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In DC, Butler's College of Education Shows How to Lead

BY

PUBLISHED ON Nov 30 2016

When the federal Department of Education went looking for ideas on how to prepare teachers in early November, one of the places it sought out was Butler University’s College of Education.

After the nationwide call for teacher preparation programs to submit innovative practices that have the potential for growth, Butler became the first Indiana school to be invited to present at a Teach to Lead Preparation Summit. From nearly 100 submissions, 17 teams were invited to the early-November summit. Participants spent two days in sessions aimed at identifying obstacles and solutions for spreading innovative best practices in teacher preparation.
Amanda Huffman, Kaija Bole, Shelly Furuness, and Rick Mitchell shared a COE best practice in Washington.

Associate Professor of Education Shelly Furuness, along with Pike Master Practitioner and co-teacher Rick Mitchell, led the Butler contingent, which shared how ongoing University-School Partnership with Pike Township Schools supports a cycle of professional development benefiting both pre-service and in-service teachers.

The Butler message to DC was clear: When teacher-educators and school districts are able to work together, they can prepare the kinds of teachers that schools need.

Kaija Bole ’17, a math-education double major from suburban Chicago, also represented Butler at the summit, along with Amanda Huffman BS ‘12, MS ’16. In fall 2015, Huffman, as part of her master’s thesis research, was able to develop a curriculum based on gaps she knew existed from her own preparation at Butler. She used her prep period once a week to provide an hour-long workshop to the Math Education majors focused specifically on methods for teaching complex mathematics.

Huffman’s work represents a model of teacher leadership, Furuness said.

“She was an excellent pre-service teacher who was hired by Pike Township after completing her student teaching with the district,” Furuness said. “She immediately began participating in ongoing professional development opportunities made possible by the Butler-Pike Partnership. As a novice teacher, she continued to gain both content and pedagogical knowledge from Butler faculty members.”

The Butler students loved their experience, but Huffman’s prep period changed this academic year. She was unable to devote time to teaching future teachers like Bole.

Bole is lucky—Huffman is her practicum mentor, and Bole will be student-teaching in the Math Department at Pike High School under Huffman. But none of the other math education majors will have the opportunity to experience the math methods workshop because of scheduling logistics.

“I wish we could be doing what she did last year,” Bole said.

Furuness said this is the problem Butler is trying to solve: How to make sure teacher-leaders like Huffman have the time and resources to continue to work with future teachers.

Bole said after spending three days at the summit and comparing Butler’s teacher education to other programs, she’s convinced that Butler is serving as a model—through its partnerships with school districts such as Pike and Indianapolis Public Schools and the way it prepares students to teach.

The proof, she said, is in the College of Education’s 100 percent placement rate for its graduates.

“To hear about other programs, it made me realize how special we are here,” she said. “We’re doing great things.”

 

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

Campus

In DC, Butler's College of Education Shows How to Lead

When the federal Department of Education went looking for ideas on how to prepare teachers in early November, one of the places it sought out was Butler University’s College of Education.

Nov 30 2016 Read more
Campus

Butler Alumna Receives $3.9 Million to Expand Literacy Program

BY Hayley Ross ’17

PUBLISHED ON Nov 28 2016

In September, the United States Department of Education awarded more than $26 million in grants to develop and improve high-quality literacy programs in high-needs school. One of the largest awards went to a Butler alumna.

Michelle (Skinner) BrownMichelle (Skinner) Brown ’09 will receive $3.9 million over two years to help fund and expand her company, CommonLit Inc., a completely free, online compilation of literary and teaching resources that was created to try to close the “secondary literacy gap.”

“Teachers, parents, anyone can go on the site and make measurable improvements,” Brown said. “That is the overall goal.”

Brown came to Butler from New Braunfels, Texas, to study classical ballet. She said she never stopped loving ballet. “I just decided that I didn't want it to be my profession.”

“The late Dr. Marshall Gregory was the person in the Butler English Department who inspired me to change my major to English,” she said. “His classes made me believe in the power of literature to change people's minds. In fact, Dr. G ended up writing my letter of recommendation for Teach for America, which is what brought me to the education sector.”

