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Hinkle Fieldhouse, Butler University

New Book Follows Butler’s Growth After Back-to-Back Final Four Appearances

BY Katie Grieze

PUBLISHED ON Mar 12 2021

In 2010 and 2011, the Butler University men’s basketball team made back-to-back runs to the national championship game of the NCAA tournament—the smallest school to reach the final in modern history. A year later, Graham Honaker joined Butler’s Advancement team and began watching the University grow.

“I came to Butler just after those back-to-back Final Fours, and every year, I saw this transformation of what was, at one time, a small and relatively unknown school in the Midwest,” Honaker said in a recent webinar moderated by Jeff Blade ’83. “Butler saw growth in facilities, growth in applications, and growth in philanthropy. And I thought, ‘this is a really unique story.’”

Graham Honaker and Jerry Logan
Graham Honaker (left) and Jerry Logan (right)

So, he decided to write it down.

Honaker, who is now Butler’s Executive Director of Principal Gifts, partnered with Jerry Logan, the Director of Academic Operations at Gordon College who first visited Butler in 2017 for a PhD project about how athletic success can impact universities. The two combined their work to co-author The Cinderella Strategy: The Game Plan Behind Butler University’s Rise to Prominence. Released earlier this month, the book shares the story of Butler’s recent successes—both on and off the court.

Butler’s journey to the Final Four began as early as the 1980s, when a strategy emerged to devote more resources to the men’s basketball program. Leaders invested in a renovation of Hinkle Fieldhouse, higher coaching salaries, new marketing efforts, and other basketball-focused initiatives, hoping the team’s success would boost Butler’s overall reputation.

But that didn’t distract from the University’s dedication to providing high-quality learning experiences and building a strong sense of community on campus—instead, athletics and academics shared a unified mission. By the time the men’s basketball team was on its way to the championship game, Butler leaders were ready to make the most of the opportunity.

The Cinderella Strategy explains how Butler seized the national attention that came with its Final Four runs to elevate the University as a whole. Through marketing, fundraising, and other efforts, Butler saw its reputation transform over the next several years.

The Cinderella Strategy“Butler moved quickly and aggressively to take advantage of the opportunity and use the momentum to catalyze a number of existing initiatives and strategic choices,” Logan explains.

The number of students applying for admission to Butler University has more than doubled in the last decade. In 2009, the University received 6,247 applications. That number jumped to 9,682 in 2012—immediately following the Final Four runs—a 55 percent increase in just three years. By 2018, applications peaked at 16,430, an amazing 163 percent increase over 2009, the year prior to the first trip to the Final Four.

Butler received an estimated $1.2 billion in media coverage from the championship runs, Honaker says, and its endowment has risen by $100 million since 2011. The University has also seen an increase in significant gifts, allowing for new scholarship funds and major renovations to campus infrastructure—even during a difficult era for higher education. Annual fundraising totals rose from an average of $18.9 million per year from 2010-2015 to an average of $34.7 million per year from 2015-2020.

The back-to-back Final Four appearances also resulted in an invitation for Butler to join the BIG EAST conference for athletics, which has significantly increased national television exposure for the University.

Honaker says Butler’s story offers a case study of how complex organizations can balance risk and patience to multiply success while staying true to their core identities.

To learn more about The Cinderella Strategy, visit The book is available now from Pediment Publishing.

Media Contact:
Mark Apple
Interim Director of Strategic Communications

Hinkle Fieldhouse, Butler University

New Book Follows Butler’s Growth After Back-to-Back Final Four Appearances

Co-authored by Butler’s own Graham Honaker, The Cinderella Strategy explains how a basketball program’s success led to University-wide progress

Mar 12 2021 Read more
Spring Valley Farms eggs

Butler Dining Launches New Sustainable Food Grant Program


PUBLISHED ON Feb 09 2021

INDIANAPOLIS, Ind.—Butler University and its food service partner, Bon Appétit Management Company, are proud to announce the launch of the Food Enterprises Achieving Sustainability Together (FEAST) Fund, as part of their commitment to strengthening the local food system.

Butler students, campus groups, and departments—as well as food suppliers—can submit applications for sustainable food-related projects that will benefit the campus community.

“The FEAST Fund exemplifies Butler’s commitment to sustainability and student innovation,” said Dr. Frank E. Ross, Butler Vice President for Student Affairs. “Students will be empowered to take action and build an eco-friendlier campus that contributes to our collective health and well-being. As many face food insecurity amid the COVID-19 pandemic, we have a commitment to practice sustainable consumption and tackle food waste. The FEAST Fund will help us do just that.”

To inspire other applicants, the committee has launched its first project: an egg centrifuge that cracks eggs at very high speed, which will allow for eggs from Spring Valley Farms in Hagerstown, Indiana, to be used more widely at Butler.

Butler Dining already buys some local eggs, along with local produce, meat, cheese, and more from many local farms, ranches, and food artisans. But the University was previously buying precracked (aka, “liquid”) eggs from a national Certified Humane supplier, due to the impracticality of using whole eggs in a large-scale food service operation. The centrifuge was proposed by Bon Appétit chef Chad Melinger and researched with the leader of Local Farms Harvest, a farming co-op of which Spring Valley is a member. The machine allows Butler Dining to use more locally sourced eggs without the hassle of cracking them all by hand.

“Supporting our local Farm to Fork partners and fighting food waste are key parts of the Bon Appétit culture,” said Bon Appétit Regional Vice President Randy DeMers. “I’m looking forward to seeing what other innovative ideas from the Butler community we can support from the FEAST Fund.”

Bon Appétit Management Company is the first food service company to have made a commitment to local purchasing, launching its Farm to Fork program in 1999, and the first to switch to cage-free eggs companywide, starting in 2005. The FEAST Fund is open to the Butler community, as well as to existing Bon Appétit Farm to Fork suppliers. Application guidelines and deadlines can be found on the Butler Dining website.


Media Contact:
Mandy Rentschler
Butler Dining Marketing Manager

Spring Valley Farms eggs

Butler Dining Launches New Sustainable Food Grant Program

Bon Appétit Management Company, working in partnership with a committee of Butler students and employees, will fund projects to increase the sustainability of the campus food system

Feb 09 2021 Read more
COE Susan Adams

The New Normal

Katie Grieze

from Winter 2021

I don’t think I have this perfect yet. How’s it going for you? What do we need to do differently?

