Alumni Magazine-Winter 2022

Page 1


The Power of Partnerships Ball State succeeds through strategic regional, national, and international teamwork. Together WE FLY.

Photo by Bobby Ellis, ’13

Troi Watts, ’13, and Samantha Holifield, ’14, show off their Ball State pride in front of the Indiana Statehouse, where they work.

Ball State student violinists Mario Laing (left) and Jacob Sumner (right) play with the Muncie Symphony Orchestra at Emens Auditorium on Oct. 26. Students often play with the orchestra in a hands-on environment. Even amidst the COVID-19 pandemic, Ball State has provided amazing opportunities for students to gain knowledge and experience while pursuing their passion and purpose. Photo by Samantha Blankenship, ’15

From the President


Beneficence in the Snow by Don Rogers, ’77

Partnering Together to Build a Better Future for the Communities We Serve Dear Alumni and Friends: At Ball State University, we have a long history of supporting our community. We encourage our faculty and staff to build upon existing partnerships by expanding their research to increase the impact of our University. And in our strategic plan, we have outlined specific initiatives that focus on our responsibility to support the economic and social vitality of our region and our state. One of our most ambitious community engagement initiatives is our historic partnership with Muncie Community Schools. Since the partnership began in July 2018, there have been many positive outcomes taking place in our city’s public schools, including at South View Elementary School, where graduate Anthony Williams serves as principal (see p. 28). Our University has also pledged to improve the health and wellbeing of people throughout our community. We are accomplishing this goal through support of strategic initiatives like our award-winning Healthy Lifestyle Center (p. 4), located in our Health Professions Building. Elsewhere on our vibrant campus, I am proud of the many collaborative projects underway in our classrooms, where our faculty and staff treat our students as partners in the learning process. In these pages, you will find numerous stories that illustrate these efforts. For example, our Urban Planning faculty and students are working with city and county officials to design a framework for our area’s future (p. 10). Computer Science students are creating software for local employers as part of a new program called Capstone Connector (p. 13). And professor Kiesha Warren-Gordon and her students from the Department of Criminal Justice and Criminology have developed a program that serves as a national model for enhancing community relations between neighborhoods and police departments (p. 36). The pandemic has made this kind of community-engaged work more challenging. But many of our faculty and our students have harnessed this unprecedented moment to innovate and better serve our partners, as evidenced by a new immersive learning project between our Miller College of Business and the Indianapolis Airport (p. 6). I hope that the articles in this issue inspire you as much as they do me. These stories demonstrate that, in good times and hard times, our University continues to create meaningful and lasting change for our neighbors and our friends. In doing so, we continue to be better together. Sincerely,

Ball State University Alumni magazine is published twice yearly. University Marketing and Communications Muncie, Indiana 47306 765-285-1560 Printed by EP Graphics, Berne, Indiana. Paper has Chain-ofCustody certification from Forest Stewardship Council. Printer uses ink with soy oil, and all wastepaper and solvents are recycled.

Interim Editor Jake Williams, ’05 MA ’09

Designers Elizabeth Brooks, ’95 Emily Catron, MA ’18

President’s Cabinet Charlene Alexander Chief Strategy Officer Lea Cadieux Interim Vice President for Marketing and Communications Jean Crosby, ’96 President of Ball State University Foundation and Vice President of University Advancement Ro-Anne Royer Engle, ’18 Vice President for Student Affairs Sali Falling, MA ’88 Vice President and General Counsel Alan Finn Vice President for Business Affairs and Treasurer Beth Goetz Director of Athletics Paula Luff Vice President for Enrollment Planning and Management Loren Malm, ’86 Vice President for Information Technology and Chief Information Officer Becca Polcz Rice Vice President for Governmental Relations Susana Rivera-Mills Provost and Executive Vice President for Academic Affairs

Geoffrey S. Mearns President, Ball State University PresidentMearns

Ball State University BallState ballstateuniversity ballstate officialballstate


4 News 14 Community 20 Sports 40 Class Notes


24 ‘Incredible Teamwork:’ Ball State’s Human Performance Laboratory is part of a federal study. 28 Work Doesn’t End When the Bell Rings: Historic partnership between Ball State and Muncie Community Schools is making a difference at South View Elementary School. 33 Statehouse Stories: Internship program yields fruitful partnerships, generations of influencers. 36 Bridging the Gap: Students help build partnerships between Muncie residents and police.



Winter 2022

Ball State University Alumni Magazine | WE FLY




HLC Earns ‘100,000 Award’

Author Returns to Campus B


all State University’s Healthy Lifestyle Center (HLC) continues to receive recognition for its dedication to the neighbors and communities it serves. In July, the Healthy Community Alliance of East Central Indiana (HCA) presented the HLC with its annual “100,000 Award.” The award, named in honor of the late Dr. George Branam, is given to an organization that supports the work of the HCA through outstanding leadership, innovative collaborations, and an unwavering dedication to improving the health and well-being of the community. “This award has special meaning for me personally, as I valued Dr. Branam as a personal mentor for many years and benefited immensely from his friendship and collegiality,” said Dr. Leonard Kaminsky, director of the Fisher Institute for Health and Well-Being at Ball State. “Speaking on behalf of our dedicated faculty, staff, and collaborators, we deeply appreciate this recognition and look forward to continued service to our fellow community members.” The HLC provides education, services, and programming to the local community while utilizing the resources of Ball State’s College of Health to provide individual and group consultations from staff with expertise in nutrition, exercise science, health behavior change, social supportive services, fall prevention, and medicine. — Andrew Walker, ’14


Winter 2022

Ball State President Geoffrey S. Mearns interviews Renae Conley (top), chair of Ball State’s Board of Trustees, and Grammy and Oscar winner Tiara Thomas.

Podcast With the President I

nspiration, entertainment, and much more can be found in Ball State University’s recently launched podcast, “Our Call to Beneficence,” hosted by President Geoffrey S. Mearns. The podcast features conversations with graduates and friends of Ball State who embody the spirit of Beneficence through professional success and personal service. “One of the best parts of my job is that, virtually every day, I get to meet people who are doing remarkable things with their careers and their lives. And I want to share these stories with a wider audience,” President Mearns said. “I hope that our listeners come away feeling entertained, informed, and inspired by these conversations.” The guests featured in the first season of the podcast include graduates Vince Bertram, ’91 MAE ’98 EdS ’01 EdD ’06, CEO of the educational non-profit Project Lead The Way; sports journalist Don Yaeger; author Ashley C. Ford, ’18, whose first book made the New York Times Best Sellers list; Renae Conley, ’80 MBA ’82, first female chair of the Board of Trustees, and singer-songwriter Tiara Thomas, ’12, who won a Grammy and an Oscar in 2021 for two songwriting collaborations with fellow singer-songwriter H.E.R. “Our Call to Beneficence” is available through numerous streaming platforms and at — Landa Bagley

all State University welcomed back to campus graduate and author Ashley C. Ford, ’18, as the University’s Fall 2021 Writer-in-Residence. Ms. Ford is the author of Somebody’s Daughter—a powerful New York Times best-selling memoir that explores her life coming of age in Fort Wayne, Indiana, with a single mother and an incarcerated father. The book was published in June by Flatiron Books under the imprint, An Oprah Book. The Writer-in-Residence program offered Ball State students and faculty, plus members of the public, the opportunity to interact and engage with Ms. Ford as she shared her work. “Ms. Ford is a talented writer and an inspiring role model whom we are fortunate to call one of our own,” Ball State University President Geoffrey S. Mearns said. “I am grateful that she was willing to return to campus to share her time and her talents.” During the Fall 2021 semester, Ms. Ford was featured at four on-campus events, which were free and open to the public: • Sept. 15: Ms. Ford’s public reading of excerpts from Somebody’s Daughter at Pruis Hall

Ms. Ford also shared her work, and interacted with students and faculty, through several non-public events—including visits to Ball State classes, a meet-and-greet at the University’s Multicultural Center, and a few gatherings where Ms. Ford spent time with small groups of students and faculty, plus representatives from campus organizations and the community. She also donated the honorarium from her work as the Fall 2021 Writer-in-Residence to provide free copies of her memoir to numerous community partners, including students, teachers, and staff at Burris Laboratory School; Muncie Community Schools; the Youth Opportunity Center; the YWCA; and Boys & Girls Club of Muncie. Ball State’s Writer-in-Residence program is sponsored by the Office of the President; the Department of English; the Office of Inclusive Excellence; the Multicultural Center; the African-American Studies Program; Office of Community Engagement; Women’s and Gender Studies; and the Shafer Leadership Academy. — Landa Bagley

To watch one of Ms. Ford’s presentations visit writerinresidence

• Oct. 7: A Conversation between Ms. Ford and President Mearns at Sursa Hall • Oct. 8: “A Conversation with Queer Writers” with Ms. Ford and NPR host J.R. Jamison at Cardinal Hall • Nov. 11: Somebody’s Daughter Book Club—Ms. Ford was joined by Ball State professor Jill Christman, who moderated a lively discussion about Somebody’s Daughter in the Student Center Ballroom

Ashley C. Ford speaks about her book in Pruis Hall on Sept. 15.

Photo by Bobby Ellis, ’13

Ball State University Alumni Magazine | WE FLY


News Ball State Seeks Personal Stories for COVID-19 Pandemic Project Archive

© Ball State University 2021

Responding Proactively to COVID-19 Top: A team of Computer Information Systems students partnered with the Indianapolis International Airport on an immersive learning project during the COVID-19 pandemic. Opposite page: Ball State students wear masks at the “Fold & Fly” event in the Quad in front of the David Owsley Museum of Art.


Winter 2022

Since the beginning of the COVID-19 pandemic, Ball State has sought ways to remain optimistic. The following two stories are about the University’s reaction and perseverance during this uncertain time. Through Immersive Learning, Ball State Students Help Shape the Future of Air Travel With deep dives into how to keep the public safe post-COVID-19, Ball State University Computer Information Systems students weeded through society’s air travel expectations and uncovered what could be done to help meet them at the Indianapolis International Airport (IND). For their immersive learning projects, students worked with the Indianapolis Airport Authority during the 2020–2021 academic year. Their projects concluded with strategic plan presentations that focused on what travel may look like through 2026. “We’re all experiencing the impact of COVID-19 together,” said Matt Smith, ’09, IT manager of applications for the Indianapolis Airport Authority. “The Ball State project helped us to analyze society and travel trends to ensure we’re delivering the best customer service.” Airport personnel jumped at the chance to work with Ball State and its students to better prepare for both the present and future. “Matt offered to work with six teams on six different projects,” said Fred Kitchens, associate professor of Information Systems and Operations

Management, and Mr. Smith’s former professor. “He indicated that the airport was trying to figure out not only how to handle the pandemic but how to deal with the post-pandemic changes in society, travel expectations, and to be better prepared for any future pandemic situations that might arise.” These immersive learning projects were unlike any the students have previously experienced. Professionalism and high-quality work were a top priority. The students understood that by working on this project, they were putting their Ball State degrees on the line. Each student excelled in the class and earned the respect of airport staff. “The airport ultimately determined whether our strategic plan proposal was viable,” said Andrew Rattin, ’21, Greenwood, Indiana, who was the project lead for the pre-security portion of the project. This real-world approach—with hands-on learning and collaborative faculty—provided the perfect setting for the students to continue on their lifelong journeys to fulfilling careers and meaningful lives. — Stacey M. Lane Grosh, ’97

Ball State University is providing a way for people to share their experiences during or related to the COVID-19 Pandemic. Document Your Story: COVID-19 Pandemic Project is an ongoing endeavor, spearheaded by Ball State University Libraries Archives and Special Collections, to collect and preserve items that document the impact of the COVID-19 pandemic on our communities. University Libraries continues to seek archive contributions from Ball State’s campus community (faculty, staff, and students); Ball State alumni throughout the world; and residents, community organizations, and local businesses in Muncie and other parts of Delaware County, Indiana. Contributed materials—such as photos, videos, artwork, and written diaries—can be digital or physical items. “Documenting our experiences may seem simple and small. But in the long term, it can have a big impact on understanding what everyone was going through during the pandemic or later, as a result of it,” said Emma Cieslik, ’21, who contributed her journals to this archive. Sarah Allison, University Libraries’ head of archives user engagement, says personal stories can offer a larger lens through which historians and society see major events and their effects. “A lot of times, that sort of history—especially with under-represented groups—gets missed, not documented, and not made a part of history,” Ms. Allison said. “Journals, papers, and documents, that kind of personal ephemera gives some deeper insight about specific impacts that events and actions make on individuals and their communities. This adds context to the larger reported story. You don’t have to be famous to have a place in history.” Launched in tandem with the Everyday Life in Middletown Project and the Muncie Public Library, the project began accepting items in 2020. To learn more about contributing to the archive, email The COVID-19 Pandemic Project collection can be viewed at — Landa Bagley

For Ball State alumni, Beneficence has long symbolized their generosity of time, talent, and treasure. On Saturday, June 11, 2022, demonstrate your beneficence by participating in a community service project in your area.

Register your project or find an opportunity to give back to your community at



Photos by Samantha Blankenship, ’15

CCIM Makes Innovative Changes B

all State University’s College of Communication, Information, and Media (CCIM) unveiled a series of exciting changes in October. The Department of Journalism has been renamed the School of Journalism and Strategic Communication. Under

Old Building. Fresh Perspective.

