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Alumni Success

Local Agency Packed with Butler Alumni Prioritizes Well-being in the Workplace

By Hailey Radakovitz ’21

In the midst of the current pandemic, 71 percent of employed adults who are able to do so have found themselves working from home. As a result, many professionals have had a difficult time achieving high productivity levels while also maintaining a stable work-life balance, and the mental health of many employees has suffered. But some organizations are taking notice of this issue and making efforts to combat employee burnout.

The Basement is an Indianapolis-based advertising agency already ahead of the game. They have been working actively for years to prevent employee burnout while encouraging physical and mental well-being. With a roster of nearly 50 employees (18 of which are Butler University grads), The Basement has built a healthy team culture that prioritizes people and promotes growth both in and out of the workplace.

Its positive workplace culture has earned The Basement a strong reputation as one of the best employers in the Indianapolis area—one factor that leads many Butler alumni to pursue positions at this agency. The Basement’s Vice President of Client Services, Todd Bolster ’05, says the strong community of Bulldogs at the company and across Indianapolis has helped shape his career.

Todd Bolster ’05

Now, Bolster is giving back to the Butler community by partnering with the Lacy School of Business, the College of Communication, and BU|BeWell to host a virtual discussion about well-being in the workplace. On April 13 at 6:00 PM, Bolster will be joined by The Basement CEO Conrad Edwards for a conversation about how leaders can help maintain the health and wellness of their employees and their organizations while also seeing to their own well-being. The Zoom event is open to Butler students, faculty, staff, and alumni. You can register here.

As an involved member of Greek Life throughout his time at Butler and Student Government Association President during his senior year, Bolster had a variety of experiences that helped him build a strong network around campus. These relationships helped enhance his Butler experience even after he graduated with a degree in Communication Studies. A Butler referral ultimately helped him land his first job at MediaSauce, where he initially met the two founders of The Basement. Later in his career, he reconnected with The Basement team and began working at the agency in Sales and Account Management. From there, he moved up to his current position as VP.

Founded in 2007, The Basement is an integrated agency specializing in marketing and advertising. Bolster joined the team early on, when its primary focus was creative work, but the agency has since shifted to also provide media and account management services. 

With the agency’s growth has come an influx of Butler-alum employees. Located only a short drive from campus, The Basement has been a natural fit for many grads looking to stay in Indy. However, it’s more than the close proximity to campus that has kept 18 Butler alumni working at The Basement as “Dwellers.” As described by Campaign Coordinator Sarah Crull ’19, “The environment that The Basement has created in a lot of ways is a reflection of The Butler Way. My coworkers consistently put the whole of the company before themselves, while always looking for ways to grow and improve. I think this similarity between the two places is evident for those who have experienced both, and a huge reason so many Bulldogs have become Dwellers.”

This parallel was immediately clear to current Basement intern and Butler senior Emi Smith, who says, “I think so many Butler students and alumni specifically are drawn to The Basement because of its strong sense of community. One of the main reasons prospective students choose Butler is because of our community—accessibility to peers and professors, opportunities for leadership and involvement, and a genuine culture of care. This same type of community is apparent at The Basement.”

Bolster says the agency keeps its employees at the heart of everything it does.

“I genuinely believe we have a responsibility, in positions of leadership, to create companies where people want to work—where they’re valued, where they’re respected, where they’re taken care of,” he says.

This dedication to employee well-being is executed at the agency in many ways. Put into practice, prioritizing employee well-being at The Basement means frequent one-on-ones with supervisors to ensure progress and goals are being met.

“You shouldn't have to wait until your annual review to find out how you’re doing or get some great feedback,” Bolster says.

Another tool in fostering a healthy work environment is encouraging employees to speak with leadership. With a mantra of “great ideas come from everywhere,” Bolster says employees are encouraged to speak up and share their thoughts. “Regardless of your title, a great idea is a great idea.”

The agency also encourages its team members to live fulfilling lives outside of the office, creating an environment where employees feel respected by peers and leadership, as well as motivated to do their best work.

“The Basement recognizes its employees as people, ahead of the work that they accomplish,” Crull says. “Everyone is eager to ask questions and pour into one another. We are focused on helping each other be the best, both from a personal and professional perspective.”

During the April 13 Well-being at Work panel, The Basement’s Todd Bolster ’05 and Conrad Edwards will discuss the agency’s focus on organizational growth and what it means to prioritize employee health. Learn more here.

Butler University
Alumni Success

Local Agency Packed with Butler Alumni Prioritizes Well-being in the Workplace

At The Basement, where Bulldogs make up a third of the staff, company culture reflects The Butler Way

At Visit Indy, Four Butler Alumni Help Create the City’s Brand

By Katie Grieze

As teams, fans, media, and other guests from across the country descend on Indianapolis for March Madness® 2021, Hoosiers around the city are putting in extra work to make the tournament one to remember. For staff at tourism organization Visit Indy, that means thinking ahead to how the spike in national attention can boost Indy’s brand, even after this year’s champions leave the basketball bubble.

And four Butler University alumni are leading the charge. Chris Gahl ’00 (who is also a current Butler Trustee), Morgan Snyder ’07, Nate Swick ’16, and Becca Schmiegel ’19 all work together to promote and support the city through positions on Visit Indy’s Marketing & Communications team. By helping Indianapolis successfully pull off the majority of a 68-team tournament—especially amid the complexity of a global pandemic—these Bulldogs hope to show the nation that Indy is the ideal place for hosting other large-scale events. We touched base to learn more about each of their careers and what they’ve been working on this month.
 

Chris GahlChris Gahl ’00
Senior Vice President of Marketing & Communications, Visit Indy
Butler major: Communications

What is your role at Visit Indy?
I help oversee our community, public, government, partner, and media relations.

What have you learned from helping plan other major sporting events in the past?
This will be the fourth NCAA Men’s Final Four® during my tenure at Visit Indy, each providing a unique perspective on how best to utilize a major sporting event to market a city. I’ve learned that without question, trust with community partners is the most valuable tool to have in place. The ability to call on partners in the city in a moment of need and ask for help is so important.

How did Butler prepare you for this?
During my time at Butler, College of Communication Lecturer Scott Bridge encouraged me to read local and national news each day to stay knowledgeable on current events. This is still built into my daily routine. I also learned the term ‘servant leadership’ while at Butler, leading to my genuine interest in studying this mindset.

What has your career path looked like?
After graduating, I worked at a public relations agency in Honolulu, where the majority of our clients were in the tourism industry. After a few years, I became part-owner, helping market the islands of Maui, Oahu, and the Big Island. My wife, Catherine (also a 2000 graduate), and I moved back to Indy in 2005. I’ve been with Visit Indy since then.

