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Butler University Libraries, Center for Academic Technology, PALNI grant, Digital 3D objects from photogrammetry

Butler Team Preserves, Improves Access to Artifacts through 3D Digital Replicas

BY Katie Grieze

PUBLISHED ON Jul 24 2020

Butler University is home to more than 100 artifacts and fine art pieces, including several three-dimensional works such as sculptures, jewelry, and clothing. Scattered across campus, some of these items fill display cases while others are stowed away for safekeeping. Many of the artifacts have been studied for educational purposes, providing visual examples for courses in art history or anthropology.

But the need to preserve objects that are hundreds of years old means most physical artifacts need to stay put in one place. Even if a piece is out on display, studying it closely means trekking a class of students across campus and crowding together to peer through the glass. And that’s just if you’re already on campus—a luxury not available to all who want to see the art up close, especially in a socially distanced world.

Over the last year, Butler Libraries and the Center for Academic Technology have teamed up to find a way to simultaneously protect these artifacts while making them more accessible to the community. The work was part of a project funded by a grant of more than $5,000 from the Private Academic Library Network of Indiana (PALNI), which supports collaboration between member schools.

The project was led by Olivia MacIsaac, Digital Scholarship Library Associate, and Kristen Allen, Academic Technology Specialist, who started by researching options for digitizing the art collections. They learned about a process called photogrammetry.



By stitching together a series of high-quality photos taken from all sides of each object, photogrammetry creates detailed digital replicas. The end products—which can now be accessed online in Butler’s Digital Collections—are like three-dimensional panorama images that can be rotated and viewed from any angle.

It’s not a new process, but it’s one that often carries a big price tag, requiring expensive camera equipment and computer software. So, as part of its goal to minimize financial pressures for small universities, PALNI charged the Butler team with finding a lower-cost workflow that can be applied at libraries across Indiana.

Thanks in large part to hours of work from Tatum Turner, a rising senior majoring in History and Anthropology, Butler has now created 3D digital objects of nearly 20 art pieces from its collections (though only the first 10 were part of the PALNI-funded project). The team succeeded in developing a low-cost scanning process, swapping pricey gadgets for free apps like Focos, which allowed them to capture detailed images using an iPad camera. Even with some larger purchases, including a high-powered graphics card, the team found a way to replicate their process for just over $2,000.

“This project has shown me that digital humanities is insanely experimental right now,” says Turner, who was responsible for taking photos and trying out new technologies. “The marriage of humanities and technology is something that is incredibly necessary for archival purposes and future generations, as more things can’t withstand the test of time. It also makes things more accessible.”

Now, this low-cost, sustainable solution can be shared with other private universities throughout the state. After streamlining their own workflow, the Butler team created a Canvas training course that others can use to replicate the process.

“Creating 3D objects often seems daunting to librarians with physical collections,” MacIsaac says. “I’m hoping once they learn about the benefits of photogrammetry and the details you can capture with it, this will be a method they can use regularly instead of some of the other methods that cost a lot more money or require more expertise. I hope this empowers other schools to do this kind of work.”



The free online course, which anyone can request access to use, starts by walking students through the equipment and techniques they’ll need to create their own 3D digital objects. Users then learn how to edit the photos of their artifact, adjusting the lighting and removing the background before using 3D imaging software to build the digital replica. To wrap things up, the course shows users how to finalize their 3D models and record all necessary data, choosing the best online platform where the digitized artifacts can be stored and accessed.

“I’ve been really excited to already see the impact of the educational component we created, and that we will be able to partner with faculty and make this available to Butler students,” Allen says.

“This technology and this method has been used for years,” MacIsaac adds, “but it’s just now becoming a standard skill that’s needed in fields like archaeology. This is more important than ever as artifacts are destroyed or lost. We need to capture this information while we can, so developing these skills is really important.”


Media Contact:
Katie Grieze
News Content Manager

Butler University Libraries, Center for Academic Technology, PALNI grant, Digital 3D objects from photogrammetry

Butler Team Preserves, Improves Access to Artifacts through 3D Digital Replicas

The grant-funded project found low-cost ways to scan and share physical artworks through a method called photogrammetry

Jul 24 2020 Read more

Dance Group Moves Summer Festival Online with Help from Butler Student

By Mikaela Schmitt ’22

As much of the world moved online over the last several months, arts organizations largely lost the ability to host programming as they know it. No more concerts, gallery exhibitions, theatre performances, or film festivals—at least not in person. Just a lot of time sitting at home and looking at screens.

Chicago Human Rhythm Project (CHRP) was one of many organizations forced to adapt, but they had help from Butler University senior Katherine Cackovic.

Cackovic, a Dance Arts Administration major, has spent the summer completing a virtual internship with the nonprofit tap dance organization. CHRP focuses on building a community around tap dance and other percussive art forms through education and performance. Each summer, they host Rhythm World, Chicago’s annual festival of tap and percussive dance. Cackovic was hired to work as the Rhythm World intern, but due to COVID-19, the festival has been shortened and made fully virtual.