Susan Adams, Professor of Education, has asked those questions to her students again and again throughout the academic year. Even as she adapts to teaching in a hybrid learning environment, with a few students attending her classes in person and most tuning in on Zoom, she’s been making sure to explain her choices, ask for feedback, and create learning opportunities for future educators.

“We are finding ways to make hybrid learning work,” Adams says.

“I am super comfortable on Zoom—I had already been using it for five years before we went virtual last spring. But the difference for me, in education, is that I also have to be a model for my students: ‘Here’s how you do this. Here’s what I’m thinking. Here’s why I’m making this choice.’ I’m trying to be transparent and vulnerable, letting them watch me struggle out loud with those decisions.”

One way Adams has done this is through implementing a practice she calls “class notes.” The shared documents are somewhat like weekly syllabi, outlining detailed plans for each class period and providing links to all the relevant resources. But unlike a typical syllabus that covers a broad schedule and might be updated once or twice throughout the term, “class notes” also serve as collaborative online spaces for students to share thoughts and reflections with one another.

“This is something I never would have thought of if we weren’t partially virtual, but I’m not going to stop doing it after the pandemic is over,” Adams says. “It’s just so beautifully practical, and it’s another way for me to be transparent about our class plans and my thinking behind them.” 

Other faculty across the College of Education (COE) have also made the most of hybrid learning, using it as a lesson on the need to stay flexible in the classroom. COE Professor Deb Lecklider, MSE ’89 serves as Director of Butler’s Experiential Program for Preparing School Principals (EPPSP). When it first became apparent last spring that reopening schools during the pandemic would not be easy, Lecklider and the graduate program’s cohort members switched gears to help provide school districts with the resources they would need to make difficult decisions. By the end of June, the class had interviewed more than 80 education experts and created a nearly 400-page guidebook of recommendations to support school leaders through the reopening process.

In the fall semester, Lecklider continued basing some of the program’s lessons on the challenges facing educators due to COVID-19.

“During this pandemic,” she explains, “there has been a lot of weight on the shoulders of teachers and school leaders. Not only do you have to be concerned about maintaining safety during in-person classes—with social distancing, masks, and so on—but you also have some students attending classes virtually. That means you have to prepare for both the students you’ll have in front of you and the ones you’ll have online with you. The adaptations teachers need to make with this HyFlex model are just enormous.” 

The hybrid learning environment was relatively new for both Lecklider and her graduate students, most of whom were simultaneously teaching their own classes in K-12 schools. Luckily, they could all meet twice a week to share what they had learned.

“It was different for me, and it was a lot of work,” Lecklider says. “But I have learned a lot from my students. We all just work together, and I try to be as supportive and understanding as possible. Extending grace during this pandemic has been increasingly important.”

Lecklider added a “cool tools” section to each class session, carving out time for students to teach one another about different technologies and online platforms that can make it easier to hold hybrid classes. During one meeting, a student taught the group how to use FlipGrid, a website allowing teachers to create video-based discussion boards. Lecklider learned to use the platform right alongside her students.

“With the experiential piece of the EPPSP program, we are in the trenches,” she says. “We cover things in class that students can practice on their own time, out in the field. With the pandemic, we are all in this at the same time and learning together.”

COE Susan Adams

The New Normal

Throughout 2020, College of Education faculty found ways to use the pandemic as a teaching opportunity

by Katie Grieze

from Winter 2021

Read more
Dana Zenobi

Note for Note

Katie Grieze

from Winter 2021

Dana Zenobi, Assistant Professor of Music, couldn’t have another semester of bad karaoke. That’s what she told Butler’s Information Technology (IT) staff in a late-July email about the difficulties of teaching voice lessons during a pandemic. In-person singing just wasn’t an option, as safe distancing and mask-wearing would prevent instructors from observing technical details like mouth shape or jaw position. They tried holding rehearsals over Zoom when Butler first moved classes online last spring, but the video conferencing program wasn’t fast enough to support the immediacy needed for collaborative music-making. There was always a beat or two of delay between singer and pianist. Zoom also couldn’t capture the full range of vocal harmonics.

So, students were stuck singing along to pre-recorded accompaniments.

“Instead of having a pianist who could respond to what we were doing in the moment, everything felt very rigid,” says Sophie Strasheim, a senior Music Education and Vocal Performance Major. “It was hard to be expressive.”

Oliver Worthington and Dana Zenobi
Oliver Worthington and Dana Zenobi

By the start of the fall semester, Music faculty and IT staff had teamed up to find a solution. Zenobi attended a virtual summer conference—the Acoustic Vocal Pedagogy Workshop at New England Conservatory—where she learned about a free, high-speed audio platform called SoundJack. The tool is designed specifically for real-time, online music-making. If Butler could just build a few mini-computers to run only that software—and throw in some professional-grade audio equipment—the experience would be even better.

“I know nothing about computers,” Zenobi says. “My knowledge of microphones back in August was, ‘Is it shaped like an ice cream cone, or is it shaped like a pencil?’ I knew nothing about networks, nothing about IP addresses, but the New England Conservatory course showed me that something very exciting was possible. Oliver Worthington, Butler’s Vocal Area Coordinator, quickly jumped on board. He and I built Fastmusic Box prototypes using Raspberry Pi processors, which are basically customizable mini-computers. And that’s when I contacted IT and said, ‘Alright, here’s my problem, and here’s a potential solution.’”

IT staff didn’t hesitate. Excited to be involved with an innovative fix to a teaching problem, they held meetings nearly every day until the technology was up and running. They requested some tweaks that would allow the software to better serve a university environment. To avoid the “nest of wires” needed to connect with regular monitors and keyboards, they designed a Raspberry Pi touchscreen that attaches directly to the mini-computer, creating something like a portable tablet that students can check out alongside a high-quality microphone to use for lessons. All students need to bring are their headphones and their voices.

building Fastmusic boxesFastmusic boxThe team built 14 of the Raspberry Pi devices. Michael Denny, Butler Network and Security Engineer, says these Fastmusic Boxes can provide higher quality and more reliable performance than if they had tried to install SoundJack on students’ personal computers. 

