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Bulldogs Adapt: How CCOM Faculty are Supporting Students this Fall

By Catalina Gallegos ’21



In a semester like no other, faculty members at Butler University have adapted to continue providing engaging academic experiences for their students. We checked in with Lecturer Scott Bridge and Assistant Professor Lindsay Ems from the College of Communication (CCOM) to see how their teaching has shifted this year.

VIDEO PRODUCED BY: Catalina Gallegos ’21, Journalism major, Digital Media Production Minor

CCOM faculty adapt

Bulldogs Adapt: How CCOM Faculty are Supporting Students this Fall

In a semester like no other, faculty members at Butler have continued providing engaging academic experiences

BUPD Officer: ‘The Students Here are Just Awesome’

By Nicki Clark ’22

Nicki Clark is a student in Butler’s Class of 2022, majoring in Journalism and minoring in Digital Media Production. 


Matthew Grimes never really knows what his workday will be like, but that’s his favorite part of the job. As an officer for the Butler University Police Department (BUPD), his day can include anything from assisting a student who has locked their keys inside their car to helping students who are trapped in an elevator on campus.

“The thing about law enforcement that attracted me is that every day is different,” Grimes says. “This is a profession where you have to use your mind. You have to figure out complex situations and make decisions based on all the facts presented to you.”

BUPD provides a law enforcement presence made up of certified officers who help create a safe environment for the campus community. Grimes and the other BUPD officers take great pride in keeping campus safe for students, faculty, and staff. They typically park their patrol cars in areas where students can easily see them, and Grimes says BUPD hopes this helps students feel safe on campus.

“It’s like you’re all my kids, and I want to keep everyone protected,” Grimes says.

Before joining BUPD, Grimes worked for the Indianapolis Metropolitan Police Department (IMPD) for 25 years. He was the lead bicycle instructor for the department, and the city’s officers did their bike patrol training at Butler. Grimes loved being on campus, so when there was an opening with BUPD, he applied. He’s been at Butler ever since.

Grimes says being a police officer on a college campus is different from working for the city. Students often need assistance with issues that might not warrant a call to IMPD—like car trouble—but that campus officers frequently help with.

“A lot of students don’t drive their cars very often, so they’ll go to their car and the battery’s dead,” Grimes explains, providing an example of the ways BUPD officers typically support students. “We’ll go out and assist students with a dead battery, which occurs quite often.”

For Grimes, interacting with students is the highlight of his day.

“Most students come to campus straight out of high school, 18 or 19 years old, and you get to see them develop into young adults,” he says. “Interacting with students, they’ll always wave at us, and I try to wave at as many people as possible. They’re not afraid to come up and ask us questions. The students here are just awesome.”


BUPD Officer: ‘The Students Here are Just Awesome’

Matthew Grimes says every day is different as an officer in the Butler University Police Department, but he always looks forward to helping students

Butler University
Butler Beyond

Butler Receives $2.5 Million Grant from Lilly Endowment Inc. to Fund New Butler Beyond Transformation Lab


PUBLISHED ON Oct 08 2020

INDIANAPOLIS, Ind. (Oct. 8, 2020)—Lilly Endowment Inc. has awarded Butler University a $2.5 million grant to fund its Butler Beyond Transformation Lab. The creation of the Transformation Lab is a significant step in advancing the University’s new strategic direction, Butler Beyond, which was unveiled last October.

Lilly Endowment made the grant through Charting the Future of Indiana’s Colleges and Universities, an initiative designed to help higher education institutions across the state develop new strategies to address challenges to financial sustainability and help them better prepare students for successful, meaningful lives.

The Butler Beyond strategy builds upon Butler’s strengths in delivering an exceptional undergraduate residential education, while expanding to offer opportunities for lifelong learning and new educational pathways that are more accessible, affordable, and flexible. The Transformation Lab will serve as a hub of resources, expertise, and activity to accelerate the development of future-oriented models of education and related ventures that contribute to the long-term success of the University and the learners it serves.

“Butler University is extremely grateful to Lilly Endowment for its support of our efforts to expand access to higher education through creation of new educational models and ventures within the Butler Beyond Transformation Lab,” says Butler President James M. Danko. “In keeping with our founding values of diversity, inclusivity, and equality, we are driven by an aspiration to put higher learning within reach of all who desire to pursue it by creating new, high-quality educational pathways and options that will prepare students for long-term success.”

The Transformation Lab will work with internal and external constituents to advance opportunities to identify, design, and pilot future-oriented education initiatives that align with both the University’s strategy and the educational needs of the community. This will include exploring emerging concepts designed to create greater access to education, adapting the educational experience to those who want to continually upskill and reskill, and pivoting higher education to an increasingly digital experience. Co-creation of innovative solutions will be a primary tenet of the Transformation Lab’s work, achieved through collaboration with a robust network of education experts, corporate leaders, workforce and economic development organizations, non-traditional education providers, and other forward-looking universities.

“We look forward to partnering with other institutions and organizations that share our sense of urgency and optimism in searching for solutions to the challenges facing higher education,” Danko says. “Butler is committed to being a leader in the development of new forms of education, thereby generating solutions not only for ourselves, but for higher education, students, and society more broadly. This grant to fund the creation of the Butler Beyond Transformation Lab is a significant milestone in Butler’s history.”

Along with establishing a $500,000 seed fund allocated to supporting select projects and ventures, funding from Lilly Endowment will be used to enhance a physical space on campus for the Transformation Lab, convene local and national higher education experts and university faculty and staff for discussion and collaboration, and add additional personnel to support stakeholders in moving ideas to viable solutions.

The Transformation Lab is modeled after practices often used for navigating transformation and change in industries outside of higher education. Benefitting from Butler’s collaborations with several major technology companies, venture studios, and other leading universities, the Transformation Lab will bring together the resources, expertise, and network necessary to move quickly from idea to pilot, and, ideally, to a scalable solution for some of higher education’s most pressing challenges.

The $2.5 million grant from Lilly Endowment to establish the Transformation Lab is a meaningful step toward the University’s goal to raise a total of $25 million for initiatives that drive transformation throughout the University and within the broader landscape of higher education as part of its $250 million Butler Beyond comprehensive fundraising campaign.

This implementation grant was awarded as part of the second phase of Lilly Endowment’s three-phase Charting the Future initiative. In the first phase, Butler received a $250,000 planning grant in 2019 to prepare the implementation proposal. Grants under a third phase, which is competitive, will be awarded in 2021. Those grants will support collaborative efforts that seek to have a large-scale impact on the ability of higher education institutions in Indiana to fulfill their educational missions.

