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Identify, Visualize, Make it Happen

BY

PUBLISHED ON May 07 2018

Associate Professor of Pharmacy Dennis Gardner either had luck on his side throughout his career or he is a purebred innovator. Both he and Associate Dean for Clinical Education and External Affiliations Julie Koehler believe it’s a mix of both.

“Dennis is a starter,” Koehler said. “He loves the opportunity to be involved in the establishment of new things.”  

Gardner elaborated and said, “I’m able to identify, visualize, and then make something happen. I like that challenge of development.”

The notion of being in the right place at the right time and starting new things is demonstrated throughout Gardner’s career. Before working at Butler he was one of the initial clinical faculty at Auburn University. In the 1970s, after leaving Auburn, Gardner joined Butler with a joint appointment with St. Vincent Hospital. During this time, he also helped establish Butler’s first experiential program in the fall of 1978 to meet the American Association of Colleges of Pharmacy’s requirements.

After establishing the program, Gardner joined St. Vincent Stress Center, where he managed the computerization of the pharmacy, which was the first St. Vincent facility to get one. After St. Vincent, Gardner worked at IU Hospital Pharmacy Department at Riley Hospital for Children and in the pharmacy industry at Novartis Oncology for a few years.

Gardner explained that through all these experiences he stayed connected to Butler by providing student experiences throughout the hospital. He lost touch with students a bit while working with Novartis. Although this position was challenging, Gardner discovered his heart was truly that of a clinician and a teacher.

Koehler explains the stars must have aligned because at the same time of Gardner’s realization, Butler was in search for a pharmacy faculty position that would have a joint appointment at Butler in the classroom and at Community Health Network at as a clinician. Gardner was hired into his current role in 2004 and neither he nor Koehler have looked back.  

“Dennis has been a valuable preceptor for us for many years,” Koehler said. “He’s really looked to as a leader in the field of pharmacy practice and to that, he’s a great role model for our students, for the residents who train with him, and for the junior faculty who are just getting started in practice who don’t have as many years under their belt.”

Kacey Carroll, Assistant Professor of Pharmacy Practice at Butler and Ambulatory Care Pharmacist, is just one example of a student who has felt the impact Gardner has made. She worked with Gardner during her first year of residency and explained that Gardner taught her, by example, how to be a compassionate care giver, educator, and person.

“There are very few pharmacists that I have worked with that care as much as Dennis does and can handle the stressors of the job with grace and without complaint,” Carroll said. “He made coming to work an enjoyable experience and I worked harder knowing he was invested in me as a person and as a learner.”

Gardner’s work in recent years at Community Health Network has helped Community expand their pediatric practice within the pediatric and neo-natal intensive care units and form a partnership with Riley Hospital for Children.

Koehler best describes the impact Dennis has had on Butler and the local health care providers with a quote from author Nelson Henderson: “The purpose of life is plant trees under whose shade we do not expect to sit.”

“If you look at Dennis’ career, he’s done that for us, he’s planted an awful lot of trees,” Koehler said. “There will be a lot of shade from which we can benefit in future years.”

In retirement, Gardner plans to spend more time with his sons Geoffrey, John, and grandchildren, spend time with his wife, Leslie, who is also retiring, travel, and become more active in his church and choirs.

If Butler has opportunities in the future for him, Gardner said he’ll be happy to come back. So Gardner may be retiring as a professor from Butler and as a clinician, but he’s far from retiring his sense of tackling new things. You can rest assured that whatever Gardner tackles in retirement, he’ll probably be a trailblazer.

 

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

AcademicsPeople

Identify, Visualize, Make it Happen

That's the mantra of retiring COPHS faculty member Dennis Gardner.

May 07 2018 Read more

Student Choice and Student Voice: One Grad's Path to Success

By Brittany Bluthardt '20

“Did you see this?” Butler University staff members said as they celebrated one of many student success stories this spring.

Michele Eaton, a Butler alumna and Indianapolis educator, didn’t expect to become an Education Week “Leader to Learn From” after she left campus in 2008. She began her professional career prepared, but she didn’t know what her future success would entail.

Despite her current passion for the field, Eaton didn’t always want to pursue education. She originally had dreams of becoming an engineer but was discouraged by a teacher at a young age. Eaton didn’t let this affect her future. She eventually found her calling at Butler University.

“I knew the impact one person could have, positive or negative,” Eaton said. “I wanted to be the teacher that encouraged a student to follow their dreams, and I would help them to get there.”

After receiving her degree in Secondary Education, Eaton kick-started her career and taught in Indianapolis as a second-grade teacher. Ena Shelley, dean of the college of education, remembers her as academically talented, eager to learn, and a quiet leader. She was very happy to hear of Eaton’s honor, but she wasn’t surprised.

“I wish she could've heard our excitement because people were so proud of her,” Shelley said. “In a time when there are so many challenges in education, she was a message of hope and inspiration for the whole college to keep going.”

Eaton accomplished her goal of becoming an educator and became a second grade teacher after earning her degree at Butler. She took an online class for her master’s degree while teaching. From the completely online program, she earned a master’s degree in education with a focus in technology.

“I was so enamoured with the program and the professional connections that I was able to make without ever meeting anyone face to face,” she described. “I quickly became an advocate. Online learning was something I could get behind.”

A few years later in 2012, Eaton became the virtual education specialist for MSD Wayne Township. Shortly she was promoted to director of virtual and blended learning, a position created specifically for Eaton’s interests and skill set. Eaton helps direct the Achieve Virtual Education Academy, an online school for students to receive a high school diploma outside of the classroom. She trains teachers from across the state on blended learning, a combination of online schooling and face-to-face interaction.

Despite Eaton’s experience in education, the program had a rocky start with low engagement and interest. The teachers tried various techniques, but nothing worked. Eaton knew they needed to think about the academy from a different perspective.

“My first instinct was to throw out a ton of ideas, but this was something I’d never actually done myself in the classroom. I took a step back and said, ‘Let’s be students.’” And with that idea in mind, she began to study who they were serving.

She collected data and feedback from the teachers and redesigned their techniques to fit each individual. What they learned was that the academy students come from various backgrounds, ethnicities, and ages; over half of the students are adults. To accommodate this nontraditional student, Eaton worked with the teachers to recreate the program and revolutionize student’s thoughts of online learning.  The academy now allows students to recover lost credits, accelerate their learning, and earn an official high school degree -- not a lesser equivalent.

The proof of Eaton’s success in the numbers. Total graduating students rose from six in 2011 to 30 last year.

“There’s not a one-size fit all solution for any student or any classroom, but when you’re talking about a specialized population that you find in a virtual school, you can’t just create something and hope for the average,” Eaton said. “The more that we can personalize the experience for our students, the more success that we’re going to find.”

