<![CDATA[Ball State Daily RSS Feed]]> Wed, 25 Nov 2020 00:09:52 -0500 Wed, 25 Nov 2020 00:09:52 -0500 SNworks CEO 2020 The Ball State Daily <![CDATA[Why You Should Checkout the Digital Graduation Edition of The Daily News]]> As the year comes to an end, it's times like these we look back and celebrate all of our achievements. The achievements this year, despite many challenges faced, are exceptional. Which is why The Daily News wants to remember this year with their Graduation Edition. So, what can you look forward to in the Graduation Edition? Here are the top three reasons to check out the digital edition.

Grad Wishes

The Graduation Edition features the names of Fall 2020 graduates, recognizing and celebrating their time and success at Ball State. Grad Wishes are thoughtful messages from friends and family to graduate, congratulating them for all they have accomplished.

Covid-19 Memoir

The Graduation Edition is especially unique because it features stories on what life was like in 2020. This will include COVID-19, the protests, and all other major events that shaped this year into what it was. We survived 2020! Now don't forget all the events that made us stronger as individuals and as a nation. This will be a great piece to keep throughout the years to remember and show future generations what it was like living through a pandemic as a college student!

Time Capsule Piece

This issue will be an amazing time capsule piece since it not only features our graduating seniors this Fall, but articles showcasing the challenges seniors faced in the midst of a pandemic as well as their overall experiences in college! Read it now, then store it away with other precious memories, that you will inevitably relive one day with your family. In 20 years, you'll forget some of the details, so let The Daily News remind you of all the highs and lows. 

Capture a slice of history with the Graduation Edition of The Daily News, now available digitally! 

<![CDATA[Top 5 Jennifer Lawrence Films]]> Jennifer Lawrence's acting skills expand well beyond The Hunger Games. Over the past decade, Lawrence has appeared in various genres like horror, drama, romance, and action. The actress can separate her real-life persona from each character's personas and comes off as a strong, independent, and fierce actress. Here are the actress's top five films that are a must-watch.

5. Passengers

This 2016 sci-fi romance is a modern take on James Cameron's TitanicPassengers details the journey of Jim Preston (Chris Pratt) and Aurora Lane (Lawrence) as they have been woken up too early from their hibernation pods in their traveling vessel heading toward a more habitable planet. This, in turn, means the two will be dead long before they reach the new planet. Lane, a journalist, details the journey as well as her developing feelings toward Preston. Lawrence delivers wonderfully, but it's not her best role. This film feels like Lawrence is playing herself in the film as nothing separates her character from her real-life self. 

4. Silver Linings Playbook

2012's Silver Linings Playbook sees Lawrence quite different from her average roles, this time as a widow with an unnamed mental disorder fixated on her sister's friend Patrick Solitano Jr. (Bradley Cooper). She becomes fixated on him after meeting him at her sister's house at a dinner party. Solitano, dealing with bipolar disorder and his wife's leaving after he found her cheating on him, affects nearly every decision he makes to which Tiffany Maxwell (Lawrence) uses to her advantage. As Solitano hopes to reconcile with his ex-wife, Maxwell pretends to be her as a way of getting closer to Solitano. Several scenes like the diner scene when Maxwell reveals her dark past to Solitano and says Solitano is a "conformist" and "afraid to live" reveals how versatile Lawrence is as an actress.

3. X-Men: Days of Future Past

Lawrence jumped back into the world of mutants when 2014's X-Men: Days of Future Past decided to revamp the beloved film series. Again, the actress plays Mystique, the blue shapeshifter, and becomes the center around which the film revolves. When the X-men face extinction because of sentinels, indestructible beings that hunt down mutants, Hugh Jackman's Logan/Wolverine volunteers to travel back to the 1970s to prevent Mystique's death at the hands of evil scientist Bolivar Trask (Peter Dinklage). Trask plans to use the shapeshifter's DNA to create the sentinels.

Those who watched the film's predecessor, X-Men: First Class, can see the change in Lawrence's character from Raven - the name given to her - to Mystique and how she slowly sided with Magneto. Toward the end of the film, Mystique goes solo and becomes a fugitive as she's broadcasted on the news. The film further points out that Lawrence plays a fighter and a woman unafraid of exploring her path as a natural leader, which is later explored in X-Men: Apocalypse.

2. American Hustle

Big hair and an even bigger ego surround Lawrence's character in 2013's crime drama, American Hustle. Lawrence plays Rosalyn Rosenfeld, Irving Rosenfeld's (Christian Bale) wife, an unstable and comical mess of a woman. She's left in the dark much of the film as her husband schemes alongside his lover Sydney Prosser (Amy Adams) to help bring down corrupt politician Carmine Polito (Jeremy Renner). Rosenfeld is a character all on her own, and viewers may find themselves forgetting the woman is the actress as she's that convincing in her own right. The cleaning scene with her singing along to Paul McCartney's "Live and Let Die" and when her husband comes clean to her about his illegal career shows how far Lawrence is willing to convince her audience she is married to an egotistical maniac. The film seldom finds the actress without a cigarette in her hand and a sense of fashion 70s style.

1. Joy

In 2015 Lawrence went above and beyond to do justice to Joy Mangano, a self-made millionaire that created her empire in the 90s. This autobiographical drama centers on Mangano, struggling financially in New York as an airline booking agent. Growing up in a broken household, Mangano finds hope through her inventive and creative thinking, so when her friend Jackie encourages her to pursue her inventions, our story begins.

The film does an excellent job of spanning four generations of family. As Joy and her half-sister Terry battle over finances and her father's business, she comes across an opportunity that changes her life. Bradley Cooper is no stranger to working alongside Lawrence. Silver Linings PlaybookAmerican Hustle, and Serena all feature the duo working together. Cooper, who plays Neil Walker, an executive of QVC, believes in Mangano's ability to persuade customers to buy her self-wringing mop while also bringing more business to QVC. Joy is Lawrence's best role to date. Viewers can feel Mangano's stress dealing with a good for nothing ex-husband and insane household. Everything in this film is going against Mangano. When she addresses contract issues with Derek Markham for him to avoid criminal charges involving fraud, we know how powerful and innovative this woman is. As she walks down the street smiling, there's something so satisfying and pleasing knowing she overcame so much.

Sources: YouTube

Images: YouTube

Featured Image: Bustle

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<![CDATA[Ball State Men's Basketball feels confident about season despite injuries]]> It is not about how you start, it is about how you finish. 

Ball State Men's basketball starts its season Nov. 25, as they travel to play Northern Kentucky. Head coach James Whitford believes the team has a lot of potential but knows there will be bumps in the road to reach it.

"If you watch us where we are now and where we could be," Whitford said. "They are light-years apart. "Are we there right now, we aren't even close to being there. Do I think we could be there in January or February, unquestionably."

Last season, Ball State finished with an 18-11 record and finished first place in the Mid-American Conference West Division in a season cut short due to COVID-19. They have players who are proven, and Whitford believes they can be really good as the season progresses.

