Ivy Tech Kokomo Region HVAC/R program earns six-year accreditation

Randy Gardner leads Ivy Tech's internationally accredited HVAC/R program.

Randy Gardner leads Ivy Tech’s internationally accredited HVAC/R program.

KOKOMO, Ind. — Ivy Tech Community College Kokomo Region has earned a third multi-year accreditation for its Heating, Ventilation, Air Conditioning and Refrigeration Technology program from the international HVAC Excellence accreditation review board.

The six-year accreditation was awarded with distinction recently after an extensive self-study and on-site visit. It represents validation of the Ivy Tech training program by the third-party accreditation process that evaluates HVAC/R training programs and certifies HVAC/R technicians around the world.

“Ivy Tech Kokomo was the first campus in the Ivy Tech system to achieve accreditation for its HVAC program back in 2000,” said Randy Gardner, chair of the HVAC/R program for Ivy Tech Kokomo Region who, as chair of HVAC/R training for Ivy Tech statewide, has helped implement the accreditation process across all HVAC/R programs at the College’s other campuses.

“We are proud to have achieved our third multi-year accreditation in Kokomo with no compliance corrections required, one of only 10 programs in the nation to have performed so well,” Gardner continued. “The Kokomo program is considered to be in the top 99th percentile of HVAC/R training programs in the United States.”

The Ivy Tech program prepares students to work in the HVAC/Refrigeration field as technicians who specialize in installing and maintaining heating, air-conditioning and refrigeration systems. Ivy Tech has been a leader in the training of HVAC/R personnel and accreditation gives it the ability to award the prestigious HVAC Excellence certifications sought by employers. Ivy Tech is the only institution in the state that offers these certifications.

Howard Weiss, executive vice president of HVAC Excellence, is a proud spokesman for the HVAC/R field and credits Gardner with creating the outstanding program found at Ivy Tech Kokomo. “Randy is a great instructor and leads the Ivy Tech Kokomo HVAC/R faculty in continuing education to keep the program current,” Weiss said. “The instructors all worked in the field before coming to Ivy Tech. They really know what they are teaching and that makes all the difference for what students learn.

“HVAC/R offers tremendous career opportunities – for those who take advantage of programs like Ivy Tech’s,” Weiss continued. “According to the Department of Labor’s Bureau of Labor Statistics, there are roughly three million job openings right now in skilled trades and manufacturing but people don’t have the skills needed to fill them. Thanks to expected growth 20 percent higher than industry as a whole – and expected retirements among its aging employees, the HVAC/R industry predicts more than two-thirds of the people it employs in 2020 will have joined since 2010. This means the HVAC/R industry needs to recruit and train nearly 70 percent of its 2020 workforce in the next decade. That’s a lot of new jobs – and they are jobs that can’t be automated and can’t be moved overseas, and they pay well.”

Mike Soupley, manager of the Kokomo branch of Duncan Supply Company, a wholesale distributor of refrigeration, HVAC and food service equipment in Indiana and Illinois, serves on the advisory board and as an instructional resource for Ivy Tech’s HVAC program.

“As manager of a wholesale supply business, I have contractors coming in every day.  About twice a week, a contractor says, ‘I’ve got a job that needs to get done. Can you help me get somebody from Ivy Tech?’ People with the right skill set and certifications are definitely in demand,” Soupley said. “Ivy Tech has a great HVAC/R lab that they improve every year. From a professional point of view in the industry, I can say the program really helps students prepare for great jobs in the real world.”

Gardner noted the Ivy Tech program has successfully placed 98 percent of its graduates in HVAC/R jobs, many with jobs promised before graduation.

HVAC Excellence was founded as a not-for-profit organization in 1994 to improve the technical workforce of the HVAC/R industry through quality education. In 1999 HVAC Excellence was the first organization to create programmatic accreditation for HVACR programs in the United States. Since that time, HVAC Excellence has grown to the industry’s largest and oldest provider of HVAC/R programmatic accreditation.

The accreditation of the program, and separate accreditation earned by the program’s instructors, enables Ivy Tech to award successful students professional certifications in areas like air conditioning (EPA 608), gas heat/electric heat and electrical. Students can earn technical certificates or Associate of Applied Science degrees and college credit earned at Ivy Tech can be transferred to 1,800 other institutions for additional education.

