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Dedicated to Change the Art of Healthcare: Shandeep Singh ’18

By Krisy Force

Recent Butler University graduate Shandeep Singh’s ’18 Linkedin opening says a lot about who he is as a person and who he hopes to be as a medical professional. He writes, “I am a firm believer that medicine is an art that combines compassion and knowledge in order to provide effective healthcare.”

When his Career Planning Strategies Professor Courtney Rousseau read that statement in fall 2017, she remembers being struck not only by its verbiage but by its simplicity.

“The typical response I get from students pursuing fields in the medical profession is that they want to help people or they like science,” Rousseau said. “But it’s the first time I’ve ever heard anyone describe the medical field as an art. Statements like that are going to help develop the empathy that is sometimes lacking in healthcare.”

So if Singh’s passion is to become a doctor, what led him to pursue an internship through Butler’s Washington, DC Learning Semester? He figured out, like most Butler students, that at Butler he was able to combine his other passion—politics—with his love for science to pursue a hands-on learning experience.

When searching for an internship in Washington, Singh made sure to choose one that covered topics in the medical field while also allowing him an inside look into the career of a politician. Singh ended up interning for Representative Jackie Walorski in the capital for four months in spring 2018.

“My internship focused on the backside of healthcare, which allowed me to learn how I can really make a change and possibly make the system more efficient,” Singh said. “This is how it all starts. You develop a medical product, you go to Congress and lobby, and you hope to get funding.”

Singh explained there are a lot of great products that could potentially save someone’s life or ease the process of getting treatment, but the general public doesn’t even know about them because the lobbying and funding process is inefficient.

As a doctor, he hopes to use what he learned in his internship to help lobby for the products and devices that could positively impact patients’ lives.

Rousseau said students like Singh illustrate that careers shouldn’t be the only thing that defines who we are.

“Singh knew he was passionate about a lot of things and he knew he could explore them without them necessarily aligning,” Rousseau said. “It’s finding the right spaces for the things you’re passionate about.”

Keeping Teachers Teaching: Amanda Huffman ’12, METL ’16

By Marc Allan, MFA '18

Amanda Huffman ’12, METL ’16 wrote her master’s thesis on how to mentor math educators to keep them in the profession. Then she put her plan into action.

Working in collaboration with several Butler University professors and in partnership with Pike High School in Indianapolis, Huffman established a mentoring program at Pike, where she has taught Math since 2012. The program helps Butler’s future teachers bridge the gap between what they theoretically know about math and teaching and the reality of classroom life.

That program has proved to be so effective that it has expanded to other subjects at Pike, a 3,500-student school on the city’s northwest side. During the 2017–2018 school year, Jenny DiVincenzo ’16 mentored eight future English teachers and Ali Ranallo ’16 supported a group of eight would-be Social Studies teachers.

During the weekly sessions, which took place after school on Wednesdays, the mentors shared career advice, classroom tips, lesson-planning ideas—anything to help make the future teachers more comfortable and prepared.

“It’s a powerful thing to sit down with somebody," Meredith Varner ’18 said. “In college, it’s really easy to think of the most beautiful picture of a classroom, where every lesson runs really smoothly and times are perfect and you integrate those strategies and its incredible execution. We were able to get into the nitty-gritty of what it looks like to apply teaching concepts to the actual content and what it looks like to bring that into the classroom.”

Varner did her student-teaching at Pike in Indianapolis from January to March. By the time she had finished, she had verbally agreed to a full-time offer from Pike to teach math there beginning in 2018–2019. Varner then went to Westlane Middle School, which feeds into Pike High School, from March to May and, when she finished there, returned to Pike and ended the year by filling in for a teacher who went on maternity leave.

She said she benefited from what she learned in Butler’s College of Education, but also from what she learned from Huffman, her mentor.

New Pike High School teachers are assigned what’s called a “cooperating teacher” to help them through early growing pains in the classroom, but those are usually highly experienced teachers. 

DiVincenzo, who in June finished her second year of teaching English at Pike, said there’s something reassuring about having a mentor who’s close to your own age sharing her experiences. That’s why she wanted to be a mentor.

“I am more of a neutral person they can go to,” she said, sitting in her classroom, one corner of which was decorated with Butler pennants and pictures. “And I’m closer in age to them, so they feel more comfortable.”

She said her mentees wanted to know about topics ranging from lesson-planning to how to navigate relationships with coworkers and maintain professionalism even if you have different philosophies. Each session would focus on something different.

DiVincenzo studied Education and English at Butler and is licensed to teach English as a New Language. She teaches three sections of that and three of regular English 10. She said her faculty coworkers at Pike have been incredibly helpful, “but I would have had less stress and less anxiety going into my first year if I’d had a mentor. It does feel nice to be supported and feel like I have a Butler community here.”

Ranallo, who finished her second year of teaching Social Studies at Pike in the spring, said she was delighted to be a mentor. “Butler was such a great part of my life, and I wanted to keep going with that and helping out as much as I can,” she said.

She spent her Wednesdays with her mentees discussing topics like: How to talk about current events and help students process the information; how to explain and use primary sources; how teachers figure out if their students learned what they were trying to teach them. Classroom management, observing state standards, and how to make sure you’re applying them—those subjects also came up frequently.

Ranallo said she advised the future teachers to keep trying new things. There are going to be lessons and strategies you’ve learned that are going to be fantastic and you’re going to want to do them again, and there are going to be some that need some major readjustments or tweaks, she said. But your students deserve new ideas, so keep trying them and don’t be afraid to go for it.

The mentoring program began to take shape in 2012, the summer after Huffman graduated, when she participated in a Pike/Butler Partnership for Science, Technology, Engineering, and Math teachers. There, Butler professors Ryan Flessner (College of Education) and Mary Kron (Department of Mathematics and Actuarial Sciences) gave a presentation about combining math and new methods of teaching.

Huffman approached her advisor, Associate Professor of Education Shelly Furuness, and together they figured out how best to translate that idea into action.

“She believed us in the College of Education when we said we continue to support our students even after graduation,” said Furuness, Huffman’s thesis advisor.

Huffman, who’s now six years into her teaching career, said she’s proud to have established the mentoring program, particularly because it fits with the Butler College of Education’s mission: To make schools what they should be—not what they are.

Huffman teaches five sections of pre-calculus/trigonometry and one International Baccalaureate senior level section of calculus. One of the lessons she shared with her mentees was a classroom session where she broke up her class into groups and gave each group a calculus problem to solve at the board.

Once the group finished and had the correct answer, the members were dispersed to other groups until, finally, there was one group of 20.

“Some teachers would think that there’s nothing happening there,” she said. “It’s going to turn into chaos. I would say three-fourths of the students were still engaged in that last group, trying to figure out that last problem.”

Furuness said Huffman’s work—which earned national recognition from the federal Department of Education in 2016—demonstrates how Butler’s College of Education integrates theory and practice.

“So often, the narrative out in the world is that what you learn in teacher preparation isn’t real,” Furuness said. “We’re showing them people who are doing these things. Amanda, Jenny, and Ali help bridge that theory-to-practice gap. Our students tell us over and over again how thankful they are. They like seeing the graduates doing the work.”

Enjoying the Journey: Smita Conjeevaram '85

By Cindy Dashnaw

Smita Conjeevaram ’85 was born in Mumbai at a time when a college degree for Indian daughters was generally a means to one end: A marriage arranged by her family. But Conjeevaram, describing herself as “intense and serious” from her earliest days, had a family that helped her focus on her own goals, rather than on others’ expectations.

For instance, she joined India’s National Cadet Corps at age 18 and became South India’s first female glider pilot.

“My mother was very progressive in how she raised me and my siblings,” she said. “She wanted us to be able to rely on ourselves when we grew up.”

Conjeevaram has relied on herself all her life. As an adult, holding senior positions at prominent investment management firms for over 25 years, hundreds of other people learned to rely on her, too. Now retired, she continues to keep her finger on the pulse of business and the financial industry by serving on corporate boards, including a public financial tech company, SS&C. And a new endeavor has another audience counting on her: young artisans hoping she can revive global interest in handloom textiles.

 

A Midwestern Butler Welcome

Her father’s electronics and plastics manufacturing company inspired Conjeevaram to pursue a business career. In India, she had earned a bachelor’s degree in Economics and was working toward a master’s degree when she met her future husband. He accepted a job with Allison Gas Turbine in Indianapolis to design military aircraft engines, and Conjeevaram packed up and moved with him.

She had no intention of altering plans for her life, however.

“Ideologically, I was very much about building a career and making the most of opportunities that came my way,” she said. Conjeevaram enrolled at Butler University to pursue Accounting and Business Administration. She remembers how welcome she felt.

