People | Butler Stories
Back

Latest In

People

Russell Hughes ’03

In Russell Hughes’ years at Butler, he was active in Phi Kappa Psi and Spring Sports, participated in the Speech and Debate team, and held campus jobs working the front desks at Ross Hall and ResCo. But his most important activity was an internship at GreenLight LLC, which manufactures and sells licensed die-cast replica vehicles (everything from Indy cars to replicas of vehicles featured in The Walking Dead), model kits, and aftermarket automotive accessories.

Fifteen years later, he’s still there—only now as Co-owner and President.

But back in 2002, Greenlight was a startup company that consisted of three people—including him.

 “You kind of don’t think you’re ready for that amount of responsibility, because you’re a junior in college, but in hindsight it’s huge,” he said. “It builds your resume and gets you into that routine of going to work, learning things, and pairing what you’re learning in the world with what you’re learning in school. I thought it was incredibly helpful.”

Hughes did two internships with GreenLight, then was hired after graduation. In 2010, the company was sold for the first time, and the new owners named Hughes as President. In 2013, when GreenLight was up for sale again, he and two partners bought the business for $1.4 million.

Four and a half years later, GreenLight recorded $15 million in annual sales and has been named one of Indianapolis’s 25 Fastest-Growing Private Companies two years in a row by the Indianapolis Business Journal. In addition, GreenLight now has nearly 30 employees.

Hughes said he chose Butler because “it just had the right feel,” and he said that what he learned as an Economics major and Communication Studies minor has helped guide his career.

“I felt like I came out of school very well prepared,” he said. “I didn’t come out as green as maybe some kids from other schools do…. Butler was a great experience for me. As far as academics go, as far as building lifelong relationships, I wouldn’t change a thing about it.”

AcademicsPeople

Lisa Brooks Named New Dean of JCA

BY

PUBLISHED ON Nov 16 2017

Lisa Brooks’ career at Butler has been a series of progressions—from Violin Professor to Assistant Chair of the School of Music and Director of the Graduate Program to Chair of the School of Music to Interim Dean of the Jordan College of the Arts.

And now, Dean.

Provost Kate Morris announced Brooks’ appointment as Dean of Butler’s Jordan College of the Arts on November 15 at the conclusion of a two-year national search.

“With each role she has held, Lisa has demonstrated her commitment to students, faculty, and staff, both within the College and across the University,” Morris said.

Brooks said when she took over as Interim Dean on June 1, there was a question about whether she would be able to advocate for the other departments in JCA—Dance, Theatre, Arts Administration, and Art + Design.

“I’m a music professor,” she said. “I’m a musician. I’m sure there were people in the college saying, ‘Will she be able to not be music-centric?’ And I didn’t know, either. So I took over June 1, and by mid-August I thought, ‘I can do this job.’ I believe that I’ve proven to my colleagues in the other disciplines that I can be their advocate.”

So she applied for the position.

As Interim Dean, Brooks has already put her stamp on the College. She and the JCA department chairs have replaced the 4-year-old Butler ArtsFest with JCA Signature Events, which provide more student-centered experiences followed by a public performance. The Signature Event on November 14-15, for example, featured theatre artist Tim Miller, who presented workshops for students and an evening show for the public.

Brooks said her immediate goals for JCA are to reconnect with and energize alumni, and to become “a major player in arts education in Indianapolis.”

“The college’s vision is to become a nexus of the arts in Indianapolis through education and performance, and to become a destination for innovative undergraduate arts education,” she said.

Brooks received both a bachelor’s and master’s degree in Violin Performance from West Virginia University and earned her doctorate in Violin Performance from the State University of New York at Stony Brook. She came to Butler from Baylor University in fall 1994 with her husband, Davis, as part of Butler’s first tenure-track faculty job share.

“It was actually quite forward-looking for Butler to hire us as a job-sharing couple,” she said. “That enabled us to do a lot of performing in the community as violinists. We also have two kids, so it was a great way to balance life, and it worked out well. They knew that they got more than 100 percent from the two of us, and they didn’t care how we split the position. They said, ‘Here are the duties. Do it.'”

They did. Lisa plays in the Indianapolis Chamber Orchestra, and both serve as substitutes for the Indianapolis Symphony Orchestra. (Davis retired from full-time teaching in spring 2014.)

Brooks said she will continue to teach—she has six students this semester—and serve as an academic adviser.

“You can really lose touch with students when you sit in this office,” she said. “You don’t see them frequently, and you can lose touch with the very thing you’re advocating for. So I think it’s important for a Dean to teach, and I’m going to continue to do so.”

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

AcademicsPeople

Lisa Brooks Named New Dean of JCA

Provost Kate Morris announced Brooks’ appointment as Dean of Butler’s Jordan College of the Arts on November 15 at the conclusion of a two-year national search.

Nov 16 2017 Read more
AcademicsPeople

Butler's Realizing The Dream Scholarship Winner Is...

BY

PUBLISHED ON Nov 07 2017

Kayleigh Pletch, a second-year Liberal Arts Exploratory major student from Frankfort, Indiana, has been selected as Butler University’s 2017 winner of the Independent Colleges of Indiana’s Realizing the Dream scholarship.

 

Matthew Scott and Kayleigh Pletch

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

Pletch and 30 other students from Indiana’s independent colleges and universities, and their most influential elementary or secondary teachers, were honored on November 4 at the 28th annual “Realizing the Dream” banquet. The event, made possible by a grant from Lilly Endowment Inc. to the Independent Colleges of Indiana, recognizes first-generation tudents attending ICI campuses, along with their inspirational teachers and families.

Pletch will receive a $2,500 check to help with college costs. Additionally, each student’s selected most influential teacher/mentor will receive a $1,000 professional development grant. Pletch chose her high school social studies teacher Matthew Scott from Clinton Prairie High School.

