Robot workshop for K-12 educators to be hosted by Ivy Tech

 BLOOMINGTON – Ivy Tech Community College’s Bloomington campus will host a two-day workshop on June 11-12 to train K-12 educators on how to build and program Lego Mindstorms® EV3 robots, develop classroom activities, and borrow Lego Mindstorms® equipment and software for classroom usage.

The workshop is open to all K-12 educators including homeschools. The cost is $137.85 and educators will earn one course credit upon completion. The workshop will be held at the Ivy Tech Bloomington campus on June 11-12 from 8 a.m. to 4 p.m.

Teachers will participate in six hands-on activities concentrating on programming robots and will get assistance to develop an age-appropriate lesson for their classroom.

Upon completion of the workshop, teachers will have the opportunity to borrow 20 Lego Mindstorms® EV3 educational kits and 20 laptop computers with the EV3 programming software to use in their classrooms for a three-week period during the academic year. Current Ivy Tech students in engineering technology, information technology, and advanced manufacturing will assist teachers in their classrooms.

Educators must register by Friday, May 25. To register, contact Sydney Courtad at scourtad@ivytech.edu or 812-330-6239.

Ivy Tech Bloomington is located on the west side at 200 Daniels Way and is open Monday through Thursday, 8 a.m. to 6 p.m. and Friday, 9 a.m. to 5 p.m.

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Robotics is ‘fun, like a puzzle’

Rebecca Stoops

BLOOMINGTON – Rebecca Stoops is pursuing her advanced automation and robotics technology associate degree with the help of Ivy Tech’s Achieve Your Degree™ tuition deferral program. Stoops’ employer, Catalent, is partnered with Ivy Tech to offer the Achieve Your Degree program to employees. Achieve Your Degree is a tuition deferral program that allows working adults to earn a college certificate or associate degree with no upfront cost to the student. The program helps employees earn credentials to advance within their companies.

“I earned a BA in biology from Indiana University and after I graduated, I got a job at Catalent as manufacturing associate team lead,” said Stoops. “Biology gave me few technical skills so I was missing that, but I learned a lot of technical skills from my job and wanted more. So that’s where Ivy Tech came in.”

Stoops enrolled at Ivy Tech in 2016 when the Achieve Your Degree program became available. She was looking for a career and educational program that was hands-on, fun, challenging and technical, and discovered the automation and robotics program to be a perfect fit.

“I wanted to build on the education and experience that I had,” said Stoops. “A bachelor’s degree has a lot of filler classes and the cost is high. Associate degrees are geared toward real job situations and I appreciate that, now that I have been in the workforce for six years.”

Stoops earned the Siemens Level I Mechatronics Operator certification in December 2017, and advanced to a new position at Catalent as a trainer and technical writer for the drug substance protein purification process. Her new job involves training staff on processes, procedures, and specific manufacturing equipment. She also updates and revises standard operating procedures.

“Automation and robotics apply to many industries,” said Stoops. “In relation to my work at Catalent, I can maintain, fix, troubleshoot, and design equipment for automated processes. In manufacturing settings, they always need people to troubleshoot or re-program equipment to do different processes. Sensors get dirty and parts wear down all the time, just out of daily wear. Robotics is fun, like a puzzle. You get satisfaction in your daily job and positive feedback when you see things start working again.”

Stoops is on track to complete her education in spring 2019 by earning an Associate of Applied Science degree in Advanced Automation and Robotics Technology.

“Ivy Tech has been fun. I’ve been learning things I’ve never thought about before, like how to put together a system with electronics and pneumatics. It makes a big difference not having as many lectures, and having more lab situations. I noticed that everyone loves that. You come in after work and you’re tired, but it ends up being fun.”

More information about the advanced automation & robotics technology degree can be found at https://www.ivytech.edu/advanced-automation-robotics/.

Employers who wish to learn more about the Achieve Your Degree tuition deferral program can arrange a time for Ivy Tech to visit their company. To arrange a meeting, contact Jessica Duncan at jduncan71@ivytech.edu or (812) 330-6349. More information about Achieve Your Degree can be found online at ivytech.edu/achieveyourdegree.

