Ivy Tech Fort Wayne student wins Conexus Competition for second year

Ivy Tech Community College Fort Wayne Supply Chain Management student José Gomez Marquez won the top prize for the second year in a row during the 2020 Conexus Indiana Case Competition. He was part of a team of four students from Ivy Tech campuses across the state. The event featured over 150 students from 27 schools throughout the nation to solve a business case in only 24 hours. José’s team took home $5,000 as the winners in the associate degree track of the competition.

“It was an amazing feeling to win the Conexus competition two years in a row, and I give a lot of the credit to the instructors at Ivy Tech who have helped me to refine my skills in the field of logistics and supply chain,” said José Gomez Marquez. “I also need to acknowledge the fantastic team that we had this time: all Ivy Tech students who also work full-time and could bring a tremendous amount of real-world experience that let us clinch the victory!”

This was the fifth annual Conexus Indiana Case Competition. The competition was held virtually and students were presented with a business case that reflected current challenges businesses face due to the Covid-19 pandemic.

Interested in learning more about Ivy Tech’s Supply Chain Management program? Contact Michelle Hagan-Short, Ph.D., at mshort@ivytech.edu or visit IvyTech.edu/supplychain/

College hosting Virtual Express Enrollment Events

Ivy Tech Community College Fort Wayne and Warsaw will host a Virtual Express Enrollment Week Tuesday, Dec. 1 to Friday, Dec. 4 from 9 a.m. to 6 p.m. daily. During the week, prospective students can complete their enrollment steps virtually and sign up for classes that start January 19, 2021.

Interested participants must RSVP. During the appointment, participants will receive assistance with setting up their student account, assessment, New Student Orientation, completing the FAFSA, and scheduling a meeting with an advisor.

This January, Ivy Tech will offer a wide range of programs including healthcare, IT, manufacturing, and more. There are also short-term certificate options that are entirely online and available for free through the Workforce Ready Grant, thanks to the Next Level Jobs program.

Indiana’s most affordable classes are at Ivy Tech. Whether prospective students are working toward a certificate to join the workforce quickly, or earning an associate degree or credits that easily transfer to four-year universities, education is within their reach. This January, there are thousands of both 16-week and 8-week classes available in online, virtual, face-to-face*, and hybrid formats.

For more information or to RSVP, visit www.ivytech.edu/eeday

*Ivy Tech currently requires the use of a mask or face covering while inside the buildings.

9 a.m. to 6 p.m. Dec. 1 to 4

Virtual Zoom meeting. RSVP at www.ivytech.edu/eeday

Sky’s the Limit for Aviation Alumnus

Vinny in front of GE Aviation’s newest GE9X engine. It holds two Guinness World records and is the world’s largest and most powerful commercial jet engine.

Paramvir “Vinny” Chandpuri moved from India to the U.S. when he was in eleventh grade with dreams of taking to the skies.

“Growing up, I would look up and wave goodbye to airplanes,” says Vinny. “The love was there, but I wasn’t aware of the opportunities in Aviation”.

After graduating from Homestead High School in 2009, Vinny wasn’t really sure how to achieve his goals. He enrolled at Ivy Tech in the automotive program, but after a semester he realized that he needed to do something else. Thankfully, Ivy Tech Fort Wayne could help him fulfill those dreams, even if he didn’t know it yet.

“I talked to my advisor, and said, ‘automotive isn’t for me. Maybe I’ll quit and join the Air Force.’ She said, ‘You don’t have to quit—we have aviation here!’ And that’s how I found myself in the program.”

Vinny enrolled in the Aviation Maintenance Program at Ivy Tech Fort Wayne. With the help of an instructor, Vinny was hired at Pinnacle Airlines, giving him hands-on experience while he worked toward his degree. Rising quickly in the ranks, Vinny was promoted to a Mechanic’s Helper after six months with Pinnacle. Then after earning his Airframe and Powerplant (A&P) license and Associate Degree in Aviation Technology at Ivy Tech Fort Wayne in 2012, he was promoted to Aircraft Technician.

