Ivy Tech confers degrees and certifications to 56 Lawrence County residents

BEDFORD —Ivy Tech Community College Bloomington will confer degrees and credentials to 56 Lawrence County residents at the college’s annual commencement ceremony on Friday, May 12 at 6 p.m. in the Indiana University Auditorium. Lawrence County graduates earned associate degrees and certifications in business administration, criminal justice, design technology, education, fine arts, general studies, human services, liberal arts, nursing, paramedic science, paralegal studies, and manufacturing production and operations.

Holly Cazzell, 42, graduates with an Associate of Science in Nursing and will be promoted to a Registered Nurse (RN) at IU Health Southern Indiana Physicians Family & Internal Medicine, where she currently works as a Licensed Practical Nurse (LPN)/Clinical Coordinator. Cazzell was a stay-at-home mom and enrolled at Ivy Tech in 2002. After graduating with her practical nursing technical certificate, she began work as an LPN and shortly after, gave birth to her youngest of seven children. Over the next 10 years, she took classes periodically to prepare for the PN to RN transition program and was accepted into the program last spring. In May 2017 she will fulfill her dream of becoming an RN. She plans to transfer her degree to Indiana Wesleyan University to pursue a Bachelor of Science in Nursing and will start classes in September.

Jennifer Johnson, 33, graduates with a Technical Certificate in Regulatory Affairs which enabled her to transition from a Process Validation Engineer to a Quality Assurance position at Cook Phramica. Johnson is enrolled in Ivy Tech’s Achieve Your Degree program (ivytech.edu/achieveyourdegree) and will continue her education at Ivy Tech toward an Associate of Applied Science in Biotechnology. After she completes her Biotechnology associate degree she plans to earn a bachelor’s degree at Indiana Wesleyan University. Johnson said, “Going to college while raising children and a full time job is an accomplishment in itself. I continued on to be a good example for my step daughters and to achieve my own dreams of success. This journey could not be wholly possible without the support of my family and friends. If I could tell others one thing: Don’t let others tell you that you can’t achieve your goals.”

Sophia Hobson, 19, graduates from Ivy Tech’s Associate Accelerated Program (ASAP) program (ivytech.edu/asap) which allowed her to earn her Associate of General Studies in one year, saving time and money. Hobson will continue her education at Ivy Tech and plans to apply to the nursing program. Hobson is a member of the Phi Theta Kappa Honor Society and is a recipient of the Hutton Scholarship and the Jeannie Heuer Liberal Arts/General Studies Completion Scholarship.

Pace Siedl, 19, graduates with honors from Ivy Tech’s ASAP program which allowed him to earn his Associate of Science in Business Administration in one year, saving time and money. Siedl chose Ivy Tech because it was cost-effective, close to home, and specifically because of the ASAP program. As a member of the Phi Theta Kappa honor society, he received the Phi Theta Kappa scholarship and was also a member of the Kappa Beta Delta business honor society, and was named to the Dean’s List both semesters. Siedl is transferring to either Ball State or the University of Evansville to study accounting. Siedl said, “I started this program one week after my high school graduation, and I have been going to school all day, every day since that time. Although it was tough, ASAP was a very rewarding program to be a part of.”

Brittany Chastain, 28, graduates with honors, with an Associate of Science in Education. She decided to start a new career and enroll at Ivy Tech 10 years after graduating high school, after observing technology progressively taking over her career as a transcriptionist. She chose Ivy Tech for its online courses, which allowed her to complete her degree while caring for two young daughters, ages five and two. She achieved her goal of transferring her degree to Western Governor’s University to complete her bachelor’s degree in Interdisciplinary Studies (K-8 grades). Chastain was awarded the Patricia B. Brown Scholarship from the Ivy Tech Foundation. Chastain said, “This whole experience of going back to school almost 10 years after high school has been so different.  I am not sure if I am more determined to accomplish something for my children to see and have them be proud of me or if it is more because I feel like I have found a career that I cannot wait to begin. I am thankful for a family that supports me in going to back to school.”