“Butler had a very comfortable and approachable ambience, and the professors were fantastic,” she said. “People were curious about my background … but never did I feel like I was different. Everyone had an equal interest in my success and gave a lot of care to making me feel like I belonged.”

Conjeevaram adjusted to the informality of an American campus, where it was OK to call professors by their first names and keep your seat when they entered the classroom, and she appreciated Butler’s approach to academics.

“While at Butler, I felt I was not only learning through courses directly related to business and finance, but also through a curriculum that included liberal arts classes that brought perspective and provided a well-rounded education, something I missed in India,” Conjeevaram said.

Since earning her Butler degree magna cum laude in 1985 and becoming a CPA in 1989, Conjeevaram has held senior positions in some of the most sophisticated Wall Street financial services companies: PwC, Long-Term Capital, Fortress Investment Group, and others. Among other things, she was actively involved in growing the business and designing and bringing about efficiency and controls in operational infrastructure.

 

Business of a Different Sort

Now that she’s retired, Conjeevaram has time to devote to her other passions: textiles and philanthropy. She visited every textile center in South Asia, spending three months with weavers and artisans and the nonprofit groups and governmental agencies that support them. She realized that the centuries-old craft of handloom was dying and, with it, the life and culture of the weavers. During a three-year weaving course in Florence, Italy, she also realized her textile books had little visual documentation of old weaving techniques.

She later captured her journey on film and turned the footage into a trailer, Threads of India, from which she plans to make a documentary.

Meanwhile, Conjeevaram launched online retailer Esse et Cie to create a marketplace for artisans she met and to continue visually documenting textile arts. She hopes that by educating consumers on how products are made, they will appreciate them more.

 

‘You’ll Never Regret Finance’

In addition to advising young textile artisans, Conjeevaram also has some advice for Butler students.

“Finance and Accounting are two courses which you’d never regret studying. They present career options in a wide variety of industries,” she said. “While it is great to plan out your career path and future early on, it’s important to be flexible and nimble to make the most of opportunities that arise. At most times, how you respond will dictate your career path. So go with the flow, take a few risks, and enjoy the journey.”

Always in Style: Andrew Gelwicks '15

By Marc Allan, MFA '18

Andrew Gelwicks ’15 is wearing ripped jeans, a white T-shirt, Converse sneakers, and a baseball hat, which seems antithetical to how a stylist to the up-and-coming stars ought to be dressed.

But no, he said. His personal style is to keep things simple.

“You see stylists on TV and they’re portrayed as ultra-glamourous, running around in heels and designer clothes,” he said. “While that is sometimes the case, the reality of it is that styling is more physically demanding than most people would think. You’re carrying garment bags, you’re bringing racks of clothes around to people’s hotel rooms, you’re standing on set for 12 hours. So I just dress for comfort. I love dressing my clients in very luxurious, high-end clothing, but my personal style is not that.”

He added: “At the end of the day, my objective is to make sure that as soon as my client steps in front of the cameras, they look and—more importantly—feel their best. It’s my job to take their style and bring it to the next level.”

And in just three years since graduating from Butler, he has a growing list of clients to prove his point. Celebrities such as Tommy Dorfman and Brandon Flynn (Netflix’s 13 Reasons Why), KJ Apa (Riverdale), Sistine Stallone (model, daughter of Sylvester Stallone), Serayah (Empire), Cordell Broadus (model, Snoop Dogg’s son), Larsen Thompson (dancer/model/actress), Chloe Lukasiak (Lifetime’s Dance Moms), Dascha Polanco (Orange Is the New Black), and Camren Bicondova (Gotham) are just some of who have all taken their fashion cues from him.

 

The Andrew Gelwicks Course

Gelwicks traces his desire to be part of the fashion industry to well before he arrived at Butler. Strategic Communication Professor Rose Campbell remembers looking at the website Gelwicks designed when he was in high school in Cincinnati, Ohio, and being impressed by the modeling, clothing, and design.

“It was a cool, well-done visual, and very clever,” she said. “We don’t see too many students who have that kind of interest early on.” She added: “We didn’t turn him into what he is; he came here laser-focused on what he wanted to do, and he found that our department was the way to get there.”

Gelwicks had looked at a number of schools, but when he visited his older sister’s friend, who was a Butler student, “there was a click between me, the students, and the campus.” He came in as a Strategic Communication major, with a minor in Digital Media Production.

After Gelwicks’ first year at Butler, he wanted to do an internship in New York City. Before the end of his first semester, he had six internship offers around the country, including at Hearst Magazines and Vogue. (He went with Hearst). At the time, the department didn’t have a mechanism to allow him to get credit—something all of the companies he was considering required—so they created a new course, STR199, Field Experience in Strategic Communication.

“That,” Campbell said, “is the Andrew Gelwicks course.”

He also was interested in the design aspects of Strategic Communication, but the department only had one required design course and no photography or videography courses. Strategic Communication Instructor Armando Pellerano worked with Gelwicks, supervising multiple independent studies where he was able to expand his knowledge on photography, video, and design.

“Having an Andrew Gelwicks teaches you about the holes in your curriculum,” Campbell said.

Beyond his coursework, Gelwicks made a splash nationally with articles he wrote for Out magazine and The Huffington Post about being gay in a fraternity. (He published a dozen more pieces for the Huffington site.) And he periodically flew to New York to assist stylists on photo shoots, help out at New York Fashion Week, and to interview for a job. He was adamant about keeping one foot in the city as best he could.

“In my senior year, I did a freelance project for Self magazine, helping them with an event they were doing with Drew Barrymore,” he said. “I would sit in the basement of my senior house helping arrange the guests for this 600-person event.”

Ultimately, he said, Butler “helped me figure out myself, what my priorities are, and my personal goals. If I had gone to school in New York, it would have been very, very different. The fact that I grew up in Ohio and went to school in Indiana really helped me as I’m now in this hyper-chaotic world with extreme personalities and egos. Coming from the Midwest, I was able to be with people who are really grounded and care about their friends and families. That has been so valuable.”

 

Building His Own Brand

After studying in Berlin, Germany, his junior year, Gelwicks came back for the fall 2015 semester and graduated in December. He waited a week or two and moved to New York the first week of January.

That first week, he had 20 interviews. By Friday, he had accepted a job at GQ, working in the fashion closet. Four months in, he met the entertainment editor at Vogue, “an Editor I had been fascinated with for years. I was so curious about her and her job and what she did every day—she books all the celebrities for Vogue, and is such a big force at the magazine.”

Then, by happenstance, Gelwicks ran into her again on the street. She hired him that day and two weeks later, he was handling the celebrity bookings for Teen Vogue.

He was there almost a year—booking celebrity talent for the print magazine and digital, and getting to meet up-and-coming actors, actresses, and musicians. But he missed the fashion element of the business, so on the weekends he started doing test shoots for modeling agencies. He would find photographers and models on Instagram and they would come together to create work for all of their portfolios.

For the next six months, Gelwicks did two or three shoots a weekend to put together as much content as possible. In summer 2016, Madonna’s publicist introduced him to an agent who represents Hollywood stylists and makeup artists. He’s been working in that end of the business ever since.

Connecting with clients happens in a variety of ways. He will sometimes see someone in a new show or movie that interests him and reaches out, or the talent finds him via word of mouth or social media. His agents bring in new work as well.

Right now, his aim is to build his business as much as possible. “I’m working with a lot of great clients who I have a connection with and I feel passionate about—where they’re going, what our vision is, where we want to take their careers.” In the days after this interview, he was scheduled to do two shoots with Cosmopolitan and another with Refinery29, a digital media and entertainment company focused on women.

“I’m really enjoying myself,” he said. “This is definitely a high-stress and 24/7 job, but I can’t imagine doing anything else. And going from being an employee to now operating my own business was definitely a learning curve. I didn’t study business, so figuring out how to operate the financial end of things was incredibly overwhelming at the beginning. All of that aside, though, I’m loving every second of what I’m doing.”

 

Photo courtesy of Ben Hider

Julian Wyllie

Self-Made Man

Rachel Stern

from Fall 2018

Julian Wyllie ’16 taught himself how to be a journalist in two weeks. 

The setting was the Butler University Library and it was winter break 2015. Wyllie, a junior, had just been named The Collegian’s Editor-in-Chief. Despite being named the leader of the campus paper; Wyllie didn’t really know journalism. 

He was a business major. He had never taken a journalism course at Butler. He wondered why the paragraphs in newspapers were so “little.” He was used to writing essays. He enjoyed reading long books. He had worked at The Collegian, but was the Opinion Editor, and didn’t feel ready to oversee an entire paper. 

So, he locked himself inside Irwin Library for two weeks. A crash course, of sorts, in journalism. 