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

AcademicsPeople

Butler's Realizing The Dream Scholarship Winner Is...

Kayleigh Pletch, a second-year Liberal Arts Exploratory major student from Frankfort, Indiana, has been selected as Butler University’s 2017 winner of the Independent Colleges of Indiana’s Realizing the Dream scholarship.

Nov 07 2017 Read more
CommunityPeople

Butler Presents Eight Alumni Awards

BY

PUBLISHED ON Sep 27 2017

Honorees to receive their recognition during Homecoming Weekend.

Butler University will hold the annual Alumni Awards Recognition Program for extraordinary professional achievement and service to the University and their communities on Friday, October 20, at 6:00 PM in the Howard L. Schrott Center for the Arts.

This year’s recipients are:

  • Butler Medal: Norman W. Wilkens ’57
  • Butler Service Medal: Dr. Robert Grechesky
  • Joseph Irwin Sweeney Award: Becky L. Ruby-Wojtowicz ’05
  • Hilton Ultimus Brown Award: Michael Hole ’08
  • Robert Todd Duncan Award: Wayne C. Burris ’77
  • Katharine Merrill Graydon Award: Kevin J. McDevitt ’77
  • Ovid Butler Society Mortar Award: Karen (Dietz) Colglazier ’70 MA’74 and John W. Colglazier
  • Foundation Award: Branden ’02 and Jenn Renner

Registration for the awards ceremony and all Homecoming activities can be made online at butler.edu/homecoming. More about the recipients and their awards follows.

Norman W. Wilkens ’57 (The Butler Medal)

Norman W. Wilkens, President, Wilkens Consulting LLC, has been active in marketing, advertising, education, and public relations in Indianapolis for over sixty years. A 1957 graduate of Butler University with a Bachelor of Science in Radio and Television, Wilkens began his career as an announcer and floor director/writer at WTTV (Channel 4). He joined WXLW radio as Continuity Director in 1958. Four years later, he joined Ruben Advertising in its Public Relations Division.

The next steps of his career included advertising and marketing in leading Indianapolis firms including Handley & Miller and Caldwell, Larkin, Sidener, and Van Riper. At that juncture, he and others formed McQuade, Wilkens, Bloomhorst Advertising.

Wilkens became a principal in Carlson & Co. Advertising as President/CEO. Seven years later, he merged the agency into Montgomery, Zuckerman & Davis (MZD) as Vice President and Account Supervisor. He left MZD to form an in­house agency for Standard Management Corporation, an international insurance holding company, in 1993.

In 1996, he spun the agency out of its in-house status and it became an independent firm under the banner Advertising Visions Inc. Five years later, the name was changed to Ambient Communications. In 2004, he dissolved the agency to serve as an independent marketing consultant emphasizing health care. Today, that entity is known as Wilkens Consulting LLC.

Wilkens has held teaching posts at Butler University (for 21 years), Indiana University, and Indiana Wesleyan University, as an instructor in broadcast writing, advertising, and public relations. His father, Dr. Irvin Wilkens, received his pre-medical degree from the old Butler Campus in lrvington.

The Butler Medal, the highest honor conferred by the Butler University Alumni Association, recognizes individuals for a lifetime of distinguished service to either Butler or their local community while at the same time achieving a distinguished career in their chosen profession.

Robert Grechesky (The Butler Service Medal)

Dr. Robert Grechesky is Emeritus Professor of Music and Director of Bands at Butler University. He taught conducting, music education courses, wind band history and literature, and euphonium, and he conducted the Butler Symphonic Band and Wind Ensemble on four European tours. In 2014, he retired from active teaching after 41 years of service at Butler.

Grechesky received his Bachelor of Arts in Music Education from Rutgers University, and his Master of Music and doctorate in Music Education and Conducting from the University of Wisconsin-Madison.

He was named a Sagamore of the Wabash, the highest civilian award that the State of Indiana gives, by Governor Mike Pence, and in 2016 he was honored by his election to the Butler University Athletic Hall of Fame. He is the recipient of the A. Frank Martin Award, a national award given by Kappa Kappa Psi for outstanding service to college bands. Grechesky was named 2010 “Outstanding University Music Educator” by the Indiana Music Educators Association. He was selected as the 2010–2011 recipient of the James B. Calvert Lifetime Achievement Award by the Indiana Wind Symphony, and was named Outstanding Professor by the Butler Mortar Board.

He will be awarded the Butler Service Medal, which recognizes emeriti faculty or retired faculty and staff (alumnus or non-alumnus) for a lifetime of distinguished service to Butler University and to the community.

Becky L. Ruby-Wojtowicz ’05 (Joseph Irwin Sweeney Alumni Service Award)

Becky Ruby-Wojtowicz graduated with a Bachelor of Science in Arts Administration and a Bachelor of Arts in Journalism (Public Relations).

After two years as Individual Giving Manager at the Indianapolis Zoo, and two years in a similar position at Wishard Health Foundation, she left to run lilly lane, a company she started in January 2008 to provide flowers, event-planning, and other services. (Her first client was a Butler alumnus.) lilly lane has now provided wedding flowers to over 600 couples, as well as corporate and non-profit clients.

Ruby-Wojtowicz was a four-year member of the Young Alumni Board, including one year as vice president and one as president, and has taught at Butler in the Arts Administration program.

She and her husband, Justin, have a daughter, Claire.

The award she is receiving is named for Joseph Irwin Sweeney, whose student career was cut short when he suffered an untimely death in summer 1900, prior to his senior year. It goes to a graduate who completed their degree within the past 15 years who has contributed significant service to the University.

