Alumni Magazine-Summer 2020

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Caring for each other, and for neighbors near and far, is essential to what it means to be a Cardinal.

New grads Adam Van Dam and Victoria Ruble share a moment with Tobias Broadnax, a junior.

Music to Fly By Alessandro Riccardi came to Ball State to be a piano assistant — teaching piano and playing for ballet classes — and pursue his artist diploma. The Italian native recorded his first piano CD, Alexander Scriabin: The Early Piano Works, in Sursa Hall. We hope you enjoy this image and the refreshed look of Ball State University Alumni magazine. Photo by Bobby Ellis

From the President


Commitment to Excellence and Service, Now More Than Ever


4 News 12 Community

Dear Alumni and Friends: Every day, I hear stories about how our alumni live our University’s values, symbolized by Beneficence. These enduring values include social responsibility. At Ball State, we provide our students with a premier education. We also serve our neighbors, near and far. In this issue of Ball State University Alumni magazine, you will find just a few examples of the countless ways our alumni, faculty and staff, and students serve their communities, the state of Indiana, our country, and the world. Even in uncertain times, we have reason to celebrate these successes and our people. As I reflect on the past few months, and on our University’s response to mitigate the threat of COVID-19, I feel profound gratitude. It has been so inspiring to see how the challenges we face have brought out the best in Cardinals. Our outstanding faculty have developed creative ways to teach remotely. Our resilient students have sustained their commitment to learning. Our dedicated staff continue their support so that we can maintain essential services. And we have served people on and off campus, both as an institution and through volunteer efforts. I could not be more proud of my colleagues. And I could not be more grateful to you, our alumni and friends. In difficult times, you have demonstrated unwavering devotion. During One Ball State Day, you continued the tradition of Cardinals helping Cardinals. We focused our fundraising efforts solely on our students, who need our support now more than ever. I am impressed that many of you chose to help our students during this time of great need. On April 7, Ball State raised more than $500,000 in gifts from more than 5,400 donors. A substantial amount, about $145,000, bolsters two important funds established to assist students with extraordinary financial need. (Read more One Ball State Day results on p. 55.) With your philanthropic investments, our University continues to make a transformative impact on the lives of thousands of women and men. Here in Indiana, that impact is felt in the number of our students who continue to work and pursue educational opportunities in the state after graduation (see graph on p. 15), and we are grateful for our partnership with the Indiana General Assembly, which provides vital support to Ball State in so many ways. It is a privilege to serve as president of our exceptional University. These past months have demonstrated how Ball State is a special place. With a commitment to excellence and service, we continue to look toward a bright future. We Fly — especially during challenging times. Sincerely,


20 Sports Ball State University Alumni magazine is published twice yearly.

56 Class Notes

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.

30 Lifting Spirits

24 Full Circle 38 Problem Solvers 46 For the Kids 50 From Survivor to Warrior

Editor Tim Obermiller

Designer Elizabeth Brooks, ’95

President’s Cabinet Jean Crosby, ’96 President of Ball State University Foundation and Vice President of University Advancement 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 Sue Hodges Moore Chief Strategy Officer Becca Polcz Rice Vice President for Governmental Relations Susana Rivera-Mills Provost and Executive Vice President for Academic Affairs Ro-Anne Royer Engle Vice President for Student Affairs Kathy Wolf Vice President for Marketing and Communications

Ball State University

Geoffrey S. Mearns President, Ball State University PresidentMearns

BallState ballstateuniversity officialballstate ballstateuniversity


Summer 2020


Frog Baby

Photo by Don Rogers

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News Top Ranked and Most Admired

Student teamwork transforms scientific journal into awardwinning comic book

faculty-mentored research projects funded by the National Science Foundation (NSF). These students were part of the NSF’s Louis Stokes Alliances for Minority Participation (LSAMP) program at Ball State. Lucky for the graphics students, their classmates in the LSAMP program had finished research projects and presented their findings at poster sessions. That meant the LSAMP Scholars had source materials to work from.


Read the students’ comic book style research paper at


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ony Stark and Bruce Banner would be impressed. Granted, Marvel Studios probably won’t produce anything soon about allosteric regulation of glutamate dehydrogenase 1 by mitoNEET. But the comic book created by a team of graphic arts management and underrepresented chemistry and biology students has caught the attention of professionals around the country. As part of an immersive learning project, the group took the complexities of scientific research and articulated the findings into the hyper-vibrant, onomatopoeia-packed style of a comic book. The graphic arts management students submitted their final product for awards during the Technical Association of the Graphic Arts (TAGA) annual conference, and they walked away the Special Recognition Award for Design Quality. Through Ball State’s inclusion in Konica Minolta Education Loan program, the graphic arts students had use of a state-of-the-art digital press. However, the students still needed content. They connected with a group of Ball State science majors who had just completed

Hands on and real world The partnership yielded a 133-page explanation of the scholars’ scientific research. But there was one major difference between their work and what is commonly found in the pages of a standard science journal. Woven throughout the abstracts, charts, and references in the student-produced journal, a narrative unfolds for Blue Atom, Bright Flame, Lady Helix, and Chemical X. Color-coordinated around the traditional cyan, magenta, yellow, and black print pallets, the heroes seek to rescue the LSAMP research from the evil villain and cybernetic-augmented Dr. Viktor Hazard. The creative twist on the presentation of scientific research impressed the judges enough at TAGA’s national conference that the graphics students took home a first-place award for their publications design. On top of the award, the Ball State chapter of the professional group surged by 500% during the course of the project. Meanwhile, the LSAMP Scholars gained team-building skills and experienced new ways to spark an interest in science among nonscientists. And while team members can’t claim they saved the day, per se, the group proved what happens when a crack team with different skills assembles to bring a colorful new twist to scientific studies. — Dan Human, ’09

DesignIntelligence — an independent company dedicated to the success of organizations in architecture, engineering, construction, and design — recently gave high marks to programs within the R. Wayne Estopinal College of Architecture and Planning. The rankings include:

among most admired landscape architecture undergraduate programs

among most admired landscape architecture graduate programs

Landscape architecture educators: Malcolm Cairns

Landscape architecture schools by focus areas: Top 10 in all 12 areas among undergrad programs Top 10 in 10 areas (12 total) among graduate programs

Interior design schools: 10th among programs of similar size Architecture schools: 15th among programs of similar size

Top STEM Scholar S

iara Sandwith is the 12th Ball State student to be awarded a Goldwater Scholarship, the nation’s most prestigious scholarship for undergraduates planning to pursue research-focused careers in the STEM fields of science, technology, engineering, and math.

An Honors College student and biology major with a concentration in cellular and molecular biology, Siara works in the lab of Philip Smaldino, an assistant professor of cell biology, helping conduct research on the association between a specific gene mutation and Lou Gehrig’s disease, or amyotrophic lateral sclerosis. After earning a doctorate in biomedical science, Siara plans to work in a biomedical company researching neurodegenerative diseases.

Three New Leaders


resident Mearns appointed Ro-Anne Royer Engle as vice president for Student Affairs, a position she had held on an interim basis. Arriving at Ball State in 2000, Royer Engle served in leadership roles in Housing and Residence Life and the Multicultural Center. “Ro-Anne has worked diligently and effectively to provide our students with experiences and support programs that enhance their success and prepare them for fulfilling careers and meaningful lives,” said Mearns. Means also appointed Paula Luff as vice president for enrollment planning and management. With more than 30 years in higher education, she is a first-generation college graduate who most recently served as interim vice president for enrollment management at DePaul University in Chicago. “I have dedicated my professional career to helping others achieve their dreams through education and welcome the opportunity to continue that mission at Ball State.” Anand R. Marri is the new dean of Teachers College, Provost Susana Rivera-Mills announced. Marri recently served as dean and professor of the Warner Graduate School of Education and Human Development at the University of Rochester in New York. After earning his doctorate from the University of Wisconsin, Madison, he joined Teachers College at Columbia University, where his research focused on economic literacy, multicultural and urban education, and teacher education. He also founded the Economic Literacy Initiative.

Ro-Anne Royer Engle

Paula Luff

Anand R. Marri

Vice President for Student Affairs

Vice President for Enrollment Planning and Management

Dean of Teachers College

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Student Makes Big Impression


abe Cochard is a Ball State nursing major who wants to go into pediatrics after graduation next May. “I picked nursing because I like helping people, but I also like science.” In January, a 60-foot banner featuring Gabe was installed on the side of Teachers College building at the Scramble Light. It’s part of a refresh to the successful “We Fly” marketing campaign launched in Fall 2017. Featuring students from all Ball State colleges, the refreshed campaign features eyecatching banners and signs on campus, interstate billboards, digital ads, and a new TV commercial. When asked to pose for the campaign, Gabe assumed he’d be on a pamphlet. Seeing the banner was a big surprise, “but also pretty cool.” He grew up on a farm outside Greenfield, Indiana. He and his sister Rebekah — also a Ball State student — are commuter ambassadors for the Office of Graduation and Retention, making sure that students like themselves who commute to classes take full advantage of University resources. He appreciates the hands-on experiences in professional environments offered by the College of Health. “The University does everything it can to make sure that its students excel in their area of study.” — Nick Werner, ’03

King of the Wheel

In the middle of the coronavirus outbreak, a news article called Ball State student Christian Dixie “precisely what the world needs now.” That’s because of how Christian skillfully dominated the Wheel of Fortune game show as part of the program’s College Week. In a March 17 broadcast, he kindly crushed his opponents from the University of Iowa and University of California, Berkeley, with irresistible enthusiasm and a nonstop smile. Christian won more than $65,000. And he did it all while wearing a Ball State sweatshirt. “To have people see who I really am on a national level is mindblowing to me. I’m just so blessed and grateful to have all this positive feedback and just so many people uplifted by how happy I was on the show.” Christian is from Fort Wayne, Indiana, and a 2019 graduate of Northrop High School. His goal is to become a TV news reporter. His Wheel appearance was the second time in two months that Dixie served as a high-profile ambassador for Ball State. In February, the University installed new “We Fly” billboards throughout the state, and one of them featured Dixie with his megawatt smile. “I love it here at Ball State,” he said. “I’ve already done so much as a freshman.” — Nick Werner, ’03

Photo by Carol Kaelson


Summer 2020

Photo by Lucinda Stipp

Watch Christian’s episode on Wheel of Fortune’s YouTube channel — search for “Christian Dixie.”

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In Reopening, Safety is Priority President Mearns: “Our work is more important, and more impactful, than ever before.”


he word unprecedented has been used a lot lately,” said President Geoffrey S. Mearns, “but few words better describe the way the COVID-19 outbreak has impacted us — personally, professionally, and on Ball State’s campus.” Beginning Monday, March 16, the University suspended in-person classes for the duration of the Spring semester. In-person classes were replaced with virtual instruction and other alternative learning options, which continued through the Summer. In transitioning to remote learning, “our faculty demonstrated their creativity and agility — and their commitment to the success of our students,” said Mearns, who also praised students for “their resilience and grit by continuing their education under very difficult circumstances.” Another difficult but necessary decision: delaying Spring and Summer Commencements until October 10. In May, Governor Holcomb issued an executive order outlining plans to reopen Indiana’s economy, while continuing to protect

the health and safety of the state’s citizens and visitors. Consistent with that the University began planning to prepare to resume appropriate in-person academic activities and many campus operations for the Fall semester, but within the context of the current public health crisis. The President created a taskforce to coordinate the safe transition of faculty and staff back to campus through the Summer; the return of students back to campus in August; and maintenance of a safe campus environment. “The questions are about pace, planning, and protections. In answering these critical questions, we will be prudent and innovative — and committed to our mission,” he said. “Our work is more important, and more impactful, than ever before. Our students need a premier education to prepare them for this dynamic economy and an ever-changing world, and our friends and neighbors need our continued support. “Let us embrace these unprecedented challenges with abiding optimism in a brighter future.” — Tim Obermiller

(Left) When the pandemic hit Indiana, Ball State costume shop director Emily Ruiz led a team in making medical masks for area nursing homes. Project Benny: Masks for Muncie is a group of local stitchers that includes Ball State retirees and current employees, students, and members of the community. (Below) McKinley Avenue Agency — a student-run advertising and media sales agency — decided the best way to support the community was to offer free advertising services to help struggling local businesses.

To get updates on news impacting the campus community, go to

A Good Fight A

Mike Prater, associate professor of art education, conducted Spring semester 2020 classes from his home office via virtual instruction. Here, he works with a painting student using the camera on his laptop to show strokes and progress on art work.


