The end of the Spring 2024 semester was full of celebration and excitement in the College of Communication, Information, and Media.

We invited prospective students to campus by participating in events like Ball State’s Preview Days and Admitted Student Day, allowed middle and high schoolers to explore their interests within the scope of our college through events like the JDAY+ / CCIM+ conference, honored current and graduating students through departmental award ceremonies and senior celebrations, and welcomed a new group of Cardinals into the CCIM Alumni Family on graduation day.

And even during all of the events and deadlines that come with the end of the semester, students, faculty, and staff across the college continued to excel and be recognized for their extraordinary talents and efforts.

In celebration of a successful semester and start of the summer, check out some of the amazing news that has come out of our college between the months of April and May:


  • The Debate Team traveled to Detroit Michigan April 5th – 7th to compete in the National Educational Debate Association (NEDA) National Tournament at Wayne State University. The team placed 5th overall for the 2023-24 season and several students won team and individual awards, including:
    • 2nd Place Novice Rapid Fire Speaker: Eli Sturges
    • 3rd Place Novice Crossfire Team: Zach Williams & Mya Davis-Jenkins
    • 3rd Place Novice Crossfire Speaker: Mya Davis-Jenkins
    • 5th Place Varsity Crossfire Speaker: Savannah Hutchinson
    • 4th Place Varsity Crossfire Team: Savannah Hutchinson
  • Public Relations Graduate Student Lexi Esterly won first place in the Page Society’s 2024 Student Case Study Competition. This prestigious national competition is open to business, communication, or journalism students. This is also the second time public relations graduate students supervised by our public relations graduate faculty at BSU has achieved such a high rank. As the winner, Lexi is invited to attend the annual Awards Ceremony, held at the Page Society’s Spring Seminar in New York. Read more about her project here.
  • CICS students Afsaneh Behforouz, Benjamin Malum, Kayln Melham, Ebuka Mmaduekwe, Tyler Schisler, and Joel Wiredu were recognized by the Graduate College for Significant Academic Accomplishment at the graduate level.
  • CCIS student Tyler Schisler was nominated for the Graduate College’s Graduate Student Employee of the year during National Student Employment Week in April.
  • Numerous CCIM students and their work were recognized by the Indiana Pro Chapter of the Society of Professional Journalists’ (SPJ) 2023 Best of Indiana Journalism Contest winners, including:
    • Student Print and Digital
      • Student Non-Deadline News
        • 2nd Place : Daniel Kehn, Ball State Daily News
      • Student Feature Story
        • 2nd Place: Evan Chandler, Ball Bearings Magazine
        • 3rd Place: Daniel Kehn, Ball State Daily News
      • Student Sports Reporting
        • 1st Place: Kyle Smedley, Ball State Daily News
      • Student Editorial Writing
        • 1st Place: Staff, Ball State Daily News
      • Student Column Writing
        • 1st Place: Meghan Sawitzke, Ball State Daily News
        • 2nd Place: Kate Farr, Ball State Daily News
      • Student News Photography
        • 1st Place: Kate Farr, Ball State Daily News
        • 2nd Place: Rylan Capper, Ball State Daily News
      • Student Sports Photography
        • 1st Place: Daniel Kehn, Ball State Daily News
      • Student Features Photography
        • 3rd Place: J. Doudt, Ball Bearings Magazine
      • Student Page One or Cover Design
        • 3rd Place: Amber Pietz, Ball State Daily News
      • Student Best Design Other Than Page One or Cover
        • 1st Place: Meghan Holt, Ball Bearings Magazine
        • 2nd Place: Meghan Holt, Ball Bearings Magazine
      • Student Graphics or Illustration
        • 2nd Place: Meghan Holt, Ball Bearings Magazine
      • Student Investigative Reporting
        • 2nd Place: Elissa Maudlin, Ball State Daily News
      • Student Coverage of Race and Diversity Issues
        • 3rd Place: Daniela Morales, Ball Bearings Magazine
      • Student Best Journalism Website
        • 3rd Place: Ball Bearings Magazine
    • Student Broadcast
      • Student Television News Reporting
        • 1st Place: Alex Almanza,
      • Student Television Sports Reporting
        • 1st Place: Andy Newman
        • 2nd Place: Andy Newman
        • 3rd Place: Andy Newman
  • CICS students Claudia Metzger and Grace Witty presented their research project titled “ChatGPT’s Influence on College Student Interest in Learning and Learning Methods” at the Ball State Student Research Symposium on April 17.
  • This year’s National Academy of Television Arts & Sciences (NATAS) Student Production Award nominations have been announced, and the following students were recognized:
    • In the College Non-Fiction Long-Form category: Daria Buschur and Aaliyah Prim for their documentary “The Only Alternative: Exploring the Black Experience at Ball State”
    • In the College Magazine Program category: Tristan Fluhr and Tyler Klimes for “Sports Link: Stories” (November 2023)
    • In the College Sports Story or Segment category: Tristan Fluhr and Nick Lawler for “Ball State Sports Link: LEGACY – The Career of Marie Plitt”
    • In the College Commercial category: Collin Phillips for “Ball State Sports Link: 2023 Gymnastics Intro”
  • School of Journalism and Strategic Communication advertising students Dana Jones and Skylar Workman were announced as finalists in the Washington Media Scholars Foundation’s 2024 Media Plan Case Competition. They will receive an all-expenses-paid trip to DC from June 2 to June 7 where they will present their media plans to a panel of judges. During the final round, they will also have opportunities to visit and interact with top media companies and organizations.


