Fourth-year journalism major Terra Konieczny paints on the nails of fourth-year speech language pathology major Brianna Santos in her home studio Aug. 17. Jacy Bradley, DN
MANICURES

Self-taught senior provides one-on-one manicures for students from the comfort of her home

The expectation of nail appointments consists of searching for parking in a crowded strip mall to wait for a nail tech’s availability. Once the appointment has begun, you’re sat between strangers for an hour before you leave and have to repeat the process in a couple of weeks. In contrast, pulling up to a home with a brick exterior in a serene residential area might offer a better chance of relaxation than traditional nail salons. 



Fourth-year metal-smithing concentration student Kelsey Bobrowski explains the process of making the copper flowers for her thesis project in the metals studio April 11. Jacy Bradley, DN
LIFESTYLES

Ball State metals students prepare to graduate and showcase their theses

It only took one class. Kinzee Davis and Victoria Stout started in drawing. Arielle Birk started in animation, and Kelsey Bobrowski wanted to pursue the same. But after getting a taste of metals, each of the students decided a focus in metals is what they needed to go after. “I saw metals and signed up for it not really thinking much of it, didn't really know what all it entailed, but I immediately fell in love with it …” Davis said. “Just everything about it. I felt like I was finally connecting to the material that I was working with.”   As the end of the year approaches, future graduates in the metals concentration are wrapping up their time and preparing their theses and final galleries before stepping into the world of metalsmithing.


EARTH DAY

A Ball State directing student creates a show about a world without water through a sustainable approach for senior capstone project

“Take a breath in. Take a breath out. Set an intention.”  Fourth-year directing major Brynn Allison-Harty repeats the words to their cast at the start of rehearsal in between downward dog stretches and indie-pop music. They want the cast to think about the things they would like to improve during the rehearsal and think about the way they want the rehearsal to go.  For Allison-Harty, the intention was simple: tell a story about the climate crisis with an emphasis on sustainability in production. 


Renne Snyder (left) and Marlene "Bowz" Skeoch (right) pose for a photo in Muncie, Ind. Dec. 25, 2022. Snyder recently became Skeoch's neighbor. Skeoch has lived in the same residence for 50 years. Photo provided by Heath Snyder.
LIFESTYLES

Kindness for a Clown: A heartwarming gesture brings joy to hometown hero next door

Renee Snyder and her family moved into a new house in May of 2022. While getting to know her neighbors, Snyder and her children quickly formed a bond with the older woman who lived next door. They soon discovered their neighbor was none other than Marlene “Bowz” Skeoch from the famous Muncie clown duo, Buttnz & Bowz.  Marlene and her husband, Jack "Buttnz" Skeoch, brought joy to children all around Muncie with their colorful makeup and intricate balloon animals for nearly three decades.



People work on equipment at a farm in Albany, Ind. Jessi Haeft and Emily Placke, Photo Provided
EARTH DAY

Ball State professor shares how she encourages others to celebrate Earth Day and protect the environment

Sand, clay, silt, peat, chalk and loam. All are different types of soil. According to ISRIC World Soil Information, soil filters rainwater to help prevent flooding, it helps plants grow and acts as a buffer against pollutants, which helps improve groundwater. Without soil, human life would be difficult.  The science of soil has always been a passion of Ball State University Assistant Professor of Natural Resources, Jessique Haeft,  growing up in California. Since 2014, she has been sharing that passion with her students, teaching them valuable ways to care for the environment.


Third-year psychology major Andria Johnson shops at Well Made Vintage, a newly opened thrift store in the Village, March 21. Jacy Bradley, DN
LIFESTYLES

South View Elementary teacher opens Well Made Vintage, a thrift store in the Village

Seth Pope and Blake Edwards have been friends since they were first-year students at Ball State University. Though Pope was an elementary education major and Edwards went for business administration, what brought them closer was their love of collecting vintage clothing.   Edwards started selling clothes in 2016 while he was in high school, but Pope didn’t start until his second year of college, when he sold vintage clothes on Snapchat.  Pope and Edwards met in 2018, and, once Pope started selling, he asked Edwards if he wanted to put together a pop-up shop.   “When that pop-up shop did well, we were like, ‘Okay, this is something we could definitely continue doing,’” Pope said. “It just sort of built from there.”  Pope and Edwards did not enjoy constantly hosting pop-up shops. They wanted something more stable where people can come in at any time. At the beginning of 2023, they decided to open a thrift shop called Well Made Vintage. 


David Hreno (left) and Megan Templeton (right) give actors notes and pointers during rehearsal April 3. They try to help the middle school cast envision the same interactions they are and give them the acting skills to express those interactions. Miguel Naranjo, DN
LIFESTYLES

BSU theatre education students gain hands-on experience with the help of Northside Middle School

When David Hreno was in high school, he considered himself to be a shy person, finding it difficult to socialize and make friends with his peers, he said.  When he started participating in theatre, however, he was immediately immersed in the novel experience and felt like part of the group.  Now, as a third-year theatre education major, Hreno wears the hat of director for a group of middle schoolers at Northside Middle School, putting on his own shows. Alongside Megan Templeton, third-year theatre education major, the two are doing the same thing for the Northside students: building a community for them to thrive in.



