March 28, 2015

Refuge for a Threatened Iraqi Scholar

By Holly Rittenhouse

Ball State University is currently providing a safe haven for an Iraqi scholar whose life was threatened by ISIS, the Islamic State of Iraq and Syria. Ball State’s Center for International Development and the Intensive English Institute are working in collaboration with the Institute of International Education's Scholar Rescue Fund® (IIE-SRF) to protect one of the many scholars who face great harm in their home countries.

 “Since 2002, IIE-SRF has assisted more than 575 scholars from 51 countries, placing them at over 300 host partner institutions in 40 countries around the world,” according to the IIE-SRF website. IIE-SRF was launched in 2007 “in response to the large scale emergency threatening the intellectual capital of Iraq”. ISIS has closed universities, threatened intellectuals who promote ideals oppositional to ISIS’ beliefs, and destroyed precious ancient artifacts and sites which ISIS considers as false idols. Many of the artifacts have even been sold on the black market.

IIE-SRF “formalizes an unwavering commitment that IIE has demonstrated for over 90 years to preserve the lives, voices, and ideas of scholars around the globe.” Thus far, the Iraq IIE-SRF has rescued more than 250 threatened scholars. Ball State’s involvement with programs such as IIE-SRF makes it “one of the ten most active U.S. universities in the field of higher education assistance in Afghanistan, Iraq and Pakistan.”

Ball State’s Center for International Development (CID) and the Intensive English Institute (IEI) were the main proponents in procuring this opportunity for the visiting scholar. CID’s mission is “to assist in the political, social, economic and educational development of the world's poorest countries.” The center “serves as a unifying resource for faculty members with shared interests in alleviating poverty and contributing to the economic and social development of the world's most fragile and conflict-affected countries.”

The Intensive English Institute’s mission is twofold: “to facilitate international students’ progress in English proficiency and the knowledge of US culture necessary for success in academic coursework in the United States” and “to encourage the development and research of best practices in the area of language teaching and learning.” The IEI has welcomed the visiting scholar as one of its own instructors and provided him with the opportunity to teach several English courses to international students. The scholar is also continuing his research during his time at Ball State.

The visiting scholar (who wishes to remain anonymous) would like to express his appreciation for those involved with this program. “What I would love to emphasize is the outstanding efforts exerted by the SRF team, represented by the head of the Iraqi SRF team Nada Alsoze who took the pain of contacting me on a daily basis to make sure that I'm safe and to ensure my safe exit outside…Iraq” says the scholar. He continues, “The arrangements made by the host University, Ball State and the CID, were very timely. The reception was very warm and generous.”

The scholar is grateful for the people he works with in the CID and IEI. “So far, my stay at Ball State has been greatly rewarding and satisfactory. I met wonderful people who have been generous enough to understand the hardships I went through. I'm surrounded by love, the CID staff are amazing and so is the IEI staff. It is definitely not easy to suddenly lose everything: a home, a job, a PhD study and many other things,” he says, “ I have those wonderful people who made it easier for me to overcome my loss and the threats that I faced.”

This scholar is safe in the United States, but he holds concern for his colleagues who are still in danger. “I’m glad to be rescued but I would be…happy to know that other scholars from my university are being rescued, too. I keep receiving information from those who left the city that they are suffering a lot because they are not welcomed anywhere. The country which they thought they belong to is now turning its back on them. They are simply perceived as ISIS or supportive of ISIS,” says the scholar.

The IIE-SRF unceasingly works to make a positive difference in the lives of scholars and their families around the globe. “At the heart of IIE-SRF is the idea that each scholar we help who continues his or her work in safety is a beacon of hope in our world.”

For more information on ISIS’ destruction in Iraq and elsewhere, visit

March 24, 2015

20th Annual Student Symposium at Ball State University in One Week! Tuesday, March 31, 2015 at the L.A. Pittenger Student Center, 2nd Floor: Display Setup Times and Public Sessions Information

In one week, the 2nd Floor of the L.A. Pittenger Student Center will host the Sponsored Project Administration’s (SPA) 20th Annual Student Symposium at Ball State University.  The Student Symposium offers students an opportunity to display their research projects and creative endeavors in an exciting afternoon poster session and moderated paper presentations taking place throughout the afternoon. 

