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Five Butler Students Earn Prestigious Scholarships

BY

PUBLISHED ON May 30 2018

Five Butler students have been awarded prestigious scholarships—two to study in the United Kingdom, two to teach English abroad, and one to continue his education in math and physics.

Huang
Nick Huang

Nick Huang and Marissa Schoedel have received Fulbright U.S. Student Program awards for English Teaching Assistantships for the 2018-2019 academic year from the U.S. Department of State and the J. William Fulbright Foreign Scholarship Board. Huang ’18, a Business major from Geneva, Illinois, will be teaching English at the Macau Polytechnic Institute. Schoedel ’18, a German major from Crown Point, Indiana, will be teaching English in Saarland, Germany.

Madisyn Smith ’22, from Coatesville, Indiana, and Megan Waxman ’21, from Highland, Michigan, will participate in the Fulbright Summer Institute in the United Kingdom, one of the most prestigious and selective summer scholarship programs operating worldwide. They will study at the University of Exeter and the University of Strathclyde/Glasgow School of Art, respectively.

And Robert “Alex” Glickfield '19 has been named a Goldwater Scholar for the 2018-2019 academic year. Glickfield, a mathematics and physics major, is from Greentown, Indiana. His career goal is to earn a doctorate in mathematical physics and conduct theoretical physics research while teaching at a university. 

Schoedel
Marissa Schoedel

“I have been ecstatic with our applicants’ successes," said Dacia Charlesworth, Director of Undergraduate Research and Prestigious Scholarships, who assisted students in the application process. "For example, with only 60 Fulbright UK Summer placements available nationwide, I am particularly pleased that Butler University students have, on average, comprised almost 4 percent of the entire population for the past three years. And in terms of the Goldwater Scholarship, it’s amazing that we have had four consecutive years with either a Scholar or an Honorable Mention from Butler.”

Huang and Schoedel, both members of Butler University’s Honors Program, join over 1,900 U.S. citizens who will study, conduct research, and teach abroad for the 2018-2019 academic year through the Fulbright U.S. Student Program.

"I am looking forward to engaging with my students and the community in Saarland through the game nights I will be hosting as a part of my proposed community engagement project,” Schoedel said. “I am ecstatic to be able to share my American perspective with learners of English and gain insight into their learning experience."

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Smith
Madisyn​ Smith

As a participant in the Fulbright UK Summer Institute, Smith, a Pharmacy major, will be one of four students to participate in the program “Issues in Climate Change” at the University of Exeter. She will learn about environmental change and its consequences through both field work and classroom learning with faculty from the University of Exeter’s Geography department, which is one of the most successful in the U.K. and ranked in the top 25 in the world.

“I am beyond thankful to have been selected to participate in the Fulbright UK Summer Institute at the University of Exeter. Southwest England is a perfect destination for a first-time study abroad trip, and I am excited to see what this area has to offer,” she said.

Waxman, who is earning dual degrees in Biomedical Engineering and Biology, was one of 10 students selected to participate in the joint Summer Institute hosted by the University of Strathclyde and Glasgow School of Art that focuses on Scottish Technology, Innovation, and Creativity. She will gain a unique perspective on the cultural and political forces that have shaped modern Scotland, with a strong emphasis on the nation’s role as a technological pioneer. 

“I'm looking forward to immersing myself in Scottish culture and being able to experience all the technology and creativity Scotland has to offer firsthand,” she said.

Waxman
Megan Waxman

Fulbright UK Summer Institutes cover all participant costs. In addition, Fulbright summer participants receive a distinctive support and cultural education program including visa processing, a comprehensive pre-departure orientation, enrichment opportunities in country, a reentry session, and opportunity to join our alumni networks.

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Glickfield, as a Goldwater scholar, joins 210 undergraduate sophomores and juniors across the United States and was selected from a field of 1,280 applicants nominated for the award.

“Winning the Goldwater Scholarship is easily my proudest achievement thus far," he said. "As it is one of most prestigious STEM scholarships in the country, I feel as though I have a great chance at standing out when applying to graduate schools like Berkeley, UCLA, and University of Chicago.”

He thanked his mentors, professors and research advisors Gonzalo Ordoñez, John Herr, Prem Sharma, and Manuel Gadella as well as the Goldwater Campus Representative and Butler’s Director of Undergraduate Research and

Glickfield
Alex Glickfield

Prestigious Scholarship Dacia Charlesworth for her assistance throughout the application process.

Glickfield continues Butler’s recent success associated with the Goldwater scholarship: Caitlyn Foye ’18 was a 2017-2018 Goldwater Scholar, both Lauryn Campagnoli ’17 and Whitney Hart ’17 received honorable mentions in 2016, and Luke Gallion ’16 was named a Goldwater Scholar in 2015.

The Goldwater Scholarship is the preeminent undergraduate award of its type in these fields and covers the cost of tuition, fees, books, and room and board up to $7,500 per year for one or two years. 

 

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

 

Student LifePeople

Five Butler Students Earn Prestigious Scholarships

Four receive Fulbright awards, one is Goldwater Scholar.

May 30 2018 Read more

Let Passion Lead You

by Rachel Stern

If you want to get technical about it, Dave Calabro graduated from Butler University in 1985… and-a-half.

It was the spring of 1985, and Calabro, a senior radio and television major, needed to pass math. But, it was the spring. More specifically, it was May. May in Indianapolis. Which means Calabro—who grew up an approximate 2.3-mile bike ride away from the Indianapolis Motor Speedway, who knew that if he crawled through the creek he would wind up in Turn 2, who knew where to jump the fence in 1977 when A.J. Foyt won so he could catch a glimpse of him on Victory Lane—had other things on his mind.

The race was about a week away. It was also finals week at Butler. Math stood in Calabro’s way of graduating. Then he got the call.

“Can you fill in?” Calabro says, recalling being asked to work at IMS during that 1985 spring. “I was actually being asked to work at IMS during race week. I basically grew up at the track. Some people have baseball, we had the track, this is home for me. It was my sandbox. Sure, I needed to pass math, but I figured I would just take the test later.”

Calabro did take the test later. He got an empty diploma at commencement, took math in the summer, and as he says, “the rest is history.” Thirty-three Indy 500s later, it looks like it wasn’t a bad choice. Calabro is now the official voice of the race, serving as the track’s Public Address Announcer. He has only missed five days at IMS since that 1985 spring—his wife’s grandfather died, his mom had heart surgery, there was another death in the family, and his son graduated from college. Decent excuses.

