Diversity projects to be displayed at Letterman Building

Diversity issues such as terrorism in Uganda, an Iraqi refugee family in Indianapolis and an interactive Muncie map for iPhones are some of the topics that will be presented at a student symposium today.

Students enrolled in courses in the College of Communication, Information, and Media will present projects dealing with diversity issues. The Communication and Culture Kaleidoscope Student Symposium will be held at the David Letterman Media and Communication Building from 1 to 4 p.m.

Associate Dean of CCIM Lori Byers said the idea for the symposium came from the college's Diversity Interest Group.

Beth Messner, assistant professor of communication studies, said understanding diversity issues and how to communicate with other cultures are essential for those studying in CCIM.

She said the Diversity Interest Group helps students and faculty understand diverse voices in the community and helps students understand communication. She said she hopes to open people's eyes through this presentation.

Roughly 40 presentation groups will compete for four $100 cash prizes. Some of the subjects they will present include: disability, gender orientation, ethnicity and age.
Messner said innovation in technology is another component.

"It allows us an opportunity to learn from voices that weren't presented to us before through less-developed technologies," she said.

Maria Hawkins, assistant professor of telecommunications, said she used to coordinate a similar symposium, but she's glad to be part of a college-wide showcase.

"This one is broader and shows more cohesiveness," she said. "I hope that people will get along better if they realize there are people in the world that are not like them and have different interests. I'm excited about anything that makes us think about others."

Students will set up tables and posters around noon. Some will give live performances and others will present recordings and Web sites they have built.

Krista Hess, a member of the iMedia team, said she's glad for the opportunity to showcase the work that has made Ball State's mobile media program one of the best.

Hess worked with a team of students from the Institute for Mobile Media Research to create an iPhone application called "My Muncie," including an interactive map of the city. It includes contact information for businesses as well as a 3-D map of downtown, video clips and menu options for area restaurants.

Content is generated mostly by students, but CCIM hopes it will attract viewers from around campus.

Communication and Culture Kaleidoscope Student Symposium
Who: CCIM students
What: Student diversity symposium
When: 1 to 4 p.m.
Where: Letterman Building lobby
Why: To showcase students' work on ethnic, racial and technological diversity


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