Graduates ‘play very important roles’ in local IT industry

BLOOMINGTON – Justin Muniz, recent Ivy Tech software development graduate, found employment with Platformatics, a Bloomington-based technology company. Over the years, Platformatics has hired Ivy Tech computing graduates in the areas of software development and customer technology support.

“Ivy Tech graduates play very important roles at Platformatics,” said Matt Laherty, Platformatics CEO. “They’ve been involved in nearly all facets of customer deployments from quoting and design to installation. They built the lights at the West Baden hotel and they support that system through running our global network operations center.”

Muniz was hired as an associate software engineer in February after completing his internship at the company.

“I enrolled at Ivy Tech because I wanted to get a degree in software development, so I could get a job in a field that interested me,” said Muniz. “I enjoyed my time at Ivy Tech. The professors were wonderful and were always willing to work with me whenever I needed guidance or assistance.”

Ivy Tech graduate Adam Bradley started at Platformatics as an intern in technical support and worked his way into his current position. He is now lead system check in the engineering services department. He spearheaded design for the customer helpdesk operations at Platformatics, which included the helpdesk ticketing and customer phone support systems.

“Jack of all trades doesn’t even cover it sometimes,” said Bradley, describing his role.

Bradley is a U.S. Army veteran who served eight months in Iraq as an infantryman and paratrooper. After his military service, Bradley worked outdoors in a manual labor job, and then funeral services, but neither job fit his mechanically-inclined skillset. He enrolled at Ivy Tech to advance his education and start a skilled career in a technical or mechanical field.

“I took my first class in networking and said ‘I was born to do this. I understand this work,’” said Bradley.

Bradley earned associate degrees from Ivy Tech in network infrastructure and information technology support, and he is now pursuing a bachelor’s degree in cloud administration from Western Governor’s University.

John Turpin, a system support technician at Platformatics, also graduated from Ivy Tech’s School of Information Technology. Turpin and Bradley work together, providing support for software engineers, office staff, and customers. They also perform beta testing on new software.

“I enrolled at Ivy Tech because I wanted to improve my life,” said Turpin. “My goals were to become employable in a skilled job market. My training at Ivy Tech has been instrumental for my job. Although Platformatics is a brand new technology in the IT industry, I frequently work with Cisco network equipment, which Ivy Tech gave me actual hands-on training in.”

Turpin earned an associate degree in computer information systems in 2015 and computer information technology in 2016. He recently re-enrolled at Ivy Tech and is now working toward a degree in cyber security/information assurance.

“I am very proud to be an Ivy Tech alumnus,” continued Turpin. “Many of the teachers went above and beyond for my success, and many are still in touch with me. One semester, my wife became very ill and I was going to withdraw, but Chris Carroll, Bill Worden, and Lee Carlson worked with me to help me succeed. They really do care about the success of their students.”

“The Ivy Tech graduates that have joined our staff come with a high degree of technical training in networking and computer science,” said Laherty. “These employees come to us with more than the tech training—they bring their drive and curiosity. All of them have been great self-starters and very willing to learn new technologies.”

Ivy Tech Bloomington’s campus offers eight associate degrees in the information technology field, to meet workforce demand. Degree offerings include computer science, cyber security/information assurance, database management and administration, network infrastructure, informatics, information technology support, network infrastructure, server administration, and software development. More information can be found online at ivytech.edu/computers.

About Platformatics

Platformatics is a Bloomington, Indiana-based tech company founded by several experienced Silicon Valley innovators. Our mission is to transform commercial lighting through innovative hardware and software applications that improve productivity and comfort, beautify environments, and conserve energy for building owners, operators, and tenants.

 

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Instructor carves, teaches at Limestone Symposium

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Amy Brier, associate professor of fine arts at Ivy Tech Bloomington

BLOOMINGTON – Amy Brier, associate professor of fine arts at Ivy Tech Bloomington, spent three weeks in June carving and instructing at the 22nd annual Limestone Symposium in Ellettsville, Ind. Brier is co-founder of the Symposium with Frank Young.

This summer, Brier is carving two new works of art—one is a personal work and one is a collaborative piece—with Sharon Fullingim, director of the Symposium.

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Sharon Fullingim, director of the Limestone Symposium

The collaborative work is a limestone slab roughly four feet long with surface carving and large areas of leaf shapes cut through to the other side. Brier explained that the piece could be filled with glass, and backlit.

“We’re experimenting with glass on this piece,” said Brier. “We plan to use it as an example of what we could do for public commissioned work.”

“Having an example will help people visualize what is possible with limestone,” said Fullingim. “For this piece, we were inspired by layers of fall leaves on the ground and how they create pockets of water and puddles throughout.”

A facility in New Mexico used a process called water jet cutting to cut the leaf shapes from the limestone.

