Claim Ownership


Subscribed: 0Played: 0


Randy Pond is an accomplished Ball State graduate who presently serves as the chair of our University’s comprehensive fundraising campaign.As our May Commencement speaker, Randy inspired our graduates with his story about being a first-generation college student. After graduating from Ball State in 1977, he embarked upon a successful and fulfilling career that allowed him to serve as a corporate leader for one of the largest and fastest growing technology companies in the world. In this episode, Randy talks about how his Ball State education changed his life. He also reveals why he moved to the West Coast and what he has loved about working in the tech industry. Randy also shares more about his involvement in charitable and civic organizations in California, as well as his reason for giving back to his alma mater in the spirit of beneficence. If you enjoy this episode, please leave a review to support the show. 
Earlier this month, Jeff Mitchell began his tenure as Ball State’s new director of athletics. Already he has identified his vision for the next era of Ball State Athletics—a vision inspired by his previous experience leading athletics departments at universities across the country. In this episode, Jeff talks about playing baseball in his youth and how his passion for the sport led to becoming a student-athlete at Millsaps College. And he reveals how his commitment to Millsaps’ athletics department—and to being qualified for future professional opportunities—allowed his career to flourish. He also shares how his administrative experiences at Santa Clara University and Southern Mississippi University have given him the confidence and the conviction to accelerate the success of Ball State Athletics. And when asked about his second career as a college sports announcer, Jeff gives listeners a sample of how he would get the job done.  If you enjoy this episode, please leave a review to support the show.  
Mali Jeffers graduated from Ball State University in 2004. Since then, she has combined her passion for art and design with her skills in advertising and marketing to serve as co-founder of GANGGANG, a cultural developmental firm. Together with her husband, Alan Bacon, Mali is committed to building culture and community in her hometown of Indianapolis. Since founding GANGGANG in 2020, Mali’s firm has contributed works of public art and performances in conjunction with the 2021 NCAA men’s basketball tournament in Indianapolis. GANGGANG has also staged two successful iterations of BUTTER, a multi-day fine art fair that has garnered national media attention from Forbes and the New York Times.  In this episode, Mali shares more about her desire to elevate artists of color and her dedication to using the arts as a means of bringing people together. Mali also discusses the meaning behind GANGGANG’s name—how the word “gang” reflects the journey that she and Alan are taking as entrepreneurs who are dedicated to equity in the arts. If you enjoy this episode, please leave a review to support the show. 
Kate Doerksen is a 2005 graduate of Ball State who, as a Cardinal, excelled on the court and in the classroom. As a star on our women’s basketball team, Kate earned several MAC Honors, as well as a spot in our Athletics Hall of Fame. While majoring in entrepreneurship at Ball State, Kate was empowered by her professors to believe she had the grit and the passion required to start her own business. And while she was earning her MBA from Stanford, she did exactly that as the founder of Ditto, an e-commerce website for glasses.In this episode, Kate shares what drew her to Ball State and what she enjoyed most about playing Division 1 basketball followed by her short stint in the WNBA.Kate also discusses her career path from Wall Street to wanting to become an innovative leader in the retail industry, providing valuable insights into why being an entrepreneur is “not for the faint of heart.” And Kate shares why she remains so involved with her alma mater, most notably in her new role as a member of the Ball State University Foundation Board. If you enjoy this episode, please leave a review to support the show.  
Stedman Graham is an author, an educator, and an entrepreneur. After earning his undergraduate degree from Hardin-Simmons University in Texas, Stedman served in the Army, mostly overseas, where he also played in the European professional basketball league. While in the military, Stedman also earned his master’s degree in education from Ball State.In this episode, Stedman shares why he chose to attend Ball State. He also talks about creating his nine-step plan for success—a plan he travels the globe sharing with others—and how his approach to “identity leadership” prepared him for his relationship with Oprah Winfrey, one of the most famous women in the world. If you enjoy this episode, please leave a review to support the show. 
