Business graduate launches party planning business


BLOOMINGTON – Ivy Tech Community College alumna Maggie England has launched All Wrapped Up Btown, a party planning business, after she placed second in Ivy Tech’s Duke It Out Business Pitch competition in April 2018.

“Being a busy single mom of two children, I know how much it would help me if someone in town offered a party planning service,” said England. “All Wrapped Up Btown saves you the time and hassle of shopping for themed party decor and favors and delivers everything to your door. Additional services such as event setup, balloon delivery, activities, handmade decor and crafts, and photo collage boards are also available.”

England earned her associate of Applied Science and Technical Certificate in Business Administration from Ivy Tech in 2015. She made the decision to enroll at Ivy Tech after her daughter was born. She completed her courses online while expecting and caring for her infant son.

“Ivy Tech has been a wonderful support for me over the last five years,” said England. “I really found my niche with the online classes that Ivy Tech offered. This allowed me to move forward with school while staying at home taking care of a newborn and the complications that came from an accident that caused an injury for him. Every professor and adviser that I had during that time helped me stay on track for graduation.”

After graduation, England utilized Ivy Tech’s career services and found employment as an office manager for several companies, and frequently traveled. She also started a small event planning business that focused primarily on weddings. Planning her daughter’s seventh birthday gave England the idea to focus on smaller-scale party planning. England participated in Ivy Tech’s Duke It Out Business Pitch competition in 2018 and won second place.

“Because of the competition, I was able to kick-start my marketing plans and really start building my business,” said England. “Ivy Tech helped me realize a new-found love of event planning and hospitality. Speaking with the advisers and program chairs really helped me square up that I really want to own my own event planning business and continue my education in hospitality.”

England recently started a new full-time position as Department Secretary for Indiana University’s Eppley Institute of Parks and Public Lands to allow her to work closer to home, so she can spend more time growing her business. She is also working toward her bachelor’s degree in hospitality management at Indiana Wesleyan University.

Ivy Tech’s Gayle & Bill Cook Center for Entrepreneurship offers business consulting for entrepreneurs, and England says she plans to take advantage of those resources.

“I truly attribute Ivy Tech with the success I have had after graduating, not only because of the career services but because of the foundation in success they build with their students,” said England. “I continue to believe that All Wrapped Up Btown will be successful enough for me to focus on it full time one day and I continue to make strides working in business administration professionally in the meantime.”

Contact All Wrapped Up Btown at or

Ivy Tech Bloomington offers associate degrees in business administration, hospitality administration, business operations, and a technical certificate in entrepreneurship. For more information visit For information about resources for entrepreneurs through the Gayle & Bill Cook Center for Entrepreneurship, visit


Peer Mentoring Helps Students Succeed

Ivy Tech Bloomington launched a peer-mentoring program for students during Fall Semester 2018 called College Career Connections. Student mentors in the program earn $500 scholarships each semester by helping other students succeed in college academically and socially. The program benefits all involved students.

Involved students have opportunities to attend events throughout the semester to develop skills in leadership and professional demeanor. For example, students will soon have the opportunity to attend an etiquette luncheon on Wednesday, Sept. 19 in The Yellowwood restaurant, located at Ivy Tech.

In addition, mentors attend trainings and events to develop skills in coaching, mentoring and communication. After training, student mentors work eight hours per week in Ivy Tech’s student success department, where they create a welcoming campus environment and help connect students with campus and community resources. Mentors must apply and be accepted into the program and maintain at least a 2.5 GPA and part-time student status.

Students can apply to become a mentor or get connected with a mentor by visiting the Office of Student Life in room C139.




High school students can start college early at Ivy Tech


BLOOMINGTON – Enrollment is open for Ivy Tech Community College early college programs that allow high school age students to earn college credits. Ivy Tech offers two early college programs: dual enrollment and dual credit. Dual enrollment 8-week classes start Oct. 15.

“Students can save money and time by completing college classes early,” said Jennie Vaughan, Ivy Tech Bloomington Chancellor. “After earning college credits in high school, students can complete their associate degree at Ivy Tech to start their career or transfer to a bachelor’s degree program and save on college costs.”

