Building Community Connections

October 2013

 Issue #5

 Primacy of Place™ Initiative: Updates

 Primacy of Place Conference  

PoPCON13 - Conference Huge Success

The Primacy of Place™ Conference was held at the JW Marriott in downtown Indianapolis on Friday, Sept. 20th.  Over 200 local officials, business and civic leaders gathered to share and explore the art of developing, attracting, and retaining talent through quality of place initiatives.  

The agenda featured state and national thought-leaders who provided insights and new perspectives on the economic significance of place.  Presenters included Fortune 160 Indiana Company Cummins, Inc.’s CEO Tom Linebarger, president and founder of Project for Public Spaces Fred Kent, OrthoWorx president Sheryl Conley, Lieutenant Governor Sue Ellspermann, Provost Terry King, Inside INdiana Business host and creator Gerry Dick, and BBC’s Dick Heupel.

The afternoon breakout sessions focused on best practices that participants could implement in their communities as well as unveiled BBC’s new Primacy of Place™ Best Practices Databases.  Six Ball State faculty, known as “Primacy of Place™ Fellows” that led breakout sessions on their knowledge group topics of Arts Integration, Municipal Governance,  Community Collaboration for Educational Excellence, Community Design, Community Wellbeing, and Community Readiness for Change.

PoPCAP13 Awards IN Communities  

At the Primacy of Place™ Community Awards Program, Building Better Communities honored three Indiana communities for exceptional initiatives that have made them better places to live, visit and do business.  Columbus, Valparaiso and Walkerton each received BBC’s first annual Primacy of Place™ Community Awards, which were presented during an afternoon ceremony on August 8th at Ball State’s Indianapolis Center.  

The awards are part of a wider “Primacy of Place™” initiative by BBC to help Indiana communities put in place amenities and programs designed to improve the quality of life they offer. Primacy of Place™ is built around the idea that people are the most important ingredients of any economic development effort, and communities must do everything they can to attract and retain top talent, says John Fallon, Associate Vice President of Economic Development and Community Engagement.   

The awards were developed to encourage and reward cities and towns making the strategic choice to dedicate its resources toward the improvement of life experiences for residents, businesses, and visitors.  Ball State chose three award recipients from among 22 worthy entries by communities in 18 counties from the Lake Michigan region in the north to the Ohio River in the south. Read more about the winners.


Primacy of Place™ Best Practices Databases

Building Better Communities has brought together a set of knowledge groups, each headed by a Knowledge Group Fellow, to develop a set of Primacy of Place™ Best Practice Databases to serve as a resource for beginners and experts alike in the 6 topics we feel are most relevant to placemaking activities and challenges: 

Each category is populated with some of the best media, tools, case studies, funding sources, and articles we could find as selected by our experts and research teams. New materials will be added as they are discovered, so be sure to check back often!  

BBC to be Designated Host to Northeast Indiana Area Health Education Center

IN-AHEC VisitBuilding Better Communities is in the process of being designated as the host organization for the Northeast Indiana Area Health Education Center.  The Center will focus its work on increasing the size and diversity of the healthcare workforce development pipeline in the region.  Operating within a 17-county region, this unit will work with the sum of healthcare institutions and organizations and educational institutions to encourage students to pursue healthcare careers.  Key to this work will be a broadly-based advisory group that includes diverse geographic and functional representation.  The Center is one of six units that comprise the Indiana Area Health Education Center Network and will be funded with both state and federal support.    

During the months ahead, the Center staff will be recruited and data and information about regional needs will be reviewed.  It is expected that a strategic plan will be refined early in 2014 and that related programming will commence in earnest during the spring.  

BBC Expands in Indianapolis and Fort Wayne

David Terrell
David Terrell, Director of Economic Development Policy

Two recent additions to the BBC staff signal its increasing commitment to community and economic development and the two most populous regions in Indiana.  During mid-August, David Terrell joined the BBC team as Director of Economic Development Policy.  Terrell comes to this new role from the position of Senior Advisor to Lieutenant Governor Sue Ellspermann and former Deputy Chief of Staff to former Lieutenant Governor Becky Skillman and Executive Director of the Indiana Office of Community and Rural Affairs.  His experience in community and economic development is widely-recognized throughout Indiana and increasingly on a national level.  Terrell is based at the Ball State University Indianapolis Center.   