"Jarron [Coleman], he's proven," Whitford said. "Ish [El-Amin], he is proven. Luke [Bumbalough] led the conference in minutes played for freshmen last season. Kani [Acree] really came on in February. Jalen [Windham] is unproven to you guys, but we see him every day in practice."

The Cardinals are going to start the season with players missing time due to injury. Redshirt sophomore guard Jarron Coleman and redshirt senior guard/forward Reggie Jones will miss extended time. 

Redshirt Junior forward Miryne Thomas' status is still up in the air, as he is dealing with a small injury which may cause him to miss some games. Redshirt senior forward Brachen Hazen is going through a back injury which he has dealt with throughout his career but should be ready for the opener.

The rotation will be limited, but Whitford knows this and will make the adjustments necessary, even if that means guys playing at positions they are not accustomed to, especially in the backcourt. 

"We don't have many choices in the backcourt," Whitford said. "We have had Miryne [Thomas] and Kani [Acree] miss a lot of extended time in the fall. On the perimeter, there aren't a lot of bodies. If Miryne is unable to play, Kani is going to have to play the four."

A lot of the responsibility will be put on senior guard Ishmael El-Amin, who was the Cardinals' second-leading scorer a season ago with 13.8 points a game. With Coleman out, he will be the starting point guard, and while it is different, he has experience at the position.

"He has played it a lot in the past," Whitford said. "I am excited for him and the new challenge. It is a different challenge than what he has had here in the past couple of years. He is a great young man, He is a true leader, He is a real worker and he has a real passion to try to be a great player." 

The frontcourt will be a different story. They will have to work by committee because Whitford said the trio of sophomore center Ben Hendriks, redshirt junior center Blake Huggins and Hazen isn't ready to play a full game.

Hendricks has missed a lot of practice time due to him being in close contact with people who have COVID-19, Hazen is dealing with his back injury and Huggins still has to prove himself before he cracks the rotation. Whitford is excited for Hendricks and loves the progress he has made since last season.

"That has impacted both his learning curve and his conditioning," Whitford said.  "When he has played he has looked really good. He was probably the most impressive out of the frontcourt guys in the time that we have had him. He has missed a lot of time and is not in condition and has a lot to catch up on."

The main goal for the Cardinals is to build their chemistry, get healthy and reach a point where they can accomplish what was stopped short a season ago: a MAC title.

 "I think our primary motivation is trying to reach our potential as a team and knowing we have a chance to be good and playing for each other," Whitford said. "Being able to withstand the things coming at us and navigate a college basketball season during a pandemic."

Contact Ian Hansen with comments at imhansen@bsu.edu or on Twitter @ianh_2.

Junior guard Ishmael El-Amin bows his head and waits before his name is called Feb. 25, 2020, at John E. Worthen Arena. Jacob Musselman, DN

<![CDATA[Burris Laboratory School to have remote learning through Dec. 9]]> According to a statement from Ball State University, Burris Laboratory School will begin remote learning for all students on Nov. 30, ending on Dec. 9.

The decision was made to allow people to quarantine after possible COVID-19 exposures over Thanksgiving break.

"This time will allow anyone who may have been exposed to COVID-19 to assess symptoms and seek medical care if needed," the statement said.

If a student is tested for COVID-19, parents are asked to contact the school nurse at hlchalfant@bsu.edu or 765-285-2340 and notify the nurse again with the test results.

Burris students will return to optional in-person instruction Dec. 10. Owl Athletics teams are scheduled to continue their seasons during the remote learning period, but that is subject to change.

Burris Laboratory School sits Nov. 23, 2020, in Muncie, Indiana. Burris is instructing all classes remotely through Dec. 9 to minimize the spread of COVID-19. Jaden Whiteman, DN

<![CDATA[David Owsley Museum of Art celebrates women artists for 100th anniversary of 19th amendment]]> In the David Owsley Museum of Art's (DOMA) galleries, Lillian McClung, a senior ceramics and art history major, and Robert LaFrance, director of the DOMA, set up Toshiko Takaezu's ceramics, the pattern glaze matching the pattern of Perle Fine's painting "Impact" hung on the wall.  

These pieces are a part of DOMA's latest special exhibition "20/20: Twenty Women Artists of the Twentieth Century." Displaying art by women artists from 1900-2000, the exhibit celebrates the 100th anniversary of the 19th Amendment, which gave some women the right to vote.

"If women were not allowed to vote, that's a very large population that had no ability to choose their politicians and their representatives," LaFrance said. 

McClung said she believes it's important to consider that white women had the right vote for years before Black, Asian and Indigenous women were able to participate.

"I think [the exhibition] shows it's important to look at our culture and look at ourselves a little bit more and how we think about women," McClung said. 

McClung said that dealing with the ceramics was her favorite part of the experience, as Takaezu would put beads or clay in some of her works. McClung said she could shake the works to hear their "hidden secrets."

As LaFrance worked on curating the exhibit, he said, he was aware the museum had works by abstract artist Irene Rice Periera, but he also discovered several artists who are featured in the exhibit have connections to Ball State. LaFrance found out Periera served as a visiting professor during the summer of 1951, and painter Betty Esman taught at Ball State during the summer of 1956. 

While some of the art by women like Periera and Esman already existed in the museum's collection, other works were new to the collection. LaFrance said Judy Chicago's artwork was purchased before the idea of the exhibit was conceived, but Jenny Holzer's artwork was purchased especially for the exhibit. 

Some of the pieces of artwork in the exhibit are fragile, as Chicago's artwork is on paper. McClung said she believes the three month period the exhibition is open is perfect for those works on paper before they get damaged by the light. 

"I think just being able to see those works that are almost always in storage … is really important," McClung said.

Even though the exhibit features artwork from only the last century, McClung said, it's important for the DOMA to display the exhibit because women have always been making art. 

"I feel like some people think women only made art when feminism became a thing or when they could make a name for themselves or when they could do something shocking," McClung said. "Being able to see this production of art by women throughout the last century is really interesting and highlights that women have always been making art, but they've either been sidelined by men or maybe they just didn't get the recognition in their time." 

Contact Mary Stempky with comments at mstempky@bsu.edu.

<![CDATA[Five national stories on the week]]> Editor's Note: This listicle is part of a weekly series by The Ball State Daily News summarizing five stories from around the world. All summaries are based on stories published by The Associated Press.

The FDA is allowing emergency use of the Regeneron antibody treatment, the transition of power to a Biden presidency has formally begun, states and localities are imposing new restrictions before Thanksgiving, the Wisconsin vote recount sees few changes and General Motors has withdrawn from fighting California's right to set its own clean-air standards make up this week's five national stories.

FDA allows emergency use of antibody drug Trump received

U.S. health officials Nov. 21 agreed to allow emergency use of a second antibody drug to help the immune system fight COVID-19, an experimental medicine that President Donald Trump was given when he was sickened last month. The Food and Drug Administration authorized use of the Regeneron Pharmaceuticals Inc. drug to try to prevent hospitalization and worsening disease from developing in patients with mild-to-moderate symptoms. The FDA allowed its use in adults and children 12 and over who weigh at least 88 pounds (40 kilograms) and who are at high risk of severe illness from COVID-19 because of age or certain other medical conditions.

