Tom and Judy Sheehan’s love of education leads to Ivy Tech donation

Kokomo couple funds classroom for new Health Professions Center

Judy and Tom Sheehan are supporting Ivy Tech’s Kokomo Campus Transformation project

KOKOMO, Ind. – Education has always been a priority for Kokomo’s Tom and Judy Sheehan. And, for them, supporting the Kokomo Campus Transformation for Ivy Tech Community College is a logical extension of that lifelong commitment.

Tom, who retired after a 40-year career with General Motors/Delco Electronics, and wife Judy have long been supporters of scholarships for students at Ivy Tech, as well as Purdue Polytechnic Kokomo. Their most recent gift to the College is a bit of a departure from that tradition, earmarked for the funding of a large classroom just off the lobby of Ivy Tech Kokomo’s Health Professions Center currently under construction.

“We’re generally more interested in the ‘education’ part than the ‘brick-and-mortar’ part,” Tom said in a recent interview about their support of higher education, “but we understand the importance of getting the brick-and-mortar part done so one thing can lead to another.”

As Tom says, “Getting our name on that classroom door isn’t why we do it.” They’re doing it because they believe in Ivy Tech’s mission of changing lives and improving Indiana – with educational opportunities that are affordable and convenient.

“Not everybody needs a four-year college degree but they do need to get an education beyond high school,” Judy says. “We need people to do important jobs that they need training for. It’s required. It’s called survival.”

For Tom, Ivy Tech is a great, affordable way to get needed education – whether you’re looking to get training needed to go into the workforce, to earn credits to transfer on to a four-year school like his alma mater Purdue University, or to “upskill” with additional training that can lead to a promotion or a better job.

Judy, a native of Marion, Ind., was one of six children of parents who considered education “most important.” “All of us went to school,” she said. “It didn’t matter where you were going, but you WERE going to school.” For Judy, it was off to the Indiana University Medical Center in Indianapolis and an associate degree that prepared her to be an x-ray technician.

Tom’s higher education route started with a bachelor’s degree in mechanical engineering from General Motors Institute (GMI, now known as Kettering University) before earning bachelor’s and master’s degrees in electrical engineering at Purdue University. That education stood him in good stead during his Delco Electronics career, which has been followed by a leadership post with Syndicate Sales in Kokomo. In 2008, he was presented with another degree – an honorary doctorate in technology from Purdue recognizing his outstanding professional career and his many contributions in time, talent and treasure to his alma mater and his community.

“We are so excited about Ivy Tech’s Kokomo transformation project,” Tom said. “Ivy Tech is turning a collection of old buildings into a beautiful, modern, connected college campus and we are happy to be part of the community support that is making it possible.”

To learn more about the project and how you can be part of it, contact Kelly Karickhoff, director of resource development for Ivy Tech Kokomo, at or 765-252-5501.

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Inaugural boys STEM summer camp set at Ivy Tech Kokomo

FCA US-sponsored camp follows on successful girls STEM camp  

KOKOMO, Ind. – A new STEM camp, aimed at middle school boys interested in having fun and expanding their knowledge in the areas of science, technology, engineering, and mathematics, is set for its first sessions at Ivy Tech Community College Kokomo.

Presented by employees from the Kokomo and Tipton plants of FCA US, in partnership with Ivy Tech, the two-day camp sessions follow on the success of “Gearing Up Girls for STEM,” a camp for sixth- to eighth-grade girls that recently completed its second summer of programming. The new camp, open to boys going into the sixth to eighth grades, will offer hands-on experiences in physics, biochemistry, engineering, biology, aerodynamics, advanced manufacturing, and virtual reality.

Two sessions of the two-day camp are scheduled: July 29 and 30 or August 1 and 2, from 8 a.m. to 3 p.m. each day in Ivy Tech’s Automotive Technology building at 1942 E. North St. Cost is $20 per student, which includes breakfast and lunch both camp days. Registrations will be accepted until July 12 and parents and guardians can sign up campers by contacting Susan Turrill at or 765-252-5497.

“This camp is being developed as a result of popular demand,” said Joe Good, plant manager at FCA’s Tipton Transmission Plant and lead for the camp. “The girls’ camp was developed to expand interest in STEM fields among the young women in our community. Families expressed an interest in a similar program for their boys. We know this is an area that offers a great deal of opportunity for all our young people and a group of male FCA employees decided a boys’ camp was a good idea.”

