Find your true north in Compass Creative

The Brief Backstory

PR Interns: 2010-2016

The English department at Ball State started developing a communications team in 2010 after students in Dr. Jackie Grutsch McKinney’s ENG 435 class created a WordPress blog and a Facebook and Twitter account for the department along with a strategic plan. They turned this over to the then-Assistant Chair, Dr. Adam Beach. Dr. Beach kept things going for 5 years with the assistance of student workers called the “PR Interns.”

When Prof. Cathy Day became Assistant Chair in 2015, she and Prof. Eva Grouling Snider continued this practice, eventually expanding the PR Intern team to four students.

Jacket Copy Creative: 2016-2019

In 2016, Prof. Eva Grouling Snider received a Provost’s Immersive Learning Grant and the class “Jacket Copy Creative” was born. Instead of a few student workers, she was able to work with a whole team of students who earned course credit. During this time period, while other English departments around the country experienced huge declines, the Ball State English department thrived.

When Prof. Day became Interim Chair in 2018, she proposed to CSH Dean Maureen McCarthy that the English department’s methods could be scaled up to include more departments.

This is how “Compass” was born.

Compass Creative: 2019-present

In Fall 2019, the communications team took on another client: the Ball State History Department. In Fall 2020, they added two more departments: Philosophy & Religious Studies and Modern Languages & Classics. In Fall 2021, they added their fifth department: Anthropology.

Project Managers

CSH majors who are veterans of ENG 375 or other immersive-learning classes are eligible to apply for a Compass Fellowship in Communications.  Those selected work as paid project managers under Assistant Director Kathryn S. Gardiner in Compass Creative, the in-house marketing team for the departments of Anthropology, English, History, Modern Languages & Classics, and Philosophy & Religious Studies. 

Take the class, ENG 375 

Anybody can take ENG 375 Immersive Learning in English! Those selected for the class work as unpaid paraprofessionals for Compass Creative, the in-house marketing team for the departments of Anthropology, English, History, Modern Languages & Classics, and Philosophy & Religious Studies. 

Read what Compass Creative former students and project managers have to say…

“I thoroughly enjoyed my time in Compass Creative. It is the most unique and helpful class I have taken in college and a must for any student in the College of Humanities at Ball State. The element of learning the marketing and brand world mixed with practical application creates a great balance for being able to understand and accomplish the course goals. I loved being entrusted with tasks and being a part of the team in a safe environment, where making mistakes and asking questions were a healthy part of the process. This course allows you to truly learn and acquire useful skills. I was able to not only grow as a student and individual, but it also helped me recognize my capabilities and the value of my program. CSH students can do anything. I’m grateful for the opportunity to learn this and more in Compass Creative, and I look forward to applying these skills in a career after college.”

Maggie Dew
Compass Creative, Spring 2022

 

“This time a year ago, I was a student in Compass who enjoyed his time as a team member. Now, I can say that I was a project manager who also enjoyed his time in the class! As the manager for the Blog Team, I gained skills that I feel that are important for my post-graduate life: communication, collaboration, and initiative. I was able to work alongside a group of wonderful people, and I would gladly work with them again if I were given the opportunity. I can’t wait to see what my successor and future students bring to Compass!”

Anthony Herring
Blog Project Manager, 2021-2022
BA English 2018-2022

 

“My time as a Social Media Project Manager with Compass Creative has truly provided me with an experience of what it is like to work in the professional world. As a result not only do I feel more prepared to enter the work environment post graduation, but my communication and leadership abilities have been strengthened significantly. It’s amazing what can be accomplished when you are surrounded by passionate hard-working individuals. I highly recommend Compass Creative to anyone looking to be a part of a collaborative and positive real-world work environment.”

Kelli Schmatz
Social Media Project Manager 2021-2022
BA Digital Communication and Media 2022

 

“Being a social media project manager with Compass Creative provided me with experience in a field I had never considered before. I discovered a love for social media marketing through this internship. It also gave me the opportunity to develop leadership skills that I will need as I venture into the world outside of college. I have loved being able to promote the humanities departments at Ball State and gain valuable skills while doing so! I am so grateful that I had the opportunity to be part of this team!”

MaKayla Murray
Social Media Project Manager 2021-2022
BA Spanish 2022

 

“Compass Creative has given me the opportunity to step outside of my comfort zone and gain real-world experience in the marketing field. As a philosophy major, I’m very passionate about promoting the humanities and combating the stereotypical notion that earning a degree in the humanities is impractical. I’ve really enjoyed getting to highlight the impressive accomplishments, exciting programs, and involved communities of the different humanities departments. Becoming familiar with each of the individual departments we work with has also been a great way for me to learn even more about why the humanities are important.

