Tag Archives: Ball State

You Should Join Writers’ Community!

By: Rachael Carmichael 

Come to Ball State University’s Writers’ Community and share you work with others in an encouraging environment. It’s a close-knit club, and the vibe is always positive.

A unique experience 

  • The Writers’ Community shares various forms and genres, from poetry and parts of novels, to song lyrics and short stories.
  • Writers are able to share their work, as well as receiving feedback and advice during group discussions.
  • This community is dedicated to listening to other writer’s ideas and works.
  • It’s an easy and great way to receive constructive critiques if you want to better your writing through other writers!

Their mission

The Writers’ Community wants to help others grow in their passion for expressing themselves through writing.

They accept everyone of any level of writing, from more experienced to beginners.

President of the Writers’ Community, Ian Roesler, hopes to expand the community, especially for those who are interested in writing but don’t know what their first steps are.

What can new members expect?

The meetings typically start off with Roesler giving an introduction and important announcements. Afterwards, there is an open floor for people to share their works if they have anything prepared.

Members don’t have to bring anything to share if they aren’t comfortable or aren’t ready.

After each piece is read, there will be a discussion so writers can get important feedback. Sometimes Roesler likes to incorporate other ways to induce creativity, such as: free writing or a fun writing prompt. These ideas happen typically during an evening when many people don’t have anything to share with the group.

Something Roesler is thinking about introducing are evenings where club members provide fun presentations on various literary genres that they’re interested in.

The meetings are held on Monday nights in Robert Bell 284 at 8:00 p.m. and they run for an hour. Everyone is welcome, whether they’re an English major or not. Members can expect a welcome and respectful environment full of enthusiastic and talented writers who love to share their work.

A message from current President, Ian Roesler:

“The Writers’ Community has helped me and others by providing feedback and advice on shared works. Discussions can lead to the formation of new ideas or whenever someone is stuck on something or they need guidance on where to go next in their respective work.”

Gerry Cox: Professor of Sociology

Cover of Gerry Cox’s book, Children Surviving Traumatic Death

Gerry R. Cox is a Professor Emeritus of Sociology at University of Wisconsin- La Crosse. He is the Director of the Center for Death Education & Bioethics. His teaching focused upon Theory/Theory Construction, Deviance and Criminology, Death and Dying, Social Psychology, and Minority Peoples. Cox graduated with a B.A. in sociology with a minor in English in 1965 from Ball State. He earned an M.A. in sociology in 1966, and a Ph.D. in 1975.

He has been publishing materials since 1973 in sociology and teaching-oriented professional journals.

He is a member of the International Work Group on Dying, Death, and Bereavement, the Midwest Sociological Society, the American Sociological Association, The International Sociological Association, Phi Kappa Phi, and Great Plains Sociological Society, and the Association of Death Education and Counseling. He serves on the board of Director’s of the National Prison Hospice Association.

What was your first job after graduation?

Immediately after graduation, I flew to Philadelphia to start my Peace Corps training. It was an extremely fulfilling vocation. I would not call it a job. After returning from the Peace Corps, I chose not to go to law school, but rather began my career as a teacher.

What does a typical week look like for you?

I work on Habitat for Humanity projects several days a week. I mow for three to four hours at our Church. I write. I enjoy my grandchildren and children. I also travel extensively. I have been to forty-nine states and almost aa many countries. I have authored and edited thirty books and have published poetry in a number of venues.

What was the most fulfilling part of your job?

Making a difference in people’s lives. I taught for forty-three years. I still hear from students about how I impacted their lives. I enjoyed the classroom, the colleagues, and the many activities involved in being on University campuses.

Do you have any advice for English majors who are trying to figure out the next step?

For me, it was doing what you love. I could have become a lawyer as was expected by my family, but I followed my heart and became a teacher and worked with the dying and bereaved

What are the most valuable skills you learned as an English major? How have they helped you post-graduation?

Probably the one that impacted me the most was a love for words. I think that the words opened up my ability to think and to appreciate life and the people in the world. I also learned how to write, though I do not consider myself to be a great writer. I think that the reason that I have been able to publish books is because I have something to say that is hopefully worth reading. I have also been fortunate to work with many of the leading people around the world in my field. Professors like Porter Nesbitt helped my appreciate my place in the world.

Marianne Boruch: Visiting Poet at Ball State University

Poet and author Marianne Boruch will be visiting Ball State University on Wednesday, October 17th, 2018 from 7:30-9:30 p.m. in the Arts and Journalism Building (AJ) 225.  This event is free and open to the public.

Boruch will also be making one classroom visit to discuss her poetry on Thursday, October 18th: Boruch will visit ENG 408 (Advanced Poetry Workshop), from 9:30-10:45p.m. in the L. A. Pittenger Student Center 303.  This visit is also free and open to the public.

