President Mearns hands an award to a group of students

Teamwork and collaboration are essential components of a successful immersive learning project. Each year, the Office of Immersive Learning recognizes a student team that went above and beyond the requirements of their immersive learning class to produce uncommon results for their partner and our local community.

Teams will be judged on how well they met student learning objectives for the course, created a collaborative environment, used creative problem-solving to overcame obstacles, and applied previous knowledge to produce a positive or significant impact on the community.

“Teams” may be comprised of an entire immersive learning class or could be a smaller group within a class that really stood out in their efforts.

Applications are due each March on InfoReady. Winning teams will be honored at the Immersive Learning Showcase with a certificate of recognition.

  • From immersive learning course in the current academic year
  • A group of three or more undergraduate students
  • Working with a community partner to solve a community challenge
  • Creating a final product, service, or other deliverable for a community partner or partners
  • Outstanding as to their level of enthusiasm, effort, and impact
  • Self-nominated or recommended by a faculty member, academic department, or community partner.
    • It is clear that this student team effectively collaborated with each other and their community partners.
    • This team’s final product had a positive and significant impact on the community partner and/or the larger community.
    • The individuals on this team met or exceeded learning objectives for the course.
    • This team was creative and persistent in overcoming obstacles.
    • List the members of the Immersive Learning team you are nominating.
    • Describe the Immersive Learning class: What was the topic of the course? Who was the community partner? What was the outcome or deliverable the team made with the community partner?
    • What were the learning objectives for the course and how did the team meet or exceed them?
    • How did the team create and maintain a constructive, collaborative environment while working on the project? Describe the tools and strategies for communication and shared ownership and leadership of the project.
    • Describe how the team approached unforeseen challenges and obstacles during the project.
    • Describe how the team used prior knowledge to make a positive or significant impact with the community partner.
    Immersive Learning Student Team Award Winners

    Applications in Property Management

    Students: Charis Brock, Lindsey Evans, Devon Mathena

    Faculty Mentor: Carla Earhart, Department of Applied Business Studies

    Community Partner: Maplewood Guest House

    The class worked with the Maplewood Guest House, a temporary residence for medical students on the grounds of Minnetrista. Maplewood strives to woo medical students to consider living in Muncie after they obtain their degrees, in part, by providing programming that highlights local establishments and entertainment. This winning team opted to put on two events-though they were only required to do one-and went the extra mile to get local businesses to donate prizes for their event. Their professor also noted their remarkable communication skills and ability to regroup after encountering obstacles.

    Using Research to Understand Work-related Stressors and Positive Work-Related Experiences of Noblesville Firefighters 

    Students:  Steven Bousman, Taylor Carter, Carson Fakes, Emily Harmon, Kiersten Helton, Emily Hubbard, Stevee Judy, Michael Lindman, Carlie Merriweather, Rayna Minix, Brittany Pollitt, Celeste Ray, Leah Strong and Brandon Thrasher 

    Faculty Mentor:  Kate Lawson, Department of Psychological Science 

    Community Partner:  Noblesville Fire Department

    This team worked with the Noblesville Fire Department to identify and recommend solutions to common workplace stressors seen among firefighters since the start of the pandemic. The award committee was impressed by the ways the team negotiated leadership roles, established effective group communication, and conducted a multi-faceted research project by using the theories and methods they read about together. There was an obvious impact on the community partner as well. Battalion Chief Adam Biddle wrote in a letter of support: “It has been one of my highest professional honors to work with this great group of BSU Cardinals from Dr. Katie Lawson’s class in Ball State’s Immersive Learning Program. It gives me great faith in this next generation knowing that these are the type of people who represent this great university. These students have gone above and beyond and deserve any accolades associated with this type of work. Well done, kids.”

    Conservation Tales 

    Students:  Brooke Ackerman, Sunnie Berning, Cydney Davidson, Abbey Jessup, Sara Misak, Ashley Owens, Kami Geron, Allison Smiley, Karina Kasmauskis, Laine Powell, Rhiannon Morrison-Naylor 

    Faculty Mentors:  Tom McConnell, Department of Biology and Barbara Giorgio-Booher, School of Art 

    Community Partners: The Sloth Institute and the Macaw Recovery Network 

    Have Questions?

    Contact the Immersive Learning office so we can help at or use this form.