Northeast Indiana students get free FAFSA filing help at Feb. 24 event

Financial aid professionals will be volunteering at Ivy Tech Community College Fort Wayne (Coliseum Campus, 3800 N Anthony Blvd.)  and Ivy Tech Community College Warsaw (2545 Silveus Crossing) and 38 other sites in Indiana to help college-bound students and their families open the door to financial aid during College Goal Sunday. The event is set to run from 2 to 4 p.m. on Feb. 24, 2019.

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. College Goal Sunday is so important since completing this required form correctly and by the deadline is sometimes perceived to be complicated and time consuming. In less than one afternoon at a College Goal Sunday event, students and their families can get free help and file the form online.

Now in its thirtieth year, College Goal Sunday has helped more than 94,000 Indiana students and families complete the FAFSA form 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 on February 24th will be the second College Goal Sunday ISFAA is offering this FAFSA filing season.” said Bill Wozniak, co-chair of College Goal Sunday. “We hope all Hoosiers who have not filed already, take advantage of College Goal Sunday events across Indiana, file the FAFSA, and get one step closer to fulfilling their educational goals.”

According to the Indiana Commission for Higher Education (CHE), 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 2017 IRS 1040 tax returns, W-2 Forms and other 2017 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 2017 IRS 1040 tax return, W-2 Form, or other 2017 income and benefits information. Students and parents are encouraged to apply for their U.S. Department of Education FSA IDs at before coming to the event.

Volunteers will walk through the online form line-by-line and answer families’ individual questions as needed. All sites offer FAFSA online capabilities and many have Spanish interpreters. A complete list of sites is available at

Attendees may win educational prizes

Students may also win one of five $1000 scholarships. Students who attend any of the College Goal Sunday sites and submit a completed evaluation form will automatically be entered in a drawing for a $1000 scholarship. The winners will be notified in April, and prizes will be sent directly to the higher education institution selected by the winning 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 (every year by the April 15 deadline). 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

College celebrating Black History Month with upcoming events for college, community

In honor of Black History Month, Ivy Tech Community College Fort Wayne is hosting three college and community events next month and two additional events over the course of spring semester.


“BLACKKKlansman” screening and discussion
1 to 4:30 p.m. Feb. 6  in the Student Life Center, room 121, 3701 Dean Drive in Fort Wayne
“BLACKKKlansman” is Spike Lee’s critically acclaimed movie based on a true story. An African-American detective infiltrates the KKK with the help of a Jewish partner. Together, they try to take down the KKK (2018). Lunch will be served, and the movie will be followed by a Q/A session by Associate Professor Lisa Beringer.

“Speaking Truth to Power: Trending Topics on Diversity” with guest speaker Dr. Jodi Merriday
1 to 2 p.m. Feb. 13 in the Coliseum Campus auditorium, 3800 N. Anthony Blvd. in Fort Wayne
Dr. Jodi Merriday is a multiculturalism speaker and facilitator. Her program “Speak Truth to Power: Trending Topics on Diversity” introduces participants to five tools that cultivate social intelligence, bridge building, and inclusivity. The dialogue unpacks prejudice and will enable participants to cultivate meaningful diverse relationships.

African American Read-In
Noon to 2 p.m. Feb. 20 in the Student Life Center commons on North Campus, 3701 Dean Drive in Fort Wayne
Ivy Tech employees and students will honor famous African American authors and playwrights by reading their works. Food will be available.


Michelle Obama Book Discussion
1 to 2 p.m. March 20 on Coliseum Campus auditorium, 3800 N. Anthony Blvd. in Fort Wayne, room TBD
Participants will read and discuss passages from Michelle Obama’s new book “Becoming Michelle Obama.”

Harryette Mullen History & Poetry Tributes
Noon to 1:30 p.m. April 24 in the Coliseum Campus auditorium, 3800 N. Anthony Blvd. in Fort Wayne
Professor Steven Livley will be giving a presentation about Harryette Mullen, famous African American poet and author. Students will read self-written poems based on Mullen’s work.

College launches career pathways website, announces Feb. 13 enrollment day

Ivy Tech Community College Fort Wayne and Warsaw are helping make things easier when exploring career pathways through education at Ivy Tech. Individuals can now explore and develop potential career paths while getting started on their academic journey with a new online career pathways tool along with an upcoming Express Enrollment Day for students interested in starting in March.