“I read everything cover-to-cover,” Wyllie says. “The New York Times, The New Yorker, The Wall Street Journal, everything I could get my hands on. For two straight weeks, I just went to the library, borrowed newspapers and magazines, and read every single word. I copied down stylistic things I noticed, reporting tricks, everything. I did not talk to anyone for two weeks.” 

It must have been a decent crash course. Wyllie, who graduated from Butler in 2016 with a degree in Economics and Entrepreneurship, has already worked at the Indianapolis Recorder, Governing magazine, The Chronicle of Higher Education, and Politico. 

But it was more than just that self-guided, bleary-eye-inducing, two-week course that set Wyllie down the journalism path. He credits Butler’s tight-knit community, which was conducive to “stumbling,” he says, upon the student paper. And more than that, it allowed people with no reporting background to get involved, very involved, in the paper. Butler’s curriculum also enabled an individual in the Business School to explore other interests, something Wyllie says he wouldn’t have been able to do at a larger institution. 

Wyllie recently accepted a full-time position as a reporter at The Chronicle of Philanthropy. This comes after completing the 2018 Politico Journalism Institute, which offered 13 university students intensive, hands-on training in government and political reporting. His goal is to continue to tell the stories that drew him to the library in the first place: individual people who are experiencing something that represents a much larger societal issue. 

“I stumbled on my life’s passion while at Butler and I am so lucky that I was able to find that, cultivate that, almost by accident, all while still pursuing a completely different major that helped me in so many ways,” he says. 

“The primary reason I am where I am, is that Butler is small enough to meet people who can change your life by accident. If you go to a massive school, you can only focus on business, or engineering, for example. At Butler, I was able to have a business major, yet also get involved in the college paper, which was something I didn’t even know I wanted to do, all because of the small community. I never would have been able to get that support at a bigger place. At Butler, I met so many people who pushed me to do what I knew I wanted to do, but didn’t have the courage to do.” 

 

Off to Indiana

Wyllie grew up in Brooklyn. The son of immigrants. Most of his family is from the island of Saint Vincent in the Caribbean. 

Wyllie’s mother moved to Canada in the 1980s to attend graduate school, and eventually moved to New York where Julian was born in 1994. His parents broke up in the late 1990s, and after his mother remarried someone from Indiana, they moved to Indianapolis when Wyllie was 13. 

When it was time for Wyllie to start thinking about colleges, Butler was very much on his mind. In fact, it was on the minds of most people in Indiana, he says. It was 2011 and Butler was fresh off an NCAA Men’s Basketball National Championship appearance. 

Wyllie knew he wanted to stay in Indiana for college and narrowed his list to Indiana University, University of Indianapolis, and Hanover. Butler, he says, was his top choice, but he didn’t think he had a chance of getting in. 

Enter Jamie Martindale. 

Martindale was Wyllie’s government teacher at Pike High School. And Martindale didn’t want to hear Wyllie say he couldn’t get into Butler. He pushed Wyllie to “just give it a shot.” Wyllie took Martindale’s advice and was thrilled when he was accepted early. 

“Butler seemed like the type of place where people would ask you how you are,” Wyllie says. “I remember visiting campus and just being completely sold on it right after my visit. I loved the size, the feel, and the people. Random people were just so friendly.” 

Fear of rejection wasn’t Wyllie’s only hesitation in applying to Butler. Even if he did get in, he figured he wouldn’t be able to afford it. 

But, much to his surprise, Butler ended up being more affordable than any of the other Indiana schools he got into. Wyllie received the Morton-Finney Leadership Award and the Heritage Award. 

The Morton-Finney Leadership Award is given to students who have taken a leadership role promoting diversity and inclusion in their schools or communities. The Heritage Award, Wyllie says, was because he was a first-generation college student. 

 

A New Passion Emerges

Hilary Buttrick knows she is not supposed to have favorite students, but when it comes to Wyllie, she can’t really help it. 

“He is one of those students who really sticks out in my mind,” says Buttrick, Associate Professor of Business Law. “He is a great kid, who is really creative, and has a natural curiosity. He just has an interest and desire to go way beyond what the assignment requires.” 

Wyllie first met Buttrick in her Business Ethics course when he was a sophomore. That’s where, he says, he really learned to write, and also realized how much he loved it. 

Buttrick’s class tackled Karl Marx, criticisms of a capitalist society, classical philosophy, and more. Wyllie, she says, had a gift for close reading and writing. If the whole journalism thing doesn’t pan out, he would make a great lawyer, she says. 

“He was always such a good contributor to our class discussions,” Buttrick says. “He raised the bar in class. Our entire class benefitted because Julian would raise his hand and say something truly insightful. He is the kid that every professor wants to have in their class.” 

As he was taking Buttrick’s class, he just happened to be approached by a Collegian reporter for a story she was writing and asked to do an interview. He agreed and, because of that interview, learned more about what The Collegian was. 

He connected with the Opinion Editor at the time and she looked at his essays. 

“I remember she said to me, ‘If we could teach you to write for a newspaper, would you be interested?’” Wyllie says. “I figured why not? Initially, I thought it would be fun to show my friends that I could just write my opinions. That’s what I thought journalism was. Boy was I wrong.” 

 

A Long Way from the Library Crash Course

Wyllie remembers his first column with a bit of disgust. “It wasn’t very good at all,” he says. He waxed poetic about why it was perfectly OK to be an independent student at Butler, but still have friends who were part of the Greek system. “It was very basic,” he says. “I was still learning how to write, let’s put it that way.” 

Eventually, he became the Opinion Editor and put his business background to good use, shaping the section through a new lens. 

“I wanted to have different types of writers for the opinion section. A business-focused person, a culture-focused person. I wanted an opinion writer for everybody,” he says. “I wanted to build the section so that if someone tuned in for one specific thing, they would be able to find it. I approached it from the perspective of, we need to get readers. I would never take back my business background. Without it, I would never have had that mindset.” 

After serving as Opinion Editor, Wyllie became Editor-in-Chief. 

“Julian is the only non-media major to ever hold the Editor-in-Chief position that I know of,” says Nancy Whitmore, who has been a Journalism Professor at Butler for 18 years. “He was very unusual and unique in terms of the history of the paper and we not only enjoyed that, but greatly benefitted from his new perspective.” 

Wyllie used his business background to tackle stories that others at the paper shied away from, Whitmore says. He wrote about student debt and tuition increases, the endowment, and budget-centered stories. 

“He had an outstanding ability to take complex things and make them understandable to the reader,” Whitmore says. “Journalism students, typically, hide from number stories because they aren’t drawn to math. But Julian took on those big issue stories and was able to succinctly translate that information into something that students could relate to and that was compelling.” 

Then, she says, he started to embrace the narrative style, as well. 

As Wyllie became more experienced, he started to dabble in human interest stories. Whitmore recalled a story he wrote about two students who nearly died in auto accidents. With time, Whitmore not only saw Wyllie’s writing style expand, but she also saw his understanding of journalism grow. 

“It was special having him around because we really got to see, right in front of us, his love for journalism, and what it could do, come alive,” she says. “His passion came from this sense of community service and how journalism could result in positive change for the greater public.” 

When all was said and done, Wyllie took one journalism course at Butler. But, he clarifies, it wasn’t a writing course. It was a journalism readership course. 

But between The Collegian, his business courses, and the people he met, the blended skills he acquired have helped him land gigs at places he never would have dreamed of, such as The Chronicle of Higher Education and Politico, he says. 

“The primary reason I am where I am and have been able to do what I love so far is because Butler was a small enough campus to allow me to meet people who would change my life quickly,” he says. “I had people telling me to do as many things as possible—not just focus on one thing—and I will forever be thankful for that. That led to me learning way more than just my major.” 

And let’s not forget about his two-week crash course, too.

 

Photo courtesy of Gary Cameron

Julian Wyllie
People

Self-Made Man

Julian Wyllie ’16 taught himself how to be a journalist in two weeks.   

by Rachel Stern

from Fall 2018

Read more

Student Focused: The Butler MBA Experience of David Watkins

By Cindy Dashnaw

You might think David Watkins had too many roadblocks to get an MBA.

He wasn’t sure what he wanted to do. He’d earned an undergraduate degree in International Affairs and Political Science, and was working for a nonprofit affiliated with Butler University. He traveled often with his job, and he was planning to get married in the next couple of years.

“Honestly, I wanted to get an MBA because that’s what was most available to me. I’d noticed in my job that MBA competencies would be helpful. And I was looking at grad programs at Butler because of the convenience and expense. I didn’t know much about the University,” he said somewhat apologetically.

While that’s less than a ringing endorsement for the part-time Butler MBA program, Watkins became an enthusiast pretty quickly.

