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Professor Kercood Receives Grant for Oral Hygiene Training Program

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PUBLISHED ON Dec 08 2015

Professor of Special Education Suneeta Kercood has been awarded nearly $25,000 by the Dental Trade Alliance Foundation to develop a video-based training program to teach families of special-needs children about oral healthcare and prepare them for visits to the dentist.

“There is a huge disparity in oral health care of children with intellectual/developmental disabilities,” Kercood said, “and after having spoken to numerous parents and medical practitioners, there is a great need for parent training, as well as training medical/health professionals to care for this special group of children (especially navigating through their physical and behavioral challenges).”

Throughout 2016, Kercood is collaborating with Dr. Ana Vazquez with Fishers Pediatric Dentistry, who specializes in providing services to children with special needs on the project.

She said oral health often is overlooked in the hierarchy of needs of children/adults with intellectual/developmental disabilities.

“Oral health is important, not just for basic activities related to food intake or communication, but can have implications for secondary health conditions, social interaction, and long term care, and thus needs to be addressed,” Kercood said.

Since 2002, the Dental Trade Alliance Foundation has awarded just over $1.5 million in grant funding to 74 projects designed to increase access to oral health care.

 

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

CampusCommunity

Visiting Writers Series Presents Lev Grossman

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PUBLISHED ON Dec 07 2015

Lev Grossman, author of the Magicians trilogy, will speak in the Atherton Union Reilly Room on February 17 at 7:30 PM as part of Butler University’s spring 2016 Vivian S. Delbrook Visiting Writers Series.

Admission is free and open to the public to all events in the series. For more information, call 317-940-9861.

Lev GrossmanGrossman's Magicians trilogy, a New York Times #1 best seller, has been published in 25 countries. It was recently acquired by NBC/Universal for a television series, with a pilot episode officially ordered for the SyFy channel. For the past decade, Grossman has been both the book critic and the lead technology writer at Time, covering virtually every cultural and technological revolution of the new millennium. (A graduate of both Harvard and Yale, he was the first journalist to make a call on the iPhone!)

When Time chose “You” as its Person of the Year 2006, Grossman wrote the story; he did it again in 2010, covering Mark Zuckerberg. Grossman has interviewed and profiled the major drivers of cultural change in the Internet era, from Steve Jobs to Jonathan Franzen to John Green. He has also written for Wired, The Believer, and The Village Voice and many others.

He will be followed in the spring series by novelist/short-story writer Benjamin Percy (February 29, Schrott Center), poet Claudia Rankine (March 17, Eidson-Duckwall Recital Hall), and poet/National Book Award winner Marilyn Hacker (April 5, Clowes Memorial Hall, Krannert Room).

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

AcademicsCommunity

At Lab School, 22 Chinese Principals Are Students for a Day

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PUBLISHED ON Dec 04 2015

When 22 principals from China’s Zhejiang Province wanted to see how American elementary schools operate, they chose to spend a day at the Butler Lab School, which the University operates in partnership with the Indianapolis Public Schools system.

The Chinese visitors devoted Friday, December 4, to observing how the elementary school at 34th and Meridian streets manages to educate the students without concentrating so much on standardized testing.
Ron Smith, Principal of the Butler Lab School, visits with counterparts from China.

“In China, they have one curriculum for the entire province,” said Grace Kontur, Program Director for the Indianapolis-based Chinese Education Connection, which coordinated the visit. “Every school teaches the same thing on the same day. So for them to differentiate (like the Lab School does) is a very hard topic for them to understand.”

Kontur left it to Ena Shelley, Dean of Butler’s College of Education and designer of the Lab School, to explain.

With Kontur translating, Shelley told the visitors that “all children are capable, competent, and powerful learners.” It’s up to schools, she said, to “instill a sense of wonder” in the students. “Focus on the strength of the child and build from there,” she said.

In explaining how Lab School learning works, Shelley shared the example of a teacher who showed her student Van Gogh’s painting “Sunflowers” and asked them to draw their own version. That was supplemented by a lesson on Van Gogh, which got the students interested in his painting “Starry Night,” which segued into a discussion of the constellations, which turned into a math lesson about how many stars are in specific constellations, which resulted in a visit to Butler’s Holcomb Observatory to see the stars, which caused one of the English as a Second Language students to start speaking more because he was so excited.