The career pathways tool is designed to help prospective students figure out possible career paths by choosing from nearly 50 academic programs with more than 150 degree and certificate options. The task can sometimes be overwhelming for students, but this interactive tool prompts individuals to select from various interests, choose from different types of workplace environments, and decide how long they want to attend college—all to help them narrow their selection of a certificate or degree program at Ivy Tech Fort Wayne or Warsaw.

Visit to learn more or access the interactive career pathways tool.

Ivy Tech’s Express Enrollment Day on Feb. 13 is for students who want to begin classes in March, which are 8-week classes beginning March 18. At Express Enrollment events, prospective students can work on the steps they need to start classes. Enrollment experts will be on-hand to answer questions and help attendees with enrollment steps including assessment, financial aid, advising, and more. Students should bring their most recent tax returns for financial aid review and their previous high school (if they graduated in the past four years) or college transcripts for assessment.

Prospective students can visit to RSVP and learn more.
9 a.m. to 6 p.m. Feb. 13

Fort Wayne Campus
Student Life Center
3701 Dean Drive
Fort Wayne, IN 46835

Warsaw Site
2545 Silveus Crossing
Warsaw, IN 46582

From students to college executives: “Ivy Tech truly changed my life”

Aja Michael-Keller

Aja Michael-Keller

Aja Michael-Keller reflects on her progression at Ivy Tech, which she believes started the day in 2009 when she raised her hand in an event management class to volunteer and be the lead coordinator for a domestic violence survivor celebration happening at the College. Following the event, her professor Heather Eracleous convinced her to apply for an internship opening in Ivy Tech Fort Wayne’s marketing and communications office.

Originally from Converse, Ind., Aja received her bachelor’s degree in education from Manchester University in North Manchester, Ind. She moved to Fort Wayne to work for the YWCA, advocating for domestic violence victims, prevention education, and racial justice education. Aja’s started at Ivy Tech after feeling unsatisfied with a previous career in education. She decided to change course by tapping into her passion for event planning, decorating, and baking. She enrolled at Ivy Tech Fort Wayne and obtained a degree in hospitality administration with concentrations in baking and pastry arts and event management.

She started then in 2009 as a marketing and events intern and over the last nine years has gained experience and achieved success in a variety of ways at Ivy Tech. Upon the completion of her internship, she was hired as an assistant director of marketing and communications. During her time on the Fort Wayne marketing team, her position evolved as her responsibilities grew. She assumed the roles of event coordinator; director of events, enrichment, and conferencing; and most recently, director of events and marketing.

“Ivy Tech truly changed my life,” says Aja, because the education and opportunities she experienced here put her on the path to success.

Aja was recognized for her efforts at 2018’s A Reason to Taste fundraiser

Aja was recently hired for a promotion to executive director of marketing and communications for the College’s c3 campuses and statewide campaigns. Her biggest memories of working in Fort Wayne focus around helping grow Ivy Tech’s most successful fundraising events, A Reason to Taste, which raised $600k+ for Ivy Tech students and programs during her time at Ivy Tech Fort Wayne.

Susan Brown

Susan Brown

We all remember 2009. Unemployment hit record highs, jobs were scarce and people nationwide scurried to save their livelihood. Susan Brown had just completed 15 years of service with the United States Navy and moved home to Fort Wayne from the beautiful island of Hawaii, only to find the mainland, civilian economy in a recession. All that was so disciplined and routine in her life turned topsy-turvy.

Susan did what 20,000 other Indiana residents did in 2009: she returned to school. She enrolled at Ivy Tech Community College and began working toward an associate degree in business administration. She chose business to expand and enhance the leadership skills she acquired in the Navy, but little did she know how it would change and impact the permanency of her life and so many others at Ivy Tech.

As a student, Susan started working in the Financial Aid office as a Veteran’s Affairs work-study. On occasion, she skimmed job postings within the College knowing she wanted and needed more responsibility, and of course, financial stability. She found an opening in the Chancellor’s office and was hired as Chancellor Mosier’s assistant. Over time, Susan earned an Associate of Science in Business Administration at Ivy Tech and continued on earning both bachelor’s and master’s degrees from Indiana Tech.

Her responsibilities at the College also grew, assuming the role of Director of Special Projects. In this role, she helped bring The Language Company to Fort Wayne (TLC) as an in-residence organization, maximizing vacant college space but also fulfilling an essential need by bridging language barriers for international students who have a desire to receive an education in the United States. It created a new opportunity and cross-section of students who were under-served in northeast Indiana. She also became Ivy Tech Fort Wayne’s institutional research and decision support contact, providing frequent enrollment updates to campus leadership.