“When people hear that technology can be used in carving, people sometimes ask if that is really art, and we say yes,” said Fullingim.

Brier’s most recent public commissioned sculpture is also a collaboration with Fullingim, Millersville Marker, for the Fall Creek Greenway in Indianapolis, Ind. Brier’s sculptures in Bloomington include Impression, at Ivy Tech’s Bloomington campus, and The Human Brain, a collaboration with carver Micheal Donham, on the Indiana University campus.

Brier teaches limestone-carving classes at Ivy Tech Community College, in the associate of fine arts program. Classes will resume in fall 2018. To sign up or for more information about Ivy Tech’s fine arts degree program, visit ivytech.edu/fine-arts.

Ivy Tech coaches young entrepreneurs at NSWC Crane STEM camp

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BLOOMINGTON – Ivy Tech Community College Bloomington participated in Naval Surface Warfare Center Crane Division’s STEM summer camp on June 11-15 at WestGate Academy. Ivy Tech staff from the Gayle & Bill Cook Center for Entrepreneurship helped 40 middle and high school aged campers develop products and business ideas stemming from patented Crane technologies, and also hosted a business pitch competition. Ivy Tech staff helped campers develop their pitches and served with Crane staff as judges for the competition. This is the second year that Ivy Tech has been involved in Crane’s STEM camp.

“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 community. They were able to gain experience with maker tools, team work, and communication.”

STEM campers won awards in three categories. The “Painters, Inc.” team won the award for best prototype. The team’s product adapted the Crane technology, “Adjustable Ergonomic Grip for a Weapon,” to be used in a paint brush handle. The “Maxed Out Pro” team won the award for best presentation of their idea to use the Crane hand crank technology, “System and Method for Charging a Weapon,” to power a generator. The “Handle Helpers” team won the award for best idea, which would reduce the amount of effort required for a person to move a wheelchair, using the Crane “Cable Reel” technology.

Camp participants were from the cities of Bloomington, Bedford, Bloomfield, and Washington.

“Pitch events are a fun and easy way to introduce young people to entrepreneurial skills that are valuable beyond a competition,” said Steve Bryant, executive director of the Gayle & Bill Cook Center for Entrepreneurship at Ivy Tech. “If other organizations would like to investigate a pitch competition, Ivy Tech has a process and materials we can share, and will partner with you to host one in your community.”

For more information and to contact the Gayle & Bill Cook Center for Entrepreneurship at Ivy Tech, visit ivytech.edu/entrepreneurship or call (812) 330-6261.

Boys & Girls Club experiences a ‘Day of College’

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BLOOMINGTON – Ivy Tech Community College’s Bloomington campus hosted a “Day of College” event for the Boys & Girls Club of Ellettsville. Youth, ages 7-13, experienced a day in the life of a college student, touring campus and attending a mock orientation and classes.

Esthela Rodriguez, assistant director of admissions, organized the event with Oscar Gonzalez, unit director of the Boys & Girls Club of Ellettsville.

During the event, Rodriguez shared her own journey from Ivy Tech Community College to Indiana University, to inspire youth to think of Ivy Tech as part of their own college plans. Youth created flags of the colleges they wanted to attend and talked about their future college plans.

“Many of the Boys & Girls Club members voiced they wanted to come to Ivy Tech first and then go to Michigan, Ohio, and Indiana,” said Rodriguez.

As the Boys & Girls Club toured campus, they stopped in classrooms to learn about career options through fun activities. They made their own ice cream, visited the exercise science and kinesiology lab to measure electromagnetic charges in their muscles, learned about nutrition, and met with nursing students.

One Boys & Girls Club member has already decided where she will attend college.

“A young lady told me she already decided that she would be coming to Ivy Tech,” said Sarah Cote, biology program chair at Ivy Tech Bloomington. “Her decision to come to Ivy Tech is the reason why programming for youth is so important! Suddenly, higher education becomes accessible and they can see themselves pursuing college in the future.”

Ivy Tech co-presents with IU on best practices in international student enrollment management

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BLOOMINGTON – On Wednesday, May 30, Ben Grimwood, assistant director of international admissions at Ivy Tech Bloomington and Darrin Eaton, senior international student advisor at Indiana University co-presented at the 2018 NAFSA: Association of International Educators annual conference in Philadelphia, Pa. on the topic of academic reinstatement for international students.

Their presentation was titled, “Academic Reinstatement: Building Bridges between Four-Year and Two-Year Schools.” It focused on the collaboration between Ivy Tech and IU to help international students from IU achieve reinstatement after academic dismissal, by enrolling at Ivy Tech before transitioning back to the University.

