Professor in School of Journalism and Strategic Communication
Achieving Academic Excellence
Adam Kuban focuses his teaching on media projects based on science- or sports-related issues. Read more.
About Adam J. Kuban
Dr. Adam J. Kuban is a professor in the School of Journalism and Strategic Communication and an affiliate faculty member in the Honors College. Dr. Kuban has taught for more than 18 years as instructor of record for an array of media-centric courses, earning teaching awards from Iowa State University, The University of Utah,
and Ball State University.
Dr. Kuban likes sports, and he likes science, and he's constantly looking for creative ways to apply his media knowledge and skills into either area. For example, he is the co-creator of Water Quality Indiana, an interdisciplinary program designed to bring together science and journalism majors to explore local, regional, and global water issues. Through this program, Dr. Kuban led his first documentary project in 2016, and that debut earned his team two regional Emmy nominations (for directing & writing) and four Aurora GOLD Awards (for editing, narration, low budget & overall student long film). A subsequent short documentary produced with students on location in rural Costa Rica led to screenings at international film festivals.
To date, Dr. Kuban had led more than 18 community-engaged, project-based teams of students, which have included diverse partnerships with local, national, and even international organizations. Each project typically results in media-oriented creative work, which can range from books, magazines, websites, apps, and/or documentaries depending on the need(s) of the partner and the scope of the project. From these project-based initiatives emerge best-practices and assessment research for community-engaged scholarship.
Along with other national experts on community engagement, Dr. Kuban has served on the Emerging Engaged Scholars Workshop (EESW) Planning Committee associated with the Engagement Scholarship Consortium. The EESW is a selective, professional-development program for advanced doctoral students and early-career faculty to increase their knowledge and enhance their practice of community-engaged scholarship. As an EESW mentor, Dr. Kuban has guided design and assessment of community-engaged initiatives from program participants from Cornell University, Michigan State University, Colorado State University, Indiana University, The University of Notre Dame, The University of Georgia, and The University of New Mexico.
Dr. Kuban volunteered as an assistant coach for the boys' tennis team at Hamilton Southeastern High School in Fishers, Indiana, from 2019-2023. He is now the head coach of the boys' tennis team at Yorktown High School. From 2011-2016, he was a mentor affiliated with Big Brothers Big Sisters of Delaware County. He has previously served on the Board of Directors for two local nonprofit organizations: Cancer Services of East Central Indiana - Little Red Door and Big Brothers Big Sisters of Delaware County.
- Ph.D. Doctor of Philosophy Communication, University of Utah
- M.S. Master of Science, Journalism & Mass Communication, Iowa State University
- B.S. Bachelor of Science, Meteorology/Journalism & Mass Communication, Iowa State University
Examples of Creative Work
- Documentary - Match Point 2.0: The rise of the HBCU men's volleyball (Partners, First Point Volleyball Foundation, USA Volleyball), 2022
- Documentary - Match Point: The rise of men’s volleyball (Partner, First Point Volleyball Foundation), 2020
- Magazine - Facing Sustainability (Partners, Living Lightly Fair, The Facing Project), 2020
- Documentary - Un Futuro Vivo: A living future (Partner, Liga Comunal del Agua), 2019
- Documentary - The Talk (Partner, Organization for the Development of Indigenous Maya), 2018
- Magazine - Facing Addiction (Partners, Meridian Health Services, Aspire Indiana, Muncie Action Plan, The Facing Project), 2017
- Documentary - Downstream: Connecting Indiana with the Gulf of Mexico (Partners = FlatLand Resources, The Water Institute of the Gulf), 2016
- Magazine - Facing Cancer (Partners, Cancer Services of ECI – Little Red Door, The Facing Project), 2016
- Magazine - Facing Depression (Partner, The Facing Project), 2015
Examples of Publications (* = students)
- Crisafulli, S., Kuban, A.J., Lee, J., Santamaria-Graff, C., Warren-Gordon, K., and Weaver, L. (2023). Sense(making) and sensiblity: Reflections on an interpretivist inquiry of Critical Service Learning. Journal of Higher Education Outreach and Engagement.
- Kuban, A.J. (2020). Facing Social Justice in Sports.
- You can purchase this publication here.
- Kuban, A.J. (2020). Facing Sustainability: A Facing Project Exploring Sustainability in East Central Indiana.
- You can purchase this publication here.
- Purcell, J.W. & Kuban, A.J. (2020). Lessons from reflexive practice in higher education: Learning from failure and missteps in community-engaged scholarship. Journal of Higher Education Outreach and Engagement.
- Kuban, A.J., Kissel, H.*, Rodriguez, I.*, & Sipes, N.* (2019). Crystal Clear: An interdisciplinary, immersive-learning short documentary about water. Indiana Geological & Water Survey, Indiana Journal of Earth Sciences.
- Spillman, M.M., Sparks, J.V., & Kuban, A.J. (2019). The use of comprehensive exit exams in program assessment: Benefits, challenges & best practices. Journal of Media Education.
- Kuban, A.J. (2019). Key takeaways from spending four weeks in a developing country to create a documentary about a local changemaker. Journal of Media Education.
- Kuban, A.J. (2017). Downstream: Connecting Indiana to the Gulf of Mexico. Journal of Media Education.
- Spillman, M.M., Kuban, A.J., & Smith, S.J. (2016). Words du jour: An analysis of traditional and transitional course descriptions at select J-Schools. Journalism & Mass Communication Educator.
- Kuban, A.J., O’Malley, M.M., & Florea, L.J. (2015). Students’ knowledge and perceived confidence in an interdisciplinary experiential-learning environment. Journal of Community Engagement & Higher Education.
- Kuban, A.J., Florea, L.J., Korst, Z.C.*, & Purtha, R.T.* (2015). Science and journalism undergraduates combine efforts to boost public understanding of water quality. In The Trenches, 5(4). (In The Trenches is a trade periodical associated with the National Association of Geoscience Teachers.)
Honors and Awards
- LEAP Indiana Paragon Award for Excellence in Undergraduate Education, 2022
- The Ball State University Outstanding Faculty Teaching Award, 2021
- Community Engaged Alliance Brian D. Hiltunen Faculty Award for Outstanding Contribution to the Scholarship of Engagement, 2021
- Iowa State University Greenlee School of Journalism and Mass Communication Young Alumni Award, 2021
- The Star Press & Muncie Magazine “20 Under 40” Award, 2016
- Ball State University Immersive Learning Award for Water Quality Indiana, 2015
- Big Brother of the Year Award for Big Brothers Big Sisters of Delaware County, 2012
- Ramona W. Cannon Award for Graduate Student Teaching Excellence in the College of Humanities at the University of Utah, 2010
- Iowa State University Teaching Excellence Award, 2007