Michael Hole ’08 (Hilton Ultimus Brown Alumni Achievement Award)

Dr. Michael Hole is a pediatrician and social entrepreneur who started his career as a case manager focused on child trafficking before founding two international development campaigns: Power of Children, which started a primary school for 350 students in post-conflict Uganda, and BeHaiti, which helped Partners in Health develop and distribute a vitamin-enriched food treating 50,000 malnourished youth yearly and support an orphanage for 64 disabled, abused, or homeless children abandoned during Haiti’s 2010 earthquake.

He completed residency at Harvard Medical School, where he trained at Boston Children’s Hospital, the world’s No. 1 children’s hospital as ranked by U.S. News & World Report, and Boston Medical Center, New England’s largest safety-net hospital. He earned an MD and MBA from Stanford University with concentrations in public management, community health, and social innovation, and he holds a Bachelor of Science cum laude with honors in Biology and Spanish from Butler University, where he was a Lilly Scholar and the 2008 Top Male Student.

In 2016, he co-launched StreetCred, an organization at the intersection of government and health systems helping low-income families build assets while they wait in pediatric clinics and hospitals. Featured by The Boston Globe and CBS News, StreetCred has returned more than $1.5 million in tax refunds to vulnerable families, which placed Hole on Forbes Magazine‘s 30 Under 30 list of social entrepreneurs.

The Hilton Ultimus Brown Alumni Achievement Award honors alumni who have exited the University within the past 15 years and have made major contributions to a career field or to society.

Kevin McDevitt ’77 (Katharine Merrill Graydon Alumni Service Award)

Kevin McDevitt, Senior Vice President-Wealth Management for UBS Financial Services Inc., graduated from Butler University with a degree in mathematics and went on to earn his MBA in finance from the University of Detroit. He is a Certified Financial Planner and is a member of the Investment Management Consulting Association. He is a member of UBS’s distinguished Director’s Club, which recognizes the top Financial Advisors in the firm. McDevitt has worked for UBS for 30 years.

McDevitt is the current President and a founding member of the Butler University Detroit Alumni Chapter and has been a member of the Ovid Butler Society for the past five years. He also was a supporter of the Campaign for Hinkle Fieldhouse.

In the Detroit community, he has served as a former Introduction Leader of Landmark Education, past President of Marian Athletic Club, and member of the Finance Committee at St. Ireneaus Church.

McDevitt was a four-year letter-winner as a running back on Butler’s football teams, 1973–1976. He led the NCAA (all divisions) in kickoff returns in 1975, and he still holds Butler’s career record for kickoff returns. He won the conference scoring title in 1974, and he became the first Butler football player to score 100 points in a season in 1976. In 2003, he was inducted into the Butler Athletic Hall of Fame.

He and his beloved late wife, Kathy ’78, met at Butler. They have four children, including daughter Shannon, who is a senior at Butler this fall. Shannon is a Health Science and Business major and is a member of the Butler’s Women’s Soccer Team. In 2016, she was named to the All-BIG EAST Conference Second Team.

He is receiving the Katharine Merrill Graydon Alumni Service Award, which is presented to a graduate who received their degree more than 15 years prior to the presentation of the award in recognition of outstanding service to Butler University.

Wayne C. Burris ’77 (Robert Todd Duncan Alumni Achievement Award)

As Senior Vice President and Chief Financial Officer for Roche Diagnostics Corp.—a position he has held since 1996—Wayne Burris uses his strong background in U.S. and international accounting and finance experience dealing with business and reporting issues to provide strategic and tactical advice for the many Roche businesses.

He was a founding member of the Roche Diagnostics-North American STAR initiative that generated over $100 million in purchasing savings and has since become a global initiative, and he served on the Diagnostics Investment Committee tasked with deciding how to allocate and approve over $500 million in annual capital investments.

Prior to his current position, Burris was Head of Global Finance for Patient Care and, before that, was Vice President of Finance. Before joining Roche Diagnostics in 1986, he was Senior Manager for Price Waterhouse LLP, focusing on clients in the financial service industry and on global healthcare manufacturers in diagnostics, orthopedics, and pharmaceuticals.

Burris, a Certified Public Accountant, is a native of Indianapolis. He received his Bachelor of Science degree in Accounting and Finance from Butler University, where he was voted one of the Top Ten Male Students and was named the Outstanding Male Student of his graduating class. He was a recipient of an Ernst & Young scholarship in accounting, and in 2002, he was inducted into the Butler University Athletic Hall of Fame.

He is being honored with the Robert Todd Duncan Alumni Achievement Award, which is presented to a Butler graduate who received their degree more than 15 years prior to the presentation of the award in recognition of outstanding contributions in a career field or to society.

Karen (Dietz) Colglazier ’70 MA ’74 and John W. Colglazier (Ovid Butler Society Mortar Award)

Karen and John, “Bud,” Colglazier have been Ovid Butler Society members since 2002. Karen joined the OBS Executive Committee in 2008 and served as the chairperson for three years. She also served on the Butler Parent-Faculty Council (2002–2003) and in the fall of 2005 joined the Board of Visitors for the College of Liberal Arts and Sciences, which she is still a member of today.

Karen, an Indianapolis native, spent her childhood playing in the sand under the bleachers and running the ramps of Hinkle Fieldhouse, rolling down the grassy hill onto the football field, and sledding behind the Butler Bowl. Her father, Bob Dietz ’41, was an All-American basketball player at Butler and long-time assistant Men’s Basketball coach to Tony Hinkle from 1947–1970. Karen attended Butler for her undergraduate and graduate degrees, receiving her Bachelor of Arts in History/Political Science and her Master of Arts in American History.