FCA employees will join Ivy Tech faculty for the two-day sessions. The group is made up of FCA US employees at all levels and specialties including executives, engineers, managers, and members of the UAW, all of whom are committed to expanding opportunities for young people in the manufacturing industry. The summer STEM camp projects come at a time when the issue of workforce development continues to be at the forefront of economic development discussions in Indiana.

Sponsors of the inaugural boys STEM camp include Chick-fil-a, United Auto Workers Local 685, Mid State Engineering, Caron & Jones Dental Care, and Security Federal Savings Bank.

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Ivy Tech Kokomo to offer Building Construction Technology programs

Re-boot of building trades training designed to meet critical industry needs

KOKOMO, Ind. – In response to a critical shortage of skilled employees in the homebuilding industry in north central Indiana, Building Construction Technology programs are returning to the Kokomo Campus of Ivy Tech Community College.

“Research by the State of Indiana shows that more than 200 building construction jobs open up each year within Ivy Tech Kokomo’s service area,” said Jacob Adams, workforce development consultant for the region, “and wages are good. For example, the median salary for construction carpenters in Indiana, as of June 2018, was more than $21 an hour. The Ivy Tech programs are designed to prepare students to fill these good-paying jobs that are critical to the economic future of our communities.”

Starting this fall, Ivy Tech Kokomo is offering classes that lead to Ivy Tech certificates and technical certificates in three specialties of building construction: building construction management, carpentry, and electrical. All classes incorporate certification examinations through NCCER (National Center for Construction Education and Research), which result in certifications recognized by building construction employers across the United States.

Industry representatives across the country are pointing to a shortage of trained and skilled employees as the most widespread challenge facing builders in 2019 and the Hoosier state is no exception.

“Our builders deal with it every day. It’s an extreme shortage,” says Terry Smith, vice president of the Home Builders Association of Howard County. Now Kokomo sales representative for Henry Poor Lumber, Smith has worked in the building industry for more than 40 years.

“We have shortages in every area, from people with the necessary math skills to translate blueprints into material lists and cost estimates to the subcontractors who dig the foundations, frame the structures, install the electrical and mechanical systems, and lay the bricks,” he added. “Building projects are being delayed, building projects are being lost just because there aren’t enough people to do the work.”

For Josh Speer, who joined Ivy Tech Kokomo earlier this year as dean of the School of Advanced Manufacturing, Engineering, and Applied Science, the re-boot of the Building Construction Technology program is a prime example of Ivy Tech responding to community needs.

“There is a real need here,” Speer said. “The state’s economic data says it, the employers say it. We will be coordinating with area high schools and career and technical centers to create a seamless transfer pathway that students can follow from high school to Ivy Tech to employer. And it’s a pathway to a high-demand, high-wage career.”

For Bill Slonaker, chair of the Building Construction Technology programs, the new initiative is a great way for younger students to prepare for lucrative careers.

“Students will be able to take the first four classes in the program, two in each semester of their senior year, through the dual credit program at their schools,” Slonaker said. “Through classes at Ivy Tech, they can then complete a building construction specialist certificate – in the electrical, carpentry, or management specialties – by the end of the summer after they graduate from high school.”

The carpentry and electrical specialist certificates prepare graduates for an Indiana county contractor license and National Electrical Code Certification, respectively, both credentials valued by employers.

A one-year program with similar timing for those already out of high school will begin this fall at Ivy Tech, with students taking two classes starting in August and two starting in January with specialty classes to complete the 22-credit-hour certificate programs next summer, Slonaker said. This can be a way for people currently “under-employed” to gain the skills they need to get better jobs.

With an additional 10 credit hours of coursework that includes workplace communications and applied technical mathematics, students can earn a technical certificate in their chosen specialty. Under Ivy Tech’s “stackable” course structure, students can build on the courses taken for the technical certificate through online coursework to pursue an Associate of Applied Science degree in building construction management. That degree can then transfer to a four-year institution as the foundation of a baccalaureate degree in construction management.

“Currently, because of the skills shortage, employers are having to hire employees with no real background in construction, requiring expensive, time-consuming and inconsistent on-the-job training,” Speer said. “Our goal is to create a pool of well-trained, skilled, credentialed graduates to fill this need.”

Several members of the Home Builders Association of Howard County are part of Ivy Tech Kokomo’s Building Construction Technology Program Advisory Board, the professional voice within the program. They help in maintaining a relevant curriculum and work with students before, during, and after their educational experience to connect them with internship and employment opportunities.

