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An Enterprising Pediatrician Expands His Mentors’ Influence

Monica Holb ’09

Scientific theories comprise some of the lessons Butler University students receive in Gallahue Hall. One, for example, is Hubble’s law, which describes the expanding universe. In the law’s equation—velocity = H x distance— the H stands for Hubble’s constant. 

But if that equation were adjusted to explain the expanding influence of Butler’s science departments in the universe, the H might stand for Hole: Dr. Michael Hole ’08. 

 

Hole graduated from Butler less than a decade ago; received his MD and MBA from Stanford University; and spent time in Ecuador, Guatemala, Uganda, and Haiti. Now a pediatrician and clinical fellow at Harvard, Hole is committed to improving life trajectories for the poorest children. Around the world, many children are better off because of Butler scientists’ influence on Hole. 

“The part of science I like is its potential impact on the human experience beyond the classrooms and laboratories. Scientists, often humbly behind the scenes, make life better for each of us,” Hole said. “The mentors I had at Butler pushed me to apply their teaching outside the classroom, which led me to Timmy Global Health.”

Hole, who founded the Butler chapter of Timmy Global Health, an organization fighting for global health equity, credits his professors for shaping his work. Mentors such as Professors Bob Pribush, Thomas Dolan, Shelley Etnier, Phil Villani, Carmen Salsbury, and John Esteb taught him the minutiae of biology and chemistry, while placing the learning in a broader context. 

“You may think that learning how a muscle contracts is silly as a student. But imagine you understand that and can apply it for someone whose muscles aren’t working. You can help them work better,” Hole said. 

When Hole worked with a medical service team in Ecuador, he saw the effects of developing-world poverty on human suffering. “That broke my heart,” he said. The experience moved Hole to focus on becoming a physician for underprivileged children. 

“The Butler Way, if you will, supported me to take on leadership positions and to start organizations aimed at those social injustices,” Hole said. 

This support, particularly from Pribush and the late President Bobby Fong, allowed Hole to begin a fundraising campaign to build a school in Uganda. After raising $50,000 and partnering with Building Tomorrow, an organization providing access to education in hard-to-reach areas, Hole is proud to say the school now serves 350 children. The students, aged 4 to 14, learn science among other subjects, and the Butler influence continues its expansion. 

Hole has since kept in touch with his Butler science mentors. “They have been instrumental in helping me think about how to increase the impact of the missions of the organizations I’ve created,” he said. 

Among those organizations is StreetCred. As a pediatrician, Hole sees the negative impact of poverty on children’s health. He lamented that resources were available, but inaccessible. StreetCred helps parents file their taxes and apply for and access the benefits they can put toward children’s health—and it is all done in the doctor’s waiting room. 

“Butler had patience with me. They taught me and got me fired up about scientific thinking because of the implications it could have on human suffering. What is unique is that they are not only interested in scientific thinking, but are experts in mentorship; they are experts in trying to understand what gets me out of bed in the morning so they can apply their expertise to that,” Hole said. 

Yet, the biology major who became a doctor doesn’t necessarily think of himself as a scientist. 

“What I do is mostly social. If you find a cure for cancer, but you can’t get it to the poorest people, there is a gap. That is my passion—figuring out how to use the brilliant minds and breakthroughs of scientists and getting it to the people who need it most.” 

For children around the world, the universe is indeed expanding, leading to health and opportunity—in large part because of the Butler scientists who continue to influence Dr. Hole.

PeopleCommunity

An Enterprising Pediatrician Expands His Mentors’ Influence

Around the world, many children are better off because of Butler scientists’ influence on Hole. 

The Path Began at Butler

Patricia Snyder Pickett '82, APR

The recent addition of the Healthcare and Business major to Butler University’s College of Pharmacy and Health Sciences reflects the evolving needs within the life sciences industry. Many of these students will go straight into jobs at pharmaceutical or medical device companies, healthcare IT, or public policy positions; others will be prepared to go into clinical graduate programs or pursue post-graduate programs in public health or hospital administration. 

When Lynne Zydowsky ’81 began pursuing her Bachelor of Science in Pharmacy at Butler University, no such combination major existed and her path seemed fairly clear cut. After graduation, she would probably return to the small town of Newton, Illinois and help run the family-owned drug store where she had worked for nearly as long as she remembered. Her father had followed the same path—including graduating from Butler—and it seemed a logical progression. 

Instead, at the urging of what she describes as the interested and insightful Butler Pharmacy School faculty, she received a doctorate in Chemistry from The Ohio State University and was a National Institutes of Health post-doctoral fellow in the Department of Biological Chemistry and Molecular Pharmacology at Harvard Medical School. Because her career path kept merging with the business side of life sciences, she briefly considered entering an MBA program. “However, in the end, I really believed that I was learning a lot along the way, and that I had the innate desire to solve the problems at hand and was able to accomplish it in a positive and creative way,” she said. 

In the last 25 years, she has launched and built several successful life science companies, playing a key role in raising private capital, setting overall corporate strategy, and establishing and managing strategic alliances. Since 2003, she has owned her own business, Zydowsky Consultants, as well as served as Chief Science Advisor to the CEO for Alexandria Real Estate Equities Inc, a NYSE traded company. In addition, she co-founded the Alexandria Summit®, an invitation-only gathering that brings together the world’s foremost visionaries from the biopharma and tech industries; medical, academic, financial, philanthropic, advocacy groups; and government to discuss and take action on the most needed innovation in life sciences. 