Funeral Director and embalmer Molly Haaff poses for a photo in the Elm Ridge Funeral Home and Memorial Park cemetery on March 28 in Muncie, Ind. Haaff has been working with Elm Ridge for three years. Mya Cataline, DN
LIFESTYLES

The faces behind Muncie funeral homes

Jerry Shaner walked up and down the Family Dollar aisles in search of the perfect gift.  Reaching out to his daughter who teaches preschool for recommendations, a small, plush pink and white unicorn and a matching baby blanket caught his eye. It was only $10.  But when Shaner went to check the 5-year-old, he realized the cost of providing a toy for a girl in the morgue costs much more.  Shaner, who is the business manager, crematory director and funeral director in training at Parson Mortuary and Cremation Center, said funerals for children are always the hardest. 


Danielle’s Popcorn owner Danielle Jernigan holds out popcorn from the popcorn tumbler on March 22 in Muncie Mall. Ella Howell, DN
LIFESTYLES

Danielle’s Popcorn motivates K-5 students in Muncie Community Schools through her Pop Open a Book and Read Program

The unmistakable crunch and warm, buttery smell of the common movie snack has been a staple for thousands of years, and people have since found that it is also a great base for diverse flavor combinations.   The Muncie Mall is home to a variety of shops, and beginning the weekend before Martin Luther King Jr. Day, a new business opened bringing with it a strong but familiar aroma.  Danielle’s Popcorn is attracting growing attention due to their variety of gourmet popcorn flavors. It has options for people with a sweet tooth as well as those whose palettes lean toward a more savory experience.  


Protesters cross the scramble light holding signs during the Walk A Mile In Her Shoes event March 18. The event was hosted by Black Women’s Voices. Olivia Ground, DN
LIFESTYLES

Black Women’s Voices is a safe space for Black women to talk about their community

Eight women sat around a table at Bracken Library in August 2020 with the same thought in mind: the death of Breonna Taylor, a Black woman shot by police, wasn’t as respected as others, and there was no space on Ball State University’s campus to talk about what was happening in the Black community. That day, the eight founders: Star Gooch, Olamide Awoola, Makayla Atwater, Jordyn Owens, Kye Wilson, Trinity Mitchell, Jaylyn McDonald and Francesca Fontus, decided to make that space by creating the Black Women’s Voices organization, official in February 2021.


Co-owners Jordie Butler, Grant Butler and Andy Thorpe (left to right) pose for a portrait March 19 at Electric Crayon in Muncie, Ind. Jacy Bradley, DN
LIFESTYLES

Electric Crayon Records opens as a safe space for students and those suffering with addiction in Muncie

Music has been said to bring people of all ages together, and at Electric Crayon Records, it’s no different.  The store opened March 11, and within their first week, co-owner Grant Butler said a 14-year-old and a 60-year-old had already come in looking for similar records.   Butler, an addictions specialist at IU Health, has been into music since sharing a room with his punk-loving brother as a kid. His brother was a photographer and would take Butler with him to shows.  “When you’re a kid, the first medium you’re given is a crayon, pencil and all that stuff, so it’s kind of like that idea to create, there is electricity to it,” Butler said. “It’s kind of like the idea that you’re drawn to create art, whether it’s music or actual, tangible art or literature, any of that kind of stuff. You’re drawn to it.”


Meghan Holt, DN Illustration
LIFESTYLES

Members of the LGBTQ+ community are being restricted from donating blood and plasma

You must be 18 years or older. You must weigh more than 110 pounds. You must be in good health.  Simple rules for donating blood, right?  Not necessarily.  You must not be a male who has had sexual contact with another male in the last three months. You may be able to donate blood as a trans man … but not if you’ve had sex with another man in the last three months. If you are an individual who identifies as female and has had sex with a man, you may be eligible to donate blood. 


First-year Theatre Design and Technology major Kyra Sells completes her Avatar costume for Stage Makeup Design class Feb. 21 in University Theatre. Olivia Ground, DN
LIFESTYLES

Behind the scenes at Ball State theatre

Silence falls over the crowd. The orchestra plays the first notes. Energy vibrates through the room, as anticipation grows. Goosebumps form, and smiles widen as the curtain opens to reveal a the set — elaborately painted structures and period props, costumes, hair and makeup.  Before an actor says the first line — in that opening pause — the audience enters the story. Kip Shawager, associate professor emeritus of theatre design of the Ball State University Department of Theatre and Dance, said these visual cues establish the setting, the time period and the tone of the story.    “We’re supporting the actors and the directions and everything they do by surrounding them with visuals to tell the story that makes sense,” he added.  Shawger shared that all the visual and design aspects of theatre — costuming, sets, props, hair, makeup and lighting — all have to work in unison.  


Kelly Hayes (left) and Brenna Sealy (right) in the “Messy Olympics” during a session of the Camp Kesem summer camp. Kelly Hayes, Photo Provided
LIFESTYLES

Ball State’s branch of Camp Kesem supports children who have been affected by their parent’s cancer through a free weekend of fun and encouragement

Kelly Hayes, second-year creative writing major at Ball State University, grew up in a home where she said all anyone talked about was cancer. “All you ever think about is that your parent is sick, and that takes up your whole life,” Hayes said Her mother was diagnosed with cancer, and when Hayes was 16 years old, her mother died from it. Two years later, Hayes was introduced to Camp Kesem, an annual summer camp for 6 to 18-year-olds. “My mom had died two years ago at that point, so it was still fresh,” Hayes said. “I saw the [Camp Kesem] banner and mission, and I said, ‘Isn’t that amazing?’ I wish I had something like that as a kid. I wanted to help.” 






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