Healthcare sector summit at Ivy Tech to reveal workforce needs

Bloomington— Ivy Tech Community College’s Bloomington campus is hosting its first industry sector summit focused on healthcare on Monday, May 1 from 2 to 4 p.m. in Shreve Hall.

“The information we learn from this summit is intended to help Ivy Tech Bloomington better align its programming with workforce needs,” said Jennie Vaughan, Chancellor at Ivy Tech Bloomington. “Many thanks to the panelists who plan to be with us for this important session.”

The summit will feature a Department of Workforce Development presentation of sector research and data followed by a moderated panel discussion with industry partners. A question and answer session will follow. Panelists include:

April Cannon, Franchise Owner, Massage Envy

Jennifer Compton, Human Resources Area Recruiter, Trilogy Health Services

Andrew Keen, Executive Director, Bell Trace Health and Living Center

Bruce Wade, Vice President of Human Resources, IU Health

Anyone interested in the healthcare industry in the region is invited to attend.

The Healthcare Sector Summit is hosted by Ivy Tech Bloomington’s Office of Workforce Alignment, health faculty, and admissions.

Meacham: Empathy Among Traits Needed for Leaders

By Michael Reschke 812-331-4370 | | April 28, 2017

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

Despite deep divisions in this country, Jon Meacham is optimistic about the future. But his optimism comes with a caveat.

“That optimism requires that we practice and we insist on certain temperamental characteristics in those who lead us and in ourselves,” he said.

Meacham, a presidential historian who won a Pulitzer Prize for his biography of Andrew Jackson, was the keynote speaker for the 14th annual O’Bannon Institute for Community Service fundraising dinner Thursday night at Ivy Tech Community College’s Bloomington campus.

The O’Bannon Institute consists of three days of activities focused on community service and civic engagement. It’s named after the late Indiana Gov. Frank O’Bannon for his role in creating the state’s community college system and his commitment to community service. The dinner is Ivy Tech-Bloomington’s signature fundraiser.

Meacham drew on his knowledge of past presidents to illustrate the importance of curiosity, candor, humility and empathy.

He explained that the American Revolution was an experiment in self-governance at a time when the world was shifting from a vertical organization, with kings and princes lording it over others, to a horizontal one where people started to believe everyone is born with certain divine rights.

“The only reason we were able to begin that experiment, which continues unto this hour, is because of the curiosity, the hunger for knowledge, the addiction to books and book buying of the founding fathers,” Meacham said.

He explained that while Winston Churchill is highly regarded today, that wasn’t always the case. In 1942, Singapore fell, Adolf Hitler was on the march, the U.S. was still reeling from the attack on Pearl Harbor and the British House of Commons called for a vote of confidence in its prime minister. Churchill gave a 10,000-word response detailing what he had done up to that point, and then said the British people can face any misfortune with fortitude and buoyancy as long as they are convinced that those who are in charge of their affairs are not deceiving them or are not themselves dwelling in a fool’s paradise.

“In other words, if the people at the top give it to us straight, we’ll do what it takes,” Meacham said.

After botching the Bay of Pigs invasion of 1961, John F. Kennedy swallowed his pride and asked Dwight Eisenhower for advice. The 34th president asked his successor if he had a meeting where everyone involved in the decision sat in the same room, with the same evidence, and defended their positions in front of each other so he could hear what was sound and what was not. Kennedy had come into office thinking that kind of meeting was old-fashioned and too slow, but he didn’t forget the advice, Meacham said.

In October 1962, Kennedy received photographic evidence the Soviet Union had deployed nuclear weapons into Cuba. Remembering what Eisenhower said, Kennedy convened the executive committee of the National Security Council, which ultimately led to an agreement between the two superpowers instead of a nuclear conflict that would have killed millions.

“Eisenhower was only able to give that advice because Kennedy had had the humility and the courage to ask for it,” Meacham said. “If only that were a more common characteristic for all of us.”

Years before that pivotal moment, George H.W. Bush was the reigning obstacle course champion at his school. On his way through the course his eighth-grade year, he found a fellow student stuck in a barrel. Bush helped him out and the two finished the race together.

“There’s a direct line between that personal characteristic, that sense of empathy, and the shape of our world,” Meacham said.

In 1989, when the Berlin Wall fell, there were calls for Bush to fly to Berlin and declare a great victory against Communism. He wouldn’t do it.

“He was thinking about a guy stuck in a barrel, and that’s (then-Soviet Union leader) Mikhail Gorbachev,” Meacham said. “Mikhail Gorbachev had an enormous problem on his right wing.”