Most rewarding aspect of your work?
Over the last 15 years, it’s been rewarding to see our city’s tourism infrastructure grow. Part of this process has been advocating for why our city needs to grow key tourism assets, and then marketing each of those. From a new airport terminal to the Cultural Trail; from building Lucas Oil Stadium to expanding the Indiana Convention Center. And connected to this physical growth has been the growth of tourism-related jobs, which is equally rewarding.

Favorite thing about Indy?
Sitting at White River State Park as the sun sets over the water, listening to a live concert.

What are you most excited about this March?
I’m looking forward to watching a game inside Hinkle as part of hosting the tournament, seeing visitors admire this historic place synonymous with basketball.
 

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Morgan SnyderMorgan Snyder ’07
Director of Public Relations and Film, Visit Indy
Butler major: Integrated Communications

What is your role at Visit Indy?
On a day-to-day basis, I work with national media to help tell the Indy story. If you ever read a lifestyle article about Indianapolis in a magazine or newspaper, it’s my job to help get that story placed. I also work with our convention clients to inform their attendees about all things Indianapolis and drive attendance to the conventions. Finally, I work on behalf of our Film Indy marketing initiative to recruit film and television production to the city.

What have you learned from helping plan other major sporting events in the past?
Back in 2012, I worked very closely with the Super Bowl Host Committee to serve on their Speaker’s Bureau, which meant going out in the community to speak on behalf of the Super Bowl team, giving residents and organizations a glimpse of what to expect when Indy is on the national stage. I also served on their PR Committee and worked with media who were reporting on the Super Bowl. Through that experience, I learned there’s no better city than Indy to host big events. We’re truly the most collaborative, all-hands-on-deck place. I also learned best practices for engaging with A-List media to tell stories about Indy outside of the game.

How did Butler prepare you for this?
I truly believe The Butler Way is a mentality that is instilled in the experiences Butler provides. I hope I’m able to exude those skills in my career today. I’m also thankful that the journalism school required internships in order to graduate, as it forced me out of my comfort zone and provided real-life opportunities that led to my career path today. I held several internships throughout my time at Butler, including American College of Sports Medicine, Hetrick Communications, Arnold Worldwide, and Visit Indy.

What has your career path looked like?
Upon graduation, I worked for Hirons and Company on the Indiana Office of Tourism Development account, then moved over to the Conrad Indianapolis hotel as their PR and Marketing Manager for three years. I then returned to Visit Indy and have now worked here for ten years in PR and Communications.

Most rewarding aspect of your work?
I love landing national media attention for our partners in the city—restaurants, small business owners, retail, or hotels who might not have the opportunity to have an on-staff PR person, but still have a great story that needs to be told. There are wonderful people doing incredible things right here in Indianapolis, and I want to find those story angles and tell the masses.

Favorite thing about Indy?
There is always something new to explore. This city never stops creating or wanting to be a better version of itself. As residents, we get to reap those benefits.

What are you most excited about this March?
I think being a part of unchartered territory is fun and challenging. Never before in the history of this sport has the entire NCAA March Madness® tournament been hosted in one city. There are also so many fun stories brewing out of Indy hosting The Big Dance®, and I look forward to the opportunity to tell them to the media who will be descending on the city.
 

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Nate SwickNate Swick ’16
Communications Manager, Visit Indy
Butler major: Strategic Communications

What is your role at Visit Indy?
I work with local, regional, and trade media to tell the Indy story. I collaborate with our tourism and hospitality partners in the city to find unique stories and individuals before sharing those stories and telling the world why they should visit. What’s the newest hotel, or the newest exhibit at the Children’s Museum? If people from Nashville are coming up to Indy for March Madness®, what should they do while in the city? I’m essentially a storyteller by trade—and Indy has no shortage of stories.

What have you learned from helping plan other major sporting events in the past?
While in college, I worked two spring semesters as an extern with the NCAA® Women’s Basketball Championships team, traveling down to Nashville and Tampa Bay for consecutive Women’s Basketball Final Fours®. This was the first time I really had a chance to learn the ins and outs of what it takes to put on a major sporting event.

I’ve also assisted with Indy 500s and Big Ten Basketball and Football Championships before, alongside NCAA® Regionals. It is remarkable how many volunteers and community partnerships it takes to pull off a massive event like this, and it’s always fun to see Indy come together as one community and one city. Truly, no one does it better than Indianapolis.

How did Butler prepare you for this?
My time at Butler taught me the importance of community and relationships. I’m also thankful for internship requirements because, without them, I likely wouldn’t have worked at the NCAA or interned with Visit Indy and made my way back after graduation.

What has your career path looked like?
After graduation, I joined the Visit Indy team as Communications Coordinator in fall of 2016, and I’m now Communications Manager. I also stay involved at Butler by speaking with classes each semester and serving on both the Butler Young Alumni Board of Advisors and the Butler Career Services Advisory Board.

Most rewarding aspect of your work?
I still get a little bit of a rush every time I land some ink for one of our partners in the city. Working on a story from start to finish and then seeing it in a newspaper or magazine is always rewarding. I love to think about the impact that these stories have on local businesses, too.

Favorite thing about Indy?
Besides the people, it’s tough to choose between the sports, the parks, and the beer scene for me. My ideal Indy day would probably include a long run at Eagle Creek Park, followed by a baseball game at Victory Field and a stop at Indy’s best dive bar, The Dugout. 

What are you most excited about this March?
With all eyes on Indy, I’m most excited for more people around the country to get a taste of how great this city really is. My main role will be working with visiting media. We have a unique opportunity to help shape their stories and perceptions of the city. I also thrive on the natural buzz that takes over downtown when there are major events in the city. Sure, it’s a little bit different this year, but people are still looking for ways to be a part of the action and the energy.
 

*****
 

Becca SchmiegalBecca Schmiegel ’19
Digital Marketing Coordinator
Butler major: History

What is your role at Visit Indy?
It’s my job to plan our social media content calendars, posting multiple times a day on our channels to increase engagement and encourage viewers to visit our website or plan a stay in Indianapolis. That includes curating content from our partners, updating guides and articles on our website, and managing a team of local freelance bloggers to help tell the stories of Indianapolis. In broad terms, a lot of what I do is handle how the brand of “Indy” is seen online.

