Nursing instructor, Mary Jane Fleener, wins annual campus adjunct instructional award

Ivy Tech Community College’s Bloomington campus has selected Mary Jane Fleener, adjunct faculty in nursing, the recipient of the 2021 Adjunct Faculty Award for Excellence in Instruction. She was selected among 41 adjunct faculty nominees.

“Mary Jane’s nominations highlighted her outstanding instruction, in addition to her nurturing, caring soul in a discipline that is challenging even outside of pandemic-style teaching and learning,” said Richard Chambers, Ivy Tech Bloomington faculty advisory council president and department chair of social sciences. “I can also recall that several of my Supplemental Student Instructors [peer tutors] spoke highly of Mary Jane, both as an instructor and as a positive person in their lives.”

Fleener’s nominations spoke to her ability to communicate complicated subject matter in a way that is attainable and retainable. In one nomination a student said that “Mrs. Fleener is an exceedingly fresh breath of air in the complicated world that is nursing school.” Another student nomination said that, “Mrs. Fleener genuinely cares about her students and has made the daunting task of Zoom class seem easy, with a successful transition to the virtual classroom.”

The Adjunct Faculty Award for Excellence in Instruction is presented annually to one adjunct faculty member from each Ivy Tech campus statewide. As a recipient of this award, Fleener, is also the nominee for the statewide Ivy Tech Gerald. I. Lamkin Award for Excellence in Instruction. The Award is named for a former Ivy Tech president and recognizes an adjunct faculty member who exhibits excellence in instruction and represents the mission of the college.

Ivy Tech accepts free applications year-round and offers multiple course start dates for faster completion. Funding options are also available, from the state’s Next Level Jobs grant that aligns certification training with high-demand jobs, to federal grants such as the Pell. To get started and ask questions, email or call 812-330-6013.

Associate professor, Kyle Hetrick, wins annual campus instructional award

Ivy Tech Community College’s Bloomington campus has named Kyle Hetrick, Ph.D., associate professor of biology and anatomy & physiology, the recipient of the 2021 President’s Award for Excellence in Instruction. He was selected as the winner among 55 full-time faculty nominees.

Hetrick’s nominations revealed that he went the extra mile and beyond for his students in a year that presented unique challenges for college-level anatomy & physiology (A&P) education.

“The subcommittee was extremely impressed with the quality and volume of nominations that Kyle received for the campus excellence in instruction award,” said Richard Chambers, Ivy Tech Bloomington faculty advisory council president and department chair of social sciences. “It painted a clear picture of an extraordinarily talented and deeply invested instructor that has a passion for teaching and care for the students he serves.”

In addition to his role as associate professor, Hetrick also serves as assistant program chair for biology and A&P where he focuses on teaching microbiology, genetics, and physiology. He earned his B.A. in Biology and Chemistry from Judson University in Chicagoland (Elgin, Ill) and earned his Ph.D. in Microbiology from Indiana University in Bloomington.

“My graduate and post-doctoral training is in microbial genetics, as my research focused on DNA replication and repair, gene expression, mutations, and stress responses in bacteria and archaea,” said Hetrick. “The research was fascinating, but I always knew that I wanted to become an educator and share my enthusiasm for the life sciences with students.”

Hetrick began teaching at Ivy Tech in 2015 and truly enjoys helping his students reach their academic and professional goals.

His students agree. In one nomination, a student expressed that Hetrick not only “knows the information and is intelligent,” but is also relatable and caring when students have questions. He is a “great teacher.”

In another nomination, this one from a colleague, Hetrick is described as a “most genuinely liked instructor” who keeps up-to date on industry best-practices and the latest teaching innovations in his related fields of study. Also, that he is a “gifted lecturer” and hears from students how much they enjoy Hetrick’s courses both in-person and virtually.

In addition to his teaching duties in the classroom, Hetrick is dedicated to professional and community service for the benefit of student learning, including serving as assistant director of Ivy Tech’s Alternative Spring Break (a service-oriented, immersive travel experience for Ivy Tech Bloomington students) and assists with Science Olympiad and other programmatic outreach initiatives.

