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Department of Journalism





Popovich was former chair, friend, mentor and Hall of Fame inductee

Law, research professor retires BY MARICRIS JULIE L. TAEZA

SPRING AWARDS Department presents awards to alumni, friends of the university

PAGE 6,7

LONDON CENTRE A personal reflection about the experiences available to students in London.

PAGE 8, 9

ALSO INSIDE Letter from the Alumni President

PAGE 2 Faculty Notes PAGES 13

Mark Popovich ’63MA68 will end his 38-year teaching career at Ball State in May. The former department chairperson and member of the Journalism Hall of Fame said he never thought he would stay at Ball State. “Whenever I got disillusioned to leave, either Louis Ingelhart or the university would throw challenges at me,” Popovich said. “I just continued to stay because there were good enough challenges through the years for me.” As a very active member of the department, Popovich admitted his job has not always been easy. “I’ve put in a lot of late nights in my office and also at home,” he said. “You should see my house. It’s going to hell.” When faced with a problem, Popovich turns to musical theater and sports like handball, racquetball, basketball and tennis to help deal with the situation. “Some kind of physical activity usually brings me out of the doldrums,” he said. Since 1970, Popovich has taught more than 10,000 students, whom he has tracked by keeping his grade sheets through the years. He said helping all those students achieve their goals is his fondest memory. “It’s exhilarating to see how students succeed,” he said. Gerald Appel ’01MA03, one of Popovich’s former students, confirmed the professor’s passion for teaching. “Dr. Popovich takes the time to make sure students understand the material,” Appel said. “It’s amazing how often a student is in his office seeking help.” Professor Mark Massé, who has worked with

Popovich for 12 years, attested to his friend’s commitment to colleagues. “He volunteered to paint a room in my house,” Massé said. “People often say, ‘I will help you,’ and that is the end of it, but he showed up ready and willing to work.” Massé added that Popovich’s departure will leave a void in the department. Aside from his experience, credentials and leadership, his colorful personality will be missed. “His bark is worse than his bite,” Massé said. “He can come off to some students as intimidating and at times gruff, but he really cares deeply about his students.” Department of Journalism chairperson Marilyn Weaver ’65MA70EDS81 said she will remember Popovich as a faculty member who encouraged his peers. “He has been the stalwart for the faculty in doing their research, improving their vita and making their appropriate service to academia,” she said. Weaver said she is happy that Popovich can now relax. He plans to travel and spend more time with his family. Popovich said his most rewarding experience at Ball State was being an on-site director for the London Centre for eight semesters. “It just changed my outlook in life and the world by exposing me to other cultures,” he said. On April 15, Popovich gave his farewell lecture “One Professor’s Odyssey in Academia” as part of the department’s Professional-inResidence series. It was his second time back to campus since he left for London during the spring semester, and he said he felt at home. “I left that night with a warm feeling,” he

Dr. Mark Popovich concludes his last lecture in the department as the final Professional-inResidence presentation on April 15. Popovich spent his final semester at the London Centre. See related story on page 8. Photo by Doug Blemker

said. Popovich emphasized how much he has enjoyed his stay at Ball State. Despite the challenges, he said he looked forward to coming to his office everyday. “I don’t think I could have done anything more enjoyable,” he said.

New public relations professor combines industry management experience with education BY BETH CAMPUS

Update Form PAGE 16


After more than 20 years managing media relations and developing strategic public relations plans, Jeff Newton decided to bring his real-world experience into the classroom. Before the long hours of managing crisis situations, Newton worked as a part-time instructor

of marketing communications at Roosevelt University in Chicago from 1988 to 1991. However, after conquering the professional world teaching became an aspect of public relations Newton wanted to move into. “I enjoyed teaching, but I was much younger when I first taught,” Newton said. “I wanted to get into

the professional world and go back to teaching later.” Before coming to Ball State, Newton held leadership positions at different health care companies including Medtronic Inc. in Minneapolis, an industry–leading developer and marketer of hightech medical devices; Eli Lilly; and Abbott Laboratories.

Newton said he loves the professional aspect of public relations but says the teaching world allows him to share his experiences with future professionals. Robert Pritchard MA88, associate professor of journalism and public relations sequence coordinator, said Newton’s profes-



Alumni participation key to department’s future Spring is one of the most exciting times of the year. It’s an indicator that warm weather, green grass and some much-needed vitamin D are only a few short weeks away. For most working adults, it’s a time to rejuvenate, get outside, work in the yard, go to the park or play a little golf. But for the journalism students graduating from Ball State this spring, it’s much more than that. It’s a time to send out résumés, go on job interviews, say goodbye to friends and start the next chapter of their lives. It is certainly a difficult time for our students, but it’s an exciting one, too. While everything seems to be changing by the minute, there

is one constant that will always remain — the Ball State Alumni Association. With diploma in hand, you automatically become a life-long member of this organization, which offers a multitude of benefits and opportunities. As an alum, you receive Ball State’s Alumnus magazine, Phoenix, the university’s annual report and various other university brochures and updates concerning alumni outings, university achievements, athletic events, award nominations and alumni recognitions. These publications and materials are sent to help keep you connected to your alma mater and the department you spent so much

time with during the last several years of your life. Once you graduate, we hope you stay personally connected to the department and faculty who mentored and pushed you to realize and achieve your full potential. We openly welcome your participation within the department and invite you back to campus anytime. Our alumni play a big role in the education and success of our students by speaking to classes, mentoring students and donating to department scholarships and initiatives. Without your support, motivation, encouragement and goodwill, our students would be far less pre-

pared to enter the job market. Don’t forget, however, that being part of the Ball State Alumni Association also gives you a wonderful network of people to connect with. We host a variety of outings each year for our alumni at venues across the country. While some of these outings are university-wide, several are specific to journalism. Last fall, we organized a successful journalism alumni outing at the Colts Complex in Indianapolis where public relations guru Myra Borshoff Cook gave a wonderful presentation about what it’s like handling the PR needs for Jim Irsay and the Indianapolis Colts. On June 21, we are hosting our second Journalism Alumni

BRIAN HAYES Alumni Society President ’96MA02

Reunion at the Alumni Center on Ball State’s campus. Alumni of all ages are encouraged to attend to say farewell to retiring professor Mark Popovich. We hope you plan to attend this reunion, as it is sure to entertain all. For more information or to register for this event, go to: events/blockparty08.

ALUMNI NOTES 1953 KENNETH R. WEAVER, former editor of the Daily News, and his wife Sharon celebrated their 50th wedding anniversary last June.

1987 STEVE MORLEY is a copy editor and researcher for Country Weekly Magazine. In addition to the new position, Steve is a contracted music reviewer for United Methodist Communications. His reviews are now available as podcasts accessible at

1988 JEFF JOB is currently the national online sales manager for The Seattle Times and prior to that, he worked as a buyer and seller of online traffic for America Online, iVillage, and Netscape.

1992 ANDREA DAVIS is currently working for Dow Jones.

1997 CYNTHIA BRIX published her book, Divine Duality: The Power of Reconciliation Between Women and Men on November 15, 2007. The book describes the work that she and her colleagues have been facilitat-


ing throughout the United States, South Africa, India and Italy.

Line. She will be moving from Indianapolis to Miami in August.



MIKE BANAS was the recipient of the PRSA’s Chicago chapter’s 2007 Young PR Person of the Year.

RACHEL PERKINS is a print/multi-media designer at the Las Vegas Sun in Las Vegas.

2001 WENDY MEHRINGER is director of public relations for Willow Marketing in Indianapolis. She oversees public and media relations for Toyota Motor Sales’ relationship with FFA foundation as well as Hall Render, the nation’s third-largest health care law firm.

2004 AMANDA BILLINGS was promoted to director of marketing and communications for Ivy Tech Community College in January 2008. ABBY CROFT was named assistant director of undergraduate admissions, NonResident Recruitment for IUPUI in April 2008. KARA KADINGER was recently promoted within Synovate to account manager of their largest account, Norwegian Cruise

JONATHAN SCOTT works at John Wiley & Sons, Inc. as a production editor and has recently worked on Frommer’s Travel Guides and Travel for Dummies.

2006 LESLIE BENSON is an assistant editor for Global Cosmetic Industry Magazine, Allured Publishing outside of Chicago. REBEKAH MEYER is the city editor at the Huntington Herald-Press.