Summer 2020

s a Peace Corps volunteer in Mozambique, Geoff Hutchinson,’14, saw the burdens caused by infectious diseases and pledged to do something to help. Today, Hutchinson is on the front lines in the battle against COVID-19, working aroundthe-clock with scientists at a research center operated by the National Institutes of Health outside of Washington, D.C. As a postbaccalaureate research fellow, he is on a team working to develop a vaccine for the virus as researchers transform mountains of data into an understanding of how the disease is spreading and how it can be stopped. Hutchinson describes his role in the research in simple terms: taking a viral protein, putting it on a plate, and then testing to see if the blood has developed antibodies against it. “My time at Ball State prepared me well for this step in my career,” said Hutchinson, who cited many similarities between his current work and the research he did as an undergraduate in Chemistry Professor Patricia Lang’s lab. “But the stakes are much higher now.” — Marc Ransford, ’83 MA ’07

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Another Eco Step B

all State’s strong sustainability work is a big reason it’s one of only two universities that will get campus-specific solar energy designs from a new national contest. A winning team of students in various disciplines has designed and modeled ways to bring more renewable energy to Ball State as part of the first U.S. Department of Energy’s Solar District Cup contest. “At some point, we’ll be pursuing renewable sources of electricity for the whole campus,” said Robert Koester, director of the Center for Energy Research/Education/Service. “But that’s a year or two out. However, as we move forward, we’ll have learned from this contest.” Being asked to participate is prestigious, he noted. “It has to do with our international reputation in sustainability. Certainly geothermal plays a part, but the contest came to Ball State because we’ve had a 35-year history of sustainability efforts.” No Cardinals competed in the 2020 contest because students work mostly in electrical engineering. Ball State provided data about the campus and buildings to the initial 61 teams; 35 were finalists. “For our campus, some teams designed an energy system using the sun, photovoltaics (they convert light to electricity), and battery storage,” said Koester, who’s also an architecture professor. “We’ll be able to put the winning design to good use.” One multipurpose eco-friendly place already on campus is the Health Professions Building. Its rooftop photovoltaics create electricity for the building and save energy, plus the green roof system improves stormwater management, reduces air and noise pollution, and offers wildlife habitat. There’s also an underground stormwater retention system. Koester talked about other recent climaterelated steps Ball State’s taken. “In addition to having a green roof on several buildings now, we’ve been pushing to try to get more photovoltaics installed across the campus. Ultimately, we hope for more on-site solar production of electricity.” — Judy Wolf


Summer 2020

Learn more about Ball State’s sustainability efforts at about/sustainability.

Shafer Tower

Architecture Building Bracken Library Emens Auditorium

Pruis Hall Worthen Arena

DeHority Complex

Green Facts Ball State was one of 12 founding signers on a national collegiate environmental pact; we’ve also signed an international environmental statement by universities and experts. They’re among our sustainability efforts. More are below.


Dining’s tumblers and mugs are refillable — good for the users, good for the environment.


Landscaping staff creates mulch for campus plantings from yard waste, trimmings.

From the Top Parts of campus have a different look from atop the new Health Professions Building. In different areas are an eco-friendly green roof system and a photovoltaic array. The College of Health’s home also has an underground stormwater retention system that controls the runoff of water.


CAP’s Academy of Sustainability offers undergrads a minor in that area of study.

Photo by Samantha Strahan


Ball State recycles materials, including concrete, from demolition projects.

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Kids See Red With Charlie Challenges

Cardinals Connect links you to a Ball State alumni community almost 200,000 strong! Features: • Alumni directory • Job board • Mentoring opportunities • Event listings • Photo album • Discussion board • Join a special interest group • Access to all alumni social media channels

Register and start connecting today!


Indiana Innovators Contest promotes youthful entrepreneurs


eveloping a therapeutic glove to help people suffering from arthritis catapulted three high school students into first place in the Innovate WithIN 2020 State Finals pitching competition on April 8. Innovate WithIN gives Indiana students the chance to pitch their entrepreneurial ideas to experienced professionals for awards and scholarships. Miller College of Business (MCOB) co-sponsors the event in partnership with the Indiana Economic Development Corp. and the Indiana Department of Education. In response to COVID-19, the finalists — who advanced through two rounds of online and live pitching — presented virtually this year through the Innovate WithIN website. “I couldn’t be more pleased with our teams this year,” said Candy Dodd, ’11, project manager for the program and director of special initiatives at MCOB. “Each year the quality of teams and pitches has improved, and this is our most competitive yet.” Joshua Breitsprecher, Abigale Haluska, and Megan Jones on the AM Therapeutics team (shown above) took top honors this year for their “Remedy Glove” product. Designed for people with arthritis, the glove is a therapeutic device with vibration, compression, and heating features. The students from Hobart High School recognized the product’s need after witnessing friends and family restricting daily activities due to arthritic pain. As first place winners, each team member earned a $10,000 cash prize, up to $10,000 of in-state tuition, internship opportunities, and mentoring services. Dodd said all the teams “knocked it out of the park. Their professionalism, business ideas, charisma, and passion exceeded my expectations. “The state of Indiana should be proud of the students representing every region and corner within our borders.” — Melissa Kraman

aunched as pilot programs in 2016, Charlie’s Reading Challenge and its companion, Charlie’s Coloring Contest, continue to be big hits with elementary and preschool students. “Kids love Charlie, and also love to read and color,” said Shawn Sullivan, associate athletic director of marketing and fan engagement. “In terms of getting our brand out to the community and helping kids at the same time, it’s been a true win-win for all.” In 2020, 2,047 students and 164 teachers across 11 east central Indiana counties completed requirements for the reading challenge, and 336 preschool students in Delaware County did the coloring contest. Here’s how they work: With Charlie’s Reading Challenge, elementary students complete four books at their reading level and also do a related

Photo by Ball State Athletics

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 of art are displayed at Worthen Arena prior to home basketball games. With both programs, students who complete the requirements earn two free tickets to a basketball game. The programs are promoted by Ball State Athletics and the Office of Community Engagement. “As much as we can, we also try to get Charlie Cardinal out to a few schools in person, and many of our student-athletes have volunteered to read books at the elementary schools,” Sullivan said. “We only see the programs growing in the years ahead.” — Dan Forst, ’85

Kids enjoy a recent basketball game in Worthen Arena. Through a reading challenge, every child who finishes four books and does a teacher-assigned project gets two free game tickets, while kids who color Charlie get their art displayed.

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Community Photo by Don Rogers

Destination Indiana A survey of May 2018 graduates who earned bachelor’s degrees showed that Indiana was the first destination for Ball State’s newest alumni (see more results below). A separate survey showed that students enrolled in Fall 2019 represented all 92 Indiana counties, with Delaware, Hamilton, and Marion as the top three. And a survey of all Cardinal alumni contributing to Indiana’s workforce showed that 45 Indiana counties had 501-plus Cardinal employees. The top three were Marion (21,411), Hamilton (16,022), and Delaware (12,766).

59% Employed full time 28%

A Bright Future for Muncie Neighborhoods Williams is shown in the Thomas Park/Avondale neighborhood, which has several ecoREHAB houses — including one rehabbed almost entirely by students. She directs Ball State’s Building Better Neighborhood (BBN) program, which began with a Ball Brothers Foundation grant. BBN helps connect Muncie neighborhoods with University resources.


Summer 2020


eather Williams moved to Chicago after graduating from Ball State in 2002. Surprisingly, she felt limited in a metro area with more than nine million people. She struggled to find work that paid the bills and was also rewarding. So, she returned to Muncie, population 70,000. Muncie was an unexpected land of opportunity. She earned two more degrees, immersed herself in the local arts scene, met new friends, and launched an award-winning career in urban planning and development. “This is where my people are,” she said. Williams is an associate director in Ball State’s Office of Community Engagement. She manages that office’s Building Better Neighborhoods program. The program is a partnership between Ball State and the Muncie Action Plan. A main part of its mission is to encourage Muncie neighborhoods to organize into associations. In urban areas like Muncie, neighborhood associations are critical to a city’s health, quality of life, and sense of pride. They host

cleanups, build playgrounds, advocate for better streets and sidewalks and more. “Change must come from the people and not top down,” Williams said. “People have power, and when they gather together to exercise that power to affect change, they will make a difference.” Thanks in large part to Williams’ efforts, Muncie now has a whopping 27 active neighborhood associations. Muncie neighborhoods are earning recognition beyond city limits, too. In 2018, the Whitely Neighborhood Association on the city’s east side earned a Neighborhood of the Year Award through Neighborhoods USA for developing a food pantry, community garden, and nutrition program. Williams said she loves that she gets to help neighborhoods tackle their biggest challenges and chase their biggest dreams. “It’s very rewarding to see your work unfold and how it’s making a difference in the lives of others,” she said.


Continuing education

Employed part time

olunteer/ 1% VService/ Military To learn more, go to

For her BA, Williams majored in history and minored in Spanish. She earned an MBA in 2006 and a master’s of urban planning in 2009. “There isn’t a building on campus I haven’t had a class in,” she said. She found her calling in urban planning. It combined all her passions: history, art, culture, economic development, creativity, and making the world a better place. Williams has been leading Building Better Neighborhoods since its start in 2014. Before that, she worked in a variety of planning and zoning positions in Muncie city government. At City Hall, she helped lead efforts to eliminate blight and rehabilitate historic housing. Williams hopes more people will choose, like her, to live in Muncie and that the neighborhoods keep getting better. “There is space enough for everyone to find their own niche, and the community will wrap around you and welcome your efforts,” she said. “I think that is really unique to Muncie and makes this city special.” — Nick Werner, ’03

9% work in Illinois


of graduates continuing their education choose to do so at Ball State


3% work in Ohio

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Duck Hunt R

ubber ducky, you’re the one — that Ball State theatre denizens hunted for months. There was great rejoicing when the 100th duck, the last of a hidden flock, waddled into a ducky hutch’s sole open cubbyhole to put all the ducks in a row (well, 10 rows). So what’s up with the rubber ducks? During Winter break two years back, departing junior Ethan Dashnaw and new ’17 grad Sarah Jean Ludlow hoped to leave a lasting mark on the Department of Theatre and Dance. “I wanted to let people still in school have fun and something to quest for,” said Ethan, who has a cabinetry job in Indianapolis. Added Sarah Jean, a health center worker in Lafayette, Indiana: “It preys on the fact there are so many places to hide things in theaters.” The co-conspirators spent about seven hours chatting, clambering, and using ladders for their escapade, then leaving a giant painted note that sought help recovering 100 ductile swimmers who’d been duckynapped. The quest began. “We found at least five to 10 ducks in the first 10 minutes,” said department tech director Alan Perez. “Got us hooked.”

Bringing ducks, and people, together The rescued eventually hit 99, including a duck peeking through a small opening in the sound and lighting booth’s ceiling, catching its breath inside a pipe about 50 feet above the stage, and board surfing in a bucket of sand. Then nothing. For months. Sarah Jean confirmed Perez’s suspicion of Ethan just tucking away 99. She insisted on 100. Perez unexpectedly discovered the final one in a rarely used scene shop drawer. He processed the find, then shouted, “I found the last duck!” Everyone went wild. “This is the start of the world fixing itself,” then-freshman Caitlin Davey, of Columbus, Indiana, replied to a Facebook post about the discovery, which brought some needed fun and laughter amid the COVID-19 pandemic. Ethan was delighted. “I hope (this) will forever remind you all of the time we all had together and to have fun, even if you have to make it for yourself.” — Judy Wolf


Summer 2020

As a freshman from LaPorte, Indiana, Justin Rozinski built this duck cove as his final project for stagecraft class. Now a senior, he is a design and technology major.

Read more about the duck hunt at Photo by Don Rogers

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International Student Inspired by Area Beauty A

nas Almassrahy was pleased to find out he’d won an award for an annual photo contest for international students. For the master of urban and regional planning student from Saudi Arabia, the above picture represents much of what he loves about his Ball State experience. Via Facebook, Almassrahy won the “Best Indiana Experience” category for the photo, taken on Summit Lake near Muncie. “The lake has two islands. Big Island is the largest, and I like to stop there where I can take a break and stretch my legs. “On that evening, I was there with a group of American, Libyan, and Saudi friends as they tried kayaking and canoeing for the first time. We rented equipment from Outdoor Pursuits (OP) here on campus for an


Summer 2020

affordable rate.” Almassrahy worked for OP, which offers trips, a rental center, and a climbing wall. The photo was taken the summer he led “an amazing OP trip to Utah. I’m very passionate about photography, the environment, and being healthy. OP was and still is a heaven for me.” He is set to earn his master’s in July after earning his BA in urban planning and development. He sees himself moving to the Southwest U.S., serving as a steward for the environment and working to strengthen communities. He also would like to create connections between the U.S. and Persian Gulf countries. Almassrahy will take with him his Ball State experience, which he said was “full of challenges, yet full of growth.” — Tim Obermiller

To read more about being an international student at Ball State, go to rinkercenter.