Lilly Endowment Inc. is an Indianapolis-based, private philanthropic foundation created in 1937 by J.K. Lilly Sr. and sons J.K. Jr. and Eli through gifts of stock in their pharmaceutical business, Eli Lilly and Company. While those gifts remain the financial bedrock of the Endowment, the Endowment is a separate entity from the company, with a distinct governing board, staff, and location. In keeping with the founders’ wishes, the Endowment supports the causes of community development, education, and religion and maintains a special commitment to its hometown, Indianapolis, and home state, Indiana.


Butler Beyond: The Campaign for Butler University is the University’s largest-ever comprehensive fundraising campaign, with a goal of $250 million to support student access and success, innovations in teaching and learning, and community partnerships.


Media Contact:
Katie Grieze
News Content Manager

Butler University
Butler Beyond

Butler Receives $2.5 Million Grant from Lilly Endowment Inc. to Fund New Butler Beyond Transformation Lab

The Transformation Lab will serve as a hub of resources, expertise, and activity to accelerate the development of future-oriented education models

Oct 08 2020 Read more

Butler Joins The Esports Combine as Hosting University


PUBLISHED ON Oct 08 2020

INDIANAPOLIS, Ind.—Ahead of The Esports Combine™ 2020, a virtual convention designed to connect esports players with collegiate programs, Indiana Esports Development LLC. has announced a partnership with Butler University to be the official host for the event. The University will host this year’s convention through student participation, marketing efforts, and spectatorship. Butler will also host its own panel on Saturday, October 17, that discusses the challenges and opportunities involved in building an academic program around gaming and esports.

The Esports Combine™ is organized by Indiana Esports Development and powered by Indiana Sports Corp and Indiana-based Harena Data, with other Indiana participants including Butler, the Horizon League, and the Indiana High School Esports Network.

“There is a real hunger out there for academic programs in esports,” said Lee Farquhar, Associate Professor of Journalism and Sports Media at Butler. “The growth of gaming and esports presents a tremendous opportunity to connect student passion with the jobs of a growing industry. In addition to game development and design, I envision continued growth for esports programs centered on business, communication, media production, and gaming studies.”

“Butler serving as the host university is only fitting, as it’s true to two things: Indiana and esports,” said Bill Dever, President of Indiana Esports Development. “The rapid launch of esports is proving to be a huge benefit for Indiana and is a growing identity for everyone involved. This Esports Combine will solidify that position, and while this year it’s only virtual for safety purposes, we’re going to make it grand.”

“We are excited to host the 2020 Esports Combine in partnership with Indiana Esports Development LLC and Indiana Sports Corp,” said Eric Kammeyer, Director of Esports and Gaming Technology at Butler. “The convention provides Butler Esports with the ability to expand the foundation in competition, curriculum, and community engagement. Indianapolis as a host city is an energetic hub for esports, and like Butler, thrives in innovative technology, hosting large events and sports competitions.”

Since 2019, Indiana has emerged as a bustling esports hub in the U.S. Beyond The Esports Combine, Indiana has pushed a strong esports agenda:

  • Indiana colleges, such as Butler, and high schools are implementing esports programs that benefit students.
  • Pacers Gaming is becoming a prominent philanthropy source in the sports and gaming communities, with the launch of a Make-A-Wish partnership.
  • State associations are creating esports leagues and reinventing recreational soccer for youth.
  • Esports startups such as Challonge, ggCircuit, Harena Data, Beastcoast, and many others are thriving in the Indiana economy.


The Combine is a partnership between Indiana Sports Corp and Indiana-based Harena Data. It serves as a celebration of esports and its ever-increasing place in the academic world. The event will help players receive varsity team offers and scholarships from colleges and universities throughout North America.


About Butler University
Butler University is a nationally recognized comprehensive university encompassing six colleges: Arts, Business, Communication, Education, Liberal Arts & Sciences, and Pharmacy & Health Sciences. Approximately 4,600 undergraduate and 800 graduate students are enrolled at Butler, representing 45 states and 30 countries. More than 75 percent of Butler students will participate in some form of internship, and Butler students have had significant success after graduation, as demonstrated by the University’s 98 percent placement rate within six months of graduation. The University was recently listed as the No. 1 regional university in the Midwest, according to the U.S. News & World Report Best Colleges Rankings, in addition to being included in The Princeton Review’s annual “best colleges” guidebook.


About GYO
GYO Score is an esports and gaming data analytics platform that seeks to support gamers and esports at all levels. With its game data analytics tools, team management, player profile, and league tool systems, GYO supports gamers and esports-enthusiasts of all competition levels to pursue their dream of esports stardom and community building. To date, GYO Score has helped facilitate more than 200 esports scholarship offers and boasts more than 30,000 players on its platform since it launched in September 2019. To learn more about GYO, please visit


About Harena Data, Inc
Founded in 2017, Harena Data has developed GYO Score to be a data analytics, league development, and player management tool for the esports industry. The principles of Harena Data have a strong background in esports, event management, motion picture production, and telecommunications. In addition to GYO Score, Harena Data specializes in esports consultation regarding the development and deployment of esports venues, scholastic esports programs, and esports league concepts.


Media contact:
Wahid Lodin
Harena Data
Director of PR & Communications 


Butler Joins The Esports Combine as Hosting University

Indiana rises as esports hub in America

Oct 08 2020 Read more
Major Gift from Diane Meyer Simon
Butler Beyond

Major Gift from Diane Meyer Simon to Support Center for Urban Ecology and Sustainability

BY Jennifer Gunnels

PUBLISHED ON Oct 07 2020

Diane Meyer Simon ՚68 recently made a $500,000 estate commitment to Butler University, which will be used to create the Mikhail Gorbachev Fund for the Center for Urban Ecology and Sustainability (CUES) and to name the CUES office and teaching space in Gorbachev’s honor in the renovated and expanded sciences complex on Butler’s campus.

Meyer Simon and Gorbachev have worked together on environmental sustainability issues for more than 25 years and in 1994 co-founded Global Green, the United States affiliate of Green Cross International (GCI). The new endowed fund will provide ongoing support for the work of the CUES, whose vision is to be a national leader in the engagement of undergraduate students in the study, research, and practice of urban ecology and sustainability through established local leadership in urban ecology research, sustainability best practices, and community engagement in Indianapolis.

“Both Butler University and Mikhail Gorbachev are beloved influences in my life. I wanted to honor both in an appropriate way,” Meyer Simon says. “It is my hope that this gift will engage more students to study urban ecology as well as strengthen the study of sciences aided by the new Sciences Renovation and Expansion at Butler.”