“Student voice and student choice” is one of Eaton’s main teaching philosophies. Although technology is inevitable for online learning, she doesn’t think of the internet as an educational barrier.

“It’s not about entertainment, it’s about doing work that I care about -- doing work that matters,” she said. “I think that if we help students find their voice, we can help students learn how to be advocates for their own learning. Technology is a catalyst for that type of work.”

Eaton’s passion for helping students flourished at Butler. College of education majors experience hours of student-teaching in classrooms across the city. Eaton said this lead to professional connections with other teachers and leaders in the field. Her advice for current and future students pursuing education is to get connected.

“It is too hard of a job to do on an island,” Eaton said. “Learn how to network. Butler makes that possible, so when you leave that is something you can continue to pursue.”

Eaton kept her strong connections. One of her mentors from Butler University is professor Arthur Hochman, who even today she still turns to for advice. Hochman knew she was impressive from the start, and he remembers her unwavering energy and focus. From a few notes he kept while Eaton was in school, he reminisces on his visit to her classroom during her first year of teaching.

“I spoke to her principal on the way into the school, who warned me that she had a really challenging group of children,” he wrote. “I came in expecting the usual first-year teacher chaos but instead I saw order and innovation. The class had a clear sense of community, and you could not have found a more joyful teacher standing in front of a group of young children. I will never forget what Michele whispered to me: ‘I must have gotten an easy class as a first year teacher, because these kids come to school every day ready to learn.’”

Hochman said this is only the beginning for Eaton. Dr. Shelley hopes she will return to Butler to speak about her success or become a mentor for future educators. A part of the COE’s vision statement is to challenge the status quo, and Eaton does just that.

“She embodies this can-do, must-do spirit of giving back and moving people forward,” Dr. Shelley said. “It’s that quiet leadership of bringing people along, not forcing them, but helping them to see how it works. That’s a gift. That’s a true leader.”

As for the future, Eaton hopes to continue improving and growing as an educator. Above all, she thanks Butler for helping her to reach this point in her career. When asked, she says doesn’t have just one favorite memory as a student -- she just remembers the people.

“Butler is all about community,” Eaton said. “I think that was one of the best things about coming here and certainly something that won’t leave me.”

PeopleCommunity

Student Choice and Student Voice: One Grad's Path to Success

Michele Eaton, a Butler alumna and Indianapolis educator, didn’t expect to become an Education Week “Leader to Learn From” after she left campus in 2008.

AcademicsPeople

He Hasn't Been Everywhere, But It's On His List

BY

PUBLISHED ON Apr 30 2018

Professor Greg Osland received his first taste of learning about cultures of the world when he completed a study abroad trip to Mexico while completing his undergraduate degree. Since then, Osland has visited 40 countries and spent at least six years of his adult life living abroad. He may be retiring from teaching full-time, but his sense of adventure and his thirst for knowledge about cultures beyond his own will still be hard at work.

“I don’t view retirement as slowing down but rather doing a different set of things,” he said.

Osland already has booked four flights for next year. These include a trip to Colorado to visit family, a family trip to New England, a flight to Atlanta to present at an academic conference, and a two-week trip to Uganda to help with a few economic development projects.

Most of his upcoming trips are for personal or pro-bono consulting travel, something Osland hasn’t typically done. The majority of his time spent abroad has been for work or research. Prior to earning his Ph.D. at Michigan State University, he spent three years in China working for a business consulting company developing and delivering Executive Education programs. This experience was part of the reason he pursued a Ph.D. in International Marketing.

Professor Dick Fetter, a friend and colleague of Osland’s for 25 years, said that when they hired Osland in 1993, international business was a relatively new concept in business schools.

“Greg has really brought a global perspective not just to the classroom, but to the campus as well,” Fetter said.

*

Although known as the "China expert” across campus, Osland has developed interests, over time, in other parts of the world, particularly Latin America. In 2007, he and a few other colleagues helped to develop a course as part of the core curriculum titled “Frontiers in Latin America.”

“I’ve enjoyed teaching that course because it integrates a number of disciplines and I’m a little more eclectic than just marketing,” Osland said. “It allows me to do some other things with other elements of learning.”

Fetter confirmed Osland’s view of himself when he recounted the time Osland came to him in early 2000s asking to take his sabbatical with his family to learn the Spanish language in Mexico.

Fetter, dean of the College of Business at the time, was a bit taken aback.

“I barely have conquered the English language,” Fetter joked. “And here Greg had conquered the country of China and the Mandarin language and now he was ready to move on to another language in a different part of the world.”

Fetter was impressed. Osland did two more sabbaticals abroad, one in Costa Rica and the other in Panama.

Osland’s newfound excitement for Latin America has been passed on to his students as well—especially one. Alicia Helfrich ’16 was one of Osland’s advisees and students, and she can vividly recount Osland’s impact on her understanding of the world, and ultimately her interest in working in Latin America.

When she was deciding between studying abroad in Spain or Chile, Osland recommended Chile because of his own experiences there.

“After some debate, I decided to take his advice and can say it was one the best decisions I have ever made,” Helfrich said. “I had a life-altering experience in Chile, gained fluency, and returned with a mission to work in the region again post-graduation.”

Now, Helfrich works for a non-profit in Guatemala City. If it wasn’t for Osland’s guidance to study abroad, she says she wouldn’t be in her current role or discovered some of her greatest passions.

*

Beyond Osland’s travels, he and his wife, Joyce, have been heavily involved with not-for-profit organizations, both locally and all over the world. Osland even started his own 501(c)(3) when he was living in Noblesville, titled Project Eden.

The organization’s mission is to “reconnect people with the creation, and to restore broken ecosystems,” Osland said. Ultimately the non-profit aims to reconnect people with nature through gardening, nature hikes, planting trees, and ecological restoration projects. Grace Church now carries out all Project Eden's initiatives.

In retirement Osland plans to continue volunteering with various organizations; spend time with his parents and three daughters, Katie, Beth, and Dianne; stay connected to Butler by teaching a class every now and again; doing Executive Education; or maybe even administrative work.

Plus, he loves Butler basketball, has season tickets, and loves walking to the games with his wife.

“There are a lot of opportunities to continue to engage with Butler,” he said.

Although Osland retired as a Professor of Marketing at the end of May, he has continued on as a full-time part of the faculty and staff of the LSB.  On June 1 he began a new role as the LSB Director of Assessment of Learning (AOL), while also engaging with the School as Professor Emeritus of Marketing.  He looks forward to working with the faculty and administration to help develop an AOL process that will be useful, manageable, and sustainable in enhancing student learning and improving our programs.

