Building Community Connections

 August 2012

 Issue #2


ED Group Shot

Recently, Indiana Secretary of Commerce Dan Hasler visited Ball State University for discussions on the continuing economic development of the State of Indiana. Secretary Hasler met with President Jo Ann Gora, John Fallon, Associate Vice President for Economic Development and Community Engagement, Mike Hicks, Director of the Center for Business and Economic Research and Dick Heupel, Director of the Division of Community and Economic Development in Building Better Communities. In addition to an overview of the university’s many and varied economic development-related initiatives and projects, the discussions focused on opportunities and challenges for the future. This meeting was the first in a series of ongoing sessions intended to align the university’s technical and human resources with the state’s needs and interests. Pictured above are Dr. Hicks, President Gora, Secretary Hasler, Mr. Heupel and Dr. Fallon.


BBC Fellows
Economic, Community, and Business Development
EB Ball
Ball State Indianapolis Center


BBC Fellows Showcase

A showcase of project outcomes by immersive learning teams was held in Ball State’s Pruis Hall in April 2012.  Students and faculty from 8 interdisciplinary projects exhibited their outcomes for approximately 300 attendees from the campus and local communities.  Community partners for the projects included Delaware County Court-Appointed Special Advocates, the Ball State Office of Charter Schools, First Merchants Bank, the George Rogers Clark National Memorial, the Henry County Community Foundation, the Henry County Historical Society, the Kurt Vonnegut Memorial Library, and Minnetrista.  The BBC Fellows program is currently recruiting students for the fall 2012 semester.  Students can apply online here.

Matt VanSoestMatt VanSoest Recalls His Work with BBC Fellows

Matt VanSoest, a graduate student of 2011 from the College of Architecture and Planning, recalls his work with a Building Better Communities Fellows project.  During his time at Ball State, Matt worked with Pam Harwood, Associate Professor of Architecture, and numerous students from different disciplines on "Charter Schools: Patterns of Innovation - A New Architecture for A New Education."  The students in this project compiled case studies of Charter Schools from around the nation and created a two-volume guidebook with design patterns and recommendations for future Charter School administrators.  Due in part to the hands-on experience he received from this project, Matt was able to obtain a job with Ancon Construction, an architecture and design firm in South Bend, Indiana.  Please view the video of Matt talking about his experience with this project:

High Riding Art and Equestrian Day Camp

High Riding Art and Equestrian Day Camp Immersive Learning Project was created in order to provide an accessible camp for children with mild disabilities in Blackford County near Ball State. This week-long experience was the culmination of months of planning and preparation by Dr. Ruth Jones, Assistant Professor in the Special Education Department of Teachers College, and her immersive learning project team. Participating Ball State team members came from a wide variety of backgrounds and disciplines, including education, psychology, communication and pre-med. Many other partners also contributed to the success of this camp: Ball State University Building Better Communities; Blackford County Community Foundation; Oak Hill Farms; Mackey/McCammon Farms; Hillcroft Association; Blackford County Schools and others. Equestrian Camp

The setting for the camp was a working business and family farm located amidst pastures and cornfields. A state-of-the-art riding stable on the farm was turned over to the camp for the week. Campers ranged in age from third grade through middle school. They were given experiences in equestrian arts and riding, including care and physiology of horses; visual arts; dance/movement; and science. The camp was funded by various community agencies and the Phyllis and Hamer Schafer Fellows Program at Ball State. Lunches were processed and delivered by the local schools. This camp was provided at no charge to the campers or families, and for many of the children, this was their first summer camp experience.

Plans are currently under way to replicate and sustain this experience, adding more weeks and serving additional campers. Ball State and immersive learning students are in the process of disseminating a planning guide to assist other communities interested in this kind of project. For further information, please contact: Dr. Ruth Jones at


Community Development Course

CDC Class of 2012Building Better Communities held its Community Development Course on May 14-16, 2012 at the Ball State Indianapolis Center. The fifteen participants represented a wide variety of backgrounds, ranging from local elected officials to grant writers to community planners.