Chicagoan Marianne Boruch is the author of nine books of poetry, most recently, Eventually One Dreams the Real Thing, and Cadaver, Speak.  She has also published three collections of essays, the most recent being The Little Death of Self, and a memoir, The Glimpse Traveler.

Her work has appeared in Poetry, The New Yorker, American Poetry Review, and elsewhere.  Among her honors are are four Pushcart Prizes, fellowships from the Guggenheim Foundation, the NEA, the Rockefeller Foundation, and two Fulbright Professorships.

Boruch was the founder of the MFA program at Purdue University, where she became a Professor Emeritus there last May.  She continues to teach in the Program for Writers at Warren Wilson College. Continue reading

Welcome Prof. John Carter

John Carter is a 2018 graduate of Ball State University, where he earned his Master of Arts in Creative Writing and where he also holds a B.A. in English—Creative Writing with a Professional Writing Minor. He’s interested in using description and lyricism to bring a love of nature, farming, and the rural American Midwest to what is (hopefully) an accessible space. More information about him and his work can be found on his website.

How would you describe your perspective on teaching?

Practice and revision-oriented. I grew up working on my family’s farm, where the only way to learn how to do something was often through practice, and the skills or tools required for one job were typically also applicable to another. When I started studying creative writing in college (and later in graduate school), I was surprised by the similarities between farm work and the work of a writing workshop—collaboration, self-evaluation, out-of-the-box thinking, problem-solving, recognizing the dis/connections between objects or ideas, etc.

Continue reading

September Good News: Publishing Frenzy!

Faculty News

Prof. Emily Rutter’s The Blues Muse: Race, Gender, and Musical Celebrity in American Poetry (University of Alabama Press) is now in print! Order it now!

Prof. Deborah Mix’s Approaches to Teaching the Works of Gertrude Stein, co-edited with Logan Esdale of Chapman University, is finally in print! Order it now!

Cover of Prof. Emily Rutter’s newly published book.

Prof. Michael Begnal’s poem “The Traitor’s Flag” was published in Writers Resist issue 71.

Prof. Molly Ferguson’s article, “‘To say no and no and no again’: Fasting girls, Shame, and Storytelling in Emma Donoghue’s The Wonder” was published in the Summer 2018 (vol 22:2) edition of New Hibernia Review.

Prof. Jill Christman had two essays published over the summer: “Naked Underneath Our Clothes” (Creative Nonfiction) &  “Life’s Not a Paragraph”(River Teeth). Spinning: A Love Story (a collection of essays) was a finalist for the 2018 Gournay Prize at The Ohio State University Press. She will be attending the NonfictioNow conference in Phoenix, Arizona next month to present on two panels: “Writing the Day” and “Our True Voice(s).”

Cover of Prof. Deborah Mix’s newly published book.

Prof. Rai Peterson will be the Banned Books Week “prisoner” at the Kurt Vonnegut Memorial Library during the last week of September.  While she is incarcerated in the front window of the Library, she will be meeting with visitors of the KVML, blogging on its website, and speaking at her release event on Saturday, September 29.

Prof. Gui Garcia gave a workshop on RMarkdown earlier this month in the Applied Statistics and R group (ASR) at Ball State. The group, which is now led by Dr. Garcia, is resuming its monthly meetings this fall. Look out for future dates and topics. Also earlier this month, Dr. Garcia gave a talk at the Montreal Symposium in honor of Lydia White, who created the field of Second Language Acquisition in the 1980s—and who just retired. Later this month, Dr. Garcia will present two papers at the 8th GALANA (Generative Approaches to Language Acquisition North America), a biennial meeting held at Indiana University (Bloomington) this year. Finally, he has recently published an online tutorial on his website on how to graphically explore vowels using the R language. Continue reading

Hanif Abdurraqib: Visiting Poet at Ball State University

Poet and essayist Hanif Abdurraqib will be visiting Ball State University on Thursday, September 27th, 2018 from 7 – 9 p.m. in Teacher’s College (TC) 121.  This event, sponsored by the Ball State English Department, African-American Studies, the Multicultural Center, and the Office of Institutional Diversity, is free and open to the public.

A native of Columbus, OH, Hanif Abdurraqib is the author of The Crown Ain’t Worth Much, his first collection of poems; it was a finalist for the Eric Hoffer Book Prize, and was also nominated for a Hurston-Wright Legacy Award.

His collection of essays, They Can’t Kill Us Until They Kill Us, was named book of 2017 by Esquire, Buzzfeed, Oprah Magazine, NPR, and others.  It addresses many topics such as racial profiling, the n-word, and contemporary music and sports.

Not only does Abdurraqib write poetry and essays, he’s written for the 2016 live shows VH1’s Unsilent Night and MTV Video Music Awards. 

