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Writing for Wellness

Marc D. Allan MFA ’18

from Spring 2017

Leona, a lady beyond a certain age, likes to break out in song. Doesn’t matter where she is or who’s in the room or that it’s well after Christmas and she’s still singing “Silent Night.” She’s going to sing.

At this moment, she’s sitting in a conference room at American Village retirement community, explaining herself between song bursts to Stephanie Anderson, a student in Butler’s Master of Fine Arts in Creative Writing program. Every Tuesday, Anderson and three other MFA students visit Leona and others at American Village to hear their stories and get them down on paper.

Leona talks, and Anderson captures her words.

“Leona feels happiest when she is among her 10 children,” she writes. “She loves to sing a lot too, and this is a gift she shares with her children, especially since it's a God-given talent. She loves singing in a choir and sharing the community, because God knows when she is happy and sad, and he projects his goodness through her. Leona knows we have to choose happiness. Words cannot describe the joy she feels being with her family, the one at home, and the one at church.

“Sometimes she is so glad to be alive that she bursts into song, being so glad for her life and her gift. She used to teach singing and sometimes she would sing those songs to her children when they felt lonely or sad, particularly ‘Amazing Grace.’ Leona believes firmly in love and laughter and compassion, and believes harder in the power of beautiful love. She doesn't want to be evil and frowning. She wants to kill sadness with joy. She sings when she is sad and when she is happy, because the voice is the soul coming to the light."

Sometime later, Anderson reflects on what happens in these sessions.

“We’re making a difference in these people’s lives,” she says. “We’re getting to know each other. We’re making friends. We’re showing ourselves and each other that it’s a big world we live in, but in this circle there’s joy, there’s happiness, there’s laughter. This is marvelous.”

This is Writing for Wellness, a program that MFA students began two years ago to use writing for therapy, for recollection, for relief, for fun. The first classes took place at Eskenazi Health in Indianapolis, where the MFA students worked with hospital staff who needed an opportunity to relax and unload.

Since then, Writing for Wellness has expanded—to Riley Hospital for Children, Indiana Women’s Prison, Hope Academy (a high school for students recovering from addiction), and Indiana Youth Group (an  organization for LGBT youth). The program is soon to add sessions for breast-cancer survivors.

The idea to bring Writing for Wellness to Butler started with Hilene Flanzbaum, the Director of the MFA program. Flanzbaum has taught creative writing on the undergraduate and graduate levels, and her husband, Geoffrey Sharpless, runs the summer creative writing camp at Butler and teaches creative writing at Park Tudor School. They often talk about the psychological benefits of that work, how the participants seem happier when they’re getting a chance to express themselves.

Flanzbaum thought that idea could be incorporated in the MFA program. And since one of the program’s missions is to provide service, Writing for Wellness seemed like a natural fit.

“It’s a discipline that’s fairly well established in other places but had no footprints at all in Indiana or Indianapolis,” Flanzbaum says. “So I saw a real opportunity for our students.”

Around the same time, Flanzbaum was recruiting a new MFA student, Bailey Merlin, who had taught in a Writing for Wellness program as an undergraduate at Berry College in Rome, Georgia.

“When we talked on the phone,” Merlin says, “I told her what I did: I bring everyone in, I have people write, they come to conclusions on their own, and it’s pretty fascinating. She’s like, ‘That’s exactly what we want.’”

That led Merlin to choose Butler for her MFA, and she led the MFA program’s first Writing for Wellness group that went to Eskenazi. There, she says, they saw staff members “writing about things they’d never expressed before and crying.” At Riley Hospital, she worked in a behavioral unit with kids suffering from eating disorders and depression.

“To see the spark of life go back into them is just amazing,” she says.

The spark works both ways.

“You would be amazed how much doing this changes you as a person,” Merlin says. “Just to see how you directly affect someone else. You don’t get that opportunity a lot.”

The MFA students who facilitate the program all seem to have that reaction. Tristan Durst has spent her Tuesday afternoons writing with a retiree named Robert, who was part of a 1950s Indianapolis-based doo-wop group called The Counts. The first week, she says, he told the same stories several times.

“Now, he’s remembering more, and more of his personality is coming out,” she says. “And this week, he was cracking jokes left, right and center. He was telling me about his brothers playing baseball and he said, ‘I won’t say that I was the best baseball player. I could, but I won’t.’ He started slipping in jokes, and I’m getting a real sense that he enjoys being there.”

Taylor Lewandowski, the MFA student who’s leading the group at the senior center, says he and the other Butler students are needed there. He tells the story of a woman he’s worked with named Martha.

“Her roommate passed away, and she saw her last breath,” Lewandowski says. “That obviously affected her. She came in three days after that and I worked with her. Afterward, she said, ‘That was really good for me. It was good for me to get out and talk to someone.’ Writing for Wellness creates this community that’s really nice. It’s really a service. We’re there to be there for them and once you realize that, it’s really nice. We’re actually doing something good.”

