Ivy Tech to host Human Library Project, challenge stereotypes

BLOOMINGTON – Ivy Tech Community College’s Bloomington campus is hosting the second annual Human Library Project on Tuesday, November 7 and the public is invited to participate. Ivy Tech’s Human Library Project will feature individuals acting as “books” that readers/ attendees can “check out” to learn more about them as individuals, to challenge stereotypes and prejudices. The event will be held from 2 p.m. to 6 p.m. at Ivy Tech Community College, Shreve Hall, located at 200 Daniels Way on the west side of Bloomington.

The 17 individuals participating as books have written their own book titles, which will be on display for readers to select. Examples of self-titled books that will be available include, “Mormon,” “Law Enforcement,” “Drag Queen,” “Atheist,” “Transgender Woman,” and others.

The Human Library Project was initiated by Ivy Tech Bloomington’s diversity committee. The committee was awarded the 2016 Nancy Howard Diversity Award by the Greater Bloomington Chamber of Commerce for creating a diverse campus experience through events like the Human Library Project.

Brad Thurmond, Ph.D., assistant professor of psychology, says the event was organized primarily to benefit Ivy Tech students. “The Human Library Project is a great opportunity for students to spend time with a person who has a unique experience to share with our community,” said Dr. Thurmond. “It provides a chance for connection as well as a bridge to build empathy and understanding with one another.”

The Human Library Project is a worldwide movement, intended to challenge stereotypes and promote understanding through civil and open dialogue. Background information about the Human Library Project can be found online at http://humanlibrary.org/.

Questions about Ivy Tech’s Human Library Project be directed to Dr. Thurmond at (812) 330-6816 or bthurmond@ivytech.edu.


Ivy Tech’s 2017 Community Arts Awards winners announced

BLOOMINGTON – Ivy Tech Community College’s Bloomington campus will host the 2017 Community Arts Awards on Friday, November 10 to honor local arts advocates, educators, and businesses. The event will be held 5:30 p.m. to 7:30 p.m. at the Ivy Tech John Waldron Arts Center, located at 122 S. Walnut St., and tickets can be purchased at the BCT box office.

Categories and recipients of Community Arts Awards are as follows: Arts Advocate, Audrey Heller; Arts in Business, The Vault at Gallery Mortgage; Arts in Education, Diane Davis-Deckard; Regional Arts Service, Kathy Thompson; and Special Citation/Lifetime Achievement, Peter Jacobi.

Winners were juried by an independent community group, including artists, administrators, and long-time residents and supporters of the arts.

Audrey Heller (Winner: Arts Advocate)
Heller is clinical assistant professor emerita at Indiana University in the department of speech and hearing sciences. She has been involved with Puck Players Puppet Theatre, Diversity Theatre, The Jewish Theatre of Bloomington, and the MOSAIC Film Festival (an extension of Diversity Theatre).

The Vault at Gallery Mortgage (Winner: Arts in Business)
Gallery Mortgage supplies a gallery space for professional artists to show their work. The proceeds from the gallery go to the artist or local charitable organizations.

Diane Davis-Deckard (Winner: Arts in Education)
Davis-Deckard has worked as an art teacher at Bloomington High School North for 25 years. She has taught at many other schools in Bloomington, Martinsville, and Owen County.

Kathy Thompson (Winner: Regional Arts Service)
Thompson is founder and artistic director at Kat’s Performing Arts Studio in Bedford, Indiana.

Peter Jacobi (Winner: Special Citation/Lifetime Achievement)
Jacobi is professor emeritus at the Indiana University School of Journalism, former member and chair of the Indiana Arts Commission, and columnist and music critic for The Herald-Times.

The 2017 Community Arts Awards ceremony will also celebrate the 10-year anniversary of Ivy Tech’s Center for Lifelong Learning. Entertainment will include a performance by jazz musician Monika Herzig and engaging demonstrations from Center for Lifelong Learning instructors. Instructors will perform magic, demonstrate guitar swirl-painting, and host a Q&A about backyard chickens with live chickens. A beer and wine bar and culinary treats will be available.

Tickets are $25 each and can be purchased online at www.bctboxoffice.com.


Susie Graham earns international philanthropic certification

BLOOMINGTON – Susie Graham, executive director of development at Ivy Tech Bloomington since 2013, has earned the Certified Fund Raising Executive (CFRE) credential. Graham has met a series of standards set by CFRE International, which include tenure in the profession, education, and demonstrated fundraising achievement for not-for-profit organizations. She has also passed a rigorous written examination testing the knowledge, skills and abilities required of a fundraising executive and has agreed to uphold Accountability Standards and the Donor Bill of Rights.