2007 LISA GERSTNER is now a copy editor at Kiplinger’s Personal Finance Magazine in Washington, D.C. MARY BETH LEHMAN is a reporter for the Dayton Business Journal. SVETLANA RYBALKO was accepted into the communication doctoral program at Texas Tech University.

Young Alumnus Award recipient Justin Gilbert ’97 talks with Marilyn Weaver, chairperson for the Department of Journalism, at the Journalism Awards Program. Gilbert currently works for Bloomberg News in New York. See related story on page 7. Photo by Doug Blemker Alumni notes are provided based on information received from the Alumni Association, individual e-mails and “Keep in Touch” forms. Information is printed based on updates received from June 2007 through May 2008. The Department of Journalism apologizes for any omissions or job changes that have occurred since receiving this information.


Alumna receives award from Junior Achievement

Reunion planned; invites on their way


The Journalism Alumni Society is hosting a block party, sort of. For the second Alumni Reunion, the Alumni Society has prepared a “Block Party”-themed event. The event, Saturday, June 21, is open to all graduates of the Department of Journalism and those who participated in a student organization or publication. This year’s reunion is going to be very casual. People are encouraged to wear block party attire. “However, this time you can leave the coolers and side dishes at home because the Alumni Society will be providing all of the food and refreshments,” said Brian Hayes, Alumni Society president. The reunion offers alumni a chance to tour the new additions to campus, win some great prizes and catch up with old friends. “It is our hope that the reunion will attract at least 200 people and, since the department has graduated more than 6,000 people, that should not be a problem,” said Dan Waechter, faculty liaison to the Alumni Society. A great deal of preparation has gone into informing alumni about the event. Faculty, staff, students and alumni have all made contributions to make the event successful. The first Alumni Reunion was conducted in 2003. Its primary focus was on letting alumni view the new Art and Journalism building, as well as catching up with other alumni. “This year’s second installment of the Alumni Reunion will focus on the renovations on campus and the chance for alumni to network with one another,” said Department of Journalism chairperson Marilyn Weaver. Invitations have been sent to past editors of student publications, organization leaders, and graduate students to get them excited about the event. General invitations are expected to be sent soon, so do not be surprised if you receive a call or e-mail from a friend asking you if you will be coming. For more information about the event, please call the department at 765-285-8200 or contact the Ball State Alumni Association at 765-285-1080.

With a career goal of teaching, it was dedication and a twist of fate that landed Myra Borshoff Cook ’69 at the forefront of the public relations industry. The eldest of five children, Borshoff Cook was born in Wisconsin and raised in northern Indiana. As a young girl, she spent a lot of time helping to care for her younger brothers and sisters, which inspired her to one day become a teacher. She earned a degree in secondary education, majoring in English with a minor in journalism from Ball State University. “The time I was at Ball State was a time of great growth and change for both Ball State and journalism,” Borshoff Cook said. “It was during very turbulent times, but I was in the right place at the right time.” Borshoff Cook was participating in the Ball State journalism program during the assassination of Martin Luther King Jr. She said Robert Kennedy had just left Ball State’s campus and was heading toward Indianapolis when he received the phone call about King’s assassination. Moments prior to the assassination, Borshoff Cook had been shaking Kennedy’s hand. “It was exciting to be a part of it all, and history will show that I was there during a very important time,” Borshoff Cook said. Borshoff Cook began her postgraduate career as a reporter for the women’s department of the Muncie Evening Press. Unfortunately, her salary did not afford her a vehicle. As a result, Borshoff Cook only reported stories that could be covered within walking distance, by a short bus ride or using interviews conducted over the phone. With student loan payments and no car, Borshoff Cook looked for other positions. She returned to Wisconsin to teach English and journalism at a high school. Her teaching experience has proved invaluable throughout her career, even as she moved to other endeavors.

Myra Borshoff Cook ’69 talks to alumni of the College of Communication, Information, and Media at a wine and cheese reception at the Indianapolis Colts Complex on Sept. 27. Photo by Marilyn Weaver

“We are all teachers. Some are just better equipped than others,” Borshoff Cook said. “In any area, there are some elements of teaching that emerge, and it is important to take teaching seriously.” Despite this love of teaching, Borshoff Cook was constantly in pursuit of something bigger and better. Eventually, her search for improvement helped her land a job at American Fletcher Bank in Indianapolis where she stayed for eight years, getting her first glimpse of public relations. The bank had a generous tuition repayment program, and Borshoff Cook took advantage of it by taking public relations graduate courses through Ball State’s Indianapolis program. Borshoff Cook began her public relations career, partnering with Tom Ketchum in October 1984, to form Borshoff-Ketchum Public Relations. Molding the company from the ground up, Borshoff Cook collaborated with several partners, and the firm changed names several times. Today, the firm is known simply as Borshoff. In the past 24 years, Borshoff Cook has built Borshoff up to include major clients such as St. Francis Hospital and Health Centers, F.C. Tucker and Indianapolis Power and Light.

Borshoff Cook said working with the Indianapolis Colts has been one of her most memorable campaigns. “I was part of the team rebuilding the fan base over the past 12 years, and then they won the Super Bowl,” Borshoff Cook said. “I even have a Super Bowl ring of my own.” As the only female fellow of the Public Relations Society of America in Indiana, Borshoff Cook believes that women in public relations tend to approach things differently than their male counterparts and that these viewpoints are always helpful regardless of the situation. Earlier this year, Borshoff Cook received the Junior Achievement Award, earning her a spot in the 2008 Central Indiana Business Hall of Fame. She describes the feeling as “overwhelming, in terms of those inducted before me.” As one of the fewer than 10 women inducted into the hall since its inception in 1989, Borshoff Cook said she appreciates the opportunity to share the honor with women such as Sallie W. Rowland and Yvonne H. Shaheen. While she isn’t at the front of a classroom, Borshoff Cook is teaching generations of future public relations practitioners by example.


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DATE blockparty08


June 21, 2008 PHOENIX SPRING 2008 3


Journalism, education experience leads alumnus to head National Park Foundation BY SHONNA KING

Just as a tree secures its roots to grow in the forest, Mark Kornmann has his roots firmly planted here at Ball State University. Having these strong roots at BSU has helped Kornmann cement his current position at the National Park Foundation. In 2007, Kornmann took his position with the National Park Foundation as the senior vice president for Grants and Programs. As part of his job, Kornmann is responsible for administering grants to national parks in the areas of youth, conservation, professional and community engagement in an effort to preserve, protect and educate others about America’s national parks. The time Kornmann spent at Ball State provided him with the education and skills he has needed to advance throughout his career. He received both his bachelor’s and master’s degrees in journalism at Ball State University. “For me, being at Ball State was a great experience,” Kornmann said. “The skills I learned as a student were an integral part in

my learning progression.” In addition to being a student at Ball State, Kornmann also worked for the university. He was the first director of Ball State’s Electronic Field Trip program. In his position, he was responsible for arranging partnerships with museums to produce electronic field trips that could be broadcast live nationwide. Working with Ball State’s Electronic Field Trip program was a memorable experience for Kornmann. “It was very interesting to watch how much the EFT program grew over the 11 years I was director,” he said. “It was also very rewarding to see the number of students and teachers who participated in the programs.” Kornmann said being an administrator at Ball State taught him the necessary skills he needed to organize and manage a successful program. “Ball State taught me to hone my skills, and made going to the National Park Foundation the next logical step in my career,” Kornmann said.

Marilyn Weaver, chairperson for the Department of Journalism, worked closely with Kornmann throughout his tenure at Ball State. “Mark was always focused when it came to coming up with creative and innovated ideas to meet students’ educational needs,” Weaver said. “I believe that this has served him well and is what helped him earn his position with the National Park Foundation.” In addition to administering grants, Kornmann also is responsible for organizing the National Park Foundation’s electronic field trip program. In partnership with Ball State’s EFT program, these electronic field trips are broadcast live to schools around the country. The goal of these electronic field trips is to teach children about native cultures and the environment. “The program is meant to engage children in the classroom and stimulate them to go to the national parks,” Kornmann said. Another program Kornmann is working on for the National Park Foundation is “First Bloom,” which was founded, and is currently

chaired, by first lady Laura Bush. “The main goal of ‘First Bloom’ is to get kids outdoors and to plant the seeds of a conservation effort,” he said. With this program, the National Park Foundation has partnered with the Boys and Girls Club of America located in Philadelphia, New York, Austin, Washington, D.C., and Los Angeles. Their goal is to get children interested in the environment and conservation. “We want to teach children the importance of taking care of the environment,” Kornmann said. While Kornmann is a long way from his alma mater, he acknowledges the impact Ball State has had on his career. Ball State opened many doors for Kornmann, and his advice for current students is make an effort to get involved in student organizations and activities while in college because they are important networking tools. “Take advantage of every opportunity you are given because you never know where they might lead you,” he said.

