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Ena Shelley

Education, Early Childhood Education, Higher Education Policy

After serving twice as the interim dean, Dr. Ena Shelley was appointed dean of the College of Education in June 2005. Shelley's experience with the College of Education began almost 34 years ago when she joined the faculty as an assistant professor of early childhood education in the summer of 1982.

For the past several years, Shelley has been heavily involved in state and national legislation and policy involving the education of young children. She has also been involved with the National Association for the Education of Young Children and the Indiana Professional Standards Board (IPSB), which oversees teacher licensure and accreditation of teacher education programs. Three governors have appointed her to boards active in legislation to help young children and their families as well as improved teacher education.

Twelve years ago Shelley began building a partnership with Lawrence Township's Centralized Kindergarten and in 1998 helped them to begin to infuse the Reggio Emilia educational approach into their environments and teaching practices. She continues that work today, serving as co-chair on the Lawrence Early Childhood Task Force, with the additional focus of integration of the arts. She was instrumental in establishing the Indianapolis Reggio Collaborative, which includes the Lawrence Early Learning Centers, St. Mary's Child Center and the Warren Early Childhood Center. Shelley also serves as a member of the Closing the Achievement Gap Committee and Digital Literacy Committee within the Lawrence Township Metropolitan School District.

Shelley has also provided the leadership to create the first Butler University memo of understanding between the University and the Indianapolis Public Schools (IPS) to establish Shortridge Magnet High School for Law and Public Policy (now Shortridge International Baccalaureate High School). In addition, she led creation of the IPS/Butler University Laboratory School, focused on early childhood and elementary education.

Her current research interest is studying how teachers in the new Early Learning Centers in Lawrence Township use the Reggio influenced art studios as they continue to develop their understanding of the many ways young children learn.  Summing up her belief on the future of education, Dr. Shelley states,  “Each day I see the future of education in the talented young people who have chosen it as their vocation.  These young people could do anything, and they want to teach. I see great teachers doing extremely difficult work as I spend time in the schools. It will be up to our society to invest in educators by valuing the teaching profession and remembering that our democracy was founded on providing a free public education to all citizens.”

In 2016, Shelley was chosen to receive the Edward C. Pomeroy Award for Outstanding Contributions to Teacher Education from the American Association of Colleges of Teacher Education (AACTE).  “Ena Shelley’s influence and dedication to the field of teacher education and her contributions to practices in all levels of education are exemplary,” said James M. Danko, President of Butler University. “AACTE made an excellent choice for the 2016 Edward C. Pomeroy Award. Butler University is extraordinarily proud, and we congratulate her on this honor.”  To read more about the Pomeroy Award, please visit: http://news.butler.edu/blog/2016/02/ena-shelley/ 

Ena Shelley
People

Ena Shelley

Dr. Ena Shelley was appointed dean of the College of Education in June 2005.

Ena Shelley

Ena Shelley

Education, Early Childhood Education, Higher Education Policy
Phoenix
PeopleArts & Culture

Meet Butler's Participants in Phoenix Theatre's "Halftime with Don"

BY

PUBLISHED ON Jan 05 2018

Wherever you look during the Phoenix Theatre’s upcoming production of the play Halftime With Don, Butler Theatre will be well represented.

Onstage, Michael Hosp ’08 will be playing Ed, an aspiring sportswriter who meets his football hero, a man suffering from traumatic brain injury. The technical aspects of the show will be handled by Jeffery Martin, who studied at Butler from 2005-2009. And behind the scenes, Corbin Fritz ’18 is interning as he prepares for a career as a director.

“Education and the training of the next generation of theatre artists are an integral component of the mission of the Phoenix Theatre,” Producing Director Bryan Fonseca said. “We are fortunate to have an ongoing relationship with the Butler Department of Theatre.”

Over the past decade, Fonseca said, the Phoenix has hosted Butler interns, employed faculty members, collaborated with the department on projects, entertained and educated students through a formal program of attendance, advised incoming new students for the past five seasons, and employed former students as actors, technicians, and staff.

“I think our relationship is a successful model for professional training,” he said.

Let’s meet the Butler participants in Halftime With Don, which runs January 12-February 4.

 

The Actor

 

Michael Hosp grew up a couple of miles from Butler and went to school to be an actor. Ten years after graduation, he continues to rack up credits both day and night. In addition to performing in several other plays at the Phoenix, he’s appeared in and directed shows produced by several of Indianapolis’ most inventive theatre companies, including NoExit, EclecticPond, and Know No Stranger.