AcademicsCommunity

Writing for Wellness

Leona, a lady beyond a certain age, likes to break out in song.

by Marc D. Allan MFA ’18

from Spring 2017

Read more

One Butler: The Brain Project

Catherine Pangan MS ’99

from Spring 2017

What do you get when you combine leaders in the neuroscience field from around Indianapolis, an engaged community, and a spirit of integrated learning? You guessed it—One Butler: The Brain Project. 

One Butler: The Brain Project is a yearlong, campus-wide initiative focusing on brain health, with the goal of developing appreciation of how neuroscience is woven into the tapestry of our lives. 

The Brain Project transcends academic disciplines and is led by a dynamic steering committee that includes representatives from the community, each of Butler’s six colleges, students, trustees, the library, performing arts venues, Student Affairs, the Health and Recreation Complex, and several faculty members who are already using neuroscientific research in their curriculum. (Read more on Butler faculty neuroscience study in this issue’s faculty profile of Professor Tara Lineweaver.) 

Neuroanatomist Jill Bolte Taylor kicked off the initiative in September 2016 to a packed house in Clowes Memorial Hall. The Brain Project includes a yearlong speaker series, integrated coursework opportunities for students, faculty art exhibits, and connections in our Themed Living Communities in the residence halls. 

A central highlight of One Butler: The Brain Project is the installation of the “Big Brains!” This exhibit of 10 enormous fiberglass brain sculptures (5’x6’), commissioned by Dr. Jill Bolte Taylor, depicts neuroscience themes (mental health, concussion, food, etc.) and will be displayed on campus this April. 

Efforts have been coordinated with community partners, including the Eskenazi Center for Brain Care, Community Health Network, and others. 

Some of the topics explored this year include: 

  • Mental health’s cutting-edge research in schizophrenia and Alzheimer’s 
  • Creativity: music, art, and innovation 
  • Addictions, Brain Food, and Sleep 
  • Sports Wellness: prevention of traumas and concussions 
  • How we learn: education and neuroscience with an Educational Neuroscience Conference offering April 29

The Butler Brain Project seeks to distinguish Butler as an environment where academics, student life, interpersonal relationships, and physical and mental health are informed by knowledge of the human brain and how it works. It also aims to create a model for comprehensive, collaborative, and transdisciplinary exploration of a relevant topic that can be replicated and scaled to other campus environments.

Serving as a convener for neuroscience educators and clinicians from Central Indiana, we expect 40,000–50,000 students, faculty, staff, and community members will experience the One Butler: The Brain Project. We hope you can join us for this brain-boosting experience! Please visit www.butler.edu/brainproject for the most up-to-date information. You can also find us on Facebook under One Butler: Brain Project.

AcademicsCommunity

One Butler: The Brain Project

by Catherine Pangan MS ’99

from Spring 2017

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It's In Her Nature

Marc D. Allan MFA ’18

from Spring 2017

Marissa Byers ’18, the first Butler student to officially major in Environmental Studies, figures she now has the best of all worlds when it comes to career options. The junior from Springfield, Illinois, could use what she’s learning to work in public health. Or maybe on public policy issues. Or perhaps working for a non-profit or doing something in urban ecology. 

As someone with a broad range of interests who has considered majors in business, communication, and education, Environmental Studies plays to her strengths. 

“My passion has always been the environment, and in Environmental Studies I get to combine a lot of my skills,” she said. “If I go into non-profit work, I’m going to be using those communication skills and those business skills in outreach with communities. So I’ll be using my strengths for a purpose I’m passionate about. Environmental Studies is a nice combination of that.” 

Environmental Studies is a new major under the Science, Technology, and Environmental Studies (STES) umbrella. Biology Professor Carmen Salsbury, who directs the STES program, said student interest in a broad range of disciplines is driving the new major, which allows for a career in the science arena without doing the classic biology-chemistry-physics track. 

“What’s great about STES is that these majors reflect how the world is,” Salsbury said. “These majors are very interdisciplinary and that’s how the world is as well. You have to know an awful lot about a lot of things. If we’re trying to train students who are going to contribute to society, we have to teach them to think broadly and critically and see how things interconnect.” 

Environmental Studies majors focus on the relationship between environment and society and those environmental issues that deserve attention, like: How do we institute environmental change or awareness? Students take some prescribed science courses to establish a basic understanding of chemistry, ecology, and evolutionary biology, as well as other courses that focus on the environment. They also delve into the sociological aspects, such as humanity’s relationship with the environment and what that means for the future. 

All Environmental Studies majors must complete a practicum experience—either taking the Environmental/Sustainability Practicum course or by completing an independent practicum/ internship experience in which they work with a community partner on an issue relevant to that partner. Byers, for example, is fulfilling her requirement by interning with the CUE Farm on campus. Some students might work with Keep Indianapolis Beautiful, the Indiana Department of Natural Resources, or even at the statehouse dealing with lobbying organizations on an issue like concentrated animal feeding operations or another factory farming-related cause. 

