Building Community Connections

January 2013

Issue #3


Building Better CCommunity Asset Inventory Projectommunities and the Center for Business and Economic Research collaborated on two projects that received national recognition at the University Economic Development Association’s Summit in October. One was the Indiana Toll Road Economic Development Corridor Study which produced a set of research-supported recommendations for improving economic conditions along the seven northernmost Indiana counties. It was funded by a consortium of businesses, economic development and transportation service providers, and local and state governments. The second was the Community Asset Inventory and Rankings (CAIR) project that produced report cards for each Indiana county. Subjtoll road reportect areas receiving grades are: People; Human Capital: Education; Human Capital: Health; Government Impact & Economy; and Arts, Entertainment, and Recreation. Counties’ Public Amenities received an indexed number where 100 = average. CAIR is available online at

Ball State was the only university twice-recognized at the Summit. Both projects were finalists in the Research and Analysis category. Other universities receiving recognition included University of Missouri, Iowa State University, Kansas State University, West Virginia University, Arizona State University, Pennsylvania State University, University of Georgia, North Carolina State University, and University of Alaska.  


IAC - Cultural Community Planning 

Indiana Economic Development Course 

Geothermal Conclave

BBC Fellows Showcase 

Magna cum Murder Crime Writing Festival 

E.B. Ball Holiday Open House

Sports Corporation Exec Visits Campus

Indiana Sports Corporation logo

Allison Melangton, President of the Indiana Sports Corporation, was on campus during early December for a series of exploratory meetings.  These sessions explored the intersection of the Indiana Sports Corporation’s challenges, opportunities and interests and the resources of Ball State University.  Melangton met with Terry King, Provost and Vice President for Academic Affairs and John Fallon, Associate Vice President for Economic Development and Community Engagement, to get a general sense of the institution’s particular capabilities and capacity, and had follow-on sessions with Kelli Huth and David Pierce, Chairman of the Department of Sports Administration, to explore immersive learning opportunities for students.  

There were two primary avenues for collaboration that evolved during these meetings.  One of these focused on the issue of youth obesity and how the Corporation and the university might partner to address this challenge.  The other possibility involved promoting and providing sports event management services to outstate Indiana communities.  Both organizations pledged to continue this exploration early in 2013.

University Connects with Indianapolis Airport Authority

group photoThe Indianapolis Airport Authority is on the move with a full array of opportunities and possibilities.  This is the clear impression that was conveyed by Michael Huber, Senior Director of Commercial Enterprise at the Indianapolis Airport Authority.  Huber, one of the key leaders of the IAA, visited the university on December 18th to meet with campus leaders.  In addition to several sessions with John Fallon, Associate Vice President for Economic Development and Community Engagement, Huber participated in other meetings with Terry King, Provost and Vice President for Academic Affairs, Michel Mounayar, Associate Dean, College of Architecture and Planning, and BBC Community and Economic Development team members Dick Heupel, Director, and Sharon Canaday and Heather Kemper, Associate Project Managers.  

While there were many and varied ideas that were discussed, five were identified for further exploration.  These include the following:

  1. Landscaping design and development between the city center and the airport.
  2. Regional development projects involving some or all of the four counties that are adjacent to the airport.
  3. Working with AeroVision, a regional, multi-jurisdictional advisory group that will be getting involved in larger, longer-term development projects.
  4. Exploration of a multi-modal transportation center that would be located adjacent to the airport.
  5. Design and development of a 3-D model of the city for display in some conspicuous location at the airport.
  6. Business planning for the airport, particularly relating to the types of businesses the IAA hopes to recruit.

It is expected that these ideas will continue to be explored in the months immediately ahead.

BioCrossroads Officials Meet with University Leaders

BioCrossroads LogoDavid Johnson, President and CEO of both BioCrossroads and the Central Indiana Community Partnership, and Matt Hall, Director of Projects for BioCrossroads and Principal with the Indiana Seed Fund, visited the university on January 8th to explore collaborative opportunities.  These people had several meetings involving Dean Mike Maggiotto, Dean of the College of Sciences and Humanities, Dean Roger Lavery, Dean of the College of Communication and Information Management, Robert Morris, Associate Provost and Dean of the Graduate School, David Ferguson, Associate Vice President for Emerging Media Initiatives and Executive Director of the Center for Media Design, John Straw, Assistant Dean for Digital Initiatives and Special Collection, Kemuel Badger, Chair of the Biology Department, Patty Lang, Chair of the Chemistry Department and John Fallon, Associate Vice President for Economic Development and Community Engagement.  One of the highlights of this visit was a demonstration of the university’s Transmission Electron Microscope (TEM) conducted by Derron Bishop, Assistant Director and Associate Professor of Physiology and Health Science.  

