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Travel Bound

Cindy Dashnaw

from Fall 2016

What is the most surprising thing a student learns from a Butler University study-abroad trip?

Current Senior Danielle Wallace’s answer speaks for everyone she knows who has ever taken this journey.

“Recognizing my own capabilities,” she said.

Student traveling abroad in AustraliaWallace’s learning curve began on her first day in Rome in a scenario Butler faculty members often repeat.

“Our professor said, ‘You’ve all got maps and each other, so see you later!’ and we had to find our own way. I started recognizing that I could figure things out and became more self-sufficient than I might have discovered I could be if I’d stayed in the United States.”

Rebecca Pokrandt ’15 said studying abroad gave her courage, too.

“I never would have had the confidence to apply for a Fulbright scholarship in Croatia if I hadn’t done GALA.”

GALA, short for Global Adventures in the Liberal Arts, is the cornerstone of Butler’s Center for Global Education in the College of Liberal Arts and Sciences. GALA allows students to take primarily core classes in several locations abroad during the same semester. They travel with a resident Butler faculty member who also teaches a course; other faculty members join the group for two- to three-week teaching stints.

There’s no other program like it in the country.

According to Open Doors 2015, a study of the Institute for International Education, only one in 10 undergraduate students in the United States studies abroad. Yet, an extraordinary one-third of Butler undergrads study abroad each year.

It’s a statistic that has held true for years. So what does Butler do to make study abroad so popular among its students, their parents, and its professors?

A BIG DRAW TO BUTLER

Wallace already knew she wanted to study abroad when she did her first college search.

“The fact that Butler had such an outstanding program was definitely a draw for me,” she said. “I’d be able to take actual classes for credit and visit lots of countries instead of just one. No other university offers that.”

In GALA, students can take a full load of sophomore, core-credit classes while traveling through several countries within a region of the world. GALA trips have visited sites in Europe, East Asia, Latin America, and South Africa.Student in New Zealand

Like Wallace, Alyssa Setnar ’16 knew she wanted to study abroad. However, with the coursework of a five-year, dual-degree program ahead of her, many advised her to forego travel.

“I just didn’t take that as an answer, and Butler made it work,” Setnar said. Butler Associate Professor Ania Spyra has led two GALA trips. She is a nativeof Upper Silesia Poland and has studied in Stockholm and Quebec, lived in England and Romania, and traveled in Africa, Asia, Europe, and the Americas.

She led her second GALA trip in spring2015 to Italy, France, Belgium, the Netherlands, and Ireland.

“A GALA trip is an intense experience,” said Spyra. “It’s very different from the general study-abroad programs offered elsewhere, where students go attend a university in another country. There, they become just another person in the classroom. With GALA, they have a professor with them at all times, they’re with other Butler students—they’re seeing foreign places but traveling in the ‘Butler bubble.’”

Robin Turner led a GALA trip to South Africa in spring 2016. An Associate Professor of Political Science at Butler, she also is a visiting research associate at the University of the Witswatersrand in Johannesburg.

“It’s been a privilege to watch students grow as they venture far outside the ‘Butler bubble,’” Turner said. “For me and for them, spending 13 weeks with a small group of people is an immense learning opportunity. The students did a great job of building and maintaining a cohesive group in which they cared for each other and themselves, addressing conflicts as they arose.”

The bubble—or comfort zone—may give parents a reason to relax a little, but it certainly doesn’t keep students from fully experiencing a culture and its people. Spyra told of a haunting visit to a Belfast dairy.

“We took a tour through Dublin, where our guide was a local historian telling us about revolutionary Ireland fighting to gain its independence from England. Then we drove to Derry and Belfast, and our two guides had fought in the Northern Ireland conflict: one on the Catholic side and one on the Protestant. They now give these tours and work toward reconciliation. What they shared with us had a big impact on the students.”

In South Africa, Turner said, she took students well beyond their comfort zones.

Students abroad“Some of the experiences were difficult or uncomfortable,” she said. “It’s not easy to be a hyper-visible white American in a black South African community—who lacks fluency in the dominant language—or to encounter signs of immense wealth and deep poverty in the same day.”

However unfamiliar, though, students view intimate encounters like these as invaluable.

“The adventures and life experience are very necessary in order to write as comprehensively as I’d like to,” said Wallace, a Creative Writing major. “No matter how wonderful the classes are, certain things you just can’t learn until you’re out there seeing and doing them yourself.”

Pokrandt already is applying those adventures as an elementary school teacher.

