Erika EspinozaOur students and faculty are award-winning every year. Their work consistently ranks high in the most prestigious competitions across the country. Students produce original news and features stories, broadcasts, web and print designs, public relations and advertising campaigns. Clubs and organizations, can open doors to competition, too. Our student chapters of AAF and PRSSA compete at the regional and often the national level. Our student media organizations consistently outpace the competition in web design, writing and visuals. All this work adds to a strong portfolio, an important tool for your job search and career after graduation. Many alums have won Pulitzers. But in 2018, Erika Espinoza, became the first Ball State student to win a Pulitzer Prize in Explanatory Reporting for her part in The Wall, an examination of the construction of the President Trump’s pledge to build a wall at the U.S. and Mexican border by the Arizona Republic and USAToday. At the time, Erika was a graduate student in the Emerging Media Design and Development (EMDD) program. She also earned her undergraduate degree from the School of Journalism and Strategic Communication. Students often compete in these prestigious organizations:

Real-time reporting and writing, shooting and editing prepares you for a successful career. Our strategic communications students also get hands-on learning experiences working one-on-one with clients and competing in national brand competitions. Immersive learning isn’t reserved for upper-level students, either. We want you involved from day one, and you’ll want to be. 

More about Immersive Learning

The university offers dozens of opportunities across colleges and departments on campus. Learn more.

Immersive Learning

Our public relations students compete in some of the most prestigious competitions nationwide. The Arthur Page Case Study Competition is one of the leading professional associations for the public relations and corporate communications executives and educators. In 2020, our PR master's student Becca Schriner and undergraduate Melissa Kraman won the Third Prize in the Arthur W. Page Society's Case Study Competition. The Ball State University PR student and professor team won the competition for the first time alongside teams from the top PR programs, such as Boston University. The professor and student team's case study was about analyzing Southwest Airline Flight 1380 crisis communication strategies.

Project Coordinator: YoungAh Lee

As the first step to develop an effective strategic communication plan for the Cradle to Career program run by the Ball Foundation, immersive learning is being conducted to provide solutions through situation analysis, in-depth interviews, and surveys.

Project Coordinator: Grace Park

The David Letterman Learning Experience is a result of a year-long effort to create an experience that immerses the user in the history of Ball State University. Ball State's most famous alumnus donated more than 1,000 pieces from Late Night with David Letterman to the university in 2015. This David Letterman Learning Experience team created a fun and interactive cross-platform experience that consisted of a location-based storytelling app - That's BS - and a touch-screen tabletop experience. Throughout the year, a team of five EMDD graduate students collaborated with a team of five undergraduate animation and telecommunications majors to develop story content including videos, trivia, and animations relating to fun, quirky moments in Ball State history.

Project Coordinator: Jennifer Palilonis

"Social Justice” has become a loaded concept, meaning something different to different people, and while it’s nothing new that some athletes, coaches, and sports-media professionals have used their respective platforms to promote awareness of various issues and to inspire change, it’s not commonly understood *why* they’ve done so. What personal experiences or situations have they faced that motivated them to become advocates or activists? 

In this recently published book and related website, there are personal stories from athletes, coaches, and sports-media professionals who represent an array of sports and “levels” within sport, ranging from youth to collegiate to pro. Each chapter explores their own intersection of their respective sport and a social-justice topic or issue relevant to them, and each chapter has been written from first-person narrative perspective, where, in the spirit of empathy, the student-authors composed these stories as though they were the actual athletes, coaches, etc. This presents an opportunity to discuss not only the intersection of social justice and sports but also empathy — why it's essential at such a polarized time and how sports-related stories like these can help bridge this polarization.

Project Coordinator: Adam Kuban

Harvesting Hope is a project for students that are eager to capture stories - and recipes - that celebrate the flavors of Muncie. 

Project Coordinator: Kate Elliott

This ongoing, immersive-learning partnership began with the overarching goal to address news deserts that exist throughout East Central Indiana. The fall semester(s) of JOUR 413 develop and pursue story topics related to sustainability; the spring semester(s) of JOUR 413 follow the same publication process albeit in the domain of health and health-related stories. Enrolled students contribute to an ongoing “series” of JOUR 413-produced stories published in 3 media outlets across central Indiana: The Star Press (Muncie), The Richmond Palladium-Item and The Lafayette Journal & Courier. We currently work with Deanna Watson, an editor for The USA TODAY Network. Students in the fall semester also work with sustainability-focused organizations, creating multi-platform content about them toward a multi-year mapping effort that compiles sustainability stories from across the entire state of Indiana. Over time, the media and mapping produced by this project should contribute to a statewide strategy toward sustainability.

Project Coordinator: Adam Kuban

Match Point: The Rise of Men's Volleyball is an original documentary focused on bringing awareness to the growth of boy's and men's volleyball in the United States.

Project Coordinator: Adam Kuban and Jennifer Palilonis

Through this immersive learning opportunity, Ball State's Ross Immersive Learning Team partners with the Ross Community Center and the Muncie Community residents to create visual ethnographics and engage the community with photography.

Project Coordinator: Gabriel Tait

Shoot For Good is a daylong documentary projected, produced by the Ball State School of Journalism and Strategic Communication's NPPA chapter. The project covers volunteerism and service around the greater Muncie area over a 24-hour period.

Project Coordinator: Martin Smith-Rodden

Water Quality Indiana blends science with journalism and provides impactful recruitment into STEM and media fields through experiential learning. 

Project Coordinator: Adam Kuban

Let's Talk

Mackenzie Wenger, journalism internship coordinator, is eager to explore opportunities with you. Call or email her to set up an appointment.

 Our students are required to complete one internship and are urged to do more. Having a strong portfolio of work by the time you graduate is no longer an option. You’ll need it to separate yourself from the rest of the pack. Not sure where to start? We have your back. One of the distinguishing features of a Ball State University School of Journalism and Strategic Communication education is the mentorship you get from your professors. They take a personal interest in your success. We have just the right blend of scholars and professionals to help you navigate the start of your career path. You’ll be required to take a professional development class that prepares you for the work world with instruction on research and finding internships, creating a career-focused resume, writing cover letters, prepping for interviews and adapting the latest tools and techniques that get you where you want to go. We help you build your network and your personal brand. Where will you get an internship? We leave that up to you but we’re here to help. Some of our most popular internship sites include the Indianapolis ColtsIndiana PacersIndiana FeverIndianapolis MonthlyHironsBorshoff, SalesforceEli LillyCumulus MediaWISH-TVWTHRBall State AthleticsMatchbook CreativeThe Indianapolis Star, state and federal government agencies and legislative agencies. Students are limited to in-state internships. Many land opportunities in metropolitan areas like Chicago, New York City, Washington, D.C., Atlanta, Nashville, Phoenix and Los Angeles. International experiences are also options. Students have completed internships all over the globe but most recently in England, Spain, Ireland and Australia.