Welcome to the 2018-19 Academic Year at Butler College from Head Shelton

Monday, Sep 17, 2018

Dear Butlerites,

Welcome to the 2018-19 academic year at Butler College! I hope you had a restorative summer that left you energized for the new school year. I look forward to hearing about your summer adventures. Do join me for a meal in the dining hall or stop by the Butler College Office to fill me in on what you did this summer or what you hope to accomplish this year. I would love to hear from you.

I spent the summer right here in Princeton working with undergraduate research assistants and graduate students on my research which focused on how racial and gender bias can impact students’ psychological well-being and academic success. I was also able to get away to visit my family in Charlottesville, Virginia. My nephews (8 months, 5 years, and 10 years) kept me busy reading books about dinosaurs and sharks, blowing bubbles, and learning the floss dance, which I still cannot do. I also used the summer to catch up on some reading, including a fantastic novel (Little Fires Everywhere by Celeste Ng), an insightful ethnography (Evicted by Professor Matthew Desmond), and a wonderful book to help me start meditating (Just Sit: A Meditation Guidebook for People Who Know They Should But Don’t by Sukey Novogratz ‘89). It was a fantastic summer but I am happy for the year to start and work with each of you.

As Head of Butler, my goal is to foster a supportive and inclusive community where residents help one another and engage with one another outside the classroom. One of my favorite aspects of residential college life is that it provides a natural setting for people of incredibly diverse backgrounds and interests to interact in meaningful ways. This year, you will find 193 first year students, 207 sophomores, 81 juniors, and 60 seniors residing in Butler. There are an additional 346 juniors and seniors affiliated with Butler who live in noncollege affiliated housing. Among this group of 887 remarkable students, you will find musicians and athletes, poets and engineers, and students of various ethnicities, religions, sexual orientation, and economic circumstances. Butler College is a place where all of us come together, look out for each other, and engage with each other in an environment where we can all feel at home. Please join me in making sure everyone’s unique perspective is respected, ensuring that Butler feels like a home during these next 10 months.

To learn more about the professional staff in Butler who are here to support you in many ways I encourage you to visit our official website. Here you will also find information about our student leaders, including the wonderful Residential College Advisors, Resident Graduate Students, Peer Academic Advisors, Sophomore Leader Team, and members of the College Council. In addition, you will see that Professor Byron Ahn, an assistant professor in the Linguistics Program, is our Resident Faculty Fellow. Finally, we have two corners of our webpage where you can hear directly from students and faculty fellows. Our Words of Wisdom corner provides peer-to-peer advice for navigating Princeton and beyond. I strongly recommend that you find some quiet time and scroll through the messages current students and alumni have left for you. In addition, the Life of a Scholar corner highlights a few of our faculty fellows, showcasing what they do at Princeton and beyond.

I wish you a wonderful and productive academic year. I hope to see you often throughout the year.


J. Nicole Shelton

Head of Butler College

Professor of Psychology