But, it is not that his education and a degree were not important to him, Calabro insists. And it is true. His mother got her master’s degree from Butler. His brother, Kevin Calabro, graduated from Butler and is now a sports broadcaster for ESPN. He comes from a family of, “900 educators and two sports broadcasters,” he jokes.

But one thing Butler taught him, he says, and he lives by to this day, is to follow your passion. It just so happened, on that week in 1985, passion conflicted with his math final. And, passion won.

“I’m a firm believer in going with your heart and your passions and letting those lead you,” Calabro says. “You never know when opportunity will come, and if it presents itself, that one chance, that could be it. That could be your chance to make it happen for yourself, so you have to take advantage of it. That’s what I was doing and what I continue to do and believe in. Always let passion lead you.”

Danica Patrick and Dave CalabroIt’s about 8:45 AM on Tuesday morning and Calabro is gearing up to interview Danica Patrick. For some reporters, this might be a nerve-wracking experience. He’s about to ride shotgun in the pace car around the track, as Patrick drives about 110 miles per hour, reflecting on her career before her last Indianapolis 500. But, Calabro seems as relaxed as ever. He greets Patrick with an enthusiastic, “Gooooood morning!!” as he gets mic’ed up. He hops in the car and proceeds to reminisce with Patrick. He’ll ask her about her first race at IMS, about how she feels just weeks before her last race, and about boyfriend Aaron Rodgers (even though he doesn’t want to, he says, he knows his viewers are curious).  

Dave Calabro fell in love with racecar driving while sitting in his elementary school classroom.

He grew up about a mile-and-a-half from IMS on Indianapolis’ West Side, and would hear the roar of the cars during spring testing.

“I always wanted to know what that noise was,” Calabro says. “It was like a magnet. Where I’m from, racing is just in your blood.”

His first official trip to the track came when his first-grade class took a field trip to see the Hall of Fame Museum. Calabro remembers walking out of the backside of the oval and catching a glimpse of Art Pollard whiz by. He was instantly hooked.

Calabro attended his first Indy 500 with his mom, dad, and two brothers in 1969. He was seven. They sat at Turn 4.

“They were lousy seats, but were great to me. I was so excited to be there,” he says. “I remember everything about that day. Mario Andretti won and I just remember feeling like my eyes were going to pop out of my head. The day was magical. There are so many things I love about the Indy 500, but one is the tradition and routine.”

Calabro and his other brother, Kevin, the broadcaster for ESPN, were always into sports and would provide running commentary to their backyard bicycle races. They would beg their parents to drive home from vacation at night so they could que up sports radio. Calabro’s father was a “yellow shirt” at the track, or track Safety Patrol.

When Calabro went on to high school he convinced the public relations staff at IMS to allow him to get a radio line so he could broadcast for his high school radio station. He set his sights on Butler because he was enamored with radio and sports, he says. His brother was already at Butler and he knew the size would work well for him.

“The personal approach to teaching and knowing that I would have the opportunity to really follow my passion of broadcast in a smaller setting attracted me,” he says.

While at Butler, Calabro had to take acting classes and voice lessons. At the time, he says, he didn’t understand why, but it helps him so much now. He knows how to properly use his voice. That certainly helps, considering that in addition to serving as PA Announcer at IMS, he is the Sports Director at WTHR-Ch. 13. So, essentially, he has two full time jobs that require him to speak constantly, and if he loses it, he is not too useful, he says.

After graduating from Butler, Calabro started his career in television news in Fort Wayne, Indiana. He then went to Dayton, Ohio and covered news and sports there. All the while, he continued to travel back to Indianapolis in May to work at IMS. Then, in 1992, he started working at Ch. 13 covering sports full time. Since then, he has covered eight Olympics, Pacers playoff runs, Colts Super Bowls, and in the last year alone has been to Los Angeles, West Virginia, Chicago, New Orleans, Florida, North Carolina, to name a few.

His favorite event to cover? That’s easy.

“There is nothing like the Indianapolis 500,” he says. “The mixture of people from all walks of life that I get to interact with is unlike any other event. One minute I am talking to someone from Team Penske, and the next I am catching up with someone I grew up with from Ben Davis. One minute I am interviewing President Clinton, then President Bush. You get to see everyone at this track.”

Dave Calabro and Jim NaborsIt’s around 10:15 AM and Calabro is now bopping to his second home. Well, first home, depending on the time of year. But at IMS, it’s his second home. Under his perch in the pagoda is a tiny room under the stands that houses the working quarters for Ch. 13. As he weaves through traffic, Calabro knows almost everyone. “Hey dude,” he yells out. Calabro whips open the door and asks for some tape from his ride with Patrick to be cut. Then, his eyes are drawn to a small television in the corner of the room. Indianapolis 500 highlights are on. He is glued. Right away Calabro is reciting where he was and what race the highlights are from. “That was 1992, it was a cold one.

There was the time Jessica Simpson was stuck in the elevator before she was going to sing the National Anthem before the race. Calabro already introduced her to a raucous crowd, then heard the panic in his earpiece. She was caught in an elevator and he was told to stretch, and stretch some more. So, he pulled out his trusty binder full of various statistics–traditions, milestones, key dates, fun food facts, rain on race day—and told the crowd about 6,000 hot dogs would likely be eaten that day.

Calabro’s job is a strange balance of months and months of preparation, yet knowing when race day arrives there is no way to predict what will unfold.

“It’s like juggling chainsaws,” he says. “The vast majority of what I do is off the cuff and it definitely doesn’t always go right. You just have no idea what is going to happen, what the story will be, once the race starts. But being here every day helps you be prepared for anything and you know to be engaged and energized no matter what. That takes decades of preparation.”

Calabro’s race day starts around 4:30 AM. He is live, on-air for Ch. 13, doing a pre-race show until 8:30 AM. Then, he’s off to his PA role, doing pre-race ceremonies, driver introductions, calling the race, and after the race, jumping in the pace car with the winner. Then, he’s back on television with Ch. 13 for a post-race show. He is usually in his car driving home around midnight, with the windows wide open and music blasted in an effort to stay awake.

During the month of May, Calabro is at the track nearly every day, covering stories for both Ch. 13 and IMS, as well as announcing practice, qualifying, Bump Day, Carb Day, and the list goes on.  

Dave Furst, who is the Sports Director at Ch. 6, has known Calabro for about 20 years. Though they are in the same position at competing networks, they work closely together at IMS, as Furst assists with getting interviews up and down pit row.

