Spend a few minutes talking to Dr. Joe Misiewicz, and quickly you’ll realize that you are speaking with an extremely accomplished individual who consistently looks for ways to make things better.
His affable demeanor and vast knowledge are complemented by his illustrious career that includes being the chair of and a professor in Ball State’s Department of Telecommunications (renamed the “Department of Media” in Fall 2021)—within the College of Communication, Information, and Media (CCIM)—starting in 1990. Dr. Joe—as he is affectionately known around Ball State—has held similar chair and/or director positions at Bradley University, Central Michigan University, and Morehead State University in Kentucky. He retired from Ball State with emeritus status in 2012. Throughout his career, he has won numerous awards and earned several honors.
This Summer, Dr. Joe earned two more prestigious honors. He was inducted into the Indiana Association of School Broadcasters’ Hall of Fame on July 18, and into the Indiana Public Broadcast Stations’ Hall of Fame on Aug. 2 as part of its inaugural class.
“It feels pretty special to make it into these Halls of Fame, especially being part of an inaugural class,” said Dr. Joe. “My first thought was, ‘I can’t believe they are putting me into a Hall of Fame.’”
His Ball State Contributions
At Ball State, Dr. Joe’s duties as chair of this department included being general manager of WBST and WIPB, currently Ball State PBS, for three years. In 1995, he founded Teleplex Sports Network, which later became CCIM’s award-winning Sports Link. Dr. Joe was named Teacher of the Year and voted Faculty of the Year in the Telecommunications Department five times. He served on several committees, including the one tasked with planning for the establishment of CCIM.
Dr. Joe’s wife, Kerri, and son, David, established the Dr. Joe Media Scholarship at Ball State to honor his commitment to the Department of Media, his passion for teaching, and his contributions to the field of broadcasting. To date, 16 of these scholarships have been awarded. A similar scholarship exists at the University of Michigan, where Dr. Joe earned his doctorate. Upon his death, a similar scholarship will be established at Eastern Michigan University, where Dr. Joe earned his bachelor’s and master’s degrees.
After retiring from Ball State, Dr. Joe was hired as president and CEO for the Indiana Broadcasters Association, and was the association’s lobbyist for three years. He has been an adjunct faculty member at Ball State, Taylor University, and Ivy Tech Community College.
Help People, Improve Things, Embrace Change
Dr. Joe takes pride in all of his work, whether it’s his six years served in the U.S. Army Reserves, his teaching and leadership roles in education, his key positions in broadcasting associations—or his 18-month stint as a Starbucks barista. And consider this “Certifications” section of his resume:
- MBTI—Myers-Briggs trainer
- S. Army media photography
- Graduate of clown camp—“Razzo”
He attended clown camp after being gifted at Christmas with pre-paid training. Razzo is his clown name. After a few years of occasionally appearing as Razzo at charity events and visits to sick children, Dr. Joe put away his clown makeup and clothes.
“Everything I did was about helping people, making things better, or bringing about change—even if that change was just bringing a smile to someone’s face,” Dr. Joe said.
Dr. Joe and his wife, Kerri—a Ball State graduate and a Ball State retiree with 43 years of service at the University—reside in the Muncie area. He engages in an array of community involvement and volunteerism, including serving on the Masterworks Chorale board and doing workshops for the Shafer Leadership Academy.
He hosts a local talk program on WMUN-FM in Muncie. Also, Dr. Joe has been featured in a couple of local television commercials and has appeared on a few brochures advertising homes. As if he’s not busy enough, Dr. Joe plays doubles tennis matches three times a week.
Learn more about Dr. Joe in this brief Q&A interview below:
As a leader, you have been an agent of positive change on numerous occasions. Why are you comfortable with that role?
“I think I like change—but not just for the sake of change. Sometimes you need to alter your direction or try something new in order to make things better. For whatever reason, I guess my life just surrounds itself with change. As long as it is change for the better, I could be pretty content.”
What drives you?
“There’s that common thread of helping other people, in some form, and it’s a kind of a broad umbrella.”
What Do You Like About Your Time at Ball State?
“Those Midwest values are present. Congeniality and smiles are all around this campus. And, at least in our department back in the day, we formed a family. And as part of a family, our colleagues were willing to make changes in order to make things better.”