Never afraid of a challenge, Vinny applied at the GE Aviation assembly plant in 2015. GE has one of the most challenging interview processes and only a 1-2% hire rate, but after a grueling eight-hour interview, Vinny was offered and accepted a position as an Assembly and Test Technician, was eventually promoted to Lead Test Quality Engineer at the Peebles, Ohio testing facility, and is now a Site Quality Manager CVG at one of only seven Global On Wing Support Facilities.

“My advice to students is this: work hard. No job is too big and no job is too small. I started off as an aircraft cleaner, cleaning the airplanes inside and out, and now I’m Quality Manager for a brand-new facility. And don’t be afraid to take risks.”

Vinny’s story is one of determination and upward mobility. He’s steadily moved up at every aviation job he’s had—getting the education he needed to advance, working hard, and taking risks that pay off. He’s now earned a Bachelor’s degree with Spartan College of Aeronautics, majoring in Aviation Technology Management and hopes to earn a Master’s degree in the future so that he can ultimately become an executive at GE Aviation. But if you ask Vinny, it all started with Ivy Tech.

“I am where I am because of Ivy Tech. And I’m not just saying that. I honestly don’t know where I would have been or what I would have done without the instructors and advisors at Ivy Tech who led me down this path.”

Meijer donates $1,000 for Ivy Tech Warsaw’s Basics Bank

Brock Heyneman, Meijer Warsaw Store Manager; Dr. Allyn Decker, Ivy Tech-Warsaw; Angela Espinoza, Meijer Warsaw HR Representative

On Nov. 3, Meijer-Warsaw donated $1,000 in gift cards for Ivy Tech Community College Warsaw’s Basics Bank—an emergency food and supply pantry, which opened Jan. 2019. The donation was granted in the form of gift cards so Ivy Tech Warsaw can have the flexibility to locally purchase an assortment of emergency supplies.

The emergency food pantry will help in-need students who may get financial aid to cover tuition and books but lack the necessary funds for everyday items. Giving free pantry items to food-insecure students will help remove barriers to their academic success.

“On behalf of Ivy Tech Warsaw students, we want to express our gratitude to Brock Heyneman and his team at the Meijer Warsaw store—especially during this difficult year,” says Allyn Decker, Vice Chancellor for Ivy Tech Warsaw. “Eliminating hunger as a barrier to learning means that even more local students can achieve their academic and career goals.”

“Supporting our neighbor, Ivy Tech, means Meijer is potentially supporting our entire community and we are happy to invest in this worthy project,” says Brock Heyneman, Meijer Warsaw Store Manager.

In addition to this generous donation from Meijer, other local organizations and the Kosciusko County Community Foundation have also contributed to this project. To donate, please contact Allyn Decker at adecker42@ivytech.edu.

Ivy Tech Fort Wayne and The Literacy Alliance bridge the gap for student success

As Director of Community Engagement for Ivy Tech, I have the pleasure of working with a wide variety of folks throughout the Fort Wayne campus service area. I work closely with communities on the south side of Fort Wayne, and in Adams and Wells counties. My job is to connect students who are interested in the college with the training and education they need in order to feed the workforce. The longer I do this work though, the more I realize how my work with community organizations is key to accomplishing this mission.

One of the most impactful groups I work with is The Literacy Alliance. Over the past two years of working with this passionate, dedicated, change-making organization, I have learned as much about myself as I have the students in their program. TLA strives to end illiteracy by teaching adults through learning centers, literacy programs, and tutoring services. TLA aims to help students overcome the obstacles they faced in completing their high school requirements so they can move forward toward careers that will make a difference in their lives.

Their students are TLA’s heart and soul, and they are committed to passing their high school equivalency exams (HSE). For many, it has been years or decades since they’ve been in a school setting. Technologies may have changed or they may have families, jobs, and other daily pressures that can make school even more of a challenge. The dedication and resiliency of these students to overcome the many barriers is nothing short of amazing.

The Literacy Alliance supports and guides these students. It sees them through the tangible obstacles, but also the mental and emotional hurdles that come with the territory. TLA students often feel they aren’t good enough, smart enough, or worthy of the time and energy it takes to accomplish their goals. TLA is there for them, and sometimes they let me be a part of that transformation.