“On a regular computer, SoundJack needs to compete with all the other programs that are running simultaneously,” Denny says. “Dedicating a device to only one function, like processing audio, allows it to execute that function as quickly as possible.”

Now, three people can tune in from three different places but feel like they are creating music together.

“It’s a lot closer to being there in person,” says Strasheim. “Occasionally, it might be just slightly behind, but it’s usually right on track and feels like you and the pianist are in the same room.” 

Zenobi says this solution has allowed students to have the kinds of music-making experiences that made them want to pursue singing in the first place.

“Making videos by yourself and having them edited into a virtual choir is wonderful and impressive when you get to the end product,” she explains, “but that’s not what these students signed up to do. They signed up to make music together with other people, and to learn and grow in that capacity. The ability to do that again has been thrilling for them. When students try this for the first time, they get so excited—sometimes on the edge of tears—because they’re like, ‘Wow, I missed making music so much.’”

Dana Zenobi

Note for Note

Music faculty and IT staff teamed up to find a solution for teaching voice lessons during a pandemic

by Katie Grieze

from Winter 2021

Read more
Dr. India Johnson

Butler Professor’s Research Aims to Help More Black Women Join STEM

BY Katie Grieze

PUBLISHED ON Jan 22 2021

Dr. India Johnson, Assistant Professor of Psychology at Butler University, wants more Black women to pursue careers in STEM. But in order to feel like they belong in these fields, Johnson says, college students need to have role models.

“In the world of psychology, role models are individuals you feel similar to,” she explains. “If you don’t feel similar to the person, they can’t necessarily do much to make you feel like you belong in that environment.”

While Black women make up about 6.5 percent of the United States population, they hold only 2 percent of STEM jobs, according to the National Science Foundation (NSF). So, for the past three years, Johnson’s research has focused on learning more about which types of individuals serve as the most effective role models for encouraging Black women to join—and stay in—STEM professions.

In collaboration with Dr. Evava (Eva) Pietri, an Assistant Professor of Psychology at Indiana University–Purdue University Indianapolis, Johnson previously conducted research based on the dual identities of Black women in STEM: As both women and people of color, they represent two different groups who are often underrepresented in science and technology fields. So, the researchers asked, which of those identities matters most when it comes to connecting with role models?

They found that Black women viewed Black people (either men or women) as role models more than they viewed white women as role models. Now, with the support of a grant for more than $68,000 from the NSF, they are trying to understand why. They also hope to learn more about which factors might contribute to non-Black individuals serving as effective role models for helping college-aged Black women feel a sense of belonging.

Starting last September, one of three studies through this grant has focused on gender, comparing STEM fields that have significant gender disparity with those that don’t.

“We expect that when Black female college students are in a major where there is not a lot of contact with other women overall, that might heighten the extent to which they feel similar to white women scientists in that field,” Johnson says. “In those cases, white women might then serve as more effective role models.”

Johnson’s previous research suggests that the stronger connection Black women tend to feel with other Black persons may be due in part to the perception that those individuals have experienced a similar type of race-based adversity. Based on that idea, a separate study will examine whether Black women might also identify with people from other non-white races.

“In this study, we will be varying to what extent a Latino male scientist actually looks phenotypically Black—so the extent to which they have features that align with those of Black persons,” Johnson says. “Then, we will study to what extent that leads Black women to feel similar to that role model in encouraging their belonging and interest in STEM.”

A final study will focus again on gender, but this time looking less at overall identity and more at the experience of various types of adversity. The researchers expect that if Black women perceive white women as having experienced adversity specifically based on sexism, they’ll be more likely to feel similar to that role model.

Katie Tisdale
Katie Tisdale

Johnson hopes the research findings will help non-Black individuals better understand how they can serve as relatable role models to help recruit and retain Black women within STEM professions.

Katie Tisdale, a senior Psychology major and Johnson’s research assistant for this project, says this research has helped her understand how much race and gender identity can influence career choice.

“I am a Black woman, so this research focusing on Black women and what makes them feel like they belong—and what makes them feel valued in academic or organizational settings—is really interesting to me, just because of the personal nature of it,” says Tisdale, who hopes to pursue a career in counseling and work with underrepresented groups. “This experience has shown me that allyship actions, or just validating someone’s identity, is so crucial and important.”


Media Contact:
Katie Grieze
News Content Manager

Dr. India Johnson

Butler Professor’s Research Aims to Help More Black Women Join STEM

Supported by a $68K grant from the NSF, Psychology Assistant Professor Dr. India Johnson is studying the influence of race and gender on the effectiveness of role models

Jan 22 2021 Read more
Butler University

Wipro Collaborates with Butler University to Offer Salesforce Course


PUBLISHED ON Dec 17 2020

Indianapolis, USA and Bangalore, India—Wipro Limited, a leading global information technology, consulting, and business process services company, has announced that Appirio, a Wipro company, has partnered with Butler University to offer a Salesforce consulting preparatory college course. Located in Indianapolis, Indiana, Butler University is a nationally recognized institution with six academic colleges.

Through the course, which was first offered during the fall 2020 semester and will be offered again for the spring, students have the opportunity to learn the in-demand skills needed for customer relationship management (CRM). The free, non-credit courses, which are held online, also provide students an opportunity to achieve their initial Salesforce certifications. A Salesforce certification can be a differentiator when students seek jobs in the Salesforce ecosystem.

Although the content is from Salesforce, the courses are developed and taught by Appirio, which often provides similar educational support for its clients. After learning the basics of CRM—a process that helps companies organize their relationships and interactions with current and potential customers—students are introduced to Salesforce’s suite of products. 

Hari Raja, Global Head of Appirio Cloud Services, said, “With the dawn of digital natives, customer experience has become a top priority in organizations today. Through the CRM corporate training course, we will be helping the students of Butler University become future ready. We believe this to be a great initiative as it brings together two of the essential features of Appirio—our partnership with Salesforce and our commitment to Indiana.”