In the summer of 1974 she was awarded a Fulbright Fellowship for study and travel in India, an achievement she credits to the rigorous curriculum of the College of Liberal Arts and Sciences. Karen taught social studies in Indianapolis Public Schools and Hamilton Southeastern High School, and was a Title IX girl’s tennis coach, being a part of the first high school girls’ tennis program in IPS in 1971.

Bud is owner and President of Don Hinds Ford in Fishers, Indiana. He is a 1967 graduate of Indiana University Kelley School of Business and a member of Sigma Chi Fraternity.

The Colglaziers are the parents of three children—sons John and Mark and daughter Carrie. John and Mark are part of the management team at Don Hinds Ford. Carrie, a member of the Butler Women’s Soccer team studying in the pre-PA program, was killed by a drunk driver June 6, 2003. In 2006, Bud and Karen established an endowed scholarship in Carrie’s memory to benefit a Butler Women’s Soccer player who best exemplifies the Butler Way.

The Mortar Award, created in 1995, honors one person or couple each year who personifies the Butler spirit by demonstrating great vision, leadership, and generosity to Butler University.

Branden ’02 and Jenn Renner (The Foundation Award)

Branden and Jenn Renner were one of the first pledges to the new Butler Andre B. Lacy School of Business building, and their contribution will result in a conference room being named for them.

Brandon, who played football for Butler, graduated in 2002 with a Bachelor of Science in Finance. He is now Associate Vice President, Investments & Financial Advisor for Renner Masariu Wealth Management of Raymond James—one of the youngest vice presidents in Raymond James’ 50-year history. He has also been a consecutive five-year winner of the Achiever’s Club Award and has been nominated as one of Five Star Professional’s Top Wealth Advisors in Indianapolis.

He is a member of the Indiana Motor Truck Association’s Executive Committee and the chairman of their Allied Committee, past President of the Butler Young Alumni Board and Central Indiana Alumni Chapter, and past member of the Ovid Butler Society Executive Committee, Career Services Advisory Board, and Alumni Engagement Subcommittee for the Board of Trustees.

In addition, he has won the Joseph Irwin Sweeney Alumni Service Award and the Barbara Busche OBS Award, and was the Rotary Foundation’s Paul Harris Fellow.

Jenn graduated from Purdue University in 2005 with a Bachelor of Arts in Education. She was an Avon Community School Corporation elementary-school teacher and is now a stay-at-home mom with sons Luke and Logan. She works as a Beachbody coach and is active with the Make-A-Wish Foundation.

The Foundation Award, created in 2011, honors one person or couple (age 40 and younger) each year who personifies the Butler spirit by demonstrating leadership and generosity to Butler University.

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

CommunityPeople

Butler Presents Eight Alumni Awards

Honorees to receive their recognition during Homecoming Weekend.

Butler University will hold the annual Alumni Awards Recognition Program for extraordinary professional achievement and service to the University and their communities on Friday, October 20, at 6:00 PM in the Howard L. Schrott Center for the Arts.

Sep 27 2017 Read more
Caldwell
People

Howard Caldwell, Alumnus and Former Trustee, Dies

BY

PUBLISHED ON Sep 11 2017

Beloved alumnus had lifelong ties to Butler.

Howard Caldwell ’50, MA ’68, whose distinguished career at WRTV (Channel 6) in Indianapolis earned him induction into the Indiana Journalism Hall of Fame and Indiana Broadcasters Hall of Fame, died Monday. He was 92.

Caldwell earned his bachelor’s degree in journalism and his master’s degree in political science from Butler. He served as a trustee from 1980-1983 and was awarded an honorary doctorate in 1984. In 1992, he received an honorary doctorate from Indiana University.

He had lifelong ties to Butler. His parents, Howard ’15 and Elsie ’17, and his sister Virginia Caldwell ’40 all were Butler alumni, as is his daughter Tracy Reidy ’80, MS ’84. His wife of 62 years, Lynn, has served on the Clowes Women’s Committee.

Caldwell served in the Navy during World War II and the Korean War. After graduating from Butler, he was a News Manager with WTHI radio in Terre Haute, Indiana. He joined WRTV (then called WFBM) in 1959 as a reporter and spent 35 years at the station, retiring as Senior Anchor. He was named the 1978 Newsman of the Year by the Indianapolis Press Club, a first for a television reporter. He was the first American reporter to interview the newly elected Indian Premier Indira Gandhi, and his documentary on hunger in India earned him several honors.

He was inducted into the Indianapolis Public Schools Hall of Fame in 2008. That same year, he received an Indiana Lifetime Achievement Award, one of the state’s highest awards given to any individual who demonstrates outstanding devotion to Indiana. He received the Hilton U. Brown Award for Lifetime Achievement from the Irvington Historical Society in 2006.

In addition, he is the author of Tony Hinkle: Coach for All Seasons (1991) and The Golden Age of Indianapolis Theaters (2010).

Visitation is Thursday, September 14, from 2:00 to 8:00 PM at Castleton United Methodist Church, 7101 Shadeland Avenue, Indianapolis, with funeral services Friday, September 15, at 11:00 AM at the church.

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

Caldwell
People

Howard Caldwell, Alumnus and Former Trustee, Dies

Howard Caldwell ’50, MA ’68, whose distinguished career at WRTV (Channel 6) in Indianapolis earned him induction into the Indiana Journalism Hall of Fame and Indiana Broadcasters Hall of Fame, died Monday. He was 92.

Sep 11 2017 Read more
Darius Hickman
Arts & CulturePeople

Does He Think He Can Dance? He *Knows* He Can Dance

BY

PUBLISHED ON Jul 17 2017

When the other members of Butler’s Class of 2021 ask Darius Hickman what he did this summer, he’ll have a story that starts with, “I was a contestant on So You Think You Can Dance.

