Ivy Tech student, Kyle Ramsey, selected for national Cisco networking team in Las Vegas

Kyle Ramsey, an Ivy Tech Bloomington School of Computing and Informatics student, has been selected from more than 80 applicants across the United States and Canada to participate at Cisco Live, Cisco’s largest customer event, in Las Vegas in July. Ramsey will serve as a member of the Networking Academy Dream Team. He is one of only 11 students selected for the team.

“I’m excited to get the opportunity to set up and configure over 1,000 wireless access points and three semi-trailers full of Cisco gear,” Ramsey said. “The network will be operational for more than 25,000 event attendees.”

Ramsey became involved with Cisco last fall when he began working toward Cisco certifications through the Cisco Networking Academy. He has earned one certification so far and will have the opportunity to take his second Cisco certification exam at the event in July.

“I really have to attribute this opportunity to the full time computing and informatics faculty at Ivy Tech Bloomington and adjunct instructor, Brian Farnsley,” Ramsey said. “They have provided opportunities that I never would have received at any other institution. I have attended four other colleges and none of them have compared to the education I have received from this group of professors and instructors.”

Ramsey is working toward associate degrees in both Network Infrastructure and Cyber Security.

In addition to his studies at Ivy Tech and involvement with Cisco, Ramsey currently works as an intern at Smithville Fiber and will transition to a full time position as a Network Engineering Specialist there on May 29.

To find out more about the Network Infrastructure and Cyber Security degree programs at Ivy Tech, contact Chris Carroll at 812-330-6233 or rcarroll@ivytech.edu.

Ivy Tech commencement stories

Safiyyah Abd’Llah, 21406_Saffiya
Associate of Science, Human Services
Outstanding Student Award
Cum Laude

Safiyyah decided to attend Ivy Tech Community College immediately following high school graduation on the advice of her mother, who had a strong belief that pursuing a higher education would be beneficial for her.

She served as a student ambassador on campus, worked in the registrar’s office and was a member of Phi Theta Kappa honor society. She also volunteered with Girls, Inc. and for Shalom Community Center.

Safiyyah says that Ivy Tech has had a lasting and profound effect on her life and that she is so thankful to the staff at the college who cheered her on along the way. She thanks her mother for pushing her toward Ivy Tech and for her endless, gracious support.

She is transferring to Indiana University this fall to pursue her bachelor’s in journalism and interactive media storytelling at the Media School. Her future aspirations include utilizing media as a platform for social advocacy and change.

Saffiyah recently began work as an intern at Bloom Magazine and hopes to continue to work there during her studies.

Daisy Lamptey, 21Daisy2
Associate of Applied Science, Paralegal Studies
Outstanding Student Award
Magna Cum Laude

As an international student (Ghana) who was also accepted to Indiana University, Daisy says she chose to earn her degree at Ivy Tech Community College due to affordability and that it offered her degree program of choice.

Because of her education at Ivy Tech, she is employed at a local criminal and family law office as a paralegal. She hopes to earn enough money to go back to school and earn her bachelor’s degree. Her ultimate goal is to attend law school.

Daisy is the oldest of three girls, with one sister at college in Michigan and another at Bloomington High School North. Daisy’s mom is also graduating college this May, with her Ph.D. from Indiana University.

Amanda Worthington, 29401_Amanda
Associate of Science, Respiratory Care
Outstanding Student Award
Associate of General Studies

Amanda was a stay at home mom and decided she wanted a career that would help support her family. She chose Ivy Tech Community College because it serves all sorts of students, including non-traditional students like herself who have the drive to advance their lives.

Amanda says that thanks to Ivy Tech, she found employment in a career she loves. She works at Riley Children’s Hospital and Columbus Regional Hospital as a respiratory therapist.

Amanda is wife to her husband that she’s been together with since ninth grade, and mom to two children who are 8 and 10 years old.

Rachel Fortner, 22402_Rachel
Associate of Science, Respiratory Care

Rachel chose Ivy Tech Community College to take her general education courses and planned to transfer to a four-year school for a degree in dental hygiene, but she decided to stay at Ivy Tech to finish her associate degree in Respiratory Care. She says that Ivy Tech was flexible in a big way that university wouldn’t have been, and that she was able to raise her son and still attend school to make a better life for him.

