As Assistant Professor of Wellness Management at Ball State University, Jane Ellery’s passion for person-centered, place-led community change steered her toward the placemaking movement and to the PPS team. Jane is interested in developing a better understanding of the relationship between engagement, placemaking, and wellbeing. A special leave from her university work will allow her to help lead the efforts of the “Healthy Places” team within the Placemaking Leadership Council, as they work to connect placemaking and the potential for positive health outcomes.
Early in her career, Jane worked as a clinical exercise specialist. During this time she served in different capacities within the medical system. Her roles ranged from Cardiology Specialist for the Ohio State University’s Department of Cardiology to Preventive Health Consultant for Exclusicare, Mutual of Omaha’s HMO product. Jane quickly realized that biometric screening, information sharing, and goal setting were not robust enough tools to combat the poor decisions that result from living in a consumer-centric, market-based society. Acknowledging that she would need to understand the world differently if she wanted to become an effective change-agent, Jane returned to school to study social marketing, and she earned a doctorate in Public Health with an emphasis in Social and Behavioral Health.
In August of 2003, Jane joined the Wellness Management faculty at Ball State University. She was introduced to the term “wellness” and to the ideas and philosophies of physician Halbert Dunn, sociologist Aaron Antonovsky, and political scientist Elinor Ostrom. The honor of being able to discuss and debate this diverse body of work with curious and engaged graduate students on a daily basis challenged Jane to become more creative and innovative in her thinking, which opened new avenues for encouraging meaningful change. One of those avenues was placemaking. Placemaking democratizes change and involves everyday people in the co-production of solutions. Collective and collaborative action leads citizens toward feelings of pride and belongingness, and the work accomplished together enhances built and social environments.
So, how do we get everyone involved? There are great tools and strategies available through PPS and other organizations. Jane will be working to help connect you with these resources and to offer meaningful personal and professional development opportunities that will allow you to tailor and use these resources in your community.
Welcome, Jane! We’re thrilled to have you on the team.