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Student-Researchers Get Their Day in the Spotlight

BY

PUBLISHED ON Apr 13 2018

Butler University student Jaquell Hamelin hypothesized that black students are less loyal to their schools than white students are, but he didn't know for sure. So, he decided to research the question, and on Friday, April 13, he presented his findings at Butler's 30th annual Undergraduate Research Conference (URC).

Hamelin told a packed classroom that he surveyed students from Butler and Purdue. He asked whether they would donate to their university after graduation, if they felt they had a positive relationship with, considered themselves loyal to, and would recommend their school.

Although the sample size was small, he said, the preliminary results confirmed what he expected: Of the 21 white respondents, 15 considered themselves loyal; of the 11 black respondents, three labeled themselves that way.

"Even though there are black and white college kids here and they're trying to achieve the same thing, the white students have more tools when they leave," he said. "These schools weren't built to support the needs of diverse student bodies."

Hamelin was among nearly 900 participants in the conference, which attracted students from 23 states who were presenting in 25 subject areas.

Courtney Hayes, a student from Eastern Kentucky University, presented her research on "Optimization of Camera Trapping Methods for Surveying Mesopredators in the Appalachian Foothills." To find out what kind of mid-sized, mid-level predators live in her region—meaning skunks, raccoons, possums, and more—she put out bait and installed cameras at 72 sites across 10 counties.

The hope, she said, was to measure biodiversity, which is an indicator of ecosystem health.

Hayes said being able to share her work at the URC was a nice experience.

"I've presented in Kentucky a lot and I've presented in Virginia, but it was interesting to come to Indiana, where there are no spotted skunks, to see how people want to hear about it," she said.

While science-related presentations accounted for slightly more than half of this year's URC presentations, the conference also included topics such as "The Relationship Between Social Media, Anxiety, and Depression," "Are the Highly Religious Better at Resisting Temptation?" and "Stress and Academic Outcomes in College Students."

Four teams of two from an IUPUI anthropology class presented their research on what happened to workers at the Carrier and Rexnord plants in Indianapolis who were laid off when their factories moved to Mexico. The students found that workers were bitter and blamed "greedy" management for valuing money over American jobs.

Jake Watson, one of the IUPUI students, said the goal of his and partner Corinne Baker's portion of the project was to give the laid-off workers a voice.

"We're undergrads," he said. "We're not trying to fix everything in the world. But we think that by drawing attention to this conversation and this process of deindustrialization, we can change the conversation in the future."

 

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

 

AcademicsStudent Life

Student-Researchers Get Their Day in the Spotlight

The Undergraduate Research Conference let nearly 900 participants show their work.

Apr 13 2018 Read more
AcademicsStudent LifePeople

Butler Prepares to Say Goodbye to the Class of 2018

BY Peyton Thompson '20

PUBLISHED ON Apr 11 2018

One of the hardest challenges in life is saying goodbye, and as graduation day draws near at Butler, we prepare to send the seniors into adulthood.  

The seniors who will receive their diplomas on May 12 are more than just students. They're mentors and friends who will leave a lasting impact on this campus.

We asked some of the seniors about their Butler experience:

Tyler WidemanSenior basketball player and Human Movement & Health Science Education major Tyler Wideman: “I have a good relationship with my professors and faculty here at Butler. Mainly because everyone here is so easy to talk to and so friendly, it helps out a lot. It has been a great four years. I’d like to thank everyone who has helped me in some type of way to become a better person. I am also thankful for all the friends that I’ve made here and wouldn’t trade it for anything. Go Dawgs!”

Wideman said he hopes to be remembered as a good person, on and off the court.

After graduation: “I plan to play basketball after college, or to get into coaching or any aspect of athletics.”

                                                                        *

Basketball Manager and Human Movement & Health Science Education major Davis Furman: “I think our 2018 class has a strong impact on the campus for years to come. Since we came onto campus, we have endured a lot of changes in this Davis Furmanphysical landscape of campus and in the social aspects. Because of these changes, we have had to adapt a lot and I think we have mentored the younger classes so that they could adapt easier as well. I think the changes that have been made on campus and the students in our class will continue to have a strong impact on the university even after we graduate.          

“I think what I will miss most about Butler is all the different people I have come in contact with and get to see on a regular basis. I don’t think I really realize the amount of people I have bonded with here and that will become a much heavier realization once everyone has moved on to the next chapter of their lives.”     

After graduation: “After college I hope to get into collegiate basketball coaching. It’s always been a dream of mine.”

                                                                        *

Elementary Education major and Butler Dance Team member Emily Loughman: “Coming to Butler was the best choice I have ever made; it has been the best four years of my life! Everyone at Butler is so welcoming and loving, especially in the College Emily Loughmanof Education. Knowing every professor always has my back is a feeling I didn't always have in school growing up and that's what inspired me to become a teacher. I came to Butler for the Education program but I had no idea the impact that the Butler Dance Team, Delta Gamma, all my friends, and opportunities would have on my life forever. Butler has shaped me into the person I am today!”

Emily has also had the opportunity to dance with her younger sister, sophomore Caroline Loughman.

“Dancing with Caroline on BUDT has been a dream come true. While we are very different, we are also very similar. She is my best friend! Having the opportunity to dance with her again was so much fun.”

After graduation: "I plan on finding a teaching job either somewhere in Indy or around the Chicago suburbs where I grew up. I also would LOVE to have the opportunity to be a dance team coach since dance has been my passion since I was 3!”

