Ivy Tech alumna promoted to lead radiation therapist

Amber Weyrich

BLOOMINGTON – Ivy Tech Community College alumna Amber Weyrich graduated with an Associate of Science in Radiation Therapy in 2013 and is now working full-time at Franciscan Health Cancer Center in Mooresville, Ind. with the title Lead Radiation Therapist. Weyrich began job shadowing radiation therapists at the Center which prompted her decision to enroll at Ivy Tech to earn her associate degree. She was hired as a PRN radiation therapist, working on an as-needed basis, which led to a regular, part-time position. She was promoted to her current role in March, 2016.

As lead radiation therapist, Weyrich administers radiation to patients, trains staff therapists, and works closely with dosimetrists, radiation oncologists and other healthcare professionals.

“I administer radiation to patients with all different types of cancers in different parts of the body,” said Weyrich. “We do CT scans for our patients before their treatments begin to help the doctor and dosimetrists, who plan treatments and pinpoint the area to be treated. As the lead radiation therapist I am basically the ‘go-to’ person for the manager of radiation oncology when she has any questions about the Mooresville clinic.”

Weyrich said she discovered the radiation therapy career while researching healthcare careers online.

“I chose Ivy Tech for the convenience of being able to take some of my pre-requisites online and also because Ivy Tech’s radiation therapy program was so much more cost efficient than the other degree program that is offered in Indiana for this career choice,” said Weyrich. “Ivy Tech offered the degree I wanted at a price I could afford. The Radiation Therapy program was organized and included exactly what I needed to learn to not only pass my board exams after graduation, but also to be able to be successful in finding a career after graduation.”

Weyrich excelled at Ivy Tech and received the John and Cathleen Cameron Radiation Therapy Scholarship in Spring 2013 and Fall 2012, the Ivy Tech Scholarship and the Bloomington Hospital Foundation Scholarship in Fall 2012, and the Ferguson Radiation Therapy Scholarship in Fall 2011 and Spring 2012.

Weyrich said her most influential instructors were Dr. Larry Swafford, dean of the School of Health Sciences and Karlee Wyatt, radiation therapy program chair.

“Not only were they wonderful teachers, they truly care about each of the students in the program,” she said. “They were personally invested in giving us the tools and information we needed to get through the program successfully, pass our board exams, and to navigate finding a position in our field.”

Weyrich said that she finds her career extremely rewarding. “A lot of times during the course of their treatments, patients will tell us how much their pain has been relieved due to their radiation and that makes us feel really good,” she said. “There is a misconception that being around cancer patients every day is depressing. Sure, you are going to see some really good people going through some really hard times and some of their outcomes don’t end well. On the other hand, seeing patients come back in for follow ups weeks, months, and years later looking happy and healthy is amazing and is the most rewarding feeling of all.”

Weyrich said she plans to continue her education by transferring her Ivy Tech credits to a four-year university with an online bachelor’s degree program.

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. In February 2016, the program received the Indiana Career and Technical Education Program Award for Excellence from the Indiana Department of Education. Information can be found online at ivytech.edu/radiation-therapy.

Ivy Tech business student translates for global manufacturer

Jaewan Hong

BLOOMINGTON – Jaewan Hong is a full-time international student from South Korea and current student of Ivy Tech Community College’s Bloomington campus. Hong is working toward his associate degree in business administration and was offered a full-time sales and translation job following his internship at Permawick, a global manufacturing company with a location in Columbus, Indiana.

Hong began an internship in the sales department at Permawick in June 2016 and was offered full-time employment in January 2017. Hong accepted part-time employment because he is enrolled in 12 credit hours at Ivy Tech. He plans to work full-time after he graduates in summer 2017.

“This was my first internship,” said Hong, whose work primarily focuses on the Permawick product, ThermoPlastic Urethane (TPU) film. “At Permawick I act as a liaison between the U.S. and Korean companies and provide product advice. I also give advice to Permawick about products from Korea and Korean culture when it is relevant to the company.”

Hong explained that he not only translates, but counsels about cultural differences.

While Hong was in the Intensive English Program at Indiana University, a friend suggested he enroll at Ivy Tech to take college classes in English, to help him gain a better mastery of the language.

“My friend thought it would be better if I take college classes in English rather than just English classes,” said Hong. “In addition to my friend’s recommendation, I have had an interest in business since high school. Therefore, I chose to study business administration.”

