Ivy Tech graduate utilizes degree at work and at home

P.J. Abbott, a 2008 graduate of Ivy Tech Community College’s Bloomington campus, has found ways to apply his Associate of Applied Science degree in Design Technology both at home and at work.

After working at General Electric for more than 15 years, Abbott was laid off when the local plant relocated to Mexico. He faced limited options for employment. “The retraining programs provided by the State were very particular and limited in assistance,” Abbot said. “Getting a four year degree wasn’t an option, so that left technical schools or an associate program of some type.”

Abbott enrolled at Ivy Tech Bloomington and began working toward his degree in design technology. “One of the benefits of attending Ivy Tech was the smaller class sizes,” he said. “It allowed for more one on one communication with the instructors. There is a greater sense of accountability in a smaller class, as opposed to a larger school.”

Abbott began working at Cook Pharmica, before graduation, in 2007 as a computer aided design drafter (CADD) and has since been promoted to the position of engineering coordinator. “I was and still am impressed with the level of education I received at Ivy Tech,” he said. “On a daily basis, I interact and collaborate with four-year degreed engineers and other professionals.”

As an outdoor enthusiast, Abbott decided to put his technical knowledge to use outside of work and build a 4 foot, 6 inch by 11 foot trailer camper for himself and his fiancée. “I’ve always been an ‘outside the box’ type of thinker,” he said.

Abbott says that he has the vision to create things he sees in his mind, and that his engineering degree and time at Ivy Tech provided the technical skills and information to keep the necessary physical constraints “in the box.”

“I used a lot of math and geometry in the design and shape of the coach,” he said. “There were a lot of things that came back to me like strength of materials, balancing, load limits, bending moments, material choices, design intent, and production and fabricating techniques. My CADD skills were extremely handy in the design process,” Abbott said.

For more information about enrolling in Ivy Tech Bloomington’s Design Technology program, contact Vanessa Babcock at 812-330-6319 or vbabcock2@ivytech.edu.



Biotechnology associate professor, Sarah Cote, wins regional Ivy Tech President’s Award

BLOOMINGTON – Ivy Tech Community College’s Bloomington campus has selected Sarah Cote, associate professor of biotechnology, as the 2015 recipient of Ivy Tech’s President’s Award for Excellence in Instruction. She was selected among 42 other full-time faculty nominees.

“I want to congratulate Sarah on being selected as recipient of this prestigious regional campus award, having been nominated by both students and faculty,” said Chancellor Jennie Vaughan. “Her commitment to student success, serving the community, and bringing resources to campus for life sciences initiatives truly represents the mission of the college.”

Cote’s nominations highlighted her commitment to student learning and her engaging classroom style. She implements an environmental science service-learning project and hosts the Super Science Saturday event each year, which attracts 200 to 300 participants from the community to Ivy Tech’s Indiana Center for the Life Sciences. Cote is an integral part of the grant writing team for biotechnology programming at Ivy Tech Bloomington.

“Our Associate of Applied Science in Biotechnology program works to provide a steady pipeline of educated workers for the biotech industry,” Cote said. “Of the 52 AAS graduates in Biotechnology, 41 are working in a biosciences relevant position or have decided to continue their education in the biosciences. That’s nearly 80 percent of our graduates.”

Interns and graduates of Ivy Tech Bloomington’s biotechnology program are employed at Cook Pharmica, BioConvergence, Baxter, Bradford Soap Works, Ivy Tech Community College, AB Biotechnologies, and Upland Brewery. Additionally, students work at other locations outside of the Bloomington area such as Eli Lilly and Dow Agrosciences.

“At AB Biotechnologies, two thirds of workers are graduates of our biotechnology program,” Cote said.

AB Biotechnologies expects to have 20-25 new biotech jobs available in the coming year.

By 2017, Cook Pharmica predicts it will need to fill 70 new biotech positions.

In addition to the AAS in Biotechnology that prepares students for careers, Ivy Tech Bloomington offers an Associate of Science in Biotechnology, which is designed to transfer seamlessly to Indiana University’s biotechnology bachelor’s degree program.