 

Graduates share their paths to success

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Colin Stahl
Associate of Science, Engineering Technology
Outstanding Student Award
Cum Laude

Colin decided that he needed to build himself up professionally for the benefit of his career. Since his employer was offering tuition assistance through the Achieve Your Degree partnership with Ivy Tech—and the college had the programs and opportunities he was seeking—he decided to enroll.

During his studies, he was involved in the Maker Club as an officer, was active in the EPICS Robotics Workshop service-learning course, which introduces elementary and middle school students to robotics and programming basics, and served as a Supplemental Instructional lead for the Intro to Circuit Analysis course. He also volunteered to present the banana piano electronics project at the Girl Scouts STEM fair and served during Ivy Tech’s Day of Service.

He is currently employed at Catalent and worked full-time while he completed his degree. Colin says Ivy Tech’s course offerings and flexibility made it possible to fit education into his work and life schedule.

He says that he is grateful to have been a part of the Achieve Your Degree program because it has allowed him to further his education without worrying about how to afford the costs each semester.

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Anna Salzman
Associate of Applied Science, Hospitality Administration
Summa Cum Laude

Anna graduated with her bachelor’s degree in archaeology in 2012 and decided to pursue an associate degree in culinary arts with the goal of studying or teaching food and drink in antiquity. She researched culinary programs and discovered that Ivy Tech Bloomington’s program was both affordable and accredited by the American Culinary Federation.

She says that she found her place once she began the program at Ivy Tech and has decided to pursue baking and pastry as a career. She even served as president of the Culinary Club in 2016, and was awarded multiple scholarships.

During her studies, Anna worked full time hours in her field, as a pastry chef at One World Enterprises and at Bloomingfoods Co-op.

Now, Anna works in a newly-created position at Indiana University. She is the Pastry Team Leader at The Eateries.

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Terry Way
Associate of Science in Nursing (ASN-RN)

Terry chose Ivy Tech for the convenience in location and the unwavering reputation of the nursing program. Before that, he was active duty Air Force for 10 years and then Reserves. He had the opportunity to provide direct medical care when he deployed in 2009 and enjoyed it – from there, Terry committed to becoming a nurse, but it wouldn’t be for 6 more years that he would pursue the path.

Terry and his wife, Amanda, raise seven children and he credits his wife for her support throughout the last few years. He says if it hadn’t been for her guidance and encouragement, he may still be “spinning his wheels in the trucking industry.”

Terry looks forward to earning his bachelor’s degree in nursing, but has not yet made a decision about which college to attend.

He was just offered a position as a registered nurse at Community Health South and has accepted. He’ll begin work upon passing his national licensing exam (the NCLEX

Seth Combs
Associate of Applied Science, Biotechnology
Outstanding Student Award
Cum Laude

Seth decided to go back to school at Ivy Tech after life challenges forced him to put a hold on his university studies.

He first learned about Ivy Tech by attending an advisor appointment with a friend. During that meeting he was so impressed with Sarah Cote, Professor of Biology, and Ivy Tech’s programs that he set up a meeting himself with Professor Cote to discuss his interest in science and pharmaceuticals.

He credits Professor Cote with giving him the courage to return and complete his education at Ivy Tech.

Seth plans to transfer to Indiana University in the fall with the end goal of earning a Doctorate of Pharmacy degree.

Justin Muniz
Associate of Science, Software Development
Cum Laude

Justin enrolled at Ivy Tech just a few years ago because his goal was to earn an associate degree in software development and to work in a field that interested him – his main priority was to graduate.

He says that his education at Ivy Tech helped him gain the skills and knowledge that his employer seeks in job candidates.

He recently gained employment as an Associate Software Engineer at Platformatics, coding software for lighting systems.

Krisana Martin
Associate of Applied Science, Business Administration

Once Krisana learned about her employer’s tuition assistance program, she decided to enroll at Ivy Tech to help advance her career. She earned her associate degree with no-upfront costs, made possible through the Achieve Your Degree partnership Cook has with Ivy Tech.

She is considering continuing her education and earning a bachelor’s degree at Indiana Wesleyan University, and looks forward to the challenge.

In the future, she plans to keep pushing herself and working hard to advance her career at Cook.

Jennifer Hicks
Associate of Applied Science, Business Administration

Jennifer decided that she wanted to seek other career opportunities with her employer, and get out of production. So, when she learned that her company, Cook Group, was offering tuition reimbursement through Ivy Tech’s Achieve Your Degree program, she signed up for classes.

