More than 1,165 credentials conferred to Ivy Tech grads

BLOOMINGTON –  Ivy Tech Community College’s Bloomington campus held its annual commencement ceremony on Friday, May 10 at 6 p.m. in the Indiana University Auditorium, where it conferred approximately 1,165 associate degrees and certifications, up about 60 credentials over last year. At the ceremony, there were 335 graduates and nearly 2,400 friends and family members in the crowd.   

Maggie Nardi, paralegal studies graduate and SGA president, gave the commencement address. Nardi holds a bachelor’s degree in English and Creative Writing from IUPUI but worked various jobs when she decided to enroll in community college, setting her on a career pathway.

Two honorary degree recipients were recognized, including Charlotte Zietlow, a decades-long leader in local politics, civics, entrepreneurship, and community engagement, and Lynn Coyne, five-year campus trustee for Ivy Tech Bloomington and president and CEO of the Bloomington Economic Development Corporation (BEDC).

“Charlotte and Lynn have made significant contributions to higher education and our local economy over their years of service, for the benefit of students and families across Indiana,” said Chancellor Jennie Vaughan. “Between Charlotte establishing an endowed hospitality scholarship for Ivy Tech students, and Lynn’s invaluable counsel and development of strategic partnerships and guidance over the programs we offer, their honorary degrees are well-earned and it was a privilege to recognize the accomplishments of both.”

This year, Ivy Tech Bloomington graduated 113 Early College high school students that earned credentials through dual enrollment opportunities, with 13 of them already enrolled in either summer or fall sessions at Ivy Tech. Early College graduates earned either a certificate or statewide transfer general education core (STGEC) technical certificate, which enables them to go on to a state university with the entire 30 credit hour STGEC completed. Early College graduates are from Paoli, Loogootee, Bloomfield, Eastern Greene, Springs Valley, Bloomington North, Bloomington South, Edgewood, Martinsville, West Washington, and the Academy of Science and Entrepreneurship.

Ivy Tech Bloomington also conferred 68 Achieve Your Degree™ (AYD) associate degrees and certifications to 47 graduates. AYD is a tuition-deferral program in which Ivy Tech and employers collaborate to offer working adults the opportunity to earn associate degrees and certifications with no upfront cost to students. Locally, Ivy Tech has agreements with 17 employers and counting, and the college works with more than 160 companies statewide. Employers represent a variety of industries, including technology, medical, financial, and manufacturing.

Associate Accelerated Program (ASAP) graduates earned 75 associate degrees and certifications, out of 31 graduates. ASAP is a program that offers 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 psychology.

The number of students who graduated with honors is 350, with 71 achieving summa cum laude status for maintaining a 4.0 grade point average.

Ivy Tech Bloomington conferred credentials to 27 military veterans, and graduated 7 international students representing the countries of South Korea, Colombia, Spain, China, Mongolia, and Ghana.

Approximately 75 Associate of Science in Nursing and 44 Practical Nursing degrees were awarded.

Graduate success stories illustrate career gains, university transfers

Shasta Anderson, 43
Associate of Applied Science, Hospitality Administration
Technical Certificate, Accounting

Shasta decided that she was going to set a positive example for her children and finish her earlier college studies, after stopping out due to finances. Since her employer, Cook, was offering tuition assistance through the Achieve Your Degree partnership with Ivy Tech, she decided to enroll.

Through the Ivy Tech/Cook tuition-deferral partnership, Shasta was able to go back to school with no upfront costs, finish her associate degree, and complete a technical certificate along the way.

During her studies at Ivy Tech, she served on the Student Government Association as secretary, earned an SGA officer scholarship, and participated in the annual O’Bannon Day of Service in our community, all while also working her full time job.

Shasta’s son, Damon, also works full time at Cook and takes classes at Ivy Tech through the Achieve Your Degree program. One day, he hopes to become a chef at West Baden or French Lick Resort.

She is proud to have completed her associate degree, hoping it will open doors for advancement into a new position with her current employer, and encourage her children to also achieve their educational goals.

Amanda Todd, 28
Associate of Science, Nursing (RN)
Cum Laude

Amanda was an elementary school teacher for four years before she decided to go back to college to pursue her calling—to become a nurse. She quickly chose Ivy Tech’s nursing program because it is known as one of the most competitive and comprehensive programs.

During her studies at Ivy Tech, she earned the Indiana Career and Technical Education Award for Excellence from the Indiana Department of Education, earned seven scholarships, and served as president of Ivy Tech’s Lee J. Marchant School of Nursing club.