 

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

AcademicsPeople

He Hasn't Been Everywhere, But It's On His List

Professor Greg Osland, who has been to 40 countries, will remain on the go in retirement.

Apr 30 2018 Read more
AcademicsPeople

Study Finds Gender Gap in the Sciences Closing

BY

PUBLISHED ON Apr 26 2018

The gender gap in the sciences may be closing, at least according to a study conducted by professors from Butler University and three peer institutions.

The study, published April 26 in the online journal PLOS ONE, looked at 10 years of undergraduate research at four schools: Butler, Creighton University, John Carroll University, and the University of St. Thomas. It found that male and female chemistry and physics students are producing research at the same rate.

"As we talk about how there are issues with women in science, at least at our four undergraduate institutions, we were not seeing any gender effect when it comes to the research outputs that the students are able to produce," said Butler Chemistry Professor Anne Wilson. "That is great."

The researchers, working together as part of a National Science Foundation grant, examined what factors affect a student to produce a research paper versus a poster versus an oral presentation. They also looked at the factors affecting students' producing work that was presented at local, regional, and national conferences, and published in peer-reviewed journals.

Rasitha Jayasekare, Assistant Professor of Mathematics and Actuarial Science at Butler, provided a detailed analysis of the data using advanced statistical models.

"It was really nice to collaborate with our colleagues from other institutions and find out that a lot of us are all doing good work with undergraduates and that we value undergraduate research," Wilson said. "It's not only important to do the work but to disseminate the findings and get our students out there speaking and writing and doing all the things that liberally educated students do."

Wilson encouraged other undergraduate institutions to examination their data to see if they find a similar result. She said she had suspected that there would be no gender gap.

"It's nice to have data to back up what you think and feel in your heart," she said.

 

Media contact:
Rachel Stern
rstern@butler.edu
317-940-9257

AcademicsPeople

Study Finds Gender Gap in the Sciences Closing

Butler and three other schools see male and female students producing research at similar rates.

Apr 26 2018 Read more
AcademicsStudent LifePeople

Butler Journal of Undergraduate Research Is Ready to Be Read

BY

PUBLISHED ON Apr 25 2018

An examination of an Indianapolis food cooperative's work to stem food insecurity, measurements of job satisfaction among those employed by intercollegiate sport organizations, and the underrepresentation of women in U.S. elected political offices are some of the topics covered in the fourth annual Butler Journal of Undergraduate Research (BJUR).

A full list of topics is below.

Volume 4 of the journal contains 12 student papers, including four from Butler students. Sixteen Butler faculty members in addition to the co-editors served as reviewers in selecting the best papers from among the various submissions for this issue.

Kenneth Colburn, Butler Sociology Professor and Co-Editor of the journal, said there have been more than 13,000 downloads of BJUR articles from many different institutions around the world.

"The academic exposure for Butler is very nice," he said. "Everyone knows about our basketball team, but we think it's important that a large audience also understands that Butler is a place for student scholarship."

BJUR was created to build on the success of Butler's Undergraduate Research Conference, which just completed its 30th year, and to complete the cycle—from doing the research to presenting the findings to publishing.

"We enjoy giving students this outlet," said Psychology Professor Tara Lineweaver, a Co-Editor of BJUR. "I have mentored four students who have submitted their honors theses to the journal, and I can say that each and every time they're thrilled to have their paper published in BJUR. It's a very good resume/CV builder for them. And it feels like the project is complete when you get to the stage of seeing it in publication."

Thus far, 19 of the 42 papers published have been written by Butler students. The journal also has published 23 papers authored by students from the University of Pittsburgh, Bellarmine University, Huntington University, Wabash College, Keene State, Columbia University, Hanover College (2), Midway College, Brandeis University, IU-Bloomington, University of Warwick (England), Cal Poly Pomona, DePauw University, University of Tennessee-Martin, University of Indianapolis, and Stanford University.

These are the papers and their authors from the fourth edition of BJUR:

PDF

A Community's Collective Courage: A Local Food Cooperative's Impact on Food Insecurity, Community and Economic Development, and Local Food Systems
Tabitha C. Barbour

PDF

Allopathic Medicine’s Influence on Indigenous Peoples in the Kumaon Region of India
Eliana M. Blum

PDF

Determinants of job satisfaction and dissatisfaction among practitioners employed in intercollegiate sport organizations
Ian Cooper, Chantel Heinsen, and Michael Diacin

PDF

Individualized Music Improves Social Interaction of Women, But Not Men, With Dementia
Emily Farrer and Diana Hilycord

PDF

Inferences on Criminality Based on Appearance
Hannah Johnson, Morgan Anderson, Hayley R. Westra, and Hayden Suter

PDF

A Blend of Absurdism and Humanism: Defending Kurt Vonnegut’s Place in the Secondary Setting
Krisandra R. Johnson

PDF

Do Black and White Americans Hold Different Views on Marijuana Legalization? Analyzing the Impact of “The War on Drugs” on Racialized Perceptions of Legalizing Marijuana
Benjamin S. Kaminoff

PDF

Miguel de Unamuno: The Relationship among Women, his Life, Spanish Society and El marqués de Lumbría
Tina Maric

PDF

Using Random Forests to Describe Equity in Higher Education: A Critical Quantitative Analysis of Utah’s Postsecondary Pipelines
Tyler McDaniel

PDF

Public Financing and the Underrepresentation of Women in United States Elected Political Offices
Libby P. Moyer

PDF

Holding on to Culture: The Effects of the 1837 Smallpox Epidemic on Mandan and Hidatsa
Jayne Reinhiller

PDF

The Reification of Hegemonic Masculinity via Heteronormativity, Sexual Objectification, and Masculine Performances in Tau Kappa Epsilon Recruitment Videos
Viki Tomanov

The first three volumes of BJUR (2015-2017) were funded through a Butler Innovation grant; this year’s journal was funded by the College of Liberal Arts and Sciences.

Going forward, funding will be provided in part by the following annual sponsors who have committed financial support: English; Biological Sciences; College of Communication; College of Education; College of Liberal Arts and Sciences; Creative Media and Journalism; Critical Communication and Media Studies; Gender, Women and Sexuality Studies; History and Anthropology; International Studies; Jordan College of Arts; Neuroscience; Philosophy, Religion & Classics; Physics and Astronomy; Political Science/Peace and Conflict Studies; Psychology; Science, Technology and Environmental Sciences; Sociology and Criminology; Strategic Communication; Founding Partner-Irwin Library.

 

Media contact:
Marc Allan MFA '18
mallan@butler.edu
317-940-9822

 

AcademicsStudent LifePeople

Butler Journal of Undergraduate Research Is Ready to Be Read

The fourth volume of the increasingly popular annual publication is now online.