Hong plans to complete his degree in order to advance in his career.

Obtaining a degree should help me to stay in the USA and continue to work at Permawick,” said Hong. “My goal is to be hired by Permawick and to increase my duties in the company.”

Specifically, Hong said he hopes for a leadership role in Permawick’s Asian market.

Hong credited Ivy Tech faculty and staff with helping him gain his internship at Permawick.

“Knowledge that I have learned at Ivy Tech helps me to learn specific business terms and to understand business culture, especially HR courses and accounting classes,” he said. “Taking classes and doing assignments gave me a lot of chances to learn and practice real English. I have gained a lot of help from Ivy Tech, because the school gave me the chance to work at Permawick and a lot of support from faculty and staff.”

Information about the business administration associate degree can be found at https://www.ivytech.edu/business-admin/. Information for international students can be found at https://www.ivytech.edu/international-students/.

Ivy Tech faculty member publishes poetry

Christine Brandel

BLOOMINGTON – Ivy Tech Community College Bloomington faculty member, Christine Brandel, received notice that her collection of poetry, A Wife is A Hope Chest, will be published in 2017. Brain Mill Press and series editor Kiki Petrosino selected Brandel’s poetry for publication in the Mineral Point Poetry Series. Brandel’s collection will be published in a limited-edition fine first edition of 100 copies signed by the author, as well as trade print and digital formats, and will be made available internationally.

In A Wife Is a Hope Chest, Brandel writes:

A wife is a hope chest in which you keep
the things you will need for a good life.
1: A kettle. Tie the cord to her wrist, she should
never be out of its reach. 2: A snapshot of the woman
you wish you had married. Push it through her
eyes, put it in her head. 3: A pen knife. Good
for cutting bread, package strings, the ring
from her finger. 4: Coins. They will make sounds
so you know when she’s coming. 5: Silence.
Do not read the letters she writes you, do not
speak even if she pleads. 6: Cotton wool. To stop
the flow. Because she will bleed. 7: A book.
One heavy hardback you never intend to read.
8: A skeleton key. Trust her. She won’t use it to get out.

Brandel is an associate professor of English in Ivy Tech’s School of Liberal Arts and Sciences. She has worked at Ivy Tech for eight years and currently teaches classes in English composition and creative writing. She is the advisor of the campus pride student club and a member of the global studies committee. Brandel’s work has recently appeared in Callisto, Public Pool, Under the Rader, Blue Fifth Review, and The Fem. She also writes a column on comedy for PopMatters and rights the world’s wrongs via her character Agatha Whitt-Wellington (Miss) at Everyone Needs An Algonquin. More of her work can be found at clbwrites.com.

Copies of Brandel’s collection will be available for purchase at www.brainmillpress.com.

For information about Ivy Tech Community College’s School of Liberal Arts and Sciences, visit ivytech.edu/liberal-arts.

Ivy Tech nursing students participated in Cook Medical product testing

Crystal Heidrick

BLOOMINGTON – Ivy Tech Community College Bloomington nursing students participated in a product testing exercise for Cook Medical in the fall 2016 semester. Cook Medical guided student volunteers through equipment tests, measured results, and recorded data from the experience to aid them in developing a user-friendly product. Testing took place at the Lee J. Marchant School of Nursing on Ivy Tech’s campus.

Donna Downs is the Ivy Tech nursing instructor whose class collaborated with Cook Medical.  “Ivy Tech students are testing Cook Medical equipment that allows the breaking up of salivary stones for removal. They are testing for ease of use, ease of cleaning, etc. to ensure that the equipment is user-friendly,” explained Downs.

Downs said the testing exercise demonstrated to students the amount of research that goes into product development, in order to ensure the best possible outcomes for patients. “We emphasize to our nursing students that they are life-long learners as the medical field is constantly changing,” said Downs.  “Cook Medical is instrumental in making some of those changes by developing new products. This requires us, as health care providers, to learn how to use new equipment and how to prevent any complications.”

Crystal Heidrick is an Ivy Tech nursing student who participated in the collaboration. “I like that Cook is taking those extra steps to ensure their products are of the best quality,” she said.

