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To Hone Their Skills, Recording Industry Study Students Get a Backstage Pass

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PUBLISHED ON Nov 07 2014

Recording Industry Studies juniors Dan Fuson and Jesse May had two of the best seats in the house when Paul Barrere and Fred Tackett from the band Little Feat played Indianapolis in late October. In fact, they had something better than seats: They were on the side of the stage, making a recording of the concert that may end up as a live album.

From left: Jesse May, Mark Harris, Fred Tackett, Paul Barrere, Cutler Armstrong, Dan Fuson
From left: Jesse May, Mark Harris, Fred Tackett, Paul Barrere, Cutler Armstrong, Dan Fuson

 

The two College of Communication students, working with Technical Services Coordinator Mark Harris and Communication Instructor Cutler Armstrong, spent about 10 hours in the theater that day, setting up equipment, recording the show, and packing up as part of their coursework in CME 220—Remote Recording Lab.

“It was a great experience,” May said. “That’s something you can’t get inside of any other class. In recording classes, we’re doing studio recordings and working with artists, but it’s still on campus. So to have an event where you’re going to work off campus in a real environment, that kind of experience is unmeasurable.”

“You can teach students all sorts of things in the classroom,” Harris agreed, “but here they got to go out and actually do something different than what they’d been doing. They also got to meet some legendary guys, hang out with them a little bit, work with them. It was really special.”

The opportunity to record the show came together after Harris conferred with his friend Mark Butterfield, an Indiana concert promoter who brought Barrere and Tackett to Indianapolis as part of his Indy Acoustic Café series.

Butterfield put Harris and Barrere in touch with each other, and they worked out a handshake agreement to allow the recording.

In the CME 220, students are required to make three remote recordings, mix the sound on one recording, and write an essay. Typically, the students record groups on campus, including the Butler Symphony Orchestra.

“The best part of this experience in my eyes was learning how to setup equipment in a completely foreign environment,” Fuson said. “I learned how much time it takes to get the necessary equipment not only for recording but for live sound set up at a professional level. Patience is necessary.”

Neither Fuson nor May knew much about Barrere and Tackett before the concert. They came away impressed. So did Armstrong, who described the musicians as “very nice guys, very unassuming.”

“It was super cool for those students because they got to work with and interact with these guys, and we had a bird’s eye view from the side of the stage,” Armstrong said. “We were able to be that close, and just to see that genius and that level of performance and dedication and professionalism was great.”

Now everyone involved is hoping the recording will be released sometime next year.

“And if and when it does,” Harris said, “Paul Barrere’s already told us that the students will have recording credits.”

 

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

 

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Pharmacy Student Gives a Shot in the Arm to Vaccination Education

BY Sarvary Koller '15

PUBLISHED ON Nov 05 2014

Matthew Budi ’15 wants people to know the truth about vaccines, and he is conducting his senior thesis project through the Butler University College of Pharmacy and Health Sciences to educate Indianapolis residents and contribute to research on vaccination.

Budi, a sixth-year Pharmacy student in the Butler Honors program, released an informational video and an accompanying survey on vaccines last weekend to begin collecting data on vaccination trends in the greater Indianapolis area. The survey will remain live through January 15, and any adult living within 50 miles of Indianapolis is eligible to take the survey.

Budi said he believes it is imperative that people understand and acknowledge the importance of vaccines to health. Whether dissuaded by common myths about vaccinations or the fear of being poked in the arm with a needle, he encourages all to partake in his study to learn the facts about vaccination.

“Forget Ebola for a second—that’s only a few cases in the country,” Budi said. “These diseases have hundreds to thousands of people who get it every year just because they don’t want to receive a vaccine. It’s so much worse than Ebola because it’s something we can easily fix.”

The YouTube video, featuring Budi in a white lab coat, provides participants with an introduction to vaccination before taking the survey. The vaccines included in the survey are flu, shingles, and pneumonia, as well as tetanus, diphtheria, and pertussis, and a measles, mumps, and rubella.

“I picked these vaccines in particular because they have a high health burden,” Budi said. “They cost the health care system money on an annual basis, and since they are preventable diseases through vaccination, we can do a lot to improve public health just through education.”

