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1,600 Pounds of Trash, All Over the West Mall

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PUBLISHED ON Apr 08 2014

Two Dumpsters’ worth of trash will be spilled onto Butler University’s west mall April 17 at 11:00 a.m. so students in the Sustainability Practicum course can gauge the amount of food and recyclables in a portion of the University’s garbage.

Brian Foster, Environmental Manager for Covanta, Indianapolis's incinerator, explains the trash-burning process to Sustainability Practicum students.
Brian Foster, Environmental Manager for Covanta, Indianapolis's incinerator, explains the trash-burning process to Sustainability Practicum students.

 

Ray’s Trash Service, which hauled Butler’s garbage, will overturn the receptacles, dumping out approximately 1,600 pounds of refuse collected from Atherton Union and Ross Hall, sites of the University’s two largest student dining halls.

McKenzie Beverage, Butler’s Sustainability Coordinator and instructor for the Sustainability Practicum class, said the purpose of the exercise is to show the amounts of food that’s going to waste and recyclables that are ending up in the trash.

“Because this is an awareness campaign, having a big pile of trash outside is very eye-opening and attention-getting,” Beverage said.

Students will be tweeting their observations at #DawgsGoGreen14. The Twitter account name is @trashauditBU.

An anthropology class will take the recyclables removed from this load of trash and use them for an art project.

The trash audit is part of Earth Week events as well as a bigger initiative to raise awareness about waste and recycling among Butler students, faculty, staff, and visitors.

Other activities include:

-April 14-18: Food Waste Awareness in Dining Halls. Students from Beverage’s class will display pre-consumer food waste totals in the dining halls as an awareness tactic about food waste. Food waste accounts for 10 percent of landfill content in Indiana, a large source of greenhouse gas emissions. Butler Dining Services has reduced its pre-consumer food waste by 18 percent since April 2013, and continues to explore reduction tactics. 

-April 16: Jim Poyser from Earth Charter IN will host the “Ain’t Too Late Show” at 7:00 p.m. in Pharmacy Building Room 150. Collection bins will be provided to help support the Movers for Moms initiative.

-April 19: Student Government Association’s Green Ops will coordinate a White River clean-up in cooperation with the Health and Recreation Center, Friends of the White River, Keep Indianapolis Beautiful, and the International School of Indianapolis. From 9:00 a.m. to noon, Butler students will clean up litter via canoe along the river between Rocky Ripple and the International School. 

-April 22-28: Move-Out Recycling Competition for Butler Seniors. Seniors preparing to move out of their houses can contribute unwanted but recyclable items for free, diverting those cast-off materials from landfills.

In February and March, Butler participated in RecycleMania, an eight-week national competition between universities to promote waste reduction and recycling. In late March, a student group from the Sustainability Practicum class created a Greek house competition to help RecycleMania efforts. They collected 1,250 pounds of recyclables from seven Greek houses in a two-week period.

Beverage said Butler also is involved in a number of long-range environmental efforts, including:

-Submission of the University’s sustainability and climate action plan, part of the American College & University Presidents’ Climate Commitment that President James M. Danko signed in 2012.

- The student-run initiative Butler Biodiesel has made its first batch of biodiesel fuel from waste cooking oils generated on campus with new equipment funded by the Butler Innovation Fund. The group plans to give the biodiesel away on a first-come, first-served basis this summer.   

-Butler College of Business Real Business Experience students have started a recycling company called Green U to service Greek houses and Butler senior houses at a subsidized rate.

 

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

 

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Dr. Grechesky Goes Out on a High Note

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PUBLISHED ON Apr 07 2014

Forty-one years, seven presidents, six deans, countless performances. That’s the line on Bob Grechesky’s career at Butler, which ends this spring when he retires as director of bands.

bobgrechesky11Grechesky joined the faculty in 1973, when Lilly Hall was barely a decade old, and Gallahue Hall and the Holcomb Building had yet to be built. One of his professors at the University of Wisconsin-Madison, former Butler Marching Band Director Michael Leckrone, had taught at Butler and told him about the job, which consisted of conducting the marching band and jazz band.