After graduating Butler, she joined Teach for America and taught at a school in the Mississippi Delta for two years. It was a highly impoverished and extremely rural, and it was there that she got the “teaching bug.”

“Ultimately, what I am doing now directly correlates to teaching there,” she said. “CommonLit was born out of my experience in the classroom.”

She left and began to teach in a charter school in Boston. She noticed the vast differences in teaching tools between the two schools, and it pushed her to go to Harvard for her Master’s in Education Policy and Management.

“It kind of made me angry that the resources that I had in Boston weren’t available to me in Mississippi,” Brown said.

The idea for CommonLit formed when she told her Harvard academic advisor, Ronald Ferguson, that her plan was to write a book on literary instruction.

“He told me that wasn't enough,” she said. “He pushed me to have a bigger vision of what I could do.”Michelle (Skinner) Brown

She started with the curriculum itself around three years ago, never dreaming of what it could accomplish. Today, CommonLit is reaching over 12,000 schools nationwide and gains more than 3,000 new users every day.

“By the end of the year I want to reach around 1 million students,” Brown said. “And we are definitely on track to exceed that number.”

CommonLit has professional high-performing teachers who create all of the lessons on the site, which include new articles, poems, short stories, and historical documents. The works themselves are donated by authors and publishers that support CommonLit’s mission of improving literacy for vulnerable populations.

“We have contact partners, non-profit, that give us permission to integrate their writing into our collection,” she said.

With the money from the federal grant, Brown said she wants to focus on hiring new people and making the website more visible—not only to places that don’t usually have access to these resources, but to people who may have a disability that makes the website hard to understand.

“We are going to focus on high poverty and rural schools,” she said. “We are also focusing on reading instruction. We are learning to make the site more accessible to those with reading issues, visual impairment, and those with English not as their first language.”

Campus

Butler Alumna Receives $3.9 Million to Expand Literacy Program

CommonLit, run by Michelle (Skinner) Brown '09, aims to close the "literacy gap."

Nov 28 2016 Read more
Campus

Butler's Winner of the Realizing the Dream Scholarship Is ...

BY

PUBLISHED ON Nov 15 2016

Jacklyn Gries, a second-year Pharmacy major from Evansville, Indiana, has been selected as Butler University’s 2016 winner of the Independent Colleges of Indiana’s Realizing the Dream scholarship.
Jacklyn Gries and Carl Voegel.

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

Gries and 30 other students from Indiana’s independent colleges and universities, and their most influential elementary or secondary teachers, were honored on November 5 at the 27th annual “Realizing the Dream” banquet. The event, made possible by a grant from Lilly Endowment Inc. to the Independent Colleges of Indiana, recognizes first-generation students attending ICI campuses, along with their inspirational teachers and families.

Gries will receive a $2,500 check to help with college costs. Additionally, each student’s selected most influential teacher/mentor will receive a $1,000 professional development grant. Gries chose her high school science teacher Carl Voegel from Mater Dei High School.

 

 

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

Campus

Butler's Winner of the Realizing the Dream Scholarship Is ...

Jacklyn Gries has been selected as Butler University’s 2016 winner of the Independent Colleges of Indiana’s Realizing the Dream scholarship.​

Nov 15 2016 Read more
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Jacob Reeves ’18 Named Inaugural Hendricks Fellow

BY Kailey Eaton ’17

PUBLISHED ON Nov 10 2016

The inaugural 2016-17 Hendricks Fellowship has been awarded to junior Jacob Reeves for his project studying how wildlife use Butler University’s campus as their home.
Jacob Reeves

The Fellowship was established in 2016 through a donation from Dr. Frederick Hendricks, a urologist with a lifelong passion for conservation and the study of Indiana ecosystems. The Hendricks Fellowship is given to undergraduate students to support their scientific research, preferably in the area of conservation or Indiana ecosystems.