Cackovic says the opportunity to assist with navigating the COVID-19 crisis and moving the festival to an online space has helped her develop real-time problem-solving skills that will allow her to better serve other arts organizations in the future.

Throughout 2020, arts communities around the world have been forced to cancel programming and figure out how their organizations, typically centered around gathering the community together, will function as the world continues to fight COVID-19. Staff members are collaborating to keep their organizations alive and to ensure their work stays relevant during this difficult time, bringing art into homes as a form of comfort, conversation, and entertainment.

“Since COVID-19 has caused everything to be reworked, creativity, communication, and teamwork are key,” Cackovic said. “My supervisor is the festival coordinator, and since his job has diverted from what it usually is, even he is learning new things and taking on new tasks.”

During a normal year, The Rhythm World festival occurs throughout July, featuring classes and performances at different venues around Chicago. This summer, the shortened festival will take place virtually in mid-August, with three days of classes followed by three days of performances. CHRP is working to find new opportunities unique to their online platform, such as including international teachers in the program faculty.

Cackovic is still working on the Rhythm World festival, doing registration and ticketing work, developing livestreams for virtual classes, and creating social media posts for the organization. Her work is far more technology-driven than originally anticipated, pushing her outside her comfort zone and helping her to expand her skill set.

“While it's a strange time for internships and organizations, I think we are getting prepared to be extremely flexible and easily adaptable employees in the future,” Cackovic said. “Our class will be graduating into an unstable and uncertain world, and we will need to bring creativity to the table to navigate the tough times ahead.”


Butler’s Arts Administration major serves students interested in the arts, nonprofit organizations, and management, integrating art with business. The program focuses on offering opportunities for students to learn and develop skills through experiential learning, including internships and special projects with arts organizations.

Experiential Learning

Dance Group Moves Summer Festival Online with Help from Butler Student

In a virtual internship with Chicago Human Rhythm Project, Katherine Cackovic gains experience in adaptability

Four Ways to Stay Active Near Butler University

By Katie Grieze

If you’re looking for a break from homework and want to get your blood pumping, check out one of these options for exercising on or near Butler’s campus.


Go for a walk or bike ride along the Central Canal Towpath

The Indianapolis Central Canal runs right through Butler’s campus, separating the west-side Farm and athletics fields from the main campus to the east. Despite its proximity to the university hustle and bustle, this path—which stretches more than five miles from 30th Street up to Broad Ripple—is quiet and calm any time of day. Nature-lovers are sure to see geese, ducks, cardinals, and maybe even a great blue heron.


Spend a day at Eagle Creek Park

At Eagle Creek, a 3,900-acre park near the northwest corner of Indianapolis, you’ll forget you’re just 20 minutes from the heart of a busy capital city. As one of the largest municipal parks in the nation, this destination provides hours of outdoorsy fun and wildlife sightings in exchange for just a $5 per car admission fee. Start your Saturday morning with a hike on one of the park’s six major trails, bring a blanket for a lunch-time picnic on the beach, then rent a kayak or canoe for an afternoon out on the water. If you’re looking for a more thrilling challenge—and you’re ready to splurge a bit—check out the zip-line-filled Go Ape Treetop Adventure.


Explore Broad Ripple on the Monon Trail

The nearby neighborhood of Broad Ripple is packed with chill coffee shops, cute cafés, casual taco joints, and trendy storefronts. Connecting them all? The popular Monon Trail. This asphalt walking, running, biking, and roller-blading path runs all the way from downtown Indy to Sheridan, but the Broad Ripple section alone makes for a great workout—albeit with the temptation of trail-side ice cream parlors.


Take advantage of the Health and Recreation Complex

Going to the gym is probably one of the most obvious ways to get moving. While opting for outdoor workouts is the safest option during the COVID-19 pandemic, Butler’s beautiful Health and Recreation Complex (HRC)—including cardio and strength equipment, a 0.1-mile track, a pool, and more—provides a great alternative for days when you need to escape the rain or lift some weights. For the fall semester, HRC staff members are taking extra measures to keep guests safe, reducing capacity and upping the cleaning requirements.


Four Ways to Stay Active Near Butler University

Whether through an early-morning bike ride or an afternoon walk, working out makes for a great study break

Butler Beyond

Loyal Donors and New Strategic Direction Help Butler Thrive Through Unprecedented Year


PUBLISHED ON Jul 20 2020

Butler University donors demonstrated unwavering support to Butler students this year, giving more than $16.6 million toward scholarships and other student support initiatives during the 2019-2020 fiscal year, which concluded on May 31. In total, 15,385 Butler donors gave $28.5 million to Butler Beyond, the University’s largest-ever comprehensive fundraising campaign, boosting the total raised to date to $184.9 million toward the $250 million campaign goal. Along with generous giving, Butler experienced a year of great momentum in a number of important ways, including the unveiling of its new strategic direction.

As the University neared the completion of its Butler 2020 strategic plan, President Jim Danko and other University leaders kicked off the academic year with a summer tour of alumni communities around the country, sharing a vision for Butler’s future centered on the need to adapt quickly to a rapidly changing landscape in higher education. More than 220 alumni and guests attended the small summer gatherings in 12 cities for a preview of the University’s new strategic direction.