Participants were guided through a four-phase framework for community development. BBC staff members Dick Heupel and Sharon Canaday, along with Strategic Development Group Inc. President Thayr Richey, served as course mentors. Sessions included Tools and Resources for Success, Understanding Collaborations, Philanthropy and Community Development, Using Traditional and Nontraditional Sources of Data, and How to Manage Volunteers.

The course received very positive feedback. One participant noted, “This is an awesome program and well worth my time…very educational and tremendous ROI already.”

OrthoWorx Community Attributes Study of Warsaw, Indiana

Formed in 2009 with initial funding from the Lilly Endowment, OrthoWorx is a community-based initiative that works strategically and collaboratively with the orthopedic industry and other stakeholders to help ensure that the Warsaw region continues to reap the social and economic benefits that derive from its position as The Orthopedic Capital of the World.

Ball State University’s Building Better Communities and the Miller College of Business collaborated with OrthoWorx to conduct a community attributes study in Warsaw. One of the community enrichment initiatives recommended in the study was the need for a community web portal to improve awareness of what attributes the community has by raising the visibility of many of the quality-of-life assets in the Warsaw area. The result has been OrthoWorx’s launching of MyWarsaw.Net, a central clearinghouse of information about Warsaw and the surrounding communities. The portal serves as a resource for the residents of the area as well as a marketing tool for those considering the Warsaw area as a place to live, work, or visit.

Pro 100 Summer Youth Employment and Enrichment Program

Philanthropist, Eugene Glick had a vision to provide opportunities for at-risk youth, kids who might not have aspirations to go to college, and kids who are at risk of dropping out of high school. He wanted to provide them with the opportunity to have a meaningful summer work experience, as well as to learn skills that would assist them in obtaining and holding jobs later in life.   Pro 100 Group Photo

This vision led to the creation of the Pro 100 program, a 6-week, summer youth employment and enrichment project that provides work and educational experiences for economically disadvantaged teens.  Through this opportunity, students learn and practice personal responsibility, develop basic life values, and learn new academic, career, and technical skills.  

For more than 30 years, The Eugene and Marilyn Glick Foundation has partnered with the Children’s Bureau of Indianapolis to help organize and administer the Pro 100 program in Indianapolis.  As the first step in expanding the program across the state, the Children’s Bureau partnered with Ball State University to develop a pilot program for the youth in Muncie.  The Ball State pilot project will be used as the model for other universities to follow when offering the program on their campuses in the future.      

As part of this pilot project, twenty local high school students spent a good portion of the summer working on the Ball State campus and at a number of sites around the city on outdoor landscaping and beautification projects, as well as participating in 75 hours of educational programming.    

More than a dozen departments and units across campus worked collaboratively to make this program possible. Together they provided time and resources to help cover everything from meeting space, food, training materials, and instruction to transportation, publicity, landscaping projects and tools, and videography.  

When asked their thoughts at the beginning of the program, most of the students admitted to not knowing what their summer would entail.  By the end of the program, many admitted that no other job they could have found this summer would have been as much fun and educational as the opportunity they were given through the Pro 100 program at Ball State.

Insurance Education Institute: Another Successful Year

IEI Class of 2012The year 2012 marked the seventh offering of the Insurance Education Institute at Ball State University. A $103,500 grant awarded by the Griffith Insurance Education Foundation provided middle school and high school teachers the opportunity to enroll in either a three-credit hour hybrid or a completely online graduate course for free. Because space in the program is limited, each prospective teacher went through an application and selection process.

Teachers who opted for the hybrid course arrived on campus the week of June 18-22. Components of this experience included orientation, speaker presentations, a field trip to Indianapolis, group presentations, and an awards luncheon. During the field trip experience, teachers listened to panel discussions from Indiana Farm Bureau Insurance Company and the Gregory & Appel Independent Insurance Agency. They learned about the multitude of careers in the insurance field, as well as the types of skills and qualities that the industry is seeking in future employees. Also, the teachers networked with their peers from various schools around the state as well as surrounding states to prepare and present their group lesson plans using the MediaSite technology in the Ball Communications Building.