To learn more about the HVAC/R program at Ivy Tech Kokomo, contact Randy Gardner at 800-459-0561, ext. 558, or rgardner@ivytech.edu .

 

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Ivy Tech sets Express Enrollment sessions in Kokomo, Logansport

KOKOMO, Ind. — With spring semester coming to a close and summer semester quickly approaching, Ivy Tech Community College campuses in Logansport and Kokomo have scheduled three Express Enrollment events for entering students. Express Enrollment is the College’s statewide effort to help students move quickly through the admission process and on to advising and enrollment.

Express Enrollment events are scheduled in Kokomo on Thursday, April 24, at 10 a.m. and 2 p.m., and in Logansport on Tuesday, April 29, at 10 a.m. Express Enrollment will serve those who would like to enroll in the summer term that begins June 9 and/or the fall term that begins Aug. 25.

Prospective students will accomplish a number of steps in the enrollment process including:

  • Participating in face-to-face new student orientation
  • Filing for financial aid (optional)
  • Completing the assessment waiver or preparing for the Accuplacer placement test for those who are not waived

More information on the assessment process can be found at www.ivytech.edu/assessment .

Students whose academic record allows a waiver from assessment also can meet with an academic advisor and schedule classes or schedule an appointment for advising at a later date.

Reservations are required so the College may adequately staff each event. They can be made by calling the Kokomo campus at 800-459-0561, ext. 239, or the Logansport campus at 866-753-5102, ext. 2175

“With summer quickly approaching, we want to help students take the steps necessary to get enrolled early so they will have the best possible selection of classes,” said Marcia Worland, interim director of Admissions in the Kokomo Region. “This is a great way to get students quickly through the admissions process and on to advising and enrollment.”

Suzanne Dillman, associate vice chancellor of Student Affairs at the Logansport campus, added, “It’s always nice to get these necessary tasks done and out of the way before students get busy with summer activities. It’s easy to put these things off and then you find the classes you needed are full. These events help us help students be proactive. We are even encouraging students who don’t intend to start classes until fall to attend one of the three sessions.”

For more information about Ivy Tech’s Express Enrollment, contact Mitchell Gauger at 765-459-0561, ext. 237, or mgauger@ivytech.edu, or Mary Craig at 866-753-5102, ext. 2175.

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Top speakers named in Ivy Tech’s third annual student speech competition

Krysten Moon earned top prize as advocate for the Peru Rolling Chapel

KOKOMO, Ind. – Krysten Moon, a General Studies major from Peru, took top honors Tuesday night in the third annual student speech competition sponsored by Ivy Tech Community College Kokomo Region’s Professional Communication Program and the Kokomo Campus Activities Board. Heather Conger, a Human Services major from Kokomo, won the competition’s People’s Choice Award.

The five finalists in the competition, dubbed the “Speak Up—Speak Out” Project (SUSO), delivered speeches advocating on behalf of local nonprofit organizations. Moon, who was cited for her sincere and passionate delivery as well as the clear call to action in her conclusion, advocated for the Peru Rolling Chapel, an outreach of the Peru Council for Weekday Religious Education. As the winner selected by the judges for most effectively applying the principles of public speaking and persuasion, she earned a free class and $362 in charity donations for the nonprofit.

Heather Conger named ‘People’s Choice’ winner for speech on The Salvation Army

Heather Conger named ‘People’s Choice’ winner for speech on The Salvation Army

The People’s Choice Award was determined by donations from Tuesday night’s audience to the student speaker representing their favorite charity. Conger represented the Salvation Army of Kokomo. By gathering the most money from the audience, she earned a donation of $565 for the Salvation Army.

The judges – retired educators Sherry and Stu Whitcomb, both veterans of high school speech competitions, and Ivy Tech professor Josh Rockey, founder of the SUSO competition – were so impressed by the quality of the competition that they awarded two runner-up prizes. Conger was named second runner-up and Rebecca Harris, an Office Administration major from Logansport, was named first runner-up for her speech advocating for the Civic Players of Logansport.

Christina Pifer, a Health Care Support major from Royal Center who advocated for Peak Community Services, and Amber Zehringer, a General Studies major from Kokomo who advocated for Bona Vista Programs, rounded out the list of finalists.

David Gray, assistant professor of communication and the SUSO Project coordinator, said the evening represented well the project’s two broad purposes.