Apr 25 2018 Read more
AcademicsStudent LifePeople

Butler Honors Top 100 Students

BY

PUBLISHED ON Apr 23 2018

The Alumni Association has announced Butler University's Top 100 Outstanding Students, honoring the top juniors and seniors for the 2017–2018 academic year.

The list is below. Top 15 students have an asterisk next to their name.

The students honored each year continue the tradition of dedication and service to Butler. They reflect outstanding character, scholarship, engaged citizenship, leadership, and commitment to fostering diversity.To be considered a Top 100 student at Butler University, students must have a cumulative GPA of 3.5 or higher and may not be on conduct probation during the application process or the announcement for Top 100 and Top 15.

The Top 100 students are determined by the Top 100 Selection Committee composed of representatives of each of the six colleges, student affairs, academic affairs, and alumni. Each candidate is judged against the core values of the program on a numeric scale. At the end of the judging period, all scores are tabulated, and the Top 100 students are selected.

Visit the Top 100 website to view guidelines for the program. 

The Alumni Association in conjunction with the Office of Student Affairs conducts the Outstanding Student Recognition program. The program is in its 57th year.

The full list of honorees, majors, and hometowns:

Lynn Alsatie, International Studies and French, Carmel, Indiana

Siena Amodeo, International Business and Marketing, Powell, Ohio

Deborah Arehart, Middle/Secondary Education and French, Dayton, Ohio

Thomas Baldwin, Biochemistry, Carmel, Indiana

*Adam Bantz, Strategic Communication, Marketing, Muncie, Indiana

Alex Bartlow, Accounting and Spanish, Bloomfield, Indiana

Leah Basford, International Business, Chinese minor, Centerville, Indiana

Brianna Borri, Psychology, Ada, Michigan

Lauren Briskey, Actuarial Science, Statistics, Avon, Indiana

Amy Brown, Accounting, Saint Charles, Missouri

Rachel Burke, Mathematics, Software Engineering, Mount Vernon, Indiana

Jeremy Caylor, Biology, Chemistry, Tipton, Indiana

*Parker Chalmers, Finance/Risk Management & Insurance, Wyoming, Ohio

Lauren Ciulla, Biology, Carmel, Indiana

Brooklyn Cohen, Elementary Education, Glenview, Illinois

Hannah Coleman, Pharmacy, Danville, Indiana

Dana Connor, Communication Sciences and Disorders, Tallahassee, Florida

Vickie Cook, Chemistry, Woodburn, Indiana

Meredith Coughlin, Human Communication and Organizational Leadership, Tipp City, Ohio

*Ryan Cultice, Accounting and Finance, Warsaw, Indiana

Ashley Dale, Physics, Electrical Engineering, New Palestine, Indiana

Erin Dark, Pharmacy, West Lafayette, Indiana

Darby DeFord, Biology and Chemistry, Spencer, Indiana

Matt Del Busto, English creative writing and Spanish, Carmel, Indiana

David Dunham, Human Movement and Health Sciences Education, Zionsville, Indiana

Suzanne Dwyer, Pharmacy, Tinley Park, Illinois

Shelby Jo Eaton, Psychology and Sociology, Indianapolis

Ashlyn Edwards, Philosophy, Critical Communication, and French, New Albany, Indiana

*Katie Edwards, Marketing and Finance, Libertyville, Illinois

Sarah Elam, International Studies and Spanish, Indianapolis

John Evans, Accounting and Finance, Indianapolis

Hannah Faccio, Psychology, Belmont, Michigan

Megan Farny, Pre-PA, Evansville, Indiana

Megan Fitzgerald, Elementary Education and Religion, Dublin, Ohio

Annie Foster, Spanish and Chemistry minor, Westfield, Indiana

Jacklyn Gries, Pharmacy, Evansville, Indiana

Hannah Hartzell, Strategic Communication and Spanish, Powell, Ohio

Patrick Holden, PharmD/MBA, Brownsburg, Indiana

Jonny Hollar, Finance and Marketing, Warsaw, Indiana

Kate Holtz, Risk Management and Insurance, Finance, Godfrey, Illinois

*Nick Huang, Finance and Marketing, Geneva, Illinois

Karla Jeggle, Actuarial Science, Upper Arlington, Ohio

Nathan Jent, Health Sciences/Pre-PA, Crawfordsville, Indiana

Drew Johnson, Pharmacy, Noblesville, Indiana

Jakob Jozwiakowski, Chemistry, Boston, Massachusetts

Colton Junod, Biology and Biochemistry, Vincennes, Indiana

Libby Kaufman, Elementary Education, Chanhassen, Minnesota

*Nida Khan, Pharmacy/Pre-Med, Noblesville, Indiana

Rachel Koehler, International Studies and French, Franklin, Tennessee

*Caroline Kuremsky, Elementary Education with a Mild Intervention Minor, Cincinnati, Ohio

Carly Large, Accounting, Bloomington, Illinois

*Emily Lawson, Chemistry and Mathematics (Pre-Med), Fort Wayne, Indiana

Becca Lewis, Biology and Chemistry, Danville, Illinois

Rachael Lewis, Marketing, Spanish, and International Business, Danville, Illinois

Kayla Long, Critical Communications and Media Studies, Digital Media Production, Spanish, Evanston, Illinois

Kelsey McDougall, Biology, Canton, Michigan

Kirsten McGrew, Pharmacy, Louisville, Kentucky

Kasey Meeks, Health Sciences and Chemistry, Robinson, Illinois

Rachel Metz, Health Science, Ferdinand, Indiana

Joshua Murdock, Pharmacy, Grand Junction, Colorado

*Kelly Murphy, Human Communication and Organizational Leadership, Dublin, Ohio

Emily Nettesheim, Health Sciences and Spanish, Lafayette, Indiana

Alexis Neyman, Biochemistry, Fort Wayne, Indiana

Olivia Nilsen, Communication of Sciences and Disorders, Neuroscience minor, Ballwin, Missouri

Gehrig Parker, Sports Media, Park Ridge, Illinois

Justin Poythress, Accounting and Finance, Geneva, Illinois

*Tori Puhl, Actuarial Science, Mequon, Wisconsin

*Salman Qureshi, Biology, Fishers, Indiana

*Courtney Raab, Health Sciences, Highland, Indiana

Jordan Rauh, Pharmacy, Wabash, Indiana

Allison Reitz, Communication Sciences and Disorders, Newburgh, Indiana

Kate Richards, Communication Sciences and Disorders, Effingham, Illinois

Sophie Robertson, Dance Arts Administration and Journalism, Gig Harbor, Washington

