Civic engagement awards to kick-off Ivy Tech’s annual O’Bannon Institute today

Ivy Tech Community College’s Bloomington campus is hosting its 12th annual O’Bannon Institute for Community Service on April 29-30 and May 1. An awards ceremony to honor faculty, staff, students, and community partners for excellence in civic engagement will kick off the annual three-day event. The awards ceremony will be held in the Hoosier Times student commons on Wednesday, April 29 at 4 p.m. in the Connie and Steve Ferguson Academic Building.

“One of Ivy Tech’s goals, as a comprehensive community college, is to model a service-oriented learning environment,” said Chelsea Rood-Emmick, executive director of civic engagement at Ivy Tech-Bloomington. “In the past year, the college has contributed a total value of nearly $1.8* million in the communities we serve.”

*Figure based on national value of volunteer time from

In the 2014/15 academic year (to-date), 2,600 students, or 40 percent of Ivy Tech-Bloomington’s student body, participated in courses with a service-learning component. Between volunteer hours and service-learning classes, Ivy Tech-Bloomington reported nearly 79,000 hours at 80 agencies or organizations in our communities.

Award categories for the 2015 O’Bannon Institute for Community Service Civic Engagement Awards Ceremony include the Community Partner Award, the Ivy Tech John Waldron Arts Center Community Partner Award, the Gayle & Bill Cook Center for Entrepreneurship Community Partner Award, Excellence in Service-Learning, Excellence in Volunteerism, Jeanine C. Rae Humanitarian Award, and the John R. Whikehart Civic Engagement Award that was established in 2013. Recipients receive a $500 stipend for contributions to their community.

The Excellence in Service-Learning award recipient is psychology adjunct faculty, Albee Mendoza, for Supporting Scribe. Her students, enrolled in health psychology class, were matched with clients who had care coordinators through Positive Link. Students and clients penned letters to each other throughout the semester. The project, Supporting Scribe, enabled students to further understand topics of health psychology, healthy behaviors and habits, utilization of services, and stress management, while providing support to clients.

There are two Excellence in Faculty/Staff Volunteerism award recipients. The first is humanities adjunct faculty, Tim Jessen, for his involvement with Shalom Community Center, Bloomington Rotary, and Bloomington Professional Exchange. For the past ten years, he has served as volunteer chaplain on weekends at IU Health Bloomington Hospital. He sings with the Bloomington Chamber Singers and is organizer of Ivy Tech singers.

The second Excellence in Faculty/Staff Volunteerism award recipient is Associate Professor and Assistant Department Chair of Business Administration, Nancy Frost, MS, MBA. Frost serves Kiwanis Club of Bloomington and the Bloomington Boys and Girls Club. She is also a member of Psi Iota Xi. Frost served as co-chair for Ivy Tech-Bloomington’s “Here We Grow Again!” internal capital campaign and coined its name.

Marianne Cox, Ivy Tech nursing student, earned the Excellence in Student Volunteerism award for her participation in a mission trip to Haiti, Ivy Tech’s Alternative Spring Break in Guatemala, and organizing a Student Ambassador service project with the Shalom Center. She’s a member of Phi Theta Kappa and a Student Ambassador.

Rebekah Burns, Ivy Tech human services student, has been named the Jeanine C. Rae Humanitarian award recipient for her work with children with special needs at the Boys and Girls Club in Ellettsville. Showing strong dedication to service and the importance of her role there, she returned to the Boys and Girls Club just weeks after giving birth. The Jeanine C. Rae Humanitarian Award was established to recognize a student whose way of life demonstrates concern for the well-being of others.

Ivy Tech’s Community Partner Award recipient is the City of Bedford, for their longstanding partnership. Most recently, in a collaborative partnership between the City and the college, Ivy Tech was able to acquire space at the Stone Gate Arts and Education Center to serve students in the local community. Additionally, City of Bedford Mayor Shawna Girgis has joined the Ivy Tech-Bloomington Regional Board of Trustees.

Ivy Tech’s John Waldron Arts Center Community Partner award recipient is the Community Foundation of Bloomington and Monroe County, for its support of Ivy Tech’s preschool Arts Infusion work at Fairview Elementary school and now expanded to include Highland Park Elementary school. The Foundation is also a partner in Ivy Tech’s Regional Arts Partnership with the Indiana Arts Commission, and has also provided grant funds for Ivy Tech’s Cook Center for Entrepreneurship.