She credits much of her success and subsequent leadership to a work ethic established in the family business that carried over to her years at Butler. “There was no doubt that my post-graduate work was going to be self-funded. Even while at Butler, I worked in the science library as a lab tech and at both Haag’s Drug Store and the Winona Hospital pharmacy,” she recounts. “I got my (pharmacy) license to practice in Indiana and Ohio after college because I had to support myself in graduate school. I learned to manage my time and work efficiently.” 

Her advice to those students considering a career in the life sciences? 

“You always have to be realistic about the opportunities at hand—even when I was getting my PhD I was thinking about my future job,” she said. “I’d really like to see students intern every summer in internships that are meaningful where they can experience different segments of business, science, or philanthropy and not wait until their last summer before graduation … why not do it every summer?” 

Zydowsky has lived in San Francisco since 1996, moving there initially for a position with a biotech company. She admits it took several years before she adjusted to living on the West Coast. Now? “I can’t imagine leaving,” she said. “Acceptance, social responsibility, and innovation are woven into the fabric of the city. There’s a feeling that no problem is too big to solve. Living here really changed me; it’s made me more open and creative in my thinking.”

PeopleCommunity

The Path Began at Butler

The recent addition of the Healthcare and Business major to Butler University’s College of Pharmacy and Health Sciences reflects the evolving needs within the life sciences industry.

The Path Began at Butler

Patricia Snyder Pickett '82, APR
AcademicsPeople

His Approach to Teaching: Learning Starts with Confusion

BY Krisy Force

PUBLISHED ON Apr 09 2018

When Professor of Chemistry Shannon Lieb was in high school, he remembers telling his geometry teacher after class that he didn’t fully understand that day’s lecture. His teacher’s response was, “Learning starts with confusion.”

That statement left an impact on Lieb, so much so that he used it as a foundation for his own teaching for the last 39 years at Butler.

“I’ve always kept that idea in mind, and I’ve added to it as well," said Lieb, who officially retired in December. "Now I tell my students: Learning starts with confusion; those who don’t make mistakes have never tried, and those who keep making mistakes haven’t learned.”

Lieb’s classes, like General Chemistry and Physical Chemistry, are filled with college-level mathematics and science concepts. It is easy to believe students would make mistakes and learn from their confusion. He said it's easy to get confused. For some students, simply turning a table sideways presents a whole new problem if they’ve only been focusing on memorization.

“My primary push is to get students to think about how to approach a problem, not simply fill in the boxes,” he said.

Lieb’s dedication to student learning and understanding has been demonstrated in more ways than just in his classes. He has mentored two Master’s thesis students and 30-plus undergraduate research projects, starting with the origin of the Butler Summer Institute program in the early 1990, and he was the first faculty member in the sciences to incorporate Writing Across the Curriculum in the Physical Chemistry laboratory.

“I found that students who don’t know how to write, their way of expressing mathematics isn’t all that great," he said. "I remember one of my first-year students said to me, ‘Well, sciences aren’t creative.’ She was thinking of writing music, writing plays, etc. But science is the same way. There’s obviously some place at which the path splits, but fundamentally it’s a creative process, whether it’s sciences, mathematics, English literature, or performance.”

Although he's officially retired, Lieb is still hard at work teaching two physics labs and working with a student doing research during the spring 2018 semester.

Lieb said he considers his greatest achievement to be the impact he's had on the education of many students during his years at Butler.

“I am most proud of the successes of students that I have had in class,” he said. “I’ve had the privilege of witnessing students succeed who had all odds stacked against them, and I’ve seen some truly remarkable stories.”

He shared a note from Annie Search ’95, one of his former students, who wrote: “Thanks so much for your never-ending patience, kindness, and sense of humor. I could not have gotten through college without you.” 

Lieb isn’t sure what he’ll do when the semester ends in April when he’s fully retired. Perhaps he’ll work on an old Volkswagen that he drove for a number of years. He's already rebuilt the engine twice. He’ll definitely watch movies with his wife, Sue, work on his carpentry, and continue to volunteer with animal rescue.

Being the continuous learner he is, he’ll find something to keep himself occupied. For now, Lieb is following Snoopy’s advice, which is also the signature line on his emails: “Learn from yesterday. Live for today. Look to tomorrow. Rest this afternoon.”

 

 

 

AcademicsPeople

His Approach to Teaching: Learning Starts with Confusion

Chemistry Professor Shannon Lieb officially retires.

Apr 09 2018 Read more
stewart family bulldog

Family, Family Everywhere

Cindy Conover Dashnaw

from Fall 2017

Sarah Stewart ’21 can be forgiven for being unable to name every family member who has attended Butler.

After all, her father can name only 30, which is just about half of the 58 or so Stewarts, Athertons, and Browns who have graced the Butler campus—relatives that reach all the way back to legendary Butler President Hilton U. Brown.

“I remember knowing about Butler ever since I was little,” said Sarah, who entered the University this fall. “My uncle, dad, and grandparents all took me to Butler plays and games—football, basketball, soccer—and we would always see family there. We still do.”

Sarah’s father, Paul B. Stewart ’89 MD FACS, said he grew up the same way.

“Butler is almost synonymous with my dad’s side. Family, church, and Butler were the three things we have always talked about.” 

“Always” reaches as far back as the 1880s, when the Stewart family and Butler University began influencing each other. 

Planting The Family Tree

Hilton U. Brown was still a Butler student when he fell in love with coed Jennie Hannah. After they married, Brown went on to become Butler College Director in 1885 and Board President from 1903 to 1955. 

He’d also eventually be known as Sarah’s great-great-great-grandfather.

“Hilton Brown’s very strong commitment to Butler has extended throughout the family and has always been a big source of pride,” her dad said.