Biden transition gets govt OK after Trump out of options

The federal government recognized President-elect Joe Biden as the "apparent winner" of the Nov. 3 election on Monday, formally starting the transition of power after President Donald Trump spent weeks testing the boundaries of American democracy. He relented after suffering yet more legal and procedural defeats in his seemingly futile effort to overturn the election with baseless claims of fraud. Trump still refused to concede and vowed to continue to fight in court after General Services Administrator Emily Murphy gave the green light for Biden to coordinate with federal agencies ahead of his Jan. 20 inauguration.

States impose new rules, plead with public to stop spread

State and local officials nationwide are imposing new coronavirus restrictions and pleading with the public in an increasingly desperate attempt to stop the explosive spread of the disease as many Americans resist calls to limit gatherings and travel heading into the holidays. Despite pleas from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention to skip Thanksgiving travel and not spend the holiday with people from outside their household, about 1 million people a day packed airports and planes over the weekend. The crowds are expected to grow.

Wisconsin presidential recount in 4th day, with few changes

Wisconsin's partial presidential recount entered its fourth day Monday, with very few changes in vote totals as President Donald Trump's attorneys appeared to be focused on a legal challenge seeking to toss tens of thousands of ballots, including the one cast by an attorney for the campaign. Democrat Joe Biden won the state by about 20,600 votes and his margin in Milwaukee and Dane counties was about 2-to-1. Those are the only counties where Trump paid to have a recount. Dane County Clerk Scott McDonell said Monday that the recount was nearly 25% done in that county, with nearly 83,000 ballots out of more than 345,000 cast having been recounted.

GM flips to California's side in pollution fight with Trump

General Motors is switching sides in the legal fight against California's right to set its own clean-air standards, abandoning the Trump administration as the president's term nears its close. CEO Mary Barra said in a letter Monday to environmental groups that GM will no longer support the Trump administration in its defense against a lawsuit over its efforts against California's standards. And GM is urging other automakers to do the same. The move is a sign that GM and other automakers are anticipating big changes when President-elect Joe Biden takes office in January. Already at least one other large automaker, Toyota, said it may join GM in switching to California's team.

<![CDATA[Five international stories of the week]]> Editor's Note: This listicle is part of a weekly series by The Ball State Daily News summarizing five stories from around the world. All summaries are based on stories published by The Associated Press.

G-20 leaders agree to prioritize COVID-19 vaccine development, the UK will go back to a three-tiered restrictions system Dec. 2, APEC leaders agree on free trade, a proposed Singapore-Hong Kong travel bubble is delayed and a proposed French bill restricting the publishing of police images sparked protests make up this week's five international stories.

G-20 summit ends with support for COVID-19 vaccines for all

Leaders of the world's most powerful nations wrapped up the Group of 20 summit on Sunday, vowing to spare no effort to protect lives and ensure affordable access to COVID-19 vaccines for all people. The two-day summit of heads of state was held virtually due to the coronavirus pandemic. The G-20, which includes the U.S., India, China, the U.K., France, Germany, Japan and others, also stressed the importance of global access to COVID-19 vaccines, drugs and tests. It expressed support for efforts like COVAX, an international initiative to distribute COVID-19 vaccines to countries worldwide. The U.S., however, has declined to join under President Donald Trump.

UK leader to end England's coronavirus lockdown on Dec. 2

British Prime Minister Boris Johnson announced plans for strict regional measures to combat COVID-19 after England's lockdown ends Dec. 2. Johnson's office said late Saturday that the government plans to return to a three-tiered system of restrictions, with areas facing different measures depending on the severity of their outbreaks. Though it is likely that a much-criticized 10 p.m. curfew on bars and restaurants will be altered, the tiers are likely to include tighter restrictions than when they were first used in October even as more communities are expected to be placed in the two highest virus alert categories.

APEC leaders, including Trump, agree on free trade

Leaders from the Asia-Pacific Economic Cooperation forum, including U.S. President Donald Trump, pledged Friday to work toward free, open and non-discriminatory trade and investment to revive their coronavirus-battered economies. The leaders cast aside differences to issue their first joint statement since 2017, in which they agreed to further deepen regional integration by working toward a massive free trade agreement involving the 21 APEC economies. With growth in the Asia-Pacific region expected to slump 2.7% this year, from a 3.6% growth in 2019, Malaysian Prime Minister Muhyiddin Yassin said APEC's focus was on accelerating economic recovery and developing an affordable vaccine.

Spike in cases delays Singapore-Hong Kong travel bubble

Singapore and Hong Kong on Saturday postponed the start of an air travel bubble meant to boost tourism for both cities, citing a spike in infections in the Chinese territory as a "sober reminder" of risks to public health. The travel bubble, originally slated to begin Sunday, will be delayed by at least two weeks, Hong Kong's minister of commerce and economic development, Edward Yau, said at a news conference. The arrangement is meant to allow travelers between the two cities to enter without quarantine as long as they complete coronavirus tests before and after arriving at their destinations, and fly on designated flights.

France: Bill on publishing police images sparks protests

Thousands of people took to the streets in Paris and other French cities Nov. 21 at the urging of civil liberties campaigners and journalist groups to protest a proposed security law they say would impinge on freedom of information and media rights. Pending legislation in France's parliament would create a new criminal offense for publishing images of police officers with intent to cause them harm. Offenders would face a maximum penalty of up to one year in prison and a 45,000-euro ($53,000) fine. Critics fear that, if enacted, the measure would endanger journalists and other observers who take videos of officers at work, especially during violent demonstrations.

<![CDATA[Ball State Cross Country ends season with top 5 Mid-American Conference Championship finish]]> Ball State Cross Country finished No. 5 in Saturday's Mid-American Conference Championship - the team's highest placing since 2007. Freshman Elka Machan led the Cardinals, placing fourth in the 95 runner race. Senior Cayla Eckenroth was not far behind, finishing 11th.

"Today was a really good day for us," Ball State distance coach Sarah Pease said. "It feels good for our best race to be our last one."

The race ended up being the best of the shortened fall schedule, as several runners achieved personal records in the 6K race. Emma Cunningham, Karleigh Conner, Grace Dean, Cayla Eckenroth, Kylee Mastin and Emmalyne Tarsa all set PRs on the course, leading the Cardinals to their fifth-place finish.

Elka Machan highlighted the race, as her fourth-place finish led all true freshmen in the conference. She was the Cardinals' top finisher. 

"I didn't expect it, but I was very happy with how it went today," Machan said.

Machan's performances this season earned her a spot on the MAC Women's Cross Country All-MAC First Team.

Senior Cayla Eckenroth also had a career race at her last MAC Championship. Finishing with a PR, Eckenroth earned All MAC-Second Team Honors for the second year in a row.

"I was nervous, but I knew I had fast teammates to help me through it, and I was super excited to run today," Eckenroth said.

After a very unconventional start to the season, the Cardinals took some time to hit their stride.

"It was definitely a rocky start to the season, but I think that everyone just trusted Coach Pease and our training staff, so we knew we could turn it around to a good finish," Eckenroth.