The Cook Center for Entrepreneurship Community Partner award recipient is Bloomington Urban Enterprise Association, for its significant partnership and shared vision to launch and grow businesses in our community. The BUEA has invested resources in the Cook Center for programs like the CEO Roundtable and Lemonade Day.

The John R. Whikehart award recipient is Chelsea Rood-Emmick, MSW, LSW, executive director of civic engagement at Ivy Tech-Bloomington, for her longstanding commitment to both the college and community. Since becoming the director of civic engagement in 2009, Rood-Emmick has grown service-learning classes from 16 to 99. The campus has made the U.S President’s Higher Education Community Service Honor Roll six times (seven total). She’s also led Alternative Spring Break for six years. Rood-Emmick was awarded the 2011 Community Service award from Fuse Business Innovation and named a 2013 10 Under 40 from the Greater Bloomington Chamber of Commerce. She teaches a service-learning class at Indiana University and supervises social work students in their final practicum at the GLBT office there. Rood-Emmick will take finals at Indiana State University for her last semester of doctoral coursework on Friday, May 1. The John R. Whikehart award was established in 2013 to recognize those who were called to serve.

Tomorrow morning, April 30, more than 100 Ivy Tech-Bloomington students, faculty, and staff will participate in a Day of Service in the community, preceding the O’Bannon Institute fundraising dinner with Sir Bob Geldof at the Bloomington Monroe County Convention Center. Volunteers will serve at Head Start, Bloomington Animal Shelter, Adopt-A-Road (Daniels Way), Bloomington Parks and Recreation, Hoosier Hills Food Bank, and PetsAlive.

On Friday, May 1, Ivy Tech-Bloomington will welcome the community for its annual Institute filled with a day of discussion, workshops, and a closing conversation with Shiza Shahid, Malala Fund co-founder and Bob Zaltsberg, The Herald-Times editor.

More information about the annual O’Bannon Institute for Community Service can be found online at

Information about Ivy Tech-Bloomington’s Center for Civic Engagement can be found online at

Event sponsors for the 12th annual O’Bannon Institute for Community Service include, Bloomington Economic Development Corporation, Bloomington Ford, Inc., City of Bloomington, CFC Properties, Cook Medical, The Herald-Times, Inc., IU Credit Union, Markey’s Rental and Staging, Sterling Real Estate, Inc., Smithville, and Linda and John Whikehart.

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O’Bannon Institute to feature panel with local change-makers, youth leadership presentations, closing conversation with Malala Fund co-founder

Ivy Tech Community College’s Bloomington campus is hosting its 12th annual O’Bannon Institute for Community Service ( on April 29-30 and May 1. Seats are still available for both the fundraising dinner with Sir Bob Geldof on Thursday, April 30 … Continue reading


Ivy Tech-Bloomington faculty named 2015 Executive Journey Fellow, plans youth worker appreciation event

Dr. Lisa Connolly, associate professor and program chair of human services at Ivy Tech Community College’s Bloomington campus has been named a 2015 Executive Journey Fellow by The Journey. The Journey is an Indianapolis-based organization focused on supporting the renewal and professionalization of current and prospective youth workers in Indiana and around the country.

“I am excited to have been selected for the 2015 Executive Journey Fellowship,” Connolly said. “Ivy Tech Community College has a long history of not only providing services to youth, but in creating learning environments for the next generation of youth leaders. I love seeing our students give back to our community by completing youth work internships at places like Monroe County Community School Corporation, Boys and Girls Club, and Stepping Stones, Inc.”

As part of Connolly’s Journey Fellowship naming, she was awarded an individual scholarship, which she has used to plan “Thank a Youth Worker Day” appreciation event on Thursday, May 7, 2015 from 7 p.m. to 10 p.m. at Ivy Tech-Bloomington.

“I created this event to thank all of the people who support the youth of our community,” she said.

Other contributors to the event include the Indiana University School of Public Health as a previous Journey Fellow, and the MCCSC After School Care Program, which is also a 2015 Journey Fellow.

In Connolly’s three years as program chair at Ivy Tech-Bloomington, she has seen human services graduates continue their education at four year colleges like Indiana University School of Public Health, Indiana University School of Social Work, and Indiana Wesleyan.

The Journey Fellowship was created in 2002 in response to a growing need for ongoing professional and personal renewal in the field of youth work. It is funded by the Lilly Endowment Inc. The Executive Journey Fellowship provides Indiana’s youth workers greater opportunities to bring more meaning to their lives and make stronger commitments to the field of youth work.

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Guest column: Ivy Tech story continues to see growth

From the Herald Times
This guest column was submitted by Jennifer A. Vaughan, chancellor, Ivy Tech Community College-Bloomington.