The President’s Award is given annually to a full-time faculty member from each of the regions of the College. As recipient of this award, Cote is also the nominee for the statewide Ivy Tech Glenn W. Sample Award for Excellence in Instruction, to be presented by the College in April. The Sample Award is presented to one full-time faculty member who best typifies the teaching and learning mission of the College.


Radiation therapy degree program at Ivy Tech wins Indiana Career and Technical Education award

Ivy Tech Community College Bloomington’s radiation therapy associate degree program has won the Indiana Career and Technical Education Program Award for Excellence. The award will be presented to Ivy Tech Bloomington at a public ceremony on Tuesday, February 23 at the Indiana Government Center in Indianapolis.

Ivy Tech Bloomington’s Associate of Science in Radiation Therapy is the only accredited radiation therapy associate degree program in Indiana. The classroom is equipped with a state-of-the-art Virtual Environmental Radiotherapy Training (VERT) system, and Ivy Tech is one of 14 programs in the United States that trains students in this interactive 3-D virtual treatment room.

“According to the Bureau of Labor Statistics, the employment of radiation therapists will increase by more than 24 percent over the next ten years,” said Karlee Wyatt, Ivy Tech’s radiation therapy program director. “With the development of over ten proton therapy centers in the United States in the next five to ten years, the need for radiation therapists to treat cancer patients at these centers will increase. Our degree program has recognized this evolution of industry, and now Ivy Tech Bloomington offers specific training to our radiation therapy students in traditional photon therapy with additional effort put into focusing on proton therapy as well.”

The program has received national recognition for its accomplishments, including designing and implementing the nation’s first Proton Therapy Specialist Certificate, and was a nominee for the Bellwether Award for innovative programs among community colleges across the nation.

Ivy Tech’s radiation therapy degree program has a five year average job placement rate of 96 percent. “In just the last two years, all 15 of our graduates have taken jobs in radiation therapy,” Wyatt said.

The degree program has an on-time completion rate of 87 percent, and graduates work in various hospitals or radiation oncology centers throughout Indiana. Graduates of the program have also been given opportunities to pursue careers in a number of locations throughout the United States.

Ivy Tech Bloomington’s Radiation Therapy associate degree program is fully accredited by the Joint Review Committee on Education in Radiologic Technology (JRCERT) and received the maximum accreditation award of eight years.

The Awards for Excellence program is sponsored by the Indiana Department of Education.

For information about how to apply to Ivy Tech, visit www.ivytech.edu/applynow.

Ivy Tech really cookin’

Students love pavilion’s modern look, spaces

From left, Stacy Strand, Bryce McClellan and April Williams talk about the poundcake cupcakes they made in the culinary school in Cook Pavilion at Ivy Tech. Jeremy Hogan | Herald-Times

The Herald-Times
Posted: Tuesday, January 12, 2016 12:31 am
By Kat Carlton 812-331-4351 | kcarlton@heraldt.com

The aroma of warm chocolate chip cookies and pound cake swirled in the air of the new culinary space at Ivy Tech’s Cook Pavilion in Bloomington Monday, as students of baking science in white coats swarmed around chef instructor Stacy Strand.

“We’re so excited — elated,” Strand said with a smile, referring to the students’ brand-new learning space. “We weren’t allowed to design the old space. It was a production kitchen. This is a teaching kitchen, and it’s much better.”

Monday marked the beginning of Ivy Tech Bloomington’s spring semester and the first day students occupied many areas of the newly opened Cook Pavilion. Almost two months ago, officials celebrated the naming of the new wing, which is a $24 million, 90,000-square-foot expansion of the Connie and Steve Ferguson Academic Building, named for the Cook Group. The school’s hospitality program was formerly housed in a building on Liberty Drive. But beginning this semester, all the culinary students study and practice on the same campus off West Third Street, in rooms exposed by big windows.