The CUES was formally founded in 2008 and includes The Farm at Butler, a one-acre sustainable agriculture project on the west side of Butler’s campus. Led by Director Julia Angstmann, the CUES connects students, faculty, staff, and community partners for collaboration on interdisciplinary research and education through place-based projects and public discourse. One such current project is a partnership between the Department of Sociology and the CUES, along with a number of local nonprofit organizations, to understand how organizational structure influences approaches to solving food access and food justice challenges in Indianapolis.

“Adequately mitigating global challenges such as climate change and social injustice require the engagement and participation of a multitude of perspectives, expertise, and experiences,” Angstmann says. “The Center brings together students from every College on campus, as well as faculty, staff, and community stakeholders to research and devise innovative solutions to local challenges on our campus and in our city.”

Meyer Simon’s lifelong passion for public service and activism began during her years at Butler. While working toward an undergraduate degree in psychology, Meyer Simon was in attendance at Robert F. Kennedy’s famous Indianapolis speech on April 4, 1968, during which he announced the assissination of Martin Luther King, Jr. Meyer Simon calls that experience a turning point in her life, and she promptly joined Kennedy’s 1968 presidential campaign as an aide to Kennedy’s press secretary, Dick Drayne. Meyer Simon went on to serve on Indiana Senator Birch Bayh’s staff for more than 12 years, and later co-founded Eco Partners, an all-female ecological consulting firm.

In 1993, Meyer Simon learned that Mikhail Gorbachev, Nobel Peace Prize laureate and former President of the USSR, was establishing GCI in response to the 1992 Rio Earth Summit’s call to create a “Red Cross for the environment.” Meyer Simon wrote Gorbachev a letter of support and congratulations and mentioned her work with Eco Partners. In response, Meyer Simon was invited to attend the second meeting of GCI in Moscow. At the conclusion of the meeting, Gorbachev asked Meyer Simon to found the American affiliate of GCI and to serve on the GCI Honorary Board. With help from her friends Pat Mitchell, Marianne Williamson, and Matt Petersen, Global Green USA was born.

Meyer Simon sees the work of the CUES at Butler as an important local expression of the work she and Gorbachev have sought to promote on a national and international scale. Angstmann says the gift will help to engage the next generation of leaders in the work of environmental sustainability.

“This gift will allow the CUES to increase opportunities for student leadership positions in our Sustainability Leadership Cohort program, which will also allow us to expand partnership projects with campus and community partners,” Angstmann says. “Both will impact student experiences and learning, as well as further progress sustainability and urban ecology in our city.”

Along with the endowed fund to provide ongoing programmatic support for the CUES, a portion of Meyer Simon’s gift will go toward the Sciences Expansion and Renovation project, which is currently under construction. Named in Gorbachev’s honor, a portion of the project will include new, expanded office space for the CUES in Gallahue Hall, as well as a multi-functional space that will serve as a teaching and gathering space for learning, partnership, collaboration, and project development. Butler recently surpassed $30 million raised toward its $42 million fundraising goal for the project, which will add nearly 44,000 square feet of new space for teaching, research, collaboration, and study, plus a 13,140-square-foot atrium connecting Gallahue Hall to the Holcomb building.

“On behalf of Butler University and my colleagues in the College of Liberal Arts and Sciences, I am extremely grateful to Diane Meyer Simon for this meaningful gift to support the Center for Urban Ecology and Sustainability at Butler,” says Jay Howard, Dean of the College of Liberal Arts and Sciences. “Through the CUES, our students and faculty are engaged in valuable collaborations with community partners in searching for solutions to real-world challenges facing our city and broader global community. This support for the Sciences Expansion and Renovation project and interdisciplinary initiatives like those happening in the CUES will have a broad impact, enhancing the learning experiences available to every Butler student.”


Butler Beyond: The Campaign for Butler University is the University’s largest-ever comprehensive fundraising campaign, with a goal of $250 million to support student access and success, innovations in teaching and learning, and community partnerships.


Media Contact:
Katie Grieze
News Content Manager

Major Gift from Diane Meyer Simon
Butler Beyond

Major Gift from Diane Meyer Simon to Support Center for Urban Ecology and Sustainability

The $500,000 estate commitment will be used to create the Mikhail Gorbachev Fund

Oct 07 2020 Read more

Where to Eat Near Butler

By Hailey Radakovitz ’21

Hailey Radakovitz is a senior at Butler with a major in Strategic Communication and minors in Spanish and Marketing.


Even if it now means ordering takeout or finding a seat outdoors, Butler students enjoy access to Indianapolis’ amazing assortment of restaurants and cafés. Here’s a tried-and-true list of some of the best spots to dine near Butler’s campus—just be sure to stay safe.


317 Burger

(GF and Vegetarian options available)

Located in the center of nearby Broad Ripple, 317 Burger’s specialty is—you guessed it—burgers. Their beef burgers are made with 100 percent premium Black Angus beef, and they also serve bison, turkey, veggie, and impossible patties. 317 crafts meals with high-quality ingredients, which helps set their burgers apart from the rest.

What to try: The 317 Burger & a side of Garlic Parmesan Fries

Open for carryout, delivery, dine in, and patio service.


Café Patachou

(GF, Vegetarian, and Vegan options available)

A favorite Sunday brunch spot among students and locals alike, Café Patachou offers delicious breakfast and lunch favorites with their own unique twist. Their menu is filled with sandwiches, omelets, soups, salads, and specialty coffee drinks. Located just a short drive (or even a long walk) from campus, Café Patachou is an easy and dependable go-to for many students.

What to try: The Omelette You Can’t Refuse

Open for carryout, dine in, and patio service.



(GF, Vegetarian, and Vegan options available)

Patachou’s artisanal pizza joint is the perfect place for a night out. With multiple locations around Indianapolis, a delicious pie is never far. Napolese’s menu features fresh salads, pizza made with hand-formed dough and homemade sauce, and a wide array of wines for those 21 and older. With a modern and stylish atmosphere, Napolese is a great place to unwind and enjoy a weekend dinner.

What to try: The Margherita Pizza & the Napolese Double Chopped House Salad

Open for carryout, dine in, and patio service.


Ripple Bagel & Deli

(Vegetarian options available)

Broad Ripple Bagel & Deli is the place to go for bagels near Butler. With a wide array of spreads and toppings, their bagel sandwiches are anything but basic. This place is great for breakfast, lunch, or a snack any time of day.

What to try: The Banana Surprise & The Morning Mess

Open for carryout, dine in, and patio service.