What have you learned from helping plan other major sporting events in the past?
In my first week of the job, back in May 2019, I learned very quickly how much marketing effort goes into large sporting events. That week was the 103rd Running of the Indianapolis 500, and the social chatter—understandably so—was crazy. There was always something to share and engage with on social media. That’s definitely been something I plan to incorporate into my strategies this month for March Madness®—knowing that each piece of content adds more value to how we’re perceived online.

How did Butler prepare you for this?
Studying History and having that strong liberal arts education really has helped me working now in marketing, because I use that second lens gained through the History and Anthropology Department to empathize with and predict how my audience will perceive my marketing tactics. It’s added so much value to my career, being able to think one step ahead on how our brand and our messages will be uplifted. When you study History, you do a lot of digging to understand different perspectives, and, in a way, that’s what I’m doing each day on social media.

I also had the opportunity to complete internships at the Benjamin Harrison Presidential Site, the Public Affairs Department at the Indianapolis Airport Authority, and Visit Indy.

What has your career path looked like?
Right when I started my internship at Visit Indy during my final semester, I realized how much I enjoy the organization and our mission. Then a position opened up right when I was looking to plan my next steps. I’ve been working as the Digital Marketing Coordinator since graduation.

Most rewarding aspect of your work?
For me, it’s extremely rewarding to have my hat thrown in so many different rings around the city. I keep tabs on restaurant openings, the best things to do on a Saturday afternoon, upcoming sporting events, and the more technical, governmental side of tourism.

Favorite thing about Indy?
The juxtaposition of a small-town community with the big-city energy is my favorite thing about the place I now call home. There’s always something going on to get excited about, whether it’s a new restaurant, a cool exhibit, or, of course, March Madness®! But at the same time that you’re out experiencing all Indy has to offer, you’ll probably run into some familiar faces along the way. That community is just so special to me.

What are you most excited about this March?
Our marketing department is working with the NCAA on a fun campaign celebrating basketball in Indy. I’m working on sourcing social media content using specific hashtags from our community partners, which the NCAA will then compile into videos touting our city and our brand, shared all across social media. I’m also looking forward to seeing players, friends and family, and fans explore downtown. Overall, I’m really excited to see social media chatter sharing everything I love about Indy!

Indianapolis, Indiana
Alumni Success

At Visit Indy, Four Butler Alumni Help Create the City’s Brand

These Bulldogs see March Madness® as a chance to showcase all Indianapolis has to offer

Sarah Myer ’06 Celebrates Indy Community Through Sports

By Madi Roberts ’21

Sarah MyerAs Sarah Myer ’06 learned early in her career, the sports industry isn’t always as glamorous as it seems. It's filled with odd hours and behind-the-scenes work. As the Senior Director of Marketing & Communications for Indiana Sports Corp, Myer helps the organization bid on sporting events and then market those events when they are in the city. From traditional advertising to grassroots marketing, Myer aims to find ways for the events to include and impact the entire community.

Now, as the NCAA prepares to host this year’s March Madness® Tournament entirely in Indiana, Myer is up for the challenge. As part of her role, she has been working alongside the NCAA to plan and promote the Tournament and the events that come along with it.

In addition to her usual responsibilities, Myer is now leading a variety of community engagement initiatives for the month of March. The Fan Jam, a promotional event on wheels that executes various pop-up events for the Indiana community, was introduced to Indy this year. Myer also helped the NCAA distribute 100,000 masks statewide for the “Mask Madness” campaign. And she was able to help secure a grant from the Lilly Endowment to support arts, culture, beautification, and hospitality efforts throughout the city to prepare for the arrival of teams, visitors, and media.

Myer is also helping the NCAA execute their “Do Your Dance” campaign, which encourages fans, visitors, and residents to celebrate The Big Dance®  coming to Indy and all the Hoosiers that helped make it happen.

“I think it's just going to be nice to celebrate and be in this positive space again,” says Myer. “There is this uniqueness about Indianapolis, where you can just get involved very easily, and you can make an impact.”

This, along with Indiana’s Hoosier Hospitality, is why Myer found herself wanting to stay in the city after her time at Butler. Though it was Butler that brought her to Indiana in the first place, it was her experiences in the city that kept her here.

During her time at Butler, Myer experienced the city through her internships and classes. She got her start in sports by doing camera work for Butler games on campus, filming live footage of sporting events. From there, she was asked by one of her professors to help with camera work for the Indianapolis Indians the following summer. Myer also completed internships with the WTTS radio station and the Indiana Pacers.

“I think the great thing about internships is that they force you out of Butler and into organizations or environments that you might not typically be used to,” Myer says. “It helps you get to know the city.”

When Myer graduated in 2006 with a degree in Journalism with a concentration in Public Relations and a minor Media Arts, she noticed the growth of local businesses and a distinct Indianapolis culture. After graduation, she landed her first job at NUVO, a local news outlet, where she received a promotion after a few months. She then moved to a role as Vice President of Marketing for the Indianapolis Symphony before starting in her current position at Indiana Sports Corp in 2019.

“My time at NUVO taught me about how important it was to support the local community, while my time at the Symphony taught me a lot about non-profit management,” Myer says. “Both of those experiences, in addition to what I learned during my time at Butler, led me to where I am today—impacting my community through the platform of sports.”

Although March Madness® is the main priority for now, Myer has been busy since her time at Indiana Sports Corp, even during the pandemic. Over the summer, she worked on a major bid for the Big Ten Conference to host numerous basketball and football championships through 2030. The organization is also waiting to hear back about a bid it made to host the 2024 U.S. Swimming Olympic Trials, with the proposal to turn Lucas Oil Stadium into a pool. And in the near future, planning has already started for the 2022 College Football Playoff Championship Game in January.

“The impact of sports and conventions was felt throughout our city when many of those were lost during the pandemic,” Myer says. “Indiana Sports Corp was created back in the late ’70s to build up the city. I now feel, more than 40 years later, we're going to be a large part of the rebuild. And if I think about it, I wouldn't be here if Butler didn't bring me here in the first place.”

Sarah Myer
Alumni Success

Sarah Myer ’06 Celebrates Indy Community Through Sports

At Indiana Sports Corp, the Butler grad helps plan and promote major sporting events in the state—including this year’s NCAA® Tournament

Butler Alum Focuses on Making Community Brighter, One Flower at a Time

By Hailey Radakovitz ’21

From February to April 2020, the number of active business owners in the United States plummeted 22 percent, according to the National Bureau of Economic Research, an indicator of the economic hardship brought about by COVID-19.

Businesses specializing in event services have been struck especially hard, as the pandemic has led to the cancellation of large gatherings. This has resulted in a major hit for small business owners as they fight to keep their passions alive and rely on community support.