To learn more about the Building Construction Technology program at Ivy Tech Kokomo, contact Bill Slonaker at 765-252-5547 or .

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Ivy Tech Kokomo to host Express Enrollment events June 20 and 22

Events offer help to meet July 15 priority deadline for financial aid

KOKOMO – Ivy Tech Community College in Kokomo is among more than 25 locations across Indiana that are hosting Express Enrollment Days from 9 a.m. to 6 p.m., on Thursday, June 20, and from 9 a.m. to 3 p.m. on Saturday, June 22. Express Enrollment provides prospective students an easy way to sign up for fall classes and complete outstanding enrollment steps with the assistance of Ivy Tech representatives.

“This is an opportunity to get help in completing important admissions and enrollment steps all in one day, especially with the priority deadline for financial aid for fall coming up July 15,” said Theresa Murphy, acting vice chancellor for Enrollment Services. “Students will be ready for fall classes that begin August 26.”

Angie Martin, director of financial aid for Ivy Tech’s Kokomo Service Area, said, “We are encouraging students and admitted students planning to attend Ivy Tech this fall to come in as soon as possible to complete all the paperwork for financial aid. The June Express Enrollment Days offer a chance to meet the July 15 priority date to assure your financial aid is in place when classes begin.”

Martin continued, “While financial aid applications filed after July 15 will be accepted, the Financial Aid office will prioritize forms filed by the priority date so awarded financial aid will be available when fall classes begin.  Applications filed after July 15 may not be processed by the time classes start, 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.

Ivy Tech recommends that students come with a government-issued photo identification, 2016 and 2017 tax information, and SAT/ACT/PSAT scores and/or high school or college transcripts. Participants are strongly encouraged to RSVP at, where more information on the process can be found.

For more information, contact Carlee Cook, assistant admissions director, at or 765-252-5487 for the Kokomo Campus event at 1815 E. Morgan St., Kokomo.

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Ivy Tech Kokomo inducts 76 students into new leadership organization

National Society of Leadership and Success chapter comes to Kokomo

2019-04 NSLS Kokomo chapter officers

These students were honored for their service as the first officers of the Ivy Tech Kokomo chapter of the National Society of Leadership and Success: (left-right) Zachary Hutcheson, Harold (Lee) Stout II, Jessica Hamilton, Laurie Dowell, Jossie Helmerick, David Akers, and Corynne Menard.

KOKOMO, Ind. — Seventy-six students at Ivy Tech Community College have been inducted as the first members of a new chapter of the National Society of Leadership and Success (NSLS) for the College’s Kokomo Service Area.

Ivy Tech Kokomo became the fourth campus in Ivy Tech’s statewide system to bring the NSLS opportunity to its students, joining Ivy Tech campuses at Columbus, Indianapolis, and South Bend. NSLS, founded in 2001, has become the largest leadership-based honor society in the United States and operates on the mission of “Building leaders who make a better world.”

To be inducted as a member of NSLS, students must complete a leadership certification that includes an orientation, a Leadership Training Day, at least three speaker broadcasts, and at least three Success Networking Team (SNT) meetings.

NSLS also offers two additional certifications. Ivy Tech Kokomo students Laurie Dowell and Kori Wood both completed the Advanced Leadership Certification and Dowell went on to complete the Executive Leadership Certification.

Students who served as chapter leaders for 2018-2019 included Jessica Hamilton, president; Laurie Dowell, vice president; Corynne Menard, secretary; Lee Stout, snt coordinator; and David Akers and Zachary Hutcheson, chairs. Officers elected for the 2019-2020 school year include Corynne Menard, president; Zachary Hutcheson, vice president; Jossie Helmerick, secretary; Lee Stout.

“With more than 600 chapters and more than 950,000 members nationwide, NSLS offers great training and networking opportunities,” said Dani McQuaide, director of Student Life for Ivy Tech Kokomo and the new chapter’s advisor. “NSLS members have access to personal success coaching, partner discounts, an online job bank, and a number of scholarships and awards. We are glad to provide another way students can gain great experience and boost their resumes.