Reeves, a Biology major with minors in Chemistry and Mathematics, used his passion and interest in the outdoors as the fuel behind his winning research project, the Butler Wildlife Watch. Reeves’s research will allow him to identify the regions and habitats on campus that are most valuable to wildlife through the use of motion triggered wildlife cameras.

The goal of the study is to increase knowledge of what areas on campus need to be conserved the most while also keeping in mind campus’s future development plans.

“This [project] becomes increasingly important with our current push for expansion, so that we can design facilities with the conservation of wildlife in mind,” he said.

Reeves said he got his inspiration for the project from Indy Wildlife Watch, where he is an intern. Indy Wildlife Watch’s program was created to measure wildlife conservation through the greater Indianapolis area. Reeves has been working on his project for just under a year with professors Carmen Salsbury and Travis Ryan, and Julia Angstmann, the Director of Butler’s Center for Urban Ecology, who serves as his faculty mentor.

Reeves said the Fellowship will provide him with the funds for all the equipment necessary to complete his research as well as to attend research conferences. He plans to present his results at the Butler Undergraduate Research Conference as well as the Indiana Academy of Sciences Conference in 2018.

Reeves is more than grateful for the opportunity he was given through the generosity of Dr. Hendricks. The fund is administered by the Center for High Achievement and Scholalry Engagement (CHASE). According to the CHASE website, applications for the next Hendricks Fellow will open in September 2017.

“Too few are the people willing to give toward the furthering of our knowledge of the world we live in—especially directly to conservation efforts,” Reeves said. “It truly restores my faith in our world to know that there are generous people who believe in this cause as wholeheartedly as I do, and who are willing to fund projects like mine.”

Campus

Jacob Reeves ’18 Named Inaugural Hendricks Fellow

The Center for High Achievement and Scholarly Engagement (CHASE) announced the winner of the 2016-17 Hendricks Fellowship, which is awarded to a student who completes a scientific research project in the area of conservation or Indiana ecosystems.

Nov 10 2016 Read more
Campus

Butler Business Students Are Bullish on New York City

BY

PUBLISHED ON Nov 08 2016

Will Willoughby ’19 went to New York City in October with the Lacy School of Business, confident about pursuing a career in finance and banking. He came home convinced that he’s on the right career track.

“The trip had quite a significant impact on me,” the sophomore from Kalamazoo, Michigan, said. “After seeing all of the different financial positions, and their significance to every company we went to, I knew when I left New York that finance and banking was what I wanted to do.”
Front row: Marissa Terando, Romie Reno, Emily Guglielmo, Taylor Viti. Back row: Griffin Karpeck, Ryan Cultice, Will Willoughby, Parker Chalmers.

And then there’s Marissa Terando ’18, an accounting and finance double-major. She “learned so much at JPMorgan Chase about the investment banking industry and all the different sectors that make up the company” that she came away interested in working on the Foreign Exchange and Commodities desk. “Something I had never even heard of before this trip,” the junior from Carmel, Indiana, said.

Willoughby and Terando were among eight students who took the Wall Street Trek trip to get a good look at Wall Street—JPMorgan Chase, the Stock Exchange, Blue Mountain Capital—and Johnson & Johnson headquarters in New Brunswick, New Jersey.

At JPMorgan Chase, they met with Mike Bennett ’09, Vice President, Investment Specialist, and Eric Wiedelman, Managing Director, Global Securitized Products. Amy Wierenga ’01, Head of Risk Management, was their host at Blue Mountain Capital, and Francisco Miyares ’10, Senior Financial Analyst, met with the group at Johnson & Johnson.

The idea of the Wall Street Trek, said Kim Goad, Director of Career Development in Butler’s Lacy School of Business, is to provide students with a deeper awareness of different roles in finance and a bit of a taste of what it might be like to work in New York City.

“This is one of the best parts of my job—to be able to match students up and show them what a day in the life really looks like and to expose them to different opportunities,” said Goad, who chaperoned the trip along with Assistant Professor of Finance Bryan Foltice.

Goad said the students chosen to participate in the two-day trip were required to submit a resume and cover letter. They had to have attained a certain grade-point average and make a compelling argument why this trip aligned with their career goals.