Chad Knoderer, Associate Professor of Pharmacy Practice and Director for Clinical and Health Outcomes Research, assisted Budi to fine-tune his survey. He said the survey Budi created is especially tough to conceptualize because it tests for trends in general while creating an educational tool that fits seamlessly into the survey.

Budi will analyze survey data in January when the study closes to prepare a presentation for the Butler Undergraduate Research Conference in April. All senior Pharmacy students must present a project at the conference, and Budi will present alone as a requirement of completing the Honors program.

Knoderer said he has high hopes for the study results and its impact on education and relationships with pharmacists in the greater Indianapolis community.

“It’s significant from a public health perspective—immunization and vaccination is an important topic for promoting health in terms of the individual and also the community,” he said. “This project gets at that. It gets at how a pharmacist can participate in the care of patients.”

Budi said he has several goals in this study: to educate; to earn recognition for the Butler Pharmacy program; and to give the study utility so other people can use it as a model.

“Pharmacists are very accessible,” Budi said. “We [Butler University] are the only Pharmacy school close to downtown Indianapolis, so I figured, let’s test what people think of vaccines here in our city. Not only that, but I’ve always loved education—teaching people and imparting knowledge.”

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Sophomore Matthew VanTryon Wins National Investigative Reporting Award

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PUBLISHED ON Oct 31 2014

Matthew VanTryon

Sophomore Matthew VanTryon, the Butler Collegian's sports editor, won a first-place national Pinnacle College Media Award on Friday, October 31, for best sports investigative story for his series about former Butler women's basketball coach Beth Couture and allegations of verbal and physical abuse against her players.

Couture was dismissed from the program a week after the original story was published last spring, and the same day that a follow-up story ran.

Ryan Lovelace '14 received a second-place Pinnacle Award for best investigative story for his look at Allan Boesak, who was named the first director of the Desmond Tutu Center for Peace, Global Justice, and Reconciliation, a joint program of Butler and Christian Theological Seminary.

The CMA Pinnacle Awards honor the best college media organizations and individual work. The awards were handed out at the 93rd Annual Associated Collegiate Press/College Media Association National College Media Convention in Philadelphia.

 

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

 

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Professor Snyder Elected to Head Physician Assistant Education Association

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PUBLISHED ON Oct 31 2014

Jennifer Snyder, a professor in the Physician Assistant Program, has been elected President-Elect of the Physician Assistant Education Association (PAEA), the national education association representing 188 physician assistant programs.

159865Snyder is concluding her elected term as a Director at Large on the Board of Directors for the Association on December 31, 2014. She begins her three-year term with PAEA, first as President-Elect on January 1, 2015, followed by one year as President, and then one year as immediate Past President.

Responsibility for all Association activities lies with the PAEA Board of Directors. The board administers the association's financial affairs, appoints and conducts association business. As president, Snyder will represent PAEA on all issues affecting the association and assure the board fulfills its responsibilities for governance of the association, PA education and the profession.

“Being elected to this position is a great honor,” Snyder said. “The number of PA programs and the number of students in those programs have grown dramatically; healthcare and higher education are in a time of great transition. There is much work to be done.”

PAEA is a not-for-profit association representing accredited physician assistant educational programs in the United States. PAEA provides services for faculty at its member programs, as well as to applicants, students, and other stakeholders.

In September, Snyder completed her doctorate at Nova Southeastern University in Fort Lauderdale, Florida, becoming the first graduate of the program offered by the school’s College of Health Care Sciences. She wrote her dissertation on the “Investigation of Physician Assistants’ Choice of Rural or Underserved Practice and Framing Methods of Recruitment and Retention.”

Snyder has taught at Butler since 1999. In 2009, the Physician Assistant graduating class voted her Faculty of the Year. In 2010, the American Academy of Physician Assistants recognized her as a Distinguished Fellow for her outstanding dedication to the PA profession. In2011 the Student Academy of American Academy of Physician Assistants awarded her the President’s Award for her service and promotion of leadership, educational and professional development of PA students.

 

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

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From the Pumpkin Farm to the Pharmacy Program: A First-Generation Student's Story

BY Sarvary Koller '15

PUBLISHED ON Oct 29 2014

Lisa Fischer ’19 grew up on a pumpkin farm in La Porte, Indiana, and neither of her parents went to college. But she said education always came first in her family. She was encouraged to reach for higher education and chose Butler as the university to mold her mind for the next six years.