Beth Neu
Beth Neu,
Director of Public Policy and Engagement
Fort Wayne

Beth Neu begins her appointment as Director of Public Policy and Engagement during mid-October.  Based in Fort Wayne, Neu will focus her work on the full range of governmental and nonprofit community and economic development organizations particularly in Northeast Indiana.  She comes from a strong background in municipal government in both Indiana and Virginia, and Chamber of Commerce and county government work.  She has been actively involved in state and national economic development organizations.   

The university is moving in these directions based on its current strategic plan titled Advancing Indiana.  This approach is predicated on the notion that the institution takes seriously it obligation as a state-assisted organization to share its resources toward the betterment of the state. 

E.B. and Bertha C. Ball Center Facilitate Town and Gown Conversations, Winchester Colloquium, Academy for Community Leadership

EB BallTown and Gown Conversations 

The first Town and Gown Conversations dinner of the 2013-2014 season was Tuesday, September 10. The guest speaker was Anne Neal, the co-founder and president of the American Council of Trustees and Alumni.  For over 15 years, Neal has been a prominent national player in higher education reform, publishing widely and appearing frequently on radio and television, including Fox Business News, CNN, Fox News, WGN, and National Public Radio.   

In 2007, and then again in 2010, Ms. Neal was appointed to the National Advisory Committee on Institutional Quality and Integrity which advises the U.S. Secretary of Education on federal accreditation.  She received her J.D. from Harvard Law School where she was president of the Harvard Journal on Legislation. She has served on the boards of many cultural and civic organizations, and currently is a director of the Mount Vernon Ladies' Association, the U.S. Capitol Historical Society, and Casey Trees.   

The next Town and Gown Conversations dinner is scheduled for December 6 with author Nicholas Basbanes. Although he is known for writing about books, bibliophiles, and various aspects of book culture, Mr. Basbanes has also been an award-winning investigative reporter, literary editor, lecturer, and a nationally syndicated columnist.   

Winchester Colloquium 

The Center, in collaboration with the Winchester Foundation, hosted its third Winchester Colloquium on September 27. The participants, comprised of community leaders throughout the state, discussed “Success and Failure in Small American Cities of the 21st Century: Historical Perspectives.”    

Academy for Community Leadership 

The 59th Academy for Community Leadership class started September 5 with 36 participants. The 13-week program is a partnership between Ball State University and the Muncie-Delaware County Chamber of Commerce. The Academy’s goal is to identify individuals within Muncie and Delaware County who are emerging leaders and prepare them for future leadership. Through contact with a variety of experts, the participants expand their leadership skills, knowledge, and influence in the community. It is an educational forum that includes interaction with other members of the current class, guest speakers, and panelists.


Indianapolis Center Rolls out New Incentive Program to Academic Departments

Indianapolis CenterThe Ball State Indianapolis Center has a successful reputation because of the thriving Master’s programs in Urban Design, Executive Development for Public Service, Math Education, and the doctoral cohort in Educational Administration and Supervision. Recently the Ball State Indianapolis Center staff rolled out a new encouragement program to all academic departments offering a $2,500 development incentive for every course section within a new academic program that meets minimum enrollment. Together this partnership will bridge the rich tradition of Ball State University’s historically rigorous academic programs to a new market in the greater Indianapolis area where 35,000 alumni reside.  For more information, contact Kelly Favory at the Indianapolis Center (317) 822-6167 or


Ball State to Launch New Digital Marketing Center

M Tech SummitBall State University is launching the Center for Digital Marketing Advancement (DMA) –  a collaboration between the Center for Media Design, H.H.Gregg Center for Professional Selling, and Building Better Communities.   On September 19, 2013, Ball State announced the DMA launch at  TechPoint's M Tech  summit in Indianapolis.  DMA is an industry-focused research endeavor that creates an external engagement arm to identify and communicate digital marketing best practices and methods for educating future marketing technology workers at all levels.

BBC Fellows Summer 2013 Immersive Learning Projects

A Centennial State Park Tour Explored through Visitor Smart Phones
State ParksCommunity Partner:  Indiana Department of Natural Resources Division of State Parks and Reservoirs
Faculty Mentor:  Ron Morris, Department of History  

Ball State students used GPS technology to create a phone application to help visitors to the State Parks learn about the history of the park through a combination walking and driving tour.  The visitor looks through their smart phone to see how the park has evolved.

High Riding Art and Equestrian Camp
Equestrian CampCommunity Partners:  Blackford County Community Foundation, Blackford County Schools
Faculty Mentor:  Ruth Jones, Department of Special Education

A summer two week camp for Blackford County school aged children with disabilities.  Camp focuses on art, music, science, equestrian activities, and sports.