“I didn’t think I’d stay longer than a few years,” said Grechesky, sitting in a Lilly Hall office filled with memories and mementos of his decades at Butler, including probably 100 bobbleheads. “But it’s been a very good place to be.”

Growing up in Salem, New Jersey, near the Delaware border, Grechesky planned to become a lawyer or a psychologist. In high school in the early 1960s, he was a “crappy” trombone player. One summer he went to a summer music camp at Glassboro State College (now Rowan University) and found himself relegated to the last chair. “It was embarrassing,” he said.

The next year, the Beatles made their first appearance on “The Ed Sullivan Show,” and suddenly everyone wanted to be in a rock band—including a friend down the street who played euphonium. Grechesky asked to borrow the horn, which he describes as “a tuba with a thyroid condition.” That next summer, he earned euphonium first chair at the summer camp.

“I wasn’t ready to play that stuff, but there I was,” he said. “So I practiced eight hours a day. The camp was a three-week camp, and, by the time I got done, I was pretty good. I stuck with it. There’s a lot to be said for perseverance. Showing up is the majority of it. Show up, do the work, work hard at it.”

He went on to study at Rutgers University as an undergraduate and earn his doctorate at the University of Wisconsin in Madison. He taught in New Jersey and Wisconsin high schools, and at Madison Area Technical College while in grad school. But Butler was his first—and, it turns out, last—full-time university teaching job.

“I got to a place in my career where this [Butler] was very satisfying,” he said. “And Indianapolis is a great town. We sort of grew up with the town. And this is a great place to raise a family. This is a good school with great students and faculty, and I’ve always been able to fulfill my professional artistic needs here as far as making music and doing music.”

Butler Composer-in-Residence Michael Schelle said Grechesky has been a phenomenal asset for Butler as a professor, performer, and colleague.

“For 40 years, he has been ‘Radio Free Butler’—by far, the most flag-waving chamber of commerce representative for the University I have ever known here, or anywhere else,” Schelle said. “He put his heart and soul into the school and the young musicians, 24/7.”

But now Grechesky and his wife, Adrienne, a music teacher in Indianapolis Public Schools for the past 41 years, will be moving to Marietta, Georgia, to be near their daughter, son-in-law, and two granddaughters.

Grechesky expects to do a lot of chauffeuring. He also plans to play in the Cobb County Wind Ensemble and work on a critical addition to a composition called “A Chant from the Great Plains,” which won the first National Band Association composition contest in the 1920s but has since been lost through time.

What he’ll miss most about Butler, he said, are the students. He’s proud of the number of students who’ve gone on to successful careers in music, including Bob Wood ’74 (trumpet in the Indianapolis Symphony Orchestra), Steve Eggleston ’74 (professor of music at Illinois Wesleyan University), and Matt Henry ’96 (colonel and conductor in U.S. Air Force band).

“Some of my best friends are former students,” he said. “Over the years, you establish those relationships. That’s the thing. That’s the bond.”

 

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

 

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Collegian Takes Home 11 ICPA Awards

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PUBLISHED ON Apr 07 2014

The Butler Collegian won 11 awards at the Indiana Collegiate Press Association's annual conference Saturday at IUPUI, celebrating the best of Indiana's collegiate newspapers, news magazines, literary magazines, yearbooks, online publications and advertising.

Cartoonist Audrey Meyer, news editor Marais Jacon-Duffy, managing editor Ryan Lovelace, sports reporter Joe Hasenstab and assistant sports editor Matthew VanTryon display the Collegian's awards.
Cartoonist Audrey Meyer, news editor Marais Jacon-Duffy, managing editor Ryan Lovelace, sports reporter Joe Hasenstab and assistant sports editor Matthew VanTryon display the Collegian's awards.

Sophomore Mallory Duncan, who is assistant editor of the Arts, Etc. section, received first place for best entertainment feature story, "A Glorious Adventure Awaits," about science fiction/fantasy writer and Butler senior Stefan LeBlanc. The judge called the story "a great student profile."

Sophomore Audrey Meyer won first place for best editorial cartoon for "Parking Ticket." The judge wrote: "Made us laugh. Clearly and quickly gets the idea across, with a great facial expression. The cartoonist has a very bright future in cartooning."