Ball State Sports Link is one of many hands-on learning experiences available through the newly renamed Department of Media.

A formerly empty store at the Muncie Mall is now occupied by Ball State Urban Planning students.


here’s a wealth of expertise residing within Ball State students. The University has always looked for ways to share those attributes for the benefit of local communities. A notable example took flight in August 2020, when students in Ball State’s Urban Planning program, a part of the R. Wayne Estopinal College of Architecture and Planning, occupied a vacant store in the Muncie Mall to help community leaders develop a Comprehensive Plan for Delaware County. Students have since hosted meetings, conducted research, and interacted with residents as they help build a framework for the area’s future. Today the mall is struggling to stay alive, having been through several ownerships and facing severe tenant losses. This decline is consistent with malls nationally, as retail trends have drastically changed.

Urban Design students junior Kaelyn Leach (left) and grad student Alexis Adams present findings on the future of the Muncie Mall.


Winter 2022

Students are conducting a thorough study of the mall’s redevelopment, exploring options based on market research and site assets. These studies will provide local economic and redevelopment officials with critical data, research, and design concepts that can showcase the mall as a community asset once again. There was also a recent workshop for area high school students, in cooperation with the Urban Land Institute (ULI), focused on urban redevelopment. The mall studio hosted workshops with junior high students last Summer in a partnership with the Center for Energy Education for the students to learn about renewable energy, and a symposium on industrial solar development with elected and civic leaders this fall. According to Scott Truex, ’80 MA ’81, associate professor of Urban Planning and chair of the Urban Planning Department, the benefits to the city of Muncie and Ball State students are considerable. “The overall plan our students are helping with will detail where Delaware County and Muncie want to be in 20 years,” he said. “Beyond that, our students are gaining invaluable real-world experience, and we’ve been able to involve local junior and senior high school students in our activities.” While work on the overall comprehensive plan continues, Ball State students have already played a key role in recommendations for alternate uses for the site of the former Storer Elementary School and the revitalization of Muncie’s Industrial Neighborhood. The project is a partnership between the University, the Delaware County Plan Commission, the City of Muncie, the Muncie Action Plan, Next Muncie, and the Delaware County Chamber of Commerce. Financial support for leasing the 8,900 square-foot storefront came from the city of Muncie, and the Ball Brothers Foundation. — Dan Forst, ’85

this new name, students will learn all sides of the media business and acquire the skills to succeed. The Department of Telecommunications has been renamed the Department of Media. This new name better establishes the program publicly, as the staff continues to teach storytelling using high-end technology. There is now an expanded relationship between CCIM, student media, and Ball State Public Media. This will further enhance CCIM’s educational experience through immersive learning opportunities. The newly named Computer & Information Technology (CIT) program emphasizes the leadership, organizational behavior, and communication skills necessary for success in high-demand technology areas—including virtualization, cloud services, cybersecurity, and emerging technology. Additional concentration areas, such as tech-informed leadership, esports, and full-stack development are being developed. And, two new Accelerated Masters Programs—Emerging Media Design and Development, and Public Relations—allow students the chance to complete their BA/BS and MA degrees in five years. “These changes are in keeping with a tradition of innovation—in our college and at our University,” said Dr. Paaige Turner, CCIM dean. “Our leadership ensures CCIM stays ahead of the industry curve—leading the way, not reacting—with passion, purpose, and progress.” — Andrew Walker, ’14


News To help iron out those wrinkles, the University tasked Dr. Christoph Thompson, MM ’11 DA ’14, a recording engineer, assistant professor of Music Technology and area coordinator for Ball State’s Music Media Production program, with creating custom software to be used as a “training manual” to get the students up to par as listening experts. “When they first started, they had a really hard time hearing what was compressed or uncompressed,” Dr. Thompson said. “And then they had an eight-out-of-10 accuracy in picking between the very high transparent codec and the uncompressed, which is very good and would qualify them as an expert listener.” Professor Sollars and Dr. Thompson then worked with Drs. Lauren Shaffer, MS ’91, and Lynn Bielski, professors and audiologists at Ball State’s College of Health, to facilitate the physical space and conditions under which to collect the data. Utilizing sound booths at the new, state-of-the-art Health Professions Building, Doctorate of Audiology students helped conduct hearing screenings and assisted with the development of the final results that were sent to Netflix.

‘An Experience of Affirmation’ Netflix project provides Ball State students, faculty real-life, interprofessional experience.

W For other research studies in the College of Communication, Information, and Media, visit


Winter 2022

hen Dr. Paaige Turner was approached with the idea of working with Netflix to conduct an independent evaluation of its sound quality, she knew Ball State University was the perfect partner for the popular streaming service. Dr. Turner, dean of the College of Communication, Information, and Media (CCIM), could certainly leverage her own college’s expert faculty and talented students, but she realized a project of this magnitude and technicality provided the perfect opportunity to utilize the services of other colleges and units across campus. By the time Ball State had submitted its findings to Netflix, students, faculty, and staff in CCIM, the College of Fine Arts, and the College of Health had all made major contributions. The depth of their work was so impressive that Netflix decided to continue working with Ball State on additional ongoing projects. “When you talk about the power of partnerships at Ball State, this opportunity

Left: Senior Mason Mast evaluates Netflix clips in the sound booth. Below: Megan Brown, a third-year student in the Doctor of Audiology program, conducts a hearing screening.

to work with Netflix has it all,” Dr. Turner said. “We have faculty and staff across three colleges lending their expertise in production, audio, and hearing. We have students from across campus gaining invaluable experience as expert listeners and by conducting tests in the lab. This focus on innovation and collaboration is why we feel Ball State provides such a solid foundation for our students, faculty, and staff to have fulfilling careers and meaningful lives.” Netflix initially worked with Ball State to evaluate the quality of audio codecs by developing subjective tests by expert listeners in a controlled, high-end environment. Stan Sollars, ’78 MA ’80, a senior lecturer in CCIM’s Department of Media, compares this process to packing a suitcase: a shirt hanging up in the closet is the original studio audio recording, but getting that audio from the studio to your streaming device requires folding and packing, which can lead to wrinkles.

“The students are getting this hands-on experience by training for how to find these clips, find these sort of impairments, if you will, in the samples, and then that can be used for when they go out to find a job,” Dr. Bielski said. “For our grad students, every participant they see gives them an opportunity to practice and polish their clinical skills. It also gives them an opportunity to work on a research project—and a large-scale research project at that. This gives them sort of basic marketable skills, like, ‘I can organize something. I can keep track of large data sets.’ These are things that any employer is looking for.” While the tangible results of the project have been clear, those involved said it has made a positive impact in many other important ways. “I have made new friends in Christoph and Lauren and Lynn. They’re fabulous people,” Professor Sollars said. “As we’ve all worked together, we’ve gotten to meet a certain number of each other’s students, and it’s been an experience of affirmation as well as education here to see how we are all trying to accomplish the same thing—good sound—in three different disciplines. “Everybody is busy—students, faculty, people across the world. We’re all busy,” he continued. “But the more we take time to collaborate with people unlike ourselves, but who share a commonality, the better off we will be here at the University, and the better off the world’s going to be.” — Andrew Walker, ’14

Alexander Returns as New Chief Strategy Officer Dr. Charlene Alexander has returned to Ball State University as Chief Strategy Officer. Previously, she served as the Vice President and Chief Diversity Officer at Oregon State University, and also as a professor in the Department of Counseling Psychology and Guidance Services at Ball State. Dr. Alexander also served as Ball State’s Associate Provost for Diversity and Interim Associate Vice President for Community Engagement. Under her leadership, Ball State developed its first Diversity Strategic Plan. Dr. Alexander holds a PhD in Counseling Psychology from the University of Nebraska-Lincoln, an MS in Counseling and Guidance, and a BA in Psychology from Creighton University. “I would like to thank everyone for the warm welcome back to Muncie and Ball State. I’m incredibly impressed with all the accomplishments that have occurred under the leadership of President Mearns and Chief Strategy Officer Sue Hodges Moore, and I look forward to continue advancing the University’s strategic initiatives.” — Dr. Charlene Alexander

Photos by Bobby Ellis, ’13

Ball State University Alumni Magazine | WE FLY




Multicultural Center

Foundational Sciences Building In 2019, the College of Sciences and Humanities broke ground on $87.5 million Foundational Sciences Building to meet the growing national demand for science, technology, engineering and mathematics (STEM) professionals. This state-of-the-art building opened in June 2021 and is the new home for the Departments of Biology and Chemistry. It is located in the new East Quad, just south of the new Health Professions Building. The Foundational Sciences Building features 72 laboratories, many immersive learning classrooms and flexible teaching spaces, an aquatics suite, advanced microscopy and imaging equipment, and strategically designed collaborative spaces for students to share inquiries beyond the classroom. The new Foundational Sciences Building, along with the Health Professions Building, is part of a phased plan to replace the aging Cooper Science Complex.

New Nests Around Campus Students and faculty benefit from new campus facilities.


f you’ve not been back on the Ball State campus for a few years, some incredible changes await your next visit. Our campus is always evolving to keep up with academic and student needs, as well as to enhance the beauty and convenience it provides to visitors and returning alumni. The changes, however, are not random; they are part of Ball State University’s 2015 Campus Master Plan, which provides guidance to the physical environment of the campus for the next 15 to 25 years. Formed in tandem with the Academic Long-Range Plan, the Campus Master Plan aligns the University’s strategic, academic, and physical plant goals. One noticeable change has been the demolition of the venerable LaFollette Complex last Spring. LaFollette, a residential complex, was home to tens of thousands of Ball State students since its opening in 1967. The site is now part of the new North Residential Neighborhood, a green space concept that will define the north side of campus. There are also several other major projects, such as the recentlyopened Scheumann Family Indoor Athletic Practice Facility (see p. 20), that will make your next campus visit an eye-opening experience. Here’s a look at each new space. For a video tour of the new Multicultural Center, visit

12 Winter 2022

Multicultural Center The Multicultural Center, formerly located in a house at 1120 N. McKinley Ave., dedicated its new building located just east of Bracken Library during Homecoming festivities on Oct. 23. Now located in the heart of campus, the Multicultural Center supports and advances the University’s commitment to diversity and inclusion. Its programs and services address the co-curricular needs of all students by promoting multicultural understanding, sustaining an inclusive environment for a diverse student population, and celebrating the historical contributions of diverse groups. It also serves as a resource for students of color and LGBTQ students. The Multicultural Center is also the driving force behind Ball State’s “Unity Week,” an annual event each January.

Foundational Sciences Building

North West Residence Hall North West Hall, located on the site of the old Carmichael Hall, is the newest residence hall at Ball State. North West opened at the beginning of the 2021-22 academic year. North West houses 502 residents, and is home to the Music and Humanities and Education Living-Learning Communities. North West’s resource room, also known as the “makerspace,” was specifically designed for students majoring in education and humanities. The resource room features a variety of equipment and technology, including MakerBot 3D printers, Promethean boards, sewing machines, large hard surface craft tables, a computer lab, and more. Private spaces overlooking the University’s historic Duck Pond are also available for students to utilize for studying or quiet time. East Mall Work continues on the new East Mall that serves as a connector between the new East Quad and the Jo Ann Gora Student Recreation and Wellness Center. In addition to a new South Gate Entrance—made possible as a result of a generous gift by Patrick Alderdice, ’92, a member of the Ball State University Foundation Board of Directors—the East Mall also includes a recently-completed parking garage to help remove parking and vehicle traffic from the central part of campus. A centerpiece for the East Mall will be the Brown Family Amphitheater, opening in 2022. Located in the Grand Lawn, north of Woodworth Halls, it will host a variety of functions, including outdoor performances for music, theatre, and dance students. — Dan Forst, ’85

North West Residence Hall

South Gate Entrance

Rendering by Rundell Ernstberger Associates

Ball State University Alumni Magazine | WE FLY




Flying to New Heights

Connecting With Area Businesses

Ball State students can earn FAA drone certification.