Sarah will encounter plenty of family members’ names throughout campus. 

Her uncle John W. Stewart ’96 DDS commissioned the bulldog sculpture in front of Atherton, a building named after Brown’s son-in-law John W. Atherton. Great-grandfather James Stewart ’34 received a Butler Alumni Achievement Award and is in the Butler Athletic Hall of Fame, along
with great-uncle Kent Stewart ’60 JD and great-great-uncle Robert Stewart ’35 PhD. Brown’s brother, Demarchus, was Butler’s President for only one year in 1906. Hilton U. Brown Jr. was honored with a painting still in Robertson Hall. Great-great-aunt Jean Brown Wagoner is a children’s author. 

Sarah finds comfort in such a legacy.

“I love Butler because it’s a smaller community that reminds me of family. When I see my family all over campus, it means a lot to me,” she said.

The line extending directly from Hilton U. Brown to Sarah Stewart goes like this:

Sarah’s great-great-great grandparents—Hilton U. Brown 1880 and fellow Butler student Jennie Hannah married and had 10 children, most of whom went to Butler.

Sarah’s great-great-grandparents—Mary Brown, one of Hilton’s daughters, married George Oliver Stewart. These two are the anomalies in the family tree; neither attended Butler, but they sent both of their sons, James J. Stewart ’34  JD and Robert Stewart ’35 PhD, there.

Sarah’s great-grandparents— James married Helen Gearen ’34; she and her sister, Marion, went to Butler, as did the latter’s husband, Victor Guio ’35. 

Sarah’s grandparents—James and Helen Stewart had two boys who each attended Butler: Peter ’63 and Kent ’60 (whose wife and son also went to Butler). Peter married Joan Juvinall ’65 and had Sarah’s father, Paul B. Stewart ’89 MD and her uncle, John W. Stewart ’96 DDS.

Sarah’s parents—Paul married Anne Schumaker, and they had Sarah and her older brother, Grant Brown Stewart.

Sarah and her brother—Grant was accepted at Butler, but is attending Rose-Hulman Institute of Technology. Sarah is on track to become a Butler graduate in 2021.

stewart family bulldog
People

Family, Family Everywhere

by Cindy Conover Dashnaw

from Fall 2017

Read more
hinkle exterior

The Secret is Out

Cindy Conover Dashnaw

from Fall 2017

The story of how Florie (Theofanis) Eaton ’88 and Joe Eaton ’88 got together sounds like the movie Animal House

“We weren’t in togas, but we were in Hawaiian garb,” she laughed.

They were dressed for the annual Sigma Nu Voo Doo Dance (fortunately, a thing of the past). 

“They built a pool over the entire front lawn with railroad ties and plastic sheeting, then filled it with a hose. It became something you didn’t want to swim in,” she said.

She and Joe avoided the water, but not the romance. After two years of noticing each other on outings with mutual friends, they finally became a couple.

“It’s just the way it was, and still is. Butler is such a community that everybody starts out as friends,” she said. 

‘Nothing but Butler’

Florie Theofanis was born into a true-blue Butler home: Her mother, Katie ’53 and her father, Chris ’52—an alumnus and retired Butler employee of 44 years—and her uncle, George Theofanis ’57, held that most revered of titles, “basketball coach.” 

In fact, inducted into the Hall of Fame in 2000, George was known for “blazing the trail of unbiased and fair recruiting … during a time when social injustice ran rampant,” wrote The Butler Collegian.

“I knew nothing but Butler all my life,” Florie said. All three of the Theofanis children attended the University. “I didn’t give it a second thought.”

Florie and Joe’s children did, though. Daughter Kailey Eaton ’17 met the tennis coach, went for a recruiting weekend, came home with an offer and said, ‘That’s it! I’m going to Butler.’”

Son Zach Eaton ’20 played high school sports at what would be a Division III level if he continued, which would have ruled out Butler. 

“He gave up sports rather than give up Butler,” Florie said. “He’s never regretted it. He plays lots of club and intramural sports and absolutely loves Butler.”

Florie has seen what she calls “tremendous” growth at Butler. 

“It still has that family feeling, but the opportunity for our kids is tremendous,” she said. “We used to be a well-kept secret, and I think the secret is out. The more you’re there, the more reasons you find to love Butler University.”

hinkle exterior
People

The Secret is Out

by Cindy Conover Dashnaw

from Fall 2017

Read more
kile family

Three Generations of Love

Cindy Conover Dashnaw

from Fall 2017

A three-generation love story began on the lawn of Pi Beta Phi when senior Nancy Bush ’60 strolled out to meet someone she “thought was pretty handsome”: Richard Stamm, just returned from military service. 

“My dad grew up with Butler in his backyard,” said his daughter, Kim (Stamm) Kile ’89 MS ’98. “He had come back from the military ready to enroll at Butler when he met my mom. So they got married on campus, and he went into business to support them.”

Twenty years later, history began to repeat itself. First, both of Nancy and Richard’s children attended Butler. Then, although son Kevin Stamm ’88 married outside the Butler family, he introduced his sister to fraternity brother Nick Kile ’87—and just like her mother, Kim married that handsome guy on campus.

“We used to ‘take a row,’ as everyone called it: walk along a row of fraternity houses and chat with people on their porches,” Kim said. “It was hanging out in a nice social way.”

Kim and Nick’s ceremony “wedded” three Butler families: the Stamms, the Kiles, and the Loves. Nick’s sister, Bulldog Christie Kile ’79, had married fellow Bulldog Jay Love ’76 a decade earlier. Even Kim’s mother-in-law had a Butler degree!