Heidrick said she chose Ivy Tech’s nursing program because of its outstanding reputation. “Nursing uses a lot of high tech equipment and here at Ivy Tech they use the same equipment to train us that is being used in the field,” she said. “We have sim chart, which allows us to practice electronic charting. We also have sim lab where we practice skills on a manikin that breathes, talks, has a blood pressure, pulse rate, and lung sounds. They are preparing us to be the best nurses when we graduate.”

“I am a busy mom to three boys, so being able to afford a degree was very important when deciding which school to attend,” she continued. “I have always wanted to be a nurse but was waiting for the right time. I believe it is never too late to accomplish a dream.”

Heidrick plans to graduate Ivy Tech’s practical nursing program in July 2017. After she graduates, her next goal is to earn a Bachelor of Science in Nursing to become a Registered Nurse.

To enroll at Ivy Tech Community College, visit www.ivytech.edu/applynow, stop into Ivy Tech Bloomington located at 200 Daniels Way, or call (812) 330-6013. Ivy Tech is open Monday through Thursday, 8 a.m. to 6 p.m. and Friday, 9 a.m. to 4 p.m.

Jon Meacham to headline Ivy Tech’s O’Bannon Institute in April

 BLOOMINGTON – Jon Meacham, one of America’s most prominent public intellectuals, will headline Ivy Tech Bloomington’s 14th annual O’Bannon Institute for Community Service fundraising dinner on Thursday, April 27. The fundraising dinner will take place on Ivy Tech’s main campus and proceeds will benefit the Ivy Tech Center for Civic Engagement.

“We’re pleased to have secured Presidential historian, Jon Meacham, for our signature event,” said Chancellor Jennie Vaughan. “Having just come off the 2016 Presidential election, we look forward to hearing Jon’s expertise on how historical and recent events impact our lives.”

Meacham is a Presidential historian, Pulitzer Prize-winner, and contributing editor at TIME. A regular guest on Morning Joe, he is known as a skilled raconteur with a depth of knowledge about politics, religion, and current affairs. His latest Presidential biography, Destiny and Power: The American Odyssey of George Herbert Walker Bush, debuted at #1 on the New York Times best sellers list in November 2015. His #1 New York Times bestseller, Thomas Jefferson: The Art of Power, was hailed as “masterful and intimate” by Fortune magazine. His other national bestsellers include Franklin and Winston, American Gospel, and American Lion: Andrew Jackson in the White House, which won the Pulitzer Prize in 2009.

Meacham is Executive Vice President and Executive Editor at the Random House Publishing Group. He served as the Newsweek‘s managing editor from 1998 to 2006 and editor from 2006 to 2010. Now a contributing editor at TIME, he writes for its Ideas section. He has appeared on Meet The Press, The Colbert Report, and Ken Burns’ documentary series The Roosevelts: An Intimate History.

Named a “Global Leader for Tomorrow” by the World Economic Forum, he is a member of the Council on Foreign Relations, a fellow of the Society of American Historians, and chairs the National Advisory Board of the John C. Danforth Center on Religion and Politics at Washington University. Meacham is a Distinguished Visiting Professor of History at The University of the South and a Visiting Distinguished Professor at Vanderbilt.

The O’Bannon Institute for Community Service (www.ivytech.edu/obannon/) at Ivy Tech Bloomington was established in 2004 as an annual opportunity for the community to come together to discuss issues of importance. Previous speakers at the Institute include U.S. senators, Pulitzer Prize-winning authors, governors, political advisers and columnists, a presidential candidate, and former first lady of the United States Laura W. Bush.

The fundraising dinner featuring Meacham will take place on Ivy Tech’s main campus at 200 Daniels Way on the west side of Bloomington, in Shreve Hall, located in the Cook Pavilion. Individual tickets cost $100 and Platinum, Gold, and Silver sponsorships are available.

To purchase tickets or a sponsorship, visit www.ivytech.edu/obannon or contact Tina Phelps at (812) 330-6001 or tphelps@ivytech.edu for more information.

Ivy Tech will host Fulbright Visiting Scholar from Azerbaijan

Anar Veliyev
Dr. Anar Valiyev

BLOOMINGTON – Ivy Tech Community College Bloomington will host a Fulbright Visiting Scholar from Azerbaijan on Thursday, January 19. Dr. Anar Valiyev, assistant professor and associate provost at ADA University will present “An Introduction to Azerbaijan” from noon to 1:30 p.m. in Lamkin Hall. The U.S. Department of State Outreach Lecturing Fund provides funding for college campuses to host Fulbright Visiting Scholars to promote academic disciplines and cultural understanding. The event is co-sponsored by the Turkish Flagship Program at Indiana University.