Gary Beaulieu, Career and Professional Success (CaPS) Senior Director at Butler University, said, “The goal of the course is for students to gain a Salesforce Administrator Certification, which is widely recognized in the industry. In the CaPS Office, we are always looking at ways to help provide our students with marketable skills in addition to their undergraduate degrees. Many organizations, including Appirio, are looking for the Salesforce Administrator Certification. We feel that knowledge or certification in Salesforce can be a determining factor for recruiting organizations hiring these students.”

The certification course is open to Butler students of all majors. Students who are interested in enrolling should contact the CaPS Office at


Salesforce and others are among the trademarks of, inc.


About Wipro Limited
Wipro Limited (NYSE: WIT, BSE: 507685, NSE: WIPRO) is a leading global information technology, consulting, and business process services company. We harness the power of cognitive computing, hyper-automation, robotics, cloud, analytics and emerging technologies to help our clients adapt to the digital world and make them successful. A company recognized globally for its comprehensive portfolio of services, strong commitment to sustainability, and good corporate citizenship, we have over 180,000 dedicated employees serving clients across six continents. Together, we discover ideas and connect the dots to build a better and a bold new future. 


About Butler University
Butler University is a nationally recognized comprehensive university encompassing six colleges: Arts, Business, Communication, Education, Liberal Arts & Sciences, and Pharmacy & Health Sciences. Approximately 4,600 undergraduate and 800 graduate students are enrolled at Butler, representing 45 states and 30 countries. More than 75 percent of Butler students will participate in some form of internship, and Butler students have had significant success after graduation, as demonstrated by the University’s 98 percent placement rate within six months of graduation. The University was recently listed as the No. 1 regional university in the Midwest, according to the U.S. News & World Report Best Colleges Rankings, in addition to being included in The Princeton Review’s annual “best colleges” guidebook.


Media Contact:
Shraboni Banerjee
Wipro Limited


Wipro Forward-looking and Cautionary Statements
The forward-looking statements contained herein represent Wipro’s beliefs regarding future events, many of which are by their nature, inherently uncertain and outside Wipro’s control. Such statements include, but are not limited to, statements regarding Wipro’s growth prospects, its future financial operating results, and its plans, expectations and intentions. Wipro cautions readers that the forward-looking statements contained herein are subject to risks and uncertainties that could cause actual results to differ materially from the results anticipated by such statements. Such risks and uncertainties include, but are not limited to, risks and uncertainties regarding fluctuations in our earnings, revenue and profits, our ability to generate and manage growth, complete proposed corporate actions, intense competition in IT services, our ability to maintain our cost advantage, wage increases in India, our ability to attract and retain highly skilled professionals, time and cost overruns on fixed-price, fixed-time frame contracts, client concentration, restrictions on immigration, our ability to manage our international operations, reduced demand for technology in our key focus areas, disruptions in telecommunication networks, our ability to successfully complete and integrate potential acquisitions, liability for damages on our service contracts, the success of the companies in which we make strategic investments, withdrawal of fiscal governmental incentives, political instability, war, legal restrictions on raising capital or acquiring companies outside India, unauthorized use of our intellectual property and general economic conditions affecting our business and industry. The conditions caused by the COVID-19 pandemic could decrease technology spending, adversely affect demand for our products, affect the rate of customer spending and could adversely affect our customers’ ability or willingness to purchase our offerings, delay prospective customers’ purchasing decisions, adversely impact our ability to provide on-site consulting services and our inability to deliver our customers or delay the provisioning of our offerings, all of which could adversely affect our future sales, operating results and overall financial performance. Our operations may also be negatively affected by a range of external factors related to the COVID-19 pandemic that are not within our control.

Additional risks that could affect our future operating results are more fully described in our filings with the United States Securities and Exchange Commission, including, but not limited to, Annual Reports on Form 20-F. These filings are available at We may, from time to time, make additional written and oral forward-looking statements, including statements contained in the company’s filings with the Securities and Exchange Commission and our reports to shareholders. We do not undertake to update any forward-looking statement that may be made from time to time by us or on our behalf.​

Butler University

Wipro Collaborates with Butler University to Offer Salesforce Course

The free course, developed and taught by Appirio (a Wipro company), covers the fundamentals of customer relationship management

Dec 17 2020 Read more
Lewellyn research

Fruit Flies Could Help Scientists Understand Human Fertility

BY Katie Grieze

PUBLISHED ON Sep 22 2020

Even though about one in 10 individuals experience problems with fertility, the cause of infertility is often unknown. At Butler University, Lindsay Lewellyn is trying to change that.

The Associate Professor of Biological Sciences has received a grant from the National Institutes of Health (NIH) totaling $413,086 over the next three years. Her research aims to learn more about how reproductive cells are normally formed, which she hopes will lead to a better understanding of how defects in their development can cause infertility.

Lewellyn, with the help of several undergraduate student-researchers, is focusing on structures called intercellular bridges. These structures aid in the formation of egg and sperm cells by connecting developing germ cells with other germ cells, or with supporting “nurse” cells. Intercellular bridges allow nutrients, proteins, and other essential materials to be shared between neighboring cells, and defects in these structures can affect development in ways that negatively impact fertility.

Using the female fruit fly as a model organism, Lewellyn’s project examines a handful of proteins involved in the development of intercellular bridges to better understand how these structures are formed and how they are able to stably connect cells during periods of significant growth. Lewellyn has already characterized four proteins she believes play a role in this process. Now, by altering the levels and localization of these proteins, she’s trying to figure out how they could work together.

“If we are able to characterize the specific roles of these proteins in the fruit fly, it’s possible that those same proteins contribute to intercellular bridge formation and stability in humans,” Lewellyn says, explaining how this research could impact our understanding of human fertility. “What’s really nice about using the fruit fly as a model is that in the developing fruit fly egg, these intercellular bridges are relatively large and easy to see.”

But of course they’re still small—only about 10 micrometers wide at most—so Lewellyn says the research team spends a lot of time at microscopes. After extracting the fly ovaries, researchers add stains and use fluorescence microscopes to help them see the proteins they’re looking for.

In offering opportunities for students to join her research lab, Lewellyn hopes to provide valuable experience in these and other common lab techniques. But she says this kind of research also teaches transferable skills that can be applied outside the lab, including critical thinking and communication.