Photo by Don Rogers, ’77


“For a lot of students who have moved on, it’s a part of their portfolios—part of their tools. Some of them are using that to help them get a job. It’s on their résumé.” — Tim Underhill, ’84 MA ’09


Winter 2022

van Williamson has an ace up his sleeve this Spring upon graduating from Ball State University and entering the job market. Williamson, a senior in the College of Communication, Information, and Media’s (CCIM’s) Department of Media, aspires to become a cinematographer, a role in which he’ll be relied upon to use his skills and creativity to work with directors to bring on-camera productions to life. And, thanks to having taken the class “TCOM 299x: Unmanned Aircraft Systems” at Ball State, Williamson will have a leg up on film studios in search of cinematographers with experience flying unmanned aerial systems (UAS)—better known as drones—to capture exciting footage at a fraction of the cost of a full-sized aircraft. “Aerial footage is something that will always be sought after in the production field, and I think I’m going to have an advantage by already earning my license and having experience with it,” Williamson said. “A lot of directors of photography right now are looking at things from a ground or crane positioning, but what they aren’t thinking about is that 3-D, moving kind of angle that drones provide from the air that you can work with realistically and practically.” The TCOM 299x drones class, which is taught by Tim Underhill, ’84 MA ’09, associate

lecturer of Communications, was built into three modules thanks to the help of 2016 CCIM graduate Zach Huffman. Huffman, the founder and CEO of Hyvion, a drone service provider in Atlanta, worked with Professor Underhill and others to develop a program that gives students of all majors across campus the opportunity to learn how to fly drones in just three credit hours. Those three sections include: Remote Pilot Certificate Prep, which ultimately provides students to become certified with an FAA small UAS commercial pilot license; Flight Operations; and Video Applications. And, thanks to the support of CCIM and its dean, Dr. Paaige Turner, the class has 17 new aircraft at its disposal. “It’s nice to be able to reach beyond our students at CCIM,” Professor Underhill said. “Yes, I have a lot of Department of Media and some journalism students, but I’ve got architecture students, I’ve got business students, I had a Psychology major recently— all kinds of different students that are interested in doing this. “For a lot of students who have moved on, it’s a part of their portfolios—part of their tools,” he continued. “Some of them are using that to help them get a job. It’s on their résumé.” — Andrew Walker, ’14

all State is well known for its support of immersive learning projects. Accordingly, the University’s Computer Science students have access to one of the best hands-on experiences around. Now entering its third year, Capstone Connector remains an impressive Ball Statecommunity partnership that helps area businesses, while paving the way for Ball State Computer Science students to gain invaluable experience and explore fulfilling careers. The Capstone Connector program has Ball State student teams solving community partners’ problems by building custom software. Area businesses may apply for help on the Capstone Connector website, and those requests are evaluated on an individual basis. “Capstone Connector doesn’t have strict requirements for the proposed projects,” said Dr. Huseyin Ergin, assistant professor of Computer Science and Capstone Connector director. “The only thing our partners need to understand is that we don’t build business card-like static web pages. We develop custom software for custom needs.” Capstone Connector is housed within The Innovation Connector, a full-service business incubator in Muncie designed to help

Photo by Bobby Ellis, ’13

Learn more about Capstone Connector at

businesses in the East Central Indiana community succeed by offering resources. The program has provided custom software solutions to several local businesses, including Muncie-based Accutech Systems. Accutech received the University’s 2021 Community Partner of the Year award for its work with the Capstone Connector project. Adam Unger, ’02, Accutech’s president, sees tremendous benefits for Accutech and Ball State students. “For us, it hones our communications skills to help us work with outside groups, makes us prioritize and more closely evaluate our projects that show clear value, and attract intelligent and creative minds to want to work on them,” said Mr. Unger. Jennifer Coy became the department chair for Computer Science in July 2021, and is already a fan of Capstone Connector. “It’s a true win-win situation, as the students benefit from the hands-on immersive experience and the community partners receive the benefits of the product created, gain access to our fantastic students as potential future hires, and understand the difference that they are making in the lives of the individual students,” she said. — Dan Forst, ’85

Seniors Austin Belt (right) and Jaren Provost explain the features of their capstone projects to their class following their first meeting with the client, Accutech Systems Corporation.

Ball State University Alumni Magazine | WE FLY



Pursuing Muncie’s Past

Below: Peggy Fisher (center) with immersive learning students in 2019.


an you name the man who’s widely credited as being “Muncie’s Pioneer?” If you answered Goldsmith Gilbert, you’re among the few people likely to answer this question correctly. But do you really know the true story of how history has portrayed him? And, is there more to the story beyond Mr. Gilbert himself? Those questions and more are at the forefront of a project by Ball State University’s Applied Anthropology Laboratories (AAL) to create a public educational program, based in archaeology and history, about the heart of downtown Muncie and the founding of Delaware County. Major funding for the project was secured from the Indiana Humanities. “We’re not starting with the goal of rewriting history,” said Caroline Heston, MA ’19 CERTG ’19, education and outreach coordinator for AAL. “But recent research has shown us that there’s so much more to this story than what might be considered the ‘official’ version. We will be diving in to some areas that have never before been investigated.” AAL will work with multiple community partners, including Muncie American Legion Post #19—the site of the original Goldsmith cabin—the Miami Tribe, the Delaware Tribe, the Delaware County Historical Society, and Cornerstone for the Arts. — Dan Forst, ’85

Downtown Muncie circa 1920s-1940s; courtesy of Ball State University Libraries


Winter 2022

A Lasting Impact D

r. Peggy Fisher, a recently retired Ball State University associate professor of Communication Studies in the College of Communication, Information, and Media (CCIM), is well-known for her significant contributions as an educator. While at Ball State, Dr. Fisher has proven herself to be an innovative and inclusive teacher who utilized experiential activities to elevate her students’ learning experiences. In 2020, she was awarded the Ball State Outstanding Faculty Award. The following year, just months after retiring from Ball State after 26 fulfilling years at the University, Dr. Fisher was named the recipient of the inaugural Liberal Education and America’s Promise (LEAP) Indiana Award of Excellence. Perhaps just as impressive are Dr. Fisher’s many contributions beyond the classroom. She has volunteered at IU Health Ball Memorial Hospital since 1999, and she helped start an organization that remodels bedrooms for children with special developmental needs. “I am a firm believer in giving back to the community,” Dr. Fisher said.­ — Landa Bagley

Elevate Your Future

Amazing opportunities await you in our graduate degree and certificate programs at Ball State. Inspiring faculty and innovative experiences on our vibrant, welcoming campus will empower you to take flight and excel in your career.

To learn more about this history project, visit



For the Love of the Game Building international peace through a love for soccer.

The Ball State women’s soccer team hosted Tajik coaches during a recent exchange trip.


Winter 2022


hen Dr. Lindsey Blom was growing up, women’s soccer wasn’t quite the national phenomenon it is today. It wasn’t until the 1980s, years after Title IX of the Education Amendments Act was signed into law, that participation of women in collegiate sports started increasing steadily. For Dr. Blom, her love for the game started in a local church league. “At seven years old, I was playing 11-versus-11 on a normal-size adult field,” Dr. Blom said about her daunting introduction into the game. “I have no idea how I fell in love with soccer because only two people touched the ball throughout the whole game.” But fall in love she did. Dr. Blom went on to play soccer in high school, college, and at the semi-pro level. She also coached. During this period, she wrote a book to help people with no experience with the sport survive a soccer coaching stint. Now, through her role as a professor of Sport and Exercise Psychology in Ball State University’s School of Kinesiology, Dr. Blom’s passion for soccer continues to make its mark—even on an international stage.

Building peace through sport Since joining Ball State in 2008, Dr. Blom focuses her research endeavors on how soccer can be used to promote peace and effect positive social change within marginalized communities. From Tajikistan to India to Liberia, she uses soccer as an opportunity to help children learn crucial conflict resolution skills as well as basic life and empathy skills. “When people come together for sport, they obviously automatically don’t like each other,” Dr. Blom said. “But here when we’re training, we really try to make sure that people are working on the skills around peace and conflict. So, when there is a conflict, they can deal with it more productively.” Dr. Blom—the recipient of the Mid-American Conference 2021 Outstanding Faculty Award for Student Success—incorporates a “train-thetrainer” model of teaching by collaborating with local coaches and youth sports development authorities in specific communities, which ensures that benefits derived from her programs remain after she leaves. In 2018, the U.S. Department of State, through its mission to India’s Public Diplomacy program, funded Dr. Blom’s project,

“Leadership through Sports for Jammu and Kashmir.” The $70,000 grant, paired with nearly $20,000 in support from Ball State, helped fund Dr. Blom and her team’s year-long effort to assist local sports administrators in Jammu (located within the larger Kashmir region, a disputed geographical area between India, Pakistan, and China) and Kashmir. The project had two phases. First, a weeklong collaborative workshop was held in New Delhi, India. Second, a formal mentoring program was established that included a virtual meeting with coaches from the United States. The focus of the workshop in the first phase included leadership and training education for coaches and administrators that focused on countering violent extremism, conflict resolution, and building positive relationships with the youth. The second phase focused on improving the knowledge of the administrators in local youth sport development programs.

An athlete, a coach, and a scholar In the academic sphere, Dr. Blom’s research has produced articles and case studies about the effectiveness of her “soccer for peace programs.” In Peace and Development Indicators in Liberia Youth through Sport for Development Programming, published in 2020 in the Journal of Peace Psychology, Dr. Blom and her co-authors examine the impact of the Life and Change Experienced Through Sports (L.A.C.E.S) program on the youth in three Liberian communities. The program, according to the paper, “seeks to use sport and character activities to cultivate aspects of positive youth development including social responsibility, personal relationships, peace, and purpose to support the healthy development of Liberian youth.”

A survey conducted for the study showed a slight decline in “attitudes toward violence, and increases social responsibility, purpose, and relationship with coaches,” which could greatly impact the lives of the youth in those communities. Similarly, in Grassroots Diplomacy through Coach Education: Americans, Jordanians and Tajik, published in 2019, Dr. Blom and her co-authors examined the effectiveness of two sports diplomacy exchange programs funded by the U.S. Department of State Bureau of Educational and Cultural Affairs. The programs, which ran in the countries of Jordan and Tajikistan, were aimed at promoting mentoring and training for local coaches to develop sport and youth development programs. The authors, while acknowledging the limitations and challenges of such programs, note that, “using soccer within two-way sport programs designed for the common good for all involved rather than for a competitive political advantage can contribute to soft power diplomatic goals because of the global popularity of the game.” “The Soccer groups mirror what the terrorist organizations offer in a more positive way, such as a group belonging, a sense of pride, a sense of togetherness,” Dr. Blom said. “So we can get individuals to have a positive influence on something that’s similar then maybe the youth would join that opportunity rather than a negative opportunity.” As violent and extremist groups in some regions of the world continue to recruit vulnerable youth, programs like Dr. Blom’s offer a peaceful alternative of belonging and hope, all made possible because of her love for soccer. — Adeboye “Richard” Olaniyan, MA ’20

“When we’re training, we really try to make sure that people are working on the skills around peace and conflict. So, when there is a conflict, they can deal with it more productively.” — Dr. Lindsey Blom

Dr. Lindsey Blom working with soccer coaches in Jordan.

Ball State University Alumni Magazine | WE FLY




New Practice Facility Perfect for Extracurricular Activities T

he Scheumann Family Indoor Practice Facility officially opened on October 3, 2021, with a ribbon-cutting ceremony. And hours later, the Cardinals football team claimed a 28-16 home victory over previously-undefeated Army—completing a very special day on the Ball State campus. Named in honor of the late Ball State graduate and former Cardinals football player John Scheumann, ’71, and his wife, June, who made the lead gift, the 84,000 squarefoot Scheumann Family Indoor Practice Facility is adjacent to the Fisher Football Training Complex and the Ron and Joan Venderly Football Team Center. The new practice facility is on the footprint of the previous grass practice fields. The turf field inside the practice facility is named Briner Field to honor Peggy and Kenneth Briner, ’69. Other generous leadership gifts were provided by Dan, ’94, and Cassidy Towriss; Larry Owens, ’66; and Craig, ’86, and Teneen Dobbs. The building is used by the baseball, football, soccer, and softball teams during inclement weather. It also provides

opportunities for the entire campus and broader community, including the Ball State Pride of Mid-America Marching Band. The Scheumann Family Indoor Practice Facility was “unofficially” opened in April, in time for Spring football practice. Already, Ball State football coach Mike Neu, ’94, has referred to the facility as “one of the best I’ve ever seen,” and coaches from other sports are now gaining access. “This new building is absolutely outstanding,” said baseball coach Rich Maloney. “Our batting cages are enormous, and the biggest I’ve ever seen. This facility is a huge upgrade for our program and will only enhance our ability to develop our players.” Lacy Wood, Ball State’s head softball coach, agrees. “This is simply a game-changer for us,” Ms. Wood said. “Between its size, the batting cages, and the turf surface, it will provide the perfect place to develop our student-athletes into championship contenders. We are extremely grateful to everyone who contributed to the project, and are excited to have the opportunity to train in a state-of-the-art facility.” — Dan Forst, ’85

Volleyball ‘Pioneer’ Passes Away D

r. Don Shondell, an iconic figure in the sport of volleyball who founded the men’s program at Ball State University, passed away Nov. 23, 2021, at the age of 92. “Don Shondell was a friend to Ball State, an icon in our Muncie community, and a pioneer in the sport of volleyball,” Ball State University President Geoffrey S. Mearns said. “Through his extraordinary contributions to our University and the sport, his unmatched legacy lives on in so many of our current and past student-athletes. We are deeply indebted to Dr. Shondell for the impact he made on so many lives—as a coach, teacher, and friend to us all.” Dr. Shondell, a 1952 and 1956 Ball State graduate, had an illustrious career that was long and varied as a coach, professor, and author. He formed the first men’s club volleyball team at Ball State in 1960; four years later, the team earned varsity status. Over his 34 seasons at the helm of the program, Dr. Shondell accumulated a career record of 769-280-6 (.732), affording him the second-most wins by a head coach in NCAA men’s volleyball history. His 769 career wins are the most by a Ball State coach in any sport. In 2018, Ball State opened the Dr. Don Shondell Practice Center—a practice gymnasium containing two regulation-size courts designed specifically for the volleyball and basketball programs, in addition to a training room for taping and treatment, two team meeting rooms, and a video room.