The President’s Award is presented annually to one full-time faculty member from each Ivy Tech campus statewide. As recipient of this award, Hetrick is also the nominee for the statewide Ivy Tech Founder’s Award for Excellence in Instruction, to be presented by the College in June. The Founder’s Award is presented annually to one full-time faculty member statewide who best typifies the teaching and learning mission of the College.

Ivy Tech accepts free applications year-round and offers multiple course start dates for faster completion. Funding options are also available, from the state’s Next Level Jobs grant that aligns certification training with high-demand jobs to federal grants such as the Pell. To get started and ask questions, email or call 812-330-6013.

Esthela O’Neill promoted to Assistant Vice Chancellor for Enrollment Services and Student Success

Ivy Tech Community College has promoted Esthela O’Neill to the position of Assistant Vice Chancellor for Enrollment Services and Student Success at Ivy Tech’s Bloomington campus. O’Neill was formerly, Director of Admissions. In her new role, she will provide co-leadership of frontline teams, implement new enrollment and retention initiatives, and create external partnerships with local organizations.

“Esthela brings a wealth of knowledge that has enabled her to hit the ground running in support of the work we do for our students and communities,” said Trudy Weddle, Vice Chancellor for Enrollment Services and Student Success. “She has always gone above and beyond what is expected in order to ensure that Ivy Tech delivers quality student services for our students.”

In her previous role as Director of Admissions, O’Neill was involved with expanding the Hoosier Link partnership between Ivy Tech and Indiana University and with strategic enrollment management and planning to redesign the campus Admissions Welcome Center, in addition to other enrollment initiatives. She increased collaborative work between departments on campus and participated in testing and onboarding of the College’s new Salesforce customer relationship management tool, IvyConnect.

O’Neill earned her associate degree at Ivy Tech and transferred to Indiana University to earn her bachelor’s degree. She also holds a Master of Public Administration. She currently serves on the board for the United Way of Monroe County, the Ellettsville Council for Youth, and advisory board member at the Chamber’s Success School.

Ivy Tech accepts free applications year-round and offers multiple course start dates for faster completion. Funding options are also available, from the Next Level Jobs grant that aligns certification training with high-demand jobs, to federal grants such as the Pell. To get started and ask questions, email or call 812-330-6013.

Greg May of Centerstone wins Ivy Tech Bloomington Distinguished Alumni award

Ivy Tech Community College’s Bloomington campus has named Greg May, administrative director of adult and family services at Centerstone, its 2021 Distinguished Alumni Award recipient. At Centerstone, May is responsible for overseeing cross-functional grant teams including criminal justice initiatives as well as business practice alignment for a 20-county service area. With 15 years of experience based in substance use treatment and recovery and his extensive involvement and commitment to mental healthcare, May has made a lasting impact on the community and has achieved significant professional accomplishments.

“Ivy Tech Bloomington is incredibly proud of Greg and the important work he does every day in our community,” said Chancellor Jennie Vaughan. “Ivy Tech graduates are Hoosiers who largely live and work in the communities we serve, and Greg’s success is a fantastic example of how it all starts here.”

May earned his Associate of General Studies degree in 2005 from Ivy Tech Bloomington. He transferred to a four-year university after earning his associate degree to continue his education. May earned his Bachelor’s, Master’s and Doctorate of Education (EdD) degrees, and has just earned his Master of Social Work (MSW).

“Thank you for this recognition,” said May. “I am thankful to Ivy Tech for providing me with a solid foundation!”

Most recently, May appeared in an article in the Bloomington Herald-Times about his work at the City’s Stride Center, which serves people in crisis with nowhere to go. He is past chair of the Monroe County Opioid Crisis Commission and on the board of Monroe County CARES. May serves as the treatment liaison for the four problem solving courts in Monroe County. He was a member of the Trauma Informed Care Committee at Centerstone and co-led the Forensic Peer Curriculum Workgroup, which resulted in a three-day training for Forensic Peer Specialist to be utilized throughout the state of Indiana. He is also a member of the newly resurrected Ivy Tech Bloomington Alumni Council.

