Kelly Fisher named Ivy Tech College Connection Coach

Fisher can help area high school students in making higher ed decisions

Kelly Fisher Named College Connection Coach

Kelly Fisher
Named College Connection Coach

KOKOMO, Ind. – Kelly Fisher, a native of Howard County with seven years of experience in teaching and support work at Ivy Tech Community College, has been named Ivy Tech’s College Connection Coach serving high schools in Cass, Fulton, Howard, Miami, Tipton, and Wabash counties.

In this role, Fisher can offer students a range of information to help guide their decisions on higher education, including:

Dual credit opportunities – course selection and advising

  • Development of an academic career plan for students and their parents
  • College admissions process and exploration services
  • Financial aid/scholarship resources
  • Resume/job interview assistance

“Kelly’s own resume helps her connect with students,” said Michelle Simmons, president of Ivy Tech’s Kokomo Campus. “She can channel her experiences into helping students achieve their educational goals and navigate the often confusing world of higher education.”

Fisher graduated from Western High School as a 21st Century Scholar and has earned two undergraduate degrees from Indiana University Kokomo, as well as a master’s degree in Criminology from Indiana State University.

At Ivy Tech, she has worked in support roles in Health Sciences, Human Resources, and Academics and has served as an adjunct instructor for five years teaching Student Success and Criminal Justice courses. Earlier, she worked in social services for two years, where she helped families accomplish their goals and assisted them in becoming more resourceful.

To get more information, contact Fisher at 765-252-5492 or .

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Leadership Kokomo alumni seek to broaden community service

Register will help connect alumni with opportunities with local organizations

LK logoKOKOMO, Ind. — The Leadership Kokomo Alumni Relations Committee is urging graduates of the local leadership development program to participate in a new registration effort aimed at linking alumni with volunteer opportunities in the community.

Sharon Reed-Corbett, director of Leadership Kokomo, said the committee, formed by the LK Advisory Council, is reaching out to build an active group of alumni who can support local organizations and the Greater Kokomo Chamber of Commerce.

“We are contacted on a regular basis for LK alumni who might support particular projects or who might be potential candidates for membership on the governing boards of local organizations,” Reed-Corbett said. “LK alumni can go to to create a profile indicating their interests and talents so participating organizations can contact them. There is no cost to be a part of this initiative.”

She noted LK is now recruiting existing and emerging leaders for its 2016 class, which will begin Jan. 7. “As we look to build what will be our 34th class, our mission is to bring together a diverse group of community-minded leaders who work within Howard County and empower them to become resourceful stewards of the community,” she said.

In addition to leadership training, participants in Leadership Kokomo will share networking opportunities, increased community awareness, volunteer opportunities and personal and professional development. Local issues and programs will be introduced through panel discussions, individual speakers, on-site visits, group discussions and simulations.

The LK Steering Committee will review applications and select 30 participants for the 2016 class. The application deadline is Dec. 1 and participants will be notified of acceptance by Dec. 18.

Fees for the nine-month program are $595 for representatives of Chamber member organizations and $675 for non-members. Applications may be downloaded from the Leadership Kokomo website at

For more information about Leadership Kokomo, visit or contact Reed-Corbett at 765-252-5498, or .



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Ivy Tech’s Leo Studach named Phi Theta Kappa Faculty Scholar

Studach one of 30 honor society advisers chosen for international program

Leo Studach, associate professor and program chair of science at Ivy Tech’s Kokomo region

Leo Studach,
associate professor and program chair of science at Ivy Tech’s Kokomo region

KOKOMO, Ind. – Leo Studach, associate professor and program chair of science at Ivy Tech Community College’s Kokomo region, is one of 30 community college instructors internationally who have been selected to serve as Phi Theta Kappa’s 2016-2017 Faculty Scholars. The 30 were selected from among nearly 3,000 Phi Theta Kappa chapter advisers around the world.