Coach Pease also shared similar beliefs.

"It shows that the team was prepared the whole time," Pease said. "We kept talking about being ready and taking advantage of the opportunities we do have, and it feels good that we got it done." 

After breaching the top five for the first time in 13 years, the Cardinals have a bright future ahead of them, with high aspirations for the upcoming season.

Contact Connor Granlund with comments at crgranlund@bsu.edu or on Twitter @connorgranlund.

Ball State junior Cayla Eckenroth sprints to the finish first Oct. 18, 2019, at the Elks Country Club in Muncie. Eckenroth was followed by five other Ball State runners in the event. Eric Pritchett, DN

<![CDATA[In Reflection: The final lap]]>

Charles Melton is a senior news and telecommunications major and writes "In Reflection" for The Daily News. His views do not necessarily reflect those of the newspaper.

The winter has always made me feel nostalgic. Waking up to cold air makes me feel like a 16-year-old boy, scrambling to get my jammers and goggles for swim practice, slamming back coffee and sprinting out the door.

Now, with the end of the fall 2020 semester so close and that fabled finish line in sight, I'll have more to remember waking up in the winter.

College has been one of the mo

st informative experiences in my life. I've learned about myself. I've been deeply invested in learning reporting and eventually becoming an editor. I've made lifelong friends and connected with professors who have taught me valuable skills.

Despite everything COVID-19 has managed to take away from my college experience - be it a graduation ceremony, in-person classes and internship opportunities - it can't take away all that I've built, and it has given me new experiences that will follow me for the rest of my life.

Adaptation, namely, was the most valuable skill I've learned. Before there was a pandemic, I was adapting to a new environment, new people and a new system of education.

Since March of the spring 2020 semester, being a college student has been about adapting and overcoming a shared obstacle: learning how to function without ever being close to those I was functioning with.

Now, being so close to receiving my bachelor's degree, there are still so many uncertainties that lie ahead. Will I get into graduate school? Will I be able to get a job if I don't? 

I'm applying to grad school as I write this, which can onl

y add to the feeling that I'm stumbling through the dark, looking for the light switch. 

With my end goal of becoming a professor in higher education, grad school is not only the next big step toward that goal, but also the next big need.

Even if I get into and pass grad school, what's next? What awaits me outside the walls of a college campus in a much wider world?

It's not a pleasant thing to sit down and ruminate on, but there's also a sense of adventure not knowing what's ahead but moving forward all the same.

I am so fortunate to be surrounded by others experiencing the same dilemma I am, sharing our struggles and working through them side by side.

I've had support from a family that has cared for me since childhood and brought me to adulthood and from a loving girlfriend, who has managed to make even the most dire situations seem like just a bump in the road. Having people like them by my side has reminded me that, even though this is a journey I have to complete on my own, I am never alone.

It was never fun swimming in a pool by myself. I only thrived when my friends and competitors  were beside me, pushing me to my physical limits and comforting me when I was done. 

College is a similar situation. If I had gone through this final semester alone, I'm not sure what situation I would be in. 

So, to those who are graduating, look toward those around you. Be supportive of your friends and loved ones, who, even if it's not apparent, could be going through the same thing you are.

There may not be a big ceremony at the end of the race or anyone there to give you your diploma and send you off into the world with inspiring words of encouragement, but there are people who can.

With the absence of this ceremony comes the opportunity to celebrate one another. Congratulate those who have accomplished their goals, and be the inspiration to those who are still working their way through college. Be a comfort to those who are struggling the way you have.

This winter, moving closer and closer toward completing my degree, I think about the journey it took to get here and my growth of character. 

Even if I had to crash against the water at every stroke, swimming in the uncertain waters of college and COVID-19, I made it to the end, and so can you.

Contact Charles Melton with comments at cwmelton@bsu.edu or on Twitter @Cmelton144.

<![CDATA[Rainy weekend ahead]]>

Tonight: In Muncie, we saw another day of temperatures that were well above average for this time of year. As we make our way into the evening and overnight hours, temperatures will drop into the lower 40s. Winds will be light out of the southwest, and cloud cover will increase throughout the overnight.

Weekend: This weekend, we will see rain chances and overcast skies on both Saturday and Sunday. A cold front moves through on Saturday, bringing temperatures which remain steady in the 40s throughout the day. Scattered rain showers are possible on Saturday afternoon, with more widespread rain chances occurring overnight into the day on Sunday. Early Sunday morning, mixed precipitation and even snow is possible, especially to the north of Muncie. Areas to the south of Muncie will see just rain. Total rain accumulations for the viewing area are between 1-1.5 inches.

7-day: After the rain departs on early Monday morning, clouds still remain in the viewing area. Temperatures stay in the upper 40s to the lower 50s for the rest of the week, with our next weather system moving in by the middle of next week. On Thanksgiving, we could see some isolated showers, but the day looks to be partly sunny with a high near 50.

-Assistant Chief Weather Forecaster Maddi Johnson

Follow us on Twitter @NLIWeather for breaking weather updates.

NewsLink Indiana is a proud Ambassador for the NOAA Weather-Ready Nation program. 

For more information about the Weather-Ready Nation program please click HERE

<![CDATA[The first annual Foster Youth Toy Drive hits Muncie]]> MUNCIE, Ind (NewsLink)-- Matthew Peiffer and his two sisters spent many years in the foster care system. They were all victims of abuse and faced many other challenges during their time. Now, Peiffer wants to give back to the foster children this Christmas with the first annual Foster Youth Toy Drive.

"I was in their shoes once and I know exactly how it feels to go through Christmas without gifts and without the family atmosphere," Peiffer stated.

Since multiple programs like Benchmark and Foster Select could not do their normal Christmas activities this year due to COVID-19, Peiffer felt that he needed to step in with the toy drive.

"Kids are cooped up at home and it is really affecting them emotionally," Peiffer said.

Along with the toy drive this year, a silent auction will take place to create care packages for the families in need.

"Dec. 11, we are going to be doing an auction online at 7 p.m. You will be able to go online before the silent part, then we have live auctions going on," Jack Surface stated about the silent auction.

The way that Peiffer's story has impacted so many people in Muncie, Mayor Dan Ridenour felt a connection to this event and knew he had to help because his family also had foster children while he was growing up.

"There was no way the city of Muncie and this office would not be left out of trying to help change lives in some way, shape, or form, because I know the difference it can make," Ridenour said.

There are now 221 foster children already listed in the donations and collection boxes have been placed at Kramer Insurance and the Red Apple Cafe with more boxes being delivered to various businesses in the coming days.

If anyone is wishing to donate or have have any questions about the toy drive, they can visit here.

For comments or concerns regarding this story, contact alchalker@bsu.edu
<![CDATA[Unspoken: Time's Arrow]]> Demi Lawrence is a senior journalism news major and writes "Unspoken" for The Daily News. Her views do not necessarily reflect those of the newspaper.

My freshman year, this column was titled "Demi's Diems." I tried to play on the saying "Carpe Diem" or "Seize the day," therefore making my column name "Demi's Days."

