May 2021 News

Class of 2020 & Class of 2021 Commencement Weekend (Email)

Tuesday, May 11, 2021

Dear Parents/Students of the Class of 2020 & Class of 2021,

Friday, May 28th and Saturday, May 29th, marks the Academy’s 2020 & 2021 commencement weekend. This is an eventful weekend for Academy seniors and their families. Here you will find acomplete listing of all planned events.

The Indiana Academy commencement ceremony will be held on May 29, 2021, at 11:30 a.m., in the Worthen Arena on Ball State’s campus. The entrance doors are scheduled to open at 10:00 am. Please note: there may be some construction on campus so plan ahead and allow for an early arrival. For the Commencement Ceremony, parking is available around the Gate 1 entrance. Gate 1 entrance is located on the SW corner of Worthen Arena just off Bethel Avenue. Guests and graduates should plan to enter the doors in the lower level of Gate 1. Once you have entered Worthen Arena, the graduates will be directed to the staging area for entrance line up and all guests will go through the bag check area and then directed to the general admission seating via the steps and/or the elevator.

Since we will not be limiting the number of guests per graduate for the actual graduation ceremony on Saturday, May 29th, 2021, we ask all families to plan to sit in marked pods in numbers of 2, 4, 6 & 8 to allow for social distancing between the guests. We are, however, asking families to limit attendees to the number requested in the Graduation Attendee Survey sent out a few weeks ago. Event Staff will be present to help with seating and directing guests to the appropriate pod sections. All attendees, graduates, and staff will be required to wear masks. This will allow us to abide by the COVID-19 policies set forth by Ball State University and the CDC. Be aware: once you enter the arena, there will be no re-entry if you have to leave the building.

PLEASE NOTE: Once the commencement ceremony has ended, everyone will be required to exit the building promptly. It is suggested the attending guests, families, and graduates schedule an outdoors meeting place following the ceremony to meet up since groups are not allowed to congregate in the concourse or lobby of the building.

We ask that all graduation participants display proper decorum concerning attire and behavior. To further elaborate on the dress expectations for the graduation events so students and families can plan accordingly when moving out of the dorm rooms, please see the examples below of appropriate attire for Graduation.


Students: The recommended attire is dress, dress shirt with collar (tie optional), blouse, skirt, dress slacks, or pant suit. Dress shoes or dress sandals, but make sure they are something you can easily walk in because the incline/steps to the stage in Worthen Arena is steep. No flip-flops, shorts, t-shirts, blue jeans, gym clothes or gym shoes.

Students may decorate their mortarboards but the decorations must be flat to the surface and not dangle over the edges. No profanity, racist or vulgar language or symbols are permitted. The graduation events of the Indiana Academy are a joyous but formal celebrations. Please do not bring balloons, air horns, cowbells or other “noise” generating materials to either event. We believe the 2020 & 2021 graduation ceremony will be a memorable and joyous occasion.

Friday Night Senior Awards Program:

Friday, May 28th, starting at 7:00 pm is the Senior Recognition Night Program will be available online virtually. This program will take place similarly to last year’s program for the Class of 2020. This virtual program will recognize all seniors as to what college they plan on attending, scholarships awarded, offices held, and any extra-curricular activities they have participated in at the Academy. The web link information to this event will be published, emailed & posted online via all social media contacts at a later date closer to the actual viewing.

Friday Night Dinner & Saturday Morning Breakfast:

All students will be eating at Tally/Starbucks (with updated/modified hours) from May 9th through the remainder of the semester to include breakfast on Saturday, May 29th (Academy Graduation Day). If you have any special dietary needs during this period, please coordinate with the chef at Tally and/or the BSU nutritionist (Chef: ; Nutritionist: ). Please note that lunch and dinner will not be served on Graduation Day (May 29th).

IASMH Family Contact Information:

The Residential & Student Affairs department is requesting to obtain the following contact information for the families who will be staying in Muncie or the surrounding areas during Graduation Weekend. They would like to receive this information from each graduating senior’s family.

This information is needed if for any reason that the Indiana Academy’s staff needs to contact the graduating seniors’ parents immediately. Please complete the information below for the Graduation Weekend. If you have any further questions regarding this information, please contact Mr. Paul Douglas, Director of Residential and Student Affairs at (765) 285-8125. Thank you for your cooperation.

***NOTE*** Here is the Family Contact Information, please complete the following web link (Family Contact Information for Graduation Weekend) by Wednesday, May 26, 2021.

Disability Accommodations for Academy Graduation 2020 & 2021:

If you, another family member, relative, or guest need an accommodation related to a disability (i.e. wheelchair accessibility or sign language interpreter for deaf or hearing impaired) for the Graduation Ceremony (Saturday, May 29, 2021), please notify Mike McClure of your request via email at no later than May 21, 2021. It is important that we have this information by the date in order to allow time to arrange accommodations with personnel of Worthen Arena.