Miami County Museum Video Project
Community Partner:  Miami County Historical Museum
Faculty Mentor:  Chris Flook, Department of Telecommunications

This project group assisted the Miami County Historical Society (Indiana) in achieving those goals by: creating a series of web videos that showcase the MCHS Museum, propagate these visual narratives through a social media campaign, and with the development of a new website.

MiTS Human Resources Communications Campaign
Community Partner:  Muncie Indiana Transit System (MiTS)
Faculty Mentor:  Sue Mantel, Department of Marketing & Management

Project team developed a themed campaign to convey Human Resources messages to MiTs employees using various media delivery systems.     

Muncie Symphony Orchestra Awareness Campaign
Community Partner:  Muncie Symphony Orchestra
Faculty Mentor:  Sue Mantel, Department of Marketing & Management

Team developed a marketing plan for MSO to use in both the announcement of their new Artistic Director and their plans increased revenue.

BBC Fellows Fall 2013 Immersive Learning Projects

Ball Family Documentary/Community Philanthropy Profiles 
Ball BrothersCommunity Partner:  Ball Brothers Foundation
Faculty Mentor:  Chris Flook, Department of Telecommunications    

This multi-year project contains three aspects:  a definitive documentary on the five Ball brothers and the Ball Brothers Glass Manufacturing Company═ż a video series on the concept of philanthropy/community development based in Muncie Delaware County;  and a series of profile videos highlighting projects supported by the Ball Brothers Foundation.     

Ball State to Broadway
Community Partner:  Ball State University
Faculty Mentor:  Sonny Wingler, Department of Telecommunications

This project is chronicling the journey of the musical, The Circus in Winter, as it prepares for its Broadway debut.      

Cold Case Homicides:  Making a difference for Families and the System
Community Partner: Crime Stoppers of Central Indiana, Indianapolis Metropolitan Police Department
Faculty Mentor:  Bryan Byers, Department of Criminal Justice

This project team of BSU criminal justice immersive learning students is working with Crime Stoppers of Central Indiana on meaningful products intended to assist the unit with cold case homicide visibility. A significant problem with the visibility of cold case homicides rests with the “staying power” of public information.     

Cornerstone Center for the Arts Interior Design Project
Community Partner: Cornerstone Center for the Arts
Faculty Mentor:  Reza Ahmadi, Department of Family and Consumer Sciences

The primary goal of the project is to provide Cornerstone for the Arts with a variety of schematic design ideas for their third floor spaces. Cornerstone may choose design ideas from one project or gather ideas from multiple projects for implementation.     

An Environmental Investigation & Multimedia Presentation of Riparian Zone Management and Sediment Erosion along the White River
Community Partner:  Flat Land Resources
Faculty Mentors:  Lee Florea, Department of Geological Sciences; Adam Kuban, Department of Journalism  

Utilizing a unique blend of Journalism and Geology students, this group will examine multiple aspects of the White River Watershed in order to provide valuable information to the community partner.   This project team hopes to have a meaningful and lasting impact on the water quality of the White River Watershed through research, testing and dissemination of information.       

Food for Thought
Community Partner:  Indiana Public Radio
Faculty Mentor:  Terry Heifetz, Department of Telecommunications   

Project students will research, produce, and deliver stories across several types of media that focus on unique East Central Indiana food alternatives to dining at chain restaurants.    

Global Reporting Initiative (GRI) Sustainability Reporting for Ball State University
Community Partner:   Ball State University Council on the Environment
Faculty Mentor: Gwendolen White, Department of Accounting

Project will exam and evaluate sustainability efforts at Ball State University and build on the previous GRI Report for BSU.     

Grace Episcopal Church:  Connecting Congregation and Community
Community Partner:   Grace Episcopal Church
Faculty Mentor: Peggy Fisher, Department of Communication Studies

This project team is assisting Grace Episcopal Church of Muncie, Indiana develop a strategy for engaging the community. This project will provide the church with strategies, ideas, and fresh insight into how to improve church visibility.     

Henry County Schools Survey
Community Partner:  Henry County HomeTown Competitiveness Program
Faculty Mentor:  Melinda Messineo, Department of Sociology    

This project will administer the third wave of the Student Perceptions Survey to public school students in New Castle, Indiana.  The team will also help to analyze and interpret results.     

