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Clowes Hall Receives National Honor from Scholastic Art & Writing Awards

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PUBLISHED ON Jul 31 2014

Clowes Memorial Hall of Butler University received the 2014 Scholastic Art & Writing Awards Gold Key for Excellence in the Field on Friday, June 6, at Carnegie Hall in New York City.

The Scholastic Awards, which are presented by the Alliance for Young Artists and Writers, selected Clowes Memorial Hall for this honor for its dedication to young people, perseverance through challenges, and expansion of the program to reach 1,000 more participants than previously reached. Clowes Memorial Hall was also celebrated for going above and beyond the basic program requirements to provide additional opportunities for creative teenagers in the Central and Southern Indiana Art & Writing Region.

Clowes Memorial Hall serves as the Scholastic Awards Regional Affiliate presenting the Central and Southern Indiana Region of The Awards and is one of 115 affiliates across the nation. The 56 counties in this region have increased submissions since Clowes began the partnership with the Alliance five years ago. In 2014, Clowes boasted an impressive 2,337 submissions in art and writing, thanks largely to the development and implementation of innovative outreach efforts such as publishing a 400-page anthology available on Amazon.com that features regional award-winning writing. Additionally, Clowes developed the ART.WRITE.NOW Regional Exhibition, an art and writing exhibition of selected 2013 regional award winning works.

In a letter informing Clowes of its selection for the award, Alliance for Young Artist & Writers Executive Director Virginia McEnerney thanked Clowes Memorial Hall for its support of Clowes Education Manager Cassandra Pixey in her role as Affiliate Advisory Council Chair and as an Alliance board member. “The creativity and intelligence she brought to the Council and the board cannot be overstated.”

McEnerney continued, “It is clear that Clowes Memorial Hall of Butler University values deeply the students and educators it serves. Congratulations…for your continued commitment to recognizing the originality and voice of Indiana’s creative teens.”

The Scholastic Art & Writing Awards was founded in 1923. Since that time, the awards have grown to become the longest-running and most prestigious recognition program for creative teens in the United States while maintaining the nation’s largest source of scholarships for young artists and writers. Past winners include such noteworthy artists as Andy Warhol, Sylvia Plath, Truman Capote, Richard Avedon, Robert Redford, Joyce Carol Oates, Stephen King, and John Updike.

Media contact:
Joshua Lingenfelter
jlingenf@butler.edu
317-940-6411

 

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187 Butler Student-Athletes Named to BIG EAST All-Academic Team

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PUBLISHED ON Jul 31 2014

One hundred eighty-seven Butler student-athletes were named to the 2013-14 BIG EAST All-Academic Team, which was announced Thursday. The list of the athletes can be found here.

The breakdown by sport is:
Women’s Soccer – 25
Women’s Cross Country – 21
Women’s Swimming – 20
Baseball – 17
Softball – 17
Men’s Soccer – 13
Volleyball – 11
Women’s Golf – 10
Women’s Track – 10
Men’s Tennis – 8
Men’s Cross Country – 7
Men’s Track – 7
Women’s Tennis – 7
Men’s Basketball – 5
Men’s Golf – 5
Women’s Basketball – 4

Nominations for the All-Academic Team are submitted by each of the BIG EAST’s 10 member and five affiliate institutions. To be eligible for the honor, a nominee must have competed in a BIG EAST-sponsored sport, attained a minimum grade-point average of 3.00 for the preceding academic year, and completed a minimum of two consecutive semesters or three consecutive quarters of academic work, with a total of 18 semester or 27 quarter credits, not including remedial courses.

The nominations are reviewed and approved by the BIG EAST Academic Affairs Committee. There are 2,091 honorees for the 2013-14 academic year, with Georgetown leading all schools with 285 student-athletes recognized.

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New Sax Instructor Joins School of Music Faculty

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PUBLISHED ON Jul 31 2014

Heidi Radtke Siberz, an Associate Instructor of Saxophone at Indiana University’s Jacobs School of Music from 2010–2013, will join the Butler University School of Music faculty this fall.

SiberzSiberz will take over for Nick Brightman, who will retire at the end of the 2014–2015 school year. She is currently a saxophone instructor with Franklin Community Schools and Stafford Music Academy in Bloomington, Indiana.