“We really want the students to get out into the community and engage the community in those issues that are environment-related,” Salsbury said. “I think students are recognizing that science and society is critically important to implement policy and change behaviors with regard to the environment, medical practices, and immunizing children, to name just a few areas. All of those things have major sociological, ethical, cultural, political, and economic components to them.” 

Byers said she figures she may end up in a job that doesn’t exist yet. That might mean something in the area of working with kids, since there’s a trend in schools to incorporate nature into the curriculum. That has a lot of benefits for child development education, she said, and also prepares the next generation to be more environmentally conscious. 

“I want to work in urban environments to change people’s perceptions of nature as something that’s out there that we’re not connected to,” Byers said. “I want to bring it into urban environments to help people understand what their daily actions do to the overall environment.”

AcademicsCommunity

It's In Her Nature

by Marc D. Allan MFA ’18

from Spring 2017

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Investing in Community

Marc D. Allan MFA ’18

After 20-plus years as a cardiologist, when he could be spending retirement on a beach somewhere overlooking the bluest water, Dr. David Dageforde '70 instead is working to improve the physical, spiritual, psychological, and social well-being of residents in the west Louisville neighborhood of Shawnee.

He's inside the Shawnee Christian Healthcare Center—a clinic he helped start in 2011 and whose board he chairs—showing visitors the medical exam rooms, the expanded space for mental-health counseling, and the offices and desks for the staff of around 30 and volunteers that include his wife, Emily '73.

There's also the new dental clinic that's a couple of doors down, a garden across the street that local residents can use to grow their own vegetables, and three clinics the center runs at neighborhood schools.

"I read a book that said: 'Take care of all the health and do nothing for the villagers and you've gained nothing. Give the villagers all the community help they need but don't take care of their health and you've got nothing,'" Dageforde said. "So we do medical care and community engagement."

Approximately 18,000 residents live in the Shawnee neighborhood. More than 60 percent live at 200 percent or less of the federal poverty rate. In 2017, the clinic will have served about 4,000 patients—1,000 more than the previous year.

"A lot of us have been in this community for 50 years or more and have been involved in community service," said Loueva Moss, who's both a patient and a Shawnee Center board member. "Dr. David has taken us to another step."

*

Dageforde grew up in Anderson, Indiana. In ninth grade, he wrote a paper about three potential careers for him—the three M's, he called them: Medicine, music, and minister.

As a junior in high school, he gave a sermon. "It stunk, and I thought I could never do that." When he got to Butler in 1966, he was in the band for one semester. "I thought I was good till I heard other students practicing. I thought I'd end up teaching flutophone in a cornfield somewhere. So pre-med became an easy choice."

And the Butler professor who showed him the way forward—"The man who changed my educational life"—was H. Marshall Dixon, who taught Theoretical Physics. Dageforde took that course during sophomore year, and he memorized everything he thought he needed to know for the first test.

He got a C.

He remembers Dixon saying, "David, you haven't learned how to think. I'm going to teach you how to think."

Dixon asked questions that weren't in their notes. He would say, "David, maybe I didn't discuss it in the notes. Maybe none of it applies to the equations that you memorized. But maybe if you think of the equations, maybe you can think this thing through and project an idea and then put it together."

"He opened up my whole mind," Dageforde said." Memorizing, which is a lot of what medicine is, isn't always the way to go forward. It's to think."

While Dageforde was learning that, Emily '73 was in Kingsport, Tennessee, where her father worked for American Electric Power Co. One summer, his company had a marketing meeting in Indianapolis. Butler was on the tour of the city.

"It was different," she said. "A lot of my peers in high school would go to the University of Tennessee in Knoxville or to girls' schools in Virginia. That didn't interest me at all."

She came to Butler to study Home Economics with an emphasis in Merchandising and Textile Design, planning to work as a buyer. The night her parents dropped her off, she attended a campus mixer where a senior walked up to her and said, "Let's show 'em how to dance."

Nine months later, they were married.

David went on to the Indiana University School of Medicine while Emily finished up at Butler.

"I know I got a great education at Butler," she said. "It was a great start to a life. I would do it again. My reason for wanting to go there was to step out of my comfort zone, step out of the little box you sometimes get put in, and go somewhere where you could try new things, meet new people, and have new experiences. Butler helped me along with that."

*

After David finished his residency at Baylor College of Medicine and fellowship in cardiovascular disease at Georgetown University, the Dagefordes moved to Louisville in 1979. He loved interventional cardiology and being part of CardioVascular Associates, a huge practice of 250-plus staff that included 20-plus doctors. He thought he'd do that until he was 70. Emily, meanwhile, earned her MBA at the University of Louisville.

Then, in 1994, David took his first overseas medical mission trip to Ethiopia, where he met missionaries Ray and Effie Giles.