Internet video technology captures alumnus’ focus BY TOM HARTER

The guitars have been tuned, the microphone is set at the perfect level, the lights come on and it’s show time. Scott McCoy ’73 grabs his cowbell and prepares to play. McCoy lives in New York and moonlights as a member of The Rolling Bones, an eight-piece rock cover band specializing in the Rolling Stones. But it is his day job that has caught the attention of the Ball State community. McCoy is president of DigiMeld, an Internet company that specializes in broadcasting television programming on the Internet. DigiMeld has launched their initial programming, which includes an informational channel from NASA. The Web site offers free broadcasting and two ways to use it. The first is to download the player onto a personal computer, instantly making the PC a television set. The


second option allows the user to select a “channel” on the Web site’s homepage, which is then broadcast on the Web site. Users can develop their own personalized accounts called MyDigiMeld for highly specialized enthusiast programs within niches. McCoy described the functions of MyDigiMeld using a hypothetical situation. “For those involved with the hypothetical Dog Channel a blog section will be available along with chat functionality and live discussion groups,” he said. Users also can purchase items online through the site from links located within the interface. “Commerce sub sites will be available where dog enthusiasts can find out the latest and actually order grooming items, medicines, clothing, leashes, houses and any-

thing else that dog owners purchase,” McCoy said. One feature that sets DigiMeld apart from regular television broadcasts is that the programming is more content specific. A traditional television broadcast focuses on reaching as many people as possible for the sake of advertising dollars. DigiMeld looks to provide special interest programming that can be suited to the individual user. The specialized programming is available at any time. One of the unique features of DigiMeld is the affordability of live, one-time only events. “Concerts and sporting events, even lawn bowling and paint ball games to weddings and other special ceremonies can be broadcast for a low price,” McCoy said. In addition to rebroadcasts of current shows, DigiMeld will focus

The future looks a lot like your current cable hookup only with advanced interactivity and thousands of channels.” SCOTT MCCOY ‘73

more on shows that are not currently on national television and sports that are not among the larger sports. DigiMeld will benefit users, programmers and advertisers alike. Programmers of new channels often run into one major hurdle – financing. The cost of launching a new channel on a satellite provider such as dish or DIRECTV is currently more than $15 million annually for coverage of almost 15 million potential viewers. DigiMeld’s

format solves this problem. “This is where DigiMeld has a material advantage,” McCoy said. “The programmer can stream the channel at a fraction of that cost with a potential viewership of anyone who has a broadband connection.” The future for DigiMeld is limitless. “The future looks a lot like your current cable hook-up only with advanced interactivity and thousands of channels.” McCoy shakes, rattles and rolls on stage playing the hits of the Rolling Stones. With his new company, DigiMeld, he is looking to bring the same rebellious nature he brings to the stage to the Internet. His new programming Web site will change the way the Internet is used for broadcasting for everyone from the users of the site, to the programmers and advertisers.


Love of journalism assists student in overcoming cancer BY MELISSA D. DODD

Facing a ravaging form of cancer, Shelby Murphy took her love for journalism graphics as a medicine no doctor could prescribe to help fight her way back to health. Murphy, a junior journalism graphics major, resembles any typical 20-something on a college campus. Freckle-faced and bubbly, it is hard to imagine that only a few years have passed since this young woman was diagnosed with cancer. A graduate of Lawrence North High School in Indianapolis, Murphy has been interested in journalism since she began working for her high school newspaper. Brian Hayes ’96MA02, Murphy’s high school newspaper adviser and current Ball State faculty member, introduced Murphy to the journalism field during his time at Lawrence North. “She quickly became one of those can-do students on staff — someone who would do anything to help make the newspaper better — and that’s not a quality you find in a person too often,” Hayes said. Murphy said she enjoyed working with Hayes and the other students on her newspaper staff. But things don’t always go as planned. “I was a healthy, normal kid,” Murphy said. “But then there was a lump.” Four weeks passed and the lump in Murphy’s abdomen continued to grow. Murphy and her mother scheduled a medical appointment on May 5, 2002. “I remember what day it was because it was Cinco de Mayo in Spanish class, and I was upset that I had to go to the doctor,” Murphy said. As her classmates celebrated, Murphy was passed from doctor to doctor and hospital to hospital with not-so-subtle insinuations of teenage pregnancy. The eventual diagnosis was ovarian cancer. More specifically, Murphy was diagnosed with dysgerminoma, a rare tumor found in adolescent women. Two weeks after receiving the diagnosis and one week prior to the end of her sophomore year in high school, Murphy underwent surgery to remove the tumor and began chemotherapy. “Ugh, you don’t have hair and you’re 30 pounds heavier,” Murphy said with a laugh before turning more serious. “It was weird to have to go through chemotherapy and get sick in order to get well when I was already feeling well. It was a real mental game.” Murphy’s description of her tri-weekly stays at Riley Hospital for Children in Indianapolis range from adamantly admiring a male nurse while heavily medicated to meeting NASCAR champion Jeff Gordon. “It was a lot to take in,” she said. “I only dealt with emotionally what I had to at that time.”

Professionals-in-Residence The Department of Journalism sponsored eight Professionals-InResidence over the course of the spring semester. Information on each event is available online at

Newsrooms in Transition : Making the move to multimedia Rachel Perkins, Jeff Glick and Jennifer George-Palilonis Panel: The Future of News News advisory council members, moderated by Scott Reinardy American Leadership Juan Williams, senior correspondent for National Public Radio “International Scholars Look at Media” Ball State Department of Journalism international student panel Sunshine Week Event: “VOTE FOR SUNSHINE” Presented by the Department of Journalism, J-Ideas and TCOM Myra Cocca President, Hoosier Chapter of Public Relations Society of America Pulliam National Writing Award Lecture Lee Hill Kavanaugh, Kansas City Star “One Professor’s Odyssey in Academia” Dr. Mark Popovich farewell lecture

Shelby Murphy sits at her desk in the Journalism Workshops office. Photo by Doug Blemker

NEWTON, CONTINUED To make a difficult situation worse, Murphy’s younger sister, Allison, was born with cystic fibrosis, a genetic disease affecting most of the body’s regular functions. Due to her disease, Allison is unable to visit areas where other illnesses can easily be contracted. As a result, Shelby and Allison rarely had contact during Shelby’s hospital retreats. Upon her return for junior year, Murphy worked many late nights at the high school newspaper. She knew she should probably go home and rest, but working on the newspaper was therapeutic. On those late nights, Murphy could forget the pain and fatigue that plagued her. “When I came back to school, I became entrenched in journalism,” Murphy said. “I felt like I needed to be part of something bigger than what was going on with me.” She claims to never even remember learning the journalism graphics programs that she now, at the college level, has mastered. “I fell into it [journalism] and fell in love,” Murphy said. Today, Murphy works to develop herself as a designer by working with the BSU Journalism Workshops program, an outreach program for junior high and high school students. Previously, Murphy spent three years as the assistant design editor for the Daily News.

sional experience makes him a valuable addition to the Department of Journalism. “His breadth and depth of experience are so beneficial,” Pritchard said. “His network and the people he knows in this industry are pretty important as well.” Newton said the professional world of public relations was an adventure; watching the projects he had worked on be put into practice was a great experience, especially when the project involved crisis management situations. “Crisis situations were always challenging,” he said. “It doesn’t seem fun at the time, but when you see the end result you can look back and realize you made a difference.’” Newton wants to push his students to transition from just doing tactics in public relations to learning the strategies of the profession. He said professionals who are able to make this transition are highly valued in the public relations industry. “The people who can do the technical skills are great,” Newton said. “But those who know the strategies and are plugged into all aspects of current events and public relations are leaders.” As his students move up through the profession of public relations, Newton said he would love to see his students take on leadership roles and make big decisions for organizations. “That’s the reason I like teaching, because I want to see my students develop into leaders and take on leadership roles in this profession,” Newton said. Pritchard said Newton’s professional perspective is outstanding and really contributes to the future of the public relations sequence at Ball State.