Bookin’ with Charlie L

aunched as a pilot program in 2016 with 60 students in the Muncie Community Schools system, Charlie’s Reading Challenge and its companion, Charlie’s Coloring Contest, continue to grow. With Charlie’s Reading Challenge, elementary students complete four books at their reading level and also do a related project assigned by their teacher. For Charlie’s Coloring Contest, preschool kids color a picture of Charlie and send it back to Ball State, where their works are displayed at Worthen Arena prior to home basketball games. With both programs, students who complete the requirements earn free tickets to a Ball State football, basketball, or volleyball game. How much has the program grown? The Fall 2021 participation numbers show:

38 2,699 221


Oh, Canada!


all State University graduate and former standout Cardinals softball player Jen Gilbert, ’14, helped make history for Canada at the 2020 Summer Olympics in Tokyo. Ms. Gilbert’s Canadian Olympic softball team earned its first-ever medal, defeating Mexico, 3-2, in the bronze medal game. She played in five of Team Canada’s six Olympic games, slugging a solo home run in Canada’s opening-round game against Italy. Ms. Gilbert was born in Canada, but her family moved to Denton, Texas, when she was a baby. Despite spending most of her life in the United States, Ms. Gilbert has said she dreamed of one day playing softball for Team Canada. A two-time All-American left fielder as a student-athlete for Ball State from 2011 to 2014, Ms. Gilbert helped guide the Cardinals to three Mid-American Conference (MAC) regular season championships (2012, 2013, and 2014) over her playing career. Ms. Gilbert also helped guide the team to its first NCAA Tournament victory as a volunteer coach in 2015.

20 Winter 2022

Photo by Bobby Ellis, ’13

Ball State University Alumni Magazine | WE FLY



Sports Ball State has unveiled its Ball YOU program, which prepares student-athletes for the Name, Image and Likeness (NIL) era. How are things going with that? We have had a handful of athletes engaged in the NIL space, and we think it’s an important opportunity. Whether utilizing their NIL for sponsorships, supporting their favorite cause, or giving private lessons, they have the tools to leverage their personal brands across all of their passions. We are excited to support them through the Gainbridge Leadership Academy and campus partnerships with the Miller College of Business and the Entrepreneurial Leadership Institute.


eth Goetz, Ball State’s director of athletics, completed her third year at the University in June 2021. During that time, the Athletic Department battled through the COVID-19 pandemic, enjoyed great success on the playing fields and in the classrooms, and launched an aggressive strategic plan. She was also recently recognized by the Indianapolis Business Journal (IBJ) as one of the publication’s 2021 “Women of Influence.” So, what’s the latest on everything Ball State Athletics? Here’s a Q&A with Ms. Goetz:

What are some of the goals for Ball State Athletics over the next five years? We are in year three of our Onward Strategic Plan and excited to move toward the ambitious goals we have set. Continuing to raise the level of competitive success across all of our programs, while supporting the holistic development of our athletes as leaders, continues to be a priority. We have recently launched mentoring programs connecting our students with alums who work in their field of study, which will be very impactful. I think in a world where college athletics continues to change, keeping the mission focused on using the tools developed through the athletic experience, alongside their degrees, is critical. Other priorities include launching new engagement initiatives that grow the passion and support from our alums and the community, improving performance tools and facilities, and pursuing new ways to use athletics in furthering our campus mission.

How would you describe the current state of Ball State athletics? We are coming off our most successful year academically and athletically in over 10 years. It’s not our nature to be satisfied. We’re committed to building on that foundation. We also recognize that we’re at a time in the college athletics where significant change is happening at the national level, and it’s going to be very important for us to stay committed to serving our athletes and the Ball State community in all that we do.

What have been some of your best moments since becoming the director of athletics at Ball State? It’s been a privilege to serve in this role, and it’s truly the daily moments that make it so meaningful. I can point to the historical run of the football program last year and the MAC championships in women’s volleyball and women’s tennis. Watching students cross the stage at Scheumann Stadium in a graduation made possible by the efforts of so many was truly special. I have been amazed seeing our teams, staff, and campus come together to overcome the challenges faced throughout the COVID-19 pandemic. In facing adversity, we found we were stronger together facing the pandemic, social justice issues, and other challenges. — Dan Forst, ’85

How have our athletics programs adjusted now that the COVID-19 restrictions have eased? We were very grateful for the efforts to develop protocols that allowed us to compete safely in the 2020-21 season. Our teams navigated those challenges well. With a significant majority of our athletes and staff being vaccinated, the amount of testing and other restrictions has been much less intrusive. It’s also been wonderful to welcome our fans and alums back to our events.

Taking Ball State’s “We Fly” tagline to new heights, director of athletics Beth Goetz flashed the “Chirp! Chirp!” sign during a tandem jump with a member of Army’s Golden Knights parachute team to promote the Army–Ball State football game in October.

In 2020, Ball State student-athletes graduated at an institutional-best 90 percent. How important is this milestone? We are committed to graduating our studentathletes, and we are truly proud to hit that milestone. It’s critical that they leave Ball State with their degree and begin a path of lifelong success after their athletic careers end. It speaks to the type of student that comes to Ball State, and the support they receive from our faculty, staff, and coaches.


Winter 2022

Photo by Samantha Blankenship, ’15

New Athletic Leadership Roles B

all State University President Geoffrey S. Mearns and Ball State’s director of athletics Beth Goetz have recently assumed leadership roles with the Mid-American Conference (MAC) and the NCAA, respectively. President Mearns was elected the MAC’s Chair of the Council of Presidents. He replaces University of Buffalo President Dr. Satish Tripathi, who served as Chair for the last four academic years. President Mearns was also named to the NCAA Board of Governors and as the MAC representative to the NCAA Division I Board of Directors. “On behalf of the Council of Presidents, I would like to express my gratitude to Dr. Tripathi for his leadership and guidance over the last four years,” President Mearns said. “I look forward to working with my colleagues to continue advancing the Mid-American Conference while also helping our student-athletes achieve athletic and academic success.” Ms. Goetz has been voted vice chair of the NCAA Division I Women’s Basketball Committee for 2021-22 and will step into the chair position in 2022-23. She was elected by her fellow committee members. She was nominated by the MAC for membership on the committee in 2019. “It’s an honor to serve and lead the women’s basketball committee in the role of vice chair for the coming year, and as chair the year following,” Ms. Goetz said. “I am committed to this important work through collaboration within our group and with the many stakeholders in the game.”

Ball State University Alumni Magazine | WE FLY




Scientists have long wondered how exercise influences the body on a molecular level. To answer that question, Ball State’s Human Performance Laboratory is part of a national consortium of universities and hospitals conducting a major federal study. 24 Winter 2022

fter four intense years of ramping up research protocols and creating a state-ofthe-art exercise center, members of Ball State University’s Human Performance Laboratory (HPL) are now working on the first national study designed to better understand how physical activity influences health at a molecular level. Eventually, the project may help develop protocols to help people use exercise to combat disease and aging. The HPL is fully integrated into the 32-university Molecular Transducers of Physical Activity Consortium (MoTrPAC), the largest exercise research program of its kind, aiming to recruit approximately 2,600 research volunteers across the country. Ball State is one of the Human Clinical Centers for a key portion of the study, working in partnership with the University of Alabama at Birmingham and the Translational Research Institute at AdventHealth. Dr. Scott Trappe, PhD ’94, the HPL’s director, is the principal investigator of the test site; Dr. Todd Trappe, PhD ’96, a Ball State exercise science professor, is a co-principal investigator for the site. “We know being physically fit provides substantial health benefits, but we don’t know all the reasons why, especially at the molecular level,” said Dr. Scott Trappe, a senior author of “Molecular Transducers of Physical Activity Consortium (MoTrPAC): Mapping the Dynamic Responses to Exercise,” the consortium’s first major joint paper. The largest part of the study provides detailed information on how human bodies respond to exercise while accounting for person-to-person variation and revealing differences based on participant demographics like age, race, and gender. Researchers within MoTrPAC measure molecular changes in participants before, during, and after exercise to build a comprehensive map. “This is really the moonshot for the understanding of how exercise works from a molecular standpoint,” Dr. Scott Trappe said. “It is one of the most intense and important projects HPL has participated in since the creation of the lab in the 1960s.” Dr. Trappe said the paper—which was published in Cell, a peer-reviewed scientific journal—explains the program’s organization and clinical study protocols. Work was conducted as part of the MoTrPAC funded by the National Institutes of Health under award number U01AR071133. HPL researchers, along with master’s and doctoral students, are working with about 200 participants over the next four years. Participants are being drawn from East Central Indiana.

“We are seeking athletes to come into the lab for testing, and then begin to enroll healthy non-exercisers to participate in a specially designed 12-week exercise program,” Dr. Trappe said. “We are going to teach people how to properly exercise using our new exercise equipment, which ranges from stationary bikes to resistance machines.” Sedentary adults and low-activity children have been randomly assigned to an inactive control group or to groups that complete a 12-week exercise regimen that gradually increases in intensity. Adults are doing either endurance or resistance training, while children are doing only endurance training. When the study is complete, MoTrPAC will deliver a map of the biological molecules and pathways underlying the systemic effects of acute and chronic exercise. The data, which will ultimately be made freely available to the scientific community, will provide unprecedented opportunities to begin to understand the pathways by which physical activity influences health. In the future, Dr. Trappe said the knowledge gained will allow researchers and health professionals to develop personalized exercise recommendations and provide insights into molecular targets that could be manipulated to mimic some of the effects of exercise in people unable to do so. “So far, this has been incredible teamwork because the amazing, talented people coming together to participate in this study,” he said. “I believe that over the next four years, our understanding of how the body benefits from exercise will increase dramatically—allowing us to better understand how we may improve our health.”

“I believe that over the next four years, our understanding of how the body benefits from exercise will increase dramatically.” — Dr. Scott Trappe

Left: Ball State’s Human Performance Laboratory (HPL), led by Dr. Scott Trappe (left), is serving as a Human Clinical Center for the MoTrPAC study. HPL researchers and students are working with about 200 local participants on a 12-week exercise program. Below: Ball State master’s and doctoral students conduct blood processing work as part of MoTrPAC.

Photos by Samantha Blankenship, ’15

Ball State University Alumni Magazine | WE FLY


HPL History 1966: Dr. David Costill becomes the first director of Ball State’s Human Performance Laboratory. 1975: HPL conducts muscle biopsies for study of U.S./Canadian track athletes. 1980: The State of Indiana approves a PhD program in Human Bioenergetics to be housed at HPL. 1996: HPL works with NASA to create a torquevelocity dynamometer for shuttle flight STS-78. 2001: HPL begins to study astronauts on the International Space Station. 2005: HPL is involved in NASA-funded long-term bed rest studies in Toulouse, France. 2011: HPL is funded by the National Institutes of Health to study benefits of lifelong exercise. 2016: HPL is selected as a Human Clinical Center for the Molecular Transducers of Physical Activity Consortium (MoTrPAC) project, the largest exercise research program of its kind.

Unparalleled experience One day, Colleen Lynch is responsible for blood processing work in the biochemistry lab. The next, she’s managing timing and data sheets in the biopsy/training room. Then there’s Andrew Stroh, who serves as a master timer and data recorder on trial days, taking detailed notes and helping guide the process along. Ms. Lynch and Mr. Stroh, both of whom are pursuing their doctorates in Human Bioenergetics, simply aren’t spectators when it comes to one of the largest studies in the history of their field. They are active participants. To Dr. Trappe, when it comes to the importance Ball State places on hands-on learning experiences, “it doesn’t get any better” than the work being done on the MoTrPAC study by Ball State master’s and doctoral students. “For them, it’s just the training,” Dr. Trappe said. “Our students have always had hands-on training, so at the core of it, that part is the same. I think the part that changes a little bit is the magnitude of it. Students oftentimes apply to come here because of the reputation of the lab and the projects that we’re working on, but in this particular context, we can cast that net even wider to where they’re involved with the consortium, and they’re seeing how this works. They’re making connections as students because they’re involved in a variety of meetings, video calls, and contributing to the various working groups in the consortium. “So I think for them the experience is invaluable on multiple levels,” Dr. Trappe continued. “And then as they go and move on to the next level, people see the experience they have working within the boundaries of MoTrPAC, which certainly, I think, adds to their

overall training and skillset, and hopefully they’re more attractive to employers on the other side.” Ms. Lynch, a Davidsonville, Maryland, native, received bachelor’s degrees in Exercise Science and Interdisciplinary Studies (with a focus in Biology, Chemistry, and Psychology) from Salisbury University. She then joined Ball State’s HPL and earned her master’s in Exercise Physiology in the Summer of 2020. She said her hands-on experience with the MoTrPAC study has been “very eye-opening.” “Being part of such a large consortium study makes you realize how much goes into each and every decision,” Ms. Lynch said. “It also provides great insight into all aspects of the research process, from lightbulb ideas to troubleshooting analysis and everything in-between.” Mr. Stroh has been a Ball State student since 2017, when he started pursuing his master’s in Exercise Physiology. He has seen the MoTrPAC study develop almost from the ground up, and considers the project “special to be a part of.” “Within the field most everyone will know of MoTrPAC, and given its size and significance it will continue to be relevant for quite some time,” said Mr. Stroh, a Columbus, Ohio, native who earned his undergraduate degree in Biology at Capital University in 2017 and his master’s from Ball State in 2019. “Given all the different roles and exposure we students get, the experience will help us no matter what we do next. Even if it’s not working within a big consortium study, the skills of following protocols, providing input, and working to make all these moving parts work smoothly will translate to any potential job in the future.” 