On October 5, Butler welcomed more than 1,200 alumni and friends for an evening to remember at Clowes Memorial Hall as the University unveiled the new Butler Beyond strategic direction and $250 million comprehensive fundraising campaign. With an emphasis on innovation and collaborative partnerships, the new strategic direction 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 affordable and flexible. The Butler Beyond campaign is organized around three pillars aimed to fuel this new strategic direction: student access and success, innovations in teaching and learning, and community partnerships.

While the new strategic direction was developed in anticipation of disruption coming to the higher education landscape over the next decade, that disruption occurred more quickly than predicted when the COVID-19 pandemic forced the University to move all classes online for the remainder of the academic year in March. Though the disruption caused by the health crisis was unexpected, it revealed the wisdom of the University’s strategy to diversify its offerings and prepare for a changing student demographic. Donor support allowed Butler to respond quickly to the year’s disruptions and remain in a strong position moving forward.

Looking ahead, one of the major funding priorities of the campaign is the expansion and renovation of the University’s sciences facilities following the Board of Trustees’ approval of the $100 million project last June. Students, faculty, staff, and donors gathered on campus to celebrate the official groundbreaking of the project in October, and a $1.5 million gift from the Hershel B. & Ethel L. Whitney Fund this year pushed the University to more than $29 million raised to date toward the University’s $42 million fundraising goal for the project.

Mayor Joe Hogsett MA ’87 and other alumni and city leaders visited campus on October 25 for the official dedication of the new 110,000-square-foot building for the Andre B. Lacy School of Business, which opened for classes last summer and was funded in large part by more than $22 million in donor gifts. Autumn also brought the public reveal of the latest round of renovations to Hinkle Fieldhouse, which included the installation of air conditioning and a complete renovation of the Efroymson Family Gym. The $10.5 million project was entirely funded through donor gifts, including a major gift to name the practice court in honor of beloved Butler graduate Matt White.

This fiscal year donors also committed more than $114,000 to the Butler Emergency Assistance Fund, which provides one-time financial support to Butler students facing unforeseen hardships, including some related to the COVID-19 crisis. The influx of support for the fund is expected to be sufficient to fulfill student needs for the next several years.

Donors wishing to provide ongoing support to Butler students beyond the immediate crisis are now directing their gifts to the Butler Fund for Student Scholarship after the University committed an additional $10 million in financial aid for incoming and current students in response to the unforeseen economic hardships caused by the pandemic. Donors gave more than $1.5 million to the Butler Fund for Student Scholarship during the fiscal year, which will help the University to fulfill its increased financial commitment to students. Thanks to generous donor support of scholarships during this fiscal year, the University has now raised more than $44 million toward its campaign goal of $55 million in scholarship support.

Continuing their extensive generosity throughout the Butler Beyond campaign, several of Butler’s Trustees also made significant gifts this year, including gifts to the Sciences project, new endowed scholarships, and a broad range of other initiatives across campus.

The University’s annual Day of Giving in February was the most successful in school history, setting a number of records including:

  • A University record of $482,725 raised, a 55 percent increase from the previous year
  • A University record of 1,569 gifts received, a 23 percent increase from the previous year

Other University milestones in the 2019-20 fiscal year included:

  • The October announcement by the Board of Trustees of the extension of President Danko’s contract through August 2024
  • 31 donors reached lifetime cumulative giving to Butler University of $100,000 or more, qualifying for the Carillon Society
  • 546 full-time faculty/staff members made a gift, representing more than 50 percent of full-time Butler employees
  • Fairview Heritage Society donors committed more than $15 million in estate/planned gifts this year
  • 1,846 new donors made a first-time gift to the University


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 Beyond

Loyal Donors and New Strategic Direction Help Butler Thrive Through Unprecedented Year

Total giving included $16.6 million toward scholarships and $28.5 million toward the Butler Beyond campaign

Jul 20 2020 Read more
ONB Center interns
Experiential Learning

With Summer Internships Canceled, Business School Finds New Opportunities for Students

BY Katie Grieze

PUBLISHED ON Jul 07 2020

It’s clear that Butler University’s Lacy School of Business (LSB) cares about experiential learning. There’s the school’s new building, designed to encourage collaboration between students, faculty, and the broader business community. There’s the Real Business Experience, during which every LSB student launches an actual product or service. And with a requirement that all students complete two internships before graduation, LSB’s emphasis on valuable work experience is no exception.

So, what happens when a global pandemic leaves the building empty and many internships canceled?

As soon as Associate Dean Bill Templeton realized that possibility, he raised the alarm. He started by decreasing the number of required internship hours from 240 to 125, providing more flexibility for students. Then, he began looking for ways to create new opportunities for those who suddenly found themselves without summer plans.

Thanks to support from Butler’s Old National Bank Center for Business Excellence (ONB Center), Templeton and other LSB faculty were able to add about 20 last-minute summer internship positions.