As the students are working on their HSE credits, my goal is to cultivate an understanding about the basics of college and plant the seeds for continued educational success. I visit all TLA classroom sites and act as their primary Ivy Tech contact. We invite TLA students to tour campus and even during the pandemic, we’re still providing virtual campus tours. For many of them, it’s the first time they’ve seen a college classroom. We highlight our amazing training labs in advanced manufacturing, automotive, engineering, hospitality, and healthcare. I like to think my close relationship with TLA, and presence in their classroom, shows them I’m dedicated to their success and they can trust me to have their best interests at heart.

Look, I talk Ivy Tech all day, every day. I have worked in higher ed and workforce development for most of my career, so the value of college and the accessibility of Ivy Tech are second nature to me. But when I speak with TLA students, I’m often reminded that college was not something they ever envisioned for themselves. I even had a student say to me recently “Tracy, nobody’s ever talked to me about college. Not my family. Not my teachers. I just thought it wasn’t for me.” No one in our community should feel that way. And places like Ivy Tech and The Literacy Alliance are working tirelessly to make sure everyone in Fort Wayne sees college as real option. And I’m just grateful I get to be in the room where it happens.

College celebrates growth during Cyber Security Awareness Month

October is Cyber Security Awareness Month, and Ivy Tech Community College Fort Wayne/Warsaw’s Cyber Security / Information Assurance program is expanding its offerings. The service area was recently awarded a grant to expand apprenticeships for its nationally recognized Cyber Security program and is offering a short-term certificate that can be completed in six months or less.

Ivy Tech Fort Wayne/Warsaw, along with Thomas Nelson Community College and California State University Long Beach, were chosen as educational partners in a grant from the American Association of Port Authorities (AAPA) and ACCELerate to create an apprenticeship program focused on cyber security, technology, transportation, and advanced manufacturing. This grant makes almost 6 million dollars available for AAPTA to partner with employers to build and expand apprenticeship programs.

The College will work with local industry leaders to expand apprenticeships in the information technology sector. Interested companies are encouraged to contact Kaylene Smith at 260-480-4185 or ksmith807@ivytech.edu

“We are excited to expand our apprenticeship offerings into Cyber Security,” says Kaylene Smith, Director of Apprenticeship and Work-Based Learning at Ivy Tech Fort Wayne/Warsaw. “We see a vast potential for growth in northeast Indiana cyber security and information assurance.”

Ivy Tech’s program is already nationally recognized as an NSA Center of Academic Excellence in Cyber Security. This designation is managed by the National Cryptologic School at the National Security Agency and is awarded to schools who:

  • Establish standards for cybersecurity curriculum and academic excellence
  • Include competency development among students and faculty
  • Value community outreach and leadership in professional development 
  • Integrate cybersecurity practice within the institution across academic disciplines
  • Actively engage in solving challenges facing cybersecurity education

To help meet local unemployment and skilled worker needs, the College is also offering a short-term Cyber Security certificate. The Security+ Certification is only two courses and prepares students to take an industry certification. It can be completed in six months or less.

Those interested in learning more about Ivy Tech’s Cyber Security / Information Assurance program should contact Kristopher Roberts at 260-480-4282 or kroberts100@ivytech.edu.

Anyone interested in Ivy Tech’s short-term certificate programs in general can learn more at certs.ivytechfw.com.

Ivy Tech Fort Wayne/Warsaw invites public and employers to virtual statewide internship event on Nov. 5

Ivy Tech Community College, including its Fort Wayne and Warsaw locations, is holding the first Virtual Statewide Internship Fair on Thursday, Nov. 5 from 9 to 11 a.m. The event will include an employer panel and employer breakout sessions where students can connect directly with employers and discuss internship opportunities along with experiential learning.

Local employers who are interested in taking part are encouraged to RSVP at link.ivytech.edu/IvyIntern or contact Christine Force at 260-482-9171, ext. 2460 or Anh Dinh Lapsley at 260-482-9171, ext. 2463.

Nov. 5
9 to 11 a.m.


This event is free and open to the public.