"They transformed my life," he said.

Dageforde was impressed and affected by the Gileses' work and how they could do so much—handling cases of typhoid, malaria, and rheumatic fever—with relatively little. At the end of that first trip, Ray Giles told Dageforde, "He who drinks from the African stream will always return."

David realized that giving money to his church and having Emily give her time teaching Bible study was not enough.

He returned to Louisville and immediately resigned as Practice Manager to work part time and devote himself to medical missions. Four years later, he quit outright, at age 52. He, Emily, and their children, Sean and Leigh Anne, subsequently went on multiple mission trips to Africa and Romania, and he's been to China, India, Guatemala, and Thailand.

Then in 2005, someone showed him the healthcare statistics of west Louisville. "It was as bad as what you see overseas," he said. Shawnee had no primary care doctor; cancer rates twice as high a rate as where the Dagefordes live, 11 miles away; and heart disease two and a half times higher.

He decided to develop a Christian healthcare clinic in the neighborhood. They got together like-minded people and neighborhood residents, many of whom were skeptical.

"I thought it was a real far-fetched idea," said Rudy Davidson, a Shawnee Christian Healthcare Clinic patient and board member. "What really convinced me was his commitment to the effort. He believes in what he's doing to the point that he worked his ass off. I'm going to say it just like that: He's worked his ass off to make this thing work. We'd get 10-page emails at 3:00 AM explaining this and that. But all of that is what it took. He mobilized a lot of people and got the resources."

*

The clinic opened in 2011, thanks to financial support from Louisville-based Norton Healthcare and Southeast Christian Church, donated construction work by a fellow church parishioner, significantly reduced rent from Tony French, the owner of the neighborhood strip mall, and the efforts of dozens of volunteers.

But from 2011–2015, the operation struggled financially. "I maybe quit being chair 200 times, 400 times," Dageforde said. "We got down to our last $30,000 once," and there were times that he had to cut staff. The board would draw Dageforde back.

"I was concerned about his physical health because I could see the strain on him," board member Loueva Moss said. "What turned it around was getting resources—getting federal money, writing grants, plus the community buying into the concept and coming for care."

The federal money came when the Shawnee Center was designated as a Federally Qualified Health Center. Phyllis Platt—who started as a volunteer with the clinic and became its CEO in 2015—wrote the grant that brought in more than $600,000, about 40 percent of their budget. The remainder comes from patient fees ($25 and up, depending on a person's ability to pay), other grants, and donations.

Platt said she always felt confident that the clinic would grow and thrive because "when the Dagefordes are in, they're all in."

"Once he made the commitment, he was really invested in thinking about it all the time, talking to the right people all the time, being wherever he needed to be all the time," she said. "I think just to see their generosity in time and effort—Emily doesn't need to come here two days a week and call patients who don't show up for appointments—but it's another example of the willingness to give and to be invested on every level in a project that's obviously very dear to them."

*

In the past year, Shawnee Christian Healthcare Center has expanded from 2,600 square feet to more than 6,000. It's added mental-health counseling and plans to add a second doctor and dentist. The budget for 2018 will be around $2 million, including a federal grant of $800,000.

"The exciting part is how much we've become part of the community," Platt said. "Every day, we have the ability to impact individual people but also the potential to change a neighborhood."

Board member Rudy Davidson said the neighborhood is, indeed, changing. The strip mall where the clinic is located is starting to attract others businesses, and there are a Pizza Hut and a Dollar Store opening nearby.

"The center gave community people a sense of confidence—something they could see instead of just talk about," he said.

On a typical day, the Center's entryway is bustling. Hallways are crowded with patients and staff moving back and forth. Patients often know each other because they're from the community, so if you're in the lobby—and especially if there's a baby—the Center turns into something of a community gathering place.

In many cases, the clinic is seeing patients for medical needs. But not always. Often times, the people who come there need referrals to resources that can provide help. David proudly recalled helping a patient whose car had fallen apart connect with a local mechanic who donated a used car.

Emily said her favorite moment at the Shawnee Center came when she bumped into a patient outside the Center who was walking her baby boy in a stroller. The woman recognized her and thanked her for the support the clinic had provided—first, when her mother died, and then when the baby was born.

"She said, 'I just love you all. You have done so much for me.'" Emily said. "For me, that just encapsulates what we do here – it's to touch people's lives and make a difference in their lives. People are important, and you need to not treat them as a global issue but as a personal issue. To be able to be influential in a positive way—that's what the work at this clinic is about."

Community

Investing in Community

"I thought I was good till I heard other students practicing. I thought I'd end up teaching flutophone in a cornfield somewhere. So pre-med became an easy choice."

Investing in Community

Marc D. Allan MFA ’18
danko young

From the President

President James M. Danko

from Fall 2017

The more things change, the more they stay the same.