Micheal Terry, 22, graduates with an Associate of Applied Science in Criminal Justice. Terry researched many Indiana colleges after high school and after going on a campus tour, chose Ivy Tech for its low tuition cost and flexible scheduling options. Terry completed his degree while working a full-time job and helping his family through a period of homelessness at the beginning of his college career. In addition, he volunteered at Bliss Place, an assisted living facility in Bedford, where he organized activities for residents. Terry said, “At times, I wondered why I was dealt this hand of cards and not an easier path to handle. But in a sense I am glad, because my past had shown me why I wanted to become an officer of the law. I want to protect others and hopefully change someone’s life along the way.”

Michelle Pokorny, 20, graduates with an Associate of Fine Arts. She enrolled at Ivy Tech right after high school to save money on a college education. Pokorny was an active member of the Art Club and also volunteered at Ivy Tech’s Center for Lifelong Learning. She plans to transfer to a four-year college to earn a bachelor’s degree in fine arts with a concentration in glass. Pokorny said, “Once I have learned the craft of glass blowing I hope to work with other artists and create public works projects for the community and local businesses as well as traveling to learn more about this wonderful thing we call art.”

Richard Wilson, 78, graduates with an Associate of Fine Arts. Wilson is a Master Sergeant, U. S. Army (Retired) and holds a Ph.D. (ABD) in Rhetorical Theory and Criticism from Indiana University, an MS in Speech Communication from Murray State University in Kentucky, and a Bachelor of Theology in New Testament from Ozark Christian College. Wilson has taught communications at Ivy Tech as an adjunct faculty member for 15 years, and decided to enroll in fine arts courses for personal enrichment.

Ivy Tech Bloomington nursing graduate to give commencement address

Bloomington— Ivy Tech Community College’s Bloomington campus will hold its annual commencement ceremony on Friday, May 12 at 6 p.m. in the Indiana University Auditorium, where it will confer approximately 1,052 associate degrees and certifications to graduates.

Bridget Badder, Associate of Science in Nursing graduate, will give the commencement address. Badder earned her bachelor’s degree in journalism from Indiana University in 2012 and enrolled at Ivy Tech in 2015. She worked in public relations for a nonprofit organization in Chicago for several years before she discovered her true desire was to pursue work in the medical field. She is currently employed by IU Health Bloomington Hospital as a patient care assistant in obstetrics and will start work in a new role in labor and delivery after graduation.

She received an Indiana Career and Technical Education Award from the Indiana Department of Education in February 2017.

“During her time at Ivy Tech Community College, Bridget excelled academically, served in many student organizations, and held multiple leadership positions,” said Jennie Vaughan, Chancellor at Ivy Tech Bloomington. “We’re really proud of Bridget and congratulate her on her educational success, as she moves into a high-demand career that she was called to do.”

Ivy Tech Bloomington is conferring degrees to 33 ASAP (Associate Accelerated Program) graduates. ASAP was designed to provide students (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, and Business Administration. A new ASAP offering in Informatics will begin this summer.

The number of students graduating with honors is 183, with 23 graduating Summa Cum Laude for maintaining a perfect 4.0 grade point average.

Ivy Tech Bloomington is graduating 8 international students representing the countries of Brazil, Hong Kong, China, Thailand, and India, and will confer degrees to 10 military veterans.

Approximately 68 Associate of Science in Nursing and 25 Practical Nursing degrees will be awarded.

Steve Bryant named regional director of South Central Indiana Small Business Development Center

Bloomington— Ivy Tech Community College’s Bloomington campus announced this week that Steve Bryant, executive director of the Gayle & Bill Cook Center for Entrepreneurship, has also been named regional director of the South Central Indiana Small Business Development Center (ISBDC).

“Troy Phelps left the regional ISBDC director position late last year and has gone on to direct the ISBDC network for the state, which is great for us as a region to have someone in that role with experience at our local office,” said Jennie Vaughan, Chancellor at Ivy Tech Bloomington. “Through the Cook Center, Steve worked closely with the ISBDC and so taking on the director position after his interim work is a natural fit.”