Department presents 2008 awards The 2008 Eugene S. Pulliam National Writing Award and Ball State University Department of Journalism Awards were presented April 2 in the Alumni Center. More than 100 faculty, staff, students, alumni and guests attended the event. The Eugene S. Pulliam National Writing Award was presented to Lee Hill Kavanaugh for her story, “Love to Last a Lifetime.” The program also included the induction of Ball State journalism supporter Anton (Tony) Majeri Jr. into the Hall of Fame. During the event, 12 other awards were presented to recipients. In conjunction with the awards, Kavanaugh spoke as part of the Professionals-in-Residence program about the story focused on impending infant deaths from known genetic disorders. LEFT: Lee Hill Kavanaugh talks to her husband at the Journalism Awards Program. Kavanaugh was the recipient of the Pulliam National Writing Award. Photo by Doug Blemker RIGHT: Diana Hadley, executive director of the Indiana High School Press Association, laughs at a comment made by Marilyn Weaver ’65MA70EDS81 at the Journalism Awards Program. Photo by Doug Blemker


Director of Alumni Communications Charlotte Shepperd ’68MA75 talks to journalism administrative coordinator Arlene Shirk at the Journalism Awards Program. Shepperd is retiring this year after 26 years at Ball State. Photo by Doug Blemker


2008 Award Recipients Eugene S. Pulliam National Writing Award

Indiana Journalism Award

Indiana Scholastic Journalism Award

Outstanding Journalism Alumnus Award

Young Alumnus Award

Young Alumnus Award







Lee Hill Kavanaugh’s award winning piece, “Love to Last a Lifetime,” is about a Kansas couple making the difficult decision to carry their baby to term, knowing that because of severe genetic disorders he would die minutes after birth. Kavanaugh works for the Kansas City Star.

Emmis Publishing has found growth in its magazine division by owning seven city magazines and one national hobby and crafts magazine. The magazine division is the company’s fastest growing. The magazine division achieved national recognition for its editorial content.

Mary Andis is the director of English and Language Arts in the Curriculum and Instruction area of the Indiana Department of Education. Andis successfully convinced the Indiana State Board of Education to unanimously approve the academic standards for high school journalism.

Jason Whitlock ’90 is a sports columnist for the Kansas City Star and Whitlock has used his column to tackle the issue of race in sports. In 2008, he received the Scripps Howard Foundation National Journalism Award for commentary.

Heidi Monroe Kroft ’01 is co-founder of BLASTmedia. After graduating, Monroe Kroft started her public relations career as the director of public relations and marketing at She started BLASTmedia in January 2005 with two colleagues.

Justin Gilbert ’97 is a graphics reporter for Bloomberg News. Before joining Bloomberg, Gilbert worked for other major media organizations such as the Associated Press and New York Newsday. At Bloomberg News, Gilbert creates information packages.

Costa Courtroom Photography Award

Majeri Award for Journalism Graphics

Public Relations Achievement Award

Special Citation in Journalism

Special Citation in Journalism

Special Citation in Journalism

Hall of Fame Induction








Marc Campos is a photographer at the Inland Valley Daily Bulletin in Ontario, Calif. Campos received the award for a front-page photograph that captured the emotion of former San Bernardino County, Calif., sheriff ’s deputy Ivory J. Webb Jr. upon hearing a court verdict.

Pegie Stark Adam was the co-principal investigator in the Poynter Institute for Media Studies’ Eyetrack07. With more than 20 years of experience in visual journalism, Stark Adam is widely recognized as a leading researcher and media designer from the Poynter Institute.

MaryLee Sachs is chairwoman of Hill & Knowlton and a member of the Worldwide Executive Committee. Sachs has worked with many blue chip organizations such as Kellogg’s, Kodak and Procter & Gamble. Sachs serves as the brand trainer with WPP Brandz.

After 32 people died at the hands of a 23-yearold student, the staff of The Virginia Tech Collegiate Times worked hour after hour to ensure factual information reached its audience. Ball State University recognized the staff for continuing to do what they did every day.

The Indiana Collegiate Press Association was founded by John Boyd of Indiana State University and Louis Ingelhart of Ball State University. During the past 50 years the organization has advised its members on how to improve writing, reporting, editing, photography and design.

Rhoda Weiss is an international public relations consultant and the 2007 national chair and CEO of the Public Relations Society of America. Her contributions to PRSSA include ensuring education as a core competence for the organization’s recent strategic plan.

Anton (Tony) Majeri, a former senior editor at the Chicago Tribune, has been a strong supporter of the journalism program since the 1980s. After moving to editorial in 1972, Majeri held a number of positions and ended his career as the senior editor for innovations.




WHERE WE STUDIED Ball State students attended classes two to three days per week at the City of Westminster College on Edgeware Road, near the Edgeware Road tube stop on the Bakerloo or District/Circle line. Dr. Mark Popovich taught two journalism classes, and professors from the City of Westminster college taught classes for Ball State credit, including theatre and British literature. Photo by Becky Rother

Professor of Journalism Mark Popovich taught his last semester as director of the CIP’s London Centre. Journalism graphics major Becky Rother shares her experiences. I think it started for me in sixth grade. One of my best friends suddenly moved to England with her family for work reasons, and I would occasionally get letters from her telling me how much fun she was having and how awesome living in Great Britain was. I was jealous. I didn’t know it then, but my friend’s bright, cheery postcards were the beginning of a desire - no, a need to visit the far-away place that girl called home. Sarah has long since moved back to Indiana and leads pretty much the same life I do now, going to classes, doing homework, relaxing with friends. After eight years of life in Indiana with no signs of getting relocated, it seemed like my hopes to one day live in another country were only dreams. I was about to give up until I signed up for the London Centre through Ball State’s Center for International Programs. The program is a semester long, and students get to live in flats in downtown London, go to school at a London university and travel - a lot - both through the school and on weekends by themselves. A Ball State professor travels with the students and teaches, but British professors also teach classes that count for Ball State credit. This year, professor of journalism Mark Popovich was the director, so journalism 104 and 325 were offered in addition to the usual core classes. Living in London was an absolute dream come true for me. I had the opportunity to really experience a completely different culture, living in one of the most amazing cities in the world and visiting many others. During the three months I lived in London, I also visited seven other countries and got to visit Paris, one of the places I had always wanted to see. Now, back in my hometown of Columbus, Ind., I can’t help but think about how different my life would be if I hadn’t decided to spend last semester abroad. I believe this experience really changed me for the better: I am more confident, more independent and much more able to look at my own culture critically, which I think is a good thing. I wouldn’t change this experience for anything. So I’ve finally realized my dream. I got to live in England, just like my friend Sarah. But instead of being lessened, my eagerness to travel has actually increased. Oh, the irony.


Camden Town Mornington Crescent

Queen’s Park Kilburn Park Warwick Avenue

WHERE WE LIVED Ball State students stayed in flats at 33 or 34 Leinster Gardens in London. Between three and five students lived in each flat, which were completely furnished with beds, a couch, a television, and a fully-stocked kitchen. The apartments were about a 15-minute walk to the Paddington, Queensway or Bayswater Underground station. Photo by Becky Rother

for St. Pancras International

Maida Vale

Edgware Road

Great Portland Street

Baker Street

Edgware Road



King’s Cross St. Pancras

Warren Street Regent’s Park




Euston Square

Russell Square

Bayswater Holland Park Shepherd’s Bush


Notting Hill Gate


Euston 200m

Lancaster Bond Gate Street

Goodge Street

Oxford Circus

Tottenham Court Road

Queensway Marble Arch


Chancery Lane


Covent Garden

Moorga (

no week serv

St. Paul’s Ba

Leicester Square 340m

High Street Kensington

Green Park

Hyde Park Corner

Piccadilly Circus

Knightsbridge Gloucester Road

Sloane Square

South Kensington

St. James’s Park



Cannon Street Leicester Mansion Square House Charing Cross Blackfriars Temple Embankment Charing Cross 100m

1 Southwark Waterloo East

River Thames


ABOUT THE AUTHOR Becky Rother is a sophomore journalism graphics major with a minor in French and digital media. She has been involved in scholastic journalism since 2001 and is currently a member of Ball State’s Daily News staff.