                                                      —Jean-Baptiste Alphonse Karr

Butler University’s forward momentum is palpable. You can see it in the construction of learning and living spaces and in the record-high national interest in a Butler education has reached a record high: the University received 15,000 applications in 2016, an increase of 50 percent over the previous two years. You can sense it when our student-athletes step onto the field or the court. You can feel it in the energy of newly formed learning communities. You can hear it in the laughter of the more than 35,000 Hoosier schoolchildren who come to Clowes Hall each year to see their first matinee. And above all, you can see it in the realization of our academic mission. Butler students are achieving the kind of intellectual and personal growth that prepares them for meaningful, successful lives after graduation. They are traveling the world, serving others, and collaborating with faculty on research and scholarship. They are rolling up their sleeves and gaining experience in the industries and disciplines that interest them. Our alumni are building outstanding careers, enriching their communities, and giving back to support a new generation of Butler students.

When an institution is moving forward so swiftly, it’s important to periodically step back to reaffirm and celebrate its foundational culture. Indeed, the more things change at Butler, the more our University’s traditions and core values remain the same. Butler began as our founders’ effort to champion inclusivity and equality among all people. Today, we continue to strive for these priorities. Outstanding undergraduate education has always been at the heart of our mission, and this focus continues today. Generations ago, Hinkle Fieldhouse came to life with cheering fans. Today, the electricity in Hinkle is only getting stronger. And Butler’s historical commitment to serving as a cultural and educational resource to Central Indiana is more robust than ever.

As you read this edition of Butler Magazine, I hope you enjoy this look at Butler’s past and present, and reflect upon your own role in shaping the Butler story. Whether your impact was large or small, your presence on this campus changed it. And for that we are grateful.

James M. Danko
President

president@butler.edu

danko young
Community

From the President

by President James M. Danko

from Fall 2017

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#FTK: Butler University Dance Marathon

By Malachi White '20

BUDM#FTK, For The Kids, is a popular hashtag that is often taken out of context and used in a jokingly ironic way. However, at Butler #FTK is taken very seriously. We do care about the people we are serving in our community. One of the ways we show this is by hosting our annual Butler University Dance Marathon.

Dance Marathon is a multi-hour, multi-faceted event that blends dancing, games, crafts, food, and fun into one philanthropic experience. Students are on their feet the entire duration of the marathon as they stand for the kids at Riley. Funds for Dance Marathons are raised in a variety of ways. The main way funds are raised for Dance Marathons is through personal donations from friends, family, and the community either online or offline.

My friend Phil Faso, a sophomore at Butler, says he thoroughly enjoyed participating for his first time this year. “It personally impacted my life because I’ve done similar things before but not to such a great extent and it was very heartwarming.” Phil said. “It’s for an amazing cause and everyone should be aware of what we can do to help other people in need.”

Butler University Dance Marathon, or BUDM, is sponsored by Butler’s SGA. Their mission statement is “to engage the students of Butler University in striving to improve the quality of life for the children and families of Riley Hospital for Children.” This student-led organization works throughout the school year and summer to raise money to support cancer research performed at the hospital. Our money also helps the hospital continue its tradition of treating all patients, regardless of financial concerns.

Holding this organization close to her heart and platform, Annie Foster is a junior chemistry and Spanish double major, and has worked with BUDM since her first year on campus. “As soon as I joined, I knew this organization was about something bigger than I could ever imagine,” Annie said. “Supporting this organization means joining a movement to give hope back to the kids.” She started as a morale committee member during her first year. Her sophomore and junior years she worked on the executive board as Director of Fundraising. She will close her time at Butler as the Vice President of Finance. All students have the opportunity to be on the executive board by attending call out meetings, being actively annually, and showing commitment to the cause.

“From the start I knew I wanted to join the executive board and make a difference in this organization. BUDM has given my college experience meaning,” Annie said. “Being on a college campus comes with feeling of being in a bubble, secluded from the world around you. Getting involved in BUDM brings you out of that bubble and into the real world. It provides a new perspective, it teaches you about the power of hope, and it allows you to become apart of something larger than yourself.”BUDM

Inspired by the ability to make a change, Taylor Murray is a senior pharmacy major and served on the executive board of BUDM this past year. He realized that his impact on a family in need superseded monetary support for the cause. “I saw the joy and hope, especially, that support and simply dancing can bring to a child, or families face regardless of the amount of money raised that year,” Taylor said. “That was something that truly made me want to continue my involvement with the organization and the cause as a whole.”

As co-director of the morale committee Taylor says that “this committee meshed my love for dancing, with that of wanting to bring happiness and energy to those who may need it most.”

“Prospective students may not have had a Dance Marathon at their high school, and/or did not even know it was happening/what it is when they step foot onto Butler’s Campus,” Taylor said.  “From the outside, it may look like another organization at block party, but once you step out and begin to talk to those who have experienced it or been involved, one can realize it is more than an organization, it is a family.”