She has already started working as a student respiratory therapist at Schneck Medical Center in Seymour, and has accepted a full time position there upon passing her board exam.

Rachel plans to work a few years and then go back to school to earn her bachelor’s degree.

James Goodson, 40410_James
Associate of Science, Radiation Therapy
Cum Laude

 James was looking for a career change from his job as a field tech supervisor at the same time that his middle daughter was diagnosed with cancer. She asked him to kill cancer, so he chose Ivy Tech Community College Bloomington, the only college campus in the state of Indiana to offer a two-year radiation therapy degree program.

James was a member of Phi Theta Kappa and volunteered at Relay for Life, Hooked on Kids and Care for Kids.

James is husband to his wife Laura, and the father of three daughters who are 15, 14, and 9 years old. His family is remembering his mother today, whose big dream was for him to graduate college!

Tiana Deckard, 22408_Tiana
Associate of Applied Science, Computer Information Systems
Outstanding Student Award
Cum Laude
Associate of Applied Science, Software Development
Cum Laude

Tiana hadn’t originally planned to go to college, but made Ivy Tech Community College her first choice when she decided immediately after graduation that she really did want to continue her education. She chose the Computer Information Systems degree program and later added Software Development.

Tiana was a work study in Ivy Tech’s School of Computing and Informatics and was a member of Phi Theta Kappa.

She credits her instructors and professors for guiding her to graduation.

In the future, Tiana plans to work in software development and enroll at a four year school to complete her bachelor’s degree.

Taversia Borrelli, 28400_Taversia
Associate of General Studies
Outstanding Student Award
Summa Cum Laude

Taversia has been accepted to the University of California, Berkeley and plans to attend in the fall. She graduated summa cum laude for holding a 4.0 GPA and was named the outstanding student in her program of study.

She received the Student Excellence in Volunteerism award as part of the O’Bannon Institute this past spring for her work with Mother’s Hubbard’s Cupboard. She volunteered four hours of her time per week. Taversia has served as Student Ambassador, Director of Outreach and Publicity for SGA, and as regional president of Phi Theta Kappa

In the future, she hopes to do transformative work in the field of sociology on the subject of Western professionalism and respectability politics. Her ultimate goal is to attend law school and theorize global legislation for the United Nations to benefit marginalized minority groups.


Tanner Romine, 20407_Tanner
Associate of Applied Science, Hospitality Administration

Tanner chose Ivy Tech Community College following his high school graduation because it was close to home. He is the first person in his family to attend college.

He says that completing his baking and pastry degree was a lot of hard work and that he had to stay focused on his goal to get to graduation day. If he had free time, it was considered homework time.

He secured an internship at French Lick Resort and hopes to be offered a full time position when that’s complete.

His ultimate goal is to someday open his own bakery.

Jordan Grant, 18404_Jordan
Associate of Science, Liberal Arts

Jordan began classes at Ivy Tech Community College in the Associate Accelerated Program (ASAP), which afforded her the opportunity to earn her associate degree in only 11 months, right out of high school. She chose this path rather than going directly to a four-year school because of the cost-savings of completing the first two years at community college.

She says if weren’t for ASAP, she’s not sure she would have gone to college, and that it was one of the best decisions she’s ever made.

Jordan plans to transfer to Indiana University, majoring in Speech-Language Pathology.

Dana Spradlin, 41405_Dana
Associate of Science in Nursing (Transitional)
Outstanding Student Award

Dana chose Ivy Tech Community College to transition from a licensed practical nurse (LPN) to a registered nurse (RN). She knew her husband and 20 year old son would also be attending Ivy Tech at the same time, so she focused on making a choice that would work financially for her family.

She faced challenges along the way, such as working full time during her first two semesters, surgery, then losing a loved one. With her husband’s support, she’s made it to graduation!

Dana currently works at Bloomington Meadows Hospital on PRN status (as needed).

She is a wife and mother to four sons ages 25, 24, 23, and 20.

In the future, she plans to pursue her Bachelor of Science in Nursing.

Anthony Spradlin, 41409_Anthony
Associate of Applied Science, Industrial Technology
Cum Laude

Anthony obtained his GED during high school and began working odd jobs with low pay and no benefits. His wife encouraged him to go back to school. After researching the job market, Anthony chose Ivy Tech Community College. It was flexible, affordable and had the small class sizes he was looking for.