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Shorter, But Still Sweet “Do you know what my favorite part of the game is? The opportunity to play.” — Mike Singletary, former NFL player, coach


or athletes, there are the countless hours of training. There’s an unwavering desire to win. Yet, when all those factors are set aside, athletes just want to play the games they love. And when they can’t, the disappointment is very real. This Spring, the COVID-19 pandemic disrupted nearly every facet of our lives, including sports. At universities across the nation, many 2019-20 Winter and Spring sports were cut short at various points in their respective seasons. As Cardinals, we are forward-looking and optimistic about the future. We also appreciate the value of recognizing the courage and class of our own as they persevere through difficult challenges. With that in mind, here’s a look back to honor those Ball State sports where coaches and players were sent to the sidelines too early, but which still gave us so many stellar moments to cherish. — Dan Forst, ’85



Coach Joanna Saleem’s squad finished the season 11-4 overall, 4-1 in the Mid-American Conference (MAC), and a perfect 6-0 at home. The team finished its season March 8 with a thrilling 195.850-195.375 Senior Day home win against North Carolina, the second-consecutive meet posting a school-record score.


The Cardinals of Coach Max Norris posted a solid 10-2 overall dual-match Spring record, including wins over Western Kentucky, Northern Iowa, and Northern Kentucky. The team reached 10 wins on a Spring break trip with victories over University of California (UC), San Diego, and UC, Riverside. The season ended before the first MAC match, set for March 22 against Miami.


Coach James Whitford’s Cardinals finished the year with an 18-13 record, including what proved to be the season finale on March 6, a 75-54 win at Northern Illinois. That win earned a share of the MAC West title and the No. 3 seed in the MAC Tournament. The team was only hours away from taking the court in Cleveland when the entire tourney was canceled.


Coach Brady Sallee’s squad posted a solid 21-10 mark after going 8-23 the previous year. The 13-game improvement was the best in NCAA Division I women’s basketball this season. The team entered the MAC Tournament as the No. 2 seed and, despite a heartbreaking 64-63 loss to Eastern Michigan on March 11, it was expecting a postseason opportunity before all play was canceled.


Livia Lukacs

Coach Rich Maloney’s Cardinals finished the season 7-9, with nine games coming during Spring break. Major wins came against Kansas on February 29 in Greenville, South Carolina, and against Richmond on March 7 in Charleston, South Carolina. The only home game played at First Merchants Ballpark Complex was a March 10 win against Purdue University, Fort Wayne. Learn more about Ball State student-athletes by visiting the home of the Cardinals on the web,


Tahjai Teague




5 Oshlynn Brown

Noah Powell

Rachel Benoit

20 Summer 2020

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Football Preview

Coach Mike Fleck’s squad started the Fall season with a first-place finish at the Golfweek Challenge, September 19 in Cedar Rapids, Iowa. Another highlight was a tie for third place at the Xavier Musketeer Classic, October 21 in Cincinnati. The Cardinals were able to compete in two events during the Spring portion of their schedule prior to the season being canceled.

Despite COVID-19 uncertainties, Neu cites reasons for optimism


s Mike Neu, ’94, readies for the start of his fifth season as head football coach of the Cardinals, uncertainty permeates the collegiate football world. The COVID-19 crisis resulted in cancellation of Spring practice for universities nationwide. With the start of Fall practice slated for early August, Neu believes the team is well-prepared and ready to move forward.

Vince Orlando


The Cardinals finished their dual-meet Spring season 8-5, taking the doubles point from 11 of their 13 opponents. The season ended after a win at University of California, San Diego, on March 8. The winningest tennis coach in Ball State and MAC history, Bill Richards reached the 700-win plateau on February 1 against Wright State.


Coach Megan Bartlett’s softball Cardinals posted an 18-9 record during the non-conference portion of their schedule, including a record-tying 11-game win streak. Highlights included wins vs. Western Kentucky on February 22 in Bowling Green, and vs. Tulsa on March 7 in Miami. The team also lost a narrow 3-2 decision to No. 8 Louisiana on February 7 in Lafayette, Louisiana.

Women’s Golf Team




Coach Katherine Mowat’s team opened its Fall season by placing third in the Redbird Invitational hosted September 8-9 by Illinois State University and followed that up the next weekend by winning its own Cardinal Classic, September 16-17. A highlight of the shortened Spring season: junior Liz Kim was runner-up at the Battle at Boulder Creek, placing her inside the top 10 in two of the three events.


Coach Joel Walton led his Cardinals to a 12-6 mark, including an outstanding 6-1 record at Worthen Arena. Highlights included a win on January 31 at No. 7 Penn State and a March 4 win at Ohio State. At the March 7 finale vs. Sacred Heart, Walton was honored for his 400th win during his 22 years as head coach, a milestone achieved February 22 against Loyola.

Janae Hogg

The 2020 schedule includes a trip to Ann Arbor on September 12 to play Michigan at the “Big House.” Are the players and coaches excited for that opportunity? We take each game one at a time but, yes, the chance to play a storied program like Michigan is exciting for us. Many of the players on this team also played at Notre Dame in 2018, so they are especially looking forward to the trip to Michigan. — Dan Forst, ’85


Coach Brian Etelman’s squad started the season by winning a 10-team on December 7, hosted by Purdue Fort Wayne. The season ended at the MAC Indoor Championships in Akron, Ohio, February 28-29, where the Cardinals placed third. That meet also saw Ball State’s first indoor individual MAC champion since 2009, junior MaQuila Norman in the 200-meter-dash.

How have you kept in touch with the players? Each of our position coaches meets in a virtual environment with their players several times per week. In terms of nutrition, staying in shape, and keeping current with the playbook, we’ve tried to keep it as normal as possible. And equally important, we’re working with our Student Athlete Support Services resources to ensure that our players continue to do well with their academics. The team returns seven starters on each side of the ball, including senior quarterback Drew Plitt. How do you see the team’s prospects for this season? We have a ton of experience coming back. And there are also several players not listed as “starters” that saw a lot of playing time during the 2019 season. We are very upbeat on this football team.



How did the coaches and players react to the loss of Spring practice? As coaches, we always want to be on the field with our players. And the same is true for our kids, and they were disappointed. But we’re all in the same boat with other universities in this regard, and it’s a level playing field. We all realize that.

Jake Romano

MaQuila Norman

Felix Egharevba



Yianni Kostouros


Summer 2020

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Teens from Muncie paint on the grounds of Minnetrista Cultural Center as part of job skills taught through the nonprofit TeenWorks, led by alumnus Nick Duvall. As a firstgeneration college student, Duvall says his Ball State education helped him pursue his dream to encourage others.

With the odds against them, they achieved their dreams. Now these Cardinals are giving back to their home state and communities.

Full Circle

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Photo by Samantha Strahan

By Nick Werner, ’03

Ball State University Alumni Magazine | WE FLY


Ball State has graduated more than 4,600 students throughout the 30-year history of the 21st Century Scholars program. These students have been vital to closing the achievement gap among racial and ethnic groups, helping curb the brain drain of talented college grads leaving Indiana, and helping the state work toward its goal of having at least 60% of Hoosiers achieving education and training beyond high school. The state of Indiana offers 21st Century Scholarships to eligible students who enroll in the program in seventh or eighth grade. It provides up to four years of undergraduate tuition.

Learn more at about/our-students/ 21st-century-scholars.


ick Duvall can take the heat. It’s a stifling 90 degrees outside The Caffeinery, a hip café in downtown Muncie, and he’s smiling for photographs in a blue blazer and jeans. Duvall is the 36-year-old CEO of TeenWorks, a nonprofit that teaches underserved youth in Indianapolis and Muncie professional development skills. He graduated from Ball State in 2005 with a bachelor’s in criminal justice and in 2014 with a master’s in public administration. Back inside the café, Duvall sips iced coffee and explains why the heat is no big deal. His tolerance is the result of both acclimation and a perspective that comes from hard times. It’s no big deal, because Duvall joined a landscaping crew at 14 and labored under the hot sun. It’s no big deal, because the reason Duvall joined the crew was to help pay bills. It’s no big deal, because the reason the family needed help was that Duvall’s father, Terry, had terminal cancer. Duvall had no choice but to get tough and grow up fast. “One-hundred degrees outside laying bricks, that teaches you character,” he said. Years later, the young executive sees how — difficult as it was — his express ticket into adulthood positively shaped his life. Shouldering that much responsibility at such a young age prepared him for the sink-or-swim demands of the work environment, and it’s no wonder he’s been successful. Now, Duvall wants to make sure that today’s youth have the same early opportunities for growth that he did, albeit without all the hardship that came with it. “My passion project is kids,” he said. “We empower them to excel in their community, in college, and in their careers.”


uvall’s story of fighting through hardship, finding success, and giving back is common among Ball State alumni and students. The University has a reputation for empowering upward mobility. It excels at serving populations that traditionally were not afforded the opportunity to attend college. Consider these statistics:

• More than 30% of Ball State students are first-generation students such as Duvall. • 80% of all students qualify for financial aid. • More than 50% of students who receive financial aid are Pell Grant students, who have exceptional financial need. “Our students don’t have a sense of entitlement” President Geoffrey S. Mearns said. “They have a sense of purpose.” Furthermore, 13% of students attend Ball State on a state-funded 21st Century Scholarship. Compare that to Purdue University, West Lafayette, 6%, and Indiana University, Bloomington, 8%. Celebrating 30 years in 2020, 21st Century Scholars offers four years of paid tuition to income-eligible Hoosiers. More than 36,000 people have earned a degree with the program. Making higher education more affordable for everyone is a solid investment in the state’s health and success. Part of the reason is that so many people who receive financial aid commit to lives of service, either professionally like Duvall or through volunteer work. On especially hot days landscaping, Nick Duvall heeded the words of his dad, Terry: “Tough times don’t last, but tough people do.” Like his son, Terry was as tough as he was kindhearted. He outlasted cancer for six years before passing away. Nick was 20 at the time, a sophomore in college, attending with financial help from a Ball State scholarship. As he grieved, Duvall questioned whether he should continue at Ball State or drop out and enter the workforce full time to support his mom and two younger sisters, then 15 and 13 years old. Again, he heeded the words of his father. “No matter what, you have to finish college,” he said. Terry Duvall knew how difficult it could be to get by on only a high school diploma. He wanted to change the narrative for his kids, and he felt higher education was the key. Eventually, all of the Duvall children earned not only bachelor’s degrees but also master’s degrees. “Ball State allowed me to find myself,” Duvall said. “This is really what I’m called to do — to help people in tough situations and empower those people to move forward.”

Photo by Samantha Strahan

How Indiana Makes Dreams Come True

“Ball State allowed me to find myself. This is what I’m called to do: to help people in tough situations and empower them to move forward.” — Nick Duvall


Summer 2020

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ew graduate Brandi Lambertson is a perfect example of Ball State students’ strong sense of purpose. She began her education at Ivy Tech Community College in 2011. Having grown up poor and with little family support, Brandi was homeless for much of her freshman year. She couch-surfed and slept in her car, often in an Ivy Tech parking lot while a kindhearted security officer pretended not to notice. Then, she suffered a miscarriage. Toward the end of her second semester, her ex-boyfriend committed suicide. Emotionally distraught, Brandi quit attending classes. Her GPA dropped to 0.57. When she re-enrolled at Ivy Tech in 2015, her GPA was so low she had to file an appeal for readmission.


After two years and countless hours spent in tutoring and retaking courses, Brandi graduated with a 3.4 GPA and an associate’s degree in business administration. Because of her unprecedented comeback, Ivy Tech named her a “Dean’s Most Outstanding Student.” Brandi then attended Ball State with help from the 21st Century Scholars program, graduating this Spring with an entrepreneurial management degree. She also continues to work as an adviser to freshman in 21st Century Scholars. Normally, a graduate student would hold the position. But the University felt she was uniquely qualified because of her life experiences. As an adviser, Brandi connects students with tutors and disability services. She has helped students who have experienced deaths in their families, illness, or a sense of being overwhelmed. But, most of all, she offers encouragement. “The students connect to someone they can relate to,” she said. “Somebody who has struggled, and somebody who has been there.”


of Ball State students are the first in their family to attend college.

MORE THAN 36,000 Hoosiers have earned a degree through 21st Century Scholars.


of students attend Ball State on a statefunded 21st Century Scholarship.

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80% of all students qualify for financial aid.