Becky Ruby-WojtowiczLocated in Broad Ripple, Indianapolis, lilly lane is one of many businesses feeling the effects of the past year. A small floral shop that originally catered to weddings and other special events, lilly lane immediately began losing contracted events in mid-March as COVID-19 eliminated most of these gatherings for months to come. The shop started 2020 with plans to provide flowers for 60 weddings throughout the year, but that number quickly dwindled. Despite the challenge of remaining open and profitable, the shop is still finding ways to give back to the community.

Becky Ruby-Wojtowicz ’05, lilly lane’s owner, majored in Journalism and Arts Administration at Butler University. She began working with flowers during her first post-grad job as a Giving Manager at the Indianapolis Zoo, where she would occasionally create arrangements for donor events.

“Since we had a botanical garden on site, I would use its flowers to create centerpieces for some of our events,” she says. “I thought it was fun, and I wanted to do it on the side as a creative outlet.”

Then, in July 2008, a fellow Butler graduate reached out to Ruby-Wojtowicz with an emergency: Her wedding florist had suddenly canceled. With an eye for detail and some experience in florals, Ruby-Wojtowicz agreed to step in and help. The wedding was a success, and during the next few months, wedding floral requests from other Butler couples began pouring in. For more than a decade, a large portion of lilly lane’s floral arrangements have gone to weddings and other events for Butler alumni.

“Bulldogs love to support Bulldogs, and Bulldogs love to marry Bulldogs,” Ruby-Wojtowicz said with a laugh.

lilly lane flowers

As weddings were postponed throughout the last year, however, lilly lane’s business began to slow.

“We saw an immediate need for our doors to stay open,” Ruby-Wojtowicz says. “We knew business for events would come back eventually—we just didn’t know when.”

So, lilly lane adapted, drawing on its steadily-growing network of nearly 1,000 married couples and other past clients looking to support local businesses during the pandemic.

lilly lane flowersThe shop decided to shift the style of its arrangements to fit where many people now spend the most time—at home. These arrangements use seasonal blooms, featuring different combinations of colors and textures. This was the start of HOME, a program inviting lilly lane customers to order flower subscriptions that bring fresh-cut beauty to their doorsteps once or twice each month.

But lilly lane didn’t just stop at adapting business to survive the pandemic. Ruby-Wojtowicz also wanted to find a way to give back to the Indianapolis and Butler communities. After years of providing the University with flowers for events such as luncheons, receptions, and more, lilly lane recently ran a month-long special that donated a percentage of sales to the Butler Emergency Assistance Fund. The shop’s contributions to this fund will help cover the housing, living, and medical costs that students may face as a result of the pandemic throughout this academic year.

Despite the ongoing challenges brought on by COVID-19, one thing remains certain to Ruby-Wojtowicz: Going forward, lilly lane will continue to brighten lives one flower at a time.

lilly lane flowers
Alumni Success

Butler Alum Focuses on Making Community Brighter, One Flower at a Time

Becky Ruby-Wojtowicz ’05 has found a way to follow her passion while supporting the Butler and Indianapolis communities

istock

Going Remote

Katie Grieze

from Winter 2021

When the COVID-19 pandemic forced Butler to move classes online in mid-March, the Center for Academic Technology (CAT) supported faculty, staff, and students through the transition. While the demand for their services tripled, CAT’s four Academic Technology Specialists put in the extra hours to make sure the heart of a Butler experience wasn’t lost in a virtual setting.

As a team made up of Butler grads, they knew firsthand what makes the University special. Kristen Allen ’12 and Nick Wilson ’08 both completed undergraduate degrees at Butler, and Megan Grady, MA ’10 earned her master’s. Heather Hazelwood ’05, MS ’14, who has now moved on to new opportunities, did both.

“Our whole team loves Butler,” Allen says. “We’re always excited to come alongside faculty to assist with classroom success.”

During the second half of the spring 2020 semester, that meant working closely with instructors to mimic planned activities in an online setting. Faculty who felt most comfortable using overhead projectors switched to portable versions. Others used Zoom breakout rooms to provide spaces where students could continue collaborating. In some classes, interactive presentations were moved to online discussion boards, allowing students to still engage in meaningful conversations.

“I’ve seen faculty get really creative with their solutions,” Allen says. “Many of them have come to us and explained what they value most in their classrooms, and it’s a lot of what you think about when it comes to Butler in general: deep relationships with students. They didn’t want to lose that in moving to a remote online learning environment.”

Throughout the rest of 2020, the CAT team continued supporting faculty as most students returned to campus for a mix of online and in-person classes. The team provided training about tools and best practices for online instruction, offered ongoing assistance with day-to-day questions, and more. Through it all, they have focused on helping instructors feel confident and competent while using technology—whether class is in-person, online, or a little bit of both.

 

KristenKristen Allen ’12
Major: Math Education

“I absolutely loved my time at Butler. My professors were awesome mentors, and they helped me figure out what I wanted to do. Now, working here, I have the chance to revisit so many of the great memories I have from being on campus as a student.

After graduating, I worked for a wealth management company and did some nonprofit work, but I always loved Butler. I always loved teaching and technology. When there was an opening with the CAT, I applied right away, and I was really happy to be part of the team.”

 

MeganMegan Grady, MA ’10
MA Program: Master of Arts in English

“My liberal arts education taught me to love learning, which has been really useful when it comes to technology. Most of the patience and creativity I bring to my work stems not from formalized technology training, but from habits I forged while writing one literature essay after another. As a literature student at Butler, I had to know my audience and find my angle. Helping people with technology is no different—you have to know whom you’re helping and which angles they’re likely to appreciate.

I love working with faculty, listening to what they want to accomplish in their classrooms, and thinking through which resources are available to help them do that. I love the challenge of helping people feel more comfortable with technology—to make them feel like it’s something that can actually help them be efficient.”

 

NickNick Wilson ’08
Major: Electronic Media

“I love the lightbulb effect—when people start to understand a technology and see its full potential. For example, during COVID-19, many faculty members have tried new things and realized they might want to use those tools in all their classes moving forward. The biggest way my Butler education prepared me was by teaching me The Butler Way. I really feel that Butler is different from the average university because our faculty are so connected with the students. I think that makes a big difference.”