The scholars were selected through a rigorous application process in which they demonstrated excellence in teaching or administration. The selection committee also considered where the applicant lives, the Phi Theta Kappa division in which they advise, the teaching or professional discipline and the number of years the applicant has served as a chapter adviser.

“The result of the selection process is a strong, diverse group of Faculty Scholars,” said Susan Edwards, Phi Theta Kappa’s Dean of Academic Affairs and Honors Programs. “We congratulate them for being selected to serve and for their willingness and desire to surpass the traditional duties of an adviser by contributing in this manner.”

The group will attend the annual Faculty Scholar Conference at Phi Theta Kappa’s Center for Excellence in Jackson, Miss., Jan. 27 to 30. There they will study the 2016/2017 Honors Study Topic – How The World Works: Global Perspectives – and prepare to serve as discussion facilitators for Phi Theta Kappa’s 2016 Honors Institute at Wake Forest University in Winston-Salem, N.C. The group will also serve as Faculty Scholars for the 2017 Honors Institute.

Studach has been recognized as a state and international leader in Phi Theta Kappa. In 2014, his third year as adviser of Phi Theta Kappa’s Beta Gamma Zeta (BGZ) chapter at the Logansport Campus, Studach was honored at the international conference in Orlando, Fla., with a Paragon Award for New Advisers. He was credited by students, faculty, and staff with fostering a vibrant, enthusiastic and successful organization during his short time in the role. In 2013, the chapter was recognized with two top awards in the coveted Hallmark Awards competition at the International PTK Convention in San Jose, Calif. BGZ chapter was honored with the Distinguished Honors in Action Award, one of only 60 given each year out of more than 1,250 chapters worldwide, and one of the 43 Distinguished Chapter Awards. Studach also serves as Indiana regional coordinator, leading the advisers from the 23 chapters across the state.

An instructor in life and physical science at Ivy Tech since 2011, Studach earned a Bachelor of Science degree in biochemistry from Marquette University in 2005 and his Ph.D. in molecular biology from Purdue University in 2010.

“The Faculty Scholar Conference is recognized internationally as one of the finest professional development programs available for community college faculty members,” Edwards said. “We are proud to once again offer this intense training experience to a new crop of Faculty Scholars as they prepare to serve as facilitators for Honors Institute.

“Approximately 450 Phi Theta Kappa members and chapter advisers from around the world will join us at Wake Forest University for Honors Institute next year, and our Faculty Scholars will be ready to guide them through this pinnacle of honors programming experiences.”

During Honors Institute, the Faculty Scholars will lead groups of 15 to 18 honor students in seminar discussions of the issues presented by experts on the Honors Study Topic throughout the week.

Phi Theta Kappa Honor Society, headquartered in Jackson, Miss., is the largest honor society in higher education with 1,285 chapters on college campuses in all 50 of the United States, plus Canada, Germany, the Republic of Palau, Peru, the Republic of the Marshall Islands, the Federated States of Micronesia, the British Virgin Islands, the United Arab Emirates and U.S. territorial possessions. Nearly 3 million students have been inducted since its founding in 1918, with approximately 131,000 students inducted annually.

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Community Garden volunteers, donors, beneficiaries celebrate 2015 harvest

Early rains dampen output but persistence leads to nearly 7,000 pounds of food

The addition of Doug Eglan's gate was a highlight of the 2015 season

The addition of Doug Eglan’s gate was a highlight of the 2015 season

KOKOMO, Ind. — Plagued by the rains that dampened all agricultural efforts in Indiana this year, the leaders of Kokomo’s Community Garden began the season with anxiety but not despair. After persevering through weeks of standing water and continuing to replant and nurture, the volunteers brought in nearly 7,000 pounds of produce for the area’s hungry.

Volunteers, donors and beneficiaries celebrated the effort Nov. 19 at the garden’s annual Harvest Celebration in the Kokomo Event & Conference Center.