Aaron Lor proudly participated in the University’s “I Am First” celebration, showing he is among the first generation in his family to go to college. Aaron is a master’s student in student affairs administration in higher education and an assistant residence hall director.

onathan Isbill’s personal journey and Ball State education inspired him to teach educators how to prepare healthy meals. In 2012, when Jonathan was a sophomore at Hauser High School in Hope, his mom, Janice, lost her job. She had been a career counselor, and the state eliminated funding for her position. Until then, Janice had been able to control the symptoms of her Crohn’s disease. But the stress of being unemployed and raising two children by herself triggered a flare-up. “When it’s at its worst, it’s just debilitating,” Jonathan said. Seeing his mom suffer ignited a passion that continues to this day. Jonathan quit the basketball team and began staying after school to research Crohn’s in an out-of-the-way computer lab, by himself. “The janitor would close up shop, and I would still be in there cranking away,” he recalled. Jonathan researched recipes that would ease his mother’s symptoms. He convinced her to eliminate junk food, limit dairy, and accept other dietary changes. Slowly, Janice’s health improved. After high school, Jonathan attended Ball State. Like Lambertson, he did so with support from 21st Century Scholars. As an undergrad, he studied nutrition and dietetics, graduating with honors in 2018. In December 2019, Jonathan received a master’s degree from Ball State in the same area. “The close relationship between students and faculty at Ball State was such a foundational piece to my success,” he said. Currently, Jonathan works for the Whole Kids Foundation through a partnership with the Indiana State Department of Health. He travels to schools throughout Indiana teaching educators how to prepare healthy meals. Teachers can then pass that knowledge along to their students. “I really wanted to change the world with health and nutrition, and to give back for the opportunities I’ve been given,” he said.


nyea Gooch’s mother was the driving force for her to join student and community organizations. As a single mom on a custodian’s salary, Nadine Gooch also encouraged her four kids to apply for as many scholarships and college prep programs as possible. A graduate of Broad Ripple High School in Indianapolis, Anyea barely remembers signing up for 21st Century Scholars. She does, however, remember the overwhelming feeling when she opened her first bill from Vincennes University as a freshman. “How am I going to do this?” she thought. Then, she checked her bill through the Vincennes digital portal. The online version showed her scholarships applied, including one from 21st Century Scholars to cover all of her tuition. A sense of relief and gratitude swept over her. Anyea studied theatre for two years at Vincennes before transferring to Ball State to major in advertising and minor in technical theatre. She graduated in 2018. At Ball State, Anyea excelled, following her mom’s advice by immersing herself in numerous activities and service roles, from Voice of Triumph Gospel Choir to the Black Student Association. She also served as a transfer student ambassador in the Office of Retention and Graduation and worked off campus at the Boys & Girls Club of Muncie and at Second Harvest Food Bank. “What didn’t I do?” she joked. “I found that my biggest support system at Ball State was being involved on campus, getting into organizations, and meeting new people.” She is now the program director for after-school care at Eliza A. Blaker Elementary School in Indianapolis, where she develops curriculum for students in pre-K through sixth grade and oversees five staff members. One of the most valuable lessons Anyea says she has learned in her life so far: “Dreams are achieved in sleep. Goals are achieved through hard work.” 

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LIFTING SPIRITS By Nick Werner, ’03

Diagnosed with a rare form of cancer, Marcus Strawhorn, ’98, later learned he had something far less serious. The experience motivated him to launch the Indy-based Flight1 with his wife, Sandy Strawhorn, ’98. Using flight simulators and small airplanes, the nonprofit uses the joy of flight to build confidence in kids affected by serious health challenges. Photo by Don Rogers

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Last year, Flight1 served 87 kids. This year, the organization hopes to serve 100. Children are eligible for Flight1 if they are ill or if they have an ill parent or sibling. About 40% of children in Flight1 are themselves ill; the rest are externally impacted, according to Sandy. Families pay nothing. Donors, partners, and volunteers provide everything. A Flight1 experience involves six activities over the course of several months: three flights in a simulator and three flights with an instructor. The organization operates out of the Vincennes University Aviation Technology Center near Indianapolis International Airport. The idea for Flight1 grew out of Marcus’ desire to leave behind a legacy. Because, at the time, he didn’t know how much longer he would live.


fter college, Marcus accepted a research position with Eli Lilly and Company. He has been with the company since then, and in recent years he has served in quality assurance for insulin manufacturing. In 2010, Marcus was 35 years old, married to Sandy, and had two sons, ages 4 and 7. He began having unusual symptoms. He thought it might be a food allergy. So, he scheduled an appointment with his doctor. “At the end of that appointment, he believed I had a rare form of abdominal cancer,” Marcus said. Those with the cancer had a life expectancy of 2-10 years. But, test after test gave inconclusive results, and for six months, Marcus wondered whether he was dying. His confidence crashed, and he could see how his state of mind was affecting his sons.

Brody with his mom, Holli Moore; and pilot Brent Aarons, Indianapolis Regional Airport, October 2017.

Photo by Steve Fleenor

Photo by Steve Fleenor

Brody Moore, Indianapolis Regional Airport, October 2017.

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ong before the rest of us understood social distancing, Levi Schreiber was a professional at it. He had to be. In July 2017, doctors diagnosed Levi — then 9 years old — with a fast-moving form of leukemia after discovering a growth in his chest the size of a cantaloupe. His prognosis was promising. 90% of kids beat that form of cancer. But doing so requires years of chemotherapy, a treatment that leaves patients frail, exhausted, and immunocompromised. “You can’t go places,” Levi’s mother, Teresa, said. “You’re isolated. You don’t have a lot to look forward to.” Winter is the worst, as the flu season poses a life-threatening risk. By Fall 2019, Levi had already left school for the academic year to attend class from home. The hunker-down doldrums were beginning to set in. But an experience made possible by two Ball State alums gave Levi and the rest of the Schreiber family the lift they needed. On October 25, Levi, now 12, and his sister Tyra, 15, each flew a Cessna 172 Skyhawk around the eastside of Indianapolis with a flight instructor from a nonprofit called Flight1. Yes, they actually flew the plane.

“No barrel rolls,” Levi joked. “When I turned — it wasn’t a harsh turn — but it felt like the whole plane was on its side. I was on the downside. I could see down on a lake (Geist Reservoir) where a bunch of rich people live. I was like, wow, this is so amazing.”


ounded in 2011, Flight1 is a one-of-a-kind, Indianapolis-based organization that uses the joy of flight to build confidence in kids affected by health challenges. In the air, the kids take the yoke and have full control of the airplane — at a time when almost everything else in their lives seems out of their hands. For 30 minutes, they leave their worries on the ground and experience the joy of flight. Private pilot Marcus Strawhorn started the program with his wife, Sandy (Trigg), who now manages day-to-day operations as program director. Both graduated from Ball State in 1998, Marcus with a biology degree and Sandy with a business management degree. “It’s very rewarding to see the instant change in the kids,” Marcus said. “It’s very clear they see themselves differently and have a sense of accomplishment.”

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Marcus began to think about how he was going to compress a lifetime of fatherhood into a few years. Fortunately, he didn’t have to. After visiting three hospitals over those six months, including a weeklong stay at the Mayo Clinic in Minnesota, doctors determined Marcus did not have cancer but something much less serious. Still, Marcus wasn’t about to return to life as normal. Having come to terms with his mortality, having stared down a death sentence, Marcus was determined to do something big with the rest of his life. His thoughts kept returning to three themes: kids, confidence, and aviation. The result was Flight1. “Flight1 was my husband’s vision, truly,” Sandy said. The vision doesn’t end with Indianapolis, either. Soon, Flight1hopes to expand to other cities throughout the country. “The program is built so we can replicate it,” Marcus said.

Levi Schreiber with pilot Jacob Johnston, Indianapolis Regional Airport, October 2019.


Photo by Steve Fleenor


Summer 2020

he medical scare wasn’t the first time Marcus had struggled with confidence. As a kid growing up in Ossian, Indiana, just south of Fort Wayne, he was both the youngest and the smallest in his class. His classmates picked on him. “But when I got my pilot’s license, I saw myself differently,” he said. “It didn’t change how people treated me, but it changed how I saw myself.” Marcus’ dad was a pilot for Northwest Airlines and also a flight instructor. Marcus admired his dad. He thought it was cool that his dad was a pilot, and he wanted to learn to fly also. “He didn’t want me to become a commercial pilot,” Marcus said. “It’s hard on family life. He said he would teach me how to fly as long as I promised not to become a commercial airline pilot. I stayed true to my promise.” The Strawhorns didn’t own a plane, but they belonged to a club that granted dues-paying members access to a Piper Cherokee. Marcus began learning and even flying solo before he could drive. “If I could get to the airport, I could fly anywhere,” he said. “The challenge was getting to the airport.” He earned his pilot’s license around the same time he earned his driver’s license.

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Read more about the Strawhorns’ nonprofit and its origins at

“It seemed so impossible,” he said. And yet, he did it. While the kids in Flight1 don’t earn a license, many report a similar sense of accomplishment and freedom. “Just to be in a plane and be behind the controls and do whatever you want,” Sandy said. “There’s nothing else that can give you that. When you are in the air, there are no stop signs, no stoplights. You are free to go wherever you want.”


evi’s cancer story began with a cough. His parents, Teresa and Patrick, were suspicious. It was July in 2017, well past the normal cold and flu season. A week later, he told his parents that he was tired and that things smelled and tasted weird. Teresa, a nurse, took Levi to his pediatrician, half expecting the doctor to tell her that those symptoms made no sense, that she was crazy, that nothing was wrong. Instead, doctors scanned his chest and found the growth. The next day, they went to a pediatric oncologist, and lab work showed that threequarters of the boy’s blood was actually cancer cells. What followed was nine months of intensive chemo at Riley Hospital for Children in Indianapolis. “You stand on the sidelines, completely helpless, literally watching your child wasting

away,” Teresa said. “I couldn’t even hold him or hug him because his bones and muscles hurt so bad.” Since 2018, Levi has been in a maintenance phase. It sounds easy, but it’s not. On Fridays he takes 25 pills. Levi and his sister, Tyra, learned about Flight1 through a summer field trip to the hangar at Vincennes University Aviation Technology Center. Little Red Door, a nonprofit that supports families affected by cancer, sponsored the trip. When Teresa picked the kids up from that field trip, it was the most excited she had seen Tyra in months. Both said they wanted to give Flight1 a shot. “I said, ‘How much does that cost?’ because we owe IU Health tens of thousands of dollars,” Teresa recalled. At first, she didn’t believe her kids when they told her it was free. Since the first flight on October 25, Tyra has decided she wants to be a commercial pilot and has plans to study aviation through a vocational technology program at her high school. Levi said he wants to fly the plane that pulls a Geico banner around Indianapolis Motor Speedway. The kids have two more flights left. “The Flight1 organization is incredible,” Teresa said. “The kids are completely in control of what is happening, and control is something none of us has right now, especially Levi. To have that kind of experience, and to not have to pay a dime, it’s incredible.” 

Photo by Steve Fleenor

(Left) Hooisers Marcus and Sandy Strawhorn, originally from Ossian and Macy, respectively, met at Ball State in the 1990s. After college, Sandy worked as a licensed stockbroker and then an early childhood educator before becoming full-time program director for Flight1. Marcus has worked at Eli Lilly for 21 years, most recently in quality assurance. (Bottom) Tyra Fragodt with her dad, Patrick Schreiber, Indianapolis Regional Airport, October 2019.

A big thanks (and a late apology) from Marcus Strawhorn Throughout high school and college, Marcus was an introvert. His dream was to be a scientist so that he could work in a lab, alone. “I had no people skills,” Marcus recalled. In order to graduate at Ball State, Marcus had to take an intro to speech course. Most students knock it out in their freshman or sophomore years. But Marcus postponed it until he was a senior. He hated it. “I remember getting so frustrated at my instructor,” he recalled. “I said, ‘I’m never going to use this. I’m going to be a scientist.’” The instructor told Marcus that no matter what he did in life, he needed to know how to communicate. Now, Marcus hosts numerous fundraising events that require him to give speeches and tell the Flight1 story. He has tried to find his old instructor and make amends, but, more than 20 years later, he can’t remember her name. “I wish I could go back and apologize to her.”