 

HeatherHeather Hazelwood ’05, MS ’14
Major: Recording Industry Studies
MS Program: Effective Teaching and Leadership 

“After working at Butler for almost 10 years, I built deep relationships with faculty, which helped me support them in meaningful ways. I strive to be a solution finder, and to find joy in helping others improve their teaching for the benefit of students. I also do my best to put others’ needs before my own. While these qualities seem innate, I can’t deny that my experience as a student at Butler helped mold me into the person I am today.”

istock
Alumni Success

Going Remote

In 2020, four alumni in Butler's Center for Academic Technology supported faculty, staff, and students through the transition to online learning

by Katie Grieze

from Winter 2021

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Austin Athman ’09

Austin Athman ’09

Over the past year, you’ve probably seen images flooding the news of floating spheres covered in spikes—an up-close view of the microscopic particles that cause COVID-19. The depictions provide a concrete visual for something otherwise abstract to most people.

That’s all thanks to a team of artists at the National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases (NIAID)—part of the National Institutes of Health (NIH)—where Austin Athman ’09 works as a Visual Information Specialist.

At Rocky Mountain Laboratories in Hamilton, Montana, science and art collide. After high-power microscopes capture black-and-white images of disease samples, Athman and his colleagues use digital tools to add colors and details that bring the photos to life.

The end result is a colorized image that helps scientists better understand the virus particles—which are about 10,000 times smaller than the diameter of a human hair—as well as put a face to a top enemy for the general public.

When COVID-19 arrived in the United States, Athman’s lab received a sample of the coronavirus from one of the first patients.

“As soon as we had the sample,” Athman says, “we started taking pictures, colorizing them in Photoshop, and putting them on the NIAID Flickr website. The next day, we already saw the images being used by major news outlets across the country.”

Athman starts by sitting down with scientists and microscopists to learn more about what he’s looking at in the black-and-white photo.

“If I can get a scientist to explain what something looks like in common language,” Athman says, “it helps people outside the lab understand something about science in a way words can’t always do.”

Athman wants viewers to look at the most important part of the image, and that’s where art comes in. He starts by adding highlights and shadows that bring depth to the otherwise flat-looking photos. He also rotates and crops the images in a way that guides the eye to desired focal points.

COVID-19 colorization by Austin Athman ’09Then comes the color. The scientists and artists don’t know what the particles’ true colors are, or if the diseases even have color. But they choose palettes that make the photos more engaging and understandable while still appearing realistic.

While Athman has always enjoyed science, he majored in Music and Multimedia Studies at Butler. However, after a high school internship in graphic design at the NIAID, followed by summer jobs there every year throughout college, he accepted a permanent position upon graduation and has been at the lab ever since.

“Recently, I’ve been focusing on the COVID-19 images,” Athman says about his day-to-day work. “But when we aren’t in pandemic mode, I do all kinds of visual things. I draw illustrations, design graphs, edit videos, and create scientific animations. It’s a new thing almost every day. And this merge of art and science—I think a lot of people aren’t really aware this kind of field exists.”

 

Photos courtesy of the NIAID

Austin Athman ’09
Alumni Success

Butler Grad Helps Americans See Coronavirus Up Close

At the NIH, Austin Athman ’09 is part of a team that captures images of microscopic diseases

by Katie Grieze

from Winter 2021

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Kelsey Coy

“I have always known that I wanted to be in a position where I could serve people,” says Kelsey Coy ’13.

When starting her Butler University career as a Secondary Education major, Coy never dreamed of becoming a social epidemiologist at the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC)—or of serving on an international task force during a global pandemic.

In her current role as a research fellow and epidemiologist of Maternal Health with the CDC, she typically focuses on studying substance use and mental health before, during, and after pregnancy. She has also served on the emergency response for the lung injury epidemic associated with e-cigarette or vaping product use. That is, until she was deployed to the international task force for the CDC’s COVID-19 emergency response.

Now, Coy studies the ways stay-at-home orders and other mitigation measures impact case counts. Using data from countries all over the world, she and her colleagues are able to provide insight into the unique ways this virus has impacted specific countries or general regions. Their work provides decision-makers with the information they need to fight the pandemic.

“The CDC works from the data, so the information released is based on the data available,” Coy says. “As data changes, and as knowledge expands, the CDC’s advice might change. But for now, it’s pretty simple: Wear your mask, wash your hands, and stay at home if you can.”

Coy discovered the field of epidemiology after reading Mountains Beyond Mountains, a biography about physician Paul Farmer’s work fighting tuberculosis, in her First-Year Seminar class at Butler.

“When I first learned what epidemiology was, it honestly felt like I had found my home,” Coy says. So, she changed her major to Biology and started finding opportunities to work on epidemiology research.

Coy says her liberal arts education from Butler has been valuable to her current position, as she thinks critically about the health data she approaches each day.

“Butler set me up very, very well to question some of the things in our world.”

Note: The statements made in this interview are those of the interviewee and do not necessarily represent the official position of the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.

Kelsey Coy
Alumni Success

Keeping Up With The Data: Butler Grad Serves on CDC’s Global Pandemic Response

Kelsey Coy’s role as an epidemiologist helps guide vital decision-making

by Kamy Mitchell ’21

from Winter 2021

Read more

Accounting Alum Works to Improve Diversity Within Firms Across the Nation

By Katie Grieze

Less than 9 percent of accounting professionals in the United States are Black, according to the National Association of Black Accountants, despite the fact that Black individuals make up nearly 14 percent of the population.

Since graduating from Butler University in 1996, Herschel Frierson has been working to change that.

When Frierson first joined Crowe LLP as a staff accountant right after graduation, he didn’t see anyone else at the Indianapolis office who looked like him. He struggled to find and build relationships with other people of color—until a colleague told him about the National Association of Black Accountants (NABA).

“Through NABA, I was able to connect with other people who look like me from other firms,” he says. “Once I met these individuals, I found out they were going through the same things I was going through. Some of them were at firms where there were only two or three people of color. It helped me feel like I wasn’t on an island by myself going through this.”

Throughout his career, Frierson has continued growing within NABA, a nonprofit organization dedicated to providing opportunities for Black professionals in fields such as accounting and finance. By 2020, he was named NABA’s Chairman of the board of directors. A few months later, Accounting Today included Frierson in its 2020 listing of the Top 100 Most Influential People in Accounting. And to wrap up the year, he was elected a Partner (effective April 1, 2021) at Crowe—achieving a dream he’d held since choosing the profession.

“You hate to have joy when there is so much pain going on,” he says about the wave of accomplishments. “But it has really been a year.”

Even so, Frierson can’t help but focus on all the work that still needs to be done.

“People have told me to just enjoy the moment,” he says. “I need to take that advice, and I’m trying to do it. But I also have a higher responsibility. What can I do better? What can I do more of?”

