Topics: Miller College of Business, Building Better Communities, Immersive Learning

September 7, 2007

Ball State students have until Sept. 14 to sign up for this year's offering of Business Fellows projects, one of the university's premier immersive learning initiatives.

This year's Business Fellows initiative will consist of 14 student teams, 19 faculty mentors working directly with Indiana businesses and organizations to engage in problem-based projects. The program coordinators are looking to recruit more than 140 students who will receive a stipend for their work that will last one or two semesters, said Nicole Feldhues, Business Fellows co-director.

Along with receiving practical experience in a real-world environment, students can participate in a comprehensive series of seminars and workshops focused on leadership, team building and career development taught by professional trainers and community leaders. 

Business Fellows, which is funded by the Lilly Endowment, is open to all juniors, seniors and graduate students. For more information go to or contact Feldhues at 765-285-2430.

This year's projects are:

  • Petra Zimmerman, assistant professor of geography, will lead a student team in working with Advanced Hearing Care in Anderson to help the business expand services. The students will offer spatial marketing recommendations, including strategies to target underserved areas, and develop a marketing plan.
  • Roger Hollands, professor of political science, will assist students in working with the Delaware County Auditors Office and the county commissioners to apply the concepts of benchmarking.
  • Douglas Johnson, assistant professor of marketing and management, and Joe Blalock, assistant professor of landscape architecture, will work with the Indianapolis Department of Parks to help the city pursue redevelopment options for Bush Stadium through the Indianapolis BioCrossroads Initiative.
  • Fred Kitchens, associate professor of information systems and operations management, will have his students partner with the Delaware County Advancement Corporation and the Delaware County Chamber of Commerce to study the possibility of a data center in Muncie to house mission-critical computer systems and associated components.
  • Pam Harwood, associate professor of architecture, and her students will work with the Charter School Association of Indiana, Ball State's Office of Charter Schools and the Indianapolis Mayor's Charter School Office to develop strategies for planning school facilities. 
  • James Eflin, chairman of the natural resources and environmental management department, will guide his students in working with one or more municipal governments or economic development agencies to assess and improve current performance and infrastructure.
  • Daniel Baack, assistant professor of marketing and management, will assist a student team to help the Hoosier Gym in Knightstown explore event marketing as a secondary income source to help ensure its financial stability and continuity as a community asset and tourist attraction.
  • A team of students will be led by Sheryl Swingley and Becky McDonald from the journalism department will work with Indiana Foodways Alliance, which is engaged in the promotion of culinary tourism, to identify culinary community assets and leveraging those assets to bolster local businesses and community economic development.
  • Jeffery and Susan Clark, from the physiology and health science department, will work with the Indiana Tobacco Prevention and Cessation Agency and Future Choices Inc. to enhance and develop marketing campaigns that promote tobacco-free lifestyles specifically for young adults.
  • From the journalism department, Ken Heinen and Dick Shoemaker and their students will work with the Indiana Transportation Museum in Noblesville to examine marketing, promotional and other revenue development opportunities for the museum.
  • Journalism professors Robert Pritchard and Ryan Sparrow will partner with the Historic Landmarks Foundation of Indiana to develop a strategic plan that strengthens and advances the foundation's current public relations efforts with multimedia content and a significant Web presence.
  • Peggy Fisher, assistant professor of communication studies, will work with Ball Memorial Hospital to assist in furthering its Nursing Magnet Certification initiative, improve patient safety and standardization of care and more.
  • Olon Dotson, assistant professor of architecture, will guide a team to help the YWCA in Muncie conduct a facility needs assessment, exploring best practices and performing a detailed physical evaluation of the existing physical facilities.