spanish.

What do you hope to get involved with or be a part of at Butler?

I definitely want to take part in a volunteer club. Within the College of Education, I know there are a lot of volunteer tutoring opportunities within the Indianapolis Public School system, which I am looking forward to! I would like to take part in Greek Life and join clubs that keep me active and allow me to meet new people. Maybe the Dance Team could be an option, too!

What are you most excited about?

I’m most excited about starting this new chapter of my life in a community that is so special. I’m eager to meet new people and learn from Butler professors! The memories and relationships I’ll make is what makes me so excited for my time there. Also, I’ve met Trip but have yet to meet Butler Blue IV, so I’m looking forward to meeting that little guy!

Meet the Class of 2024 - Megan Gorsky

Megan Gorsky
Hometown: Tampa, FL
Intended Major: Environmental Studies

 

Butler University is excited to welcome an exceptional group of first-year students this coming fall. Read on to get to know Megan Gorsky, one member of the Class of 2024.

 

What were you involved with during high school?

I was involved in marching band, jazz band, and the rowing team at my high school. I continued participating in band all four years of high school, and I was a drum major for three of those years.

What put Butler on your radar?

I have a lot of family near Butler’s campus, and every summer we would drive by the University. I always had the thought that maybe I would go to Butler. When it came time to start getting serious about my search, I took some college trips (Butler being one of them), and I was drawn to Butler more than any of the other schools I visited. Butler puts an emphasis on not only the academic side of college, but also on being a well-rounded person who really gets to experience life outside of classes.

What do you hope to major or minor in?

I am looking forward to majoring in Environmental Studies with a possible minor in Biology in the future.

What do you hope to get involved in at Butler?

I like to be involved with anything outdoors and adventurous. I would like to join the crew team and maybe join a few other clubs, ideally something environmental or an outdoor adventure group that does some cool things around Indy. I would also love to study abroad—I've spent a LOT of time researching that on the Butler website.

What are you most excited about?

I can’t wait to meet new friends and live in a beautiful area that has seasons. I can't wait to see what it's like to be a bit more independent in a different city.

Q&A: What’s it Like to Commute to Butler?

If you’re thinking about applying to Butler as a commuter, know that you are not alone. Any student who lives with parents or guardians within 30 miles of campus is eligible to commute. So, is commuting right for you?

We chatted with Marissa Klingler, a junior Arts Administration major who drives to campus from her family home in the Indianapolis area, to learn more.

 

Why did you choose Butler?

It was my dream school. I loved the small class sizes—I do really well with that kind of close-knit interaction. It was also close to home, so it checked all my boxes.

Why did you decide to commute?

I personally struggled with the decision to commute because I wanted to be close to my family, but I didn’t want to be alienated by not living at school. But commuting doesn’t have to inhibit your college experience in any way.

My main reason for commuting is that it saves money. And I figured if I didn’t go home right after class—if I still spent time on campus by getting jobs or joining clubs—it would feel the same as if I lived there.

Commuting has allowed me to stay home, sleep in my own bed, see my pets and family every day, and not pay for a meal plan. But I’m still going to my top-choice school and having a full experience.

What does your day-to-day schedule look like?

My commute is about 15 minutes. I try to schedule my classes for later in the morning because I’m not really an early riser, and you never know what traffic or weather will be like.

When I have gaps between classes, I don’t go home: staying on campus helps me feel more connected. I work shifts at the Clowes Hall box office and tutor students in the Writers’ Studio. When I have extra time, I study at Irwin Library or have coffee with friends at Starbucks.

What advice would you give to new students who are thinking about commuting?

Don’t go straight home after class. I know the temptation is there, especially if you only have one or two classes that day. But do your best to stay on campus and find a few comfortable places to spend your time. And don’t overwhelm yourself, but find a community to join.

Don’t think of commuting as a limitation or restriction: I think I spend more time at school than I do at home.

 

Applying as a commuter:

If you want to apply to Butler as a commuter, first apply using the Butler application or the Common App. After receiving your admission decision, you should fill out the "Commuter Request" form in the housing application. You can also contact your admission counselor if you have more questions about applying or commuting to Butler.

Klinger
Admission

Q&A: What’s it Like to Commute to Butler?

Junior Marissa Klingler shares her experience of commuting to Butler

Q&A with a Butler Commuter Student

Thinking about applying to and commuting to Butler? First, make sure you’re eligible to do so.