The incoming first-year Dance major from West Palm Beach, Florida, dazzled the judges and audience with this audition and so far has made it through the first three rounds. (The competition, which airs Mondays at 8:00 PM on Fox TV, is ongoing as this is being written.) In this summer’s “All-Star” edition of the Fox TV show, the Top 10 dancers are paired with stars from past seasons who guide them as they vie for America’s votes and the title of America’s Favorite Dancer. So far, Hickman has made it to the round of 20.

“I was always really into the show, but I never thought about auditioning,” Hickman said. “You have to submit an online video, and then they tell you if you can come and audition in person. So I did that.”

He didn’t get a response, so he went to an open audition in Los Angeles and stood in line for six hours to get a shot.

Hickman said what viewers are seeing now is the result of seven years of work. After a difficult early childhood—his mother was imprisoned for drugs; his father was absent; he was raised by an aunt who was in an abusive relationship—he started dancing in the sixth grade because “I wanted to do a sport, something, like all my friends did.”

He started with hip-hop lessons, which led him to a performing-arts middle school. The first day of middle school dance training was his first full-length ballet class.

“It was a little overwhelming, for sure, because I was frustrated,” he said. “I didn’t have the skills to keep up. It was hard for me to pick up combinations, and I was not very flexible—I couldn’t even touch my knees well. It was a struggle, for sure.”

But he persevered, and by eighth grade Hickman decided that he liked the challenge. In the months before high school, he took his first summer intensive—concentrated classes during school break—at the Harid Conservatory, a ballet professional-training school for high-school age students located in Boca Raton. That, he said, prepared him for high school at Alexander W. Dreyfoos School of the Arts, from which he graduated in May.

Hickman hadn’t planned on going to college, but at the South Florida College Dance Fair he met Butler Dance Professor Marek Cholewa, who was teaching a class.

“I fell in love with his class, everything about it,” Hickman said. “I want to be taught like this. He talked to me after class and told me to come to Butler to audition, so I went to Indiana to audition.”

“We had a good chemistry,” Cholewa said. “His talent was very clear.”

And now, Hickman is Butler bound.

Cholewa said Butler Ballet audiences will see a young man with the right combination of focus and physical abilities, and “we can develop that even further.”

“I was very impressed when I saw him for the first time in Boca Raton,” Cholewa said. “He was able to follow everything that I said, which is very tough. He doesn’t know me, and I’m teaching my way, which is unknown to him, and he was grabbing the material very quickly. I’m glad he’s coming to Butler, and I’m sure he will be very good and very successful by the end of his four years with us.”

 

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

Darius Hickman
Arts & CulturePeople

Does He Think He Can Dance? He *Knows* He Can Dance

When the other members of Butler’s Class of 2021 ask Darius Hickman what he did this summer, he’ll have a story that starts with, “I was a contestant on So You Think You Can Dance.

Jul 17 2017 Read more
People

After 40 Years of 'Helping People,' Jeanne Van Tyle Retires

BY

PUBLISHED ON Jun 26 2017

Professor of Pharmacy Jeanne Van Tyle discovered her love of teaching in what sounds like a moment scripted for television. Four weeks into her teaching assistantship for her master’s program, the professor she was assigned to had a heart attack. He told Van Tyle where the class notebook was, and she was left to teach the class while he recovered.

“That was the first thought I’d given to teaching,” Van Tyle explained.

Originally thinking she would go into research and work for a company like Eli Lilly, her direction suddenly changed.

That was about 45 years ago, and now Van Tyle is exiting Butler after 40 years of teaching.

“I came to pharmacy school thinking I wanted to help people,” she said. “So this brings me back to my base roots of service. When we ask students on the first day of classes, ‘Why do you want to be a pharmacist?’ the number one answer is, ‘to help people.’ Many have seen grandparents struggle or have a personal history which perked their interest. In addition, I come from a social justice background as well. I truly believe that ‘to those to whom much is given, much is expected.’”

Van Tyle grew up on the southwest side of Indianapolis and intended to go to school at Indiana University. But her presentation at a high school science fair—doing a tissue culture to measure the effects of drugs on chick embryos—earned her a half-tuition scholarship to Butler.

She lived at home while at Butler and finished her Bachelor of Pharmacy degree in 1974. Two years later, after earning her Doctor of Pharmacy from Mercer University in Atlanta, Georgia, Butler’s College of Pharmacy recruited her to join the faculty.

Over the next several years, she impacted the Butler culture in at least two significant ways.

Initially, when she was hired, she was in a 50-50 position—that is, half her salary was paid by Butler and half by St. Vincent Hospital. She spent time in the mornings with doctors and students at St. Vincent, then the afternoon at Butler—many elective courses were offered in the evening division at the time. The 50-50 appointment is common now among pharmacy faculty so that pharmacy students can have access to faculty at sites. She was at both sites every day while working at St. Vincent, she said, but she was the first in this type of appointment.

Her second significant change was when she married another Pharmacy Professor, Kent Van Tyle, in 1982. It was rare at the time for faculty members to marry and have both stay at Butler, but the dean agreed with the decision.

At Butler, faculty appointments are based around teaching, research, and service. Van Tyle’s teaching areas are in pharmacokinetics and women’s health issues. She has taught in the Pharmacy, Physician Assistant and Health Sciences program. As for research, she’s also published articles in various scholarly journals like Pharmacotherapy and Annals of Surgery, and in pharmacy journals such as Pharmacy Times, some with her fellow colleagues. She has written several book chapters for textbooks in pharmacokinetics.

Service, however, is what Van Tyle has truly focused on for the past 40 years through teaching, mentoring students, training pharmacists, and volunteering in the community. For the past 20 years, she has served as a volunteer pharmacist for the Gennersaret Free Clinics, which provides healthcare for the homeless.