                                                                        *

Science, Technology, and Society Major Riley Schmidt: “Butler has made me a better student over the last four years because of the challenging, supportive, and dynamic academic environment. The professors have taught me that it is OK to ask for Riley Schmidthelp, a grade does not define you, and how to study more effectively. The small class sizes have allowed me to participate frequently and develop a close relationship with my professors. Because of Butler I have met my lifelong friends and role models who helped me become a person that I am proud of and the best version of myself."

After graduation: "I plan on going to graduate school. It is an 18-month accelerated Master of Science in Nursing program. I hope to work for a couple years in the field and then go back to school to become a Nurse Practitioner.”

                                                                        *

Chaz GabrielSenior Education Major Chaz Gabriel: “Butler has helped me realize what my passions are and how to pursue them. Before Butler I knew I was interested in teaching, but through the COE I realized I’d never be truly happy pursuing another career.”

After graduation: Chaz hopes to work as an elementary school teacher in the Indianapolis area.

                                                        

                                                                        *

Senior Arts Administration major Emmy Cook: “Studying at Butler has definitely ignited my ambitions. The incredible instruction from my professors, the mentor relationships I’ve developed, the professional opportunities I’ve been lucky enough to have Emmy Cookand the leadership experience I’ve gained throughout my undergraduate career all have shaped me to be the person that I am now. Butler helped me to expand on my strengths, explore my goals, refine my personal qualities and skills and become more confident in my ability to succeed. I don’t know that I would feel as competent and ready to enter the workforce or being ‘adulting’ if I hadn’t gone to Butler.”

After graduation: “I’m interested in the more entrepreneurial route after graduation. I’ll be developing my own event planning business, specializing in weddings as well as corporate and social events.”

    

Tips from Seniors to Underclassmen

Davis Furman: “I would definitely advise the younger students at Butler to really savor their time here. As cliché as it sounds, I cannot believe how fast my four years have gone by here. Take in and cherish every moment.”

Emmy Cook: “My biggest tip for underclassmen would be to take full advantage of what Butler has to offer. If there’s a free event in the Reilly Room, go to it! Go see the ballets and plays. If there’s a seminar on financial management or leadership development, attend that seminar. Get outside of Butler, too. Don’t forget that Butler is such a piece of Indianapolis, and there’s a lot happening outside of Butler—be a part of something bigger than yourself and absolutely dive in. Get involved in service and philanthropic efforts, start interning early. Choose to take a few classes that maybe you don’t necessarily need to take, but simply because they sound interesting and you want to learn. In short, show up and do as much as you can do before you graduate, because you won’t have access to this high a volume of experiences and opportunities probably ever again”.

Riley Schmidt:

1. Study smarter, not harder.

2. It’s OK to switch your major. It’s better to figure out what you want to do now rather than later!

3. Get involved, try something new, and then put your time and effort into the organizations you’re most passionate about.

4. STUDY ABROAD! It is the experience of a lifetime packed full of adventure.

Strategic Communications major Sarah Thuet: “Make every moment count. Get involved with something and put your whole heart in it. If you spread yourself too thinly you’ll be exhausted always, but when you find that sweet spot then you get to do what you love and share it with everyone. Also, treat everyone with respect. This campus is full of administrators, professors, staff, and students who truly care about you. Use them to your advantage and someday hopefully you’ll be able to help them in return. Butler is absolutely what you make of it, so make the most of it. These people and this place just might change your life like it did mine.”

AcademicsStudent LifePeople

Butler Prepares to Say Goodbye to the Class of 2018

Graduating seniors share their memories, plans.

Apr 11 2018 Read more
meg haggerty

Meg Haggerty moved around frequently as a kid.

Being the daughter of an Air Force officer meant Haggerty and the rest of her family didn’t stay in one place for too long. It also meant that, at a very young age, she learned how to quickly build relationships and fully immerse herself into a community—two traits that have allowed her to make lifelong friends in every place she’s lived. 

“Meg is a true inspiration,” Addie Barret ’17 said of Haggerty, who is the Staff Advisor for Barret’s sorority, Alpha Chi Omega—the same one Haggerty was a member of when she attended Butler as an undergraduate. 

From co-advising the Student Government Association’s (SGA) Marketing and Communications Board, and coordinating student events, like Winter and Spring Commencement and the Top 100 Most Outstanding Student Recognition Program, to working with interns, Haggerty makes it her mission to be a mentor to Butler students like her mentors were to her. She makes herself available 24/7 and she tells students, “Any aspect of your life you want to invite me into, I’ll invite you into mine as well.”

“She is there for students in every aspect: academic, personal, and professional,” Barret continued. “She is always asking questions about others and wanting to know how we are doing. Every memory I have of her consists of that same incredible attitude.” 

Levester Johnson, Vice President for Student Affairs for Illinois State University, worked with Haggerty closely as Butler’s former Vice President for Student Affairs. He also knew Haggerty during her undergraduate years and explained that she is Butler through and through—epitomizing Butler via its mission and values. 

“Meg has a youthful flair about herself when she advises,” he said. “She doesn’t see her job as a nine-to-five and she understands the importance of working with students hand-in-hand to achieve their dreams.” 

Johnson believes it’s Haggerty’s quality of going the extra mile that separates her from other administrative professionals. While interviewing Haggerty, this characteristic was revealed when she commented, “just say yes.” She added that if people are willing to say yes and step outside their comfort zones, they will have opportunities they never could have imagined. 

When she graduated from Butler in 2004, Haggerty’s next opportunity was at Florida State University (FSU) where she would earn a Master of Science in Higher Education Student Affairs. While attending FSU, and prior to coming back to Butler, she worked in the FSU College of Education coordinating programming and events for her master’s cohort. She remembers feeling the graduate assistantship was not what she pictured herself doing long term. 