Photo by Steve Fleenor

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Ball State University faculty use research and scholarship to improve lives and inspire change in the world. Here are just a few examples. By Tim Obermiller and Nick Werner, ’03

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Photo courtesy of Caitlyn Placek


Placek collects data on anemia and substance use among adolescents as a Fogarty Fellow in Mysore, India.

r. Caitlyn Placek cares passionately about making sure women across the world have healthy pregnancies. No, she’s not an OB-GYN. She’s an assistant professor of anthropology in the College of Sciences and Humanities. The field examines both biological and cultural human evolution, which can touch on a wide range of areas, from behavior and environment to genes and society. Specifically, Placek studies what causes some expecting women to chew tobacco, use drugs, or eat certain foods. She is quick to point out that her research is not about assigning shame or blame. On the contrary, Placek hopes that her work can help erase the stigma that these women face and show that their behavior is influenced by their environment, their culture, and even their own evolved biology. Only by examining the issues through the objective lens of science can we craft solutions, Placek said.

“These are not moral failures, nor do these behaviors exist in a vacuum. They are influenced by a multitude of factors. When we destigmatize these health concerns, we can improve overall health for everyone.” Placek earned undergraduate degrees in psychology and anthropology from Eastern Kentucky University. She then earned a master’s and doctorate in anthropology from Washington State University and was a postdoctoral Fogarty Fellow with the National Institutes of Health. As both a biocultural and medical anthropologist, Placek has examined communities in India and here in Indiana. She uses interviews and biological data to test hypotheses about what influences dietary patterns and drug use in pregnant women. In India, her research has focused on a variety of consumption-related topics in pregnancy such as tobacco use, food cravings and aversions, cultural food taboos, and fasting. She has been working on this line of research in

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Both abroad and in Indiana, Caitlyn Placek studies human behaviors and conducts research with the goal to provide science-based solutions that ensure healthier pregnancies for women with drug habits and addictions.

Learn more about our faculty and how they are achieving academic excellence at

South India since 2011 and to date has published her findings in leading anthropology journals such as Evolution and Human Behavior, Human Nature, and American Journal of Human Biology. Placek also conducts research in the realm of global health. She has collaborated on research projects focusing on anemia, HIV and HIV stigma, and the use of a free medical mobile clinic for prenatal care. “Tobacco use is a rising global health concern for women in developing nations, and we don’t really know the factors that lead them to using tobacco,” she said. “Most of the research has been conducted with men because men have traditionally been the heaviest users of tobacco products, and cultural norms often prohibit women from reporting their use.”


loser to home, Placek co-taught a collaborative immersive learning course for students at Ball State with Drs. Jean Marie Place and Jennifer Wies. The three collaborators were awarded a provost grant for their project, “Healthy Moms, Healthy Communities: Understanding Perceptions & Evaluating Maternal Opioid Treatment in Muncie.” “We interviewed a variety of health care professionals, law enforcement, and some women who are experiencing the addiction


Summer 2020

firsthand. These one-on-one interviews helped us come to our main findings.” The rate of pregnant women being addicted to opioids at delivery quadrupled from 1999 to 2014, says a study published on the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention’s site. It went from about 1.5 women per 1,000 births to about 6.5 — up 333%. “This nationwide epidemic hits Muncie in a unique way,” said Placek, “including the struggle for pregnant, addicted women. “One main finding was that some women discontinue treatment due to the strain it can put on family members or their children. Another barrier for seeking treatment is the cost for treatment and some women not being able to afford it.” The Ball State group found that treatment facilities in the area are few and far between, especially for addicted pregnant women in Muncie. Their findings showed that although there is more collaboration between facilities in Muncie, more efforts are needed to keep women in treatment. In interviewing women, Placek and her team of student research assistants also discovered that shame and embarrassment are common factors that prevent women from seeking substance abuse treatment. “Members of the local community fail to realize (the stigma) is not who we are,” one local addicted mother told Placek’s group. “That’s not what we want in life; that’s what the drugs have done to us. Being sober-minded, not anybody in their right mind would want to live that life.” The students learned a key lesson for future anthropologists: how to conduct science with sensitivity. “Students who work with me learn how to conduct both qualitative and quantitative interviews and how to analyze some of the data I collect,” said Placek. “Through these tasks, they gain a better understanding of the challenges in conducting this type of research. “As researchers, we are strangers and outsiders to those women. So, one of the challenges is building positive relationships and gaining trust. Only then can we share their story and increase awareness around these issues.” Another valuable lesson her students learned: “Community support has potential to help its members make change for the better in their lives.”

Seeing the world through other people’s eyes Dr. Gabriel Tait fell in love with photography as a sixth-grade student at Allegheny Middle School in Pittsburgh. He was invited to an after-school program as an effort to guide inner city youth to the arts. Tait said it was a life-changing moment. Sure, Tait enjoyed the intellectual pursuit of mastering an immensely technical craft. But there was more The camera gave to it than that. He saw how a camera’s viewfinder could serve as photographer and war a window into someone’s soul. The correspondent Gabriel experience, he said, helped his Tait a window to the worldview and gave him a better world. Now, at Ball State, understanding of humanity. he’s shaping best “I was now seeing — practices valuable for any metaphorically — through other people’s eyes.” professional who carries The professor’s basic message a camera into a crossto his students is this: It takes heart cultural experience. to be a great journalist. “I have the privilege to teach, I want our students to leave this University understanding humanity better and caring about their neighbor.” Tait is an assistant professor of diversity and media in the Department of Journalism in the College of Communication, Information, and Media. He teaches students how to fairly and accurately represent cultural identities, especially those that aren’t their own. Tait holds a doctoral degree in intercultural studies with an emphasis in visual anthropology

and leadership, as well as a master’s in intercultural studies with an emphasis in visual communication, both from Asbury Theological Seminary in Kentucky. Tait has created a new research approach to culturally sensitive photography that he calls “Sight Beyond My Sight” (SBMS) and has employed it in Liberia and throughout the U.S. With SBMS, a researcher trains participants in photography, then analyzes ethnographic photos they create of the community to learn about their cultural language as well as experiences that have helped shape their identity and worldview. His method is used in photojournalism research, mission studies, and visual anthropology. He has published articles and book chapters covering subjects such as visual communication, journalism ethics, and intercultural missions work. Before joining academia, Tait spent 25 years as a photojournalist and war correspondent. He has photographed presidential inaugurations and the National Hockey League’s Stanley Cup. But it’s his work documenting the lives of ordinary people in extraordinary circumstances — war refugees, ragtag soldiers, and grieving parents in Iraq, Lebanon, Syria, and Saudi Arabia — that earned him a Pulitzer nomination. Tait’s empathetic eye is obvious in his professional portfolio. Image after image pulls at your emotions and forces you to see the humanity in people who look different from you.

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Better living through stress (the exercise kind)

Discovering innovative ways to improve cities As an assistant professor of urban planning in the R. Wayne Estopinal College of Architecture and Planning, Dr. Sanglim Yoo strives to make cities better for the environment and more enjoyable for their residents. Yoo has studied urban heat islands Sanglim Yoo studies how (UHIs). These are areas where to use green spaces to temperatures are higher than in the surrounding countryside — the result of reflect heat, reduce energy asphalt, concrete, and other materials consumption and keep us absorbing sunlight instead of reflecting it. all cool and comfortable. The phenomenon can make city Her work is improving lives residents especially vulnerable to in Indy and Muncie. heat-related health problems. Heat islands have long been seen as major urban environmental problem but have only recently gained attention in the field of urban planning, said Yoo. She focused on Indianapolis, which is among the U.S. cities where UHIs have grown in large numbers in recent years. For her analysis, Yoo used complex imaging data to identify important variables in the formation of UHIs. “If you have open spaces such as parks and water bodies near your home, it tends to be cooler,” Yoo said of her findings. “If we can quantify how much these open spaces add to the economy in terms of heat mitigation, it could help persuade our decision-makers and builders to take a more comprehensive approach.”

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Receiving her bachelor’s and master’s degrees from Seoul National University, in South Korea, Yoo then earned her doctorate at State University of New York College of Environmental Science and Forestry. At Ball State, Yoo has taught several undergraduate immersive learning courses that focus on urban planning issues. In one, students researched the potential to develop abandoned industrial sites in the area into large solar farms. Just by itself, the former Borg-Warner factory site in Muncie could generate enough electricity to support 7,000 typical Indiana homes, she said. “What I enjoy most is seeing students growing. At first, they may come with no idea what urban planning really means. By the end of the course, I want them to have cuttingedge, computer-based, planning decisionsupporting skills.” This past academic year, Yoo launched an immersive learning course in which students search for ways to improve sustainability efforts in economically vulnerable areas in Muncie. Students used urban planning strategies and tools such as socioeconomic and demographic data, the geographic information system (GIS) mapping tool, and other design software. “I hope my students walk away from Ball State eager to serve their communities and with a dedication to making them more sustainable.”

Dr. Lenny Kaminsky thinks we could all use a little more stress in our lives. Not mental or emotional stress. But physical stress, the kind that comes with walking, running, swimming, cycling, and dancing. “People have a negative connotation with stress,” he said. “But stress can be a positive for We need more stress, the body. When stress is applied as exercise, it can cause the body according to Lenny to adapt and improve.” Kaminsky. Not emotional At the College of Health’s Fisher but physical stress. Institute for Health and Well-Being, Kaminsky is recognized as Kaminsky is the John and Janice a worldwide authority on Fisher Distinguished Professor of how cardiorespiratory Wellness. The professor of clinical fitness can prevent and exercise physiology in the School treat chronic disease and of Kinesiology has been part of studies how the body a program that’s grown into one responds positively to the of the best of its kind in the world. demands of exercise. Since the school began in 1965, its exemplary faculty and facilities have attracted top-notch students, according to Kaminsky. “What we try to do with our students is encourage them to take the next step to be leaders in the field,” he said. “The most gratifying part of my career is to see all the great work that our former students are doing.” Kaminsky is recognized as a worldwide authority on how cardiorespiratory fitness can

prevent and treat chronic disease. Contributing over 100 research articles to peer-reviewed journals, Kaminsky presents regularly at health symposiums and serves in a leadership role for several health-related professional organizations’ committees and boards. He is also leader of the College of Health’s Healthy Lifestyle Center, a community-based site run by Ball State faculty and students as well as IU School of Medicine-Muncie medical students. Opening its door in April 2018, the free resource empowers Muncie and Delaware County residents to live healthy, happier lives through simple, realistic lifestyle changes tailored to each person’s specific needs. Promoting exercise is a major component of the Healthy Lifestyle Center’s mission and dovetails perfectly with Kaminsky’s expertise in clinical exercise physiology. Kaminsky grew up an athlete but said he didn’t appreciate exercising as a form of medical treatment until he took a class in exercise physiology as a master’s student at Southern Methodist University. At Southern Illinois University, he earned a doctorate in exercise physiology. “Exercise physiology is a relatively new field, about 100 years old or so,” Kaminsky said. “So, there are a lot of things we haven’t learned yet. And that makes it an attractive area to study and learn.”

Ball State University Alumni Magazine | WE FLY


A quest to fight some of our biggest threats

Interior design that improves kids’ lives Inside a quiet room on the Ball State campus, 5-year-old Camden wrinkles up his nose and frowns at the ceiling, looking for the source of a sudden noise. Seconds later he’s back at play, seemingly untroubled, but on the other side of the darkened glass, Dr. Shireen Kanakri closely watches the scene. Minutes later, as Camden shares a Children with autism can fun memory from last Halloween, more be especially sensitive to sudden noises occur. Monitors show the boy’s heart rate and blood pressure their surroundings. Shireen shoot upward in response. Kanakri’s life mission is to While Camden and other kids may find out how we can use not show a reaction to such noises, color, lighting, sound, and “their bodies tell us a story,” said more to make kids on the Kanakri, assistant professor of interior spectrum comfortable. design in the R. Wayne Estopinal College of Architecture and Planning (CAP). “There is evidence through changing behaviors and varying blood pressure rates that a child’s body is significantly impacted by his or her environment.” Kanakri is leading the Healthy Autism Design Lab, created to help researchers observe children’s reaction to different environments. Several CAP undergraduates have assisted her research, as well as an undergraduate psychological science student and an audiology doctoral student. Kanakri came to the U.S. from Jordan in 2008 to earn a doctorate in architecture at Texas A&M. She had an idea that she wanted

44 Summer 2020

to pursue a career in health care design. She spent a lot of time observing hospitals. Several had centers for children with autism. Kanakri didn’t like what she saw. The centers looked cold and uncomfortable, with gray colors and huge, glaring windows — or rooms without any windows. She found there were no guidelines that would allow them to design rooms just for this special population. She wanted to know exactly how interior design affects people with autism. Her goal is to make their lives more comfortable when they are indoors. A mother herself, Kanakri knew how, with kids, sometimes small things can change their lives. Her research offers proof that interior design is about more than just enhancing a room’s look; it’s also about improving its functionality. In an ongoing immersive learning course, she leads students in designing and building an entire building at Children’s TherAplay Foundation in Carmel, Indiana, which provides physical and occupational therapies for children with diagnoses such as cerebral palsy, Down syndrome, autism spectrum disorder, traumatic brain injury, and developmental delays. “We are specifically designing the pieces that will be used to help treat the children,” Kanakri said. “Everything will be tested here, in our labs, before they are implemented at the facility in Carmel.”