She says that she is overwhelmed by the amount of support and encouragement from her husband, family, and fellow nursing graduates.

Amanda has accepted a full time nursing position at IU Health Hospital Inpatient Rehab unit. She plans to continue her education to earn a Bachelor of Science in Nursing and will go on to earn her Master of Science in Nursing. She hopes to eventually become a nurse practitioner.

Bethany Argenbright, 27
Associate of Applied Science, Business Administration

Bethany began taking classes at Ivy Tech right after high school. It took her some time to decide on a career path and focus her efforts in that area of study. It has been a long journey for Bethany and so rewarding for her to complete her associate degree.

She is first person in her family to go to college and complete their degree!

She credits her husband, family, and best friend for supporting her throughout her journey. Bethany plans to re-enter the workforce as a receptionist at a medical facility or veterinary clinic.

Bertram Rodgers, 52
Associate of General Studies
Summa Cum Laude

Bertram came to Ivy Tech Community College in need of a mid-life renaissance. He had previously attended three universities throughout his life. He says he made some bad decisions in the past and that he knew very little about community college when he decided to enroll. Little did he know, Ivy Tech was going become the best thing that ever happened to him.

Bertram began to thrive because he was finally accepted and celebrated for who he is as a person and student. He excelled in the classroom, graduating with a 4.0 GPA. He says that his learning experience at Ivy Tech is the catalyst by which he has been able to turn his life around and become someone who is capable of earning recognition.

During his time at Ivy Tech, Bertram served as Phi Theta Kappa honor society president, was a member of Campus Pride club, served as a Peer Mentor, and participated in the Political Awareness club.

His plan is to transfer to university in the fall to study film. He has applications in at major universities and has already been accepted into DePaul University in Chicago. He hopes to complete an internship this summer before he begins more college studies in the fall.

Additional info Bertram’s younger years coincided with a period of healing from the turmoil of the 1960s when the Voting Rights Act had been legislated and other newfound freedoms had been penned to the page, but reluctantly given in the Mississippi Delta, where he grew up. He says he never saw a “colored only” sign, though a recent view of his birth certificate actually describes him as “colored.”

Rachel Robinson, 31
Associate of Science, Nursing (RN)

When Rachel moved to Bloomington from Myrtle Beach, where she was working as both a phlebotomist and bartender, she decided to follow her dream to become a nurse. She knew that Ivy Tech’s nursing program had a great reputation and wanted to learn from the best, so she applied and enrolled in courses.

During her time at Ivy Tech, she participated in nursing club and earned a scholarship award.

Rachel has just accepted a full time position at IU Bloomington Hospital on the Cardio Recovery Unit.

In the future, she plans to transfer to Indiana University to complete her Bachelor of Science in Nursing.

Ethan Batan, 20
Associate of Applied Science, Heating Ventilation, & Air Conditioning Technology
Outstanding Student Award
Magna Cum Laude

Ethan chose to attend Ivy Tech Community College after high school because it offered an affordable, hands-on education that was accessible to his home in Spencer, Ind. He knew he wanted to pursue an education in the trades and learn valuable skills that employers need. He settled on HVAC because the job opportunities in the industry are countless.

Ethan earned a scholarship award during his time at Ivy Tech and played in a band formed through the HVAC department, called “Fire in the Furnace Boys.” 

Ethan is currently employed as property manager of an apartment complex in Plainfield, Ind. and plans to find employment specifically in the HVAC industry. He has leads in both Bloomington and Indianapolis for a technician role.

Mackenzie Schuck, 18
Associate of Science, Elementary Education

Mackenzie chose Ivy Tech Community College for the ASAP program, which enabled her to earn an associate degree in only 11 months. She was determined not to take a year off after high school for fear of not returning to complete her education. The ASAP program was the right fit for Mackenzie and she is so proud now that she made the right decision.

The ASAP program is rigorous and students spend full days, every week in class, in order to earn their associate degrees in as little as 11 months. During her time in the program, Mackenzie also held two other jobs to make ends meet! She currently observes at a local preschool and is working toward becoming a teacher.

Mackenzie earned a Campus Pride scholarship award and was involved with the Campus Pride club during her time at Ivy Tech.

In the future, she plans to transfer to Western Governors University to complete her bachelor’s degree in early elementary education.

Justin Dorman, 32
Associate of Science, Supply Chain Management & Logistics
Technical Certificate, Statewide Transfer General Education Core (STGEC)
Outstanding Student Award

Justin chose Ivy Tech Community College because of the proximity to both his home and work. He decided that he was ready to further his career in the supply chain industry so he enrolled in courses toward an associate degree.