Lacy School of Business donors have now paid for the trip for two consecutive years and have committed to continue funding an experiential fund. Goad said the Butler students made their benefactors proud.

“A comment I often get about Butler students is that they are very polished but not robotic,” Goad said. “They kept the conversation alive in every meeting that we had, yet they were still students and fun and relatable.”

And in January, the Lacy School of Business will be going back to New York—this time with students interested in the retail world. From January 12-15, 10 students and two faculty members will attend Retail’s The Big Show, which features thousands of retailers—big box stores, fashion, technology, online, and others. They’ll have an opportunity to network with people, to have their resumes reviewed, and hear some great keynote speakers.

 

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

Campus

Butler Business Students Are Bullish on New York City

Will Willoughby ’19 went to New York City in October with the Lacy School of Business, confident about pursuing a career in finance and banking. He came home convinced that he’s on the right career track.

Nov 08 2016 Read more
Campus

Butler Team Wins Library Research Competition

BY

PUBLISHED ON Nov 07 2016

A team of five Butler University students won the Purdue University Parrish Library Case Competition held on Saturday, November 5, an annual contest that challenges students to use their business research skills to solve a problem for a company.
The team, from left: Karly Krebs, senior, Marketing and Management Information Systems major; Taylor Gillenwater, senior, Marketing and Finance major; Allison Wolff, sophomore, Entrepreneurship & Innovation and Marketing major; Samantha Chalmers, junior, International Business major; Nicole Henrich, sophomore, International Business, French, and German major

Sammie Chalmers, Taylor Gillenwater, Nicole Henrich, Karly Krebs, and Allison Wolff beat more than 20 teams from Indiana University and Purdue University in a competition that took place at the Burton Morgan Center for Entrepreneurship on the main campus of Purdue University in West Lafayette.

Business Librarian Teresa Williams organized Butler's entry into the competition. Williams and Library Associate Andrew Welp, who also is an adjunct librarian supporting Butler’s Lacy School of Business, helped the team to prepare.

As Information Commons students—student employees of the Information Commons, a collaborative program of the Butler Libraries and Center for Academic Technology—the Butler team members receive training in how to find, evaluate, use, and present information. Information Commons and eLearning Librarian Amanda Starkel and Academic Technology Specialist Megan Grady-Rutledge co-manage the Information Commons program and have developed a training program that provides a foundation for 21st century research skills.

Participants in this year’s competition were asked to focus on a real startup, Alexandria Brewing Company of Alexandria, Kentucky. The students were asked to conduct research and provide a market analysis for the company. They were assigned to analyze the craft beer market nationally as well as locally in Ohio/Kentucky/Indiana to provide insights on the target customers, trend analysis, and action plan.

The teams put together PowerPoint presentations and executive summaries. The judges complimented the Butler team for its information and presentation of data, its implementation plan and the way it connected its research to the company’s backstory.

“We are proud of the students and how they applied their Information Commons training and business information literacy skills to succeed in the competition,” Williams said. “When considering the multitude of research resources that are available to IU and Purdue business students, this was a significant achievement, especially given it was Butler’s first year in the competition.”

 

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

Campus

Butler Team Wins Library Research Competition

“We are proud of the students and how they applied their Information Commons training and business information literacy skills to succeed in the competition.”

Nov 07 2016 Read more
Campus

Butler's Center for Citizenship and Community Turns 20

BY

PUBLISHED ON Nov 07 2016

Butler’s Center for Citizenship and Community (CCC) celebrates its 20th anniversary on November 30 at 4:00 PM in Jordan Hall 109, and among the achievements the CCC will be reflecting on is the widespread impact it’s had on the city of Indianapolis, the University, and, especially, Butler students.

The CCC is responsible for creating the Indianapolis Community Requirement (ICR), which requires students to take one course in any part of the University that involves active engagement with the Indianapolis community. In 2015-2016, Butler students gave more than 25,000 hours of time, which translates to about $600,000 in value.