Audrey Meyer ICPA CartoonThe Collegian won first place for best special issue on March 20, 2013, with the lead stories, "Butler Joining the Big East" and "Back in the Big Dance." It was published the week after spring break (when a newspaper is not normally published), put together under deadline by six students: Jill McCarter '13, Colin Likas, Marissa Johnson '13, Austin Monteith, Lauren Stark and Madison Chartier. The judge wrote: "Great way to capitalize on big sports news by centering an issue around it."

The Collegian also received first and second place for best sports page: "Cycling Team Keeps Rolling," from Oct. 16, 2013, by Taylor Meador '13, Austin Monteith, Kyle Beery and Ben Sieck, and "Official Reaction," from March 6, 2013, by Johnson and Monteith.

Other second place awards:

--Best non-deadline news story, "Packing Up and Moving On," March 6, 2013, by McCarter, Likas and Johnson.

--Best single issue, March 6, 2013.

--Best front page, October 16, 2013, "Red Ink."

Third place awards:

--Maggie Monson, best opinion column, for "You Don't Have to Look Sick to Feel Sick."

--Best overall design.

In addition to those awards, The Collegian placed third for best Division II Newspaper of the Year. Winners this year were The Shield at the University of Southern Indiana, and The Reflector at the University of Indianapolis, respectively. The Collegian had won the category the past two consecutive years.

 

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

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Elaine Wagner, Brad Stevens to Be Honored at Spring Commencement

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PUBLISHED ON Apr 04 2014

Rear Admiral Elaine C. Wagner ’76 and former Butler men’s basketball coach Brad Stevens will receive honorary doctorates at Butler University’s commencement ceremony May 10 in the Butler Bowl. More than 800 students are expected to receive their diplomas.

Winter CommencementRear Admiral Wagner is Commander, Navy Medicine East and Naval Medical Center Portsmouth, Virginia. She grew up in southern Indiana and attended Butler and Indiana University School of Dentistry (D.D.S., 1980). She completed her pediatric dentistry residency at Riley Hospital for Children in Indianapolis in 1982.

She was commissioned and reported to Marine Corps Air Ground Combat Center, 29 Palms, California, in December 1983. In the years since, she has headed military dental departments and programs in Washington, DC; San Diego; Maryland; Florida; South Carolina; New England; and Virginia, as well as Okinawa, Japan, and the Philippines. Wagner served as Chief of the Navy Dental Corps from 2010 to 2013. Her military decorations and awards include the Legion of Merit with two gold stars, Meritorious Service Medal with three gold stars, Navy and Marine Corps Commendation Medal with three gold stars, and Navy and Marine Corps Achievement Medal with two gold stars.

In his six years as the men’s basketball head coach at Butler, Brad Stevens led the Bulldogs to two NCAA® Division I national championship games, four Horizon League regular season championships, three league tournament titles, and five trips to postseason tournament play. Most of the members of the Class of 2014 were first-year students during the second Final Four®  run, and share memories of this achievement.

Last July, the Boston Celtics hired Stevens to be their head coach. “We didn’t have a formal opportunity to thank Brad or celebrate the many contributions he made to the Butler community,” Butler President James M. Danko said. “So for us, this will be that chance. Brad was a dedicated member of the Butler community for more than a dozen years, and still maintains close ties to the University. It is wholly appropriate that we honor him at Commencement with his first Butler degree.”

Stevens’s career is well documented. He left a position as a marketing associate at Eli Lilly and Company in Indianapolis to pursue a career in basketball coaching. He served in a volunteer capacity in Butler’s basketball office during summer 2000, before eventually gaining a full-time administrative position under Thad Matta. He joined the Butler staff in 2000-2001 as Coordinator of Basketball Operations, handling a variety of administrative duties. He was offered a full-time assistant coaching position by then-Coach Todd Lickliter for the 2001-2002 season.

Media contact: Marc Allan
Office Phone 317-940-9822
Cell Phone 317-501-7999
Email mallan@butler.edu

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Emily Seibert '14 Earns Fulbright Teaching Assistantship

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PUBLISHED ON Apr 02 2014

Emily Seibert ’14 received her best 22nd birthday present the day before her actual March 27 birthday: She was chosen for a prestigious Fulbright English Teaching Assistantship to live and work in Athens, Greece, for 10 months.

