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Ball State appoints director of immersive learning

Contributed by: Kari Gayes
Published: Friday, 11 April 2014 1:30 PM
Ball State University has appointed Jennifer Blackmer, associate professor of theatre and managing director of University Theatre, to the position of director of immersive learning.

Blackmer joined Ball State’s faculty in 2003 and has developed four immersive learning seminars in her 11-year tenure—two at the Virginia B. Ball Center for Creative Inquiry and two as part of the Provost Immersive Learning Grants. She was the recipient of both the university’s Outstanding Creative Endeavor Award and Excellence in Teaching Award during the 2010–11 academic year.

"Jennifer brings tremendous experience to this position, having led students in several types of immersive projects,” said Terry King, provost and vice president for academic affairs. “She is a proven collaborator and innovator. We are quite fortunate to have her assume this vital position on campus."

In her new position, Blackmer will oversee the immersive learning mission, activities, and objectives of the university. She will engage in short- and long-range planning and programming for faculty and students, act as the director of the Virginia Ball Center, and serve as university spokesperson on immersive learning for both internal and external audiences.

“Immersive learning is the hallmark of a Ball State education, and everything about it deeply aligns with my philosophy of teaching and learning and, frankly, of life,” Blackmer said. “As a practicing theatre artist and playwright, I am a true ‘interdisciplinarian’ at heart, and as a faculty member who has undertaken four large-scale immersive projects myself, I have seen first-hand the transformative impact this mode of learning has on students. I couldn’t be more enthusiastic to become the chief advocate for immersive learning both on and off campus.”

Blackmer graduated summa cum laude from the University of Evansville with a bachelor of science in theatre in 1992 and went on to earn a master of fine arts in theatre directing from the University of Minnesota, Twin Cities, in 2001. She is an accomplished playwright and director whose work has been performed in theatres in New York, Minneapolis, and the Chicago area, among others.

Blackmer will assume her new responsibilities on May 12.