Ivy Tech Fort Wayne/Warsaw hosting Virtual College 101 on Nov. 5

Ivy Tech Community College, including its Fort Wayne and Warsaw locations, will host a Virtual College 101 event Thursday, Nov. 5 from 6 p.m. to 8 p.m. During the event, participants will learn more about what Ivy Tech offers, including numerous associate degree and short-term certificate programs, as well as transfer options.

Interested participants must RSVP. During the appointment, participants will learn about programs in areas where employers are hiring such as IT, Supply Chain, Business and Advanced Manufacturing as well as transfer options such as Transfer as a Junior and Guaranteed Admissions.

Ivy Tech offers a high value education at the lowest cost Indiana, with scholarships and financial aid available. Whether prospective students are interested in learning more about a certificate to join the workforce quickly, an associate degree or credits that easily transfer to four-year universities, education is within their reach. Ivy Tech students can find support through tutoring, advising and additional support services.

For more information or to RSVP, visit IvyTech.edu/college101

6 to 8 p.m. Nov. 5

Virtual meeting.
RSVP at IvyTech.edu/college101

Indiana students to get free FAFSA filing help at College Goal Sunday

Financial aid professionals from all across Indiana, including representatives from Ivy Tech Community College Fort Wayne and Warsaw, will be volunteering to help collegebound students and their families open the door to financial aid during College Goal Sunday. The virtual event is set for 2 p.m. Sunday, Oct. 25 and can be accessed at CollegeGoalSunday.org. Advisers will be available to help Spanish-speaking students and their families, as well.

The free program assists Indiana students in filing the Free Application for Federal Student Aid (FAFSA). The FAFSA form is required for students to be considered for federal and state grants, scholarships and student loans at most colleges, universities and vocational/technical schools nationwide. The FAFSA MUST be filed by April 15 to be eligible for Indiana financial aid. It is important that these forms are completed correctly and by the deadline. College Goal Sunday helps families who may perceive this process to be complicated and time consuming. In less than one afternoon during College Goal Sunday, students and their families can get free help and file the form.

Now in its 32nd year, College Goal Sunday has helped more than 94,000 Indiana students and families complete the FAFSA properly and on time. College Goal Sunday is a charitable program of the Indiana Student Financial Aid Association (ISFAA).

College Goal Sunday Doubles the Help Offered

“The event ISFAA is offering on October 25th will be the first completely virtual College Goal Sunday” said Bill Wozniak, co-chair of College Goal Sunday. “We hope all Hoosiers who have not filed already, take advantage of College Goal Sunday, file the FAFSA, and get one step closer to fulfilling their educational goals.”

According to the Indiana Commission for Higher Education, programs like College Goal Sunday are reaching first-generation college students. In recent years, according to CHE statistics, more single-parent Hoosier families have filed for financial aid, indicating programs like College Goal Sunday are reaching high-risk students and their families.

“Students who don’t complete their financial aid paperwork properly and on time are often very disappointed when they find out how much financial aid they lost,” said Wozniak. “This is why the Indiana Student Financial Aid Association not only continues to provide College Goal Sunday, but offers two events during the year. If our assistance gives students a better chance at higher education and less debt, we’re fulfilling our mission.”

What students should bring

Students should attend College Goal Sunday with their parent(s) or guardian(s), and parents’ should bring completed 2019 IRS 1040 tax returns, W-2 Forms and other 2019 income and benefits information. Students who worked last year should bring their income information as well. Students 24 years of age or older may attend alone and bring their own completed 2019 IRS 1040 tax return, W-2 Form or other 2019 income and benefits information. Students and parents are encouraged to apply for their U.S. Department of Education FSA IDs at studentaid.gov before logging in to the event.

Volunteers will answer families’ individual questions as needed. To attend College Goal Sunday, simply go to CollegeGoalSunday.org on October 25th, and click the link displayed on that page to enter the virtual event. For the best filing experience, working from a computer/laptop during the event is highly recommended.

Attendees may win educational prizes

Students may also win one of five $1,000 scholarships. Students who attend College Goal Sunday and submit a completed evaluation form will automatically be entered in a drawing for a $1,000 scholarship. The winners will be notified in April, and prizes will be sent directly to the higher education institution selected by those students.