Now a sophomore in the Pre-Pharmacy program, Fischer got the chance to represent her university—and honor the high school teacher who influenced her to attend—at the Independent Colleges of Indiana 25th annual Realizing the Dream banquet November 1.

The event honored outstanding first-generation college students. Fischer was selected as the $2,500 Realizing the Dream scholarship winner from Butler’s pool of sophomore first-generation students. Independent Colleges of Indiana (ICI), through a grant from the Lilly Endowment Inc., offers the scholarship opportunity to one student from each of its member schools.

“It’s really an honor to be held as the example to first-generation students,” she said, “and really to have someone that maybe my little sister can look up to.”

Fischer is active in the Pre-Pharmacy club, the marching band, the basketball band, and Kappa Kappa Psi, the band service fraternity. She made the Dean’s List both semesters her freshman year.

Jennifer Griggs, Director of the Learning Resource Center, said Fischer was selected for her academic success, leadership initiative, and involvement in a wide range of campus activities.

She said Fischer stood out among other applicants because of her involvement in The Mall, a peer-reviewed publication of works from student First Year Seminar writing. Students can help manage and submit writing to the journal during their freshman year.

“It’s unique,” Griggs said. “Very few people volunteer to do that in their first year at Butler. With the band involvement, the literary journal, some volunteer work, and her high aspirations as a Pre-Pharmacy student, we just thought that she was very well-rounded.”

Fischer said she was thrilled for the opportunity to recognize her influential New Prairie High School aerospace engineering teacher Tim Eldridge, who received a $1,000 award from ICI. Eldridge, whose son goes to Butler, recommended that Fischer consider Butler.

Fischer said her parents wanted her to get a better education and earn a better living than they’ve been able to. Her two older siblings both went to college, and she said it was never a question for her or her parents that she would follow in their footsteps.

“Just because we came from a farming background,” Fischer said, “doesn’t mean we can’t achieve whatever we want.”

 

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Hinkle Fieldhouse Renovations Are Ready to Unveil

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PUBLISHED ON Oct 28 2014

Fans will get their first look at the $36 million renovation of Hinkle Fieldhouse on November 1 when the Butler men’s basketball team plays Tony Hinkle’s alma mater, the University of Chicago, in a pre-season game.

Game time is 7:00 p.m. Tickets are available at the Hinkle Fieldhouse box office or by calling 317-940-3647 between 10:00 a.m. and 4:00 p.m.

For the public, the renovations will mean greater comforts—4,500 new chair-back seats throughout the lower portion of the fieldhouse, a video scoreboard (a first for Hinkle), larger concession stands, additional restrooms, and an expanded gift shop.

A look inside the new men's basketball area of Hinkle Fieldhouse.
A look inside the new men's basketball area of Hinkle Fieldhouse.

 

“Fans are going to appreciate these updates to our great building,” Athletic Director Barry Collier said. “Everything we’ve done has been done with the mindset of making lines faster and space more abundant while retaining the history and charm of Hinkle Fieldhouse.”

Behind the scenes, the fieldhouse has added a weight room that’s nearly twice the size of the old one. There are new training facilities, locker rooms, classroom space for student-athletes, offices for coaches and staff, and meeting space that anyone on campus can book. Both the men’s and women’s basketball teams have new video rooms to study game film. The men’s facility was made possible by a gift from Gordon Hayward, now with the Utah Jazz.

The 86-year-old fieldhouse also has undergone extensive exterior renovations, including the tuck-pointing of 282,000 bricks, replacement of more than 9,700 windowpanes with energy-efficient glass, and an update of the utilities.

“Butler University is always conscious of Hinkle Fieldhouse’s place as a state and national landmark,” Butler University President James M. Danko said. “With these renovations, we ensure that Hinkle will serve student-athletes and all Hoosiers for generations to come.”

Opened in 1928 as the Butler Fieldhouse, the 15,000-seat arena reigned as the nation’s largest basketball arena for the next 20 years. Community leaders contributed $750,000 for the fieldhouse’s construction, under the agreement that the Indiana High School Athletic Association (IHSAA) basketball championships would be staged there. That tradition continued from 1928 to 1971.

