Program Director
Stuart Glennan
Stuart Glennan
Professor – Philosophy

Stuart Glennan is the Harry T. Ice Professor of Philosophy and Associate Dean of the College of Liberal Arts and Sciences. He received his BA in mathematics and philosophy from Yale University,and his MA and PhD in philosophy from the University of Chicago before coming to Butler in 1992.  He was the founding director of Butler’s Science, Technology Environmental Studies Program, a still serves on the program steering committee.    He also has served as chair of Butler’s Department of Philosophy, Religion and Classics.  He helped develop and teaches in Butler’s Neuroscience Minor. 

Professor Glennan’s area of specialization is in the philosophy of science, with particular attention to biology and psychology.  He has written about causation, explanation and model building. He is chiefly known for his work on the nature of mechanisms and the role of mechanistic models and explanations across the sciences.  He is author of The New Mechanical Philosophy (Oxford University Press, 2017) and editor, with Phyllis Illari, of the Routledge Handbook of Mechanisms and Mechanical Philosophy (2018).  He has also written on the topic of religion and science, and science education, and has dabbled in the philosophy of history.  Links to publications can be found on Butler’s archive and at Google scholar.

Professor Glennan regularly teaches courses in philosophy of science, philosophy of mind, philosophy of biology and logic.  (He is the author, with Joe Bessie, of the textbook Elements of Deductive Inference.  He also takes pleasure in teaching lower level courses, and has taught courses in the first year seminar that integrate philosophical, literary, and religious texts.

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Core Faculty
Jesse Van Gerven
Jesse Van Gerven
Assistant Professor – STES
Marabeth Pereira
Marabeth Pereira
Administrative Specialist, Interdisciplinary Programs

Marabeth joined Butler’s Interdisciplinary Programs in August 2022. She has a Bachelor of Arts from Saint Michael’s College and a Master of Arts from Sacred Heart University. She previously worked for Hamilton Southeastern Schools Corporation.

Affiliate Faculty
Julia Angstmann
Julia Angstmann
Director of the Center for Urban Ecology at Butler

I am a research ecologist specializing in plant physiological ecology and ecosystem ecology seeking to connect human impacts of land alteration, pollution, and manmade infrastructure on ecosystem function, plant physiological response, and species diversity. I have a PhD in Ecology with a Minor in Statistics from the University of Wyoming and completed a postdoc at the University of Cape Town in South Africa. In South Africa, I transitioned into urban ecology while studying the impacts of air pollution and subsequent deposition of pollutants on plant diversity in the urban ecosystem. 

After 3-years at Indiana University-Purdue University Indianapolis (IUPUI) as a Proposal Writer and Editor, I began my role as the Director of the Center for Urban Ecology and Sustainability at Butler University. In this role, I am responsible for the oversight of the CUES programs such as the CUE Farm and student internships as well as assisting faculty and community partners with research, education, and community outreach activities that focus on urban ecology and sustainability. I currently serve on the Ecology Committee of Reconnecting to Our Waterways and on the Advisory Team for the Purdue Extension Farm Incubator project in Indianapolis.

For more information on what the CUES does and how to get involved, check out our website at:

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Stephen Barnard
Stephen Barnard
Associate Professor, Chair of Sociology & Criminology

Dr. Stephen (Steve) Barnard is Associate Professor and Chair of the Department of Sociology and Criminology.  Before joining the faculty at Butler, he was Associate Professor and Chair of the Sociology Department at St. Lawrence University, where he worked from 2014-2021.  Steve earned his Ph.D. in Sociology at the University of Missouri in 2012, where he also earned an M.A. (2007) and B.A. (2005).  He also held two interdisciplinary postdoctoral positionsone with the University of Denver’s Department of Media, Film, and Journalism Studies (2013-2014), and another with the School of Journalism and Peace Studies Program at the University of Missouri (2012-2013). 

His scholarship focuses on the role media and communication technologies play in relations of power, practice, and democracy. His first book, Citizens at the Gates: Twitter, Networked Publics, and the Transformation of American Journalism, won the 2020 Best Book Award from the Communication, Information Technologies, and Media Sociology (CITAMS) section of the American Sociological Association.  Steve is also co-author of All Media are Social: Sociological Perspectives on Mass Media (2020, Routledge).  His work has appeared in the journals New Media & SocietyJournalism
Cultural Studies <=> Critical MethodologiesHybrid Pedagogy, and in several edited volumes.  Steve has written for popular audiences in publications like The HillRealClearPolitics, and Contexts, the magazine of the American Sociological Association.  His current book project, “Hacking Hybrid Media: Power, Practice, and Problematic Information” is under contract with Oxford University Press.

At Butler, Steve will teach a number of classes, including Deviance and Social Control, Popular Culture, Social Theory Seminar, Violence Media and Culture, and a section of Social World 200: Understanding Society focused on media.

For more information about Dr. Barnard, see his personal website.

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Krista Cline
Krista Cline
Associate Professor – Sociology

I am Associate Professor of Sociology and Criminology at Butler University. Before coming to Butler, I earned a dual-title Ph.D. from Purdue University in sociology and gerontology. I then spent at year at the University of Missouri as a postdoctoral scholar in the Research Center for Human Animal Interactions. 

My research interests include the roles of women and mothers, health and body weight issues, and social psychology. I teach a variety of courses including;  families, international crime, gender, race, and crime, health and society, aging and the life course, and gender and society.

My research is currently funded by the National Federation of State High School Associations (NFHS). This research examines mothers’ perspectives of the benefits of interscholastic activities of their high school students. This is a 10 year longitudinal study that begin in the fall of 2019. I also host the podcast, MOMent with Mom, with members of the NFHS. 