DSC_0372She’ll leave in September and be one of a dozen Americans in the Fulbright program who will teach English and American culture to students at the elementary, middle and high school levels.

“I was very surprised and very honored,” said Seibert, the sixth Fulbright recipient from Butler in the past four years. “I didn’t fully know how to react because I never expected it to become a reality.”

Seibert, an elementary education major from Valparaiso, Indiana, said she had planned to start the job-search process in Indianapolis for a teaching position at the elementary-school level. Then she saw a notice in the Butler Connection—the daily email that goes to students, faculty, and staff—about applying for a Fulbright.

“It put together three of the passions I’ve enhanced at Butler; my love for teaching and my love for kids, my passion for serving others and my new-found love of experiencing different cultures found through my study abroad experience,” she said.

She talked to Rusty Jones, Interim Associate Director of Butler’s Center for High Achievement and Scholarly Engagement, and he helped her start the application process and edit her essays. Jones also organized a Fulbright campus committee interview and wrote her institutional endorsement.

The opportunity to participate in the program in Greece thrilled her because it has no requirement that participants speak a foreign language fluently (Seibert doesn’t) and because she’ll be there with other Fulbright recipients, working collaboratively.

Seibert said she still plans to teach—most likely in Indianapolis—when her Fulbright ends in July 2015. But for now, she’s looking forward to “experiencing education in the world, seeing all the different aspects of what education looks like across the globe. This is a great opportunity to see a different side of education and to bring what I’ve learned at Butler to another part of the world.”

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

 

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26th Annual Undergraduate Research Conference Will Be the Biggest Yet

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PUBLISHED ON Mar 31 2014

Butler University’s 26th annual Undergraduate Research Conference will be its biggest ever, with nearly 1,000 students and their mentoring faculty from 20 states coming to campus April 11 for a daylong event showcasing oral and poster presentations on topics as diverse as molecular biology and 17th-century opera.

014Admission is open to the public, although advanced registration is encouraged. For more information, call 317-940-9581.

Rusty Jones, Interim Associate Director of Butler’s Center for High Achievement and Scholarly Engagement, said nearly two-thirds of the students presenting their research will be from outside Butler, with some coming from as far away as Massachusetts, Florida, and California.

This year’s conference is more than 20 percent bigger than any previous year’s—with nearly 600 presentations scheduled. Jones expects the event to continue to grow.

“This is a unique opportunity for undergraduate students to show off their work,” he said. “We’re one of the only places doing something like this. The quality is absolutely first rate.

“It’s harder and harder to get into grad school. High-achieving students are doing everything they can to make themselves strong candidates, and participation in this event can really bolster their applications and help prepare them for graduate-level work.”

The Undergraduate Research Conference (URC) is open to all fields of study. This year’s theme is “Cultivating urcregisterIntellectual Growth,” and, in keeping with the theme of “cultivation,” McKenzie Beverage, Butler’s sustainability coordinator, will showcase environmental awareness projects on Butler’s campus. That includes tours of the campus farm and LEED gold-certified Howard L. Schrott Center for the Arts and the Pharmacy Building addition, as well as a glimpse of a new initiative to operate campus vehicles using student-produced biodiesel fuel.

Information about the presentations at the URC can be found at www.butler.edu/urc.

 

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

 

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Stephen Standifird Named New College of Business Dean

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PUBLISHED ON Mar 21 2014

Stephen Standifird, Dean of the Schroeder School of Business at the University of Evansville, will become the Dean of Butler University’s College of Business beginning June 1.

Standifird_PhotoAt Butler, he will take over the University’s third-largest college, with approximately 900 undergraduate and 200 graduate students. Butler’s College of Business was ranked 47th in the 2013 Bloomberg BusinessWeek ranking of 124 U.S. undergraduate business programs, and U.S. News and World Report ranked the College 141 out of 342 schools in 2013. Butler University’s part-time MBA program is currently ranked 57th by Bloomberg BusinessWeek and 72nd by U.S. News and World Report’s Best Graduate Schools.