Ivy Tech’s dual enrollment program enables high school students to take classes online or on Ivy Tech’s campus for the full college experience and immersive, hands-on learning. Students can choose from all Ivy Tech course offerings. The dual enrollment program is also available to high-school age homeschool students. Regular tuition and fees apply for dual enrollment courses and Ivy Tech offers the lowest college tuition in the state. Students must demonstrate a readiness for college-level work, through the ACT, PSAT, SAT tests or through Ivy Tech’s assessment tool.

High School students in the dual enrollment program can get an early start on statewide transfer programs to save on the cost of a bachelor’s degree. The Statewide Transfer General Education Core (STGEC) transfer certificate is a block of 30 credit hours that transfers toward the general education core requirements of any public Indiana college or university, upon student admission. “Transfer as a Junior” associate degrees allow students to transfer to any public Indiana four-year institution, upon admission, with automatic junior status.

To enroll or request information about early college options, contact Ivy Tech Bloomington at or (812) 330-6013.

9/11 remembrance ceremony held at Ivy Tech


BLOOMINGTON – Ivy Tech Community College’s Bloomington campus hosted a 9/11 remembrance event on Tuesday, September 11, 2018 at 9 a.m., in coordination with Bloomington Metropolitan Fire Fighters Union Local 586 and the City of Bloomington.

Bloomington’s beam from the structure of the World Trade Center is permanently on display on Ivy Tech’s campus, in front of the Cook Pavilion.

Vice President of the Fire Fighters Union Local 586, Robert Loviscek, who traveled to New York City to pick up Bloomington’s beam from the structure of the World Trade Center made opening remarks. Mayor John Hamilton also made remarks, as well as Professional Firefighters Union of Indiana President, Tom Hanify, and Bloomington Fire Department Chaplain, Harold Godsey.

The rifle salute was carried out by Monroe County Law Enforcement Honor Guard. The playing of TAPS was performed by Jeff Parker of the Bloomington High School North Band and Captain Danny Gillespie played Amazing Grace.

The 9/11 remembrance event took place in front of Ivy Tech’s Cook Pavilion entrance on the northwest side of the building, located at 200 Daniels Way on the west side of Bloomington.

Software development graduate analyzes website accessibility for Indiana University


BLOOMINGTON – Ivy Tech graduate Tiana Deckard did not always plan for a career in information technology (IT), but developed her career path at Ivy Tech Community College. Deckard graduated in 2016 with associate degrees in computer information systems and software development, and quickly found employment at Indiana University’s Office of User Experience.

“My original plan was to get a degree in business,” said Deckard. “When I discovered the computer information systems and software development degrees, I fell in love with the idea of working with computers. I just wanted to be a computer geek that knew software but that turned into so much more.”

Deckard’s job title at Indiana University is accessibility analyst, and she analyzes webpages to make sure they are accessible by people of all abilities.

“The overall goal is to make sure that everyone can access university websites,” said Deckard. “For example, I have the ability to use a keyboard, mouse, touch screen devices, but others may not have that same ability.”

Deckard primarily reviews websites with NVDA (non-visual desktop access) screen-reading software, to ensure that vision-impaired people can access university websites. She also reviews website code to make sure it is valid and accessible.

“What I learned at Ivy Tech helped me gain this job as an accessibility analyst, and has allowed me to wiggle my way into other things at IU,” said Deckard. “I learned HTML, PHP, JavaScript, Java, Python, some frameworks, and even a little bit of C. Overall, I’ve learned how things should work with computers which gives me a better ability to tackle problems that may arise in the future.”

Deckard is now pursuing a bachelor’s degree in computer science at Indiana University, specifically focusing on artificial intelligence (AI). She said that her Ivy Tech education is also benefitting her studies.

“Ivy Tech is still pushing me forward,” she said. “I now have goals to work in the AI field and do may own research and development.”

Ivy Tech Community College offers eight associate degrees in information technology, and many short-term certifications. Information can be found at

Ivy Tech brings new full-time faculty members on board


BLOOMINGTON – In the Fall 2018 Semester, Ivy Tech Community College’s Bloomington campus welcomed seven new full-time faculty members in electrical engineering technology, healthcare specialist, network infrastructure, nursing, respiratory therapy, and welding.

