Building Better Neighborhoods Initiative

Established in 2014 by a three-year grant from the Ball Brothers Foundation, the Building Better Neighborhoods (BBN) Initiative connects Ball State’s resources with neighborhood development efforts across Muncie and Delaware County.

Building Better Neighborhoods partners with Muncie Action Plan, 8Twelve Coalition, and other organizations to coordinate:

  • Collaborative immersive learning experiences with Ball State faculty, students, and neighborhood associations
  • Leadership development workshops and annual conference for neighborhood association members
  • Best practices and support for neighborhood associations
  • Networking and learning opportunities for neighborhood leaders

Building Better Neighborhoods received the Key Award for Service Program of the Year at the 2018 Prosperity Indiana Summit.

Heather Williams
Heather Williams serves as Ball State University’s Building Better Neighborhoods Program Manager, working directly with the city’s neighborhood associations to help build capacity and make connections with BSU faculty, staff, students, and programs. She holds three degrees from BSU, a Bachelor of Arts in  History and Masters Degrees in Business Administration and Urban and Regional Planning. Heather worked as a Planner within the City of Muncie’s office of Community Development with both the Unsafe Building Hearing Authority and the Department of Housing and Urban Development’s Neighborhood Stabilization Program 3. In utilizing NSP3 funding to revitalize a section of West Main Street within the Old West End neighborhood, she gained a greater understanding and passion for neighborhood-based revitalization efforts.Heather also worked as a code enforcement officer within the City of Muncie’s Building Commissioner’s office before joining Ball State’s Office of Community Engagement. She is actively involved in local housing issues as President of the Board of Directors of ecoREHAB of Muncie, Inc., Treasurer of the Muncie Land Bank, and member of Pathstone Housing Corporation’s Advisory Board and the 8Twelve Coalition’s Steering and Housing Committees. Heather also serves as Task Force Chair for the Muncie Action Plan and is President of her neighborhood association. She has been recognized as a Finalist by the Muncie Star Press for the 2015 Person of the Year Award and is a 2016 M Magazine 20 Under 40 Honoree. In her professional and non-profit work, Heather advocates for strong neighborhoods, safe – affordable housing, and sustainable living.
Photo of Mo OrbinMo Orbin
Megan “Mo” Orbin is the Neighborhood Coordinator for Muncie Action Plan and Executive Assistant to the President at Woof Boom Radio.She has lived in Indiana her whole life, making Muncie her home after attending and graduating from Ball State University. Mo is also a member of Altrusa International of Muncie and enjoys the volunteer opportunities that provides. She is the Co-Chair of ASTRA, a volunteer organization for young people, sponsored by her Altrusa Club that partners with Ball State University. While she has no pets or children, Mo is considered THE most fun aunt to two nieces, two nephews, and a soon to be third nephew. She is excited to learn what makes each and every neighborhood in Muncie unique.

Learn more:

Ball Brothers Foundation
Ball Brothers Foundation is a family philanthropy, regional in approach, with a grant-making emphasis on East Central Indiana.

Muncie Action PlanMAP is a community-developed strategic plan that promotes, supports, encourages, and assists in the development and enhancement of the quality of life in Muncie, Indiana.

Muncie-Delaware County Economic Development Alliance | VISION 2027 Plan
The Muncie-Delaware County Economic Development Alliance represents a consortium of economic development entities dedicated to the growth and prosperity of Muncie-Delaware County, Indiana. Vision 2027 is the Muncie-Delaware County Economic Development Alliance’s current comprehensive five-year economic development program.

Ball State University Office of Community Engagement
OCE (formerly Building Better Communities) is Ball State’s front door for community partnerships, connecting the university with challenges and priorities beyond campus with an emphasis on Muncie, Delaware County, and East Central Indiana.