This year BUDM raised $301,576 for Riley Children’s Hospital and Butler celebrates being the second largest fundraising school in undergraduate schools with less than 12,000 students. Taylor tells his story and experience with BUDM by sharing how he has grown since his first year at Butler. He hopes that after he graduates he will be able to come back to people who have found their passions and act upon them to make their own Butler experiences special.

“From my experiences with BUDM, I have come to realize that I can be a leader, but a leader that doesn’t necessarily have to be the loudest or most successful in the room, but a leader who can lead by example and as one with the others,” Taylor said. “My advice to prospective students is if you do not know what you what in life, finding and driving toward your passion(s) will open up new avenues and opportunities you never would have thought existed.”

BUDM
Student LifeCampusCommunity

#FTK: Butler University Dance Marathon

#FTK, For The Kids, is a popular hashtag that is often taken out of context and used in a jokingly ironic way. However, at Butler #FTK is taken very seriously. 

Student LifeCommunity

Message from Butler University Office of Admission

BY

PUBLISHED ON Feb 26 2018

Butler University is deeply saddened by the shootings that took place at Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School in Florida. The students, teachers, staff, and the entire community of Parkland have been in our thoughts and prayers during this exceptionally difficult time.

Future Butler students should know that community involvement is one of our University’s core values. And we applaud individuals who choose to serve, and advocate, as responsible members of society. As articulated in The Butler Way, we appreciate and identify with individuals who understand humility, passion, unity, servanthood, and thankfulness.

Applicants to Butler University who respectfully engage in meaningful and authentic discourse regarding important issues within our society will not be penalized in the admission process.

Arts & CulturePeopleCommunity

Community Arts School Head Honored As United Way 'Hero'

BY

PUBLISHED ON Feb 26 2018

Butler Community Arts School Director Karen Thickstun has been honored as one of United Way of Central Indiana's 100 Heroes for her efforts to grow the arts education program from 180 students in 2002 to more than 2,000 in 2016–2017.

The 100 Heroes awards are being given to 100 people from the Central Indiana community who have made a positive impact over the last 100 years.

"I appreciate the opportunity to share with the community what the Butler Community Arts School is all about," Thickstun said. "This is nice recognition for Butler, for the Community Arts School, for the Butler students who are doing something in the community. This isn't about one person. It is about one person plus staff and faculty and Butler students and community partners that have been with us from the very beginning."

The Butler Community Arts School (BCAS) provides affordable arts instruction to the Indianapolis community—people like Kennon Ward, who is now Assistant Music Director of The Salvation Army's Phil Ramone Orchestra for Children in New York—and enables Butler students to hone their teaching skills. BCAS offers private lessons, group classes, camps, and off-campus community programming.

Last year, 59 percent of the BCAS students taking lessons received a scholarship, and minority enrollment accounted for 53 percent.

The BCAS program was the vision of Peter Alexander, then Dean of the Jordan College of Fine Arts, who had started a similar community arts school at the University of Southern Mississippi. Alexander "saw the potential for using college students as the primary instructors and making inroads into the community with that dynamic," Thickstun said.

Alexander approached Thickstun with the idea in January 2002. At the time, Butler's only music instruction for the community was a piano camp. With the help of Arts Administration Professor Susan Zurbuchen, Thickstun secured a grant from the Indiana Arts Commission to provide need-based scholarships to students who wanted music lessons but could not afford them.

By September 2002, BCAS was up and running.

"It was a leap of faith by the Indiana Arts Commission because they were funding something that didn't exist yet," she said. "But Butler had credibility, and the Jordan College of Fine Arts had credibility, and I'm assuming they saw the potential."

The Indiana Arts Commission has renewed that grant every year since. Last year, BCAS received grants totaling more than $113,000 from the Indiana Arts Commission, the Christel DeHaan Family Foundation, The Indianapolis Foundation, Summer Youth Program Fund, and the Lilly Endowment. Some 90 percent of the grant money goes to provide student need-based scholarships.

The program also now has:

-Thirteen community partners serving more than 800 students with music, visual arts, dance, and theatre programs. The Martin Luther King Center, Metropolitan Youth Orchestra, Auntie Mame Child Development Center, and Christel House Academy have all been community partners since the beginning.

-Sixteen summer camps serving over 600 students ages 7 and older. The camps include a summer ballet intensive that will be expanded to four weeks beginning in 2018, as well as theatre and music programs. A new guitar camp will debut in 2018.

-Nine group class programs—including Guitar for Young Bulldogs, Youth Theatre, and Children's Orchestra—serving more than 200 students ages 5 and older.

-Nine areas of private lessons serving over 400 students ages 5 and up. Lessons are available in piano, strings, voice, woodwinds, brass, percussion, guitar, music theory, and composition.

"I'm proud that Butler has stood behind the program for 16 years and continued to support it," Thickstun said. "Butler has recognized that it provides community engagement for the University students, in addition to all the good that it does for the children in the community."