"I am impressed by what the Butler College of Business has been able to accomplish in recent years,” said Standifird. “Butler University and the College of Business specifically are leaders in higher education innovation. I am thrilled with the opportunity to lead the ongoing advancements of the College."

At Evansville, Standifird was responsible for all aspects of the Schroeder School of Business, including leading the school’s faculty, assuring continued accreditation, and providing oversight of the school’s Institute for Global Enterprise and Institute for Banking and Finance. Standifird also led the revamping of the school’s assurance of learning program and the introduction of a variety of new international offerings including the “Global Virtual Classroom.”

He created a $1.2 million endowment for career services, with commitments to bring the endowment to $2 million. Under his watch, student placement and their starting salaries increased by 24 percent and 14 percent, respectively. Standifird also led the creation of a $100,000 microfinance fund for minority- and women-owned businesses, which is operated by students and in partnership with Old National Bank.

Prior to his time at the University of Evansville, Standifird held positions at the University of San Diego’s School of Business. As Associate Dean from 2009–2011, he helped increase enrollment of the school’s six master of science programs by roughly 34 percent over a two-year period. During his time as Director of Undergraduate Programs from 2006–2009, he created a comprehensive assurance of learning program and positioned the program for its first-ever ranking by Bloomberg BusinessWeek in 2009.

Standifird earned his bachelor’s degree in chemical engineering from Purdue University, his MBA from Northwestern University, and his doctorate in organizational studies from the University of Oregon.

“Steve has the precise combination of experience and expertise to become the next leader of the Butler College of Business,” Provost Kathryn Morris said. “I am very pleased that he will be joining the leadership team at Butler.”

 

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

 

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Jordan College of the Arts Bestows Its First Legend Awards

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PUBLISHED ON Mar 19 2014

 

 

Poet and musician Mari Evans, jazz vocalist Everett Greene, and attorney and arts advocate Fay H. Williams received the Jordan College of the Arts’s inaugural Legend Awards during ceremonies March 18 at Butler University’s Howard L. Schrott Center for the Arts.

Congressman Andre Carson (left) and Dean Ronald Caltabiano (right) with the first Legend Award winners, Fay Williams, Everett Greene, and Mari Evans.
Congressman Andre Carson (left) and Dean Ronald Caltabiano (right) with the first Legend Award winners, Fay Williams, Everett Greene, and Mari Evans. (Photo by Mark Lee, 2014) (c)
 

 

 

“Jordan College of the Arts (JCA) created the Legend Awards to honor individuals whose legendary work has had a deep and lasting impact on the artistic and social fabric of Indianapolis,” Dean Ronald Caltabiano said. “They aim to especially recognize the work of members of minority communities.”

In accepting their awards, Evans read a recent poem, Greene sang with his long time accompanist, and actress/storyteller Deborah Asante took the stage in a dramatic reading of one of Mari Evans best-known works, "I Am a Black Woman."

Congressman Andre Carson, honorary chair, welcomed the attendees and stayed throughout the event, which more than 150 people attended.

Prior to the awards presentation, Caltabiano announced the launch of an Audience Development Task Force to be chaired by Williams. Composed of community members and representatives from the across Butler (including JCA faculty and staff and members of the JCA Board of Visitors), the task force will work through the next year, with goal of making recommendations to the dean on expanding JCA audience diversity in areas including age, ethnicity, and religion.

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

 

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Jackson Aldridge Tries to Make Fans Comfortable

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PUBLISHED ON Jan 16 2014

When he’s not making a name for himself playing basketball, Butler guard Jackson Aldridge is working on his career as a businessman/entrepreneur. As part of his Real Business Experience course, the sophomore economics major from Sydney, Australia, has created Stadium Sidekick, an inflatable drink holder that doubles as a seat cushion.

The Stadium Sidekick

Stadium Sidekick, which sells for $4, is designed to be customized with school and team logos, and marketed with this slogan: “Support your team with a full beer and a comfortable rear.”

“The long term goals of my business are to establish a reliable, comfortable, and unique product to both professional and collegiate sporting venues for fans to enjoy,” Aldridge said.

Product development began in Butler’s Real Business Experience (RBE) class, where students team up and devise an idea to produce and market a product or service. Then they produce and sell the product.

Aldridge and his team in the RBE class established a connection with a supplier in China to manufacture the product, and towards the end of the semester he made bulk sales totaling 200 units in just two weeks of sales.

If the business concept is approved by an outside funding review board, students can take a second class where they actually run their business marketing their product, and the College of Business will loan the team up to $5,000 to get up and running.

Aldridge is taking the second class and will be selling the Stadium Sidekick during the spring semester. After he pays back the money, he can keep the profits.

 

 

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

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Butler Library Faculty Help Shortridge Students with Senior Projects

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PUBLISHED ON Jan 16 2014

When seniors at Shortridge Magnet High School start work on their required Senior Service Learning Project, they—and their teachers—will be backed with help from several members of the Butler library faculty.

Under the leadership of Associate Dean of the Libraries Sally Neal, and with the support of Dean Julie Miller, members of the Butler libraries faculty designed and delivered customized workshops for Shortridge faculty, staff, and students to guide them through the research paper that is part of their service learning project. 

On Jan. 10, the Butler library faculty provided a research skills workshop for the Shortridge faculty mentors who are shepherding the Shortridge students through this first-time project.

“The Butler librarians shared some of their best tips for helping students locate the resources they will need for their research,” Neal said.

Strategies shared included how to write a strong thesis statement; identifying terminology/keywords for searching; considering the types of information sources needed (primary, secondary); identifying the information tools available for searching; and, finally, database searching strategies. 

On Jan. 17, the library faculty will present to the Shortridge students directly. The Shortridge students are at various points in the research process, so Butler librarians will present an overview on developing a strong thesis statement and good keywords. They will then work with the students in small groups based on where they are at in their research process. 

“Working with the Shortridge seniors will provide us with the opportunity to learn where they are at in their information literacy/research skill learning and to share with them how building on these skills is necessary not only for college but for lifelong learning,” Neal said. “We are excited about the opportunity to work with students outside Butler who may become Butler students themselves!” 

Butler University faculty collaborated with the Indianapolis Public Schools and community representatives to develop and open Shortridge Magnet High School for Law and Public Policy in 2009. The school offers a rigorous Core 40 college preparatory curriculum for grades 6-12, engagement with social justice issues, and exploration of legal and public service careers.

Butler students and faculty work with Shortridge counterparts in mentoring and tutoring, curriculum planning, after-school programs, professional teacher development, and an Early College Program.

Butler faculty participating in this project with Neal include Sally Childs-Helton, Janice Gustaferro, Tim Hommey, and Teresa Willliams.

Julianne Miranda, director of Butler’s Center for Academic Technology, also is a partner in this venture. She will assist in devising ways in which Information Commons student staff might assist the Shortridge seniors in later stages of preparing their presentations.

The Senior Serving Learning Project is designed to be a culmination of the Shortridge students’ experience at the law and public policy magnet school. Seniors have the opportunity to work with a community organization that specializes in a particular area of law or public policy.

They’re required to complete 80 hours of service that focuses on legal or public policy issues. They then write and present their projects to a panel of judges. Their work is supposed to be at or near college level.

 

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

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Graduate Student Kurt Carlson Earns Fulbright Award

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PUBLISHED ON Mar 25 2013

Kurt Carlson, a graduate student in music history in Butler’s Jordan College of the Arts, has received a Fulbright award for 2013-2014 to conduct research in Austria, through the University of Vienna, on 18th century composer Paul Wranitzky and the First Viennese School.

Kurt Carlson

Carlson’s work will include searching for Wranitzky’s letters in the many archives in Vienna, as well as the Masonic archives at Schloss Rosenau and some of the Czech holdings in Prague. He also will attempt to produce some new critical editions of Wranitzky's symphonies, especially those that have yet to been performed.

“I hope that after this research and time spent working on the same project for a dissertation I will have enough new information to write the first definitive monograph on Paul Wranitzky,” said Carlson, who also will be teaching in a secondary school un Vienna during his year there.

Carlson said he became interested in Wranitzky when, pondering a topic for an undergraduate thesis, he decided to trace how certain composers reacted to the cultural and political climate of their given moment in history.