During his time at Ivy Tech, he volunteered as Fire Chief at the local Volunteer Fire Department in Owen County.

He plans to transfer to university to complete his bachelor’s degree but has not yet decided where. He intends to study transportation security.

Justin says that earning his associate degree has made it possible for him to advance his career with his current employer, Baxter Pharmaceuticals.

Mason Brothers, 22
Associate of Applied Science, Design Technology
Outstanding Student Award

Mason chose to attend Ivy Tech Community College right out of high school because he had earned dual credits through the early college program. He also chose Ivy Tech because it is affordable and close to home, which made it possible for him to keep a full-time job during his studies.

During his time at Ivy Tech, Mason earned a scholarship and served as a Supplemental Instructor for a 3D design course.

Along with graduating with his associate degree, Mason holds professional certification as a Certified SolidWorks Associate, affording him additional marketability in his career field.

Mason is employed locally at Tri-County Steel in Bedford, Ind. as a contract draftsman. He gained employment there with the education he received at Ivy Tech.

Tracy Lamptey, 18
Technical Certificate, Optometric Technology

Following high school graduation, Tracy applied and enrolled at Ivy Tech Community College because it offered her degree program of interest. She learned about the Optometric Technology program while talking with her family. Tracy’s sisters also attended and graduated from Ivy Tech, one of which, is graduating at the same time as Tracy!

She earned a couple of scholarships along the way and says that her biggest challenge was time management – between attending classes, working at her job, completing clinicals, and studying– her time was spread thin.

One day, Tracy intends to become an Optometrist. She is transferring to Indiana University this fall to study chemistry, and to complete pre-requirements for entry into Optometry School.

She was just hired locally as an Optician at America’s Best Contacts and Eyeglasses. Tracy is glad she will have experience in the field when she begins her studies at IU in the fall.

Lynn Lamptey, 22
Associate of Applied Science, Network Infrastructure
Magna Cum Laude

Lynn decided to move back to Bloomington from Michigan and transfer to Ivy Tech Community College. She wanted to complete a degree without excessive debt, and says that naturally Ivy Tech was the best option. While at Ivy Tech, she earned scholarships and grants that eased the financial burden.

Lynn was a resilient and dedicated student. She sustained a fracture in her leg just weeks before finals and was put on bedrest. She had put so much effort into preparing for her Networking final that she got her doctor’s permission to go to campus to complete the exam. She says that she crutched back and forth from the classroom to the data center to build and configure her network to complete the final, and that she ended up with the highest score.

Her future plans include finding full time work in her career field as a network administrator and studying for her bachelor’s degree, and eventually her master’s.

Student receives $1000 Cancer Survivor Scholarship

From left to right: Kellie Osmon, Brandon Osmon, Jamie Stuteville, Chancellor Jennie Vaughan, and Biology Program Chair Sarah Cote.

BLOOMINGTON – Student, Jamie Stuteville, received the inaugural Osmon Chiropractic Cancer Survivors Scholarship this spring and is on-track to graduate with her associate of science in biotechnology in spring 2020. The $1,000 scholarship award was presented to Stuteville at the Indiana Center for the Life Sciences on April 25, 2019.

Stuteville was diagnosed with cancer only four years ago and had everything to live for—her two daughters. “For two weeks [after the second diagnosis] I wondered if I would live to see my two beautiful daughters grow up,” she said. “I wondered if I’d have to make videos and write letters so they would know who I was.”

Stuteville is now cancer-free and onto a new career path in biotechnology—one she hopes will lead her to a career in research and development in the fight against cancer. Previously, Stuteville styled hair for a living.

Her husband is also a student at Ivy Tech Bloomington, studying for his associate degree in supply chain management and logistics, while keeping full time employment. She says that they are working toward a better future together by sacrificing money and time now for their studies.

Brandon Osmon, of Osmon Chiropractic, approached Ivy Tech Bloomington last fall about establishing a scholarship for cancer survivors after personal experience—his 15-year-old son had been diagnosed with lymphoma. While treatable, his son underwent months of chemotherapy at Riley Hospital for Children, and through the process, learned about the emotional, physical, and financial struggles that cancer patients and their families face.

Through the chiropractic business that Osmon and his wife Kellie own, they made a commitment to start a scholarship to help students who have been impacted by a battle with cancer.

Like Stuteville, Osmon’s son is now cancer free.