“It opened him up,” Shelley said.

All well and good, the visitors said. But how is student progress evaluated?

Lab School Principal Ron Smith ’88 MS ’96 said student evaluations combine quantitative data—gathered through testing—with qualitative data that measures whether the children have learned. Those qualitative measures include examining student work and recorded discussions with individual students to see what they have learned.

As for teachers, they are evaluated based on formal observations by the principal—that counts for 60 percent—and how the teacher did on goals established at the beginning of the year (40 percent).

This was difficult for the Chinese to understand because they’re accustomed to everything being measured, Kontur said.

But they’re trying.

“They really want to update,” she said. “They really want to keep improving their system, so they want to learn what’s over here that they can bring it back to China.”

 

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

CampusCommunity

Coming Soon to the Sunset Avenue Garage: Pita Pit

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PUBLISHED ON Nov 30 2015

Butler University has signed its second retail customer for the Sunset Avenue Parking Garage—a 1,400-square-foot Pita Pit franchise owned by 2003 Butler graduate Travis Sealls.

Pita Pit, “a fresh, healthy alternative to fast food,” will open in late February or early March. The restaurant will seat approximately 20 inside and will have an outdoor patio that will accommodate 20-30.

Trip at Pita PitSealls said Pita Pit will deliver on campus and the surrounding neighborhood. It will be open for lunch and dinner, and offer beer and wine.

“Butler holds a special place in my heart,” he said. “I met my future wife, Whitney ’03, at Butler, and now we have three wonderful kids. From a business standpoint, Pita Pit is a perfect college campus addition. The first Pita Pit was founded at a university. We will offer a quick and healthy alternative to the normal campus culinary scene.”

Sealls, whose degree is in Finance, got into the restaurant business after working as a budget analyst at the University of Albany (New York) while Whitney went to medical school at Albany Medical College. She is now in scientific communications for Eli Lilly and Co. They moved back to Indianapolis in 2008.

Sealls has owned and operated the downtown Indianapolis Pita Pit store since 2009 and was the franchisee of the year in 2013. He also owns another restaurant, Punch Burger, which opened in Indianapolis in 2012 and expanded to Carmel in 2015.

Butler’s new facility, which opened for parking in August, has 17,000 square feet of retail space on the first floor of the five-story structure, as well as 1,033 parking spaces. In August, the University announced that Scotty’s Dawghouse would be the anchor tenant in the garage, taking 6,400 square feet in the northeast corner of Sunset Avenue and Lake Road. Scotty’s is scheduled to open in February.

Donna Hovey, Vice President, and Gordon Hendry, First Vice President, of CBRE’s Indianapolis office represent Butler University as the leasing agent. The new mixed-use retail and parking garage offers suite sizes ranging from 1,200 to 8,400 square feet, many with patio and outdoor dining options. For more information, visit http://www.cbre.us/butler-retail.

Pita Pit started in Canada in 1995 and moved into the United States in 1999. Its U.S. headquarters are in Coeur D’Alene, Idaho.

"We're excited to bring Pita Pit to campus,” Butler Director of External Relations Michael Kaltenmark said. “They are a perfect fit for Butler's new parking facility, both literally and figuratively. With the ability to occupy an ideal footprint of prominent storefront space along Sunset Avenue, Pita Pit provides the convenience, quality, and variety that Butler's students, faculty, staff, and neighbors have requested."

 

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

Community

Visiting Writers Series Presents Poet Dean Young

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PUBLISHED ON Nov 13 2015

The Vivian S. Delbrook Visiting Writers Series concludes its fall 2015 series with poet Dean Young on Monday, November 16, at 7:30 p.m. in the Robertson Hall Johnson Board Room.

All events in the series are free and open to the public. For more information, call 317-940-9861.

Dean YoungYoung, who earned his MFA from Indiana University, is recognized as one of the most energetic, influential poets writing today. His numerous collections of poetry include Strike Anywhere (1995), winner of the Colorado Prize for Poetry; Skid (2002), finalist for the Lenore Marshall Poetry Prize; Elegy on Toy Piano (2005), finalist for the Pulitzer Prize; and Primitive Mentor (2008), shortlisted for the International Griffin Poetry Prize.  He has also written a book on poetics, The Art of Recklessness: Poetry as Assertive Force and Contradiction (2010).

