Baking and pastry assistant professor, Stacy Strand, wins regional Ivy Tech President’s Award

BLOOMINGTON – Ivy Tech Community College’s Bloomington campus has named Stacy Strand, assistant professor of baking and pastry, the 2017 recipient of Ivy Tech’s President’s Award for Excellence in Instruction. She was selected among 41 other full-time faculty nominees.

Strand’s student nominations highlighted her commitment to student learning and skill development, community volunteerism, and her ability to generate excitement for their future careers in baking.

“I’m proud of the work that Chef Stacy does. She is involved in the classroom and in our community,” said Jennie Vaughan, chancellor at Ivy Tech Bloomington. “She spearheads the First Friday dessert donations at our Ivy Tech Waldron galleries and steps up by making goods for charity such as cookies and macarons, and even large chocolate sculptures for an annual event that raises funds for various causes in the community.”

Strand will continue her community involvement this spring by working with the local school district to bring healthy initiatives like Meatless Monday to Bloomington High School South.

In her pastry program, Strand emphasizes learning the science of baking ingredients. She also incorporates opportunities for her students to serve the public, such as a summer bakery or dessert shop that students create and operate to gain real experience in a restaurant setting. Her students further develop their skills and become workforce-ready by completing internships with local establishments such as One World Catering, Piccoli Dolci, Feast, Uptown, and French Lick Resort.

In addition to her classroom duties and community service, Strand is adviser for the Culinary Club, teaches a monthly nutrition/cooking workshop for students, and is a member of both the Campus Learning and Sustainability Committees.

Currently, some of Strand’s pastry graduates are advancing their careers by becoming executive chefs and starting their own personal chef businesses.

In her nominations, a student wrote “Chef Stacy has the greatest attitude I have ever experienced in a classroom. She has made me so excited for the rest of my career.”

The President’s Award is given annually to a full-time faculty member from each of the 14 regions of the College. As recipient of this award, Strand is also the nominee for the statewide Ivy Tech Founder’s Award for Excellence in Instruction, to be presented by the College in June. The Founder’s Award is presented to one full-time faculty member statewide who best typifies the teaching and learning mission of the College.

Jeannine Bell, hate crime scholar, to speak at Ivy Tech in February

BLOOMINGTON – Jeannine Bell, author and nationally-recognized scholar in the area of policing and hate crime, will give a talk on police violence and its effect on citizens’ trust at Ivy Tech Community College on Thursday, Feb. 8. Bell will speak at Ivy Tech Bloomington’s campus at 200 Daniels Way, from 2 p.m. to 4 p.m. in Shreve Hall. The event is free and open to the community.

Bell’s talk is titled, “Mining the Trust Gap: Police Violence and Its Effect on Citizens’ Trust” in which she will attest that nowhere is the separation between black and white citizens clearer than in criminal justice matters. Bell will address the events that transpired in Ferguson, Mo. after a white police officer, Darren Wilson, shot to death an unarmed man, Michael Brown, on Aug. 9, 2014. She will speak on the “trust gap,” referring to the drastic difference in public opinion regarding the police, and share statistics regarding incarceration and public opinion regarding police behavior. Using a range of sources including interviews, news accounts and public opinion data, Bell’s talk will explore views of police behavior by Americans of different racial and ethnic backgrounds.

Bell has written extensively on hate crime and criminal justice issues. Her newest book is Hate Thy Neighbor: Move-in Violence and the Persistence of Racial Segregation in American Housing (NYU Press, 2013). Her book titled Police and Policing Law (Ashgate 2006) is an edited collection that explores law and society scholarship on the police. Her first book, Policing Hatred: Law Enforcement, Civil Rights, and Hate Crime (New York University Press 2002) is an ethnography of a police hate crime unit.

Bell’s research is broadly interdisciplinary, touching on both political science and law. In that regard, she has written in the area of qualitative methodology and she is co-author of Gaining Access: A Practical and Theoretical Guide for Qualitative Researchers (AltaMira Press 2003). Her scholarship has appeared in the Harvard Civil Rights-Civil Liberties Law Review, Rutgers Race & the Law Review, Punishment and Society, and the Michigan Journal of Race and Law. An associate editor of the Law and Society Review, Bell has served a trustee of the Law and Society Association and as a member of the American Political Association’s Presidential Taskforce on Political Violence and Terrorism. She was appointed Richard S. Melvin Professor of Law in 2015.

Storytelling series to explore reproductive rights

BLOOMINGTON – Tickets are on sale for the second event in Ivy Tech’s storytelling series focusing on reproductive rights. The event will feature members of the local community who will share personal stories of parenthood, adoption, birth control and the right to choose, from all sides of the conversation. The event will be held Friday, Jan. 26 at 7 p.m. at the Ivy Tech John Waldron Arts Center, located at 122 S. Walnut St. Ivy Tech’s storytelling series creates a platform for local members of our communities to tell stories of their personal experiences facing issues of immigration, reproductive rights, unemployment, and racism.

