Our Team

Digital Literacy Pathways: An educator’s guide to digital literacy is a professional learning series resulting from a yearlong collaboration between Ball State’s Center for Emerging Media Design & Development and the University’s Teachers College, Muncie Community Schools, Burris Laboratory School, Delaware County Community Schools, and Yorktown Community Schools. The project grew from a desire to support K-5 educators in teaching digital literacy.

In Spring 2020, EMDD received a $25,000 grant from the Discovery Women’s Group to develop Digital Literacy. Discovery is a women’s collaborative philanthropic group created to support and fund innovative projects and programs at Ball State University – impacting students and benefiting our local, national, and international communities. This project recognizes that for K-5 students to master digital literacy skills, teachers must be better supported in their digital literacy instructional efforts.

Project Directors

Dr. Jennifer Palilonis

Jennifer is the George and Frances Ball Distinguished Professor of Multimedia Journalism and a full professor in the Department of Journalism. She also serves as the Director of the Center for Emerging Media Design and Development (EMDD). She is known for her creative and innovative endeavors. She and her students also have worked with the Professor Garfield Foundation, building a digital literacy curriculum for children K-5, and she leads the David Letterman Learning Experience, an ongoing interdisciplinary immersive learning project focused on intersections between technology, art, and storytelling. Garfield Creator Jim Davis and former late-night talk show host David Letterman are Ball State alumni.

Dr. Kate Shively

Kate Shively is an Assistant Professor of Elementary Education at Ball State University. She holds degrees in elementary education, secondary education, and curriculum and instruction. Her research agenda focuses on exploring the design of learning environments, digital literacy, and teacher preparation in K-6 and higher education settings. Most recent publications explore the intersection between design thinking, makerspaces, and professional learning; online teaching field experiences and teacher preparation; education leadership and extended STEM learning. Her career spans across PK-6 schools, out-of-school, and higher education contexts in Indiana.

Melodie Griffin

Melodie Griffin is the project manager for the Center for Emerging Media Design & Development at Ball State University. She also serves as the Unified Research Laboratory assistant and an adjunct instructor for the University’s Department of Journalism.

EMDD Graduate Student Team

Savannah Dill

Savannah Dill is an experienced graphic designer with an emerging taste for UX design and research. She thinks of herself as a hybrid practitioner, both a thinker and a doer, being able not only to identify real opportunities at the fuzzy front end of the innovation process but also, design, develop and help drive a product to completion. While collaborating on the Professor Garfield Project, she works with the team primarily to lead the innovation process through design thinking, usability testing, and content creation. She has a strong and diverse academic background with a Bachelor's of General Studies degree focused on Science and Mathematics from Indiana University South Bend and graduated with her master’s degree in Emerging Media Design and Development at Ball State University in 2021.

Patrick Ormsby

Patrick Ormsby is an experienced professional graphic designer and second-year Emerging Media Design and Development student at Ball State University, who is fascinated with interaction design and actionable gamification. In everything Patrick designs, he looks at with a critical eye to make sure the end users’ needs are met and that everything looks and functions well. In short, he likes to create great work that works. As a member of the Digital Literacy Pathways team, he designed learning modules, developed wireframes of the website, and was the lead designer of the Digital Literacy Pathways logo and branding. After Patrick graduated from Cazenovia College with a BFA in Visual Communications, he worked as a junior art director at an advertising agency in Syracuse, NY. He currently works as a graphic designer at a nonprofit north of Washington, D.C.

Eileen Porzuczek

Eileen is an experienced content creator with backgrounds in writing, editing, public relations/marketing, publishing, teaching, customer relationship management, and various forms of design. As a professional, she values social responsibility and approaches projects with research and analysis to ensure the content produced successfully meets its goals. She has worked on a diverse range of projects and presented her work at numerous conferences. Eileen graduated with a Bachelor of Arts in English with concentrations in creative writing, professional writing, and digital media from Ball State University in 2019. She graduated with her master’s degree in Emerging Media Design and Development at Ball State University in 2021. Eileen works as an Internal Copywriter for CopyPress.