Oxford Circus is London’s equivalent of New York’s Fifth Avenue or Chicago’s Magnificient Mile. If Ball State students needed a reminder they were in one of the largest cities on the planet, they found proof here, among the teeming crowds that covered the entire sidewalk, since some people walked on the right and some on the left. Photo by Kyle Peters

Tower Bridge is one of London’s most well-know 1894, it now offers visitors fantastic views of the museum inside the towers that tells about the c The round building on the right is London’s City H Mayor of London and Greater London Authority. P


WHERE WE VISITED Coming to the top of the stairs from the Charing Cross Underground station, many London visitors were struck by the magnificence of Trafalgar Square and the National Gallery. The stone monument to Admiral Nelson towers above the bricks as the Big Ben clock tower stands in the distance. Photo by Kyle Peters


Old Street Liverpool Street




River Thames

London Bridge

n landmarks. Completed in e London skyline. There is a construction of the bridge. Hall, the headquarters of the

Photo by Becky Rother



‘Popo’ (pop-o)

by Kyle Peters

Friends made from afar Personality Profile: South African native finds opportunity, friendship, “rigorous routine” in London



City of Westminster College Head of the School for Business and Educational Partnership Lyndon Sly taught British Life and Culture in addition to acting as students’ “cultural tour guide” throughout the semester. Photo


Editor’s note: As part of her studies in London, Ball State student Kylie Carlson wrote a personality profile for her introductory writing course taught by Dr. Mark Popovich.

( no weekend service)

kend vice)

Studying at the London Centre did not only mean doing class work, it also included “social anthropology” in the form of day trips to cities and towns around England. Left, Roman ruins in Bath, believed to have healing powers. Photo by Becky

Paul Alexander Zwide Lizamore is quite the name for a simple guy whose philosophy on life is to simply “go with the flow.” His philosophy parallels his biggest passion, surfing, which has been the only constant in his hectic life. Lizamore, 22, was born in Empangeni, South Africa. He moved around a lot as a child because his parents were separating, living all over South Africa including East London and Cape Town, among others. They divorced when he was 7 years old, and this was when surfing came into his life. “My uncle gave me a huge longboard and I could barely carry it,” Lizamore said. “On my first time out, I stood up a couple of times but I got caught in a rip current and my mum tried to calm me down from the shore. I had to catch the rip back in and I just remember dropping down on the first big wave back towards the shore. It was a huge moment to me.” Although his uncle got him into surfing, his mother was one of his original inspirations, being a big surfer herself. “Those are the best memories I’ve got, surfing with my mates,” Lizamore said. “When you surf for three to four hours and finally stop, you’re starving and you are so tired but you feel so relaxed. Everyone comes together and gets some food and it’s always the best thing you’ve ever tasted.” Lizamore finished school by age 18 and didn’t go on to university. He said he began to lose direction, spending time in a new circle of friends and getting into some bad

experiences. Surfing was still there for him but he let the dangerous things he was experimenting with consume him. “When you finish school you feel like you can just do anything, LIZAMORE just try it all out,” he said. “There is definitely a learning curve and you’re at a point where you are easily influenced by other people.” After a few years of living like this in Cape Town, he decided he needed a change, so he moved to London in 2005. Being in London has taken him away from his surfing, but it is still on his mind. “I miss my family and everything but I miss the lifestyle. It’s very chilled out and relaxed, not so buzzed-up. London, I find, can get a bit much because so many people are living to work in such a rigorous routine. That can’t be what life’s about. But then again, I would appreciate my memories of my home and my surfing in Africa as much if I wasn’t here right now,” Lizamore said. He enjoys his work and living in London, but the surf in Africa is always in the back of his mind, waiting for him to return home again. His dream is to return home when and open up a restaurant on the beach so he can share his love for the ocean. “The sea is very important because it’s a place where you get that crowd of people who are always surfing. It changes you because once you’ve surfed properly, you can just fit in the perfect groove of the ocean and it all comes together. It’s like magic. You get a really bright day and a really good wave out of the depths and there is nothing like it,” Lizamore said. “Even when I am not surfing it is always there in my memory,” he said.

“The first day in London, Popo sat us down and told us his name was “Popo. Not ‘Poopo,’ not ‘Pop-Pop,’ not ‘Dr. Popovich.’ ‘Popo.’ It helped make him seem more personable and less like just the director of our program.”

Photo by Kyle Peters

One of my favorite places to visit in London was the South Bank of the Thames. From there, one could see fantastic views of many of London’s famous landmarks, including Parliament, Big Ben, and, above, St. Paul’s cathedral and Millennium Bridge.

Photo by Becky Rother



Magazine leader donates historic photos to department BY MEGAN MCNAMES

Students in the Department of Journalism will soon be learning from some of the world’s most wellknown photographers thanks to a donation of prints made by Shirrel Rhoades, former executive vice president of Marvel Entertainment and publisher of Marvel Comics. Rhoades, who began collecting photographs in the mid-1960s, amassed so many prints by the turn of the century that they began piling up in stacks and boxes in a 10-by-15-foot humidity-controlled storage box. Believing that photographs are meant to be seen and not stacked, he began donating parts of his collection to colleges and universities across the country. In January, he donated a collection of works by 18th and 19th century photographers, including an original work by Ansel Adams and a Man Ray print that has an appraisal value of about $14,000 to the Ball State University Department of Journalism. “A lot of the pictures that he has are famous historic pictures, and this is an opportunity for students to see original prints that they otherwise would only see in books,”

said Ken Heinen, assistant professor of journalism. According to department chairperson Marilyn Weaver, the department plans to curate the photographs on rotations with student work in gallery space that will be reconfigured from the department’s dark room area. Professor David Sumner, magazine sequence coordinator, who co-authored a book on the magazine industry with Rhoades in 2006, facilitated the donation after working with Rhoades on the book. “I am still amazed that he was willing to donate something of such value to Ball State,” Sumner said. “I was just kind of awestruck by looking at the collection.” According to Weaver, journalism faculty will be able to build lessons around the photographs, using them to illustrate the concepts students will learn in class. “I believe that you can learn to be a good photographer by looking at good images,” Rhoades said. “If you have students who are interested in photography, whether they’re from art classes, journalism classes or typography classes, the best way they can learn, I believe, is by looking at pictures.”

Assistant professor Ken Heinen, department chair Marilyn Weaver and Shirrel Rhoades sort through the photos Rhoades donated to the department. The department is considering ways to properly display the photos. Rhoades spoke last year as a Professional-in-Residence for the department. Photo by Scott Moss


Gordon Parks


John Rawlings

Christoph Sillem

Arthur Rothstein


Photo students place in Hearst competition BY DANA ZIEBARTH

Two Ball State University photojournalism students placed in the 2007-2008 Hearst Journalism Awards. Robert Leistra placed fourth in the News and Sports category of the Photojournalism II competition, earning him entrance into the semifinals held in May. Leistra and fellow photojournalism student Adam Alexander competed against 50 students from 28 journalism schools. Alexander tied for 20th in the same category of the Photojournalism II competition. In addition to his spot in the semifinals, Leistra’s placement in the competition entitled him to a $750 check from the William Randolph Hearst Foundation. “Just to have your work entered into the competition is an honor,” Leistra said. The Department of Journalism also received a grant matching Leistra’s award to help other students in the department. “It helps us. It helps the students. It’s just a win-win situation,” said Marilyn Weaver, chairperson of the Department of Journalism. Leistra’s entries included two news photos of separate tractor-trailer accidents and two photos of the Ball State University football team. He shot the first news photo around 2 or 3 a.m. on Interstate 65. Leistra captured the first firefighter beginning to spray water on the wreckage as it burned. “It ended up not being anything explosive, but at the time I had no idea if it was gasoline or something else that could explode and send shrapnel flying,” Leistra said. Alexander entered his four best photos following the advice of Tom Price, photojournalism sequence head. One of Alexander’s entries was taken at the scene of an accident involving an Amish family. “The photo was of a young child’s shoe lying by the wreckage,” Alexander said. “[It] told the story of what happened without showing something too disturbing.” Alexander received a William Randolph Hearst Certificate of Merit and was eligible to enter the final photo competition held in March. “Winning a Hearst Award is much like receiving an Emmy or Oscar,” Weaver said. “These are the best of the best from the accredited programs who are invited to participate.” Leistra and 11 other semifinalists will submit portfolios to be judged and six finalists will be chosen to participate in the National Photojournalism Championship. FROM TOP: Ball State vs IU football taken by Rob Leistra; Accident on I-65 taken by Rob Leista; Accident with shoe by Adam Alexander; Frisbee at Ball State by Adam Alexander.