Rebecca Seifert, Executive Director of Gennersaret Free Clinic, has known Van Tyle as both a volunteer and as a member of the organization’s board.

“She goes above and beyond in terms of just caring,” Seifert said. “She has one of the most caring and compassionate hearts.”

At Butler, Van Tyle’s volunteer service included serving as Co-Chair of the Gender Equity Commission, a study of campus atmosphere for faculty, staff, and students, and as Chair of the Faculty Senate for one term.

“Both of these roles emphasize working with other across campus and helps to unite us in common causes,” Van Tyle said. “It is too easy to work by yourself and just your college. Cross campus activities help build new relationships and friendships.”

Van Tyle said Butler has been an ideal workplace because of the interaction with many bright students and colleagues, and the ability to integrate the service aspect of her life into her career so heavily.

At the end of the day though, she’s ready for the next stage, and to spend more time with her husband and two daughters, Rachel and Emily ’13, both of whom have inherited her service nature.

“I’ve spent so much time and energy working, I don’t know what all is out there,” Van Tyle said. “Everyone I know who is retired says they don’t look back but move on to new things.”

Like everything else she’s fully immersed herself in, that’s what she’s planning to do.

Media contact:
Krisy Force
kforce@butler.edu
317-940-6842

People

After 40 Years of 'Helping People,' Jeanne Van Tyle Retires

Professor of Pharmacy Jeanne Van Tyle discovered her love of teaching in what sounds like a moment scripted for television.

Jun 26 2017 Read more
Lacy School of Business
People

‘Doc’ McGowan in Retirement: Reading, Writing, Thinking

BY

PUBLISHED ON May 13 2017

For almost 25 years, Dick McGowan taught Butler students—mostly in the Lacy School of Business, and mostly about ethics. But the underlying lesson in everything he taught them was about hope.

Dick McGowan

McGowan would tell his classes about how, as an undergraduate at Colgate University, he had been unprepared to leave home and not ready for the academic rigors of college. In his first three philosophy courses, he got a C-plus, a D, and a C.

“I made sure my students knew that,” he said, “because I wanted them to understand redemption. What happens can be overcome. There’s hope. I want to teach hope. I think professors have to teach hope. If they don’t, they’re not doing their entire job. What I like to say is, ‘George W. Bush is not the only C student who did something with his life.’”

And now that McGowan has retired—2016–2017 was his final year—he looks back proudly at what he achieved.

*

McGowan grew up on the north shore of Long Island, New York. His father was an athletic director working with disadvantaged kids; his mother stayed home to raise eight children.

After graduating from Colgate in 1971, McGowan moved back to Long Island and became a field supervisor, overseeing the construction of about 80 houses. He guesses he would have been a multimillionaire if he’d stuck with that profession.

“But it didn’t suit my nature,” he said. “I had a boss who wanted us to skimp. But if you don’t follow the contract, that’s a mistake. It’s a moral shortcoming.”

Instead, he moved out to Washington state, where he worked as a bartender, forklift operator, hot-tar roofer—anything to support his habit. The habit of learning. He finished his master’s at Washington State University in 1976.

From there, McGowan went to Marquette University, where he worked as a teaching assistant and earned his doctorate in Philosophy in 1985. He also met and married his wife, Barbara, a research scientist, and they began a family that grew to three sons, all now adults.

After graduation, he found himself teaching at the Milwaukee School of Engineering, “which had very little use for ethics,” he said. His wife’s job was going to lose funding, so they started to look for work elsewhere. McGowan landed a position at St. Joseph’s College in Rensselaer, Indiana, as an associate professor and director of the school-wide required ethics course.

Rensselaer was great for him, but not so much for Barbara, who was underemployed and unhappy. He decided to “commit career suicide” and follow her to Indianapolis. She worked, and he stayed home with the boys. In 1993, Butler hired him for a part-time position teaching business ethics.

“What they learn in ethics is going to impact everything, whether they’re in business or whether they become firefighters,” said McGowan, who was elevated to instructor in 2001. “Basics ethics courses are for everything, all human activity. All voluntary human activities needs an ethics course.”

*

Over the years, McGowan taught a variety of courses, including ancient philosophy, biomedical ethics, introduction to ethics, introduction to philosophy, and assorted First-Year Seminar classes. He also ran the Undergraduate Research Conference for five years.

Students—who call him “Doc”—and faculty alike found him helpful and influential.

“Doc has inspired me to do the impossible,” said Nyree Modisette ’19, a political science major. “I never thought I could publish any of my work; however, Doc changed that for me. He helped me publish my essay titled ‘Framing the News; Dividing the Country,’ which has been published in the Kokomo TribuneUSA TodayThe Commercial AppealBurlington Free Press, and other places. He saw something in me that I did not see. Doc deserves to be celebrated and recognized for all the great work he has done for all of his students.”

Connor Brooks ’18, a finance major, said McGowan encouraged and sponsored him to present a paper during the Butler Undergraduate Research Conference last spring. He described McGowan as “a friend, mentor, and professor—in that order.”

“Doc made a personal connection with me and from the beginning has encouraged and challenged me to pursue my passion,” Brooks said. “He sees the good in people and encourages students to be better people in the classroom, on campus and in society as a whole. I am grateful for professors like Doc who encourage and support students both in and outside the classroom.”

*

Around Butler, McGowan became known for a number of disparate characteristics. He rode his bicycle to work most days, a commute of about 16 miles round trip. He paints tiny pictures that he gave to people as gifts. He kept espresso candies in his desk that he shared with anyone who needed a little burst of energy.

Associate Professor Hilary Buttrick, who is taking over the ethics classes McGowan taught, remembers getting one of those candies when she came to Butler to interview for her faculty position. She met McGowan at the end of that day.