St. Elmo Steak House

(GF options available)

For special occasions such as Family Weekend or graduation, St. Elmo is the place to be. As one of Indy’s most well-known restaurants, it is notorious for its incredible shrimp cocktail and steaks. Not only does St. Elmo serve great food, but it also has history and a consistent reputation—the restaurant is Indy’s oldest steakhouse still in its original location, and it has also been named one of Forbes“10 Great Classic Restaurants Well Worth Visiting.”

What to try: The famous St. Elmo Shrimp Cocktail

Open for reservations.



(Vegetarian options available)

If you’re looking for an inviting coffee shop where you can study and grab a latte, Provider is an ideal spot to check out. With a cool, modern interior and plenty of seating, this coffeehouse is the perfect place to grab a drink and catch up on assignments with a few friends.

What to try: The Ginger Latte & a pastry

Open for curbside pickup or walk-up window with outdoor seating.


Chatham Tap

(Vegetarian options available)

With a location right on Butler’s campus, this laid-back pub emphasizes sandwiches and appetizers and also serves a wide array of draught and bottled beer for the 21+ crowd. Conveniently located just a short walk from Hinkle Fieldhouse, Chatham is an especially great place to pick up a quick and satisfying meal on game day.

What to try: The Fish and Chips or any order of wings

Open for carryout, delivery, dine in, and patio service.

Chatham Tap

Where to Eat Near Butler

If you're looking to grab take-out or sit down to a socially distanced meal near campus, check out these Bulldog favorites

Chatham Tap

Where to Eat Near Butler

By Hailey Radakovitz ’21

A Dawg’s Guide to Fall in Indy

By Maddy Kline ’21

Maddy Kline is a senior Journalism major with minors in Spanish and International Studies.


Bulldogs, it’s finally that time of year. The humidity has simmered into a crisp breeze, and hammocks are swaying in the brilliantly colored trees. As the weather beckons you to ditch the dorms and head outside, you may find yourself at a loss for what to do. But don’t despair—these juniors and seniors have provided a guide to doing fall right in Indy.


Ryan Gernady ’22
Environmental Studies major

“I like to go on long walks around campus, probably in Holcomb Gardens or by the bell tower.”

There’s no place like home, right? Butler’s campus undergoes a golden transformation in the fall, and Holcomb Gardens is the perfect place to witness it. Take a walk around the fountain, sit on the steps to the bell tower, or even take a hike along the paths in the woods to fully experience all campus has to offer this time of year.

More spots to hike in Indy:


Erin Pushic ’21
Marketing major

“Around this time, I love trying a lot of new restaurants around Indy—definitely a big foodie.”

Indianapolis is certainly a city that loves its food, and fall is the perfect time to enjoy the extra safety of outdoor dining. Don’t worry, picky eaters: The vast landscape of Indy’s food scene has something for everyone. Dig into warm, Southern comfort food at the newly opened Root & Bone, or enjoy a classic burger and shake combo at Baby’s.

Butler favorites:


Mason Lovett ’22
Computer Science and Math major

“I like to walk the canal and go to Newfields. Honestly, I just like walking around the grounds there—getting outside.”

Newfields, home to the Indianapolis Museum of Art and more than 100 acres of gardens and woodland, is a hot spot for seasonal festivities. Now is the perfect time to check out the museum, as it’s hosting its fall festival Harvest Nights for the entire month of October.

Note: Typically, all Butler students have access to a free Newfields annual membership, but this program is not currently offered due to increased safety measures.

More Indy museums:


Sam Nakis ’22
Computer Science and Software Engineering major

“Perhaps Tuttle Orchards. It’s fun to go with friends and pick out pumpkins and apples.”

Tuttle Orchards is both a student and Indianapolis favorite. Explore the apple orchard, stumble through the corn maze, or pop into the store for some hot cider and apple cinnamon donuts. Be sure to get there early on weekdays, or make a reservation to visit on a Saturday.

More Indy orchards:


Drew Sandifer ’21
Sports Media major

“I really like to throw a hoodie and some sweatpants on, make a fire out back, and enjoy the cooling weather. I love a good s’more; the only way to cook a s’more is to just put it in the fire until it’s burnt black. Any other way is wrong.”

Please don’t rush to start a bonfire on the mall, but Butler’s campus has plenty of firepits outside of dorms. Throw on a sweatshirt and bring your laptop outside to enjoy that campfire aesthetic while finishing your FYS homework.

Great campfire recipes:


Carli Medina ’21
Health Sciences and Spanish major

“I love being able to be outside and hammock in this weather. At night, I like hanging out with my roommates and watching scary movies.”

It only takes a short stroll around campus to see students’ never-ending love for the art of hammocking. Take advantage of having wifi outside, and curl up with a spooky movie at dusk. Check out Broad Ripple’s Rusted Moon Outfitters for all your hammocking supplies, and pick a film from this extensive list.

Other unique movie spots in Indy:


Bridget Early ’21
Political Science major

“We have a firepit in our backyard, so those have been really fun. Doing firepits and having s’mores with pals.”

What goes with an autumnal bonfire better than s’mores? Scary stories and urban legends. Gather around the firepit, snuggle up in a blanket, and distract yourself from the immanence of midterms with some stories.

Explore Indy in the fall:


Meghan Stratton ’21
Organizational Communication and Critical Media Communication major

“My favorite new fall activity is going to Trader Joe’s and buying everything fall-seasoned or flavored.”

In the past month, Trader Joe’s has released a huge amount of mouth-watering fall items. Treat yourself to some pumpkin spice and everything nice products—you deserve it.

Trader Joe's fall must-haves:

  • Honeycrisp apple candle
  • Pumpkin butter
  • Chocolate-covered pretzel crisps
Blue at pumpkin patch

A Dawg’s Guide to Fall in Indy

After spending a few autumns as Butler students in Indianapolis, these Bulldogs share tips for making the most of the cooler weather

Blue at pumpkin patch

A Dawg’s Guide to Fall in Indy

By Maddy Kline ’21

Bulldogs Adapt: First-Year Students Share their Fall Semester Experiences

By Catalina Gallegos ’21



These Butler students began their time on campus in a year like no other. They are masking up or logging on for classes, and they’re finding ways to stay safe while making new friends. So, what has it been like? 

VIDEO PRODUCED BY: Catalina Gallegos ’21, Journalism major, Digital Media Production Minor

first-year students

Bulldogs Adapt: First-Year Students Share their Fall Semester Experiences

These Butler students began their time on campus in a year like no other. So, what has it been like? 

Making the Difficult Decisions: Butler Leaders Strive for In-Person Semester

By Nicki Clark ’22

Nicki Clark is a student in Butler’s Class of 2022, majoring in Journalism and minoring in Digital Media Production.  