“The program is designed to help students connect the principles of public speaking with civic responsibility and to start them on the road to civic engagement through interaction with a community organization,” he said. “It gives students the opportunity to connect the lessons of their public speaking class to ‘real-world’ application, using principles learned in class to attempt to steer an audience toward a very real goal. We accomplished both tonight.”

Ivy Tech’s Professional Communication Program provides students with a rich background in the arts and sciences, equipping them with problem-solving skills, communication and writing abilities, and experience in communicating and designing texts using information technologies. For more information about the Professional Communication Program or the “Speak Up—Speak Out” Project, contact Gray at 765-459-0561, ext. 389, or dgray54@ivytech.edu .

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Ivy Tech Kokomo Region receives $3.27 million federal grant

KOKOMO, Ind. – The United States Department of Labor has awarded $3.27 million to Ivy Tech Community College Kokomo Region under the federal Youth CareerConnect grant program that will be used to expand career training opportunities from the high school level through a two-year college degree.

The grant will support and expand on Ivy Tech’s Integrated Technology Education Program (ITEP), a career pathway program in industrial technology developed in partnership with 14 area high schools and career centers, as well as local industry. It is one of 24 grants totaling $107 million awarded to programs throughout the nation as part of the Department of Labor/Department of Education effort to integrate education and career skills initiatives to build America’s workforce.

President Barack Obama announced the awards recently while visiting one of the recipient schools in Maryland. The White House launched the Youth CareerConnect grant competition last year to provide students with the “industry-relevant education and skills they need for a successful future.” The federal initiative is designed “to encourage America’s school districts, institutions of higher education, the workforce investment systems and their partners to integrate rigorous educational standards with work experiences and skills in ways that enhance instruction and deliver real-world learning opportunities for students.”

Ivy Tech’s ITEP offers a career pathway that features technical certificates in seven industrial technology fields, an Associate of Applied Science degree in Industrial Technology and a 75-credit-hour Associate of Applied Science degree in Advanced Automation and Robotics Technology. Students can enter the career pathway pipeline at several entry points – as high school students, as college students or as returning adult students, depending on their previous experience and education – and can exit to work after completing any of the three degrees featured in the pathway. The pathway also features two internship or work-study opportunities with area industry partners and opens the possibility of awarding the first degree, a technical certificate in industrial technology, at the high school level through current and future dual-credit agreements.

The grant award will cover two new positions, equipment for Ivy Tech and high school and industry partners, and more than $1.2 million in scholarships and certification cost waivers for participating high school students.

One of Ivy Tech’s primary industry partners on the grant, Chrysler Group LLC, will help cover much of the grant’s match by donating “Engineer in the Classroom” volunteers and a multi-classroom and lab space at the newly opened Tipton Transmission Plant south of Kokomo.

Dr. James E. Woolf, Community Engagement & Educational Services specialist for Chrysler Group in Kokomo, is active in industry-education partnerships in North Central Indiana and part of the team that worked to obtain the Youth CareerConnect grant.

“This grant is great news for the manufacturing industry and for the people of north central Indiana,” Woolf said. “It will provide funding needed to really advance initiatives already under way to develop potential employees with the skill sets required by the advanced manufacturing facilities of today AND tomorrow.

“Industry is begging for employees ready to work in the high-tech, computer-operated, robotic environment that has replaced the dark, dirty, labor-intensive factories of yesterday,” he continued. “And these education initiatives – combining classroom instruction with hands-on experience in labs and on the shop floor – will equip students to take the many well-paying jobs that are opening up as ‘baby boomers’ retire and manufacturing in the United States continues to grow.”

Red Gold, Patriot Porcelain and Kellam Inc. are among other area industry supporters of the project.

“In Indiana there is an increasing demand for qualified technical professionals to fill positions like electrician or mechanic, people prepared to go into operations, quality assurance and distribution jobs,” said Tim Ingle, vice president of Human Resources and Corporate Strategy for Red Gold, a major processor of premium tomato and food products based in Elwood. “Red Gold is looking for the curious and intellectually engaged, like those graduating from this program, who will join our team and make it better.”

Patriot Porcelain, a new business in Kokomo, also is committed to serving as an industry partner in the ITEP program, according to L. Dowal Dellinger, the company’s secretary/treasurer manager.