  • The 6th episode of Cardinal Control Room, produced by the Department of Media Alumni Society, is now available on YouTube. In this episode, alumnus Nathan Wilson catches up with two panelists — Alex Gracie (BA ’15), IATSE Local 728 Lighting Programmer and Scott A. Edlin (BA ’10), TV Producer — from Episode 5: “The Strike” to see what changes they’ve experienced and observed since October. The episode was directed and edited by Jeremy Fliss (BA ’97). Producers include: Kelly Bertelson (BA ’01), Dottie Kreps (BA ’97/MS ’98), Paige Waters (BA ’03/MA ’09), Nathan Wilson (BA ’15). Cardinal Control Room is media industry-related alumni conversations for Ball State Media Alumni. All episodes are available here.


  • While the Spring semester has recently come to an end, it’s never too early to start preparing for next semester! Whether you’re teaching this summer or in the fall, be sure to take advantage of the pedagogical resources provided in the Community: CCIM Inclusive Excellence Pedagogical Toolbox on Canvas.


  • The Department of Communication Studies was honored at the Graduate School Recognition Ceremony on April 11, 2024. At the ceremony, Professor Dr. Kathy Denker won the Excellence in Graduate Recruiting Award, Assistant Professor Dr. Scarlett Hester won the Graduate Faculty Award for Inclusive Excellence, and Kathryn Bradley (MA ’23) won the BSU Foundation Distinguished Master’s Thesis Award.
  • Associate Dean Weiwu Zhang has been selected for the 2024 Scripps Howard Leadership Academy cohort. From July 21-25, he will participate in an immersive leadership training program designed for higher education leaders in journalism and communication at Syracuse University’s Newhouse School of Public Communications.
  • Dr. Tong Li, School of Journalism and Strategic Communication assistant professor, was awarded the Creative Teaching Grant from the Office of the Vice Provost for Academic Affairs to support his proposed project “Magic-based Teaching.” This grant enables him to continue his creative teaching practices and research — using magic performance to engage students in learning design theories and principles. He also published a journal article on thinking skills and creativity titled “Shifts in Implicit Theories of Creativity among Undergraduates Participating in a Magic Program.”
  • This year’s Emmy Award nominations have been announced and work done by CCIM faculty and staff is once again being recognized, including:
    • “All Out For Christmas Title Sequence”
      • Chris Flook was nominated in the Graphic Arts: Motion Graphics, Visual Effects, Composing, Art Direction category for this title sequence.
    • “Fleeing to Flyover Country”
      • The documentary, which was aired on WIPB and led by Phil Hoffman as executive producer, Lisa Renze as Director, and Terry Heifetz as Coordinating Producer, was nominated in the Documentary Cultural category. Lisa Renze was also nominated as the documentary’s writer in the Writer – Short/Long Form Content category.
  • Center for Information and Communication Sciences Assistant Professor Dr. Hesham Allam, Director Dr. John Nicholas, Associate Professor Dr. David Hua, and Assistant Professor Dr. Faisal Kalota presented some preliminary findings at the Higher Colleges of Technology (HCT) International General Education Conference in Dubai on March 15, 2024.
  • In addition to students, faculty and staff were also recognized in this year’s Indiana Pro Chapter of the Society of Professional Journalists (SPJ) 2023 Best of Indiana Journalism Contest, including:
    • Professional Radio
      • Radio Best Newscast
      • Radio Continuing Coverage
        • 1st Place: Stephanie Weichmann, Indiana Public Radio
      • Radio Public Affairs
        • 2nd Place: Cardinal Compass Staff, Indiana Public Radio
      • Non-Fiction Book
        • 1st Place: Chris Flook, “Indianapolis Graverobbing: A Syndicate of Death”
      • Documentary or Special (Outside Indianapolis Market)
        • 2nd Place: Terry Heifetz, Phil Hoffman, Lisa Renze, and Ben Yonker, “Fleeing to Flyover Country,” WIPB


  • Know any middle or high school students looking for something to do this summer? Registration is still open for the CCIM Summer Workshops — but it closes on June 3! For more information, visit the CCIM Outreach Website: