Ivy Tech now offering more American Sign Language courses, no wait list

BLOOMINGTON – Ivy Tech Community College’s Bloomington campus is now offering more American Sign Language courses, the full sequence from levels 1-4. Students can sign up to take ASL courses that begin on Jan. 14 and there is no wait list to begin.

“Many Ivy Tech students sign up to take ASL courses to be able to communicate with friends or family members, and even babies and toddlers,” said Amber Celestin, associate professor of English and chair of student success and foreign languages. “We also have deaf students who take the course to further their own vocabulary and knowledge.”

ASL can also be useful for public services, including medical professionals, teachers, law enforcement officials, child care workers, Peace Corps, servers, and various other career fields. Students can take ASL courses at Ivy Tech in order to pursue careers in ASL related fields, such as Deaf Education and ASL interpreting.

According to the National Institute on Deafness and Other Communication Disorders, ASL is the primary language of many North Americans who are deaf and is one of several communication options used by people who are deaf or hard-of-hearing.

Students can sign up for ASL courses by contacting their academic advisors. Others can call (812) 330-6013, email bl-info@ivytech.edu, or visit campus on the west side at 200 Daniels Way.


Two Ivy Tech students earn national recognition for literary contributions

BLOOMINGTON – Two Ivy Tech Community College Bloomington students have earned national recognition from the Community College Humanities Association (CCHA) for their contributions to Ivy Tech Bloomington’s literary magazine, “Root and Branch.” The students earned awards in the 2018 Literary Magazine Competition, in the large colleges division.

  • Rachel Batka won 2nd Place for her photo “Equilibrium” (Photography, Central Region)
  • Salem Naylor won 3rd Place for her cover art “Silent Duel” (Artwork, Central Region)

“Root and Branch” (originally named [sic]) was started more than a decade ago by Emily Bobo, Ph.D., department chair of fine arts and humanities and English professor, who wanted to provide students with a creative outlet to share their text and art. “Root and Branch” has a new advisor, Christine Brandel, associate professor of English, who has advised the literary magazine for the past two years.

“Stepping into the advisor role after founder Dr. Emily Bobo’s tenure with the magazine was a little intimidating, so it means a lot that the first ‘Root and Branch’ continued her legacy of winning prizes,” said Brandel. “The students are looking forward to 2019 and taking on our next challenge!”

“Root and Branch” is currently a required text for select English courses and is for sale in the Ivy Tech bookstore for $8 plus tax. A portion of each sale is used to support future publications, editor scholarships, and writing and art contests for students.

Ivy Tech Student Productions to perform Evil Dead The Musical

Ivy Tech fine arts student to design stage makeup

Hannah Decker (right) on the set of All in the Timing

BLOOMINGTON – The Ivy Tech Student Productions will perform Evil Dead the Musical December 7, 8, 13, 14, 15 and tickets are on sale. Ivy Tech students are involved in the production alongside actors from the community and Indiana University students. Ivy Tech fine arts student Hannah Decker is the gore/makeup/hair designer for the production.

“I got involved in Ivy Tech Student Productions because I was taking a theatre production class and told my teacher I was eager to do costumes and makeup,” said Decker. “Lucky for me, the show we were working on was Sweeney Todd! The opportunity was a chance for me to get my foot in the door in the theatre community.”

Decker will be able to use her experience in gory special effects makeup in this production of Evil Dead the Musical. She has been involved in many Ivy Tech Student Productions as costume designer, including All in the Timing, War of the Worlds, Sweeney Todd, and Spring Awakening.

“I love costumes!” said Decker. “I’m a fan of cosplay and trying to mimic movie costumes and makeup in real life. I have enjoyed finding personality in characters, like in cosplay, and dressing them to how I would presume these characters see themselves.”

Decker plans to complete her associate of fine arts degree at Ivy Tech, and possibly work in the theatre field or transfer to a four-year college to earn a bachelor’s degree in theatre.

“I hope to work with makeup and costumes but am still deciding,” said Decker. “It’s becoming more common that anything you can do with makeup you can do with CGI. I’m still figuring a lot of things out with school right now and I am thinking about a couple of different options for my formal education. There is a world of options out there!”

Evil Dead the Musical book and lyrics by George Reinblatt; Music by Frank Cipolla, Christopher Bond, Melissa Morris and George Reinblatt; Music supervision by Frank Cipolla; Additional lyrics by Christopher Bond; Additional music by Rob Daleman.

Audience advisory: It is very likely that audience members will be splashed with stage blood during the performance and it is not guaranteed to wash out of all fabrics. The performance also contains explicit language and content.

Ivy Tech Student Productions take place at the Ivy Tech John Waldron Arts Center, located at 122 S. Walnut St. Tickets are $15 for general admission or $5 for students and seniors and can be purchased online at bctboxoffice.com. Information about Ivy Tech John Waldron Arts Center performances, classes, and exhibits can be found at ivytech.edu/waldron.

Ivy Tech location in Bedford moving to new StoneGate Arts & Education Center in January


BEDFORD – Officials in Bedford cut the ribbon on the new downtown location for the StoneGate Arts & Education Center at 931 15th Street on Wednesday, Nov. 28. The facility was named after City of Bedford Mayor Shawna Girgis, who serves on Ivy Tech Bloomington’s campus board of trustees. The Center will house Ivy Tech, Vincennes University, and Oakland City University. Ivy Tech Bedford classes will be held in this new facility starting in January 2019.

Dr. Sue Ellspermann, Ivy Tech president, attended and made remarks at the event.

The facility includes 14 classrooms, four computer labs, performing arts space with seating for 125 people, student study areas, gallery space, and office space.

“The new building has afforded Ivy Tech Bloomington to begin offering additional healthcare classes in Bedford that are aligned with area workforce needs,” said Jennie Vaughan, Ivy Tech Bloomington chancellor. “The new classes count toward healthcare certificates and the healthcare specialist associate degree program.”

New classes being offered include Essentials of Anatomy and Physiology, Dementia Care, and Customer Service in Healthcare.

Additionally, students can earn a Certificate in Bookkeeping by attending classes entirely at StoneGate.

“Our goal is to offer classes in Bedford that will allow students to complete short-term certificates in multiple programs located entirely at StoneGate,” said chancellor Vaughan.

Ivy Tech offices are currently still located at 405 I Street. Ivy Tech holds office hours at the location on a regular schedule, Monday through Friday, 9 a.m. to 3 p.m. An Ivy Tech staff member is available to provide assistance with applying to the College, applying for financial aid, academic advising, career guidance, and placement exam assessment. Express Enrollment events are also held at the Bedford location that allow prospective students to complete their enrollment steps all in one day.

Information and classes offered at the Ivy Tech’s Bedford location can be found online at ivytech.edu/Bedford.

More than $8,000 raised on Giving Tuesday for hospitality students to study abroad in Italy

Plate prepared by Ivy Tech hospitality administration students

BLOOMINGTON – Ivy Tech Community College’s Bloomington campus kicked off fundraising in November to send 10 hospitality administration students to central Italy for a 12-day study-abroad experience in May 2019. On Giving Tuesday, Nov. 27, the campus raised more than $8,000 from 33 individual donors toward the trip.

The amount includes a generous dollar-for-dollar match by donors Gene and Mary Ann Zink of Indianapolis.

“Ivy Tech Bloomington has a long tradition of supporting global travel through the Alternative Spring Break program so we’re hopeful this new initiative will expand that tradition for culinary students,” said Jennie Vaughan, chancellor. “Fundraising will continue through the end of 2018 and we welcome additional support for this life-changing trip. We’re just $2,000 away from our $40,000 goal.”

To make a gift, friends may visit https://impact.ivytech.edu, and select the Bloomington project, A Taste of Italy.

Students to benefit from nearly $20,000 in grant-funded projects


BLOOMINGTON – Bloomington’s Circle of Ivy women’s philanthropy group recently awarded $18,820 to fund seven student success initiatives. The projects were selected from a pool of 35 proposals submitted by faculty and staff, and reflect one of three funding priorities for the annual grants: student completion; instructional materials; or faculty/student travel.

Projects selected for funding by the Circle’s 48 members include:

A Taste of Italy – $5,000

A 10-day travel-abroad opportunity to provide Hospitality Administration students an opportunity to study food systems through a global lens. Students will visit central Italy’s regional farms and production facilities, explore the country’s agri-tourism industry, and prepare traditional and regional cuisines.

Student Success Kit – $3,000

Essential supplies and materials in the form of a “student success kit” to enhance engagement of students as they begin their studies at Ivy Tech. The kit will include a tote bag with post-it notes, highlighter, folders, USB drives, index cards, student planners and a thermal coffee tote. Students will be tracked after receiving the kits to measure overall success including midterm grades, cumulative GPA, final grades, persistence and completion.

AYD Company Mentor Program – $1,100

A structured program to foster relationships between area employers and their employees who are enrolled at Ivy Tech through our Achieve Your Degree program. Mentors would encourage successful completion of AYD and provide a view of the professional career they have selected.

Food for Thought – $3,000

A food pantry for students to access in our student tutoring center. This will serve the dual purpose of providing healthy snacks to help address student food insecurity needs as well as directing students to the tutoring center where they can meet and learn more about supplemental instruction leaders, tutors and mentors. Staff will track students who come to get items from the pantry and monitor them for GPA, persistence and retention.

Instructional Materials for Early Childhood and Elementary Education Students – $2,000

Instructional materials for use by ECE and ELED students to prepare them for experiences in inclusive classrooms where students from all cultural traditions, backgrounds and abilities feel represented, welcomed, understood and are focused on learning.

Fighting Trauma: Breaking Barriers to Successful Completion of a College Degree – $1,720

A student engagement and academic research project focused on the impact of trauma—especially that suffered in childhood—on student performance in a college setting. Findings will be published for use by the academic community to better understand how trauma negatively affects learning, studies, career paths and futures.

ASB 2019 Faculty Professional Development and Program Assistance – $3,000

Continuity of this annual program through inclusion of a third faculty member who will provide instructional and interpersonal guidance to participating students. Funds would also allow faculty to develop their program-specific expertise through research, site exploration and documentation.

Statewide, Circle of Ivy members impacted all 19 campuses, with 616 members funding $130,000 in grants for 51 projects total.


Early-bird discounts available for Ivy Tech Center for Lifelong Learning classes


BLOOMINGTON – Registration is open for spring 2019 Ivy Tech Center for Lifelong Learning (ivytech.edu/cll) non-credit classes and early bird discounts are available. Classes are offered for youth and adults, including painting, ceramics, photography, music, writing, history & genealogy, culinary arts, natural living, and much more. Complete online registration is now available so you can enroll and make payment online.

Enroll in the following classes before Dec. 31 and use the class code “LEARNEARLY” for discounted class costs: Watercolor Journaling Workshop; Watercolor Spring Flowers & Lunch on the Farm; Bonsai Beginnings: A Hands-On Introduction to the Art; and Basic Silversmithing & Jewelry Making.

Enroll in the following classes before Feb. 2 and use the class code “LEARNEARLY” for discounted class costs: Circuses, Springs, & Churches: Historic French Lick; Day Trip to Indiana Historical Society – Indianapolis; High Tea Under the Dome at West Baden Springs Hotel; Picnic in the Park – Garfield Park Conservatory and Sunken Gardens in Indianapolis; and Derby Dinner Playhouse in Clarksville.

Funding for youth programs is available to children who are on the free and reduced lunch program, including Spring Break Arts Camp, ceramics classes, and Science Workshop.

Information about Ivy Tech’s Center for Lifelong Learning and a complete list of classes can be found online at ivytech.edu/cll. New classes are added periodically.