Throughout his nearly 25 years with NABA, Frierson has worked with companies in Indianapolis and across the nation to host speaker series, organize volunteer activities, and coordinate programming to help Black high school and college students learn more about accounting. At student conferences and professional conventions, he helps connect current and aspiring accountants with resources and opportunities.

“It’s my unpaid full-time job,” Frierson says. “It’s just important for me to be a voice for why representation matters, and to make sure NABA’s strategic vision is moving forward. I want to help more people get into the profession, and to make sure they succeed.”

That goal isn’t limited to Frierson’s role within NABA. At Crowe, he sits on the Inclusion Excellence Council, in addition to overseeing five business resource groups that support underrepresented communities within the firm. Now, as a Partner-elect, he looks forward to the chance to support and mentor even more people of color.

“I wanted a seat at the table. And now I’m at the table,” he says. “So I need to be a bigger voice. I need to represent well, and I need to give back to the community. So now it’s, ‘What am I going to do to get more people who look like me around the table?’ I can’t be quiet—I have to be louder.”

 

Media Contact:
Katie Grieze
News Content Manager
kgrieze@butler.edu
260-307-3403

Herschel Frierson '96
Alumni Success

Accounting Alum Works to Improve Diversity Within Firms Across the Nation

As a Partner-elect at Crowe and Chairman of the National Association of Black Accountants, Herschel Frierson ’96 is helping more people of color join the profession

Catching up with Jimmy Lafakis ’19

By Maddy Kline ’21

Jimmy Lafakis is in eighth grade.

He is on his way back to Northwest Indiana from New Orleans, where he and his mother Kathy had just watched Butler defeat Wisconsin in the 2011 NCAA tournament. Spirits were high, even though Jimmy couldn’t stay to watch the Bulldogs take on Florida—he had to be back at school on Monday.

The two decided on the next best thing: stopping at Butler to catch the game. Jimmy and his mother stood in the Reilly Room and stared, transfixed, as Butler defeated Florida 74-71, propelling them to the Final Four.

“Oh my gosh, they won,” Kathy says. “All the kids on campus went outside to celebrate, and I took a picture of Jimmy celebrating as a middle schooler with all these college kids. He was so elated. He just had a love for Butler from back then.”

That moment was the first time Butler felt like home to Jimmy.

 

***

 

Jimmy is a first-year student at Butler.

It is fall of 2015, and he is finally enrolled at the university he had been cheering on since middle school.

“My parents did not go to Butler,” Jimmy says. “I wanted to go somewhere and write my own story and, you know, do my own thing. And I'm glad I did.”

It didn’t take long for Jimmy to write that story on campus.

Scott Bridge, College of Communication Lecturer and Internship Director, recalls his first impressions of Jimmy, who was his student and advisee.

“He’s one of the kindest, most sincere people I have ever met,” Bridge says. “And he continued that way through all four years. His attitude was one that I learned from because I thought, ‘Gosh, so many of us need to probably be a little bit more like Jimmy Lafakis’.”

Jimmy truly found his footing when he joined the sports section of The Collegian, which he describes as the foundation of his entire Butler experience. Jimmy was assigned to cover women’s volleyball, but it was nearly impossible to miss him on the sidelines of any sporting event—his eyes staring through his camera lens to capture a fleeting moment in the game.

“One of the things you notice about Jimmy after you get to know him for a little while is that you will rarely see Jimmy without his camera,” Bridge said. “And I know he was very valued over in the Athletics department…because he was a fixture over there at Hinkle for all four years, and he took so many photos in so many different sports. Everybody—from the coaches, to the staff, to the athletes—everyone knew Jimmy.”

The estimated hundreds of thousands of photos that Jimmy took during his four years at Butler never felt like work to him. He had a voracious appetite for sports—football, basketball, soccer—Jimmy wasn’t picky. He just loved what he did.

“I was just happy to be out there covering, writing, taking photos, whatever the case may have been,” Jimmy says. “That’s one thing I've taken with me into my jobs. There are a lot of things, especially right now, in the world that we can't really control. The one thing I can control is my attitude. I can control my effort. And I can control my work ethic.”

 

***

 

Jimmy is a senior at Butler.

It is the spring of 2019, he is graduating with a major in journalism and a minor in strategic communication, and he has to make a decision.

One thing to understand about Jimmy is that he loves Indiana. He grew up in Indiana, he went to school in Indiana, and his circle of family and friends reside in Indiana.

Now he is receiving a job offer to be a sports reporter at the Minot Daily News in Minot, North Dakota—a city that is only about an hour south of the Canadian border. But Jimmy always likes to write his own story, so he took the position. His first day landed on July 15, 2019—his birthday.

“Just try something new and see what that has to offer,” Jimmy says. “Yes, it gets really cold, but the place is beautiful. They call it the Peace Garden State for a reason. I learned so much about myself, about the work I could do. It was my first experience in, you know, in the real world.”

The “real world” of North Dakota yielded some drastically different stories than Jimmy was used to covering. In just his second week on the job, he was covering the rodeo, working out how to report on bull riding and horse races when he was used to collegiate basketball. 

Jimmy’s retelling of his time in North Dakota is interspersed with chuckles and awe, as he recounts his coverage of a high school wrestling tournament in Fargo—a familiar enough sport, but something he had not written about in the past four years at Butler.

“It was one of the most challenging experiences of my life because it was three days of non-stop action,” Jimmy says. “You're literally being thrown in the fire. And I look back on those couple days fondly, because you know what? I got through it. I'm just like, man, if I got through that wrestling tournament, I could get through a lot of things.”

Jimmy continued covering high school and Class B sports in Minot until this past September, when Indiana called him home.

In the hopes of being closer to family and friends, Jimmy parted ways with the student athletes, athletic directors, editors, and community that had welcomed him for 14 months. He traveled 18 hours to Jasper, Indiana, where he now works as a sports reporter for the Dubois County Herald.

Jimmy is certainly in his happy place, covering whatever high school sports are currently in season.

 

 

***

 

Jimmy is in his “Kobe year,” as he and his parents like to say.

He is 24 years old—the number sported by the late NBA star Kobe Bryant—and he is still learning.

“Just in what's basically been a year and a half, I have grown so much it's unbelievable,” Jimmy says. “I've learned a lot about myself…And I know I'm young and I still have a lot to learn. But I'm figuring it out.”

Jimmy’s attitude toward learning is an apt indicator of his personality. His mother describes him as a “student of life,” but also a teacher.

“I've learned a lot from him,” Kathy says. “He teaches me every day. And, you know, that's all a parent wants to do is to see their child succeed and do what they love to do. So, as a parent, I'm just thrilled for him.”