Dr. Maoyong Fan researches diverse areas of economics and health. The topics of his studies are how pollution (studied separately in China and the U.S.) harms human health, whether subsidized food programs increase the incidence of obesity in low-income recipients, how the built environment affects children’s weight and obesity, and why fewer agricultural laborers are Maoyong Fan researches migrating in the U.S. His studies have a common the impact of water and theme: how economics can improve air pollution on health human life and how economic to help inform policy analysis can help us understand decisions in China and and frame public policies. the U.S. “Environmental “I was determined to study the pollution is one of the impact of pollution since childhood,” said Fan, a professor of economics biggest threats to human who started at Miller College of health,” he says. Business in 2009, shortly after earning his doctorate from the University of California, Berkeley. “I grew up in a small town in China that had problems with air pollution and water pollution. Many people I knew suffered from pollutionrelated diseases, including liver cancer and cardiac arrest. “Environmental pollution is among the biggest threats to human health. The whole family is affected if one member gets sick, especially in developing countries. Yet research into the costs and consequences

of environmental degradation in developing countries is extraordinarily limited. “My hope is to provide research to policymakers to assist them in understanding the true costs and consequences of air and water pollution. With this knowledge, they can implement policies that improve the environment and their people’s well-being and welfare.” Policymakers have listened to him. Research he and his colleagues did on the effects of air pollution in cities north of the Huai River in China motivated the government to alter its winter heating program. Prior to his work, the heating policy had almost exclusively relied on coal. Fan’s research found that the particles emitted from burning coal shortened people’s life expectancy by about three years. In response, the Chinese government started a gasification campaign to replace coal with natural gas, a much cleaner fuel, for the winter heating program. Recognized as a leading expert in environmental health, Fan received Ball State University’s Outstanding Research Award in 2019. He said his research also makes him a better teacher. “My research projects provide a lot of real-world examples that enhance my students’ learning. These real-world examples encourage my students to think harder and analyze what happens in their lives. I hope my teaching leads them to have successful lives.” 

Ball State University Alumni Magazine | WE FLY


Photo by Bobby Ellis

K Learn more about Ball State University Dance Marathon at

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ids from Riley Hospital for Children playfully policed the collegians at Ball State’s Jo Ann Gora Student Recreation and Wellness Center, making sure every person was up and dancing. The University’s 2020 Dance Marathon (BSUDM) kicked off at 1 p.m. February 16 and ended at 2 a.m. the next day with a big reveal: The event raised $566,207 for the Indiana University Health hospital, based in Indianapolis and home to the state’s largest pediatric research program. Fundraisers such as BSUDM ensure that expert, family-centered pediatric care is available at Riley for every child who needs it. Since 2003, BSUDM has raised more than $4.3 million for children at Riley, according to Alli Kimmell, the group’s president.

Every Spring, Ball State Dance Marathon students stay on their feet for 13 hours to raise funds and spirits on behalf of Riley Hospital for Children. By Melissa Kraman

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Funds raised in this year’s BSUDM


Total number of registered dancers for 2020

More than $4.3 million

Amount BSUDM has raised over the past 13 years for the Palliative Care Department and the Magic Castle Cart at Riley Hospital for Children.


Number of visits made by children each year to Riley. Christian Daugherty (right) was among Riley patients who attended the February 2019 Dance Marathon. He died that July. For the 2020 event, his father, Brad, spoke to students, thanking them on behalf of Christian and all the other Riley kids.

In 2015, the hospital named one of its stem cell unit rooms the “BSUDM Therapy and Recreation Room” to honor Ball State’s philanthropic efforts. Each year, the fundraising goes specifically toward two programs at Riley: palliative care, which treats children with severe illnesses, and Magic Castle Cart, delivering free toys and gifts to children at the hospital. BSUDM, Ball State’s largest student philanthropic event, began in 2008, raising $12,808 that year. Nationwide, more than 450 colleges and high schools participate in Dance Marathon, all benefiting Children’s Miracle Network Hospitals, a nonprofit that provides funding to more than 170 U.S. children’s hospitals. The first Dance Marathon took place at Indiana University in 1991 in honor of Ryan White, who died of AIDSrelated pneumonia the previous year. This year, Ball State students in vibrant costumes and face paint joined the families of 40 Riley kids to hear their stories, honor their triumphs, and build lasting relationships. The night included live music, a talent show with Riley kids, dancing competitions, and more. To respect the adversity faced by each Riley patient, participants were highly encouraged to stay standing during the 13-hour marathon — and, of course, to keep dancing. Behind the scenes of the marathon, teams of committee members secured tens of thousands of dollars in donations every hour, part of the committee’s year-round fundraising efforts. One of the most impactful parts of the event, said many past and current participants, is hearing the testimonies from Riley kids and their families. At 2019’s BSUDM, Riley patient Christian Daugherty participated because he was receiving palliative care for brain cancer. Christian passed away peacefully July 27, 2019, surrounded by his family at Riley Hospital. His father took the stage at this year’s Dance Marathon to speak about his son in front of the crowd of attentive students. Ball State students participate in Dance Marathon for myriad reasons: Some have had family members successfully treated at Riley, while others want to be a part of one of the University’s largest student-led events. All are united in the mission to enhance the lives of patients at Riley Hospital for Children, and most walk away feeling an extraordinary impact. “I’m telling you, after four Dance Marathons, you can’t tell me Walt Disney World is the happiest place on Earth,” Jason Towe, BSUDM committee member, told the Ball State Daily News. “Some of my best friendships, some of my best memories, some of the most breathtaking, life-changing moments happened right here.” 


Give your career the chance to FLY. Learn more at Whether you’re ready to climb the career ladder or change direction, Ball State offers master’s degrees 100 percent online. Ball State Online programs are: • Consistently ranked among the nation’s best by U.S. News & World Report • Designed to impact your career from the first day of class • Taught by the same faculty-mentors who teach on campus and remain active in their fields 48 Summer 2020

• Convenient and affordable—alumni pay no application fee

From Survivor to Warrior Theresa Flores, ’87, endured sex trafficking as a teenager. Now she’s helping others find justice. By Nick Werner, ’03


t 15, Theresa Flores developed an innocent crush on an older boy. He had jet black hair and a beautiful smile. Whereas the other boys she knew wore blue jeans and T-shirts, he wore pressed slacks, Ralph Lauren shirts, and gold jewelry. They attended the same high school and church. At the time, Flores lived with her white-collar parents in an affluent Detroit suburb called Birmingham. One day, that boy offered to give her a ride home from school in his Trans Am. Flattered, she agreed. “It wasn’t like he was a stranger,” she said. The teen turned the wrong way out of the parking lot, suggesting they go to his own home “for a second.” Raised in a strict Catholic household, Flores responded the way all parents hope their child would in an uncertain situation. “Take me home,” she said. “My mom is waiting.” But the boy disarmed Flores with three simple words, “I like you.” At his home, Flores was offered a can of soda that turned out to be spiked with drugs. Falling unconscious, she was raped by the older boy while his cousins photographed it. “What followed was blackmail through pictures,” Flores said. They threatened to post the photos at her school, send them to her father’s work, and even show them to her family’s priest. Riddled with shame and the fear of disappointing her parents, Flores stayed quiet. She was taken out and sold to men at night with the promise that, by doing so, she could earn back the pictures.


Summer 2020

Photo courtesy of Recoil Offgrid Magazine

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who “selflessly volunteer their time to serve their communities.” Her story has even been featured in an exhibit called Invisible: Slavery Today at Cincinnati’s National Underground Railroad Freedom Center. In sharing details of her experience, Flores has helped shed light on a crime that some assume happens only in other countries, or in rough neighborhoods. Human trafficking is the second-largest criminal enterprise in the world today, according to the United Nations. Some child victims are runaways or kidnapping victims. But many, like Flores, live at home with unsuspecting parents. “Texas believes 79,000 kids in its state are being trafficked at any given time,” she said. “If you extrapolate that, it’s potentially a huge number nationally.”


Photo courtesy of Recoil Offgrid Magazine

Flores holds a SOAP (Save Our Adolescents from Prostitution) fundraising event in Miami. At major events nationwide, she encourages the search for missing children and young women, gathers volunteers to help with SOAP’s mission, and assists survivors.

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“But there were always more pictures being taken. I feared it was never going to end.” To keep her in their grip, her traffickers told her they would kill her family.


lores, now 55, has committed her adult life to fighting human traffickers and advocating for survivors. Human trafficking is using physical force or coercion to exploit victims sexually or through labor. The Ball State alumna and licensed social worker now lives in Columbus, Ohio. She is the author of The Slave Across the Street. Published in 2010, the memoir was a Wall Street Journal and USA Today bestseller.

But the book is just one element of Flores’ high-profile personal battle. In 2009, the Ohio attorney general appointed Flores to the state’s Human Trafficking Commission. Her testimony to its Senate convinced lawmakers to create Ohio’s first law against human trafficking; it was made a felony. Neighboring Michigan got tougher. The Theresa Flores Law eliminated the statute of limitations on some trafficking cases and lengthened it for bringing charges. One year later, she founded the Columbusbased SOAP Project (Save Our Adolescents from Prostitution). In 2017, L’Oreál Paris, the cosmetic manufacturer, recognized Flores with a Women of Worth award. The honor celebrates women

lores was a good Catholic kid who came from a functional family. She was a virgin. She didn’t do drugs. She attended Mass and ran track. Her dad made good money as an engineer with General Electric. Her parents loved their children but were also strict. They did not allow Flores to shave her legs or date until she was 16. “I didn’t look like the typical person this sort of thing happened to. I didn’t fit the mold, if there was one,” she wrote in her memoir. Like a military family, though, the Flores family bounced around the country. Every two years, GE transferred her father to a new post. With each move, Flores struggled to fit in, despite being smart and pretty with beautiful, strawberry-blond hair. Having recently moved to Birmingham, she was socially disconnected and — above all — vulnerable. The blackmail worked like this: Her abuser would call a separate phone line that rang into Flores’ room only. Dressed in her pajamas, she would sneak out of the house, sometimes in bare feet, to meet the boy and his cousins in the Trans Am parked nearby. From there, they would drive her to meet men at motels and private homes. To the men who bought Flores, she was less than human, she wrote. They celebrated in her degradation and pain. Flores endured it all in silence, partly out of fear, but also out of humiliation. She became withdrawn and anxious. She developed migraines and stomach problems. Her grades

dropped. Even on nights when she was at home and in bed, she didn’t sleep well. Her parents noticed the changes and sent Flores to counseling. But she still stayed quiet. The trafficking lasted two years. Then, GE transferred her dad again, this time to Connecticut. She had escaped. But the pain was far from over.


iraculously, Flores resumed a normal teenage life, or, at least, the appearance of one. She applied to Ball State. She was familiar with Indiana, having lived with her family in Fort Wayne, South Bend, and Evansville. And she knew the school’s social work program had a solid reputation. Professor of Social Work Ronald Dolon, EdD ’77, taught Flores at Ball State. He remembers her as bright, conscientious, and quiet. Today, her pioneering social justice efforts are inspiring a new generation of Cardinals. “Theresa is a role model for our students and all social workers,” Dolon said. “Theresa inspired my social work immersive learning class to choose human trafficking as the course topic, and the students developed training materials to raise public awareness.” Flores graduated from Ball State in 1987 as a social work major, background that she says “really helped me to do what I do. I don’t think I could run a nonprofit without my education.” Her Ball State experience was valuable for a different reason — it was therapeutic. A solid group of friends and classmates helped her heal and feel accepted, even though they had no idea the horrors she had endured. She became a resident assistant. She attended football games. In her senior year, Flores finally opened up about her past. Through tears, she told her story to her boyfriend, a fellow student. She wasn’t even sure what to call the crime committed against her. The word “trafficking” didn’t exist back then. He encouraged her to go to the police in Michigan. She did. But the police told her the statute of limitations had passed and there was nothing they could do. She focused on beginning her career as a social worker in Toledo, Ohio, helping pregnant teens. She got married and had children.

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About Human Trafficking


Instead of violence, most human traffickers defraud, manipulate, or threaten victims into commercial sex (pay or goods for sex) or exploitative labor (working while being coerced, deceived, etc.).


There’s more labor trafficking than sex trafficking globally, experts believe.


Males make up to half of sex trafficking victims, one study estimates.


