Ivy Tech Kokomo Region’s Phi Theta Kappa chapters earn regional awards

Logansport and Kokomo chapters honored at Indiana Region Convention

KOKOMO, Ind. — The Ivy Tech Community College Kokomo Region Phi Theta Kappa chapters, Alpha Phi Pi (APP, Kokomo Campus) and Beta Gamma Zeta (BGZ, Logansport Campus), and their members earned several awards and honors at the honor society’s annual Indiana Region Convention held March 6 to 8 in Bloomington:

Chapter Awards

Alpha Phi Pi received three awards: Four-Star Level Chapter, Most Outstanding Officer Team, and Honors in Action Issue Award/Theme 9 Borders and Boundaries.

Beta Gamma Zeta was honored with six chapter awards: Five-Star Level Chapter, Most Outstanding Chapter Award, Distinguished Officer Team, Distinguished College Project, Most Outstanding Honors in Action project, and Honors in Action Issue Award/Theme 5 Celestial Frontiers.

Member Awards

Member awards went to Kourtney Hammitt (BGZ) of Kokomo, Distinguished Chapter Officer; Korin Rogers (BGZ) of Logansport, Most Outstanding Chapter Officer and $300 Dr. Eugene Spiess Scholarship; Debra Powers (BGZ) of Logansport, Distinguished Chapter Member; and Joshua Hryman (APP) of Peru, $800 Dr. Eugene Spiess Scholarship.

Three Kokomo Region students were elected PTK Indiana Region officers for 2015-16: Bryan Martinez (BGZ) of Logansport, vice president; Alisha Boyd (BGZ) of Logansport, secretary/treasurer; and Moriah Mercer (APP) of Peru, Public Relations.

Mercer serves as president of the Alpha Phi Pi chapter based in Kokomo. Members were active in a variety of Phi Theta Kappa events in 2014. Among the chapter’s community service projects this year was researching and carrying out an Honors in Action project aimed at first-generation college students at The Crossing, an alternative school in Kokomo. Members also met with and began training with the local domestic violence shelter to advocate for assist on projects for abused individuals in the community.

Under Presidents Kourtney Hammitt of Peru and George Ruble of Macy, members of the Beta Gamma Zeta Chapter based in Logansport supported or carried out a wide range of activities on the campus and in the community. Community activities included conducting disability access surveys at Logansport businesses, presenting Super Science Day for the entire second grade class at Thompson Elementary School, participating in the Cass County Relay for Life, sponsoring joint events with the Autism Society of Indiana and PEAK Community Services, recruiting for the Logansport Literacy Campaign’s reading program, assisting with the Hispanic Heritage Celebration and Logansport Tour de Trike United Way fundraiser, and hosting five American Red Cross blood drives. Through their Honors in Action project, sixth-graders at Thompson Elementary learned about the space program and built and launched model rockets.

“I am amazed at all the contributions made by our Phi Theta Kappa chapter members and very proud of the awards their accomplishments have earned,” said Chancellor David Bathe of the combined Lafayette and Kokomo region. “Phi Theta Kappa offers so many opportunities for our honor students to extend their education and experiences far beyond the classroom as they prepare for their futures.”

Phi Theta Kappa Honor Society has been recognizing and encouraging excellence among community colleges since it was founded in 1918. Today, Phi Theta Kappa is the largest honor society in higher education with more than 3 million members and 1,275 chapters located in 50 states, U.S. territories, British Virgin Islands, Canada, Germany, UAE and the Republic of Palau. The recognition and scholarship opportunities that Phi Theta Kappa brings to an institution, its faculty advisors, and most importantly to its student members are unparalleled by any other student organization.

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Judges announced for Central Indiana Regional Spelling Bee March 24

Public invited to watch 29 students compete for trip to national bee

Spelling bee logoKOKOMO, Ind. – The public is invited to the Kokomo Event & Conference Center Tuesday, March 24, as 29 elementary and middle school students compete at the Central Indiana Regional Spelling Bee sponsored by Ivy Tech Community College Kokomo Region and Hoosier AM/FM-Z92.5 with support from The Andersons, Haynes Federal Credit Union, Kokomo Heritage Federal Credit Union, and American Party Time.