Hosp also has worked on adaptations of two Kurt Vonnegut books for the IndyFringe stage, and this past summer he was in the Indianapolis Shakespeare Company’s presentation of As You Like It.

Theatre is his full-time job too. During the day, Hosp works as an Actor-Interpreter at The Children’s Museum, where you might find him in the atrium dressed as a Transformer, or in one of the galleries doing a serious monologue while portraying historical figures such as Otto Frank, the father of Anne Frank.

“It’s a good day job in the sense that it’s creative and it’s different every time,” he said. “My work here at the museum and my work outside, they both help. I’ve become a better actor by just having to perform every day. And kids, you never know what they’re going to do or say. So that definitely helps the improvisational skills.”

Halftime With Don playwright Ken Weitzman, who was in Indianapolis for the first three nights of rehearsal, said casting Hosp as Ed is an unusual move since Hosp is significantly taller than Bill Simmons, the actor who plays Don.

“But there’s something really to me compelling about this big guy with this hero worship for a football player who’s not as big as him,” Weitzman said. “And Mike has a real good instinct for the part.”

Hosp said Butler gave him a great education in how to approach not only acting, but a career in theatre.

“The education prepared me to be a theatre artist and not just an actor or any one thing,” he said. “It’s so valuable to understand how to communicate and collaborate with designers if you are the director. Or as an actor, really understand how you fit into the stage picture at any given moment– to make choices that support the visual story that’s being told. I learned those things there.”

 

The Technical Director

 

Jeff Martin knew he wanted to be in theatre, and at Butler he found a mix that allowed him to experience acting as well as behind-the-scenes work.

“It gave me a good head start,” the Griffith, Indiana, native said. “Butler gives everyone what they need. You just have to use it. People coming out of school who want to be actors—it’s hard. That’s a hard life. In the tech world, there’s a lot more stability.”

After graduation, Martin spent about a year in New York, where he did some acting and special-event tech work, including setting up the teleprompter and lighting for a speech by President Obama. He then moved to Atlanta and worked with theatre companies there for a couple of years, winning awards for his lighting work.

In 2013, he saw on a Butler listserv that the Phoenix Theatre was looking for a technical director. That’s been his full-time job ever since, and he’s earned some acclaim for his innovative work. Martin also has worked regularly with Young Actors Theatre and also collaborated with Hosp on the two Vonnegut shows.

Martin said the Phoenix keeps him busy, especially now that it’s getting ready to move into a new building just west of downtown Indianapolis. Having a fully rounded education has been important to his career, he said.

“If I only knew the tech side, for example, it wouldn’t be a good fit for the Phoenix or regional theatres around the country,” he said. “The people they want to hire—from my experience—are people who can wear a lot of hats. If you can’t, it’s hard to get your foot in the door. Have that cumulative experience is helpful.”

 

The Intern

 

Corbin Fritz ’18 spent much of his winter break at the Phoenix Theatre, where he’s interning with Bryan Fonseca, the director for Halftime With Don. Fritz wants to be a director—he plans to move to either Seattle or Denver after graduation—and he said getting this experience has been valuable.

“All those actors are incredibly talented, and getting to work with Ken, the playwright, is super, super-informative and educational and also productive to the creative process,” he said. “To hear Bryan’s thoughts and analysis of the play and to be able to share my thoughts has been a cool honor.”

Fritz came to Butler from Noblesville, Indiana, planning to be an Education major, but he switched before classes started. During his time at Butler, Fritz has gotten a wide variety of experiences in acting, directing, and light, sound, and costume design. He’s studied at the Moscow Art Theatre, in London for a semester, and interned with the Indianapolis Shakespeare Company as an assistant director and production intern.

“I’ve been able to get all the education and training through Butler’s diversified theatre approach,” he said. “In the Theatre Department, we’re all theater majors—not theatre-acting, theatre-design, theatre-directing or anything like that. Wider and greater understanding of the art has been the biggest thing I’ve been able to come away with at Butler.”

 

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

 

 

5 Questions for Kate Richards '18

By Shannon Rostin '18

Butler’s American Sign Language Club (ASL) engages students and the community by promoting appreciation for American Sign Language. In addition to improving ASL skills, the group offers events open to the public. Senior Kate Richards, a Communication Sciences and Disorders major, is president of ASL and shared her experience in both ASL and the CSD major. 


What are your career goals or post grad goals?