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Christina Barnes
Program Chair/Instructor, Respiratory Therapy
Barnes earned her B.S. in Respiratory Care from the University of Southern Indiana and her A.S. in Respiratory Care from Ivy Tech Community College. Prior to Ivy Tech she was a registered respiratory therapist at IU Health University Hospital in Indianapolis.

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Eric Bumbalough
Instructor, Electrical Engineering Technology

Bumbalough earned his M.S. in Mechanical Engineering and M.S. in Mathematics from the University of Michigan. Prior to his full-time faculty position at Ivy Tech, Bumbalough taught as an adjunct instructor. Prior to Ivy Tech, he worked in eLearning Design & Services at Indiana University.

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Bethany Gray

Instructor, Healthcare Specialist
Gray earned her Master’s in Acupuncture from the Academy for Five Element Acupuncture and B.A. in Administration of Justice at Southern Illinois University at Carbondale. She earned her Certificate of Massage Therapy from John A. Logan College. Prior to her full-time faculty position at Ivy Tech, Gray taught as an adjunct instructor. Prior to Ivy Tech, she worked as an independent contractor in massage therapy and an acupuncturist at That’s The Rub.

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Michael Gray
Instructor, Welding

Gray earned his welding certification from the U.S. Coast Guard. Prior to Ivy Tech he owned his own business specializing in accurate engineering, motorcycle restoration, and precision machining and welding.

Marvella Renee Hill
Instructor, Nursing
Hill earned her A.S. in nursing from Ivy Tech Community College Bloomington, B.S. and M.S. in nursing from Western Governor’s University. Prior to Ivy Tech she was a charge nurse at IU Health Bedford Hospital.

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Hieu Tran
Instructor, Network Infrastructure

Tran earned his M.S. in Telecommunications Technology from Aston University. Prior to his full-time faculty position at Ivy Tech, Tran taught as an adjunct instructor. Prior to Ivy Tech, he was a change control manager at Ericsson Vietnam Limited Company.

Ashley Winter
Instructor, Nursing

Winter received her M.S. and B.S. in Nursing from Pensacola Christian College. Prior to her full-time faculty position at Ivy Tech, Winter taught as an adjunct instructor. Prior to Ivy Tech, Winter was a nurse at Garden Villa Nursing and Rehabilitation Center.

Students make campus connections during Welcome Week

Chris Cakes greets students during Welcome Week with pancake flipping and breakfast.

BLOOMINGTON – Ivy Tech Bloomington welcomed students back to campus with activities during the first week of fall classes which began on Monday, Aug. 20. Welcome Week is a campus tradition held each semester to help students build connections to campus, organized by the office of student life. Welcome Week activities also provide students with resources to help them throughout their educational journeys.

bl-students2.jpgDuring the week, faculty and staff walked the hallways specifically to engage with students, to answer questions and help them find their classes or other campus locations. Free student planners were provided to students throughout the week. Students were also greeted with an espresso bar before the start of morning and evening classes.

bl-students.jpgOn Monday, free pizza was offered during lunch hours, along with a voter registration table and a mental health resources station.

On Tuesday, a student involvement and volunteer fair showed students how to get involved in student organizations, recreational sports, volunteer opportunities, and more. Students who signed in received food vouchers to spend at the Food Truck Tuesday event outside the Cook Pavilion.

On Wednesday, an Ivy Tech and community resource fair gave students an opportunity to learn about resources and organizations available to help them become successful students. Students who signed in received food vouchers for ice cream from Hoosier Mama’s Tasty Treats.

bl-sga.jpgOn Thursday morning, Chris Cakes greeted students with a free pancake breakfast and pancake flipping. Many other breakfast items were available. On Thursday during lunch hours, a mathematics cultural event with food and music was held in the library to teach students how math is taught and used in other cultures. Students also enjoyed a virtual reality gaming station in the student commons. A family movie and activity night was held on Thursday evening in Shreve Hall, and students enjoyed a screening of Solo and free pizza.