Then, keep reading to hear from Huda Mahmood, a current junior with a double major in biology and chemistry. Since starting at Butler, she has lived with her family in Carmel, Indiana, and commuted about 25 minutes to campus each day.

 

What brought you to Butler?

The small class sizes. I went to a pretty big high school, but in a college setting, I like only having about 20 people per class. That gives you more time with your professors, which I cherish.

Why did you decide to commute from home?

The residence halls are beautiful, but I wanted to stay close to family. I love being able to go home and have my parents there. And since I already lived so close, I didn’t see a reason to stay on campus.

What does your day-to-day schedule look like?

I usually get to campus more than an hour before my classes start. I hate being late. If I have breaks between classes, I either go to Starbucks, sit outside, or study somewhere in Gallahue Hall. Sometimes I stay late to study or attend club meetings, so I’m usually on campus until about 6:00 PM. When I get home, I finish up any homework I didn’t get done during my time on campus.

At first, I was worried I would feel left out. But I’ve ended up spending a lot of time on campus for clubs (I’m president of the Biology Club and on the executive board for the Butler Muslim Student Association) and study sessions with friends.

What would you say to #ButlerBound students who are thinking about commuting?

It might take some time at first to feel like you’re truly a part of the campus community, but you are. And commuting isn’t as hard as it seems. I know I sometimes complain about the drive back and forth, but I always appreciate being able to come home every day.

 

Applying as a commuter:

If you want to apply to Butler as a commuter, first apply using the Butler application or the Common App. After receiving your admission decision, you should fill out the "Commuter Request" form in the housing application. You can also contact your admission counselor if you have more questions about applying or commuting to Butler.

Huda Mahmood
Admission

Q&A with a Butler Commuter Student

Junior Huda Mahmood commutes to stay close to family, but she's still very much part of the campus community

Q&A: What's it Like to Stay Close to Home for College?

Megan Strait ’23
Majors: Oboe Performance and Music Education
Hometown: Greenwood, Indiana

 

Thinking about sticking close to home for college, but don’t know if applying to Butler is right for you? You might be surprised to learn that many students from Central Indiana choose to attend college in or near their hometown, but they still can very much have that college experience... and not feel like they haven’t left their own backyard.

We chatted with sophomore Megan Strait, who grew up in Greenwood, Indiana, just 20 minutes away from campus. Learn more about her experience choosing a college that’s close to home.

 

What first attracted you to Butler?

I grew up going to see The Nutcracker at Clowes, so I already knew a lot about Butler. I’d been there many times before, and it was just a beautiful campus that I really loved. I definitely wanted to be able to spend more time there.

What were your initial thoughts about attending a college close to home?

I talked to my parents a lot about the proximity (most of the colleges I applied to were fairly close to home), so I just worked with them to set boundaries for them and for myself about the amount of time I would come home. Just because I was on a campus close to home didn’t necessarily mean that I had to go home all the time.

Did you have any concerns that it wouldn’t feel like you were going away to school?

I did have some concerns: That my parents would want me to come home all the time, and that because I’ve spent so much time in the Indianapolis area, it wouldn’t feel like I was branching out. But when I got to Butler, I started meeting people from all over the place (I’m the only one from my high school graduating class attending Butler), so it really felt like a whole new environment.

Even with your prior familiarity with Butler, did anything surprise you about your experiences?

I was surprised that I didn’t go home as often as I thought I would. But I was so busy with my classes, activities, and friends, I didn’t even notice the distance from home because I was so wrapped up in everything I was doing at school. It kind of shocked me.

You mentioned you were afraid your parents would visit too much. Did that happen?

Yes. Well... a little bit. But because of my major, the short distance has allowed my parents to come to every one of my performances on campus, and honestly, I wouldn’t trade that. My friends will come to my performances, and that’s great, but it’s not quite the same as having my mom who’s heard me since I was a sixth-grade oboist squeaking out, to now on stage.

What would be your advice to a local student who has your same concerns?

My advice is, if you feel Butler is the right school with the right professors and the right majors, then make the most of the Butler experience. Butler has so many different activities, ensembles, and majors to offer that I feel anybody could have a great time, even if they grew up 10 minutes away.

Any other benefits that you could pass along?

Being able to go home for holidays and family gatherings that aren’t during a long break. Oh, and my roommate, who is also from the area, likes to be able to go home to see her dog.

Megan Strait ’23
Admission

Q&A: What's it Like to Stay Close to Home for College?