“The CFRE is an important credential for executives working in philanthropy,” said Chancellor Jennie Vaughan. “Congratulations to Susie for earning this internationally recognized professional certification.”

CFRE is the world’s only certification for philanthropic fundraising professionals accredited by the American National Standards Institute. ANSI accreditation is recognized internationally for ensuring the consistency and integrity of certification bodies and credentials.


Ivy Tech students author Spanish children’s book

BLOOMINGTON – Ivy Tech students in Mary Maasen’s Spanish service learning course co-authored a children’s book in Spanish which they read to Grace Baptist Academy preschool students in September. The project introduced preschoolers to the Spanish language while helping Ivy Tech students meet required learning objectives.

Ivy Tech students read their book, “Cuantos Huevos Hay,” or “How Many Eggs Are There?” at the Academy on Tuesday, September 26.

Maasen, Ivy Tech associate professor of Spanish and native Spanish speaker, explained that the project helped students learn grammar and how to conjugate different verb tenses. Maasen instructed her students to only speak in Spanish while reading the story to preschoolers.

Susie Price, director of Grace Baptist Preschool, said that the children enjoyed the visit from Ivy Tech students.

“The children were attentive as Ivy Tech students introduced themselves in Spanish and then English,” said Price. “I was impressed with how students told the story of Cuantos Huevos Hay. They illustrated the story with pictures while telling it in Spanish, then retold the story in English.”

Laura Cox is a student in Maasen’s class.

“I recall Mary telling me that if I stuck with it, I would become fluent in the language,” said Cox. “Reflecting on the recent project at Grace Baptist Academy, I must say I was truly surprised how natural it felt to be in front of the preschoolers speaking conversational Spanish.”

“I gained the most out of the presentation to the children,” she added. “When trying to speak in a foreign language, it can be intimidating to communicate with other adults. Preschoolers, on the other hand, are excited to learn words and phrases new to them, and I found that without the intimidation of carrying on conversation with adults, I was able to freely speak the language better than I would have previously imagined.”

Tiffany Willingham is also a student in Maasen’s class, and works part-time at Grace Baptist Academy.

“It is nice to see kids I am familiar with benefiting from this opportunity,” said Willingham. “It was clear the kids were picking out the key vocabulary and understanding the content. I was amazed at the preschoolers’ eagerness to repeat new vocabulary and how quickly they recalled many of the words. Upon returning to work today many of the children were eager to hear more Spanish and to share words they knew.”

“This project is a nice diversion from standard course assignments and an impressionable connection between early learning and higher education,” she added.

Maasen’s students will continue writing short stories for preschoolers that they will read during future visits to Grace Baptist Academy.


Student transfers to study speech and hearing sciences

bl-newsletter-oct17-jordan.jpgBLOOMINGTON – Ivy Tech alumna Jordan Grant transferred to Indiana University Bloomington to study speech and hearing sciences, after completing Ivy Tech’s associate accelerated program (ASAP). The program allows students to earn an associate degree in as little as 11 months. Grant transferred her general studies credits from Ivy Tech and has now been a student at IU for one year.

Grant enrolled at Ivy Tech immediately after she graduated from the Academy of Science and Entrepreneurship.

“I decided on Ivy Tech because of the ASAP program,” said Grant. “I loved how the program sounded and decided to do it.”

Grant found Ivy Tech to be a welcoming environment with professors who cared.

“Whenever I needed help the professors were able to sit down with me or even slow the class down and focus more on the questions,” she said. “On Fridays I didn’t have classes and I would come to school anyway to do homework and study and some of the professors would actually come and help me and my friends with questions,” she added.

She also explained how Ivy Tech helped her transition to a larger university.

“Ivy Tech helped me learn time management, how to focus and to ask for help when needed,” she said. “This helped me in being successful here at IU.”

Now Grant is pursuing a bachelor’s degree in speech and hearing sciences and is also working as an intern for the Monroe County Autism Foundation.

“I love learning about how individuals learn to talk, and all the different ways speech can be affected,” she said. “Speech seems like such an easy thing to do when it’s not disordered, so you really don’t think about it much or think about the ways it could be difficult.”

Grant’s future goals include earning a master’s degree.

“My future goals are to go to graduate school and get my masters in speech and hearing sciences,” she said. “I would like to become a speech language pathologist (SLP) and work with children in a school setting, a hospital setting, or private practice.”

Commission for Higher Education approves new transfer degrees

BLOOMINGTON – The Indiana Commission for Higher Education approved four new associate transfer degrees offered at Ivy Tech Community College’s Bloomington campus including Biology, Chemistry, Human Services, and Psychology. The new offerings are Transfer Single Articulation Pathway (TSAP) degrees that transfer seamlessly to public four-year universities in Indiana, upon student admission.