Dr. Anar Valiyev began teaching at ADA University in 2008 and is currently associate professor. He received his bachelor’s and master’s degrees in history from Baku State University. He received a master’s degree in public policy at the School of Public and Environmental Affairs at Indiana University Bloomington. He holds a Ph.D. in urban studies from the School of Urban and Public Affairs at University of Louisville, KY. From 2007 to 2008 he was working as assistant professor and faculty of social studies of Masaryk University in Brno, Czech Republic.

Dr. Valiyev is the author of numerous peer-reviewed articles and encyclopedia entries. His areas of expertise are public policy of post-Soviet republics; democracy and governance; urban development and planning.

Ivy Tech’s Bloomington campus is located at 200 Daniels Way, open Monday through Thursday, 8 a.m. to 6 p.m. and Friday, 9 a.m. to 4 p.m.

Ivy Tech students teach coding at Clear Creek Elementary


Stephanie Etheridge

BLOOMINGTON – In the fall 2016 semester, Ivy Tech Community College Bloomington IT club members taught coding to Clear Creek Elementary School 4th and 6th grade students through a program called Hour of Code. Hour of Code is a global initiative to introduce computer science to all ages in a fun and accessible format. IT club members Samantha Vanzant and Stephanie Etheridge followed Hour of Code curriculum available at code.org to instruct Clear Creek students for one hour every week.

Dr. Diana Nixon, Ivy Tech assistant professor of computing and informatics, coordinated the project with Clear Creek Elementary. “All reports are that everyone loved it,” said Nixon. “One of my goals for the project was to introduce young students, and particularly girls, to coding. Studies show that girls steer away from STEM fields in middle school, and we’re trying to get them inspired before then. The project also benefitted Ivy Tech students because teaching requires a level of mastery beyond ordinary studies.”

Nixon serves on the Indiana committee for Expanding Computing Education Pathways, which works to increase the number and diversity of students in the pipeline to computing and informatics degree programs. Nixon says she hopes to expand her “Hour of Code” program in the future, involving more schools and more Ivy Tech students.

Stephanie Etheridge enjoyed the enthusiasm of Clear Creek students. “This is an extra-curricular, after-school program so the children want to be there and are eager to learn. I also enjoy thinking that I am playing a small role in shaping young minds,” she said.

Etheridge holds a degree in Accounting from Ivy Tech and decided to change her career path to Computing and Informatics when she was re-organized out of her place of employment. She re-enrolled at Ivy Tech and is now pursuing an associate degree in Software Development. She is also a member of the Phi Theta Kappa honor society. “After I graduate I would like to secure employment either writing code for software programs or in web development,” she said.

Etheridge says she would love to see the Hour of Code program grow and hopes Clear Creek students continue to take part in coding programs as they grow older. “I hope students are talking about this program to their friends and that their friends will be curious enough to sign up for the program next year,” she said.

Information about Ivy Tech’s Computing and Informatics associate degree program can be found online at www.ivytech.edu/computers.

Ivy Tech spring classes begin January 17, 2017. To enroll, visit www.ivytech.edu/applynow, stop into Ivy Tech Bloomington located at 200 Daniels Way, or call (812) 330-6013. Ivy Tech is open Monday through Thursday, 8 a.m. to 6 p.m. and Friday, 9 a.m. to 4 p.m.

Ivy Tech practical nursing students employed before graduation

Jama Thomas, Ivy Tech practical nursing alumna

BLOOMINGTON – On December 16, 2016, 11 Ivy Tech practical nursing students graduated, and the majority found employment before graduation. Practical nursing students will take the NCLEX-PN exam to become Licensed Practical Nurses (LPN). Ivy Tech Bloomington’s LPN pass rates have been 100 percent from 2011 to 2015.

Practical nursing graduates are employed at Autumn Hills Alzheimer’s Special Care Center, Dermatology Center of Southern Indiana, Garden Villa, Hearthstone Health Campus, IU Health Bloomington Hospital, IU Health Southern Indiana Physicians, Paoli Health and Living Community, and Premier Healthcare among others.