Lindsay Lewellyn, along with student-researchers Josephine Thestrup, Kara Stark, and Umy Shaikh, attended a research conference in Washington, DC last year. 

For Umy Shaikh, a senior who has been involved with Lewellyn’s research for more than two years, improving his ability to think critically has been a central part of the experience.

“In addition to all the technical skills—which is definitely huge—I’ve learned to think like a scientist and a researcher,” says Shaikh, who majors in Spanish and minors in Chemistry and Communication. “The mindset and mentality needed for this work has been just as, if not more, important than the actual technical skills. By constantly asking new questions, I’m able to grow in the way I conduct research, and to grow in the way I approach problems.”

Shaikh decided to pursue biological research to help prepare him for medical school, which has been his goal since arriving at Butler. He was drawn to Lewellyn’s lab because of the potential impacts of her research within the field of medicine.

“The big-picture goal of the lab is really to understand the mechanisms that lead to infertility, which is a very pervasive problem in the world,” Shaikh says. “Seeing that that was the cornerstone of her research really spoke to me because I want to effect meaningful change in any way I can.”


Media Contact:
Katie Grieze
News Content Manager

Lewellyn research

Fruit Flies Could Help Scientists Understand Human Fertility

Lindsay Lewellyn, Associate Professor of Biological Sciences, has received more than $400,000 from the NIH to study the development of reproductive cells

Sep 22 2020 Read more
cancer research at Butler University

Butler Pharmacy Prof Receives $1.39M NIH Grant to Support Cancer Research

BY Katie Grieze

PUBLISHED ON Sep 03 2020

Over the next five years, Dr. Chioniso Patience Masamha will be studying the ways cancer cells multiply. The Butler University Assistant Professor of Pharmaceutical Sciences, who received a grant for $1,394,125 from the National Institutes of Health (NIH), hopes this project will lead to more effective strategies for detecting and treating the disease.

Cancer works by hijacking normal processes within the body, taking advantage of existing functions to cause the excessive multiplication of cells. Some of the same structures that allow our bodies to survive can be mutated in life-threatening ways. Normal, healthy genes that have the potential to become cancerous are called oncogenes.

Cyclin D1, the oncogene Dr. Masamha is focusing on for this research, normally plays an important role in driving cell progression and multiplication. In healthy cells, cyclin D1 only “turns on” when it is needed—such as when the body has been injured and needs to heal itself—then “turns off” when it is no longer needed.

When cancer hijacks this gene, it essentially removes the off switch. The cyclin D1 goes into overdrive, causing cells to continue dividing and growing uncontrollably. Abnormal cyclin D1  expression is common across several types of cancers, including pancreatic cancer, breast cancer, melanoma, and endometrial cancer, among others.

“When cyclin D1 is normally expressed in cells,” Dr. Masamha explains, “it is usually degraded within 30 minutes. However, in cancer cells, cyclin D1 can survive for up to eight hours without being degraded.”

We know this happens, but we don’t know how. So Dr. Masamha’s research studies the specific sequences of cyclin D1 expressed in cancer cells, as well as the proteins involved in processing cyclin D1, to try to understand the mechanisms that lead to the oncogene’s abnormal overexpression.

Dr. Masamha will look specifically at cyclin D1’s relationship to a type of lethal blood cancer called Mantle Cell Lymphoma (MCL). Why MCL? This type of cancer originates in the B-cell, a white blood cell that creates antibodies. In healthy B-cells, cyclin D1 is never actually active at all. But in cancerous B-cells, not only is the cyclin D1 active, it’s overactive—leading to the aggressive growth of cancer cells. This is associated with reduced survival in MCL patients.

Dr. Masamha believes the mechanisms that cause cancerous B-cells to activate their otherwise-dormant cyclin D1 could be the same mechanisms that put cyclin D1 into overdrive.

“If we figure out why cyclin D1 is expressed in this particular type of cancer,” she says, “then maybe we can try to target that mechanism that results in cyclin D1 overexpression in this and other types of cancers.”

In addition to determining how cyclin D1 becomes expressed in cancerous B-cells in the first place, Dr. Masamha aims to discover the consequences of the resulting cyclin D1-driven hyperproliferation—or multiplication—of tumor cells.

Healthy B-cells generate antibodies through a process of breaking apart chromosomes and putting them back together. In cancerous B-cells, increased cell division due to abnormal cyclin D1 expression makes it more likely that the broken chromosome pieces will end up reattaching to the wrong chromosomes.

The result is the formation of something called fusion genes, which are made up of DNA sequences that don’t belong together.

We know fusion genes happen frequently in MCL, but we don’t yet know exactly what they look like, or how to systematically detect them. Dr. Masamha’s project will use third-generation sequencing technology, allowing her to look at the full DNA sequences of individual genes and identify which types of fusion genes are present. Her findings could provide crucial information for both the diagnosis and treatment of cancers involving the abnormal expression of cyclin D1.

“If you can detect fusion genes early enough—so if you sequence someone’s DNA before they even get cancer and find fusion genes—you can know that those fusion genes might end up resulting in cancer,” she says, explaining that this could help identify preventative therapies. “Or, if the person already has cancer and you can detect what kind of fusion genes they have, you can identify which drugs would provide the best treatment.”


Media Contact:
Katie Grieze
News Content Manager

cancer research at Butler University

Butler Pharmacy Prof Receives $1.39M NIH Grant to Support Cancer Research

Dr. Chioniso Patience Masamha will study an oncogene commonly linked to Mantle Cell Lymphoma and other types of cancer

Sep 03 2020 Read more
ethics series

New Podcasts from Lacy School of Business Ethics Series Focus on Fighting Racism, Social Injustice


PUBLISHED ON Aug 26 2020

The Lacy School of Business (LSB) Ethics Series podcast, presented by Old National Bank, is devoting its next episodes to local community leaders committed to combating issues of racial and social injustice in the Indianapolis community and beyond.

“These episodes will explore ways that businesses and educators can make a difference,” says Hilary Buttrick, Interim Dean for LSB and host of the podcast. “We believe that being an ethical leader means acknowledging injustices and actively working to correct them. We have an obligation to prepare students to be leaders in organizations that are inclusive and offer a place of belonging for all people, regardless of background.”