Renamed for veteran Butler coach and athletic director Paul “Tony” Hinkle in 1966, the fieldhouse has been the site of national indoor track meets, tennis matches, U.S. Olympic basketball trials, professional and college all-star basketball games, the 1987 Pan American Games volleyball competition, Roller Derby, and a six-day bike race. The finale of the movie “Hoosiers” was filmed in Hinkle, re-creating the “Milan Miracle” from the IHSAA 1954 championship game.

During World War II, the fieldhouse served as temporary barracks for military trainees. It has hosted Butler and local high school commencements, concerts, addresses by six U.S. Presidents, the Billy Graham Crusade, and the Sonja Henie ice show.

Hinkle Fieldhouse was named to the National Register of Historic Places in 1983, and declared a National Historic Landmark in 1987.

 

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

 

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Butler's Office of Institutional Research Earns Recognition

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PUBLISHED ON Oct 28 2014

The National Institute for Learning Outcomes Assessment (NILOA) has chosen Butler University’s Office of Institutional Research and Assessment website to be featured on the NILOA website, www.learningoutcomesassessment.org, in recognition of its practices in innovative and transparent online communication of student learning outcomes assessment.

“This website is a centralized location for the University’s assessment efforts,” NILOA said.

NILOA praised the Office of Institutional Research and Assessment website for offering a host of resources regarding Butler’s student learning outcome assessment efforts. The website includes information regarding academic assessment, administrative assessment—which includes administrative assessment reports—and information on the University Assessment Committee.

Included in the Academic Assessment section, website visitors can view academic assessment reports regarding the University’s colleges and programs assessment efforts, in addition to the Academic Assessment Committee’s Academic Program Review purpose statement. There is also information on the University’s mini-grants for assessment-related activities.

“Being featured by NILOA is a great honor,” said Provost Kathryn Morris. “NILOA is run by true leaders in the field of student learning and assessment. Congratulations to Director of Institutional Research and Assessment Nandini Ramaswamy and her team for their excellent work.”

 

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

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Announcing Our Winter Honorary Degree Recipients

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PUBLISHED ON Oct 23 2014

Butler University will confer honorary degrees on alumnus Jauvon Gilliam ’01 and Betty Kessler, who earned her teaching certificate from Butler in 1937, during the December 21 winter commencement at Clowes Memorial Hall. The ceremony begins at 2:00 p.m.

Nearly 175 students are expected to graduate.

Jauvon Gilliam
Jauvon Gilliam

Gilliam was named Principal Timpanist of the National Symphony Orchestra in 2009 at age 29. Since 2011, he has been performing regularly as Guest Principal Timpanist of the Budapest Festival Orchestra. He also plays regularly with the PBS All-Star Orchestra, a group of players from orchestras across the United States.

Prior to his NSO appointment, Gilliam was Timpanist of the Winnipeg Symphony Orchestra (WSO) for seven years. He has also performed with The Cleveland Orchestra, San Francisco Symphony, Detroit Symphony, Indianapolis Symphony Orchestra, Manitoba Chamber Orchestra, St. Paul Chamber Orchestra, and Bear Valley Music Festival.

As an educator, Gilliam has led clinics at universities and institutions across Canada and the United States, including the Interlochen Arts Academy, New World Symphony, and the Percussive Arts Society International Convention. He currently serves as Director of Percussion Studies and Artist-in-Residence at the University of Maryland, Timpani Coach for the National Youth Orchestra of the USA, and Co-Founder of the annual Washburgh Timpani Seminar.

A native of Gary, Indiana, Gilliam began his musical career playing piano, winning his first national competition at age 11. He received a full scholarship in piano performance to attend Butler University, and later changed to full-time percussion study. He graduated with honors with a degree in Arts Administration and continued his graduate studies at the Cleveland Institute of Music.

“Jauvon Gilliam is renowned for his mastery of the timpani,” Butler University President James M. Danko said. “Both in his individual musical accomplishments and in his role within the orchestra, he exemplifies the Butler Way. He has achieved phenomenal personal success—and all the while, he has supported the creativity and talent of his colleagues by serving as the backbone of a team.”

Betty Kessler’s story exemplifies Ovid Butler’s vision for providing women with access to higher education. She arrived at Butler in 1935 with only one dress in her suitcase and a strong determination to become a teacher of young children. Kessler, now 97, worked in the Butler cafeteria to help pay her college expenses. Her favorite part of the job was serving lunch to Coach Tony Hinkle.