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Jenny Cox
Jenny Cox
Lecturer, Mathematics

Jenny Cox is a Lecturer in the Mathematics, Statistics, and Actuarial Science Department at Butler University. She has a passion for teaching students mathematics, working as a mathematics teacher at both the high school and collegiate levels for 17years. Prior to joining the Butler faculty, Jenny was a mathematics teacher at Herron High School and then University High School. She has also worked in both the Mathematics and Mathematics Education departments at Indiana University. 

Jenny received her Bachelor of Arts in Mathematics from the University of Southern Indiana in2005, her Masters of Arts in Mathematics from Indiana University in 2007, and Doctorate in Curriculum and Instruction – Mathematics Education at Indiana University in 2022. Her current research is focused on reducing mathematics anxiety. Her research interests also include equitable practices surrounding high-stakes assessments and supporting girls in STEM.

Jenny lives in Franklin with her husband Ryan and three children. When she is not teaching mathematics, she enjoys running, reading at all hours, and cheering on her children in their various sporting events. 

Awards and Fellowships

  • Neatrour-McGlasson Fellowship, Indiana University
  • Faculty Fellowship, Indiana University
  • Inaugural Audrey Lupton Community Award, University High School
  • Rothrock Teaching Award for Associate Instructors, Indiana University


Cox, J. (2022). Compliance, competitiveness, and confidence: Investigating patterns in mathematics anxiety using a nuanced view of gender. [Doctoral dissertation, Indiana University].

Burch, L., Tillema, E., Cox, J., Yavuz, S., & Sianturi, I. (2021). Productive mathematical meanings as a guide to analyzing algebra textbooks.In Olanoff, D., Johnson, K., & Spitzer, S.M. (Eds). In Productive Struggle: Persevering Through Challenges: Proceedings of the 43rd Meeting of the North American Chapter of the International Group for the Psychology of Mathematics Education, Philadelphia. 2021 Proceedings.pdf

Cox, J. & Jacobson, E. (2020). Mathematics anxiety as a mediator for gender differences in 2012 PISA mathematics scores. In Sacristán, A. & Cortés, J., (Eds.). Mathematics Education Across Cultures: Proceedings of the 42nd Meeting of the North American Chapter of the International Group for the Psychology of Mathematics Education, México. Cinvestav / AMIUTEM / PME-NA.

Cox, J. (2019). A focus on factoring: Taking the difficulty out of Algebra students’ least favorite topic, Indiana Mathematics Teacher, Indiana Council of Teachers of Mathematics (ICTM), 18-21.


Cox, J. (2020, April 28 & May 6). My summer SAT study: Common misconceptions and misgivings from our students [Webinar].  

Cox, J. (2020, April). Key connections between mathematics curriculum and the SAT. Presentation. Presentation at the Centennial National Council of Teachers of Mathematics (NCTM) National Conference, Chicago, Illinois. (Conference canceled)

Cox, J. (2020, March 16, 18, & 20). Engaging mathematics students at a level of high cognitive demand, even in E-Learning environments [Three-part webinar series]. ICTM Members Helping Members. The Indiana Council of Teachers of Mathematics. 

Cox, J. (2020, March 6). Rigorous work in the best courses: The use of the SAT as a graduation requirement and implications for underserved students. Presentation at the Indiana Mathematics Educators Research Symposium (IMERS), Indianapolis, Indiana. 

Cox, J. (2019, October 29). Building connections and breaking down rules in the Precalculus classroom. Presentation at the Indiana Council of Teachers of Mathematics (ICTM) Conference, Indianapolis, Indiana.

Cox, J. (2019, March 1). Queries in quadratic equations: Historical and curricular developments. Presentation at the Curriculum and Instruction Research and Creative Activities Symposium (CIRCAS), Bloomington, Indiana.  

Cox, J. (2019, February 15). Queries in quadratic equations: Historical and curricular developments. Presentation at the Indiana Mathematics Education Research Symposium (IMERS), Indianapolis, Indiana.  

Cox, J. (2017, November 10). Educational games and activities for the mathematics classroom. Presentation at the Independent School Association of the Central States (ISACS) Conference, Chicago, Illinois.

Memberships and Affiliations

  • National Council of Teachers of Mathematics
  • Indiana Council of Teachers of Mathematics
  • Hoosier Association of Mathematics Teacher Educators
  • American Educational Research Association
  • Psychology of Mathematics Education – North America
  • Association of Mathematics Teacher Educators

Elizabeth Davis
Elizabeth Davis
Senior Lecturer, Chemistry & Biochemistry

Professional Preparation

Prior to coming to Butler University in 2014, I conducted my postdoctoral research through a collaboration between the Medical University of South Carolina and the National Institute of Standards and Technology. I worked under the mentorship of Dr. Louis Guillette Jr. and Dr. John Kucklick in Charleston, SC. My research focused on the identification and quantification of endocrine-disrupting chemicals in humans and wildlife. Projects included the study of temporal trends of persistent organic pollutants in the blubber of bottlenose dolphins in subtropical habitats and the development of analytical methods to identify and measure organic contaminants in a wide variety of biological samples, from alligator egg yolk to human serum.

In 2013, I earned my PhD in the Environment program at the Nicholas School of the Environment at Duke University in Durham, NC, under the mentorship of Dr. Heather Stapleton in the area of Environmental Chemistry and Toxicology. My dissertation research examined the fates of brominated flame retardants and the antimicrobial agent triclosan in soil amended with biosolids, as well as elucidating their photolytic and microbial transformation pathways and products. While in graduate school, I worked as a graduate teaching assistant for courses in Environmental Science and Policy and trained under a Preparing Future Faculty fellowship at Meredith College with Dr. Erin Lindquist.