The Kiles had four children, who grew up surrounded by all things Butler and accompanied their mother to work in admissions. In 2010, Emily Kile ’14 became a third-generation Butler student—and part of yet another Butler couple when she married Peter Maxwell ’16. 

“We hadn’t planned on staying in Indianapolis after graduation,” Emily said. “But now we can’t imagine living anywhere else. Butler made us appreciate how diverse the city can be in experiences and opportunities.”

Emily’s siblings are keeping the family tree alive: one’s at Butler, one’s marrying a Bulldog, and wherever the youngest lands in 2018, Butler will always have a presence at a Kile house.

“We’ve had lots of amazing friendships and experiences with Butler,” Kim said. “I can’t image our world without it.”

kile family
People

Three Generations of Love

by Cindy Conover Dashnaw

from Fall 2017

Read more
paige haefer

The Evolution of a Bulldog

Paige Haefer ’17

from Fall 2017

During times of reflection, we can all identify moments that profoundly change who we are, what we believe, and who we strive to become. As children, it seems that we dream big and believe that the life changing moments we will experience will be grand, sweeping, and adventurous. However, as we grow up, I think more common than not, the moments that change our course of life and impact us the most happen in unexpected places and through the daily interactions we experience. The people we meet and communities we join are far more impactful than we ever imagine them to be.

I found this to be true through my experience at Butler University. Never did I imagine that a small, liberal-arts University, set in the quaint state of Indiana, would introduce such instrumental mentors and instill community values that have completely reframed my view of the world.

I graduated this past May from Butler’s College of Communications with a Bachelor of Arts degree in Human Communication and Organizational Leadership with minors in Strategic Communication and Sociology. Before making the move to Indianapolis, I grew up in Madison, Wisconsin. Growing up, I always had a bit of Hoosier influence from my mom, an Indiana native and IU grad. Yearly trips to Indy were common to visit my grandparents who still live here today. While looking for colleges, I was determined to get out of my Big Ten college town. A small classroom setting and high student involvement opportunities were my driving factors on the college search. I applied all over the Midwest and ultimately landed at Butler University in the city I had grown up visiting. I wasn’t too sure what I wanted to study but I knew I liked the options at Butler, was drawn to the beautiful campus, and had only had positive interactions with the current students, faculty, and staff. So, in August 2013, my family packed the mini van and helped me make the move to Indianapolis and my new residence in Schwitzer Hall.

Plenty has changed at Butler in my four years as a student. New buildings have appeared, new people have joined and exited the community, and student organizations have grown and expanded. Change is inevitable and often welcomed. I know personally, I have changed a lot in my four years at Butler. My first-year on campus I truly was a bit more soft-spoken and shy, especially my first few weeks. I wasn’t very sure of who I was or what I wanted, and I am genuinely grateful now that my experiences at Butler have helped me change

Part II of Blog

Involvement on Campus Evolves

Over my four-year Bulldog career, I was blessed to experience a wide variety of campus involvement and leadership opportunities.

My first-year (Historically, a student’s first year on campus was referred to as their “freshman” year experience. Recently, most Universities have replaced that reference by the term “first-year.”) on campus I bounced around, joining various campus organizations, attending as many events as I could, and applying for everything and anything I could. This is probably a typical first-year experience. You want to do it all, meet everyone, and be everywhere. I think it took me about a year and a half to realize the areas I wanted to focus on for my college career. Ultimately, the areas I was truly passionate about and ended up investing time in were: on-campus employment at the Office of Admissions, social Greek Life, Butler’s Welcome Week leadership, and Student Government Association (SGA).

At the Office of Admissions, I served various roles over four years including tour guide, telecounseling supervisor, student assistant, and events and visits intern. In Greek Life, I found a home at Alpha Chi Omega sorority where I served my chapter as Vice President of Philanthropy and even got involved at the national level as a Student Trustee on the organizations non-profit Board of Trustees. Welcome Week and the first six weeks of college are instrumental to a successful four-year experience and because my experience with this was so positive I was determined to continue this for future Bulldogs serving as a Student Orientation Guide and Student Orientation Coordinator at the beginning of my sophomore through senior year fall semesters.

SGA has been my most involved opportunity. I applied for the Student Initiatives Board at the end of my first-year—excited to see what college student government was like. In high school I was a part of student government which mostly consisted of planning prom and designing a class t-shirt. Never did I expect to be a part of such incredible impact at the collegiate level. After sophomore year I ran to be Vice President of Student Initiatives, leading a 30-student board in addressing campus concerns. Heading into senior year I made the leap and ran for Student Body President and won! Serving my University and peers in this way was challenging, but I can’t picture any better way to experience senior year than through total investment in and service to the community in this way.

Although I had the opportunity to learn from, grow through, and be positively challenged by four unique areas of campus involvement in addition to my classroom experiences, I have found a common thread through it all. I enjoy facilitating conversation, problem-solving, building community, and advocating for change. Butler involvement has helped me discover my passion for people.

Organizations Grow and Improve

Change is a key part of the college experience. I think everyone changes at Butler, and hopefully always for the better. A key change that occurs within students can be seen in their student involvement. As students go through their four years, they change from organization participant to organization leader to, in some cases, organization founder, innovator, or revolutionizer. SGA is no exception to the way that student involvement evolves and grows over time. The summer after my sophomore year I had just been elected Vice President of Student Initiatives for SGA. I was nervous and excited about the opportunity. My role was a new one—previously this role had been known as the Vice President of Administration—and, while the duties of this role did not change much, this name change reflected just one of many changes that would occur to SGA over the course of the upcoming summer.