“New jobs are being created in Kokomo by companies competing on a global market utilizing modern manufacturing techniques and well-trained employees who are able to develop and operate modern production facilities,” Dellinger wrote in a letter supporting the project. “Patriot Porcelain believes this program will assist local students in pursuing a high-growth career path, while also enabling industry to meet the need for a skilled workforce.”

Jeffrey Kellam, president of Kellam Inc., an industrial design build company based in Wabash, believes improving education will directly improve the area’s economic development.

“I see Ivy Tech’s Integrated Technology Education Program as a tool to help Wabash County’s students become highly trained to compete for high level jobs in today’s global economy,” Kellum said. He said he is particularly impressed by program’s “career pathway pipeline” that allows students to build on training they’ve completed, allowing them to apply certifications they’ve earned toward associate degrees at a later date.

Ivy Tech Kokomo Region will spearhead the project, developing an enhanced curriculum in industrial technology and offering financial support for students. The grant will fund career counselors to work with area high schools to share with students and parents the opportunities advanced manufacturing offers. It will also provide in-service training in advanced manufacturing for area high school and career center educators.

Ivy Tech Kokomo Region Chancellor Steve Daily noted the many benefits to area students. “The Youth CareerConnect grant will allow Ivy Tech to provide high school students in the program with financial assistance to cover tuition for college-level courses and also to cover costs of the nationally recognized certifications that are part of these programs and that employers consider so critical when hiring new employees,” Daily said.

“With new equipment funded by the grant,” he continued, “we’ll be offering an innovative and expanding industrial technology program with a progression of certificates and degrees that means a world-class education with graduates prepared to meet the new technology demands of local industries.”

For Rodni Lytle, dean of Ivy Tech Kokomo Region’s School of Technology, the grant will expand on the outstanding opportunities Ivy Tech offers for high school students and adult learners to gain industry skills and valuable credentials.

“Our region offers students a robust technical experience from the classroom to the lab and internship possibilities,” Lytle said. “Our instructors in the technology program have spent years in the industry and this experience is transferred in the classroom and lab. They understand what it takes to be successful in industry and business. Our approach to instruction offers students access to hands-on training and, with the support of the grant, that training will be on new equipment purchased to align with the latest emerging technologies in industry.”

More information about the opportunities provided by the grant will be coming out soon. Participating school districts will be sharing details with students in their high schools. College-ready students can inquire about the ITEP program by calling Ivy Tech Kokomo’s main campus at 800-459-0561.

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Ivy Tech and IU Kokomo Job Fair will feature more than 70 employers

KOKOMO, Ind. —More than 70 employers, including Chrysler, Community Howard Regional Health, Bona Vista and Syndicate Sales, are planning to participate in the spring Kokomo Area Job Fair set for 10 a.m. to 1 p.m. Tuesday, April 15, at the Kokomo Event & Conference Center. Indiana University Kokomo and Ivy Tech Community College, with the support of WorkOne and Hoosier AM/FM Radio, are sponsoring the fair open to students, alumni and community members seeking part-time, full-time or internship positions.

The fair is open without charge and provides participants the opportunity to meet with employers and discuss potential job opportunities. The event includes two free workshops presented by WorkOne and a photo booth offering free individual portraits for use in a job search:

  • 11-11:30 a.m., Room 813 – Social Media Workshop presented by Anne Kreutzer
  • Noon-12:45 p.m., Room 813 – LinkedIn Workshop presented by Dennis Schluttenhofer
  • 11 a.m.-12:45 p.m. – Photo booth

For more information, contact Tracy Springer, manager of IUK’s Career and Accessibility Center, at 765-455-9301 or tracylb@iuk.edu.

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Public invited to Ivy Tech’s third annual student speech competition

2014 SUSO Finalists Back row: Rebecca Harris, Amber Zehringer, and Heather Conger Front row: Christina Pifer, Krysten Moon

2014 SUSO Finalists
Back row: Rebecca Harris, Amber Zehringer, and Heather Conger
Front row: Christina Pifer, Krysten Moon

KOKOMO, Ind. – Members of the community are invited to attend the finals of the third annual student speech competition sponsored by Ivy Tech Community College Kokomo Region’s Professional Communication Program. They will be able to show their support for five area nonprofit service organizations by making donations in the People’s Choice Award part of the competition.