Actors will represent some storytellers. All stories were written word-for-word by the people who experienced them.

Tickets are $10 for adults and $5 for students and can be purchased online at

The event will feature stories from:

Forrest Gilmore, executive director of the Shalom Community Center

Forrest Gilmore accompanies his partner to a clinic to get an abortion. Unable to bring himself to stay with her, he finds himself wandering the aisles of a Babies “R” Us. What follows is a tale about reconciling the seemingly disparate parts of ourselves and our stories, and about experiencing losses we don’t feel we can talk about.

Amanda Lamm, center operations coordinator at All-Options Clinic in Bloomington
Actress Emily McGee tells Amanda Lamm’s original story. Amanda Lamm tells the stories of three women whom she worked with to secure funding for their abortions. She wonders aloud how much choice the closing of clinics, and the instituting of restrictive laws by the Indiana legislature, leaves women seeking abortion care, especially those women living in poverty. Emily McGee is a local actress and theater maker.

Mike & Nici, birth parents of a former IU student who wishes to remain anonymous
Actor Joel Watson reads a letter from Mike & Nici, the birth parents of a former IU student who wishes to remain anonymous. Mike and Nici are young teenagers when they give birth to Austin, and they immediately put him up for adoption, knowing they do not have the means to raise him. In this letter, Mike addresses Ron and Angie, Austin’s adoptive parents. Joel Watson is a local actor. Listen for his sound design in Ivy Tech Student Theater Company’s next show, “Anonymous.”

A resident of Greene County
Actor Steve Scott reads the personal account of a man from Greene County, Ind. who wishes to remain anonymous. This man, abandoned by his parents in a house in Crane Village (on Crane Naval Base), when he was 4 months old, is raised by strangers, until his birth father shows up to claim him. This is a story about creating your own life, of secrets kept and secrets revealed, and of finding out what family truly means. Steve Scott is a local actor, most recently seen in the BPP’s “Beating a Dead Horse.” He is also the co-owner of MC Martial Arts.

Anonymous woman
Actress Shannon O’Connor Starks reads the story of B, a woman who wishes to remain anonymous. When B comes home to tell her husband she’s pregnant, he gives her an ultimatum. She must get an abortion, or he will leave her, and her young son. Reflecting on the four pregnancies that came after that, she talks about her now fierce belief that no one should be pressured into abortion, and that becoming pregnant is a gift from God. Shannon O’Connor Starks is a local actress, regularly seen on stage with Cardinal Stage Company.

Anonymous woman
A live recording of a story told by C, a local woman who wishes to remain anonymous, will be played. In this story, C talks about discovering – at 19 years old, while in army bootcamp – that she had bi-polar disorder. While in the psych ward, recovering from psychosis and developing a treatment plan with doctors, she learned she was pregnant. She was able to carry the baby to term inside the hospital. She talks about the most difficult choice she has ever made in her life: to give her son up for adoption. A later pregnancy ended in abortion, because she still didn’t feel she would be able to raise a child in while struggling with bi-polar. Years later, she talks about re-uniting with the son she gave up for adoption, about their shared experiences with bi-polar disorder, and about her feelings on abortion.

Anonymous woman
Actress Tabitha Burton tells the story of D, a local woman who wishes to remain anonymous. D talks about her love of children, and her desire to have kids at a young age. After a wild-night with a co worker, a two-pack of pregnancy tests and a 6-pack of green apple smirnoff ices, D finds out she’s pregnant. For a while, she and her co worker plan to keep the baby, but D soon finds that her new beau isn’t the man she thought he was. Tabitha Burton is also the assistant director, production stage manager, and co-arranger of the Ivy Tech Storytelling Series: Reproductive Rights.


Student becomes patient care professional

IMG_1765crop-NEWSLETTER.jpgBLOOMINGTON – Lauren Lane began her career as a patient care assistant in December 2017 at IU Health Bloomington Hospital in the oncology department. Lane is a current student and plans to graduate from Ivy Tech with an Associate of Science in Nursing in May 2018.

Lane graduated from Martinsville High School and enrolled at Ivy Tech in 2013. An avid runner, Lane soon transferred to Indiana University in Kokomo to pursue a cross-country scholarship, but soon decided it was not for her.

“It just wasn’t a good fit for me,” she said. “I liked Ivy Tech for the small classes and the teachers were relatable. I felt like I was getting the same quality as other schools with less cost.”

Lane moved back to Martinsville in 2015 and enrolled at Ivy Tech’s Bloomington campus to pursue degrees in nursing and general studies. She later began working part-time in the registrar’s office in 2016.

“I have always loved helping people and decided nursing was a way I could do that,” said Lane. “All my teachers and co-workers have been really encouraging. I have a friend who stays after work hours to study with me sometimes and just having someone to study with has been nice, even though we’re not studying for the same thing.”

Lane credited her instructors and Ivy Tech’s nursing program for preparing her for her new career.

“I was confident going into the job interview, knowing I was a good candidate,” she said. “I was doing my clinicals at the hospital already so that gave me enough confidence to apply.”

