TCOM Alumni Society Board of Directors Meeting
April 24, 2014 at 3:00 p.m.
Ball State University Letterman Building

Kelly Harlow, Brian Harrington, Todd Merickel, Tim Pollard, Chris Taylor, and Laura Waldron. Phone: Ben Goldenberg, Johanna Crosier, Christine DeJoy, Kristen Lampkin, Melissa Schenkel, Abby Walton, and Mel Watson.

Call to Order
The meeting was called to order at 3:07 p.m. by President Mel Watson. Minutes The minutes from the October 11, 2013 meeting were unanimously approved following Merickel’s motion to approve and Taylor’s second.

Watson noted that the goal in the first year of her presidency is to solidify the alumni society - ensure everyone is on the board who wants to be, an Alumni Council representative is in place, strengthen the society’s reach and visibility in other areas of the country. She wants the TCOM Alumni Society to be an active, working board.

Watson congratulated the alumni who received regional Emmys. To that end, Watson requested that alumni let her or Taylor know when alumni in their communities are recipients of regional Emmys or other awards. She would like the department and the society to publicize these accomplishments.

Watson and Taylor have discussed ways that she or department can increase communication with alumni, and specifically this board, to increase engagement and involvement with decisions. Is it email, fb, online community. Watson is not confident that an email chain is best way. Would the group prefer to communicate via a Facebook alumni page where messages and notes can be stored? Podcast in the fall? Secondary website?

Waldron noted that minutes and documents should be stored on the TCOM Alumni Society page. Alumni with historical documents and photos that they would like archived in this area, should send the information to Waldron. Taylor reminded the society that this is an opportunity to formalize the Alumni of the Year selection. He and Watson will review the criteria for other alumni society awards and will establish a more formal selection process for the society’s review.

After further discussion, it was agreed that communication via Facebook and email work equally well for those in attendance. Watson will follow-up with those not on the call. Taylor added that he is exploring a way to communicate with students through a Smartphone app. That might be a potential for alumni as well, as it is a free service.

Alumni Mentorship Program 
Watson reminded the membership that two falls ago, there was talk about creating an alumni mentorship program. She would like this to be a leading priority this fall. She is hoping this is a great opportunity to energize alumni who are located around the country, promote Ball State, and perhaps bring the next great journalist to Ball State.  She envisioned having board members be more involved with local high schools as speakers or by offering internship or senior project opportunities. The board was very supportive of a mentorship program. 

Discussion turned towards limitations with what corporations allow high school students to participate in and the need to establish guidelines and topics in advance. Crosier suggested creating an annual Ball State Day (or week) where students from different markets and across disciplines can job shadow. Lampkin noted that it could even be less formal than shadowing – career panels or helping students prepare for interviews can still be geared towards Ball State. The board agreed that a Ball State Day might be an opportunity to engage alumni across the country and worth formalizing and pursuing.

Harlow suggested the board also consider a mentoring program for Ball State seniors as those last two semesters are crucial. She mentored a student previously and it was a great experience. Waldron suggested the board look at the MCOB mentoring program as a model and tweak it to meet the department’s needs. Harrington, Merickel and Taylor will work with MCOB to determine guidelines.

Watson will host a brainstorming session for the mentoring program over the summer for alumni who can make it back to campus.

Department Report
Pollard reported that enrollment is approximately 1,300 undergraduate and graduate students. Journalism and TCOM now have an equipment fee per semester so that equipment can be refreshed at better pace. Digital sports production in first year. Taylor noted that it is the first sports production track in the country for sports media and production. The goal is to expand and to attract out of state students – in four years the department hopes to attract ten out of state students starting in fall of 2014. The attention the track has received on a national scale has been everything and more than expected.

Pollard updated the society on the Unified Media Lab construction. It is hoped that the glass enclosed news studio will be up and running by Homecoming. As a side note, Ball State received 19 Emmy nominations and Dr. Joe shared that the Indiana Broadcasters Association awarded all seven scholarships to incoming Ball State students.  

In immersive learning news, the department is finalizing the only documentary on the five Ball brothers. The department received a $100,000 Foundation grant for this project. Other projects include work for the Indiana Department of Tourism, the Indiana School for the Deaf, Meals on Wheels, and documenting the (halfway completed) path to Broadway for Circus in Winter.

Two new faculty members will join the department in the fall. The new Edmund F. and Virginia B. Ball Endowed Chair of Telecommunications, Vanessa Ament, is the first female Ball Chair. She was a Foley Artist for 20 years and is known for work with Platoon, Schwarzenegger movies, and other 80s and 90s action films. The other faculty addition is Michelle Shaw, ’99. She has worked with sales and promotions for AT&T and others.

Nancy Carlson will retire next year. Alumni have asked what they can do for a retirement gift. She has requested that donations be made to the faculty scholarship fund. Watson and Taylor will provide more information as Carlson’s retirement gets closer.

Alumni Council Report
Merickel reported on the January 18, 2014 Alumni Council meeting. He updated the society on the presidential search and the university’s $20 million CardinalCommitment Campaign for athletic facilities and scholarships. The Council approved a matching gift challenge which encourages alumni giving by having the Alumni Association match gifts made by December 31, 2014 for up to $300,000. The next council meeting is May 10. Merickel has a work conflict and Taylor will be the society’s proxy.

Next meeting and Adjournment
The fall meeting will be on Friday, October 10, 2014 at 3:00 p.m. in the Letterman Building. This will be in conjunction with TCOM/CCIM Alumni Day. The meeting adjourned at 3:58 p.m. 