Sarah McCormack, Community Garden coordinator, said the garden produced a total of 6,989.75 pounds of fresh vegetables for 12 local organizations that serve the hungry, bringing the total yield for the garden’s 13 years of raising produce to more than 97 tons.

“Given all the problems posed by Mother Nature this year, I think we all just wanted to beat our worst year on record, poundage-wise,” McCormack said. “We celebrated a bit when we moved past the season on the bottom of the list. This is still the second worst harvest on record, but it is so much better than we initially thought we would produce.”

The garden produced 28 different edibles – everything from acorn squash to zucchini – with totals that ranged from one pound of Brussel sprouts and 3.25 pounds of herbs and garlic to 634 pounds of corn, 1,098.5 pounds of tomatoes and 1,291 pounds of potatoes.

The 2015 harvest was made possible by volunteers who gave more than 1,266 hours of their time to make the Community Garden a success. Records kept since the garden’s first season in 2003 show that volunteers have donated nearly 17,800 hours over the 13 years.

“Our thanks go to the volunteers and our donors whose efforts make a significant difference in the lives of countless individuals in Howard County,” McCormack said. “The highlight of this somewhat dismal year was when one of our volunteers, Dr. Doug Eglan, installed the beautiful iron gate he had made for the garden over the winter.

“Not only does it shed a happy light on this slightly mediocre season,” she continued. “It is full of meaning and it honors the donors and volunteers who have worked the dirt so faithfully over the years to give to those who would not otherwise have access to fresh produce.”

McCormack noted 16 people each gave more than 25 hours in volunteer service to the garden this year. The top five were Tom Georges (163.5 hours), Bob Parks (155.25 hours). Larry Bills (141.5 hours), Doug Eglan (96.25 hours), and Emmy Wilson (69 hours).

Organizations that receive produce from the garden for distribution to the community’s hungry include Coordinating Assistance Ministries Inc. (CAM), Family Services Association Domestic Violence Shelter, The Gilead House, Hands of Grace, Howard Haven, Open Arms Women’s Shelter, Kokomo Rescue Mission, Salvation Army, Samaritan Love Center, Soul Food Café, St. Luke’s Food Pantry, and Urban Outreach.

The Community Garden also serves as an educational classroom for students, master gardeners and anyone interested in helping tend the garden. It is the result of a partnership between Ivy Tech Community College, the Purdue University Cooperative Extension Service of Howard County and the Howard County Master Gardener Association. It is operated entirely on donations and the work of volunteers.

The idea for the garden came from Ivy Tech Chancellor Steve Daily and Purdue University Howard County Extension Educator Rollin Machtmes. It became a reality through a donation of land made by Ivy Tech supporters Don and Louise Thomas at the corner of Touby Pike and North Street. Garden volunteers have transformed the donated grassland into two acres of rich soil that produce thousands of pounds of fresh produce each year.

This was McCormack’s last season as the garden’s volunteer coordinator.

“I’m so glad I stumbled upon this gem in our great city,” she said. “The volunteers have been nothing but kind, welcoming and wonderful. I know that the Community Garden of Kokomo will continue to be an important way to fight hunger in our city.”

For additional information or an opportunity to support the Community Garden, contact Jeannie Vondersaar of the Purdue Extension office at




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Dec. 1 a critical deadline for students ready to start Ivy Tech classes in January

FAFSA must be filed by Dec. 1 to meet priority date for spring semester aid

KOKOMO, Ind. – Dec. 1 is a very important date for anyone planning to start classes at Ivy Tech Community College Kokomo Region in January. It’s the date students and families must have completed the Free Application for Federal Student Aid, better known as the FAFSA, for spring semester, which begins Jan. 11.

“We are encouraging students and admitted students planning to attend Ivy Tech this spring to come in as soon as possible to complete all the paperwork for financial aid,” said Angie Martin, director of financial aid for Ivy Tech’s Kokomo Region. “Whether you’re a recent high school graduate or an adult coming back to school, you need to meet the Dec. 1 priority date to assure your financial aid is in place when classes begin.”