“My passion, and my love, was still working with undergraduate students,” Haggerty explained. She looked for positions at various universities, but Haggerty says her “heart yearned for Butler.”

With a stroke of luck and good timing, Haggerty’s mentor and friend, Caroline Huck-Watson, reached out to her about a position in Butler’s Programs for Leadership and Service Education (PuLSE) Office. As an undergraduate, Haggerty had met Huck-Watson through the Ambassadors of Change (AOC) Program as a team builder and as a student staff member of the Volunteer Center. Huck-Watson had been an influence in her life at Butler and a significant inspiration to pursue Higher Education Student Affairs as a profession. By summer of 2006, Haggerty was back at Butler as an Assistant Director co-coordinating Welcome Week and Orientation programs as well as advising the Program Board of SGA with committees like films, the speaker’s bureau, Out and About in Indy, and events like Homecoming and Spring Sports Spectacular. 

Since then, Haggerty has been a key player in student event programming for Butler. She has an innate ability to connect with each student she meets, and because of that, over the past 10 years she’s been able to build some amazing relationships with students—meeting them during their first or second year, and staying in touch with them during life’s biggest milestones like marriage and children. To her, it’s amazing that she gets to create and be a part of those relationships. 

These relationships are shown through students like Emma Edick ’17, who remembers meeting Haggerty her first year on campus for a class project. 

“Meg has been such a large part of my Butler experience,” Edick said. “She pays attention to what students on campus are doing, what they are working on, and what they are excited about.”

Edick continued by explaining that even if the two of them pass by one another at Starbucks, Haggerty always puts her work aside to sincerely ask the question: “How are you?” 

“I never expected I would be here as a student and as a staff member for as long as I have, but it’s because of the people. People are the most important part of the work that I do—and I don’t think I could have done the work that I’ve done without the people in my life.” 

Antiretrovirals and Intentionality

Emily Yarman ’17

“I’m too early. Typical,” I thought as I sat silently in my car, eagerly waiting for the day to begin. On the first day of my elective rotation, I arrived at the Damien Center in downtown Indianapolis fifteen minutes before the doors to the building were unlocked. I would spend the next month at Indiana’s largest AIDS service organization in their sister clinic, Damien Cares, seeing patients with HIV and AIDS. Although I love being early on my first day, this has led to a great deal of waiting in my car. As I sat there, the engine gently purring, I wondered what the month would hold. I quizzed myself on what I knew about HIV: the risk factors, the pathophysiology, the medications used to treat it and how they work. I stopped mentally drilling myself when I realized that I didn’t actually know much about the day-to-day life of a patient with HIV. I had studied the disease enough to pass the test, but I hadn’t had an opportunity to really get to know any patients with HIV.

I thought about the struggles patients with HIV in the US have had since the 1980s. I had learned about the social implications of HIV and I wondered what emotional hardships these patients had been through. I already knew that my month at the Damien Cares clinic would teach me a great deal about medical management of patients with HIV. I realized then, while sitting in my idling car, that it would also deepen my knowledge about how to care for a patient as a whole person.

My first patient was a gentleman in his early 50’s. He had been on ART (anti-retroviral therapy) for years and came to the office for a visit as an established patient. I followed my preceptor, Randall McDavid, NP, into the exam room and introduced myself. After a pretty uneventful follow-up visit, Randall and I sat down in his office. He turned to me and asked, “If you saw that man walking down the street, would you think he had HIV?” I quickly responded, “No, I wouldn’t.” This patient did not look like he was HIV-positive. Neither did my second patient. Or my third patient. As someone that recognizes the damage that stereotypes can cause, I’m always trying to purge myself of my presuppositions about people. As I saw more patients on that first day, I realized I had failed to do just that; I had unconsciously built up presuppositions about how an HIV-patient would look or act. I expected patients with HIV to appear much more sick than this gentleman had.

I was reminded on this rotation that by unconsciously pigeonholing a patient, I set myself up for failure as a provider. Even something as simple as having preconceived notions about what an HIV patient looks like can affect the way I practice medicine. There are certain risk factors that make a patient more likely to acquire the illness, but HIV still affects every sex, gender, age, race, sexual orientation, and socioeconomic status. Embarking on the slippery slope of making assumptions about patients can lead to big mistakes in forming treatment and prevention plans for them. By making assumptions about patients, I also miss out on the opportunity to get to know and learn from them, which could benefit my future patients. It seems simple, but it is easy to overlook the fact that everyone suffers when providers make assumptions, especially in a patient population as diverse as the HIV community. There is no one face of HIV. This month, I have been learning to stop giving it one.

***

I held the diaphragm of my stethoscope over his left chest and heard the thunderous, rapid lub-dub of his heart. I finished my physical exam and told Randall that everything was within normal limits, except his heart, which was beating quickly. The patient shifted uncomfortably in his chair when we asked him questions about his sexual habits. He laughed nervously when we inquired about drug use. This was the typical behavior of a patient new to the clinic.

New patients with HIV experience a spectrum of emotions during that first visit, including fear and anxiety. Their anxieties include questions about what it means to have HIV, if they can afford the treatment, and ultimately, if it will kill them. They are nervous about if the people they meet at the clinic will judge or chide them. Their fear of being rebuked is legitimate; decades after HIV showed up in the US, it still carries a stigma and is very closeted. The medical and social concerns that a new HIV patient has culminate into a patient presentation like the one I described above: visibly restless and apprehensive about being honest with their provider.