She says it was convenient from work to attend Ivy Tech to complete her degree.

Jennifer plans to continue her education and transfer to Indiana State University to earn her bachelor’s degree in human resources development.

Jessica Corbin
Associate of Science, Early Childhood Education
Summa Cum Laude

Jessica decided that she was ready to return to the workforce after having her daughter in 2012. She first chose to attend Ivy Tech to gain her education.

During her studies, Jessica was a member of Phi Theta Kappa honor society, a TEACH grant recipient, and Wonderlab volunteer.

As a recently single mother, Jessica aims to set a positive example and show that anyone can succeed. She credits her education in Ivy Tech’s Early Childhood Education program with shaping the teacher and parent she’s become today.

Jessica is currently employed as an Infant Toddler Teacher at the Bloomington Developmental Learning Center in town, and she hopes to transfer to Indiana University in the fall to earn her bachelor’s degree in Environmental and Sustainable Studies.

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Brooklynn Melton
Associate of Applied Science, Healthcare Specialist
Outstanding Student Award
Cum Laude

After moving to a new state during her senior year of high school, Brooklynn’s college plans were put on hold. She had lost the in-state tuition rate for college, so she took one year off after high school to research her options for higher education.

Brooklynn chose Ivy Tech because of the many opportunities that were available to her in finding the right career path in the medical field. She says that earning her degree as a healthcare specialist has opened up many doors.

During her time at Ivy Tech, she served as a volunteer for her local Veterans of Foreign Wars (VFW) and at Reach High Consulting & Therapy in the Applied Behavior Analysis (ABA) clinic, where she is also currently employed.

This fall, Brooklynn plans to transfer to Indiana University to earn her bachelor’s degree in nursing.

In the future, she hopes to find work as a traveling trauma nurse.

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Abigail Duncan
Associate of Science, Elementary Education
(TSAP)
ASAP Program
Outstanding Student Award
Cum Laude

Abbi chose Ivy Tech’s Associate Accelerated Program (ASAP) right out of high school because it was close to home, and she wasn’t quite ready to leave home just yet. She appreciates that she was able to grow and affordably explore her educational and career options at Ivy Tech.

Abbi plans to transfer to Indiana University Southeast to earn her bachelor’s degree. She says she’s not worried at all about her ability to succeed because she has already established valuable study and testing skills.

In the future, Abbi looks forward to graduating with her bachelor’s degree at only 20 years old! She is so excited and credits Ivy Tech’s ASAP program as the only way this would have been possible.

Casey Hamilton
Associate of Applied Science, Homeland Security/Public Safety

Casey chose Ivy Tech because she needed flexibility to complete her degree. She is a military veteran who currently serves in the Guard as a Staff Sergeant, and keeps a full time job. Casey has been deployed three times to Iraq, Afghanistan, and Kosovo. She even kept her full course load when she deployed to Kosovo!

Casey attends Ivy Tech through the G.I. Bill, and she says that the DJ in the veteran’s office has been wonderful in making it a seamless experience.

Casey is currently employed but she has just found new work with her degree. She’ll start her new job soon in the Career Pathways Program as a Safety and Risk Mitigation Analyst for NSWC Crane.

In the fall, Casey plans to transfer her associate degree to Indiana University and complete her bachelor’s degree in public safety.

 

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Ann Maas
Associate of Science in Nursing (ASN-RN)
Cum Laude

Ann had a 4.0 GPA when she applied to enter Ivy Tech’s Marchant School of Nursing! As a wife and mother of four children, she decided to attend Ivy Tech because it was close to home.

Ann served as president of the nursing club and was member of Phi Theta Kappa Honor Society. She received several scholarships including the Ferguson Scholarship, Annie and Lee Marchant-Kay Leach Endowed Scholarship, and SGA Veterans Scholarship.

In the future she plans to continue her education, but first her family is moving to Washington, D.C. Once settled, she plans to earn her bachelor’s degree and then a master’s in midwifery.

 

 

 

More than 1,103 credentials to be conferred at Ivy Tech commencement

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View photos on Flickr.

Bloomington— Ivy Tech Community College’s Bloomington campus will hold its annual commencement ceremony on Friday, May 11 at 6 p.m. in the Indiana University Auditorium, where it will confer approximately 1,103 associate degrees and certifications to graduates in front of a crowd of 1,900 friends and family.