Martin continued, “While financial aid applications filed after Dec. 1 will be accepted, the Financial Aid office will process those forms filed by the priority date so awarded financial aid will be available when spring semester classes begin. Applications filed after Dec. 1 may not be processed by Jan. 11, meaning students will have to make other arrangements to cover costs before being reimbursed later in the semester.”

All students seeking federal and state grants, loans and scholarships, as well as other financial awards, must complete the FAFSA form. Information required to file the FAFSA includes dates of birth and Social Security numbers for applicant and parents, household income and tax filing status (i.e., head of household, single, married). Parent information is required for all students under age 24 unless married or with legal dependents; parents of such students also can come in to an Ivy Tech office and file on behalf of their student.

To provide help in this process, the Kokomo Campus offers the Express Enrollment Center in the main building at 1815 E. Morgan St., which is open from 8 a.m. to 6 p.m. Monday through Thursday and 9 a.m. to 5 p.m. Friday. Students also may come to campuses and instructional sites at Logansport, Peru, Rochester and Wabash.

For more information, please call 765-459-0561 in Kokomo, 574-753-5101 in Logansport, 765- 473-7281 in Peru, 574-223-3228 in Rochester and 260-563-8828 in Wabash.

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Ivy Tech’s Kokomo Region announces summer 2015 graduates

More than 150 degrees and certificates were completed

KOKOMO, Ind. — More than 150 degrees and certificates were completed this summer by students at Ivy Tech Community College Kokomo Region – which includes campuses and instructional sites in Kokomo, Logansport, Peru, Wabash, Rochester and Tipton.

Ivy Tech Kokomo Region’s summer graduates include:


Kayla M. Harrison

Bunker Hill

Heidi K. Bradfield


Cassandra N. Riley


Christopher L. Ballew

Sarah M. Cooley


Kelli R. Davis


Myra L. Blackburn

Taylor L. Browning

Andrew T. Myers


Whitney D. Leach


Cody Rude


Carrie D. Bailey

Aaron W. Fisher


Heather D. Green



Megan R. Baity

Eric J. Bowens

Andrew T. Burkett

Daniel J. Burns

Susan K. Cales

Katelyn A. Capps

Abbigail C. Carpenter

Darcee C. Collins

Katherine Dahlinghaus

Emilee A. Delaplane

Brittany N. Dewitt

Raynee E. Elmore

Erin L. Emrick

Denise L. Hamilton

Kent A. Hansen

Stephanie R. Haynes

Silas R. Henderson

Darryl E. Hensley

Brian R. Hinshaw

Jacqueline M. Holloway

Marcas K. King

Shanna N. Lott

Christian M. McAmis

Danielle L. Monroe

Shawna L. Moy-Forsythe

Alex D. Plude

Shannon R. Reinagle

Theresa M. Sefton

Katelyn R. Shanks

Matthew W. Szachnitowski

Tamaja Watson


La Fontaine

Kyleigh L. Hinrichsen



Rodney D. Brewer



Kabrina K. Bell

Erika M. Calloway

Armando Cervantes

Shane M. Evers

Esther Garcia

Jennifer M. Hernandez

Kelly Hoff

Brandi L. Jones

Ashley M. Maroney

Jean A. Mills

Dane A. Nicoll

Jose Reyes

Miranda L. Schmicker

Theresa L. Sortman

Carrie J. Ulery



Hailey N. Lesley



Megan L. Brubaker

Thomas M. Graves

Bradley W. Griffin



Jenna P. Fork

Aaron M. Goffe

Kasha D. Kearney


North Manchester

Trent J. Bechtold

Chelsay N. Good



Kristen M. Beckley



Alyssa Binnion



Joseph G. Behny

Marilyn J. Douglass

Jennifer Emerson

David S. Graham

Haley M. Hewitt

Ashley Hiers

Chelsey M. Hobson

Paulette K. Hoeppner

Jerome Humphrey

Kevin Lacey

Michelle R. Maxwell

Marisela Olguin

Andrew A. Rand

Regina K. Robinette

William J. Rose

Zachary Spencer



Mitzi Anderson

Alexander H. Franklin

Amanda J. Glassburn

Mekayla R. Loy



Bryan K. Altmaier

Josie O’Neal



Rebecca L. Mumbower

Kamie Pearson



Kendra L. Gidley

Josephine M. Grossnickle

Robin D. Klare

Candice M. McKnight

Angel R. Miller

Chase M. Moore



Benjamin W. Kraay



Morgan R. Hepler

Analyn Wright



Lindsey M. Winter







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Two area leaders named to Ivy Tech Kokomo Region Board of Trustees

Michael Carter, Scot Ortman represent manufacturing, agriculture

Michael Carter and Scot Ortman

Michael Carter and Scot Ortman

KOKOMO, Ind. — Two Kokomo area leaders have been named to the Ivy Tech Kokomo Region Board of Trustees.

Michael D. Carter, manufacturing manager at FCA US (formerly Chrysler Group), and Scot Ortman, president and CEO of Kokomo Grain Co., Inc., were appointed to three-year terms by Ivy Tech’s State Board of Trustees and will represent the areas of manufacturing and agriculture on the seven-member regional board.

“We are very pleased Mike Carter and Scot Ortman have joined the Kokomo Region trustees,” said David Bathe, chancellor of Ivy Tech’s Kokomo and Lafayette Region. “They bring a wealth of experience and community connections and their input will be important as we work to better serve our students and meet the needs of the businesses and industries in the Kokomo Region.”

Members of Ivy Tech’s 14 regional boards have four essential responsibilities. These include analyzing educational needs and opportunities in the region, approving regional programming and recommending to the state board a plan to provide education and workforce development programs for the region, approving the region’s budget, and recommending methods for acquiring facilities and equipment needed to deliver regional programs.

Carter, a graduate of Mt. Vernon High School in Hancock County, joined Chrysler as a process engineer in 2000, after earning a Bachelor of Science degree in Mechanical Engineering Technology from Purdue University. Through the last 15 years, he has progressed through various roles including production supervisor, maintenance supervisor, engineering manager, and department business unit manager before taking on the role of program manager for the launch of Chrysler’s $753 million 9-speed transmission program in 2013. He has been in his current role as manufacturing manager, responsible for a total of 58 product lines in two transmission programs with 800 employees across multiple shifts.

Carter; his wife, Lara; and their three sons, Rob, Cory and Brendan, moved from Fishers to Kokomo two years ago. Rob is in the National Guard, Cory is a senior at Western High School, and Brendan is in the fifth grade. Carter is active in the FCA Group Community partnerships with Habitat for Humanity and the Kokomo Women’s Shelter along with volunteering in youth sports for his sons.

Ortman graduated from Northwestern High School in Kokomo in 1980 and earned a Bachelor of Science in Agricultural Economics from Purdue in 1985. After beginning his career as a grain buyer for Continental Grain in Minneapolis, Minn., he joined Kokomo Grain in 1988 as a futures/options trader and grain merchandiser. He managed Kokomo Grain’s Edinburgh, Ind., facility from 1993-2001. He became the company’s chief operating officer in 2001 and was promoted to his current position as CEO/president in 2003.

Ortman’s civic and professional service includes membership on the boards of the National Grain and Feed Association, the Central Indiana Soaring Society, and Security Federal Bank & Trust. He has served as chairman of the boards of the Indiana Grain and Feed Association, the Agribusiness Council of Indiana, and St.Vincent Kokomo Foundation and as a member of the Purdue School of Agriculture Dean’s Advisory Council and the Indiana University Kokomo Chancellor’s Advisory Board.

Ortman and his wife, Lisa, reside in Bringhurst, Ind., with children Tyler, who attends Culver Military Academy, and Hannah, who attends Carroll Junior Senior High School.

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