To have an American president spiking the ball in Berlin was going to radicalize Soviet hardliners. Bush knew he had to give Gorbachev room to breathe, so he took the criticism and ultimately saw the Cold War end in 1991.

Meacham told the crowd of 370 people at Thursday’s dinner that while the aforementioned characteristics are important for the leaders of a country, they’re just as important for its citizenry.

“We talk a lot about leadership in this country, but the nature of a republic is that we are only as good as all of us,” he said.

O’Bannon Institute Pushes Political Participation, Community Service

Herald-Times Editorial Staff  | Apr 27, 2017

BLOOMINGTON – The O’Bannon Institute of Ivy Tech Community College Bloomington continues to be a highlight of the community’s academic calendar.

This is the 14th year of the event, which focuses on political participation and community service.

Tonight’s sold-out fund-raising event has scored another in a long line of relevant speakers with presidential historian and Pulitzer Prize-winning writer Jon Meacham. He’s well suited to offer insights into the most recent presidential cycle, which ended with the election of Donald Trump as president.

On Friday, focus will switch to helping the community through the Day of Service. Chancellor Jennie Vaughan has invited the entire community to help meet a goal of providing 1,000 hours of community service at local nonprofits. At last report, there were more than 100 volunteer slots remaining for a wide range of projects in Bloomington, Ellettsville and Bedford.

For an update on projects that still need volunteers, go to and click on Day of Service.

Former Indiana First Lady Judy O’Bannon will again speak at the event, which is named for her late husband, former Gov. Frank O’Bannon. Plaques handed out at previous O’Bannon Institutes featured this quote from the governor’s inaugural address: “Life is no brief candle for me. It is a sort of splendid torch which I got hold of for a moment, and I want to make it burn as brightly as I can before turning it over to future generations.”

That sentiment exemplifies the goals of political participation and community service, and fits very nicely with the value of this annual event.

Civic engagement awards reception kicks-off annual O’Bannon Institute for Community Service

Bloomington— Ivy Tech Community College’s Bloomington campus is hosting its 14th annual O’Bannon Institute for Community Service on Wednesday, April 26 through Friday, April 28. Kicking off the event on Wednesday, was a civic engagement awards reception held to recognize recipients for their contributions to community. The reception took place on main campus, in Shreve Hall at 4 p.m.

“Civic engagement is part of the educational environment at Ivy Tech Bloomington,” said Jennie Vaughan, Chancellor at Ivy Tech Bloomington. “Our surveys indicate that in the past year alone, our campus has donated 85,583 volunteer service hours, for a total contribution of more than $2M in the communities we serve, according to figures from”

The Excellence in Volunteerism award recipient is Melissa Rowe, Ivy Tech Bloomington’s assistant director of accounts payable, for her work with Becky’s Place in Bedford, Ind. In addition, she volunteers for the campus sustainability committee and consistently grows her hair and donates it to a real wigs program for women who have lost their hair due to cancer treatment.

The Student Excellence in Volunteerism award recipient is Alicia Blatz, healthcare specialist student, for her involvement with various nonprofit community organizations including South Central Community Action Program Thriving Connections (formerly Circles Initiative), the Bloomington Housing Authority Resident Council, and her children’s Girl Scouts and Cub Scouts groups.

The Excellence in Service Learning award recipient is Dr. Samantha Levy-Arnold, associate professor of English and communication, for her work in making service learning a centerpiece of her English Composition 111 class. Last fall, her students engaged in reading and writing about the elections and then volunteered to work the polls, and this spring, her students have chosen their own projects.

The Jeanine C. Rae Humanitarian award recipient is Rob Parab, biotechnology student and Phi Theta Kappa vice president of leadership, for his volunteerism at various campus events but mostly for his willingness to help fellow students succeed in their classes. Nominations indicated that Parab is a model student who goes out of his way to help others.

The Community Organization Partner award recipient is IU Center for Human Growth, for its 10 years of service providing mental health counseling to Ivy Tech students at no charge. Doctoral students at IU studying educational psychology earn practicum hours toward their degree while providing a necessary service to students on Ivy Tech’s Bloomington campus.

“To date this partnership has provided nearly a half-million dollars in mental health counseling to Ivy Tech students, at no cost,” said Chancellor Vaughan. “The work that Dr. Lynn Gilman and her team have done has made a positive, lasting impact on our students. This award is just a small token of our appreciation to the Center’s decade-long commitment.”

The John R. Whikehart Civic Engagement award recipient is Carol Litten Touloukian, M.D. for her dedication to both Ivy Tech Bloomington and the community.