An established patient with HIV, however, is a foil of a new patient with HIV. While new patients tend to be restless and apprehensive, many established patients are calm and relaxed. Long-time HIV-positive patients understand that if they are compliant with their medications, their life can be much like the life of a person that is HIV-negative. They are happy to see Randall and talk about their social and sexual histories with ease. The visit becomes less about HIV and more about friendly conversation and getting to know each other. During physical exam, their hearts beat at a regular rate again.

Some of this release of anxiety in patients is because of patient education about the disease and the effectiveness of HIV medications. HIV pharmacotherapy has progressed a great deal since the 1980s. Many patients with HIV take just one pill per day and have an undetectable blood viral load. Causes of death in the HIV population are increasingly due to chronic illness, like most of the US, and less due to immunological compromise because we diagnose and treat earlier. The average life expectancy of an HIV-positive patient is the same as an HIV-negative patient. When patients learn about these advances in our understanding and treatment of HIV, many of their fears are quelled. This, however, is only a part of the cause for calm in established patients.

The other, bigger, part of the relief of anxiety for established patients with HIV is the relationship that they build with their provider. The care that Randall provides his patients is non-judgmental. He talks comfortably about patient’s sexual habits and drug use without scolding them. I have watched patient’s anxiety melt away during office visits because of the relaxed demeanor. This allows the patient to be honest, which enables Randall to take better care of them. I have observed that this kind of therapeutic relationship is the key to success for patients at the clinic. The patients that are most healthy are patients that have built this kind of relationship with Randall. In the presence of empathetic medical care, the patient’s viral load and anxiety both drop. Randall always says “HIV is a relationships disease,” and he’s right. Because HIV is a physically and socially taxing disease, it is best treated with appropriate medical therapy and a caring heart.

***

Seeing established patients with HIV gives me so much hope during those initial patient visits at the clinic. As a future physician assistant, I have the opportunity to be part of what brings that hope to fruition. I can walk with patients on their journey to have an undetectable viral load and an unbroken spirit. This month, I have learned that even in in the face of a disease that used to be a death sentence, there is hope on the horizon through proper medical treatment and a truly therapeutic relationship. Serving patients in this way, however, is not simple. It requires a concerted effort on the part of the provider to be intentional about the medical and emotional care they offer. I have learned that part of that intentional care is to resist pigeonholing patients and to actively dismantle stereotypes that we create. I have learned that it means listening and responding in a way that creates a comfortable environment for the patient to be honest in, regardless of any social stigma involved. Truly treating a patient as a whole person requires all of these things and nothing less.

Butler Summer Institute–Celebrating 25 Years

Sharon Alseth ’91

from Spring 2017

No classes, no employment, no interruptions—only research. That’s just the way they want it, the 30 students who are chosen to immerse themselves in the Butler Summer Institute (BSI), celebrating its 25th anniversary this year.

These are dedicated, self-directed Butler student researchers with a methodological background and a passion to pursue a significant question, every day for nine weeks. Students who apply need a recommendation from a faculty member, and an explanation of their project. BSI participants each get a $2,500 stipend and live and work on campus. Each student has his or her own faculty mentor and close bonds are formed, with the added support and encouragement of fellow student researchers.

“No topic is off limits,” said Dr. Dacia Charlesworth, Director of Undergraduate Research and Prestigious Scholarships at Butler. “It could be that a student found something interesting in the humanities, and they’re excited to take it to another level. One student analyzed Tweets about the violence in Ferguson, Missouri, and then the Orlando nightclub shootings happened and her project shifted focus. We had a history major who wants to be a dentist, study the effects of mercury tooth fillings. She uncovered an actual melodrama musical of mercury’s side effects.” Said Charlesworth, “These are great students who want to learn, and that makes our job easy.”

The BSI students have to show how they are advancing research in their field, and make a definite contribution to their discipline. There are “research recaps” at the end of each week, aided by presentation training so students can more confidently explain their work in basic terms to their audiences. In the end, students are required to produce work worthy of acceptance in a professional conference or publication, and they present their project at Butler’s Undergraduate Research Conference the following April. 

AcademicsStudent Life

Butler Summer Institute–Celebrating 25 Years

No classes, no employment, no interruptions—only research.

by Sharon Alseth ’91

from Spring 2017

Read more

College and Greek Life—Be Who You Are

Krisy Force

#DeltOfTheWeek postSenior Andrew Thompson ’18, who is a brother in Delta Tau Delta and the chapter’s Director of Recruitment, believes a lot of students go to college with negative perceptions of what Greek life is about.

He’s one of several people working to change that.

Social media campaigns showcasing the real side of Butler’s Greek Life have caught on over the course of the last year, tackling the negative stigmas associated with fraternity and sorority life.

“Social media is an easy medium to get a glimpse into what Greek life is all about,” Thompson said. “Our campaigns can provide a window into what the chapter looks like to those who are on the outside.”

Thompson’s campaign, #DeltOfTheWeek, showcases individuals within the chapter each week doing amazing things like studying abroad or working at an internship. Similar campaigns include Sigma Nu’s #SNUOfTheWeek, Phi Delta Theta’s #PhidayFriday, and Beta Theta Pi’s Founding Father Spotlight.

Public Relations Chair for Sigma Nu Dave Mizsak ’20 said that he took a more comedic approach to the campaign by utilizing another fraternity’s photo that included a brother of Sigma Nu in the background. It's a way to “bring a different eye to the person of the week, put fun into it, and show people the real side of Sigma Nu.”#SNUOfTheWeek post

As for the sororities, most showcase their chapter by having the sisters utilize a hashtag on their individual accounts so that it can feed into the sorority's main Instagram or Facebook account. Hashtags include: Kappa Alpha Theta’s #ThetaThursday; Kappa Kappa Gamma’s #TravelTuesday, Delta Delta Delta’s #TDTuesday; Delta Gamma’s #WhyIWentDGWednesday; and Phi Beta Phi’s #UniquelyPiPhi and #PiPhiFriday.

