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Leigh Morris, ’58, La Porte, Indiana, is interim president and CEO of Visiting Nurse Association of Northwest Indiana. Leigh, former chairman of Northwest Indiana Regional Development Authority, teaches in the Graduate School at Valparaiso University. He was president of La Porte Regional Hospital for 21 years and mayor of La Porte from 2004 to 2008.


Martin Jacobson, ’68 MAE ’71, New York City, was featured in the documentary, “Coach Jake.” The film delves into his life and career as a soccer coach. Martin won a record 17 City Championships since beginning at Martin Luther King Jr. High School in Manhattan in 1994. First Run Features has made the film available through iTunes, streaming on Kanopy, and on DVD. It premiered at Urbanworld Film Festival in September 2017.

Several former Ball State athletes had a late summer reunion in Crawfordsville, Indiana. Gathering were John Dechant, ’68, Syracuse, Indiana; George Hathaway, ’68 MA ’71, Lakeland, Florida, and South Whitley, Indiana; Steve House, ’64 MA ’69, Crawfordsville; Steve Midkiff, ’68, Avon, Indiana; Stu Miller, ’69, West Lafayette, Indiana; and Chuck Streetman, ’69 MA ’72, Crawfordsville. Dechant, Hathaway, Midkiff, and Streetman played on the football teams that went to the Grantland Rice Bowl in 1965 and 1967. The ’65 team went 9-0 in the regular season, tied Tennessee State in the bowl game, and is in the Ball State Athletics Hall of Fame.

Ann Dillie Smart, ’69, Corvallis, Oregon, was named Senior First Citizen for Corvallis in 2018. She was recognized for her volunteer work, including leading the capital campaign for the new Corvallis Museum.


S. Joe DeHaven, ’71, Fishers, Indiana, retired CEO of Indiana Bankers Association, was honored by the group as a Leader in Banking Excellence at an awards ceremony in August. He was among nine members of the inaugural class receiving the award, which recognizes exceptional bankers who have positively impacted Indiana banks and their communities.

Daniel Patrick Brown, ’72, Bloomington, Indiana, has written a book, “The Third Reich’s Legacies.” It traces the varied, and surprising, ways that Nazi Germany has affected the United States — both during the regime’s short existence and today. He is an internationally recognized Holocaust authority, specializing in World War II concentration camp life. His focus has been on female guards in the camps. Daniel retired as dean of the Behavioral & Social Science Division of Moorpark (California) College in 2010 to devote more time to his academic work.

Peter Nye, ’72, Kirksville, Missouri, is updating and revising his first book, “Hearts of Lions: The Story of American Bicycle Racing” (W.W. Norton, 1988) for publication this year. The social history of the sport was cited last year by the San Jose Mercury News as No. 1 in a list of the 10 best cycling books recommended for summer reading during the Tour de France.

Richard Przybysz, ’74 MA ’77, Dallas, is retiring after more than four decades in teaching. He spent 2½ years at Frankfort (Indiana) Middle School, one year with adjudicated juveniles in Indianapolis, three years at Berrien County Juvenile Detention Center in Michigan, and the last 36 years at Franklin D. Roosevelt High School in Dallas. While at Roosevelt, he chaired the special education department, was on the campus instructional leadership team, and was the school’s Teacher of the Year and National Honor Society adviser.

Roger Messersmith ’76, Olathe, Kansas, is co-chair of the art department and teaching advanced drawing and painting at Olathe South High School.

Robert Santa, ’77, Bloomington, Indiana, was recently elected a board member of Indiana Landmarks for a three-year term. He is vice president, finance, of Cook Group Inc. and CFO of French Lick Resort.

David Moffett, ’78 MA ’79, Greenwood, Indiana, was named chair of Franklin College’s education department. He also has been dean and associate dean at schools of education and chaired two education divisions. Now in his third decade of higher education teaching, he has designed and taught 55 college courses, including a doctoral research seminar. A pioneer in online education, he has designed and launched online degree programs.


Jeffrey Mastin, ’86, Syracuse, Indiana, an administrative law judge for the Social Security Administration, is the acting hearing office chief administrative law judge in the Salt Lake City hearing office until mid-2019. At the conclusion of his temporary duty, Jeffrey will return to his permanent assignment in the Fort Wayne, Indiana, hearing office.

Olon Dotson, ’87, Muncie, was recently elected a board member of Indiana Landmarks for a three-year term. He is an associate professor at Ball State’s College of Architecture and Planning.

Bruce Hayes, ’88, Avon, Indiana, was recently named the new president and CEO of Indiana-based MDWise, an HMO.


Derek Barella, ’91, Wheaton, Illinois, joined Schiff Hardin LLP as a partner in the labor and employment practice group in the Chicago office. A prolific writer and speaker about labor issues, Derek recently presented and published a paper about National Labor Relations Board developments during the Trump administration at the National Employment Law Institute’s 2018 Mid-Year Employment Law Conference. He has been a contributing editor to The Developing
Labor Law, an American Bar Association publication, since 2004.

As part of the Centennial Celebration at Ball State, Mo Bunnell, ’90, returned to the Miller College of Business as an Executive-in-Residence. He met with faculty and students, sharing knowledge acquired during his career and signing copies of his new book, “The Snowball System: How to Win More Business and Turn Clients into Raving Fans.” Mo is founder and CEO of Bunnell Idea Group and has taught business development skills to more than 12,000 professionals around the world.