After getting my MA in Speech-Language Pathology, I would be happy working in any speech-language pathology (SLP) setting, but my dream is to be an SLP with children. I hope my future  career involves working with kids in a children’s hospital, outpatient clinic, or a hearing or a deaf school, especially if I could use my American Sign Language skills.


What is ASL?

American Sign Language (ASL) is a form of manual sign language used predominantly by people that are deaf and members of the deaf community of the United States.


How does ASL relate to the CSD major? How does the club relate to the butler or Indy community?

The CSD major centers around active and successful communication, and ASL is a true manifestation of that. ASL is a thriving language that is surrounded by a community and culture, especially here in Indianapolis. In Indy, there is a vibrant deaf community with the Indiana School for the Deaf nearby. This, along with other community events, allows the club and Butler students to partner with ISD to participate in events, volunteer, and get together with members of the deaf community


What inspired you to study CSD?

Ever since I was young, I knew I wanted to work in a service industry and with children. I have always been really interested in medicine and anatomy. For a long time, I thought I would study pre-med and become a pediatrician. Then I stumbled upon the SLP career and realized it was the perfect marriage of medical and communications. This is when I realized it was the perfect major and career path for me.

 

For more information on ASL, visit https://www.butler.edu/communication-disorders/student-resources 

ASL Butler
Student LifePeople

5 Questions for Kate Richards '18

Senior Kate Richards, a Communication Sciences and Disorders major, is president of Butler's American Sign Language club. She answers 5 questions about her experiences at Butler. 

ASL Butler

5 Questions for Kate Richards '18

By Shannon Rostin '18

#LoveIndy: 6 Questions for Chris Gahl

By Shannon Rostin '18

Butler students find a home in Indianapolis as soon as they arrive on campus. Exploring Indy and all it has to offer helps to shape a student's experience from weekend adventures to finding their favorite hidden gems in the city. Butler Grad and Trustee Chris Gahl ’00 serves as Senior VP of Marketing and Communications for Visit Indy and shared some of the perks of living and studying in Indianapolis.

For more information on Indianapolis and everything happening throughout the city, check out Visit Indy

 

How do you think being located in Indianapolis affects Butler students or shapes their college experience?

The ability to score meaningful internships is one of many ways Indy helps shape—and benefits from—Butler students. This aligns with Butler’s “Indianapolis Community Requirement,” a core-curriculum ensuring students get out of the classroom and into the community to learn.  For instance, collegiate sports are governed in Indy at the NCAA, an organization that is constantly looking for talented marketing interns.  Pharmaceutical giant Eli Lilly’s international headquarters are here, regularly employing Butler business interns.  

 

What are some highlights that Butler students have access to?

Each year, Indy host more than 1,000 major music concerts, sporting events, festivals, and cultural events, allowing Butler students the ability to soak in the sights and sounds, all within minutes of campus. 

 

What is something (or a few things) you would recommend students do in Indianapolis before they graduate?

You can kayak the White River, a hidden jewel running more than 300 miles, with portions adjacent to Butler’s campus.  During the summer, it’s fun to watch a concert at The Lawn, an amphitheater in downtown Indy.  I’ve seen The Avett Brothers, Arcade Fire, and The Black Keys.  

 

What attracts students and young professionals to Indy?

Students and young professionals continue to gravitate to Indy’s big city amenities with the affordability of a smaller city. Indy has arrived, much like Butler, onto the national stage as a vibrant world class city. Travel & Leisure named Indy one of only “50 Best Places in the World to Travel" in 2017, right next to Honolulu, Hawaii and Cape Town, South Africa. 

 

What are some ways students can feel at home in or apart of the Indianapolis community?

Part of our DNA in Indy is hosting major sporting events. As part of this, we are in constant need for volunteers to help roll out the red carpet and welcome international visitors to Indy. We are always seeking ambassadors to give city tours, greet professional athletes, and donate time to staff information desks.  Volunteering for major sporting events—like an NCAA Men’s Final Four—helps the community all while providing an incredible networking opportunity.  

 

What makes Indy home to you?

Indy’s residents genuinely care about each other.  We are quick to smile and eager in our desire to help.  Servant leadership can be seen and felt daily, there’s even a name for it, “Hoosier Hospitality.” 

Zach Hahn ’11

Zach Hahn ‘11 has always been a team player.

A four-year member of the Butler Men’s Basketball team, Hahn helped the Bulldogs reach the NCAA championship games in 2010 and 2011. He grew as a player (and a person) under the guidance and poise of Coach Brad Stevens.