The ONB Center is working with a total of nearly 30 interns this summer, split between two tracks. Some are participating in the Center’s regular internship program (which was expanded to include more students), and others have joined the academic portions of that experience while working on faculty-led consulting projects.

“A lot of businesses have stepped up to offer opportunities,” Templeton explains. “We weren’t able to find positions for every student who wanted one, but we’re actually about where we normally are, with more than 200 students completing internships this summer. We have fewer students getting paid, and we have a lot more students doing virtual work. There are some downsides to not experiencing as much workplace culture, but overall, we’re keeping students on track to continue building their professional skills.”


Internships at the ONB Center

The ONB Center works with privately owned companies throughout Indiana, providing personalized business guidance and access to resources from partner companies. As part of a membership or partnership through the Center, businesses can also submit projects to be completed by Butler students.

“What differentiates this project-based work from other internships is that the companies don’t need to hire and supervise the student,” says Ginger Lippert, ONB Center Manager. “We are the ones doing that heavy lift, and we bill companies hourly for the students’ work.”

For ONB Center interns, this means the chance to experience a variety of projects for a range of companies and industries, a bit like working for an agency. Any given student works on at least three projects at a time, Lippert says—sometimes closer to eight. The interns coordinate events, conduct market research, plan product launches, streamline finances, and more.

Bella Ruscheinski, a Butler senior with majors in Marketing and Finance, was scheduled to start an Indianapolis-based staffing internship this summer. When COVID-19 hit, the role was postponed to the fall. Then, Ruscheinski found out it was canceled completely.

But she had already been interning with the ONB Center since January, and in early May, she learned she could stay on for the summer.

“I was ecstatic,” Ruscheinski says. “I knew this would give me an even deeper learning experience. The skills I gained in the spring helped prepare me for the leadership role I’ve taken on now, providing support for the other interns. It’s an incredible opportunity.”

Throughout her time with the ONB Center, Ruscheinski has focused mostly on contributing to marketing efforts for the Center and its member businesses. She has written blogs, planned content calendars, compiled newsletters, and helped with some market research, among other tasks. Through all the projects, she has especially valued the opportunity to work directly with clients.

“At Butler, we are really taught in terms of real-world experience,” Ruscheinski says. “I’ve loved the chance to use the skills I’ve learned in class during this internship. I’ve also learned an incredible amount about time management: In a consulting role, you’re balancing more than just one project or even one team.”

Each week, the interns attend meetings that supplement hands-on work experience with other professional development activities. The students use this time to collaborate, learn from one another, or hear from guest speakers. Lippert says this academic side provides a broader, more holistic experience.


Faculty-led consulting projects

Now, the ONB Center is also offering its professional development sessions to other students who are participating in a variety of faculty-led consulting projects.

Working with teams of about five students each, several LSB faculty members have designed makeshift summer internships by connecting with companies to find real-world projects.

Daniel McQuiston, Associate Professor of Marketing and one of the project leaders, started by reaching out to Jordan Cohen, who has been working with Delta Faucet Company since graduating from Butler in 2016.

“I asked Jordan if Delta had any kind of marketing issue they would like to know more about,” McQuiston explains. “It turns out Delta is interested in looking at the feasibility of marketing an internet-only brand—officially known as a digitally native vertical brand—like Dollar Shave Club, Warby Parker, Casper Sleep, or Allbirds Shoes. A number of other companies have already launched internet-only faucet brands, and Delta is in the exploratory stage of trying to decide whether to follow suit.”

Through the summer experience, Butler students are helping answer this question by conducting secondary and consumer research about what has made other digitally native brands successful. After learning more about the faucet industry, the students led interviews and built a questionnaire to gather data that can help Delta make a more informed decision.

McQuiston says this kind of data collection tends to make up a huge part of marketing, and the project allows students to gain more experience while having the added accountability of serving a real company on a real issue.

“This is real-life stuff,” he says. “In class, a teacher wants you to write a paper, so you write it, turn it in, and just kind of forget about it. But that’s not what this is. Delta Faucet is expecting real information—insights they can take and use. The more we get students actually doing these things, the more they are going to understand.”

For Willie Moran, a rising senior with a major in Marketing, the Delta Faucet project has provided a deeper understanding of how valuable it can be to talk directly with consumers, as well as the importance of staying competitive in an online marketplace.

This summer, Moran was supposed to have a marketing internship with a manufacturing company in his hometown of Milwaukee, Wisconsin. He had just been offered the position, but two days later, the company called back to say they’d had to implement a hiring freeze and cancel all their internships due to COVID-19.

“When Professor McQuiston heard about that, he reached out to tell me about the project he was planning,” Moran says. “I’d just finished up a sales class with him, and he thought I would be a good fit for the team. I had been stressing out trying to figure out how I was going to meet my internship requirements, but this worked out really well.”

Associate Dean Templeton says he knows requiring all LSB students to complete two internships can be an investment, and it can demand a lot of flexibility.

“But we think it’s so worthwhile,” he says. “Internships provide great opportunities for students to learn their disciplines a little more permanently, and a little more deeply, if they are simultaneously working and reflecting on what they have been learning in the curriculum.”