Megan Strait ’23 chats about her experience attending Butler, just 20 minutes away from her hometown

Curent Student Q&A | Tim Winter ’20

Tim Winter ’20
Majors: Mechanical Engineering, Computer Science
Hometown: Decorah, Iowa
Co-curricular activities: Butler Student Ambassador, Butler Symphony Orchestra, Engineering Dual Degree Club, Student Orientation Guide

Q: What’s your story?
A: I love to learn. When I’m not doing homework, my nose is in a book about airplanes and the science behind flight. One day, I hope to design the next generation of rockets that take us deeper into space. I’m also an avid cellist. I take lessons and play in the orchestra, and set aside time to play my cello every day.

Q: Why did you choose to become a Bulldog? 
A: This is a place where I can be serious about both my cello and engineering. My cello professor, Dr. Grubb, was the first person I ever met on campus. His kindness and passion really set the tone of my Butler visit.

Q: What do you like most about your academic career here? 
A: I like that I can double major. I chose Mechanical Engineering because I grew up on a farm fixing everything in my path. I chose Computer Science because my grandfather was a pioneer in the programming world with his software company.

Q: Which faculty member has inspired you the most? 
A: My Introductory Physics Instructor, Dr. Dan Kosik. His class pushed me to my limits and helped me grow as a student. I could walk into Dr. Kosik’s office whenever I had questions—even if they didn’t pertain to what we were doing in class.

Curent Student Q&A | McKenzie Greene ’22

McKenzie Greene ’22
Major: Biochemistry 
Minor: Psychology and Spanish
Hometown: Strongsville, Ohio
Co-curricular activities: Butler Student Ambassador, Multicultural Mentor, Morton-Finney Scholar, Track & Field Athlete

Q: What’s your favorite spot on campus? 
A: When the weather is nice, I love to sit in my hammock on the Butler Mall. I can catch up with friends as they’re walking to class, join a game of Spikeball, or just relax and reflect on the day.

Q: What do you want to be when you grow up?
A: I definitely want to work in the healthcare field, specifically with children. I’m still deciding if this means I want to be a doctor, or something else. The great thing about Butler is that it provides so many resources—shadowing, career fairs, pre-health advisors, and more—to help you figure out what career might be the best fit.

Q: What’s your favorite activity at Butler? 
A: There are so many activities available on campus for students that it’s hard to pick a favorite. There is never a dull moment and all the activities pull in a wide range of people from all different walks of life. Some of my favorites though have been watching movies on the lawn, line dancing at the Reilly Room, Bingo Night, and of course, basketball games at Hinkle Fieldhouse.

Q: What’s the social event of the year?
A: Homecoming is the place to be every year, no question! There is so much school spirit and unique things to do, like the Bulldog Beauty Contest. I look forward to it every year.

Meet Current Student Marcos Navarro Garcia ’23

Marcos Navarro Garcia ’23
Major: Critical Communication and Media Studies
Minors: Creative Media and Entertainment, Spanish
Hometown: Lafayette, Indiana
Co-curricular activities: Student Government Association, Latinos Unidos, Multicultural Student Mentor, Efroymson Diversity Center

 

At Butler, we have access to an incredible network of students and faculty, as well as endless opportunities to get involved both on campus and in the Indianapolis community. My time at Butler began at Dawg Days, a Pre-Welcome-Week orientation program led by the Efroymson Diversity Center. I met some of my closest friends in that program and we’ve had each other’s backs since day one. This year, I was able to serve as a mentor for the very same program, which was incredibly rewarding as I was able to welcome a new group of first-year students.

My involvement isn’t limited just to on-campus activities either. Butler really encourages its students to get out in the community, and I’ve definitely taken advantage of that. Over the last year, I’ve had the opportunity to speak to other Latinx students at a few local high schools and elementary schools about my own personal experiences, including my time at college. Every single time, I walk out with my cup filled, knowing that the kids that I speak with can now see that successful people do look like them and come from a similar background.

When I graduate, I would love to take the skills I’ve learned as a student in the College of Communication and become a motivational speaker. I want to speak about the importance of self-love, passion, heart, and grit, and help empower future generations to fight for their dreams and what they believe in.

Curent Student Q&A | Maddy Jensen ’22

Maddy Jensen ’22
Majors: Sociology and Psychology
Minor: Youth and Community Development
Hometown: Indianapolis, Indiana
Co-curricular activities: Butler Student Ambassador, Butler University Student Foundation, CRU, Radiate Bible Study Leader

Q: What’s your favorite thing about being a Bulldog? 
A: The community and passion that you find on this campus is really second to none. When you come here, you enter a unique family that would be hard to find elsewhere. At Butler, I feel seen, loved, known, and cared for.