“I had looked at degree programs elsewhere, but Butler offered the flexibility I needed. I was traveling internationally a lot for work, so being able to pick classes that worked for my schedule was a big deal. The level of personal service I got from the professors was beyond anything I’ve ever experienced.”

For example?

“In my first semester, I had to be gone for two weeks to the UAE (United Arab Emirates). I was a little worried about telling a professor. He asked me when I would get back, then invited me to his house—on a Sunday—to catch me up on what I’d missed. It was incredibly generous.”

He was amazed at the caliber of the professors.

“They came from business or were still practicing business, and they were very intentional about bringing business into the classroom setting. Across the whole program, the professors were bringing in local business people any time there was an opportunity to take a concept into its real-world application.”

Watkins maintained full-time employment during his studies, even switching employers. And yes, he got married during the program, too.

When he graduated with an MBA in May 2018, Watkins went to work for the Indiana Small Business Development Center. As Director of Network Operations, he oversees 10 offices across the state that deliver free services to Indiana residents interested in starting, growing, or succeeding in business endeavors. He also oversees export promotion programming and assistance throughout the state to help Hoosier businesses take their expansion to the next level in overseas markets. 

He uses the business skills he acquired through the MBA program every day, especially the greater understanding of how and why every action impacts a company’s bottom line. Yet, the Butler experience had another, somewhat surprising effect on him.

“Butler helped me quite a bit in my emotional intelligence,” he admitted. “One of the great attributes of the Butler program is that with every class, you’re working with a different group of people with a different set of backgrounds. I worked with scientists, bankers, engineers, ages 22 to 42 and everything in between, which helped me dramatically in my ability to present myself in a positive light no matter the situation.”

He sees a great benefit in the Butler approach of not imposing a cohort on students. 

“I got to know a wide array of people by working with them on a project or deliverable. Multiply that over the course of an entire degree, and you’re talking about a pretty big network I came out with. Being able to talk with people in different industries has been very beneficial to me. “

Watkins said the program does everything possible to help you succeed.

“It’s a high-caliber program that, if you let it, will be personalized to your experience and your need. You don’t have to fit to the program. The program fits to you. I came into it not quite knowing what I wanted, and the program helped me figure out what I enjoyed, was competent at and wanted to do. Others came from well-established careers, so their program was more about advancement and network building.”

And the ability to have a personal coach and build a network delighted Watkins.

“The ability to have a certified professional coach who walks hand in hand with you in a personalized way was invaluable in developing my own professional presence; and just having someone to bounce ideas off of and to challenge me with questions I hadn’t been thinking of before was beneficial inside and outside the classroom. They have enough coaches that no coach is too busy for their students—and the program is not so large that you miss out on that personal level of mentorship.” He laughed. “My coach Randy Brown was almost too available. And he’s still following up with me. “I wouldn’t be where I am today without his guidance and mentorship.”

He couldn’t be happier with his experience. “I expect great things as an alum.”

Shelvin Mack and Brad Stevens
HomecomingAthleticsPeople

Shelvin Mack's Homecoming

BY Rachel Stern

PUBLISHED ON Oct 01 2018

Emerson Kampen will never forget Shelvin Mack’s bachelor party in Las Vegas. But before any assumptions are made, Kampen wasn’t even there.

He called his former Butler University roommate and basketball teammate one morning, East Coast time, which must have been, “like 6:00 AM or 7:00 AM Vegas time,” he says, shock still audible in his voice, and Mack picked up.

“I’m in Vegas at my bachelor party,” Mack told Kampen. “I have this paper to do. I’m trying to knock it out this morning.”

And that is when Kampen knew his friend was serious about completing his Butler degree.

“Shel is as motivated as anybody, as self-driven as anybody I have ever met,” says Kampen, who is now an Assistant Coach on the Butler men’s basketball team. “When he says he will get something done, he will, and that attitude carries over to all areas of his life. When he said he was going to make the NBA, he did. When he said he was going to finish his degree, despite the demands of an NBA schedule, I knew he would do it. Now, in Vegas, I don’t know how good the paper ended up being, but I do know he was getting it done.”

Mack, who left Butler after his junior year in 2011, to enter the NBA Draft, has played for six teams, and most recently signed a one-year deal with the Memphis Grizzlies. Many players drafted in the second round like Mack have come and gone, but former teammates, coaches, friends, and family members say his work ethic and ambition separate him.

Those same traits that turned him into an 8-year NBA veteran, have motivated him to complete his Butler degree in Digital Media Production, he says. As he sees his sisters graduate, and all his friends flaunt their Butler degrees, as well as his wife, his competitive juices kick in. But it is also more than that—a love of Butler, a desire to better himself, and a promise he made to his mom.

“I always wanted to get my college degree, for myself and for my mom, but it was hard to balance my time when I first got into the league and figure out how to take classes without being at Butler,” Mack says. “Now that everything is sorted out, it was something I knew I had to do because I came to Butler because of the education and the fact that basketball won’t last forever. Now I know taking classes is part of bettering myself and my future.”

 

THE RECRUIT

Brad Stevens remembers meeting Victoria Guy, Shelvin’s mom, for the first time. He was in Lexington, Kentucky visiting Shelvin at his home.

Let’s just say Mack and his mom had slightly different questions as they sat in their living room with Stevens.

“She didn’t care about playing time, or TV games, or what kind of gym we were going to be playing in,” Stevens says. “She wanted Shelvin to get his college degree and work hard in the classroom. She asked about graduation rates and class sizes.”

Stevens had answers. A big part of the presentation at the time focused beyond what the team accomplished on the court, Stevens says.

They talked a lot about how successful players were after they graduated. Stevens shared graduation rates, and players’ majors, and the fact that practices were run around class schedules—not the other way around. 

The answers mattered. At the last second, the University of Kentucky swooped in, Guy says, and Mack was torn. He asked his mom for advice. She wanted the decision to be her son’s, but the only thing she did share with him was the value of a smaller, tight knit campus.

“He stuck with Butler and it worked out perfectly,” Guy says.

So, when Mack told Stevens he was going to finish his degree over a meal last summer, he wasn’t that surprised.

“Shelvin is very, very driven and usually that is hard to turn off. When you have an ambitious kid, they will usually be ambitious in everything they do and he certainly is that,” Stevens says. “I never dreamed he would have been good enough to leave after three years, but he did it because he was determined to.”

But Stevens also knows his mom is right there, ever-present, making sure her son is getting it done.

 

LIFE AT BUTLER

Kampen and Mack first met in 2008, two freshmen on the men’s basketball team in need of physicals. So, they hopped in Kampen’s car and headed to the doctor’s office. They made small talk and Kampen remembers how it wasn’t awkward—Mack always made everyone feel comfortable.

Kampen learned quickly that Mack was determined to make it to the NBA. But, he says, he and others didn’t really see it.

“He was obviously a really good player, but he was a bit chubby when he walked in. We all should have known when he says he will get something done, he will do it,” Kampen says.

Mack’s work ethic was always on display. He spent more time in the gym than anyone else on the team. They would be playing video games and Mack would have a 30-pound weight in his hands, doing curls while the game was loading, or while there was a pause in the game. He was always working.

Kampen wasn’t surprised when he found out Mack was finishing up his degree. He knows how much his friend loves Butler and values education. He also knows he can’t stand to have something go unfinished.

“I think one day he will be a coach,” Kampen says. “I always have tons of texts from him during the season, analyzing what we did in a game, and why we could have done this or done that. He is always the first to let me know about a decision we should have made.”

As a student, Mack took his work very seriously, Christine Taylor, Associate Professor of Entertainment Media and Journalism, says. She had Mack as a student in her directing and production classes. Now, Taylor is Mack’s academic advisor.

“He was very well-liked and a great team player in my classes,” Taylor says. “He also put his own creative stamp on the work. He had a creative identity of his own. He took his work seriously and was a very good student. So, when he reached out a few years ago, I was not really surprised at all. It was more about figuring out how we could make it happen logistically.”

 

LIFE IN THE NBA

When Mack decided to leave school early, his mom fully supported him, but said he had five years to finish his degree. As the years marched on, she kept checking on him. Mack claimed he was trying, but certain classes he needed weren’t offered by Butler online at the time, Guy says.

She did some fact checking.

“At first, I wasn’t buying it, so I called Coach Stevens,” Guy says. “I talked to Coach Stevens just to make sure Butler wasn’t offering the classes online and then I felt better.”

In Mack’s defense, it wasn’t just the logistics of figuring how to fulfill his major requirements. After he got drafted in 2011 by the Washington Wizards, by his estimate, he was moving around about once a year. He had a stint with the Philadelphia 76ers, the Atlanta Hawks, the Utah Jazz, the Orlando Magic, and now the Memphis Grizzlies. It was also adjusting to life in the NBA.

