Meet Dr. Sam DeWeese, a passionate Center for Information and Communication Sciences (CICS) alumni who was recognized by the Ball State Alumni Association with a Benny Award, the Alumni Association’s top award for service to Ball State University or the Alumni Association.
DeWeese graduated with his master’s in 2002 and is currently the Assistant Director of the Division of Communications for the Indiana Department of Natural Resources. He has served on the Alumni Council Board and held the position of Alumni Council Chair from 2017-2019.
He has also been recognized by the Monroe County Chamber of Commerce on their list of 10 under 40, volunteered at the Ball State Career Center, and attended more than 50 alumni events in the past five years.
Can you tell us about your role with the Indiana Department of Natural Resources?
I focus on enhancing the brand and image of the Indiana Department of Natural Resources at large public facing events, like the Indiana State Fair. I work with divisions within the DNR to set strategic goals and help them with communication efforts to reach those goals.
How does it feel to be recognized with this award? What does it mean to you?
I am honored to be recognized for my service to Ball State. Ball State has been a part of my life for a long time. I grew up in a Ball State family, so Ball State has been a huge part of my entire life. I think it is an amazing institution and service to the school deserves to be a priority. Being a part of Ball State brings me a lot of joy and it is a special place to my family.
What has been your proudest moment in your career so far?
I worked in the higher education field for 15 years and I always loved graduation. Seeing students reach their goal was always a special moment.
What brought you to Ball State?
The CICS master’s program and its outstanding reputation and access to resources.
What was your experience like at Ball State and in CCIM?
My experience was outstanding. The program was intense, and you were tasked to learn a lot and get a lot done, in a short amount of time. The professors were excellent and had a great balance between testing you and supporting you. The design of the program is perfect. It is intense but then there are fun social parts built into the program, so you have time to see the big picture, have fun, and relax.
How did that experience prepare you for where you are today?
The program prepared me to move between tasks quickly, be able to take on a lot, and accomplish a lot during the workday. The workload of the program also helped give me the confidence that I know I could earn my doctorate while working full time. Overall, I think the program gave me confidence that I could take on a lot and still get the job done.
Do you have any favorite memories from your time at Ball State?
I loved my graduate assistantship at the Alumni Association. Everyone was so nice, and I am still friends with those who work there today.
What advice would you give to current students about life after graduation?
I would tell current students to get involved on campus with a campus job, club, recreational sports, or organization. Ask your professors questions and go to their office hours. Start building your network now and know that your first job isn’t going to be your last job. You will evolve and you will figure out what you like to do and what you don’t. I would also say that you should remember to give back.
Life after graduation is good, but the days you will remember being the fondest will be your days at Ball State.
Read more about the other 2023 Alumni Award winners from CCIM here.