Michael Lewis was hired as Ball State’s new men’s basketball coach in March. Coach Lewis’ arrival ushers in a new chapter of leadership for Ball State Athletics. It’s also an exciting new chapter for Michael, who has returned to his home state after spending the past three years serving as an assistant coach at UCLA. In this episode, Coach Lewis talks about his youth playing basketball in Jasper, Indiana, his days as a star point guard for IU, and his experience as an assistant coach at the Division I Level for the past 18 years. He also shares his impressions of this year’s Cardinals, which games this coming season have him most excited, and why he wants his players to view him as more than just their coach. If you enjoy this episode, please leave a review to support the show. 
Dan Towriss graduated from Ball State in 1994 with a degree in actuarial science. Over the course of his career, he’s led a number of successful insurance company acquisitions and earned a reputation for growth and a return on investment. Today, he is the CEO and President of Group 1001, an insurance holding company based in Indianapolis with assets valued at more than $58 billion.In addition to his commitment to his profession, Dan has a passion for sports and philanthropy. Currently, he serves on the board of two national nonprofit organizations, the Cal Ripkin Senior Foundation, as well as RISE, an organization dedicated to empowering the sports community to eliminate racism and champion social justice. In this episode, Dan talks about baseball being the formative game of his youth, how Ball State shaped him into the business leader he’s become, and how he’s been inspired to give back to our University—and to Muncie, where he grew up.Dan also talks about the business relationships he’s fostered with some of the biggest sporting enterprises in the state—including the Indianapolis 500—and how those relationships have strengthened his resolve to be an involved partner in the community. If you enjoy this episode, please leave a review to support the show. 
Ashley C. Ford is a New York Times-best selling author, podcaster, and educator. Her debut memoir, “Somebody’s Daughter,” chronicles her life growing up as a young Black girl in Fort Wayne, Indiana.Ashley’s book was chosen by Oprah Winfrey for publication under her imprint, “An Oprah Book.” In addition to being on a first-name basis with the former queen of daytime talk TV, Ashley has written national magazine features about other celebrities, politicians, and athletes, including actress Anne Hathaway, Vice President Kamala Harris, and Serena Williams. In this episode, Ashley talks about the challenges in her childhood, and why writing about them made her feel less alone and better equipped to process the emotional impact of those memories.Ashley also shares about her undergraduate experience at Ball State and how the positive opportunities she experienced at our University have made her want to give back to her community today. You can learn more about Ashley at You can follow Ashley on Twitter at @iSmashFizzle and President Mearns at @PresidentMearns. If you enjoy this episode, please leave a review to support the show.  
Don Yaeger is a New York Times best-selling author, award-winning keynote speaker, and leadership coach whose clients include executives in the banking, tech, and entertainment industries.After graduating from Ball State, Don worked as a newspaper reporter before he was hired as a writer and associate editor for Sports Illustrated, the world’s most popular weekly sports magazine. Don parlayed his career at the magazine into a successful second career writing the life stories of some of the biggest names in sports.In this episode, Don talks about how his youth took him from Hawaii to Muncie, Indiana, about the Ball State professor and staff member who were instrumental to helping him chart his life path, and what it was like to see his byline for the first time in the pages of Sports Illustrated. Don shares the meaningful experience of writing the autobiography of his hero, Walter Payton, and what inspired him to start his own podcast, “Corporate Competitor.” He also reveals the characteristics of greatness that he’s witnessed in many of the athletes he’s interviewed along with the advice he’d give to Ball State students pursuing their own fulfilling careers.You can learn more about Don at You can follow Don on Twitter at @DonYaeger and President Mearns at @PresidentMearns. If you enjoy this episode, please leave a review to support the show. 