“Compass has also allowed me the opportunity to practice my leadership skills in ways that will continue to benefit me in my professional life. I have learned how to effectively communicate with leaders of other projects and teams, how to manage time for a team of people and set appropriate deadlines, and how to give constructive feedback to members of my team. I’m very thankful for what I have learned about marketing, branding, and connecting with communities since starting with Compass. Before Compass, I was pretty unfamiliar with the world of marketing and advertising. However, I now have an appreciation for all of the work and thought that goes into promotion, whether it be for a business, an individual, a community, or a cause. The knowledge of effective marketing I now have will definitely be useful after I graduate when I need to market myself and my own abilities to start my career.”

Emma Hamilton
Curation Project Manager, 2021-2022
BA Philosophy 2022

 

“Compass Creative has provided me with real-world experience within my chosen field. Not only has this opportunity helped me to confirm that I have chosen a career path that I will enjoy, but it has given me credentials that will aid me in obtaining a job. Additionally, through being the Design Project Manager, I was able to gain valuable leadership skills as I was in charge of a team of students to whom I delegated tasks. I’ve really enjoyed this chance to use my English major in a new way and to really hone in on my minor in Strategic Communication. It has been an honor to assist the impressive, dedicated departments here at Ball State in getting their message out there. I will always be grateful for the unique experience I have gained and all that I have learned in Compass Creative.”

Lainey Bentz
Design Project Manager, 2021-2022
BA English, 2018-2022

 

 

“Working with Compass Creative has given me excellent experience in communications, teamwork, campaigns, and working with faculty as clients! As someone from the Miller College, it was also a great chance to find out more about other parts of Ball State and use my marketing skills to raise awareness and funds. As Campaigns Project Manager I got to work with our design, social media, and newsletter teams to create cross channel messaging. It gave me wonderful practice for the next steps in my professional career! Storytelling and organization were very important in this role and through doing it I gained new strategies for success and more confidence in myself as a media manager. I recommend Compass Creative for any student who wants practice in promoting awesome departments and events and working with a team! It was truly one of the highlights of my time at Ball State.”

Tabitha Pierce
Campaigns Project Manager, 2021-2022

 

 

“Compass Creative is my favorite class I have taken at Ball State. I met a lot of great people and learned how to communicate and work with them on a friendly and professional level. You learn so many things that you can take away from Compass Creative and put into your plans for the future, for almost any profession. It was beyond a privilege to work with Compass Creative this year and I highly recommend everyone look at the class, because there is a big chance you will find something you want to do, even if it is for fun.”

Brad Alasauskas 
Compass Creative, Spring 2022

 

 

“I spent a majority of my college career jumping between majors, desperately trying to find one that was right for me. I’ve always known English is where my passion lies, but I was nervous about finding a future career. Compass Creative offered me a home in the English department and gave me professional experience in social media management, blog writing, content strategy, and market branding. I gained a better sense of audience awareness, and the skills I learned in my time with Compass will be useful no matter what I pursue after graduation. This is the perfect course to gain professional experience in a comfortable and supportive setting, and the opportunities it offers are endless!”

Emily Katz
Compass Creative, Spring 2022

“Compass Creative has allowed me to feel welcomed and at home in the English department. I’ve met amazing people that I now call my friends that I get to work with daily. Not only have I met wonderful people, but I felt lost about what I was going to do with my major before joining Compass Creative. Now, I’ve gained vital experience and understanding that I can use in my future career path.”

Shelby Harrison
Design Project Manager, 2020-21
BA Creative Writing 2017-2021

 

 

 

“Compass Creative has taught me how to use my passion of storytelling in a whole new way. Being a part of this program has provided me with new skills, professional experience, and a unique bond with the English department. Compass Creative has truly taught me how to articulate the value of my English degree and how to make the most of it!”

Grace Goze
Blog Project Manager, 2020-21
BA Creative Writing 2017-2021

 

 

 

 


Compass Creative showed me all of the different career paths that my English degree can lead me to. My time working with this team has allowed me to enhance my skills as well as learn new ones in order to give me confidence in my future field of work.”

Destiny Harvel
Campaigns Project Manager, 2020-21

BA Creative Writing and Photojournalism 2017-2021

 

 

 

“Compass Creative has provided me with creative confidence and experience leading a team of people. As a Public History major, I practiced different writing styles, made friends in other departments, and felt truly connected to the Humanities. This class has brought other communications opportunities into my life and looks great on my résumé. I appreciate being able to make a positive impact on Ball State!”