Photography, Graduation Pictures & Graduation DVDs:

Crabtree Photography will be taking photographs at this year’s Commencement ceremony. When the graduate arrives at Worthen Arena, they will have a simple photo capture to be compiled into a group image with all graduates and a poised portrait of the graduate with their diploma cover after they have crossed the stage. An order form and a sample of the photos will be available at the following website: Order can placed beginning May 12, 2021 through June 4, 2021. Once you enter the order website, you will first choose if you are part of the Class of 2020 or the Class of 2021. If you wish to purchase a picture package of the photos, all order instructions will be available online. Portrait orders will be mailed directly from Crabtree Photography to the home address indicated during the order process. If you have any further questions, please feel free to contact Crabtree Photography at (765) 747-6971.

The Indiana Academy families will have the availability to purchase Graduation DVD of the Commencement ceremony. It is prepared and edited from approximately five different video recorder positions in Worthen Arena. Families who wish to purchase one or more may order and prepay for them at this time for delivery during the summer. The cost per DVD is $10.50 each. Please follow the current web link ( to place your order.


As we have given the families an enormous amount of information in this letter, please be sure to read all of the information, the attached documents, and process the appropriate needed documentation on the following web links below by Wednesday, May 26th. This would include the following:

  1. The Family Contact Information Sheet (Family Contact Information for Graduation Weekend)
  2. Crabtree Photography Order Form (
  3. 2020 / 2021 Graduation DVD Order (

The faculty and staff commend the graduates of the Class of 2020 & Class of 2021 for their strong sense of intellectual purpose, resilience, performance, and achievement. They have developed the skills and character to succeed in whatever future endeavors they choose. We believe they will mature into the leaders our society requires for its continued success.

Thank you for your kind attention to these details and please feel free to contact Mrs. Candace Manship via phone at (765) 285-8102 or email at with any questions you may have.


Dain W. Kavars, Ph. D.
Executive Director

Jeffrey L. Smith, Ph. D.
Director of Academic Affairs

James Patterson
Chairperson Graduation Committee

Dr. Dain Kavars Named Executive Director

Monday, May 10, 2021

We are pleased to announce the appointment of Dr. Dain Kavars as the Executive Director of the Indiana Academy, beginning July 1, 2021.

Dr. Kavars earned his Ph.D. in Astrophysics from the University of Minnesota in 2006. He has worked at the Academy since 2006, where he has taught Physics and other science courses, then as Associate Director of Academic Affairs in 2015. Most recently, Dr. Kavars was appointed interim Executive Director for the 2020-2021 academic year.

Academy Senior Wins Photography Competition

Friday, April 30, 2021

Magda Alvis’ first place photograph
Magda Alvis’ first place photograph

Academy senior Magda Alvis placed first in the 15-18 age group in the 2021 Kimball Electronics Gives Nature Photography Contest. She also placed second and received two honorable mentions. The winners were announced during a virtual awards ceremony on Earth Day, April 22.

The contest was open to employees of Kimball Electronics as well as the general public, and submissions were received from several states and foreign countries. Money raised by the competition is donated to various charities, including those specifically chosen by category winners. Magda’s winnings will be donated to an environmental cause in southwestern Indiana.

Honorable MentionHonorable Mention
Magda’s Honorable Mention photographs

Dr. Kallmeyer Awarded Community Foundation Grant

Friday, April 30, 2021

The Board of Directors of The Community Foundation of Muncie and Delaware County Inc., has announced that Dr. Diane Kallmeyer, Assistant Teaching Professor of Biology and Chemistry, has been awarded a Robert P. Bell Education Grant for the fourth quarter. Diane’s grant will be used to provide art supplies for her May Term class. Congratulations to Dr. Kallmeyer for this award and recognition.

Academic Super Bowl Results

Thursday, April 22, 2021

Tuesday, April 20 was the area competition for Academic Super Bowl, with the theme “The American Woman 1920-2020.”

The Indiana Academy had 22 students compete in content areas of English, Fine Arts, Social Studies, Science, Mathematics, and Interdisciplinary in this year’s virtual contest, and we are thrilled to announce that the Math team scored 1st out of the 60 schools in our class, and the Science team scored 3rd in our class. These two teams will be advancing to the state competition on May 8th. Only the top six teams in each category advance.

Special thanks go to Kim Foltz for proctoring the competition, which was a grueling four hours in length!

Indiana Academy Team Results:

  • Interdisciplinary came in 34th with a score of 13/25
  • Fine Arts came in 22nd with a score of 14/25
  • English came in 12th with a score of 21/25
  • Social Studies came in 9th with a score of 15/25
  • Science came in 3rd with a score of 22/25 (State Qualifiers!)
  • Math came in 1st with a score of 20/25 (State Qualifiers!)

More information on Academic Super Bowl and complete results.

One Academy Day Raises Over $37,000

Wednesday, April 21, 2021

On April 6, 2021, we celebrated One Academy Day as part of the larger One Ball State Day initiative. Over the course of 24 hours, the entire Academy family – students, parents, alumni, faculty, staff, and administration – shared stories, remembered our 30-year history, and made a record-breaking number of gifts to ensure a bright future.