I recently conducted a hard-hat tour of our building expansion for some community leaders and they were impressed with, but unaware of, the breadth of academic opportunities available at Ivy Tech-Bloomington. This got me thinking that perhaps we can never over-tell the story of Ivy Tech.

Currently, we are constructing an impressive 90,000-square-foot addition to the Connie and Steve Ferguson Academic Building, which is the main campus building of Ivy Tech-Bloomington on the west side of town. It’s a large project — $24 million construction — with even bigger outcomes when it becomes operational in January 2016.

Students and staff will benefit from additional classrooms, labs, an expanded tutoring and academic support center, a significantly enlarged library, streamlined admissions and academic advising and a new and conveniently accessible bookstore. The student experience will be positively impacted with an expanded Bloomingfoods Ivy Tech and much-needed common areas for students to enjoy while studying, waiting for class or collaborating in group meetings.

Much of our new space has been designed to also meet the skills needs of employers — a state-of-the-art culinary arts lab, an emerging technology suite, a multi-dimensional robotics lab, a Center for STEAM (science, technology, engineering and entrepreneurship, arts-design, and math) with a new “maker space” for students and faculty, industry-aligned degree program in the School of Computing and Informatics (including cyber-security) and new programs to create more engineering technicians needed at NSWC Crane.

We know that employers are having difficulty finding employees with the technical and soft skills necessary to do the jobs available today, and this new space will allow Ivy Tech to create more workers ready for the jobs of the future.

These are all important improvements that will make our programs at Ivy Tech more attractive to new and returning students, and deliver the value our partners expect.

Why all this fuss over new space? Ivy Tech plays a key role in improving our state’s low educational attainment rate. According to 2013 census figures, only 34.7 percent of Indiana’s 3.4 million working-age adults (25-64) hold a two- or four-year college degree. The state’s attainment rate is lower than the national average of 40 percent. To meet Indiana’s need for trained workers by the year 2025, we will need to nearly double that figure.

Ivy Tech’s high-quality, affordable educational and training opportunities deliver what our customers — including the state — tell us they need. At roughly $4,000 per academic year (30 credit hours), we are leaders in the state and provide our students learning experiences without the burden of massive debt upon graduation. Throw in the dual-credit options available to most Indiana high school students and we are significantly lowering the cost of a college degree, without compromising quality or experience.

We invite you to come out for Ivy Tech-Bloomington’s grand opening of the expansion later this year. If you don’t want to wait for that, call us for your own hard-hat tour to see for yourself the impact and changes happening at Ivy Tech Community College’s Bloomington campus. I’ll be glad to personally tell you our story.

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Ivy Tech-Bloomington hosts ‘Pete the Planner’ next week

Ivy Tech Community College’s Bloomington campus is hosting a lecture featuring financial expert Pete “The Planner” Dunn on Tuesday, April 21 from 6 p.m. to 7 p.m. in the Hoosier Times Student Commons at the Connie and Steve Ferguson Academic Building located at 200 Daniels Way on the west side.

“This is a timely and relevant lecture since college students are becoming more financially savvy,” said Amanda Fronek, Ivy Tech director of student life and support services. “We hope that students and guests of the lecture learn about the importance of fiscal responsibility and to come away with some practical tips that can create a path toward financial wellness.”

The presentation, “60 Minutes to Change with Pete the Planner,” will cover important financial literacy topics including: budgeting, addressing money in a relationship, saving for the future, and paying-down debt.

Dunn is an award-winning comedian, author, radio show host (The Pete the Planner Show), and columnist for the Indianapolis Star. Dunn appears regularly on popular programs, such as CNN Headline News, Fox News, Fox Business, and many nationally-syndicated radio programs.

There is no cost to attend. For additional questions about the event, please contact Amanda Fronek at

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Ivy Tech-Bloomington adjunct educator earns college-wide instructional award

Andrew Lambert, adjunct instructor of business and entrepreneurship at Ivy Tech Community College’s Bloomington campus, was awarded the Gerald I. Lamkin Adjunct Faculty Award for Excellence in Instruction on Thursday, April 8 at the College’s annual Program Chair Summit in … Continue reading


Bloomington to launch The Switchboard web tool to support entrepreneurs

On Wednesday, April 1, Bloomington’s entrepreneurial community will launch The Switchboard (, a new web portal to connect entrepreneurs in the region to resources to start or grow their business. Area business leaders and entrepreneurs will gather from 5:30 p.m. … Continue reading