By Erin Moore, Associate Director of Communications, Office of Community Engagement

This year, the Office of Community Engagement coordinated a nomination process for local organizations that have truly become excellent co-educators in community-based learning experiences.

The recipient of the Ball State University’s first Outstanding Community Partner Award is ecoREHAB of Muncie, Inc.

ecoREHAB is a local leader in rehabilitating existing and abandoned houses using green and sustainable building practices. In spring 2016, ecoREHAB’s Craig Graybeal partnered with architecture professor Jonathan Spodek to take on a unique project: the rehabilitation of a former meth house on 10th Street. Together, Craig and Jonathan led 23 students through the process of remediation and redevelopment, turning what was once an unsafe, unattractive house into an inviting, safe home that was purchased by a retired schoolteacher. In addition to skill-building, students were given valuable insight into the challenges and rewards of neighborhood revitalization and reinvestment. Neighbors in the area have taken notice and have stepped up their efforts to take pride in their properties.

ecoREHAB is a regular source of information and expertise for Ball State and has inspired the formation of additional immersive learning projects with the departments of Journalism, Computer Science, and Geography.