It was an easy decision when I found out I could change my column title sophomore year - I mean, come on, "Demi's Diems" was pretty terrible. 

So, I chose the column name "Unspoken."

This column was never really supposed to be about me. "Unspoken" was born out of the idea that what I wrote would be for whomever was too afraid to speak about the topics themselves. I started writing this piece by pouring out all my unique experiences and how they have shaped my time at Ball State, but I soon realized that was not what I wanted my final piece for "Unspoken" to be. 

I have always written my pieces with the intent to help and serve others, and spending several hundred words exclusively talking about myself is not how I want to go out.

Instead, I want to talk to you, the readers, one last time. 

College is supposed to be this transformative and magical thing for young people. You go to college, and you figure your shit out. You find passions, you develop your soon-to-be career skills and you find your spouse, if you're lucky. 

I can say college was very transformative and magical for me but not because it was perfect. I made a lot of mistakes, one of my first being naming my column an obscure and apathetic phrase that meant nothing to me. 

I knew my college experience would never be perfect - no matter how hard I tried to white-knuckle it - but had I known a few things at the age of 18 that I now know at the age of 21, it may have helped. 

Maybe they'll help you too.

Trust the process

The things I wanted as a freshman are worlds different from what I want now. I wanted to get out of Indiana for my internship, but when the pandemic hit, I was lucky to get an internship in the state. It ended up being the greatest experience I could have ever asked for.

As a freshman, I wanted to find a relationship so bad, and now, I am satisfied being single - enjoying it, actually.

Your desires, goals and attitude will change. So, if you don't get that job or don't shoot your shot with that person, there is better to come. 

You will have ups and downs, but you have to trust that after that down, an up will come. I know that's cliche and maybe stupid, but I wish I had spent more time in college trusting what was to come rather than stressing about how to fix what had already happened.

The only opinion of you that matters if your own

This may be the most important point I learned throughout my three-and-a-half-year stay in "Funcie." You know yourself best, so act like it. If someone doesn't think you deserve the time of day, show them why they're wrong rather than worrying about why they think that. 

I spent a lot of time happy with how people felt about me but miserable with how I felt about myself - and, I won't lie, I lost some people along the way. 

That is OK. 

Be secure of yourself. Do what you think is right, do what you want to do and screw the rest, within reason. Live your life the way you want while causing minimal collateral damage, and I promise you'll be happy.

Live for now

Those who know me know I have a likely-unhealthy obsession with the TV show "BoJack Horseman." I have watched it four times just this year, and one of the quotes from it that sticks with me every time is "time's arrow marches forward."

Even when we don't want it to, time just keeps moving. We really are just all molecules through which time moves. We don't get a say, we don't get to rewind or fast forward. We just have to sit as the arrow marches us through our 90-some-odd years of existence.

I know that is bleak, but to me, it's just a reminder that all we really have is now. If we spend so much time worried about the future or the past, we won't appreciate and live for the present.

My first three years of college, I was constantly chasing things, and I lost sight of a lot. I wanted to be perfect and do perfect things. I dreaded being just another name people forgot over time - I wanted to stand out. 

Now, in my final semester, I see I accomplished all the things I was chasing. I became a great journalist. I fell in love, even if it meant eventually falling out of it. I met lifelong friends. I went to crazy parties. I made insane memories. I also made grave mistakes. 

As I said, all of our experiences in college are unique. You will never fully understand my world just as I will never fully understand yours. But I hope these truths impacted you in some way, and I hope you take them to heart.

For the last time, this has been "Unspoken." Thank you, and Carpe Diem. 

Contact Demi Lawrence with comments at dnlawrence@bsu.edu or on Twitter @DemiNLawrence.

<![CDATA[Cooler temperatures and rain chances]]>

Today: Temperatures top out in the mid 60s today with winds out of the southwest at 10-15mph. Sunshine will be abundant this afternoon, so get outside and enjoy the nice weather!

Tonight: Temperatures will fall into the lower 40s overnight. Cloud cover will increase throughout the evening and overnight hours, with winds out of the southwest at 5-10mph.

Weekend: A cold front moves through on Saturday, leading to much more seasonable temperatures. Skies will remain overcast, as rain chances come into play during the afternoon. Temperatures will be steady throughout the day, with a high in the upper 40s. Rain will continue throughout the overnight hours into the day on Saturday. At times, we could see some mixed precipitation, especially to the north of Muncie. Estimated rain totals are between 1-1.5 inches for much of the viewing area by the time the rain departs on Sunday evening.

7-day: After the weather system that will impact us over the weekend departs, temperatures remain in the 40s on Monday with partly cloudy skies. Our next weather system moves in by the middle of next week as temperatures stay in the upper 40s to lower 50s.

-Assistant Chief Weather Forecaster Maddi Johnson

Follow us on Twitter @NLIWeather for breaking weather updates.

NewsLink Indiana is a proud Ambassador for the NOAA Weather-Ready Nation program. 

For more information about the Weather-Ready Nation program please click HERE

<![CDATA[Mill Pond]]> With a fabulous surrounding nightlife, multiple shopping options, and lots of restaurants to mingle with friends, Mill Pond is confident it offers what any student or small family may need to adapt to a beautiful life in Muncie!

Interested in learning more? Fill out the contact form below. Plus, in doing so, you'll be entered into the 2020 Around the Roost Contest, presented by Ball State Daily. You can win one of five Housing Essential prize packs! Read more about the contest and official rules here.

Fill out my online form.

<![CDATA[Taking the next step: Kia Holder is eager to show her improved leadership on the volleyball court]]> Kia Holder is the only senior on Ball State Women's Volleyball. 

While a player may face internal pressures of leading at a high level as the only senior on a sports team, Holder said she won't let those get to her head. 

"I will be the only one graduating in my class, but I do not feel alone in the leadership aspect at all," she said. 

The Cardinals lost four seniors following their 2019 season. While filling their roles will not be easy, Holder said, she will look to replace their absences by progressing as a leader herself. 

"My main focus of leadership has always been leading by example," Holder said. "Being the only senior and having such a young group, I have learned you have to have some type of vocal leadership when you are in the position I am."

From the way she leads by example in her play, Holder has earned the respect of her teammates. Head coach Kelli Miller Phillips said she wants her to continue evolving as an active leader this season. 

"Everyone looks up to [Holder] because of her work ethic - because of her competitiveness - so what I would like to see is for her to continue to be more vocal in that role," Miller Phillips said. "Our team needs somebody that is willing to say what needs to be said in the moment, and she has certainly earned the right to do that."

Entering her fourth season with Ball State, Holder finished the 2019 regular season with 153 kills - sixth on the team. She was also named MVP of the 2019 Mid-American Conference Volleyball Championship, leading the Cardinals with three kills per set. 

Additionally, Holder recorded numerous single-match career highs in kills (21), digs (six) and blocks (five) during the Cardinals' 2019 regular season. 

Holder said she will use her mental toughness to maximize her role as the Cardinals' lone senior. This element of her game, which she believes has improved over her career, sets an example to younger teammates.

