Discovery is a women’s collaborative philanthropic group created to support and fund innovative projects and programs at Ball State University with the intent to impact students and benefit local, national, and international communities. Here are some of the women that help make Discovery’s mission possible.
Joann Stohler Davis, ‘69
Retired Regional Sales Manager at Compaq, Network General, Cisco, Verizon; Discovery Board Marketing and Communications Committee Chair
Davis’s favorite grant project is Camp Adventure. Discovery not only helped fund this project, but the Discovery members got to join in on a great experience for Ball State students and Muncie Community School students. Davis encourages others to join Discovery because it provides great networking opportunities and the chance to really make a difference for the Ball State community. When asked why she enjoys being a member, Davis said, “Discovery allows me to make a greater impact, joining with other women, than I can make alone. Our projects directly benefit students and the community.”
Sharon (Losick) Haynes, ‘83
Retired Supply Chain Manager at Procter & Gamble; Discovery Board Member
“Because of my Ball State education, throughout my career I have been immensely blessed and rewarded beyond my wildest dreams,” Haynes said. “And being a Discovery member is my way to ‘purposely give back’ to Ball State, to the community, and to help ‘turn and pull’ those in the planning stages of their career.” Haynes loves the Discovery group because of its high impact and the leadership development projects. Closest to her heart is Ball State’s Construction Management program and their “Let’s Build” initiative where students go into Delaware county classrooms to teach and mentor elementary students one-on-one. “I encourage others to become Discovery members because it is such a highly effective, incredibly creative, and efficient group of thoughtful leaders from across multiple disciplines. There is an innovative and entrepreneurial spirit to all of the grant proposals submitted, which is constructively energizing year after year.”
Fil Marcial, ‘96
Senior Manager of Corporate Quality and Material Compliance at Knowles Electronics; Discovery Group Member
Marcial is in her rookie year as a member of Discovery Women’s Group and is already enjoying her time. She is particularly looking forward to seeing which grant is voted in this year and meeting more alumni with different backgrounds and experiences. When asking why others should join Discovery, Marcial said, “This is an excellent networking opportunity with other women from different professional backgrounds. It is also a great way to give back to Ball State and the community.”
Lauren Petersen, ‘11
VP of Stakeholder Engagement at TechPoint; Discovery Board Membership Committee Chair
Petersen has been a member of the Discovery Board since 2018. She joined with the hopes of finding female leaders like herself with whom she could build long-lasting relationships. Petersen also feels that the Discovery Fund is a direct way to keep her engaged with the University and is a way to contribute to student-led innovation ideas. When asked what her favorite past grant project is, Petersen said, “My favorite grant project we’ve supported to date is Conservation Tales: Developing Community Outreach for Environmental Education and Literacy. It was amazing to see how the team of students and professors created the series of books about marine biology and managed the entire lifecycle of the book production.”
Betsy M. Ross, ‘72
President, Founder, and Co-Owner of Game Day Communications, previously an ESPN Sports Anchor; Discovery Group Member
“I feel Discovery gives members the chance to support programs that engage as well as instruct Ball State students and offers the opportunity to give back to the University and the community,” Ross said. Ross enjoys being a member of Discovery because it gives her a voice in meaningful collaborations between the community and Ball State. Since this is her first year as a member, she is looking forward to looking at future grant applications to find her favorite. In addition to her involvement with Discovery, Ross announces women’s basketball games in Ohio.
Marla Fisher Templeton, ‘81
Retired Owner of Whitinger & Company LLC; Discovery Board Programs Committee Chair
As a 14-year member of Discovery, Templeton has a hard time choosing a favorite grant project as they all have provided so much enrichment to students in many different ways. She feels that Discovery provides a way to see contributions used for impactful projects that enrich students, faculty, and the community. When asked why she enjoys being a member, Templeton said, “I enjoy being part of a group of women with the common purpose of engaging in a meaningful and impactful way to further the education and learning experiences for students and faculty, as well as benefitting the community.”
Sue Hicks Whitaker
Professor at Ball State University; Discovery Board Past President and current Grants Committee Chair
“Although there have been many, I guess I would have to say that Circus in Winter is probably my all-time favorite,” Whitaker said when asked what her favorite grant project was. Joining the group has been a wonderful opportunity for her to meet other people who are interested in supporting Ball State. For Whitaker, being part of Discovery is rewarding because members can directly see how their monetary contributions are being used through service on the grant committee.
Beth (Southard) Petry Williams, ‘78
Instructor of Entrepreneurship at Ball State, previously Associate Director of Resource and Production Management at Ernst & Young; Discovery Board Secretary
As someone who depended on scholarships to attend Ball State, Williams believes that it is important to contribute to a diverse learning experience. Of these diverse experiences, Williams’s favorite grant project is the Student Farm from 2016. She liked the appreciation for agriculture and how it is the backbone of all we do. When asked why others should join Discovery, she said, “Discovery is a way to make your dollars count—our individual gifts may not have a huge impact, but pooling our members’ gifts to create grant funds gives us the collective opportunity to have an impressionable impact on a number of students.”
For more information on Discovery Women’s Group, please visit the Discovery webpage. To make a contribution to the Discovery Fund, visit our Giving site.