The contest will begin at 6:30 p.m. at the event center, 1500 N. Reed Road (Indiana 931). Winner of the regional competition will advance to the 2015 Scripps National Spelling Bee May 24 to 29 in Washington, D.C.

Rob Rupe, WIOU program director and director of creative services for Hoosier AM/FM, will serve as emcee and Josh Rockey, associate professor of Communication at Ivy Tech, will serve as pronouncer. Judges include Jessica Green of Kokomo radio station Z92.5; Michelle Simmons, president of Ivy Tech’s Kokomo Campus; Kevin Bostic, president of Ivy Tech’s Logansport Campus; and Dr. Tom McKaig, retired superintendent of Peru Community Schools and member of the Ivy Tech Kokomo Region Board of Trustees.

The regional bee winner will receive an expenses-paid trip to the nationals along with a trophy and a Webster’s Third New International Dictionary. Second-place finisher will receive a trophy and a Merriam-Webster Collegiate Dictionary 11th edition donated by Merriam-Webster and third-place will receive a trophy. All three will receive one-year subscriptions to the Encyclopedia Britannica online.

Students qualified for the regional by winning their schools’ spelling bees. Participating schools come from Howard, Miami, Cass and Fulton counties. The competitors, in grades 5 through 8, and their schools include:

Micah Gremelspacher, Acacia Academy, Kokomo

Tanner Saunders, All Saints Catholic School, Peru

Abby Rogers, Blair Pointe Upper Elementary School, Peru

Stephen Garren, Bon Air Elementary School, Kokomo

Olivia Boldry, Caston Elementary School, Fulton

Lauren Sukle, Central Middle School, Kokomo

Hannah Houston, Columbia Middle School. Logansport

Evan Mink, Eastern Elementary School, Greentown

Ryan Keller, Eastern Junior Senior High School, Greentown

Bella Panmei, Galveston Elementary School. Galveston

Andrew Moss, Howard Elementary School, Kokomo

Isabella Gibson, Lafayette Park Elementary School, Kokomo

Hannah Bushaw, Lincoln Middle School, Logansport

Annie Isenburg, Maconaquah Elementary School, Bunker Hill

Anastasia Spahr, Maconaquah Middle School, Bunker Hill

Michael Adams, Maple Crest Middle School, Kokomo

Kira Manning, North Miami Elementary School, Denver

Taylor Anderson, North Miami Middle High School, Denver

Leah Carter, Northwestern Elementary School, Kokomo

Joseph Batis, Northwestern Middle School, Kokomo

Toby Turner, Peru Junior High School, Peru

Karlie Burkhart, Redeemer Lutheran School, Kokomo

Elijah Yarber, Rochester Middle School, Rochester

Nico Dinglasa, Saints Joan of Arc & Patrick Elementary School, Kokomo

Ryah Beets, Sycamore Elementary School, Kokomo

Ashley Lu, Taylor Intermediate School, Kokomo

Rogelio Santos, Wallace Elementary School of Integrated Arts, Kokomo

Abigail Origer, Western Intermediate School, Russiaville

Trina Gill, Western Middle School, Russiaville

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Update your Easter traditions at Ivy Tech culinary arts workshop

Non-credit class set for Saturday, March 28

PERU, Ind. – Hippity, hoppity, Easter’s on its way! If you’re looking for some new ideas for your family’s celebration, consider attending “Easter – A Bountiful Holiday Brunch Menu,” a non-credit culinary workshop sponsored by Ivy Tech Community College.

A few openings remain for the workshop, featuring chef Amy Black, which is set for 9:30 a.m. to noon on Saturday, March 28, in the culinary arts lab at Ivy Tech’s Peru Instructional Site, 425 W. Main St. Black will help participants plan an exciting menu for the annual celebration of this most important day in the Christian calendar.

“Along with some very traditional items on the menu, the workshop will offer some ideas for new traditions for your celebration,” said Alayne Cook, coordinator of the non-credit culinary arts workshops.” With good things to taste and excellent recipes to take home, this class is a must.”