People can be trafficked in their hometowns.


Any minor in commercial sex is a human trafficking victim. Adults are victims when coerced or forced.


Victims won’t necessarily seek help in public; they may fear traffickers’ retribution.


Traffickers can include romantic partners and family. From National Human Trafficking Hotline, Department of Homeland Security.

2020 One Ball State Day

After graduation from Ball State, she decided to tell her parents what happened to her as a teen. They were stunned. With no way to get justice, she did her best to forget the past. But that changed in 2007, when Flores signed up for a law enforcement conference on human trafficking. Worried a client of hers might have been a victim, she attended to learn more about the signs of trafficking. “I realized that was me, too.”


$534,000+ FUNDS RAISED



lores began work on her bestselling book while pursuing a master’s degree in counseling education from the University of Dayton. She graduated in 2007 and began pouring her soul into advocacy and awareness. Flores has been a keynote speaker and a panelist almost too many times to count. She has spoken to Kiwanis chapters, to a small room of retired Catholic nuns in Ohio, and to auditoriums full of college students. She has been a keynote speaker at numerous forums, has been interviewed by Natalie Morales of NBC News, and more. “It’s difficult for any survivor of any trauma to talk about it,” she said. “Fortunately, I’ve done this for a long time. This has become my mission. I have a great counselor and have learned techniques on how to handle it.” In addition to the Michigan and Ohio laws, Flores’ experience and expertise played a critical role in passage of the federal Stop Enabling Sex Traffickers Act (SESTA) in 2018. The act allows the government to hold websites accountable for facilitating online sex trafficking. U.S. Sen. Rob Portman of Ohio, who sponsored the bill in the Senate, credits Flores for inspiring him. “Theresa Flores has done something incredible,” he said in remarks on the Senate floor. “She has channeled her frustration and all of the trauma she went through into something very constructive.”



Despite the accomplishments and accolades, Flores said she still lives with fear. Two of her three abusers are dead. One is still alive and in Michigan. Police know who he is and what he did, she said. They keep an eye on him. Despite all the progress in recent years, Flores said she gets disheartened when powerful men in high-profile prostitution and trafficking cases escape justice. Regardless, Flores isn’t anywhere near giving up the fight. “We have to battle this on all fronts,” she said. “We have to hit the johns. We have to hit the traffickers. We have to do prevention and education. There needs to be a national campaign similar to what happened to domestic violence 20 years ago. It worked. It wasn’t overnight, but it worked.” 

One Big Day for Ball State Students local businesses donated gift certificates for thank-you’s

Gifts From All 50 States Top 5 giving states in red

TOP 3 GIVING TO COLLEGE • College of Fine Arts • College of Communication, Information, and Media • College of Sciences and Humanities

TOP 3 GIVING TO ACADEMIC AREAS • Theatre and Dance • Journalism • School of Music

$80,000 and 420 gifts

given for Beyerl Emergency Aid fund


6.8 million reached through social media

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Cardinals Helping Cardinals

$65,000 and 124 gifts

given to the Take Flight fund


hen the COVID-19 pandemic struck and rapidly turned our lives upside down, many Ball State University students unexpectedly found themselves in need of critical resources for living and learning. Early in the health crisis many universities, including Ball State, were planning their annual giving day, and a majority postponed. Ball State instead opted to shift its fundraising efforts to focus solely on our students’ needs. The results were record breaking and a demonstration of what happens when Cardinal Pride meets beneficence. While much of the population of our nation and the world was practicing social distancing, One Ball State Day on April 7 brought thousands of Cardinals together, virtually, to make an investment in students at a time when they needed it most. Alumni, friends, faculty, staff, and students representing all 50 states contributed more than 6,300 gifts totaling over $530,000. Last year, the University had 4,100 gifts and received more than $425,000 for scholarships, academic programs, student organizations, and other Ball State causes. “I want to thank all of our faculty, staff, students, alumni, and friends who made One Ball State Day donations,” said Ball State President Geoffrey S. Mearns. “We demonstrated how Cardinals help Cardinals, and I am so very grateful for your investment in our students.” The Jack Beyerl Emergency Aid fund and Take Flight were among the gifted funds providing critically needed aid to current and matriculating students. The Emergency Aid fund had 420 gifts totaling more than $80,000 while Take Flight had 124 gifts and over $65,000 in contributions. And you can still contribute to these and other funds at “As a student who is personally impacted by the support of alumni, I am humbled by the fantastic response of One Ball State Day,” says journalism student Madison Surface, who is a member of the Philanthropy Education Council (PEC), a student-run organization that promotes peer giving and engagement at Ball State. PEC members also sharpen their leadership skills by helping plan One Ball State Day. “It is inspiring to know that people who may never meet me or my fellow students still want to give gifts that are beneficial to us and our University,” Surface added. “It motivates me to want to give back as well.” Madison Surface

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Class Notes

Class Notes

The Power of Giving Back D 2800 W. Bethel Ave. Muncie, IN 47304 765-285-1080 Toll Free: 888-I-GO-4-BSU ballstatealumni BallStateAlumni

From the Alumni Association President One of the best ways to learn about the strength of a community is when it’s tested. This Spring, the Ball State community, like so many others across the country, was challenged in a way no one would have imagined before the COVID-19 crisis disrupted our daily lives. This Alumni magazine issue is dedicated to members of the Ball State community living beneficence by making an impact in Muncie, across the nation, and around the world. By definition, beneficence is doing good, performing acts of kindness and charity. We have seen this demonstrated in many ways over the past few months. On Day of Beneficence in May, kind Cardinals used social media to share the good deeds they are doing during COVID-19. Others wrote heartfelt thank-you notes to Ball State donors. In April, more than 5,400 of you gave a total of 6,300 gifts to support students on One Ball State Day. Dollars raised exceeded the $500,000 goal as donors gave from all 50 states. This charity exemplifies how alumni are having real impact at Ball State and beyond when most needed. I hope you are inspired by the stories of nurses, teachers, and others on the frontline of the pandemic. As an alumni community, we celebrate these everyday heroes. Thank you to all who are doing good in your community and conducting acts of kindness. Please share your story on our social channels using #KindCardinals. Finally, let’s celebrate the Class of 2020, whose members graduated in unprecedented times of increasing unemployment, uncertain futures, and completing degrees online. These newest alumni need the 200,000 members of the Ball State University Alumni Association to be there for them. Whether you participate in the “20 for 20 Challenge,” join Cardinals Connect as a mentor, or simply participate in virtual events, please find ways to welcome these new graduates to our community and show how Cardinals help Cardinals! Jamie Acton I hope you find ways to do good in the world President, Ball State Alumni Association while staying safe, healthy, and happy. — Jamie

56 Summer 2020


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Your Representatives

The Alumni Council is the voice of Ball State’s 200,000 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

espite the demands of being principal partner for an Indianapolis real estate development and construction firm as well as a wife and mother, it was important for Kelli Lawrence, ’01, to stay connected to her alma mater. She found the Ball State University Alumni Council was an ideal way for her to do so. A member since 2012, she became council president in July 2019. “Through Ball State, I met my husband and was prepared for a fulfilling and successful career,” she said. “It is an easy decision to give back my time to the University and is truly a family affair.”

The Ball State University Alumni Association supports programs that nurture and strengthen relationships between the University and its alumni and encourage support of the University by its alumni and friends.

What are some of the biggest changes in the council in recent years? We have improved our nomination processes to ensure the highest caliber of members in all positions, collaborated more closely with the Foundation board, and supported important new alumni and University programs such as the Cardinals Connect mentoring platform, One Ball State Day, and Day of Beneficence. What are some of your priorities in where you want to lead the council? Developing a strategic alumni engagement plan that supports the University’s strategic priorities is a key focus of the council this year. We are working now to collaborate with the leadership of Ball State, including the academic deans, enrollment, career services, and other areas in which alumni can be engaged to help advance the University and support students. In addition to this major strategic planning effort, we are evaluating the composition of the council to make sure it is best positioned to support the strategic alumni engagement plan. Ensuring each member’s service is purposeful and all constituencies are represented in a meaningful way is a key focus this year. Finally, we are evaluating each program we offer to ensure it has relevance and adds value to the alumni we serve. There’s uncertainty now created by the COVID-19 crisis. Yet you and your husband (Russ, ’94) recently gave a significant gift to the new George and Frances Ball Scholars Program that’s funding undergraduate Indiana students scholarships. Why was that important to you at this time? Now, more than ever, we need to support our students. The George and Frances Ball Scholars Program is a fantastic way to support those students and participate in a generous matching opportunity to allow our donation to go further. Given the current economic uncertainty, providing financial support to students will be even more critical to attract them to Ball State and keep them on track to graduation. If an alum said to you, “I want to help Ball State but don’t know how to get involved,” what would you tell them? There are literally thousands of ways to be involved. The Alumni Association office is a fantastic resource to help direct alumni to an area of service or involvement that would be meaningful to them — be it social, academic, professional, or based on the place they live. Any person can contribute to Ball State regardless of financial means, from attending an event to sharing Ball State news through your social media networks. Sharing your Ball State story, encouraging students to attend, and proudly wearing your Cardinal attire are great ways to show support for your alma mater. Great universities are known, in part, because of the achievements of their alumni; Ball State is no different. I would encourage all alumni to show their Cardinal pride and to brag a little about their accomplishments. Ball State University Alumni Magazine | WE FLY


Class Notes

Class Notes

Inspired Acts F

Photos courtesy of Ball State Athletics

58 Summer 2020

Photo by Devin Watkins

ormer Ball State basketball standout Trey Moses, ’19, has been on a whirlwind, globetrotting adventure ever since his graduation last Spring. And now that he’s had a chance to catch his breath due to the COVID-19 crisis, Moses says his love for community service and basketball, in that order, are just on a temporary hold. At Ball State, Moses scored 1,000-plus career points, anchored two 20-win teams, and played more games than anyone in Cardinal basketball history. An early childhood education major, his volunteer work includes the local Best Buddies organization and organizing basketball camps for kids with Down syndrome. While Moses was launching his pro hoops career in Bulgaria, Ball State Athletics nominated him for the NCAA’s prestigious Inspiration Award. He was chosen as one of two winners for 2020: The other, running back Rocky Bleier, played on four Super Bowl-winning teams after being wounded in Vietnam. During college, Moses dealt with the blow of his best friend and teammate Zach Hollywood’s suicide. The pair had bonded over basketball and as volunteers for Best Buddies, working on friendship, employment, and leadership development for people with intellectual and developmental disabilities. Zach was someone Trey could talk to about his struggles with depression. “I miss Zach every day,” said Moses. “I will do so the rest of my life.” After completing his season in Bulgaria, Moses played in Australia’s National Basketball League. His father was slated to accept the Inspiration Award for him in Los Angeles, but when COVID-19 canceled his season, they were able to attend together. These days, Moses is at home in Louisville, Kentucky, staying in shape and preparing for a return to Ball State. “Ball State is where I truly found myself and experienced the most caring and wonderful collection of friends, teachers, and teammates possible,” he said. “For several months, starting in August, I’ll be working at the local Head Start program in Muncie, teaching 4-year-olds. I can’t wait to get started.” Moses expects to rejoin his Australian basketball teammates, likely near the end of 2020. “In my life, basketball has been a godsend for me. As long as I can play, I want to do that. And there will always be time to help others along the way.” — Dan Forst, ’85

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20 for 20 Show New Alumni How Cardinals Care

Class Notes

Help in Many Ways M

Cardinal Pride

any alumni have made a difference both nationally and in their communities during the COVID-19 crisis. Here are just a few examples (see also p. 9).

Ultimate Fun Keenan Plew, ’11, launches a disc in American Ultimate Disc League play. He’s the semipro group’s career assists leader, while teammate Cameron Brock, ’12, is the top career scorer. Both played for the Cardinal club team.

As principal planner for comprehensive planning for the city of Burlington, Vermont, Meagan Tuttle, ’10 MA ’11, was assigned by the mayor’s office to play a lead role in an emergency team assembled to coordinate a citywide response to the epidemic. She spoke to an online class of urban planning students about the experience.

Like all players in the league, the two Indy AlleyCats want to get back in the game (COVID-19 delayed the April opener). But they’ll talk anytime about their Ball State days, the game they love, and staying fit. Read more at

A Sports Link alumnus, Drew Adamson, ’15, helped bring NASCAR back to TVs across the U.S. via virtual racing. Adamson, who lives in North Chelmsford, Massachusetts, produced the first eNASCAR iRacing Pro Invitational Series event. It had over 900,000 viewers, making it the mostwatched esports program in TV history. A veteran school counselor in Delaware City Schools, outside of Columbus, Ohio, Marie Weller, ’84, enlisted her closest allies, several toy puppets, to join her in a series of YouTube videos created in her kitchen to help students emotionally weather the COVID-19 crisis. Weller said her students needed her assistance as much as ever as they participate in online learning.