“It is an honor to work with our community partners across the 10-county south central region to help people realize their dreams of owning a small business,” said Steve Bryant, regional director of the South Central ISBDC. “We’ll help existing businesses as well, to grow and employ Hoosiers from the region.”

The South Central ISBDC was named the Highest Performing Center for 2016 by the ISBDC in March at its annual statewide network meeting. The South Central office surpassed its goals for 2016 by a higher margin overall than any other Center in the State.

The South Central ISBDC, hosted by Ivy Tech Bloomington, is located at the Indiana Center for Life Sciences (ICLS), along with the Cook Center for Entrepreneurship.

ICLS is located at 501 N. Profile Parkway on the west side of Bloomington.

About the ISBDC: The Indiana Small Business Development Center (ISBDC) is hosted by the Indiana Economic Development Corporation, which leads the state of Indiana’s economic development efforts, helping entrepreneurs launch, grow and locate businesses in the state. The ISBDC provides entrepreneurs with expert guidance and resources on how to start and grow a business. With a network of 10 regional offices through the state, the ISBDC creates a positive and measureable impact on the formation, growth and sustainability of Indiana’s small businesses. The ISBDC is funded, in part, through a Cooperative Agreement with the U.S. Small Business Administration. All opinions, conclusions, and/or recommendations expressed herein are those of the author(s) and do not necessarily reflect the views of the SBA. For more information about the ISBDC, visit www.isbdc.org.


About Ivy Tech Community College
Ivy Tech Community College (ivytech.edu) is the state’s largest public postsecondary institution and the nation’s largest singly accredited statewide community college system.  Ivy Tech has campuses throughout Indiana. It serves as the state’s engine of workforce development, offering affordable degree programs and training that are aligned with the needs of its community along with courses and programs that transfer to other colleges and universities in Indiana. It is accredited by the Higher Learning Commission and a member of the North Central Association.

Alumna helps people transition and recover from jail and addiction

BLOOMINGTON – Marilyn Burrus graduated from Ivy Tech Bloomington in 2015 with an Associate of Applied Science in Human Services and was able to start her career in her field of choice. Burrus is currently the Transitional Manager at New Leaf, New Life, a nonprofit organization serving individuals in their efforts to make a successful transition back into the community after incarceration.

Burrus enrolled at Ivy Tech in 2012 after a long hiatus from education since her high school graduation in 1973.

“My oldest son was in college at Ivy Tech and recommended I apply for a scholarship,” she said. “I applied in 2012 and started in the summer. I wanted to become a substance abuse counselor and Ivy Tech was close to my home and it was affordable. It was a challenge returning at the age of 57 but I had great instructors who were always willing to help me obtain my goals. There are tutors to help with things a student needs additional assistance with and the instructors are very helpful. Everyone is willing to help a student become a success.”

Burrus said her education and connections at Ivy Tech helped her start her career. “I was able to work study for my first two semesters, which allowed me to get a good foundation in the beginning,” she said. “I joined Phi Theta Kappa, which was a great achievement for me. I met so many people that helped open doors to my future plans.”

Burrus was offered her current position at New Leaf, New Life during her final internship at Ivy Tech.

In addition to her role at New Leaf, New Life, Burrus established Courage to Change Sober living, Inc. in July 2016 to house men and women recover from incarceration or rehabilitation.

“The reason my partner and I started it was due to the lack of support for those dealing with addictions,” she said. “Many come out of a bad situation, jail or rehab, with little to nothing. Their chances of being able to maintain sobriety are very slim without support. We have the vision of building communities within our houses. We encourage peer to peer accountability. There are rules and they do have to pay a weekly fee to stay, but we give them the time to find a job and become self-supporting.”

Burrus is now enrolled at Indiana Wesleyan University after transferring her associate degree from Ivy Tech.

“IWU accepted all of my credits from Ivy Tech and I have six more classes to finish my Bachelor’s degree,” she said.