The finals are set to begin at 7 p.m. Tuesday, April 15, at the Kokomo Event & Conference Center. After a preliminary contest April 1, five students were named finalists in the competition, dubbed the “Speak Up—Speak Out” Project (SUSO). The five finalists will each deliver their speech advocating on behalf of a local nonprofit organization. The winner, who will be selected by a panel of judges, will win a free class and two of the nonprofit organizations discussed by the speakers will receive proceeds from fundraising efforts.

The five finalists, and the organizations for which they are advocating, are:

  • Heather Conger, a Human Services major from Kokomo, advocating for The Salvation Army
  • Rebecca Harris, an Office Administration major from Logansport, advocating for the Civic Players of Logansport
  • Krysten Moon, a General Studies major from Peru, advocating for the Peru Council for Weekday Religious Education (Peru Rolling Chapel)
  • Christina Pifer, a Health Care Support major from Royal Center, advocating for Peak Community Services
  • Amber Zehringer, a General Studies major from Kokomo, advocating for Bona Vista Programs

The winner of the competition will be the student chosen by a panel of judges as the one who most effectively applies the principles of public speaking and persuasion. All funds raised during the weeks leading up to the competition will go to the charity discussed by the winning speaker.

In addition to the overall SUSO Project winner, the audience will decide, by voting with monetary donations, who will take home the People’s Choice Award. The money collected from the finals competition audience will be given to the charity supported by the People’s Choice Award winner.

“Everyone is encouraged to attend the SUSO Project Finals to support these students and help decide the People’s Choice Award winner,” said David Gray, assistant professor of communication and the SUSO Project coordinator.

Ivy Tech’s Professional Communication Program provides students with a rich background in the arts and sciences, equipping them with problem-solving skills, communication and writing abilities, and experience in communicating and designing texts using information technologies. For more information about the Professional Communication Program or the “Speak Up—Speak Out” Project, contact Gray at 765-459-0561, ext. 389, or dgray54@ivytech.edu .

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Ivy Tech students gain experience, friends in spring break service trip

By Rebecca McVay, Ivy Tech Kokomo Region student

Ivy Tech volunteers gather at the ASP Center Back, left-right: Wendy Smith, Joe Smith, Deb Lott, Keith Marcum and Rebecca McVay Front, left-right: Rebecca Groff, Heather Cast, Mary Pruitt, Jordan Wheeler and Dani McQuaide

Ivy Tech volunteers gather at the ASP Center
Back, left-right: Wendy Smith, Joe Smith, Deb Lott, Keith Marcum and Rebecca McVay
Front, left-right: Rebecca Groff, Heather Cast, Mary Pruitt, Jordan Wheeler and Dani McQuaide

KOKOMO, Ind. – “Haven’t worked or laughed harder than this in years.”

So said one student from Ivy Tech Community College, offering the sentiments about the recent Spring Break Service Trip sponsored by Ivy Tech’s Kokomo Region.

The week-long project took 10 Ivy Tech students, faculty and staff members to Chavies, a residential hamlet in Perry County, Ky. Ivy Tech’s regional newsletter had described the trip as a “chance to get your hands dirty” and a “wonderful service opportunity.” But only those who went on the Appalachian adventure found

Ivy Tech’s work crews included Dani McQuaide, Keith Marcum and Jordan Wheeler

Ivy Tech’s work crews included Dani McQuaide, Keith Marcum and Jordan Wheeler

out just how dirty their hands would get and how many wonderful memories would be made.

The trip was set up with the Appalachian Service Project by Danielle McQuaide, director of Student Life for the Kokomo Region. Ivy Tech volunteers engaged in such activities as installing insulation and underpinning, extracting and replacing windows, and constructing a support wall and floor support.

According to its official website, www.asphome.org, the Appalachian Service Project, or ASP, “is a Christian ministry, open to all people, that inspires hope and service through volunteer home repair in Central Appalachia.” The vision is to put an end to substandard housing in Central Appalachia, and for

Ivy Tech's Rebecca McVay at work

Ivy Tech’s Rebecca McVay at work

everyone in contact with ASP to be transformed.

Volunteers from various religious and nonreligious backgrounds participated in ASP the week of March 9-15. Along with the 10 members of the Ivy Tech community, a group of high school students from an east coast Catholic boarding school as well as a college group from Pennsylvania State University joined in.

