Ivy Tech Fort Wayne/Warsaw selects Douglas Clark as Dekko Foundation Endowed Chair in Early Childhood Leadership and Advocacy

Ivy Tech Community College Fort Wayne and Warsaw has appointed Douglas Clark, Ed.D., as the new Dekko Foundation Endowed Chair in Early Childhood Leadership and Advocacy. As a member of the Ivy Tech early childhood education faculty, he will provide strategic support to the College, promote collaboration that advances the early childhood profession, and assist community leaders in their efforts to increase the impact and availability of high-quality early learning throughout northeast Indiana and across the state.

“It’s an honor to serve in this role,” said Clark. “Thanks to the foresight of our leaders and the dedication of our faculty, Ivy Tech has a long history of service to early childhood educators across their academic, professional, and leadership journeys. Dekko Foundation’s generous gift multiplies the potential for even greater impact through community engagement and collaboration. This is truly a one-of-a-kind opportunity.”

The Endowed Chair appointment was created in 2011 with the support of a $1.3 million grant from the Dekko Foundation. Clark succeeded Rebecca Carothers who had held the role since its inception through 2021. This position focuses on engagement and outreach to build up the early childhood profession to increase child, family, and community outcomes for northeast Indiana. In this role, Clark will also promote collaboration, innovation, and investment that stimulate program growth, and increase the scale and impact of the early childhood workforce throughout the region.

Clark’s work in early childhood education spans four decades including roles as a university professor, program builder, consultant, and director of a nationally recognized early learning center. Prior to joining the Ivy Tech faculty, he was a community impact executive with Ambassador Enterprises and lecturer in the School of Education at Purdue University Fort Wayne. He has earned the Doctor of Education from Pepperdine University, a post-graduate certificate in early childhood administration from National-Louis University (NLU), and graduate degree in business from Webster University.

As a member of the NLU faculty, Clark held a joint appointment with the McCormick Center for Early Childhood Leadership where he served in multiple training, advisory, and advocacy roles. He was a principal co-developer of the Aim4Excellence online national credential platform for early childhood program administrators, which launched in 2009 as the first national director credential recognized by the National Association for the Education of Young Children (NAEYC). He later held faculty and leadership positions at Indiana Wesleyan University and Indiana Tech.

Before faculty service, Clark directed the operation of a NAEYC-accredited early learning center that served the families of over 200 children in an economically, racially, and culturally diverse suburb of Chicago. He has served as an accreditation peer reviewer and completed a 2-year appointment to NAEYC’s national advisory panel on quality, compensation, and affordability in early childhood programs. He remains active as a subject matter expert, content developer, research advisor and supervisor of practicum experiences for preservice early childhood teachers.

Ivy Tech Fort Wayne/Warsaw selects Executive Director of Diversity, Equity, and Belonging

Ivy Tech Community College Fort Wayne and Warsaw has appointed JoAnne Alvarez, Ed.D., for the newly formed Executive Director of Diversity, Equity, and Belonging. Alvarez will serve as chief advisor to Chancellor Kim Barnett-Johnson, Ph.D., and provide vision, leadership, management, and strategic planning for inclusion and equity initiatives at Ivy Tech Fort Wayne and Warsaw and the 11 counties of northeast Indiana.

“I love how supportive and excited faculty and staff have been about making diversity and inclusion a high priority for the College,” said Alvarez. “Our employees were hungry for this and they’re embracing diversity in a way I’ve never seen before. They’re looking to create connections, ask questions, and bring diversity support back to their areas. I’m excited to continue the good work we’ve done in the college and expand the department in the future.”

Alvarez will be responsible for developing a campus-wide approach to enhancing excellence through diversity and inclusion of students, faculty, staff, and the broader community. She will also help to create an organizational culture that sets clear expectations, provides appropriate support, and engenders respect and dignity at all levels of the organization.

“Having an Executive Director specifically devoted to fostering an inclusive and diverse environment at the college is critical to our work, and I couldn’t have chosen anyone better suited to the role,” says Chancellor Kim Barnett-Johnson. “JoAnne brings positive energy, compassion, and dedication into to everything that she does. We strive to be a college where everyone feels like they belong, and I know JoAnne will positively impact this mission.”

Alvarez previously held the role of Director of Diversity, Equity and Belonging. Before that, she held a variety of roles in the College including Director of Student Success and Engagement, Student Success & Retention Coordinator, and Student Services Professional. She has been with the college since May 2014. Alvarez also worked at Home Care Services, Inc., Indiana University Purdue University Fort Wayne, United Hispanic-Americans, Inc., and Health Force Indiana.