 “The speedway has a way of bringing people together,” Furst says. “People might listen and think, wait a minute, Ch. 6 and Ch. 13 guys are having fun together, but I have enjoyed listening to Dave on the PA for years and years. It is humbling for me to be a part of it. He and I have developed a friendship over the years and I truly respect all the work and perseverance that goes into what he does.”

Calabro reached out to Furst and asked if he would be interested in helping out at the track after Carnegie’s death.

“I jumped at it immediately and was honored that Dave thought highly enough of me to ask me that,” Furst says. “Dave’s style is different from my style, but, ultimately, you want to come across as comfortable and relaxed and the best compliment you can get is if you meet someone and they are the same exact way in real life as they are on television and it is not some façade. Dave is definitely that person. What you get off air is what you see on air.”

It’s about 11:00 AM and Calabro rushes back to the pagoda to hop on “Indy 500 Now” for about 15 minutes with partner Bob Jenkins. He takes a quick cookie break, and then launches into announcing the last practice session of the week. He stands the entire time, shouting out the elementary school class that is visiting the track, reeling off the top speeds. He is zeroed in on each drivers’ car, specifically the winglets, as this is his last practice session, too. “I am always looking for ways to identify the cars whizzing by, either by their helmets, or something specific. This is great practice for us to pick out cars, too.” He reminds the crowd to wear sunscreen, in between updating them on the fact that a large bolt was found on the track and, therefore, practice was halted. The only time Calabro sits is when he answers a text message about an assignment from his other job. Calabro is surrounded by five screens, which still amazes him. When he started, drivers’ speeds were taken with stopwatches. Now, one screen gives him the speeds, the other has a television feed, another has where the drivers are at on the track.

Calabro sees himself as the connector between drivers and fans. That is what he loves so much about his job. Well, both jobs.

There was his streak of 23-straight years landing the first post-race interview with the winner. Then, there was the time that he heard through sources that Hélio Castroneves was in trouble for tax evasion. He dropped everything, flew to Miami, no hotel room, no toothbrush, and broke the story. Castroneves later told Calabro he knew things were serious because Calabro was there to cover the story.

Then, there was the time he raced from his son’s soccer game to give Danica Patrick a tour of IMS’ museum.

It was 2003 and Calabro heard that Patrick might race in the next Indianapolis 500 and she would be attending a women in racing event in Indianapolis. People in the racing community were starting to talk about Patrick, he said. So, Calabro attended the event and introduced himself to her. He told Patrick that he was the PA Announcer at IMS and the Sports Director at Ch. 13 and gave her his card.

Later that year, Calabro was at his son’s soccer game and his phone rang. It was Patrick on the other line. She told Calabro she was in Indianapolis and was wondering if he could give her a tour of IMS’ museum. So, he grabbed his son, still decked out in shin guards and all, and gave Patrick a tour.

“I have worked hard over the decades to build genuine relationships built on trust,” he says. “That has been most important to me.”

These relationships extend beyond just racing.

Dave Calabro and Tom CarnegieCalabro’s mentor, Tom Carnegie, taught him the importance of treating everyone he comes across the same. Fans, drivers, yellow shirts working at the track. Everyone.

Calabro met Carnegie in 1985. At the time, Calabro was an intern at Ch. 6 and Carnegie was the Sports Director, as well as the PA Announcer at IMS. Carnegie had just retired from Ch. 6 and Calabro picked his brain.

“I looked up to him big time,” says Calabro, as he starts to tear up. “I think about him a lot. I learned so much from him. What to do, what not to do, how to treat people. He didn’t care if you were the president of the U.S. or someone from the farms of Indiana. I try to do the exact same.”

Sure, Calabro learned when to annunciate, when to hype up the crowd, when to be playful, and when to be serious, from Carnegie, but it was so much more, he says. It was about relationships and being a connector for a young fan to his or her favorite driver.

Carnegie was the PA Announcer from 1946 to 2006. Calabro interned with him at IMS since 1985. It was Carnegie on the mic and Calabro chasing down interviews. He hardly saw any of the race back in those days, Calabro says. He was by the garages, which were wooden then, working to get updates on injured drivers, before gradually helping out with the PA Announcer role. Carnegie died in 2011.

Around 12:47 PM Calabro is in line for lunch. It is the first time he has come up for air and as he walks into the lunch room he sees a yellow shirt he knows. Because, well, he knows everyone. Before she can even say hi, Calabro engulfs her in a hug. Right after, his eyes dart toward the photos on the wall. Jeff Gordon, Danica Patrick, he has stories about all of the photos. He knows about the moments they were all taken. “It’s the stories within the stories that I love the most.”  

Around December or so, Bob Jenkins, Calabro’s partner in the booth, knows to start looking for the text message.

“Dave will send out a text that says, ‘are you ready? It is getting close,’” says Jenkins, who has worked in covering the race in various capacities since 1979, including anchor, ABC TV, IMS radio, and public address. “This is the best job I have ever had at the speedway, and one of the major reasons why is Dave.”

Jenkins also worked closely with Carnegie, who he says was one of a kind. And following a legend is nearly impossible. But Calabro, Jenkins says, has carried Carnegie’s legacy on to the fullest because they were so close.

“I know Dave thinks about Tom every time he goes on mic, and because of that he respects the job he did, but he also is his own person and does his own thing. That balance has led to Dave being able to take on this role in a way, quite frankly, no one else would have been able to do,” Jenkins says. “The number one thing I think about when I think of Dave is his passion. Dave brings to the PA an energy and we all feed off of it.”

It’s around 2:15 PM, Calabro revs up the golf cart and he is off, swerving in and out of IMS traffic. It’s one of the last practice days at IMS, and Calabro heads to the garages. He likes to check out the atmosphere, and what drivers and their crews are up to any chance he gets. So, he takes off. On the way, he points out nearly everyone. That yellow shirt, he says, has been at that post for decades. That dude right there, he says, that is ‘whistle man.’ He directs traffic into the garage area, Calabro explains. And sure enough, ‘whistle man’ has about 12 whistles around his neck. Calabro, despite being in a golf cart, is stopped about a dozen times. People want to chat with him, take photos with him, shake his hand, and catch up. He pretends to drive the golf cart into three-time Indy 500 winner Bobby Unser. After he makes the rounds, talks with some engineers in A.J. Foyt’s garage, it is back in the driver’s seat. After all, Calabro is in a rush, he has to get back to Ch. 13 for meetings about this fall’s coverage of the 25th anniversary of Operation High School Football.