A Physical and Health Education major in the College of Education at Butler, he formed close relationships with professors and classmates to reach his high academic goals—he made the Horizon League All-Academic team three times.

“In life, you are going to be on many teams,” Hahn said. “It’s not always going to be about you. It should be about the bigger picture. Whether it’s school or work or family, you have to work together to try and accomplish the goals you have.”

He recalls his professors setting up Skype in the classroom so he could keep up with lectures while on the road for basketball.

He spent the second semester of his senior year student teaching at Shortridge High School and Park Tudor School in Indianapolis, which allowed him to observe the day-to-day lives of the teaching professionals he aspired to follow.

He soaked up the advice of COE professors Mindy Welch and Lisa Farley, who Hahn said “served as a role model and an example of what all of us as educators hope to become someday.”

But more than anything, he said Butler taught him the importance of community and building relationships.

Hahn is now the Men’s Head Basketball Coach and Health and Physical Education Teacher at Center Grove High School in Greenwood, Indiana. He credits Butler with giving him the experiences that helped him reach his goals.

“As an educator, I’m a firm believer that people don’t care what you know until they first know that you care about them,” he said. “My professors did that for me.”

Zach Hahn
Alumni OutcomesAthleticsPeople

Zach Hahn ’11

Values gained on the team play out in the classroom.

Megan (Wesler) Larsen ’12

Megan (Wesler) Larsen ’12 MPAS ’13 said she is grateful for the well-rounded education she received a Butler. So, no doubt, are her patients.

At the time of this interview, Larsen worked as a Physician Assistant (PA) in the emergency rooms at Community North and Community East hospitals in Indianapolis. Now she works in Trauma/Emergency surgery at Northwestern Memorial Hospital in downtown Chicago, where she sometimes has to deliver the worst news possible.

“The first conversation that I had like that takes the breath out of you,” she said. “You don’t know what to say and you don’t want to say it wrong. The first time I had to have that conversation, I brought my attending physician in with me and we had that conversation together. The next time, you do it on your own and you develop your own way to approach it.”

Larsen said that while nothing can truly prepare you for moments like that, her Butler education taught her “ways to cope and think on your feet and be resourceful and use others around you. That’s been very beneficial to me in my specific career path.”

Larsen came to Butler from New Paris, Ohio, a town of 1,500. By the time she arrived on campus, she’d made up her mind to be a PA. She wanted the flexibility to be able to change specialties and the opportunity to finish school faster than physicians do.

While she worked on her five-year degree, she also managed to fit in swimming for the Butler team, participating in Kappa Kappa Gamma, and working with the Timmy Foundation for Global Health.

“I’m truly grateful for the five years I got to spend here,” she said. “At Butler, it’s so much more than a degree. The way you’re taught at Butler—the way I was taught at Butler—it digs a little bit deeper. You learn so much about so much that when you go out into world, you’re not just prepared for your specific career but you also are worldly and you have a touch of humanitarianism.”

Megan Wesler Larsen
Alumni OutcomesPeople

Megan (Wesler) Larsen ’12

  Her ER patients will be glad she learned her profession at Butler.

Maria Porter ’12

Maria Porter ’12 grew up in Fishers, Indiana—a hop, skip, and a jump, and maybe another hop, from Butler University—and intended to put some distance between her and her hometown when she went to college. But she visited Butler, met professors and others students, and realized that “this was where I needed to be.”

Time proved her right. Initially, Porter was unsure what she wanted to study. Something to do with technology, media, art, or maybe even theatre, she thought. So she started as an Exploratory major, which gave her time to figure out what she wanted to do. After shadowing a graphic designer, she found her calling.

Four years later—after a college career that included two years as a Butler Collegian photographer, a semester abroad in Australia, and an internship with Indiana Humanities—she was one of the first graduates from Butler’s newly created Art + Design major.

“Even though it was a new program and we were still figuring stuff out, we were all in it together and the professors”—Elizabeth Mix, Gautam Rao, and Leah Gauthier—“made sure our needs were being met and we were having a good time doing it.”

Since graduating, Porter has worked as the Graphic Services Manager for the law firm Taft Stettinius & Hollister LLP, which has 10 offices, including in downtown Indianapolis, where she’s based. There, she works with attorneys and the marketing team, human resources, their diversity committee—anyone who needs visual communication.