In summer 2015, SGA went through a rebranding process. Similar to the way that Butler University as a whole rebranded that year. SGA leadership felt as though the organization had gotten away from its core purpose: To represent every student at Butler University and truly be the voice for students on campus. That summer at SGA retreat, the newly renamed SGA Marketing and Communications Board worked tirelessly to craft a new SGA brand from scratch, one that would reflect the core mission of the organization, feel fresh, and remain recognizable. Across SGA, boards were renamed, roles were tightened up or reevaluated, and an overall vision of cohesion and unity was pushed. The most significant change to campus was the switch from a student organization assembly to a student elected, smaller senate. Looking back now on two years of this new SGA structure and refocused brand, its definitely different and its definitely not perfect. But, the overall impact seems incredible positive for campus.

Change can be scary and at the same time have incredible purpose. Student organizations come and go based on campus interest. SGA has changed and reformed but the core purpose of the organization remains and has stood the test of time. I view the changes as positive ones. These changes to our student government are a reflection of lessons learned at Butler. Personally, I feel that the changes in SGA have allowed more students to know about it as our brand is unified and easy to recognize. The board name changes have cleared up some confusion on what these actual boards do and the unification has allowed even more students to get involved by relying on single channels sharing applications, events, and opportunities. SGA is feeling less segmented and more unified and unification is always a positive change for our world. I am proud to have been a small part of some of these changes to SGA and hope that my leadership as President allowed some type of continued positive growth and change to take place.

People Change You

When I think about the changes I have seen at Butler, in myself, in SGA, and in other campus areas, I am not just struck by the outcomes of these changes but I can almost always associate with a specific person or people that were the core influencers, leaders, or mentors in that situation. Instead of thinking of specific events, I want to share a bit about a handful of the people who have been inspirations and mentors to me. The personal changes I have accomplished as well as organizational changes I have had the chance to be a part of are directly correlated to the incredible things I learned from the people on this campus.

SGA Leaders—As one would expect, student government brings together some of the most driven and inspiring student son a campus. While it has been great to be a part of some incredible change and evolution facilitated by this organization, looking back on my time in SGA, I am most thankful for the peer leaders I learned from. While everyone in SGA has impacted me in some way, Katelyn Sussli ’16, Cristina McNeily ’17, and Logan Schwering ’18 come to mind immediately. Katelyn was the SGA President before myself and I had the chance to serve as her Vice President. I learned a lot from her about humility and about always putting your best foot forward no matter the situation. Cristina helped me realize that asking questions and learning about things that are unfamiliar to you is the best way to build community, to celebrate differences instead of letting them divide us. Logan, has taught me to take advantage of your whole day and make sure every moment is spent engaged and following your passions.

Alpha Chi Omega—As tour guides we tend to describe Butler’s Greek life as “prominent but not dominant” and while the prominence of Greek Life is different for students across campus, I can personally say that my involvement in a Panhellenic sorority was always a positive one. To experience a group of women who’s genuine goal is to just love you and help you become a better person is a pretty jaw-dropping experience. Nobody is forced to be in Greek Life and women (or men) stay because they want to, not because they have to. From my experience, Greek Life at Butler has been about fostering community and personal connections. The women in my chapter have become my greatest role models and cheerleaders. From personal tragedy to personal victory, I have had at least one, if not many, more women of Alpha Chi Omega step in and show me nothing but love and support. To be part of an organization based on values is a pretty powerful thing.

Student Affairs Staff—How many people truly love their jobs enough to stay at work until well past 11:00 PM or even overnight? Through my high level of campus involvement, I have had the opportunity to experience first-hand how much our Student Affairs staff and program care about students. I have had countless meetings with Caroline Huck-Watson, Director of the PuLSE Office and an SGA Advisor, that go well past 10:00 PM. Anne Flaherty, Dean of Student Life , is seen at campus events no matter what day of the week it is and is quick to respond to campus concerns or student questions. Not only are these two women excellent at their jobs, they also are mothers and have families of their own. The Student Affairs staff truly cares about making the student experience as incredible as possible here at Butler even if that means sacrificing their own personal needs. That’s dedication and passion that I strive to emulate in my future career.

Communications Faculty—I definitely don’t want to forget to mention one of the most important aspects of the college experience. Our education. While every college and department has something special to offer, I want to brag on my College, the College of Communications. Scott Bridge, the College’s Internship irector will send you an email at 4:00 AM with not one but 10 paid internship opportunities. Professor Jessica Moore has  provided her students with her cell phone number to text or call her with questions from class. But, she also offers to skype with you on the weekends to help with major projects. Professor Janis Crawford is an advisor that puts up with my continuous “double checking” that I have accomplished all required courses and has continued to forgive me for my inability to understand Doodle polls. Professor Lindsay Ems introduced me to incredible books and thoughts and continues to engage with me in these ideas even a year after class is done. It makes it much easier to learn and get the most out of your curriculum when the folks charged with educating you want to be there and will go above and beyond to make sure you get the most out of your college experience in the classroom.

Community Stands Firm

Change will not stop at Butler University. Students will continue to grow over the course of their undergraduate careers. SGA and other student organizations will continue to transform with the ever-evolving needs and goals of student bodies, and the student experience not only at Butler, but across the country, will continue to revolutionize.

Despite ongoing transformation on Butler’s campus, the true brick and mortar of our 295 acres—the community itself—holds true. Through the continuous desire of the student body to be active and make the most out of their college experience, mentors and teachers such as the examples I listed previously, and an ever-engaged alumni presence—The Butler Way that most students cite as their favorite part of campus lives on. 

paige haefer
People

The Evolution of a Bulldog

by Paige Haefer ’17

from Fall 2017

Read more
laura michel

Stars Aligned for Laura Michel ’08

Megan Ward MS ’13

from Fall 2017

From the beginning, Butler checked all of her boxes—small, liberal arts, major city with lots to offer, and not in Iowa. It was the “perfect fit” for Laura Michel ’08, the daughter of two public school educators and a middle child from—you guessed it—Iowa. 