Healthcare sector summit at Ivy Tech to reveal workforce needs

Bloomington— Ivy Tech Community College’s Bloomington campus is hosting its first industry sector summit focused on healthcare on Monday, May 1 from 2 to 4 p.m. in Shreve Hall.

“The information we learn from this summit is intended to help Ivy Tech Bloomington better align its programming with workforce needs,” said Jennie Vaughan, Chancellor at Ivy Tech Bloomington. “Many thanks to the panelists who plan to be with us for this important session.”

The summit will feature a Department of Workforce Development presentation of sector research and data followed by a moderated panel discussion with industry partners. A question and answer session will follow. Panelists include:

April Cannon, Franchise Owner, Massage Envy

Jennifer Compton, Human Resources Area Recruiter, Trilogy Health Services

Andrew Keen, Executive Director, Bell Trace Health and Living Center

Bruce Wade, Vice President of Human Resources, IU Health

Anyone interested in the healthcare industry in the region is invited to attend.

The Healthcare Sector Summit is hosted by Ivy Tech Bloomington’s Office of Workforce Alignment, health faculty, and admissions.

Civic engagement awards reception kicks-off annual O’Bannon Institute for Community Service

Bloomington— Ivy Tech Community College’s Bloomington campus is hosting its 14th annual O’Bannon Institute for Community Service on Wednesday, April 26 through Friday, April 28. Kicking off the event on Wednesday, was a civic engagement awards reception held to recognize recipients for their contributions to community. The reception took place on main campus, in Shreve Hall at 4 p.m.

“Civic engagement is part of the educational environment at Ivy Tech Bloomington,” said Jennie Vaughan, Chancellor at Ivy Tech Bloomington. “Our surveys indicate that in the past year alone, our campus has donated 85,583 volunteer service hours, for a total contribution of more than $2M in the communities we serve, according to figures from independentsector.org.”

The Excellence in Volunteerism award recipient is Melissa Rowe, Ivy Tech Bloomington’s assistant director of accounts payable, for her work with Becky’s Place in Bedford, Ind. In addition, she volunteers for the campus sustainability committee and consistently grows her hair and donates it to a real wigs program for women who have lost their hair due to cancer treatment.

The Student Excellence in Volunteerism award recipient is Alicia Blatz, healthcare specialist student, for her involvement with various nonprofit community organizations including South Central Community Action Program Thriving Connections (formerly Circles Initiative), the Bloomington Housing Authority Resident Council, and her children’s Girl Scouts and Cub Scouts groups.

The Excellence in Service Learning award recipient is Dr. Samantha Levy-Arnold, associate professor of English and communication, for her work in making service learning a centerpiece of her English Composition 111 class. Last fall, her students engaged in reading and writing about the elections and then volunteered to work the polls, and this spring, her students have chosen their own projects.

The Jeanine C. Rae Humanitarian award recipient is Rob Parab, biotechnology student and Phi Theta Kappa vice president of leadership, for his volunteerism at various campus events but mostly for his willingness to help fellow students succeed in their classes. Nominations indicated that Parab is a model student who goes out of his way to help others.

The Community Organization Partner award recipient is IU Center for Human Growth, for its 10 years of service providing mental health counseling to Ivy Tech students at no charge. Doctoral students at IU studying educational psychology earn practicum hours toward their degree while providing a necessary service to students on Ivy Tech’s Bloomington campus.

“To date this partnership has provided nearly a half-million dollars in mental health counseling to Ivy Tech students, at no cost,” said Chancellor Vaughan. “The work that Dr. Lynn Gilman and her team have done has made a positive, lasting impact on our students. This award is just a small token of our appreciation to the Center’s decade-long commitment.”

The John R. Whikehart Civic Engagement award recipient is Carol Litten Touloukian, M.D. for her dedication to both Ivy Tech Bloomington and the community.