After transferring to Ivy Tech, students can earn college credits or complete an associate degree before applying for reinstatement at IU. Since 2016, each spring and fall semester, IU and Ivy Tech Bloomington co-host workshops to assist international students through the reinstatement process at IU. If students are reinstated, they can transfer back to the University. If they are not reinstated, they are still able to earn college credits, and associate degrees or certifications at Ivy Tech Community College.

“These reinstatement workshops represent Ivy Tech and Indiana University’s shared goal of student success,” said Grimwood. “Our collaborative efforts in our respective international student offices are meant to remove barriers and assist students in achieving their academic goals.”

The workshops are unique to the Ivy Tech Community College system but could be replicated between any community college and university partner.

For information about international student services at Ivy Tech, visit ivytech.edu/international.

The National Association of Foreign Student Advisors (NAFSA): Association of International Educators (nafsa.org) is the world’s largest nonprofit association dedicated to international education and exchange, working to advance policies and practices that ensure a more interconnected, peaceful world today and for generations to come.

 

Bloomfield High School graduates earned credentials from Ivy Tech

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Bloomfield High School graduates with principal, David Dean and Ivy Tech College Connection Coach, Brandy Candler

BLOOMINGTON – Graduates from Bloomfield High School also earned credentials from Ivy Tech Community College in May 2018. These 13 graduates earned the Statewide General Education Transfer Core (STGEC) certificate, a block of 30 credit hours that transfers to all Indiana four-year institutions, upon student acceptance. The STGEC is a popular option for students who intend to complete bachelor’s degrees while also saving on college costs.

“We are fortunate to be able to provide the opportunity to our students to earn the Statewide General Education Transfer Core through Ivy Tech Bloomington,” said David Dean, principal at Bloomfield High School. “Our goal is to facilitate a jump start to a student’s college degree and to reduce financial costs to families. In earning the STGEC, a student can save up to one year of tuition at the state university of their choice. This can save families upwards of $10,000 depending on what state university they attend.”

Grace Ganster, graduate, plans to attend University of Southern Indiana in fall 2018.

“Earning college credits while still in high school allowed me to get ahead,” said Grace Ganster, Bloomfield High School graduate. “Being able to go earn these credits in high school was also a huge financial blessing. I was able to take these courses for little or nothing, instead of spending a large amount taking them later on. This is especially beneficial considering I am planning on pursuing higher education after my bachelor’s, so saving money where I can is important.”

Patrick Beard, graduate, plans to attend Indiana University to pursue a bachelor’s degree in business/marketing.

“Earning college credits in high school was very beneficial to me,” said Beard. “It gave me an advantage over other incoming freshmen. Earning these credits will allow me to spend less time on general education requirements and get right into the study of my intended major.”

Isaac Combs, graduate, also plans to earn a bachelor’s degree.

“By earning college credits in high school, it gives you a grasp on how college courses will be and it will save you money and time in college,” said Combs.

Ivy Tech’s Bloomington campus offers early college options for high school students who intend to earn bachelor’s degrees and save on college costs. High School students can earn college credits by enrolling in dual credit classes at their high school or on Ivy Tech’s campus. For general information about earning college credits in high school, visit ivytech.edu/dual-credit/.

Graduate earned degree to continue her culinary career

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BLOOMINGTON – Barbara Hamm earned her associate degree in hospitality administration from Ivy Tech’s Bloomington campus in May 2018, in order to continue her director position in the culinary arts field. Hamm graduated summa cum laude and was the outstanding student award recipient in her program of study. Hamm also earned a certificate in hospitality management.

“The reason for my enrollment was a bit different than most,” said Hamm. “In order to keep my job as a foodservice director at Waycross Camp and Conference Center, I needed to obtain my associate degree in the culinary field. It was the hope of my supervisors, as well as myself, to gain the knowledge and confidence in the administrative responsibilities of my job and at the same time, broaden and better my cooking skills.”

Hamm has worked at Waycross Camp and Conference Center in Morgantown, Ind. for 18 years.

“Waycross is a second home and family to me,” said Hamm. “The education and experience I have gained proved to me that I am indeed in the best field of work for me. My gifts are in serving people.”

Hamm continued to work full-time at Waycross while she earned her degree.

“I continued to keep a full-time management job, a part-time job, in addition to caring for a family, all while attending classes,” said Hamm.

“My experience at Ivy Tech was enlightening, as I had not been a student for quite some time and there are a lot of changes in the classroom setting,” she continued. “I would learn something new with each experience.”

After six years of working toward her associate degree, she passed up an opportunity to attend a culinary workshop in France in order to walk across the stage at Ivy Tech Bloomington’s commencement ceremony on May 11, 2018.

“No way was I missing that!” said Hamm, of attending the ceremony. “I am proud to be a part of this school and program and am proud of myself for completing this journey,” she said. “I will miss being a part of this wonderful, giving educational institution.”