During his studies, he acquired a technical certificate in industrial technology that gained him full time employment as a pipe welder. He worked full time and maintained his full time student status while completing his degree.

He says the journey as a non-traditional student who was out of school for 22 years wasn’t easy. His family skipped weekend trips and social events in order to study.

Anthony is the first person from his family to graduate college. He is proud to achieve his dream of having a stable career and a plan for retirement.

Anthony and Dana’s 20 year old son, Austin, who also attends Ivy Tech, completed his technical certificate in industrial technology this semester. He will take a job as a welder. He plans to use his earnings to finish his associate degree.   

Corey Nikirk, 23403_Corey
Associate of Science, Electrical Engineering Technology
Outstanding Student Award

Corey began attending Ivy Tech Community College following high school in pursuit of a nursing degree. She worked at a local podiatrist’s office while taking night classes and discovered that although she enjoyed her interactions with patients, the work wasn’t a good fit for her. During a conversation with her mother, who works in the engineering department at Duke Energy, Corey learned that Ivy Tech offers a degree in Electrical Engineering Technology. Since she always enjoyed analytics, problem solving and mathematics, she decided to enter the program.

Corey says she’s enjoyed going to her classes to learn engineering concepts, and to her hands-on labs to construct digital circuits and to program microcontrollers.

She attended Ivy Tech’s annual career expo in April which gave her the opportunity to explore job options and secure interviews with local employers.

Following graduation, Corey will begin work at Cook Polymer Technology as an Engineering Technician, and encourages other females to explore engineering fields at Ivy Tech.



Ivy Tech grads learn to cope with change

From The Herald-Times
Editorial Staff

Virtually all of the 1,002 men and women who are scheduled to receive degrees and certificates from Ivy Tech Community College’s Bloomington campus Friday have been through many changes and ushered in a new era at the campus on the west side of the community.

They were a part of a change in facilities. Those who have studied there for two years began their course work in one academic building or in satellite buildings away from the core campus. They completed their work in an expanded and renovated building that offers more and better opportunities to learn in one location. The expanded facility opened in January.

They were part of a change in leadership. They are the first two-year students to be enrolled under the administration of Chancellor Jennie Vaughan, who assumed her job in May of 2014 after the retirement of former Chancellor John Whikehart.

They were part of a change in curriculum. Some are receiving degrees in recently established programs, such as the Associate Accelerated Program (ASAP), as well as other new areas of study.

But change, new challenges and new opportunities come with the territory for a lot of Ivy Tech students.

Some of the students at the college have returned to school after raising a family; others have been able to start classes after their own children have grown enough to start school themselves.

Some have gone back to the classroom to be retrained in a new skill or for a new career more relevant to the 21st century economy.

Some have transitioned back into school from time in the military.

Some have gone to Ivy Tech to study with the understanding they will transfer to a different school to complete a four-year degree.

They have found areas of study in an ever-changing world, choosing everything from biotechnology to computer information technology to cyber security/information service to design technology to network infrastructure to software development. Those are just a sampling of the degrees and departments that stand at Ivy Tech circa 2016 besides the more traditional paths that have been offered such as nursing and accounting and general studies and liberal arts; or the relatively new areas such as radiation technology and hospitality management.

Many of the newer courses of study represent one of the strengths of Ivy Tech, which is the ability to pivot quickly to prepare students for emerging career opportunities.

The students realizing the completion of one goal Friday will now be able to move directly into a job or be prepared to continue their education at another institution of higher education.

Congratulations to all the students, from whatever circumstances, who will be receiving degrees or certificates from Ivy Tech Friday.

Fine arts degrees prove popular with Ivy Tech students

From The Herald-Times
By Marcela Creps 812-331-4375 | mcreps@heraldt.com

When Mika Liechti-Hawkins started taking classes at Ivy Tech in 2011, she thought she wanted to be a nurse. She soon realized that with her husband’s work schedule and her children’s needs, it might not be the best choice, so she changed her major to fine arts.

Liechti-Hawkins said she always liked art, but the program expanded her interests. She studied drawing, painting, 3-D art and ceramics.

“At the time that I started, fine arts was new,” she said.

The program has seen great growth since a degree in fine arts first was offered in 2012. Since the end of the 2012-13 academic year, the program has seen a 43 percent increase in students declaring for a fine arts degree, according to Paul Daily, dean of the school.