Susan’s efforts did not go unnoticed. She was promoted to Ivy Tech Fort Wayne’s Vice Chancellor of Enrollment Services in 2017. If you ask our front-line staff, her biggest impact in this role has been teaching and streamlining processes and implementing a new relationship building model with regard to our overall approach to student service.

“Ivy Tech changed my life in so many ways,” says Susan Brown, by making one good decision at a time, the internal support that encouraged her to keep going, and the relationships that contributed and fostered continuous growth and success.

Susan’s drive and perseverance in her education, commitment to reinventing herself, and the exposure that began the day she applied to Ivy Tech has propelled her into the future.  

— Andi Douthitt, marketing’s fall 2018 intern, contributed to this story

Century Aviation donates equipment valued at $55,000 to Ivy Tech Foundation for Fort Wayne’s Aviation program

Lara and Tony Gaerte, owners of Century Aviation in Auburn, are donating avionics equipment and manuals to the Ivy Tech Foundation for the College’s Aviation Maintenance Technology program. The donated items will arrive at the College in January and will be utilized in the program beginning in the spring 2019 semester.

The donation was appraised at $55,000 and includes a library of approximately 1,000 paper and digital aviation manuals, electronic test equipment, aircraft spare parts, and other tools and accessories.

“We’re grateful to accept this donation from Century Aviation, which will enable us to bolster our current electronics instruction,” says Michael Clouse, program chair of Aviation Maintenance Technology. “Aviation electronics become more sophisticated every year, so we need to expand our current electrical, electronic, and avionics training to help meet FAA mandates. This donation will help our students enter the job market more prepared for the aviation electronics of today.”

The Aviation Maintenance Technology program prepares students for taking the Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) licensing exam. Ivy Tech Fort Wayne currently boasts a 94 percent pass rate, but according to Clouse, the areas of opportunity are in electronics. The equipment and manuals from Century Aviation will improve electronics instruction and directly impact Aviation student success.

“Tony and I are happy to contribute to Ivy Tech’s Aviation Maintenance Technology program, and we’re glad that the equipment will be put to good use in our local community—paying it forward, so to speak, for the future of aviation in Fort Wayne,” says Lara Gaerte. “We hope that students in the program find it advantageous to get hands-on experience working with actual avionics equipment used in the aviation industry today.”

Student-run bakery at Ivy Tech Fort Wayne to open Tuesdays this spring

The Bakery at Kelty’s Kafé will open January 29 at Ivy Tech Community College Fort Wayne. As part of the Hospitality Administration program’s bakery merchandising class, students will make and sell baked goods and will each serve as bakery manager for one week. As bakery manager, the students are responsible for marketing, purchase requisitions, inventory control, and financial analysis. The Kafé will offer signature cinnamon rolls, cookies, muffins, bread, cupcakes, fresh fruit cups, coffee from Old Crown Coffee Roasters, and more.

9 a.m. to 12:30 p.m. Jan. 29, Feb. 5, 12, 19, 26, and March 5

Anthony Commons, Coliseum Campus
Ivy Tech Community College Fort Wayne
3800 N. Anthony Blvd.
Fort Wayne, IN 46805

Enter Door 50 (south side of building), which faces away from Coliseum Boulevard.

Meijer donates $1,000 for Ivy Tech Warsaw’s supply pantry

Tara Kuhmichel, Ivy Tech Warsaw’s Workforce Alignment and Achieve Your Degree Coordinator; Seyneko “Neko” Mostella, Meijer Warsaw Store Director; Allyn Decker, Vice Chancellor for Ivy Tech Warsaw

On Jan. 8, Meijer donated $1,006.50 in gift cards for Ivy Tech Community College Warsaw’s newly formed emergency food and supply pantry, which will open Jan. 22. 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 Neko Mostello and his team at the Meijer Warsaw store,” says Allyn Decker, Ph.D., Vice Chancellor for the Ivy Tech Warsaw Site. “We believe this generous donation will help pave the way for greater student success and perhaps even more partnership opportunities between Ivy Tech and Meijer. Investing in Ivy Tech students helps create a stronger local workforce and a more stable economy.”

