I’ve talked before about the fact that my Ph.D. institution wasn’t (and isn’t) a flagship university. In fact, when I talk about it, I frequently find myself saying “Ball State University, in Muncie, IN,” because a fair number of folks outside academia don’t know much about it (beyond David Letterman, maybe), especially in this part of the country. Our peer institutions in the Mid-American Conference are similar regional or directional schools, even those with strong programs of their own.
But in fact, Ball State’s English program was a tremendous place for me to do the work I needed to do, offering me an energetic, supportive faculty, plenty of development opportunities, and perhaps most significantly, the financial support I needed both for my research and the general business of living as a grad student (particularly one with a wife and small Spawn.) I look back on my four years as a student there with both personal and professional satisfaction, and would happily recommend BSU to my students, should one be interested in that path.
But that’s not the cool part — or at least not the one I’m talking about this evening. Ball State’s undergraduate English program is doing something unusual: It’s experiencing a trend of growing enrollment. Why is that happening up there, in a town that couldn’t even support a topless bar? The Department’s Director of Undergraduate Studies, Cathy Day, gives us a look into what’s been going on. It’s worth checking out.
Chirp, chirp, y’all. (And if you need a visit from a crime writing, blogging medievalist, y’all know where to find me.)