Students Digging“I'm not sure money captures the reciprocal learning value of the ICR, though,” said Donald Braid, who has been the CCC Director since 2007. “The work students do in ICR classes has helped address needs in Indianapolis communities, and it helps the students understand their own role in the community.”

In addition, Braid said, thanks to the ICR, “community engagement is woven into the fabric of the institution. All students participate, so that embeds in our core curriculum the civic goals that are part of a liberal education and Butler’s founding principles.”

Beyond the ICR, the CCC also has helped facilitate projects that involve campus-community partnerships. This year, for example, the center is helping lead a major research project, “Music First,” which will use music to attempt to ease the suffering of Alzheimer’s patients. It also has supported Education Professor Katie Brooks, who secured a $2 million grant to alleviate the shortage of English as a New Language teachers. And the center has sponsored educational programs like leading a campus-wide discussion on civil discourse.

But Braid said the most significant impact the CCC has had may be on individual students who have gone into the community thinking they were simply doing volunteer work and instead found that they were learning about themselves and getting back even more than they were giving.

When Kate Richards ’18 came to Butler from Effingham, Illinois, she knew a little about the ICR and Butler’s focus on service learning. But the idea of communicating with the Indianapolis community was something that appealed to her.

During her first American Sign Language class, she did her service learning at Miller’s Merry Manor, a nursing home and rehabilitation center, where she and another student played cards and talked with three or four deaf residents using sign language. In her third ASL class, she was assigned to the Indiana School for the Deaf, where she tutored middle-school students in math.

Richards, a Communication Sciences and Disorders major, has now completed four ICR courses and works for the CCC as a liaison between the Deaf School and students at Butler. In that role, she places students where they’ll have the best experience.

“Students know about the ICR,” she said. “But they don’t realize how much of an experience it is. I think that’s what the CCC is trying to get at—it’s much more than everyone thinks it’s going to be.”

*

The CCC began through a grant from Eli Lilly & Co. in 1996 with Political Science Professor Margaret Brabant as its first director. The center’s creation was an outgrowth of Butler’s role as a founding member of Indiana Campus Compact, an organization of Indiana universities that got together to recognize the value of civic engagement and the responsibility of universities to make connections with their communities.

Early on, Brabant pursued Community Outreach Partnerships Centers grants from the federal Department of Housing and Urban Development. The grants help colleges and universities apply their human, intellectual, and institutional resources to the challenge of revitalizing distressed communities.

Those grants, along with funding from the Nina Mason Pulliam Charitable Trust and other local foundations, launched the CCC, which initially focused on service learning, community revitalization, fair-housing, and crime and safety issues.Hearing Test

“A lot of that work was valuable, and some portions didn’t fit Butler’s mission,” Braid said. “Over the years, we’ve learned which pieces really fit the university’s educational mission, which partnerships really are valuable reciprocally in supporting the education of our students and in supporting community issues, and we’ve focused on those things.”

The Indianapolis Community Requirement is one of those pieces that stayed. The CCC set up partnerships with community organizations, many of which continue to this day. The relationship with the Indiana School for the Blind and Visually Impaired (ISBVI) is one.

Luke Schaible ’17, an Accounting major from Findlay, Ohio, began his service learning experience at ISBVI when he was a first-year student in Braid’s Making a Difference in the World course.

“I was pretty new to the whole concept of service and I had no idea what to expect,” he said. “I thought it was something you did for a requirement in college because you had to, and I didn’t know what I was going to gain. But talking to the students there really changed my view.”

When he first got there, he sat in a corner—“just being my shy self”—when a student came up and asked him to play basketball.

“It’s nice to go into their world for a few hours and see how ISBVI students are with their peers,” said Schaible, who now works for the CCC, guiding students to ISBVI to make sure they have the kind of experience he had. “You see that ISBVI students are just like you and me. That’s what’s so intriguing.”

Braid said the experiences Richards and Schaible have had are exactly what makes the CCC important to Butler.

“We’re interested in empathy, community, and service, which are what we think are an essential part of an education, and with students coming through a liberal arts university, we hope to generate an understanding and a practice of those kinds of values and virtues,” he said.

