Meet Mary Spillman, an Associate Professor for the School of Journalism and Strategic Communication. She is also the Coordinator of the News concentration and Chair of the Assessment Committee. Her work has been published in the Newspaper Research Journal, Journalism & Mass Communication Educator, Visual Communication Quarterly, and Journal of Media Education. In this faculty spotlight, Spillman shares her success and the success of her students.
Could you share the personal journey that led you to become a faculty member?
What is your teaching philosophy?
My goal is to create lifelong learners who think analytically, love storytelling, and can apply these skills across many delivery platforms. Above all, I strive to mentor students through their professional journeys. Learning takes place in many formats – from the traditional classroom to project-based immersive experiences working with community partners, but the overarching purpose remains the same: student success.
How do you get students excited about learning?
Any personal stories you’d like to share from your classes?
Could you give us the top three projects you have worked on?
I was a principal investigator on grants from the U.S. State Department totaling nearly $750,000 that brought international students to Ball State. They came from Indonesia, Malaysia, and the Philippines to learn multimedia journalism. The SUSI programs took place on campus during the summers of 2011, 2012, and 2013. They even included trips around the Midwest and to New York and Washington, D.C. It was truly rewarding to work with faculty colleagues and these wonderful students. We made connections that lasted far beyond the students’ stay in the U.S.
I have worked on several well-received projects in research. Yet, the development of the Convergence Continuum with two former Ball State colleagues is a highlight. The widely cited model helped professionals and academics understand newsroom collaboration and cross-media partnerships between newspapers and television stations.
In addition, I was also the Director of the Emerging Media Journalism Certificate. This was a national online learning project developed in connection with The New York Times. The curriculum was based on the joint News program between the Department of Journalism and the Department of Media.
What has been the proudest moment in your career so far?
Have you won any awards for your work?
At the U.S. Bureau of Economic Analysis (BEA), along with co-authors, I have won 1st Place Research Paper in the News Division in 2020, 2013, 2009, and 2005, and in the Curriculum, Assessment & Administration Division in 2015.
Can you share one thing that people don’t typically know about you?
What are you most proud of as a faculty member of Ball State?
Honestly, I don’t know if I can point to just one experience or event during my time at Ball State. I am grateful for supportive colleagues and outstanding students with whom I have had the opportunity to interact.
Are you involved in any student organizations at Ball State?
What do you think is most important about Ball State?
Ball State’s caring faculty make a real difference. Ball State is a welcoming, student-centered environment where students can reach their full potential through an innovative curriculum and high-impact projects.