The discussions involved in the visit spanned a wide range of subjects including prospects for engagement of university faculty in exploring the health-related economics that under girds much of BioCrossroads’ work, connections to OrthoWorx, a Warsaw, Indiana-based advocacy organization for the orthopedic manufacturing sector, relationships with TechPoint, the primary advocacy organization for the information technology sector in central Indiana, as this relates to the life sciences, and the needs for the high-level bio-science microscopy.  There was also discussion about how the university can engage with the Indiana Health Information Exchange.  The sum of these possibilities will continue to be explored in subsequent meetings with an eye toward active engagement/outreach projects for the university that will serve to support the life sciences sector in Indiana.


Indiana Arts Commission: Cultural Community Planning 

Arts, culture, IAC logoand history play a definitive role in creating a sense of place and contribute to the quality of life in a community.  The Indiana Arts Commission, recognizing that communities have different approaches to cultural community planning,  in October of 2011 offered a colloquium, Creating Vibrant Communities through the Arts to help them plan for future innovation and growth using arts as a focal point.  Communities that took part in this colloquium became eligible for a community capacity building consultancy.  Eight Indiana communities were awarded a one-on-one consultancy.  Ball State University’s Building Better Communities was paired with three of these communities, to provide technical and planning assistance. 

Arcadia (Hamilton County):
Located on the Nickel Plate rail line, Arcadia was home to a booming glass industry due in part to an abundance of natural gas in the area.  The Arcadia Arts Initiative and the Heritage Museum are partnering to preserve the arts and cultural history of the community and plan for a collaborative community effort that will embody arts and history in instructional, educational, and experiential initiatives for residents and visitors.

Ligonier (Noble County):
Home to museums, mansions, and murals that capture the rich cultural history of the community, Ligonier is focusing on the development of a marketing plan for cultural tourism that will build upon the Legends of Ligonier brand and the many cultural, arts, and historic assets in and around the city.

Noblesville (Hamilton County):               
Noblesville’s downtown, anchored by a traditional “square” is home to a visual and performing arts and artists and the Nickel Plate Arts.  The City is exploring the establishment of a cultural arts district that will provide residents and visitors the opportunity to participate in the arts, while integrating community and economic development with arts and culture.

Indiana Economic Development Course

EDC imageBBC will offer the Indiana Economic Development Course on January 14-18 at the Horizon Convention Center.  Nearly 2,000 local elected officials, state and federal employees, and civic leaders from across Indiana have attended the ED Course.  The ED Course is an intensive training in the basic concepts, methods, and strategies of economic, industrial, business, and community development and is accredited by the International Economic Development Council.  For more information, please visit the ED Course webpage.

Geothermal Conclave

geothermal projectThe Ball State University Geothermal Conclave, scheduled for February 11-13, 2012 at the L.A. Pittenger Student Center, will bring together people from disparate professions who will present and share information about ground-source geothermal systems, advance the field in a variety of directions, and showcase the first large-scale, newly-operational geothermal district heating and cooling system in the nation. 

Activities include: 

  • Tours of the various components and systems actions within the Ball State geothermal district heating and cooling system; 
  • Workshops on the design, installation and operation of geothermal systems; 
  • Product/equipment exhibits;
  • A mini-research conference of academic papers/presentations; and
  • Panel presentations with audience interaction on the state of the art in the industry.

Program planning of the Geothermal Conclave is being coordinated by the following areas:  Center for Energy Research, Education, and Service (CERES), Building Better Communities (BBC), Facilities Planning & Management, Department of Geological Sciences, and University Development. 

For more information: 


Summer/Fall 2012 Showcase 

Fellows showcaseA showcase of summer and fall immersive learning projects was held in Ball State’s Student Center Ballroom on December 5th.  Students and faculty from the following interdisciplinary teams exhibited their projects for the campus and local communities: 

Arts Place - A Brand Image Campaign
Community Partner:  Arts Place
Faculty Mentor: Susan Powell Mantel, Department of Marketing & Management
The Arts Place in Portland, Indiana serves 15 rural counties in East Central Indiana and West Central Ohio. Supporting arts appreciation, education, and services for Artists, the new marketing plan for The Arts Place successfully integrated new locations and broadened awareness, coverage area, and participation in three venues in Portland, Hartford City, and St. Marys, Ohio.  Students created a brand image campaign for The Arts Place to generate synergy across the three venues while maintaining individual community differences. 