“I really try to give my class a global sense of a topic. For instance, we talked about the Syrian refugee crisis in terms of it being the world’s concern, not just an American problem.”

She recalled her own jarring perspective shift in Paris.

“I was the only American in the room when the news of the Boston Marathon bombing came on, and no one else seemed to care,” she said. “It made me realize how desensitized we can be when we see news about other countries. It was eye-opening.”

CHANGING PROFESSOR PERSPECTIVES

Professors who travel with students have some eye-opening experiences of their own.

“Spending lots and lots of time with students outside the classroom space has helped me to better understand their lives—their differing perspectives, backgrounds, struggles, and strengths—and I hope this will make me a better teacher,” Turner said.

Grading students at the end of the semester is the toughest thing for Spyra.

“By then, I know who they are and who is getting the kind of experience I want them to get. They have time to talk to us (professors) at any time, so we get close.”

Maddy Fry ’18 corroborated Spyra’s statement.

Student in Israel“The most surprising part of the trip for me was the relationships you build with professors. You’re with them almost all of the time, in and outside the classroom. They get to know you on an even more personal level than usual, and it remains when you get back on campus. It’s really special,” Fry said.

FROM STUDENT TO PROGRAM ADVOCATE

Study-abroad students become vocal advocates of the Butler GALA program. Many tout the ability to see more than one country on a trip they didn’t have to plan themselves or the chance to go somewhere besides Europe.

“Not too many students can say that they’ve been to Africa. It felt mysterious and exciting, so I knew I had to apply for this trip,” said Fry.

Extensive planning by the University is a plus for both students and families.

“I tell people that ‘phenomenal’ doesn’t even begin to describe how Butler planned the trip. Everything we needed was done for us: who to contact in the city, where we’d be staying, a detailed itinerary before we left—all really helpful to share with our families and friends,” she said.

Students found that earning credit abroad for the same tuition they’d pay on campus was a big selling point for parents, too.

“You have to take these classes anyway, and at what other time in your life are you going to get these experiences at this cost?” said Pokrandt.

Almost no trip goes off without a hitch, but GALA students learn to handle every new situation.

“There have been highs and lows and everything in between, but it isn’t something I would trade for anything. I have learned so much, whether it be academically or just about myself, in the short time I’ve been here–much more than I expected,” said Fry.

The Center for Global Education offers 110 study-abroad programs in more than 70 countries. Find a current list of approved programs and Study Abroad FAQs at www.butler.edu/global-education.
Student-Centered

Travel Bound

Butler’s study-abroad program truly is one of a kind.

by Cindy Dashnaw

from Fall 2016

Read more
Student-Centered

Butler Selects Top 100 Students

BY

PUBLISHED ON Jan 26 2018

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

The list is below, and Butler Collegian coverage is here.

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

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

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

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

Full Listing of Honorees (in alphabetical order)

Katie Allee, senior, Communication Science and Disorders, College of Communication (CCOM)

Lynn Alsatie, junior, International Studies, College of Liberal Arts and Sciences (LAS)

Siena Amodeo, junior, International Management, Lacy School of Business (LSB)

Deborah Arehart, senior, Middle-Secondary Education, College of Education (COE)

Thomas Baldwin, senior, Biochemistry, LAS

Adam Bantz, senior, Strategic Communication, CCOM

Alex Bartlow, senior, Accounting, LSB

Leah Basford, senior, International Management, LSB

Zach Bellavia, senior, Economics, LSB

Bri Borri, junior, Psychology, LAS

Lauren Briskey, junior, Actuarial Sciences, LAS

Amy Brown, senior, Accounting, LSB

Rachel Burke, junior, Mathematics, LAS

Jeremy Caylor, junior, Biology, LAS

Parker Chalmers, junior, Risk Management, LSB

Lauren Ciulla, junior, Biology, LAS

Brooklyn Cohen, junior, ELED.BS, COE

Hannah Coleman, senior, Pharmacy, College of Pharmacy and Health Sciences (COPHS)