Each year, up to 18 Ivy Tech alumni from across the state are honored with the Distinguished Alumni Award and is the highest honor given to recognize Ivy Tech Alumni. 

Ivy Tech accepts free applications year-round and offers multiple course start dates for faster completion. Funding options are also available. To get started or ask questions, email or call 812-330-6013.

Free Therapeutic Massage training starts January 2021

BLOOMINGTON – The Therapeutic Massage program at Ivy Tech Bloomington starts January 19, 2021. Students can complete a short-term certificate (only 26 credit hours) and be ready to sit for the state Massage & Bodywork Licensing Exam (MBLEx). Eligible students can earn a free certification in the program through Next Level Jobs.

“Students complete internships in the Bloomington area where they make connections with potential employers and upon certification, get right to work as massage therapists,” said Bethany Gray, program coordinator.

The program has 100% certification and job placement rate.

To apply, go to and select Health Science.

Workforce Ready Grant helps auto tech student train for free

BLOOMINGTON – Joseph Smith loves to work on cars but could not afford to go to college on his disability income. His fiancé suggested he apply for the Workforce Ready Grant which provides eligible Hoosiers the opportunity to earn a tuition-free certificate in select Ivy Tech Community College programs. Smith is now taking automotive service technician classes for free at Ivy Tech Bloomington’s new facility at the Monroe County Airport.

Smith says the thing he enjoys most about his classes is the hands-on training. “I’m always learning different skills because automotive is growing—there’s always new things being added,” he said.

Ivy Tech’s new state-of-the-art automotive technology facilities provide the flexibility for instruction on standard gas engines, heavy-duty diesel engines, hybrid and electric motors as well as the adaptation of new technologies. Ivy Tech Bloomington currently offers a short-term certificate in Maintenance and Light Repair which can be completed in as little as 2 semesters, as well as a technical certificate in Automotive Service Technology which can be completed in 2-3 semesters.

Through the program, students are prepared to take industry standard certification exams from the National Institute for Automotive Service Excellence.

“My goal is to obtain ASE certification to work in the industry and eventually own a repair shop,” Smith said.

Students at Ivy Tech can request reasonable accommodations for accessible education at Ivy Tech through the Office of Disability Support Services.

Ivy Tech Bloomington offers multiple free, short-term certificate programs in healthcare, robotics, welding, HVAC, business, cyber security, IT, automotive technology and more, all paid for by the Workforce Ready Grant through Next Level Jobs Indiana. Many programs can be completed fully online, as well as on campus.

Apply now and be ready to start classes in January.

Student Life hosted indoor ‘pumpkin patch’

BLOOMINGTON – Campus Student Life hosted a “Halloween at Home” event this year. In a makeshift “pumpkin patch” in the main lobby, students had the opportunity to grab a small pumpkin to take home to carve or paint and a bag of treats containing some candy and non-food items.

“The intent was to do something for Ivy Tech students, their families and the community even though we couldn’t host a traditional celebration on campus this year,” said Jack Driscoll, assistant director of student life.

Ivy Tech Bloomington partnered with the local Boys & Girls Club to also provide children in the community with candy bags and pumpkins.

People were encouraged to share their decorated pumpkins on social media with the hashtag #IvyTechHalloween.

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Phi Theta Kappa wins $1000 grant for conservation project

BLOOMINGTON – The Ivy Tech Community College Bloomington chapter, Alpha Rho Sigma, of the Phi Theta Kappa Honors Society received a $1000 grant for their “Honors in Action” project. Members completed a grant proposal and included their research questions, objectives, academic sources, and ideas for how the funds would support their project. 