New scholarships available thanks to alumni support BY JASON GLASSBURN

The ability to give back to the community is a strong characteristic of many Ball State Department of Journalism alumni. Three new scholarships have been added to the department’s list of student awards: the Blevens Senior Scholarship for Student Media Excellence, the Chaney-Black Digital Media Scholarship and the DRG John S. Robinson Memorial Scholarship. The Blevens Senior Scholarship for Student Media Excellence is a scholarship of $2,000 provided by former students Fred ’74MA79 and Charlene Blevens ’83 for senior-level journalism majors. Fred Blevens, who also taught at Ball State, is the associate dean and professor in the School of Journalism and Mass Communication at Florida International University. Charlene works as the director of Sponsored Research and Federal Funds Accounting there. After some discussion, Fred and Charlene Blevens said they needed to do more for Ball State. As a former editor-in-chief of the Ball State Daily News, Fred Blevens said he understands that money becomes scarce and it is difficult to continue working for a campus paper late in a student’s college career. “We wanted this scholarship to go out to somebody, essentially in the senior year, who has distinguished themselves in student media so that they can continue working in the student media through to graduation,” Fred Blevens said. Blevens attributes his time as an undergraduate and graduate student at Ball State as the grounding he needed to start his career. The Chaney-Black Digital Media Scholarship was donated by Amy Black ’82 for two undergraduate students, annually for $1,500 each. Recipients must have a 2.8 grade point average and exhibit experience and interest in pursuing a career in digital media. Black is the founder and president of VMdirect, a subsidiary of DigitalFX International, Inc., a social networking and digital communications company. She is also founder of helloNetwork, Inc., a Java technology development company. Jerry Chaney was an assistant professor at Ball State from 1978-1988. He died in 2007. Marilyn Weaver, Department of Journalism chairperson, said Black chose to name the scholarship in honor of Chaney because of the close bond they formed when she was a student at BSU. “Amy was a former student of Chaney’s and continued to look after him in his later years,” Weaver said. “She created the scholarship in their name.” The DRG John S. Robinson Memorial Scholarship was established in the memory of John S. Robinson, a professor in Ball State’s magazine program in 2001, 2003 and 2005. Robinson died in 2006. “He was a very strong and gentle leader,” said David Sumner, a close friend and fellow journalism professor. “He loved teaching and being connected to the students.” In addition to teaching, Robinson was chief executive officer of Dynamic Resources Group, Inc., a magazine and book publishing company, from 1989 until his death in 2006. Robinson also spent 15 years on Ball State’s Magazine Advisory Council. DRG set up the $2,000 scholarship in Robinson’s name for any student majoring in magazine journalism or working for Expo who also has a 3.0 GPA or higher. “These scholarships are very generous,” Weaver said. “They came to us without solicitation and that was especially gratifying. We are so pleased to have received them to support students. “The nice thing is that these are alums and they are continuing to give back, and I think that is amazing.”



Students attend annual high school journalism day BY NEIL RUHLAND

Two high school students read the Ball State Daily News after the opening convocation for J-Day on April 25. Photo by Megan McNames

Something big was going on April 25 when more than 1,700 students and session speakers filed into Emens Auditorium. That something was the Department of Journalism’s annual High School Journalism Day, or J-Day, as the participants refer to it. This year was the department’s 53rd annual J-Day. The event offered more than 80 sessions on a variety of journalism and yearbook topics taught by members of the faculty, alumni, students and friends of the university. Students from Indiana, as well as Ohio, Illinois and Kentucky, came to learn about best practices in journalism. In total, students from more than 100 high schools converged at Ball State. Students had an option of hearing 100 speakers talk about a number of topics. Adam Maksl, assistant director of Journalism Workshops, said more classes meant more learning

for the high school students. “Allowing students to have a wide range of options to choose from when it comes to sessions lets them either dive deeper into an area they are really interested in or experience something new,” he said. Because students attended classes in the same rooms as students attending Ball State, they were given the opportunity to see what college is like and learn a little bit more about what to expect as they continue their education after high school. The day began with everyone filing into Emens Auditorium for opening remarks by Roy Peter Clark of the Poynter Institute, who has spent the majority of his professional career researching and teaching about good writing. “All stories have a structure,” Clark said. “Before you start doing things that are too crazy with your story you need to focus on the fundamentals. Otherwise it just will

not sound right.” Clark played piano as he explained his message to students. He did this to strengthen his point about the value of good story structure and use it as an analogy for the importance of good composition. Following Clark’s message the students dispersed across the campus to go to their respective sessions. Workshops were taught in the Art and Journalism Building, the new David Letterman Building and the Pittenger Student Center. Brian Hayes, director of Workshops, said he was pleased with how the day went and believed the students got a lot out of the day. “I hope the students left excited and inspired to continue to improve their current publications,” he said. “J-Day has become an integral part of scholastic journalism throughout the Midwest and at the rate it is going it will just become larger, attracting even more students from farther away.”

Canine comfort inspires alumna

Alumna publishes second book on suicide grief, recovery BY BECKY HART

Michelle Linn-Gust ’94 doesn’t have much time to sleep these days. Since graduating from Ball State, Linn-Gust has yet to slow down or stop writing. Among her other activities, she published her first book in 2001, and founded the New Mexico Suicide Prevention Coalition. She has also traveled across the country and overseas taking part in suicide postvention conferences, teaching others to provide support to those who have lost a loved one to suicide and to help them to grieve. The motivation to study and write about suicide began when she realized how few resources were available to sibling survivors of suicide. Linn-Gust’s sister committed suicide in 1993.

The native of Naperville, Ill. followed her first book, “Do They Have Bad Days in Heaven? Surviving the Suicide Loss of a Sibling” with her second book, “Ginger’s Gift: Hope and Healing Through Dog Companionship” in November 2007. “Ginger’s Gift,” a story about how owning dogs has helped her family to cope with life-altering events, came about after LinnGust’s husband suffered a severe head injury. “I had read books, but I didn’t feel that any of them described what we had been through,” LinnGust said. “I felt that because my dissertation also was about how people cope with loss, it was just one of these things where all the pieces were coming together, and I was like, ‘I really think I have something here.’”


Linn-Gust also had recently read another book detailing dogs’ affects on people’s lives. “I had some great stories about my dogs, too that I knew people would find amusing,” she said. Two months after taking on the project, “Ginger’s Gift” was ready for the shelves. Stories about Linn-Gust’s dogs don’t end with Ginger, however. Linn-Gust and Jennifer Timmons, a long-time friend, have begun work on a series of children’s books about the beloved canines. The first in the series, “Hurricane Hattie Finds a Home,” is slated to be released this summer and is named after the Linn-Gusts’ dog they rescued from Hurricane Katrina. While Timmons is working on the books’ illustrations, Linn-Gust is discovering the challenges of writing children’s books.

“I thought, ‘Oh surely I can do this in a short amount of time,’ but you don’t have many words to play with,” Linn-Gust said. “I really have a better appreciation for people who write children’s books because it’s much more difficult than I though it would be.” When she’s not researching for her nonfiction books and dissertation in family studies at the University of New Mexico or writing novels and children’s books, Linn-Gust travels internationally to speak about suicide postvention. In the last two years, Linn-Gust has traveled to countries such as Norway, Australia, Ireland and Northern Ireland. She is scheduled to speak in Scotland and Hong Kong later this year. Her work focuses on examining how different cultures grieve and adapting those practices to help others

around the world. “You can’t get any bigger than the world,” she said. “It’s really exciting to be a part globally.” Linn-Gust plans to compete her doctorate in May 2008, after which she will focus on finishing her next book, “Rocky Roads: The Journeys of Families Through Suicide Grief.” The book, originally scheduled to be released last year, was delayed because of her hectic schedule. She will also begin work on the second installment in her series of children’s books. There does not seem to be an end to Linn-Gust’s future plans, and she is not likely to get that much-needed sleep any time soon. That is not a concern for the author, however. “I’ll slow down one day,” LinnGust said, “whenever I’m out of ideas.”

FACULTY UPDATES BRIAN HAYES Directed High School Journalism Day at Ball State University in April. Judged for Kansas Scholastic Press Association, overall publication category in March 2008 Spoke and exhibited at Journalism Education Association/ National Scholastic Press Association annual spring convention, Anaheim, Calif., in April . Committee member for Department of Journalism News Scholars Selection Committee. Presenter/CCIM Faculty Representative for Ball State University’s “College Awareness Day” (low-income and minority high school student workshop). Presenter for Tony Majeri Journalism Hall of Fame induction, Department of Journalism’s annual Eugene S. Pulliam National Writing Awards luncheon. Committee member and coordinator for Incoming Freshman Scholarship selection. Moderatored and coordinated Journalism Education Sequence Advisory Board Meeting. Attended Indiana High School Press Association’s First Amendment Awareness Symposium at the Indiana State House in March 2008. Committee member for the Department of Journalism Scholarship Selection Committee. Attended Scholastic Journalism Week Reception, North Central High School in February 2008. Served as Committee member for IHSPA Mass Media Standards Development in January 2008.