Porter recalled that while at Butler, she took a Global and Historical Studies course on women, in which the professor encouraged the students to figure out how to learn and grow from listening to the opinions of people who had different backgrounds, beliefs, and ideas than they did.

“In my job, everyone’s differing needs and opinions and priorities are something that I have to balance on a daily basis,” she said. “That’s something I learned at Butler.”

Maria Porter
Alumni OutcomesPeople

Maria Porter ’12

  She's using what she learned in Art + Design every day.

Mara Olson ’15

When Mara Olson ’15 embarked upon her search for the perfect college, she knew it would take a special school to support both her academic and athletic interests.

A self-proclaimed science nerd with a proclivity for the creative arts and the drive to run competitively, it became clear to Olson that Butler’s small class sizes and big-time Division I athletics would make for a seamless college fit.

“A lot of people look at my interests as maybe a little bit eclectic or even confused,” Olson said. “But I see it as a good way to get my tentacles out into the world and experience it all. College is what you make of it, and if you are willing to push for what you want, a school like Butler will give it to you.”

In her four years at Butler, Olson participated in four national championship races and competed in countless more national-level meets while at the same time nurturing her academic interests.

In addition, she took the required science classes for her major and plethora of minors, but she also found ways to grow in new areas through art and writing classes.

For Olson, a busy schedule was a small price to pay for well-rounded academic exposure and athletic success. After graduating with a major in biology and minors in Neuroscience, Spanish, and Chemistry, she moved to Boulder, Colorado, to compete as a professional runner for Adidas. Olson has continued her sponsored running in San Francisco, where she's now in medical school at the University of California San Francisco.

When opportunity knocked at Butler, Olson said, she was able to make it happen.

“It’s not because I was an athlete," she said. "It’s because I was a student. My professors had a genuine personal interest in every student. It’s a really incredible thing to experience in college.”

Mara Olson
Alumni OutcomesPeople

Mara Olson ’15

  One major, three minors, one huge athletic success.

Josh Pedde ’04

Joshua Pedde came to Butler in 2000 wanting to get into choral conducting—and did he ever come to the right place. Sixteen years later, Pedde was named as the new Artistic Director of the Indianapolis Children’s Choir (ICC). He's now in his second year.

Pedde took over for Henry Leck, the longtime Butler professor who founded the choir 32 years ago and grew it to the point that it provides music education to more than 5,000 children in central Indiana. Each week, the choir holds 110 rehearsals and music classes at Butler, where the organization is housed.

“I’m really honored that the person who started it chose me to take over,” Pedde said. “It’s the biggest compliment.”

Pedde had chosen Butler based on recommendations from several of his high school music teachers in Kokomo, Indiana, who knew Leck and the quality of the music program. “A lot of arrows kept pointing to Butler,” Pedde said. “Once I came to campus, it just felt like home. It felt right to me.” He met Leck at his audition and Leck became Pedde's choir director his freshman year. That year, Pedde walked into the ICC office to ask about becoming a choral conductor.

He said Leck and many others at Butler instilled in him values including hard work and a strong moral and ethical compass. “You put in your time, you put in your effort, but you always bring your best to the table,” he said. “Bring quality and it will always pay off for you.” He also became interested in political science, which broadened his view of the world and the part music can play in creating common culture.

Pedde received his Bachelor of Vocal Music Education and was a graduate assistant in 2005 and 2006 while earning his Master of Choral Conducting. After graduating, he taught elementary school in Zionsville and continued to work with the ICC. Then, four years ago, they created the position of assistant artistic director, and he joined the choir full-time.

“I cannot say thank you enough to the faculty and staff at Butler,” he said. “They are truly top-notch. What they put into their students and what they give is incredible. And the way they care about them as a whole person and help them mature into those people we see out in the community is absolutely wonderful.”

Josh Pedde
Alumni OutcomesArts & CulturePeople

Josh Pedde ’04

  He learned from the master. Now he’s taking over for the master.

Jessie Eastman ’15

Less than a year after graduating from Butler’s Lacy School of Business, Jessie Eastman ’15 was working at Sun King Brewing Company, Indianapolis’ second largest brewing company, and feeling grateful for her Butler education.

“Everything I was able to do at Butler really prepared me,” she said at the time. “It is such a great community that encourages you to push yourself to be the best you can be.”

Eastman had interned at Sun King during her fall semester senior year, and she ended up working for them part-time during her spring semester as well.

“Something that I will forever value from the Lacy School of Business is the requirement of two internships,” she said. “My second internship actually landed me my full-time position.”

