Shantanu Suman, Ball State University

2021 Emerging Leaders in Community Impact

Shantanu Suman is an Assistant Professor of Art at Ball State University.

For the first time, Indiana Campus Compact is honoring faculty and graduate teaching assistants from multiple Indiana Campus Compact partner institutions who are in the first seven years of their career and who demonstrate leadership and innovation in advancing and shaping community engagement across the field. The Indiana Campus Compact Emerging Leaders in Community Engagement recognition is designed to lift up emerging engaged scholarship work and the scholars who do it.

In her nomination letter, Kara DuQuette, Ball State’s Immersive Learning Project Manager said, “Mr. Suman creates opportunities for students to engage with the community in high-impact learning experiences that produce real-world solutions to some of the challenges that Muncie neighborhood’s face. Ball State students work with committee members from each community in different ways—as defined by the various partnerships—to develop the neighborhood’s unique and meaningful visual identity that can then be used across various applications and platforms. These identities are used to bring people into the community and showcase what makes each place special and one that someone would want to visit and spend time in. These community partnerships have gleaned rich results that have benefited all partners involved and continue to promote connection and growth throughout the Muncie community.” In her letter of support, Ball State’s Associate Director of the Office of Community Engagement says, “I initially connected with Shantanu (Shawn-ta-new) in Fall 2017 as part of planning a first-of-its-kind community dinner on Muncie’s Washington Street Bridge. The organizers hoped this would be the first in a series of bridge community dinners. We knew that a logo would help us advertise the event and tie subsequent events together, but we needed to start advertising soon. I was referred to Shantanu (Shawn-ta-new) that August, just as he was preparing to start his second year at Ball State. I presented him with an exceptionally challenging task: Create a logo that captured the spirit and intent of a community event that had never happened before and could be applied to subsequent, yet-to-be planned dinners in yet-to-be-determined locations. And do it all in two to three weeks. I fully expected Shantanu (Shawn-ta-new) to tell me there was not enough time, or for him to quickly throw together a logo himself. Instead, he saw the project as a unique challenge for his students to turn around ideas quickly. He invited me to his class to share about our hopes for the Bridge Dinner, and his students were attentive and asked thoughtful questions. He took them off-campus to view the Washington Street Bridge and understand how it fits into the larger context of our city. He advised his students as they constructed three unique, high-quality concepts, all presented in a highly professional manner in multiple formats to fit whatever marketing needs we might have. In short, I was blown away.”