As an active member of the northeast Indiana community, Alvarez serves on many advisory boards. She is currently serving as president of the Hispanic Leadership Coalition of Northeast Indiana. Alvarez is also a member of the Indiana Latino Institute, a board member for the Mastodon Alumni Community and Questa Education Foundation, and a member of the Multicultural Steering Committee and INFAME Recruiting Committee.

She earned a doctorate in education in Ethical Leadership from Olivet Nazarene University in 2020. Alvarez also holds a master of arts in professional communication (2007), a bachelor of science in organizational leadership and supervision (2001) and an associate of science in organizational leadership and supervision (1999) from Indiana University Purdue University Fort Wayne.

Ivy Tech Fort Wayne announces classical French cuisine dinner schedule

As part of the Classical Cuisine class, Hospitality Administration students at Ivy Tech Community College’s Fort Wayne campus will create and serve French cuisine to the public. Students write the menu and cook the meals, which follow the principles and techniques of renowned French chef, Auguste Escoffier. There will be four dinners this semester.

To make reservations, which are required at least 24 hours before the dinner, visit IvyTech.edu/dinners. Dinners are $30 a person, and wine is $5 for a glass and $15 for a bottle.

The menu for Sept. 8 will include: seared salmon, filet mignon, herb roasted Statler chicken breast, chocolate mousse bites, an apple tart, and more.

Dinners start at 6, 6:15, 6:30, and 7 p.m. nightly

  • Sept. 8
  • Sept. 15
  • Sept. 29
  • Oct. 6

Ivy Tech Community College’s Fort Wayne Campus
Coliseum Campus, Dr. Jerrilee K. Mosier Hospitality Room
3800 N. Anthony Blvd.
Fort Wayne, IN 46805

Park in the north lot, which faces Coliseum Boulevard, and enter through door 24.

Ivy Tech Fort Wayne massage clinic to reopen in September

Healthy Essence, the student-run massage clinic at Ivy Tech Community College’s Fort Wayne campus, will open to the public this semester from Sept. 6 to Oct. 15 and Oct. 24 to Dec. 3. Students from the Therapeutic Massage program will provide hour-long full-body relaxation massages. The following hours are available by appointment:

Hours for Sept. 6 to Oct. 15:

  • 10, 11:30 a.m., 1, and 2:30 p.m. Mondays
  • 10, 11:30 a.m., 1, 2:30, 4, 5:30, and 7 p.m. Tuesdays
  • 11:30 a.m., 1, 2:30, and 4 p.m. Wednesdays
  • 10, 11:30 a.m., and 1 p.m. Saturdays

Hours for Oct. 24 to Dec. 3:

  • 1, 2:30, 4, and 5:30 p.m. Mondays
  • 10, 11:30 a.m., and 1 p.m. Tuesdays
  • 11:30 a.m. and 1 p.m. Wednesdays
  • 10, 11:30 a.m., and 1 p.m. Saturdays

Massages are $30 for the community and $25 for Ivy Tech employees and students, military personnel, and those 55 and older. The clinic accepts payment in cash and credit card. Tips are not accepted, but clients who wish can donate to a charity chosen by the students.

To make an appointment, call 260-480-2094. Note: Clients are permitted to schedule two massages per month.

Visit IvyTech.edu/fortwayne/massageclinic to learn more.

Ivy Tech Fort Wayne/Warsaw announces 2022 New Venture Competition finalists

Ivy Tech Community College Fort Wayne and Warsaw has announced the three finalists for its 2022 New Venture Competition. The competition began in 2011, and this year’s champion will receive up to $40,000 in start-up capital for presenting the best business plan for their small business.

The finalists and their businesses are as follows:

  • Ginny Ritchie, general education and entrepreneurship
    Company: Ginny Rose Studio

    Ginny Rose Studio is an Esthetician owned studio specializing in full body waxing for both anatomies, custom facials, massages and permanent makeup. We aim to be a full service studio for all your personal care needs in northeastern Indiana.

  • Rachel Nally, psychology and entrepreneurship
    Company: Local Apple Cart

    This local food truck and soon to be shop will be expanding by joining the family at the Union Street Market located at the General Electric campus in downtown Fort Wayne. We are serving up exceptional from scratch ice creams made fresh daily, which will soon include an alcohol infused menu. Yummy!
  • Javier A. Gasnarez III, entrepreneurship
    Company: Let It Glow Detail, LLC

    Let It Glow Detail is a brick and mortar & mobile car detailing service. We are a premium detailing service, coming to your home or office to bring your vehicle back to like new condition. “We See What You Don’t, We Clean What You Won’t!”

The New Venture Competition awards dinner will be held Oct. 13 on Ivy Tech Fort Wayne’s Coliseum Campus, 3800 N. Anthony Blvd., in Room CC1640. Finalists will pitch their business and community judges will vote on the New Venture champion at the event.