Michel started out as a Chemistry major with pre-med plans. After taking a few classes and thinking about what she wanted post-grad, she switched to Communications Disorders—a major that incorporated her love of helping others and a medical field component. Michel went on to earn a master’s degree in Speech-Language Pathology at the University of Nebraska – Lincoln (UNL).

And, she found her way back to Iowa.

As she says, “the stars aligned” for Blank Children’s Hospital in Des Moines to have a pediatric speech-language pathologist opening when she graduated from UNL in 2010. The close proximity to her hometown of Clinton, Iowa, is perfect for Michel, a self-proclaimed family girl who recently got engaged and counts spending time with her niece and nephews among her favorite things to do.

What else does she like to do? Well, there is golf, yoga, and traveling. But, the two most noteworthy (in my opinion), are Michel spreading the word about Butler in Des Moines because of her “fandom during the NCAA tournaments” and staying involved with Alpha Chi Omega, a sisterhood that has followed her from her days at Butler to her time at UNL and now to Des Moines.

Michel also credits Alpha Chi with helping her stay connected to Butler, since she tries to visit campus once a year to reunite with her friends at Butler and her Alpha Chi sisters. On a recent visit, she was excited that there were places on campus to grab lunch, but admits it was a huge change to see the parking garage and new residence hall.

“Campus is still as beautiful as ever ... It’s evident Butler is invested in continuing the growth needed to attract and retain students,” she said.

It also was important for Michel to note that despite growth she hopes the feeling of belonging on campus never changes. As she put it, “The close-knit community and relationships I built with peers, professors, student organization advisors—even Dr. Fong and L.J.—are what made my years at Butler so impactful.”

In fact, she said if she had to sum up her Butler experience in one word she would choose “life-changing.”

Michel said her involvement in the Butler University Student Foundation (BUSF) and Student Government Association (SGA) helped shape her Butler experience and gave her the chance to learn and grow into who she is today. She also benefited from the relationships she built and leadership skills she honed while serving as SGA President.

As Michel spells it out, “I wish more people knew that you can really make the Butler experience your own. Whatever you invest or put in is directly correlated with what you will get [in return].”

laura michel
People

Stars Aligned for Laura Michel ’08

by Megan Ward MS ’13

from Fall 2017

Read more

How Entrepreneurial Are You?

Marc D. Allan MFA ’18

from Spring 2018

 

Stephanie Fernhaber remembers a student asking Butler University President Jim Danko, who owned a medical-supply company for many years, about the transition from being an entrepreneur to academia. And she recalls his answer vividly: “I really do believe that in whatever you are doing, even in running this University, I really like to think like an entrepreneur.” 

That’s the mindset she tries to instill in her students. 

Fernhaber, Associate Professor of Entrepreneurship in the Lacy School of Business, thinks we can all be entrepreneurial, our job titles notwithstanding. 

“We tend to think of entrepreneurs as high-tech startups or someone who owns their own business,” she said. “But being an entrepreneur means being innovative, actively pursuing new opportunities, and taking managed risk. So it’s really a spectrum. It’s not ‘Are you an entrepreneur?’ It’s ‘How entrepreneurial are you?’” 

Take her, for example. Yes, she’s a professor, but she applies an entrepreneurial approach to her work with both undergraduates and MBA students. 

“In my research, I need to be entrepreneurial because I have to come up with brand new ideas and theories and ways of testing them,” she said. “But even in our teaching, I think we all strive to be innovative. We want to try new things that will create value for our students. In doing that, there are some calculated risks.” 

Fernhaber grew up in an entrepreneurial home—her father ran his own construction company in northern Wisconsin— and her first job after earning her undergraduate degree in Business and Spanish from Ripon College was writing business plans, doing market feasibility studies, and helping startups and business owners get Small Business Administration loans. 

She earned her MBA at Marquette University and her doctorate in Entrepreneurship from Indiana University. In 2010, she joined the Butler faculty after four years as an Assistant Professor/Affiliate Status at Iowa State University. 

In her teaching and research, she looks at entrepreneurship and innovation in a variety of ways. One course she teaches is Social Entrepreneurship—how entrepreneurship can be applied to social issues. Her current research is focused on bridging international and social entrepreneurship, and considers how grassroots innovations in India move from the local level to the world stage. 

In addition to publishing nearly 20 journal articles, Fernhaber has co-authored two books, Teaching the Entrepreneurial Mindset to Engineers and The Routledge Companion to International Entrepreneurship. She’s also been part of the collaboration between several of Butler’s Colleges to write, illustrate, produce, and sell children’s books on subjects related to health. In that project, students and faculty from the participating Colleges bring their different expertise. 

And that, Fernhaber point outs, is an example of an entrepreneurial, innovative way to teach. 

“What I enjoy most in the classroom,” she said, “is when students get excited and get engaged about a project or a topic and when you can find a way to reach them.” 

AcademicsPeople

How Entrepreneurial Are You?

Fernhaber, Associate Professor of Entrepreneurship in the Lacy School of Business, thinks we can all be entrepreneurial, our job titles notwithstanding. 

by Marc D. Allan MFA ’18

from Spring 2018

Read more
AcademicsArts & CulturePeople

He Helped the Dance Department Achieve Its Potential

BY

PUBLISHED ON Apr 02 2018

Stephan Laurent joined the Butler Dance Department in 1988, convinced it was going to be one of the top programs in the United States.