The series kicks off with a conversation featuring Brian Payne, President and CEO of the Central Indiana Community Foundation (CICF). The organization works to mobilize people, ideas, and investments to create a community where all individuals have an equitable opportunity to reach their full potential. Under Payne’s leadership, CICF has made dismantling systemic racism in Central Indiana a multi-generational commitment.

“We are really trying to dismantle racist systems and replace them with systems built on principles of equity… and understanding the DNA of a system is really important,” Payne says on the podcast. “The DNA of America is business, and capitalism tends to overwhelm democracy. Businesses are hugely powerful in America, and if we want to change systemic racism, we have to do that with business.”

The full conversation between Payne and Buttrick is available now. Future episodes in the social justice series will feature Jennifer Pope Baker, Executive Director of the Women’s Fund of Central Indiana, and other community leaders.

This is the second set of episodes within the LSB Ethics Series podcast, following one earlier this year that focused on the effects of COVID-19. The podcast’s episodes can be found on Spotify, BuzzSprout, Apple Podcasts, Google Podcasts, and TuneIn.


About Lacy School of Business Ethics Series, presented by Old National Bank:
This podcast is part of LSB’s continuing journey to become the Midwest’s leader in Business Ethics Education and Ethical Leadership by offering free educational events to students, alumni, and the business community. Our goal is to exemplify ethical practice and leadership development for our students, future leaders, and the community as a whole. 


Media Contact:
Katie Grieze
News Content Manager
260-307-3403 (cell)

ethics series

New Podcasts from Lacy School of Business Ethics Series Focus on Fighting Racism, Social Injustice

The first episode, available now, features CICF President and CEO Brian Payne

Aug 26 2020 Read more

Butler, Old National Partner to Support Businesses Owned by Underrepresented Groups


PUBLISHED ON Aug 12 2020

Evansville & Indianapolis, Ind. (August 12, 2020) – The Old National Bank Center for Business Excellence—a partnership between Butler University and Old National Bank—is proud to announce an initiative geared toward strengthening and supporting businesses owned by underrepresented groups throughout Indiana. 

The Old National Bank Center for Business Excellence at Butler University (ONB Center), which was established to connect privately held companies with the resources and support they need to succeed, will waive its annual membership fee of $1,000 for the first year for companies that meet the following criteria:

  • Privately held companies, headquartered in Indiana, with majority ownership (51% or more) by an underrepresented population. This includes the following business owner categories: all people of color; women; LGBTQ+ individuals; veterans; and individuals with disabilities
  • Annual revenues between $1 million and $50 million. Companies with revenues less than $1 million will be referred to the Small Business Development Center to better match needs and resources.


This initiative was born out of a conversation between Mark McFatridge, Executive Director for the ONB Center, and Butler student Victor Aguilar, an intern at the Center. Shortly after the death of George Floyd in Minneapolis, Aguilar approached McFatridge to ask whether the ONB Center would be issuing a public statement related to the situation.

“It was simply a question to see if we were going to release anything official, and that sparked the development of this program,” explained Aguilar. “I never imagined this outcome.”

“It’s no surprise that this initiative was sparked by the social consciousness and passion of one of our Butler students,” said Butler President James Danko. “Furthermore, I applaud the ONB Center’s executive director, Mark McFatridge, for his efforts to foster such student leaders as well as an innovative and socially responsible initiative such as this. Victor, Mark, Old National Bank, and our partners are among many throughout the University who are working diligently to live Butler’s mission both on our campus and in the community.”  

Old National Chairman and CEO Jim Ryan said this initiative is a logical extension of the ongoing partnership between Old National and Butler.

“This is absolutely the right thing to do to support Indiana’s underrepresented business owners and the clients they serve,” said Ryan. “We are incredibly proud to partner with Butler on this program.”


Phased Program Roll-out

To ensure that the ONB Center can appropriately service the potential demand, the initiative will be rolled out in phases. However, demand from business owners may cause the Center to adjust these dates.

  • Phase One (August 12, 2020 – July 31, 2021): focus on Black-owned businesses in Marion County
  • Phase Two (January 1, 2021 – December 31, 2021): focus on all businesses owned by people of color and headquartered in Indiana
  • Phase Three (July 1, 2022 – June 30, 2022): focus on women- and LGBTQ+-owned businesses headquartered in Indiana
  • Phase Four (January 1, 2022 – December 31, 2022): focus on businesses headquartered in Indiana and owned by veterans or individuals with disabilities


Upon registering for the initiative here, ONB Center member companies will receive the following:


Old National Bank Center for Business Excellence - Official Statement Condemning Racism While Providing Assistance
The Old National Bank Center for Business Excellence is a partnership between Butler University and Old National Bank, two of Indiana’s longest-standing and most respected institutions. The partnership was established to assist privately held companies in achieving their goals. This assistance is based on connecting member companies to resources necessary to achieve those goals. 

While the ONB Center does not discriminate in who we serve, we have not placed the appropriate focus and attention on seeking out member companies owned or managed by the underrepresented populations that help make Indianapolis and the state of Indiana great.

Butler University and Old National Bank condemn racism and hold the fundamental belief that our respective services should be available to all—regardless of race, gender, religion, ability, or sexual orientation.


Butler University is a nationally recognized comprehensive university encompassing six colleges: Arts, Business, Communication, Education, Liberal Arts & Sciences, and Pharmacy & Health Sciences. Approximately 4,600 undergraduate and 800 graduate students are enrolled at Butler, representing 45 states and 30 countries. More than 75 percent of Butler students will participate in some form of internship, and Butler students have had significant success after graduation, as demonstrated by the University’s 98 percent placement rate within six months of graduation. The University was recently listed as the No. 1 regional university in the Midwest, according to the U.S. News & World Report Best Colleges Rankings, in addition to being included in The Princeton Review’s annual “best colleges” guidebook.