Indy 500People

Let Passion Lead You

If you want to get technical about it, Dave Calabro graduated from Butler University in 1985… and-a-half.

Let Passion Lead You

by Rachel Stern

Miles Ahead

Michael Kaltenmark '02 was desperate.

The year was 2008, and Butler's Director of External Relations (and handler of the University's live mascot) had a side hustle handling public relations and marketing for Vision Racing. The trouble was, Vision Racing lacked the big stars and success stories that other teams had. No one was paying attention.

Kaltenmark needed to change that. So he turned to social media—and wound up rewriting the norms of auto-racing public relations.

"At Butler, social media was working well for Butler Blue II," he said. "People were receptive to it, we had great dialogue and we produced great content that generated a lot of interaction. I thought if it works for the dog, it might work for the race team."

His initial attempt was basic: When the team added a sponsor, he took a picture and asked team owner Tony George if he could tweet the photo. George gave his OK. So did the fans on Twitter.

"At that point, for me, it was like 'ah-ha,'" Kaltenmark said. "This is a great way to interact with people."

Soon, Vision Racing was live-tweeting races and practices and giving fans as much information as possible.

"We went from being the laughingstock of the IndyCar series to being a beloved underdog," Kaltenmark said. "It changed the fans' perspective about our team. They got content they couldn't get elsewhere. They got to understand our brand and our voice and meet our people digitally. That resonated with them. That was something they didn't have anywhere else in motorsports."

Mike Kitchel, Communications Director at IndyCar, said Vision Racing’s social media strategy "was miles ahead of the curve in the IndyCar Series at the time," and he credited Kaltenmark and colleague Pat Caporali with "leading the charge with a passion and work ethic that was truly unparalleled."

"Looking back, what amazes me most, was how quickly the rest of the teams in the IndyCar Series went from being completely skeptical of what they were doing to desperately trying to catch up," Kitchel said. "They were ahead of their time.… To this day, IndyCar stands out as one of the most socially active and engaging leagues in all of professional sports and I believe—without question—that has a lot to do with what Vision Racing started over a decade ago.”

Their social media efforts had another consequence: the fans' interest forced tradition media—TV, radio, print—to pay attention and cover the team.

"We learned to leverage earned media," he said. "We've been working that recipe to death with the dog here at Butler, putting out our own content and having the big media outlets pick it up and want to do a story."

This May, Kaltenmark is doing social media with the Indianapolis Motor Speedway marketing team, and what he started in 2008 is as common as the rev of an engine in May. But back then, he said, "My colleagues in PR used to make fun of me for always tweeting. Now you walk around the paddock and it’s all they do."

He credits his Butler education and work experience with his approach to problem-solving.

"You can call it a liberal-arts background, or you can call it good preparation, but I was able to lean on that," he said, pointing to his abilities to write and think critically and his knowledge of journalism and public relations. "I felt confident in what I was doing because of the experiences I had in and out of the classroom at Butler."

Indy 500People

Miles Ahead

The year was 2008, and Butler's Director of External Relations (and handler of the University's live mascot) had a side hustle handling public relations and marketing for Vision Racing.

Behind the Behind the Scenes

Spenser Jaenichen '19 is getting a chance to experience May in Indianapolis as an intern with the marketing and advertising agency Mortenson Kim. He likes what he's seen.

"Before I had this internship, May was just another month and the Indianapolis 500 was just another festivity," he said. "But after seeing how much goes into it, that they've created this whole month of events rather than just a daylong event, it's really exciting."

Mortenson Kim creates ads and provides other services for the Indianapolis Motor Speedway. Jaenichen's role has been to put audio subtitles into video reminders sent to ticket buyers to renew their seats. It's peripheral to the big projects the agency is doing, he said, but "as an intern, I can't expect to be right in the heart of things."

The Goshen, Indiana, native came to Butler to study Strategic Communication. He had originally chosen Xavier University, but his mother suggested he go to Butler—where he'd also been accepted—on New Student Registration Day. "I felt an environment that I didn't feel anywhere else," he said. "I fell in love. That was the beginning of a beautiful relationship between the two of us."

During his first year, he decided to add a second major, Economics. "The academics of Economics is rigorous," he said, "and I figured if I understood it, it would help me across all facets of my education, not just business and not just advertising."

He started his internship in February and has worked on projects with a client list that includes Roche Diagnostics, the Hoosier Lottery, and Michelob Golden Light. He said the experience he's gaining is exactly what he hoped for. The internship has gone so well, in fact, that the firm asked him to stay through the summer.

Jaenichen said he's become fascinated by marketing analytics—using data to support advertising campaigns—and that may be his future. Either that or law school.

In fact, while he's excited about the Indianapolis 500-related work being done at his internship, he'll be skipping the race this year because the LSAT exam is two weeks after the 500. Race weekend will be dedicated to studying.

"I'd been looking at tickets," he said, "but I know that's a bad idea. It's one of those temptations you have to resist."

Indy 500People

Behind the Behind the Scenes

Spenser Jaenichen '19 is getting a chance to experience May in Indianapolis as an intern with the marketing and advertising agency Mortenson Kim.

Making May

When the IPL 500 Festival Parade passes through downtown Indianapolis on May 26, one of the proudest spectators in the expected crowd of 300,000 will be Rebecca VanVliet '19.

Since January, VanVliet, a marketing major, has been a full-time intern with the 500 Festival, the non-profit organization that puts on civic events around the Indianapolis 500-Mile Race. She works from 8:00 AM to 5:00 PM, fulfilling one of the two internships that all Lacy School of Business students are required to complete and getting a taste of the work world.

Her role as intern has included working on logistics and planning for festival events, which include the parade, the OneAmerica 500 Festival Mini-Marathon, and the 500 Festival Princess Program. During the weekend of the Mini-Marathon, VanVliet said, she worked for 40 consecutive hours.

"I was exhausted, but at the end, I had a hand in making such a great event happen, one of the best half-marathons anywhere," she said. "To be able to say I'm part of that is really special."

But the best part of her internship experience, she said, has been getting to call retirement homes and other organizations that have asked to buy tickets for the parade.

"They ask, 'OK, so how much for the tickets?' and I get to tell them that the tickets are a gift from the 500 Festival," she said. "It's really cool, and it works in with a lot of my personal passions as well, which is great."

Those personal passions include participating in Best Buddies, an organization dedicated to ending the social, physical, and economic isolation of people with intellectual and developmental disabilities. VanVliet is the Event Planner for the Butler chapter. (She also serves as Chapter Marketing Director for Her Campus, an organization that empowers college women, and Ambassador Director for the Independent Student Council.)