This year’s project fell under the category “Natural and Constructed Environments.” Phi Theta Kappa students decided to pursue bird appreciation and conservation efforts for the Blue Herons that shelter on the Ivy Tech Bloomington campus. After researching related issues and talking about them with Professor Sarah Cote, chair of the Biology Department, they decided to use the grant money to improve native riparian habitats in the campus retention ponds.

“These ponds are part of the Biology Department’s new outdoor learning lab, and this project helped to expand the lab and will bring more magnificent birds to campus,” said Indiana Regional Coordinator, Dr. Samantha Levy-Arnold.

Alpha Rho Sigma inducted nearly 70 new members this semester and was awarded the Indiana region’s most distinguished chapter of Phi Theta Kappa for 2020.

Ivy Tech Bloomington student wins free tuition for a year

BLOOMINGTON – Ivy Tech Community College Bloomington student Macy Horton was named the winner of Ivy Tech’s statewide “Plan Ahead, Get Ahead” registration contest encouraging students to enroll in classes for Spring Semester 2021. Macy is an Elementary Education TSAP major and will receive free tuition and fees for a full year at Ivy Tech.

“It takes away the stress of the financial burden for my parents and I, knowing the money we had marked for this tuition will go towards furthering my education after I graduate from Ivy Tech,” Horton said.

The Education program at Ivy Tech is part of the Transfer as Junior (TSAP) program that enables students to save upward of $10,000 by completing their first two years at Ivy Tech and then transferring to a four-year college in the state with automatic junior status.

“My goal is to graduate with an associate degree that will allow me to transfer to a state university and continue my education towards becoming an elementary school teacher,” Horton said”

Ivy Tech Bloomington is offering its own contest for early registration in spring 2021 classes. Bloomington students who enroll by November 20, 2020 will be entered to win a $1000 tuition scholarship. Students can enroll through MyIvy or make an appointment with their advisor.

Ivy Tech accepts free applications throughout the year with multiple class start dates for faster completion. The next round of classes start on January 19, 2021. New students can apply now at For questions, email or call (812) 330-6013.

Montra Reinhardt named Dean of Ivy Tech Bloomington School of Nursing

Reinhardt replaces retired Dean Pam Thompson

BLOOMINGTON Ivy Tech Community College Bloomington announces Montra Reinhardt as the new Dean of the Marchant School of Nursing, effective October 1, 2020. Previously, Reinhardt held the position of associate professor and department chair in the School of Nursing, and has served Ivy Tech in a faculty role since 2004. She replaces Dean Pam Thompson, who retired in late August.

“I want to congratulate Montra for achieving this leadership role as Dean for our School of Nursing, which has a reputation for training highly-prepared nurses,” said Chancellor Jennie Vaughan. “In fact, the success of our graduates is in part a reflection of Montra’s nursing instruction. LPNs at Ivy Tech Bloomington enjoy a 100% NCLEX pass rate, which elevated the program to #1 in the state.”

In May 2019, Ivy Tech Bloomington’s practical nursing program was ranked #1 in the state out of all other Indiana LPN programs by

“I am honored to be given this opportunity to work with students, faculty, staff, and community partners,” Reinhardt said. “The current public health crisis reinforces the need to prepare nurses who can make a positive impact on the wellbeing of individuals and the public. Ivy Tech’s School of Nursing has a long tradition of excellence and will continue to respond to the need to graduate nurses who are caring, competent, and workforce-ready.”   

Reinhardt holds a BSN from the University of Evansville and an MSN from the University of Southern Indiana. Prior to starting her career in nursing education at Ivy Tech, Montra worked as an RN for 17 years.

Eligible students can earn a tuition-free Ivy Tech certificate in nursing through Next Level Jobs, paid for by the state’s Workforce Ready Grant. Nursing and other medical interest programs start January 19, 2021.

Ivy Tech accepts free applications year-round and offers multiple course start dates for faster completion. To get started, go to, call (812) 330-6013, or email

Ivy Tech automotive training classes move to Monroe County Airport

BLOOMINGTON Ivy Tech Community College Bloomington and the Monroe County Airport, along with Monroe County Board of Commissioners and Monroe County Council hosted a dedication and grand opening of Ivy Tech’s Automotive Technology training program on Thursday, October 1 at 1 p.m. The event was held at Ivy Tech’s repurposed garage space on airport grounds.