Other classes in the spring semester series include:

  • Saturday, April 11: Hands-On Pastry Techniques from an Expert
  • Saturday, April 25: Shrimp on the Barbie and other Seafood, too
  • Saturday, May 2: Italian by Italians

Registration for any single session is $95 with discounts for registering for multiple programs as follows:

  • Two classes – $143 (25% discount)
  • Four classes – $228 (40% discount)

To register or obtain more information, contact Becky Burke by phone at 765-459-0561, ext. 233, or by email at bburke10@ivytech.edu .

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Ivy Tech, IU Kokomo inviting employers to register for upcoming spring job fair

Job seekers will fill Kokomo Event & Conference Center April 14

KOKOMO, Ind.—Ivy Tech Community College and Indiana University Kokomo are inviting area employers who may be hiring soon to register to participate in the annual spring Kokomo Area Job Fair. The job fair is set for 10 a.m. to 1 p.m. on Tuesday, April 14, at the Kokomo Event & Conference Center.

The job fair is open without charge to both area employers and people seeking new employment. Workshops will be offered on a variety of career-building skills.

“This is a great way for employers to connect with well-qualified, soon-to-be Ivy Tech and Indiana University Kokomo graduates as well as prospective employees from throughout the region,” said Shannon Niedzwicki, director of Career Services for Ivy Tech’s Kokomo Region. “Registration is free for all participants and we look forward to a great turnout of employers and prospective employees.”

Employers who want to register for the Kokomo Area Job Fair or who want more information should contact Tracy Springer, manager of IUK’s Career and Accessibility Center, at 765-455-9301 or carserv@iuk.edu. The event is co-sponsored by Ivy Tech Community College and IU Kokomo.

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Ivy Tech hosting Central Indiana Regional Spelling Bee March 24

Thirty students to compete for trip to national bee

KOKOMO, Ind. – Thirty elementary and middle school students will compete March 24 at the Central Indiana Regional Spelling Bee scheduled for 6:30 p.m. at the Kokomo Event & Conference Center, 1500 N. Reed Road (Indiana 931).

Winner of the regional competition will advance to the 2015 Scripps National Spelling Bee May 24 to 29 in Washington, D.C.

Michelle Martin, director of the Ivy Tech Kokomo Event & Conference Center and coordinator of the regional bee, said Ivy Tech is happy to sponsor annual spelling competition again this year.

“We took over sponsorship of the regional bee last year because the program fits Ivy Tech’s educational goals so well,” Martin said. “The stated purpose of the national spelling bee – ‘to help students improve their spelling, increase their vocabularies, learn concepts, and develop correct English usage that will help them all their lives’ is one we’re proud to support. This is a great opportunity for youngsters from Cass, Howard, Miami, and Pulaski counties to join in this national competition that’s been going on since 1925.” Martin noted additional support for the regional bee is being provided by The Andersons, Z92.5, Haynes Federal Credit Union, Kokomo Heritage Federal Credit Union, and American Party Time.

In recent years, the national spelling bee has taken on even more interest with televised finals. Martin said the winner will receive an expenses-paid trip to the nationals along with a trophy and a Webster’s Third New International Dictionary. Second-place finisher will receive a trophy and a Merriam-Webster Collegiate Dictionary 11th edition donated by Merriam-Webster and third-place will receive a trophy. All three will receive one-year subscriptions to the Encyclopedia Britannica online.

“Whether they are top-three finishers or not, all the participants benefit from their participation in the bee,” Martin said. “This experience can build confidence and self-esteem. It offers an opportunity to develop their public-speaking skills and it encourages them in their educational endeavors.”