EXERCISE SCIENCE PIONEER According to Dr. Scott Trappe, grant funding has transformed Ball State University’s Human Performance Laboratory (HPL) in the last several years into a unique and comprehensive exercise physiology center where researchers collect data from the whole body to the level of the gene. Dr. Trappe, the HPL’s director, noted that Ball State was selected for the 32-university Molecular Transducers of Physical Activity Consortium (MoTrPAC) project because of its long history of groundbreaking research into the effects of exercise on the body. “Over the last decade, we’ve been involved in several studies, including elite athletes, NIH-supported aging studies, and NASA studies involving members of the International Space Station and before that, American astronauts on the space


Winter 2022

shuttle,” he said. “The Lab has a long history—over 50 years of being at the forefront of exercise physiology research. It’s great to be involved.” Dr. Trappe said the recognition gained from being involved with the MoTrPAC study certainly is noteworthy, but even more important is the work being done to prepare future leaders in the field of exercise science. “It’s just a wonderful training ground for new students,” he said. “One of the major goals of MoTrPAC is to train the next generation of scientists in the field, and we’ve got multiple graduate students—10 or 12—that are involved every day, getting hands-on experience, helping us execute the MoTrPAC protocols. So, they’re getting a front-row seat to how a big consortium like this works.”

Who will follow in YOUR FOOTSTEPS? Chirp! Chirp!

As a lifelong Cardinal, you play an important role in building Ball State’s next incoming class of amazing students. Sharing your pride in your Ball State education can inspire young scholars to chart their own path to a bright future here. Your influence matters. Do you know a promising student who could thrive in our welcoming, collaborative learning community? Encourage them to find their passion and purpose at Ball State! Refer a student: Tell our story: Help make it official:

Image credit:

Work Doesn’t End When the Bell Rings Historic partnership between Ball State and Muncie Community Schools is making a difference at South View Elementary School. By Kate H. Elliott


“If I have a gift, it is to recognize the gifts in others and to empower them to lead in their own way, and to contribute their talents.” — Anthony Williams

28 Winter 2022

he students of South View Elementary are neighbors to fifth-grade teacher Malia (Allen) Sandberg, ’14. She held some of them as babies and now gives them popsicles, enjoys their grandparents’ tamales, and sings hymns with them on Sundays. That sense of community doesn’t end when the school bell rings. Ms. Sandberg, and other South View staff, counsel students on lunch breaks, and model multiplication strategies after school. Custodians know the kids by name, and for 41 years, a teacher welcomed late students with granola bars topped with peanut butter. South View serves nearly 550 students— the most of any of Muncie Community Schools’ (MCS) six elementary schools—yet it operates in the haze of generational poverty and deindustrialization. Nearly 90 percent of students qualify for free or reduced lunch, and the school has ranked below several state standards. In

2017, the Indiana Legislature placed MCS under direct, state-government control. Those statistics, Ms. Sandberg said, speak to the barriers and outcomes associated with poverty, joblessness, and addiction; they do not represent the community’s abundant assets of “goodness, care, inspiring resilience, and stubborn compassion.” In 2018, Ball State embarked on a historic partnership with MCS to reimagine Muncie Schools. The MCS-Ball State Academic and Financial Viability Plan and MCS Strategic Plan detail an innovative, holistic model to educate students from cradle to career. That vision attracted former MCS teacher Anthony Williams, ’06 MAE ’12, to become principal of South View. The Indiana native came from Allen Elementary School in Marion, Indiana, where his leadership reduced suspensions from 212 to 16 in one academic year. Between 2013-14 and 2015-16, the school

climbed from an “F” academic rating by the State of Indiana to a “B” rating. The secret? “There is no secret,” Mr. Williams said. “It’s about respectful, authentic relationships.” This city-school-university partnership is an “all-hands-on deck” approach, he said. South View’s community-based model reflects the heart of this effort. “At the center of every community is its schools, where we have the privilege and responsibility to address and nurture the intellectual, physical, social, and emotional needs of our children,” he said. “Students deserve our best. And every day, South View teachers show up for their students and for each other. When your colleagues, students, and families know you care, they care.” Rheaunna Jones, ’19, cares. The mother of two grew up on Muncie’s south side and is in her first year of teaching at South View.

Fifth-grade teacher Malia (Allen) Sandberg, ’14, calculates problems with fifth-grader Krystal Flores during recess.

Ball State University Alumni Magazine | WE FLY


Ms. Jones said she was drawn to the school’s focus on positive reinforcement and its family-like atmosphere. “If students are having a bad day, instead of sending them to sit in the principal’s office, we pause to connect with them or we allow them to go visit a sibling or a former favorite teacher, or check in with a staff member who might be their neighbor,” said Ms. Jones, who is also a parent of an MCS student. “Prior to teaching, I worked with an organization that partners with South View, and Principal Williams always addressed emails to us with, ‘Hi team.’ It was a small gesture, but it made us feel like we were part of something bigger, and we are.”

Mutual support and unity South View does not have a Parent Teacher Organization, as the school’s caregivers—many of whom work multiple jobs— don’t have the capacity to organize dances and prepare teacher appreciation baskets. Instead, dozens of community organizations, parents, neighbors, and businesses work together to identify and address challenges and opportunities. Or, in the words of fifth-grader Krystal Flores, “they make sure all South View students and families are seen, heard and supported. They want us to know all we can do and be.” The YMCA of Muncie, Boys and Girls Clubs of Muncie, Muncie Public Library, and the Ross Community Center are among the entities that provide on- and off-site after-school programs. The 8twelve Coalition cultivates community gardens and outreach. A nearby muffler shop invites students to practice guitar and hang out after school. Open Door Health Services offers mobile health care, and low-to-no-cost physicals and screenings. Avondale United Methodist Church houses struggling families and hosts weekly community meals.

Faithful support More than 25 people from First Presbyterian Church volunteer in the school each week. Bill McCune, former associate vice president for business affairs and controller at Ball State, greets students and gives them masks each Monday morning. His wife, Jan (Krupp) McCune, MA ’93, aids kindergarten classes from 9-11 a.m. Jan, “who’s taught everything from Head Start to college,” was integral in securing a 2018 matching grant that funneled $60,000 into renovations, including new playground equipment and a new teacher’s lounge. “South View has become part of our DNA, and those kids and teachers have reinvigorated our aging church,” said Ms. McCune. “This partnership has really deepened our understanding of community and the impact even one person can have on an entire school.” ‘We Show Up’ Mr. Williams said the school thrives on community support. In fact, Mr. Williams serves on a number of boards for organizations, including East Central Indiana Second Harvest Food Bank, and the Greater Muncie Habitat for Humanity. The MCS parent serves on the Teachers College Dean’s Advisory Council, and on Minnetrista’s Visitor Experience Committee. But as soon as Mr. Williams’ commitment to community and leadership is brought to light, he’ll deflect that praise back on his staff and community partners. “If I have a gift, it is to recognize the gifts in others and to empower them to lead in their own way, and to contribute their talents,” said Mr. Williams, who won a Ball State Graduate of the Last Decade Award in 2016. “Our daily focus is on the positive—from morning announcements until we lock up. We invest and plant seeds and wear lots of hats. And we meet kids where they are.”


he South View staff is a family. During the height of the COVID-19 pandemic, it punched through karate classes and made stress-relief jars. The school’s Cultural Competency Cadre holds “Candid Conversations” about complex topics that draw robust and vulnerable discussions. “Our culture is growing in mutual support and unity,” Ms. Sandberg said. “There is a strong current at South View of committed individuals who listen and respect neighborhood leaders and view themselves as neighbors and not saviors. We strive to build on the strengths of our community rather than focusing on its deficits.” Neil Kring, ’93, is one such community advocate who walks alongside South View families and staff. He literally walks—strolling the neighborhood with Mr. Williams or walking to Rosebud Coffee House with teachers to decompress over lattes. Mr. Kring has served as a neighborhood pastor with Urban Light Community Development Corporation, a nonprofit that supports a faith-based recovery home for women, housing revitalization and neighborhood engagement. Mr. Kring said he can’t solve systemic issues, but he can be a friend to and advocate for his neighbors. Second-year teacher Hailey Maupin, ’19, created a Facebook group to connect with students and families. She calls parents to share positive news and praise, and she volunteers at the weekly school food pantry. “I have never experienced parents who care and love and try so hard, and I’ve really enjoyed getting to know them, even at a distance due to the pandemic,” said Ms. Maupin. “The other day, a parent posted that her son really loves school, and that, ‘School has never been his thing.’ Relationships change the hearts and futures of teachers, students and community members. It’s a gift to be part of those connections, this work.” Chuck Reynolds, ’98, associate superintendent for Muncie Community Schools, attended South View. He said

it’s inspiring to watch the school continue to evolve through deepening bonds and support, particularly as a result of the partnership with Ball State. “This Fall, Ball State’s Teachers College launched the MCS-Ball State Connections program, which pairs each Ball State college with an MCS school,” said Mr. Reynolds. “On the first day of school for MCS, faculty and staff from each college were up early to welcome students and help families navigate that first day.” Dr. Kendra Lowery, associate dean for equity and engagement at Ball State’s Teachers College, shared some the outcomes of the college-school partnership. The College of Architecture and Planning is developing a LEGO Club at South View; the College of Communication, Information, and Media is forming a Journalism Club, and hosting a book giveaway at West View Elementary; Teachers College cleared gardening beds and installed an irrigation system at Southside Middle School; and the College of Sciences and Humanities is inviting MCS teachers to network and brainstorm ideas for partnerships with the University. “MCS-BSU Connections acknowledges and builds on existing University-school connections while creating clear pathways for more projects and ideas,” Dr. Lowery said. “Each MCS school now has a direct link to a college of faculty and staff who are eager to engage.” Ms. Sandberg and other teachers said they are encouraged by this “true partnership” that listens to and addresses the “dreams, needs, and desires of those we are serving.” “My 3-year-old attends the preschool program at South View, and as long as I am able, I am committed to building a school that is a place of life, beauty, and pride in south Muncie,” Ms. Sandberg said. “I am not alone in that commitment. It’s an all-hands-on-deck place. But out of that need can emerge great opportunity and lasting change.” 

Far Left: Fourth-grade teacher Hailey Maupin, ’19, answers a few questions about homework before the bell rings. Middle: Neighborhood pastor Neil Kring, ’93, regularly visits South View Elementary during drop-off and pick-up to connect with students and families. Left: First Presbyterian Church member Carol (Hill) Pyle, ’75, said she reads to third-graders and works Kickoff to Kindergarten at South View, to be the steady, consistent supporter she never had. Photos by Samantha Blankenship, ’15

30 Winter 2022

Ball State University Alumni Magazine | WE FLY


Support Students— Purchase a Ball State License Plate and receive gift credit in support of student scholarships!




Statehouse Stories Internship program yields fruitful partnerships, generations of influencers. By Susan DeGrane






Congratulations to our 2021–2022 Ball State Alumni Association Legacy Scholarship recipients! Check out to view the full list of winners.

 I here by Vehicles authorize the B ureau of to disclo se M included on this ap my personal in otor group th pl ic at ion form formation at sponso to the spec am applyi rs the lic ia en ng (1) the sp . I understand se plate for whi l ch I that: ecial grou informat p m ay co io personal n about its activiti ntact me with in es solicitatio formation primar but may not us n purpos em ily for fund (2) the bu es raising or y reau will ; informat no t di sclo io (3) the sp n to any other pe se my personal rson or gr ecial grou informat ion to an p will not disclo oup; and se y ot my writte n consen her person or gr my personal t. oup with out

Look for this box on the BMV website at purchase or renewal and check the box.

Troi Watts, ’13, and Samantha Holifield, ’14, are two recent Ball State graduates who have turned internships into full-time jobs at the Indiana Statehouse.


t’s not surprising the Indianapolis Business Journal identified Julie K. Griffith, ’79, as a Woman of Influence in 2016. Ms. Griffith serves as secretary for the Ball State Foundation Board, is a member of the Dean’s Advisory Council for Ball State’s College of Sciences and Humanities, and is executive vice president for strategy, partnerships and outreach for the Indiana Innovation Institute, which addresses national defense issues. Ms. Griffith also held executive positions with large utility corporations, overseeing government relations, regulatory affairs, marketing and business development. Like many Ball State alums, Ms. Griffith’s ability to exert influence and evoke change comes from having worked initially as an Indiana Statehouse intern. “That experience really has served as the foundation of my career,” she said. “It truly changed the trajectory.” In 1979, Ms. Griffith was assigned to work with thenRepublican Senate Majority Leader Jack Guy from Logansport and Sen. Dick Harris from Evansville. “Once in the Statehouse, one never leaves,” Ms. Griffith said. “You get exposed to so many influential people, whether

Photo by Bobby Ellis, ’13

that’s other interns, legislators, or those involved in lobbying efforts.” She has maintained close ties and partnerships with fellow interns and others she met at the Indiana Statehouse as a student. “Even today, what I’m doing involves a strategy of partnership and outreach, which I learned in the Statehouse,” she said. “I would encourage anyone to take advantage Julie K. Griffith, ’79 of this opportunity. They’ll have so much fun and learn so much that is fundamental to one’s success.” As a Political Science major in 1979, Ms. Griffith was among the first 15 or so Ball State students to sign up for the Statehouse Internship Program started by Mike McDaniel, ’73 MPA ’79. His association with Indiana politics began as a Ball State graduate student intern in the General Assembly. He eventually served as Republican state chair and as former director of governmental affairs at Ball State.

