TCOM Alumni Society Board of Directors Meeting October 10, 2014 at 2:00 p.m. Ball State University Letterman Building Present: Johanna Crosier, Kelly Harlow, Ericka Flye, Todd Merickel, David Studinski, Mel Watson, Chris Taylor, Tim Pollard. Phone: Christine DeJoy, Chris Fedele, Ben Goldenberg, Krista Hoffman-Longtin, Abby Walton Call to Order The meeting was called to order at 2:06 p.m. by President Mel Watson. Minutes The minutes from the April 24, 2014 meeting were unanimously approved following Merickel’s motion to approve and Studinski’s second. Department Report Pollard reported that enrollment is now 1,351 students – the largest department on campus. Pollard updated the society on the Unifed Media Lab, which is now a reality. Students began operating in the space last spring and are fully in the new space this semester. Glass enclosed news studio will be up and running producing live news, programming and other shows from the studio beginning in January. Grass Valley Ignite equipment will operate the studio. In immersive learning news, the Department premiered its documentary on the five Ball brothers in September. The Department received a $100,000+ Ball Brothers Foundation grant for this project. In addition, TCOM student Chris Kosinski’s documentary “The Healing Wall” was chosen for the Heartland Film Festival opening night.Pollard noted the increasing numbers and national interest in the new Digital Sports Production track, which started in Fall 2013. There is a proposal in place to the Provost and University administration to expand on this program further -- both in staffing and in physical space -- to meet increasing student demands and enrollment. Taylor noted 86 high school students who specifically visited Ball State’s campus in 2013-14 with interest in digital sports and Ball State Sports Link. Taylor also noted new projects with the PGA Championship, the Ryder Cup, interest from the NBA and additional projects. Two new faculty members joined the Department. 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 particular interest in data analytics and “big data”, and has worked with sales and promotions for AT&T and others. Nancy Carlson will retire in December. Alumni have asked what they can do for a retirement gift. She has requested that donations be made to the faculty scholarship and foundation account, #7401.Watson asked Pollard about the Department’s focus on computer-assisted journalism and also the need for basic coding/HTML basics in news. Pollard said both items, with alumni input, will be researched. Alumni Council Report Merickel reported on the Fall Alumni Council meeting. He updated the society on the University’s Cardinal Commitment Campaign for athletic facilities and scholarships, and a request that all BSU Alumni make annual gifts to the University or Department through a Ball State University Foundation account. Pollard and Taylor will provide specific donation information to the TCOM Alumni Board, Facebook pages and emails.Mission Watson noted that the goal in the first year of her presidency is to solidify the TCOM Alumni Society – to ensure everyone is on the board who wants to be, that an Alumni Council representative is in place, and to strengthen the Society’s reach and visibility in other areas of the country.Watson noted all primary communication with the TCOM Alumni Boards and alumni in her presidency will be through the TCOM Alumni Page on Facebook. She also encouraged that all TCOM Alumni donate to the University, and specifically to the TCOM Foundation Account of #7401 or specific programs within the department like Sports Link, #7418. A complete list of accounts will be provided to alumni. Alumni Mentorship Program Watson reminded the membership that two falls ago, there was talk about creating an alumni mentorship program. 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.Watson and the board started the process of two mentor programs – one on campus with current Ball State TCOM students and one in high schools of alumni. She envisioned having board members be more involved with local high schools as speakers or by offering internship or senior project opportunities.Watson will draft a letter to TCOM Faculty and Taylor will present the idea at the next TCOM Faculty meeting offering concentration professors a list of alumni interested in assisting students.Harlow noted she and other alumni would like to be more involved in planning events, mentorships and not just an annual meeting. A sub-committee was formed of Harlow, Crosier, DeJoy, Fedele and Flye to coordinate and plan these initiatives with Watson.Flye noted the timing of TCOM Alumni board meetings and raised concern that weekend opportunities might attract more Alumni on campus, rather than weekday events.Watson also congratulated Harlow on her G.O.L.D. award by the BSU Alumni Association.Alumni Board Faculty Rep Announcement Taylor reported he has asked Pollard to replace him as the Department’s faculty representative to the board, due to growing commitments and responsibilities with Sports Link and DSP. Taylor and Pollard will meet Monday, Oct. 13 to discuss the transition and selection of a new faculty rep. Taylor will finish the 2014 calendar year, and the new faculty rep will transition in Spring 2015 and will attend the Spring board meeting. Next meeting and Adjournment The spring meeting will be moved to March 27, 2015 at 3pm.