For now, Jimmy plans to keep his ever-present watch at the sidelines of any game he can attend, camera poised, mind racing with stats and adrenaline pumping at the institution that is Indiana high school sports.

If one thing is certain, his mind always returns to Butler.

“I hope I've inspired somebody,” Jimmy says. “I hope somebody out there at Butler looks to me and says, ‘You know what? Jimmy is setting a good example,’ because there are so many people who set an example when I got there…I mean, it's been fun, man. I just have gratitude in my entire life.”

Keep up with Jimmy and his work on Twitter.

Jimmy Lafakis
Alumni Success

Catching up with Jimmy Lafakis ’19

The 2019 grad discovered a love for sports photography during his time at Butler. Now, after a year covering rodeo, wrestling, and more in North Dakota, he's back home in Indiana. 

Steps to Success with Josh Turner ’15

By Grace Gordon ’23

On the evening of October 19, 2019, Josh Turner ’15 was preparing to step onto the stage of Shepherd’s Bush Empire in London to perform a tribute show to Paul Simon’s album Graceland. He, along with a six-piece band and a full South African Cultural Choir, would join the guestbook of major artists who had performed on the stage before, from Charlie Chaplin to David Bowie.

Waiting to hear the show was a nearly packed house and the London theatre press. The pressure was high, and in Turner’s words, “it was so scary.” Despite the nerves, Turner now identifies the show as a highlight of his career because halfway through the second set, the audience stood up and started dancing. For the rest of the night, the concert was a party.

For the Butler University graduate, that moment was the culmination of years of dedication and exciting opportunities—from performing on Good Morning America to touring with a tribute show called the Simon and Garfunkel Story. Music was always important in Turner’s life, especially on the internet. Starting in middle school, Turner had a YouTube channel dedicated to his musical journey, with a focus on singing and guitar. Since then, his channel has significantly expanded. In addition to an ongoing solo career, he is now in the musical group The Other Favorites, which may be best known for their performances on YouTube. Along with millions of video views, The Other Favorites have successfully created a virtual touring experience, which gives fans the opportunity to tune in to monthly live-streamed performances.

However, Turners’ journey to finding his way through the professional musical world was not without uncertainty. He outlines his success with three pieces of advice.

 

“Following what you are passionate about is step one to being successful.”

Like many students at Butler, Turner’s educational journey was not a straight line. Though music was always his passion—he started singing when he was 9 years old—he wasn't ready to officially pursue music as a first-year student. He worried that if he decided to study music, he might lose some of his passion for the art, so he initially chose a major in Digital Media (now called Creative Media and Entertainment). Turner also wondered if he was good enough to make a career out of music. But through taking classes outside of his major, he was always able to keep music in his life and class schedule.

Eventually, taking classes such as Music History and Aural Skills proved that Turner’s relationship to music wouldn't change just because he was graded on it.

“The more classes I took,” he says, “the more I realized that wasn't the case. Everyone is best served if I am doing something that I am really engaged in and I am motivated to work hard toward.”

With that mindset, Turner fully dove into the world of music, declaring a major in Music during his sophomore year. He graduated in 2015 to pursue a professional career in performing, writing, and producing music in nearly every genre. His music ranges from folk, to jazz, to R&B, to bluegrass-infused renditions of popular Backstreet Boys songs.

Now, living in New York, creating music every day, and performing around the world (or, during the pandemic, via livestream), Turner says he still feels the moments of self-doubt he felt in school. He still wonders if he has “made it.” But he combats these feelings by reminding himself that “comparing yourself to other people is, at the end of the day, not helpful.” He stresses how important it has been for him to learn his worth and walk the line between being confident without getting arrogant, and feeling motivated without getting down on himself.

 

Be “constantly in the process of ‘making it.’”

While enjoying every exciting opportunity, Turner says he has kept the mindset that he is “constantly in the process of making it.” He has never relied on one big break to be successful. Turner has continued to invest in himself, stay flexible in the mediums he uses to provide content to his fans, and know that he is “as prepared as he can be” for every performance. Right now, being flexible as a performer looks like providing online content through live streams.

 

“Be a good person.”

For Turner, the final step to achieving success has been to just be a good person. He says that in a competitive job market, you can really be set apart from all the other talented people by “being the person who isn't judgmental, who returns calls, and who does the little things.”

Turner has found the most satisfaction in his music by trying to create joy. He recognizes that the internet can be a platform that creates division, but he says his favorite part of his job is the feeling that he is contributing to “the part of the internet that actually brings people together.”

Turner certainly follows his words with action, and the evidence lies in the example he sets for those around him. Most recently, he demonstrated his commitment to making the world a better place by speaking at Butler’s virtual School of Music Convocation in September 2020. During the Zoom call, he talked about investing in yourself as a musician and a professional, harnessing social media to build an audience, and expanding interests outside of your major. The more time you can spend away from music, he told the students, the more you’ll love it when you come back.

 

Grace Gordon is a sophomore at Butler University, where she majors in Strategic Communication and minors in Creative Writing and Creative Media and Entertainment.

Josh Turner
Alumni Success

Steps to Success with Josh Turner ’15

The Butler graduate shares what it took for him to become a professional musician

Butler Alum Turns Lifelong Hobby into Vintage Indy Staple

By Maddy Kline ’21

Two years ago, on September 15, 2018, Aaron Marshall ’18 opened the doors to his nostalgic paradise—Naptown Thrift.

Retro hats and sports flags hang from the ceiling like streamers. The walls are plastered with an eclectic mix of movie posters, photographs, and album art from decades past—yes, Space Jam is on display. One clothing rack holds a vintage Chicago Bulls jersey, while another holds a Bugs Bunny crewneck. The entire shop is a treasure trove just waiting to be explored.

The collection has been years in the making. When Marshall was young, his parents encouraged him to explore his interest in ’80s and ’90s style at second hand stores in the area.

“That kind of got the bug in me initially to be interested in the hunt,” Marshall says, “you know, finding cool stuff and never knowing what's going to be there and checking in on things daily.”

By the time Marshall arrived as a first-year student on Butler University’s campus, he had filled a small storage unit to the brim with vintage finds. That’s when he began to consider starting a business.

“Initially, it was just me meeting up with friends from Butler, letting them dig through our finds, and kind of just throwing in prices on the fly,” Marshall says. “I think those were honestly some of my favorite Butler memories—taking my friends to that storage unit and just seeing their eyes light up.”

In 2015, Marshall created an Instagram account for the “store,” and business started booming.