Claire Enk
Curation Project Manager, 2020-21
BA Public History 2018-2021

 

 

“I’ve always felt kind of iffy about my anthropology major, unsure where I was going to fit in in the job market, beyond research or teaching. Working with Compass Creative allowed me to use the skills I learned in the humanities in a practical setting and encouraged me to come out of my shell and learn invaluable new skills. Before joining this team, I wasn’t sure where or what I was going to do when I graduated, but now I feel far more confident in my skills and the path I’m on.”

Kallie Hunchman
Channels Project Manager, 2020-21

BA Anthropology 2017-2021

 

 

“Being a project manager for Compass Creative taught me how to apply my English-major skills, and I used that knowledge to get my current job in marketing. People assume you have to major in marketing to do that work, but I’d argue that a humanities education actually gives you an edge in this field. Compass Creative helped me to realize that.”

Sophia Lyons
Social Media Project Manager, Fall 2019
BA English/RW 2020

 

 

 

“Compass Creative has been a great way for me to start getting professional experience! I learned that my major (English Literature) really is so versatile, and I can go into so many fields. I expanded my skills and resume, learning how to manage social media professionally, be better at teamwork, and how to come up with ideas to benefit a company. If you’re debating doing Compass Creative, do it! You’ll get great experience and learn more about your skills and what you love to do.”

Lauren Knauer
Compass Creative, Spring 2022

 

 

“I spent two years switching majors until I found my place with the English Department and Modern Languates and Classics. The Humanities departments at Ball State are supported by a real community of passionate learners and teachers. It is a privilege to facilitate that voice and community through Compass Creative and serving as the social media project manager!”

Drew Shaeffer
Social Media Project Manager, 2020-21

BAs in English/French and Literature 2021

 

 

 

“Through Compass Creative, I learned to leverage the writing skills from my creative writing and professional writing classes to promote brands and engage audiences by writing blog posts and social media content. I also garnered leadership and technical skills and learned many lessons—from Don’t forget to proofread! to It’s okay to make mistakes!—that have led me to my graduate assistant position and will guide my future career. Best of all, I enjoyed collaborating with a passionate, hard-working team toward promoting Ball State’s humanities departments. I’m grateful for my Compass Creative experiences, the people I met, and the opportunities it opened for me!”

Calandra Weaver
Social Media Project Manager, Spring 2020
BA English/CW 2020

 

 

“Compass Creative is such a fun and educational immersive class! It also counts as a strategic communications internship which is a big plus. I have loved participating within different departments at Ball State through social media, design, blog posts, and curation. This course has provided me with tons of real-world experiences that I will be taking with me into the workforce. You will learn how to work in teams, manage your time, create meaningful content for clients, and more with this course. I enjoyed this class so much that I took it twice! This course helped me decide what career path I wanted to pursue: strategic communications.”

Zoe Hagymasi
Compass Creative, Fall 2021/Spring 2022
BA Digital Production and Emerging Media 2018-2022

 

 

“Compass Creative offers a lot of invaluable real-world experience that is incredibly beneficial, especially as a senior. I was able to expand on my design skills and creativity as well as my time management skills through social media planning. Having an internship like this has helped me strengthen and perfect the skills needed for my future career endeavors. Compass Creative is an amazing opportunity for anyone looking to expand their skills in this field!”

Emily Hanes
Compass Creative, Fall 2021

 

 

 

“This class has been by far the best course that I’ve taken, we work in teams to complete the tasks at hand including design, emails, blogs and social media. As a hands-on learner, it has been difficult for me to have the inspiration, but with Compass Creative you get the experience of working in a team just like an official job. I have learned a tremendous amount about researching audiences, time management, oversee an online presence and so much more. Join Compass Creative, you won’t regret it!”

Allie Hearld
Compass Creative, Fall 2021

 

 

“My time at Compass Creative has been nothing short of excellence. It being my first Immersive learning course at Ball State, I can say with a high degree of certainty that any students that are even slightly interested in this class should register for it. Not only do you work in a very professional environment that breeds growth, but the professor of this course also gives you room to grow as well as work students through a few difficult learning curves. Consisting of multiple teams that serve under multiple departments through Ball State, Compass Creative offers an excellent résumé builder for students. Although this class presents a high-stress environment, students will find that with their project managers and Professor Gardiner at their side, they will be able to accomplish their goals within Compass.”

Thaddeus Lee
Compass Creative, Fall 2021/Spring 2022

 

“Throughout my whole time at Ball State, I was unsure how my degrees would actually apply. Professors told me how useful my anthropology and English degrees will be in the workplace, but I wasn’t sure. That was until I took the Compass Creative class. What I like best about this class was you can see the results of your work pretty quickly. There’s a physical example of how your knowledge can help you in the workplace. The class also taught me a lot about setting boundaries in the workplace, and how I can keep future employers from crossing those lines. I’ve truly appreciated all my time spent in the Compass Creative.”