Angelos Mandilaris

Angelos is a Graduate Assistant for the Emerging Media Design & Development department while getting his Graduate Degree in Information & Communication Sciences at Ball State. He has a mathematics background but joined the EMDD department in order to expand his skills and try a different career path. As a member of the Digital Literacy Pathways team, he has helped with the brand identity development, the social media strategy, and the video production. Angelos is also part of the Men’s Volleyball team at Ball State and is expected to graduate on the Spring of 2022.

Teacher Consultants

Jeri Harman

Jeri has been an educator of gifted students throughout her career. She is passionate about meeting the academic needs of all students, including those who are highly able or gifted. She is also a proponent of computer science education and teaching elementary students to code. Jeri earned her bachelor’s degree in Elementary Education and her master’s Degree in Educational Psychology, with an emphasis on gifted education from Ball State University. She has been a full-time high ability teacher in the Delaware Community School System for more than 20 years. She also works part-time teaching coding to kids through TechWise Academy.

Sarah Finn

Sarah is a fifth-grade High Ability Teacher at Muncie Community Schools, Sarah has a Bachelor's Degree in Elementary and Special Education from Ball State University. She is currently pursuing her Master's in Curriculum and Educational Technology. She acts as a mentor teacher for the elementary teacher within the school which she teaches. When not teaching, she enjoys playing with her son Ezra, and directing the elementary theater department.

Sarah Hill

Sarah is both a Muncie, Indiana native and a 2013 graduate of the Ball State Elementary Education Program. She was a Program Director and Administrator for Apple Tree YMCA, followed by a six year stent teaching Kindergarten at Cowan Elementary. She is currently a second grade teacher for Yorktown Community Schools at Pleasant View Elementary. Sarah has a huge passion for teaching with STEM. In Summer 2020, she received her M.Ed. in Instructional Design and has enjoyed several curriculum design projects over the past year, including helping to write a STEM Curriculum for an Indiana Educational Consulting Company.

Victoria Kinsey

Originally from Danville, Indiana, Victoria graduated from Taylor University in 2019 with a degree in Elementary Education. She is a second-year teacher at Grissom Elementary in Muncie, Indiana. She taught second grade for the 2019-2020 school year and currently teaches third grade. She loves reading beautiful books to her students and encouraging them in the fact that they can do hard things.

Stephanie Onieal

Stefanie is a primary grade educator at Burris Laboratory School in Muncie, Indiana. In her 28-year career she has taught first through fourth grades, Reading Recovery, Special Education, and was a Literacy/Media Specialist. Stefanie has a bachelor’s degree from Indiana University and a Master’s degree from Ball State. She was named the Ball Brothers Foundation Excellence in Teaching award winner in 2020.

Kristina Gibson

Upon graduating from Ball State University in 1990 with a bachelor's degree in elementary education, Kristina began her teaching career as a preschool teacher for Muncie Head Start. In 1996, she began teaching for Delaware Community Schools as a second-grade teacher at DeSoto Elementary where she taught for 14 years. In 2001, she earned a master’s degree in elementary education from Ball State University. She has been teaching first grade at Albany Elementary School in Indiana for the past 11 years. She currently serves as the PTO secretary, the Student Council Sponsor, and a MATH Bowl coach.

Kayla Stone

As a Ball State University graduate, Kayla grew up in Muncie, Indiana. She began teaching with Muncie Community Schools during her student teaching experience at Grissom Elementary School. She continued to teach at Grissom for four years before moving to West View Elementary. This is her seventh year with Muncie Community Schools as a fourth grade teacher.

Website Developer

Darik Hall

Darik graduated from Ball State in 2011 with a Bachelors of Arts in Telecommunications. He worked for five years at Paws Inc., better known as the Garfield studio, as a web developer. He is currently employed as a lead developer at Honest Game, as well as running a small media production company.