Ball State senior Denver Hammons was recognized as a Top 100 Student this year for his ability to recognize Beneficence in and out of the classroom in his Theatre Education & English Education major studies, while also minoring in ENL Licensure and Entrepreneurship. When he’s not focusing on classes, Hammons is the president of Ball State’s Jump Rope Club that will be hosting the 2023 National Collegiate Jump Rope Championship this April.
What is your favorite pastime/hobby? I see that you are president of the Jump Rope Club. Talk a little about that. What other organizations/extracurriculars have contributed to your success?
Considering I am the President of Jump Rope Club, I would have to say that jump roping is my favorite hobby! I have been a national & international competitive jump roper since I was 12 years old, with my most recent accomplishment being at the 2019 Grand World Jump Rope Championship in Oslo, Norway where I received 1st place in the Double Dutch Triad Freestyle event.
I became President of BSJR in Fall 2021, and since then, our club has performed at various events around campus as well as competed at the 2022 National Collegiate Jump Rope Championship at Miami University of Ohio. Last summer, BSJR was selected to host the 2023 National Collegiate Jump Rope Championship. It will be held on the main rec floor this coming April with nearly 100 participants from multiple universities.
Along with JR Club, I am a member of the Theatre & Dance Service Fraternity Alpha Psi Omega. In December of 2022, we organized a fundraising campaign week for our philanthropy Broadway Cares/Equity Fights AIDS in which the fraternity raised over $1,000 for the organization.
How will being a Top 100 student impact how you view your work while at Ball State?
As a Top 100 student, I understand that all the work I do matters. Especially since after the pandemic, I have come to know the value of all field experience, courses, and extracurricular activities. I do not take for granted any moments that have led me to where I am now and will continue to seek out any opportunity that comes my way. It is my job to learn as much as I can while in such an academically rich environment in order to better the education of my future students.
How has your time in the English Department been worthwhile to you? Do you have a moment that sticks out to you as the most beneficial?
My most impactful moments as an English student come from my field experience in the Northside Middle School ENL classroom. As a TESOL Licensure minor, I have been able to tutor newcomer refugee students at NMS. I hel them develop academic and social language skills that they will carry through their new life in America. Through this experience, I now know how to be a culturally responsive and adaptive teacher who advocates for non-traditional students of marginalized groups.
You are majoring in English Education and Theatre Education. Do you have any future goals in order to combine these two subjects? What are you planning to do after graduation?
Post-graduation, I hope to become a middle school English/Language Arts teacher while running an after-school drama club in Indianapolis. As an English and Theatre educator, I can create an interdisciplinary classroom environment where middle school students can feel free to safely experiment newfound theatrical techniques while learning the necessary life and academic skills of ELA.
You are not only a Top 100 student but are in the Top 50 as well. In what ways will this recognition motivate you as you navigate through your final semester here at Ball State?
As I navigate my final moments, I will be sure to recognize all this university has done for me. I will use that as motivation to continue my growth as an educator and human. Without the wonderful opportunities that I have been privileged, I would not be the driven educator that I am today. While BSU has taught me how to be a successful teacher, I also was taught how to make a difference. My voice matters, and Ball State University let me find that voice and speak my truth.
For more information about the Top 100 Students, visit this link.