Welcome to Butler Class of 2024! As the newly appointed Head of Butler College, I am very excited that you have been assigned to be a member of our wonderful living and learning community. In these unprecedented and challenging times, as outlined by President Eisgruber in his letter yesterday, you can still rest assured that Butler College will become your “home away from home” during your time at Princeton, whether you are attending classes in-person or remotely. The creation of a vibrant community, and a sense of connectedness to others, will remain the primary goal of the residential college system, and the individual efforts of all of our full-time and student staff will be directed along these lines. No matter the circumstances, our goal remains what it has always been: assisting you to take full advantage of everything Princeton has to offer. I am confident that regardless of whether your living and learning environment will be in-person or remote, you will develop close friendships, be challenged to think differently, learn new talents, and become your best self during your time at Butler and at Princeton.
Let me take a moment to introduce the full-time Butler College staff, who are here to assist you:
David Stirk, the Dean of Butler College (email@example.com), joined the University in 2004. He oversees the academic progress of all Butler students, focusing particularly on juniors and seniors, and works closely with the director of studies and the director of student life. Dean Stirk received his Ph.D. from the American Studies Program at Yale and his research and teaching is in the area of 19th and 20th century visual culture. He has taught courses in the First-Year Seminar Program, the Princeton Writing Program, and the Program in American Studies.
Matthew Lazen (firstname.lastname@example.org) has been the Director of Studies at Butler since 2005. He is responsible for academic advising for first years and sophomores and pairs you with your faculty academic adviser and peer advisers. He is also responsible for all academic programming in the college, whether virtual or remote. Dr. Lazen received his Ph.D. from the Literature Program at Duke, specializing in film and French studies, and during his time at Princeton completed a second doctorate, an Ed.D. in higher and postsecondary education at New York University.
Joe Rolón (email@example.com) joined Butler College in 2019 as the Director of Student Life. Along with supervising the Butler RCAs, he provides Butlerites with guidance and support on residential, personal, health, and social matters and fosters a dynamic environment, whether in-person or virtual, through his advisement of the College Council. Joe received a B.A. from the University of Notre Dame with a double major in Psychology and Computer Applications with a minor in Theatre. Joe received his M.A. in General-Theoretical Psychology from Fairleigh Dickinson University. Joe also taught courses in First-Year Seminar and Psychology courses at FDU and has worked as a mental health clinician in various hospitals in New York and New Jersey.
Robyn Howard, the College Program Administrator (firstname.lastname@example.org), joined the Butler College staff in 2014. Robyn works closely with the RCAs and RGSs to make sure you have intellectual and social activities that are engaging and safe. In addition, she manages the College budget and oversees the physical facilities. Robyn earned her Bachelor of Fine Arts degree from Mason Gross School of the Arts at Rutgers University, where she majored in Visual Arts with a focus on scriptwriting, filmmaking, and sculpture.
Lauren Cutrone, the College Program Coordinator (email@example.com), joined the Butler College staff in 2019. Lauren coordinates many of the staff’s activities and assists in virtually all facets of College life. Lauren works on maintaining the Butler website, and you will see her work in the advertisements she creates for our events throughout the year. Lauren earned her undergrad degree from Montclair State University, majoring in English and minoring in Creative Writing, Classical Studies, and Women’s and Gender Studies. Prior to joining the Butler team, she worked as a teacher’s assistant with The Goddard School and as a marketing and production associate with Behrman House Publishers.
Last, there is the College Head, who is always a senior faculty member charged with the responsibility for setting the direction of the College, and who oversees the whole staff. I joined the Princeton faculty in 2000. I have a joint appointment in Sociology and the Princeton School of Public and International Affairs; I’m also affiliated with the Program in Gender and Sexuality Studies, the Office of Population Research, the Center for Health and Wellbeing, and the Program in the History of Science. My research is located at the intersection of medicine, health policy, and culture, with a particular focus on gender. I earned a B.A. in English from Yale, an M.P.A. from Princeton, and a Ph.D. from the University of Pennsylvania.
As Head of Butler, my goal is to create a strong sense of community, where we all look out for each other, while at the same time keeping in mind the wider communities at Princeton and the world beyond FitzRandolph Gate. Making any community strong and vibrant involves individuals working together in engaging and meaningful ways to improve the lives of all of its members. I look forward to working with you toward this common goal.
There are many other members of the Butler community you will get to know during your first year and beyond.
One of the very first people you will meet, whether in-person or remotely, will be your Residential College Adviser (RCA), who will also be in contact with you this summer. The RCA program consists of carefully selected juniors and seniors who form the backbone of the College, helping first-year students as mentors and friends to adjust smoothly to almost every aspect of university life, whether that be in a residential or remote setting.
During virtual orientation you will also meet our Resident Graduate Students (RGSs), a select group of graduate students who live in the College, initiating and participating in programming that enhances the social and intellectual life of Butler. They also provide insight as older students who have sometimes taught classes or spent time in interesting careers before returning to school, and will also be working to enhance the virtual programming that will help us build community this year.
Finally, during the upcoming virtual orientation, you will also meet your Peer Academic Advisers (PAAs), upperclass students who will be paired with your RCA and will provide you with academic guidance from a student perspective to complement the advice you get from your Faculty Adviser. Dr. Lazen will be providing further updates on this, as well as your faculty adviser assignment and course selection process, shortly.
I will share more information about the Butler community as the summer progresses. I know there will be many questions that will arise under the present circumstances. I urge you to check the fall 2020 website aimed at undergraduates and their families (https://fall2020.princeton.edu/info/undergraduates-families) frequently, for the updated student FAQ page(https://fall2020.princeton.edu/info/undergraduate-students/faqs). For Butler College specific information visit our website at https://butlercollege.princeton.edu/. To see photos of the activities offered in the College you can follow us on Instagram (@butlercollegeprinceton) and like us on Facebook (ButlerCollege-PrincetonUniversity). But most importantly, be in contact with us if we can assist in any way.
Again, welcome to Butler College!
Elizabeth M. Armstrong
Head of Butler College