I earned my undergraduate degree in Chemistry from St. Mary’s College of Maryland in 2005. I completed an undergraduate thesis project studying the isomer-specific bioaccumulation and biomagnification of a brominated flame retardant in Chesapeake Bay fish. During my time at SMCM, my involvement with campus clubs and organizations was as wide-ranging as my interests: everything from the St. Mary’s American Chemical Society Student Affiliates to the Equestrian Club to the Tolkien Society. After graduation, I spent a gap year working as a quality control analytical chemist at Pharmaceutics International, Inc. in Hunt Valley, MD, where I used liquid chromatography to conduct stability and impurity analysis of a wide range of pharmaceuticals.

Courses Taught

CH105 and CH106 – General Chemistry I and II
CH107 – Advanced General Chemistry
CH321 – Analytical Chemistry
CH425 – Environmental Chemistry
CH418 – Chemical Issues in the Global Modern World
ENV300 – Environmental Science and Human Health
NW210 – Chemistry and Society

Brian Day
Brian Day
Associate Professor, Psychology

Areas of Expertise:

Human Experimental Psychology:

                Visual Depth Perception in real and virtual environments

                Perception of Affordances

                Human Factors and Applied Psychology

                Cognitive Psychology

                Direct Perception and Ecological Psychology

    History and Theories of Psychology


Ph.D., Human Factors Psychology, Clemson University, Clemson, SC (2017).

M.S., Cognitive and Behavioral Sciences, Illinois State University, Normal, IL (2014).

B.A., Double major in Psychology and History, with honors, Denison University, Granville, OH (2012).

Classes Taught:

Introductory Psychology (SW 250)

Research Methods and Statistics I (PS 210)

Research Methods and Statistics II (PS 211)

Biological Bases of Behavior (PS 235)

Sensation and Perception (PS 404)

History of Psychology (PS 420)

Advanced Seminar in Applied Psychology – Human Factors (PS 479)

Careers in Psychology (PS 105)

First Year Seminar – Human Factors and the Design of Your Life (FYS 101 and FYS 102)


CATBUS consultant (May 2016 – May 2019): As part of this experience I was tasked with analyzing data regarding Clemson Area Transit, presenting the findings to city leaders, and compiling the results to be used in reports for a federal government funding agency.

LMX concierge website (October 2015 – October 2016): Consulted for a local business designed to facilitate goal achievement.  Worked with a team to construct a user friendly website to help grow the business.  Primary duties included performing tasks analyses, heuristic evaluations, paper prototyping, user testing, and implementing new webpage designs.

US Engine Valve (April 2016 – August 2016): As part of my experience on this team my primary functions were to act as a quality check after each phase of work, and to draft, refine, and edit the final report and presentation to company leaders regarding the results of numerous task analyses and ergonomic recommendations to improve workspace design, worker safety, and worker efficiency. My secondary functions were to provide guidance and feedback to the project team during the task analysis and recommendation phase.

At Illinois State, I served as the graduate assistant in the University Assessment Services department, where I produced and distributed surveys designed to gather knowledge about various aspects of the University.  I was also tasked with analyzing and presenting the data produced by the survey assessments.

Attended the Advanced Training Institute on Nonlinear Methods in Data Analysis, at the University of Cincinnati during the summer of 2013.

Professional Memberships:

American Psychological Association

Human Factors and Ergonomics Society

Psychonomic Society

International Society for Ecological Psychology

Psi Chi

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Elise Edwards
Elise Edwards
Professor – Anthropology

My research interests include the history and culture of Japan, the anthropology of sport, the anthropology of science, gender studies, feminist theory, historical anthropology, mass/popular culture, theories of embodiment, urban anthropology, and visual culture. Most of my fieldwork has focused on cultures of sport in Japan and while I study and teach about all kinds of sport, football (soccer) is my ultimate passion. I continue to work on my primary project about soccer, corporate sport, the recession of the 1990s, and national identity in Japan, but have also written recently about the new professional women’s soccer league in Japan and the history of women’s professional soccer/football globally; I’m also interested in issues related to trans* athletes in Japan and the U.S.

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Stephanie Fernhaber
Stephanie Fernhaber
Professor of Entrepreneurship and Innovation

Dr. Stephanie Fernhaber teaches a variety of courses within the Entrepreneurship & Innovation program at the undergraduate and graduate levels including The Entrepreneurial Mindset, Business Practicum, First-Year Business Experience, and Social Entrepreneurship. 

In addition to teaching, Dr. Fernhaber conducts research in the areas of international entrepreneurship, grassroots innovation, and new venture strategy. Her research has been published in various academic journals including the Journal of International Business Studies, Strategic Management Journal, Journal of Business Venturing, Strategic Entrepreneurship Journal, and Entrepreneurship, Theory & Practice. Dr. Fernhaber has also co-created four books.  She serves as the Field Editor for International Entrepreneurship at the Journal of Business Venturing.

At the community level, Dr. Fernhaber has a passion for spurring innovation with an emphasis on social entrepreneurship.


Google Scholar

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Kyle Furlane
Kyle Furlane
Lecturer, Philosophy
Jane Gervasio
Jane Gervasio
Professor – Pharmacy Practice

Pharmacy Practice Professor

Jane Gervasio is the Butler University Pharmacy Practice Professor of the College of Pharmacy and Health Sciences.  She is Board Certified Nutrition Support Pharmacist and a Fellow in the American Colleges of Clinical Pharmacy.  She completed a Specialty Residency in Critical Care and Nutrition Support and a Research Fellowship in Metabolic Support at the University of Tennessee in Memphis.  Dr. Gervasio is nationally recognized for her expertise in the area of Nutrition Support. She speaks both locally and nationally and has published numerous peer-reviewed manuscripts and book chapters on various nutritional and gastrointestinal related topics. Dr. Gervasio continues to serve on various committees for several nationally recognized organizations, including the American Society for Parenteral and Enteral Nutrition, the Society of Critical Care Medicine, the American College of Clinical Pharmacy and the Specialty Council on Nutrition Support Pharmacy Practice for the Board of Pharmaceutical Specialties.  