Young’s awards include the Academy Award in Literature, a Stegner Fellowship from Stanford University, and fellowships from the Guggenheim Foundation, the National Endowment for the Arts, and the Fine Arts Work Center in Provincetown. His poems have been featured in Best American Poetry numerous times.

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

 

Community

President Danko: All Should Feel Safe, Valued, Celebrated

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PUBLISHED ON Nov 13 2015

In light of the situation at the University of Missouri and other campuses, President Danko issued this statement:

Dear Butler Community Members,

Earlier this year, I spoke out against Indiana’s Religious Freedom Restoration Act (RFRA). This act uniquely damaged the spirit and global reputation President Jim Dankoof the Hoosier State. Its discriminatory agenda directly contradicted Butler’s values of fairness and inclusivity, and I felt compelled to publicly comment in that case in the hope of inspiring action and dialogue.

Similarly, I feel compelled to share my thoughts with you now about the changes taking place at the University of Missouri and other campuses across the country this week. The aspiration of students at these institutions is that which forms the heart of Butler University’s founding and current values: the realization of a just society, in which all people are respected and valued equally.

Archbishop Desmond Tutu came to our campus in 2013 and spoke to us about peace, forgiveness, and reconciliation when we opened a Center in his name. As members of a learning environment that values critical inquiry, we recognize that his message of compassion and humanity rings true. At the same time, we realize that social justice is the cornerstone of peace.

The United States grapples with a history of discrimination and oppression. Today, college students across the country continue to live with the very real consequences of that history. Despite the progress we have made as a great nation, we have much work to do to become a truly just society. As our country continues to struggle to address injustice, it is incumbent upon us, as Butler University community members, to be leaders of dialogue, pathfinders to solutions, and models of civility. This leadership can be assumed by any and all of us, including faculty, staff, students, and alumni.

Our Butler values put us in a strong position to assume such leadership. Butler was founded by abolitionists who wrote into our University charter that we would be “a non-sectarian institution free from the taint of slavery.” Gertrude Mahorney, Butler’s first African-American graduate, earned her bachelor’s degree in 1887. Sigma Gamma Rho was founded on Butler’s campus in 1922. Butler was the first college in Indiana to admit women and men on an equal basis, and established the first endowed chair in the nation specifically designated to be filled by a female professor.

I do not cite these facts to encourage us to rest on our laurels; rather, I believe we should be inspired by our shared history of, and commitment to, social justice and the eradication of discrimination in its many forms, both insidious and overt. I challenge all of us to recommit to our founding vision. I challenge us to strive, each day, to more fully understand each other’s experiences. I challenge us to find positive and constructive ways for Butler to be a national leader in finding real solutions to these long-standing issues.

I would like to acknowledge the efforts of Provost Kathryn Morris, Vice President Levester Johnson, and Associate Professor Terri Jett, Special Assistant to the Provost for Diversity and Inclusivity, who are leading concerted efforts to ensure that our community is a just, fair, and safe place in which all people may thrive equally. We are also extremely fortunate to have many other faculty members with expertise in social justice issues, who are working extremely hard toward this goal. Most importantly, our students are engaged in a wide range of social-justice initiatives, both at the curricular and extracurricular level, which empower them to effect positive change and make a real difference.

While all these activities are extremely important, I believe we can work even harder, and do even more, to live our founding Butler mission each day. Please join me in redoubling our efforts to that end, in support of the rights of every person—in our own learning community and in those across our nation—to feel safe, valued, and celebrated.

As always, I welcome your thoughts and questions.

James M. Danko, President
Butler University

Community

Statement from President Danko on the Passing of Amos Brown

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PUBLISHED ON Nov 07 2015

Amos BrownThe Butler University community is saddened to learn of Amos Brown's sudden passing today in Chicago. Amos was an extraordinary civic leader who helped bridge cultural divides and create greater understanding in our city. He was also a great friend to Butler, serving for decades as the master of ceremonies for our Celebration of Diversity Distinguished Lecture Series. Our hearts go out to his family and friends. He will be missed.

