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BW grad pays it forward as student success coach

BW alumna Madeleine Butcher '18 returned to BW to work as a student success coach, helping students across campus thrive through interactive workshops.

Madeleine Butcher '18

A Baldwin Wallace University communication studies graduate is back at BW pursuing her passion to make the college student experience as positive and rewarding as possible.

Madeleine Butcher '18 is a learning specialist with the BW Center for Academic Success & Achievement (CASA), which offers learning resources, tutoring, and reading and writing support to strengthen the academic experience.

Student to Master Mentor

As an undergraduate, Butcher started out as a chemistry major with the goal of becoming a high school teacher. After her first few tests, Butcher assumed she couldn't cut it — simply because she couldn't do it alone. She found a better fit in communication studies.

Butcher's current role within CASA is to encourage students to understand that seeking support and working with others is one of the "main pillars of building a successful education."

Given that focus, Butcher finds it ironic that during her time as a student, she did not seek help from CASA or others.

Success Seminars

CASA supports and strengthens the academic experience of BW's diverse community through services and resources designed to empower learners. 

Butcher's role involves mentoring, advising, offering academic support and fostering retention. To that end, she creates, facilitates and organizes CASA's Wednesday Success Seminars and serves as a certified academic coach.

Wednesday Success Seminars are interactive workshops that are tailored to students' requests and include "Time Management for the BW Student," "Making your Notes Work for You," "Learning Strategies and How to Use Them" and "Countering Procrastination."

During the seminars, students are encouraged to discuss the topic along with their current academic experience. With help from the seminar facilitator and the students' peers, everyone works together to explore theories or research surrounding the topic of the workshop. The facilitator and students then discuss ideas for new approaches or techniques to use in the coming weeks or share solutions that have worked in the past.

'Ah-ha!' Moments


BW student success coach Madeleine Butcher '18 (right) works with a BW student.

Having lived on campus for years as a resident advisor and campus leader, Butcher intimately understands the student experience, and she leverages this insider perspective to custom-tailor guidance. 

Butcher looks to provide those "ah-ha!" moments where students realize that discussing obstacles and brainstorming solutions with peers or support staff can provide results compared to going at it alone.

She says that by meeting students where they are and speaking their language, success seminars and one-to-one academic coaching show students that "we succeed when we work together."

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