Sample Individualized Majors

Body, Mind, Media, and Sports

Serina Kashimoto ’16

Serina Kashimoto during a soccer game

A foreign exchange student from Japan, Kashimoto came to Butler to play soccer for the University’s women’s team, and to earn a U.S. college education that would help her reach future goals. In Japan, she captained the Under-17 Women’s National soccer team.

“I have aspirations to play professionally in Europe and for the Japan’s Women’s National squad,” Kashimoto said. She’d also like to promote soccer in her own country. “I am not sure if that will be as a coach, a sports psychologist, a sports media promoter, or something else.”

The IM lets Kashimoto “study sport more holistically,” she said. “Through a selection of courses across several disciplines and colleges, I hope to gain new knowledge about sport as a biological, psychological, and cultural phenomenon.”

As part of her IM, Kashimoto wants to complete an internship in sports media, possibly with the Indianapolis 11, the city’s professional men’s soccer team.

Political Science and Italian Language

Lauren Hodge ’12, JD

Lauren Hodge in professional attire

Lauren Hodge said Italian “found me at Butler University, ignited my passions, and took me around the world.” After taking language courses for two years, she used the Individualized Major Program to make Italian her second major along, with Political Science. “My IMP advisors not only believed in my goal of having an Italian major but also believed in me, she said.

Like most IM students, she independently sought out experiential learning opportunities in her majors. She interned in Milan, Italy, for an international law firm one summer, and with the U.S. Department of Justice Office of International Affairs Criminal Division, through Butler’s Washington, DC Learning Semester. She interpreted and translated English documents and law into Italian in both posts.

Today, Hodge clerks for the U.S. District Court Judge for Northern Indiana, a job she started while earning her law degree. “My focus on international law has shifted as my love affair with the courtroom came into focus,” she said. “From keeping my mind open, to being able to adapt, my studies and travels serve me well daily.”

Global-Cultural Studies Through Media

Caitlin Ladd ’18

Caitlyn Ladd smiling at the camera

Caitlin Ladd believes that popular books, magazines, and films offer “amazing insights” into historical moments, cultural beliefs, and how individuals construct personal identities.  The IM lets her “pursue interdisciplinary study of popular media and culture in ways that majoring in one distinct LAS major would not make possible,” she said. Her personalized curriculum draws from several liberal arts disciplines—English, history, anthropology, communication, and cultural studies—and covers a wide range of subject: “Gone with the Wind,” Australia’s “Mad Max” film franchise, novels by Charles Dickens, and post-Word War II Japanese “manga,” or graphic novels.

She studied culture and media in Japan during summer 2016, and hopes to spend a semester at the University of Glascow in Scotland.

“I will be learning transferrable skills, such as critical reading and writing,” Ladd said. “I think my major will allow me to be an advocate for appreciating and working to understand other cultures in the world and improving global relations.”

Chinese Language and Culture

Eshan Pua ’15

Eshan Pua holding a drink and looking at the camera

Eshan Pau grew up in a Chinese-speaking household and lived in the Philippines and Malaysia before coming to the United States at age 8. “But, I did not know how to read or write Chinese,” she said.

At Butler, Pua studied Communication Sciences and Disorders, as preparation for a graduate degree in speech language pathology. She also took several Chinese language courses, leading to her IM. Professor Xiaoqing Liu helped her arrange a summer study abroad trip to China through Indianapolis’ Confucius Institute. Pua interacted with students at Sun-Yat Sen University in Guangzhou, visited historical sites, and helped out at an orphanage.

Many of the orphans Pau met had disabilities that affected their communication; she envisioned assisting them as a speech language pathologist (SLP). SLP training in the different Chinese dialects is challenging, Pua said. “A clear understanding and knowledge of the Chinese language and culture merged with SLP professional training would equip me to practice successfully in China.”

In 2013, Pua received a national Fulbright-Hays scholarship that she used for eight months of study in China, including an internship with Xi’an High Technology Industries there.