Ball State University Alumni Magazine | WE FLY



hough the internship program started at Ball State, several Indiana-based Universities have since participated. Dr. Jeff Papa, MA ’99, served an internship in 1993 while earning his bachelor’s in Economics from Rose-Hulman Institute of Technology. After earning a master’s in Business Economics from Ball State, as well as law degrees and a doctorate in educational administration leadership from other institutions, Dr. Papa worked as an immigration attorney. In 2007, he returned to the Indiana Statehouse to serve as chief of staff and general counsel for the Indiana State Senate. Today, he oversees the work of staff members as well as interns. “The work the interns do is essential,” Dr. Papa said. “Indiana is pretty unique if you look at the numbers of full-time employees in the Statehouse. It’s one of the top two or three states in terms of operating efficiently and employing the fewest number of people.” Dr. Papa praised interns for providing needed constituency and research services while working and receiving pay during General Assembly sessions, which span just three to four months. Interns benefit by learning management, research, and organizational skills, including how to prioritize, Dr. Papa said. They also discover the value of positive interaction for addressing constituencies, and gain important networking opportunities. Becca Polcz Rice, vice president for Governmental Relations at Ball State, also spoke of those benefits. But she also sees the Statehouse Internship Program as a point of pride for those who have served. “Ball State’s commitment to helping to recruit students to participate in the program reflects our commitment to serving the State of Indiana,” she said. “Oftentimes alumni of the intern program who are also Ball State alums stick around the Statehouse and, as their careers progress and scope of influence expands, it’s of great benefit to the institution.” Ball State Governmental Relations informs students and recent graduates about the internships through career events, brochures, email, and social media.


amantha Holifield, ’14, of LaPorte, Indiana, served an internship starting in January 2015. “Like a lot of people, I wasn’t sure about what job was right for me, what I wanted to do, so the internship helped me to see,” she said. As a communications intern, she started out writing first drafts of press releases, creating some graphic designs and ghost-writing columns for legislators. “You’re basically an extension of full-time staff, and it gave me an idea of what I wanted to do,” Ms. Holifield said. “What I wanted to do, I decided, was to be here.” As happens with many interns, she later assumed a full-time position, as a press secretary in May 2015, working for the Indiana House Republicans. By 2017, she was promoted to senior press secretary. Troi Watts, ’13, of Muncie, signed on as a legislative intern for Indiana’s House Democrat Caucus. “I realized I’m happiest when I’m making a difference in people’s lives,” Ms. Watts said. She answered calls and inquiries from Indiana residents and others. “I learned a lot about state government,” she said, referring to orientation classes and all that followed. “Overall, it was a fast-paced three months, which I liked. I was never bored.” With the COVID-19 pandemic, her work intensified. “Many of the calls were very emotional, people having trouble getting unemployment benefits after being put out of work due to the pandemic,” she said. When a full-time press secretary position became available, Watts, who majored in creative writing, put her skills to practice. “I’m aware of different narrative styles, so in writing on behalf of a particular legislator, it helps if I can capture their voice,” she said. “I would say this work has broadened my perspective and made me consider different angles to pursue ahead of me,” Ms. Watts said. “I have gained so many transferable skills I can use going forward.” James Wells, ’17, Gary, Indiana, pursued a legislative internship with the Senate Democrat Caucus, he said, “because I wanted to get some political experience under my belt.” Current Indiana Senate Majority staff, all former Ball State interns, at the Indiana Statehouse. (Left to right) Anna Shuler, ’20; Zac Maier, ’12; Jared Green, ’19; Zach Stock, ’97; Jesse Cordray, ’17; Jeff Papa, MA ’99; Samantha Deese, ’20.

Photo provided by Indiana Senate Majority Communications Office


Winter 2022

5 Ways Ball State Helps Indiana Grow Ball State University believes graduates have a great opportunity to pursue fulfilling careers and meaningful lives by staying in the Hoosier state. Here are five ways Ball State helps Indiana grow.


Over 6,000 graduates enter the workforce each year, prepared by Ball State’s intentional “career relevant” experiences, the University’s Skills Infusion Program, and immersive learning opportunities. They are prepared to tackle the problems of firms of all sizes and to engage in emerging markets, like the new e-sports partnership with the Indy Sports Corporation.

2 3

The number of Ball State students who remain in state— 70 percent of students stay in Indiana.

Ball State works with the Indiana Brain Gain initiative to attract Ball State alumni back to Indiana. This effort aims to encourage talented and motivated alumni to live and work in our great state. This initiative is a partnership between the University and TMap.


Our partnership with Forge Your Path is strong and effective. A 10-county coalition in East Central Indiana (ECI), Forge Your Path has been recognized by the Indiana Destination Development Corporation as a way to help people learn about the assets and places to visit or move to in our state. Also Forge Your Path has helped turn ECI into a 21st Century Talent Region.


Ball State’s Teachers College has developed innovative partnerships and regularly provides resources to help teachers across the state. From the partnership with Muncie Community Schools, in developing learning modules to help schools throughout the state during the pandemic, to the efforts of Burris and the Indiana Academy to demonstrate best practices in education of all kinds, Ball State continues to uphold its place as Indiana’s premier teacher’s college.

He tapped into his urban planning knowledge he gained at Ball State. He also came to realize the value of self-promotion. “Not in an egotistical sense, but you have to put yourself out there, suggest meeting people for coffee or a bite to eat,” said Mr. Wells, a former president of Ball State’s Student Government Association. James Wells, ’17 “The internship helped me realize, every situation takes on a specific meaning,” he said, “… but the way to problem-solve doesn’t change. I got to see how things connect, from the Statehouse, to Fortune 500 companies, to nonprofits. It was great being able to take all these ideas and create a good message, but also learn how to listen.” Mr. Wells now works as a neighborhood advocate for Indianapolis mayor Joe Hogsett. He also is vice president of Indiana Young Democrats. Jalen Jones, ’20, started working in January 2020 as a legislative intern for the Indiana House Democratic Caucus. As the recipient of the Jesse Nixon Award—which recognizes graduating senior students of color who break

barriers and make positive lasting impacts at Ball State—Mr. Jones puts his computer skills to work tracking constituency inquiries. His innovations have helped to place state resources where they are needed most. Two evenings a week, Mr. Jones would drive back to Ball State for a capstone class. Other evenings Jalen Jones, ’20 he completed coursework for an online class. “I immediately told myself I couldn’t do this, but I received a lot of encouragement from my professors and advisors,” he said. Mr. Jones’ tenacity paid off. “I got to work closely with legislators and had a front-row seat seeing where bills originated, when they passed out of committee, when they were presented for first reading and when they were sent on to the House,” he said. Mr. Jones now serves as a legislative assistant to Indiana House Democrats. “I’m grateful to be in a position to change lives of those who need help and to amplify their voices,” he said. 

Ball State University Alumni Magazine | WE FLY


Bridging the Gap


ast May, about 50 residents of Muncie’s Whitely neighborhood participated in a forum aimed at enhancing community relations with Muncie and Ball State University police officers. They performed mock traffic stops and, in an eye-opening role reversal, made mock arrests of police officers, depending on the scenario. The forum—facilitated by Ball State University students—took place amid a year of nationwide protests aimed at addressing police brutality. Muncie’s Whitely residents wanted to positively build partnerships with local police. “I think as a result of these and other forums, we’ve been able to better appreciate where the other side is coming from,” said Frank Scott, president of the Whitely Community Council, which represents a predominantly Black community on Muncie’s East Side. “I think many of us never realized the pressure police are under and all the things they have to take into consideration in one instant.” Also important, Mr. Scott said, was the opportunity for residents to sit down with the officers and talk about non-police related matters such as their hobbies, favorite sports teams, and family roles. The students facilitating the forum were pupils of Dr. Kiesha Warren-Gordon, an associate professor of Criminal Justice and Criminology who earned her bachelor’s degree in Criminology from Ball State in 1995. Dr. Warren-Gordon is also director of the University’s African American Studies program. “Whitely is an older community. It has always had a good relationship with police,” Dr. Warren-Gordon said. “What changed with student involvement was having formal programs that supported community dialogue with police.” Mr. Scott said the students’ involvement helped provide a connection between the neighborhood and the police officers. “The students are valuable because they are like the go-between, between us and law enforcement,” he said.

Students help build partnerships between Muncie residents and police. By Susan DeGrane

Dr. Warren-Gordon encouraged her students to focus on needs directly expressed by Whitely residents through surveys and dialogues. The students, she said, don’t provide input on what needs to be done; rather, they help explain to the community members what they hope to achieve, and they help come up with creative ideas to help achieve their goals. With that input, students working in teams organized a forum last Spring at the Muncie Fieldhouse. Students presented suggestions for activities to engage police and community members. One suggestion came from Jordan Olson of St. John, Indiana, who outlined her plan to implement a program in which police officers would read to small children. The Muncie Police Department committed to the reading program this year. Ms. Olson’s efforts earned her an Outstanding Research Award from the Department of Criminal Justice and Criminology. After graduation, she plans to study forensic psychology in graduate school. “I think the best part for me was seeing people in the community have the chance to talk with officers,” Ms. Olson said. “The police seemed grateful to be included, too.” “We are definitely open to building community partnerships,” said Nathan Sloan, ’00, who became chief of the Muncie Police Department in 2020. “I can’t say enough good things about Dr. Warren-Gordon’s efforts and her students.” Chief Sloan was especially excited about the reading project and an upcoming 5K run. Since the forum, Sloan’s department has ramped up community relations efforts in many

“This is about building an understanding that policing is not just about carrying a gun and arresting people; it’s about building partnerships with the communities they serve, building trust.” — Dr. Kiesha Warren-Gordon, ’95

Below: A Ball State student selects a book to read to the Whitely community children with the MPD at an event on campus this past Fall.


n launching her capstone course for Criminology and Criminal Justice majors in 2018, Dr. Warren-Gordon had a specific goal in mind: to help facilitate the establishment of authentic partnerships in the Whitely neighborhood. “This is about building an understanding that policing is not just about carrying a gun and arresting people; it’s about building partnerships with the communities they serve, building trust,” she said.

Members of the Muncie community prepare to read books to children in the Whitely neighborhood. (Back row: left to right) MPD Chief Nathan Sloan, ’00; Whitely Community Council Executive Director Ken Hudson; Dr. Kiesha Warren-Gordon, ’95; Whitely Community Council President Frank Scott. (Front row: left to right) Alexander Aylsworth; Kylie Burris; Leesha Thacker.

36 Winter 2022

Photo by Bobby Ellis, ’13

Ball State University Alumni Magazine | WE FLY


MPD Chief Nathan Sloan brings books to read to children at the Motivate Our Minds event in Whitely neighborhood.

Muncie neighborhoods. Last Summer, Sloan even jumped into a swimming pool in full uniform to show his enthusiasm.


nother capstone project featured a team of five students collaborating with the Whitely Community Council, Muncie and Ball State police departments, and local attorneys to create a pamphlet outlining civil rights and universal protocols for having safe encounters with law enforcement. The project stemmed from residents’ comments that they did not know their personal rights when it came to interactions with the police. Another student team interviewed Whitely residents about experiences with police that changed their lives. The stories took the form of monologues performed at the Muncie Fieldhouse. The students’ work was guided by the Facing Project, a Muncie-based nonprofit that gives tools and a platform for individuals and communities to share their stories, connect across differences, and begin crucial conversations on difficult, complex issues. Launched by alumnus J.R. Jamison, ’01 MA ’03, and author Kelsey Timmerman, Facing

Project has reached more than 80 communities across the country so far. Mr. Jamison—who also serves as executive director of the Indiana Campus Compact and has spent the past two decades promoting community engagement in higher education— recalled one particularly memorable story shared by a Whitely resident. It was later broadcast on the monthly online NPR podcast airing Facing Project stories. The first-person account, told to Kennedy Loveless, ’20, and Nicole Bailey, ’19, captured a turning point for one Whitely resident. Years ago, when the resident was arrested by Muncie Police for outstanding warrants, the man considered jumping out the window of his son’s house. “After about 15 minutes of them knocking and waiting on me, I went on down and turned myself in …” the account read. “… One of the officers said to me, ‘You are going to be all right,’ and he prayed for me.” The man was taken under the wing of Robert Scaife, who personified a humane approach to policing. The retired Muncie police detective now serves as pastor at Union Missionary Baptist Church in Muncie. “Now when I sit back and look at the big picture, I wasn’t arrested; I was rescued,” the man was quoted in his narrative. For Dr. Warren-Gordon’s students, the capstone course can have a lasting impact. “I loved getting to interact with all of the people we interviewed,” one student told Dr. Warren-Gordon in an email. “You are a wonderful example for all of your students on what it means to be involved and give back to the area.” Mr. Scott said that Dr. Warren-Gordon’s ongoing class gives students the chance to get to know community members as people, not just stereotypes. “I enjoy working one-on-one with the students and having the opportunity to change someone’s ideas regarding living and working in predominantly Black communities,” he said. Alivia Varvel, ’19, who grew up in the small community of Brownsburg, Indiana, said the capstone experience broadened her perspective. As a certification specialist for the State of Indiana’s Division of Supplier Diversity in Indianapolis, she assists women and minority-owned business enterprises in completing applications required to compete for state contracts. “The class helped me discover the importance of teamwork and relating to people of other backgrounds,” Ms. Varvel said. 

