Topics: Immersive Learning, Building Better Communities, Student Affairs, Miller College of Business

October 18, 2007

Two Ball State immersive learning projects were honored Oct. 10-11 during the 2007 Indiana Department of Homeland Security Higher Education Conference.

"Developing Partnerships for Future Success" recognized projects at the state's colleges and universities that helped find solutions to potential problems related to homeland security.

Zac Adkins, a senior from Muncie, Ind., received a first-place award for his Business Fellows immersive learning project that proposed a geographically distributed clustered computer network at the Indianapolis International Airport. The computer network would continue to operate even if a portion was shut down or destroyed in a disaster.

Chris Hayden, a senior from Evansville, and Lindsay MacLeod, a senior from Fort Wayne, received a third-place award for a yearlong immersive learning project, which was conducted by Ball State's Department of Information Systems and Operations Management. The project assisted Delaware County government with computer network security.

 Fred Kitchens, an information systems professor and director of Ball State's cluster computing project, served as a faculty mentor for both projects.

"The students' success is largely due to the quality of education in their previous classes," he said. "The projects provide a mentored environment where students can integrate and apply much of the knowledge and skills they gained in previous courses."

Business Fellows, coordinated by Ball State's Career Center and funded by a $1.5 million grant from Lilly Endowment Inc., gives students the opportunity to turn academic knowledge into business solutions through intense, semester-long applied work experiences that will benefit an Indiana business, industry or organization. The program works in concert with Ball State's Building Better Communities initiative.