Vince Bertram is a native of New Castle, Indiana. He earned four degrees at Ball State University, including a bachelor’s degree in education and a master’s degree in educational administration. After graduating from Ball State, Vince spent 20 years in education as a teacher, a principal, and a superintendent. Today, he serves as President & CEO of Project Lead The Way (PLTW), an Indianapolis-based nonprofit organization that provides a transformative learning experience for PreK-12 students and teachers across the country.In this episode, Vince talks about his upbringing, what inspired him to become a teacher and a coach, and his memories of working with legendary coaches John Wooden and Rick Majerus.Vince describes some of the influential educators he met as a student at Ball State and the moment he knew he was ready to leave his successful career as a school administrator to lead PLTW.  Vince also shares his thoughts about Ball State’s innovative partnership with Muncie Community Schools and weighs in on how our country might address inequities in our educational system as a result of the COVID-19 pandemic. You can learn more about Project Lead The Way at You can follow Vince on Twitter at @vincebertram and President Mearns at @PresidentMearns. If you enjoy this episode, please leave a review to support the show. 
Our Call to Beneficence is a podcast that features Ball State University President Geoffrey S. Mearns interviewing guests who embody the spirit of Beneficence through their professional success and their personal service.Beneficence means the quality of doing good through service and philanthropy. At our university, Beneficence is also the iconic statue on our campus that serves as a tangible symbol of our mission and our commitment to our enduring values: excellence, innovation, courage, integrity, inclusiveness, social responsibility, and gratitude.Enjoy these conversations with educators, innovators, creatives, and professionals who will inform and inspire you. If you’d like to connect with President Mearns, find him on Twitter (@PresidentMearns). And if you like what you hear on this podcast, please leave us a review.  
Sutton Foster is a two-time Tony Award winning actor, singer and dancer. She is also an instructor at Ball State University.Fresh off her starring role alongside Hugh Jackman in the revival of The Music Man, Sutton returned to Ball State this Spring to prepare for an upcoming concert series and to teach and mentor our students, as she has been doing since 2010.In this episode, Sutton shares more about her Midwestern upbringing, how she got her first big break on Broadway, and how her love of crafting has helped her manage the pressures of life as an entertainer.She also reveals how close she came to studying at Ball State herself, and why she is now so passionately committed to helping the next generation of performers from our University find their voice—as well as their own fulfilling careers. If you enjoy this episode, please leave a review to support the show. 
For more than 30 years, Jennifer Mearns has been the life partner of Geoffrey S. Mearns, President of Ball State University. She is also a mother, a grandmother, and an accomplished professional, having worked in sports marketing before becoming an executive recruiter.In this episode, Jennifer shares more about her family, her college experience, and her initial impressions of Geoff when they first met. She also provides insights into how the couple navigated multiple career moves—and more than a few major life changes—throughout their years together. Jennifer also reveals her influence in encouraging Geoff not to pass up one of the most meaningful experiences of his legal career. And she describes some of the reasons she loves Ball State, from her involvement in the Discovery Group to her interactions with students. If you enjoy this episode, please leave a review to support the show. 
Angela Ahrendts is an accomplished Ball State graduate who, over the course of her career in business, has provided visionary leadership at the helm of companies including Burberry, the luxury fashion house, and the tech giant Apple.In this episode, Angela reveals the sign that (literally) pointed her to study at Ball State. She also talks about how her undergraduate experience provided her with the valuable learning opportunity to explore New York City, where she launched her career in fashion. And she shares how her Midwestern values inspire her to serve others, both as a leader in business and as a humanitarian committed to using her expertise to benefit the world. If you enjoy this episode, please leave a review to support the show.  
Kayla Davion graduated from Ball State in 2017 with a degree in musical theatre from our College of Fine Arts. Before she even finished her undergraduate career, Kayla landed a part in her first Broadway show, Waitress.Since that initial opportunity, she’s consistently appeared in several shows on the Great White Way, landing roles in the musicals King Kong and Tina: The Tina Turner Musical. In this episode, Kayla describes how discovering theater helped her find her path in life and she talks about several Ball State professors who were instrumental to her extraordinary success.She also shares how she stays healthy enough to perform as Tina Turner on stage (“I wish you could see my drawer of vitamins!”) and what advice she’d give to other performers wanting to pursue their own creative dreams.   If you enjoy this episode, please leave a review to support the show.  
