Business graduate launches custom car shop


BLOOMINGTON – Ivy Tech Community College alumnus, Ben Crandall, is now CEO and working full-time at his automotive customization company, Crandall Custom Concepts, LLC. Crandall graduated in 2017 with an Associate of Science in Business Administration. His degree is an Ivy Tech “Transfer as a Junior” degree program that is transferable to all public Indiana four-year universities, upon student admission.

Crandall enrolled at Ivy Tech immediately after high school.

“I wanted to get my basic courses completed at a smaller school,” said Crandall. “It made it easier adjusting coming straight from high school rather than going to a big university right after graduation. I was able to stay close to home and schedule my classes around my working hours.”

Crandall worked part-time at Auto Body Specialists of Bloomington while enrolled full-time at Ivy Tech. He always wanted to start his own business, and found resources at Ivy Tech that helped him launch Crandall Custom Concepts, LLC.

Ivy Tech’s Gayle & Bill Cook Center for Entrepreneurship helped Crandall with his business plan and connected him with other small business resources.

“My business is a custom automotive shop specializing in custom paint and off-road accessories,” said Crandall. “The Cook Center helped me in all my business endeavors. They helped me start all my LLC paperwork and form my business with the state of Indiana.”

The Center also helped Crandall prepare a business pitch to participate in the 2016 Duke It Out Business Pitch Competition. Although Crandall did not win the competition, he was able to launch his business while he was still a student at Ivy Tech.

“Trying to be a full-time student, work part-time, and build a business from the ground up was challenging at times,” said Crandall. “The late nights of writing estimates, sending countless e-mails, filing out dealer applications, or even in the garage doing the work, all after working on assignments after coming home from work each evening can push you to your limits. Sleep was optional.”

After graduating from Ivy Tech, Crandall continued to grow his business.

“Since graduation, I have transitioned into running my shop full time,” said Crandall. “The work was here and I ran with it, and have now been full time at my shop for over a year. My goal is to be the most reputable custom shop in the Midwest, at the least.”

For program information about business administration, visit A complete list of “Transfer as a Junior” degree programs can be found at

For Crandall Custom Concepts, LLC, visit



TASUS named Benefactor of the Year at annual Ivy Tech event


BLOOMINGTON – TASUS has been named Benefactor of the Year for 2018 by Ivy Tech Community College’s Bloomington campus. TASUS was recognized and received its award on Thursday, Sept. 27 at the Ivy Tech Foundation’s annual reception and dinner held in French Lick, Ind.

“TASUS has been a consistent and generous financial supporter of Ivy Tech Bloomington for more than 26 years,” said Susie Graham, executive director of development at Ivy Tech Bloomington. “Their long-term commitment to Ivy Tech lends credence to our mission and the role we play in our communities.”

Contributing both to capital projects and event sponsorships, the Japanese-owned company, TASUS, is also committed to serving the college through volunteer leadership, advocacy, and promoting the unique role Ivy Tech plays in growing and sustaining the local workforce.

Each year the Ivy Tech Foundation honors individuals, corporations, and foundations that have changed the lives of Ivy Tech students and the communities in which they live by providing exceptional philanthropic and volunteer leadership.

For more information, visit

Ivy Tech to host info session on Indiana’s Workforce Ready Grant

The Workforce Ready Grant provides tuition assistance for in-demand certifications

BLOOMINGTON – Ivy Tech Community College will host an information session Thursday, Oct. 18 at 6 p.m. to provide details about Indiana’s Workforce Ready Grant. The grant helps eligible individuals earn a free certificate in select programs that are in high-demand by Indiana employers. The event will be held at Ivy Tech Bloomington, on the west side at 200 Daniels Way, and in Bedford at the StoneGate Arts & Education Center, 405 I St.

During the event, attendees will learn about Indiana’s Workforce Ready Grant program options, financial aid, individual eligibility including not having previously earned a college degree, and meet with an advisor to ask questions. Students can also apply and enroll in classes.

For more information about getting started at Ivy Tech, visit campus at 200 Daniels Way, contact (812) 330-6013 or For contact outside of business hours, call (888) IVY-LINE (489-5463).

Ivy Tech’s Cook Center and NSWC Crane earn economic development award for STEM summer camp


BLOOMINGTON – Ivy Tech Community College’s Gayle & Bill Cook Center for Entrepreneurship and the Naval Surface Warfare Center, Crane Division were awarded the State and Local Economic Development Award from the Federal Laboratory Consortium for Technology Transfer for their partnership on a STEM summer camp. Ivy Tech and NSWC Crane accepted their award on Sept. 19 at a national ceremony in Cocoa Beach, Fla.