Jason Goldsmith
Jason Goldsmith

Jason Goldsmith is a writer, artist, and educator whose work traces the vexed relationship between art and place from the19th-century Picturesque tradition through today’s twinned unravelling of ecological and social networks. He has published numerous scholarly articles on place-based writing, and his creative nonfiction and art have appeared in River Teeth, Humana Obscura, Grasmere, Indiana Waterways:The Art of Conservation, and on the cover of publications from the University of Iowa Press. 

His sense of place sharpened by figures such as Jamaica Kincaid, bell hooks, James Baldwin, and Ross Gay, Goldsmith introduces students to a range of diverse voices to interrogate the limits inherent in literary traditions and to cultivate an inclusive and equitable classroom. He teaches courses on art, literature, and the environment, from Romanticism to 19th-Century British Women Writers, from Jane Austen to Video Game Narrative, from Contemporary Writers to Creative Non-Fiction, and from Urban Sketching to Wilderness Literature. 

He is a member of the Etheridge Knight advisory group, sits on the education subcommittee of the Task Force for Indigenous Inclusion and Engagement, is faculty advisor for the undergraduate journal Manuscripts and an editor of The Hopper, an environmental literary magazine.

When not teaching, he enjoys hiking, sitting by a river while sketching, and spending time outdoors with his wife and children.

Ankur Gupta
Ankur Gupta
Professor – Computer Science

Ankur Gupta is a Professor of Computer Science and Software Engineering at Butler University. Dr. Gupta completed his undergraduate work and a master’s degree in computer science at the University of Texas at Dallas. He received his Ph.D. in Computer Science from Duke University. Dr. Gupta’s research area focuses on the design of algorithms that compress large volumes of data, while simultaneously making them searchable (think Google search or Big Data). Dr. Gupta has also pursued unique research on Artificial Wisdom, in other words, trying to discover the meaning of “wisdom” from a computational point of view. This work was funded by the John Templeton Foundation.

Brent Hege
Brent Hege
Senior Lecturer – Religion


Born and raised in southcentral Pennsylvania in one of only two counties in the Commonwealth without a traffic light, Brent Hege earned his BA in Religion and History with a minor in Classics from Gettysburg College (PA) in 1998. He completed the Zentrale Mittelstufenprüfung Diplom (German Language Certificate) at the Goethe Institut in Dresden, Germany, in 2000 while completing his MA in Historical Theology with a minor in New Testament at The Lutheran Theological Seminary at Gettysburg (PA). He earned his PhD in Theology with Distinction from Union Theological Seminary and Presbyterian School of Christian Education in Richmond, VA, in 2007. His dissertation was awarded the 2010 John Templeton Award for Theological Promise by the Forschungszentrum Internationale und Interdisziplinäre Theologie at the University of Heidelberg, Germany. He was honored by his alma mater with the 2013 Gettysburg College Young Alumni Achievement Award and in 2015 he was elected an honorary member of Butler’s chapter of Phi Beta Kappa. In 2017 he received the Outstanding Faculty Award for Excellence in Teaching from Butler’s College of Liberal Arts and Sciences. In 2017 he was appointed Center for Faith and Vocation Scholar in Residence and in 2020 he was promoted to Senior Lecturer in Religion. He has taught at Butler since 2008. 

Teaching Duties

As a faculty member of Butler’s Religious Studies program, Hege teaches the yearlong First Year Seminar "Faith, Doubt, and Reason," occasionally teaches the introductory course in world religions, and teaches the following upper-division courses: God, Theologies of Liberation, Evil, Religious Pluralism, Ecotheology, Philosophy of Religion, and Existentialism. In 2015-2016 he directed the Butler Seminar on Religion and World Civilization on the topic "Religion, Race, and Culture" and in 2018-2019 he directed the newly renamed Butler Seminar on Religion and Global Affairs on the topic "Sacred Spaces: Intersections of Religion and Ecology." In 2022-2023 he is again directing the Butler Seminar on Religion and Global Affairs on the topic of "Faith and Activism."" Hege is also the CFV Scholar in Residence, where he works with the CFV Scholars on issues of interfaith engagement and vocational discernment. He occasionally contributes to the CFV blog with reflections on his work as CFV Scholar in Residence. He also has a podcast, "Faith and Vocation," featuring interviews with CFV Scholars and Butler’s religious leaders. At Butler Hege holds affiliate faculty status in the programs of Race, Gender and Sexuality Studies, Peace and Conflict StudiesScience, Technology, and Environmental Studies, and the Center for Urban Ecology and Sustainability


Hege’s research focuses on the history of Christian thought and contemporary Christian theology, with special attention to 19th- and early 20th-century liberal Protestant theology, continental philosophy and philosophical theology, contemporary constructive theology, Lutheranism, and theology and culture. In addition to his award-winning first book, Faith at the Intersection of History and Experience: The Theology of Georg Wobbermin (Wipf and Stock, 2009), he has published articles and invited review essays in a number of European and American journals, including Zeitschrift für Neuere Theologiegeschichte/Journal for the History of Modern Theology, Theologische Zeitschrift, Theology and Science, Radical Philosophy Review, Politics and Religion, and Teaching Theology and Religion. He is also a frequent reviewer of books on historical and contemporary theology for Interpretation: A Journal of Bible and Theology. He has presented papers at national and regional academic conferences, including The American Academy of Religion and The Southwest Popular Culture Association and The American Culture Association, as well as being a frequent guest lecturer and panel member for school, church, and community programs. His second book, Myth, History, and the Resurrection in German Protestant Theology, was published by Pickwick Press in 2017. His most recent book, based on the first semester of his popular Butler First Year Seminar, is Faith, Doubt, and Reason (Wipf and Stock 2020). In 2020 he was elected to the editorial council of Dialog: A Journal of Theology