“It was something I always wanted to do, but I could never find the time,” Mack says. “I wasn’t great with time management, I was adjusting to NBA life, and probably not spending my time as wisely as I could have.”

Once Mack had his daughter, things changed, he says. He was on a strict schedule, going to bed early, waking up early, working out, taking care of her. Then, he realized, he could work school in. His daughter helped him manage his time, and he wanted to make sure he set a good example for her when it came to education.

Butler also started to work with him. A few years ago, when he tried to work on his degree, classes he needed weren’t offered online. A lot has changed over the last few years, says Taylor, his academic advisor, as more classes are offered online.

“Our philosophy is that we should partner with students so they can reach their goals,” Taylor says. “Obviously there is course work they must fully complete, but people are people and circumstances change for individuals and we will do our best to help them realize their goals of getting a Butler degree. This is simply us recognizing an individuals’ circumstance changes and we are as supportive as we can be within the rules to help them recognize their short and long-term goals.”

With Mack, Taylor sees someone who has a strong love for Butler and desire to complete a degree he has, in large part, already earned.

“For Shelvin, this has been part of the process of his development as a person and what kind of individual he wants to be,” Taylor says. “In times when the larger world is questioning the value of a degree from a four-year institution, I always find it really gratifying that people like Shelvin still place such a high value on education. It has been so uplifting to work with him…He is doing this to better himself because what happens in a classroom makes a difference, and he realizes that. That is really gratifying to know, and it reinforces that the conversations and lessons we have make a difference.”

 

FUTURE PROMISES

This summer, Mack finished his major by taking Entertainment Media and the Law.

He spent a couple months watching YouTube videos of different cases, reading case law, writing papers, learning why some people can sue, and others cannot. And, sometimes forgetting he had assignments due. Like many new students, he had to readjust to college life.

“Luckily, I had plenty of people around me reminding me and keeping me in check,” he says.

This fall, as the NBA season kicks off, Mack will be crisscrossing the U.S. on planes, playing in back-to-back games, and squeezing in time to read his textbooks. He will take two online courses, hoping to complete his degree in the next three years. But most importantly, before his youngest sister, Keionna, graduates in 2020. His mom is quick to remind him that he already missed his middle sister, Sierra, who graduated this past May.

To assure mom he is all over it, he had his textbooks sent to her house ‘by accident’ this summer. She isn’t so sure it was an accident.

“I know the degree isn’t everything, but it opens a lot of doors that won’t otherwise be there for you,” Guy says. “He could break a leg today and basketball could be over. I know he has thought about coaching, broadcast, and I want him to have that degree and those courses to fall back on.”

He will continue to take online courses throughout the season. As of now, he says, he would like a career in broadcast after his playing days are over. But coaching interests him, too. He looks forward to the day when he can just walk in the house and show his wife, a Butler grad and former hoops player, his degree.

But to his mom, who he says drove him around to “a million” basketball tournaments when he was young, and always supported him, it will mean everything.

Asked how she will feel when her son officially graduates from Butler, Guy is quiet for a moment.

“Oh my god. I will be super excited. Super excited. He will be the first male in his generation to have a college degree. He is behind schedule, but he needs to follow through. I need him to be better than average and I know he expects that out of himself, too.”

But there is one more thing that is bothering her. Mack pursuing his degree has motivated his mom to finish her degree. He has always motivated her to go after her dreams, just as she has always motivated him, he says.

“After two years of college, I had my son, and he was my number one priority, so I am going to go back after all of this and get my degree in business management,” Guy says.

Her son has given her a three-year window.   

 

Images courtesy of Shelvin Mack. 

Shelvin Mack and Brad Stevens
HomecomingAthleticsPeople

Shelvin Mack's Homecoming

NBA Player and former Butler Men's Basketball star Shelvin Mack is committed to completing his Butler degree. 

Oct 01 2018 Read more

A Global Education

by Marc Allan

Katie Moore's career in international education has taken her to places most of us can't find on a map: Mozambique, Fiji, Laos, the Philippines, Vietnam, Timor-Leste, The Gambia, Zambia, Uganda, Azerbaijan, Sierra Leone.

But no matter where the 2008 graduate has gone, "Butler friends and former professors have really been a part of every step on my path," she said. "And not just kept in touch, but have supported me in my life and in all of these decisions that my family has made. I don't know that you get that at other universities."

Moore had planned to devote two years to the Peace Corps after graduation, then become an early- or middle-childhood teacher. She thinks back to her days at Butler and recalls that when her then-boyfriend, now-husband Nick '07 MPACC '08 was earning his Master's in Accounting, one of his courses included lessons in negotiating. One of the topics he chose to present to his class was about negotiating what their life would look like after she finished with the Peace Corps.

"Unfortunately, he 'lost' his negotiation from that particular class; neither of us ever imagined we would have the life that we've had!" she says, laughing.

More seriously, she says, "On the other hand, we have gained together a world view that is more inclusive, more critical, and one that allows us to better understand the privilege we have had in even beginning to have the careers and opportunities to work and live internationally by choice. A recent UNICEF video articulates this sentiment, as it highlights the significant number of children and families throughout the world that travel not by choice, but for sheer survival."

Two years in the Peace Corps—where she trained approximately 90 young adults between the ages of 18-30 to become primary school teachers—became three, and in that third year, which she spent working for Save the Children, she was exposed to the field of non-governmental humanitarian work. She has since worked in various positions ranging from internships, fellowships, and as a consultant for global reaching organizations such as Amnesty International, UNICEF, Catholic Relief Services, and other organizations, promoting education, early childhood development and health.

While most of Katie's work has taken her to far-off corners of the globe, she also has spent time in New York—she earned her Master's in International Educational Development from Columbia University in 2013—and in Washington, DC. That's where she, Nick, and their daughter Wini are now based.

These days, Katie works as Senior Technical Advisor for Early Childhood Development for ChildFund International. The organization provides parenting programming to empower parents and other primary caregivers in low-resourced communities in the countries in which ChildFund operates with the knowledge and practical skills they need to give children a strong start in life, building on what parents already know and do. (Nick is Vice President Finance at Brookfield Property Partners, a real estate developer.)

This year, Katie is also wrapping up multi-year research efforts with Yale University's Child Study Center; she was on a team of research consultants. The team has been conducting a multi-country study on the impact of decentralization on early childhood education in East and Central Asia. 

In her most recent position, Katie will continue to engage with academic partners aiming to identify how to improve early childhood development programming conducted jointly with governments and community-based organizations in lower- and middle-income countries to promote children's development in their early years. She says she'd like to get back into academia in the future, perhaps earn her doctorate in Global Public Health.

"The experiential learning opportunities I had as a student in Butler's College of Education, specifically, and at Butler, more generally, made a significant impression on me," she said during the State of the University. "Not only on what I would choose to work on, but how and with whom, and they influenced the person, parent and professional I would become in an ever-changing world."

HomecomingPeople

A Global Education

Katie Moore's career in international education has taken her to places most of us can't find on a map.

A Global Education

by Marc Allan

Meet the Class of 2022: Max Cordoba

When incoming first-year Theatre and Math major Max Cordoba flew to Los Angeles in February to attend the National Unified Auditions—a one-stop shop for high school seniors to audition for multiple universities—he had never even heard of Butler University. The Neward, California native’s intention was to audition for mainly private schools that had a special musical theatre degree, explore those options, and then pick whichever school felt right, offered the best financial aid, and allowed him to learn more about not only the fine arts, but math as well.

He spotted Butler’s name and decided it was in his best interest to at least do one more session—it was additional practice, after all.

In most auditions, Cordoba was asked to perform two monologues and two songs. In the audition with Butler, Professor of Theatre William Fisher asked Cordoba to do one of each to start. Cordoba chose to sing Beautiful City from the Broadway production Godspell. For his monologue, he chose to read an excerpt as Hank from Marvin’s Room—a piece he believed would put him “over the top for the audition.”

After his monologue, Fisher and Cordoba made an instant connection over Marvin’s Room.

"I almost thought my audition with Butler was going to be a practice session, but after my talk with Professor William Fisher, I thought this could be the right school,” Cordoba said.

Cordoba explained to Fisher that he is a big theatre lover, but he wanted to also major in something a little more practical.

“I didn’t want to put all my eggs in one basket, and I wanted to ensure I had math as a back-up since a major in theatre isn’t foolproof,” Cordoba said. “I really needed a school that understood that about me.”

Most schools Cordoba had talked to previously in the day had told him that pursuing math with a Bachelor of Fine Arts (BFA) was not a possibility. Fisher explained that at Butler it’s not a BFA, but rather a Bachelor of Arts, which offers more flexibility, as well as the option to incorporate his passion for math.