Butler University has begun in-person instruction amid the same pandemic that forced classes to move online during the spring 2020 semester. That wouldn’t have been possible without the people working behind the scenes to keep campus safe.

The first day of in-person classes on September 7 followed two weeks of virtual learning that kicked off the fall semester. While classes were supposed to be held in person from the start, University leaders made the difficult decision to begin the year online due to an uptick in positive COVID-19 cases on campus. Since then, the number of active cases has dropped significantly, allowing students to return to classrooms.

Brent Rockwood, Butler’s Chief of Staff, says the University is using a methodical, data-driven approach for its COVID-19 response. The choice to move the first two weeks of classes online, for example, was mainly due to a three-day time period when the campus positivity rate increased from 0.5 percent to 2 percent. The University was also struggling to get into contact with students for contact tracing.

“Because of the exponential factor with the virus, 2 percent can very quickly become 6 percent,” Rockwood says. “We all have the goal to have a successful, in-person semester, and we felt going online for two weeks improved our chances of that happening. We’re in a much better place now than we were when we decided to start the semester remotely.”

While the University has had a whole host of internal teams managing its response to COVID-19 for the last six months, leaders are still learning and restructuring their approach every day. Rockwood has regular meetings via Zoom and phone calls with other universities and businesses in the area, as well as with city and state leaders, to collaborate with them on issues that arise.

Although University leaders are tailoring plans specifically to Butler’s campus, they are able to draw inspiration from some of the systems that other schools and organizations have put in place. The Covid Concerns form, for example, was picked up from the BIG EAST, and an improved testing strategy was modeled after Yale University’s.

During the first two weeks of classes, the Health Services team continued working hard to keep the virus under control. The University also expanded its contact tracing staff, making that process more efficient.

“Health Services has been tremendous,” Rockwood says. “They’re led by Rhonda Jackson, who works around the clock. I really don’t think she even sleeps.”

The work of Health Services has allowed Butler to increase its testing capacity, offering tests to anyone with symptoms, individuals (and their roommates) who have come in close contact with a positive case, and those who are quarantined. Butler is also testing samples of asymptomatic students throughout the semester.

This increase of testing, along with the two-week online period, helped Butler get classes back in-person.

Gary Edgerton, a Professor of Creative Media and Entertainment, says that with the training faculty members received on how to conduct classes in the COVID-19 era, he was more than happy to have students back in the classroom. Edgerton says so far in his classes, he has seen no deviation from Butler’s health and safety guidelines.

Tory Combs, Butler’s Student Government Association Chief of Staff, says she believes that classes being virtual for the first two weeks encouraged students to take the rules more seriously.

“After being online for two weeks, I think it made students think more about what they can do to keep us in person as opposed to online,” Combs says. “I’ve seen people being really responsible about wiping down desks and wearing masks since we’ve been in person.”

Even after classes began in person, the positivity rate on campus has continued to decline.

“We didn’t want to have to go online for two weeks, but it was the best thing to do,” Rockwood says. “Looking back on it now, sometimes the right decision isn’t the easiest one. Hats off to the students. The social distancing, wearing masks, refraining from large gatherings—it’s working. We want to continue having a successful, in-person semester, and we’re on the right track.”

Butler campus

Making the Difficult Decisions: Butler Leaders Strive for In-Person Semester

Thanks to hard work from faculty, staff, and students, Butler is still on track to keeping classrooms open this fall

Inside Butler

Inside Butler: An On-Campus Update


PUBLISHED ON Sep 25 2020


“Homecoming is a time to celebrate our Butler pride, and while it’s been a difficult year in so many ways, we certainly still have many reasons to celebrate,” said President James Danko during a virtual event for the Butler University community on Friday afternoon.

Inside Butler: An On-Campus Update kicked off a weekend of online festivities for AT HOMEcoming 2020. The event provided an inside look at life on campus this semester, including updates from President Danko and other University leaders on how Butler has adapted and continues to provide an excellent educational experience despite COVID-19 restrictions.

“I do want to commend our students, faculty, and staff for their remarkable resilience and the flexibility they have demonstrated this year,” President Danko said. “We can all be extremely proud of the way this community has come together and exhibited the true nature of The Butler Way through acts of caring, sacrifice, and generosity. I also want to extend my deep appreciation for our alumni, trustees, donors, and friends. Your loyalty, leadership, and concern for the well-being of our students has been a source of great stability and strength for Butler this year.”

The community also heard from Dr. Terri Jett, Professor of Political Science and Butler’s Special Assistant to the Provost for Diversity and Inclusivity, who was recently appointed Faculty Director of the Butler University Hub for Black Affairs and Community Engagement.

“My work will coordinate and address the belonging and connection of our Black faculty, staff, students, and alumni,” Dr. Jett said of the new role, “in a manner that moves us to bring Ovid Butler’s prophetic vision into the present day.”

Dr. Jett provided updates on Butler’s efforts to eliminate racism on campus and create a welcoming environment for all, including the recent addition of a Social Justice and Diversity requirement for students, as well as ongoing faculty and staff workshops focused on diversity, equity, and inclusion.

Dr. Frank E. Ross III, Vice President for Student Affairs, shared how Butler has continued to engage students outside the classroom this semester. Many activities have adapted, moving either online or outdoors. Student support centers across campus, such as the Center for Faith and Vocation, the Diversity Center, and Health Services, have also worked hard to continue providing important resources.

“This semester is certainly unlike any other semester we have seen at Butler, and navigating the uncertainties of the pandemic has been quite a challenge,” Dr. Ross said. “I want to applaud our students, our faculty, and our staff for their resilience and agility in working together toward our goal of having a successful in-person fall semester.”

Butler Basketball fans who tuned in got to hear from Athletics Director Barry Collier ’76 that, as of now, the winter season is on. The men’s basketball season is scheduled to begin November 25.

Jonathan Purvis, Vice President of Advancement, thanked donors for their tremendous support over the last year, including $100,000 in emergency relief for Butler students hit hardest by the financial impact of COVID-19. He also announced that the University has exceeded $185 million in gifts toward Butler Beyond’s $250 million campaign goal.

“With your ongoing generosity,” Purvis said, “I’m confident that we’ll exceed this goal and continue to push Butler beyond the limits of today and into the future that our alumni, students, and faculty are creating.”

President Danko wrapped up the event by recognizing the recipients of Butler’s 2020 Alumni Awards, which honor individuals who have demonstrated extraordinary professional achievement and service to the University and their communities.