Betty Kessler
Betty Kessler

In sharing her memories of the Butler University community, she repeatedly used the word “kindness.” She said she was surrounded by people who cared deeply about her as a person and as a student.

She completed the two-year certificate program at Butler that was required at that time to become an elementary teacher in Indiana. She later earned an education degree through Indiana State University, but regrets that she did not receive a four-year degree from Butler.

Kessler’s teaching career spanned over 30 years in the small town of Morocco, Indiana, where she made a positive impact on thousands of lives. Her former students continue to visit her regularly, and Morocco named a park in her honor.

Her niece, Barb Greenburg, graduated from Butler and spent 43 years on the Butler faculty teaching Physical Education courses and coaching the women’s softball team. Greenburg’s two daughters, Mandy and Wendy, received their degrees from Butler’s College of Education and are teaching in the Indianapolis Public School system. This fall Wendy’s daughter, Casey, also enrolled in the College of Education to continue her great-great aunt’s legacy.

“Betty Kessler embodies the exceptional character and legacy to which the entire Butler community aspires.” Danko said. “She is remembered by her students with love and respect. Her professional excellence and dedication to the success of young people has been—and continues to be—an inspiration to us all.”

 

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

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BSO to Premiere Professor Felice's New Composition

BY Sarvary Koller '15

PUBLISHED ON Oct 23 2014

Frank Felice describes his new orchestral composition, “Time and Motion,” as the whirling, swirling, and settling of colorful sediment in a glass of water.

“It’s as if someone swirls the glass—it becomes more opaque, more zesty in its harmony, and then the piece settles down,” he said. “But it never returns to being completely transparent and clear.”

Frank Felice
Frank Felice

 

Felice, Associate Professor of the Butler University School of Music, will premiere his composition Sunday at 3:00 p.m. with the Butler Symphony Orchestra at the Howard L. Schrott Center for the Arts. Tickets are available at the Clowes Memorial Hall box office this week and at the Schrott Center two hours before the performance.

BSO Conductor Richard Clark approached Felice about composing a piece for the orchestra last year. Felice has composed a variety of works for the School of Music, with his last Butler Symphony Orchestra composition in 2002. (Check out his website here.)

Clark said it is a gift to have been given a brand new, challenging piece for the orchestra to tackle.

“He does not write easy,” Clark said. “There is something for everybody to really sink their teeth into. Players have to extend their techniques and ability to play this piece.”

Felice’s composition coexists well with the multiethnic and stylistic components of the Corelli, Faure, and Franck pieces to be played at the performance. Clark said the audience can expect to hear a diverse selection of music in style and time period.

“There will be awesome energy,” he said, “passion, sorrow, tragedy, wild moments and music spanning about 350 years.”

Felice will not sit in the audience on Sunday and silently critique the performance of his work, as he has with past compositions he has written. He will perform his piece as a member of the student orchestra, another cog in the wheel.

Clark said it is a wonderful opportunity for students to play a brand new piece alongside the composer who envisioned and created it. After several weeks of preparation, he said he looks forward to bringing this piece to life.

“It’s always exciting to give birth to a new work,” Clark said. “Something that has never been heard before by anyone. We’ll make it happen right here on stage.”

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In Lantzer's Book, the Battle Between the 'Wets' and 'Drys' Goes On

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PUBLISHED ON Oct 20 2014

Prohibition officially began nearly 100 years ago, and that upcoming anniversary has generated ever-increasing attention to the topic. So this appears to be the perfect time for Interpreting the Prohibition Era at Museums and Historic Sites, the new book by Jason Lantzer, Butler’s Honors Program Coordinator.

jasonlantzer13The first half or more of his book looks at America’s love and hate of alcohol prior to and including the 1919 passage of the 18th Amendment, which outlawed the manufacture, sale, or transportation of intoxicating liquors in the United States. That section includes a chapter on the brewing industry and the rise of breweries and saloons as both small businesses and also the local arm of big business. Lantzer explains how these enterprises interacted, why we ended up with Prohibition when we did, the eventual repeal in 1933, and a little about its lasting legacy.

The second section offers an overview of how historical societies and museums present the topic of Prohibition to contemporary audiences. Like the Oklahoma museum that looked at its state’s decision to keep Prohibition in place into the 1950s. And the Indiana Historical Society’s “You Are There” exhibit, where visitors encounter a re-created police station after a bust was made of a local still. And the National Constitution Center in Philadelphia’s high-tech exhibit based on Ken Burns’ PBS series on Prohibition.