*Abdul Saltagi, Biology, Fishers, Indiana

Kaitlyn Sawin, Marketing, Appleton, Wisconsin

Olivia Schwan, Marketing and Spanish, Kalamazoo, Michigan

*Abby Sikorcin, Health Sciences, Lisle, Illinois

Sundeep Singh, Biology and Political Science, Fishers, Indiana

Maree Smith, Spanish and Marketing, Monticello, Minnesota

Lilli Southern, Communication Sciences and Disorders, Solsberry, Indiana

Madison Stefanski, Elementary Education and seeking licensure in Special Education with minors in Reading, Frankfort, Michigan

Isaiah Strong, Strategic Communication/Recording Industry Studies, Brooklyn Park, Minnesota

Natalie Van Ochten, Biology and Biochemistry, Shorewood, Minnesota

Alexander Waddell, Accounting, Greenwood, Indiana

Skyler Walker, Pharmacy, Racine, Wisconsin

Kathryn Warma, Science, Technology, and Sociology, Carlinville, Illinois

Riley Wildemann, Pharmacy, Plainfield, Indiana

Alexander Wright, Chemistry, Fishers, Indiana

Heather Wright, Music, Greentown, Indiana

Jill Yager, Biology, Rushville, Indiana

Due to a tie in scoring, more than 100 students are being honored for the 2017–2018 academic year. All honorees were recognized at the Outstanding Student Banquet on April 13, where the Top 15 Most Outstanding Students were announced.

This list includes all students who opted to post their names.

 

In the photo:

Front row: Emily Lawson, Nida Khan, Nicholas Huang, Caitlyn Foye, Katie Edwards, Adam Bantz, Kelly Murphy

Back row: Abby Sikocin, Abdul Saltagi, Courtney Raab, President Danko, Salman Qureshi, Tori Puhl, Ryan Cultice

 

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

 

 

AcademicsStudent LifePeople

Butler Honors Top 100 Students

This is the 57th year to recognize the Top 100 students' dedication and service to Butler.

Apr 23 2018 Read more
AcademicsPeople

Retailing's Loss Was Biology's Gain

BY

PUBLISHED ON Apr 23 2018

After he graduated from University of the South with an undergraduate degree in biology, Tom Dolan was unsure what to do next. His roommate's father helped him get a job at Davison's, an Atlanta department store owned by Macy's, and from 1973 to 1977 he moved up the ranks in management.

The money was good, but the hours were brutal. From mid-October to Christmas, Thanksgiving was his only day off, and 16-hour days were common.

Dolan's father used to tell him that you can either do something you like or make a lot of money. Or, if you're lucky, you can make a lot of money and do something you like.

"I was making a lot of money, but it was a killer job," Dolan said. So he chose the other option: "I'm going to do something I like."

He chose to go back to school at the University of Georgia and study botany. And now, four decades after making that decision and 33 years after he joined the Butler Biology faculty, he is retiring.

*

The decision to go back to school was easy. Getting accepted to graduate school was a different matter. Dolan, who grew up outside Chicago in Geneva, Illinois, had been out of college for six years when he applied to Georgia. The pharmacy school told him no. Botany, which was an up-and-coming program, invited him for an interview.

He remembers the head of the committee asking, "So what makes you think you can handle graduate school based on what you've been doing for the last six years?" Dolan responded, "I just walked away from managing a store that did $15 million a year in sales and had 100 people working for me. I know how to do things. I know how to get things done. I was a biology major. I would really like to do botany. I think I'll be fine."

Two weeks later, he received a letter saying he would not be admitted regular status, but if he wanted to take classes as a non-classified post-graduate, he could do that. Essentially, they wanted proof that he could succeed—and they wanted him to spend his own money to prove it.

Challenge accepted. The first quarter, he did well in all three classes. His Cell Biology professor—who was the department chair—offered him "regular status" admission and a teaching assistantship.

"It turned out that I liked teaching," Dolan said, "and it turned out that I was pretty good at it, based on the response that I got from people who were in the class and the people who were supervising the teaching assistants."

He finished his doctorate at Georgia (where he met his wife, Becky, who also earned her doctorate from the University of Georgia) and went on to a post-doctoral fellowship in plant pathology at the University of California, Riverside.

When the time came to find a full-time job, Dolan answered an ad for a Visiting Assistant Professor at Butler. He took the one-year assignment and then won the full-time, tenure-track position after that.

At the same time, Becky was hired at the Holcomb Research Institute (HRI) and Friesner Herbarium. When HRI folded, College of Liberal Arts and Sciences Dean Paul Yu transferred her staff position to the Department of Biological Sciences. For more than 30 years, she has been Director of the Friesner Herbarium, a systematic collection of over 100,000 dried, pressed and preserved plant specimens. 

"Becky was able to carve out a niche and has turned out to be very successful—as an academic, more successful than me," Dolan said. "She's had a much bigger imprint on the institution than I'll ever have."

*

In the 1990s, Dolan served as Chair of the Biological Sciences Department. Stuart Glennan, Associate Dean in the College of Arts and Sciences, said Dolan's appointment came "at a very crucial time for the department. Probably most importantly, he oversaw the hiring and mentoring of the current generation of leadership in the department, and managed it during a time in which its student population expanded considerably."

Dolan said that during his 33 years at Butler, he saw the University grow in stature and size. The constant, he said, has been the quality of the students.

"We always had good students," he said. "Now we have more of them. Some of the students I've had contact with would bowl you over. That's always been the case. Virtually every semester, every class has two, three, four, five students who just knock your socks off."

Michael Hole was one of those.

"Professor Dolan was the first person I met at Butler," Hole said via email from Texas, where he is now a pediatrician and social entrepreneur at the University of Texas at Austin's Dell Medical School. "From that moment, he used his brilliant mind, big heart, and humor to make learning fun and meaningful. A treasured mentor and friend, he oozed the Butler Way. There’s no doubt his legacy lives on in countless Bulldogs.

*

In retirement, he and Becky plan to spend most of the year living in a house they built on St. George Island, a pristine and quiet locale in the Florida panhandle. The Apalachicola Natural Forest is across the way, and for 30 miles west, 45 miles east, and 60 miles deep, there's nothing but state and national forest. Some, he said, consider it the No. 1 biological hotspot in North America.

Across the bridge from their island is the new Apalachicola National Estuarine Research Reserve, so they'll be a short drive from scientific research, natural resource management, and environmental education. The Dolans also are thinking about ways to enhance science programming at the local high school, and Tom said Becky may well do some science writing.

"The punch line is that I really don't know," he said. "The other side of that is, I'm really not worried about it. But I'm definitely not going to just put my feet up, read, fish, and run kayaks—although that's a temptation."

 

Media contact:
Marc Allan MFA '18
mallan@butler.edu
317-940-9822

 

 

 

AcademicsPeople

Retailing's Loss Was Biology's Gain

Professor Tom Dolan, who worked for Macy's for several years out of college, found his passion in botany. Now, after 33 years at Butler, he has retired.