Students qualified for the regional by winning their schools’ spelling bees. Participating schools include:

Acacia Academy, Kokomo

All Saints Catholic School, Peru

Blair Pointe Upper Elementary School, Peru

Bon Air Elementary School, Kokomo

Caston Elementary School, Fulton

Central Middle School, Kokomo

Columbia Middle School, Logansport

Eastern Elementary School, Greentown

Eastern Junior Senior High School, Greentown

Elwood Haynes Elementary School, Kokomo

Galveston Elementary School, Galveston

Howard Elementary School, Kokomo

Lafayette Park Elementary School, Kokomo

Lincoln Middle School, Logansport

Maconaquah Elementary School, Bunker Hill

Maple Crest Middle School, Kokomo

North Miami Elementary School, Denver

North Miami Middle High School, Denver

Northwestern Elementary School, Kokomo

Northwestern Middle School, Kokomo

Peru Junior High School, Peru

Pettit Park Elementary School, Kokomo

Redeemer Lutheran School, Kokomo

Rochester Middle School, Rochester

Saints Joan of Arc & Patrick Elementary School, Kokomo

Sycamore Elementary School, Kokomo

Taylor Intermediate School, Kokomo

Wallace Elementary School of Integrated Arts, Kokomo

Western Intermediate School, Russiaville

Western Middle School, Russiaville

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Ivy Tech’s Michelle Simmons honored with WBC Elizabeth Foster Award

Jan Bailey a finalist for Trailblazing Woman distinction

WBC President Patty Pavey presents award to Ivy Tech's Michelle Simmons

WBC President Patty Pavey presents award to Ivy Tech’s Michelle Simmons

KOKOMO, Ind. — Michelle Simmons, president of Ivy Tech Community College’s Kokomo Campus, was honored with a top award last week at the Greater Kokomo Chamber Women’s Business Council’s first Legacy Gala. Expected to be an annual event, the gala celebrated women’s achievements and contributions to community and society.

Ivy Tech’s Jan Bailey, program manager for the Kokomo Region’s Youth CareerConnect Grant, Integrated Technology Education Program, was a finalist for the WBC’s Trailblazing Woman of 2015 Award. They were among women honored March 12 during a festive banquet at PASTArrific’s Bel Air Events attended by more than 150 local business women and men.

A night of reflection, celebration, and inspiration, the Legacy Gala was designed to celebrate women’s legacy and contributions and to honored six local professional women who are making a difference in the Howard County community.

The highlight of the evening was the presentation of two awards: the Elizabeth Foster Award, an honor designated for a Howard County professional woman helping women in the community reach their full potential named for 19th century Kokomo founder Elizabeth Foster, and the Trailblazing Woman of 2015 Award, given to a Howard County professional woman creating new opportunities, breaking boundaries, and setting an example for women in the Greater Kokomo community.

The Elizabeth Foster Award went to Simmons with two other finalists also honored – Sherry Rahl of Project Access and Peggy Baugher of BMO Harris Bank. The Trailblazing Woman Award went to Jo Brooke of Solutions Day Spa; Angela Martino of Martino’s Italian Villa was also a finalist along with Ivy Tech’s Bailey.

In the packet of information nominating Simmons for the Elizabeth Foster Award, the recently appointed Kokomo Campus president was described as “the kind of leader that those who work under her aspire to be” and “a woman in charge, not a woman-pretending-to-be-a-man in charge.” Employees and peers with whom she has worked cited Simmons’ inspiration, support and mentoring as fundamental to their success, calling her ”creative,” “collaborative,” “very professional,” “very supportive,” “a strong leader” and “a good team builder.”

Those nominating Bailey for the Trailblazing Woman Award noted the many “glass ceilings” she has broken in a career intertwined with male-dominated business and industry positions but more importantly the “glass ceilings” she works to break for other women through expanding opportunities in male-dominated jobs. Her current role with the Youth CareerConnect Grant is a prime example as she helps young women obtain skills needed to succeed in the advanced manufacturing industry.

In addition to the awards presentation, Indiana University Kokomo Chancellor Susan Sciame-Giesecke gave a passionate and eloquent keynote speech encouraging both men and women to work together to support and empower each other in both their professional and personal lives. She gave examples of the inequalities between men and women in the workplace over the years, reflecting on societal changes but also stressing awareness of challenges still faced today. Chancellor Sciame-Giesecke challenged each guest to take risks and seek out new opportunities without fear. The audience responded with a standing ovation, only further encompassing the environment that the Women’s Business Council set out to create for this event.