“Carol has served in a leadership role at Ivy Tech Bloomington for capital campaigns, the Waldron advisory board, and plays and integral role in the planning of our annual Showcase of Chefs and Wine donor appreciation event,” said Chancellor Vaughan. “In addition, Carol and her family are generous scholarship donors for students on our campus.”

Touloukian’s commitment to civic engagement also includes a long list of community and professional service, such as MCCSC, Indiana State Department of Health, New Hope for Families, among others. She has served as medical advisor for Head Start of Monroe County, Well Baby Clinic, and WIC. Touloukian has volunteered in various capacities at the Monroe County Board of Health, CASA, and the Boys and Girls Club. She was consultant and avid advocate for Indiana Tobacco Prevention and Cessation.

More than 350 people will take their seats tomorrow evening, Thursday, April 27, in Ivy Tech’s Shreve Hall for a sold out fundraising dinner with speaker Jon Meacham, Presidential historian, and for presentations by Ivy Tech’s Youth Leadership Academy.

Volunteers for the annual Day of Service will gather in Shreve Hall on Friday morning for a kickoff continental breakfast and motivational remarks from Judy O’Bannon beginning at 8:30 a.m. Afterward, more than 600 volunteers, including nearly 30 business partners, will disperse into the community to serve area nonprofits and help Ivy Tech Bloomington reach the goal of providing 1000 hours of service in one day. Volunteers will document their service by posting pictures to social media using #IvyTech1000Hours.

Volunteer slots are still available at www.ivytech.edu/obannon. Click on Day of Service to sign up.

About the O’Bannon Institute for Community Service

The O’Bannon Institute for Community Service (ivytech.edu/obannon) was established in 2004 by Ivy Tech’s Bloomington campus as an annual opportunity for the community to come together to discuss topics related to nonprofits, education and political and civic service. Previous speakers at the Institute have included former U.S. Senators, Pulitzer prize-winning authors, Governors, political advisers and columnists, and Laura W. Bush, former First Lady of the United States

First Financial Bank and Cook Center for Entrepreneurship partner on new lending program

Bloomington— First Financial Bank in conjunction with the Gayle & Bill Cook Center for Entrepreneurship at Ivy Tech Community College Bloomington are pleased to announce a new micro-lending program to benefit small businesses.  The new loans are available in amounts up to $10,000 and will provide needed capital to help businesses start, grow, and expand.

Small businesses seeking the new microloan funding will be provided training and assistance through Ivy Tech’s Cook Center for Entrepreneurship.

“This innovative lending program and collaboration provides financing to small businesses that may not have access to other funding,” said Cindy Kinnarney, market president for First Financial Bank. “First Financial Bank is committed to providing solutions and meeting the needs of the communities we serve.”

“The Cook Center will work with prospective startups to develop business and financial plans to prepare them to apply for their microloans at First Financial Bank,” said Steve Bryant, executive director of the Cook Center for Entrepreneurship.

Microloan applications will be available at the Cook Center upon completion of the training program.

“This provides a great opportunity for businesses in Bloomington to grow and prosper,” said Mayor John Hamilton.  “I commend the collaboration between Ivy Tech’s Cook Center for Entrepreneurship and First Financial Bank for filling this need.”

The First Financial Microloan program provides flexible terms, with a 6 month, interest only draw period and a repayment period of up to 48 months.  Pricing is based on Prime rate plus 2 percent. For more information on the loan process, contact Cindy Kinnarney, market president at First Financial Bank.

Interested applicants can contact the Cook Center for Entrepreneurship at 812-330-6261 to set up an appointment for training.

About the Gayle & Bill Cook Center for Entrepreneurship
The Gayle & Bill Cook Center for Entrepreneurship at Ivy Tech Community College Bloomington (ivytech.edu/entrepreneurship) provides practical tools to help entrepreneurs of south central Indiana start and grow businesses. Founded in 2010 to honor one of the region’s most successful entrepreneurs, Bill Cook, the Cook Center embodies Mr. Cook’s philosophy of ‘ready, fire, aim’ entrepreneurship by giving students and others the skills and resources they need to start businesses.