Laiyla Grayson ’18, Director of Formal Recruitment for Alpha Phi, took their campaign one step further by creating a “Sisterhood of the Traveling Jacket” of sorts.  An oversized jean jacket that says: Alpha Phi Doesn’t Define Me, I Define Alpha Phi, travels from sister to sister every day, and members write one word describing what Alpha Phi means to them.

“When we were looking for recruitment ideas we were trying to think about the negative stereotypes that people use to define us, but we stopped and realized we weren’t going to let other people define Alpha Phi, and we also weren’t going to let Alpha Phi define us—which really ties into the whole Butler experience,” Grayson said.

Once a sister gets the jacket and writes one word, she then posts to social media with the hashtag #AlphaPhiToMe and shares the one word. Posts on #AlphaPhiToMe have included compassionate, bold, lady bosses, and even edgy.

Butler’s Greek life social media campaigns and Alpha Phi’s jacket project are ways to show students that college and Greek life are what you make it, and each fraternity and sorority will encourage you to be exactly who you are.#AlphaPhiToMe post

“There are so many different experiences you can make your own,” Grayson said. “You can be a part of something bigger than yourself—whether that’s Greek life, Alpha Phi, or Butler—but you’re still an individual and you still fit in to this bigger experience.”

Suits or Sails?

Cindy Conover Dashnaw

from Spring 2017

Wet or dry shoes? Shorts or a sport coat? Sunshine or fluorescent lights? Mosquitos or … well, fewer mosquitos? 

You may not think of these things when considering an internship, yet they do become part of your reality. Just ask Butler interns Tyler Hudgens and Keiffer Williams. 

Tyler Hudgens ’17 

Manufacturing and Quality Science Intern, Eli Lilly and Company Tyler Hudgens

Tyler Hudgens chose dry shoes and fluorescent lights when he took an internship with Eli Lilly and Company, a global pharmaceutical company headquartered in Indianapolis. He’s happy with his decision—so happy, in fact, that when the company offered him a job upon graduation, he accepted with alacrity. 

Hudgens is in this spot because he availed himself of a Butler opportunity and attended a Woods lecture. He walked in as a pre-med student who was questioning his career choice. He walked out realizing bioengineering was what he’d been looking for. 

“I’d volunteered in hospitals and found it wasn’t for me. I was more interested in the science behind healthcare,” Hudgens said. “So when I heard a heart tissue bioengineer speak and learned what they did, I switched.” 

His internship at Lilly has confirmed his decision.

“I’ve gained strong problem-solving and strategic-thinking skills,” Hudgens said. “I was able to incorporate engineering and scientific concepts to solve real-world issues in pharmaceuticals while I was gaining knowledge about manufacturing processes within the medical industry.” 

Keiffer Williams ’16 Keiffer Williams

(Former) Intern, Smithsonian Tropical Research Institute, Oceans Research and Butler Summer Institute 

Applying to grad schools 

Keiffer Williams, on the other hand, opted for shorts and wet shoes. As an intern in the fish biology lab of the Smithsonian Tropical Research Institute in Panama and at Oceans Research in South Africa, Williams indulged his passion for ocean ecology and conservation. 

“I’ve enjoyed the ocean since an early age, especially sharks, and I nurtured that interest all through high school,” Williams said. “I was searching for ways to have a more limited experience to decide if marine science was something I wanted to do when I found Oceans Research.” 

He dove with dolphins and sharks (focusing on Great Whites) in the six-week program, coming to understand the significant effect humans can have on a species—even in the name of conservation. 

In Panama at STRI, working under the direction of visiting scientist Dr. Michele Pierotti, he explored the evolution of visual ecology among marine fish sister species native to the Atlantic and Pacific oceans. The Smithsonian experience instilled in him a keen understanding of the opportunities that come with a higher-level degree. 

Williams also participated in the Butler Summer Institute on plant hormones research. Now, he’ll spend the next two years applying to graduate school. 

The former Boy Scout is also keen to be a better conservation advocate. 

“In today’s world, there’s a large disconnect between scientists in the trenches of data and the lay person. It’s essential for people to be able to understand what we’re doing and what it means to the environment,” he said. 

AcademicsStudent Life

Suits or Sails?

Wet or dry shoes? Shorts or a sport coat? Sunshine or fluorescent lights? Mosquitos or … well, fewer mosquitos? 

by Cindy Conover Dashnaw

from Spring 2017

Read more
AcademicsStudent Life

BU Well to Publish Its Third Volume

BY

PUBLISHED ON Apr 09 2018

BU Well, Butler University’s open-access, multimedia, student-run healthcare journal, will publish its third volume on April 20. The volume will feature eight articles on a variety of health-related topics ranging from low-carbohydrate diets to electroconvulsive therapy for mental illnesses to retail therapy and its emotional impact.

BU Well uses three formats to deliver information: print, an informational YouTube video, and an infographic highlighting key aspects of an article or other health topic. The open-access journal will be available on Butler University’s Digital Commons website, http://digitalcommons.butler.edu/buwell/.

“BU Well is a unique experience that unites students from diverse backgrounds to create a journal that promotes health and wellness to an audience of all ages," said Skyler Walker, a second-year pharmacy student and Editor-in-Chief of BU Well. "Students gain valuable skills through the research, writing, infographic, and video process while learning their leadership style and how to effectively communicate interprofessionally. It's a one-of-a-kind experience that I have been privileged to be a part of these past two years, and I'm very excited to publish Volume 3."