Taylor Jean Scharbrough
Compass Creative, Fall 2021

 

 

“Compass Creative was one of my favorite Ball State classes so far. It gave me lots of new skills, experience with a professional workspace, as well as social media experience. I learned how to manage both my time and social media, how to multitask workloads, and how to work efficiently in a fast-paced setting. I can apply so many of these skills to future jobs I’ll work in, and how there are many ways I can use what I know in the workplace. It was fun getting to practice and expand my skills, especially with social media and getting to design some posts for our platforms. I’m thankful for this immersive experience and all the knowledge and practice it’s imparted on me!”

Haley Wade
Compass Creative, Fall 2021

 

 

“I heard about Compass through an email that highlighted social media management experience. Having an internship that gives me the tools I need to do the job I’ve been wanting to was a no-brainer. I joined and not only created posts, but designed how they looked. It was fun to be a part of the process, and it helps when the teammates are very nice. Compass is a great place for anyone trying to grow in the media space!”

Esteban Banuelos
Compass Creative, Spring 2021
BA Telecommunications Management 2017-2021

 

 

“As my last semester comes to an end at Ball State, I would not change picking Compass Creative for anything. Not only did I get to implement the knowledge I have learned, but I also learned about myself. Compass Creative has not only taught me about design and marketing but also how to market myself. I have met some amazing people here and gained experience with them. Now facing graduation, I have acquired crucial experience and knowledge for my life after college.”

Ty Fitzgerald
Compass Creative, Spring 2021
BS General/Organizational Communication 2017-2021

 

 

“As I was looking to pivot from my 14-year career in secondary education into communications, Compass Creative provided the marketable experience and skill-building I needed. Gaining experience in planning marketing campaigns, designing social media assets, and cultivating brand content in order to amplify the voice of the Humanities has been invaluable.”

Ellen Good
Compass Creative, Spring 2021
MA English Studies 2019-2021

 

 

 

“For my final semester at Ball State, I wanted to end my studies with a course that would help cement my skills and future into a direction I would be proud of. Not only has Creative Compass helped me with that, I have also met some incredible people involved with the Humanities who share my interests. I am thankful to them and what I have learned from the alumni who have taken this same path.”

Mikayla Vaughn
Compass Creative, Spring 2021
BA English/CW 2017-2021

 

 

 

“Jacket Copy Creative was one of the most rewarding experiences I ever had at BSU’s English Department. However, it takes a lot of drive and passion. If you want to really improve your skills and work hard, this is the class for you. It’s not something you can blow off and still expect to get something out of it. My best advice is to make a close friend in the class. You can bounce ideas off each other, vent to each other about frustrating projects, and develop your communication skills as you work towards a common goal. It’s a great way to make long-lasting friendships and business connections. My Jacket Copy Creative buddy even stood up at my wedding. It’s one of the best opportunities you’ll ever have, if you’re willing to put the time and effort into it.”

Nikole Darnell Behrens
Jacket Copy Creative, 2016-2017
BA English/CW 2017

 

 

“My PR internship in the English department experience solidified my professional skillset. It was the first time I had the chance to design with client feedback, organize events, and help build an online community through social media. Not only did it set me up for success in my career, but it also gave me an opportunity to foster professional relationships inside and outside of the department. Even more important than that, thanks to this program, I felt more connected to my department and school than ever before.”

Daniel Brount
PR Intern, 2014-15
English/CW Class of 2016

 

 

“During my time at Ball State, I participated in Jacket Copy for two semesters. At the time I wasn’t sure what I wanted to do with my English degree and I didn’t have any professional experience. Through this course, I gained valuable work experience and realized marketing and content creation is a great fit for me! The class allowed me to gain experience managing the department blog and Twitter account, work in WordPress, and be involved in the rebranding and migration of our old blog site (with eight years worth of content) to a new site. Since graduation, I have worked as a Digital Marketing Coordinator and Copywriter at two agencies. My experience in Jacket Copy directly helped get me to where I am today. Don’t miss out on the opportunity to take this immersive class (and have the option to get paid for it?! That’s amazing!). It’s one of the best things I was involved in during my 4 years at Ball State.”

Macy Jo Byerly
Jacket Copy Creative, 2018-2019

BA English/English Studies

 

 

“Simply put, I would not have the copywriting job I have now if I had not taken Jacket Copy. When I switched my major from nursing to English, I had no idea how to market myself to potential employers with an English degree. This class gave me the skills, experience, and confidence I needed to find and land a job that allows me to do what I love—write. If working unpaid internships is not an option for you, take this class. A valuable internship experience is waiting for you right here in the English department.”

