Faculty Development

The Waters Project 2010-2011

WatersProjectThe Waters Project is an experiment of shared intellectual, creative, and pedagogical investigations for academic year 2010-2011.  Like the Sunset Project, the intent of the Waters Project is to make Butler a more stimulating, collaborative and supportive workplace (Priority Six of the Dare to Make a Difference strategic plan).  Faculty, staff, and students are encouraged to participate in the project through lectures, lunchtime symposia, exhibitions, service projects and poster sessions centered on the theme of Waters. 

The theme was selected because, in the words of the author Barbara Kingsolver,

"Water is life.  It is the briny broth of our origins, the pounding circulatory system of the world, a precarious molecular edge on which we survive…We stake our civilizations on the coasts and mighty rivers. Our deepest dread is the threat of having too little moisture-or too much."

Water is both one of the most important molecules on the planet and one of the most powerful and ubiquitous symbols among diverse societies across the globe.  Wars, both metaphorical and literal, are fought over it.  And in the 21st century, access to clean drinking water may register as among the most fundamental of human rights. 

Over the summer, a committee has been assembled, consisting of faculty from each of the six colleges and representation from staff.  The committee consists of:  Travis Ryan (Waters Project director, College of Liberal Arts and Sciences), Larry Lad (College of Business), Brooke Kandel-Cisco (College of Education), Leah Gauthier (Jordan College of Fine Arts), Mike Roscoe (College of Pharmacy and Health Sciences), Rose Campbell (College of Communication), Jason Goldsmith (College of Liberal Arts and Sciences), Terri Jett (College of Liberal Arts and Sciences) and Judy Cebula (Center for Faith and Vocation). 

Grants: The Waters Project Committee will offer modest grants to offset the cost of events or projects (creative, scholarly, pedagogical) related to the theme.  Applications can be made in writing to any member of the committee.  Proposed events or projects should be completed prior to 22 April 2011.  The Committee will consider proposals until all available funds have been allocated.

Stipends: Faculty or staff who initiate and organize a larger event related to the Project (e.g., a lunchtime symposium or service project) will receive a stipend of $300 in recognition of their contribution to the Butler community.

Prizes:  To encourage collaboration across colleges, and to recognize creative contributions to the project, the Committee will offer prizes for the following (prizes will be announced at a year-end party organized by the Provost's office):

  • Best cross-college collaborative project
  • Best creative submission (art, poetry, dance, etc.)
  • Best integration of the theme into a classroom project (preferably with results that can be exhibited)
  • Best poster submitted for the poster session
  • Best faculty or staff presentation (at a symposia or other event)
  • Most innovative form of participation or suggestion for an event related to the theme

Please begin considering ways in which you can contribute to the Waters Project in your teaching, scholarly and creative activities this year.  There is a Waters Project group on Facebook that will be used to keeping the campus community updated about various events associated with the project and a dedicated website will be active soon.  We would like all faculty, staff, and students to keep the Waters Project in mind over the course of the academic year…and when you travel this year, please consider collecting a water sample from wherever you may roam, to bring home for a culminating event.  If you have any questions, please do not hesitate to contact any member of the committee. 

Click here to view the Waters Project calendar of events.

For more information on the Waters Project or a copy of the Waters Project image for use in your approved presentation or project please contact Travis Ryan at tryan@butler.edu