“TSAP degrees save students time and money,” said Martin Wolfger, dean of the School of Arts, Sciences, and Education. “Students who plan to earn a bachelor’s degree can first complete a TSAP degree at Ivy Tech and then transfer to a four-year university with junior status.”

Ivy Tech’s Bloomington campus offers a total of 12 TSAP degrees including Biology, Business Administration, Chemistry, Computer Science, Criminal Justice, Early Childhood Education, Electrical Engineering Technology, Elementary Education, Human Services, Informatics, Nursing, and Psychology.

In addition to the TSAP degrees, Ivy Tech offers degrees that transfer to specific colleges and universities. For general information about Ivy Tech transfer degrees visit ivytech.edu/transfer.

For guidance on choosing a degree program, prospective students should call or visit campus. For a complete list of Ivy Tech degree programs visit ivytech.edu/programs.

Multiple start dates are available for fall 2017 and spring 2018. To enroll, visit 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 5 p.m.

Ivy Tech to host Wendy Whelan, former principal ballerina of New York City Ballet

BLOOMINGTON – Ivy Tech Community College’s Bloomington campus will host Wendy Whelan, formerly the principal ballerina of the New York City Ballet, for a film screening of her documentary, Restless Creature: Wendy Whelan, on Wednesday, October 25 at 7 p.m. The screening and Q&A with Whelan will be held at the Ivy Tech John Waldron Arts Center, located downtown at 122 S. Walnut St. Tickets are on sale at the Buskirk-Chumley Theater box office.

Cassandra Connelly, associate professor of kinesiology at Ivy Tech Bloomington, used to dance with Whelan in their youth and says that she still has photographs of them dancing. “We danced together at our ballet school in Louisville before the New York City Ballet plucked her for their summer program,” she said. “I hope that young dancers and others will come to the screening of Wendy’s documentary and get a chance to talk with her. We’re proud to bring Wendy to Bloomington and want to provide a warm welcome.”

Restless Creature: Wendy Whelan was an official selection of the 2016 New York Film Festival.

According to the production company, Restless Creature: Wendy Whelan offers an intimate portrait of prima ballerina Wendy Whelan as she prepares to leave New York City Ballet after a record-setting three decades with the company. One of the modern era’s most acclaimed dancers, Whelan was a principal ballerina for NYCB and, over the course of her celebrated career, danced numerous ballets by George Balanchine and Jerome Robbins, as well as new works by more modern standout choreographers like Christopher Wheeldon and Alexei Ratmansky; many roles were made specifically for Whelan.

As the film opens, Whelan is 46, battling a painful injury that has kept her from the ballet stage, and facing the prospect of her impending retirement from the company. What we see, as we journey with her, is a woman of tremendous strength, resilience, and good humor. We watch Whelan brave the surgery that she hopes will enable her comeback to NYCB and we watch her begin to explore the world of contemporary dance, as she steps outside the traditionally patriarchal world of ballet to create Restless Creature, a collection of four contemporary vignettes forged in collaboration with four young choreographers.

Tickets are $15 for general admission or $5 for students and seniors and can be purchased online at www.bctboxoffice.com.

Immigrants, minorities to take stage at Ivy Tech storytelling series

BLOOMINGTON – Ivy Tech will host a storytelling series throughout the 2017-18 academic year to create a platform for local members of underrepresented communities to tell stories of their personal experiences facing issues of immigration, reproductive rights, unemployment, and racism. The first event in the series is free, will focus on immigration, and will be held Friday, November 3 at 7:00 p.m. at the Ivy Tech John Waldron Arts Center, located at 122 S. Walnut St.

Artistic director of the Ivy Tech Waldron, Paul Daily, explained why the series is important. “We can look around and realize that we are divided from our neighbors—by socio-economic status, by race, by religion, by politics,” he said. “This series brings us together for an opportunity to listen and to learn more about what is unfamiliar, venture into what is unknown to us.”

Bloomington resident Aubrey Seader is co-producer of the series. “Each storytelling event will give a more complex view of issues from the intimate viewpoint of a person who struggles with them day in and day out,” she said.

Stories for the November 3 event include those of immigrants, refugees, and asylum-seekers. Some storytellers will be represented by actors, but all stories were written word-for-word by the people who experienced them.

The event will feature stories from:

Naciye Akgun, owner of Sofra Café and Golden Stitch Alterations
Akgun will tell the story of how she was physically attacked while sitting with her daughter in front of her business, Sofra Café, in the fall of 2015. The attack made national headlines but Akgun will tell more about her experience than she has ever shared publicly. She will discuss how her experience in the U.S., both before and after her attack, taught her how to make meaning out of tragedy, and made her feel blessed to be a part of Bloomington, to be an American, and to be a part of the worldwide human family.