“The Cook Center has worked with the NSWC Crane STEM outreach team for the past two years to add business pitch competitions into the summer camp,” said Steve Bryant, executive director of the Cook Center for Entrepreneurship at Ivy Tech. “Business pitch events introduce young people to entrepreneurial skills that are valuable beyond competition, including learning variety of soft skills while developing invention ideas.”

Ivy Tech and NSWC Crane’s STEM summer camp is intended to serve students with entrepreneurial interest in grades seven through 10. This past summer, participants from the cities of Bloomington, Bedford, Bloomfield, and Washington worked together to develop business products and ideas stemming from patented NSWC Crane technologies, then participated in a competition by creating and delivering business pitches for their products to a panel of judges.

“This camp is an invaluable experience for the students,” said Tina Closser, NSWC Crane STEM coordinator. “It shows them technologies developed at NSWC Crane and how these technologies can be used to benefit their communities. Ivy Tech was able to help the students hone their pitches and direct the students in areas to research about their invention. Ivy Tech’s participation was an invaluable asset.”

About Federal Laboratory Consortium for T2 Awards
The FLC Awards Program annually recognizes federal laboratories and their industry partners for outstanding technology transfer achievements. The FLCs 30 plus years of advancing tech transfer to meet the needs of our nation’s economy would not have been possible without the creativity and dedication of the federal scientists and inventors we recognize through the Awards Program, as well as the innovative professionals who work alongside them to achieve their goal of creating available technologies to countless people around the world. The FLC awards are ranked as some of the most prestigious honors in the T2 field and are given as a symbol of well-deserved recognition for phenomenal technological efforts.



Community Arts award winners announced

Danielle McClelland
Danielle McClelland

Attend event for free through generous support from BAC and Ted Jones

BLOOMINGTON – Ivy Tech Community College in partnership with the City of Bloomington Arts Commission (BAC) will host the 2018 Community Arts Awards on Saturday, Nov. 17 to honor local arts advocates, educators, and businesses. The event will be held 6 p.m. to 8 p.m. at the Ivy Tech John Waldron Arts Center, located at 122 S. Walnut St. This year’s event is free and open to the public through generous support from the BAC and Ted Jones.

Recipients and award categories are: Danielle McClelland, Patricia Murphy Pizzo Arts Advocacy; Monster House Press, Arts in Business; Cardinal Stage – Cardinal for Kids Education, Arts in Education; Gerry Masse, Regional Arts Service; and Sandi Clark, Lifetime Achievement.

Winners were juried by an independent community group, including artists, administrators, and long-time residents and supporters of the arts.

Danielle McClelland, Patricia Murphy Pizzo Arts Advocacy Award
McClelland has served as the executive director of the Buskirk-Chumley Theater (BCT) since 2001. She has spearheaded numerous initiatives to ensure diverse programming, support and education for performing arts groups, and equal access to the theater, including establishing Bloomington’s annual PRIDE Film Festival.

Monster House Press, Arts in Business Award
Monster House Press is a non-profit publisher and circuit of literature, art, and thought in the Midwest and is based in Bloomington, Ind. Through publications and author reading events, Monster House Press has donated funds to various organizations, including Appalachia Resist, Black Lives Matter, Charlottesville, Courage to Change Sober Living House, Hope Academy, Middle Way House, New Leaf New Life, and Rural Action.

Cardinal Stage – Cardinal for Kids Education, Arts in Education Award
Established in 2006, Cardinal Stage aims to advance professional theatre in Bloomington and cultivate youth theatre appreciation by offering outreach and educational initiatives that benefit South Central Indiana youth. Each season, Cardinal Stage offers private matinees and educational materials to approximately 5,000 local students, at a significantly reduced cost, through the Cardinal for Schools program.

Gerry Masse, Regional Arts Service Award
Masse is artist, educator, and founder of the Sculpture Trails Outdoor Museum located in Solsberry, Ind., which is open year-round to the public. Masse has established ongoing educational opportunities for artists and students of all experience levels, including the Cast Iron Sculpture Workshop, the Traveling Foundry, and internship and volunteer opportunities.

Sandi Clark, Lifetime Achievement Award
Clark has served as an advocate for the arts in Bloomington, Ind. and the Midwest for decades. She is a founding member of Buskirk-Chumley Theater Management and the Cardinal Stage Company board and recently ended her second term as Cardinal’s board president. She has served on a number of local and regional boards and commissions, and was appointed to two terms on the Indiana Arts Commission, serving until 2010.

