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 ivytech.edu/design-technology. For information about how to apply to Ivy Tech, visit ivytech.edu/applynow.

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