“Carol has served in a leadership role at Ivy Tech Bloomington for capital campaigns, the Waldron advisory board, and plays and integral role in the planning of our annual Showcase of Chefs and Wine donor appreciation event,” said Chancellor Vaughan. “In addition, Carol and her family are generous scholarship donors for students on our campus.”

Touloukian’s commitment to civic engagement also includes a long list of community and professional service, such as MCCSC, Indiana State Department of Health, New Hope for Families, among others. She has served as medical advisor for Head Start of Monroe County, Well Baby Clinic, and WIC. Touloukian has volunteered in various capacities at the Monroe County Board of Health, CASA, and the Boys and Girls Club. She was consultant and avid advocate for Indiana Tobacco Prevention and Cessation.

More than 350 people will take their seats tomorrow evening, Thursday, April 27, in Ivy Tech’s Shreve Hall for a sold out fundraising dinner with speaker Jon Meacham, Presidential historian, and for presentations by Ivy Tech’s Youth Leadership Academy.

Volunteers for the annual Day of Service will gather in Shreve Hall on Friday morning for a kickoff continental breakfast and motivational remarks from Judy O’Bannon beginning at 8:30 a.m. Afterward, more than 600 volunteers, including nearly 30 business partners, will disperse into the community to serve area nonprofits and help Ivy Tech Bloomington reach the goal of providing 1000 hours of service in one day. Volunteers will document their service by posting pictures to social media using #IvyTech1000Hours.

Volunteer slots are still available at Click on Day of Service to sign up.

About the O’Bannon Institute for Community Service

The O’Bannon Institute for Community Service ( was established in 2004 by Ivy Tech’s Bloomington campus as an annual opportunity for the community to come together to discuss topics related to nonprofits, education and political and civic service. Previous speakers at the Institute have included former U.S. Senators, Pulitzer prize-winning authors, Governors, political advisers and columnists, and Laura W. Bush, former First Lady of the United States

First Financial Bank and Cook Center for Entrepreneurship partner on new lending program

Bloomington— First Financial Bank in conjunction with the Gayle & Bill Cook Center for Entrepreneurship at Ivy Tech Community College Bloomington are pleased to announce a new micro-lending program to benefit small businesses.  The new loans are available in amounts up to $10,000 and will provide needed capital to help businesses start, grow, and expand.

Small businesses seeking the new microloan funding will be provided training and assistance through Ivy Tech’s Cook Center for Entrepreneurship.

“This innovative lending program and collaboration provides financing to small businesses that may not have access to other funding,” said Cindy Kinnarney, market president for First Financial Bank. “First Financial Bank is committed to providing solutions and meeting the needs of the communities we serve.”

“The Cook Center will work with prospective startups to develop business and financial plans to prepare them to apply for their microloans at First Financial Bank,” said Steve Bryant, executive director of the Cook Center for Entrepreneurship.

Microloan applications will be available at the Cook Center upon completion of the training program.

“This provides a great opportunity for businesses in Bloomington to grow and prosper,” said Mayor John Hamilton.  “I commend the collaboration between Ivy Tech’s Cook Center for Entrepreneurship and First Financial Bank for filling this need.”

The First Financial Microloan program provides flexible terms, with a 6 month, interest only draw period and a repayment period of up to 48 months.  Pricing is based on Prime rate plus 2 percent. For more information on the loan process, contact Cindy Kinnarney, market president at First Financial Bank.

Interested applicants can contact the Cook Center for Entrepreneurship at 812-330-6261 to set up an appointment for training.

About the Gayle & Bill Cook Center for Entrepreneurship
The Gayle & Bill Cook Center for Entrepreneurship at Ivy Tech Community College Bloomington ( provides practical tools to help entrepreneurs of south central Indiana start and grow businesses. Founded in 2010 to honor one of the region’s most successful entrepreneurs, Bill Cook, the Cook Center embodies Mr. Cook’s philosophy of ‘ready, fire, aim’ entrepreneurship by giving students and others the skills and resources they need to start businesses.

Students practice personal training with volunteer clients

BLOOMINGTON – Ivy Tech Community College students in Cassey Connelly’s Personal Training & Exercise Leadership course are learning to be personal trainers by working one-on-one with volunteer clients. Students meet with clients, who are Ivy Tech employees, once a week at the Northwest YMCA, following personalized fitness plans they developed according to clients’ individual needs. The students are in their second semester of the Associate of Applied Science (AAS) in Kinesiology and Exercise Science degree program, a career-focused degree that prepares students for employment as personal trainers.