From 1984 to 2000, Dr. John Worthen served as the 11th President of Ball State University. During his tenure, Dr. Worthen earned the respect and admiration of his colleagues—and the campus community—on account of his effective leadership of the institution.  In this episode, Dr. Worthen recounts growing up as a child during the Great Depression and what inspired him to pursue a career in higher education. Dr. Worthen also reflects on his experiences serving in the Navy, meeting his wife, Sandra, and the many milestones of his presidency, including the successful completion of Ball State’s first capital campaign and helping the institution become nationally recognized for its use of technology to enhance learning. If you enjoy this episode, please leave a review to support the show. 
Deborah and James Fallows are experienced, accomplished journalists who have influenced culture through their insights on politics, foreign affairs, and life in America. Together, the Fallows wrote Our Towns, a best-selling book that was published in 2018. Our Towns describes how they spent four years traveling 100,000 miles in their single-engine plane. The couple reported from dozens of cities and towns across America, and their book celebrates how these communities are successfully navigating the socio-economic challenges in America in the 21st century. In this episode, Deb and Jim talk about their life story and share some of the defining attributes of cities and towns that are on the rise.They also share observations from their visits to Muncie and why they believe Ball State’s partnership with Muncie Community Schools is “unprecedented in modern American history.” If you enjoy this episode, please leave a review to support the show.  
From 2004 to 2014, Dr. Jo Ann Gora served as the 14th President of Ball State University. During her tenure, she championed immersive learning, created a new brand—“Education Redefined”—for the institution, and successfully engaged with some of our most prominent graduates, including David Letterman.Dr. Gora shares what it was like to grow up in the 1960s, what drew her to academia, and why she wanted to become president of Ball State. She also speaks candidly about the research she conducted before interviewing for the job, including crashing a Ball State alumni event with her husband, Roy. In this episode, Dr. Gora also looks back on some defining moments of her presidency, and she reveals the innovative Commencement speaker whose message to Ball State graduates made a lasting impression on her. If you enjoy this episode, please leave a review to support the show. 
Dick Emens was just a young boy when his father, John R. Emens, became the sixth president of Ball State. It was 1945. That same year marked the end of the Second World War—and the beginning of a tremendous period of growth for Ball State. In this episode, Dick talks about what it was like to grow up on campus during that time. He also reflects on how his father’s transformative leadership and optimistic personality earned him the admiration of our faculty, staff, and students along with a playful nickname. Dick also shares why he and his wife, Bea, have chosen to remain so committed to Ball State. The couple are attorneys who practice law together. Together, they created the Emens Scholars Program to honor the legacy of President Emens and his wife, Aline. The program provides financial support to a select number of Ball State students entering their freshman year who have demonstrated outstanding leadership in their high schools and in their local communities.   If you enjoy this episode, please leave a review to support the show.   
Brandon Pope is an anchor reporter for Chicago’s CW26. He’s also an award-winning television host, media critic, and columnist. In the years since he graduated from Ball State in 2014, Brandon has applied the skills he learned in the classroom, along with the power of networking, to stand out in one of the country’s biggest media markets. He’s also parlayed his digital media expertise into a contributing writer position with EBONY magazine.  In this episode, Brandon talks about how his distinctive learning experiences at Ball State prepared him for a fast-paced career anchoring live newscasts and reporting on some of the biggest names in sports and entertainment. Brandon also reveals why he’s passionate about giving minorities a voice in his industry and why he was honored to serve as keynote speaker for this year’s Unity Week, a popular campus celebration that illustrates Ball State’s continuing commitment to diversity and inclusion.If you enjoy this episode, please leave a review to support the show. 
Download from Google Play
Download from App Store