Karen Pipes, ’92 MPA ’02, Centerville, Indiana, was appointed Indianapolis market manager by Bank of America. Karen handles community partnerships and is responsible for developing and executing a market plan. She is a town council member in Centerville, a member of the board of directors for the Indiana Association of United Ways, and a Finance Council member for the Archdiocese of Indianapolis.

 David Dancer, ’93, West Hollywood, California, is the chief marketing officer for MedMen Enterprises Inc., a leading U.S. cultivator, producer, and retailer of state-sanctioned cannabis. David, a veteran marketing executive, has more than 25 years’ experience leading brands such as American Express, Charles Schwab, Teleflora, and Visa.

David Ulbrich, MA ’96, Barre, Vermont, has had a new edition of a book he wrote with Matthew S. Muehlbauer, “Ways of War: American Military History from the Colonial Era to the Twenty-First Century,” Second Edition. The two also co-edited a book,
“The Routledge History of Global War and Society“ (Routledge Histories), which is
now available.

Craig Mince, ’99, Carmel, Indiana, recently began as president of the Athenaeum Foundation in Indianapolis. The Athenaeum serves as a community center for many cultural, business, and nonprofit groups. He previously worked 17 years with IMAX Theater in the Indiana State Museum, the last 10 as director. At the IMAX Theater, Craig helped raise attendance, revenue and prominence. He has also been heavily involved in Indy Film Fest, where he served in leadership roles dating to 2008. In 2017, Indianapolis Business Journal named him one of its “Forty Under 40” honorees.


Andy Crask, ’00, Westfield, Indiana, is now Indianapolis market president for Bank of America, serving as the company’s enterprise leader in the area. He also was appointed market executive for Indiana Business Banking. Before his new promotion, Andy was a senior relationship manager for Global Commercial Banking in the Midwest region. He began his financial career in 2000 with LaSalle Bank.

Zach Benedict, ’04 BAR ’04 MAR ’05, and Andrew Mitchell, ’04 BAR ’04, Fort Wayne, Indiana, led a successful presentation at the 2018 Indiana Rural Health Association’s Annual Conference in French Lick, Indiana. Andrew is a senior associate, and Zach is a principal at MKM architecture + design.

Deana Haworth, MA ’05, Greenwood, Indiana, has been promoted to chief operating officer of Hirons in Indianapolis. Hirons is a full-service advertising, public relations, and digital agency, where she has worked for 18 years.

Kathryn (Stevens) Jessup, MAE ’05
EdS ’13 EdD ’17, Brownsburg, Indiana, completed her Ed.D. in educational administration at Ball State. She is the assistant superintendent for Brownsburg Community School Corporation. (This corrects factual inaccuracies in our previous issue. We apologize for those errors.)

Shelley R. McCoy, ’05, Zionsville, Indiana, has joined Jackson Lewis P.C. in the Indianapolis office as “of counsel.” Her practice focuses on representing employers in workplace law matters, including preventive advice and counsel. Before joining Jackson Lewis, Shelley represented clients in administrative, arbitration, and litigation proceedings with Ogletree Deakins.

Elliott Somers, ’06, Fishers, Indiana, has earned his diploma from the Graduate School of Banking, a nonprofit that prepares mid- and upper-level financial services managers for more responsibility. He also was awarded a Certificate of Executive Leadership from University of Wisconsin-Madison’s School of Business.

Jim Ryan, ’07, Indianapolis, is now a regional vice president of sales for PWCampbell, whose services include planning, designing, building, and construction management. He will be responsible for developing business plus client satisfaction in Indiana and Michigan. He previously was account vice president at Southwest Business Corp. in San Antonio, Texas.

Roderick “Rodney” Blount, ’08, Columbus, Ohio, was honored during the Alla Baba Temple No. 53’s 2018 Potentate Charity Ball. Founded in 1912, the temple has a long history of sponsoring and participating in charitable, benevolent, and humanitarian activities. Roderick is an educator at Columbus and Bexley city schools, has written a book about the history of African-Americans in Greene County, Ohio, and is a contributing editor for the Columbus African American News Journal.


Rachel Layton, ’11, Nashville, Tennessee, was named vice president of marketing and growth for Taziki’s Mediterranean Café. She will be instrumental in the growth of the Taziki’s chain, which recently opened its 84th restaurant. In 2017, the Nashville Area Chamber of Commerce named Rachel a Nashville Emerging Leader in hospitality and tourism. She also won a 2017 Women of Influence Award from Nashville Business Journal. She serves on the board for the Safe Haven Family Shelter.

Megan Carrico, ’12, Indianapolis, was named to the class of the 2019 Stanley K. Lacy Executive Leadership Series, representing Indianapolis Airport Authority (IAA). Megan is IAA’s manager of communications, overseeing all media interactions regarding airport business and the various roles the airport plays in the community. Megan was also the architect of IAA’s new website.

Chris Kozak, ’14, joined Indianapolis-based Plews Shadley Racher & Braun as an associate after completing a yearlong clerkship for the Hon. David McKeague on the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Sixth Circuit. He concentrates his practice in general civil litigation and also pursues his passion for pro bono representation of human trafficking survivors.

Nejla Routsong, MBA ’17, joined Indiana University Kelley School of Business as a lecturer of management and entrepreneurship for 2018-19. She is teaching classes in entrepreneurship, strategic management, venture growth, and sustainable business. Before teaching full-time, Nejla worked in corporate, nonprofit, and entrepreneurial ventures for 15 years.