Apr 23 2018 Read more
Life Lessons

Life Lessons Found in Philanthropy

Patricia Pickett ’82 APR

from Spring 2018

With less than a decade of professional work experience under his belt, Matt Lally ’10 has ventured into territory many might postpone until closer to retirement. He’s the Founder of a nonprofit dedicated to bettering educational outcomes for at-risk youngsters; in addition, he’s funded a global effort to create a sustainable food source. Yet it’s clear his youthful enthusiasm is paying off for those individuals and communities in the crosshairs of his altruistic dreams.Matt Lally ’10

While he is optimistic about his efforts, he is also in touch with the realities of running a not-for-profit and a start-up business.

As Nielsen’s Associate Director of Growth and Strategy, Lally refers to himself as a market research consultant by day and nonprofit volunteer evenings and weekends. “Philanthropic work has always been important—it’s a value instilled from an early age,” he said. “My father ran his own charity for a decade (saving outcast dormitory furniture from landfills and delivering to Appalachia, the Caribbean, and Central America). I’ve always had exposure and interest in philanthropic activities.”

Networking led to meeting other young professionals with similar aspirations. One such acquaintance was exploring how he could have an impact on educational systems. The two were shocked at the statistic that one out of every eight students misses a month of school per school year. In 2012, when Chicago was the focus of national attention with high school graduation rates hovering around 50 percent, the duo began researching the issue—speaking with educators, administrators, and those with experience with existing programs and their shortcomings. “I believe education is the foundation and background for a successful life,” he said. “It was an area in which I wanted influence.”

Ugandan ParticipantsThrough research, they narrowed their focus to an approach that had little or no attention: A partnership geared toward elementary school parents that they named, “Goods for Grades.” In 2014, they attained their 501c3 and launched the inaugural program in 2015 with one school on Chicago’s southside. There, regular attendance (and later they added good behavior) results in rewards to the parents of actual goods or open-ended opportunities like a gift card to a restaurant or for purchasing clothes.

As happens through altruistic efforts, he’s learned more than he’s given over the course of three years. What he found was that the lackluster attendance of children was not because it was inconvenient to get them to school or that parents didn’t believe school was important.

“For some of them, it’s a matter of ‘I have to be at work at 6:00 a.m., so I rely on an older child to get them to school.’ We have to take into account all the different circumstances and then what would it take to place importance on overcoming that barrier,” he said. “We have learned a lot—most importantly, understanding the problem from their perspective. No one wants someone from the outside telling them how to raise their kids.”

As if one such effort wasn’t enough, Lally more recently became an investor in a sustainable chicken farm in Uganda. The relationship formed as he sat on the Chicago board of Accumen, “a global community dedicated to changing the way the world tackles poverty” by employing business practice and models and changing the traditional charity approach to something more sustainable. A business plan, cost analysis, and proforma led to Lally providing them with capital. 

Chicken Coup“The chicken farm is a supply/demand opportunity for eggs. At the beginning of 2015, five families were selected to participate to be the caregivers and owners of the project,” he said. “It’s been a tremendous success. They’ve followed their revenue forecast and already payed back the loan. Structuring it as a loan—versus a charitable donation—brings a greater sense of responsibility.”

These sorts of bold endeavors take a little chutzpah, and Lally credits his days at Butler with building that trait. “Something that has always stuck with me that I learned at Butler: It never hurts to ask. That can play out in a lot of different ways, but it’s a mentality. If there’s something that you want, the worst that can happen is you get a ‘no.’ Being vocal about what you want is going to have a positive impact. Also, if you have a real passion, you need to share that with as many people as you can.” 

 

To learn more about these respective projects and how to support them, visit GoodsForGrades.org or gofundme.com/emmy039s-empathy.

Life Lessons
ThanksPeopleCampus

Life Lessons Found in Philanthropy

Market research consultant by day—nonprofit volunteer by night. 

by Patricia Pickett ’82 APR

from Spring 2018

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Grand Adventure

A Grand Adventure

Camryn Walton ’14

from Spring 2018

It Happened in a Weekend

Over the course of 48 hours, we decided to quit our jobs, leave Indianapolis, road trip across the United States, and buy a one-way ticket to India. 

Why? We felt that restless feeling to be somewhat careless and do something crazy. We wanted to experience newness. To break out of our routine. We had a desire to change our surroundings and rid ourselves of the strains of everyday life. 

And so we went. In fall 2016, we spent two months camping and hiking the western United States, two months navigating the chaos of India, and three months exploring Southeast Asia. It’s hard for me to put into words how grateful I feel for being able to go on this grand adventure. 

In reality, long-term travel is overwhelming and exhausting. You are constantly pushed outside of your comfort zone. Your relationship with yourself and your partner is challenged daily. Here are just a couple of excerpts from my blog sharing our unique and transformational travel experiences: 

Grand Tetons, Wyoming 

Camryn Walton ’14 and husband at the Grand Tetons“What’s been your favorite place so far?” We get asked this question quite a bit on the road, and so far we have the same answer: The Grand Tetons. While leaving beautiful Oregon was bittersweet, we were eager to get to Jackson, Wyoming. We bypassed our planned one-night stay in Boise (We’ll be back for you Idaho!) and drove the 12+ hours from Portland, Oregon, to Jackson, Wyoming, in one day. We made it in one piece and found a free campsite as the sun was setting just outside of the Tetons. 

The next morning, we arrived at the Grand Tetons Visitor Center an hour before it opened to get a backcountry permit. Needless to say, John (JJ) was excited to be the first one in line. Before getting our permit, we had to watch a short video about backcountry camping safety… and this is where my irrational fear of bears began. By the end of the video, I was convinced we were going to be stalked and killed by a bear. Wyoming isn’t too bad of a place to die, right? 

Bear spray in hand, we set off on a 22-mile loop hike up Paintbrush Canyon and down Cascade Canyon. The first day consisted of 7.5 miles and 3,500 feet up. It was tough hiking, but the blossoming colors of fall made us forget about the level of difficulty. There are two weeks out of the year when leaves are at their brightest in the Tetons, and we had unknowingly chosen one of these sacred weeks. The Aspens were changing to a shade of yellow I’ve never seen before—hard to describe, and even harder to photograph. 

We were up early the next morning to tackle our one mile, 1,500-foot ascent of Paintbrush Divide to the Saddle Between Two Peaks. JJ kept me going by reminding me that, “every step you take is the highest elevation you’ve ever been.” At 10,700 ft., the 360-degree views were breathtaking. The pass opened up a new world of mountain ranges, peaks, and canyons; it is safe to say that I’m addicted. Addicted to the feeling of wanting to see what’s over the next pass, to the exhilaration of the wind blowing in your face, to feeling entirely humbled, small, and insignificant compared to the mountains that surround you. 