“These remarkable individuals have a lot to offer the world,” Osmon said. “We look forward to following their journeys.”

Bloomington nursing program ranked #1 in the state

BLOOMINGTON – Ivy Tech Community College Bloomington’s practical nursing program was recently ranked #1 in the state out of all other Indiana LPN programs, by

For the 2017-18 academic year 80 percent of practical nursing students completed the program, 100 percent passed the National Council Licensure Exam (NCLEX), and 100 percent found employment within six months of graduation. In the Bloomington area there are 340 employed LPNs with an average hourly wage of $18.50. The U.S. Department of Labor, Bureau of Labor Statistics estimates an additional 2,482 positions will open statewide through 2020.

Students in Ivy Tech Bloomington’s nursing program have the opportunity to learn in simulation labs, as well as care for real patients in a variety of clinical settings. The program leads to a technical certificate that can be completed in one year, which qualifies students to work as an integral part of health care teams in home health care, hospitals, residential care facilities, physician’s offices, schools, and health departments. Students can also choose to continue their education at Ivy Tech to earn an Associate of Science in Nursing (RN).

The practical nursing program is a highly-competitive, selective-entry program. Students must participate in a nursing information session prior to applying. The next information session is Thursday, July 10 from 3 p.m. to 5 p.m. in room N117 at the Lee J. Marchant School of Nursing.

Ivy Tech Bloomington’s Lee J. Marchant School of Nursing programs are approved by the Indiana State Board of Nursing and accredited by the National League for Nursing Commission for Nursing Education Accreditation. For more information and to apply, visit and

Celebrating outstanding students and leaders at Honors Day

BLOOMINGTON – Outstanding students in each academic program were celebrated at Ivy Tech Community College Bloomington’s annual Honors Day celebration on Friday, May 10, in advance of the official commencement ceremony. A number of honors graduates celebrated this year, like many at Ivy Tech, are parents who decided to go to college, workers, veterans, and students who had previously attended university but had not quite found the right fit until they enrolled at community college.

“Graduation Day is the culminating event for our graduates and their families, and our whole campus looks forward to celebrating them every year, at both Honors Day and Commencement,” said Chancellor Jennie Vaughan. “My hope is that all of our graduates take this day to celebrate their accomplishments before moving along to their well-earned new opportunities.”

Other groups of graduates celebrated at Honors Day include Associate Accelerated Program (ASAP), Phi Theta Kappa, Student Government Association, Campus Activities Board, Student Leadership Academy, Ivy Leadership Institute, and Peer Mentors.

Ivy Tech’s Bloomington campus graduated 350 total honors students, with 71 graduating summa cum laude for maintaining at 4.0 GPA.

A list of honors graduates can be found here.

GradFest creates excitement for the big day

BLOOMINGTON – Hundreds of Ivy Tech Community College Bloomington students attended GradFest, an annual celebration that takes place the week before the official commencement ceremony. Events featured graduation-themed activities, such as cap decorating, designed to get students excited and informed about the 2019 graduation ceremony.

Other festivities included a spirit day, in which students showed their school pride by wearing Ivy Tech gear. Graduates also enjoyed an end of the semester bash, where students played games with their friends and cohorts over free food. Finally, students returned for graduation information sessions, where they were given tips and instructions on how to make their commencement experience a smooth one.

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

Zach Sykes earns $500 for design of affordable housing options in Haiti

BLOOMINGTON – Zach Sykes, design technology student at Ivy Tech Community College Bloomington, was awarded $500 for his design that took third place in a statewide community college AutoDesk competition. The contest was to design a brick-making machine to be used for affordable housing options in Haiti.

“Zach solely designed his apparatus and he is to be commended on his innovative work,” said April Bledsoe, design technology program chair. “Our AutoDesk liaison says that there was only a one point margin between first and third place in the competition. So close!”

Judges of the contest were experts in drafting and design, including mechanical engineers, architects, and AutoDesk and Ivy Tech personnel.

“I started at Ivy Tech with the goal to become an art instructor and within the past two years, I have been able to learn more. I’m now in pursuit of a design technology degree,” Sykes said. “Crossing over into technology has given me great opportunity to integrate technology and design into my passion for making art.”

Sykes says that he believes everyone should still have to take some kind of art, even in college. “It helps free your mind, especially if you are working to create projects for architecture and 3D printing.”

Sykes still plans to earn his master’s degree to become a college professor and to work in fields “where the future is design and improvement of the human race.”

More information about design technology at Summer classes begin on June 10 and fall classes being Aug. 26. Prospective students can apply now for free at