“The mission of the Women’s Business Council is to connect, mentor, and develop professional women in our business community by empowering them through educational and networking opportunities,” explains Alliance & Chamber Operations Manager Karen McCoy. “This wonderful event not only celebrated strong women who are living that mission, but also showcased how fortunate we are to have so many of them in our community! The Chamber is so grateful for them, and we greatly appreciate the hard work and dedication of the Women’s Business Council both in hosting this wonderful event and in the many great things they do for our business community.”

For more information on the Greater Kokomo Women’s Business Council and the Chamber of Commerce, visit http://www.GreaterKokomo.com or on Facebook at facebook.com/WomensBusinessCouncilGreaterKokomo.

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Ivy Tech’s Eldridge and Bugher to lead national, state educational groups

Professors speak on Ivy Tech co-requisite effort at national conference

Martha Bugher

Martha Bugher

Gwenn Eldridge

Gwenn Eldridge

KOKOMO, Ind. — Ivy Tech Community College professors Gwenn Eldridge and Martha Bugher, leaders at the national and state levels of the National Association for Developmental Education (NADE), highlighted Ivy Tech’s successful co-requisite reading and writing program during a special summit that followed NADE’s 39th annual conference in Greenville, S.C., last week.

Eldridge, associate professor and department chair of the University Transfer Division at Ivy Tech’s Kokomo Region, was installed as NADE president at the organization’s annual conference and will lead the group through the next year. She is also immediate past president of its Indiana affiliate, the Indiana Association for Developmental Education (INADE). Bugher, assistant professor of English at Ivy Tech’s Kokomo Region, was installed as INADE’s president during the 2015 state conference.

They presented “Integrated Reading and Writing in the Co-Requisite Course Framework” in a session of the National Summit on Integrated Reading & Writing, co-sponsored by NADE and the College Reading and Learning Association.

“Ivy Tech Community College has embraced both stand-alone integrated reading and writing (IRW) and the co-requisite model, which allows students to begin ‘for-credit’ classes in tandem with remedial work,” Eldridge said. “We have implemented IRW/co-requisite design in our course throughout the state. At the summit, we talked about how the new course was created, how it was implemented and the results we’ve had, including statewide data.”

The National Association for Developmental Education (NADE) brings together a membership of 3,000 postsecondary educators and administrators from all 50 states, U.S. territories and other nations, with 31 state and regional chapters, to “improve the theory and practice of developmental education at all levels of the educational spectrum.” Developmental education is a comprehensive process that focuses on the intellectual, social, and emotional growth and development of all students and includes tutoring, personal/career counseling, academic advisement, and coursework.

The national conference followed the 2015 INADE conference convened in Indianapolis earlier in February. As presidents-elect of the two organizations last year, Eldridge and Bugher led in planning and presenting their 2015 conferences.

“The Ivy Tech community can be extremely proud to have two of our professors serving in top leadership in this organization that does so much to foster student success,” said Kim King, associate vice chancellor for Academic Affairs for Ivy Tech Kokomo Region. “And we also can be extremely proud that our work to improve student development in reading and writing will be featured as Indiana’s contribution to the national summit.”

Eldridge began her career in higher education as a marketing and publications administrator at Texas Southern University, Butler University and Indiana University Purdue University Indianapolis. She joined Ivy Tech Kokomo in 2000 as regional executive director of marketing and communications and an instructor of composition and served as program chair and instructor of developmental English from 2007 to 2013. She was honored as Ivy Tech’s 2013 instructor of the year at the Kokomo campus.

Eldridge earned a Bachelor of Arts in English from Indiana University and a Master of Arts in English from Butler University and has completed coursework for a doctoral degree in rhetoric and composition from Ball State University.

Bugher began her career as a middle and high school English teacher at Taylor Middle School and Plymouth High School. She joined Ivy Tech as an instructor of developmental reading and writing in 2011 and has since moved into teaching developmental and program courses. She was honored as Ivy Tech’s 2013 instructor of the year at the Logansport campus.

After starting her education at Ivy Tech’s Kokomo campus, Bugher moved on to earn both her Bachelor of Arts in English and a Master of Arts in Liberal Studies from Indiana University.

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