Victor Creed (previously named Joshua Johnson), software development graduate and SGA president, will give the commencement address.

Two honorary degree recipients and recent retirees, Dr. James O. Smith, Ph.D., Ivy Tech faculty member and dean of the Schools of Business, Logistics & Supply Chain and Public & Social Services, and Douglas E. Mattick, director of facilities, will be recognized on Friday.

“I want to congratulate and thank Dr. Smith and Doug for making significant contributions over their 18 years of service to the college, for the benefit of students and families across Indiana,” said Chancellor Jennie Vaughan. “Between paving the way for statewide articulation agreements and saving the college more than $1.5 million in operating and building costs, their honorary degrees are well-deserved and I’m happy to recognize the accomplishments of both Dr. Smith and Doug.”

Dr. Smith was instrumental in forming course transfer articulation agreements with Indiana University that lead to statewide Ivy Tech course transfers to all Indiana colleges and universities. He also initiated one of Ivy Tech Bloomington’s first service-learning projects in the accounting program, the Volunteer Income Tax Assistance (VITA) program, which continues today.

Mattick reduced the budget needed to operate and expand the Bloomington facility by more than $1.5 million over his 18 years of service. Notably, Mattick managed electrical usage and technology updates at Ivy Tech’s main facility, and as a result, is pulling the same energy today—even after the 90,000 sq. ft. expansion—as it was when the building was established in 2002.

Ivy Tech Bloomington is conferring 50 Achieve Your Degree™ (AYD) associate degrees and certifications to 42 graduates. Ivy Tech’s AYD program is a collaboration between Ivy Tech and employers to offer working adults the opportunity to earn associate degrees or certifications with no upfront cost to students. Statewide, Ivy Tech has collaborated with more than 140 companies to offer the program to their employees. Collaborations include smaller to larger employers from a variety of industries, including hospitals, banks, and manufacturing companies.

Associate Accelerated Program (ASAP) graduates have earned 22 associate degrees and certifications. ASAP was designed to provide students, ages 21 and under, with the opportunity to earn an associate degree in as little as 11 months. Ivy Tech Bloomington offers ASAP degrees in Liberal Arts, Education, Business Administration, Informatics, and will begin offering Psychology this summer.

The number of students graduating with honors is 174, with 32 graduating Summa Cum Laude for maintaining a perfect 4.0 grade point average.

Ivy Tech Bloomington will confer credentials to 22 military veterans, and is graduating 6 international students representing the countries of Saudi Arabia, China, Brazil, and Indonesia.

Approximately 67 Associate of Science in Nursing and 42 Practical Nursing degrees will be awarded.

Students teach coding at area elementary schools

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Dr. Diana Nixon (left) receives the 2018 Excellence in Service Learning award from Chancellor Jennie Vaughan.

BLOOMINGTON – For the second year in a row, students from Ivy Tech Community College’s Bloomington campus taught coding to area elementary school fourth, fifth, and sixth grade students. Diana Nixon, Ph.D., associate professor of information technology, organized the project. In recognition of her coding outreach, on Friday, April 27, Ivy Tech Bloomington awarded Dr. Nixon with the Excellence in Service Learning award during Ivy Tech’s O’Bannon Institute for Community Service.

“One of the goals for this ongoing project is to introduce young students, and particularly girls, to coding,” said Dr. Nixon. “Studies show that girls steer away from STEM fields in middle school and we’re trying to get them inspired before then. The project also benefited Ivy Tech students because teaching requires a level of mastery beyond ordinary classroom studies.”

Last year, students in the IT club taught coding at Clear Creek Elementary School. This year, students enrolled in software development classes taught coding at Clear Creek Elementary School and Edgewood Intermediate School as the service-learning portion of their curriculum. Nixon plans to continue to expand this service learning project to other area schools and to involve more Ivy Tech students.

Ivy Tech student Monica Dignam taught coding at Edgewood Intermediate School once per week.

“We’ve been doing a unit on algorithms, so we’re using a board game to teach the children about the idea of breaking things down one tiny step at a time,” said Dignam. “They’re really excited about it, and the game communicates the concept well.”

Ivy Tech student Matthew Lewallen also taught coding at Edgewood. Lewallen is working toward an associate degree in cyber security/information assurance, a general studies transfer certificate, and is employed as a lab technician in Ivy Tech’s School of Information Technology.