India 

On December 17, 2016—my 25th birthday—we arrived in Rishikesh, India. Nestled in the foothills of the Himalayas on the banks of the Ganges River, Rishikesh is a charming town that attracts yogis and adventurers from around the world. It is free of meat, dairy, and alcohol—making it the ideal location for people to focus on their spiritual and physical wellness. 

Camryn Walton ’14 and husband in IndiaHowever, two days into our blissful retreat, JJ and I were taking turns emptying our stomachs over a dirty toilet in a freezing cold yurt. The physical pain was compounded by the homesickness I felt being away from my loved ones so close to the holidays. I was tired of being cold and dirty and living out of a backpack. I couldn’t help but think of all of the places I’d rather be. 

Slowly, we started to regain physical strength and with it came mental clarity. We spent the next two weeks practicing yoga, getting lost in the foothills, reading by the river, and expanding our minds with new forms of spiritual guidance. And then I’m crying at the airport because I’m not ready to leave this powerful place that had become “home.” 

Despite the immense discomfort, we quickly discovered the real reason why we travel: It reminds us to be present, to be kind, to practice empathy—and to never take ourselves too seriously. Most importantly, it’s a reminder to be grateful for exactly where you are and who you are with in life. 

 

Camryn Walton '14 (Strategic Communication) and John Joseph '11 (International Studies and Marketing) moved to Denver in July 2017. They spend their time exploring the mountains, chasing music festivals, and working at a small marketing agency and large software company respectively. To read more on their grand adventure, check out flossinginthesunshine.com or follow them on Instagram @camryn_walton and @plaidjj1.

Grand Adventure
Arts & CulturePeople

A Grand Adventure

Over the course of 48 hours, we decided to quit our jobs, leave Indianapolis, road trip across the United States, and buy a one-way ticket to India. 

by Camryn Walton ’14

from Spring 2018

Read more
Dujuan

Thinking Big, Achieving More

Pat Pickett Snyder ’82 APR

from Spring 2018

As a student at Butler University, DuJuan McCoy set his sights on success. The Ben Davis High School graduate and recipient of a Christamore House scholarship was dedicated in both the classroom as a Business/Marketing major and on the athletic field as a record-holding Bulldog sprinter.

The prowess and inner drive that helped him navigate his undergraduate years has propelled him into significant roles of management and ultimately ownership in the broadcast industry. He currently owns five television stations as President and CEO of Bayou City Broadcasting, including CBS and Fox affiliates in Evansville, Indiana and three stations (Fox, NBC, and Mynetwork TV) in Lafayette, Louisiana.

According to McCoy, his desire to rise through the ranks was established early in his career while in his first job at WTTV-4, Indianapolis.

“In 1991, the station was sold to River City Broadcasting. One of the partners was a guy named Barry Baker, a 38-year-old entrepreneur,” McCoy recalls. “He stands up in front of the whole sales team and says, ‘I’m looking for athletes who want to make a lot of jack.’ From that day forward, I wanted to be like that guy. I trained my brain to learn as much as I could about my craft, and I became the top sales guy by 25. I just took my athletic principals and applied them to the business world.”

His experience includes over 13 years of television sales management in market sizes ranging from No. 105 to No. 10. He has worked with small, medium, and large ownership groups in different regions of the country, including Capitol Broadcasting, River City Broadcasting, Sinclair Broadcasting, and Fox Television Stations Group, managing revenue budgets ranging from $4 million to more than $130 million annually and he now has over 10 years of M and A experience

“When I started really chasing my dream of station ownership,” he said. “I let enough people know that’s what I wanted to do, and heard a lot of, ‘that will never happen, there’s too much consolidation going on in the industry’—but I didn’t let that dissuade me.”

McCoy believes that despite an increasingly competitive media landscape, the future remains bright for local broadcast TV stations. “In a time of crisis—a hurricane, a tornado—people turn to their local station. That’s never going to go away.”

His reputation of turning around stations and increasing revenue followed him throughout the industry to his last job as Vice President of Sales for Rupert Murdoch’s Fox 26 in Houston. “When I started, their annual revenue was roughly $90 million, and in four years, I  took it to over $130 million based on my skills and strategy,” he said. In July of 2007, he left Fox 26, formed Bayou City Broadcasting, and agreed to purchase seven, at the time, unprofitable stations in West Texas for $3 million.  

“Five years later, I was able to sell them for nearly seven times that amount,” he said. My track record was solidified and, even during the recession, my companies profited.” That success attracted the attention of Bain Capital who provided the backing needed for his currently owned stations.

Amid all that success, it’s not lost on McCoy that his success is unique on more than one level. “For whatever reason, I was never given a shot as a station general manager,” he said. “I skipped that step, so to speak.”

His recent station acquisitions are of special significance according to the National Association of Black Owned Broadcasters where McCoy serves on the Board of Directors. “Even though constituting 14 percent of the total population, African Americans own only 12 full-power, commercial television stations out of the 1300 full-power, commercial television stations in the United States.” McCoy is currently the only African American to own, operate, and manage every aspect of a big-4 affiliate (ABC, NBC, CBS, or Fox) in the United States. His company has no joint sales agreements, shared service agreements, financing agreements, or any other ‘sidecar’ agreements with any group station owners. His company is a stand-alone operation.”          

Beyond that, the organization refers to McCoy as a “broadcaster’s broadcaster.”

“Upon acquiring his television stations…he immediately upgraded the service that his stations provided to that community,” the organization noted in a 2017 press release. “He hired staff and launched new local newscasts in Evansville and increased local news production in Lafayette, which had an immediate, positive impact on the community served by those stations. In addition, for the past 10 years, McCoy has been paying his success forward by teaching other TV Executives (with an emphasis on women and people of color), how to do what he has done all via the National Association of Broadcasters--Broadcast Leadership Training Program in Washington, DC. 

Dujuan
People

Thinking Big, Achieving More

"I trained my brain to learn as much as I could about my craft, and I became the top sales guy by 25. I just took my athletic principals and applied them to the business world.”

by Pat Pickett Snyder ’82 APR

from Spring 2018

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Dave

Beam Me Up, Scottie

Patricia Pickett ’82 APR

from Spring 2018

A product of Butler University’s Radio/Television program (now part of the College of Communication), Dave Arland ’85 began his career working a graveyard shift at an automated radio station that played easy listening music … not exactly the stuff of which dreams are made. 