“The kind of educational process we promote is experiential on one hand, which is more than just doing in the community; it’s learning to value the community, it’s learning to understand others, to understand and appreciate diversity. In a way, this could be seen as an experiential education for the liberal arts. Anything that falls within that domain are things the center is interested in supporting.”

 

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

Campus

Butler's Center for Citizenship and Community Turns 20

Among the achievements the CCC will be reflecting on is the widespread impact it’s had on the city of Indianapolis, the University, and, especially, Butler students.

Nov 07 2016 Read more
Campus

Brandie Oliver Named Counselor Educator of the Year

BY

PUBLISHED ON Nov 02 2016

Brandie Oliver, Assistant Professor of School Counseling in the College of Education, has been named Indiana School Counselor Association (ISCA) Counselor Educator of the Year. She will be recognized at a luncheon on November 4.

Brandie Oliver“It is an honor to receive this award from the Indiana School Counselor Association and to join past recipients who I have long admired and respected,” Oliver said. “Numerous people have supported me in my journey and I owe much of my success to the excellent training I received during my graduate school counseling program at Butler University. I was taught to be an advocate, build relationships, and to keep students at the center of my work. These lessons are at the core of my work as a Counselor Educator.”

Nicole Detrick, Upper School Counselor at the International School of Indianapolis, nominated Oliver for the award. In her nomination essay, Detrick credited Oliver with asking her to be the Indiana School Counselor Association Secondary School VP board member when Oliver was president of ISCA.

“Brandie giving me this state leadership opportunity helped me to grow as an education professional and inspired me to study education administration for which I hope to move into in the next couple of years,” Detrick said. “During my time at the state school counseling level, Brandie continued to support and model great student advocacy for ALL students. She works tirelessly bringing positive change to the lives of Indiana students at the K-12, post-secondary, and policy levels. I am proud to be her colleague and friend. She is an exemplary educator!”

Oliver said she has been fortunate to work with “amazing school counselors, educators, and community partners during my service on the ISCA Board and as a Counselor Educator at Butler University.”

“I often tell others that I have the best career because my work is to teach the next generation of school counselors as well as to mentor and support practitioners in the field, like my friend Nicole Detrick. While awards are wonderful to receive, the greatest rewards are witnessing the success of my students and alumni and the relationships that I have developed both inside and outside of the classroom.”

 

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

Campus

Brandie Oliver Named Counselor Educator of the Year

"While awards are wonderful to receive, the greatest rewards are witnessing the success of my students and alumni and the relationships that I have developed both inside and outside of the classroom.”

Nov 02 2016 Read more
Campus

Justice Shepard to Speak at Winter Commencement

BY

PUBLISHED ON Oct 26 2016

Randall Shepard, the longest-serving Chief Justice of the Supreme Court of Indiana, will be the speaker and honorary degree recipient at Butler University Winter 2016 Commencement on Saturday, December 17, in Clowes Memorial Hall, beginning at 10:00 AM.
Randall Shepard

“We are pleased to have Justice Shepard speak to our graduates,” Butler University President James M. Danko said. “In choosing honorary degree recipients, Butler University strives to invite individuals whose life and work reflect Butler University’s core values and whose message can positively impact our students through sharing their insights and life lessons. Justice Shepard’s many accomplishments provide an inspirational example for all Butler students, parents, faculty, and staff.”

Throughout his distinguished career, Shepard strived to make the judicial system simpler and fairer for all. He is credited with modernizing Indiana’s courts, instituting rules to help citizens avoid litigation, implementing easy-to-understand jury instructions, expanding translation services in trial courts, and creating a scholarship program for minority law students. He also led efforts to webcast the Indiana Supreme Court's oral arguments.

In 2015, he received the American Bar Association’s John Marshall Award, named after the longest-serving Chief Justice of the Supreme Court of the United States, for his commitment to the legal profession, legal education, and the justice system.

Shepard was appointed to the Indiana Supreme Court by then-Governor Robert D. Orr in 1985 at the age of 38. He became Chief Justice of Indiana in March 1987 and retired from the Court in March 2012, at which point he was the longest-serving Chief Justice in Indiana history and the senior Chief Justice in the country’s state supreme courts.