In addition to this generous donation from Meijer, Ivy Tech Warsaw’s women’s philanthropy group, Circle of Ivy, also raised $2,600+ for this project. The combined funds should keep the emergency pantry stocked for approximately one year.

College announces spring 2019 schedule for Special and Classical Cuisine dinner series

The Special Cuisine and Classical French Cuisine classes at Ivy Tech Community College Fort Wayne have released the dinner series schedules for spring semester. Students in the classes take turns preparing and serving world-cuisine themed meals for class credit in a project-based learning experience. The culinary students rotate through various positions in the kitchen and dining room, providing a full-service restaurant environment.

The following dinner dates and themes have three start times: 6 p.m., 6:15 p.m., and 6:30 p.m.

Special Cuisines:

  • January 24:           China
  • January 31:           Southeast Asia
  • February 7:           Italy
  • February 14:         France, with a special Valentine’s Day theme
  • February 21:         Russia, “Classic Russian Cooking: Elena Molokhovets’ ‘A Gift to Young Housewives’”
  • February 28:         Eastern Mediterranean

Classical French Cuisines:

  • April 4:             Normandy
  • April 11:           Pays de la Loire
  • April 18:           Bourgogne-Franche-Comté
  • April 25:          Auvergne-Rhone-Alpes
  • May 2:              Provence-Alpes-Côte d’Azur

To make reservations, which are required at least 24 hours before the dinner, call 260-480-2002. Dinners are served in the Hospitality Room (door 24, which is located on the back of the building and faces Coliseum Boulevard)on Coliseum Campus (3800 N. Anthony Blvd.) and cost $20 per person. Pay on-site with cash, check, or charge. Wine is available for $5 per glass or $15 per bottle.

Visit Ivy Tech Fort Wayne’s dinner series website at for more information.

Ivy Tech Fort Wayne, Warsaw announce fall 2018 Dean’s List

Ivy Tech Community College is pleased to announce the fall 2018 Dean’s List for the Fort Wayne Campus and the Warsaw Site. The Dean’s List, prepared and published each term, gives recognition to students who:

  • Are degree-seeking.
  • Achieve a minimum 3.50 grade point average in non-academic skills advancement courses with no Ds or Fs.
  • Earn six or more Ivy Tech credits during the semester.
  • Have earned at least 12 non-academic skills advancement credits during their course of study.

For a full list of students who have met those requirements, please see attached Word sheet. Students are listed alphabetically by campus/site, state, city, and last name.

College announces student winners of 22nd annual European Competition for study abroad experience

Nine hospitality administration students competed Friday in Ivy Tech’s European Competition. Seven students won the opportunity to travel to France to study the culinary arts. The remaining students still get a travel opportunity to Vermont. The competing students are, from left, Brennan Simpson (France), Ashley Hizer (Vermont), Samantha Williams (Vermont), Dallas Yurt (France), Mary Cox (France), Kayla Wyckoff (France), Brianna Bertsch (France), Sandra Brickley (France), and Carl Dalrymple (France).

Ivy Tech Community Fort Wayne hosted its 22nd annual European Competition on Friday. Nine hospitality administration students in culinary arts or baking and pastry arts spent the day competing for a chance to win a scholarship that would fund a trip to study culinary arts in France this spring.

The winners who will be travelling to France are Brennan Simpson, Dallas Yurt, Mary Cox, Kayla Wyckoff, Brianna Bertsch, Sandra Brickley, and Carl Dalrymple.

Culinary students prepared a meal with an appetizer; an entrée with a protein, vegetable, and starch; and a dessert. Baking students prepared items including plated chocolate and fruit desserts, yeast bread and rolls, and a decorated cake.

Kitchen judges watched and rated students as they worked, paying attention to technique and ability. Floor judges blind tasted the completed meals. Judges based their scores on American Culinary Federation (ACF) criteria, and in order to be considered for the France trip, students must place at bronze standard or higher.

Based on students’ experience in France, they will create the menu for this year’s A Reason to Taste, the College’s largest annual fundraiser. Money raised at A Reason to Taste funds scholarships for the winning students’ European trips.

The students who did not qualify or cannot make the France trip will still receive a travel opportunity: a road trip to Vermont for a farm-to-fork tour in May. On the trip, students will have experiences including a tour of the Baird Farm, an organic maple syrup farm; a chance to watch cheese-making; learning how to milk a cow; and a visit to King Arthur Flour headquarters.