Ivy Tech Fort Wayne and Warsaw students and alumni are eligible to compete in the New Venture Competition after successfully completing a certificate from the Garatoni School of Entrepreneurship & Innovation. Anyone interested in entering the competition or completing an Entrepreneurship certificate should contact Tony Ramey at aramey2@ivytech.edu.

The New Venture Competition is sponsored by Dave and Mary Bear, former owners of JB Tool, Die & Engineering. ProFed Credit Union is the event’s dinner sponsor.

Ivy Tech Fort Wayne invites employers, public to Autobody Career Fair on September 14

Ivy Tech Community College Fort Wayne has opened employer and public registration for an Autobody Career Fair on Sept. 14 from 10 a.m. to 2 p.m. at the Ivy Tech Collision Repair Center (7717 Opportunity Drive). During the event, employers will meet with Ivy Tech students and alumni, as well as the community.

Employers and participants can register at link.ivytech.edu/autobody. For more information, contact Anh Dinh Lapsley at alapsley6@ivytech.edu.

Wednesday, Sept. 14
10 to 2 p.m.

Ivy Tech Collision Repair Center
7717 Opportunity Drive
Fort Wayne, IN 46825

Ivy Tech Fort Wayne’s A Reason to Taste annual culinary fundraiser scheduled for Sept. 23

Ivy Tech Community College’s Fort Wayne campus will host their annual A Reason to Taste fundraiser in September. This year’s theme is Culinary Crossroads of America, a food lover’s road-trip featuring a culinary adventure spanning American cuisine from the Pacific Northwest to New England—with several memorable side trips along the way. 

The six food exhibits, paired with bourbon samples, will be prepared by Hospitality Administration students and graduates who won the European Competition in 2021. Menu items include smoked lobster tail, BBQ spiced beef tenderloin, wild mushroom tarts, mini Chicago dogs, beignets, and more!

Tickets are $100 each and are available online at IvyTech.edu/reason. Proceeds will fund scholarships and programs for students at Ivy Tech Fort Wayne.

ProFed Credit Union is the event’s presenting sponsor; Fort Wayne Metals, Star Bank, Plumbers, Steamfitters & HVACR Service Technicians Local 166, and Steel Dynamics, Inc. are table sponsors for the night; and Sweetwater Sound is the entertainment sponsor. Sponsorships for the event are still available. Anyone interested should contact Tracina Smith at tsmith1335@ivytech.edu.

Friday, Sept. 23
Doors open at 5:30 p.m.
Program at 6 p.m.
Dinner and activities begin at 6:45 p.m.
Grand prize drawing at 8:45 p.m.

Ivy Tech Fort Wayne
Coliseum Campus
Room 1640 (enter door 1 / 2)
3800 N Anthony Blvd.
Fort Wayne, IN

College donates medical supplies to One World Medics charity

Ivy Tech Community College Fort Wayne and Warsaw recently donated decommissioned respiratory therapy equipment to the One World Medics charity. The donated supplies include two mechanical ventilators, an oxygen tent, two King Visions (used for intubation), disposable airway supplies, endotracheal tubes, and tracheostomy supplies. Through the charity, these medical supplies were taken to Latin America to be used in medical facilities.

“This partnership with One World Medics is a win for both organizations,” says Jennifer Cole, program chair of Paramedic Science at Ivy Tech Fort Wayne and Warsaw. “I love knowing that the equipment, which is still serviceable but outdated, isn’t going to waste. It will help organizations and people provide even better care in their communities.”

One World Medics is a Fort Wayne based charity that was founded by Bryan Peterson and Jerry Shultz in 2019 with a mission to donate decommissioned ambulances and medical supplies to areas of need in Latin America. The founders’ original goal was to donate one ambulance per year, but because of high demand and the generous support of donors, One World Medic has successfully sent twenty-three ambulances—usually stocked with additional medical supplies—to Latin America in three years.

Shultz, an Ivy Tech Fort Wayne Paramedic Science graduate, credits their success to community support. “While Bryan and I are guiding the ship, this has been a community effort. We’ve had support from our Hispanic community and El Mexicano newspaper plus local hospitals, nursing homes, and colleges. I think this isn’t something that we’re doing, it’s something that northeast Indiana is doing. We’re grateful for all of the support we’ve received.”

In July 2022, the respiratory supplies from Ivy Tech Fort Wayne were donated to Cruz Roja Puerto Peñasco, Cruz Ambar San Luis Rio Colorado, and Bomberos San Luis Rio Colorado. Peterson delivered the supplies himself and trained medics on how to use them. Many of the items, especially King Vision, are more modern, innovative tools that weren’t previously available in these communities. The training and tools will help medics more effectively save lives in emergency situations.