PeopleCommunity

Isn't This Lovely: Butler Students to Sing With Stevie Wonder

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PUBLISHED ON Nov 06 2015

Four members of Butler University’s Voices of Deliverance gospel choir have been invited to sing with Stevie Wonder on Saturday night at Bankers Life Fieldhouse in downtown Indianapolis.
RaeNosa Hudnell, Murjuana Mutuwa, Jeremy Washington, and Elisha Wright will be singing with Stevie Wonder.

Senior Jeremy Washington, an Organizational Communications and Leadership major from Hammond, Indiana; Elisha Wright, a sophomore Exploratory Studies major from Indianapolis; graduate student RaeNosa Hudnell, a Creative Writing major from Grand Rapids, Michigan; and Murjanatu Mutuwa, a first-year International Business major from Cedar Lake, Indiana, will join the 1989 Rock and Roll Hall of Fame inductee and his band for three songs—“Pastime Paradise” and “Another Star” from his Songs in the Key of Life album and a cover of Curtis Mayfield’s “People Get Ready.”

Valerie Davidson, Butler’s Director of Diversity Programs and the faculty adviser for Voices of Deliverance, said she received a call on Thursday, November 5, from Wonder’s people, asking about singers. They told her that, at each tour stop, they like to invite local singers—ideally from colleges—to perform.

“When Miss Valerie notified me of the news, I was speechless!” Washington said. “For me, Stevie Wonder is more than just a flawless voice but a role model and symbol to the realization that nothing can hold greatness back.”

The students will be at the arena for rehearsal Saturday at 4:00 PM. At 4:30 PM, Wonder is scheduled to join them to rehearse and for soundcheck.

This is the third time in recent years that Butler students have been invited to sing with a superstar performer. In 2012, 22 members of the Butler Chorale sang with Madonna during halftime at the Super Bowl. And this past July 4, 26 members of the Chorale accompanied the Rolling Stones onstage at the Indianapolis Motor Speedway.

 

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

Arts & CultureCommunity

JCA, Indiana Arts Commission Forge Partnership

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PUBLISHED ON Nov 02 2015

Butler University’s Jordan College of the Arts has forged a partnership with the Indiana Arts Commission to become the IAC regional granting office for central Indiana, covering Boone, Hamilton, Hancock, Hendricks, Johnson, Marion, and Shelby Counties.
Lilly Hall

Butler’s role through 2017 will be to set up independent citizen advisory panels that will review grant applications. The citizen panels adjudicate and score grant applications, and the state awards the grant funds. Last year, the state awarded about $400,000 in grants to Indianapolis-area arts groups.

“We are excited about having the Jordan College of the Arts at Butler University join this new partnership arrangement for Region 7,” IAC Executive Director Lewis C. Ricci said. “The College has a long history in, and commitment to, the arts in this region.”

Jordan College faculty and staff will also provide technical assistance and guidance to on public funding to artists and arts organizations of all sizes.

“I’m excited for the opportunity this will provide for our students,” said Susan Zurbuchen, Associate Professor of Arts Administration. “The students will learn about how public money is disbursed, and they’ll have hands-on opportunities to be part of the process.”

Zurbuchen said she believes no other undergraduate arts administration program has such a hand in grant administration.

Ronald Caltabiano, Dean of Butler’s Jordan College of the Arts, said the partnership with the Indiana Arts Commission “helps to strengthen our academic programming and further reinforces Butler University’s role as a nexus for arts in central Indiana. This is a tremendous opportunity for our students and for Butler.”

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

Community

Butler, Blind School Students to Plant Trees for Bees

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PUBLISHED ON Oct 15 2015

Students from the Butler University World of Plants class and the Indiana School for the Blind and Visually Impaired (ISBVI) will work together on a tree-planting event on Tuesday, October 20, from 10:00-11:30 AM and 2:30-4:00 PM.

At the “Trees for Bees” event, students will plant trees to enhance the pollen sources for ISBVI bee hives.

A swarm of European honey bees clinging to a tree

The event is the result of a 2015 Tree Campus USA Mini-Award received by Biology Instructor Marva Meadows. She said the class project is trying to address some of the nutritional problems by planting 20 new species of trees and shrubs that are honey bee friendly.

“Honey bee hives will benefit by having a diversity of pollen and nectar planted close to the hives themselves,” she said. “This may allow the bees to resist some of the other stresses that are plaguing hives around the world. Our teams of Butler and ISBVI students have been learning about flowers and honey bees together and will culminate in planting their chosen tree on Tuesday.”

