Family Council: Awarding above and beyond

Director of New Student and Family Programs Meg Haggerty, Dr. Stephen Barnard and Butler Family Council members Jaime and David Fryrear celebrate at the Leadership Impact Awards lunch on April 5. Photo by Terry Ngai


On Friday, April 5 the Butler Family Council presented their second annual Leadership Impact Awards to three distinguished Butler professors. Lecturer Scott Bridge, Dr. Steven Barnard and Dr. Rhea Myerscough received the awards for their impact on their students. 

The Butler Family Council serves as a forum for parents and guardians of undergraduates to stay connected to the university. The Butler Family Council remains involved throughout the whole academic year voicing parent concerns, raising awareness among student families and recognizing leadership in the Butler community. This year, the Family Council recognized three faculty members from all over the university for their leadership and impact on Butler students. 

Last spring, the Butler Family Council reinstituted the Leadership Impact Awards presented to Butler faculty and staff who have made exceptional impacts in students’ careers. Josiah Hatfield is the assistant director of new student and family programs, as well as part of the awards and recognition committee of the Family Council. He focused on the necessity of growing relationships with families beyond their students, as well as the importance of giving back to the community in their roles as leaders. 

“The general idea is [recognizing] the Butler faculty and staff who are really impacting students, helping them learn and grow,” Hatfield said. “It’s a way for Butler families to show love and support to the good work that is happening by the faculty and staff.” 

With the hope that Butler families will become more involved on campus, the Family Council will continue to open up nominations each spring for the university’s spectacular faculty and staff members. The Leadership Impact Award not only recognizes those who work at Butler, but the connection Butler has with its families. 

Beginning in late January, all Butler families and students were encouraged to nominate faculty and staff who have left a positive impact on not just their academic careers, but on their futures. It is then up to the award and recognition committee within the Family Council to decide who will receive the awards. 

On the day of the Leadership Impact Award ceremony, the families who nominated faculty members were asked to meet for lunch where they were able to connect with members of the Family Council and congratulate the recipients of the awards. 

One of the winners of this spring’s Leadership Impact Award, Dr. Steven Barnard — associate professor and chair of the sociology and criminology department — was nominated by the Fryrear family for his focus on his students’ mental health and needs. When Julia Fryrear, a senior sociology-criminology major, needed guidance, Barnard went above and beyond to make sure Fryrear was able to graduate on time, according to the Fryrear family. 

Fryrear wanted to nominate Barnard after he helped her adjust when she switched her major later in her college career. 

“He really went above and beyond in making sure I not only was taking classes I was interested in but also ensuring that I was getting to do my major and have the full Butler experience,” Fryrear said. 

Barnard was informed of his nomination and was unaware of the remarkable difference he had made on his students. 

“The kind words that I am hearing are, truly, very meaningful,” Barnard said. “Obviously for this profession, it’s a labor of love. It’s a passion project — getting to work with students about things that matter to them. I think [this profession] is less about making change in the world, but about helping empower others to make a change in the world.” 

Nominees and honorees were all invited to join the Family Council in the Ford Salon. The winners were given a physical Leadership Impact Award certificate, a monetary prize and recognition from their department. 


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