Media Contact:
Katie Grieze
News Content Manager

ONB Center interns
Experiential Learning

With Summer Internships Canceled, Business School Finds New Opportunities for Students

Butler's Lacy School of Business created about 20 last-minute internship positions built on remote, project-based work

Jul 07 2020 Read more

This Butler Alum Helps Professional Athletes Do Their Taxes

By Megan Collins ’22

We patiently anticipate the feeling every year: Your heart racing as you inch closer and closer to the edge of your seat. There are less than ten seconds left on the shot clock. You hear that distinct sound of sneakers squeaking on polished hardwood floors, and the uproar of the Dawg Pound when the referee makes an unpopular call. Nothing beats it.

Nothing beats the adrenaline rush of basketball in historic Hinkle Fieldhouse.

These are the moments that led John Karaffa ’91 to the idea of combining his two passions, basketball and accounting.

Karaffa describes his career path as the “best of both worlds.” As a self-proclaimed numbers guy, he knew from the start that he wanted to be part of the business world. But he couldn’t fathom the idea of giving up the euphoric feeling of dribbling up and down the court—as he did for four years as part of the Men’s Basketball team at Butler University, then for 12 more seasons on professional teams after graduation. So, he thought, what if he combined the two interests?

That’s exactly what he did.

Two seemingly unrelated career paths collided, and after Karaffa spent more than a decade working as an accountant at U.S. multinational firms by day and playing basketball by night, ProSport CPA was born.

Since launching the sports-focused accounting firm in 2009, Karaffa has been able to develop his craft into something he says no other accounting firm in the country is able to do. ProSport CPA works with more than 1,000 professional athletes, helping clients tackle complicated taxes and other financial obstacles that are unique to the world of athletics—the same obstacles Karaffa faced during his years on the court.

“Professional athletes can earn a lot of money, but at an age when they know very little about money,” he says. “In addition to starting ProSport CPA, I wrote Touchdown Finance using the lessons I’ve learned to try to help athletes and other young people learn more about keeping more of what they earn.”

Karaffa enjoys taking the extra time to really get to know the players he works with.

“It’s really neat to get to speak with athletes and entertainers who are the best at what they do,” he says. “It’s humbling to think that they have the same respect for me.”

And Karaffa attributes the stepping stones of his own success to the foundations he built at Butler. He took advantage of every opportunity that came his way, building life-long relationships while studying Accounting, all while sparking the fire for his professional basketball career.

“I am very grateful to Butler for the opportunities I had to play college basketball, to earn a degree from a prestigious school, and to get to know some great, motivated people,” he says.

John Karaffa, ProSport CPA, Butler University Alumni
Alumni Success

This Butler Alum Helps Professional Athletes Do Their Taxes

While playing pro basketball for 12 seasons, John Karaffa ’91 learned how complex athletes’ finances can be. So he started ProSport CPA.

Meet Incoming Transfer Student—Amelia Ball

Amelia Ball '23
Hometown: Nashotah, WI
Major: International Studies

Why are you transferring to Butler University? 
I decided to transfer to Butler because of their small student-to-faculty ratio and the ability to explore different academic interests with ease. I also loved the campus location and the dedication Butler has to volunteering around Indianapolis and beyond. 

How did you initially hear about Butler and what interested you in the University? 
I was looking for a smaller school that had similar ideals to my own such as a dedication to service and academics. I also really liked the high ranking business school, as well as the study abroad program. The emphasis that Butler places on the arts (such as through the Butler Cultural Requirements) shows me that they are interested in giving students a well-rounded education that is not just limited to their field of study. 

What is your favorite part about Butler? 
I really enjoy the dedication that the professors and advisors have to the students. I feel they really try to get to know me as an individual, not just as a student, and work to help me achieve the best experience possible at Butler. 

If you’ve visited Butler, when did you first visit? Was it a planned event, a guided tour, or just an informal walk around campus? 
I first visited in Spring 2020 with an informal walk around campus before committing fully to the university. The location—set in the suburbs, close to a college town, but also near the larger city of Indianapolis—was perfect for me.

What do you hope to get involved with or be a part of at Butler? 
I hope to be involved in the Student Government Association, Club Climbing, Greek Life, and various volunteer opportunities. I’m really excited to meet new people through classes, clubs, and other extracurriculars.


Five Tips for Your First Year of College

By Katie Grieze

Whether you’ve read all those books about what to expect in college or you’re waiting to see for yourself, read on for a few quick tips on how to make the most of your experience.


1. Give yourself space to meet new people.

One of the best things about college is the chance to build lasting relationships. You’ll meet so many people from so many backgrounds. Get to know some of them! Maybe that means joining a club or chatting with classmates. Maybe you even walk up and say hi to other students around campus (while staying socially distanced, of course). College is a unique place where putting yourself out there is the norm, so take advantage of that welcoming atmosphere while you’re here.

BONUS TIP: If you’re starting college alongside close friends from high school, that’s great! But make sure to branch out. If you spend all your time with people you already know, you might miss opportunities to meet more friends.