An Evansville native and seventh-generation Hoosier, Shepard started his judicial career as Judge of the Vanderburgh Superior Court in 1980. He graduated from Princeton University cum laude and from the Yale Law School. He earned a Master of Laws degree in the judicial process from the University of Virginia.

When Justice Shepard retired in 2012, he was lauded by both sides of the aisle for his evenhandedness. Former Indiana Senator Richard Lugar wrote of Shepard, “The experience and intellect with which you presided over the Indiana judicial system led others in our communities and at the federal level to seek your leadership and talents.” U.S. Supreme Court Justice Elena Kagan wrote, “Your tenure has been simply remarkable. You have been an inspiration for so many judges across the country and, of course, the greatest of public servants for Hoosiers.”

 

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

Campus

Justice Shepard to Speak at Winter Commencement

Throughout his distinguished career, Shepard strived to make the judicial system simpler and fairer for all.

Oct 26 2016 Read more
Campus

CUE Farm Gets a New Addition: A Mobile Greenhouse

BY

PUBLISHED ON Oct 25 2016

Butler University’s Center for Urban Ecology Farm is the new home of the first fully automated, mobile greenhouse, an 8-foot-wide by 32-foot-long structure designed and built by Ball State University architecture students to enable the CUE Farm to start plants earlier in the season.

The $50,000 project was built with a grant from the Butler Innovation Fund. Public tours for the greenhouse will take place November 3 from 3:00–6:00 PM at the farm, which is located west of campus near the athletic fields. The event will occur during the last farm stand of the season. A week’s worth of produce will be offered as a raffle prize.

CUE Farm Mobile GreenhouseThe greenhouse was built to be mobile because the farm is in a floodplain, so a permanent structure was not an option. It will serve as a model for other urban farms, which often experience land access challenges that require mobility.

“A lot of urban farming happens in marginal areas that are challenged in different ways like floodplains,” said Travis Ryan, Chair of Butler’s Biology Department, which oversees the farm. “So the idea of making something that’s mobile that might be able to exist and support facilities in these areas is interesting.”

Ryan said when the decision was made to create a mobile greenhouse, Butler representatives approached Timothy Gray, Associate Professor of Architecture at Ball State. Gray and his students previously designed and built the CUE Farm’s mobile classroom, which is made from a shipping container.

Over two semesters, his students designed and built the structure, taking into account variables such as placement on the farm to get the best sunlight and shelving to house the optimum number of plants. Their design also includes ventilation, heating and cooling, heat-sensitive actuators that open and close windows, fans connected to a thermostat, and an irrigation system customizable to different times of the year and different plants.

“Every detail is really thought through,” Gray said. “That’s part of the learning process for the students. We had to pay attention to all the details to make sure it functions and also find architecture in all those moments.”

Ryan said he is impressed with the students’ work.

“Tim Gray said he really stepped back and let them work,” he said. “They cut the pieces, they welded it, they put it all together. There are some really nice touches to what they’ve done.”

Gray said what his students designed and built is a prototype. There has already been interest from other communities that found the design at https://growinggreen2016.wordpress.com/. One of the calls he received was from Liverpool, England.

“They’re working with the homeless population to develop these urban farming sites around Liverpool, and they’re looking for facilities that can support multiple farms,” he said. “So they’re looking for a greenhouse that can be moved between the different farming sites they’re developing. I thought was an interesting application as well.”

The greenhouse is not only functional, but it caught the attention of the American Institute of Architects. Gray and his students won a prestigious 2016 American Institute of Architects Indiana Design Award for the mobile greenhouse.

Opportunities to partner with Butler University in support of the Center for Urban Ecology, the Farm, and its community programs are available. To learn more, please contact the Office of Corporate and Foundation Relations at cfr@butler.edu.

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

Campus

CUE Farm Gets a New Addition: A Mobile Greenhouse

The greenhouse was built to be mobile because the farm is in a floodplain.