“So, if your historical society wanted to do something on Prohibition, you can pull this book and say, not only is it a quick history of the event, but here are examples of how others did it,” Lantzer said.

The early reviews are raves.

Interpreting the Prohibition Era at Museums and Historic Sites is exactly the kind of book that busy interpreters, curators, and museum administrators need,” wrote Daniel Vivian, Assistant Professor of History and Director of Public History Program, University of Louisville. “His guidelines demonstrate the enduring relevance of Prohibition while offering suggestions for telling meaningful, engaging stories about it. Interpreting the Prohibition Era is sure to become a standard resource for public historians and museum professionals.”

Lantzer’s book is part of an interpreting history series by publisher Rowman & Littlefield. He said they approached him because of his first book, "Prohibition Is Here to Stay:" The Reverend Edward S. Shumaker and the Dry Crusade in America, which came out in 2009.0759124310

Lantzer’s interest in Prohibition began in graduate school at Indiana University (he also earned his bachelor’s and master’s there) when he was looking for a topic for his dissertation. His advisor, History Professor James H. Madison, suggested that he look at how the Methodist Church in Indiana interacted with the Republican Party and the Ku Klux Klan in the 1920s, and how church issues became political issues, and vice versa.

Lantzer began looking at church records. “If you look at Methodist church bulletins, the talk of temperance predates the 18th Amendment by decades,” he said. “I was intrigued by the topic, and I had my hook.”

He also had the angle of the Klan operating the National Horse Thief Detective Association, a quasi-police group, which enabled its members to harass their enemies. And he had the good fortune of getting in touch with the last living son of the superintendent of the Indiana Anti-Saloon League, who had his dad’s untouched papers in his attic.

“With this book, I got to return to the world of ‘wets’ and ‘drys’ and revisit some of the things I wrote and some of the scholarship I consulted a few years ago,” Lantzer said. “It’s all still timely and topical, even though it happened over a century ago.”

 

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

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In This Program, Young Writers Find Their Voice

BY Sarvary Koller '15

PUBLISHED ON Oct 16 2014

As students trickle into room 238 at Shortridge Magnet High School, stagnant silence grows to a dull roar of laughter and chatter. Butler University students and Shortridge students catch up over peanut butter and jelly sandwiches, then get to the task at hand: creative writing.

Today, they will be crafting their own parodies.

Butler MFA graduate student Luke Wortley leads an impromptu poetry slam as part of the Writing in the Schools program.
Butler MFA graduate student Luke Wortley leads the weekly poetry slam as part of the Writing in the Schools program.

 

One student writes and performs a parody of Miley Cyrus’s “Wrecking Ball,” reflecting upon the human contribution to global warming and the destruction of our planet. Another student exercises her imagination to rewrite One Direction’s “You and I” from the viewpoint of a love-struck fan.

It took less than 15 minutes for the cluttered science classroom to transform into a collaborative, energetic writer’s studio. The students spent the afternoon writing and laughing and writing some more. No idea is rejected ­– all are important and supported.

Their activity is part of Writing in the Schools, a product of the Butler University and Indianapolis Public Schools partnership. The program meets twice a week at Shortridge, with Butler students enrolled in EN455-S Writing in the Schools offering student-to-student mentorship to Shortridge youth.

The writing prompts vary each week, and all students are encouraged to perform their work in front of the class at the end of the session.

The program was initiated in 2011 under the guidance of Susan Sutherlin, Butler English Department Director of Peer Tutoring, to provide students the opportunity to work in the community with liberal arts and encourage written creativity among local youth.

“We are all writers,” Sutherlin said. “We deeply believe in and are committed to creative writing and fostering that form of expression.”

Sutherlin taught and developed the program during its first two years before passing on the baton to Butler faculty member Chris Speckman, who served as her graduate assistant while still in Butler’s Masters of Fine Arts Creative Writing program.

Speckman, EN455-S professor and Writing in the Schools director, is entering his second year as the leader of the program. He hopes to build a community of writers where people from different walks and stages of life can connect through creativity and shared experiences. Room 238 is a nonjudgmental space where all students are encouraged to find their voice.