Beloved UPD Officer Retires University Police Department (UPD) Lt. Terrell Smith, a Ball State campus icon, retired in August after 30 years of service. Known for his everpresent smile, Smith drew high praise from Jim Duckham, UPD’s Chief of Police. “Lieutenant Smith is the epitome of community policing,” Chief Duckham said. “Terrell was doing ‘community policing’ before ‘community policing’ was a thing. He has never met a stranger. Terrell has been able to break down barriers between the police and community with his personality and total dedication to his job. He’s as close to being irreplaceable as they come.”

JOIN CARDINALS CONNECT Cardinals Connect is a free, interactive platform that allows Ball State students and alumni to network both personally and professionally with fellow Cardinals around the world. This exclusive virtual network allows users a safe space to reach out for mentoring guidance and professional direction. • More than 3,600 active users • Flexible mentoring options: You decide how many people to mentor at one time and how much time you’d like to dedicate • Special interest groups: Join one of the more than 30 affinity-based groups to communicate with alumni and students in your profession, geographic region, or student organization. You can also start your own! • Everything at your fingertips: Messaging, calendar scheduling, and video chatting • Give back to current students and young alumni by sharing your professional experiences and expertise

Cardinals Connect is a beneficial program for students and alumni. It keeps Cardinals connected across generations and can lead to career opportunities for current students.

Ball State President Geoffrey S. Mearns sees a close link between Smith’s contributions and one of the University’s core values of service to others.

—Kelly, Class of 2021

“Lt. Smith is known for his warm smile and his quick wit. He is beloved by many of his colleagues, our students, and many more of our graduates,” President Mearns said. “I know he has been inspired and encouraged by our University’s mission. I’ve certainly been inspired by him.”

CARDINALSCONNECT.COM or download the mobile app on

Search “Graduway Community”

38 Winter 2022

Search “Cardinals Connect”

Class Notes

Class Notes

Easy to Be Involved Alumni Council member says there’s a role to fit any schedule.

From the Alumni Association President

The Power of Your Partnership Alumni are key contributors to Ball State University’s success—by giving time, lending expertise, and donating. The Alumni Association provides pathways to help students, the University, and one another. Partners in student success: • More than 200 alumni are helping Miller College of Business’ SOAR classes by mentoring students. This is one of many programs looking for help; join to become a mentor. • Ball State license plates provide nearly $250,000 each year to Legacy Scholarships. Indiana residents can select this vehicle plate during renewal. If you already have a Ball State plate, check the box to disclose your information to the BSUAA during registration so we can thank you. • Alumni, share your Ball State story with high school leaders and let admissions know about great students in your community. Refer a future Cardinal at

2800 W. Bethel Ave. Muncie, IN 47304 765-285-1080 Toll Free: 888-I-GO-4-BSU ballstatealumni BallStateAlumni BSUFoundation

Visit Ball State

Partners in University success: • Nearly 1,000 alumni and industry leaders serve on various boards, as speakers, and as vital resources to ensure we are preparing students for fulfilling careers and meaningful lives. Learn more about volunteering at • Last year, more than 22,000 households donated to Ball State. Thank you! Gifts to the University fund scholarships, vital academic programs, capital projects, and help the University invest for the future. • You know the value of a Ball State education. Make sure our community leaders recognize the impact of higher education. Promote Ball State in your community by sharing with local and state leaders the value and importance of continued support.

Partners in your success: • Ball State is your resource for lifelong learning. From degrees, to certificates, to licensures, program offerings continue to grow. Start your journey by visiting professionaldevelopment • CHIRP webinars are by alumni for alumni. Each one provides expertise and personal advice on navigating your career. Tune into a quarterly broadcast, or watch past programs at

Jamie Acton President, Ball State Alumni Association


Winter 2022

• The Ball State Career Center includes career coaching, resume review, and job search assistance. If you are looking to hire, then the Career Center is your gateway to our talented students and alumni. Learn more at Because of you, WE FLY! — Jamie

Join Cardinals Connect Online

Attend an Alumni Event

Join an Alumni Chapter

Your Representatives The Alumni Council is the voice of Ball State’s 201,000 alumni. Learn more about them at

Keep in Touch  Submit Class Notes and In Memory entries by filling out the online form at  Alumni, please visit and click “ALUMNI DIRECTORY” to update your information.  Ball State alumni, family, and friends may send address updates by email at


ick Zuniga, ’04, joined the Ball State Alumni Council in 2009 and has a rich history of volunteerism with his alma mater, dating back to when he was a student. Reflecting on his Ball State experience, Mr. Zuniga believes the best part of his education was to “learn the value of service to others and how to incorporate that into my professional life.” A Public Relations and Political Science major, he went on to serve in positions with Lambda Chi Alpha fraternity and Texas A&M University. Today, the Carmel, Indiana, native serves as executive director of Phi Sigma Kappa fraternity and foundation. Mr. Zuniga recently discussed the importance of staying connected to his alma mater, and the increasing value of a Ball State degree. How have you seen Ball State University change over the years? Former President Jo Ann Gora had a big emphasis on creating new opportunities for students through increased access to the latest technologies, a forward-looking infrastructure plan, and a foundational emphasis on immersive learning. And that’s continued under President (Geoffrey S.) Mearns. I believe the value of a Ball State degree has increased greatly and the opportunities here continue to grow. We take a back seat to no one here at Ball State, and that’s something I love sharing with our alumni. What do you tell recent graduates about staying connected to Ball State? Certainly, I hope that graduates of any age will continue to engage with Ball State, but for our more recent grads, I believe there are so many other factors these days competing for their attention. Life can be very complicated starting a career and a family, and the other things life throws at them. But I know from my own experience that I didn’t really realize the value of my degree until I was out for a few years. Staying connected to Ball State afforded me professional networking opportunities and a level of pride in my accomplishments here that helped me so much in my career path. For me, it was my family, my faith, and then my education at Ball State. Those are things that sustained me and always will, and it’s a message I try to convey whenever I can.

You have given a great deal of your time to stay involved with Ball State. But you also believe our alumni can make a difference no matter what level of involvement they choose. Why is that? That’s absolutely true. I tell alumni, ‘You don’t have to donate 100 hours a year to make a difference. You can be a student mentor with the Cardinals Connect program, speak to a class, or just be a goodwill ambassador.’ The COVID-19 pandemic had some unintended positive consequences, and perhaps one of those was the increased usage of virtual meeting technologies such as Zoom. You can contribute from anywhere now, and it’s a great feeling to share your expertise and experiences with current Ball State students. There are so many areas where our alumni can stay involved and make a difference without making a large time commitment. Sometimes, all we have to do is ask—and we need to do more of that! What motivates you to stay involved? I am seeing the Ball State strategic plan come to life in a very exciting way, and the future is extremely bright. Working in higher education and seeing many other institutions, I’m continually impressed with what we do. The University has done so much for me. I’m on a journey with Ball State that I greatly value and want to continue. And I want our alumni to come along with me. The Ball State Alumni Council serves as the governing body of the Alumni Association and is the representative voice of the University’s 201,000 alumni. To learn more, visit

Ball State University Alumni Magazine | WE FLY


Class Notes

Class Notes

20 Years of Discovery Ball State Discovery philanthropic group marks two decades of service. By Betsy Ross, ’72

Above: Discovery Women’s Group Board Members with Jennifer Palilonis (bottom center), George and Frances Ball Distinguished Professor of Multi-Media Journalism, for an event this past Fall. (Front row, left to right) Joann (Stohler) Davis, ’69; Tami (Fick) Hall, ’87, President; (Back row, left to right) Sharon (Losick) Haynes, ’83, Co-Vice President and Co-Grants Committee Chair; Jill (Sabatino) Lacy, ’92, Outreach Committee Chair; Sue Whitaker, Co-Vice President and CoGrants Chair; Marla (Fisher) Templeton, ’81, Programs Committee Chair; Beth (Southard) Petry Williams, ’78, Secretary; Betsy Ross, ’72

42 Winter 2022


his past Fall was special for Ball State’s Discovery Women’s Philanthropic Leadership group. As the organization celebrated two decades of giving, it was looking toward the future of how its outreach can further support Ball State students and faculty—while serving Muncie and the surrounding communities. The Discovery group started from an interest in helping Ball State projects move from ideas to reality, according to one of its organizers, Mary Ann Olinger, MA ’74, former senior director of development at Ball State. She said the group ultimately wanted to meet two objectives: highlight noteworthy projects and programs at Ball State, and engage alumnae and community women with the University. “We began by identifying women who were involved with the University in some way, such as faculty and staff, volunteers, ticket holders, donors, alumnae and parents,” Ms. Olinger said. “We invited small groups to a series of luncheons featuring speakers conducting innovative programs, groundbreaking research, and the like. “The lunches were popular and generated interest in the amazing work going on in the classrooms and laboratories on campus,” she continued. “Faculty members and students appreciated the opportunity to share their work

and their plans for the future. After one such presentation, one of our guests asked the question, ‘How can we help?’” From that simple question came the foundation for Discovery Women’s Group. Since its first grant cycle in 2002, Discovery has awarded more than $1 million in grants to about 50 projects at Ball State. As it starts its third decade of service, the group is looking to expand its membership and projects funded. Some of the projects that have been funded so far include Cardinal Wellness, a community wellness program combining exercise and nutrition instruction; Book Arts Club for Muncie Central High School, in which bookbinding and printing on vintage machines are taught; and Discovery Urban Planning Initiative, aimed at high school students in Muncie and surrounding areas. Scott Truex, ’80 MA ’82, applied for the Urban Planning Initiative grant that introduces high school students to urban planning through a gaming, scenario-building process. “The great thing about this grant is that it allows us to run these pilots, get our feet wet, learn a lot about what will work, what doesn’t work. This is a long-term commitment that our department wants to make to introduce our profession, to introduce Ball State and we have big plans on how this will roll out state wide and beyond,” said Mr. Truex, department chairperson

and associate professor in the Department of Urban Planning in Ball State’s R. Wayne Estopinal College of Architecture and Planning. The Book Arts Collaborative at Muncie Central uses a 50-year-old printing press purchased through the Discovery grant to teach students how to create books, cards and posters. “My students were so engaged in the idea of Discovery,” professor Dr. Rai Peterson, MA ’82 PhD ’91, said. “They love the idea that it is a women’s investment group, they were delighted to think of the way Discovery operates. “I’ve been at Ball State for 40 years, and I’ve had the opportunity to recruit new faculty to our department. And one of the fantastic things about Ball State is its emphasis on innovative learning,” Dr. Peterson said. “I think that Discovery is hand-in-hand with that. Because without funding for those grand ideas, they’re just grand ideas. I just think it’s fantastic that we have Discovery supporting the best ideas that bring innovative learning to the students at Ball State.” Ms. Olinger sees a bright future for the Discovery group. “Over the years, these details have changed, but the group and the fund continue to offer support to the University,” she said. “Discovery funds have touched many diverse academic entities and countless students.” To find out how to become a member of Discovery, visit

Among the group’s many efforts, the Discovery Women’s Group funds the Teachers College High Riding Art, Science, and Equestrian Camp.

Taking Care of Family With a simple form and a little guidance from the Ball State University Foundation, the Jensen’s planned gift ensures that future creative Cardinals have the opportunity to fly.

Learn about the benefits of making a charitable bequest, trust, beneficiary designation, or other planned gift, and read Jonathan and Jessica’s story about giving back, at

“Taking care of family—and each other—was the most important reason for us to establish a planned gift. We [chose to] give to the Department of Theatre and Dance, which has given us so much.” Jonathan, ’10, and Jessica, ’08, Jensen

Class Notes

Class Notes

Two Years of Gratitude


DISTINGUISHED ALUMNI AWARD Our highest honor for alumni recognized their loyalty and significant contributions to their professions, communities, and society.

The 2021 annual Fall Homecoming Alumni & Benefactors Recognition Dinner had many memorable moments. Award winners who were in attendance from both 2020 and 2021 were recognized for their contributions, including Indiana First Lady Janet Holcomb, ’92 MA ’96, who received an Alumni Achievement Award. She and her husband, Governor Eric Holcomb, attended the dinner.

FELLOWS SOCIETY | VISIONARIES Recognized for their outstanding commitment to Ball State University and for their gifts to the University totaling $10 million and above

Gaylor Electric (2020) Mary Dollison, ’64 MAE ’74 (2021)

Daniel Prickel, ’76 MBA ’80 (2021)

Roy Weaver, ’68 MAE ’94 (2021)

ALUMNI ACHIEVEMENT AWARD Honored alumni whose achievements brought distinction to themselves and recognition to Ball State.

Indiana Michigan Power, an AEP Company (2021)


Sarah Hempstead, ’98 BAR ’98 (2020)

William Baker, ’95 (2021)

Scheumann Family

Janet Holcomb, ’92 MA ’96 (2021)

Timothy Stoner, ’93 MS ’94 (2021)

BENNY AWARD Honored Ball State alumni, faculty and staff, and businesses that contributed outstanding service to the University.

