Brown Bag Series

The Brown Bag Series provides an opportunity for Butler faculty to present their original research, scholarship, and creative work, aimed to speak to both departmental colleagues and those in completely different disciplines.

Students, staff, and faculty are all welcome to attend.

Details coming soon.

Questions: Contact

Tuesday, September 21, 2021, 12:30-1:30 PM, AU 326
Brown Bag Series: E Cigarettes & Vaping:  What Educators and Parents Should Know
Amy Peak (Health Sciences), presenter
This session focuses on the current trends in e-cigarette (and related product) use in the youth and young adult population, and the adverse health consequences due to e-cigarettes. Various legal e cigarette and related devices, accessories, and disguising tools will be discussed and available for viewing. Adverse health consequences will be explored. We will discuss what students, educators, administrators, and parents can do to help improve this public health epidemic.

Wednesday, September 29, 2021, 12-1 PM, AU 326
Brown Bag Series: What Jesus Learned From Women
James McGrath (Religion), presenter
In his recent book What Jesus Learned from Women, James McGrath confronts head-on the effects of ancient authors’ neglect of women’s stories, as well as the reasons why some instinctively assume Jesus had nothing to learn from anyone, male or female, which has also led to a lack of attention to this topic in the past. By focusing on the historical figure of Jesus through this lens, many new insights emerge and several longstanding puzzles about Jesus and early Christianity can be resolved. McGrath will share a few of them in this Brown Bag presentation.

Tuesday, November 9, 2021, 12:30-1:30 PM, AU 326
Brown Bag Series: Discourses of Revolution: Black Liberation and Maoist China
Zachary Scarlett (History), presenter
Exploring the intersections between Black Liberation movements in the United States and Maoist political campaigns in China, this session demonstrates how social justice movements internationalize themselves, establish global networks of solidarity, and seek to articulate their politics beyond the nation-state.

Thursday, November 11, 2021, 12:30-1:30 PM, AU 326
Brown Bag Series: How My Interest in Identifying and Targeting Abnormal mRNAs in Cancer Resulted in a $1.39 million NIH Grant
Patience Masamha (Pharmaceutical Sciences), presenter
The molecularly targeted drug Gleevec® (Imitanib) is considered a ‘miracle drug’ or the ‘silver bullet’ in cancer treatment. It targets an abnormal protein that is formed when two chromosomes break and reattach to the wrong chromosome. This accident creates a chimeric DNA consisting of two gene sequences known as the Philadelphia chromosome. This abnormal chimeric DNA is then transcribed into an abnormal BRC-ABL mRNA transcript which is made into an abnormal protein. Although different tests are used to identify BRC-ABL at the DNA level, the most reliable tests are those that are able to pick up otherwise undetectable levels of abnormal BRC-ABL at the mRNA level. In my talk I will talk about the work I have done so far identifying abnormal mRNAs in cancer as well as how targeting some of those abnormal mRNAs  at the molecular level using siRNAs designed in our lab can eliminate the abnormal transcripts in cancer. I will also talk about how I am using different next-generation sequencing technologies and bioinformatics to identify abnormal mRNA transcripts in cancer for my NIH funded research.  While I will focus on the science, I will also talk about my personal motivation for doing this work. The ultimate goal of my research is to identify abnormal mRNA transcripts that can be used as biomarkers for early detection before patients develop symptoms and identify abnormal transcripts that can be used as therapeutic targets for precision medicine in cancer.

Wednesday, February 9, 2022, 12-1 PM, AU 326
inclusion advocate logoBrown Bag Series: “Internet Memes: Stigma, Stereotype, or Social Justice?”
Tom Mould (Anthropology), presenter
Hand-wringing op-eds and sensational headlines have been demonizing internet memes as the death of democratic discourse ever since the 2016 U.S. Presidential election. Their assumed triviality, superficiality, and transitory nature, coupled with the disinformation, manipulation, and bigotry that characterized so much of their use during the election, has made memes an easy scapegoat for how democracy can be subverted through social media. The alarm bells are not unwarranted, but it is a mistake to assume that memes operate in a vacuum as a discrete medium or carry with them the indiscriminate destructive power of a nuclear bomb. This talk will explore the power of memes to fight against damaging racial, regional, and class-based stereotypes both through humor, irony, and parody, as well as by evoking more robust cultural narratives. The session will focus particularly on contemporary anti-poverty memes and consider why some work, and others only make matters worse.

inclusion advocate logoTuesday, February 22, 2022, 12:30-1:30 PM, AU 326 
Brown Bag Series: School-family engagement: Advice from immigrant and refugee families
Kathryn Brooks (COE), presenter
Research on family engagement calls for a shift in how educators interact with immigrant and refugee families—moving away from ‘fixing’ families toward engaging families in conversation, co-learning, and co-creation of authentic and transformative school-family collaboration. The goal of these collaborations is to address equity and access barriers to multilingual family and student full engagement and sense of belonging in K-12 educational communities. Participants will leave the session with an understanding of the collaborative family engagement approach, a model for integrating research with teaching and service, and ideas for working with culturally and linguistically diverse communities to learn about and apply culturally and linguistically responsive research and teaching practices.

Monday, April 11, 2022, 12-1 PM, AU 326
Brown Bag Series: Nanomedicine—the future of cancer therapy
Nandita Das (Pharmaceutical Sciences, COPHS), presenter
Nanomedicine has brought new successes to cancer therapeutics that were previously thought implausible, and has led to over 50 products in the worldwide market with thousands more in clinical trials. The greatest gifts of nanotechnology include the ability to preferentially deliver drugs to their tumor targets while sparing healthy tissues from the ravaging side effects of chemotherapy. Presentation will include a brief overview of the principles of nanomedicine and the clinical advances it has brought to cancer therapeutics over the past decade, alongside a focus on the future.


Faculty Development events flagged with the Inclusion Advocate (IA) logo are IA designated events which may be used for IA certification. For more information on the IA program, contact Su-Mei Ooi, Director of Academic Affairs for Diversity, Equity & Inclusion.

If you have any questions, please contact

The 2022-2023 Faculty Food for Thought and Brown Bag Series presentation proposals deadline has passed. Proposals process will open for 2023-2024 in December with a deadline in early April 2024.

Proposals are evaluated on the following characteristics:

  • Organization and clarity
  • Novelty and innovation/creativity
  • Likelihood of being interactive/engaging

In addition, selection will be based, in part, on the desire to offer a variety of topics so as to appeal to different faculty, staff, and students across disciplines. First-time presenters and faculty from underrepresented colleges/units/disciplines are especially encouraged to apply.

If you have any questions, please contact


To request disability-related accommodations or inquire about accessibility, please contact Please allow two weeks’ advance notice in order to allow adequate time to make arrangements. Although attempts will be made to honor accommodation requests with less notice, it cannot be guaranteed that without two weeks’ notice a reasonable accommodation can be provided.