 

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

 

Arts & CulturePeopleCommunity

Community Arts School Head Honored As United Way 'Hero'

Karen Thickstun has made a positive impact on the central Indiana community.

Feb 26 2018 Read more
Arts & CultureCommunity

Butler to Celebrate 100 Years of Bernstein

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PUBLISHED ON Feb 09 2018

Butler University's Jordan College of the Arts will mark the 100th anniversary of the birth of American composer, conductor, author, and lecturer Leonard Bernstein with a series of performances throughout 2018, beginning with the Butler Symphony Orchestra performing the Overture to Candide on February 24 at the Schrott Center for the Arts.

“Leonard Bernstein’s legacy was the passion he brought to his music, whether in the role of creator/composer, performer/conductor, or teacher/author," said Lisa Brooks, Dean of Butler's Jordan College of the Arts. "There are very few musicians alive today who have not been somehow influenced by his genius.”

In addition to the performances, the Butler University School of Music will offer an undergraduate course called Topics in Nineteenth-Century Music: Mahler and Bernstein, taught by Dr. Clare Carrasco in the fall.

Bernstein received an Honorary Doctorate of Humane Letters from Butler in 1976.

Here is the list of performances honoring the Maestro, who was born August 25, 1918, and died October 14, 1990.

Spring 2018

Music at Butler Series: Butler Symphony Orchestra performs the Overture to Candide, Saturday, February 24, 7:30 PM, Schrott Center for the Arts.

Music at Butler Series: Wind Ensemble presents Symphonic Dances from West Side Story, Sunday, February 25, 3:00 PM, Schrott Center for the Arts.

Butler Opera Theatre and Butler Symphony Orchestra present Trouble in Tahiti, Friday and Saturday, April 13–14, 7:30 PM, Schrott Center for the Arts.

Neighborhood Concert Series: Wind Ensemble performs Candide Suite, Thursday, April 26, 7:00 PM, Schrott Center for the Arts.

Music at Butler Series: Choral Concert, choruses from The Lark for choir, percussion, countertenor soloist, Sunday, April 29, 3:00 PM, Schrott Center for the Arts.

Fall 2018

Wayne Wentzel Lecture Series: Dr. Carol Oja, Harvard University, Tuesday, October 16. Time and venue to be announced.

Neighborhood Concert Series: Jazz Ensemble and Butler Symphony Orchestra performing a newly commissioned medley of Bernstein works for studio orchestra, Thursday October 18, 7:30 PM, Schrott Center for the Arts.

Music at Butler Series: Butler Symphony Orchestra playing Symphony No. 1 (“Jeremiah”), with School of Music faculty member Kirsten Gunlogson, mezzo-soprano, Sunday, October 21, 3:00 PM, Clowes Memorial Hall.

Neighborhood Concert Series: Wind Ensemble performs A White House Cantata with two vocal soloists (soprano and baritone) from the Marine Band and a small chorus; Prelude, Fugue, and Riffs, with clarinet soloist from the Marine Band; and On the Waterfront Suite transcription, Thursday, November 15, 7:30 PM, Schrott Center for the Arts.

 

(Photo from leonardbernstein.com)

 

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

 

Arts & CultureCommunity

Butler to Celebrate 100 Years of Bernstein

Events in the series begin February 24.

Feb 09 2018 Read more
Arts & CulturePeopleCommunity

Angela Brown Sings Again in Celebration Concert

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PUBLISHED ON Feb 08 2018

Indianapolis-based soprano Angela Brown, who had taken some time off due to vocal stress, returns to the stage for a free concert on Sunday, February 25, at 7:30 PM at Butler University's Schrott Center for the Arts as part of the Celebration of African-American Music Concert.

The concert will feature Brown, Butler University choirs, and the Eastern Star Church Choir performing together and separately songs such as "This Little Light of Mine," "Wade in the Water," and "Lift Every Voice and Sing."

The Celebration of African-American Music Concert, pioneered by Jeremiah Marcèle Sanders MM '17 in collaboration with the Efroymson Diversity Center, Mu Phi Epsilon and the School of Music, celebrates the vast wealth of African-American culture through singing.

"Our singing is a tool for increasing the awareness of the oppression under which African slaves were brought to this land," Sanders said. "We wish that all see a day in which we celebrate a reconciliation of racial injustice. Until that day arrives, we rejoice in hope, sing in unity of mind and spirit, and educate toward equality."

Brown, a Butler University Visiting Guest Artist during the 2017–2018 academic year, sang on the Grammy-winning recording of "Ask Your Mama,” composer Laura Karpman’s setting of the poem by Langston Hughes of the same title. She also co-starred in the new American opera Charlie Parker’s Yardbird in the 2015 world-premiere performance with Opera Philadelphia.