The grand finale included an IEI awards luncheon. Each teacher received a Certificate of Recognition from U. S. Senator Richard Lugar’s office, a Certificate of Accomplishment from the Griffith Insurance Education Foundation, an IEI group photo, and a Ball State University T-shirt for their diligent efforts. Two teachers were the recipients of the John C. Etling Award for the highest degree of excellence in the hybrid course. Each was awarded $500 toward resources for their classrooms to enhance teaching insurance in their curriculum.

As year seven fades into the annals of time, the IEI team will take a brief hiatus. However, the torch will be carried once again to start the ten-month process of planning and preparations for another successful year of this unique program.

BBC and Learning & Development Partnership

As a new outreach service to the East Central Indiana Region, Ball State University is offering several programs to help develop the local workforce. BSU’s Offices of Learning and Development and Building Better Communities are working together to offer high-value, low-cost training classes, normally open only to BSU employees. Our goal is to help increase the region’s economic strength by offering educational resources to our business and community partners.

More than 100 participants from a number of local business and community organizations including Minnetrista Cultural Center, First Merchants Bank, and Muncie Public Library participated in the training classes last year.

UPCOMING PROGRAM – FALL 2012 Academy for Community Leadership (ACL)

Sponsored by Ball State University and the Muncie-Delaware County Chamber of Commerce, Class 58 of the Academy for Community Leadership (ACL) will start September 6, 2012, 7:30-10:00 a.m. The 13 weekly sessions will include local history, business community, government, health care, cultural awareness, education, leadership styles and other topics. The registration fee is $295 for chamber members and $345 for non-chamber members. To enroll or obtain information about ACL, please visit or contact Nancy Norris directly at or 765-751-9127.

UPCOMING PROGRAM – FALL 2012 Executive Leadership Webinar Series

Instruction in a wide variety of business and management topics is being provided to alumni and friends through the Executive Leadership Webinar Series, sponsored by Building Better Communities and the Miller College of Business. Programs in the series will provide content which today’s managers can use right away – a perfect complement and extension of our experience and long-standing tradition of delivering distance learning opportunities.  Participants will learn about cutting-edge business practices taught by our world-class faculty.  For additional information please visit .


The E.B. and Bertha C. Ball Center was entered into the National Register of Historic Places on April 10, 2012, along with the other houses along Minnetrista Boulevard. The official State and National Register certificates were presented during a special ceremony at the Indiana State Fair, August 9, 2012. The National Register of Historic Places is the official inventory of sites with national, state, or local significance in the development of our nation’s cultural heritage. We are grateful to the Minnetrista Cultural Center for their efforts in establishing the new Minnetrista Boulevard Historic District.


Center for Technology Education at the Indianapolis Center

Indianapolis CenterThe Ball State Center for Technology in Education (CTE), in partnership with the Center for Interactive Learning and Collaboration (CILC), held an all-day conference at the Ball State Indianapolis Center on July 24, 2012 entitled “Teaching and Learning in a Virtual School.” Students, teachers and administrators from the Hoosier Academies and the Achieve Virtual Education Academy discussed the opportunities and challenges of teaching in an online environment. This workshop is just one step towards the CTE @Indy’s goals of 1). engaging teachers, schools, vendors and government agencies as partners in identifying critical needs in K-12 schools; 2). showcasing strategic and emerging technologies that the CTE can bring to schools and communities; 3). building a sustainable hub for school professional development programs and services; and 4). establishing sustainable communities of practice with an agenda to influence school improvement, teacher education, and teacher professional development.

The Indy Center Welcomes Sahm’s Cafe

The Ball State Indianapolis Center has formed a new partnership with Sahm’s Café to offer full service breakfast and lunch to the downtown community in its first floor area. Hours are 7am-2pm Monday through Friday.

Upcoming Workshop: Wine Appreciation

The Ball State Indianapolis Center, along with, St. Elmo Steak House is offering a six-session personal enrichment course on wine appreciation beginning in October 2012 and running through March 2013. The Wine Bible by Karen MacNeil will be the guidebook with each session, featuring wines from various regions along with tastings. If you’re interested in learning how to buy wine, store wine, what makes a great wine, or food & wine pairings, this social class may be for you. Call (317) 822-6167 for more information.