He settled on two scenes: a "reactionary parenthesis" regarding WWII through selections by Shostakovich and Schoenberg, and a journey into the parallel idealist and realistic tendencies of the political fallout after the French Revolution, illuminated by Beethoven's Third Symphony (1803-1804), and Paul Wranitzky's Op. 31 Grande Sinfonie Caracteristique pour la Paix avec la Republique Francoise, often referred to as La Paix.

“I chose Wranitzky because in the Viennese 1790s there existed a vacuum of politically pointed or, in the case of La Paix, sympathetic music,” Carlson said. “I found out later that this vacuum most likely exists because in 1794 a bunch of arrests and even executions were carried out against people who sympathized with the French. And yet, here is this symphony of 1796, blatantly sympathetic, written by a man who had modest fame and worked primarily as a conductor at an opera house! I was fascinated.”

Carlson, a native of Woodstock, Ill., earned his undergraduate degree from Monmouth College. His primary advisors at Butler are Professors Sarah Eyerly and James Briscoe. He plans to enroll in a doctoral program when he returns from his year in Vienna.

"We are so proud that Kurt has received this award,” Eyerly said. “This is an honor for our department and for the University. And for Kurt, the Fulbright will likely constitute a career-changing experience. It shows the promise for Kurt to rise to the top of our profession and will enable him to demonstrate this promise in a tangible way to prospective graduate schools upon his return to the U.S."

Briscoe said Carlson “has honored Butler in many ways, both in the excellence of his music history studies but also in his counseling of undergraduates. I do not think we in music have ever sent a Master of Music student to such a major place in the constellation of student awards. There's no study prize more prestigious than a Fulbright.”

The Fulbright program, sponsored by the U.S. government, is designed to “increase mutual understanding between the people of the United States and the people of other countries.” Through the program, nearly 300,000 participants — chosen for their academic merit and leadership potential — have been given the opportunity to study, teach and conduct research, exchange ideas and contribute to finding solutions to shared international concerns.

 

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

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Professor Eyerly Finds Her Roots, and Her Research Topic

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PUBLISHED ON Mar 22 2013

Assistant Professor of Music Sarah Eyerly studies the practice of musical improvisation in the 18th-century communities of the Moravian Church. It’s a topic that seems obscure—until you know the backstory.

Sarah Eyerly

Rewind to 2002. A cousin sent her father a Pennsylvania Historical Society article about her great-great-great-great grandfather, Johann Jacob Eyerly, Jr., whose newly translated diary documented his roughly 300-mile walk along Indian trails from Bethlehem, Pa., to Pittsburgh, in the early 1790s. (The trip took eight days, during the summer. He wrote that the weather was so hot that the clothes melted off his back.)

The article mentioned that the diary was kept in the archives of the Moravian Church in Bethlehem. So Eyerly and her father drove there to view the manuscript. There, Eyerly, who grew up in the Lutheran Church, discovered family history she never knew: The Eyerlys’ roots were in the Moravian Church.

Coincidentally, her advisor at the University of California-Davis happened to be Moravian. After some discussion, Eyerly decided to apply for a research grant to go to the central archives of the Moravian Church in Germany. She spent a summer there and found manuscripts related to the practice of improvising hymns.

That ended up being the subject of her dissertation, and a life-changing event that has led her to become one of the foremost authorities on improvisational hymn singing.

In September 2011, she presented a paper at Oxford University on improvisational hymn singing as a way of communicating Christian theology.

“People would get together and sing in groups,” said Eyerly, who’s in her fourth year teaching music history at Butler. “They would lie on the floor and sing into the wooden floor boards so the vibrations of the singing would cleanse them in the way that theologically Christ’s body and blood can cleanse the Christian community in spiritual and physical ways. So it was a spiritual and physical way of singing that helped to guide participants toward an understanding of their theology.”

A year later, Eyerly went back to Oxford for a conference called “Perspectives on Musical Improvisation.” She talked about how the Moravians were able to teach so many community members how to improvise hymns and the pedagogy behind teaching improvisation.

Eyerly is writing a book on Moravian music, which she hopes to publish in the next two years. She is also returning to Oxford in September 2013 to talk about the Moravians and the creation of Christian community through song.

“This consumes me now,” she said with a smile.

 

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

 

 

 

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