The full-time employees of ASP worked to provide activities every night at the center for the volunteers. These ranged from viewing a documentary on Appalachia to participating in a meditation/prayer walk. One night, several Ivy Tech volunteers were the only volunteers who engaged in an activity entitled “Why Are You Here?”

The talk began with everyone standing in a circle, one person holding a skein of yarn. As each volunteer spoke, he or she tossed the yarn to a new speaker, unraveling it just a bit more. The reasons given for joining were as varied as they were interesting. Students mentioned their peers having been blessed by mission trips or service activities. One volunteer mentioned an inspiring documentary portraying poverty much like that which was seen on the trip and a faculty member recalled her previous involvement in aid efforts with Hurricane Katrina. For some, ASP was simply a shot at a new experience.

By the end of the session, a patterned network of yarn stretched across the entire circle. Students then saw an example of how every volunteer working together created an intertwining of backgrounds for a strong, complete team.

The 10 Ivy Tech volunteers were divided into two groups. In one group, all but two of the volunteers were strangers. This team fondly recalls getting to know each other.

When making a pit stop at a gas station on Monday, the first work day, Ivy Tech employee Joe Smith noticed that there were some wood boards outside the building. The group had already determined that they would need support for the siding around the bottom of the house, so he hoped to ask inside if the group could make use of the extra pieces.

Getting out of the van, a student spotted a tape measure that one of the construction workers must have dropped. As she picked it up, she noticed the name “Groff” scrawled across it. “Hey, Joe! Why don’t you go inside and ask if ‘Groff’ is around and return his tape measure. It’ll kind of break the ice for you to ask if we can have their wood.” But Smith had no luck. Because no one knew Mr. Groff, and none of the workers were around, he simply left it at the gas station.

At the group site a few days later, team members were sawing away at boards when the same student looked down at the tape measure they had been using.

“Joe,” she began, “Do you remember that tape measure you left to be returned to the construction workers Monday?” Joe did remember. “Wasn’t the name on it something like ‘Groff’?” The student looked at the tool in her hand and affirmed it. Joe looked around. “Whose tape measure is this?” he asked.

“That’s my tape measure.” Beccy, a Logansport-campus math instructor, spoke up. “I’m Groff.” The rest of the team would go home knowing Beccy’s last name – and Beccy would go home with only one of the tape measures she had brought.

As much as the volunteers from Ivy Tech and the east coast groups were changed as they worked and laughed together, it was those in Appalachia whose lives were touched in more than one way.

The other group served home owner Bobby Deaton. The work done that week had both an immediate and lasting impact. In a follow-up conversation, Deaton shared: “It’s lowered my electric bill. … They helped me 110 percent.”

But for Deaton, the warmth the group provided wasn’t all electric. “They came over to help me out and I gained five new friends. … We got along great, like we’d known each other forever.”

In fact, through the course of the week, Deaton and the team discovered they had more in common than they thought. “I saw [the van] license plate when I went out to meet them,” Deaton says as he explains that he once lived in Indiana. “My favorite place to eat is Mr. Weenie,” he told the team, as they began to talk about all the places in the Peru area that both he and they knew. Throughout the five days of service, the group got close. Deaton remembers: “Woke up the next morning without them there and missed them.”

Memories were constructed right along with window frames and relationships were set in place even as insulation was stapled. The Ivy Tech crew and those they served will always remember Spring Break 2014.

Editor’s note: Rebecca McVay will graduate in May with an Associate of Science in Professional Communications. Recently named to the All-Indiana Community College Academic Team, she is an active member and public relations officer in Phi Theta Kappa’s Beta Gamma Zeta chapter on Ivy Tech’s Logansport Campus. Active in many Ivy Tech activities, she joined other Ivy Tech students, faculty, and staff on a one-week service engagement in Kentucky during spring break, working on home repairs for families in need. She is a two-time recipient of the “For the Love of Education” scholarship at Ivy Tech Community College, among other scholarships, and she won Ivy Tech’s second annual SUSO (Speak Up Speak Out) competition with a speech on the nonprofit group Operation Christmas Child. A frequent speaker on behalf of Ivy Tech, she introduced the ninth annual Doing the Dream speaker, Dr. Henry Louis Gates Jr. Service outside Ivy Tech includes mentoring a local elementary student once a week for Big Brothers Big Sisters, teaching junior church and directing a weekly choir of men and women in her community.

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