“We do have more space with the expansion, and this spring, we were able to offer two new classes,” Daily said.

In January, Ivy Tech Community College opened Cook Pavilion, an expansion of the school’s Connie and Steve Ferguson Academic Building. The pavilion included a new fine arts area with room for visual arts, dance classes and a music room.

“Even though we have new space, we actually overpacked our spaces this semester,” Daily said.

Initial plans called for the school’s sculpture classes to be kept at Liberty Crossing, but they were moved to the new space. Now, the challenge is finding room for an open studio — an area that gives students a place to work on their art.

“For this one semester, we did not give our students as much open studio hours as I would like,” Daily said.

But relief is coming. Daily said a garage space is being converted this summer to be used as a sculpture studio and for the 3-D design classes.

Ivy Tech offers some theater and dance classes, but Daily said the most growth has been in the visual arts.

The continued growth of the fine arts at Ivy Tech has proved beneficial to students, including Liechti-Hawkins. She had previously only painted with acrylics.

“Oils were really different, and I really liked it,” she said.

She also had a chance to work with 3-D design. A group project for the class soon got a little out of hand.

“It started off really small,” Liechti-Hawkins said of the giant fish the group created that now hangs in a stairwell at Ivy Tech. “Oh my gosh, it took three people to carry.”

She also found she loved ceramics.

“I was really excited because I really like playing with Play-Doh with my kids,” she said.

Liechti-Hawkins did a lot of pieces, including a three-piece tile featuring a large flower. That work led to her receiving commissions from people who saw her creation.

Liechti-Hawkins will receive her Ivy Tech degree Friday, with plans to get a photography degree at Indiana University-Purdue University Indianapolis. She will also be working with a local ceramics artist to finish her commission pieces.

Her experience with Ivy Tech and the fine arts program has been extremely positive. She’s enjoyed learning from her professors, getting to know her classmates and having the opportunity to meet working artists.

As the fine arts program continues to grow, Daily said finding space is always tough.

The school still uses the downtown Ivy Tech John Waldron Arts Center, but he admits it’s small. Performance spaces there are also used throughout the year by community groups, which can make access difficult.

The downtown location does have its benefits. The Waldron has professional art galleries where students can see and talk to working artists, display their own work and install and curate an exhibit.

“Those are fantastic opportunities for them to have,” he said.

The downtown location also offers a more urban backdrop for the students, which makes it easier for students to get experience sketching and painting in that environment. On the main campus, students have access to a pond and woods.

“It does open up opportunities as well as creating challenges,” Daily said.

Ivy Tech Community College offers some of its fine arts classes in the Ivy Tech John Waldron Arts Center in downtown Bloomington.
This angler fish was created by students in an Ivy Tech fine arts class.

Ivy Tech to celebrate graduating nurses Thursday evening at pinning ceremony

Ivy Tech Community College’s Bloomington campus will host a nurse pinning ceremony for 36 graduates of the practical nursing class of 2016 and for 74 graduates of the Associate of Science in Nursing class of 2016. Dean of the School of Nursing, Pam Thompson, will preside over the ceremony on Thursday, May 12 beginning at 5:30 p.m. in Shreve Hall.

The keynote address for the ceremony will be delivered by Heather Anderson, R.N., M.S.N., N.P.-C.  Anderson earned her Bachelor of Science in Nursing at Indiana University and her Master of Science in Nursing at the University of South Florida. She is certified as an Adult Nurse Practitioner by the American Academy of Nurse Practitioners. Anderson taught at Ivy Tech Bloomington’s Lee J. Marchant School of Nursing from 2012 to 2016 and is currently employed by Monroe Primary Care as a nurse practitioner.

Associate of Science in Nursing graduate, Stephanie McKnight, says that nursing is more than scoring high marks and science. “There is an art to it [nursing], an art of exceptional patient care,” she said.

Since moving into Ivy Tech’s Marchant School of Nursing beginning with academic year 2014/15, nursing pass rates for the licensure exam (NCLEX) have increased more than 10 percent from 86.7 percent (2014) to 97 percent (2015).

The Marchant School of Nursing, located across from Ivy Tech’s main campus building at 101 N. Daniels Way, includes four classrooms, two nursing labs including high fidelity simulation labs, and a conference room.

