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Looking at the Class of 2012: Graduating Applied Biology Senior Shannon Butler Welcomes Challenges

May 25, 2012

       Shannon Butler
  Outstanding Student: Shannon Butler received this year's outstanding graduating biology student award based on potential for future achievement in the career field.  She plans to seek a Ph.D. in behavioral physiology at Purdue University, starting this fall.

Talking with Shannon Butler, it's clear she doesn't spend much time playing video games.

This spring, the senior was honored to make a presentation on "Students Who Take More Time to Switch Between Tasks Report More Video Game Usage" at the American Society of Engineering Education's Illinois-Indiana Section Conference. Faculty members were intrigued to learn the results of her research, conducted with Applied Biology and Biomedical Engineering Professor Kay C Dee, Ph.D..

Publishing research to distinguished faculty members, while an undergraduate, is no small feat. However, Butler's achievement was no surprise to Dee.

"Shannon's the one who took the initiative and did what she had to do," says the professor.

Butler was named the institute's outstanding senior biology student after maintaining a 3.7 grade point average. She also has been president of the Blue Key National Honor Society, earn varsity letters on the cross country team, and been a member of the Chi Omega sorority and Triathlon Club.

"No," she chuckled when asked if she spends much time playing video games.

This fall, Butler will enroll at Purdue University's Department of Biological Sciences, seeking a Ph.D. in behavioral physiology.

Rose-Hulman was the first choice for this former high school valedictorian, and it's a choice she's glad she made. The small environment is great for undergraduates and she explains that professors Ella Ingram, Mark Inlow, and Dee have been great help while working on research projects.

Diversity in endeavors is celebrated at Rose-Hulman, with scientists educating engineers and vice-versa. The fact that undergraduates are getting research published says a lot about the opportunities on campus, says Dee, Butler's research advisor.

"It reflects well on Rose-Hulman and the quality of our students," she proudly professed, pointing out that Butler picked the challenging research project, rather than making a poster presentation. That speaks volumes for the caliber and determination of Rose-Hulman students. "Shannon is so organized and so good at time management," the professor says.

Butler's other research projects include an experiment that tests "active learning" techniques, examining the relationship between teaching and brain activity. These lessons will become helpful in her future career as a biology professor.