“He really convinced me to at least explore more,” Cordoba said, “Even though it’s really far away, Butler seemed open to my diverse interests.”

In April, Cordoba—joined by his grandfather—started the on-campus college visit journey,  exploring the various schools he was interested in—including Butler. While on campus, Cordoba had the opportunity to speak with professors, including Chair of the Theatre Department, Diane Timmerman. He also sat in on an improv class.

“The students were making me laugh. Just from that show alone, I saw what I loved about theatre,” he said. “The students were super friendly and amiable, and they love to act and perform.” When he left for his trip, he was excited about all the schools he was about to explore. After the trip, though, he realized that when he was making his rounds, he always found at least one thing he didn’t like—except for when he was at Butler.

“What really set it in stone for me for Butler was that it was a smaller school than most I was looking at, but it had a big school feel,” Cordoba said.

Cordoba arrived on campus August 12, and feels just as excited as nervous—as most students are their first year. Cordoba’s distance from his friends and family definitely makes it harder, especially when he was so involved with various theatre and chorus groups for the past eight years.

Despite the nervousness of new surroundings and being so far from home, Cordoba said he feels honored, “to go to a school that is super accepting and diverse.”

Max Cordoba
Welcome WeekArts & CultureStudent LifePeople

Meet the Class of 2022: Max Cordoba

What brought Max from California to Indiana was Butler Theatre's faculty and flexibility. 

A Working Actor: Logan Moore

By Marc Allan

Whether he's acting or doing landscaping, Logan Moore '14 considers himself a workhorse.

From the time he was a sophomore at Butler, Moore was performing in productions both on and off campus, and since graduating he's worked steadily at several theaters in central Indiana while retaining his job with a local landscaping company.

In other words, he's living the life of a working actor.

"I like hard work," he said. "I just do."

Those who saw his most recent work, Actors Theatre of Indiana's production of Forbidden Broadway, can attest to that. In the show, a rapid-fire spoof of Broadway hits, cast members sing, dance, and act their way through multiple roles and costume changes galore. 

"Forbidden is one of the best shows I've ever been in," Moore said. "It's also one of the hardest shows I've ever done just because it's a marathon. Even in intermission, we're getting ready for the next numbers and setting up for Act 2. We get a five-minute break and then places get called."

By the time Forbidden Broadway ended on July 29, Moore had already secured his next two roles, Seven Brides for Seven Brothers (August 30-October 7) and Man of La Mancha (October 11-November 18) at Beef and Boards dinner theater in Indianapolis, and Actors Theatre of Indiana invited him back for an updated version of Forbidden Broadway (April 26-May 19, 2019).

"He’s got a good bit of the whole package," said Don Farrell, Artistic Director/Co-Founder of Actors Theatre of Indiana. "He has a beautiful voice. I was surprised at the range. He has the low notes for the bass, but he also goes into the tenor range as well. The clarity and the tone is really strong, and I just love the resonance of it too. His acting ability is very good. His comic timing is very good. He’s also a team player, which always goes, no matter what business you’re in. You give him a little direction and he can run with it. He’s a good mover, dancer. On top of it, he’s a good-looking guy too."

Moore grew up on the eastside of Indianapolis, the second of six children. He's always been a singer—he sang in church choir with his family, and he sometimes traveled with his dad, who was part of a southern gospel quartet. He was homeschooled till eighth grade and hadn't thought about performing in public until his school drama teacher and choral director dragged him to an audition.

"From then on, I liked being onstage," he said. "There's just something about the lights. When they shine and you're in front of them, you just forget that any audience is there and you're just in a different world. It's like playing make-believe for a job. And it's great."

He went to Warren Central High School and chose Butler for college because he wanted to stay close to home and Butler felt like home. "Once you get on campus, you just know that you're in a good place," he said. "That was the first thing I felt on my first tour here. I couldn't believe it. I had never felt that feeling before—except when I was home. I love the class sizes, being able to have one-on-one time with the professors, the core curriculum, everything."

At Butler, guest director Richard J Roberts, the dramaturg from the Indiana Repertory Theatre, cast him in Sarah Ruhl's Eurydice in the role A Nasty Interesting Man/The Lord of the Underworld. He also had parts in every production directed by the Christel DeHaan Visiting International Theatre Artists (VITA), guest directors from other countries who spend a semester working with Butler students and faculty.

In one VITA production, The Priest and the Prostitute, Moore performed an intricate Indian dance known as kathakali.

"The physical rigor of these pieces and the completely different style of working demanded a lot," Theatre Department Chair Diane Timmerman said, "and Logan delivered beautifully."

"Not only was he a terrific actor while here at Butler, he also excelled in technical work, and, perhaps most notably, was one of the kindest and most generous students around. If anyone needed help with a project, Logan was first in line. And whenever anyone was down, he made a special point to seek them out and brighten their day."

Moore said one of the lessons he learned at Butler is that acting is 80 percent connection and 20 percent talent. That stuck with him, especially since he had no connections. So he went out and met people. He did The Oedipus Trilogy at NoExit (a local theater company run by Butler graduates) and shows at Booth Tarkington Civic Theatre and Footlite Musicals.

After graduation, Roberts, who directed Moore at Butler, put him up for the lead in Actors Theatre of Indiana's production of The 39 Steps. "For Richard to think that highly of Logan said something," Farrell said. "And Logan gave a great audition."

Now four years out of college, with a resume that also includes The Fantasticks and The Mystery of Edwin Drood for Actors Theatre of Indiana, Romeo and Juliet at the Indiana Repertory Theatre, and Ghost the Musical at Beefs and Boards, Moore is toying with the idea of seeing what he can do in New York.

He's been thinking about a trip there in April—his boyhood friend Jordan Donica is currently on Broadway in My Fair Lady—but he may well be working then.

"It's not my favorite to decline work," he said. "If people are like, 'We need you for a show,' I'm there."

  

Logan Moore
People

A Working Actor: Logan Moore

Whether he's acting or doing landscaping, Logan Moore `14 considers himself a workhorse.

People

Nine Alumni To Be Honored

BY Marc Allan

PUBLISHED ON Aug 23 2018

  

Nine Butler University alumni who have demonstrated extraordinary professional achievement and service to the University and their communities will be honored at the annual Alumni Awards Recognition Program on Friday, September 28, at 6:00 PM in the Howard L. Schrott Center for the Arts, part of Homecoming Weekend festivities.

This year’s recipients are:

  • Butler Medal: John B. Dunn ’77
  • Butler Service Medal: Jeanne Hawkins VanTyle ’74 MS ’80
  • Joseph Irwin Sweeney Award: Kyle S. Delaney ’03
  • Hilton Ultimus Brown Award: Dr. Adam B. Hill ’03
  • Robert Todd Duncan Award: Hoagland C.  Elliott ’57
  • Katharine Merrill Graydon Award: Julie Russell Dilts ’92
  • Mortar Award: Jean McAnulty Smith '65
  • Foundation Award: John MBA '04 and Jordanna Perry MBA '03

Registration for the awards ceremony and all Homecoming activities can be made online.


THE BUTLER MEDAL: John B. Dunn ’77

John Dunn grew up in Speedway, Indiana, and attended Butler on a full-ride basketball scholarship. He majored in business, played varsity basketball and baseball, and was a member of Lambda Chi Alpha fraternity. In 2004, he Dunnwas inducted into the Butler University Athletics Hall of Fame.

After graduating in 1977, he went to work for Cummins Engine Company in Columbus, Indiana, where he worked his way up from foreman on the main engine assembly line to owner of the Cummins distributor Cummins Rocky Mountain in Denver, Colorado. He sold the business and retired in 2001.

Dunn has been a long-time supporter of Butler University. He served on the Butler University Board of Trustees for 14 years, chairing a number of committees and two successful capital campaigns, ButlerRising and the Hinkle Campaign. He also served as Board Chair for three years. He was elevated to Chairman Emeritus status by the Board in 2016.

Dunn and his wife of 41 years, Kathryn (Kathy) Wilkie Dunn '79, whom he met at Butler, are members of the Cornerstone Society (lifetime giving of $1 million or more) and the Bulldog Club.  They have also supported the Campus Crusade for Christ organization for years on the Butler campus.  The Dunns also have established a scholarship fund for Speedway High School graduates attending Butler University. John attributes much of his success to Butler University and the invaluable lessons, friendships and service opportunities Butler has afforded him.

The Dunns have three adult children, John, Alisyn, and Patrick. John and Alisyn are both Butler graduates.

The Butler Medal is the highest honor conferred by the Butler University Alumni Association. It recognizes individuals for a lifetime of distinguished service to either Butler University or their local community while at the same time achieving a distinguished career in their chosen profession and attaining a regional or preferably a national reputation.  Since 1959, it has recognized individuals who have helped immeasurably toward perpetuating the University as a great educational and cultural institution and have had, during their lifetime, a profound influence on the course of Butler University.