"Mentally, I think I am more calm," Holder said. "[I] take everything very small, but at the same time keep myself accountable."

Sophomore outside hitter/opposite Natalie Mitchem plays the same position as Holder. Mitchem said she respects Holder as a leader and said her communication and approachability toward younger players is what makes her special. 

"Everybody on the team can look to her if we need advice on something or if we need somebody to keep us accountable for something," Mitchem said. "We can go to her."

Miller Phillips said as Holder's career has progressed, she has steadily prepared for this moment of being the only senior on a younger roster. 

"From the start of practice to the end - day in and day out - that takes a lot of mental toughness," Miller Phillips said. "That takes a lot of discipline, and she has shown that throughout her whole career. I think now you know the challenges when you're the only senior of how to maintain that with a young group." 

As Holder said, leadership is not as difficult when younger teammates embrace that quality. Mitchem said she believes the team's ability to have different leaders in different positions will take pressure off Holder.

"[We are] leaders in the way of keeping each other accountable, and by raising our voices and talking all the time," Mitchem said. "It is not like she is the only one that feels like she has to do that."

Miller Phillips has arranged the program in a way where as soon as freshmen enter, the importance of leadership is introduced by the team's veteran players than expected by the coaching staff. 

"I think we really work as a program to traditionally, year after year, be consistent in who we are, and that takes everyone buying in from freshmen to seniors," Miller Phillips said. "It is not all on one person or in one class because I just do not think that you can sustain success when you're putting so much pressure on one team or person. It is about Ball State Volleyball."

Miller Phillips said she is thankful for Holder's role as the mediator between the Cardinals' coaching staff and players, where the communication between both sides is easily understood. This removes the load off players and coaches.

"She is somebody that I rely on really heavily to get the vibe from the team," Miller Phillips said. "I trust 100 percent that she is going to give me the honest opinion on how the team is feeling, and that is a huge relief for a coach to have somebody be that liaison between the team and the coaching staff because she is in the trenches with them."

Ball State enters its 2021 regular season with two upperclassmen - Holder and junior defensive specialist Cathryn Starck. While the Cardinals have a total of eight sophomores, these players have plenty of experience. They were part of a team that won last season's conference championship and participated in the NCAA Tournament, and Holder said she is confident they will play an important role this season.

"I put it in my mind, 'Yes, I am the only senior,'" Holder said, "but there are girls just as capable of being in a leadership position." 

Contact Charleston Bowles with comments at clbowles@bsu.edu or on Twitter @cbowles01.

<![CDATA[Sunday snow ahead?]]>

Tonight: Overnight tonight, temperatures reach down into the upper 40s, with winds dying down from earlier today, where we saw gusts reach nearly 50 mph! Wind gusts will remain in the 30s and 40s through the night.

Tomorrow: Through the day tomorrow, we will see mostly cloudy skies with temperatures quickly reaching up into the 60s for the high. Winds will continue to die down, but remain strong until the afternoon.

Weekend: Over the weekend, we will see quite an active pattern. On Saturday, we will see temperatures reach only to about 50 for the high, with scattered showers through the day. Sunday, we could see a chance for some snow showers early in the morning hours, but that will likely transition to rain during the day. Something to keep an eye on as we head into the weekend.

7 Day: Over the next 7 Days, we will see temperatures return back to normal for this time of year, with highs in the 40s and 50s, and lows in the 30s and 40s. We will dry out after the weekend.

-Weather Forecaster Jordan Wolfe

Follow us on Twitter @NLIWeather for breaking weather updates.

NewsLink Indiana is a proud Ambassador for the NOAA Weather-Ready Nation program. 

For more information about the Weather-Ready Nation program please click HERE

<![CDATA[Top 5 Fantasy Book Series]]> With the popularity of big-budget, high profile fantasy shows popping up everywhere recently, streaming services seem to be looking for the next Lord of the Rings or Game of Thrones to fill in that empty void. Shows like The Witcher and the upcoming Wheel of TimeLord of the Rings, and the Game of Thrones prequel will hopefully continue to provide great, epic fantasy entertainment. There are many other fantasy book series that often get overlooked by bigger series however, they deserve the same, if not more, recognition as the bigger show stoppers. These series could also make for great book-to-screen adaptations, like some of the others. Considering the state of the world right now, we all could use a break and jump into a fantastical world where our problems don't seem quite as bad. 

The Cosmere Universe by Brandon Sanderson

It's safe to say that Tolkin is the best fantasy author of all time. Considering his novels are constantly being discovered by new readers, and the films based on his novels are incredibly successful, his work will continue to be an influence indefinitely. He was able to create a wonderfully, fleshed-out world with enduring characters. With that being said, Brandon Sanderson may be this generation's Tolkin, beating out the likes of George R.R. Martin.

His version of Middle Earth, the Cosmeriae, consists of multiple series, including Mistborn and The Stormlight Archie with many more books to come in this planned 35 novel epic. His writing style is similar to Robert Jordan's, with the series having similarities to The Wheel of Time books. Looking past the incredible universe Sanderson has built, he crafts enduring characters that invest you with their stories, making for notable, compelling novels. Like Tolkin, his work feels as if it will stand the test of time and influence the genre in many ways as well. 

The Burning series by Evan Winter

Originally a self-published book that exploded into a mega-hit, the first novel in the series, The Rage of Dragons, has recently joined Time magazine's top 100 best fantasy novels of all time. The novel takes the tropes of fantasy and mixes it with African mythology, making for a new and unique twist on the genre. The story is fast-paced and packed with incredible action sequences that keep you on the edge of your seat. Feeling like a combination of Gladiator and Game of Thrones, genre fans will surely enjoy the breath of fresh air the novel provides, along with getting all the things you expect from a fantasy novel. 

The First Law series by Joe Abercrombie

Originally a trilogy, the series has grown to include standalone novels, short stories, and a new trilogy set in the same universe. Fans of George R.R. Martin will enjoy Abercrombie's take on the grimdark subgenre, building a dark, sinister world that's similar to, A Song of Ice and Fire. Abercrombie's writing style gives a different voice within the crowded genre that feels fresh and original. With gruesome violence, fantastic world-building, and a well-written story, The First Law series will hopefully grip readers with its intense world.  

Dresden Files series by Jim Butcher

Taking two of my favorite genres, hard-boiled crime and fantasy, the Dresden Files follow Harry Dresden as he investigates mysterious crimes in modern-day Chicago. Considering the series currently has 17 novels, many traditional monsters have been explored, including vampires, werewolves, and spirits, while also creating its own creatures. Having the series take place in modern-day Chicago, and having the series be detective fiction, makes the books stand-out from others in the genre. Despite having 17 books so far, the novels are quick reads compared to other fantasy novels and make for easy reads in-between larger fantasy epics.

Red Rising series by Pierce Brown

A question that gets asked by Red Rising fans is whether or not the series is considered fantasy or not. The series is technically dystopian sci-fi and gets compared to other exceptional works like Ender's Game or Dune. However, Red Rising has many fantasy elements that make it feel qualified enough to be considered fantasy as well.

