Ivy Tech Community College Northeast celebrated its 46th annual commencement ceremony tonight at the Allen County War Memorial Coliseum. The College graduated more than 1,000 students in Fort Wayne and awarded more than 1,300 associate degrees, certificates, and technical certificates.
Ivy Tech Community College statewide is awarding more than 20,000 credentials at commencements taking place from May 5 to 14.
HONORARY DEGREES: The College awarded honorary degrees to Sen. Dennis Kruse and Tim Borne. Kruse was an Indiana state representative from 1989 to 2004 and is a current Indiana state senator for the 14th District. He is chairperson of the Education and Career Development Committee. Kruse graduated from the School of Education at Indiana University in 1970 and was a licensed teacher in the state from 1970 to 1975. He currently serves on the board of trustees at Trine University in Angola, Ind.
Borne is the founder of Asher Agency, an advertising, marketing, and public relations firm in Fort Wayne. Since 1974, he has helped grow the agency to its current size: 65 employees and more than $55 million in annual sales. For more than 23 years, Borne has dedicated his personal time, financial support, and company’s efforts to Ivy Tech Northeast. He is a member of the College’s Dream Big capital campaign committee.
STUDENT SPEAKER: The Class of 2016’s student speaker was Elizabeth Powers, who graduated with an associate degree in Liberal Arts. Powers, who was home-schooled, is a graduate of the College’s Associate Accelerated Program, which means she completed her two-year associate degree in one year. She plans to transfer to IPFW to receive her bachelor’s degree in organizational leadership and supervision. After, she plans to get her master’s degree from Indiana Tech and work at the YMCA. She currently works there and has grown up with the organization.
KEYNOTE SPEAKER: Kevin Wall, an Emmy Award-winning producer, activist, and new media entrepreneur, provided the commencement address. Wall, a Fort Wayne native who lives in Los Angeles, is a North Side High School graduate who began producing music events at the Embassy Theatre. His company, Control Room, has put together more than 100 TV specials in the last 11 years for musicians including Madonna, Jay Z, and Rihanna.
BUD CURTIS AWARD FOR OUTSTANDING STUDENT: Stacey Grimm, a nursing graduate, is this year’s recipient of the Bud Curtis Award. Grimm is a responsible student who excels in clinical and didactic coursework. She works as a nurse technician at area hospitals and volunteers at infant safe sleep classes through Parkview Health. Before studying at Ivy Tech Northeast, Grimm taught fourth grade.
The Bud Curtis Award winner is chosen from among the Ivy Tech Northeast Outstanding Student Awards, which are awarded to one Ivy Tech Northeast student per academic school. This year’s Outstanding Student Awards went to:
- Faith Robison, representing the School of Business
- Ashley Perkins, representing the School of Fine Arts and Design
- Rebecca Marshall, representing the School of Applied Science and Engineering Technology
- Rob Dyer, representing the School of Technology
- Stacey Grimm, representing the School of Nursing
- Corey Smith, representing the School of Education
- Angela Helms, representing the School of Public and Social Services
- Suzanne Sherk, representing the School of Computing and Informatics
- Rachel Mitchell, representing the School of Liberal Arts and Sciences
- Renea Counterman, representing the School of Health Sciences
PRESIDENT’S AWARD FOR EXCELLENCE IN INSTRUCTION: Associate professor of biology Christine Barlow is an integral part of the Life Science department at Ivy Tech Northeast. She has developed new courses, co-authored a biology lab manual, brought in a national science speaker, and assisted with the design of a new biology lab on campus. Barlow’s top priority is providing her students with a high quality, rigorous, and relevant life science education, and she works hard to create education environments that encourage curiosity and the exploration of ideas in science.
Barlow will serve as Ivy Tech Northeast’s nominee for the statewide Glenn W. and Mary Catherine Sample Award for Excellence in Instruction. Each of the 14 Ivy Tech regions selects a nominee to win the award, which is presented to a statewide winner.
ADJUNCT FACULTY AWARD FOR EXCELLENCE IN INSTRUCTION: Nikki Kyle is an adjunct instructor in Respiratory Care and also an alumna of the program, graduating in 2005. She teaches Introduction to Respiratory Care and Critical Care I, bringing her experience as a full-time therapist into the classroom. She goes out of her way to ensure her students are well-prepared to deliver patient care in their clinical courses and have the knowledge to be successful in the later advanced didactic courses.
Kyle will serve as Ivy Tech Northeast’s nominee for the statewide Gerald I. Lamkin Award for adjunct faculty members. Each of the 14 Ivy Tech regions selects a nominee to win the award, which is presented to a statewide winner.
SPECIAL NOTE: Students and guests used #IvyTechGrad to discuss the ceremony and festivities on social media. Use the hashtag to see graduation photos and messages of encouragement on Twitter, Instagram, and Facebook.