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VanVliet has been involved in event work for as long as she can remember. Growing up in Dublin, Ohio, she volunteered, and later worked for, what the community calls "the largest three-day Irish Festival on the planet."

"I like the idea of putting a lot of work into an event and see it come to fruition," she said. "It's so gratifying."

This summer, she will switch gears and do her second internship with Comcast. When she's finished, she'll be able to claim experience working for a government, a non-profit, and a corporation.

But right now, VanVliet's attention is focused on her work with the 500 Festival.

"It's something I would recommend to Butler students," she said. "Butler's campus is right in the heart of Indianapolis, and I think sometimes people forget that. This internship has been a really cool way to experience the month of May in Indianapolis."

AcademicsPeople

'A Reliable and Steady Presence'

BY

PUBLISHED ON May 14 2018

As part of a presentation she gave in late March, Becky Dolan talked about the importance of flexibility and adaptability in life. She pointed to her career as an example.

"I thought I would be a professor at a university," the Director of Butler's Friesner Herbarium said. "This was a different route. There was a lot of serendipity that happened along the way that worked out well for me."

Thirty-one years later, as she prepares to retire from Butler, Dolan looks back proudly at her achievements, which include working with her assistant Marcia Moore and many students to create a searchable database of more than 40,000 Indianapolis and Indiana dried, pressed, and preserved plant specimens.

"Largely because of her hard work," Butler Biology Professor Carmen Salsbury said, "the Friesner Herbarium is locally, regionally, and nationally recognized."

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Dolan grew up in the Detroit area and moved with her family when she was in middle school to a suburban area that had woods, natural areas, and a creek. She liked spending time in the woods, and she was good in science—especially biology—so her high school guidance counselor suggested medical school.

She went to the University of Michigan, where she was one of 1,500 undergraduate pre-professional majors in biology. One of the required courses was botany.

"It was fascinating to me," she said. "I was struggling in an animal physiology class I was taking, but the botany came easily and it felt like things I already knew—and was learning again. I loved learning more about things I was seeing in the woods and understanding more about their biology and their life cycle and knowing their names."

She changed her major to botany—there were only 70 botany majors—and found both a subject she enjoyed and a tight-knit community.

After graduating, she moved to the University of Georgia for graduate school. She missed the burgeoning music scene in Athens, but she did meet her future husband, Tom, there. He was also a graduate student who had started school a year before her.

They had mutual friends, and at one point she learned that Tom and his girlfriend had broken up. She invited him to a campus movie. He blew her off, saying he had to study for a test, but the following week he called and they had dinner together.

*

In 1981, Tom and Becky got married. They decided they'd both apply for jobs and take the best offer. When Tom took a two-year position doing research at the University of California, Riverside, Becky took a job with an environmental-consulting firm, where she received some grants from the Bureau of Land Management to study rare plants in Napa and Sonoma counties.

After Tom was hired in 1985 to teach at Butler, the Holcomb Research Institute (HRI) at Butler, which employed a half-dozen Ph.D. plant ecologists studying areas like acid rain and the effects of air pollution, gave Becky a courtesy appointment so she could apply for grants and figure out ways to work with its researchers.

One of those projects turned out to be a study of a red-flowered prairie plant called royal catchfly. An HRI researcher named Eric Menges had been studying the plant for years and he was looking at how prairie management like burning or mowing was affecting the viability of populations to promote long-term management and preservation of them. She asked if he had genetic info. He said no. She said she could get it. They collaborated and published work on the effects of fire on promoting stability of these prairie plant populations.

Orie Loucks, then the director of the HRI, also funded a part-time position so she could work at the Friesner Herbarium. When HRI was closed a couple of years later, Paul Yu, Dean of College of Liberal Arts and Sciences, created the position of Director of the herbarium and hired her.

*

Dolan expanded the reach and scope of herbarium outreach, working with students such as Raelene Crandall '97 to inventory the plants in local parks. Dolan hadn't done field work in Indianapolis, so that was her first look at local plants. Through the years, Dolan did more inventories and studies in local parks and realized that they were a treasure trove of information about plants that can grow wild in the city. That led to a number of publications in urban ecology, a growing area of interest in the field of ecology.

Crandall, meanwhile, is now an Assistant Professor of Fire Science at University of Florida.

"Becky has consistently produced novel research that has evolved and expanded over time," Crandall said in a letter she wrote nominating Dolan for a Woman of Distinction Award. "Additionally, she has strived to digitize and improve the Friesner Herbarium, drawing researchers from all over the country to use and benefit from the plant collections. She has received many grants and mentored countless students over her long career at Butler University. Many researchers slow down in their later years, but in fact, we have discussed a new collaboration when she retires and moves to Florida."

Dolan's work locally coincided with the development of Butler's Center for Urban Ecology, which she worked on with Biology Professors Carmen Salsbury and Travis Ryan to get organized and funded. Salsbury said the CUE wouldn't exist without Dolan's dedication and leadership in its early years.

She described Dolan as "a reliable and steady presence in the department contributing tirelessly behind the scenes and in the larger Butler and surrounding communities to initiatives promoting plant research and conservation, student research experiences, citizen science opportunities, and educational outreach."

*

The new Director of the herbarium will be Emily Gillespie, who comes to Butler from Marshall University. She also will teach in the Department of Biological Sciences.

Becky and Tom Dolan, meanwhile, 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. But Becky said she'll maintain some ties to Butler. She will have affiliate status with the Center for Urban Ecology and continue to work on projects she's started.

"This was an unexpected career path," Dolan said, "but I really appreciated the opportunities that Butler gave me and I'm proud of having sustained this position for more than 30 years."

 


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

 

AcademicsPeople

'A Reliable and Steady Presence'

Becky Dolan, who officially retires in August, has helped Butler's Friesner Herbarium become nationally recognized.

May 14 2018 Read more

A Bulldog Abroad

By Brittany Bluthardt '20

Only a few weeks after graduating from Butler University, one student will travel halfway across the world to serve in the Peace Corps in Malawi, an impoverished country in southeastern Africa. During her nearly two-and-a-half-year service, senior Bulldog Alex Gabor will work in the education sector and teach English to children. Although she’ll be far away from Butler University and her home in Wilmette, Illinois, Alex is excited for what life and service across the world has in the future; she thanks Butler for helping her along the way.

“I hope to form relationships with the people in my village that I will be living with,” she said. “Hopefully, I can gain their trust and respect because I feel like without that it’s hard to learn from someone.”

