Every year, two graduating students are awarded the Melvin L. Curtis Award for Academic Excellence during Ivy Tech Fort Wayne/Warsaw’s commencement ceremony. The Curtis Award is the highest award presented to an Ivy Tech Community College graduate in northeast Indiana and a winner is chosen to represent the university transfer and career/technical wings of the College. Although Ivy Tech Fort Wayne/Warsaw is not holding a formal commencement ceremony in 2020, we still want to recognize and celebrate our winning students’ accomplishments.
Faith Peralez, School of Public Affairs & Social Services
Faith Peralez grew up in Decatur, Indiana with her parents Fernando and Jami Peralez and three brothers and two sisters. She was home schooled from grades K-12. She started going to Ivy Tech Fort Wayne in Fall 2015 for an Associate Degree in Baking and Pastry. In May 2019, received her Pastry Culinarian Certificate and graduated in 2020 with two associate degrees: one in Baking and Pastry Arts and the other in Culinary Arts. She recently competed in Ivy Tech’s 2020 European Competition for the hospitality students and won the opportunity to travel to Italy with five other students.
Faith liked coming to Ivy Tech because of her teachers, small class sizes, and being close to home. “Ivy Tech has helped me by providing me the skills I need to pursue my dreams,” says Faith. “It also gave me connections in my field of study. My plan after college is to work in a restaurant to grow my knowledge of pastries so that one day I can open my own bakery.”
Molly Waddell, School of Information Technology
Molly is a non-traditional student. She attempted college after graduating from North Side, but when that didn’t work out, she moved on to waitressing. Twenty-years, Molly returned to education, earning an AAS in Business Administration in 2018 and then continuing toward a second AAS degree in Visual Communication. Molly has been an artist her whole life, but now she’s found a conduit for her passion. After a very successful educational journal at Ivy Tech Fort Wayne, Molly graduated this May with a 4.0 GPA.
Additionally, her husband is a part-time student in the Hospitality Administration program and is on the American Culinary Foundation advisory board. Her son, William Passino, is a full-time student in the Building Construction Technology program. Molly is a true Ivy Tech success story.
“My favorite thing about Ivy Tech is how close it is to where I live and work,” says Molly. “As a busy mom I don’t have time to commute. Not only is Ivy Tech right up the street, but it is also an important part of our community. I plan to use what I’ve learned at Ivy Tech to earn a BFA at Purdue Fort Wayne and build my own creative arts business.”