 

THE BUTLER SERVICE MEDAL: Jeanne Hawkins VanTyle ’74 MS ’80

VanTyleDr. Jeanne Hawkins VanTyle is Professor Emerita of Pharmacy Practice at Butler’s College of Pharmacy and Health Sciences. She began her professional career in a joint appointment with Butler and St. Vincent Hospital before moving into a full-time academic position in 1981.

Her teaching areas have included pharmacokinetics, therapeutics, clinical assessment, and women’s health issues. She has taught in the Pharmacy, Physician Assistant, and Health Sciences programs. In addition to teaching, she served as the Director of the Learning Resource Center and as Interim Department Chair for Pharmacy Practice. 

Van Tyle served as Chair of the Assessment, Curriculum, Academic Affairs, and Honors committees in the College of Pharmacy and Health Sciences. In addition, she was elected as the College’s Faculty Senator, and was the long-standing advisor to Lambda Kappa Sigma, the professional fraternity for Women in Pharmacy.

She was faculty advisor for Butler University Community Outreach Pharmacy and the Academy of Students of the American Pharmacists Association. She was Chair of the Faculty Senate, Vice Chair of the Faculty Assembly, Co-Chair of the Gender Equity Commission, and member of the Sesquicentennial Planning Committee. In recognition of her service, she was awarded Butler’s Woman of Distinction (Faculty) Award in 2011, and the Distinguished Faculty Award for Service and Leadership in 2015.

Van Tyle earned a BS in Pharmacy and MS in Hospital Pharmacy from Butler’s College of Pharmacy and Health Sciences in 1974 and 1980, respectively. She earned a PharmD from Mercer University and completed a postdoctoral fellowship in pharmacokinetics at the State University of New York in Buffalo. Her husband, Dr. Kent Van Tyle ’67 (COPHS), is Professor Emeritus, Pharmaceutical Sciences at Butler. They have two daughters, Rachel and Emily ’13 (LAS).

The Butler Service Medal, established by the Alumni Association in 2001, is the second highest honor conferred by the Butler University Alumni Association and is reserved for recognition of emeriti faculty or retired faculty and staff (graduate or non-graduate).  The recipient will have achieved a lifetime of distinguished service to Butler University and/or the community.  Recipients will have helped to shape the past and future successes of Butler University and therefore shown a profound influence.

 

THE JOSEPH IRWIN SWEENEY ALUMNI SERVICE AWARD: Kyle S. Delaney ’03

Kyle Delaney is Executive Director of Strategic Initiatives and Marketing for the McCormick School of Engineering at Northwestern University, serving as the Dean’s Chief of Staff with oversight over marketing and communications,Delaney new strategic initiatives, events, and dean’s office operations.

In his current role he has led a comprehensive rebranding of Northwestern Engineering, articulating Northwestern’s “whole-brain engineering” approach and leading significant improvements in media coverage of engineering research at Northwestern. He has also driven the development of new collaborative initiatives, such as activities at the interface of art and engineering.

Kyle joined Northwestern in 2005 and previously held a number of marketing positions at the school. He is a 2003 graduate of Butler University, earning a degree in integrated communications. As an alumnus, he has served as Chicago Chapter co-president, president of the Butler Alumni Association Board of Directors and a member of the Board of Trustees.

The Joseph Irwin Sweeney Alumni Service Award recognizes a recent alumnus who has demonstrated a significant commitment of outstanding service to the University. The award’s recipients have provided demonstrable service to the University to assist in perpetuating Butler as a great educational and cultural institution. The award honors the spirit and example of Joseph Sweeney, a young student with a great deal of potential, whose life was tragically cut short.

 

THE HILTON ULTIMUS BROWN ALUMNI ACHIEVEMENT AWARD: Dr. Adam B. Hill ’03

HillDr. Adam B. Hill is a palliative care physician at Riley Hospital for Children. Dr. Hill is a proud Hoosier, a Butler Bulldog, and an Indiana University School of Medicine (IUSM) graduate. He completed his pediatric residency training at St. Louis University, a fellowship in pediatric hematology/oncology at Duke University, and a palliative medicine fellowship at IUSM.

His work in palliative care is focused on allowing patients to live the best quality of life possible, in the midst of chronic, life-limiting and/or life threatening medical conditions.

In addition, Hill is passionate about physician wellness/self-care, physician education, and international medical work. His international work has allowed him to work in Belize, Mexico, Kenya, Tanzania, and Australia over the past several years. As part of his work in palliative care, he serves as the medical director for a weeklong summer camp for children affected by childhood cancer.

A true embodiment of the Butler Way, Dr. Hill put others above self and courageously broke the silence regarding substance abuse issues within the medical field. Using his own struggles as the subject, Dr. Hill lectures and writes about the importance of addressing addiction and mental health challenges. His article titled, “Breaking the Stigma – A Physician’s Perspective on Self-Care and Recovery” was recently published in the New England Journal of Medicine.

The Hilton Ultimus Brown Alumni Achievement Award honors a recent graduate whose personal and/or professional accomplishment brings honor and distinction to the University, and individual attainment and/or contributions for the betterment of society. Hilton U. Brown, who from his early years to last, gave a lifetime of service to his career and Butler University including serving on the Board of Trustees for 71 years and was an award-winning newspaper journalist and Managing Editor at the Indianapolis News for more than seven decades.

 

THE ROBERT TODD DUNCAN ALUMNI ACHIEVEMENT AWARD: Hoagland C. Elliott ’57

ElliottHoagland Elliott spent the first half of his career in retail and the second half in healthcare. After graduating from Butler, he worked as a buyer for L. S. Ayres & Co., and a Manufacturer's Representative for C.R. Gibson Co. He was Owner and President of the Card & Gift Gallery retail chain, The Fireside Shop, The Candle Gallery, The Wooden Unicorn, and I-ICE Inc.

In 1997, after a short retirement, Elliott was asked to serve as Chief Financial Officer for the Raphael Health Center, a ministry outreach of Tabernacle Presbyterian Church that serves as a primary health center for the uninsured and underserved in the inner city of Indianapolis. The center, which started as a half-day health clinic on Saturday mornings, grew from 400 patient visits and a staff of volunteer doctors in the first year to 20,000 visits and a staff of 37 doctors when he retired as Chief Executive Officer in 2014.

Elliott had left Butler nine credits shy of graduation in 1957. In 2013, at the age of 78, he returned to Butler to finish his academic requirements by completing nine hours of German.

The Robert Todd Duncan Award recognizes a graduate who is established in their career, and whose personal and/or professional accomplishment brings honor and distinction to the University, and individual attainment and/or contributions for the betterment of society. This award honors the spirit and accomplishments of Robert Duncan, a 1925 graduate, who was a noted opera singer and educator who in 1945, became the first African American to sing with a major white opera company, the New York City Opera Company.

 

THE KATHARINE MERRILL GRAYDON ALUMNI SERVICE AWARD:  Julie Russell Dilts ’92

DiltsJulie Russell Dilts is the Director, Regulatory Compliance, for Roche Diagnostics, where she has worked since 2007. Her teams help Roche achieve key business goals while ensuring that its product communications comply with FDA regulations.

Prior to her current role at Roche, Julie was Senior Counsel and also served as the Indianapolis campus leader and the mentoring program chair for Roche’s Women’s Leadership Initiative. Previously, she practiced law in the business department of Barnes and Thornburg, LLP, an Indianapolis-based law firm from 1997-2007.

She earned a bachelor’s degree in computer science from Butler in 1992. After graduating from Duke University School of Law in 1997, she returned to Indianapolis and served on the Advisory Board for the Butler chapter of Kappa Alpha Theta from 1998-2007 (Chair, 2002-2004). 

Dilts joined the Butler University Alumni Association Board of Directors in 2007 and served as its President and representative on the university Board of Trustees from 2012 to 2014.

Her love for Butler started early, as her parents, Marla (Lantz) Dernay ’66 and the late Tim Russell ‘64, are Butler  graduates. The Butler legacy continued with her younger brother, Andrew Russell (PharmD ’08), and his wife, Danielle Haynes Russell (PharmD ’09). 

Dilts lives in Indianapolis with her husband, Clay, and their children, Asher and Lucinda.

The Katharine Merrill  Graydon Alumni Service Award recognizes a graduate who is established in their career, and has displayed and recognizes a long-term commitment of outstanding service to the University. The recipients of this award have provided demonstrable service to the University to assist in perpetuating Butler as a great educational and cultural institution. This award honors the memory of Katharine Graydon who graduated from Butler in 1878, and was a Professor of English Literature at the University from 1907 to 1930, receiving an honorary doctorate of literature in 1928. Graydon served as the Alumni Secretary and Editor of the Alumnal Quarterly from its first edition in 1922 until her retirement in 1929, when she was named Professor Emerita.