Alex hopes to become fluent in the village’s language and fully immerse herself in the culture. Her transition from Indianapolis to the small village will be a familiar change. Alex was born in the Philippines and lived there for nine years before traveling to the states; she’s used to moving around.

“Moving around is such a big part of me that I will be able to manage well compared to other people that haven’t had that experience,” she said. “So, I feel like it won’t be that bad, but I will definitely be homesick.”

Nearly four years ago, Alex didn’t know what she wanted to study or where she wanted to go. She stumbled upon Butler’s name and decided it was the one - she hadn’t even stepped foot on campus. After enrolling in an exploratory course, she sat in on an upper-level psychology class and discovered her passion for research. From then on, Alex threw herself into undergraduate research any chance she could.

“Being involved in research has given me such good experience, not only for my professional self, but for my personal self,” Alex said. “Butler has opened so many doors for me.”

Alex had experience in undergraduate research early in her college career which prepared her for future presentations across the country. Along with presenting at the Undergraduate Research Conference on Butler’s campus, Alex has traveled to Chicago, Milwaukee, Maryland, and, soon, San Francisco to share her knowledge.

“My research in psychology, I think, made me a really competitive applicant to serve in the Peace Corp.”

During her time at Butler, Alex took full advantage of the resources available to her on campus, from receiving resume help at the Internship and Career Services office to going to as many events, with free food, as possible. Along with taking courses for her two majors in psychology and Chinese and her minor in neuroscience, she was involved in Student Government Association, a sorority, volunteer work, and the Asian Culture Enthusiasts club. Alex kept herself busy and she wouldn’t have it any other way.

“When I leave Butler, I’ll miss seeing the same people,” she said. “I’ll miss being around the people. It’s the vibe, the energy. You know when you’re on campus, you know?”

 

Alex Gabor
CommencementPeopleCampus

A Bulldog Abroad

Senior graduate Alex Gabor will fully immerse herself in a new culture, far away from her second home on campus.

Alex Gabor

A Bulldog Abroad

By Brittany Bluthardt '20

Perseverance and Patients: A 23-Year Journey to Graduation

By Rachel Stern

When Trent Tipple was at his low point, living in Indianapolis, Indiana, experiencing nose bleeds during class, suffering memory loss while trying to study for tests, juggling pre-med classes with daily dialysis treatments, little did he know this was just the first of three major low points in his life.

There was the lymphoma diagnosis. Then the kidney failure. Again. And a kidney transplant. Again.

But to hear Tipple tell it, these are all moments that have shaped an amazing life. So far. Because, let’s be honest, Tipple has defied death approximately three times. And, in his words, he feels “full of gratitude.”  

“I have learned to treasure each day and never ignore what is right in front of me,” Tipple says. “I try to remember that the relationships and memories are what actually matter and, as cliché as it is, tomorrow really isn’t guaranteed.”

But there is one thing nagging at Tipple. He hasn’t technically graduated from Butler University, where he was an undergraduate biology major. All of those dialysis appointments didn’t stop him, though, let’s make that clear.

It was that darn beeper.

Tipple, who enrolled at Butler in the fall of 1991, was on track to graduate in 1995. He was 19 credits shy and had applied to Indiana University’s School of Medicine. But, then, that beeper started going off and he had to answer it.

Because Tipple was on the kidney transplant list, he always had a beeper on in case a transplant arrived. After three years, his beeper went off. It just so happened to be during his last semester, senior year. So, technically, he never graduated.

That’s all about to change.

 

Always Interested in Medicine

Tipple grew up in Wabash County, Indiana. Farm country as he refers to it.

Long before the constant trips to the doctor, he had an interest in helping people by being a physician. Pretty ironic, he says. He was always interested in the ability to help others, and working in medicine gave him the opportunity to blend his interest in science with that desire. 

When Tipple was a sophomore in high school he stepped foot on Butler’s campus for the first time as part of a youth event. He was drawn to the campus’ small size and intimate setting.

“Everyone I came across was just nice,” Tipple says. “That first encounter made me familiar with the school and gave me a certain comfort level. I was attracted to the smaller size and the opportunity to get a well-rounded education beyond just science-based courses.”

Turns out the smaller setting would be crucial for many reasons. Tipple was diagnosed with chronic renal disease before his freshman year at Butler. He applied early to Butler, was accepted, and enrolled. With his disease came several trips to the doctor every week. Tipple knew going to Butler would enable him to continue down his desired pre-med path, while also being physically close to the downtown campus of IU Medical Center, as a kidney transplant was what he would eventually need. Tipple felt a school the size of Butler would be more willing to accommodate his specific needs.

“I knew I would be in and out of certain classes due to doctor’s appointments and, at any point, might need to miss class or assignments,” Tipple says. “At a smaller school, it is much easier to form personal relationships and communicate about my specific needs and situation. I think that would be much harder to do at a larger university.”  

 

Determined to Follow His Dreams

Trent at Butler with fraternity brothers.

Jim Shellaas remembers laying eyes on Tipple for the first time. Tipple was a freshman. Shellhaas was Tipple’s academic advisor, and, right away, something was different.

“He showed up to our first meeting with his mother,” says Shellhaas, who retired two years ago after working at Butler as a biology professor. “Now don’t get me wrong, his mother was a lovely person, but most freshmen don’t come to their appointments with their parents. She was there to explain Trent’s medical condition.”

From that first meeting, Shellhaas says, it was clear that Tipple was a determined young man. And Shellhaas’ first impression never changed over the course of four years.

“He had a dream and he was focused and no matter what, he wasn’t going to let go of it,” Shellhaas says. “It is hard enough to be on a pre-med track when a student is fully healthy. But to do that with a health condition like Trent’s, you have to be special and he is special. He had a goal in mind, plugged along, and never lost sight of it.”

Barb Howes recalls a student who was extremely responsible and always showed up to work at the Science Libraries with a work ethic that stood out. Howes has interacted with thousands of students during her time at Butler, but Tipple stands out.

“No matter what was asked of him, he did it, and he always had a wonderful attitude,” she says. “You never would have known that he was dealing with all of the dialysis, and the pain. It amazes me that he was able to remain so positive, despite having to face so much and juggle so much as a young person.”

 

Nothing Could Stop Him

After being on dialysis for two-and-a-half years, and after seven surgeries due to dialysis-related complications, Tipple’s beeper finally went off. He would later learn that a woman named Shiela, who’s family decided that she would be an organ donor, enabled him to become a kidney transplant recipient that January day in 1995. But, it wasn’t that simple.