“The thing I enjoyed the most about this project was seeing the children’s faces light up when understanding came to them,” said Lewallen. “It really gave me a sense of accomplishment.”

“Getting people involved in the STEM movement at an early age has a number of benefits,” continued Lewallen. “For one, it may help these kids discover new career paths. Coding can serve as a positive creative outlet and may be pursued solo or as a group. IT jobs are in high demand. Our country needs more people to fill the ranks, and what better way than to get students interested in fifth grade?”

Lewallen also remarked that Edgewood Intermediate staff were very engaged and supportive of the project.

Dr. Nixon serves on the Indiana committee for Expanding Computing Education Pathways, which works to increase the number and diversity of students in the pipeline to computing and informatics degree programs.

“Information technology is one of the fastest growing occupational fields, yet the number of students being trained in computing won’t meet the projected demand,” said Dr. Nixon. “The coding project dovetails with nationwide efforts to expand computing education pathways, with a long-term goal of increasing the number and diversity of students in the pipeline to computing and computing-intensive degrees.”

Dr. Nixon is also organizing two, one-week coding workshops that will be held June 18-22 and June 25 – 29 for girls ages 11 to 14.

“We’re specifically recruiting and setting aside as many spots as we can for girls of color,” said Nixon. “They don’t have to be interested in IT before they come to us. It’s our job in the coding workshop to inspire them by showing them all the possibilities and things they can do with coding.”

For information about the summer coding workshop, contact Dr. Diana Nixon at dnixon4@ivytech.edu or (812) 330-6134.

Ivy Tech Bloomington’s campus offers eight associate degrees in the information technology field, to meet workforce demand. Degree offerings include computer science, cyber security/information assurance, database management and administration, network infrastructure, informatics, information technology support, network infrastructure, server administration, and software development. More information can be found online at ivytech.edu/computers.

 

‘First Monday’ Q&A forum for business owners

by Steve Bryant, Executive Director, Gayle & Bill Cook Center for Entrepreneurship, Ivy Tech Community College Bloomington & Regional Director, South Central Small Business Development Center

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First Monday is a new help session for people looking to start a small business or improve the one they operate now.  When you are trying to get a new business started you have a lot of questions to ask, but may not know how to approach certain areas like taxes, contracts, leases, how to market on Google or Facebook, City permits, how to do a business plan and other important questions.  We have experts on-hand with backgrounds in legal, accounting, banking, marketing, real estate, government and other disciplines available for FREE to talk with you.

There is no presentation or speaker, just people there to answer the questions that you have. You can come for the entire one hour meeting or come and ask a quick question and leave.  Again, whatever questions YOU have.  We are there to get you into business or help you stay in business.

This new networking event is a collaboration of the many organizations in Bloomington that support small businesses in the area. This includes the Gayle & Bill Cook Center for Entrepreneurship at Ivy Tech, South Central Small Business Development Center, Bloomington Economic Development Corporation, Greater Bloomington Chamber of Commerce, Downtown Bloomington, Inc., SCORE Bloomington, City of Bloomington, Monroe County Government and others.

The event is held at Grazie Italiano on the downtown square (106 West 6th Street, Bloomington) from 8:00 to 9:00 am before parking meters start.  Again, it’s a free event and open to anyone looking to start a business or make the one they have better.  We hope you can join us for the next First Monday event on June 4th.

We are still working on a better name for the event as First Monday doesn’t really explain what it is all about, so if you have any ideas for us to consider, come on by and let us know.  Free coffee, too!

Grad Fest events prepared students for Commencement

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BLOOMINGTON – More than 200 Ivy Tech Bloomington students attended Grad Fest activities held May 1-3, to prepare for and celebrate their upcoming graduation on Friday, May 11.

A family-friendly alumni celebration was held on the evening of May 1. Alumni and their families attended to re-connect with one another and welcome soon-to-be graduates to the Ivy Tech Alumni Association. A graduation cap decorating event was held on May 2, and several information sessions were offered on May 3 to help graduates prepare for the commencement ceremony. On May 3, an end-of-semester celebration was held for all Ivy Tech students to celebrate their accomplishments with food, games, and activities.

Grad Fest was organized by the Office of Student Life, Alumni Association, and Graduation Committee.