2. Explore your interests, and fill up your schedule. (But don’t take on too much.)

Over these next few years, you’ll probably have more freedom than ever to learn and do what you want. Even if you’ve already declared a major, don’t stop there. Interested in something different? Consider a minor (or two)! Want to volunteer, join a faith-based community, or explore even more new things? Check out a student organization! (At Butler, you’ll have more than 130 to choose from.) 

College is an ideal time to find what’s right for you. But make sure to also find your limit: know when to say “no,” and don’t feel bad for letting go of things that aren’t a good fit.

BONUS TIP: Early in the semester, many student organizations will host call-out meetings to share information and provide a sense of what the semester will hold. These are great opportunities to “window shop” clubs before you join!


3. Stay in touch with your family.

Many first-year students experience homesickness at some point. And hey, chances are people back home are missing you, too. COVID-19 might make things harder this year, forcing Butler to discourage campus visitors and ask that students refrain from travel during the semester. But even a phone call helps, or you can get creative by holding a family game night over Zoom!


4. Use your campus resources.

As a college student, you have access to so many services and amenities that are either free to you or included with tuition. Take advantage of those now, because after graduation, things like gym memberships and counseling services don’t come cheap. All Butler students can work out in the Health and Recreation Complex, and you’ll have access to a variety of counseling and therapy services. You can also get personalized career guidance from the Office of Career and Professional Success (CaPS), database access and research help through Butler Libraries, and free or discounted admission to several on-campus events. Trust us—it’s cliche, but when it comes to college, you don’t know what you’ve got ‘till it’s gone.


5. Pay attention to how you’re feeling.

In the rush of all these new experiences, it can be easy to lose touch with how you’re feeling about all of it. It’s good to stay busy, but don’t forget to check in with yourself. Even good change is hard. Adjusting takes time, but it will be easier if you pause and acknowledge your feelings every day instead of waking up one morning in second semester and realizing how overwhelmed you’ve been all year. And remember that whatever you’re feeling, that’s okay.

BONUS TIP: Find a way to stay mindful that’s enjoyable and easy. Maybe that’s journaling before bed. Maybe it’s keeping a detailed planner, or using a mindfulness app. You might try yoga or meditation—or take a walk through Holcomb Gardens. Find what works for you!


Five Tips for Your First Year of College

Keep these things in mind as you transition from high school to life on a university campus

Blueprint 2020

Grad Students from Butler's College of Education Create Guide to Help Schools Reopen


PUBLISHED ON Jun 30 2020

INDIANAPOLIS—Cohort members from Butler University's educational leadership graduate program, the Experiential Program for Preparing School Principals (EPPSP), have announced the release of Blueprint 2020: A Guidebook for School Leaders Moving Forward

The resource guide is designed to support education leaders as they envision the reopening of schools for the 2020-21 academic year, in response to the COVID-19 pandemic. Graduate students conducted research and met with locally and nationally recognized experts in the field of education, as well as prominent community members, researchers, and policy makers. Experts included:

  • Katie Jenner, Senior Education Advisor to Governor Eric Holcomb
  • David Marcotte, Executive Director of the Indiana Urban Schools Association 
  • Christopher Lagoni, Executive Director of the Indiana Small and Rural Schools Association
  • Patrick McAlister, Director of the Office of Education Innovation, Indianapolis Mayor's Office 
  • Lori Desautels, Butler University Assistant Professor, Educational Neuroscience
  • Brandon Brown, CEO, The Mind Trust
  • Phil Downs, Superintendent, Southwest Allen County Schools; IAPSS Indiana Superintendent of the Year


The graduate students formed teams to focus on different educational areas impacted by reopening, such as remediation, testing, equity, technology, athletics, community, instruction, and others. Based on the research and conversations, students proposed several key findings that school leaders can keep in mind as they move forward with their reopening plans. A few key recommendations include:

  • Operations: Have a decision-making framework that suits the individual district.
  • Finance: Utilize CARES Act funding to address pressing needs, and have a vision for how to budget when this resource is no longer available.
  • International: Use case studies from other countries that have had successful responses in school environments. 
  • Diagnostics/Assessment: Develop an assessment plan addressing student well-being, priority standards, and student growth.
  • Technology: Urge state legislatures to make broadband internet a necessary utility to ensure access for all. 
  • Remediation: Use a multi-tier system of supports (MTSS) in planning remediation, which all students will need at varying levels this year. 
  • Parent Communication: Emphasize providing support and facilitating engagement with parents, rather than merely communicating with them, as parents are now partners more than ever.
  • Equity: Do not create the students' narratives for them. Take into account different experiences during shutdown, and account for culture, race, and financial background.


You can find the full EPPSP Blueprint here.