Ball Memorial Hospital/IU Health – Wellness Inventory for Delaware County
Community Partner:  Ball Memorial Hospital/IU Health
Faculty Mentor: Jane Ellery, Fisher Institute for Wellness and Gerontology
IU Health Ball Memorial Hospital has developed a strategy for cataloging information about wellness programs and initiatives available in Delaware County.  This project team worked with the hospital to devise a strategy to collect information from as many organizations as could be identified. Students helped IU Health Ball Memorial develop a more comprehensive wellness inventory by developing a comprehensive report of their findings.

Blackford County High Riding Art and Equestrian Day Camp
equistrian camp photo for issue 3Community Partners:  Blackford County Community Foundation, Blackford County School Corporation, Hillcroft Services, Mackey and McCammon Farms
Faculty Mentor: Ruth Jones, Department of Special Education
The Blackford County High Riding Art and Equestrian Day Camp project offered authentic experiences for students seeking to design and implement a day camp program.  The students in this project studied psychological, environmental and cultural factors that contribute to mild and moderate disabilities.  Working collaboratively with several community agencies and nonprofit organizations, the students planned and implemented a week-long program for campers with disabilities.  The camp included horseback riding and associated equestrian experiences, art and crafts, physical exercises, science, music, and other enrichment activities.

Historic Muncie – Preserving Middletown’s Neighborhoods
Community Partners:  Delaware County Historical Society, Muncie Historic Preservation and Rehabilitation Commission, East Central Neighborhood Association
Faculty Mentor: Chris Flook, Department of Telecommunications
Historic Muncie: Preserving Middletown's Neighborhoods chronicles the history of Muncie, Indiana, through an interactive online museum detailing the historic districts of the town.  This semester, students produced three additional documentaries and expanded the photo collection to include 12 designated historic districts.  Students were also involved in the development of the first annual Midwest Restoration Festival in the Emily Kimbrough District.  These students researched historical narratives, took photos, produced marketing materials, suggested organizational strategies and developed fundraising campaign ideas for future festivals. 

Hunt Construction Group: Branding Assessment & Positioning Strategy
Community Partner:  Hunt Construction Group
Faculty Mentors: Russ Wahlers and Jim Jones
Departments: Marketing & Management, Technology
This student team helped to strengthen the brand position of a major national, high-volume contracting company as part of a strategy to give The Hunt Construction Group a competitive edge in its key market segments.  The project offered practical exposure to business-to-business problem solving involving marketing research, brand image assessment and positioning, and marketing communication strategy development.  Students from marketing, advertising, construction management, public relations, and graphic design were a part of this interdisciplinary project team. 

Impact Local Government
Community Partner:  The City of Muncie
Faculty Mentor: Frank Sabatine, Department of Political Science
Students worked directly with government officials needing fresh ideas and input to make improvements in the current operation of an active city government office. The City of Muncie, along with these political science course participants, helped restructure the Office of Building Commissioner.

Innovation Connector Ambassadors – Program Development for Small Business Mentorship
Community Partner:  Innovation Connector
Faculty Mentor: Peggy Fisher, Department of Communication Studies Marketing, Public Relations, Communication Studies, Entrepreneurship, Telecommunications, Graphic Design, and Sales students benefitted from this project experience with Muncie’s Innovation Connector, a small business start-up support network seeking to develop a formal mentorship program.  These “IC Ambassadors” worked on the ground level of a project that will lead to a comprehensive marketing and media campaign for this newly-created program.

Nature Play – Responsible Design for Environmental Learning
Community Partner:  Head Start of Delaware County
Faculty Mentor: Pam Harwood, Department of Architecture
Research shows that children who play in and explore natural environments adapt conservation and sustainability values as adults. Students from many disciplines explored an environmentally responsible design ethic while researching best practice case studies and developing design principles for environmental education. Collected data was used to further develop and illustrate nature-based outdoor learning areas for the local Head Start pre-school program.