A frequent performer of new works, Siberz has been featured at the Indiana State Contemporary Music Festival and the Annual Festival of New Music at Ball State University. As a chamber artist, she is the alto saxophonist with the Obsidian Saxophone Quartet and also performs regularly with the Holographic New Music Ensemble. Her recent awards include the 2012 Mrs. Hong Pham Memorial Recognition Award for New Music Performance, which is given annually by the composition faculty at Indiana University.

Siberz is a candidate for a doctor of music in saxophone performance and literature from the Jacobs School. She earned her high school diploma from Interlochen Arts Academy, and a bachelor of music in saxophone performance, a bachelor of arts in political science, a master of science in library and information science, and a master of music in saxophone performance and literature from the University of Illinois Urbana-Champaign.

 On January 31, 2015, Siberz and Director of Jazz Studies Matt Pivec will lead the first Butler Saxophone Day.

 

 

 

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

 

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School of Music Introduces Jazz Studies Major

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PUBLISHED ON Jul 30 2014

Butler University’s School of Music will introduce a Jazz Studies major in the fall designed to help students become well-rounded musicians who can earn a living in music.

The program will include a number of new courses, such as “Career Development in Entrepreneurship for Musicians” and “Jazz Pedagogy Practicum.” Sandy Williams (guitar) and Jesse Wittman (bass) will join the program faculty, and new guest artists will include Indianapolis jazz stalwarts Kenny Phelps and Steve Allee.

Matt Pivec
Matt Pivec

“The program will make Butler a viable option for students who want to pursue jazz studies,” said Matthew Pivec, Butler’s Director of Jazz Studies. “If a student knows that they want jazz and commercial music to be their focus, now we can say we have this really strong curricular program.”

Butler had previously offered a jazz minor and concentration. Pivec said he had two major goals in creating the major:

-Offer the most relevant and useful information to help students develop the skills to become successful freelance musicians. “Because that’s what we’re training them to do with this particular degree,” he said. “It’s always going to be about crafting a life and livelihood in music with different possibilities.”

-Create courses that will differentiate Butler’s program from other schools’ offerings. “Career Development in Entrepreneurship for Musicians” is not specifically a jazz course, but it’s important for all musicians, Pivec said. “The students in this degree will be required to take it, and quite honestly, they should want to take it because it’s their livelihood.”

In addition, Butler jazz students now teach in the Butler Community Arts School, which provides music lessons to Indianapolis-area children. That work will become “Jazz Pedagogy Practicum.” “The idea is that getting into the classroom and working with students is probably more important than simply studying pedagogy theories in a classroom,” Pivec said. “It will combine the actual experience of teaching with learning about different techniques and repertoire, so it creates a much more realistic situation for our students.”

The new major will continue to include courses such as Jazz Improvisation, Private Jazz Lessons, Jazz Arranging, and Jazz History. And, like all music students, Jazz Studies majors will take Music Theory, certain components of music history courses, and Keyboard Studies.

Pivec said the new professors will be role models for the students. Williams is a freelance musician who teaches, plays recording sessions, and performs multiple styles of music, as does Wittman.

Allee is a pianist, composer, and arranger who has written and performed for syndicated radio programs (“The Bob and Tom Show”), network television, and movies. He started his career with the Buddy Rich Orchestra at 19, and has released six CDs. Phelps is a virtuoso drummer who leads his own jazz-fusion group and has toured with numerous artists, including Dee Dee Bridgewater.

Even among the most successful jazz stars, everyone does more than just play, Pivec said.

“Our students have to be able to read music well, they have to be able to sight-read, they have to be able to play well in ensembles,” he said. “They have to be able to wear a number of different hats if this is what they want to go into. And they have to understand the business and be willing to be entrepreneurial. I believe this new program will help them accomplish these things and more.”

 

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

 

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For Elizabeth Davis '15, St. Jude Internship Proves Rewarding, Heartbreaking

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PUBLISHED ON Jul 29 2014

Elizabeth Davis ’15 describes herself as “an avid Googler.” So one day last winter, when she was thinking about summer opportunities, she searched for “St. Jude internship.”