In May 2020, Ivy Tech began leasing hangar space at the airport and relocated its automotive technology training program to it once renovations were complete. Ivy Tech training classes in this high-wage, high-demand job field start as soon as Oct. 26. Eligible residents can earn a tuition-free job certification in auto repair in just 6 classes.

“The relocation of Ivy Tech’s automotive technology program to the Monroe County Airport provides much-needed garage space and state-of-the-art workforce training capabilities,” said Chancellor Jennie Vaughan, Ivy Tech Bloomington. “We are grateful for this partnership with Monroe County Airport, which makes it possible for Ivy Tech to educate and train Hoosiers for automotive jobs of now and the future.”

The new garage space has enabled Ivy Tech to expand its automotive training certification options and to run a flexible schedule of courses that includes evening classes.

“The Monroe County Airport is excited to partner with Ivy Tech Community College by offering an excellent location and upgraded facility for their automotive program,” said Carlos Laverty, director of the Monroe County Airport.  “Together we’re investing in students and enhancing community.” 

Ivy Tech’s Automotive Technology program is a high-demand program, in which local industry is in need of skilled technicians.

Eligible students can earn a tuition-free Ivy Tech automotive technology certification through Next Level Jobs, paid for by the state’s Workforce Ready Grant.

Ivy Tech accepts free applications year-round and offers multiple course start dates for faster completion. To get started in Oct. or ask questions, call (812) 330-6013 or email

Ivy Tech launches fast-track program, IvyAccelerate

BLOOMINGTON – Ivy Tech Community College Bloomington is accepting applications for IvyAccelerate, a flexible, fast-track program for earning college credentials on time. Adults with busy schedules can stay on track to earning a full associate degree in four semesters or a credential in two semesters by taking classes just two evenings per week starting on Oct. 26. Some eligible students can start this program for free through Indiana’s Next Level Jobs grant program.

Earning college credentials through IvyAccelerate gives graduates the opportunity to get to work in the field, transfer to earn a bachelor’s degree, or both.

Students can choose from IvyAccelerate programs in Business Administration, Cyber Security, or Pre-Nursing Studies.

To learn more and submit a free application, go to

Ivy Tech seeks applicants for Youth Leadership Academy

BLOOMINGTON – Ivy Tech Community College Bloomington seeks area seventh and eighth grade applicants with diverse backgrounds and experiences for the Judy O’Bannon Youth Leadership Academy (YLA). YLA is a program designed to foster civic commitment and engagement among youth. Participants will develop leadership skills, create a community service project, and build communication skills. There is no fee for application or participation.

YLA students will engage in leadership development activities on three Saturdays, including Oct. 10, Nov. 7, and Dec. 5, 2020. The three meetings will take place from 9 a.m. to 10:30 a.m. via Zoom. Weather permitting, on Friday, Oct. 9, there will be a physically-distant meet and greet. In January 2021, students will begin meeting with their mentor to complete a group service project that addresses the needs of local youth or solves a problem at school or in the community.

To apply, visit the Youth Leadership Academy website. The deadline to apply for Ivy Tech’s Judy O’Bannon Youth Leadership Academy is Monday, Sept. 28. To learn more, contact Jennifer Daily-Mantha at or 812-330-4402.

Unprecedented times, extraordinary opportunities: now is the time to earn your education

In the wake of the COVID-19 pandemic, we’ve all had to adapt to a changing world. Parents have had to learn how to homeschool their children–or at the very least keep them focused on remote learning. Workers have had to adapt to new ways of doing their jobs–and that’s for the lucky ones. Others had to navigate unemployment or find a new place to work. And everyone was required to learn the new rules of not spreading illness throughout our communities and families during these unprecedented times.