The series takes place on Mars and follows humanity as they expand their colonization. Incorporating a class system similar to the one seen in The Hunger Games, humanity has split society into a color system with reds being the lowest, and golds being the highest. The original trilogy follows the character Darrow as he tries to infiltrate the elite gold class so he can bring it down. The sequel trilogy expands past Darrow's perspective to explore other character's perspectives within the world. With commentary on politics and class warfare, the series takes large concepts, ideas, and questions, bringing them to a fun, entertaining narrative. All of the sci-fi, fantasy, and dystopian elements blend well together to create a unique reading experience where fans of all three genres can enjoy it. 

Sources: Brandon SandersonTIME

Featured Image: Vocal Media

For more entertainment related content, visit us at Byte BSU!

<![CDATA[On the Clock: David Owsley Museum of Art student workers provide visitors with a cultural education]]> Editor's note: "On the Clock" is a Ball State Daily News series profiling Ball State students and their on-campus jobs. If you have any suggestions as to who we should feature next, send an email to features@bsudailynews.com.

An hour before the David Owsley Museum of Art (DOMA) opens to the public, senior art history and studio art major Marie Dickison arrives to flip on all the museum's lights across its galleries. 

As an exhibition assistant, Dickison has spent the last six months at DOMA working alongside Randy Salway, DOMA's exhibition designer preparator, on the museum's latest exhibition, "20/20: Twenty Women Artists of the Twentieth Century." Dickison hung the exhibit's paintings, photographs, prints, sculptures and architectural drawings from the museum's collection on the walls of the exhibit. 

"There's a whole secret world that I get to be a part of that I really enjoy," Dickison said.

Dickison is one of DOMA's 20 student employees who help DOMA staff reach its goal of serving as a valuable educational resource for the Ball State and Muncie communities. Rachel Buckmaster, DOMA's assistant director, supervises the student employees, and she said she views all of the students as her colleagues. 

"I personally have chosen to work at a campus museum rather than another kind of arts institution because I get to work with students," Buckmaster said. "Students often have enthusiastic and thoughtful feedback to provide, so it's great to learn from each other and to collaborate in a learning environment that is very fulfilling."  

Because of the COVID-19 pandemic, senior professional sales major Jasmine Romero has taken extra precautions as a guard at DOMA to ensure both the museum's visitors and art are safe. Romero said being a guard at DOMA is the best job on campus because Buckmaster is understanding of what it is like to be a college student and is there for the students' mental health. 

"The guards actually have a Snapchat group chat, and our name is 'Rachel's Fan Club,'" Romero said. "She definitely makes it a point to come to us and just check in, see how we're doing and make sure that our schedule is matching what we need and what we can do."

As a guard, Romero shows people where available parking is for the museum, tells visitors to wear masks and ensures there are no more than 30 people in the museum. 

"Even when people are in your gallery, we do keep 6 feet apart," Romero said. "I usually like to be on the opposite side of the gallery just so that [visitors] don't feel like I'm in their space or making them feel rushed. I'm just there to ensure that everything is OK. It's our job to walk around and secure both the guests and the art." 

Senior history and biology major Emma Cieslik began working as a volunteer docent at DOMA in 2018. Now, she is a collections assistant, where she helps Denise Mahoney, DOMA's collections manager and registrar, catalog incoming collections. Cieslik also regulates tarnish on the museum's silver art, records the humidity level in the galleries and dusts the museum every week. 

"The beauty of ... helping the art museum to exist is that people can come [visit] the art and engage what it means to them and what it means to other people," Cieslik said. 

While Cieslik works behind the scenes of the museum, she said, every day is different because visitors will ask her questions about art in the museum as she's working. 

"People recognize me as somebody who works at the museum, and [they] are just eager to ask a question of 'What does this Buddhist statue have to do with the gallery?' or 'What is this made out of?'" Cieslik said. "Those are some of my favorite moments in the gallery because I get to come behind the scenes from storage and provide a little bit of information for people that are seeing the museum on the actual ground floor." 

Senior ceramics and art history major Lillian McClung also began working at DOMA in 2018 as a curatorial intern, and she is now a curatorial assistant. She writes data sheets for each object in the museum, writes labels describing the exhibited art and researches information about objects by requesting Inter Library Loans and emailing other museums or galleries. Throughout her two years at DOMA, McClung has provided research and background for about a third of the works on display.

"Having a museum of this size and with the extensive range of works on display is incredibly beneficial to the learning environment," McClung said. "I don't think many people realize this, but not many universities of our size or in our 'remote' location - we aren't in a big city; we're in the middle of east central Indiana - can provide such an outstanding environment or collection for their students." 

Sophomore public history and philosophy major Griffin Green also conducts research as the education assistant at DOMA. Learning on his feet, Green said, he compiles articles and images about a specific artist or artwork onto a single, coherent document for visitors and docents to turn to.

"Being able to come in every day and just know that my job is making a difference and helping people understand more about what's actually at the museum [is my favorite part of my job]," Green said. "That way, people can take something away as they head out. It's good to be surrounded by art, but [it's also good] if I can tell people about it as well." 

As Romero continues her second year working at DOMA, she said, she enjoys the museum's silent, relaxed environment and surrounding herself with the artistic beauty. 

"For the rest of our students, to be able to be educated in a new way of not just the mental things and [being] booksmart, but also being able to observe beauty and connect it to history … I think it is a great topic to be able to look at something, process information and make deeper connections," Romero said. "I think that's amazing, and I'm honored that Muncie has something that is so amazing."

Contact Mary Stempky with comments at mstempky@bsu.edu

<![CDATA[Working toward and finding a job in a recession before and after graduation]]> As the fall 2020 semester nears its end, graduating seniors must navigate how to enter the workforce even as the job market changes during the COVID-19 pandemic.

As students graduate from college, one of the most prudent things to do is get a job - hopefully in the same field as their degree. 

Data published by the Federal Reserve Bank of New York says 41 percent of college graduates are working in fields they did not major in.

John Horowitz, chair of the Department of Economics, said this has to do with the volume of students entering the job market.

"There's a lot of people coming out, so you're competing with some really good people, which is always true, but especially now that in many areas there are not as many jobs," Horowitz said. 

Horowitz added that a "positive mental attitude" is important when searching for a job when rejections are received. 

This increase in the number of employees and declines in opportunities is making it harder to find jobs, especially in the age of the COVID-19 pandemic, where the Bureau of Labor Statistics reports that unemployment is at 8.4 percent and the pandemic is still taking its toll on the United States.

Horowitz said the industry students are going into makes a difference in their job prospects. Even students who will graduate in the future could face an alarming unemployment rate, though COVID-19 is predicted to subside sometime in 2021, according to the National Institute for Allergy and Infectious Diseases. 

Helping students and graduates deal with the job market is a task undertaken by the Career Center at Ball State and its associate director of employee relations and recruitment programming, Jeff Eads. 

"I work directly with employers who would like to recruit Ball State students," Eads said. "Sometimes, that is employers who are seeking us out and would like to recruit and engage with students in some way."

