Jennifer Palilonis
Jennifer Palilonis
George and Frances Ball Distinguished Professor of Multimedia Storytelling


Room:AJ 390D

About Jennifer George-Palilonis


Dr. Jennifer Palilonis is the George and Frances Ball Distinguished Professor of Multimedia Journalism and a full professor in the School of Journalism and Strategic Communication. She also serves as the Director of the Center for Emerging Media Design and Development (EMDD). She is known for her creative and innovative endeavors. In 2017, Dr. Palilonis and her students deployed a global social media campaign to engage young people in the value of water. The work was recognized by the Vatican, and she and EMDD students were invited to lead a three-day workshop on water issues during the Vatican’s World Water Day. She and her students also have worked with the Professor Garfield Foundation, building a digital literacy curriculum for children K-5, and she leads the David Letterman Learning Experience, an ongoing interdisciplinary immersive learning project focused on intersections between technology, art, and storytelling. Garfield Creator Jim Davis and former late-night talk show host David Letterman are Ball State alumni. Other project collaborations have been with The Indiana State Museum, Circle of Blue, and USA Volleyball. Dr. Palilonis is featured here talking about the EMDD program.


Dr. Palilonis’ fields of professional specialization are design thinking, human-computer interaction, cross-platform storytelling, visual journalism, information graphics reporting, art direction, redesign, visual rhetoric, elearning, digital publishing, research-informed design and development, and interaction design. She is the former education director for the Society for News Design and former head of the Visual Communications division of the Association for Educators in Journalism and Mass Communication.


Professional Experience


  • Ball State University, Director, Emerging Media Design and Development, 2015-present
  • Ball State University, George & Frances Ball Distinguished Professor, 2009 present
  • Ball State University, Department of Journalism Graphics Sequence Coordinator, 2001-2015
  • Director, Digital Publishing Studio, 2012-present
  • Project Director, Garcia Media, 2002-present
  • Chicago Sun-Times, Sunday art director and news design director, 1998-2001
  • Detroit Free-Press – news and business designer, 1996-1998



  • Ph.D., Human-Computer Interaction, Indiana University School of Informatics & Computing
  • M.S., English Composition and Rhetoric, Ball State University
  • B.S., Journalism, Ball State University


Selected Publications and Research 


Dr. Palilonis is the author of two textbooks: A Practical Guide to Graphics Reporting (Focal Press, 2006; 2016) and The Multimedia Journalist (Oxford University Press, 2012). She has developed three major interactive multimedia books, including Design Interactive, an e-text on basic design principles and Visualizing Electricity & Magnetism, an interactive set of visualizations used in 100-level electricity and magnetism courses at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology. She has published 21 refereed publications and has presented numerous professional and creative endeavors at more than 40 conferences and meetings.
  • George-Palilonis, J. (2019). Information Graphics. In Vince Filak (Ed.), Writing News Across Converged Media, Third Edition. Boston: Focal Press.
  •  Palilonis, J. & Watt, T. (2018). Professor Garfield’s 21st century literacy project: Supporting K-5 teachers in their digital literacy instructional efforts. Paper presented at the International Conference on E-Learning, Las Vegas, Nevada, October 15-17, 2018.
  • Shively, K. & Palilonis, J. (2018). Curriculum Development: Preservice Teachers’ Perceptions of Design Thinking for Understanding Digital Literacy as a Curricular Framework. Journal of Education.
  • Palilonis, J. (2017). Active reading on tablet textbooks: Comparative assessment of two systems. International Journal of the Book.
  • Palilonis, J. (2017). Multimedia Active Reading: A Framework for Understanding Learning with Tablet Textbooks. In Encyclopedia of Instructional Systems and Technology, IGI Global.

Sampling of Awards and Honors


  • BEA Festival Media Arts 2020, Award of Excellence, Sports Documentary; Second Place, Interactive Multimedia and Emerging Technology - Match Point: The rise of men’s volleyball
  • Faculty Immersive Learning Award, David Letterman Learning Experience, Ball State University, 2020
  • Faculty Immersive Learning Award, Blue Roots Project, Ball State University, 2018
  • National Journalism and Mass Communication Teacher of the Year Award, Scripps Howard Foundation, 2013
  • Outstanding Teaching Award, Ball State University, 2012
  • High Technology Award, College of Communication, Information, and Media, 2012
  • Researcher of the Year, College of Communication, Information, and Media, 2010
  • Graduate of the Last Decade (GOLD), Ball State University Alumni Association, 2006