Project Leadership and Ball State Partnership
Community Partner:  Project Leadership
Faculty Mentor: Melinda Messineo, Department of Sociology
Project Leadership is a program dedicated to supporting students in the 21st Century Scholars program.   Students worked to improve their assessment and tracking processes through data collection and database development. This sociology class engaged in research, instrument formatting and data analysis to create solutions that will help the community partner to build on the program’s success.

Sallie MaSallie Mae logoe Employee Wellness
Community Partner:  Sallie Mae
Faculty Mentor: Jane Ellery, Fisher Institute for Wellness and Gerontology
Sallie Mae is in the initial stages of developing an employee wellbeing initiative.  Students partnered with the company to facilitate the development of a culturally appropriate employee wellbeing strategic plan. Activities included conducting an interest and needs assessment, developing an electronic survey and delivery process for Muncie-based employees, and the launch of a “Wellness Committee” and identifying “Wellness Leaders” based on survey results. Ball State students delivered a written strategic plan to the executive team and each wellness leader.  Additionally, students delivered an oral presentation to the wellness committee and other invitees.  

Social Entrepreneurship - Strategies for Growth (Mr. Canary)
Community Partner:  The Mr. Canary Company
Faculty Mentor: Susan Clark Muntean, Department of Marketing & Management
Students learned about social entrepreneurship while helping transform an Indiana company from a $500K operation to a multi-million dollar corporation.  Team members worked directly with the inspiring co-founder and CEO of the company, Ms. Jan Long, to formulate strategy and make recommendations for the growth of her certified WBE (women-owned business enterprise). 

Sustainability Report for B.S.U. —Global Reporting Initiative
Community Partner:  Ball State University’s Council on the Environment (COTE)
Faculty Mentor: Gwendolen White, Department of Accounting
Students learned about living and working in a sustainable way and explored the social, environmental and financial impacts of Ball State University.  The project resulted in an update of the current Ball State Global Reporting Initiative Sustainability Report.  Undergraduates and graduates teamed up to acquire experience that put their work on par with what has become mainstream reporting among the largest 250 companies in the world.  

Visit Indiana Community Partner:  The Indiana Office of Tourism Development
Faculty Mentors: Chris Flook & Rod Smith, Department of Telecommunications
The Indiana Office of Tourism Development (IOTD) continued to partner with Ball State University to use high-definition video technology to highlight Indiana road trip ideas in a creative way. Students created state-of-the art, relevant content to drive traffic to the IOTD’s consumer website,  This semester’s work features destinations in Brown County, Hendricks County, Parke County, Lafayette, Madison, and Columbus.  The team also showcased the partnership through public relations and social media to further generate awareness of Indiana travel opportunities.  These project results will support the state’s promotion of “Visit Indiana Week.”  


Magna cum Murder Crime Writing Festival 

Magna logoThe 18th Magna cum Murder Crime Writing Festival was held October 26 - 28 at the Horizon Convention Center, where it has been held since the inaugural festival. The event draws readers, authors and vendors from all over the United States, and even abroad. Guest of honor was SJ Rozan, a native New Yorker, and creator of twelve novels in the popular Lydia Chin/Bill Smith series as well as several highly critically acclaimed stand-alone novels.  Her work has won the Edgar, Shamus, Anthony, Nero and Macavity awards for Best Novel and the Edgar for Best Short Story. She's also the recipient of the Japanese Maltese Falcon award.  

Banquet Speaker was Eric G. Wilson, author of Everybody Loves a Good Train Wreck: Why We Can't Look Away, Against Happiness: In Praise of Melancholy, and The Mercy of Eternity: A Memoir of Depression. He is the Thomas H. Pritchard Professor of English at Wake Forest University where he teaches British and American Romanticism.  

The 19th annual Magna cum Murder Crime Writing Festival will move to Indianapolis next year to the historic Columbia Club, located on Monument Circle.  

Holiday Open House

The E.B. and Bertha C. Ball Center hosted a Holiday Open House as a part of Minnetrista Cultural Center’s Luminaria Walk on November 30 and December 1. This 2-day event brought an unprecedented 5,722 people to the Center for a tour of the house and decorations while enjoying local musicians and exhibits. This year’s musicians included White River Recorder Society, Frank Sabatine, and the Christmas Cabaret. The latter is a group of students who are enrolled in the Center’s Cabaret Singing class instructed by Dale Basham.