All Ball State University students are eligible: undergraduate, graduate, those from Burris Laboratory School, and the Indiana Academy for Science, Mathematics, and Humanities.  The Sponsored Projects Administration invites students and faculty from all disciplines to attend this one-day event.

Information regarding display setup times, public sessions, and moderated paper presentations are included below.  

Don’t miss out!  Slush Punch and Cookies will be provided.

Event Date & Location
Tuesday, March 31, 2015
L.A. Pittenger Student Center, 2nd floor

Schedule of Events
Display Setup:
Monday, March 30          2:00 – 5:00 p.m.
Tuesday, March 31         6:00 – 8:00 a.m.
             Judging:                         8:00 a.m. – 12:00 p.m.   
Only judges may be present at this time.
 Public Sessions:               1:00 – 4:30 p.m.
  Presentation of Awards:   4:30 – 5:00 p.m. 
Prizewinners will be announced at 4:30pm in Cardinal Hall.  Participants must be present to win.

2015 Student Symposium Paper Presentation Overview
Studies in Speech and Language
  • Time: 1:30-2:45
  • Location: Music Lounge
  • Number of Papers: Two
  • Moderator: Mellisa Holtzman
Physical and Health Sciences
  • Time: 1:30-2:45
  • Location: Cardinal Hall B
  • Number of Papers: Three
  • Moderator: Anthony Cancio and Mahamud Subir
Spaces and Environment
  • Time: 1:30-2:45
  • Location: Cardinal Hall C
  • Number of Papers: Three
  • Moderator: Sanglim Yoo
Issues in Higher Education
  • Time: 3-4:15
  • Location: Music Lounge
  • Number of Papers: Four
  • Moderator: Jerrell Cassady
Issues in Business
  • Time: 3-4:15
  • Location: Cardinal Hall B
  • Number of Papers: Three
  • Moderator: Qiannong (Chan) Gu and Tamara Montag-Smit
Peace, Ethics, and Social Issues
  • Time: 3-4:30
  • Location: Cardinal Hall C
  • Number of Papers: Five
  • Moderator: Michael O’Hara
Visit the Student Symposium webpage for links to the 2015 guidelines and schedule.  Contact Jessie Roark if you have any questions. We hope to see you there!

March 20, 2015

Ball State’s ASPiRE Internal Grant Program is pleased to announce the Hollis Fund opportunities available for summer and fall projects 2015.

Ball State’s ASPiRE Internal Grant Program is pleased to announce the Hollis Fund opportunities available for summer and fall projects 2015.

Sponsored Project Administration (SPA) is pleased to oversee the Joseph W. and Marcella S.
Hollis Fund for research in fields of psychology. Professor Joseph W. Hollis served Ball State from 1954‐
1984 with his service culminating as Chairperson of the Department of Counseling Psychology and
Guidance Services. This opportunity is supported by the income arising from the endowment.

Hollis funds can be provided to assist in psychological research project costs such as travel or supplies.
Dr. and Mrs. Hollis also recognized that research in psychology might occur in a number of departments
and programs across the campus. Thus, proposals from any department are eligible, as long as the
project is psychology based.

·         Applicants must be Graduate students or Junior Faculty Members (first 3 years of appointment).

·         Ball State students are limited to one Hollis award. Additionally, Jr. Faculty members are limited
to one Hollis award during their term as a Jr. Faculty member.

Types of Funding Available
Research related travel, supplies, payments to subjects (excluding gift cards), and presentations of work
at professional meetings (proof of presentation acceptance must be submitted at the time of

Questions pertaining to the ASPiRE Program can be directed to or by calling the Sponsored Projects Administration at 765-285-1600

March 11, 2015

RSVP for the NSF Grant Writing Workshop

The College of Applied Sciences and Technology, in partnership with the Sponsored Projects Administration, will be hosting a National Science Foundation (NSF) grant-writing workshop from 2-5 pm on March 19 in AJ 175. This event is open to the campus community. Even if you are in a discipline that does not rely on the NSF grant mechanism there may be valuable grant proposal writing tips and strategies that are applicable to all grant proposals. Please register in advance for this event by visiting:

Program participants include Jackie Davis and Dr. Justin Miller from the Sponsored Projects Administration, Dr. Tom Holtgraves from the Department of Psychological Sciences and Dr. Derron Bishop from the Center for Medical Education. The full workshop schedule is not finalized at this time. If you RSVP now you will be updated as information becomes available.  This Event is for the Ball State University campus community only.