Students inducted as the first members of Ivy Tech Kokomo’s NSLS chapter include:

Tabitha Schoenstein
Mandi Altman
Bunker Hill
Sydne Leary
Victoria Ellis
Nova Brygger
Kristy Walsh
Charles Koeppen
Laurie Dowell
David Akers
Andre Askew
Aubry Bailey
Sensuous Balfour Alexander
Kayla Bullock
Elizabeth Collins
Tiffany DeWitt
Kasandra Dorsey
Cierra Fisher
Erica Gray
Jessica Hamilton
Noah Hamrick
Lora Hawkins
Zachary Hutcheson
Drew Jameson
Candace Jarvis
Shayla Killebrew
Corynne Menard
Jshanien Minor
Nathan Napier
Sarah Napier
Jessica Nester
David Reynolds
Shaun Sefton
Tyler Shirey
Monica Slonaker
Harold Stout II
Ashley Swing
Brianna Swing
Dale Swingley
Antonio Viera
Desmon Williams
Mercedes Wilson
Kori Wood
Carrie Adams
David Eccles
Tiffany Tyler
Rochelle Davila
Andrea DeJesus
Tamara Derrick
Adam Goodman
Brady Hammond
Paul Hoff
Jennifer Lindsey
Silvia McVay
Hairo Ortega
Jamie Pay
Sofia Nicole Pedersen Kertesz
Linda Sebastian
Lisa Tidrick
Mercedes Conrad
Faith Rankin
North Judson
Jonathan Kozak
Karalee Haynes
Jeremiah Kline
Tricia Lease
Tyler Worl
Dinah Wray
Derek Larimore
Shelby Larimore
Sherry Welch
Nick Barnard
Noelle Heaton
Cole Henderson
Jared Hickman
Jason Darland
Nathaniel Pownell
Jossie Helmerick
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Ivy Tech to offer Certified Professional Food Manager Course in Kokomo

Two-day course prepares students to take certification exam

KOKOMO, Ind. — Ivy Tech Community College is offering an instructor-led training course July 8 and 10 to prepare students to take the Certified Professional Food Manager (CPFM) certification exam. The two-day class will meet in Room 400 in the main building on the Ivy Tech Kokomo campus at 1815 E. Morgan St.

Indiana Code 410-IAC7-22 requires mandatory certification of at least one person who oversees the food safety operation within each food establishment. This course will prepare individuals to take and pass the 85-question, multiple-choice certification exam. Participants in this course will study sanitation management, food safety hazards, factors that affect food borne illness, personal hygiene, the use and calibration of temperature measuring instruments, and many more topics.

Upon successful completion of the exam, students will receive a certification and their name will be added to the National Registry of Food Managers. The certification is valid for five years. The course fee is $210 and includes the manual, all materials and the certification exam. The class will meet from 9 a.m. to 1 p.m. on Monday, July 8, and Wednesday, July 10, and will be led by instructor Ed Norris of the Indiana Environmental Health Association and retired inspector and trainer with the Indiana State Department of Health Food Protection Program.

To register for the Certified Professional Food Manager Certification preparatory course or for more information, please contact Susan Turrill at 765-252-5497 or e-mail her at

The workforce alignment staff for Ivy Tech’s Kokomo Service Area, located at 1815 E. Morgan St. in Kokomo, provides high-quality, cost-effective, short-term, career-relevant training solutions aligned with the needs of today’s employers. Its academic programs and certifications improve its clients’ employability and earnings potential. To learn more about professional development programs available through Ivy Tech, call 765-252-5495.

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Ivy Tech’s Logansport campus preparing for 2019 scholarship fundraiser

‘For the Love of Education: Growing Our Future’ set for June 21

LOGANSPORT, Ind. — Ivy Tech Community College’s Logansport campus will host its 2019 scholarship fundraiser, For the Love of Education: Growing Our Future, June 21.

The event will feature music by Mike Almon, live and silent auctions, dinner, and a cash bar. New this year will be a dessert auction featuring pies and cakes made by local bakers. Casual attire is welcome for the event, which will begin at 6 p.m. at the campus, 1 Ivy Tech Way, and will be outside if weather permits.

Money raised from the event goes toward scholarships for students who live in Cass, Fulton and Pulaski counties. Nearly $35,000 in scholarship funds was raised at the campus’ last event in 2017. Every dollar raised from the event goes toward student scholarships – and supporting Ivy Tech’s mission of changing the lives of local students.

Tickets are $30 per person and can be purchased online at or by calling 765-252-5500. Reservations should be made by June 14.

Organizers are continuing to accept donations for the event’s live and silent auctions.  Contact Suzanne Dillman, associate vice chancellor for Student Affairs, at 574-398-6090, for more information.

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