Marshall and his parents grew out of their storage unit into another. And then another. Vintage aficionados from near and far contacted Marshall to see the collection and purchase products. Naptown Thrift quickly became a staple in the Indianapolis vintage scene, featured in Indianapolis Business Journal and highlighted in Visit Indy.

Naptown Thrift was not Marshall’s only endeavor to gain a significant following during his years at Butler. As a Recording Industry Studies major, he also attracted fans through his music. Under the stage name Double A, Marshall has made strides in the Indianapolis hip-hop community, with three albums and a performance at the Chreece music festival under his belt.

In 2018, Marshall graduated from Butler and was faced with the question of his future. In the end, the success of Naptown Thrift provided the answer Marshall was looking for.

“I was wondering what I wanted to do after school,” Marshall says. “But at the same time, I already knew what I wanted to do after school. It was this.”

After three years of running Naptown Thrift from social media and storage units, Marshall opened a brick and mortar store. But about a year later, disaster struck.

In October 2019, the restaurant next door to Marshall’s shop caught on fire, causing extensive smoke damage to Naptown Thrift and all its products. The shop underwent a massive deep cleaning and was temporarily closed for nearly four months.

Naptown Thrift announced its grand reopening for February 29, 2020, and loyal shoppers—many of them Butler students—waited in massive lines to sift through the racks.

Two weeks later, the COVID-19 pandemic hit. Luckily, Marshall was prepared for this disaster.

“Everything shifted to online,” Marshall says. “Actually, we already had our website in place, thanks to Butler: Part of my capstone was building our website senior year. So that was a pretty easy transition. But it was still adversity.”

Despite the ups and downs of Naptown Thrift’s young existence, Marshall celebrated the shop’s two-year anniversary on Tuesday, September 15.

You can keep up with Marshall and Naptown Thrift on the store’s Instagram page.

 

Some of Marshall’s favorite Butler memories:

  • Opening for T-Pain in the Reilly Room: “My sophomore year, T-Pain came to Butler and sold out, and me and another classmate of mine were the openers. That was my first time performing in front of 400-plus people. And, I mean, it was just cool. You can't replicate that.”
  • Hinkle Magic: “I was actually on the women's basketball team practice squad, so they got a group of guys together to scrimmage against the women's team at Butler. Getting to play on the floor of Hinkle is just something not many people can say they’ve done. I wasn’t playing in a real game, but you look up and you’re like, ‘Wow, I’m playing in Hinkle right now.’”
  • Community of Care: “Butler is a special place, and I get a lot of support still with the store from classmates at Butler, and then with music stuff. They're still sharing everything that I release. The people that I met at Butler still definitely are showing support, whether they are in Indy or somewhere else.”
Naptown Thrift
Alumni Success

Butler Alum Turns Lifelong Hobby into Vintage Indy Staple

Despite enduring a fire and a pandemic, Aaron Marshall ’18 just celebrated two years since opening Naptown Thrift

Brooke Moreland
Alumni Success

Butler Alum Receives Indiana’s Achievement in Education Award

BY Katie Grieze

PUBLISHED ON Aug 26 2020

Brooke Moreland ’11 first came to Butler University from a low-income household in 2007. Now, she’s being celebrated for her years of supporting students in similar situations, as the 2020 recipient of Indiana’s Achievement in Education award.

“It’s really a full-circle experience,” she says.

The award, which recognizes educators who have used innovative strategies to increase achievement for their students, was announced August 26 as part of the Governor’s Celebration of Community Service Awards. During the virtual ceremony, the State of Indiana honored six Black Hoosiers for their exceptional efforts across a variety of fields. Moreland received six nominations for the education category.

“I feel very appreciative of this award,” says Moreland, who is currently Assistant Director for the  21st Century Scholars Success Program at Indiana University–Purdue University Indianapolis (IUPUI). “When you are a leader in higher education, and especially when you are a leader of color at a predominantly white institution, it can sometimes be really hard to gauge if your work is appreciated or if you are truly making a difference. I’m so appreciative that people took the time to acknowledge my work and my passion for helping students.”

During her time at Butler, Moreland spent three years serving as a Resident Assistant. She loved the role so much—from managing programs to building relationships—she wondered if she could do something similar full time.

Mentors at Butler—including former President Bobby Fong—introduced Moreland to the world of student affairs. She hasn’t looked back. After graduating from Butler’s Psychology program, she went on to earn her master’s degree in Higher Education and Student Affairs from Indiana University (IU).

Moreland spent two years on IU’s student conduct team before starting as a Scholarship Coordinator at IUPUI, where she has worked mostly with high-risk and first-generation students participating in Indiana’s 21st Century Scholars program. After two years guiding students through the program requirements, providing individualized support, and helping families understand financial aid logistics, Moreland was promoted to her current role as the program’s Assistant Director.

Her work now focuses on developing strategies for enhancing the retention and success of more than 4,500 21st Century Scholarship recipients at IUPUI. She highlights the need to rely on concrete data in creating these programs, often basing her decisions on institutional research.

“I’m not just guessing—the success of the students is too important,” she says. “If I was that student, I would want someone to do their research and make sure the guidance they’re giving me is solid and accurate. And I think the students I work with recognize that I do put in that level of effort every day.”

In addition to overseeing a robust peer mentoring initiative, Moreland has implemented regular check-ins with the students she works with. Six times each academic year, she and her team hold one-on-one meetings with all of IUPUI’s 21st Century Scholars. This proactive approach establishes supportive relationships and allows staff members to identify and resolve issues before students reach the point of asking for help.

“This year, choosing the recipient for the Achievement in Education award was fairly easy,” said a Civil Rights Commission spokesperson during the Wednesday ceremony. “When an abundance of past and present students—including colleagues—nominate someone, it’s pretty clear to see that that person has put forth the initiative, the work, and the compassion. Brooke Moreland has not only counseled her students, but has supported, mentored, and inspired thousands of students throughout her career.”

The 2020 Governor’s Celebration of Community Service Awards were hosted by the Indiana Civil Rights Commission in partnership with Indiana Black Expo, the Indiana Division of Supplier Diversity, and the Family & Social Services Administration. The celebration acknowledges the outstanding achievement of Black leaders throughout the state of Indiana.

 

Media Contact:
Katie Grieze
News Content Manager
kgrieze@butler.edu
260-307-3403

Brooke Moreland
Alumni Success

Butler Alum Receives Indiana’s Achievement in Education Award

Brooke Moreland ’11 has dedicated her career to helping college students succeed

Aug 26 2020 Read more

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