Nearly 25 students from four of the six colleges at Butler University participated in the publication of the journal. Two Assistant Professors of Pharmacy Practice, Dr. Annette McFarland and Dr. Sheel M. Patel, serve as faculty advisors.

The fourth volume will accept submissions beginning in the fall semester. BU Well invites students, faculty, healthcare professionals and others to submit original healthcare-related articles for publishing consideration.

More information is available at BU Well’s Facebook page, https://www.facebook.com/BUWellJournal and on Twitter and Instagram @BUWellJournal.

 

 

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

 

AcademicsStudent Life

BU Well to Publish Its Third Volume

Student-Driven Multimedia Journal on Health, Wellness, and Life Sciences comes out April 20.

Apr 09 2018 Read more
kids jumping

Learning Self, Skills, and Strengths

Monica Holb ’09

from Fall 2017

“One might be surprised to learn the tennis bubble is not the only bubble on Butler University’s campus. Bubbles pop up in dorms, clubs, and classrooms. Students may have remarkable experiences, but if contained to their own bubbles, they may not recognize their learning in one area can impact others,” Caroline Huck-Watson, Director of Programs for Leadership and Service Education (PuLSE), said.

But a powerful force is bursting these bubbles by intentionally connecting students and introducing reciprocal learning: the PuLSE Office. 

The office is the campus hub for co-curricular activities, including Ambassadors of Change (AOC) and the Emerging Leaders Program. Using the term co-curricular is an indication of PuLSE’s intentionality. Students arrive on campus with a high school resume filled with extra-curricular activities, but quickly learn how that term differs from co-curricular. During Welcome Week, Huck-Watson relieves brand-new Bulldogs of the need to feel their work outside of the classroom is additive. 

“It is not extra. These service and leadership activities are woven into your overall experience,” Huck-Watson said, explaining the importance of reciprocity between co-curricular programming and academics. Huck-Watson also sees the value in Butler’s new Themed Living Communities (TLCs). “Students are living in an environment where they are exploring things in an intentional way,” she said. (See related article on page 6.)

Intention and reciprocity are top bubble-bursting strategies. Reciprocity means that students bring the ideas they are studying in the classroom and breathe life into them through co-curricular activities, and vice-versa. “It is about making meaning of one’s experiences. Students come to the University to learn and develop. That is happening in the classroom, but we certainly see it happening outside the classroom as well,” Huck-Watson said. “One might say of PuLSE programming, ‘that was fun.’ But behind that was a myriad of opportunities to learn about one’s skills, self, and strengths. That is what staff in the PuLSE Office, and all of Student Affairs, looks to do: connect ‘fun’ to opportunities for growth.” 

Indeed, learning is not confined to the classroom: service-based education allows students to engage in a service opportunity and learn about the theories behind it, such as the active citizen continuum. “Service education is the cornerstone of everything we do,” said Jen Agnew, Associate Director of PuLSE. “Students learn how they operate in their community and how they can contribute in a meaningful way.”

One of the flagship PuLSE programs is AOC, a pre-orientation program that focuses on service to society and leadership skills development. The program challenges students to understand themselves and see how they fit into the larger Indianapolis community—and what they can do to change it. During AOC, in the days leading up to Welcome Week, students begin understanding “their head, their heart, their hustle,” in the context of service and discover social justice issues in Indianapolis, Agnew said. 

AOC facilitates asking “why” questions and using the community voice to analyze the root causes of issues like food insecurity. Done during the first few days of the transition to college student, these exercises prime young minds to continue that line of questioning into the classroom. “Hopefully that becomes a process they carry with them in their other campus experiences, too,” Huck-Watson said.

Such holistic development gives Butler students license to understand themselves and the power to change their communities, while building a foundation for their own well-being. The 2016 Gallup-Purdue Index, a national survey of graduates, found that those with experiential learning and involvement in activities and organizations had double the odds of being engaged at work and thriving as an adult. 

Interest in this type of engagement is popular among students, but Huck-Watson urges them to be intentional, just like the programming designed by the PuLSE Office. PuLSE encourages students to invest in the programs that are of interest to them and allow time for meaningful contributions. 

“A message we emphasize is that your involvement should bring joy. There are a million and one things to do. Look at the opportunities. But at the end of the day, to grow and develop you need to be intentional,” Huck-Watson said. 

The bubbles have met their match. 

AcademicsStudent Life

David Brooks to Deliver Spring Commencement Address

BY

PUBLISHED ON Apr 06 2018

David Brooks, an op-ed columnist for The New York Times, and a commentator on The PBS Newshour, NPR’s All Things Considered, and NBC’s Meet the Press, will deliver Butler University's 162nd Commencement address on Saturday, May 12, at Hinkle Fieldhouse.

Brooks will receive an honorary doctor of humane letters. In addition, Butler will honor the legacy of the late Julia and Andre Lacy by presenting posthumous honorary doctor of humane letters degrees in their memory. Nearly 900 students are expected to receive their diplomas. Commencement will start at 10:00 AM.

“Butler has made a concerted effort to celebrate civil discourse this year, both inside and outside the classroom,” President James Danko said. “Our campus has welcomed thought leaders who demonstrate humility and respect for diverse opinions—including Senator Richard Lugar, Congressman Lee Hamilton, Rev. Dr. Jamie Washington, historian Doris Kearns-Goodwin—and now author, columnist, and commentator David Brooks. They each bring to life the greater good that can be achieved through intellectual and civic engagement.”