“To be able to see what it’s like in action is really awesome,” said Chancellor Jennie Vaughan. “We’ve waited so long for this day.”

Vaughan said the school was promised an expansion nearly 10 years ago, but it got delayed. The project’s first phase in 2007 accommodated 5,000 students, and quickly became too small for a growing number of students. It currently serves around 6,500 students, many of whom are on the main campus. Last semester some students, including those studying hospitality administration, occupied rented spaces on Liberty Drive. With the new wing of the main Bloomington campus, Ivy Tech was able to give up one of those two spaces.

Culinary students Bob Gray and Anna Salzman said they appreciate the new class space and its centralized location on the main campus.

“It’s a lot more open,” said Salzman. “I like that there are windows. The other space felt like a basement.”

“I’m really looking forward to working with the new equipment,” said Gray, who noted that the convection ovens in the old building malfunctioned.

Gray also pointed out the four large butcher block tables in the room and the blast chiller, a device used to chill or freeze food more quickly than a traditional refrigerator.

“This is going to make things run a lot more smoothly,” said instructor Strand.

Highlights of the new wing include:

• The culinary area, which saves $300,000 a year immediately in leasing costs and $200,000 more expected in 2017;

• Shreve Hall, the building’s first lecture hall of its kind, which will seat up to 400 people and can be converted into multiple classroom spaces;

• A new Bloomingfoods store with double the space of the previous Ivy Tech Bloomington location;

• A paramedic science room with mock ambulance, allowing for training on both analog and digital systems;

• The Technology, Engineering, Entrepreneurship, Arts, Math and Sciences “makers space” for students to work together and develop creativity;

• An advanced automation robotics technology center, with a line similar to the drug-fill line at Cook Pharmica, to train people in using robots;

• A new fine arts area, which accommodates visual arts, dance classes, a music room and kinesiology.

Other highlights of the new addition include a new common area, classrooms, faculty area, advising and testing spaces and more.

Cleaning, wiring and other finishing touches were still being made to parts of Cook Pavilion on Monday. One of the unfinished areas will be converted into a student-run cafe, which will likely open next semester and seat 40-50 people inside, with additional students outside later on. According to Strand, the cafe is planned to open each Wednesday with one hospitality administration class doing the cooking and another class serving.

Last year, the hospitality administration program received a five-year renewal of accreditation for culinary arts and an initial approval for five years of accreditation for baking and pastry arts by the American Culinary Federation Education Foundation Accrediting Commission. According to Ivy Tech officials, the program was also designated “Exemplary” for the culinary arts concentration, since the program was in full compliance upon renewal. It’s also the only culinary program in the state with that designation.

Chef instructor Strand said the move from the Liberty Drive building is a welcome change.

“There, nobody knew we existed,” she said. “It’s great being a part of the school.”

Students can still register for classes through the end of the week at Ivy Tech in Bloomington.

James Mynatt, center, gets lunch in the Cook Pavilion, which is now open for students, and classes at Ivy Tech.  Jeremy Hogan | Herald-Times

Food classes abound at Burton Kimble Farms Education Center

Ivy Tech Community College’s Center for Lifelong Learning (CLL) Spring 2016 catalog is filled with a variety of non-credit, personal enrichment classes, including food classes at Burton Kimble Farms Education Center east of Orleans, Ind.

First on the list at the Farm is “Soup! Mmm Good,” taught by Patrick Hall, taking place on Tuesday, January 19. Participants are invited to the Farm to learn how to make three easy soups, croutons, and special toppings. Taste testing is on the agenda.

With Valentine’s Day around the corner, participants are invited back to the Farm to learn about the holiday, how to decorate, and how to make cookies and treats for the special day. “All Things from the Heart!” is scheduled for Tuesday, February 9, with Hall teaching the class.

Participants can call (812) 330-4400 to sign up or log on www.ivytech.edu/cll for more information.

A full listing of all Ivy Tech CLL classes can be viewed in the catalog or online at www.ivytech.edu/cll.