Though he walked in his commencement ceremony, technically, Tipple did not graduate from Butler because of the timing of the transplant surgery and the recovery associated with it. He was 19 credits short.

He did, however, make the most of his time spent around the physicians he still hoped to one day be. “You meet tons of patients and they all impact you in different ways, but Trent stuck out and always will stick out,” says Sharon Moe, professor of nephrology at Indiana University School of Medicine, who first met Tipple when he was a patient at IU Medical Center. “He was just a smart, inquisitive, sharp young man.”

Moe learned that Tipple wanted to attend IU School of Medicine when he was a patient. Tipple also worked in Moe’s lab when he was a student at Butler. She decided to arrange a meeting between Tipple and the head of the Medical School’s admissions committee.

“I learned later that those conversations I had, thanks to Dr. Moe, were key for me ever getting in to med school and achieving my dream of becoming a physician,” says Tipple. “I am so thankful for people like Dr. Moe who believed in me and went out of their way to vouch for me and look out for me. They changed the course of my life.”

“Trent was networking, so to speak, or creating strong relationships, before that was even a thing,” Shellhaas says. “Instead of feeling sorry for himself when he was in the hospital, he was thinking about his next move and how he could achieve his dreams. He is an amazing person.”

He was accepted into IU’s School of Medicine in the summer of 1995, even though he didn’t have an undergraduate degree.

 

The Struggles Continue

When it was time to head to medical school, Tipple had to, well, learn how to learn again, he says. A fraternity brother from his Butler days, Doug Towriss, was already a medical student at IU. He tutored Tipple for well over a year.

“He taught me what it was to know something, versus being familiar with it,” Tipple says. “If you can’t write it down, you don’t know it. That was his big thing. A lot of time was spent at the chalk board with me writing down pathways, lists, and that type of thing from memory. He didn’t have to do that but he wanted to help me get caught back up.”

Tipple ended up graduating from medical school in 2000. He completed a general pediatrics residency in 2003 and a fellowship in neonatal-perinatal medicine in 2006 at The Ohio State University. By 2006 he was an attending neonatologist and assistant professor of pediatrics at The Ohio State University College of Medicine.

But, things weren’t all smooth sailing.

In 2008, he was in Vienna for a conference with his wife and two children. In retrospect, he had been experiencing headaches for a few months, but that is just in retrospect. They wandered through the Swarovski store looking at all the jewelry. Then, all Tipple remembers is his world went black and the loud store went silent. He was 35 and experienced his first seizure.

He was rushed to the hospital, eventually made his way back to Ohio, and on Christmas Eve 2008, he was officially diagnosed with a rare form of lymphoma. Technically speaking, he had post-transplant lymphoma. It is a kind of lymphoma only seen in transplant patients. The cruel irony? While Tipple took powerful medications to prevent his body from rejecting his kidney transplant 13 years earlier, those same medications kept his body from recognizing the cancerous cells and eliminating them. Those same cells actually allowed the tumor to form in the first place.

Trent with his cousin who donated a kidney.

This type of lymphoma carries an average 2-year survival rate of less than 10 percent around the world. But, Tipple’s oncologist at OSU had developed an experimental therapy that showed promise in the six patients who used it prior to Tipple.

Three weeks after starting the therapy, the tumor that had been the size of a walnut was gone. And within six months, there was no evidence of the active disease at all. Tipple was in remission. “It was honestly a miracle,” Tipple says. “I really thought I was going to die. I thought that was it and I just could not believe I was in remission. It is impossible.”

But, Tipple’s story does not end there.

One year after his seizure in Austria, the kidney that he had received about 15 years earlier failed. Tipple was back on dialysis.

“I was feeling devastated. I was angry and frustrated. But yet again, I had the amazing support of those around me,” Tipple says. “My wife put everything in perspective when she reminded me that a year earlier we thought I was going to die and said we will do whatever it takes.”

After 15 months of daily dialysis in their home, Tipple was back in the hospital for his second kidney transplant in 2011. This time, he knew the donor. “My cousin is a police officer outside of Seattle. She called me one day and said she was coming to Columbus to finish testing because she was informed that she was a match,” Tipple says. “How do you thank someone who says that?”

She was a match and Tipple had his second transplant on Aug. 2, 2011. Since then, things have been great, he says. But then there is that elusive degree from Butler.

 

Getting that Piece of Paper

Travis Ryan met Tipple about five years ago. He didn’t know much about him, but invited him to Butler’s campus to speak to a seminar class about potential opportunities to pursue research projects. “I had no idea about his background, but I knew he had a ton of experience in the research field and thought, as a Butler graduate, he could inspire our students,” says Ryan, who is the Biological Sciences Department Chair at Butler. “When we spoke after his talk and I learned about his background, and I remember thinking we should really look into trying to get Trent his official degree. He embodies everything Butler is about.”

Tipple was extremely excited about the idea.

“It always came up in job interviews and things like that,” he says. “But more than that, I know it is just a piece of paper, but it really means something important to me. My time at Butler was extremely valuable and meant a lot to me and to know that I officially graduated would mean a lot.”

Ryan worked with many people at Butler to make it official. Many courses that Tipple completed at IU’s School of Medicine, it ended up, could be counted toward the credits he was missing at Butler.

After 23 years, Tipple will be officially graduating from Butler.

 

Full Circle

Trent with his family on a trip to Germany in 2008.

Tipple tries to get back to Indianapolis, and specifically, Butler’s campus at least once a year. He usually returns for a basketball game or two, and comes each May for the Indianapolis 500.

Unfortunately, he won’t be here for the spring commencement ceremony on May 11. It is a bit harder now. In 2014, he started working at the University of Alabama at Birmingham as an associate professor. He is Director of the Neonatal Redox Biology Program and his work has been continuously funded by the National Institutes of Health since 2007. Tipple also serves as the Director of Neonatology Faculty Development and Program Co-Director of Neonatal-Perinatal Fellowship Program.

“After everything, I am doing what I love. I am teaching, I have a research lab, and I also see patients. I love doing all of that and it is exactly what I always wanted to do,” he says. Tipple plans to be back in Indianapolis at the end of May for the Indianapolis 500. He will be stopping by Butler’s campus. And this time, he will be picking up a diploma.

“It feels great to just come full circle after everything,” Tipple says. “I appreciate everything Butler did for me and with all I have been through and all the people who supported me and were there for me, everyone really made this happen.”