Avery Frederick is employed part time at IU Health Bloomington Hospital. “I chose Ivy Tech because I knew I wanted a lot of hands on experience to prepare me for my future career,” said Frederick. “I have always loved helping people and I wanted a way to be able to help as many people as possible.”

Frederick’s ultimate goal is to work in a long-term care facility. “I have found my calling with the older adult population and I love being able to bring smiles to their faces,” she said.

Frederick credits Pennie Rogers, nursing assistant professor, for helping her realize her passion for long-term care. “Mrs. Rogers has such a passion for what she does,” said Frederick. “I always had a love for long-term care but she really inspired me to go in that direction. All of the teachers are absolutely amazing. They are all more than happy to help you when you need it and they all have so much knowledge and love for nursing.”

Frederick says she plans to continue her education at Ivy Tech in the LPN to ASN transfer program in order to upgrade her credentials. Graduates of the ASN program are eligible to take the NCLEX-RN exam in order to become registered nurses.

Jama Thomas also plans to continue her education at Ivy Tech in the LPN to ASN transfer program and become a registered nurse. Thomas received the Annie and Lee Marchant-Kay Leach Endowed Scholarship for the fall 2016 semester. She is currently employed at IU Health Bloomington in the emergency department as a patient care technician.

“I would like to work in the emergency department after obtaining my registered nursing degree, so I feel it would be most beneficial to stay as a patient care technician in the emergency department until then,” said Thomas.

Thomas chose Ivy Tech’s nursing program for its reputation and found her instructors to be caring and supportive. “I chose Ivy Tech because I heard all through high school about how great and successful the nursing school was in Bloomington,” said Thomas. “Every single professor I had has been super influential to see how much passion they have for nursing and how much they cared for each student in the program. I felt that instead of them teaching an entire class and not knowing anything about the students, they were teaching me personally and would do anything to help in any way they could.”

Ivy Tech spring classes begin Tuesday, January 17. Visit www.ivytech.edu/applynow, stop into Ivy Tech Bloomington located at 200 Daniels Way, or call (812) 330-6013. Ivy Tech is open Monday through Thursday, 8 a.m. to 6 p.m. and Friday, 9 a.m. to 4 p.m.

Ivy Tech ASAP Program to host open house

Event aimed at students who excelled in high school, intend to earn a Bachelor’s degree

BLOOMINGTON – Ivy Tech Community College’s Associate Accelerated Program (ASAP) is now accepting applications for the 2017-18 academic year and is hosting an open house on main campus on Tuesday, January 10 from 5 to 7 p.m. Current ASAP students will be available to answer questions and prospective students will have a chance to win a free class.

“ASAP is a rewarding program, but a rigorous one,” said Jennifer Rusk, ASAP program director. “The students who enroll in Ivy Tech’s ASAP program are those who excelled in high school who are driven, focused, and are eager to earn their associate degree quickly to transfer to a four-year college.”

Ivy Tech’s ASAP program allows high school graduates to earn an associate degree in as little as 11 months and prepares them to transfer to a four-year college to earn their bachelor’s degree.

“The program is very transferable to other colleges,” said Bastian Key, current ASAP student. “We are in-demand students because we already have an associate degree and colleges love us, and they love the work ethic that we have.”

Ivy Tech’s ASAP program offers associate degrees in Liberal Arts, Education, Business Administration, Informatics, Biotechnology and Pre-Social Work. To join ASAP students must have a minimum high school grade point average of 2.5, a good attendance record, be under 21 years of age, complete all ASAP admissions steps, and attend an interview. Classes in the program are broken down into five eight-week sessions; summer, fall 1, fall 2, spring 1 and spring 2.

ASAP open house will be held in classroom D220. Ivy Tech Bloomington is located on the west side at 200 Daniels Way.

More information about Ivy Tech’s ASAP program can be found online at www.ivytech.edu/asap or by contacting jrusk5@ivytech.edu.

About Ivy Tech Community College
Ivy Tech Community College (www.ivytech.edu) is the state’s largest public postsecondary institution and the nation’s largest singly accredited statewide community college system.  Ivy Tech has campuses throughout Indiana. It serves as the state’s engine of workforce development, offering affordable degree programs and training that are aligned with the needs of its community along with courses and programs that transfer to other colleges and universities in Indiana. It is accredited by the Higher Learning Commission and a member of the North Central Association.

Ivy Tech ASAP 2016/17 Cohort