The Career Center is responsible for a lot of employment interaction on campus, ranging from the career fairs that provide an opportunity to connect with possible employers, career coaches that provide guidance and the Cardinal Career Link, which provides resources to further employability. 

Students can find employment opportunities there, but Eads said they can also filter their resumes through "VMock," an artificial intelligence program that scores and provides feedback on the resumes filtered. 

The program models what employers would use to simulate the experience of applying for jobs and internships. 

"I think it's important for people to actually look at internships from the very beginning," Horowitz said. "In fact, if you have an internship that you're going to need a security clearance for, you'd want to be looking, at the latest, probably as a freshman or a sophomore."

Searching for an internship early is one of the things Horowitz said furthers employability, but he also emphasized how important it is to find a good one.

"You want an internship hopefully that teaches you something that makes you more productive in your future occupation, and you want an internship where you get to meet other people because one important way of getting hired is people vouching for you saying, 'This is somebody who I would want on my team,'" he said. 

Aside from Cardinal Career Link, the Career Center also is in charge of organizing career fairs. 

Career fairs are opportunities for employers to engage with possible employers and make their pitch. However, they have recently been moved online. The next scheduled career fair at Ball State is in the spring Feb. 17, 2021, although its date is subject to change due to COVID-19.

The Career Center also provides career coaches for students to reference when thinking about changing their major, getting involved on campus or searching for internships. Eads said the goal of the Career Center's resources is to provide students with guidance and help them find an edge in the competitive job market. 

Cardinal Career Link is updated daily, Eads said, and students can filter their searches by location, employer or degree. Current students can search for and apply for internships or full-time jobs using Cardinal Career Link and turn on email notifications for new job posts.

Contact Jaden Hasse with comments at jdhasse@bsu.edu or on Twitter @HasseJaden

The Career Center is located in Lucina Hall. Students can apply for on-campus jobs, consult with career coaches and use Cardinal Career Link at the Career Center. Samantha Brammer, DN File

<![CDATA[Ball State senior creative writing major shares her passion for storytelling]]> As someone who's been writing for as long as she can remember, Mia Marrero, senior creative writing major, said one of her biggest challenges when writing is trying not to think about others' opinions. 

"When you write something that you don't want to be writing, I feel like the reader can tell your heart isn't in it," Marrero said. "When you write what your heart is speaking, then people will appreciate that and know it's coming from the heart."

Born and raised in Indianapolis, Marrero attended Arizona State University for two years as an art major with a concentration in entertainment design. After missing home and her family, she transferred to Ball State. Because Ball State did not offer entertainment design, Marrero decided to major in telecommunications and minor in creative writing. 

While she enjoyed her creative writing classes, Marrero said, she had reservations about switching her major to creative writing. However, it became one of the best decisions she's ever made, she said, because writing allows her to be vulnerable. It's healing for her to get her thoughts out on paper and create characters, she said. 

"I really like the idea of writing down a story and having other people imagine it in their head with their own interpretations," Marrero said. "I'm creating a whole world for them just with words, and I think that's really cool."

While writing can be private and personal, Marrero said, her mom and two best friends support her by reading her writing so she can gain a second opinion. Reading other people's work in her classes has helped her improve her own writing style, she said, and the non-judgmental support from her peers has also been valuable. 

As she continued her creative writing studies, Marrero had Pete Davis, assistant professor of English, as one of her professors. Davis said Marrero's positivity, kindness and interest in his classes stood out to him.

"When I first met [Marrero], I felt like she was only writing one type of poetry," Davis said. "Because I have had her over the past couple of years or so, she has really branched off and done a lot of interesting kinds of poems doing a wide variety of things. It's great to see the enthusiasm that I feel like Mia has. I feel pretty certain she'll be successful at whatever she wants to do in life."

Marrero said Davis' teaching style allowed her to feel free to write whatever she felt like writing, and his classes changed her perspective on writer's block. Now, Marrero understands writer's block happens when she is being pulled to write something she doesn't want to write. 

"Getting over that writer's block is not thinking of other people's opinions and writing what you want to write, and then your best work will appear out of that," Marrero said. 

In April, Marrero won the 2020 Ball State Excellence in Creative Writing for Fiction Award. Marrero submitted a story she wrote for a previous fiction writing class called "The Epithet of Duke." Her story is about a boy named Holden, who was named after the character Holden Caulfield from "The Catcher in the Rye." Because he hates that he is always compared to the character in the novel, Holden tries to change his name every day, and his family realizes the true meaning behind his name. 

Sarah Domet, assistant professor of English and Marrero's fiction writing instructor from this past spring, encouraged Marrero to submit her story for the award. After Marrero submitted her first story assignment for Domet's class, she said, Domet encouraged her as a writer and "pushed [her] to the limits of what she could do." 

"I went into [Domet's] class, and it was kind of intimidating," Marrero said. "She was telling us how she's published two novels, and I was just like, 'Oh my gosh, that's the dream.' She was one of the first people to kind of pull me aside and be like, 'Hey, this really shows promise and really speaks to people, so you should look into submitting for the writing award.'"

This semester, Marrero is the web editor in Domet's immersive learning class producing Ball State's national literary magazine, "The Broken Plate." 

"[Marrero's writing] shows a higher mastery than one tends to see in undergraduate writing," Domet said. "She's the kind of student that when she comes to class, she's not the most outspoken at first. She's a person who listens first and kind of assesses what's going on and then participates in a really meaningful way."

Domet said she recommends students to seek out immersive learning experiences to not only put into practice what they've learned in the classroom, but also see how their studies might translate into a meaningful life beyond Ball State. 

"It's interesting to take a student like Mia who's really strong in a traditional classroom and put her into a class like 'The Broken Plate' and see the way that she can really envision a path going forward now for herself in terms of a career," Domet said. "If I were as strong of a writer as [Marrero] is when I was her age, I would have had a lot of swagger, but she has this humbleness about her, her talents and her abilities, and I think that's really admirable as well."

Marrero said she is looking into the publishing industry as a possible career path after graduating in December, especially with her publishing experience at "The Broken Plate" and the ability to freelance remotely because of the COVID-19 pandemic. 

"Selfishly, it's a little hard to say goodbye to these standout students because we get to know them in the classroom, and they bring so much meaning to our work," Domet said. "I think it's mostly pure joy and gratitude for having the ability to teach students like Mia and a little tiny bit of sadness saying goodbye to them." 

For Marrero, emphasizing characters in her writing has helped her as she has grown up enjoying seeing herself in books' characters. Because Marrero's coming-of-age story, "The Epithet of Duke," doesn't just cater to a certain group of people, she said, she hopes readers can see themselves in her characters. 

"With us being in college, we are dealing with our own identities and that same phase of change and transformation," Marrero said. "Writing things people can relate to is one of my biggest goals."

Contact Savannah Jordan with comments at sjordan4@bsu.edu or @savmjordann.

Mia Marerro, senior creative writing major poses for a photo Nov. 10, 2020, outside of the David Owsley Museum of Art. Marerro said she enjoys creative writing because it allows her to be vulnerable and share a whole new world with her readers. Jacob Musselman