“I think he could tell that I was exhausted, stressed,” she said. “He sat down and looked at me and said, ‘What kind of books are you reading right now?’ So we spent most of our interview time talking about books that we’d read, books that we want to read. So I will always think of Dick as somebody who has tremendous compassion for the people he’s working with and he encounters, and compassion for his students.”

McGowan counts among his proudest achievements helping Fraser Thompson ’01 became Butler’s first and only Rhodes Scholar (“One of the cleanest, clearest writers I’ve ever had”) and helping the women’s lacrosse club get off the ground.

“I thought it was important for women to run around and hit each other with sticks, consistent with Title IX,” he said with a smile.

In retirement, McGowan plans to continue painting, reading, writing, thinking, traveling, and riding. He said if he has any regrets, it’s that he didn’t pursue baseball after high school. He was a pitcher in high school, he wishes he had seen how far he could have gone.

He loves baseball, roots for the Milwaukee Brewers and the Atlanta Braves, and for years led a quixotic campaign to get pitcher Virgil Trucks into the Baseball Hall of Fame. Trucks, who pitched two no-hitters in one season (1952), and McGowan ultimately became friends.

Hank Aaron, the great home run hitter, was one of McGowan’s idols.

“He was what I wanted to be,” McGowan said. “But being a philosophy professor wasn’t bad.”

 

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

Lacy School of Business
People

‘Doc’ McGowan in Retirement: Reading, Writing, Thinking

For almost 25 years, Dick McGowan taught Butler students—mostly in the Lacy School of Business, and mostly about ethics. But the underlying lesson in everything he taught them was about hope.

May 13 2017 Read more
People

Butler Senior's Foundation Receives Second LIDS Foundation Grant

BY

PUBLISHED ON Apr 19 2016

For the second time this year, the Little Wish Foundation—founded and operated by Butler senior Liz Niemiec—has received a major gift from the LIDS Foundation. This time, it was a $75,000 Tip the Hat Award.

Senior Liz Niemiec (second from left) receives her second award from the LIDS Foundation.
Senior Liz Niemiec (second from left) receives her second award from the LIDS Foundation.

Little Wish Foundation delivers wishes, such as laptops, gaming systems, and desirable apparel, to pediatric oncology patients at children’s hospitals throughout Central Indiana. In February, the LIDS Foundation presented Little Wish with a $100,000 award.

“Both the LIDS Foundation and the LIDS Sports Group recognize the importance of uplifting and rewarding those who are shaping today’s youth into tomorrow’s leaders,” said Glenn Campbell, LIDS co-founder and LIDS Foundation board member. “This year’s recipients are a wonderful representation of varying causes that are undoubtedly impacting the lives and futures of children throughout the country.”

The LIDS Foundation is the philanthropic support arm of retailer LIDS Sports Group.

“The Tip-the-Hat Award has been the cherry on top of a year full of LIDS support and love,” Niemiec, an Arts Administration major, said. “Not only am I looking forward to celebrating the granting of our 500th little wish this May, but now this $75,000 gift was added onto our blessings. It's a pretty cool way to end senior year.”

 

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

 

archive
AcademicsPeopleCampus

51 Years and Counting: Mulholland Still Makes Sweet Music

BY

PUBLISHED ON Apr 07 2016

You might think that having just turned 81, Professor of Music James Mulholland would be in the winter of his career. If so, it’s a mighty busy winter.

During March and early April, Mulholland:


James Mulholland, rehearsing choirs in Carnegie Hall.

-Served a week in residency at University of Wisconsin Eau Claire, which culminated with a concert of Mulholland compositions by the various ensembles of the School of Music. While there, he coached the all-male choral ensemble The Singing Statesmen on his latest commission for them, in honor of the group’s 50th anniversary.

-Visited the University of Illinois for the 2016 Intercollegiate Men’s Choral National Seminar. Ten choirs came from all over the country, and Mulholland’s music was featured.

-Attended the Gotham SINGS! Collegiate Choral Showcase at Carnegie Hall, where choirs from four universities performed selections by composers such as Mozart, Mendelssohn, Rachmaninoff, and, yes, Mulholland. He rehearsed the university choirs prior to their performance.

-Hosted students from Iola/Scandinavian High School of Wisconsin, who made a two-day trip to Indianapolis to attend a choral clinic with Mulholland and tour the Butler campus.

-Finished a composition for the combined Indianapolis Children’s Choir and full orchestra to perform at the retirement extravaganza for Choir Founder and longtime Butler Professor Henry Leck.

While doing all this, he only missed one class.

“I’m booked through 2018,” said Mulholland, who is finishing his 51st year of teaching at Butler. “As far as my career artistically and academically, I’m still in demand. And I’m not cheap.”

Mulholland travels frequently to work with choral groups around the country, and he is among the world’s most-performed composers. In his doctoral dissertation examining music selected by high school honor choirs, James Spillane, now Director of Choral Studies at the University of Connecticut, found that the five most-programmed composers are, in order, Handel, Brahms, Mendelssohn, Mulholland, and Mozart.

In 2015, the Southern Chorale at the University of Southern Mississippi, Mulholland’s undergraduate alma mater, released a CD of his compositions called Back Home in Southern Mississippi: The Music of James Quitman Mulholland. The discs features 11 selections in which Mulholland married his music to texts by William Butler Yeats, Elizabeth Barrett Browning, Lord Byron, and others.

