April 26, 2011

Highlights from the 2011 Emerging Media Initiative Faculty Symposium

As emerging media continues to be an increasing area of interest in higher education, Ball State University has taken a vested interest in expanding its media capabilities over the next five to 10 years. With this goal in mind, the 2011 Emerging Media Faculty Symposium provided some insight into how the University is planning on further developing its services and research to students and faculty through innovation and strategic thinking.

The Symposium, which is now in its 4th year, is part of Ball State’s Emerging Media Initiative (EMI) which focuses on the areas of leadership and sustainability, faculty and research, engagement and economic development, and student opportunities, according to its website.

Photo by Corey Ohlenkamp
With the key focus of this year’s symposium being on the faculty and research component, President JoAnn Gora revealed the formation of four newly formed task force teams that would usher in a new wave of strategies to help promote Ball State’s growing online education programs. “We need to continually market the case for Ball State’s value,” she said, emphasizing the rapid growth and changes in the way people consume information.

Each task force is comprised of an interdisciplinary team of faculty members on campus and are each assigned specific goals and objectives. A representative from each team gave a short presentation on their research and also offered recommendations that could be used as BSU moves forward in expanding its online capabilities. The four teams include:
  1. Emerging Media Curriculum Task Force: Presented by Lori Byers, Associate Dean, College of Communication, Information and Media
  2. Healthcare Task Force: Presented by Kerry Anne McGeary, Phyllis A. Miller Professor of Economics
  3. Online Learning Task Force: Presented by Jen Bott, Associate Professor of Management and the Executive Director of the Master of Business Administration and Certificate Programs
  4. Education of the Future Task Force: Presenters Phil Repp, Vice President for Information Technology and Susan Tanock, Professor of Elementary Education
Following this session, professors from the department of mathematics, theatre, elementary education and psychological sciences discussed some of the major myths to online education, which included:
           Myth 1: “I won’t be able to connect with my students”
           Myth 2: “Teaching quality is compromised online”
           Myth 3: “It’s just a talking head on a screen"
           Myth 4: “Online teaching requires too much time and tales away from my research”

At the end of both informational sessions, time was allotted for Q&A with the audience. You can read more about the symposium at the Ball State Daily News. You can also learn more about BSU’s Emerging Media Initiative by visiting the program’s website.

April 19, 2011

Recap of the 16th Annual Student Symposium

With more than 220 students in attendance at this year’s Annual Student Symposium, the record turnout marked a milestone in the event’s 16 year history. Originally started in 1996 with only 10 hand-selected projects, the event has grown to 166 projects—and counting. “The Sixteenth Annual Student Symposium was an extraordinarily successful event—both in terms of the numbers of students represented, and the variety and depth of projects,” said Kristi Koriath, Director at the Sponsored Programs Office.

Organized by the Sponsored Programs Office (SPO), the symposium provides a forum to showcase the accomplishments of Ball State University undergraduate and graduate students who have carried out research projects, creative endeavors, and other scholarly activities.

The event took place from 1:00 – 5:00 p.m. on Tuesday, March 29 in the Student Center Ballroom and Cardinal Hall C. Due to the large number of entries, this was the first year that two venues were used to display projects. Entries were separated based on the student’s selection of “research” or “creative” on the registration form. “It’s only because the Ballroom was so crowded last year,” said Augusta Wray, one of the program’s event coordinators. “Last year we had 116 submissions and 175 students and this year we had 166 projects and 228 student participants. There just wasn’t enough room. It certainly wasn't the ideal situation, but next year we plan on having a larger venue."

Students from various fields of study, under the direct mentorship of faculty advisors, were given the opportunity to explore research interests and personal passions, such as the exploration of Benthic and Planktonic Forminiferal Biostratigraphy of the Middle Eocene Cockfield Formation of Eastern Mississippi (Jordan Edmunds), while for others it was simply examining The Visibility of International Students in the Midwest (Jenny Klucarich). Whatever the topic of interest, each project provided symposium attendees with ample opportunities to learn about both new and familiar subjects.

“Many of the projects were highly technical and very detailed,” said Koriath. “However, everyone with whom I spoke had a ready grasp of their project, but yet could make their work comprehensible to someone not necessarily in-the-know about the discipline.”

Submissions were separated into two distinct categories, Creative and Research, and were also evaluated by two separate sets of judges. Under the Creative Projects category, the judges were Jen Blackmer, Associate Professor of Theatre; Lori Byers, Associate Dean of the College of Communication, Information, and Media; and Kecia McBride, Associate Dean Associate Professor of English.

Research Projects were judged by Derron Bishop, Associate Professor of Physiology, and Assistant Director of the Center for Medical Education; John Emert, Associate Dean of the Honors College, and Professor of Mathematical Sciences; Jeff Grigsby, Associate Dean of the College of Science and Humanities, and Professor of Geology; and Michael Holmes, Director of Insight and Research, and Professor of Communication Studies.

Prior to the start of the Symposium, judges spent 3.5 hours reviewing, evaluating and rating individual projects. Evaluation was based on the quality of poster design and informational content provided. At the close of the event, a formal awards ceremony was held in Cardinal Hall A where Provost Terry King congratulated the student participants for their hard work and contributions to their field. Following his remarks, Jeffry Grigsby, Professor of Geological Sciences and Associate Dean of the College of Sciences and Humanities, announced the winners under the Research category and Jennifer Blackmer, Associate Professor of Theatre, announced the winners under the Creative category.

The Student Symposium Awards were established in memory of Dr. Linda Keys, Mr. Jeffrey Litten, and Ms. Sandra Smith, all of whom served in Sponsored Programs Office. They were instrumental in developing the Symposium as the premier event for students to showcase their work and were avid supporters of student research endeavors.

For a full list of 2011 student participants click here. You may also view exclusive video interviews from some of this year’s student presenters by visiting the SPO YouTube Channel.

April 05, 2011

2010-11 Researcher of the Year and Creative Endeavor Awardee Lectures

Researcher of the Year and Creative Endeavor Awardee Lecture
Monday, April 18, 2011
3:00 p.m.
L. A. Pittenger Student Center Forum Room

Department of Biology
2010-11 Researcher of the Year

Exotic Critters of our Great Lakes:
Biological Pollution in Action

Department of Theatre and Dance
2010-11 Creative Endeavor Awardee

Science on Stage: The Limits of the Human
Each year, the Outstanding Researcher of the Year and recipient of the Outstanding Creative Endeavor of the year are announced at the annual faculty fall convocation. The Sponsored Programs Office (SPO) hosts a presentation event each year for the Research of the Year and Creative Endeavor awardee to lecture and display or discuss their work for the campus community.

For more information on past Researchers of the Year and Creative Endeavor Awardees, please visit the SPO website by clicking here.

April 04, 2011

New NIH Podcasts

Podcast on Writing About Human Subjects in Your Application
Continuing the podcast series on grant writing, the next topic is the human subjects section. Do you need to include this section in your application? Should you include this section if you are using human tissue samples without their personally identifying information? Listen to “Human Subjects Risk and Protection” for answers to these questions and more.

Writing Your Research Plan Podcast
The research plan and other narrative sections of the application are next. Your research project really is a story and can benefit from some careful crafting. Listen to “Telling Your Story” for some tips and advice.

To get new All About Grants podcasts as they are released, subscribe by visiting iTunes or catch NIH's podcast RSS using your favorite software.