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Hilary Madinger
Hilary Madinger
Instructor, Biological Sciences

Dr. Madinger earned a bachelors degree from Valparaiso University and a masters from Ball State University. She then studied nutrient cycling in western streams at the University of Wyoming, earning a PhD. After graduate school, Dr. Madinger taught environmental science at Concordia University Wisconsin before beginning at Butler. Her current research collaboration is with the Friesner Herbarium at Butler University. Previously she has investigated many local phenomenon including 17 year cicadas, local water quality, and biofilm diversity. She teaches Ecology and Evolution (BI 230), Ecology and the Natural Environment (NW 207), and Conservation Biology (BI 419). 

Vitor Martins Dias
Assistant Professor – Sociology & Criminology
James McGrath
James McGrath
Professor – Religion

James F. McGrath is Clarence L. Goodwin Chair in New Testament Language and Literature. His PhD from the University of Durham became the basis for his first book, John’s Apologetic Christology, published by Cambridge University Press in the SNTS Monograph Series. He has also written a "prequel" about the broader context of monotheism and Christology in ancient Judaism and Christianity, The Only True God: Early Christian Monotheism in Its Jewish Context, published by University of Illinois Press. More recently he has published What Jesus Learned from Women  which explores the topic of the historical figure of Jesus and the influence the women mentioned in the Gospels had on him. His latest book is The A to Z of the New Testament, a fun and readable exploration of the things that New Testament scholars and those who’ve taken courses on the New Testament know, yet others typically do not, even if they have a profound interest in or even reverence for those texts.

In addition to his work on the New Testament and early Christianity, Dr. McGrath also researches the Mandaeans (the last surviving Gnostic group from the ancient world) and their literature. The critical edition, translation, and commentary on the Mandaean Book of John published by DeGruyter, which he produced together with Charles Haberl of Rutgers University, represents the first such academic edition of the complete work in English based on all known manuscripts. Another area of specialty is the intersection of religion and science fiction. On that subject, he is the author of Theology and Science Fiction and The Battle of Ranskoor av Kolos (Black Archive #52), editor of Religion and Science Fiction and co-editor of Time and Relative Dimensions in Faith: Religion and Doctor Who. He blogs at ReligionProf

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Lavender McKittrick-Sweitzer
Lavender McKittrick-Sweitzer

Lavender McKittrick-Sweitzer is an Assistant Professor of Philosophy. Before arriving at Butler in Autumn 2021, they completed their PhD (philosophy, 2021) at Ohio State University, MA (philosophy, 2015) at the University of Missouri – St. Louis, and BA (philosophy, 2013) at the University of Missouri – Columbia. 

Their area of specialization is political philosophy, with a focus on feminist perspectives, public reason, and global justice. 

For more information about Lavender’s research, teaching, and CV, visit:

Molly Nebiolo
Molly Nebiolo
Assistant Professor – History

Dr. Nebiolo is a historian of the early Atlantic world. She studies the history of health and medicine, spatial history, and early modern urban history. In 2023, she received her PhD in world history from Northeastern University. Her work also encompasses the digital humanities, with a focus on maps, modeling, and pedagogy. Here at Butler, Dr. N teaches courses on the early colonial period, the history of medicine, and digital humanities.

Her current project, Constructing Health: Concepts of Well-Being in an Urbanizing Atlantic World, has been supported by the McNeil Center for Early American Studies, the American Philosophical Society, the South Caroliniana Library, Haverford College Quaker & Special Collections, the Huntington Library and Corpus Christi College at Oxford, the John Carter Brown Library, the American Historical Association, and the Francis Wood Institute at the College of Physicians of Philadelphia.

In her spare time, she likes to run, go camping, eat ice cream, and hang with her cat.

Dr. N is always excited and open to be a part of conference panels, participate in writing opportunities, and network with other scholars. Please don’t hesitate to reach out!

Katherine Novak
Katherine Novak
Professor – Sociology

Dr. Katherine (Kate) Novak is a professor in the Department of Sociology and Criminology where she teaches courses in criminology, mental illness, social psychology, research methods and statistics. She holds a B.A  in sociology and in psychology, and an M.A. and Ph.D. in sociology, with a concentration in criminology, and a Ph.D. minor in Criminal Justice from Indiana University-Bloomington. 

Much of Dr. Novak’s current research focuses on adolescent and college student substance use and delinquency and has been published in academic journals such as Crime & Delinquency, Addictive Behaviors, Journal of Criminal Justice, Sociological Inquiry, Journal of Social Psychology, The Journal of Child and Adolescent Substance Abuse, The Journal of Family Issues, The Journal of Alcohol and Drug Education, and The Journal of Primary Prevention. She is the co-author of two textbooks- Individual and Society:  Sociological Social Psychology (with Lizabeth A. Crawford) and Applied Communication Research (with Judith M. Buddenbaum).  Additionally, Dr. Novak has collaborated with other faculty on research projects focusing on homelessness in Indianapolis, perceptions of crime and safety in the local community, immigrants’ perceptions of prejudice and discrimination, faculty work-load satisfaction, and student learning in a topically-focused introductory sociology course. She has published several class assignments and activities in TRAILS: Teaching Resources and Innovations Library for Sociology and serves on the advisory board for the Journal of the Scholarship of Teaching and Learning. Dr. Novak regularly mentors students, supervising internships and directed research projects, and serving as the faculty advisor for department and university honors theses. Her students have presented their research at college and sociology conferences and to organizational leaders and administrators and have published papers in peer-reviewed research journals. 