Inside Butler

Inside Butler: An On-Campus Update

The pandemic isn’t stopping Bulldogs from celebrating Butler during AT HOMEcoming 2020

Sep 25 2020 Read more
Butler University

Butler Presents Annual Alumni Awards, Recognizing Service to the University

BY Larry Clow

PUBLISHED ON Sep 23 2020

Seven Butler University alumni, one professor emeritus, and a former Trustee and his spouse are the recipients of Butler’s annual Alumni Awards. These individuals have demonstrated extraordinary professional achievement and service to the University and their communities. Honorees will be recognized this year online at as part of Butler’s AT HOMEcoming 2020 festivities, beginning on Friday, September 25. An in-person recognition program is slated for 2021.

This year’s recipients are:

  • Butler Medal: Thomas A. King ’66 
  • Butler Service Medal: James W. Berry
  • Robert Todd Duncan Alumni Achievement Award: Wendi C. Thomas ’93
  • Katharine Merrill Graydon Alumni Service Award: Mary Majewski Shaw ’93 
  • Hilton Ultimus Brown Alumni Achievement Award: Brandon M. Gaudin ’06 
  • Joseph Irwin Sweeney Alumni Service Award: Michael R. Bennett ’09
  • Mortar Award: Albert and Margaret Chen
  • Foundation Award: Scott ’03 and Katie Nichols ’05 


Butler Medal: Thomas A. King ’66 

Thomas A. King ’66 has been active in nonprofit management, community development, and philanthropy in Indiana throughout a wide-ranging career that has spanned more than five decades.

Following his graduation from Butler in 1966, King worked as a newspaper reporter for The Indianapolis Star and then joined the United States Air Force during the Vietnam War. After four years as an Air Force officer, King returned to Indianapolis, where he held a variety of positions at the Indianapolis Chamber of Commerce. He served as the Chamber’s president from 1979 to 1991. During his tenure as president, King led the Chamber’s study of Indianapolis’ infrastructure, which set the course for capital improvements during the next 20 years. He was also involved in building the Hoosier Dome and bringing the Colts to the city.

King later served as president of the Eli Lilly and Company Foundation, where he directed the company’s philanthropic strategies and managed global corporate responsibility practices. He shared his expertise with students at Butler and Indiana University—Purdue University Indianapolis as an adjunct instructor, teaching nonprofit management, ethics, and leadership courses.

Following his retirement from the Eli Lilly and Company Foundation, King was involved in consulting. He concluded his career as president and CEO of the Indiana State Museum and Historic Sites. He has served in volunteer leadership capacities for several community organizations, including Big Brothers of Central Indiana, Goodwill of Central Indiana, the Indiana Sports Corporation, and the Arthur Jordan Foundation.

King is an emeritus member of Butler’s Board of Trustees, as well as a recipient of the Butler University Outstanding Alumni Award, the 2005 Michael A. Carroll Award from the Indianapolis Business Journal, the 2011 S. Henry Bundles Service Award from the Center for Leadership Development, and the 2015 Charles L. Whistler Award from the Greater Indianapolis Progress Committee, among many others. He is a two-time recipient of the Sagamore of the Wabash.

King and his wife, Verletta, have been married 55 years and have three sons and seven grandchildren. His current interests include Butler basketball, organizational effectiveness, golf, and woodworking.

The Butler Medal is the highest honor conferred by the Butler University Alumni Association. It recognizes individuals for a lifetime of distinguished service to either Butler University or their local community, while at the same time achieving a distinguished career in their chosen profession and attaining a regional—or even a national—reputation. Since 1959, this award has recognized individuals who have helped immeasurably toward perpetuating the University as a great educational and cultural institution and have had a profound influence on the course of Butler University.


Butler Service Medal: James W. Berry

Dr. James W. Berry is a Professor Emeritus of Biological Sciences at Butler University. A member of the University’s faculty from 1965 until his retirement in 1997, Berry’s academic career has taken him across the country and around the globe.

Berry received his bachelor’s degree from East Tennessee State University in 1957 and his master’s degree from Virginia Polytechnic Institute and State University in 1958. He went on to Duke University, where he completed his PhD studies in 1965. After a one-year stint teaching Zoology at Butler, Berry received a postdoctoral appointment at the University of Miami and began what would become a 50-year survey of spiders in the Florida Everglades.

In 1967, Berry returned to the Zoology Department at Butler. Along with his duties at the University, he was also hired by the Atomic Energy Commission to investigate the effects of atomic bomb blasts on Pacific Island flora and fauna. He spent two summers in 1968 and 1969 studying spiders on the Pacific atolls Eniwetok and Kwajalein.

He returned to the South Pacific in 1973 during his first sabbatical to continue his study of spiders there. His wife, Betsy, acted as his field assistant as they covered the Mariana and Caroline Islands from Guam to Helen Reef. They returned again in 1980 for Berry’s second sabbatical, this time with daughter Tina in tow, and lived for six months on the Micronesian island of Yap.

In 1988, Berry began work on organizing the first Butler Undergraduate Research Conference. The inaugural conference took place in 1989, with 50 students from colleges across Indiana. During the next three decades, the conference expanded and now hosts more than 750 students representing institutions throughout the Midwest.

Berry completed his survey of spiders in the Everglades in 2009 and submitted his study for publication this year. He is a member of the American Arachnological Society, the International Society of Arachnology, and the Indiana Academy of Science. Berry is a past fellow of the Indiana Academy of Science and a research associate for the Florida State Collection of Arthropods. He received the Special Services Award from the Indiana Academy of Science in 2012.

Since the 1980s, Berry has loaned his family’s antique sleigh out to the Jordan College of the Arts’ production of The Nutcracker. The sleigh is a familiar sight to the Butler community (and, according to Berry, looks “a lot more magical with the Clowes Hall lighting than it does in real life”), and he is proud to have a part in a production that is still enchanting the Indianapolis community.

The Butler Service Medal, established by the Alumni Association in 2001, is the second-highest honor conferred by the Butler University Alumni Association and is reserved for recognition of emeriti faculty or retired faculty and staff (graduate or non-graduate). The recipient will have achieved a lifetime of distinguished service to Butler University and/or the community. Recipients will have helped to shape the past and future successes of Butler and therefore shown a profound influence.


Robert Todd Duncan Alumni Achievement Award: Wendi C. Thomas ’93

Wendi C. Thomas ’93 is the founding editor and publisher of MLK50: Justice Through Journalism, a nonprofit newsroom in Memphis focused on poverty, power, and public policy. As part of ProPublica’s 2019 Local Reporting Network, she investigated a nonprofit hospital’s aggressive debt collection practices, which led the hospital to erase at least $11.9 million in hospital debt for more than 5,300 defendants. She is also a member of ProPublica’s 2020 Local Reporting Network.