Elizabeth Davis picThe first thing that popped up was an opportunity in the Pediatric Oncology Education program at the Memphis, Tennessee, children’s hospital.

And that’s where Davis has spent her summer: the Psychology Department of St. Jude Children’s Research Hospital, where she conducted research on children with a kind of brain tumor called craniopharyngioma. The tumors can cause vision changes, obesity, sleep dysfunction, and more.

“Psychology fits in because cancer is a hard thing to go through for both the patient and the family,” she said. “So psychology provides counseling, therapy, testing, and other psychological services to make sure the patient and the family are functioning where they should be and are also receiving medication, care, therapy—anything they would need.”

Davis, a psychology major who plans to go into medicine, has worked with 56 patients to see what kinds of cognitive impairment the tumor has caused. She tracked them as individuals—to help meet their needs—and collectively, to determine patterns in their symptoms. She’s also been able to shadow a physician three days a week.

The experience has been phenomenally rewarding, she said.

But there are days when it breaks her heart.

“I met a family whose child was diagnosed with a brain tumor in utero about halfway through the pregnancy,” Davis said. “I met them when the patient was 4 weeks old. They had to decide whether to treat it or give up. That was the day I went home and just cried. Nothing in your life really compares to what they’re going through.” (The couple decided to continue treatment.)

Ultimately, though, work at St. Jude “gets easier because the kids are so cute,” she said. “They will hug you and squeeze you and make you laugh. That makes it a lot easier.”

Davis is a member of the Delta Delta Delta sorority, and St. Jude is the beneficiary of their national fundraising. So working at St. Jude has given her the opportunity to see where the money goes and strengthened her belief in the sorority’s philanthropic efforts.

She said that has been “an unparalleled experience,” one for which her Butler education has prepared her well.

“The Psychology Department at Butler is really big on research, and I came in with a lot of practical skills—like knowing how to handle large volumes of data, knowing how to write a paper about your findings, knowing how to present,” she said. “The Undergraduate Research Conference really strengthened me in that area. So having those basic skills when you come into a research setting, everyone is like, ‘Of course you know how to do a statistical analysis.’ Butler really prepared me because I did know how to do that.”

 

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

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Butler Introduces Michael Colburn as New Director of Bands

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PUBLISHED ON Jul 28 2014

Col. Michael J. Colburn, a 27-year veteran of the United States Marine Band and for the past decade Director of the military band known as “the President’s Own,” has joined the Butler University faculty as Director of Bands.

In that capacity, he will oversee the Butler Wind Ensemble and the Butler Symphonic Band. He also will teach a section of basic conducting this fall, as well as a euphonium student and several master’s conducting students.

Colburn 32 Colburn will make his Butler conducting debut Sunday, September 21, at 3:00 p.m. during a School of Music showcase concert at the Howard L. Schrott Center for the Arts. Call 317-940-2787 for ticket information.

Colburn’s time with the Marine Band included nine years as a euphonium player, eight as an Assistant Director, and 10 as the Director. The band’s mission is to perform for the President of the United States as well as the Commandant of the Marine Corps.

The 49-year-old Vermont native attended the Crane School of Music at the State University of New York’s Potsdam campus for two years, then changed majors from music education to music performance and transferred to Arizona State University.

Colburn auditioned for the Marine Band in December 1986 and was hired while working on his master’s in bass trombone and euphonium performance at Arizona State University. During his years with the band, he also finished a master’s in conducting at George Mason University.

Colburn said Butler music students will be able to learn from his experiences, including starting at a small school, changing majors, and diversifying his career options.

“Achieving a life and career in music is getting to be more and more challenging,” he said. “That doesn’t mean there won’t be opportunities, but young people will have to be more creative and entrepreneurial than they’ve had to be in the last couple of decades. The idea of stitching together a career from a couple of different jobs and opportunities is something they may be required to do. But if you have that burning desire to make music, I’m convinced that you will still find a way to make it work.”

The deal to bring Colburn to Butler began to take shape about three years ago when Dan Bolin, his longtime friend and at the time the Butler University School of Music Chair, mentioned that Robert Grechesky, Butler’s longtime Director of Bands, would be retiring in 2014.

Colburn called Bolin a few months later and asked about replacing Grechesky.