MICHAEL HANLEY Selected as a panelist for a federal trade commission town hall meeting on mobile marketing and advertising. Wrote and presented “Cell Phone Usage and Advertising Acceptance Among College Students: A Three-Year Analysis” at the AEJMC Southeast Colloquium. Co-wrote and presented “Consumer Justifications for Accepting Cell Phone Advertising: A Field Study,” co-authored with a professor from Iowa State, and “Women’s Perceptions of Female Body Shapes and Celebrity Models: The Dove Firming Cream

Advertising Revisited,” at the American Academy of Advertising conference. Co-wrote and presented “Women’s Perceptions of Female Body Shapes and Celebrity Models: A Challenge to Dove’s ‘Real Beauty’ Campaign,” with Bob Gustafson and Mark Popovich at the International Academy of Business Disciplines conference. Awarded the “Top Faculty Paper in the Open Division” at the AEJMC Southeast Colloquium for paper titled “Cell Phone Usage and Advertising Acceptance Among College Students: A Three-Year Analysis.” Published commentary on the Inside Indiana Business Web site titled “Indiana in the Fast Lane of Broadband Growth.” Presented “Mobile Marketing 101 - From the Cell Phone to the ‘Sell’ Phone” at the Marketing and Advertising Club of Michiana at South Bend, Indianapolis marketing communication firm Hetrick Communications and to an advertising class at Iowa State University via teleconference. Advised Interactive TV Advertising Immersive Learning project. Advised Digital Studio Immersive Learning mobisodes project. Published “The ‘Sell’ Phone: The Future of Mobile Advertising” for the media planning textbook Strategic Media Decisions.

MARK MASSÉ Submitted “The Fight of Their Lives,” an article on using boxing training therapy for Parkinson’s Disease, to O (the Oprah Magazine), Reader’s Digest, Parade, and Psychology Today. Submitted “Transformer,” a narrative nonfiction article on trauma journalism, to The New Yorker and other national magazines. Contributed “Nobody’s Father” to TouchWood Editions, The Heritage Group (Canada) for 2008 book-length collection. Selected for membership in The Author’s Guild, Inc. in March 2008. Acted as Editorial Advisory Board Member and manuscript reviewer for Journalism & Mass Communication Educator. Wrote public relations mate-

rials for the American Society of Journalists and Authors (ASJA) for its annual conference in New York City. Coordinated the Eugene S. Pulliam National Journalism Writing Award. Acted as liaison for Keating (Indiana) Feature Writing Competition Presented on social justice at St. Mary Church in Muncie.

JENNIFER GEORGEPALILONIS Conducted research on blended learning in the visual journalism classroom with Vince Filak to explore learning outcomes and student enjoyment of multimedia teaching and learning tools used to enhance the traditional visual journalism course. Researched multimedia graphics as a teaching tool: Usability study of a design model for a multimedia graphics textbook. Studied newspapers and multimedia in a survey of 1,000 newspaper editors about multimedia practices in their newsrooms. Researched and taught interactive television and small screen design and advertising usability testing. Redesigned Kennebec Journal and Morning Sentinel in Augusta, Maine. Conducted four design training seminars for Our Sunday Visitor publishing company in Huntington, Ind. Adviser, Society for News Design and Kappa Tau Alpha

ROBERT PRITCHARD Co-wrote “Confronting Media Nihilism: How transparency builds meaning during crisis” with Vince Filak. Co-wrote “Intrinsic vs. extrinsic motivation in a public relations internship setting” with Vince Filak. Co-wrote “Gaining a seat at the table: The intersection of power, influence and the dominant coalition” with R., Duhé and Vince Filak. Served as faculty adviser to Cardinal Communciations. Served as co-faculty adviser to PRSSA student chapter. Acted as paper reviewer for the AEJMC Public Relations Division.

Retired public relations professor Mel Sharpe talks with Robert Pritchard MA88 at the annual Journalism Awards program. Sharpe presented the first ever Jackson/Sharpe Award at the 11th International Public Relations Research Conference. The award honors the contributions made by the late Patrick Jackson and Sharpe in the field of public relations. Photo by Doug Blemker

Wrote guest column on behalf of the Hoosier PRSA Chapter for the Indianapolis Star Business Section. Wrote five monthly ethics columns for the Hoosier PRSA chapter newsletter.

DAVID SUMNER Selected as the outstanding alumnus from the University of Tennessee School of Journalism at the “Distinguished Alumni Research Panel.” Expo recognition: Magazine Competition, Indiana Collegiate Press Association, Terre Haute, March 31, 2008. Expo staff members received four first-place awards, eight second-place awards and three third-place awards in writing, design and photography categories. Contracted to write a 2nd edition of the textbook, “Feature and Magazine Writing: Action, Angle and Anecdotes,” with Holly G. Miller.

SHERYL SWINGLEY Participated in field study visit to Budapest, Hungary, to do survey for future international study experience. Received assessment grant to

evaluate Department of Journalism course syllabuses. Received 2008 Provost immersion grant with three other professors: “The Allegre 2008: Exploring Careers in Printing and Publishing, Recipes of American Regional Cuisine.” Presented on “Science Journalism” at Ball State’s Focus on the Nation marketing director for Second Annual Living Lightly Fair.

WARREN WATSON Developed a First Amendment online course for the iTunes University platform in conjunction with Teachers College. The podcast-style course will be enhanced during the 2008-09 school year.The course is available at www.itunes. com. Created Silver Telly Award winning video “A First Amendment Guide for Principals and Administrators.” Served as faculty with Gerry Appel for the second-annual Peter Jennings Project for News and the Constitution. Watson coordinated and directed the judging for the annual Hearst Newspapers News and Editorial Competition in March



Whitlock wins National Journalism Award for commentary BY TOM DEMEROPOLIS

Jason Whitlock ’90 went into journalism to become a columnist. Growing up, he was enthralled by the work of longtime Chicago columnist Mike Royko. Now, Whitlock has a connection to his childhood hero. Royko, who wrote as the voice of the Everyman in Chicago, was given the Scripps Howard Foundation’s National Journalism Award for Commentary in 1981. Whitlock received the same award for his work in 2007. “To be linked to Royko in some small way, that means something,” Whitlock said. He also is the first sports writer to win the award. Holly Lawson, Whitlock’s editor at the Kansas City Star, said the paper nominated him for the award because of his work on the Don Imus controversy and others. “A lot of people were talking about his writing this year,” Lawson said. “The sports angle in those columns wasn’t as strong as his usual columns, but the fact that it effected so many people, it made it work for that

category,” Lawson added. His Imus column and subsequent columns grew into a media circus. Whitlock was featured on a number of major news networks and talk shows, including Good Morning America and Oprah. Mike Philipps, president and chief executive officer of the Scripps Howard Foundation, said the judges liked the provocative nature of Whitlock’s writing. “He fearlessly traveled the racial divide,” Philipps said. “He’s really good at challenging conventional wisdom and tackling issues of sports and race. And he has courage, which is a hallmark of a good columnist.” For Whitlock, 2007 was business as usual. The Imus situation and other race issues, such as the Jena Six, just happened to “play right into my wheelhouse,” he said. “There has always been a theme to my work, it just came through a bit stronger in 2007,” Whitlock said. “I’ve been pushing the same issues since ’91, ’92. It just became a bit more focused.” Even in college, Whitlock was looking at the same issues. As a fifth-year senior at


Life takes unexpected twists and turns but can ultimately lead to some of the best decisions we could ever make. Amy Black ’82, president of DigitalFX International, a social networking and digital communications company, is a living testimony of this. After graduating from Ball State with a degree in journalism, Black moved to Sacramento, Calif., with $5 in her pocket and an infant on her hip. The single mother began working for Willie Brown Jr. in the California State Assembly, working on issues affecting children. After several years, she changed courses and became a lobbyist for one of the top 20 lobbying firms in Sacramento. Soon, Black was ready for another change. “I became burnt out as a lobbyist and I just didn’t like it anymore,” Black said. “I was tired of working for other people and I wanted to work for myself.”

