Kindness Rocks at Be My Neighbor Day

Four colorful baskets, each labeled with a different location, sit in the grass. Each contains many decorated rocks.

Building Better Neighborhoods hosted a booth at this year’s Be My Neighbor Day on June 10th, asking families to paint a rock and then choose where in the community they want it placed. These “Kindness Rocks” with their little pops of color and inspirational quotes are meant to brighten the day of those who find them. You can see these bright additions at Heekin Park’s Memory Spiral, Canon Commons, various MITS bus stops, the Cardinal Greenway Trailhead, Minnetrista’s Children’s Garden, and Westside Park. 

VIDEO: Sanglim Yoo: Discovering New Ways to Improve Cities

Working with the FDA’s Farmers Food Box program and Purdue Extension during the pandemic, CERES Affiliated Faculty Joshua Gruver, Associate Professor of Environment, Geology, and Natural Resources, is helping Hoosiers in need by providing free food sourced from Indiana diary producers. Dr. Gruver and the Muncie Food Hub have been taking milk that would have been dumped and giving it away for free. Watch Josh’s interview on Fox 59.


VIDEO: Sanglim Yoo: Discovering New Ways to Improve Cities

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Ball State University Alumni magazine recapped the recent immersive learning work of CERES Affiliated Faculty Sanglim Yoo, Assistant Professor of Urban Planning.  Funded by Provost Immersive Learning grants, Dr. Yoo has led student teams in analyzing the potential of brownfields in Delaware and Grant Counties as sites for solar farms and in assessing and improving economic sustainability efforts in Muncie.  These projects also allow students to improve their skills in using socioeconomic and demographic data and the geographic information system (GIS) mapping tool.  Read more on the BSU Alumni Magazine’s website!

Published Article: Voices of Partnerships within the Critical Service-Learning Framework

Congratulations to the Whitely Community Council’s Ken Hudson and Frank Scott, as well as Ball State Associate Professor Kiesha Warren-Gordon (Criminal Justice) for their recently published article in the Journal of Community Engagement and Higher Education! “Voices of Partnership within the Critical Service-Learning Framework” discusses how community partners can be involved in all states of the critical service learning process, including course planning and collaborative research.


Over the course of the past three decades, service learning has become a major component in higher education. Heretofore, however, there has been no published research that focuses on the community partner or that assesses the role of the community partner within the community-service-learning (CSL) model. This paper fills that gap by focusing on the community partner relationship as delineated by Mitchell (2008), the community partner’s position in CSL, and the authentic relationships between the community partner, class, and instructor. Specifically, we address the following question: How do community partners articulate their voices within the CSL framework? This paper argues that community partners may articulate their own voices and concerns through the use of autoethnography, as well as through involvement in all stages of the CSL process, including course-planning and subsequent collaborative scholarship.