Anonymous Iraqi woman
An actor will recount the story of a woman and her family who escaped persecution from militia groups in Iraq. When her husband was kidnapped and held for ransom, she was forced to leave her newborn with family in Iraq to escape the country. Two years later, her family reunited in the United States. She hopes her story can help to illustrate the effects of war zones on families and to serve as a source of hope for the future.

Diane Legomsky, Chair and coordinator of Bloomington Refugee Support Network
Legomsky will recount the work being done by her organization to bring Syrian refugees to Bloomington. She will also discuss how conditions for refugees have changed under the Trump administration and the consequences of inaction.

Pete Lenzen, former member of the U.S. Navy and advocate for Bloomington refugee and immigrant families
Lenzen will tell the story of the day he and his Navy crew rescued a boat of 40 Vietnamese asylum-seekers who were stranded and near death in the South China Sea.

Yusuf Nur, Indiana University assistant professor
Nur, born and raised in Somalia, will share his experience of American racism against black people from the perspective of an African.

Willy Palomo, president of UndocuHoosier Alliance
Palomo will share his poetry on the experiences of Latino undocumented immigrants.

Christie Popp, immigration attorney
An actor will recount Popp’s experience assisting Bloomington immigrants and their families as they go through the legal process to become citizens.

Dr. Rafael Rosario, IU Health pallative care doctor
An actor will tell Dr. Rosario’s inner conflict of a physician who has gone into medicine to help others but faces the challenge of working within a healthcare system that doesn’t allow him to care for everyone.

Irmgard Vicano, German opera singer and Holocaust survivor
An actor will recount the story of the late Irmgard Vicano. Adolf Hitler forced Vicano to sing recitals and operas for him and assigned her a private SS guard to watch her every move. She was eventually deported to the Birkenau concentration camp, which she survived. Iris’s story inspired this installment of the Ivy Tech story series and we tell this story in her memory.

Maya Wahrman
An actor will tell the story of Maya Wahrman, who observed a Muslim man breaking the laws of his religion to offer a detained asylum-seeker knowledge and comfort in the asylum-seeker’s native language.

Additional storytelling events in the series will be announced soon and updated information will be posted online at ivytech.edu/waldron.

Student launches business to help international students

BLOOMINGTON –  Ivy Tech software development student Joshua Johnson recently started a business called Hopper Home Helper, LLC., specifically designed to help ease the transition to Bloomington for international students. The business provides 24/7 concierge-like service to connect customers with transportation, housing, dining and grocery options, translation services, and more.

In April 2017, Johnson placed second for his business idea in the Ivy Tech’s Duke It Out Business Pitch Competition, sponsored by Duke Energy. He launched his business and website,  www.usehopper.com, in June 2017.

“I have been doing Chinese language exchange for the last two years, and the topic of how difficult it is to get situated in Bloomington keep arising,” said Johnson. “I used the Duke It Out event as a chance to pitch my business idea to address this common issue.”

Johnson also works part-time in Ivy Tech’s Express Enrollment Center, specifically helping guest students, many of whom are international.

“I met one student who, after arriving in Indianapolis, had a hard time finding transportation to Bloomington,” said Johnson. “I hear the same experience from many other students.”

Johnson is president of Ivy Tech Bloomington’s Student Government Association and is working toward associate degrees in software development and paralegal studies. Johnson said that his education and professors have been helpful in launching his website.

“As a software development student, I have the skills to create custom code and I can also make informed database decisions,” said Johnson. “I understand how databases, webpages and hosting are connected, and how to use plug-ins to make the website more efficient. One of my instructors, David Marrero, also helped support me in initial stages of the website by answering questions about design and formatting.”

Johnson is currently working with local apartment complexes and other local businesses to place flyers at their locations. The flyers are written in English and Chinese.

“We offer packages tailored specifically for international residents, although services are available to all customers,” said Johnson. “We are now accepting applications for 2017-18 services.”

Johnson plans to graduate in May 2018 and is applying to the Indiana University School of Informatics. He hopes to start a bachelor’s degree in informatics in the Fall 2018 semester.

Johnson received the Ford/EEOC Scholarship and the IU Credit Union Returning Student Scholarship from the Ivy Tech Foundation, and the SGA President’s Scholarship.

Ivy Tech’s Bloomington campus offers eight degrees in computing. Information can be found online at ivytech.edu/computers. To enroll at Ivy Tech, visit 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 5 p.m.