For more than 100 years, graduates of Ball State University have been accomplished trailblazers who leave their indelible mark on the world. To celebrate the many alumni who have demonstrated outstanding service and support to the university, excelled in their professions, or served their communities with great distinction, the Ball State Alumni Association presents awards each year. This year, the Alumni Association awarded 11 outstanding Ball State alumni for their achievements, and we are beyond proud of the two recipients from the CCIM community.


  • Maris Schiess, BA ’13, was awarded the G.O.L.D. Award.

The School of Journalism and Strategic Communication offered Scheiss the kind of opportunities and connections most students only dream about, strengthening her passion for advertising. Making the most of her time on campus, she “flew high” achieving the role of Vice President at an agency within two years. Schiess credits Ball State to her vast skill sets. She now works as Director of OmniChannel Marketing, where she manages the team for Simon Mall’s eCommerce platform.

“I feel Ball State offered me access to opportunities I wouldn’t receive elsewhere; with a program size that allowed for personal attention combined with ample access to growth-oriented activities outside the classroom,” Schiess said. “I was fortunate to be a part of multiple student organizations and extra projects that really gave me the practice needed to take into my profession.”

Schiess has been recognized by the state of Indiana as one of 2015’s “Indy’s Best and Brightest” through Junior Achievement of Indiana and serves as the President of the Board at Ovar’Coming Together; a nonprofit dedicated to spreading awareness and improving the quality of life of women affected by ovarian cancer.

Schiess also mentored and led a team as Marketing Vice President and leader at the Junior League of Indianapolis for five years. She gives back to Ball State and advertising by serving as an AAF guest speaker, judging AAG’s “Thrive or Die” competition, and judging for the 2020 National AAF ADDYs. Additionally, she devotes her free time to volunteering at the Indianapolis Zoo, living a zero-waste lifestyle, and managing her own small business.

  • Juli Metzger, BS ’85, MS ’88, was awarded this year’s Benny Award.

A recent retiree from the School of Journalism and Strategic Communication, Metzger has maintained strong connections with the university as both an alumna and faculty member.

As an editor of three newspapers and publisher of three others, Metzger often recruited on campus and hired Ball State students. As the founding coordinator of the $4 million, 8,000 square-foot Unified Media Lab, working with units across the College of Communication, Information and Media to usher in an era of cross-platform trans-disciplinary media education, she has given each student interested in student media a place on campus to call home.

But what Metzger may be best known for are her industry and local connections, including several immersive projects, like Unmasked: The Stigma of Meth and Inform Muncie, a digital and print newsletter focusing on Muncie’s underserved segments.

“For me, Ball State showed me a path I didn’t know existed,” Metzger said. “The university’s influence has been great in even small ways. Shortly after I left Muncie, which happened to be my hometown, and was fully adulting in a new town at a new job and with new people, I got a phone call from a Ball State friend. It was Warren Vander Hill, then provost of Ball State. He was ‘traveling’ through my area and noticed my name in the newspaper (I was city editor there) and decided to check on me. It taught me the importance of those personal touches, and I’ve tried to emulate that in my career and personal life.”

If you know a Ball State alumnus who should be recognized for their outstanding professional and personal accomplishments, commitment to Ball State, and service to respective communities, take a moment and submit a nomination.