"And we proceeded to make it so," he said, crediting "aggressive recruitment and a fantastic faculty."

Thirty years later—the first 15 as chair, the second 15 as a faculty member—as he prepares to retire from Butler, Laurent looks back proudly at what he and the department have accomplished in developing a program that's consistently one of the top-rated in the country.

"It's been a wonderful experience because this is such a strong program," he said. "It's strong because of the curriculum, because of the faculty who deliver that curriculum, because of the students it attracts and because of the facilities in which it is delivered. It is a conservatory-level training program, but we all value the liberal arts and that's what makes the program unique."

Laurent grew up outside Lausanne, Switzerland, and moved to the United States to study at Southern Methodist University. After earning his Bachelor of Fine Arts, he danced professionally in Europe, then returned to SMU for his Master of Fine Arts.

He taught at the University of Wisconsin-Milwaukee and had spent six years as Artistic Director of Des Moines Ballet when he saw the opening at Butler. The Board of Directors was reducing the size of its company to cut costs, so he decided to apply.

He expected a short stay in Indianapolis, but "it clicked so well. It seems like I had found my place – and I think I did. I have really planted my roots in this community. It will be bittersweet to leave."

He leaves with great memories of "all the wonderful productions we have accomplished with the Butler Ballet" and comfortable in the knowledge that he helped advance both Butler and the Dance Department.

"I've seen a lot of progress being made in establishing the strong vision of a comprehensive university where the liberal arts are valued," he said. "The core curriculum is really excellent here. I teach an FYS seminar (Spellbound: the Quest for Magic in the Arts and in Fiction), so I know firsthand how good that core is and how valued it is by all the members of the faculty across all the colleges."

Sophomore Stefanee Montesantos said Laurent "has been a wonderful instructor to work with in the studio." Not only that, "but he has given me opportunities that most first-years and sophomores wish for."

In Butler Ballet’s 2018 Midwinter Dance Festival, Montesantos was cast as the lead female in Farewell to the Singing Earth, an original piece that Laurent-Faesi choreographed.

"It was one of my most challenging roles yet, but it was such a pleasure to work with him," she said. "His positivity, yet silent discipline to execute the steps, brought out a drive I didn’t know I had in me. I am sure I speak for all of Butler Ballet when I say that he will be deeply missed."

After the semester ends, Laurent plans to move to Texas, where his wife, Ellen Denham, is directing the opera program as a member of the music faculty at Texas A&M University in Corpus Christi. He describes the move as "going full circle," since Texas was where he started in the United States.

Professor Susan McGuire, his colleague in the Dance Department, said Laurent set an example for others to follow.

"He is outspoken and liberal-minded in the best sense, and a staunch defender of academic freedom, for one," she said. "He knows the university system inside and out, and holds the people within it to a high standard, and quite vocally, regardless of the consequences. I appreciate this wholeheartedly, and I will miss his loud and clear voice."

 

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

 

 

Schneider
People

A Visit from Trip

BY By Rachel Stern

PUBLISHED ON Mar 27 2018

Allan Schneider said he was in complete shock when a bulldog showed up at his high school study hall in February. It wasn’t any bulldog. It was Butler Blue III, or Trip, with Michael Kaltenmark, his handler and Butler University’s Director of External Relations. They were there to deliver a surprise.

“I instantly knew that something was going on when I saw Trip come in and then I saw my mom,” Schneider said. “I knew some good news was about to happen. Now, I get to go to Butler and pursue my dreams in life. Ever since I talked to the alumni and the people there, they have nothing but great things to say about Butler and how wonderful it is.” Schneider is one of about 75 prospective students that Trip surprised this school year with an in-person visit, often to deliver an admission decision or scholarship. And while most won’t be swayed by a visit from a bulldog, the personal touch certainly helps.

This is all part of the #ButlerBound campaign.

Students who are surprised by Trip tend to commit to attend Butler the following year at a 20-30 percent rate. That compares to a 10-15 percent yield rate for all other admitted students. Prospective students often say how much the visit shows that Butler cares and makes them feel special, which is what Butler is all about. And while Kaltenmark and Evan Krauss, one of the marketers on Butler’s team, can only visit so many students each year, the impact is far greater, Kaltenmark says. Posts to social media and students and parents telling their families and friends have a ripple effect.

“Butler Bound has become a tagline for our new student recruitment, and specifically, our prospective students that we look to bring to Butler, so when they commit or when they’ve been accepted we hope that they will hold up their poster and post on social media that they are Butler Bound,” Kaltenmark said. “We hope this gets a larger audience to buy into the concept and embrace the Butler family before they even get here.” Kaltenmark and the team started visiting prospective students about four years ago. They often target cities that already have an alumni event scheduled, or an away basketball game taking place there. The team has surprised students in Indianapolis, Milwaukee, Boston, New York City, Orlando, Detroit, and Chicago, to name a few.

Some students have already been admitted to Butler, others are waiting to hear, and sometimes, Trip arrives with news of full tuition. That was the case with Schneider. The Bishop Chatard High School senior interviewed for the Butler Tuition Guarantee and was waiting to hear if he would receive full tuition. Then, Trip arrived in his study hall.

Schneider's mother, Katrina, was thrilled for her son. "My son gets to go to the college of his dreams," she said. "To see his face and to know that his dreams just came true, I can't even describe it."

Schneider
People

A Visit from Trip

Allan Schneider said he was in complete shock when a bulldog showed up at his high school study hall in February.