FELLOWS SOCIETY | FOUNDERS Recognized for their outstanding commitment to Ball State University and for their gifts to the University totaling $1 million–$2.49 million

Hamer D. and Phyllis C. Shafer Foundation (2020) STUDENT PHILANTHROPY AWARD (2020) Ally Fleckenstein, ’21 Madison Surface (2021) Myra Carleton, ’21 Grace Medrano, ’21 Isaac Miller, ’21 Not able to attend FELLOWS SOCIETY | FOUNDERS (2020) Karen and Niel, ’70 LLD ’08, Ellerbrook Amy and Mike, ’83, Ray Denise and Scott, ’81, Saxman Cassidy and Dan, ’94, Towriss

Barbara Alvarez Bohanon and Cecil Bohanon (2020) 44 Winter 2022

Michelle, ’81, and Jim Ryan (2021)

FELLOWS SOCIETY | TRADITIONS Alice, ’54 MA ’63, and Joe Rinard FELLOWS SOCIETY | LEGENDS Edmund and Virginia Ball Foundation

Stephanie Arrington (2020)

Brian Hayes, ’96 MA ’02 MAE ’10 (2020)

Michael Smith, ’73 (2020)

GOLD AWARD (2020) Megan Gish Carrico, ’12 Joseph “JD” Dalfonso, ’10 Megan Farley, ’12 Rachel Handt, ’13 Emily McGowan McGee, ’11 Michele Murday, ’13 Samantha Keen Parmerlee, ’15 Josh Spencer, ’11

Thomas D. Gayda, ’98 MA ’05 (2021)

GOLD AWARD (2021) Kayla Davion, ’17 Anthony Gary, ’12 Zach Hartley, ’13 Jack Hesser, ’16 Zachary Huffman, ’16 Grace Jefferies, ’16 Jenna Martin, ’11 Angela Parks, ’12 Rebekah Steele, ’12

Christy Horn, ’81 MA ’10 (2021)

Not able to attend DISTINGUISHED ALUMNI AWARD Robert G. Hunt, ’69 LLD ’18 (2020) HONORARY ALUMNI AWARD Jeffrey Smulyan (2020) Joe Rinard (2021) BENNY AWARD Gayle Hartleroad, ’95 MA ’97 (2020)

Ball State University Alumni Magazine | WE FLY


Class Notes

Class Notes

Cardinal Pride

Ball State Honors the Life of Professor Tony Edmonds The Ball State community mourned the loss of Dr. Anthony “Tony” Edmonds, distinguished professor emeritus of History, who died on Aug. 9.

Positive Influence Kelli Lawrence, ’01, has been recognized as a 2021 Woman of Influence by the Indianapolis Business Journal. CEO of Onyx+East, Ms. Lawrence has played a key role in the development, construction, and asset management of over 3,500 residential units valued at more than $650 million. She formerly served as chair of the Ball State Alumni Council and is a recipient of the Graduate of the Last Decade (G.O.L.D.) Award. Ms. Lawrence graduated with a Bachelor’s of Urban Planning and Development.

1970s Frances Lee Watson, ’76, recently received a 2021 Woman of Influence award by the Indianapolis Business Journal. Ms. Watson is a clinical professor of Law at the Indiana University McKinney School of Law, where she is also director of the Wrongful Conviction Clinic. Gary Vance, ’77, Carmel, IN, authored the Kid Architect children’s book series. The series has three books: Kid Architect Goes to Columbus, Indiana; Kid Architect Goes to Indiana; and Kid Architect Goes to Moody Nolan Architects. Amy McVay Abbott, ’79 MA ’83, Newburgh, IN, published Centennial Farm Family: Cultivating Land and Community 1837-1937, a survival story of four generations of her family after tragedy claimed her great grandfather’s life. Photo courtesy of Onyx+East

Ball State University BallState ballstateuniversity ballstate officialballstate

1950s Mary “Jo” (Bergin) Beck, ’57, Clifton, TX, taught in Indianapolis Public Schools for many years. She is an accomplished artist and has taught watercolor workshops in Georgia, Florida, and Texas. Her works are mainly still life and western-themed, and she has a gallery and studio on the family ranch, The Double Star.



Boyce Duvall, MA ’67, Grapevine, TX, is the author of two books, Earn 5 to 10% Monthly Selling Options: Specific Step-By-Step WealthBuilding System, and Earn Income Selling Stock Options: Wealth BuildingSystem. He is working on a third book that will cover strategies on how to make money if the stock market goes up or down. Now retired, Mr. Duvall worked as a director of Human Resources for an oil and gas company in Texas. His wife, Barbara, ’67, is a retired college professor and management consultant.

46 Winter 2022

Ron Collier, ’79, New Palestine, IN, Indiana Members Credit Union President and CEO, donated $2,500 to establish an annual scholarship for an incoming Ball State University first-year student from New Palestine High School. This year’s recipient is Katelyn Sandlon, who is a double-major in Biology and Pre-Med.

Dr. Edmonds taught at Ball State University for 44 years. He retired in 2013, but continued to teach history online until Fall 2018.

Please visit to find “In Memoriam” notices of alumni deaths. The site also shares stories from past print issues, and unique online content.

Dr. Edmonds joined the University’s History Department as an assistant professor in 1969. Throughout his illustrious career, he won numerous teaching awards, established the Academic Honors in Writing program, served as chair and faculty advisor for the History Department, and taught courses in the Honors College. From 1974 to 2009, Dr. Edmonds welcomed students at orientation with a lecture about the merits of a liberal arts education. He spoke to an estimated 250,000 incoming students and their family members over the course of those Summers.

“Before I came to Ball State, I read the book he co-wrote with Dr. Geelhoed, which was instrumental to my understanding of the University,” President Mearns said. “Dr. Edmonds will be remembered through his scholarship and through his legacy of inspiring our students to become lifelong learners.” Dr. Edmonds also left an indelible mark on the Honors College, alongside his wife, Dr. Joanne Edmonds, assistant dean emeritus of the college. The couple directed Socratic-like colloquia, led an intensive humanities seminar at the Virginia Ball Center for Creative Inquiry, and took undergraduate students to study abroad in England. Dr. Tony Edmonds is survived by Joanne and their three sons. — Gail Werner, ’04

Rebecca L. Silva, ’79, Riverside, CA, recently co-edited Life After Lockdown: Resetting Perceptions of Autism. This work explores how the world has changed during the pandemic and provides a roadmap for individuals on the autism spectrum and their families, special education teachers, social service providers, and anyone struggling with anxiety or social issues due to COVID-19.

and founder of, and a former Journalism and Telecommunications instructor at Ball State.


Michele S. Denny, ’95, Fishers, IN, a Livestock Agricultural Specialist at Conner Prairie, published her first children’s book, The Secret Life of Mary the Librarian, which tells the story of her grandmother— a beloved librarian living on a dairy farm.

Ann K. Barton, MA ’95, Greenwood, IN, retired after 38 years of dedicated service to Franklin College. Ms. Barton was assistant director of the Pulliam School of Journalism and assistant to the president for special projects. Peter D. DiPrimio, ’81

Peter D. DiPrimio, ’81, Bloomington, IN, published The Quest for Indiana University Football Glory, the story of coach Tom Allen. Mr. DiPrimio DiPrimio has also published over 25 children’s books. He was inducted into the Indiana Sports Writers and Sportscasters Hall of Fame in 2016. John R. Shafer, ’82 MA ’83, Franklin, IN, retired from Franklin College as director of counseling, student development. Mr. Shafer joined the staff as assistant dean of student services in 1983. Christel House International has promoted Barbara “Bobbi” Bosch, ’88, Indianapolis, to senior vice president of marketing and development. Ms. Bosch joined Christel House in 2013 after serving as director of corporate and foundation relations for the Indiana University Foundation. Ms. Bosch was also on the Indiana House Republican Campaign Committee when Dan Quayle was Vice President of the United States.


Ron Collier, ’79

President Geoffrey S. Mearns said Dr. Edmonds’ contributions to the University are profound and enduring.

John E. Girton, Jr., ’92, Indianapolis, advanced from director of Marketing and Communications to vice president for Marketing and Communications at Martin University. Mr. Girton is a community activist

Jan Behounek, ’96, La Grange, IL, is the new Higher Education Practice Leader with FGM Architects. Behounek joined first as principal in 2019, and is a board member of the Chicago Building Congress.

John E. Girton, Jr., ’92

Sean W. Abercrombie, ’99, Louisville, KY, was promoted to the position of Project/Architect Manager for the Louisville office of Schmidt Associates—an architecture and engineering firm based in Indianapolis. Mr. Abercrombie’s work has included an array of projects, from civic to corporate and healthcare to hospitality. Ball State alumni Damon Hewlin, ’99, and Brian A. Robinson, ’00, continue to join forces with Ramon Morrison (Indiana State University) to run their business Meticulous Design + Architecture, the largest minority-owned architectural firm in Indiana. Jeffrey L. Papa, MA ’99, Sheridan, IN, chief of staff and general counsel for the Indiana Senate, has been appointed Editor-in-Chief of the Mensa Research Journal. Dr. Papa has been a member of Mensa since 1996.

Ann K. Barton, MA ’95

Michele S. Denny, ’95

Ball State University Alumni Magazine | WE FLY


Class Notes

Class Notes

Cara L. Pittenger, ’06 MM ’08

Jacob K. Hogan, ’08 MA ’11

Corey Clark, ’15 MAR ’17

2000s Sisters Lauren E. Spath Luhring, ’05, Lafayette, CO, and Johanna Spath, ’08, Silver Springs, MD, co-founded and run a social justice book club for children. Jojo’s Book Club provides free, read-aloud videos, and other resources for parents, teachers, and caregivers by and about people of color and underrepresented groups. Cara L. Pittenger, ’06 MM ’08, Noblesville, IN, assumed the role of executive director of the Carmel Symphony Orchestra. Ms. Pittenger was a member of orchestras in Anderson, Muncie, Marion, and Kokomo, and performed in the 38th infantry Division Band during her service in the U.S. Army.

Baking with Love for Her Football Cardinals How much does Bonnie (Einstandig) Hill, ’72, love her Ball State football Cardinals? Interestingly, the answer can be found in her kitchen. For the past 30 years, Ms. Hill has provided her scrumptious homemade baked goods to the coaches and staff before every game, home or away. She started the tradition back in 1990.

Under the leadership of Jack D. Shepler, Jr., ’07, Indianapolis, CEO and founder of Ayokay (a marketing and web development agency), the firm was a featured business of the week on the National LGBT Chamber of Commerce. Mr. Shepler was also named a finalist for Indy’s Best and Brightest in the technology sector in 2017 and 2021. In 2019, he served as the Indy Pride entertainment director and booked international pop star Lizzo for the event. He has volunteered for Indy Pride for the last 10 years. Jacob K. Hogan, ’08 MA ’11, North Liberty, IN, was named agribusiness lender with Interra Credit Union. In his role, Mr. Hogan will assist and support agribusiness members with filling their financial and lending needs.

2010s Stacy L. Coleman, MAE ’13 EdD ’21, Fishers, IN, became the third generation in her family to graduate with a doctorate from Ball State University. Her father, Dr. Charles E. Coleman, MPA ’77 EdD ’90, Carmel, IN, is principal at Henry W. Longfellow Medical/STEM Middle School 28 in Indianapolis. Corey Clark, ’15 MAR ’17, Fort Wayne, IN, was promoted to senior associate at MKM Architecture + Design. Mr. Clark has been with the firm since 2017.

“Then, Coach Paul Schudel made a plea to campus for more support for the team,” she said. “I thought: ‘I’m a pretty good baker,’ and that’s a good way to help. Now, I’m baking for my sixth different coaching staff.” Photo by Samantha Blankenship, ’15

Ms. Hill was associated with Ball State football long before her baked goods started to make the rounds. She was a student manager on the team in 1975, during her time in grad school, and is the program’s first-ever female football letter winner. She’s also been a loyal member of the Cardinal Varsity Club (CVC) for 40 years.

Ball State Homecoming 2021 Learn more about Ball State’s Homecoming 2021 events at homecoming

Her efforts have not gone unnoticed. “There have been many times I may or may not have made sure to be in the right place at the right time to get a taste,” said Joel Godett, director of broadcasting at Ball State. “What Bonnie does for the coaching staff takes a lot of work, and it’s oftentimes when you might need an in-season pick-me-up.” — Dan Forst, ’85

48 Winter 2022

Rory Sullivan, a drum major with the Pride of Mid-America Marching Band and junior Music Education major, performs at the Ball State University Homecoming parade on Oct. 23. Ball State celebrated 95 years of Homecoming this past Fall— a week-long event with all the annual traditions our alumni love, such as the bed race, Air Jam, parade, and much more. Homecoming is a great way to celebrate the accomplishments and cherished memories of our graduates. Who knows what this year’s Homecoming will bring?

Dr. Charles E. Coleman, MPA ’77 EdD ’90, and daughter, Stacy L. Coleman, MAE ’13 EdD ’21

Ball State University Alumni Magazine | WE FLY


2000 W. University Ave. Muncie, IN 47306 CHANGE SERVICE REQUESTED

The information presented here, correct at the time of publication, is subject to change. Ball State University practices equal opportunity in education and employment and is strongly and actively committed to diversity within its community.




Issuu converts static files into: digital portfolios, online yearbooks, online catalogs, digital photo albums and more. Sign up and create your flipbook.