Stained glass window-making program chair has been with College for 20+ years

Average workers today stay at their jobs for 4.4 years, according to the Bureau of Labor Statistics. That’s barely longer than it takes to get a bachelor’s degree, and less time than it takes plenty of students.

Patty Ley, the program chair of Medical Assisting at Ivy Tech Community College Northeast, has been at the College since 1993. To put that in perspective, there are students here who were not yet conceived when she started. (Sorry to point that out, Patty, but as a thirtysomething woman who’s seen her peers start-and-quit new jobs faster than it takes a bad haircut to grow out, that’s a detail that has to be celebrated.)

Patty Ley, at the stained glass studio in her basement. (Keep reading, we'll get to get to her stained glass!)

Patty Ley, at the stained glass studio in her basement. (Keep reading, we’ll get to her stained glass!)

Patty started at the College as an adjunct faculty member in Medical Assisting–she was also working in the microbiology department’s lab at Lutheran Hospital–and she remembers her first day of teaching: Her first class was in Hurley Hall, which once stood where the Technology Center is now.

And boy, was she nervous.

“I had never taught before,” Patty says. “But once you got into the swing of things, it was quite a bit of fun and a very gratifying experience in terms of seeing students grow from the first week of the semester to the last week of the semester.”

And that’s part of what has made her stick around for so long.

“They (students) become part of your family, a little bit like raising children,” Patty says, pointing out the satisfaction she feels on graduation day, seeing her students get their diplomas and the pride they feel.

She also gets personal satisfaction from her artistic projects. Patty enjoys photography, especially outdoor photography, and stained glass. She has a small studio in her basement where she makes her windows. She and her husband recently moved into a home in Lakeside Park, and earlier this season, she worked on stained glass windows to replace the regular glass windows in her basement.

Clockwise from top right: Patty poses with one of the windows she made for the basement; some of the tools she uses to make her windows; a window-in-progress; more tools in Patty's workspace

Clockwise from top right: Patty poses with one of the windows she made for the basement; some of the tools she uses to make her windows; a window-in-progress; more tools in Patty’s workspace

Making stained glass windows has been a hobby for 15 years, and Patty even has a piece in a church in an impoverished village in Mexico. Her brother-in-law had a connection with the church through missionary work, and she was asked to make a piece for it.

“I have never seen it in the church itself, but they transported it down there,” she says. “Someday, I would like to see the church. It would be a great trip to go there.”

2 thoughts on “Stained glass window-making program chair has been with College for 20+ years

  1. Here is yet another interesting class that can be taken at Ivy Tech. There are too many courses available at Ivy Tech that most students never even know about. I wonder how a student could learn about more courses that are offered, than they do.

Share a comment

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s