Honey bees are responsible for one-third of our food, Meadows said. Agricultural production of almonds, berries, fruits and vegetables are a direct result of honey bee pollination.

Unfortunately, honey bees are in decline from a number of pressures including Colony Collapse Disorder which may be caused by new parasites and pathogens like Varroa mites, nosema fungi and deformed wing virus, she said.

“No one is sure about how the liberal use of pesticides may be causing additional stress to the hives. And nutritional problems caused by a lack of variable pollen and nectar sources may also be weakening honey bees.”

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

Arts & CultureCommunity

Butler to Hold Peace Festival

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PUBLISHED ON Oct 08 2015

Butler University will hold a Peace Festival October 19–22 that will feature discussions about topics such as sustainability and the Darfur refugee crisis, and culminate with an address by Holocaust survivor Eva Kor called “The Triumph of the Human Spirit: From Auschwitz to Forgiveness.”
Butler's Peace Pole stands between Jordan Hall and Atherton Union.

“The purpose of the Peace and Conflict Studies Program is to reach out to students of all backgrounds and show that social justice issues, as well as opportunities to promote reconciliation and peace, can exist within many different parts of life,” said Annika London ’17, the coordinator of the festival. “We want the Peace Festival to reflect on that concept by giving students a chance to learn about some of the biggest current conflicts here and abroad, and how they can participate in making a positive change both as individuals and as a community.”

Here is the schedule of events:

October 19–22
• “Remembering Our Youth,” Boots Display by Veterans for Peace, Chapter 49, 11:00 AM–2:00 PM, at the Peace Pole outside Starbucks.

October 19
• “2016: Can Elections Make Room for Peace?” Panel Discussion with Veterans, Students, and Peacemakers, 7:00 PM, Pharmacy Building room 150.

October 20
• Yoga at the Blue House, 8:00–8:45 AM, Center for Faith and Vocation.
• “Privilege and Opportunity, It’s All in the Game,” with Professors Vivian Deno and Terri Jett, 4:30–6:30 PM, Pharmacy Building room 106B. Snacks provided.
• Luminaries for Domestic Violence Awareness, 8:00 PM, at the Peace Pole.

October 21
• Darfur Women Information Table, 11:00 AM–1:00 PM, Starbucks.
• Sustainable Indiana 2016, followed by a dance piece by the Movement Exchange called “On the Edge,” 4:30–5:30 PM, Eidson-Duckwall Recital Hall.

October 22
• Thoughts and Prayers for Peace, 12:20-12:50 PM, at the Peace Pole.
• Beyond Right and Wrong, film screening sponsored by the Desmond Tutu Center for Peace, Reconciliation, and Global Justice, 6:30 PM, Eidson-Duckwall Recital Hall.
• “The Triumph of the Human Spirit: From Auschwitz to Forgiveness,” an address by Holocaust survivor Eva Kors, Celebration of Diversity Distinguished Lecture Series, 7:30 PM, Clowes Hall. Free tickets available at Clowes box office.

For accessibility information or to request disability-related accommodations, please visit, http://www.butler.edu/event-accommodations/.

 

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

Arts & CultureCommunity

Visiting Writers Series Presents Laila Lalami

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PUBLISHED ON Oct 06 2015

Author Laila Lalami will speak in the Atherton Union Reilly Room on Tuesday, October 13, at 7:30 PM as part of the Vivian S. Delbrook Visiting Writers Series.

The event is free and open to the public without tickets. For more information, call 317-940-9861.Laila Lalami

Lalami is the author of the novels Hope and Other Dangerous Pursuits, which was a finalist for the Oregon Book Award; Secret Son, which was on the Orange Prize longlist, and The Moor’s Account, which was a New York Times Notable Book, a Wall Street Journal Best Book of the Year, a nominee for the Hurston-Wright Legacy Award, and a finalist for the 2015 Pulitzer Prize for Fiction.

Her essays and opinion pieces have appeared in the Los Angeles Times, the Washington Post, The Nation, the Guardian, the New York Times, and in many anthologies. Her work has been translated into 10 languages. She is the recipient of a British Council Fellowship, a Fulbright Fellowship, and a Lannan Foundation Residency Fellowship. Lalami is a professor of creative writing at the University of California at Riverside.

 

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

 

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