The Virginia B. Ball Center for Creative Inquiry provides distinctive, rigorous, and transformative immersive learning experiences for Ball State students. Each year, faculty members are chosen to lead teams of up to 15 students in interdisciplinary, fully immersive seminars.

Congratulations to the new VBC Fellows for the upcoming 2018-2019 academic year!
Read about their upcoming seminars, and contact the Fellows below to apply to be a part of the projects.

Fall Semester:
Lynne Stallings, English - "Promoting Assessment Literacy"
Lynne and her students from a diverse array of disciplines will examine the question “How do we increase assessment literacy for Hoosier citizens?” Working closely with their community partner, the Indiana Department of Education (IDOE), the students will develop an understanding of the IDOE’s needs and desires regarding assessment literacy materials, while concurrently engaging in a dialogue with citizens across the state in order to gauge Hoosiers attitudes about assessment, and to analyze different community needs. Synthesizing their research and the information gained by talking with experts and Hoosiers throughout the state, the students will create a set of assessment literacy materials designed to increase assessment literacy among the general public. Throughout the process the class will work closely with Indiana's assessment experts to evaluate the accuracy of their materials, and travel to Indiana Regional Education Service Centers across the state to conduct focus groups in order to test, and evaluate the efficacy of the presentation materials. The presentation materials – which will be presented in the form of a mobile app, website, mini videos and other modes of delivery – will ensure that Hoosiers across the state not only fully understand assessment practices, but also their implications for Indiana students, schools, and communities.

Spring Semester:
Beth Turcotte, Theatre - "Mother Jones – A New Musical"
Beth and her students will delve into the first two decades of the 20th century – examining such issues as the coal mining industry and its effects on the environment and the health of its workers, the development and evolution of labor unions and labor laws, women's rights, and child labor – in order to create a new musical based on the life and times of "Mother Jones". Recognizing the importance of research in the development of a historical musical, the class will collect and integrate data from multiple existing sources (books, documentaries, museum visits, oral histories, theatrical performances), as well as develop new knowledge and insights by traveling to meet with, and interview, past and current coal mining industry workers and families. Additionally, the class will be working with a variety of consultants and a wide range of industry professionals from various fields. All of all their research, exploration and inquiry will result in the culmination of a new historical musical, "Mother Jones". The seminar’s community partner will be the Muncie Civic Theatre, which will mount the first public concert performance and host an audience discussion of the musical, donations from which will be taken to support Muncie Civic's Youth Scholarships, and further developments of the show to continue to take place in other venues.

Jason Powell, Honors Humanities

Freedom Bus

See how our students worked with a community group to teach others about civil rights. Read more.

Interested in doing a project? Click here to learn more and apply for a fellowship.

Our seminars have produced a wide range of creative projects and won distinguished awards and recognitions. For example:

  • Two documentary films, State of Assault, which focused on the medical, legal, and psychological problems faced by victims of sexual assault, and Increasing the Odds, which illuminated the strategies for starting a successful business, have each won an Emmy.
  • Traces and Trails , a museum exhibit that illustrates the geographical and historical connections between the Underground Railroad and the National Road, won a Commendation from the American Association for State and Local History.
  • Consuming a Nation , a radio series that documented the impact of globalization on tourism in Ireland, won two first place awards from the Society of Professional Journalists.
  • Navigating Nature , a computer game that revealed the problems of sustaining natural environments, earned an Honor Award from the American Society of Landscape Architects.
  • A contemporary revision of the Elizabethan drama, Dr. Faustus The Human Faustus Project, which portrayed the complications of genetic engineering, was performed at the annual meeting of the Council on Undergraduate Research in Washington, D.C. 
  • The Other Side of Middletown , a book recording the history of Muncie’s African-American community, won the Margaret Mead Award for Outstanding Research given by the American Anthropology Association.

Learn more about the Center, our benefactorour house, and the many seminars that have done incredible work within and beyond its walls.

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