Old National Bancorp (NASDAQ: ONB), the holding company of Old National Bank, is the largest bank holding company headquartered in Indiana. With $22.1 billion in assets, it ranks among the top 100 banking companies in the U.S. and has been recognized as a World’s Most Ethical Company by the Ethisphere Institute for nine consecutive years. Since its founding in Evansville in 1834, Old National Bank has focused on community banking by building long-term, highly valued partnerships and keeping our clients at the center of all we do. This is an approach to business that we call The ONB Way. Today, Old National’s footprint includes Indiana, Kentucky, Michigan, Wisconsin and Minnesota. In addition to providing extensive services in retail and commercial banking, Old National offers comprehensive wealth management, investment, and capital market services. For more information and financial data, please visit Investor Relations at


Media Contact:
Katie Grieze
News Content Manager



Old National Bank Center for Business Excellence
Diversity, Equity & Inclusion Initiative
Frequently Asked Questions


What is the overriding goal of the ONB Center’s Diversity, Equity & Inclusion initiative?
Our goal is to play a role in reducing the wealth gap of underrepresented groups.


How can the ONB Center accomplish that goal?
The ONB Center’s mission is to help privately held companies be successful.  With a more intentional focus on recruiting Member companies from underrepresented groups, we believe that those Members will continue to grow in size and profitability which will yield higher wages and more investment in underrepresented markets.  Higher wages lead to opportunities for investments in education, housing and stock ownership (either public or private firms), all are keys to reducing the wealth gap.


How does the ONB Center help privately held companies be successful?
The core of the ONB Center is the Member assessment.  The assessment is a survey that focuses on the following areas of each company:

  • Organization Structure
  • Accounting & Financial Reporting
  • Compensation & Benefits
  • Human Capital
  • Talent
  • Legal
  • Capitalization & Financing
  • Risk & Insurance
  • Information Technology
  • Sales
  • Marketing
  • Mergers & Acquisitions
  • Competitors
  • Long Term Goals


By better understanding these elements of each Member company, we are able to offer observations to help them achieve their definition of success.  Additionally, we are able to make connections with Accredited Partners that can provide insight and assistance in achieving success. 

The ONB Center Members also benefit from peer interaction.  This interaction comes in a variety of ways from Executive Forums, Peer Happy Hours, our monthly eNewsletter – The Connection, our peer to peer platform – The Hub and other educational events and resources.


What are Accredited Partners?
Accredited Partners are experts in their field that have been vetted by the ONB Center to ensure that they provide excellent work and service for our Member companies.  Our Accredited Partners fall into one of twelve categories:

Risk & Insurance             
Benefits & Compensation             
Capital Acquisition         
Information Technology
Human Capital                   
Operational Consulting


Who are your Accredited Partners?
Old National Bank         
Katz, Sapper Miller        
Donovan CPAs                          
Krieg DeVault                  
Green Loop Marketing           
Bose McKinney & Evans
The Catalyst Effect         
First Person                               
Impact Financial Group
The Mako Group            
MJ Insurance                   
Spry Brands                               
Leaf Software                 
Media Fuel                      
Valve & Meter                 
Wilcox & Associates                
Ambassador Enterprises
Little Engine Ventures                                              
Edge Business Strategies             
Crossroads Business Solutions                              
Promethius Consulting
Indiana Business Advisors                               
WestPoint Financial Group             


How are your Accredited Partners involved in the ONB Center Diversity, Equity & Inclusion initiative?
Each of our Accredited Partners have identified ways in which they can provide additional benefits to our newest Members.  Some of these benefits can be reflected in reduced pricing, counseling or contributions that will have a lasting effect on closing the existing wealth gap for underrepresented groups.


Who else is partnering with the ONB Center on this initiative?
The Indiana Small Business Development Center (SBDC) has committed $150,000 in funding to assist our newest Members with accessing resources from our Accredited Partners.  Additionally, the SBDC will provide resources to companies with annual revenues less than $1 million or entrepreneurs who are interested in starting up a company.

Mid States Minority Supplier Development Council (Mid-States MSDC) certifies, develops, connects and advocates minority-owned companies.  MSMSDC will offer our newest Member companies free membership and serves as a referral source to identify Members and Accredited Partners for the ONB Center. Recently, Old National announced a partnership with MSMSDC and Bankable that provides unique, flexible financing solutions and business development resources to MSMSDC-certified Minority Business Enterprises within Indiana. Old National is providing $50,000 in funding to launch the partnership with an emphasis on broadening economic development and financial empowerment initiatives among diverse businesses and geographies.

Indy Black Chamber of Commerce advocates for Black-owned businesses in central Indiana.  The Indy Black Chamber has offered our newest Member companies free membership and serves as a referral source to identify Members and Accredited Partners for the ONB Center.

Bankable is a nonprofit lender that provides access to capital, financial education and economic resources to build healthy small businesses.

Conscious Capitalism Indianapolis (CCI) helps companies grow by producing positive results in performance, in their associates’ engagement, and in their communities.  CCI has offered our newest Member companies to join as Future Champions at no cost for their first year and serves as a referral source to identify Members and Accredited Partners for the ONB Center. 

Indianapolis Chamber of Commerce empowers business to ensure all have the opportunity to succeed in the Indianapolis region.  The Indy Chamber provides access for our Members to capital, peer networking and other economic development initiatives and serves as a referral source to identify Members and Accredited Partners for the ONB Center.


Butler, Old National Partner to Support Businesses Owned by Underrepresented Groups

ONB Center to waive membership fee for companies owned by people of color, women, LGBTQ+ individuals, veterans, and individuals with disabilities

Aug 12 2020 Read more
Butler University Libraries, Center for Academic Technology, PALNI grant, Digital 3D objects from photogrammetry

Butler Team Preserves, Improves Access to Artifacts through 3D Digital Replicas

BY Katie Grieze

PUBLISHED ON Jul 24 2020

Butler University is home to more than 100 artifacts and fine art pieces, including several three-dimensional works such as sculptures, jewelry, and clothing. Scattered across campus, some of these items fill display cases while others are stowed away for safekeeping. Many of the artifacts have been studied for educational purposes, providing visual examples for courses in art history or anthropology.