Previously, she was metro columnist and assistant managing editor at The (Memphis) Commercial Appeal. She has also worked for The Charlotte Observer, The (Nashville) Tennessean and The Indianapolis Star. Thomas was a 2016 fellow at the Nieman Foundation for Journalism at Harvard University.

Thomas is the 2020 Selden Ring Award winner for investigative reporting and won first place in the Association of Health Care Journalists’ 2019 awards for business reporting. Her “Profiting from the Poor” investigation tied for first place in the Investigative Reporters & Editors 2019 awards.

In 2019, Thomas received the National Association of Black Journalists’ Best Practices award. In 2018, she was named Journalist of the Year by Journalism and Women Symposium. She was inducted into the Scripps Hall of Fame for commentary in 2008. She is a graduate of Butler University and a proud product of public schools.

The Robert Todd Duncan Award recognizes a graduate who is established in their career, and whose personal and/or professional accomplishment brings honor and distinction to the University, and individual attainment and/or contributions for the betterment of society. This award honors the spirit and accomplishments of Robert Duncan, a 1925 graduate, noted opera singer, and educator who in 1945, became the first African American to sing with a major white opera company, the New York City Opera Company.


Katharine Merrill Graydon Alumni Service Award: Mary Majewski Shaw ’93 

Mary Majewski Shaw ’93 attended Butler University on a full basketball scholarship and graduated with high honors in Business Marketing. Elected captain for three out of four years on the team, Shaw started every game and was the first player in Butler Women’s Basketball history to lead the Bulldogs in assists per game for four consecutive seasons. She achieved a number of milestones during her basketball career at Butler, including 332 career steals (the second-highest total in Butler and Horizon League history), the all-time record for minutes played, and being part of the top-10 players on Butler’s all-time list for three-point field goal shooting. She was inducted into Butler’s Hall of Fame in 2006 in recognition of her achievements. 

Shaw started her business, Your Image Works (YIW), in 1998. The only NCAA internal licensee owned by a woman, YIW counts among its clients OrthoIndy, Indiana University, Butler, and the NCAA. She credits her years as a student athlete with helping her serve her clients. In 2015, she established AP Property, a property management business.

She is a familiar face to Butler alumni in Central Indiana. Shaw served as a volunteer steering committee member for the Central Indiana Butler Community from 2010 to 2020, with seven of those years as vice president. She was a vital player in developing the annual Bulldog Crawl. She was also a member of the B Association for 12 years. During the last year, she joined Butler’s Board of Visitors and serves as an advisor to the Butler Giving Circle. She is also a board member for Aspire House Brand.

Shaw believes in Butler and calls herself a “huge cheerleader” for the University and its students. In 2017, she supported Butler Volleyball’s travels to Brazil, and she often hosts the women’s volleyball and basketball teams at her home. She also enjoys mentoring local high school seniors and connecting them with Butler professors.

The Katharine Merrill Graydon Alumni Service Award recognizes a graduate who is established in their career, and who has displayed and recognizes a long-term commitment of outstanding service to the University. The recipients of this award have provided demonstrable service to the University to assist in perpetuating Butler as a great educational and cultural institution. This award honors the memory of Katharine Graydon, who graduated from Butler in 1878 and was a Professor of English Literature at the University from 1907 to 1930, receiving an honorary doctorate of literature in 1928. Graydon served as the Alumni Secretary and Editor of the Alumnal Quarterly from its first edition in 1922 until her retirement in 1929, when she was named Professor Emerita.


Hilton Ultimus Brown Alumni Achievement Award: Brandon M. Gaudin ’06 

Brandon Gaudin ’06 is a play-by-play announcer for multiple national platforms. He broadcasts NFL football, college football, and college basketball for FOX Sports and the Big Ten Network. He also calls men’s NCAA basketball for the Westwood One radio network.

Gaudin is also the play-by-play voice for Madden NFL by EA Sports and has been featured as the lead voice on a number of national ad campaigns. His three seasons as the play-by-play voice for the Georgia Tech Yellow Jackets earned him features in The New York Times, USA Today, and

However, Gaudin is best known to Bulldogs as the play-by-play voice for Butler Basketball and was on the call for the Bulldogs’ trip to the Final Four in 2011. During his years at Butler, he was named Most Outstanding Communications Student and one of the top-10 male students in his graduating class. He is currently a member of the College of Communication’s Dean’s Advisory Board.

The Hilton Ultimus Brown Alumni Achievement Award honors a recent graduate whose personal and/or professional accomplishment brings honor and distinction to the University, and individual attainment and/or contributions for the betterment of society. Hilton U. Brown gave a lifetime of service to his career and Butler University, including serving on the Board of Trustees for 71 years. He was an award-winning newspaper journalist and Managing Editor at the Indianapolis News for more than seven decades.


Joseph Irwin Sweeney Alumni Service Award: Michael R. Bennett ’09

Michael R. Bennett ’09 is a director and investment counselor covering the east coast region for Citi Private Bank. Bennett works with ultra-high net worth individuals, family offices and endowments, and foundations to provide strategies for asset allocation, investment objectives, and risk management.

Before joining Citi, Bennett worked at J.P. Morgan Private Bank for 10 years. A part of the Private Bank Opportunistic Investment Council and an analyst, he ended his time at J.P. Morgan as an executive director and investment specialist.

Bennett received a Bachelor’s Degree in Finance from Butler in 2009. He played an integral part in the development and execution of Butler's New York Trek program, which provides current students a glimpse at working on Wall Street. A CFA charter-holder, he is also a board member of the D10 Decathlon and serves as the New York City board chair for Good Sports. He lives in New York City.

The Joseph Irwin Sweeney Alumni Service Award recognizes a recent alumnus who has demonstrated a significant commitment of outstanding service to the University. The award’s recipients have provided demonstrable service to the University to assist in perpetuating Butler as a great educational and cultural institution. The award honors the spirit and example of Joseph Sweeney, a young student with a great deal of potential, whose life was tragically cut short.


Mortar Award: Albert and Margaret Chen

Albert and Margaret Chen are the cofounders of the Telamon Corporation, headquartered in Carmel, Indiana. Founded in 1985 and named for the Greek word for “support,” Telamon has grown to a $770 million company with more than 2,000 employees. Albert is also the owner of Telamon Enterprise Ventures, LLC, which provides energy management, solar solutions, and smart manufacturing. 

During their first 20 years in business, Albert focused on external marketing and strategic planning while Margaret managed the company’s operations. They have been widely recognized for their success in business and have received several awards, including the Cummins US Diverse Supplier Award in 2014 and the Best of Tech in Indiana: Corporate Innovator of the Year award in 2016. Most recently, Telamon Corporation was named one of the best-managed private companies in the U.S.

