Jennifer Palilonis, a journalism professor at Ball State University, is being recognized by the Mid-American Conference for her work in shepherding the next generation of communication professionals.

Palilonis, the George and Frances Ball Distinguished Professor of Multimedia Journalism, is the recipient of the 2019-20 Mid-American Conference Outstanding Faculty Award for Student Success. The MAC announced the award Friday morning.

The award celebrates the commitment of MAC universities to provide a holistic student experience and create an environment that supports success in school and life. This first-time award also recognizes the various ways student success is supported within the MAC.

“Jenn Palilonis is well-deserving of this award in recognition of her exemplary contributions to the success of her students,” Ball State University President Geoffrey S. Mearns said. “She passionately contributes her time and talent to helping our University expand its reach and impact by serving learners throughout their lifetime educational journey.”

Palilonis, who earned her bachelor and master’s degrees from Ball State, has led a transformation in education as the founding director of the Center for Emerging Media Design and Development (EMDD).

“Receiving an award for student success is probably one of the greatest honors of my career,” Palilonis said. “The truth is that my students – their hard work, their commitment to excellence, and their trust in me – make me look good. I am so proud and grateful to have the honor of working with them in and outside the classroom.

“Teaching, for me, is a collaborative experience,” she said. “I view my students as partners in the process, which makes my job really inspiring and fun. Ball State fosters opportunities for faculty and students to learn, grow and work together in really unique ways. Putting student learning first is an institutional priority, not just a personal goal. So, I share this honor with the whole campus, and especially with the immediate colleagues with whom I collaborate every day.”

Johnny Sparks, journalism department chair, nominated Palilonis for the award. He pointed out that she surpasses the most idealized vision of commitment to student success.

“She continues to build upon her international reputation and legacy as a revolutionary and adaptive educator,” Sparks said. “Ball State and the MAC are tremendously fortunate to boast one of the world’s brightest and most student-centered scholars in Jennifer Palilonis as an alumnus and faculty member.”