Collegian 30: Influential Butler Women

The Butler Collegian celebrates International Women’s Day and Month by naming 30 women who have influenced the university. Photo courtesy of PR Daily. 



March 8 was International Women’s Day and the month of March is Women’s History Month, a month dedicated to celebrate women’s achievements and advocate for equality. The Butler Collegian nominated and interviewed 30 women in person, over Zoom and through email that have personally impacted the lives of staff members and the overall environment of Butler University. From deans and professors to administrative specialists and Atherton cashiers, women make Butler University, Butler University. 

We asked the following questions: 

What is it like to be a woman in your field?

What advice would you give to your younger self?

What inspired you to be in the job position you are in today?

What is your greatest achievement?






Photo by Francie Wilson.

Amy Arnold

Administrative Specialist of History and Anthropology, and Race, Gender and Sexuality Studies Department

“[My greatest achievement is] if I can get through a day mindfully, taking notice of the other people around me, taking care of myself and others and being a helpful person, that’s just how I want to show up everyday… I’m not looking for a single achievement; it’s just to live everyday with those intentions.”

























Photo courtesy of Jules Arthur-Gable.

Jules Arthur-Grable 

Sexual Assault Response and Prevention Specialist

“Professionally, I am probably most proud when a survivor that I have been working with comes to a happy point in their journey. A lot of the survivors that I work with come in and they are really traumatized and torn up and having a really difficult time. Through my work with them, seeing them grow and become stronger and move forward and move on; seeing survivors thrive is what makes me most proud.”

Photo by Ben Caylor.

Brooke Barnett

Dean of the College of Communication

“[The advice I would give to my younger self would be to] not have a set idea about the way all these things are supposed to happen and supposed to unfold. Try to follow a path, perhaps, but keep your head up for what interesting diversions might happen.”

Photo courtesy of Brooke Beloso.

Brooke Beloso

Associate Professor of Race, Gender and Sexuality studies.

“[My greatest achievement would be] learning to believe in myself, to take care of myself and to not take sh*t from anyone else… I think women, especially, are encouraged to put others’ needs first always, and to just hope and wait for others to do the same for us; but that’s just not sustainable.”


Photo by Francie Wilson.

Lisa Brooks

Dean of the Jordan College of the Arts

“[The advice I would give to my younger self is] just reinforcing the notion, ‘you just go for it… Never be put off by logistical difficulties… Make yourself invaluable. Do that extra thing… In an academic situation, do speak up, if you’ve got a chance, say ‘I’ll fix it.’ Eventually, if you do that enough, you’re recognized for that and you’ll ascend in some kind of way. And so then, you get to the point where you have some influence.”


Photo by Lucy McRoberts.

Hilary Buttrick

Interim Dean for the Lacy School of Business and Associate Professor of Business Law 

“I would tell myself to worry less and be more confident in your own ability to make decisions because I did spend a lot of time second-guessing and ‘well what if this was the wrong choice,’ and at a certain point, you just need to say ‘your law degree counts just as much as everybody else’s law degree.’ Just make your decision, stick with it, and it’s okay because you have good instincts.”

Photo by Ben Caylor.

Clare Carrasco 

Assistant Professor of Music

“[The advice I would give to my younger self is] to put myself out there more and be less hesitant. I think I assumed a lot when I was younger that I didn’t know what I was doing or I didn’t know what I was talking about. I silenced myself a lot and… I would like to go back and tell myself to feel free to take a few more risks and not question myself so much.”

Photo by Francie Wilson.

Sally Childs-Helton 

Full professor in the Library Faculty and Head of Special Collections, Rare Books and University Archives

“You can’t do it all, you can try but you can’t but it’s fun trying. I am also a musician and an ethnomusicologist and I got into archiving through sound archiving and through ethnomusicology. The advice would [be] in spite of the fact that you know you can’t do it all, you might as well do as much of it as you can in as many ways as you can and have fun because life is short.”