“Employers want someone with an associate degree,” said Connelly, Assistant Professor of Kinesiology. “Some students have chosen to earn the career-focused AAS degree in addition to the transfer-focused Associate of Science (AS) degree because they plan to pursue a bachelor’s degree but want to work as a personal trainer while finishing the four-year degree.”

In the Personal Training & Exercise Leadership course, students learn to assess clients’ health risks and carefully select and instruct appropriate exercises for clients to help them reach their health, wellness and fitness goals.

Zach, a student in Connelly’s class, enrolled at Ivy Tech right after graduating from Mitchell High School. Because of his athletic background, he chose to pursue a degree in kinesiology and exercise science.

“Personal training is a hands-on field and sink-or-swim is the best way to learn,” he said. “We learned the basics in our first semester and now we’re applying what we’ve learned to an actual client.”

Lauren McCalister is another student in Connelly’s class and will take the Certified Personal Trainer examination at the end of the spring semester. She is employed as a wellness coach at the Northwest YMCA and when she passes the certification exam, she will be eligible to be a personal trainer.

“I am thrilled to see my career coming together as a result of my returning to school over two years ago!” said McCalister. “I will be able to transition easily into the personal training career I am seeking. The personal training class project is an excellent introduction to the interpersonal and technical skills that are required of the profession. Learning is a process best done in a group setting which is possible through this project. We are a team; the professor, the student trainer and the client volunteer.”

After McCalister graduates with her associate degree, she said she plans to continue her education at Indiana University or Indiana State University in order to work in rehabilitation as a physical therapist.

Ivy Tech Bloomington’s first class of the Associate of Applied Science (AAS) in Kinesiology and Exercise Science will graduate in Spring 2018.

For information about the Ivy Tech Kinesiology and Exercise Science program, visit For information about how to apply to Ivy Tech, visit

Students prepare to Duke It Out at Ivy Tech

BLOOMINGTON – The Gayle & Bill Cook Center for Entrepreneurship at Ivy Tech Community College’s Bloomington campus will host its second annual student business pitch competition on Friday, April 14. The Duke It Out Business Pitch Competition, powered by Duke Energy, will take place at 1 p.m. in Shreve Hall at Ivy Tech.

“Ten Ivy Tech students will have three minutes each to pitch their business ideas to a panel of judges,” said Tarah Cromer, coordinator of the Gayle & Bill Cook Center for Entrepreneurship. “The winners with the top three pitches will receive cash prizes up to $500 and free business consulting from the Cook Center for Entrepreneurship.”

Ivy Tech students from all academic areas were invited to apply for a spot in the Duke It Out competition and ten students were selected to participate. The competitors attended workshops at the Gayle & Bill Cook Center for Entrepreneurship and were coached by Cook Center staff and area entrepreneurs. Competitors are from a variety of academic programs including software development, paralegal studies, general studies, liberal arts, and heath care.

Business ideas include an international student support network, café with meeting space for special needs parents and caregivers, boutique clothing line, patent-pending emergency medical product, mobile snow cone vendor, mobile investment app, bamboo underwear, sponsorship program to benefit homeless individuals, and a linen clothing line.

Duke it Out judges are Bruce Calloway, Duke Energy Government and Community Relations Manager; Jim Silberstein, Ivy Tech entrepreneurship program chair; Nancy Frost, Ivy Tech business administration and supply chain management and logistics program chair; and Christy Page, Ivy Tech entrepreneurship instructor.

For more information about the event, contact Tarah Cromer at (812) 330-6261 or visit

Alumnus launches design technology career in Texas

BLOOMINGTON – Ivy Tech Community College alumnus Justin Icenhour graduated with an Associate of Science in Design Technology in May 2016 and was offered a job in the same month at Eggersman USA, located in Houston, Texas. Icenhour moved to Bloomington from North Carolina in 2013 when his fiancé was accepted into the Indiana University Jacobs School of Music. When her career eventually led her to Houston, he was also able to find work in the area with his degree from Ivy Tech. At Eggersman USA, Icenhour is a Technical Designer who produces the technical drawings needed for creating and installing custom cabinetry.

“I have to say, there is no better feeling than to imagine something in your head that no one has ever seen before, and to have the ability to bring it to life in the physical world,” he said. “I get to do that every day of my life thanks to what I learned at Ivy Tech.”

When he and his fiancé first moved to Bloomington, Icenhour sold his graphic design and photography business and worked odd jobs in Bloomington to make ends meet. It was then that he decided to enroll at Ivy Tech because he wanted to start a rewarding career in a design-related field.

