Topics: Immersive Learning, College of Architecture and Planning, College of Sciences and Humanities, College of Communication Information and Media, Miller College of Business, College of Fine Arts

March 3, 2009

Five new immersive learning seminars at Ball State's Virginia B. Ball Center for Creative Inquiry will examine sustainability, Web site development, wellness issues, mergers and the process of creating a musical.

Leading the seminars are five new Virginia Ball Center Fellows for the 2009-2010 academic year:

  • Scott Truex, instructor of urban planning
  • Beth Dalton, instructor of English
  • Peggy Fisher, assistant professor of communication studies
  • Jennifer Bott, assistant professor of management
  • Beth Turcotte, associate professor of theater

Summer 2009

  •  Coffee, Community and Climate Change–Scott Truex and his students will produce a "climate action plan" for Nappanee, Ind., to demonstrate how a small town can become a model as a sustainable community. Members of the seminar will live and work in Nappanee, collecting data by traveling the town on "green" bicycles donated by the police department. The Main Street Coffee House will serve as the seminar's headquarters where students will install a media portal to facilitate exchange of information with the community. The seminar's partners include the Nappanee Community and Economic Development Commission, the Nappanee Chamber of Commerce and the city of Nappanee.

Fall 2009

  • Art to Go: Ball State University Museum of Art Online–Beth Dalton and her students will create an interactive Web site making resources of the Ball State University Museum of Art accessible to high school students. The seminar will test the various features of its Web site including an online audio tour, interactive art history timeline and instructional materials with faculty and students from Monroe Central High School. The seminar will also produce a companion DVD for high schools with limited Internet access. The seminar's partners include the Ball State University Museum of Art, the Ball State University Teleplex and Monroe Central High School
  • Aging Well in East Central Indiana: Delaware County as a Living Destination–Peggy Fisher and her students will create a Web site and public service announcements to promote Delaware County as a retirement destination. Public service announcements will highlight the community's ability to provide the important components of wellness and productivity for an aging population. Additionally, the seminar's participants will conduct interviews with community leaders as well as focus groups and public forums with community members to raise awareness of the value of Delaware County as a livable community. The seminar's partners include Ball Memorial Hospital, the John and Janice Institute for Wellness and Gerontology and the United Way of Delaware County.

Spring 2010

  • The Human Capital Costs in Mergers and Acquisitions–Jennifer Bott and her students will produce a documentary that explores the difficulties in merging organizational cultures after an acquisition. The students will research the strategies that make mergers work successfully and film the interactions of various businesses that have been bought and sold. In addition to producing the documentary, the students will write case studies and other educational materials for professional journals and educational textbook companies. The seminar's partners (and potential subjects) include Huntington National Bank, Corbet Taccel Health Care Group, Fisher Properties and Raymond James Associates.
  • Scars, Badges and Roads: Finding Triumph in the Depth of Defeat–Beth Turcotte and her students will research, write and perform a musical cycle that will illuminate the lives of Americans who have overcome serious obstacles and difficulties. Students will work with nationally known playwrights such as Suzan Zeder, Distinguished Play Award winner for "The Taste of Summer", lyricists such as Steven Slater, Tony Award winner for "Spring Awakening," and musical publishers such as Ken Dingledine, vice president of Samuel Fisher Publishing Co. Students will present their play in Muncie as a fundraiser for its community partner, Big Brothers Big Sisters. Additionally, students will present in Chicago at the Drury Lane Theater as an alumni scholarship performance and in New York City as part of the New Play Festival.

By Hillary Tribbett