Sarah Dalton
Jacket Copy Creative, Spring & Fall 2019

B.A. English/RW 2020

 

 

“Jacket Copy didn’t just prepare me for my career, it gave me a huge leg up. Because of the experience I gained —working with a team with diverse skillsets, creating content for clients (which is very different from creating something for a grade), managing multiple projects at a time, etc.—I was miles ahead of my peers when searching for marketing positions. Now called Compass Creative, it’s is a unique program that I wish more schools offered; I truly do not think I would be where I am today without the invaluable experience earned through this program.”

Melissa Jones
PR Intern & Jacket Copy Creative, 2016-2018

BA English 2018

 

 

“Jacket Copy gave me the confidence I needed to enter the marketing world as an English major. I wasn’t sure what I could do with my degree and was constantly discouraged by the stigma surrounding the humanities. Jacket Copy taught me how to apply the skills I learned in my classes to marketing, communications, and even design. I’ve been able to talk about my experience in job interviews and on cover letters, helping me to get multiple internships during my undergraduate career.”

Natalie Kuss
Jacket Copy Creative, 2018-19

BA English Studies, 2019

 

 

“Working as a PR Intern helped instill confidence that my English major had value in professional settings. With guidance and mentoring, I learned through realistic, applicable experiences that prepared me for future jobs and internships. I acquired tangible skills like digital content creation, copyediting, and project management that helped me get hired as a content marketer after graduation. I grew as a professional and built a resume that felt good to submit for job postings. Plus, it was fun, and I felt like part of a community!”

Lauren Lutz
PR Intern, 2014
BA English/English Studies 2014

 

 

“Perhaps more than any other course I took at Ball State, Jacket Copy pointed me to post-graduation success. The course bolstered my existing skills and nudged me to grow in ancillary areas. Social media management, communication with clients, and leadership are just a few such areas. But most importantly, the course made me believe that English was indeed the right path for me, and I was fortunate enough to receive a full-time job offer within a month of graduation. If a loved one or a dentist has ever cast doubt into your mind by asking, “What are you going to do with that English degree?” allow Compass Creative to set you–and the doubters–straight.”

Anthony Miglieri
Jacket Copy Creative, Fall 2017 & Spring 2019

BA English/CW 2019

 

“As a student in the English department at Ball State, I worked alongside some of the most ambitious and talented students I have ever met. During my semester in Jacket Copy, I got to write a guest blog post that was shared on the Ball State English Department blog and shared to the department’s social media. In that class, we all worked together to promote the English department and to promote each others’ work. I remember one afternoon we all sat around the table and endorsed each other for skills on LinkedIn, because we got to see each others’ skills in action, first hand. That was priceless.”

Olivia Power
Jacket Copy Creative, Fall 2017

BA English/RW & Sociology 2018

 

“Jacket Copy was the cornerstone of my leadership development—it pushed me in every way I needed to be pushed to grow as a person and break into the industry. Sometimes the value was task-oriented like honing a consistent brand voice (which so many companies struggle with); other times it was people-focused, such as learning how to create a team that was self-sufficient, communicative, and harmonious.I have also benefitted incrementally from gaining project management skills—without them campaigns fail, budgets get blown, and clients leave. Additionally, I learned how to thrive in a fast-paced environment, work calmly and decisively through ambiguity, manage expectations with stakeholders, and advocate for myself gracefully but firmly. From collaborating with the C-suite to directing developers on site optimization, Compass empowered me with the confidence to bring my voice to tables that I never thought I could reach.”

Marissa Sloan
Jacket Copy Creative, 2018-19

BA English/CW 2019

 

“Jacket Copy was hands-down the best experience I had during my undergrad experience at Ball State. I stepped into a world where I could manage a team and create content that was meaningful for the English department and Muncie community. I got to work with an awesome group of people who were extremely talented high performers, and I learned a lot from them along the way. 

I also learned a lot about myself, like how to believe in my abilities and see myself as someone who is capable and able to learn new things. Many of my impactful moments were with JCC’s instructor at the time, Eva Grouling Snider. She saw the best in me and actively shared how I brought strength and organization to the team. I  left JCC with a renewed sense of confidence in my skills. Not to mention, I had incredible content to add to my professional portfolio. 11/10 would recommend seizing this opportunity to do important (and fun!) work.”

Kirsten Dollar Stock
Jacket Copy Creative, Fall 2016
BA English/RW 2019