Topics: President, Emerging Media

April 21, 2009

TechPoint has named Ball State University President Jo Ann M. Gora its 2009 Mira Awards Trailblazer for significant and lasting contributions to technology innovation in Indiana.
TechPoint has named Ball State University President Jo Ann M. Gora its 2009 Mira Awards Trailblazer for significant and lasting contributions to technology innovation in Indiana. The Trailblazer Award is part of TechPoint's annual Mira Awards program recognizing Indiana's high-tech success stories.

Since becoming Ball State's 14th president in 2004, Gora has led dramatic change in a relatively short time. Most notably, the University's efforts in emerging media have put Indiana on the cutting edge of an exciting new technology cluster — using internet-based media and other advanced communications technologies to engage and interact with audiences in new ways.

Her focus on immersive learning — combining classroom experiences with "hands on" projects — in the emerging media fields also is giving Indiana a lasting competitive advantage by better preparing the next generation of Hoosiers to compete for these high-tech careers.

"Dr. Gora is a pioneer who is putting Indiana on the map in the world of emerging media," said Jim Jay, president & CEO of TechPoint. "Ball State's Web 2.0 and other cutting-edge media programs grab much of the attention, but also it's important to note the significant technology investments she has made across campus. Making it possible for all students to access the fastest wireless-internet network available is just one example of how she's prioritized technology's role in learning."

Ball State has been named the nation's top wireless campus based on surveys conducted by Intel Corporation and the Center for Digital Education.

In accepting the 2009 Trailblazer Award, Dr. Gora emphasized the importance of technology in preparing students for life after college and ensuring that they enter a job market filled with economic opportunities.

"Advances in technology are changing the way we learn, interact, and do business every day," Gora said. "As educators, we must keep pace so that our students have the best opportunities to succeed, and as an Indiana institution, we want to do our part in helping the state transition to the high-tech, innovation-based economy."

Under Gora's leadership, Ball State has undertaken more than $320 million in new campus facility construction, completed hundreds of immersive learning projects involving thousands of students, and embarked on an ambitious new strategic plan backed by a major capital campaign: Ball State Bold: Investing in the Future, which is on pace to raise $200 million by 2011. All of these efforts have included a strong focus on emerging media and other technology areas.

"Dr. Gora is transforming Ball State and, in turn, the university is making a significant contribution to Indiana's tech sector. We are proud to name her as our 2009 TechPoint Mira Awards Trailblazer," Jay said.

Past Trailblazer Award honorees include:

  • Scott Webber, technologist and entrepreneur
  • Wil Davis, president and chairman of Ontario Systems
  • Michael McRobbie, president of Indiana University
  • David Becker, entrepreneur and founder of First Internet Bank
  • Mark Hill, entrepreneur and founder of Baker Hill
  • Martin Jische, former president of Purdue University
  • Senator David Ford
  • Representative Brian Halser
  • Don Willis, entrepreneur

For the last decade, TechPoint's annual Mira Awards have put a well-deserved spotlight on Indiana's high-tech all-stars — understanding that celebrating success is one way to create more of it. The Mira Awards are Indiana's largest and most visible technology awards program; learn more at This year's Mira Gala awards ceremony will be held on May 16th at The Westin Indianapolis.

About TechPoint

TechPoint is the only statewide organization representing Indiana's technology sector. It promotes technology-based enterprise and economic development through lobbying and government advocacy, educational and networking programs, and strategic economic development initiatives. As a part of the Central Indiana Corporate Partnership's family of initiatives, TechPoint is a catalyst for growth in Indiana's emerging technology clusters, including advanced manufacturing, logistics, life sciences and information technology. Learn more at

About BKD, presenting sponsor of the TechPoint Mira Awards

BKD, LLP ( is a CPA and advisory firm for growing companies and high net-worth individuals. As one of the 10 largest such firms in the country, is assists clients by applying technical expertise, client service and disciplined delivery of solutions to their management and financial needs. BKD's approximately 2,100 personnel, including approximately 250 partners, are based in 31 offices within 12 states in the central United States.