Amid all of these challenges caring for others or undertaking a job search often takes precedence over personal and professional goals. To some extent, this is understandable—becoming ill, caring for a sick family member, or losing work—other priorities get placed on hold. It is during times like these, however, when we are most put to the test that we find opportunity for growth.

This is why Ivy Tech Community College is committed to providing students with a variety of ways to continue working toward their college education. We know that everyone’s circumstances are different and that flexibility is critical. As a result, we offer in-person (socially distant with facial coverings), virtual, online and blended classes. We even offer Learn Anywhere classes that accommodate fluctuating schedules—students can choose week to week if they’ll attend class in-person, virtually, or online.  Meeting students where they are is important to us, especially during this pandemic.

At Ivy Tech Bloomington, we are excited to also launch IvyAccelerate, an accelerated Associate Degree program that accommodates busy schedules.  Choose from three majors: Business Administration, pre-Nursing, or Cyber Security. To apply, visit or call (812) 330-6013.  Some Indiana residents could be eligible to start these programs tuition-free through Indiana’s Next Level Jobs

While we continue to offer courses in a traditional 16-week format, we also offer courses in an 8-week format, which has proven to be much more successful for adults with busy schedules. Not only do students complete faster, they can start new classes nearly every eight weeks.  Our next term begins October 26. 

A wide variety of students can benefit from eight-week classes:

  • Those who are unemployed and want to train for a new career quickly. Eight-week courses allow students to train for a new career in less than a year. And as part of Indiana’s Next Level Jobs Program, the Workforce Ready Grant pays for tuition and regularly-assessed fees for qualifying certificates at Ivy Tech. It’s a rare opportunity to receive a free education in a field where high wage, high demand jobs exist.
  • Guest students attending another college or university. Guest students can take classes at Ivy Tech while enrolled at another school. Eight-week classes allow students to earn credits while on a break from their primary institution, to satisfy degree requirements when a specific class is unavailable at their primary institution, or to increase the number of credits they earn in a given time period. This allows them to accelerate their progress toward graduation or stay on track and—given Ivy Tech’s position as the most affordable college in the state—save a considerable amount of money.
  • Those who missed the traditional semester start but don’t want to wait until January to enroll. While 16-week classes may still be a good choice for many students, Ivy Tech’s eight-week classes give students the option of getting started more quickly. In addition, our research shows that students taking eight-week classes actually outperform those taking 16-week classes, due in part to increased focus and ability to take fewer classes at the same time while staying on track to graduation.

Regardless of your needs, the bottom line is that you don’t have to—and shouldn’t—put off the pursuit of education. More than ever, employers are seeking skilled workers and there are stable career opportunities available now. Within every great challenge is even greater opportunity, and you don’t need to wait to get started. Taking classes at Ivy Tech starting in October is the first step toward new opportunity.

By Jennie Vaughan, Chancellor, Ivy Tech Community College Bloomington

Ivy Tech offering EMT, IT, other training options at StoneGate downtown

BEDFORD – Ivy Tech Community College Bloomington is hosting select classes at StoneGate Arts & Education Center, downtown Bedford, including training classes in EMT, IT, and HVAC starting Aug. 24. Ivy Tech also offers courses that transfer to four-year universities in accounting, business, and more.

Eligible Ivy Tech students can earn a tuition-free credential entirely from home or in-person, through Next Level Jobs Indiana, paid for by the Workforce Ready Grant. Some high-demand, high-wage programs that can be completed online from home include information technology programs like cyber security, software development, and IT support, plus business administration, accounting, supply chain management and logistics, and manufacturing production. EMT and HVAC are also included in tuition-free training options for eligible students, and will be completed in-person.

In the past year, Ivy Tech Bloomington awarded more than 100 students in its service area with Workforce Ready Grants, making their job training and subsequent college certification tuition-free.

Students can receive one-on-one virtual assistance applying and signing up for classes by emailing or by calling (812) 330-6013.

Ivy Tech accepts free applications and fall classes start on Aug. 24. Apply online at and for more information, visit