Ivy Tech Community College–Northeast celebrated its annual commencement ceremony tonight at the Allen County War Memorial Coliseum. The college graduated nearly 1,000 students in Fort Wayne with 1,224 respective associate of science degrees, associate of arts degrees, associate of applied science degrees, certificates and technical certificates, including the college’s very first graduates in the Visual Communications and Engineering Technology programs, which began in Fall 2012 and 2011, respectively.
This year marks Ivy Tech Community College’s 50th anniversary, which was celebrated by honoring 58 individuals statewide with honorary degrees. Here in Fort Wayne, five were awarded these honorary degrees, each an Associate of Science in College and Community Service:
- Merland Beyler was instrumental in establishing the original Indiana Vocational Technical College Northeast Region. He served in numerous capacities for the college during his tenure and was involved in marketing the college when it first opened. He retired in 1996 after 28 years of service to Ivy Tech and has created an endowed scholarship fund to benefit Ivy Tech–Northeast students’ paths to success.
- Dr. Bob Dettmer has served as chair of the board for the Ivy Tech–Northeast Regional Board of Trustees and has guided the board through his solid commitment to leadership and sound decision-making over the last four years. Dettmer is a retired Nephrologist, volunteers at Matthew 25 Health and Dental Clinic and serves on the St. Joseph Foundation.
- Janet Geib was one of the first full-time faculty members of Ivy Tech Community College–Northeast. She was an instructor—and later department chair—for Secretarial Sciences and was voted Woman of the Year by the American Business Women’s Association. Geib retired from Ivy Tech after 36 years of service and has created an endowed scholarship fund to benefit Ivy Tech-Northeast students’ paths to success.
- State Representative Ben GiaQuinta’s degree was accepted posthumously by his sons, Mark and Mike GiaQuinta. GiaQuinta, a strong advocate of Ivy Tech–Northeast, was awarded the Sagamore of the Wabash by Gov. Mitch Daniels and served as a state representative from 1990 to 1994 and 1996 to 2006. He passed away in 2010.
- Sen. Bob Meeks served as Indiana senator in LaGrange for 20 years and retired in 2008. He was an advocate for Ivy Tech’s North Campus and spoke at the College’s ground breaking in 2008. Meeks carried the language in the Indiana senate bill that helped rename Ivy Tech State College as Ivy Tech Community College of Indiana. He is the namesake for “Meeks Drive” on our North Campus.
Judge Lorna G. Schofield, a New Haven, Ind.-native and U.S. District Court judge, delivered an inspiring keynote to the graduating class. She was unanimously voted to the U.S. District Court for the Southern District of New York last December. Schofield has been an assistant U.S. attorney in the criminal division of the U.S. Attorney’s Office for the Southern District of New York. She is a former chair of the American Bar Association’s Section of Litigation and has written and spoken frequently about trial tactics and women in the legal profession. She attended New Haven High School and received a Bachelor of Arts magna cum laude from Indiana University and a Juris Doctorate from New York University, where she was an editor of the New York University Law Review.
Kyle Ball served as the class of 2013’s graduation speaker. In a tradition that began in 2011, the administration chose a student speaker from the graduating class. Ball earned his Associate of Applied Science in Business Administration. He started at Ivy Tech in January 2011, and his speech focused on the persistence he had to have in order to achieve his goal of a college education.
2013 President’s Award for Excellence in Instruction
and Glenn W. and Mary Catherine Sample Award for Excellence nominee
The Glenn W. and Mary Catherine Sample Award for Excellence in Instruction was established by Ivy Tech Community College in honor of the College’s former president for the purpose of recognizing an outstanding instructor. Each of the 14 regions selects a nominee, and the award is presented to the statewide winner. The finalists receive the President’s Award for Excellence in Instruction. The recipient of the 2013 President’s Award for Excellence in Instruction for Ivy Tech Community College–Northeast is Maria L. Hines, assistant professor in the School of Nursing. Hines teaches medical, surgical and critical care nursing in didactic and clinical settings. She was instrumental in developing and teaching the first honors course in nursing at Ivy Tech, where she took nine students to an impoverished area of eastern Kentucky. She recently represented the college at The Shanghai International Nursing Skills Competition, where her students earned second place in the international division. Hines will be recognized in June at the Ivy Tech Foundation Meeting in Indianapolis, when one of the regional winners will be awarded the Glenn W. and Mary Catherine Sample Award.
Adjunct Faculty Award for Excellence in Instruction
and Gerald I. Lamkin Award for Excellence nominee
Now in its third year, Gerald I. Lamkin Award was established to recognize top adjunct faculty members in recognition of the College’s former president. Each of the 14 regions selects a nominee, and the award is presented to the statewide winner. The finalists receive the Adjunct Faculty Award for Excellence in Instruction. The recipient of the 2013 Adjunct Faculty Award for Excellence in Instruction for Ivy Tech Community College–Northeast is Dawn G. Hammond, a Student Success adjunct instructor. Hammond has 22 years of experience in education and has been teaching at Ivy Tech for 22 years.
Her view of an instructor is to provide students with the confidence they need in order to graduate. She incorporates teaching techniques based on students’ individual leaning styles.
As an academic advisor, she emphasizes campus services, knowing academic policies and procedures, being responsible with financial aid, understanding career development and meeting with academic advisors.
Bud Curtis Award for Outstanding Student
Melvin L. Curtis Award for Academic Excellence
Each year, academic schools are asked to select one student to receive an Outstanding Student Award. Those nominees were:
- Shannon Matuszny, representing the School of Applied Science & Engineering Technology
- Atchima Mahamat-Zene, representing the School of Business
- Vanessa Hayden, representing the School of Education
- Dan Hartzell, representing the School of Health Sciences
- Michelle Williams, representing the School of Liberal Arts & Sciences
- Tammy Baker, representing the School of Nursing
- Brenna Dilley, representing the School of Public and Social Services
- Yongkang Zhang, representing the School of Technology
Of those students, one was chosen to receive the Melvin L. Curtis Award for Academic Excellence, the highest award Ivy Tech Community College–Northeast presents to a student. The award has been presented annually since 1974 to a graduate in recognition of his or her outstanding scholarship and personal qualities. This year’s award went to Mahamat-Zene. She was born in Chad, Africa, and was the victim of an arranged marriage that she did not want. At a very young age, Mahamat-Zene was kidnapped and taken to her soon-to-be husband’s remote location. She wanted more in her life and was able to escape her arranged husband and flee to the United States, where she sought asylum as a non-English speaking individual. Eventually, she made her way to a host family in North Manchester where, upon the birth of her daughter, she enrolled at Manchester High School.
Mahamat-Zene, who is now fluent in English, is a single mother with financial needs and no relatives to assist her. She has faced numerous obstacles, including living arrangements after her host mother was not able to assist her. However, with her drive and determination, she conquered these obstacles, persevered and found solutions. In the summer of 2012, Mahamat-Zene enrolled as a student at Ivy Tech Community College in the ASAP accelerated degree program, majoring in Business Administration. She commuted one hour each way every day to attend classes, and relied on a fellow classmate for transportation. As a member of the ASAP program, Mahamat-Zene graduated with her Associate of Applied Science in Business Administration, earning a two-year degree in just 12 months. She graduated with honors and a 3.92 GPA. Mahamat-Zene has been accepted to Manchester University for the Fall 2013 semester and has received a scholarship. Her long-term goal is to attend law school and become an immigration lawyer.