Mar 27 2018 Read more
AcademicsPeople

He Wanted Every Class to Be An Event

BY

PUBLISHED ON Mar 26 2018

Professor of Religion Paul Valliere marvels at the similarities between the Butler University he joined in 1982 and the Butler University from which he's retiring in May.

"It's perfectly obvious that all kinds of things are happening at Butler now that weren’t happening in 1982," he said. "But there are real continuities in the Butler of yore and the Butler of today. Most of those continuities are very positive—face-to-face community, dedication to students, ability to attract really fine students. We get really fine students. So did we in 1982. Most of the changes at Butler have built on the positives that were already there."

And over 36 years at Butler, Valliere, 74, has had a hand in several of those positive changes. He collaborated on creating the Change and Tradition core curriculum (which has evolved into Global and Historical Studies), built up the Honors Program, co-wrote the application for a Lilly Endowment Inc. grant that created the Center for Faith and Vocation, and wrote the application that helped Butler get a Phi Beta Kappa chapter.

Then there's teaching. Valliere approached his courses with the memory of something his former colleague John Beversluis told him: "I want every class to be an event."

"My favorite moments at Butler are walking out of a class that I know in my heart went really, really well," Valliere said. "For me, nothing compares to the sense of elation when I know at the end of a class that it really went well—I accomplished what I intended to in there, but much more, because the students grabbed hold of it and ran with it and it ended up being a great class."

Betsy Shirley '10, now Associate Editor at Sojourners magazine, remembers Valliere referring to students as his "young colleagues. And he really meant it. It wasn't a gimmick."

"He took more notes in class than any professor I had," she said. "He took notes on what students were saying—interesting points they made or something he wanted to follow up with them. Sometimes after class, he would say, 'I really appreciated that point you made. You might want to check out this extra essay, or this article that might help you develop your point.' He saw what students were saying as important and wanted to learn with them and from them."

*

Valliere grew up in Longmeadow, Massachusetts. After earning his bachelor's degree from Williams College, he got a job as a community organizer in East Harlem. In 1971, he began his teaching career at Columbia University, from which he earned his master's and doctorate, and started his career-long scholarship in religion and theology in modern Russia.

He taught religion at Columbia for 11 years. But by this point, he and his wife, Marjorie, had three young children, and he wanted a tenured professorship.

Butler offered him that. He moved to Indianapolis to be Dean of Butler's University College, which advised all first-year students and sophomores and oversaw the core curriculum and the honors program, and an Associate Professor of Religion.

He said Marjorie had to get a driver's license when they settled in Indiana—she didn't need one in New York—but the adjustment to the Midwest was otherwise easy.

"You're still the same person with the same unfinished articles in the same drawer," he said. "People have a tendency to get too hung up on externals—what environment do I live in, that kind of thing. Those things are superficial compared to the continuities: same family, same profession, same responsibilities, same challenges."

One of those challenges was integrating his interest in and knowledge of Russian theology into the curriculum. He did that through a course he team-taught with History Professor Bruce Bigelow called Peoples and Faiths of the Soviet Union (later Peoples and Faiths of Russia and its Neighbors).

*

Valliere described himself as "the product of a 100 percent pure liberal arts tradition." In fact, he said, "There was concern among some of the people at Butler who hired me that I might be too liberal-artsy for the good of the institution."

He said Butler "broadened me" by exposing him to students in professional areas.

"In my years of working with students in the arts, pharmacy, education, and the other professional colleges, I've become a broader, better-informed academic," he said. "I feel very good about that part of my Butler experience, where I had to stretch. I hope I stretched Butler and my students. That's what we're supposed to do. Stretch. But I got stretched also. And to the good."

Judith Cebula, the Founding Director of the Center for Faith and Vocation, said one of Valliere's strengths is that he "believes in the possible."

"He hired me to help launch the Center for Faith and Vocation and I saw first-hand how he believed Butler could become a better university when he created the Center, when he created the Seminar on Religion and Global Affairs, when created new courses, such as Faith Doubt and Reason in collaboration with Philosophy Professor Stuart Glennan, for example," she said.

"I saw it most clearly when he shared with me that he always strived to see the fullest potential in each student who walked into his classroom. Each student entered a new semester with an A in Paul’s grade book. That is how much he believes in the possible."

*

Valliere said he's enjoyed watching the city of Indianapolis grow, and Butler grow with it. That's one of the reasons he put off retirement.

"Why leave when the institution is doing so well and the city has gotten so interesting?" he said.

But now that the time is right for retirement, Paul and Marjorie plan to stay in Indianapolis and keep their Butler Basketball season tickets. He plans to continue his Russia scholarship, and will be working with the Emory University School of Law to co-edit a volume on the history of Christianity and law in Russia. It's part of a big study program being coordinated by the Center for the Study of Law and Religion at Emory.

"I'm retiring from teaching," he said, "but there's no rule that says you have to retire from scholarship—and I don't have any plans to cut back on that front."

As for teaching, yes, he will miss the interactions with students and the dynamics of the classroom.

"But I taught for 47 years, which is a lot longer than a lot of people have a chance to do," he said. "I turn 75 this year, so I've had a long run, and I'm grateful."

The College of Liberal Arts and Sciences will hold a retirement reception for Paul Valliere and Philosophy Professor Harry van der Linden on Tuesday, April 3, from 4:30-6:30 PM in the Robertson Hall Johnson Room. All are welcome. No RSVP necessary.

 

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

 

AcademicsPeople

He Wanted Every Class to Be An Event

After 36 years at Butler, Religion Professor Paul Valliere retires.

Mar 26 2018 Read more

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