Topics: Awards, Building Better Communities, College of Sciences and Humanities, Immersive Learning

September 22, 2014

A Ball State immersive learning project was honored after spending a year shedding light on unsolved deaths around Indiana.

Ball State University and Crime Stoppers of Central Indiana received the 2014 Best Community Initiative award for the Unsolved Death Project at the Crime Stoppers USA Conference in Austin, Texas. As a result, Indianapolis Mayor Greg Ballard proclaimed September as National Crime Stoppers Month.

The project brought together Crime Stoppers, Ball State’s Department of Criminal Justice and Criminology and the university’s Building Better Communities with 15 central Indiana law enforcement agencies to collaborate on 16 unsolved death investigations in hopes of renewing public interest in the cases.

Mentored by Bryan Byers, a Ball State criminal justice professor, a 19-student team worked over the last year with police to review information on each case and then produced public service announcements placed on police websites and distributed through social media.

As a result of the campaign, several Indianapolis television and radio news stations produced stories and newspapers in central Indiana followed the efforts in the last year.