Q: How do you get involved on campus? 
A: Definitely attend Block Party during Welcome Week! There are more than 130 student organizations and Block Party brings them all together during the first week of the fall semester. No matter where your interest or passion lies, there is a place for you to find your niche and your family at Butler.

Q: Which service-related activity have you found most satisfying?
A: Bulldogs Into The Streets is one activity that I make sure to attend every year. Students, faculty, community members, and families join together on a Saturday to complete service activities in Indianapolis. It’s a really special (and large!) event that embodies the service-oriented attitude you find at Butler.

Meet Current Student Karlye Sopczak ’22

Karlye Sopczak ’22
Major: Political Science and History
Hometown: Crown Point, Indiana
Co-curricular activities: Butler Student Ambassador, Butler University Dance Marathon, Greek Life, Pre-Law Society

 

The best thing about being a Butler Bulldog is being part of a community that truly cares about you, your success, and your happiness. Your professors are always willing to help talk through postgraduate plans every step along the way. I’m a Pre-Law student, and my faculty advisor has been an invaluable resource to me, helping me with everything from advising which classes to take to discussing various law school options. The guidance you receive and the independence you will gain at Butler is priceless.

Outside of academics, there is so much to do on campus. Butler does a great job of planning on-campus programming, providing a variety of lectures, shows, and performances that are free or very affordable. One of my favorite traditions is attending Butler Ballet’s production of The Nutcracker every year.

I’ve also become really involved with the Butler University Dance Marathon (BUDM), which is an organization that raises money for Riley Children’s Hospital. It has been the most rewarding experience to be part of a service organization that donates all of its proceeds to children’s health and pediatric research. It’s just a bonus that I’ve been able to meet so many other passionate, dedicated, and inspirational individuals through BUDM.

Meet Current Student Josiah Lax ’22

Josiah Lax ’22
Major: Dance Pedagogy
Hometown: Santa Monica, California
Co-Curricular Activities: Butler Ballet, Sigma Rho Delta Dance Fraternity, Movement Exchange

 

There are so many opportunities at Butler because of the community. Everyone is so welcoming and kind, and you’re able to make friends with so many people—those who share your passions as well as people who will teach you new things.

There are also no shortage of activities to keep you busy. As a Dance major, I have a really full schedule, just with my classes alone. A typical day starts with my academic courses in the morning and then my first dance class, which is either modern or jazz. Later, we have a group ballet class, then men’s allegro or pointe class, and then finally rehearsals for whatever show we’re currently working on.

I love every minute of dancing in the Lilly Hall studios and exercising in the Butler Ballet conditioning room. We even have access to our own physical therapists. Life as a dancer can be hard on the body, so it’s really amazing that Butler provides all of these resources for us.

Outside of dance, being a student at Butler provides so many unique experiences. Last year, I received a Fulbright Award and was able to study arts, activism, and social justice in Bristol, United Kingdom. I would never have known about this opportunity if not for the help of Dr. Dacia Charlesworth, Butler’s Director of Undergraduate Research and Prestigious Scholarships.

I never expected to have the breadth of experiences that I’ve had as a Butler student. This community, and the opportunities you have as a result, are truly unique.

Curent Student Q&A | Jack Dicen ’23

Current Student Q & A with Jack Dicen ’23
Major: Exploratory Business
Hometown: Birmingham, Alabama
Co-curricular activities: Asian and Pacific Islander Alliance, Dawg Pound, The Diversity Center, Men’s Club Basketball

Q: What’s your ideal Butler day look like? 
A: I usually wake up and do a little bit of homework or studying before my 10:00 AM class. I’ll always make time to grab lunch with my friends in between classes and catch up on everyone’s day. I’ll usually spend part of the afternoon in the Diversity Center and then end the day working out or playing basketball at the Health and Recreation Complex (HRC) on campus.

Q: What’s your favorite spot to work out on campus?
A: Definitely the HRC. It has a ton of options, so I never get bored. There’s a large variety of cardio equipment and weight machines, plus a swimming pool. And, my favorite part: basketball courts that are almost always available for a pick-up game.

Q: What’s your favorite spot on campus? 
A: My favorite spot is the Diversity Center. Everyone there is so welcoming and kind and accepts you for who you are with no judgment. A close second would be cheering on the Dawgs at Hinkle Fieldhouse. There’s just nothing that compares to watching a game in such a historic place.

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