Want to know more about One World Medics? Visit their website at OneWorldMedics.com

Student Spotlight: Evangelina Vega

Evangelina (left) with Chancellor Kim Barnett-Johnson (right)

As Evangelina Vega scanned through the list of degrees Ivy Tech Community College offered, she was looking for a pathway that would help people and have a positive impact on lives. Her first thought was to choose a profession like nursing or dental hygiene. However, when she noticed Ivy Tech offered an associate degree in Human Services, she decided to pursue that path instead.

Evangelina shared that human services is a lot like social work. It involves many aspects, including youth development, addiction, the elderly, training on how to listen and assist, and what to do in a conflict situation. This degree opens doors for many types of jobs that serve the community.

A major reason Evangelina chose human services was because of a guidance counselor who had made a significant, positive impact on her life when she was in elementary school. As a young student going through many hardships, she knew she could be completely open and honest with her counselor and that her counselor cared for her and wanted what was best. When Evangelina arrived at Ivy Tech, she was overjoyed to see that, even with its size, the school mirrored her counselor’s heart of wanting students to succeed. She found Ivy Tech to be focused on the individual mentorship of each student through their education experience.

Beginning her college career in the fall of 2020, Evangelina was limited by many COVID-19 restrictions still in place. Because of this, she felt she wasn’t taking enough classes or learning as much as she could. When she expressed these concerns with her professor, Ruth Davis, Evangelina was encouraged to come up with internship ideas for human services students in Warsaw, Indiana.

Evangelina was inspired by this opportunity and started diving into the various options for Ivy Tech students. She saw other students obtain full-time employment through internships and was excited by this potential result. Although Warsaw had limited choices for internships within this growing field, she didn’t let that stop her.

One company she found was Combined Community Services, which is a nonprofit that provides many programs and services for Kosciusko County, Indiana. The company works with people to stabilize their situations through emergency assistance, while also helping the individual continue the path toward independence through self-sufficiency programs.

Although Evangelina had never heard of this organization before, she was excited to help fulfill the company’s mission of serving and giving back to the community. During her time as an intern, she aided the company in its emergency assistance to individuals. After a month on the job, someone inside left the company and a position became available. At first, she felt unqualified for the job and didn’t go for it. After some encouragement, however, she spoke with the executive director to show her interest. Evangelina was offered the job and is now the Volunteer & Intake Coordinator for the company. She speaks with guests on a daily basis regarding their needs, which may include things like food or clothing. The company also helps connect people to other agencies that could further assist them with any other needs.

Although her job can be stressful due to the hardships she sees on a daily basis, she says working with like-minded individuals who also have a passion for serving their community makes a world of difference. That is her favorite part about the job—working with people who care about people.

Looking back, Evangelina expressed her gratitude to everyone at Ivy Tech for developing her into the person she is today and bringing her out of her shell. She says, “Ivy Tech made me a better mom and wife—not only a better student.” According to Evangelina, Ivy Tech offers that small-town feel, while also providing students with all the support they need to succeed. She named several ways Ivy Tech helped her along the way, but the biggest was giving her a reason to stop doubting herself and making her realize anything a person dreams is possible.

Evangelina graduated in May 2022 and is headed to Manchester University to complete her Bachelor’s degree with the dream of becoming a school guidance counselor. She is excited to continue this journey in serving her community.

Ivy Tech Fort Wayne to hold Summer Bash registration event on July 19

Ivy Tech Community College Fort Wayne is holding a Summer Registration Bash on July 19 from 9 a.m. to 6 p.m. (Student Life Center, 3701 Dean Dr.). The event is open to current and prospective students to complete their enrollment steps and meet with an advisor to schedule classes for fall.

Attendees can also enjoy free lunch, Traveling Toms Coffee (10 a.m. to 2 p.m.), Whip N Chill (11 a.m. to 2 p.m.) and fun activities! Attendees and their families are invited to take advantage of outdoor activities like an inflatable midway style games, corn hole, ladder ball, and indoor arcade games.

As an extra incentive, anyone who registers for classes during the event will be automatically entered to win the following prizes: two full-ride fall scholarships, a laptop, Fitbit, Craftsman drill set, and more.

Interested? RSVP at IvyTech.edu/summerbash. Anyone who has never applied to the College is encouraged to fill out an application before July 19 to streamline registration during the event at IvyTech.edu/applynow


9 a.m. to 6 p.m. July 19


Ivy Tech Fort Wayne’s North Campus
Student Life Center Gym
3701 Dean Drive
Fort Wayne, IN 46835