Dr. Novak has received many internal grants for both research and teaching, and she has won a number of university awards.  She received the Liberal Arts and Sciences Outstanding Faculty Award for Teaching Excellence in 2016 and the Liberal Arts and Sciences Outstanding Faculty Award in 2010 and 2003.

Recent Publications:

Crawford, Lizabeth A. and Novak, Katherine B.  2013.  Individual and Society: Sociological Social Psychology. Routledge/Taylor& Francis. [2nd edition released March 2018]

Crawford, Lizabeth A. and Novak, Katherine B. 2023. “Beliefs About Alcohol and the College Experience as Determinants of Academic and Social Outcomes Among Undergraduate Students.”  College Student Journal 56(4):371-381.

Kowalski, Jennifer R., Lineweaver, Tara L., and Novak, Katherine B.  2021.  “DevelopingIntegrative Thinking in Undergraduate Students through an Interdisciplinary General Education Course on Mental Illness.”  College Teaching.\

Crawford, Lizabeth A. and Novak, Katherine, B.  2020.  "College Student Activities, Social Capital, and Drinking Behavior."  Journal of Alcohol and Drug Eductation 64(1):9-32.

Crawford, Lizabeth A, Novak, Katherine B, and Rasitha R.Jayasekare.  2019. “Volunteerism, Alcohol Beliefs, and First-Year College Students’ Drinking Behaviors: Implications for Prevention.”  The Journal of Primary Prevention. Advanced On-line Publication.

Crawford, Lizabeth A. and Novak, Katherine B.  2018. “Being with Friends and the Potential for Binge Drinking During the First College Semester.”  Journal of the First-Year Experience & Students in Transition 30(2):79-96.

Crawford, Lizabeth A., Novak, Katherine B., and Foston, Amia K. 2016 (online)/ 2018 (print).“Routine Activities and Delinquency: The Significance of Bonds to Society and Peer Context.”  Crime & Delinquency 64(4):472-509.

Howard, Jay R., Novak, Katherine B., Scott, Marvin B. and Cline, Krista M.C.  2014. “Another Nibble at the Core: Student Learning in a Topically-Focused Introductory Sociology Course.”  Teaching Sociology 42(3):177-186.

Crawford, Lizabeth A. and Novak, Katherine B.  2013. “The Effects of Public Self-Consciousness and Embarrassability on College Student Drinking: Evidence in Support of a Protective Self-Presentational Model.”  The Journal of Social Psychology 153(1):109-122.

Crawford, Lizabeth A. and Novak, Katherine B.  2011.  “Beliefs about Alcohol and the College Experience, Locus of Self, and College Undergraduates’ Drinking Patterns.”  Sociological Inquiry 81(4):477-494.

Crawford, Lizabeth A., and Novak, Katherine B.  2010. “Beliefs about Alcohol and the College Experience as Moderators of the Effects of Perceived Campus Drinking Norms on Levels of Alcohol Use among College Undergraduates. Journal of Alcohol and Drug Education. 54(3):69-96.

Novak, Katherine B.and Crawford, L. A.  2010.  “Routine Activities as Determinants of Gender Differences in Delinquency. Journal of Criminal Justice 38(5):913-920.

Menendez-Alarcon, Antonio V. and Novak, Katherine B.  2010. “Latin American Immigrants in Indianapolis: Perceptions of Prejudice and Discrimination.”  Latino Studies. 8:93-120.

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Thomas Paradis
Thomas Paradis
Professor – History


Born and raised in northern Connecticut, Thomas (Tom) Paradis obtained his Bachelor’s degree in Geography at the Pennsylvania State University (1992), and his Masters (1994) and Ph.D. (1997) degrees in Geography: Urban & Rural Development from the University of Illinois, Urbana-Champaign. He continued moving west to Flagstaff, Arizona in 1997 as faculty at Northern Arizona University (NAU), where he was recognized in 2011 and 2014 as a President’s Distinguished Teaching Fellow. He further served as the Chair of the Department of Geography, Planning & Recreation and as the university’s Director of Academic Assessment. As a professor of geography and community planning here at Butler, he is also an affiliate faculty member in Butler’s Science, Technology & Environmental Studies (STES) program. Having originally majored in meteorology at Penn State, he ended up teaching weather and climate at the U. of Illinois and later at NAU. He has thus recently developed a new course at Butler for the Natural Worlds block of the Core Curriculum called Weather, Climate & Society (NW 265). Beyond the fun of academics, Tom enjoys traveling, photography, railroad history and modeling, playing basketball, and was once an avid trumpet player in high school and the Penn State Blue Band (Go State!). 

Teaching and Scholarship

Tom’s areas of teaching and research encompass the topics of urban and cultural geography, downtown redevelopment, historic preservation, urban design, heritage tourism, Italy, the American Southwest, and the scholarship of teaching and learning. Having led several study-abroad programs in Viterbo and Siena, Italy to explore livable cities and walkable design, Tom is the author of several books, including Living the Palio: A Story of Community and Public Life in Siena, Italy (3rd edition 2020), and the Illustrated Encyclopedia of American Landmarks (2012), among earlier works. His recent follow-up book is Unbridled Spirit: The Untold Story of the 2018 Extraordinary Palio in Siena, Italy (Feb. 2020). He is now turning his sights to Singapore as he investigates the history of tourism development and tourist spaces there. 

Happy Hunger Games!

He also offers a creative First-Year Seminar (FYS) course focused on Unpacking the Hunger Games, an interdisciplinary approach to understanding our world through Suzanne Collins’ dystopian series. His latest book (fall, 2021) is A Place Called District 12: Appalachian Geography and Music in the Hunger Games (McFarland Press). 