261 donors from 34 states and the District of Columbia made 287 gifts, which – along with $3,500 in challenge awards from Ball State University – raised $37,695 for the Academy and its programs. The Academy had more donors than any other part of Teachers College, and more donors than almost every other unit at Ball State, finishing third overall.

We are exceedingly grateful to everyone who participated in One Academy Day, sharing their memories and pictures, encouraging each other to give, and for being a part of the Academy family!

Learn more about One Academy Day.

Indiana Academy Commencement Information

Tuesday, April 13, 2021

Dear Indiana Academy 2020 and 2021 Graduates and Families:

We are excited to announce that we have secured a venue that will allow for an on-campus in-person commencement ceremony for the Class of 2020 and the Class of 2021. The commencement date is Saturday, May 29 @ 11:30 a.m. and will be held in Worthen Arena on Ball State University’s campus.

The Class of 2020 missed their commencement ceremony last year and this larger venue will allow for their return and adequate spacing of all students and families. Due to COVID-19 restrictions, there is an attendance limit inside the arena and we will need to ticket the event. We anticipate at least 6 tickets per graduate (and possibly more). To help us determine if more tickets are possible and assist in the distribution of tickets, we are asking all students/families to complete the following survey.

Commencement Survey

Please answer all of the questions in the survey, including the address you would like tickets sent to. Students not on campus will have tickets sent to the address provided. Students on campus will be given their tickets directly prior to the commencement ceremony.

Please complete this survey no later than Friday, April 23, 2021. Additional details on this year’s commencement will be provided in the coming weeks.

Please note that additional changes to this year’s commencement are possible due to the continually changing COVID-19 pandemic. The Indiana Academy will follow all recommendations provided by Ball State University and the Delaware County Health Department.

Dain Kavars
He/Him/His (What is This?)
Interim Executive Director
Indiana Academy for Science, Mathematics, and Humanities
Ball State University
Muncie, IN 47306

Indiana Academy Gameathon Results

Monday, April 12, 2021

From Saturday, April 10, to Sunday, April 11, 35 students participated in the Indiana Academy 24 hour Gameathon hosted by Beta Club and Key Club. This event was a charity marathon that raised money through Extra Life, a non-for-profit that partners with Children’s Miracle Network to support children’s hospitals like Riley Hospital. In total, the Academy team raised $2,579 and ranked 48th as a team on Extra Life’s team leaderboards. This was by far the most money ever raised during an Academy Gameathon.

Indiana Academy Prom 2021

Tuesday, March 30, 2021

Greetings Indiana Academy Students and Families:

We are pleased to announce that the Indiana Academy will host Prom on Friday, May 14th from 7-11 p.m. in Ball Gym here on Ball State’s campus. This event will provide many of the elements of a typical Indiana Academy Prom including an open dance floor, music, photography, snacks, prom court, and more.

As part of the Academy’s ongoing response to COVID-19, there will be some notable changes to this year’s event including, but not limited to: COVID-testing, mask-wearing, room capacity limits, physical distancing considerations, and food service. Only current Indiana Academy students will be able to purchase tickets and attend this year’s Prom.

Now that the event is approved, we are working hard to nail down all of the details. You will be receiving more in-depth information on the schedule, ticket sales, event protocols, and school policies over the coming weeks.

Paul Douglas & Bridger Fetters
Office of Residential and Student Affairs
The Indiana Academy for Science, Mathematics, and Humanities
Office: 765-285-8127 & 765-285-8123
Front Desk: 765-285-8125

Indiana Academy Spring Break Information

Thursday, March 4, 2021

Dear Indiana Academy Students and Families:

Spring Break is almost here!!! A message was sent last week with requirements all students must meet before returning to campus after the break.

The following requirements must be met before students can return to the residence hall on March 14.

  1. All students returning to campus, including non-residential students, must complete a COVID-19 self-certification form. This form will be similar to the one students completed before moving into the residence hall in August. This form can be accessed here:
    COVID-19 Self-Certification Form
  2. Students who travel outside of Indiana during spring break must submit a COVID-19 test before returning to the residence hall. Students can submit their test results through Canvas in the course titled “COVID-19 Test Result Submission – Spring 2021.” Additional instructions on submitting test results are here.

Additional quarantine restrictions are in place for students who travel out of the country during spring break. If you are traveling outside of the U.S., please contact me (see contact information in signature) ASAP to discuss these restrictions.

Students who remain in Indiana may get a COVID-19 test before returning to the Academy, but this is not a requirement.

We thank you for your patience and understanding. We will continue to communicate with our community any further pandemic issues or decisions that have implications for our students, faculty/staff, and families as they become available. For more information about COVID-19, please visit our website.

Dain Kavars
He/Him/His (What is This?)
Interim Executive Director
Indiana Academy for Science, Mathematics, and Humanities
Ball State University
Muncie, IN 47306