Internship experience wasn’t the only thing that the Lacy School of Business provided. Eastman said things like cross subject learning really prepared her for the real world.

“I was a marketing major, but I took classes in accounting, classes in finance, and entrepreneurship,” Eastman said. “In the Lacy School of Business, it is real life, real business and it is crazy how true that is. If I didn’t realize that during in my undergraduate studies; I am definitely realizing it now.”

Eastman stayed with Sun King as the Community Development and Events facilitator, working with over 350 nonprofits across Indianapolis, until the end of May 2017, when she moved to Detroit. She is now with a company called Shift Digital, working as a Digital Strategy Associate.

"The company has tons of clients (mainly automotive) but I sit specifically on the BMW team," she said.

Jessie Eastman
Alumni OutcomesPeople

Jessie Eastman ’15

“Something that I will forever value from the Lacy School of Business is the requirement of two internships.”

Marco Rosas ’16

Marco Rosas came to Butler as a Biology major. He graduated with a degree in Recording Industry Studies and went into a career that is making him happy.

“I always had a huge passion for music, whether it’s listening to music, playing music, or talking about music, and I really fell in love with the audio production side of the program,” Rosas said. “I always wanted to be part of the music-making process, whether it’s at a studio recording the music or helping to promote the music.”

As a Recording Industries Studies major, Rosas participated in the Butler Music Industry Association club, which records student musicians and their original compositions. That helped him hone his skills. He also had an internship with Nuvo, Indianapolis’ alternative newspaper, where he worked with Sarah Murrell ’10 on a podcast about the Indianapolis food scene.

 

 

But Butler was more than his major. One course he took on climate change and its effects on human behavior gave him a deeper appreciation of nature.

“I have fond memories of going to Holcomb Gardens on a clear night, laying down and just looking at the stars,” he said. “The campus is just beautiful, and the class made me realize that those experiences in that class were not just, ‘Oh, I’m going for a walk,’ but ‘I’m going to help my mind clear itself.’”

After graduation, thanks to “an amazing recommendation” from Cutler Armstrong, who oversees the Recording Industry Studies program, Rosas landed a job with Tour Design Creative, which makes TV and radio commercials and posters to promote concert tours. His job in quality control is to make sure the information in the ads is accurate and that there are no audio mistakes.

“Cutler told me I’d get out of the program what I put into it, and that is exactly right,” Rosas said. “But the rewards are greater than anything I could imagine. I never thought I would work at a place like this, and I would not be here if it was not for Cutler and that program. Going to Butler was one of the best decisions I’ve made in my life.”

Marco Rosas
Alumni OutcomesPeople

Marco Rosas ’16

  Going to Butler was one of the best decisions I've made in my life.

Sarah Tam ’17

Sarah Tam spent much of her time at Butler “cocooned in the theatre world,” and when she wasn’t there, she was working on her minor in English writing. The results, she said, prepared her well for what she would like to eventually do—work in publishing as an Editor during the day and pursue acting on the side.

Tam’s work in Butler Theatre productions included a part in the world premiere of The Water Carriers, a play about a group of refugees attempting to flee Africa in a shipping container; the title role in Karlsson on the Roof, in which she learned to fly; and several roles in Caryl Churchill’s Love and Information.

She also had a part in a friend’s theatrical adaptation of The Diving Bell and the Butterfly, which gave the participants—all of them Butler students—a chance to have an ensemble experience where they did everything.

“It feels to me what Butler Theatre encourages—theatre artists who can do lots of things well and can create their own work because they have something they want to do,” she said. “It was really cool to be a part of that.”

Since graduating, Tam has been working as an actor/interpreter in the Indiana Historical Society’s living-history exhibits, which re-create a piece of history. The actors research and train to become characters, then play the parts by interacting with the historical society’s guests. Her next role is in an 1863 Gettysburg exhibit, where she will be dressed in full costume, including corset and petticoats.

“That’s been really cool because it’s a day job, but it’s acting,” she said. “So I get to do theater as my primary job right now.”

Tam, who had been looking at colleges in Massachusetts, said she made the right selection when she chose Butler.

“When I think back on what I’ve done here—I directed my own show as part of my thesis; I studied abroad twice—a semester in Dublin and six weeks in Russia during the summer; I took classes in so many different aspects of theatre and other subject areas—I don’t think I could have done that anywhere else,” she said.

Sarah Tam
People

Sarah Tam ’17

  I don't think I could have done what I did here anywhere else.

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