Topics: Miller College of Business, Immersive Learning

June 20, 2011

A team of Ball State information systems students received an award for its immersive learning project in an international competition held on its own turf.

The sixth annual International Business Informatics Challenge (IBIC) brought 48 people from six countries May 26–28 to Ball State, with the support of the Miller College of Business. Representing Ball State in the competition were Travis Crager, Eric Hercamp, Auriel Mabone, Brandon Riney and John Speer, who were awarded "Best Professional Collaboration Project."

The team was recognized for its work on a project during the 2010-2011 academic year that involved using advanced software to redesign the technology infrastructure for Greenfield, Ind. Senior team member John Speer said this project gave him real–world experience and helped him network with other information technology professionals.

"IBIC is much more than just a competition. Through this project, I have been able to make many connections that could potentially lead to great opportunities in the business world," Speer said.

This was not the first time that information systems students worked with Greenfield. Last year, a team of Ball State students won first place at IBIC for a case study that reviewed a new data transfer system developed for the city. A member of that class, alumnus David Young, attended the 2010 IBIC held in Vaxjo, Sweden.

Fred Kitchens, an information systems professor, said the students were granted the opportunity for redesigning Greenfield's technology infrastructure because of the success of last year's project. "The client, Nick Riedman, liked the work that the students performed last year, so we took on his second project. He has been a great contact for students to work with," Kitchens said, also crediting the quality of teaching by the Miller College of Business faculty for the students' repeated success.

This year marks the first year Ball State hosted IBIC. In addition to the competition, international attendees participated in a workshop at the Virginia B. Ball Center for Creative Inquiry and took tours of campus highlighting Ball State's technology, media and business initiatives. IBIC will be in Berlin in 2012 and in Boston in 2013.

By Mallory Sturgeon