As a patient care assistant, Lane works under the supervision of nurses and collaborates with other health care professionals.

“I am learning so much as a nurse in this new position,” said Lane. “Nurses on the floor are always showing and teaching me things.”

Lane hopes to transition to a nursing role in the same department at IU Health after she graduates from Ivy Tech.

“I want to stay on the same floor, in oncology,” she said. “My long-term goal is to be a pediatric oncology nurse, where I could work at Riley within the IU Health network.”

Lane also plans to transfer to Indiana University to pursue a Bachelor of Science in Nursing.

“Over the summer I will study for my boards and finish general studies classes,” she said. “I’m staying on track to start the RN to BSN program in January 2019.”

Ivy Tech now offers a Patient Care Technician associate degree program to meet local workforce demands.

“I encourage a lot of people to look into the new patient care technician program,” said Lane. “The biggest difference between my job and nursing is that I can’t give medication, and I don’t make care plans for my patients. Nurses typically have less patients, and patient care techs fill in as needed.”

Information about the Patient Care Technician associate degree can be found online at

New scholarship gives students a second chance

BLOOMINGTON – Ivy Tech’s Bloomington campus recently established The Second Chance Scholarship to assist students. The scholarship provides tuition and fees to selected students who have been terminated from financial aid eligibility due to academic progress, but are close to returning to good academic standing. By establishing this scholarship, Ivy Tech recognizes that sometimes all a student needs is a second chance in order to become successful.

Students must be selected to apply for The Second Chance Scholarship. If a student’s financial aid appeal is denied, a scholarship committee reviews the student’s academic record to determine what the student may need to become successful. Students who are close to returning to good academic standing are invited to apply for The Second Chance Scholarship.

Ten students were awarded scholarships for the spring 2018 semester. Recipients include a student who changed jobs during the semester, resulting in a new work schedule that conflicted with the student’s class schedule. Another recipient was not prepared for the rigor of college classes while balancing childcare, work, and other life commitments.

As Ivy Tech reviews the success of this scholarship project, more scholarships may become available in future semesters.

Ivy Tech offers free tax filing assistance

BLOOMINGTON – Ivy Tech Community College Bloomington is offering free tax filing assistance through the Volunteer Income Tax Assistance (VITA) program. Volunteers are IRS-certified, and include Ivy Tech accounting students, faculty and staff.

The Volunteer Income Tax Assistance (VITA) program offers free tax help to people who generally make $54,000 or less, persons with disabilities, and limited English speaking taxpayers who need assistance in preparing their own tax returns. IRS-certified volunteers provide free basic income tax return preparation with electronic filing to qualified individuals. To find out if you qualify, visit and search “VITA.”

Ivy Tech will be available for appointments from Feb. 2 to March 9, 2018. Ivy Tech is located at 200 Daniels Way on the west side of Bloomington.

To make an appointment, call (812) 332-1559 and ask to make a VITA appointment. Appointments are available on Fridays from 10 a.m. to 5 p.m., Wednesdays from 3 p.m. to 6 p.m., and Saturdays from 9 a.m. to noon. Bring your prior year’s tax return to your appointment.


Welcome week traditions help students succeed

BLOOMINGTON – Ivy Tech Bloomington welcomed students back to campus with activities during the first week of spring classes which began on Tuesday, Jan. 16. Welcome Week is a Bloomington campus tradition held each semester to help students build connections, organized by the office of student development. Welcome Week activities are free for students, designed to help them feel welcome and excited for the spring semester.

“Studies show the more connected students are with their campus, the better they do academically,” said Sam DeWeese, Ph.D., vice chancellor of student success.

Students entering the building on Tuesday morning were greeted with a pancake breakfast and a coffee bar. A volunteer opportunity was available in the student commons for students to make dog toys for donation to the Bloomington Animal Shelter. A registered therapy dog was available in the student commons throughout the afternoon. On Wednesday, a community resource fair gave students an opportunity to learn about resources and organizations available to help them become successful students. Games and free popcorn were also offered. On Thursday, a student involvement fair showed students how to get involved in student organizations, recreational sports, volunteer opportunities, and more. Per campus tradition, supply bins were available around campus for students to donate or take free class materials. Free student planners were also available and given to students throughout the week.

Fine arts students to explore entrepreneurship

BLOOMINGTON – Anna Tragesser, from the Indiana Arts Commission, will present an information session about On-Ramp, an accelerator for early career creative entrepreneurs on Friday, February 23. Tragesser will speak to students enrolled in fine arts portfolio course ARTS 250 at 11 a.m. in room D201 at Ivy Tech, located at 200 Daniels Way on the west side of Bloomington. The information session is also open to the community.

On-Ramp is a free, 3-day training course for creatives who are looking to rev up their business thinking, whether they are starting something new, looking to deepen their business understanding or at a professional crossroads. On-Ramp will give creatives new connections, a plan, coaching, and access to special funds to make it happen. Training includes one-on-one coaching with an arts business professional. Those who complete the training will receive a certificate.

More information can be found online at