“This is a great opportunity for Butler,” Bolin said. “There’s never been a former director of the Marine Band who’s become a college professor. There have been former directors who’ve taught in an adjunct capacity, but to be a full-time professor is great for Butler and our students—and for Mike to have a second career with some new challenges in a new community.”

In December, Colburn will receive The Midwest Clinic Medal of Honor for 2014 in recognition of achieving highest artistic standards on the world stage and his successes in bringing music to wide segments of society. The Medal of Honor, given by the Midwest Clinic, an international band and orchestra conference, recognizes conductors, educators, performers, composers, and others who have provided unique, distinguished service to music education and have had distinct influence on orchestras, bands, and related performance media.

 

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

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Trustees Approve New Housing Facility and Parking Garage

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PUBLISHED ON Jul 11 2014

The Butler University Board of Trustees has approved the development of two new facilities—a state-of-the-art student-housing facility with approximately 600 modern, suite-style beds and a 1,038-space multi-use parking facility.

Overall RenderConstruction of the five-story parking structure, which is anticipated to open in August 2015, will begin this fall. Construction of the student-housing facility is expected to begin in spring 2015 with completion in fall 2016.

The University has selected the existing Irwin Library parking lot along Sunset Avenue as the optimal site for the new student-housing facility, following detailed planning efforts in partnership with American Campus Communities (ACC) and input from a broad set of stakeholders.

“Advancing our educational mission through the development of superior campus amenities is a key component of Butler’s 2020 Vision to be an innovative leader in transformative student-centered learning,” Butler President James M. Danko said.

The new student-housing facility is just one component of a comprehensive effort to modernize and expand Butler’s campus housing facilities. The University and ACC will also be assessing existing residence facilities, including Schwitzer Hall, Ross Hall, and Residential College (ResCo). Completion of these audits will yield recommendations for future renovation or replacement of those facilities.

“Our partnership with ACC will allow us to address our entire campus housing infrastructure, providing an ideal residential experience for the next generation of Butler students,” said Benjamin Hunter, Chief of Staff to President Danko.

The parking facility will be built on an existing parking lot between Clowes Memorial Hall and Lake Road. The multi-use facility will include approximately 15,000-square-feet of commercial and office space on the ground level.

The parking facility will serve the needs of faculty, staff, and commuter students, as well as event parking demand for Hinkle Fieldhouse, Clowes Memorial Hall, and the Howard L. Schrott Center for the Arts. The retail space is likely to house restaurants and businesses catering to both the campus community and surrounding neighborhoods.

“This new facility will be a great asset for Butler and its neighbors,” Hunter said. “There have been concerns about the availability of parking at Butler, especially during major events. This will go a long way toward mitigating those concerns and will enable future growth.”

The new multi-use parking facility has been in the planning phase for approximately 18 months. In addition to conducting a thorough parking analysis and gaining extensive input from campus stakeholders, the University consulted with the Butler-Tarkington Neighborhood Association, Midtown Indianapolis, Inc., and the City of Indianapolis.

These exciting initiatives join ongoing efforts to develop and enhance the eastern border of Butler’s campus. The University and City of Indianapolis began work in April on the Sunset Avenue Streetscape initiative, which will improve community safety and way-finding, while beautifying the public gateways to campus. The initial phase of the Streetscape project will primarily involve Sunset Avenue north of Hampton Drive, including a major reconfiguration of the 49th Street curve.

“With the Sunset Avenue Streetscape improvements in full swing, a multi-use parking facility scheduled to open next year, and planning for new student housing underway, we are certainly beginning to see our exciting vision for Butler's future come to life," Danko said.

 

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

 

 

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CUE's 'Make Change' Project Expands to Midtown

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PUBLISHED ON Jun 19 2014

Doing something good for the environment in Indianapolis can now earn you currency that can be exchanged for goods at local businesses.

The program—called Make Change—allows people to do something as simple as riding their bicycle or as involved as participating in a neighborhood cleanup program in exchange for redeemable coins.

changeEach hour of activity is worth $10 in aluminum coins specially created for this program. A list of activities is below.

Coins can be redeemed at locations including The Children’s Museum of Indianapolis, the Good Earth, and Broad Ripple Brew Pub. A complete list is below.

For more information about the program, visit makechangeindy.com.

