About The Researchers

Jennifer Erickson is an Assistant Professor in the Department of Anthropology at Ball State University. In addition to teaching the Ethnographic Methods class that provides the basis for this project, she also teaches courses in the history and theory of anthropology, gender, race and ethnicity, globalization, migration, violence, applied anthropology, and urban anthropology. Her research is about refugees from Bosnia-Herzegovina and South Sudan in the United States. Future research includes research with students in Muncie and comparing Muncie with Zenica, Bosnia-Herzegovina, another small postindustrial city.

Barbara Dickensheets is a senior in Anthropology with a concentration in Applied Anthropology. In addition to the RNC neighborhood project, she has also spent this past semester researching and studying Prophetstown with another class. This is her first immersive learning course, but she has always had a love of stories and other people. Her classes have helped her use skills and knowledge in research to become a better writer and researcher.  She is very excited to graduate this semester with a B.S. in Anthropology and take what she has learned, especially this past semester, to apply to the “real world.”

Kathryn Powell is a junior studying History at Ball State University, with a minor in German. The RNC Neighborhood  project is her second immersive learning course, and she enjoys getting out of the classroom and applying her studies to real-world projects. Her love for history initially drew her to the project, but over the semester she discovered a new appreciation and excitement for anthropology. She looks forward to combining anthropology and history in her future studies, and is thankful for everyone who contributed to the RNC Neighborhood project this semester.

Allie Diaz  is a senior and a double major in Anthropology and Geography. Her concentrations are Applied Cultural Anthropology and Travel and Tourism. She is originally from Mexico, but has been living in the states for over ten years. She is looking forward to graduating in May, and putting her skills and knowledge to the test.

Chelce Carter is an Anthropology graduate student focusing on the prevention of domestic violence. She will be doing an internship with a local domestic violence shelter next semester, followed by work in the Muncie community. Over the course of this project, she learned new graphic design skills, practiced previously learned interview techniques, and aided with multiple parts of the project as needed. She has really enjoyed working with the class and Dr. Erickson. It has been a great experience that she will be able to take with her after graduation in May.

Abby Clark is a junior double majoring in Applied Cultural Anthropology and Women and Gender Studies. This project allowed her to gain hands-on experience practicing anthropological research methods she has learned in previous courses, and applying theory to the data from those methods. This amazing experience has deepened her interest and love for anthropology while inspiring her to continue toward attending graduate school upon graduation from Ball State University.

Leslie Thomas is a senior majoring in Communication Studies with a minor in Organizational Communication. He enjoys learning about different cultures and recently completed a two-month internship in Cape Town, South Africa. After previously taking a communication course that required an ethnographic research project, he wanted to learn more about the ethnographic research process. This is his second immersive learning course, and has taught him the importance of asking great questions and how to organize data, which he hopes will benefit him upon graduatiom in May 2017.

Mia Nickelson is a junior and a double major in Applied Cultural Anthropology and Spanish. She loved having the opportunity to do anthropological research in the RNC neighborhood so she could experience first hand interactions between the anthropologist and residents. She hopes to do work with other communities across the United States and Latin America in the future, so this immersive project was very useful to her.

Alexis Smith is a senior double majoring in Telecommunications with a concentration in audio production and Anthropology. This immersive learning project has been a great experience and she has enjoyed learning about ethnographic research methods.

Joey Coachys is a senior double majoring in Anthropology and Religious Studies. He currently lives in the neighborhood and thinks he was incredibly fortunate to be able to study the neighborhood that he lives in with such depth. He is also grateful to be able to work with such a great group of class members on this project.

Katie Harper is a senior majoring in Anthropology with a minor in Art History. She enjoys  history, and has sincerely enjoyed the opportunity to work with RNC residents and conduct ethnographic research for this immersive learning project. She hopes to apply the training that this class has afforded her into a career working in the museum sector, and found this project to be extremely helpful in developing effective interview strategies.

Savannah Myers is a junior majoring in Cultural Anthropology and minoring in History.

Iesha Alspaugh is a senior double majoring in Philosophy and Integrated Studies with a minor in History. This is her second immersive learning project and she joined due to her interest and love for the city of Muncie and the Riverside/ Normal City Neighborhood. One of her aspirations in life is to one day own a home in the neighborhood. She plans to graduate from Ball State University in May of 2017.


Photographs by Jennifer Erickson