 

MORTAR AWARD: Jean McAnulty Smith '65

SmithJean McAnulty Smith graduated from Butler with a Bachelor of Arts in Journalism and served as a newspaper reporter, gubernatorial Press Secretary, and Communications Director before spending 20 years as First Vice President and Director of Public Relations and Corporate Giving, First Chicago NBD Bank.

In 1999, she earned her Master of Divinity (magna cum laude) from Christian Theological Seminary and had a 15-year career in religion, mostly as Program Director, Religion Division, with the Lilly Endowment Inc. In 1998 she was ordained a priest in the Episcopal Church. She served several years at Saint Alban's, Indianapolis, retiring in 2013.   

Her service to Butler has included membership on the Board of Trustees (she is a trustee emerita), co-chair of a Presidential Search Committee, and chair of committees on Clowes Memorial Hall and Student Affairs. She has received The Butler Medal, Alumni Achievement Award, and Distinguished Professional Award from School of Journalism.

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.

 

FOUNDATION AWARD: John MBA '04 and Jordanna Perry MBA '03

John D Perry is Managing Director - Family Wealth Director of Perry Wealth Management at Morgan Stanley. He is a member of Morgan Stanley's Chairman's Club, a distinction made for the top 2 percent of advisors within the firm. He is among the select few Financial Advisors to have earned Morgan Stanley's designation of Family Wealth Director, an industry leading designation that demonstrates that he met rigorous and high standards of delivering depth of experience and breadth of knowledge in wealth planning and investment advice to the most affluent clients.

John has been named in Barron's Top Advisor Rankings, honored as an IBJ 40 Under 40, Indy's Best and Brightest, and was featured in the magazine and website On Wall Street at number one on their Top 40 Under 40 list.

John is a graduate of the Kelly School of Business at Indiana University and earned his MBA from Butler University. He currently serves on the boards of the Goodwill Industries Foundation and Butler University’s Lacy School of Business. He also served as an advisory board member for the Butler Business Consulting Group and Student Managed Investment Fund.

John and his wife, Jordanna, have three children: Jack, Elly, and Gracy.

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

 

 

People

Nine Alumni To Be Honored

The annual Alumni Awards Recognition Program will take place as part of Homecoming Weekend.

Aug 23 2018 Read more

The Highlight of My Summer...

Travis Ryan, Professor and Chair of the Biological Sciences

"The highlight of my summer was the first two weeks after graduation! My colleague Phil Villani and I led a class to Panama for an intensive field ecology course. We teach this course every other summer and it is always a real thrill to take a group of students to the tropics – most of them for the first time. Over the course of two weeks we saw red-eyed tree frogs, sloths, howler monkeys, white throated capuchin monkeys, dozens and dozens of bird species, and more shades of green than most people can imagine. The class hiked an island in the middle of the Panama Canal, toured a rain forest canopy from a crane, and visited a facility that serves as a refuge for several frog species on the brink of extinction. In addition to meeting with scientists studying the endless diversity of tropical biodiversity, we also toured a traditional slash-and-burn farm, visited with an indigenous tribe of Amerindians, and learned about sustainable permaculture on a cacao plantation. The class ended the two-week whirlwind tour of Panama exhausted, but with deeper understanding of tropical biodiversity and an appreciation of different ways to live off of and with the land. And, we are already planning the trip for 2020!"

 

Francis Mihm, Class of 2020, Dance Arts Administration

"The highlight of my summer was my trip through Eastern Europe with Butler’s dance department. The trip began in Warsaw Poland and continued on to Poznan, Krakow, Bratislava, Vienna, Salzburg, and Prague. The semester before I left for the trip the dance department began rehearsals to take with us as a mini showcase to present to the other dance schools that we visited. The showcase was a combination of student and faculty choreography and represented the diversity and versatility of our program.

Once we arrived in Europe we immediately got to work by taking classes with the National Ballet School of Poland and continuing rehearsals for our showcase. However, it wasn’t all dance all the time. We were able to do a lot of sight-seeing including visiting the home of Mozart and the famous salt mines in Salzburg as well as many of the great old palaces and museums of Poland and Europe. Overall, the trip was an incredible experience and I would strongly suggest it to any future dance students coming to Butler. Butler creates so many options for students to travel and study abroad that offer such rich experiences. It has changed my life and hope other students take advantage of that opportunity."

 

Ryan Rogers, Assistant Professor of Creative Media and Entertainment

"The highlight of my summer was traveling to Prague to present a research paper at the annual conference of the International Communication Association. I had the opportunity to chat with other researchers and see some exciting work in the field as well as share my work - ‘The Impact of Presenting Physiological Data During Sporting Events on Audiences' Entertainment.’ Outside of the conference, I got to enjoy the culture, especially the beer gardens like Stalin (the former site of a huge monument to Joseph Stalin) and Letna. After the conference, I left the Czech Republic to spend some time in Lake Bled, Slovenia where I hiked to Mala Osojnica and rowed a boat to the Pilgrimage Church of the Assumption of Mary at the center of the lake. Then I took a bus to Budapest, Hungary where I ate some amazing food like Langos and Nokedli. I also spent some time in the ruins bar, Szimpla Kert."

 

Nate Fowler, Class of 2019, Mechanical Engineering and Economics

"In addition to my two summer classes and daily basketball workouts, a highlight of my summer was the opportunity to intern at RENU Property Management in Carmel, Indiana. The benefits of a Mechanical Engineering and Economics double major were revealed to me this summer through my job responsibilities. While the internship was not directly correlated with my Mechanical Engineering coursework, being an Acquisition Analyst at RENU utilized my analytical and critical thinking skills, as well as knowledge attained from the Economic courses I completed at Butler. My daily work at RENU consisted of using their proprietary analytics software to search and underwrite single family residential properties in markets such as Las Vegas, Charleston, Milwaukee, Minneapolis, and Indianapolis. I was fortunate to share the work experience with current Butler student-athletes, Will Marty and Joey Lindstrom throughout the summer as well. I am incredibly thankful for the experience and opportunity Tom Eggleston, Traves Bonwell, and everyone else at RENU gave me this summer!"

 

Lauren Tibbets, Class of 2019, Actuarial Science

"The highlight of my summer was having the opportunity to fully embrace my sport (golf) before entering my last year as a collegiate student-athlete. I spent most of my time around golf through my part-time jobs in the golf industry and my practice time. Through working part-time, I was able to practice more than last summer, and it led to some success – I won the Indiana Women’s Open and Indiana Women’s Match Play tournaments. I also got the chance to play in the Monday qualifier for an LPGA tournament held in Speedway, IN. The support I received throughout the whole summer topped off my experience. My dad caddied for me in every tournament; my mom and grandparents attended all of them; a few members of my Butler golf family were able to watch my final holes in the State Open. The success and support I experienced this summer have contributed to excitement and confidence that I am ready to carry into our season as Butler golf starts competing in September!"

 

Ena Shelley, Dean of College of Education

"This summer was one filled with new beginnings!  The COE had been located in Jordan Hall for 35 years so packing and purging were hurdles that we all jumped together.  Working with Colin Moore and his team to finish the details in our new space on South Campus was one of the best experiences of my 36 years at Butler.  On August 6 the moving trucks arrived and the process began. I then left the site with many of my colleagues for the opening of new second Butler Lab School at IPS #55.  It is named the Eliza Blaker School and she happened to be the founder of the COE.  The past, the present, and the future have all been connected for me in a summer that I will always treasure."

 

 

Kayla Long, Class of 2019, Critical Communication and Media Studies + Spanish Majors

"The highlight of my summer was my participation in the Indy Summer Experience (ISE) program. Although I have spent my entire college career at Butler University, I was still unfamiliar with city. ISE provided the opportunity to learn more about Indianapolis and capitalize on the remaining time in my undergraduate experience. Through the program this summer, I spent my Wednesdays networking with Butler University alumni and traveling to amazing sites around Indy such as the Indianapolis Motor Speedway and the back rooms of The Children’s Museum (I touched a real dinosaur skull!). I not only learned more about what Indy has to offer but I also learned more about myself. With meeting alumni and visiting incredible professional spaces like Statwax/BLASTmedia and The Speak Easy Downtown, I have been able to envision my future as a young professional. ISE 2018 has opened my eyes to see Indianapolis as a hub of different environments, people, and remarkable spaces."

Francis Mihm
Welcome WeekPeople

The Highlight of My Summer...

From Panama to Poland, these Butler students and faculty had an amazing summer doing what they love.

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