October 2016 News
Monday, October 31, 2016
For the third year in a row, Ball State University’s Center for International Development (CID) was selected to host the Pan-Africa Youth Leadership Program (PAYLP), a program sponsored by the U.S. Department of State. Selected students travel to the United States in the spring, summer, and fall each year. From October 12 through 25, 72 African high school students and adult mentors from Benin, Burundi, Democratic Republic of Congo, Mali, Mauritania, and Niger visited the Ball State campus and the Indiana Academy.
After four days spent in Washington, DC learning about U.S. history and culture along with our nation’s system of democratic governance, they spent two weeks at Ball State University. On the university campus participants discovered what classroom-based lectures are like, experienced training and simulations focused on social entrepreneurship, attended interactive workshops, and were involved in community engagement. The participants also had time for site visits, cultural and volunteer activities, and speaking engagements which provided hands-on learning opportunities for skills application and networking.
Early in their visit, Indiana Academy students joined the exchange students for lunch and attended a panel discussion with them. Our students and the visiting exchange students were able to get to know one another through conversations on their cultures, lifestyles, interests, and current events. For French instructor Jennifer Robinson this was an extremely valuable opportunity. “So often people don’t realize that French is spoken in over 40 countries around the world,” Robinson said. “So having student representatives from six francophone countries in Africa visit our school really makes learning French relevant.” Our students also benefit from the international interactions. Indiana Academy student Katie Kolozsvari summed up the experience, “I loved being able to use my French with native French speakers, and it was amazing to be able to learn about the different current events in the countries that were represented.”
Friday, October 28, 2016
It’s been a little over a year since David Haynes, Instructor of English at the Indiana Academy, received a chance at his longtime dream to bring a film to production. Haynes and his collaborator on the film, Anthony Collamati, Associate Professor of New Media at Alma College, produced a short thriller titled Break My Bones, that was funded by a Lilly Endowment grant and a Kickstarter campaign.
According to Haynes, “the kickstarter before the Kickstarter” was receiving the $10,000 grant from the Lilly Endowment Teacher Creativity Fellowship Program in 2015 followed by raising an additional $10,00 through a Kickstarter campaign. That money helped pay the cost of film production, including salaries for professional cast and crew members, and developing the movie in a post-production studio. The shoot itself lasted only five days and took place entirely in Muncie. “To have helped to create Break My Bones, for all its strengths and flaws as a short film is to have begun the process of fulfilling a lifelong dream,” Haynes said.
So far, Break My Bones has played at the Rhode Island International Film Festival (tied for first in “best cinematography”), the Hollyshorts Film Festival in Hollywood (won “best thriller”), the Fantasia International Film Festival (Montreal, Canada), and the Oaxaca Film Festival (Mexico).
Before the end of 2016, the film will also play in southern Italy at the Pentedattilo Film Festival and in southern France at the Festival Tous Court, Aix-en-Provence, ranked one of the top 25 short film festivals in the world.
Haynes has discussed screenplay writing and filmmaking with his students, and his creative writing classes have the opportunity to work on a short film screenplay towards the end of the semester. He hasn’t been able screen the 23 minute film for students or faculty yet because the filmmakers have to be careful about screenings in order to qualify for festival consideration at many places. However, there are plans to show the film somewhere in Muncie in the near future.