She reprised the role of Addie Parker in historic performances at The Apollo in New York City in 2016, for Lyric Opera of Chicago and Madison Opera, and in London at The Hackney Empire in 2017.

This season includes solo appearances with the Indianapolis Chamber Orchestra, Venice Symphony Orchestra, Fayetteville Symphony Orchestra, and Duisberger Philharmonic (Germany) as well as performances of Opera…from a Sistah’s Point of View in the United States.

The Butler choirs will be conducted by John Perkins, Associate Director of Choral Activities, who joined the University in 2014. Perkins previously served at the American University of Sharjah (UAE) from 2008-2014. Perkins’ teaching and research centers around broadening reasons for choral musicking, including social justice education. In pursuit of these goals, in the spring of 2016 he created a transnational course entitled "Peacebuilding through Choral Singing."

Sherri Garrison, who conducts the Eastern Star Church, Cooper Road campus, has been the Minister of Music there for the last 30 years. During her tenure at Eastern Star Church, she has overseen six choirs, of which she taught and directed five, two praise teams, two dance ministries, and a full music staff.

 

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

 

Arts & CulturePeopleCommunity

Angela Brown Sings Again in Celebration Concert

Performance will feature the great soprano along with Butler choirs and the Eastern Star Church choir.

Feb 08 2018 Read more
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Community

Butler University Mourns the Passing of Andrew Smith

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PUBLISHED ON Jan 12 2018

Update: A celebration of Andrew Smith's life will be held on Sunday, January 17, at 5:00 PM at Traders Point Christian Church, 6590 South Indianapolis Road, Whitestown, Indiana. Doors will open at 4:00 PM.

 

Butler University President James M. Danko and Vice President and Director of Athletics Barry Collier released this message to the Butler community on January 12:

Dear Butler Community,

We are profoundly sad to share the news that Andrew Smith ’13 passed away today. He was 25.

Andrew represented the best of Butler, both in the classroom, where he was an Academic All-American, and on the basketball court, where he helped lead our Bulldogs to back-to-back appearances in the national championship game.

As many of you know, Andrew was diagnosed with non-Hodgkin lymphoma in January 2014, and with leukemia late last year. He fought valiantly. As in all aspects of his life, Andrew gave his all, all the time.

What made Andrew so special was the way that he genuinely cared for others. Within his large frame was an even larger heart. He is, was, and always will be a Bulldog.

The Butler community is proud to have been part of Andrew’s life, and our thoughts are with his wife, Samantha; his parents, Debbie and Curt; and the rest of his family. Information about services is pending, and we will share details with the Butler community as we learn more.

Sincerely,

Jim Danko and Barry Collier

Lacey School
Community

Small Business Center Moves to Butler

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PUBLISHED ON Jan 04 2018

Butler University is the new host of the Central Indiana Small Business Development Center, which provides guidance and resources to entrepreneurs and small business owners at all phases—concept, startup, growth, and maturity. The Central Indiana Small Business Development Center’s mission is to have a positive and measurable impact on the formation, growth, and sustainability of small business in Indiana and to develop a strong entrepreneurial community.

The Small Business Center (SBDC) will become a division of the Lacy School of Business’ Old National Bank Center for Closely Held Business. The four-employee Central Indiana Small Business Development Center will be primarily located at the Speak Easy Downtown Indianapolis, but will be part of the Indianacoworkingpassport.com network providing access to multiple co-working spaces across Central Indiana.

The Indiana Economic Development Corporation (IEDC) administers a grant from the federal Small Business Administration that enables these small-business development centers to exist and partners with local organizations to host them. The Indy Chamber has hosted the Central Indiana Small Business Development Center since 2014 and integrated it into its other key initiatives, including the Business Ownership Initiative (BOI) and the Women’s Business Center.

“The Indy Chamber has been proud to host the Central Indiana SBDC team for the last three years,” Indy Chamber President and CEO Michael Huber said. “While we will miss having these amazing individuals in our office, we are excited for the growth of their small business support services through this new relationship with Butler University. We will continue to partner with the Central Indiana SBDC team, the US Small Business Administration, and additional partners to further develop the entrepreneurial ecosystem of the Indy region.”

Dennis Wimer, Director of the Old National Bank Center for Closely Held Business said he wants Butler to build on the good work done by the Indy Chamber to help small businesses grow and will maintain the partnerships already in place. This partnership will help the Butler community connect more deeply with the small business community in Central Indiana.

Steve Standifird, Dean of Butler’s Lacy School of Business, said having the Center become part of the University is “a great addition to Butler.”

“It will give us additional opportunities for experiential education, enable us to partner with the business community, and continue our efforts to help Indiana businesses grow,” he said.

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

Lacey School
Community

Small Business Center Moves to Butler

On January 1, Butler University became the new host of the Central Indiana Small Business Development Center, which provides guidance and resources to entrepreneurs and small business owners at all phases—concept, startup, growth, and maturity.

Jan 04 2018 Read more

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