Jason Whitlock talks to student media leaders at Ball State during his visit in August 2007. Photo by Doug Blemker

Alumna takes social networking to new multimedia levels with launch of DigitalFX company, HelloWorld

With her passion for issues concerning children and her desire to be an entrepreneur, Black was inspired to start her first business, Academic Connections. The company links tutors and students together through the Internet. “I wanted to do something with children and own my own business,” Black said. “At that time the Internet was growing and I thought, ‘Why not do something to help everybody?’” Academic Connections has led to even greater business achievements for Black. From there she started DigitalFX., which allows users to manage all their digital content on the site, is also a part of her company. Because of Digital FX, Black is able to meet her goal of helping others. “I think that through sites like HelloWorld, pure democracy can ensue because people aren’t going to be censored,” Black said.


Ball State, he walked into the office of the Ball State Daily News looking to learn the ropes. He said his time there had the biggest infuence on his career. “There is learning in class, but there is nothing like actually doing the job,” Whitlock said of his time at the Daily News. “It inspired me, and it’s a fun job.” Forged under the help and encouragement of former Daily News adviser Dave Knott, Whitlock left Muncie with a sharp wit and even sharper words. The award hasn’t changed him, or his work, Whitlock said. “My goal is to entertain and be compelling, and to offer people a different perspective,” he said. “I want to represent them and address issues they are interested in.” Whitlock has an article in the May 9 edition of Playboy magazine, focusing on many of the same issues he has been writing about. In the future, he sees more of the same. “I’ve been writing the same thing since I started. Now I’m writing it at a higher level,” Whitlock said.

“Personal content is going to be the new journalism.” Through DigitalFX, she has inspired people all over the world. Black recently expanded her company to Australia. “Amy just opened her company in Australia and has helped to shape people’s lives; they treat her like a celebrity there,” said Craig Ellins, Black’s husband and business partner. Her hard work and genuine interest in helping people has been a major factor in her success and motivation of others, said Joan Dooley ’81, Black’s friend and former classmate. “Amy has been an inspiration not only to me but to so many other women,” Dooley said. “Not because she is a woman, but because of how hard she works and what she does.” Among her many ways of giving back, Black sponsors a scholarship in the Department of Journalism at Ball State. Black’s success and will-

HelloWorld is a social networking site combining more intensive multimedia sharing capabilities. screenshot

ingness to help others in so many ways does not come as a shock to those who know her. Bill Thornbro ’81, one of Black’s colleagues, said he is not surprised at Black’s success. “That Amy would be the head of a successful company does not

surprise me,” Thornbro said. “She listens to people and always wants to include people and find ways to bring them together.” It has been a winding road for Black, but without the twists and turns, she would not be the person she is today.


Newseum opens under leadership of alumnus BY REBECCA PALMER

Can you name which of your freedoms the First Amendment guarantees? If you are like most Americans you can only easily name one, freedom of speech. Ball State alumnus Gene Policinski ’72 hopes his work will help spread the knowledge of freedom of press, religion, assembly and petition. Policinski is the vice president and executive director of the First Amendment Center, which was an integral part in the creation of the Newseum. Located in Washington D.C., the Newseum is a 250,000 square-foot museum dedicated to the First Amendment and history through the eyes of the press. The Newseum, which opened April 11, is a contemporary facility, complete with 130 interactive stations, 15 theaters, 81,000 pounds of artifacts and more than $450 million in donations. The First Amendment Center supplied material including information on the history of the First Amendment, its role throughout history and research on current opinions and public knowledge regarding the First Amendment for the Newseum. “We hope to serve as a part of the intellectual component of the museum by providing the information on First Amendment issues and milestones,” Policinski said. “The Newseum has a multifaceted mission to offer fun and history through the press’ eyes and to educate on First Amendment.” Policinski said Ball State gave him the tools to pursue a career in journalism. “The best thing I got was a great mix of theory and practice in journalism,” he said. “My focus was largely print, but today the focus is on multimedia. The experience was great preparation for the business. It taught me not only what to do but why to do it. The role of the Newseum mirrors that in the way

that we aim to show visitors not only how the press works but why journalists do what they do.” The seven-level building not only features technologically interactive displays, but also American artifacts such as newspapers’ front pages from important dates in American history, pieces of the Twin Towers, bulletriddled news vans and pieces of the Berlin Wall. The mix of artifacts sets history in the present and allows visitors to tangibly experience the historical events from the press’ point of view. Policinski has high hopes for the new museum. “Going to the Newseum will be a central part of any visit to D.C. It presents not just a history of the United States and the press but a history of all five freedoms in the First Amendment, the first part of the Bill of Rights. The Newseum is fun, current and modern but you do get a sense of where the First Amendment fits into history,” Policinski said. He also said he hopes the exhibits’ interactive format will be a draw for visitors. “Hopefully in an entertaining way visitors can experience history and interactive activities and can determine how they feel about their freedoms,” he said. “We expect people to be attracted by the interactive nature and receive an education while they are exploring the Newseum.” The core messages of the Newseum are that the free press is the cornerstone of democracy, news is history in the making, journalists are the ones who provide the rough draft and a free press at its best reveals the truth. Warren Watson, director of J-IDEAS, Ball State’s outreach program dedicated to teaching about First Amendment rights, visited

The Newseum opened on April 11 after years of preparation on a new site between the White House and the U.S. Capitol in Washington, D.C. Newseum Media Relations

the Newseum and was pleased with the outcome of the project. “The message is right on the money,” Watson said. “Beneath the rapidly changing media, the First Amendment is at the base of it all and the Newseum really captures that.” Watson said he is hopeful the Newseum will educate more Americans about their rights, which also is the main focus of J-IDEAS. Policinski agrees. “As Americans, we tend to take our freedoms for granted. In our annual freedom survey, only three out of 100 people surveyed could name all five freedoms,” Policinski said. “That’s a problem because if you don’t

know which freedoms you have, you’ll have a hard time protecting them.” If visitors could take any two ideas home with them after visiting the Newseum Policinski said he would be happy if they left knowing what their five First Amendment freedoms are and having a greater interest in the free press. “It was a thrill to see all the hard work that had been put into the Newseum over the past seven years come to fruition,” he said. Policinski’s office plans on offering programs and facilitating discussion regarding the First Amendment and hopes to be as involved in the Newseum’s operation as it was in its creation.

Public relations professor receives Homeland Security grant focused on crisis communication BY JULIE MCCONNELL

As the recipient of two grants for projects dealing with crisis communication, Ball State University associate professor Robert Pritchard MA88 said he hopes his latest project will leave a legacy for the university. Pritchard, along with colleagues from the College of Communication, Information, and Media and the Department of Natural Resources and Environmental Management, have been awarded a grant of $2.5 million by the Department of Homeland Security. The task is to develop an advanced training curriculum for public information officers and decision makers in the federal

government that will teach them to better communicate during a national crisis such as Sept. 11 or Hurricane Katrina. “Right now the training that is available is pretty rudimentary, and we need to help raise the bar,” Pritchard said. “There was a great deal of good work that was done with 9/11, but there was also a lot more that could have been done, so this training will be designed to raise the expertise of those public officials who have responsibility for communicating during an emergency.” The curriculum and training provided by Pritchard and other Ball State colleagues will not only have a national impact, but

will increase the university’s prominence in terms of expertise in crisis communications. “It’s a pretty wonderful acknowledgement of the expertise we have here at Ball State, in particular in our college,” Pritchard said. “Crisis communication is one of the most critical areas in public relations, so it’s a great opportunity for us to have an impact.” Four of the modules being created are electronic and will be available on the Federal Emergency Management Web site. In addition, three on-site training modules will be created. The on-site courses will be tested through sessions that Pritchard will conduct. Once approved, the courses will

be distributed to public information officers and decision makers across the country. Pritchard also was awarded a second grant of $8,000 from the state of Indiana to develop crisis communication protocols. Few other states have such protocols in place, and Pritchard hopes other states will take note of the steps that Indiana is taking. “I am pleased that we’ve gotten an opportunity to get into the area of crisis communication,” he said. “The importance of communication during a national or state crisis can’t be stressed enough, and so I think the contribution that we stand to make to the nation is pretty significant.”


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Phoenix Spring 2008  

The Spring 2008 issue of Phoenix, the alumni publication for the Department of Journalism at Ball State University

Phoenix Spring 2008  

The Spring 2008 issue of Phoenix, the alumni publication for the Department of Journalism at Ball State University