Topics: College of Communication Information and Media, International Education, Immersive Learning

June 23, 2010

 A group of Ball State University students in the College of Communication, Information, and Media (CCIM) is blogging and producing news stories for various print and television outlets in Indiana as they explore China and Hong Kong.

Already, media outlets in Indiana are publishing the students' stories, including:

Under the direction of telecommunications instructors Suzy Smith and Terry Heifetz, six students will develop multimedia projects during the six-week cultural immersion in to the Far East. The trip is designed to give students the opportunity to not just visit the country but to really understand how people live and work.    

"We think it's a wonderful opportunity for our students to learn about an amazing culture, and then use our news gathering expertise to share it with Hoosiers half a world away," Smith said. "Our students are certainly enjoying the 2010 World Expo, which is an experience."

The project to tour the World Expo coincided with a visit to China by Indiana Lt. Gov. Becky Skillman.

"When we realized that Skillman was here as part of an economic development trip, we immediately contacted her people to set up an interview with her about the mission," Heifetz said. "We will be sending many stories back to Indiana media outlets until we return June 28."

Students also will post updates at

This faculty/student team represents the first wave of CCIM international immersive learning experiences. The project is funded through a four-year, $40,000 grant from Ball State's Rinker Center for International Programs.