Ivy Tech Bloomington to award more than 1,000 degrees and certifications to graduates next week

BLOOMINGTON – Ivy Tech Community College’s Bloomington campus will hold its annual spring commencement ceremony on Friday, May 13 at 6 p.m. in the Indiana University Auditorium, where it will confer approximately 1,002 Associate degrees and certifications to graduates.

“Commencement is the culminating event for our graduates and their families, and our campus looks forward to this ceremony every year,” said Chancellor Jennie Vaughan. “My son will graduate with his Master’s degree on the same day this year, so I’ll be celebrating our students from a distance while also celebrating my son! I can relate to the excitement that families feel for the graduate in their lives. My hope is that all of our graduates take this day to celebrate their hard work and persistence before moving along to the opportunities they’ve created for themselves.”

The commencement address will be given by Associate Accelerated Program (ASAP) graduate, Ivy Tosti, Associate of Science in Liberal Arts. Tosti chose Ivy Tech after one year out of high school because she could take classes close to home and it was affordable. She was a 21st Century Scholar and member of Phi Theta Kappa international honor society. Tosti will graduate with Magna Cum Laude honors.

An honorary degree will be presented to Ivy Tech Bloomington benefactor Joan Olcott, for her more than 11 years of steadfast support of the college. Olcott has served as an honorary chair for Ivy Tech Bloomington’s capital campaigns and established an endowed scholarship in healthcare for students pursuing degrees in nursing, radiation therapy and respiratory therapy. In appreciation of her service, friendship and sustained support, the campus named its library in her honor in 2006.

New this May, Ivy Tech Bloomington is conferring degrees to 16 graduates of the recently established Associate Accelerated Program (ASAP) in Liberal Arts. ASAP was designed to provide students (21 and under) with the opportunity to earn an associate degree in as little as 11 months. Beginning in summer 2016, two new ASAP programs will begin in Business Administration and Education.

Some of the graduates who will be celebrated at commencement are a husband and wife, honors students, international students, transfer students, employees, military veterans and those who have found employment because of their education and training at Ivy Tech.

The number of students graduating with honors is 199, with 17 graduating Summa Cum Laude for maintaining a perfect 4.0 grade point average.

The campus is graduating 13 international students representing the countries of China, Republic of Senegal, Kingdom of Bahrain, Ghana and Saudi Arabia, and will confer degrees to 17 military veterans.

Approximately 75 Associate of Science in Nursing degrees and 36 Practical Nursing degrees will be awarded.

There are 48 graduates who are members of Phi Theta Kappa international honor society. Phi Theta Kappa honor society recognizes and encourages scholarship through leadership and academic excellence among two-year college students.

Each year, Ivy Tech Bloomington recognizes students for outstanding academic achievements. Academic program chairs have chosen 33 students to receive this award. Outstanding Student award recipients include:

Accounting Shauna Hanners

Biotechnology (Associate of Science) John Thomas

Biotechnology (Associate of Applied Science) Alexandra Schwab

Business Administration Adem Poturkovic,

Computer Information Technology John Pobalis

Criminal Justice Laura Lawson

Cyber Security/Information Assurance Joshua Chastain

Design Technology Robert Seger

Early Childhood Education Nouf Kurdi

Education Rebekah Rogers

Electrical Engineering Technology Corey Nikirk

Engineering Technology Logan Ray

Fine Arts Jeff Grounds

General Studies Taversia Borrelli

Healthcare Specialist Tina Simons

Heating, Ventilation and Air Conditioning Camella Owens

Homeland Security/Public Safety Kelley Blair

Hospitality Administration Sapphire Dickinson

Humans Services Safiyyah Abd’Llah

Industrial Maintenance Thomas Combs

Kinesiology Priscilla Laird

Liberal Arts Donna Brown

Network Infrastructure Thiam Cisse

Nursing (Associate of Science) Delver Sotomayor

Nursing (Associate of Science Transitional) Dana Spradlin

Office Administration Julie Hardy

Paralegal Studies Daisy Lamptey

Paramedic Science Kira Incollingo

Practical Nursing Jessica Patton

Radiation Therapy Oxana Ocran

Respiratory Care Amanda Worthington

Software Development Tiana Deckard

Supply Chain Management Logistics Bobby Jeanette

Ivy Tech Community College offers associate degrees and certifications that can lead directly to a job or provide students the option to transfer to a four-year institution to finish their bachelor’s degree.