Brooks has been a columnist at The New York Times since 2003, weighing in on the most pressing issues of our time. He has also written four books, the most recent of which was a New York Times bestseller.

In his most recent book, The Road to Character, Brooks writes that we live in a culture that encourages us to think about how to be wealthy and successful, but many of us are left inarticulate about how to cultivate the deepest inner life. He suggests we should confront our own weaknesses and grow in response.

Brooks earned a bachelor’s degree in history from the University of Chicago and, from there, became a police reporter for the City News Bureau, a news service owned by the Chicago Tribune and Sun Times. He then worked at The Washington Times and The Wall Street Journal for nine years, serving as op-ed editor at The Journal.

Brooks has covered Russia, the Middle East, South Africa and European affairs. While at The Journal, he also served as movie critic and editor of the book review section.

Recognized as champions of business and education throughout Central Indiana, the Lacy Family offered their time, talent, and philanthropy to causes that improved communities and the well-being of others. Their most notable act of generosity came in 2016, when they made the largest gift ever given by an individual or family to Butler, $25 million, renaming the School of Business the Andre B. Lacy School of Business.

Butler's selection of commencement speakers and honorary degree recipients is a result of a nomination process, the feedback received from Butler community members, and the formal approval of the Board of Trustees.

More about Spring 2018 Commencement activities is available at www.butler.edu/commencement.

 

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

 

 

 

AcademicsStudent Life

David Brooks to Deliver Spring Commencement Address

The op-ed columnist for The New York Times will deliver Butler University's 162nd Commencement address on Saturday, May 12, at Hinkle Fieldhouse.

Apr 06 2018 Read more
past and present wall

Living Communities: Lifetime Connections

Patricia Snyder Pickett ’82 APR

from Fall 2017

While new and updated residence halls and greek housing abound on the Butler campus, life insude those buildings has evolved as well. 

While most of us headed off to college armed with a laundry basket full of good wishes, a couple of posters, and hope for the best, the Class of 2020 entered Butler University with a more solid approach to making lasting friendships and soaking in the post-secondary experience.

That solid approach—Themed Living Communities (TLC)—came as a natural extension of the University’s existing residence hall programming combined with the prospect of new residence halls (Fairview House) entering the picture. 

“We had previously used a ‘wellness model’ for residence hall programs,” said Karla Cunningham, Director of Residence Life. “We wanted to explore new and interesting concepts for Butler students.” A group representing Butler subsequently attended the Association of College and University Housing Officers–International (ACUHO-I) conference where the concept of Butler’s TLC began to gel. 

The process took about 18 months of study and development, according to Anne Flaherty, Dean of Student Life. “We made the decision to move in this direction with our new residence halls which are larger than our previous living communities. We were concerned about students really finding ‘community’ within these residence halls.”

A survey of high school junior and incoming students, Residence Assistants (RAs) and current students helped develop themes, said Flaherty, and guided them away from the “Living Learning Communities” model based on academic interests and majors. “Our students wanted a more holistic approach,” she explained, “and because of our research, the size of schools, and design of buildings,
we wanted it to be ‘all in’ and make it mandatory for all first-year students
to participate.”     

The Class of 2020—the largest first-year class ever to arrive at Butler at 1,255 strong—chose from 16 living communities, ranging from Faith and Spirituality to Creativity and Leadership based themes. Ideally, each theme would occupy a floor of a residence hall and activities were planned and facilitated by RAs with support of a Faculty-in-Residence (FIR), fulltime Butler faculty members who live in an apartment within the Residential College, Ross Hall, and Fairview House. Each theme was branded with its own shield, and students were encouraged to show their TLC pride around campus with stickers, t-shirts, etc.

“My overall take-away is that it was a success,” said Flaherty. “We’ve received positive feedback from both RAs and students. Not everything worked, we learned some lessons and are looking forward to next year.” Among those tweaks, the theme offerings have narrowed from 16 to the 12 most popular and the TLC must fill an entire floor. 

CJ Koch ’19 is a Chemistry and Mathematics major from Newburg, Oregon. His interest in being a RA intensified once he learned about the TLC concept. He interviewed for the New to Indy TLC and was awarded the position at the Residential College (ResCo). He arrived on campus two weeks prior to classes starting to train for his responsibilities and work on a plan of activities.

For Koch, the experience was nothing less than amazing and made him seem a bit wiser than one would associate with a 20-year old. “It gave me the opportunity to help people through issues, the logistics of  ‘where do I go’ that most of us go through when we first get to campus. Seeing them grow throughout the year has been really rewarding.”

His challenges with his New to Indy TLC had little to do with his charges and more to do with logistics of getting a group of college students around Indianapolis. He credits his Faculty-in-Residence, Erin Garriott, with getting bus passes, Blue Indy cars, etc., to move students around the Circle City from duck pin bowling in Fountain Square to team building at the Escape Room.

Colton Junod ’18 is a Pre-Med Biology major and a perfect RA for the Future Healthcare Professionals TLC. “My first-year experience was shaped by friendships and mentoring and I wanted to be able to provide that to others,” he said.
“I can empathize with them going through the Anatomy and Chemistry classes and help them if they ask.” Much of his group’s programming has focused on health, whether that be financial health, mental health, etc. 

“It’s been a unique position and increased my creativity,” said Junod. “Being able to identify what others like and work through those logistics is something I know I’ll use the rest of my life.”

Katie Keller ’20 was familiar with the Butler campus when she arrived last fall. Her grandparents had regularly brought her to attend The Nutcracker ballet during the holidays and she found the small campus close to her home in Greenfield a perfect fit. While she didn’t fully understand the concept of the TLC when she prioritized her choices, she has found it to be a positive experience. 