“This program is not the outsider coming in and bestowing all the knowledge on the lesser,” Speckman said. “We are doing this with them. We are a community of writers where we are all equals. Butler students and Shortridge students. We do it to discover things about ourselves.”

Wortley and Shortridge senior Paula Cloyd
Wortley and Shortridge senior Paula Cloyd

MFA graduate student Luke Wortley, in his second year as a graduate assistant, has found particular meaning in the Writing in the Schools program. He chose to attend Butler because of the one-of-a-kind opportunity to mentor high school students through creative writing.

“I’d never really worked in a setting like this where you work with kids that come from such different walks of life,” he said. “It’s instructive about the world. It’s helped give me some perspective, which is huge.”

Wortley said he never gets tired of watching the Shortridge students break down their barriers as they cultivate relationships with Butler students and learn to understand their written voice.

He experienced this transformation firsthand while working with Shortridge senior Paula Cloyd, a veteran of the program who has participated since its inception. He worked with Cloyd as she wrote a poem called “Speak” that eventually won the 2013 IUPUI Poetry Contest. (read her poem here)

“It was that first connection where we produced something really beautiful together,” Wortley said. “We instantly formed this relationship.”

With a newfound passion for public education, Wortley said he now hopes to become a high school teacher and remain involved in after-school programs for youth. He credits this decision to his experience with Writing in the Schools.

“It’s the single most meaningful thing I’ve ever done,” Wortley said. “It’s fulfilling in a way that I wouldn’t have gotten from anything else. It’s not only informing me as a writer, it’s informing me as a person.”

 

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For Families at St. Vincent Heart Center, Mozart While They Wait

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PUBLISHED ON Oct 14 2014

By Sarvary Koller '15

Piano melodies of Chopin, Mozart, and Gershwin drift through the air as Patricia Smith walks into the St. Vincent Heart Center lounge to wait for her husband during his surgery.

She enters the atrium, makes a beeline past the blaring television and concerned families, and takes a seat to listen as Butler University Adjunct Piano Professor Anna Briscoe performs.

Anna Briscoe said her performances at the St. Vincent Heart Center helped soothe anxious families.
Anna Briscoe said her performances at the St. Vincent Heart Center helped soothe anxious families.

 

“It’s soothing while you have to wait and wait and wait,” Smith said. “This place is noisy, but it covers that up. I think the music maybe keeps people from talking so loud.”

Briscoe plays at the Heart Center as a part of a new partnership between the hospital and the Jordan College of Arts School of Music. Faculty and student musicians will play informal lunchtime concerts at the Heart Center each week to share the power of music for healing and relaxation.

Susan Jacques, hospital chaplain, said the Heart Center agreed to host the concerts to support the spiritual health of families and loved ones waiting nervously in the lounge.

“This is a high-anxiety place,” Jacques said. “Your heart is life or death. Music is a way of feeding people’s souls to help them calm down a bit. It lifts their spirits.”

Briscoe said she enjoyed her first time playing piano at the Heart Center. She has played at retirement centers before, but she said she thinks her music has a different kind of impact here—it helps people relax and remember to just breathe.

“These people aren’t all obviously listening, but they are,” she said. “People go on their way, but if my music just for a moment lifted somebody, that’s wonderful.”

Larry Shapiro, Professor of Violin, said the idea for this partnership developed after Chuck Goehring, his longtime friend from St. Luke’s United Methodist Church, proposed that the School of Music send student and faculty musicians to the hospital to heal through music.

Goehring underwent open-heart surgery at the Heart Center about six years ago, and Shapiro said his friend was bent on giving back to the hospital after his incredible care. Shapiro presented the idea to Lisa Brooks, Chair of the School of Music, and Ronald Caltabiano, Dean of the Jordan College of the Arts, several weeks ago, and they supported the idea.

The partnership is new to Butler this fall semester, but the School of Music aims to provide the hospital with a student, a faculty member, or a small chamber ensemble to play music on a weekly basis.

Ben Abel ’16, concertmaster of the Butler Symphony Orchestra, will play violin at the Heart Center sometime this week. Others scheduled to perform this month are guitar student Patrick Wright and former violin student Tricia Frasure.

Briscoe said she is already looking forward to a full season of festive music at the Heart Center.

“I just can’t wait to come back during the holidays,” she said, “for Christmas carols and Nutcracker selections.”

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