Oct 25 2016 Read more
Campus

Butler Introduces New Academic Program Development Director

BY

PUBLISHED ON Oct 25 2016

Butler University has hired Erin Vincent as Director of Academic Program Development and Innovation, a new position designed to help faculty, staff, and administrators to move new academic programs from idea to program launch.
Erin Vincent

Vincent brings more than 20 years of experience in higher education to the position. She had served as the Director for Kelley Direct Online Programs with the Kelley School of Business at Indiana University since 2006. Before that, she was an Academic Advisor at the Kelley School, where she was selected to receive a 2015-2016 Schuyler F. Otteson Award for Undergraduate Teaching Excellence—an honor awarded by student nomination and student selection.

“Erin comes to us with a rich background in higher education,” Provost Kate Morris said. “She has experience in both academic and student affairs, expertise in the area of multicultural education, and knowledge of program building in online, hybrid, and face-to-face learning environments.”

Vincent earned both her Bachelor of Arts and Masters of Arts degrees from Ball State University. She serves on several professional committees and organizations within Higher Education. She also serves on the Board of Directors for Mid-North Food Pantry, a food pantry serving the largest food desert in central Indiana.

At Butler, she will be part of a team of three.

“Our goal is to lead Butler University's educational impact beyond the traditional classroom and preparing graduates to succeed," Vincent said. "I believe our team's unique blend of experiences will be an asset in the development of new academic programs for Butler University."

 

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

Campus

Butler Introduces New Academic Program Development Director

Vincent brings more than 20 years of experience in higher education to the position.

Oct 25 2016 Read more
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Future Farmers Get a Look at Butler's Campus Farm

BY

PUBLISHED ON Oct 21 2016

On a brisk fall Indiana Friday morning, 49 members of FFA (Future Farmers of America) got a look at a model for the future of urban agriculture.

The FFA members, who came from as far away as Massachusetts and Connecticut, Arizona and Washington state to attend the annual FFA convention in Indianapolis, took a tour of the CUE Farm at Butler to see how the University is approaching sustainable, environmentally responsible urban farming.
Butler University CUE farm hosts FFA convention attendees October 21, 2016.

“Small-scale sustainable agriculture can be a part of our food system,” Farm Manager Tim Dorsey told the group, showing them around the one-acre parcel west of campus where approximately 75 different kinds of fruits, vegetables, nuts, and plants are grown. “People want to start connecting to the places where their food is grown.”

The produce grown on the farm is sold locally through a CSA group (Community Supported Agriculture), at a weekly farmstand, and to 6-10 local restaurants and grocery stores.

The farm also provides students with educational opportunities.

“Butler doesn’t have an agriculture major or degree,” Center for Urban Ecology Director Julia Angstmann told the group. “But students can participate in the environmental, social and business component of the operation.”

Butler students can take a class called Cultivating Well Being, where they work on the farm. Biology, Communications, and Business classes, as well as interns, also participate in farm activities.

For many of the FFA visitors, the Butler farm is a postage stamp of land compared with where they live. Katherine Carpenter—Miss Washington Teen Agriculture—lives on roughly 150 acres where they grow oats, timothy, alfalfa, grass, pasture mix and other kinds of hay that thrive in Washington State.

She wanted to see the farm at least in part because “it’s at a college and we’re all in high school and looking at colleges.” She said she liked what she saw.

“It’s really cool,” she said. “I enjoyed looking at it and listening to the talk. The way they work with the bees and things like that was interesting.”

Sydney Riebold, also from Deer Park, Washington, whose family raises steer, hogs, pigs, and sheep on their farm, said the campus farm is “not my thing, but I think it was good and it was interesting.”

After the tour, Angstmann polled the group and found that only one member had visited an urban farm prior to this tour and two had previously seen a sustainable agriculture project.

“I think,” she said, “it may have been an eye-opening experience for many of the attendees.”

 

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

Campus

Future Farmers Get a Look at Butler's Campus Farm

On a brisk fall Indiana Friday morning, 49 members of FFA (Future Farmers of America) got a look at a model for the future of urban agriculture.

Oct 21 2016 Read more

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