Ball State University Alumni Association welcomes the graduating class of 2020 to the alumni community. Share up to 20 words of congratulations and encouragement to our 2020 grads on social media by using #BSU20for20. We’ll send a Ball State prize pack to some of our favorites that are posted by August 1, 2020. | @ballstatealumni

Amy Amyx, ’00, works to ensure COVID-19 hospital patients receive proper nutrition. As a certified nutrition support clinician at IU Health Ball Memorial Hospital, Amyx is attending to the nutritional needs of intensive care unit patients who must be fed through tubes or IV. “We have handled tough times here in the past and are now taking this in stride as we take all the necessary precautions. Honestly, it’s been emotional.” Architectural designer Ege Yener, ’15, is using his skills in conceptual-design thinking and 3D and 2D design software to help protect health care workers during the COVID-19 crisis. Yener has been integral in organizing a group of architects and designers who own personal 3D printers to work together to print protective gear for medical professionals. He and his wife, Tugce, delivered the first 100 masks to Zuckerberg San Francisco General Hospital and Trauma Center in April.

Photo by Mike Gross


Robert Crowe, ’63, New Castle, IN, celebrated his 80th birthday with family at the home Ball State men’s basketball game February 1. Crowe played basketball for Ball State from 1959-1962.


Doug Haberland, ’72, of Traverse City, MI, was among readers who pointed out an error in our last issue that stated Hurlburt was the first coed residence hall. “Elliott Hall was a coed seniors dorm in 197172,” with men and women on alternate floors. “I lived there after doing my student teaching during first quarter. Though it was seniors only, that would have been before Hurlbut went coed in 1975.” Anthony Infante, ’72, San Antonio, a professor of pediatrics at University of Texas Health San Antonio, serves on the state’s Pediatric Acute-Onset Neuropsychiatric Syndrome Advisory Council with 13 other doctors. It advises the legislature on syndromerelated research, diagnosis, education, and treatment.


Jerry Orem, ’86, Brownsburg, IN, was promoted to president of Hendricks County Bank and Trust. He

has worked in banking for more than 30 years and will oversee daily operations and commercial lending. Orem is a board member of Premier Capital Corp. and a member of the Commercial Lending Committee for Indiana Bankers Association.

Ball State University

John Hudock, ’87, Indianapolis, an information technology senior business analyst at OneAmerica, earned a OneAmerica ASPIRE Outstanding Team Impact Award. It recognizes his outstanding service on behalf of the life insurance, retirement, and employee benefits organization. Hudock began with the company days after graduation.


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Erik G. Watson, ’93, New Haven, IN, was recently made officer of bank at 1st Source Bank in New Haven. Watson has been with 1st Source since 2011, also working in its Fort Wayne Downtown and North Anthony banking centers. In February 2020, Jill Isenbarger, ’94, Pelham, NY, became chief of staff of the U.N. Foundation. Jill is a member of the foundation’s leadership team and is a member of the Executive Office, reporting to the president and CEO. She also serves as principal liaison for the U.N. Foundation board and is a founding member of the League of Women in

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Class Notes Photo by Bobby Ellis

Class Notes

Robert Crowe, ’63

She’s With H.E.R. Singer-songwriter and record producer Tiara Thomas (above), ’12, co-wrote a song for H.E.R.’s self-titled release that won the Grammy for best R&B album in 2019. This year, H.E.R.’s I Used to Know Her was an album of the year nominee. Thomas co-wrote the opening track, “Lost Souls.” Thomas also co-wrote “Slide,” a single H.E.R. released after I Used to Know Her. “She’s like my little sister,” Thomas said of H.E.R. “I’ve known her since she was 15. ... I’ve always known she was special.”

John Hudock, ’87

Juliana M. Mosley, ’96

Food & Agriculture. Her husband, Keith P. O’Connor, ’94, is the city design practice leader for the New York and Washington, D.C., offices of Skidmore, Owings & Merrill LLP, one of the world’s leading architecture, interior design, engineering, and urban planning firms. Jan Behounek, ’96, LaGrange, IL, has joined FGM Architects as a principal in its Chicago office. Behounek has more than 20 years’ experience and will work primarily on higher education projects and business development.

employee safety and security. Price joined DESA, a business unit of KAR, in 2005 as corporate counsel. John R. Gregg, ’99 BAR ’99, Hampstead, MD, was promoted to a principal of GWWO based in Baltimore. He will assist in formulating company policy and positioning GWWO for ongoing success. Gregg has been with the firm since 1999.


Juliana M. Mosley, ’96, King of Prussia, PA, is now chief diversity, inclusion, and community relations officer at Chestnut Hill College. In this role, she will continue to lead and implement policies to support the mission to sustain a campus of equity, diversity, and inclusion, and will now be responsible for cultivating external partnerships with Philadelphia leaders. Lisa A. Price, ’96, Carmel, IN, executive vice president of human resources for KAR Auction Services, has taken on an expanded role of chief people officer. The new position increases focus on KAR’s company culture, employer brand, and

Lisa A. Price, ’96

Stacey R. Hartman, ’02, Fort Wayne, IN, was named 2019 Indiana State Police Forensic Scientist of the Year. This annual award is given to a forensic scientist who has consistently provided superior service to the criminal justice community. Hartman works in the Forensic Firearms Identification Unit at the Fort Wayne Regional Laboratory.

Planned Giving


Your Lasting Legacy … for Generations to Come

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

Mooving Up

Abbi Richcreek, ’02, Warsaw, IN, was recognized as a Project Lead The Way Outstanding Teacher at the national conference. Teachers are selected for their focus on empowering students. Richcreek is a technology education teacher at Edgewood Middle School in Warsaw.

“We all recall the professors and administrators who made a difference in our lives. It is time for alumni to return whatever we can to honor them. Knowing that we are paving a way for future generations of Cardinals is why I chose to join the Beneficence Society by confirming my planned gift with the Ball State University Foundation.”

he temperature was 95 degrees outside the dairy cow costume and who knows how hot on the inside. That blazing August day portraying Buttercup, the Indiana dairy mascot, in a Wells County parade stands out among Jenni Browning’s memories. At the time, she was a master’s student in Ball State’s dietetics program. “There is a picture of me having just taken off the cow head. And it was just sweat.” Browning dressed as the Holstein to generate public support for a community nutrition study she was working on with Dr. Carol Friesen, professor of nutrition and dietetics. The moment was prophetic. About 15 years later, American Dairy Association Indiana (ADAI) named Browning its CEO. ADAI’s mission is to help Indiana dairy farmers thrive. Much of the organization’s work involves marketing and public relations to share how vital dairy products are to nutrition.

Browning earned three degrees from Ball State: an associate’s degree in diet technology in 2002; a BA in exercise physiology and an MA in dietetics, both in 2004. She previously was ADAI’s senior director of communications and wellness, managing partnerships with Indianapolis Motor Speedway, Indiana State Fair, and others. Now is an especially difficult time for dairy farmers, as milk consumption and prices have dropped, partly due to the COVID-19 outbreak. When Browning joined ADAI in 2008, the state had about 2,000 dairy farmers. Now that number is estimated to be about 800. Browning said Friesen and other professors helped prepare her for the challenge of her job and continue to support her. “It means a lot. It has helped guide me through my career. To feel that support and know you can ask questions, even when you are in your career, it’s priceless. Everybody wants a mentor in life.” — Nick Werner, ’03

Allen W. Bernard, ’68 MA ’70 Educator, writer, art collector, and historic preservationist Ball State University Alumni Magazine | WE FLY


Class Notes

“Good Night and Good Sports” That’s how Morry Mannies wrapped up broadcasts during his legendary career as “The Voice of the Cardinals.”

Class Notes

Oldest Member of Ball Family Remembered Lucina Ball Moxley, granddaughter of one of the famed Ball brothers who founded the University, passed away on March 25, 2020, in Indianapolis. She was 101.

Mannies, 81, passed away on March 5, 2020, at Westminster Village in Muncie. Mannie,’60 MA ’64, began his career with Ball State Athletics as an 18-year-old in 1956 when he got behind the microphone to call the Ball State football season opener.

Her 100th birthday coincided with the University’s Centennial. At Commencement in May 2019, she was given an honorary doctorate of arts for her accomplishments as a musician, educator, and patron of music performance and for her long service to the Muncie-based Ball Foundation.

Through 2012, Mannies covered more than 5,500 Ball State and high school football and basketball games, while also logging more than 30,000 hours behind the microphone for WLBC/WXFN Radio in Muncie.

“To celebrate her life and accomplishments during our Centennial was very special,” said President Mearns. “We are grateful to her and to the entire Ball family for their long-standing support.”

“Morry’s passion and dedication to Ball State were unmatched,” said Director of Athletics Beth Goetz. “His broadcasts had a way of tying everyone from students, alumni, faculty and staff, parents, and community members together.”

The granddaughter of William C. Ball, Lucina shared memories in a recent Ball State University Alumni magazine. A graduate of Sarah Lawrence College, the lifelong musician and educator taught her last piano lesson at age 100. She is survived by her daughter Judith; four grandchildren, and five great-grandchildren.

Mannies was on the call for some of the most memorable teams and moments in Ball State history, from seven football bowl teams to seven NCAA men’s basketball tournament appearances, most notably the 1990 Sweet 16 run, and the “Wowie in Maui” when the Cardinals knocked off top-5 teams on back-toback days at the 2001 Maui Invitational.

To read more about the fascinating life of Lucina Ball Moxley, go to

A banner bearing his name, a microphone, and the number 56 hang in the Worthen Arena rafters in his honor. Among many more honors, he was a threetime winner of the Indiana Sportscaster of the Year Award and received the Alumni Association’s Distinguished Alumni Award, its highest honor.

Morgan Saltsgiver, ’02, Fishers, IN, director of Brownfields & AgriBusiness at EnviroForensics, is now president of the Midwestern States Environmental Consultants Association. She is the association’s first female president. Andy Planck, ’05, Fort Wayne, IN, and Ball State Professor Beth Turcotte presented The Wild Party by Andrew Lippa. The jazzy, off-Broadway 1920s whodunit was put on at the Philmore on Broadway in Fort Wayne earlier this year.

The Mannies family established the Morry E. Mannies Sportscasting Scholarship for telecommunications majors interested in being sportscasters. Morgan Saltsgiver, ’02

Kelly M. Bryan, ’06, Elkhart, IN, was tapped as executive director of the Midwest Clinic, an international band and orchestra conference that draws nearly 17,000 people annually. He will be in charge of marketing, social media, and booking venues.


Since 2018, Emile Dixon, ’10, has served on the faculty of Ball State’s Department of Architecture. He is also a designer for the new Ball State Multicultural Center, in collaboration with RGCollaborative, and did the rendering of the new building, as shown in our previous issue.

Emile Dixon, ’10

Please note: All “In Memoriam” listings can now be found online at

64 Summer 2020

Shaun E. Bussert, ’11, Decatur, GA, a family law attorney, has joined Boyd Collar Nolen Tuggle & Roddenbery. He has nearly 10 years’ experience in family law matters, including mediation, contempt, and modification of child support, visitation, and custody.

Sarah Hallowell, ’15, Columbus, IN, expects the debut of her young adult book, A Dark and Starless Forest, in Fall 2021. The fantasy tells about a mysterious caretaker who secludes nine magical siblings in a dark forest while grooming them for a dark and mysterious purpose. Jamill Smith, ’15, played football at Ball State and then in the Canadian Football League. Now back in Muncie, he created Millz2bemade Training to help high school athletes prepare for college play and the recruiting process.

Photo by Don Rogers

To learn about a Ball State doctoral student leading researchers to study aggressive Canada geese in the Indianapolis area, go to

Good for the Goose While Ball State and geese fly, this waterfowl clearly needs a rest. Birds typically return to campus in April; Canada geese are the most common. They breed in Spring and can defend their nests or hatchlings against threats. That behavior inspired a good-natured “notice of trespass” Facebook post by Ball State police. If a goose is aggressive, stare it down, keep facing it, and back away slowly.

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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.

“Fly Your Way Back Home” HOMECOMING • OCTOBER 16–17, 2020

Friday, October 16 Alumni and Friends Golf Outing Bed Race Saturday, October 17 Chase Charlie 5K Homecoming Parade and Alumni Viewing Party CharlieTown Tailgate Ball State vs. Northern Illinois

All events, and the specific nature of their presentation, are subject to change, based on the most current public health and safety guidelines.