 

Images
Feature: Trent with his wife at medical school graduation (left). Tren with his son at a Butler Basketball game (right).
Top: Trent at Butler with fraternity brothers.
Middle: Trent with his cousin who donated a kidney.
Bottom: Trent with his family on a trip to Germany in 2008.

 

Trent Tipple MD
CommencementPeopleCampus

Perseverance and Patients: A 23-Year Journey to Graduation

After two kidney transplants and a battle with cancer, Trent Tipple M.D. will finally graduate.

 

Pursuing Her Passion

By Meg Liffick

Graduating Senior Mariam Saeedi grew up in Fishers, Indiana, just up the road from Butler University. Like a lot of kids, she really loved being creative and especially loved art. In high school at Hamilton Southeastern, she took all the art classes they offered and pursued as many opportunities as she could to be creative.  

While she has a passion for artmaking and an obvious talent, when Mariam chose her major before starting her first year at Butler, Art wasn’t even on her radar. “I originally came to Butler because I wanted to be a teacher. I had heard great things about the College of Education. After my first semester, I realized that it wasn’t the right path for me. I felt like I was missing something.”

Like so many college students, Mariam switched her major her freshman year. This time, she chose Marketing.

But again, after taking a few classes, she still wasn’t confident she was on the right path. She had a nagging feeling that wouldn’t go away. One day as she was browsing through the course list for the Art+Design major in the Jordan College of the Arts things became clear. “I wanted to take all of those classes. I realized what I was missing was an opportunity to be really creative and express myself, and I found it in those classes.”

In the Art+Design program, Mariam was able to take coursework that explored different mediums of expression, and in doing, so she found her voice.

“During my time here, I’ve learned about myself. I don’t want to be somewhere where I’m creating what everyone else is doing. I want to create for myself and be an individual.” At Butler, Mariam found the courses, mentors, and opportunities to do just that. She forged strong relationships with her classmates and her instructors, and these relationships inspired her and challenged her to be her best.

“When I was younger, I knew I always liked art, but I never imagined it would turn into something I’d do all of the time. I was more interested in finding a `practical, reasonable career path.’ It all grew on me as I found myself more,” says Mariam.

After graduating this spring with a Bachelor of Arts degree in Art+Design, Mariam will begin a prestigious Orr fellowship. After interviewing for months, she was selected with other top seniors from Indiana and Ohio to join the post-graduate experience dedicated to creating a foundation of career success through coursework, professional mentoring, and a full-time, salaried position. Awarded each year to an elite group of graduates, the Orr fellowship has launched the careers of some of the most accomplished young professionals in the city and beyond.

“People don’t think of the arts as a stable field, and I think they are scared to pursue creative paths.” But in finding her major, Mariam found herself. She proved that creativity and a practical career path are not mutually exclusive, and in fact, passion is critical to long term success.

“Loving what you do it the best motivation. It’s so much easier to succeed when you are really passionate about something.”

 

Mariam Saeedi
CommencementPeopleCampus

Pursuing Her Passion

When Mariam Saeedi '18 found her major, she found her voice.

Mariam Saeedi

Pursuing Her Passion

By Meg Liffick

A Snapshot of Something Bigger

By Brittany Bluthardt '20

“This story is only a snapshot of something bigger, genuine, and unique” Butler University senior, and soon to be graduate, Nikki Miceli said as she introduced her capstone project, “Up North.” The video follows with snapshots of her smiling family members, days in the water, and some traditional campfire singing. Clip after clip, Nikki captures the little moments her family celebrates every summer at their cabin in northern Wisconsin. Two years ago, Nikki didn’t know the random footage she took while on vacation would turn into a 16-minute short documentary about her family’s history and legacy. When Nikki came to Butler University, she wasn’t sure what to expect or where to go first. She just jumped in.

Nikki came to Butler because she loved the feel and energy of campus, and it was the first college campus she didn’t get lost on. Beginning as an exploratory major, she tried a little bit of everything and strayed away from everything she knew she didn’t like. Nikki was certain of one thing: she loved to make videos.

“I like video because it’s a more detailed photograph,” she said. “My family makes fun of me because I always have a camera out, but I tell them, ‘In 10 years, you’re going to really like this footage and see how you acted, what we looked like.’ You see so many more intricate, small, wonderful moments with video than you do with photography.”

Nikki and her freshman year roommate made lip sync covers to popular songs in their dorm room, then she would edit the footage with iMovie and upload it to their Youtube channel. At the time, Nikki didn’t think much of it until one video of her singing to “Hakuna Matata” gained over 4,000 views. With the help of her counselor who urged her to pursue video work, she eventually found a home in the college of communication.

Flash forward three years and Nikki will soon be graduating with degrees in digital media production and strategic communication. She’s completed multiple internships with companies like the Big East Digital Network and Webstream Productions, but her greatest experience was found in the heart of campus. As a video intern for Butler University’s Marketing and Communications office, Nikki connects with people and tells their story through Instagram.

“These people at Butler are so dang incredible,” Nikki said. “They are, honestly, the most passionate and caring people you’ll ever meet. I’ve seen that through this internship the most. I’ve learned about everyone’s true, genuine story and excitement about why they love Butler. I just love it.”

Although Nikki pushed herself to complete multiple internships, study abroad in Australia, complete two majors, and have room for a social life, her biggest challenge was gaining self-confidence. Her parents, one an accountant and the other a physical therapist, have supported her throughout her career but couldn’t help. Nikki’s creative side is unique, and she knew she had to work hard to be successful and find a job after college. Rather than change her major or redefine herself, Nikki took the challenge and reached her goals.

“I know what makes me happy,” she said. “Some people told me you go to school to find out who you are, and I thought, ‘No, college only solidified who I was.’ I knew who I was beforehand.”

Nikki took advantage of any opportunity presented to her. She helped create the newest Butler commercial through her internship on campus, and although it was stressful and a lot of work, she doesn’t regret taking on the challenge.

“The commercial project kick-started my confidence and made me realize I have a place here,” she said. “I think Butler and the community of care will stick with me for the rest of my life.”

She said she’ll miss Butler’s tight-knit community, the people, and her experiences, but she is ready to move on. Nikki is unsure where she’ll land after college, but knows she’ll continue making videos and telling stories.

 “I’m confident now -- watch me kill it.”

 

 

Nikki
CommencementPeopleCampus

A Snapshot of Something Bigger

Senior Nikki Miceli uses her experience on campus to tell the stories of others. 

Nikki

A Snapshot of Something Bigger

By Brittany Bluthardt '20
AcademicsPeople

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.

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