Dana Connor, senior, Communication Science & Disorders, CCOM          

Vickie Cook, junior, Biochemistry, LAS

Meredith Coughlin, senior, Human Communication & Organizational Leadership, CCOM

Ryan Cultice, junior, Accounting, LSB

Ashley Dale, senior, Physics, LAS

Erin Dark, junior, Pharmacy, COPHS

Darby DeFord, junior, Biology, LAS

Matthew Del Busto, junior, English Literature, LAS

David Dunham, senior, Middle-Secondary Education, COE

Suzanne Dwyer, junior, Pharmacy, COPHS

Shelby Eaton, junior, Sociology and Psychology, LAS

Katie Edwards, senior, Marketing, LSB

Ashlyn Edwards, junior, Philosophy, LAS

Sarah Elam, junior, International Studies, LAS

John Evans, junior, Finance, LSB

Chiara Evelti, senior, International Studies, LAS

Hannah Faccio, senior, Psychology, LAS

Megan Farny, junior, Health Sciences, COPHS

Elizabeth Fecht, senior, Middle-Secondary Education, COE

Megan Fitzgerald, junior, Elementary Education, COE

Annie Foster, junior, Spanish, LAS

Caitlyn Foye, senior, Biology, LAS

Travis Freytag, junior, Actuarial Sciences, LAS

Jackie Gries, junior, Pharmacy, COPHS

Nathan Hall, junior, History and Political Science, LAS

Hannah Hartzell, senior, Strategic Communication, CCOM

Patrick Holden, senior, Pharmacy, COPHS

Jonny Hollar, junior, Marketing, LSB

Kate Holtz, junior, Risk Management, LSB

Nicholas Huang, senior, Finance, LSB

Karla Jeggle, senior, Actuarial Science, LAS

Nathan Jent, junior, Health Sciences, COPHS

Drew Johnson, senior, Pharmacy, COPHS

Jakob Jozwiakowski, senior, Chemistry, LAS

Colton Junod, senior, Biology, LAS

Libby Kaufman, senior, Elementary Education, COE

Nida Khan, junior, Pharmacy, COPHS

Rachel Koehler, junior, International Studies, LAS

Caroline Kuremsky, senior, Elementary Education, COE

Carly Large, senior, Accounting, LSB

Emily Lawson, junior, Chemistry, LAS

Rachael Lewis, senior, Marketing, LSB

Becca Lewis, junior, Biology, LAS

Kayla Long, junior, Critical Communication & Media Studies, CCOM

Nicholas Maicke, senior, International Studies, LAS

Kelsey McDougall, senior, Biology, LAS

Kirsten McGrew, senior, Pharmacy, COPHS

Kasey Meeks, junior, Health Sciences, COPHS

Rachel Metz, senior, Health Sciences, COPHS

Joshua Murdock, senior, Pharmacy, COPHS

Kelly Murphy, senior, Organizational Communications, CCOM    

Garrick Nate, junior, International Studies, LAS

Emily Nettesheim, junior, Health Sciences, COPHS

Alexis Neyman, junior, Biology, LAS

Olivia Nilsen, junior, Communication Science & Disorders, CCOM

Gehrig Parker, senior, Sports Media, CCOM

Justin Poythress, junior, Accounting, LSB

Tori Puhl, junior, Actuarial Science, LAS

Salman Qureshi, senior, Biology, LAS

Courtney Raab, senior, Health Sciences, COPHS

Jordan Rauh, senior, Pharmacy, COPHS

Allison Reitz, senior, Communication Science & Disorders, CCOM          

Kate Richards, senior, Communication Science & Disorders, CCOM         

Sophie Robertson, junior, Dance, Jordan College of the Arts (JCA)

Abdul Saltagi, junior, Biology, LAS

Kaitlyn Sawin, senior, Marketing, LSB

Olivia Schwan, junior, Marketing, LSB

Abby Sikorcin, junior, Health Sciences, COPHS

Sundeep Singh, senior, Biology, LAS

Molly Smith, senior, International Studies, LAS

Maree Smith, senior, Marketing, LSB

Lilli Southern, junior, Communication Science & Disorders, CCOM

Madison Stefanski, junior, Elementary Education, COE

Isaiah Strong, junior, Recording Industry Studies, CCOM

Jennifer Sutor, junior, Marketing, LSB

Natalie Van Ochten, senior, Biology, LAS

Alexander Waddell, junior, Accounting, LSB

Skyler Walker, senior, Pharmacy, COPHS

Kate Warma, junior, Science, Technology and Society, LAS

Riley Wildemann, senior, Pharmacy, COPHS

Alexander Wright, senior, Chemistry, LAS

Heather Wright, senior, Music, JCA

Jill Yager, senior, Biology, LAS

 

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

 

Student-Centered

Butler Selects Top 100 Students

Recipients to be recognized at April 13 banquet.

Jan 26 2018 Read more

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