Photo by Lauren Hough.

Sharon Clark

Head Volleyball Coach

“Women [are] in sports, women in athletics, college athletics; there are women in all facets but we’re still not in high numbers. There’s still a ceiling for us at times. I’d say that’s what it’s like being a woman in college sports.”

























Photo courtesy of Gina Forrest.

Gina Forrest

Executive Director of Diversity, Equity and Inclusion

“To my younger self, I wish I would have known what imposter syndrome was in my 20’s, because I did not… I wish I would have had the confidence to keep going in some areas where that imposter syndrome creeped in and stopped me from achieving what I could have achieved. My last advice to myself would be ‘speak up more than you did in the first place.’ Keep speaking up. You’re worth it.”

Photo courtesy of Allison Harthcock.

Allison Harthcock 

Associate Professor of Communications and Media Studies

“My greatest achievement is that I keep changing things and growing, so I would say to some degree that my greatest achievement has yet to have been achieved.”


Photo by Francie Wilson.

Sonya Hopkins 

Associate Director of Academics in Butler Athletics 

“I think that women in this position probably naturally are able to respond to the request or questions that they receive or any issues that the student-athletes are dealing with and then…  quite honestly when I’m speaking with parents when it comes to recruiting student-athletes into our programs, the [athletes’] moms appreciate the fact that I’m kinda a mom, I’m kinda the mother figure when it comes to looking out for their children and those kinds of things so I’m very comfortable being a woman in this position, I almost feel like it was meant for me.”

Photo by Francie Wilson.

Ashley Hutson 

Lecturer in Department of Sociology and Criminology 

I had a really strong group of mentors along the way who showed me that it was possible that I could go into higher education so I was really lucky to be mentored by a variety of people who just encouraged me and would offer me, ‘here’s a tip about an opportunity for a scholarship or an application or a nomination for something’ that really helped me develop that confidence that I didn’t really always have.”

Photo by Ben Caylor.

Jamie Ingram

Director of Women’s Basketball Operations

[The advice I would give to my younger self is] be purposeful early on. I kinda took a path that went all over the place. [I] kinda was a tree with several branches and [it] was awesome and really fun to kinda try different things and do different things, but I would say make my education a priority, make getting your masters degree, make getting your bachelors degree, make education a priority as opposed to working just in your job.”


Photo by Lucy McRoberts.

Terri Jett

Professor of Political Science, Peace and Conflict Studies, Affiliate Faculty Member for the Race, Gender and Sexuality Studies program, Faculty Director for the Hub of Black Affairs and Community Engagement and Senior Advisor for the President. 

“Education has always been very important to my family. Pursuing knowledge that benefits my own community, meaning my Black community, is something that was ingrained in me through the work of the church my parents helped found: Sojourner Truth Presbyterian Church. It was always about faith and vocation and justice and doing good work in the world and using your talents and skills and knowledge to benefit your people.”

Photo by Francie Wilson.

Jennifer Johnson 

Equipment Manager for Butler Athletics

“I have always loved sports. This position actually kinda dropped in my lap but it was something that intrigued me. I stumbled upon it and it’s been the biggest blessing of my life, I love almost every minute of it.” 

Photo by Lucy McRoberts.

Brooke Kandel-Cisco

Dean of the College of Education 

“While I’ve always believed in myself, and had pretty high aspirations, high goals, I think that other women have seen potential in me that I didn’t see in myself at the time. Some of my advice would be: surround yourself with other strong, competent women who are reaching for their goals and to uplift other women as well.”


Photo by Lauren Hough.

Maria Kanger 

Title IX Coordinator

“The advice I would give to my younger self is to be patient and to understand that life and career are not linear. This is not the career path that I set out on or thought that I would be in when I went to undergrad. I also went to law school, but it’s the career that I found that I love and it just took some different steps along the way and forks off the typical path that I wouldn’t have thought of to get here and turns out that being patient and trusting that process is a really good thing to do.”