21st Century Scholars benefit

21st Century Scholars are income-eligible students who sign a contract in the seventh or eighth grade promising they will graduate from high school, meet grade point requirements, fulfill a pledge of good citizenship, and apply for college financial aid. Upon high school graduation, Scholars who have fulfilled the commitment receive state funds to help cover their college tuition and fees for eight semesters at eligible Indiana colleges. To fulfill their pledge, scholars must submit a completed FAFSA form on time. College Goal Sunday can help.

Program is a national model

College Goal Sunday originated right here in Indiana and is now a national model. Following Indiana’s example, College Goal Sunday events organized by more than 34 states have opened doors to higher education for hundreds of thousands of students all over the country.

For more information about College Goal Sunday visit CollegeGoalSunday.org

College selected by U.S. Dept. of Labor to oversee development of new apprenticeship model

As a critical part of the Administration’s efforts to expand access to in-demand job opportunities, the U.S. Department of Labor (USDOL) selected Ivy Tech Community College, including the Fort Wayne and Warsaw locations, as one of 18 organizations in the nation to oversee the development of high-quality Industry-Recognized Apprenticeship Programs (IRAPs).

Standards Recognition Entities (SREs) are third party industry and workforce leaders that will evaluate and recognize high-quality IRAPs consistent with the Department’s standards. Ivy Tech, along with the other 18 SREs, is tasked with expanding apprenticeship opportunities in industries where apprenticeships have been underutilized. The recognition of the SREs follows a rigorous review from the Department to ensure that they have the capacity and quality-assurance procedures needed to monitor IRAPs. SREs can now begin to work with employers and other entities to establish, recognize and monitor high-quality IRAPs that provide apprentices with industry-recognized credentials. SRE recognition is valid for five years.

“Ivy Tech is proud to be one of a select group of colleges chosen to lead this new endeavor for the U.S. Department of Labor,” says Kaylene Smith, Ivy Tech Fort Wayne’s director of apprenticeship and work-based learning. “Our SRE designation will benefit Ivy Tech and our industry partners by providing another tool to expand apprenticeships and help close the skills gap in Indiana.”

Ivy Tech Fort Wayne and Warsaw currently works with over 40 industry partners to facilitate their apprenticeship programs. These programs are especially beneficial to our partners because they enhance employee retention. According to the U.S. Department of Labor, 91% of apprentices who complete an apprenticeship program remain with their employer.

The Department’s announcement of this inaugural SRE cohort marks the culmination of the Department’s work in response to the recommendations of the Task Force on Apprenticeship Expansion. Created under President Trump’s Executive Order to Expand Apprenticeships in America issued on June 15, 2017, the 20 member Task Force, headed by the Secretary of Labor and co-chaired by the Secretaries of Commerce and Education, expanded upon the Administration’s commitment to apprenticeship development and expansion. Since Jan. 1, 2017, over 800,000 individuals have found employment through an apprenticeship program. Apprenticeships have a proven track record of producing strong results for both employers and workers.

The 18 organizations newly recognized as SREs are:

  • AED Foundation (National);
  • Alabama Office of Apprenticeship (Alabama);
  • American Nurses Credentialing Center Practice Transition Accreditation Program® (National);
  • ANSI National Accreditation Board (National);
  • Apprenticeship Missouri (Missouri);
  • ApprenticeshipNC (North Carolina);
  • Colorado Community College System (Colorado);
  • Energy Sector Security Consortium INC (National);
  • FANUC-ROCKWELL SRE (National);
  • FASTPORT (National);
  • Franklin Apprenticeships (National);
  • Iowa Department of Education (Iowa);
  • Ivy Tech Community College of Indiana (Indiana);
  • National Institute for Metalworking Skills (National);
  • Peregrine Technical Solutions (National);
  • Smart Automation Certification Alliance (National);
  • Texas Workforce Commission (Texas); and
  • WTIA Workforce Consulting (National).

For more information about each SRE, please visit: apprenticeship.gov/employers/industry-recognized-apprenticeship-program/approved-standards-recognition-entities

To learn more about apprenticeships at Ivy Tech Fort Wayne and Warsaw, visit IvyTech.edu/apprenticeships/ or contact Smith at 260-480-4185 or ksmith807@ivytech.edu