Graduate provides cancer treatment at four Indiana hospitals


BLOOMINGTON – Ivy Tech Community College alumna Emily Taylor is now a radiation therapist who works on-call at four Indiana hospital locations, including Franciscan Health Cancer Centers in Indianapolis and Mooresville, IU Health Bloomington Hospital, and Schneck Medical Center in Seymour. As a radiation therapist, Taylor provides traditional photon radiation therapy treatments. Taylor graduated cum laude with an Associate of Applied Science in Radiation Therapy in 2016.

“My favorite part of being a therapist is learning about my patients and who they are outside of the hospital,” said Taylor. “I want to be able to help them get back to their daily routines in life without focusing on the negative circumstances present in their bodies. I am able to build relationships with them since I see them for treatment on a daily basis. It’s my job to be kind, be a friend, and mostly a support system for each person.”

Taylor previously attended a four-year university, but decided to enroll at Ivy Tech because she was able to work while attending classes, and because of the low tuition cost.

“Attending Ivy Tech was one of the best decisions I made,” said Taylor. “College can be expensive, so knowing their costs were very little compared to most schools encouraged my being there.”

After enrolling, Taylor persisted in her studies because of her instructors.

“My professors understood that every student had a life outside of the classroom, and most students were working hard at not only building an education, but also a personal life,” said Taylor. “After graduating, I felt prepared for what was ahead of me due to having wonderful professors who connected with their students.”

Taylor said Ivy Tech helped prepare her for employment in several ways.

“Academically, the radiation therapy program provided me the opportunity to travel to multiple clinics around southern Indiana to receive hands-on practice in the field I was preparing for,” said Taylor. “Both of my professors were radiation therapists, so the relationship and understanding of knowing how to teach and organize material was well thought out and prepared for our learning.”

While continuing to work full time hours between four different hospitals, Taylor is now completing her bachelor’s degree in business administration at Olivet Nazarene University. Taylor was able to transfer many of her Ivy Tech college credits toward her bachelor’s degree.

“Getting a bachelor’s degree will simply just further my résumé, skills, and educational experience,” said Taylor. “I love my job as a therapist, so I hope I get the chance to grow into a better therapist for my patients, their families, and all those depending on me to help give back to the community through healing those who are sick.”

For information about Ivy Tech Bloomington’s radiation therapy program, the only accredited associate degree program in the state of Indiana, visit

Ivy Tech Bloomington offers many associate degrees and short-term certificates in the healthcare field. Other associate degrees offered include Healthcare Specialist, Kinesiology and Exercise Science, Medical Assisting, Nursing and Practical Nursing, Optometric Technology, Paramedic Science, and Respiratory Therapy. For a full list of degrees offered in Bloomington, visit

Faculty member’s documentary selected for International Film Festival

alexsemchuck.jpgAlex J. Semchuck, assistant professor of communication at Ivy Tech Community College Bloomington, was chosen to show a documentary film at the 2018 Great Lakes International Film Festival in Erie, Pa. The film will be streamed online during the virtual festival, which began Sept. 20.

Semchuck’s documentary film, The Slave Circle, explores a direct sales/marketing operation and its pyramid-shaped business model and questionable employee recruiting practices.“I felt compelled to produce The Slave Circle because the subject has affected so many people,” said Semchuck. “The business profiled in The Slave Circle advertises total financial freedom in just a few years—and for over 99 percent of the people who take the opportunity, it is a blatant lie. I am hoping that by seeing this film … people will be better-informed, be more cautious when accepting interviews and job offers from ambiguous companies, and be able to think critically if they ever find themselves involved in companies like this.”

The film trailer can be viewed online at and the full film can be viewed online at or on Amazon Prime Video.

Alex J. Semchuck is the writer, producer, director, and editor of two independent feature-length documentary films, “Stagnant Hope: Gary, Indiana,” released in 2014, and “The Slave Circle” in 2018. Semchuck produces his films and videos through his production company, Precision Independent Media (Precision Productions). At Ivy Tech Community College, Semchuck instructs courses in mass communication, interpersonal communication, and public speaking.

The Great Lakes International Film Festival is owned by the Great Lakes Film Association, a 501c(3)  non-profit organization and is dedicated to showcasing independent films in the digital medium and to presenting the works of independent filmmakers and outstanding achievements in cinema.