That rather inauspicious beginning led to big things that included working at the then top-rated news station in the city (WIBC), serving as the Press Secretary for four-term Indianapolis Mayor Bill Hudnut, and ultimately landing at Thomson/RCA in 1991 where he became Vice President of Global Consumer Marketing. One of those jobs you think you’ll be in forever—until you’re not. Dave Arland and company at CES“I was there 16 years, but the last five produced a major shift away from the consumer business to B2B,” he recounts. “Every week, I was getting additional budget cuts and having a difficult conversation with someone.” Eventually, his job was eliminated as well, and for the first time in a long time, his future wasn’t so certain. 

Friends encouraged him to launch his own firm—a rather daunting task if you’ve never run a business before. But another friend gave a stellar piece of advice: “What’s the worst that can happen? It’s an epic fail, and you go to work for some big company.” 

Arland started with one client that soon became three that became six. “We moved out of my spare bedroom and into this office about six years ago,” he says, nodding to the wall covered with his beloved deck of the Starship Enterprise (yes, he’s a Trekkie of galactic proportion). “I hired my first full-time employee and then a second. It just grew.” 

In January, Arland Communications celebrated its 10th anniversary. He has built upon the expertise in the consumer electronics industry gained through his time at Thomson/RCA to become a major player working for large manufacturers like LG and Panasonic (both in the U.S. and Japan), as well as the Consumer Technology Association that stages the annual CES. As one of the largest tradeshows in the world—with 185,000 attendees in Las Vegas for four days in a space equivalent to 47 Lucas Oil Stadiums—it garners hours of air time via reporters interested in the “next big thing.” 

Staying nimble and relevant in the fast-moving pace of electronics and technology can present a challenge in and of itself. Calling himself a “reluctant entrepreneur,” Arland credits Butler with the preparation that enabled him to succeed. 

“I picked Butler because of the Radio/Television program; they had a great intern program and offered substantial on-air experience,” he says. “It may not have prepared me for the exact place I am now, but I’d like to think Butler prepared me for new challenges and being willing to learn.” 

And willing to change. He continues, “You have to learn to not fall into the same old way you’ve done things. I keep up by hiring people younger and smarter than me ... they are amazing and do incredible work.” Among those people is Butler graduate Joshua Phelps ’12 as well as a rotation of interns from his alma mater that he touts as “fabulous.” 

Dave Arland in a StudebakerMore than three decades after he graduated, Arland offers three timeless pieces of advice: 

  • Find a way to work somewhere doing something so you get a taste of what the real world is like. It may not be the be-all-end-all, but you have to show initiative, be thorough, and find a way in. In my case, working late at night at an easy listening station led to other opportunities. 
  • If you are a student, immerse yourself in something but experience everything. I didn’t have the highest GPA; I wasn’t aiming for that. But I was very involved—from choir and marching band to the radio station to being an officer in my fraternity (Lambda Chi Alpha). 
  • Get out of your bubble. I took a class called “Change and Tradition” that was taught by noted professor Emma Lou Thornbrough. We were on opposite ends of the political and life spectrum, and I learned so much. If you’re a college Democrat and I bleed blue, or a college Republican and bleed red, get out of your bubble to listen and respect other opinions. The world is not a bubble just for what you want to hear. 
Dave
PeopleCommunity

Beam Me Up, Scottie

“Immerse yourself in something but experience everything.” 

by Patricia Pickett ’82 APR

from Spring 2018

Read more
Dinner

Dinner with 10 Bulldogs

Megan Ward MS ’13

from Spring 2018

It’s not about the location or the menu for that matter. I mean, let’s not kid ourselves—college students are all about a home-cooked meal. But, what a Dinner with 10 Bulldogs is really about is the energy and connections made between students and alumni. 

Just ask Bryan Brenner ’95, CEO of FirstPerson and current Butler Trustee, who was hooked after hosting a dinner. “I’ve hosted a few of these because they inspire me—the eagerness of students to connect ... It reminds me to go for big goals in my own life and to encourage others.” 

Curious how Butler students feel about Dinner with 10 Bulldogs? Look no further than Logan Schwering ’18, who has engaged with alumni in various contexts, but says the Dinner with 10 Bulldogs is the most memorable. “It’s motivating and inspiring to see how much success Butler alumni have achieved. The dinners lead to connections that last a lifetime.” 

In Schwering’s case, it also led to an internship with FirstPerson. As Brenner puts it, 

“[The dinner] gives us access to great future talent! It’s also a great opportunity to reconnect to the purpose and values of Butler. I’ve instilled those values in my company. ” 

These values—trust, collaboration, and innovation, to name a few— are important to Butler students and many seek those values in an employer. It should come as no surprise, then, that FirstPerson has seven Butler alumni on staff and several Butler interns. 

So what kind of company is FirstPerson? It’s an Indianapolis-based strategic business advisory that helps organizations of all sizes become better businesses by developing smarter people strategies. Their core solutions—benefits and compensation, leadership and infrastructure, and community and culture—help organizations design meaningful employment experiences, resulting in healthier employees and a more productive business. 

“I do market research, benchmarking, sales support, and build community partnerships,” Schwering explained of his internship role, where he assists the small group team (clients with less than 200 employees). And with so many Butler alumni on staff, I wasn’t shocked to learn that Schwering reports to one—Alli Isaacs ’10, who is a Strategist in the organization. 

His connection to Butler alumni at FirstPerson doesn’t end there. Schwering was introduced to FirstPerson by Mark Minner ’12, a Managing Director with the company. Minner and Schwering met through their mutual involvement in Phi Delta Theta. Schwering’s role in Student Government Association (SGA) also gave him opportunities to speak with and present to Butler Trustees, including Brenner. 

About a year later, FirstPerson hosted a Dinner with 10 Bulldogs event and Schwering attended. He interacted with Brenner and Minner at the dinner and, as they say, the rest is history. 

For those of you thinking about hosting a Dinner with 10 Bulldogs, Brenner has some advice: “Do it! You’ll be energized by the rich personalities of Butler students, and their capacity for understanding the world around them. You’ll remember why you love Butler, and discover new ways to engage with your alma mater.” 

Still on the fence? Schwering reassures me that Butler students want to hear about your Butler experience. He also added, “If it’s the food selection that has you worried, fear not. Anything homemade or from a restaurant is likely better than what we would have eaten in the dining hall or made on our own.” 

See, I told you it wasn’t about the menu. 

We Need You!

Collaborate with and inspire Butler students while making connections that will last a lifetime. To host a Dinner With 10 Bulldogs, please visit butler.edu/busf/dinner-10-bulldogs. You will be energized to reconnect with Butler while encouraging students to “go for big dreams.” 

Dinner
GivingPeopleCommunity

Dinner with 10 Bulldogs

On the menu: trust, collaboration, innovation, and connections

by Megan Ward MS ’13

from Spring 2018

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