Tim Carter, director of Butler University’s Center for Urban Ecology, which oversees the program, said the message of Make Change is simple: “Do something to help the environment, document that, receive your currency, exchange the currency.”

Make Change was originally funded through a grant from the Environmental Protection Agency's (EPA) Urban Waters program and launched in January 2013 in the neighborhoods between Fall Creek and 38th Street. 

As of Friday, June 20, the program is being expanded to the entire Midtown area, thanks to a $1,000 Nice Grant from SmallBox, an Indianapolis-based web design and marketing company. Residents of Midtown or those who perform their activities in Midtown are eligible to participate.

Participants can earn as much Make Change currency as they want. With some activities—like, say adding a rain barrel to a home—all the participant needs to do is document his/her activity through social media with the hashtag #MakeChangeIndy. In the case of community projects, organizers will be given coins to distribute to participants.

The program will continue at least through the end of 2014, Carter said.

Activities that are eligible for currency are:

Worth 15 minutes ($2.50 credit):
-Take a clean water pledge at http://www.clearchoicescleanwater.org
-Replace an incandescent light bulb in your home.
-Document your trip on one of the bike trails in Indianapolis.
-Donate to Indy Upcycle, 6358 North Guilford Avenue, which sells art and craft materials at pay-as-you-wish pricing.

Worth one hour ($10 credit):
-Participate in the bike share.
-Have an energy audit done on your home.
-Plant a garden/native plants (one hour for every 10 square feet).

Worth two hours ($20 credit):
-Plant a tree.
-Start a chicken coop.
-Create a composting system.
-Install a rain barrel.
-Bike to work.

Businesses accepting the currency are:
Unleavened Bread Café
The Children's Museum of Indianapolis
Freewheelin' Community Bikes
Fall Creek Gardens
Duos Kitchen
KI Ecocenter
Agrarian
Indy Upcycle
Good Earth Natural Foods
Broad Ripple Brew Pub
CUE Farm

 

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

 

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Ed Carpenter '03 Wins Firestone 600K

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PUBLISHED ON Jun 08 2014

[From EdCarpenterRacing.com]

By Tom Blattler

FORT WORTH, Texas  – We saw the emotion from Ed Carpenter '03 two weeks ago at this year’s Indianapolis 500, but we saw Carpenter’s impressive driving skill Saturday night at the Texas Motor Speedway.

Carpenter, team owner/driver of the No. 20 Ed Carpenter Racing/Fuzzy’s Ultra Premium Vodka Chevrolet, started fifth and led 90 laps to win the Firestone 600K under the lights in a superb performance. It was Carpenter’s third career Verizon IndyCar Series victory (Kentucky, Fontana and Texas) and the third win for Ed Carpenter Racing (Ed at Fontana 2012 and Texas 2014 and Mike Conway at Long Beach 2014). ECR was started in 2012.

Carpenter, the Indy 500 pole winner, suffered a tough late race result at the 500 when he was knocked out the "Greatest Spectacle in Racing” on lap 175 while running in the second place. But the popular Butler University marketing grad left little doubt of his speed Saturday night at the high-banked 1.45-mile oval north of Ft. Worth. It was Carpenter’s 14th Texas start.

Carpenter, whose best Texas finish was fourth last year entering Saturday’s race, led the 248-lap event three times including 66 of the last 67 circuits to defeat pole sitter Will Power and Juan Pablo Montoya in an all-Chevy podium finish.

Carpenter made a spectacular pass on Power for the lead on lap 182 and widened his margin to 14 seconds before a late race caution flag on lap 241 closed up the field. On the lap 246 restart, Carpenter took the advantage again and won at the checkered flag by .524 seconds with an average speed of 178.301 miles per hour.

The win for Ed Carpenter Racing gives the single-car team two wins in 2014 with its two drivers, Carpenter and Conway, in a unique team setup. Carpenter drives the six oval races and Conway the 12 road races. 

Carpenter has been delighted with the performance of his young single-car operation this year and Saturday night’s performance gave the entire Verizon IndyCar Series notice that the Fuzzy’s Vodka-packed squad will be tough to deal with the remainder of the 2014 season.