Reviewing the CD in The Choral Scholar, the online journal of the National Collegiate Choral Organization, C. Michael Porter, Director of Choral Organizations at Boise State University, wrote: “James Quitman Mulholland’s compositions have garnered a respected position within today’s choral canon. Because of their rich sonorities and expansive melodic lines, Mulholland’s compositions appeal to musicians and audiences of all levels…. Through their moving and impeccable performance, the Southern Chorale demonstrates why Mulholland’s works are synonymous with choral excellence.”mul2

Gregory Fuller, the Director of Choral Activities at Southern Mississippi, said he’s known of Mulholland’s work since he was a high school student in the late 1970s. What makes Mulholland’s music distinctive, Fuller said, is its “lush, romantic sound—lush harmonies and beautiful melody.”

“There are a couple of things that make him a standard-bearer,” he said. “Number one, he’s been at it a long time. He’s written a lot of music that is not only beautiful, but it’s accessible for a lot of different types of groups—school groups, community groups, professional groups, collegiate groups. And one of the reasons I think his music is profound is that you will struggle to find any piece by James Mulholland that does not include substantive text. He chooses great poetry, and he does not waste his time on things that are not profound or have not stood the test of time.”

Mulholland said he’s written the lion’s share of his more than 600 compositions on the piano in his second-floor office in Lilly Hall. He remains enormously proud of his service at Butler, including his 41 years on the Athletic Committee, and notes that next year, one of his students will be the third generation of his family to take one of his classes.

“I’m going to make music until I die,” he said. “And the only thing I enjoy more than making music is sharing it. Where better than you share your knowledge and love of music, the passion of it, than at a university? It’s also nice to have a captive audience. It gives me a fuel for my creativity.”

 

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

 

archive
People

Prof. Kelly's Book Explains How Conservatives Won the Culture Wars

BY

PUBLISHED ON Mar 30 2016

In a groundbreaking study of Hollywood films produced since 2000, Butler University Associate Professor of Critical Communication and Media Studies Casey Kelly has found that the overwhelming majority of movies now associate premarital sex with shame and degradation, while they romanticize traditional nuclear families, courtship rituals, and gender roles.

caseykelly10Kelly published his findings in Abstinence Cinema, a new book from Rutgers University Press that looks through the lens of approximately 180 movies at the outcome of the culture wars—which, he says, conservatives won.

“They won quite simply by choosing to participate in the public culture of sex talk,” Kelly said. “From the 1970s onward and in education in particular, cultural conservatives created their own curriculum, think tanks, policy institutes, and political lobbies to win the culture war over sex. Instead of resisting sex education, they created their own and had help from sympathetic family values politicians. In popular culture, abstinence advocates began selling the idea that virginity was sexy and hip, which made it something more accessible for Hollywood filmmakers to garner an audience.”

Kelly said the results—romanticizing traditional nuclear families, courtship rituals, and gender roles—are not necessarily negative. “But when virginity is constructed as the sole determinant of women's value, a physical ritual only accessible for heterosexual couples in the privileged institution of marriage, or a double-standard not valued in men (in popular culture and film), it has the effect of reinforcing discriminatory ideologies and practices.”

“You can see this not only in expected sites, like the Twilight films, but surprising ones, like the raunchy comedies of Judd Apatow,” he said. “These movies are particularly disempowering for young women, concocting plots in which the decision to refrain from sex until marriage is the young woman’s primary source of agency and arbiter of moral worth.”

Bonnie J. Dow, author of Watching Women’s Liberation, 1970: Feminism’s Pivotal Year on the Network News, calls Kelly’s book “smart textual analysis and informed feminist critique … a welcome addition to scholarship that takes popular culture seriously for its participation in the struggles of contemporary public life.”

 

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

 

 

archive
Student LifePeople

Video is Their Business (And Their Business is Good)

BY

PUBLISHED ON Mar 10 2016

They’re not even finished with college yet, but already Joshua Gaal and Tim Valentine are successfully building up Train 918, the video production, marketing, and branding company they founded as sophomores and will run after graduation.

Timothy Valentine and Joshua Gaal show their cameras to children in Kenya.

For 10 days in February, the Butler seniors were in Kenya, making promotional videos for a company called Roots Coconut Oil. Their job: show the process of harvesting coconut oil and explain Roots’ focus on providing good wages, clean water initiatives, and more for the Kenyan people. The results will be posted on rootscoconutoil.com this summer.

“Being able to go to Kenya and not be in class for seven days—I’m sure it doesn’t make the professors happy, but they were very understanding,” said Valentine, a Digital Media Production major and Marketing minor from Cincinnati, Ohio.

Gaal and Valentine said the experience was extraordinary. They shot footage on the island of Pate, about 300 miles from the capital city of Nairobi. They didn’t have a lot of downtime, but they managed to see giraffes, a pack of lions, and lush scenery.

Gaal, an Art + Design major and Digital Media Production minor from Whiting, Indiana, said one of the challenges he enjoyed was meeting the children on the island and gaining their trust.

kenya 4“You take a photo and then you show them, and they all swarm you and they hug you and they want you to look in their camera and they want you to take more photos,” he said. “I think that moment of trust between you and a kid from your town was probably my favorite moment.”

Valentine and Gaal got the job with Roots through a Butler connection—senior Riley Supple, an intern with the coconut oil company, recommended them. He had good reason to: Junior year, Valentine and Gaal worked on an admission video for Butler Marketing that has served as a calling card to attract future business.

The positive reaction to that effort led them to create Train 918, which they named for a train car they rode in as sophomores during a College of Communication trip to Germany.

They followed the admission video this semester with a video for the Butler University Police Department showing the best practices to follow if there’s an active shooter on campus.kenya 1

After graduation, Train918 will move into the Speak Easy, a warehouse in Broad Ripple that calls itself “a place for Indy’s entrepreneurial community to call home.”

“I think it’s really cool that Butler University has allowed Josh and me to become who we are and do what we do,” Valentine said. “We’re called Train918, but a lot of our ties are right here with Butler and it’s pretty cool that a university of this size takes care of its students this way.”

 

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

 

Pages