The professor’s room – Lynann "Annie" Butler
An occasional series that gets within the inner sanctums of academia – because clever people have interesting rooms.
July 19, 2017
Annie Butler takes fun seriously. And she knows the most enlightening connections are forged when people have meaningful interactions with one another.
That’s why the Human Services Department chair has an office filled with fun items that help everyone take work seriously – but not themselves.
1. I’m really proud to have received the Faculty Senate Teaching Excellence award in 2012 – I’ve done a lot of work with learner-centered teaching to get students excited and engaged in the educational process. Some of the exercises included games with M&Ms, word matches and “Jeopardy!” I’ve tried to make learning fun so students are more likely to remember the material.
2. One of these buttons says “yes” and the other “no”; when you hit them, they give you 10 kinds of responses – so when someone comes in and asks if I’m taking lunch, I can just hit the button! It’s just like the classroom; if you can create fun and playfulness, it’s a better work environment. Who wouldn’t want that?
3. I absolutely love travel, and I collect items on my different trips. I was traveling back through the Manchester airport with this wrapped and taped up in a Hefty bag; it looked just like a tommy gun! When security asked what it was, I just said, “A purple spotted giraffe.” They didn’t even bat an eye.
4. I’ve been very grateful to MSU Denver for the opportunity to do things over the years like present at conferences. I was at the International Technology, Education and Development conference in Spain and found this Dali clock at a little shop by the Prado Museum in Madrid.
5. My “Board of Fame” is kind of an homage to all the great things going on in the department – I’ve got pictures of my team, their families, new employees and thank-you notes. There’s even a few inappropriate jokes I should probably take down before this runs!
6. Our Human Services Educational Organization student club – HSEO for short – is a great group! They’ve won several awards and work really hard; for example, they sold little teddy bears to raise money for Children’s Hospital.
7. I like to do fun things in team meetings like give away silly awards to our team. When our fire and emergency-response administration program first began last year, I gave these helmets to program faculty Brian Bagwell and Kevin Hammons and said, “Congratulations; you’re official!”
8. One of the guest speakers I bring into my multicultural class is a Hmong refugee. He would talk about dodging land mines, starving while crossing the Mekong Delta and seeing tigers eating corpses. I knew someone had to write his story, so during my sabbatical in 2015 I wrote “Walking With Tigers” after a trip to Laos and the Hmong cultural center in St. Paul, Minn.
p.s. Calling all faculty and staff members…
Do you have an interesting office – and would you like to feature it in our series? Just email Cory Phare.