Media contact:
Chasadee Minton
Butler University College of Education
Program Coordinator, Marketing

Blueprint 2020

Grad Students from Butler's College of Education Create Guide to Help Schools Reopen

Cohort members from the Experiential Program for Preparing School Principals (EPPSP) have released Blueprint 2020: A Guidebook for School Leaders Moving Forward

Jun 30 2020 Read more

Meet Incoming Transfer Student—Julia Hoff

Julia Hoff '23
Hometown: Houston, TX
Major: Multilingual Studies and Peace and Conflict Studies

Why are you transferring to Butler University?
My previous university wasn’t a great fit for me; it was incredibly small and isolated. I knew I wanted a college that was academically engaging, but where I wouldn’t have to sacrifice all the other aspects of college that make it feel like your home and community. As I learned about Butler, I felt that it had everything I wanted: interesting (and relatively niche) majors, lots of extracurricular opportunities, engaged faculty, thorough pre-professional counseling, an urban location, and a mid-sized student body.

How did you initially hear about Butler and what interested you in the University?
Both of my parents graduated from Butler, and my grandmother worked there for several years. I was especially drawn to Butler because of its Multilingual and Peace and Conflict studies majors. I didn’t want to have to choose between the several languages I was interested in pursuing and many institutions only offer Peace and Conflict studies as a minor, not a major. Butler’s location in a small city is also really nice!

What is your favorite part about Butler?
My favorite part about Butler so far is definitely my majors! I’ve selected my courses for  the upcoming semester, and I’m really excited about and interested in all of them. I’ve also already had a meeting with my advisor and she was really helpful and supportive.

What were you involved with during high school and/or your first year of college?
I’ve always been really involved with volunteering and service. In highschool, I helped run my school’s community service program by managing funds, leading projects, and helping students find ways to get involved. I spent my summers as a camp counselor at Camp M.I. Way, a day-camp for individuals with multiple disabilities. 

At Butler, I’m really looking forward to getting involved with service organizations, especially ones that go out into the city of Indianapolis. I’m also planning to study abroad, and am excited about the opportunity to get complete language and cultural immersion.

Butler University Sciences Renovation and Expansion rendering
Butler Beyond

Butler Surpasses $29 Million Raised for Sciences Expansion and Renovation with Recent $1.5 Million Gift


PUBLISHED ON Jun 29 2020

INDIANAPOLIS—The Hershel B. & Ethel L. Whitney Fund of The Indianapolis Foundation recently gave $1.5 million to Butler University in support of its $100 million Sciences Expansion and Renovation project, among the largest gifts received to date for the effort. In recognition of the gift, the University will name the Hershel B. Whitney Gateway in Gallahue Hall in honor of the late Hershel B. Whitney, who was a longtime Indianapolis resident and chemist at Eli Lilly. The gift pushes Butler beyond $29 million raised thus far toward the University’s $42 million fundraising goal for the effort.

The Sciences Expansion and Renovation Project is the largest infrastructure investment in University history and is a key funding priority of the Butler Beyond comprehensive fundraising campaign. The initiative is an early step in Butler’s new strategic direction, centered on expanding the University’s impact beyond its current students and beyond the borders of campus by serving the needs of the broader Central Indiana community, particularly in the area of workforce development. With the help of state-of-the-art sciences facilities and nationally recognized faculty, Butler seeks to play a major role in attracting and developing new talent for the region’s booming life sciences industry.

Indiana is one of the top five states in the country for the number of companies, concentration of companies, and total number of life sciences industry jobs. Meanwhile, Butler has seen a 70 percent increase in enrollment in science disciplines over the past decade, graduating students who choose to stay in Indiana to begin their careers. About 60 percent of Butler undergraduate students come from outside the state, and among science graduates, 63 percent stay in state, contributing to a brain gain effect for the state of Indiana.

“We are proud to contribute to the development of our community by attracting and developing outstanding talent for the science and life science sectors of Central Indiana’s economy, and we are grateful for the donors who see the long-term value of this investment not only for our students but also for our region,” says Jay Howard, Dean of the College of Liberal Arts and Sciences. “The renovation and expansion of our sciences complex will ensure that Butler University continues to prepare the talent Indiana needs for a thriving workforce.”

The COVID-19 global health crisis has recently shed light on the importance of a workforce skilled in the areas of research, data analysis, and scientific inquiry. Current and former Butler students are working on the frontlines of the nation’s pandemic response working in hospitals, making hand sanitizer, creating images for the National Institutes of Health, analyzing health data at the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, and more.

Previous lead philanthropic gifts already received for the Sciences Expansion and Renovation Project include $13 million from the Richard M. Fairbanks Foundation, $5 million from Frank ’71 and Kristin Levinson, and other major contributions from Former Trustee Billie Lou ’51 and Richard D. Wood, Trustee Chair Emeritus Craig Fenneman ’71 and Mary Stover-Fenneman, Trustee Lynne Zydowsky ’81, Former Trustee Joshua Smiley, and the estate of Bud ’44 and Jackie ’44 Sellick.

Donors who have invested $500,000 or more in the project will be honored on a prominent wall in the stunning new atrium of the expansion building connecting Gallahue Hall to the Holcomb Building. The expansion will add nearly 44,000 square feet of new space for teaching, research, collaboration, and study, plus the 13,140 square-foot atrium.