Current and Upcoming Butler Courses

  • FYS 101: Unpacking the Hunger Games, Part 1 (every fall)
  • NW 265-ENV: Weather, Climate & Society (every fall, summer 2022)
  • ENV 315 (STES Program): Designing for Livable Cities (fall 2021)
  • FYS 102: Unpacking the Hunger Games, Part 2 (every spring)
  • HST 305 (Topics Course): American Architecture and Preservation (spring 2022)
  • HST 347: U.S. Urban History (spring 2022)
  • HST 346: American Historical Geography (spring 2023)

Corey Reed
Corey Reed
Assistant Professor – Philosophy
Assistant Professor – Philosophy

Corey Reed is an Assistant Professor of Philosophy and affiliate faculty member in the Race, Gender, and Sexuality Studies (RGSS) program at Butler University. He earned his Bachelor of Arts degree from Morehouse College, double majoring in English and Philosophy, his Master of Arts degree from the University of Louisville in Comparative Humanities, and his PhD in Philosophy from the University of Memphis. His dissertation was entitled “Black-Male Imagos and Counternarrative Resistance: An Africana Existentialist Framework for Black-Male Analysis.” He specializes in Africana Philosophy and the Critical Philosophy of Race and Racism, with sub-interests in Existentialism, Phenomenology, Feminism/Male Theory, 20th Century French Continental Philosophy, and Aesthetics. His article publications include "Signifying the Sound: Criteria for Black Art Movements" (Journal of Aesthetic Education: Winter 2023) and "#ProtectBlackWomen and Other Hashtags: Using Amílcar Cabral’s Resistance and Decolonization Framework as an Ethic for Obligations Between Black Agents" (C.L.R. James Journal: Winter 2022). His book chapter publications include "Freedom Anchoring: Teaching Philosophy as a Dialogic Endeavor" and "Corresponding Contracts: The Intersectional Charles Mills." He also co-authored a Higher Education Ethics Case Study featured in the book Ethics in Higher Education: Promoting Equity and Inclusion Through Case-Based Inquiry (2021) with a corresponding podcast episode featured here: Some of the courses he has taught include Feminist Theory, Biomedical Ethics, Contemporary Moral Problems, Philosophy of Race and Racism, and Africana Philosophy. 

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Carol Reeves
Carol Reeves
Professor – English

Carol Reeves, Rebecca Clifton Reade Professor of English,came to Butler from Texas in 1989 after receiving her Ph.D. from TexasChristian University.

Professor Reeves investigates how language and rhetoric shapeour knowledge and understanding of our world, ourselves, and others.  In particular, she examines how language bothenables and disables the growth of knowledge and consensus surroundingscientific claims, both inside science and in the public.  Her publications on the AIDS epidemic, MadCow Disease or Prion Disease, agricultural chemicals, addiction, and climatechange all demonstrate the tenuous relation between “reality” and the languagewe use to represent that reality.  Bias,context, and limited data inevitably lead to imperfect definitions,descriptions, labels, and visuals representations that can easily come to“stand in” for an unexplored or unknown totality.  She also explores the struggles scientistsface when they attempt to describe and establish new phenomena, engage incross-disciplinary debates over the nature of a phenomenon, when they areentrenched in high stakes disagreements over threats to the environment andhuman health, when they need to communicate risk to the general public, andwhen they want to change perceptions of stigmatized conditions. 

Professor Reeves’ teaching fields include courses in MedicalHumanities, Political Rhetoric, Scientific Rhetoric, Professional Writing abouthealth and the environment, and Literature.  

Professor Reeves has also made contributions to severalorganizations in Indianapolis and Indiana that have provided opportunities forher students.  Working with CAFO Watch,Indiana to increase regulatory oversight for Concentrated Animal FeedingOperations, Reeves has brought many students into the organization as internswho learn about the legislative process and environmental policymaking.  She and students worked with the RileyHospital Ryan White Pediatric Infectious Disease department to plan a campaignto create awareness of pre- and peri-natal HIV transmission and the importanceof testing.  She and her students alsowork with Women for Change Indianapolis and Planned Parenthood to help buildopportunities for women to access educational opportunities and healthcare and tocombat discrimination. 

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Travis Ryan
Travis Ryan
Associate Provost/Professor

Travis Ryan is a Professor of Biological Sciences with expertise in urban ecology and conservation biology, and he is one of the founding faculty of the Center for Urban Ecology at Butler University. He teaches an introductory course in the biology major curriculum (BI 230 Ecology and Evolutionary Biology – Fundamentals), organizes the sophomore seminar (BI 299 – Biology Seminar), and teaches upper level electives in Advanced Ecology (BI 418) and Conservation Biology (BI 419). Dr. Ryan also collaborates with Dr. Phil Villani to offer Tropical Terrestrial Biology (BI 417), an intensive field course taught over the course of two weeks in Panama, every other summer. Dr. Ryan’s past research focused on the conservation of amphibians and reptiles, evolutionary ecology of amphibians and the evolution of life histories, and the ecology of turtle assemblages and the spatial ecology of turtles within urban aquatic habitats. Working with colleagues Drs. Carmen Salsbury and Julia Angstmann, he helps run Indy Wildlife Watch (Instagram: @indywildwatch), which documents the density, diversity, and distribution of of wildlife throughout the greater Indianapolis region. This is part of a nationwide research project, the Urban Wildlife Information Network. He is the author of more than 40 peer-reviewed papers and book chapters, is a former Associate Editor of the Journal of Herpetology, and is a member of the Board of Editors for Urban Naturalist. Dr. Ryan served as chair of the Department of Biological Sciences (2013-2019), was twice elected vice chair of Faculty Senate (2016-2020), and was the faculty director of the Core Curriculum (2020-2021). He was appointed Associate Provost beginning July 2021.

