Earlier this month, students, organizations, and faculty involved in the humanities at Ball State gathered in the Studebaker East multi-purpose room for Star Party, the activity fair for introverts. In just one year, Star Party doubled its attendance, from 50 guests in 2018 to 117 in 2019! As we all enjoyed free pizza, we heard from keynote speaker Jennifer Banning Gose, forged connections, and found new ventures. Read all about it below!

Embracing serendipity

Cathy Day and Jennifer Banning Gose

Jennifer Banning Gose is the Director of Career Education at Earlham. During her time at Ball State, she earned a BA in History and an MA in English. Much of her speech reflected on her experience as a first-generation college student, including accepting that she was technically first-gen in the first place. While her father did attend college, the landscape of higher education had changed significantly from his graduation in the 1960s to Gose’s freshman year in 2006. Thus, she ventured into the college life without really knowing how to navigate the landscape. Looking back on this journey, she had some advice to share.

1.) Take up space

What does she mean by that?  Go to office hours. Don’t be afraid to use the resources that are available to you.

She stated that many students see professors’ office hours as emergency meetings to fix grades when they’re actually a resource.

Building relationships with people like your professors will benefit not just your academics or your career, but your character.

2.) Do one new thing every semester

Banning Gose stressed the importance of challenging yourself to do one new thing every semester. It can be small, it can be done only once. Be it attending office hours or joining a new club, determine how each new experience shapes you professionally and personally — embrace that.

Gose closed with these words:

“The long and short of my advice, I guess, is this: embrace serendipity. Your life and career are going to take some strange, winding turns, and you can’t predict which opportunities and experiences are going to set you on your dream path. What you can do, however, is open yourself up to as many opportunities and experiences as possible, and reflect on how each one affected you.”

For more of Jennifer Banning Gose’s insight, read the full speech.

The constellations

Motivated by Gose’s words? Our college has an abundance of organizations and resources for you. These courses, organizations, honor societies, and more were present as “constellations” at Star Party.

The Broken Plate is a nationally distributed literary magazine produced by Ball State University undergraduates.

Cool immersive learning classes

New majors and minors



Honor Societies


Didn’t get a chance to attend Star Party this year? You can still reach out to the people and organizations listed above!

Star Party happens in the first few weeks of every Fall semester. Keep an eye out for Star Party 2020! We’ll see you there, #bsuenglish.

All photos in this post were taken by Destiny Harvel.