The Hershel B. Whitney Gateway will include seven research labs, five teaching labs, and research/teaching preparation spaces on the second floor of Gallahue Hall, where chemistry and biochemistry students will engage in cross-disciplinary learning. The Hershel B. and Ethel L. Whitney Fund also previously established the Hershel B. Whitney Chair in Biochemistry, which is currently held by Associate Professor Jeremy Johnson. Johnson’s work conducting research alongside undergraduate students will now take place in the Whitney Gateway, linking the Fund’s previous faculty and programmatic support to the physical spaces where teaching and learning will occur.

In addition to the Whitney Fund’s investment in the new sciences complex, the Fund also made a $100,000 donation to the Jordan College of the Arts’ Performance Enhancement Fund to support the JCA Signature Series, a high-impact artist residency program. The series provides enriching community programming along with workshops and lectures for Butler students.

“At its core, the JCA Signature Series is a student-centric residency program, with an embedded public-facing community component,” says Lisa Brooks, Dean of the Jordan College of the Arts. “The generous gift from the Whitney Fund will help to ensure that this critical artistic intersection will continue to inspire and educate students and audiences alike.”


Media Contact:
Katie Grieze
News Content Manager
260-307-3403 (cell)


Innovations in Teaching and Learning

One of the distinguishing features of a Butler education has always been the meaningful and enduring relationships between our faculty and students. Gifts to this pillar during Butler Beyond will accelerate our commitment to investing in faculty excellence by adding endowed positions, supporting faculty scholarship and research, renovating and expanding state-of-the-art teaching facilities, and more. Learn more, make a gift, and read other stories like this one at

Butler University Sciences Renovation and Expansion rendering
Butler Beyond

Butler Surpasses $29 Million Raised for Sciences Expansion and Renovation with Recent $1.5 Million Gift

In recognition of the gift, the University will name the Hershel B. Whitney Gateway in Gallahue Hall in honor of the late Hershel B. Whitney

Jun 29 2020 Read more

Alum’s Internship Success Leads to Giving Back

By Kamy Mitchell ’21

“There’s just something about working with fellow Bulldogs,” says Maria Porter ’12.

As the Graphic Services Manager at Taft Stettinius & Hollister LLP, a Midwest regional law firm, Porter has the opportunity to engage with students from her alma mater through the firm’s marketing internship program. The program lasts for two semesters—longer than most internships—allowing students time to work on bigger projects and enhance their overall experience. Internship responsibilities vary depending on what’s needed, and on the background of each student.

Since the program began in 2014, Taft has hired approximately two interns each year, and Porter says a good chunk of them have come from Butler. She is impressed with the work of her fellow Bulldogs, and she has seen them be very successful in the program.

“Butler interns have shown a lot of initiative,” says Porter, who serves as the interns’ direct supervisor, “which means they’ve been able to take ownership of firm-wide projects. For example, when Taft leadership decided to start adding paralegal bios to our website, we had a Butler intern write the website bios for any new paralegals who joined the firm during her internship.”

Having had valuable internship experience herself while at Butler, Porter now seeks to give others a similar opportunity to work collaboratively in a real-world environment.

Porter, who graduated with an Art + Design major and minors in Digital Media Production and Spanish, spent her time as a student gaining experience that would prepare her for a career in graphic design. Through connections she made at Butler, she had the chance to complete two internships, one with Indiana Humanities and another with Indianapolis-based fine artist Walter Knabe.

At Indiana Humanities, a non-profit organization located on the north side of Indianapolis, Porter worked alongside another Butler grad while learning many of the design techniques she still uses today.

Her second internship, which she pursued based on a suggestion from her art professor, allowed her to work with artist Walter Knabe. Knabe focuses on screen printing, a process that was unfamiliar to Porter at the time. But she loved the amount of creativity Knabe demonstrated, and she enjoyed seeing his process play out. Porter helped work on the nuts and bolts of this fine art, creating pieces that matched Knabe’s vision.

While she hasn’t used the technical skill of screen printing much since the internship, Porter learned the importance of following through on someone else’s vision to help create a masterpiece—a crucial skill in her current role as a designer who figures out how to visually communicate another person’s ideas.

Porter currently works as a graphic designer on the in-house marketing team at Taft—another position she discovered through Butler. Her supervisor, also a Butler grad, had reached out to the Lacy School of Business (LSB) in search of students who might make a good match for an open design position. While Porter wasn’t a student within LSB, the business faculty remembered the work she’d done designing logos for their entrepreneurship program, and they passed along her résumé.

Now, Porter applies many of the same skills she gained from her internship experiences, managing visual communication for the firm. She is responsible for all aspects of design, such as creating advertisements, sponsorship brochures, event invitations, and video ads. She also manages Taft’s website.

Looking back at her internship experiences, Porter says, “Butler just has so much connection to the greater Indianapolis community. I was able to have two incredibly different internships that both fed my professional career.”

Maria Porter, 2012 Butler alum at Taft Law
Experiential Learning

Alum’s Internship Success Leads to Giving Back

Through Butler connections, Maria Porter ’12 completed two internships and found a full-time design job upon graduation. Now, she has the chance to provide similar opportunities for current students.