Respectfully submitted,

L. Waldron

TCOM Alumni Society Board of Directors Meeting

October 11, 2014 at the Ball State University Letterman Building

Present: Johanna Crosier, Brian Harrington, Tracy Hendricks, Krista Hoffman-Longtin, Todd Merickel, Tim Pollard, Chris Taylor, Bill Vincent, Laura Waldron, and Mel Watson. Present By Phone: Christine DeJoy, Kelly Harlow, Kristin Lampkin, Dave Studinski, Jim Tobloski, and Abby Walton. Guests: Emily Barker, Lori Byers, Nancy Carlson, Payne Horning, Roger Lavery, Joe Misiewicz, and Jungun Moon.

Call to Order
The meeting was called to order at 3:05 p.m. by Hoffman-Longtin, who has served the board as chair. Misiewicz noted that the alumni society had been functioning independently from the Alumni Association since 1998, but would now operate under the umbrella of the association thanks to Don Park’s outreach. Taylor added that Misiewicz and Carlson had also been instrumental in these efforts as well. Pollard reminded the board that the constitution requires two meetings annually and these will be the Friday before Homecoming and the Thursday before spring commencement to coincide with department activities.

Hendricks noted that the board would need to elect a secretary/Alumni Council representative to attend meetings in Muncie three times per year. There will also need to be elections for a chair and vice chair. Board discussion ensued and it was important for the Alumni Council representative to be local. Merickel was nominated and agreed to serve. (Note: after the meeting, Hoffman-Longtin held elections via email. The officers are: Melissa Harrison-Watson, chair; David Studinski, vice chair; Todd Merickel, secretary/Alumni Council representative; Chris Taylor, faculty representative; and Tim Pollard, department chair (by position).

CCIM Dean’s Update 
Dean Lavery thanked the board for participating in today’s takeover events. Students value alumni feedback, participation, and commitment of time and energy to the department and college. He mentioned that the CCIM annual report is available in the App Store and Android marketplace and there is also a PDF available.  Lavery encouraged everyone to check out the facilities, like the Unified Media Lab before he departed to honor Steve Bell at the Benefacta dinner later in the evening. 

TCOM - State of Department
Pollard thanked Carlson for stopping by the meeting. She will be retiring in a year and a half. She currently teaches in the fall and not the spring.

There was discussion on changes in the sales and promotion option: students are now focusing on advanced media sales, instead of advanced radio sales. Carlson mentioned that the department students have an interest in event marketing, sponsorships, and promotion, but it is difficult to find employment associated with this concept. Pollard shared that this is an area where alumni can assist – what kind of faculty background and experiences should the department pursue to give students those most valuable experience? What qualities make up the ideal sales/promotion position? Carlson cautioned that advertising is key as this position might pull a research focused person and that may or may not be the type of person the department needs here. Taylor’s digital sports production track is in it’s first year and BC 215-16 are now converted to high tech sports area. The first group of 16 freshman have started on the digital sports track.  A BS in digital media engineering technology is being researched with the assistance of ESPN and Turner Sports. The industry says employable students will need to know both technology and production.

The new news studio and control room may receive final approval to house Daily News, Ball Bearings, and Sports Link in a new high definition studio. Feedback from the society on department opportunities include immersive learning experiences for students and the potential for a job or career fair.

Student Organizations Update
Barker, Student Advisory Council (SAC) representative, reported that after the super party, a student organization open house was held to assist student organizations with recruitment. Currently, all departmental organizations are updating their constitutions. Tomorrow, SAC will have a Homecoming tailgate for students and alumni, location TBD. There will be a TCOM flag to help locate the group in the tailgate are and they will tweet and post the location to Facebook.

Horning, SAC and WCRD general manager, reported that the Comcast expansion will increase the audience for student news programming. Barker added that a Comcast Fellow is working to make sure broadcasts are located on Comcast’s On Demand as the reach will go beyond Delaware County.

WCRD now sells ads and web banners in order to be self supporting.

WCRD is striving to reach out to the community more and be more philanthropic as the community relationship is vital.  He is working with Gerhard to purchase iPod shuffles for Alzheimer’s patients. WCRD is also hosting a High School Radio Day on October 26 from 9:00 a.m. – 4:00 p.m. to allow students to learn from local professionals about sales, management, news, sports radio education. Speakers will represent IPR, WMDH, WLBC, and WCRD alumni Allison Suer and Chris Lowry will speak. The president of Emmis Communications will be the keynote.

WCRD is celebrating its 25th anniversary this year. On October 24, there will be a reception honoring Darrell Wible, professor of radio, from 5:30-7:30 p.m. in the Letterman Building Lobby. Wible’s contributions will be commemorated with the unveiling of the WCRD smartphone app (Droid and iPhone). Alumni interesting in speaking at the event can contact Horning. The event’s itinerary is available on There is hope this may become an annual event including a tour of the building and representation from all departments and majors.

LA Alumni
DeJoy noted that she was putting together an LA alumni list. She has about fifteen alumni from 1999-2003 and would love to expand the group.  Byers may be able to assist with this. Pollard added that TCOM would love to bring back the TCOM Showcase and may work to combine the event with the Theatre and Dance LA Showcase.

Byers passed out  tickets for the evening’s reception at Cleo’s. She also passed out CCIM pens. There being no further business, the meeting was adjourned at 4:05 p.m. The next meeting will be held on Thursday, April 24 at 3:00 p.m. in the Letterman Building. The banquet at the Alumni Center will follow that evening.