But the need to preserve objects that are hundreds of years old means most physical artifacts need to stay put in one place. Even if a piece is out on display, studying it closely means trekking a class of students across campus and crowding together to peer through the glass. And that’s just if you’re already on campus—a luxury not available to all who want to see the art up close, especially in a socially distanced world.

Over the last year, Butler Libraries and the Center for Academic Technology have teamed up to find a way to simultaneously protect these artifacts while making them more accessible to the community. The work was part of a project funded by a grant of more than $5,000 from the Private Academic Library Network of Indiana (PALNI), which supports collaboration between member schools.

The project was led by Olivia MacIsaac, Digital Scholarship Library Associate, and Kristen Allen, Academic Technology Specialist, who started by researching options for digitizing the art collections. They learned about a process called photogrammetry.



By stitching together a series of high-quality photos taken from all sides of each object, photogrammetry creates detailed digital replicas. The end products—which can now be accessed online in Butler’s Digital Collections—are like three-dimensional panorama images that can be rotated and viewed from any angle.

It’s not a new process, but it’s one that often carries a big price tag, requiring expensive camera equipment and computer software. So, as part of its goal to minimize financial pressures for small universities, PALNI charged the Butler team with finding a lower-cost workflow that can be applied at libraries across Indiana.

Thanks in large part to hours of work from Tatum Turner, a rising senior majoring in History and Anthropology, Butler has now created 3D digital objects of nearly 20 art pieces from its collections (though only the first 10 were part of the PALNI-funded project). The team succeeded in developing a low-cost scanning process, swapping pricey gadgets for free apps like Focos, which allowed them to capture detailed images using an iPad camera. Even with some larger purchases, including a high-powered graphics card, the team found a way to replicate their process for just over $2,000.

“This project has shown me that digital humanities is insanely experimental right now,” says Turner, who was responsible for taking photos and trying out new technologies. “The marriage of humanities and technology is something that is incredibly necessary for archival purposes and future generations, as more things can’t withstand the test of time. It also makes things more accessible.”

Now, this low-cost, sustainable solution can be shared with other private universities throughout the state. After streamlining their own workflow, the Butler team created a Canvas training course that others can use to replicate the process.

“Creating 3D objects often seems daunting to librarians with physical collections,” MacIsaac says. “I’m hoping once they learn about the benefits of photogrammetry and the details you can capture with it, this will be a method they can use regularly instead of some of the other methods that cost a lot more money or require more expertise. I hope this empowers other schools to do this kind of work.”



The free online course, which anyone can request access to use, starts by walking students through the equipment and techniques they’ll need to create their own 3D digital objects. Users then learn how to edit the photos of their artifact, adjusting the lighting and removing the background before using 3D imaging software to build the digital replica. To wrap things up, the course shows users how to finalize their 3D models and record all necessary data, choosing the best online platform where the digitized artifacts can be stored and accessed.

“I’ve been really excited to already see the impact of the educational component we created, and that we will be able to partner with faculty and make this available to Butler students,” Allen says.

“This technology and this method has been used for years,” MacIsaac adds, “but it’s just now becoming a standard skill that’s needed in fields like archaeology. This is more important than ever as artifacts are destroyed or lost. We need to capture this information while we can, so developing these skills is really important.”


Media Contact:
Katie Grieze
News Content Manager

Butler University Libraries, Center for Academic Technology, PALNI grant, Digital 3D objects from photogrammetry

Butler Team Preserves, Improves Access to Artifacts through 3D Digital Replicas

The grant-funded project found low-cost ways to scan and share physical artworks through a method called photogrammetry

Jul 24 2020 Read more
Blueprint 2020

Grad Students from Butler's College of Education Create Guide to Help Schools Reopen


PUBLISHED ON Jun 30 2020

INDIANAPOLIS—Cohort members from Butler University's educational leadership graduate program, the Experiential Program for Preparing School Principals (EPPSP), have announced the release of Blueprint 2020: A Guidebook for School Leaders Moving Forward

The resource guide is designed to support education leaders as they envision the reopening of schools for the 2020-21 academic year, in response to the COVID-19 pandemic. Graduate students conducted research and met with locally and nationally recognized experts in the field of education, as well as prominent community members, researchers, and policy makers. Experts included:

  • Katie Jenner, Senior Education Advisor to Governor Eric Holcomb
  • David Marcotte, Executive Director of the Indiana Urban Schools Association 
  • Christopher Lagoni, Executive Director of the Indiana Small and Rural Schools Association
  • Patrick McAlister, Director of the Office of Education Innovation, Indianapolis Mayor's Office 
  • Lori Desautels, Butler University Assistant Professor, Educational Neuroscience
  • Brandon Brown, CEO, The Mind Trust
  • Phil Downs, Superintendent, Southwest Allen County Schools; IAPSS Indiana Superintendent of the Year


The graduate students formed teams to focus on different educational areas impacted by reopening, such as remediation, testing, equity, technology, athletics, community, instruction, and others. Based on the research and conversations, students proposed several key findings that school leaders can keep in mind as they move forward with their reopening plans. A few key recommendations include:

  • Operations: Have a decision-making framework that suits the individual district.
  • Finance: Utilize CARES Act funding to address pressing needs, and have a vision for how to budget when this resource is no longer available.
  • International: Use case studies from other countries that have had successful responses in school environments. 
  • Diagnostics/Assessment: Develop an assessment plan addressing student well-being, priority standards, and student growth.
  • Technology: Urge state legislatures to make broadband internet a necessary utility to ensure access for all. 
  • Remediation: Use a multi-tier system of supports (MTSS) in planning remediation, which all students will need at varying levels this year. 
  • Parent Communication: Emphasize providing support and facilitating engagement with parents, rather than merely communicating with them, as parents are now partners more than ever.
  • Equity: Do not create the students' narratives for them. Take into account different experiences during shutdown, and account for culture, race, and financial background.


You can find the full EPPSP Blueprint here.


Media contact:
Chasadee Minton
Butler University College of Education
Program Coordinator, Marketing

Blueprint 2020

Grad Students from Butler's College of Education Create Guide to Help Schools Reopen

Cohort members from the Experiential Program for Preparing School Principals (EPPSP) have released Blueprint 2020: A Guidebook for School Leaders Moving Forward

Jun 30 2020 Read more