Shafer Leadership – Community Needs Assessment

Shafer Leadership Academy partnered with this immersive learning project to enumerate the current leadership needs and capacity of the Muncie community. Through gathered need and capacity data, students conducted secondary source research and surveys. The data gathered will help the Shafer Leadership Academy to design appropriate programming and seek relevant funding. In addition to developing research skills, the project team connected with and increased empathy for the Muncie Community and learned about the value of community leadership.

Faculty Mentor: Melinda Messineo
Department: Sociology
Community Partner: Shafer Leadership Academy
Students: Drew Apanavicius, Emmalie Hodge, Audrey Meade, Casey Misner, Zoe Sutton

Riverside-Normal City: Portrait of a Middletown Neighborhood in a Post Industrial Age

This project conducted an ethnographic study of the Riverside Normal City (RNC) neighborhood, which is the area east of Ball State University in Muncie. Using participant observation, oral history, archival research, photography and semi-structured interviews, students provided an interdisciplinary analysis of how this neighborhood has changed over time. Students attended monthly RNC neighborhood meetings, interviewed neighborhood residents, scanned residents’ photos while collecting stories, reading about the history of Muncie and documenting the neighborhood today. In analyzing this data, students were asked to consider the economic, sociocultural, and political causes that changed this neighborhood overtime and how these changes have impacted local residents. The findings were published in a book.

Faculty Mentor: Jennifer Erickson
Department: Anthropology
Community Partner: Riverside-Normal City Neighborhood Association
Students: Iesha Alspaugh, Simran Bhinder, Abby Clark, Joseph Coachys, Alejandra Diaz-Fernandez, Barbara Dickensheets, Kathleen Harper, Amber Janzen, Savannah Myers, Mia Nickelson, Kathryn Powell, Alexis Smith, Bevin Snyder, Leslie Thomas

Preventing Financial Exploitation of Older Adults

Financial fraud and abuse are on the rise and older adults are prime targets for functional exploitation. Financial scams targeting older adults have become so prevalent, they are being considered “The Crime of the 21st Century”. Preventing financial exploitation from ever happening in the first place is the best defense for protecting older adults. In collaboration with the Muncie Delaware Senior Center, the project team prepared training materials that included prevention steps, warning signs and typical schemes targeted at older adults. The team worked with the Center and developed a training protocol and process focused on educating older adults on issues related to financial exploitation.

Faculty Mentor: Ronald Dolon
Department: Social Work
Community Partner: Muncie Delaware Senior Center
Students: Samantha Disher, Kelly Eby, Kelsey Freiburger, Laura Groleau, Sarah Hellman, Addie Herndon, Carolyn Keating, Sarah Leone, Haley McAbee, Miranda Morris, Hannah Yeoman

Narrative Contemporary Dance

This project team was tasked with developing a workshop production of a narrative dance performance. Students in this project learned to fully organize a complete dance production from concept through choreography, as well as, planning for costume, set, production and music technology. The focus of this project was on the experience of developing the performance, not a full performance event. The project team staged two unproduced public performances to a limited audience to demonstrate the dance. As the team developed elements of the production, they also taught classes to children as their after-school activity. These classes of dance technique and improvisation helped the children develop discipline, hard work, perseverance, dance ethic in class, and the etiquette of being a part of an audience.

Faculty Mentor: Vladimir Stadnik
Department: Theatre and Dance
Community Partner: Cornerstone Center for the Arts
Students: Madison Baker, Esther Bower, Jacquelyn Clark, Hanna Crane, Sean Erickson, Christina Fee, Amanda Gottrich, Nicole Grossman, Carly Jerstad, Alexandria Koontz, Alexander Modlin, Nicole Popovich, Elly Rebeka, Hannah St. Aubin, Adina Stuhlman, Shannon Swift, Rachael Wieczorek

Unmasked: The Stigma of Meth

Many people are already aware that the number of meth cases in the county has increased dramatically every year since 2010 and that Delaware County leads the state in the number of meth labs discovered. However, many may not know about the wider problems that the use of this illegal drug causes – medically, economically and environmentally. Through a strategic messaging plan – including social media, earned media and paid media – as well as significant editorial content – stories, photos, web video and a documentary, this project endeavored to engage the community in the discussion. By crossing disciplines and demographics; it offers solutions and best practices from communities who, like here, are tackling this issue.

Faculty Mentor: Terry Heifetz, Juli Metzger
Department: Telecommunications, Journalism
Community Partner: Ball Brothers Foundation
Students: Jenny Alvaro, Seth Beiswenger, Kelsey Dickeson, Phylisia Donaldson, Brent Fuller, Sophie Gordon, Sarah James, Bradley Jones, Roy Killelea, Michael Kuhn, Jenna Liston, Jessica Lyle, Ryan McClain, Megan Melton, John Osterhoudt, Devon Roddel, Emma Rogers, Tony Sandleben, Troy Scott, John Seyler, Liam Shelton, Nicholas Siano, Desiree Williams, Jacob Wilson Elizabeth Wyman, Bobby Yeager, Liz Young

Jacket Copy Creative: Covering All Your Communication Needs

This immersive learning project managed the public communications of two real-world organizations: Whitely Community Council and the Ball State English Department. They produced promotional materials, managed social media, maintained websites, edited blogs, and conducted focus groups. This was an incredible opportunity for students to gain valuable professional experience in a variety of fields, including editing/publishing, content marketing, public relations, graphic design, web development, strategic communications, and social media management.

Faculty Mentor: Eva Grouling Snider
Department: English
Community Partner: Whitely Community Council
Students: Whitney Albright, Tristan Bennington, Lauren Birkey, Nikole Darnell, Sarah Debs, Kirsten Dollar, Ellie Fawcett, Bethany Gordon, Kathryn Hampshire, Melissa Jones, Hannah Partidge, Kelli Reutman, Sydney Robbins, Shantelle Taylor, Brittany Ulman, Brittany Wiggins