“I decided it was time to go back to school to learn a trade that could give me a sense of purpose,” he said. “The Design Technology degree really fit the bill, by bringing together my love for design and its philosophy and the nearly endless career prospects.”

At Eggersman USA, Icenhour is part of a team that designs and creates custom kitchens.

“As a Technical Designer, I work in tandem with the Designer and the client to create several sets of drawings,” he said. “Usually a set of floor plans and elevations for the clients, a set of drawings for the factory in Germany to produce the cabinetry, and a set of mechanical drawings for the builders and installers. I also am in charge of doing on-site measurements, organizing all the drawings, communications, contracts and paperwork, as well as answering questions to ensure a proper and timely installation.”

“The most rewarding thing about my career is being able to envision something and bring it to life, and the fact that what I create is used in people’s everyday lives,” he said.

Icenhour said that he would not have initially chosen a degree in design technology, but is glad that faculty introduced him to that degree which led to his career.

“I wanted to take machining and CNC Programming, but one of the instructors pushed me toward design because I could take all the CNC classes as electives but I would get the 3D design classes as well,” he said. “Vanessa Babcock was the instructor who really pushed me and taught me most of what I use in my day to day job, using AutoCAD software. She was a great inspiration and was always there to help when I needed it.”

Icenhour’s advice to students who are unsure of what degree to earn, is to earn a short-term certificate.

“If you hate it, at least you have proof you’re good at it,” he said. “Then pick something else.”

Icenhour plans to earn a Bachelor’s degree in mechanical engineering in the future. He and fiancé are also making plans for their upcoming wedding in July.

For information about the Ivy Tech design technology program, visit For information about how to apply to Ivy Tech, visit

Ivy Tech graduate becomes pediatric nurse in hometown of Bedford, Ind.

BEDFORD – Ivy Tech Community College alumna Deanah Conolty graduated with an Associate of Science in Nursing in May 2016 and was offered a job after she graduated at Southern Indiana Pediatrics in Bedford, Ind. Although she was offered a medical assisting position immediately, she waited until after she passed the NCLEX-RN exam before accepting a full-time position as a pediatric nurse.

Conolty enrolled at Ivy Tech shortly after graduating high school because it was affordable and close to home. Conolty graduated from Bedford North Lawrence High School.

When Conolty enrolled at Ivy Tech, her daughter was only five months old, so she needed a college that was close to home.

“I couldn’t go to a traditional college campus and Ivy Tech made sense,” she said. “I never had to do a student loan. At Ivy Tech, I could get the same education as other colleges without draining my bank account.”

Conolty took her first classes at Ivy Tech’s learning center located in Bedford.

“Any classes I could take in Bedford I did,” she said. “It was good because it was closer to home and laid back. The classes were smaller.”

Conolty said she wanted to be in either healthcare or education when she enrolled at Ivy Tech, but wasn’t quite sure.

“I just knew I wanted to be involved with kids in some way,” she said. “I remember going to Mrs. Downs and Rogers in the very first semester and saying that I was not sure if nursing was for me. I had a five-month old baby at home and I was overwhelmed. They were there to pick me back up and encourage me. They and other staff were always so kind and there to help me anytime I needed anything.”

When things got tough, she said she could rely on faculty to help.

“Mrs. Downs and Rogers helped one on one with my math when I was struggling,” she said. “And it wasn’t just them, it was all faculty. Ivy Tech gave me the one-on-one experience I needed. I use the skills I learned every day. Blood draws, charting, or what to do in certain situations.”

Conolty said that she is happy she chose nursing and loves her career.

“I really love getting to help the kids,” she said. “I care for numerous children a day, when they’re sick or getting up-to-date on vaccines in their checkups. We have a lot of difficult situations. There is so much more to pediatrics than I ever would have imagined. It is tough sometimes, but also really rewarding.”

Conolty said that she is taking a short break from school but now that her daughter is three years old, she is researching Bachelor of Science in Nursing (BSN) programs and plans to continue her education.

Ivy Tech Bloomington’s Associate of Science in Nursing (ASN) program is competitive and rigorous. For the Fall of 2016, 125 students applied to the limited-enrollment program, and this high level of interest is consistent from year-to-year. The program accepts 40 students in the fall semester, another 20 in the spring semester, and an additional 20 in the summer. The program’s NCLEX-RN pass rate average for the past four years is 92%.

For information about the Ivy Tech nursing program, visit For information about how to apply to Ivy Tech, visit