Transforming Education—December 2017

Write in your heart that every day is the best day of the year.
— Ralph Waldo Emerson

Happy Holidays!

As I shared in my last newsletter, the College of Education is very pleased to begin our Brick by Brick, or Mattone Su Mattone, campaign as we journey towards our new home in the beautiful building that currently houses the Christian Theological Seminary (CTS).

Our future is full of opportunities as we continue the work to transform education, but we would not be where we are today without the strong foundation of alumni, faculty, staff, and students who have helped us develop, brick by brick, into a nationally recognized College of Education.

As you reflect on this season of thankfulness, giving, and remembrance, we would ask that you consider honoring those who have paved the way.

  • Is there an educator that started you on your professional journey, even before you came to Butler, who you would like to recognize?
  • Is there a faculty or staff member that you would like to publicly thank for their investment in you and the profession?
  • Would you like to have your own name inscribed as a permanent part of your alma mater?
  • If you are a family member, is there a former or current student you know who would love to always be part of the COE?

The link below will take you to the site where bricks can be purchased and inscriptions can be noted. We are thrilled at the outpouring of interest in this project since the last newsletter, and we cannot wait for the names and stories that we will remember because of this project.

Purchase a Brick

Thank YOU for being a part of the Mattone Su Mattone that has allowed us to build who we are today and lay the foundation for an even stronger tomorrow. We look forward to the many good things ahead in 2018!

Until next month,

Dr. Ena Shelley
Dean, College of Education

2018 Short Term Study Abroad Trip to France with COE

2018 Short Term Study Abroad Trip

Travel with the College of Education and earn 3 credit hours!
Open to all Students, Faculty/Staff, Alumni, & More

Vive la France!

French Riviera, Nice, Provence, Loire Valley,
Paris, Versailles, Normandy

May 15–28, 2018*

Approximately $4,895** per person (includes 3 credits)
Interested?  Contact Chris Price at or 317-940-9752
or visit:
*dates are approximate and subject to change
** additional fees applies to adult travelers

Transforming Education—October 2017

Mattone Su Mattone (Italian)

Brick by Brick:
Learning from the past as we look to the future of the College of Education

The story of the preschool, XXV Aprile (April 25), in the Villa Cella is an important part of the history of early childhood education in Reggio Emilia, Italy. In Villa Cella after World War II, the village was left with a German tank, a few horses, and a truck abandoned due to the quick departure of the Nazis. In only a few weeks after Italy was liberated, the citizens of Villa Cella sold these items and began to gather the ruble left of the many buildings that had been shattered by bombs. They gathered bricks (mattone) and took them to the river, knocking off the mortar, and gathered sand to begin construction of a preschool for the children. Renzo Barazzoni, author of Mattone Su Mattone wrote: 

“The people of Villa Cella had seen the war up close and had experienced all of its horrors. They could easily have been infected by the repeated barbarities of the long fascist domination. Instead, immediately after the Liberation, not only were they relieved of the weight of a nightmare and lightened by returning hope, they were especially united by the memory of shared suffering and by a spirit of solidarity which had been tested through and through... Everyone wondered how to erase every trace of this dark past from our conscience and from our institutions; the answer was democracy, to be built from the ground up, along with the houses and the demolished cities, with the families, which were split up and mutilated.  The period after the war, therefore, was one of the sunniest moments in our history.

I had the good fortune of visiting April 25, and it was an inspiring symbol of rebirth and hope after one of the most horrific periods of history. I was in awe of the structure knowing that bricks had been placed so many decades ago as they built a future for their children and their country.  The democratic principles that permeate the practices in the schools of Reggio Emilia, Italy are alive and well, and the history of fascism has no place in the present or future.

So in the spirit of the Reggio practice of offering questions as a means to provoke dialogue, I offer the following:

  • With the tragedies in our society (mass shootings, natural disasters, etc.), how are we practicing and teaching democratic principles so that our students know about history and understand their roles as citizens in a democratic society?
  • Have you read, or will you re-read, John Dewey’s profound and prophetic work Democracy and Education?
  • How do you respond to what often feels like a never-ending attack on the education system in our country? Can you think of it, like the citizens of Villa Cella, as being tested but creating a spirit of solidarity in realizing that as an educator, YOU are laying one brick at a time for the future of your students?

I am pleased to share with you that the College of Education will be undertaking our own Mattone Su Mattone as we move into a new home in summer 2018. We will move into the beautiful Christian Theological Seminary (CTS) building located on the west side of the Butler campus. As we work with Schmidt Associates in the redesign of several spaces, including the building of a new walkway and patio, we will be selling bricks that celebrate being an alum, honoring a family member, a teacher, a professor, or the memory of a loved one. As we create our own “brick by brick” story, we will be paving the way to a new future for the College of Education by understanding and honoring our past, but looking to a future that is filled with hope and opportunity; renewed with the understanding that education is the foundation to a strong and healthy society where all its members can thrive.

