Ivy Tech confers degrees and certifications to 56 Lawrence County residents

BEDFORD —Ivy Tech Community College Bloomington will confer degrees and credentials to 56 Lawrence County residents at the college’s annual commencement ceremony on Friday, May 12 at 6 p.m. in the Indiana University Auditorium. Lawrence County graduates earned associate degrees and certifications in business administration, criminal justice, design technology, education, fine arts, general studies, human services, liberal arts, nursing, paramedic science, paralegal studies, and manufacturing production and operations.

Holly Cazzell, 42, graduates with an Associate of Science in Nursing and will be promoted to a Registered Nurse (RN) at IU Health Southern Indiana Physicians Family & Internal Medicine, where she currently works as a Licensed Practical Nurse (LPN)/Clinical Coordinator. Cazzell was a stay-at-home mom and enrolled at Ivy Tech in 2002. After graduating with her practical nursing technical certificate, she began work as an LPN and shortly after, gave birth to her youngest of seven children. Over the next 10 years, she took classes periodically to prepare for the PN to RN transition program and was accepted into the program last spring. In May 2017 she will fulfill her dream of becoming an RN. She plans to transfer her degree to Indiana Wesleyan University to pursue a Bachelor of Science in Nursing and will start classes in September.

Jennifer Johnson, 33, graduates with a Technical Certificate in Regulatory Affairs which enabled her to transition from a Process Validation Engineer to a Quality Assurance position at Cook Phramica. Johnson is enrolled in Ivy Tech’s Achieve Your Degree program (ivytech.edu/achieveyourdegree) and will continue her education at Ivy Tech toward an Associate of Applied Science in Biotechnology. After she completes her Biotechnology associate degree she plans to earn a bachelor’s degree at Indiana Wesleyan University. Johnson said, “Going to college while raising children and a full time job is an accomplishment in itself. I continued on to be a good example for my step daughters and to achieve my own dreams of success. This journey could not be wholly possible without the support of my family and friends. If I could tell others one thing: Don’t let others tell you that you can’t achieve your goals.”

Sophia Hobson, 19, graduates from Ivy Tech’s Associate Accelerated Program (ASAP) program (ivytech.edu/asap) which allowed her to earn her Associate of General Studies in one year, saving time and money. Hobson will continue her education at Ivy Tech and plans to apply to the nursing program. Hobson is a member of the Phi Theta Kappa Honor Society and is a recipient of the Hutton Scholarship and the Jeannie Heuer Liberal Arts/General Studies Completion Scholarship.

Pace Siedl, 19, graduates with honors from Ivy Tech’s ASAP program which allowed him to earn his Associate of Science in Business Administration in one year, saving time and money. Siedl chose Ivy Tech because it was cost-effective, close to home, and specifically because of the ASAP program. As a member of the Phi Theta Kappa honor society, he received the Phi Theta Kappa scholarship and was also a member of the Kappa Beta Delta business honor society, and was named to the Dean’s List both semesters. Siedl is transferring to either Ball State or the University of Evansville to study accounting. Siedl said, “I started this program one week after my high school graduation, and I have been going to school all day, every day since that time. Although it was tough, ASAP was a very rewarding program to be a part of.”

Brittany Chastain, 28, graduates with honors, with an Associate of Science in Education. She decided to start a new career and enroll at Ivy Tech 10 years after graduating high school, after observing technology progressively taking over her career as a transcriptionist. She chose Ivy Tech for its online courses, which allowed her to complete her degree while caring for two young daughters, ages five and two. She achieved her goal of transferring her degree to Western Governor’s University to complete her bachelor’s degree in Interdisciplinary Studies (K-8 grades). Chastain was awarded the Patricia B. Brown Scholarship from the Ivy Tech Foundation. Chastain said, “This whole experience of going back to school almost 10 years after high school has been so different.  I am not sure if I am more determined to accomplish something for my children to see and have them be proud of me or if it is more because I feel like I have found a career that I cannot wait to begin. I am thankful for a family that supports me in going to back to school.”

Micheal Terry, 22, graduates with an Associate of Applied Science in Criminal Justice. Terry researched many Indiana colleges after high school and after going on a campus tour, chose Ivy Tech for its low tuition cost and flexible scheduling options. Terry completed his degree while working a full-time job and helping his family through a period of homelessness at the beginning of his college career. In addition, he volunteered at Bliss Place, an assisted living facility in Bedford, where he organized activities for residents. Terry said, “At times, I wondered why I was dealt this hand of cards and not an easier path to handle. But in a sense I am glad, because my past had shown me why I wanted to become an officer of the law. I want to protect others and hopefully change someone’s life along the way.”

Michelle Pokorny, 20, graduates with an Associate of Fine Arts. She enrolled at Ivy Tech right after high school to save money on a college education. Pokorny was an active member of the Art Club and also volunteered at Ivy Tech’s Center for Lifelong Learning. She plans to transfer to a four-year college to earn a bachelor’s degree in fine arts with a concentration in glass. Pokorny said, “Once I have learned the craft of glass blowing I hope to work with other artists and create public works projects for the community and local businesses as well as traveling to learn more about this wonderful thing we call art.”

Richard Wilson, 78, graduates with an Associate of Fine Arts. Wilson is a Master Sergeant, U. S. Army (Retired) and holds a Ph.D. (ABD) in Rhetorical Theory and Criticism from Indiana University, an MS in Speech Communication from Murray State University in Kentucky, and a Bachelor of Theology in New Testament from Ozark Christian College. Wilson has taught communications at Ivy Tech as an adjunct faculty member for 15 years, and decided to enroll in fine arts courses for personal enrichment.

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