In 2016, Margaret retired to focus on her grandchildren and faith-based activities. Albert currently oversees Telamon Enterprise Ventures and is Executive Chairman of Telamon Corporation. They are both actively involved in community service. Margaret is a former board member of the Indianapolis Symphony Orchestra. Albert is a former member of Butler University’s Board of Trustees and currently serves on the board of the Lingnan Foundation.

The Chens also are actively involved with their church and homeless outreach efforts. They enjoy giving generously to endowed scholarship funds at Indiana University, Purdue University, and Portland State University.

Albert is a graduate of the Executive Minority Business Program at Tuck School of Business, and he received an M.S. in Mathematical Sciences from Portland State University, as well as an LL.B. from National Cheng-Chi University in Taiwan. Albert received an honorary doctoral degree from his alma mater, Portland State University, in June 2017. Margaret received a B.A. in Piano Performance from Portland State University. 

The Mortar Award, created in 1995, honors one person or couple each year who personifies the Butler spirit by demonstrating great vision, leadership, and generosity to Butler University.


Foundation Award: Scott ’03 and Katie Nichols ’05 

Scott Nichols ’03 is president of Palmer Trucks, a Kenworth Dealership Group with 12 stores throughout the Midwest. He began working in the family business in 2008, and the business is currently celebrating its 55th anniversary.

A 2003 College of Business graduate, Nichols was a four-year Men’s Lacross player and a member of the Sigma Chi fraternity.

Dr. Katherine T. Nichols ’06 was born and raised in Terre Haute, Indiana. She received her undergraduate degree in Biology at Butler in 2006 and went on to attend the Indiana University School of Dentistry. She graduated with honors in 2010 and completed her residency program in pediatric dentistry at Riley Hospital for Children at IU Health.

Known to her patients as “Dr. Katie,” she specializes in dental care for infants, children, adolescents, and patients with special healthcare needs. She is an active member of the American Academy of Pediatric Dentistry, the American Dental Association, and the Indiana Society of Pediatric Dentistry. A Diplomate of the American Board of Pediatric Dentistry, Dr. Nichols maintains hospital privileges at St. Vincent’s Carmel Hospital and IU North Hospital.

The Nichols were married in 2008. They are members of Meridian Street United Methodist Church, the Indianapolis Children’s Museum, and the Ovid Butler Society. They are the proud parents of four children—Nolan, Knox, and twins Collin and Nora—and enjoy family bike rides, playing in the park, and cheering on the Butler Bulldogs.

“Butler University has played an integral role in shaping our lives, our businesses, our marriage, and our community outreach,” says Katie. “Our time spent at Butler shaped our view of The Butler Way and what it means to give back to an institution and programs that gave so much to you.”

The Foundation Award, created in 2011, honors one person or couple (age 40 and younger) each year who personifies the Butler spirit by demonstrating leadership and generosity to Butler University.


Please join us for Inside Butler: An On-Campus Update on Friday, September 25, at 3:30 PM EST, where we will be honoring the recipients of the Alumni Awards.

Butler University

Butler Presents Annual Alumni Awards, Recognizing Service to the University

This year's honorees will be recognized online as part of Butler’s AT HOMEcoming 2020 festivities

Sep 23 2020 Read more
Lewellyn research

Fruit Flies Could Help Scientists Understand Human Fertility

BY Katie Grieze

PUBLISHED ON Sep 22 2020

Even though about one in 10 individuals experience problems with fertility, the cause of infertility is often unknown. At Butler University, Lindsay Lewellyn is trying to change that.

The Associate Professor of Biological Sciences has received a grant from the National Institutes of Health (NIH) totaling $413,086 over the next three years. Her research aims to learn more about how reproductive cells are normally formed, which she hopes will lead to a better understanding of how defects in their development can cause infertility.

Lewellyn, with the help of several undergraduate student-researchers, is focusing on structures called intercellular bridges. These structures aid in the formation of egg and sperm cells by connecting developing germ cells with other germ cells, or with supporting “nurse” cells. Intercellular bridges allow nutrients, proteins, and other essential materials to be shared between neighboring cells, and defects in these structures can affect development in ways that negatively impact fertility.

Using the female fruit fly as a model organism, Lewellyn’s project examines a handful of proteins involved in the development of intercellular bridges to better understand how these structures are formed and how they are able to stably connect cells during periods of significant growth. Lewellyn has already characterized four proteins she believes play a role in this process. Now, by altering the levels and localization of these proteins, she’s trying to figure out how they could work together.

“If we are able to characterize the specific roles of these proteins in the fruit fly, it’s possible that those same proteins contribute to intercellular bridge formation and stability in humans,” Lewellyn says, explaining how this research could impact our understanding of human fertility. “What’s really nice about using the fruit fly as a model is that in the developing fruit fly egg, these intercellular bridges are relatively large and easy to see.”

But of course they’re still small—only about 10 micrometers wide at most—so Lewellyn says the research team spends a lot of time at microscopes. After extracting the fly ovaries, researchers add stains and use fluorescence microscopes to help them see the proteins they’re looking for.

In offering opportunities for students to join her research lab, Lewellyn hopes to provide valuable experience in these and other common lab techniques. But she says this kind of research also teaches transferable skills that can be applied outside the lab, including critical thinking and communication.

Lindsay Lewellyn, along with student-researchers Josephine Thestrup, Kara Stark, and Umy Shaikh, attended a research conference in Washington, DC last year. 

For Umy Shaikh, a senior who has been involved with Lewellyn’s research for more than two years, improving his ability to think critically has been a central part of the experience.

“In addition to all the technical skills—which is definitely huge—I’ve learned to think like a scientist and a researcher,” says Shaikh, who majors in Spanish and minors in Chemistry and Communication. “The mindset and mentality needed for this work has been just as, if not more, important than the actual technical skills. By constantly asking new questions, I’m able to grow in the way I conduct research, and to grow in the way I approach problems.”

Shaikh decided to pursue biological research to help prepare him for medical school, which has been his goal since arriving at Butler. He was drawn to Lewellyn’s lab because of the potential impacts of her research within the field of medicine.

“The big-picture goal of the lab is really to understand the mechanisms that lead to infertility, which is a very pervasive problem in the world,” Shaikh says. “Seeing that that was the cornerstone of her research really spoke to me because I want to effect meaningful change in any way I can.”


Media Contact:
Katie Grieze
News Content Manager

Lewellyn research

Fruit Flies Could Help Scientists Understand Human Fertility

Lindsay Lewellyn, Associate Professor of Biological Sciences, has received more than $400,000 from the NIH to study the development of reproductive cells

Sep 22 2020 Read more