"I knew we had a good car,” said Carpenter. "We had a good test here back a couple of months ago. I just felt like we left some on the table in qualifying, but it made me extra motivated for tonight. The first two stints weren’t great. Had one bad stint, but the guys just made great adjustments all night. The Fuzzy’s car was hooked up by the end. I think we were the car to beat at the end. I was a little worried about that last yellow. I knew guys were going to come in and pit. We talked about what we would do in that situation and we were kind of undecided. But Tim (Broyles, team strategist) and the boys made the right call. It’s an awesome night. I have loved this race track for a long time and had a lot of bad luck here. I have really always wanted to win here, so I’m super excited.”

While the disappointment of the Indy 500 still lingers with Carpenter, the win on Saturday night helps repair the sting from the race two weeks ago.

"Yeah, we had the car to win Indy,” said Carpenter. "I’m not saying we would have beat Ryan (Hunter-Reay) but I think we were the best chance to have a shot at Ryan. It’s nice to come back here and get a win. I’m really proud of the team’s two wins already this year. It’s a good year. All the credit goes to the team guys. The awesome pit stops they give Mike Conway and I and the great cars too. And obviously I want to thank Fuzzy’s Vodka for making this all happen.”

There is no rest of the weary at Ed Carpenter Racing as the team begins testing at Iowa this Tuesday and Milwaukee Thursday and the following week at Pocono before the next Verizon IndyCar Series race, the Houston doubleheader on June 28-29 at Reliant Stadium. Conway will drive the Fuzzy’s Vodka Chevy at Houston.

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Senior Josh Turner Performs on ABC's 'Good Morning America'

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PUBLISHED ON Jun 04 2014

Butler senior guitar major Josh Turner was home Monday, doing the dishes, when he received a call from a New York area code. The caller left a message: Would you be interested in being on Good Morning America?

He was.

BpXUEZtIYAAwoMaTurner appeared on national TV live from New York at 7:48 a.m. Thursday, part of a segment called “Open Mike” that devotes airtime to talent found online. The show labeled him an "online sensation," thanks to his version of Paul Simon's song “Graceland” on YouTube. Co-host Michael Strahan said Turner's version "sounds just like the original" and challenged Turner by playing parts of the original, stopping it, and having him pick up where Simon left off.

He handled the assignment with ease, as you can see here.

“I was incredibly stunned when they called,” Turner, whose video had come to the show’s attention through a post on the website Reddit, said Wednesday. “I never really interact with Reddit directly, but sometimes people who watch my videos post them to Reddit, where they’re seen by a lot more people. Somebody from the show must have seen it there.”

For a low-key performer who hopes one day to be a session musician—or maybe a sideman for a singer-songwriter—it was an extraordinary opportunity to be the front man for a day.

Turner, who was born in Indianapolis and lived in Cincinnati and North Carolina before coming to Butler, said music’s been part of his life since age 7 or 8 when he started playing piano. He’s been in choirs since age 9 (at Butler, he’s in the Butler Chorale and is musical director of the a cappella group Out of the Dawg House) and started playing guitar at 13.

In high school, he played guitar and some banjo in a three-piece bluegrass outfit called The Other Favorites, and he’s in a folk group now called Coyote Armada that’s made up mostly of recent Butler graduates.

Turner’s parents had lived in the Butler-Tarkington neighborhood and when he was looking at colleges, they knew he was looking for a mid-sized liberal arts school.

“I wound up looking at Butler and really liking it,” he said.

Turner said he had “no idea” what he hopes will come from Thursday’s appearance on national TV.

“I don’t know that I’ve fully addressed it mentally,” he said. “I’m sure it will lead to a bump in views and hopefully more opportunities down the road, but I’m not hoping this is going to launch my career. But it’ll be great to have more people aware of my music and seeing what I’m up to on YouTube.”

Incredibly, GMA was not his only offer. A few days before, he’d gotten a call from The Ellen DeGeneres Show. They’d also seen the “Graceland” video and were interested in having him on. But they couldn’t give a firm date, so they suggested he take the Good Morning America offer.

“I would have been stunned for one offer alone,” he said. “To get the two in the space of about four days is completely unprecedented.”