“I chose the Future Healthcare Professionals for my TLC because I’m a Health Sciences major,” she said. “It’s been great to have this group to work through adapting studying style from high school to college. It’s helped us get past that barrier that can be very difficult. Probably most important, it’s realizing that everyone you meet can contribute to you, and you can contribute to them.” 

After the First Year…What’s Next?

After completing their first year at Butler, students have other living options to consider, said Cunningham. “We offer special programming—Year Two at BU—that really targets their academic and post-college aspirations,” she explained. “Are they looking to study abroad? Changing majors? There’s lots of programming around those topics during the second year.”

Housing contracts are usually returned by early March. Those who will be sophomores will select or be assigned to Fairview House or select apartment options (unless they are living in their approved Greek house). Those who will be juniors, and any seniors who contract to stay on campus, will select or be assigned to apartments. Greek houses have their own contracts and assignment practices with each house handling their own contracts and assignments.

Since the early 1990s, Butler students interested in living in fraternities and sororities have participated in deferred recruitment (formerly known as rush). This process takes place the second semester of the student’s first year so that they may move into Greek housing their sophomore year. And that may be the only year they will live in the house, according to Becky Druetzler, Director of Greek Life.

“The biggest change we have seen is the increase in recruitment,” said Druetzler. “There is a substantial increase in chapter size while most of the houses have remained the same size. With the exception of those in leadership positions, the fraternity and sorority houses are mostly occupied by sophomores and some juniors.” There are currently seven sorority houses and 5 fraternity houses; around 35 percent of undergraduates participate in the Greek system.

That puts a little bit of a challenge on those trying to build bonds with their Greek brothers and sisters. “It’s a different dynamic when everyone isn’t under the same roof,” said Druetzler. “It starts with the chapter. They’re planning activities so those who aren’t in the house physically feel included. But it also calls on a lot of ‘adulting’ skills like negotiating and coordinating with a large group of people.” 

Like much of the population and a majority of their generation, Butler’s Greek population can stay in constant communication via social media. “Our students rely on social media and its ability to communicate well with everyone, regardless if members are across campus or across the world on an internship or study abroad opportunity.”

So, What's a TLC?

Butler University’s Themed Living Community (TLC) consists of students who share similar interests or hobbies. Incoming first-year students choose and rank six themes from a dozen offerings, including:

Eight Before You Graduate–Artistic and cultural opportunities while completing the Butler Cultural Requirement (BCR).

Balanced Bulldogs–Students take advantage of all that Butler and the Indianapolis community offer. 

BU Be Well–Students embrace the ability to develop and maintain a healthy lifestyle.

BU Leads–Students explore the many facets of leadership and meet movers and shakers within Butler and in the Indianapolis community. 

BU Scholars–Designed for first-year students interested in honors or those students eager to dig into their classes.

Butler Advance–Students connect with inspiring community partners in fun and serious settings on and off campus, developing a stronger sense of self and building a bridge from Butler to fulfilling careers and lives.

Creativity Reimagined–Students experience hands-on creativity by exploring local art museums and centers while learning new skills.

Exploratory Studies–Students navigate the
pathway of choosing a major with other students going through the same process.

Future Healthcare Professionals–Students discover opportunities to help them succeed at becoming a healthcare professional.

Go Global!–For students wanting to study abroad while at Butler, an opportunity to explore cultures around the world through food and arts.

New to Indy–Specifically designed for students not from Central Indiana, an opportunity to discover all Indianapolis offers through the eyes of those who live here and love it! 

The Bulldog Way–Students have the opportunity to show their school spirit by participating in Butler traditions and cultural and athletic events.

For those who can’t decide, a “No TLC Preference” is offered, though incoming students still need to rank a total of five TLCs to process their housing contract.

past and present wall
Student Life

Living Communities: Lifetime Connections

by Patricia Snyder Pickett ’82 APR

from Fall 2017

Read more
frank ross headshot

Frank E. Ross III, a national leader in student affairs with 22 years of experience and degrees from both Ball State and Indiana universities, was named Butler University’s new Vice President for Student Affairs. He began the position in June.

Ross comes to Butler from Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute, where he has served as Vice President for Student Life. Prior to that, he was Vice President for Student Affairs at Northeastern Illinois University, Associate Provost for Student Success and Dean of Students at University of North Texas at Dallas, and Assistant Vice Chancellor for Student Life at IUPUI.

He earned a B.S. in Psychology and an M.A. in Adult and Community Education from Ball State, an M.A.E. in Student Affairs from Western Kentucky University, and his doctorate in Higher Education and Student Affairs from Indiana University-Bloomington.

Butler President James M. Danko praised Ross as “a national leader in the student affairs profession with involvement in NASPA, the preeminent international association dedicated to the advancement, health, and sustainability of the student affairs profession.”

Ross served as a member of the NASPA: Student Affairs Administrators in Higher Education Board of Directors, was the national director of Knowledge Communities, and served as chair for the 2016 NASPA Annual Conference. He also was a member of the James E. Scott Academy Board for senior student affairs officers.

Ross has received awards and recognition from NASPA, the National Resource Center on the First-Year Experience and Students in Transition, the National Academic Advising Association, the Association of American Colleges and Universities, and the American College Personnel Association for his work and research. In addition, he received the 2016 Robert H. Shaffer Distinguished Alumni Award from Indiana University.

Ross will be joined in Indianapolis by his husband, David, and their son, Mason, both of whom share in the excitement about coming to Indianapolis and joining the Butler community.

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