Abdurraqib works as a poetry editor at Muzzle Magazine, an interviewer at Union Station Magazine, and for the poetry collective Echo Hotel. Continue reading

Dr. Megumi Hamada recommends "THE SCIENCE OF READING"

The Science of Reading (2010), edited by Snowling and Hulme, is a volume in the series Blackwell Handbooks of Developmental Psychology, published by Blackwell. This volume offers comprehensive coverage of most of the recent research
in cognitive and linguistic processes involved in reading.

For those who are fluent readers, reading seems to happen without much conscious attention. Although this may be true, the brain is still processing information from the given text. The Science of Reading illustrates how our mind works during reading in English and other languages. The book contains 27 chapters, which are divided among seven sections: word recognition processes in reading, learning to read and spell, reading comprehension, reading in different languages, disorders of reading and spelling, biological bases of reading, and teaching reading.9780470757635

The Science of Reading views reading from an information-processing point of view. Under this view, reading is considered an accumulation of simpler processing (e.g., letter, word recognition) built onto more complex processing (e.g., discourse comprehension).

During the 1970s and 1980s, when a top-down approach to reading was more prevalent, it was thought that readers do not need to pay attention to individual words. Reading was viewed as a “psycholinguistic guessing game” (Goodman, 1973), and the reader’s job was to hypothesize what a given text means based upon their own background knowledge. The information in the text, such as meanings of words, was believed to merely confirm the hypothesis, rather than be the main source of information for understanding the text. Continue reading

Celebrate the Legacy of Maya Angelou

Born in the Jim Crow South, Maya Angelou used her passion as an activist and a writer to inspire discussions surrounding civil rights. As a way to celebrate Angelou’s written works and devotion to social, political, and economic equality, organizers at the Office of Institutional Diversity and BSU English hope to nurture a diverse university community. 


 Sunday, February 15th

Charlene Alexander

Charlene Alexander, Director of Institutional Diversity

I Read…I Rise Poetry Slam

Monday, February 16th

Tribute to Maya Angelou

Stedman Graham, who got his MA at BSU.

Stedman Graham, who got his MA at BSU.

  • 7:00 PM to 9:00 PM
  • Student Center Ballroom
  • Keynote speaker: Stedman Graham
    • CEO of S. Graham and Associates, a Chicago-based management/marketing consulting firm.
    • Conducts lectures and seminars worldwide, inspiring young people to transform into leaders.
    • Author of eleven books, including two New York Times bestsellers and one Wall Street Journal bestseller.
    • Earned his Master’s degree in Education at Ball State.
    • Oprah’s boyfriend. 🙂
  • At the event, you’ll learn about how you can volunteer in the Muncie community.

Continue reading

From English Major to University Leader: Lola Mauer

LolaLola Mauer, the Director of Annual Giving at Ball State, is one of us.

And you can meet her on Friday, Nov. 14, 2014 in 310 Student Center at 2 PM during Career Week.

She’s been working in higher ed fundraising since graduating with an undergraduate degree in English in 1998. She spent five years working at Ball State (earning an MA in Creative Writing along the way) before leaving to head up the annual giving program at the University of South Carolina.

She was a Gamecock for seven years, won ten awards from the Council for Advancement and Support of Education (CASE) for fundraising (young alumni giving, direct mail, employee giving campaign and student philanthropy education).

In 2011, she moved to Dallas where she worked as a consultant. She had multiple university clients around the country and helped them with strategy in alumni outreach and giving.

She returned to Ball State in 2013 to serve as the Director of Annual Giving. And boy are we glad.

She speaks at national conferences on a variety of subjects related to higher ed fundraising and has written for CASE Currents magazine.

In her spare time, Lola also serves as a youth advisor for junior high and high school aged students here in Muncie and is secretary of the board for Friends of the Little Big Horn Battlefield National Monument.

Do you have any advice for English majors who are trying to figure out what comes next in their lives?

  • Capitalize on your talents and combine that with what you love.
  • Be sure to have a plan.
  • Write every day.
  • Travel the world (or at least the states) to gain experiences that expand your horizons and help you write what you know.
  • You will be gifted with the advantage of flexibility and a skill set that can be used in almost any career.

Don’t convince yourself, or allow others to tell you, that an English degree limits you to only working as a teacher, professor, or author. 

So: how did your English major lead to your career? What skills did you learn as an English major that helped you transition into that job?

Continue reading

Cathy Day Discusses Her Involvement with Midwest Writers Workshop

This past July, Midwest Writers Workshop (MWW) gathered for their annual conference at Ball State University. Through the help of a grant from the Discovery Group, many Ball State students had the pleasure of attending this conference as scholarship winners and paid interns.  Brittany Means, one of the attending students, received the award for best poetry manuscript, as well as for best overall manuscript and a $200 cash award! Click the link below to read Cathy Day’s post on her involvement and experience with the MWW.

 BSU + MWW: or “How I Spent My Summer Vacation”