Photo credit:

Until next month,

Dr. Ena Shelley
Dean, College of Education

Transforming Education—April 2017


In time of stress, the best thing we can do for each other is to listen with our ears and our hearts and to be assured that our questions are just as important as our answers.
—Fred Rogers

This column is dedicated to children of all ages and the peacemakers in the world. Only a few weeks ago an act of terrorism occurred in Stockholm, Sweden. This followed on the heels of horrific incidents in Syria. The turmoil in the world demands that we embrace the words of Mr. Rogers as educators, parents, and as global citizens.

My dear friend and colleague, Angelica Granqvist, sent me a text on April 7 to let me know that she and her family were safe in their homeland of Sweden. Last May I had the honor of traveling to Sweden to learn from Angelica and her peers as fellow educators. In her school, Vallentuna Gymnasium, I met students from many countries such as Afghanistan, Syria, Iraq, and Iran. They had to master the Swedish language first and then English. I was touched to hear the phrase “newly arrived” used rather than “immigrant.” What I observed was a thriving community of high school students who embodied the wisdom of Nelson Mandela: “Education is the most powerful weapon which you can use to change the world.” I had the opportunity to travel with Angelica to other cities as well as Gotland Island in the Baltic Sea. I found the Swedes to be kind and open and the pace of life to be peaceful.

Unfortunately their peace has now been disrupted by a senseless act. But it appears the Swedes are using their ears and hearts as they embrace the questions in this situation. Swedes have placed mounds of flowers and thousands joined hands in a public gathering. Prime Minister Stefan Lofven stated, “This shows that there is strength in Sweden that nobody can take away from us.” I read an interview of a 75-year-old Swedish woman who said maybe there is hope in this tragedy so that “fellow Swedes would become even more open and welcoming.” She is keeping her heart and mind open in the midst of the questions that surround a tragedy.

This May I will return to Sweden—this time with a large group of Butler University faculty. We must continue to realize the importance of the connections across the world, our role as peacemakers, and how education is the way to change the world. While we must take precautions, we cannot live our lives in fear. As adults we must continue to help our students ask the questions knowing that there are many answers, not just one. Sadly the days of the Mister Rogers Neighborhood show are in the past, but his wisdom lives on. Perhaps introducing the younger generation to him on Google would be worthy! As our students and children see the world events play out on Twitter, Instagram, or Facebook, they could frame it as Mister Rogers did: “When I was a boy and I would see scary things in the news, my mother would say to me, ‘Look for the helpers. You will always find people who are helping.’” May we each work to help heal the world with our ears and hearts open always.

Dr. Ena Shelley
Dean, College of Education

Hinkle Academy is ready for you!

HA graphic

The Hinkle Academy for Wellness and Sport Leadership is an online graduate program experience, preparing front-row leaders in wellness, sport, and allied fields.  You’ll learn about leadership through the lens of sport and wellness and The Butler Way, which “demands commitment, denies selfishness, accepts reality yet seeks improvement every day while putting the team above self.”  You’ll also be connected with sport and wellness organizations in Indiana’s sports-rich environment.

Are you or someone you know interested in personal and professional development to improve career trajectory and marketability?  The Hinkle Academy certificate is a great option for those wishing to expand their expertise, including:

  • Current and future Butler alumni
  • Licensed teachers and coaches in all sports at all levels
  • Volunteer coaches affiliated with schools, churches, community centers, and fitness centers
  • Professionals employed in sport and wellness
  • Individuals seeking career change or entrepreneurial opportunities in education, sports, athlete development, fitness, recreation, and wellness

In this curriculum video excerpt from the Hinkle Academy for Wellness and Sport Leadership, Todd Lickliter ’79, Bulldog head men’s basketball coach from 2001–2007, talks about Brad Stevens and other Butler University coaches handling less recognized, “little jobs” of coaching with the same care given to larger matters, and he talks about passing this lesson onto players.

Want to know more? Visit Hinkle Academy for Wellness and Sport Leadership to learn about the admission process, plan of study, tuition and more.  The Hinkle Academy offers two eight-week sessions of the fall course. Session A is August 23–October 17, 2017. Session B is October 18–December 12, 2017. The application deadline for the first fall session is August 21. The second fall session application deadline is October 17.  There’s still time to apply!

For questions, please contact or Dr. Mindy Welch, Program Coordinator for the Hinkle Academy, at