Photo courtesy of Becky Marsh.

Becky Marsh 

Assistant Professor of Music 

“[The advice I would give to my younger self is] it’s gonna be fine, calm down. The only thing about life that is for sure is death and that you are probably gonna pay taxes forever, so it’s okay to change paths, it’s okay to mess up, pick yourself up, take time for yourself and you are doing just fine.”

Photo by Lauren Hough.

Wendy Meaden

Associate Dean of JCA and Professor of Theatre 

“Being a woman in my field is following in the footsteps of many other women who worked because something needed doing, whether or not there was recognition or remuneration.”


Photo courtesy of Annie Minnich-Beck.

Anne Minnich-Beck

Administrative Specialist of English 

“[The advice I would give my younger self is] to not really stress out over doing everything absolutely perfect. Tomorrow’s another day.”

Photo by Lucy McRoberts.

Kathryn Morris 

Provost and Vice President for Academic Affairs

“[The advice I would give to my younger self is] be true to who you are, know what your north star is, and keep going towards that.”

Photo by Francie Wilson.

Lynne Murphy

Cashier and Vice President of Unite Here Local 23 Union

“[My greatest accomplishment is] being an organizer, because that’s what our leaders — Martin Luther King, and Malcolm X, and all of them — have done in the past to try and make a difference in the world. So that’s my accomplishment, my achievement. My best achievement, anyways.”

Photo by Lauren Hough.

Wendy Nieman 

Staff Musician 

“One thing that is challenging about the position is that you are in a service role. I both love that and I’m challenged by that and sometimes people don’t understand what you do and how even though we are in a supportive role that doesn’t always get appreciated for what we do. I would probably advise my younger self to be less timid and be a little bit more assertive in those kinds of situations.”

Photo by Lauren Hough.

Joy Rogers 

Administrative Assistant of Music

“I think it’s important for young women to find value in what they do, whether it’s an administrative assistant or a cashier. Every position that women can hold is valuable to some degree and I think women need to have value in themselves.”

Photo courtesy of Ania Spyra.

Ania Spyra

Associate Professor of English

“The field and academe itself can be an uncomfortable place for a woman and to know that through my being here… I have the chance of shaping my department and my field, and supporting that ‘this is the direction I think the field should be going in.”

Photo courtesy of Amanda Stevenson-Holmes.

Amanda Stevenson-Holmes 

Instructor for Strategic Communication

“The advice I would give to my younger self, and the advice I try and give to other young people, especially women, is to have confidence in yourself and to believe in yourself. I think that it’s very easy in our culture and our environment today to get down on ourselves, any aspect of ourselves, and to be able to appreciate who you are. And the skills and expertise and experiences that you bring to any table are just as valid and valuable as anyone else.”

Photo by Lauren Hough.

Diane Sweeney 

Assistant Chief of Administration of Butler University Police Department

“[The advice I would give to my younger self] would be just to slow down and not take things too seriously, but appreciate where other people are coming from and to consider that before evaluating or before jumping to conclusions. There’s a lot of miscommunication today in a lot of different areas and I think that sometimes that causes more friction later on and  that’s some of the issues… that if everyone just stopped and took a deep breath and just kinda said ‘okay what’s going on why did someone say that’ I think that it would explain a lot of things and there wouldn’t be as much tension or misunderstanding.”

Photo courtesy of Robin Turner.

Robin Turner 

Professor of Political Science

“[The advice I would give to myself would be] do your best to be fully present in each moment, to allow yourself to perceive things as they are, and to act in accordance with your values. Be kind to yourself and others. Planning can be helpful, but life will unfold as it will.”

Photo by Ben Caylor.

Dana Zenobi 

Assistant Professor of Music 

“I’m proud of the work I have done recently as a recital artist — showcasing some compositions by women composers that I feel are underperformed and just, in general, sparking the interest of colleagues and students in that music. So I’m proud of performing that music in integrity and sharing that music with the community in my field.”


Related posts