Innovation Connector Ambassadors – Market Research for Small Businesses & Entrepreneurs
Community Partner:   Innovation Connector
Faculty Mentor: Russ Wahlers, Department of Marketing and Management

This project will involve a systematic analysis of the entrepreneurial climate in East Central Indiana by profiling the business demographics of current and prospective entrepreneurs and assessing the support needs of these business firms.  Results of this project will enable the Innovation Connector to identify prospective business and assess the services needs of both current and future clients.     

Indiana School for the Deaf Video Project
Community Partner:  Indiana School for the Deaf
Faculty Mentors:  Michael Lee and Sonny Wingler, Department of Telecommunications

Project students will showcase and disseminate information about resources, information, and opportunities available at the school through video.  Produced videos will specifically highlight educational programs, residential/student life, and athletic programs.      

Lenape on the Wapahani
LenapeCommunity Partner:  Delaware Tribe of Indians, Indiana Historical Society, Local Historical Societies
Faculty Mentor:  Chris Flook, Department of Telecommunications

Students are researching and producing a documentary about the Lenape Indians in East Central Indiana.  A website and digital guide will also accompany the video.     

Nature Play:  Into the Woods with Design Thinking
Nature PlayCommunity Partner:  Head Start of Delaware County
Faculty Mentors: Pam Harwood, Department of Architecture, Resa Matlock, Teachers College

Students in this project are creating a nature-based playscape for 300 children and staff at the Head Start early childhood education program in Muncie, IN.  They are also developing workshops for the training of educators and designers in the use and construction of nature-based play environments.     

Project Leadership and Ball State Partnership
Community Partner: Project Leadership (21st Century Scholars Program)
Faculty Mentor: Melinda Messineo, Department of Sociology    

Project team is continuing the work of the previous semester’s team by working on the gathering and transfer of survey data into CiviCore.  Team is helping with refinements to design and implementation methods to ensure program success.   

Sheridan Community Center – Creating a Strategic Vision
SheridanCommunity Partner:  Town of Sheridan
Faculty Mentor:  Keith D’Ambra, Department of Marketing & Management  

This group of Ball State students is assisting the town of Sheridan in developing and reviewing options with respect to the strategic and best use of the town’s existing community center.     

The Star Press Interior Design Project
Community Partner: The Star Press
Faculty Mentor:  Reza Ahmadi, Department of Family and Consumer Sciences  

This team of students is providing a variety of schematic design ideas for the Star Press media rooms.   Star Press will have multiple design options presented to them and be able to pick and choose what is most appropriate for implementation.         


TEAMwork for Quality Living - Poverty Awareness Year Ambassadors
Community Partner:  TEAMwork for Quality Living
Faculty Mentor:  Peggy Fisher, Department of Communication Studies  

Students are creating a visual display for the dual purposes of creating awareness of life in poverty and fundraising in support of Poverty Awareness Year.  The students are focusing on nonverbal aspects of the display and the subjects.     

Values Through Sport
Community Partner: Indiana Soccer Foundation
Faculty Mentor:  Lindsey Blom, School of Physical Education, Sport and Exercise Science  

This Building Better Communities project is piloting a template of best practices for youth sport organizations to use as a guide in creating an environment that promotes positive youth development.     

Vietnam Veterans Memorial: narratives of landscape, space + meaning
Community Partners:  Vietnam Veterans Memorial Fund, Cultural Landscape Foundation, ASLA
Faculty Mentors:  Carla Corbin and Martha Hunt, Department of Landscape Architecture  

This project is focusing on two areas.  One:  educating the public about contemporary landscape architecture, using the Memorial as a dramatic and successful model.  Two:  documenting the untold stories of the Memorial’s realization in a series of interviews with important contributors.  Working in collaboration with key individuals from the Vietnam Veterans Memorial Fund and the Cultural Landscape Foundation, and in partnership with Ball State’s Digital Publishing Studio, students will create and publish visual narratives for use by visitors on site at the Memorial in Washington DC.     

WaterStep Strategic Plan Development
Community Partner: WaterStep
Faculty Mentor:  John Vann, Department of Marketing and Management

WaterStep, with headquarters in Louisville, KY, works with residents of developing countries to address sustainable long-term hygiene, sanitation, and water needs.  This not-for-profit organization has opened an office in Indianapolis and desires to work with Ball State students in formulating a strategic development plan.  Students are developing plans to increase awareness of WaterStep among residents in the Indianapolis area, formulating fund raising initiatives, establishing strategic partnerships, and formulating a unique image and mission for WaterStep-Indy.