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Carmen Salsbury
Carmen Salsbury
Professor – Biological Science

Carmen Salsbury is a Professor of Biological Sciences with expertise in the areas of behavioral and physiological ecology. Mammals have served as Dr. Salsbury’s primary study subjects over the years and she has a specific interest in the ecology of squirrels, both tree and ground-dwelling species. Dr. Salsbury has worked on the reproductive behavior and physiology of yellow-bellied marmots and on patterns of hibernation in woodchucks. Most recently, she has become more interested in urban ecological questions.  Dr, Salsbury has conducted studies in collaboration with students and Dr. Travis Ryan addressing patterns of distribution and abundance of tree squirrels within the urban/suburban landscape.  Dr. Salsbury current focus is to examine distributions of urban wildlife of all kinds throughout the city of Indianapolis.  She is working in collaboration with Drs. Travis Ryan and Julia Angstmann on a study, Indy Wildlife Watch, that involves a large-scale deployment of camera traps along transects throughout the city of Indianapolis to monitor the occurrence and movement of various species living within the city and the surrounding rural areas. 

Dr. Salsbury’s  teaching interests are varied although the central focus of all of her courses is evolutionary ecology.  Dr. Salsbury teaches an introductory course in the biology major curriculum (BI 230 Ecology and Evolutionary Biology – Fundamentals), Mammalogy (BI 306), Zoology (BI 301), Vertebrate Biology (BI 307), Tropical Field Biology (BI 308), Advanced Evolutionary Biology (BI 423), and seminar courses in behavioral ecology.  Currently, Dr. Salsbury is the Director of the Science, Technology and Environmental Studies interdisciplinary program. She directs both the Science, Technology and Society major as well as the Environmental Studies major. 

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Julie Searcy
Assistant Professor – Anthropology
Aarran Shaw
Aarran Shaw
Assistant Professor – Physics

My research focuses on accreting compact objects. When stars die they leave behind very dense remnants, which, depending on mass of the progenitor star, can be a white dwarf, neutron star or black hole. Many of these objects can be found in binary systems in an orbit with a regular star. Strong gravitational interactions cause material to fall from the secondary star on to the compact object, where it forms a disk of hot material called an accretion disk. This disk is a means to transport matter on to the compact object, where it can be swallowed up or even ejected in extremely energetic outbursts.

Accretion is one of the most fundamental processes in the Universe, and as such, we are always attempting to improve our understanding of it. By studying accreting compact objects at multiple wavelengths, from radio all the way up to the highest energy X-rays and gamma rays, we can start to answer some of the greatest unanswered questions in astrophysics.

I work with data from a variety of telescopes, including JWST, the NuSTAR X-ray telescope, Swift, Chandra and Gemini. I often have multiple projects available working with data from these observatories for students who are interested in performing research.

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Kristin Swenson
Kristin Swenson
Professor – Communication & Media Studies
Robin Turner
Robin Turner
Associate Professor, Political Science

Robin L. Turner is an Associate Professor of Political Science, Chair of the Department of Political Science, and Director of the Peace and Conflict Studies Program at Butler University in the USA and an honorary research associate of the Society, Work, and Politics Institute at the University of the Witwatersrand in South Africa. Dr. Turner served as the founding director of the Social Justice and Diversity Butler University Core Curriculum requirement from 2017 to 2019.  She earned a master’s degree and doctorate in political science at the University of California, Berkeley and a masters degree in social science (African politics) from the University of Cape Town (South Africa). Her research, writing, and teaching span multiple fields, including political science, gender studies, African studies, development studies, tourism studies, political ecology, and geography.

Dr. Turner’s research focuses principally on how public policies shape rural political economies, influence identities, and affect people’s behavior in southern Africa. She uses interviews, ethnography, and archival research to examine the interplay between state policies and local practices over time and to look closely at how past and present ways of structuring property and authority shape local political economies and influence constructions of identity. She has published on topics ranging from the politics of tradition; dispossession, property, and nature tourism; and field research to decolonial pedagogy.

Dr. Turner teaches courses that help students better understand the perspectives, experiences, and political strategies of historically marginalized people in Africa, the United States, and elsewhere in the world. Her courses contribute to the political science major and minor, to the core curriculum, and to several interdisciplinary programs She led the the development of a new Global and Historical Studies course centered on the question, "What is Freedom," with grant support from the National Endowment for the Humanities,  Her recent course offerings include:

  • PO 151 Introduction to Comparative Politics
  • PO 350-SAC African Politics
  • PO 351-SJD Politics of Gender & Sexuality in Africa
  • PO 352 Comparative Political Economy
  • PO 354-SJD Environmental Justice
  • PO 490 Senior Seminar on Women and Politics across the World
  • PO 490 Senior Seminar on Political Economy
  • GHS 206-SJD Resistance and Reaction: Resistance and Reaction: Colonialism and Post-Colonialism in Africa
  • GHS 210-SJD Freedom and Movement in the Transatlantic World

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Kelly Van Busum
Kelly Van Busum
Lecturer – Computer Science

Kelly Van Busum is a Lecturer of Computer Science and Software Engineering at Butler University.  She holds a B.A. with a double major in Computer Science and Education, an M.S. in Computer Science, an M.A. in Sociology, and she is finishing a Ph.D. in Computer Science.  Her research interests lie at the intersection of computing and social justice, and her current focus is on bias identification and mitigation in Artificial Intelligence.  She also studies the development of problem-solving and enjoys experimenting with innovative methods for teaching computing.  Kelly is developing  a STEM club for elementary school students, and is also working with a non-profit to integrate Artificial Intelligence into software used to help children in underdeveloped countries learn to read.  Kelly strongly believes in the benefits of a liberal arts education, and truly enjoys engaging with students, so please feel free to reach out and say hello!

Julie Whitaker
Assistant Director of the Center for Urban Ecology and Sustainability