 

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

 

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Luke Bunting '14 Earns Fulbright Teaching Assistantship

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PUBLISHED ON Jun 03 2014

Luke Bunting ’14 didn’t have enough time to study abroad during his years at Butler, but he’s making up for that in a big way: Beginning in July, he’ll spend 12½ months in South Korea as a Fulbright Foreign Language Teaching Assistant.

LukeBunting was notified in late May that he received the award, which will place him in either a suburban or rural setting. He’s Butler’s third Fulbright English Teaching Assistantship Award winner this year, which is a record number of winners for the University.

“I’m hoping to learn a lot about East Asian and Pacific relations, especially with North Korea, China, Japan, and South Korea continuing to play a larger and larger role on the world stage,” the Carmel, Indiana, native said. “Then, at the same time, the whole point of the Fulbright program is to help spread American culture and awareness of American culture, so I’m hoping to be a good ambassador for our country and expand the understanding of our culture.”

Bunting said he applied for the assistantship earlier this year after seeing a brochure for the program in Butler’s Center for High Achievement & Scholarly Engagement. He credits Director of Undergraduate Research and Prestigious Scholarships Rusty Jones and Assistant Professor of History Zachary Scarlett with guiding him through the process to apply for the prestigious award.

Bunting doesn’t speak Korean, “but that’s one of the advantages of this program—the South Korea program did not demand that its applicants already know the language,” he said. “When I get over there for the orientation, they’re putting me through a rigorous language course, along with all the others who were selected, and they’re giving us training on how to properly teach English to our students.”

At Butler, Bunting majored in political science, with a minor in history. He wants to go into government work when he finishes the Fulbright program, and he thinks a year in Korea will help his prospects.

“I think having more world knowledge and knowledge of another culture will be helpful,” he said. “I’d really like to get inside the culture to see a lot of different points I feel Americans in general don’t understand and take that knowledge with me to be able to work in policy in Washington, DC.”

 

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

 

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Why Is It Funny? Professor Bungard Will Tell You

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PUBLISHED ON Jun 02 2014

The writer E.B. White famously said that explaining a joke is like dissecting a frog.

“You understand it better,” he said, “but the frog dies in the process.”

chrisbButler University Associate Professor of Classical Studies Chris Bungard thinks analysis of humor doesn’t have to be that way. He’s received a National Endowment for the Humanities (NEH) grant to develop a course called “Why Is It Funny” that will help students think about the role that comedy has played in the human experience from antiquity to the present day.

Bungard said the class will examine issues such as how laughter plays with our perceptions, the appeal of subversive humor, whether comedy is “a guy thing,” the role of laughter in civic discourse, and whether we can laugh at war.

The class will be more than laughter, of course. The goal of first-year seminar classes is to help students build foundations in critical reading, writing, and speaking. There’ll be papers to write, lots of readings, and a final project that will ask students to develop either a five-to-seven-minute stand-up routine in the style of a non-American comic tradition or to create a five-to-seven-minute period comedy piece using the tools of digital storytelling.

“As students delve deeply into these diverse materials, they will formulate for themselves theories of what underlies the attraction of comedy,” Bungard wrote in the proposal for creating the course. “We will ask ourselves: Is there such a thing as universal comedy? To what extent is comedy bound up in cultural norms? Is comedy inherently antagonistic? Or does the humor of comedy promote inclusive communities?”

The NEH gives grants to develop courses that promote the value of the humanities. The classes have to address an enduring question, such as: What’s the good life? What is justice? And the subject matter should look across the globe or across time—ideally, both. Bungard’s yearlong first-year seminar course, scheduled to debut in fall 2015, will take a wide view of comedy from ancient Athens and Rome, Renaissance Europe, the Middle East, Japan, Nigeria, South Africa, and modern America. It will intentionally make use of comedy from different genres, including plays, films, traditional fables, and comic strips.

In creating the class—and process that is still ongoing—Bungard said he has found himself asking questions like:

-Are comedy, humor, and “funny” the same thing?

-When we say something is funny, do we mean the same thing every time?

-Can we use humor to turn something terrible into something laughable and create a kind of power over the evil?

Even the question of whether dissecting a joke kills the humor led to other questions, such as: If that is the result, then why? What happened?

For the answers to those questions and others, you’ll have to take the class.

 

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

 

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